James W. Sanders, M.D.
The young physician whose early success it is our pleasure here to chronicle, is a native of this State, and as such he should receive the encouragement and recognition that his ability and standing in the profession merits. He was born in Pawnee, Sangamon County, this State, February 21, 1864, and up to the age of eighteen was reared on a farm. He early felt a sympathy with nature and the botany of the woods and meadows became familiar to him, and in his studies later his knowledge of simples was of great advantage to him. In selecting a field for the exercise of his professional skill, he felt that a young man could not find a better location than the thriving young town of Windsor and here he settled, and is already highly regarded among the medical profession. In his boyhood, our subject attended the common schools, pursuing his course there until eighteen years of age. He then entered the Normal school at Valparaiso where he remained about six months and then entered the Central Normal College at Danville, Ind., after which he returned home and engaged in teaching for one and a half years. It is said that a teacher always learns more than his best pupils and doubtless Dr. Sanders found the discipline to be of value and in teaching his pupils to be diligent in study and obedient, the lesson was impressed upon his own mind that self-control is of all qualities the most desirable to a professional man. In the fall of 1886, the original of our sketch entered the Chicago Medical College, pursuing his course there with great credit to himself. His life also in the great metropolis, was an education to the young man in itself, and he found many opportunities of widening his intellectual horizon outside of lectures and clinics. He graduated in 1889 with much honor to himself and the piece of parchment that he at that time received, bearing the signature of some of the finest physicians in the West, who attested that his course had been pursued with credit to himself, is a precious testimonial to him of hours spent in preparing for the profession which was his choice. At once after graduating he began practice at Windsor, where he is so fortunate as already to have gained a fine patronage. He stands as one of the best physicians in the city. We feel that too much credit cannot be accorded to the man or woman who has had the grit and stamina not only to be unabashed by the difficulties of a chosen course, but also to work their way, sweeping aside any obstacle that may intervene between them and their purpose. It redounds greatly to the credit of our subject, that at every spare moment and during vacations, he was working in order to gain a permanent foothold as a student, and this he accomplished by getting a position with the Chicago Hansom Cab Company. To him belongs the credit and honor of having organized the Chicago Medical Nurse Bureau, which is composed of senior students of the Chicago Medical College. This also was of great help to him in a financial way. Our subject was married near Paris, Edgar County, this State, March 11, 1886, to Miss Ida M. Zink, who a native of Edgar County, Ill. One little boy has come to brighten his parents' pathway, and is the pet and pride of both father and mother. Our subject's father was Robert E. Sanders, and his mother was Elizabeth (Bridges) Sanders. The latter passed away in 1865 in Pawnee Township, Sangamon County. The father still survives and is a resident of Pawnee Township. Doubtless Dr. Sanders' success in Windsor, as a professional man, is owing, to a large extent, to the personal favor in which he is with the people. He is an energetic, ambitious man, and the progress of his profession will never leave him in the rear. He has a pleasant home, which is presided over by his estimable wife. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891]
Pennsylvania, like all of the Eastern and Southern States, contributed a large share toward the settlement of Illinois, both in the early days and during more recent years. The natives of that State have a well-earned reputation for thrift, industry and steadfastness of character and they were made welcome to join the boards of emigrants who flocked to the Prairie State from their native homes. Among such we find our subject, who resides on section 6, Okaw Township, Shelby County, where he rents two-hundred and ninety-four acres of land.
Mr. Sands has resided in Shelby County since 1864, having come West first to Ohio from his native home in Berks County, Pa., where he was born May 8, 1833. He is a son of William and Catherine Sands, who removed to Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1835, where they made their home until 1865, when they came to Illinois, where the father died in Shelby County, in 1870. The mother is still living and is enjoying a green old age. In this family of William and Catherine Sands there were nine children, and all but the eldest daughter, Mary, are still living and form a happy and united band of brothers and sisters. After Mary came Eliza, Aaron, Daniel, William, Franklin, Edward, Peter and John. Previous to our subject's emigration to Illinois he was married in Ohio, in 1860, to Julyann Foor, who was born April 3, 1840, and was the daughter of Henry and Caroline Foor.
To Mr. and Mrs. Sands have been born eight children, all of whom have lived to become worthy and reputable citizens and who are now the comfort and support of their parents. They are as follows: Eliza, deceased; James M., Isabelle, Calvin, Otto, Margaret E., Oscar, Minnie and Edward.
The political views which have been entertained by Mr. Sands during most of his life have led him to affiliate with the party which is proud to claim the names of Jefferson and Jackson, but of late years he has felt that it was better to be untrammeled by party ties and has cast his vote independent of the dictates of party leaders. His good wife is an earnest and useful member of the German Reformed Church, in which her labors are highly appreciated. This worthy couple receive what they so richly deserve, the kind regard and esteem of their neighbors and of all who know them.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
David G. Sanner
David G. Sanner, V. S., a prominent and well-known as a wealthy farmer and stock raiser, residing in Penn Township, Shelby County, has large landed interests in this, Macon and Moultrie Counties, and has contributed extensively to the development of the great agricultural resources of this section of his native State, as one of the most enlightened and advanced men of his class within its borders. He is much interested in raising fine road horses, the Hambletonian strain being his favorite, and he also bears a high reputation as one of the most intelligent and skillful veterinary surgeons in Shelby County.
May 16, 1842, is the date of the birth of our subject in one of the pioneer homes of Madison County, of which his father, Samuel Sanner, was an early settler. The latter was a native of Northumberland County, Pa., and in early manhood he married Barbara Paul, a native of Preston County, W. Va. In 1833 he came to Illinois with his family, and located in the wilds of Madison County, nine miles north of Edwardsville. During the many years that he lived there he applied himself busily to his pioneer work, and in due time was well rewarded by becoming the possessor of a goodly amount of property. In 1886 he took up his abode in Penn Township, and there his remaining days were passed in tranquility and comfort until he closed his eyes in the dreamless sleep of death. He left behind him a good life-record and a memory that is cherished with reverence in the hearts of those who knew him.
Our subject was the eighth child in a large family of children, twelve in number, and in his childhood he had ample opportunity to acquire habits of industry and steady application that have been of use to him in his after life, as his father wisely determined that his boys should be able to do all kinds of work on the farm, while at the same time he desired that they should have an education. Our subject was well equipped in that respect, as in his youth excellent schools had already been established in Madison County, and he attended them whenever opportunity offered, and gained a sound knowledge of mathematics, and other common branches. Whcn the war broke out he was scarcely more than a boy, but he was eager to fight in defense of the old flag. Owing to circumstances over which he had no control, however, he was obliged to abandon the thought of enlisting until the fall of 1864, when he left the parental home, September 3, to enroll his name as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry, under command of Capt. George W. Carr, the regiment being mustered in at Alton. He was disappointed that his regiment was detained at Alton to do garrison duty instead of being sent to the front, some of the men being sent to Missouri, so that he saw no active service in the field. He was soon detailed for service in the regiment band, and remained at Alton during the winter of 1864-65. The war closed the following spring, and he was honorably discharged July 14, 1865, and mustered out at Springfield.
Returning to his father's farm after his experience of life as a soldier, Mr. Sanner came with the family from his native county to this county in the spring of 1866. He continue to be an inmate of the parental household on section 21, Penn Township, until he established a home of his own, securing as an efficient helpmate to preside over it, Miss Mary E. Freeland, then a resident of Milan Township, Macon County, to whom he was wedded in April, 1870. Her father, David J. Freeland, was a native of North Carolina, whence he came to Moultrie County, this State, when he was a boy of fifteen years. He was engaged in farm work in that and Coles County some years, and then took up his residence in Milan Township, of which he is now one of the most extensive landholders. He married for his second wife Martha Sawyer, a native of Coles County, and Mrs. Sanner is their eldest child.
When he married Mr. Sanner commenced his independent career as a farmer on a half section of land in Milan Township, and resided on that place for six years. At the expiration of that time he came back to Penn Township to take charge of his father's farm on section 21. In 1877 he took possession of his present homestead, a beautiful farm of three hundred and twenty acres, finely located on section 23, Penn Township. He still retains his Macon County farm of half a section renting that and a part of his farm in Penn Township, and he has a thousand acres of land in all, including fifteen acres of timber in Moultrie County and town property in Bethany. He is extensively engaged in general farming, having his farm well stocked, and he pays particular attention to breeding fine roadsters of Hambletonian blood. He has a thorough knowledge of the horse, having made a careful study of the animal for years, and is an acknowledged authority on all questions pertaining to it, as but few men observe the good points of a horse quicker, or detect its weak parts sooner than he. He is also a successful veterinary surgeon of twenty-five years standing.
A man of an active temperament, an indomitable will and a large nature, our subject has won his way to a high place among our most valued and useful citizens. His has been a busy life, but not by the force of sheer hard work has he acquired his property, his labors having been directed by a clear, well-balanced intellect, by practical business methods, and by excellent powers of discrimination and judgment. In all his dealings he has borne himself with unswerving adherence to the principles of truth and probity, and his reputation is unblemished. The Sanner family is noted for their devotion to the Republican party and our subject is no exception, he being one of the strongest advocates of the Republican policy in this part of the State, and has been since in early manhood he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Socially he is identified with William Penn Camp, M. W. A., and he is also a member of Prairie Lodge, K. of H. He is a stockholder in the Prairie Home Building and Loan Association, and all enterprises to promote the growth of the county find in him cordial support.
Mr. and Mrs. Sanner have been truly happy in their married life and their home has been gladdened by the birth of children, of whom they had ten, namely: Charles Wesley, Carrie Belle, Franklin Ellis (who died in infancy), Samuel Walter, Cyrus David, Orville Arthur, Lawrence Lester, Robert Lincoln, Etta May and Martha Barbara.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Edward B. Sanner
The student of history finds abundant food for thought in the life record of this gentleman who has materially added to the wealth and importance of Shelby County as one of the leading agricultural centers of the great Prairie State since he identified himself with its most stirring and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers a quarter of a century ago. He has extensive landed interests both in this and Macon County, and a beautiful home in Penn Township, where he has a model farm. He devotes this estate largely to stock-raising purposes, having here one of the best herds of Herefords in this section, and several fine Cleveland Bay horses among other valuable stock. A view of this fine homestead appears on another page of this volume. Our subject was born April 29, 1839, in one of the pioneer homes of Madison County. His father, Samuel Sanner, was an early settler of that section of Illinois, who took an active part in its development during the thirty-three years that he resided there. He was a Pennsylvanian by birth, born in Northumberland. He married Barbara Paul, a native of that part of Virginia now included in West Virginia, and in 1833 came with her from Pennsylvania to this State. In 1866 he removed with his family to this county, and here his life was closed in his home in Penn Township in April, 1880, death coming to him after a long and busy career. He left a record worthy of emulation and an untarnished name that is revered by his descendants and by all who knew him.
Edward Sanner grew to manhood under good home influences, and principles of industry and of doing well whatever he undertook were early instilled into his mind and undoubtedly have contributed much to his prosperity since he began his independent career as a farmer. As soon as he was old enough he attended the district school and continued a student there until he became of age, and as he made the best of his opportunities he obtained a sound, practical education. His father intended to send him to college at Lebanon, but his services were needed at home, and the idea of a course at college had to be abandoned. He was living quietly in his father's home in Madison County when the great Civil War between the North and South broke out, and fired with patriotism, he desired to serve his country. But here again his wishes had to give way to his sense of duty, as some of his brothers had entered the army, and he was more than ever needed to help carry on the farm, so he gave up the thought of enlisting in a regiment of Zouaves as he had contemplated. But the work that he performed at home in sowing the seed and harvesting the crops was as necessary to carrying on the war to a successful issue as the hard fighting that the soldiers did at the front, for the wheat and corn raised on the broad prairies of the Middle and Western States to supply the armies with needed food were important factors in suppressing the rebellion and preserving the Union.
The removal of the Sanner family, father and sons with their families, to this county in 1866, was an important event in the life of our subject. In the fall of that year he located on land bought from the Illinois Central Railway Company, comprising the west half of section 20, Township 14, (Penn Township), range 3, east. Penn Township then formed a part of Pickaway, and the prairies of the northern part had been passed by, with but few exceptions, as unfit for settlement on account of the swampy character of the soil. This proved to be a mistaken idea, as since some of the finest farms of the county have been improved here, our subject's among others. With characteristic energy he entered upon the hard task before him of redeeming his land from its wild condition by draining it and placing it under careful cultivation, and today there is not a more desirable farm through-out the length and breadth of Shelby County than his, with its well-tilled fields yielding abundant harvests, and its commodious, conveniently arranged frame buildings, including a large and handsome residence of a modern style of architecture, with pleasant surroundings. He has added to his original purchase, and now has one thousand and ninety acres of well-improved prairie land, two hundred and ninety acres of it lying in Macon County, and the remainder in this county. Carrying on an extensive business as a general farmer, Mr. Sanner gives much attention to stock-raising, Herefords, of which he has a valuable herd, being his favorite breed of cattle, and in horses, Cleveland Bays stand first with him, and he has some fine specimens of that blood. The ceremony which made of Miss Naomi Pierson, of Bunker Hill, the wife of our subject was performed November 15, 1865, and in her he has found one of life's choicest blessings. Their wedded life has been productive to them of nine children, named Willie, Albert, Hattie, Clifford, Ruth, Fanny, Samuel, Quintus and Naomi. Fanny died at the age of twelve weeks. Mrs. Sanner is a native of Jacksonville. Morgan County, Ill., born in 1840, and is a daughter of Dr. Daniel C. and Naomi C. (Nixon) Pierson, natives of New Jersey. Her father practiced medicine in his native State several years prior to his removal to Illinois in 1833, when he became a pioneer physician of Jacksonville.
Nature has dealt generously with our subject and has not only endowed him with a fine physique, but has given him a keen, discerning, well-poised mind, and with these as capital, seconded by decision of character and tenacity of purpose, he could not fail to make life worth living and to achieve whatever he desired to accomplish. He is of an open-minded, fair, generous disposition, and has gathered around himself many warm friends, whom he is ever ready to oblige, and in times of trouble or need they are sure of his sympathy and assistance. Nurtured in the faith of the Republican party, which was organized in his boyhood, and taught to believe that its tenets were the only true ones for the conduct of the Government, Mr. Sanner has always been a devoted follower of the party ever since he began to exercise the right of suffrage by casting his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The attention of the reader is invited to the lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Sanner, presented in this connection. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Shields H. Sanner
Among the most active and progressive of the skillful farmers and stock-raisers who are conducting the great agricultural interests of this county is Shields H. Sanner, a resident of Penn Township, and it gives us pleasure to represent him in this volume, dedicated to the citizens of this section of Illinois. A son of one of the early settlers of Madison County, our subject was born in that region October16, 1847. His father, whose given name was Samuel, was born in Northumberland County, Pa. He learned the trade of saddle and harness maker in early life and pursued it in his native State some six years before he took that important step in his life whereby the became a pioneer of Illinois in 1833. He was for many years after that closely identified with the interests of Madison County and was of much assistance its upbuilding, at the same time acquiring a handsome competence. He came with his family to this county in 1866 and his remaining years were spent in Penn Township, his death occurring there at a venerable age in 1880. His wife, the mother of our subject, was Barbara Paul in her maiden days and she was a native of Preston County, W. Va., which at the time of her birth formed a part of Virginia. He of whom we write was the tenth in order of birth of the twelve children that blessed the union of his parents. He laid the foundation of his education in the school in Madison County nearest his early home, which he only attended in winter after he was large enough to assist his father in the farm work. After gaining a good knowledge of the common branches he entered Blackburn University at Carlinville and remained there a short time. He was nineteen years old when his parents came to this county from his native county and began making a new home in Pen Township, which ten formed a part of Pickaway Township and was mostly in a wild condition, with but few habitations within its borders. Our subject and his brothers have been prominent factors in bringing about the great change that makes this a well-improved township with many valuable farms and pleasant homes, where they found a wilderness. Mr. Sanner lived with his parents until he married and he then located on section 24, Penn Township, and carried on farming for himself on that place the ensuing three years. His next move was to Bethany, Moultrie County, where he and his brother-in-law established a store for the sale of hardware and agricultural implements. He remained in business at that point with Mr. Frazier until January, 1878, a period of three years, and then resumed farming, locating at that time on his present farm on section 22, Penn Township. He has placed upon it many substantial improvements and thus greatly added to its value since it came into his possession, making it one of the chose, well-ordered farms of this locality, and from its rich, well-tilled harvest fields he gleans a good yearly income. Our subject was first married January 1, 1872, to Miss Lucretia R., daughter of A. B. Frazier, then a resident of Penn Township. A happy wedded life of six years was vouchsafed to them and then death removed the wife, May 29, 1878. Four children were born of that union, namely: Paul Simpson, Frances Estelle, Margaret Grace and Louis Ross, the latter of whom died in infancy. February 14, 1879, Mr. Sanner was united in marriage to his present estimable wife. Mrs. Sanner, whose maiden name was Cornelia J Green, is a native of Licking County, Ohio, and a daughter of Joseph Green. Her father was born in New Jersey and went from there to Pennsylvania. When he was twenty-one years of age he settled in Ohio and was there married to Electy Clutter, Mrs. Sanner's mother, who was a native of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Green died in Ohio and Mr. Green in Pickaway Township, this county, whither he had removed in 1867, his death occurring in December, 1876. By this marriage Mr. Sanner had one daughter, Lina H. Inheriting from a sterling ancestry principles of justice, truth and right-living, our subject's life-record is that of a true gentleman, who is faithful in all the relation that he sustains toward others. Religiously he is of the Methodist faith and is a member of the church of that denomination. He is an earnest thinker on all the questions that confront the citizens of this great Republic, and in his political views is one of the most ardent champions of the Republican party in all Penn Township, which is one of the few strongholds of the party in Shelby County. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Thomas J. Satterthwaite
Thomas J. Satterthwaite, a note worthy farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 8, Oconee Township, Shelby County, was born in Brown County, Ind., February 4, 1851. His parents were Richard and Ursula (Brock) Satterthwaite, who were born in Hamilton County, Ohio, the father in 1820 and the mother in 1822. In their native county they grew up side by side and were there married in 1840. The father died in Brown County, Ind. about thirty-eight years ago. He and his good wife were the parents of four sons and one daughter, namely: Oddy who enlisted in the Eighty-second Indiana Regiment and died in the Andersonville prison; John who married and lives in the village of Oconee; Wilmie, now Mrs. Bailey, living in Montgomery County, Ill.; Daniel who was married and lives in Oconee Township, where he is engaged in farming and our subject, who was the youngest, and as we have said had his nativity in Indiana while his brothers and sister were all of Ohio birth.
After her widowhood the mother of our subject married Joseph Rice in Indiana, in 1853, and now resides near the village of Oconee where her husband carries on his double avocation of farmer and Baptist preacher. Six children were born to this Thomas Satterthwaite came to Montgomery County with his parents in 1868, and after his marriage be located on the farm where he now resides.
His splendid tract of eighty acres of land is situated near the timber and has upon it not only a good house and barn but an excellent orchard. Mr. Satterthwaite was married to Miss Lucy F. Hobson September 3, 1878. She was born November 20, 1855 and is a daughter of John and Mary Hobson of Oconee Township. For further particulars in regard to the history of this prominent and interesting family the reader is kindly referred to a sketch of Mr. Hobson upon another page of this Record. Our subject takes an interest in public affairs generally, and is worthy of commendation on account of both his public spirit and private enterprise. He has been a School Director in his district and carried out faithfully and well the duties of that office. As a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, he is active in promoting the interests of the farming community for which he is willing to pledge his best efforts. He was formerly allied with the Democratic party but his interest in the cause of temperance which he considers the main ally of good citizenship, has led him to vote for the last four years the Prohibition ticket. With his lovely and capable wife he is connected with the Hopewell Church with the Hopewell Baptist Church where they are efficient laborers in the laborers in the Master's vineyard. They have had the happiness of rearing four children, and the sorrow of laying two in the grave. They are named as follows: Lithuamy, born February 23, 1880; Charley C. August 18, 1882; John Benny, July 20, 1884; Florence, November 28, 1886 and Willie January 26, 1888. The last two passed away in childhood. Since their death the youngest, Gracie May has come to cheer the home. She was born April l3, 1890.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Col. Hiram M. Scarborough
Shelby County sent many of its noble and patriotic citizens to the front during the late Civil War and among those who won military honors in "those times that tried men's souls" is our subject, who as a commissioned officer of the Fifty-fourth Illinois Regiment, was conspicuous while in the service for his readiness of resource, his coolness, for his promptness in carrying out the orders of his superiors, and for other merits that showed him to be a true soldier. His services have been equally as valuable within the last quarter of a century or more since peace was declared, in that he has taken a high place among the foremost of the men of this county who have pushed forward the mercantile interests of this section of the State and have materially added to is wealth. He has a large and elegant dry-goods establishment at Shelbyville, where he entered upon his prosperous career as a merchant twenty-five years ago. Col. Scarborough was born in Hunterdon County, N.J., September 4, 1834. He is a son of Isaac Scarborough who was a native of Bucks County, Pa. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a skillful mechanic and for many years carried on business as a blacksmith in Bucks County, his entire life being passed Pennsylvania, so far as aught is known to the contrary. He was a stalwart Democrat, prominent in his party, and held the office of sheriff of Bucks County. He reared seven sons and six of them learned of him the trade of a blacksmith. The father of our subject followed in his father's footsteps as regards a trade and when a young man established himself as a blacksmith in Hunterdon County, N.J. he died there in 1845, ere yet he had passed life's meridian. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eliza Case, sold her home after his death and moved across the State line into Bucks County and spent her last years in Pennsylvania with her daughters. These are the names of the six children that she reared: Mathias H., Hiram M., Mary E., Hannah A., Sadie E. and Jennie. Mathias and Jennie are dead. The subject of this biographical notice was eleven years old when he was deprived of a father's care and at the age of twelve the sturdy, self-reliant little lad became self-supporting. He was employed on a farm until he was seventeen years old and he then began to learn the trade of carpenter, which he followed in his native county some years. In 1856, in the prime and vigor of the opening years of his manhood, he came westward to this county and cast his lot with those who were active in its upbuilding. He located at Shelbyville and as he was a good carpenter he found plenty of work at his calling, which he pursued until 1860, when he abandoned that to accept a position as a clerk, in which capacity he would employed until he dropped his work to shoulder his rifle, that he might help to fight his country's battles. He enlisted in the fall of 1861 in Company H, Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry and received the compliment of being mustered in as Second Lieutenant of his company. In the long and weary years of sacrifice, hardship and privation that followed he served the Government with fidelity and did not abandon his post until our flag floated once more over an undivided country. He was with his regiment in all its marches and campaigns, with the exception of about six months, when he was at home working hard to secure recruits. He veteranized in 1863 and was honorably discharged in November, 1865. From time to time he received deserved promotion, until he became one of the leading officers of his regiment. In the fall of 1862 he was made First Lieutenant and as such commanded his company in various engagements with the enemy. His next promotion to the rank of Captain soon followed, then to that of Major, and early in 1865 he was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel and left the army with a high reputation as a gallant and efficient leader, whether in the heat of battle, on the march or in camp. Col. Scarborough returned to Shelbyville after receiving his discharge papers and in January, 1866, began business here as a merchant, and ever since has conducted one of the leading stores of the city for the sale of dry goods and furnishing foods, carpets, etc. It is neat and handsome in its appointments, the stock, of which there is a large and well-selected assortment, is neatly and tastefully arranged, so as to add to the attractiveness of the establishment, and the whole is ably managed. In 1871 our subject was married to Miss Isabella A. Middlesworth, a native of this county and a daughter of Abram Middlesworth, who is represented elsewhere in this volume. They have one son living, Charles M. The Colonel and his wife understand well the art of making their dwelling a true home, as all feel who cross the threshold and enjoy the comforts and luxuries of its tasteful furnishings, and receive every attention from their kind and considerate host and hostess. Col. Scarborough is a frank, manly and straightforward man, whose business methods are such as to commend him to the confidence of the public, and Shelbyville holds him as one of her best citizens. His life has been guided by Christian principles and for many years he has been a consistent church member, first joining the Baptist Church in early manhood, while a resident of his native State. But after he came here to dwell it seemed good to him to unite himself with the Presbyterian Church, in 1861, and he and his wife are today among its most effective working members. Socially he is a member of Jackson Lodge, No. 53, A. F. & A. M., and also of Cyrus Hall Post, G. A. R., his connection with that organization commemorating the days and nights that he and his comrades passed together on the battlefields of the South. He was born and reared by Democratic parents, but since 1863 he has been a stalwart Republican. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John Scheef, who is one of the most substantial farmers in Prairie Township, Shelby County, dates his residence in the county, from December, 1877. His thorough-going German characteristics of thrift, industry and steadfastness have been a help not only to himself, but also to the community where he has lived and labored for so many years, and these traits are worthy of the study and emulation of the young, who are apt to be led astray by the flash and brilliancy of less worthy but more showy qualities. For this reason we are pleased to present a record of such a life as we have here before us.
John Scheef was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, February 13, 1853, and is a son of Henry and Dora Scheef, who brought up to man's and woman's estate eight children, five of whom came to the United States, while three remained in their native land. The following is the record of the offspring of this worthy couple: Anna, who married Henry Froham and resides in Chicago; Amelia and Hannah, who remained in Germany; Fred and William who reside in Chicago; John, our subject; Dora, who is still in the Fatherland and Christian, who died in Chicago, leaving one child. It was in 1884 when the parents of this family came to America and they have both now passed away, the mother being called home while Chicago was the family residence, and the father died in this county.
Our subject was a lad of sixteen when he came to this country and his first home was in Chicago, where his brother Fred was living. He there worked as a laborer, following various lines of business until he came to Shelby County which was not until after the great Chicago fire, through the tragic experiences of which he passed. After that tremendous disaster the young man thought best to get out into the country, where there would be a better opportunity for him to do well for himself, and leaving the city he came to this county and for five years worked upon a tract of eighty acres which he rented. Thrift and economy supplemented the untiring energy and zeal with which he worked, and being now able to purchase the land upon which he had been living, he decided to give the rest of his life to agricultural pursuits. He now owns one hundred and twenty acres of land and upon it he has erected good substantial farm buildings. The union in marriage of two true hearts and two honest hands is an event which deserves not only congratulation, but the most serious consideration of the biographer, for it is the great event in the lives of those who are thus united, telling upon their future more practically and efficiently than it is possible for any other event to do. This important union which joined our subject to Elizabeth Falk, took place December 5, 1875, the bride being the daughter of John and Anna (Frank) Falk of whom more is told at length in the sketch of their son, Mr. John W. Falk, of Herborn. Mrs. Scheef was born in Germany, December 11, 1853. She is the happy mother of six children, namely: Anna, born October 10, 1876; Maggie, January 29, 1879; John, January 24, 1881; Lena, March 21, 1883; Henry, September 27, 1887, and August, October 18, 1889. The religious views of this family are in accordance with the doctrines and practices of the Lutheran Church with which they are connected and in it they are esteemed highly, as faithful helpers in the vineyard of the Lord. The political preferences of Mr. Seheef have led him to affiliate with the Democratic party, and he believes that in its declarations is found the true wisdom of political economy. Mr. Scheef was for one year a partner in a grocery business, but he did not continue long in this line of work as his training and his preferences inclined him to a farmer's life.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Our subject is one of the many representatives of the Teutonic race in this country who have brought into our American commercial and agricultural life a new impetus of penetrating foresight that has accumulated for its possessions vast fortunes and honorably represented in every branch of American life. In its government, its literary, social and commercial and social relations, it has held the honorable positions. As his name would indicate, our subject our subject is a native of Bavaria, Germany, where he was born October 27, 1826. He is now the owner of a line farm located in Flat Branch Township.
Mr. Schinzler is the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of land, upon which he resides and which he devotes to general farming. This tract bears all modern agricultural improvements and upon it is a pleasant and attractive residence besides other farm buildings. He also has twenty acres on another section. His purchase was made in the fall of 1869 and he has since changed the face of his land from a flower-spangled prairie to acres yellow in the warm July sun with waving grains. He came to this township from Rose Township, where he owned and improved eighty acres, living on it for six or seven years. Two years previous to his purchase of this last-named tract he leased and ran the poor farm of the county. He had settled soon after his arrival in this country from Germany.
He of whom we write is of German ancestry. His parents were Michael and Barbara (Crofft) Schinzler, both natives of Bavaria, where they lived and died aged respectively seventy-two and seventy years. Religiously their inclinations and membership were with the Catholic Church. Our subject and a brother, Lawrence, were the only members of the family that came to this country and both are now farmers in this county. Mr. Schinzler left Germany in March, 1856, taking a sailing vessel from Havre de Grace. They landed in New York City and came thence to Harrisburg, Pa., where they lived two and a half years. They then came to Illinois, where our subject took the next important step in his life in marrying Miss Mary E. Sprinkle. Their marriage was celebrated in March, 1864. She was born in Richland County, Ohio, May 16, 1843, and is a daughter of Eli and Elizabeth (Jennings) Sprinkle, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and married in the latter State, where they were engaged in farming. In 1849 they went to Indiana and spent four years in Adams County. They then came to Shelby County, and here Mr. and Mrs. Sprinkle passed the remainder of their lives, dying at the ages respectively of sixty-five and sixty-eight. They were members of the United Brethren Church.
Mrs. Schinzler, wife of our subject, was only ten years of age when her parents came to this State and she has since lived in the county wherein they then settled. She is the mother of twelve children, three of whom are deceased. The deceased children are: Eliza, aged five years. John, aged six years. Mary I., who was the, wife of D. E. Middleton, now also deceased. The living children are: Elizabeth, Joseph, George L., Grant, Anna, Jane, William, Pearl, Marion and Roy. Elizabeth is the wife of Harvey Tritt. They live on a farm in Christian County, this State. Joseph is a bachelor and the proprietor of a good farm in this township. George L. Grant remains at home and he is his father's assistant in running the farm. The other children have none of them yet left the parental roof. Mr. and Mrs. Schinzler attend the Presbyterian Church and are helpers and co-laborers in any good cause that promises to develop and benefit the neighborhood.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Michael Schneider, the honored founder of the city of Moweaqua, Shelby County, who is now living in retirement in this beautiful locality, is one of the early pioneers of Central Illinois, and his name is indissolubly linked with its rise and growth. His progressive public spirit and generous benefactions, bestowed with rare judgment and critical discernment as to the future needs of the community and the best way to promote its highest interest, have been instrumental in pushing forward various enterprises that have been of great benefit to this section of the State. On the banks of the beautiful river Rhine, in Germany, our subject was born in September, 1813. Hs father, who bore the name as himself, was born in the same Rhenish province, and was there reared on a farm. He married Mary Bauer, who was a native of that part of Germany, and who died there in 1820. In 1824, the father of our subject resolved to emigrate to America, where he hoped to better his condition. He came to this country accompanied by five of his seven children, and first settled at Bethlehem, Pa. In 1827 he removed to Ohio, and for a time resided near Cincinnati. He subsequently identified himself with the pioneers of Brown County, in the same State, and on the farm that he bought there passed the remainder of his life.
Michael Schneider, of whom these lines are written, was a lad of eleven years when his father came to this country, and he and a sister were at that time left in charge of an uncle, but two years later the father sent for them, and they set sail from Hamburg in May, 1826, landing at New York eighty days later. Our subject went to Ohio with his father, and for a time lived with him near Cincinnati, which was then only a good-sized village. He was a strong, self-reliant, manly boy, and at once commenced to earn his own living, finding employment with Andrew Heredes, with whom he remained some years, and in 1833 he came with him to Illinois, making the journey hither over those great highways of pioneer travel, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He located with his employer on Lick Creek, in Sangamon County, and there Mr. Heredes erected one of the first steam grist mills ever operated in the State. In 1835 Mr. Schneider borrowed $50 of Esq. Campbell, and entered forty acres of Government land in what is now Christian County, his purchase adjoining the present site of Moweaqua. He bought the claim of Mrs. Denton, and five acres were cleared, and a log house stood on the place. There were no railways here for many years after he settled on his land in 1837, and he had to draw all his grain to St. Louis with ox-teams, where he sold it for thirty-seven and a half cents a bushel, and his hogs only brought him $1.25 to $1.50 a hundred pounds. Deer were plentiful, and with prairie chickens and wild turkeys, formed a welcome addition to the fare of the pioneers.
Mr. Schneider worked early and late in the upbuilding of his new home, being greatly assisted by the active co-operation of his wife, and he prospered exceedingly in his efforts to secure a competency. He invested his money judiciously, continually entering and buying other land near his original purchase until he had two thousand acres, all told, of land of surpassing fertility. This included the land upon which the thriving city of Moweaqua now stands. Attracted by the unrivalled beauty of the spot, and the natural advantages for the site of a town, our subject determined to plat the land, and afterward carried out his plans, which have given to this county one of its brightest ornaments, one of the prettiest villages of the State," to quote from an enthusiastic admirer, and here center many lovely homes and happy firesides in dwellings of a modern and attractive style of architecture, its people are cultured, thrift, prosperous and enterprising; its church privileges and educational advantages are exceptional; its varied industries and business enterprises are ably conducted under sound financial methods. One attraction of the city, though it may be a negative one, is eminently worthy of mention, and that is the fact that there have been no saloons for the sale of liquor here for years, which speaks well for the temperance and sobriety of the citizens. In 1882 Mr. Schneider removed from Moweaqua, and has since lived retired from active business. He has always taken a deep interest in all that concerns this city, which owes its origin to him, and no man has done more to established it on a solid basis of enduring prosperity than he, or has been more influential in raising its moral and religious status. All schemes to add to its beauty have met with his hearty approval, and his generous gift of land for a public park in 1882 has greatly increased the attractiveness of the place. He encouraged the building of the railway through here by a liberal donation of land and lots, and to Mr. Eastman he gave land on condition that he would build a mill within the corporation limits of the city.
The blessings of a happy married life have been vouchsafed to our subject, as by his marriage in October, 1833, with Miss Margaret Kantz he secured a true and loving wife, and they have lived peace and harmony for nearly fifty-seven years. They have reared these seven children to honorable and useful lives - Michael, Christopher, Margaret, William, Valentine, Adam and Caroline. Mrs. Schneider was born in Baden, Germany, March 21, 1811, and is a daughter of Christopher and Caroline (Lichtenberger) Kantz, who were also natives of Baden. Her father spent his entire life there, while her mother came to America in the latter part of her life and died in Brown County, Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. Schneider are people of earnest religious convictions, who lead exemplary Christian lives. Their parents were members of the Lutheran Church, and they were reared in that faith, but early in their married life they united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for more than half a century have been consistent and devoted in their membership with that church, and have borne a prominent part in its upbuilding in this section of the country. In their early life here when they lived in a log cabin, their humble abode was always open to preachers of all denominations, and meetings were frequently held within its walls. They contributed liberally of their means towards the erection of the present house of worship of the Methodists, and are generous in their support of the Gospel. On another page of this volume the lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Schneider are presented, and it is a pleasure to thus perpetuate the lineaments of this worthy couple. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
It is with pleasure that we incorporate in this Record a brief account of the life of this respected citizen of Tower Hill Township, Shelby County. He has borne a worthy part in the agricultural work of the county, and in that of social and benevolent circles, and to every position he has brought the energy and earnestness which are his chief characteristics. As a farmer, he uses excellent judgment in the preparation of the soil for crops, in the character of the produce raised, and reaps a corresponding harvest. Buildings suited to the various needs of the family and farm economy have been erected and everywhere the indications are of peace and plenty. The estate is pleasantly located on section 4 and comprises one hundred and twenty acres.
Mr. Schoch is one of our German-American citizens, who have aided so materially in the development of our country. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, October 9, 1840, and grew to manhood in his native land. In the excellent public schools of the Fatherland he gleaned a good education and at the same time assisted his father in the farm work, for which he had a natural aptitude. His parents were Leonard and Magdelena (Knodlcr) Schoch, who passed their entire lives in Germany. Georgic Schoch, the subject of this biographical notice, remained in Germany until he was about twenty-four years old, and in September, 1865, took passage for America.
Landing in New York Mr. Schoch proceeded directly to Shelbyville, this county, where for about three years he worked out on a farm. He then rented land for about three years, and by careful hoarding of his hard earned money he was enabled in 1871 to purchase a tract of forty acres in Tower Hill Township. He afterward added to the acreage as suited his convenience and now owns one hundred and twenty acres, nearly all of which is in cultivation. He erected a commodious residence on his farm, and in various ways embellished his property. Possessing good judgment and untiring energy he naturally ranks among the foremost farmers of the community.
When prepared to establish domestic ties of his own, Mr. Schoch was married in Tower Hill Township, to Mary Weidle, who was born in Ohio April 8, 1852. Unto them were born six children, namely: Charlie F., Lizzie B., Rickey K., Minnie A., William G. and Emma C. Mrs. Schoch is the daughter of Frederick and Rickey (Reossler) Weidle, natives of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came to America in 1852 and settled in Preble County, Ohio. In 1857 they came to Illinois, settling in Rural Township, Shelby County, where Mr. Weidle died in 1859. Our subject and his wife are both faithful members of the Lutheran Church, and are noted for their benevolent and kindly dispositions. Politically, Mr. Schoch is a Democrat. but has never sought office, preferring domestic quiet to the turmoil attached to a public career.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Mrs. Peace H. (Truitt) Sconce
Mrs. Peace H. (Truitt) Sconce, widow of the late Henry Wilson Sconce, is a daughter of one of the early settlers of this county, and was reared under the pioneer influences that obtained in the early days of the settlement of this section, and is now quietly passing her declining years amid the comforts of the pleasant home in Pickaway Township in whose upbuilding she aided her husband.
Mrs. Sconce was born in Bourbon County, Ky., February 12, 1826. Her father, Littleton Truitt, was a native of Maryland, his birthplace on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. He was a son of Samuel Truitt, who was also born in that State, and was in turn a son of John Truitt. The latter was born in England, and left his ancestral home when a young man to make for himself a home in the English Colonies beyond the sea. He thus became a citizen of Maryland, and so far as known spent his last years there. Mrs. Sconce's grandfather was reared and married in his native State, and subsequently went from there to Kentucky in the early days of its settlement. He resided in Bourbon County for a time, and then removed to Missouri, where his earthly pilgrimage was brought to a close by his death in Calloway County, and his mortal remains were laid to rest in its soil at Columbia. His wife, Elizabeth Parker, was also a native of Maryland. She died while the family was on the way to Missouri, and was buried on the banks of the Ohio River. She was the mother of ten children who grew to maturity.
The father of our subject was a resident of his native State until after the death of his first wife, and he then removed to Kentucky, and for some years farmed on rented land in Bourbon County. In 1830 he again set forth in search of a new location, and bringing with him his wife and six children, came to Illinois, journeying with three horses attached to a wagon, in which all the household goods were contained, and camping and cooking by the wayside at noon and night. After about three weeks travel, he arrived in Shelby County, which at that time was still in a wild, sparsely settled condition, and the few houses at Shelbyville were mostly log cabins. In the surrounding wilderness wolves, deer and wild turkeys roamed at will, and the few pioneers in this region found a welcome addition to their meager fare in the game which they could shoot whenever they took time from their arduous work to go hunting. Mr. Truitt entered Government land in what is now Okaw Township, and built upon it a small log cabin for a dwelling, splitting shakes for the roof and puncheon for the floor. In the absence of a stove the family cooking was done before a fire, in a rude open fireplace, and the women spun and wove the cloth wherewith the various members of the household were clad.
Mr. Truitt worked industriously to develop his land, and at the time of his death in 1864 had a well-improved farm. His life-record as a pioneer, as a man and a citizen was honorable to himself and to his community. His second wife, mother of our subject, died in 1865. Her maiden name was Jane Hamilton, and she was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Lason) Hamilton, who were also natives of the Keystone State. Mr. Truitt was the father of one child by his first marriage, and of eight children by his second union.
Mrs. Sconce was four years old when her parents brought her to Illinois. She was educated in the primitive pioneer schools of the olden days, the one that she attended being built of logs and heated by means of an open fireplace, while a row of glass inserted in an aperture made by the removal of a log from the side of the building served as a window, and the seats were made by splitting logs and using wooden pins for legs. Our subject was early taught all the useful household accomplishments that were in vogue at that time, and without a knowledge of which a woman was not thought fit to keep house, among other things learning to spin and weave, and after marriage made cloth for her own and husband's garments. She was well prepared to care for a home of her own when she united her fortunes with those of Henry Wilson Sconce, March 14, 1883.
Mr. Sconce was a native of Nicholas County, Ky., born March 23, 1823, in the pioneer home of David L. and Rebecca (Keith) Sconce, who were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Kentucky. He was seven years old when his parents brought him to Illinois and located among the early settlers of Vermillion. They resided there until 1835, and then became pioneers of this county, the father entering a tract of Government land in Okaw Township, which he improved into a farm, which was his home the rest of his life.
The husband of Mrs. Sconce, was educated in pioneer schools of Okaw Township, and there grew to a stalwart manhood. When he started in life on his own account after marrying he was the proud owner of a small mare and one cow. His father allowed him to build a small cabin on his land, and he and his bride began life together in a humble way. His capital lay in his strength, willingness to work, and capacity to do well whatever he undertook, and in the years of toil that followed he met with more than ordinary success in his efforts to acquire a competence. He farmed on rented land three years, and then settled on a tract of Government land. He built a log house for a dwelling, broke and fenced twenty acres of land, and a year later sold his improvements for $50. He invested that money by entering forty acres of land in Okaw Township, and also bought fifty acres adjoining, on which stood a house. The next year he sold that place at an advance on the cost price, and bought one hundred and twenty acres of land in the same township. He lived on it two years, and at the end of that time sold it at $5 an acre. He then purchased the farm upon which his widow resides, and it was his home until he closed his eyes in death April 4, 1890. He bought other land at different times, and once owned five hundred and ninety-five acres of fine farming land. He made many valuable improvements, including three sets of frame buildings, and made his farm one of the most desirable in many respects in the township. By diligence, thrift and careful management he arose to be one of the most substantial farmers of Pickaway, and in dying he left behind a good name, that is held in respect by all who knew him, and the memory of a useful citizenship as one of the men who had been active in the development of the agricultural resources of the county.
Mrs. Sconce is a member in high standing of the Christian Church, and is known as one who does her duty in all the relations which she bears toward others. She has four children, all of which are living, and of them the following is recorded; Sarah J. married James M. Thomas, and they have one child living, Alvah C.; Luvena married James M. Pogue, and they have five children living, Charles E., Logan E., Henry W., Sylvia E. and James Chester; Emeline married John Roney, and they have one child living, Walter; William Logan married Maggie Belle Cole, and they have the following children living, Peace H., Henry Wilson and John C. Our subject commenced life with a cash capital of $3.50.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
James W. Scott
James W. Scott, a veteran of the late war, in which he fought bravely in defense of the stars and stripes, has since done as good service as a thrifty, intelligent farmer in aiding the development of the agricultural resources of this country, and is now living in honorable retirement at Shelbyville, Shelby County. He was born March 11, 1826, in one of the early pioneer homes of Licking County, Ohio, his birthplace being eleven miles northeast of the town of Newark. His father, Peter P. Scott, a native of New Jersey, was one of the early settlers of Illinois, locating not far from Peoria, and he was widely known throughout that region as a pioneer blacksmith and farmer of that section of the State. The paternal grandfather of subject, whose given name was Joseph, was born according to the best information at hand, in county Tyrone, Ireland, and was of Scotch antecedents. On coming to America, he settled in New Jersey, and there reared a family, two of the sons serving in the War of 1812. He was an iron worker, and his last days were spent near Newark, N. J. His wife, a native of Germany, whose maiden name was May Himyon, also spent her last years near Newark.
Peter P. Scott was reared in the State of his nativity, and in his youth became a practical blacksmith, learning his trade at Newark, and following it there until about 1820. In that year he went to Ohio, going thither with teams, and located in Licking County. He carried on his calling there until 1828, when he made another move, starting for the wilds of Illinois with his wife and four children, making the journey with two pairs of oxen to a wagon, in which were conveyed all their earthly belongings, including Mr. Scott's anvil, that he had taken with him from New Jersey, and which is now in the possession of the son of the subject, who bears the name of his grandsire, and is a resident of Marshall, Oklahoma. Mr. Scott located one mile west of Washington and ten miles from Peoria, which was then know at Ft. Clark. Indians had full sway in the northern part of the State at that time, there were but very few settlement of whites, and Chicago was but a hamlet.
The father of the subject traded one pair of oxen and the wagon for a squatter's claim, and entered the land at the general land office at Springfield. Six acres of the land cleared and fenced, and a log house, stable and smoke house, constituted the improvements on the place. Mr. Scott carried on his trade as a blacksmith for some years, and people came for many miles to get work done. He was a very skillful mechanic, and besides making all his horse shoes and nails by hand, was of an inventive turn of mind and the first steel scouring plow ever used was from a patent made by him. In his last years he devoted himself to the management of his farm until he passed away in April, 1870 at a ripe age, in the home that he had built thereon. His wife, a native of New York City, whose maiden name was Catherine Murphy, went to Galesburg after his death, and there resided until her death, when full of years in May, 1884. She was the mother of eleven children.
The subject of this biography, although but five years of age when his parents brought him to Illinois, clearly remembers the incidents of that momentous journey of the pioneer life that ensued in the wild, sparsely settled region now known as Tazewell County. Indians still lived there and deer, wild turkeys and other game were abundant. Our subject's education was obtained in the primitive pioneer schools of the early days of the settlement of Illinois. The first one that he attended was taught in his father's house. The seats, which had no backs and no desks in front, were made of slabs or puncheons and were supported by wooden pins. A log was taken out of the length of the building and a row of glass inserted in its place to admit the light. In 1832, the year of the Black Hawk war, the inhabitants were constantly on the alert for fear of being surprised and massacred by the Indians, and it took but very little to create a scare. Our subject relates a rather amusing episode of this time. A man living near the school house was out hunting squirrels. He shot one near the building and the ball, glancing, went through the glass and hit a girl on the side of the head, making an ugly scalp wound. The scholars, supposing the Indians to be upon them, were very much frightened. The teacher, a young man from the East, started with the wounded girl to assist her home, but he soon fainted and his pupil had to make her way home along. The frightened scholars circulated the report that Indians fired into the schoolhouse, and the neighbors, all armed, gathered together, and excitement ran high until it wound out who did the shooting.
Mr. Scott lived with his parents until he grew to manhood, in the meantime assisting in the farm work, and he then commenced to learn the trade of a cooper, which he followed in Tazewell County until 1850. In the spring of that year he started with others for the gold fields of California, leaving Pekin on the 14th of April, and making an overland journey across the plains and mountain. At that time, there were but very few white settlers between the Missouri River and California, except the Mormons at Salt Lake. Indians reigned supreme on the plains, and innumerable buffaloes were encountered on the way. The little party arrived at Weaverville, July 27, and our subject devoted his time to mining until the spring of 1851. He then gathered together his gains and returned home, traveling by way of the Isthmus of Panama to New York, from that city by rail to Dunkirk, thence by the Lakes to Chicago, and from there by the canal and the Illinois River to Peoria.
The following year Mr. Scott bought a team with the intention of returning to California, but realizing that gold was to be obtained by tilling the rich soil of this state as well as by getting it more directly from the mines of the Pacific Slope, he changed his mind and came instead to Shelby County to try farming here. He bought a tract of land in what is now Okaw Township, a few acres of which were improved and a log cabin stood on the place. He lived there until 1861, when he settled on a tract of land in Todd's Point Township, which he had bought from the Government.
In August 1862, our subject threw aside his work to take part in the great war that was then being waged between the North and South, inscribing his name on the roll of Company G, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry. In 1863 he received injuries which incapacitated him for active duties, and he was ordered to the hospital by the surgeon, but this did not please him, and he induced the colonel to countermand the order and he remained with his regiment until June, 1863. After that he was a short time in Franklin, Tenn., whence he was ordered to Nashville, where was transferred to the invalid corps. When the Veteran Reserve Corps was organized, he was transferred to Company G, Fifth Regiment, and was transferred at Camp Merton, Minneapolis. On the night before the election at Chicago, he was one of the five hundred soldiers sent to that city to guard the rebel prisoners confined there who had made their plans to escape. He was kept on duty forty-eight hours without relief, and returning to Indianapolis ten days later, was soon after taken sick. He had to go to the hospital for treatment, and was discharged from that institution in February, 1865, and from the army, thus closing an honorable career as a soldier, wherein he had borne the hardship and privations incident to such a life with fortitude and true courage that he might serve his country in the time of her greatest peril. In commemoration of those trying years, he is now connected with the Cyrus Hall Post, No. 138, G. A. R.
Returning home after he left the army, Mr. Scott superintended the improvement of his farm, and made his home thereon until his retirement from active business to Shelbyville in 1882. Death had deprived him of his good wife in April, 1879, after a wedded life of more than thirty years, they having been married June 17, 1847. Her maiden name was Louisa Tucker, and she was a native of Mead County, Ky., a daughter of Truman Tucker. Her marriage with our subject was productive to them of these seven children, James W., Esther C., Elizabeth A., Ida L., Emma D., Peter P. and Mary A. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The life of Mr. Sharrock has been a busy one and his personal efforts for advancement were begun at an early age. His experience has been a somewhat checkered one, as continued success falls to the lot of very few, but he has on the whole been successful, and is now the owner of a good property in Shelby County. Some years since he retired from the more arduous duties of life, and is now living in quiet and comfort in the village of Tower Hill. He has the confidence of the community as a man of sterling integrity, and all his acquaintances recognize the public spirit which he considers the duty of every loyal citizen.
Everard Sharrock, father of our subject, was born in New York City, and married Amy Stevens, a native of Maryland. At a very early day he emigrated from Richland County, Ohio, to what is now Christian County, Ill., and after a sojourn in this State of fifteen years, removed to Dallas County, Texas. There the faithful wife and devoted mother died in 1848, the father went to Oregon, where he died in 1859. They had a family of thirteen children, our subject being the third. His birthplace was Marion County, Ohio, and his natal day December 12, 1819. His early youth was passed in the Buckeye State, whence he accompanied his parents to Illinois in 1832. Our subject grew to manhood upon his father's farm in Christian County, and prior to his marriage he entered eighty acres of Government land in Christian County. On March 30, 1843, he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Hanson) May, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Indiana. The May family emigrated from Kentucky to Shelby County, Ill., about 1831, and the following year Mrs. May passed from earth. Mr. May survived until 1849. Mrs. Sharrock was among the younger members of the family, which comprised ten children. She was born in Floyd County, Ky., February 10, 1822, and was at an early age deprived of a mother's care. She grew to a noble womanhood, fitted to aid her husband in all his labors.
Immediately after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sharrock settled in Christian County upon the farm which he had preempted. After sojourning there three years they removed to Shelby County, locating in Tower Hill Township, of which they have since been residents. Upon his arrival here Mr. Sharrock entered upon active labor upon a farm, which he made his home until 1865. At that time he retired from farming pursuits, and going to the village of Tower Hill, engaged in mercantile business until 1884. Having by his unceasing labor and good management acquired a comfortable competency for his declining years, he sold out his interests and now in the declining years of his life is resting from the arduous toil of his younger years.
Mr. and Mrs. Sharrock are the parents of eleven children, namely: Amos J., Francis M., John E., Julia A., Marquis L., Amanda, Leniotia, James H., Lovina, Abraham L., and Charlie. Of these the following are deceased: John E., Julia A., Leniotia, James H., and Charlie. Mr. Sharrock has held the office of Highway Commissioner for sixteen years, and also served as School Director and Trustee. At one time he received the nomination of County Clerk on the Greenback ticket, but declined to run. Politically he is an active Republican and formerly took an active part in political affairs. He and his estimable wife are active members of the Free Methodist Church, where he has filled the offices of Steward and Class-Leader. They have been identified with the church and church work for nearly fifty years and he has served as Sunday school Superintendent.
While operating as a farmer Mr. Sharrock engaged very largely in stock-raising. He now owns eighty acres besides village property. In 1849 he crossed the plains to California, driving an ox-team the entire distance - over three thousand miles from his home in Tower Hill Township. He was absent fifteen months and eighty acres besides village property, returned via the Isthmus. During the Civil War he served eleven months with efficiency in Company H, Ninth Illinois Infantry, and took part in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, evacuation of Corinth and Iuka. He was discharged for disability. His sons, Amos and Francis, served three and two years respectively in Company G, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois infantry.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John H. Shelton, M.D.
The professional reputation of Dr. Shelton is an enviable one, and his skill and knowledge are held at their proper valuation. For many years a student, he has not been content with the wisdom which won him his diploma, but has read and investigated from time to time and increased his store of technical knowledge and ability to diagnose and treat diseases. He is known far and near, respected and loved, and numbered among the most worthy citizens of Shelby County, who are active in promoting its prosperity and elevating the status of its citizens.
The birthplace of Dr. Shelton was Owen County, Ky., and his natal day February 11, 1835. His parents were Austin and Emily (Callender) Shelton, natives of Virginia, who removed to Kentucky at a very early day. They located in Owen County, where after attaining to a good old age, they passed from earth. Our subject remained at home during his youth, receiving a limited education in the district schools and acquiring a thorough and practical knowledge of agricultural pursuits. Upon arriving at man's estate he began to operate as a farmer, and continued chiefly thus engaged until 1873. We next find him engaged in the drug business in Owenton, Ky., for eight years. During that time he read medicine, for which he had a natural aptitude, and after selling out his interest in the drug business. He attended medical lectures in the hospital at Louisville. Ky., during the winter of 1878-79.
In 1879, Dr. Shelton emigrated to Illinois, and coming to Shelby County, practiced medicine with Dr. G. W. Fringer until the fall of 1881. He then entered the Medical College at Keokuk, Ia., where he was graduated in February, 1882. After receiving the diploma for which he had toiled so arduously, the Doctor returned to Tower Hill and has since resided here, with the exception of eight months in Henton, this county. He enjoys an extensive and lucrative practice, and as a citizen is public-spirited and interested in everything calculated to elevate the status of the community. The Doctor has an amiable and active helpmate in his wife, with whom he was united in marriage May 26, 1856, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The bride bore the maiden name of Marietta Garnett, and was born and reared in Owen County, Ky. Her parents, Jamison and Lucinda Garnett, were natives of Kentucky; the father now lives in Kentucky, and the mother is deceased. Dr. Shelton and his estimable wife have become the parents of six children, only two of whom survive: Bettie G., and Nannie C., both of whom are at home. Dr. Shelton has served the people in various capacities, and has been a member of the Township Board of Trustees, and also served as School Trustee. He and his family are highly esteemed and are among the prominent members of society in Tower Hill.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Manlieus T. Shepherd
The Shepherds on the paternal side are of French ancestry. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was one of the patriotic French men who came with the distinguished Marquis de Lafayette to America, during the progress of the Revolutionary War, and participated with him in it. He was wounded in the battle of Yorktown, and rendered a cripple for the rest of his life. After the close of the Revolution, he married an American young lady and settled in Orange County, Va., where his three sons, Philip, Lewis and William were born and reared to maturity. William, the father of our subject was born in 1794, and moved to Kentucky in 1825. His profession was that of a school-teacher and a professor of vocal music, and was engaged in teaching in Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, crossing the mountains many times on horseback and alone. Highwaymen were at that time numerous and frequently for hours he carried his life, as it were in his hands.
Our subject's father was married in Kentucky in 1827 to Miss Eveline H. Ball, whose parents had settled in Jessamine County, Ky., in 1825. The father, John Ball was a wealthy land and slave owner, and his wife was an own cousin of the first President of the United States. Both sides of the family were highly connected with the best social element of the State of Virginia and had all the advantages of culture and education. William Shepherd remained in Kentucky until 1859 when he emigrated to Illinois, and settled in Sullivan, Moultrie County, where his decease took place in 1871. During the War of 1812 to 1814, he took an active part in the engagements as a private soldier. His wife, the mother of our subject, died in Sullivan, Ill., in l874. There were born to William and Eveline H. Shepherd, five children; the eldest daughter married S. P. Alexander in Kentucky, in January, 1846. Mr. Alexander resides in this county and State. His wife died, leaving two children, one of whom was named James W. His decease took place in Sullivan, this State, in 1872. Louisa Bell, is the wife of W. W. Eden, County Clerk of Moultrie County. The family are now residents of Fresno. (unreadable) B. the eldest son married Miss Sarah L. Hayden, of Shelby County, this State, and was at one time one of the business men of Sullivan, and is now a resident of Texarkana, Texas. Edwin L. married Miss Ann M. Hawkins, of Franklin County, Ky., and makes his home at Sullivan, this State.
Manlieus T. the subject of this sketch, is the youngest of the family, and he was born in Franklin County, Ky., February 28, 1835. His early educational advantages were limited and what knowledge of books he possesses, has been attained by his own efforts outside of the school-room, as he spent but a short time in the district school of his native State. He is a man who possesses more than an ordinary amount of observation and industry, and added to these qualities is a retentive memory. When young Shepherd was in his nineteenth year he left home to go out into the world. His first employment began in 1854 and 1855, when he was engaged as guard at the Kentucky penitentiary at Frankfort. At that date there were but two hundred men imprisoned there. During a great part of the time, in which he was there occupied, he locked one of the main rows of cells in which slept Calvin Fairbanks, and one Doyle, who were under long sentences for assisting slaves to leave their masters. Every evening the name of each prisoner was called and he was personally acquainted with every man in the institution. Our subject was next engaged as clerk in the Mansion House in Frankfort, Ky., where he remained for some time, and by his industry and close attention to business he gained the esteem and good will of his employers, and those with whom he came in contact. He remembers well John C. Crittenden, John C. Breckinridge, Charles S. Morehead, and John M. Harlan, present United States Judge. He afterward went to the Capital Hotel in the same city and remained there until 1857, when he went to Versailles, in Woodford County. He well acquainted with Hon. Thomas F. Marshall, and also Buford, who killed Judge Elliot two years ago, (1889) at Frankfort, Ky., for deciding a great suit against him.
Mr. Shepherd continued as a hotel clerk until the spring of 1858, when he came to this State, stopping in Sullivan, this county, where he engaged with his brother, John B., in the grocery and restaurant business. He had about $200 and this he invested in the business which was necessarily commenced on a small scale, but gradually grew to large proportions and gravitated into general merchandising. In that business the brothers continued together until 1862, when our subject came to Lovington with part of the stock, to which he made additions, and together they carried on an extensive business, and were the leading merchants of the two places for a number of years. They continued in partnership until 1867, when the partnership was dissolved, the older brother taking the stock and store-house in Sullivan, and our subject the Lovington store-house and stock. Mr. Shepherd continued the business in this place with great success, and in 1870, he added private banking to his business. This latter branch gradually absorbed so much of his time that he began curtailing his merchandising, added the real estate business, and a few years later, went out of the mercantile business entirely, since which time he has given his whole attention to his private banking, and the care of his real estate, having about six hundred acres of land and being the owner of a large number of the best dwelling and business houses in Lovington and Sullivan.
On February 7, 1870, the subject of our sketch was united in marriage with Miss Maria J. Mullikin, a native of Johnson County, Ind. This marriage has been blessed by the advent of seven children. Justin M. has been a most progressive and ambitious student, and graduated from the Lovington High School at the age of sixteen years, receiving his diploma from Eureka College at the age of seventeen years. Ollie Jewel, Earl T., Blossom, and Paul T. died in infancy; Homer T., and Flossie, complete the family circle. Mrs. Shepherd, who is an estimable woman, and a leader of society in Lovington, is in her church relations a member of the Christian denomination. Politically our subject affiliates with the Democratic party.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
George W. Shride
George W. Shride has been a resident of Shelby County for more than thirty years, and during that time has won an important place among the most substantial farmers and stock-raisers of Pickaway Township, where he has a farm that compares with the best in this part of the State. He is a son of one of the pioneer families of Oho, and was born in that State February 25, 1825, his birthplace being about twelve miles northwest of Lancaster, Fairfield County. His father's name was Jacob Shride, and he was a native of Bucks County, Pa. He went from there to Ohio when he was a young man, and married in that State, Hannah Bowman. He bought a tract of partly improved land in Fairfield County, and the remainder of his life was devoted to farming in that locality until death rounded out his life in 1861. His wife had died there many years before, passing away in 1840. Our subject began when very young to acquire a practical knowledge of farming, and afforded his father much assistance during his youth. He attended school as he could, acquiring a fair education, and continued to live with his father until he attained his majority. He then worked on a farm by the moth until his marriage, when he rented land in his native county a few years. In 1854 he went to Logan County, in the same State, and was a resident thereof until he came to Shelby in 1857. When he first located here he farmed as a renter, but in 1861 he bought two hundred and forty acres of land, which is included in his present on the west half of section 22, Pickaway Township. He has placed it under a high state of tillage, has erected commodious buildings, and has made his farm a valuable piece of property, upon which he carries on a good business in general farming and stock-raising.
In 1849 Mr. Shride married Miss Julia A. Stump, and for thirty-five years they were bound together by the sacred tie of a true wedded life. Then death crossed the threshold of their home and removed the faithful wife and devoted mother from her family in September, 1884. Of the thirteen children born of that marriage, these ten have been reared to maturity: John W., William H., Lyman M., Daniel F., Sarah M., Jacob C., Milo D., Fletcher, Abraham Lincoln and Harvey E.
Mr. Shride is a member of the Reformed Church, as was also his wife. He was a Democrat previous to the war, but at that time became an ardent Republican, and has ever since remained true to the party. His whole career marks him as a man of sound understanding, of far-seeing sagacity and of industrious habits, so combined with those useful qualities of thrift, prudence and steadiness of purpose, that his prosperity is easily accounted for. His unswerving honeys and integrity, fidelity to whatever he conceives to be his duty, and his unfailing kindness to all with whom he comes in contract have won him the regard of his neighbors and friends. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Jedediah H. Silver
Jedediah H. Silver was born in Hopkinton, N. H., November 3, 1823. His father, Jeremiah Silver, was a native of the same State and our subject's paternal grandsire, John Silver, was born in Massachusetts and removed thence to New Hampshire where he engaged in farming and in 1837 moved to Michigan and settled in Cass County, becoming a pioneer farmer. He made his home during the latter portion of his life with his son-in-law. The father of our subject was reared and married in New Hampshire. He there learned the trade of mason and followed it in Hopkinton until 1827, and then with his wife and five children and his father-in-law, mother-in-law and two brothers with their families removed to Michigan. They came West with teams as far as Buffalo and then putting all on a steamer, they went to Toledo, Ohio, and there purchased a small place. They did not remain at that place, however, but on the crest of the Westward wave of immigration went to Cass County Mich., which was then very sparsely settled. Indians were still frequent visitors and there were plenty of deer and wild turkeys. Our subject bought a tract of land and devoted a great part of his time to the improvement of his farm. He resided there until after the death of his wife and spent his last days with his children in Cass County, his decease occurring in 1876.
The maiden name of our subject's mother was Sally Hastings. She was born in Hopkinton. N. H., and died in 1849. Five of her children were reared to years of maturity. They are by name, May, Jedediah H., Lydia, Margaret and John. Our subject was only four years of age when his parents moved to Michigan, hence he was reared to an experience of pioneer life. He learned the trade of a mason in young manhood and followed it in connection with farming, residing on the home farm until 1848, and thence removed to Edwardsburg and there engaged in the practice of his trade until 1858, and thence removed to Shelbyville, where he purchased a lot and built thereon a brick house, which was comfortable and commodious. He followed his trade for two years and then exchanged his city property for a farm in Ridge Township, making that his home. He managed the farm while he followed his trade and after a residence of two years there, he rented it for four years and then purchased a home two miles north of his former farm and there resided until 1876, when he came to Shelbyville and entered upon his official duties as Sheriff of the county and here he has since resided. Mr. Silver was married in 1865 to Julia A. Mead, a native of Chautauqua County. N. Y., and the daughter of Barak and Clarissa (Brown) Mead. Mrs. Silver died in 1876. She was the mother of six children-Emma C., Edward A., Barak M., Wilbur H., J. Judson and Hattie. He of whom we write is a Democrat in politics. He served for four terms as Township Collector and was elected Sheriff in 1876 and re-elected in 1878, serving two full terms.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Capt. John J. Simmons
Capt. John J. Simmons, who resides on section 18, of Tower Hill Township, Shelby County, was born in Troy, N.Y., May 7, 1814. When he was very young his father remove to Covington, Ky., and lived there about two years. From there he removed to Switzerland County, Ind., where he remained for seven years, then he removed again to Cincinnati, and with his family occupied the first house in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was built of logs. From the time our subject was a lad of fourteen years of age until his parents' death, he made himself their protector and provider, supplying them with all the comforts of life that it was possible for him to give them. After he was fourteen years of age he was employed in steam boating on various rivers and was thus engaged for fifty years.
In August, 1874, the gentleman whose philanthropic life it is our pleasure here to chronicle, and whose portrait is also presented to his many friends, came to Shelby County and settled in Tower Hill, where he has since been a resident. He is the owner and proprietor of two hundred and seventy acres of land, upon which he has erected a very good series of buildings. His residence to which he has given the very suggestive name "Happy Home" is located at only a short distance from the meeting of two roads and as the traveler approaches he sees the name of the place in large letters on the house; of course it attracts much attention. It is, in fact and deed, a happy home.
Capt. and Mrs. Simmons, at the present writing, (May, 1891) have been married about fifty-seven years, and during all this time not an unpleasant word has passed between them. Everything within and without denotes happiness and comfort. Capt. Simmons, who is at an advanced age is at the present time in feeble health, and is the object of the solicitude and kindest attention of each and every member of his family. His marriage took place in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 8, 1835, and the ceremony was solemnized by the father of Benjamin Harrison, present President of the United States. Mrs. Simmons was Miss Elizabeth Gunning, and was born near Cincinnati, January 11, 1817. Ten children were born to this worthy couple and instead of being cares and sources of trial to their parents, as is unhappily too frequently the case, they have been welcome, and grown up both loving and beloved among themselves and bearing a tender regard for the authors of their being. In name they are as follows: Alonzo, Caroline, Albert John J., Temperance J., Moses E. and Charles. The deceased children died in infancy. Alonzo was married to Mary Newbold. Caroline was the wife of Monroe Taylor. Albert was united to Lucindia Frailkill. John J. married Anna Custer, Temperance J. is the wife of Marshall Hipes. Moses E. married Elizabeth Elliott. Charles was united to Ella Fluckey.
Capt. Simmons has ever been a supporter of the Gospel and he and his wife are members of the Christian Church. Socially he has been united with the Masonic fraternity, for many years, and is also an Odd Fellow. His Masonic connection extends over fifty years, and his alliance with the Odd Fellows for the same length of time. It is a commentary upon the effect of the use of stimulants that Capt. Simmons who has attained an age a good many years transcending that which is usually allotted to man, has never used tobacco in any form, and although, having been a river captain for many years and associated with men who have the reputation for indulging in stimulants to an alarming extent, he scarcely knows the taste of intoxicants.
Capt. Simmons is the proud possessor of a fine orchard covering thirty acres. For this he was offered $100 an acre, by D. James, who is a prominent nurseryman in Christian County. The fruits that are the outcome of this orchard are as luscious as any that come from the Golden State. The father of our subject was John W. Simmons, who was a native of New York City. He died in 1859 while on a visit to Wisconsin. Our subject's mother was Dolly (Ginison) Simmons, who was born in Boston, Mass., and died in Kokomo, Ind. The parents of Mrs. Simmons were Robert and Temperance (Cox) Gunning. They were born in Knoxville, Tenn., and died in Indiana. The position of chief engineer as well as that of captain was held by Mr. Simmons who is the possessor of fifty sets of Government licenses. He served through the war, taking part in the marine conflicts on different gunboats, sometimes changing from as many as five different boats in a single day, although he had not enlisted in regular marine service. His daughter, Mrs. Caroline Taylor, at whose instance this sketch is written is the mother of two children, John S. and Frank S.
The venerable old gentleman, whose picture would serve as a happy representation of the beloved follower of the Master, is revered by all. All his fads and fancies are quaint and benevolent and show a generous spirit. He has provided a good comfortable room in an outbuilding, which he prepared especially for tramps or homeless people, knowing all to be God's people and believing it to be incumbent on all who are prospered, to care for the helpless, the homeless, and the unfortunate. He is a dear old gentleman, and makes one better and gentler to come in contact with him. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John Sims, is a general farmer on section 27, of Flat Branch Township, Shelby County, and here owns one hundred and sixty acres of well-improved land, and forty acres on section 26, which is covered with small timber. His home was originally procured as a homestead claim. It was almost all unbroken in 1855, and Mr. Sims has since made it a good farm, placing many valuable improvements upon it. His success in an agricultural direction has been attained mostly through general farming and stock-raising. He came to this county from Macoupin County, where he had settled in 1838, being one of the earliest to locate there.
On his advent into Macoupin County, he procured a farm, upon which he placed some improvements, he later came in 1855, to this county. He was born in Madison County, this State, five miles east of Edwardsville, January 19, 1820. He parents were natives of Kentucky. His father, Austin Sims was however, born in North Carolina, but removed at a very early age to Kentucky, with his parents, and was there reared. He is of Southern parentage, although his ancestry is for the most part Scotch. The father of Austin Sims, Sr., who was born and reared in North Carolina, from which State he served through the Revolutionary War, he having fought at the battle of Cowpens. He later went to Kentucky, and then proceeded to Southern Illinois; afterward to Morgan County, where both he and his wife died, he at the age of eighty-three years, and she eighty-one years. Old. Mr. Sims and wife were, early in life, members of the old school Baptist Church.
Austin Sims, Jr., was reared to manhood in Kentucky, and there married his wife. The lady's maiden name was Jennie Nivens. She was born and brought up in Kentucky, being a member of an old and highly esteemed family in that State. After the birth of two children Austin Sims, Jr., and wife removed in 1818, to this State locating on some Government land in Madison County. In 1828, Mr. Sims went with his family to Morgan County, and entered some land here, being one of the first pioneers of that county. There he and his wife spent the active years of their life, and there Mrs. Sims died and was buried. Later her husband came to Christian County, this State, and died there at the age of eighty-six years, his wife was not so old by twenty years at the time of her decease. They were leading members of the Christian Church and were among the first adherents of that reform in Kentucky, becoming interested in it at first through the preaching of Dr. Alexander Campbell, who was a personal friend. They followed his teaching of the New Testament with great care and zeal.
Our subject was one of a family of six children, of which he and his sister, now Mrs. Polly Wilco, of Blue Mound, Macon County, are the only surviving members. He was reared to manhood Morgan County, and there married Catherine Weller. The lady was born in Kentucky in 1818, and was young when her parents came to Morgan County, where she was reared until her marriage. She died at her home in this township, October 26, 1881. She was a worthy woman and a kind and tender mother, highly looked up to, not only by the members of her family, but all those who knew her. She was a devoted member of the Christian Church. Our subject was one of ten children born to his mother; four of these died, namely, Joel, Robert, Alexander and Samuel. The living children are Lorinda, George W., John F., William J., and Henry. Lorinda is the widow of Samuel Tulley, and resides in this county; George W. took to wife Emma Tulley and they reside in Union, Ore.; John F. occupies the father's farm, his wife being Lucy Ransford; William J. married Juliana Tulley, and resides on a farm in this township; Henry remains at home with his parents and runs a part of the farm. Mr. Sims is a member in good standing of the Christian Church. He is a sound Democrat in politics. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
It seems odd that while our Teutonic neighbors are generally conceded to be rather phlegmatic and slow, and notoriously a home-loving people, that at the same time they should be among the widest traveled people and have accomplished more in advancement in the general sciences, than any other nationality. Our subject, Thomas Singer, who resides on his farm located on section 6, Tower Hill Township, Shelby County, is a German by birth and education, and his life has been one of varied experiences. Reared as a farmer lad in his own country, he had a taste for military training to which the lads of Germany are subjected.
Mr. Singer was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 8, 1831. He is a son of John and Caroline (Dorn) Singer, and is the only one of the family who have left the home nest and dared the dangers of the three thousand miles of ocean, to come to the United States. A half brother, John Haberlein, came with him. Our subject came hither in 1852 and after landing proceeded to Fairfield County, Ohio, where for some time he was engaged in work as a hostler.
In 1856, when the gold fever was at its height in California, the original of our sketch crossed the plains in order to seek his fortune in the land then productive of the precious metal, now yielding the richest harvest in its fruits and woods. He there remained for ten years, during that time being engaged as a farm hand for seven years, after which he kept a dairy near San Jose. He was reasonably successful in a financial way while West, although he had to contend with much sickness in his family. In 1866, he returned to the Central States, locating in Shelby County, where he purchased land upon which he now resides. This tract was originally railroad land and at the time of his location was virgin soil, its only product having been the wild flowers of the prairie; for this he paid $13 and $16 per acre. He now owns one hundred and thirty-one and a third acres, which is thoroughly improved and in a fine state of cultivation, the changes having been made by his own efforts.
Mr. Singer has erected a good farm residence upon his place. It is quite new, having been built in 1890. Just before his removal to California, our subject united himself for better or worse to Catherine Leyh. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and was of German parentage, her parents being Nicholas and Elizabeth (Arnolt) Leyh. Several children have come to gladden the hearts and homes of their affectionate parents. Their names are John, George, Thomas, August, Elizabeth, Henry, Ellen and Clara. Politically Mr. Singer favors the Democratic party, its broad platform more nearly approaching the idea which in early life he formed of the freedom of government in America. He, with his family, is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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