Genealogy and History
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JOHN B. TAYLOR
John B. Taylor, wholesale and retail dealer in leather, shoe findings and saddlery hardware, at Nos. 41 and 43 Stephenson street, Freeport, where he has been established since 1852, by his energy and enterprise has built up a profitable and lucrative trade. His business house is in fact the leading institution of its kind in Stephenson County, and the proprietor is now in the enjoyment of a competency, the result of his own industry and more than ordinary business ability. Mr. Taylor, a native of the Empire State, was born in Madison County, June 18, 1832. He received but a common-school education, and was early thrown upon his own resources. He was brought by his parents to Cook County, Ill., in 1835. Here and in Will Counties he served an apprenticeship at the tanner's trade. In 1852 he came to Freeport. Although he had been industriously employed most of his time he still possessed but little means, but soon secured employment at his trade, making good progress both socially and financially, and at the end of two years became an employee of the firm of F. Baker & Co., which was succeeded by the firm of Taylor & Rubel. The latter firm continued seven years and then Mr. Taylor purchased the interest of his partner and has since conducted the business alone. Mr. Taylor, after a few years in this county, found himself on the high road to prosperity, and in 1865 his business had enlarged to that extent that he erected a tannery and was thus enabled to dress his own material after his own methods, which resulted in a superior article that commanded a large and ready sale. This building was destroyed by fire in 1878, but Mr. Taylor rebuilt in the following year, putting up a substantial brick structure with greatly enlarged facilities for tanning, and the industry has since been one of the important features of Freeport. His store building is stocked with a large and fine assortment of leathers for all purposes, and the transactions of the house extend throughout this State and into Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Mr. Taylor not only conducts his own business to advantage, but gives employment to a large number of men. He is one of the most public-spirited citizens of Freeport, and nothing pleases him better than to note its prosperity and advancement. For this purpose he has ever been willing to contribute his time and means. In 1876, he laid out and equipped at his own expense Taylor's Driving Park, on which he has spared neither time nor money to make it a desirable resort and a means of pleasure to the public. The track, one mile in length by accurate measurement, is one of the finest in the State. A large proportion of the stabling is built of brick, insuring comfort as well as security for the valuable animals which are brought there to be exercised and kept. The Park includes eighty acres of lane, enclosed with an eight-foot fence, and the walks are tastefully laid out and graveled, while walnut, elm, ash and other handsome forest trees afford a pleasant shade during the warm season. The hall is a tasteful structure, handsomely finished and furnished, and capable of giving shelter to a large number of people. It affords a convenient place for various fairs and other institutions, and the Judges' stand adjacent is a substantial and ornamental structure fully in keeping with its surroundings. Opposite this is a large amphitheater with seating capacity for thousands of people. The park is accessible from all parts of the city by the street railroad, in which Mr. Taylor is the largest stockholder. The rolling stock and animals are creditable to the city, the latter being of excellent breed and well cared for. These were of Mr. Taylor's own selection, many of them coming from his own stables. It will thus be seen that the subject of this sketch has aided largely in the building up of the city of Freeport, by whose people he is appreciated accordingly. There are few enterprises tending to the comfort and welfare of the people in which he has not been directly interested. As a natural consequence he has been repeatedly solicited to take charge of responsible offices, but has invariably declined, having no political aspirations. He keeps himself well posted, however, upon current events in both State and National affairs, and votes with the Republican party. If he has been delinquent in any respect it is that he still remains unmarried. [Contributed by Carole Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. 1888]
J. BROWN TAYLOR
J. Brown Taylor, Cashier of the Second National Bank of Freeport, Ill., is a native of Ohio, having been born in Homes County, near Millersburg, on the 9th of May, 1838. His parents were Joseph Taylor and Eleanor Boyd, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, and emigrated to Stephenson County, Ill., in the spring of 1855. They located in Rock Run Township, where they resided until 1863, when they moved to Bond County, Ill., where they still reside. When his parents moved to Stephenson County, the subject of this sketch was but seventeen years of age. His primary education was received in Ashland County, Ohio, and after coming to Stephenson County he attended for a time the district schools, then the Cedarville Academy, where he was a student at the breaking out of the war in 1861. He enlisted in Co. A, of the 11th Illinois Infantry, in which command he served as a private during all the marches, battles and skirmishes up to the siege of Vicksburg. On the day Grant attempted to take that stronghold by storm, his regiment was assigned to an exposed position on the line and in the memorable charge which it participated in, Mr. Taylor was wounded by the well aimed ball of a rifleman. The ball passed in below the shoulder, ranging upward and coming out under the right ear, just missing the vertebra of the neck and jugular vein, lodging under the large cords of the neck. It remained buried there for three days before being removed by the surgeon. He was sent to the hospital at Memphis, Tenn., where he remained four months, and was then sent to Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, where he was kept under treatment two month. He was then discharged on account of wounds received in action and returned to his parents in Bond County. The next spring he resumed his studies at the academy at Cedarville, where he continued for one term. In 1864 Mr. Taylor entered the Second National Bank in the capacity of teller and clerk, in which capacity he continued till 1880, when he was appointed cashier upon the death of the former cashier, Mr. L. W. Guiteau. Since that time he filled his responsible position to the satisfaction of the Directors and stockholders, and by his spirit of accommodation and pleasant manner has popularized himself and the bank with the business community. In 1865, Mr. Taylor was married to Miss Carrie Bamberger, who at that time was a resident of Cedarville. They have three children - Jessie E., William Arthur and Bertha S. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are both members of the Second Presbyterian Church. He is an enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of which he is at present Post Commander. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 248]
SAMUEL F. TAYLOR
Samuel F. Taylor, of the firm of Taylor & Keese, is with his partner successfully conducting a livery, feed and sale stable at Freeport, among the business interests of which he has become no unimportant factor. He is a New Englander by birth, his native place being Effingham, N. H., where he began life on the 5th of June, 1821. The Taylor family is of Scotch descent. The father of our subject, Henry D., and his mother, formerly Miss Abigail Lord, were natives of the Old Granite State. The former served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and after its close received a pension from the Government. He was a farmer by occupation, and after his marriage settled on a farm in New Hampshire. This he left for a time to assume military duties, but subsequently returned, and there with his family spent the remainder of his days. The parental family included seven children, five sons and two daughters, five of whom are still living. Samuel F., our subject, was the next youngest child and spent his boyhood on his father's farm, studying both at the district school and under the instruction of a private tutor. He remained with his parents until his marriage, which occurred when he was twenty-five years old. Soon afterward he became interested in the livery business in Lawrence, Mass., following it successfully for two years. Thence he went to Haverhill, where he engaged in the bakery business, which he also subsequently conducted at Amesburg, until deciding to migrate westward. Mr. Taylor came to Illinois in the spring of 1852, and first established an eating-house at Huntley Station, which was then the western terminus of the Northwestern Railroad. He followed the employees as they completed the road from point to point until reaching Rockford. After he located near Savanna, on the Mississippi, and conducted a hack line from that place to Freeport, being also mail-carrier a portion of the time. He became a resident of Freeport in 1855. He then engaged in the livery business, first in a frame building which was destroyed by fire in 1861. Soon afterward he began the erection of the present commodious brick structure, which covers an area of 60x120 feet, and is two stories in height. His business has steadily increased, and he now keeps from fifteen to twenty-five good horses, with a creditable assortment of hacks and other vehicles. The stalls are large, airy and comfortable, and the animals especially well cared for. Mr. Taylor in 1886 took in his present partner, Mr. W. B. Keese, and their united efforts are making one of the best establishments of the kind in Northern Illinois. Mr. Taylor was married in the twenty-fifth year of his age to Miss Francena Prescott, a native also of New Hampshire, born near the home of her husband. This union resulted in the birth of two daughters: Nellie F., now the wife of L. J. Phelps, of Polo, Ill., and Julia M., who became the wife of S. O. Clayton, and died at Chicago Nov. 25, 1886. Mr. Taylor, with his family, is a regular attendant of the First Presbyterian Church at Freeport, and socially our subject belongs to Excelsior Lodge No. 77, A. F. & A. M. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 546]
DAVID F. THOMPSON
D. F. Thompson, a farmer living on section 25, and also Supervisor of Kent Township, is a man whose biography it is a pleasure to read. He is one of those men who has won success by dint of his own energies. His parents were Frederick and Harriet (Funk) Thompson, who were born in Franklin County, Pa., where they married and settled, and where the father died March 3, 1884. The mother still survives. Frederick Thompson was a farmer by occupation, and had nine children, five boys and four girls. He was of German and Welsh extraction. Our subject was the third child in the order of birth, and was born in Franklin County, Pa., Dec. 23, 1850. His education was received in the common schools, but he also attended Mercersburg College, in Franklin County, for one year. He also took a course in Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He has taught school in his native county two terms, and three terms in Stephenson County. Our subject lived at home until he was twenty years old, when he started out in life for himself. Farming has been his principal occupation in life. He lived in Franklin County, Pa., until the spring of 1871, when he came to Stephenson County, where he located in Kent Township and has since resided. The first two summers after coming to Stephenson County he worked out on the farm, teaching school during the winter season. The following year he rented land in Kent Township (the farm which he now occupies) and continued on it until 1883, when he purchased it, the same being the old homestead of David Erwin. He is now the owner of 140 acres of land, 125 of which is tillable. Mr. Thompson was married in Kent Township, May 17, 1872, to Miss Fiana Erwin, daughter of David and Sarah (Rudy) Erwin, who were natives of Lancaster, Pa. Mrs. Thompson was born in Kent Township, Oct. 12, 1852, and has borne her husband seven children. These are Rollin R., Sarah H., Lottie M., Levi F., Nettie M., Wilson E. and Perry S. Lottie M. died when one year, eleven months and five days old. Mr. Thompson was elected Supervisor of Kent Township in the spring of 1880, and has held the office continuously since that time. He also held the office of Township Clerk three years, and was Township Collector and School Director for several years. He is an attendant upon the German Baptist Church, and in politics, is a member of the Democratic party. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 624 Provided information from Anna Karbassi: David F. Thompson married Fiana, Fianna or Frania or Rianna Erwin]
HIRAM W. THOMPSON
Hiram W. Thompson is a carpenter and contractor, who occupies a neat and comfortable home on seven acres of land on section 24 in Kent Township. He is the son of John and Margaret (Helfrick) Thompson. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of Germany. After they were married they settled in Franklin County, Pa., where they still reside. The father is a farmer by occupation. The family consisted of nine children, seven of whom grew up to be men and women. Hiram was the second child of the family, and was born in Franklin County, Pa., on the 11th of April, 1856. His education was obtained in the common schools, which he attended during the school season until he was seventeen years of age, when he was apprenticed to a carpenter in Stephenson County, Ill. He has been a resident of Kent Township since 1873, and has followed the occupation of carpenter. Much credit is due to Mr. Thompson for the neatness and symmetry of the buildings of that township. The house in which he and his family reside is a model structure. Our subject was married in Stephenson County, Ill., July 27, 1882, to Miss Mary E. Miller, daughter of Peter R. and Elizabeth (Shaffer) Miller, both of whom were Pennsylvanians by birth and emigrated to Jo Daviess County in the spring of 1867, where they lived one year and then moved to Kent Township. They settled in that township and remained there until the death of the father, which occurred Aug. 11, 1881. The mother is still living. They had eleven children, nine boys and two girls. Mrs. Thompson was the youngest of the family and was born in Clinton County, Pa., on the 5th of March, 1863. Mr. Thompson is a Republican, and has been School Director. Both are members of the English Lutheran Church. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 563]
RUTH M. THORP
Mrs. Ruth M. Thorp, daughter of James Taylor, and widow of the late William Thorp, of Lena, was born in Wilkes Barre, Pa., Feb. 3, 1837. His father was of Scotch birth and ancestry, and remained a resident of his native county in Paisley, Scotland, until twenty-one years of age. He then emigrated to America and located in Pennsylvania, remaining there until about 1838, and went to Canada where he remained until 1848, then came to this county, and taking up his abode in Winslow, spent the remainder of his days. He died about 1867. The mother of Mrs. Thorp was formerly Miss Maria Lane, a native of Burlington, Bradford Co., Pa. She died at Wilkes Barre in February, 1837, when her daughter Ruth was but a few days old. The latter was taken into the home of her aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth Ballard, of Burlington, with whom she lived until fifteen years of age. She came to Illinois with her father, and afterward made her home with her brother Alexander till her marriage. She became the wife of William Thorp, Nov. 18, 1857. Mr. Thorp was also a native of the Keystone State, and the son of John Thorp, of Lancashire, England, who emigrated to America and settled first in Pennsylvania, whence he removed later to this county, remaining for a time a resident of Cedarville, but afterward going to Monroe, Wis., where he spent the last years of his life. William Thorp was quite young when he was brought to this county by his parents. He remained with them until his marriage. After this event he located on a farm in Winslow Township and was successfully engaged in the cultivation of the soil until the illness which terminated in his death. He was cut down in his prime at forty-seven years of age. He looked his last upon the faces of his friends Aug. 13, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Thorp were the parents of two children, John B. and Adelbert, both now residents of Lincoln, Neb. They commenced life in a little log cabin sixteen feet square, and at the time of the death of Mr. Thorp he was the possessor of 339 acres of well-improved land, all of which Mrs. Thorp has still in possession. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 236]
BENJAMIN F. TIMMS
Benjamin F. Timms, Sheriff of Stephenson County, has passed his entire life in this section, having been born in what is now the township of Kent, but was then designated as Black Hawk Fort, and where the Black Hawk monument now stands. He first opened his eyes to the light March 26, 1842, and is the son of James Timms, who was born in North Carolina in 1802. The latter when a mere lad moved to Tennessee with his parents, where he developed into manhood. Upon making his way to Northern Illinois he came up the Mississippi to the Rapids, and from that point, in a keelboat, to Galena, arriving in the spring of 1825, he first employed himself at mining, and in 1827 was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Mann, who is now deceased. She was a sister of Harvey Mann, who still survives, and is now a resident of Jo Daviess County, near Galena, Ill. After their marriage Mr. Timms and his wife moved to a point on Apple River, in Jo Daviess County, near the fort which was built during the Black Hawk War, where they remained until the fall of 1835, and then removed fifteen miles west of Freeport, which place was afterward named Timms Grove, where they lived until 1859. In the meantime, however, the wife and mother had passed away, in 1853. The father of our subject afterward became a resident of Lena, where his death took place in 1863. The parental household included five sons and two daughters, six of whom survive, namely James B., Maj. Harvey M.; William 0., now a resident of Nebraska. Benjamin F., our subject, Mary A., the wife of A. U. Jenkins, of Missouri, and Louisa, a resident of Arizona. The subject of our sketch, who was the youngest of the household, passed his boyhood and youth near the fort where he was born, and received a fair education in the common school. Subsequently he left the farm to perfect his studies at Lena, and when starting out for himself he engaged as clerk in his father's store, and in 1864 succeeded to the business. In the meantime, during the progress of the late war he recruited Co. A, 142d IL. Vol. Inf., but was thrown out by the mustering officer on account of physical disability. Later he became sutler of the regiment, and was thus occupied until the close of the war. In 1875 Mr. Timms engaged as traveling salesman for a Chicago grocery house, with which he was connected for a period of eleven years, having his residence meanwhile at Lena, IL. Upon being elected Sheriff he resigned his position, and assumed the duties of this office Dec. 6, 1886. He is discharging the duties of this responsible position in a satisfactory manner, and possesses good executive ability, besides a thorough knowledge, self acquired, of common law. Mr. Timms was first married in February, 1873, to Miss Celia M., daughter of Daniel B. and Desire (Lincoln) Packer. Of this union there was one child, James George, now living; the mother died Jan. 20, 1875. Mr. Timms marriage with Mrs. Emma S. Liddell, nee Sampson, was celebrated at the home of the bride in January, 1878. Mrs. Timms is the daughter of Dr. Arch and Safrona (Gibbs) Sampson, of Grant County, Wis., where her birth took place in 1846. She remained with her parents until her marriage. By her union with Mr. Timms she became the mother of one son, named Arch S.; two girls (twins), one now deceased, one living; the deceased, Eva, was four weeks old. Edith still survives. Mr. Timms socially, is a member of Lena Lodge No. 174, A. F. & A. M., Lena Chapter No. 103, Freeport Commandery No. 7, and Freeport Consistory. The name of Timms is inseparably interwoven with the development of this part of the state and Benjamin F. Timms from his early boyhood to the present has been numbered among the representative and reliable citizens. He is now engaged in the real-estate and insurance business in Freeport, where he has made his home for a long period. The birthplace of Mr. Timms was at Timms Grove, about fifteen miles west of Freeport, and his natal day was March 26, 1842. He is, therefore, one of the oldest native residents of the county and is a representative of an honored pioneer family. In the days when Indians still roamed over the broad prairies of Illinois his father, James Timms, took up his abode in this state. The grandfather, James Timms, Sr., was a native of South Carolina and of English descent. His wife died in early womanhood, leaving but one child, James Timms, the father of our subject. He, too, was born in South Carolina but was reared in Tennessee, where in his youthful days he was bound out to learn the wagon-making trade but did not complete his apprenticeship. He left his uncle William, who was his adopted father, and made his way to New Madrid, Missouri, where he lived for a time and afterward proceeded to different places along the Mississippi river. He made his way from Rock Island to Galena in a keelboat as no steamboats plied the waters of the Mississippi above the rapids in 1825. While living at Galena he was married there in 1829 to Miss Lucy Mann, who had arrived in Galena about two years after he located there. She was born in New York and was a daughter of Frederick Mann, a native of Vermont, whence he removed to the Empire state, where his death occurred. He had served his country as a soldier in the war of 1812. There were only five buildings in Galena when Lucy Mann arrived there in 1827. Her brother Harvey Mann built what he styled a hotel but called in those days a tavern. He had reached Galena in 1824 and became the landlord of the new hostelry, while his sister Lucy took charge of the household arrangements. After his marriage James Timms and his wife lived for a time in what is now Jo Daviess county, Illinois, near Scales Mound, and subsequently made their home near Apple River, now a station on the Illinois Central. While they were living there in 1832 the Black Hawk war broke out and the settlers, few in number, took refuge in what was then called Frank's Fort, situated about a mile and a half from the Timms' home. Mr. Timms was an enlisted soldier of the Black Hawk war and aided in subjugating the Indians, who resented what they felt to be the intrusion of the white men upon their hunting grounds. After the war Mr. Timms removed with his family to Kellogg's Grove, referred to as Timms' Grove, where Dement and Black Hawk had engaged in what was termed a battle. He bought and occupied the buildings now known in history as Dement's Fort and it was there that Benjamin F. Timms was born, as were also Major Harvey Timms, William 0. and Daniel Timms, Harvey M. Timms being the first white male child born in what is now Stephenson county. James Timms, Sr., received a land warrant for one hundred and sixty acres, a part of which be homesteaded and entered. He resided upon that place until 1859, when he sold out and removed to Lena, Illinois, where he made his home until his death, which occurred August 24, 1863, when he was sixty-one years of age. His wife died in September, 1851, when forty-eight years of age. They were Methodists in religious faith, being disciples of Peter Cartright. In Lena Mr. Timms, Sr., engaged in merchandising up to the time of his demise. He also held various local offices at different times but cared little to mix actively in politics. His political allegiance was given to the Whig party until its dissolution, while subsequently he joined the ranks of the republican party. Unto him and his wife were born seven children: James B., who is now living in Kent, Illinois; Mary Ann, the deceased wife of A. U. Jenkins; Mrs. Louisa Small, a widow living in Portland, Oregon; Major Harvey M. Timms, of Portland, Oregon; William 0., deceased; Daniel, who. died in early childhood; and Benjamin F., of this review. Benjamin F. Timms was reared in Stephenson county, which has been his home practically throughout his entire life. He was reared on a farm amid such surroundings as are features of frontier life. His early education was obtained in the old-fashioned subscription schools where each pupil paid his share of the teacher's salary and where the branches of learning taught were very few. Later a public-school system was established and he was thereby enabled to continue his studies. He remained at home until his majority and assisted his father in the management of the store until the father's death, after which he became his successor and carried on the business for a short time. Eight times he attempted to enlist for service in the Civil war but each time was rejected on account of disability; but at length was commissioned sutler of the One Hundred and Forty-second Illinois Infantry. Thus he went to the front and was in Close connection with the army although not a regularly enlisted soldier. After the war he engaged in the stock business for a time and later went upon the road as a traveling salesman for a Chicago wholesale grocery house, which he represented for eleven years. While thus engaged he was nominated for the office of sheriff in 1884 and in August of that year resigned his position with the wholesale house. In the following November he was elected to the office for which he had been made a candidate and served for four years, retiring with the confidence and good will of all law-abiding citizens. He then again went upon the road as a traveling salesman and for nine years represented Burrell Brothers of Freeport in selling vinegar. At the end of that time he turned his attention to the real-estate and insurance business, in which he has since been engaged, and in both departments he is meeting with success. In December, 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Benjamin F. Timms and Miss Celia Packer, a daughter of Daniel B. and Desire (Lincoln) Packer. Mrs. Timms died January 20, 1876, leaving a son, George J., who is now living at Minonk, Illinois. On the 16th of January, 1878, Mr. Timms wedded Mrs. Emma Liddle, the widow of William Liddle and a daughter of Arch and Sophronia (Gibbs) Sampson. There are three children of this marriage: Arch S., who is a railroad man living in Denver, Colorado; Edith V., the wife of Charles Elsworth Horsley; and Eva B., who died when but four and a half months old. Mrs. Timms belongs to the Embury Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Timms holds membership in Lena Lodge, No. 174., A. F. & A. M.; Lena Chapter, No. 94, R. A. M.; Freeport Commandery, No. 7, K. T.; and Freeport Consistory, S.. P. R. S. He has thus attained high rank in Masonry and is a worthy exemplar of the craft. Politically he has always been a stanch republican and has held various town offices, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity. His record is a creditable one, characterized by those qualities which win him classification with leading citizens and reliable business men. Few, if any, have more intimate knowledge concerning the development of the county for events which are to others matters of history are to him matters of personal experience or knowledge. He has seen the county transformed from a frontier district, in which the homes were widely scattered, to a populous and prosperous region, in which none of the evidences of modern civilization are lacking, and at all times he has rejoiced in what has been accomplished. [Transcribed by Christine Walters from History of Stephenson County 1910 S.J. Clark Publishing Co.]
JAMES BRITTON TIMMS
James B. Timms whose fine and well-equipped farm is located on section 36 of Kent Township, comes of pioneer stock, his parents being James and Lucy (Mann) Timms. His father was a native of South Carolina, and his mother of Cayuga County, N. Y., where they were married. In the year 1826 they settled in Galena, Ill., where they lived for a time and then moved into the country. The father was a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He was a farmer by occupation, and with his family moved from Jo Daviess County to Stephenson County in 1835, and settled in Kent Township, where they lived most of the time until the parents' death. The father died in Lena, Aug. 23, 1863, and the mother in Kent Township, Oct. 30, 1853. They had six children, four boys and two girls. James B. Timms, our subject, was the eldest of the children, and was born in Jo Daviess County, Ill., on the 6th of June, 1831. He was reared on a farm, and remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age, when he settled in Kent Township, where he yet resides. His first purchase of land was 120 acres, which he has increased until he now owns 300 acres, the greater portion of which is highly cultivated. All the buildings and appurtenances of the farm are first-class. Situated one-half mile east of the Black Hawk monument on the line of the Minnesota, Northwestern Railroad, one and one half miles east of Kent Station, he has a magnificent view of the railroad for many miles each way. Mr. Timms was married in Freeport, IL., on the 27th of March, 1854, to Christina Gable, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Gable. She was born in Union County, Pa.., March 20, 1836. Her parents reside in Loran township. Mr. and Mrs. Timms have nine children. Adelaide, Lucy J., Harvey N., Olive, George W., Susan, Elizabeth, Albert N. and Maud L. Adelaide is the widow of W. W. Deisher, and resides in Kent township. Lucy is the wife of John Kimman, and resides in Kansas; Olive is the wife of Abraham Keiller, and resides at Kent Station, Stephenson County. Mr. Timms is a member of Freeport Chapter No. 23, R. A. M. He is an enthusiastic Republican. Mr. Timms has the honor of being the originator of the Black Hawk monument, which has been built in Kent Township to commemorate the services, deeds and death of the sixteen men who lost their lives in tins township in the Black Hawk War. This war, waged by Black Hawk, the chief of the Sac nation, against the Indians friendly to the United States and the white settlers, is one of the great epochs in the early history of Illinois, and the defeat of Black Hawk and his followers by the forces of the United States Army, under command of Maj. John Dement, at that place, June 25, 1832, opened to settlement all Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. The men who lost their lives in corn-batting Black Hawk are properly considered heroes, and a monument to their memory is exceedingly appropriate. From 1868 to 1876 Mr. Timms was engaged in the nursery business in Freeport, and was an extensive dealer in nursery stock. Since then his principal business has been farming and stock-raising, handling stock quite extensively. He keeps about seventy-five to 100 head of cattle, 100 to 150 hogs, and ten to fifteen horses all the time. [Portraits and Biographical Stephenson County 1888]
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It seems hardly possible that any man now living could have been a resident of Illinois when the Indians inhabited this great state, using its broad prairies and timbered tracts as a hunting ground, and yet James Britton Timms was born here before the Black Hawk war took place. His birth occurred June 16, 1831, near Anpie River Station in Jo Daviess county. The following year the sound of battle was heard in Illinois as the white man disputed the rights of the savages to dominion over this fair land. His father, James Timms, a native of South Carolina, was reared by an uncle with whom he went to Tennessee, spending his youthful days in the western part of that state. For a number of years he was a pilot on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and in 1829 established his home in Illinois, settling in Galenia, where he engaged in mining for a number of years. He was married in Galena in 1829 to Miss Lucy Mann, a native of Cayuga county, New York, and a daughter of Seth Mann, of the Empire state, who represented one of the old New England families. On seeking a home in the middlewest Seth Mann located in Jo Daviess county. After following mining for a few years James Timms turned his attention. to farming in Jo Daviess county and for many years was closely associated with the agricultural interests of this part of the state but spent his last years in retirement in Lena, where he died in 1863, having for ten years survived his wife, who passed away in 1853. In their family were four sons and two daughters, all of whom reached adult age: James B., of this review; Harvey M., who is living in Portland, Oregon; B. F., a resident of Freeport; Mary A., deceased; Mrs. Louisa Small, of Portland; and William 0., deceased. James B. Timms was reared amid the wild scenes and environments of frontier life. He can remember the time when there was much wild game, it being a very easy matter to secure prairie chicken and quail for the table. For miles around stretched the unbroken prairie or the uncut timber, and where here and there a lonely cabin was to be seen it. was usually built of logs. It indicated, however, that the seeds of civilization were being planted. The educational opportunities of Mr. Timms were necessarily limited, owing to the unsettled condition of the district, but his training at farm labor was not meager and from an early age he worked in the fields. His father, James Timms, Sr., removed to Stephenson county and purchased the land which constituted the old Black Hawk battle ground and reared his family in this county. James B. Timms assisted in improving and cultivating the old home place which is one of the historic places of the state. At length he determined to establish a home of his own and perfected his arrangements by his marriage on. the 16th of March, 1854, in Freeport, to Miss Christina Gable, who was born in Pennsylvania and was reared in Illinois, having been brought to this state in her girlhood days by her father, Jacob Gable, who was one of the early pioneers from Pennsylvania. Following his marriage Mr. Timms purchased land and opened up a new farm. Hardly a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the tract which came into his possession. It comprised eighty acres and was a part of the old Timms place. From time to time he has extended the boundaries of his farm until it now includes two hundred acres. Elsewhere he purchased wild land, which he converted into productive and profitable farms, and for many years he carried on general farming and still gives his supervision to his agricultural interests. He early realized that earnest, unremitting labor is the basis of all success and he worked on diligently year by year to provide for his family and to attain a comfortable competence for old age. On May 13, 1909, Mrs. Timms passed away and the county lost one of its worthy pioneer women-a lady whose many good traits of heart and mind endeared her to all who knew her. In the family were nine children, of whom 2sons and five daughters are yet living: Harvey M., now a business man of La Fayette, Indiana; Albert N., whose home is in Pearl City, Illinois; George M., who died in 1906 when but thirty-five years of age; Mrs. Adelaide Deisher, now Postmistress of Kent, whose husband, William Worth Deisher, was killed by Indians in Kansas in 1874, while her only son, W. W. Deisher met death by drowning when but sixteen years of age; Lucy, the wife of John Kinman, who resides near Beloit, Kansas; Olive, the wife of Abraham Keeler of Kent; Mrs. John Kieckner, whose husband is mentioned elsewhere in this volume; and Dollie, the wife of William Harris, a prominent merchant Shenandoah, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Timms also lost a daughter, Maud L., who died in 1905 when twenty-five years of age. While Mr. Timms formerly gave his political allegiance to the republic party he now votes for the prohibition candidates on the national ticket, while at local elections he casts an independent ballot. He has served as supervisor but has never wanted office, being ever a busy man whose time has been taken up with his farming interests. He has, however, served as a delegate to county and state conventions. Fraternally he is a Mason. He joined the lodge at Freeport, becoming a Master Mason, later was made a charter member of Pearl City Lodge, F. & A. M., and for thirty years has been a member of Freeport Chapter, R. A. M. He is one of the oldest Masons in the county and one of the most exemplary representatives of the craft. He was the principal promoter of the movement which resulted in the building of the Black Hawk war monument near his farm in 1886, commemorating the struggle that took place between the white and the red races. Upon the surface of the monument are engraved words showing the time and place of the battle, and the name of the soldiers who were killed. This was the most decisive engagement of the Black Hawk war. Mr. Timms now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Deisher, in the village of Kent but still gives personal supervision to his farming and business interests. He has lived a very useful and active life and has long been numbered among the prominent citizens and honored pioneers of this part of the state. He retains a vivid recollection of many of the most interesting events of the early days, events which have had much to do with shaping the history of the county and is thus enabled to speak with authority upon matters that are of deep interest to every lover of historical research. [Transcribed by Christine Walters by History of Stephenson County 1910 S.J. Clark Publishing Co.]
Stephen Titus occupies a comfortable homestead on section 21, Waddams Township, and is a gentleman who made the most of his opportunities while young, obtaining a good education and fitting himself by a thorough course of reading to keep pace with the well-informed people of the present day. He is more than ordinarily intelligent and has considerable literary ability, having been a correspondent of several local papers, and well fitted to discuss the various questions which arise, and which are of general interest to the intelligent citizens. He has always been fond of country life, and possesses the energy and industry required to make farming a success. He is also a natural mechanic and a carpenter of no little proficiency, at which trade he employs his time when not otherwise engaged, and has exhibited many evidences of his skill around this pleasant and tasteful home. Mr. Titus' early years were spent in Washington Tp., Dutchess Co., N. Y., on the farm of his father, Jackson Titus, where he was born March 18, 1821. The latter was a native of the same county, and the son of Samuel Titus, an extensive cattle-dealer who purchased in the interior and drove to New York City. The latter spent the last years of his life in Dutchess County, where the father of our subject grew to manhood and was married. Jackson Titus in time became the owner of a large farm in Dutchess County, and also purchased a tract of land in Michigan. He died in the latter State while attending to business matters. The mother of our subject was in her girlhood Miss Hannah Conklin, a native of the same county as her husband and son. Stephen, of our sketch, was fifteen years old when his father died, after which he made his home with an uncle. Subsequently he went into Westchester County, N. Y., whence, after sojourning there two years, he returned to his native county and took up the carpenter trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. He followed his trade afterward, in Westchester County, four years, then returned to Dutchess County and resided there until the spring of 1861. He now determined to seek his fortunes in the Prairie State, and coming to this county, purchased the tract of timber land which he still occupies, and purchased a part of his present farm across the line in Buckeye Township. Our subject, while a resident of Dutchess County, N. Y., was united in marriage with Miss Harriett Burlingame, a native of his own county, and who was born in 1822. Of this union there is one child, a daughter named Henrietta, now the wife of John Kailey, a prosperous farmer of Buckeye Township. Mr. Titus, in 1860, visited Putnam County, Mo., where an uncle of his owned a large tract of land. Mr. Titus had engaged to put up a house and barn, and remained there until after the election, which resulted in seating President Lincoln in the National Executive Chair. This, among other events at the beginning of the war, was the occasion of great excitement in that section of country. Mr. Titus at that time represented the Budget, of Freeport. He is now one of the most valued correspondents of the Freeport Democrat. He takes a warm interest in educational matters, and has served as School Director in Waddams Township for a period of seven years. Before the war he affiliated with the Democratic party, but since 1860 has supported Republican principles. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 304-5]
Many of the most thrifty agriculturists of Illinois were born on the other side of the Atlantic, and to Germany especially is Stephenson County indebted for some of her most enterprising and prosperous citizens. The subject of this sketch, who occupies a good farm on section 35, Jefferson Township, was born in the Fatherland on the 18th of May, 1839, and was eighteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to the United States. Soon after arriving in this country he started for the West and located in Freeport, where for five years he was engaged in various occupations. Upon concluding his residence in Freeport he came to Jefferson Township, where he has since resided and been continuously engaged in farming. He is the owner of 400 acres of land, which is eligibly located and exceedingly productive. As the years have gone by and his harvests have yielded bountifully, he has expended the surplus profits of his farms in the erection of needed and commodious buildings. Mr. Tollmeier was married in Stephenson County to Mary Riley, and four children have been born to them, namely: Mary, the wife of Henry Kartner, of this county; Fred, Rachel, and Maggie, now Mrs. Dr. Aurand, of Loran. Mrs. Tollmeier died in Jefferson Township on the 3d of July, 1870. Mr. Tollmeier was again married, in Stephenson County, to Caroline Garke, and by this marriage there are three children - Eddie, Louia and Lydia. Mr. Tollmeier has served as Highway Commissioner and held other offices in Jefferson Township. He has been a Director of the Loran Home Insurance Company, a local organization, for several years. He and his estimable wife are members of the German Evangelical Church. Mr. Tollmeier takes a lively interest in temperance affairs, and on that question is liberal minded. He is an active Republican, and upon all proper occasions does what he can to further the interests of that party. We cannot conveniently give the picture of all the broad acres belonging to Mr. Tollmeier, and represent the space they occupy, but we present a view of the dwelling and its immediate surrounds, of which the owner has just reason to be proud. [Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill., 1888]
George Trotter is widely and favorably known throughout Buckeye Township as one of its earliest settlers and most highly esteemed citizens. He came to Northern Illinois during the pioneer days, and has watched with deep interest the development of its resources, while at the same time contributing his share toward bringing it to its present condition. He first opened his eyes to the light in Bourbon County, Ky., June 13, 1809, whence he emigrated with his father's family, in 1826, making the journey overland and locating five miles east of Springfield. In 1826, he became a resident of this county, and since that time has been closely identified with its agricultural interests. James Trotter, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia, in 1770, and was descended from excellent Scottish ancestry. His father was born in the Highlands, it is believed, whence he emigrated to this country in the Colonial days. He first located in Virginia, but removed to Kentucky previous to 1800, being among the earliest settlers of Bourbon County. He purchased a tract of timber land which he converted into a good farm, and also put up a small mill, the first of its kind in that section, and which was highly prized by the settlers. He spent his last days in Bourbon County. The father of our subject was reared in Virginia, and after the removal of the family to Kentucky, was married in Bourbon County, to Miss Elizabeth Kenney, and settled on a part of the land which his father before him had purchased. He put up a log house in which the subject of this sketch was born, and remained there until 1826. Then, emigrating to this State, he entered a tract of Government land five miles east of Springfield, from which he built up a good homestead and died there in 1839. George, of our sketch, was seventeen years of age when his parents came to Illinois. Five years later, in company with others, he started on foot for the lead mines of Wisconsin. There he was employed as a clerk three months, and worked in a smelting furnace at $15 per month. Afterward he returned to Sangamon County, Ill., and in 1832, volunteered as a soldier in the Black Hawk War, under the command of Gen. James D. Henry. He was in battle on the banks of the Wisconsin River and also at the mouth of Bad Axe. After the close of this struggle he resumed farming in Sangamon County, until the spring of 1836. In the meantime he had been married, and now, accompanied by his wife and two children, started out again for the State of Wisconsin. His outfit consisted of a pair of horses, a yoke of steers and a wagon. Into the latter where loaded the household goods and provisions, and as there were no hotels along the route, they camped out and cooked by the wayside and slept in the wagon at night. They spent the following summer at Honey Creek, Wis., but Mr. Trotter, not being satisfied with the outlook in that section, determined to try his fortunes on the soil of Northern Illinois, and accordingly located on a tract of land which is now included in his present homestead. The land was not yet subdivided but he put up a log house and made himself and family as comfortable as possible. He had no money to enter the land but held it as a claim for seven years following, and was then enabled to secure a title. The nearest market for farm produce, and depot for supplies, was at Galena, forty miles distant. Deer and wild turkeys were plentiful, however, and when the family wanted fresh meat Mr. Trotter had only to shoulder his gun and go a little way from his cabin door. He once killed two deer at one shot, and himself and neighbors were supplied with venison for some time. The marriage of George Trotter and Miss Sarah Chilton took place at the home of the bride in Sangamon County, Ill., March 24, 1833. Mrs. Trotter was born in Madison County, Ill., Dec. 19, 1816. Her father, William Chilton, a native of Virginia, removed from there to Tennessee and subsequently to the then Territory of Illinois. He served three and one-half years in the War of 1812, and was one of the earliest pioneers of Madison County, this State. Later he crossed the Mississippi into Missouri, where his death took place near Barnard, about 1872. The mother died at Larno, Wis., in 1852. The seven living children of Mr. and Mrs. Trotter are located as follows: Thomas in Kansas; James in Missouri; William at Polo, Ill.; Millard and John on the old homestead; Elizabeth, Mrs. Van Metre, in Oneco Township, and Urania in Polo. Our subject was reared a Presbyterian and Mrs. Trotter is connected with the United Brethren Church. Mr. Trotter cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, but of late years has affiliated with the Republican party. As one of the honored pioneers of Stephenson County, and a man worthy of all respect and deference, Mr. Trotter stands among the most worthy of his compeers, and is looked upon as a gentleman of large experience and one who has made much of his opportunities in life. He is of that kindly and genial disposition which has attached to him many warm friends, and will be remembered years hence as one of the most valued citizens of Stephenson County. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits & Biographical 1888 Stephenson Co IL Pg 340]
Frank Trunck, manufacturer of brick at Freeport, is successfully carrying on the works which were established by his father, George Trunck, in 1852. At the death of the latter, in 1872, the son succeeded to the business, which is the oldest of its kind in Stephenson County. Our subject, a native of Germany, was born April 1, 1843, and seven years later his parents emigrated to the United States. They landed in New York City, and thence proceeded to Chicago, where they only stopped three weeks, however, and then took up their residence in Oregon, Ogle County, where they remained until 1852. George Trunck then came with his family to this county, and at once engaged in the manufacture of brick, upon the spot which is now occupied by the buildings and machinery which contribute each year a large quota to the industrial products of Northern Illinois. He was the pioneer in the business in this section and produced only a good quality of building material, which served to bring him a large patronage at a time when tenement and business houses were in continual demand. The parental family of our subject included ten children, most of whom died in infancy; five boys and one girl still survive. The mother, who in her girlhood was Miss Lucina Breimch, is a resident of Freeport, but is in feeble health, from which she has suffered for years. Our subject, who was next to the eldest child, spent his boyhood days mostly in school, but as soon as old enough his services were utilized in the brickyard continuously until three years before his father's death. He then became a partner in the business. The annual output is now about 2,000,000 brick. The equipments are of the latest improved pattern, including the Martin machine, which molds 20,000 brick in five hours and is operated by horse-power. This does twice the work of an ordinary machine. The kiln is operated three days and three nights in each week, and the color of the brick is uniformly a beautiful cherry red. The works are located in the north western part of the city, near the limits, and give employment to from fifteen to twenty men. Mr. Trunck was united in marriage with Miss Ann Marks, on the 8th of June, 1868. Mrs. T. was born in Jo Daviess County, on the 1st of April, 1850, and is the daughter of John and Catherine (Miller) Marks. Of her marriage with our subject there have been born five children - John, Matilda, Nellie, Rosa and Arthur. Mr. and Mrs. T. occupy a neat residence near the works, which is tastefully finished and furnished, and with its surroundings forms in all respects a model home. A fine lithographic view of Mr. Trunck's residence and brickyards is shown elsewhere. [Contributed by Carol Parrish Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 542]
CANDACE SARAH (EMERY) DANIELS TUNKS
Candis Sarah Tunks was born in Ohio September 28, 1825, deceased March 6, 1922. Early in life she emigrated with her parents to Stevens (Stephenson) County, Illinois. At the age of 23 years (19) she was married to John Daniels, who deceased in 1860 (30 Jan 1858 Rock City Stephenson co IL) To this union were born three sons and three daughters, Albert, Henry and Auserl (Omri); Candis, Fredelia (Fidelia) and Louella Daniels. She was married to William Tunks in 1870 (29 Aug 1867). After the death of her second husband (1888) she moved from Illinois to Merrick County, Neb. In December 1910 she came to Elwood and made her home with her son Henry, until her death. Her three sons are living; only Henry B, being able to be present at the funeral services. She was converted at the age of 14 years and at this time joining the United Brethren church. After coming to Nebraska she united with the M.E. church. After 82 years of faithful Christian life she is now called to her heavenly home. Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, in charge of Rev. Thomas: The Elwood Bulletin Elwood NE __March 1922
Biography of his wife Candis (Emery) Daniels Tunks provided by Mallory Smith
WILLIAM Z. TUNKS
09 MARCH 1817 - 30 JULY 1888
William Z. Tunks, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, and Collection Agent at Davis, is one of the oldest and best known Justices of Stephenson County. His official career has extended over a period of thirty years in this county, of which he became a resident in 1843, and with the exception of four years has held this office continuously since 1852. He made his first purchase of land on section 12, in Rock Run Township, and which consisted mainly of a timber tract, from which he cleared the trees and prepared the soil for cultivation. He also added good improvements, and remained in possession of the home thus established until November, 1877. He then retired from the active labor of the farm, and removing to Davis devoted his entire attention to the duties of the office. In the meantime he has consolidated his property interests, selling his land and investing part of the proceeds in village lots and a comfortable dwelling. He is now quite well advanced in years, and takes life comparatively easy, enjoying the affection of his children and the respect of the community at large. The birth of our subject took place in Clarke County, Ohio, March 9, 1817. His father, Thomas Tunks, was a native of Kentucky, born and reared on a farm. The family is of English ancestry. Thomas Tunks was married in Clarke County, Ohio, to which he had removed in early life. The maiden of his choice, Miss Anna Wallingsford, who was of Irish parentage, was born in Boonesboro, Ky., and reared in Clarke County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. T. began life together on a farm there, and became the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Two of the former and one of the latter are now deceased. The parents continued on the old homestead in Ohio, enjoying the good-will and confidence of all who knew them until called to the rewards of worthy and well-spent lives. The father died when eighty-two years of age, in 1859, the mother having preceded her husband to the better land some years before, about 1844. She was a devoted Christian woman, and a member in good standing of the Baptist Church.
Our subject was the fifth child of the parental household, of which he remained a member until his marriage. The lady who became his wife on the 5th of October, 1843, was Miss Paulina Winchester, who was born in Union County, Ohio, in 1822, and died at her home in Rock Run Township, this county, in 1849, leaving two children. These were Anna J., at home, and Albert, who is now in Nebraska. Mr. Tunks was the second time married, in Winnebago County, to Miss Armadilla McIntire, who was born and reared in Union County, Ohio, and came West after the death of her parents, locating in Winnebago County, which remained her home until her marriage. She became the mother of three children; and departed this life at her home in the south part of this township in 1864. Two of her children have since died. The surviving child is a daughter, Rose, now the wife of William M. Dustin, of Valley County, Neb. The present wife of our subject, formerly Mrs. Candace S. (Emery) Daniels, is a native of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, whence her parents removed while she was young to this State. She was at the time of her marriage with our subject, a resident of Rock Run Township. Of her first marriage there were born six children, of whom but three are living, namely, Albert, Henry B. and Omri. The children deceased were daughters - Candance, Fidelia and Luella.
Mr. Tunks represented Rock Run Township on the County Board of Supervisors seven terms, and was Township Treasurer for a period of twenty-four years. He is a solid Republican, politically. In all respects he is considered a reliable and responsible citizen, respected for his integrity, and occupies a good position socially and financially. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 295; Photo contributed by Mallory Smith]
COL. THOMAS J. TURNER
Lawyer, journalist, first Mayor of the city of Freeport, and Congressman, was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, April 5, 1815. His parents removed to Butler County, Pa., when he was about ten years of age, where he was employed in working on a farm. At the age of eighteen he left his home and traveled westward, halting at Chicago, then a small and secluded village, from which he moved to La Porte County, Ind., in which place he resided during the ensuing three years. Later he moved to the mining districts of Galena and Southwestern Wisconsin, with headquarters at Dubuque, occupying himself in constructing bellows and other machinery for the furnaces. In the spring of 1836 he located himself in Stephenson County, and being a wheelwright, engaged in building mills.
In May, 1837, in pursuance of an act of the General Assembly, an election was held at the house of William Baker at Freeport, for the civil organization of Stephenson County, and on this occasion Mr. Turner was selected as one of the Judges of Election, the first office ever held by him. On the following December 6, he entered into a contract with the County Commissioners to build a county court-house and also a log jail. This contract he faithfully fulfilled before the fall of 1838, and erected the frame court-house, which was subsequently in existence until April, 1870. In the spring of 1840 he was admitted to the bar, rapidly secured an extensive and lucrative clientage, and early in 1841 was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace and Probate Justice. He was also appointed by Gov. Ford, State's Attorney, and by his energy and assiduous application to the duties attendant on that office, was eminently successful as a prosecutor of dangerous offenders. During his term of office the gang of assassins and robbers who infested the Rock River country, was routed and destroyed, and the murderers of Col. Davenport were tried and executed. In 1846 he was elected to Congress on the Democratic ticket from the Congressional District composed of Stephenson and other counties, and known as the Jo Daviess District. In December, 1847, and while a member of Congress, he established the Prairie Democrat with S. D. Carpenter as publisher, the first and only newspaper in the county. In July, 1853, the name of that journal was changed to the Freeport Bulletin, and under this it has been published ever since.
At the expiration of his first term in Congress, Mr. Turner returned to private life, and again resumed the practice of law. In 1850, on the initiatory organization of the village of Freeport, he was selected to fill one of the five trusteeships of the village, and at the first meeting of the Trustees, held in the court-house, Sept. 21, 1850, they completed their organization by electing him to the Presidency of the board. In 1854 he was elected to the State Legislature, and chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives. The General Assembly at its session in 1854-55, chiefly through his influence, passed an act for the incorporation of the city of Freeport. The first municipal election for city officers was held April 2, 1855, and its result was his election to the Mayoralty, a position for which he was admirably qualified, and whose numerous functions he performed with unswerving rectitude and notable ability. He was a member of the Peace Conference held in Washington in 1861, and there conducted himself with moderation and inflexible loyalty amid many tumultuous scenes. Upon his return from the capitol, he was commissioned Colonel, and organized the 15th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, rendezvousing in the fair grounds of Stephenson County May 24, 1861. The regiment was mustered into service, being the first three years' regiment mustered into the war for the support of the Union cause. He was ordered to the South with his command, but not being sufficiently robust for active service, and being unable also to endure the fatigue of forced marches and exposed camp life, he was ultimately assigned in command of a camp of instruction at Alton, Ill. Later he was assigned to the command of the 1st Division of the Army of the West, and remained in active service until the fall of 1862, when he was compelled to resign on account of the serious enfeeblement of his health. He then removed temporarily to Philadelphia, Pa., in order to secure the care and treatment of the eminent Dr. Pancoast, for cancer of the chest. A permanent cure was then regarded as extremely doubtful, but through a delicate surgical operation, his health was apparently restored, although it is believed that he never fully recovered from the shock sustained by his system in general. After his return to Illinois, Col. Turner again resumed in 1863, the practice of his profession and in November, 1869, was elected a member from his district to the Constitutional Convention to revise the Constitution of the State of Illinois. Many of the most important provisions of that instrument were drafted by him, and are the direct result of his arduous labors. He was recognized as the leader of that body, and his counsel shaped many of the articles which have made the new Constitution of Illinois an admired model for other States. He was also indefatigable in securing the adoption of the Constitution by the people. In 1871 he was again elected to the House of Representatives at Springfield, and was the Democratic candidate for United States Senator against Logan.
In July, 1871, Col. Turner opened an office in Chicago for the practice of law. During the Presidential campaign of 1872 he was the candidate in Chicago on the liberal ticket for State's Attorney against Mr. Reed, but failed to secure an election. Feb. 22, 1873, the new court-house of Freeport was dedicated, and he was elected by the Building Committee to officiate, and delivered the dedicatory address. In that address he reviewed the history of Stephenson County. Being prominent in the organization of the county, and identified with nearly every change and act of its early history, his address furnished many reminiscences and incidents of this city and county of which to-day there is no further record. It was the crowning act of his life in the very city where he commenced his public career a quarter of a century before. At the city election in Chicago in the fall of 1873, he was induced to accept the nomination of the law-and-order party for the office of City Attorney, and with the balance of the ticket was defeated.
February 1, 1874, being greatly afflicted with neuralgia of the shoulder, Mr. Turner went to Hot Springs, Ark., failing however to secure the object for which he had gone. The disease leaving his shoulders, settled in his hips, and from that time until death supervened, his sufferings were unremitted and extreme. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and for many years prominent in Masonic circles, having held during two years the office of Grand Master of the State of Illinois. He died at Hot Springs, Ark., Friday, April 3, 1874, aged fifty-eight years, eleven months and twenty-eight days. Upon receipt of the news of his death, by Gov. Beveridge, of Illinois, he detailed Adjt. Gen. Higgins to receive the remains, and escort them from St. Louis to Chicago. Subsequently the remains lay in state in the Circuit Court-room, whence they were escorted by a large concourse of people to the First Presbyterian Church of Freeport, where the last sad rites were performed by Rev. Isaac E. Carey. The after tributes of respect and sorrow were many in number, and forwarded from innumerable localities throughout a wide area of country. At various general meetings of Masons, special committees were appointed to draft resolutions of respect for the memory of their deceased brother, and the members of the Stephenson County bar assembled at the office of James S. Cochran, State's Attorney, also passed resolutions of a most complimentary nature, reflecting additional lustre on the merits and achievements of the deceased. [Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (1888), p. 733]
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