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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



GEORGE CHURCH, a resident of McLean, Mt. Hope Township, is one of the old settlers of this county. Mr. Church was born at Rome, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, Feb. 18, 1822. His father, Calvin Church, was born in East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Conn., and the paternal grandfather of our subject, Joseph Church, was likewise a native of Connecticut and of English ancestry. The grandfather spent his entire life in the State of his nativity, and died on his farm near East Haddam, where he had lived all his life. The father of our subject was reared on the latter farm, and when a young man went to Ashtabula County, Ohio, where he was united in marriage with Miss Susan Crowell. She was born in the Nutmeg State, and removed with her parents to Ohio when three years old. Her father, William Crowell, was one of the first settlers in Rome, Ohio. He bought timber land and improved a farm in the neighborhood of that place, and there spent the latter years of his life. Our subject's father also bought timber land near the same place, which he occupied until 1833, when he sold it and removed to Geauga County, Ohio, and located at Thompson. He bought a house, acted in the capacity of mine host," and also engaged in merchandising at that place, making it his home until his death, in 1857. His wife died at the residence of her son in Akron, Ohio.

The subject of this notice was the eldest son born to his parents, and assisted his father in the store and about the hotel, making his home with his parents until 1844. He then went to Leesville, Conn., and engaged in a cotton-mill, to learn cotton dressing. He worked in this place for a year and a half, when he embarked in the cotton business in Battenville, N. Y., and was thus occupied for two years. Returning to Ohio he operated his father's hotel for a time and then served as Postmaster at Thompson. In 1856 he came to Shipman, Macoupin Co., Ill., and in the fall of that year located on a farm and was there occupied for a little more than a year. At the expiration of that time he moved to Bloomington, and leasing a hotel kept public house for a year and a half, after which time he rented a farm in Mt. Hope Township, and for some years thereafter was occupied in farming on rented land. In 1860 our subject removed to the village of McLean, where he has continued to reside until the present time. From 1876 to 1883 he clerked in the mercantile establishment of F. A. Wheelock, and previous to that time he had been engaged in the fire insurance business. He also served eight years as Deputy Sheriff, and has held the positions of Constable, City Justice and Township and Town Clerk.

Mr. Church was married to Miss Margarette Hall in 1851. She was born in Rhode Island, and has borne our subject four children: Susan T., the wife of William T. Gibbs; William G. and Clara E. are residents of McLean; the latter is the wife of William M. King, Postmaster of McLean; Lizzie died in infancy. Mr. Church is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and holds fellowship with Lodge No. 469 of McLean. In politics he is a stanch Republican.

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), 278. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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