Illinois Genealogy Trails

Biographies
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William Channon

Mike Davis' g-g-g grandfather was William Channon from Shobroke, Devon, England. His wife Faith Hope Charity Cockram was from Stockleigh Pomeroy about seven miles away. Several years ago Mike and I visited there and walked the public footpath from one village to the other. All I can say is that William and Faith must have had true love!

They moved from Shobroke to Exeter for a time where cholera broke out. The growing family then moved to London. William was a carpenter, so we assume he was learning and working as they moved. He moved to Buffalo, NY, and sent for the family later. We believe he was a craftsman for the Episcopal church which is on the historical registry in Buffalo. We need to do more research, but that's always been the family folklore. Another child or two were born in Buffalo.

They ended up in Davenport where he opened a shop. I recall that he was in Buffalo around 1854, so it was the late 1850's that they came here. The family also believes that he built the octagon house in Muscatine for a river boat captain who couldn't pay. He put a mechanics lean on the house and his family moved in. His daughter Fanny met and married Charles Davis, the RR engineer, while there.

William came back to Davenport where either Kingman or Rodman (I'll need to look) asked him to come to the arsenal and be the master mechanic. That word doesn't mean the same today - was the master carpenter and stone mason, etc., in charge of building the Clock Tower, Quarters One, and the stone shops. The family lived in the Winfield Scott house near the Clock Tower.

I'll have to look up the history about the sentiments of the war in this area, but it seems to me that when Faith cared for the prisoners, (one died in her lap) they were accused of being sympathizers. I think Rock Island was anti-slavery and Davenport pro-slavery, but I may have it mixed up. I'll find out. The Channons were certainly anti-slavery though.

We have a stained glass window from Trinity Episcopal Church in RI that was donated by the Channons. The church did some remodeling and we ended up with the window. I'm not sure what we'll do with it, but it's not something you put in your family room bar!

One of Charles and Fanny Davis' sons, Lee owned and operated the Garden Shop in RI for many years.

My Scottish family founded Long Grove, but my husband's g-g-g grandfather was the first civilian Arsenal employee. They ended up in Rock Island because they were accused of being Southern sympathizers. They had survived cholera and small pox in England, so Faith Hope Charity Channon had no fear of caring for the prisoners. My husband's great grandfather was a RR engineer and helped decide on the site of the bridge memorial on the Arsenal.

[Submitted by Ruth Clayton-Davis]


Samuel Cowers and his wife Susanna came to Hampton about 1858. They had six children. He was the proprietor of the second hotel in town. He died in 1867 at age 51. His wife died in 1891. Their daughter, Ann, married James McGinnis. They had one child, James McGinnis, Jr.

[Information submitted by Mary and Rock Nelson of the Hampton Historical Society A History of Hampton, Illinois 1838-1938 by George McNabney]



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Rock Island County, Illinois Genealogy Trails