Stark County IL Biographies - O

Thomas Oakes

History of Stark County, Illinois; M.A. Leeson, Chicago, M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887, p. 383

Thomas A. Oakes, born in Orange county, Va., in 1811, married Mary Carter, of Mt. Vernon, O., in 1838, settled in Warren county, Ill., in 1839, died at Toulon, at his daughter's, Mrs. C.L. Packer, March 15, 1866.

– Contributed by Karen Seeman]


George T. Oliver

That Stark county offers to her people many opportunities and advantages is indicated in the fact that a large proportion of her native-born citizens have remained within her borders, content with conditions here found. To this class belongs George T. Oliver, who was born in 1859, on the farm on section 30, Elmira township upon which he still resides. He is descended from Scotch ancestry, being a grandson of Thomas Oliver, who was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, and came to the United States about 1836. He made his way into the interior of the country and cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Illinois. Only four years before had the Black Hawk war occurred, and there were great sections of the state that were unclaimed and undeveloped. Thomas Oliver established his home in the midst of a native timber tract in Elmira township and there in the midst of the forest began to hew out the farm upon which George T. Oliver was born many years later. He had made purchase of his farm in 1838, paying the usual

government price of a dollar an a quarter per acre. He hauled the first building material brought into this county from Chicago, and he also took his wheat to market in Chicago. He had been a shepherd in Scotland and later coming to the new world engaged quite extensively in handling sheep, while his sons performed the work of cultivating the fields and raising grain. After the marriage of his son Adam the grandfather, Thomas Oliver, removed across the road to the farm now occupied by Oliver Turnbull and there he passed away about 1866, when George T. Oliver was a little lad of six years.

Adam Oliver, his son, was born in Scotland and was about twenty years of age at the time the family made the long voyage across the Atlantic to the new world. As previously indicated, he became an active assistant of his father in the development and cultivation of the home farm, upon which he continued to reside until called to his final rest. He came into possession of the property and was the owner of three hundred and sixty acres of rich, valuable and productive land, devoting his entire life thereon to farming and stock raising. He passed away in 1885, and is yet remembered by many of the older settlers, who knew him as a man of sterling worth. He had married Agnes Davidson, who was a native of the same shire in Scotland as her husband and who had come with her parents to the United States a short time after the arrival of the Oliver family, the Davidsons settling in Marshall county, Illinois. Mrs. Oliver survived her husband for about four years, dying in 1889. He had been previously married, his first wife having been Polly Anne Parks, by whom he had one daughter, Polly Anne, who is now living in Elmira township. The children of the second marriage were six in Adam Oliver

number: George, now deceased; Margaret, the wife of M. M. Brace, of Kewanee, Illinois; Thomas, who has passed away; Jessie, the wife of Edward Tunnicliff, of Burwell, Nebraska; George T.; and Helen, the wife of M. T. Tuttle, of Lenox, Iowa.

After attending the district schools George T. Oliver spent one years as a student in Monmouth College and at the death of his father took over the business of further developing and improving the home farm. He has one of the three best places in Elmira township and he has put upon the farm many of its present modern improvements, all of which are of excellent character. He has four hundred and seventy acres in the home place, together with one hundred and sixty acres elsewhere in Elmira township, and he makes a specialty of raising polled Hereford cattle and has also fed cattle very extensively. His place is known as the Pioneer Stock Farm, and the property has been under one name for a longer period than any other farm in that section of the county.

On the 1st of January, 1883, Mr. Oliver was united in marriage to Miss Luella M. Fuller, by whom he had three children, as follows: Luella F. and Edith, both at home; Margaret, who gave her hand in marriage to Robert Weeks, of Elmira township. The wife and mother passed away in 1895, and four years later Mr. Oliver was again married, his second union being with Miss Belle F. Jackson, by whom he has two children, Ruth and Adam, both at home.

Mr. Oliver has been a lifelong republican and is of the progressive type. He has served for twelve years as supervisor and in other local offices and has also been school director. He and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian church, in the work of which they are actively and helpfully interested, Mr. Oliver serving as one of the trustees and as elder. His entire life has been an expression of high and honorable principles and in his business career he has ever been thoroughly reliable, never taking advantage of the necessities of his fellow-men in any transaction but building up his business along constructive lines and winning his prosperity through honorable effort.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 304-308. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


John E. O’Neill

John E. O’Neill, who has gained a gratifying measure of success as a farmer and stock raiser in Penn township, was born in County Cavan, Ireland, on the 28th of August, 1871, a son of Terrence and Catherine (Leddy) O’Neill, also natives of that county. They resided in their native country until 1882, when they came to the United States, sailing from Queenstown on the 1st of April. After reaching America they made their way westward to Wyoming, Stark county, Illinois, where they arrived on the 22d of April. They located upon a farm and the father devoted his time to its operation until his death, which occurred on the 22d of June, 1912. The mother survives and is still living at Wyoming.

John E. O’Neill began his education in Ireland but continued his studies in the public schools of Toulon after the removal of the family to this country. On starting out to make his own way in the world he worked as a farm hand for ten dollars per month and was so employed for a decade. He then rented land for three years but at the end of that time was able to buy sixty acres on section 29, Penn township, for which he paid seventy-five dollars an acre. Subsequently he bought another sixty acres from his father at one hundred and fifty dollars per acre, and in 1915 he purchased eighty acres at two hundred dollars per acre. He has planted a fine grove upon the farm, has erected good buildings and made other improvements upon the place, and in his work follows up-to-date methods. He feeds a large amount of stock annually and also engages in raising grain to some extent.

On the 19th of February, 1908, Mr. O’Neill was married to Miss Margaret Farber, by whom he has five children: Helen M., John Edward, Frances J., Margaret Celestine and Catherine Celestia.

Mr. O’Neill supports the democratic party at the polls and manifests the interest of the public-spirited citizen in the affairs of government although not an office seeker. He has, however, served for two years as school director. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church of Wyoming and contributes to the support of that organization. He has been very successful as a farmer and has also gained and held the warm friendship of many.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 293-294. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


John H. Ogle

John H. Ogle, son of William and Lucretia (Butler) Ogle, was born in Stark county in 1840. His father was born in Ohio in 1810. His mother was born in Vermont the same year, and with her parents emigrated from Vermont. They were married in 1835 and shortly after came to the wilderness of Spoon river, engaged in agriculture until 1856 when they moved to Toulon, where Mrs. Ogle is today a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and William one of the leading citizens, as related in the history of Toulon and in the general history. John H. spent his youth as other pioneer boys. In his eighteenth year he entered Rock River Seminary, and, after a full course engaged in school teaching in Stark county. In his twenty-third year he married Miss Diantha W., daughter of Job and Diana Shinn, the father being a Virginian and the mother a native of New Hampshire. Of seven children born to this marriage, six are living; William S., Lucretia D., Mary E., Laura, Diantha, John Co. and Marcia, (deceased). Mrs. Ogle, the mother of this excellent family, died September 7, 1880. In 1882 the widower married Miss Anna, daughter of Hugh and Ann ……(remainder missing.)


Daniel J. Owens

Daniel J. Owens, occupying one of the fine homes of Bradford, has long been a prominent representative of its business interests, formerly identified with merchandising and now with agricultural pursuits. He was born in Penn township, Stark county, January 6, 1871, a son of John and Maria (Dillon) Owens, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the father coming of Welsh ancestry. In early life both arrived in the United States and were married on this side of the Atlantic. John Owens had made the voyage to the new world when seventeen years of age, or in 1856, and, penetrating into the interior of the country, had settled in Stark county, where he purchased a tract of raw land on which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. With characteristic energy he began to develop that place and there continued to engage in farming until 1872, when he removed to Campgrove, Illinois, where he lived for four years. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode on a farm east of Bradford, where he still resides, being one of the well known and highly respected farmers of Stark county, where he has resided almost continuously for six decades. His wife passed away in 1899.

At the usual age Daniel J. Owens became a public school pupil and also attended St. Mary’s College in Kansas, where he finished the course but did not quite graduate. He has since attended Loyola College of Chicago, where he won the L. L. B. degree. After his education was completed he took up the business of merchandising in 1893 and remained active therein for more than twenty years or until 1914, when he sold out. He has since given his attention to farming and has met with excellent success in that undertaking. In 1908 he erected a fine residence which is one of the best in Bradford. In connection with his three brothers he owns six hundred acres of land. He likewise has three hundred and sixteen acres in Warren county, which is cultivated under his personal supervision and direction. One of the most distinguished students of economics in all America has said that there is no better investment than Illinois farm land. Believing this, Mr. Owens has placed his money in acreage and is today reaping the rewards of his sound judgment and untiring labor, for his farm properties are returning to him a most gratifying annual income.

On the 5th of June, 1912, Mr. Owens was married to Miss Maria Cahill, a native of Stark county, and they now have two children, Mary Josephine and Daniel J., both at home. The parents are members of St. John’s Catholic church, and Mr. Owens is identified with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He votes with the democratic party where national issues are involved but at local elections does not consider party ties. He has served as mayor of Bradford, and gave to the city a businesslike and progressive administration that largely promoted public interests.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 222-223. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


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