Morris Birkbeck (January 23, 1764 – June 4, 1825) was an early 19th century Illinois pioneer and publicist. He served briefly as the Secretary of State of Illinois.
Birkbeck was born at Settle, England, the son of an influential Quaker also named Morris Birkbeck and his wife Hannah Bradford. By 1794, as leaseholder, Birkbeck was farming an estate of 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) at Wanborough, Surrey, where he was the first man to raise merino sheep in England. On April 24, 1794, Birkbeck married Prudence Bush, daughter of Richard and Prudence Bush of Wandsworth, Surrey. After 20 (math error) years of marriage, Prudence died on October 25, 1804, leaving her husband with seven children.
In 1814, accompanied by his friend George Flower, Birkbeck traveled in recently defeated France. His Notes on a Journey through France (1814) revealed a good-tempered, fair-minded observer, well grounded in science and the humanities. A liberal in both politics and religion, Birkbeck found it increasingly irritating to be taxed by a government that denied him a vote because of his religion and also required him to be tithed by a church he did not belong to. In early 1817, with a party consisting chiefly of his children, he emigrated to the United States, where George Flower, who had gone before, now joined him.
Life in Illinois
During 1817-18 Birkbeck purchased, both for himself and others, 26,400 acres (107 km2) of public land in Edwards County, Illinois. Flower was busy raising more money and organizing colonists in England.
Birkbeck's Notes on a Journey in America from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois (1817) was published in Philadelphia, London, Dublin, and Cork. It ran through eleven editions in English in two years, and was published in German at Jena (1818). His Letters from Illinois (1818), published in Boston, Philadelphia, and London, went through seven editions in English, besides being translated in 1819 into French and German. By directing settlers to the prairie lands of the then west these books had a wide influence.
In 1818 Birkbeck laid out the town of Wanborough, which was short lived. The same year he and Flower quarreled and never reconciled. The cause of the split is unknown. Later Birkbeck became president of the first agricultural society in Illinois. He gave a great impetus to raising cattle and to the scientific tilling of the soil.
In 1823 Birkbeck, through articles contributed to newspapers under the pen name "Jonathan Freeman," helped to consolidate the antislavery forces in Illinois and ensure that it became a free state. In 1824 an old London acquaintance, Edward Coles, then governor of Illinois, appointed him Secretary of State. Birkbeck served for three months, but was turned out when the pro-slavery majority in the state Senate refused to confirm his appointment.
On June 4, 1825, while returning on horseback from a visit to Robert Owen at New Harmony, Indiana, Birkbeck drowned trying to ford the Fox River. He was 61 years old.
Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Submitted by Nancy Piper
Fred Harrison Brines
Fred Harrison Brines was an early 20th century medical doctor and surgeon in southern Illinois. He was born 14 Aug 1880 in Lancaster, Wabash County, IL. Described as blue eyes and brown hair, he had a medium height with a slender build. He was the oldest of seven born to George Washington Brines (1852-1929) and Angeline Harrison-Brines (1856-1903) of Wabash County, IL. He worked the farm with his parents on their Lancaster property. After finishing district schools, Fred studied at Southern Illinois State Normal University starting in 1898. The school was founded to train teachers.
At 21 with only a year of studies on his record F. H. Brines went off to the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska. Of the tens of thousands who actually made it to the Bonanza, only a handful found fortunes. He was listed as a resident of Fort Wrangel in the only Yukon-Alaska Directory for 1901 with a number of his classmates including Charles Manning of Belle Prairie, IL where he later resided. Famed lawman Wyatt Earp filled in as Marshal of Wrangel for a short time. It's unclear if they ever met. Reasons for Brines to travel to Alaska for gold will never really be known but was probably tied less to the recent economic slump in the country, shortage of gold or the promises of riches. It had more to do with what historian Pierre Berton wrote, "just far enough away to be romantic and just close enough to be accessible". It's unlikely Brines struck it rich because he was right back into college the following year.
He took a leadership role at college where he was recognized as the second Vice President of his class. It appears Fred may have been unsettled with the course of his life as he followed his brother Orman to Valparaiso University outside of Chicago, an affordable college at the time. He was there for the 1907 school year but his brother stayed an extra year. Fred married Cora Ellen Thompson 11 Nov 1910 in Clay County, IL. Together they had four children; Evelyn Grace, George Stanley a WWII veteran, Sarah Imogene and Olin Thompson. Fred finished his college education enrolling at a medical school at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago and received his degree of doctor of medicine and surgery June 6, 1911. The same year he earned a medical license from the Illinois State Board of Health making him a legally qualified physician. P & S was established in 1882, it officially became the University of Illinois's College of Medicine in 1913. Fred had his commencement ceremony June 14, 1911. Dr. Brines set up shop as a physician/surgeon back in Lancaster from 1911-1914.
On Oct 23, 1913 Dr. Brines's membership into the Wabash County Medical Society was accepted by the professional organization of area doctors. Its purpose was to promote science and medicine, protect public health and elevate standards of medical education. From minutes from a Nov 1914 meeting he took part in a discussion about the diagnosis and treatment for Tuberculosis. Unfortunately, He and his brother Orman, also a doctor, would be infected with the contagious disease and die some years later. Fred was known to his Brines cousins in Wabash County as a "country doctor." By 1915 he established his own business in Belle Prairie, Hamilton County. In 1918-21 he became the Hamilton County Medical Society President. Socially Fred was a freemason, and a member of the oddfellows.
By the mid 1920's he moved his practice to Albion, Edwards County, IL. In a rare picture taken in January 1928 Dr. Brines is at his desk in his one room office. The parlor room served as an examination room and a business office. According to Cassie Nespor, curator of the Rose Melnick Medical Museum the interior of doctor’s offices at the turn of the century was not particularly attractive. They were extremely cluttered and quite simple. This situation was not practical or efficient and patients often complained about being examined in front of others. He lived in Albion until his death Dec 10 1931. He died of tuberculosis, a contageous disease of the lung transferred by coughing. Reportedly 10-percent of all U.S. deaths at this time were from the disease. Dr. Brines most likely contracted it from a patient he was treating. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Albion. [Sources: US. Census Records, World War I Draft Registration 1918, Illinois Medical Journal Vol 26, 1914 p. 627, Illinois Medical Journal Vol 39, 1921 p. 28, Official register of legally qualified physicians by Illinois State Board of Health March 1915 p. 167, Report of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Volume 26 1912 p. 135, Illinois, Death and Stillbirths Index 1916-1947 Ancestry.com, Southern Illinois State Normal University Carbondale, IL 27th Annual Catalog 1901-1902 p.75 (lancaster), Southern Illinois State Normal University Carbondale, IL 31st Annual Catalog 1904-1905 p97, p102 (west Salem), Southern Illinois State Normal University Carbondale, IL 25th Annual Catalog 1898-1899 p. 102 (lancaster), Yukon-Alaska Directory for 1901 by Mrs. M.L. Ferguson of Los Angeles as transcribed by Family Chronicle/Genealogical Research Library September/October 1996, Rose Melnick Medical Museum, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555, Berton, Pierre (2001). Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush 1896–1899. Toronto, Canada: Anchor Canada. ISBN 0-385-65844-3. [From the Research of, and Submitted by, Jonathan Brines]