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Edgar County, Illinois
Biographical Sketches

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[Source: "The History of Edgar County, Illinois, Containing a History of the County its Cities, Towns, &c" By William Henry Perrin, 1879]
Sub. by K.T.

We've put these in loose alpha order.

Paris Township

REV. W. B. ADAMS (deceased), Paris, was among the early settlers of this county, and engaged in farming for a number of years; then removed to Paris and followed contracting and building; Mr. and Mrs. Adams have been intimately connected with the growth and prosperity of the M. E. Church for a number of years, he having been in the work of the ministry as local preacher for some eighteen years; all through his ministerial life, he acted as missionary in supplying destitute neighborhoods with preaching, and was a useful and influential citizen, and spent his time in doing good and raising and educating an intelligent family, which consists of two boys, Allyn and Henry B.. who are now engaged in the grocery business, firm of Adams Bros.; they were born in Clark Co., Ill., but raised in this county, and finished their education at the Edgar Academy; they opened and began in their present business in 1874; they are young men of fine address, pleasant manners and good business ability, and are noted for their energy and enterprise; H. B. has invented a folding plant-stand that, for neatness and convenience, surpasses anything in use, being so constructed as to form one-quarter, one-half or three-quarter circle, convenient for using on the outside corner or inside corner of a bay window; holds from eighteen to twenty-five plants; its practicability is seen at a glance.

MILTON K. ALEXANDER, deceased, Paris, whose portrait has a place in this work, was born in Elbert Co., Ga., Jan. 23, 1796, and was the third son of a family of twelve children. His father, John Brown Alexander, was a native of Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., N. C., and his mother, Barbara (King) Alexander, of Scotland; his ancestors came from the north of Ireland, and, during the Revolution, the Alexander family were quite numerous about Charlotte, some six of them having in 1775, signed the Mecklenburg declaration of Independence; in 1804, his father and family immigrated to Williamson Co., Tenn., and, in 1811, to the border county of Lincoln, in same State; schools at that time were of the most primitive kind, consequently the early educational advantages of the subject of this sketch were quite limited; with, however, his love of knowledge and his active mind and retentive memory, he in after life acquired a fund of information rarely surpassed by those enjoying the most favorable opportunities in early life. During the war of 1812, still a boy, he undertook the sternest duties of a man, those of a soldier; he was out with the Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, under Gen. Jackson, against the warlike Southern savages, and was chosen First Lieutenant by his comrades; from the time he entered the service up to the taking of Pensacola, Nov. 6, 1814, remained under the immediate command of Gen. Jackson; Boon after, Gen. Jackson with the principal part of his forces went to New Orleans; much against his wishes, it fell to the lot of Lieut. Alexander to remain in Florida with that portion of the army, to who was left the less glorious, though not less arduous duty of chastising the warlike Seminoles; the privations of this campaign brought on disease, from which he never after fully recovered. After the war, he returned to Lincoln Co., Tenn., and, on Dec. 16, 1819, was married to Miss Mary Shields, of Giles Co., Tenn., in which county he resided until he emigrated to Illinois. In 1823, he came to Edgar Co., and soon afterward engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits at Paris; on the establishment of mail facilities in the embryo city of Paris, he became Postmaster, a position which he held for twenty-five years ; in February, 1826, he was appointed Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, which position he held till September, 1837; and in the same year, having been elected thereto, was commissioned Colonel of the 19th Regiment Illinois Militia, by Gov. Edward Coles; in December, 1830, he was appointed Aide-deCamp to Gov. John Reynolds, and, on account of Indian troubles on the frontier, was, in 1831, required to accompany the Governor to Rock Island; in 1832, he was elected and commissioned Brigadier General of the 2d Brigade of Illinois Volunteers, and was in active service in the field till the close of the Black Hawk war. In 1837, he was elected by the joint vote of the General Assembly of Illinois, a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Works, an office of great trust and responsibility; at the first meeting of the Commissioners, he was chosen President of the Board, which he retained until the whole system of internal improvements was abandoned by the State. In December, 1830, be became a member of the Presbyterian Church in Paris, and continued so up to the day of his death. Gen. Alexander was a man of cool, clear judgment, great self-control and fine practical business ability; he was public spirited and hospitable, and in all his business relations prompt and honorable; the varied and responsible duties imposed on him by the partiality of his fellow-citizens were faithfully and ably discharged, and he maintained through life a name unsullied by a single stain. After suffering patiently and cheerfully for ten years as an invalid, he departed this life July 7, 1856, respected and esteemed by all who knew him, and sincerely mourned by a numerous circle of friends and relatives.

W. ALEXANDER, retired, Paris, pioneer of the county, was born in Williamson Co., Tenn., June 3,1808 ; he came with his parents to Illinois in 1820, and located in what is now Vermilion ; thence to Edgar in 1821, where he spent his boyhood on a farm, subjected to all the privations and hardships of a pioneer life; his advantages for school education were few and far between, though he acquired a fair education; he is one who clearly remembers when the beautiful land was an unbroken waste, inhabited by roving bands of Indians, with here and there an occasional adventurous pioneer. He served in the Black Hawk war. Agricultural pursuits has been his business thus far through life. On March 25, 1841, he married Miss Sarah Young, of Cincinnati, Ohio; they have two children livingóRavilla C. and Frank R. Mr. and Mrs. A. have been members of the Presbyterian Church for a number of years, and are much respected by all who know them, and now live in their ripe old age to enjoy their children's prosperity and usefulness.

JOHN N. ANTHONY, carpenter, contractor and builder, Paris; was born in Armstrong Co., Penn., Dec. 28,1821; he being of a mechanical turn of mind, chose the trade of a brickmason for his occupation, and, at the early age of 13, began and served as an apprentice until 21; he then being an able workman, he worked in the capacity of a foreman until 1857, when he removed to Paris and bought a farm and began to improve it, but soon returned to his trade and took up contracting and building; in 1865, he returned to farming, and continued two years, after which he gave his principal time to his trade; he was considered the most able workman of the county, having built some of the principal blocks; also, some of the finest residences of the county; he continued until his health began to fail, since which time he has but looked after the affairs of his family and property. He has held a number of prominent and responsible positions; at present a member of the City Council. He is noted for his honesty and integrity, and is a much respected citizen. He was twice married; first to Miss Mary Wagoner, in March, 1844; she passed away in October, 1871, leaving seven children; his second wife was Miss Martha Kiser, of Virginia; she passed away March 26, 1877, leaving a family of three.

J. Y. ANTRIM, grocer, Paris; was born in Bucks Co., Penn., Nov. 21, 1824, where he was raised and schooled ; obtained a common-school education. On Sept. 27, 1845, he married Miss Julia Lick, of Reading, Penn; in 1852, they removed to Hamilton, Ohio, where he erected and operated a woolen-mill; he followed constructing and operating woolen-mills for some thirty years; in this he is considered the most efficient of any man of the Northwest; he removed to Paris in 1858 to manage a mill for L. C. Mann. During the late war of the rebellion, he enlisted with the 7th Ill. V. C, and served three years and three months, and returned to Paris and built what was known as the Vance Mills afterward, he built the Walker Mills. Mr; A. has been quite an extensive traveler; has crossed the continent some three times and thoroughly through the United States; he is a man of good physical, as well as mental powers; as a man among men or in the quiet surroundings of his home, he is social and genial, and as a family they are much respected. The family consists of three daughters and one sonóEmma (now Mrs. J. H. Stoner, of Terre Haute), John W., Sallie C. and Lydia S.

E. J. ARMENTROUT, groceries, provisions and queensware, Paris; was born in Terre Haute, Ind., March 30, 1848; he came to Edgar Co. with his parents in 1854; during his early life, he received a good common-school education; his father was engaged in the grocery business for a number of years in Sanford, this county; he came to Paris in 1866, and opened a grocery house, in which business he continued until his death, which was July 28, 1876; after which E. J. took charge of the business, and is building up a good trade.

JOHN ARTHUR, farmer and stockdealer; P. O. Paris; is a native of Pennsylvania; was born Oct. 12, 1819; when 10 years old, was brought to Clark Co., Ohio, where he was raised, and received a good common education; when of age, began to do for himself, engaging in agricultural pursuits, and has made that his business thus far through life. He married Miss Eliza C. Moss, of Clark Co., Jan. 1, 1847; she was born Feb. 10, 1822. They came to Edgar Co. in 1854, and bought land and settled where they now reside, at which time the country was wild, unsettled, and the hardships and trials of a pioneer's life were but common to them; but, by perseverance and industry, coupled with unswerving integrity, has placed himself in his present position. He owns 1,500 acres of fine improved land, valued at $70 per acre. Since residing in Illinois, has given a larger portion of his time and attention to stock-dealing, in which he is largely known and very successful. The family consists of Athalinda (now Mrs. G. W. Brown), Daniel, Mary J. (now Mrs. J. H. Harris), Henry H., John D. and Adda. As a family, they are much respected by all who know them.

F. R. AUGUSTUS, retired farmer, P. O. Paris; was born in Jefferson Co., Ky., March 15, 1828; he came with his parents to Illinois in 1831, locating in what is known as Grand View Tp., where his father bought and entered lands. He served as one of the first County Commissioners of Edgar Co. Agricultural pursuits had been his principal business through life; he resided at his first location in this county until his death, which was July 12, 1863, at the age of 71. F. R. settled on Sec. 1, Buck Tp., and began improving his farm, which now consists of 475 acres; his land is well improved, and valued at $50 per acre. Oct. 4, 1871, he married Miss Ida Smith, of Edgar Co.; she passed away Feb. 12, 1876, leaving one childóWillis O., born July 17,1872.

S. O. AUGUSTUS, Circuit Clerk, Paris, is a pioneer of the county; was born in Jefferson Co., Ky., July 15, 1830, and came into this county with his parents in 1831. They settled in what is now known as Grand View Tp., and there bought and improved land. His father was one of the first County Commissioners of Edgar County, and resided at first location until his death, which was July 12, 1863, at the age of 71. During the early life of S. O., he received a good education, and his first business experience was in the way of a dry goods clerk, and, in 1854, he with Rudy & Co. opened a dry goods store, in which business he continued about nine years, then bought land in Grand View Tp., and began farming. His farm consists of 740 acres, and is one of the best improved farms in the county, being well watered, is finely adapted to stockraising. He makes the stock trade quite a prominent part of his business. His first office was that of Village Alderman, in 1855; then served seven years as Township Supervisor. He was elected to his present office by the Democratic party in 1876. He has held a number of responsible positions, all of which he has filled with honor and credit to himself and those he represented. On April 13. 1854, he married Miss Lizzie Harding, of this county. They are the parents of four children ó George H., Jacob E., Cammie and Bessie B.

A. B. AUSTIN, jeweler, Paris, is a native of New York ; was born in Schenectady Co. Oct. 9, 1842; he came to this county with his parents in 1851. His father, Mr. A. B., Esq., was one of the prominent men of Paris, though not among the first settlers, yet was an active worker in all public matters pertaining to the good of the people. Served as Probate Judge, also County Clerk. His public services have rendered him very popular, and have secured for him the general respect of those that knew him; he passed away May 1,1878, leaving a family of six boys and two girls. A. B. received a good education during his early life, and learned the trade of watchmaking; in 1868, he began in his present business with small means, and by industry and uprightness in business he has accumulated a good property and now enjoys a flourishing trade, which he well deserves. On Oct. 31, 1873, he married Miss Alice E. Hurtz, daughter of Prof. J. Hurtz, of Paris; they have two childrenóJennie J. I. and Albert B.

ALBERT B. AUSTIN, Sr., deceased, Paris, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Greene Co., N. Y., Feb. 12, 1808. His parents were both of New England stock; his grandfather was a participant in the Revolutionary struggle. He received a good elementary education, and early in life was known as a boy of high moral principle, great industry and correct habits. His father died when he was quite young, and on him devolved the maintenance of the mother and younger children, which required great industry and energy. He was married to Miss Jennie E. Hannah, who survives him, in Schenectady in October, 1832. They lived at Hudson and Schenectady, N. Y., until 1852, when they emigrated to this, then new country. Mr. Austin was an active, efficient man, ready to engage in every work where public interest could be promoted. He was Chief of Police, Police Magistrate, head of fire company, Overseer of the Poor, and President of School Boards for over twenty years; and when he left New York, the citizens, by an ardent exhibition of their confidence and respect, had a large meeting, at which they, by resolutions, acknowledged their obligation to him, and their high esteem of his character, and presented him with a silver cup. He moved to this place with his family in 1852. His labors were soon needed here. He joined the Presbyterian Church in 1853, under Dr. Samuel Newell, and was soon after elected an Elder, which office he filled ably and honorably to the end of his life. He was elected Judge of the County Court, and to the office of Clerk twice, and did much in bringing about those municipal improvements which have so greatly benefited this city. Mr. Austin and wife had born to them ten children, eight of whom are living, honored and beloved citizens, viz., Adelia Ann, Alanson, William, Jennie, Albert, James, Wallace and Archibald; two deceasedóRuby and Nancy. One son graduated at Union College, New York, another at Yale College, New Haven, and a third at Columbia Medical College, in New York City. The Judge was a man of intellect, energy and practical Christian piety. He believed in letting his light shine, and evinced his Christian faith by works of benevolence and love, wherever an opportunity afforded. He, for many years, gave much time and attention to organizing the public schools, and had a large responsibility in erecting the school buildings, and in carrying on the schools. His efficient labors in the church were no less valuable than elsewhere. He was ever at his post, and stood as a most prominent man in talent, activity and devoted piety. He was a prominent and honored member of the society of the I.O.O. F., and he held the position of Deputy Grand Master of the State. He died Tuesday, May 21, 1878.

F. R. AXSON, abstract, real estate and loan agent, was born in Shrewsbury, England, June 21, 1839. He came to this country in 1859, and settled in New York, and, in 1861, he enlisted with the 67th N. Y. V. I, and was through a number of heavy battles, among which were Bull Run, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania; through the many severe engagements he received but a slight wound; was mustered out at Petersburg in June, 1864. He returned to Brooklyn, and shortly began business in New York City; he came to Chicago in 1865, and, in 1873, removed to Cincinnati, where he remained until 1877, when he came to Paris. During his early life, he received a good education, laying the foundation for future usefulness. He has now established himself in Paris, in the abstract and loan business; being social, genial and a practical business man, it is fair to predict for him a brilliant future. Francis R. Axson, while in Chicago, was, for several years western agent of Messrs. Tyng & Co., of New York City, and in that capacity had considerable experience that he will find useful in his present business, having had to travel through the Western and Northwestern States.

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