Jacob E. Eby
Illinois in its early settlement gathered within its bounds representatives from every State in the East and there have flocked, even unto the present time, representatives of the older civilization in various parts of the country. Many Pennsylvanians by birth are among its sound and sensible residents and have brought from the old Keystone State those principles and habits of thrift which mark that Commonwealth. Our subject who is a native of that State and who makes his home on section 31, Okaw Township, dates his residence in Shelby County from 1882.
Mr. Eby was born in Lebanon County, Pa., March 10, 1852, and was thus a man of mature years when he removed to the West. His honored parents were Jacob and Eliza (Shaak) Eby, and they gave to him so good a common-school education as to fit him to take a position at the teacher's desk, which he filled for eight terms. They also gave him the best of home training and a thorough drill in the work of the farm.
The marriage of Jacob Eby with Miss Kate Seltzer was solemnized at Washington, D. C., in April, 1877. This happy occasion was the beginning of a married life of true congeniality and harmony, and the foundation of one of those families which are the strength and glory of America, in that their quiet and useful home lives form the basis for the success of our Republican institutions. Mrs. Eby is the daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Martin) Seltzer, and like her husband, was born in Lebanon County, Pa., but at the date of her marriage was residing in Maryland.
As we have said, it was the year 1882 when our subject first came to Illinois, and being favorably impressed with the value of the land and the environments of this section, he purchased the farm upon which he now resides and made his home upon it in the spring of 1883. Since that time he has devoted himself indefatigably to the cultivation and improvement of the seventy-six and one half acres which he owns.
Mr. and Mrs. Eby have had the pleasure of welcoming to their home three interesting and lovely children, but one of them they were called upon to lay in the grave in early infancy. The two who are living are named Sarah and John D., and the traits of character which they have already shown give a fair promise of their future usefulness which will, as it should, prove an honor to their parents.
The Democratic party for many years held the allegiance of Mr. Eby, but for some time past he has been independent in his political views and feels that by being free from the trammels of party he can more effectually serve his State and country. This independence does not at all interfere with his popularity among his neighbors and he is at present the efficient Supervisor of Okaw Township. He is an earnest believer in the Christian religion, having been reared in the faith of the Reformed Church. The interests of the agricultural community appeal very strongly to this gentleman and it is his aim to assist both himself and others in promoting the commercial and industrial prosperity of this class. With this end in view he has identified himself with the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, in which he believes there is help for the difficulties which have stood in the way of the progress of agriculturists.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William J. Eddy
William J. Eddy, a leading physician of Shelbyville, Shelby county, his native city, was born October 13, 1857. His father, the late William Eddy, a former well-known citizen of this county, was a native of the county of Cork, Ireland. His father was born in the same county as himself, and was derived from Scotch ancestry. He was a shoemaker by trade and spent his entire life in Ireland.
The father of our subject early acquired the shoemaker's trade of his father, and followed it in his native land until his emigration to this country in 1847. He landed at New Orleans, and coming directly to Illinois, located at Galena, and was actively engaged in the manufacture of shoes in that city for several years. In 1856 he came to Shelbyville and worked at his trade here until 1876, when he removed to his farm near Lakewood, and was prosperously engaged in agricultural pursuits from that time until death closed his busy career in August, 1890, and deprived the county of a most worthy citizen, who had contributed his quota to tis advancement. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as a man of upright character was in every way deserving of the respect accorded to him. He was twice married. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of our subject, was Mary J. Roberts. She was a woman of many excellent qualities, and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her birthplace was in Cornwall, England, and she was a daughter of John S. Roberts, who was a native of the same shire as himself. He came to America with his family in 1840, and first settled in Pennsylvania, after a residence there of a few years became one of the pioneers of Grant County, Wis. In 1856 he came from there to this county, and identified himself with its farmers, buying a farm in Dry Point Township, on which he made his home until his death. The mother of our subject departed this life in 1865. The father married a second time, and by each marriage had four children.
Dr. Eddy was given every advantage to secure a liberal education, laying a solid foundation in the city schools of Shelbyville. Three years' attendance at the Normal School, one year at Valparaiso, Ind. And two years at the State Normal at Carbondale, Ill., still further advanced him in his studies. During that time he taught two terms of school, and employed his leisure hours in studying medicine. He further prepared himself for the profession that he proposed to adopt for his lifework by becoming a student in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Chicago, from which he was graduated with a high standing in 1885. He at once opened an office in his native city, where he is well-known and popular, and soon won favor in his professional capacity, as he showed in his practice that he possessed in a full degree the requisites of a true physician - a sound knowledge of medicine, skill in diagnosing a case and in applying remedies, and true tact and courtesy in his intercourse with his patients. He is a member of the Shelby County Medical Society, and also of the Illinois State Medical Society, the American Association and of the Central Illinois District Medical Society. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Doctor was happily married in September, 1888, to Miss Carrie Chafee, a native of Ypsilanti, Mich., and a daughter of Dr. Noah F. Chafee, a well-known physician of this city, with whom our subject is associated in practice. We are pleased to incorporate in this sketch a brief account of the life of Dr. Chafee. He was born in Vermont, February 6, 1833, a son of Daniel and Miranda (Haven) Chafee, who were also natives of the Green Mountain State. His father was a farmer, and died in his native State in 1839, leaving a widow and three sons. The mother removed with her children to Wayne County, N.Y., and three years later took up her residence in Monroe County, Mich., where she married again.
Dr. Chafee grew to manhood in Michigan, and in 1862 came to Illinois. He stopped during the summer at Shelbyville, where, in the fall of 1862, he enlisted as assistant Surgeon in the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, he having previously graduated from the Medical Department of the Michigan University in the spring of 1862, and he therefore went to the front well prepared for his duties, and there gained a valuable experience amid the trying scenes on southern battlefields and in army hospitals during the two years that he remained in the service. In 1863 he was with Gen. Sherman. In 1864 he was in Georgia, and at Atlanta was taken prisoner while in the performance of his duties in caring for the wounded and dying, and was held in Libby prison three weeks. After that he was returned to Springfield, Ill., and as nearly all the men in his regiment were still prisoners, he was discharged.
After the war Dr. Chafee returned to Michigan, and practiced medicine in Lenawee County until 1884, when he came again to Shelbyville, and for some years has been associated in his profession with his son-in-law, Dr. Eddy. In April, 1864, while on a furlough, he was married to Miss Josephine McMath, a daughter of Samuel and Caroline McMath, and a native of Michigan. They have had five children, three of whom died in childhood, and the others are Carrie, wife of Dr. Eddy, and Laura, who lives with her parents.
Dr. Chafee is a sound Republican, and always takes interest enough in public affairs to vote, but does not give much time to politics. Religiously, he is of the Methodist Episcopal faith. He is a thorough temperance man, and is in all respects a person of high character and standing as a physician and a citizen. His record as a Surgeon in an Illinois regiment during the war is commemorated by his connection with the Grand Army of the Republic. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Darius B. Elliott
Our subject is a representative of a good Southern family, on the paternal side owing many of the traits of his character to the warm blood and generous hearts of the state which boasts of having given more Presidents than any other to the Executive Department of our Government. Mr. Elliott is the owner of a good farm located on section 7, Tower Hill Township, whereon he settled in 1855. Our subject was born in Anderson County, Ky., November 23, 1825. He is a son of John and Melville (Berry) Elliott, natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky, in which latter State they were married and where they began the serious consideration of life together on a farm.
Our subject's father died in 1846. His mother subsequently came to Illinois and passed her declining years with her son, passing away from this life at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.
The original of our sketch was one of eleven children and the youngest of these was twelve years of age before there was a death in the family. Our subject was the sixth in the family in order of birth, having five older and five younger brothers and sisters. During boyhood his school advantages were limited. but since reaching manhood he has applied himself diligently to study. and is a voracious reader of good literature. While yet a youth, he learned the trade of carpentry in Indiana. to which State he had removed, settling in Davis County, where he remained for some time. He later went to Marion County. He was united in marriage with Mary J. Brown on the 23rd of July 1848. The lady was a daughter of Lewis L. and Mary (Johnson) Brown. She was born in Marion County, Ind., January 12, 1832. Soon after marriage, our subject with his wife, came to Shelby County and settled on the farm where he now resides. At that date he purchased two hundred and thirty acres of Government land, which was then new and unbroken. Upon it he has made valuable improvements, having erected a commodious and comfortable dwelling, with barns and outhouses necessary for the protection and accommodation of his stock. When Mr. Elliott settled upon the prairie, there was no one else living any place near, and he has thus seen the development of the whole State. Pana was unknown at that date, and the Illinois Central Railroad was not yet completed. Our subject has given his undivided attention to farming and mixed husbandry. He is now the owner of three hundred and thirty acres of land which, with the exception of twenty acres of fine prairie land, is under thorough cultivation. and well improved in every way. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott have been the parents of six children, whose names are: Elizabeth L., John Irvin, Emma, Walter and Fannie. One child died in infancy. Elizabeth is the wife of Moses L. Simmons, of Pana; John Irvin is a resident in Nevada, Mo.; Emma and Walter remain at home, and are the comforts of their parents' middle life; Fannie is the wife of Thomas Finefrock. and resides in Pana, this State.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Lorenzo D. Evans
Our subject is one of the thousands of brave and loyal men who came forward in the time of their country's trial and threw their lives in the balance with the chances of war that the Union might be preserved and the brotherhood which is now becoming an accomplished fact between North and South, re-established. He is at present a general farmer owning one hundred and fifty-three acres on section 4, Flat Branch Township. He is the happy possessor of some of the best land in the township and can view his acquisition with pride, as it is the result of his own industry and energy. Mr. Evans was born in Montgomery County, at Mt. Sterling, Ky. December 11, 1825. He comes of Maryland stock. His father, John Evans, who was a native of Wales, when young, came to the United States and lived near Baltimore with his parents for some years. The family, however, removed to Montgomery County, Ky., and there William Evans remained for some time. He returned to Baltimore, Md., where he died and was buried by the side of his wife who had there passed away before the removal of his family to Kentucky. William Evans lived to be an old man. He served through the War of 1812 and was a brave soldier. His sons inherited from him his valor, for all of them later served through the late Rebellion, and one who had been Provost Marshal of Mt. Sterling, was later killed by an enemy, who in a cowardly manner, shot him in the back, while entering a store. Much enmity grew out of this and the family feud even endangered the different families in the vicinity, nor did our subject escape these dangers, for he had many a hair-breadth escape from the enemy. After the coming of John Evans to Montgomery County, Ky., he received training in a farmer's life, and lived and died in his adopted State, being quite an old man at the time of his decease. He had there taken unto himself a wife whose maiden name was Miss Ann Beecraft, who was born near Baltimore, Md., her parents being Benjamin and Elizabeth Beecraft. They came from Wales to this country and after living for some time in Maryland, they settled in Kentucky. Their deaths, however, took place in Indiana. The daughter, Mrs. John Evans, after her marriage passed her life in Montgomery County, Ky., and there died. Our subject and a sister are all who are now living of this family. He inherited the fibre of his sturdy Welsh ancestors and grew up full of the energy and determination known to but few men of his day. When the call was made for volunteers to fight for liberty and freedom, Mr. Evans enlisted in the Thirteenth Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He served under Gen. Sherman and was in the engagement against Gen. Johnson at Charlotte, N. C., and saw active service until the close of the war, when he received an honorable discharge for his services in 1865. He served as a private but had been a true and brave man and for his loyalty and valor no better record could be referred to than his Colonel, Mr. Lawrence, of Madison, Capt. Jones, of the same place and Lieut. Lewis, of Munsey, Ind. Our subject has ever been a close student of human nature, it having been one of his greatest pleasures to study character as found in his travels throughout the country. This knowledge of human nature has given him a great advantage in his dealings with men. He is a man who has experienced much that is known to develop the sternest characteristics of one's nature. His early experience in Kentucky when involved in the feud that threatened himself and family, taught him vigilance and caution, while it developed daring and recklessness. When Mr. Evans was a young man the hot blood of the Southerner of Kentucky was even more pronounced than now, and a man took his life in his hands, when by a word, he acquired the hostility of an acquaintance. Mr. Evans was married in 1848 while in Kentucky, to Margaret Reibland who was born and reared in that State. She is the mother of eight children, four of whom are now dead, having passed away in early years. Those who have a monument in the hearts of their parents, are Anna, Margaret, Mary E. and Wallace. The living children are Sarah J., Jennie, John W. and Lorenzo D. Sarah is the wife of William Simpson, who is proprietor of a farm in this township. Jennie is the wife of Jerome La Don and lives on a farm in Moweaqua Township, John W. took to wife Elizabeth Gordon, and now lives in Donovan, Ill. Lorenzo D. is a farmer in this township. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John S. Evey
It is not necessary for the traveler to understand the details of farm life in order to determine the status of the owner of any particular tract of land. It is easy to form a conclusion from the general appearance of the property, the improvements that have been made upon it and the order or disorder that reigns supreme. No one looking at the farm of Mr. Evey on section 21, Tower Hill Township, would have the least doubt that its owner understands his business and is able to obtain good results from tilling the soil. The farm consists of one hundred and eighty fertile acres, in whose pastures good stock is found, in the sheds modern machinery, and in the storehouses farm produce of excellent quality. About the dwelling are the manifestations of the refining hand of woman. Mr. Evey is a native of Maryland, born in Hagerstown. October 15, 1833. His father, whose given name was Henry, and his mother, whose maiden name was Rebecca Livers, were also born in Maryland. The parents removed to Shelby County, Ill., about 1836, and located near Shelbyville, where she died. After her decease the father came to Tower Hill Township and settled on section 21, where he died in 1865. He was a good citizen, an upright man and a devoted husband and father. His family comprised three children, our subject being the eldest. When he was three years old our subject was brought by his parents to this county, where he grew to manhood on his father's farm. He was early initiated into the mysteries of farming and when he became a man he naturally chose agriculture as his life vocation. December 25, 1856 he was married in Tower Hill Township to Miss Caroline M. Jones, a native of Tennessee. This estimable lady was brought by her parents to Indiana, whence, after her father's death, she came to Shelby County with a family named Listen. The congenial union of Mr. and Mrs. Evey has been blessed by the birth of six living children, viz.: William E., David H., Captolia, Hattie, Charles F. and John M. William E. is a farmer in Kansas; David H. is a successful dentist at Monmouth, Ill.; Captolia follows the profession of teaching. A man of striking common sense, keen foresight and marked capability, Mr. Evey has been selected by his fellow-citizens as one well qualified to fill public offices of importance. He formerly took an active part in politics and in his political affiliations is independent, voting for the man whom he considers best fitted to serve the interests of the people. He has been Highway Commissioner several years, in which position he has accomplished much for the good of the community. Socially, he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Farmer's Mutual Benefit Association. [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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