The town of Allen is composed of the Congressional Township 31 North, of R. 5 East, and is the southeastern town in the county. It is entirely prairie, having no natural growth of timber within its limits or near its border. The soil is good, and the surface mostly rolling. From its location at a distance from timber and at the extreme limit of the county, it remained unoccupied until twenty years after the organization of the county, and twenty-five years after settlements commenced within the county limits. The first permanent resident in the town was Robert Miller, from New England-a Quaker. He settled on Section 12, in the fall of 1850 ; after a few years residence he removed to Iowa. The next was Michael Kepner from Perry County, Pa., in the spring of 1851; he made a claim on S. 16, where he remained five or six years, and removed to Minnesota.
Since 1857 the town of Allen has rapidly filled up with an enterprising population, so that there is no vacant land in the town, and the improvements of most of her citizens are not behind those of Her sister towns. The dwellings, barns, and other improvements of Nathaniel and James Mclntyre, M. C. Lane, Thomas Sullivan, Henry Smith, and some others, are scarcely excelled in the older States.
The extension of the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Railroad was built through the town of Allen in 1875, giving a direct communication with Chicago. The station was located near the centre of Section 16, which, fortunately for the town, had not been sold previous to the location of the road. The town of Ransom was laid out by the School Trustees, and lots sold to the amount of $5,000 at the first sale. If judiciously managed, the town will realize a very efficient fund for the support of her schools through all the future.
Thus this town, in the centre of a prairie region, far from timber, distant from market, and long neglected, is destined to be a successful rival of the older settled portions of the county.
[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Allen, 475-478 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]
Topography - Pioneers - Elected Officials - The Village of Ransom
( S. L. Brown, David C. Bruce, George Cleal, Henry and Charlotte Pickett Cleal, Simeon Cleal, Samuel S. Cochran, W. H. Conard, A. Norris Douglas, Philip Geheber, James McCoy, William H. McIntyre, R. O. McVicker, R. S. Smalley, Nathaniel Smalley, Levi and Emily Alice Jennings, Henry Smith, Joseph Strobel, Michael Sulzberger, Charles A. Verner)
Allen Township embraces Congressional Township 31 north and range 5 east. It is situated in the southest corner of LaSalle County, and is bounded on the north by Brookfield Township, on the east by Grundy county, on the south by Livingston County, and on the west by Otter Creek Township. It is a prairie township and contains no streams of any size. Its surface is flat and tiling is resorted to as a means of drainage. By this method the land is made highly productive. On account of a lack of timber and the great distance from market Allen Township was among the last in the county to be settled.
The first permanent resident in the township was Robert Miller, from New England - a Quaker. In 1850 he settled on section 12 and afterward removed to Iowa. The next was Michael Kepner, from Perry County, Pa., in the spring of 1851. He settled on section 16, but remained only five or six years, when he removed to Minnesota. James McIntyre made a claim on section 16 in 1851, but resided in Peru one year, then occupied his claim two years, and in 1853 moved on section 14. Two brothers, John and Inglehart Wormley, came from Pennsylvania in 1852 and settled on sections 21 and 22. Inglehart was the first Supervisor of the township. He removed to Southern Illinois in 1862 or 63. Adam Fry came from Ohio to Illinois in 1835, and in the fall of 1852 settled on section 6, Allen Township, where he died in September 1874. Elias C. Lane settled on section 8 in 1855, coming from Ohio to Illinois in 1845. William Flint, now of Tonica, lived in Allen Township from 1853 to 1863. M. C. Lane, a son of Elias C., entered land on section 9 in 1851, and the same year John Cochran entered land on section 3. John Higgins of Price Edwards Island, has lived on section 8 since 1856. David Griffith settled on section 25 in 1857 and died Aug. 14, 1877. Mrs. Sarah Hamilton came in 1856 from Putnam County, whither she had come from Ohio in 1846. Allen Stevens came in 1857, and is living on section 5.
Allen Township has improved rapidly since 1857, and now has no vacant land. Her citizens are enterprising and the improvements are equal to any township in the county, and are unexcelled in the State.
The township of Allen was organized about 1858 or 59. Previous to that time it was a part of Bruce Township, which embraced at that time what is now Allen, Otter Creek and Bruce townships.
The early records of the township cannot be obtained. Following is a list of the principal township officers from 1863 to 1885 inclusive:
The Village of Ransom
The extension of the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Railroad was built through the township of Allen in 1875, giving a direct communication with Chicago. The station was located near the center of section 16 (the "school section"), which, fortunately for the township, had not been sold previous to the location of the road. In December, 1875, the lots for the village of Ransom were surveyed, and Feb. 5, 1876, they were sold at auction by the County Superintendent of Schools. The sales amounted to about $5,000. Since then three other additions have been sold. The first was in the summer of 1876, the second in 1878 and the third in 1880. The depot, which was erected in 1875, was the first improvement made in Ransom, and the east elevator was the next. Adam Gahen built the first residence soon afterward, and G. E. Shackelton built and kept the first store. Soon afterward W. F. Allen opened a drug store. From that time to the present the village has had a steady growth, until now it is a pleasant and prosperous place of some 300 inhabitants.
The directory of Ransom is as follows: General stores, E. O. Whitman & Bro., Cate and Collison and B. M. Boyle & Son; hardware and harness, B. Auschicks; druggists, J. W. Transeau & Co. and Dr. S. L. Brown; boots and shoes, W. F. Baird; furniture, J. F. Hollister; milliner, Miss Emma Helbling; meat market, S. Cleal; barber, Peter Weber; blacksmiths, H. F. Jones, John Ambrose and G. Kestinger; elevators, Charls Verner and M. J. Lane; tile factory, Rufus J. Robinson; carpenter, August Richards; Ranson Horse Company, Robert Steven, President, and R. S. Smalley, Secretary; wheelwrights, B. F. Bosley and John Spink; saloon, James Dwyer; hotels, Ransom House and Nassan House; postoffice, Carrie E. C. Wagoner; express and freight agent, W. E. Jackson; physicians, James MacCay and S. L. Brown; attorney J. C. Boyle. There are Methodist and Catholic churches and one school house.
The tile business was begun in 1883 by Hagi and Hegy and changed into Mr. Robinson's hands in 1884. There are five acres in the lot in which the works are situated. Three kilns are in operation and about fifteen men are employed. The business is quite prosperous.
The east elevator has a capacity of 20,000 bushels and the west one has a capacity of but 10,000 bushels. The latter was built in 1877 by Mr. Hagi.
The Catholic Church was built in 1883 by Rev. Father Byrnes at a cost of some $2,000. Services are now held in it on the alternate Sabbaths by Rev. Mr. Hedges, Curate of Father O'Kelly at Streator. The society numbers about sixty families.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was first located in the country but was removed into the village in 1883. The first pastor in the village was Rev. Green. The present pastor is the Rev. F. M. Hayes. The congregation is a fair one and services are held every Sabbath.
The village is located in School District No. 5, and the school house of that district was used until 1879, when the present building was erected in the village at a cost of $2,600. It has two rooms and is partially a graded school. The school numbers about seventy-five pupils, who are at present under the instruction of Misses Sinnott and Mason. The school is economically conducted for about $800 per year. The School Board is John Ryan, J. W. Transeau and J. Strobel, of which John Ryan is President and J. W. Transeau, Secretary.
Aside from the lots sold to the village of Ransom, Allen Township still owns her school section.
The School Trustees have about $8,000 of money realized from the sale and rents of lots, so that the schools in Allen Township have a great advantage financially over those in other townships. Outside of the village of Ransom there are eight school-houses and one church. The church belongs to the Evangelical Association and is located on the southeast corner of section 21. Services are held at Canard's school-house by the Methodist society. The school-houses are neat little frame structures and as a rule Allen Township has good schools.
The population of Allen Township was by the census of 1870, 877; by that of 1880 it was 1,016, showing a healthy gain of 139. The present population (1886) is about 1,200.
S. L. Brown
S. L. Brown, druggist, Ransom, Ill., was born in Fayette County, Pa., Nov. 27, 1842, a son of Robert and Barbara E. (Longnecker) Brown, of Scotch and German descent. He attended the public schools and then took a literary course at Ann Arbor, Mich., afterward attending the Ohio college of Medicine and Surgery at Cincinnati, graduating in 1878. The year before his graduation he practiced in Sheridan, Ill., and after graduating located in Lostant, where he remained five years. In 1883 he opened a drug store in Ransom, where he also has a good medical practice. Dr. Brown was married Aug. 6, 1867, to Annie E. Lewis, a native of Fayette County, Pa., born in 1844. Her father died when she was a child and her mother is living in Grand Ridge, Ill. Dr. and Mrs. Brown have two children - Edwin Lewis and James Harry. In politics he is a Republican; in religious faith a Baptist. He is a member of the life Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities. Dr. Brown served three years in the civil war in Company B, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and participated in the battles of Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Wilderness, Gettysburg and Spottsylvania.
David C. Bruce
David C. Bruce was born in Morrow County, Ohio, Sept. 9, 1840, a son of Saul and Sarah (Kinney) Bruce, his father born in Pennsylvania Feb. 22, 1802, of English descent and his mother in Maryland, May 21, 1806, of Irish descent. Both are living in Ohio. He remained at home till after the breaking out of the Rebellion, and July 22, 1862, enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-first Ohio Infantry, and participated in the battle of Chickamauga. He was a member of the Reserve Corps under General Gordon Granger who saved the day for the Union army. After the battle of Chickamauga his regiment was assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps, and was with General Sherman when Johnston surrendered, and at the grand review in Washington. He was mustered out June 19, 1865, and returned to Morrow County and worked at the mason's trade till the following fall when he came to La Salle County, Ill., and rented a farm in Rutland Township three years. He then worked at his trade in Livingston Township seven years, and in the spring of 1876 moved to Ransom, where he has since lived.
Mr. Bruce was married Feb. 16, 1861 to Elizabeth J. Mathews, a native of Licking County, Ohio, born May 27, 1839, a daughter of Bourbon and Mary H. (Wherry) Bruce, of La Salle County, the former born in Loudoun County, Va., June 15, 1814 and the latter in Circleville, Ohio, June 8, 1820. Mr. and Mrs. Bruce have had five children; three are living - Barbara A., born Jun e19 1868; Job M., June 17, 1870; and Joseph A., Jan. 4 1875; Etta L., born June 1, 1861, died Aug. 23, 1877 and Frank E., born March 26, 1866, died Sept. 5, 1877. Mr. Bruce has served as Assessor one term, Justice of the Peace one term and is now President of the Board of Trustees of Ransom. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the F. M. Lane Post, No. 247, G.A.R. In religious faith he is a Universalist. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
George Cleal was born in England, Aug. 27, 1835, and when seventeen years old, in 1852, accompanied his parents, Henry and Charlotte (Pickett) Cleal, to the United States. They first settled in Du Page County, Ill., where they lived one year and then moved to Cook County where the father rented a farm and also worked at the capenter's trade. They moved to La Salle County, February, 1861. . The father died in 1874, aged sixty-five years. The mother now lives on the homestead with our subject and is seventy-three years old.
Aug. 15, 1862, George Cleal enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry for three years and participated in all the campaigns of his regiment, including Atlanta. After the war he lived in Chicago till December, 1869, when he moved to La Salle County and engaged in farming. At the time of the Chicago fire, 1871, he returned to the city and was inspector of the buildings put up by the shelter committee, remaining there till the fall of 1872, when he returned to La Salle County where he has since lived. He owns 160 acres of valuable land on section 12, northwest quarter. In politics Mr. Cleal is a Republican. He has been Collector of his township one term and School Director nine years. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and Blaney Lodge, No. 271, A.F. & A.M., Chicago, Ill.
Henry and Charlotte Pickett Cleal
The parents (Henry and Charlotte Pickett Cleal) left their native country (in 1852) with nine children, but before reaching America, two, David, aged about five years, and Elizabeth Ann, aged nine months, were buried in the ocean. They first settled in Du Page County, Ill., where they lived one year and then moved to Cook County where the father (Henry) rented a farm and also worked at the capenter's trade. They moved to La Salle County, February, 1861. The father (Henry) died in 1874, aged sixty-five years. The mother (Charlotte) now lives on the homestead with our subject and is seventy-three years old. The sons were - George, Alfred, Charles, Simeon, Henry, John and Albert. Two were soldiers in the war of the Rebellion. Simeon enlisted in August, 1862, in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry, and served six months, when he re-enlisted in the Mississippi Marine Brigade and served till the close of the war.
Simeon Cleal, butcher and stockdealer, was born Feb. 18, 1843 in Middlesex County, England, a son of Henry and Charlotte (Pickett) Cleal, natives of the same county. His parents came to the United States with a family of seven sons in 1852, landing in Chicago, Ill., in August. They lived in Cook County till January, 1860, when they moved to La Salle County, and settled on section 2, Allen Township. The father died in April, 1874, aged seventy-five years. The mother is living on section 11, with her son George.
He was married Sept. 28, 1865 to Julie Tremper, daughter of George J. and Catherine (Tallman) Tremper. Her father died Nov. 1, 1873, and her mother in May, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Cleal have no children. In politics he is a Republican. In 1880, Mr. Cleal rented his farm and moved to the village of Ransom where he has since been engaged in butchering and buying and shipping stock. His farm on section 10, Allen Township, contains 160 acres of valuable land.
Samuel S. Cochran
Samuel S. Cochran was born Aug. 9, 1832, in Adams County, Ohio. He came with his parents to La Salle County, Ill., in 1851, with four other children. They were as follows - Margaret, wife of James L. Frances, now of Powesheik County, Ia.; Moses; Sarilla K, wife of Ephraim Rife, of Salem County, Neb., and William M., living on the homestead. Samuel S. Cochran was married Sept. 10, 1855, to Katurah Hetrick, daughter of Philip and Marie Hetrick. Her father was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 15, 1809, and died at Cedar Point, June 18, 1863, and her mother was born July 21, 1811, in Miami County, Ohio. They were the parents of six children. Mr. and Mrs. Cochran are among the earliest settlers of La Salle County. They are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. C. is a Republican, and is now serving on the School Board. They have no children, but have reared tow orphan children - Nancy Marie Case and Harvey E. Hetrick.
W. H. Conard
W. H. Conard was born in Licking County, Ohio, Nov. 9, 1843, a son of Anthony and Nancy (Gregg) Conard, natives of Loudoun County, Va., and soon after their marriage settled in Licking County. They has a family of fourteen children, eight of whom accompanied their parents to La Salle County in 1847, and here the mother died the following year, and the father two or three years later. The children were then scattered, finding homes with relatives and friends. W. H. lived at several different placed until ten years of age, when his sister Nancy (Mrs. Jacobs), of Serena Township, adopted him until fourteen years of age. He worked for Mr. Jacobs the most of the time from fourteen until eighteen years of age, and then enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Infantry, and participated in all the important battles of the Fourteenth Army Corps, thirteen in all, beside many skirmishes. He was wounded in the right shoulder at Peach Tree Creek, and was in the hospital several weeks, joining his regiment at Goldsboro. He was mustered out at Washington as Sergeant June 6, 1865, after the grand review, and was discharged at Chicago, June 19. He was tendered a Lieutenant's commission to continue in the United States army, but he thought that he would not like soldiering in time of peace, and so declined.
After his return home he worked for Mr. Jacobs for $20 a month during the season, and then began farming for himself. He now owns 480 acres of valuable land, 320 acres on section 35 and 160 acres on section 36, Allen Township. Mr. Conard was married Feb. 20, 1866, to Sarah Belinda Dominy, a native of La Salle County, Ill., born March 13, 1845, daughter of Lorenzo and Sarah A. (Gurnea) Dominy. They have five children - John M., William L., Belinda R., David E. and Reno J. Mr. Conard has served almost continuously in the different offices of the township. In politics he is independent. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
A. Norris Douglas
A. Norris Douglas is a native of Pennsylvania, born Jan. 18, 1832, and was reared in Genesee County, N.Y. His parents, Leander and Isabella (Norris) Douglas, were natives of Sullivan County, N.Y. The former died in August, 1872 aged seventy-six years and the latter Nov. 27, 1881, also aged seventy-six years. Our subject was reared in New York, receiving a good education. In 1863 he came to La Salle County, Ill., and lived in Marseilles two years, and in 1865 located on the farm where he now lives, on section 29, Allen Township. His home is called the Willow Farm. He was married Dec. 16, 1858, to Jenette Lathrop, daughter of German and Eliza (Atwater) Lathrop, her father a native of Rutland, Vt. And her mother of Wayne County, N.Y. The father died in January 1869, and the mother is living in Hillsdale, Montgomery Co., Mich. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas have had five children; but four are living - Nellie E. M., wife of W. A. Funk, of Streator; Alberta N., a student at the Woman's Medical College, Chicago; Hart Norris, born in July, 1866; Mary Etta, born Jan. 10, 1869. A daughter, Jennie L., died in infancy.
Philip Geheber, section 28, Allen Township, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, Sept. 18, 1826, a son of Jacob and Mary (Telpt) Geheber. In 1847 he and his father came to the United States and located in New York, and two years later his mother and the rest of the family followed them. In 1852 he came to La Salle County and settled on a land warrant he had located in 1850, and his father built a small house in which the family lived four years, Philip in the meantime being married. The father died in Allen Township, Aug. 11, 1872, and the mother, Feb. 14, 1881. Philip Geheber was married July 17, 1854 to Kathrina Michelbach, a native of Germany, born Feb. 8, 1836, a daughter of George and Eva (Eaokin) Michelbach. Her father died in Germany in 1845 and in 1851 she accompanied her mother to the United States, and settled in New York, where the latter died in 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Geheber were the first couple married in Allen Township, and their eldest son was the first white child born in the township. They have five children - Jacob, born June 19, 1855; Margaret, Feb. 8, 1857; Philip, Aug. 5, 1862; Lydia, jan. 8, 1864; May, Aug. 23, 1867. Margaret is the wife of Chris Walker, of Iowa and Lydia married Lewis J. West, of Binghamton, N.Y. In politcs Mr. Geheber is a Republican. He has served as School Director since the organization of the district, with the exception of three years. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical Association.
James McCoy, M.D. was born in Raleigh, N.C., Feb. 14, 1834, a son of James and Sarah (Davis) McCoy, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of North Carolina. His mother died in 1850, aged fifty-two years, and his father in 1854, aged sixty years. From his seventh year he was thrown on his own resources, and is therefore self-educated. In 1855 he graduated from Williams College, and then began the practice of medicine at Lynchburg, Va., and remained there till the breaking out of the civil war; when he came North and entered the secret service, and was stationed in Arkansas and Mississippi, reporting at Memphis. After the close of the war he went to New York City, and practiced there from 1866 till 1883, attending in the meantime the University at Albany, where he took a course in surgery. In 1883 he came to Illinois and located at Benson, Woodford County, where he lived about two years, and in the spring in 1885 located at Ransom, La Salle County. Dr. McCoy was married in May, 1855 to Inez Warren, a native of Hudson, N.Y., who died in 1864 leaving two daughters, Blanche, now the wife of James Smith and Mary, wife of James Holland, both of New York City. In 1866, Dr. McCoy married Susan Anthony, who was born in 1842 in Dalton, Mass. In politics Dr. McCoy is a Democrat. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church.
William H. McIntyre
William H. McIntyre was born May 1, 1842, in Londonderry, in the North of Ireland. His family came to America in 1844, lived a few months in New York City, then moved to Pennsylvania, remaining here but a short time, and came to this county in the spring of 1852, settling on section 14, in company with his mother, two brothers and one sister. His father died in New York City when William was but two years old. The subject of this sketch enlisted Aug. 26, 1861, in Company C, First Illinois Light Artillery. He served under General Pope and General Sherman during the Atlantic campaign. He was mustered out of the army June 15, 1865, when he returned home and has made one of the finest farms in the township. On Nov. 4, 1870, he was married to Elizabeth A. Howe, daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Graves) Howe. Her father (Jacob) was killed in 1878, while crossing a railroad. Her mother is still living, and is with her youngest son in Sedgwick County, Kan. Mr. and Mrs. McIntyre have three children - Jennie, born Aug. 4, 1871; Burton H., July 5, 1876; LeRoy, April 10, 1878, all born in Allen Township. Mr. McIntyre has been a member of the School Board for ten years. He is a member of the G.A.R.
R. O. McVicker (ALSO MARSHALL COUNTY)
R. O. McVicker was born in Peoria County, Ill., Jan. 25, 1846. He is the son of Archibald and Susanna (Custer) McVicker. His father was of Irish descent and mother of German. Both parents died in Marshall County, Ill., the father, Aug. 12, 1870, and the mother Aug. 20, 1878, at the age of seventy-two. The parents came to Marshall County with a family of six boys and four girls. The father bought a farm on which they all lived until they reached manhood and womanhood. R. O. McVicker commenced business for himself when he became of age. He bought a farm in Marshall County where he remained until 1878. He then came to Allen Township and bought 160 acres, selling his farm in Marshall County. He was married Sept. 15, 1874, to Violetta A. Stone, daughter of Russell and Pheba (Lake) Stone. Both parents are of English descent. The father was born Aug. 13, 1807, died in 1870. The mother was born in New York Oct. 6, 1817. Mr. and Mrs. McVicker have two children living - Josephine Lola, born Aug. 20, 1875 and Vinal O., born Oct. 24, 1885. Eliza Melissa was born Oct. 14, 1881, died Dec. 2, 1881. Mr. McVicker is a member of the School Board. He is a Republican in politics, and he and his wife are both members of the Methodist church.
R. S. Smalley
R. S. Smalley was born is Washington County, Pa., April 8, 1837, a son of Nathaniel and Rachel (Smith) Smalley. His mother died in 1848, aged thirty years, and his father married again in 1850. In 1855 the family came to La Salle County and located south of Peru and in 1858 settled on section 11, Allen Township.
R. S. Smalley received a fair education, completing it at the schools of Peru, and subsequently taught twenty winter terms. He has been a successful agriculturist and now owns 160 acres in the homestead on section 11, Allen Township, and 120 acres in Iroquois County. He was married April 4, 1866, to Louisa Jennings, daughter of Levi and Emily Alice Jennings. She is a native of La Salle County, born in Brookfield Township, Feb. 9, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Smalley have had four children - Walter S., born Feb. 10, 1868, Minnie L., born June 22 1870, died Nov. 16, 1870; Frank G., born June 19, 1871, died March 25, 1872; William H., born Nov. 6, 1875. In politics Mr. Smalley is a Republican. Aug. 27, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, One-Hundred and Fourth Illinois Infantry and served till June 6, 1865; was with Serman on his memorable march to the sea, from Savannah to Goldsboro and Raleigh, thence to Richmond and on the Washington where the regiment was discharged after participating in the grand review on the 24th of May. He is now a member of F. M. Lane Post, No. 247, G.A.R. Three of his brothers were also soldiers in the civil war, John S. and James H., serving in the Fifty-third Illinois and Elmer in Company C, First Artillery.
His first wife died in 1848, aged thirty years, and he married again in 1850. In 1855 the family came to La Salle County and located south of Peru and in 1858 settled on section 11, Allen Township. His family consisted of eight children, five by the first and three by the second wife - R.S., James H., John C., Elmer, Isaiah, William H., Rachel A. and Mina E., the latter born in this county.
Levi and Emily Alice Jennings
Mrs. Smalley's (Louisa Jennings) parents came from Beaver County Pa., to La Salle County, Ill., in 1832 and settled on section S, township 32, range 5, south of Marseilles. In 1850 he moved on section 16, township 32, where the father died April 23, 1851, aged fifty-one years. The mother was born Sept. 23, 1808, and died June 2, 1880. They had a family of ten children, two, Mathew I. and Mary E., born in Pennsylvania and the rest in La Salle County, Ill. In 1833 the mother and two children were at home alone, when the house was entered by fourteen Indians. She thought they wanted her children as they kept pointing to them, but she treated them so well that they went away without molesting them. Two of Mrs. Smalley's brothers, Henry and Fred, were members of the Fifty-third Illinois Infantry, and served during the war.
Henry Smith, son of John and Elizabeth (Hale) Smith, natives of Germany, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, April 19, 1828. Here he was reared and educated and at the age of twenty-six, came to America, settled in New York City, working at the tailor's trade. After a few months residence here he went to Hartford, Conn. Remaining there but a short time, he went to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he remained two and a half years, working on a farm. The following winter he worked in the pinerics, the next summer in a saw-mill in Muskegon, and from there he came to Will County, in 1859. He now has one of the best improved farms in the township. It contains 320 acres. His house, barn and out buildings are all first-class. Mr. Smith was married March 6, 1862, in Livingston County, Ill., to Anna Smith. They are the parents of three children - John H., born April 20, 1860; George H., born Dec. 18, 1863; Minnie W., born Mary 3, 1867. The parents of Mr. Smith never came to America; both died in Germany, the father at the age of seventy-five and the mother sixty-five. Mrs. Smith's parents are both living, making their home with their daughter. They are both natives of Germany. He is a Republican and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church.
Joseph Strobel, section 22, Allen Township, was born in Prussia, Aug. 27, 1834, a son of Mathias and Orizula Strobel. In 1853 he with his brother Antoine came to the United States and located in Scioto County, Ohio, where in 1859 he bought a farm, prior to that working by the month. He remained in Ohio till 1865, when he came to La Salle County, Ill., and rented a farm in Rutland Township a year, and in March 1866, moved to Allen Township, where he had bought eighty acres of land the December before. To this he has added till he now owns 160 acres of valuable land. Mr. Strobel was married in 1859, in Jackson County, Ohio, to Elizabeth Gahm, a native of that county, born Feb. 2, 1840, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Beck) Gahm. Her father died in 1868, aged sixty-two years and her mother at the age of fifty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. Strobel have had ten children, eight of whom are living - Mark K., born June 18, 1860; Frank X., Feb. 23, 1862; Phoebe A., Dec. 5, 1863; William E., May 23, 1868; Emma F., April 14 1870; Antoine H., Sept. 28, 1872; Oscar, Nov. 9, 1864, and Matilda E., Feb. 14, 1879. John M., born march 9, 1866, died Sept. 28, 1867; Ida O., born Dec. 2, 1883, lived but six days. Mark K. was married Oct. 24, 1880, to Fred Detloff and has one child - Joseph C., born Nov. 23, 1881. In politics Mr. Strobel is a Republican. He was reared a Catholic, his wife being a member of the Lutheran church.
Michael Sulzberger was born in Alsace, Germany, Jan. 28, 1837, a son of Michael and Caroline (Cackler) Sulzberger. His father was born Nov. 25, 1810 and is living is Ottawa. His mother died Sept. 30, 1880. He was reared in his native country and in 1856 came to the United States and located in Waltham Township, Ill., and in 1862 bought a small tract of land in Allen Township. He came to this country a poor young man but by industry and economy has acquired a good property. He now owns 240 acres of valuable land, eighty-one acres being on section 22 and 160 acres on section 23, the homestead being on 23. Mr. Sulzberger was married April 11, 1862 to Albertina Dorman, a native of Switzerland, born Oct. 24, 1844, daughter of Joseph and Barbara (Barnhart) Dorman, who came to the United States in 1856 and settled in La Salle County., Ill., in South Ottawa and in 1873 moved to Vermillion Township, where they still live, the former aged sixty-four years and the latter sixty-six. Mr. and Mrs. Sulzberger have seven children - Joseph A., born Jan. 25, 1864; Albertina B., Oct 24, 1866; Eugene F., Oct 10, 1868; William H., June 20, 1870; Philip E., Feb. 21, 1875; Harrie M., July 24, 1877; Bertha L., Aug. 31, 1882. In politics Mr. Sulzberger is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical church.
Charles A. Verner
Charles A. Verner was born in Germany, Aug. 29, 1833, a son of Frederick Verner. His mother died in Germany in 1839 and in 1847 his father brought the family to the United States and settled in Livingston County, Ill., where he died in 1866, aged sixty-six years. In 1865 Charles A. moved from Livingston to Grundy County, and thence in 1873 to La Salle County and settled on Section 24, Allen Township, where he has engaged in farming, and the past year has also run an elevator for Hagi & Richards. Mr. Verner was married Oct. 3, 1856, to Catherine Reed, daughter of Conrad and Catharine (Weaver) Reed. Her father was a native of Ohio and died in 1874, aged seventy-five years. Her mother is living with a daughter, Mrs. Jane Werts, and is seventy-two years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Verner have six children - William A., married Relief Woodward; Louis T.; Clara J., is the wife of Fred L. Woodward; Frances E., Charles W. and Ethel C. In politics Mr. Verner is a Republican. He has served his township three terms as Highway Commissioner, two terms as Collector and at present is Trustee of the village of Ransom.
[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Towns, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. - Volume II - Chicago Inter State Publishing Co., 1886, Chapter II - Transcribed by Nancy Piper ]