Illinois Genealogy Trails 
Madison County, Illinois


William E. Lea
William E. Lea of Long Prairie Has Done Much for Farm Implement Department William Edwin Lee, superintendent of the Machinery department, manufacturers, farm implements and carriages at the Minnesota, State Fair, was born in Alton, Illinois, January 8. 1852. His parents came from England in 1851 and first settled at Alton. They removed to Minnesota in 1857 and settled at Little Falls, where they removed to Long Prairie, but returned to Little Falls during the Indian outbreak of 1862. Mr. Lee lived on a farm near there until he left home to take up his residence at Long Prairie in 1875. While a young man he worked on the farm and with his father at millwright and carpenter work, also worked in the lumbering woods and on the river. While working as a millwright he invented a valuable improvement in grain cleaning machinery, which was extensively used in the mills of the country and was the subject of considerable litigation between the inventor and the millers.In 1876 he opened a store, at Pillsbury, Minnesota, and in 1877 was elected register of deeds of Todd County, Minnesota, and held the office four years. In January, 1882, he established the bank of Long Prairie, the first bank in Todd county, and has been one of its officers ever since. Mr. Lee represented Todd county in the legislature of 1885, 1887 and 1893, being speaker of the house during the session of 1893. In 1894 he was appointed superintendent of the Minnesota state reformatory at St. Cloud, which position he filled for two years. He was appointed by Gov. Van Sant one of the first members of the state board of control and served upon that board about two years, he also served one term on the state normal school board and has been four years on the State Fair board. He is president of the First National Bank of Browerville; First National Bank of Eagle Bend; First State Bank of Burtrum; Vice President of the First State Bank of Thompson Falls, Thompson, Mont, and cashier of the bank of Long Prairie. [The Bemidji daily pioneer (Bemidji, Minn.), November 05, 1908] submitted by Kim Torp


This enterprising and progressive firm of ranch and cattle men is composed of James B. and John C. Nimerick, the former born on February 22, 1858, in Monroe county, Illinois, and the latter on May 5, 1860, in Madison county, Illinois, the sons of James M. and Elizabeth (Glass) Nimerick, natives of St. Clair county, Illinois. The father’s life began on August 31, 1822, and he grew to manhood in his native place after the manner of boys of his time and locality, attending the common schools and working on the home farm. He also had a term or two at McKinley College. When twenty-six years old he began learning the trade of milling, and during the next twenty-five years he followed that craft, after some years building a mill of his own. In 1864 he came west, going up the Missouri as far as Fort Benton, Montana. Later he went into Utah and Colorado, returning to his eastern home from Denver. Indians were plentiful and often he was obliged to seek shelter from their fury. In 1872 he purchased land near Greenland, forty-eight miles south of Denver, and there he was occupied in ranching until 1886. He then sold his interests in that locality and moved to the section in which he now lives. Soon afterward he made a trip through Washington Territory as it was then, and on the return trip, stopping at Salt Lake, devoted some time to speculation. In 1889 his family came to White river valley and took up a squatter’s claim on which they followed ranching. The father became prominent in the political affairs of the section, representing Elbert and Douglas counties in the territorial legislature while he lived in one of them. He also held local offices in Illinois before leaving that state, serving as justice of the peace and probate judge. He was married on November 9, 1846, to Miss Elizabeth Glass, a native of the same county in Illinois as himself. Of their nine children five are living, Jennie (Mrs. Lloyd Stealey), Neil G., James B., John and Nellie (Mrs. George Taylor). The two sons who form the subjects of this review were educated at the common schools and early began learning on the paternal homestead the lessons of thrift and useful industry, which have been their main stay through subsequent life. They have a good ranch of two hundred acres, eighty of which are under cultivation in the usual farm products of the region, and they carry on a flourishing stock industry. The ranch is twenty-eight miles east of Meeker, which affords them a good market. The possessions they have and their good standing in their community are the legitimate fruits of their own enterprise and worth, and their career affords a forcible illustration of the benefits of forecast, industry and careful attention to a chosen pursuit in this land of wide and fertile opportunities. Both are Democrats and earnestly interested in the welfare of their party. They are the pioneers of the north fork of the White river, their mother and nephew, Guy M. Stealey, accompanying them. They were obliged to cut their way for many miles through underbrush which grew along the river and forded that stream nine times in order to reach the location of their present home. It was a wild, unbroken country and far from the civilization of white people. Mrs. Nimerick was the first woman to settle in the North Fork valley. Since those days the country has been well developed and Nimerick brothers have done their share, having constructed four miles of the present road to their ranch. They have also built irrigating ditches, etc. (Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

John York Sawyer
John York Sawyer was born at Reading, Windsor county, Vermont, March 15,1787. At the commencement of the war with Great Britain in 1812 he enlisted in the army and was appointed ensign, and afterwards promoted to adjutant of Colonel Aikens' regiment, and served until the close of the war. He came to Illinois in 1816, and settled at Edwardsville on the 16th of December of that year. He was Probate Judge and Recorder of Madison county for several years. On the 29th of December, 1825, Messrs. Sawyer, Samuel McRoberts, Richard M. Young, James Hall and James O. Wattles were commissioned to be Judges of the Circuit Court. In the arrangement of circuits, Judge Sawyer was assigned to the First circuit, which included Peoria county. The appointment of clerks to the clerk was vested in the judges in those days, and Judge Sawyer appointed Isaac Waters to be clerk of the Peoria Circuit Court. After serving as judge two years, the Legislature repealed the act establishing the system of courts as being too expensive, the salaries of the judges being fixed at five hundred dollars each per year. In 1827 Sawyer embarked in the newspaper business, establishing the Plow-Boy, an agricultural paper, which he published for two years. He afterward owned the Illinois Advocate, published at Edwardsville, and was the author of the first "Illinois Farmers' Almanac." In 1832, he was elected State printer, and moved to Vandalia, where he died in 1836, from an attack of pneumonia. Judge Sawyer was twice married. His second wife survived him, and died in Upper Alton in 1872. He left no issue. Jrice (history of Peoria County 1881)
The Pyle family is of English and Welsh ancestry. Samuel Pyle, the ancestor of the present, family was of Quaker origin and came with William Penn to America in 1682, and made the first settlement in Pennsylvania and founded the city of Philadelphia. Subsequently his offspring removed south and helped to form the settlements along the coast in the Carolinas. There they lived during the revolutionary war, and iu which struggle both the paternal and maternal grandfathers of Abner Pyle took part. Abner Pyle, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Chatham county. North Carolina. The family moved to Kentucky soon after that state was admitted to the union, and remained there until 18 IS, when they came to Illinois and settled in Jackson county in a section that is now .a part of Perry county. Mr. Pyle was one of the first

Abner Pyle

The Pyle family is of English and Welsh ancestry. Samuel Pyle, the ancestor of the present, family was of Quaker origin and came with William Penn to America in 1682, and made the first settlement in Pennsylvania and founded the city of Philadelphia. Subsequently his offspring removed south and helped to form the settlements along the coast in the Carolinas. There they lived during the revolutionary war, and iu which struggle both the paternal and maternal grandfathers of Abner Pyle took part. Abner Pyle, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Chatham county. North Carolina. The family moved to Kentucky soon after that state was admitted to the union, and remained there until 1818, when they came to Illinois and settled in Jackson county in a section that is now .a part of Perry county. Mr. Pyle was one of the first commissioners of the latter county, and helped to locate the coanty seat and lay out the town of Pinckneyville. He remained a citizen of Perry county until the death of his wife, then came to Madison county, where he lived with his sons until his death, which event occurred in July, 1863- He married Sarah Wells, a native of South Carolina. She died in Perry county, January 25, 1825. By the union of Abner and Sarah Pyle there were twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity and raised families. Abner Pyle, Jr., the subject of this sketch was born iu Christian county, Kentucky, January 25th, 1809, and was a mere boy when the family came to Illinois. Here he grew to manhood and received such instruction as the public schools of Perry county afforded. His first effort in public life was acting as surveyor of Perry county,Gov. Duncan. He afterward engaged in farming and trading. In 1848, lie moved to St. Clair county and remained there until March ITth, 1859, when he purchased one hundred and twenty acres in section twenty-six, of St. Jacob's Township, in Madison county. He improved his land, added more tn it, and there he has resided to the present. In May, 1833, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary llogue. She died in 1844, leaving one son named Andrew, who grew to maturity, married, and died in 1879, leaving a wife and two children. On the 19th of August, 1848, he married Naomi Bradsby, widow of John Bradsby. Her maiden name was Faires, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Orr) Faires. She was born in North Carolina, January 14, 1815. By her marriage with John Bradsby she had three children, named Francis M., Mary E. and William D. Bradsby. By her marriage with Mr. Pyle, there are alsoa position he was appointed to by three children, whose names are Martha A., wife of James Thompson, Lyman and Henry B. Pyle. Both Mr. and Mrs- Pyle are members of the Christian Church. Politically he was originally an old Jacksoniau Democrat. His first presidential ticket was cast for the hero of New Orleans. From that time to the present he has not swerved in his allegiance to the party of his first choice. Mr. Pyle is one of the pioneers of Illinois, and is a connecting link between this and a race of hardy and venturesome men that are rapidly passing away. A few more years will witness their departure, and they will only exist in the memories of the older people and in the pages of history. Would that the free, generous, open-hearted pioneer of old could always be with us and teach us by example what open and true hospitality is, and means. To that class belongs Mr. Pyle.


The Searcy family are among the old settlers and the descendants of one of the pioneer families of Madison county. Philip T. Searcy, the father, was a native of North Carolina born in 1802. He was left an orphan while yet youug in years; he was taken by his guardian, Granser Dugger, to Tennessee, and brought by him to Illinois, November 17, 1817. The Dugger family stopped for a short time in the forks of Silver creek, then a part of Marine township, in Madison county, but soon after moved to Bond county, and Battled on Hurricane Fork of Shoal creek; three years later they returned to Madison county and permanently located on the piece of land upon which they settled when they first came to Illinois. Mr. Dugger entered laud in sections 5 and 6, of what is now St. Jacob's township. From the Dugger family sprang a numerous progeny. John, Wesley, Jarret, sons of Mr. Dugger, were soldiers of the war of 1812, and also of the Black-Hawk war of 1831-'32. Philip T. Searcy married Elizabeth, daughter of Granser Dugger. She was the widow of John Hunter, by whom she had one son, named John Andrew Hunter; he was also a soldier of the Black- Hawk war. Mr. Searcy died February 13, 1861, and his wife February 13, 1864. There were twelve children born to Philip T. and Elizabeth Searcy, three of whom are now living. Their names are Nancy Jane, Edward C and George W. Thomas J. was a soldier in company I) of the -SOth Illinois Volunteers. At the battle of Perryville, October 8, 1862, he was wounded, and died two years later from the effect of the wound. Edward C. was also a soldier in the same company and regiment, and was captured by the rebels when in the act of bearing his wounded brother from the field George W., the subject of this sketch, was born on the old homestead March 6, 1834. He there grew to manhood, and remained at home until twenty-one years of age; he then clerked for his half brother, Mr. Hunter, for two years. Realizing that he had insufficient education, he spent the winter of 18.57-'58 in school. The fall previous, he had been elected constable, a position he held for twelve years. In the spring of 1858, he purchased sixty acres of land in section 17, and there made his home until 1866, when he moved to section 18, where he had purchased one hundred and fifty-five acres. On this tract, in former years, stood Fort Shilton, one of the block-houses during the Indian troubles in 1812. Mr. Searcy made his home on section 18 until the spring of 1880, when he removed to the village of St. Jacobs, and there, on the 28th of February, 1882, engaged in general merchandising; in which he still continues. On the 2d of April, 1858, he married Miss Mary Ann Taylor. She was born on the ' Old Chase " farm, in St. Jacob's township December 6, 1833. Her parents were natives of Virginia, and removed to North Carolina, tlien to Illinois and .settled in White county, and subsequently came to Madison. There were four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Searcy; one living named George L., who was born June 2, 1860. The others died in infancy and early childhood. Both Mr. and Mrs. Searcy attached themselves to the M. E. Church while young. In politics he is a Republican ; he was justice of the peace for his township for four years, and was special deputy sheriff for six years. During the late war he was enrolled officer from November, 1864, until the close of the war. In his manners he is plain and unassuming, and his character and reputation is that of an honorable and honest man.


 The Smart family are of English ancestry. Peter Smart, the great-grandfather of the subject of the sketch, was a native of the Carolinas, and was born February 7, 1730. He had two sons, named Laban and Amos Smart, both of whom were soldiers in the Revolutionary war, and were with Gen. Morgan at the memorable battle of the Cowpens. The present Smart family are the descendants of Laban Smart, who was born November 9, 1758. He married Susanah Simmons in North Carolina, by whom he had ten children, one of whom was Henry B., the father of Alsey S. He was born in Chatham county, N. C, August 25, 1800, and came with his parents to Kentucky in 1806, where they remained until 1816, then moved to the territory of Illinois, and settled in Madison county, in what is now known as Jarvis township, where the father of Alsey afterward entered land, improved a farm and made his home until his death, which took place January 22, 1882. He proftssed religion, joined the regular Baptist church, and lived in full communion with that Christian organization during life, and died in the belief and full faith, that he would meet his Redeemer in the world beyond. He was one of the pioneers of the State, and the prairie known as " Smart's Prairie' took its name from the family, as they were the first actual settlers in that section of the county. He married Sally Thompson on November 9, 1826. She was the daughter of Henry and Mary (Ray) Thompson, who were natives of Kentucky.

The Rays were among the pioneers of Kentucky, and were companions of Daniel Boone. Mrs. Smart's parents died while she was yet in her infancy, and she was brought to Illinois by her uncle. Elder Tliomas Ray, in 1818, and was living in this township when married to Mr. Smart. She died in 1879. There were eight chddren, the offspring of that union. Their names are, Alsey S., Maria, wife of John H. Smith, Martha E., the widow of Samuel Whiteside, Henry A., Itha J., wife of B. P. Harris, of Chetopa, Kansas. Lucy married Alexander Taylor, died and left five children. Alsey S., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest of the family. He was born in " Smart's Prairie, " Madison county, Illinois, September 23, 1827. In his youth he was in delicate health, and was weak physically, and in consequence it was thought he would be unable to perform manual labor, and was therefore sent to school, and therein gained a better education than usually fell to the lot of boys in his days. When the gold excitement broke out in California in 1849, he in company with a number of others made the trip across the plains and mountains in ox carts to the land of gold.

Mr. Smart remained in California for two )'ears mining gold That change of life and roughing it had the effect of hardening up his constitution, and he regained his health and robust form. In 18ol he returned home by the Isthmus of Panama ; here he re-engaged in farming on the place where he now lives, and there has made his home, quietly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and stock raising until the present. On the 7th of December 1854, he married Miss Rhoda Giger, daughter of Joseph and Nancy (McAdams) Giger. She died July 25, 1862, leaving two children named, Jerusha, wife of George Anderson, and Sally Smart. On the 20th of October, 1864, he married Miss Mary Joslyn, a native of Greene county, Illinois. She died August 10, 1874, leaving one child, named, Henry W. Smart. In matters of religious belief Mr. Smart is inclined to be liberal. He is a respected member of the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to Troy lodge, No. 588. Politically he has always voted the Democratic ticket upon State or national occasions. He has represented the township in the Board ' of Supervisors. In 1877 he was elected one of the Justices of the Peace, was re-elected, and is now serving his third term. Mr. Smart is one of the old settlers of the county, and like them he is a plain, unassuming, honest man, striving to do his duty to his fellow men, and live a life that will be marked by no act that would condemn him in the estimation of his fellow citizens.


Was born in Frederick county, Virginia, January 26th, 1827. His father, James Christopher Smith, who was a native of same county, went with his father, Christopher, to Ohio about 1828, and there died. James C, his son, moved to Holmes county, same state, in 1829, and in 1839 went to Lawrence county, Indiana. In the fall of the same year he came to Effingham county, Illinois. One year later he went to Clay county, which was his home until January 13, 1843, when he died. He married Elizabeth Tewalt, a native of Frederick county, Va. She died in November, 1843. There were eight children by that marriage, five sons and three daughters. Five children are yet living. John H., the subject of this sketch, is the third in the family. He was raised on the farm, and received his education in the common schools, which ceased when he was twelve years of age. Mr. Smith remained at home until 1847, then went to St. Louis, and in January following, 1848, came to Madison county, and stopped in the town of Alhambra, where he and W. W. Pierce hunted game for the St. Louis market. The next spring he came down to the part of the country where he now lives, and worked on a farm, first for seven, and afterwards for ten dollars per month. He soon after bought one hundred and sixteen acres on Smart's Prairie, forty acres of which were improved, and continued there until January, 1853, then sold the farm and bought one hundred and ten acres in section twenty-four of Pin Oak township. The latter was slightly improved, and had on it a small log cabin, and there he has lived ever since. He has built a large, fine dwelling-house, barns and out-houses, and has now a beautiful place, as will be seen on another page of this work. On the 23d of August, 1849, he married Miss Maria Smart, daughter of Henry and Sally Smart, old settlers of Madison county. Henry Smart was a native of North Carolina, and Mrs. Smart of Kentucky. Mrs. Smith was born near where she yet lives. Twelve children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, eight of whom are living. Their names in the order of their birth are : James H., who married Miss Elizabeth Boliger ; Martha Jane, wife of F. M. Bartlett ; "William A., married Miss Elvina Shadrick ; Sidney L., married Miss Julia Dietz ; Mary Alice, Itha Rachael, John A., and Narcissa E. Smith. Those that are married live in the township, and the others are yet at home. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Baptist church. Politically Mr. Smith has been a Democrat since 1852, when he cast his vote for Franklin Pierce for President. He is an honored member of the order of A. F. and A. M., and belongs to Troy Lodge No. 588. He has been reasonably successful in life, all of which is owing to his industry and energy. He is a good man and much respected in his neighborhood.

W A Smith

Was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, December 10, 1835. His father, Samuel Smith, was born in the same county, Oct. 30, 1791. Hugh Smith, the paternal grandfather of William A., was a native of Scotland, and subsequently moved to Ireland, and emigrated to Cumberland county, Penn., about the year 1765. He there married Elizabeth McCormick, the date of which was Feb. 22, 1784. He died March 17, 1823, and his wife died May 28, 1822. There were nine children. Samuel, the father of Wm. A., was the eldest. He came to Illinois in 1843, and stopped in Alton one winter, then moved to the northern part of Fort Russell township and purchased land in Rattan's prairie. It was raw and unimproved. He moved on it in 1845 and commenced its improvement, and thus he lived until his death, which took place June od, 1856. He married Ruth Duncan, a native of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, daughter of David Duncan, a native of the same county, whose father was a native of Ulster county, Ireland. She was born January 11, 1800, and died March 6, 1855. Her father, David Duncan, married Silieia Anderson. There were six sons and four daughters; three sons and two daughters are yet living. William A., the subject of this memoir, was but eight years of age when his parents came to Illinois. Here he has lived, except six years he spent in Missouri and the time he was in the army. Soon after the war broke out, or in 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. D, of the 117th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He participated with his regiment and company in all the skirmishes battles, and marches in which it was engaged, and remained in the service until the close of the war. He was mustered out and honorably discharged August, 1865. He returned home and re-engaged in farming. In 1869 he moved to Lafayette county, Missouri, and remained there until 1875, then returned to where he now lives, and there he has remained to the present. On the 8th of February, 1860, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Polly Ann, daughter of William A. and Eliza Lanterman. She was born in Fort Russell township, June 3, 1840. By this union there were twelve children, of whom there are six sons and two daughters living. The names of the children in the order of their birth are : Margaret Eliza, who died in infancy; Ruth A , born Oct. 22, 1S62; Clara Estella, born May 24, 1864, and died Dec. 20, 1865 ; Frederick J. A., born July 6, 1866; Lewis James, born January 6, 1868; William Norman, born Sept. 24, 1869; Joseph E., born Feb. 25, 1872; Martha Letitia Harriett, born January 4, 1874; Frankin, born April 10, 1876; Mary Elizabeth, born April 30, 1878, died May 24, 1878 ; John Henry, born March 26, 1880, died August 4,1881; Chester Marshall, born December 14, 1881. Both Mr. and Mr|. Smith are members of the old school Presbyterian church. Politically has always voted the Republican ticket. Mr. Smith'd occupation and business through life has been that of a farmer and stock raiser, in which he has been more than ordinarily successful.

Thomas Springer

The Springer family in Madison county are of Swedish- German descent, and trace back their lineage to Otto the Great, Emperor of Germany, born in the year a. d. 912. Christopher Springer, a lineal descendent of the 21st generation from Otto the Great, was born a. d. 1592, in Germany, and subsequently by cession of German territory to the King of Sweden, became a subject of and attached to that kingdom, where he became prominent in the councils of the King and a successful and influential officer in the settlement of treaties with foreign nations, greatly to the advantage of his sovereign, for which he was magnificently rewarded by grants of large landed estates by the King. His son, Charles Christopher Springer, the first to come to Amerwa, was born at Stockholm, Sweden, a. d, 1647.

When he was twenty years of age, having completed his education in the Swedish language, he was sent by his father to London to finish his education in English, and was placed in charge of the Swedish Ambassador, and became an inmate of his family. In an unguarded moment he was unluckily pressed on board an English merchant vessel brought over to America and sold into slavery to an English planter, in the Colony of Virginia. From Ferris' history of the Swedes on the Delaware, page 281, we make the subjoined extract of the particulars of the kidnapping of Mr. Springer. That biographer says : " Mr. Springer was in the family of the Swedish Ambassador in London. Driving home one evening in a Post-Chaise, he was seized and carried on board a merchant vessel in the Thames, bound to Virginia. He was there sold as a servant for five years ; at the expiration of his term of service he was set at liberty, when he joined his countrymen on the Delaware, and afterwards, by his sterling virtues and fine capacity, became honored and influential, and was elected a Justice of the Peace in the district of Christiana." It was by his energy and perservance, together with the assistance of the minister in charge of the Swedish congregation, that the old Swedes church of Wilmington was built about the year 1697. He served the church as vestryman and kept the records during his life. He came to America about the year A. D. 1667. He was a devout Christian, and a useful and active member of the Swedish church, and being quite prominent in both religious and civil circles his memory has ever been revered by his countrymen. His death occurred on the 26th of May, 1738, at the age of 91 years, and his remains now repose beneath one of the arches of the old Swedish church at Wilmington, Delaware. His grandson, Charles Springer, was married to Susannah Seeds, at Wilmiuictou, Delaware, April 7th, 1752, and soon after removed to Frederick City, JIaryland. where he died, leaving a family of eleven children, six sons and five daughters. John Springer (the second son), was with Daniel Boone two years in his early exploring expedition in the wilds of Kentucky, and afterwards with his family, wife and two children emigrated to Kentucky in 1783, and was among the first settlers around Harrod's Fort, in said state. He afterward removed to Washington county, Kentucky, where he died 1812. His son John, the father of the subject of this memoir, was born in Harrod's Fort, Kentucky, January 8th, 1784, and was married July 13th, 1809, in Kentucky, to Susan Sage. By this marriage he had four children, one of whom, Sarah A. Davidson, is still living. He emigrated to Illinois in October, 1810, and settled at Jones' Fort in what is now Bond county, Illinois, near Old Ripley. On the breaking out of the war of 1812, Mr. Springer was enrolled as a home guard, and served as first Lieutenant of Captain Jones' Company which was stationed at the Fort. In the fall of 1814, in company with Captain William Jones and others, he removed to Fort Russell township, in Madison county, Illinois, and settled on the farm where Thos. O. Springer now resides.

 Here he at once engaged in the vocation of an agriculturist, and was ever recognized as one of the best and most careful farmers of his time. For many years he discharged the duties of Justice of the Peace, and was noted for his high-toned, courteous and impartial bearing, and for his fidelity to the responsible trust. Always prominent in matters affecting the interests of the community in which he resided, he really filled a large place in public esteem. When he came to Fort Russell township he at once united with the Methodist church at Salem, and was soon after selected as class-leader of that society, which position he occupied and continuously filled to the time of his death, which occurred June 25th, 1849. He was a man of the strictest integrity, firm in his convictions, an energetic and devoted Christian, and faithfully filling all the trusts imposed in him. His death created deep regret among all who knew him. His wife, (Susan Sage), died July 8th, 1825. On the 16th of March, 1826, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Biggs, nee Byrd, a native of Alabama. By the latter union ten children were born, to wit: Thomas O., AVilliam M. T., Levi C, Martha E., Nancy E., Emily P., John W., Lucinda, Joshua S., and Joseph E., six of whom are still living. His wife, Elizabeth, died of cholera June 24th, 1849; his death occurring on the following day they were both buried in one grave.

Thomas O. is the first offspring of John Springer and Elizabeth Byrd. He was born on Sec. 30, T 5, R. 8, in Madison county, Illinois, March 2d, 1827. He was reared upon the farm, and obtained his rudimentary education in the public schools of his neighborhood, attending JIcKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, and graduated in the Scientific Department of that institution in July 1849. The death of his parents occurring about that time, he returned home, and with his brothers William M. T. and Levi C. Springer, he succeeded in educating and providing for them until they became of age. The death of his parents and his desire to keep the family together served to modify his plans for the future, and threw him into the channel of farming, which business he has continued almost uninterruptedly to the present. On the 10th of October, 1855, he was united in marriage to Miss Emily M. Thompson, daughter of John Thompson, of the American Bottom, in Madison county, Illinois. She died January 21st, 1858. There was one child born to them, who died August 2d, 1857. On the 7th of November, 1872, Mr. Springer was married to Miss Ella J. Randle, his present wife. She is the daughter of Edmund Randle, formerly of Madison county, Illinois. Politically Mr. Springer was originally an old line Whig, and cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Zachary Taylor, in 1848. On the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks, and from that time to the present has been an active and staunch Republican. In 1856 he received the nomination for Clerk of the Circuit Court, and in the ensuing election was elected to that office. In 1860 he was again the nominee of his party, and became his own successor, and held the office until December 1864. He made an able and efficient officer, and retired from the office with honor and credit. In September, 1880, he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the board of County Supervisors occasioned by the death of John B. Gibson, and in 1881 was elected by the voters of his township to the same position. He is a member of the order of A F. & A. M. and R. A. M., and Knights of I Honor. Both he and his estimable wife are members of the M. E. church.

James Squire

The present popular supervisor representing Godfrey township in the county board, is a young man possessed of many commendable traits of character. He was born December 11, 1843. His parents were William and Lydia Squire (Widaman). His father, William, was a native of Devon" shire, England, where he was born August 9th, 1814. He came to America in 1835, locating first in Coshocton county, Ohio, from whence he came to Madison county, 111., in 1839. Arriving in Alton he commenced wrk as a laborer, but, upon his refusing to work on Sunday, he quit his employment, and moved to Godfrey, where he became foreman on Godfrey's farm, a place he held for years. His wife, Lydia Widaman, «as a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where she was born March 8, 1818. Her father was a teacher—a vocation he pursued first in Germany, then in this country. On the first of March, 18-13, she and William Squire were united in marriage by Rev. I. B. Randle, of Edwardsville. James Squire received a fair common-school education, which was aided by attendance at Shurtleff College. It is related that when attending school taught by Miss Corbett, he'and his brother Frank encountered a panther in their pathway. Quite terrified, they hurried home, telling the story to their parents, who thought it incredible ; but the following day parties dispatched the monster, and established the correctness of the boys' story. During the war James Squire enlisted in the service of the United States in the 144lh Regiment Illinois Volunteers. He has been quite uniformly engaged in farming and teaching. In both pursuits he has been successful. He was married to Mattie Braden, March 25, 1874, by whom he has two children living, Vinnie Grace and Mattie Pearl, and one dead, James William. His wife died May 14, 1882. She, was a daughter of Isaac Braden, one of the pioneers of Nameoki township. Politically he is an earnest, outspoken Democrat; is a member of the Democratic Central Committee ; was elected supervisor from Godfrey township in 1877, and has been annually re-elected ever since. When it is considered that this is a Republican stronghold (Garfield's majority being 66), his election can only be accounted for on the ground of personal popularity. He is a member of both the Masonic and Odd Fellow's orders ; has been a justice of the peace, and was deputy sheriff under R. W. Crawford ; has taught thirteen years, and is at present principal of the Godfrey school.

John Worden

JOHN C. WORDEN, The founder of the village of Worden, in this county, is a native of England, born at Preston, Lancashire, June 24, 1834. He was the second son of Peter and Ann (Charnock) Worden, whose ancestry date back many generations in England, and members of the same family were among the earliest settlers on that narrow strip of country lying directly south of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. Peter Worden once owned land where now stands Yarmouth Port, in Barnstable county of that State, where he was married, and died at the age of seventy years. Mr. Worden has in his possession a genealogical history of the Worden family covering a period of three hundred years. When, at the tender age of six, Mr. Worden had the misfortune to lose his father. He remained with his mother until the age of thirteen, when that ambition, so marked a characteristic in his life, tempted him to emigrate to America, which he did, locating at Albany, N. Y. Here he found employment for six months at the public works, with a salary of seven shillings a day. Soon afterward he apprenticed himself for one year to learn blacksmithing at Schenectady. While thus working at the trade he attended regularly the night schools, and by studious application to liis books, made rapid progress in education. After the expiration of his apprentictship, he became a canal-boy on the Erie canal ; but being desirous of improving his education, he soon left, and sought a position with a farmer, paying his board by labor, and attending school during the winter months. His next occupation was working in a brick yard at fourteen dollars a month, which he continued during the brickmaking season of six months. To further resume his studies he attended for one term, Whitestown Seminary, after which he purchased a half interest in a canal boat. Ever changeable, this business did not occupy his attention more than six months. During the following winter he drove a stage from Mohawk to Herkimer, and in the ensuing spring clerked in a provision store. Mr. Worden, now competent to teach school, engaged in that profession in the winter of 1853-54, in western New York State. The next spring he again entered a provision store, in which he remained eight months, leaving in 1854, to engage with his aunt (Mrs. Elizabeth Sandbach), then residing in this county, about two miles northwest of the present village of Worden. Mr. Worden was in his aunt's employ about five years, and had now grown to manhood, and during the period of his rambling career, had managed to save money, and concluded that he could not do better than to devote a portion of it to visiting the home of his childhood. Accordingly, early in 1856, he returned to England, where he spent nine months with his relatives, and availed himself of the opportunity offered, during his stay, of visiting the many places of interest in his native country. Mr. Worden came back to this country in the fall of the same year, and taught school in St. Louis county. Mo. At the completion of his scholastic duties there, in 1857, he again returned to this county, and commenced teaching school in Moultonville, where be continued for five winters. In the meantime he was appointed Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Assessor. After the close of his school in Moultonville, he went into business for himself at New Hampton, now the village of Worden. On the 26th of November, 1867, he was married to Miss Virginia J., daughter of G. S. and Nancy. J. Weaver. By this union six children were born, two of whom have since died. On the twelfth of September, 1881, Mr. Worden had the misfortune to lose, by death, his most estimable wife. In 1809 was in contemplation the Decatur & East St. Louis Railroad, now the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific. An election was held to consider the matter of contributions, and decided against the railway. A subsequent election, brought about by the exertions of Mr. Worden and a few others, resulted in a contrary manner. A short but pointed speech was made upon this occasion by Mr. Worden, in relation to the future prosperity of the town bearing his name, and the surrounding country. When the railroad was completed the following September (1870), the town was laid out by Mr. Worden. Politically he is a Democrat, and in religion he is a member of the Methodist church. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity. Few of our citizens can present such a varied career as the subject of our sketch—thrown entirely upon his own resources and in a strange land, at the early age of thirteen ; self educated and self-made - showing what a brave and determined spirit can do in battling with the world. The doubts, difliculties and impediments were each in turn overcome, and Mr. Worden stands today a representative of the most enterprising men of our country, and one of the most successful and best respected citizens of Madison county.

Arthur Lodge
The strength of character, resolute purpose and laudable ambition which have formed the salient characteristics in the career of Arthur Lodge have won for him success. He was formerly identified with merchandising and with agricultural pursuits, but is now living retired in Erie. He was born on Prince Edward's Island, September 2, 1832, his parents being Edmund and Ann (Bows) Lodge, both natives of England. The father was a farmer and surveyor. He removed to New Albany, Indiana about 1840 and there engaged in teaming. He had a number of draft wagons in addition to moving houses and machinery. Later he took up his abode at Oil Creek, Indiana, and purchased a farm, which he cultivated until 1870 when he came to Kansas, his death occurring here on the 7th of July, 1872, when he was sixty-four years of age. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist church. Her death occurred in 1876. In the family were the following children. Arthur, our subject; William, deceased; Henry, of Erie; Elizabeth R.; Anna, deceased; Edmund, of Texas; Melissa, and Jennie, deceased.
In the schools of New Albany, Indiana, Mr. Lodge, of this review, pursued his education and later he learned the mechanic's trade in the Pheonix foundry of that place. He afterward was employed as an engineer on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, before, during and after the war. He was in the United States service on the dispatch boat Brawn, which was employed as a tow boat. After leaving the river he went to Evansville, Indiana, where he engaged in the hardware business for about two years. He then rested for a time and in 1870 he took up his abode in Neosho county, Kansas, where he purchased two squatters quarters and also bought land in Erie. In 1871 he made his permanent location in this county and in connection with his brother he engaged in merchandising for fourteen years. On the expiration of that period he sold out and built the water mill on Neosho river, operating it for seven years. He afterward engaged in speculating in land and later established the Kansas Milling Company, composed of Mr. Lodge, William Dutton, James Feltz and George Toms. At a later date Mr. Lodge traded his interest for land and today he owns three hundred and thirty acres which is rented. Mr. Lodge was married June 22, 1871, to Julia C. Vallette, a native of Alton, Illinois, and a daughter of Syria and Deborah Vallette. Her father died in 1859 at the age of fifty-one years. He was a millwright by trade, following that pursuit for many years. His wife passed away in 1888 at the age of seventy-eight years. They were both consistent and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mrs. Vallette's father, Samuel Delaplane, was local minister of that church. Unto the parents of Mrs. Vallette were born six children. Ann, who died at the age of fifteen years; Harriet, the widow of Edwin Anderson Rice, of Erie; Urana T., the wife of Joseph Stamper, of Illinois; Mary E., the deceased wife of Dr. J. H. Light; Mrs. Julia C. Lodge; and John W., now deceased. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Lodge has been blessed with eight children, Dr. Athens V., of Savonburg, who married Dassie M. Gabriel, by whom he has one child - Julia; Margaret; Lizzie L., who died at the age of twenty-one years after graduating from the high school of Erie; Ella, who died at the age of two years and seven months; Lucinda, who died at the age of six months; William H., a clerk in the Bank of Erie; Henrietta, Henry L., and Edmund E. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of which Mr. Lodge has served as a trustee for twenty-five years. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and in politics is a Republican. His personality is a pleasing one for he is genial in manner and kindly in disposition; his social qualities have won him many friends and he is held in high esteem throughout his adopted county. . [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]





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