Stark County Illinois Biographies - C

Mrs. Mary Camp

The Henry Republican, November 5, 1874

The death of Mary, wife of the late Samuel Camp, ocurred on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. of last week, about 11 weeks intervening since the paralytic stroke she received, and which was the ulterior cause of her death. She was born in Ulster county, N. Y., July 4, 1812. In 1829 she moved with her father’s family to Luzerne county, Pa., where she remained until married to Mr. Samuel Camp, September 30, 1839, when they came to Stark county, in this state, residing there nine years, in 1848 removing to Henry, which has been her home until her death. She had three children, one dying at the age of 10 years, soon after they came to Henry; the other two, Olive and William, living here at the family residence. Mrs. Camp has a large circle of relatives and acquaintances, by whom she was endeared by friendship and love. She was womanly, neighborly, pleasant to all. Nine years she had been connected with the Presbyterian church, and from its portals was her funeral solemnized by a sermon from her pastor Rev. H. McVay, on Saturday at 10 a.m., and words of comfort spoken by Rev. John Winn, who previdentially happened to be in the city. A large attendance of mourning friends and sympathetic citizens tested the great esteemed in which she was held. The remains were encased in a metallic casket, ornamented with a silver plate with the inscription of name, birth and death, and at the cemetery the casket was placed in a brick arched vault similar to the one in which Mr. Camp was consigned four years ago. Her age was 62. She was quite robust, for one of her age up to the time of her misfortune, and was one of our oldest esteemed citizens. Her death leaves quite an estate to the children. -Contributed by Nancy Piper


David Carstairs

David Carstairs, living on section 17, Goshen township, is now serving as the representative of that township on the board of county supervisors and is actively engaged in farming, being the owner of a place of sixty acres that is neat and well improved. He came to Stark county in 1876, in which year he crossed the Atlantic from Scotland, his birth having occurred in Perthshire, that country, on the 18th of May, 1855. There he was reared to manhood upon a farm, dividing his time between the work of the fields and the acquirement of a public school education. He made the trip to the new world in company with Davis Lowman, bringing with them a bunch of shorthorn cattle from Scotland. Landing at New York, they made their way direct to Toulon and for a short time Mr. Carstairs was employed by Mr. Lowman upon his farm near Toulon. In 1879 he went to Texas, where he joined a construction outfit working on the Santa Fe Railroad. He continued with that company for fifteen years, working in New Mexico, California and Arizona, spending about three years in the vicinity of Los Angeles. In 1898 he returned to Illinois and in 1904 purchased the land whereon he now resides. In the intervening period he has spent considerable time in the further cultivation and development of this property.

In Goshen township, in 1894, Mr. Carstairs was married to Miss Margaret Frail, a daughter of Barnabas Frail, who was one of the first settlers of the county, arriving in 1835. Mrs. Carstairs was born and reared in Goshen township and was here married.

Subsequent to this Mr. Carstairs again went to Arizona in connection with railroad construction, spending the succeeding four years in such work in that state and in California, thus completing the fifteen-year period previously mentioned. He resided in La Fayette while putting up the buildings upon his farm and making the necessary improvements. He has erected a pleasant residence supplied with running water, furnace heat, electric lights and telephone connection. In fact this is one of the thoroughly modern and up-to-date homes of the township, providing them with many of the modern comforts of life. He has also erected good barns and other necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. Since December, 1915, he has resided upon this place, which is today one of the neatest and best improved farms in Goshen township, and in addition to this place he cultivates an eighty-acre tract adjoining his own land.

Mr. and Mrs. Carstairs have a daughter, Katherine, who was graduated from the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, in 1915 and now holds the position of registrar at that institution. They also lost a son, David, who passed away in 1913 at the age of fifteen years.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Carstairs are widely and favorably known in the county where they make their home. His has been an active and useful life and unremitting industry has constituted the basis upon which he has builded his success—success that now ranks him among the substantial agriculturists of his community.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 249-250. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Melinda (Nelson) Carver

History of Stark County, Illinois; M.A. Leeson, Chicago, M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887, p. 545

Melinda (Nelson) Carver, born at Augusta, Me., in 1810, moved to Ohio in 1817, thence to Indiana, where she married Jonathan Carver in 1830, and both moved to their home, just north of Lafayette, in 1867. Mrs. Carver died there February 15, 1885.

– Contributed by Karen Seeman


Mrs. Pat Cavanaugh

History of Stark County, Illinois; M.A. Leeson, Chicago, M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887, p. 544-5.

Mrs. P.Cavanaugh, of Saxon, died in August, 1886. She had been long and favorably known, the family being one of the first to settle in that vicinity. Her husband, commonly known as " Old Pat" at all the neighboring fairs, who died about two years ago, was about the first to indulge in high-priced thoroughbred shorthorn cattle, and to him may be traced much of the improvement of the stock of Stark as well as Henry county. She was buried in the cemetery which the family donated for the uses of a Catholic burying ground.

– Contributed by Karen Seeman


Edward C. Caverly

Progressive agriculture in Stark county finds a worthy representative in Edward C. Caverly, who resides on section 16, Toulon township. There he is successfully engaged in tilling the soil and also in the breeding and raising of Poland China hogs. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land constituting a neat and well improved farm, and the enterprise which he displays in its management results in the attainment of gratifying success. He has always lived in Stark county, his birth having here occurred September 21, 1868.

His father, William P. Caverly, was born in Ireland and was there reared to mature years. When a young man he came with a sister to the new world and for a time resided in New York city, where he learned the carpenter’s trade. He afterward removed westward to Toulon, where he followed his trade and also did contract work. He erected the first Board of Trade building in Peoria and other important structures of that period stand as monuments to his skills and handiwork. Purchasing land, he established his home upon a farm in Toulon township and thereon reared his family. He was for years one of the public-spirited citizens of Stark county, where he served as supervisor and in other positions of honor and trust. He started out in life a poor boy among strangers, but he accumulated wealth quite rapidly and was long numbered among the prosperous and substantial citizens and men of affluence in Stark county. His prosperity resulted from his sound judgment, his close application and his indefatigable industry. He spent his last years in Toulon, where he passed away about 1912, and his widow, who still survives him, makes her home in Toulon.

Edward C. Caverly was reared on the old homestead, remaining with his father until he reached the age of twenty-five years, during which period he assisted in the active work of the fields. In March, 1893, he was united in marriage to Miss Sierra Nevada Ward, who was born in Illinois and was reared and educated in Toulon.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Caverly took up their abode on the place where they still make their home. With characteristic energy he began to till the soil and further improved the place and today his farm is one of the attractive features of the landscape. There is a large and pleasant residence built in modern style of architecture, lighted with gas and supplied with hot and cold water throughout the house. In fact this is one of the finest farm residences in Toulon township and is an evidence of the progressive spirit of the owner. In the rear of the dwelling stands a substantial barn and other outbuildings that furnish ample shelter for grain and stock. He uses the latest improved farm machinery in carrying on the work of the fields and all of his land is tillable. For years he has been quite extensively engaged in breeding and selling pure blooded Poland China hogs and is now one of the foremost representatives of the business in Stark county. For some years he has held two public sales annually and he also sells at private sale. In addition he has filled orders from distant points, shipping some fine animals to various states.

Mr. and Mrs. Caverly have become parents of a son, Charles, who is now a student in the township high school at Toulon. The family is well known in their part of the county and warm regard is entertained for them by all with whom they have come in contact. Politically Mr. Caverly in independent, voting for men and measures rather than party. His entire attention has been concentrated upon his business affairs and his persistency of purpose has brought to him substantial and gratifying success.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 265-266. – Contributed by Karen Seeman – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Walter N. Champion

Walter N. Champion, who is engaged in general farming on section 23, Osceola township, owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land and also is farming another tract of eighty acres. He was born on the 15 of May, 1876, on the farm which is still his home, his parents being Edward H. and Hannah E. (Drawyer) Champion, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New York. They were married, however, in this county and for a number of years they resided on a farm northwest of Bradford but eventually purchased the place upon which Walter N. Champion now resides. The father added many improvements to the property and there remained until his death. His wife has also passed away. They had a family of eight children but only two of the number are now living, Walter N. and Henry, the latter located near Modena, Illinois.

Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, Walter N. Champion became a public school pupil and his practical business training was received under the direction of his father. He early began work in the fields and upon the death of his parents he took over the old home property, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of excellent farming land. This he now carefully cultivates, its further development occupying his time and energies together with the cultivation of an eighty-acre tract which belongs to his two children.

In the year 1900 Mr. Champion was married to Miss Clara N. Imes and they had four children: Isla, now deceased; one who died in infancy; Nolan Arnold and Verna Marie, both at home. The parents attend the Methodist Episcopal church and guide their lives according to its teachings. In politics Mr. Champion is an earnest republican and fraternally is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his wife are hospitable people and their home is ever open for the reception of the many friends that they have in their section of the county. Mr. Champion has been a lifelong resident of Osceola township and has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development as the work of improvement has been carried forward, bringing about a notable transformation.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 254-259. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Joseph Chase

Joseph Chase, who for a number of years has figured prominently in connection with the public affairs of Stark county, having served both as county clerk and circuit clerk, was born near Toulon on the 28th of October, 1854, and is therefore a representative of one of the pioneer families of this district. He, too, has long been a witness of the changes which have occurred here and has borne an active and helpful part in the work of general progress and inprovement. His father, Peleg Chase, was a native of Saratoga county, New York, and a son of John Chase, who was numbered among the early settlers of Saratoga county and was of English descent. Peleg Chase was reared in his native county and there married Fanny M. Taber, who was born in that county. In 1853 they removed westward to Illinois and established their home in Toulon township, Stark county, where Mr. Chase purchased land on which only slight improvements had been made. He immediately began the active work of the farm and carried on agricultural pursuits there with good success until 1865, when he disposed of his property and removed to Toulon, where he spent his last years, his death here occurring in 1871. His wife long survived him, passing away about 1910. Their family numbered but two children, one of whom, John Chase, is now a contractor and builder of Toulon.

Joseph Chase was reared in Stark county and in the pursuit of his education attended Westfield College and also Hedding College at Abingdon, Illinois. He taught for seven winter terms in the home schools and also for one fall term but later concentrated his attention upon agricultural pursuits, owning and cultivating a tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres in Toulon township. He lived upon that place for a few years, after which he sold the property and bought a farm in the southern part of the county, continuing to devote his time and energies there to the tilling of the soil for seven years. He then removed to Toulon and sold his farm in 1908. In 1890 he was nominated and elected to the office of county clerk, entering upon the duties of the position in 1890 for a four years' term. He then retired from office but after two years, or in 1896, was elected by the republican party to the office of circuit clerk, in which position he served for four years and was then reelected for another term. He has been a member of the town board, has acted as its president and is still a member of the city countil of Toulon. His public duties have been discharged in a notably prompt, efficient and creditable manner, his services proving of value to the community. He has at differenet times bought and owned farms and he and his wife are now owners of four hundred acres of land all in one body and all well imrpoved, constituting a valuable and productive property.

On the 23d of February, 1876, near Toulon, Mr. Chase was united in marriage to Miss Sarah A. Rist, who was born and reared in this county and is a daughter of Martin Rist, one of its early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Chase had become the parents of eleven children, of whom nine are yet living, namely: Fanny A., the wife of James M. Stickney; Jennie E., the wife of S. Clyde White, a farmer of Toulon; Nettie M., the wife of Ray D. Nicholson, who follows farming in Goshen township; Martin R., who is engaged in medical practice in Chicago; Helen M., at home; Pauline, who is a student in the Jacksonville College at Jacksonville, Illinois; Joseph H., who is a freshman in the State University at Urbana, Illinois; Sarah; and Carolyn. They lost their eldest child, Bertha L., who became the wife of John Dewey and died in January, 1903. A son, Wilbur P., was a junior in Northwestern Univeristy when death claimed him in August, 1912.

Mr. Chase is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and both he and his wife are connected with the Rebekah degree. He has served through the chairs of the lodge, is a past grand and has been lodge treasurer for years. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and in the ladies' societies of the church his wife takes an active part. The family occupy an attractive home which Mr. Chase erected thriteen years ago. They are well known in the city, occupying an enviable position in social circles, and high regard is entertained for them becasue of their sterling worth and many admirable traits of character.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 76-80 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Thomas D. Church

Thomas D. Church, deceased, was one of the well known and highly respected citizens of Stark county, where he made his home for sixty-six years. He was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, in 1836. His father, Norman Church, was also a native of that state and was there reared and married, continuing his residence there until death called him to the home beyond. His widow afterward married a Mr. Kirby and in 1847 they removed westward to Illinois, settling in Goshen township, Stark county.

Thomas D. Church was at that time a lad of about eleven years and upon the home farm in this county the remainder of his youth was passed with the usual experiences that come to the boy who is bred upon the western frontier. On the 31st of December, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah White, who was born and reared in Goshen township, a daughter of John White, whose residence here dated from 1834. He had removed to Illinois from Massachusetts and upon his arrival preempted land which was at that time entirely undeveloped and unimproved. He broke the sod, harrowed his fields and put in his crops and in time was gathering good harvests. He also fenced his land, built a dwelling thereon and continued the active work of the farm, being one of the industrious, energetic citizens of the community. Success attended him in his undertakings and his further investment in property made him in time the owner of a large tract of land. He also bought and sold land and in this way realized quite a substantial profit. He was a well known citizen of Stark county up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1852, his wife surviving him for a number of years.

At the time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Church located on the old Church homestead. He began farming on eighty-acre tract of land, which he brought under a high state of cultivation, and later he purchased an adjoining eighty acres, becoming in the course of years a prosperous farmer. The tangible evidence of his enterprise and industry was seen in the improvements which he made upon the place. He built a good residence, also substantial barns and sheds and transformed the farm into one of the excellent properties of the township. Thereon he resided until 1904, when he purchased a residence in La Fayette, where he made his home for ten years.

As time went on, the marriage was blessed with eight children: Charles C., who is living in McIntire, Iowa; Wallace, an active and progressive farmer living on the old home place; Elmer, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Toulon; Mrs. Ed Miner, living in Goshen township; William, who makes his home with his mother in La Fayette; Mrs. A. G. Fell, of Peoria; and two who have passed away.

Mr. Church died in La Fayette, May 12, 1914, at the age of seventy-seven years, and was laid to rest in La Fayette cemetery. He and his wife were members of the Universalist church of La Fayette, the church property standing on the same block as their residence. Mr. Church was also a member of the Masonic fraternity and was always loyal to the high teachings and purposes of these two organizations. His was a well spent life characterized by loyalty to duty, by reliability in business and by public-spirited citizenship, and as the years went on he won many friends, so that his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 234-237. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Chester B. Claybaugh

There are few residents of Toulon better known than Chester B. Claybaugh, and wherever he is known he is spoken of in terms of high regard, for he has those sterling traits of character which in every land and clime awaken confidence and respect. He has made his home in Toulon continuously since 1870 and for four consecutive terms or for sixteen years has filled the position of postmaster. He was born in McDonough county, Illinois, January 31, 1859, a son of Nicholas Claybaugh, a native of Ohio, who on removing westward to Illinois settled in McDonough county, where he followed farming. He was there married to Miss Rhoda Belle Marr, a native of Tennessee, from which state she came to Illinois. Mr. Claybaugh followed farming in Henry county for twenty years and afterward in Stark county but spent his last days in honorable retirement from business as a resident of Toulon, where his death occurred in 1900. His widow still survives and yet makes her home in Toulon.

Chester B. Claybaugh was reared in Stark county and was educated in Wethersfield and Kewanee, Illinois. Taking up the occupation of farming, he devoted fifteen years to tilling the soil in Goshen township, Stark county, and afterward turned his attention to the painting business in Toulon, following that pursuit for several years. Subsequently he bought a restaurant and confectionery store, which he conducted successfully for a number of years, after which he was appointed postmaster by President McKinley and by reappointment continued in that office for sixteen years. He discharged the duties of the position in a most capable, prompt and systematic manner, his work receiving the unqualified indorsement of his fellow townsmen. He was also a member of the village council for one term. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party and he is one of its recognized leaders in this county, his opinions carrying weight in its local councils. He has frequently been a delegate to the county, congressional and state conventions.

In 1891, in Toulon, Mr. Claybaugh was married to Miss May C. Smith, who was here born and reared and who by her marriage has become the mother of four children: Irene, the wife of Clarence L. Mahaney, a farmer of West Jersey township; Leslie D. and Philip C., who for more than a year have been conducting the moving picture house of Toulon, which is owned by their father; and Polly, who is a student in the high school.

After his retirement from the office of postmaster Mr. Claybaugh established a grocery store and meat market in Toulon and is still carrying on the business with gratifying success. In his store is always to be found an excellent line of staple and fancy groceries and fresh and salt meats. He has built up a very gratifying trade and is regarded as one of the successful business men of the county. It is characteristic of him that he carries forward to profitable completion whatever he undertakes. His business methods are straightforward and his enterprise has enabled him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and work his way steadily upward. He is pleasant and genial in manner and the good things said of him by his fellow townsmen indicate that he has a very extensive circle of warm friends.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 93-94 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Frank Colgan

Frank Colgan, living on section 36, Osceola township, has become well known as a breeder of Durham cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs as well as full-blooded Percheron horses. He was born in Valley township, this county, May 22, 1869, a son of Bernard and Anne (Sloan) Colgan, who were natives of County Down, Ireland, but were married in this state. The father was a farmer by occupation and developed and improved a farm in Valley township, which he converted from raw prairie into richly cultivated fields. Both he and his wife are still living, their home being in Wyoming, Illinois.

Frank Colgan attended the district school in Valley township and remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-four years, becoming familiar with all of the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He then purchased a farm in Valley township, on the line of Marshall county, becoming the owner of one hundred and twenty acres, upon which he lived for eight years. He then sold that property and made an investment in one hundred and sixty acres of land in Wheatland township, Bureau county, which he owned and cultivated for five years, although he resided thereon for but four years. In the spring of 1907 he removed to his present farm on section 36, Osceola township, and has occupied it for nine years, during which period he has added many modern improvements and equipments. He has three hundred and seventeen acres of very valuable land, the work of which is facilitated by modern machinery and farm implements. He produces excellent crops and in addition he has been extensively engaged in breeding Percheron horses. Five years ago he began to breed full-blooded Percherons and in the interim has owned some fine stock. He has also been the breeder of full-blooded Durham cattle, and for six years he has bred Duroc-Jersey hogs. He has likewise been an extensive feeder of stock, but at the present time is feeding only his own stock and using only the crops which he raises.

In 1894 Mr. Colgan was married to Miss Margaret A. Cartney, and they became the parents of seven children. The mother died four years ago, or in 1912, and was laid to rest in St. John's cemetery. Of the children, Effie, Ellen, Fred, Francis, Jane and Anna are all yet at home, while one died in infancy.

Mr. Colgan is a communicant of St. John's Catholic church of Bradford, as was his wife, and he is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. For ten years he served as school director, and he has usually given his political support to the democratic party. A self-made man, his advancement has been continuous since he started out for himself, for in early life he recognized the eternal principle that industry wins, and he has therefore worked earnestly and persistently to attain success. What he has undertaken he has accomplished, utilizing his time and opportunities to good advantage, and today an extensive and valuable farm, splendidly equipped, proves the worth of the methods which he has followed.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 121-122. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Henry Colwell

Henry Colwell, who became one of the pioneer settlers of Essex township, Stark county, where he engaged in farming for many years, was born in Ross county, Ohio, on the 20th of April, 1813, and almost reached the age of eighty-seven years, dying on the 4th of March, 1900. It was in the fall of 1836 that he and his brother, Presley Colwell, and their wives came to Illinois from the Buckeye state and settled in what is now Essex township, Stark county, though then a part of Putnam county. The following year their father, Thomas Colwell, and the rest of their brothers and sisters came from their home in Ohio and settled in the vicinity. Henry and Presley Colwell lived the first winter in a log cabin on section 15, Essex township, on land now owned by William Cornell, near the place where the first settlement was made in Stark county by Isaac B. Essex in 1829 and near where the first school was built in Stark county in 1834. In 1827 Presley Colwell moved to section 21, Essex township, where he had bought land and where he lived until the fall of 1868, when he sold out and removed to Nodaway county, Missouri. He died at his home there a few years later.

In the fall of 1838 Henry Colwell removed to a farm which he had bought on section 30, Essex township, where he lived for a number of years, or until he traded farms with John Martindale, whereby he became the owner of the southwest quarter of section 29, Essex township. The farm is known as the old Henry Colwell homestead and it is still owned by Henry Colwell's heirs. He was closely connected with the growth and development of Stark county.

He very early knew the need of education. Besides being greatly interested in the common schools of his township, with a number of others he contributed liberally to the building of Lombard University at Galesburg, Illinois. The Colwell family still hold a scholarship in that institution as a recompense for the money contributed by Mr. Colwell. His son George was one of the first enrolled as a student in the university. Henry Colwell had a very large acquaintance throughout the surrounding country, as he was one of the first auctioneers in Stark county and the only one for many miles around. He was one of the foremost farmers. He with others organized the fairs at Toulon for more than thirty years, doing much good in the advancement of agriculture in the county. He filled the office of president of the society for many years with credit to himself and benefit to the society. He also held several offices in the township and creditably performed his duties. He was supervisor of Essex township at the time the railroad was built in Stark county.

Mr. Colwell was one of those early pioneers who had the experience of hauling grain to the Chicago market and it was almost impossible to get any money for their produce. They could only trade it for the actual needs of life, such as sugar, salt, sole leather, etc. Mr. Colwell was one of the leading stockmen of Stark county for a great many years, buying, selling and shipping stock of all kinds. Before the railroads came to Stark county he would buy stock, which he would drive to Kewanee or to Chillicothe and ship from there to Chicago. Like many of the pioneers he was able to meet disappointments and do all in his power to overcome them. He met with many misfortunes, the greatest of which was no doubt the death of his first wife, who passed away in 1847, at the age of thirty-three years, leaving him with six small children for whom to care. She was in her maidenhood Elizabeth Dawson and resided in Hocking county, Ohio. Afterward Mr. Colwell married Clarinda Eby, who died in 1880 at the age of fifty-one years. To them were born thirteen children. Of his large family of nineteen children all lived to manhood and womanhood except one who died in infancy, but several are now deceased. Those living are: Mrs. Mary Nicholson, a resident of Osborn, Missouri; Mrs. John McGregor, of Grand Junction, Iowa; Mrs. E. A. Trimmer, of Perry, that state; Marvin M., Mrs. M. B. Tickle, Lillie and Ollie, all of Toulon; David, of West Jersey; P. B., of Wyoming; and Jennie residing in Peoria.

It is interesting to note the intermarriages of this with other early families of the south part of Stark county and of adjoining counties. Two of the sons, George and Miles, married Sarah and Amanda Barr, of Essex township. John married Almira Fast, of Essex township. Marvin married Mary Kendig, of Naperville, Illinois. David first married Addie De Lent, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and his second union was with Maggie Dryden, of West Jersey. P. B. wedded Cecilia Burns, of Princeville, and Douglas married Maggie Selby, of Princeville. Two of the daughters, Alcinda and Mary, married Jacob and Thomas Nicholas, respectively, of Essex township. Martha married John McGregor, of Monica. Anna married E. A. Trimmer, of Essex township. Sarah wedded M. B. Trickle, also of Essex township.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 183-185. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


P. B. Colwell

P. B. Colwell, the efficient and popular postmaster of Wyoming, was born in Essex township, Stark county, on the 15th of July, 1856, a son of Henry Colwell, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. He was reared upon the home farm and attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education. When seventeen years of age he became a school teacher and after teaching for one year in Valley township went to Peoria county, where he followed that profession for three years. He then spent one year in Chicago in the employ of the Deering Binder Company and then went on the road for that corporation as a salesman. He was later in St. Louis for a year and for a similar period of time was at Helena, Montana, after which he returned to Stark county and began farming the homestead in Essex township. He devoted fourteen years to the operation of that place and then turned his attention to the grain business, being active in that connection for a year at La Fayette and for eight years at Wyoming. On the 24th of April, 1914, he was made postmaster of Wyoming and has since concentrated his energies upon the discharge of his duties, proving a systematic, accurate and courteous official.

Mr. Colwell married Miss Cecelia Burns, a native of Peoria county, this state, and a daughter of Peter and Anna Burns, both of whom are deceased. Five children have been born to this marriage, namely: Henry, at home; Louise, who is teaching at St. Anthony, Idaho; Clara, a school teacher of Rupert, Idaho; Miles, at home; and Margaret, who is assistant postmaster.

Mr. Colwell has supported the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and for eight years represented Essex township on the board of county supervisors. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America at Wyoming. All of his various undertakings have proved successful as he possess good business judgment, is enterprising and gives close attention to the matter in hand, and he is in comfortable circumstances.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 165-166. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Anna M. (Marlin) Cooley

Widow of Former Local Man Honored As Illinois Pioneer

Of interest to the older people of Connellsville may be the anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Anna M. Cooley of Toulon, Illinois. Mrs. Cooley will be 89 on November 1. Her husband, the late Jonathan B. Cooley, was born and reared in Connellsville. He was a brother of the late Mrs. John Lindsay and an uncle of Miss Gertrude Lindsay of South Pittsburg street, this city. The late John B. Cooley, long-time employee of The Courier, was a cousin.

Mrs. Cooley was honored at the 71st annual reunion of the Stark County, Illinois, Old Settlers Association in August by having her picture on souvenir badges. She was born in 1859 on a farm on the line between Stark and Bureau Counties. Her parents were William and Maria Fowler Marlin. Shortly after the Civil War she traveled with her parents from Buda, Illinois to Missouri. They lived the lives of pioneers there until grasshoppers drove them out, and then returned to Illinois.

Anna M. Marlin and Jonathan B. Cooley were married in 1889 at Toulon. When the Cooley family here was broken up three brothers – Jonathan, Thomas and Melbourne, migrated to Illinois and located at Toulon. It was there Anna and Jonathan met. She is the mother of one son, Dr. William Cooley of Peoria, Ill., and four daughters Misses Gertrude and Verna Cooley of Toulon, Zeruah (Mrs. Edward Korling) of Gridley, Calif. And Daisy (Mrs. George Thompson) of Los Angeles.

[Source:  The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania), October 6, 1948 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


A. C. Cooper

A. C. Cooper owns four acres of land within the limits of Wyoming and is there engaged in growing fruit and raising bees. He is also active in the affairs of the municipal government, having been a member of the city council for the past twelve years. A native of Stark county, he was born on the 11th of November, 1874, and is a son of George Cooper, who was also born in this county and is now living with a daughter in Wyoming. He was a farmer during his active life and gained a gratifying measure of success in that occupation. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary J. Patterson, was a native of Rock Island, Illinois, and is deceased. The paternal grandfather of our subject, David Cooper, was born in Pennsylvania and married Eleanor Essex, a sister of Isaac B. Essex, who was the first settler of Stark county and for whom Essex township was named. A sketch of the life of Mr. Essex appears elsewhere in this work.

A. C. Cooper has passed his entire life in this county and during his boyhood and youth assisted his father with the work of the home farm and also attended the public schools, thus gaining a good education. Since 1881 he has resided in Wyoming, where he owns four acres of land, and he is specializing in fruit growing and bee raising. He has made a scientific study of these subjects and is finding them both profitable. He raises strawberries and raspberries, for which he finds a ready sale on the market. He is one of the most extensive bee raisers in the county, having from ninety to one hundred colonies, and he takes great pains in their care, with the result that the honey from his hives has become well known for its fine flavor.

Mr. Cooper is a republican in politics and has taken a leading part in public affairs. For twelve consecutive years he has been a member of the city council and has exerted a great deal of influence in that body. He is a man of keen insight and strong personality, and his position on any question is never an equivocal one. He has a wide acquaintance throughout the county and is universally respected.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 200-201. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Nathan Corrington

Nathan Corrington devotes his time to the operation of his farm of one hundred and sixty acres of section 24, Penn township, and is meeting with gratifying success as an agriculturist. His birth occurred in Peoria, Illinois, on the 15th of November, 1883, and he is a son of Frank V. and Lucy (Giles) Corrington, both of whom were born and reared in the vicinity of Peoria. The father engaged in farming there and both passed away in that locality.

Nathan Corrington was reared under the parental roof and received a good common school education, but when eighteen years of age began farming on his own account. Later he worked for a year and a half at the plumber’s trade, after which he again turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He remained in Peoria county until 1914, when he came to Stark county and purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 24, Penn township. The place was formerly owned by his father. The residence is up-to-date and well designed. He raises grain and stock and derives a good financial return from his labor.

In 1913 Mr. Corrington was united in marriage to Miss Daisy Dean Vogel, who was born in Peoria county. They have a son, Giles Russell.

Mr. Corrington is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party, and he attends the Methodist Episcopal church at Bradford, to which his wife belongs. He is well known in Masonic circles as he is identified with the lodge, chapter, commandery and shrine, all at Peoria. He is a young man but has already attained a measure of prosperity that would be creditable to a man several years his senior. He is not only a prosperous farmer but is also a public-spirited citizen and is willing to aid in securing the advancement of his community.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 284-285. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Dr. J. R. Crawford

History of Stark County, Illinois; M.A. Leeson, Chicago, M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887, p. 545

Dr. J. R. Crawford, physician and surgeon, a native of Washington county, Iowa, obtained an elementary education in the schools of that county, and completed a literary course at Keokuk, Iowa. He entered the study of medicine under the direction of his brother, Dr. W. D. Crawford, of Coal Yalley, Ill., who was his preceptor until he matriculated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Ia., in 1879. He took a full course of lectures there and won the graduate's diploma in 1882. The succeeding year he practiced in Mills county, Iowa, and coming to Stark county established his office at Lafayette in the spring or 1884. Since that time he has built up a lucrative practice and a very enviable reputation as a physician. In 1881 he married Miss S. M. Phillips, of Coal Yalley. He is a member of the Military Tract Medical Society. – Contributed by Karen Seeman


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