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Illinois Genealogy Trails

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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 Mary Kay Krogman

We've put these in loose alpha order.

Stratton Township


Benjamin Allen

BENJAMIN ALLEN, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; was born in Meade Co., Ky., June 14, 1814, and is the son of Benjamin and Mary Allen; his father was a native of Penn., having moved to Kentucky with his parents at an early day; Mr. Allen, in December, 1825, with his parents, moved to Illinois and settled in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co.; they purchased 160 acres of land and set out in farming, and also engaged in loading flatboats with produce which was floated down the Wabash River into the Ohio, then the Mississippi to New Orleans, and sold; Mr. Allen was very successful in flatboating; he had made $700; he entered the sawmill business but lost the $700; but, with hard labor and good management, he owns one of the best improved farms of Edgar Co.; 307 acres, with forty-five acres in a fine fruit orchard. Mr. Allen has held several offices of trust, and in every instance he has made it his duty to try and give entire satisfaction; he has proven himself a gentleman of acknowledged ability; was Justice of the Peace eleven years; School Treasurer, ten years, and is now Supervisor of Stratton Tp.; was elected on the Greenback ticket. Mr. Allen has been married twice; first wife in 1850, Nancy Holland Hudson, of Tennessee; she died in 1864; married second time to Mary Appleby, of Indiana; have twelve children; ten children living.


J. W. Boyer

J. W. BOYER, Postmaster and merchant, Vermilion; the subject of this sketch was born in Augusta Co., Va., Feb. 1, 1832, and is the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Ewing) Boyer, natives of Virginia; his father was a farmer and a soldier of the war of 1812. Mr. Boyer was brought up on his fatherís farm, engaged in farming, with his parents, emigrated West to Illinois, and settled in Coles Co.; here he remained about twenty-two years, part of the time engaged in teaching school; thence to Clark Co. In 1864, he came to Edgar Co.; here he was engaged in teaching school for four years; he then accepted a clerkship in Besier & Showalterís store; from there he entered mercantile business for himself. In 1872, he was appointed Postmaster; this office he still holds; also the office of Notary Public. Mr. Boyer married Miss Asenath S. Scott, of Indiana, by whom he has had five children. Mr. Boyer's mother is still living, at the good old age of 78 years.


James M. Blackburn

COL. JAS. M. BLACKBURN, retired farmer; P. O. Paris; the subject of this sketch is one of the best known and highly respected farmers of Edgar Co., Ill.; was born in Harrison Co., Ky., June 8, 1797, and is the son of William and Elizabeth (McClanahan) Blackburn; his father was a farmer, and a native of York Co., Penn., and was a soldier of the war of 1812; when very young he moved to Kentucky. Here he married, and, with wife and three children, moved to Butler Co., Ohio in 1803. Col. Blackburn states he remembers well when he passed through Cincinnati on their way to Butler Co., the place was then nothing but a small town, now a city of over a quarter of a million inhabitants. They remained in Butler Co. until 1816, then moved to Sullivan Co., Ind.; here his father died April 13,1824; born Nov. 19, 1762; his wife was born May 31, 1773, and died in Edgar Co., Ill. In 1817, Col. Blackburn came to Edgar Co., and purchased 320 acres of land at $2.25 per acre; he then returned to the farm in Sullivan Co., Ind. In Nov. 23, 1819, he married Cassandra Widener, who was born Aug. 10, 1798, and is supposed to be the first white child born in the Wabash Valley; her father was John Widener, of Virginia, who was the first settler on the Wabash River. In 1820, Col. Blackburn and wife came to Edgar Co. and settled in Stratton Township on the present farm. He first erected a log cabin and lived in this until about 1826; made improvements and kept adding to the house as his family increased. In 1832, Col. Blackburn received orders from the Governor of Illinois for 200 volunteers for the Black Hawk war; it was but a short time before Col. Blackburn reported with his full quota, and ready to march. He enlisted as a private, but was elected Colonel of the First Regiment 2d Brigade of mounted volunteers (Col. Mayo was the Adjutant); reported at Fort Dixon Aug. 15, 1832. Col. Blackburnís regiment did duty in Illinois and Wisconsin; was at the battle of Bad Axe, where Black Hawk and his Indians were defeated and driven across the Mississippi River. After the close of the war, Col. Blackburn returned to his farm in Edgar Co.; here he has remained ever since. Married second wife, Rachel Webster, March 4, 1835; she died March 31, 1874; six children by first wife, and one child by second wife. David S. enlisted in the late war; was Captain of Co. F, 21st Ill. V. I.; participated in some of the prominent battles during the war. Col. Blackburn took the first load of hay to Paris, and sold it for $2 per ton; sold the first lot of cattle-twenty head-very large and fine cattle, which were sold for $200 for the lot. This is to show what hay and, cattle were worth in the first settlement of the county. Col. Blackburn owned at one time 2,300 acres of fine improved land, which had been made by hard work, industry and economy, and to publish the reminiscences of his pioneer life in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would make a valuable volume.


Alexander M. Blackburn

ALEXANDER M. BLACKBURN, farmer; P. O. Paris; this gentleman was born in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., Dec. 29, 1827, and is the son of James M. and Cassandra (Widener) Blackburn, who are pioneers of Edgar Co., Ill. Mr. Blackburn was raised on his fatherís farm, and farmed it principally through life; in 1853, he moved to California; here he was engaged in farming and fruit-growing, and remained there until 1863; he returned home, and farmed on the old homestead; he was engaged with his brother in stock business about four years; in 1875, he moved on the present homestead; here he has remained, engaged in farming. May 9, 1865, he married Margaret M. Snyder, who was born in Newport, Ky., Dec. 6, 1835, daughter of Thomas D. Snyder, a real estate broker of Cincinnati; she died Nov. 19, 1878; sick but a short time with lung fever; three children. Mr. Blackburn owns 378 acres of land, given to him by his father.


J. C. Besier

J. C. BESIER, merchant, Vermilion; the subject of this sketch is one of the most prominent business men of Vermilion; was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1836, and is the son of Philip and Louisa (Scheanlaub) Besier; his father was a tailer by trade, and a merchant; Mr. Beiserís father died when he was young; his first experience in business was clerking for his father; Mr. Besier also served an apprenticeship as house-joiner and stairbuilder; he came to Edgar Co. in 1856; he first commenced clerking in a store in Vermilion; then as a partner. In 1861, at the breaking-out of the war he enlisted as private, Co. D, 1st Mo. V. I.; he participated in some of the prominent battles under Gens. Grant, Sherman, Pope and Fremont; was mustered out as First Lieutenant of Co. D, 1st Mo., at Atlanta, Ga.; returned home to Vermilion in 1864. In May, 1865, be commenced the mercantile business with a partner, firm known as Beatty & Besier; here he remained as partner until 1869; the firm then dissolved; he then entered partnership with Mr. Showalter, known as Showalter & Besier; this firm remained until 1874; then dissolved; since then, Mr. Besier has been engaged in the general store business alone; he carries a first-class stock of dry goods, boots and shoes, and a general assortment of goods to be found in a first-class store; his stock is valued at $10,000; Mr. Besier is also engaged in the grain and stock business, with Mr. George Sims as a partner. Mr. Besier married Mrs. Mary E. Patton.


Trueman Blackman

TRUEMAN BLACKMAN, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; the above-named gentleman is one of the oldest settlers of Edgar Co.; was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 13, 1814, and is son of Trueman and Dolly (Pardy) Blackman; his father was a native of New York, and was the first Sheriff of Vigo Co., Ind.; he came West at an early day; first settled in Cincinnati, Ohio; thence to Vincennes, Ind., in 1815; here Mr. Blackman's mother died, and his father died in Vigo Co.; in 1819 or í20, Mr. Blackman came to Edgar Co., Ill., and lived with his uncle Remember Blackman, who had come to the county at an early day; here Mr. Blackman remained about eleven years; he then lived with Isaac Sandford, and remained with him until he was about 21 years old; at about 23 years old he had saved enough money to purchase 120 acres of land, for which he paid $6 per acre; thence to Paris; here he was engaged in the tannery business with Isaac Sandford, from 1841 to 1856; he then returned to farming; this business he has been engaged in ever since; he came here a poor boy, but with hard labor and good management to-day owns 399 acres of fine improved land; is strictly temperate, both in liquor and tobacco. Mr. Blackman has lost three wives; his first wife was Harriet Sandford, daughter of Isaac Sandford, married in 1840, died in 1862, by whom he had six children, two children living-Daniel B., born Nov. 6, 1844, and Elbertina; married second wife, Margaret Trouteman, by whom he had one child, now dead; married third wife, Sallie Crawford, daughter of James and Sallie Ann Crawford, by whom he had two children, one living-Trueman P., born Oct. 1, 1873; third wife died Nov. 29, 1875.


Edward B. Driskell

EDWARD B. DRISKELL, farmer; P. O. Paris; this gentleman was born in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., Jan. 5, 1848, and is the son of J. M. and Judith Driskell; Mr. Driskell, the subject of this sketch, was raised on his fatherís farm, engaged in farming; this business he has followed through life; he is now engaged in farming on the old homestead where his parents first settled, in Stratton Tp. Mr. Driskell is the patentee of the Driskell Road Scraper, which was patented by him July, 1868. He married Augusta A. Swart April 10, 1877, daughter of the Rev. Peter A. Swart, of the M. E. Church. Mr. Driskell owns 220 acres of fine land.


John S. Dill

JOHN S. DILL, farmer; P. O. Paris; come to Edgar Co., 1830; was born in Mason Co., Ky., Aug. 21, 1811; son of Benjamin and Rachel (Crowsley) Dill; father was a tailor by trade, a native of Delaware, having moved to Kentucky when very young; Mr. Dill was raised on a farm, and has been engaged in this vocation principally through life; when he was about 3 years old, he, with his parents, moved to Clermont Co., Ohio; here he remained until he was about 19; he then came to Edgar Co., Ill.; came with parents; first settled in Paris; here they remained but a short time, then moved to a farm, and remained there until the Black Hawk war; he enlisted in Col. Blackburn's regiment; Col. Mayo was Captain of company; he served until the close of war; in 1833, he went to Chicago; here he was for five years; here he was engaged in the carpenter business, in fact, he was working about the first year of the progress of this great city; he engaged there for five years; he helped move the Pottawatomie tribe west; these Indians were moved to Council Bluff's, Iowa, and part to Kansas; returned to Edgar Co. in 1839; moved to Andrew Co., Mo.; here he was engaged in farming, part of his time plastering; he plastered the first house that was plastered in Savannah, which was the county seat of Andrew Co., Mo.; the plastering trade he learned in Paris; here he remained in Missouri eight years, then returned to Edgar Co.; 1847, settled north of Paris on a farm; there, 1847 to 1856, then started to Kansas; went as far as Warrensburgh, Mo., but, on account of trouble in State, returned to Paris; there two years; 1857, drove cattle to the north part of Iowa, then back farming in Edgar Co.; in 1859, settled on present homestead; here he has remained ever since. Married Miss Martha E. Powell, of Nicholas Co., Ky., having come to Edgar Co. 1835, by whom he has had twelve children, seven children living. Owns 207 acres of land.


Ira K. Eliot

IRA K. ELIOT, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; the subject of this sketch was born in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., March 24, 1840, and is the son of Palmer D. and Sophia Eliot, who were among the early settlers of Edgar Co.; Palmer D. Eliot was born in New York State in 1792; his father died when he was a young man; he, with his brother, started West from New York, and, being very poor, they walked all the way to Kentucky; here he married Sophia Jarred; came to Illinois in a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen; they arrived in Edgar Co., and, being very poor, having but 50 cents cash and one horse, he first commenced to work for Mr. Sandford; here, it seems, he saved a little money, and entered a piece of land; he built him a log cabin; at that time the Indians were very numerous, and before Mr. Eliot moved in the cabin, it was occupied by Indians; from here he set out in farming, and, with hard labor and good management, he was among the successful farmers of Edgar Co., at his death leaving a valuable estate. Mr. Eliot was a member of the Christian Church, and helped to organize the Christian Church in Stratton Tp. He died respected and honored by his fellow-men. Ira K. Eliot, at the breaking-out of the late war, he enlisted in Co. A, 12th I. V. I., and served three months; was honorably discharged. He married Miss Sarah A. Myers, daughter of Jonas F. Myers; have had four children, three children living.


W. W. Ferris, M. D.

W. W. FERRIS, M. D.; P. O. Vermilion; this gentleman was born in Geauga Co., Ohio, Jan. 3, 1841, and is the son of Elijah and Mary (Russell) Ferris; his father was a native of New York, engaged in farming; Dr. Ferris was brought up on his father's farm, engaged in farming; at the age of 15, he entered school and received a common-school education; in 1857, he commenced the study of medicine in Henry Co., Ind.; in 1859, he entered the Michigan State University of Ann Arbor, Mich.; here he graduated in medicine and received a diploma; in 1862, he came to Vermilion, Edgar Co., Ill., and commenced the practice of his profession; to-day he ranks with the leading physicians of Edgar Co., Ill., being the oldest resident physician of Vermilion. Dr. Ferris owns a well-stocked drug store in Vermilion, where can be had the purest of drugs. He married Eliza Burner of Henry Co., lnd.; one child. Dr. Ferris was one of the first Councilmen of Vermilion and was the first President of the Council.


Andrew G. Fitzgerald

AN DREW G. FITZGERALD, retired farmer; P. O. Vermilion; was born in Iredell Co., N. C., June 24, 1796, and is the son of John and Nancy (Bagerly) Fitzgerald; his father was a farmer and a native of Maryland; Mr. Fitzgerald was brought up on the farm; in 1815, he moved to Hardin Co., Ky.; here he was engaged by the month to work on the farm. While in Hardin Co. he married, in 1822, to Miss Annie Morrison, who was born in Hardin Co., Ky., Nov. 27, 1803, and is the daughter of James and Mary (McWilliams) Morrison, who emigrated to Kentucky at an early day. Mr. Fitzgerald, in 1825, with wife and two children, started in a wagon for Illinois, crossed the Ohio River by ferry near Brandenburg, Ky., then to Edgar Co.; they first lived on a rented, farm, then purchased forty acres of land and in about 1828 they built a log cabin, 18x20, and moved the family; in here they lived until about 1832, when he built a larger building; this old log cabin is now standing on the farm, fifty years old. Mr. Fitzgerald came here a poor man; with hard work and industry he ranks among the successful farmers of Stratton Tp.; he is a member of the Christian Church; the first members of the Christian Church of Stratton Tp. were A. G. Fitzgerald and wife, R. C. Kimbrough and wife, Palmer D. Eliot and wife, Benjamin Vanhoutin and wife, William Hartley and wife, William Smith and wife, Nicholas Schoptaugh and wife; out of the fourteen original members of this church only four are living, viz., A. G. Fitzgerald and wife and Benjamin Vanhoutin and wife.


James A. Gillespy

JAMES A. GILLESPY, farmer; P. O. Paris; was born in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., Feb. 3, 1846, and is the son of James L. and Annie Campbell Gillespy, who were among the early settlers of Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill. His father was a native of Tennessee; came to Edgar Co. at an early day; was a soldier of the Black Hawk war, 1832; enlisted from Edgar Co., Ill. Came to Edgar Co. a poor man; was a farmer, and at his death he had accumulated a large estate. Mr. James A. Gillespy was brought up on his father's farm, and has been engaged in farming, principally, through life. Enlisted in the late war as private in Co. G, 70th I. V. I.; served three months; was honorably discharged. Returned to farming; owns a good improved farm of 124 acres of land. Married twice, first wife, Virginia C. Thomas, deceased; married second wife, Miss Abia Atkinson, daughter of George J. Atkinson; one child.


M. F. Gillespy

M. F. GILLESPY, farmer; the subject of this sketch was born in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., July 11, 1849, and is the son of James and Annie C. Gillespy; his father was born near Knoxville, Tenn., having moved to Indiana at an early day; then to Crawford Co., Ill.; thence to Edgar Co., being among the first settlers of Edgar Co., Stratton Tp., Ill. He was a soldier of the Black Hawk war of 1832. Came to county poor; but with hard labor he managed to accumulate a large estate; he died respected and beloved by his fellowmen. Mr. M. F. Gillespy married Miss Caroline Whalen, who was born in Edgar , Co., Ill., by whom he has had two children, one living-Nellie G. Mr. Gillespy owns 118 acres of land.


Martin Hausam

MARTIN HAUSAM, farmer; P. O. Paris; is a native of Bavaria, Germany; was born July 24, 1835; he was brought to this country by parents when a mere boy; they settled in Stark Co., Ohio, where they lived until 1850, when they removed to Shelby Co., Ill. During the early life of Martin he obtained a good business education, and on June 14, 1858, he married Miss Phoebe A., only daughter of Daniel Lane, a pioneer of this county; she was born Aug. 25, 1842, and her home is the old homestead where her father settled in 1818. Mr. and Mrs. Hausam have a beautiful home of 160 acres, and fine farm buildings. They are among the better class of citizens.


Charles T. Johnson

CHARLES T. JOHNSON, M. D., Vermilion, the subject of this sketch, was born in Edgar Co., Ill., two and a quarter miles northeast of Paris, June 7, 1833, and is the son of Madison and Maria (Kimble) Johnson; his father was a native of Virginia; with his parents moved to Ohio when he was about 7 years old. Here he married, and, with his wife, came to Illinois. Dr. Johnson was brought up on his father's farm and commenced farming from the time he could handle a plow, and in the winter months gathering instruction from the district schools of the period; at 20, he entered the high school at Paris; here he received a common-school education; he then commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Shubal York, and remained with him until the breaking-out of the late war; he enlisted in the 54th I. V. I. as Hospital Steward under Dr. Shubal York, who was acting as Surgeon of same regiment. Dr. Johnson remained in the 54th about two years; he then was Contracting Surgeon about three months; then returned to the 54th, and remained with this regiment until the close of the war, acting as First Assistant Surgeon; he returned home to Edgar Co., Ill., in 1865, and in 1866, he graduated in the Chicago Medical College; he then went to New Goshen, Vigo Co., Ind.; here he commenced the practice of medicine, and remained there until 1872; thence to Paris Edgar Co., Ill, in 1872, 1873 and 1874; in 1874, he commenced the practice of medicine in Vermilion; here he has remained ever since, and ranks to-day as one of the leading physicians of Edgar Co. Dr. Johnson has been married twice; first wife Miss Harriet Pinder of England, having emigrated to America with her parents at the age of 10 years; were only married about two years; she died in Vigo Co., Ind., by whom he had one child; second wife, Mrs. Louisa (Sherley) Shores, of Indiana.


David A. Kimbrough

DAVID A. KIMBROUGH, Vermilion; this gentleman was born in Elbridge Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., March 9, 1825, and is the son of Richard C. and Jane (Morrison) Kimbrough; his father was born in North Carolina, 1792; was a soldier in the war of 1812, under Gen. Jackson, and participated in some of the prominent battles; was five years in the regular army, and three years in the volunteer service; he came to Kentucky at an early day; here he married Jane Morrison; with wife and two children moved to Illinois, and settled in Edgar Co.; here he remained until his death, which occurred Oct. 20, 1833; his wife died June 3, 1875. Mr. Kimbrough, in 1852, moved to Coles Co., and returned to Edgar Co. in 1856; with this exception, he has lived in Edgar Co. since 1825. In 1849, he married Miss Nancy L. Sims, born in Edgar Co., Ill.7 April 7, 1826, daughter of Hall and Annie (Jones) Sims, who were among the first settlers of Edgar Co.; in 1870, Mr. Kimbrough moved to Vermilion, with the intention of educating his children; in Sept. 8, 1874, a very sad accident occurred to his two sons, John L. and James M.; while at the raising of a house, it fell and instantly killed both of them. Have one child-Mary E. S. Mr. Kimbrough has been President of the Council of Vermilion for the last four years. He is a Democrat in politics; is a member of the Christian Church.


John W. Moffitt

JOHN W. MOFFITT, farmer; P. O. Paris; the subject of this sketch was born in Indiana Co., Penn., July 10, 1819, and is the son of Robert and Jane (Clark) Mofiitt, both natives of Ireland; were Protestants in religion, having emigrated to America at an early day; Mr. Mofiitt, when he was but 1 year old (1820), with his parents moved to Knox Co., Ohio, settlers of this county; Mr. Moffitt states when they first came to Knox Co. there were plenty of wild game, such as deer, wolves, etc.; he has visited the Indian camps. In 1838, he married Miss Druzella Welker, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Gomer) Welker; her father, a native of Maryland, was a soldier in the war of 1812; they having moved to Knox Co. in 1803, were among the first settlers of the county; Judge Martin Welker, a brother of Mrs. Moffitt, is now Judge of the Northwestern District of Ohio; was at one time Lieutenant-Governor of Ohio; also served three terms as Congressman from same State. Mr. Moffitt remained in Knox Co., Ohio, until 1850; then with wife and four children, came to Illinois, and settled in Paris, Edgar Co.; here he remained five years; was the first Steward of the present Poorhouse; this office he filled for eight and one-half years; has been a resident of Mulberry Grove, and May's Station; in 1875, he moved to the present farm; here he has been engaged in farming ever since. Mr. Moffitt lost a son and son-in-law in the late war; his son, Dillon W., enlisted in the 54th I. V. I., Co. F, for three years; was detailed as Company teamster; was taken sick at Vicksburg, Miss, and on his way home with his father died at the Soldiersí Home, in Cairo, Ill.; his remains were buried at Mound City, Ill.; Mr. Mofiittís son-in-law, David C. Perrish, enlisted in Co. F, 59th I. V. I.; he participated in the battle of Nashville, Tenn.; after the battle, he was in a skirmish where he received a wound which proved mortal; he died leaving a wife, Edith (Moffitt) Perrish, and one child, a daughter to mourn, his loss; his wife died two years after, with the consumption. Mr. and Mrs. Moffitt have lived together as man and wife for the last forty years; have had seven children, four living; Charles (deceased ), was a graduate of the Keokuk Medical College.


John Mings

JOHN MINGS, farmer and stock dealer; P. O. Vermilion; the above named gentleman was born on the line of Preble and Butler Counties, Ohio, Sept. 21, 1827, and is the son of William and Ann (Newton) Mings, of England, who emigrated to America young; his father was shoemaker by trade, was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was among the early settlers of Ohio, having passed through Cincinnati, Ohio, when it was but a small village; Mr. Mings, when he was young, with his parents moved to Shelby Co., Ind.; here in this county his father and mother died. He returned to Ohio, and married Lucy Ann Parker; thence to Marion Co., Ind.; from there he came to Edgar Co., 1865; here he has been engaged in farming and stock dealing, and ranks to-day as one of the successful men of Stratton Tp.; Mr. Mings was crippled on a threshing machine; he then, at 21 years old, learned the shoemakerís trade; this he followed but a few years; owns a fine, improved farm of 160 acres. Have had three children, one living-William H., who is engaged with his father in the stock business.


J. F. Myers

J. F. MYERS, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; was born in Shenandoah Co., Va., Sept. 25, 1813, and is the son of Michael and Magdalene (Lindamood) Myers; his father was a farmer; when Mr. Myers was between 8 and 10 years old, he, with his parents, emigrated West, to Ohio, and settled in Greene Co.; here he remained until 1858; then, with wife and eight children, moved to Edgar Co., and settled in Stratton Tp.; here he has remained ever since, and ranks to-day as one of the successful farmers of Edgar Co. Mr. Myers married in Greene Co., Ohio, to Elizabeth Dice, of Virginia, by whom he has had eleven children, ten children living. Mr. and Mrs. Myers are members of the German Reformed Church. His son Anderson was in the late war; enlisted in a regiment of engineers in Missouri, which was detailed to build bridges and trestle work; he took sick at Jacksonville, Tenn.; returned home, and few weeks after died. John enlisted, but near the close of war; did but little service.


D. A. Morrison

COL. D. A. MORRISON, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; is one of the oldest settlers of Edgar Co.; was born in Hardin Co., Ky., Feb. 26, 1809, and is the son of James and Mary (McWilliams) Morrison; his father was a native of New Jersey, having moved to Kentucky at an early day; here, in 1820, he died; Mr. Morrison was raised on his fatherís farm, and remained on the farm in Kentucky until 1826; then, with his mother and one sister, moved to Illinois, and settled in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co.; he first rented a farm, and by his industry he had saved sufficient money to purchase forty acres of land, part of the present farm; here he has remained ever since; to-day owns a good, improved farm of 196 Ĺ acres. In 1832, Co. Morrison enlisted as a volunteer in the Black Hawk war under Col. Blackburn, and served until the close of the war; he returned to his home in Edgar Co., and was elected as Clonel of the 19th Ill. Militia; this office he filled about eight years. He married Catharine E. Ross, of Breckinridge Co., Ky., daughter of Jesse and Nancy Ross; she died Oct. 16, 1878; have eight children. James R. was a soldier of the late war; enlisted in Co. A, 7th I. V. C.; on account of sickness, was honorably discharged.


David Ormiston, Jr.

DAVID ORMISTON, Jr., farmer; P. O. Paris; came to Edgar Co with his parents in 1844; was born in Washington Co., Ohio, Nov. 24, 1830, and is the son of David and Jane (Bell) Ormiston, natives of Scotland; were married in Scotland, having emigrated to America in about 1827; landed in Philadelphia; then to Washington Co., Ohio, being among the early settlers of this county; David Ormiston was born Feb. 15, 1800; married twice; first wife, Jane Bell, who died in Ohio; he then married second wife, Eliza Pond, and with wife and family moved to Edgar Co., Ill., 1844; second wife died, 1876. Mr. Ormiston is at the good old age of 78 years; he is living with his son David Ormiston, Jr. The subject of this sketch was brought up on his fatherís farm. In 1862, he enlisted in Co. A, 7th I. V. C., Quartermaster Sergeant; participated in some of the prominent battles during the war-Corinth, Fort Hudson, with Gen. Griersonís raid through Tennessee into Louisiana, etc.; Mr. Ormiston was engaged in over fifty battles and skirmishes during his enlistment, and never received but a very slight wound; only sick eighteen days; with this exception, he served full time, always ready for duty; was mustered out at Huntsville, Ala.; final discharge at Nashville, Tenn., at the close of the war; he then returned home, and has been engaged in farming ever since. Married Miss Harriet Hall Oct. 20, 1850; she was born in Washington Co., Ohio, Aug. 20, 1829, daughter of Mitchell Hall (born in Ireland Feb. 15, 1795) and Frances Hall (born in Ireland Dec. 19, 1809); have two adopted children-Emma L. and Elner P. Mr. Ormiston is a Republican in politics, and a member of the M. E. Church.


D. K. Raffety

D. K. RAFFETY, merchant, Vermilion; this gentleman was born in Green Co., Ky., Sept. 20, 1819, and is the son of James and Elizabeth (Kean) Raffety; father was a farmer; here Mr. Raffety was raised on his father's farm, and with his parents moved to Franklin Co., Ind.; here he remained until about 1838; he then went to Butler Co., Ohio, and remained until 1839; returned to Indiana, to Ripley Co.; thence to Dearborn Co, Ind. Here he married, in 1842, to Miss Harriet Mering, daughter of Mary and Frederick Mering; in 1854, Mr. Raffety came to Edgar Co., looking for a location, with the intention of moving; in 1855, he started with wife and seven children in two two-horse wagons for Illinois, and settled in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co.; here he set out in farming, which business he continued until 1875; he then moved to Vermilion; in 1876, he commenced the sale of agricultural implements; this business he is now engaged in; Mr. Raffety was about the first man that moved to Stratton Tp. from Dearborn Co., Ind.; when he settled here, he wrote favorably of the country, and caused Mr. A. Showalter to move here, who started the first store in Vermilion; consequently it must be credited to Mr. Raffety as being one of the founders of Vermilion. Mr. Raffety organized the first Sunday school in Vermilion in 1856, then known as the Union Sunday school. A member of the United Brethren Church ever since 1844. He has been married twice; first wife Harriet Mering, who died Feb. 21, 1875; married the second time to Mrs. Cynthia Lipsey April 3, 1877.


John Raffety

JOHN RAFFETY, harness-maker, Vermilion; was born in Green Co., Ky., Dec. 16, 1817, and is the son of James and Elizabeth (Kean) Raffety; his father was a farmer, and a native of North Carolina; when young, moved to Virginia; then to Kentucky. Mr. Raffety with his parents moved to Franklin Co., Ind., when he was about 11 years of age; at the age of 18, he commenced to learn the harness making trade; this trade he followed principally while in Indiana, in Franklin, Dearborn and Jennings Cos. In Jennings Co., he was Postmaster for fourteen years, and Justice of the Peace eighteen years. Mr. Raffety married Mary Vankirk, of Pennsylvania; with wife and family, Sept. 17, 1863, settled in Stratton Tp., Edgar Co., Ill.; here be commenced farming, and followed this until 1871; moved to Vermilion; here he has been engaged in the harness business. Mr. Raffety is Justice of the Peace, which office he has held for the last twelve years.


Abraham Showalter

ABRAHAM SHOWALTER, retired, Vermilion; this gentleman was born in Beaver Co., Penn, March 24, 1806, and is the son Christopher and Annie (Funkhouser) Showalter; his father was a miller by trade. Mr. Showalter, in 1822, with his parents moved to Indiana; here his father died in 1825, at 55 years old. Mr. Showalter was then placed at the head of the family to manage the farm and mill. Mr. Showalter first married Christina Kile; she was born at sea; by whom they had eight children, four children living; he was married to his first wife twenty years. Married second time to Mrs. Louisa Besier; she was born in Germany, in 1813, and is the daughter of John and Margaret (Albright) Scheanlaub, of Germany, having emigrated to America in 1831. In 1846, Mr. Showalter entered the mercantile business in Lawrenceville, Ind.; here he remained in business until 1856; from glowing descriptions of the country, he came and located at Vermilion; here he started the first store in Vermilion, which building is now occupied by Mr. John Raffety as a harness-shop. Mr. Showalter took an active part in building up the town; he retired from business in 1864. Have ten children living.


C. H. Showalter

C. H. SHOWALTER, merchant, Vermilion; this gentleman is one of the best known and highly respected business men of Vermilion; he came here when there was no town, and with his father commenced the mercantile business in Vermilion in 1856; this business he has followed ever since, and to-day ranks as one of the leading merchants of the place. Mr. Showalter was born in Dearborn Co., Ind., April 11, 1841, and is the son of Abraham and Christina (Kile) Showalter. Mr. Showalter commenced business for himself by first giving his note to his father for $1,185 for a stock of goods; to-day he owns a fine brick business block, where his store is located with a stock valued at $5,000; besides this, Mr. Showalter owns other valuable real estate in Vermilion; this he has accumulated by industry. He married Miss Carrie S. Geisenhof, of Louisville, by whom he has five children. Mr. Showalter was the first Treasurer of the village; was the second Postmaster of the village.


Stephen J. Shepherd

STEPHEN J. SHEPHERD, M. D., Vermilion; this gentleman was born in Vigo Co., Ind., Aug. 11,1850; and is the son of James W. and Catharine (Clapp) Shepherd; his father was a native of Kentucky, having moved to Vermilion Co., Ind., in 1811; thence to Vigo Co.; here he was one of the best known and highly respected farmers of Vigo Co.; he died June, 1875, at 67 years old; Dr. Shepherdís mother was one of the early settlers of Indiana, having made her home in Indiana about 1813; during the Indian war, she was garrisoned in a fort under Gen. Harrison; she is now living on the old homestead, in Vigo Co., Ind., at 67 years old; Dr. Shepherd was raised on his fatherís farm; received a common-school education; he first commenced the study of medicine in 1874, under Dr. John H. Morgan, of New Goshen, Ind.; in 1875-76, he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of New York City; in 1876-77, he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Indianapolis, Ind.; here he received a diploma; in 1878, he commenced his profession as an M. D. in Vermilion; is fast gaining a large practice.


George W. Sims

GEORGE W. SIMS, stock and grain merchant, Vermilion; was born in Edgar Co., Ill., Oct. 31, 1832, and is the son of Hall and Annie (Jones) Sims; his father is a native of South Carolina; born April 25, 1795; he with his parents moved to Kentucky; here he remained until he was 20 years old; married June 27, 1813, to Miss Annie Jones, of South Carolina; she died in April, 1846, leaving eleven children; he remarried in 1847, to Mrs. Kimbrough, of Hardin Co., Ky.; she died in 1875. Mr. Hall Sims came to Illinois in 1815; first settled in Crawford Co.; here he remained about six years, thence to Edgar Co.; here he has remained ever since; is one of the pioneers of the county. Mr. George W. Sims, the subject of this sketch, was raised on his fatherís farm; this business he has followed principally through life until about six years ago, when he commenced the stock and grain business; today he is in partnership with Mr. J . C. Besier, as Sims & Besier, stock and grain dealers. Mr. Sims married Miss Nancy S. Koho, born in Edgar Co., Ill., May 31, 1838; daughter of Young and Sarah (Allen) Koho, one of the pioneers of Edgar Co.; have five children. Mr. Sims has held several offices of public trust, Town Clerk and School Trustee.


Jacob Stotts

JACOB STOTTS, farmer; P. O. Vermilion; was born in South Carolina Oct. 4, 1826, and is the son of Jacob and Rebecca (Weaver) Stotts; father a farmer; when Mr. Stotts was a child, he, with his parents, moved to North Carolina; thence to Kentucky; from there they moved to Illinois and settled on Sugar Creek, about 1833, at Center's Mill; here his father was engaged in working in the mill; came here very poor, but with hard labor and good management, at his death was a well-to-do farmer; the death of his father placed Mr. Stotts at the head of the farm , which he managed very successfully; he moved to Iowa; here he remained about two years; returned to Edgar Co., Ill. During the late war, he enlisted in Co. B, Mo. Eng. Regt., and did good service in building bridges and trestle work for the armies. Returned to Edgar Co.; here he has been engaged in farming ever since. Owns a good improved farm of 199 acres. Is a Republican in politics and a member of the United Brethren Church. Married Miss Nancy A. Henderson, of Indiana, by whom he has had ten children, nine living. His son John Stotts was born in Edgar Co., Ill., 1840; who was raised on his fatherís farm. In 1865, he enlisted in Co. G, 3d U. S. A., as Sergeant; served three years and was honorably discharged in 1868. Mr. Stotts has been engaged in different occupations; was at one time a salesman in a tobacco house; taught school two years; now engaged in farming. Married Miss Hannah Campbell, of Edgar Co., Ill., by whom he has three children-William, Frederick and Oscar.


M. D. Step

M. D. STEP, farmer; P. O. Paris; this gentleman is one of the pioneers of Stratton Tp., Edgar Co.; was born in Page Co., Va., May 21, 1812, and is the son of Abraham and Mary Kiser Step. His father was a native of Virginia, and a blacksmith by trade. Mr. Step was married to his first wife in Virginia in 1834, to Matilda Yeager, of Virginia. In 1837, with wife and two children, started West in a wagon drawn by two horses; they arrived in Edgar Co., Oct. 10, 1837. Here Mr. Step first purchased eighty acres of land of the present farm he now owns, being very poor at that time, only having $72 cash, he had to make part payment by giving his two horses and wagon in paying for land; they first moved into a log cabin in the rear of the present homestead; here they set out in farming, Mr. Step working at the blacksmith and wagon-making business in connection with his farm; here he has managed by hard labor and industry, for the last forty-one years, to accumulate a farm of 200 acres, with good improvements. Mr. Stepís first wife died in 1860, by whom they had eight children, two children living; he then, in 1861, married Jane Plum, of Virginia, who was born Feb. 13, 1831, daughter of John and Sarah Ann Plum; had seven children, five children living. Mr. Step is a member of the M. E. Church.


Alexander Stubbs

ALEXANDER STUBBS, blacksmith, Vermilion; was born in Marion Co., Ind., Feb. 10, 1850, and is the son of J. and Martha E. Heaton Stubbs. His father was a carpenter by trade, and a native of Ohio. Mr. Stubbs commenced to learn the blacksmith trade with Wright & Bro. In 1878, he commenced in business for himself; owns the largest blacksmith shop in Vermilion, and with his brother Oliver, these gentlemen are prepared to do all kinds of blacksmithing, horse shoeing, wagon-making or anything usually done in a first-class blacksmith shop. Mr. Stubbs married Miss Lucy J. McBride, of Harrison Co., Ind., daughter of Gillespie and Lydia McBride, who were among the early settlers of Harrison Co., Ind.; have three children.


William H. Volkers

WILLIAM H. VOLKERS, merchant, Vermilion; was born in Clark Co., Ill., Jan. 4, 1855, and is the son of Lewis and Caroline Geisert Volkers. His father is one of the leading physicians and merchants of Dennison, Ill. Mr. Volkersí first experience in the drug business in Vermilion was clerking for Dr. E. Ferris, he remained with this gentleman about eight months; he then accepted a similar position with the Messrs. Drs. Ferris; here he remained about three years. In 1877, Mr. Volkers commenced the mercantile business in Vermilion; to-day he ranks as one of the leading business men of the place; carries a first-class stock of pure drugs and patent medicines, and a full line of family groceries. He married Miss Annie Lamb, of Illinois.


David A. Welton

DAVID A. WELTON, farmer; P. O. Paris; this gentleman came to Edgar Co. in 1835; was born in Warren Co., Ohio, May 20, 1827, and is the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Tulis Welton. His father was a farmer and teamster, a native of Kentucky, having moved to Ohio at an early day. He married in Ohio Sept. 27, 1819, to Elizabeth Tulis; then, in 1835, with wife and family, moved to Illinois, and settled in Edgar Co., northwest of Paris; here he commenced farming, and, in 1837, he was taking a load of lard to market, he took sick on the road and died Jan. 26, 1837, leaving wife and nine children. Mr.Weltonís mother moved to Iowa, where she died. Mr. Welton learned the carpenterís trade and has been engaged at this trade at different times. Was a resident of Kansas about two years. In 1865, he purchased the present farm; here he has remained ever since; was Justice of the Peace four years. Is a member of the M. E. Church; he helped build the first camp-meeting grounds in Edgar Co. Married Mary Crabb Widner, born in Fayette Co., Ohio, Nov. 27, 1812, daughter of John Crabb; moved to Parke Co., Ind., 1822.


W. O. Wilson

W. O. WILSON, farmer; P. O. Paris; the above-named gentleman is one of the most successful farmers of Stratton Tp.; was born in Crawford Co., Ill., June 14, 1831, and is the son of James H. and J. (Codwell) Wilson; he is a native of Virginia and she a native of Pennsylvania, and were early settlers of Illinois; his father came here in 1800 and settled in Crawford Co., Ill.; Mr. Wilson was brought up on his fatherís farm, engaged in farming from the time he was able to hold the plow, and in the winter months attended the district schools of the period; in 1858, he came to Edgar Co.; has held the office of Supervisor Stratton Tp. for several years with honor and credit. Mr. Wilson owns 967 acres of land; he is a Republican in politics and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Married Miss Cassie Blackburn, daughter of Col. James M. Blackburn, whose biography appears in this work.


William S. Wilkins

WILLIAM S. WILKINS; P. O. Vermilion; this gentleman is one of the oldest men in Edgar Co.; he was born in Hartford Co., N. C., April 7, 1791, and is the son of William and Joanna (Mullen) Wilkins; his father was a native of Virginia, was a soldier of the war of 1812; Mr. Wilkins, when he was near 5 years old, with his parents moved to Tennessee; here he was engaged in farming until he was 21 years old; he then set out in traveling and traveled for three years in Kentucky and Tennessee; in 1814, he went to Vincennes, Ind.; in Vincennes he learned his trade, brickmason, and worked at his profession in different parts of Indiana and Illinois. He married in 1818, four miles up the Wabash River from Vincennes, Ind., to Ellen Kruthers, by whom he had three children, all dead; they were married six years. He married the second time in 1828, to Elizabeth Mayo, sister of Jonathan Mayo, one of the pioneers of Edgar Co.; she was born in Kentucky; they were married forty-three years and four months, had ten children, seven children living; she died at 63 years old. In 1829, Mr. Wilkins moved to Paris, Edgar Co.; here he was engaged at his trade, brick mason; he helped build the present Court Houses of Edgar and Coles Cos.; from Paris, Mr. Wilkins moved to Elbridge Tp., here he remained engaged at farming until he moved to Vermilion; here he has settled down for life; he is now near his 88th year; his travels, through Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana, from 1797 up to 1829, when the country was wild, plenty of Indians and wild beasts, would make a volume in itself.




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