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Edgar County, Illinois
Biographies

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CHARLES H. ADAMS, farmer, Buck Township, Edgar County, Ill., was born in Edgar County, August 31, 1876, son of T. J. and Isabelle (Scroggs) Adams, natives respectfully of Edgar County and Ohio. He has been engaged in farming in Buck Township all his life, and on Feb. 14, 1900, was married to Miss Estella Curl, daughter of Charles W. and Mary E. (Couaghanown) Curl, who were among the early settlers of Edgar County. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Elsie May, Allen J. and Esther Evadue. In politics Mr. Adams is a Democrat, and is now (1904) serving as School Director and Pathmaster of his District. He is a member of the Christian Church. [Source: Historical Encycl. of Illinois and Edgar County, 1905 - Sub by K. Ortman]

RICHARD ALLEN BOYLE, real estate: born. Paris, Ill., Nov. 18, 1869; son of John and Jennie (Looney) Boyle; educated in St. Louis public schools and Manual Training School; widower. Began business career as clerk in a bank at Sullivan, Ind., 1888, and after a year there went to the mining town of Pinos Altos in Southwestern New Mexico, where was engaged in mercantile pursuits two years; then came to St. Louis, 1891, and established in real estate business, in which has since continued. Member of St. Louis Real Estate Exchange. Member First. Christian Church. Club: Missouri Athletic. Favorite recreations: hunting and fishing. Office: 209 Liggett Bldg. Residence: 25 Lenox Place. [Source: "The Book of St. Louisans", Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater]

JOHN C. COOK.
John C. Cook, one of the leading citizens of the Rifle section of Garfield county, this state, is a native of Dearborn county, Indiana, born on October 29, 1838, and the son of Elisha and Charlotte (Briddle) Cook, the father born in the state of New York and the mother in Maryland. They settled in Indiana in very early days and remained in that state until 1852, when they moved to Iowa, locating in Wapello county. There the father became a successful and prosperous farmer. He was an ardent Republican in political allegiance, and both he and his wife were active members of the Baptist church. Their offspring numbered eight, four of whom have died. The four living are Andre N., a resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; John C., the subject of this article; and Nancy J. and Sarah E., twins, who are still living in Wapello county, Iowa. The father died in 1880 and the mother in 1886. John C., the second in age of the living children, received a common-school education and remained at home working for his parents until he attained the age of twenty-seven. He then began farming in Iowa for himself and remained there engaged in that pursuit until 1874. Before his, however, early in the Civil war, he enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company D, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, and was in active field service until he was seriously injured at the battle of Shiloh. This disabled him for further service and he soon afterward received an honorable discharge. After spending a short time at his Iowa home when he returned from the war, he came to Colorado and settled on the Divide, north of Colorado Springs. Here he ranched and raised stock until 1885, when he moved to his present location, three miles north of Rifle. He has a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, one hundred acres of which are easily cultivated and yield abundant and profitable crops of hay, fruit and vegetables. He has a good water right to his property with a sufficient supply of water for irrigation and the wants of his large herds of cattle, and his business in both general ranching and the stock industry is extensive. He is a zealous Republican in political affiliation and takes a leading part in public local affairs. From 1888 to 1892 he served as county commissioner and in addition has held other local offices of importance, rendering good and faithful service to the county in each and winning the approval of the citizens generally without regard to party. On December 28, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Calvin, who was born in Edgar county, Illinois, and is the daughter of John C. and Elizabeth A. (Lewis) Calvin. Her father was a native of Ohio and her mother of Illinois. The father was a merchant in early life, and on retiring from this business became a farmer. He also was a stanch Republican in politics. He died in 1873, having survived his wife, who passed away in 1869, four years. They had eight children, six of whom are living, Wesley, Charles, William P., Amos, Josephine (Mrs. Cook), and Margaret, wife of Isaac N. Craven. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have had seven children. Grant died on July 12, 1880, and Elisha R. on November 8, 1903. The five living are Elmer, Frank, Harry, Josephine G. (Mrs. Ora Card, of Salt Lake City) and Roy. When Mr. Cook located on his present ranch the country was wild and undeveloped. Deer, he says, were thick as snow-bird and Indians were numerous, but they gave the new settlers no trouble. The region was a good field for his enterprise and this was wisely and diligently employed.
[Source: "Progressive Men of Western Colorado", Publ 1905. Tr. by Anna Parks]

JOSEPH HALL is a venerable and highly esteemed citizen of Okanogan county (WA). He resides three miles south from Loomis where he has a fine estate, all under irrigation and ditching and well improved with fences, residence, barns, orchards and so forth. He settled here in very early day and has labored assiduously since in the work of opening the country. Joseph Hall was born in February 11, 1837, in Slate county, Kentucky, the son of William and Anna (Welch) Hall, natives of Tennessee. The father died in Edgar county, Illinois, in 1844, and the mother had passed away the year previous. Our subject had gone to Illinois with his parents when young and after their death, resided with an older brother. He had four brothers and two sisters. In 1857, they went to Missouri by wagon settling near Kansas City. When the war broke out some of Mr. Hall's brothers enlisted to fight for the Union and some supported the Confederate cause and joined their ranks. Owing to this serious state of affairs, Mr. Hall determined to join neither side and so bought a wagon and came west. He was married on July 28, 1859 at Wyandotte, Kansas, to Sarah J. Wilkes, a native of Illinois. Her father, Francis Wilkes, was a native of Kentucky, while her mother. Sarah J. (Stanford) Wilkes was born in Ohio. Mr. Hall was accompanied on his journey to Colorado by his wife and her parents. They mined in that country until 1865, then joined a large train of about one hundred wagons and came overland to the vicinity of Pendleton, Oregon. The Indians were very hostile and they saw various skirmishes and one battle between them and the soldiers. Mrs. Hall had two brothers where they settled in Oregon and one that was a lieutenant in the Cayuse Indian war. In 1871 Mr. Hall located land near Colfax, Washington, whence also his wife's parents came the following year and made their home with them until their death. The mother died in 1874 and the father in 1878. When the Palouse branch of the Northern Pacific railroad was built, Mr. Hall did ten miles of grading and received the reward of having the best piece of grading on the road. In 1886 he had freighted and in 1888 moved his family to his present home. In the winter of 1889 and 1890, Mr. Hall lost most of his cattle on account of the hard winter. He now does general farming and has a nice band of stock. On May 31, 1900, Mrs. Hall was called across the river of death, having been the mother of the children named below. She was a devoted Christian woman and greatly beloved by all who knew her. The children mentioned are named as follows: Mrs. Lenora Fenn, of Seattle; Jenettie, wife of George W. Handlin, of Loomis; Joseph A. and Josephine, twins, the latter being the wife of Sidney Lansing, of Hilgard, Oregon; Ida L., wife of George Bailey, of British Columbia. Mr. Hall is a member of the Presbyterian church, as was his wife, and is a man whom all respect. [Source: "An illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington" Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 - Tr. by Helen Coughlin]

LUTHER E. WADE, a farmer on section 25 and 28, Edgar township, was born in Adams County, Ohio, June 22, 1845, a son of Elijah and Margaret (Cooper) Wade, who were married in Ohio in 1838, and eight children were born to them, Luther being the fourth. The Wade family came from Ohio to Shelby County, Ill., in 1854, removing later to Edgar County and settling where Luther E. now resides. He was reared on farm and received his education In the pubic: schools and Westfield College, Clark County, Ill. For six years he was engaged in teaching school, and in 1875 went to Ohio, making his home in Cincinnati, where he was employed a clerk on a Ohio River Steamboat for two years, at the end of which time he returned to his home and continued farming. In 1886 he removed to Kansas and bought land in Scott County, where for a time he engaged in real estate. He then returned to his present home, where he has since been engaged in farming and owns 175 acres, his brother Joseph owning the adjoining farm of 175 acres. They conduct the farms in partnership, dividing the profit of every thing sold. Mr. Wade was united in marriage August 30, 1894, to Miss Marietta, a daughter of W. A. Jones, and three children have been born to them, namely: Calvin Nye Margaret Helen (deceased) and Jason. In politics Mr. Wade is a Republican. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Blue Lodge of Chrisman, Chapter and Commandery at Paris, and has served as Town Clerk. The father of Mr. Wade was born In Ohio in 1810 and died October 20, 1896, the mother's birth occurring in Pennsylvania in 1814 Mrs. Luther E. Wade was born in Marietta, Ohio. [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. Ortman]

ANDREW JACKSON HUDSON
For more than twenty-five years has the life of this subject influenced the community about Galesburg and his efforts at home building have, when estimated with the great aggregate, conserved the state and been important in its development and progress. He has taken a tract in its virgin state and as nature clothed it, and transformed it into a fertile and domestic farmstead and, as one of "Uncle Samuel's" beneficiaries, has fulfilled all the requirements of the government and is in possession of title to the same. Having completed a quarter century of honorable toil, in possession of his reward he is passing the evening of life in modest commercial activity.
A. J. Hudson, one of Galesburg's merchants, and a pioneer in her rural development came to Neosho county in 1875. He entered land in section 31, township 30, range 19, and this farm he left to become a resident of and engage in business in Galesburg. He was reared in the west and was, consequently, inured to life near the frontier, for Illinois, his birth state, was counted "away out" in the first half of the Nineteenth century. Edgar county, Illinois, gave him birth, May 23, 1844, and he was there continuously till his advent to Kansas. He was a son of William W. Hudson, a Tennesseean whose birth occurred near Knoxville in 1820. Back of and beyond this ancestor no records have been preserved of the doings or personnel of the family, a fact which is to be regretted in view of the value of such geneological facts. William W. Hudson left Tennessee and settled in Illinois early in the history of that state. His occupation was farming and he aided in the general farm improvement in Douglas county. In April, 1862, he enlisted in the Union army and served with the Sixty-second Illinois till November of the following year, as hospital steward. In 1875 he came to Kansas with his son and died in Neosho county, January 4, 1887. His wife was nee, Martha Allen, a daughter of John Allen whose original home was in North Carolina. The following children were the issue of the marriage of William W. and Martha Hudson. Delilah, wife of George H. Mason, of Douglas county, Illinois; Andrew J., of this review; Mary, wife of William Shaw, of Neosho county, Kansas; Nancy, who married Samuel Sharp, of the same county; John W., of Parsons, Kansas; Caroline, wife of Paulis Esley, of Labette county, Kansas; James B., of Pueblo, Colorado; Eliza, now Mrs. John Kruse, of Neosho county, and Plumy C., wife of Thomas Andrews, of the same county.
The life of A. J. Hudson was one continued round of farm work till he engaged in mercantile pursuits in Galesburg. In his boyhood, the school house of the frontier was the educational mecca and it often furnished little more than sufficient to prevent illiteracy. By dint of a measure of personal application he acquired reading, writing and ciphering in a limited degree by the time he reached his 'teens and soon thereafter he called it finished and became one of he steadys on the farm. October 11, 1866, he was married to Miss Victoria, a daughter of Cornelius Sharp and Nancy (Bush) Sharp, all of those ten children survive but one. They are Wilbur, of Douglas county, Illinois; Frank, deceased; Samuel, of Neosho county, Kansas; John, of Douglas county, Illinois; Elnora and Victoria, twins, the former now Mrs. Daniel Rush of Douglas county, Illinois, and the latter Mrs. Hudson; Sarah, wife of Thomas Reeder, of Douglas county, Illinois; Susan, who became the widow of Casper Bollinger, of Neosho county, and Martha, wife of Nathan Smock, of the old Illinois home.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Hudson are Martha, wife of William Harris, of Neosho county, Kansas; Wesley N. Hudson, of Galesburg; Wilbur, a twin of William, resides in Neosho county; Rosa, who married Frank Maher, resides in Parsons, Kansas; Sadie, wife of Florence Cain, of Indian Territory; Grace, James, Raymond and Edith.
So far as the political history of this branch of the Hudson family is known it has been persistently and always Democratic. The kind of Democracy to which they adhere is best indicated by the initial letters of our subject's name, a type to be revered for the memory of the patriot who enunciated its foundation principles. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]

THEOPHILUS P. LEECH

Among the early settlers on the Osage Ceded Lands of Neosho county is one whose identity with the great legal struggle which removed the cloud from the title to the odd sections of that domain and patented them to actual settlers, was prominent and whose sincerity and integrity as a citizen has ever been acknowledged. He was one of the first to enter land in Shiloh township, where he still resides, and as a public official, a citizen and a man the county which he has served does him honor. In this connection we refer to T. P. Leech, the subject of this review. Mr. Leech came to Kansas from Edgar county Illinois, where he had resided temporarily teaching school, and in the hope of benefitting [sic] his health, and it was in the autumn of 1869 that he entered the wilderness of Shiloh township, Neosho county, and took up a quarter of section 28, township 30, range 18 and engaged in the work of building a home. His means were limited to his savings of a dozen years as a teacher in the states of Illinois and Ohio and with the exception of his stock of energy and industry, constituted his tangible and substantial resource. In the third of a century which has elapsed a productive and substantially improved farm has risen from the tangled roots of the prarie [sic] grass, from the simplicity and beauty of nature to the symmetry and beauty of art.
Born in Adams county, Ohio, June 25, 1838, our subject is a son of William and Latha (Barrett) Leech, both native of Adams county, Ohio, the former born in October, 1806, and the latter March 15, 1812. William Leech passed his life as a farmer and died in 1859. He was a son of John Leech, born in Pennsylvania, and moved into Ohio during the first years of its history as a state. He died in Adams county as the father of John, Samuel, William and James, and two daughters. His forefathers were English and Scotch and the pioneer ancestor who established the family in America did so at a very early day in our national history. John Barrett, the maternal grand father of our subject, moved to Ohio from Virginia. He was, like the Leechs, a farmer and was the father of six children of whom Latha was the youngest. The latter lived to be nearly ninety years of age, dying in Neosho county, Kansas, February, 1900. Her children were William, of Etna, Oklahoma; Theophilus P.; David, of Neosho county; Nancy, wife of A. H. Lockhart, of the same county; Samuel, of Neosho county, and Louisa, who married M. S. Haskin and resides in Neosho county.
T. P. Leech passed his youth on the farm and acquired a liberal education in the country and in the high school and academy at Manchester. He engaged in teaching when young and followed it for twelve years. The circumstances of his failing health caused his removal from his native state and his abandonment of the school room. The vigor of the western climate and the rough-and-tumble of the "claim" brought him health and the ceaseless activity of the farm carried him toward wealth and it can be said that his coming hither benefitted [sic] not only himself but Neosho county as well.
December 25, 1861, Mr. Leech was first married. His wife was Sarah, a daughter of Enoch Lawson and Elizabeth (Watson) Lawson. In February, 1863, Mrs. Leech died leaving a daughter, Nellie F., wife of John Decker, of Neosho county, whose children are Ella, Rosa, Alva and March 3, 1872, Mr. Leech married his first wife's sister, Susan Lawson, who is the mother of an only child, John T. Leech. The latter married Lula Swope and has three children, viz: Ralph, Ray and Earl.
In 1896 Mr. Leech engaged in the grain business in Thayer, turning the active work of the farm over to his son. He had given twenty-seven years to its cultivation and welfare and if the change was in the nature of a rest he was entitled to it. The affairs of his community and his county were not neglected by him during the early years of their history for he was called to serve in public as well as in private life. He has been an official of Shiloh township where he demonstrated the same integrity and efficiency characteristic of him in other fields. Until 1890 he was an independent voter with Democratic leanings, but when the great upheaval in politics occurred in Kansas he joined forces with the Populists and was active with the party from the first. He was a delegate to the Cincinnati Conference, which led up to the organization of the People's Party and was a member of the Omaha National convention of the party which convened as a result of the conference.
He is a man of ideas rather than of party and if a proposition suits him he endorses it and not in particular the party which espouses it. He was a member of the state legislature in 1873 and 1874 and was instrumental in passing a bill appropriating the sum of $2500 to aid the settlers of the contested belt of the Osage Ceded Lands in maintaining their action against the railroad company to declare their claim invalid. In the fall of 1874 he was elected county superintendent of Neosho county and held the office two years. In 1889 he was chosen county commissioner and filled the office one term. While his service in behalf of his county and township was disinterested and unselfish, and won the stamp of public approval, yet it was eclipsed by his Service to the people as a member of the "Settlers' League" during its fight with the L. L. & G. Railway Company for the contested lands in the Osage reservation. Mr. Leech's entry was not a part of the disputed grant and his title was not in jeopardy as was these of the odd sections, but he joined his neighbors to help them either to win a great victory or go down with them in defeat. His capability and training recommended him for a place on the committee of managers of the League and he was thereby brought into close contact with the real inwardness of the case. With the other members of this important committee he was active in the accumulation of evidence, in the counseling with their attorneys and in offering suggestions looking toward the successful termination of the lawsuit. For eight years and from the lowest court to the highest was this question litigated and when, at last, the verdict was rendered in favor of the settler one of the greatest civil cases on record ended with a righteous verdict and to the glory and harmony of the hardy settler of Neosho county. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]

JOHN M. RANDALL
The spirit of self help is the source of all genuine worth in the individual. It is this which carries a man onward and upward, enabling him to conquer difficulties and overthrow obstacles and advance steadily to success, at the same time winning the regard of his fellow men. In John M. Randall we see a worthy type of the self-made man and his history is certainly deserving of a place in the records as a representative resident of Neosho county.
A native of Pleasant county, Virginia, Mr. Randall was born April 25, 1846, his parents being William and Mahulda (Eye) Randall. The father was born in Virginia and in 1865 removed to Illinois, while in 1870 he came to Neosho county, Kansas, settling in Walnut Grove township, where he spent his remaining days. He was born November 12, 1825 and passed away April 23, 1887. In his political views he was a Democrat prior to the civil war, when he became a stanch Republican, and a strong Union man. He be longed to the Methodist Episcopal church and his wife was a devout member of same organization. Her birth occurred in February, 1827, and she passed away February 14, 1880. Of their twelve children, eight are living, namely, John M., Sarah E., the wife of Edward Zinn, of Colorado; William P., of Greely, Colorado; Henry I., who is living on the old homestead in this county; James H., of Oklahoma; Martha Ellen, the wife of C. S. Whittier, of Pittsburg, Kansas; Nancy A., the widow of John Dunbar of Colorado; and Jesse L., of Weld county, Colorado. Those deceased are Mary J., who died in 1865 at the age of seventeen years; Francis M., who lived only a few months; Emiline, who became Mrs. McCleister and died when about forty-five years of age.
On the old home farm in his native state John M. Randall was reared, while in the public schools of the neighborhood he mastered the branches of English learning usually taught in such an institution. His patriotic spirit was aroused at the time of the civil war and on the 21st of February, 1862, he became a member of Company K, 10th regiment of West Virginia volunteers. In the first battle in which he participated at Droop Mountain, West Virginia, November 6, 1863, he was wounded in the thigh, which disabled him for more than a year. He rejoined his regiment at Beverly, West Virginia, and for some time was engaged in scouting. Later he went to Shenandoah Valley and was wounded in the engagement at Cedar Creek, Virginia, October 19, 1864, "when Sheridan was twenty miles a way." He saw that commander ride up, rally his men and turn the tide of battle. Mr. Randall was afterward sent to Baltimore, thence to Philadelphia and by general order from the secretary of war was sent to the hospital nearest his home. Accordingly he went to Parkersburg, West Virginia, and on the 10th of May, 1865, received an honorable discharge, but some months had elapsed ere he was able to actively engage in work.
On the 22nd of September, 1865, Mr. Randall went to Edgar county, Illinois, and after seven years came to Neosho county, Kansas - in February, 1872. Here he has resided continuously since and was successfully and extensively engaged in farming until 1895 when he purchased a home in Erie, which he now occupies. His capability and enterprise on the farm were the means of bringing to him gratifying success.
On the 24th of October, 1866, Mr. Randall wedded Miss Eliza J. Ellsberry, who was born in Kentucky, but was reared in Illinois, her parents being John and Elizabeth Ellsberry. In their family were eight children of whom six are living. Sarah E., the eldest, became the wife of G. L. Smith and died at the age of sixteen years. The others are Mrs. Randall; Benjamin, of Illinois, who served as a private for nearly three years in Company H, 64th Illinois infantry, known as Dick Yates' sharp-shooters; Joseph, who resided at Chrisman, Illinois, and who served for nearly three years in the same company and was mortally wounded at Kenesaw Mountain; Nancy B., the wife of G. W. Triplett, of Edgar county, Illinois, a soldier for about two years in Company K, 129th Indiana infantry; John, of Edgar county, Illinois; and Rachael, the wife of George Collier, of Paris, Illinois. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Randall have been born four children, of whom three are living. Minnie B., now the wife of S. F. Hodgin, deputy sheriff of Neosho county; William E., a farmer of Walnut Grove township, who married Clara L. Cheeg, by whom he has two children - Leila V. and William A.; and Myrtle E. J ., wife of F. M. Mock, of Erie. Mrs. Randall is a member of the Methodist church. In politics Mr. Randall is an ardent Repubilcan [sic], unswerving in his advocacy of the party. His life record contains many commendable elements. He placed his dependence on the substantial qualities of enterprise, indefatigable labor and per severance and these prove a potent force in the business world, winning him desirable prosperity. He is widely known for his unequivocal honesty and those with whom he has been associated entertain for him high respect. . [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]

Dr. WILLIAM S. VAN METER
The subject of this memoir is a retired physician and surgeon of Thayer and one of those whose Influence for truth and right covers a field for moral work. The biblical quotation, "By their fruits ye shall know them," applies to the conduct of men of the 20th century as much as it did to that of men in the days of miracles or when the Great Teacher uttered the words of this quotation. The progress of Methodism in Kansas owes much to such men as Dr. Van Meter; men who have kept on the firing line in all its moral conflicts and headed all upward tendencies for righteousness and right-living among men.
Dr. Van Meter was born in Fayette county, Indiana, June 25,1827. He is a son of Joel and Mary A. (Crouch) Van Meter, natives of the states of Virginia and Maryland, respectively. The father came into Indiana in 1816, the year of its admission as a state, accompanied by his father, Abram Van Meter. The family settled in the heavy wood and cleared up a farm, a small one for this day. Theirs was the time of blockhouse building to protect themselves from the Indians and many are the lives that would have gone out by the blow of the tomahawk without them. Joel Van Meter's house was the temporary abiding place of the itinerant Methodist preachers and also the place for holding meetings before churches were built. He died in 1891 at the age of eighty-five, his wife dying in 1837 at thirty-two years old.
Our subject is the oldest of five children, only two of whom survive, viz., the doctor and a sister, Cornelia C. Payne, wife of John F. Payne, of Owen county, Indiana. The doctor attended school in Abington, Wayne county, Indiana, and when through with school he studied medicine under Dr. James Rubey at Abington. He began practice in 1818 in Fulton county, Indiana, where he remained until 1854 when he went to Grandview, Illinois. In 1869 he came to Kansas and located in Neosho county where he took a claim, a tract of land which he improved and still owns. He is retired from active farm work and is devoting the evening of his life to kindly and charitable acts and to promoting the welfare of his family.
Dr. Van Meter was married in 1855 to Sarah E. Payne, a daughter of the late W. K. and Matilda Payne. The former died in Illinois in 1886 at the age of eighty-four and the latter died in Kansas at the age of seventy-six years. They were both members of the Methodist church and Mr. Payne was a playmate of Abraham Lincoln in childhood.
Four children were born to Doctor and Mrs. Van Meter, as follows. Myra P., who died at forty years of age, was the wife of T. M. Goode; Joel E., who died at nineteen years; Charles E., who resides on the home farm, is married to Lucy Houghton and has three children; Tillie, George and Joel; and Nannie, Mrs. Charles Wright, wife of a Wilson county farmer. The latter has two children, viz., John W. and Eunice.
The Doctor and Mrs. Van Meter are lifelong members of the M. E. church. The doctor has filled all the offices which are accorded to laymen, superintendent of the Sunday school for thirty-five years and several times a delegate to the annual conference of the church. In 1853 he was made a Mason, has been a charter member of two different lodges - in Edgar and Coles counties, Illinois - has passed all the chairs in the order and, in politics, votes and acts with the Republicans.
One incident which is not directly connected with the history of this family but which is worthy of note and will be of real interest to the descendants of our subjects daughter Nannie: John Wright who lived in Southern Indiana (and was the grandfather of Charles Wright, son-in-law of our subject) was a cousin of Abraham Lincoln and taught a school in which the great president was a pupil.   Dr. Van Meter's remote ancestors were, on his paternal side Dutch, and on the maternal side English. The date of the introduction of the Van Meter name into American biography is very remote in the history of our country and it can be said to have been truly pioneer. . [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]

John C. Brooks
D. D. S., retired, was born near Paris, Edgar County, Ill., August 28, 1838, the son of T. Martin and Sarah (Chenowith) Brooks, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively, who came to Edgar County in 1825. Mr. Brooks was educated in the common schools near his home, and remained with his parents, assisting on the farm, until September 10, 1861, when he enlisted in the Union Army, serving until January 25, 1865. Upon his return from the army he began the study of dentistry in Charleston, later graduating from the Dental College at Indianapolis. On October 17, 1864, Dr. Brooks was married to Lottie, daughter of Simeon Blake, of Ohio, and of this union three children have been born: Frank A., Essie, wife of W. E. Tower, and Clara W. Since 1865 up to 1904, Dr. Brooks has practiced his profession in Charleston, with the exception of a few years spent in Sullivan, Ill. In his political affiliations Dr. Brooks is a Prohibitionist, and fraternally is associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Grand Army of the Republic organizations, and is also a member of the Presbyterian Church.[Source: "History of Coles County, Illinois" By Charles Edward Wilson, 1905]

Hiram W. Belnap
Inspector of safety appliances for the Inter-State Commerce Commission, was born June 21, 1867, at Nokomis  Montgomery County, Ill., the son of Nuel M. and Elizabeth M. Belnap. Having finished a course in the public schools, young Mr. Belnap attended the Central Normal College at Danville, Ind., during the years 1885 and 1886. Having finished his education, he entered the employ of the "Big Four Railroad" in April, 1890, in the capacity of brakeman, being promoted to conductor in September of 1894. As soon as eligible he became a member of the B. of R. T., serving as general chairman of the grievance committee from 1893 to 1900, and being elected Secretary of the Grand Board of Trustees of the same body in 1899, having been reelected to that office thrice since that date. On December 24, 1889, Mr. Belnap married Sadie, daughter of George O. and Annette E. Dinsmore of Edgar County. Five children have blessed this union: Nuel D., Ruth A., Ralph O. (deceased), Roy M. and Kathryn F. Mr. Belnap's politics are Democratic. He belongs to the Tribe of Ben Hur, to the K. of P. and to the B. of R. T. He is a member of the Methodist Church.  [Source: "History of Coles County, Illinois" By Charles Edward Wilson, 1905]

William B. Brading
Retired farmer, Oakland, Ill., was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, December 25, 1845, the son of James and Margaret (Bradford) Brading, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively, who removed to Edgar County, Ill., in March, 1857. Mr. Brading's youth was spent on a farm, and he has always felt a decided interest in agricultural pursuits. During the past two years he has bought and sold over $200,000 worth of farming land. Personally he owns 1,006 acres in Edgar, Coles and Douglas Counties, besides valuable property in Oakland. On February 5, 1870, Mr. Brading was united in marriage to Ellen, daughter of Eli and Rebecca Housel. Mr. Housel was a Virginian by birth; he came to Edgar County, Ill., in the thirties, to meet his wife, who was a native of that county. To Mr. and Mrs. Brading four children have been born: Margaret J., Clara B., Abigail V. and Bert E. In his political views Mr. Brading is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. [Source: "History of Coles County, Illinois" By Charles Edward Wilson, 1905]

Thomas Jefferson Bull
BULL, Thomas Jefferson, farmer and stock-raiser. Ashmore Township, Coles County, was born in Edgar County, Ill.. March 23, 1837, the son of Henry and Jane (Simpson) Bull, natives originally of England. who settled in Virginia. Mr. Bull had just begun to take an interest in agricultural pursuits when the Civil War broke out and he enlisted in Company C, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, in September, 1861, serving thereafter four years and taking part in the battles of Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Antietam, Selina and others of lesser historical importance. He received his discharge in 1865, returning then to Edgar County, and after marrying, moved to Coles County, where he now owns 240 acres and has a fine residence with all improvements. On January 16, 1866, Mr. Bull was united in marriage to Isabel Olmsted, daughter of John T. Olmsted, of Ashmore. Of this union six children have been born, of whom three daughters are now living: Minnie, wife of William Stinson; Mollie and Blanche. Three other children, Nelly, Henry and Edwin are deceased. In his political views Mr. Bull is a Republican, and he has served as Road Commissioner, as School Director and as Township treasurer. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. [Source: "History of Coles County, Illinois" By Charles Edward Wilson, 1905]





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