Knox County Illinois
Elba Township History
By B. P. Baird
The first settler in the district now known as Elba Township was Thomas King, who came there in the year 1836. The statement has been made, in former histories, that John King, the father of Thomas, was the original pioneer. This is an error. John King emigrated from the east in 1835 but located in Brimfield Township, Peoria County, where he died in the autumn of the same year, without having pre-empted an acre of ground in Knox County. He had come west, intending to make a home for his family, but died before he had time to accomplish his purpose. Thomas King brought his widowed mother and younger brothers and sisters west, being resolved to seek better fortunes in a territory comparatively new. In the fall of 1836, they reached Illinois, and settled on what is now Section 2 of Elba Township. The original farm is still owned by James, a brother of Thomas, who was a child of five years when the family migration was made.
Among the earliest settlers were John and Felix Thurman, who were soon joined by Leonard and Darius Jones, emigrants from New York. The latter settled in Section 15, about the autumn of 1837, and not long afterward came Jacob Kightlinger, with his wife and family, to Section 27. Mr. Kightlinger had a large number of children and employed a private tutor to instruct them, thereby gaining a distinction either more or less enviable according to the standpoint from which his conduct was viewed. Yet he is said to have been the builder of the first school house in the township, in Section 27. Vachel Metcalf was among the first teachers in Elba, although it cannot be definitely asserted that he taught in this school. James Harrison Baird, a native of Pennsylvania, arrived with his wife and family in 1838, having emigrated from the east in a wagon and reaching Elba in the autumn. He made his home in the northwest quarter of Section 3, and – it being situated on the stage route between Peoria and Knoxville — it frequently proved a welcome resting place for weary travelers. Samuel Tucker, with his brother John, settled on Section 2 the following year; and about the same time came Rev. John Gross, who subsequently attained some local distinction through his connection with the “underground railway.”
Most of these early pioneers have passed away, Vachel Metcalf being the only known survivor. His present home is at Elmwood, Peoria County. They did much for the development of the section, yet scarcely deserve more praise than should be awarded to some who came after them. Among the later settlers who passed their maturer years in Elba and were prominently identified with the business interests of the township, and who have gone to the reward due to well spent lives, were Josiah Nelson, Moses Wheeler, Henry Oberholtzer, William H. Baird, Henry Potts, John Callegan, John Lindsey, Walter Bailey, James Nicholson, James Patterson, Benjamin Pitman and James Catterton. Of the present citizens who have earned an enviable reputation for industry, probity and public spirit, and whose beautiful homes help to make Elba what it is, may be mentioned Calvin Sumner, James Cation, Frank Potts, W. S. Baird, T. L. Galpin, Enoch Dalton, Isaac Shelton, D. W. Gooding, J. S. Thurman, William Bennett, G. W. Kennedy, William Woolsey, J. W. Sherman, D. C. Hurlburt, A. G. Adams, George Owen, John Miller, Peter Schenck, William Murdoch, Albert Breece, Thomas Howell, R. E. Farwell, J. O. Baird, William Calleghan, Samuel Shires, William Truitt, William Chapman, Elva Woolsey, William Speare, F. E. Nelson, Ziba Adams, David Hannah, J. M. Oberholtzer, John Cowell, Reuben Gates, Frank Chelton, J. D. Gray, James Barrett, James King, and John McKintey.
The surface of the township is beautifully undulating, and good natural drainage is afforded by French Creek and the numerous small streams which flow into it. The former traverses Elba from northeast to southwest, and along its banks is a considerable growth of timber, which serves to give variety to the landscape. Spoon River also crosses the extreme northwest corner, cutting off about an acre. The soil is extremely fertile, and especially adapted to the growth of cereals, the annual crop of wheat, corn, and oats being as large as those grown in any other township in the county. The yield of corn has been known to exceed one hundred bushels per acre, and of oats seventy-five bushels. Considerable hay is also raised, and timothy, clover and blue grass all flourish, as also do apples, peaches and a large variety of small fruits. The commercial value of the land ranges from twenty-five to one hundred dollars per acre, the maximum, however, being obtainable only for the choicest farms.
Elba is not crossed by any railroad, although good shipping facilities are afforded by the Santa Fe line on the north, and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy on the south.
The number of school districts is eight, with an average attendance of twenty-five pupils. There are two flourishing Methodist churches, and at one time there was a Presbyterian society as well. The latter congregation, however, has been broken up through deaths and removals, and the church edifice is rapidly going to decay.
Township organization was effected on April 5, 1883, by the choice of the following officers: John F. Nicholson, Supervisor; J. W. Hines, Clerk; H. L. Bailey, Assessor; Henry Smith, Collector; William Searles, Overseer of the Poor; Henry Oberholtzer, John West and K. Hines, Highway Commissioners; John West and B. F. Johnson, Justices.
Elba Township Biographies
Benjamin P. Baird -- William H. Baird -- George W. Kennedy -- John E. Lindzey -- Jacob M. Oberholtzer -- Alfred G. Adams -- Wilson Adams -- Ziba Adams -- James Ogden Baird -- W.S. Baird -- D.L. Bowhay -- Edward H. Broadfield -- J.C. Cowell -- Robert E. Farwell -- Daniel Gooding -- David Hannah -- Dean C. Hurlbutt -- Thornton Walker Kimler -- Julia E. Potts --
Francis R. Shelton -- William H. Smith -- William G. Speer -- Newton H. Tennery -- T.J. Truitt -- S.L. Vance -- Edward Whiting -- William Woolsey
Benjamin P. Baird
son of W. H. and Elizabeth (Farwell) Baird, was born in Pennsylvania, Mar. 19, 1855. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin and Ellen Baird of Pennsylvania, and the parents of his mother were James and Permelia Farwell of the same State.
Mr. Baird came with his father to Elba Township, where they located on Section 4. He was educated at Hedding College, Abingdon, IL. At the age of twenty-two he began farming for himself, and he now owns a very fine farm of three hundred and sixty acres on Section 16 of Elba Township, where he is quite an extensive breeder of fine horses.
His first marriage was to Mary E. Oberholtzer, who was born in Truro Township, Oct. 22, 1859, and died June 13, 1880. Her parents were Joseph and Anna Oberholtzer, residents of Truro. By this marriage Mr. Baird has one son, Newton Homer, who was born Oct. 1, 1878, and is a student in Knox College, Galesburg, IL.
Mr. Baird married a second time, Feb. 22, 1882, to Josephine G. Gray, who was born July 29, 1861. Her parents are Lemuel Gray and Mary Ann (Swegie) Gray, now living in Farmington, IL. The children by this marriage are Willie L., born April 5, 1883; Leo P., born July 12, 1885; Lois I., born April 22, 1887; Eva L., born Sept 7, 1889; Forest Gray, born Dec. 21, 1890.
Mr. Baird has been Road Commissioner for the township of Elba, and has served as School Director sixteen years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a republican in politics. [BACK]
William H. Baird
born April 6, 1820, in Clinton Co, PA, on the west branch of the Susquehanna River. His parents were Benjamin and Ellen (Summerson) Baird. Benjamin Baird was a native of Pennsylvania, and lived in Clinton Co. from his earliest youth. Ellen Summerson was a native of England, and came to America with her parents when she was an infant. They were married in 1817 and were the parents of eleven children, none of whom, six boys and three girls, attained maturity, William H. being the eldest.
Mr. Baird’s childhood was passed on the farm, and in the forests and along the streams of his native State. He was a lover of nature, and an adept with rod and gun. His education was limited, being confined to branches taught in the common schools. He afterwards taught in the schools of his county. He farmed for several years, during part of which time he worked in the forest, felling trees, moving them on the snow to the streams, and rafting them to distant saw-mills during the spring freshets. In 1848, with the aid of his father, he invested in a quarter section of land in what is now Elba Township, Knox Co, IL, where he moved with his family in 1856, settling on the northeast quarter of Section 4. He resided there until his death, which occurred on the thirty-fourth anniversary of the date of their arrival in the county, June 2nd. He was a successful farmer, and made additions to his farm from time to time.
Mr. Baird was married to Elizabeth Jane Farwell, May 22, 1850. She was born May 15, 1821, in Clinton Co, PA. Her parents were of German, Irish, and Scotch descent. There were six children: Jerusha Grace, now Mrs. Wheeler; James Ogden; Benjamin Preston; Leroy Joseph; William Sebastian; and John McClellan.
Mr. Baird was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania. His life was moral and upright, and old associates aver they never heard him utter a profane word. His wife always affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church people, but was not a member of any church.
Politically Mr. Baird was a democrat. He was a modest, unassuming man, precise in his methods, industrious and frugal. He was a friend of the church and of education, contributing liberally to their support; he was a School Director during most of his life in Illinois. Both his precept and his example were in accord with right action. He found true pleasure in associating with old friends, and greatly enjoyed telling comic tales with his family about him to join in the merriment. He was a life long sufferer from asthma, which, with other infirmities, caused his death June 2, 1890, shortly after completing his seventieth year. A few months afterward, his wife built a comfortable home in Williamsfield, a few miles from the old farm, where she lives, surrounded by her children. [BACK]
George W. Kennedy
Son of George and Nancy (Tedlock) Kennedy, was born in Rush Co, IN., Jan 29, 1833. The progenitor of this branch of the Kennedy family came from Ireland in a sailing vessel. The voyage lasted six months, during which period an acquaintance was formed between himself and a beautiful English maiden on board, and they were married immediately after landing in America. They settled in Tennessee, where their descendants became numerous and widely connected in several of the southern States, notably in Tennessee and Kentucky.
The grandparents of George W. Kennedy were William P. and Elizabeth (Parcell) Kennedy. The grandfather, born in Green Co, TN, was a farmer and mechanic. They were members of a church all their lives, first the Presbyterian and later the Methodist Episcopal. He died in Iowa and his wife in Indiana. George Kennedy, father of George W., was born in Green Co, TN, where he was reared on a farm. He married Nancy Tedlock, daughter of James Tedlock, who belonged to a family of whom several were men distinguished in the professions. They moved to Rush Co., Indiana. Mrs. Kennedy died in Hancock Co in the same state. Mr. Kennedy was thrice married and his last wife, Dorothy, is now living in Stark Co, IL. She was reared in Elba Township, Knox Co, where her father, John Thurman, was an early settler. He died in Salem Township, Feb. 3, 1884.
George W. Kennedy came from Indiana with his father in 1847, and settled in Salem Township, where he lived 10 years. His educational advantages were limited, having attended a district school for only a few months.
He was married in Salem Township, Nov. 1, 1857 to Eliza Thurman, who was born Dec. 20, 1835. Mrs. Kennedy was the daughter of John and Matilda Thurman, who came to Illinois in 1828 and to Elba Township in 1832. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were: Dorothy Charlotte, born July 29, 1858; Daniel Webster, born Nov, 9, 1859, died April 14, 1860; William Albert, born May 4, 1862, died Jan. 12, 1866; Rosa May, born May 27, 1867; Charles Edwin, born Oct. 27, 1869; Clara Bell, born may 27, 1872, and Martha Elice, born Oct. 30, 1875. Dorothy Charlotte was married to Andrew Riordon in Aug. 1877; they have one child, Bessie, who was married to B. Hunter in 1894. Charles married Minnie Ralston, whose father was a soldier in the Civil War, One hundred and Second Regiment, Illinois Volunteers.
Politically Mr. Kennedy is a democrat. He takes an interest in education, and the first school meeting of the District was held, and the School Board was organized, in his house. He has been School Director 18 years and has held the office of Road Commissioner. He is a Royal Arch Mason, Eureka Chapter, No. 97, Yates City.
In 1866 he introduced short-horn cattle into Elba Township, and in 1881 he completed his herd by purchases from J. R. Gay, of Versailles, Kentucky, and thus became the owner of the first herd of short-horn cattle in that township. His herd has numbered as high as 126, and he now has 100 head. Sales have been made in 13 different States at remunerative prices, one animal having brought six hundred and sixty dollars. Mr. Kennedy has a fine farm of 480 acres of land in Elba Township, owns 280 acres elsewhere, and has a good residence and other substantial buildings. He is a prosperous farmer. [BACK]
John E. Lindzey
son of William and Hannah Lindzey, was born in England, Oct. 19, 1828, and came with the family to Vermont. The Lindzeys were engaged in cotton and woolen mills in England and in this country, and were expert in their vocation. The family removed from Vermont to Illinois and settled in Fulton County. George E., one of the sons, lives in Farmington, IL. In 1872, John E. Lindzey came to Knox Co., and settled on a farm of 160 acres. He was a School Director nine years, and took a deep interest in educational work. Politically, he was a democrat.
He married in Knoxville, Aug. 22, 1873, to Mrs. Kiziah Chapman, daughter of William and Rebecca (Sharp) Gray, and widow of John Chapman. Mr. Gray’s parents were Jacob Gray of New Jersey, and Mary (Shrieves) Gray of Maryland. His paternal grandfather was William Gray of New Jersey, and his mother’s father was Barton Shrieves, who was born in Maryland, and died in Knox Co, IL. Mr. Gray was born in Bedford Co, PA, Nov. 24, 1821, and was married in Clinton Co, OH., Feb. 23, 1843, to Rebecca Sharp, daughter of John W. and Kiziah (Brewer) Sharp. Thirteen children were born to them: Mrs. Kiziah Lindzey, John Wesley, James Madison, Mrs. Mary A. Chapman, Francis M., David H., Mrs. Margaret E. Logan (deceased), Joseph M., Alice (deceased), Mrs. Eliza Byers, George E., Charles E., and Frank P. Mr. Gray was by occupation a farmer; in politics a democrat. In the year 1851 he removed from Highland Co., Oh. To Knox Co, IL, and settled in Maquon Township. He lived four years in Iowa. His wife died in 1885 in Knoxville, and his home has been in Douglas, Salem Township since 1896.
John Chapman, the first husband of Mrs. Lindzey, was the son of John and Ann Chapman. There were four children born to John and Kiziah (Gray) Chapman: Florence May, who died Aug. 25, 1888, M. Nettie, Francis, and Rebecca Ann.
The children of John E. and Kiziah (Gray Chapman) Lindzey were eight in number: Harriet Jane (deceased), Maud, William C., George A., Alma Edith, Blanche, Bruce, and Emma C.
Since the death of her second husband, Mrs. Lindzey, with the assistance of her sons, has managed her farm of 160 acres, which is located in Elba Township. She has a beautiful residence and the farm is well stocked with a herd of 25 cattle and numbers of swine and horses.
Mrs. Lindzey was born in Ohio, March 22, 1849; was educated in the common schools, and is a Methodist. [BACK]
Jacob M. Oberholtzer
was born in Elba Township, Knox Co, IL., March 14, 1845. His paternal grandfather, Samuel, came from Germany to Ohio, where he was a farmer. He was married three times, and had a family of 21 children. He died near Findlay, Hancock Co, Ohio. His son Henry, father of Jacob M., was born in Ohio, and came with Samuel Tucker to Elba Township. Soon afterward, having married Mr. Tucker’s daughter Martha, and being a farmer, he settled on a farm of 68 acres in Section 3, and purchased 40 acres in an adjoining township. He was a good neighbor, a democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in the spring of 1865. His widow resides in Yates City.
Jacob M., the son of Henry and Martha (Tucker) Oberholtzer, received his education in the country schools. He was married Oct. 28, 1869 to Laura A., daughter of Moses and Cynthia (Walker) Wheeler, who came to Knox County in 1856; they were prominent members of the Baptist Church; they died at the home farm in Elba Township, at the age of 76 and 67 years, respectively. Laura A. was born Sept. 15, 1849.
Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer have six children: Eliza W., born Feb. 22, 1872; Lloyd H., born Feb 4, 1874; Oliver T., born Aug. 21, 1876; Blanche B., born Sept. 19, 1878; Forest E., born Aug. 19, 1881, died Sept. 8, 1883, and Hubert W., born June 14, 1886.
Following the vocation of his father and grandfather, Mr. Oberholtzer became a farmer. After his marriage he rented farms in different places, but finally located on the old Wheeler homestead, which he improved, and now has a fine farm of 457 acres in the northwestern part of the township on which he raises stock extensively.
Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a democrat, and has been Collector of Taxes three years, Assessor two years, and is Supervisor of Elba Township at the present time. [BACK]
Alfred G. Adams
Farmer; Elba Township; born in Lawrence County, Illinois, August 5, 1833; educated in the common schools. His father was Samuel Adams of Tennessee, and his mother was Elizabeth Chenowith Adams of Kentucky; his maternal grandparents were Absalom and Duval Chenowith. Mr. Adams was married in Lawrence County, December 1, 1859, to Matilda Bardon. She was born May 15, 1833, and was the daughter of John and Nancy (Melton) Bardon, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Adams children are: Charles Francis (adopted), born June 18,1860; James Wesley, born October 3, 1860; Fanny Jane, born March 7, 1863; Samuel Winfield, born March 12, 1868. Mr. Adams has a large and productive stock farm of two hundred and eighty acres in Section 20. His is a democrat, and was Road Commissioner for eighteen years, Constable for six years, and Assessor for two terms. He is a member of Germania Lodge, No. 448, Yates City. His Father was Colonel in the Black Hawk War. Samuel W. Adams was married to Kittie Wilson. They have two children, Forest Glenn and James Alvin. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born December 8, 1843, in Franklin County, Ohio; educated in the common schools. His parents were William L. and Nancy J. (Timons) Adams of Delaware and Ohio, respectively. He was born in Salem Township December 21, 1865, to Rebecca J. Kerns. She was born October 23, 1846. and is a daughter of Alex and Matilda Kerns who are deceased. Their children are: Frank Leslie, born September 23, 1866; Effa C., born July 20, 1868, died April 9, 1870. Mr. Adams came with his father in 1847 to Knox County and to Yates City in 1861. He enlisted in Company F, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteers. After the war he was harness maker for twenty-two years and ran a hotel in Yates City for ten years. He now has a farm of eighty acres in Section 3. He is a member of Masonic Lodge, No. 448. Yates City, of Royal Arch Chapter, No. 98, and of O.E.S., Chapter No. 256. Mr. Adams is a republican in politics. [tr. by K.T.] [BACK]
Farmer and carpenter, Elba Township, born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania September 10, 1820 and educated in the common schools. His father was Hazard Adams of Connecticut, and the mother was Elizabeth Adams of Pennsylvania.
He was married in Knox County April 8, 1847 to Lelilah Gulett. She was born December 18, 1828. Their children are: Barbara Elizabeth, born Dec 1, 1848; Mary Anna, born Jan 5, 1854; Angeline, born Oct 25, 1852, died Dec 26, 1856; Villa M. born Sept. 22, 1858; John A. born Oct. 22, 1863; Austin, born Oct 3, 1866; Claude May born Dec 16, 1871.
Mr. Adams took the overland trip to California in 1852, and returned to Elba Township in 1854. He has an excellent farm of one thousand acres in Sections 17-18, and raises stock and horses. He was a practical carpenter for thirty years. His grandfather was with Marion during the Revolutionary War. Mr. Adams is a member of the Methodist Church. In politics he is a democrat. [BACK]
James Ogden Baird
Farmer; Elba Township; born in Pennsylvania April 6, 1853. His parents, William H. Baird, born April 6, 1820, and Elizabeth J. (Farwell) came from Pennsylvania. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin and Ellen Baird, the former a native of Pennsylvania. His maternal grandparents were James and Permelia Farwell, natives of Pennsylvania.
Sept. 17, 1874, Mr. Baird was married in Kickapoo, Peoria Co., to Adelia J. Brown; she was born in Kickapoo Feb. 25, 1851, and was the daughter of Jeremiah and Jemimah Brown. They had three children: Grace E., born Sept 8, 1876, died July 11, 1890; Byron L., born Nov. 22, 1877; Ralph O., born Sept 8, 1883. Mrs. Baird’s parents are dead.
Mr. Baird came from Pennsylvania with his father in 1856, and settled in the township of Elba, on a farm on the same section, which is still his home. He is on Section 4, southeast quarter, which is on the main road between Williamsfield and Yates City. He is a large raiser of horses and hogs. His son, Byron, has a good education and is now with a real estate firm in Iowa. Ralph is on the farm.
Mr. Baird was Supervisor from Dec. 1889 until April 1893. In politics he is a democrat. [BACK]
Farmer, Williamsfield, Elba Township; born Nov. 12, 1859, in Elba Township; educated at Hedding College, Abingdon, IL. His parents, William H. Baird and Elizabeth (Farwell) were born in Clinton County. His paternal grandfather was Henry Baird; his maternal grandfather, Farwell, was a native of Pennsylvania.
Jan. 18, 1883, he was married in Elba Township to Clara I. Sherman. She was born July 26, 1864 and is a daughter of John W. and Ann Maria (Bradford) Sherman.
There are two children, Edith L, born Jan. 8, 1884, and Floyd S., born Aug. 31, 1886. Mrs. Baird’s parents are living in Elba Township. Mr. Baird has a fine farm of two hundred and nineteen acres on Section 4, Elba Township, where his father lived for thirty-five years. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Dec. 10, 1859 in Elba Township; educated in common schools. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Householder) Bowhay, were born in Fulton Co., PA. The father moved first to Peoria, then to Elba Township, and in 1883 to southeastern Nebraska.
Mr. D. L. Bowhay was married at Yates City Jan. 20, 1887, to M. A. Peck; she was born May 12, 1859, and was the daughter of Moses and Catherine (Egolff) Peck. They have one child, H. C. Bowhay, born April 5, 1890. The parents of Mrs. Bowhay lived in Knox Co.; they are deceased.
Mr. Bowhay is a well-to-do farmer. He is a democrat and has been Collector for Elba Township. [BACK]
Edward H. Broadfield
Farmer; Elba Township; born May 8, 1831, in Stourport, Worcestershire, England. He was educated in night schools, and served four years at lithographic printing in Manchester, England. He came to America in 1855, residing in Peoria County till 1864, when he came to Knox County.
His father was Edward H. Broadfield, who was born in Shropshire, England, Feb. 21, 1800, and died Sept. 11, 1880. His mother, Mary Ann (Rowley) Broadfield, was born in Worcestershire, England, June 6, 1806, and died Sept. 22, 1881. His grandparents were Edward H. and Frances Broadfield, of Shropshire, England.
E. H. Broadfield was married in Peoria April 12, 1864 to Mary J. Crandall, who was born March 15, 1844, in Peoria County, and is a daughter of Zane and Mary (Johnson) Crandall. Their children are: Edward H., born Jan. 14, 1865; Walter, born Sept. 12, 1866; William R., born Oct 2, 1858; Arthur, born Jan. 2, 1871; Frank, born Dec. 6, 1873; John, born Jan. 26, 1876; Lyman, born July 28, 1878; George H., born Sept. 25, 1880; Ada, born Jan 17, 1883; and Nellie, born Sept. 3, 1885.
Mr. Broadfield has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres on Section 10 and a good residence. He has resided on this farm for thirty-one years. He raises stock of all kinds and various kinds of fruit. He has been Road Commissioner eighteen years. In politics he is independent. In 1894 Mr. Broadfield visited England. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Dec. 25, 1860 in Henry Co., IL; his father, Thomas Cowell, was born in the Isle of Man, July 14, 1827; his mother, Olive (Kimball) Cowell, was born in Knox Co., July 5, 1837. His grandparents were John and Susan (Corlet) Cowell, natives of the Isle of Man. He was educated in the common schools.
Mr. Cowell was married in Peoria Feb. 19, 1885 to Nettie Slocum. She was born in Peoria Co., Sept 26, 1861, and is the daughter of John C. and Margaret Slocum, who live in Peoria County.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Cowell are: Raymond, born Mar. 29, 1886; Ethel Pearl, born April 8, 1888; Ralph Earl, born June 16, 1890.
The father of Mr. Cowell came to America in 1846, and settled on Section 5, Elba Township, where he has a farm of one hundred and twenty acres.
Mr. Cowell owns a good farm of one hundred and five acres on Section 5, and raises stock and good horses. He is a democrat. [BACK]
Robert E. Farwell
Farmer; Elba Township; born January 12, 1855, in Clinton county, Pennsylvania; educated in the common schools. His parents were Lemuel M. and Nancy Burney Farwell, of Clinton County, Pennsylvania. His paternal grandparents were James and Permelia Farwell of Pennsylvania; his maternal grandparents were James Burney of Scotland, and Sarah Perry Burney of Pennsylvania. Mr. Farwell was married at Galesburg, September 18, 1879, to Mary A. Eastman, who was born in Peoria, Illinois, June 12, 1860, She was the daughter of Charles P and Mary Van Pelt Eastman. Their children are: Orin W., born July 12, 1880; Lemuel M., born December 22, 1881, died July 24, 1890; Roscoe H., born April 08, 1884; Ada L. , born January 29, 1886; John A., born November 24, 1887, died March 23, 1889. Mrs. Farwell is a Methodist, and a member of the Eastern Star in Williamsfield. Mr. Farwell came to Elba Township in 1877. He has a farm of two hundred and ten acres, on Section 04, and raises stock. Mr. Farwell is a believer in the Universalist faith. In politics, he is a democrat. [BACK]
Farmer, Elba Township; born Oct, 7, 1858 in Newark, Essex Co, N.J.; educated in the common schools; his father, Peter Gooding of Germany, was born Jan 18, 1807 and died May 26, 1891; his mother, Elizabeth (Dimphle) Gooding, was born in France, Nov. 13, 1814; the parents came to America in 1834, remaining at Newark, N.J. for a time, settling in Illinois in 1860.
Mr. Gooding was married to Mary Baird, Jan. 8, 1880, in Elba Township. She was born in Elba Township May 12, 1860; her parents were Adam and Rebecca Baird, who are living in Elba Township. Their children are: Herman, born Oct. 16, 1889, died Aug. 3, 1890; and Floyd B., born July 24, 1891.
Mr. Gooding has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, with good buildings; he raises stock. He is a republican, and has been Justice of the Peace and Road Commissioner. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Oct. 12, 1847; educated in the common schools. His parents were James and Sarah (McKenney) Hannah of Scotland; James Hannah is deceased.
David Hannah was married in Haw Creek Township, Feb. 6, 1873, to Olive Harshberger, she was born may 27, 1853. Their children are: Clyde H., born Nov. 30, 1873; Pearl O., born Jan 3, 1876; Glenn I., born Dec. 22, 1878; Della L. born Jan 31, 1884; Forrest D., born Aug. 13, 1888, died in Jan. 1892; Rollin F. born Nov. 1, 1892; and Eva Pauline, born March 7, 1895. Pearl and Glenn are teachers.
Mr. Hannah has a fine residence and a farm of 320 acres on Section 8. He is an extensive raiser of stock. Mr. Hannah is a republican. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, at Williamsfield, and a member of the Miner of Honor. [BACK]
Dean C. Hurlbutt
Farmer, Elba Township; born in Dalton, New Hampshire, Feb. 13, 1834; educated in common schools. His father was Asa Hurlbutt of Waterford, Vermont; his mother, Mary (Jones) Hurlbutt, and his grandmother, Mary Jones, came from New Hampshire.
He was married in Truro Township to Elizabeth Lambert. She was born in Indiana and died in 1889. Their children are: Mary A., died April 1, 1881; and Julia A., died Nov. 6, 1879, aged 19 years. Mary A. was married to Guy Davis and had one child, Roy H., who is living with his grandparents.
Mr. Hurlbutt has a farm of 1200 acres and a fine residence on Section 17. He is a good business manager and a model farmer. Mr. Hurlbutt is a republican, and has been Supervisor. [BACK]
Thornton Walker Kimler
Farmer; Elba Township; born Sept 22, 1864 in Elba Township; educated in Eugene; his grandparents, Evan L. and Love (Walker) Kimler, came from Virginia; his father, John H. Kimler, was born in Indiana, Nov. 7, 1825 and died Nov. 12, 1888; his mother, Mary Jane (Lane) Kimler, of Kentucky, was born in 1830; her father was William Lane of Virginia.
Mr. Kimler was married in Yates City, IL, July 10, 1884, to Martha V. Adams. She was born in PA, June 7, 1865, and was the daughter of C.C. and Martha Ann (Blane) Adams; the father was born in PA in 1826 and the mother was born in 1831 and died in 1879.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Kimler are: Forest B., born Dec 30, 1885; Wrongnel M., born Jan 28, 1888; Carrie, born Nov 19, 1890, died Mar 23, 1895; Charles Walker, born Mar 27, 1893; Courtney W., born Feb. 9, 1896; and Dallie D., born Dec. 29, 1897.
Mr. Kimler has an excellent farm of 160 acres and fine buildings on Section 11. He is a democrat and is Road Commissioner and School Director; he is a member of the I.O.O. F. No. 370, Yates City. Mr. Kimler has been a coal miner. [BACK]
Julia E. Potts
Farmer; Elba Township; born Jan. 19, 1835 in Tioga Co, PA.; educated in the common schools. She was married June 7, 1854 in Bradford Co, PA to H.H. Potts, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1828 and came to Elba Township in 1858 and located on Section 8. He was Tax Collector, Road Commissioner and School Director. He was a Knight Templar. He died Dec. 16, 1895.
Mrs. Pott’s parents were Moses and Cynthia (Walker) Wheeler; the father was born in Tioga Co, PA, the mother in New Hampshire. They are deceased. Her paternal grandparents were Moses Wheeler of Tioga Co, and Elizabeth (Taylor) Wheeler of New York; her maternal grandparents were Isaac and Polly Walker.
Mr. and Mrs. Pott’s children are: Willis N.; Isaac J.; Nellie J.; Flora A.; Frank E.; Walter S.; Effie B.; Fred W.; and Jessie M, deceased. There are four children at home. Mrs. Potts has an excellent farm of 325 acres, and a fine residence. She raises much stock. [BACK]
Francis R. Shelton
Farmer; Elba Township; born Aug. 12, 1858, in Elba Township; educated in the common schools. His parents were Robert and Mary Shelton of England; the father was born March 20, 1814, and is still living; the mother was born in 1829, and died in 1889; the grandfather was Isaac Shelton of England.
He was married Dec. 19, 1879 at Yates City, IL. to Nellie Roop. She was born in Yates City Oct. 10, 1862, and is the daughter of Barnet and Ellen Roop. The father died in 1892, the mother lives in Peoria. They were Methodists.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Shelton are: Della, born Sept. 3, 1880; Minna, born Dec. 13, 1882; and Mary, who died when three years old.
Mr. Shelton has a farm of 240 acres, which is well improved. He is a stock raiser and breeder. He is a member of the United Woodmen of America, No. 301, Yates City. Mr. Shelton is a democrat. [BACK]
William H. Smith
Farmer and stock raiser; Elba Township, where he was born Sept. 16, 1847; educated in the common schools. His father, Seth Smith, was born in North Carolina in 1811, came to Yates City in 1835, and died in Adams County, Iowa, July 25, 1887. His mother, Mary (George) Smith, was born in Knoxville, TN., and died Sept. 16, 1891. His paternal grandfather, William Smith, was born in Ireland, and his grandmother, Sarah (Phillips) Smith, was born in New Jersey. His maternal grandparents were born in Tennessee.
William H. Smith was married at Knoxville, Jan. 31, 1872, to Anna Eliza Carothers, who was born in Elba Township, July 2, 1854, daughter of John and Eliza (Ouderkirk) Carothers, who came from Schenectady, New York; both parents are deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have six children: Lillie E., born Dec. 3, 1872; Hattie E., born Jan. 12, 1875; Maud M., born June 10, 1877; Edith G., born Jan. 14, 1880; Fred L., born Oct 23, 1884; and Hazel M., born April 21, 1892.
Mr. Smith has a farm of 300 acres on Sections 5 and 9. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 73, Yates City. In politics he is a republican, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace, Constable, and School Director [BACK]
William G. Speer
Farmer; Elba Township; born Dec. 1, 1856, in Indiana; educated in the common schools. His grandparents were John Speer of New Jersey and Rachel Speer; his father was Samuel Johnson Speer of New Jersey, who died in Canton, IL., August 12, 1895. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. His mother, Susanna (Crothers) Speer, of Pennsylvania, died in January 1878. Her parents were Martin and Margaret Crothers of PA.
Mr. Speer was married in Canton, IL., April 28, 1884, to Emma Slane, who was born Jan. 17, 1855. She was the daughter of Thomas and Anna (Race) Slane, who died in Peoria Co, IL. They had one child, Clinton Chester, born Oct. 15, 1893.
Mr. Speer came to Illinois in 1856, and located in Banner Township, Fulton Co., where the mother died. He has a farm of 80 acres on Section 33. His parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than forty years. Mr. Speer is a democrat, and has been School Director. [BACK]
Newton H. Tennery
Farmer; Elba Township; born July 22, 1823, in Edgar Co, IL; educated in common schools. His parents were Thomas and Jane (Wilson) Tennery; the father came from MA, the mother from TN.
He was married in Shelby Co, IL., Oct. 7, 1852, to Symantha Williams. She was born in Fairfield Co, OH., June 11, 1830, and is the daughter of John B. and Francina (Blue) Williams; her father was born in 1803 and died in 1867; her mother was born in 1808 and died in 1886.
Mr. and Mrs. Tennery’s children are: John M., born Dec. 30, 1853; George C., born July 20, 1855, and died May 16, 1862; Edwin A., born Nov. 1, 1856; Francis M., born Feb. 4, 1859; Newton H., born Aug 30, 1860, died April 20, 1895; Owen Clarence, born Nov. 27, 1865, died Oct. 26, 1879; Angeline, born Sept. 28, 1863, died Oct. 22, 1888; Paris Edgar and George Michael, born Jan. 21, 1869; and Ethel M., born Oct. 22, 1870.
Mr. Tennery came to Elba Township in 1853, and located on Section 23, in 1863. His farm contains 240 acres and a fine residence. Mr. Tennery is a member of the Methodist Church. In politics he is a democrat, and has been Justice of the Peace, School Director and Trustee for a number of years. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Jan. 28, 1852 in Ross County, Ohio; educated in the common schools. His parents, Elijah and Eliza Jane (Taylor) Truitt, were born in Ross Co, OH, in 1818 and 1822; his grandparents were Giley Truitt of Virginia, and Nancy (David) Truitt.
T. J. Truitt came with his father to Illinois in 1855 and located in Elba Township, Section 28. He removed after several years to Yates City, where his parents lived till their death in 1898. The father was School Director in Elba Township for a number of years, and was captain of a military company. Mr. and Mrs. Truitt were members of the Methodist Church, of which he was a class leader for a number of years. They had a family of eleven children: Mary Jane, who was married to I. O. Gibbs; J. D. Truitt, a lawyer at Yates City; John T.; Margaret L. who married Dunaham Drake; T. J. Truitt; William F.; Harvey J.; Isaac M.; Laura E. who married John G. Grey; Joseph H.; E. E. Truitt, a physician in Maquon, who graduated at Keokuk College, Iowa.
Mr. T. J. Truitt is fifth in this family and is unmarried. He is a republican and has been School Director for nine years. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Feb. 3, 1861 at Highland Co, OH.; educated in the common schools. His father was Andrew Vance, born in Fayette Co, PA; his mother was Harriet Kibler of Highland Co, OH; his paternal grandparents were David and Hannah Vance of Maryland. His great-grandfather, Thomas Vance, and his maternal grandmother, Margaret Strain, were from Ohio; his great grandfather was John Strain.
Mr. Vance was married March 3, 1892, in Galesburg, to Letty Riner. She was born in Toulon, Stark County, Aug. 22, 1870, and is the daughter of Mathew and Margaret Riner. They have one child, Carmon R. R., born March 19, 1896.
The grandparents of Mrs. Vance were John and Elizabeth (Douglas) Wingader; the great-grandfather came from Germany, and died Jan. 25, 1894; the great-grandmother came from Scotland and was born Sept. 4, 1809, and died April 28, 1878. Her grandparents on the father’s side were Peter Riner of Virginia, born March 8, 1803, and Margaret (Kelly) Riner, born Oct. 8, 1808, died Jan. 1, 1873.
Mr. Vance came, in 1858, with his father to Section 36, where they have a farm of 280 acres. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Lodge No. 301, Yates City. Mr. Vance is a democrat. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born Oct. 5, 1856 at Kickapoo, IL; educated in the Kickapoo schools. His father and grandfather were called William Whiting and came from Sussex County, England; his mother, Jane (Cummings) Whiting, came from Portage Co., Ohio; his maternal grandmother was Susan Cummings.
He was married Jan. 1, 1884 in Elba Township, to Ettie Patterson, who was born in Elba Township, Oct. 23, 1861, and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Marshall) Patterson of Preble Co, Ohio. James Patterson was married in 1847, and came to Elba Township in 1849. Their children are: Etha Z., born Nov. 13, 1884; and James Kirby, born Nov. 14, 1885.
Mr. Whiting has a fine residence and fine farm of 110 acres on Section 25, three and one half miles northeast of Yates City. In addition, he manages his father-in-law’s farm. In politics he is a republican. [BACK]
Farmer; Elba Township; born in Haw Creek Township, Aug. 11, 1861. His father, David Woolsey, was born in Ulster Co, NY; his mother, Mildred (Logan) was born in VA. His paternal grandparents were Hezekiah and Hannah (Cutter) Woolsey.
Aug. 23, 1883, Mr. Woolsey was married in Knoxville to Norah M. Taylor. They have two children: Forest Taylor, born June 18, 1884, and Harley H., born April 4, 1886. Mrs. Woolsey was born in 1860. Her parents were Abraham and Emeline (Cartright) Taylor. The father is dead; the mother is living in Caldwell Co, MO.
Mr. Woolsey is a republican in politics. He has been Assessor of the town of Elba, and School Director a number of terms. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, No. 256, Maquon; also of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the lodge located at Douglas. His farm of 143 acres is on Section 6. [BACK]
Haw Creek Township History
By Charles W. McKown
In its natural features this is, perhaps, one of the most attractive townships in Knox County. About two-thirds of its area consists of prairie, and the remainder in timber land. The latter lies chiefly on the east and west, where the surface is more hilly. The central portion of the township, from north to south, is a rich, fertile prairie, mainly flat, yet sufficiently rolling to afford excellent natural drainage. The Spoon River is the principal stream, into which flow numerous small tributaries on either side, the most important of which is Haw Creek, on the west. These streams aid in drainage and also afford excellent watering facilities for stock. The Spoon enters the township at its northeast corner, and, after pursuing a devious course, flows out in Section 35.
There is an underlying vein of bituminous coal along the water courses, but as it is only from twenty to twenty-eight inches thick, it cannot be profitably worked for general commerce, although more or less is mined for local consumption.
The chief industry of the people is agriculture, while some live stock is raised for exterior markets. The principal crops are corn, wheat, oats and rye; while a little buckwheat and barley are also raised. The farms are well improved, and the farmers progressive, and always on the alert to test new ideas, adopting such as they believe tend to their real betterment.
The population consists almost wholly of native born Americans, there being but few foreigners. Of colored people there are none. Sobriety and industry are well nigh universal, and illiteracy is unknown.
The first white family to settle in the township was that of Mrs. Elizabeth Gilmore Owen, a widow, who was accompanied by her son, Parnach, and her two daughters, Thalia N. and Althea, who came from Ohio in 1829, and entered a claim in Section 18. Their neighbors were few and remote, the two nearest being Perry Morris, who lived on Section 33 of Knox Township, and a family who operated a primitive ferry across the Spoon River, at Maquon. Parnach Owen was a land speculator, and the conduct of his business necessarily involved long absences from home, during which periods the women of the household relied one upon the other for mutual protection. But they were of the strong fiber which ran through the frames of those pioneer women of Illinois, who became the mothers and grandmothers of a hardy, stalwart race. They despised nothing so much as cowardice and they were themselves no weaklings, being abundantly able to wield a hunting knife alike in the slaughter of a deer or in the defense of their honor.
Two years after their arrival in Haw Creek the Owen family removed to Knoxville. Parnach Owen was prominent in the organization of the county and was made its first official surveyor. He died at Prairie LaPorte, Iowa, about 1845, at the age of forty-seven. Mrs. Elizabeth G. Owen died at Knoxville, March 6, 1839, in her seventy-fifth year. She and her children, brave in the face of danger, and dauntless before obstacles, are among those who laid the foundations of civilization in Knox County. Thalia N. Owen married Dr. E. D. Rice of Lewiston, Illinois, and died there in 1880 at the age of seventy-seven years. Her sister Althea became the wife of John G. Sanburn, of Knoxville, on November 3, 1831. To him she bore seven children. One of her sons—Francis G.—was president of the Farmers’ National Bank of that place. She died there, having reached the same age as her sister—seventy-seven.
About a year after the Owen family, came James Nevitt, Samuel Slocum, David Teel, and David Enochs. They were followed by Woodford Pearce, David Housh, Joshua Burnett, Jacob Harshbarger, Linnaeus Richmond, William W. Dickerson and others; so that by 1833 or ’34 there was a well grown settlement here.
Charles Nevitt, a son of James, was the first white child born in Haw Creek (1832). The first death was that of Eleanor Jarnigan, in 1834. The first sermon was preached by the noted pioneer, Rev. Peter Cartwright in 1831. Revs. Richard Haney and William Clark were also early in the field as Methodist circuit riders. The first school was taught in 1836, by Susan Dempsey. She is now the aged widow of Booker Pickrel, and lives in Gilson. The first church was built in 1864, on Section 17, and about one year afterward two others were erected in Gilson. From this statement, however, it should not be inferred that the people had no places of worship prior to 1864. Every school house in the township was used for that purpose, beside regular old fashioned camp meetings in the groves.
James Nevitt built the first frame house in the township, in 1835, and Woodford Pearce erected the first brick dwelling.
Enoch Godfrey, James Nevitt, and George Benson garnered the first grain crops in 1832. The first road laid out was the State road from Knoxville to Farmington in 1836. This soon became a regular stage route, and before long a village sprang up along the line of travel in Section 18, and became an occasional stopping place for stage coaches, although not, in those days, what was considered a regular station. This was the nucleus of what became, later, the village of Mechanicsburg.
In the early days of the township, the only available markets for farm produce were along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and on Lake Michigan. Loads of grain were hauled to Chicago, nearly two hundred miles away; the sellers bringing back salt, shingles and general merchandise. Now, the Peoria and Galesburg branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy road enters Haw Creek at the southwest corner of Section 6, and leaves it at the southeast corner of Section 33, and Gilson is the only station within the township limits.
Township organization was effected at a meeting held at the Nevitt school house on April 5, 1853, by the election of the following officers: William M. Clark, Supervisor; Woodford Pearce, Clerk; Isaac Lotts, Assessor; Joseph Harshbarger, Collector; Jacob Wolf, Overseer of the Poor; John S. Linn and Enoch Godfrey, Justices of the Peace; George Pickrel and William Lewis, Constables; Milton Lotts, Allen T. Rambo, and Benoni Simpkins, Commissioners of Highways. A complete list of town clerks from the first election down to the present time is given below. A similar list of supervisors may be found in the chapter relating to county government.
In 1853, Woodford Pearce; 1854, Joel Harshbarger; 1855-57, William Swigart; 1858, William H. Eastman; 1859, Samuel Caulkins; 1860, Peter Lacy; 1861, W. J. McCulloch; 1862, William H. Eastman; 1863-65, William P. Kellar; 1866, E. K. Coe; 1867, Joseph Harshbarger; 1869, C. W. McKown; 1870-73, S. M. Ickes; 1874, A. L. Barr; 1875-76, B. A. Hill; 1877, Joseph Cramer; 1878, B. A. Hill; 1879, J. M. Cravens; 1880-81, O. J. Aldrich; 1882-84, B. A. Hill; 1885-86, O. J. Aldrich; 1887-89, C. W. McKown; 1890-96, William M. Gardner; and 1897-99, James Moore.
There are three regularly organized churches in Haw Creek, two in the village of Gilson and one in Section 3. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Gilson was organized in 1857. The present edifice was erected in 1864 and is worth about eight hundred and fifty dollars. Its first pastor was Rev. G. M. Iriom, and the clergyman now in charge is Rev. S. E. Steele. There are some ninety active members. The other Gilson church is connected with the United Brethren, and has about forty-eight members. Wolf (or Union) Chapel, also United Brethren, on Section 3, has a membership of nearly sixty.
In addition to these organized bodies, there is a tract of land devoted to the holding of annual camp meetings. The history of the allotment of this ground for this purpose is of interest in this connection.
Pursuant to a notice published in the Knox County Republican, calling for the organization of a camp ground association, the Knox County Methodists met in Orange Chapel, September 19, 1868, and elected Peter Godfrey, J. C. Elwell, and Joshua Burnett, Jr., trustees to purchase and hold land for a permanent camp ground. They bought of N. G. Clark eleven and four-fifths acres of ground for four hundred and seventy-four dollars. On September 3, 1869, the number of trustees was increased to nine, and on October 5, 1872, another acre purchased for fifty-five dollars. The camp ground is on the line of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway, a mile southeast of Gilson. It is well adapted for picnics as well as camp meetings. A good fence, horse corral, and buildings have been put up, and wells dug, at a cost of about fifteen hundred dollars. The camp meeting begins the Tuesday before the fourth Sunday in each August, and lasts one week. Since 1882 a gate fee has been charged all visitors. From the proceeds thus obtained the improvements have been made, and about eight hundred dollars are in the treasury. The present trustees are: E. H. Arnold, President; E. J. Young, Secretary and Treasurer; A. Dean, H. Shoop, J. M. Vangilder, E. Cramer, G. G. Moore, J. W. Davis, and A. Bruner. Messrs. Arnold and Young have been on the Board for over twenty years.
There are eight common schools, one of which (that of Gilson) is a graded school. The buildings are frame, but well constructed, with a view to adapting them to their use. The attendance includes nearly all the children of the township within the legal limits of the school age. The teachers are selected with great care, and the salaries are sufficient to ensure competence. In face, the Gilson School won two of the premiums awarded at the State Fair of 1878.
Gilson and Mechanicsburg are the two villages. The former is situated in the southeast corner of Section 7, and has a population of about one hundred and fifty souls. It is not incorporated. Its business establishments comprise six stores, two blacksmith shops, two carpenter shops, a harness shop, and a grain elevator.
The settlement of Mechanicsburg antedates that of Gilson. The first store in the village was kept by Edmund Smith, and the first industrial establishments were wagon and blacksmith shops. A post office was established May 7, 1852, and named, by the government, Haw Creek. Joseph Harshbarger was the first postmaster, and was succeeded, September 16, 1852, by Allen T. Rambo. Woodford Pearce followed him on March 17, 1855, and on March 5, 1857, the office was removed to Gilson, which was then a railway station, and Mechanicsburg fell asleep.
Of the early settlers of the township, many moved away, but the descendants of some of those who remained are numerous. Some of the most familiar family names are Housh, Pickrel, Richmond, and Burnett.
There was a large grist mill built at an early day in Section 34 on the Spoon River, which did a flourishing business for many years, but the flow of water in the river grew less and less, until the miller could obtain power during only about seven months in the year. As a result, the enterprise was abandoned; but the building and machinery were removed to Maquon, where they were utilized in the construction of a steam mill.
In 1849 a “cholera scare” was occasioned by the arrival of three immigrant families—Staniford, Richardson and Foster—who came by water to Peoria, and finally located in the northeastern part of Haw Creek Township. The scourge appeared shortly after their arrival, and the community was not a little perturbed. Mr. Staniford, Mrs. Fred Foster, Mrs. Thomas Richardson and two of her children, and William Richardson died, but fortunately the disease spread no farther.
One of the most exciting episodes in the history of the township occurred in August 1877, and was of sufficient importance to be worthy of mentioning in some detail. On Sunday, the fifth of that month, while the family of Mr. Woodford Pearce of Gilson was at church, a tramp entered their home and, after ransacking the premises, departed with a miscellaneous assortment of personal property, including seventy-five dollars in money. On the discovery of the theft a hue and cry was raised, and a posse was soon in hot pursuit. The culprit was discovered eating his dinner in a grove near by. He was armed, and, on seeing the approach of his would-be captors, he retreated to a cornfield, firing as he fled. His shots were returned, and during the fusillade William Kellar was shot in the ankle. Reinforcements were sent for, and soon the field was surrounded by two hundred men and boys. The tramp was discovered and again took flight, firing as he ran. A horse ridden by James Pickrel was wounded and the rider’s knee bruised. Another horse, carrying Charles Masten and Charles Cramer, was shot through the neck and killed, and a bullet through the heart killed Charles Belden. The tramp also exchanged shots with Charles W. McKown at short range (less than fifteen feet), the former receiving a slight flesh wound in the arm and side, the latter was shot through the left lung, the bullet lodging in the muscles of the back, where it still remains. Under cover of the night the quarry made good his escape. He had cast aside his shirt and vest, however, and these were discovered. In one of the pockets of the latter was found an express receipt given to Frank Rande. This clew led to his ultimate capture in St. Louis, through the skillfully directed efforts of Frank Hitchcock, then Sheriff of Peoria County, but not until after he had committed another robbery at the house of John R. Scoles, near St. Elmo, Illinois, killing Mr. Scoles and another man and dangerously wounding a third, as he was making his escape from an excited, infuriated troop of pursuers.
Before being overpowered at St. Louis, he also killed one of the policemen, assisting in making the arrest. A reward of one thousand dollars was offered and paid for his apprehension. He was taken to Galesburg where he was tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Joliet penitentiary, where, seven years later, he broke the Warden’s skull with an iron bar and was shot by a prison guard.
Recently a mineral spring has been discovered on Section 34. The water is said to be very potent in curing disease, and has been shipped far and near for use of invalids, barrels of it having gone as far as Oregon. The surrounding grounds are being beautified, and preparations are in progress for erecting a large hospital near the spring.
A brief reference has been already made to the village of Gilson, but its relative prominence in the township justifies a more extended notice.
The village was laid out July 10, 1857, on the southeast quarter of Section 7, by Linneus Richmond and James Gilson, for whom it was named. The location was good—just on the edge of the timber land along Haw Creek, eleven miles from Galesburg, on the Peoria branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway. The engines first in use on this line burned wood, and a large trade grew up in that species of fuel. Indeed, Gilson now seems to have been laid out on an open prairie, so thoroughly has the timber been cleaned away.
The first school house was put up before Gilson came into existence, and was used until about 1872, when the present structure was erected. The school is graded. There are two churches—Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren in Christ. The present population is about one hundred and fifty. The business is mostly confined to trade with surrounding farmers. There are two hotels, two barber shops, and an apiary of one hundred colonies of bees.
The post office was established March 6, 1857, with David Richmond as postmaster. His successors have been Woodford Pearce, May 21, 1857; J. S. Linn, March 4, 1859; John Love, June 23, 1860; J. S. Linn, March 4, 1859; John Love, June 23, 1860; James Moore, December 16, 1860; Jonas Ickes, January 6, 1865; W. J. McCulloch, May 24, 1870; B. A. Hill, November 23, 1885; Morris Blanchard, June 4, 1886; Jennie Utter, May 29, 1889; Morris Blanchard, September 27, 1893; G. W. Bushong, August 7, 1897. It is a money order office, and has a large patronage.
Gilson Camp of the Modern Woodmen was organized August 31, 1895, with ten members. First officers: J. E. Scott, V.C.; J. F. Conner, W.A.; J. N. Woolsey, B.; J. H. Baird, Clerk. In November 1898, there were fifty-two beneficiary and five social members. There has never been a death in the camp. Present officers: J. F. Conner, V.C.; C. L. Dossett, W.A.; A. R. Holloway, E. B.; J. K. Newman, Clerk; E. H. McElwain, E.; W. S. Steepleton, S.; C. H. Upp, W.; J. B. Miller, Physician; C. H. Upp, Robert Sumner and D. A. Hughes, Managers.
Haw Creek Township Biographies
Samuel Burns Anderson -- Charles Hubbard Huggins -- David Woolsey -- Joseph Bennett -- Salina E. Clark -- James T. Dickerson -- George Lambkin Lacy -- Milton Lotts -- Charles Wesley McKown -- Dr. John B. Miller -- John Murphy -- Benjamin Ramp -- James Rebstock -- William Scott -- William C. Stevenson -- Mary Ann West -- Jacob Wolf
Samuel Burns Anderson
born in 1801 in Greenbriar County, Virginia. His father, Archibald Anderson, was a native of the same State. In 1829, near Union, Ohio, he married Miss Irene F. Watts. Six children were born to them: Mrs. Elizabeth Huggins; Henry Clay (deceased); Daniel W., of Oregon; Mrs. Malinda A. Wright (deceased); Mrs. Mary E. Couse (deceased); and Samuel C. (deceased).
Both Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were brought up by the Shakers of Union Village, Ohio. Mr. Anderson went to them when he was only seven years old, and from them learned his trade, that of a blacksmith, which he followed many years. He was also a good machinist and turner, having served an apprenticeship of seven years in these trades. He was a giant in strength, one of his feats being to lift two anvils by the horns and strike them together.
After his marriage, Mr. Anderson settled in Monroe, Butler Co, OH. In 1825, he moved to Knox Co., IL. and settled in Haw Creek and Orange townships, opening a shop and also farming one hundred and sixty acres of land. He brought with him from Ohio three short-horn cattle, among the first in the county, and from them raised a valuable herd. He was also for a long time the largest buyer of hogs in the county, driving them to Peoria and Galena.
Mr. Anderson was County Commissioner when there were but three in the county, which office he held for many years. At that time there was but one pauper in the entire county, and Mr. Anderson kept and cared for her. In politics, he was a republican.
Mr. Anderson died at the age of 72, honored and respected by the community. His wife died at the age of 86.
Charles Hubbard Huggins
Charles Hubbard Huggins, son of David and Cynthia (Bartlett) Huggins, was born in Orleans County, Vermont, November 27, 1826. David Huggins was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, May 14, 1787. In 1834 he came, with his son Nathaniel, to Knoxville, Illinois, and purchased land in Knox Township, and town lots in Knoxville, and then returned to Vermont. In the Fall of the same year he removed with his family to Knox County, via Burlington, Vermont; Lake Champlain; Troy, New York; Erie Canal to Buffalo, New York; by boat to Cleveland, Ohio; by canal to Portsmouth, Ohio; thence down the Ohio River, and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Beardstown, Illinois; thence by ox-team and horse-team to Knox Township. The Huggins family was the seventh that settled in Knoxville.
Mr. C. H. Huggins obtained his education in Knoxville, and learned the carpenter’s trade with his half-brother, Edson. He followed that occupation five years; and then, for four years, very successfully operated a saw mill on Court Creek; he afterwards purchased a farm in Persifer Township, on which he worked till 1862. He married in Galesburg, Illinois, April 5, 1849, to Elizabeth J., daughter of Samuel B. Anderson, an old settler in Knox Township. Mr. and Mrs. Huggins have had no children, but they brought up ten, two of whom they adopted; Alpha B., wife of Dr. L.A. Burr; and Hubbard Huggins, who was the son of James Anderson; one of the ten children reared by them was Cora E. Anderson, daughter of Mrs. Huggins’s youngest brother.
In April, 1862, Mr. and Mrs. Huggins started across the western plains with a team of horses, in a large company that, part of the way, had nine hundred wagons. Their special company had fifteen wagons, Anthony Colwell being its Captain; Edson Huggins, brother of Charles H. was also a member of the company; they arrived in Oregon in October. Mr. Huggins farmed a year near Salem, Oregon, and then removed to Boise City, Idaho, where he kept the Idaho Hotel for three years, afterwards conduction a dairy in which he had fifty cows. He made 6,000 pounds of butter, which was sold for one dollar and a quarter a pound in gold, when greenbacks were worth only fifty cents on the dollar. He carried a cooking stove into Boise City on horseback. He and his partner, George Russell, bought sixty pack horses in Salem, Oregon, and, loading them with provisions, went through to Boise City. Mr. Huggins managed the hotel while Mr. Russell “packed” back and forth between Boise City and Umatilla, on the Columbia River. The usual cost of packing goods on that line into Boise City was twenty-five cents a pound, and the price of provisions was something remarkable; live hogs brought a dollar a pound, and chickens, large or small, a dollar a piece. They had eighty regular boarders at the hotel, and were prepared for as many “transients”, who paid a dollar for lodging, and furnished their own bedding. They finally sold out and went to San Francisco, where they took passage for New York City, via Panama. They started from Boise City, January 1, 1867, traveled three hundred miles by stage, then by water to New York, reaching Knoxville, Illinois, February 19.
After returning from Idaho, Mr. Huggins conducted a general store in Gilson, Haw Creek Township, for four years, when he sold out and turned his attention to farming. For his place of residence, he located in Haw Creek Township on the old homestead of Samuel B. Anderson, his wife’s father, where he has a farm of two hundred and seventy-seven acres of choice land.
was born in Ulster County, New York, Jan. 2, 1828. His parents, Hezekiah and Hannah (Cutler) Woolsey, were born in Dutchess County, NY. His father died in Ohio, and his mother in Elmwood, IL. The old Woolsey family came from England and the grandmother and great-grandmother on the father’s side were born in Holland. The paternal grandparents were William Woolsey, born in New York, and Hannah (Wright) Woolsey; his maternal grandparents were David and Patience (Sheldon) Cutler, born in New England.
Mr. Woolsey was educated in the common schools of Ohio. In 1849, he came alone to Knox County, where, at the age of twenty-one, he was the happy possessor of fifty dollars in cash. For several years he built fences, made rails and did such work as he could get from the older settlers.
He was first married Aug. 25, 1850 to Elizabeth Fry, who was born in Ohio, May 25, 1828. She was fifth in a family of twelve children. Mr. and Mrs. Woolsey had three children: Lefee A., Hezekiah, and William Cyrus, all of whom died when young.
Mr. Woolsey married for his second wife Mildred, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Wright) Logan May 4, 1853. She was born in Virginia, April 27, 1837. The children of this union are: Alva, who married Flora Hall and lives in Elba Township; Alonzo, deceased; Louisa, deceased; William, married to Nora Taylor; Arzella, the wife of Frank E. Nelson; Deborah, deceased; Lenora M., married to William Chase, and lives in Haw Creek Township; Julia A., the wife of Milton Sherman of Oklahoma; Charles, living in Truro Township; Adelbert, deceased; and Clyde, now living in Haw Creek.
Mr. Woolsey farmed in Maquon, Chestnut, and Haw Creek Township, remaining for five years in the latter. He purchased 150 acres of land in Haw Creek Township and began his residence there in 1865. He greatly improved his farm and added to it, until, at the present time, he owns 631 acres in Knox County. He is a very successful and progressive farmer, and is considered one of the best stock men in the county. Mr. and Mrs. Woolsey are identified with the United Brethren Church, and contribute largely toward its support. They are noted in the community for their kindness of heart and unostentatious charity.
deceased; Farmer: Haw Creek Township; born in Milton, Saratoga Co, N.Y., Nov. 22, 1818. His parents were William Bennett and Lydia (Hathaway).
Aug. 25, 1839 he was married to Lois C. Wilcox in Onandaga Co, N.Y. Four of their children are living: Mrs. Hellenda L. Pearce, Chicago; Mrs. L. Adeline Foote, Kansas; Mrs. Lois A. Housh; and Joseph Bennett, Jr.
Mrs. Bennett’s father, Asel Wilcox, a native of Massachusetts, was a pioneer of Illinois, and bought several farms, one of them, on which his daughter settled, being located in Knox County; he was a Master Mason. His daughter Lois C. was born Nov. 6, 1813 in Manlius, Onandaga Co., N.Y. His wife Hellenda (Foster) was a native of New York. Lois C. (Wilcox) Bennett was educated in New York and taught school there for ten years. At the age of thirteen she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and has been a member for more than 73 years, and a Sunday school teacher for nearly 70 years. She is a remarkable woman and a good manager, and at the age of 85 her mind is bright and active.
Joseph Bennett, senior, and family came to Illinois in 1855, and to Knox County in 1858. They settled in Haw Creek Township, where the family owned one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which Mrs. Bennett later added ninety acres. Mr. Bennett was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he was a republican. He died in Haw Creek Township Nov. 11, 1875.
Salina E. Clark
Haw Creek Township; born in Maquon Township, Knox County, Illinois, June 4, 1848, on the old Selby homestead. Her parents were Philemon B. Selby of Lancaster, Ohio, and Elizabeth (Gullet) Selby. Her first marriage was with Franklin Thurman on February 15, 1866. Two children were born to them, Mrs. Florence Odell, and Mrs. Mary Kromer. Her second marriage was with Thomas A. Clark on February 12, 1874, son of Rev. William Clark of Knox County. They have four children: Mrs. Jennie Burnside; William E.; Katie; Frederick. Mr. Clark was Road Commissioner, and has been School Director for fifteen years. He is a successful farmer.
James T. Dickerson
Farmer, Haw Creek Township, where he was born Jan. 21, 1848. His father, William Wright Dickerson was born in White Co, IL. Aug. 2, 1820, and died Aug. 11, 1885; his mother, Sarah (Housh) Dickerson died in 1863; they were the parents of eleven children, seven of whom reached maturity: Mrs. Mary Morss, Mrs. Phebe Morss, James T., Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, William, Mrs. Eliza J. Woolsey, and Mrs. Martha Dennis.
In 1865 his father married again, the second wife being Elizabeth (Highfield) Dickerson; two children were born to them: John B., deceased; and Frank Wilson. His grandparents, Louis Dickerson of Georgia, and Elizabeth (Beck) Dickerson of South Carolina, were among the early settlers in the State.
James T. Dickerson was married in Peoria County, Mar. 27, 1876 to Melvina Connor.
Mr. Dickerson is a practical farmer and owns three hundred and thirty-three acres of land in Haw Creek Township, besides timber land. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined Maquon Lodge, No. 530, when twenty-one years of age. Mr. Dickerson is a democrat.
George Lambkin Lacy
Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born on the Lacy homestead in Haw Creek Township, Feb. 21, 1858; educated in Knox County. His father is Peter Lacy of Knoxville.
Dec. 28, 1881, Mr. Lacy was married in Knox County to Olive L. Russell; they have four children: Rettie E., Clarence R., Thomas E., and Mary F.
Mrs. Lacy is the daughter of David and Mary A. (Rambo) Russell, old settlers of Knox County.
Mr. Lacy was reared on the farm, and has 160 acres of land, comprising the old homestead. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is a democrat.
Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born in Gallia Co, Ohio, Jan. 1, 1823. His father, Isaac Lotts, was born in Greenbrier County, W.V.; his mother, Nancy (Knox), in Monroe Co. of the same State. His maternal grandparents, James and Sarah (Robinson) Knox, were natives of Virginia; his paternal grandparents were Jacob Lotts, native of Germany and a soldier in the Revolution, and Elizabeth (Wolf), a sister of General Wolf of Revolutionary fame.
Mr. Lotts came to Knox County with his parents in 1837. His father died Oct. 4, 1875, aged 83 years; his mother, Sept 26, 1875, aged 76 years. Mr. Lotts inherited a part of the homestead on which he was reared, and later bought the remainder from the other heirs. To this he has added by purchase until he now owns 700 acres of good land.
March 13, 1845, Mr. Lotts was married to Elizabeth Ward, near Gilson, IL. Eight children were born to them: Mrs. Larissa Caldwell; Mrs. Fidelia Scott; Jared W.; Mrs. Sarah S. Young, deceased; Arthur W.; Delesca, wife of L.E. McPherris; James Oscar; and Ella, who died in 1886.
Mrs. Lotts died May 1, 1879, at the age of 54 years. In politics, Mr. Lotts is a democrat. He was Supervisor in 1861, 1862 and 1863, and has held other local offices.
Charles Wesley McKown
Apiarist; Haw Creek Township; born March 14, 1840, in Fulton Co, IL; educated in the common schools. His parents were William McKown of Ireland, who was born Nov. 22, 1785, and died April 6, 1865, and Sarah Davis of Hamilton Co, Ohio, born Dec. 8, 1796, and died Jan. 24, 1888.
Mr. McKown was married in Gilson March 11, 1866 to Sarah W. Ward. His second marriage was with Rebecca C. Traxler, March 24, 1885. Three of their children are living: Frank T., Henry C., and Daisy.
Mr. McKown came with his parents to Knox County in the fall of 1858, and settled in Haw Creek Township, where he farmed until 1862. He enlisted in Company F, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain J. L. Burkhalter. He fought in the following battles: Perryville, Chickamaugua, Kenasaw Mountains, Mission Ridge, through the Atlanta campaign, at Jonesburg, and with Sherman in his famous “March to the Sea”. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington at the close of the war, and was honorably discharged June 6, 1865. After his return to Knox County he taught school, and, after his second marriage, settled on a farm for two years. He then became a merchant in Gilson, and in 1876 sold out and became an apiarist.
In 1889, his ability and success was recognized by his appointment to the position of United States Gauger at Peoria, which he held for five years. He then returned to Gilson and continued his work as an apiarist, often producing as many as ten thousand pounds of honey in a season.
Mr. McKown is a Royal Arch Mason. He has also been Adjutant and Quartermaster of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry Reunion Association since its organization in 1887. In politics he is a republican.
Dr. John B. Miller
Gilson, Haw Creek Township; Physician; born in Delavan, Tazewell Co, IL., Oct. 22, 1852; educated in the High Schools of Illinois. Dr. Miller’s paternal grandfather, William Miller, was of Scotch descent. His son, George W. Miller, father of Dr. Miller, was born in New Albany, Indiana, and soon after his birth, the family moved to Kentucky and from there to Lawrence Co, IL. He became a Methodist minister and married Elizabeth Westfall, a native of Lawrence County, and the daughter of Isaac Westfall.
Dr. Miller studied medicine one year with Drs. Wright and Laney in Canton, IL, and after moving with his father to Gilson, he studied two years with Dr. D. W. Aldrich in that place, and then attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, where he graduated in 1873. He settled immediately in Bonaparte, Iowa, but after nine months, returned to Gilson, where he married and then settled in Orion, Henry Co, IL. After a short time he returned to Gilson, where he conducted a drug store for about a year and a half. After practicing three years in Eugene, he returned to Gilson, where he built up a good practice.
Dr. Miller has been twice married. His first wife was Cordelia A. Ward, whom he married in Gilson, where she died, leaving two children: Pearl, wife of George Robertson; and Ward.
His second wife was Virginia E., daughter of John D. Moore, an old settler of Orange Township. Of this union there are four children living: Settie May, Joy McC, Bettie, and Lucy Lavon. George B., a twin brother of Bettie, died at the age of eight months.
Dr. Miller is a free religionist. In politics he is a republican. His official positions have been school offices. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a popular and intelligent physician, honored and loved by all who know him.
Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born Aug. 20, 1820, in County Kilkenny, Ireland. His parents were Nicholas and Ellen (Hearn) Murphy, natives of Ireland, where they died.
Mr. Murphy came to the United States at the age of 28, and was a pioneer of the Murphy family in this country. He landed at New Orleans and from there came by boat to St. Louis, where he worked in a warehouse from March till Sept. 1849. He then came to Peoria, and afterwards, with some Knox County farmers, Joshua Davis, John Walter, and son, Thomas, and Milo Preston, came to Knox County. For ten years he worked by the month for P. B. Selby, after which he bought a farm of 160 acres, which he improved and upon which he now lives.
Mr. Murphy was married to Catharine (Cullinane), of Ireland. They had a large family of children, seven of whom are living: Nellie: Molly; Julia, wife of Levi McGirr; Dennis; James; Michael, and Daniel. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are members of the Roman Catholic Church. In politics Mr. Murphy is a democrat, and has been School Director for seven years.
Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born in Cumberland Co, PA, Nov. 20, 1815. The family is of German descent. Mr. Ramp moved to Miami Co, OH in 1844 and thence to Knox Co, IL. in 1848, and settled on Section 3, Haw Creek Township.
Oct. 26, 1837, Mr. Ramp was married to Sarah Mapps. They have had thirteen children: Elizabeth, wife of John W. Cook, died Jan. 14, 1862; William; Mary Jane, wife of Henry Bell; John, died Aug. 11, 1842; David; Aaron, died Jan. 14, 1854; Benjamin, died June 5, 1850; Samuel; Jesse M., died Oct. 31, 1853; Asa M.; Cephas A.; James W.; and Charles A. Mr. Ramp’s second daughter was first married to Mr. Epperson; there was one son, William B. Epperson. Her second marriage was to Henry R. Bell. Six children were born to them: Milton; Lawrence; Estella, now Mrs. Evans; Arthur; Lillie; and Luetta Ella. Henry R. Bell’s father was Henry Bell, an old settler, and ex-Sheriff of Knox County. Mr. Bell was born in Knox County, and is a farmer in Haw Creek Township. In politics he is a democrat.
Mr. Ramp owned two thousand acres of land in Haw Creek, Truro, and Persifer Townships, all, except three hundred acres of pasture, being under cultivation. All this he accumulated in spite of successive accidents by which he lost first a leg and then an arm. After recovering from the first accident he had but little property, and was in debt for treatment.
Mr. and Mrs. Ramp were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ramp was a republican. He held several local offices and was for four years Justice of the Peace.
Farmer, Haw Creek Township, born in Tuscarawas Co., OH., April 14, 1839; educated in the county schools. His father, Emanuel Rebstock, was born in Maryland, while his mother, Mary (Rolanbaugh), was a native of Germany, as were also her parents, John and Emily Rolanbaugh. Emanuel Rebstock died in Ohio at the age of 35, when James was only 9 years old; the boy lived among strangers, who did not send him to school nor properly clothe him. When he was fifteen years old he was earning six dollars a month with a farmer in Pulaski Co, IN.; the following year he received eight dollars a month. At the age of sixteen he entered forty acres of land for fifty dollars. In the winter of 1858, he came to Knox County, and at the age of nineteen, he was earning fourteen dollars a month. In 1861 he traded his forty acres, and in 1867 bought property in Haw Creek Township.
In 1862 Mr. Rebstock enlisted in Company G, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers, and after serving two years as a private, was commissioned by Abraham Lincoln as First Lieutenant in the Eighth Colored Heavy Artillery. He was not mustered out until March 1866, when he returned to Knox County and settled on a farm near Gilson.
In Gilson, July 26, 1866 Mr. Rebstock was married to Mrs. Salinda Pickrel, daughter of Isaac Lotts. In religion he is a Methodist. He is a republican. He has held many offices, and is now Supervisor, having been elected in 1880, holding the office continuously, with the exception of four years. In his official capacity he has rendered the county valuable service. Mr. Rebstock is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the A. F. and A. M. He has been prosperous in his business enterprises.
Merchant; Gilson, Haw Creek Township; born in Highland Co, OH, Nov. 13, 1843. His father, Henry Scott, was a native of Virginia; his mother, Margaret (Burnett) Scott was a native of Delaware.
At the age of seventeen years, Mr. Scott enlisted in Company D, Sixtieth Ohio Infantry, and served twelve months; after his discharge he re-enlisted in the Twenty-fourth Battery, Ohio Light Artillery, and served till June, 1865, having participated in important battles. He was captured by General Jackson and released on parole.
After the close of the war, Mr. Scott came to Illinois, in Sept. 1865, and entered Hedding College at Abingdon, teaching at times to pay his way. In 1868 he returned to Ohio, and the next year entered the Normal School at Lebanon, in that State. In 1869 he returned to Illinois and resumed teaching. In 1871 he removed to Adams County, Nebraska where he taught school, but again became a citizen of Knox County in 1874, and for four years taught school in and about Gilson. In 1878 he opened a store for general merchandise at Gilson. He has prospered in Business and owns two farms, one in Nebraska and one in Knox County. He is a member of the United Brethren, and a steward in the church. He is a republican.
March 23, 1879, Mr. Scott was married to Amanda E. Lawrence, daughter of John and Abigail (Farlow) Lawrence, old settlers in this county. They have three children: Carl L., Floreth B., and Jewel E.
William C. Stevenson
Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born in Franklin Co, OH., Feb 26, 1836; educated in Knox County. His father, Edward Stevenson, was born in Maryland; his mother, Mary (Keys), was born in Delaware. Mary Keys’s father’s name was James. Edward Stevenson’s parents, Zacharia and Sarah, were born in Maryland, as was also Zacharia’s father, John, who was of English descent.
William C. Stevenson was married to Charlotte A. Ouderkirk, the daughter of Jacob and Nancy (Waffle) Ouderkirk, at her home in Haw Creek Township, Feb. 2, 1859. They have two children, Mrs. Elsie Reynolds and Ethmer V. Stephenson.
Mr. Stephenson came to Knox County in 1841, with his parents. They spent three years in Jones Co, IA, but later returned to Knox County. He has been a successful farmer, and has 335 acres of land in Maquon, Haw Creek, and Orange Townships. In 1865 he moved to his own farm in Maquon Township and lived there till 1893 when he settled on the old Jacob Ouderkirk place in Haw Creek Township. In politics he is a populist, and holds the position of School Trustee.
Stockdale, W. M., Druggist; Altona, Walnut Grove Township; born Jan. 7, 1844 in Elkhart, Indiana. His father was Thomas Stockdale of Pennsylvania, and his grandfather, Hugh Stockdale came from Ireland; his mother, Catherine (Manning) was born in Ohio. He was educated in the common schools.
At the age of seventeen he entered the Union Army, and served in the Regiment Band until Aug. 9, 1865, when he came to Altona to join his father, who had previously moved there. Mr. Stockdale was clerk in a drug store there in 1868. In 1888 he opened a drug store on his own account.
He was married in Altona in 1871 to Ella Main. He has been Town Clerk, and is a member of the Masonic Lodge in Altona. He organized, and was leader of the first band in Altona.
Mr. Stockdale is a republican and has always taken an interest in municipal affairs. He is a Protestant.
Mary Ann West
Haw Creek Township; born in Indiana January 5, 1819; daughter of Joshua Gullett; educated in the common schools of Indiana; came to Knox County May 31, 1838. She was married to Samuel West , who was born in Vermont, April 25, 1807, and died in Knox County January 31, 1860. Mr. West's parents were John and Anna West of Vermont, who were of English descent; he was educated in the common schools of Vermont and Cincinnati, Ohio. His occupation was that of a sawyer and miller, and he came to Knox County May 1, 1838, and helped build the Selby saw mill on Spoon River in Haw Creek Township, Section 34, which was the first saw mill in Knox County. He later remodeled it into a grist mill, which he operated for several years. After his marriage he settled on a farm, and at the time of his death owned about three hundred and fifty acres of land. He was a good friend and neighbor, and a kind husband. He affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. In politics he was a democrat. Mr. and Mrs. West had six children: Anna; John; Elizabeth, now Mrs. McTier; Joshua; Daniel; Philemon. Anna is the wife of Rev. Newton G. Clark, who was educated in the common schools, and at Valparaiso, Indiana. They had two children, Elsie, wife of Bert Bays; and Mary L., wife of Dr. James U. Long. Mrs. West has been successful in the management of her farm.
Farmer; born Feb. 7, 1814 in Athens County, Ohio, where he was educated. His parents were Jacob Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Lydia (Dorr) of Jackson County, Ohio. Jacob Wolf, Senior, was a tanner by trade, and after living many years in Ohio, moved to Porter County, Indiana, where he died. The ancestry of the Wolf family is German and English.
Mr. Jacob Wolf was married in Haw Creek Township March 4, 1849, to Elizabeth Pickrel. They have five children: Josephine, deceased; Mrs. Mary Pursel; John; Sarah, deceased; and Emily, who married Darius Woolsey and was the mother of seven children.
Mr. Wolf’s first occupation after moving to Illinois was that of cattle dealer. He bought cattle in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, and drove them to eastern markets. He was a very shrewd and capable manager, and at the time of his death owned nearly 3,000 acres of land in Knox County. He carried on an extensive farming business, but used much of his land for pasture. He often fed five hundred head of cattle at a time. Mr. Wolf was a republican. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The old Wolf homestead is now owned and managed by John Wolf, who was born Jan. 27, 1853; he was married to Miss Delmar Harshbarger, a daughter of Jonathan Harshbarger. They have three children: Ralph, Marie, and Wayne. Mr. John Wolf owns the old homestead and about 1,000 acres of land.
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