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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy

   

Biographies


NEWTON J. BATTERSHELL, the successful jeweler of Heyworth, established himself in business here Nov. 15, 1877. Since that time he has devoted himself actively to his business and has met with deserved success. He commenced in a modest manner, but by industry and close attention to the preferences of his patrons, has built up a profitable and steadily increasing trade. He commenced without capital, but is now the owner of a good brick building, and carries a fine line of first-class goods.

Mr. Battershell served his apprenticeship under that skillful and well-known watchmaker, Cyrus Stall, of Elgin, Ill., remaining with him three years. Later he worked as a "jour" in Hillsdale, Mich., afterward in Chicago, whence he came to Heyworth, and determined to establish in business for himself. He came here without money and comparatively without friends, in fact his sole possessions consisted of a good reputation and an honest purpose to deal fairly, and he purposed starting in a business at which several others before him had failed. The result has shown what may be accomplished by resolution and perseverance.

The subject of this history was born in Bryan, Williams Co., Ohio, April 3, 1853. His father, Moses Battershell, was a shoemaker, and did business in Williams Center, Ohio, for a number of years. He died while still a young man, being only twenty-seven years of age, leaving a widow and two children. The mother died one year later. On the same night our subject was born his brother Edwin died. The sister remaining, whose name was Mary, became the wife of Eli Culbertson, and now lives near Grand Rapids, Ohio, on the banks of the Maumee River, where her husband is successfully engaged in farming. The maiden name of the mother was Cordelia Beam, and by her death our subject was left an orphan in early childhood. He was taken into the home of an uncle, John N. Ryan, of Bryan, Ohio, where he remained for some years, and received a common-school education. When thirteen years old, his aunt having died, he set out to make his own living, and was variously engaged until seventeen, when he entered upon an apprenticeship at his present trade.

Our subject was married on the 3d of May, 1883, in Heyworth, to Mrs. Alice Battershell, the daughter of John Wakefield, of Randolph Township. Mrs. B. was born in this township, Nov. 9, 1854, pursuing her early studies in the schools of Heyworth, and completing them at a college in Ohio, and made her home with her parents until her first marriage to W. V. Battershell, a cousin of our subject. He was born and reared in Defiance County, Ohio, and died at the home of his father in that county, with consumption, on the 1st of August, 1880. He had been engaged in the grocery trade in Heyworth, and was a successful and capable business man. Of this union there was one child, a daughter, Grace, who died a few months after her father. Our subject is Democratic in politics, and with his wife, is a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church.

[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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