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Knox County Illinois
Genealogy and History

Township Histories

Source: "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois"
Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1899

Originally transcribed by Kathie Mills and Foxie Hagerty,
with formatting and additional transcribed data added by K.T.

Cedar Township History -- Cedar Township Biographies
Abingdon History -- Abingdon Biographies

Cedar Township History
....pages 914- 915 by J. F. Latimer

This is one of the most fertile, best cultivated townships in Knox County. Cherry Grove covers about six square miles of its surface, extending along the entire western side, and for a little more than two miles the timber which skirts either side of Brush Creek extends over several sections. Between the two stretches a beautiful strip of rolling prairie, that can scarce anywhere be surpassed for farming purposes. Brush Creek and its branches, on the east, and the tributaries of Cedar Creek, on the west, water the township, a stream flowing through nearly every half section. Cedar was originally well timbered, there having been heavy growths of many varieties of valuable woods, notably of sugar maple and of different kinds of oak, walnut, wild cherry, elm, ash, basswood, and hickory. The abundance of the wild cherry was the reason for the naming of the first settlement Cherry Grove, which name was also at first given to the township. Good coal and a limited amount of building stone are also found.

The first settlers were Azel Dorsey, on Section 18, and Rev. Hiram Palmer, a Methodist minister, on Section 7, both of whom came in 1828. In 1829, A. D. Swarts, founder of Abingdon and Hedding College, settled on Section 17. At his house, Rev. Mr. Palmer preached the first sermon ever heard in the township.

The first members of the Latimer family to reach here were Joseph and his son George, who came from Tennessee in 1831, and settled on Section 29. Jonathan Latimer and his father-in-law, Jacob West, settled on Section 28 in the following year. About the same time his brothers, John C. and Alexander Latimer, his widowed sister, Mrs. Richard Boren, and his brothers-in-law, U. D. Coy and Israel Marshall, settled along the timber, believing, in common with other settlers, that the prairie land was valueless and would never be pre-empted and occupied. In 1833, Joshua Bland settled on Section 16, and his son-in-law, William Bevins, settled on Section 23 in 1834. The same year came Lewis and Bennett Spurlock, Reuben Castle, and Elisha Humiston, and, shortly afterward, Hugh Kelly arrived.

The settlers were compelled to go to Ellisville to have their grain ground into meal or flour. The mill was small, and at times the grists were many and the farmers were sometimes obliged to wait for their turn, which was always given in due rotation. In 1833, Joshua Bland erected a horse power corn cracker on Section 16, which proved a very welcome addition to the comfort of the pioneers.

The first birth was in November, 1829, Helen E. Swarts. The first marriage celebrated was that of U. D. Coy and Susan Latimer, in December 1833. The first death was the demise of Miss Olive Strange, in 1834. In 1832, Robert Bell taught what was the first school in Cherry Grove settlement, and the second in Knox County. At the present time, outside of Abingdon, there are eight district schools, with four hundred and thirteen pupils. The school houses, two of brick and six frame, are valued at nine thousand six hundred dollars. Cherry Grove Seminary was founded by Jonathan Latimer, and other members of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, and was located on Section 29. From the minutes of the Presbytery, it is established that this school opened prior to 1840, under the charge of Rev. Cyrus Haynes, a minister of that creed. He remained at its head for about eight years, and made the institution widely and favorably known. In 1866 the Cumberland Presbyterians established a college at Lincoln, Illinois, and this seminary was abandoned.

Prior to 1850 Indian Point and Cedar townships were known together as the Cherry Grove voting precinct. Cherry Grove was separated and given a distinct name by order of the County Judge on January 14, 1850. However, the first Board of Supervisors on June 6, 1853, renamed it Cedar, for the reason that the Secretary of State decided that another Illinois township had prior right to the name “Cherry Grove”. On April 5, 1853, a meeting was held for the purpose of perfecting a township organization. The voters chose Hugh A. Kelly, Moderator, and L. W. Conger, Clerk. E. P. Dunlap was elected Supervisor; William Marks, Clerk; William Lang, Assessor; James W. Smoot, Collector; J. W. Stephens and W. H. Heller, Commissioners of Highways; P. M. Shoop and Joseph Harvey, Justices of the Peace; Thomas S. Bassit, Overseer of the Poor; Solomon Stegall and Eli Butler, Constables. The election was held at what was then known as Louisville, about three miles north of Abingdon, on Section 16. A vote was also taken for the place of holding the next election, which resulted in favor of Louisville.

The town last named was laid out by John S. Garrett, on the southwest quarter of Section 16. It was platted September 30, 1836, and for a time was the chief place in the southwestern part of the county. The growth of Abingdon killed it, and now there is only a district school to mark its site.

In 1855, the place for holding elections was changed to Abingdon, where they have been held ever since. The last named place is now the only town in Cedar, Louisville being only a farm and Saluda a flag station on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.

Before the first election of President Lincoln, the township was democratic, but since that date it has been strongly republican, although in local elections party lines were disregarded until within the last few years.

From 1870 until 1890 there was a slight decrease in population, but within the last nine years the increase, owing chiefly to the growth of Abingdon, has been such that at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors in July, 1897, the population having passed the maximum for one voting precinct, the township was divided into two, although both polling places were located in Abingdon.

Cedar has always been noted for its high standard of morality and intelligence obtaining among the people. Churches were established very early in its history. The Methodists organized in 1833 at the house of Joseph Latimer, with the following members: A. D. Swarts and wife, Mr. Finch and wife; Mrs. Jonathan Latimer and Joseph Latimer and wife. For several years the church existed as a mission, services being held at the homes of the various members and later at school houses, until, in time, the denomination had grown strong enough to erect a church at Abingdon. Their first quarterly meeting was held at the home of Jacob West and conducted by the renowned Peter Cartwright, who preached frequently to this charge. Its growth in membership and usefulness has been steady, until now it is the largest in the township. At the present time the denomination holds, in addition to those at the Abingdon Church, regular services at Warren Chapel, which is located in the northwestern part of the township.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Cedar dates its beginning from about 1834 or 1835, with fifteen members. Not long thereafter they erected a house of worship, said to have been the first church building in the county. It stood about one mile and a half northwest of Abingdon, and was used for a number of years as a class room for Cherry Grove Seminary. The denomination’s influence, in both school and church affairs, has been potent throughout this entire section of the county. In 1866 the congregation removed to Abingdon. Subsequently it affiliated itself with the Congregational denomination and became the present Congregational communion of Abingdon.

In addition to the bodies mentioned, the religious history of the township has embraced organizations of Protestant Methodists, United Brethren, Baptists, a Methodist Episcopal church at Louisville and an early Congregational church, all of which have been gradually merged into the three churches named.

The chief industries are farming, and breeding and raising fine stock. Coal mining is also carried on to a very limited extent. Heretofore, large herds of short-horn, Hereford, Galloway, Angus, Holstein and Jersey cattle have been bred in the township. At the present time, the principal stock raising interest centers in the short-horn, Angus and Jersey breeds, representatives of the two latter having taken high honors at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893.

During the Civil War, no township in Knox County responded to the Nation’s call more nobly or with greater readiness than Cedar, always keeping in the field more than her share of the county’s quota. No draft was ever made in Cedar Township. Official statistics show that over two hundred and twenty-five volunteers enlisted, some of them descendants of heroes who had proved their loyalty to their country and its flag in earlier struggles. Of these old settlers sleeping in the cemeteries, there are seventeen soldiers of the War of 1812, four of the early Indian wars and two of the Mexican War. Of the soldiers of the Civil War, forty-nine are buried within the township limits. Their living comrades, members of Post 58, Grand Army of the Republic, at Abingdon, annually, on May 30, preserve the memory of their devotion and self-sacrifice, their toils and triumphs, ever keeping green the recollection of the patriotic dead.

The official figures relative to the population of Cedar Township are as follows: 1840, 1,616; 1860, 1,822; 1870, 2,153; 1880, 1,976; 1890, 1,574.

Cedar Township Biographies
William H. Reynolds -- Frederick Stegall -- Milton D. Burner -- Theodore F. Dunlap -- Silas R. Earel -- Jacob Famulener -- William Famulener -- Frank Fulmer -- Charles Wesley Hughey -- John Ketchem -- Joseph Franklin Latimer -- William Pleasant Marks -- Clinton H. Meadows -- William Mount -- Swan Nelson -- Patrick Redington -- Henry Franklin Smith -- Elery Stegall -- Frank M. Williamson

William H. Reynolds -- was born in Park Co, IN., Dec. 23, 1839. His parents were Samuel and Ann Jane (Reed) Reynolds of English and Scotch descent. Samuel Reynolds was the son of William Reynolds, a native of England, who came to America before the Revolutionary War. The family settled on a farm in South Carolina, where William Reynolds died when his son Samuel was ten years of age. The widow emigrated to Kentucky with her nine children: William, Samuel, John, Robert, Nancy, Rebecca, Elsie, Jane, and Sarah Ann. They all reached maturity, and with the exception of John, married. Some of the children went to Park Co, IN, and were followed by their mother, who died near Indianapolis.
Samuel was married at the age of 22 years, and settled on a timber farm of 160 acres which he cleared. He afterwards sold his farm, and in 1836, moved near Berwick, Warren Co, IL., and bought a farm of 160 acres which is now owned by his son James. He accumulated a large property, and at one time owned 2,000 acres of land in Warren County. He had few educational advantages, but was a man of clear head and remarkably strong muscular development. His wife, Ann Jane Reed, a daughter of John Reed, was of Scotch descent and was born near Louisville, Kentucky. He died at the homestead at the age of 88, and his wife died in Abingdon at the age of 84. They had twelve children, nine of whom reached maturity: Katherine B., William H., John R., James A., Jemima, Jennie S., Marion, Sarah, and Louise.
William H. Reynolds was brought up on the home farm, and at the age of 26 ran in debt for a farm of 360 acres in Warren County, which he afterwards sold, and bought the farm of 1000 acres in Orange Township, near Knoxville, which he now owns. He owns, in addition, 600 acres of land in Knox Township, and a model stock farm of 400 acres in Norton Co., Kansas. He was educated in the common schools and at Abingdon College. He also studied law and practiced his profession four or five years, but soon turned his attention to the more congenial pursuit of farming. He came to Knox County in 1857, and lived for many years on his farm near Knoxville. In 1883 he moved to Galesburg, and in 1892 bought a farm near Abingdon.
June 24, 1855 Mr. Reynolds was married to Martha M. Bundy in Orange Township. She died Feb. 1, 1873 leaving three children: Nellie J., who married Mr. Peterson; William M.; and Minnie, wife of James Rogers. Mr. Reynolds’ second marriage occurred Nov. 25, 1873 at Knoxville to Margaret Wallace, who is a native of Scotland. Four children have been born to them: Nellie H., wife of A. E. Werts; Frank W.; Harry Earnest; and Mabel E.
Captain Reynolds has a notable military record. In July 1861 he assisted in raising a company, and secured most of the volunteers from among his friends and acquaintances in Knox and Warren Counties. The company thus formed was called Company D, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and was mustered into service at Springfield Oct. 13, 1861. Mr. Reynolds, who had enlisted as a private, was at the time elected First Lieutenant, and was promoted to the rank of Captain at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi. The Seventh rendered valuable service during the war. It was under Pope at Island No. 10, and New Madrid; ascended the Tennessee River in 1862; led at Corinth and in the pursuit of May 30; was the first to march into Tuscumbia, Alabama; withstood the entire rebel force at Iuka, and in Sept., Oct., and Nov. made a series of movements in which they marched 800 miles, destroying railroads and bridges. May 2, they entered Baton Rouge, after traveling another 800 miles, capturing one thousand prisoners, and assisting at the capture of Fort Hudson. Altogether the Seventh marched about 5000 miles and captured 3000 prisoners. At one time an order was given by General Grant to General Rosecrans, to have all horses branded and turned over to the United States government. Captain Reynolds succeeded in preventing the breaking of their special contract, and the men of the Seventh rode their horses unbranded throughout the war. It was the Seventh that led and chased General Jeff Thompson sixteen miles through the swamps into a rebel fort, and that met at terrific pace a charging, over-whelming force, checked their advance, and extricated themselves, after seven hours of fighting.
In the fall of 1864 Captain Reynolds acted for several months in the capacity of special detective at Memphis, under General Washburn, a position requiring the utmost nerve and courage. It is needless to say that he fulfilled the expectations of those who had honored him with their confidence. He also won at all times the trust and unswerving devotion of the men who served under him.
In politics Captain Reynolds is independent, and has served as Supervisor, School Director, and Road Commissioner.

Frederick Stegall -- son of Frederick and Sarah Stegall, was born in Pike county, Ohio, September 05, 1827. His father, who had been a soldier in the War of 1812, moved to Illinois and settled in Knox County in the Fall of 1836, when young Frederick was a boy of nine. There were seven children in the family, of whom one, Mrs. Susannah Warren survives.
The Stegalls first settled near Cherry Grove, but afterwards removed to Abingdon. Mr. Stegall Senior later went to Henderson where he died September 1869 at the age of eighty-one. His wife's death occurred some years later, at the age of eighty-seven.
Mr. Frederick Stegall was married to Lovina Ellen Marks 4 July 1850, at Knoxville, Illinois. She was born in Kentucky, and came with her father, Benjamin Marks to Knox County, in 1826. She was a noble type of frontier womanhood, and proved herself a worthy helpmeet in the struggles of those early days. Mrs. Stegall's industry was displayed in the care of poultry and bees. She has always been a kind neighbor and a friend to the poor.
After his marriage, Mr. Stegall bought a farm on Section 24, in Cedar township, where he lived for many years. He then removed to Orange township, but after four years returned to Cedar and bought land, now the property of Mrs. Sarah Alice Hughey, where he died October 03, 1896, at the age of sixty-nine.
In politics Mr. Stegall was a democrat. He was a farmer all his life; and by industry and economy accumulated considerable property. At the time of his death he owned twelve hundred acres of land, which was divided equally among the children who survived. These were: Milton, Elery, Mrs. Sarah Alice Hughey, and Mrs. Emma J. Fulmer. The second son, Solomon, was then deceased

Milton D. Burner -- Farmer; Cedar Township; where he was born January 30, 1844; educated in the common schools. His father, Daniel Green Burner, was born in Kentucky, July 07, 1814, and came to Knox County in 1830 with his father, Isaac Burner, who died near Knoxville July 07, 1860. Daniel G. Burner was a firm friend of Abraham Lincoln, being a clerk in his store at New Salem, Illinois. After coming to Knox County he worked for a limited time at the carpenter's trade, and assisted in building the first court house at Knoxville. Later he began farming and still resides on his farm near Knoxville. On June 24, 1838, he was married to Melissa, daughter of John B. and Casander Dills Gumm; five Children were born to them: John G., a farmer living near Eldorado, Kansas; Milton D; Casander, who was the wife of Clate Swigert, and died February 06, 1892; Susan, wife of Oliver Custer, a resident of Cedar Township; and Jane, wife of Robert Mount of Des Moines, Iowa. Mrs. Burner died June 09, 1953. Mr. Burner married Elizabeth Martz, who died February 27, 1877. By this union there were three children; Mary, Ellen, and Ida, all deceased. In August, 1868, Mr. Burner was married to Susanna C., daughter of John and Rebecca Lighter Burns. Eleven children were born to them: Edwin G., who married Addie Graham of Cuba, Illinois, June 17, 1897, and is a hardware merchant of Chillicothe, Illinois; Willis J., a graduate of Hedding College, now a preacher at Irvington, Indiana, married Lulu Burr, of LaHarpe, Illinois, and has two children: Margaret and Jarvis; James A., City Marshal of Chillicothe, Henry L., and employee of Abingdon Steam Laundry; and Melissa R., a teacher in the public Schools at Abingdon; Georgia, who resides at Knoxville with her aged grandfather; Etta M.; Bertha J.,; Jessie A.; Mina E.; and Francis A., who lives with her parents. Mr. Burner and family worship at the Christian Church, Abingdon. In politics, he is a democrat. He takes especial interest in public affairs, and has held the office of School Trustee for twenty years.

Theodore F. Dunlap -- Farmer; Cedar Township, where he was born Aug. 1, 1844; he was educated in the common schools. His parents, Edmond P. and Matilda (Belt) Dunlap, were natives of Kentucky, the former of Fleming County.
June 22, 1886, in Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Dunlap married Mrs. Sue H. Grabill; they had one daughter, Mary Celeste, deceased. Mrs. Dunlap has one son, Dell Q. Grabill.
Mr. Dunlap’s father died in 1865, leaving four sons and six daughters: George W., Theodore F., Henry, William B., Mary J., Margaret, Martha, Alice, Ellen, and Ann.
Edward P. Dunlap was one of the first supervisors of the town of Cedar, and held the office for several years. In religion Mr. T. F. Dunlap is a Congregationalist. He is a prohibitionist.

Silas R. Earel -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Adams County, Illinois, January 18, 1857; educated in the schools of Knox County, and Abingdon Academy. His father, Henry D. Earel, was born in Virginia in 1828, and came to Illinois and settled in Adams County; he died in 1898. His mother, Margaret Simons, was a native of Illinois. His paternal grandfather, James Earel, was born in England in 1745, came to America and settled in Maryland, removing to later to Illinois, where he died. April 24, 1875, in Abingdon, Silas R. Earel, was married to Rosa Williamson; They have seven children: Frank, Dale, Tina, Mamie, Zella, Satie, and Eva. Mr. Earel is in the religion a Congregationalist. In politics, he is a republican. in 1896, he was elected highway Commissioner and served three years.

Jacob Famulener -- Retired farmer; Cedar Township; born April 09, 1833, in Pickaway County, Ohio. August 30, 1857, Mr. Famulener was married to Sarah J. Warren, daughter of James and Susan Warren. They had four children; Clara A., born June 18, 1858, and married February 15, 1877, to H. C. McMillan; they have six children: Willie J., Leroy R., G. Earnest, Chester W., Harley F., and Dewey Glenn; Alice J., born June 23, 1859, and married June 27, 1877, to O. F. Warren, they have one child, Eva Marie. O. F. Warren died October 19, 1881. Alice J's second marriage was with Edgar F. Brainard of Monmouth; they have one daughter, V. Hortense; Emma C. was born February 01, 1862, and married Alex P. Jones March 08, 1882, died December 18, 1897; she had one daughter, Eva M.; Elvin L., born June 09, 1867, married to Alta L. Marks, February 18, 1896; they have one son, Kenneth Marks. Mr. Famulener moved from Ohio in 1856, and after his marriage, one year later, removed to his present home. He has been a successful farmer, and a prominent, influential man. In politics, he is a republican. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

William Famulener -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Pickaway County, Ohio, December 19, 1824; educated in the common schools. His father, Jonathan Famulener, was a native of New Jersey, and his mother, Anna Long of Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather was Jacob Famulener. William Famulener was married in Ohio in 1852. There were six children: Chauncey; James; George; John; Martha and Ada. Mr. Famulener came from Ohio, where his father and grandfather had settled at an early day. It was in 1853 that he came to Illinois, and settled in Cedar Township in 1854. His family have been prominently identified in the community. In politics, Mr. Famulener is a republican.

Frank Fulmer -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born March 06, 1869, in Cedar Township; educated in the common schools of Kansas. His father, David, and his grandfather, Daniel, came from Pennsylvania in 1863, and settled at Old Henderson, where they were farmers. When Frank was six years old they went West, but at the age of nineteen he returned and settled in Knox County, August 12, 1891, he was married to Emma J. Stegall, in Abingdon; She is a daughter of Frederick Stegall. Mrs. Fulmer owns the forty acres that her father first "entered " in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Fulmer have two children, Lovina Elinor, and Francis Mania. Mr. Fulmer is a prominent farmer. He is a republican.

Charles Wesley Hughey -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Adams Co, OH., Dec. 1, 1828, where he was educated. His parents were Alexander and Hester (Tudor) Hughey, who came from Ohio to Abingdon, Knox Co., in the fall of 1849. The family is of Scotch and English ancestry. Charles W. Hughey was married to Mary E. Andrews in Cedar Township. Nine children were born to them: Bell; Ann; Mary E, deceased; Emma; Ella; James E.; Rosette; William; and Flora.
In religion Mr. Hughey was a Methodist. He was a republican, and had been School Director and held other local offices.

John Ketchem -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born Oct 15, 1840 in Greene Co, PA; educated in the common schools. His father was William Ketchem.
John Ketchem enlisted in Aug. 1862, in Company F, Fifteenth PA Cavalry, and served until July 1865. In 1866 he came to Illinois and worked by the month in Warren Co, for 7 years.
Feb. 6, 1873, in Greene Co, PA, he was married to Margaret A. Sprout, and settled in Warren Co. In 1880 he came to Indian Point Township, Knox Co, and eight years ago to the farm where he now lives.
Mr. Ketchem is a republican, and was elected Highway Commissioner in 1893, and again in 1899. He has always taken a keen interest in town affairs. In politics he is a republican. In religion, Mr. Ketchem is a Baptist.

Joseph Franklin Latimer -- was born at his present home in Cedar Township, April 15, 1840, and has resided there all his life, following the occupation of farming and fine stock breeding. His father, Jonathan Latimer, was a native of Robinson Co, TN. And his paternal grandparents, Joseph and Anna Dobbins Latimer, were natives of New London, CT.; they were of English descent. His great-grandfather, Jonathan Latimer, was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and served under General Green. His mother, whose maiden name was Nancy West, was the daughter of Jacob and Barsheba Polk West, natives of N.C. Jacob West was a soldier in the war of 1812, under General Jackson, and his wife was a cousin of President James K. Polk.
On Nov. 25, 1872, Mr. Latimer was married to Joana Humiston, at Atchison, Kansas. They have two children, Guy J. and Lillian H.
Mr. Latimer finished his education at Knox College, Galesburg, receiving his diploma in April 1864, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He entered as color-bearer, and took part in the engagements with Forrest at Memphis. Diplomas were granted by the college to members of that class who volunteered their services in the war.
Mr. Latimer taught school in Lincoln University for two years, and afterward studied medicine, but was compelled to abandon it on account of defective sight. From 1870 to 1872, he was a member of the Twenty-seventh Illinois General Assembly, and again four years later, he was again chosen to the legislature, serving two terms. In the Thirtieth and Thirty-first assemblies he filled the important chair vacated by Haines, chairman of the Committee on County and Township Organbizations, discharging the duties of that perplexing situation in a manner that gave him a creditable and state-wide acquaintance. Politically, Mr. Latimer has always affilitated with the republican party, being an enthusiastic advocate of its principles. He has held the offices of Mayor of Abingdon; Commander of Post 58, Grand Army of the Republic; Treasurer of the Board of School Directors; President of the Agricultural Society for ten years; a member of the Board of County Supervisors for ten years; and held various minor offices of trust and honor.
At present he is Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors; township member of the Republican County Central Committee; President of the Illinois Jersey Cattle Club, and Vice President of the First National Bank of Abingdon. Mr. Latimer has led an active and useful life, and has done much toward the development of Knox County.
As a breeder of Jersey cattle he is known throughout the United States, and has been the means of attracting buyers of Jerseys to Abingdon from all parts of the Nation. In political circles, both local and State, his opinions are highly regarded, and his judgment upon all important questions given the closest consideration.
In the annals of Knox County, as well as in those of the commonwealth of Illinois, Mr. Latimer has attained an enviable position by combining with tact and good judgment, strict integrity and ability that is unquestioned.

William Pleasant Marks -- Farmer and Stock-raiser; Cedar Township, where he was born June 19, 1841. His parents were Benjamin and Mary E. (Bishop) Marks, the former a native of Kentucky. His paternal grandfather was a cousin of Daniel Boone and David Crockett, and located in Kentucky at a very early date. He was once shot through the body by Indians, the ball passing also through a hymn-book in his pocket, after which he lived about twenty years. Mr. Marks has this book, which is now about 125 years old. His father came here in 1835 and died in 1845, leaving seven children, three sons and four daughters.
Feb. 8, 1866 in Knoxville, Mr. Marks married Mary McCoy; nine children were born to them: Wilbert Franklin, William Melvin, Mary Ida, Levina Alta, Walden Arthur, Warren Pleasant, Wilbur Ernest, Wilson Harley, and Fern.
Mrs. Marks was born in Ohio, June 14, 1847, and died June 17, 1894.
Mr. Marks now owns three hundred and twenty-seven acres of very fine tillable land and two hundred acres of tame pasture, adjoining Saluda, a station on the Quincy branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He was once a very extensive breeder of Aberdeen Polled Angus cattle. In politics Mr. Marks is a democrat. He was Constable and School Director for many years.

Clinton H. Meadows -- Cedar Township; Stockman; born May 11, 1859, in Floyd Township, Warren County, IL. His father, Martin Meadows, was born in Kentucky; his mother, Catherine (Reynolds) was a native of Indiana. His paternal grandfather was Henry Meadows.
In 1884 Mr. Clinton H. Meadows married Mary K. Lambin in South Bend, Indiana. They have two children: Ralph Martin, and Forrest Lambin.
Mr. Meadows is a republican. He received his education in the public schools.

William Mount -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born Sept. 23, 1824, and educated in Warren Co, Ohio. His father, Ralph Mount, was a native of New Jersey; his mother, Lucy (Barber), came from Ohio; his paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Barber.
Feb. 5, 1851, in Cedar Township, Mr. Mount was married to Mary Mahon; they have had six children; Robert M. and James O., deceased; George F.; Lucy, deceased; Jennie, deceased; and Lillie E. Robert has one son, Earl. Mrs. Mount was the daughter of Robert Mahon, who came from Virginia; she died Dec. 14, 1893.
Mr. Mount came to Cedar Township in 1843, and in 1855, settled on the farm two and one-half miles from Abingdon, where he now resides. He was one of a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. In religion, Mr. Mount is a Congregationalist. He is a democrat, and has always taken a lively interest in school and county affairs.

Swan Nelson -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Sweden Nov. 18, 1828, where he was educated. His parents were Nels and Nellie (Peterson) Nelson.
Feb. 23, 1854, Swan Nelson was married in Knoxville to Pernellia Nelson; they have seven children: Frank O., Nels A., Edwin C., Nellie, Mary, Emma, and Hannah. The three sons are farmers.
Mr. Nelson came to Knox County in 1852, and bought land. He began farming in 1854, married, and settled in Knoxville. In 1866, he moved to Cedar Township, and in 1877 located upon his present farm. His farm contains 180 acres of land. He is one of the wealthy and prosperous farmers of Cedar Township. In religion he is a Congregationalist. He is a republican.

Patrick Redington -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Ireland March 14, 1831; his parents, Philip and Mary (Hobon) Redington, were natives of Ireland. In 1851 Mr. Redington came to this country and spent seven years in Massachusetts, after which he moved to Galesburg, where he worked some years by the month. His first farm was a small one in Cedar Township, and he later bought a large farm where he now lives. He is one of the wealthy farmers of Cedar Township.
Jan. 9, 1859, in Galesburg, Mr. Redington was married to Mary Dolphin; they have three children: James P.; Anthony P.; and Rose, now Mrs. T. E. Creen. In religion Mr. Redington is a Catholic. He is a democrat.

Henry Franklin Smith -- Farmer; Cedar Township; born February 09, 1858, in Warren County, Illinois; educated in Knox county. His parents were James Bolin Smith, of Warren county, Kentucky, and Elizabeth Burns Smith, of Adams County, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; his paternal grandparents, William and Malinda Petty Smith, came from Virginia; his maternal grandparents were John Burns, of Ireland, and Rebecca Leightener Burns, of South Carolina; his great-grandfather, John Smith was born in England. The Burns family were of Scotch descent. Mr. Henry Smith was married in Knox county, Julys 1879, to Sarah Elmina Hughey; their children are: James Wesley, Hattie Edith and Ira Reece. His father was reared and married in Kentucky, and removed to Missouri, where ea son, William T. was born, and where his wife died. He returned to Kentucky and was married to Ruth Watkins; he then removed to Warren County, Illinois, where his second wife died. His third marriage was with Elizabeth A. Burns; their children were John L; Henry F. James B. Robert M., George W; Charles Eugene; Cyrus H. Mary A., wife of M. Kennedy; Hattie, deceased; and Laura R. He bought a farm of two hundred and forty-four acres in Cedar Township, where he died at the age of seventy-eight. H. F. Smith lived three years in Nickolls County and sic years in Frontier county, Nebraska, where he engaged in Stock raising. He sold his farm of three hundred and twenty acres for five thousand dollars. and after his return to Knox county, bought the old homestead where he has since lived. Mr. Smith is a Congregationalist. In politics, he is a democrat

Elery Stegall -- Farmer Cedar township, where he was born February 13, 1866; educated in the common schools. His parents were Frederick and Lovina Marks Stegall. Frederick Stegall settled in Knox County in 1836, and died in 1896, leaving , beside his widow, two sons and two daughters. March 04, 1889, in Galesburg, Elery Stegall was married to Mary Kennedy. They have three children; Frederick, Mary A., and Margaret B. Mrs. Stegall is a daughter of Jerry Kennedy, who came from Ireland to this country in 1865. Mr. Stegall is one of the substantial men of his town. In religion, he is a Protestant. He is a democrat

Frank M. Williamson -- Farmer; Cedar Township, where he was born, November 09, 1849; educated in the common schools. His parents. James and Safrona Bland Williamson, were both natives of Indiana. Mr. Williamson's father came from Sangamon County, Illinois, to Knox County in 1833. He had nine sons. May 28, 1833. Frank M. married his first wife Margaret Warren; they had five children; Warren, Elsie, George, Maud, and Maggie. The first Mrs. Williamson died in 1889, and October 15, 1891, Mr. Williamson married his second wife, Nettie Goddard in Warren County; she was a daughter of Robert Goddard. They had two children: Ruby and Pearl. Mr. Williamson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he is a republican, and was elected Justice of the Peace three terms; the first time was during Governor Oglesby's last term of office.

By Samuel T. Mosser

By Samuel T. Mosser.
Abingdon, the second city in Knox County in population and importance, was originally laid out in 1836, by Abraham Davis Swarts, on the southwest quarter of Section 33, Township 10 North, Range 1 East, its southern boundary being at first coincident with that of the township.
Mr. Swarts came to Illinois from Abingdon, Harford County, Maryland, in. 1821, and at first settled near Walnut Hill, Jefferson County. Eight years later he removed to the present site of Monmouth, and soon afterwards (in August, 1829) settled on a farm about three miles north of the present city of Abingdon. In 1833, he took up his residence on the northeast quarter of Section 32, the present site of Abingdon Cemetery, and at the same time purchased the southern half of Section 33. He was a man of means, for that time, public-spirited and philanthropic. It was one of his earliest and most cherished hopes to found a college at Abingdon, but he died before realizing his dream. His children, however, ultimately became leaders in a move ment to carry out his project. [See Hedding College.]
The first house to be built in the new town was the log cabin of Josiah Stillings, which stood on the southwest corner of Block 6. It was enlarged the following year, and in it A. Bowman and John W. Green opened the first store of the incipient village. Other early mercantile and manufacturing ventures are worthy of mention, as illustrating gradual growth.
Mr. Swarts early conveyed four lots to David Reece, on condition that he should open a shop for the manufacture of furniture. Mr. Reece used a portion of his dwelling house for this purpose, and it was at his home that his son, Alonzo N., was born in 1838, and where his son, Dr. Madison Reece, was reared. The first named enjoys the distinction of having been the first white child born within the present corporate limits. Directly south of the furniture shop James Smith opened the first shoe shop, about 1838. The original blacksmith, Abraham Swarts Nichols, located his shop on the northeast corner of the same block, No. 6. About the year 1839 Cornelius and James Dempsey built a carding mill on the southwest corner of Block No. 4. After operating it for a short time they disposed of the plant to T. S. Bassett. He failed to make it earn a profit, and transformed it into a planing mill, doing a remunerative business in the manufacture of sashes, blinds and doors. With the growth of the demand for building material, a saw mill and a brick yard became necessities. A. D. Swarts and Josiah Stillings were the first to erect the former, on the Berwick road, some four miles west of Abingdon, and a second saw mill was built not many years afterward, by John E. Chesney, Cager Creel and O. P. Swarts, established the first brick yard, in 1842, about ½ mile north of the site of Hedding College.
John E. and J. B. F. Chesney were both among the early settlers, and the latter is credited with having been among the first to invent the modern plow. Early in the forties, a Mr. Cochran began making pumps from hewn logs, the tubing being of hickory and the stock of white oak. The first flouring mill was built in 1856, by Barr and Hoffman. It stood on the corner of Jefferson and Pearl streets, and was subsequently sold to John W. Thompson, who transferred the business to Roseville.
The settlement began to grow very early in its history. In 1837 an auction sale of lots was held, and not less than forty were sold. Incorporation as a village did not follow for several years. Unfortunately the records of that event have been lost; but it occurred about 1815. The first addition was laid out April 2, 1849, by Frederic Snyder. It was on the south, and lay within the northeast quarter of Section 4 of Indian Point Township. Three others were laid out in 1854, two by Mr. Snyder and one by Mr. Swarts. Others were platted in 1855 by Messrs. Swarts and Wilson, and three more by Mr. Snyder, in 1856.
In 1857 Abingdon was incorporated as a city, the several additions mentioned being all included within the corporate limits. The charter was approved February 13, 1857, and the first election held April 21, following. The provisions of the instrument reflected the moral sentiment of the people, gaming houses, saloons, and even billiard tables falling under .he ban of prohibition. The legislative power is vested in a Board of four Aldermen who, as well as the Mayor, hold office for one year. A list of the city's chief executives, with the dates of their respective terms, is given below:

W. H. Gillespie, 1857-58-60 and '64;
Thaddeus Merrill, 1859;
Henry Frey, 1861-62-67 and '77;
D. D. Snoop, 1863;
A. J. Thompson, 1865;
S. M. Lewis, 1866;
C. C. Lewis, 1868;
William M. Yeatch, 1869-70 and '84;
J. B. Strode, 1871-72;
Abner Vickery, 1873-74 and '78;
William Johnston, 1875-80;
H. C. Murphy, 1876;
John Mosser, 1879-81-88 and '91;
William B. Main, 1882;
Thomas Newell, 1883 and '87;
William V. Trovillo, 1885-86;
J. F. Latimer, 1889;
S. D. Hall, 1890;
Thomas Austin, 1892 and '98;
H. R. Crouch, 1893-94;
John G. Burnaugh, 1895;
Corliss G. Mosser, 1896-97;
James Richey, 1899.

A postoffice was opened in 1863, and Mr. A. D. Swarts was the first postmaster. He named it Harford, after the county in Maryland from which he had emigrated, just as he had called the town Abingdon in honor of his early home. In order to avoid confusion, however, both postoffice and village were later given the same name. Mr. Swarts was succeeded by D. Reece, and he by the following list of incumbents: S. H. Richey, W. Shannon, B. Bradbury, W. D. Lomax, Jesse Chesney, A. B. Cochran, T. E. Givens, William M. Veatch, S. McWilliams and J. W. Maginnis.

The early years of the young city's history were marked by prosperity. As early as 1851, brick came into use in the building of stores, the first, of this material, being erected by J. B. F. Chesney on the northeast corner of Main and Martin streets. In 1853, the second brick store building was erected by D. K. Hardin, on the northwest corner of Main and Martin streets. In 1870, John H. Chesney, who occupied this building, built his new brick store building joining this on the north, which was the beginning of the brick block on the west side of Main street. At the same time the Masonic building was erected, also the next building north, by F. P. Foltz, and still another by Henry Frey. The largest store of this period was that of John H. Chesney, who had three rooms connected. There is no doubt but that he did the largest retail business of anyone who has ever done business in Abingdon. In the following year, 1871, Lyman Sanderson erected two more brick store buildings joining Frey's on the north. The first one was occupied by S. D. Pollock as a drug store; the other by John Mosser as a general store. In 1873, the corner-stone was laid for the new building of Hedding College; the brick store building of W, H, Heller, and numerous residences were built the same year.

In 1855, Abingdon was made a station on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and twenty-eight years later the Iowa Central line also passed through the place. These circumstances not a little added to its commercial importance in the surrounding country. During the Civil War, however, building was comparatively at a standstill, the perpetuity of the "Union, enlistments, and the success and comfort of the soldiers at the front engrossing public thought and care. Another, and later, hindrance to the city's prosperity happened in 1874, when the inhabitants separated into factions concerning the internal dissensions in the management of Abingdon College. Citizens were hung in effigy, assaults were not infrequent, and even the lives of some of the leaders on either side were threatened. In fact, there are those who opine that this factional fight actually turned back the city's progress by fifteen years. Sidewalks fell into decay and were not repaired; weeds grew along the sides of the thoroughfares; no new buildings were erected, and even those standing failed to receive a sadly needed coat of paint.

Prior to this, however,- in 1869 - a steam flouring mill was erected by Jefferson and James Dawdy. It was known as the "Highland Mills," and had a somewhat checkered existence. It was burned within a few months after completion, rebuilt, and again partially wrecked by a boiler explosion, in 1874. It was repaired, but again burned to the ground, in 1882, and never rebuilt. Other manufacturing concerns located at Abingdon are the Animal Trap Company, the Abingdon Wagon Company, and the Globe Manufacturing Company's plant for the making of workingmen's clothing.
The first named of these three owes its origin to the invention of a mouse-trap by W. C. Hooker. The inventor, with John E. Cox and K. R. Marks, were the original incorporators, Messrs. Cox and Marks having closed out their profitable hardware business in order to embark in the enterprise. The beginning was very modest, but the growth has been rapid and steady. Their present factory, on Meek street, was erected in 1896, and is said to be the largest manufactory of traps in the world. The company exports largely, both to Europe and to South America, and employs about a hundred workmen.
The Abingdon Wagon Company was removed from Clinton, Iowa, to Abingdon in 1895. To secure this removal an addition to the city was platted, east of the "Burlington" tracks, and the proceeds of the sale of lots was given as a bonus. The community has never had reason to regret the transaction. The present owners of the works are A. B. Spies and his four sons - Frank, William, Adam and Henry. Their large brick factory stands near the tracks, and about one hundred and twenty-five employes are engaged in making wagons and "bob" sleds.

The Globe Manufacturing Company began. the making of workingmen's clothing in 1889. James W. Cox and Samuel T. Mosser are its proprietors, having started their factory work with only ten sewing machines. They were almost phenomenally successful from the start, and at present (1899) occupy a large two-story building and give employment to nearly or quite one hundred and twenty-five hands.

The other manufacturing industries of the city may be briefly enumerated: Abingdon Brick and Tile Company; Abingdon Paper Box Manufacturing Company; Hall Trap Company; Roller Grip Pencil Holder Company; the Champion Display Rack Company.

A fire visited the city in February, 1899, laying in ashes a considerable section of East Main street, but rebuilding commenced at once. Abingdon's citizens are enlightened, progressive and energetic, and a general system of improvements, to conform with modern ideas, is already under contemplation. A new building for city offices is nearing completion, and here the Public Library will find permanent quarters.

The institution last named was established in 1897, by popular vote, and has already played a prominent part as an educational factor.

Next to its prominence as a commercial and shipping point, Abingdon enjoys a justly earned fame as an educational center. Not only have its common schools been well maintained, but higher education has always been the ideal of its founders and most public spirited citizens. The first school house was built on land belonging to A. D. Swarts, just north of the original town plat, in 1837. It was of the character incident to the days in which it was built, and the instruction given was in consonance with the surroundings and qualifications of the teacher. Abingdon being located in two townships, it has two school districts. In 1868, a large, two-story brick building was erected in North Abingdon, and the youthful mind may now be developed in a well-taught, graded school. The North Abingdon School has a corps of six teachers, in addition to a principal. South Abingdon also boasts a two-story brick school house, with a principal and three teachers. The latter building was erected in 1892, and both schools grant diplomas to graduates.

Opportunities for higher education were also afforded at a relatively early date in the town's history. Abingdon College was for years a school of excellent reputation, while Hedding College is a flourishing institution today. For a succinct history of these institutions the reader is referred to the captions Abingdon College and Hedding College. The former no longer exists, but its history is worth preserving and perpetuating.

The first denomination to organize a church was the Methodist Episcopal, and the first Presiding Elder was that famous circuit rider, exhorter, orator and patriot, Peter Cartwright. Regular services were held in the first rude school house, built in 1837, already mentioned. Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Swarts, with five other persons, constituted the first original membership (1833), and this devoted band was accustomed to meet at Mr. Swarts' log cabin; strong in faith and hope, but weak in all else. In 1846 they put up a building at the southwest corner of Block 11, two blocks south of the site of the present Methodist Church. After the building of Hedding Seminary, they used its chapel as a meeting place until 1868, when they built a two-story frame structure, which was then considered a handsome edifice, reflecting credit upon the piety and liberality of the congregation. In 1898, under the pastorate of Dr. R. E. Buckey, a fine house of worship, of red granite, was built and a large two-manual pipe organ installed. The present membership of the church exceeds five hundred. It is progressive, and its power for good can scarcely be overestimated.

The Christian Church was organized by Elder Hiram Smith, in 1840, and its first building was erected in 1849. In 1885 they removed to the chapel of Abingdon College. The trouble which arose in that institution in 1874 rent the congregation in twain, part of the membership withdrawing and forming a new society, called the Jefferson Street Christian Church. These worshipped at first in the Protestant Methodist Church building, at that time idle, and afterwards moved to a small frame building on Washington street, which had been built by the Methodists in 1846. Here they remained until 1884, when the two congregations were reunited. Six years after the reunion, in 1890, a very handsome church was built on South Main street. The church is energetic and prosperous.
The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Cherry Grove, by Rev. James Stockton, in 1834. In 1866 the denomination erected a church edifice in Abingdon. This society was later changed to a Congregational church, which was organized in 1881. The society bought the Cumberland Presbyterian property, and in 1885 refitted the building, adding a lecture room. The house was again remodeled in 1897, and a pipe organ placed in the church. The society is in a prosperous condition.

The Protestant Methodists organized a society in 1839-40. They erected a frame structure about 1869. The membership fell off, and the sect has no longer an established place of worship.

The Free Methodist Church was organized in 1880, by Rev. J. G. Terrell, with four members. The denomination never gained much in strength, and after a few years the local organization disbanded.

At the regular election, in the Spring of 1897, the citizens voted to establish and maintain a public library. Although not much more than two years have elapsed since its founding, it meeting place until 1868, when they built a two-story frame structure, which was then considered a handsome edifice, reflecting credit upon the piety and liberality of the congregation. In 1898, under the pastorate of Dr. R. E. Buckey, a fine house of worship, of red granite, was built and a large two-manual pipe organ installed. The present membership of the church exceeds five hundred. It is progressive, and its power for good can scarcely be overestimated.

The Christian Church was organized by Elder Hiram Smith, in 1840, and its first building was erected in 1849. In 1885 they removed to the chapel of Abingdon College. The trouble which arose in that institution in 1874 rent the congregation in twain, part of the membership withdrawing and forming a new society, called the Jefferson Street Christian Church. These worshipped at first in the Protestant Methodist Church building, at that time idle, and afterwards moved to a small frame building on Washington street, which had been built by the Methodists in 1846. Here they remained until 1884, when the two congregations were reunited. Six years after the reunion, in 1890, a very handsome church was built on South Main street. The church is energetic and prosperous.

The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Cherry Grove, by Rev. James Stockton, in 1834. In 1866 the denomination erected a church edifice in Abingdon. This society was later changed to a Congregational church, which was organized in 1881. The society bought the Cumberland Presbyterian property, and in 1885 refitted the building, adding a lecture room. The house was again remodeled in 1897, and a pipe organ placed in the church. The society is in a prosperous condition.

The Protestant Methodists organized a society in 1839-40. They erected a frame structure about 1869. The membership fell off, and the sect has no longer an established place of worship.

The Free Methodist Church was organized in 1880, by Rev. J. G. Terrell, with four members. The denomination never gained much in strength, and after a few years the local organization disbanded.

At the regular election, in the Spring of 1897, the citizens voted to establish and maintain a public library. Although not much more than two years have elapsed since its founding, it Purdue withdrew from the firm in 1883, since which date Mr. Clark has edited the paper and conducted the business alone. The Kodak is a journal of neat typographical appearance, and was started by Jesse C. Shoop in 1897.

The city's banking facilities are good, there being two solid financial institutions; the First National Bank and the private banking house of J. Mosser and Company. The latter was opened in 1895, and Mr. Mosser is highly esteemed as a sagacious, conservative business man.

The People's Bank was opened December 1, 1879, with an authorized capital of $30,000. M. C. Bates was President, and J. B. Mackey, cashier. In December, 1882, its capital was increased to $50,000, and in 1885 it was changed to the First National Bank of Abingdon. This institution has done a successful business ever since it was organized, and is today recognized as one of the leading banks of the county, having over $200,000 on deposit. The present officers are: Thomas Newell, President; J. F. Latimer, Vice President; Orion Latimer, Cashier.

Abingdon has had two other banking institutions, but both have gone into voluntary liquidation. T. H. and Strawther Givens, with J. M. Dawdy, engaged in banking under the firm name of Givens, Dawdy and Company, in 1873. In 1878 the business was reorganized and the Union Bank of Abingdon incorporated, with M. C. Bates as President, and Strawther Givens as Cashier. It went into liquidation in 1886. The Abingdon Safety Bank, incorporated under the State law, was organized in 1892, with a capital of $25,000. M. Reece was President, and Jesse Barlow Cashier. It went into liquidation in 1896.
It is impossible to give the name of the first physician who located in Abingdon. Some say a man by the name of Golladay was the first, but the memory of the old settlers is so treacherous that it is difficult to make a positive statement It is said that Doctors Garfield and Hubbard located here in 1841, and that in 1846 Dr. W. H. Heller moved to Abingdon. He is now in active practice, having been over a half century in his chosen profession in one locality. Dr. Madison Reece, a son of David Reece, one of the early settlers in the village, won great renown as a physician. He studied medicine with Dr. Heller, went to the army and was promoted to the rank of Major, and after the war settled in Abingdon for the practice of his profession. He was known all over the Military Tract, and probably no physician in central Illinois enjoyed a larger practice. The present physicians are W. H. Heller, C. F. Bradway, Jesse Rowe, F. B. Dickinson, T. W. Davidson and J. S. Cannon.
Among the very old residents of Abingdon is Dennis Clark, who settled here back in the thirties. He held the office of County Judge for over twenty years and now lives a quiet and retired life at his residence in South Abingdon.
Population, 1899, estimated, twenty-eight hundred.

By A. P. Aten.

The preliminary work that resulted in the founding of Abingdon College began in April, 1853, when P. H. Murphy and J. C. Reynolds taught a select school in a rented building on Main street, in Abingdon. In the Fall of the same year it became Abingdon Academy, with a Board of Trustees. Early in 1854, a new brick building, now known as the old college building, was begun, the contract being given to Jesse Perdue in consideration of ten thousand dollars. In February, 1855, the institution was chartered as Abingdon College, and in January, 1856, removed into the new building and began work with a faculty composed of P. H. Murphy, President; J. C. Reynolds, Professor of Ancient Languages; J. W. Butler, Professor of Mathematics, and an efficient corps of assistants. This faculty continued without material change until 1858, when J. C. Reynolds resigned and A. J. Thompson became Professor of Ancient Languages. President Murphy was removed by death in 1860, and J. W. Butler was chosen to succeed him. William Griffin about that time became Professor of Mathematics. Judge Derham was shortly afterwards added to the Faculty as Professor of Science, S. P. Lucy as Professor of Elocution, and Albert Linn as Professor of Mathematics in place of Mr. Griffin, who had resigned. In 1868, A. P. Aten was chosen Professor of Belles Lettres, and Professor Lucy retired, to accept other work, succeeding Professor Derham in the chair of Science, however, in 1871. The Faculty as thus constituted continued until 1874, when President Butler, with Professors Lucy and Aten, retired on account of some internal troubles that threatened the life of the college.
In 1868, what is known as the new building was erected at a cost of forty thousand dollars, and was occupied early in the next year. A period of great prosperity now began, which continued for six years, after which its decadence was equally well marked.

In 1874 Oval Pirkey became President, holding the position for one year. He was succeeded by Clark Braden. All efforts to revive the college seemed unavailing until after F. M. Bruner assumed the presidency, in 1877. He became sole owner of the institution, by purchase, in 1880, and continued at its head until 1885, in which year negotiations were successfully concluded by which Abingdon College was united with Eureka College, and its alumni were recognized for all practical purposes as alumni of the last named institution. Not long afterwards the Abingdon College property passed into the hands of Professor Summers, of Kansas, who established a school known as Abingdon College Normal, which existed for several years. In 1895, the property was purchased, through the efforts of President Evans, by Hedding College, and has since been owned by that institution, whose normal and musical departments are conducted therein.

By J. G. Evans.

Abraham Swarts, who laid out the town of Abingdon, in 1836, contemplated the founding of a college, but did not live to realize his ideal. His sons, Oregon P. and Rev. Benjamin C. Swarts, and his daughter, Mrs. Thomas R. Wilson, were so impressed with his plans that they embraced the first opportunity to lead in such a movement.
Hedding Collegiate Seminary was opened in the Methodist Church, November 19, 1855, with Rev. N. C. Lewis, A. M., as Principal.

The first building was erected in 1856-7, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars, and occupied December 16, 1857. In February, 1857, a charter was obtained incorporating the institution under the name of Hedding Seminary and Central Illinois Female College. Professor Lewis, who resigned at the close of his third year, was a man of fine ability, broad culture, large experience and good practical sense. He laid well the foundations upon which others were to build.
John T. Dickinson, A. M., was elected to fill the vacancy, and was in charge of the seminary for nine years, including the four years of civil war, so trying to institutions of learning. Professor Dickinson, with the aid of some generous friends, succeeded in keeping the school alive until the war closed and young men and prosperity returned.
In 1866, Rev. F. M. Chaffee secured subscriptions for an endowment fund amounting to eleven thousand dollars. The first moneys received were diverted, with the consent of the donors, to be used in building. The balance was never paid, and the seminary was left without any endowment Professor Dickinson was a good teacher, excellent scholar and a Christian gentleman. He was succeeded by Rev. M. C. Springer, who was President five years. Under his administration a new building enterprise was inaugurated.

Rev. C. Springer, financial agent, called a public meeting in Abingdon, at which Rev. J. G. Evans, who was in charge of the special effort, secured subscriptions amounting to twelve thousand dollars. A building, to cost sixty thousand dollars, was planned and the foundations laid. Unexpected difficulties were encountered, discouragements multiplied, subscribers withheld payments because they doubted the ability of the trustees to go forward, and the work ceased.
Professor Springer had a fine personal appearance and, being dignified in manners, courtly in bearing and gentlemanly in conversation, was well qualified to direct the education of young people. But he was conscious of the impossibility of realizing his ideal while embarrassed by the limited room in the old building. Disappointed in his expectations, he resigned in 1872, leaving an honorable record behind him. Rev. J. G. Evans, A. M., was chosen as his successor.

A very serious difficulty in the way of resuming the building enterprise was found to exist in the discouragement arising from the want of confidence. Subscribers refused to pay until they could see the work going forward, and that could not be without means. A. J. Jones, financial agent, P. M. Shoop, Superintendent of Work, and the President advanced the money to begin work, and as the walls went up confidence was restored, subscriptions were paid and success assured. The new building was occupied in 1874, but not completed until 1876. The cost was thirty-five thousand dollars.

In August, 1875, articles of incorporation were granted to the institution by the Secretary of State, under the name of Hedding College, and full and thorough college courses were adopted. The first administration of President Evans closed in 1878, at the end of six years of hard and successful work. No indebtedness for current expenses had been incurred, subscriptions on hand were ample to cover all indebtedness upon the new building, the attendance had nearly doubled, the graduating class of that year numbered fourteen, and eighty undergraduates remained.
In 1878, Rev. G. W. Peck was elected to the presidency, and held the position four years. He was a good teacher, but lacked the experience and knowledge of Western life and customs necessary to success. Seeing a rapid decline in attendance and a growing annual deficit, he became discouraged and resigned, leaving an accumulated deficit for current expenses of over ten thousand dollars.

Rev. J. S. Cumming, A. M., succeeded him. He entered upon the duties of his office with enthusiasm, and prosecuted the work with untiring energy. The difficulties were almost insuperable, but with a faith that gave birth to hope he toiled, with a heroism worthy of the noble cause he so faithfully served. His success in raising money saved the institution, and it was through no fault of his that the school still declined in numbers. After four years of anxiety and hard work, Dr. Cummings resigned and Rev. J. R. Jaques, D. D., Ph. D., was elected as his successor. Dr. Jaques was well known as an educator, was able in the pulpit and on the platform, and his election gave universal satisfaction; but he was unable to do outside work, the finances did not improve, nor did the attendance increase, and at the close of the third year he resigned, but retained his chair and took the vice-presidency.

Rev. J. G. Evans, D. D., LL. D., was again called to the presidency. The property had been sold under mortgage, and the privilege of redemption had expired. The attendance the previous year was only one hundred and six. The property has been restored; seven thousand dollars raised and expended in repairs; the Abingdon College property, which originally cost sixty thousand dollars, has been purchased; the attendance has increased every year, reaching four hundred and three last year; and fifty-five thousand dollars have been secured in endowment notes.
The moral tone and religious sentiment in Hedding have always been of a high order. A daily prayer meeting has been well maintained for thirty years, and from eighty to ninety per cent of the students are Christians.
The government of Hedding is administered upon the theory that such restrictions ought to be enforced as are found necessary to secure the best attainments in the legitimate work of the college, and protect students from being injured by objectionable environments and vicious influences. Secret fraternities, match games with other colleges, football, profanity, attending dances or theaters, drinking intoxicants and the use of tobacco are prohibited, because considered detrimental to good government and injurious to student life. Gymnasium work and all proper athletics are sanctioned and encouraged.

Rev. J. G. Evans resigned, and in June, 1898, Hyre D. Clark, D. D., Ph. D., became President.

Abingdon Biographies
Frederick P. Foltz -- John Webb Nance -- Thomas Newell -- Robert P. Barrows -- Isaac Burnside -- Jefferson Dawdy -- Peter Dechant -- Frank C. Dickinson -- Strawther Givens -- Israel John Harris -- William H. Heller -- Alonzo Marion Housh -- James W. Hunter -- John Wesley Maginnis -- William B. Main -- Seymour McWilliams -- William A. Merricks -- Corliss Glenn Mosser -- John Mosser -- Samuel Theodore Mosser -- James Richey -- Edward M. Sampson -- John B. Shumaker -- Abraham D. Swarts -- Roscoe E. Ward

Frederick P. Foltz
Foltz, Frederick P., is the son of Christian and Hannah Kieffer Foltz, and was born November 15, 1830, near Strathburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
The family is of German and French-Huguenot ancestry. His paternal great-grandfather was Frederick Foltx, who emigrated from Toterdam on the ship Tyger, George Johnson, master, November 19, 1771, and settled near Myerstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, also named Frederick, moved to Letterkenny Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1798. He had nine children, seven sons and two daughters, of whom Christian, the father of Frederick P., was the sixth. His great-great-grandfather, on the maternal side, was Abraham Kieffer, a French-Huguenot, who came to America in 1750. He had three sons and two daughters. His son, Dewalt, had seven sons and two daughters, the youngest son, Christina, being F. P. Foltz' grandfather.
The Foltz and Kieffer families come of excellent stock, and in France, Germany, and America, have been noted for their intelligence, enterprise, thrift, and usefulness. Many of the Kieffers were, and still are, prominent in church and State as teachers and ministers. Ex-Governor Beaver, a distinguished officer in the Civil War, and at present a member of the Superior Court, is a grandson of Catherine Kieffer. Ex-Speaker and General Kieffer, of Ohio, came from the Maryland branch of this family. Some of the most eminent divines in Maryland and Pennsylvania are named Kieffer, and include Dr. J. Spangler Kieffer, of Hagerstown, Maryland; Dr. Harry Kieffer, of Easton, Pennsylvania; and Professor J. B. Kieffer, of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Foltz's brothers, Daniel, Cyrus, and Martin L., served in the Civil War, southwestern army, and Christian C. was Captain of an emergency company. His brother, George, was a successful contractor and builder. Another brother, Moses A., of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, has been, for many years, editor and proprietor of "Public Opinion." He is an influential republican, has been a member of the legislature, and was appointed by President McKinley, Postmaster of Chambersburg.
Mr. Foltz was educated, and learned the carpenter's trade in Pennsylvania, which occupation he engaged in until his removal West. He was married in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, October 08, 1855, to Melinda C., daughter of George and Susan Jacobs. She was born in Waynesboro, December 07, 1833. In 1857, Mr. Foltz moved with his family to a farm in Kansas, but owing to the disturbed condition of that part of the country, he returned to Pennsylvania and worked at his trade until the close of the war. He then made a second trip to Kansas, which, like the first, proved disappointing, and he located at Abingdon, Illinois, where he has for many years been a leading citizen of the town and county. He has taken a conspicuous part in all matters pertaining to the advancement of Abingdon, and was prominently concerned in securing the construction of what is now the Iowa Central Railroad, of which he was a director; he also acted as collector for the company for sometime, in which capacity he was very successful. He was among the first to erect modern brick business blocks in the city of Abingdon, and built and owned the Foltz Opera House. He is the owner of much valuable property in the city. He was pioneer in the introducing and manufacture of tile for drainage purposes, and was a member of the first manufacturing company formed for that purpose. He is now a stock holder in the Abingdon Paving Brick and Tile Company. Mr. Foltz is a druggist, and has been in the business since 1865. He is the discoverer and manufacturer of a valuable antiseptic germ-destroyer and pain alleviator called "Presto," which has proved a boon to suffering humanity.
Mr. and Mrs. Foltz are the parents of seven children: Louise Belle, born at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Jennie Augusta, born in Shawnee County, Kansas; Frederick Luther, born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and died in Kansas, April 18, 1864; Linnie M., born in Abingdon; and Lillie M. and Helen D. Twins born in Abingdon. Lillie M. died September 15, 1870. The family are connected with the Congregational church.
In politics, Mr. Foltz is a republican; he has been Alderman of the city of Abingdon several terms. He is highly esteemed by his fellow townsmen.

John Webb Nance
son of William and Nancy (Lowe) Nance, was born in Rockingham Co, NC, May 15, 1814. His father was a native of North Carolina, as were his grandfathers, John Nance and Thomas Lowe. The name is French, and the family is of Huguenot descent.
Mr. J. W. Nance’s boyhood was passed in Tennessee. For a while he worked at farming in Henry County of that State, and at odd times found employment as a carpenter. In the spring of 1845, John Nance came to Warren County, IL., and purchased 100 acres of land, which he cultivated till 1878. The following year he removed to Abingdon, where he now resides.
Mr. Nance is a member of the religious body known as Missionary Baptists. He is well thought of in the community, and is honest and upright in his dealings with his fellow men. In politics he was originally a whig, and since 1856 has been a democrat. He became a Mason in 1850 and was admitted to membership in the Monmouth Lodge, Number 37.
Mr. Nance was married May 24, 1836 to Nancy Simmons, in Calaway Co., Kentucky. There were ten children: Rufus D.; Francis M.; Susan A.; Mary J.; Sarah E.; Charles W., deceased; Nancy C; Martha W; John A.; and Robert H. His second marriage was with Mrs. Harriet E. Brooks, Jan. 11, 1874. His present wife was Mrs. Mary (Lucas) Crawford to whom Mr. Nance was married April 20, 1879. She is the daughter of Daniel and Jane (McKenzie) Lucas, and was born March 18, 1822 in Ross Co, Ohio.

Thomas Newell
was born in Brown Co., Ohio, Sept. 19, 1821. His parents, Thomas and Margaret (Taylor) Newell, were natives of Ohio, the former of Brown County; he was a soldier in the War of 1812; they died in Park Co, Indiana. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland.
Mr. Newell was reared a practical farmer on the homestead in Indiana. He was married in Park County to Louise M. Smith, Sept. 14, 1843. They have six children, all of whom are married; Mrs. Sarah A. Burnside; John W.; William H.; Mrs. Julia M. McFarland; Mrs. Emma Leigh; and Kate E., the wife of Samuel T. Mosser.
Mr. Newell came to Knox County in 1847 and purchased 80 acres of land near Herman. He afterwards purchased 160 acres, making 240 acres in Chestnut Township, which he eventually sold and bought 200 acres in Indian Point Township. He came to Abingdon in 1877, still attending to his farming interests. The money received from the sale of his land he invested in the Union Bank, and later in the People’s Bank, which in 1885 was changed to the First National Bank of Abingdon, of which he is President.
Mr. Newell has been a conservative business man and has always avoided speculation. He is a substantial and representative citizen; temperate in all his habits; has always taken an active part in educational affairs, and has labored for the best interests of the community. When, in 1889, Hedding College became involved financially, he bid in the property at sheriff’s sale and paid the debts; and when, two years later, there was a failure in redeeming the obligation, he received the deed of the property, but deeded it back to the college, with the provision that it should never be burdened again nor sold on account of debt, thus enabling the institution to continue its good work. He also induced friends of the college to raise an endowment fund of $50,000.
Mr. Newell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of its official board. He has been Supervisor of Chestnut Township for eight years, and has held other local offices. In politics he is a republican.

Robert P. Barrows
Farmer; born in New Hampshire, in February, 1833; educated in the common schools. His father, Asa Barrows, was born in Oxford County, Maine, and serve through the War of 1812. His mother, Anna Pike, was born in Granby, Vermont. His paternal grandfather, also, Asa Barrows, was a native of Maine and a Revolutionary soldier. His forefathers came from Scotland and Wales. Mr. Barrows came to Illinois in 1858, and settled in Cooke County. In 1862, he enlisted in Company E, On Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers, and served till 1865, when he returned to Cooke County, and in 1868, moved to Iowa, where he married and settled in Buena Vista County. In 1883, he moved to Nebraska, and in 1888, to Abingdon, where he has since lived as a retired farmer, real estate dealer and speculator. He was first married May 1, 1869, at Independence, Iowa. There were two children: Grace, now Mrs. William Edmonson; and Josephine. Mr. Barrows' first wife died March 02, 1897, and he was afterwards married to Mrs. Anna Grimm. In religion, Mr. Barrows is a Congregationalist. In politics, he is a republican.

Isaac Burnside
Farmer; Abingdon; born Aug. 26, 1826, in Pocahontas County, Virginia; educated in the common schools of Indiana. In 1852, he came with his father to Knox Co, IL. after living in Ohio and Indiana, in which latter State he was reared on a farm.
In 1857, he was married, near Hermon, to Libbie Price, and settled in Chestnut Township, where he was for many years a prominent and prosperous farmer. In 1883, he removed to Abingdon, where he has since resided.
Mr. Burnside’s second wife was Mrs. Susie Ruth, daughter of Samuel Soliday, who came from Ohio to Tazewell County in 1853, and in 1869 settled on a farm in Salem Township. For some years before her marriage, Mrs. Burnside was a school teacher.
Mr. Burnside takes a keen but quiet interest in the public affairs of his town, and is known as an upright citizen and a successful business man. In politics, he is a republican. He is a member of the Christian Church.

Jefferson Dawdy
Farmer; Abingdon; born in Kentucky, January 24, 1812; educated in the common schools. His father, James Dawdy, came to Indian Point Township, Knox County, in 1846. Jefferson M. Followed in 1847, and settled on Section 17, where he farmed until 1897, when he retired and moved to Abingdon. In 1834, he married Elizabeth Amos; eight Children were born to them: James, John, Marshall, Cassie, Mary, Sarah E., Hattie E., and Bell. Mrs. Dawdy died in 1894, and since her death Mr. Dawdy has lived with his daughter, Bell, Mrs. J. W. Brown). In the early days, Mr. Dawdy was associated with Mr. Givens in the banking business. In 1865, he built a grist mill, which he conducted for some time. Mr. Dawdy is a member of the Christian Church, and was for some years a Trustee of the old South College. In politics, he is a democrat. He is one of the substantial men of Abingdon.

Peter Dechant
Mason, Abingdon; born November 17, 1820, in Germantown, Ohio; received a limited education in the common schools. His father, Peter Dechant, came from Germany, and was killed at the age of forty-six. At the early age of seven, young Peter Dechant began to work out, and when fifteen years of age had learned the mason's trade. He also worked in a brick-yard. In 1864, he came to Knox County and settled near Abingdon. For some years previous to his arrival in Knox county, he had been a contracting mason, which business he followed until 1889, when he retired. October 12, 1843, Mr. Dechant was married to Nancy J. Hall, in Montgomery County, Ohio. They had six sons: Jeremiah, Peter H., Chase, William P., John S., and Grant. Mrs. Dechant died in 1891; the sons are scattered and Mr. Dechant lives iwth a daughter. He has been successful, and was the originator of the hollow brick wall theory for prevention of dampness. Mr. Dechant owned a farm four miles from Abingdon, and at all times combined his trade work with that of farming. In religion, Mr. Dechant is a free thinker. In politics, he is independent, and for some years was Highway Commissioner; has always taken a keen but quiet interest in town affairs. For fifty years he has been a member of the Odd Fellows.

Frank C. Dickinson
Physician; Abingdon, where he was born April 20, 1868. His parents were John T. and Elvira Bates Dickerson. Professor John T. Dickinson was a native of New York, and was educated at the Wesleyan University at Middletown. He was an educator of high character, and was President of several colleges. As President of Hedding College, Abingdon, he was largely instrumental in building the north wing of the college; he died in 1886. Mrs. Dickinson, who survives him, was born in Pike County, Illinois, and educated at Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts. Frank C. Dickinson is one fo five children, was was educated at Hedding College and Iowa Wesleyan University. He is a graduate of the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College, class of 1893. He settled in Abingdon, where he has built up a good practice.

Strawther Givens
Real Estate Dealer; Abingdon, Cedar Township; born May 23, 1843 in Bloomington, IN; educated in the common schools. His parents were Thales H. Givens, of Madison Co, KY, and Julia (Carter) Givens.
He was married to Mary Huston, Dec. 25, 1862, at Blandinsville, IL. They have four children: Anna R., Thomas, Lucy G. (Foltz), Laura G. (Ryden), and Thales H.
Mr. Givens is a member of the Christian Church. In politics he is a democrat.

Israel John Harris
Teacher; Abingdon; born Oct. 24, 1857 in Elba Township, IL.; educated at Abingdon College. His parents, Joseph and Mathilda C. (Hart) Harris, were born in Ohio; his paternal grandparents were James and Rebecca Craig Jennings Harris; his maternal grandparents were Finney and Jane (Quinn) Hart, of Georgia; his paternal great-grandfather was Israel Harris, and his maternal great-grandparents were Robert Quinn and Elizabeth Lacey Hart.
His father, Joseph Harris, came to Knox County in 1853, and was one of the first settlers in Elba Township. He died in Abingdon April 20, 1883; his wife is still living.
After his father’s death, I. J. Harris, who had been teaching and studying in Abingdon, assumed charge of the estate, and turned his attention to farming and stock raising. In 1889, he resumed his former occupation of teaching, which he was obliged to abandon at the end of seven years, owing to ill health. Mr. Harris is still an invalid.
He was married Sept. 1, 1887 at Abingdon, to Emma Nelson. They have four children: Joseph Victor, born May 1, 1889; Verna Pernella, born July 27, 1892; Olive Caroline, born Feb. 27, 1891; and Yerda, born June 20, 1897.
Mr. Harris is a member of the Congregational Church and for the past year has been President of the Knox County Sunday School Association. In politics he is a republican, and was Alderman of the City of Abingdon during 1887-8.

William H. Heller
Physician; Abingdon; born May 11, 1823, in Ashland, Ohio; educated in the common schools. His father, John Heller, was born in Pennsylvania, came to Illinois in 1835, and settled in Cuba, Fulton Co., IL. Dr. Heller’s mother was a native of New Jersey. His grandfather, John Heller, was a Revolutionary soldier, and settled in Pennsylvania at an early date. Dr. Heller attended schools at Cuba, and studied medicine under Dr. Raymond at a medical college in Chicago. After graduating he began practice in Cuba, IL., and afterwards located at Abingdon, where he has practiced medicine for many years.
In 1846, he married Mary D. Mosher, in Fulton Co., IL. Five children were born to them: Robley E.; Joseph M.; John L.; Frank L; and Willie, who died in infancy. Joseph and John are physicians in Kansas. In politics Dr. Heller is a prohibitionist.

Alonzo Marion Housh
Farmer and Dairyman; Abingdon; born Sept 29, 1856, in Haw Creek Township; educated in Maquon; his parents were: James O. and Eliza (Strong) Housh; his grandfather was David Housh.
He was married Feb. 6, 1879 at Prairie City, IL., to Ella Barlow, daughter of Samuel Barlow of Warren Co.; they have one son, Glenn Yguerra.
Mr. Housh was brought up on a farm, and after his marriage lived in Haw Creek Township, where he had 185 acres of excellent land. In 1893, he went to Abingdon, and engaged in the insurance and real estate business since Feb. 1898, he has been a dairyman. Mr. Housh has been a breeder of fine horses, and owned in 1856, Byerly Abdailah; he now owns Zuleka Patchen. He is a successful business man. Mr. Housh is a democrat. He is a believer in Christian Science.

James W. Hunter
Retired farmer; Cedar Township; born Aug. 23, 1851, in Clinton Co, OH.; educated in the normal schools of Martinsville and Lebanon, Oh. His parents were Charles N. and Mary C. (Bond) Hunter, born and reared in Clinton Co, Oh; his paternal grandfather, James Hunter, was a native of the same state, while his paternal grandmother, Harriet (Neal) was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. His grandfather, James Hunter, was a native of Ireland, where he was a teacher. Charles N. Hunter was a merchant and stock-raiser in Ohio, where he at one time was considered one of the wealthy men. He died in 1876, aged 46 years. Politically, he was a democrat. He was a member of the Christian Church.
Nov. 16, 1876, at Hermon, IL. J. W. Hunter married Sarah A. Smith, a daughter of Charles Smith, a well-to-do farmer. They had two children; Charles M. and Isadora. The latter died in infancy.
Mr. Hunter was reared on a farm in Ohio. He began teaching school when a young man; he taught in Ohio and Indiana, and at Olney and in Knox Co, IL. In 1873 he was admitted to the Bar in Indiana, and afterwards continued his studies with ex-State Treasurer Wilson. In 1874 he came to Knox County and settled at Hermon, where he taught school for two years, when he married and began farming near Hermon. He became prominent in the democratic party of the township, and was elected Justice of the Peace. In 1887, he was elected Supervisor from Indian Point Township. In 1888, he was elected to the Legislature, and re-elected in 1890. In 1892 was nominated for member of Congress from the Tenth District and fell but a little short of election. Feb. 20, 1894, he was appointed Deputy Collector of Internal Revenues for the Fifth District of Illinois, and held the office until 1898, when he moved to Abingdon. During 1889-90, Mr. Hunter was engaged in the mercantile business at Hermon, IL.
His wife died July 15, 1899. In religion, Mr. Hunter is a Christian.

John Wesley Maginnis
Postmaster at Abingdon; born at Morristown, Ohio, July 10, 1838, where he was educated in the district schools. He came to Bureau County, Illinois, in 1857. Prior to the War, he followed the carpenter trade, but when the news of the firing on Fort Sumpter reached him, at 9 o'clock in the morning, he left his bench, and was an enrolled soldier before 3 o'clock the same day. He served with Company B, 67 Illinois Volunteers, until August, 01, 1862, when he was discharged on account of illness. For twenty-five years he was in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Company at Malden and Abingdon, Illinois. to which latter place he moved in 1866., He served four terms as collector of Cedar Township, and for ten years a was Constable in the same township; and Bailiff in the Knox County /Circuit Court. Mr. Maginnis' parents were Methodists, and he has adhered to that faith during his life. In politics, he never wavered from republicanism in its purest form. He was appointed Postmaster of Abingdon by President McKinley in recognition of his army service and fidelity to and active service in the republican party.

On November 27, 1868, he was married in Abingdon to Maria Jane Richey. They are the parents of the following children: Albert Richey; Etha Mabel; Samuel Archie, deceased; Arta Velma; Anna Maria; John Scott; and William James. Albert is a member of Company D Sixth Illinois Volunteers. Mr. John Maginnis father was Daniel Maginnis, a native of Loudon County, Virginia, who married Eva McClure, a native of Pennsylvania. His paternal grandparents were natives of Ireland.

William B. Main
Retired Farmer and Merchant; Abingdon; born in Otsego Co, NY, Dec. 7, 1835; educated in the common schools of New York State. His parents, Thomas P. and Laura (Allen) Main, were both natives of Otsego Co, NY. His paternal grandparents were Joseph and Jane (Blanchard) Main. Peter Main, who settled in Connecticut in 1680, was a native of Scotland.
W. B. Main came to Knox Co., IL. in 1857 and located at Altona. In 1861 he enlisted in Company I, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, and served until 1862, when he was discharged for disability, having been wounded at Fort Donelson. Later he settled at Galesburg, and was a conductor on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad until 1879, when he removed to Abingdon, where he engaged in the hardware business, in which he was successful from the beginning, and soon controlled the largest business of its kind in this section of the State. He also bought several farms which he managed for some years. He retired from the hardware business in 1897.
Jan. 17, 1865, Mr. Main married Miss Harriet M. Bill in Bainbridge, NY; they have had two children: Carrie E. (now Mrs. Claude Byram), born June 20, 1870; and George W., born Aug. 19, 1875.
Mr. Main is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is a trustee of Hedding College and treasurer of its endowment fund. In politics he is a republican. He was Mayor of Abingdon in 1882. He is looked up to as one of the most prominent men of the city.

Seymour McWilliams
Merchant; Abingdon; born March 14, 1861, in Mercer Co., Pennsylvania; educated in the common schools. His father, John McWilliams, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his paternal grandfather was Robert C. McWilliams.
Mr. McWilliams was married to Jennie Bell, April 8, 1885, in Lawrence Co., PA. Four of their five children are living: Jennie O., John R., Mark D., and Luke S.
Mr. McWilliams came to Galesburg in 1883, and in 1885 began a grocery business in Abingdon, which he continued from 1885 to 1892.
In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is a democrat, and in 1894 was appointed Postmaster for four years. He was elected Supervisor in 1890, 1892, and again in 1899. In 1899, he was Collector. Mr. McWilliams has always taken a keen interest in town affairs.

William A. Merricks
Merchant, and Farmer; Abingdon; born Dec.7, 1828, in Cabell County, West Virginia; educated in the common schools of Knox County, IL.
Mr. Merricks came to Knox County in 1839, and after living with different farmers spent some years as a clerk. In 1880, he went into the grocery and farming business which he conducted until 1885. He now keeps a diary, but has retired from active business life.
April 15, 1852, Mr. Merricks was married in Abingdon to Hannah E. (Chesney). They have four children: Clayton O., Jesse J., Blanch E., and Fannie E.
Mrs. Merricks is a daughter of Kent M. Chesney, who came to Knox County in 1836, and died in Topeka, Kansas.
After his marriage Mr. Merricks settled in Abingdon and from there managed his farm for many years. He was the first City Marshal of Abingdon, and is now serving his tenth term as Alderman of the Fourth Ward, his election having met with very little opposition. He was Collector for some years.
Mr. Merricks is a Christian in religion. In politics he is a republican.

Corliss Glenn Mosser
Merchant and Banker; Abingdon; born in Abingdon Feb. 24, 1870; educated in Hedding College. Mr. Mosser’s parents are John Mosser, a prominent merchant and banker of Abingdon, and Sarah J. (Carroll), daughter of William and Sarah Carroll.
Jan. 14, 1896, at Grand Ridge, La Salle Co, IL., Mr. Mosser married Elizabeth Snedaker. Mr. Mosser was for two years, 1896 & 1897, Mayor of Abingdon, and is now President of the Library Board

John Mosser
Merchant and Banker; Abingdon; born Jan 1, 1832, in Preston Co, W. V. His father, also John Mosser, was born in Maryland, and his mother, Susan (Frankhauser), was a native of Virginia; both parents were of German descent. The paternal grandparents settled in Maryland, where they died.
Mr. Mosser’s first wife was Mary, daughter of William and Sarah Carroll, who was born in Fayette Co, PA. The marriage took place in McDonough Co. IL, in 1860; they had two children: Samuel T.; and Ida L, wife of J. W. Reed, a druggist in Quincy, IL. Mrs. Mosser died Oct. 21, 1866.
Mr. Mosser was married to Sarah J. Carroll, sister of his first wife, Nov. 24, 1867; three children were born to them: Corliss G., Stacy C., and Lloyd L. The Carrolls were an old and prominent family in Fayette Co, PA. Stacy C. Mosser is a graduate of the University of Chicago, class of ’97, and is now a reporter for the Chicago Herald.
John Mosser was reared to manhood in the old Virginia homestead, the only one of six sons who remained with the parents until reaching majority, and he left home without a dollar, but with the conviction that he had done his filial duty. He found employment at $13.00 per month, the largest wages paid in that locality, the fact causing considerable talk in the neighborhood. In 1855, he came to Illinois and settled in McDonough County, where he followed the blacksmith trade with his brother Jacob. After a partnership of nine years, they started a general store in Abingdon, Feb. 1864, which John Mosser and a third partner, John Reed, conducted eleven years, Jacob Mosser remaining a partner only five years. The business is now devoted exclusively to dry goods, and boots and shoes, under the firm name of John Mosser and Son; they also conduct a private bank.
Mr. Mosser owns a fine farm of 240 acres in Cedar Township, and a quarter section of land in Coffee County, Kansas. He owns the Post Office building in Abingdon, and the buildings where his dry goods and banking business is conducted. He is a member of the I.O. of O.F. and of the A.O.U.W. In politics, he was formerly a democrat, but is now a prohibitionist. He was Mayor of the city of Abingdon four terms, and Supervisor two terms. Mr. Mosser is the oldest merchant in Abingdon, and one of the most respected citizens.

Samuel Theodore Mosser
Merchant and Manufacturer; Abingdon; born Nov. 2, 1861, in Industry, McDonough Co, IL; educated in the public schools of Abingdon and in Hedding College, graduating in 1884. His father, John Mosser, is a prominent merchant and banker of Abingdon, and his mother was Mary (Carroll) Mosser, who died Oct 21, 1866.
Samuel T. Mosser had, during the time of his education, assisted his father in the dry goods business, and in 1885, he became a partner and its successful general manager, materially increasing the business during a period of seven years. In Aug, 1889, in company with J. W. Cox and J.W. McCown, he organized the Globe Manufacturing Company, for the manufacture of workingmen’s clothing, the first manufacturing industry in the city, which proved a boon to Abingdon. They rented an old building and started ten machines, and engaged a first-class cutter. Their business was successful from the start, and increased rapidly, and the following year, 1890, a two-story building was erected, one hundred feet long by forty feet wide, which was occupied in July. Later, an addition, fifty feet by forty, was added, and in this large building one hundred machines are operated, employing one hundred and twenty-five people through out the year. In this establishment, good wages are paid, better than in most similar concerns in the State. Jan.1, 1892, J. W. McCown retired from the business. Of this business, unique in the county, if not in the State, Mr. Mosser is the practical manager, while Mr. Cox travels on the road as one of the salesmen.
Jan. 26, 1887, Mr. Mosser married Kate E. Newell, daughter of Thomas Newell, president of the First National Bank of Abingdon; one daughter was born to them: Leigh Marie Mosser, born Feb. 14, 1893, died Jan. 27, 1899.
Mr. Mosser was Secretary of the Building Committee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose house of worship would be a credit to a much larger city than Abingdon. It was he who induced the people to adopt stone as a material, and the present magnificent proportions of the edifice are largely due to his energy. He raised a subscription of $2,000. for the organ, and he has led the choir for fifteen years. Mr. Mosser has proved a useful citizen in many ways, and is held in high esteem in the community.

James Richey
Mayor of Abingdon; born Jan. 22, 1842 in Ireland; educated in Abingdon. His parents were William and Jane (Scott) Richey of Ireland. The family on both sides are of Scotch-Irish descent.
Mr. Richey was married to Sarelda Haney in Abingdon in 1871. Their children are: K. M. Buttler, and Haney.
Mr. Richey came with his parents from Columbiana Co, OH in 1853 and settled in Abingdon, where his father died July 6, 1876, at the age of 65. His father was a democrat; he was successful in business and well known in the county; his wife died Sept. 28, 1899; eight of their children reached maturity.
James Richey is a republican. He was City Marshal in Abingdon for nine years, and then went to Galesburg, where he was Deputy Sheriff for eight years and Chief of Police in Galesburg for one year. He returned to Abingdon, and served three years as City Marshal, and is now Mayor of the city, having been elected in April 1899. He is also Deputy Sheriff of Knox County. He has a good farm of 189 acres. Mr. Richey is a member of I.O.O. F. He has always been faithful and cheerful in the discharge of duty. He is a Methodist.

Edward M. Sampson
Indian Point Township; Justice of the Peace; born Feb. 10, 1855 in Scott Co, IN; educated at Alpha, IN. His father, Isaac Sampson, was born in Montgomery, KY; his mother, Catherine (Young) was born in Hamilton Co, OH. His paternal grandparents, Benjamin and Sarah (Charles) Sampson, were natives of Virginia; his paternal great-grandfather, John Sampson, was a native of New York, and his paternal great-grandmother, Betsy (Epperson) was born in Wales. His maternal grandfather, Abner Young, was born in New York, and his maternal grandmother, Jane (Wallsmith), in Ohio; his maternal great-grandparents, Jacob and Julia (Long) Young, were natives of Germany.
Jan. 25, 1875, Mr. Sampson was married to Mary C. Day in Monmouth, Illinois. They have two children, Cora E., who married J. W. Onan; and John. Mr. and Mrs. Onan have one daughter, Gladys.
Mr. Sampson is a democrat, and has been School Trustee and Director in Indian Point Township. In April, 1893, he was elected Justice of the Peace and served two terms. He is chairman of the Township Democratic Committee. Mr. Sampson has studied law and medicine. In religion, he is a Christian.

John B. Shumaker
Retired Farmer; Indian Point Township; born July 5, 1814, in Franklin Co, Oh; educated in the common schools. His parents were Abraham and Elizabeth (Swisher) Shumaker.
Sept. 21, 1847, he married Sophia Rager in Franklin Co, OH.; four children were born to them: Sarah E., Jeremiah, Mahala Jane, and Sophia.
Mr. Shumaker came from Ohio in 1843 and settled near Maquon. In 1844, he bought land in Indian Point Township, and was a farmer there until his wife died in 1878, since which time he has lived with his daughter, Mahala Jane, who married Robert L., son of John Shumaker. Mrs. Shumaker has two sons: Emory O. and Ray C. The latter is a farmer.
Jeremiah is a miller in Abingdon; Sarah married James Bellwood and has one son, Edward.
Mr. Shumaker is a republican. He was Highway Commissioner about three years, and was for several years School Director. He has always been a prominent man. In religion he is a Methodist.

Abraham D. Swarts
was born at Abingdon, Harford Co, Maryland, April 20, 1783. He married Ann B. Carroll of Baltimore, the name of whose family is indissolubly connected with the State’s history. Soon after their marriage, the newly wedded pair turned their faces toward the west, their objective point being the fertile, sun-kissed prairies of Illinois. He was among the early pioneers of Knox County, on whose history he has left the ineffable impress of his own untiring efforts and indomitable energy. He had a deep and abiding faith in the almost illimitable possibilities of the young State, and believed that it extended the brightest hope to the agriculturalist. His nature was kindly and generous, and his instincts philanthropic.
He genuinely appreciated the value of higher education, although his own early schooling had been of a rather meager sort. His original plan was to found a college near the site of his home, and his wishes were carried out by his heirs. From the institution founded through their efforts and liberal aid, hundreds of young people, of both sexes, have gone forth valiantly to fight life’s battle and to conquer success.
He died March 20, 1854 at the age of 71 years. He had lived to see the fruits of his earthly toil garnered into an abundant harvest, and he entered rest as “One who wraps the drapery of his couch around him, And lays him down to pleasant dreams.”

Roscoe E. Ward
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born in Marietta, Ohio, March 12, 1855; educated in the common schools and in Illinois University. He is a son of Dr. George A. Ward, and a grandson of Walter Ward of Philipston, MA.
Mr. R. E. Ward came to Illinois in 1863, and settled in Henderson County, where he was interested in school affairs, having been a teacher in the public schools. In 1895 he came to Abingdon, to be nearer good schools, and bought a fine farm. He is one of the leading farmers of Indian Point Township. In 1898, he was made Trustee of Hedding College.
In 1878, Mr. Ward was married in Lawrence County, Ohio, to Jessie F. Miller; they have four children: Alice N., George M., Elbert W., Roscoe S.
In religion, Mr. Ward is a Methodist. He is a republican.

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