Stark County IL Biographies - F

David K. Fell

Death often removes from our midst those whom we can ill afford to lose, and such was the feeling throughout Stark county when David K. Fell was called from this life, for he was regarded as one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of the county, having for a long period been one of the active and progressive farmers of Goshen township. He was born in Roburghshire, Scotland, November 22, 1842, and was a youth of ten years when in 1852 he came to the United States, making his way direct to Illinois, at which time he joined friends living in Elmira, Stark county. He made the voyage and journeyed across the country in company with his parents and the family home was established in the Scotch settlement. There D. K. Fell was reared to manhood upon the home farm, having the usual experiences of the farm-bred boy who early began his work in the field. His school privileges were quite limited and he was largely a self-educated as well as self-made man, but in the course of years he became well read and developed excellent business ability. In early manhood he took up farm work as a livelihood, being employed by the month, but he was ambitious to engage in business on his own account and utilized every opportunity that led to advancement.

On the 9th of August, 1867, Mr. Fell was united in marriage to Miss Helen Jackson, also a native of Scotland, whence she was brought to the new world when but four years of age. Her father, Thomas Jackson, was born and reared in the land of hills and heather, as was his wife, Mrs. Isabella Jackson. On bidding adieu to friends and native country they sailed for the new world and became members of the Scotch settlement at Elmira, Stark county, where their daughter spent her girlhood days.

Following his marriage, Mr. Fell settled upon a farm in Goshen township, beginning the improvement of one hundred acres of land near Toulon. His persistent and energetic efforts soon wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of his place, and he continued his farm work with excellent success, adding to his property from time to time as his financial resources increased until he was the owner of four hundred acres all in one body but divided into two farms with two sets of buildings thereon, including residences, barns and all the necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain, stock and farm machinery. In addition to tilling the soil he devoted considerable time to buying and shipping stock and built up a business of considerable proportions. Year by year his success increased and he was regarded as one of the foremost agriculturists of his community until 1900, when he left the farm and removed to Toulon. Here he became one of the organizers of the State Bank and was made vice president of that institution. He also assisted in the organization of the Kewanee State Bank and remained as its vice president, as well as vice president of the Toulon bank, until his death, which occurred October 4, 1913. Upon removing to the city he purchased a lot and erected thereon a commodious and attractive residence built in modern style of architecture, thus providing a most attractive home for his family.

To Mr. and Mrs. Fell were born seven children: Adam, who is now a traveling salesman residing in Peoria; Thomas and William, who are upon the Fell farm; Shubeal, who is engaged in business at Toulon; Jennet, the wife of Henry Burns, a resident farmer of Adams county, Illinois; Elizabeth, the wife of James Beadleman; and Mary, the wife of Claud Kean, a business man of Evanston, Illinois.

D. K. Fell was a stalwart supporter of the republican party but would never seek or hold office. He belonged to Toulon Lodge, I.O.O.F., served through the chairs and became a past grand, while both he and his wife were connected with the Rebekah degree and Mrs. Fell is also a member of the Women's Relief Corps. She belongs to the Congregational church, of which Mr. Fell was an active member and a generous supporter. He also gave liberally to benevolent projects and was at all times a public-spirited citizen, cooperating heartily and earnestly in every movement that promoted the benefit of the community. For some years prior to his death he was in ill health and traveled quite extensively in various parts of the country. He visited Hot Springs, Arkansas, a number of times and with his wife visited Denver and other parts of Colorado, also Washington, D.C., and different points in the east. His travels added largely to his knowledge, for he possessed an observing eye and retentive memory. He never regarded lightly the obligations and duties of life and he was one who derived much joy from the companionship of family and friends. His death therefore was the occasion of deep and widespread regret when he was called away. He left behind him a memory which is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him and his life record should largely serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others, showing that success and an honored name may be won simultaneously.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 175-177. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Fred E. Ferris

About 1900 Fred E. Ferris purchased the farm on section 29, Osceola township, on which he now resides, having here a tract of land of one hundred and sixty-five and a half acres devoted to general farming. This is the visible evidence of his life of well directed energy and thrift for he is a self-made man, who started in business life with nothing. Diligence and determination, however, have overcome the obstacles and difficulties in his path, and he has worked his way steadily upward. He was born about three-quarters of a mile south of his present home, on the same section, his natal day being February 2, 1879. His father, George M. Ferris, was born at Wethersfield, Henry county, Illinois, and after attaining his majority he married Orethusa Stephens, whose birth occurred near Peoria, Illinois. They were residing in Stark county at the time of their mariage and settled three-quarters of a mile south of the present home of Fred E. Ferris, continuing residents of this county until called to their final rest.

The father died when his son, Fred, was a lad of but fourteen years. The latter was educated in the common schools and was reared upon the old home farm. Early undertaking the task of plowing and cultivating the land and producing the crops, there soon came to him a knowledge of the value of industry and perseverance, and he used these qualities to enable him to gain a financial start. Fifteen years ago he purchased his land on section 29, Osceola township, and is today owner of an excellent farm property of one hundred and sixty-five and a half acres, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He carries on general agricultural pursuits, and from the time of early spring planting until crops are harvested in the late autumn he is busy in the fields, doing everything possible to advance his work and secure good harvests.

In 1906 Mr. Ferris was married to Miss Agnes E. Scott, a daughter of Robert Scott of Osceola township, and their children are now five in number: Glenn S., Mary A., Floyd J., Leslie A., and Ross E., all at home. Mrs. Ferris is a member of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Ferris gives his political indoresement to the democratic party and its principles, and, while he does not seek nor desire political office, he has served for seven years as school director, doing all in his power to further the interests of public education in his neighborhood. He has always lived in the locality where he now resides, and his life record is familiar to his fellow townsmen. That his has been an upright and honorable course is indicated in the fact that among his stanchest friends are those who have known him from his boyhood days to the present.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 85-86 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Walter B. Finly

Walter B. Finly, who is successfully operating the Hazel Hill Stock Farm on section 24, West Jersey township, has concentrated his energies upon the raising of pure-blood shorthorn cattle and is recognized as one of the most progressive stock breeders of Stark county. His birth occurred upon that farm July 26, 1866, and he is a son of A. J. Finly, who was born in Ashland county, Ohio. The latter was taken from Ohio to Illinois when a child as his father, John Finly, was one of the very first settlers of Stark county. A. J. Finly was reared in this county and was here married in 1850 to Miss Margaret Carter, a native of the county. He became the owner of the old home farm which for many years has been known as the Hazel Hill Stock Farm and made many improvements upon the place. He was one of the first of the county to engage in breeding high grade shorthorn cattle and was influential in the advancement of the stock raising industry here. After residing in this county for many years he removed to Shenandoah, Iowa, but two years later went to San Diego, California, where he now lives. He and his wife celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary on October 6, 1915, on which occasion they received the congratulations and best wishes of their many friends. While living in Stark county Mr. Finly was elected to a number of offices and proved capable and conscientious in the discharge of his duties.

Walter B. Finly, who is one of a family of four sons and five daughters, all of whom are living, was reared upon the homestead and divided his time as a boy and youth between attending the district schools and assisting his father. About four years before the latter left the county our subject took charge of the operation of the Hazel Hill Stock Farm and has since managed the place. It comprises about four hundred acres of excellent land and the improvements thereon compare favorably with those on other farms in the county. He has not only kept everything in excellent condition but has also erected a silo and in other ways added to the value of the property. He raises pure-blooded shorthorn cattle and finds no difficulty in disposing of his stock at high prices, and he also feeds cattle and hogs for market.

On the 23d day of May, 1894, at Wyoming, occurred the marriage of Mr. Finly and Miss Nora Alderman, a daughter of Michael and Louise (Joicy) Alderman of that town. Mr. and Mrs. Finly took a trip to the Pacific coast in 1915 visiting the exposition at San Francisco and remained for some time with his parents in San Diego, being present at the celebration of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary on October 6th, 1915. Our subject was the only one of the children present on that occasion. He is in excellent circumstances financially, and it is generally recognized that his success has been founded upon his industry and his wise management of his affairs. Although he has given practically his undivided attention to his farm work he has never been remiss in any of his duties as a citizen and supports those movements seeking the advancement of his community. In politics he is a republican. His friends are many and his genuine worth is attested by the fact that those who know him most intimately hold him in the highest esteem.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 338-339. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Fred H. Fleming

Fred H. Fleming, who resides on section 12, West Jersey township, is the efficient superintendent of the Stark county farm, a position which he has satisfactorily filled for the past fifteen years. He dates his residence in this county from 1854, having been brought to Illinois when but a year old. He was born in Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1853, and his father, Samuel Fleming, was a native of the same locality, there being reared to manure years, after which he wedded Miss Rebecca Bonsel, who was likewise a native of Clearfield county. Samuel Fleming followed the occupation of carpentering, continuing active in that field of building operations for a number of years. On his removal to Illinois in 1854 he settled in Elmira, Stark county, and there took up contracting as well as carpenter work, in which he continued for several years. He afterward purchased a tract of eighty acres of new land and opened up a farm, performing all of the arduous labor incident to the initial cultivation of the fields. Subsequently he purchased another tract of twenty-six acres, thus becoming the owner of a farm of one hundred and six acres, upon which he made fair improvements and thereon reared his family. As the years passed his success increased and he acquired a competence that enabled him to live retired in his later years. Removing to Toulon, he there resided until his death, which occurred when he had reached the ripe old age of ninety-five. For some years he had survived his wife.

Fred H. Fleming has known no other home than Stark county and his business activities have largely connected him with its farming interests. When a young lad he began work in the fields and his responsibilities broadened as his age and strength increased. He attended the public schools and when a young man served for a time as mail carrier between Elmira and Neponset. After a year, however, he resumed farming and for one year cultivated a tract of land which he rented in Toulon township. He afterward removed to Taylor county, Iowa, and for one season was employed as a farm hand near Lenox, but at the end of that brief period returned to Stark county, where he and his brother David purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of partially improved land in Goshen township. They continued to engage in farming in partnership for a period but later Fred. H. Fleming sold out to his brother and established a rug and carpet shop just north of the city of Toulon. He operated that for two years, on the expiration of which period he was appointed to his present position of superintendent of the Stark county poor farm, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres of good land, which he carefully and systematically cultivates. When he took charge of the place there was much work needed to be done in the way of repairs and improvements and he now has everything in first class condition, carrying on the farm work with the aid of a hired man, while Mrs. Fleming manages the household affairs with the assistance of a maid. During the winter there are about fourteen people on an average who are inmates of the home, mostly aged people, unable to work but through the summer there are less than half that number. The yearly expense amounts to about four thousand dollars, while the revenue from the farm amounts to two thousand dollars. Mr. Fleming keeps some cattle and hogs and also has good horses upon the place. The buildings and fences are kept in a good state of repair and everything indicates his careful management.

On the 12th of February, 1880, Mr. Fleming was married, in Elmira, to Miss Elizabeth Moffitt, who was born and reared in Elmira and there pursued a public school education. Her father, William Moffitt, was a native of the north of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Fleming have two children: Jessie, a well educated young lady, now employed as a stenographer in Toulon; and Clyde, who is employed in a plumbing business in Toulon. He is married and has three children. Mr. and Mrs. Fleming also lost a daughter, Margaret, when three years of age, and a child who died in infancy.

Mr. Fleming belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp and his wife is a member of the Congregational church. Both are well known and enjoy the warm regard of all with whom social or business relations have brought them in contact.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 313-315. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


J. C. Fleming

J. C. Fleming, who carries on general farming on section 33, Elmira township, was born a half mile north of his present home on the 12th of February, 1858, his parents being Samuel C. and Rebecca (Bonsell) Fleming, both of whom were natives of Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, where they were reared and married. They afterward removed to Illinois and the father purchased what became known as the old Fleming homestead, then a tract of raw land upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. He had the land broken in 1865 and the work of developing the farm was begun. He was a carpenter by trade but lived upon the home farm up to the time of his retirement from active business, when he removed to Toulon, where his remaining days were passed. He died in 1907, at which time he lacked only six days of being ninety-five years of age. He had long survived his wife, who passed away upon the farm in 1867.

J. C. Fleming was educated in the common schools, which he attended through the winter seasons, while the summer months were devoted to work upon the home farm. After attaining his majority he was employed as a farm hand through the neighborhood up to the time of his marriage, which occurred when he was twenty-seven years of age. He then leased the farm from his father and cultivated it for five years, at the end of which time he purchased one hundred and six acres of the old home property and thereon has since given his attention to general agricultural pursuits, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation and adding many modern improvements to the property.

In 1885 Mr. Fleming was united in marriage to Miss Annie J. Moffit and they became the parents of six children, namely: Esther, at home; Rebecca Jane, who is a school teacher; Emma, who is engaged in teaching music; Elsie, a student in Monmouth College; and Mary and Robert R., both at home.

In his political views Mr. Fleming has always been a democrat and for two years he filled the office of tax collector. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Toulon and the Modern Woodmen camp at Elmira and he and his family are members of the United Presbyterian church, in the work of which they are much interested, contributing generously to its support and taking a helpful part in promoting the growth and extending the influence of the church. Mr. Fleming has spent his entire life in this county and therefore through fifty-eight years has been a witness of its growth and development, so that there is little of concern in connection with its history with which he is not familiar. He has always been regarded as one of its substantial citizens, his worth being widely acknowledged by friends and neighbors.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 144-145. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


John W. Fling, Jr.

John W. Fling, Jr., one of the leading attorneys at the Stark county bar, is the only representative of his profession in Wyoming. He was born in Cumberland, Marion county, Indiana, on the 22d of January, 1878, a son of John W. and Rebecca (Bolander) Fling, likewise natives of that place. The father engaged in farming in Indiana until 1885, when he came to Stark county, Illinois, and took up his residence at Wyoming. For many years he has served as a section hand for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, making an excellent record for efficiency in that connection.

John W. Fling, Jr., was graduated from the Wyoming high school in 1898 and for three years thereafter followed the profession of teaching. Having determined to make the practice of law his life work, he pursued his legal studies under the direction of F. A. Kerns and on the 13th of May, 1903, was admitted to practice by the supreme court of Illinois. On the 1st of July of that year he was taken into partnership by his former preceptor and this relation was maintained until May, 1912. In November of that year our subject was elected state's attorney for Stark county and his record in that connection reflects credit upon his legal knowledge, his aggressiveness and his power of convincing argument. He has built up a large and representative private practice and his ability is recognized not only by the general public but also by his professional brethren.

Mr. Fling was married November 22, 1904, to Miss Mamie McClyment, also a native of this county and likewise a graduate of the Wyoming high school. They have a son, Richard A.

Mr. Fling has given careful study to the problems of government and is convinced that the policies of the republican party are best calculated to secure the permanent prosperity of the country. He is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church and fraternally he belongs to the local lodges of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He realizes the importance of good schools in a democracy and as president of the board of education has done much to bring about the advancement of the local schools. He is an ardent admirer of Abraham Lincoln and has collected what is probably the largest Lincoln library in the state. The gratifying success which he has gained is especially noteworthy in that he has depended entirely upon his own resources and upon well directed industry in the struggle for professional advancement.

– Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Courtney D. Fowler

Courtney D. Fowler, operating a farm of four hundred and seventy acres on section 4, Toulon township, is one of the wide-awake, alert and enterprising agriculturists and stock raisers of this part of the state. He was born December 11, 1874, on the old homestead farm which he still occupies. His father, John Fowler, was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Elmira, October 31, 1833. The paternal grandfather, Brady Fowler, removed with his family from Pennsylvania to Illinois, making a permanent location in Stark county in 1836, so that he was numbered among its oldest pioneer settlers. He arrived there only four years after the Black Hawk war had ended Indian supremacy in Illinois. He preempted or purchased three hundred acres of land which was entirely wild and unimproved and at once he began to break the sod and till the soil He split rails and fenced the farm and in the course of time transformed his land into very productive fields.

John Fowler was reared upon the old homestead and in this county married Sarah E. Norris, who was born in Tazewell county, Illinois. He took up the task of further improving the old home place, erected a large and pleasant farm residence, also built a good barn and planted a fine grove of pine, cedars, spruces and forest trees. This constitutes a great protection against storms from the west and northwest, for the trees are now large and their broad branches shut out the winds. For a long period he was numbered among the active and prosperous farmers of Stark county and his holdings comprised two or more tracts of very productive land. He was also one of the public-spirited citizens of the county and served as supervisor and in other official positions of honor and trust. He held membership in the Elmira Presbyterian church and for some years was a member of its choir. He guided his life according to the teachings of the church and throughout the community was known as a consistent Christian gentleman whose death, which occurred April 5, 1914, was deeply regretted by all. His wife survives him and now resides in Toulon.

Courtney D. Fowler was one of a family of two sons and two daughters and was reared on the old family homestead, acquiring his primary education in the public schools near by and in the Toulon high school. He remained with his father on the old home place until he attained his majority and afterward began farming on his own account. On the 3d of October, 1910, in Toulon, was celebrated his marriage to Miss Jennie M. Pierson, who was born in West Jersey township, this county, a daughter of W. H. Pierson. For three years Mr. Fowler was off the farm, during which time he was engaged in the hardware business in Toulon, but at the end of that time disposed of his interest in the store and in 1911 returned to the farm, upon which he has made many modern improvements, keeping everything in touch with the most scientific methods of carrying on agricultural pursuits. He has a large, powerful traction engine, with which he operates a gang of eight fourteen-inch plows, thereby saving much horse power and time. He has other modern farm machinery and implements and in fact there is no feature of progressive farming at the present time that is lacking upon his place.

To Mr. and Mrs. Fowler have been born two children, Ruth and Jean. The mother is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Toulon, while Mr. Fowler belongs to the Elmira Presbyterian church. Both are held in the highest esteem, their many excellent traits of heart and mind gaining for them the confidence and goodwill of all with whom they have been brought in contact. Mr. Fowler’s labors largely set the standard for others and his well directed business ability is bringing him success, while his course proves what can be accomplished by determination and honorable effort.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 289-291. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


John T. Fox

Although John T. Fox has given over to others the active work of the fields he still resides upon his three hundred and fifty acre farm on section 35, Essex township, and supervises its operation. He was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, on the 7th of January, 1847, a son of Abraham Fox, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and removed to Ohio in young manhood. The father learned the weaver’s trade in his youth and became a skilled artisan. He was married in the Buckeye state to Miss Jane Sampson, who was also born in Pennsylvania but was brought to Ohio by her parents as a child. She and her husband both passed away in the Buckeye state.

John T. Fox was reared in his native state and secured a good education in the public schools. In 1864, when seventeen years of age, he enlisted at Circleville, Ohio, in Company A, Thirty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he remained for a year. He was with Sherman on the march to the sea and remained at the front until the close of the war but saw no hard fighting. He participated in the grand review at Washington D. C., and was mustered out of service in July, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, after being with the army for ten months.

After his return from the front Mr. Fox purchased a tract of land in Ohio and engaged in farming there until 1876, when he removed to Shelby county, Illinois. Two years later he came to Stark county, arriving here in December. He purchased eighty acres in Essex township and has since resided upon that place. The residence was standing at the time that the farm came into his possession but he has erected all of the other buildings, which are commodious and well adapted to their purpose. He has met with gratifying success in his farming operations and has invested in additional land from time to time, his holdings now comprising three hundred and fifty acres. He is not actively engaged in the operation of his farm but supervises the work of others.

Mr. Fox was married in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth Weber, who was also born in Ohio. Her father, Michael Weber, devoted his life to farming and passed away in the Buckeye state. Mr. and Mrs. Fox are the parents of ten children, namely: Lillie, the wife of C. B. Strayer, of Toulon; Clara, who married E. L. Gelvin, a farmer of West Jersey township; Emma, the wife of E. A. Graves, a resident of Minnesota; Alice, who married John E. Siders, of Perry, Iowa; Elmer H., who is farming near Perry in Boone county, Iowa; Effie, who married E. C. Gingrich, of Essex township; Arthur, who is married and is operating his father’s farm; Bertha, a twin of Arthur and the wife of Will Addis, of Huron, South Dakota; and Myrtle, who married Samuel Large, a farmer of Essex township.

Mr. Fox is a republican in his political allegiance and has served for four years as township assessor, making an excellent record in that capacity. Through his association with the Grand Army of the Republic he keeps in touch with other veterans of the Civil war and in times of peace he has proved as loyal to the common good as he did when as a boy he entered the Federal army. He has gained a wide acquaintance during the thirty-eight years of his residence in this county, and those who have been most closely associated with him are his stanchest friends.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 286-289. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


W. David Fulk

For sixty-five years W. David Fulk has been a resident of Stark county, witnessing its growth and development from pioneer times to the present and taking an active part in promoting its agricultural interests. He is still busily engaged in farming, his home being on section 16, Osceola township. He represents one of the early families of the county, for his birth occurred in Elmira township, December 29, 1850. His parents were Levi and Rachel (Medaris) Fulk, who were natives of Ohio, in which state they were reared and married. They arrived in Illinois in the fall of 1850, having journeyed westward in a prairie schooner after the primitive manner of travel in those days. The father secured land and with characteristic energy began the development of a new farm, which he converted into rich and productive fields. In 1899 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, while he survived until June, 1915. His political allegiance was given to the democratic party.

W. David Fulk was reared to farm life on the old homestead, where he remained until twenty-two years of age, when he located at his present place of residence on section 16, Osceola township. He has eighty acres of good land and is engaged in general farming. He has wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place, for he has erected good buildings, had brought his fields under a high state of cultivation, has planted an orchard and has added other improvements. He has engaged in the raising of full blooded Herefords, and his live stock interests have been an important feature of his business.

In 1873 Mr. Fulk was united in marriage to Miss Eva E. Harris, and they have become the parents of three children: W. T., who is assisting his father on the home farm; Bessie L., at home; and John M., who is residing upon another farm of eighty acres owned by his father, near Bradford.

In his political views, Mr. Fulk has always followed an independent course, casting his ballot according to the dictates of judgment and the exigencies of the case. For a number of years he served as school director, and the cause of education found in him a warm friend. He and his wife attend the Methodist Episcopal church and they are worthy people esteemed for their many excellent traits of character and respected for their well spent lives. Mr. Fulk deserves mention among the honored pioneer settlers of the county and his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. He has lived to see remarkable changes as pioneer homes have been replaced by commodious and beautiful farm residences. The buildings for the shelter of grain and stock have also been greatly improved, for the county is dotted here and there with mammoth barns and sheds. There is no feature of twentieth century farming that is not found in this district, and Mr. Fulk rejoices in what has been accomplished not only along agricultural lines but in all lines of normal business development.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 218-219. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Levi Fulks

Illinois is the center of the great farming inudstry of the country and Stark county is one of the rich agricultural districts of the state. Throughout his entire life Levi Fulks has been identified with the work of tilling the soil, which George Washington said "is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man." He lives on section 16, Osceola township, and it was upon this section that he was born March 9, 1867, his parents being Levi and Rachel (Medaris) Fulks, who were natives of Ohio, in which state they were reared and married. On removing westward they settled in Illinois in the fall of 1850, establishing their home in Osceola township. Afterward they lived for two years at Boyd's Grove and then settled on section 16, Osecola township, where their remaining days were passed. The father reached the notable old age of ninety years, his birth having occurred on the 12th of October, 1824, while he passed away on the 16th of June, 1915. His wife died November 3, 1899, and both were laid to rest in the Osceola Grove cemetery.

Levi Fulks prepared for life's practical duties as a common school pupil and lived at home through the period of his boy hood and youth. In fact he has always remained upon the old homestead. His father has acquired several hundred acres of land and the labors of Levi Fulks were needed in the further development, cultivation and improvement of the farm. He has always carried on the work of general farming and today owns and cultivates an excellent tract of land of eighty acres.

In 1898 Mr. Fulks was united in marriage to Miss Florence Hall, and they have become the parents of two children, Nora Maybel and Myra Fern. Mrs. Fulks was born in Osceola township, a daughter of John and Mary C. (Grife) Hall. Her father was born at Broadbottom, England, and in 1855 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, after which he made his way at once into the interior of the country, settling in Osceola township, Stark county. He was then a youth of sixteen years and he began work as a farm hand, being thus employed until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when in response to the call of his adopted country for aid he enlisted in 1862 as a member of the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years. His army experience, with all of its hardships and privations, largely undermined his health and he never recovered his normal condition. At the close of the war he returned home and was married in 1870. He afterward lived in Osceola township until about twenty-one years ago, when he removed to southwestern Missouri, where he passed away in 1896, while his wife died in 1897. Their daughter, Mrs. Fulks, was educated in the common schools of Osceola township and in the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, after which she took up the profession of school teaching, which she followed in Illinois and Missouri for ten years.

Mr. Fulks is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and he gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. Both he and his wife are widely known in this county and have a circle of friends almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance, for their many good qualities have won for them warm regard.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 179-180. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Fred A. Fuller

Active among the energetic and farsighted farmers of Goshen township is Fred A. Fuller, who lives on section 3, and who gives his undivided attention to the improvement of his farm, his labors being attended with excellent results. He was born in Henry county, this state, on the 27th of June, 1873, and his father, George W. Fuller, was also a native of that county, his birth having occurred in Wethersfield township, February 12, 1846. His paternal grandfather, Ansel Fuller, was reared amid pioneer conditions and environment upon the home farm in Stark county and afterward removed to Henry county, where he purchased land and opened up a farm, upon which his son, George W. Fuller, was born and reared and upon which he has since made his home. George Fuller was married in Henry county to Miss Maggie E. Likes, who was born in Pennsylvania but was reared in Henry county, Illinois, where her father, Samuel Likes, settled at a very early day.

Fred A. Fuller was reared on the old homestead farm in Henry county, having the usual experiences that fall to the lot of the farm bred boy. Play and work divided his time, together with the task of acquiring a public school education, and when his textbooks were put aside he concentrated his efforts on the work of assisting his father in carrying on the home farm. After he had attained his majority he rented land, which he cultivated for several years, and he also purchased a steam thresher and cornsheller, which he operated in Henry county for seven years, making that work an important branch of his business. He made his first purchase of land in 1907, when he became the owner of eighty acres in Goshen township. This was blue grass pasture and the sod had never been broken. He now has fifty acres under the plow, while the balance is meadow and pasture land. He has erected a substantial and comfortable residence upon the place, has also put up good barns and sheds, and today has a well improved and valuable farm. In connection with the development of his place he raises and feeds stock, making a specialty of Duroc-Jersey hogs.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 294-295. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


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