CROOKED CREEK TOWNSHIP BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
The following Biographies was transcribed by Barbara Moksnes from
  The Book "Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois"
Originally Published 1884 F.A. Battey & Co.

CHARLES J. ALLEN, farmer [post-office Greenup], was born in Cumberland [then Coles] County, Ill., September 22, 1863.  His life was spent in arduous farm labor, and until he was thirty years old, he supported his parents, brothers and sisters.  In 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Ninety-Seventh Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the late war, he participating in the siege of Vicksburg and many hard fought battles, winning an enviable reputation as a soldier, and being several times promoted for heroic service.  At the close of the late war he engaged in his present vocation of farming.  He is now one of the “solid” men of the county, and his high financial standing he has attained through his own exertions.  He was married to Rachel Whorton October 3, 1865.  To them have been born nine children, viz; Eva M., Mary S., Thomas W., Nancy J., Laura C., Charles L., Nora M., Minnie [deceased] and Gertie O.

SAMUEL ALLENBAUGH, son of Peter and Mary E. [Houpt] Allenbaugh, was born in cheat River Valley, Maryland, March 2, 1807.  His father dying when he was five years old he went to live with an uncle; a few years later, while yet a boy, he started in life for himself, first working on a farm by the month, then learning the shoemaker’s trade.  He early saw the advantage of self culture, and while working at his trade, saved sufficient means to pay tuition and other expenses necessarily incurred in an effort to gain an education, and by close application and home study, with a few terms at school, he acquired a fair literary education, which qualified him to teach school, and pursue a course of study in Theology.  He was ordained a minister in the United Brethren Church, but later united with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and was pastor for three years over a church in Madison County, Va., where his devout Christian life, and ability were instrumental in doing much good, and won for him the respect and esteem of all.  In 1849, he came to Cumberland County, Ill., and settled where he now resides.  He now owns 265 acres of land, and his farm is among the finest and best improved in the county.  This fine property is the result of industry, economy, and skillful management.  His wife was Miss Ann M. Gossard, of Franklin County, Penn., to whom he was married August 4, 1829.  To the influence of her Christian example, and frugal assistance, he largely attributes his present social and financial standing.  They are the parents of thirteen children, only six of whom are living, viz; John W., Victoria P. [now Mrs. Sedgwick, of Greenup], William, Samuel S., James M., Francis M.  Mr. and Mrs.  Allenbaugh are living in their ripe old age to see the prosperity and usefulness of their children.

SAMUEL ARNOLD, [deceased], was born and reared in Ohio.  His principle business in life was farming, in which he was always very successful.  When of age he married Sarah Hocker, of Pennsylvania.  In 1864, he came to Illinois and first settled in Crawford County; farmed two years, then located to Cumberland County, Ill., and soon after died.  Since his death, Mrs. Arnold has managed the farm, transacting all business, with the assistance of her two sons-her only surviving children-Harvey A., and Francis C.  In life Mr. A. was a member of the German Baptist Church and contributed largely to the building up and maintaining of the religious institutions, and was a strong supporter of the public schools.  His well improved farm. Large fine residence, and other improvements, are the result of his own industry and skillful management.  Mrs. A. is a member of the German Baptist Church, and is  highly respected for her amiable qualities.

MARTIN BARKLEY, farmer, was born in Decatur county, Ind., March 28, 1840, came to Cumberland County, Ill., when young, with his parents, was raised on a a farm, and had but poor advantages for an education.  He, however, improved his opportunities, and acquired a good business education.  At the age of twenty-one years he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war.  He never missed a battle in which his regiment participated, or a days service, from sickness or other cause.  He was always at his post of duty.  At the close of the war he leased land for several years, but by saving and economizing he has made himself the owner of a farm of 100 acres of well improved land, with a good house, barn and out-buildings, and an orchard of select fruit.  Mr. B. never was married.  He early espoused the cause for equal rights to all men, and united with the Republican party at it's organization.  The family are all Democrats. 

EDWARD BAUMGARDNER, retired farmer, Hazel Dell, was born October 2, 1814, in Lawrence County, Ohio.  His ancestors were all natives of Virginia-served in the Revolutionary war-and were all pensioned by special act of Congress for meritorious service.  When our subject was sixteen years old he came with his parents to Shelby County, Indiana, and there engaged in farming.  He made several trips to Missouri and Louisiana with cattle.  He was the oldest chills in a large family, and his father being in straitened circumstances, he remained at home assisting in the management of affairs until he was twenty two years of age.  In 1836, he contracted for building a portion of the Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad, and drove the first spike in its’ construction.  He then successfully bought and improved several farms in Indiana, until 1853, when he came to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought a part of his present farm, then unimproved.  He has now 375 acres of land, good farm residence, a large barn and out-buildings, and an orchard of choice fruit.  He also owns a fine new residence in Hazel Dell, where he is now living a retired life.  Politically, Mr. B. is a strong Democrat and a party leader, and was elected Sheriff one term, discharging the duties of the office with credit.  He is a man of strong convictions and fixed principles, and highly respected by his neighbors.

PETER BURNETT, farmer, is a native of Durhamshire, England, born February 14, 1841.  In the same year his parents, Thomas and Isabella [Watson] Burnett, emigrated to America, settled in Jefferson County, Ohio, where they remained twelve years, and then located in Cumberland County, Ill.  The early life of our subject was spent in farm work and attending country schools, thus laying the foundation for a life of usefulness.  He enlisted in the late war of the Rebellion, at the age of twenty years, in Company F, Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served thirty-six months, participating in the following severe battles and skirmishes, viz; Pea Ridge, Perryville, Nolansville, Stone River, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard’s Roost, in Sherman’s campaign in Georgia, in the summer of 1864, and Liberty Gap.  He was complimented for bravery, at Pea Ridge, Ark., by Col. Jeff. C. Davis.  At the close of the war he went to Kansas but soon returned to Cumberland County, bought and improved a farm of 140 acres, and built a fine residence valued at $2,000.  His life has mainly been devoted to farming, in which he has been eminently successful.  He has always been a generous supporter of charitable and educational measures.  In agricultural, intellectual and religious matters, his actions have always been characterized by energy and integrity.  On August 28, 1866, he was married to Miss Jane Trees, of Hazel Dell.  They have had four children born to them, viz; Celia, William, Anna [deceased] and an infant.

CRAVEN COPELAND, farmer, was born in Virginia, December 13, 1824.  While quite young, his parents removed to Indiana, and while residing there, he attended school for eleven years.  When of age he commenced life for himself.  He engaged in farming in Indiana, where he remained until 1856, when he came to Cumberland County and bought a part of the farm where he now lives.  He now owns a farm of 310 acres of well improved prairie land, which is entirely the result of his own financiering and industry.  He is also heir to 67 acres of land in Indiana, valued at $100 per acres.  On April 7, 1847, he married Fanny Ribble, of Brown County, Ind.  She died June 21, 1873, leaving a family of nine children, all of whom, through the influence of her pure, consistent Christian life and teachings, have united with the Christian Church.

WILLIAM H. DeBORD
, farmer, was born in Decatur County, Ind., October 1, 1834.  His ancestors were all from Virginia.  His great grandfather came to America with La Fayette, and served under him as a Colonel in the Revolutionary war.  Our subject came with his parents to Jasper County, Ill., in 1852, and assisted in the improvement of a new farm of 240 acres.  He remained principally at home till of age.  He was afforded fair advantages for an education, and by close application to study, and by improving his opportunities he prepared himself for teaching, and for ably conducting the responsible positions in after life.  When he commenced life for himself, he first taught school one year, then engaged in the mercantile business for two years.  At the death of his father in August 1858, he returned home and supported the family.  On August 6, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company H, Thirty-Eighth Illinois Infantry, served three years and twenty seven days in the war, and participated in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, and other severe engagements, having twice been wounded.  He was successively promoted to Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant, and was chosen as one of the “ Legion Of Honor” a select company organized for special, hazardous service.  While in command of Company G, at Chickamauga, he was taken prisoner, and endured the hardships of Scott’s Libby and Danville prisons.  He made several attempts to escape, one of which was successful, but after many adventures and much suffering, was re-taken, thrown into a dungeon, and there confined until he was exchanged, when he returned to his regiment.  After the close of the war, he came to Hazel Dell, and engaged in the mercantile business with Mr. Sanford, then moved on his fine farm in Crooked Creed Township, and has since followed farming and livestock raising.  Being a strong advocate of Republican principles, he was elected from a Democratic district to the Thirty-Third General Assembly, where by his vote he gave the organization of the House to the Republicans.  He was appointed on several committees, among which were Militia, Drainage, Fish and Game, and the more important Committee on Executive Department, of which he was a leading member.  As a legislator he was punctual, quick sighted, and effective for which he was complimented by Gov. Hamilton and United States Senator Cullom.  To his efforts is greatly due the present Compulsory Education and High License Liquor laws.  He has always been public- spirited and a generous supporter of all matters pertaining to the general good.  On June 4, 1865, he married Miss Eliza Sanford, of Hazel Dell.  She died May 9, 1878, leaving two children, Mary and Nellie.  He was next married to Miss Elizabeth Yelton.  To them have been born one child, Thomas.

ALBERT G. DORSEY, a young and prosperous farmer, came to Cumberland County, Ill., from Ohio, in 1866.  A year later he bought the farm on which he now lives.  It was then unimproved but hard and constant labor and good management have placed it nearly all under good cultivation.  He has built a comfortable residence, a fine barn, and added other conveniences and improvements.  When seventeen years old, he enlisted in Company D, Twelfth Ohio Cavalry, as a Private, but for effective service was promoted from the ranks.  He remained in the service two years, or until discharged for disability received during a charge.  On December 26, 1869, he married Mary E. Cole, of Cumberland County, formerly of Ohio.  Having no family of their own, they have adopted an infant to rai

JONATHAN S. FINNEY, farmer, born in butler County, Ohio, February 26, 1819, commenced life on his own account at ten years of age, by working on a farm, where he remained two years, then worked as a day laborer until he was twenty three years of age, when he married Rachel E. White, of Union County, Ind., and the same year came to Cumberland County, Ill, and settled, and farmed on the site where the town of Hazel Dell now stands.  He has owned and worked several farms in various parts of Crooked Creek Township, but in 1865 moved on the farm where he now resides.  In 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a Private, but won the promotions of Corporal and Sergeant.  Mr. Finney has held various public offices, among which were School Director, Supervisor and Justice of the Peace.  He has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church for thirty years. His wife is also a member.  In early days he was a strong anti-slavery man, and is now a Prohibitionist and temperance worker.  To Mr. and Mrs. F., have been born eight children, viz; Josiah [deceased], Alexander, Mary E., Frances J., Milton D., Susan E., Anna and Emily.

JOHN FREELAND, farmer, was born in Hardin County, Ohio, April 18, 1842.  He came with his parents to Crawford County, Ill., and remained on his father’s farm until fifteen years of age, when he left home and assisted in driving cattle through to Kansas.  Pleased with the West, he remained there ten years, employed in teaming, herding cattle, and for some time was in charge of a large wagon-train on the plains.  He endured many hardships in his pioneer life, among which were several sanguine contests with the Indians.  In 1867, he returned on a visit to Crawford County, Ill., where he renewed a former acquaintance with Mary B. Jenuine, to whom he was married November 17, 1868.  They are the parents of five children, viz; Kate, Ora, Etta, Blanche and Frankie.  After his marriage, he moved to Cumberland County, Ill., and gave his attention to farming, first renting then buying the splendid farm of 160 acres he now owns.  He is a man of much physical as well as mental power; social, free-hearted and energetic; he has many friends, and is eminently successful in all his undertakings.

HENRY N. P. FRITTS, [deceased], of German descent, was born in New Jersey, July 6, 1824, and remained at home working on the farm and attending school until of age, when he went to Clermont County, Ohio, and there married Hannah Kellogg.  After his marriage he engaged in farming, first renting then buying a farm which he cultivated until 1855, when he sold out and came to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought 103 acres of new prairie land.  He improved this, then sold out and bought 260 acres.  This he improved, placed in a high state of cultivation, and built a fine residence, and otherwise improved his farm; gave his attention to raising fine breeds of horses and cattle.  His large estate was the result of energy and economy.  He was a strong active temperance man, a consistent member of the Christian Church, charitable and benevolent, and esteemed by all who knew him.  He passed away, leaving a widow and eight children.

TIMOTHY KELLY, farmer, was born in County Carey, Ireland, March 15, 1830, where his early life was spent farming.  In 1852 he emigrated to the United States, landing in New Orleans, La.  There were thirty-two deaths from cholera on board the vessel in which he came and owing to severe storms and quarantine, he was over two months en route.  He was first employed in railroad construction work in Louisiana, but unable to collect his wages, he returned to New Orleans and loaded ships.  In March 1851, he went to Dayton, Ohio, and there worked on the railroad one year, then went to Decatur County, Ind., and hired out at farming for $180 per year.  He worked eighteen months, saved all his earnings and then went to Putnum County, Ill., remained six months and then returned to Decatur County, Ind.  He came to Cumberland County, Ill. in about 1862.  Mr. Kelly has been married twice, his first wife being deceased.  He is now the father of nine children, all living but two.  He now owns 220 acres of land, well improved, one half mile from Hazel Dell.  He also deals largely in stock. 

JOHN KELLY, farmer, was born November 28, 1842, in Decatur County, Ind.  He came with his parents in an early day to Cumberland County, Ill.  He was given poor advantages for education, but when a young man, and even after returning from the war, he attended school one year, thus securing a good business education.  When nineteen years old, he enlisted in Company F, Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, being offered several promotions, but always declining.  He participated in eighteen general battles, and was wounded in the battle of Stone River.  On April 27, 1865, he married Mary B. McCash, of Cumberland County.  They have four children, viz; Charlie, Clark M., Milton D. and Nettie I.  They have also raised one child, Sarah M. Harris.  At the close of the war he engaged in farming until 1870, when he ran a grist mill for two years, in Hazel Dell, then returned to farming, which he has also since followed.  His deceased father left him a good farm, but he has since improved and added to until he now owns 430 acres of land.  His system of farming is based on scientific principles, and he has all the latest improved farm implements.  His land is divided into farms, each having all necessary improvements, a good house, out buildings, etc.  In politics, he is a Republican, also a member of the G.A.R.  He and his wife are both members of the Christian Church.  His high social standing in the community is the result of his kind and generous disposition, strict integrity and sterling worth.

MICHAEL KELLY, of the firm of Mitchell & Kelly, merchants and general stock, Hazel Dell, is a native of County Carey, Ireland, where he was reared and educated.  In October 1849, he emigrated to the United States on the “Judy Tower”, having been 43 days on the water, and landed at New Orleans, La.  He was first employed two years on railroad construction work, in Alabama, then went to Indiana and worked on farms by the month, in Rush and Decatur Counties for about five years.  He then, On December 31, 1856, married Nancy J. McPherson, of Decatur County.  A year after his marriage he rented his mother in law’s farm of forty acres, which he conducted until 1861, when he came to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought and opened eighty acres.  He now owns a farm of 200 acres, all fine prairie land, one half mile from Hazel Dell; he has a large barn; three acres of orchard and a $1,000 house.  His farm is mostly hedged.  In 1881 he bought five acres of land in Hazel Dell, and built a fine, spacious residence, at a cost of $2,000, and moved into town.  Two years prior to this, he, with his son in law Mitchell, built a store, their present business location, a building 18x65 feet.  They carry a stock of $8,000 and do a flourishing business.  Mr. Mitchell, his partner, is Postmaster.  Mr. Kelly is out of debt, and worth about $25,000.  He is a Catholic in religion, and contributed largely to the building of a Catholic Church in Ireland.  He has always been public spirited and charitable.  Mr. Kelly landed in the United States with only an English shilling in money in his pocket, no friends, or even acquaintances.  He has had no financial assistance from anyone, and accumulated his present wealth by his own skillful management and his industry and economy.  To Mr. and Mrs. Kelly have been born eight children, viz; John, Lizzie [now Mrs. G.M. Mitchell business partner of Mr. Kelly]; Mary, William, Frank [deceased], Eddie [deceased], Maggie [deceased], and Olive [deceased].  John and William now manage the farm and live at home.

ANDREW J. McCASH, is a native of Hamilton County, Ohio, was born November 30, 1843, and came in an early day to Cumberland County, Ill.  He served in the late war in Company B, Second Illinois Artillery for three years, and eleven months, being twice promoted for meritorious conduct.  Saving all his earnings at the close of the war he bought forty acres of land since added to it, and now owns a good farm with many valuable improvements.  On April 30, 1868, he married Miss Frances J. Finney, of Hazel Dell.  To them have been born these children, viz; Leota, Mylon O., Estella [deceased], Donald F., Eleanor, and Samuel J.  Mr. McCash has always taken a deep interest in religious matters, having been for three years a minister in the Christian Church, and now having charge of four congregations.  He is able and consistent in his teachings and conduct, and is a power for good in the community in which he lives.  By his many friends and acquaintances he is much respected.

JAMES McBRIDE, was born in Lancaster County, Penn., December 17, 1824.  His father, James Sr., was of Scotch-Irish descent, and came to the United States when a boy.  When our subject was but ten years old, he was hired out to a farmer by his father, who took his earnings.  Upon the death of his father, Mr. Mc. Returned home and assumed the support of the family and management of his father's business, until he was twenty-eight years of age.  On September 12, 1850, he married Elizabeth Zimmerman, who has borne her husband nine children, viz; John [deceased], William I., James H., Barbara A., Samuel V., Andrew R., Sarah J., Emma E., and Mary E.  In 1853, with a few dollars earned as a day laborer, he came to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought 110 acres of new prairie land, going for the most part in debt for it.  He now has 441 acres of land, 110 of which are timber.  His farm is well improved, with a good substantial cottage residence, with a fine barn, a peach and three acres of apple orchard, entirely his own earnings.  He was one of the first to raise wheat when it was thought the prairie soil would not produce it, and during one year raised thirty bushels to the acre.  He has also obtained fifty bushels of timothy seed from nine acres, the best yield ever known in the township.  He has always been a strong supporter of religious and educational institutions.  He is a Deacon in the Dunkard Brethern Church; his wife is also a member of that denomination.  He is a Republican in politics, and was always opposed to slavery.

ADAM RADER, [deceased], was born January 8, 1820; came to Cumberland County, Ill., in 1851, and engaged in farming, but in 1874, retired, moved to Hazel Dell, and lived mostly a quiet life up to the time of his death, which occurred May 5, 1883.  He left a well cultivated and improved farm, and a large estate, valued at $18,000, all of which was acquired by indefatigable labor and rigid economy.  He was a member of the Christian Church, and contributed liberally to its’ support, and was charitable and public spirited.  February 19, 1852, he married Nancy Sarter, of Cumberland County, who still survives, living in Hazel Dell, with no family, and uses liberally her ample means in contributing to all charitable and benevolent movements.  She is a consistent member of the Christian Church.  Mr. Rader was a member in good standing of the Masonic Fraternity, and on May 6, 1883, Hazel Dell Lodge, No. 580, A.F.& A.M., passed resolutions of respect for the memory of the deceased, and of sympathy for the bereaved widow. 

MARTIN J. RUFFNER, farmer, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 27, 1842, and is of German descent.  His great grandfather was a very early settler of Fairfield County, Ohio, and was there killed by the Indians during the Indian troubles of 1812.  His father, Walter N., was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, August 3, 1810, and during his growth to manhood endured all the hardships of pioneer life.  He lived in various parts of Ohio, and married Alvira Kelley, on April 24, 1836, in Fairfield County.  They had seven children, five of whom are living.  In 1843, he came to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought 600 acres of land, where he now resides.  He still owns 180 acres, after giving to each of his children 66 acres.  Our subject was reared a farmer, which has always been his business in life.  When of age, he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Twenty Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was with his regiment in all the battles in which it engaged.  He was married in 1865, to Lutecia Fox of Coles County.  She died in 1866.  His second marriage was to Helen V. Waters, of Cumberland County.  They have had six children, viz; Charles N. [deceased], Hugh K., Hiram B., Maggie M., Maud N., and Effie A.  Mr. R. now owns a farm of 146 acres, eighty of which he purchased after his return from the army, with money he had saved from his pay while in the service.  He has his farm under a high state of cultivation, with all the necessary improvements.  Mr. R. and wife are both member of the Methodist Church, and contributed liberally in money towards erecting the church edifice on their farm, besides donating the land which it occupies.  Mr. R. is an active temperance man, and a faithful laborer for the cause.  At one time he was Worthy Chief and Past Grand Master of the Good Templars.

DAVID H. SANFORD, merchant, was born March 2, 1838, in Decatur County, Ind.  His father, Joseph, and mother, Levinah [Barlow], were both natives of N.Y., the father being a farmer and stock dealer.  Our subject was given a fair literary and good business education, and remained at home until of age, when he came to Crooked Creek Township, Cumberland County, Ill., and began the improvement of 120 acres of new prairie land.  He first erected a small frame house, but has since built a good residence and otherwise improved the farm.  He is now a grain dealer, and has dealt largely in stock.  On May 2, 1861, he married Hulda Barkley, of Decatur County, Ind.  They have had one child, Joseph E., a very intelligent young man, now a telegraph operator and station agent for the D., O. & O.R.R.R., at Hazel Dell.  Mrs. S. died April 9, 1869.  His next marriage was October 2, 1871, to Frances B. Baumgardner, of Crooked Creek Township.  To them have been born four children, viz; Winnie, Maud, Lulu [deceased], and Frank H.  On December 16, 1869, Mr. S. moved to Hazel Dell, and engaged in the mercantile business, carrying a general stock, valued at $8,000, and is express agent.  The combination of telegraph office, express office, with his large trade, gives to his place of business an air of life and thrift seldom seen in larger mercantile houses.  He is now the Treasurer of the Masonic Order.  He is an active, working Republican leader in politics, and strong Prohibitionist; has been Justice of the Peace and held various township offices, and was organizer in the Grange movement; is a member of the Methodist Church. 

GEORGE W. SARTER, farmer and stock-dealer, was born October 1, 1824 in Knox County, Ind., and was reared on a farm and given a fair education.  At twenty-one years of age he left home and rented a farm, but two years later, upon the death of his father, and he bring the oldest child, he returned home and managed his fathers’ business, and supported the family.  In 1852, he moved to Crooked Creek Township, Cumberland County, Ill., and settled on a farm of 160 acres, and now owns 253 acres, forty of which are timber, all the result of his own labor and economy.  In March 1853, he married Nancy J. Rader, of Cumberland County.  She died June 19, 1855, leaving two children, viz; Clara B. and an infant [deceased].  For his second wife, on March 12, 1857, he married Sarah A. Reeds.  She died August 29, 1881.  To them were borne twelve children, six of whom are deceased.  Mr. S. resides in Hazel Dell, in a fine house, with a tastefully decorated yard and seventeen acres of land.  He is actively engaged, with F. M. Masey, of Jasper County, in grain and stock dealings.  He has always been public spirited and generous and during the war contributed largely to the general fund for the maintenance of widows and orphans.  Though an active business man, he never had a lawsuit.

JONATHAN J. SMITH, farmer, was born November 1, 1837, in Licking County, Ohio.  In early life he worked on his fathers’ farm and was given a good education.  When of age, he left home, worked out by the month until he was twenty-four years old, when he married Harriet Spring, of Licking County, Ohio.  They have but one child- Charles H., now a promising young man, attending school at Carbondale, Ill.  After his marriage, he engaged in teaching school, in which he continued for three years, in Ohio; then went to Tennessee for two years, where he farmed and taught school; then returned to Ohio, where he remained one year, coming then to Cumberland County, Ill., and locating on the farm where he now resides.  Since coming to Illinois, both he and his wife have taught school in the neighborhood for many years- he farming in the summer, and teaching school in the winter seasons.  He owns a fine farm, which is well improved.  He is public spirited, a liberal giver to all charitable and benevolent institutions, and is highly esteemed by the community in which he resides.


SOLOMON SMITH, farmer, came with his parents when thirteen years old, from Ohio to Clark County, Ill., in 1840, where the family remained five years, and then settled in Cumberland County, Ill.  His early life was spent in hard routine farm labor until of age, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was with his regiment in all its battles.  He was esteemed by officers and comrades for his courage and daring, being frequently detailed to perform special, responsible duty, which required great risk and good judgment.  At the close of the war, he returned home and gave his attention to farming, in which he has been very successful.  He first rented for six years, but now owns 150 acres of finely improved land, and a beautiful residence, the result of his own energy and financiering.  Mr. Smith is social and generous, and in consequence has many friends, and commands the respect of all who know him.  On January 12, 1871, he married Miss Eliza Carson.  They are the parents of two bright, promising little girls- Bertha and Ethel.

JONATHAN O. SPOHN, farmer, was born in Perry County, Ohio, May 16, 1827.  In 1840 his father came to Cumberland County and entered 160 acres of land.  Our subject, the oldest of nine children, was the main dependence of his father in the toils and hardship incident to pioneer life, and when eighteen years of age, upon his father becoming blind, the burden of supporting the family, caring for an afflicted parent, and the management of the farm devolved upon him, which duties he faithfully performed until the death of his father, and consequent separation of the family.  He served three years in the late war of the Rebellion, was twice wounded, and twice promoted for valiant service.  On September 11, 1851, he was married to Catherine Shivler, of Ohio.  To them have been born six children, viz; Franklin, Bianca [ now Mrs. George Bartee], Samuel [deceased], Amanda [deceased], Alcina [deceased], and an infant [deceased].  


CAPTAIN JAMES W. TRAVIS, farmer, was born in Decatur County, Ind., January 22, 1841.  He came with his parents to Cumberland County, Ill., where he was reared on a farm.  In 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Thirty-Eighth Illinois Infantry, and served in the war four years and eight months.  At the battle of Liberty Gap, Tenn., after many ineffectual attempts had been made, and several lives lost, in trying to supply an engaged regiment with ammunition, he with one comrade successfully carried it through an open field, under a galling fire directed at them, and distributed it among the soldiers; thus saving the day.  He was a member of the “Legion of Honor”, and elected by his company to the successive ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain.  As an office, soldier and companion, he was brave, intrepid, social, and was highly esteemed by both officers and men, and still enjoys the confidence and respect of his few surviving comrades, who are now his neighbors and associates.  After the war, he engaged in farming, which business he still follows.  He has a fine farm of 120 acres of prairie land, and a large, fine residence.  His possessions are entirely the result of his own industry and good management.  On April 26, 1866, he married Miss Frances A. Rue, of Jasper County.  They have five children, viz; Albert A., William C., James C., Bertha M. and an infant. 

JOHN WADE, was born May 2, 1827.  His first independent undertaking in life was at eighteen years of age, when he attended eight acres of land for one year.  Then he bought on credit sixty of 200 acres of land he now owns and resides on.  This well tilled farm, his fine residence, and the many improvements, have all been accumulated from active, arduous labor, and frugal, judicious use of money.  Mr. W. has acquired a fair literary education, entirely by home study.  He devoted several years to the study of Theology, and was an ordained minister in the Christian Church, in which calling he has been actively engaged up to a year since, when he retired owing to illness in his family.  Such have been the benefits of his teaching and example, that their influence for good will live after him.  On May 20, 1847, he married Martha Featheringill, of Cumberland County.  They are the parents of ten children, only five of whom are living, viz; John H., Levina [now Mrs. DeVall], Delitta H., Mary E. and Hattie.

SAMUEL WELKER, farmer, was born in Stark County, Ohio, May 14, 1835.  When nine years old he came with his parents to Cumberland County, Ill., in 1844.  His father opened a farm of 160 acres.  At the time of his settlement there were no neighbors within two miles, and our subject walked four miles to school for three winters.  Church services were held at residences; assisted in building the first church erected in the township, at Hazel Dell, in 1862.  The first school he attended in the county was a rude log structure without a nail in it, with greased paper for windows and slabs for seats.  With these meager advantages and home study, and close application, he acquired a good business education, as well as qualifying himself as a teacher.  He taught school when eighteen years old, one term; then farmed until he was of age, when he went to carpentering, which he followed for twelve years.  He had no such conveniences for fine work as are now possessed by the trade; used wooden pins in lieu of nails; went forty five miles for building material, tools, etc.  In domestic needs they also endured hardships and privations incident to pioneer life- having wheat bread but once a year, and until horse mills were introduced, had to grate corn for meal to make the bread.  He first broke prairie with five yoke of oxen and a wood plow faced with steel.  His father introduced the first steel plow in the township, and owned the first saw mill.  In 1861, our subject gave his attention to farming, located on and improved the farm on which he now resides.  He was an early Abolitionist and Old Line Whig and now a Republican in politics.  He is now Tax Collector, and has been School Trustee and Overseer of the Poor; is an ardent temperance worker, and a member of the Christian Church.  On January 1, 1861, he married Matilda DeVall.  To them have been born three children, viz; Mary [deceased], Willie [deceased] and Emma, now seventeen years old, well educated and highly accomplished in music.  They are also raising a bright little girl- Rose Hozier.

WILLIAM WELKER, was born in Stark County, Ohio, May 10, 1840.  He came with his parents to Cumberland County, Ill., in 1844; secured a good business education by close application in home study.  He lived on a farm until he was sixteen years of age, when he commenced life for himself.  He first worked two years as a day laborer; then learned the carpenters’ trade with his brother, Samuel [whose sketch is elsewhere given], and followed that trade for several years, until 1861, when he went to McLean County, Ill., but returned the same year, and enlisted in Company F, Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  For valiant conduct at Pea Ridge, Ark., he won promotion to First Sergeant, at which battle he was wounded.  He participated in the battles of Stone River, Liberty Gap, Perryville, Pea Ridge, Chickamauga, and many others.  He was a member of and with the brigade that fought “Above the clouds”, at Lookout Mountain.  He was mustered out December 8, 1865; returned to Cumberland County, Ill., and bought his present farm of eighty acres, which is well improved, with a good house, a fine orchard, etc., his accumulations by personal effect.  On April 8, 1868, he married Annie Yates, of Crooked Creek Township, a very intelligent and amiable young lady.  Three children, Leslie L., Zadie [deceased] and Laura E., have been born to them.  Mr. and Mrs. W. are members of the Universalist Church, are generous and charitable, and held in high esteem by their neighbors and associates.

ROBERT YELTON, farmer, was born in Covington, Ky., March 28, 1827.  He began life for himself at the age of twenty-one years, and on March 21, 1850, was married to Jeannette Jerhard, of Shelby County, Ind.  She has borne her husband eight children, viz.; Elias [deceased], Susan [now Mrs. Toney], John [deceased], Hannah [now Mrs. Stevens].  In 1851, they moved to Jasper County, Ill., where he engaged in farming for thirteen years, when they came to Cumberland County, and bought the farm where they now reside.  His entire property- his farm of 220 acres of productive prairie land; his brick residence, and the many surrounding improvements have been accumulated and built up by a life of indefatigable energy and frugality, both of himself and his wife.  In all his business relations, active and industrious, yet honorable, he has won the esteem of all who know him. For family info on Robert’s sister, Amelia Yelton Ward, please contact  Barbara Moksnes


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