McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy
It was a time when chocolate was made only in the winter and hard candy in the summer because candy manufacturers did not have the luxury of air-conditioned plants.
It was 1894 and proximity to a ready supply of milk was crucial for candymaking. That helped Paul F. Beich persuade Milton Hershey of the famous candy clan to move his plant from Chicago to Downstate Bloomington to be closer to dairy farmers.
Eventually Beich went into the candy business himself, and the company that made Whiz bars, Katydid peanut clusters and Golden Crumbles would stay in family hands until his great-grandson, William A. Beich, sold it after heading operations for almost 20 years.
William A. Beich took over the Paul F. Beich Co. even though he never wanted to be a candymaker.
The company got its start using candy as a fundraising tool, said Mr. Beich's son David. Its subsidiary, Katherine A. Beich Co., became one of the nation's oldest and largest fundraising supply businesses, with its products sold by schools, youth groups and sports leagues.
In the early days, the company's slogan, "Beich's -- Say Bike," adorned tins and cardboard boxes of hand-dipped chocolate creams, nut clusters, caramels and taffy that were produced in two Bloomington factories and a third plant that was built on Green Street in Chicago.
In 1939, the company passed to Mr. Beich and his brother Paul M. "My father said what he always wanted to be was an attorney, but his father wanted him in the candy business and back then you did what your father said you were going to do," Mr. Beich's son said.
Mr. Beich received a mechanical engineering degree in 1944 from the University of Illinois and married his childhood sweetheart, Patricia Ann. He then served with the Navy on a weather ship.
Mr. Beich rejoined the company in 1946 and completed a two-year apprenticeship in chocolate manufacturing in Sweden. He became vice president, then chairman and president after his brother's death in 1967. Soon after, the company decided to focus solely on producing candy for fundraising.
In 1984, Mr. Beich sold the company to Nestle USA and retired. He devoted his time to running his 900-acre grain farm in Bloomington and to doting on his wife.
[excerpts from William A. Beich obituary - Transcribed by: Teri Moncelle Colglazier]
Bloomington Kathryn Beich office closing
BLOOMINGTON -- Kathryn Beich, the fundraising arm of a longtime Bloomington candy company, has been sold and its office here will close June 30. The sale will not affect the nearby Bloomington Nestle factory, which was separated from the fundraising division in the late 1990s. Plant Manager Carlos Cortez said the plant, with more than 500 employees, produces only a small amount of fundraising products. Khristina Clevenger, director of human resources at Kathryn Beich, said 37 office workers in Bloomington will be affected. The displaced employees will be offered a "generous severance package" as well as outplacement assistance such as career counseling services.
The roughly 100 people who comprise the sales work force were hired Friday by Great American Opportunities, the Nashville company that purchased Kathryn Beich, Clevenger said.
Company officials said the purchase brings together "two of the largest and most successful teams of professional fundraisers dedicated to school and non-profit fundraising."
Katydids and Golden Crumbles, popular Kathryn Beich brands, will become part of Great American Opportunities product line.
"Great American Opportunities is committed to growing their business and the resulting scale of this purchase will strengthen their service to schools throughout the country," said Michael Holzworth, president of Kathryn Beich Inc.
Terms of the purchase were not released. Holzworth said the consolidation was driven in part by the need to counter several recent business challenges including rising commodity and energy prices.
"This business decision was driven by marketplace conditions and is by no means a reflection on the performance of Kathryn Beich or its exceptionally committed and talented employees," he said.
Paul Beich started the Beich candy company in Bloomington in 1892. Kathryn Beich started selling her family’s confectionery products to Central Illinois organizations for fund-raising purposes in 1952.
The company was sold to Nestle in 1984 and the name changed to Kathryn Beich Inc., a Nestle Co. In 1999, the manufacturing and fund-raising units were split and Nestle dropped the Beich name from the plant but kept it for the fundraising products. Lincolnshire Equity Fund II, a New York-based investment fund purchased the Beich fundraising company in 2002.
Great American Opportunities is one of the nation’s oldest fundraising companies. It has more than 200 fundraising consultants and trainers and serves 48 states. It was founded in 1855 and has helped raise nearly $750 million for schools and non-profit organizations since 1975, according to the company.
[The Pantagraph - 26 Apr 2008 - by Mary Ann Ford - firstname.lastname@example.org]
Lawson Welch Downs
LAWSON WELCH DOWNS, DD. S., Douglas, was born in Bloomington, Illinois. Having received the advantages of modern high school training and two years work in De Pauw University, in 1902, he began the study of dentistry at the Indiana Dental College, of Indianapolis, from which he was graduated in 1905. He at once came to Arizona to practice his profession and established an office in Douglas, where he has since practiced Dr. Downs has built up a reputation in excellent work and thereby a large patronage, which is constantly increasing. He is a charter member, and at present Vice President of the Arizona State Dental Society. Fraternally he is very well known, being Past Master of the Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19, F. & A. M., a member of the Bisbee Commandery of Knights Templar and of El Zaribah Temple Mystic Shrine of Phoenix. He is also a member of the B. P. O. E. of Douglas. ["Who's Who In Arizona" Volume 1, 1913 Compiled and Published by Jo Connors]
During the first two decades of the 20th century, rising corn prices spurred a rural building boom, as farmers erected larger, sturdier homes, as well as barns, corn cribs, silos, and other outbuildings. At the same time, these prosperous farmers were breaking free from a world dominated by wood and experimenting with new construction materials, such as quality concrete in the form of Portland cement.
Few were better positioned to profit from this new era than Davis Ewing of Bloomington. From about 1907 through the mid-1920s, Ewing’s concrete company played a prominent role in reshaping the landscape of the Corn Belt countryside.
In the spring of 1923, The Pantagraph paid a visit to Ewing’s modern plant, located at East Empire Street and the Illinois Central Railroad (today’s Constitution Trail). "This seems to be the age of concrete," declared The Pantagraph, "and its utilization has replaced wood to as great an extent as the motor vehicle has been substituted for the horse."
Ewing got his start in concrete sidewalks, and even today one can stumble across brass plaques bearing his company’s name inset in old walkways. These medallion-like markers were once a common way for concrete manufacturers to advertise their finished work. He also laid concrete for cellar floors, curbs, driveways, and foundations.
Eventually, Ewing abandoned sidewalks for the more ambitious — and presumably more lucrative — business of manufacturing concrete blocks. The company’s "steam-cured" concrete blocks, as well as its concrete stucco, were used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings throughout the Twin Cities.
Although plenty of city folk needed concrete, Ewing’s primary customers were Corn Belt farmers.
Ewing sold concrete blocks for farmhouses; specially designed, ventilated blocks for corn cribs and silos; and concrete posts for fencing. Not only were Ewing’s patented, wire-reinforced concrete posts sturdy, they were relatively inexpensive, especially if one considered concrete’s durability (compared to wood) and low maintenance requirements (compared to hedge). He sold these under the savvy marketing name of "100 Year Posts," all but guaranteeing a lifespan of a century or more.
Davis Ewing came from an old line Democratic family in a Republican city. His father, James Stevenson Ewing, served as U.S. minister to Belgium under President Grover A. Cleveland.
In October 1907, Ewing married Hazle (sometimes spelled Hazel) Buck, whose father had a 49 percent stake in the Wrigley chewing gum company. Davis and Hazle never had children of their own, but they formally adopted one boy, Ralph, and raised another, Nelson.
Although evidence of the concrete business remains with us today in the form of sidewalks, homes, corn cribs, fence posts and the like, Ewing’s most visible contribution to the central Illinois landscape remains Ewing Manor, his former residence at the northwest corner of Towanda Avenue and Emerson Street.
Unfortunately, Davis and Hazle Ewing divorced in 1931, two years after the completion of "Sunset Hill" (the estate’s original name).
Davis moved and retired to the Chicago area, while Hazle remained at what would become known locally as "Ewing Castle."
Davis Ewing remarried and eventually moved to Mt. Dora, Fla., passing away in 1972. Hazle Buck Ewing became a beloved Twin Cities philanthropist with an interest in promoting the United Nations and conservation. She died in August 1969 at the age of 88.
Today, Sunset Hill is known as the Ewing Cultural Center and is operated by the Illinois State University Foundation. It includes the house, gardens and an outdoor theater.
Ewing’s concrete posts once lined Sunset Hill’s perimeter along Towanda and Emerson. The posts, though, were recently dug up and scattered around the cultural center grounds as part of a $5 million-plus public gardens project. Once paragons of utility, the posts now serve a purely ornamental role. Still, there’s no reason to doubt that they won’t be around another two decades and become — true to Ewing’s guarantee — "100 Year Posts."
["The Pantagraph", Bloomington, Illinois - By Bill Kemp, Archivist/Librarian, McLean County Museum of History]
Starting life for himself as a poor young man, with no capital except his strong arm, his clear and well trained brain, his strong desire for success and his unwavering determination to win it. Wakeman Sutton, one of the promising mining men of Butte, has reached a position in his industry that is highly creditable to him, and is all the more commendable because it has been won over difficulties and in spite of disasters. Adversity has attended him at times, but has not been able to quell his spirit. Neither has success unduly elated him or made him careless of details in his business. He has literally been tried by both extremes of fortune and has never been seriously disturbed by either.
Mr. Sutton was born in the city of Bloomington, McLean county, Illinois, on August 30, 1857, and is a son of Benjamin and Mary (Barnard) Sutton, the former born in the state of New York in 1824, and the latter in North Carolina in 1827. The mother died in June, 1899, and the father in August , 1900. Both passed away at Santa Barbara, California, where they located in the year 1872. The father was a physician, and was seventy-six years of age when he died. He and his wife were the parents of five children, of whom their son Wakeman was the second in numerical order.
He began his education in the public schools of Bloomington, Illinois, and completed it at a high school and college in Santa Barbara, California, leaving school at the age of eighteen. Becoming at once the master of his own movements and controller of his affairs, he entered the employ of Wells Fargo Express Company and remained in their employ until the fall of 1876, when he became bookkeeper for the wholesale commission house of Rouse & Laws, San Francisco. In 1879 he removed to Arizona, where he was engaged in mining and mercantile pursuits for about eight years, during a portion of the time being the manager of the large mercantile establishment of the Roger Brothers, their stores being situated in Benson, Fairbanks and Bisbee. He came to Montana in 1887, first as a traveling salesman for the firm of Castle Brothers of San Francisco, extensive importers of teas, coffees and spices, and dealers in high class groceries of every kind. He traveled through all parts of Montana for this firm until 1894, then decided to take up his residence permanently in Butte and devote himself wholly to mining operations.
He began mining in 1895 and has been continuously engaged in it ever since, being connected, in the course of his activity in the industry in this part of the country, with the Nora mine, now an Amalgamated Copper Company property, the Silver King mine and the Modoc mine, as well as with other properties.
He is now president of the Silver King Leasing Company, which is working the Silver King mine, the shaft of which is located at 212 West Quartz street, right in the heart of the city, and in the rear of Senator Clark's residence and the new county courthouse. At present, with a depth of only three hundred feet, it yields about fifty tons of ore per day.
On September 6, 1881, Mr. Sutton was married in Tucson, Arizona, to Miss Lillie Sargent, a native of New York state and the daughter of Charles and Jane Sargent. Three children have been born into the Sutton household, and two of them are living. These are : Addie, now the wife of Dr. J. S. McKinley, of Butte; and Dorothy, who is still living with her parents. The one son born in the family, William, died in Butte, in December, 1901. The family residence is at No. 205 West Quartz street, near the Silver King mine.
[Source: the History of Montana by Helen Fitzgerald Sanders, Volume 3, 1913 - Submitted by Friends for Free Genealogy]
R. C. KAUFMAN, cashier of the Navajo-Apache Bank & Trust Company, was born in Leroy, Illinois, in 1880. He was graduated from the high school of Leroy, and then took the general course in the University of Illinois. He was first employed at telegraphy and railroad work, and has been associated with the Navajo-Apache Bank & Trust Company since 1907. His first position was as bookkeeper, from which he was promoted to that of assistant cashier. Upon the reorganization of the bank in 1909 Mr. Kaufman was chosen its secretary, and one year later was made cashier, a position requiring a thorough knowledge of financial matters and banking regulations, as the Navajo-Apache Bank is one of the largest in the state and the Largest in Northern Arizona. Mr. Kaufman married Miss Mary Lynn Duggar. They have one little daughter, Jacqueline, and make their home in Winslow. ["Who's Who In Arizona" Volume 1 1913 Complied and Published by Jo Connors - Sub by FoFG]
GEORGE W. ORANGE, one of the prosperous farmers of Stutsman county, is a pioneer settler of that region, and his farm of eight hundred and twenty acres has been acquired by careful management and persistent efforts. He resides in Spiritwood, and is one of the active and well-known citizens of his community.
Our subject was born in McLean county, Illinois, in 1847. His father, William Orange, was born in Ohio and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He emigrated to Illinois, when seventeen years of age, where he followed teaming and farming. When Chicago was but a small village he teamed from there to Bloomington. In 1852 he crossed the plains to California, where his family joined him nine years later, but returned again to Illinois in 1870. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania, and was a blacksmith and farmer. The mother of our subject, who bore the name of Catherin Arbogast, was born in Ohio, was of German descent, and was the daughter of Henry Arbogast.
Mr. Orange was married at the age of twenty-five, to Miss Mary Morain, who was born and reared in McLean county, Illinois, Mrs. Orange died April 11, 1881, leaving three children: Albert L., Robert L. and Guy D. Mr. Orange was again married, in 1883, to Miss Eva McMullen. Mrs. Orange was born in Pennsylvania, but was at the time teaching in Illinois. Mr. Orange has one child, Nellie, by his second wife. Mr. Orange went to Dakota in 1882 and purchased a quarter-section of railroad land. He began farming in the spring of 1883, and the following year took up a homestead. He now has over six hundred acres of his land under cultivation. In 1893 he purchased a steam threshing machine, with which he has threshed each fall. The engine of the outfit exploded September 17, 1897, instantly killing the engineer, Robert L. Orange, the fireman, Fred Sisson, and the tankman,, David H. Orange, the only brother of G. W. Orange. During the blizzard of 1888, our subject, wife and son Guy were exposed to the storm twenty hours, and were kept alive only by the greatest efforts. Mr. Orange is a Republican in political faith, and is well known as a public-spirited citizen and energetic man. [Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Syndi Phillips]
GENERAL ELLIOTT S. MILLER, the adjutant-general of North Dakota, has attained distinctive preferment in military and political circles, and is one of the representative and prominent citizens of Bismarck. He was born in McClean county, Illinois, November 15, 1846, a son of Sanford C. Miller, a native of Harrisonbury, West Virginia, who removed to Illinois in 1836 and died in that state. The mother died during the infancy of our subject and he never knew her given name.
General Miller was reared and educated in Bloomington, McClean county, Illinois, and when the Civil war broke out he enlisted, in August, 1861, in Company B, Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He took an active part in the West Virginia campaign, and in the engagements in the Shenandoah Valley, including the battle of Winchester, in March, 1862. After the battle of Antietam the regiment was transferred to South Carolina and was in the battle of Morris Island. They veteranized January 1, 1864, and were brought back to General Butler's army on the James river. Later they participated in the battles of Petersburg and Richmond and in the famous charge on Fort Gregg, and were in the engagement at Appomattox just before the surrender of General Lee. The government presented the regiment with their eagle in recognition of the gallant charge on Fort Gregg. General Miller was wounded in the head on Morris Island, in 1864, and before Richmond was wounded in the right arm and also in the shoulder and foot, being confined to the hospital for four months. He was mustered out as a sergeant December 16, 1865.
Returning to Illinois, he made his home there until 1879, and the following year came to Jamestown, North Dakota, where he took up a homestead. He did not engage in farming, but followed contracting and building there for several years. In 1885 he was made quartermaster of the First North Dakota State Troops, and in 1891 was commissioned colonel of the regiment. He was appointed adjutant-general by Governor Roger Allen in 1895, and then removed to Bismarck, where he has since resided. He has met with marked success during his residence in this state and has also gained the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact either in public or private life.
He has been a life-long Republican and has taken an active part in the councils of his party. He is a prominent Mason, a Knight Templar and a member of the Mystic Shrine, and is also an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of which he has been inspector general of the department of North Dakota. He has also been a delegate to the national encampment from North Dakota, and was commander of W. H. Seward Post, of Jamestown, for five years. [Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]
John T. Price
The career of this sterling and representative citizen of Hamilton County has covered much of the pioneer period in the history of this county, within whose borders he established his home nearly half a century ago and in which he had the distinction of being the second person to serve as County superintendent of schools. His constructive powers touched effectively the civic and industrial development of the county and later he became prominently identified with similar pioneer service in Greeley County. He is now a venerable pioneer citizen who may well take satisfaction in reverting to the part which he has played in the progress of the great commonwealth of Nebraska. He is living virtually retired in the village of Phillips, Hamilton county, and it is pleasing to enter in this publication a succinct record of his career.
Mr. Price was born in Rush County, Indiana, on the 21st of November, 1845, and is a son of Daniel and Sarah (Stewart) Price, both natives of the state of Ohio. The father early settled in Indiana and there he reclaimed and developed a farm in Rush County. In 1876 he became one of the pioneer settlers of Hamilton County, Nebraska, whither his son John T. had preceded him by about four years and he obtained land and took up his abode in a sod house of the type common to that early period, where he instituted the reclamation of his land to cultivation. Here he remained until his death at the venerable age of eighty-five years and his name merits enduring place on the roll of the honored pioneers of the county. His wife died in Indiana, at the age of fifty-two years, their children having been ten in number: Elizabeth, oldest of the children, died in June, 1920; Abbie and Christy likewise are deceased, as is also Jane, who died in 1920; John T., of this review, was the next in order of birth; Frances M. is a missionary in China; A. W., a railroad man, resides at University Place, near Lincoln, Nebraska; and D. E. is a resident of Grand Island, Hall County. He served as County commissioner of Hamilton County and secretary to Congressman Stark. The father was influential in public affairs in Hamilton County. Prior to coming to Nebraska he had been for a number of years a resident of Iowa.
The common schools of his native state afforded to John T. Price his early education, which was supplemented by his attendance at the Illinois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington. He became a successful teacher in the public schools of Illinois and it was in the spring of 1873 that he set forth from that state, with team and prairie schooner, to initiate his pioneer experiences in Nebraska. Nearly four weeks were required to complete the trip to Hamilton County, this state, he having crossed the Mississippi river at Burlington, Iowa, where a ferry transferred his team and wagon, a similar medium having been utilized in crossing the Platte River, at Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Mr. Price adjusted himself readily and effectively to pioneer conditions after his arrival in Hamilton County and that his ability along pedagogic lines did not long wait special recognition is shown in the fact that in the year of his arrival here he was chosen as the second incumbent of the office of county superintendent of schools, in which office he continued one term, or two years. He purchased one hundred and twenty acres of railroad land in the present Phillips precinct and paid for the same at the rate of three dollars an acre, The contract terms providing that the full payment should be completed within a period of ten years. On his land he erected a small frame house of primitive type, the lumber and other material used in its construction having been hauled overland from Grand Island, twenty-six miles distant. His original barns on the place were constructed of straw and he personally took charge of the breaking of his new prairie land and making the same available for cultivation. His experiences, many of which are more pleasing in retrospect then they were in realization, were those of the average pioneer of the locality and period and he recalls that in the early period of his residence here the bones of buffaloes were to be found scattered about the open prairies and that deer and antelopes were frequently seen.
Mr. Price continued his residence on the Hamilton County farm until 1881, when he amplified his pioneer activities by removing with his family to Greeley County, where, by taking up homestead and timber claims he became the owner of a tract of three hundred and twenty acres. He bent his energies to the improving of this property and eventually perfected his title thereto. From the farm he finally removed to the village of Scotia, that County, where he effected the organization of the Greeley County Bank, of which he continued the vice president for the ensuing seven years. For three years thereafter he conducted the Walker House, a leading hotel at St. Paul, Howard county, and he then returned to Hamilton County and resumed his active association with farm enterprise. Here he remained from 1898 until 1907, in which latter year he removed to the city of Lincoln, in order to give to his children the advantages of the excellent educational institutions of the capital city. There he remained until 1914, after which he lived with his children, at different points in the state, until 1920, when he established his home at Phillips, where he remains as an honored citizen of the county in which he gained his initial experience as a pioneer of the state.
The year 1876 recorded the marriage of Mr. Price to Miss Nancy Lutz, who was born in Indiana and who was a resident of Hamilton County, Nebraska, at the time of her marriage. Like her husband Mrs. Price is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their children the eldest, Elizabeth, died August 19, 1912; Mary is the wife of Chris Husted, D. D. S., of Omaha; Georgia is the wife of Clarence Shahan, a commercial salesman of Omaha; and Ruth is the wife of D. M. Davis, a farmer in Wayne County, this state.
Mr. Price is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the republican Party, and while a resident of Greeley county he served in various local offices, including those of justice of the peace and township assessor. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church and he is affiliated with both York and Scottish Rite bodies of the Masonic fraternity, in which he served eight years as master of the lodge of Free & Accepted Masons at Scotia and also at Phillips. Mr. Price has witnessed and taken part in the splendid civic and material development of Nebraska and in reverting to conditions in Hamilton County at the time of his arrival here he states that when he passed through Aurora, the present County seat, he found the town represented by a single house.
[Source: "History of Hamilton and Clay Counties, Nebraska"; Supervising Editors George L. Burr, O.O. Buck; Compiled by Dale P. Stough By George L. Burr, O. O. Buck, Dale P. Stough (Published 1921) pages 40-42; submitted by Marla Zwakman]
JUDGE WELCOME P. BROWN.
Welcome P. Brown, attorney at law and farmer, was born in Otsego County, New York, April 3, 1812. He received an academic education at Bridgewater, New York, and began the study of law at the age of nineteen years. He came to Illinois in 1833, was admitted to the bar at Jacksonville the same year, and settled in Bloomington where he began to practice law. He served as the second Probate Judge of McLean County, Feb. 17, 1837 to Aug. 17, 1839, succeeding Judge Samuel Durley. He was also the second Postmaster of Bloomington, serving several years. He was married here, to Miss Hannah C. Barney, Oct. 8, 1838. She was born in Pennsylvania, May 3, 1813. They removed to Woodford County, Ill. in 1842, settling at Metamora. Here he was elected County Judge, serving four years. In 1871 he removed to Kansas where he resided five years, serving one year in the Kansas Legislature, then returned to Metamora. He again removed to Pueblo, Colorado, to make his home with a married daughter. He died at Green Mountain, Col. Jan. 13, 1892. His children were Helen M., Josephine, Palmer H.l, Ada, J. K., and Lacey. Four of these, later, resided with their mother, at Kingman, Kans. (History of Woodford County, Ill. 1878, Page 490, and Letters of J. C. Irving, Metamora, Ill. Jan. 28, 1926, and Palmer H. Brown, Kingman, Kans. Mar. 24, 1926. Printed in the "Central Illinois Historical Annual" - transcribed by Janice Louie)
Zera Patterson, second Probate Justice of the Peace of McLean County, Ill. Aug. 18, 1843 to Dec. - 1849, successor to Wells Colton in that office, was born in Vermont in the year 1791, and died in Bloomington, Ill. Sept. 28, 1850.
Tradition says he was a soldier in the War of 1812, but I have not yet discovered any official record of his service. It may be a coincidence however, that his death occurred on the same day the Act of Congress was passed granting bounty land to the veterans of that conflict.
Justice Patterson's wife, Hannah, was also born in Vermont in 1791, being about the same age as her husband. She died in Jacksonville, Ill., about 1852. They came to this city probably about 1832 or '33. On Nov. 12, 1834, he bought of Dr. Isaac Baker, Lots 70, 71, and 72, in the Original Town of Blomington, Ill. for the sum of seventy dollars. Jan. 12, 1835, he sold the first two to Eliphalet W. Covell. These three lots comprise the south half of the block bounded by Washington, Roosevelt, Front and Madison streets, and include the site of the old Butler hotel.
The papers on file in the Probate Clerk's Office in Bloomington, Ill relating to Justice Patterson's estate, show among other facts, that he died "intestate" that is, without leaving a will, also that he left surviving him, his widow, Hannah, and three children, viz. William Patterson, " of California or Nevada Territory", Mary Jane (Patterson) McAboy-Rundell, who married first, John McAboy, and after his death, William R. Rundell, "now of Aurora, Kane County, Illinois," and Harriet (Patterson) Taylor, who married Hugh Taylor, and had two sons, William Smith Taylor, and Norris Harmon Taylor, "of Kansas", These papers also show that the decedent owned a lot in H. Hl. Painter's Second Addition to Bloomington, Ill. "now occupied by John Breckbeller" also a tract 100 by 120 feet on "North" (now Roosevelt) street, also Lot 3 in Block 7, Evans' Second Addition to this city. The total value of this estate was represented to be about $2000. There were three different administrators, viz. John H. Wickizer, appointed Dec. 3, 1853, later resigned, John M. Scott, appointed May 10, 1863, also resigned, and George W. Lichtenthaler, appointed Feb. 13, 1866. A circular funeral notice shows Justice Patterson's funeral was held from the residence of John Dawson. A finer sermon was preached from the "Universal" church.
[U.S. Census, 1850; Box 11, Case 13. Probate Files, McLean County, Ill. Book B, Deeds, Page 243 and 267, and other sources. Printed in the "Central Illinois Historical Annual" - transcribed by Janice Louie]
PAUL CADUE AND PASCAL PENSIONEAU.
Among various French Canadians who migrated to Central Illinois in the early days, lived with the Indians, married Indian women, and raised families of "half-breed" children, these two, Peter Cadue, and Pascal Pensioneau, were probably well known to our first settlers. Their intimate knowledge of savage customs and languages, enabled them to serve well as interpreters between Indians and whites. In the life of Albert W. Phillips, of Hudson Township, McLean County, Ill. (Duis; The Good Old Times, Page 641.) we are told that one, "Peter Cudjo, who had married an Indian woman" interpreted a sermon preached by Rev. Jesse Walker, the pioneer Methodist missionary, to some Kickapoos who attended the white mans religious services. This was about 1830. When the Kickapoos removed westward, Dadue and Pensioneau went with them. Pensioneau was with the "Prairie Band" under Peomotat, when they crossed the Mississippi at St. Genevieve, Mo. In October, 1819, on their way to Mexico. When Cadue left Illinois, I do not know. Both had Kickapoo wives, and both had descendants living on the Kickapoo Reservation in Brown County, Kansas, when I visited it in 1906 and 1909. Among them were Papoone, daughter of Pascal Pensioneau, and Paul Cadue, and William Cadue, sons of Peter Cadue. The latter were both evidently men past middle age. Their father, Peter Cadue, was accidentally killed near Kennekuk, Kans. about 1860, being thrown from a horse he was riding. It is said he was more than ninety years old at the time of his death. Paul Cadue died Oct. 5, 1917. Pascal Pensiouneau died in Oklahoma also aged more than ninety years, but I do not know the date of his death. His daughter, Papoone, was the wife of Masquat and mother of Jack Masquat who was killed by lightning at his home on the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, several years ago. Frank Cadue, son of Charles, grandson of Frank, and great-grandson of Peter Cadue, was soldier in the world and was killed in France in 1918.
By information from William Cadue, as contained in a letter to me from L.L. Bonnin, of Horton, Kans. Jan. 9, 1918, I learned that Peter Cadue was married three times, first to Mekee, by who he had Mitchell, Betsey, and "another girl", second, to Kish-e-pee, (Keesh-pee, Paul Cadue told me.) by whom he ha: Frank, John, William, and Paul, and third, to Kas-mah-quah, by whom he had Peter Cadue, Jr.
From the same informant, I also learned that Pascal Pnsioneau was married to Mah-mish-ee-kah, by whom he had two daughters, Papoonee and Mah-nee, and a son named Kennekuk.
M. C. [Printed in the "Central Illinois Historical Annual" - transcribed by Janice Louie]
WILLIAM O. BAIRD, senior member of the firm of Baird & Dresser, of New Rockford, dealers in real estate, loans and collections, is one of the wide-awake business men of Eddy county, and has been closely identified with the financial interests of that region for the past ten years. He owns extensive farm lands in that vicinity and conducts general farming and stock raising with eminent success.
Our subject was born in Bloomington, Illinois, December 3, 1861, and is a son of William F. and Anna M. (Offutt) Baird, both of whom were Americans by birth, and the mother was a native of Kentucky. Our subject was the eldest of the living children, and was raised on a farm. His father was an extensive farmer and also conducted the real estate business, and his son was given the advantage of a liberal education. He attended the common schools and later spent two years at Helmuth College, in London, Ontario, and in 1879 began work with the Bloomington Nursery Company, and was employed in their offices about three years. He began farming in Illinois in 1882, and engaged in that pursuit five years, and in the spring of 1888 came to North Dakota. After two months spent at Devil's Lake he located at New Rockford and established a real estate and loan office, and also followed farming. William C. Dresser became his partner in January, 1896, and the firm is known as Baird & Dresser. The business has prospered, and they now conduct a general real-estate, collection and loan business. The firm owns and operates a large farm near the town, and Mr. Baird also owns seventeen hundred and sixty acres of land, divided into two farms, eleven hundred and twenty acres being two and a half miles from New Rockford, and the other six hundred and forty acres two miles further from the town. He engages in grain, cattle and horse raising, and general farming.
Our subject was married, in 1882, to Miss Mary Johnston, who was born and raised in Danvers, Illinois. Mrs. Baird's father, Levi Johnson, was a traveling salesman. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baird: Charles E., born in Illinois; and William J., born in Dakota. Mr. Baird is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Masonic fraternity, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Modern Woodmen of America and Yeomen. He is an earnest worker for the welfare of his community, and was elected clerk of courts in 1889 and served one term. He is an independent voter in political matters, and is a man who keeps abreast of the times and lends his influence for the best local government. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Renae Capitanio]
FORD, William Schofield, president W. S. Ford & Co.; born, Bloomington, ILL., Apr. 9, 1873; son of Edwin D. and Ellen (Schofield) Ford; educated in high school of Sedalia, Mo.; unmarried. Entered Meier China and Glass Co. (established 1857) as bill clerk, 1894, and served as salesman, buyer, etc., before being elected, 1904, as vice president of the company, wholesale and retail dealers; in 1907 organized the firm of W. S. Ford & Co., dealers in hotel supplies, of which is president. Republican. Clubs: Missouri Athletic, Triple A (director), Country, City, Century Boat, Universal Exposition. Office: 411 N. 3d St. Residence: Buckingham Hotel.
(Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)
Thomas J. Sylvester, Normal Brick Mason is Builder of Many Landmarks in the Twin Cities and County
A Native of England, He came Here in May 1869, and Was in Business 46 Years
[Published by The Daily Pantagraph October 6, 1927 - tr. by Carol Sylvester]
Thomas J. Sylvester, 82 years old retired brick mason and native of England, who has been a resident of Normal for the past 58 years and an active brick mason and contractor for 46 years in this vicinity, has seen building conditions and operations in Normal and Bloomington go through remarkable changes.
Sylvester, a native of England, came to the United States in February 1869, coming to Normal in May of the same year. When he came to Normal he states that there was no a single brick business building in the town. He helped in the construction of the first brick building which was a little on story structure for a butcher shop on the present location of Hall's Coffee Shop in Normal.
Built Many Structures
Sylvester's activities as brick mason and contractor during the 46 years that he was engaged in the business, have carried him through the construction of many of the important buildings of the vicinity. With the exception of three buildings, he says he helped construct all the brick business houses in Normal. He was the builder of the present Pantagraph building at the corner of Jefferson and Madison streets. He built the first smokestack and set the first boiler on the Normal University campus and built the smokestack at the Soldier's Orphan's Home and the first school there.
Many other landmarks in McLean County reared their walls toward the sky under the touch of the trowel of this well known mason.
Learned the Trade in England
Coming to the United States at the age of 24, Sylvester, who had learned the trade of a brick mason with his uncle Rodger Whitaker of Checkley Green, Cheshire, England, where Sylvester was born, had made up his mind to be a farmer and first of all went to Park County where he found work for a few months with a farmer living along the Illinois River. Loneliness for the association of groups of people to which he had been accustomed to in England caused Sylvester to give up his aspirations for farming and he came to Normal in the spring of 1870, where he obtained work as a brick mason with the firm of Blake, Hutson and Sweeting. Sylvester worked all summer that year for his new employers at a wage of $2.50 per day.
Speaking of the first brick laying job he started for himself in Normal, Sylvester said that the offer came from the owner of a grist mill which then stood where the old hotel building site now is located on Beaufort Street. The owner addressed him saying "Englishman did you ever set a boiler?" Sylvester who had been accustomed to such work in England gladly accepted the opportunity for work and with the assistance of another mason succeeded in completing the work in record time.
Started for Himself
Soon after this Sylvester decided to start out for himself in the masonry and contracting business and begin with a number of small jobs such as building cisterns, smoke stacks. In the spring of 1871 he began work on the new school house, at the Soldier's Orphans Home which was completed that fall and followed by the construction of the smokestack. Sylvester was employed by various masonry jobs at the Home throughout the entire winter.
Of the Illinois Soldier's Orphans Home when he first arrived in Normal, Sylvester stated that at that time it was still located on North Main Street in Bloomington and that the big main hall at the present home was just then under construction and occupied the following year before he began his work there.
In the spring of 1872 Mr. Sylvester started work on the Emerson School building which until recently has been standing. Following this job he began taking all his masonry work by contract and hiring other masons to assist him in his work. Most of the masonry work at the Orphan's Home and the Normal University was done with Sylvester as the contractor. The famous Fell Memorial was built by him later in his work here.
Built First Oven
He laid the brick on the Christian Church in Normal and built the first bake oven that was installed at the Orphan's Home.
Sylvester was married in 1871 to Miss Martha Ellen Dunseth of Money Creek Township. They reared a family of six sons and six daughters. Mr. Sylvester taught each of his sons the brick mason trade and as he said, "today every one of my boys except one is following the trade that I taught him."
Mr. Sylvester's contracting and masonry work was continued until the death of his wife in 1916 when he retired from the business. During his early life in Normal Mr. Sylvester served as a member of the city council for 11 years. He is the only surviving charter member of the Normal Building and Loan Association and is connected to the Normal State Bank board.
"Became a Democrat"
Talking of politics, Mr. Sylvester said "Yes, I'm a Democrat, and I'll tell you how I happened to be a Democrat. I began work in Normal for Huston and his firm, not being lined up with either political party. Huston was a radical Republican and it was largely because of this that I became a radical Democrat. When Grant was president and brought about the raise in salaries for members of Congress as well as himself, I asked Huston if that was the type of politics that his party favored and if so, I didn't care to be a Republican. From that date to this, I have been a Democrat and a fairly radical one too. I cast my first ballot in and election in this country for Samuel J. Tilden.
On a Ship That Went Down
Mr. Sylvester has made the trip back to his native country since coming to America and as he reports it was a trip I'll never forget, for it was on that trip that the ship on which I was sailing the City of Brussels was rammed by another ship and sunk.
Mr. Sylvester together with a majority of the ship's passengers, was carried to safety. Mr. Sylvester visited his brothers in England for several weeks and returned to America early in the spring of 1893.
"Really Live in England"
In regard to the best place to live, Mr. Sylvester said "For real enjoyment of life there is not a better place to be around than England. Altho I've enjoyed living in this country, still the laboring class in England get so much more real enjoyment out of life. They don't get half as much money but they get so much more out of what they do get."
Mr. Sylvester was married in 1922 to Mrs. Samantha Jane Pumphrey of McLean County who is still living.
Mr. Sylvester altho nearly 82 years old is still in good health and enjoys his life as much as ever. He moved about with the assistance of a cane because of a crippled foot, but otherwise is as active as a man of much younger age.
G. W. BURNS
G. W. BURNS, president of the Burns Motor Company at Columbia, is not only an automobile salesman and distributor but a thoroughly technical man in the automobile industry. His experience began a number of years ago, and he has been the Studebaker representative in different parts of the country and a resident of Columbia since 1917.
Mr. Burns was born on a farm in McLean County, Illinois, some thirty years ago, son of J. J. and Laura Jane (Watts) Burns, both deceased. His father was also a native of McLean County, and a wealthy farmer in the famous Illinois corn belt. His father as a pioneer settler had acquired land in that part of the Prairie State when it was very cheap. A part of G. W. Burns' inheritance from his father's estate was a fine quarter section farm, a part of the old homestead. This property he still owns.
G. W. Burns was educated in the public schools, and in the Bradley Polytechnic Institute at Peoria. While growing up on the farm he became familiar with every phase of its management, though agriculture has not been his chosen career. About the time the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend began manufacturing automobiles on an extensive scale, he went to work in the company's offices in Chicago, afterward was in their Detroit office, and subsequently represented the corporation in Tennessee and at Atlanta, Georgia. His technical education, supplemented by practical experience in the automobile industry, made him a first-class man in automotive engineering and practice, and as such he has always held a place of honor with the Studebaker concern.
Mr. Burns came to Columbia in 1917 and at first hired only desk room while interesting buyers in the Studebaker car. After a short time he moved to 910-912 Main Street, and in July, 1919, found more adequate quarters for his increasing business at the corner of Main and Calhoun streets. His establishment now occupies a lot 417 by 156 feet, and early in 1920 an additional second story was completed. Since coming to Columbia he has realized his ambition for a complete automobile plant. He has the equipment, machinery and expert service capable of building a car outright. Some of the noteworthy features of his service are a welding department, vulcanizing department, upholstering department, painting and trimming plant, and also an admirable cleaning and repair department. These various facilities have had much to do with the prosperous growth of his business and the great popularity of the Studebaker products in and around Columbia.
Mr. Burns is one of the active members of the Columbia Automotive Trades Association and also the state organization. He has made himself a part of the public spirited citizenship of Columbia, Recently he completed a beautiful home in Wales Garden, the exclusive residential section of Columbia. Mr. Burns is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, also a member of the Ridgewood and the Columbia Kiwanis clubs. He married Ruth Roberts, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Their children are Margaret, Dorothy and George W., Jr. [South Carolina, Special Limited Edition, 1920]
James W. Weeks
WEEKS, James W., farmer, carpenter; born McLean Co., Ill., Aug. 22, 1859; English and Scotch descent; son of S.E. and Margaret (Stevenson) Weeks; father’s occupation brickmaker, contractor and builder; educated in public schools of Ill.; served 11 years and five months in 6th U.S. Infantry, 4 years N.G.S.T., and nine months Vol. army Spanish-American War; left U.S. Army in 1893, and engaged in the hardware business, Elizabethton, Tenn.; enlisted in Vol. Army at outbreak with Spain, was commissioned by Gov. R.L. Taylor, and assigned to 3rd Tenn. Vol. Inf., was Summary Court officer of that regiment; served as private, corporal, sergeant and First Sergeant Co. "E" and Quartermaster Sergeant 6th Infantry U.S.A., Capt. N.G.S.T., 1894-1898; Major 3rd Tenn. Vol. Inf. during Spanish-American War; mustered out of service Feb. 1, 1899; manufacturer of pants, Elizabethton, Tenn., 1894; engaged in the farming industry since 1895; married Abbie Ames Aug. 22, 1881; member J.O.U.A.M.; was First Councilor of 1st Council organized in the State in 1894, Elizabethton, Tenn.; Republican; Road Commissioner; twice elected Justice of the Peace Carter Co.; member of the County School Board three years Washington Co., Tenn.; now Tax Assessor Washington Co., Tenn.; member of M.E. church, South. [Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler]
Mrs. Delilah Mullin - Evans
McLEAN COUNTY’S FIRST SCHOOL TEACHER
(As reprinted by McLean County Historical Society)
This interview with Mrs. Delilah Mullin-Evans was conducted 24 June,1881; published 4 July, 1881 in the Pantagraph
Mrs. Delilah Evans, widow of William Evans, June 24, 1881 was visited by a Pantagraph correspondent at the house of her sister, Mrs. Nancy Biggs, and from an interview with her, published in the Pantagraph July 4, 1881, we copy the following:
My father, John Mullin, was American born, of Irish descent, and my mother American born, of English descent. I was born in Madison county, Ohio, February 1, 1808. My mother’s name was Keziah. My parents had a large family, not all born when we came to Illinois.
A TRIP TO THE WEST.
The way we happened to come west was that in Ohio, where we lived, there was a great stir among the people to go west. Father intended to go only to White River, Indiana, and we did so, leaving home October 17, 1824. We stopped at White River a short time, but some of our neighbors came along and did not like that country, and persuaded us to go on to Illinois with them. So we came out with Robert Stubblefield and his family, each family with one team and wagon. Mr. Stubblefield died long ago and was buried in Funk’s Grove.
"What did you live on while traveling?"
We subsisted on bread and meat which we brought with us and we got some few vegetables. The men hunted some, as much for sport as anything, for they were not compelled to.
"How long were you on the journey?"
Well, really I forget. We started from our Ohio home October 17, 1824, and we got to Randolph’s Grove on December 16. But just how long we stopped in Indiana I do not remember. We stopped at the house of Gardner Randolph at Randolph’s Grove and rested a few days. Then we went to William Orendorff’s in Keg Grove, now Blooming Grove, and he insisted on our stopping there till my father could select a place. He chose a location on the southeast part of the grove. ( On S. I/2 S.W. 1/4 Sec. 23. ) I do not know who lives there now. Seth Baker lived on it a long time after my father sold it to him.
SETTLERS IN BLOOMING GROVE IN 1824.
"Who lived up and down the grove when you came there?"
Well, John Hendrix lived west of my father’s, William Walker, Bailey Harbord, John Benson, James Latta, Ebenezer Rhodes, his son, Thomas, who was married; William Orendorff, John Dawson, and my father, John Mullin; also William Hodge, I think, but am not sure.
* The name of Thomas P. Orendorff should be added to the names of the settlers in Blooming Grove in 1824. He came here in 1823 and was married in 1824. id 154.
A WEDDING FIFTY YEARS AGO.
I was married August 14, 1825, to William Evans. He and I had been old acquaintances in Ohio, and he came out the May before. The wedding was at my father’s house and Parson James Stringfield, of Sangamon county, married us. A pretty good portion of all the people from Randolph’s Grove, Blooming Grove, Funk’s Grove, Dry Grove, Twin Grove and Stout’s Grove were there. I don’t remember all who were there, but there were pretty much all the people I have named over as living in Blooming Grove, and Adam Funk of Funk’s Grove, the father of Isaac Fun, Alfred Stringfield of Randolph’s Grove and his sisters and mother, the one you now call Capt. Stringfield, and Jesse and Robert, youngest sons of Adam Funk. There were a number of children and young folks, too. A number of Benson’s boys and several families of Harbords. We had but a cabin then and it was full and running over with guests. About everybody stood up at the wedding for want of room to sit down. I was married in a white jackonet brought from Ohio and black morocco slippers from Springfield, Illinois. William wore a summer suit, a gingham coat, had a fur stovepipe hat and I forget about his pants and a white shirt. I wore gloves. Virginia Stringfield fixed up the ornaments about my dress. She stood up with me. I don’t remember who stood up with William. It might have been Jesse. It was not Robert, I am sure, for he was too bashful. But for all his bashfulness Robert married Virginia afterwards. The wedding was about one o’clock Sunday afternoon. After the ceremony we had a dinner out of doors. The table was spread under hickory trees in my father’s yard. Those days we would have considered it a scandal to get married on Saturday.
TEACHING THE FIRST SCHOOL
I taught the first school in Blooming Grove and the first in what is now McLean county. It was a subscription school. They talked about a school and said they wanted me to teach it, and John Dawson came to me and I drew up the subscription paper and he took it around. The price was $2.50 for each scholar for the term of four months. It began about May 1, 1825, and it was running on when I was married. The next morning after the wedding I began teaching again. I taught in John Dawson’s house where David Cox now lives. Mr. Dawson had just built a new log cabin and he gave the use of it for the school term, and lived on in his old one till school was out.
"How many scholars did you have?"
Well, a good many - more than the Old Settler’s Book (Duis) gave me credit for, which said I said I did not have but three or four scholars at the start. I had a small school, but not as small as that. There were four of my own brothers and sisters, John, Jonah, Louisa and Betsy Mullin, Nathan and William, two of John Hendrix’s boys; Henry, Maria and Little John3, children of John W. Dawson; Delilah, Cynthia and I think Caroline, of John H.S. Rhodes’ children; Ebenezer and James, sons of old Ebenezer Rhodes and brothers of John H.S. Rhodes; Betsy, William Orendorff’s daughter, and Wesley and Sophia, children of William Walker. How many is that? "Seventeen, counting Caroline Rhodes, of whom you were not sure."
Well, that is all I can think of.
John Dawson, one of the pupils of this first school of Miss Mullen, in the "Good Old Times" page 146, says: "The early settlers were anxious for the education of their children, and indeed a plentiful crop of school children is better for the material interest of the country than a crop of wheat or corn. There were many difficulties to be overcome, but the pioneers had learned never to hesitate at trifles. The school houses were not the little palaces of learning in which children now study their lessons; they were not too comfortably heated in winter but on the other hand there was no lack of ventilation, for the fresh prairie breezes could come through the chinks without any patent appliances. There were no pale students driven into the early stages of consumption for want of pure air. In 1828 Mr. Dawson (senior) built the first school house in McLean county. It was made of logs and lighted with windows of white paper instead of glass. The first schoolteacher was Delilah Mullen, who taught her young pupils at Mr. Dawson’s house before the school house was finished."
AN ALMANAC FOR A TEXT-BOOK
"What school books did you have?"
Well, not many. They had Webster’s spelling book with blue backs. A few had Smith & Smiley’s Arithmetic, the English Reader and the Introduction to the English Reader, and a few copies of the Columbian Orator, which was used as a school book. We also had Walker’s School Dictionary. One boy brought an almanac, having no other book. Geography and grammar I did not teach. We sent to Springfield for the writing paper, which was not ruled, and wrote with good quill pens. If I had as many dollars as I have made goose quill pens, I should have all the money I would care to use in my lifetime. I ruled the paper, set the copy and made the pens. Well, my husband and I staid at my father’s for a while. In the fall of 1825 or early winter, Milton Stringfield, a brother of Alfred and son of the parson who married us, had to go to Sangamon county on business, and he got my husband and myself to come to his house in the west end of Blooming Grove and stay with his wife while he went to Sangamon county. We went and staid there all winter.
BLOOMINGTON’S FIRST OWNER.
Toward spring my husband began working on his claim where Bloomington now is. Our cabin was built in March, 1826. It was a good large cabin sixteen feet square or sixteen by eighteen, I forget which. It stood between three hundred and four hundred yards west and a little south of where James Allin afterward built his double cabin and kept his store.
THE LINE OF THE TIMBER.
"Did the trees come up to your cabin?"
Yes, rather scattering, but still there were trees clear up to and around our cabin. East of it the timber came up a little higher about as far up as Allin built his cabin, but no farther. West of the house there was timber and across the creek upon the high knoll the timber was heavy. Around to the northwest of the cabin,north of that high knoll, was a small, scattered grove or clump and directly north was the little grove standing out by itself, called the Celebrated Grove and the One Mile Grove. The latter name was given it because the distance between it and Blooming Grove was just one mile. Afterward Mr. Major settled in this grove and it was known as Major’s Grove.
"How far did your husband’s claim extend?"
I do not know exactly. It was a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and I think our cabin was near the west end. I do not know how far north it run, but think it went north of the knoll where the new court house stands.
"How near were your neighbors ?"
We had no near neighbors. Mr. William H. Hodge lived two and one-half miles southeast of us and Milton Stringfield one mile and one-half west of us on the same side of the grove. This was in the spring of 1827. Between that and 1830, while we lived there, William Goodheart, John Canady and another William Evans settled near us. This Mr. Evans took the claim just east of us. He was no relation, however. James Toliver, John Maxwell and William Maxwell also came into the grove further down toward the old Hodge and Orendorff settlement.
RATTLESNAKES AND WOLVES FOR CLOSE NEIGHBORS
I remember that the north side of the knoll northeast of our cabin was a little sandy and full of rattlesnakes. The Bloomington court house is on the spot now. I went on it often after my cows, and I hardly ever got back without two or three rattlesnakes hissing at me. Rattlesnakes and wolves were my nearest neighbors then and the ones I saw the most of. There were a good many Indians around us in the early days - the Kickapoos and Delawares and some Pottawattamies. They came to the settlers to trade for corn, wheat, beans, salt, meat, etc. They were generally peaceful, but I was always afraid of them.
People, men and women, wore a great deal of home-spun linsey-woolsey for women and a sort of jeans for the men. There were some few who wore buckskin, however. I remember seeing Jonathan Thorp and Jesse Egnon coming to church at John Hendrix’s house with buckskin pants and coonskin caps. I was at the first Methodist class organized at John Hendrix’s house after I was married. I was a member of that class, Parson James Stringfield organized it. I think in that class were John Hensdrix and wife, John Dawson’s wife and William Walker and wife, who were Presbyterians, but united, and I think also James Latta and wife and myself.
SELLING OUT TO BLOOMINGTON’S FOUNDER
"How long did you live there?"
We lived there till the spring of 1830, when we came on to the Mackinaw on the north side of the timber, west of where Lexington now is.
"Whom did you sell out to?"
To James Allin, but what the price was I do not remember.
"Did you know he was buying it for a town site?"
Yes, sir, that was the understanding. We came up on the Mackinaw on the 28th day of March, 1830, and lived in a tent for a while till another cabin was built, and we raised a good crop that year. We lived here six years, and then sold out in 1836 and went to Grundy county, Missouri, but I never lost my love for Blooming Grove. I loved its scenery and its people and often when here on visits would look back till the last tree was out of sight. We lived in Missouri till 1854, then moved to Iowa, and left the for Texas in 1856, where my husband died in 1857. I lived there some years and came back January 20, 1877, traveling alone.
The Pantagraph writer says of Mrs. Evans:
"She is seventy-two years of age but very active for her years. She is small, well proportioned, and has evidently had a wiry, elastic constitution, capable of great endurance, though with no great amount of muscular power. Her eyes are blue and she wore a black cap over her silvery hair. Her complexion is light and her features regular and in her youthful days she must have been pretty. Her memory of the past is clear and sharp. She rarely hesitates over a date and never over a name, giving proper names in full without difficulty."
Mrs. Delilah Mullin-Evans died at Lone Grove, Llano Co., Texas, October 16, 1888.
This interview with Mrs. Delilah Mullin-Evans was conducted 24 June,1881; published 4 July, 1881.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the first sale of lots in the town of Bloomington, which was celebrated at Franklin Square, July 4, 1881, the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph published this very valuable article. The same issue of the paper printed several other very important historical papers, not as yet published elsewhere in our local records.
Amos K. Colaw
One of the early and well known settlers on the prairie in Pleasant Valley township was A. K. Colaw, of this review. He was identified with the county as a farmer and stockman for nearly twenty-five years and became widely known as an industrious, successful and substantial man. In August, 1895, he left the farm and engaged, about the same date, in the hardware business in Chanute from which he retired three years later and is now simply one of the retired farmers of that city.
Mr. Colaw came to Wilson county from McLean county, Illinois, where his father settled in 1852, being an emigrant from Pendleton county, now West Virginia. In this latter county and state our subject was born September 23, 1841. His father was William Colaw, born also in Pendleton county, a successful farmer and becoming one of wealth and influence in his Illinois home. His birth occurred about 1804; he was of German origin and he married Sabina Grum who died in 1858 leaving the following children. Laben and Harmon, deceased; William, of Leroy, Illinois; Amos K.; Benjamin, deceased; Dyer, of McLean county, Illinois; Ellen, deceased wife of William Staten; Jane, who married William Frost, and both she and her husband are deceased.
Amos K. Colaw, our subject, acquired his education in the district schools of Illinois. He began life as a farmer and continued it as such till his final retirement in 1895. He enlisted in 1862 in Company F, Ninety-fourth Volunteer Infantry of Illinois, Col. McNulty, and their first year the regiment saw service in Missouri and Arkansas. The year following it was down on the Mississippi river around Vicksburg and below, to Mobile, and was finally sent to Texas where it was stationed at Brownsville and Galveston, leaving the state some time after the war ended. Mr. Colaw was in the battle of Prairie Grove, the siege and capture of Vicksburg, siege and capture of Forts Spanish and Morgan at Mobile and served through his term of enlistment as a private. He reached home in the summer of 1865, having given three of the best years of his life to the defense of his country and its flag.
Mr. Colaw came into Wilson county in the fall of 1871 with two teams and wagons and purchased the northwest quarter of section 3, township 28, range 16. He proceeded at once to the task of making a home on the bleak and unfriendly prairie. Short crops the first years brought want and starvation dangerously near to his door; at times his next meal being almost a matter of speculation. His family ate corn bread three times daily when they had it and when there was no meal c. b. did not appear so often. Having "weathered the crisis" the era of plenty dawned and remained a fixed fact to the great enjoyment of all industrious settlers of the farm.
In August, 1866, Mr. Colaw was married in McLean county, Illinois to Mary Graff, a daughter of Amelia Graff. The issue of this marriage is as follows. Charles, who was killed by accident in the smelter at Anaconda, Montana, at twenty-two years of age; Edward A., Bert, and Arly, all of Chanute. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]
Alfred R. Cloverdale
One of the enterprising and successful farmers of Neosho county, whose home is established in Grant township, is he whose name introduces this article. Farming and stock raising constitute his occupation and his ability to do both with marked success is a fact acknowledged by his cotemporaries of the art. For one whose experience with country life spans no more than a space of fifteen years and whose whole training was in an occupation so different from the commonplace life of the farm that there is no comparison, he has done admirably and maintains himself upon a plane of financial independence enviable to many who have known no other pursuit.
Alfred B. Cloverdale was born in Hendricks county, Indiana, February 6, 1854, and was a son of Reuben Cloverdale and Elizabeth Riley. The father was a native of Deleware [sic] and the mother of Indiana. The former was engaged in many vocations during his long and active life, from farmer through the category of miller, woolen manufacturer, horse dealer and back again to farming when he came to Kansas. He moved into Illinois in 1861 and remained in that state till 1884 when he took up his abode in Neosho county where he died in 1890 at the age of seventy-two years. His first wife died at the age of thirty-six years and he was married a. second time, the second union being productive of five children and the first one of four.
Our subject was residing near Danville, Illinois, when he was approaching the years of personal responsibility. The country school furnished him with a fair education which controled [sic] his life for so many years and from which it was no easy matter to divorce himself. He began work for the I. B. & W. railway as a brakeman and after seven years was promoted to conductor and as such he served that road and the Big Four and Wabash railroads for a period of twenty-six years. He made three attempts to get away from the road before he succeeded. In 1885 he first resolved to quit and he came out to Neosho county and purchased a quarter section of land. The contrast between the farm and the excitement of the train service was so great that he was unable to endure the lonesomeness of the latter and went back to the railroad. In 1895 he tried to become a practical farmer the second time and left the road to do so but the result was the same as at first. He returned to the Wabash railroad and spent three more years, leaving his family on the farm, and at the end of that period he had schooled himself into a reconciliation to the farm and he has since found contentment in the raising of his horses, cattle, hogs and mules, and in the other interests which a systematic and ambitious farmer always has. Mr. Cloverdale was married October 1, 1878, to Miss Rosa B. Harmison who was born in McLean county, Illinois. By this union there are six children, viz., Alice B., wife of Oscar Remby, residing in Canada; Grace A.; James; A.; Anna S.; Clara Marie and Frank A. Mr. Cloverdale is a member of the Order of Railway Conductors. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]
John W. Beach
John W. Beach, of Chetopa township, was born in Adams county, Ohio, May 4, 1853. His father was William Beach and his mother, before marriage, Margaret Campbell, both of whom were also natives of Adams county, Ohio, where their parents settled in early Indian days. Mr. Beach's paternal grandfather, John Beach, came from one of the New England states, and his maternal grandfather, Matthew Campbell, from the north of Ireland, the former descended of old Colonial stock, of Puritan faith, and the latter of Scotch-Irish antecedents, of Presbyterain [sic] faith. They were sturdy, self-reliant people, noted for their large physical mould, strong powers of endurance, clean, wholesome private lives, deep religious convictions and ardent patriotic sentiments. They were part of the vanguard of civilization who in the early days of our country drove back the Indians, felled the forests, opened up the farms and established in the haunts of the red men the arts and industries of civilized life. John Beach was a soldier in the second war with Great Britain (1812-15). William Beach, father of John W., was in the civil war, a member of the 94th Illinois volunteer infantry, with which he served in the Army of the Cumberland till his discharge from the same as a result of disability contracted in the service and from the effects of which he died in 1867. Our subject's mother died when he was an infant.
John W. Beach was reared in the family of his paternal grandparents in his native county in Ohio till he was thirteen years old when they, moving to Crawford county, Illinois, his youth was passed in that county, in the schools of which he received the average educational advantages.
On February 29, 1876, Mr. Beach married in McLean county, Illinois, Frances I. Smith, a native of that county and daughter of Joel and Mary (Warner) Smith, and settling on a farm was engaged in agricultural pursuits there some nine years. He then moved to Kansas, locating, October, 1885, in Chetopa township, Neosho county, where he bought what is known as the old Runyon place, it being the south-east quarter of section 16, township 29, range 18 east, on which he took up his residence and has there since lived. The place when it came into Mr. Beach's hands, was in the condition of most of the early day claims, practically unimproved and afforded him an excellent opportunity for the expenditure of all the energies of his young manhood. He entered on the task of building a home and surrounding himself with some of the comforts of life, and with great zeal and energy has succeeded to the extent of having one of the most valuable and attractive farmsteads in the township. The primitive shack of the earlier years has given place to a substantial two-story residence and the Kansas haysheds to a good barn and granaries, while the monotony of the landscape is relieved with orchard, shade and ornamental trees, the entire place enclosed with fence and properly cross-fenced. A sentence or two suffices to tell the story of the transformation, but they convey no adequate idea of the labor involved. Only those who have gone through the experiences of digging out of the virgin soil of a Kansas prairie and winning from the adverse forces of nature a home with all its equipments and appointments can know the magnitude of the undertaking, the toil, self-denial and heart-aches involved. This represents, in a great measure, Mr. Beach's accomplishments since coming to Kansas seventeen years ago. Along with it he has developed some character, and, as a citizen with the best interests of his neighborhood and county at heart has borne his full share of those labors which fall to the lot of all. His straight-forward business methods displayed in the conduct of his own affairs has commended him to his fellow citizens as one fit to be trusted with the transaction of public matters and he has in consequence held some sort of public office for more than half the time he has been in the county. For three years he was county commissioner, five years township trustee and is now serving his third year as township treasurer. A Republican in politics, he has affiliated actively with his party and given the ticket an earnest and effective support and has in turn been supported by those of his political faith where ever questions involving party principles were at issue, though in local matters the lines have not been very strictly drawn. Mr. Beach has a family of four sons and four daughters, some of whom are verging onto manhood and womanhood, but all except the oldest remain under the parental roof. These are Evan, Mabel, William, Raymond, Lena, Irl, Fay and Ava Margaret. He belongs to the Fraternal Aid Society, the Home Builders Union and the United Brethren church. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by Vicki Bryan]
The agricultural and stock-raising industry of Neosho county has known but few more successful representatives than Abner Horr, and none more worthy or honorable. He moved to the county in 1869, became immediately identified with this industry and gave to it thirty-five of the most active years of his life, retiring from it only recently in the enjoyment of a well-earned competence and the distinction of an unsullied name.
Mr. Horr migrated from McLean county, Illinois, to Neosho county, Kansas, being a native of the former place, born August 26, 1840. His father was Josiah Horr, a native of New York and his mother, before marriage, Temperance Cheney, native of Ohio. The parents were early settlers of Illinois, where they passed the greater part of their lives, the mother dying there, aged seventy years, the father dying while on a visit to his children in Kansas in 1880, aged eighty years.
Abner Horr was the fourth in a family of six children and was reared in the county of his birth, being brought up on the farm and receiving the meager education of the public schools of that day. He remained with his parents and worked for them until about the time of reaching his majority, when in February, 1861, he married Emeline Martin, a native of McLean county, Illinois, and with his young wife settled to himself and began farming on his own account. In 1864 his wife died and shortly afterward he enlisted in the Union Army, Company B, 150th Illinois volunteer infantry, and served till the close of the war, his command being held as part of a reserve corps and engaged in garrison and outpost duty.
On July 3, 1866, Mr. Horr married Maria Rodman of McLean county, Illinois, and again settling on a farm engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native county till coming to Kansas in 1869. On settling in Neosho county this state, Mr. Horr took a claim on the prairies in Ladore township. He was one of the first to settle on the prairies, the belief then being that nothing away from the river and not covered with timber was worth having. Once settled, the labors and hardships began, and what these were, whether the resisting elements of nature, the plagues of grasshoppers and chintz bugs or the great fight against the railroad for the land itself, Mr. Horr went through it all, bearing his part and discharging in full measure his duties as a citizen of the community where he lived. The contests of those early years called for the best there was in the settlers, and as is well known many were not equal to the demand made on them; but most of those who proved themselves to be so, profited well by their early residence in the county and the efforts they made. Mr. Horr is one of the number. His faith in the country was never seriously shaken and being of an earnest, sanguine temperament he never doubted his ability to make the soil of Neosho county yield him enough to keep him in comfort in old age.
The growing and handling of stock formed, from the first, an important feature of Mr. Horr's operations and he has probably done as much as any man in Neosho county who has not made a specialty of fine stock breeding, to raise the grade and improve the strain of the stock of the county. He has also been a large feeder, feeding his own and buying, feeding and shipping the surplus of his neighbors. In this he took great interest and met with more than ordinary success. But in the spring of 1902, owing to positive indications of declining health, his farm was stripped of its herds, pens and stables and the period of actual retirement began; and now after thirty-five years of great activity, with a mind still clear and a keen interest in all things around him, he finds himself, as he says, with nothing to do but to nurse the infirmities of age, a task which, it can be readily understood, weighs heavily upon him and is as hard for one of his temperament and ways of life to bear as any of the hard ships he knew in former years. But the companion of his early years yet abides with him and he has a pleasant home, a commodious residence deep set in grove of trees, planted by his own hand on an eight hundred acre homestead, and these things of a material nature supplemented by the attentions of good neighbors, go far towards making his declining years all that one might reasonably expect.
To Mr. and Mrs. Horr have been born six children, namely, Emma, who died February 28, 1901, aged thirty-three years; Tempie, who died July 28, 1888, aged twenty-two years; May, who died October 31, 1901, aged twenty three; Josiah, who married Minnie A. Sperry and resides in Neosho county, Kansas, and Misses Mattie and Sadie, who are teachers in the Neosho county public schools and make their home with their parents. One daughter by the first marriage, Mary C., wife of Allen F. Corthon, lives at Ottumwa, Iowa. Mrs. Horr was born in Shelby county, Illinois, August 4, 1839. Her father was William Rodman and her mother's maiden name Emily Harmon, the former a native of New York and the latter a native of Illinois. Her parents came to Kansas and settled in Neosho county in 1870 and died there, the father at the age of seventy-two and the mother at the age of seventy. Mrs. Horr was the eldest of a family of nine, the others being Ruth Ann, James, William, David, Mary J., Nancy, Laura and Jackson. The Rodmans like the Horrs were people of honorable birth, upright in character, and ambitious for achievement. Mrs. Horr has had a large part in the success of her husband and this brief sketch would be lacking in completeness if it did not accord to her a fair measure of credit for the achievements here mentioned. Both bear their success with that simplicity and modesty which characterize persons of good breeding and genuine worth. Mr. Horr died early in July, 1902.[Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]
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