Putnam County, Illinois History and Genealogy
|J. C. and Carrie M. (Read) Bacon
Emory C., Bacon, Susan L (Ash) Bacon
A valuable and well improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres on section 28, Senachwine Township, Putnam County, is the property of J. C. Bacon and in the midst of the well tilled fields stands his fine country residence and substantial farm buildings, the entire place having a neat and well kept appearance which indicates the supervision and practical methods of the owner, whose knowledge and experience in farming matters have gained him a foremost place among the agriculturists of the county. This farm was his birthplace, his natal day being April 12, 1860. His father Emory C. Bacon was born in Huron County Ohio, December 9, 1830 and came to Putnam County with his father Samuel C. Bacon, at an early day. The grandfather purchased land in Senachwine Township - a part of the farm now owned by our subject and was thus identified with farming interests in pioneer times. On the 21st of January, 1854, Emory Bacon was married to Susan L. Ash, who was born in Hennepin Township, Putnam County, July 28, 1833, a daughter of Joseph Ash, who had settled in the township the year previous, becoming one of the earliest residents of this part of the state. Emory C. Bacon was engaged in general agricultural pursuits and thus provided for his family until after the outbreak of the Civil War, when, feeling that his country needed his aid, he enlisted in defense of the Union and died in the hospital when his son, J. C. Bacon, was only two years old. His widow afterward married Amborse Bacon, a distant relative of her first husband, but both are now deceased. Mrs. Bacon died in 1871 upon the farm where her son J. C. Bacon now resides. On the six children of the family, four died in infancy. A brother, Clifford Bacon, lives in Tiskilwa, while half-sister, now Mrs. M. B. Drake, is living in Helena, Montana.
J. C. Bacon was eleven years of age when his mother died. He then went to live with an uncle, Lawrence Lippert, who resided in Hennepin Township, and with whom he resided until he attained his majority. He attended the district schools and later had the advantage of a course in the Illinois State Normal. When twenty-one years of age he came into possession of the old home farm of one hundred and twenty acres by buying out the interests of the other heirs, and he then took up faming on his own account and has added to the place until he now owns three hundred and forty acres of land. The soil is rich and productive and his attention is given to the cultivation of various cereals. Well tilled, the fields bring forth abundant harvests and his business is profitably conducted. The latest improved machinery facilitates the work of the fields and he keeps in touch with the progress made along scientific lines for the benefit of the farmer.
Mr. Bacon was married April 12, 1882, to Miss Carrie M. Read, who was born in Henry, Marshall County, a daughter of R. L. and Mary A. (Brocaw) Read, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. Her father, who has been a carpenter all of his life, is still living in Henry, at the age of eighty-one years. At the time of the gold discoveries in the west he went to Pike's peak, but for many years he has made his home in this portion of the state and in earlier years was closely associated with building interests. Mrs. Bacon was a student in the public schools of Henry and later attended the State Normal, at Normal, Illinois. She taught school in both Bureau and Putnam Counties prior to her marriage. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bacon have been born six children: Samuel, Eugene, Ralph, Beryl, Susa and Elsie. All are yet with their parents and Beryl is attending the State Normal. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Henry and the members of the household are prominent in the social circles where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports of good society. Mr. Bacon votes with the Republican Party. He has served as road commissioner one term and is now serving for the third year as assessor, and he regards a public office as a public trust, to the duties of which he is ever most faithful. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Putnam. With little assistance at the outset of his career, Mr. Bacon has made steady progress on the highroad to prosperity by utilizing the means at hand and his own abilities to the best advantage. The duty which has come to him each day he has performed and has thus found inspiration and encouragement for the labors of the succeeding day, and the rewards of honorable labor are now his.
[Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, By John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, Printed by the Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago, 1907, Page 168, 171]
| FRANK J. BAIRD
Attorney and dealer in real estate. Was born in Brown county, Ohio, May 14, 1838, remaining there until nine years of age, when with his parents he removed to Putnam county, Illinois, settling on a farm with his father in 1847. The latter was a non-commissioned officer in the war of 1812, and served through the campaign. Our subject was educated at the University of Michigan, graduating in the law class of 1865. Then came to Kansas City, Mo., engaged in the practice of his profession, but on account of failing health, and feeling confident of the future of this city, he became engaged in the real estate business. This he has since followed with marked success. During the late war Mr. Baird was a lieutenant in the 138th Illinois Infantry.
[Source: The History of Jackson county, Missouri: By Union Historical Company 1881]
Mrs. Ann Barnhart
Another Pioneer Gone
The name of Barnhart is familiar to Snachwine township, and old Peter Barnhart, who died a few years ago, was one of its first settlers. His wife, Ann, has just followed him beyond the vale, and was buried on Christmas, Rev. C. David of Henry conducting the services.
Mrs. Barnhart was a native of Pennsylvania, left an orphan at an early age. What her maiden name was is not known by her children, nor her exact age. January 1, 1824, she was married to Peter Barnhart in Hamilton county, Ohio. Eight years after, in 1832, they moved to Illinois, occupying a cabin on a piece of land a few miles southeast of Lacon. The next year they purchased the farm now owned by Mr. W. W. Hancock east of Lacon in Hopewell township, who sold it to Mr. Hancock, and then moved over upon this side of the river. Mrs. Barnhart had many experiences with the Indians in her day and passed through the Blackhawk war with a clear record of narrow escapes and severe trials of those times. On this side the family settled on the David Culver farm, thence to the Templeton place, remaining a summer each, thence moving to Snachwine along side of J. R. Taliaferro and Condit, building a cabin and opening a farm, owning at one time 1000 broad acres, most of it in one tract.
The family consisting of nine children, 7 boys and 2 girls, six surviving the parents. John, William and Ira remain in Snachwine; Martha Hoselton, who has married a second time, lives at Quincy Iowa; James Barnhart in Clinton county, Iowa; and Asa Barnhart at La Veta, Colorado.
Mrs. Barnhart was a woman of remarkable physical vigor. She was never sick, and was able to help herself up to a week of her death. When she gave up, she yielded her spirit and was gone. She was truly a pioneer woman, with all the characteristics of the early days. She was warm hearted, kind, neighborly, highly esteemed,a nd had lived a useful, industrious, noble, womanly life. Her funeral was attended by a large concourse of old friends and acquaintances in spite of the extreme severity of Christmas day. --Taken From the Henry Republican, January 1, 1880
Andrew and Simon Beck
Simon Beck, an influential citizen and well-to-do farmer, owning and operating one hundred and thirty-eight acres of land, which lies on section 31, Hennepin township, is a native of Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, his natal year being 1854.
His father Andrew Beck, was likewise born in Lebanon county, October 8, 1819, and he was there married in April 1848, to Miss Elizabeth Clemens, also a native of that country, born October 30, 1825. They remained in their native place, where the father engaged in farming, until 1865, when they made their way westward, coming to Putnam county, making the journey from the east by rail to Bureau Junction, from which place they continued their journey to Hennepin, this county. The family home was established on Hennepin prairie, where the father rented a tract of land and continued his operations as an agriculturist.
Mrs. Beck was very lonely after coming to this country and often longed and cried for her old home in Pennsylvania. Her husband would try to console her by telling her of the success which they would enjoy later on in their new home, although he, too, was equally as lonely, and he would then go to the barn and resort to tears. They, however, worked on earnestly and persistently until they acquired a competence that after a few years enabled them to purchase land, this being a part of the property which is now operated by the son, Simon. There the father continued his operations and made his home until his death, wich occurred August 27, 1892, being found dead in his bed. He had been in poor health for several years, but upon retiring the night previous to his death was feeling as well as usual, but was found dead in the morning, his death supposed to have resulted from heart failure. Both he and his wife were reared in the faith of the Lutheran church, but after their removal to Illinois they became identified with the Methodist denomination.
The father was a democrat in his political affiliation, but was never active as an officer seeker, preferring rather to concentrate his time and energies upon his private interests. After his death, the property was divided among his heirs, and his widow still survives, now making her home in the village of Florid with a sister of her husband. Although Mrs. Beck is in the eighty-first year she retians her mental faculties to a remarkable degree and is still an intelligent and interesting old lady. In the family of this worthy couple were four child, of whom our subjest was the third in order of birth and he is the only one surviving at the present time, a son and daughter having died in Pennsylvania previous to the removal of the family to this state, while a brother, Jerry, died in Granville in August 1906.
Simon Beck was reared and educated in the Keystone state to the age of twelve years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Putnam county, where he continued his education in the country schools of this county and assisted his father in the operation of the old homestead farm until he attained his majority. He then made arrangements for having a home of his own, by his marriage to Miss Sarah Celemsn, who was born in Virginia. Her father, Jerry Clemens, removed to Putnam county about 1865, but later took up his abode in Carroll county, Missouri, where he died in the spring of 1906, having reached the venerable age of eighty-four years, while his wife was called to her final rest several years previous.
Following his marriage Mr. Beck located on the old homestead, operating his father's land until the latter's death, when, upon the division of the estate, our subject came into possession of a tract of eighty acres of land which was unimproved, save that a small frame house had been erected thereon. He took up his abode on his newly inherited property and at once began to develop and improve the land, and in due course of time he ........(continued page 508 - not copied). - Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, By John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, Page 507, Printed by the Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago, 1907
Jefferson R. Boulware
JEFFERSON R. BOULWARE, of Peoria, died April 8, 1913. While attending a meeting of this Association and in conference as a member of the Committee on Grievances, he was stricken with apoplexy, from the shock of which he died during the day. His death was noticed in the Report of the Committee, and on motion of Mr. Albert Watson, chairman of the committee, a resolution of sympathy was adopted by the Association. (Proceedings of the Association, 1913, pages 311-313.)
He was born in Putnam County, Illinois, July 27, 1867, and attended the neighborhood schools there and in Clark County, Missouri, to which latter county his father's family removed; and he was graduated from LaGrange College, Missouri, in the class of 1886. He was a student in a Law School in St. Louis, and is understood to have been admitted to the bar in Missouri. He taught school at Petersburg, Illinois. He removed to Peoria for the pursuit of his profession as a lawyer about 1896, and afterwards was in practice there. He married Miss Jeannette L. Hicks, of Pittsfield, Illinois, who survived him as his widow.
While in practice in Peoria, he was a member of the firms of Mansfield and Boulware, and Whitmore, Barnes & Boulware, respectively, and was as a representative, a member of the 43rd General Assembly of Illinois, 1902-1904.
[Source: Annual report of the Illinois State Bar Association - Page 129, Illinois State Bar Association - 1917]
The parents of Edward H. Boyle were Abner and Matilda (Wilson) Boyle. The father was born in Bedford County, Virginia and was but three years old when his parents removed to Kentucky, settling in Todd County, where he grew to manhood. In 1828 they came to Illinois, and, for a few months lived in Danville. In the spring of 1829 they went to Putnam County, where Abner Boyle took up a quarter-section of government land. Improving that place he continued to dwell there until the autumn of 1882, when he retired, and made his home in Lostant until his death, in March, 1886, when he was in his seventy-ninth year. His widow, whose death took place in 1892, was almost ninety years of age at that time. She was a devoted member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Boyle was a typical pioneer, undaunted by obstacles, hard-working and hopeful. He participated in the Black Hawk war, and was active in all the affairs of his community for years. Several times he served as a supervisor in Putnam County. In former years he was a Whig and later was identified with the Republican Party. At the time that he settled on Ox Bow prairie in 1829, he and his brothers built a cabin of rough logs, rudely piled together, the roof made of "shakes." The spaces between the logs were unfilled and windows and chimneys were not required, as all of the cooking was performed out of doors. The first season, in addition to building this simple cabin, they planted and raised twenty acres of corn, the yield being from fifty to sixty bushels to the acre. This corn was conveyed to the mills on the Mackinaw river, fifty miles away, and, with a plentiful supply of venison, the hardy pioneers fared quite comfortably the ensuing winter. Their needs were few and simple and they really enjoyed their quiet, humble life. In 1830 Mr. Boyle was appointed postmaster of Ox Bow, by President Pierce. It cost twenty-five cents to send letters in those days and the work of postmaster was so nominal that Mr. Boyle soon resigned. He frequently made trips to Chicago with wheat, receiving only forty cents a bushel.
The first circuit court convened in Putnam County was held on the first Monday in May, 1831, and, in accordance with the law, the county commissioners had selected the house of Thomas Gallagher, on the bank of the Illinois River, about a quarter of a mile above the trading post kept by Thomas Hartzell, as the place where the court should be held. On the appointed day the people of that section assembled and as no clerk had as yet been provided the judge appointed Hooper Warren and fixed his official bond at two thousand dollars, his sureties being John Dixon and Henry Thorn. The sheriff then gravely announced that the court was considered in session, and the grand jurors were duly chosen and sworn in. They were as follows: Daniel Dimmick, Elijah Epperson, Henry Thomas, Leonard Roth, Jesse Williams, Israel Archer, James Warnock, john L. Ramsey, William Hames, John Strawn, Samuel Laughlin (foreman), David Boyle, Stephen Willis, Jeremiah Strawn, Abraham Stratten and Nelson Shepherd. After the division of Putnam County, the first election held was on August 1, 1834, the officials to be elected being a member of congress, a justice of the peace, and a constable for each precinct. The vote was small, and each voter called out the name of the person whom he desired to take the office, the clerk, writing this down, opposite the name of the voter, in the poll book. This election was held in Sandy precinct, at the houses of Jesse Robert, John H. Shaw and Abner Boyle.
Edward Harrison Boyle, who was born in Hennepin, Illinois, February 14, 1837, was one of six children, two sons and four daughters. Two of the number are deceased; William A. resides in Burton, Kansas, Caroline is the widow of John Griffith and lives in Lostant, and Artemesa, the youngest,, lives with her brother, our subject, neither of them ever having married. William A. is a hero of the civil war, as for nearly three years he was a member of Vaughn's battery, was stationed at Little Rock for some time, assisted in taking that city, and was in the command of General Steele.
[Source: Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County, Illinois, Volume 2, Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Biography of Edward H. Boyle]
Abner Boyle who died at Lostant on Friday, was one of the pioneers of Putnam County, locating on the farm he still owned in 1829.
He was a native of Bedford Co. Va, born in 1808. A portion of his early life was spent in Kentucky. He moved to Illinois in 1829. Married Matilda Wilson in 1834 (correction - married Nov. 24, 1831), five children resulting. He was the first Post Master in Putnam County, located at Magnolia. He has also represented the county as supervisor and assessor. He owns about 800 acres of land, lying in Putnam and LaSalle counties. Mr. Boyle was one of God’s noblemen, conscientious, strictly moral and upright in all his dealings and intercourse. Beloved as father, neighbor, citizen and friend and departs at the sundown of a usefull, well ordered and successful lifes work. --TAKEN FROM THE HENRY NEWS REPUBLICAN, HENRY, IL, Thursday, Mar. 11, 1886
Mrs. Isabel (Worrell) Ball
BALL, Mrs. Isabel Worrell, pioneer woman journalist of the West, born in a log cabin near Hennepin, Putnam county, Ill., 13 March, 1855 She was educated in public schools and academies, her favorite study being history. Her father was a lawyer, and at the age of thirteen years she began to study with him, gaining a fair knowledge of law. In 1873 her family removed to western Kansas. She rode over the prairies, assisting in herding her father's stock, learning to throw a lasso with the dexterity of a cowboy, and to handle a gun. The outdoor life restored her health. She taught the first public school in Pawnee county, Kans., her school district including the whole immense county. She was the second woman to be appointed a notary public in Kansas. She held positions in committee clerkships of the Kansas legislature from 1876 to 1886, and served as press reporter from 1877 to 189o. Her journalistic work began in 1881. In New Mexico and Arizona she had many experiences with the Indians, and gathered much interesting material for future work. She practically "lived in a little gripsack." The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was being built and she was special correspondent for the Albuquerque "Daily Journal." Her life was often in danger from Navajoe and Apache Indians. Once the boarding train was surrounded by the Indians, and escape entirely cut off by washouts. The little dwelling, a box car, was riddled with bullets, and two men were killed, but Mrs. Ball escaped unhurt. For two years she lived in that wild country, seeing no woman's face, save that of a squaw, for three months at a time. In 1882 she returned to Kansas and acted for three years as editor of the Larned "Chronoscope." Removing to Topeka in 1886, she was made assistant secretary of the State Historical Society. After filling an editorial position on the "Commonwealth," in 1888 she became literary critic of the Kansas City "Daily Times." In 1889 she changed to the Kansas City "Star," and in the fall of 1891 she removed to Washington and entered upon special journalistic work. Meanwhile she had contributed many sketches to eastern periodicals. In 1889 she was prominent in the formation of the Western Authors' and Artists' Club, which meets annually in Kansas City, and of which Mrs. Ball is the secretary and master spirit. Her marriage to H. M. Ball occurred in 1887.
(American Women Fifteen Hundred Biographies, Volume 1, Publ. 1897 Transcribed by Marla Snow)
Mrs. Mildred A. Bonham
BONHAM, Mrs. Mildred A., traveler and journalist, born in Magnolia, Ill., in August, 1840. She is of southern blood from Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee ancestry. Her parents removed to Oregon in 1847, settling in the Willamette valley. In 1858 she became the wife of Judge B. F. Bonham, of Salem, Ore. In 1885 Judge Bonham was appointed Consul-General to British India, and removed his family to Calcutta the same year. Mrs. Bonham had always a liking for literary work, but the cares of a large family and social duties gave her scant leisure, and it was not until her residence abroad the opportunity came. During five years her letters over the name "Mizpah " attracted much attention and were widely copied by the Oregon and California press. Mrs. Bonham has a gift of observing closely, and her descriptions of foreign scenes make a valuable addition to our knowledge of Anglo-Indian life and customs. Her letters from the Himalayas, the island of Ceylon and other notable places are the best. Her deepest sympathy was aroused by the miserable condition and soul-starvation of the women of India, and she set about relieving, so far as lay in her power, their cheerless lot. By her personal appeal a Hindoo girl was educated by a number of young ladies of Salem The child became a home missionary Through Mrs. Bonham
s further efforts a fund of one-thousand dollars was raised to found a perpetual scholarship Since her return to the United States she has given several lectures on her experiences in the far East, life among the Zenanas, and kindred subjects.
(American Women Fifteen Hundred Biographies, Volume 1, Publ. 1897 Transcribed by Marla Snow)
The paternal grandfather of our subject was David Boyle, who was born in Virginia and was of Irish descent. He was a farmer by occupation, and came to Illinois at an early day. He reared several children and died when in the prime of manhood.
The maternal grandfather, Thornton Wilson, a native of Kentucky, was of Scotch descent. He came to this state in 1825 and first located near Elkhart Grove and Springfield. At the end of five years he removed to a farm in Putnam County, where he died in March 1835, leaving a large family to mourn his loss.
[Source: Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County, Illinois, Volume 2, Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Biography of Edward H. Boyle]
Eliza A. Camp
Eliza A. Camp, nee Ham, widow of Abner Camp, is one of the honored and highly esteemed residents of Henry, Illinois. She was born in Dover, New Hampshire, April 27, 1817, and is a daughter of Titus and Nancy (Purse) Ham, natives of New Hampshire and Massachusetts respectively. She is descended from good old Revolutionary stock, her parental granfather having aided the colonies in their struggle for independence, while her father was valiant soldier of the war of 1812. By occupation the latter was a farmer, and was a man widely and favorably known. He died at Dover, New Hampshire, as did also his faithful wife. In their family were eight children, two sons and six daughters, of whom four are still living. Mary, a sister of our subject, is the wife of David Littlefield, of New Hampshire; Louisa is the widow of Leander Hough, and a resident of Massachusetts; and Carie E. completes the family.
Since 1852, Mrs. Camp has been a resident of Henry, Illinois, where was celebrated her marriage with Abner Camp in 1853. He was a native of New York, and from 1870 until 1887, conducted a hotel at Henry, of which place he was an old and respected resident. In politics he was an ardent republican, and was a great temperance worker. He was well known and honored throughout the community as a man of inflexible honor and stability of character.
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Camp; Clara Belle, who is with her mother, and Charles A., who is now conducting the Camp house.
From the Biographical Record Published in 1896
Donated by Lois Osborn
Taken From the Biographical History of Crawford, Ida, and Sac counties, Iowa by the Lewis Publishing Company Chicago: 1893 pg. 508
James Carton is one of the well-known and enterprising citizens of Cedar township and a resident on section 21. He was born in Antrim County, Ireland, June 1, 1833 a son of James Carton, Sr., who was born in the same place, and the name of his mother was Elizabeth Troland Carton, a native of the same county in Ireland. There the parents died, and there our subject grew up and attended school until he was twenty years of age.
At that time he left the old country and came to America, landing at Philadelphia and making his way to Chester county, in that state, where he remained for one year, and then removed to Putnam County, Illinois, and lived there many years. One year he spent in Cherokee county, Kansas, but later returned to Illinois, and in 1879 came to Sac county Iowa. After coming to Cedar township he first improved a good farm on section 4, and then sold it and bought eighty acres where he now lives, and this he has well improved also. Some of it had been improved by Asbury Young, and is now a good and valuable farm, having on it an excellent residence of six rooms, a good yard and lawn and grove with a fine orchard. There is plenty of small fruit, sheds, stables, yards, pastures and meadows, and all in good condition.
Our subject was married February 28, 1862 in Putnam County, Illinois, to Miss Julia D. Packingham, a woman of great intelligence and many graces of mind and person. She was a native of Putnam County, Illinois, was born and reared there, and received her education in the schools of that state. She was a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Dysart) Packingham, natives of Pennsylvania, whose last years were passed in Illinois. They reared a family of four sons and four daughter.
Our subject and wife reared a family of five children: James P.,k Archie Lorenzo, John Calvin; Susan Elizabeth, the wife of Frank Hamilton, of Early; and Mary Luella, wife of Leon E. Jaynes, of Early. Our subject is one of the enrolled Republicans of his neighborhood, and has held some of the positions of confidence in the township. He was for some time on the school board. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Cedar, and is a man of great good sense. Mrs. Carton is also a member of Cedar Methodist Episcopal Church. They are well-informed and hospitable people and Mr. Carton is regarded as one of the most reliable citizens of the county.
Judge Augustus Cassell
January 3, 1813 and February 8, 1901 are the dates by which are identified the life of Augustus Cassell. One whose long life was one of activity and usefulness. A kind and loving friend and neighbor, none knew him but to love and honor him.
Augustus Cassell was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania January 3, 1813. Coming west in 1836 and settling in Putnam County. His wife was formerly Miss Mary Baar, to whom he was married November 14, 1832, she being also a native of Lebanon. To this union were born 9 children. John H. , William B., Sarah A., Allson K., Rufus L., Mary E., Isador, Augustus, and Sidney. Three of which the reaper death hath gathered into his fold. Both himself and wife were members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Cassell was a cabinet maker by trade and very ingenious in the use of tools. For several years, he owned and conducted a steam saw mill, and was once a mercantile business at Florid. He was elected county judge in 1872 and again in 1876 and was Justice of the Peace for 27 years. Mr. Cassell's last sickness was of but short duration, although he had been failing in health for some time. But patiently he bore it, and seemed waiting to be born by angels hands to that celestial home above, where we'll never know a sorrow when we are there. Many times during the day, he spoke of going home to Jesus. The remains were taken to Florid and placed beside those of his wife and children, Monday, February 11, at 10:00 AM. --TAKEN FROM THE PUTNAM RECORD, HENNEPIN, IL, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1901
Cortlandt R. Condit
Taken From The Henry Republican, Henry, Illinois
September 29, 1870
Cortlandt Rodman Condit was born in the village of Hudson, New York, November 22, 1802 and in that place his early boyhood was passed, until the claims of a more thorough education came, with additional years, when he applied himself to liberal efforts in that direction, studying with unabating zeal, not only the best known methods of business and trade, but also spent come considerable time in studying for the legal profession, in which study he had for classmate the afterwards renowned statesman and scholar, Martin Van Buren.
Thoroughly qualified by education – and some experience – for trade, he commenced by engaging in the grocery business, corner of Broome and Bowery streets, New York city, where he built up a prosperous business. In 1826 he married Mary L. Teneyck, who as wife and mother, shared the vicissitudes of his long and varied life.
Selling out in New York City, in company with a partner, he commenced business in a town in Pennsylvania. This partnership resulted disastrously, as the partner, taking advantage of the confidence of Mr. C. secured to himself the entire business of concern, leaving him no alternate but to return to New York, where after a while he sold out to advantage, and then concluded to come west, where land was cheap, and undertake the business of farming.
With this view he came to Madison county, Illinois in 1834, where he purchased a farm for $1000. After living on it about a year, he sold it for $1600, and in search of more favored localities he came to Marshall county, and landed at Lacon, where he came near trading for a place known as the Swan farm, and would have done so only he wanted more land. He took a claim on what is now the “Merritt” farm in the lower end of Henry prairie, selling the same after a while to Nehemiah Merritt, and finally laid claim on what is now the Condit homestead in Snachwine, Putnam county, where he erected a house of the primitive kind, occupying it in 1835.
No land was subject to entry as yet, and the trading in real estate was all done on the claim basis; nor was the land at that early day very valuable. When, however, in 1839 land could be entered at the land office in Dixon, through the solicitations of Mrs. Condit, her husband was induced to purchase the quarter on which the residence now stands, and her own careful savings, made from the loose change of the past few years, (and which but for her, might have been spent, as were larger sums, in the “free and easy” times of which we are writing), furnished the money to buy it. This purchase was the nucleus of the large estate, now embracing some 900 acres, mostly in a body, and now worth not less than $50,000.
The early stages of Mr. C.’s farm life, were not as prosperous in a pecuniary sense, as were the last 10 or 15 years, thought the raising of large quantities of grain and large annual yields of stock, principally cattle, were never disconnected from good results on the right side of the ledger. These results led to buying more land, and improvements in buildings, and the present brick dwelling took the place of the original one in 1849 or ’50.
Mr. Condit was the fortunate possessor of a more than ordinary physical constitution, which, with his business qualities rendered him unusually active, in all the occupations claiming his attention. His neighbors, Taliaferro, Thompson, Nock, Rowe, Bacon, Morgan, and the Williams, who moved into the neighborhood in the order named, relied much on his judgement and counsel in those early days; and very many in the locality, who came in with the railroad era, recollect his careful movements, and sound business principles. Nor was he lacking in those social qualities, the outgrowth and development of the period and the locality. The hearty, jovial, jolly times, which any one 30 years in Illinois so well recollect, contrasts strongly enough, with the present order of things, and while we may behave a little better now, and claim to be something ahead of these old times in many respects, it is questionable if we think as much of one another, or would make as great sacrifices to accommodate one another man, as they did then.
Six children, five sons and one daughter, were born, the oldest in New York state, the second in Pennsylvania, the rest in Putnam county. The oldest son died some years ago, the rest are all living on or near the paternal home. These with their mother, are in sorrow, for the death of the husband and father, which occurred August 3d last. His health had been good up to two years last past, with exceptional attacks of epilepsy. In November 1869, he was stricken with palsy, from which he never fully rallied, and from which time he became comparatively helpless, owing to the frequent recurrence of fits. He lingered in gradual decline until the date as above, when the worn spirit, weary of its frail earthly tenement, took its flight for brighter climes, leaving its habitation of dust to a quiet resting place in the grave.
Of the personal habits of the deceased we need only speak, so far as as to say that the companion of his youth, the partner of his toils and triumphs, the survivor of his earthly existence, his wife – speaks of his conversion in the city of New York, and of much satisfaction derived from religious consolation, during the period of his business mis- fortunes. He never joined any church organization, though often expressing intentions to do so; was a constant bible reader, and for many years kept up family prayers, failing in this only when declining health made it inconvenient to do so. Much might be said further, in which his old neighbors would be interested – much to praise, something to condemn. He has filled the measure of his days, and been gathered to the embrace of mother earth. Let his virtues be remembered, and imitated by all his old companions, as well as his own children; nor should any of us forget for a moment that there is a termination to long years of labor and effort, and that each in his turn must furnish the oft repeated proff of the mortality of our earthly existence.