Judge Silas Ramsey

Taken From the Henry Republican, Henry, IL
December 25, 1873

Died at Chicago, Dec. 18, of organic disease of the heart, at the residence of J. C. Garrigus, Judge Silas Ramsey of Lacon, aged 67 years.

Judge Ramsey No More

Judge Silas Ramsey of Lacon died suddenly at the residence of his nephew, Mr. J. C. Garrigus, No. 787 1/2 West Madison street, Chicago, on Thursday night last. He had been summoned and was serving as a grand juror in the United States district court, and had been at the metropolis nearly a week, when he was suddenly taken ill and died. A coroner’s jury examined and case, and returned a verdict of death from organic disease of the heart. On Saturday the remains were conveyed to Lacon, and on Sunday taken to their final resting place in the family burial lot with the usual solemn funeral services. The members of the Marshall county bar met at the court house at Lacon on Saturday, in honor of the death of another of its members, passing appropriate resolutions, amoung which was one to attend the funeral in a body.

Judge Ramsey was one of the first settlers in the county, and identified with much of its early history. He was the first sheriff of the county, and for many years afterwards was probate judge. he was a great politician of the democratic school, and by it was elected to the lower house of the legislature. At that time the Fishers held the ferry franchise at Lacon, which got to be a monopoly from which the people suffered much extortion. The clamor and excitement incident to it at the time induced the people to ask of the legislature a franchise for another ferry, and this was obtained by Ramsey, who, on receiving a large sum, sold it out to the Fishers, which so enraged the people that they put the seal of condemnation to his further political preferment or usefulness, and would never forgive him.

During the war he held the rank of colonel on Gen. McClernand’s staff. As a lawyer he manifested much ability; and was a good public speaker. His social qualities and generous disposition were characteristics of prominence, and while being a slave to his cups, which beclouded his life and limited it to a certain extent; yet there was much of that which was manly about Judge Ramsey, and could he have been judicious and predent, would have been one of the foremost men in the state. Locally, he would have his say, and in every public meeting always was sure to be heard. He was a good organizer in political affairs, and was generally “behind the scenes” in party combinations against the republicans whom he “hated with perfect hatred.” Thus has gone four honorable name from the calendar of the Marshall county bar in the space of one year - Ira I. Fenn, S. L. Richmond, John P. Boice and Silas Ramsey.


George Rithmiller

George Rithmiller is the owner of seven hundred acres of valuable land, from which he derives an excellent income that now enables him to live retired.  Few men can show a more creditable record.  A man's success is not measured by his possessions, but is determined by the ability and energy that he shows in working his way from a lowly position to one of prominence and affluence.  In the early years of his residence in America, Mr. Rithmiller encountered many difficulties and obstacles.  Having come to the United States empty-handed, the language and customs of the people being unfamiliar to him, he nevertheless by determined and unfaltering purpose worked his way upward, making a business record which any man might be proud to possess.

Born in Wurtemburg, Germany, March 15, 1833, he was a son of George and Christina (Frey) Rithmiller, who were likewise natives of that country.  The father, who was born in 1796, engages in farming in Germany on a small farm and passed away there in 1866, when about seventy years of age.  In the family were four children of whom Jacob and Gotfried are both now deceased, while the daughter, Mrs. Anna Maria Feazle, has also passes away.

George Rithmiller is thus the only surviving member of the family.  He spent the period of his boyhood and youth in his native country and in 1854 came to America, hoping that he might have better business opportunities in the new world.  Accordingly he crossed the Atlantic, landing a New York on the 26th of July from the sailing vessel Sir Robert Peel, which was seven weeks in crossing the Atlantic at that time. Mr. Rithmiller did not remain long in the eastern metropolis, but continued on his journey to Cincinnati, Ohio, in company with a friend by the name of Gampler.  His friend was a baker and soon obtained a situation, but Mr. Rithmiller was less fortunate and during the first year after his arrival in America he found it very difficult to secure work. He was employed in a hotel when a certain man wanted to know if there was a raw Dutchman there who desired a position, saying that he had heard they were good workers. Mr. Rithmiller desired the job and wanted to know what was expected of him.  He was told that he must wheel mud to make eight thousand bricks per day and that the pay would be a dollar and a half per day, which was considered good wages at that time, but there was considerable danger attached to the work and Mr. Rithmiller's friend objected to him accepting the position.

About eight miles from Cincinnati he secured work in a starch factory for fifty cents per day and boarded himself.  Later he was employed at Cottage Hill at ten dollars per month with board, and while thus engaged he managed to save about seventy dollars.  He was then told by a friend that he could obtain a good situation in Cincinnati and he went to the city, where all of his funds became exhausted while he was seeking employment there.  He then borrowed money in order to go to Indiana and from that state later came to Illinois, making his way to Bennington township, Marshall county.  This proved to be the turning in the tide of his affairs and during his residence in this county he has continuously prospered.

At length when his labors had brought him some capital he invested in land and began farming on his own account.  He placed his fields under cultivation and his crops brought him a good financial return.  He did the first tilling in Bennington township in 1877.  As the years passed by he kept adding to his land until he has accumulated a goodly fortune in Marshall county, being now the owner of seven hundred acres of the rich farming land of Illinois, which is equal to any in this great land of ours for the production of crops.  In 1901 he went to Oklahoma and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land, which has since doubled in value.

In 1858 Mr. Rithmiller was married to Miss Sarah Shilling, who was born in New Jersey and in her early girlhood became a resident of Ohio, while later she went to Indiana.  They were married at Clarksburg, Indiana and remained in that state for about nine years, after which they came to Illinois, locating about four miles south of Toluca in Bennington township.  For many years thereafter Mr. Rithmiller was continuously engaged in general farming, but is now practically living retired, merely giving his supervision to his landed interests.  He makes his home in the village of Toluca and derives an excellent income from his property, which comprises seven hundred acres.

Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois
by John Spencer Burt and W.H. Hawthorne
Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company 1907,  Page 366


Isaac Harrison Reeder, M.D

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896
Page 23-26

Isaac Harrison Reeder, M.D., of Lacon, with one exception, is the oldest practitioner in Marshall county, and is probably personally known by more people than any other of its honored citizens. He is a native of Montgomery county, Ohio, born near Dayton, July 27, 1824. His parents, Jacob and Frances (Crane) Reeder, were both natives of Pennsylvania, from which state his grandfather, Daniel Reeder, emigrated in the early childhood of Jacob, locating at North Bend, on the Ohio river.

The subject of this sketch remained with his parents until seventeen years of age, attending subscription schools of the neighborhood in winter months, and assisting in the cultivation and improvement of the farm the remaining seasons of the year. He was then apprenticed to Mr. Burlingham of Lacon, to learn the blacksmith's trade, with whom he remained until twenty-one years of age, receiving for his services during the entire period only his board and clothes. Being of a naturally studious nature, while engaged in learning his trade, he borrowed and eagerly read a number of valuable books, thus storing his mind with useful knowledge. From Dr. Boals he borrowed a chemistry, which he carefully studied, and from another he secured a grammar. For months he almost continually had his books on the forge before him, which he read and studied as he blew the bellows.

When his four years' term of service was up, our subject commenced life without a dollar, receiving no assistance whatever from his employer. His trousers were out at the knees, his shirt ragged, his coat hardly fit to be worn, but he had grit and determination, and at once commenced work at his trade as a journeyman, continuing as such until he had laid by enough money with which to purchase a set of tools, when he opened a shop at Metamora, Woodford county, where he operated some three or four years. He was then taken sick and his physician, Dr. Whitmire, now, as well as then, residing at Metamora, decided that he must abandon his trade. While convalescing he read some of his physician's medical works and became greatly interested in a skeleton which the doctor had in his office. For some two or three months he continued to read such medical works as were at his disposal, with only the thought of passing away the time.

Consulting with his physician as to what calling or profession he should adopt for the future, Dr. Whitmire, much to his surprise, advised him to continue the study of medicine and qualify himself for a physician. The idea struck him as amusing, as he had never given the subject any serious consideration, but later he decided to follow the doctor's advise. Selling his shop and tools, he entered the office of Dr. Whitmire, and under his instruction pursued his studies. Being a good vocalist, he taught singing school, thereby securing the means with which to pay his board. He also saved enough to pay his expenses through one term of Ruch Medical college, which he attended in the winter of 1848-49.

At the close of his first course of lectures, he returned to Metamora without a cent in his pocket. His old preceptor then advised him to locate at some good point and enter upon the practice of his profession, thus gaining some practical knowledge before completing his course. This he decided to do, and therefore located at Lexington, Illinois, as assistant to Dr. Barnd of that place. He remained with the doctor about three years, saving every cent possible, that he might again enter college, completing the full course. While with Dr. Barnd he had a large and varied experience, doing much of the country practice, taking long drives day and night, in rough and stormy as well as pleasant weather.

Returning to college in the fall of 1851, our subject pursued his studies and graduated with honors in February, 1852, receiving his diploma from Rush Medical college. About the middle of the term, however, he came very nearly leaving the college, and possibly abandoning all thought of ever continuing in the profession. His funds were about exhausted and he had no other source of supply. A roommate, Abner Hard, late of Aurora, was in about the same fix, and what to do was the question. His friend proposed the securing of a room and together keep bachelor's hall. The back room of a doctor's office was placed at their service, and there they lived during the remainder of the term, at a cost not exceeding ten cents each per day, their diet being principally bread and water. But this served to brace them up, and as stated, Dr. Reeder received his diploma in February, 1852. Another difficulty now arose. He had not money enough to pay his expenses from Chicago to Lacon. The railroad had not yet traversed this region, and the fare by stage was seven dollars. Borrowing five dollars of a friend in Chicago, he took the stage of his old home, arriving safely with one dollar in his pocket. He then walked to Metamora, and there borrowed five dollars of his sister with which to pay the Chicago loan, and again returned to his old field of labor, Lexington, Illinois. However, he remained there but a short time, when he received an offer from his cousin, Dr. Robert Boal, of Lacon, of a partnership with him in practice at that place. Back to Lacon he came, and the partnership thus formed continued until near the beginning of the war.

The firm of Boal and Reeder succeeded in building up a fine practice, but in October, 1862, Dr. Reeder was commissioned surgeon of the Tenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry by Governor Yates, and joined the regiment at Nashville, Tennessee. He was then in active service until the surrender of Atlanta in the fall of 1864. At the battle of Stone river, he, as field surgeon, did efficient service. The Tenth Illinois Infantry distinguished itself in the battles of Stone river, Chickamauga and other engagements in that campaign, and Dr. Reeder was ever at his post of duty. While his inclinations were to remain with the boys in the field, he resigned his commission in the fall of 1864, and returned to Lacon. He has never, however, lost his interest in the stirring events of that day, and has continued his membership with the Army and Navy Medical association.

On returning home the doctor at once resumed practice, and has since continued to reside at this place, and for a period of almost half a century has ministered to the physical wants of the people of this vicinity. His experience in the army and his recognized skills as a surgeon has given him a reputation not only throughout Marshall, but in adjoining counties, and his services have frequently been called into requisition in difficult surgical operations for many miles around. By his skill as a physician and surgeon, he has built up a large and lucrative practice, placing him and his family in comfortable circumstances. For many years he has been a member of the North Central Medical association and the State Medical society, and has served as president of the former body. The medical journals of the country have been enriched by his contributions, and in all matters pertaining to his profession, he has endeavored to keep abreast with the times.

Dr. Reeder was united in marriage with Miss Dorcas Lucas, at Bloomington, Illinois, February 21, 1850, and together they have traveled life's pathway for a period of forty-six years. She has been a worthy wife of a worthy husband, and her wise counsels and loving ministrations have been an encouragement to him as he has gone in and out among the people in the discharge of his professional duties. Two loving daughters came to bless their union. Flora is now the wife of Charles E. Hoyt, of Lacon. She is a musician of more than ordinary ability, and her voice is often heard in public to the delight of all, while as a pianist her ability is acknowledged by all.

May, the second daughter, died in September, 1876, in her eighteenth year. She had but a few months previously graduated from the Lacon high school, and the future was bright before her. Being very ambitious, she worked too hard that she might graduate with honor, and her death followed from heart paralysis. She was a loving young woman, the joy of parents and the friend of everybody.

While a strong republican and very pronounced in his views, Dr. Reeder has never sought office, and has devoted his entire time to his professional, social, educational and religious duties. For years he was a member of the school board, and for some time was its chairman. Realizing the difficulty in his own case of securing an education, he strived to give a more favorable opportunity to others, and by his active interest and wise counsel much of the success attained by the Lacon public schools is due. A lifelong member of the Presbyterian church, he has given much thought to the Master's work. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, Blue lodge and chapter. All in all it may be well said that the life of our subject has been such as to reflect credit upon himself and honor to his fellow-citizens.


Dr. Isaac H. Reeder

Dr. Reeder was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1824 and moved with his parents to Marshall county in 1834, settling in Lacon or Columbia, as the village was then called. He was educated in Lacon, was a student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and graduated from that institution in 1852, commencing the practice of his profession in Lacon the same year, and has continued steadily in practice to the present time with the exception of three years spent in the army during the war of the rebellion, during which time he served as surgeon of the 10th Ill. Vol Inf. In 1850 married Catherine D. Lucas, a native of Bloomington. They have one child living, Flora E., and one deceased. Dr. Reeder and his wife belong to the Presbyterian church, and he is a member of the state and local medical societies. . -

Record of Olden Times or 50 years on the Prairie, 1880, Page 681 Lacon Township - Transcribed by Nancy Piper


Jacob Reeder

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896
Page 23-24

Isaac Reeder's parents, Jacob and Frances (Crane) Reeder, were both natives of Pennsylvania, from which state his grandfather, Daniel Reeder, emigrated in the early childhood of Jacob, locating at North Bend, on the Ohio river. At that place Jacob grew to manhood and wooed and wed Frances Crane, whose parents were also numbered among the pioneers of that part of Ohio. Their wedding was celebrated in the city of Cincinnati, and they continued to reside in Ohio until 1834, when they removed to Illinois, locating just east of the present city of Lacon, on a beautiful tract of land overlooking the Illinois river. A settlement had been made at this point a short time previously and a village had been platted to which was given the name Columbia. This entire section of country was then a part of Putnam county.

The tract secured by Jacob Reeder comprised about three hundred acres of government land, which he proceeded to improve and where he remained with his family until 1837, when he sold to the Fenn Colony, which came to this locality from Cincinnati. The colony established the present city of Lacon, and secured the division of the county. On selling his farm he removed to the vicinity of the present village of Washburn, which was farther from the river, and where he thought his family would be less exposed to ague, which was prevalent in the country at that time. Purchasing an improved farm, he continued to reside thereon until old age made it incumbent on him to retire from active work, when he removed to Metamora, and made his home with a daughter, with whom he lived until his death in 1875, in his eighty-eighth year.

Jacob Reeder was a man of home tastes and habits, caring little or nothing for the applause of the world. For almost his entire life he entire life he engaged inn tilling the soil, planting and sowing with an abiding faith that God would give the increase. He never sought, nor would he accept public office, although a man of strong political views. In early life he was an advocate of the principles of the Whig party, but when that party, which numbered among its leaders such men as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, passed out of existence, he affiliated with the republican party, being by nature and education a strong anti-slavery man. In his religious convictions he was a Presbyterian, strongly rooted in the peculiar views held by that old and highly conservative body of people. In his family relations, while tender and considerate, he was yet firm in his discipline and required perfect obedience from his children. He was what might be termed an ideal man. For many years he was an elder in the church, and was one of the first members of the Presbyterian church of Lacon. His good wife was also a member of that denomination, and was a worthy helpmate of such a man. She preceded him to the better world some ten years, dying in 1865.

Jacob and Frances Reeder were the parents of eight children, all of whom grew to maturity. Of this number Addison was a machinist by trade, and died at Bloomington, Illinois, in 1887. Thomas was for many years a large farmer residing near Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois but died in Idaho about 1891. Susan, now the widow of William Rockwell, resides in Henry, Marshall county. Isaac H., is next in order of birth. David, who was a resident of Decatur county, Kansas, died march 6, 1896, in his seventieth year. Jacob is a mechanic, residing at Metamora, Illinois. Frances, who was the wife of Price K. Kellogg, died in 1895. Rebecca, who was the wife of Lucien Canney, of Pontiac, Illinois, died about 1876.


Cyrus ROOT

The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896. - Marshall county Biographical extractions pages 100-199

Transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass

Cyrus ROOT, residing on section 24, La Prairie township, Marshall county, is a veteran of the late war and is one of the most highly honored of the good citizens of the county. He was born just across the line in Peoria county, September 4, 1838, and is the son of Erastus C. and Barbara A. (REED) ROOT, both of whom were natives of Delaware county, New York, and who were numbered among the pioneers of 1830. Both died on the old farm in Peoria county, the latter October 6, 1881, and the former January 22, 1896. (See sketch of Erastus C. ROOT.)

Cyrus ROOT was the first of the family born on the old homestead, which was the home of the father a period of sixty-two years. On that farm he grew to manhood, and in the country schools of the vicinity received his education. The pioneer life of a farmer boy is one unending round of toil, and that of our subject was no exception to the rule. From the time he was old enough to do the small chores necessary in farm life he had to do his share of the work. This experience formed in him habits of industry that have clung to him through life.

While engaged in the peaceful avocations of farm life, the call to arms was made by the general government in defense of the union. Young men all around him wee offering their services, and he, too, responded to the call, and August 27, 1862, he became a private in Company C, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This company was raised on the prairies, and six of the number were from La Prairie township, and among those were John JUMP, Webster GREEN and Edson TURNER, all of whom passed in safety though the conflict.

The Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry became a part of the Third Brigade, Second Division of the Fourteenth Army Corps under Thomas, and served in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Mr. ROOT was severely wounded, and to this day carries three shot in his body, two in his left arm and one on the left side of his face above the eye. While in the hospital at Nashville his regiment went on to Atlanta and took part in that campaign. Just as he was convalescing, Hood's army appeared before Nashville, and all those who had been confined in the hospital, but who were then able, were formed into a battalion and took part in the battle following. Mr. ROOT among the number. Soon after this he rejoined his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina, and was with it in the grand review at Washington at the close of the war. He was "only a corporal" in his company, but in all his three years' service did his duty faithfully and well. In the battalion formed at Nashville he served as sergeant.

On receiving his discharge at the close of the war, Mr. ROOT returned to his father's house and made that his home until December 29, 1869, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary C. STOWELL, a daughter of Ebenezer and Laura (BRIDGMAN) STOWELL. Her father was born in Chenago county, new York, October 19, 1807. He first came to Illinois in 1836, in company with Roswell NURSS and his son, Isaiah NURSS, walking much of the way. After looking over the ground, he walked to Quincy, Illinois, and entered land on the north line of Peoria county, one-half mile from the county line, and also in La Prairie township, Marshall county. Returning to New York, he remained there until 1843, when he made his permanent settlement on his Peoria count farm. His first wife dying, he married Laura BRIDGMAN, and upon the farm adjoining that of E. C. ROOT they passed the remainder of their lives. He died May 7, 1880, she surviving him some years, dying April 26, 1889, in her eighty-first year. They were among the original members of the Lawn Ridge Congregational church, and he was the first of the six comprising the organization to pass away. He was a successful farmer, owning at the time of his death a fine farm of six hundred acres and much other valuable property. Of their nine children, Mrs. Cyrus ROOT and Charles E. STOWELL reside in La Prairie township. Mrs. ROOT was born on the farm April 4, 1845.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. ROOT took up their home on the farm of his father, where they remained two years, and then removed to their present place of residence. The farm comprises eighty acres in La Prairie and forty acres in Steuben township. He also owns one hundred and twenty acres of his father's old homestead, a part of the original tract entered in 1836. The latter he leases to other parties, giving his personal attention only to his home farm. He is a practical farmer in every respect and confines himself to no special line, usually keeping, however, a good variety of stock.

To Mr. and Mrs. ROOT three children have been born: Wilber S., who was married on Christmas day, 1895, to Miss Minnie J. SMITH, a daughter of William SMITH, of La Prairie township; Emily J., at home, and Laura Barbara, who died at the age of eight months.

Politically Mr. ROOT is a republican, and, while not a bitter partisan, has yet an abiding faith in the principles of his party. He cares nothing for the honors of official position, but has served his friends and neighbors as school director and trustee, and also road commissioner. In army matters he yet feels a deep interest, and is a member of Chillicothe post, G. A. R. Mrs. ROOT is a member of Lawn Ridge Congregational church, but both attend the Methodist Episcopal church in La Prairie township.


Archibald RIDDELL

The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896. - Marshall county Biographical extractions pages 100-199

Transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass

Archibald RIDDELL, deceased, was for many years one of the most enterprising and public-spirited men in Marshall county, and to him the people owe a debt of gratitude which, in all probability, they will never meet. He was a native of Scotland, born in Glasgow, January 30, 1822. He there grew to manhood, his boyhood and youth being mainly spent on a farm. However, for one or two years, in company with a brother, he engaged in the mercantile trade in his native city.

Stories of the new world began to reach his ears, and the desire came into his heart to come to this favored land, and here try his fortune in competition with others. With him the desire for a thing brought about its fulfillment, and so, in 1844, he crossed the Atlantic, and arriving in New York, he proceeded at once to Ohio. After traveling for some time in Missouri and other states, he finally located in Chillicothe, Illinois, where he engaged in the mercantile business in partnership with his brother Robert. In 1846 he made his first purchase of land, securing the tract on which his son William now resides in La Prairie township. There were no improvements upon the place at the time of his purchase, and he at once set about the cultivation of the farm. Erecting a small log house he kept "bachelor's hall" for about one year, when, realizing that "it was not good for a man to be alone," he was united in marriage June 19, 1847, with Miss Janet DAVIDSON, of Steuben township, and a daughter of George DAVIDSON, the first Scotchman to locate in the township.

Taking his young bride to the primitive home prepared for her reception, he set about in earnest what was to be his life's work. The partnership between himself and brother Robert continued until 1849, when the latter was stricken with the gold fever, and disposing of his interest to our subject, he went to California, the lately discovered "Eldorado." But farming and not mercantile trade was now the chosen occupation of Mr. RIDDELL, and in a short time he added to his original purchase of land until his home farm consisted of three hundred and sixty acres. For the erection of his barn he hauled lumber and shingles from Chicago with ox teams, a trip requiring three weeks. This was rendered necessary from the fact there was no mill in this section of the country. The barn then built still stands the same to-day except for a new roof. It was an exceptionally fine barn, and for years the church meetings were held in it. All the early settlers of southern Marshall and northern Peoria counties remember this barn, which to-day is one of the old landmarks.

In the beginning of this sketch it was stated that Mr. RIDDELL was an enterprising and public-spirited man. This was well illustrated in the erection of the Lacon woolen mill, in which he was the prime mover. He stood by the enterprise and backed it up with his means until his death, owning two hundred and five shares of the stock, which is still held by the family. For some years he was president of the woolen mill company and gave it much time and attention, though never receiving any compensation for his services.

In 1866 Mr. RIDDELL was bereft of his wife, who had truly been to him a loving helpmeet. To them were born five children: John, who died at the age of twelve years; George D., a grocer and hardware dealer of Watseka, Illinois; William D., on the old home farm; Archie, who married Lydia GALLUP, a daughter of William A. GALLUP, and who resided on the old home place, but died in May, 1893, at the age of thirty-seven years, leaving no family, and Jessie, who died in infancy.

Mr. RIDDELL subsequently married Margaret SOCKWELL, of Canada, where she now lives, having returned to her old home after the death of her husband. To them was born one daughter, Martha, now a stenographer in the Great Northern hotel at Chicago.

Politically, Mr. RIDDELL was a republican from the organization of the party until within a few years of his death, when he separated from the party, and on one occasion voted the democratic ticket. For years he was an active worker in his party, and his face was a familiar one in all conventions. During the war he was an enthusiastic supporter of all measures for the suppression of the rebellion, and had the utmost faith in the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. In religious views he was advanced and was well read in the scriptures, having a wonderfully retentive memory for scriptural quotations. He delighted in discussing Biblical subjects, and his great knowledge of the Word of God enabled him to catch preachers of the gospel in misquotations, and it did him good to corner them. His death occurred August 30, 1892, while in his seventy-first year. He left not only a sorrowing family, but a very large circle of friends throughout Marshall and adjoining counties.

William D. RIDDELL, the son of Archibald and Janet (DAVIDSON) RIDDELL, was born May 8, 1852, in the house in which he now lives. Here his entire life has been spent, and on Christmas day, 1888, he married Miss Ellen STEPHENSON of Sparland, a native of Woodford county, Illinois, and with his wife has made the old farm his home.

In company with his brother Archie, now deceased, William RIDDELL worked the old farm for a time, when he bought thirty acres near by, and on the death of his brother purchased the interest of the other heirs, and now owns all the farm, consisting of three hundred and fifty acres. He devotes his attention to mixed farming and stock raising, and has been a successful farmer. Politically he is a stanch republican.


Hon. Samuel L. RICHMOND

Hon. Samuel L. RICHMOND, deceased, was for many years one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Marshall county, a man whose standing at the bar was second to none in the state. He was a native of Vermont, born in 1824, and removed in youth to Ohio, where he grew to manhood, received his literary education, and married Miss Susan Hunt, by whom he reared a family of five children, all of whom yet survive. Warner L., the eldest son, is now engaged in farming near Topeka, Kansas. Lizzie R. now resides in Peoria, and is a woman of remarkable business tact and ability, being the second lady in the state to receive the appointment of notary public, for fifteen years engaged in the fire insurance business in Peoria, and at present is employed in the internal revenue office in that city. Belle V. is now the wife of Henry A. GOODWIN, a mechanic of Peoria. Samuel L., also residing in Peoria, as special agent for the German Fire Insurance Company. Elijah D., the present county judge of Marshall, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.

Our subject early in life determined to make the legal profession his life work, and for that purpose went to Louisville, Kentucky, studied law, and was there admitted to the bar. After his admission to the bar he returned to Burton, Ohio. He was married in 1848 and in 1849 came to Illinois, locating at Princeton, Bureau county, where he remained one year, and then came to Lacon, where he continued to reside until his death in 1873, with the exception of one year spent in St. Paul, Minnesota, and one year in Galena, Illinois. In 1858 he became associated with Hon. John BURNS, who later succeeded him as circuit judge. The partnership thus formed continued until Mr. RICHMOND was elected judge of the twenty-third circuit in 1861. At that time he was comparatively a young man, being but thirty-seven years of age. He was, however, a man well read in the law and of a judicial turn of mind. For twelve years and until the date of his death, he occupied the bench, and no man occupying like position stood higher in the estimation of his associates and the bar in general. His views and judgments were usually held as good law, and few cases were appealed from his decision and a less number were reversed.

In his political views, Judge RICHMOND was a thorough and consistent democrat, a firm believer in the principles of that party. A friend of education, he served some years upon the school board of Lacon, and did all in his power to advance the interests of the public schools, often delivering lectures on the public school question in various parts of the state in response to invitation. He was a close student of history and a man of quick perception. His popularity was not confined to the bar, but his friends were numbered by the thousands in all the avocations of life. He was suave in manner, open-hearted, and at all times a friend of the poor. What he did was always cheerfully done and no regrets would ever afterward be expressed, if mistaken in judgment, which was seldom the case. A man of the people, he enjoyed the respect of the people, and his death, which occurred in his forty-ninth year, while yet in the prime of life, was a sad blow, not only to his family and personal friends, but to the general public as well. If death had not so early claimed him, he doubtless would have occupied a position on the supreme bench, his name being frequently suggested for that position. His widow now resides in Peoria.

[portrait of S. L. RICHMOND available on page 77]

[The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896. - Marshall county Biographical extractions -Transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass]


George REMLEY

George REMLEY, a representative of that great class on whom the welfare of this nation depends, the honest farmer, resides on a beautiful homestead on section 11, Richland township, and is one of the pioneers of 1835. In his sixty years of life in this locality he has witnessed such changes as were never dreamed of by the early settlers. His grandfather, Hyeronimous REMLEY, was a native of Germany, who settled in Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war, where he reared a family of six children, of whom George, the father of our subject, born in 1775, was one.

George REMLEY, the father of our subject, married Miss Ella LYTLE, a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Henry LYTLE, who removed from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in an early day. Soon after their marriage they removed form Fayette county, Pennsylvania, to Waynesburg, that state, where they remained eight years, and then went to Ohio, locating near Wheeling, West Virginia, but on the Ohio side of the line. From that point they moved to Belmont county, Ohio, where Mr. REMLEY purchased a large farm, on which he resided for sixteen years. He then sold out and moved down on the Big Sun Fish river, in Monroe county, where he remained eight years, then selling out, came to Marshall county, Illinois, in the fall of 1835. They emigrated to this county by wagon, but spent the first winter at Walnut Grove, in Woodford county, then purchased a tract of land on section 28, Richland township. At this time there were but few settlers in the township or in the entire county. On this place he erected a hewed log house in which he resided until his death in 1840. His wife survived him about six years, dying in 1846. They were the parents of nine children, six daughters and three sons - John, deceased; Mrs. Sarah SIMS, also deceased; Lucy TAYLOR; Mrs. Fannie JOHNS, deceased; Mrs. Ella TAYLOR; Mrs. Harriet MARTIN; George; Joseph, and Mrs. Eliza TOOLE, deceased. Of the sons, John was a lieutenant in the war against the Indians in Oregon.

George REMLEY, the subject of this sketch, was born April 7, 1817, in Belmont county, Ohio, and there received his education in the pioneer subscription schools. He came to this county with his parents and on his arrival found a large open prairie country, and the various settlements made in the timber. The people in those days did not dare settle upon the prairie for fear of freezing and from the fact they thought it necessary to locate where they could obtain fuel and also water for their stock. At the time of his settlement here Marshall was then a part of Tazewell county. He remained at home, assisting his father on the farm until the latter's death, when he married Miss Ruth BUCKINGHAM, a native of Pennsylvania, and daughter of Isaac BUCKINGHAM, a very prominent farmer in the early day, who located in Woodford county, Illinois, prior to the Black Hawk war. Mrs. REMLEY was born in 1807, and died in 1844, leaving no children.

Soon after marriage, Mr. REMLEY settled in Woodford county, and there remained sixteen years. After the death of his fist wife, on the 4th of June, 1846, he married Miss Helen RICE, a native of Onondaga county, New York, born September 24, 1827, and a daughter of Elijah and Rebecca (MARSHALL) RICE, both of whom were natives of New York, but who removed to Woodford county, Illinois, in 1844, where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of four children - Mrs. REMLEY, Rosanna, Delency, became the wife of Alexander PIPER, and William, who lives on the old homestead.

Mr. and Mrs. REMLEY are the parents of eight children, seven of whom are living - Henry, who married Ella WHITE, now resides in Hopewell township, Marshall county; Minerva Ellen, now the wife of Henry DUCHESNE, lives in Bennington township; Jane, now the wife of Baron HARPER, resides at La Rose, Marshall county; Lucy Ann, now the wife of Matthew VanPATTON, resides in Belle Plain township; Elizabeth, now the wife of Martin HOOVER, lives in Woodford county, Illinois; George, who married Nannie HENRY, resides in Richland township, and Emma R. is at home.

In the spring of 1857, Mr. REMLEY moved with his family to his present farm, where they have since resided. The farm which he purchased from Robert GRAY, comprises four hundred and thirty-one acres, all of which is under improvement. He also has eighty acres adjoining the village of Washburn, Illinois. At one time he was the owner of nearly thirteen hundred acres of land, but has since given the greater part of it to his children.

Mr. REMLEY has during his entire life been a hard working man. For about fifteen years he engaged in carpenter work in connection with his farming operations. All that he has of this world's goods he has secured by the labors of his hands, assisted of course by that of his wife, and success has crowned their efforts in a remarkable degree. Commencing life for himself under very unfavorable circumstances he has endeavored to prevent the same state of affairs from falling to his children, and so has well provided for each and has given to each good educational advantages. Politically, he is a democrat, but has steadily refused official positions. Mrs. REMLEY is what might be termed a model housekeeper, and she endeavors to make her home an inviting one to any and all who partake of her hospitality. In fact, the Remley household is noted for its hospitality far and near.

[Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896., Marshall county biographical extractions through page 100, transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass.]


Hon. Elijah Dewey RICHMOND

Hon. Elijah Dewey RICHMOND, the present judge of the county court of Marshall county, like his honored father before him, is a man of the people, and has ever enjoyed the confidence and respect of those with whom almost his entire life has been spent. He was born in the city of Lacon, March 18, 1859, and is the son of Judge Samuel L. and Susan (HUNT) RICHMOND, the former a native of Vermont, and the latter of Ohio. His father for many years was judge of the circuit of which Marshall county formed a part, and was one of the most accomplished men and best read lawyers in the state.

Until his fifteenth year our subject remained with his parents at Lacon, where his primary education was obtained in the public schools. At his time the death of his father occurred, and his mother removed with the family to a farm in Douglas county, Illinois. Here the succeeding six years of his life were spent, much as that of other farmer boys. He was ambitious to learn and greatly desired a college education, but this seemed impossible. His services were in demand at home, and while other boys were in college he was engaged in tilling the soil and pursuing such studies as he could with the assistance rendered him by his older brothers and sisters. After leaving Lacon he attended school but comparatively a short time, but did succeed in taking a six months' course in a business college at Peoria with the view of entering upon a business career. At one time he was greatly desirous of entering West Point, there fitting himself for a military career. However, he never applied for examination, and that youthful ambition was forever laid aside.

In 1880, at the age of twenty-one, he left the farm and returned to Lacon, entering the office of Shaw & Edwards, and placing himself under their instruction, commenced the reading of law. He continued with this firm until his admission to the bar in 1882 after an examination before the supreme court at Ottawa. In the fall of that year he began the practice of law in the city of his birth and has continued in active practice since. He has never had a partner in business, but has always continued alone. His standing at the bar is second to none.

Soon after returning to Lacon, Mr. RICHMOND was elected township clerk, and served four years. While a strong democrat, he was twice elected on the union ticket, and served with great acceptance at the time when the office was of some importance. In 1883, less than one year after his admission to the bar, he was elected attorney for the city of Lacon and served two years.

The year 1884 was a memorable one, being the year in which Cleveland was first elected to the presidency, his opponent being James G. Blaine. Mr. RICHMOND was in that year nominated by the democrats to the office of state's attorney, his opponent on the republican ticket being Winslow EVANS, then residing in Wenona, where he was in the enjoyment of a comfortable practice, and who later served as a county judge. The canvass was a warm one, but Mr. RICHMOND was elected by one majority. Serving the four years' terms of office, he was re-nominated in 1888, and again elected, but served only two years. In 1890 he resigned the office to accept the nomination for the office of county judge, his opponent again being Hon. Winslow EVANS, who was then serving in the office, and who had been re-nominated by the republican party. His election followed, receiving a majority of two hundred and fifty votes, which he considered a very handsome compliment. On the expiration of his tem in 1894 he was re-nominated and re-elected, and is now serving his second term. During his entire service as county judge he has had but one decision appealed from; that being a case involving the question of the validity of a special tax for the construction of water works in Wenona. His decision was adverse to the objectors. The case is now pending before the supreme court.

On the 28th of July, 1892, Judge RICHMOND was united in marriage with Miss Jennie M. HOYT, a daughter of James HOYT, one of the pioneers of Marshall county, now in his ninetieth year, and well preserved physically and mentally. With one exception, Mr. HOYT is the oldest man living in Marshall county. Besides Mrs. RICHMOND he has five living children: Sarah E., the widow of Samuel CLIFFORD, residing near Wenona; Julia, now the wife of John BOBBITT; Henry H. HOYT, Greenfield, Missouri; Seymour HOYT, a lawyer, and until recently county judge of Dade county, Missouri; and Charles E. HOYT, of Lacon, Illinois. Mrs. RICHMOND was born July 28, 1862, in Marshall county. She is a graduate of the Lacon high school and also of the Boston Conservatory of Music, taking her degree in 1886. At the time of her marriage she was a teacher of music in Cornell college, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and as such had rendered great satisfaction to her pupils and the college faculty. While not neglecting family duties she still keeps up her interest in musical studies and the musical world. To Judge and Mrs. RICHMOND three children have been born: Geraldine, Lyle Lee, and Paul James.

Fraternally, Judge RICHMOND is a member of Lacon lodge, No. 61, A. F. & A. M., and has taken an active part in the work of his lodge. He is now serving as worshipful master of the lodge. The judge is also a member of Lacon chapter, No. 123, R. A. M., and has served two years as high priest. While politically a strong democrat, he has kept out of partisan politics and has ever enjoyed the confidence and respect of his political opponents. He stands squarely on the Cleveland platform on the monetary question and also in regard to the Monroe doctrine.

[portrait of E D Richmond available on page 97]

[Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896., Marshall county biographical extractions through page 100, transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass.]


Father D. J. Ryan

Father D. J. Ryan, Illinois, was born in Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, on the 3rd day of August 1852. Son of William and Margaret (Keller) Ryan, natives of Ireland; father emigrating in 1847 and mother in 1850,. and were married in 1851. There was born to them a family of eight children, seven sons and one daughter, all of whom are living. His father died June 9, 1880, at the age of sixty-four. When the subject of this sketch was two years old, his parents moved to Marshall county, where he remained on a farm until he was thirteen years of age, when he went to La Salle, where he commenced his preparatory studies, and remained there about a year and a half. Thence went to Niagara Falls. New York where he finished his classical and divinity studies. In 1876. he commenced his first mission, at Grafton, Illinois, where he remained one year, and in the fall of 1876, came to Auburn, Illinois, where he has the charge of Auburn, Sugar Creek and Christian county congregations. ["History of Auburn" by the Auburn Historical Society, unknown date, though it is noted that the biography is "as of" 1881 - Sub. by K.T.]

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