Marshall County Illinois Biographies
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James Tanquary

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896
Page 13-15

James Tanquary "Uncle Jimmy", as he was familiarly called by almost every man, woman and child living in Steuben and adjoining townships, in Marshall county, was a man greatly loved and universally respected by all who knew him. For nearly half a century his was a familiar face in Marshall County, and now that he has gone it seems like the light had gone out of the home of not only his immediate family, but the entire neighborhood as well.

James Tanquary was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, June 17, 1831, and was the son of William and Elizabeth (Shackford) Tanquary, both of whom were reared in that state. His boyhood days were spent in his Ohio home, where he remained until sixteen years of age, when he accompanied his parents to Indiana, and there remained with them until reaching his majority, when he came to Marshall County, Illinois, where he had relatives living. Soon after his arrival he engaged in farming, and pursued that occupation during his entire life.

The life of a farmer is lonely enough, even when surrounded by family and friends, but without either it is doubly so. Mr. Tanquary was a man of domestic tastes, and we therefore find that on the 15th of September 1853, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Lucinda C. Blackwell, whose maiden name was Watkins. She is a daughter of Isaiah and Mary (Douglas) Watkins, and a sister of David Watkins of Streuben Township.

Lucinda Watkins Tanquary

When but fifteen years of age she married Rev. David Blackwell, who died eight years afterward. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the Illinois conference. When he formed the acquaintance of Miss Watkins he was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Lacon, and she was a pupil in the public schools. After their marriage they resided at Whitehall, Carlinville, and Mt. Vernon, Illinois, in each of which places he was pastor, and while residing at the last named point he was called to his final reward. Two children were born to them: Rev. William Robert Blackwell, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, now residing at Mt. Vernon, Iowa; and David Richford Blackwell, who is a farmer of Steuben Township. The widowed mother returned to the old neighborhood, met and married Mr. Tanquary.

Whether it was "love at first sight" or not, it can truly be said that they were lovers during their entire married life, and Mr. Tanquary became a real father to her fatherless children, and they loved him with a tender love even unto the end. One son came to bless their union, Nathan Quinn Tanquary, a leading attorney of Denver, Colorado, who was educated at Iowa City, Iowa. They also had a foster son, J. Keys, who was killed in a railroad accident.

On their marriage, Mr. And Mrs. Tanquary began their domestic life on a farm in Camping Grove, where they remained some two or three years, when they removed to the farm where Mrs. Tanquary now lives, and for nearly forty-two years their home was one of joy and happiness, with but little to detract from it. As already stated, Mr. Tanquary was a man of domestic tastes, and there was to him "no place like home". He cared nothing for the strife of this world, and in reality shrank from it. His farm, his home, and his church were his all in all. True, he was interested in educational matters and gave a part of his time to educational work, and, politically he was a thorough-going republican, attending party conventions and filling different local offices. For some years he was justice of the peace, and was serving in the latter office when his death occurred, November 25, 1895.

But it was as a member of the church of God, a humble disciple and follower of the blessed Master, where his life shone at its best. Converted and called of God at the age of eleven years he was ever afterward a consistent and devoted Christian man. On coming to Marshall County he united with the Bethel Methodist Episcopal church, in Steuben Township, and for a bout forty years served it as class leader, steward and trustee, and in its Sunday school was an indefatigable worker. He was a great Bible reader and loved to swell upon its precious promises. Two passages which he had marked in the blessed book and which he often quoted, give a perfect outline of his faith in the Word, and the spirit which characterized his life: "Evening and morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice." Psalms IV,7. "Exalt the Lord our God is holy." Psalms XCIX, 9. Of an emotional nature, he showed his joy in church and at home, and in thanksgiving to his God. His home was ever the home of the ministers of the gospel, and he greatly enjoyed their presence at his fireside.

The Lacon Journal, whose editor was well acquainted with Mr. Tanquary, in its notice of his death, after speaking of the warm place in his heart that he gave to his stepsons and to his foster-son, said:

"But the supreme crowning to his beautiful life was his devotion to his wife. In all the forty-two years of their singularly happy wedded life they walked hand-in-hand, a pair of grand old lovers to the last; she returning his affection measure for measure. How fondly we cherish last words and last looks when friends are gone. Only last Friday he came into the office for his mail. He and his old friend, George Holler, stood talking together about their ages. We joined in saying; "Why, Uncle Jimmy, you are not old; you are not out your honeymoon yet." "He is not likely to get out of it", rejoined his friend. This little talk pleased him greatly. He went home and told his wife of it with much delight. This was the last time we saw him. So fresh and ruddy, so happy-looking he was that day. The next Tuesday Uncle Jimmy was gone and a hush of deep sorrow fell on the whole county and town.

"Forty-three years he has lived in Illinois, most of the time on the same farm, a few miles northwest of Sparland - a beautiful spot, by his hand made to blossom as a rose. Twas in his own home, in the midst of his neighbors and friends of a lifetime and in the quiet sacredness of the domestic circle where he was best known and most loved. His hospitality was without stint, without measure. Everyone loved to go to Uncle Jimmy Tanquary's, loved to linger, departed regretfully. His home was the Mecca, the happy playground of all his little grandchildren, especially the city-bread children - three of them of his son, N. Q., who came on annual trips to grandpa's to grown strong on the farm. With them he was a child again - no end of fun, frolic and chatter. They went with him everywhere.

"James Tanquary was a man of positive character, fixed principles, strong convictions. He shrank from humbuggery, imposture and false pretenses; loved his God and his church. Cold the day and hard the storm that did not see Uncle Jimmy sitting in his accustomed seat in beloved old Bethel church. With his going it seemed that the very keystone had fallen from its arch. Of his money, he gave it liberally; of his influence, his all. In this sacred edifice his funeral took place on Thanksgiving Day at 11 a.m. His pastor Rev. De Clark, assisted by Rev. E. K. Reynolds of the Baptist church, spoke comforting words to the bereaved ones. The singing was beautiful, falling like balm on the hearts of the mourners. His funeral attendance was large, friends coming from many miles distant. Tenderly, lovingly, he was borne from the church and laid in the Sparland cemetery."


John Strawn Thompson

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896
Page 16, 19-21

John Strawn Thompson, president of the First National bank of Lacon, Illinois, and senior member of the firm of J. S. Thompson & Sons, investment bankers, also of Lacon, is one of the most widely known of Marshall county's citizens. His record is a most unusual one and shows what a young man, without capital, and without any natural advantages, can do to achieve success in life and at the same time maintain the good will and universal respect of his fellow citizens and all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact. A native of Marshall county, his entire life has been spent there, and his life's work is known and read of all men.

John S. Thompson was born in Hopewell township, about three miles east of Lacon, in a log cabin, December 26, 1840. He is the son of James and Mary A. (Strawn) Thompson, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. His boyhood was spent upon the home farm, and his education was commenced in the country school. When about ten years of age, the family moved into the city of Lacon, and here he attended the public school for a time, that being all the educational advantages that he enjoyed. Notwithstanding this lack of knowledge to be obtained in the school room, there are few better informed men, especially in all the practical affairs of life. By reading and observation he has ever kept abreast of the times.

As a day laborer he toiled in youth and early manhood, with probably little thought of the active, busy life he should later follow, or with but a dim idea of what the future had in store for him. He was always industrious, however, and had a laudable desire to be something more than a common day laborer, however honorable labor may be. On the 12th of February, 1864, he embarked in his first business enterprise, purchasing the grocery stock of William Wright entirely on credit, not having a dollar in the world that he could invest. This purchase showed wonderful pluck and courage on his part, and the utmost trustfulness of the part of Mr. Wright. But with little more than a boy's mercantile experience, he commenced business, and in one year's time had paid off every dollar of indebtedness and had his shelves well filled.

From the very beginning he was prosperous, accommodating and enterprising, trade naturally came his way. People liked to deal with him. They knew him to be honest and conscientious and withal they admired his grit. With the increase of trade and the income derived from his loans was promptly invested in other loans, and this branch of his business rapidly increased, so that on the 12th of February, 1869, just five years from the date of his purchase, he sold his grocery stock and gave his entire attention to his loans and investments.

At first business was carried on under his individual name, and as his sons developed business abilities, they were taken into partnership, and under the name of J. S. Thompson & Sons it has been carried on for some years. Year by year the business has grown, until a present an annual business of over five hundred thousand dollars is transacted, loans being made principally on farm lands in Illinois. The plan of the firm is to make loans on farm property and sell the notes to persons desiring a safe investment, doing something unusual in cases of this kind, guaranteeing to the purchaser both principal and interest. Those dealing with this firm have only to send their interest coupons and principal notes when due to the bank, and they are instantly paid the amount, thus having no trouble or anything whatever to do with the mortgager. After thirty years successful business career the company can point with pride to the fact that they have never suffered loss or been compelled to foreclose a mortgage in Illinois. This career is probably without a parallel. Farmers like to deal with the firm because they know they will be treated fairly and investors know they are sure of safe returns. The firm have customers from Maine to California, and its reputation is A No.1. Its individual responsibility is $400,000.

In addition to his loan and investment business Mr. Thompson for a number of years has been interested in the First National bank of Lacon, and in 1884 was elected president of the concern. Since that time he has given considerable attention to its business, and his excellent business judgment and wise foresight has been of great service to the bank, which is regarded as one of the strongest and most conservative in this section of the state.

Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Eliza H. Norris, the wedding ceremony taking place at the home of the bride's parents in Lacon, May 12, 1863. She was a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Ira and Elizabeth Norris, both of whom were natives of the same state. They came to Lacon at an early day, where their daughter grew to womanhood and was educated in its public schools. By this union were three children, all of whom grew to maturity.

Charles Norris, the eldest, grew to manhood in his native town, and received a good literary and practical business education. He married Miss Ada Burns, a daughter of Judge John Burns. In his youth he entered the office of his father and in due time was taken into partnership, having shown rare business qualities. For several years he was a sufferer from tuberculosis, during which time he traveled extensively in search of a health-giving climate, spending two seasons at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Early in the winter of 1896 he went to Phoenix, Arizona, accompanied by his wife and parents, with the hope, that its favored climate would be beneficial to him.

But the end was near, and notwithstanding the faithful ministrations of his loved wife and fond parents, death came to his relief the morning of February 22, 1896. He was amiable, forbearing, and a thorough Christian gentleman, his life and character affording no reproach to his professions of allegiance to the teachings of the Master, and his death was calm and peaceful - a fitting close to an exemplary life. He was conscious to the last, and as he fell quietly to sleep he seemed ready and willing to go and confident of the future. He was a Knight Templar Mason, and a member of the Knights of Pythias. His remains were brought to Lacon and laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery, there to wait the judgment day.

Jennie Eliza, the second child, grew to womanhood and married Dr. C. E. Vernay, of Lacon, where they still reside. They have two children, a son and daughter, John Strawn Vernay and Clara Eliza Vernay.

John Ira, the youngest of the family, is now the junior member of the firm of J. S. Thompson & Sons, and is also a young man of good business ability. He married Miss Maud A. Goodrich, and they have one son, John Strawn Thompson, Jr. They too, reside in Lacon.

The mother of these children died January 1, 1876, of tuberculosis. She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died in the full assurance of faith, loved and mourned by all who knew her in this life - a woman of rare character.

On the 12th of October, 1877, Mr. Thompson was united in marriage with Miss Emma J. Norris, a sister of his first wife. Two children came into their home, the eldest, Ora James, dying at the age of ten months. The other, Emma Mai, yet resides at home, a bright little miss of thirteen years, a joy and comfort to all who know her; giving promise of useful and accomplished womanhood.

Mrs. Thompson was a woman of rare Christian virtue, and in early life united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and was earnest, active and thoroughly loyal to the Master, giving of her time and talent to the advancement of the cause of Christ. Her death, which occurred July 30, 1884 of a tumor, was a peaceful one. She was ready to go and be at rest in the home prepared for the children of God.

In early life, Mr. Thomas was converted and untied with the Methodist Episcopal church, and had ever been a thorough and consistent follower of the lowly Nazarene. Since commencing life for himself, he has been a busy man, a very busy man, but business cares and responsibilities have never been so great as to take him from his accustomed place in the house of God. The work of the Master must be attended to as well, and time, talent and all must be given to his service. In the church he has filled nearly every official position, and in the Sunday-school he has been an indefatigable worker. This work may be said to be his special delight, and for twenty-five years he has been superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday school of Lacon, Illinois. That his labors have been appreciated is attested by his long service in that capacity. His zeal and ability in this direction have been recognized outside of his own church, and for several years he has been president of the Marshall County Sunday School Union, and for five years president of the District Sunday School Union, comprising the counties of Marshall, Putnam, La Salle and Bureau.

He is a good presiding officer, with unquestioned executive ability, and above all he has at heart a love for the cause and an earnest desire to save the children of this land. To the church and its work he has always been a liberal contributor. Taking into consideration the time required for his business and the work of the church and Sunday school, it would seem that he could find time for nothing else. But it is the busy man who finds time to engage in any enterprise, or do anything that will benefit his fellow-men. In fraternal work Mr. Thompson has given more or less of his time. He is a Mason of high standing, holding membership with the blue lodge and chapter of Lacon, a thirty-second degree Mason. He is a member of the Peoria Consistory, and the Knights Templar Commandery, and the Mohammed Shrine, also of Peoria.

He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Lacon, and has been connected with nearly every temperance society organized in Lacon.

In temperance work he has always manifested a great interest, and has actively engaged in doing all in his power to suppress the great evil of intemperance.

On the 22nd of February, 1887, Mr. Thompson married Miss Clara L. Vernay, a native of Lacon and daughter of James and Cynthia (Wilcox) Vernay, and granddaughter of dr. and Mrs. Levi Wilcox, who were numbered among the honored pioneers of Marshall county. In Lacon she grew to womanhood, and received a good education. For ten years previous to her marriage she was a teacher part of the time in the schools of her native city, and was regarded as among the best teachers employed. A lady of taste and refinement, a Christian woman with the love of humanity at heart, she is a worthy helpmeet of one who himself delights in doing good.

Politically Mr. Thompson is a democrat, and while firmly believing in the principles of the party, has never been a partisan. The right of opinion asked for himself he has always been willing to concede to others. Of political favors he has asked none, and cares nothing for the honors of office. In 1891 he consented to make the race for mayor of Lacon, that he might be instrumental in securing a system of water works for the city. He was elected almost unanimously and re-elected in the same manner in 1893, serving in all four years. Under his administration was consummated the present efficient water works of the city, which are a credit to the municipality and to the honored mayor and council who superintended their construction.

As a citizen, no man enjoys the confidence and respect of others more than the subject of this sketch. His election as mayor tested his popularity with the voters of the city. Enterprising and progressive, everything calculated to build up and strengthen the business interests of Lacon and of Marshall county is encouraged by him. A friend of the poor and needy, his good work among such has brought upon him the blessing of many unfortunate ones, of which numerous incidents might be related. A Christian man, his entire family ahs followed his good example, and all are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and workers with him in the Master's vineyard.


Charles Norris THOMPSON

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

Charles Norris THOMPSON, deceased, was one of the best known and most highly esteemed of the young men of Marshall county. He was a native of the county, born in the city of Lacon, April 1, 1865, and was the son of John S. and Eliza H. (NORRIS) THOMPSON, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. In his native city he grew to manhood and received his literary education in its public schools. Later he entered Bryant & Stratton's Business College, Chicago, from which he graduated with honors, and at once entered upon a business career.

Few men had a brighter future before them than did the subject of this sketch. From his youth he took an interest in the business carried on by his father and in the office made himself generally useful. Before attaining his majority he was made a member of the firm, and the business was carried on under the name of J. S. Thompson & Son, and later, when his brother, John I. THOMPSON, was admitted to the firm, it went under the name of J. S. Thompson & Sons, Investment Bankers. (For an account of the remarkable success of this firm and its system of doing business see sketch of J. S. THOMPSON.) In this business he showed great aptitude and became thoroughly proficient in every department. His judgment of men was good, and he was ever considerate of others. In 1885, while but twenty years of age, he was elected assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Lacon, a position he held until the time of his death, the duties of which he discharged faithfully and well, to the entire satisfaction of the directors of the bank and its patrons.

On the 8th of October, 1885, Mr. THOMPSON was united in marriage with Miss Ada BURNS, daughter of Judge John BURNS of Lacon, Illinois. Their wedded life of a little over ten years was a happy one, and it can be truly said that they lived in each others love. Mrs. THOMPSON was reared in Lacon, and was there educated in the public schools and later attended Eureka College. She is a lady of fine tastes and accomplished in art and music. She now makes her home at Colorado Springs, Colorado, in an elegant home left her by her husband.

For four long weary years Mr. THOMPSON was an invalid. Three years of this time he was almost daily consumed with a burning fever, yet it is said that he never complained.

E had promise of a bright future in life and was anxious to live, to care for and to be a comfort to his loved ones. Yet, when it was evident that he must give up this world he nobly and quietly yielded to the Divine will. The last few months he dwelt much on the world to come. His Christian experience was bright and clear and full of hope and joy. A short time before his death when his friends were bending anxiously over him to catch every gesture, word and look, before he passed to the Great Beyond, his face lighted up with a radiant, heavenly smile, and pointing upward he exclaimed in a clear voice: "O! see the brightness." His father did not look, and with his own hand he turned his father's face upward and said: "Look quick." Who can say that the heavenly spirits were not awaiting his coming?

No greater tribute could be paid him than this - aside from the sorrow his illness caused, he never gave his parents one hour of sorrow. Though dying far from home, his sweet, gentle ways drew to him many loving friends, who, with flowers, loving words and deeds comforted him and his beloved ones in the last days as if they were old-time friends. Among these pleasures were the letters of a number of little Indians from the Indian school of Phoenix, which he treasured.

A few days before his death he said to his father: "I am sorry for you and all our loved ones. You will have to toil and be anxious about many things, while I will be happy all the time, and be with mother. She has been waiting for me twenty years." Another time he said in broken words: "It is harder for you than of me." At another time: "Father, have the preacher tell all the boys to be sure and meet me in heaven. I love them all; yes, I love every one." Truly, it may be said Charlie THOMPSON loved every one and had not an enemy in the world. His last message to his brother Jon I., and sisters Jennie and Emma Mai, were: "To be good and do good," and later, to emphasize it, he said: "Set it down, lest a mistake be made." Truly, he stuck the keynote when he said in substance: "Become good that you may do good."

Far from his loved home, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, he was called to rest, his death occurring February 22, 1896. To that place he had gone, accompanied by his loved wife and parents, with the hope that the bracing climate of that state might do him good. But it was not to be. While in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he gave his heart to the Lord and united with the Methodist Episcopal church at that place, and when the end came he was prepared to go. He was also a Mason, Knight Templar and a member of the Knights of Pythias societies.

The circle of friends of Mr. THOMPSON was not confined to his Illinois home, for warm personal friends came to him at Colorado Springs and at Phoenix, Arizona, where he passed his last days on earth, so sad yet precious to his loved ones. The bereaved wife and parents received their many tokens of tender love and sympathy. The friends of the family and of Charles sent messages of condolence from many parts of the United States. His remains were brought to Lacon for interment. The public schools and business houses of Lacon closed during the funeral services, which were held in the Methodist Episcopal church, which, large as it is, could not contain the people, many of whom were turned away. The Rev. T. C. Moots conducted the services and was assisted by Rev. L. B. Kent, who twenty years previous had had charge of the Lacon Methodist Episcopal pulpit, and preached his mother's funeral sermon; Rev. Long of the Congregational church, and Rev. Hammond, Episcopal church, all representing the united pulpits filled in Lacon. The floral tributes were worthy of more than a passing notice and covered the platform in set pieces, palms, ferns, roses and callas. The M. E. Quartet rendered the songs selected by himself, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," singing at the final resting place "Silently Lay Him to Rest, God Thought it Was Beset."

The Knights of Pythias and Masonic orders were largely represented and the beautiful Masonic burial service took place in its most impressive and perfect manner. Such a life is a benediction to all who come in contact with it, and will bear precious seed for many years.

[portrait of Charles N. THOMPSON available on page 117]


Benjamin F. TURNER

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

Benjamin F. TURNER. Like many other residents within the bounds of Marshall county who started out in life with naught but an abundance of determination and indefatigable industry, and a strong and healthy constitution, and who gave succeeded through their own diligence, energy and economy, we classify the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch, who, on arriving in Illinois, had but seventy-five cents with which to begin life. He was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years, but is now living retired in Wenona.

Mr. TURNER was born on the 24th of July, 1826, near Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio, and is the son of Clem and Dorcas (SNYDER) TURNER, the former a native of Delaware and the latter of West Virginia. They were among the early settlers of Muskingum county, where the father engaged in farming, and there both died. In their family were eight children - William, deceased; Mrs. Nancy HAMMITT; Mrs. Rebecca KELLEY, and John, both deceased; Jeremiah, who lives in Columbus, Ohio; Benjamin F., of this review; Mrs. Margaret CANNON of Fulton county, Illinois, and Elizabeth D., of the same county.

When quite small our subject lost his mother and was taken into the family of Judge Thomas IJMS, a prominent man of his time and judge of the county court of Muskingum county. In the district schools of Ohio Mr. TURNER secured his education and was reared to farm work. It was in 1845 that he came to Illinois, arriving in Magnolia township, on the 4th of March, accompanying the late George DENT, and was there employed upon a farm until 1850.

In that year Mr. TURNER led to the marriage altar Miss Hannah L. MILLER, who was born at Steubenville, Ohio, January 16, 1830, and was the daughter of Abram and Jane (PORTER) MILLER, who located on a farm two miles east of Magnolia in 1846. There they made their home for ten years, when they removed to Wenona, where they were numbered among the first settlers, and there spent their remaining days. Her father, who was a carpenter by trade, helped to erect many of the buildings in the village.

Six children came to bless the union of our subject and his worthy wife, namely: William Emery, who died December 15, 1881, had married Nellie MOON and they had two children, Guye Franklin, who graduated at the Abilene, Kansas, high school in 1895, and Harry. Abraham Martin married Ida SNIDER, by whom he has two children - Nellie and Cecil. Arthur Lee, who lives in Evans township, Marshall county, wedded Mary WORK, of Wenona, by whom he has three children - Benjamin F., Morine and Lee A. L. TURNER, and he is now serving as supervisor of Evans township and chairman of the board. Charles Marion, also of Evans township, married Lou CARRITHERS, and they have four children. Jennie is the wife of Clarence AXLINE of Evans township, by whom she has five children. Stella May, who completes the family, died April 14, 1883.

After his marriage Mr. TURNER rented land in Putnam county for six years, but in 1857 removed to a farm which he purchased on section 21, Evans township, three miles west of Wenona, and as it was all raw prairie land he at once began its improvement and development. He there continued to make his home until 1884, when he laid aside active business cares and removed to Wenona, where his wife died on the 13th of November, 1892, and her remains were interred in the Wenona cemetery. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and took an active part in church work. On the 18th of March, 1896, Mr. TURNER married Mrs. Hannah E. SEEBREE, nee HENDRICKS, of Bloomington. Mr. TURNER is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has served as trustee and steward of the same. For many yeas he was an active member of the Good Templars society, and took a prominent part in promoting the temperance cause. He is an influential member of the republican party, has frequently served as delegate to its conventions, and has been called upon by his fellow-citizens to serve in several official positions of honor and trust, being road commissioner in Evans township, a member of the city council of Wenona from the third ward, and is now serving his eleventh consecutive year as justice of the peace to the general satisfaction of all concerned.


Rev. Harvey Trowbridge

Mr. Harvey Trowbridge is an eloquent and influential minister in the Christian church living in Bennington, of which township he was one of the first settlers. He was born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1826, and married Sarah Stafford in 1851.  They have four children - Thomas L., Mary L. Evens, Nancy L. and Sarah L.  Thomas and family are members of the Church of Christ.  Mr. Trowbridge is among the very few ministers who are successful farmers or business men, and enjoy a competence earned outside of the profession.  He has a large farm with good improvements and when not at work for the Master follows the plow or the reaper.  He is a good citizen, an eloquent divine and esteemed by all who know him.

From  "The  Record of Olden Times or Fifty Year on the Prairie"
embracing sketches of the discovery, exploration and settlement of the country.
by Spencer Elsworth,   Lacon, IL Home Journal Steam Printing Establishment
Copyright Date MDCCCLXXX (1880), Bennington Township, Page 740

The late Allen Harvey Trowbridge, whose death was briefly mentioned in these columns last week, was born in Washington county, Ind., April 13, 1826. He was the second of a family of eleven children. His father was a teacher and a preacher as well as a farmer. The family was musically inclined, some of the children being able to hum tunes before they were two years old.  The father gave them what training they could get in the singing schools. In 1839, when Harvey was 13 years of age, the father died, leaving the mother with a large family to provide for. The children were very helpful to her and they succeeded well. When Mr. Trowbridge was a young man he began teaching singing schools and continued that work for many years, both in Indiana and Illinois.

In 1849, in company with Joel Skelton, they came to Illinois to look for land, securing farms in Bennington township, Marshall county. He returned to Indiana and on June 6th, 1851, he was married to Sarah Stafford, and in July they came to Illinois to settle on the farm he had secured.  To them were born four children -- Tomas L., Mary Luvica, Noma and Etta -- all of whom still live except Luvica, the wife of Dr. Evans of this place. Mr. Trowbridge became a Christian in 1841 at the age of 15 years. He has ever been an example of Christian life and activity. Soon after settling in Illinois he was made elder of the Pattensburg church and was urged to begin preaching, which he did. He prepared his sermons while following the plow.

The first ten years of his ministry he received no remuneration for his work. He preached in nearly all the neighborhoods around his home, and the churches at Antioch, now Toluca, Rutland, Dana, Varna and Minonk are in some measures due to his work. He also labored at Long Point, Ancona, Sanuemin and Flanagan, and at many school houses. He was a constant worker, preaching three times nearly every Sunday, and driving many miles to do it. In 1868 he moved to Rutland, remaining until the winter of “71-72” when he went to Eureka to give his children better school privileges. In the spring of 1872 he returned to the farm and in “79” he located in Minonk, and in “82” again returned to the farm. In “85” he made his last change of residence, locating then in Rutland where he died Aug. 11, 1902.

Oct. 31, 1886, his wife passed away and left him alone. He missed her greatly. He married Mrs. Justina Thompson, of Rutland, July 26, 1888 and she though in poor health, still survives. Mr. Trowbridge was an exemplary man, conscientious, faithful and kind, a man of good business ability and yet liberal to a fault if such could be. Few men would be able to do the mission work he did and yet secured enough to keep him when old age came upon him. He gave his children all a good education and has seen them all useful Christians. His life has been a blessing to the world.

The Church of Christ has lost an able and true worker, yet his works shall follow and many shall rise up to call him blessed. Funeral at Rutland Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. conducted by S.A. Ennefer, minister of the Christian church, burial at the old Antioch cemetery west of Toluca.

From  "The  Toluca Star Newspaper"
Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 22, 1902
Front Page, - Obituary


William W. Twist

William W. Twist is one of the oldest native sons of Marshall County, having been born in Roberts township in 1842, so that he has been a resident of the county for more than six decades.  He now resides in Toluca, his home being the most beautiful residence of the town, and he derives his income from real estate, which is the safest of all investments, having four hundred and fifty acres of valuable land in this county.  

He was born in Roberts township, April 2, 1841.  His  father, John W. Twist, was born in London, England and came to New York in 1832................

William W. Twist in his boyhood days attended the old Shaw school and acquired a  fair English education.  He started out in life for himself in 1866 when a young man of twenty-four years, having up to his time aided in the work of the home farm.  On leaving the old homestead he engaged in farming where the town of Toluca now stand, but eventually sold his land to the coal company.  The discovery of the rich coal veins of this district greatly enhanced the value of his property and he disposed of it at a high figure.

Mr. Twist has been married twice.  He first wedded Louisa Palmer, who was born in 1843 and died in 1886.  In 1896 he wedded Mrs. Mae Moffett, who was born in the state of New York.  They have one child, Erma Mae Twist, now eight years of age.  Their beautiful home is celebrated for its gracious and warm heated hospitality and is the scene of many a delightful social function.  Mr. Twist is now living retired, his possessions being sufficient to supply him with a good income without further recourse to labor save for the supervision of his landed interests.  He has filled various offices, including those of assessor, collector and school treasurer and could undoubtedly have had other political honors had he so desired.  Spending his entire life in Marshall county, he is largely familiar with its history, having been a witness of its development from an early day, and the fact that many of his staunchest friends are those who have known him from his boyhood is an indication that his has been an honorable and upright career.

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 385, 386


John W. Twist

John W. Twist, was born in London, England and came to New York in 1832.  He was a cabinet maker by trade and after residing in the east for several years took up his abode in Roberts township, Marshall county, Illinois in 1841.  The present county division, however, was then unknown and the district formed a part of Putnam County.  After coming to the new world Mr.  Twist followed the occupation of farming and was numbered among the substantial agriculturists of Roberts township......In the family were three children:  William W.; James P......and Mary, the wife of Leander Burns, who follows farming near Osage. He wedded Mary Davison.......

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 386


Mary Davison Twist

He (John Twist) wedded Mary Davison, who was born in New York city, and is still living at the advanced age of eighty-four years. She makes her home with her son William and spends the summer seasons with her sister in Kansas.  She is a member of the Christian church and is a most estimable lady, whose life in its various phases has won her the respect and confidence of those with whom she has been brought in contact.  

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 386


James P. Twist

In the family were born three children .........James P., who was born in 1846 and died in 1894....... The second son, James Twist served as sheriff of Marshall county for four years and was also county treasurer for four years.  He proved a most capable and reliable official and the trust reposed in him was well merited.  He was also a man of excellent business capacity and in the death the community lost one of its valued citizens.

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 386


George W. Taylor

Mr. Taylor is a conductor on the Western Division of the C., A. & St. L. Railraod and resides in Lacon. He was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1849. In 1872 he married Sarah J. Farrayman, a native of Ohio, and together they located in Washington, Tazewell county, from which place they subsequently moved to lacon. They have one child, Archie, born November 25, 1874. Mr. Taylor has been connected with the C.A.&St. L. Railroad since he was a boy. He is member of the Railway Conductors' Mutual Aid and Benefit Society of the United States and Canada. - Record of Olden Times or 50 years on the Prairie, 1880, Page 682 Lacon Township. Transcribed by Nancy Piper


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