Stark County IL Biographies - G

F. T. Gelvin

F. T. Gelvin has for a decade been engaged in the grain trade at La Fayette and the close application and energy which he displays in the conduct of his business affairs are bringing him deserved success. That Stark County offers many opportunities to its citizens is indicated in the fact that many of her native sons have remained within her borders after attaining adult age. Among this number is Mr. Gelvin, who was born in Essex Township, December 3, 1877.

His father, James R. Gelvin, was born near Erie, Pennsylvania, November 4, 1836, and was there reared, being a young man of nineteen years when in 1855 he left the Keystone state and made his way westward to Illinois. He remained a resident of Stark County until 1861, when he felt that his duty to his country was paramount to all else and offered his services to the government in defense of the Union, joining Company F, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until finally discharged at the close of the war, being mustered out at Springfield, in September, 1865. He was a brave and loyal soldier never faltering in the performance of any duty and participating in a number of very important engagements, including the battles of Nashville, Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain. He returned to his home with a most creditable military record, characterized by loyalty to the old flag and by the prompt and faithful performance of every task, no matter how arduous, that devolved upon him in connection with his military service. Following his return home he was married in Stark County, in the fall of 1865, to Miss Martha Trickle, who was born and reared in this county. Mr. Gelvin purchased land in Essex Township and transformed the wild sod into productive fields. He fenced his place, erected buildings thereon and converted the land into a very productive and valuable farm. He also extended the boundaries of his place from time to time until he became the owner of two hundred and forty acres, from which he derived a substantial annual income in the shape of large crops. Upon that place he resided until his death, which occurred in August, 1905, and his widow still makes her home upon the farm. He was a devoted member of W. W. Wright Post, G. A. R., and thus maintained pleasant relations with his old army comrades.

F. T. Gelvin is one of a family of two sons, his brother being Merle Gelvin, who is married and follows farming in Essex Township. F. T. Gelvin was reared on the old homestead and had the usual experiences of the farm bred boy who divides his time between work in the fields and the acquirement of an education in the district schools. When his textbooks were put aside he continued to assist his father in the development of the home place until he reached his majority. In 1906 he turned his attention to the grain trade, purchasing an elevator in La Fayette, and since that time he has been well known among the grain merchants of this part of the county. He also handles tiles and has built up a good trade in that connection. He ships grain almost daily throughout the year, handling many carloads annually. Diligence and determination have been the basic elements of his success, and in all his business relations he is found reliable as well as progressive.

On the 28th of February, 1900, in Atkinson, Illinois, Mr. Gelvin was married to Miss Lola M. Green, who was born and reared in Atkinson and was there educated. Of this marriage there is one daughter, Velmya Irene, who is now a student in the public schools. The family home is an attractive residence in La Fayette, which Mr. Gelvin purchased.

In politics he is identified with the republican party, and in Essex Township he served as collector for one term. Since 1909 he has served as secretary of the La Fayette Fair Association. He was school treasurer of Goshen Township for four years and township clerk for two years. He has never been neglectful of his duties of citizenship and in a private capacity has manifested the same spirit of loyalty to his country and her best interests that his father displayed when on southern battlefields. Mr. Gelvin belongs to the Masonic Lodge at La Fayette, of which he has served as secretary for some years, and he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. Both are loyal to the high teachings and purposes of the order, and they are ever ready to extend a helping hand where aid is needed. Those who know them entertain for them warm regard, and they have an extensive circle of friends in their part of the county.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 99-101. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


James L. Gerard

James L. Gerard, operating a farm of eighty acres on section 36, Elmira township, whereon he is engaged in the raising of full blodded Duroc Jersey hogs, has been a lifelong resident of Stark county. He was born December 19, 1873, on the farm on which he now resides, his parents being Charles L. and Henriette (Lesan) Gerard, the former a native of New York and the latter of New Hampshire. They were married, however, in Wisconsin, having gone to that state in early life, the father having lived for a time in Ohio before his removal to Wisconsin. They removed later to Illinois, becoming early residents of Stark county, and Mr. Gerard was among those who sought wealth in the gold fields at Pike's Peak, being absent on that trip for a year. He afterward lived in Stark county and it was about sixty years ago that he purchased the farm upon which he continued to reside until his death January 13, 1914. For a decade and a half he had survived his wife, who passed away September 19, 1899.

James L. Gerard was educated in the common schools and also spent one term in study at Dixon, Illinois, but is largely self-educated and in the school of experience has learned many valuable lessons. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, after which he engaged in clerking in a store at Castleton for a year. He next went to Bradford, where he conducted a grocery store for a year and subsequently removed to Lombardville, where he also spent one year. He then resumed farm work and has since given his attnetion to general agricultural pursuits. He now operates eighty acres of land that is naturally rich and productive, and the care and labor which he bestows upon the fields results in the harvesting of good crops. He also devotes considerable time to the raising of full blooded Duroc Jersey hogs and is meeting with good success in that undertaking.

On the 28th of May, 1902, Mr. Gerard was united in marriage to Miss Minne Tracy, a highly educated woman, who was graduated from the State University of Kansas and taught in the high school at Larned, Kansas, for some time. To Mr. and Mrs. Gerard have been born four children, namely: James Frank, Charles Nathan, Paul Tracy and Verna Florence. The parents have been members of the United Presbyterian church since 1892. Mr. Gerard has given his political allegiance to the prohibition party and is a stanch advocate of the cause of temperance but now votes with the republican party. He belongs to the Fraternal Reserve Life Association but does not seek to figure prominently in lodge, club or political circles. He concentrates his time upon his business affairs and occupies the old homestead upon which his father settled sixty years ago. It was a tract of timber land from which he had to clear away the trees in order to plant the fields.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 84-85 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Eva Katherine (Clapp) Gibson

GIBSON, Mrs. Eva Katherine Clapp, author, born in Bradford, Ill., 10th August, 1857. Her father removed from western Massachusetts and pre-empted a section of the best farming land in the State. There he built a log house of the frontier type, and in this his children were born. Miss Clapp's paternal grandmother was Lucy Lee, who was a direct descendant, on her father's side, from the famous Indian princess, Pocahontas. Her mother was Ann Ely, from Litchfield, Conn., a direct descendant from Lady Alice Fenwick, a romantic figure in Colonial times, of Old Lyme, Conn. Miss Clapp passed the first eleven years of her life under her mother's watchful care, on her father's farm. After her mother's death she lived with a married sister. She attended school in Amboy, in the Dover Academy, and subsequently in the Milwaukee Female College. While her studies were pursued in a desultory manner and at irregular intervals, she learned very rapidly and easily. When about sixteen years old, she visited for a time in the large eastern cities, arid subsequently taught school in western Massachusetts. She commenced to write at an early age Her first story, written when she was twenty years old, was a novel, entitled "Her Bright Future," drawn largely from life. Some thirty-thousand copies were sold. That was followed by "A Lucky Mishap" and "Mismated," which reached a sale of about ten-thousand copies, "A Woman's Triumph," and a serial first published in one of the Chicago dailies as "Tragedies of Prairie Life," and subsequently published in book form as "A Dark Secret." She has written many short stories and sketches, and has done considerable editorial work. Her poems have had a wide circulation. They are to be published in book form, under the title, "Songs of Red Rose Land." She became the wife of Dr. C. B. Gibson, of Chicago, in 1892, and spent a year in Europe, where Mrs. Gibson made a special study of the literature of Germany and France.

(Source: American Women by Frances Elizabeth Willard, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Vol. 1, 1897. Transcribed by Marla Snow)


Samuel B. Gingrich

Samuel B. Gingrich is now living retired in Toulon but for years was one of the active and progressive farmers and stock raisers of Stark county, making his home in Essex township, where he systematically and successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits. Stark county numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Essex township, April, 1852. His father, Christian Gingrich, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1812, and was a son of Christian Gingrich, Sr., who removed with his family to Ohio, casting in his lot among the pioneer settlers of Ashland county, where he resided for a number of years. He afterward came to Illinois and joined his children, who had preceded him to this state, becoming a resident of Stark county. His son, Christian Gingrich, Jr., was reared in Ashland county, Ohio, and was married there in 1837 to Miss Mary Coleman, a native a Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. The same year they removed westward to Illinois, making permanent location in Essex township, Stark county, where the father purchased a tract of raw land. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place, but with characteristic energy he broke the sod, fenced the land and converted it into a productive farm. His first purchase comprised eighty acres, to which he added from time to time until he was the owner of five hundred acres of very valuable farm property. He erected thereon a good residence, barn and outbuildings and he became one of the prosperous farmers, stock raisers and feeders of his district, his business ability and indefatigable industry bringing to him a creditable measure of success. Upon that farm he reared his family and spent his last years, his death occurring July 30, 1876. His wife survived him for two decades and spent her declining years in the home of her son, S. B. Gingrich, there passing away May 11, 1897.

Samuel B. Gingrich was reared on the old homestead and enjoyed the usual public school advantages. He was early trained to the work of the farm and continued to assist his father until the latter’s death, after which he succeeded to the ownership of the old home property. He was active in the further development and improvement of the place, his farm work being conducted along progressive lines. He rebuilt and remodeled the house, which is now one of the best farm residences in Essex township, and he also built good barns and outbuildings. The farm consists of five hundred acres of Stark county’s rich land and from the property Mr. Gingrich derives a most gratifying annual income. While living upon the place he made a business of raising good stock, handling Durham cattle and Poland China hogs, and he also fed stock for the market.

On the 24th of December, 1874, in West Jersey township, Mr. Gingrich married Miss Clara Whitten, who was born in Ohio but was reared in Stark county, a daughter of Theodore Whitten, who became a prominent farmer of West Jersey township. To this marriage have been born three children: Elva C., who is married and owns and operates a farm in Essex township, where he is engaged in raising and feeding stock as well as tilling the soil; Mabel, who became the wife of Charles Addis, a farmer in Knox county, Illinois, and died October 24, 1908; and Fern, a young lady at home.

In 1912 Mr. Gingrich purchased a pleasant residence in Toulon and removed to the city but still gives supervision to the work of the farm and it returns to him a very gratifying sum each year. Politically he is a republican but has never been ambitious to hold office. In fact he has always found that his business affairs make full demand upon his time and energies, and his success is attributable to the fact that he has ever been persistent in purpose and straightforward and honorable in all his dealings.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 244-248. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


J. S. Gleason

J. S. Gleason, of Penn township, who now holds title to four hundred and forty acres of finely improved land, is a self-made man for he began his independent career without capital or without the aid of influential friends and has at all times been dependent upon his own resources for success. He was born in Dublin township, Cheshire county, New Hampshire, on the 10th of April, 1835, the son of Phineas Gleason, Jr., and a grandson of Phineas Gleason, Sr. The last name served throughout the Revolutionary war and was promoted to the rank of captain. The greater part of the fighting in which he took part occurred in the vicinity of Lake Champlain. He reached an advanced age, dying when he was eighty-three years of age, and our subject remembers having seen him. The family is of English descent, the ancestors of the American branch having resided at Manchester, Lancashire. Phineas Gleason, Jr., spent the greater part of his life in the east but during his last days lived with our subject in Stark county, Illinois. His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Sarah Smith and she was born in Dublin, New Hampshire. They had nine children, of whom two came to Illinois, our subject and his brother Charles.

J. S. Gleason was reared upon the home farm, in New Hampshire and received a high school education in that state. He remained there until he was about twenty years of age, when in 1855 he came to Stark county, Illinois, and located upon his present home farm on section 15, Penn township. There was a small log house upon the place and he kept bachelor’s hall there for about sixteen years. He placed his land under cultivation in a comparatively short time and as the years passed his resources increased although there were many difficulties to be encountered in those days which the modern farmer knows nothing of. Among other things it was difficult to market his crops and stock as the nearest railroad point was Henry, Illinois, eighteen miles distant. He believes in the desirability of real estate as an investment and has purchased more land from time to time until he now owns four hundred and forty acres, which is improved with four sets of buildings. He supervises the operation of al his land and derives therefrom a handsome income.

Mr. Gleason was married in 1870 to Miss Abbie S. Nims, by whom he has the following children: Albert M., who is operating one of his farms; Clora M., the wife of Harry Adams, a farmer of Penn township; Della, who married Ben Leadley, a resident of Penn township; Charles Sumner, who is operating land belong to his father; Laura Pearl, the wife of Rev. Edward Diffenbough, a Methodist preacher stationed at Altona, Illinois; Lottie Alice, the wife of Samuel Stuffacher, of Monroe, Wisconsin; John Harrison, who is station agent at El Paso; and Jessie Mabel, a school teacher at Oneida, Illinois.

Mr. Gleason is a stanch republican in his political belief and for about twenty years has served as a member of the school board and has also held the office of road commissioner. Both he and his wife are affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church and take a keen interest in its work. He has never had occasion to regret his choice of an occupation for he has gained financial independence and has also found farming congenial work. His home is modern and well kept up, and its attractiveness is enhanced by shade and orchard trees which he himself planted.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 295-296. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Charles N. Good

Charles N. Good, who carries on general farming on section 8, Elmira township, was born in Weathersfield township, Henry county, Illinois, February 22, 1859, a son of Samuel W. and Mary Ann (Northrop) Good. The father was a native of Zanesville, Ohio and the mother of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but in early life they removed to Illinois and were married in Henry county. The Good family established their home in that county in 1856, the grandfather of our subject becoming one of the pioneer settlers of the district. Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel W. Good lived in Henry county until called to their final rest, the former passing away on the 1st of September, 1885, and the latter February 27, 1897.

Charles N. Good had the advantage of a good school education. His father was a school director and believed in the employment of competent teachers. During the summer vacations he worked in the fields and continued at home until he attained his majority, after which he was employed as a farm hand for two years. He then began farming on his own account and in 1884 removed to Stark county, settling on a farm on sections 8 and 9, Elmira township. Here he owns two hundred and forty acres of land, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation, and to the farm has added many improvements so that it is now a well equipped farm property, lacking in none of the accessories and conveniences found upon the model farms of Illinois in the twentieth century. In addition to this property he has established a herd of shorthorn cattle upon his farm and is now extensively and successfully engaged in breeding and raising polled shorthorns and also breeds Poland China hogs. His stock raising interests constitute an important feature of his business and have brought to him well deserved success.

On the 11th of January, 1883, Mr. Good was united in marriage to Miss Clara E. Hatch, a sister of Oran L. Hatch, mentioned elsewhere in this work. They now have two children: Charles Maxwell, who is a graduate of the high school of Kewanee and is now with the Central Savings & Trust Bank at Denver, Colorado; and Martha Alice, who is a graduate of Knox College of Galesburg and is now extension secretary of the Young Women's Christian Association work at Quincy, Illinois.

The family are all members of the Presbyterian church, and Mr. Good is serving as one of its elders. In politics he is a republican and has served as road commissioner. The cause of education has ever found in him a stalwart champion and for twenty years he has been school director, while at the present time he is school trustee. He holds membership in the American Protective Association, and his interests and activities number him among the leading and valued citizens of his part of the county.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 75-76 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


W. M. Gorman

W. M. Gorman, who owns and operates both elevators at Stark, has built up a large trade in grain and tile and is one of the leading business men of the town. He was born in Peoria, Illinois, on the 4th of July, 1863, a son of Edward and Anne (Morissy) Gorman, both natives of County Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1847 the father emigrated to America and for a time lived in the province of Quebec, Canada, and in Vermont, but at length took up his residence at Peoria, Illinois. In 1881 he located upon a farm in Valley township Stark county, where he died in the same year. His wife has also passed away.

W. M. Gorman received a common school education and remained at home assisting his father until he was about seventeen years old when he began working as a farm hand. Subsequently he followed agricultural pursuits on his own account, but in the fall of 1897 he removed to the town of Stark and secured a position in the Stark elevator. He has since been identified with that business and now owns the elevator and also the other elevator in Stark. He buys and sells grain and also deals in tile and his reliability and liberal business policy have enabled him to build up a fine business.

Mr. Gorman is a stanch advocate of democratic principles and has served in local offices, being a member of the county board for two years and town clerk for eight years. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church at Princeville and fraternally is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America at Stark, in which he is now holding office. His success is well deserved as it is the direct result of his enterprise, initiative and sound judgment.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 324-325. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Nelson Grant

Among the native sons of Goshen township who served in the war of the Rebellion is Nelson Grant, who for years was an active and prosperous farmer of the township but is now living retired in La Fayette. His birth occurred November 18, 1841, his father being Nelson Grant, Sr., who was born in Cortland, Cortland county, New York, and there reared to manhood. He married Polly Chatfield on the 12th of October, 1834, and she, too, was a native of New York, her birth having occurred in Broome county. In the year 1835 they removed westward to Illinois, casting in their lot with the pioneer settlers of Stark county at a period when the work of development and progress seemed scarcely begun. Only three years before the Black Hawk war had occurred, thus terminating Indian supremacy within the borders of Illinois. There were vast sections of land into which white men had not penetrated and much of the territory of Illinois was yet in possession of the government. The father pre-empted land in Goshen township, split rails, fenced his place, built a log cabin and occupied that primitive home for several years while developing his farm. Upon that place he reared his family and spent the years of his active life there. His widow survived him for a few years and made her home with her son Nelson.

It was upon the old homestead farm that Nelson Grant, Jr., spent the days of his boyhood and youth, while in the public schools he pursued his education. He was not quite twenty years of age when, in September, 1861, he enlisted for service as a soldier of the Civil war, joining Company B of the Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which company was raised in Stark county and was commanded by Captain C. V. Dickinson. The regiment was mustered in at Chicago and was sent south to Missouri. The first engagement in which they participated was Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and later they were in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. They also took part in the siege of Vicksburg until its surrender and in the Red River expedition. In 1863 Mr. Grant was sent home to recruit men for the regiment, which he afterward rejoined, and served with his command until the expiration of his term of enlistment, when he was honorably discharged and again came to Stark county.

For a few years thereafter he remained with his father on the farm and on the 10th of November, 1877, made arrangements for having a home of his own through marriage to Miss Mary A. Howell, who was born near Rochester, New York. She was there reared and educated in Ingham University. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm which Mr. Grant rented and which he cultivated for a few years, during which time they most carefully managed their expenditures, so that the most of their income was saved, which enabled them to purchase a farm in Knox county, Illinois. This, however, Mr. Grant rented, while he personally gave his supervision to the cultivation of the old home farm until the death of his father. A year later he removed to La Fayette, where he purchased a residence and has since lived retired. He has added to and remodeled his home and now has one of the attractive dwellings of the town.

In January, 1912, Mr. Grant was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife and his daughter, Ida May, a young lady of twenty years, who died within twenty-four hours of each other, and were laid to rest in the same grave in La Fayette cemetery. To Mr. and Mrs. Grant were born three daughters, of whom the eldest, Edna May, died at the age of twelve years. The surviving daughter, Ethel E., was a graduated of the La Fayette high school and pursued a business and stenographic course. She later occupied a business position in Chicago for eight years but returned home upon the death of her mother and sister and has since acted as her father's housekeeper, devoting her life to his happiness.

Politically Mr. Grant has been a life long republican, having cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He has served as a delegate to numerous county and congressional conventions and has also been a member of the county central committee from Goshen township. He was elected township assessor and afterward was re-elected to the office, and later served for two terms as township collector. He has also been a member of the village board and is now serving as treasurer of La Fayette, discharging his duties with marked promptness, fidelity and ability. He holds membership with W. W. Wright Post, G. A. R., of Toulon, thus maintaining pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He is likewise a member of the Masonic lodge at La Fayette and filled many of its chairs. His daughter Ethel is connected with the Eastern Star, in which she is now Worthy Matron. Mr. Grant has led a busy, useful and active life, honorable in all its relations and straightforward in its purposes, and in matters of citizenship he has been as true and loyal to the country as when he followed the old flag upon the battlefields of the south.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 116-118. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Elba V. Graves

Elba V. Graves is a member of the firm of Miller & Graves, grain dealers of Duncan and is also manager of the local branch of the business of Scott, Walters & Rakestraw, bankers of Wyoming. His birth occurred in Vinton county, Ohio, on the 20th of January, 1862, and his parents were Jacob and Sidna A. (Barnett) Graves. The father was born in Vinton county, Ohio, on the 19th of September, 1834, while the mother was a native of Guernsey county, Ohio. They were married on the 13th of November, 1856, and remained in the Buckeye state until 1864, when with their family they came to Stark county, Illinois. The father purchased eighty acres of land in Essex township, on which he lived until his demise on the 3d of September, 1913. He had long survived his wife, who passed away on the 14th of July, 1887. He was a republican and served as assessor of Essex township for a number of years and as supervisor for some time. He had eleven children, of whom ten are still living. Emory R. died in 1894, when seventeen years of age. Those who survive are: Mary A., the widow of Charles E. Fouts, of Ottawa, Kansas; Arilla, the wife of William Schiebel, of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin; Elba V., Smiley R., who resides in Duncan, Illinois; Stanley S., a farmer of Essex township; Lyman S., who is in the employ of Brown & Upperman at Wyoming; Julia E., the wife of Peter Shurts, of Hector, Minnesota; Clinton E., a resident of Weston, Illinois; Elton O., who is farming in Essex township; and Jennie, the wife of C. F. Addis, of West Jersey township.

Elba V. Graves was but two years of age when brought by his parents to this county and was reared upon the home farm in Essex township. He is indebted for his education to the district schools and when twenty-two years of age he went to work for A. J. Scott, a grain dealer of Duncan, and three years later bought a half interest in the business, the firm becoming Scott & Graves. In 1900 Mr. Scott’s son-in-law bought his interest in the business, which has since been conducted under the style of Miller & Graves. They not only deal in grain but also handle lumber and various kinds of building material, including lime and cement. During all the years that the business has been in existence it has been conducted along lines of strictest honesty and its well earned reputation for fair dealing is one of its most valuable assets. It has gained a large patronage and the men who are conducting it are numbered among the leaders in commercial circles of Duncan. Mr. Graves devotes the greater part of his time and attention to the management of this business but also has charge of the interests at Duncan of Scott, Walters & Rakestraw, bankers of Wyoming. His sound judgment and business acumen are manifest in his enterprises, and he has succeeded in all that he has undertaken.

Mr. Graves was married in 1890 to Miss Miranda M. Moody, who was born in Peoria county, Illinois, and is a daughter of Talleyrand and Harriet Moody, the former deceased and the latter still living in Peoria county. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have eight children, namely: Walter C., a farmer of Essex township, who married Miss Sadie Fritz and has one children, Eugene; Lois A., who is teaching school and resides at home; Milo E., who is assisting his father in business; Stella I., who is also teaching and lives at home; and Homer M., Ernest V., Oliver W., and Archie R., all at home.

Mr. Graves is a republican in politics, believing that new conditions of life should be met by new policies of government. He formerly served for a number of years as school trustee and has never ceased to take a keen interest in the welfare of the public schools. He holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of America at Duncan, and his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. His advancement in business has been continuous since he began his independent career and he is now one of the well-to-do residents of his town.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 308-309. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Quincy I. Graves

Quincy I. Graves, who is successfully conducting a livery and feed barn at Wyoming, was formerly engaged in farming and still owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land. He was born in Essex township, Stark county, on the 28th of September, 1873, of the marriage of B. F. and Mary E. (Weber) Graves, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. He was reared upon the home farm and divided his time between assisting his father and attending the district schools. When twenty-one years of age he commenced farming on his own account and some time later purchased eighty acres of land, to which he has since added a similar tract, so that he holds title to one hundred and sixty acres, all of which is under cultivation. He followed agricultural pursuits for a number of years, and his practical and progressive methods and his good business management enabled him to secure a good income from his land. In the spring of 1915, however, he removed to Wyoming and built a large livery barn and since that time has concentrated his energies upon the development of a livery and feed business. His experience with horses and grain while upon the farm has been of value to him in this new undertaking and he has found it profitable.

Mr. Graves was married in 1894 to Miss Ada J. Simmerman, a daughter of A. J. Simmerman. Three children have been born to this union: Ruth M., the wife of Reuben Shaw, who is operating our subject’s farm in Essex township; and Verna and Earl, both at home.

Mr. Graves indorses the principles of the democratic party and supports its candidates at national elections but where only local issues are at stake votes independently. He holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Wyoming and is popular within and without that organization. He has depended upon his own enterprise and good judgment for success, and the prosperity which he has gained is well deserved.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 251-252. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


William E. Grieve

For twenty-nine years William E. Grieve occupied a farm on section 30, Elmira township, having there a tract of four hundred and eighty acres of good land. In 1916, however, he put aside the more active work of the fields and took up his abode at his present place of residence. He is now living retired and the rest that has come to him is well merited. He was born in Toulon township, this county, September 8, 1859, his parents being Robert and Ellen (Scott) Grieve, both of whom were natives of Scotland, whence they came to the new world with their respective parents. Their marriage was celebrated in Stark county and throughout his remaining days the father was actively engaged in farming in Toulon township, where he passed away twelve or fifteen years ago.

The boyhood experiences of William E. Grieve were those which usually fall to the lot of the farm lad. He was educated in the common schools near his father's home and when not busy with his textbooks worked in the fields, being thus employed to the age of twenty-six years. After his marriage in the spring of 1886 he removed to a farm belonging to his father, there remaining for one year, after which he took up his abode in Elmira township, near the village of Elmira. Extending the boundaries of his place by additional purchase, he became the owner of four hundred and eighty acres, constituting one of the excellent farms of the locality, and thereon he resided for twenty-nine years, being actively and successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits during that period. In 1916 he removed to his present place of residence on section 30, Elmira township, having put aside active business cares.

In 1886 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Grieve and Miss Esther A. Oliver, by whom he has four children, namely: Ellen Elizabeth, who is the wife of Chester Jackson and resides near her father's place; Andrew R., living on the home farm; Marion S., also at home; and Flavel, who is a student in Knox College of Galesburg.

Mr. Grieve votes with the republican party and is a trustee of the Presbyterian church, in which he and his wife hold membership. His has been a well spent life guided by honorable principles, and his upright manhood and sterling citizenship have gained for him the warm regard of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 169-170. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Charles H. Griswold

Charles H. Griswold is the owner of excellent farm property in Stark and Bureau counties and is engaged in the raising of high grade cattle and fine hogs. His business interests are carefully, systematically and successfully managed and are bringing substantial financial results.

Mr. Griswold has always made his home in this part of the state, his birth having occurred in Milo township, Bureau county, on the 24th of February, 1853, his parents being John A. and Maria (Steinbrock) Griswold, the former a native of Herkimer county, New York, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Coming west in early life, they were married in Illinois and the father carried on general farming in Bureau county until his death, which occurred in 1877, his widow surviving him for about twelve or fifteen years.

In his youthful days Charles H. Griswold was a pupil in the public schools of Milo township and later he attended college at Abingdon, Illinois, for two years and also became a student in the Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Indiana. Following his return he located upon the home farm and was thereafter identified with general agricultural pursuits until 1905. In 1882 he began the breeding and sale of road horses and has since continued in the business. In this connection he has traveled extensively, making trips each fall to purchase horses. He has bred, raised, trained and driven his own horses and he has handled some of the finest steeds seen in this part of the country. He also carries on general agricultural pursuits and to some extent raises high grade cattle and fine hogs. His farm comprises two hundred and twenty-two acres of rich land in Bureau county, all under a high state of cultivation and well improved, and he also owns three hundred and forty acres of land southeast of Chillicothe, Missouri. He makes his home, however, in Bradford, where he has erected a fine residence, a good barn and garage. Upon his farm he has sixteen head of fine trotting stock and at one time had forty head. He has sold more trotting stock than any other man in the countryside and is one of the best judges of horses. He is today the owner of Lora Lay, regarded as the best horse in the county. His first race horses of note were Billy and Nellie McGregor and he has also been the owner of Phalaneer, Fred McGregor, Buelah Wilks, Jennie C., King Amarigo and Prince McGregor, while at the present time he has Lora Lay and Mamie Amarigo.

In 1882 Mr. Griswold wedded Miss Emma Bennett, of Milo, Bureau county, and they had a son, Harry, who is president and manager of the Keystone Iron Foundry at Los Angeles, California. The wife and mother passed away in 1892 and in 1894 Mr. Griswold wedded Miss Jennie Conover, of Marshall county, Illinois. Mrs. Griswold is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Griswold gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has always been a strong advocate of the temperance cause, working earnestly and untiringly in its support. In fact his influence is always on the side of right, reform, progress and improvement and throughout Stark county and wherever he is known he is spoke of in terms of high regard.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 195-197. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


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