Knox County Illinois
Persifer Township History
by Joseph W. Miles
This township is situated in the central part of Knox County, and is drained by Spoon River and Court, North and Sugar Creeks.
Its soil is adapted to grazing and agriculture alike; more or less timber grows in its bottoms and along its streams; and its mineral resources include coal and sandstone. Formerly, the abundance of game was rivaled only by the profusion of wild fruit. Indian legends tell of silver and lead hidden beneath the ground, and some fine specimens of ore have been found along Sugar Creek.
The Santa Fe Railroad runs through Persifer from west to east, along Court Creek, affording a direct outlet for farm products to the Chicago markets.
The present site of Dahinda was once an Indian village, and the poles of their wigwams stood there for years after the arrival of white settlers. There are twenty-five or thirty mounds on the bluffs near by, which contain human bones and are presumably Indian graves. Many arrow-heads and stone axes have been found, and one branch of the Galena Trail passes through the township from north to south, crossing Court Creek at the point where the Appleton bridge now stands.
The Indian chief Shabona once offered to show William Morris a silver mine in the northeastern part of the township, but Mr. Morris was too distrustful to accompany him.
This same William Morris bought the northwestern corner of Section 26, March 10, 1832, and he was probably the first settler in Persifer, and is said to have spent the winter of 1832-33 in a hollow sycamore tree in Spoon River bottoms, just below the Elliott Mill. Nothing is known of him prior to his settlement here. His wife, Ruth Vaughn, came from Kentucky, as did Jesse and Willis Reynolds and Beverly Young. Charles Bradford was born in Maine. He came to Ohio when a young man, and to Illinois in 1834, settling in Persifer Township. He was a descendant of Governor Bradford, of Puritan fame, and lived to be over ninety. Several of his descendants reside near here, among whom are to be found the familiar names of R. C. Benson, E. J. Wyman, Jacob Lorance, and John Spear. On coming here he bought Beverly Young’s claim to the eastern half of the northeast quarter of Section 26, moving into the cabin that had been built by Mr. Young. The next year he acquired the northwestern quarter of Section 27, taking up his residence in a double log house that stood on the northeastern quarter of Section 26.
In 1837 several families came, among them being those of Edmund Russell, Isaac Sherman, G. W. Manley, T. D. Butt, Caleb Reece, John Caldwell, and James Maxey. All of these have many descendants in the county. Persifer also counts the Hon. George W. Prince among her sons; although not a pioneer.
R. W. Miles was, before his decease, honored by the people with many positions of trust; having held several township offices and being twice sent to the Legislature and three times elected a member of the State Board of Equalization. He never betrayed the trust reposed in him.
Mrs. Charles Bradford was buried January 5, 1835, and hers was the first death and burial. She was interred on her husband’s clearing, on Section 26. The first public cemetery was on Section 9, the first burial therein being a son of John Henderson. The first Persifer couple to marry was Charles Bradford and Parmelia Ann Richardson. They were united at Peoria early in the spring of 1838. (if this was the first marriage, the date is incorrect in this writing.) The next marriage in the township, of which any record has been preserved, was that of Harvey Stetson Bradford and Hester Whitton. They were joined in matrimony October 24, 1836, at the home of Charles Bradford. Rev. Mr. Bartlett, a Baptist minister from Knoxville, performed the ceremony. R. C. Benson and Sarah Bradford were the next couple to become man and wife, January 5, 1837. They have been not infrequently mentioned as the first couple married. The first birth was to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Reynolds—a daughter.
The State road through Trenton and Knoxville was built in the fall of 1838. T. D. Butt, Caleb Reece, and John Coleman were Commissioners. The first stage road ran past the Manley and Miles farms and through Trenton, crossing neither hill nor bridge from Knoxville to Spoon River. The Victoria post road was also laid very early. The first iron bridge was built in 1875, where the present Appleton bridge now stands. That structure was replaced in 1892 by a larger one. There are now several good iron bridges, including a new one at Dahinda.
The first land plowed in the township was a six-acre tract in the southeast quarter of the northeastern portion of Section 26. The first crops were of wheat and oats, William Morris raising the wheat and threshing it by horse power.
Persifer boasts the first mill in Knox County. It was built by Robert Hendrix in 1834, on Court Creek, just above where the Knoxville and Victoria road crosses, in Section 19. It did not contain a single piece of sawed timber. Only corn was ground at first, but subsequently wheat also was run through the stones. Later it was transformed into a saw mill, and was finally swept away by a flood in 1851. The next structure of this description built was the Elliott mill, at the mouth of Court Creek, on Spoon River. It was put up in 1840, by Mr. McKee. It was originally designed for sawing logs, but was afterwards made into a flouring mill, and was for more than twenty years one of the most important in the county. It was torn down in 1881. The third in the township was built by Charles Haptonstall, about 1848. It stood on Court Creek, about half a mile above the present Appleton bridge. Only corn and buckwheat were ground. The edifice was not substantial, and remained standing but a few years.
The first church building was Bethel Chapel, built in 1863 on Section 30, and costing eighteen hundred dollars. There are now five churches. Those at Bethel and Maxey are Methodist; those at Mound and Persifer are of the United Brethren denomination and at Dahinda there is a Mormon Church, of which mention is made below. Rev. S. S. Miles preached the first sermon, in the house of Charles Bradford, in June, 1836, and organized the first Sunday school at the same place in 1838. There are now six Sunday schools in the township, one at each of the churches and one at the Town Hall at Appleton.
The first school of which any mention is made was taught by Mary Ann Long, in a cabin one-fourth of a mile south of Bethel Church, about 1839. It was supported by subscription. The first school house was built of logs, about 1841, and stood on the Wilson and Caldwell farms, on Section 30. Who taught the first public school is an unsettled question. Some give John McIntosh the honor of being the pioneer teacher, while others confer it upon Curtis Edgarton. James and George McPherrin, Neptin, Lucinda and Mary Russell, Charles Butt, Jacob Brunk and John Hearn were pupils.
The township was divided into school districts January 10, 1846, and there are now nine good frame school houses, valued at about $6,500, in which two hundred and fourteen pupils are taught. None of the schools are graded.
The first post office was established about 1847, and was named by the people in honor of General Persifer Frazer Smith. Charles Bradford was the first postmaster, and the office was in his home, on Section 27. When the township was organized, it took the name of the post office.
The first house is supposed to have been a log cabin on the Morris farm, which was burned soon after it was built. T. D. Butt erected the first structure intended for a tavern as well as dwelling, in 1837. It stood on Section 29, and was for several years a stopping place for travelers. The first house weather-boarded and painted white was the Easley house on Section 30. The first frame house was either that of Captain Taylor in Trenton, or of Edmund Russell on Section 31. The Taylor house was of native white pine, sawed at the Elliott mill and is still standing. The Russell home was built from hewed hardwood, and was burned about 1886. Both were constructed about 1841. James M. Maxey built the first brick house in 1851, making his own brick. It is still standing on Section 4, but is not used as a dwelling.
George W. Manley was the first Justice of the Peace. The first town officers, elected April 5, 1853, were: G. W. Manley, Supervisor; Richard Daniel, Clerk; James McCord, Assessor; William T. Butt, Collector; Wilson Pearce, Overseer of the Poor; Francis Wilson, Caleb Reece and David Cobb, Highway Commissioners; R. W. Miles and Thomas Patton, Justices; L. A. Parkins and David Russell, Constables. G. W. Manley was moderator, and Richard Daniel clerk, of this election.
The present township officers are: J. R. Young, Supervisor; N. C. Dawson, Clerk; C. I. Butt, Assessor; John E. Gibson, Collector; J. C. Montgomery, Jacob Lorance and Ole Olson, Highway Commissioners; O. P. Gates and David Russell, Justices of the Peace; Jerry Wallack and J.J. Patton, Constables; J. J. Patton, G. W. Butt, and Jacob Lorance, School Trustees; O. P. Gates, School Treasurer.
The township furnished one soldier to the Mexican War, Edward Thorp, and a large number of men from Persifer volunteered during the War of the Rebellion. The following is a list of those who entered the army, some of whom, however, were credited to other places: S. C. Arie, H. Benson, H. K. Benson, Anthony Blair, William Bolden, Winslow H. Bradford, Albert Bullard, E. Bullard, D. W. Butt, G. W. Butt, S. M. Butt, Thomas Wesley Butt, Drury Dalton, James Daniel, William Daniel, Washington Dilley, Peter F. Dillon, Milton Dipper, James A. Donnelly, Jefferson W. Donnelly, Hiram Elliott, James Elliott, Warren Elliott, T. B. Farquer, Theophilus Farquer, Daniel Flood, Benjamin Flynn, William Flynn, Alfred Gardner, T. J. Gordon, J. D. Green, Samuel Gullett, Charles Haptenstall, J. Haptenstall, William Haptenstall, William S. Henderson, J. A. Irving, Samuel Kite, J. Lutkieweicz, James McDowell, William B. McElwain, S. J. Maxey, George Miranda, J. F. Mire, Richard F. Mire, Alexander Mitchell, Levan Parkins, J. H. Patton, Samuel F. Patton, Theodore Perkins, Edwin Phillips, E. A. Pratt, Alfred Russell, Warren Russell, William Russell, W. G. Sargeant , Alfred Spidle, DeWitt C. Standiford, Samuel Strine, John Sutherland, Jacob Wallack , James O. Wallack, James Warrensford, Green White, Isaac Wilhelm, Benjamin F. Wills, Arthur Wyman, and N. Zimmerman.
The veterans now living in Persifer are: Frank Beamer, G W. Butts, Silas Berkshire, William Dalton, George England, T. B. Farquer, Alfred Gardner, Jacob La Folplette, David Ramp, Jerry Syler, William G. Sargeant, Simeon Temple, James Warrensford, and Jerry Wallack.
Charles Clark was the only volunteer during the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Trenton was laid out on the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 25, on July 30, 1839 by Hiram Bowman. It once contained a grocery, a small pottery and brick yard, and a tavern. There are now two dwellings on the site.
The village was laid out by the Hon. J. H. Lewis in the spring of 1888, on the southeast quarter of Section 16. Mills Voris was the surveyor. It contains a freight and express office, two stores, a grain elevator, a blacksmith shop, a carpenter shop, a lumber yard, and nine dwellings. E. J. Steffin is postmaster. Persifer Town Hall, which cost over six hundred dollars, is here. Some grain and a large quantity of stock are shipped from here annually. During the last year, W. H. McElwain shipped more than fifty cars of hogs.
This place was laid out in the summer of 1888, by the Santa Fe Town and Land Company. It is held in the name of the president of that company and contains 47.74 acres. It stands on the northwest quarter of Section 24. It contains a freight and express office, two stores, a blacksmith shop, a grain elevator, and twenty-five dwellings, one of which is a boarding house. The railroad has a pump house and tank, and a fine bridge over Spoon River. R. J. Bedford is the village doctor and William G. Sargeant is postmaster and notary. There is a good school house, and a Mormon Church, dedicated in 1896 under the name of “The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” D. C. Smith is the minister and leading man of this organization.
Persifer Township Biographies
George Stevens -- John Wyman -- Austin Adams -- Peter Anderson -- Christopher Columbus Dawson -- Alfred Gardner -- Joshua Gullett -- John F. Hinthorn -- Joseph W. Miles -- Rufus W. Miles -- Samuel Sutherland -- William Alexander Sutherland -- Francis M. Wilson -- Arthur Wyman -- Edward J. Wyman -- John R. Young -- Robert Lincoln Young
his early life was one of roving and adventure. He was born in Philadelphia, and was but a small lad when he ran away from home and went by sailing vessel to New Orleans, where he was taken sick and went to the hospital. An old gentleman conceived a friendly interest for the young adventurer, and took him to his home, but the roving spirit was too strong, and young Stevens left his kind-hearted friends and went into Mexico, where he herded sheep. He went from Mexico to California in 1849, and then to Denver, Colorado, where he worked in a saw and flour mill for D. C. Oakes. He afterwards went to Leadville with Isaac N. Rafferty and engaged in gold mining. They remained there only about two months, during which time they secured about $24,000 in gold, which they took to the mint in Philadelphia and had made into coin.
Mr. Stevens made and lost several fortunes; and returning to Denver, he engaged in the real estate and brokerage business. He returned east to Madison County, Ohio, where his former partner, Mr. Rafferty, resided, and when Mr. Rafferty came to Illinois to be married, Mr. Stevens came with him, and in 1860, bought the old Robinson White farm in Persifer Township, Section 28. The farm comprised 470 acres and Mr. Stevens leased it for five years. He then went to Nevada where he became a successful mine operator, at one time employing six hundred men. He made three trips to California on horseback, riding a famous Indian pony, “Mitchell,” purchased from the Indians. The pony reached the age of 37 years.
Mr. Stevens was an excellent business man, and bought and sold much stock and real estate; at the time of his death he owned 1,257 acres of land. On account of his physical and mental endowments he was a leader among men, and his sterling, manly qualities were quickly recognized by western people. He was a famous athlete, and among the Indians and frontiersmen, many stories were told of his feats in jumping and running. He was a personal friend of the famous Kit Carson, and later was one of the dashing and daring riders of the ‘Pony Express’. His character was active, honest, straightforward and open-hearted.
Mr. Stevens was married to Hannah P. Rafferty in Galesburg, IL. Six of their children are now living: Lucinda B., wife of Jacob DeBolt; George W.; Mary V., wife of George K. Sherman of Knoxville; Eleanor E., wife of Geortz West of Galesburg; John B., and Milo A.
Mrs. Stevens was a daughter of William B. and Susanna (Denny) Rafferty of Abingdon, who came to Illinois when Mrs. Stevens was fourteen years of age. Since she was thirteen years of age she has been a member of the Christian Church.
In politics Mr. Stevens was a democrat, and he was ever interested and well posted in national affairs. He died March 26, 1897. [back]
Son of Arthur and Anna Salts Wyman, was born in Vinton County, Ohio, July 25, 1830. He received a common school education. His father was a native of New York State. His maternal grandfather was Edward.
Mr. Wyman came to Persifer Township, Knox County, Illinois, when twenty-four years of age. He was a single man, and began life on a small scale when he arrived in Illinois, he had as capital $210 in cash, with which he bought stock and grazed and fed them. Prospering in this undertaking, he soon after purchased eighty acres of land. He was in debt, but was possessed with energy which insures success. He was soon able to discharge all his indebtedness, and to engage in larger business enterprises. He bought more stock, and purchased more land so that at one time he owned not less than twelve hundred acres. If Mr. Wyman now possesses less land than formerly, it is because he has adopted the plan of giving a farm to each of his sons. Mr. Wyman is a wealthy man, a generous and kind-hearted father. These qualities of mind and of heart are as clearly exhibited in the wider relations of life as in those of the family. He is a good counselor, a trusted friend, a kind neighbor, and is always ready to extend a helping hand to the unfortunate and the distressed. Honest in his dealings with his fellowmen. he has made it clear to those who know him that wealth may be accumulated with taint of dishonor; that a strong purpose aided by integrity, economy, and perseverance, is still the most potent factor in securing the double harvest of life -- material prosperity and a noble manhood.
Mr. Wyman was married to Hannah, daughter of Daniel Taylor, December 22, 1854. She died April 08, 1864; there were three children; Henry, who married Lovina Montgomery; Charles, who married Effie Wilson; and Eunice Ann, the wife of Edward Russell.
On October 17, he married, at Knoxville, Illinois, Katharine, daughter, of Frederick and Eliza Hammond Mundwiler. Three children were born to them: Eliza, wife of Guy Manley; Arthur, who married Fannie Farquer; and Ida J., wife of Harvey England. Mrs. Wyman's father was born in York Cou7nty, Pennsylvania; her mother was a native of Franklin County, in the same state; they came to Knox County, Illinois when Mrs. Wyman was twenty years of age.
Mr. Wyman is a republican. He has not sought office; but for many years served his township in the capacity of Road Commissioner, and his influence in town affairs has been extensive and valuable. [back]
Farmer; Persifer Township' born October 03, 1868, in Elba Township, Knox County, Illinois. His Father, Ziba Adams, and his mother Delia Gullet, were natives of Ohio. He received his education in Elba Township and in Galesburg. Mr. Adams was married to Susie Rafferty, March 15, 1899, at Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Adam's father came from Ohio to Knox County about 1846, and settled in Persifer Township, and later removed to Elba Township. In early life he worked on a farm and in 1892, began farming for himself in Persifer Township. Mr. Adams has those habits of industry and economy which are at once the prerequisites and the harbingers of success. In religious belief, Mr. Adams is a Methodist. He is a democrat. [back]
Farmer; Persifer township; born in Sweden in 1844, where he was educated. His parents were Andrew and Mary Olson Anderson, of Sweden. He was married December, 1889, in Marshall county, Illinois, to Elizabeth Carr, daughter of Edwin and Catherine Foster Carr, of Ohio. Their children are: Christine Mable and Paul E. Mr. Anderson came from Sweden in 1869 and began as a farm hand near Knoxville, Illinois. With his earnings he bought a farm in 1888, and by energy and economy established himself near Dahinda and became a prosperous farmer. Mr. Anderson was a member of the Lutheran Church. In politics, he was a republican. He died July 24, 1899. [back]
Christopher Columbus Dawson
Farmer; Persifer Township; born Aug. 25, 1846 in Ohio. Educated in Knox County. His parents were James and Margaret (Claypole) Dawson of Ohio.
Mr. Dawson was married to Elletta Corbin in 1869, in Persifer Township. Their children are: Leon Lewis; Joseph Rollie; James Albert; Charles Wilbert; Nellie Alvida; Etta May; Jasper Winfield; and Harley, an infant, deceased.
Mr. Dawson’s parents came to Knox Co. when he was 8 years of age, and settled on a farm, where they lived until the death of his mother. His father then sold out and went to Kansas, where he died.
Mr. Dawson remained in Knox Co., and still lives on his farm near Dahinda. His family are at home with the exception of one son, Lewis, who married and is farming elsewhere. Mr. Dawson is a democrat and has been a School Director. [back]
Farmer; Persifer Township; born July 18, 1839, in Ohio, educated in Knox County, Illinois. His father, Alfred Gardner, was born in New York State; his mother, Jane Collins Gardner, was a native of Ohio; his grandfather, Caleb Gardner. was born in the state of New York; his grandmother's name was Lydia Thurston; his maternal grandfather, John Collins, was a native of Virginia, and his maternal grandmother, Beca Ennas, was also a native of Virginia. The Gardner family came from Ohio to Knox County when Alfred was three months old, and settled on a farm in Persifer Township. In 1862, Mr. Gardner enlisted in Company H. One hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving till the close of the war. He was with Sherman's army and took part in all the battles in which the regiment was engaged. He endured many hardships, and his health was impaired that he has never fully recovered; he draws a pension. Mr. Gardner was married to Sarah E. Lorance, November 03, 1855, in Iowa. Thirteen children have been born to them: Alfred, Isaac H., Eliza Jane, and Jacob H., deceased; Sherman; Martha H.; Charlie; Albert; Mary; Benjamin; Leonard; Verner; and Lorance. Mr. Gardner is a Protestant. In politics, he is a republican. [back]
Farmer and blacksmith; Persifer Township; born June 12, 1823, in Putnam County, Indiana; educated in Indiana and North Carolina. His parents were Joshua Gullett, from Delaware, and Barbara Housh Gullett from Germany; his paternal grandparents were Joshua Gullett, of Ireland, and Elizabeth Barnes Gullett, of Nantucket, Massachusetts; His maternal grandparents were Adam and Becka Housh, of Germany. Mr. Gullett was married to Deliah Upton, in North Carolina in 1849. Their Children are William, deceased; Barbarian; and Mary Marlish, deceased. The grandfather of Mr. Gullett fought in the Revolution. His parents were married in Indiana and came to Illinois in 1839; the father died in 1880. Mr. Gullett retained part of the homestead, and has increased its area by purchase. He is a blacksmith by trade, and has a shop on his farm. He is one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Persifer Township. Mr. Gullett is a democrat. [back]
John F. Hinthorn
Station Agent at Dahinda, Persifer Township, Knox County; was born in McLean Co., IL. June 3, 1858. His parents, Silas James and Rachel (Lindsey) Hinthorn, were married in Fulton Co, IL., and began their married life in McLean Co, on a farm where his father had lived from childhood. To them were born two sons, the younger dying in infancy. When about three years of age his mother was taken sick with quick consumption, and the family removed to Fulton Co., to her father’s, where she died after an illness of about six months. His father returned to McLean County, leaving John F. with his grandparents, Reuben Lindsey and wife. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil War, his father enlisted in one of the volunteer companies then being organized in Bloomington, IL., and served about three years, nearly all of which time he was in active service, without having received a wound. He lived in McLean, Woodford, and Tazewell counties until his death near Peoria in April 1899, at the age of 66 years.
John F. Hinthorn remained with his grandparents near Vermont, IL.--Fulton co., until 18 years of age, when he went to Bushill, IL. and learned the trade of harness-making, at which he worked until 1882. He then studied telegraphy and station agency on the Wabash, St. Louis and Peoria Railroad, at Waverly, IL., where he worked for five years, finally leaving the service of that company at Grafton, IL. He immediately went to Kansas and accepted a like position with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, working at various places until Feb. 1888, when he accepted a similar position at the company’s station at Dahinda, IL., where he is still employed.
Mr. Hinthorn was married to Asenath Booth at Knoxville, IL, Nov. 1, 1885. They have two children: James E. and Clinton B. Mrs. Asenath Hinthorn was born and reared in Knoxville, IL. Her father, Edwin Booth, was born in Connecticut, Feb 26, 1810, and died Nov. 25, 1885. Her mother, Nancy (Fuller) Booth, was born in New York State, July 10, 1819, and died Feb. 8, 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Booth were married in the East and moved to Illinois at a comparatively early day, finally settling in Knoxville, where they resided until their death. They had three children, Asenath being the youngest. She is a woman of true Christian character, a faithful wife and devoted mother. Mr. and Mrs. Hinthorn are especially interested in church and Sunday school work, and are members of the Methodist Church, Mr. Hinthorn being Superintendent of the Sunday school. In politics, Mr. Hinthorn is a prohibitionist. [back]
Joseph W. Miles
Farmer; Persifer Township, where he was born March 6, 1864; educated in the common schools and at Knox College. His parents were Rufus W. Miles, of Newark, Ohio, and Mary Jane (Bruce) Miles, of Wallingford, Vermont. His paternal grandparents were Rev. Solomon S. Miles, born in Belpre, Ohio, in 1794, and Eliza Ann (Gilmore) Miles, of Rutland, Vermont; his maternal grandparents were Silas and Hannah D. (Scott) Bruce of Vermont; his paternal great-grandparents were Captain Benjamin and Hannah (Buckminster) Miles of Massachusetts, the former of Rutland.
Mr. Joseph Miles was married in Persifer Township, Section 28, Sept. 6, 1896, to Mary E. Derham. Their two children are deceased. [back]
Rufus W. Miles
Farmer; born Sept. 21, 1822, at Newark, Ohio; educated in the common schools of Ohio, and at Knox College, Galesburg, IL. His parents were Rev. S. S. Miles of Belpre, Ohio and Eliza Ann (Gilmore) Miles of Rutland, Vermont. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin and Hannah (Buckminster) Miles of Massachusetts, the former of Rutland. His maternal grandfather was John Gilmore; his paternal great-grandparents were Captain Benjamin Miles and Mary (Hubbard) Miles of Concord, MA.
Rufus W. Miles came to Illinois in 1836, when fourteen years old. He crossed the plains in 1850, returning in 1851 by way of Panama and New York.
Mr. Miles was married near Knoxville Jan. 18, 1849, to Mary J. Bruce. Their children are: Lucy W., Hannah E., Emma M., James H., Rufus H., Joseph W., and M. Jennie.
Mr. Miles was a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he was a republican, and during the last forty years of his life he was almost constantly in public office. The public service that he liked best to remember was that rendered as a member of the building committee of the Knox County Alms House. [back]
Farmer; Persifer Township; born Jan. 14, 1839 in Athens Co, OH. His father, Alexander Sutherland, was born in Washington Co, PA; his mother, Harriet Leeper, was born in the same State; his grandfather, John Sutherland, was a native of Glasgow, Scotland; his grandmother was a native of Maryland; his maternal grandfather, Samuel Leeper, and his maternal grandmother, Ann Evert, were natives of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Sutherland was married to Anna E. Diefenderfer in 1859, at Knoxville, IL.; they have eleven children: William Alexander, Alpheus J., Ulysses, Frank, Victoria, Romane, Ellen Jane, George S., Claude W., Anna Myrtle, and Ivy Glenn.
Mr. Sutherland was educated in Pennsylvania. His father, Alexander, came with his family from PA. to Knox Co, IL, in April 1852, and settled on a farm in Persifer Township. Samuel went to California, and in three years he accumulated sufficient means to purchase the farm on which his father first located, after which his father and mother came to live with him. His father died in 1870; his mother is still living at the age of 86 years, being at this time the oldest person in the township.
A poor boy, Mr. Sutherland began life by working by the month, and through persistent energy and economy, has become one of the most prosperous farmers in Knox County. In politics he is a republican and has held the office of Assessor, Collector, Constable, Commissioner of Highways, Trustee of Schools, and is at present School Director in District No. 2. [back]
William Alexander Sutherland
Farmer; Persifer Township; born Oct. 19, 1859 in Truro Township, IL. His father, Samuel Sutherland, was born in Athens Co, OH; his mother, Ann Elizabeth (Diefenderfer) Sutherland, was born in Union Co, PA; his grandparents, Alexander and Harriet (Leeper) Sutherland, were natives of PA, the latter of Washington County. John Sutherland, the great-grandfather of William Alexander, was born in Glasgow, Scotland; his great-grandmother was Susan Norris.
Mr. Sutherland was married to Emma Prosser July 2, 1884 in Stark Co, IL. Two children have been born to them: Charlotte I., deceased; and Fern.
John Prosser, the father of Mrs. Sutherland, was born in England; her mother, Elizabeth Prosser, was a native of PA.
Mr. W. A. Sutherland began life for himself at the age of nineteen years, and found employment in Stark County. He attended school for several winters and obtained a good common school education.
Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland removed to Knox County in the fall of 1884, having saved enough money while working by the month to make a payment on his farm in Persifer Township, upon which he now lives.
Mr. Sutherland has shown much interest in the progress of Persifer Township, and has held the office of Township Clerk for eight years with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow townsmen. He is a member of the Masonic order, and has attained the degree of Chapter Mason; he is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Sutherland is a man of energy and push, and with the assistance of an economical wife, has paid for his farm under adverse conditions. In politics he is a republican. [back]
Francis M. Wilson
Farmer and stockbreeder; Persifer Township; born on the home, which he now owns, September 01, 1849; educated in Galesburg. His father, Francis Wilson, was twice married; first , to Nancy McPherrin; the second marriage was with Elisabeth McPherrin, both of whom were born in Ohio. Of the first marriage there were three children; George W., Thomas and Elizabeth. His first wife died January 03, 1838. Mr. Wilson has seven children by his second wife: John; James A.,; Francis M.; Drucilla J., and Mary ., deceased. The mother died August 15, 1882. Mr. F. M. Wilson was married to Clara A. Thomas, in Kansas, January 13, 1886. There were four children: Ella, who died in her ninth year; F., Earle: Harley R., and Nellie M. Mrs. Wilson's father, William Thomas, was born in Warren County, Indiana, in 1836, and was educated in the common schools. He married Elizabeth Odell, of his native country; there were nine children: Adeline, James, Clara A., Julia, Maryette, Harry, Edward, Franklin, Myrtle. Both parents are now living in Kansas. Mr. Wilson's family came to Knox County in 1836, and settled in Persifer Township in 1838. The ancestry of the family is Scotch-Irish and Welsh. Mr. Wilson is one of the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he is a democrat. [back]
Farmer; Persifer Township, where he was born October 02, 1870; educated in the common schools. He was married to Fannie Farquer, July 27, 1893, in Knox County; they have three children; Clana Gertrude, Earl G., and Lena. His father, John Wyman, was born in Ohio; his mother's name was Katharine Mundwiler. Mr. Arthur Wyman's father came to Knox County, Illinois, from Ohio when a young man. He had a scant savings from wages at thirteen dollars a month while working Ohio. by hard work, careful management, and strict economy, he has become the possessor of several farms and much stock. He has six children, and to each of his sons, as they settle in life, he gives a farm provided with the necessary equipments. Mr. Arthur Wyman has one hundred and sixty acres of land; he is a successful farmer and interested in progress of the community in which he lives. In politics, Mr. Wyman is a republican, and was for some time a school Director. [back]
Edward J. Wyman
Farmer; Persifer Township; born January 10, 1833, in Vinton County, Ohio, where he was educated. His paternal grandfather, John Wyman, was a native of New York and died in Ohio in 1839, at the age of seventy-six. His father, Arthur Wyman, was born February 05, 1807, and came from Steuben County, New York; his mother Anna Salts, born June 01, 1807, was a native of Ross County, Ohio. Arthur Wyman came to Knox county with his family of nine children in 1853. They sailed down the Ohio River from Pomeroy, Ohio, and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Peoria and thence by wagon to the Knox County, where he bought three hundred and twenty acres of land. He was one of the United Brethren, and was instrumental in building the first log school in the district. He died in 1876; his wife died January 10, 1884. Edward J. Wyman was reared in Persifer Township. He has added to his first purchase of eighty acres of land and now owns five hundred and forty-nine acres. February 04, 1858, in Stark County, he was married to Susan Elizabeth Bradford. Six of their children attained maturity: Mrs. Mary A. Eiker, deceased; Mrs. Alice Steffen; William L.; Minerva J.; Clark E.; Rufus C. Mrs Wyman's Father, Harvey Bradford, was born in Maine, September 27, 1809, and was the son of Charles and Elizabeth Brown Bradford, who were active abolitionists and came to Illinois in 1833. Charles and his son, Harvey S., were highly respected in the community. Mrs. Wyman has held the office of School Treasurer for Two years. The Bradford's were descendants of Governor William Bradford, of the Mayflower. In religion, Mr. Wyman belongs to the United Brethren. In politics, he is a republican, and has held numerous local offices, including that of Supervisor for seven years, Constable eight years and Treasurer thirteen years. He has been Director and Trustee almost continually. [back]
John R. Young
Farmer; Persifer Township; son of Robert Young; born May 23, 1852, on the Young homestead, Section 30, Persifer Township; educated at the Knoxville High School and Hedding College. He married Samantha Lotts, in Haw Creek Township, December 08, 1875; there were four children: Earl L., John R. Trella W. and Merrill. May 10, 1889, his first wife died. November 03, 1891, he married Mary A., daughter of George England; two children were born to them: Leon D. and an infant daughter. Mr. Young's college education did not unfit him for farm work, and knowing that he could make a success of farming, he chose that as his life work. He has made a success, beginning in a small way, and now owns four hundred and sixteen acres in Persifer Township, three hundred and seventy-five acres being in one tract and well improved. He is a progressive farmer. He has educated his children; his two oldest sons, Earl L. and John R. graduated a the Knoxville High School, the former teaching his first school in the winter of 1898 and 1899. Mr. Young is a republican in Politics, and has been supervisor ten years. He filled the office of Road Commissioner from 1885 to 1888, and in 1888, was elected Assessor. On the Board of Supervisors, he has been chairman of the Road and Bridge Committee since 1894, and has rendered valuable services to the county. Mr. Young is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the A. F. and A. M. Gilson Lodge, No. 3161. [back]
Robert Lincoln Young
Farmer; Persifer Township, where he was born November 14, 1863. He was educated in Knox County. His father, Robert Young, was born in Warren County, Ohio, and his mother, Mary Fowler Johnston Young, was a native of Claremont County, Ohio. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Young was born in Germany; his grandmother, Elizabeth Young, was born in Philadelphia; his maternal grandfather, Edward C. Johnston, came from New Jersey. His maternal grandmother, Hannah Fowler Rusling Johnston, was a native of England. Mr. Robert L. Young was married to Emma E. England, September 17, 1890. They have one child, Harold Ewart. The parents of Mr. Young moved from Ohio to Knox County, Illinois, in 1844, and settled on the farm where they now live. Through energy and economy they have accumulated a large estate. Mr. Young now lives on the farm with his father, and is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. In addition, he cultivates a valuable farm of his own, consisting of two hundred and sixty-eight acres of land. Mr. Young has always taken much interest in the welfare of the township. In early life he taught in its schools and has later held the offices of Highway Commissioner, School Treasurer and School Director, the later office he is now holding for the fifth year. Mr. Young is member of the Methodist Church. In politics, he is a republican. [back]
Truro Township History
By L. J. Baird
Next to Persifer, this is the roughest township in Knox County. Spoon River enters it in Section 12 and flows out from Section 31, winding through it for fifteen or sixteen miles and touching sixteen sections. This river and its branches, which liberally water Truro, pass through timber lands which formerly extended over half the township. Of late years, however, this timber has been gradually disappearing, the land on which it stood having been converted into almost treeless pastures, which have proved a source of greater profit. North of Spoon River, the land is mostly rolling; on the south stretches a level, fertile prairie. About one-sixth of the township is under-laid with a good quality of coal, which, with the timber, affords an excellent supply of fuel.
The first settlement was made on Section 19, in 1832 by John Dill. The first birth was that of Andrew Dill in 1833. During that year Rev. John Cummings performed the first marriage ceremony, uniting Jake Ryan and Miss Stambaugh. In 1832, within Section 30, Malon Winans, a United States mail carrier, was drowned while attempting to swim Spoon River with a mail bag strapped to his back. This was the first death. Within this same section, in 1834, John Coleman started a ferry across Spoon River, at a point which was long known as Coleman’s Ferry, but afterwards came to be called Trenton. Here the first post office was established, during the same year.
On the northwest quarter of Section 31, the first white settlers found a number of Indian graves. Logs had been split into halves and hollowed out for coffins, and these were placed in the forks of trees, from ten to fifteen feet above the ground, where they rested, with their ghastly human skeletons projecting above their tops. In 1836, the pioneers took them down and gave them “white man’s burial.”
In 1834, Rev. John Cummings preached the first sermon at the home of Widow Lambert, on Section 31. The first school house was built in 1848, on Section 33. There are now seven frame school houses, valued at about seven thousand, five hundred dollars. Of the four hundred and forty-seven persons under the age of twenty-one, two hundred and seventy-three attend the public schools, one of which is graded.
Rensselaer Johnson was the first Justice of the Peace.
April 5, 1853, the township was organized. The first election of officers resulted in the choice of the following persons: Augustus Lapham, Supervisor; J. P. Cadwell, Clerk; Benjamin Sweat, Assessor; Levi Seward, Collector; Thomas Ross, Overseer of the Poor; Thomas Crawford, Luther Rice and Joseph Wilder, Highway Commissioners; Thomas Ross and Joseph Oberholtzer, Justices of the Peace.
The population in 1860 was seven hundred and thirteen; in 1870, eight hundred and ninety-nine; in 1880, seven hundred and seventeen; in 1890, eight hundred and sixty-five; and at present it is estimated at eleven hundred.
Truro Township is inhabited by prosperous farmers. The land is well tilled, and dotting the pastures are herds of well-bred hogs, horses, sheep and cattle. The farms are fairly well improved, and the people contented and happy.
The population is composed chiefly of American born citizens of English, Irish, Scotch, and Swedish ancestry. The hardy pioneers are fast passing away, but they have left energetic and intelligent descendants. Although thus sprung from various stocks, they are all intensely American in their patriotism. Adorning the walls of their homes are to be found not only the portraits of the heroes of their Fatherland, of whom they are justly proud, but also those of Washington, Lincoln, and other eminent Americans, who hold no second place in their affections.
Here also is found a generous religious tolerance, Protestant and Catholic joining in advancing charitable and educational enterprises. In such perfect assimilation of different nationalities, and in such broad charity in the matter of religious faith as are found here, lies one of the strongest guarantees of the future grandeur and perpetuity of our country.
Until 1887, Truro was without a railway. During that year the main line of the Santa Fe was laid across the township, and on April 24, 1888, Williamsfield was laid out by E. B. Purcell on Section 23. Later, Galesburg capitalists interested themselves in the project, and promoted it with so much vigor that within twelve years the new town has become one of the most prosperous in the county and now boasts about five hundred inhabitants. There is a graded school, employing from three to four teachers since the completion of the school building in 1890.
A Methodist Church was erected early in 1890, and dedicated on the first day of June of that year. It is a substantial structure, and the denomination has a fair membership. Two years later, the Catholics erected an attractive house of worship.
Since 1890 Williamsfield has had a bank and a printing office, both of which started in business on January 22 of that year. The Bank of Williamsfield (a private institution) was opened by L. J. Baird and Company. David Cation is its Cashier. The Williamsfield Times, an independent weekly, was established as has been said, in 1890. Its founder was C. D. Benfield. In October 1890, the building in which the Times was located was burned, and Mr. Benfield lost his entire outfit. The subscription list of the paper was purchased by Momeny and Benson, and in a few months they were enabled to continue the publication. Later, they dissolved partnership, and J. M. Momeny assumed control of the paper. In the fall of 1892, S. E. Boggess leased the plant from Mr. Momeny, and in April 1893, it passed into the hands of its present owner, M. Hugh Irish.
Various lines of mercantile business are well represented, there being four general stores, two hardware stores, two meat markets, two lumber yards, one furniture and undertaking establishment, two restaurants, a livery and feed barn, two barber shops, a blacksmith shop, and dry goods and millinery stores. It has also two grain elevators, and has always been a great center for the shipment of grain and live stock. In fact, in these respects, Williamsfield is surpassed by but few points in the State.
The societies of the village are named below:
Grand Army of the Republic: instituted July 22, 1890 by Dr. Lambert, of Galesburg, assisted by comrades from Elmwood and Yates City, with a membership of thirteen. Named the George W. Parker Post, in memory of a deceased soldier from this township. John Cole, M. D., was the first Commander. For three years the Post met in Tucker’s Hall, when the Odd Fellows tendered them their lodge room, free of rent, as their future home. Present membership, twenty-three. Comrades who have died since the institution are Samuel Tucker and Frank Reinboldt.
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 779. Organized April 15, 1890. Meet in a commodious hall over the bank. Membership, sixty. All the organizations named below also hold their meetings at the same place.
Degree of Rebekah. Organized September 12, 1895. Membership thirty-eight.
Knights of Pythias. Organized May 15, 1895. Membership fifty-five.
Order of Eastern Star. Organized July 1895. Membership twenty-five.
Modern Woodmen of America. Organized June 1894, with seventeen members. Present membership thirty-two.
Truro Township Biographies
Anthony Seward -- Ezra W. Tucker -- John M. Baird -- Leroy Joseph Baird -- David Cation -- William Cation -- Fred G. Cole -- I. Frank Cole -- Joseph Daniel Doubet -- C.H. Eastman -- James Gale -- Henry German -- Albert Leng -- John Mackey, Jr -- Ezekiel D. Mackie -- James Mahar -- W.M. Phillips -- Manley Smith -- Charles Spencer -- Henry C. Tucker -- John Allen Tucker -- Michael Welsh
son of Samuel S. and Sarah A. (Caldwell) Seward, was born in Knox Township, Knox Co, IL., Oct. 12, 1848. His father was born in Broome Co, NY in 1826. His grandparents were Orin and Mehetabel (Livermore) Seward, who were pioneers in Knox County.
Samuel S. Seward attended the pioneer schools and assisted his father on the farm. In the summer of 1862 he enlisted in the Union army, serving until June 1865; he was with Sherman’s army in its march through Georgia, marching from Atlanta, Georgia to Savannah, and thence through the Carolinas to the city of Washington, taking part in the grand review of the army at the close of the war; he was mustered out of service at Chicago, IL.
He married Sarah A., daughter of John P. and Mary (Porter) A. Caldwell. After his marriage he located on a farm in Truro Township, but in a few years he disposed of this farm and, after renting land for a time, bought a farm on Section 16. In 1882 he left his son Anthony in charge of the farm in Truro Township and settled on a farm in Cedar County, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Seward had six children: Anthony; John M.; Sophronia (deceased); William H.; Sarah; and Albert Marion.
Anthony Seward was married in Knox County, March 17, 1868, to Margaret M. Daniels, who was born in Richland Co, OH., Dec. 24, 1851. Four children have been born to them: Chloe P., Ellen Viola, Lucius, and Ella. After his marriage, Mr. Seward settled upon his father’s farm, of which he assumed complete control in 1882.
Mr. Seward was educated in the common schools of Truro Township. He is a farmer and grain dealer. In politics he is a republican, in religious belief a Methodist. He held the office of Commissioner of Highways from 1881 to 1888. In 1887 he was Township Supervisor and was re-elected in 1889, holding the office until 1894; in 1898 he was again elected to the same office. He held the office of School Treasurer five or six years, and has been School Director for a number of terms. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge, No. 777, and a member of the K. P. Lodge, No. 525, at Williamsfield. [back]
Ezra W. Tucker
son of John and Eleanor (Metcalf) Tucker, was born Jan. 4, 1839, in Peoria Co, IL. His parents were born in Ashland Co, Ohio, and were pioneers in Peoria. His father died in 1850.
Mr. Tucker was educated in the common schools, and attended school in a log house furnished with slab seats.
He was married Oct. 22, 1860 to Kate Mundy, who was born in Elba Township. Six children were born to them: Willie, Samuel B., Mamie, Lettie, Barbara, and Thomas.
Mr. Tucker was married a second time, Feb. 28, 1877 to Elizabeth Dugan, born in Scotland in 1837, and was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (McMurray) Dugan. Her father died in Scotland, and she came with her mother to the United States in 1865.
After his first marriage he purchased a farm of 110 acres in Truro Township, where he now lives. He has improved his farm, and increased it by purchase, until he now has an excellent farm of 300 acres, situated one mile south of Williamsfield, where he raises a large amount of fruit.
In religion, Mr. Tucker is a Methodist, and in politics a republican. He has held the office of Road Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, and School Director in Truro Township.[back]
John M. Baird
Williamsfield, Truro Township; Lumber Dealer; born July 15, 1863, in Knox County; educated in Abingdon, IL. His parents, William H. and Elizabeth Jane (Farwell) Baird, were born in Pennsylvania.
Sept. 9, 1844, in Elba Township, Mr. Baird was married to Florence R. Sumner, who was born Dec. 16, 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Baird have two children: Una C., born Dec. 4, 1888; Vesper E., born Aug. 6, 1892. Mrs. Baird is a member of the Eastern Star Lodge. Mr. Baird has been President of the Town Board. He is a member of the K. of P., No. 523, Williamsfield. He is an extensive dealer in lumber. In politics he is a republican.
Baird, W. S., Farmer, Williamsfield, Elba Township; born Nov. 12, 1859, in Elba Township; educated at Hedding College, Abingdon, IL. His parents, William H. Baird and Elizabeth (Farwell) were born in Clinton County. His paternal grandfather was Henry Baird; his maternal grandfather, Farwell, was a native of Pennsylvania.
Jan. 18, 1883, he was married in Elba Township to Clara I. Sherman. She was born July 26, 1864 and is a daughter of John W. and Ann Maria (Bradford) Sherman.
There are two children, Edith L, born Jan. 8, 1884, and Floyd S., born Aug. 31, 1886. Mrs. Baird’s parents are living in Elba Township. Mr. Baird has a fine farm of two hundred and nineteen acres on Section 4, Elba Township, where his father lived for thirty-five years. [back]
Leroy Joseph Baird
Banker and Real Estate Dealer, Williamsfield; born in Elba Township, Knox County, Illinois, December 16, 1857. His parents were William H. and Elizabeth Jane (Farwell) Baird, born in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin Baird of Pennsylvania, and Ellen (Summerson) Baird of England. Mr. L. J. Baird was reared on his father's farm and educated in the common schools and at Hedding College, Abingdon. In 1880, he bought a farm which he managed for several years, finally leaving it in 1890 to engage in the banking and real estate business at Williamsfield, which is his present occupation. Mr. Baird was married at Yates City, October 21, 1883, to Mary H. Parker. They had two children, Ellen Elizabeth and Earl Melville. Mr. Baird's second marriage was with Hannah A. Elliot at Williamsfield, July 30, 1895. They have had one child, Russell Elliott. In politics, Mr. Baird is an independent Democrat. [back]
Cashier; Williamsfield, Truro Township; born in Millbrook, Peoria County, June 16, 1856; educated in Elba Township, Knox Co. His parents, James Cation and Catharine (Gray), were born in Glasgow, Scotland; his paternal grandparents, William and Margaret (Paul) Cation, were born in Scotland.
He was married to Ella Barber Feb. 20, 1884 in Quincy, IL. She was born Aug. 6, 1855. There are two children living, James L., born Jan. 18, 1885, near McMinnville, Oregon, and Catharine, born Sept. 10, 1891.
Mr. Cation has been a teacher in the public schools of Knox, Peoria, and Stark counties, IL., and also in the State of Oregon. He was in the employ of one of the largest lumbering firms in Portland, OR., for two years, and was a weigher and clerk with the grain firm of J. W. Briedwell at Briedwell, OR. He was a student in Hedding College, Abingdon, IL., took a course in Brown’s Business College, Jacksonville, IL. He has been Town Clerk and Supervisor of Truro Township and is Village Treasurer and Cashier of the bank at Williamsfield. In politics he is a republican, and is at present a member of the Knox County Republican Committee. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born Aug. 29, 1858, in Peoria Co.; educated in Knox County. His parents, James and Catharine (Gray) Cation, were born in Glasgow, Scotland; his paternal grandparents were William and Margaret (Paul) Cation.
Dec. 28, 1882 in Galesburg, Mr. Cation was married to Sarah A., daughter of Thomas A. and Olive Cowell; Mrs. Cation was born Oct. 8, 1859. There were four children: Lulu Maud, born Mar. 22, 1885, died Aug. 30, 1888; Charles Arthur, born Aug. 2, 1889; Lelah May, born Sept 22, 1892; William James, born Aug. 25, 1897.
Mrs. Cation’s parents are now living in Elba Township.
Mr. Cation is a practical farmer, and has a very fine home. He is a republican. [back]
Fred G. Cole
Farmer, Truro Township; born in Peoria Co, IL. Aug. 8, 1863; educated at French Grove. His father, William F. Cole, was born in Pittsburg, PA.; his mother, Mary Ann (Cutter) Cole was born in Richland Co, OH. His paternal grandfather, John Cole, was born in England; his maternal grandparents were Isaac Cutter and Sarah Metcalf, the latter was born in Richland Co, OH.
Feb. 13, 1885, Mr. F. G. Cole was married to Ettie M. Tucker, who was born Aug. 16, 1865, a daughter of V. L. and Jane Tucker. They had one child, Mabel J., born Nov. 17, 1888.
Mr. Cole lived for about five years in Kansas. He now owns a farm south of Williamsfield. He is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 779. In politics he is a republican. [back]
I. Frank Cole
Farmer, Truro Township; born Dec. 21, 1851, in Brimfield Township, Peoria Co, IL; educated in the common schools. His father, William F. Cole, was born in Pittsburg, PA, July 18, 1818 and died Dec. 23, 1883. His mother, Mary Ann (Cutter) Cole, was born in Richland Co., OH, July 29, 1829, and died March 15, 1894. His paternal grandparents, John and Jane (Bates) Cole, were born in England. His maternal grandfather was Isaac Cutter, and his maternal grandmother, Sarah (Metcalf), who was born in Richland Co, OH.
Jan. 11, 1877 he married, in Elba Township, Martha Ann, daughter of J. C. and Margaret (King) Nelson; she was born Sept. 14, 1854. Of this union there were eight children: John, born Nov. 27, 1877, died in infancy; Mary Ann, born Mar. 4, 1879; Maud, born Nov. 18, 1880; Lemuel J., born Feb. 11, 1884; Marge, born May 6, 1886; Sarah, born May 13, 1888, died Feb. 25, 1889; Martha N., born Sept. 16, 1889; and Frank Harrison, born Aug. 23, 1891.
Mrs. Cole’s father was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1816 and died in 1897; her mother was born in Richland Co, OH. In 1819 and died June 19, 1897.
Mr. Cole is a charter member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and has held offices in one of these lodges, in one of which he is a Clerk. He has served as School Trustee one term. He began his education in a log school-house of ancient date. In politics he is a republican. [back]
Joseph Daniel Doubet
Farmer, Truro Township; born in Peoria County, Dec. 12, 1854; educated in the common schools. His father, Elenor Doubet was born in Lacote, France, July 12, 1824; his mother, Harriet (Slayn) was born in Ohio April 7, 1831. His paternal grandparents, Joseph and Ursula Doubet were natives of France; his maternal grandparents, Daniel and Mahala Slayn, were born in Virginia.
Jan. 25, 1875 he was married in Kickatoo to Ellen Corrigan, who was born Aug. 4, 1849, and is a daughter of Patrick and Anna (Ryan) Corrigan. There were eight children: Cora I., born Jan. 5, 1876; Mollie M., born June 14, 1880; William, born April 5, 1882; Hattie R., born Jan. 15, 1884; Anna G., born Jan. 15, 1886; Delila F., born Feb. 21, 1888; Lucy M., born March 5, 1890; Lida E., born April 7, 1892. Two of Mr. and Mrs. Doubet’s children are deceased.
Cora I. was married to Dr. F. F. Wallick of Williamsfield, June 16, 1897. They have one child, Ralph B. Wallick, born April 7, 1898.
Mr. Doubet is a member of the Odd Fellows at Williamsfield. He is an extensive stock dealer. In religion he is a Christian. In politics he is a liberal. [back]
Liveryman; Williamsfield, Truro Township; born in Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois, May 21, 1858, educated in Peoria. His father, C. P. W. Eastman, was born in Farmington, Strafford County, New Hampshire; his mother, Mary A. Van Pelt, in Hillsborough, Highland County, Ohio. His paternal grandparents were Nehemiah and Anstriss Woodbury Eastman: his maternal grandparents, Elisha Van Pelt and Harriet Brock were both natives of Ohio. He was married to Sarah A. Tucker, October 12, 1882, in Knoxville. Of this union there are four children: Mary Anstriss, born April 17, 1884; Charles Samuel, born March 20, 1886;Orio Herbert Clinton, born November 02, 1888. Mrs. Eastman has had excellent educational advantages and is a member of the Eastern Star, Williamsfield. Mr. Eastman is a republican, and Dep7uty Sheriff of Knox County, Village Marshall of Williamsfield and Constable of Truro Township. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., #779. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born in Columbia County, New York, July 04, 1823; educated in Columbia County, New York. His father, Nehemiah, and his mother Susan Lyon Gale, were natives of Columbia county. His paternal grandfather was also named Nehemiah; his maternal grandfather was Thomas Lyon. February 01, 1851, he married, in Renseelaer County, New York, Lucinda Caroline Record, born April 22, 1833, daughter of John and Esther Hoke Record. Of this union there were fourteen children: Nehemiah C., Born April 20, 1852; John B., born August 29, 1853; Ambrose R., born March 07, 1855; Emma J., born June 07, 1857; Emma J., born June 07, 18i57; Eugene H., born February 28, 1859; Mariette and Antoinette, Born May 31, 1861; Elvina E., born August 15, 1863; Laurilla S., born May 22, 1865; Armena C., born October 13, 1867; Lovina J. born April 17, 1870; Caroline L., born November 26, 1872; James A., born January 06, 1874; and Anthony W., born November 30, 1876. Nehemiah married Merlind Cadwell; John married Pamelia Wolf; Ambrose married Clara Grate; Emma married Cyrus Wolf; Eugene married Phidelia Smith; Mariette married Forest Rowlim; Antoinette is at home; Elvira married Charles Morsman; Laurilla married Ezra Wolf; Armena married Robert Pierce; Lovina married Dr. E. v. d. Morris; Caroline, James and Anthony are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Gale are a hale and hearty couple. Mrs. Gales' mother is now living in Kansas. Mr. Gale came to Chillicothe in 1853, to Truro Township in 1858, and settled on Section 12, where by hard work he has become the owner of one hundred and eighty acres of land. In earlier life. he traveled through the south and east. He was by trade a mason. In religion, he is a Baptist. In politics, he is a green-backer. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born July 2,1829, in Clinton County, Ohio; educated in the common schools. His father, Nicholas German, was born in Saratoga County, New York, his mother, Rebecca (Garrison), was born in Clinton County, Ohio. His paternal grandparents. Henry and Rachel German, were born in Germany; his maternal grandparents were Jeremiah and Polly (Ments) Garrison, of New Jersey. August 3, 1853, in Knoxville, he was married to Polly Ann, daughter of John and Safrona (Snyder) Miller. She was born February 20, 1833. There were nine children: Andrew, born June 5, 1854; Elizabeth E., born October 25, 1856, died November 14, 1897; Amy J., born February 19, 1860; Elmer E., born February 25, 1865; Albert, born January 15, 1868; S. Ellen, born September 8, 1862; Lillie May, born August 6, 1870; Willie H., born June 20, 1873; Myrtle, born February 21, 1877, and died January 9, 1894. Mr. German settled north of Truro Township in 1865, and after a time moved to Peoria County, where he remained twelve years, and then returned and settled where he now lives. He has a large farm of two hundred and two acres two miles southwest of Williamsfield. In religion, he is a Christian. In politics, he is a democrat. [Tr. by K.T.] [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born Scarbro, Yorkshire, England, July 2, 1841; educated in the common schools. His parents, John and Ann (Woodall) Leng, were born and died in England. His maternal grandparents were Robert and Fanny Woodall.
He was married Feb. 5, 1874, in Peoria County, to Mary Francis; she was born Sept. 2, 1851, and was the daughter of Elder and Mary Ann (Murphy) Abey. Mrs. Leng’s mother is dead; her father is living in Peoria County.
Mr. and Mrs. Leng have had nine children: Luther E., born Feb. 25, 1875; James E., deceased, born Nov. 23, 1876; Mary S., born Dec. 23, 1877; Lyman W., born Dec. 23, 1800; Lulu O., born Oct. 17, 1882; Robert N., born Sept 17, 1884; Ewart Gladstone, born Dec. 28, 1887; Edna E., born Oct 6, 1889; and Carl E., born Feb. 24, 1892.
Mr. Leng has a large farm of 295 acres two and one half miles north of Williamsfield. He is a dealer in Clydesdale horses and Short-horn cattle. In politics, he is a populist. He is Road Commissioner and was School Director for eighteen years. In religion, he is a Methodist. [back]
John Mackey, Jr
Farmer; Truro Township; born in Jackson Co, Maryland, Oct. 24, 1869; educated at Lombard University. His father, John Mackey, and his mother, Janet (McFadyen), were born in Ayrshire, Scotland, the former in 1826, the latter in 1828. John Mackey’s father and paternal grandfather were named Mathuew and were born in Ayrshire. His mother’s name was Janie Mackey. Janet (McFadyen) Mackey’s mother, Janet (Anderson) was born in Scotland.
Sept. 27, 1887, John Mackey Jr. was married to Eva C. McDowell in Galesburg; she was born May 2, 1866, and is the daughter of William B. and Caroline (McCoy) McDowell. There are three children, two boys and one girl: Eldrid W., born April 23, 1889; Earl E., born Dec. 30, 1890; and Irma, born April 3, 1899. Mrs. Mackey’s father is living; her mother died in 1894.
Mr. Mackey took a scientific course at Lombard University and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He has a farm of 360 acres three and one half miles north of Williamsfield, and is an extensive dealer in cattle and hogs. Of the latter he raises about 250 head yearly. In politics he is a democrat. [back]
Ezekiel D. Mackie
Farmer; Truro Township; born in Knox Co, IL., Aug. 22, 1868; educated in Truro Township. His parents, John and Janet Mackie, were natives of Ayrshire, Scotland.
Sept. 10, 1891, he was married in Galesburg to Etta M. Stephens, who was born Nov. 2, 1873, and is a daughter of D.W. and Nancie E. Stevens. They have one child living: Jessie M., born Dec. 9, 1895; on child died in infancy. Mrs. Mackie’s parents are living in Victoria.
In his younger days, Mr. Mackie traveled through Kansas and Iowa. He is now School Director of District No. 1 in the township of Truro. In politics he is a democrat. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born Oct. 1, 1866; educated in the common schools. His parents, James and Anna Mahar, were born in Ireland.
Dec. 12, 1889, he was married in Galva, Henry Co, IL. to Anna, daughter of Augustus and Matilda Peterson; Mrs. Mahar was born Oct. 30, 1867. There are two children: Francion Blanch, born Aug. 10, 1892; and James, born Aug. 14, 1896.
Mrs. Mahar’s father is dead, but her mother is living in Victoria Township.
Mr. Mahar’s father once owned all the land where the village of Williamsfield now stands. Mr. Mahar has a farm of 80 acres, one half mile east of the village. In religion he is a Catholic; in politics a democrat. [back]
Farmer and Stock Dealer; Truro Township; born Nov 3, 1862 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. His parents were Anson D. Phillips, born in Ohio in 1830, and Mary (Mowery), born in Illinois. His paternal grandparents were Robert and Jane (Elder) Phillips. His maternal grandmother was Nellie (Burton).
He was married to Della Maxey, Dec. 31, 1890, in Gilson, Knox Co. She was born in Knox County Nov. 9, 1869, and is the daughter of Clayborn and Martha Carlotte Maxey. Of this union there were four children: a boy born April 20, 1895, who lived five months; Velma, born Oct 30, 1891; Eugene, born Jan. 27, 1893; and Cecil, born Dec. 24, 1896, died Nov. 25, 1897. Mrs. Phillip’s parents are dead.
Mr. Phillips has a farm of 160 acres three and one-half miles southwest of Williamsfield and is a dealer in stock. In religion he is a Methodist; in politics he is a republican. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born in Monroe County, New York, September12, 1849; educated in the common schools. His father, William H. Smith, was born in Saratoga County, New York; his mother, Mary Smith, in Monroe County, New York. he was married to Harriet Kinney, near Oneida. She was born in 1851 and is a daughter of John and Rhoda Kinney, who live at Oneida. They have four children; Irven C., born December 30, 1873, Walter M., born January 02, 1876, John born April 09, 1881; and Orpha, born September 23, 1888, all of whom are living at home. Mr. Smith came with his father, in 1855, from New to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he lived for ten or twelve years He then came to Yates City, and now owns a farm in Truro Township In politics, he is a democrat. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born May 4, 1836 in Erie Co, PA; educated in the common schools. His father, Joshua N. Spencer, was born in Maine, Dec. 22, 1810, and died June 28, 1856; his mother, Maria (Steaver), was born in PA, Dec. 16, 1810, and died March 8, 1888. His maternal grandfather, Henry Steaver, was a native of New York.
In Oct. 1858, he was married in Truro Township to Rosina, daughter of George W. and Martha (Buck) Doty. She was born April 28, 1830. Of this union there were seven children: Mary Maria, born July 1, 1859; Nathaniel, born June 22, 1861; Frank E., born March 29, 1863, died April 1, 1870; Deborah, born March 6, 1865; Emma Jane, born Feb. 22, 1867; Rosina, born July 2, 1869; and Charles, born Aug. 25, 1871.
Mrs. Spencer’s father was born in Maine, her mother, in New York in 1810. Mr. Spencer has a fine stock farm three miles north of Williamsfield. He is a member of Free Masons Lodge, 363, Elmwood. He has held the offices of Road Commissioner, and School Director. In politics he is a democrat. [back]
Henry C. Tucker
Farmer and Hardware Merchant; Williamsfield, Truro Township; born Nov, 9, 1855; educated in the common schools. His parents, V.O. and Jane Tucker, were born in Ashland Co, OH. His paternal grandfather was John Tucker.
Our subject was married to Nettie E. Earld, in Peoria; she was born March 2, 1861. There are six children: Walker, born Aug. 14, 1880; Laura Bell, born March 9, 1882; Clarence, born July 18, 1883; Otis, born Feb. 11, 1885; Earl, born Nov. 10, 1895; Lynn, born Feb. 1, 1897. The children are all at home.
Mrs. Tucker’s father, Henry Earld, was a soldier in the late Rebellion. Her mother, Elizabeth (Drake), is now living in the west.
Mr. Tucker is a prosperous hardware dealer in the village of Williamsfield. In politics he is a republican. [back]
John Allen Tucker
Dealer in Agricultural Implements; Williamsfield, Truro Township, where he was born June 16, 1850. His parents, Vachel L. and Jane Tucker, were born in Ashland County, Ohio. His paternal grandparents were John and Nellie (Metcalf) Tucker.
Oct. 8, 1874, at the Union Hotel in Galesburg, our subject was married to Lilly C. Love. She was born Jan. 22, 1858 and is the daughter of George W. and Harriet P. Love. Of this union there were five children: Seth C., born Oct. 8, 1876; Leto J., born July 8, 1879; Myrtle A., born Aug. 8, 1885; Lily M., born Jan. 25, 1887; and Donna May, born Sept. 29, 1893. The children are living at home. Mrs. Tucker’s parents are living.
Mr. Tucker attended the common schools in Elmwood, Peoria County. He is one of the Trustees of the village of Williamsfield, is a charter member of I.O.O.F., No 779, Williamsfield, a member of the Knights of Pythias, No. 523, and of the Modern Woodmen of America, No. 2306. He is a member of the firm of Tucker and Oberholtzer, agricultural implements, Williamsfield. In politics he is a republican. [back]
Farmer; Truro Township; born in Kilkenny County, Ireland; educated in Ireland. His parents, William and Bridget (Holden) Welsh, were natives of Ireland, as were his paternal grandparents, Joseph and Bridget (Malone) Welsh, and his maternal grandfather, Bartley Holden.
Oct. 18, 1850 he was married in Ireland to Catharine Grace, she was born about 1830, and is a daughter of Richard and Alice (Kennedy) Grace. They have seven children: William M., born Dec. 23, 1852; Alice, born Dec. 22, 1854; B. F., born Feb. 22, 1857; John D., born Sept. 10, 1858; James, born Feb. 2, 1861; M. M. , born Sept 10, 1862; and Mary, born Feb. 7, 1865. Two of the children died in infancy.
Mr. Welsh landed at New Orleans, Jan. 1, 1851, and reached Maquon by way of St. Louis, April 19, 1851. April 1, 1856, he settled in Truro Township, where he has lived forty-two years. In religion he is a Catholic. In politics he is a democrat. [back]
Copley Township History
by J. W. Temple
[pages 833 - 834]
The surface of Copley Township, so named from a prominent family of that name at one time residing in it, consists chiefly of fertile prairie land, just sufficiently rolling to ensure good drainage; though in its southern part there is some broken ground, probably one-fourth of its area having been originally timber land. There are in the Township eighteen thousand scares of improved farm land. It is well watered and drained by branches of Walnut and Court Creeks, as well as by other smaller streams.
The first settler in the township was a Mr. Berry, who, in 1836, located near the present village of Victoria, which lies partly in this and partly in Victoria Township. Matthew Herbert and Larkin Robinson followed, the next year. In 1839, the first members of what soon became a thrifty Scotch colony began to settle on some of the best lands; and the descendants of these sons of "Auld Scotia" now men of wealth and high moral standing in the community. The Gordons, Cooks, McCornacks, Taits, McKies, Leightons, McClymonts, McMasters, McDowells, Stevenson, Milroys, McQuarries, and others, with their numerous and thrifty progeny, being among the most prominent citizens of the township. later, its rich lands have attracted a large number of Swedes, whose thrift, industry and probity have made of these first immigrants wealthy farmers and landholders. Their descendant, by intermarrying with the native population, are fast becoming homogeneous, as they are a patriotic, body of American Citizens; while their success is due to brain no less than to brawn.
When the first settlers arrived, a smal tribe of Indians still inhabited a grove, now known as Foreman Grove, near the northern limits of the present township.
The first child born in Copley was a son of Matthew Herbert, in 1838. The first death was that of Harriet Foster, in 1842. Re. Charles Bostwick and Mrs. Hurr were the first couple to be married, and Rev. Mr. Bostwick preached the first sermon in 1840, in a log school house.
The first school was taught by Miss Mary j. Smith, afterwards Mrs. John Becker, in a log cabin, on and one-half miles northwest of Victoria. There are now nine school districts each with a neat, and some with costly school houses; and there are a few townships where value of education is more genuinely appreciated than here; the result being shown the exceptional intelligence and culture of its citizens.
The first saw mill---that of Jerimiah Collinson--operated by horse power, was put up in 1850. Mr. Berry was the builder of the first frame structure, on Section 9, in 1840. Now some of the finest residence in the county are to found on its prairie farms.
Copley Township has lacked railroads, and by reason of that want has no large towns. In 1894, however, to reach the extensive coal fields of this and Victoria Townships, a railraod was built from Wataga, on the line of the Chicago, Burlingotn and Quincy Railroad, running through nearly the center of the township, to a mining village called Etherly, located on the eastern boundary of Copley. This village was eastern boundfary of Copley. This village was laid out on the southeastern quarter of Section 35, on August 10, 1894, by Samuel L. Charles. Owing to legal complications, which prevented for a time the operating of the road, the village is yet without many inhabitants. It is believed, however, that, under altered conditions. a thriving mining town will soon be built up to develop the rich, un-worked coal deposits which underlie nearly all the southern part of Copley. this railroad has been since extended into the village of Victoria, which, with its natural advantages of situations, has heretofore only lacked railroad facilities to become one of the most prosperous villages in the county.
The first town officers elected, in 1853, were J. O Stanley, Supervisor; N. Kelsey, Clerkk; J. M. Perkins, Assessor; Austin Gaines, Collector; Isaac Copley, and A. W. Buckley, Justices; A. A. Smith, S. McCornack and J. Sirie, Commissioners of Highways, and J. Collinson, Overseer of the Poor.
Its population in 1860 was on thousand and ten; in 1870 it was twelve hundred and nineteen; in 1880, it had fallen to one thousand and seventy-six, and in 1890 was nine hundred and ten.
The township has three churches; A Methodist Episcopal and a Swedish Church are located in the village of Victoria, and a Scotch Church three and one half miles west of that place. All are well attended, the religious sentiment among all the inhabitants being very strong. The Scotch church is Calvinistic in creed, and affiliated with Presbyterian denomination. It is known as the John Knox Church, and was organized in 1854, with twenty-five members, by Rev. R. C. Matthews, D. D. and S. Vaill, Rev. J. T. Bliss was its first pastor, his place being now filled by Rev. John Pugh. There is also still a cemetery that still lies somewhere near where the John Knox Church once stood and is now called Copley Cemetery, once called Old Scotch Cemetery or the John Knox Cemetery.
Copley Township Biographies
Peter Gordon -- Frederick Becker -- William H. Leighton -- James Temple
Son of James and Jean (Heron) Gordon, was born in Creetown, Scotland, May 19, 1819. In 1840 he came to this country and finally settled in Copley Township, Knox Co, IL. He began working by the month, but later bought a farm and was so successful in his chosen occupation, that in 1885, when he moved to Victoria, he had greatly increased his possession.
In 1845 Mr. Gordon was married in Copley Township to Mrs. Mary Ann (McDowell) Tait, who was born in Scotland, Jan. 21, 1814, and was the daughter of John and Anna (Livingston) McDowell. Her mother died in Scotland in 1824, and her father came to America in 1839 and settled in Copley Township. Mr. McDowell died in 1867. Mr. William Tait, Mrs. Gordon’s first husband, died in 1843, leaving her with four sons: John, William F., Peter G., and Houston P. In 1862 these four sons enlisted in Company G., Eighty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, Colonel Hotchkiss commanding.
John died at Chattanooga from wounds received in the fighting at Dalton. Peter G. rose to the rank of Lieutenant and fell at the battle of Nashville. William and Houston P. survived the war. The former is a physician in Galesburg.
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have four children: James, Elizabeth M., Alexander H., and Albinus N. James has a farm in Walnut Grove Township; Alexander H. has one in Copley Township; Albinus is on the home farm; Elizabeth M. married William Robson of Wataga, IL.
From the humble beginning in 1840, Mr. Gordon’s possessions grew to more than fifteen hundred acres, and he gave each of his four children one hundred and sixty acres of land. He has also a handsome residence in Victoria. For many years he has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and is always interested in whatever contributes to the welfare of the community in which he lives. For twenty years he has been a School Director, and he is looked up to by all as one of the most substantial men of his township. In politics Mr. Gordon is a republican.
Farmer; Copley Township; born Oct. 29, 1840 in Otsego Co., N.Y.; educated in the district school, Charlottesville Seminary, Fergusonville Academy (New York), and at a select school in Illinois. His parents were Frederick and Catharine (Tenbroeck) Becker. The ancestors of the Becker family came from Germany, settled in New Jersey, removed to Albany County, N.Y., and thence to South Worcester, Otsego County. The father of Mr. Becker died Feb. 8, 1841, aged thirty-one and a half years.
Mr. Becker came to Victoria in the spring of 1857; he taught school in the winter and clerked and engaged in farm work in the summer. In 1863 he rented a farm, and in 1869, purchased the farm on Section 13, where he now resides. He was married to Jane, a daughter of Rev. J. Hedstrom. Mr. Becker said: “I have lived in Copley Township about forty years and have been associated with a thrifty, energetic and ambitious class of farmers; one of the important lessons to be learned in life is, ‘do something with energy’.” Mr. Becker has filled official positions in the township, and for several years has been a member of the Board of Supervisors.
William H. Leighton
Farmer; Copley Township; born Oct. 8, 1835 in New York City. His parents were William and Isabel (Ironside) Leighton, who came from Scotland to New York in 1832, and to Knoxville, IL. in 1837. Mrs. Leighton died in 1840. In 1847 Mr. Leighton moved to Copley Township, and then to Sparta Township, where he died in 1861, leaving three sons: William H., John A., and James.
William H. was educated in Knoxville. He was married to Jannette McKie in Copley Township, Dec. 1, 1864. Their children are: Charles H., Margaret, May, and Isabel.
Mrs. Leighton was born July 13, 1842, and was a daughter of William and Margaret (Miller) McKie.
Mr. Leighton came with his father to Knoxville in 1837, and settled in Copley Township in 1847, where he is now living. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a republican, and held the office of Supervisor from 1871-3, and from 1880-8. He has been Road Commissioner and School Trustee for many years.
Printer and Farmer; Copley Township; born April 13, 1828, in Ohio; educated in Meadville, Allegheny Co, PA. His parents were Alexander and Sarah (Allen) Temple of New York; his paternal grandparents were Alexander, born in Scotland, and Marie Flaasborough, born in Holland; his maternal grandfather was Hezekiah Allen of New York.
Mr. J. W. Temple was married Oct. 29, 1854 in Truro Township, IL., to Bessie P. Cook. They have six children: William C., Thomas C., Joseph W., Mary A., Susan A., and Ellen E.
Mr. Temple came to Illinois in 1847, and, after making the overland trip to California, returned to Illinois in 1854. July, 1862, he enlisted in the Eighty-third Illinois Regiment and served in the War of the Rebellion. He was made a Captain in 1864, and discharged from service in Aug. 1865.
In religion he is a Universalist. In politics he is a republican. In 1868, he was elected Circuit Clerk of Knox County, and served as Supervisor for several years.
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