Silas M. Adams
Silas M. Adams is the proprietor of a well-appointed hardware store at Moweaqua, Shelby County, and occupies an honorable position among the enterprising business men of the county. He is a native of Cape Girardeau County, Mo., July 9, 1837 the date of his birth. His father, Elam L. Adams, was born in North Carolina, and was a son of Jacob Adams, who is thought to have been a native of Germany, who came to this country and settled in North Carolina some time during the last century. He was a farmer and carried on his occupation in Rowan County, that State, spending his last years there. The father of our subject grew to manhood in his native State and was there married to Jane C. McNeely, a native of North Carolina, and a descendant of Scotch ancestry. In his youth Mr. Adams learned the trade of wagon-maker, and was engaged at it in the State of his nativity until his removal to Missouri in 1826, when he became a pioneer of Cape Girardeau County. He bought a tract of timber land and carried on farming in connection with the manufacture of wagons, and helped build up those industries in that county, of which he continued a useful citizen until death closed his career in 1862. His wife survived him until 1865, when she too passed away. They reared a family of five children, of whom these are the names: Mary A., Sarah L., George W., John C. and Silas M.
The latter who forms the subject of this brief biography lived amid the scenes of his birth during his boyhood and youth, and was educated in the local public schools. He worked with his father four or five years, and continued an inmate of the parental household until he attained his majority, when he engaged in the mercantile business in Bollinger County for a year. His next venture was a farmer in Montgomery County for a period of one year. He then resumed the mercantile business, but a year later went back to farming, at which he was engaged five years in Bond County. At the end of that time he went to Macon County, in this State and bought an improved farm, which he operated successfully eleven years. he then established himself in the hardware business at Maroa, Ill., and conducted it until 1884, when he sold his store there and bought his present establishment. He carries full line of hardware, stoves, cutlery, glass, china, paints and furniture, and commands a large trade, as he understands well what his customers demand, uses tact in his dealing, and all are sure of fair treatment at his hands. Mr. Adams is further closely identified with the business interests of his adopted city as President of the Moweaqua Building and Loan Association, which is an important factor in the growth of this municipality, and its affairs are in a flourishing condition with him at the head. He is known in political circles as a sound Republican, and a firm advocate of the principles of his party. Mr. Adams was happily married in 1861 to Miss Susan A., daughter of Thomas and Nancy (Sims) McLain, and a native of Bond County, Ill. Four children complete their home circle - Ella, Emma, albert and Alma. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church, and are of high social position. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
EPHRAIM ADAMSON, a highly respected farmer residing in Moweaqua Township, Shelby County, was born in Centre County, Pa., January 22, 1839. James Adamson was his father's name, and he was a native of the same county, born in 1811. He was a son of one William Adamson, who was a native of Spain. In early life he came to and settled in Pennsylvania, where he spent his remaining years in Centre County. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. He married a Scotch lady.
James Adamson was reared to man's estate in his Pennsylvania birthplace. He went to Mifflin County, Ill., his native State, when he was a young man, and was there married to Nancy Ely, a native of Franklin County, Pa., born in 1814, and a daughter of John Ely, who was also a Pennsylvania by birth. The father of our subject purchased a tract of land in Centre County after his marriage, and lived thereupon several years. In 1839 he removed to Huntingdon County, in the same State, and was a resident there for many years. His next move was to Ohio in 1861, and he located in Guernsey County, where he lived until after the death of his wife in 1867. He then made his home with his children, and died in Centre County, Pa., in august, 1882. The following are the names of his children: David, Elizabeth, Ephraim, Mary Jane, Isaac, Rebecca, Emma, John Priscilla, Jemima and Nannie.
He of whom this sketch is principally written early acquired a knowledge of agriculture on his father's farm. He accompanied his parents to their new home in Ohio in 1861, and lived in Guernsey County until 1863. In that year he gave up his personal aims and ambitions to do his duty to his country as a patriotic citizen by helping to suppress the great rebellion that was then waging in the South, enlisting December 14 in an independent company. He was sent with his comrades to Washington, D. C., to do garrison work, and in 1864 served as body guard to President Lincoln. He was in Washington at the time of the assassination of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation, and was also at the Capital during the Grand Review, in which he took part. He was discharged from the army with his company September 11, 1865, and returned to Ohio, having gained a good military record for faithfulness and efficiency in whatsoever he was called upon to do while he was a soldier.
After he left the army Mr. Adamson drove a huckster's wagon in Cambridge from that time until 1868, when he left the Buckeye State to take up his residence in Illinois. He settled in Moweaqua Township, and two years later devoted some of his money to the purchase of forty acres of land. He subsequently bought more realty until he had one hundred and twenty acres of land, and he dwelt thereon twenty years. At the expiration of that time he disposed of that place and rented the adjoining farm, where he now resides. He also has farming interests in Nebraska, owning a good farm in Nuckolls County, that State. In 1867 Mr. Adamson took unto himself a wife, marrying Miss Josephine Scoot, a native of Guernsey County, Ohio. They have eight children living: James, David, George, Oscar, Mary, Nannie, Edwin and Ida. As a veteran of the late war our subject is an honored member of J. V. Clemins Post, No. 363, G. A. R. He and his wife are among the most worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and among their neighbors they are held in high estimation for their many excellent qualities of head and heart. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William H. Akins
William H. Akins, who is a well-known practitioner before the Circuit and District Court, and also before the Supreme Court of Illinois, is enjoying a lucrative practice in Cowden, Shelby County, and surrounding towns. He is a native of this county and was born in 1848. His parents, Samuel and Susan (Moore) Akins, were natives of Ohio and North Carolina respectively. Both are now deceased, the father having departed this life in 1879, at the age of sixty-two years, and the mother having died in 1883, after having reached her fifty-eighth year. The father had been a soldier in the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in Company H, Forty-first Illinois Infantry, and at the close of his term of service re-enlisted and remained in the army until the close of the war as a veteran volunteer. He was promoted to the position of First Lieutenant, but was not mustered in as such, owing to its depleted ranks, as there were not men enough to entitle the company to a full quota of commissioned officers. He participated in all the engagements, marches and maneuvers in which his regiment was engaged during all his long term of service. Of the family of our subject's parents three sons and two daughters are living: John, a farmer, married Mary Belt and resides in Cowden; Rachel L., the wife of William Beck, a farmer, resides in Fayette County, this State; Mary A. is unmarried and is the housekeeper for her brother, our subject; Henry C. married Jane Belt and resides in Cowden, being engaged in farming.
William Akins, like his father, was a soldier in the Civil War. He enlisted in January, 1864, and served until the close of the war in Company M, Third Illinois Cavalry. He participated in the battles of Tupelo, Guntown, Nashville and subsequent engagements growing out of that campaign. During the summer of 1865 the regiment operated in a campaign against the Indians in Dakota and in the Red River Valley, starting from Ft. Snelling, Devil's Lake, and Ft. Bethel, on the Mississippi River, and made a march of several hundred miles. They endured many privations and dangers incident to their removal from civilization and close proximity to hostile bands of Indians. This regiment was mustered out of service at Ft. Snelling, Minn., in October, 1865.
Farming and teaching engaged Mr. Akins for awhile after his return home, and during that time he commenced the study of law and became a student in the law department of the State University of Iowa in 1881, being graduated from that popular institution in 1882, with honor to himself and credit to his Alma Mater. Pursuant upon his graduation Mr. Akins resumed teaching for two years, also superintending his farm. In 1885 he opened his present office in Cowden. In connection with his business as an attorney and counselor-at-law he deals considerably in real estate, buying and selling, and does a general law and land business. Mr. Akins is a worthy member of Samuel Akins Post, No. 566, G. A. R., which was named in honor of his deceased father. Mr. Akins also handles a number of standard insurance companies besides personally carrying on his farm of about ninety acres, which is situated two miles from Cowden. This tract is mostly in hay and has a fine yield. His political views have allied him with the Republican party, to which he is an intelligent adherent.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Alfred F. Allen
Alfred F. Allen, County Clerk of Shelby County, is one of our most able and popular civic officials. He is a native of Indiana, born in Sugar Creek Township, Parke County, March 3, 1847. His father, James Allen, and his grandfather, Thomas Allen, were Virginians by birth. The father of the latter who was also named Thomas, served seven years as a spy in the interests of the Colonists during the Revolution. He was a man of a bold, resolute character, fearless and undaunted in time of peril, and his services were invaluable in securing information of the movements of the enemy for his superior officers. He removed from Virginia to Kentucky about 1812, and was a pioneer of that State. In 1822 he went to Indiana to spend his last years, and made his home with his son in Fountain County until death closed his mortal career. His remains were deposited in Wolf Creek Cemetery in Park County. The grandfather of our subject spent his early life in his native Virginia, and was there married to Elizabeth Summers, who was also of Virginian Shelby County, is one of our most able birth. In August, 1812, accompanied by his family, he went to Kentucky, and for some years resided in the wilds of that State. In 1822 he made another move and became a resident of Indiana, being among the first to settle on the line between Parke and Fountain Counties, performing the journey thither with teams and pack horses. He entered a tract of land in Parke and Fountain Counties, and built a house on the Fountain County side of the line, in which he lived until his death in October 1844 removed from that locality one of its most useful pioneers. His wife survived him until 1879, when she too passed away on the home farm in Indiana. The father of our subject was a lad of twelve years when the family sought a new home in the forest wilds of Indiana, where he grew to manhood on his father's farm. After marriage he settled on a tract of timber land he purchased in Sugar Creek Township, he and his bride beginning housekeeping in a log house, which was the birthplace of our subject. They resided there until 1857, when Mr. Allen sold that place, and coming to Shelby County, bought a farm in Big Spring Township. He lived thereon some years, and then sold it, and removing to Strasburg, is passing his declining years in retirement, well-earned by a long and honorable life of industry, with his children. He was deprived of the companionship of his beloved wife by her death in 1879 at Strasburg. She was a native of Kentucky and bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Nickolls. Her father, John Nickolls, a native of North Carolina, was an early pioneer of Kentucky, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a teacher by profession. The maiden name of his wife was Elsie Wilson. The parents of our subject reared six children, of whom the following are the names: Thomas, Alexander, James F., William, Alfred F. and Robert H.
Alfred F. Allen inherited in a good degree those fine traits of character of the sturdy Revolutionary and pioneer stock from which he is descended, some of our best citizens coming from such an ancestry. When he was ten years old his parents brought him from the home of his birth to Shelby County, and from that time until his marriage he was of much assistance to his father in the improvement of his farm. He was a thoughtful, studious lad, and in the district schools, which he attended quite steadily during his youth, he laid the basis of a sound education whereby he was well-equipped for the profession of a teacher, and he entered upon its duties at the age of twenty-two years. He taught the greater part of the time the ensuing fourteen years, and then abandoned that calling to accept a position as clerk in a store at Strasburg. He remained a resident of that village until 1886, and during that time was appointed Postmaster at that place, he being the first in the county to receive an appointment at the hands of President Cleveland. He gave every satisfaction as an incumbent of that office, as he managed its affairs after a most business-like manner, and was always courteous in his intercourse with the people of the village, by whom he was well-known, and who appreciated his genial social qualities and the worth of his character. In 1886 Mr. Allen removed to Shelbyville to assume the duties of County Clerk, to which position he had been recently elected. He has ever since retained the office, and it is conceded on all sides without regard to party, that no man better qualified in every way could have been selected, as he brings a good understanding of the duties required of him, and a clear, well-trained intellect to bear upon his work, and his books will bear the inspection of the most critical. He is an ardent Democrat, and has been since he cast his first Presidential vote for Horace Greeley, always keeping himself well-informed in politics. While a resident of Strasburg he was an important figure in its public and social life, and held several local offices. He served as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public of that village, was at one time Town Clerk, and also acted as Assessor and as School Treasurer. He is a member of Jackson Lodge, No. A. F. & A. M.; of Jackson Chapter, No. 55, R. A. M.; of Black Hawk Lodge. No. 183, K. P., and of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Allen was first married April 17, 1873, to Miss Mary E. Davis, a native of Moultrie County, and a daughter of Charles Davis. She died in 1879 after a few brief years of wedded happiness, leaving three children, Ida I. and Maggie and one since deceased. Mr. Allen was married in I880 to his present estimable wife, formerly Miss Allie J. Storm, a native of Ash Grove Township, this county, and a daughter of John C. Storm. By this marriage two children have been born, Flora and one deceased. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
He of whom we write is a member of a family who just previous to the war settled in this state. His father was a large landowner and a man who was highly respected in the community. Our subject resides on section 26, of Ridge Township, Shelby County, where he owns one hundred and twenty-five acres of land in a good state of cultivation. His parents were George and Nancy (Carlisle) Allen, natives respectively of Maryland and Ohio, having met and married in the latter State. Our subject was born April 18, 1854, and is now in the meridian of life. In 1863, our subject's parents came to Shelby County, and purchased two hundred and twenty acres of land which was at that time but little improved. They paid for this $18 per acre. The father however, returned to Ohio, and there in the winter of 1863, February 24, he died, leaving a family of eight children to mourn his decease. They are Sarah A., William H., Annetta, Angeline, Thomas, Theodore, Edgar and Alice. Sarah married Anderson Hunter. Annetta became the wife of Milton Hunter and died in Shelby County. Angeline was married to George N. Arnold, and Alice became the wife of M. E. Moore. In the spring of 1864, the mother with her family of children returned to this State and settled on the land purchased by the husband and father. She is still living having attained more than the three-score years and ten usually allotted to mankind. Our subject remained on the farm until he arrived at manhood. He was there engaged in the usual duties of a farmer lad, which duties were relieved by the enjoyments and amusements common to country life. He received his education in the district schools in this vicinity, and is thus prepared for the practical hand-to-hand combat with daily life.
In February, 1885, Mr. Allen was united in marriage to a lady whose maiden name was Miss Allie Brandt, a daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Rugh) Brandt, who still reside in Fairfield County, Ohio. Four children graced and beautified this union, three of whom are living. Bessie, Maude and Theodore are bright, intelligent children, who promise to more than fulfill their fond parents' expectations and hope for them. Politically, our subject affiliates with the Democratic party and under his party he has for some time held the position of Tax Collector. Socially he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Edgar Allen, who is numbered among the influential agriculturists of Shelby County, owns and operates a fine farm on section 26, Ridge Township. He is a native of Ohio, born in Fairfield County, April 18, 1854. His parents, George and Nancy (Carlisle) Allen, were natives of Maryland and Ohio respectively, and were married in the Buckeye State, where they owned a farm. In 1863 the father came to Illinois, and in Shelby County he purchased two hundred and twenty acres of land but little improved, paying for it $18 per acre. He returned to Ohio, where he died in the winter of 1863-64, leaving eight children to mourn his untimely death. The following is the record of the brothers and sisters of our subject: Sarah A., who became the wife of Anderson Hunter; William H.; Anetta, who married Milton Hunter and died in Shelby County; Angeline, who was united in marriage with George N. Arnold, and also passed away in Shelby County; Thomas, Theodore, Edgar, and Alice, the wife of M. E. Moore. In the spring of 1864, the widowed mother, accompanied by her children, came to Illinois and located on the land which had been purchased by her late husband. She still survives at the age of seventy-five years, and her declining years have been made happy by the love of her children and the affection of her large circle of friends.
Mr. Allen passed a comparatively uneventful youth marked by no incidents of note. He aided his mother as much as possible in his childhood and alternated study at the neighboring district school with work on the home farm, where he received a practical training in agricultural affairs. When ready to establish a home of his own he was united in marriage, in February, 1884, with Miss Allie Brandt, the daughter of Adam Brandt, who still resides in Fairfield County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Allen mourn the loss of one child, and have three surviving members of their family-Bessie, Maud and Theodore. Politically Mr. Allen is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles and has served in various minor offices, among them that of Tax Collector. Socially he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. His industry has been rewarded with success, and he is now the owner of one hundred and twenty-five acres of fertile land, embellished with good improvements and bearing a first-class set of farm buildings.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Will T. Allen
In this article we introduce the cashier of the Allen State Bank of Erie and a gentleman who has been identified with Neosho county for the past nineteen years. He was born in Sullivan county, Indiana, April 7, 1856, and is the first child of Arthur P. and Josephine (Dodd) Allen who became residents of Erie, Kansas, in 18__. The father was born in Putnam county, Indiana, January 15, 1829, and is a son of Robert N. Allen, the history of whom and his antecedents is brought out in the sketch of James M. Allen in this work. Arthur P. Allen passed his life as a teacher and followed the work in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. He graduated from Asbury University, now DePauw, of Greencastle, Indiana, in 1853. He has served as principal of schools at Shelbyville, Illinois, and at Hillsboro, that state and finished his career at West Plains, Missouri. He was married in 1855 and is the father of Will T., our subject; S. E., captain of artillery at Fort Hamilton, New York harbor, and a graduate of West Point class of 1881; Mary C., wife of L. M. Beck, of Hillsboro, Illinois; Mattie J., of Erie, Kansas; Arthur M., of Chanute; and Stella, wife of Judge Geo. R. Cooper, of Hillsboro, Illinois. Will T. Allen received his education chiefly under the instruction of his father and began business at nineteen years of age when he entered a bank in Sullivan, Indiana, since when he has devoted himself almost exclusively to the business. In 1883 he entered into an arrangement with James N. Allen, of Chanute, to open a bank in Erie and the same year the Allen State Bank was opened as a result. The institution was capitalized at $12,000.00 and was the first in the town. The two incorporators conducted its affairs till August, 1898, when J. M. Allen sold his interest to George M. Coffman and the bank was incorporated under its present official name. It has always been a sound and safe concern and done an extensive and desirable business. For nearly twenty years Will T. Allen has had charge of the clerical and other detail work of the institution which has been a guarantee of the accuracy and reliability of its accounts. Mr. Allen married May 12, 1885, at Thorntown, Indiana, Miss Anna Waring, a daughter of John Waring, of Thorntown, but now a resident of Erie, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have no children. In politics Will Allen is a Republican. He has been twice elected mayor of Erie and has served on its city council. He was one of the organizers of the Erie Gas and Mineral Company and served as its president two years, and is secretary of the Building and Loan Association. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
Christian H. Altag
Christian H. Altag, the well-known and efficient Commissioner of Highways of Prairie Township, Shelby County, whose pleasant home is on section 9, dates his residence in the county from 1867 when he removed here from Madison County, this State, where he was born November 19, 1854.
The honored parents of our subject are Henry and Eliza (Sponeman) Altag, who were born across the seas in Germany. Before their marriage, and indeed in early life, they came to the United States and both settling in Madison County there learned to know each other and were united in marriage. They resided in said county until 1867, when they came to Shelby County and making their home in Prairie Township felt that they had found a permanent place of abode. The father of our subject was twice married, three children being born by the first marriage, namely: Henry; Hannah, the wife of Charles Dochney, and Sophia, wife of Henry Buesking. By his marriage with Eliza Sponeman, Henry Altag has had four children, of whom Christian is the eldest, and following him came Eliza, the wife of Charles Ostemeier; Harmon and Fred who died at the age of twenty-two years. Thorough and systematic training upon the farm and the intellectual drill which may be received in the common schools were, in the ease of Christian Altag, supplemented by attendance upon the old Shelbyville Academy, which proved so profitable as to fit him for teaching, which he pursued for one season only as he preferred to devote himself entirely to farming.
April 20, 1876, young Altag was united in marriage with Ida Junkey, daughter of Charles and Minnie Junkey. This lady was of foreign birth, having first seen the light in Germany, but her training and education have made her a thorough American, as her parents left the old country for the New World when she was only six weeks old. Soon after marriage this young couple made their home where they now reside, purchasing eighty acres of land to which they have added until they now own one hundred acres, upon which they have erected a good residence, excellent barns and convenient and commodious outbuildings necessary to carrying on farms with system and success.
To Mr. and Mrs. Altag have been born five children, in whom they take a just pride and for whom they cherish an honorable ambition. These promising children bid fair to realize in the future all that their devoted parents desire for them. They are by name Emma, Lizzie, Ida, Clara and Bertha. The religion in which this family has been reared and which they have espoused is that of the Lutheran Church, in which they are faithful and devoted members. The political views of Mr. Altag have led him to ally himself with the Democratic party but he is not in any sense a politician, being content to quietly cast his vote in the direction which he believes will be most useful to his neighborhood and State. He is now the incumbent of the office of Commissioner of Highways but does not desire to be among those who manage the affairs of the county.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Truman E. Ames
Truman E. Ames, County Judge of Shelby County, already ranks among the most eminent men on the bench in this State, although comparatively young, as since assuming the judicial power his decisions have been marked with a thorough knowledge of the law as applicable to all cases under his jurisdiction, have been delivered with candor and unquestioned fairness, and have been pronounced without fear or favor.
Our subject was born January 2, 1850, in the township of DeKalb, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and is a descendant of the sturdy, energetic pioneer stock that settled that part of the county and redeemed it from the primeval forests. His father, Truman W. Ames, was also born on the old family homestead in De Kalb Township. He was a son of Barnabas Ames who was a native of Vermont. The great-grandfather of our subject, William Ames, was likewise born in Vermont, the Ames's being among the colonial settler s of Massachusetts. Some of the family removed from there to Vermont. William and his son Barnabas, after residing there a few years, pushed on to the frontier wilds of Northern New York, going there on an exploring expedition before he removed his family, and taking with him his son, the grandfather of our subject, then a youth of twenty years. They made the entire journey from Vermont on foot, taking with them their axes to use when necessary in traveling through the rough, wild country through which they had to pass. They found St. Lawrence County a howling wilderness, with but few evidences of civilization, as there were but very few whites in that region. After their arrival they took the job to help clear the land where the Court House now stands at Canton. They soon selected a suitable location for themselves on what is now the pike leading from Canton to Postdam, and after erecting a log house on the land purchased returned to Vermont for the remainder of the family. The great-grandfather rounded out a long and useful life in his new-found home, and his mortal remains now repose in the Ames Cemetery not far from the scene of his pioneer labors. The grandfather of our subject was just entering upon a vigorous manhood when the family removed to St. Lawrence County, and he at once set actively to work to evolve a farm from the wilderness. For many years after his location there were no railways, and Montreal, Canada, was the most convenient market and depot for supplies. Deer, bears and wolves were plentiful in the woods near the settlements, and sometimes committed havoc with the farmers' stock and gardens. The people were principally home-livers, subsisting on the products of their farms, their fare being varied occasionally by game; and the wives, mothers and daughters of the pioneers carded spun and wove flax and wool, and the cloth thus made was fashioned by their hands into garments for their family. Grandfather Ames made farming his life work and cleared a good farm, on which he lengthened out a long and useful life. The father of our subject was reared to agricultural pursuits in the home of his birth. In due time he married Miss Jane Armin, a native of England and a daughter of Michael and Jane (Jobbin) Armin. After marriage Mr. Ames purchased a farm near the old home, and was actively engaged in farming thereon until 1864, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and sixth New York Infantry, and going at once to the front with his regiment, joined Sheridan's command in the Shenandoah Valley. He fought bravely in the first battle there, at Cedar Creek, and was severely wounded. After recovering from the effects of his wounds he joined his regiment again, and was present with the command at Appomattox at the time of Lee's surrender. He and his comrades were then sent in pursuit of Johnson's army, and after the surrender of the latter General they proceeded to Washington, took part in the Grand Review and were honorably discharged. Having proved his loyalty and devotion to his country by sacrificing his interests to help fight the battles that saved the Union, Mr. Ames returned to his old home and resumed his occupation as a farmer. He conducted his farming interests until 1881, when he retired from active business to Potsdam, where he still continues to enjoy the handsome competence that is the fruit of his well-directed labors. He and his good wife have four sons living and an adopted daughter, as follows: Truman E., Milon E., Ceylon W., Judson T. and Gertrude. Milon E., Celon W. and Judson T. are all locomotive engineers.
Judge Ames laid the foundation of a liberal education in the district schools of his native town, afterward studied at Hermon Academy, and then pursued a course of study at the State Normal and Training School at Postsdam. He thus had a good ground work for his legal studies, which he began in the law office of Moulton, Chaffee & Headon in the interim of teaching, he having come to Illinois in 1871, and for two years taught in Moultrie County, and subsequently in this county. To further prepare himself for his chosen calling he entered the Law Department of the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor, from which he was graduated with honor in the Class of '77. He opened an office at Windsor, and was established there one year. He next went Rockford, but after remaining in that city one year, he returned to Windsor, and in 1880 came from there to Shelbyville. He arose steadily and rapidly in his profession until he was honored by being elected to his present important office of County Judge in 1886. This position he has attained solely through his personal merits and fitness for the place. This is the second term in which he has presided over the deliberations of the County Court, dispensing justice with an even hand, and his findings, which are seldom, if ever, over-ruled by the higher courts, evince his possession of a clear, comprehensive mind and masterly judicial qualities. In 1874 Judge Ames and Miss Dora Hilsabeck were united in marriage at Windsor. Mrs. Ames was born at Windsor in 1856, and is the youngest daughter of James A. and Sarah (Boys) H natives respectively of Georgia and Illinois. The Judge and his amiable wife are among our leading society people, and their charming home possesses many attractions to their hosts of friends. Their household is completed by the presence of their only son and child. Edward Peer, who was born January 7, 1878.
Judge Ames is giving Shelbyville the benefit of his learning and executive talent by serving as president of the Board of Education and using his influence to make the schools of the city as good as the best in any part of the State. He is a Democrat in politics and in his social relations is a member of Jackson Lodge, No. 53 A. F. & A. M.; Godfrey de Bouillon Commandery, No. 44, at Mattoon, Ill.; also of Black Hawk Lodge, No. 83, K. of P.; and of the Uniformed Rank No. 40. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Samuel Anderson, a dealer in stock, who resides on section 9, Oconee Township, Shelby County, was born in Simpson County, Ky., May 1, 1856. He is a son of Peyton and Anna (Logan) Anderson. His father, who is the proprietor of the Anderson House at Oconee, was born in Allen County, Ky., September 17, 1822. His parents were Samuel and Ann (Clarke) Anderson, the father being born in Virginia, and going to Kentucky when a man.
The mother, who was born in Nashville, Tenn., married Samuel Anderson in Allen County, Ky., which remained the permanent home until the death of this couple. Peyton was the fourth in a family of six children, the others being Sallie Ann, who married James Jones, of Allen County, Ky.; Robert, who resides in Fayette County, Ill.; Rachel, who married and resides in Kentucky on the old homestead; Mary, the wife of Harrison Dobbs, who Peyton Anderson was reared to farm life and resided in Kentucky until he reached the age of eleven. During the Civil War he occupied neutral ground and did not take part on either side, although his sympathies were with the Union cause. He was married in Allen County, Ky., January 4, 1844, to Miss Anna B. Logan, daughter of Robert and Rebecca Logan, who removed from North Carolina to Kentucky previous to their marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Logan had ten children, namely: E. W., Minerva, Eliza, Joshua, Lavina, Ann B., Robert, Zachariah, Amelia E. and Amanda M. Eliza, Mrs. Garrison, died in Kansas; Amelia, Mrs. Harris, died in Kentucky; and Joshua died in Perry County, this State.
To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson two sons and three daughters have been born, namely: Mary, the wife of James Allen, who resides in Montgomery County, Ill.; Samuel, our subject, who is unmarried and engaged in stock-raising in Shelby County; Robert L., who is buying and shipping horses in Montgomery County; Amelia, Mrs. Ed. Smith; and Sarah, Mrs. John Williamson.
The father of our subject is a staunch Republican, whose Union sentiments are a credit to any man, more to a man like himself, who was born and educated in the South. He takes an active interest in political affairs, and is liberal in religious matters, though a firm believer in the Christian religion.
Samuel Anderson grew to manhood in his native State, receiving his education in the schools of that region, and engaged in farming and stock-raising with his father until his removal in 1889, when he located in Oconee Township, Shelby County, worked on a farm for some ten years. He then engaged in buying, feeding and selling stock, handling cattle and hogs principally. He is associated in business with Mr. E. Bass, and buys and ships stock from Oconee. He votes with the Republican party, and believes that in its principles are to be found the true guide to progress in this country. He is industrious, honest and intelligent, and has the confidence of all with whom he is associated.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William F. Armstrong
William F. Armstrong is actively carrying on agriculture on the farm where he resides with his father, a respected resident of Penn Township, Shelby County, this homestead being the birthplace of our subject. He is a representative of some of the earliest pioneer families of this State, his paternal grandfather, John Armstrong, having been one of the original pioneers of this county, and is distinguished in its history as the first settler of Penn Township; while the maternal grandparents of our subject, James and Nancy Gerdien, were early pioneers of Rose Township.
Aaron Armstrong, the great-grandfather of William F., was a native of North Carolina, and was a son of a Revolutionary soldier who lost his life in battle. Aaron removed from the State of his nativity to Warren County, Ky., where he resided but a short time, however, prior to his removal in 1809 to the Territory of Illinois. He was one of the first settlers of Madison County locating there in the year that the act was passed establishing Illinois as a territory. There were but few white men living in the whole length and breadth of this now populous and great commonwealth, and as the Indians held full sway and were oftentimes hostile, the whites had to band together and live in forts. The great-grandfather of our subject secured a tract of land five miles south of Edwardsville, built upon it, improved a good farm, which remained his home until his death in 1833. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Landers. She was born in South Carolina and died in Madison County in 1830.
John Armstrong was born in Warren County, Ky., in 1803. He was but a child when his parents came to Illinois, and he was reared amid its wild pioneer scenes and in due time he married a daughter of one of the early settlers, Jane Roach, who was born in Kentucky in 1802, and died in Illinois in 1877. In the fall of 1825 the grandfather of our subject came with others to Shelby County to seek a suitable location on its fertile soil. He selected a claim to a tract of Government land on section 6, township 13, range 3, now included in Penn Township, and at once commenced the erection of a log cabin, which was the first building over erected in the northern part of Shelby County, and he was the first man to locate in Penn Township, his nearest neighbor for a time being ten miles away. Before completing his cabin he returned to Madison County for his wife and child. and in the fall of the year brought them back in an ox wagon to the scene of their new home in primeval wilds, where wild animals such as deer, wolves, panthers and wild turkeys roamed at will where there were but few evidences of the approaching civilization. St. Louis. many miles distant. was the nearest town to which the pioneers could convey their produce to exchange for needed supplies. Notwithstanding the many difficulties that he encountered he developed an excellent farm, which he occupied until death deprived him of the companionship of his wife and he then passed his remaining days with his children, dying in 1886 at a ripe old age.
The father of our subject, Beverly Armstrong, was born October 23, 1827, in Clinton County while his mother was there on a visit. He was reared in this county where his parents had established their home, and was educated in its schools, attending the first ever taught in this section of the country. It was held in a log building located in Flat Branch Township. The benches, which were without backs or desks, were made of slabs that were supported by wooden pins, and the building was heated by means of a large open fireplace. In his youthful days the people lived principally off the products of the farm, and were clad in homespun made by the busy hands of the women.
Mr. Armstrong lived with his parents until he was twenty years of age and then entered a tract of Government land in what is now Moweaqua Township. He had married in that year Miss Emeline Virden, a native of this county, and in the log cabin that he built on his claim he and his bride began housekeeping. In 1858 he sold that place and bought the one that he now owns and occupies. that is finely located on section 31, Penn Township, constituting a choice and well-cultivated farm amply supplied with all necessary buildings and good modern machinery. He has been prosperous in the pursuit of his calling, and in the many years that he has been residing in this county he has always shown himself to be a useful citizen who has won an honorable place among the solid men of his community. and has done his share in developing the agriculture of this section of the State.
The subject of this biographical review is the only son of his parents and in their home, which has always been his, he was reared to a stalwart manhood. He received a sound practical training as a farmer and is now managing his father's farm with signal success, thus relieving him in a great measure of the cares and labors that beset him in his early life. He is a shrewd. careful man in his dealings and at the same time displays push and enterprise in carrying on his affairs, so that his interests brings him a goodly income in repayment of his outlay of labor and expense. The greatest sorrow that Mr. Armstrong has experienced in life was the death of his wife in 1886. Her maiden name was Emma O. Gerry, and she was a native of Indiana. They were wedded November 13, 1878. By her death our subject lost a devoted wife and these four children were left motherless: Tressie, Charles, Birdie and Essa.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William H. Aughinbaugh
William H. Aughinbaugh, prominent in business, political and church circles, as a public-spirited and enterprising man, who does his full share in forwarding every movement to enhance the best interest of his town and county, we may well count the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this paragraph. He is now a dealer in drugs, wall paper, toilet articles, etc., in Oconee, Shelby County, and was born March 3, 1842, in Baltimore, Md. John and Catherine (Fisher) Aughinbaugh, the parents of our subject, were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Baltimore, and reared a fine family of three sons and four daughters: Amelia was the wife of John Caldwell, and died in Litchfield, Ill.; Annie is the widow of William McEwen, and also resides in Litchfield; our subject is the third in age, and his next brother, Levi, resides at Bushnell, Ill., where he is engaged in business as a commercial traveler; Catherine, who is the wife of John Cress, went to the far distant West, and is making her home at Portland, Ore.; John, who is married, resides at St. Louis, Mo., where he is engaged as a compositor in the office of the Republican; Susan, wife of William Davis, makes her home at Litchfield. He of whom we write was educated at Hillsboro, Ill., having come to that city with his parents in the year 1855, from Huntsville, Ala., to which they had previously removed from Baltimore. After the family had been living in this State for about eight years, the mother died in 1863 in Macoupin County, but the father who survived and married again, is living with our subject at Oconee. Our subject served for two years during the Civil War in the Quartermaster's Department, being assigned to duty with the armies of the Tennessee and the Cumberland respectively, being in the Post Department in both these connections. After the close of the war he returned to Hillsboro, and engaged in mercantile business, continued in that line successfully until 1867, when he sold out and removed to Oconee, this county. Here he again took up the mercantile business and continued in it for about six years. William H. Aughinbaugh and Miss Sallie R. Wilmot were united in the sacred bonds of matrimony, in September, 1870. This lady was born in Christian County, Ill., and her wedded life began with a prospect of great happiness, but it was cut short by her decline in health, and she died of consumption in 1873, leaving two little children to mourn a mother's love and care. In January, 1877, our subject was married to his second wife, Miss Mollie I. Wilmot, a sister of the first Mrs. Aughinbaugh, and a native of the same place, where she was born in January, 1860. Two children were born of the second marriage. The little ones who were left by Mrs. Sallie Aughinbaugh, Maud and Guy have both died. The children of the second wife are Arthur J. born June 1, 1879, and Bertha J., November 29, 1883. Our subject disposed of his mercantile interests some years ago, and about that time was elected Mayor of Oconee, to the duties of which office he turned his attention, adding to it a business in collections, insurance and real estate, also loaning money and buying paper. After nine years in this line of work, he turned his attention to the drug business in which he has continued for eleven years. His first official position was in the capacity of Clerk of Oconee. He was then elected Mayor, serving in that office for eight years. In 1884 he was elected to the office of Supervisor of this township, a position of trust and responsibility, in which he has served in all some three years. Our subject belongs to the Masonic order, having been made a Mason in Mt. Moriah Lodge, No. 5, at Hillsboro, Ill., from which being demitted, he joined the Oconee Lodge, No. 392, where he served for twelve years as Master, and represented the same in the Grand Lodge of this State for eight consecutive years. Afterward he served in this same capacity for two years, and is the present Representative for 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Aughinbaugh are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where they are active in every good work. This public-spirited and enterprising man is wide awake to the merits of the political situation, and affiliates with the Democratic party. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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