Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
Those who have resided within the confines of Mission and Ladore townships since the year 1867 will remember the advent to Neosho county, that year, of a settler from the west instead of from the east; one who, for two years, had been chiefly a wanderer on the coast of the Pacific and had acquired while there little beyond age and experience; this settler was the prominent and esteemed citizen of the township of Ladore. Edward Maher, whose name heads this brief review. Mr. Maher is a native of Illinois, being born in the county of Cook on the 11th of December, 1845. His father, Michael Maher, was one of the first men to become connected with the locality of what is now the City of Chicago, and he went there as a contractor on the canal from Joliet to Lake Michigan. Out of this transaction he became half owner of eighty acres of watery waste near the mouth of the Chicago river which was disposed of for a yoke of cattle and an old wagon, the owners never dreaming that the ingenuity and versatility of man would someday make it worth hundreds of millions of dollars, for it is now in the heart of the metropolis of the great lakes. Michael Maher was born in Vermont and was married to Anna Ryan, a lady of New York birth. They were the parents of seven children, and died, the father in Cook county, Illinois, at the age of forty-five and the mother at the age of seventy-two years. Their children were John, deceased; Edward; Stephen; Thomas; James; Dennis, deceased; Michael, and Maria, who married George Anderson. Edward Maher was reared chiefly in Stephenson county, Illinois. The common and high schools of Stephenson county supplied him with a fair knowledge of English and enabled him to enter college at Cedarville about the outbreak of the civil war. The enthusiasm and excitement of the times were irresistible and he enlisted in April, 1862, in Company H, Sixty-seventh Illinois Infantry, served in the field twenty-two months and was discharged because of bodily infirmities. He experienced some of the real service of the war, having participated in battle at Belmont, Island No. 10, Helena and Vicksburg, receiving a wound in the ankle from a piece of shell at Helena. On his return from the army Mr. Maher was in such poor health that his physician recommended an overland trip to the Pacific coast as the only possible way of restoring his health, and even this offering but little hope. Accordingly the family which consisted of his widowed mother, himself and four brothers set out for California whither an older brother and sister had gone. The trip was made with wagons and teams at a time when the country was badly infested with Indians and this fact in connection with the hardships incident to the trip made the undertaking memorable in the experience of the family at least. They reached Sacramento county, California, in September, 1864, and during the next two years Mr. Maher was on the Pacific slope engaged in mining, trading and railroading; in the mean time also taking a trip through Mexico and Central America during which he visited most of the cities of importance in those countries, being then young, unmarried and in quest partly of adventure and partly of restoration of health. Leaving California he went to Idaho and from there, by wagon and team, to Kansas. He decided on Neosho county as his future home and located in Osage Mission where he established himself as a blacksmith. After some months he took the claim near Fort Roach, occupied it and engaged in both the blacksmith and butcher business for a time. Meeting an opportunity to sell his possessions to good advantage he entered another tract of the public domain four miles north of Parsons, which became the nucleus of his present home. His land was in the disputed strip, claimed by the railroad and their title disputed and the whole grant entered by settlers. To successfully carry on a legal contest with the railroad corporation the citizens organized themselves into a league and of this body our subject was a charter member. Of all the afflictions which beset the settlers of this historic strip - grasshoppers, flood and what not - this was by all odds the most expensive and annoying, but it terminated to the satisfaction of the settlers some twenty years since and all that now remains of it is its memory as one of the greatest land cases on record. The Maher homestead is one of the bright spots on the face of Ladore. It comprises four hundred and eighty acres hedged, cross-fenced, shaded with forest trees, and house and barns commensurate with the size and requirements of the estate. Recently each of his children has received from Mr. Maher eighty acres of his and his wife's accumulations, retaining for himself the prized spot upon which his settlement was made. The year he settled his present home Mr. Maher married - 1869 - Harriet Higginbotham, who was a native of the state of Illinois. She died on the 24th of May, 1896, leaving four children, viz., Frank, who married Rosa Hudson; John, who married Mollie Graves; and Edward and Anna, both single and at home. Mr. Maher married the second time on the 1st of September, 1898. His wife was Mrs. Mary Outland, a native of Ohio and a daughter of Dr. O. L. Peters, who came to Kansas in 1885, settled in Parsons and died there December 5, 1901, at sixty-nine years, his wife having passed away April 28, 1900, at the age of sixty-eight. Their five children were Mrs. Maher; Lizzie, wife of E. F. Swift: Evert H.; Wellington G., and Stella, who married F. B. Russell. Edward Maher has been one of the intensely active, sincere and earnest men of his county. As well as a large and successful farmer he has been an extensive stock feeder and shipper, has been called to fill every office of his township and his district chose him twice to represent them on the board of county commissioners in which capacity he served, in all, six years. His position in politics is well known, being, as he is, a leader in Republican political circles, but in nothing is he more highly regarded than as a citizen, neighbor and friend. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by Vicki Bryan]
Augustus Maisch, a highly respected German citizen who has been identified with the business interests of Lena for the last thirty-two years, spent his childhood and youth across the sea in the Grand Duchy of Baden, twelve miles from the famous city of Baden-Baden, which is considered the most beautifully situated of all the German watering-places. His home was about six miles from the River Rhine, whose blue waters often delighted his childish eyes and which he, to this day, recalls with tender remembrance. His eyes often rested upon the quaint buildings which many of the people of this continent often read about but never see. His later voyage across the ocean and visit to his native land afforded an experience with which he would not willingly part. In accordance with the laws and customs of his native Empire, young Maisch was placed in school when a child six years of age, and continued his studies until fourteen. He then learned the art of dyeing from his father who was an expert at that trade, and handled all kinds of choice materials brought to him by the wealthy people around, and which, in color at least, he made as good as new. When eighteen years of age Augustus started out for himself, being occupied in his calling in different places east and west of his own Province. Finally he decided in his own mind to seek another country for his future operations, where there was a possibility of advancement, and of materially bettering his condition in life. He started by rail from Baden to Manheim, thence by steamer to Rotterdam, and from there in a like manner to London. Once upon the wharves of the great city he boarded a sailing-vessel bound for New York, and after a voyage of six weeks greeted what was then to the emigrant the "promised land." He spent eleven months in New York City in a silk goods factory, and was afterward similarly engaged in Boston for eighteen months. Becoming tired of the "hub" he obtained good recommendations from his employer and went to South Hadley Falls, Mass., following his vocation there and in different parts of Massachusetts until 1855. Mr. Maisch now determined upon a radical change in his mode of life. Starting for the West he landed in Northern Illinois and purchased sixty acres of timber land in West Point Township. His first business was to put up a shelter for himself and family, for which purpose he purchased a few boards and erected a shanty twelve feet square, which, however, did not afford much protection from the rain, and to shield themselves from this element at night they spread a rubber blanket over the bed and held an umbrella over themselves. A few months later Mr. Maisch was enabled to build a good frame house, into which the family removed and passed the winter very comfortably. In the meantime he proceeded with the cultivation of his land, from which he had cleared the timber. His farm work was chiefly performed with oxen, as he had no horses. With these animals he went to market, and conveyed his family to church for a period of six years. Our subject occupied the farm thus developed until about 1866, then selling out removed to Freeport and resumed his trade in a woolen-mill, where he was occupied seven years. He then became connected with a grain and tobacco warehouse where he was employed four years, and soon afterward removed to Lena, where he retired from business and has since lived. When Mr. Maisch landed upon American shores he possessed the cash capital of four silver dollars. To-day he is a wealthy man and has accumulated his property mainly through his own efforts, receiving but $1,000 from his father's estate. He has been twice married. His first wife, Miss Lovey Hall, was a native of New Hampshire, and the daughter of Elijah Hall, of Strafford County. She departed this life on the 16th of August, 1882. Mr. Maisch was married the second time, June 19, 1886, to Miss Olga Asal, a native of his own country. Mr. Maisch, in 1884, visited his native land and spent the summer among the friends of his childhood and youth. The meeting on both sides was extremely pleasant and a source of great satisfaction to all concerned. As a representative German citizen, and a pioneer of this county, Mr. Maisch is held in great respect, both for his excellent personal qualities, and his ability as a member of the business community which he has so greatly aided in building up, and in which he has been an important factor for many years. In politics he is independent. [Contributed by Carole Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. 1888]
ISAAC NEWTON MALLORY
I. N. Mallory, farmer, Sec. 25; P. O. Freeport; born in Belmont Co., Ohio, Nov. 27, 1829; when a year old, removed with his parents, D. W. C. and Ellen Mallory, to Vermillion Co., Ill.; where they resided until the removal to Stephenson Co. in the fall of 1836, and this has been the place of residence since that date; Mr. Mallory has a good farm of 137 acres in Secs. 24 and 25, with good dwelling and other buildings, etc. His devotion to the Union was shown during the Civil War by his enlisting as a soldier in Co. B, 46th I.V.I., a gallant regiment, which did faithful work in many battles of the war; he was mustered out at Mound City, Ill., for disability caused by exposure in the line of duty as a soldier. He is a member of the Christian Church, and, in politics, a Republican of unquestioned devotion to the best interests of the country; has held school and township offices. In 1855 [sic], he married Miss Miranda V. Webb, who was also born in Ohio, but removed to Illinois in early life; their children are Harriet E., De Witt M., Jasper J., Mary E., Albert N., Almira W., James H., Jane M., William E., Sarah Belle and Martha A. [From "The History of Stephenson County, Illinois," Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1880]
JASPER B. MALLORY
The Mallory family, which originally came from Scotland, located in New York State, and from the original progenitor, our subject is a descendant, down through several generations. His paternal grandfather, Jasper Mallory, was both merchant and farmer by calling. He left his native state when a young man and went to Hartford County Conn. where he met and married Harriet Newton, a direct descendant of the great philosopher Sir Isaac Newton. After their marriage they went to Clarington, Monroe Co., Ohio, and grandfather Mallory was there engaged for some years before his death as a general merchant. The grandparents lived to be quite old, Jasper Mallory arriving at the age of eighty-four years before his death; his wife died some years younger. The father of our subject, DeWitt C. Mallory, was the eldest of a family of eight children. He was born in Hartford County, Conn. in 1807, and went to Ohio when a child. He was married in Monroe County, that State, to Ellen Brown, who was born in Greene County, Pa., about 1810. Her father, John Brown, was a noted surveyor, and represented Greene County in the Legislature of PA for some years. He died in Vermillion County IL. His wife, was Jane Hurley, later came to Stephenson County and died at the home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. Jane Henthorn. After the marriage of DeWitt C. Mallory, he began farming in Ohio and a few years later came to Vermilion County IL about 1827 or 1828. He made settlement on an unbroken section of land in that part of the State, but early in the spring of 1837 sold out his interest in Vermillion County, and came with a stock of merchandise to this county, locating on sections 7,8,17 and 18, in Rock Run Township. He started his store on what is now section 18 of Rock Run Township. The claim that he settled on comprised 320 acres, a large portion of which was in timber. He followed merchandising and farming for some years, when he quit the former occupation, and gave his whole attention to the latter. His operations as a farmer met with success and he lived here for some time, then removed to Ridott Twp. The mother died May 5, 1870 in Freeport, and the father then went to Vernon County, Mo., and is yet living there, aged 80 years. He is and his wife was a member of the Christian Church. Our subject was born Sept. 30, 1831 in Vermilion County IL and was the third in a family of 13 children, eight sons and five daughters. Two of the former and four of the latter are deceased. Jasper B. was educated in the common schools and lived at home until his marriage, in this township, to Miss Ella J. Luce Feb. 12, 1852. Mrs. Mallory was born in Oneida County N.Y. After the death of her parents she came to Ohio, and was reared by Josiah Willard, the father of Miss Frances E. Willard, the distinguished temperance authoress and lecturer. While Mrs. Mallory was living with Mr. Willard in Ohio, she came here on a visit and met her husband. She is now the mother of ten children, of whom two are deceased and five are married. Nellie is the wife of Harvey Cole, residing in Aurora, Hamilton Co., Neb., Mr. Cole being County Treasurer there; Mary is the wife of William Wolf, a farmer of Rock Run Twp.; Lizzie J. is also the wife of a farmer, Henry B. Daniels of Hampton Iowa; Josiah W. took to wife Cora Wilkison; they live on a farm in Rock Run Twp. as does also Edmond G., who married Ida M. Cotherman; Romanza A. is a teacher in the public schools of this county; Jasper B., Jr. and Josie B. live at home. After marriage Mr. Mallory lived in Lancaster Twp. for 12 years. He owns his homestead on section 17, Rock Run Twp., which comprises 353 acres, most of which is under the plow. He has a good farm, on which are very substantial buildings. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of this township, of which Mr. Mallory is a Trustee and Class-Leader. He has been a Commissioner of Highways for 18 years, School Treasurer for 10 years and the incumbent of other minor offices. His political proclivities are Republican, and being a man of earnest character, he is decided in his faith. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888]
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Jasper Bobb Mallory was a railroad conductor from Freeport, Illinois, a portly man who always wore a dark blue suit and had the requisite watch with gold chain across his vest. He also come to our farm several times over the years. We enjoyed his visits. He was hale and hearty and could tell wonderful stories. I never saw his wife, Alice. She apparently lived to serve the poor people of Freeport. She gave everything she and Uncle Jap had for the cause. She fed the poor and neglected Uncle Jap. They had no children, but raised several orphans"
by Ernest James Bird b 5 Aug 1921, son of Olive Rose Mallory and Frank Bird.
Jasper Bobb Mallory born 18 Sep 1868 to Jasper Benjamin Mallory and Ella Jane Luce.
Married Alice Bixler born 1905 and died 19 Mar 1939.
[Contributed by Mallory Smith]
Michael Mammosser, the subject of this sketch, who owns 252 acres of land on section 7, Kent Township, is a native of Elsass, the now German Province of Alsace-Lorraine, and came to America when a young man of twenty-two years of age. After his arrival in this country, he proceeded westward, and settled about thirty miles from Chicago on the line dividing Indiana and Illinois, where he was engaged in farming for a number of years. In the fall of 1862 he moved to Freeport, Ill., where he lived until March, 1863, when he settled in Kent Township. Our subject was born on the 9th of February, 1829. His parents, Joseph and Magdalena Mammosser, were natives of the same Province as their son, and spent their entire lives upon their native soil. Their son Michael was the fourth of their children, and was reared to habits of industry, the principles which have made him a respected member of an intelligent community.
Young Mammosser, while a resident of Cook County, was united in marriage with one of his own country-women, Miss Barbara Pflugmacher, the wedding taking place Dec. 17, 1851. The birthplace of Mrs. M. was not far from that of her husband, and the date thereof Sept. 8, 1833. To Mr. and Mrs. Mammosser there were born six children - Michael, Joseph, Frank, John, Mary and Edward. Michael married Josephine Scholty, and lives in Kent Township; Joseph married Mary Snyder, and resides in Kent Township. The farm includes twenty-five acres of land which is well improved and very productive. The family residence, which is splendidly located, is neat and tasteful, and the barn and other necessary buildings are substantial and convenient structures. The fences and farm machinery are kept in good repair, and the stock and other accessories of the place testify in a silent and forcible manner to the intelligence, industry and forethought of the owner of the place. Mr. Mammosser, after becoming a naturalized citizen, identified himself with the Democratic party, and the entire family is connected with the Catholic Church. The homestead of this industrious and frugal citizen, a view of which we give elsewhere, has been built up gradually, and in its snug and comfortable buildings is strongly suggestive of the spirit of resolution and persistence which his is one of the marked characteristics of the man. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 407]
Jacob Marean, of Buckeye Township, is a Pennsylvanian by birth, his earliest recollections being of Juniata County, where he first opened his eyes to the light Aug. 17, 1838. His father, Aesabeus Marean, was born in Pennsylvania, and was the son of Jacob Marean, who was born in Germany. The grandfather of our subject when a young man came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was married, and reared a family of sons and daughters who were trained to habits of industry and economy. Aesabeus learned the trade of a plasterer, and after his marriage purchased a farm in Juniata County. This was cultivated by hired men while Mr. Marean continued at his trade. His land increased in value, and he sold it in 1847 at a fair price. The year following, accompanied by his wife and seven children, he started for Illinois by canal to the Ohio River, and by means of that and the Mississippi River, they reached Galena in Jo Daviess County. There he hired a team to take his family and effects into this county. He first rented a house near Buena Vista, Buckeye Township, where they spent the winter, and in the spring went to Oneco Township and rented a small farm. This the wife and children cultivated, while the husband and father continued at his trade. In the meantime the latter had purchased 120 acres, which is now occupied by our subject, and for which he paid $3.50 per acre. The family removed to this farm, the father having put up a comfortable house, and he then continued to work at his trade while the sons managed the farm, until his death, which occurred in 1874. In the meantime he had added forty-four acres, and the whole now constituted a fine body of land, 154 acres in extent. This now comprises one of the most desirable farms in Buckeye Township, and is supplied with a shapely and substantial set of buildings. The mother of our subject before her marriage, was Miss Elizabeth Miller, a native of Pennsylvania. She survived her husband less than a year, her death taking place in 1875. The seven children of the parental household all lived to mature years, and following the thrifty habits in which they had been reared, provided themselves in time with comfortable homes. The subject of this biography was the fourth child of the parental household, and was a lad of ten years when his parents became residents of this county. He attended school during the winter seasons until quite well advanced in his studies, and as soon as old enough, his services were utilized on the farm. He remained a member of his father's household until twenty-two years of age. At this time came the outbreak of the Rebellion, which seemed a call upon him to lay aside his personal interests, and he enlisted with others of his acquaintance as a Union soldier. He was mustered into Co. A, 11th Ill. Vol. Inf., and served until the close of the war, participating in its most important battles. He was at Ft. Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, the siege and capture of Vicksburg, and met the enemy in various minor engagements and skirmishes. At the expiration of his first term of enlistment, he veteranized in January, 1864, and was transferred to Co. B, 8th Ill. Vol. Inf. He served with this regiment until the fall of 1865, and then the war having closed, he was honorably discharged and returned home. Jacob Marean operated his father's farm until 1870, and then crossed the Mississippi into Pike County, Mo., where he purchased a tract of land upon which he lived seven years. Selling this, he returned to his old home in Illinois where he has since remained. The original dwelling was replaced in 1885 by an elegant new residence, and he also put up a large and convenient barn. These, with the other outbuildings and surroundings, invariably attract the admiration of the passing traveler, and denote the industry and enterprise of the owner. Our subject was married, in the spring of 1868, to Miss Mary Bolender, a native of Oneco Township, and the daughter of Michael and Catherine (Decker) Bolender, native of Pennsylvania. Of this union there have been born four children, namely, Anna C., John F., William H. and Edith A. The family belongs to the Lutheran Church, and Mr. Marean, politically, is a stanch Republican. He presents an admirable picture of the self-made man, who began life dependent upon his own resources, and while accumulating a good home and a competence, has thoroughly established himself in the regard of his fellow-citizens. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 616]
Jesse Maricle, who over thirty years ago migrated to this county and cast his lot among his brother pioneers, grew with them from his early manhood, and from the first identified himself with their interests and the building up of this section of country. The hardships which the early settlers endured, and the thrilling scenes through which they passed, afford us a means of entertainment at this later days, as we read of them by the comfortable fireside, and scarcely pause to realize that but for their courage and perseverance, the Prairie State would not stand where she does to-day. There should be reared to those brave spirits a monument enduring as the ages, and a record of their deeds should be perpetuated, as now we seek to do it, from one generation to another. The subject of this history, a native of Broome County, N. Y., was born in the town of Vestal, June 8, 1837. His father, William Maricle, was a native of Schoharie County, and his grandfather, Jacob Maricle, also a native of the Empire State, traced his ancestors back to Holland, whence they emigrated and located along the Mohawk Valley. Jacob Maricle left his native State late in life, and going across the Mississippi took up his abode in Webster County, Iowa, where he passed the remainder of his days. He was one of the earliest pioneers of Broome County, N. Y., where he purchased a tract of timber land and reared his children. His son William, the father of our subject, was reared to manhood, and purchasing a forest tract in Vestal Township, occupied it until 1853, then sold out and came to Illinois. He spent a few months in Jo Daviess County, and then pushing on westward, purchased a tract of wild land in Winneshiek County, Iowa, where he improved a farm, and made his permanent home. He had married Miss Margaret Stephenson, who was born in New Jersey and died in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Our subject was a youth of sixteen years when his parents came to the West. He lived with them in Iowa eighteen months afterward, then returned East as far as this county, and employed himself at whatever he could find to do until 1865. He was then able to purchase eighty acres of unimproved land in Winslow Township, of which he has retained possession since that time. He labored industriously for a number of years, meeting with success, and as his capital increased, invested it in property that could not be destroyed by fire or carried off to Canada. He is now the owner of 370 acres of fertile land, all enclosed and improved, and which constitutes one of the finest homesteads in this part of Stephenson County. The buildings are in keeping with the quality of the soil, and everything about the premises indicates the intelligence and industry of its proprietor. The marriage of Mr. Maricle with Miss Premila O. Kennedy, took place in the spring of 1859, at the home of the bride's parents in Christian Hollow, Winslow Township. Mrs. M. was born in Ohio, and by her union with our subject became the mother of eight children, namely, Cora, the wife of Charles Kellum, of Winslow Township; Adelie, deceased; John, Willie; Ada, who is married to George Staven, and resides in Winslow Township; David, Jesse and Alfred. The parents belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject, politically, is a stanch Republican, strongly imbued with prohibition. His worldly possessions and his standing in society are due to his own straightforward and creditable course, which has gained him the esteem of all who know him, and placed him among the representative men of Stephenson County. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 659]
Samuel Markel, who is numbered among the successful farmers and stock-raisers of Lancaster Township, owns and occupies about 192 acres of land on section 9, of which he took possession in the spring of 1875. He is well posted in all matters pertaining to agriculture, and devotes the greater portion of his land to the raising of grain and stock. The main points in a life-history which, although perhaps has not been the subject of any very thrilling events, are still of interest, we give briefly as follows: Mr. Markel was born in Lancaster County, Pa., Jan. 19, 1853. His father, Samuel Markel, Sr., was a farmer by occupation, and spent his entire life in Lancaster County, his death taking place Oct. 15, 1854. He came of substantial German ancestry, his father, Daniel Markel, having emigrated from the Fatherland directly after his marriage. The maiden name of the grandmother was Catherine Shirk. They were people greatly respected in their locality and numbered among its prosperous and well-to-do citizens. They raised a fine family of sons and daughters, their son Samuel, the father of our subject, possessing in a marked degree the traits of character which constituted him a Christian gentleman and a desirable citizen. He was reared in his native county in Pennsylvania, and after reaching manhood was united in marriage to Miss Mary M. Miller, a native of Berks County, who was also of German ancestry by her paternal grandfather. The parents of our subject settled down in Lancaster County, where, after the birth of six children, the father passed away, leaving the mother with large responsibilities and the entire care of the family. There was a comfortable property and the mother wisely kept her children under the home roof until they were capable of starting out in the world for themselves. She lived to see them all comfortably settled in life and five are yet living. The mother is now living with her daughter; Mrs. Kurtz, in Davis, this county. The offspring of Samuel and Mary Markel are recorded as follows: Catherine became the wife of M. W. Kurtz, and is now a resident of Davis, Ill.; Daniel S. married Miss Isabel Yarger, and is living on a farm in Lancaster Township, this county; Henry G. married Miss Mary Glasser, and is living at Davis, Ill.; Levi B. married Miss Mollie Hill, and is carrying on general merchandising at Ridott; Samuel, Jr., of our sketch, is the youngest of the family living; John M. died when eighteen years of age, in Lancaster County, Pa. The early life of our subject was spent under the home roof, and after the death of his father he continued with his mother until twenty-two years of age. He came to Illinois in 1870, accompanied by his mother, and settled in Lancaster Township, where there had already preceded him some of the older members of the family. Our subject, in 1875, took possession of the land now included in his present homestead, which he has brought to a good state of cultivation, and which, with its buildings and other appurtenances, bears fair comparison with the property of his neighbors. He has kept himself well posted upon current events and uniformly votes the Republican ticket. Mr. Markel was married in Rock Run Township, March 8, 1877, to Miss Elnora Motter, who was born in Freeport, Ill., Aug. 23, 1850. Her parents, Jonathan and Lydia (Mese) Motter, were natives of Pennsylvania, and are now residents of Davis, this county. Mrs. Markel was educated in the district schools of her native county and remained with her parents until marriage. She is a member of the Evangelical Church and a lady held in high regard by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Of her marriage with our subject there have been born four children, viz: Daisy B., Irena S., Ralph M. and Clayton M., which constitute a fine family group, and still remain with their parents. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 377]
LUTHER L. MARSH
Luther L. and Mary (Potter) Marsh
Luther L. Marsh, of Rock Grove Township, is native of Ohio, having been born in Champaign County, Feb. 26, 1818. His English ancestors had emigrated to America during the Colonial days, making settlement in New Jersey and thereafter participating in the struggle which followed, and ranking themselves on the side of those who were fighting for their liberties. The paternal grandfather of our subject, after serving bravely as a Colonial soldier, was drowned in fording a stream while exploring the country north of the Ohio River. His son David, the father of our subject, who was born in New Jersey, was but a boy when his parents emigrated to Ohio. He continued with them in what was then a Territory until the death of the father, assisting in the cultivation of the soil, and the improvement of the farm selected by his parents as their future home. They had been located in Hamilton County, but when David was eighteen years old, he persuaded his mother to remove to Champaign County, Ohio, and purchased a farm there, where they lived until 1824. In the year above mentioned, David Marsh turned his steps toward the farther West, and coming to this State purchased land near Bloomington, where he made a good farm which he occupied until April 26, 1837. He then sold out, and coming to Stephenson County purchased a claim which comprised the whole of section 25, namely 640 acres. Of this but three or four acres had been broken, and the property comprised a mixture of prairie and timber land. Mr. Marsh put up a log cabin, and with the assistance of his two oxen and four horses, began to cultivate the soil. This livestock, in connection with the 150 head of hogs which he had driven from McLean County, was considered a big start in those days toward the establishment of a homestead and its proper appurtenances'. The nearest market then was at Galena, distant sixty-five miles. Dressed pork then sold at $1.50 per hundred, and transportation of course, was effected by means of horses and oxen. The father suffered greatly from ill-health, and was unequal to hard labor, he therefore turned his attention to bee culture, and gave the management of the farm into the hands of his sons. They cultivated the soil successfully, and peddled each year large quantities of honey, which yielded to the lighter labors and watchfulness of the father, a handsome sum of money each year. Mr. Marsh thus spent his last days quietly, and enjoyed greatly watching and caring for the busy little insects who explored the timber and the prairie in search of wild and unadulterated sweets. He was a man of decided opinions, and early in life had identified himself with the old Whig party. Upon the dissolution of that party, he cheerfully wheeled into the ranks of the Republicans. He remained at the old home until very feeble, and was then brought to the home of our subject, when his death took place at the age of seventy-six.
The mother of our subject was in her girlhood, Miss Nancy Jones, a native of Virginia, and became the wife of David Marsh in Champaign County, Ohio. This union resulted in the birth of nine children, six of whom grew to maturity. Of these our subject was the fourth in order of birth. He remained under the home roof until thirty-two years of age. His childhood and youth had been passed after the manner of most farmers' sons, and his education was conducted in the subscription schools. When the parents came to Illinois there were no school-houses, and a room in the house of David Marsh was set aside for this purpose during two winters. Mr. Marsh assisted in building the first school-house in the district. Luther L., in common with his brothers, became familiar with the various duties about the farm, and followed in the footsteps of his father, choosing agriculture as his vocation. After arriving at the age spoken of, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Potter, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Green County, Wis., Nov. 6, 1851. Mrs. Marsh was born in Vermillion County, Ind., in 1832, and was the daughter of Isaac and Margaret (Southard) Potter, natives of Ohio. They removed to Indiana after their marriage, and subsequently to Illinois, where Mr. Potter followed farming until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Marsh after their marriage, located on the tract of land which constitutes their present homestead, and which was entered by our subject from the Government. He first put up a log cabin, which they occupied two years, and then commenced to build the present homestead, adding to it as time progressed. His land was mostly in timber, and he was occupied for many years in felling the trees and bringing the soil to a good state of cultivation. While the homestead was being built up, the household was also enlarged by the birth of six sons and one daughter, of whom the record is as follows: Aaron L. was born June 20, 1852, and died when a lad ten years of age, Dec. 10, 1862; Martha S., born Oct. 17, 1855, died May 8, 1875; she was married to John Harman, but only lived about one year, leaving a daughter, Sarepta May, who died when about four months old. Freedom L. was born Sept. 27, 1857; Edward H., born Jan. 21, 1860, is married and occupies a part of the homestead which has been deeded him by his father; Webster was born May 13, 1862, and is now married, and also has a farm from his father; Arthur L., born April 9, 1865, occupies another portion of land given him by his father; John W. was born Jan. 9, 1871, and remains a member of the household. The Marsh family have been church people as far back as the record is given. The mother of our subject was a devoted Methodist, and Mrs. Marsh and her children belonged to the United Brethren Church. Our subject and his boys are all Republicans, although voting independently in local matters. Handsome lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Marsh are shown on another page of this book. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 573]
ISAAC JACOB MATTER
Isaac, with his family, went to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in 1833 and lived there until 1845 and then came to Illinois. They came most of the distance in steam boat by the way of the Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi rivers. They passed through Freeport on the 16th day of April 1845 and located on a tract of land about nine miles due north in Buckeye township. Freeport at that time was a mere village. There were no churches, but a few dwellings, a few stores which carried very limited stocks, the principal part of which was provisions. Household goods, cooking utensils, etc., were bought either in Galena or Chicago and brought to Freeport by team. It was a rare treat for the sons to accompany the father on one of these trips when he also sold their produce. Although a tailor by trade, Isaac undertook farming. He proceeded as best he could with the crude implements of that time making a comfortable living for his family. William, the youngest brother of Isaac, followed him to this county in 1854.... These brothers, pioneer settlers were prominent in establishing the churches in their communities and promoting moral and religious sentiment. They were official members in the church and they contributed of their time and labor, as well as of their means, to the erection of the first houses of worship in the county....
Isaac Matter and his family migrated with the Pennsylvania colony to the cheap and fertile land of Illinois. It was through the efforts of Bishop Seybert who saw the advantages of government land. In this new country they settled in Stephenson County 9 miles north in Buckeye Township on April 16, 1845. At one the Zion Church was organized through the efforts of these settlers. Isaac Matter was a tireless worker in this church. He was Sunday School Superintendent for many years and held a weekly Bible study for years in his home. ['Historical Sketch' in the History of The Isaac Matter Family To June 1907 by Cora A. Matter; Contributed by Roger Cramer]
Joseph Matter, mason and contractor, was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1829. He is the son of Isaac and Hannah (Lenker) Matter, both of Dauphin County, PA. His grandfather also was a native of Dauphin County, the first ancestor of the family, having come from Germany in 1676.
When Joseph Matter was three years of age, his parents moved from Dauphin County to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, where his father worked at the tailor's trade and farming for twelve years. April 16, 1845, they started for Freeport, Illinois, coming down the Ohio, and up the Mississippi rivers by boat, a journey which lasted three weeks and three days. They located in Buckeye township, where the father and mother died at the ages of seventy two and eighty seven respectively.
Isaac Matter was twice married; first to Miss Ohmhultz of Pennsylvania, who bore him three children, namely: Jonathan, now a retired farmer and tanner living in Davis, Stephenson county; Moses, who died in the fall of 1898 at Freeport; Sarah, deceased, was the wife of John Folgate. The second wife, Hannah Lenkert, was the mother of twelve children: Mary, now deceased, wife of James Folgate; Joseph (subject); Catherine, deceased, wife of P.W. Rockey; William H., whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Susan, wife of Chas. Plowman, a farmer living near Jewell City, Kansas; Elizabeth, wife of S. R. Worick, resides near Jewell City; David, justice of the peace and a farmer of Jewell City; Aaron died at the age of twenty one, and three who died in infancy. All who reached maturity were educated in the common schools, finishing later at some of the best schools.
Joseph Matter began his business life as a farmer in Buckeye township. On the 15th day of March, 1859, he was united in marriage to Caroline Shaw of Stephenson County, who was born June 20, 1842. Her parents, Robert and Pronilla (Franks) Shaw, were natives of Center County, PA, but removed to Stephenson County, Illinois, where they died. Mr. Matter's family consists of eight children, as follows: Ida, wife of Henry Kahley of Buckeye township; Laura, wife of William Snyder of Buckeye township; William I., who lives of the old homestead in Buckeye township; Elmer, residing in Buckeye township; A. Guy, attorney in Goodwin, Minnesota; O. E., a physician in DeKalb, Illinois; Elias, living in Buckeye township and Mabel, who lives at home.
After his marriage, Mr. Matter farmed for five years, then removed to Freeport where he worked at his trade, brick mason, five years. He then returned to his farm, and after hiring a man to take charge of it, he took a trip with his wife into Wisconsin, returning however in a short time to Freeport, where he now resides in his pleasant home at 480 Empire street. In addition to his home, Mr. Matter owns three farms in Buckeye township. Mr. and Mrs. Matter are members of Trinity Evangelical church of Freeport. Mr. Matter is a republican in politics, but is not an office seeker." [Contributed by Roger Cramer from In the Footsteps of the Pioneers]
Moses Matter is an early settler and well-to-do farmer of Buckeye Township. He was born in Dauphin County, Pa., Dec. 13, 1823. His father, Isaac Matter, came from the same county, and his father, John Matter, was born in Germany. Their ancestors were all farmers. The grandfather spent the rest of his life after coming to America in Dauphin County. The father of the subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, but when he grew to be a young man he learned the trade of a tailor, but after his marriage bought a farm in Dauphin County, which he worked until 1833, when he sold it and moved to Jefferson County, buying a farm there which he occupied until 1845. He then sold that farm and started for Illinois, accompanied by his wife and ten children. He started on the trip in the way common to those times, with a pair of horses and a wagon, camping out by the way. At Red Bank he loaded his household goods on a raft, and the family kept on with the wagon to Mt. Mahonen, where they embarked on a steamer on the Alleghany River and went by boat on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Savanna, making the rest of the way by team to Freeport.
Mr. Matter first located in Buckeye Township, where he rented a house, and while his family lived there he hunted a place that would suit him and bought a farm on section 18. The land consisted of forty acres improved, but there was no house on it. He proceeded at once to build a house and moved his family there, where he resided until his death, which occurred on the 23d of July, 1866. Mr. Matter was twice married; the maiden name of his first wife was M. M. Umhols, and she resided in Dauphin County. She died about 1825. The maiden name of his second wife was Hannah Lanker, and she died June 8, 1884. Our subject grew to manhood in Pennsylvania on a farm, where he acquired the rugged traits of character which distinguished him through life. After coming to this county he made his home with his parents, and commenced life here by working by the day and month. He first received $9 per month. Saving up his money he bought some land of his father, at $3.50 per acre. He has been farming for himself ever since, and now owns about 500 acres of land, all in Buckeye Township. He has erected good and substantial buildings and planted a large number of fruit and shade trees. On the 24th of April, 1856, he was married to Maria Duth in Lehigh County, Pa. They have had ten children: Charles A., born in Dakota Township; Alice married J. W. Ressman, now dead; Anna M. is the wife of Peter Rubendall, and resides in Nebraska; Nora, John W., Jennie, Edward, Stephen H., Lewis and Lloyd, are at home. Mr. Matter is a self-made man, and has accomplished the ends he has reached under adverse circumstances. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church. His father was a Class-Leader in the church for many years. Mr. Matter gives his allegiance to the Republican party. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888]
Moses Matter a successful farmer and stock-raiser on section 11, Dakota Township, is the owner of 110 acres of land, which he has well improved with fences and buildings, including a fine residence. He purchased his home in 1888, having farmed it as a renter, for the eleven years preceding. He is known by all his neighbors as a skillful manager. Mr. Matter was born in Northumberland County, Pa., on the 26th of February, 1840. He came with his parents to this State in 1855, and resided with them until his marriage. He is the son of William Matter, an old and respected citizen of the township of Dakota, who came here with his family at the date named above, and yet resides on the farm he located at that time. William was the son of John Matter, a native of Dauphin County, Pa., and it was there his son, the father of our subject, and the youngest of twelve children, was born Dec. 8, 1809. His father was a farmer, and lived and died in Dauphin County. He married Elizabeth Rumberger, also born and reared in Pennsylvania. The family on both sides were of German descent. The father at the time of his death was seventy-three years of age, and tile mother ninety-two years of age when she died. In religion the mother was a member of the United Brethren Church, and the father was a Methodist. William Matter was a tailor by trade; he was married in Dauphin County, Pa., to Lena Troutman, who was born in Northumberland County, Pa., and was there reared and educated. She came of Pennsylvania German parentage, descendants of Jacob and Mary (Williams) Troutman. They were Northumberland County farmers. She became the mother of eleven children - Elizabeth, Moses, Jonathan, Leo, Susanna, Conrad, Gideon, Sarah, James; Mary and Amos, deceased; Amos and Moses, were twins. The surviving children are all married. After marriage, Mr. Matter lived in Dauphin and Northumberland Counties until 1855, when he went to Illinois, located in Buckeye Township, and later, going to Dakota Township, he purchased eighty acres of land on section 23, where he at present resides. Mr. Matter is a member of the Evangelical Church, and politically, is a Republican.
Moses Matter, whose genealogy has been traced back three generations, can point with pardonable pride to the record. On Dec. 8, 1867, he was married to Sarah Fehr, who was born in Pennsylvania, in 1844. She is the daughter of Peter B. and Lesetta (Reich) Fehr, natives of Pennsylvania, and of German descent. Her parents came to this State sometime in the forties, and settled on a farm in Dakota Township, and here the father farmed until his death in 1878. The mother is living with her daughter, Mrs. Matter; she is seventy-eight years of age. Moses and Sarah Matter are the parents of two children, O. C. and Laura. The parents are members of the Evangelical Church. In politics Mr. Matter is a Republican, and is now serving his second term as Commissioner of Highways. [Contributed by Roger Cramer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888]
WILLIAM H. MATTER
William H. Matter, one of the self-made men of Buckeye Township, retains as a silent witness of his industry a valuable homestead on section 18, which includes 221 acres of highly cultivated land, with convenient and substantial farm buildings. Upon this land our subject has effected great improvements since taking possession, it being then not far removed from its original condition. The humble farm shanties which then served as a shelter for man and beast, bore little comparison with the present fine dwelling (see lithographic view on another page), the ample and shapely barn, and all the other appliances for the storing of grain, the shelter of stock and the proper carrying on a modern country estate. The transformation seems all the more wonderful and pleasurable when we reflect that it has been brought about by a man who commenced life practically at the foot of the ladder, dependent upon his own resources. Mr. Matter first drew breath in Jefferson County, PA, March 20, 1836, and is the 3rd son of Isaac & Hannah (Lenker) Matter, who carried on farming in a modest way, and possessed but a limited income. When our subject was 9 years old his parents gathered together their household effects and started for the Prairie State. He remembers well many incidents of the long journey, and how when reaching this section deer and wolves roamed over the prairies now dotted with beautiful farms and valuable homesteads. The parents located on a tract of land in Buckeye Township, and Isaac Matter proceeded as best he could to the cultivation of the soil. The farm implements of that time were rude in construction, and of a character which at this day would seem totally unfitted for the task required of them. The pioneers, however, were fertile in expedient, and found a way out of every difficulty. The father of our subject succeeded in making a comfortable living for his family, and after a life of long and faithful labor, folded his hands for his final rest July 23, 1866. The mother departed this life June 8, 1884. Our subject spent his childhood and youth after the manner of most of the sons of pioneers, receiving a meager education, and as soon as old enough his labors being utilized on the farm. He was taught frugality, industry, honesty, obedience and deference to the opinions of those older and wiser than himself. He remained a member of the parental household long after reaching his majority, and after his marriage operated on a portion of the land included in the parental homestead. In 1864 he purchased 45 acres on section 18, and subsequently purchased a part of his fathers' farm, the whole comprising the valuable and desirable estate which the passing traveler now views with an admiring eye. Mr. Matter, in addition to general farming, keeps excellent grades of live-stock, including sheep, cattle, hogs and horses, all sleek looking and well cared for, and adding to the already general air of comfort and plenty that pervades the premises. The marriage of William H. Matter and Miss Hannah Meyer took place at the home of the bride in Freeport, July 3, 1862. Mrs. M., like her husband, is a native of PA, and the daughter of Peter Meyer, who came to this State in 1854, and took up his residence in Ogle County. He there engaged in farming, and with the mother spent the remainder of his life. Mr. & Mrs. Matter are the parents of 5 children, namely: Ada L., Emma I., Cora A., Estell H. and Isaac N. The latter child, their only son, died when 12 years of age. He was a bright and intelligent lad, and his death was a severe blow to the stricken parents. They are members of the Evangelical Association Church, and our subject politically, is a decided Republican. [Portraits & Biographical 1888]
WILLIAM H. MATTER
William H. Matter, a prominent citizen of Freeport, was born in Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1836. He is the son of Isaac and Hannah (Lenker) Matter, both of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania.
The family originated in Germany. John Matter, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania, He had the following children: Crystal, John, Peter, Isaac, Phillip, William, Sisan, Margaret and Julia.
Isaac Matter was twice married: first to Miss Anna Mary Ohmhultz of Pennsylvania, who bore him three children, namely: Johnathan, now a retired farmer and tanner living in Davis, Stephenson county; Moses, who died in the fall of 1898 at Freeport; Sarah, deceased, was the wife of John Folgate. The second wife, Hannah (Lenker), was the mother of twelve children: Mary, now deceased, wife of James Folgate; Joseph, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Catherine, deceased, wife of P.W. Rockey; Aaron, who died at the age of 22 years; William H., the subject of this sketch; Susan, wife of Chas. Plowman, a farmer living near Jewell City, Kansas; Lydia, wife of W.H. Cameron; Elizabeth, wife of S.R. Worick, resides near Jewell City; David, Justice of the Peace, and a farmer of Jewell City; and three who died in infancy. All who reached maturity were educated in the common schools, finishing later at some of the best schools. In 1845, Isaac Matter started from Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, with his family, for Illinois, making the journey by boat through the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. After three weeks and three days of travel they located in Buckeye township, Stephenson county, where Mr. and Mrs. Matter died at the ages of seventy two and eighty seven years respectively.
William H. Matter was nine years of age when he came with his father to Stephenson county, where he completed his education and then began working on his father's farm. July 3, 1862, he was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Myers, a native of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, born January 28, 1841. Her father, Peter Myers, came from Pennsylvania. Peter Myers was married in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, to Catherine Enterline. Both died in Ogle county. Mr. and Mrs. Matter have five children: Addie L., is the wife of Charles Bollinger, a farmer of Buckeye township; Emma I., married John Francks, a farmer, and lives in Buckeye township; Isaac, died at the age of twelve years; Cora Ann and Estella are at home. Mr. Matter remained on his farm in Buckeye township, until 1884, when he retired from active labor, removed to Freeport, and bought property on Harlem Ave., all the improvements on which he has made himself. He still owns three hundred and thirty three acres of fine farming land in Buckeye township. Although not an office seeker, Mr. Matter has been street commissioner, and school director for his township. He has always been a republican. Mr. Matter's family are all members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Freeport, and take active interest in church work. [Contributed by Roger Cramer from "In the Footprints of the Pioneers"]
WILLIAM H. MAURER
William H. Maurer, of Rock Grove Township, is the son of George Maurer, who also had two other sons, Moses and George P., by name, who are yet living. George Maurer is now eighty years old. He was born in Union County, Pa., and in his early life worked by the day and month. He lived at home until the spring of 1840, when he came to this county, locating about a mile north of his present home. He made the journey overland by wagon, driving a team for a neighbor. In 1840 George Maurer bought a claim of about 400 acres. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1841, and the same year came back with money he had earned to pay for his purchase. It was timber and prairie land, and some of that timber is yet standing. Mr. Maurer built a log cabin near a spring on his land and lived there for two years, then erected his present house. George Maurer married, in 1842, Miss Elizabeth Bolender, daughter of John Bolender, the gentleman for whom he drove a team the first time he came to Illinois. He now set to work diligently cultivating his land and now has 150 acres under plow. His house was built in 1845, but he was unable to erect his barn until 1877. His family originally consisted of nine children, four of whom are deceased. The record is as follows: Sarah, Mrs. John Candy, was born Nov. 10, 1843, and lives at Ackley, Iowa; Moses, born Feb. 26, 1845; Mary C., Feb. 21, 1848; William H., our subject, Nov. 15, 1855, and George B., April 2, 1860, all live at home; Daniel died in 1851, aged three years, four months and four days; Harriet, July 17, 1860, aged eight years and six months, and Isaac, July 8, 1860, aged eleven years and three months. Our subject attended the district school until he was eighteen or twenty years old, acquiring a good, common-school education. George, the only son married, chose for his wife Miss Jennie A. Woodring, daughter of George Woodring, a farmer of Centre County, Pa. George's wife was born in 1862, and they were married in 1879. The union has been productive of the birth of two children: Dora A., born Jan. 13, 1880, and Addie E., Oct. 14, 1885. The two sons, William H. and Moses, have rented the old homestead for eleven years. George works by the month, and all reside at home. The father of the boys is an old-line Whig; he voted once for Lincoln, but has been a Democrat ever since. The boys are all Democrats. George Maurer belongs to the Reformed Church, while his wife is a member of the Lutheran Church. A handsome lithographic view of the old home place is shown on another page of this work, and in the quaint fashion of its buildings is a silent reminder of the days gone by. [Contributed by Carole Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill., 1888]
Fifty-two years in any profession is quite a period of service. This was the record attained by Charles McCarthy, 417 West Clark street, who had he continue until June 15, would have been actively engaged for that length of time in the barber business. Looking back over more than half a century the white-haired Freeporter, who is now 72, and who remarked, "I've enjoyed every minute of the work," has seen many changes during his years of service in Freeport and other cities. Starting to learn his trade in the shop of his brother, Dennis, at Lena, Mr. McCarthy, later spent a year at Monroe, Wis., and then came to Freeport, beginning work at the Charles Hoffman barber shop. At that time there were only eight shops in Freeport, there are three times that many today. He remained with Hoffman eight years, was employed 22 consecutive years at the F. A. Raubenheimer shop, eight years at the Y. M. C. A. and other places. "There were no code hours in those days," said Mr. McCarthy. "We went to work at 7 a.m. and closed at 9 p.m., if we were lucky. Sometimes this included Sunday morning opening and in Lena late comers would induce us to re-open the shop at 1 a.m. Sunday, because they wouldn't dare face their wives with a week's growth and had tarried too long at the corner. Those were the days when Saturday night was 'bath night,' and the barber shops had their regular patrons who wanted 'the works,' after their splash in the tin-lined barber shop tub."Mr. McCarthy has disposed of his shop at 216 North Cherry avenue where he has been in business for himself for the past eight years, to W. S. Anderson, who will take possession within a few days. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - May 28, 1934 clipping
MAJOR JOHN MCCRACKEN
Maj. John M. McCracken, deceased, formerly one of the most prominent citizens of Ridott Township, and a portrait of whom is presented on the opposite page, was a native of Pennsylvania, born June 3, 1831, and departed this life Aug. 28, 1879, from the effects of wounds received in the army. He had been a great sufferer, and it became necessary to remove him to a private hospital at Elgin, where his death took place. The father of our subject, William McCracken, a native of Pennsylvania, followed farming a part of his life, and was also employed in the woolen mills of Tyrone, Pa., where he spent his last years. In early manhood he had married Miss Mary M. Milliken, who survived him and died in Atchison, Kan., March 27, 1879, at the home of her son Samuel. John M., our subject, was the third child and second son of his parents, whose household included five children. He was reared in Juniata and Huntingdon Counties, received a common-school education and was bred to farming pursuits, while he also employed part of his time in the mills with his father. He remained in his native State until about twenty-five years of age, and came to Illinois in about 1856, being joined later by his mother and the remaining children, after the death of the father. Our subject was variously employed until the breaking out of the late war, and at the second call for troops enlisted in Co. K, 46th Ill. Vol. Inf., in which he was soon tendered a Captain's commission. He had been active in recruiting this company, and soon afterward led them to the scene of action at Ft. Donelson, where they arrived just in time to participate in that memorable engagement. The young Captain came from this unharmed, and afterward met the rebels at Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, where he received the high approval of his superior officers for his meritorious conduct, and which was rewarded by his promotion, Oct. 11, 1862, to the rank of Major. He veteranized in 1864, when he was made a Lieutenant Colonel, receiving his papers in May, 1866, commission to date from the 13th of March, 1865. He had been severely wounded at Pittsburg Landing, but did not desert his post until compelled, and remained with his regiment until his honorable discharge. Maj. McCracken, after his retirement from the army, located in Bloomington, Ill., and in company with William H. Wentz engaged in the sale of agricultural implements for about three years, and then removed to Freeport, where for a time he carried on a similar business alone. The precarious state of his health, however, obliged him to abandon the responsibilities and cares of a business life, and on the 28th of August, 1879, he closed his eyes forever upon the scenes of earth. During the progress of the war and while home on a furlough, Maj. McCracken was united in marriage, at the home of the bride's parents in Ridott Township, March 2, 1864, to Miss Clara C., daughter of H. P. Waters, of whom a sketch is given on another page in this work. Mrs. McC. was born on her father's homestead in Ridott Township, Dec. 29, 1844, and remained with her parents until her marriage. She received a good education in the common schools, and early in life exhibited the intelligence and force of character which have since distinguished her and secured for her the admiration and respect of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Of her marriage with our subject there were born four children, one of whom, William H., died when four months old. Those surviving are Mollie A., John W. and Carrie E., who all remain at home with their mother. Mrs. McC. occupies a pleasant home in Ridott Village. She received from the Government the back pension due her husband, amounting to $6,140, and also receives $20 per month and the young children $2 each, making a total of $24. Maj. McCracken, as a man and citizen, was held in the highest respect for his fine personal traits, and as a husband and father was mourned by his family, who sympathized most deeply with his affliction and did all in their power to smooth his pathway to the grave. During the years of his usefulness and activity, he interested himself in the affairs of the country and used his influence as far as he could to bring about those measures which would be for the best good of the people. He was a Methodist in religion, and politically a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. At the time of his enlistment in the army, the Major was the main support of his mother and sister, and continued so to be until his last sickness. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 334]
William McGilligan representing the firm of Smith & Porter, of Freeport, as purchaser of grain and live-stock, at Ridott, has been located at that point since the spring of 1866, where, with the exception of two or three years, he has been a continuous resident since that date. He has traveled considerably, having explored Dakota Territory, and for a time sojourned at Plainview, Minn. At the latter place he was engaged in buying grain for J. B. Canterbury, which position he occupied one year. He has been particularly successful in his present business, with transactions extending over an additional stretch of territory. The elevator of the firm has a capacity of 35,000 bushels, and they handle each year fully 250,000 bushels of grain. Their stock trade and shipments amount to about $10,000 annually. Our subject has the general management of their extensive trade, and has proved himself admirably adapted to the duties of his responsible position.
Mr. McGilligan was born in Lancaster County, Pa., Oct. 9, 1845, and is the eldest son and child of George and Nancy (Myers) McGilligan, also natives of the Keystone State, whence they removed after their marriage and the birth of three children to Northern Illinois, taking up their residence on a farm in Florence Township, this county. The father of our subject departed this life at the homestead in Florence Township, in 1862. He had, in early manhood, learned the trade of wagon-making, which he followed mostly during his lifetime, although fond of a country residence. The mother survived her husband about twenty-five years, her death taking place in January, 1887, when sixty-six years of age. They were both members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the father of our subject, politically, always advocated Republican principles. The subject of our sketch came to this county with his parents in 1854, when a lad nine years of age. He received a common-school education and remained with the family until the death of his father. Mr. McGilligan enlisted in Co. D, 46th Ill. Vol. Inf., in December, 1863, and was mustered out in February, 1866. He was in several engagements in Mississippi and Louisiana, but returned without a scratch. Upon his return from the army he engaged with the firm of Smith & Porter, at Ridott, and in 1866 was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Lincoln, who was born in Vermont in 1848, and came West with her parents. Her education was conducted in the district schools, and she remained a member of her father's household until her marriage. Her union with our subject resulted in the birth of four children, namely, Nellie, Emma D., Charles E. and Joseph H. Mrs. McGilligan departed this life at her home in Ridott, Dec. 25, 1883. Our subject was subsequently married in Burnett Junction, Wis., March 23, 1885, to Miss Emma Hill, a native of this county. She was reared and educated in this county, and became a resident of Wisconsin a short time before her marriage, her wedding taking place at the home of her sister-in-law. Mr. McGilligan is a Republican, politically, and has served as Village Trustee for several years. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 609-610.
William McGilligan - Of Ridott, Stephenson county, is well known throughout this part of the country as a shrewd and reliable grain dealer. He studies the markets, knows the tendencies of prices and is always ready to make a deal at a fair and just figure. His grandfather came from Ireland and his grandmother was a Kirkpatrick from Scotland. His father, George McGilligan, was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, August 6, 1808 and died in Florence, Illinois, August 1st, 1862. He came to this county from Pennsylvania in 1854. He was a wagon maker, and two years after his arrival worked at his trade in Rock Run, then he bought a farm near Florence, moved his family upon it and made it his home until his death. He was a republican, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was a man of considerable prominence in local affairs, and was highly thought of as a farmer and a man. His wife, Annie Meyers, was born in Lucas county, Pennsylvania, in 1824, and died in 1890. She was the mother of six children, three of whom are now living: William K. P. is the subject of this writing; Charles has been twice married, Martha Leech, his first wife, was the mother of two children, Lilly, the wife of Edward Kencke, of Freeport, and Anna; his second wife is Mrs. Sadie Miller, nee Shirk. Two daughters are dead, and Joseph, who served in the Union army during the Civil war, is supposed to have died about 1872.
Mr. McGilligan was born in Paradise township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1845; and attended school in his native state and in Rock Run and Florence townships according to his parents' moving, until he was fourteen. The next four years he spent on his father's farm, and when he was eighteen he enlisted in the Union army, as a member of Company D, 46th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in at Dixon and was dispatched with his regiment to Vicksburg. He saw much bloody fighting and was in many fierce engagements during his military service, the most important being at Vicksburg, the battle of Benton, Mississippi, the Red river expedition, the fighting around Mobile, Fort Blakely and the Spanish Fort. Jackson, Mississippi and Clintonville, Louisiana. He was in seventeen more important engagements, and was at Mobile at the time Lee surrendered. He was mustered out at Baton Rouge and came back to Stephenson county and resumed farming. This he did not long continue however, but look an opening that presented itself in the grain business, and here he has been since engaged. He was one year in Minnesota, two years in the village of Dakota, and since that time in the village of Ridott. He has achieved a notable success as a grain buyer, not only for his fair disposition but for his accurate judgment. Mr. McGilligan and Miss Jennie L. Lincoln were married in Silver Creek township, October 2, 1866, She was born in Vermont, and died December 25, 1883, leaving four children, of whom Nellie is the oldest, and is the wife of Harry Ulrich of Freeport. Emma married Thomas Diemer of Freeport, and Charles has a position at Elgin. He possesses the family patriotism, and was a soldier in the Spanish war, serving in Cuba until its close. He was in Company L, 6th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry Joseph is in business with his father. Mr. McGilligan was married to Emma Hills at Birney Junction, Wisconsin, March 27, 1885. She was born in Ogle county, Illinois, and is a daughter of Enos and Mary (Lincoln) Hills. She has one son, George Earl.
Mr. McGilligan is a republican, and is a strong party worker. He is regarded as one of the "wheel horses" in this end of the county, and is a leader in local politics. He has been justice of the peace since 1889, has served as trustee of the village for a number of years, and for the greater part of the time he has acted as president of the village board. Is also a fraternal society man of wide affiliations, being a member of the Masonic Order, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modem Woodmen of America, the Independent Order of Good Templars and the Grand Army of the Republic, and has his membership with the post at Pecatonica. In these various orders he takes much interest and is everywhere regarded as a useful and reliable member. [History of Stephenson County by Addison L. Fulwider 1910]
Samuel McGrath is an old settler of Jo Daviess County. He has the indomitable will that is not vanquished by ordinary obstacles, but carries him unswervingly forward to his goal. He lives on section 28, Harlem Township, and is engaged in agricultural pursuits.
Mr. McGrath's parents were Samuel and Jane (Denning) McGrath, both natives of Ireland. They came to America when quite young, the father being about fourteen years old. When he married, he and his wife settled in Pennsylvania, but emigrated to Jo Daviess County, Ill., in the spring of 1836, where they lived until their death. He was a preacher who stopped not because of weather or distance. It is related of him that he would walk forty miles to fill an appointment. One Sunday morning he walked from his home to Savanna twelve miles, and preached in the morning, then walked to Mt. Carroll eight miles and preached in the afternoon, then to Cherry Grove six miles, and preached at night, then walked home, a distance of sixteen miles that night. Mr. Samuel McGrath, Sr., was ninety-four years old at the time of his death which occurred in 1878. The elder McGrath had a family of eleven children, eight boys and three girls.
The subject of this sketch was the sixth child and was born in Beaver County, Pa., Aug. 31, 1823. He was raised on a farm and his entire schooling was obtained before he was twelve years old. Only the first two of the three R's, "readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic," were afforded to him and these very imperfectly. After coming to Illinois he studied arithmetic at Galena. When he was only a boy he came with his parents to Illinois and lived at home until he became of age. Mr. McGrath when a lad of thirteen had an experience with a band of Indians which vividly impressed itself upon his memory. Trouble was brewing between the whites of the neighborhood and the Indians, and Samuel was out looking for the cows when a band of Indians, thirty-two in number, decorated as for war, spied him in the distance. A volley of shots was fired at him, several of the bullets passing through his clothes, but fortunately he was unhurt. He secreted himself in the forks of a fallen white oak, and when the redskins were searching for him they stepped time and again upon the tree which furnished him shelter. He was engaged in farming in Jo Daviess County until the spring of 1869, when he came to Stephenson County and settled in Harlem Township, where he has since resided. He has acquired 160 acres of good land there, improved with comfortable buildings. Mr. McGrath was married in Jo Daviess County, Oct. 9, 1851, to Miss Jane Atchison, daughter of Mathew and Mary (Dollin) Atchison, of Scotch and Irish ancestry. The wife's parents first settled in Mercer County, Pa., where the father died. The mother afterward married Thomas Gault, and came to Jo Daviess County, where she died. Mrs. McGrath was the eighth child of a family of nine children, and was born in Mercer County, Pa., Feb. 10, 1833.
Mr. and Mrs. McGrath have had six children, as follows: William A., Orrin D., Luella A., Rollin A., Cora E. and George H. William married Miss Mary R. Furst, and resides in Harlem Township; Orrin died June 23, 1883, when twenty-nine years old; Luella is the wife of Walter Agney, and resides in Harlem Township. Mr. McGrath, despite his humble origin, is held in high estimation by his neighbors and has been awarded some of the minor offices of the township. In politics, Mr. McGrath is a Prohibitionist, and he and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. [Contributed by Carol Parrish Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 549]
This gentleman is known throughout Rock Grove Township as one of its most extensive and successful farmers and in connection with his boys cultivates 500 acres of land. The balance of the property comprises sixty or seventy acres of good timber. The homestead has been built up after the most approved methods and embraces a valuable set of frame buildings, with first-class farm machinery, a goodly assortment of live-stock and all the appurtenances of the modern country estate. These accumulations have been the result of diligence in business and years of industrious toil, and our subject has displayed, in a marked degree the talents of his substantial German ancestry, who, with many other offshoots from the Fatherland, have so materially assisted in the development of the great West.
Our subject was born at Kohlstead, Germany, Aug. 17, 1837, and is the son of Frederick Meinert, who emigrated from his native land in 1851, when forty-four years of age. He set sail with his family from the port of Bremen and after a voyage of about fifty-four days, landed at New Orleans. Thence they proceeded up the Mississippi to Savanna, and from there overland to Rock Grove Township, this county, where the father secured possession of thirty-one acres, and made his family as comfortable as possible with the limited conveniences at hand. This place they occupied a few years and then the elder Meinert sold out and purchased on an adjoining section, where he permanently located, added to his possessions and in due time was the owner of 400 acres. Three years previous to his death he divided the property, giving to each of his sons 106 acres, which they made good use of and have increased its value greatly.
The mother of our subject was in her girlhood Miss Mary Bertels, whose people remained in Germany. She survived her husband and died at the home of her son Frederick in 1872, when sixty-four years of age, being one year younger than her husband at the time of his death. The parental household included five children, two of whom died in Germany when quite young. Herman, the oldest, died at his home in Rock Grove Township in 1886; Conrad also died in this township about twelve years ago. The children, like their father, were industrious and frugal, and those who attained to mature years became large property-owners and were successful in life. Conrad served as a soldier in the Union army, enlisting in 1861, in the 46th Illinois Infantry. Three years later he was sent home on account of illness. He had, however, participated in some of the most important battles of the war and distinguished himself as a brave and daring soldier.
The subject of this history was a boy fourteen years of age when he came to this county, and employed himself the year following on the new farm. Becoming tired of this kind of life he sought employment with the I. C. R. R., and the year following was engaged in driving a team in the construction of the road between Freeport and Galena. He then returned home and was employed there and in the neighboring towns until about 1855, when he settled down on the old homestead and remained with his father until his marriage. This interesting event took place in the spring of 1861, and our subject brought his bride to the old homestead and continued there, assisting in the management of the farm until the division of the property, when he came into possession of 106 acres. To this he subsequently added until he now has the fine estate already described. The wife of our subject, formerly Miss Wilhelmina Geise, is also of German birth and parentage, and came to this country with a brother and sister about 1858. Her parents came over several years later in 1880. They first crossed the Mississippi and located at Council Bluff, Iowa, whence Wilhelmina removed to Rock Grove Township a year later. She was a young lady of industrious habits and occupied her time in useful employment until her marriage. Mrs. Meinert was born Oct. 20, 1838, and was twenty-three years of age when married. Her union with our subject has resulted in the birth of ten children, two now deceased, namely: Louis, who died when quite young, and another son, George A., who was taken from the home circle when an interesting youth of sixteen years; William F, is married and located near his father; Conrad H., Adolph F., Frederick H., Mary A., Louisa H., Albert J. and Anna W., are at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Meinert, like the respected father and mother of each, are connected with the Evangelical Church, and our subject, with his boys, uniformly votes the Republican ticket. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from History of Stephenson County 1888 Portrait & Biographical Album, pg. 711]
ADOLPH H. MELLENBERNDT
Adolph H. Mellenberndt, a successful dealer in, and manufacturer of harness and saddlery, at Rock City, is also carrying on a trade in agricultural implements in partnership with D.G. Lashell. He came to this town comparatively a poor man, and since 1884 has built up a good business, and is now the owner of valuable property in the village. He is a skillful workman and carries a well selected stock of everything pertaining to the first mentioned department of trade. Our subject is a native of Rock Run Twp. born Feb. 25, 1863. His father, whose Christian name was August, is still living on a farm in Rock Run Twp. He was born in Germany, whence he emigrated after his marriage to this country and came directly West, locating on the farm which he now occupies. That he has prospered on this side of the Atlantic is shown by the fact that he owns another farm in this township, and 120 acres of valuable timber. The mother of our subject died at her home in Rock Run Twp. when her son, our subject, was a child seven years of age. His father was married again and Adolph H. remained under the home roof until starting out to learn harness-making. He served his first apprenticeship under the instruction of Frank Cronemiller, and afterward engaged with F.A. Yone of Durant IL, will whom he remained four years. He then came to Rock City where he has been prospered and while building up a good business, has also established himself in the confidence and esteem of the people. He is still unmarried. Religiously he is a member of the German Lutheran Church and socially belongs to the M.W.A. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party. [Transcribed by Christine Walters from History of Stephenson County 1888 Portrait & Biographical Pg 579]
Henry Menden, of Ridott Township, is a thrifty farmer and successful stock-raiser. He located there in 1859, and now owns 290 acres in this township, and forty in Winnebago County, township of Seward. He was born in the Kingdom of Prussia, Sept. 5, 1843. His father, Leonard Menden, came to this country with his family in 1853, and lived in that township until his death, which occurred Oct. 10, 1855. Later, the mother went to Florence Township Dec. 10, 1855, where she died at Yellow Creek. The subject of our sketch was the eldest of the children, two having died when young. He was only ten years old when he arrived in this country, and soon after set about earning his own living. We hear of his being a landed proprietor before becoming a Benedict, his marriage occurring Feb. 9, 1869, and Miss Martha Hamilton being the name of his chosen bride. She was born in Seneca County, N. Y., in 1841. In 1844 her parents, William and Nancy (Miller) Hamilton, came to Illinois and took up their residence in Ridott, where Mr. Hamilton purchased some of the wild prairie land. The mother died in 1864, the father in 1874; both were among the first settlers here, and were honest, economical and thrifty people. Henry Menden and his wife now live on the old Hamilton homestead. While they have religious convictions, they belong to no particular church. They are the parents of seven children, two being deceased. Those living are Mary, Sophia, Nancy, Gertrude and Robert. The deceased children are Lewis and Leonard. Mr. Menden is politics is a Republican. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 353]
WILLIAM A. MENDENHALL
William A. Mendenhall, the subject of this sketch, is an active merchant in the town of Loran, and also holds the responsible position of Postmaster, having been appointed soon after the accession of Grover Cleveland to the Presidency. His parents were John and Catherine (Low) Mendenhall. The father was born in Fayette County, Pa., and the mother in Lycoming County, Pa. Upon their first arrival in Illinois, they settled in Jo Daviess County, where the mother died. In 1873 the father moved to Harrison County, Mo. They had five children, one girl and four boys, of whom William A. was the second child. He was born in Elizabeth Township, Jo Daviess Co., Ill., on the 22d of November, 1843. Up to the age of twenty-seven, his life was spent with his parents. At that age he married, and settled on his father's farm in Jo Daviess County, where he continued to live for two years, when he removed to Harrison County, Mo., where he lived one and one-half years, when he returned to Illinois and settled in Jefferson Township, Stephenson County. Here he remained about six years, when he returned to Jo Daviess County and engaged in merchandising. In 1882 he moved to Loran, where he established himself in business, and where he has since resided. In his establishment may be found every article usually kept on hand by the typical country merchant. Mr. Mendenhall was married, in Stephenson County, Nov. 1, 1870, to Amelia Hoy, daughter of Daniel Hoy (see sketch). Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall have three living children - John D., Anna L. and Samuel W. - and three dead - George F., Aimie J. and Mamie C.
Mr. Mendenhall's record, as a citizen and a soldier, is good. In September, 1864, he enlisted in the 146th Illinois Infantry, with which he served until July, 1865, when it was mustered out of the service. Mr. Mendenhall has held several responsible civil positions, among which are Justice of the Peace, Assessor and Township Clerk. On account of his activity and vigilance in political affairs, he was rewarded by his party in November, 1885, by being appointed Postmaster. He is a free and accepted Mason in good standing, and is a regular attendant upon the meetings of his lodge. [Contributed by Carole Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. 1888]
JOHN J. MERRICK
John J. Merrick, the subject of this sketch, is one of the large land-owners of Kent Township, where he owns 300 acres on section 8. He is the son of John and Polly (Rice) Merrick, who were natives of New England. His parents were married in Massachusetts, and commenced life in Stockbridge, whence they removed to Caroline, Tompkins County, N. Y., where they resided until they both died. The father was a farmer, which occupation he followed during his entire life. Their family consisted of four children, three boys and one girl, of whom the youngest is the subject of this sketch. Mr. Merrick was born in Caroline, Tompkins Co., N. Y., on the 14th of February, 1823. His early life was spent on the farm of his parents, and he remained in his native county until 1846, when, like so many of the active young men of his time in New England and the East, he sought to better his condition by removing to the western country, which was then just being opened up and which offered such tempting prospects for the future. In the year last mentioned he emigrated to Illinois and settled in Kent Township, Stephenson County, where he has since resided. Having begun life in that section as a farmer he has wisely continued in agricultural pursuits to the present date. When he came to Stephenson County, this section possessed few of the attractions which it now does, but all the elements were here out of which to construct the magnificent farms that have since been created. Mr. Merrick saw this and realized that by hard work, careful management and prudent economy, one might here become the peer of the best in the country. Time has proved that he was right, for he is now the owner of over 300 splendid acres, every one of which is tillable. Having arranged to build himself a home in the West, Mr. Merrick returned to his native State for a life partner, and married in Seneca County, N. Y., in September, 1847, Miss Elizabeth McIntyre. She is supposed to have been born in Tompkins County, N. Y., in June, 1826. She bore him one child, Mary E., who is the wife of S. A. Daughenbaugh, resides in Kent Township, and is the mother of seven children, whose names are as follows: Harry, John I., Henry H., Anna C., Samuel A., Walter A. and Bernice. Mrs. Merrick's married life was brief, for she died in Kent Township the 23d of April, 1852. Mr. Merrick has held several important offices of the township, and politically is a Democrat.
While Mr. and Mrs. Merrick were en route from New York State to Stephenson County, and while on board the steamer on Lake Huron, the vessel collided with another, which caused much consternation and terror among the passengers, but further than this no harm resulted. To this day Mr. Merrick vividly recalls the exciting scenes on the vessel at that memorable moment of his life. Mr. Merrick's life has been one of patient, laborious industry in the single vocation to which he has devoted his best years, and his prudent forethought and sagacity have brought him an ample and deserved reward. As one of the sterling and respected citizens of Stephenson County, we are glad to supplement this brief history of his life with an excellent portrait of our subject. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 613]
Henry Metz has been for many years one of the leading men in the meat business in the city of Freeport. After a very successful career he has retired from business to enjoy the accumulations of a busy life. Although he began without capital, his well-known energy has stood him in good stead at all times. He has been successful in whatever he has undertaken. Mr. Metz has evidently been on good terms with himself, and is without dispute one of the big men of Freeport, his weight being about 300 pounds. He is a loyal American citizen, though a native of Germany, where he was born on the 31st of December, 1832. His parents were John and Mary (Reser) Metz, who remained in Germany, where they died.
Henry began life on a farm, and attended school until he was fourteen years of age, after which he was employed upon a railroad for about three years. In his nineteenth year he sailed for America, landing in the city of New York in May, 1852, from where he went to Pennsylvania, locating in Lancaster County, where he worked at the wagon-maker's trade until 1854, then came to Freeport, where he has since resided. After arriving here he worked at wagon-making for some time for Charles Dollemeir, and then for eighteen months engaged in the bakery business with other parties. Leaving this business he again worked at the wagon-maker's trade for some time. In 1858 Mr. Metz opened a meat market on Chicago street, where he remained two years, and then moved to Galena street, into property which he had purchased, where he continued in business and enjoyed a large trade until 1884, when he retired from commercial cares. He still owns the property where he so long flourished and has rented it to other parties. Mr. Metz first began his business career on a very small scale, but was prudent and economical in all his transactions, and now owns five good buildings; two business houses, two dwellings and his own residence, also a good farm comprising 160 acres in Silver Creek Township. This farm is composed of excellent land, and on it is one of the finest houses in the neighborhood and a commodious barn. The farm is drained by 15,000 feet of tile, and lies four and one-half miles southeast of Freeport. Mr. Metz was married, in 1857, to Miss Barbara Kackelhaffer, a native of Alsace, Germany. They had five children, two having died. The living are Charlie, Theresa and Matilda. His first wife died in 1867. He married for his second wife Agatha Kackelhoffer, who is the mother of six children, three boys and three girls. Henry, Clara, Josephine, John and William are living. Mr. Metz has served the people one term as Assistant Supervisor. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Germania Society and takes considerable interest in the affairs of that organization. It can well be said of Henry Metz that he is an excellent citizen on general principals, and has many friends in the city of Freeport who hold him in the highest esteem. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 251]
The life-history of this gentleman, although of necessity briefly detailed here, illustrates a man of more than ordinary ability; one who has made his mark in the world and whose course has been such as to commend him to the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. His career has been a varied and interesting one, and he is still the active and energetic business man who commenced life in earnest by starting out on his own account when a young man, in 1850. He has occupied many responsible positions in life, in all of which he has acquitted himself creditably. In 1868 Mr. Metz established himself at Lena, in the drug business, in which line of merchandise he is now the acknowledged leader in that section. The childhood and early youth of John Metz were spent on the other side of the Atlantic in Hessian Germany, where his birth took place Sept. 27, 1829. His father, Peter Metz, was born in the same locality, where he grew to manhood and married one of his early playmates, Miss Margaret Dapper. When our subject was a youth of fourteen years, in May, 1842, his father, accompanied by his wife and four children, embarked on a sailing-vessel for America. After a tedious voyage of forty-eight days, they landed in New York City, where Peter Metz had his effects transferred to a steamer and proceeded via the Hudson River, the Erie Canal and the Lakes to Milwaukee. They tarried there two weeks and then hired a man with oxen to convey them to Washington County, Wis. The road a part of the way lay through an unbroken forest, and their axes were often utilized in chopping down trees so that the team could affect a passage. They located in that part of Washington County now included in Polk Township, where Peter Metz unloaded his goods under a tree and provided as best he could for the comfort of his family until enabled to put up a cabin. He had no nails, doors or window sashes, his ax being the main tool available for the construction of the dwelling. Peter Metz, however, had not gone into the wilderness with his eyes shut, but had abundant faith that there would be some means at hand to carry out his purpose. Necessity became the mother of invention, and without wasting any time in bewailing the absence of a tool-chest, he proceeded to split open some basswood logs with which he laid a floor and cut down some small oak trees from which to manufacture shingles. In the absence of nails he whittled out wooden pins and the same material was used in forming hinges for the door. After the cabin was roofed over, the family felt very proud and comfortable. The next thing was the furniture. This also was home-made. Rude benches served for chairs, and the bedstead was constructed by means of poles inserted in the wall. The family soon settled down to the routine of daily life, and Peter Metz proceeded to cultivate his claim. The nearest market and depot for supplies was Milwaukee, twenty-two miles distant, and to this point their produce was conveyed by ox-teams, which in returning, brought home the needed provisions for the family. Flour at times was a scarce commodity and corn-meal had to take its place. Wild game, however, was plenty, and the family feasted upon what is now considered in the cities a rare dainty. They occupied the log cabin for three or four years, and then Peter Metz put up a more pretentious structure, namely, a hewed-log house, which was the admiration of the whole neighborhood. This constituted the home of the family for many years, and here the faithful wife and mother passed to her final rest, her death taking place in 1848.
After the death of his wife, Peter Metz remained upon the land which he had transformed into a good farm until declining years unfitted him for active labor, and he reluctantly abandoned the energetic and industrious life which was his second nature. In 1853, he retired from the farm and took up his abode with his son, our subject, in Lena, where his death took place in 1885, after he had rounded up the measure of fourscore years. The children of Peter and Margaret (Dapper) Metz, four in number, were Philip, who still remains in Washington County, Wis.; John of our sketch; Elizabeth, who became the wife of A. Kapfer, and died in Dakota in February, 1887; and Michael, a resident of Northern Wisconsin. John Metz was placed in school at an early age and obtained a good education in his native Province. The system of compulsory education there has no doubt had much to do with the reliable and substantial character of the average German citizen. Young John thus obtained a practical insight into the matters which would be most apt to concern him in after life, and which has been no inconsiderable aid to his later success. He remembers well the incidents connected with the preparation for the ocean voyage and still more distinctly the subsequent life of the family in the wilds of Washington County, Wis. He lived with his parents in Polk Township two years, and at an early stage in life evinced a worthy ambition to do something for himself and to become somebody in the world. With this in view he left home when sixteen years old and going to Milwaukee, secured a situation as clerk in a boot and shoe store, remaining with his employer two years. During this time he had been faithful to his early training, and had saved sufficient means to indulge himself in a vacation. This he employed in visiting an uncle in New York State, where he spent the summer. Then returning to Wisconsin, he was connected with different branches of trade until twenty-two years old, when he established in the boot and shoe business for himself at Mayfield, where he continued until 1869. In the spring of that year his attention was directed to the advantages of business in Northern Illinois, and coming to Lena he associated himself with Dr. Bunson, a practical chemist, and they opened up a drug business, and operated together two years. Mr. Metz then purchased the interest of his partner and has continued alone since that time. As may be supposed, it required the exercise of more than ordinary good judgment to assume such responsibilities after the brief experience of two years in a branch which is supposed to usually require a long and close apprenticeship. The course of our subject, however, has been uniformly onward. By the closest attention to the smallest details he has made of this venture a complete success, and is now recognized as a pharmacist second to none in Stephenson County. In addition to his business interest, Mr. Metz has given much of his time and attention in assisting to build up his community, and no man has taken a livelier interest in its progress and welfare. He has held the office of Trustee, and been the encourager and supporter of every enterprise calculated to advance its social and business status. He has assisted in embellishing the town by the erection of one of its most beautiful residences which now constitutes his home, and is located at the corner of Mason and Rantoul streets. This structure built in 1885, is finely finished and furnished, and all its surroundings indicate the taste and means of its proprietor. While a resident of Wisconsin Mr. Metz represented Polk Township on the County Board of Supervisors three years, and was Superintendent of the Infirmary eight years, which position he resigned upon coming to Lena. When not quite twenty-three years of age Mr. Metz, in March, 1852, was united in marriage with Miss Johanna Hoffman, who was born in the little Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, and was the daughter of Christian and Barbara Hoffman, who emigrated to America when their daughter was a young child. They located in Washington County, Wis., where the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Metz took place. The children of this marriage, five in number, are Lydia; Carrie, the wife of William Koenig, Freeport; Bertha, the wife of John Schleter, of Lena; Robert and Cora. Our subject since becoming a naturalized citizen, has voted with the Democratic party, and both he and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the English Lutheran Church. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 228-232]
The grandfather of our subject was Henry Meyer, Sr., who was most likely the founder of the family in the United States, and in Pennsylvania. He was a millwright by calling, and held positions as a skillful mechanic. He lived, in later life, in Centre County, Pa., where he died, and where he owned a large farm of about 500 acres. Most probably he was a native of Germany, and extremely poor when he commenced in life. With his young bride he started out with all his earthly possessions with him and, after traveling for some time, came to a spring, where he threw down his effects and said he was going to make his home there, which he did for a while, before he went northwest to Centre County. This happened when he lived in the southern part of the State. The family are noted for their large size, our subject possessing the characteristics of his race, being a man of great strength and a fine specimen of physical manhood. Henry Meyer, Sr., was married twice, and it is from the first wife that our subject is descended. Her name is not remembered by Mr. Daniel Meyer. The father of our subject was Henry Meyer, Jr. He may have been born in Southern Pennsylvania, but was reared in Centre County, in that State. He was a large, strong boy and grew into a portly man, strong both in body and in mind. When a young man, he learned the millwright's trade, which he must have followed some thirty years, but the last years of his life were spent in farming. He died in Centre County, Pa., Dec. 12, 1881. The father was born Sept. 2, 1795, and lived to be eighty-six years old. He married a lady of Centre County named Hannah Bierly, who was born and reared there. Her father was Nicholas Bierly, also a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent and parentage. Hannah Meyer is yet living in Centre County, and is eighty-seven years of age. She is quite stout and hearty for one so old. She has been the mother of nine children, four sons and five daughters.
Our subject is the second son and fifth child, and was born Feb. 24, 1831. All the family are living except two daughters. Mr. Meyer, the subject of this sketch, is the only member of the family living in Illinois, the other members residing in Centre and Clinton Counties, Pa. Mr. Meyer lived at home until he was nineteen years old, when he set out to learn the cabinet trade under his uncle, John Meyer, at his residence in Centre County. After he had worked as an apprentice for two years, he started a shop at Rebersburg, in that county. His health failing, he came West to better his physical condition, landing in Freeport in the month of December, 1853. In 1854 he settled in Rock Run Township and followed the career of a farmer, except for six years, which were spent at the carpenter and cabinet-maker's trades. Mr. Daniel Meyer purchased his present farm in this township in 1865. He owns 240 acres of improved land, upon which are neat and substantial buildings. He also owns 160 acres of land in Marion County, Kan., and 240 acres in Clay County, Iowa.
July 2, 1851, Mr. Daniel Meyer was married, in Centre County, Pa., to Miss Matilda R. Smull; she was born and reared in Pennsylvania, her birth occurring Oct. 15, 1828. She is the mother of nine children, four of whom are deceased. The oldest daughter, Sarah, is married to George McGilligan, and lives on a farm in Tama County, Iowa; Thomas, the oldest of the boys living, married Hilda Nelson, and they reside in Rockford, Ill.; he is a mechanic. John is in Dakota Territory; he is single and the owner of 160 acres of land in Clark County, Dak., but at present is engaged in teaching school. Emma is the wife of Edward Lauck; they live in Buckeye Township, in this county, on a farm. Effie S. resides at home. Soon after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Meyer united with the Evangelical Church, and ever since then have lived honest, upright, Christian lives. The Lord has prospered them in their exchequer, and showered spiritual blessings upon them, and their faith leads them to realize that they will surely meet their loved ones on the other shore. At present Mr. Meyer holds fellowship with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but Mrs. M. still remains a member of the Evangelical Church. Mr. Meyer is a Trustee of his church, and politically, is a Republican. [Contributed by Karen Hammer from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888 p. 567]
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