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Mains, James F. - owner of a fine 335 acres of valuable land in Jersey County, and one of the most successful farmers and stockraisers in this section, was born in Jersey Township, February 26, 1878, a son of Freeman and Elizabeth (Stevens) Mains. Freeman J. Mains was born February 7, 1836, in what is now Jersey County, but was then included in Greene County. His parents, James and Abigail (Parker) Mains and his wife's parents, Isiah and Sarah (Scroggins) Stevens, were very early settlers of this part of Illinois. Until he was twenty-four years old, Freeman J. Mains lived with his parents, and then he bought twenty acres of land on section 23, on which he erected a small house. Two years later he added to his holdings until he owned over 1,900 acres of improved land in Jersey County. On November 24, 1859, he was married, and there are six children living of those born to him and his wife, namely: Lucy, who is Mrs. Thomas C. H. Wilder of Mississippi Township; William T. and Warren, who are of Jersey Township; Tina, who is Mrs. Edward Brown of Greene County; James F.; Tossie, who is Mrs. Dr. A. S. Hunt. Freeman J. Mains died September 11, 1907, his wife having died June 10, 1883.
James F. Mains has always lived on his present farm where he was reared, and he attended the Sherman district school. On January 23, 1901, he was married to Stella May Davis, who was born at Litchfield, Ill., June 23, 1883, a daughter of Charles Augustus and Eliza (Felter) Davis. Charles Augustus Davis was a son of John W. and Eliza A. (Fitzgerald) Davis, he born in North Carolina, September 19, 1819, a son of James and Elizabeth (Morrow) Davis, natives of North Carolina.
After his marriage, James F. Mains took up his residence on a portion of the homestead, and he and his father farmed the property in partnership until the latter's death, after which the son bought a part of the property, and since then has carried on general grain farming and raises horses, cattle and hogs. He and his wife have had the following children born to them: Robert W., born August 23, 1902; Kenneth Davis, born December 10, 1904; Edith Pearl, born April 20, 1906; Ruth Easter, born April 4, 1908; and James F., born October 27, 1917. Since 1905, Mr. Mains has been a school director and he is also a member of the drainage commission of his district. In politics he is a Democrat, while fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, attending the local Lodge at Kane, Ill., and Jerseyville Lodge, No. 954, B. P. O. E.
Mains, William Truman - a general farmer and stockraiser of Jersey Township, is one of the substantial men of Jersey County and one who is widely and favorably known. He was born in Jersey Township, June 4, 1867, a son of Freeman and Elizabeth (Stevens) Mains, he born in Benton County, Mo., and she in Greene County, Ill. The grandparents, James Mains and Isaiah Stevens, were early settlers of Jersey County, the former coming up the Mississippi River to St. Louis in 1838, and crossing it into Illinois where only a shack of a barn marked the present site of East St. Louis. He located on a farm in Jersey County. Isaiah Stevens was born in Illinois, and his wife was born in Kentucky, but her parents brought her during her childhood to Greene County, they making the trip with oxen and on horseback, and after their arrival, her parents secured land from the government in Greene County.
After their marriage, Freeman and Elizabeth (Stevens) Mains, located in the northwestern part of Jersey County, where he subsequently owned about 2,000 acres of land. He was a prominent man, being a Justice of the Peace, and for twenty-four years was supervisor of his township. His death occurred in September, 1907. His wife died in 1883.
William Truman Mains grew up on the farm and attended the district schools of Jersey Township, and lived on the homestead until he was thirty-five years old, at which time he moved to a farm of 160 acres in Jersey Township that his father owned. This farm is very highly improved, and on it he carries on general farming and stockraising.
On February 17, 1897, William Truman Mains was married to Eliza Ann Halbert, born in Greene County, Ill., March 5, 18878, a daughter of Wilson and Naomi (Close) Halbert, natives of Greene County, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Mains have the following children: Lucile May, born October 23, 1899; Ralph H., born May 12, 1904; and Jessie Roberta, born November 24, 1906. The family Belongs to the Baptist Church. In politics, Mr. Mains is a Democrat, and fraternally he belongs to the Woodmen of the World, and the Masons, in which he has attained to the Royal Arch degree. Mrs. Mains belongs to the order of Eastern Star.
Marston, Joseph Goodspeed - one of the retired business men of Jerseyville, was at one time very prominent in commercial circles here and at other points. He was born at Philadelphia, Pa., April 15, 1837, a son of Oliver and Elizabeth (Porter) Marston, he born at Marston Mills, Mass., on Cape Cod, and she at Philadelphia, Pa. The grandparents were Prince and Lydia (Goodspeed) Marston, natives of Massachusetts, and William and Ann (McCloud) Porter, he a sailor and she a native of New Jersey. Oliver Marston left home when fifteen years of age, to go to sea, shipping on a sailing vessel, and he rose until he was master of a merchantman, named Archer. He followed the sea from 1814 to 1841, when he came to Jersey County, and bought some land. He built a residence with lumber he brought with him from Cincinnati, Ohio, down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi River to Alton, Ill., from whence he hauled it by teams to his land. He was here engaged in farming until his death, which occured in 1856, when he was fifty three years old, having been born in 1803. His wife, who was born in 1801, died in 1879. Their children were as followes: William, Oliver, Harvey, Oliver ll, all of whom are deceased; Joseph Goodspeed; Lydia, who is Mrs. Donald Robertson, is deceased; Howard, who is deceased, and Samuel, lives at BunkerHill, Ill.
Joseph Goodspeed Marston spent his boyhood days on a farm with his parents, but when he was fifteen years old, he went to Alton, Ill., and learned the harnessmaking trade and worked at making saddles and harness until 1856, when he returned to Philadelphia and atteneded a grammar school for two years. He then clerked in a drug store at Jerseyville for Dr. J.O. Hamilton for a year, when he took a similiar position in a general store at Alton, Ill. In 1867, he returned to Jerseyville and with C.M. Hamiliton, engaged in a grocery and hardware business until 1872, in which year the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Marston then formed new connections with H.T. Nail, and after a year formed a partnership with Levi Halliday to handle seeds, notions interest, and continued the business alone until 1909 when he sold, and since then has been living in retirement.
On February 12, 1868, he was married to Adaline Cadwallader, born in Fulton County, Ill., a daugter of John and Nancy (Branson) Cadwallader, natives of Ohio and Illinois, respectively. There were no children. Mrs. Marston died May 11, 1908. Mr. Marston is a Republican, and served as city clerk two terms, and alderman from the First Ward for two terms. He is a Mason, having attained to the Knight Templar degree. A man of high principles, he has lived up to his ideals and is held in great esteem.
Meysenburg, E. - president of the Stafford Mercantile Company, and a banker of note, is one of the leading business men of Grafton, where he has been instrumental in securing much of the present material prosperity of the place. He was born February 7, 1842, on a fuedal estate in Flanders, Germany, a son of Frederick Meysenburg, who was born in 1802, at Essen, Germany. He was a school mate of the elder Krupp, and studied civil engineering with him. The maiden name of the wife of Frederick Meysenburg was Johanna Somitz, and she was born at Cologne, Germany. For a time he was in the employ of the government, and then took charge of the federal estate where his son was born , managing it until 1857, when he came to the United States, locating in St.Louis, Mo. Being a highly educated man, he found employment as a private tutor, and his children received their educational training under him. These children were as follows: Matildie, who was married to Edward Nixdorff, is a widow residing in New York state; E. Meysenburg; Theodore Aug; O.W., and several who died in infancy. O.W. Mysenburg(spelled like this in book), the youngest living brother, became prominent as president of the Wells French Car Company, which constructs street railroads both at Chicago and St.Louis, Mo.
Theodore Aug Meysenburg, another brother of E. Meysenburg, enlisted as a soldier for service during the Civil War in the Third Volunteer Infantry from Missouri under Col. Franz Sigel, and soon thereafter participated in the battles of Carthage and Wilson's Creek, Mo., the most important engagements fought in the state, and was chosen as first lieutenant of the company known as the "Benton Hussars," and soon thereafter was assigned to duty on the staff of Colonel Sigel, so serving at the battle of Pea Ridge. When Col. Sigel was promoted to be brigadier-general, Lieutenant Meysenburg was appointed by President Lincoln, assistant adjutant general, with the rank of captain, in accordance with the recommendation of General Sigel. Captain Meysenburg was transferred with General Sigel's command to the Shenandoah Valley. After their arrival, Captain Meysenburg was assigned to General Freemont's command, and he took part in the second Battle of Bull Run, when the troops were under the direction of General Pope. Captain Meysenburg also took part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, while serving in the Army of the Potomac, and won promotion to the rank of Lieutenant-colonel. After the battle of Gettysburg, he was transferred to the Army of the West, and took part in the battle of Chattanooga, and later tendered his resignation in order to enter business activities at St.Louis, Mo.
E.Meysenburg came to St.Louis, Mo., to join his uncle Theodore Krunswick, who had located at St.Louis, in 1833, and had developed into a very prosperous merchant. In 1849, Mr. Krunswick retired to the suburb of St.Louis that bears his name. After two years of experience in a wholesale dry goods house at St.Louis, Mr. Meysenburg, in 1859, took charge of his uncle's mercantile establishment at Krunswick and assisted his uncle in discharging the duties of postmaster. His active young spirit was not satisfied however, and in a short time he returned to St.Louis, where he spent a brief period with a hat house, and then went to Sulphur Springs, Mo., where he was agent for the Iron Mountain Railroad. Having been in the South, his sympathies naturally were with that section in the conflict between the North and the South and he enlisted in Company E, First Missouri Cavalry, and on January 1, 1862, re-enlisted in the Confederate service in Company F., Second Missouri Cavalry. He was paroled May 1, 1865, at Columbus, Miss. After his return, he secured temporary employment in collecting taxes in the Fifth Ward of St.Louis, and on September 1867, Mr. Meysenburg formed a partnership with Harry Eastman, of Grafton, Ill., and this connection continued until 1871, when Mr. Meysenburg bought out his partner, and founded the firm of Meysenburg & Smith. Mr. Meysenburg bought the business of Brook Stafford in 1876, and with the latter's son, Christopher E. Stafford, formed the mercantile house of Stafford & Co., from which Mr. Smith retired in 1879. In 1883, Mr. Meysenburg bought the banking business of William H. Allen of Grafton, which he has since continued.
In 1896 he and Mr. Stafford incorporated the Stafford Mercantile Company, of which Mr. Meysenburg is president. Although Mr. Meysenburg suffered a heavy loss from fire in 1912, he immediately rebuilt his mercantile establishment and bank, and both are now in a flourishing condition. The bank is fire and burglar proof, and modern in every respect.
Mr. Meysenburg was married to Miss Mary H. Frichnor, born at Wheeling, W.Va., January 27, 1849, and they became the parents of the following children; Fannie, who was married to a Mr. Eastoff; Natalie, who married a Mr. Lawerence, resides at Springfield, Ill.,; Edith and Clara, who are at home; and Robert L., who is now cashier of the Bank, his father being president. Mr. Meysenburg has served as mayor of Grafton several times, and he has been supervisor of his township. During the early days, he served for four years as captain of the militia, and has never been found lacking in public spirit or interest in the furtherance of the welfare of his community.
Miller, John D. - one of the substantial farmers of Mississippi Township, is a well known and respected citizen of Jersey County, and one who stands high in his own community. He was born in his present township, in August, 1875, a son of John D. and Christina (Schaffer) Miller, natives of Wuerrtemberg, Germany. In 1870, the parents located in Mississippi Township, there buying a farm, and there the father died in 1902. After his death, the mother lived on the farm until her death in 1915.
John D. Miller, was reared in his native township and attended its school. Remaining at home he inherited the homestead of 140 acres of land on section 25, when his mother died, but later sold fifty-five acres of it, and now operates eighty acres of the remainder as a general farmer. Five acres of his farm is a valuable apple orchard. Mr. Miller's religious connections are with the German Evangelical Church. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never desired to enter public life, devoting himself to his agricultural duties.Having spent his life in farming, Mr. Miller understands its every detail, and is well fitted for his calling, which recent public events is making one of the most important in the world. In war, unless the armies are fed, victory cannot be reasonably expected, and upon the shoulders of the farmers of a country also rest the responsibilities of raising the food stuffs for the sustenance of men, women and children who cannot this provide for themselves.
Miner, William Kendall - now deceased, was one of the leading men of Jersey County, and during his lifetime owned the largest farm in that part of the state, his homestead being pointed out as a show place to travelers. He was born in Addison County, Vt., February 7, 1803, a son of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Kendall) Miner.
Although he had but few educational advantages, William Kendall Miner was a fine business man and very well informed person. While still a very young man, he was married to Hannah Drury, and after their marriage, they drove overland to Jersey County, where he entered a large tract of raw prairie land in Fidelity Township. He broke and improved his land, and kept on adding to his holdings until he had many acres. Until a short time prior to his death, when he moved to Fidelity, he resided on this farm, with the exception of one year he spent in Vermont. By his first marriage, he had the following children: Rebecca, who is Mrs. William H. Frost; Elizabeth, who is Mrs. G. R. Garretson; Abbie, who is Mrs. William Campbell; William P., who is married to Jane Armstrong; Henry Clay, who lives at Sunnyside, Wash.; and Hannah. All these children but Henry Clay are now deceased. In December, 1839, William K. Miner was married to Molly Anne Solly, born at Philadellphia, Pa., December 7, 1815, a daughter of Robert and Ann (Hoffman) Solly, he born in England, and she at Philadelphia, Pa. By his second marriage, Mr. Miner became the father of the following children: James, who died at the age of four years; Charles Frederick, who is deceased; Mary L., who is Mrs. Richard Holden of Alton, Ill.; Margaret, who is the widow of E. A. Dodge, lives at Jerseyville; Harriet, who died in infancy; Adelia E., who is Mrs. A. F. Ely of Fidelity Township; and Martha Alma, who lives at Alton, Ill. Mr. Miner died March 2, 1870, and his widow died January 29, 1878.
In addition to his Jersey County property, Mr. Miner owned 800 acres of fine timberland near La Crosse, Wis., 320 acres in Clay County, Ill., and 160 acres near Pawnee, Christian County, Ill. Miss Martha Alma Miner inherited a portion of the home farm, but for many years she has lived in Alton, renting her farm. The family one of the most honored in Jersey and other counties, and the hame of Miner stands for integrity and uprightness, and a high standard of morality.
Mitzel, August F. - one of the enterprising business men of Jerseyville, is profitably engaged in the manufacture of soda water, and has built up a very large trade. He was born at St. Louis, Mo., June 22, 1868, a son of Gustave and Walbruga (Schneider) Mitzel, natives of Baden, Germany, who came to United States by way of New Orleans, and settled at St. Louis, Mo., about 1847. The father died during the winter of 1869-70, and his family continued to live at St. Louis. The mother died in 1913, at Festus, Mo., when she was eighty-five years old.
Agust F. Mitzel attended a parochial school in St. Louis, and began to be self supporting when only twelve years old, working in a brick yard for two years. He then went into the steel mills in South St. Louis, and remained there until he left for Festus, Mo., where he learned the soda water manufacturing business. In 1894, he came to Jerseryville, and with his brother-in-law, Fred Schafer, embarked in the manufacture of soda water and all kids of soft drinks. Two years later he bought our his brother-in-law, and has conducted the business alone ever since. He has a large trade at Fidelity, Kane, Nutwood, Rosedale, Otterville, McClusky, Dow, Medora and supplies all of Jerseyville. The quality of his product is of so superior character that it commands excellent prices.
On October 16, 1895, Mr. Mitzel was married to Sarah M. Boyer, born at Bloomsdale, St. Geneveive County, Mo., August 23, 1874, a daughter of Jacob L. and Martha (Boyer) Boyer, born in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Mitzel became the parents of the following children: Frances, who lives at Detroit, Mich.; and Blanche, Marie, Irene, Agnes, Harold, Leona, Pauline, Raymond and Mildred, all of whom are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Mitzel are Catholics. Politically he is a Democrat and served as on oil inspector of Jerseyville for three years. Fraternally he belongs to the Elks, the Western Catholic Union and the Owls.
Morgan, Alfred - who, for many years was a prosperous farmer of Jersey County, owning and operating eighty acres of land, is now a resident of Jerseyville. He was born in England, in June 1842, a son of George and Elizabeth (Morgan) Morgan, both of whom died in England. In 1865, Alfred Morgan came to the United States, having been educated in the excellent public schools of his native land, and spent his two first years in America in Clinton County, Ohio. In 1867 he came to Kane, Ill., where he engaged in farming, and for about five years worked as a farmer by the month, and then assumed charge of the farm owned by a widow named Green. In 1890, Mr. Morgan came to English Township, and bought his present farm of eighty acres of improved land. There he carried on general farming until the spring of 1918, when he had a public sale and moved to Jerseyville, where he bought the E. C. Jewsbury property on West Pearl Street where he now lives. He rented his farm to his son-in-law, who now rents 440 acres of land.
In 1877, Mr. Morgan was married to Anna Huitt, born in Greene County, a daughter of Roland and Meddie Huitt, natives of Greene County. One child, Anna, now Mrs. Sidney Jenkins, of Colorado, was born to this marriage. Mrs. Morgan died in 1878. In 1884, Mr. Morgan was married (second) to Eliza Illger, born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England, a daughter of Robert and Eliza (Illger) Illger. After the death of Mr. Illger, Mrs. Illger was married to William Evison. In 1868, Mrs. Morgan, then a girl, joined her mother at Kane, Ill., and remained with her until her marriage to Mr. Morgan. By his second marriage, Mr. Morgan became the father of the following children: Sarah Matilda, who married Ada Beckner, of English Township; Bertha May, who is at home; Jessie Agnes, who is a clerk in the Smith & Irvin dry goods store at Kane, Ill., and Amy Alberta, who is a teacher in the public school. The family all belong to the Baptist Church. Mr. Morgan is a Democrat and has served as a school director for about fifteen years. He is a man widely and favorably known and stands very high in public confidence.
Mourning, Thomas D. - a general farmer and stockraiser of English Township and one of the large landowners of Jersey County, is a very highly respected citizen. He was born in Lincoln County, Mo., January 28, 1858, a son of William R. and Sally (Barker) Mourning, he born in Virginia and she in Lincoln County, Mo., to which county William R. Mourning was taken in boyhood by his parents. In 1860, owing to sectional feeling, he moved to Calhoun County, Ill., and a few years later came to Jersey County, settling near Rosedale, but finally located in English Township, where he bought land and later died. His children were as follows: Richard, how lives at Jerseyville; Euphrasia, who is deceased; Thomas D.; Jasper, who lives in English Township; Jennie, who is deceased; and James, William and Sarah, who are living on the homestead.
Thomas D. Mourning never received proper educational advantages, but he made the best of his opportunities such as they were. When he was seventeen years old he worked as a farm laborer by the month, and so continued for five years, then rented land and farmed, remaining in English Township for six years. Later he bought eighty acres of land on which were no buildings so he had to erect the necessary ones, and he operates this farm in addition to oneof 240 acres owned by Colonel Fulkerson, and on it he carries on general farming and stockraising.
On October 14, 1885, Mr. Mourning was married to Jennie Kelley, born in Greene County, Ill., a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Seago) Kelley. Mr. and Mrs. Mourning became the parents of the following children: Lovie, who is Mrs. William Fritz, of English Township; Charles and Lester, who live in Jersey Township; Viola, who is Mrs. George Geier, of Montana; Jesse, who is deceased; Florence, who is Mrs. William Waters, of Jersey Township; Lottie and Vita, who are deceased; Russell; and Nettie, Hazel, Lois, Melvin, Ruth and Howard, who are at home. Mr. Mourning belongs to Bethany Baptist Church, of which he is a trustee. In politics he is a Democrat, while fraternally, he belongs to the Kane Camp, M. W. A. and the Protective League, also of Kane. A hardworking, thrifty man, he has honorably earned all he possesses, and has also gained the confidence and respect of his neighbors.
Source: History of Jersey County Illinois, 1919
Edited by Oscar Hamilton
President Jersey County Historical Society, 1919
(Actual Book Pages 497 - 664)(PDF Pages 632 - 799)