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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



EDWIN W. BAKEWELL, a highly respected resident of Normal, where he is engaged in the pursuit of agriculture, was born in Wellsburg, Va. [ed., probably Wellsburg, W.V.], on the 20th of July, 1812. His parents, Samuel R. and Ann Maria (Bean) Bakewell [ed., S.R. Bakewell of Manchester], were natives of England, and were united in marriage previous to their emigration to the United States.

The father was an inventor and manufacturer, and educated to mercantile pursuits. Among other useful and desirable inventions which he has produced was that of a press for making brick out of dry clay. After a busy and prosperous life he died in his native England, while from home on a business trip, at about the age of sixty-six years; the mother survived him a number of years, and died at the age of seventy-seven years.

The parental family included six children, all of whom attained their majority, and three are yet living: Salina, the wife of Rev. Alexander Campbell, of the Campbellite Church, and now a resident of Alabama; Edwin W., our subject, and Theron H., of Moundsville, W. Va.

Mr. Bakewell of this sketch received a common school education, and served an apprenticeship at the printer's trade. He afterward followed farming and hotel-keeping in his native State. In 1845 he emigrated to Illinois and settled in Normal, where he purchased 360 acres of land and engaged in farming. When the State Normal University was located at that place he donated forty acres of land to be used for the purpose of teaching agricultural chemistry, but as the land was never used for the purpose, it was in consequence forfeited.

Mr. Bakewell followed farming for a number of years successfully, and then retired upon a competency. He ranks among the early pioneers of the Prairie State, and has watched its development and growth with interest and satisfaction. Although his life has been a quiet and unostentatious one, he has performed the obligations of a law-abiding citizen, and has exerted a good influence upon those with whom he has come in contact.

In early life, politically, he was a Whig, but is now independent, voting for the best man irrespective of party. He has never been an aspirant for office, and has occupied his time principally in attending to his business affairs. Religiously he has been connected with the Christian Church since seventeen years of age.

Mr. Bakewell was married on the 17th of March, 1833, to Miss Julia Ann Parshall, who was born in the State of New York. Of this union there were born six children, as follows: Campbell N. resides in Farmington, Ill.; Irvin H. is at home; Melvin was killed by a railroad train, at the age of thirty-eight years; Salina H. is the wife of Will S. Erett, and resides at Ash Grove, Mo., her husband being President of the college at that place; Lutie M., the wife of James M. Dawson, resides at Lexington, Ill., and one daughter died when two years of age.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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