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Livingston County, Illinois
Genealogy and History


These are biographical sketches from sources other than the History book pub. in 1900

Julia A. Ames
AMES, Miss Julia A.
, editor and temperance reformer, born near Odell, Livingston county, Ill., 14th October, 1861. She was the daughter of a well-known wealthy citizen of Streator, Ill. She was a graduate of Streator high school, the Illinois Wesleyan University, and of the Chicago School of Oratory. Her work in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union began in Streator, where she proved herself a most valuable and efficient helper to Mrs. Plumb, the district president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Her peculiar talents for temperance work soon brought her into prominence, and she was drawn into the central union in Chicago. There, in addition to her elocutionary talents and executive capacity, she showed herself the possessor of the journalistic faculty, and she was soon placed where she could make good use of that faculty for the noble organization of temperance workers. The first of the Chicago daily newspapers to publish a Woman's Christian Temperance Union department was the "Inter-Ocean." In her first interviews with the editors, Miss Ames received many charges and cautions, all of which she tried faithfully to heed. Yet, in spite of her care, everything she sent was sharply scanned and often mercilessly cut. At first only a few inches of space were given to her. This was gradually increased as the editors learned they could trust her, till, before she gave the department into other hands, she usually occupied nearly a column, and editors ceased to cut her manuscript. Other and more important work soon came to her hand. The national superintendent of press-work, Mrs. Esther Housh, found her labor too great for her strength, and Miss Ames was appointed her assistant. She performed all the necessary work in this field until her duties on the "Union Signal" forced her to give the work into other hands. Her connection with the central union brought her into intimate contact with many noble women, among whom were Helen Louise Hood, Mrs. Matilda B. Carse, Mrs. Andrew and Miss Willard. Her intercourse with them molded her views and life visibly, and her progress was rapid. Position after position called her, and in each she did earnest, noble work without stint. When Mrs. Andrew felt that, on account of her health, she must give up her work on the "Union Signal," the question of her successor was earnestly discussed. The thoughts of the leaders at once turned to Miss Ames, and despite her youth, she justified the choice of those who urged her to follow Mrs. Andrew. Up to 1889 her special province was the difficult one of news from the field and children's department. She originated the department of illustrated biography and the queen's garden. In all her work she showed a thoroughness, patience and courtesy absolutely indispensable to success, yet seldom found united in one person. Her forte was not so much writing, though she was ready with her pen, as it was that higher faculty which instinctively told her what to choose and what to reject of others' writing, and the winning power to draw from them their best thoughts. In 1889 she had sole charge of the "Umon Signal" in the absence of the editor. She took a vacation trip to Europe in 1890, spending a month in London, England, and visiting Lady Henry Somerset at Eastnor Castle. Miss Ames was received with honor by the British Woman's Temperance Association. While in London, she organized the press department of that society on lines similar to those of the American organization. She traveled through Europe with a chosen party conducted by Miss Sarah E. Morgan, under the auspices of Mrs. M. B. Willard's school for girls. She witnessed the Passion Play at Oberammergau, visited Rome and other famous cities and returned to the United States refreshed in mind and body to resume her editorial duties on the "Union Signal " She attended the Boston convention in November, 1891, in her editorial capacity. She assisted in editing the daily "Union Signal," prepared the Associated Press dispatches each night, and was the chairman of one or two committees. She was not well when she left Chicago, and she contracted a severe cold, which through the pressure of her work developed into typhoid pneumonia, of which she died 12th December, 1891. Miss Ames was a member of the Woman's Temperance Publishing Association Circle of King's Daughters and was president of that organization when she left Chicago for her European tour. The silver cross and the white ribbon were the symbols of her life. She was an efficient worker, a thorough organizer and the possessor of more than ordinary executive capacity. She was direct, positive, earnest, amiable and indefatigable.
(American Women, Fifteen Hundred Biographies, Vol 1, Publ. 1897. Transcribed by Marla Snow.)

Orville C. Conkling
CONKLING, Orville Caleb, photographer; born, Forrest, Livingston Co., ILL., Mar. 9, 1870; son of George Lewis and Victoria (Freeman) Conkling; educated in public schools of Atlantic, Ia., to thirteen; married at Omaha, Neb., Nov. 2, 1892, Cora M. Rotton. Began active career in employ of photographer at Atlantic, Ia., 1883; removed to Omaha, 1886, and followed same business; located at St. Louis, 1896, and was connected with Guerin & Co., 1896-1901; since in business on own account. Member Zoological Society, St. Louis Photographers' Society. Republican. Clubs: Arcadia Country, Midland Valley Country, Adonis Tennis, St. Louis Railway. Recreations: fishing, tennis and billiards. Office and Residence: 3826 Olive St. (Source: "The Book of St. Louisans", Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

Chester M. Culver
CULVER, Chester M., lawyer; born, Pontiac, Ill., (Livingston Co) Oct. 5, 1870; son of Joseph F. and Mary (Murphy) Culver; educated at State Normal School, University of Chicago and Harvard Law School, graduating, degree LL.B., 1899; married at Emporia, Kan., 1900. I'Dell Clarke. Came to Detroit, 1899; admitted to practice in Supreme Court of Kansas, 1899, and soon after in Michigan, practicing five years; has been vice president and general manager Murphy Iron Works, manufacturers of Murphy automatic smokeless furnaces, since its incorporation, 1904; also chairman Murphy Co., Ltd. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Republican. Methodist.Clubs: University (Detroit), Harvard (New York). Recreation: Automobiling. Office: Foot of Walker St. Residence: 114 Horton Av.
(Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908 Submitted by: Christine Walters)

Jack Pierce
Impressions By HANK GASSMANN
When Jack Pierce entered the University in the summer of 1945 he had the best intentions of going out for the varsity basketball team. But because of the intramural indoor track meet that fall he never got around to it. Pierce played basketball for four years at Pontiac high, the school that originated the holiday cage tourney--playing every position on the squad. In his final year he captained the basketball and track teams and also played football. But although he came to Illinois with the idea of playing college basketball, the sport he liked best, he ended up getting three letters in football, one in track, and nary a one in basketball. It all happened when he was on the Phi Kappa Psi indoor track team. The Pontiac Flash entered the 60-yard dash, the broad jump, and ran on the 440-yard relay team.
Track Coach Leo Johnson saw him win the 60-yard dash and that was enough. The distinguished looking man didn't even notice or care that Pierce won the broad jump and helped the Phi Psi's win the relay, which won the meet for Phi Kappa Psi. He wanted Pierce to go out for track. When Pierce went out for track he had to say goodbye to basketball since the sports interfere. He ran the 100 and 220, won a letter in track, and went out for IM basketball. With the speedster playing forward, Phi Psi won the fraternity championship and went on to win the all-University title. Pierce's play merited a position on the IM all-star cage team. He's playing for the Phi Psi's this year too and is pacing the squad. They appear to be the best team in League No. 5 with wins over Alpha Phi Alpha and Chi Psi so far. Jack has been high scorer in both games with 24 and 13 points respectively. [Daily Illini,  25 February 1949; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]



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