Horace L. Martin
Horace L. Martin is prominent in the literary, social and political life of his community as editor and proprietor of the Shelbyville Union, one of the best conducted and leading newspapers of this part of the State, which is distinguished as being the only daily journal, and the only organ of the Republican party published in Shelby County. Mr. Martin is descended from the vigorous pioneer stock of Ohio, the State of his birth, he having been born in the village of Jersey, Licking County, July 11, 1836.
Mark D. Martin, the father of our subject, was born in New Jersey, near the City of Newark, and was a son of Lewis Martin, who was also a native of that State. The latter was among the early settlers of Licking County, Ohio, removing to that part of the country when Columbus was a small village, and at that time was the nearest milling point for the settlers for many miles around. He secured a tract of timber land and developed it into a fine farm, which was his place of residence until death terminated his earthly career. His wife also died on the home farm in Licking County. Her maiden name was Catherine Osborne, and her parents were natives of Holland.
The father of our subject was one of a family of seven sons and two daughters. He was young when his parents moved to Ohio. He worked in his youth, in his father's smithy, and learned from him the trade of a blacksmith, which he followed for some years in Licking County after be attained his manhood. Finally he abandoned that calling on account of failing health and turned his attention to farming. He also dealt extensively in stock, and before the introduction of railways he drove his stock to the Eastern markets of New York and Baltimore. He continued to make his home in Licking County until 1858, when he came to Shelby County, and for two years was a resident of Shelbyville. At the expiration of that time he bought a farm in Rose Township, and for some years devoted himself to its management. Returning to Shelbyville he kept a hotel here some years and then retired to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he is now passing away his declining years in a pleasant home, in the enjoyment of the respect due his honorable and well-spent life. Mr. Martin has been twice married. His first wife, the mother of our subject, was Julia Ann Ward, a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Josiah Ward. She died in March, 1846. Mr. Martin married for second wife Martha L. Gaston, a native of Delaware County, Ohio. There were five children born of the first marriage, all sons, and of the second marriage, six daughters and two sons were born.
The subject of this biographical review received a substantial education in the excellent public schools of his native county where was reared to manhood. He resided with his parents until 1855, and then came to Shelbyville to accept a position as clerk in his uncle's drug store, making the trip in thirteen days with a horse and buggy. He clerked nearly two years, studying medicine during that time, and he then attended a course of lectures at the Starling Medical College at Columbus, Ohio. After that he made a thorough study of the water cure process at Granville, Licking County, Ohio, and then returning to Shelbyville, he began to practice as a physician with his uncle. Three months later he decided to abandon that profession and he again became a clerk, being thus employed in a dry-goods store the ensuing two years. At the expiration of that time he formed a partnership with S. H. and P. R. Webster, and carried on a general store the following twelve years, the latter part of the time dealing in agricultural implements, and also buying and selling stock.
In 1872, our subject gave up mercantile pursuits to give his attention to journalism, buying an interest in the Shelbyville Union with his brothers, Park T. and Elgin H., and the same year established a paper at Effingham, known as the Effingham Republican. In 1873 he bought the interest of his brothers in the Union, of which he has since been sole proprietor, and in January, 1887, he commenced the publication of a daily which he still issues in connection with the weekly. Mr. Martin has devoted his best energies to his paper, and under his judicious and able management, it has taken its place among those journals that have the most influence in molding public opinion, and in advancing the highest interests of city and county. The high estimation in which it is held is denoted by its extensive circulation as a sound, well-conducted family newspaper, replete with valuable information concerning current topics, and the affairs of this and other countries, set forth in an attractive and interesting manner. Although it is the mouthpiece of the Republicans of Shelby County, and in no uncertain tones voices the policy of the party, and vigorously upholds all measures emanating from it, it is by no means unjustly aggressive towards political opponents, who are always accorded fair and courteous treatment in its columns.
Mr. Martin has an attractive home, and to the lady who presides over it, and assists him in dispensing its pleasant hospitalities, he was united in marriage July 4, 1859. Mrs. Martin in her maiden days bore the name of Mary Armilla Jagger. She is a native of Summit County, Ohio, and a daughter of Elmus and Hannah M. (Noah) Jagger. Our subject and his wife have two children living, Etta M. and Lucy E. Etta married John E. Downs and has one child, Ferna Estelle.
Mr. Martin has been a Republican since the formation of the party, and through his position as editor has exercised a wise influence in the political councils of his fellow-citizens in this section. He has always manifested a deep interest in whatever concerned the welfare of the city, and county, and exerted himself to help forward all schemes that will in any way benefit them. He has been partly instrumental in building up the Laborers' Loan Association, of which he is a Director and Secretary, and his name is associated with various other enterprises that have been organized for the public good.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John F. Martin
John F. Martin, who is a resident of Strasburg Township, is a native of Fountain County, Ind., having been born in Davis Township, September 9, 1842, where he remained until he had reached the years of manhood, and indeed it was not until he was in his twenty-second year that he left the home roof to go out and battle for himself. At that time he removed to Shelby County and settled on a farm in Richland Township. There he remained but a short time and then returned to Indiana in time to enlist with his youthful comrades in the War of the Rebellion. He joined Company D, of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Indiana Regiment, and served until the close of the war, when he returned to Shelby County, this State, and has ever since made his home in Richland Township on a farm, until 1882, when he came to Strasburg. Since coming to Strasburg Mr. Martin has been engaged in the grain and flour trade and has built up a flourishing business. Our subject is a man who is interested in any measure that benefits humanity. Naturally he takes a great interest in local as well as national politics. A Democrat in his political policy and theories, he has been appointed by his party to fill a number of local offices. He has been Collector for two years, and has filled the office of Assessor for the same length of time.
The original of our sketch was married in Richland Township, Shelby County, this State, soon after his return from the war, in December, 1866. His wife was Mrs. Philenia Whitlatch, who was born in Shelby Township. The lady has made a pleasant home for her husband and the children who have taken their place at the family board. Their names are Lizzie, Rosetta, John Franklin, Emma, Ella, Della, Eva and Charlie.
Mr. Martin is a member of the Masonic fraternity. For four years, he has held the office of Village Trustee of Strasburg. Personal comfort, convenience or gain are secondary considerations to our subject in the face of the demands that are made upon his time by the needs of the community. An upright and trustworthy man personally, as a citizen he combines the rare qualities of ability, judgment, generosity and self-forgetfulness. He has done much to assist the growth of the village, and he with his amiable wife and family of children make one of the pleasantest homes in the place.
The father of the subject of this sketch was George B. Martin, who was a farmer, and a native of Ohio. His mother was a Miss Elizabeth Pierson, who was born in New York. After the marriage of George Martin, they settled in Davis Township, Fountain County, Ind., where they passed the remainder of their lives. They had thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters, and of these our subject was the eldest. At the present time (May, 1891) only three of this large family are living. Mrs. Martin, our subject's wife, was the daughter of Peter and Eda Smith. They were old settlers at an early day in Shelby County, and died in Holland Township. Her first husband was Samuel Whitlatch, who died in Richland Township. By her first marriage she was the mother of one child, Samantha, who is now the wife of Marion Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are members of the Baptist Church, in which body they are both active workers. Our subject is known throughout the county as being a large grain-buyer, and his reputation as a business man is without a flaw. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Henry Martz, one of our worthy German-American citizen who does credit alike to the land of his birth and the land of his adoption, resides on section 28, Ridge Township, Shelby County, where he carries on a first-class farm. He was born in the old country April 3, 1834, and up to the time when he was thirteen years old he worked upon the farm. He then served an apprenticeship for three years to the trade of a miller and was sixteen years old when he came to America. The youth landed in New York City and made his way to Lancaster, Ohio, where he was engaged at farm labor for eight years, after which he was married March 14, 1858 to Miss Margaret Singer, a native of Bavaria, Germany, where she was born August 29, 1838. He remained in Fairfield County for two years after his marriage and in 1860 removed to Shelby County., renting land in Pickaway Township for about thirteen years. In 1873 he decided to purchase a farm and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 28, where he settled and where he has since been a resident.
This fine farm has now been increased to two hundred and sixty acres. Upon it have been erected good buildings and excellent improvements of other kinds. Nine children have made this happy home resound with the gleeful pursuits of childhood, their names being Henry, John, Anna M., William T., Caroline C., George E., Rosanna M., Charles G., and Lewis J. Anna M., is the wife of Samuel Campbell; Henry married Louisa Raab; John died when fourteen years old. The father of these young people has been Highway Commissioner for some three years and his political views lead him to affiliate with the Democratic party. Both he and his excellent wife are members in good and regular standing of the Lutheran Church. Their good home, pleasantly located, forms an agreeable center of social life and the farm shows every mark of the hand of a prudent and conscientious farmer. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Most of the new lines of thought instituted in this country are not original with Americans, but are the outcome of the conditions under which our alien elements have lived. It is true that not all of these new ideas are desirable, as for instance, the anarchistic class, which was introduced from Germany but has been re-enforced by representatives from every oppressed nation. However, even the anarchists may effect a change in the relation of the different classes of commercial and social life. Evolution in science and art is most prominently demonstrated by the Germans of whom our subject is one. He resides on section 32, of Rural Township, having thereon a fine and well cultivated farm that shows the intelligent care that he has brought to bear upon the place.
Our subject was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, January 8, 1845, and is a son of George and Rosina Maria Mautz, for whose further history see sketch of John F. Mautz in another part of this Record. In 1852, when every nation seemed to be in a volcanic state, and there was a restlessness that pervaded every class of society, the family of which our subject was one, decided to emigrate to the United States. After landing they proceeded at once to Fairfield County, Ohio, where they remained for two years, and then came to this State, settling in Shelby County.
The early life of the original of our sketch was spent upon a farm, where he drew in the spirit of freedom with every breath of air that he inspired. He early familiarized himself with the work of a farmer and his training in this direction was carried on by his father in the thrifty and speculative German fashion, making intelligent observation second the efforts of hard and constant manual labor. The intervals of farm duties were filled by attendance at the district schools, after which he then finished his training at the University of Chicago, and was thus fitted to begin the practical lessons of life. He began his career by teaching school for two years in his home district. He then went to Chicago, where he served as clerk in the Chicago Savings Bank, for a period of five years, after which he returned to Shelby County, and has since then resided in Rural Township.
November 15, 1876, our subject took upon himself the duties and the responsibilities of the marital relation, his bride being Louisa F. Weber, a daughter of Jacob Weber. The lady was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, March 31, 1852. They at once set up their lares and penates and the future seemed bright before them. For several years his wife was spared that he might know how sweet a thing a home is. December 12, 1885, she passed to the mysterious unknown, leaving one son, Edmund J. to be the comfort of the bereaved father.
Mr. Mautz makes his home on the place originally owned by his father. It comprises one hundred and seventy-six and two-thirds acres of land, one hundred and sixty acres of which are fine prairie, and well improved. He of whom we write, fraternizes with adherents of the Democratic party. Although a man who is fitted to fill any position in the gift of the county, he has no desire for public office or emoluments. He is a member of the Swedenborg Church. William Mautz, who is a member of our subject's family, was born October 23, 1841. He received his training in the common schools of Germany and the United States. He is interested in the land of which our subject is accredited owner.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John F. Mautz
The gentleman whose biographical sketch we take pleasure in here writing, resides on section 31, of Rural Township, Shelby County, and also owns land in section 32. He belongs to the nationality which is beginning to tinge American life so largely with its sterling qualities, and to show in a better physical development which has resulted from the commingling of the American and Teutonic nations. Our subject was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, April 3, 1840. He is a son of George and Rosina (Shantz) Mautz, the former born in Wurtemberg, in 1802, and the latter, February l8, 1808.
Our subject's father was a farmer by calling and he of whom we write early learned the best methods of making the ground produce the best in fruits and vegetables, cereals and stock. After the marriage of the parents of our subject, they devoted themselves to the rearing of their large family, which numbered eleven children. They were brought up under the best conditions, having received that best of inheritances from their parents, robust constitutions, blood that flowed through their veins in swift purity, and intelligences that were undimmed by vicious associations or habits. The brothers and sisters of our subject are in name as follows: Gottleib, Rosina, Christian, George, Barbara, Lewis, John F., who is our subject, William, Jacob H., David and Thomas. Gottleib died in Shelby County in 1879; Rosina married Christian Eberspacher: she died in November 1866, and left four children to her bereaved husband; Christian was for many years a prominent man in Rural Township; he was for sixteen years Justice of the Peace, and now resides in Prescott, Nevada County, Ark.; George died in Shelby County in 1863; Barbara married John Haberlein, and died in 1865, leaving one daughter; Lewis was killed by a bull in Cowley County, Kan.; William resides on the homestead; Jacob H. and David live in Rural Township; Thomas resides in Shelby County. All of the family of children of which our subject was one were born in Germany. Our subject was but eleven years when, in 1852, the family emigrated to the United States, landing in New York harbor April 1. The journey across the three thousand miles of water required only nineteen days. The family at once went to Zanesville, Ohio, and soon after settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. In 1854 they came to Shelby County, this State, first settling in Rose Township, where they rented land which they operated for some years. They then purchased section 32, in Rural Township, and later purchased one-half of section 31. Success followed their agricultural efforts, and as the young people matured they were encouraged to start out in life for themselves. Their father died February 3, 1872. The mother followed him January 15, 1891. They were kindly, Christian people, and their simple, honest lives infused a spirit of kindliness and generosity into all with whom they came in contact. They were members of the Swedenborgian Church.
Our subject, J. F. Mautz, came with his family to Shelby County, and in 1861, he enlisted in the War of the Rebellion to fight for the flag, which had already become dear to him as a symbol of freedom, which he could not enjoy so fully in his native land. He was mustered into service, and joined Company H, of the Fifty-Fourth Illinois Infantry, and remained with his company for four years, re-enlisting at the end of his first term. During his military career he was neither wounded nor taken prisoner, nor was he confined to the hospital. He was a participant in many battles, and the side of military life, which, to one who has never seen battle, but only read and dreamed of the glorious display that is an accessory, had a seriousness to him, which was an outcome of bitter personal experience. He was in the battles of Jackson, Tenn., at the siege of Vicksburg and at Little Rock, Ark. In 1864 eight companies of the regiment to which our subject belonged, were taken prisoners, only Companies H and F escaping. Our subject was mustered out of service in October, 1865, and he returned to Shelby County November 19, 1867, he was married to Matilda Kull, who was born in Fairfield County. Ohio, in 1847.
After marriage Mr. Mautz settled with his wife upon the land whereon he now resides, at that time raw prairie, it one of the finest places in the county, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of beautifully cultivated land, and upon it are fine buildings that are in the best of order. The original of our sketch and his wife have four children, whose names are as follows: William, Albert, Julius and George. Mr. Mautz casts his vote and influence with the Democratic party, under which he has held several positions. He has been Supervisor for three terms, and, indeed, has held all the local offices. Both our subject and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Philip A. Mautz
One of the German-American citizens in Tower Hill Township who emigrated to America that, under the star-spangled banner, he might reap the benefits to be derived from an unlimited freedom, is the gentleman who resides on the farm which he has made conspicuous for its nicety of cultivation, on section 6, of Tower Hill Township. On coming to the United States, he proceeded at once to Shelby County, this State, where he arrived October 13, 1856.
Philip Mautz is a son of George G. and Margaret C. (Anger) Mautz. Our subject was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, September 27, 1850. In 1856, the family emigrated to the United States and soon settled in Shelby County. They removed, however, to Ridge Township, where the father died June 8, 1856, at the age of forty years. The mother is still living and resides with our subject, having attained the threescore years and ten allotted in Scripture. She is the mother of eight children born, with the exception of one child, in the Fatherland. Of the eight children above mentioned, only three lived to years of maturity. They are Elizabeth C., Barbara M. and our subject. Elizabeth is the wife of Jacob Galster, of Rural Township. Barbara married Jacob Doll, and resides in Tower Hill; our subject is the only living son. His education was acquired for the most part in the United States, having here attended the district schools. With his mother he removed to the place where they now live in September, 1866, at which time his mother purchased ninety-four acres of new prairie land, which our subject has improved and of which he has made a most desirable home. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in Dallas County, Mo.
February 14, 1878, he of whom we write, invited to be mistress of his home Mary S. C. Luepke. She was a daughter of Charles and Dora Luepke. She was born in Prussia and came to the United States with her parents when but seven years old. Mr. and Mrs. Mautz are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Our subject gives special attention to the breeding of fine Clydesdale horses, and is the owner of the well known stallion, "Colonel Mills," No. 1057, also "Heirloom" No. 8691, registered in Vol. 13, of the Clydesdale Stud Book of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 6021 of the American Clydesdale Stud Book.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Thomas P. Mautz
The senior member of the firm of Mautz & Diddea, proprietors of a general store at Stewardson, Shelby County. Mr. Mautz has a wide acquaintance in the adjoining agricultural districts, as well as in the town itself, and he and his partner are known as upright, honorable dealers, and men of sterling worth and integrity. The business was established by York & Mautz in 1879. Mr. York sold out his interest to the present partner, Mr. Diddea, in 1881, and since they have been in partnership together, the firm has been successful in its business dealings to a gratifying degree.
Our subject was born in Wurtermberg, Germany, December 21, 1849, and is a son of George and Rosina (Shantz) Mautz, of whom a fuller history may be found under the biography of J. F. Mautz, in another part of this volume. Thomas P., of this sketch, was but a small boy, when the family emigrated to America, and proceeding to Zanesville and Lancaster, Ohio, remained there a short time, removing in 1854 to Shelby County, Ill. He assisted on the farm and early learned the duties incident to such work. He was educated in the district schools of the vicinity, and continued his residence at home until he was twenty years of age, when he learned the milling business, working at Pana and Rosemond.
Later Mr. Mautz removed to Bainbridge, Ind., and thence came to Oconee, Ill., and after sojourning in the latter place until 1874 came to Stewardson, which town was just then organized. Here Mr. Mautz for three years operated a flouring mill and afterward formed a partnership with H. H. York under the firm name of York & Mautz. Mr. Mautz established a general mercantile business in Shumway, Ill., in 1878, but one year later removed the business to Stewardson, in which he has continued until the present time, being now senior member of the firm. They occupy their own store building and carry a large general stock of merchandise.
On May 20, 1879, Mr. Mautz and Miss Bertha Karls were united in marriage. Mrs. Mautz is a daughter of John Karls, of Rural Township, this county, and was born in Lockville, Ohio, December 13, 1858. They are the parents of four children - Nora, Lillie, Lottie, and Frankie, all of whom are intelligent and amiable. Politically our subject affiliates with the Democratic party, its breadth of platform and free trade principles favoring his notions of the government that should rule the Republic. He is the founder of the Stewardson Homestead Loan Association, an organization to help the laboring man get a home of his own and furnish him with a safe and profitable investment for his small savings. This association is a large factor for good in the prosperity of the community and had contributed materially to the well-being of the citizens. He has been the incumbent of several local offices in the gift of the town, having been Supervisor of Prairie Township for seven consecutive terms. During this time he was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for three terms. He also held the office of President of the Village Board, and has filled other local offices. In his religious views Mr. Mautz is a Swedenborgian. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is at present, as he has been for several terms, Master of Sigel Lodge, No. 541, F. & A. M. at Stewardson. His portrait is presented in connection with this brief biographical review.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Nathaniel Branton McCluer
A man who is widely known in Shelby County as being a large and successful farmer and stockman who has done much toward introducing an improved grade of stock into this State and to the West generally, is he whose name is at the head of this sketch. He is a progressive and public-spirited man whose tendencies are all towards an elevating influence, both in business relations and in his domestic life. Mr. McCluer resides on his fine farm on section 8, of Rural Township. His home is one of the most pleasant places in the county and he has spared nothing that money could procure, to make it an ideal place of residence. He also owns land in section 5. His residence in the county dates from 1865. The original of our sketch was born in Darke County, Ohio, December 29, 1829, and is a son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Wilt) McCluer both natives of Virginia and each of whom, with their respective families, removed to Ohio at an early day. Samuel McCluer, the grandfather of our subject settled in Darke County in 1812, and was one of the first settlers there. The maternal grandparents of our subject, settled in the same county about 1814. They made their home in the midst of the forest, clearing out as time and opportunity permitted, a space around the log cabin which constituted their home. Brought up as young people together, the parents of our subject early recognized an affinity and determined to make the journey of life together. Their marriage took place in Darke County, where they resided the remainder of their lives, upon the farm where they settled at an early day. The father lived to number four-score years. The mother passed away at the age of sixty-six years. They were the parents of six children whose names are as follows: Melinda, Samuel, George, John, Catherine and our subject. Melinda was twice married and died in her native State; Samuel resides in Darke County, Ohio, where his brother George died; John lives in Huntington County, Ind.; Catherine married and died in Southern Illinois. He of whom we write is the youngest of the family. He was reared on the farm and received his education in the district school. In 1864, he enlisted in Company B, of One Hundred and Fifty-second Ohio Infantry, whose men enlisted for one hundred days, but who served for five months. While they were not participants in any of the decisive battles, they took part in a number of skirmishes. In 1865, Mr. McCluer was united in marriage to Melinda Almonrode. She was born in Preble County, Ohio, September 20, 1842, and was a daughter of John and Mary (Swane) Almonrode. Shortly after their marriage our subject and his bride came to this State and purchased two hundred acres, which was the nucleus of his present farm. At the time he settled here, his place was but little improved, but he took up the calling of farming with such vim, energy and intelligent management, that he is now the owner of nearly one thousand acres of land which is highly productive and which is dotted over with stock of the finest grade. He has been very successful in his agricultural career. Mrs. McCluer is an intelligent and capable woman. She presides over the beautiful home which her husband has made with an ease and dignity that only native refinement and courtesy can give. Although she is endowed with more than ordinary ability, she has gladly given herself up to love's sweet servitude, her great pleasure being in insuring the domestic comfort of her husband and the rearing and educating of her children. She has sought to combine cultivation of mind and body, realizing that one with weak physical constitution and endowed with fine mental facilities has not the same chance in this world, whose motto seems to be the survival of the fittest, as one who is equally endowed with both a strong physical and intellectual capacity. Two of the little ones were taken from their parents at a tender age. Four of the children are still living, and filled with vitality and brimming with the intensity for which American children are conspicuous, they are an interesting quartette. Their names are Elmer, John, Charles and Rose E. The beautiful home within which the McCluer family live is surrounded by a large lawn which is kept of velvet smoothness by being frequently gone over with a lawn-mower. His home is handsomely furnished and the genial host and hostess hospitably entertain the many people who are attracted hither socially or by business. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Prof. William E. McCormick
No resident of Tower Hill, Shelby County, has pursued a more honorable career or been of greater value as a citizen and public servant than the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs and who is well known throughout Shelby County. His life and character are well worthy of imitation by those who, like himself, must be the architects of their own fortunes and destinies to a great extent. His habits are unostentatious, his judgment impartial, his convictions strong and his benefactions, like his labors, constant and unremitting. In 1888 he was appointed Principal of the public schools of Tower Hill, since which time he has advanced the grade of scholarship, deepened the public interest in educational matters and brought the school to the front rank among the academics of learning in the county. Recently he has been invited to take charge of the school at Windsor in this county.
Prof. McCormick is of Irish parentage. His father, Edward McCormick, was born in County Galway, Ireland, of which county his mother, Jane (O'Brien) McCormick, was also a native. After their marriage in Ireland they emigrated to America during the latter part of the 1850's, and coming directly to this State, settled on a farm near the village of Tower Hill, of which they have since been residents. They became the parents of four children, of whom our subject is the eldest. He was born in County Galway, Ireland, April 1, 1858, and was about three years of age when he was brought by his parents to this country. He grew to manhood in Tower Hill Township and received a good education in its graded schools. Later he became a student in the Central Normal College of Danville, Ind., where he fitted himself for the profession of a teacher. Since 1877, when Prof. McCormick taught his first school, he has been engaged in his chosen profession and has become well-known as a splendid disciplinarian and one thoroughly able to impart knowledge to others. He was married in Pana, Ill., September 13, 1883, to Miss Minnie R., daughter of Samuel Milliken. This estimable lady was born in Shelby County, Ill., June 4, 1860 and is a lady of recognized worth of character and kindly disposition. She and the Professor are both consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has been a Trustee. He has also served as Superintendent of the Sunday-school, and takes an active part in religious and benevolent work. In politics he is a Democrat and has served the township as Clerk and Assessor. He owns two hundred acres adjacent to the village of Tower Hill, a portion of which lies within the corporation. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Alexander H. McTaggart
Alexander H. McTaggart, a farmer and stock-raiser who resides on section 10, Oconee Township, Shelby County, was born in Washington County, Ohio, January 15, I841. His parents, Neil and Catherine (Loynacham) McTaggart, were born in Scotland, the former in 1811. They both came to America in their youth, and settled with their parents in Washington County, Ohio, they were married in l836. Six sons and two daughters were born to them, of whom David was the eldest. This son died in his native State at the age of eighteen, and all of the children were born in Ohio. The second child was our subject, and after him came Neil, who married in Canada, and now resides in Colorado, where he fills the office of Postmaster. Daniel A. married Miss Harson, and is engaged in farming in Marion County, Iowa. Belle married James Amsbury, a farmer in Warren County, Iowa. Hugh E. married in Iowa, and located in Kansas, where he is engaged as a passenger conductor on the Santa Fe Railroad. He has been with this road for nine years, and makes his home at Newton, Kan. Mary J. married William Stumph, and resided in Knoxville, Iowa, during her married life, dying there in July, l887. Douglas D. married in Colorado, and is now carrying on farming in Nebraska.
The subject of this sketch became a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting in Company K, Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry, June 20, 1861. At the expiration of his term of service in 1863, he re-enlisted for the remainder of the war, and was finally discharged in June, 1865. He was assigned to duty in St. Louis, and served in Northern Missouri until February, 1862, when he was ordered to New Madrid under Gen. Pope. He participated in the engagements at New Madrid and Island No. 10, and was afterward sent to Helena, Ark., after which he returned to reinforce Gen. Grant at Pittsburgh Landing. He was in the siege of Corinth, and remained in that vicinity for several months. He took part in the battles of Iuka, Miss., and Corinth, remaining at the latter place through the winter of 1862-63. During the summer of 1863 he did garrison duty at Memphis, and the following winter was spent at Prospect, Tenn., where he was guarding the railroad, scouting, and watching the rebel Gen. Forrest. While here the Thirty-ninth Regiment re-enlisted as veterans.
Mr. McTaggart was promoted to the position of Orderly-Sergeant of his company at the time of re-enlistment. In the spring of 1864 his regiment joined Gen. Sherman's army at Chattanooga, and participated in the Atlanta campaign, taking part in the battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Ringgold, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain and Ruff's Mills. In the latter battle Col. E. F. Noyes, of the Thirty-ninth, who was afterwards the Governor of Ohio, lost a leg. Sergeant McTaggart received a severe wound in his left shoulder July 22, 1864, at Atlanta, Ga. This has permanently disabled him. He was in the hospital for some time at Marietta, Ga., and afterwards spent two months at home on a furlough. He rejoined his regiment at Atlanta, and marched with Sherman to the sea. Here our subject received the commission of a Second Lieutenant, and was transferred to Company B, of the same regiment. He was placed on detached duty, having charge of the forages of the First Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, and he superintended the gathering of supplies during the march northward through the Carolinas, which finally terminated at the city of Washington. While on this duty Lieut. McTaggart was again honored with promotion, being commissioned First Lieutenant, and assigned to the command of Company D, in his regiment. He was mustered out of service at Goldsboro, N. C., March 29, 1865. He then marched from Raleigh, N. C., to Washington. D. C., a most fatiguing and exhausting march in the heat of that tropical region. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington, and was sent to Louisville, Ky., for his final discharge.
Lieut. McTaggart returned to Ohio, although his parents had removed to Iowa the previous year, but there was an attraction in Washington County for the young man, and he was wedded July 18, 1865, to Miss Margaret Brown, daughter of James and Elizabeth Brown. She was one of three daughters, and was born in Washington County November 16, 1840. Those of her father's family who are still living are Betsey, the widow of John Irwin; John C., who married, and resides on a farm in Oconee Township, and Robert, of whom more may be learned by the perusal of the sketch of John C. Brown. One sister, Nancy, married in Ohio, but died soon afterward.
Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McTaggart, one of whom died in infancy. Edwin, born August 18, 1870, lives at home. William F., born August 3, 1872, and Arthur C., January 17, 1874. Mr. McTaggart taken an active interest in political affairs, and votes with the Republican party. In 1888 the Seventeenth Congressional District of Illinois honored itself and this gentleman by making him its Presidential elector. Next to his army record, Mr. McTaggart recognizes this as the highest distinction of his life.
Our subject has never united with any church organization, although he gives liberally of his means to the support of the Gospel and to Sunday schools. He owns a farm of one hundred and forty acres of land, with fine buildings and improvements. It is situated within sight of school and church, and is in every way a desirable location.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Wesley M. Metsker
A large and well-improved farm in Tower Hill Township, Shelby County, is owned and occupied by Mr. Metsker, and its possession gives conclusive evidence of the ability with which he has prosecuted his calling. It consists of two hundred acres on section 17, and is embellished with substantial buildings for the shelter of stock and storage of grain. A passer-by will note with pleasure the orderly arrangement and neatness characterizing the place and the evidences of a pleasant home life that are seen about the residence.
The family of which our subject is an honored representative originally came from Germany. The immediate progenitors of Mr. Metsker were John and Sarah (Mowan) Metsker, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. There were born to them six children, our subject being the second. The father died in Stark County, Ohio, at the age of seventy-two years; he was an honorable man, whose memory is revered in the hearts of his children. The mother died at the residence of our subject in Tower Hill Township in 1885.
The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, September 6, 1834 and was reared to manhood in his native place. He lived on a farm although his father followed the occupation of an engineer in a blast furnace. He attended the district schools, where he became practically well informed in ordinary branches of study. Upon attaining to the opening years of a stalwart manhood Mr. Metsker in a few years earned enough to admit of his establishing a home, and accordingly he was married in Canton, Ohio, in November, 1858, to Catherine Heck, a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and born about 1836. The young couple settled in that county where they continued to reside until 1865. In that year they removed to Illinois, choosing as their home section 17, Tower Hill Township, Shelby County, and here Mr. Metsker has since resided. Six children came to bless the home, a record of whom we give below: John W., married Miss Nellie Dean and is a farmer in Colorado; Martha; Mary, is the wife of Charles W. Wolf, a farmer of Tower Hill Township; Alice married James Bottsford; Emma and Lewis are still at home. The wife and mother died at her home November 4, 1871. Mr. Metsker was again married, choosing as his bride Miss Elizabeth Heck, the sister of his former wife, and they have three children - Fred, Augustus and Perry. Mr. Metsker has always engaged in agricultural pursuits and has embellished his farm with good buildings. Politically he casts his ballot for the candidates of the United Labor party, the principles of which he believes will best subserve the welfare of the Government. He has held the important office of School Director and has in other ways been closely identified with the progress of the community. Mrs. Metsker is a faithful member of the Lutheran Church and enjoys the esteem of her large circle of acquaintances. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Abram Middlesworth, President of the First National Bank, Shelbyville, Shelby County, is a representative of the men of energy, ability and enterprise who have had the making of Shelby County. Not only is he prominent as the head of its leading financial institutions, but his name is indissolubly associated with the rise and progress of its agriculture as one of its most extensive farmers and stockmen for many years. He still retains his farming interests, and has one of the largest and best managed farms in this section of the State.
Our subject was born, November 10, 1821, on a farm ten miles southwest of Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio. His father was Abraham Middlesworth, a pioneer of this county, who was born in New Jersey, and was a son of John and Martha Middlesworth. The former died May 14, 1815, aged seventy years, and the latter departed this life October 5, 1824, at the age of seventy-four years, and both were buried near Beavertown, Pa. Ner, an uncle of our subject, became a prominent citizen in the public life of the Commonwealth, and for eighteen years was a member of the State Legislature of Pennsylvania and served as Speaker of the House. He was born December 12, 1783 and died January 2, 1865. The grandfather, according to the best information at hand, was a native of England, who on coming to America at some time during the last century located first in New Jersey. Later he removed to Pennsylvania, and settled in that part of Union now included in Snyder County, where he engaged in farming until death closed his mortal career.
The father of our subject resided with his parents until he attained his majority, when he started westward to seek his fortunes, taking with him all his worldly possessions, which comprised his clothing and rifle. He walked to Fairfield County, Ohio, and locating there in the early days of its settlement, established himself at the trade of a cooper. He applied himself closely to his calling, and in due time, with close economy, had enough money to purchase a tract of timber land southwest of Lancaster. During the early years of his married life he lived in the log cabin which became the birthplace of his son of whom we write. He was a man of more than ordinary enterprise, and was withal a successful speculator, buying wild land or partly developed farms, taking up his residence thereon, and after making improvements selling at an advanced price. He continued to live in Fairfield County until 1840, when he ambitiously sought "greener fields and pastures new" in this county, bringing with him his family on that ever memorable journey, he and his wife traveling in a carriage and Abram with a five horse team, riding one and driving the others with a single line.
Abraham Middlesworth had previously visited Illinois before coming here to settle permanently, and he had bought a large tract of land in this county, including the farm they owned by Benjamin Waldron, Sr. Two hewed log houses and twenty acres of cleared land constituted the improvements, the twenty acres referred to being known at that time as "Waldron's Big Field." Mr. Middlesworth continued to be a resident of the county, devoting himself to the improvement of his realty until his death deprived this part of the State of a valuable citizen, who while he lived was actively identified with its agriculture. The maiden name of his wife, the mother of our subject, was Barbara Leathers. She was a native of Pennsylvania or Maryland, and of German antecedents. She died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Sally Galligher. These are the names of the seven children of the parents of our subject; Mary, Sally, John, Abram, William, Ner and Isabella.
Abram Middlesworth was nineteen years of age when the family removed to this county, which was then but sparsely settled, and the greater part of the land was owned by the Government. Deer and other wild game were quite plentiful, and often furnished an agreeable addition to the fare of the settlers, who were mostly home-livers, subsisting as far as possible on what they raised on their farms. There were no railways for some years after the family settled here, and St. Louis was the principal market and depot for supplies. Our subject embraced every opportunity to obtain an education in the schools of his early home in Ohio, which were taught in log school-houses, which he attended a few months each winter, devoting the remainder of the year to working on his father's farm. After coming to this county he and his brother managed their father's farm in 1841, and sold their whole crop of wheat at the rate of thirty-seven and a half cents a bushel. For a time they went to Springfield to get their grain ground.
Mr. Middlesworth's father gave him a tract of land, which was located in Tower Hill Township, and after his marriage he settled on it, and actively entered upon the pioneer task of reclaiming it from the wilderness. After the Mexican War he purchased land warrants of the soldiers to whom they had been given by the Government, and he entered land in Ridge Township, at a cost of eighty cents an acre. In addition to farming he engaged extensively in buying hogs and cattle, shipping the former to St. Louis and the latter to the New York markets. He continued to live on his farm until 1871, when he took up his residence in Shelbyville. He did not abandon his extensive agricultural operations, however, but superintended the cultivation of his farm and his large stock business as heretofore. He had acquired a handsome property by his operations, and twenty-five hundred acres of choice land are numbered among his possessions. In 1877 he was elected President of the First National Bank of Shelbyville, Ill., which position he still holds, and it is through his efficient and able administration of its finances that it has risen to be one of the safest as well as one of the most important monetary institutions in the county.
Forty-four years ago, on the 28th of January, 1847, Mr. Middlesworth took an important step in life that has contributed greatly to his happiness and well-being, as on that date he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth J. T. Goodwin. Mrs. Middlesworth is a native of this county and a daughter of James and Sarah (Donnel) Goodwin, pioneers of this part of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Middlesworth have three sons and two daughters living, namely; Sarah B., widow of John W. Ward, her residence being on a farm five miles northeast of Shelbyville; Isabella, wife of Hiram Scarborough; James; John and William S.
In early life our subject was a Whig, but he subsequently joined the Republican party, and has ever since been a staunch advocate of its policy. He is a man of strong character and firm principles, who has always exerted a good influence over the community, and he is in no respect behind his fellow-citizens in public spirit and an earnest desire to help forward all enterprises that will in any way advance the best interests of the city and county, giving the benefit of his experience, business talent and money to all feasible plans to promote the public weal. He and his estimable wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and their liberality and helpfulness have contributed largely to its usefulness as an active religious organization.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John W. Middlesworth
Somebody has said that the most desirable thing in life is to be well born, but there is a different way of construing the expression among different classes of people. The writer's idea of good birth is the endowment of a fine physical constitution, crowned and sanctified by high mental and moral faculties, and having parents in whom shine "high erected thoughts, seated in hearts of courtesy." As Oliver Wendell Holmes says in his charming conversations over the teacups, the selection of parents should be attended to several years before one's coming into the world, and all sociological questions should be carefully balanced. In the ease of our subject this last consideration happened naturally and without his interference. He is a son of A. Middlesworth, of Shelbyville, an honorable, upright and worthy man, to whom his son is much indebted, both physically and mentally. A sketch of the gentleman may be found in another part of this volume. Our subject was born in Shelby County, Ill., September 11, 1860, when the country was in the throes of secession and discussion was ripe over the decision of the Dred Scott affair. However, when he was old enough to understand these matters the strife was ended and the country was resuming its normal condition. Farmers who had left the plow share to take the rifle and sabre had returned to their homes and resumed the duties of agricultural life. When John Middlesworth was eleven years old his father removed to Shelbyville in order to give his children better educational advantages. There our subject received his education and continued living under his father's roof until his marriage, which occurred October 10, 1883. His wife's maiden name was Alice Stewart; with her he experienced but one year of domestic bliss as her decease took place July 10, 1884. Later our subject was united in marriage with Atloe Brooks, their nuptials being celebrated September 28, 1885. The present Mrs. Middlesworth is a pleasing and attractive lady. She is a daughter of Josias W. and Martha D. (Selby) Brooks and one of seven children, there having been three sons and four daughters in her parents' family, Mrs. Middlesworth being the youngest daughter. She was born in Moweaqua, Ill., January 28, 1867. Her interest centers in her home and family, which includes three bright and attractive children. Their names are: Raymond B., William W. and Glen S. He has long followed the calling of farming and is now the owner of four hundred and sixty-six acres of finely improved land. Many valuable improvements have been made upon his farm. He of whom we write has long taken an active part in political affairs and has been an office-holder in the township in which he has lived. He is an adherent of the Republican party. His townsmen have shown their confidence in his executive ability and sound judgment by giving him one of the most important offices in the township gift, that of School Director. He and his wife are earnest Christian people and members of the Presbyterian Church. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John H. Miller, M. D.
To attain eminence in any of the learned professions and especially in the humane one of medicine, is worth the efforts of a life time and when this achievement is gained by a comparatively young man, it is certainly worthy of note by the biographer. The popularity already gained by the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this paragraph, the only physician and surgeon in Oconee, justifies the prediction that he will soon stand at the head of his profession in this State.
Our subject was born in Fayette, County, Ill., April 10, 1855 and is the son of the Rev. Jacob and Mary J. (Stapp) Miller who were pioneers of that county, the father having been born there. The mother was a native of Kentucky but very early in life came to Fayette County.
There were four sons and one daughter in the family of the Rev. Jacob Miller, of whom Dr. Joseph F. Miller is the eldest and is located at Palmer, Ill., where he is engaged in the practice of medicine. The healing art is a favorite calling in this family and a half brother of our subject. Dr. A. D. Miller, is also practicing his profession at Palmer. The only remaining half brother, Louis A. Miller, will enter the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Chicago this year, thereby making complete a continuous line of medicos in this family. Two brothers and one sister are deceased. Dr. J. H. Miller received his general education in the excellent public schools of Illinois and at the High School at Shelbyville, and at Eureka College, Eureka, Ill. His professional study and training were secured privately under competent and painstaking tutors, and these were supplemented by attendance at the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis. At this popular institution he attended two courses of lectures, graduating March 4, 1880, with honor to himself and credit to the profession.
Like most men who achieve commendable heights in art, literature of science, his success is mainly due to his own exertions. An indomitable will combined with energy, industry and good health was his stock in trade, and every draft upon this kind of bank stock brings a liberal response. Immediately after his graduation the young Doctor located in the practice of his chosen profession at Oconee, where he still remains, enjoying the confidence and esteem of all with whom he is associated either professionally or socially. A genial, whole-souled, and companionable gentleman, it is not strange that he should be a favorite among his fellow-men, but it is remarkable that so young a man should have built up a practice which more experienced physicians might justly enjoy with pride. Another evidence of the Doctor's professional popularity is the fact that he is the only physician in the town of Oconee or within a radius of several miles around, although several talented men have attempted to get a foothold here in their profession.
On the 10th of January, 1883, Dr. Miller was united in marriage with Miss Laura Theile of Ramsey, Ill., the ceremony being performed at the residence of the bride's parents. Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Henry and Eliza Theile, who were among the first settlers of Ramsey, and her father, a millwright by profession, owned and operated a mill in that place. The Doctor is a member of Oconee Camp No. 1312, M. W. of A. and enjoys the distinction of having been chosen to the office of Deputy Head Counsel of the Seventeenth Congressional District of Illinois. The duties of this office are a general supervision over the affairs of the order within his territory and the organization of new camps, his territory comprising the counties of Shelby, Macoupin, Montgomery, Moultrie, Effingham and Fayette. Of professional associations Dr. Miller is a member of the District Medical Society of Central Illinois in which he is Secretary; also of the Illinois State Medical Society in which body he is the Secretary of the Section on Etiology, Preventive and State Medicine. He is also a member of the American Medical Association and in all these organizations he ranks high among his brethren in the profession, in May 1891 he was elected to the position of Assistant to the chair on Practice of Medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago for the winter term, and in addition was made a member of the spring faculty to fill the above named chair.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Marcus H. Miller
Marcus H. Miller, a member of the County Board of Supervisors, representing Moweaqua Township, Shelby County, is conducting a profitable business as a harness manufacturer in the city of Moweaqua. He is a native of Northampton County, Pa., and was born amid its pleasant scenery August 29, 1856. His father, William Miller, was also a Pennsylvanian, his birth-place in Bucks County. He was reared and married in his native State, Marietta Boyer, also of Pennsylvania, becoming his wife. He was a harness-maker, and carried on his trade at Weaversville for some years. In 1862 he came to Illinois, and buying a farm near Blue Mound, Macon County, gave his attention to farming. He resided there seven years, and then removed to Christian County, where he bought land, and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1887. In that year he came to Moweaqua, and has ever since made his home here. He and his wife have reared six children.
Our subject was a lad of twelve years when he came to this State with his father and mother. He had previously attended school in Pennsylvania, and after coming to Illinois he became a student in the public schools of Macon County. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and followed farming until 1881, when he established himself in the harness business at Taylorville. He carried it on there until 1885, when he came to Moweaqua, and has since been engaged in the manufacture and sale of harness in this city. He has gained a solid reputation for making a superior and durable harness of the best modern styles, and he has worked up a large trade.
Not only has Mr. Miller secured an assured place in the business circles of Moweaqua during the few years in which he has been a resident of the city as the head of an important industry, but he has gained entrance into public life in prominent civic positions. He was a member of the City Council in 1889, and in 1890 was elected Supervisor to represent Moweaqua on the County Board of Supervisors, and still retains that office, showing in his careful performance of the duties connected with it that he is a fit man to be entrusted with important civic affairs. Politically, the Democratic party has no truer or more faithful supporter than he.
Our subject was married to Miss Anna Marshall in March, 1881, and they have established a home wherein comfort and coziness abound and hospitality reigns. Two children, Jessie and Willie complete their pleasant household. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and interests herself earnestly in all good works for the benefit of the community.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Samuel Miller is an intelligent and enterprising member of the farming community of Moweaqua Township. He was born in Somerset, Perry County, Ohio, December 12, 1833. His father, George Miller, was a native of Pennsylvania. He removed to Ohio in pioneer times, and his last years were passed in Somerset, where he carried on his trade as a stonemason. He served with credit as a soldier during the Mexican war. He married Susan, daughter of Frederick Leathers, and a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, of which her father was an early pioneer. She came to Illinois in 1854, and her last years were passed in a home southeast of Shelbyville. When our subject was seven years old he went to live with Peter Kesler, a farmer of Fairfield County, Ohio. He remained with him two years, and then went to Preble County, and was with Reuben Pottenger two years. He then returned to his old home to live with his mother, who had married a second time, becoming the wife of Samuel Potter. He remained an inmate of his step-father's household until he was eighteen years old. At that age he went to Dayton, in his native State, to serve an apprenticeship of three years to learn the trade of a carriage smith. At the expiration of that time he did journey-work at Troy, Ohio, and later at Indianapolis and Lafayette, Ind., at St. Louis, Mo., and at Bloomington, Ill. In 1859 he started for the Pacific coast, going by the way of the Isthmus, and for two months he worked at his trade at San Francisco. From there he went to Portland, Ore., and was employed in the same way in that city the ensuing three months. We next hear of him at Cloverdale, in the same State, where he opened a shop and carried on business as a carriage manufacturer three years. His place of residence after that for some time was at Eugene City, where he engaged in manufacturing carriages until 1864. In the year last mentioned Mr. Miller returned eastward as far as this State, and was a resident of Mattoon one year. He then went back to Portland, resumed business as a carriage manufacturer, and while there took a Government contract to build army wagons. He remained in that city until 1868, and then conducted business at his trade in Albany, Ore. In 1870 he left that place and once more came to Illinois. He bought a farm in Long Grove Township, this county, and gave his attention to agriculture. Two years later he rented his farm, and going back to Oregon bought property at Albany, and resumed the manufacture of carriages and wagons, continuing in that line until 1872. He then sold out his business and returned to his Illinois farm, which he disposed of at a good price in 1881, and his next venture was to engage in the sale of groceries and agricultural implements at Moweaqua, carrying on a thriving business the following four years. He then sold at a good advantage, and bought the place where he now resides, and is devoting himself assiduously to its improvement. Mr. Miller was married first in Cloverdale, Ore., in 1864, to Miss Mary Agnes Southwell, a native of Morgan County, Ill. Their wedded life was but brief, as the young wife died in 1865. The second marriage of our subject, which took place in 1867, was to Miss Mary Hand, a native of Kentucky. She died at Albany, Ore., in 1876, leaving three children, Agnes M., Arabella (wife of Everett Russell), and Effie Blanche. The marriage of Mr. Miller to his present wife, formerly Sarah J. Defenbacker, was solemnized in 1877, and has brought them two children, Cora Edna and Samuel. Mrs. Miller is a native of Decatur, Ill, and a daughter of Dr. Defenbacker, who was a German by birth, and was one of the pioneer physicians of Decatur. A certain energy and force of character, versatility and shrewd business tact have marked the acts of our subject ever since he began the battle of life on his own account, and have helped to place him among the substantial citizens of the county. He and his wife occupy a good position socially, and in them the Methodist Episcopal Church has two good working members. Mr. Miller's political sentiments are expressed by the platform of the Republican party.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William C. Miller
William C. Miller, ex-County Treasurer of Shelby County, occupies a conspicuous place among its native-born sons who have done so much within the last generation to advance it to its present high standing as a rich and prosperous community. He is one of the principal farmers and stock-dealers in this section and conducts an extensive and profitable business in his line in Flat Branch Township, where he has a large farm that is complete in its appointments and is a valuable property. Our subject is a son of Christopher Philip Miller, an old and well-known resident of this county, still living on the homestead farm that he developed from the wilderness on Robinson Creek, Ridge Township, where William was born in his pioneer home February 16, 1842. The father is of German birth and origin, born twelve miles from Hesse-Cassel, October 10, 1803, a son of John Christopher and Hannah Francisco (Strallmann) Miller, who were also natives of the same locality as himself. In 1804 the grandparents of our subject left their old home in Germany to emigrate to the United States of America, voyaging across the waters in a sail vessel and landing at Philadelphia. The family settled in Chester County, Pa., and went from there in 1817 to Ohio with a pair of horses and a wagon. They were among the first to settle in Fairfield County, that State, where the grandfather, who was a shoemaker, used to ply his trade, going from house to house as was the custom in those days. He died in that county in 1825, his wife having preceded him in death the year before. They reared nine children.
Christopher P. Miller was one year old the day he landed with his parents in Philadelphia. He remained with them in Pennsylvania and Ohio until his mother's demise, though he was but a boy when he began to earn his own living. He lived in Hickory Township, Fairfield County, Ohio, until 1839, and then with his wife and the four children that had been born to them there, he came to Illinois, the journey being performed with a pair of horses and a wagon. He spent his first winter in this State in Shelbyville and in the spring of 1840 selected a suitable location on the banks of Robinson Creek and became one of the first settlers of Ridge Township, where he has ever since made his home on the place that he then purchased. During the half century and more that it has been in his possession he has wrought a great change, improving it into a fine farm. When he settled on it the prairies were but sparsely settled and deer and other kinds of game were abundant. There were no railways here and for some years St. Louis, one hundred and ten miles away, was the nearest market and depot for supplies. The father of our subject was first married September 24, 1829, to Miss Amanda Carpenter. She was born near Lancaster, Ohio, and died in that State November 28, 1834, leaving two children, of whom Ezra, a resident of Assumption, is the only survivor. The maiden name of Mr. Miller's second wife, mother of subject, was Catherine Spear. She was born in Dauphin County, Pa., and died on the home farm in Ridge Township, February 28, 1869. There are six children living of that marriage, namely: Amanda, wife of Sam Yantis; Henry M.; William C.; Mary, wife of Alvin P. Weakly; Eliza, wife of G. W. Townsend, and Henrietta, wife of William H. Bickner. James C., the oldest child, died at the age of fifty-eight years. He of whom this biographical sketch is written was carefully reared under good home influences in his native township. The first school that he attended was held in a typical pioneer log school house that stood in the woods on the bank of Robinson Creek. The building was heated by a large fireplace which occupied almost the entire end of the school room, and the furniture consisted of slab benches and a writing desk of the same material supported on pins of wood that were driven into the wall. September 3, 1863, our subject was the victim of a serious accident whereby he lost his right arm just above the elbow. This loss changed the tenor of his life to a great extent as it determined him to secure a higher education than he had already acquired, and the same fall before his arm was healed he enrolled his name as a pupil in the seminary at Shelbyville. He studied in that institution diligently for a year and in January, 1865, entered the profession of a teacher, taking charge of a school in Flat Branch Township. As soon as that term closed he was called to teach a school in Ridge Township near his old home, and after that he taught a two month's school at Assumption. He then immediately returned to Ridge Township to teach there again, and his services were in such constant demand, so successful was he in imparting knowledge, showing himself to possess in a full degree the best requisites of an educator, that his time was almost wholly given to his vocation with scarce an intermission for an entire year. He was afterward engaged in teaching in Ridge, Flat Branch and Tower Hill Townships for several winters. In the summer he devoted his time to raising hedge plants and was thus employed for eight seasons with good financial returns. For some years prior to his marriage Mr. Miller became a resident of Flat Branch Township and here he bought his first land, and after he was married he located on a farm on section 33. At the close of his second term as County Treasurer, in the fall of 1877, be located on his present farm which is situated on section 24, Flat Branch Township. He has six hundred and fifty-five acres of choice farming land which he is cultivating assiduously besides carrying on a lucrative business in trading in stock. He is a man of large enterprise, keen foresight, possessing a good understanding of the best ways of conducting his business so as to make the most money out of it, and has a taste for speculation in which he is invariably successful, combining boldness and caution in due proportion in his operations. The same traits that have made our subject one of our solid business men have also given him weight and influence in the public and political life of the county and gained him distinction as an office holder. He has always affiliated with the Democrats and has generally supported that party in State and national issues, although he has sympathized with the National Greenback party where questions of finance and currency are concerned and shared its prejudices in regard to monopolies. When the farmer's movement was at its strongest in this county he was one of the most active leaders, and in the summer of 1873 was honored by nomination to the office of County Treasurer at a convention held at Shelbyville composed of the supporters of the Farmer's movement. There was no opposition candidate and Mr. Miller was, of course, elected, and after looking after the finances of the county two years to the perfect satisfaction of all concerned, irrespective of party, he was again a candidate on the people's ticket. Though opposed by the nominee of the Democratic party, so popular was he, he polled sixty-six more votes than his opponent, and that, too, in a county that is usually overwhelmingly Democratic.
Mr. Miller was first married July 13, 1871, to Miss Mary Chadwick, a daughter of William Chadwick, and a native of Flat Branch Township. She died June 10, 1878, after, a brief but happy wedded life in which three children had been born, of whom these two survive, Ada May and Charles Cyrus. The youngest, Bertie Sylvan, died after its mother's death at the age of nine months.
Our subject was married a second time February 2, 1881, to Mrs. Nancy (Armstrong) Goodwin, daughter of John Armstrong and widow of Joseph Goodwin. She was a consistent member of the Christian Church and is in every way worthy of the respect of the community that she shares with her husband. Mrs. Miller was born in her father's pioneer log cabin in what is now Penn Township, July 18, 1835. Her father was born in Warren County, Ky., April 4, 1803, his father, Aaron Armstrong, a native of South Carolina, being a pioneer of that section of the country. He resided there until 1809, when he came to Illinois which was in that year organized as a territory by an act of Congress. He located in Madison County, being one of its early settlers, and lived there during the War of 1812, having to live in a fort a part of the time. He improved a farm in that county and made it his home until death closed his earthly pilgrimage.
Mrs. Miller's father married in Madison County, Jennie Roach, a native of Kentucky, and in 1826 he, too, became a pioneer, coming to Shelby County to build up a new home in the wilderness that then prevailed here. He made claim to a tract of Government land including the southwest quarter of section 6, of township 14, range 3, east of the third principal meridian, now known as Penn Township. He occupied a log cabin on his land and for a time his nearest neighbor was ten miles distant. Deer, wild turkeys, wolves and other wild animals were plentiful in this then uncivilized region which the hand of man had done but little to reclaim. Mr. Armstrong entered and bought other land besides his homestead and resided on the farm that he improved until after the death of his wife in 1875. He spent the last eight years of his life with his daughter, Mrs. Miller, dying at a venerable age August 10, 1883.
Mrs. Miller developed into a vigorous womanhood in her parental home and was taught all useful household duties, including the art of carding, spinning and weaving cloth. She was first married in 1870 to Joseph Goodwin, a native of Tennessee. He was a farmer by occupation and passed his last years on his farm in Penn Township, dying in 1875. By that marriage Mrs. Miller has one child, Flo Goodwin. Mr. and Mrs. Miller's children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They are being carefully educated and all are students at the State Normal School, at Normal, Ill., at the present time. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Daniel Moll, of Moweaqua, one of the formost stock dealers in this county, and an extensive land owner, is one of our substantial citizens who in the successful management of this business has added to the wealth of this section and has helped to establish its prosperity on a solid foundation. He was born in Bucks County Pa., which was also the native county of his father, who bore the same name as himself. His grandfather was likewise a Pennsylvanian by birth and was of German antecedents. He spent his last years at his occupation as a farmer in Bucks County. The father of our subject was reared on a farm and always followed agricultural pursuits, spending his entire life in the county of his nativity. He married Margaret Hines, a native of that county, and a life-long resident of that section of Pennsylvania. She was the mother of fifteen children that grew to maturity.
Daniel Moll, of this biographical sketch, passed his life on his father's farm, and when he was eighteen early years of age his father gave him his time. He started out even with the world, his only capital being a clear brain, strong muscle, a courageous heart, and right principles, but these were worth more to him than money, and by their aid he has been more than ordinarily successful in acquiring wealth. He made his way to Ohio after he left the sheltering roof of his old home, and entered upon his career by working upon a farm by the month. He was so employed in the Buckeye State until 1853, when, thinking that he could do better in this State, he came to Shelby County with a team, and at first farmed as a renter. As soon as his means would admit, he bought forty acres of land in Pickaway Township, a half of which was under cultivation, and a log cabin adorned the place. Busy years followed his location there, but prosperity smiled upon his efforts, and he often judiciously invested his money in land, and at the present time has nine hundred fifty eight acres of valuable real estate, divided into five finely improved farms. Mr. Moll continued his residence on his homestead until May, 1890, when he came to Moweaqua and purchased the pleasant place where he now lives. He has for many years been actively engaged in buying and shipping live-stock, commencing in a moderate way, and gradually building up a large business, which he still continues, he being one of the shippers in the county, all his stock going to Chicago. He is one of our solid business men, keen foresight and unerring judgment, united with honorable and generous dealings, marking all his transactions.
He stands high in financial circles, and public-spirit is one of his characteristics, he being always willing to use his means and influence to advance all enterprises that will in any way benefit city or country. He has always given of his time to help in the management of civic affairs, and has done good service as Highway Commissioner and as a member of the District School Board. As to his politics, he is a firm and unswerving adherence to the Republican party. Both he and his good wife are people of earnest religious character and are faithful members of the United Brethren in Christ Church. Mr. Moll has been exceedingly happy in his domestic relations, as by his marriage in November, 1853, with Miss Coraline Wolfe, he secured a wife who has ever been watchful of his interests, and has cheerfully co-operated with him in the upbuilding of their home. They have five children, namely: Mary E., who is the wife of Jesse O. Weakly, of Ridge Township; John, who married Miss Sarah Brinker, Miss Nelly Tolly, and lives in Pickaway Township; Clara A., the wife of Cyrus Weakly, of Pickaway Township; and William Henry, who lives at home with his parents.
Mrs. Moll is a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, and a daughter of Andrew and Susan (Stearns) Wolf. Her father, who is thought to have been a native of Pennsylvania, was a pioneer of Hawkin Township, Fairfield County, where he caried [sic] on his trade as a miller, and died at a ripe age in 1840. His wife, who was a Pennsylvanian by birth, spent her last years with a daughter in Carro County, Ind. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The young gentleman whose history it is our pleasure to here chronicle, is a successful farmer and stock-raiser operating a place on section 20, of Pickaway Township. The tract comprises two hundred and forty acres of good land, which is so well managed as to be the admiration of all who have the opportunity of seeing it. Although a young man to have the care of so large a place he has controlled it for the past two years, having been engaged as a farmer in Flat Branch Township for the five years previous to his coming here. Our subject was born on the farm which he now occupies, his natal day being February 27, 1862, and he is the fourth child in the parental family. His parents were Daniel and Caroline (Wolf) Moll, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively, both of German ancestry. They were married in Ohio and at once came to Illinois, settling in Ridge Township about 1854. Later they came to Pickaway Township and purchased a small farm, a part of which is now covered by the old homestead. This was the nucleus of the handsome property that Mr. Moll subsequently acquired. The farm comprised nine hundred and forty acres, most of which is now highly improved. The dwelling is a large two-story brick house, of imposing style and well located, commanding a magnificent view of the surrounding country. Six farm dwellings which make good homes for the tenants and workmen about the place have been built on the land. The place has been brought to its present high tone chiefly by the efforts of Mr. Moll Sr., who is now retired from a life of active engagement in agriculture to a beautiful home in Moweaqua, where he and his wife live in quiet retirement at the ages of three score years. They are active and well-known factors in Moweaqua, where they hold a prominent social position. Their church relations are connected with those of the United Brethren Church, of which Mr. Moll is a member. They have five living children. The original of our sketch was reared on the farm which he now occupies. He received the advantages of a good public school education and is well fitted for practical business life. He was married in this township May 4, 1884, to Miss Ida Bell Tolly, who, like himself, is a native of this township, where she was born September 8, 1867. Here she was reared and educated. She is the daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth (Goodwin) Tolly, who are now living at Moweaqua and are retired farmers. They are old settlers in the county and have been successful in a financial way. Mrs. Moll was well and carefully reared. She is a bright woman, having an unusual conversational talent, an attractive personality and charming manners. She is the proud mother of two children, in whose care and education she is deeply absorbed. Mr. and Mrs. Moll are members of the old-school Baptist Church of Flat Branch Township. Our subject is a Republican in his politics as is his father. He is a member of the order of the Farmers' 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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