Stark County IL Biographies - A

A. J. Adams

A. J. Adams, who holds the responsible position of cashier of the National Bank of Wyoming, was born in Penn township, Stark county, on the 5th of April , 1878. His father, Robert A. Adams, was a son of John Adams and was a farmer by occupation. He was married to Miss Mary E. Earhart, who is still living at Castleton. They were the parents of five children, of whom only two survive: A. J. and Harry F., who resides upon the home farm.

A. J. Adams was reared under the parental roof and had the usual experiences of the farm boy, early gaining training in agriculture work and in habits of industry and thrift. He was given excellent educational opportunities as after attending the country schools he entered Knox College and still later took a course in the Gem City Business College, from which he was graduated in 1898. Entering the business world, he secured a position in a store at Castleton and later turned his attention to banking, serving for two years as manager of the Scott-Wrigley & Walters branch bank at Castleton. Later he came to Wyoming as assistant cashier of the National Bank and after serving in that capacity was made cashier. For seven years he has directed the policy of the institution and its prosperity testifies to his knowledge of business conditions, his sound judgment and his familiarity with banking routine.

Mr. Adams was married in 1900 to Miss Delilah Miller, a native of Iowa, and they have become the parents of a daughter, Arline. Mr. Adams is a republican in his political belief and keeps well informed as to the questions and issues before the people. The principles which guide his life are found in the teachings of the Congregational church, and he is always ready to aid movements seeking the moral advancement of his community. He is recognized as a leader in local banking circles and personally he has gained the warm friendship of those who have been closely associated with him.

Stark County, Illinois and it's People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 14-15 – Contributed by Karen Seeman

Harry F. Adams

Harry F. Adams, living on section 16, Penn township, was born on an adjoining farm February 15, 1873, a son of Robert A. and Mary E. (Earhart) Adams, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio. They were married, however, in Stark county, Illinois, the father having accompanied his parents on their removal to the state, where the family developed a farm, the grandparents there spending their remaining days. The father, reared to the occupation of farming, continued to follow that pursuit and was for a long period numbered among the representative agriculturists of his district. He passed away four years ago and his widow died early in the year 1916. They were both consistent members of the Methodist Protestant church and assisted in building the first house of worship for that denomination in their locality.

Harry F. Adams was educated in the common schools of Penn township and afterward went to Davenport, Iowa, where he pursued a business course. He then returned home and took up the occupation of farming and also began the breeding of a large type of Poland China hogs about eleven years ago. He is today one of the two most extensive breeders in the county and places upon the market about one hundred and fifty breeders a year. He holds two semi-annual sales besides selling through mail orders and to private parties. The culls go to the Chicago market. Mr.

Adams had long maintained a prominent position among the stockmen of Stark county, and in addition to handling Poland China hogs is well known as a breeder of the Holstein Friesian cattle and Percheron horses and he also feeds cattle, hogs and sheep. His is an excellent farm property splendidly equipped. He has four hundred acres of land and cultivates the entire tract. He has put up all the improvements upon the place and these are modern in construction, design and equipment. He has recently erected a wet mix concrete garage which is his own idea and is the only one in the county. It is a solid concrete with no breaks outside of the windows and doors, and the latter are of steel. This is an especially fine building and is a credit to the enterprise and ingenuity of the owner. There are three sets of improvements on the farm, which he calls the Penn Center Farm and which has become widely known through the reputation owing to the fine stock which are shipped therefrom.

In 1896 Mr. Adams was united in marriage to Miss Clora Gleason, by whom he had five children, namely: Miriam, at home; Chester, who passed away at the age of seven years; Ardis, Audrey and Merlin, all at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Adams are members of the Methodist Protestant church at Castleton and Mr. Adams is one of the trustees having in charge the church property. Politically he exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and is interested in its growth and success. He has served for four years as assessor and for a number of years has been a member of the township central committee, while at the present time he is serving on the county central committee. In fraternal circles he is very prominent, being recognized as one of the leading members of the Odd Fellows lodge at Castleton, in which he has passed through all of the chairs, while for twenty-one years he has been secretary. He is also identified with the encampment at Wyoming, and he and his wife had taken the Rebekah degree at Wyoming. He is likewise a member of the Modern Woodmen camp at Castleton, the Masonic lodge at Wyoming, the Royal Arch chapter at Wyoming, the Knights Templar commandery at Kewanee and the Mystic Shrine at Peoria, while both he and his wife are identified with the Eastern Star chapter at Wyoming. His life exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the craft and the high purposes of all the fraternal orders with which he is connected. His entire career has been actuated by honorable principles, and those who know him recognize in him the sterling traits of character which in every land and clime awaken confidence and regard. In business circles he occupies a most prominent and commendable position, for he has at all times been actuated by the spirit of progress and improvement. He has equipped his buildings with electric light, bringing his circuit from Wyoming, seven miles distant. This is indicative of the spirit which actuates him in all his undertakings, and in his vocabulary there is no such word as fail, for he never stops short of successful fulfillment of a purpose.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 86-90. – Contributed by Karen Seeman

Robert Alexander Adams

It is always with a feeling of regret that the public learns of the passing of one of its old-time citizens, especially if such a one has manifested sterling traits of manhood and citizenship and has displayed loyalty and progressiveness in connection with public affairs. Such was the record of Robert Alexander Adams, who was a valued and worthy citizen of Penn township. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, on the 16th of July, 1845, and had passed the sixty-sixth milestone on life’s journey when called to the home beyond. He was an only son and lost his mother when but eight years of age. His father afterward married again and by that marriage there were five children, three of whom are yet living: Mrs. Mary Markland, whose home is at Wakita, Oklahoma; William O., a resident of Hammond, Indiana; and Samuel B., living at Wyoming, Illinois.

Robert A. Adams was reared in the usual manner of farm lands, acquiring a district school education through the winter months, while in the summer seasons he worked upon the home farm. He remained with his father until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he started out in life on his own account. He was married on the 31st of December, 1868, to Miss Mary E. Earhart and they began their domestic life on a farm in Penn township, Stark county. With the passing years five children came to bless their union but three of the number died in early life. Those who still survive are Alva and Harry F., who yet remain upon the old home farm near Castleton.

Throughout his entire life Mr. Adams continued to engaged in general agricultural pursuits and he brought his fields to a high state of cultivation, so that he annually harvested good crops. He also added to his farm modern improvements, including the best farm machinery. Every part of his farm indicated the practical and progressive methods of the owner, whose work resulted in bringing to him substantial success.

Business, however, constituted but one phase of his life, for he had time for his friends and for public service. He was respected by all who knew him because his life was ever upright and honorable and he was loved by many because of his kindliness and helpfulness. He was continually extending the hand of assistance to someone who needed aid and was ever ready to speak a word of encouragement. His integrity in all business affairs was above question, his word being ever as good as any bond solemnized by signature or seal. Such a life record is proof of the statement that an honored name is rather to be chose than great riches.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 310-313 – Contributed by Karen Seeman

Frank V. Addis

Frank V. Addis

Frank V. Addis, who is serving for the third year as a member of the county board of supervisors as the representative of West Jersey township, ranks not only as a public-spirited citizen but also as a progressive business man and farmer, his home being on section 10, West Jersey township. It was upon this farm that he was born October 7, 1865, and he comes of English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Simon Addis, was a native of Warren county, New Jersey, born in 1804, and there he remained until after the birth of D. O. Addis, father of Frank V. Addis, on the 6th of September, 1838. It was in 1851 that Simon Addis removed westward with his family to Illinois, establishing his home in Stark county. D. O. Addis was at that time a youth of thirteen years and his education was largely acquired in the public schools of Warren county. He became the active assistant of his father in farm work and remained upon the family homestead in Stark county until after he attained his majority. It was in this county on the 13th of September, 1864, that he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret N. Caskey, a daughter of Silas Caskey, who removed to Illinois from Stark county, Ohio, in 1863, becoming a resident of Stark county, Illinois. Mrs. Addis was born and reared in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Addis began their domestic life on the old homestead farm and he proved an industrious and enterprising agriculturist. His business affairs were wisely and carefully managed and from time to time he made judicious investments in property, becoming the owner of seven hundred acres of land in West Jersey township. He erected a pleasant residence on section 10, also put up substantial and commodious barns and outbuildings and his time was unreservedly given to his farm work until 1902, when he removed to Toulon, where he purchased a residence, there living retired until his demise, which occurred November 29, 1909. His business enterprise, his ability and his public spirit made him well known not only in Stark but also in adjacent counties. He was a man of the strictest integrity and honor and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. He belonged to the West Jersey Methodist Episcopal church and served on its official board. Later he placed his membership with the Methodist church of Toulon and was likewise made a member of its official board, so continuing until his death. The influence of his life remains as a blessed benediction to those who know him and his memory is revered and cherished by those with whom he came in contact.

To Mr. and Mrs. D. O. Addis were born seven children, four of whom are living: Frank V., of this review; Flora O., the wife of Clyde Boyd, of Toulon; Evelyn B., who married John Kayser of Parkston, South Dakota; and Pearl H., the wife of Arthur Grange, of Toulon. Another son, Alvin W., reached adult age and passed away upon the home farm when a young man of twenty-five years. A daughter, Laura E., died at the age of six years, and another daughter Grace E., when three years of age. The mother, Mrs. Addis, resides at the old home in Toulon and she has been a loyal member of the Methodist Episcopal church since April 10, 1860.

Frank V. Addis was reared on the old home place and mastered the branches of learning taught in the district schools before entering the Toulon high school. He willingly performed the tasks assigned him by his father, whom he continued to assist in the work of the fields until he had attained his majority. He was a young man of twenty-six years, when, in West Jersey township, on the 9th of December, 1891, he was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Wiley, who was born in Stark county, Illinois. They began their domestic life on one of his father’s farms, known as the Hazen place, and there remained for a number of years. In 1901 his father removed to Toulon and Frank V. Addis then took up his abode on what is known as the old Addis homestead. Here he owns in one tract four hundred and eighty-six acres, upon which are two good residences with all the other buildings and improvements of a model farm of the twentieth century. His real estate holdings likewise include another quarter section. He has remodeled the residence, keeps all of the buildings and fences in a state of good repair and in addition to cultivating the fields in the production of large crops of corn, wheat and other cereals he is engaged in raising and feeding stock. He is the administrator of the Addis estate and is a careful and competent business man, readily discriminating between the essential and the non-essential and quickly recognizing and improving his opportunities.

To Mr. and Mrs. Addis have been born three sons, Earl R., who married Miss Maud Chamberlain, is now located on his father’s farm, where his father has just completed a modern residence, one of the best in West Jersey township. Orville V. is farming one hundred and sixty acres of the home place. Glenn D., the youngest, is a student in the Toulon high school.

Frank V. Addis devotes his time largely to the management of his farming properties and interests yet finds opportunity to aid in promoting the public welfare. He is a staunch advocate of republican principles and for a number of years served as highway commissioner, while in 1914 he was elected supervisor of West Jersey township and a member of the Stark county board. In 1916 he was re-elected and is now the incumbent in that office, giving earnest consideration to all of the questions which come up in connection with the care of the business of the county. He belongs to the West Jersey lodge of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all of the chairs and is now a past grand, while for some years he has served as financial secretary. Both he and his wife are connected with the Rebekahs and they are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Addis now serving on the official board. He was one of the promoters of the La Fayette Fair Association. His interests are broad and varied and in all of his business career the spirit of enterprise has enabled him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in his path. He has advanced step by step, securing at every point in his career a broader outlook and wider opportunities and his ability and even paced energy have carried him into important relations.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 318-324. – Contributed by Karen Seeman

John Allen

John Allen, residing on section 31, Toulon township, is a thrifty and progressive farmer, stock raiser and feeder who owns and cultivates a tract of two hundred and forty acres of land constituting one of the well improved farm properties of the county, situated just south of Toulon. Mr. Allen was born in Fulton county, Illinois, May 22, 1864, a son of William Allen, who was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, where he was reared to the age of eighteen years. He then came to the new world and for a time resided in New York state. Subsequently he came west to Illinois and established his home in Kane county. He was married in St. Charles, Illinois, to Maggie Broderick, also a native of the green isle of Erin, whence she came to the United States in 1840. Mr. Allen removed from Kane to Fulton county and still later came to Stark county, where he turned his attention to farming but later engaged in buying and shipping stock, including cattle, horses and hogs. He became a well-known dealer and shipper and won success through the careful management of his interests. He spent his last years in Toulon, where he died December 5, 1904, at the age of about seventy years.

John Allen was a lad of but four summers when brought to Stark county, where he was reared upon the old homestead farm, the public school system affording him the educational opportunities that he enjoyed, although he is largely a self-educated man, adding much to his knowledge through reading and observation as well as through practical experience since attaining his majority. In early manhood he rented land and thus engaged in farming for a number of years. After his marriage he rented land in Henry county for six years, and while residing there he made purchase of his first eighty acres in Stark county. He also purchased a half interest in a meat market and butchering business in Toulon, of which he had charge for two years, after which he disposed of that business. He carefully saved his earnings and in the spring of 1905 purchased an eighty-acre tract whereon he now resides, on section 31, Toulon township, a mile south of the city of Toulon. With characteristic energy he began its further development and improvement and he now occupies there a comfortable residence in the rear of which stand good barns and other outbuildings, and these in turn are surrounded by highly cultivated fields. He has purchased more land as opportunity has offered and is now the owner of a farm of two hundred and forty acres. Mr. Allen makes a business of raising and feeding cattle and hogs for the market and fattens and ships from two to three carloads of hogs and one or more car loads of cattle each year.

On the 10th of February, 1896, Mr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss Alice Brady, who was born and reared in this county and for four years was a successful teacher. By this marriage there have been born two sons and two daughters, Henry, Margaret and Paulina, all students in the township high school at Toulon, and William, who is attending the country school.

Mr. and Mrs. Allen were reared in the Catholic faith, to which they still adhere, and Mr. Allen is identified with the Modern Woodmen and the Mystic Workers, both of which are fraternal insurance societies. He is a self-made man and deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, for he started out in life empty handed and by persistency of purpose and indefatigable energy has worked his way upward. His life has been a very busy and useful one and his success is the proof of his industry, determination and capability.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 279-281. – Contributed by Karen Seeman

Elting Arganbright

Elting Arganbright, a prominent general merchant of Wyoming, owes his success largely to his determination and his self-reliance, which have enabled him to surmount all obstacles and prosper in his undertakings. He was born in Vinton county, Ohio, October 10, 1863, of the marriage of Abraham and Susanna (Tweed) Arganbright, also natives of Ohio. His paternal grandfather, Phillip Arganbright, was born in Germany. Abraham Arganbright devoted his life to farming and passed away in his native state as did his wife.

Elting Arganbright remained at home until he was sixteen years of age and attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education. He then began providing for his own support and, thinking to find better opportunities farther west, came to Stark county, Illinois. He had to spend all of his money for railroad fare but he had two sisters living in this county and found work on a farm almost immediately after his arrival here. As there was little farm work to be done during the cold season he attended school in the country during the first winter and during the two following winters was a student in the Wyoming schools, walking in every day from the country. He completed the course taught in Wyoming at that time, which was before the schools were graded, and he is an honorary member of the High School Alumni Association. He decided that business pursuits would be more congenial than farming and secured a position with King Brothers, merchants, as delivery boy at a wage of five dollars per month. He remained with that firm for thirteen years and during that time learned thoroughly the principles of successful merchandising in a small town. He carefully saved his wages, which were advanced from time to time, and on severing his connection with that firm purchased a bankrupt stock of goods for twenty-five hundred dollars. In order to do so he had to sell his house and lot and borrow nine hundred dollars. At the end of three months he sold out and purchased an interest in the store owned by H. A. Galbraith and A. G. Hammond, and the firm of Hammond & Arganbright was established. Eleven years later he bought out his partner and for nine years has been sole owner of the store. He carries a complete line of general merchandise, selected with a view to the especial needs of his community, and his liberal business policy, coupled with the high quality of his goods, has commended him to a large patronage. The volume of his trade has increased steadily and his enterprise has not only resulted in his attaining financial independence but has also been a factor in the commercial advancement of Wyoming. He also owns a third interest in the Scott & Hammond block and his residence, which is the old Hammond homestead, is one of the most attractive in the city. His motto has always been "I will" and he has succeeded in carrying it out, his enterprise and confidence in his ability enabling him to work out plans and projects which a less determined man would have hesitated to attempt.

Mr. Arganbright was married in 1894 to Miss Nellie Dunlap, a native of Canton, Illinois, and a daughter of T. C. Dunlap. They have become the parents of six children, namely: Ernest E., Julia L., Elting, Jr., Robert and Ruth, twins, and Myron.

Mr. Arganbright supports the republican party at the polls and has long been recognized as a leader in public affairs in Wyoming. His influence is due not only to his courage in standing firmly and openly for what he believe to be right but also to his insight into conditions and his sound judgment. He has served on the city council for two years and is now a member of the school board. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen, and he attends and contributes to the support of the Congregational church. His integrity and honesty have never been questioned and he has done much to promote the moral progress of his community. He has seen clearly the relation between the development of the agricultural resources of the county and the prosperity of the merchants of the county and has been a leader in movements to promote more scientific farming and served for a considerable period as secretary of the Central Agricultural Society, or, as it is sometimes known, the Wyoming Fair Association.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 155-157. – Contributed by Karen Seeman

George Armstrong

George Armstrong, a representative of farming interests in Elmira township, living on section 32, was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland,--the land of the crag and glen, of mountain peak and mountain lake, of lowland heath and plain, of liberty, poetry and song, of religious and educational zeal, the home of Wallace and Bruce, of Scott and Burns, and the ancestral home of many of America's brightest, best and most distinguished men. George Armstrong continued his residence in that country to the age of seven years and was then brought to the United States, the family arriving in Kewanee, Illinois, June 4, 1855.

His parents were James and Sibella (Elliot) Armstrong, also natives of Scotland, and on coming to the United States the father secured a tract of land on section 32, Elmira township. It was then raw prairie covered with the native grasses, but with characteristic energy he began to break the sod and cultivate the fields, continuing his residence upon that place until his death, which occurred in 1876. He was interested in the welfare and progress of the district and held some local offices. His wife passed away in 1880. They had a family of eight children, as follows: Elizabeth, Abel, Adam, Jane and Robert, all of whom are deceased; John, who is a resident of Henry county, Illinois; James, who has passed away; and George, of this review.

The last named began his education in the schools of Scotland and continued his studies in the district schools near his father's home. He was early trained to the work of the fields and when his father passed away, in 1876, George Armstrong, in connection with his two brothers, Adam and Robert, took up the task which their father had laid down and he has since carried on general agricultural pursuits. He has won notable success, becoming one of the foremost agriculturists of his part of the state. From time to time he has added to his holdings until he is now the owner of eleven hundred and fifty acres and his place is without doubt the best improved farm of Elmira township, and probably of the county. He has always engaged in cultivating the crops best adapted to soil and climatic conditions here and has engaged quite extensively in feeding stock. The value of his judgment in business affairs has been recognized by his fellow citizens, who have sought his cooperation in other lines, and he is now vice president of the First National Bank of Kewanee and was one of the charter members of the Union National Bank, now the Union State Trust Bank of Kewanee, in which he is still interested.

On the 14th of October, 1884, Mr. Armstrong wedded Miss Mary T. Murray, a native of Scotland and a daughter of Dr. William Murray. It was when upon a visit to his native land that Mr. Armstrong formed her acquaintance and they were married there. They have a family of five children: Sibella Agnes, the wife of James E. Jackson, of Elmira township; James M., Robert E., and William M., all at home; and Victor, a student in Knox College of Galesburg.

Mr. Armstrong has long been a stalwart champion of the republican party and has also stood for prohibition, being ever an advocate of the cause of temperance. At the present time he is president of the County Prohibition League and he does everything in his power to hasten the day when the manufacture and sale of intoxicants will be abolished. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and the high principles which govern his conduct have made him a man honored and respected wherever known, and most of all where he is best known. His is a notably successful career, but more than that, it has been notably honorable, for he has never taken advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen in business affairs, his prosperity being won through indefatigable effort, careful management and judicious investment.

Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 148-154. – Contributed by Karen Seeman

Cornelius Aten

Sketch of the life of Cornelius Aten which was published in the "Presbyterian Banner and Advocate". (COPY) [1855?] Mr. Editor - It is pleasant to converse with those who, as Daniel Webster said in his address to the survivors of the Battle of Bunker Hill, have come down to us from a former generation. The writer has been acquainted for almost 5 years with the aged father, a sketch of whose life is contained in the following narrative, and from whom it was obtained a few weeks since for publication, that we of the present generation may see something of the "travels of a pilgrim", who has been engaged in the service of our Master for more than 3 score years.

Cornelius Aten was bom January 18, 1766 (baptized February 23, 1766), in what is now the state of New Jersey, on the Raritan; but exactly at what point he cannot remember. His memory has somewhat failed, so that some points in his history must ever remain in obscurity. Yet, in many respects, he is a sprightly old gentleman. He walks to church or rides on horseback 2 or 3 miles, and returns the same day. When he was but 8 years of age, his father, John Aten, emigrated to York County, Pennsylvania, near to the village of Hunterstown, now in Adams County. This was 2 years before the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Aten remained 12 years in York County, and then emigrated to the Western part of Virginia, and settled on the Ohio River, about 30 miles below Pittsburg. Here he remained 5 years, when Cornelius was 25 years of age, married Miss Sarah Bell, and after remaining 2 years with his father, removed across the line into Pennsylvania. He remained there about 2 years, and then returned to his father's in Virginia. Remained there again about 2 years, and then removed to Erie County, Pennsylvania where he resided 25 years. He then emigrated to Richland County, Ohio, where he resided about 18 years. Next, he emigrated to Fulton County, Illinois, remained 7 years; thence to Stark County where he still resides. He has for some years made his home with his son Aaron Aten. He still retained, until last June, the wife, in whose companionship he commenced the career of his manhood, at the age of 25 years, and who for the period of 65 years had been the faithful companion of his travels and sojournings.

When in New Jersey, his parents were connected with the Dutch Reformed Church; but sometime after they came to York County, Pennsylvania, they connected with the Presbyterian Church at Hunterstown, of which Reverend Mr. Henderson was the minister. Cornelius connected with the Presbyterian church in Virginia soon after his marriage. After the family came to Virginia, they did not have regular ministers but several served them. When Cornelius was about 31 years of age, he removed to Erie County, Pennsylvania and united with the church at Four Comers, under Reverend Mr. Eaton. Father Aten was then chosen elder. He was an elder at Ashland in Richmond County, Ohio. Reverend Lee, Reverend Matthews and Reverend Hare were the ministers here. Father Aten lived there 13 years, then to Fulton County, Illinois - Lewiston - about 10 miles distance. He united with the church. Reverend G. McGinnis and Reverend R. Steel ministered here.

Father Aten removed to Stark County and settled on the borders of the congregation of Rochester (Elmore), then under Reverend Robert Breese, who was then laboring with the churches of Elmore, Princeville and West Jersey. Reverend Breese served the organized church until his death is 1851. Father Aten was an elder of the church when organized at West Jersey and he still serves in that capacity. In the summer of 1852, while laboring as a licentiate missionary among the destitute portions in the bounds and under the care of the Peoria Presbytery, I became acquainted with Father Aten. In the Autumn of that year, I commenced laboring as a Stated Supply in the Churches of West Jersey and French Grove and continued 18 months. Reverend John Turbitt served then 18 months, resigned, and Reverend James Ferguson has been supplying that church about the same length of time, and the congregation has made out a call for his pastoral labors, and Father Aten, now 91 years old, signs the call, as a member of Session, in behalf of the congregation. During the time of my labors there, he was seldom absent from public worship, but since that time, he has not always attended in bad weather. He has been an elder more than 40 years and is a good elder yet.

John C. Hanna

(Note by Pearl Aten Kennedy who copied this in July, 1938: "It is almost an exact copy of the printed words which Ed Aten Junior of Leon, Iowa had in his possession and was originally the property of his brother A. K. Aten, now deceased. The clipping was sent to A. K. Aten by Henry J. Aten of Hiawatha, Kansas, a distant cousin who was not as near to Cornelius as we are. More about Cornelius Aten is found in a letter written by Henry J. Aten to A. K. Aten. Henry J. Aten had seen Cornelius at his father's in Fulton County when Henry was a small boy.")

More about Cornelius Aten and the church, written to A.K. Aten by Henry J. Aten (a 7th cousin)... The only Dutch church in Pennsylvania, west of the Delaware, was at Conewago in York County (now Lancaster), and there his youngest sister Ann was baptized January 10, 1773. When this church was given up, all its members on the advice of the authorities of that church became Presbyterian. "New Netherlands became a British province in 1664. Descendants of its people, who went west in between 1750 and 1800 found no Dutch Reformed Church west of the Delaware, save in the 2 colonies on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and Salt River in Kentucky. Even these ere long became Presbyterian, the latter by express direction of the Classis of New Brunswick. The doctrines and usages of these churches are practically identical and individuals pass from either of them to the other as may be convenient for them." The Reverend J. B. Thompson. Yes, that was a wonderful people who went out from around about The Flats, Pughtown or Fairview, as it is or has been known. The Allisons from whom Mrs. William McKinley decended were of that neighborhood, and one of them, Thomas Allison married Jane Aten, a full cousin of mine.

(Note by Pearl: The above copy mentions Fairview of the East. Fairview, Illinois, 30 miles or so south of Galesburg, has the only Dutch Reformed Church I have ever found. They celebrated the 100 anniversary in 1937. I wonder if the settlers at Fairview, Illinois came from Fairview, Pennsylvania near the Delaware or New Jersey. I think the Flats, Pughtown and Fairview were in Pennsylvania.)

(Note by Barbara Hemmerling: this typed note was found among my father's things after my mother's death and the selling of her home in Fullerton. The note had been typewritten in 1938. It was folded lengthwise and handwritten on the yellowed paper was "Life Sketch of Cornelius Aten, Great Grandfather of Pearl Aten Kennedy'. I do not know which Aten Pearl descended from, but the A. K. Aten mentioned earlier was a brother to my grandmother Clara Louella Aten Rilea who died before I was born)


Names as they had been written on back of picture: DESCENDANTS OF CORNELIUS AND AARON ATEN Back Row: Edd Wiley, Clarence Robinson, Ab Aten, Ray Aten, Perry Robinson, Millie Robinson, Russell Aten, Harry Aten, Frank Robinson Front Row: Eva B., Sylvia Holder, Ed D. Aten, Arthur Aten, Pearl Kennedy Aten, Myrtle Aten German, Mabellves, Nettie Aten, Gertie Coffey [Note: From Mamie's FTM file: Pearl Kennedy was Pearl (8) Aten, b. 1886, daughter of William (7) Jefferson Aten.] From the collection of Mamie McKinney, now in the possession of Dorothy Armitage and Karen Hillman

Donated by Sara Hemp - email questions and comments to Sara <> [There are many other related Aten and various spelling in all the areas mentioned in this bio. His line split with mine in New Jersey. His grandfather is my ancestor. Sara]

Humphrey Avery

Humphrey Avery, fourth son of Col. Miles and Elizabeth (Smith) Avery, was born July 4, '25, in Wyoming county, Pa.; received his primary education there and completed his studies at Madison Academy, Abingdon Centre, Luzerne county, Pa. After his father's failure in '43, Mr. Avery was thrown upon his own resources. At this time he was afflicted with the old-fashioned ague, which kept his purse down at low water-mark. He followed the fortunes of the North Branch Canal-running through Wilkesbarre and Pittston for several months, at the same time that the late president Garfield is said to have worked on it. Subsequently he was employed in Boukley & Prices' coal mine, and about this time received, by some accident, the first $100 he ever called his own.

He was boarding at Pittston, and found on the street a purse containing over $5,000 in cash and notes. Searching for the owner, he found him in the person of George F. Knapp, of Carbondale, who pressed the $100 on the delighted young Avery. Mr. Knapp's mother proved to be an old friend of Col. Miles Avery, and insisted on a promise from the young man that he would invest the money in lands on which to make a home for himself. This promise was made and carried out. Mr. Avery purchased at sheriff's sale one hunched acres in his own county for ninety-one dollars, which he sold at a profit, and that $100 and the profits arising from its original investment, are in the pleasant home and farm which he owns today in Stark county.

On April 27, '54, Mr. Avery arrived at Toulon with $530 in gold. For the first year he made his home with his brother, Samuel G. Avery, who had come hither five years prior to '54. In the fall of '54 he purchased forty acres of land in Osceola township, and in '56 he bought the east one-half of the northeast quarter of section seven, in Penn township. On August 8, '58, he married Miss Emma J., daughter of Chauncey W. and Eliza E. (Wheeler) Davison, both of whom are noticed in other pages. After this marriage.Mr. Avery commenced the improvement of his farm in Penn township, engaging in agriculture and stock-growing, was elected constable the same year, which office he held for two years, when he resigned and went westward, in company with thirty men and thirteen teams, to the Rocky Mountains for his health. At Denver the company dispersed, Mr. Avery and a few others going to California Gulch, on the present site of Leadville, where they passed six months.

On returning to Stark county he resumed farming, in '68 purchased 115 acres in section one, Toulon township, which is said to be underlaid by a vein of fine coal four and a half feet in depth. In '86 he sunk a double shaft to this vein, which is fifty-two feet below the surface, and introduced machinery of a capacity of 1,000 bushels per day. In '70 he purchased a store-building and lot at Castleton, and in '76 a lot adjoining. The former he rented out until '78, when he established his mercantile house there. This he carried on for three years in connection with his farm. During this time he served as justice of the peace. In' 82 he sold his business interests at Castleton to Ackley & Loper, and has since devoted his attention to agriculture and coal-mining

The children of Mr. and Mrs. A very are named as follows:  Clinton, born December 5, '59; Etta May, May 7, '62; Sherman, .May 25, '64, died May 6, '65; Milo, April 30, '68; Viola Virginia, July 9 '72; Lorance, December 21, '74, and Myron, August 7, '79, died September 9, '80. The eldest daughter, Etta May, married Daniel Bolt, of Castleton, January 5, '83, and is now a resident of Wyoming, Ill.

-- Documents And Biography Pertaining To The Settlement And Progress Of Stark County, Illinois, Containing An Authentic Summary Of Records, Documents, Historical Works, And Newspapers Relating To Indian History, Original Settlement, Organization, And Politics, Courts And Bar, Citizen Soldiers, Military Societies, Marriages, Churches, Schools, Secret, Benevolent And Literary Societies, Etc. Together With Biography Of Representative Men Of The Past And Present. Written From Records and Personal Reminiscences, By M. A. Leeson. Chicago: M. A. Leeson & Co. , 1887, Biography And Reminiscences Of Penn 'Township, Page 617-619-- Transcribed by Nancy Piper

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