Iroquois County Biographies
Meent R. Meents
The specific and distinctive office of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments but rather to leave a perpetual record, establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellowmen. That Meent R. Meents occupies a notable position in business circles in Iroquois County is a uniformly accepted fact, and that his labors have been of a character that have contributed to general progress and prosperity as well as to individual success is also known. He is the senior partner of the firm of M. R. Meents & Sons, bankers and dealers in grain, lumber, coal and seeds at Ashkum and Clifton. The firm has also extended its activities to other localities, and the business interests of the house are of direct benefit to the community.
Mr Meents was born in Ostfriesland, Germany, June 15, 1851, the family home being on the shore of the North sea. His parents were Remmer H. and Ocke M. (Ulfers) Meents, both of whom died in Germany about twenty or twenty-five years ago. The father was a farmer there and was also an oversser on the dykes -- an honorary position. Mr Meents of this review has two brothers in Iroquois County, Frank E. and George B., while one brother, R. H. Meents, is living in Nebraska, and another brother, Cornelius Meents, resides on the old homestead in Germany. Two sisters, however, have passed away.
Meent R. Meents was reared under the parental roof to the age of seventeen years, and in May, 1869, he crossed the Atlantic to the new world. He attended school in both his native land and in this country. He may well be termed a self-made man, for his success is the direct outcome of his own labors. His residence in Iroquois County dates from the winter of 1869, and in 1871 he came to Ashkum, where for thirteen years he was connected with Mr Comstock in the grain business. On the expiration of that period he embarked in business on his own account. The present firm, which includes his sons, Richard R. and Frank W. Meents, was organized in August, 1896. They are carrying on a banking business and are also well known as grain, lumber and coal merchants. The son, Richard, manages the bank, which is a private institution, while Frank Meents is the manager of the branch bank and of the grain trade at Clifton, where the firm are successors of S. B. Walden. He formerly acted as manager of the grain trade at Ashkum and his place is now ably filled by Arthur J. Meents. The father has been dealing in grain, coal and lumber in Ashkum since 1884 but the bank was not organized until 1896, when the present firm was formed. The institution was capitalized for twenty-five thousand dollars, and the working capital of the combined institutions owned by the firm is not less than seventy-five thousand dollars. They are enjoying an extensive trade as dealers in the commodities which they handle and the banks which they control are a most important element in the financial life of the community. Mr Meents is also the owner of the famous Rossland Park farm, comprising about eight hundred acres. This farm is stocked with blooded animals, including English shire horses, polled Durham cattle and Shropshire sheep. He owns two English mares, Ringsand Lass and Ringsand Lady, that took ribbons at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St Louis and also at the various state and county fairs, likewise at the Iowa State Fair and the Chicago International Stock Show, where they won first and second ribbons, competing against each other. In all his business life Mr Meents shows keen discernment and has managed his varied interests with an ability that has brought him a goodly measure of success.
Mr Meents was married in Iroquois County to Miss Philadelphia Cloke, a daughter of Richard and Mary (Stoppels) Cloke, who were natives of Kent, England. The daughter was born in New Jersey and accompanied her parents to Champaign county, Illinois, where they remained but a short time, removing to Ashkum in the late '50s. The mother died here, and the father passed away in England but his remains were brought back to Ashkum for interment. Through many years he was actively and successfully connected with farming interests but in the later years of his life he lived retired, and during that period made several trips to his native country. Unto Mr and Mrs Meents have been born five sons and five daughters, who are yet living and they also lost two children in infancy. Those who still survive are as follows: Richard R., who married Miss Hulda Carpenter, of Piper City, Illinois, and has five children, is a member of the firm and manager of the bank at Ashkum. He is also prominent and influential in political circles, is chairman of the republican central committee and was a candidate for the state legislature. Frank, now managing the interests of the firm at Clifton, married Miss Frieda Muehlenpfordt, of Ashkum. Annie is the wife of John J. Ruckrigel, a merchant at Ashkum, and they have two sons. Grace Olive, who has taken advanced work in elocution and music at the Northwestern Univercity at Evanston, Illinois, is now at home. Walter H., a graduate of the Onarga Seminary and of the literary department of the Northwestern University, is now a student in the Rush Medical College at Chicago, from which he will graduate in the spring of 1907, and he has already won the degrees of A. B., A. M. and M. D. Arthur J., a graduate of Onarga Seminary and afterward a student in Leland Stanford University of California, is now manager of the grain department of the business at Ashkum. Delphia C., who was graduated from Onarga Seminary in the spring of 1906, is continuing her musical education in that institution. Mildred R. will graduate from Onarga Seminary in the spring of 1907. Alta is a student in the high school at Ashkum, and Willard is attending school in this village.
Politically the family are all republicans and the father has been a member of the board of review for the past four years. He has always taken an active interest in local politics and has ever kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day. For the past twelve years he has served as school treasurer, as township clerk for seven years, and has held various other offices in the township and village. Socially he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America as is his son RIchard, who also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the Royal Arch degree, while Frank Meents is a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity. The family are members of the Methodist church at Ashkum, of which Mr Meents has been a liberal and faithful supporter.
Among those who have come from foreign lands to become prominent in business circles in Illinois he is numbered. His success in all his undertakings has been so marked that his methods are of interest to the commercial world, and investigation into his history shows that he has based his business principles and actions upon strict adherence to the rules which govern industry, economy and unswerving intergrity. His enterprise and progressive spirit have made him a typical American in every sense of the word. By constant exertion associated with good judgment he has raised himself to the prominent position which he now holds, having the friendship of many and the respect of all who know him.
Source: "Past and Present of Iroquois County, Illinois" (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) Submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden
Frederick Kohl is a retired merchant, who makes his home in Danforth, Iroquois County. He is one of Germany's most worthy children, having been born in Ostfriesland November 29, 1854. His father, Frederick Kohl, a native of the same country, grew to maturity and there married Geske Jacobs. The father, followed the occupation of tilling the soil in Germany, where he still resides.
Frederick Kohl passed his boyhood days in the usual pursuits of farmer lads and received fair school advantages in his native language. Since coming to Illinois he attended the schools for about six months, in order to acquire the English language, but has largely informed himself in that respect through his reading and observation. When about seventeen years of age, he determined to seek his fortune in the New World, and accordingly said good-bye to the friends and scenes of his youth. He sailed from Bremen, and after a pleasant voyage of about fourteen days arrived in New York City. He landed in the United States in May, and came direct to Danforth, where he joined three older brothers who had previously settled at this point. The first year he worked on the railroad, and the following year hired out as a farm hand. He next obtained a clerkship in one of the Danforth stores, and there continued for a period of a year and a half. Subsequently he returned to farm labor. In 1874, Mr Kohl went to Peoria, where he clerked for about six months, when, on account of sickness, he was obliged to discontinue his labors for a time. After his recovery he worked in a store at Danforth and continued in that position for five years. A partnership was formed at that time between our subject and John Eden, and together they bought out an established business, the stock costing $3,500. The firm then embarked in merchandising and increased their business. They extensively increased their trade and continued to add to their line of goods. The partnership lasted for about ten and a half years, and their efforts were blessed with great success. In February, 1892, Mr Kohl sold his interest to Mr Eden arid retired from the business. Mr Eden has since invested in Nebraska property, and during the summer just passed has spent much of his time in Platte County, of that State, where he purchased a farm and has valuable investments. Mr Kohl also invested his money which he had withdrawn from the business in real estate. He purchased property, in Chicago, and has already realized a good profit on his investments there.
Mr Kohl was married to Miss Cevia, daughter of J. O. Johnson, a retired merchant of Danforth. The wedding ceremony was performed February 14, 1878. Mrs Kohl was born in Woodford County, Ill., and was educated and has lived the most of her life in Iroquois County.
Mr Kohl is identified with the Republican party, which finds in him a stanch advocate. He voted for Samuel J. Tilden, however, at the election in 1876, but with that exception has used his franchise in favor of the nominees of the Republican party. Mr Kohl is a public spirited man, and has always done all in his power to advance the best interests of his township and the community. Recognizing his worth and ability, his fellow citizens have often called upon him to fill public positions requiring the qualities which he possesses. He was appointed Postmaster of Danforth, and acted in that capacity most acceptably for over ten years. He has always discharged the duties of citizenship and of official positions with fidelity and zeal, and has merited the high regard in which be is held by his friends and neighbors. For twenty one years, Mr Kohl has made his home in this county and is a man of unblemished character and spotless record. Commencing in life as a poor man, with no capital save a fair education and undaunted courage, he has carved for himself a fortune and a place of honor in the estimation of those who know him. Mr and Mrs Kohl are honored members of the German Lutheran Church, in whose work they take an active part.
[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Iroquois County, Illinois" (1893) - Submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
DIRK H. MONK
Dirk H. Monk is the junior partner of the firm of Monks Brothers, who own and cultivate one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 28, Ashkum township. He is, moreover, one of the native sons of this township, his birth having occurred here in 1872. He comes of German ancestry, his parents being Henry and Cassie Monk, who crossed the Atlantic from Germany to the United States in the early '50s and established their home in Illinois.
Reared under the parental roof, Dirk H. Monk acquired a good common-school education in Ashkum township, and when not busy with his text-books he received thorough training in the work of the farm, early becoming familiar with the task of plowing, planting and harvesting. He was the youngest in a family of seven children, the others being: Anna, the wife of John Bushman, a resident farmer of Douglas township; Maggie, the wife of Ben Shoneman, a farmer of Ashkum township; Richard, who is the senior partner of the firm of Monk Brothers; Hiram, a farmer of Ashkum township; Atthie, the wife of David Alberts, a resident farmer of Ashkum township; and Cora, the wife of Phil Hilgert, who follows farming in Ashkum township.
Mr Monk of this review was reared under the parental roof and has always remained at home, his mother now managing the household affairs. Joining his elder brother in the formation of the firm of Monk Brothers they have since conducted farming interests together and are the owners of one hundred and twenty acres of good land on section 28, Ashkum township, which they have greatly improved, the fields being the most highly cultivated, while all the accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century are here seen. Dirk H. Monk is a natural mechanic and is an expert on engines and threshing machines. He gives his political allegiance to the democracy and is a member of the German Lutheran church. He has a wide acquaintance in the locality in which his entire life has been passed and is recognized as a good business man, enterprising and of keen discrimination.
[Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - Submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Harbert Duis, whose farming interests comprise one hundred and eighty acres in the home place on section 2, Ash Grove township, and who in connection with his sons also owns other farming land, aggregating seven hundred acres, has resided in Illinois since 1855, at which time he took up his abode in Adams county. He was then a lad of only eight years, for his natal day was October 20, 1847. He was born in Hanover, Germany, and his parents, John C. and Katie (Keisser) Duis, were also natives of Germany. In 1855 they bade adieu to friends and fatherland and sailed for the new world with their family, becoming residents of Adams county, Illinois. They located three miles north of Quincy near Golden and there Mr Duis developed a new farm, which he continued to cultivate for some years, but eventually he sold that and came to Iroquois county in 1875. Here he bought raw land upon which his son Harbert now resides, and the following year his life's labors were ended in death. His wife survived him for some time and passed away in 1900, at the age of eighty-four years. Their son Harbert was one of a family of four sons and five daughters, of whom one daughter died in Germany, while three sons and two daughters are yet living.
Harbert Duis grew to manhood in Adams county. His educational privileges were exceedingly meager and it has been in the school of experience that he has learned his most valuable lessons. He is not only self-educated but also a self-made man and whatever success he has enjoyed or gained has come as a reward of his own labor. In 1868, when twenty-one years of age, he went to Livingston county, Illinois, and there bought eighty acres of land, upon which he engaged in farming for six years. Selling that property in 1876, he came to his present farm, beginning here with two hundred and forty acres of raw prairie land. The furrows had not been turned nor had the land been drained or in any way improved. The breaking plow, however, was soon at work and year after year more of the land was cultivated and developed. He carried on agricultural pursuits according to most modern and progressive ideas and the home farm is now equipped with all the modern accessories of a model property. He planted an orchard, also set out many shade trees and has thus added to the value and attractive appearance of the place. In the midst of the farm stands a nice home and the outbuildings are in keeping therewith and include a large barn, a tool house, granary, corn cribs and elevator. He has set out much fruit, which adds much to the richness of the family table, and altogether he has made one of the best improved farms in the township. All this is the visible evidence of a life of unremitting diligence that Mr Duis has lived. He has also purchased land in Noble county, Minnesota, having seven hundred acres in one tract. His son John is residing thereon and bringing it under a high state of cultivation.
Mr Duis was married in Adams county in 1865, when a young man of eighteen years, to Miss Elsie Garretts, who was of German birth, and they have become the parents of nine children: Hannah, the wife of Henry Sievens, of Minnesota; Katie, the wife of William A. Longet, a resident farmer of Ash Grove township; John, who is married and carried on agricultural pursuits in Minnesota; Grace, who is married and lives in Minnesota; Carlson, who is married and assists in the operation of the home farm; Carl, who is with his brother in Minnesota; Jordan, a young man at home; and Stina, who is also with her parents. They lost one child, Franka, who was married and died in Livingston county.
Mr and Mrs Duis were reared in the Lutheran faith and became charter members of St John's church. His political endorsement at the polls is given to the republican party and he has been honored with some local offices, serving on the school board and as highway commissioner for ten years, during which time he has done much to build and establish good roads and grades. A resident of Illinois from his youth to the present time, his life has been permeated by the spirit of substantial progress which has led to the upbuilding of this great state. He has made a fortune and reared a family who are a credit to his name, and his life should serve as a source of emulation and inspiration to others who have to start out as he did empty-handed. Realizing the value of industry, he has placed his dependence upon this quality and his diligence has been supplemented by a sound judgment that has enabled him to place his money in safe investments. [Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Julius Kietzmann, living on section 5, Onarga township is one of the active and prosperous farmers of Iroquois county, his place embracing two hundred acres of Illinois rich soil. He has been a resident of this state since 1866 and of the county since 1872. He was born in Prussia, April 12, 1846, and was reared to manhood there upon a farm. He had varied common-school advantages in the German language but is self-educated in English, having mastered the latter tongue since coming to the new world. The year of his emigration was 1866, at which time he took passage on a sailing vessel at Hamburg which was eight weeks and three days on the broad Atlantic ere the voyage was completed by dropping anchor in New York harbor on the 11th of June. Mr Kietzmann worked at Albany for two months, earning seventeen dollars, after which he made his way westward to Chicago. His capital at the time he arrived in New York was but twenty-five cents and he also had only a quarter when he reached the western metropolis. Going to Will county, Illinois, he there worked for three years as a farm hand in the employ of one man and thus made start a business life in this state.
Mr Kietzmann was married in Will county, October 9, 1870, to Miss Amelia Luckow, a native of Germany. He then rented land in Will county, which he operated for two years, after which he came to Iroquois county and again carried on farming on rented land for two years. With the capital he had managed to save from his earnings he afterward purchased eighty acres on which he took up his abode, there carrying on general farming for six or seven years. When he had disposed of that property he bought another farm of one hundred and twenty acres, which he cultivated for several years, and as his financial resources permitted he added to his holdings from time to time until he owned four hundred acres in that tract. There he carried on farming until 1899, when he sold his property there and bought two hundred acres where he now resides on section 5, Onarga township. This has since been his place of residence and in the meantime he has purchased another tract of one hundred and sixty acres about two miles to the east, so that he now owns altogether three hundred and sixty acres. here he has put up a good residence and also substantial outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. Though he started out in life empty-handed he is now in very comfortable financial circumstances and the secret of his success is his good management, his enterprise and his unfaltering perseverance.
Mr Kietzmann lost his first wife about 1881. There are four living children by that union: Gotlieb, who is married and now owns and operates a farm; Theodore, who is married and follows farming in this county; Ida, the wife of Henry Froehling, an agriculturist of Onarga township; and Emil, who is likewise married and engaged in farming in this county. Mr Kietzmann was again married in February, 1883, in Chicago, his second union being with Anna Wendtland, a native of Germany. They now have seven children: Charles, August, Martha, Henry, Minnie, Rosa and Lillie.
Politically Mr Kietzmann is a true blue democrat, having staunchly supported the party for a number of years. He was reared in the Lutheran faith and his wife is a communicant of the Catholic church. His residence in Illinois covers a period of four decades, during which time he had been a most industrious man. He worked hard to gain a start and as the years have gone by he has made judicious investment in property until he now owns two well improved and valuable farms. His record is an honor to the land of his nativity and the land of his adoption and proves what may be accomplished in a country where effort is not hampered by cast or class, but where the road to success is the highway of usefulness and general activity. [Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Benjamin Shoneman, engaged in general farming and in threshing in Ashkum township, came to Iroquois county from Germany about 1856. He was born in that country and is the only member of his father's family that ever came to the new world. Here he married Maggie Elizabeth Monk, a daughter of Henry Monk, a a farmer of Ashkum and unto them have been born ten children, namely: Ike, Henry, Rena, Stena, Dick, Cassie, Anna, Bennie, Willie and Jennie. The family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death and all of the children are still under the paternal roof.
While in Germany Mr Shoneman heard favorable reports concerning business opportunities in the new world and he therefore resolved to try his fortune in this country. He came to America empty-handed but has won a goodly measure of success here and although he had no advantages at the beginning of his business life he is today the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 21, Ashkum township. He likewise owns and operates a threshing machine and corn sheller, and is very busy during the harvest season. In his political views he is an independent democrat, nor is he a member of any church but has contributed to the support of various denominations. [Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
A good farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Onarga township, is the property of Carl Theesfeld, who since 1868 has lived in Iroquois county, coming to this state immediately after crossing the Atlantic from Germany, his native country. He was born in the fatherland, September 22, 1840, and the years of his boyhood and youth were there passed, while his education was acquired in the public schools. Having heard favorable reports of business conditions here and the opportunities which were open to ambitious, industrious young men, he resolved to seek his fortune in the new world and bade adieu to friends and native country. He then secured passage on a sailing vessel in Bremen and after eight weeks on the broad Atlantic landed at Baltimore in December, 1868. He did not pause in his journey there, however, but continued on his westward way until he had arrived in Illinois, making his first settlement in Woodford county, where he joined some friends of his own nationality. He then worked by the month as a farm hand for a year, after which he joined another man in cultivating a rented farm. They were together for a year, after which Mr Theesfeld began business independently.
He was first married in Woodford county in 1870 to Miss Anna Jansen, after which he rented a farm and carried on general agricultural pursuits on his own account in Woodford county for several years. He carefully saved his earnings during that period, living as economically and frugally as possible and when his capital had become sufficient to justify his purchase of land he bought one hundred and sixty acres. The fact that the farm was his own was an impetus for renewed effort and a stimulus for closer application. Accordingly he at once began to break the soil and fence the fields. He also built a house on the property and carried forward the work of development and improvement, placing many rods of tiling upon the farm and thus draining the land. As the years have advanced he, too, has progressed in his methods of farm work in keeping with the spirit of modern advancement and now has a well improved property, his richly cultivated fields surrounding substantial farm buildings. In the rear of the house stands a good barn and windpump, together with sheds and the latest improved farm machinery. The fields annually return rich harvests and in addition he raises good horses, cattle and hogs.
In 1882 Mr Theesfeld was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife, who died leaving two children: Maggie, now the wife of Dan Hasburger, a farmer of Onarga township; and John, who has started out in business for himself. Mr Theesfeld was married again, his second union being with Anna Defreese, a German lady, who was reared in the fatherland. There were five children by this marriage and the four sons, Ulrich, Harm, Henry and Herman, are still living. They also lost a daughter, Mary, who died in infancy.
Since becoming a naturalized American citizen Mr Theesfeld has been an earnest republican and has kept well informed on the political situation of the country and the issues which divide the two great parties. He has served for some years as a school director, acting in that capacity altogether for sixteen years, and at this writing he is president of the board. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which they were reared. Thirty-eight years have come and gone since Mr Theesfeld took up his abode in Illinois and while carrying forward his own business interests he has at the same time advanced the prosperity of the community through his farm work. There have come periods of hardship and discouragement to him and he has suffered many privations and trials in establishing his home here and in gaining a start in business, but he has persevered and in the end has triumphed over adversity until his position among the prosperous farmers of Onarga township is now assured. [Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Henry N. Theesfeld
Henry N. Theesfeld, who is farming on section 5, Onarga township, was born in Germany on the 19th of January, 1843, and in the fatherland the days of his boyhood and youth were passed. He had good common-school advantages in the German tongue but his knowledge of English has been acquired entirely since he came to the United States and although his unfamiliarity with the tongue was somewhat of a handicap during the early years of his residence here he has long since largely mastered the language and also become acquainted with the manners and customs of the people, so that he is not only a successful business man but also a representative citizen, unfaltering in his loyalty to the stars and stripes.
Before leaving his native land Mr Theesfeld was married in Germany to Miss Anna Sibens, who was born in that country. In September, 1869, the young couple started for the new world, taking passage on a vessel which weighed anchor at Bremen. This was a sailing ship and nearly seven weeks had elapsed before the voyage was completed and the passengers landed at Baltimore, Maryland. Mr Theesfeld did not tarry long on the Atlantic coast but came at once to Illinois, settling first in Woodford county, where he joined his brothers who had previously come to the United States. For three years he worked by the month at farm labor, after which he rented land and thus engaged in farming on his own account for eight years. He came to Iroquois county in 1880 and in 1889 bought one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, upon which he took up his abode. The property which came into his possession seventeen years ago bears little resemblance to his present well developed farm. There was a house and stable upon the place and a small portion of the land had been broken. Mr Theesfeld resolutely undertook the work of further developing and improving the farm and afterward he built a more commodious home, together with substantial outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. The land was low and wet originally but the modern system of tiling has entirely done away with that condition and the fields are now splendidly cultivated. Fences have been built and all modern equipments added, and the capability which he displays in his business affairs has made Mr Theesfeld one of the substantial agriculturists of his community. Today he has two sets of good farm buildings upon his place and his tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres responds readily to the care and cultivation which he bestows upon it and annually returns to him rich harvests.
Unto Mr and Mrs Theesfeld have been born eight children. Urick, a farmer of Minnesota, is married and has four children. Simon, who carries on agricultural pursuits in Kankakee county, is married and has three children. Charles, who operates the home farm, is married and his children are Fred, Annie, Leo, William and Elsie. Martin is married and is a resident farmer of this county. Henry, the youngest son, remains upon the home farm. Tena, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Jacob Gerken, a carpenter and joiner of this county, by whom she has six children. Maggie is the wife of Cornelius Hershberger, a farmer of Iroquois county, and they have three children. Zena is the wife of Carl Reiners, an agriculturist of this county, and they have two children.
Mr and Mrs Theesfeld are members of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which they were reared. Since becoming a naturalized American citizen he has given stalwart support to the republican party and its principles. The German-American element in our citizenship has ever been a valued and important one and of this Mr Theesfeld is a representative. The hope that led him to America has been more than realized, for in this country where labor is unhampered by caste or class he has made substantial advancement in the business world and although he came to the United States practically penniless he is now one of the well-to-do farmers of Onarga township. [Source: Past and present of Iroquois County, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907) - submitted by Amy Robbins-Tjaden]
Mr. Huckins was born Aug. 3, 1849, in Iroquois county, Illinois. His youth was spent near Kankakee and Chicago and at Elgin, Illinois. In 1867 he was married to Miss Ann Porter. To them was born a boy, James who is still living. Mrs. Huckins died several years ago. In 1869 he went to White Cloud, Kansas, and for five years traveled over that state as a photographer. He afterwards located at Craig, Missouri, on the Kansas City, Omaha & Council Bluffs rail road, where he carried on a wagon shop. At this place he held the office of city clerk, assessor and collector. In 1879 his establishment was destroyed by the flood. He made a boat in which he rowed out to his shop, secured what tools his could find and then floated down the river to Kansas City. From there he came to Seneca, where he remained two years. In 1881 he located at Tiff City where for the last sixteen years he has kept a wagon shop, been notary public, justice of the peace, post master and local attorney. Although the office is one of considerable importance, he has held it under both Dem. and Rep. administrations, which speaks well for him as a public man. Some years after coming to this county he was united in marriage with Mrs. Nancy J. Foster, by whom he has three children. He united with the M. E. Church, South, in 1887. In an Off Fellow, Good Templar, and belongs to the Sons of Temperance, of which order he has been State Deputy. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W., Select Knights, and Woodmen of the World.
("History of McDonald County, Missouri", by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897 - Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)
WARREN D. ABBOTT
Giving special attention to corporation and real-estate law, Mr. Abbott has been engaged in the practice of his profession in the City of Tulsa since 1903 and the broad scope and importance of his law business indicate alike his secure status as a representative member of the bar of Tulsa County and his sterling personal characteristics.
Warren Dwight Abbott was born at Watseka, Iroquois County, Illinois, on the 13th of May, 1878, and is the eldest of the four children of Rev. Gabrial and Mittie V. (Edgerton) Abbott, both natives of Jo Daviess County, that state, where the former was born in 1855 and the latter in 1858. The parents are residents of the State of Nebraska, where they have maintained their home since 1886. Rev. Gabrial Abbott was educated in what is now the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois, and for nearly two score of years he has been an active and honored member of the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as a representative of which he has held many pastoral charges in both Illinois and Nebraska. He is a man of high intellectuality, a prominent figure in the councils of his church, a fine pulpit orator and a staunch supporter of the cause of the democratic party.
He whose name initiates this review was a lad of eight years at the time of the family removal to Nebraska, and after making good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of that state he there entered Wesleyan University, at Lincoln, Nebraska's capital city. In this institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1898, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and in fortifying himself for the profession of his choice he completed the curriculum of the law department of the University of Nebraska, in the same city, his graduation having occurred in 1903. In the same year, and within a short time after his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws, Mr. Abbott came to Oklahoma Territory and established himself in the practice of his profession at Tulsa. His law business in its cumulative tendency has kept pace with the rapid and substantial growth of this vigorous city and he now controls a large and important practice, confined principally to real-estate and corporation law. His preference, however, is for the civil department of practice, in which he has won definite prestige both as an attorney and counselor. Mr. Abbott is an active and popular member of the Tulsa County Bar Association and is identified also with the Oklahoma State Bar Association. A loyal and effective exponent of the principles of the democratic party, he has manifested no predilection for purely political office, but he takes a deep interest in public affairs, especially of a local order, and is progressive and liberal in his civic attitude.
Mr. Abbott has been a close student of the history and teachings of the time-honored Masonic fraternity and in the same has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, as a member of Indian Consistory, in the City of McAlester. In his home city he is affiliated with Akdar Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and here his ancient-craft affiliation is with Tulsa Lodge, No. 71, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. In the local temple of the Mystic Shrine he served one term as potentate.
On the 9th of September, 1906, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Abbott to Miss Ruth Swartz, who was born in the State of Iowa, and they have three children, Warren D., Jr., Paul R., and Frederick J.
[A Standard History of Oklahoma , by Joseph B. Thoburn , 1916 -- Transcribed by Cathy Ritter]
JOSEPH L. KERR, one of the pioneer settlers of Stutsman county, is among the few men who braved the dangers and discouragements of early settlement in North Dakota, and have remained to become prosperous and substantial citizens. Although he labored many years, crops were destroyed repeatedly, and it was not until after many others had given up the struggle that success came to Mr. Kerr. He is now the owner of a fine estate, and enjoys the comforts of rural life. He resides near the village of Corrinne, and his farm is well equipped and nicely located. He also possesses property in Illinois. Our subject was born in Sharron township, Richland county, Ohio, July 20, 1844. His father, William Kerr, was born in Ohio, where his parents located in 1810, and where the grandfather of our subject built the first flouring mill, during the pioneer days of the state. The family originally were from the Highlands of Scotland. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Louisa Funk, was born in America and was of Holland-Dutch descent. Her grandfather was one of the first German Lutheran preachers in Pennsylvania. Our subject was the second in a family of three children, and was raised on a farm near Shelby, Ohio. He enlisted in the Union army in September, 1861, and became a member of Company I, Fifteenth Ohio Infantry, and joined the Army of the Cumberland, and participated in all the battles with that army. He was at Shiloh, Stone River, where he was taken prisoner and confined in Libby prison three months, and then exchanged, after which came Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Franklin and Nashville. He was also in Sherman's campaign around Atlanta, and after the surrender of Lee he was sent to Texas, and was mustered out of the service in November, 1865, after four years and four months of brave and active service. Returning from the war, he attended Oberlin College one year, and later went to Iroquois county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming five years, and in 1871 moved to Milford and established a hardware store, in which business he was engaged two years. He spent four years at Watseka, Illinois, shipping corn and other produce, and in the spring of 1883 went to Stutsman county. North Dakota. He entered claim to the southeast quarter of section 32, in township 144, range 62, and erected a 10x12 shanty, and resided there eight or ten years. The first year he bought a team of ponies on time and broke land for others, and his first crop in 1884 was from but five acres of land. The following year hail destroyed his crops and the next four or five years drouth caused a total failure of crops. He raised twenty-five hundred bushels of wheat in 1891, since which time he has prospered in grain raising. He now has four hundred and eighty acres of land, all of which is under cultivation, and he has a well-improved estate, including a complete set of substantial and commodious farm buildings, all necessary machinery, windmill and plenty of stock. Our subject was married, November 27, 1866, to Candas Roberts, who was born and raised in Shelby, Ohio. Mrs. Kerr's parents came from Hartford, Connecticut, and she and our subject attended the same school in Ohio, and Mrs. Kerr later taught school in that state. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kerr, as follows: Frank, an electrician at Butte, Montana; and Etta, who is attending school at Oberlin, Ohio. Mr. Kerr is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he is a Republican, and has cast his vote for the principles of that party since his majority.
[Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Susan Ripley]
Isaac N. Thompson
Isaac N. Thompson is an honored veteran of the Civil war and is now prominent in Grand Army circles. He is one of the honored pioneer settlers of Jefferson county (Nebraska), where he has made his home since March, 1868, and in this state he is a recognized leader among those who fought for the Union at the time of the country’s peril. He was born in Ridgefarm, Vermilion county, Illinois, on the 25th of February, 1838. The family is of Scotch-Irish lineage, and the grandfather of our subject was John F. Thompson. The father, James W. Thompson, was born in Tennessee and after arriving at years of maturity wedded Irena A. Davis, who was born in North Carolina and was a cousin of Jefferson Davis, the president of the southern Confederacy. Her father was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was killed in the battle of New Orleans, while serving under General Jackson. For many years Mr. and Mrs. James W. Thompson resided in Illinois, and the father’s death occurred in that state in 1864, while his son Isaac was absent in the army. The mother passed away in 1901 when eighty-five years of age. Both were honored and respected by all, land their memory is yet enshrined in the hearts of many who knew them. James W. Thompson was a stanch advocate of abolition and of the Union cause, and in an early day he was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, Owen Lovejoy and many others of the prominent and distinguished opponents of slavery. On the organization of the Republican party to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks, and he was ever most loyal to his political convictions and to his honest opinions, bearing Rhode, of North Dakota; Mrs. Mary J. Frazier, of Colorado; John F., who was a soldier of the Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry and is now probate judge of Washington county, Kansas, where he is settled at an early day; Mary J., who is living in Liberty, Colorado; Laura E., Newkirk, Oklahoma; and Charles D., of California.
Isaac N. Thompson was reared upon the old home farm, and lessons of industry and economy were early instilled into his mind. His literary education was acquired in the public schools, and he has greatly supplemented his knowledge by reading, observation and experience in later years. On starting out in life on his own account he followed the pursuit to which he had been reared, and has always been an agriculturist. He sought as a companion and helpmate for life’s journey Miss Julia A. Haworth, and they were married at Danville, Illinois, on the 31st of March, 1859. She has been to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life’s journey for forty-five years, her encouragement and aid being of great assistance to him. She was born, reared and educated in Illinois. Her parents were Eli and Lydia (Dillon) Hawort, the former a native of Ohio, while the latter was a representative of and old Tennessee family. Both, however, died in Illinois.
At the time of the Civil war Isaac N. Thompson put aside all business and personal consideration in order to espouse his country’s cause. Leaving his family in Vermilion county, Illinois, he enlisted on the12th of July, 1862, as a member of Company A, Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, under command of Captain T. Clark, who was later promoted to lieutenant-colonel. The regiment was commanded by Colonel Gunip and went into camp at Mattoon, Illinois, but after twenty days was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, and Mr. Thompson was first under fire at Perryville. Later he participated in the battles of Crab Orchard, Edgefield and Stone River. He served for a time under General McCook and Rosecrans and he took part in the Tullahoma campaign, participating in the battles of Chickamauga, Fayetteville, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga and Knoxville, going to the latter place in order to relieve the troops under General Burnside. Later his regiment was ordered to Loudoun, Tennessee, and he participated in the battles of Buzzard’s Roost, Pulaski, Tennessee, Frankfort, and Nashville. He participated in the severe fight with General Hood’s forces at Frankfort and later the regiment was ordered to Decatur, Alabama. He also was at Resaca, siege of Atlanta and Jonesboro and other battles. He was wounded at Liberty Gap June 25, 1863, was wounded at Chickamauga September 19, 1863, and was captured at Stone Ridge December 31, 1862, by General Joe Wheeler, but was recaptured on the battlefield by his own command. Mr. Thompson was honorably discharged from the service on June 12, 1865, at which time he held the rank or orderly sergeant. He was brave and loyal, never faltering in the performance of any duty, and his military record is one of which he has every reason to be proud.
Following the close of the war Mr. Thompson rejoined his family in Illinois and lived there for a time in Iroquois county, that state, but in 1867 came to Nebraska, and in March, 1868, secured a homestead claim in Antelope precinct, Jefferson county. Here he began the development of his farm, and although surrounded by pioneer conditions he bravely met the hardships which devolved upon him and in the course of time his labors were rewarded with gratifying success. In the year 1869 he was elected to the position of county clerk and served two years. He was then nominated again, but a fusion element defeated him. After two years, however, he was again before the public as a candidate for the office and he was elected for a term of two years, during which he served with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents.
To Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have been born six children: Omer H., who is now a railroad conductor; Alice, the wife of Gross Nicklaus; Mrs. Lillie I. Spence, of Fairbury, Nebraska; Edward P., who is also in the railroad employ; Charles G., a railroad man; and Anna L. They also lost two children: Samuel S., who was born in October, 1862, during his father’s absence at the war, and died ere his return; and Abbie E., who married J. E. Burge, died September 9, 1894. The family is well known in Fairbury and Jefferson county and their friends are many. Mr. Thompson is particularly well known in political and Grand Army circles, and is a stanch Republican who takes a very deep and active interest in the welfare and success of his party. He has served as commander of Russell Post No. 77, G. A. R., and he was identified with the Sixth Grand Army post of the United States, which was located at Loda Illinois. Mr. Thompson served as quartermaster under General C. F. Steele when the latter was state commander of Nebraska, and he is now a member of General Black’s staff. He served as sergeant of arms in the state legislature in 1886-87, and at all times he is loyal and true to every trust reposed in him, whether it is of a public or private nature. His friends know him to be a man of sterling worth and of the utmost reliability, and he enjoys the unqualified confidence and the respect of all who know him. [Source: A Biographical and Genealogical History of Southeastern Nebraska. Vol. II, Publ 1904. Transcribed by Richard Ramos]
The people of Chelan county and central Washington need no introduction to Frank Reeves. Chelan county itself owes its existence to his efforts, aided by Arthur Gunn. Mr. Reeves has demonstrated himself a man of ability, energy and integrity. These qualities dominated by a powerful will have rightly placed him as leader and the county owes him a debt of gratitude which it is evident they recognize, for while Mr. Reeves is a strong Democrat, he has promptly been placed in the responsible office of prosecuting attorney twice, the people laying aside politics, since they are largely Republican, when his name is before them. They chose the man and they were not mistake in their choice.
Frank Reeves was born in Watseka, Illinois, on August 12, 1866, the son of Isaac W. and Susan C. (German) Reeves, natives of Indiana and now residing on a fruit ranch in the vicinity of Wenatchee. The Reeves family came from England to Virginia in the seventeenth century and have been prominent since. The father served in the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Company F, for three years and three months. He participated in thirty-nine hard battles, among which are Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Stone River and so forth. The mother’s father also served in the Civil War. Our subject was principally in Kansas during his minority. He was well educated through the graded and high schools at St. John and then read law in the office of T.F. Halverson, prosecuting attorney of Stafford county. He completed his course before twenty-one, and then took up newspaper work. He did reportorial and editorial work in Kansas, Colorado, and Washington, also on the Review in Spokane, and mined on the Pend d’Oreille in addition thereto. Later he taught school in Post-falls for one year. Then he founded the first Democratic paper in Ellensburg and in 1891 came to Wenatchee. He founded the Advance, sold it in the spring of 1893, started the Times in Leavenworth and in 1896 sold that. In 1899, Mr. Reeves, aided by Arthur Gunn, went to Olympia to secure the segregation of Chelan county and success crowned the wise efforts put forth. Early in 1900, Mr. Reeves was admitted to the practice of law before the supreme court and at the first election in the county, he was chosen prosecuting attorney and in 1902 his own successor. Mr. Reeves has one brother and one sister, Fred, and Rose Fuller.
On August 31, 1888, Mr. Reeves married Miss Belle Culp, at Genesee, Kansas. She was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where also her parents were born. One child, Zelma, now eleven, was born to this union and she is the first white child born in Wenatchee. Mr. Reeves is a member of the I.O.O.F. and the Elks. Mr. Reeves has various holdings, as a fruit ranch, town property and mining interests. He is one of the leading men of the Columbia valley and is the center of a large circle of admiring friends. [SOURCE: “An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington”; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 – Tr. by Tammie Rudder]
Mrs. Sinda Hanson
The venerable lady whose name heads this article is one of the early settlers of the township of Big Creek, Neosho county, and was born in Madison county, Ohio, December 11, 1825. She was a daughter of Reuben and Phoebe Gregg. Virginia settlers who came to Ohio and settled in Madison county at an early period in the history of the state. The father died in middle life and the mother survived to the age of eighty-six years and leaving a family of five living children, viz., Mrs. Hanson, Reuben, John and Adison.
Sidna Gregg was married to James H. Hanson on the 25th of December, 1846. Her husband was a native of Ohio and was born September 11, 1824. He was reared on the farm in his native state, received a common school education and, in 1851, moved to Indiana where he rented land for ten years, removing thence to Iroquois county, Illinois. He enlisted in the Federal service, war of the rebellion, from this county in 1864, joining Company D, 150th Illinois infantry, along with his oldest son. They each served a year and were discharged at the end of the war. Returning home our subject's husband resumed the work of his life and had accumulated very little by the year 1871 when he took up his residence on a Kansas claim. He came to Neosho county where he entered a quarter section of land on the banks of Big Creek where he and his industrious sons labored and toiled in the building of a home. When the father's home was assured then one for the sons was provided until each head of a family is comfortably and satisfactorily housed on his own estate. The old homestead has grown from its original area to that of nearly two hundred and eighty acres and the plenty and peace of its occupants is assured for all time to come. Mr. Hanson served his township as treasurer for a number of years and was regarded as one of the substantial and thrifty citizens of his community. His death occurred September 28, 1889, when sixty-five years of age. Mrs. Hanson is the mother of nine children, namely, William A., James Madison; Mrs. Mary E. Cummings; John A.; Margaret A.; Thomas J., who died in 1890; Robert A.; Lew W., and Lincoln.
Robert A. Hanson was born in Iroquois county, Illinois. September 8, 1860, and has been a useful and important part of the domestic arrangement all his life. He manages the affairs of the homestead and, in partnership with his brother, "Link," he is in the stock business in Wilson county where they own a ranch of several hundred acres. He is a good business man, a worthy citizen and is doing a modest part in the internal development of his township and county. . [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]