SOME ELDER SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF VERMILION COUNTY.
Some Elder Sons and Daughters of Vermilion County
From "History of Vermilion County, Illinois"
By Lottie E. Jones
Transcribed For Genealogy Trails by Barbara Ziegenmeyer
James O'Neal and Mrs. Elizabeth (McDonald) Harmon have both been credited with the distinction of being the first white child born in Vermilion County, in the same historical volume, but as the date of each birth is easily found, there need be no disagreement in regard to the matter.
James O'Neal was born April 20, 1822. It was the year before this that the parents of this child came to Vermilion County, and the father took up a farm on what later was known as the Caraway farm near Brooks Point. He lived on this farm for three years and then moved to the eighty acres of land he had entered on the Big- Vermilion. It was during the time the family lived near Brooks Point that James was born — the first white child to see the light of day in Vermilion County. Mr. O'Neal had a tan yard and made shoes for himself and family and leather for the moccasins the Indians wanted. James O'Neal grew up in the midst of wild life; his companions were the Indians and his associates the other boys of pioneer families who occasionally came into his life. He was skilled in all the arts of hunting and trapping, and he well knew the habits of the wild animals which were so plentiful in the timber about him. As soon as he was old enough, he went to work for himself finding employment in the mill on the Vermilion river afterward called the old Kyger mill. Mr. O'Neal married Miss Vesta Pratt, herself a daughter of Vermilion County, seven years younger than he. Mr. O'Neal lived all his life in Vermilion County.
Elizabeth Catherine (McDonald) Harmon was the third of the eleven children of Alexander and Catherine King (Alexander) McDonald. She was born August 16, 1823, on her fathers' farm home in Carroll township, near Georgetown, and claimed to be the first white child born in Vermilion County. She received a common school education in the nearby country schoolhouse. She was married in 1844 to Hardy Wallace Hill M. D., a rising young physician, and went with him to his new home in Cincinnati, where they lived for five years. In 1849 a scourge of cholera visited this city and Dr. Hill, through his professional duties, fell a victim. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Hill came back to her father's Illinois home, bringing her little daughter, Eleanor, with her. Six months later her other daughter, Lillian, was born. A few years afterward she took her two children to her uncle Cunningham's home in Danville, where she lived until the time of her marriage to Mr. O. F. Harmon, on February 22, 1854. Mrs. Harmon was again widowed after ten years by the death of her husband, then Colonel Harmon. They were the parents of three daughters and one son, who died soon after his father. Lucy, the oldest daughter, became the wife of Rev. McPherson, Fannie, the next daughter, became the wife of Frank Brooks, and after his death of
Corinne, the youngest child, died unmarried in 1901. Mrs. Harmon made her home in Danville after the death of Colonel Harmon until 1881, when she removed to Chicago. From that time on she divided her time among her three daughters, one of the Pacific coast, another in the middle west, and the third near the Atlantic seaboard. Her oldest daughter, Eleanor, became the wife of Mr. Short, and the second daughter died in 1871, shortly before her promised marriage with Mr. Nelson Kimball of Danville. Mrs. Harmon was somewhat of an invalid the most of her life up to middle life, but in later years she enjoyed good health and lived to the ripe age of eighty-two and a half years, and "fell asleep" in her daughter's New Jersey home on February 9, 1906.
Mrs. Mary (Cox) Patterson was born in Carroll township June 13, 1823, the daughter of Simeon and Nancy (Mundle) Cox. Her father was a native of Virginia and married a girl of Pennsylvania. They came to Vermilion County in 1823, settling in Carroll township. He secured a farm which he developed, and built a mill, but had little success at running it. His daughter Mary, the second child, so far as known, to be born in Vermilion County, grew to womanhood under the conditions of pioneer life. She was of good disposition, and patiently endured all hardships. When she was eighteen years old she became the wife of Elijah Patterson, whose home had always been in Ohio. Although he had apparently settled in Vermilion County and was a citizen of Illinois, after his marriage, he moved back to Ohio. But he returned to Illinois after twelve or thirteen years, and lived in Carroll township until his death in 1875. Mrs. Patterson was the mother of ten children. She spent her last days in plenty and comfort at the same place where she first saw the light of day. She had a long life of usefulness and made many devoted friends whose pleasure it was to care for her in her latter years.
John P. Swank was born in Indianola, December 18, 1824. Mr. Swank's parents came to Vermilion County at a very early date, being among the earliest pioneers. They were Ohio people and they came to Carroll township. Mr. Swank had three brothers and four sisters, and a family of that size had much to make life happy, even if the luxuries of older communities were missing. Mr. Swank was born on a farm and spent his life as a farmer. He married Miss Phoebe Dickson of Indianola. She was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Doyle) Dickson, and was born in Vermilion County in 1829. They were the parents of five children. Mr. Swank died in 1894, leaving many friends to mourn his loss. He was buried at Woodlawn cemetery, Indianola.
Perry O'Neal was born January 16, 1825, on the homestead in section 27. Georgetown township. He was the brother of James O'Neal, who claims to be the first white child born in Vermilion County. Mr. O'Neal lived all his life in Vermilion County, and was a citizen such as makes the best of any section.
James Stevens was born on his father's farm on section 9, near Brooks Point, in Georgetown township, Vermilion County, January 5, 1826, and there spent the first years of his life. He went to the subscription schools which were "kept" in the log house with a puncheon floor, seats and desks of slabs, greased paper for window glass, and whatever else was considered necessary to a pioneer schoolhouse. When he was a boy, the nearest mill was at Terre Haute, Indiana. He had to take his turn going with the bag of grain. There were but two wagons in the neighborhood of a radius of ten miles, and each farmer would send a bag of grain and two men would go along to attend to the grist. Later a mill was established within a half mile of the Stevens home and was considered a great convenience. Mr. Stevens married Miss Elizabeth Roundtree in 1857. She lived in Indiana near Crawfordsville, and he made her acquaintance while teaching school. He had great success as a school teacher, and he was later offered a professorship in a college in Missouri, but because of the approaching war, declined it that he might go in the service. Upon the call for 75,000 men, he raised a company in and about Catlin. but when he reported, it was to learn that the quota was full and this company could not be accepted. Mr. Stevens always took a great interest in all educational matters and was well posted in public affairs.
Dorman B. Douglass was born in Danville township, October II, 1827. His mother and father were one of the two couples who were married first in Vermilion County. Annis Butler, the daughter of James Butler and Marcus Snow, were married first by Squire Treat at Denmark (he was justice of the peace while the territory was yet attached to Edgar County) and Cyrus Douglass and Ruby Bloss were married immediately afterward. Dorman Douglass was the second in order of birth of the children of Cyrus and Ruby (Bloss) Douglass. They lived about three miles south of Danville, where he lived until in 1865 he moved to Fairmount. where his wife died in 1866. Mr. Douglass lives at a little distance north of Danville and himself is an open book of history of Vermilion County. He remembers the stretches of forest and unbroken prairie, the log cabin homes, and the little huddles of houses which stood on the sites of the flourishing towns and cities. He remembers as well the flourishing towns which were promising seventy years ago, and now are hardly visible. He can remember Danville when it contained but three stores, and Denmark when it was a very promising town. He went to school in a room which was heated by a great fireplace extending across one end of the house. Like the other boys, he sat on slab benches and conned his lessons in an audible tone. As soon as he was able to handle a plow he went to work in the field and thereafter was always busy. The first plow he used was a wooden mould board, and he drove a single line harness, and he did his harvesting with a reap hook. After turning the furrow, the girls of the family dropped the corn by hand. In 1851 Mr. Douglass went to the gold fields of the west, living away for three years. Coming back, he went to New York by boat and crossed the land to Vermilion County.
In 1864 Mr. Douglass made that long trip crossing the continent going over the plains of Idaho and Montana, remaining about two and a half years. Mr. Douglass remembers well the first matches he ever saw. He remembers how the women did all the carding and weaving and spinning of the cloth, as well as sewing of the garments. He has seen the whole family go two or more miles to church, walking all the way, the girls carrying their shoes to the church door to put them on and remove them when they started for home. Mr. Douglass married Miss Anna Downing. Her parents came from Virginia and Kentucky, stopping a time in Indiana. She was born in Kentucky. Mr. Douglass was the father of five children, and twelve grandchildren and more. Mr. Douglass has lived through a wonderful period and his experiences have been many, and the tales he is able to tell are of intense interest. He has made trips down the Mississippi river when the sale of human beings on the public streets was a common occurrence. Twice he has crossed the plains behind ox teams, and now he sees steam and even electricity crowd the oxen out. He has a valuable property and is a man whose every want is supplied. In appearance he impresses one with his varied experience by a manner of having lived a life worth the while. He is a man of exceptional pleasing address and is a gentleman of the old school.
Mrs. Rhoda (Mills) Hester was born near Vermilion Grove, December 7, 1827. She was the daughter of Ira Mills, one of the pioneers of the county. Ira Mills came to Vermilion County in 1822 and located two miles west of Vermilion Grove on what was later known as the great Mills farm, and which has remained in the possession of the family ever since. Rhoda Mills was very industrious, as became a daughter of a well ordered family, and during her days of young womanhood made use of the education she had received in the Georgetown school ; she herself became a school teacher and helped her family. Her parents were of the community of Friends, and in 1853 she became the wife of John Hester, a young man of the same faith. He was a farmer and accumulated a good property. Mrs. Hester was the mother of six children. Mrs. Hester was widowed in 1899 by the death of her husband and she moved from the farm to Ridge Farm. Her later life was a reward for the early days of patient forbearance and industry; for careful consideration of others pleasure, and straightforwardness of purpose.
Abner Snow was born at Butlers Point, Vermilion County, October 28, 1828, and he lived there all his life. His father, Marcus Snow, and his mother, Annis Butler, were one of two couples who were married in Vermilion County, the first wedding had in the county. Annis Butler was the daughter of James Butler, the man who made the first settlement in Vermilion County after the salt works. When James Butler went back to Ohio for his family, he found that his neighbors would not share the wilds of the new country with him, but he was not obliged to come on entirely alone, for young Snow wanted to come and he drove one of the teams. Nothing was more natural than that he should become a suitor for Mr. Butler's daughter Annis (perhaps he had already selected her before he left Ohio) and that they should be married and begin their new life near the home of her father. When Marcus Snow and Annis Butler were married they settled at where Westville now stands, but lived there only a few years, going thence to Catlin township, locating on land which was situated on the state road. Here Marcus Snow and his wife prospered and spent their married life; here the boy Abner grew into youth with its dreams and manhood with its cares. Here the elder Snow died and after a time, the wife of Cyrus Douglass having died. Mrs. Snow became the wife of Mr. Douglass. Abner Snow lived his life in Vermilion County, a prosperous farmer and a contented citizen. He married Miss Ashman and became the father of five children, to all of whom he was able to give a start in life.
Samuel P. LeNeve is the oldest son of John and Rebecca (Newell) LeNeve, and together with his brothers and sisters, form worthy sons and daughters of Vermilion County. Samuel Perry LeNeve was born in 1828 and spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Newell township on the home place. He spent his winters in school, as good as could be found in the schoolhouses of that period. The extravagance of the present school buildings and furnishings seems unreasonable when a comparison is made between them and those of even this period when it was thought a schoolhouse of any kind was good enough. The schoolhouse in Newell township where Samuel LeNeve and his brothers and sisters for some years went, had benches made by sawing off the logs and driving pins in for legs. He later went to Georgetown, where he attended the school there which was in truth an excellent one. In 1852 he went to California by way of New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Isthmus of Panama, crossing that neck of land by way of the Chagres river. When he reached the other side he found 7,000 passengers awaiting transportation to California. After a delay of nineteen days he secured passage on a boat going to California, and was out fifty-three days, during which time he suffered for the scarcity of food. He stopped at the republic of Mexico, and remained there for twenty-two days, later buying a ticket on the Golden Gate steamship line, and went through to San Francisco. He soon secured work in Marysville, California, in the mines there. He received eighty, and later one hundred and ten dollars per month. He reached the limit of wages when he had one hundred and twenty dollars per month for work in Marysville. He later took up teaming, which business he followed for fourteen years. He then went to Nevada City and became identified with the grain and stock business, after which he made his home in Virginia City for two years. He then returned to his native place in Vermilion County, coming by way of New York City. Mr. LeNeve then engaged in farming on section 23, carrying on stock raising, particularly breeding the short horn cattle. He later moved to the farm three miles north of Danville. Mr. LeNeve was a public-spirited man and has been a strong factor in the development of Vermilion County. Mr. LeNeve was married in 1869 and settled in Pilot township, where he accumulated much property.
The Gundy family is one which has been prominent in the affairs of Vermilion County since when, in 1822, Joseph and Sally Gundy, his wife, came to Ross township and settled. He came from Indiana, being a native of Pennsylvania or Ohio. Mr. Joseph Gundy was a useful and enterprising man and a pioneer such as make for the advancement of any section in which he may choose a home. He died in 1846 and was buried in the Gundy burying ground near Myersville. Andrew Gundy was born on the Gundy place near Myersville, November 20, 1828, the son of Joseph and Sally (Davidson) Gundy. The first school Andy Gundy attended was one taught by George Stipp in a vacant house on the Luke Wiles place, just west of the North Fork at Myersville. He continued his studies in the schools of that section, going to Georgetown for his higher branches. He was busy on the farm during his youth, but when he was twenty-three years old he went into business for himself as a merchant in Myersville. He at the same time carried on an extensive trade in wool, grain and stock. He was a man of affairs and held many offices of trust and responsibility. He had a large private interest in coal lands, and when he was sent to the state legislature, was chosen as a member of the committee on mines and mining. He also served on two other committees, one of which was the finance committee. This was in the twenty- ninth general assembly. He was repeatedly elected as supervisor from Newell township, and he accumulated much property and his influence was extensive. He was identified with many important ventures of the county, one of which was the banking and other interests of John C. Short, in which he lost a large amount of property. Mr. Gundy was never married.
John P. Donovan, a son of one of Vermilion County's pioneers, was born August 27, 1829, on Stone Creek, about two miles north of Danville. Although starting life with so little promise, he had an experience of adventure equaled by few men. When he was sixteen years old he left home and was employed on a farm until 1861, when he was seized with the California gold fever and started on foot and alone to Fairmount, where he took the train for St. Louis, thence by the way of the Missouri river to Omaha. At this point a company of eighteen equipped themselves with wagons and mules to start on a land exploring trip. After traveling over southeastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas, they finally set out across the plains from Ft. Leaven- worth. They were forty-one days on the road. Thence they went to Golden City, where young Donovan worked by the day for two weeks, then started over the range, wading in snow in June, until he came to Blue river. There he found much excitement about California, and he went on there. He took a claim and went to mining about July 1st in the snow, and after working two months, sold out, having made $1,600 as his share of the profits. He then went on to San Juan Mountains. At Taos the company, of which he was one, stopped to lay in a store of provisions and here fell in with Kit Carson who was organizing a company to go to the southwestern part of Arizona.
Donovan was eager for this adventure, and they were soon on their way on this long and perilous trip. They traveled through the Navajo country where no white man had ever before ventured and met many thrilling adventures. Kit Carson impressed young Donovan very favorably and was always said to be a man of rare charm. He was kind-hearted and well-disposed toward every one, and while rough at times in manner and speech, he was in every way a true gentleman at heart. The company of which Mr. Donovan was one explored the country along the Colorado and Gila rivers in southern California and divided at Ft. Garland, returning to Colorado by diverse routes. At Buckskin Joe they put their money into the Phillips lead mine and had poor returns. After this Mr. Donovan went to Denver and Central City, where he worked by the day, having as wage $8 per day. Here he stayed nine months and invested a portion of his money in No. 3 Nottaway lead, which he and his partner worked for six months and he made $25,000. Being satisfied with his profits, Mr. Donovan returned to Vermilion County and bought a farm in Carroll township, there to spend the remainder of his days. John Folger was born in Elwood township, section 25, Harrison Purchase, on September 17, 1829. His father, Latham Folger, had a tanyard, and the son spent his early years in work about it. Later he helped on the farm, and when he came to choose his life work, it was that of a farmer. He went to school more than did most boys at that time, first to the Vermilion Grove Academy and afterward to Bloomingdale, Ind. Mr. Folger was, as may be inferred from this choice of schools, the son of parents who belonged to the Society of Friends. He taught school for three winters and then settled on a farm. He married Miss Reynolds, whose birthplace was in Indiana. They were the parents of nine children. Mr. Folger was both a farmer and a minister in the Society of Friends. As a farmer he paid much attention to stock raising, choosing pedigreed short horns and Durhams in cattle, Poland-China and Berkshires in swine, and in horses he had Clydesdale, Norman and Whip breeds. Mr. Folger was called away from home often and he traveled extensively in the interest of his church work. He went as far as the meetings in Philadelphia and other eastern cities, and into Iowa and Indiana.
Minerva Martin was born in Newell township on August 16, 1829. She was the youngest of a family of eleven children, all of whom reached the years of maturity. She became the wife of Edward Rouse in 1846 and lived on the same place all her life. Mrs. Rouse was the mother of twelve children. Mr. and Mrs. Rouse celebrated their golden wedding October 4, 1896.
Silas Dickson was born in Carroll township May 25, 1830. He was the son of David Dickson, one of the pioneers of Vermilion County, and he has been a worthy successor of that worthy man. His life was spent in farming and stock raising, having more than once driven stock to New York City to market. That was before it was thought possible to ship them by train, Mr. Dickson lived at home until he was thirty-four years old. He always held an enviable place in the community. Henry Mills was born on what was known as the Thomas Brown farm near Vermilion Grove March 23, 1830. He was a son of Seth Mills, who with his parents came to Wayne County, Indiana, in 1815, and were pioneers of that section, he becoming in his turn a pioneer of Vermilion County, Illinois. He came to his farm near Vermilion Grove in 1828, and it has been in the family ever since. Henry Mills did not have his early education neglected, but as was the fact with the children of all those belonging to the Society of Friends, he was sent to school to the extent at least of a common school training. He followed the faith of his father, reaching the distinction of becoming an elder in the church at Elwood, and occupied the important position of "Head of the Church" at that place. In 1852 he married Mary Folger, herself a daughter of Vermilion County, she being born in Elwood township. They are the parents of eight children, all but two of whom settled not far from them. These two sons married sisters, and they all went to Oregon.
William White was born in Blount township of Vermilion County March 20, 1830. He was the son of James White, a pioneer of this section. James White was the father of fourteen children, ten of whom reached adult years and had families of their own. William had four brothers and a sister beside himself born in Blount township, and all but one brother settled in that neighborhood. The childhood and youth of William White and his brothers was spent in helping on the farm. A subscription school for three months during the winter was the only chance by which he could learn to read, write and cipher. More time was devoted to following the plow than to reading. From the time he was ten years old he followed the plow, driving oxen. At first it was a wooden mold plow, and afterward a single shovel plow, while the harness had a single line. He planted corn by hand, cradled the grain and bound the wheat by hand. He helped his mother "dip the candles" until they had moulds, and at times he saw a turnip hollowed out and filled with grease, into which there was a rag put and lighted for the purpose of giving- desired light. People at this time rode to church on horseback, as many as three people sitting on one sheepskin. William White owned the last yoke of oxen in his neighborhood. It was a splendid team, weighing 4,700 pounds, but the work done on the farm did not require their strength and at last he sold the team. William White married Elizabeth Wiles, who was a daughter of Vermilion County, being born in Blount township March 20, 1840. She was the daughter of l.angford and Mary (Cassat) Wiles. After they were married they settled on the eight-mile prairie, where there was not a house in sight. They lived in true pioneer style, but later all the conveniences of modern life were added to their home.
E. H. Palmer was a prominent son of Vermilion County all his life. He was born in the home at the corner of Walnut and Main streets in Danville, Illinois, August 10, 1830. He was a son of Dr. Asa R. Palmer, a native of Connecticut Dr. Palmer came to Danville when it was in its infancy and became a strong factor in moulding its future. He had an extensive practice throughout Vermilion County and is well counted one of its makers. Eben H. Palmer went to such schools as were to be had in Danville until he was fitted to enter Wabash College, at Crawfordsville, Indiana. When he was fifteen years old he went into the store of J. M. Culbertson, where he remained for a time, and then entered Wabash College, where he went for four years until he completed the course. Upon his return from college he clerked for a time and then entered into the partnership, being one of the firm of Humphry, Palmer & Co., general merchants and druggists. This was about 1885, and from that time to his death he was recognized as one of the most active and successful and prominent business men of the county. When his uncle died in the office of county superintendent of schools, Mr. Palmer was elected to fill out his unexpired term. At the close of this term he was needed to help organize the First National Bank and he became associated in this business with J. G. English and J. L. Tincher, and remained in this connection for thirty years. Mr. Palmer was cashier of the bank from the first, and it was his popularity as well as shrewd business insight that made the bank its success as much as anything. Mr. Palmer was interested in many enterprises, and accumulated much property. He was a valued member of the firm of Peyton- Palmer-English Co., which afterward became and yet is Peyton-Palmer Co., wholesale grocers, one of the firms to which Danville owes much. Mr. Palmer married Miss Frances B. Nelson of Urbana, in 1854. They became the parents of three daughters and one son. The youngest daughter became the wife of Loren Shutts, the son of John Shutts, the Wabash Railroad agent at Danville for so long a time. Mr. Palmer's son, Frank N. Palmer, is a minister in the Presbyterian church, who has risen in his profession to a high position. He is credited with being a recognized authority in the church on Bible study, as well as of ability in sermonizing. Mr. Palmer and family have always been prominent in the Presbyterian church. His father. Dr. Palmer, was one of the original members of the Presbyterian church of Danville, and Mr. Palmer took his place when he died. So closely was he identified with that church" that there has always seemed to be an unfillable vacancy in the membership since his death. Mr. Palmer died in 1831.
Sally (Johns) Copeland was the oldest child of John and Mary Johns. She was born in Blount township, Vermilion County, September 4, 1831. When Johns and his wife came to Vermilion County they settled on the farm adjoining that of Samuel Copeland, and the children of the two families grew up together. When the oldest daughter, Sally Johns, was seventeen years old, Samuel Copeland went courting and she became his bride. She had been his sweetheart from infancy. They made their home in Blount township and in Danville. She died suddenly in Danville. Perry Copeland and his wife. Sally (Johns) Copeland, were the parents of two children, daughters, who married. The oldest, Helen, became the wife of A. D. Shepherd, and the younger, Lida. became the wife of Harry Fowler of this county.
George W. Hoskins was born three and one-half miles southwest of Georgetown, near the Little Vermilion river, February 20, 1830. His father, Azariah Hoskins, came to Vermilion County in 1825, by flatboat from their home in Virginia, down the Ohio river to Cairo, in Illinois, where they took wagons and came to Vermilion County. It took several weeks for them to make this trip. Mr. Hoskins, the father of George W. Hoskins (who was born in Vermilion County) settled on what was known as the Helt Prairie, and later removed to the vicinity of Georgetown in the timber, and married Sarah Swisher. When George W. Hoskins was about a year old his father moved to what is known as the Walnut Grove, or where Rossville is now located. He had bought a tract of land there and it did seem to be very near to the end of the settlements. There was only one family living in the grove and only one white family living between their house and Chicago, which was better known as Fort Dearborn. Danville had only one store in it at that time. George Hoskins never had any but home-made clothing, up to the time he was twenty years old. The material from which his garments were made was the product of his mother's spinning wheel and loom, and the cut and making was her work as well. When he was twenty years old he bought some cloth, hired a tailor to cut it, and had a neighbor woman sew it. They had no matches but hunted punk in the woods and made a fire by using flint and tow. This fire was carefully kept, and if by any misfortune it should go out, someone must run to the neighbors and borrow a little on the shovel. The corn they raised was worth ten cents per bushel and other produce corresponding in price. He married Mary E. Gritton, who was born in Indiana in 1850, and afterward bought a farm in Ross township for which he paid $6 per acre. Mr. Hoskins was the parent of six children who lived to maturity and others who died in infancy. All of their children married and settled within six miles of them ; they had bought the old home farm in 1867. Mr. Hoskins has served as tax collector and school director and been identified with the building of churches and schools in that neighborhood.
James S. Sconce was born at Brooks Point November 14, 1831. There was no citizen of Vermilion County better known or more respected than this son. His father was Samuel Sconce and his mother Nancy (Walters) Sconce. Mr. Sconce came to Vermilion County in 1829, and here found Nancy Waters, who had come with her parents to near Brooks Point the previous year. James Sconce had one brother and one sister. These children were early taught industry, and James lived on the farm until he was twenty-four years old, when he went into the store of Sconce & Bailey, drawing a salary of three hundred dollars per year. In 1859 he went to Kansas and preempted 160 acres of land, which, after a time, he traded for land in Illinois. It was when he began feeding cattle for himself that his fortune began. James Sconce, it is said, was the best feeder in Vermilion County, and no one has ever excelled him. His judgment was good and he seemed to know instinctively how to proceed. He married the only daughter of Harvey Sodowsky, the well known shorthorn breeder of Vermilion County, and the man to whom a debt of gratitude is due as having introduced shorthorn cattle into this section. After his marriage, Mr. Sconce lived for one year in the home of his father-in-law, after which he located on the farm which has been made famous because of what he and his wife and son have done to improve it. At the suggestion of Mrs. Sconce, the name of Fairview has been given the farm, and each year it has grown more appropriate by reason of improvements made. Mr. Sconce bought and fed cattle and swine and rapidly accumulated a fortune. At his death in 1888, Mr. Sconce was estimated to be worth from $200,000 to $300,000, every cent of which he had accumulated by farming and stock raising. The memory of this good man has not dimmed, and now he is spoken of to strangers in terms of praise not often given. His life was simple, his methods straight -forward, his manner gentle. He was kind-hearted to those in distress, generous to the poor, indulgent to the weak, and charitable to the erring. Mr. Sconce was a man of pleasing appearance, tall with keen blue eyes. He was a man who would naturally have many friends ; he was popular and worthy the friendship of any man. He took great interest in matters educational, and particularly made the Wesleyan University his charge, making generous provision for its welfare. He was ever ready to help any struggling young man who was trying to help himself, and in his death such as they lost a friend indeed. In brief, Mr. Sconce proved by his life that he was a man any county might be proud to call son.
Mrs. Sconce, the wife of James Sconce, was herself a daughter of Vermilion County, of whom no less can be said. She was the only child of Harvey Sowdusky, and by reason of her lifelong wealth might have indulged herself in any luxury possible, but her disposition was otherwise, and she has lived in a spirit of unselfish helpfulness to others that is as rare as it is admirable. She makes her home on the well loved "Fairview" farm, which she shares with her only son, Harvey. Her works of kindness are many, and her charities extended. Her home is ever the home of the preachers of the Methodist church, and to her any good cause appeals and receives her aid. Mr. and Mrs. Sconce were the parents of two children. The daughter became the wife of Mr. Will Cathcart, who is a banker of Sidell and lives at that short distance from her mother and brother. Harvey Sconce, the brother, has proven that he is as capable of the management of Fairview as the son of James Sconce and the grandson of Harvey Sowdusky should be.
Jonathan Pratt and Nancy Stevens, natives of Indiana, both of them met and were married in Danville and began their married life at Brooks Point, but afterward moved from there into the Big Vermilion district. While living there Mr. Pratt enlisted in the Illinois Rangers, soon after the Black Hawk war, while yet they were located about Danville. He proved himself a fearless soldier, when he was taken ill with cholera near Galena and died within six days of the expiration of his term of enlistment. This couple were the parents of two children, a son and a daughter of Vermilion County. Thomas, the son, was the youngest and was born at Brooks Point, as was his sister. When he reached manhood he, living in Brooks Point and the vicinity of the Big Vermilion, having received as good an education as was possible at that time, went off for himself, and for one year was a butcher in Danville. He was also interested in a market in that city. He afterward went to Westville, in Georgetown township, and was buying and shipping grain from that point for five years. For the next fifteen or more years he bought and shipped stock of all kinds. He lived in Georgetown township until 1880, when he went to Catlin township, having bought the farm of Mr. Sandusky. Mr. Pratt married Miss Nancy Scott in Brooks Point in 1851. She was a daughter of Vermilion County, and was born in Brooks Point January 23, 1829. She died at Brooks Point December 5, 1870. Mr. Pratt afterward married Miss Mary E. Clayton. He was the father of ten children. Mr. Pratt has always been a man of unsullied reputation and a creditable citizen of the county.
Amos Smith Williams, the son of Amos Williams, the man who held all the offices in Danville at the time of its first being, was a prominent citizen of Vermilion County for many years. He was born in Danville August 22, 1831, in the home place on South Walnut street. He was one of six children, all but one of whom were' born in Danville. The exception was the oldest child, a daughter; Maria Louise, who was born at Butlers Point. Amos Smith Williams or "Smith" Williams, as he was better known, went to school in Danville, and when he was ready for the higher studies, he went to Paris, Illinois. He spent seven years in California, at the expiration of which he came to Danville and opened a hardware store. He was later interested in a queensware store and in the coal interests, and the last years of his life he was retired from all business cares. He had accumulated much property, besides that which he had inherited from his father's estate, and left his family with means of a luxurious living. He was associated with many interests of the city, and in most of them he was successful. He was instrumental in establishing the Iron Wagon Works and the starch factory, also a box factory, and he was vice president of the first street car company organized in Danville. Mr. Williams was a man of rare business sagacity, and energy to put through an enterprise when his judgment showed it to be a good one. He was wise in worldly works, and besides, was a man of the kindest heart, whom to know was to admire. Mr. Williams died February 14, 1891. In 1860, Mr. Williams married Miss Sarah Jane, a daughter of George Greyson, a pioneer of Vermilion County, who came in the early thirties. Miss Greyson was herself a daughter of Vermilion County, she having been born in Danville, October 19, 1835 Mr. and Mrs. Williams were the parents of five children, all boys but one. One of these children died in infancy. Of the others, Lynne, the oldest, became the wife of WellBeckwith and always lived across the street from her mother. Carroll has always lived with his mother, a devoted son. Mr. Williams and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church- in their younger life, but in later days Mr. Williams became very much interested in the Episcopal church, and went into its communion ; but Mrs. Williams never left the church of her youth.
Diadama (Bloomfield) Atwood is a daughter of Vermilion County, whom all who know her life, love to honor. She was born in Pilot township in 1832, and has always lived there. Her father, Samuel Bloomfield, came to Vermilion County a pioneer, and became the father of twelve children. Mrs. Atwood was taught to read and write and whatever more was possible to crowd into the schools, which were in session only during the winter months about the neighborhood. After her father died she bought the old home place of ninety-two acres, and she secured forty acres through the division of the estate. They lived on the home farm and Mr. Atwood not only supervised its management, but was also a preacher in the Christian church. Mr. Atwood enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry, under the command of Colonel Harmon and Capt. Vinson, but he was not in any battle, yet his health was so completely undermined that he came home and died in less than six weeks from the exposure of the army life. Mrs. Atwood has lived her life since, a widow indeed, spending her time in the care of their children and grandchildren and in useful work. Her youngest child was but four years old when Mr. Atwood died, so that her task of rearing these little ones was no light one. When Mr. Atwood died the farm consisted of 160 acres of land, but before the property was divided she had increased it to such an extent that there were three hundred and seventy-two acres. She gave each of her children forty acres and kept one hundred for herself, upon which she lives, and besides this has other farms elsewhere. She has been prosperous and at one time has fed more than forty head of cattle. She deserves much credit for her pluck and good management of her affairs.
Daniel Brewer was born on the 5th of September, 1832, on a farm four miles northeast of Danville, in Vermilion County. He was a son of Richard Brewer, and his wife, Christina (Roderick) Brewer. Daniel Brewer spent his boyhood's days on the farm, and went to school near Danville at what was known as the Lamb district school. Mr. Brewer was married to Mariah Cunningham, who was a native of Clinton County, Indiana. They were the parents of eight children but all but three died in childhood. Mr. Brewer sold his farm and bought in Jamaica township, on section 30. His memory of Danville is when it was a hamlet of a few houses of round logs in one of which his sister Mary was born. The land on which the city of Danville was built was at that time worth fifteen dollars per acre. Their trading was done in Covington, Indiana, and Chicago. It was in Chicago that his father bought leather and hauled it in wagons. Calico was a precious article, and was worth twenty-five cents per yard. This was the popular material from which to make best dresses. Wheat was then worth fifty cents a bushel and corn from ten to twenty cents per bushel. When the canal was finished at Covington corn went up to twenty-five cents per bushel. Mr. Brewer has bought and sold cows for ten dollars.
Jotham Lyons was born in Georgetown township, near the place his father first settled when he came to Vermilion County. His birth was September 25. 1832. He lived the life of the sons of the pioneers to this section and attended the same schools that have so many times been described. The same privations and the same freedom were his. Jotham Lyons married Miss Worth, a daughter of a pioneer settler of Wisconsin. They were the parents of six children. all but one of whom grew to maturity and had families of their own.
John J. Partlow was the son of James Partlow, who in his turn was the son of Samuel, both of the latter being pioneers of Middle Fork township. James Partlow took up a tract of land on the Middle Fork as soon as he came in 1831, which was part timber and part prairie. He put up a rail pen for the temporary shelter of his family but John was not born until the log cabin was finished. He went to school in the log schoolhouse which had greased paper for window glass, and later attended the Georgetown Seminary, and the Danville Seminary. He had been employed in a drug store some two years before this, and afterward he went as clerk in the dry goods store of V. & P. LeSeure, where he stayed three years. He then went into partnership with Mr. R. A. Short, and remained there for two years at which time he bought out Mr. Short and continued the store by himself for twelve years. He went into the employ of the C. & E. I. R. R. at this time and continued in this service until his death. In 1857 Mr. Partlow married Frances Giddings, the eldest child of William and Caroline Giddings.
Golden Patterson was born on the same place where he now lives, which was the old homestead, July 17, 1833. His father came from Tennessee, a pioneer to the Little Vermilion and his mother came with her father, William Golden, to near the same place. Mr. Patterson, the father entered 500 acres of land from the government when he first came, and it rose in value until now it is worth a large price. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson were the parents of six children, the youngest of which was Golden. The mother of these children died when this youngest was an infant and the father survived her about ten years. Golden Patterson learned the trade of carpenter, but worked at it but little always seeming to be too great a success as a farmer to take up other employment. He has accumulated a large tract of land and has a fine farm. Mr. Patterson enjoys the confidence and esteem of all his neighbors and is well and favorably known throughout the county. It was in 1830 that Alexander Church and his wife and young family came to Vermilion County from Virginia and settled in three quarters of a mile west of present day Catlin. Mr. Church had married Ruth Caraway before he came west and her relatives came to Vermilion County at the same time. Mr. Church made his home on section 3, and the land has remained in the possession of the family ever since. Two years later, a little son came to this home and William Church saw the light of day in the pioneers home in Vermilion County. This was the tenth child born to Mr. and Mrs. Church and before long the mother died. William grew up to all the discomforts of a new settler's life, to all the privations and pleasures as well. Alexander Church lived until 1892 and had he lived two months longer he would have reached the age of ninety. William Church went to a subscription school in a time that the inconveniences of the school room were often as nothing to the advantages of having a good teacher. In those days the pupils were expected to do things that the present day school-boy would resent, if he were asked to do. But an unruly pupil made objections at great risk. A hickory rod always hung in plain sight and it was used to a purpose when occasion called its use forth. In 1852 William Church married Miss Hester M. Douglas, who was herself a daughter of Vermilion County. Miss Douglas was born in Catlin township, October 7, 1834, her parents being Thomas W. and Delilah (Payne) Douglas.
Thomas W. Douglas had entered land on the site of the county poor house. Mr. and Mrs. Church became the parents of five children, all of whom grew to maturity, and had families of their own.
1833: — Asa Partlow, the son of Reuben and Elizabeth Partlow, was born in Danville, on South Hazel street, January 6, 1833. He was educated in the schools of Danville, attending the Methodist Seminary. In 1854 he became one of the firm of Lamm, Partlow & Company, which did business in the building where the present Danville National Bank is located. The building on that corner was remodeled a few years ago, but the location is the same. The other members of the firm of Lamm, Partlow & Co. were the father of Asa Partlow and Mr. William Lamm. After the death of Mr. Lamm, which occurred in 1863, the firm name was changed to A. Partlow & Co., and later to Partlow & Draper, with a change of location to the Giddings block on Main street, near Hazel. February 26, 1857, he married Mary Murdock, who was also a resident of Danville.
Asa Partlow was a pioneer in the Building & Loan business and was the first Secretary of the People's Building and Loan Association and continued in that office until it paid out, a period of ten years. He was secretary of the Equitable Building and Loan Association, until on account of failing health he gave it up. He died suddenly and was buried in Springhill Cemetery. Mr. Partlow was the father of three children, all of them boys. They all resided in Danville, except the oldest, Harry, who died. The other two are Edmond R. who took his father's business when failing health compelled him to give it up and Augustus, who is an attorney in Danville.
Uriah Folger was born in Elwood township, April 23, 1834. His father. Asa Fogler, came to Vermilion County in 1831 and settled in the Elwood neighborhood. He was a tanner, and also a shoemaker and he carried on this business for years, doing such work for the settlers around. He had so much to do that he employed four or five men at times.
Uriah Folger received his early education in the subscription school and his advanced training in the Bloomingdale Academy under Prof. Hobbs. He was an apt pupil, and has always been a typical quaker. He spent the years of hi? manhood as an exhorter in the church of the Society of Friends and was always considered a model of kindness and good deeds.
Jonathan Larrance was another son of Vermilion County, born in this neighborhood in this same year, 1834. His parents came to this section in 1827 and made themselves a home. Jonathan Larrance attended the Vermilion Academy, then called the Vermilion Seminary, where he received his education in books. His entire life was spent in the same neighborhood where every one knew him and he knew every one. He was a good farmer and accumulated much property, and at his death in 1885, he left 295 acres of well improved land to his heirs. He was the father of seven children, six of whom survived him. Thomas F. Collison was born on the farm where he always lived, October 12, 1834. When he reached the time when he was old enough to go to school a governess was employed to teach him. The other children of the household were taught by her and any in the neighborhood who chose to come were welcome in the Collison home. Later he attended the subscription school, which was a typical pioneer school. In these schools the boys who were pupils were required to cut the fire wood and take it to the schoolhouse. In this school a testament was used as a reader and an old elementary spelling book was another of the text books.
Mr. Collison lived at home until after the death of his father and when the estate was settled his share was one hundred acres of unimproved land and ninety dollars in money. Mr. Collison has been a man of great success in life. He has built one of ! the finest homes in the county. He has now retired from active work on his farm and lives in Danville. He has been a son of which Vermilion County is justly proud.
James A. Dickson, another worthy son of Vermilion County was born near Indianola, December 5, 1834. His parents had come from Kentucky to Vermillion Million County in the twenties and settled on the Little Vermilion. Mr. Dickson, the father, died when James was but three years old and his mother kept the family together and in 1853, she built a large house on the place, so successful had her efforts been. She died in the following year. James Dickson was one of a family of six children, all of whom died comparatively young. He worked on the farm after he was sixteen years old and had stopped going to school, and then on a piece of swamp land belonging to his brother and then bought some land of his own in what was Carroll township and now is called Jamaica township. The first wife of Mr. Dickson was Mary Frances Busby, and he later married Miss Amanda J. Shepperd, herself a daughter of Vermilion County. She was the daughter of John and Nancy Shepperd, who were married in Vermilion County. John Shepperd owned the well known Shepperd mills.
Amanda J. (Shepperd) Dickson, was born in Vance township, December 20, 1832, and died July n, 1888. Mr. Dickson lived on the farm he first bought for eleven years, when he sold it and bought one on sections 22 and 27 in Jamaica township with a portion of it in Georgetown township. He is a man of prominence in his community and well liked by all.
W. T. Cunningham was a well known man of Danville up to the time of his death. He was born in Danville, February 8, 1834, the son of Hezekiah Cunningham and Mary (Alexander) Cunningham, who made their home in Danville in 1828. Mr. Cunningham, familiarly known as "Bud," grew up and went to school in Danville. His first work for himself was as clerk in a drug store, where he remained for five years. He was appointed to clerkships under the government both in Danville and Washington. President Lincoln, of whom he was a personal friend appointed him collector of the Seventh District. He was afterward elected Clerk of the Circuit court and repeatedly reelected. Later he was made Master in Chancery. Mr. Cunningham married Miss Lucy Lamon in 1859. She was the daughter of John Lamon, one of the early settlers of Vermilion County. They were the parents of five children, one of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Cunningham died in 1875.
Later Mr. Cunningham married Miss Stansbury.
Michael Fisher was born in Carroll township, within half a mile of Indianola, November 6, 1835. He was the son of David Fisher, and there were four children in the family beside Michael. This son was brought up on his father's farm and went to the subscription schools during his school days. He was married in 1864 to Maryette Baum, daughter of John Baum, herself a daughter of Vermilion County. She was born in Indianola. Mr. Baum continued farming for a dozen or more years after he was married and then he went into Indianola and had a hardware store.
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher were the parents of three children, a son and two daughters. One of the daughters became the wife of Joseph Sidell and the other, the wife of Harvey Sconce. Casper James Langley was born in Danville township, February 25, 1835. His father located in this place in 1830, coming from Kentucky. Casper Langley was the youngest child of a family of four. He lived on the farm helping his mother after his father's death. He was thirteen years old when his father died. He was very prosperous and accumulated much property during his active life. He married Miss Anderson, from New York state, in 1865, and they were the parents of nine children.
James Juvinall was born in Pilot township in 1835. He was the son of Andrew and Mary (James) Juvinall, who came to Vermilion County in 1827, in a prairie schooner, from Ohio. In the school where James Juvinall had his early training the seats were slabs laid on poles and there was a long writing desk made by laying a plank upon wooden pins driven into the wall. Mr. Juvinall always remembered how the Indians held meetings at the foot of the hill where they lived. He lived on the home farm until he was married in 1858 and then took one hundred and twenty acres in Blount township. Here he lived until 1892, when he moved to Danville and went into the implement business. He then went to Denmark, where he lived for a short time and then bought his farm, upon which he settled for the remainder of his life. He has always been an active worker in the Methodist church. John R. Smith was born where Fithian Station now stands, March i. 1836. His father was William W. Smith, who came to Vermilion County from Ohio in 1830. John Smith was the fourth child of his parents and he lived at home until after the death of his father, when he went to live with his brother-in-law, Thomas Armstrong, who lived near Rossville. He went to the schools in the neighborhood and to this, he added a term at Danville and one at Knox College. He married Josephine Stewart, who was a daughter of Vermilion Co. — being born at Danville. She was the daughter of James Stewart, who came to Vermilion County from Connecticut. Mr. Smith ran a hotel in Rossville for three years, after which he had a grocery store for many years. He carried on this business for many years meanwhile building a large neat house on a part of the Stewart farm in which he had his home and to which he retired when his business career was at an end. Mrs. Smith died in 1885. In 1889 Mr. Smith married Mrs. Sarah J. Parlow, whose father was James Duncan. Mr. Smith was the father of five children, four sons and a daughter.
Seth Fairchild was born near Danville, Illinois. October 14, 1836, the son of Ormaband and Hannah (Wagnon) Fairchild. He was twenty-five years old when the war opened and he enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Illinois and served to the time of discharge, September 5, 1864. He was in several engagements and otherwise suffered the hardships of war and when he came home he located in Danville. He was employed to carry the mail from Danville to East Lynne for two years, at the end of which time he moved to Potomac and carried the mail between that place and Danville for six years. He then bought himself a farm in Blount township, where he continued to reside the remainder of his life. Mr. Fairchild married Miss Lyon in 1865 after his return from the army. They were the parents of seven children. Mr. Fairchild died on his farm, March 13, 1886.
William Cossairt was born near the city of Danville, July 5, 1836. His father was David Cossairt, who came with his father, who was a pioneer of Vermilion County. When William Cossairt found himself able he bought out the other heirs to the home place and there made his home for life. This farm is located on section 4, Middlefork township, and adjoins Potomac, making an ideal location for a home. Mr. Cossairt married Louisa A. Smith, whose father came from England. Miss Smith was born in Vermilion County, and here grew to womanhood. They were the parents of nine children, all but two of whom lived to have families of their own. Mr. Cossairt always commanded the respect and friendship of his neighbors and had their good will.
Robert A. Short was born in Vermilion County in September 14, 1836. His father was Thomas Short and his mother Nancy Ann (Lanham) Short. He was one of a family of six sons and three daughters, all of whom were born in. Vermilion County. John C. Short, the oldest of the family, was a very prominent citizen of Danville and the county up to the time of his removal to New York city. He did much for the development of the resources of Vermilion County, and but for misfortune would have remained in Danville and continued working for its progress. Alexander C. Short married the daughter of Dr. Hill and after living in Danville for some years, moved to Los Gatos, California.
Robert A. Short went to a country school until he was prepared to enter the Danville Seminary, from which he graduated in 1858. He first went into a drug store after he left school, where he remained twelve years. Then he established the firm of R. A. Short & Co., being the senior member. This firm handled the dry goods trade to profit up to the time Mr. Short retired in 1893. Since this time Mr. Short has been interested in real estate insurance and loan business, and with the exception of a residence in Evanston of a short time, he has been a continuous citizen of Vermilion County for seventy four years and the story of his life would be the story of the life of the county. Mr. Short married Miss Emily Murdock in 1838. They were the parents of six children, four of whom grew to maturity.
George S. Cole was born in Danville, January 25, 1836. His father was Peleg Cole, and was well known in the community for years. George Colt grew to manhood in Danville and in 1860 he married Elizabeth Waples, who herself was born in Vermilion County. She was the daughter of William Waples, an early settler of Vermilion County. George Cole enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry and served the full term of his enlistment. When he returned he took up the business interests which had been his care before he went away. Mr. Cole made Danville his home for the remainder of his life. He was the father of three sons and one daughter. Two of his sons went west. His remaining son, Ralph is the popular and much esteemed coroner of Vermilion County at present.
Milton A. McDonald was born in Vermilion County, the son of Alexander and Catherine (Alexander) McDonald November n, 1826. Milton A. McDonald and his brothers and sisters went to school at Georgetown, where his father had moved for that purpose. Milton helped on the farm when not in school until he was about eighteen years old, when he began clerking in his father's drug store in Georgetown and from there he went to Pontiac, where Mr. McDonald had some land interests. Mr. Milton McDonald married Miss Jackson of Terre Haute, and they became the parents of a large family of children, only four or five of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and had families of their own. In 1861 Milton McDonald came to Danville and clerked in a dry goods store for a time. After a while he set up a hardware establishment of his own and he continued in this business until he went to Dakota.
John Brady was born in Danville township, February i, 1837. He was a son of John Brady, who came to Vermilion County in the early days, and his was the common pioneer home, with the common pioneer hardships. His school was the common pioneer school and he had the privilege of the times. When the war broke out Mr. Brady enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry and served until the end of the term. Mr. Brady married Miss Mary Conlin and they were the parents of four children.
John Brewer was born in Danville, July 7, 1837. His father was William Brewer who came to Danville early in the thirties. He had the cabinetmaker 's trade, and had the distinction of building the first frame house in Danville. Mr. Brewer was one of seven children, six of whom were boys. He lived at home until his father's death, after which he learned the carpenter's trade, and after his marriage moved on the farm upon which he spent his life. His first wife was Harriet Kester, who was born in Ohio, and has second wife was Sarah Oliver, who was born in Vermilion County. She was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Oliver, and was the mother of seven children. Mr. Brewer is one of the substantial citizens of his neighborhood.
F. M. Olehy was born May 3, 1837, in Danville township, the son of Dennis Olehy. He was one of a large family and was obliged to early help himself. He lived in his home neighborhood, but after his marriage he went to Warren County, Indiana, where he lived for some time. In 1868 he returned to Vermilion County, Ill., and bought a farm on section 10, Danville township, where he made his home. Mr. Olehy married Miss Minerva J. Martin, in 1858, and they were the parents of four children.
Asa Ankrum was born at Yankee Point, March 10, 1837. His father was David Ankrum, and was an early settler of that part of the county. Asa helped his father to make a good farm, and when he was able to do for himself, he did as well and had a home to be proud of. When he died he left a competence for his family. He was married in 1865 to Rhoda C. Mendenhall and they were the parents of ten children. Mr. Ankrum died in 1886.
Elisha C. Fithian was born November 8, 1837, in Danville, the son of Dr. Fithian. He was the youngest of three sons, and after going to school in his childhood began farming for himself on the farm where he now lives when he was seventeen years old. During his father's life this son superintended the work on this farm. Mr. Fithian married Miss Anna M. Hayes in 1865, and they had a family of five children. He has always been a stanch republican, having voted for Lincoln, being acquainted with him through meeting him at his father's house.
George Dillon was born in Georgetown January 6, 1837. His father was Kuke Dillon, and came to Vermilion County in 1830, from Ohio, making the journey in a six-horse team. George Dillon stayed at home until he was twenty-one, helping first his father, and when he died, his mother in the work of the farm. He then bought a farm near Georgetown, where he lived until the beginning of the Civil war. He was a member of Company D, Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry, and was in many battles. June 7, 1864, he was wounded in the right arm and sent to the hospital, and the arm was taken off close to the shoulder, and in February, 1865, he was sent home. Mr. Dillon was a strong republican, and his party loved to honor him. He was first elected town clerk of Georgetown township, and later Vermilion County selected him as assessor and collector, and again and again as circuit clerk. This office he held
for a dozen years. He held other offices from time to time. Mr. Dillon married Miss Desdemona Martin, herself a daughter of Vermilion County. She was born in Georgetown in 1841. She was the daughter of Henry Martin and Mary (Morgan) Martin, being the granddaughter of Achilles Morgan, a man active in the making of Vermilion County. They were the parents of six children who have grown to manhood and womanhood and married well and, like their parents and grandparents and yet another generation back, their great grandfather, are well esteemed citizens of Vermilion County.
Mr. J. L. Smith, who was born in Georgetown July 27, 1837, was an honored pioneer son of Vermilion County. He was the son of Joseph Smith, who came to Vermilion County from Tennessee. J. L. Smith married Mary Ann Cook in 1861. She was born in Ohio. About this time Mr. Smith went into a pork packing house where he showed his capacity for work. This same energy and industry made him the success in all he undertook to do.
Almond N. LeNeve was born in Newell township March 9, 1837. He was a younger brother of Samuel P. LeNeve. He left Vermilion County for Champaign County in his twentieth year, and remained there until after his marriage. He married Miss Nancy J. Ford and they were the parents of eight children. He returned to Newell township, however, and spent the remainder of his life on the old home place. Mr. LeNeve and his family have always been reckoned among the leading citizens of the county.
Francis Asbury Collison, like his brother who has been mentioned, was born in Vermilion County. The date of his birth was June 25, 1837. His early life was very like that of his brother. He married Miss Nannie J. Howard, in 1866. She was a daughter of Vermilion County, being born in Pilot township in 1846. She was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Martin) Howard, who came to Vermilion County a pioneer. Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Collison were the parents of nine children, all but two of whom lived to grow up. Mr. Collison had his start in land by inheritance from his father, but he has accumulated land until he has more than his father died possessed of. He has dealt in stock to a great extent all his life and shipped in large numbers. While he had some assistance when he started in life, his results are more due to effort and energy than to anything else.
Josiah Sandusky was born in Carroll township September (?), 1837. He was the son of Abraham Sandusky. The two Sandusky brothers, Abraham and Isaac, had large families and named the children identical names so that the relationship is difficult to follow. Josiah Sandusky had his school training in the subscription schools, and after he was a man he was very much interested in matters of reading, so that he gathered a large and valuable library in his home. He took much pleasure in his library. At his father's death he inherited some land, to which he added until at his own death he owned about 1,000 acres of very valuable land in eastern Illinois. He remained at home until after his father's death, which occurred when he was twenty- five years of age. After that he went into partnership with his brother Abraham, and this connection continued for many years. Josiah Sandusky became one of the best known stock men in the United States. Stock dealers would come from all parts of the United States and Canada and buy of him. Josiah Sandusky was also one of the leading breeders of fast horses, both running and trotting stock. Mr. Sandusky married Miss Margaret Moreland, a native of Bourbon County, Ky. Mr. Sandusky was the father of five children, all of whom lived to have families of their own, except the oldest, who died in infancy. Mr. Sandusky died February 13, 1901, and was buried in the Sandusky cemetery in Carroll township.
William Cunningham was an extensive stock raiser of Newell township and was born December 15, 1838, in the same township. He was the son of James and Mary (Andrews) Cunningham. He was the third child in a family of four children. He lived at home on the farm until he was about eighteen years old, when he went to Nebraska, where the breaking of prairie sod was not as exciting as he had thought, so he went on to California. He started from Nebraska to Pike's Peak, in 1859, and from there went on overland to California. Here he mined and farmed, meeting with varying degrees of success for four years, and at the end of that time he returned to Illinois with $1,200 in his pocket. With this he bought his father's farm and made other investments. He has added to this land from time to time. He married Miss Chandler in 1865, and they became the parents of seven living children. Mr. Cunningham secured a farm of large proportions worth at least $70 an acre. He has made much money in buying and shipping live stock to Chicago. He has always found pleasure in raising a fine breed of horses, and he was ever a good judge of that animal.
William Hester was born in Vermilion County May 17, 1838. His father was Thomas Hester, who came from North Carolina, settling in Vermilion County in March, 1838. Thomas Hester was attracted to this section of the country, doubtless by reason of the many members of the Society of Friends who lived here at that time. William finished his education, as did so many of the young people of that society, in Bloomingdale Academy, under the instruction of Prof. Hobbs. William Hester taught school two winters, with which exception he has been a farmer all his life. Mr. Hester married Miss Marie Mills in 1860. Her father was Ira Mills, who came to Vermilion County in 1821. She became the mother of two children, one only of whom is living. She died January 19, 1863. Mr. Hester married Miss Rachel Stafford, of Vermilion Grove, for his second wife, in 1867, and she was the mother of three children, only two of whom are living. His second wife died, and Mr. Hester was married to Miss Martha Hawkins, of Coles County, in 1887. Mr. Hester made a specialty of fine bred swine and short-horn cattle, as well as keeping sheep and graded horses.
Samuel Blair, the youngest of a family of seven children, was born in Newell township December 5. 1838. He married Mill Mary M. Casart, daughter of Peter and Mary Casart, who came to Vermilion County from Kentucky. Mr. Blair owns a large farm, which he improved and made a specialty of short-horn cattle. His place was always noted for the fine shade trees, which, it is said, were noticed, and furnished shade for all travelers from Chicago to Cairo in the early times. They were an oasis on the bleak prairies. Mr. Blair would carry produce to Chicago when he was a young man to market. Mr. Blair has always been found to be a public-spirited man. Charles T. Caraway was born in Catlin township October 22, 1838. After his youth had been passed on the farm, just as he was choosing and making ready for his life work, the Civil war broke out and he enlisted in the service of his country. His regiment was the Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, and he saw many battles. At the battle of Mission Ridge he was severely wounded in the left leg and was kept in the hospital for nine months where he suffered greatly. General Rosecrans put his name on the roll of honor together with those of some of his companions, on account of bravery and daring in that engagement Shortly after the close of the war Mr. Caraway married Miss Jennie Dougherty. She was the daughter of William Dougherty, who came to Vermilion County from Ohio.
William J. Davis was born in Danville August i, 1838. His father was James A. Davis, who was the first school teacher in Danville. William Davis is the oldest of five children. He went to school to his father in Newell township, and afterward went to the schools of Danville until he was nineteen years old, when he went as a clerk into the store of V. & P. LeSeure, where he remained a year. He was next in the employ of W. R. Gessie for six months, and then was appointed deputy county clerk under J. C. Short, serving for four years. At that time he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty- fifth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. William Fellows and Col. Harmon. When he had served four months he was ordered home because of sickness from exposure. He could not leave his home for a year after that on account of his condition. When he had recovered he was appointed as deputy in the office of the circuit clerk who had been county recorder when Mr. Davis enlisted. He was in the office of the circuit clerk for four years, and at the end of that time he went into the abstract business for five years, after which he was interested in real estate. Mr. Davis has been retired for some time, being in poor health. Mr. Davis married Miss Baker in 1863. They were the parents of three children, two sons and one daughter. Their oldest son died at the age of eighteen.
Perry Frazier was born in Georgetown November 13, 1838. His parents were Abner and Mary (Millican) Frazier. While but a young man, Perry Frazier took charge of the management of his father's farm. During the first year he had charge he raised fifty head of hogs, that being at that time an unheard-of thing to do. He married Miss Eliza J. P. Patty when he became twenty-one and then rented his father's farm until he was obliged to leave this part of the country on account of his wife's poor health. The change did not help her, however, and in two years she died in Missouri. When he returned to Georgetown, Mr. Frazier again rented his father's farm, on which he lived for fourteen years. Meanwhile he married Miss Mary J. Moore, a daughter of John and Hannah Moore, who lived near Georgetown. Mrs. Frazier lived until 1901. After her death Mr. Frazier moved to Georgetown.
E. J. Draper, more familiarly known as "Ed" Draper, was born in Vermilion County in 1839. His father was Jonathan Draper. When the son was five years old the family moved back to Vermont, where he spent his youth, living there until he was nineteen years old, going to school at Bennington. He came west in 1857, stopping a while at Sydney. From that time until poor health compelled him to retire, he was in some way or other interested in the life of a merchant. He enlisted in 1862 in the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment. Illinois Infantry, Capt. Fellows and Col. Harmon in command. This regiment saw hard service. When Mr. Draper returned from the war he found employment in the office of J. C. Short, county clerk. After he went into the grocery business in Danville, Mr. Draper was for eight years located on west Main street, but later went on Vermilion street. He remained in that location many years, and the city missed his store when his health no longer permitted him to carry on the trade. Mr. Draper was one of the merchants upon whom a community could depend, and his going from the ranks of mercantile interests was indeed a loss to the city. Mr. Draper was ill for a long time and died in 1810. He married Miss Angeline Probst. She was a woman of unusual helpfulness of nature, and their friends were legion. Mrs. Draper is very much loved by the community, where she has been such a friend in time of trouble. Mr. and Mrs. Draper were active in their work in the Kimber Methodist church, where they held membership from its organization.
Henry Fletcher and his wife were both born in Vermilion County. He was born at Vermilion Grove October 28, 1839. His father was John Fletcher, a consistent member of the Society of Friends. Henry had a good common school training, and afterward was under the instruction of Prof. Hobbs in Bloomingdale Academy. In 1861 Mr. Fletcher married Mahala Haworth, the daughter of Eli Haworth, one of the early settlers. She was born in Georgetown October 15, 1842. She became the mother of eight children, six of whom lived to maturity. Mr. Fletcher developed a fine farm. He always was an influential member of the Society of Friends, and was connected with the order of Modern Woodmen.
John W. Fisher is the brother of Michael Fisher, and his younger days were spent in very much the same way as was his brother. He was born in Carroll township. He married Miss Mary L. Dye in 1861. He later moved to Kansas, but tired of the country, and came back to Vermilion County, where he rented a farm of his father, and afterward lx>ught land on which he raised stock and sold it in the city markets. Mr. John Fisher was the father of eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher are members of the Presbyterian church, and well esteemed.
Priscilla (McCarty) Black was born near Muncie, Illinois. She was the daughter of John McCarty, who came to Oakwood township from Ohio a short time before her birth. She became the wife of Samuel Black in 1858. She was tfie mother of nine children.
Harrison Fairchild was born in Blount township on Christmas day, 1840. He was one of a large family of children of Daniel Fairchild. All of these children went to a subscription school while they were small and then went to Danville to the Danville Seminary. Harrison was at school there at the outbreak break of the Civil war and he left his studies to enlist in Company B, Twenty- fifth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. Walls. That regiment saw some hard service, and in the battle of Chickamauga Mr. Fairchild was wounded in the leg. He was afterward in the charge of Missionary Ridge, when he was wounded in the arm by a piece of shell. He received his discharge at Springfield September 5, 1864. When Mr. Fairchild returned to Blount township he farmed near the old homestead. In 1865 Mr. Fairchild married Miss Lannam, who was a daughter of this county. Their family of thirteen children all grew to useful manhood and womanhood but one. One of their sons is a preacher, and so also is one of the sons-in-law. Mrs. Fairchild died in about 1905, and Mr. Fairchild married Miss Fannie Smith, the daughter of one of the early settlers. Mr. Harrison Fairchild has always been a prominent member of the First Methodist church.
Nathaniel R. Fairchild was born at the home place August 15, 1843. He had a twin brother named Daniel who died in the army. Mr. Fairchild married, in 1869, Miss Elizabeth Fitzgerald, and she died in 1874. She was the mother of three children. He then married Mrs. Sarah Dove, who was born in Vermilion County June u, 1842. Mr. Fairchild's entire life has been spent in Vermilion County.
Francis M. Fairchild was born in Blount township April 20, 1848. He was the eighth son in the Fairchild family. When he was twenty-two years aid he married Miss Ina B. Fitzgerald. She, too, was born in Vermilion County. Her birthplace was but a mile and a half from the Fairchild home, and the young people had always known each other. She was the mother of fourteen children. Only three of these died before they had reached manhood and womanhood. Mrs. Fairchild died in Colorado, where she had gone to have her health restored, in 1894. Mr. Fairchild was again married in 1897, this time to Miss White. She was the mother of three children, but they all died in infancy. Like the others of this family, Mr. Fairchild was ever a devoted Methodist. He and his brother were the first of the farmers in this neighborhood to tile their land and redeem it from the swampy condition.
John W. Newlon was born in Blount township June 13, 1840. His father was Thomas B. Newlon, and his mother was Miss Angeline Griffith, the daughter of Stephen Griffith, and widow of Mr. Makemson. Mr. Newlon, the father of John Newlon, came to Vermilion County in 1837 with his father. The father of John Newlon's mother came in 1826. John Newlon was the eldest of the seven children in his father's family. In June of 1861 he reached his majority and in July he enlisted in the army in Company I, Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry. He was wounded at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, and was twice taken prisoner, but both times managed to elude the vigilance of the captors and to make his escape. When he returned from the army he married Miss Ivea Y. Taylor, a daughter of Thomas A. and Ivea Taylor, who came to Vermilion County in 1853 and located in Catlin township. They are the parents of five children, four girls and one boy. In 1888 Mr. Newlon came to Danville and was appointed deputy sheriff under J. C. Gundy, filling that office for two years. In 1890 he was elected sheriff, and during his term the great strike of the American Railway Union occurred, and at the same time five thousand miners went out on a strike. His handling of this most unusual condition of affairs was so well appreciated that when his term of office was over the people of Vermilion County elected him treasurer without opposition. He served four years as treasurer and then became chief deputy sheriff, serving for three and one-half years under James Sloan. He was then appointed commissary in the Danville Branch of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors. Mr. Newlon has always been a stanch republican and has faithfully served his party. In all his service of the public there has never been one whisper of aught but the most decided adherence to the right. He has been a public officer which is a credit to the county of which he is a son.
Isaac Rees was born near Vermilion Grove on November 28, 1840. Ten years before this, his parents came, with twenty-two others who belonged to the Society of Friends, to Vermilion County. Mr. Rees married Miss Araminta Mills in 1868, a daughter of William and Hannah Mills. She was born about a mile and a half west of Vermilion Grove, and represents one of the best known families in Vermilion County. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Rees were the parents of five children. Unlike the spirit of most Quakers, Mr. Rees enlisted in the army, his loyalty to his country influencing him more strongly than the ideas of his religion.
Henry F. Canady was born at Vermilion Grove December 12, 1840. Like the above-mentioned son of Vermilion County, he did not hesitate when the call to arms came at the time the flag was fired upon. The .fact that he had been trained to the ideas of peace, and that those of the society to which he belonged never sanctioned war, his answer to the call by enlisting in the service of the country is more noticeable. Mr. Canady enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Company A, and was in many engagements. He later served in Company E, Twelfth Kansas Mounted Infantry. Mr. Candy married Miss Maggie S. Brewer, in 1875. She was the mother of three children ; but one of these lived to grow to womanhood.
William Jasper Olehy was born in Danville township July 24, 1840. He only went to school a short time, and spent his youth on his father's farm. When the war broke out he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry and served during the entire term of service. He married Miss Mary A. Olehy and they made their home in Pilot township. They were the parents of but two children. Mrs. Olehy died in 1880.
Henry Davis was born in Vermilion County May 5, 1841. His life has been spent on a farm. He married Miss Cox for his first wife and Rebecca Baird for his second wife. He was the father of three children. Mrs. Rebecca (Baird) Davis died in 1883, and he married Miss Belle Pemberton. O. B. Gravat was born in Blount township June 16, 1841. He was a horticulturist and first introduced fruit raising into Blount township. His father was one of the pioneers of this section and entered 320 acres of land at twenty- five cents per acre. This land is worth more than $100 per acre today. When he was a boy he had to go to mill at Perrysville, or Covington, Indiana, and many has been the load of produce he has hauled to Chicago over roads in which there were many sloughs and ponds. When he was twenty-three years old he was ordained as a preacher in the Christian church and he has preached more or less, but never has taken a regular charge. Mr. Gravat was one of six children in his father's family. It was always a matter of pride that Mr. Gravat, the father, hauled the lumber to build the first court house in Danville. In 1873, Mr. Gravat married Sarah Chenoweth. Mr. and Mrs. Gravat were the parents of nine children.
William Current was born in Newell township November 27, 1842. He was one of eight children and the eldest. When he was sixteen years old he left home to do for himself. He learned the trade of harness maker, but did not work at it. When he had his trade learned he clerked in a dry-goods store for a time. During that time the Civil war was in progress, and in 1864 he could resist no longer but enlisted in the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Company K, under the command of J. C. Black. After returning to Danville he was in the employ of first the Wabash and then the C. & E. I. Railroad for some time. After he had abandoned the railroads, he went on his father's farm and took charge of it. Miss Margaret Ellsworth became the wife of Mr. Current and the mother of three children. She was one of the daughters of Vermilion County. She died in 1878. Mr. Current married Miss Mary A. Makemson for his second wife. She, too, was a daughter of Vermilion County, having been born in Newell township in 1858. Mr. Current, while living in Danville, was city clerk for one year. After going- to Newell township to live, he was sent as supervisor of the township.
James A. Current, who also was born in Vermilion County in 1842, lived in Newell township. When he was married, he began his new life on the old homestead. Mr. Current married Miss Mary Lynch in 1859. They lived on the old homestead until 1872, when he moved to Danville and had a grocery store and butcher shop. In 1872, however, he moved back to farming and has continued it since then. Mr. Current was the father of six children.
Thomas W. Blakeney was the fourth child of a large family of children, and was born in Georgetown township July 19, 1842. He was, like the rest of the family, of great strength and fine personal appearance. He remained about his father's farm until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Company K, under the command of Capt. Cook. While in the battles of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge he was slightly wounded in the thigh, but it was not a serious wound. While charging up Kenesaw Mountain he was seriously wounded and always afterward carried the five buckshot in his body that he received that day. He made the famous march to the sea with Sherman, and while at Atlanta he was promoted on account of special act of bravery. Mr. Blakeney tried living in the new west after he came from the army, but in due time came back to Vermilion County, where he has since made his home at Westville. Mr. Blakeney married Miss Matilda Brooks in 1868. She was the granddaughter of Benjamin Brooks, the early settler whose name was given the point of land upon which he settled. Matilda Brooks was born at Brooks Point, in Vermilion County, the daughter of John Brooks. She was named for her grandmother Brooks. Mr. and Mrs. Blakeney were the parents of three children, but one of which lived past infancy.
George Canaday was born in Georgetown township November 18, 1842. He was the son of the pioneer who came to this county early in the thirties. He married Miss Mary Jane Smith in 1867. He thought to better his condition by moving west of the Mississippi river in the same year that he was married, and he did, entering a good farm in Missouri. They lived on this farm until seven years afterward, when Mrs. Canaday became so homesick they all came back and settled in Vermilion County. At that time, their family included three children. Two more children were born after they came back to Vermilion County, and making the entire family excepting those born in Missouri, sons and daughters of Vermilion County.
November 2, 1842, Ira Babb was born in the same house in which he spent his life. This house was built by his father in 1830. His life has been spent in general farming and the manufacture of drain tile. He married Minerva E. Canaday in 1882. Mr. Babb made an interesting collection of old-time articles, including an almanac printed in 1829.
John W. Giddings was born in Danville April 21, 1842. His father and mother were both born and reared in England. Mr. Giddings was one of a family of eight children who grew to maturity. He was the oldest son. He remained in his father's employ learning and practicing the trade of carriage painter, until when, in 1862, he went into the service, enlisting for ninety days. After he came home he was sick for a year but again enlisted, in 1864, in the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, serving until the following fall, when his term of enlistment was over. In 1865 he and his brother Charles, and brother-in-law, Mr. Stewart, formed a company to carry on his father's business. This arrangement continued for four or five years, when he and his brother bought out their brother-in-law, and later he bought out his brother and assumed the entire management of the business. He was a man of shrewd business ideas and his establishment was a pride to Danville. Mr. Giddings married Miss Samantha A. McKee, who was born in Georgetown. Mrs. Giddings is the daughter of Elijah Abigail (Starr) McKee. and has the blood of the pioneers of Vermilion County in her veins very strong. Her father came to this county in 1838 and settled east of Danville. He was a prominent citizen, being not only an authority in his neighborhood, but had the influence to be elected circuit clerk and holding the office for eight years. Mrs. Gidding's mother was the daughter of Absalom Starr, who was one of the first men to come to Vermilion County. The first deed recorded in the county was that of the property of Absalom Starr. Mr. and Mrs. Giddings are of the well esteemed citizens of Danville and live in a handsome house on Hazel street. The other sons of William Giddings all lived in Danville the most of their lives. Some years ago Mr. Charles Giddings moved to Evanston, where their children could be educated at home, but the others all remained in Danville.
William H. Newlin was born in Georgetown September 4, 1842. His father came to Vermilion County in 1832. He married Miss Henderson, and in this way Mr. Newlin is not only the son of one pioneer, but the grandson of another. His marriage with Miss Hawes made him yet more closely connected to the early settlers of this section. Mr. Newlin was a volunteer in the Civil war, who had more than his share of the hardships of the army. He enlisted in the Seventy-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was in battles and was captured at the battle of Chickamauga, sent to Richmond, smallpox breaking out among the prisoners. Mr. Newlin became a victim and was sent to the hospital. It was then that he and five other soldiers made their escape, an account of which is very interesting. Mr. Newlin became a merchant after he returned to Georgetown, and afterward held public office. He married Miss Hawes, the daughter of Dr. Hawes, in 1868. They were the parents of three children.
William H. Mills and his brother Richard Mills were both born in Vermilion County and have lived their lives here. They have practically lived together, having the same interests. William Mills was born in Elwood township, February 18, 1843. He and his brother Richard, who was two years his junior, took the management of their home farm when they were twelve and ten years old. They had great success, and with all their accomplishments they have been great breeders of Clydesdale horses. William H. Mills married Miss Anna Woodard in 1879 and afterward went to live on the Holiday farm, which he had bought. The two brothers were the joint owners of nearly 800 acres, and farmed together under the firm name of R. & W. H. Mills. Mr. Richard Mills lives on the old homestead. His mother is yet living there.
Samuel W. Baum, the son of the pioneer, Samuel Baum, and the grandson of Michael Weaver, was born February 15, 1843. He was the eighth in a family of eleven children, and the first boy. He owns several farms, the homestead including 700 acres. He has been a "cattle man of renown," there being no better stock of short-horns to be found than on his farm. Mr. Baum married Miss Delia F. Stewart, who was born in Georgetown. She was educated in that place, coming to the Danville high school when she was sixteen years old.
Francis M. Gundy was born in Ross township, Vermilion County, May 7, 1843. He is a son of Joseph and Sarah (Davison) Gundy. Mr. Gundy belongs to a family which has been a great factor in the developing of Vermilion County. He married Mary E. Smith, in 1854. They were the parents of three children, two daughters and one son. The son died while yet young. Mr. Gundy began his experience as a merchant in Marshfield, Indiana. He later had an interest in the store in Myersville. Later yet he, in partnership with Mr. A. M. Bushnell, had a general store in Bismarck. He is now the director in banks in which he is interested and is the president of the one in Bismarck. He has kept the old Gundy home place in good shape and preserved the forest trees.
John D. Campbell was born on section 23, Newell township. June 7, 1843. His parents were Joseph and Eliza (Makesmome) Campbell. His grandfather, Samuel Campbell, was a pioneer of Vermilion County, coming in 1828, and settled on the farm on which John Campbell was born. John Campbell was one of a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. He was the oldest son and the second child. With the exception of a few terms of school that he taught, Mr. Campbell devoted his entire time to farm work. In 1869 John Campbell married Miss Julia Howard, and they were the parents of four children. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Campbell married Miss Mary K. Barger. She was born in Newell township October 26, 1861. She became the mother of three children. Mr. Campbell has had a very successful life.
Charles Snider was born in Blount township December 15, 1843. His parents were John and Mary (Blount) Snider. His grandfather was the man for whom the township was named. He has been distinguished as being interested in horticulture. He was eighteen years old when he enlisted in the service of his country. He enlisted in Company D, Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. Timmons and Col. Chandler. At the close of the war Mr. Snider again took up farming and stock raising. He married Miss Margaret Allhands in 1845. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom, excepting one son, died while yet young, although only two died in infancy.
Joseph Col Vance was born in Oak wood township June 2, 1844. His parents were John W. and Deziah (Rathborn) Vance. He was one of a family of two children, his sister being the wife of Samuel Tilton of Catlin. He was a soldier in the Civil war and has held several offices during his life. In 1869 Mr. Vance married Miss Lydia E. Mathewman, and they have been the parents of six children.
John W. Bandy was born in Danville April 8, 1844. His father was William Bandy, one of the prominent pioneers of Vermilion County, and his mother was the sister of J. H. Murphey, another pioneer. Mr. Bandy was one of seven children of William Bandy. He spent his first five years on a farm, after which he always lived in Danville. He entered the office of the Danville Plaindealer, of which Mr. Leslie was then editor, and remained there until 1864. He then went into the office of Dr. Humphreys, where he read medicine and practiced a little. Mr. Bandy afterward became a druggist, in which business he continued as long as his health would permit, since which time he has been retired. Mr. Bandy has accumulated much valuable property. He was married twice and has one son. Of the large family of Mr. William Bandy, Mr. John Bandy and his sister Emma are the only ones left. Mr. Bennett Bandy, another brother, was a very prominent citizen of Danville during many years until his death in about 1904. The family of children were all born in Vermilion County.
Amos Cook was born in Vermilion County, in Elwood township, December 15, 1845. His father was Daniel Cook, and his mother was Hannah Hester, the daughter of Thomas Hester, also a pioneer of eastern Illinois. Mr. Amos Cook, the son, married Maria Haworth, a prominent member of the Society of Friends. He never lived outside of Elwood township.
Thomas Haworth was born in Elwood township July 12, 1845. He was the son of Joel Haworth, who came to Vermilion County as early as 1825. Mr. Haworth died July 12, 1885.
James Barnett, another son of Vermilion County, was born April 1, 1845. In 1874 he married Miss Lucinda Martin. They are the parents of five children. In 1878 they moved to Kansas on account of the health of Mrs. Barnett. After a while the land in Kansas rose in value and they concluded to dispose of it and return to Vermilion County. They have been citizens of the section ever since.
George Prather was born March 15, 1845, on a farm in Ross township. His father was Uriah Prather. In 1862 he enlisted in the service of his country. His term of enlistment was for about one hundred days. At the end of that time he was mustered out. Mr. Prather married Cynthia A. Beebe in 1887. They were the parents of three children.
David Meade was born in Newtown, October 4, 1845. He was the son of William Meade and the grandson of Nathaniel Meade. He lived through his youth in Oakwood township, going to school in the schools of the day. He early became a school teacher and taught in Oakwood township and in Vermilion County, Indiana, through the most of his life. He taught school in Eugene, Indiana, with great success. He was there in the capacity of school teacher for nine years. In 1881 he went into the Danville schools as principal of the Douglas building. He remained in the schools of that place for fourteen years, a part of this time as principal of the Franklin school. The year after he was in the Danville schools he was principal of the township high school at Perrysville. When he gave up school teaching, Mr. Meade took charge of his farm northwest of Danville. He also has a farm in Wayne County, Illinois. Mr. Meade married Miss Lucy Hosford in 1873. They are the parents of four children.
John Spouls was born February 26, 1845, on the farm on which he spent his life. He was but a baby when his father fell from a horse and met his death. He grew up on the farm, and when he married he and his brother divided the farm and he took the south half. He has increased his portion from time to time, making much profit from feeding and selling fine cattle.
Martin J. Barger, at present the governor of the Danville Branch of the Home for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, is a son of Vermilion County. He was born February n, 1845, in Newell township. He was the son of William J. Barger. His father died when he was quite young, and his mother married again. Upon this he left home and apprenticed himself to the shoemaker's trade. He did not work at this trade, however. When the war broke out, he determined to enlist, although he was but sixteen years old. He made application to Capt. McKibben, but was laughed at. Nothing daunted, he followed the soldiers to Springfield and thence along until they had reached Cape Girardeau. At every place he insisted on enlisting and was everywhere laughed at, for there were plenty of men ready to go into the service and he was a boy, who looked even younger than he was. He had attached himself to the Twenty-fifth Illinois regiment without enlisting, and gone with them as far as Forsythe, Missouri, where he made one more appeal to Capt. Wall of Company B, and was told it was no use, that he would die in a few days. He insisted on following the army whether they would let him or not, and they gave him an outfit and a suit of clothing. In about a week the army was in motion for Batesville, Arkansas. The boy started with them and the first day he kept up; the second day he did not get into camp with his command, and the third day did not arrive until late at night, and the fourth day he lost sight of the army. He had a little money and could get his meals along the way and make inquiries of directions. He camped out at night and moved forward footsore and weary and went into Batesville but a little behind the army. When he was first seen the cheers rang out long and strong. He had not been seen for a week, and everyone thought him either captured or dead. When the time came to pay off the army he was asked if he wanted pay. "If you think I will make a soldier," he answered. "O, you'll do," was the answer, and the boy was given the payroll to sign, and he was legally a soldier. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga and taken prisoner. He was held about ten days and then paroled. He was not exchanged until the next summer. He remained with his regiment until he was exchanged, but not doing duty. He was discharged in March, 1865. His wound was of such a nature as to incapacitate him for hard work, and he draws a pension. He has held public office often in his life and has been one of the officers of the Home since its being established here. When Governor Clements died and made a vacancy. Mr. Barger naturally succeeded him, having been his assistant for some time previous to this time.
John Goodwine, Jr., familiarly known as "Jack," was born December 2. 1848, on a farm not far from Potomac. In December, 1870, Mr. Goodwine married Miss Mary K. Alexander, who also was born in Vermilion County. Mrs. Goodwine did not live but two years after her marriage, however. After her death Mr. Goodwine went west to Colorado. He returned and again took up his farm life. Mr. Goodwine was married the second time to Miss Lane. They have been the parents of a large family of children, all but one of whom have lived to grow to maturity. He had one daughter as the child of his first wife. She became the wife of L. D. Lane, a farmer of Vermilion County.
Thomas Watson is a son of Vermilion County, born February 18, 1846, near Danville, a son of John R. Watson, who came to this county from Kentucky in 1829. Mr. Watson married Miss Sarah E. Adams, herself born in Vermilion County, the daughter of Samuel Adams. Mr. and Mrs. Adams were the parents of five children, all of whom lived to grow up.
Mrs. Julia (Payton) Harper was born in Vance township, Vermilion County, Illinois, February 8, 1847. She was the daughter of John M. Payton, and she became the wife of Albert Harper May 29, 1873.
R. Bruce Smith was born in a house at the corner of Main and Franklin streets, in Danville, December 26, 1847. He was the son of Isaac P. Smith. He was conspicuous in different lines from being a clerk in a general store or even before that time, when he sold the LaFayette papers to the citizens after the 10 o'clock P. M. train came. He had two well known sisters, one of whom became Mrs. Kane, and another who became Mrs. Crane. Both of them were very active in church and social duties.
Beriah Haworth was born in Vermilion County, in Elwood township, September 15, 1847. He was the son of David Haworth. Mr. Haworth married Miss Anna Lewis, and they were the parents of three children. They were members of the Society of Friends. Mr. Haworth has been a breeder of fine horses.
Mrs. Mary C. (Acree) Taylor was the daughter of Joel and Elvessa (Yount) Acree. She was born in Catlin township, November 12, 1848. She became the wife of Thomas A. Taylor in 1869. She has been the mother of a large family of children, and ten of them lived to maturity. Mrs. Taylor lives in a beautiful home in Catlin, with everything to make life pleasant.
Jacob K. Robertson was the oldest of a large family of sixteen children. He was born in Newell township September 22, 1848. He married Miss Melissa Britingham of State Line, in 1872. Her parents were early settlers in Vermilion County, and she was born in Pilot township November 24, 1848. They were the parents of five children.
Mrs. Emma (Porter) McDowell was born in Carroll township, one and a half miles east of Indianola, April 3, 1849. She was the daughter of William Porter, who came to Vermilion County from Kentucky. Emma Porter became the wife of John A. McDowell in 1869. At this time Indianola was called Chillicothe. Mrs. McDowell was the mother of seven children.
This list of elder sons and daughters of Vermilion County makes no pretensions to being complete. It would be impossible to get a complete list, and it would not be worth while to attempt it. Were the list not limited to the elder ones, it could be very much lengthened. There are many whose birth comes just beyond the limit of 1850, which has been set, whom Vermilion County has shown a pleasure in honoring and whose lives have proven their right to such appreciation. Charles A. Allen, Samuel Collison, William T. Cunningham, Thomas Woolverton and John Frazier have their time of birth in 1850 or the nearby years, and all deserve mention as among the elder sons who have made the county famous in different ways. But the limit must be fixed at some point, and no better date could be chosen, perhaps, than the middle of the nineteenth century, beyond which the sons and daughters should no longer be considered as elder ones.
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