McDonough County Biographies





DARIUS RUNKLE was born in Champagne county, Ohio, February 10, 1813. He was the son of William and Mary (Pence) Runkle. William was born in Virginia and went to Ohio in an early day, following his trade of tanner until about 1850, when he came to Illinois, rented a farm in Morgan county and lived there until the close of the war. He then came to near where his son now lives, and died, aged eighty-four. His wife, also born in Virginia, died at the same place, aged eighty-six. The Runkles came from Germany, and the grandparents of Darius lost their parents on the trip over to this country.

Darius is one of ten children, four of whom are yet living. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, working at the tanning business and farming. He had very limited schooling and is entirely a self-made man. After he was twenty-one years old he worked for $10 a month for two years and then clerked for a brother-in-law in a general store in Sidney, Ohio, for two years more. He then started for Illinois, coming to Beardstown, and then walked over to Doddsville, wading two miles in water. This was in the spring of 1837, and he came to take charge of Samuel Dodd's general store. He continued in that for a year and one-half, and during that time entered eighty acres which later he sold and then bought 160 acres of wild land where he now lives. He also bought another eighty acres in the timber. In the fall of 1838, he returned to Ohio and remained with his father working in the tan yard for two years, and then came back here and commenced improving his farm. He broke forty acres, built a story-and-a-half house, and on October 12, 1840, he married Ann Maria Walker, who was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Andrew Walker of Adams county, Pennsylvania, who came here in 1840, and settled on Mr. Dodd's farm. Mrs. Runkle was one of nine children. Mr. and Mrs. Runkle have ten living children. The sons are: James J., William, Charles W., Joseph C. and Stephen A.; and the daughters: Mary A., Laura, Liny and Clara J. Mary A. had two sons and four daughters: Clara J. two daughters and two sons; both the mothers are deceased.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Runkle moved into the log house he had built, and remained there until 1866, and then moved into his present fine home, which is one of the best in McDonough, having cost $10,000 and being first class in every particular. Mr. Runkle has built four or five different times where his sons live, and has bought three farms with houses upon them. He commenced with $990, and had to borrow $10 to enter his first eighty acres. He now has 3,000 acres of land, 970 in Schuyler county and 1,940 in McDonough county, and he has given each son a fine farm. He makes a specialty of fine stock, and has been engaged in various kinds of business during his life. In 1841 he bought a stock of goods, and was a merchant for two or three years, and was Postmaster in 1843-‘44; he also kept a stage. He was Supervisor of School Boards for years, and he with two others built the first schoolhouse in this district, and it also served as a church. He also loaned money to build a pioneer mill and tried to get a railroad through this section. He has helped many a deserving and worthy object. His wife has been a church member ever since their marriage, being one of the first to take an active interest in church and Sunday school work in the place. She was very active in everything tending toward the building of churches and schools, and was a most worthy companion to as public-spirited man as Mr. Runkle. Mr. Runkle can count his friends by the number of his acquaintances and his enemies are now known. He treats every one well, and the deserving are never turned away without help and words of cheer. Politically he has always affiliated with the Whig and Republican parties. He voted first for Henry Clay, and at the birth of the Republican party voted for Fillmore. He is very well satisfied with Republican principles.

Chicago: Biographical Review Publishing Co.,  Page 452]


The following was written by Edward Young and typed from hand written notes left in his desk by daughter, Betty Adair

Geneva Clugston (born sixteen days after me) and I started to Runkle School where I finished. We hadn’t met since that time until in our late 90’s at the Elms Nursing Home in Macomb. Her name was Geneva Gorsuch. My sister, Grace, and I would walk to Runkle School and every now and then we would see Darius Runkle riding a horse. We thought he was a fine old man. I remember him well. One evening, I think it was in 1896, Father was summoned to the Runkle home. Mr. Runkle was very sick and passed away that night. I remember going to the funeral with my folks. The corpse was in a spring wagon or hack and everyone else was in surreys, wagons or whatever they had. Darius was George Runkle’s father.



Stephen A. Runkle

RUNKLE, STEPHEN A. (deceased), formerly a well known farmer in Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., whose widow, son and daughter are now residents of Macomb, was born in Doddsville, McDonough County, March 29, 1852. He was a son of DARIUS and ANNA M. (WALKER) RUNKLE, the former, a native of Ohio, and the latter, of Pennsylvania. His paternal and maternal grandfathers were WILLIAM RUNKLE and ANDREW WALKER. DARIUS RUNKLE was one of the first settlers of Doddsville, and was a farmer by occupation. STEPHEN A. RUNKLE received his early education in the public schools of McDonough County and afterward pursued a course in the Gem City Business College. In early life, before his marriage, he was a bookkeeper in the Bank of Macomb. He remained on the homestead with his parents until 1885, when he moved to a farm one mile north, which he cultivated for ten years. He died July 31, 1895, and was buried at Doddsville. His family received 160 acres of land from the farm of his father, DARIUS RUNKLE.
The subject of this sketch was a man of strict integrity, was dutiful in all the relations of life, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew him. In politics, he was a Republican. He was married February 07, 1883, to EMMA D. McCLAIN, who was born in 1860, in Schuyler County, Ill., where she attended the public schools. MRS. RUNKLE is the mother of two children -- LULU B., born August 28, 1885, and REX, born February 27, 1887.
MRS. RUNKLE'S parents were William Stewart, and MARY J. (SELLERS) McCLAIN, the former born in Montgomery County, Ohio, October 04, 1826, and the latter in Schuyler County, Ill., March 12, 1849. Her paternal grandparents were JAMES and MARY (STEWART) McCLAIN, the former born in Dayton, Ohio, and the latter, in the same State. Her maternal grandfather was HARTELL SELLERS, a native of Tennessee. After the death of her husband, MRS. RUNKLE, who is a most estimable lady, moved to Macomb, and built a house on South Madison Street, where she, her daughter and son now reside. Her son, REX, was bookkeeper for his uncle, S. G. HOLLAND, who is engaged in the barrel stave business in Nashville, Tenn., but returned to Macomb in the fall of 1905 and made his home with his mother.

Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County.
Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1907.
Chapter: XXX page 994 - 995



JAMES I. RUNKLE, a farmer of high standing and abundant financial resources, an honored veteran of the Civil War, and for thirty years a much respected citizen of Littleton Township, Schuyler County, Ill., was born in Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., October 06, 1841. His father, DARIUS RUNKLE, was a native of Champaign County, Ohio, and his mother, ANNA M. (WALKER) RUNKLE, was born in Adams County, Pa., near the town of Gettysburg. The paternal grandparents, WILLIAM and MARY (PENCE) RUNKLE, were Virginians by nativity, while the birth of the grandparents on the maternal side, ANDREW and ANNIE (WILSON) WALKER, occurred in Pennsylvania. In 1837, DARIUS RUNKLE, father of JAMES I., located in Doddsville, Schuyler County, Ill., and had charge of the general store of SAMUEL DODDS, for about a year. Then he went back to Ohio, staying a like period there, and returning to Doddsville, where he was united in marriage with ANNA M. WALKER, in 1840. He made a wedding trip to his native State in a covered wagon, and when the honeymoon was over, came to Brooklyn Township, Schuyler County and bought 80 acres of land. This he sold after awhile, purchasing 160 acres in Industry Township, McDonough County. There he followed farming until the time of his death, March 13, 1896, at the age of 83 years. His wife died in 1886, when 65 years old. DARIUS RUNKLE was a very extensive landholder, one of the largest in Central Illinois. His landed possessions comprised 3,000 acres, including farms in Industry and Bethel Townships, McDonough County, and Littleton Township, Schuyler County. He was a man of much force of character, and considerable prominence in agricultural circles, and wielding a strong influence in his locality. Politically, he was identified with the Republican Party. He and his wife had six sons and four daughters, of whom but four sons are now living, the surviving members of the family, besides JAMES I., being J. C., a farmer of Littleton Township; CHARLES W., of Macomb, Ill.; and GEORGE M., who follows farming on the old home place in Industry Township, McDonough County,

JAMES I RUNKLE was reared to the life of a farmer, and received his education in the common schools, and in Lewistown (Ill,) Seminary On August 02, 1861, he enlisted, at St. Louis, Mo., in Company A, Tenth Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served with his regiment in the Army of the Tennessee, during the Civil War. He was within less than a dozen steps of the first commander of his company, CAPT. HORNEY, then Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, when that officer was killed, at the Battle of Champion Hills. MR. RUNKLE was mustered out of service, August 24, 1864, and returned to the home of his parents. After his marriage, he was engaged in operating one of his father's farms in Industry Township, McDonough County, until 1877. In that year, he moved to his present location in Section 4, Littleton Township, a little southwest of the village of Littleton. All of the improvements on this place, which consisted of 160 acres when he took possession, have been made by him, and he has added to its extent, until the proterty now comprises 320 acres. The farm is in superb condition, and its owner has been signally successful in all his undertakings.

The marriage of MR. RUNKLE took place in October, 1871, at which time CAROLINE M. LEGG became his wife. MRS. RUNKLE, a woman of the worthiest traits of character, was born in Littleton Township, in December, 1845, and is a daughter of THOMAS LEGG, a native of Kentucky. The following children have blessed the union of MR. and MRS. RUNKLE, namely: ETHLYN (MRS. ASA FINCH), residing in Littleton Township; ROY, a resident of the same township; LOIS (MRS. OTTO BAXTER), of McDonough County, Ill.; JOSEPH, who lives with his parents; and MARY, who was married to RANDOLPH BLACK, of McDonough County.

In political action, MR. RUNKLE is identified with the Republican party. His religious connection is with the Presbyterian Church, to which his wife also belongs.


Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County
Chapter: XXXII Page: 920





JOSEPH C. RUNKLE -- The RUNKLES came from Germany, the grandparents of DARIUS RUNKLE being drowned at sea on the trip to America. One of the most familiar names among the farmers of Schuyler County, Ill., is that of JOSEPH C. RUNKLE, who is known throughout the country as a man of large landed possessions, extensive agricultural operations, and abundant general resources. He was born in Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., March 31, 1847, a son of DARIUS and ANN MARIA (WALKER) RUNKLE, pioneer settlers of this locality, coming from Ohio and Pennsylvania. The paternal grandparents, WILLIAM and MARY (PENCE) RUNKLE, lived in the State of Ohio. ADAM WALKER, of Adams County, Penn., came to Schuyler County, in 1840, settled on MR. DODDS' farm. WILLIAM RUNKLE was born in Virginia and went to Ohio in an early day following the trade of tanner until 1850, came to Morgan County, Ill., took up land, lived there until close of the war. His wife was born in Virginia, she died at the age of 86, He died at 84. DARIUS RUNKLE, was born in Champaign Couty, Ohio, February 10, 1812, his wife being a native of Pennsylvania, born in Adams County. The father worked at farming two years fro $10 per month, after he reached his majority, and was then employed for a like period by his brother-in-law as a general-store clerk in Sidney, Ohio. In the Spring of 1837 he came to Illinois, traveling by boat to Beardstown, Cass County, and walking thence to Doddsville, Schuyler County, being compelled to wade through water two miles of the distance between the two places. At Doddsville, he took charge of the general store conducted by SAMUEL DODDS, and while thus engaged, entered up 80 acres of Government land. In 1838 he went back to Ohio, and worked two years in a tan yard. Returning to Illinois, he sold the Government tract and bought 160 acres of wild land in McDonough County, which he cleared and improved, and on which he spent the remainder of his days. Soon after his marriage, October 12, 1840, he moved into a log cabin which he had built, living in it until 1866, when he occupied the fine new residence which was afterwards his home and which was the finest in McDonough County, costing $10,000.00. He started with $90, and was obliged to borrow $10 in order to make up the necessary amount wherewith to enter up his first 80 acres. For three years he was a merchant, and was at different times engaged in various line of business, at one time conducting a stage route. In 1843 and 1844, he held the office of postmaster of Doddsville. For many years he was supervisor of school boards, and together with others, he built the first schoolhouse in his district. In McDonough and Schuyler Counties, he was the owner of more than 3,000 acres of land at the time of his death, 970 in Schuyler County, and 1,940 in McDonough County. DARIUS RUNKLE died March 14, 1896, his wife having passed away February 1889. Politically he was a Whig. He voted first for HENRY CLAY and at the birth of the Republican Party he voted for FREMONT. He was a generous public spirited citzen, and of noble character. JOSEPH C. RUNKLE was reared on the paternal farm in McDonough County, Ill., and received his early education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home. In due course of time (1871), he became possessed of 370 acres of his father's estate in Littleton Township, Schuyler County, and 160 acres in Industry Township, McDonough County. On the latter farm he made his home, improving it, and increasing its extent by purchasing 290 acres more; he did own 120 acres of timber land in McDonough County, but sold this in 1907. He now owns altogether 680 acres all in one body. He has always been engaged in general farming, and besides the cultivation of the soild, raises a large number of hogs, averaging 250 per year. He also feeds many cattle, fattening each year about 100 head. In the fall of 1906, he built a magnificent residence, one of the best in Schuyler County.

The marriage of MR. RUNKLE took place February 28, 1877, when he was wedded to SUSAN LITTLE, who was born in the vicinity of Rushville, Ill., May 13, 1853. MRS. RUNKLE is a daughter of ROBERT and ELIZA (CUNNINGHAM) LITTLE, natives of Ireland, her father having been born in County Tyrone. The union of JOSEPH C. RUNKLE and SUSAN LITTLE has been the source of seven children, whose names are as follows: GEORGE DARIUS, born February 10, 1879, a physician, located at Industry, Ill.; ROBERT CLYDE, born June 14, 1880, a farmer, of Littleton Township; CASSIUS WILSON, born December 07, 1882; DAVID EVERETT, born May 14, 1884; WILLIAM LEWIS, born February 16, 1886; BENJAMIN RAY, born MAY 18, 1888; and GRACE MARIA, born November 30, 1892. The last five are still members of the home circle.

In politics, MR. RUNKLE is identified with the Republican Party, but is not active in political contests. He is a man of strong character and upright life, and is much respected, as is also his amiable wife, a woman of excellent qualities of head and heart.


Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County
Chapter: XXXII Page: 920 - 921



Thomas Jefferson Sparks

Among all classes of toilers is demonstrated the fact that some lives are shaped by circumstances, while others overcome circumstances and shape their own lives. To the latter class belongs Thomas J. Sparks, a legal practitioner of Bushnell since 1876, an ex-member of the General Assembly, ex-City Attorney, and prominent Democratic politician. Tens of thousands, born in comparative poverty, as was Mr. Sparks, never emerge from it. From his parents, however, he inherited the best of legacies, health, industry and integrity, and the ability to recognize and grasp a waiting opportunity.

Born in Clinton County, Ind., Mr. Sparks is a son of Joseph and Sarah (Deford) Sparks, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. When Joseph Sparks was twelve years old his family moved to Ohio, where he was apprenticed to a wheelwright, learning a trade which he combined with farming for many years. In 1845 he moved from Ohio to a farm in the vicinity of Ellisville, Fulton County, Ill., where the balance of his life was spent and where his son, Thomas J., completed his common school education. Longing for a broader life than that of the devotee of agriculture, the lad began at an early age to teach school, that his education might penetrate deeper channels of knowledge through his own ability to meet his tuition. Untiring effort and rigid economy made possible the realization of his hopes, and he entered Lombard College, at Galesburg, Ill., later taking a two years' course at Howe's Academy, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

In the meantime, having developed a compelling interest in law, Mr. Sparks in 1864 began the reading of law with S. Corning Judd, at Lewistown, and, upon being admitted to the bar, removed west to Central City, Neb., where he practiced his profession for six years. Returning to Illinois in 1867, he settled in Bushnell, then a rising town having need of serious minded, purposeful young men, and which, because of the high character of its citizens, promised support and appreciation of his efforts. Thirty-eight years of continuous residence have seen many of his professional dreams realized and even exceeded, for it is doubtful if the economizing law student took into account the public honors which would be accorded him.

At an early stage of his career, Mr. Sparks identified himself with the Democratic party, and for years he has been an important factor in its local undertakings. For several years he filled with credit the exacting office of City Attorney, and his election to the Thirty-eighth General Assembly of Illinois resulted in capable representation of the needs and requirements of his district. At Mount Pleasant, Iowa, in 1871, Mr. Sparks was united in marriage to Agnes Patton, of Wheeling, W. Va., and of this union there are two children , of whom Maud is the wife of Professor W. W. Ernest, of Macomb, Ill., and Ray is a student at the University of Illinois. Socially, Mr. Sparks is connected with the Masonic fraternity. Around his strenuous life he has built a wall of public confidence, and his qualities of mind and heart are such as may well be emulated by the men of a younger generation.

(source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of McDonough County. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1907. pp 1006-7)

 Submitted by Ida Maack Recu who adds:
"He was a twin brother of John Wesley Sparks. Thomas completed a common school education in Fulton County, Illinois, and then he attended Lombard College at Galesburg, Illinois. He later studied at Howe's Academy at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. In 1864, he began "reading law" with S. Corning Judd at Lewistown, Illinois and was admitted to the bar. He then went to Central City, Nebraska where he practiced for six years."



James M. Seamans

James Martin Seamans, farmer, was born Sept. 27, 1828, in Butler Co., O., and is the son of James and Hannah Seamans, the former a native of the Buckeye State and the latter of Darby Plains, N. Y.; she was born April 2, 1807. They live in Sheridan Co., Mo. Our subject moved to Gibson Co., Ind., in 1845, to McDonough Co., Ill., in 1850 and to Harris tp. in 1867. He has been School Director and Constable here and was Deputy Sheriff in McDonough Co. for 12 years. He was married, Feb. 15, 1857, to Miss Sarah Hayhurst. They have had 8 children, 4 of whom are living. The other 4 died of typhoid fever. The names of those living are Hannah, Margaret, Ellen and Maria: the two latter are married. Mr. S. owns a good farm of 200 acres; never had a lawsuit in his life. P. O., Bushnell.

Note: Surname also spelled "Seaman"

[History of Fulton County, Illinois; together with Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Peoria, Illinois, 1879, page 707-708, Harris Township]
 Submitted by Sara Hemp

John Smith

John Smith; P. O., Table Grove, Our subject is a veteran of Ill.; we do not say an early settler, for he was born in St. Clair Co., Ill., Mar. 3, 1814. At the time of the war of 1812 his parents, Philip and Susan (Penn) Smith, were in the fort. Mr. Smith when a boy had the Indian boys for playmates. His parents removed to Sangamon Co. when he was quite small, where he received a limited education in the log school-house, with a fire-place in each end, and a crack in the wall. Mr. Smith was intimately acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, and saw him work on a flat-bottom boat on Sangamon river. He also heard Mr. Lincoln make one of his first political speeches, when he was a candidate for the Legislature against the late Peter Cartwright. Mr. S. was an intimate friend of Mr. Cartwright, and heard him preach many a sermon. He settled in McDonough Co. in Aug., 1837; was a leading farmer for nearly 40 years in that county, when in March, 1877, he located in Table Grove, Ill., where he lives in comfortable circumstances. He was married, March 1, 1835, to Jane Hargis, by whom he had 11 children, and all are living. He was a soldier in the Mormon war. Has been a member of the M. E. Church for over 40 years.

[History of Fulton County, Illinois; together with Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Peoria, Illinois, 1879, page 671, Farmers' Township]

Submitted by Sara Hemp



Henry Smith

Henry Smith - One of the neat farmers of Centerville township, Neosho county, is Henry Smith, the worthy citizen and old soldier. He was born in McDonough county, Illinois, December 18, 1844, and is a son of John and Emeline Smith, the parents of Virginia and New York birth, respectively. The father made the trip on foot from his native state to Illinois, his mother and the smaller children riding on horseback, as was the custom during the early years of the nineteenth century. John and Emeline Smith still survive and have lived together more than sixty years. They are the parents of eleven children, eight of whom grew to maturity.
Henry Smith, our subject, was the fourth child of his parents and came to maturity on an Illinois farm. In December, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, 57th Illinois volunteer infantry and served three years and eight months, having veteranized and remained till the close of the civil war. He fought at Shiloh, Corinth, and took part in the siege of the latter, where he was afterward on detail for eighteen months, and closed his service with the march with Sherman's army to the sea and back through the Carolinas to Washington, D. C., where he participated in the Grand Review. The war over our subject returned home and, in 1868, was married to Elizabeth James, an Illinois lady by birth, and ten years later the two came to Kansas with their family and settled first in Allen county, taking up a tract of land on which the railroad had a disputed claim. He had a battle with the railroad company almost from the start but, believing the settlers would eventually win, he set about improving and cultivating his farm. After many years of toil and privations and waiting, the railroad won the suit affecting the title to his land and he moved down into Neosho county to begin life again. He located seven miles southwest of Erie where his eighty acre farm is one of the attractive little homes to be found in Centerville township.
In Mr. and Mrs. Smith's family are six children, five of whom are Ellen, Otis, William, Leroy and Samuel.
In politics Mr. Smith is a Republican.
Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902
Transcribed by VB


Albert K. Tate

Albert K. Tate, editor and proprietor of the Astoria Argus, is a wife-awake young journalist and is successfully conducting an excellent family newpaper. He is also an enterprising man of business, dealing in real estate and representing five different insurance companies.

Mr. Tate is a native of this State, born in Macomb, McDonough County, February 28, 1861. He is a son of the well known Richard Tate, who was born in what is now Carter County, Ky., July 5, 1831. His father, David Tate, was a native of the same county and a son of one of the pioneers of Kentucky, who early located in Green County, and there spent his last years. The grandfather of our subject was reared and married in the county of his nativity, taking for his wife Miss Nancy Wilson. He learned the trade of a tanner and engaged in that in connection with farming during his residence in Green County. In 1845, he came from Kentucky to Illinois, bringing with him his wife and six children. He stopped a short time in Henderson County, and then located in McDonough County, buying a tract of land about two miles south of Macomb. That town was then but a hamlet and the surrounding country was thinly inhabited. Mr. Tate lived on his farm in that vicinity several years, and then bought property in the village of Macomb, and resided there until 1871. In that year he sold his property there and moved to Arkansas. He lived a short time in Hico, and there shortly after his arrival his wife died at the age of sixty-eight years. Mr. Tate subsequently removed to Washington County, and still resides on the farm he then purchased, he being now quite an old man.
Richard Tate was fourteen years old when his parents came to Illinois. He was bred to a farmer' s life on the old homestead, and continued to live with his father and mother until he established a home of his own. He learned the trade of a tanner and brick moulder, and after he assumed the cares of married life he settled in Macomb and was occupied at his trades for some years. He finally entered the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company in the contractor' s department, and has remained with that company most of the time since. He married Emeline Hall, who was born in Maxwell, Washington County, Ky., October 17, 1837, and is a daughter of Joel and Mary (Clark) Hall. Two children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Tate, Effie and our subject. Their daughter resides with them.


The gentleman of whom this sketch is written was reared in Macomb, and received excellent educational advantages in its public schools. When he was fourteen years old he commenced to work on a farm at $15 per month. He was thus employed for a few months in the fall and then clerked in a fruit store a few weeks. August 10, 1875, he entered the office of the Macomb Eagle and for four years thereafter, served an apprenticeship to learn the printer' s trade. After that he went to Chicago and was employed in the office of the Times four months and then worked on the Prairie Farmer a few months and subsequently was engaged in a job office on Dearborn Street. He remained in Chicago about a year and we next hear of him in a printing office in Warsaw, where he was employed six months. At the expiration of that time he returned to Macomb and studied dentistry a while. He abandoned that, however, and resumed the printer' s trade in the office of the daily Republican-Register at Galesburg. From there he went to Bushnell and worked in the office of the Gleaner. On account of ill health he gave up office work for a while and went to Iowa, whither he was sent by the Union Publishing Company, of Springfield, to assist in compiling county histories. A year later he entered the employ of the Illinois State Journal, and six months after that went back to Macomb as foreman in the office of the Macomb Eagle .

He retained that position one year, and then bought the Astoria Argus , and has edited and published this paper ever since. His experience in various printing offices and on various papers, was invaluable to him in his new work, and laid a solid foundation for his career as a journalist. His paper is well managed, and is published in a neat and attractive form, is bright and interesting and keeps apace with the times. For a young man of his energy and capacity for work, his labors as an editor are not sufficient to take up his time, so our subject has branched out in other directions, and, as before mentioned, is engaged in the insurance business, as agent for five different companies, and he also makes money by his dealings in realty.
Mr. Tate was wedded to Miss Bertha Farr, September 25, 1884. Mrs. Tate is a native of Astoria Township, and a daughter of John and Nina Farr. The names of the children that have been born to our subject and his wife in their pleasant home are: Mildred F. and Albert Dean. Mr. and Mrs. Tate are people of high personal character, and are greatly esteemed by the entire community. They are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Tate belongs to Astoria Lodge No. 100, A.F. & A.M. and Astoria Camp, M. W. A. No. 381.

[Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois: containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county: together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States, and governors of the state; Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, IL; 1890; page 316-317]

Transcribed by Margaret Rose Whitehurst 


Asa Tabler

Asa Tabler was born in McDonough County, Illinois in 1849. He was a son of Thomas H. and Louisa Tabler. He grew up to manhood near the place of his birth but, like so many other young men concluded to “go west and grow up with the country.” Asa doesn’t say whether he had been reading Horace Greely, or just took his advice from his own personal inclination and ideas. Be this as it may he came west and the first point he struck was Fort Smith, Arkansas. He remained there but a short time, then went to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he remained about a year. He then went to Lynn County, this state where he remained some eight or nine years. After this his thoughts wandered back to Arkansas, and he went back to that state. This time he stopped at Bentonville where he remained a short time, but failed to find a suitable investment for his means. After looking around for some time he located at Southwest City, about 1886, where for the last eleven years he has been one of the leading businessmen of that place. His occupation most of the time has been keeping Hotel and livery stable. His estimable wife is proficient in the former business and they are both of such a friendly disposition that every one is made to feel welcome and fed on the best that can be found in the market.

His livery is one of the best in the county and he has the name of taking the best care of horses put up at his stable. You need never look to see that they are properly fed and watered. He has lately completed a handsome building on Main Street which they expect to occupy when their present lease expires. In 1879 he and Miss Mattie Sharp of Bentonville, Arkansas, were married; they have no children.


("History of McDonald County, Missouri", by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897 )

Submitted by Linda Rodriguez






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