Ira Heath, farmer, section 30, Hopkins Township, has been identified with the agricultural development of Whiteside County since 1846. He passed the first year of his residence within its limits I n the township of Mr. Pleasant, and in 1847 bought 53 acres, which is now a part of his homestead estate, which includes 100 acres, nine-tenths being in tillage. In political conviction and connections he is a Republican; has officiated as School Director in his district about 30 years, and has held other offices. Mr. Heath was born May 22, 1818, in Berkshire Co., Mass. His father, William Heath, was also a native of the Bay State, and married Olive Brown. After their marriage they located in Berkshire County, where they became the parents of 12 children, -- Alvin, Samantha, Caroline, Laura, Ransom, Thetis, Lucian R., William, Ira, Russell B., Philena and Heman. Their father died March 1, 1853, and their mother survived until Dec. 14, 1859.
Mr. Heath spent the years of his childhood and earlier youth in obtaining a common-school education, and at 19 years of age began to work as a farm laborer, which vocation he pursued until he was 22 years old, when he built a saw-mill. He conducted its affairs three years, after which he sold it and again engaged in farming in his native State until the year in which he moved to Whiteside County as stated (1846). He formed a matrimonial alliance in Berkshire Co., Mass., May 21, 1840, with Mary A Harmon. She was born in that county Feb. 22, 1822, and is the daughter of Walter and Azubah (Hyde) Harmon. Both her parents were born in Massachusetts and were residents there until 1848, when they settled in Hopkins Township, and there passed the remaining years of their lives. The father died Aug. 30, 1865; the mother survived until Nov. 27, 1875. Their children were five in number, -- Porter J., Mary A., George W., Truman W. and William M. Mr. and Mrs. Heath have had five children, but only one survives, Henry D., George W., Samantha C., Rosella A. and Frank W. are deceased. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, Chapman Brothers Publishing Co., Chicago, 1885. Pg 318]
MILETUS S. HEATON
Miletus S. Heaton has now passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life's journey and, having retired from active business cares, is now living quietly in the enjoyment of well-earned ease, deriving his income from valuable property interests. He was born in Jefferson county, New York, February 2, 1831, his parents being Tertius and Almira (Rider/Heaton), both of whom were natives of Vermont. The father was born in Montpelier and came of ancestry represented in the patriotic army in the Revolutionary war. He served his country as a soldier of the war of 1812, enlisting from New York. When not engaged in military duty he followed farming and won a fair measure of success for his day. His life was characterized by industry and perseverance and those qualities never fail to bring a good return. In early manhood he wedded Almira Rider, a sister of Horatio Rider, who was also a soldier of the war of 1812. Both Mr. and Mrs. Heaton were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church and their lives were in constant harmony with their professions. The father was a whig in his political views until the organization of the republican party, when he joined its ranks. His death occurred in 1878 when he had reached the age of seventy-eight years, and his wife died in 1887 at the age of eighty-two years. Their family numbered five children, but our subject is the only one now living. Phineas R., the oldest, was born January 20, 1825, and died April 4, 1860; Orange G., born October 25, 1828, died July 24, 1865; Claudius B., born February 23, 1833, died May 19, 1841; Doreas F., born January 15, 1836, died in December, 1898.
No event of special important occurred to vary the routine of farm life for Miletus S. Heaton in his boyhood days. He attended the country schools and from the time of early spring planting until crops were harvested in the late autumn he worked in the fields, soon becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He continued farming in the east until the fall of 1855, when he arrived in Whiteside county, Illinois, and settled on a farm five miles northeast of Morrison in Mount Pleasant township. He bought the first ticket sold in Chicago by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad from Chicago to Morrison on the 8th day of October, 1855.
After reaching this county, Mr. Heaton bent every energy toward the development and improvement of the farm, making it a valuable property, the fields being brought under a high state of cultivation, while large crops were annually gathered. He continued to cultivate and improve his tract of land of two hundred and twenty acres until 1884, when he came to Morrison, but still owns the farm. His property interests also include two hundred and sixty acres in Mount Pleasant township and a large tract of land, a part of which is now the manufacturing addition to Morrison. He has two residence properties in the city, one of which he occupies. He wisely made investment in property, securing some of the rich farming land of Illinois - of which there is none better to be found in the whole world.
On the 27th of February, 1861, Mr. Heaton married Miss Susanna E. Churchill, a native of Clinton County, New York, born October 9, 1830. She belongs to a family that was represented in the revolutionary war, and on the paternal side is of Scotch and the maternal side of Irish descent. Her father, Joseph Churchill, was born in Benson, Vermont, January 18, 1775, and died January 25, 1848. By occupation he was a farmer. He was married September 13, 1809, at Chazy, Clinton county, New York, to Susanna Bailey and soon after the Civil war they removed to Mooers in the same county, where Mr. Churchill died. His wife was born in Windsor, Vermont, November 1, 1792. Her father died January 1, 1813, and her mother February 4, 1813, both dying of fever. In 1858 Mrs. Churchill came with her family to Whiteside county, Illinois, passing away here at the home of our subject, Never\member 25, 1884. HJer children were as follows: Eliza A., born October 24, 1810, died October 29, 1829; Calista, born September 28, 1812, died November 8, 1833; Joshua B., born November 11, 1814, died March 6, 1815, Benjamin L., born February 7, 1816, died March 14, 1865 in the army; Jeremiah, born May 4, 1818, was captain of a vessel on Lake Huron and was drowned April 17, 1849; Joseph B., born June 23, 1820, was a soldier of the Civil war and died March 1, 1905; George W., born April 10, 1825, died October 7, 1904; Sylvester S., born November 6, 1827, died June 26, 1884; susanna E., wife of our subject, is the next of the family; and Charles C., born June 15, 1836, died July 22, 1887.
Mr. and Mrs. Heaton have one daughter, Nettie C., who was born in 1868 and is now the wife of William Boyd, son of John Boyd, in the employ of the Libby, McNeill & Libby Milk concern. Mrs. Heaton belongs to the Presbyterian church and like her husband, is well known and highly esteemed socially. His political endorsement is given the republican party and he has held various township offices. He does not consider himself bound by party ties, however, and voted on one occasion for Bryan. His life has been one of signal usefulness and activity and he belongs to that class of representative men who do much to uphold the political and legal status of the community and to further its substantial development along other lines. [Whiteside County History 1885]
WILLIAM HEATON, Sr.
OF Mt. Pleasant Township
William Heaton, Sr., was born in Massachusetts in 1782, and died in 1843. He married Miss Martha Bailey in 1804. Mrs. Heaton died June 21, 1872. Mr. Heaton settled with his family in Mt. Pleasant Township, in 1837. Children: Freedom, born in 1805; Maria V., born in 1808; James born in 1812; Horace, born in 1814; Susan, born in 1816; George, born in 1818; Alfred, born in 1820; Lydia, born in 1822; Orson, born in 1824; Roana, born in 1826; William, Jr., born in 1829. Freedom married Thomas L. Jackson, Maria V. married Van Vleck Vedder, and removed from the county. James came to Mt. Pleasant in 1835, being the pioneer of the family; he died in 1837, unmarried; his funeral was the first in the present township. Horace (see his biography below)Susan married Ward P. Lewis, and is now living; her husband died in 1876. George now lives in Kansas. Alfred (see his biography below). Lydia married Harley Derby. Orson is now a resident of Iowa. Roana married Jas. K. Robertson. William Jr. married Miss Elizabeth Hiddleson; they have four children; he served during the war in the 8th Wisconsin Artillery.
Horace Heaton (Son of William Heaton Sr.) was born in Washington county, Vermont, May 23, 1814. Went to Jefferson county, New York, when five years of age, and resided there until the fall of 1836, when he settled in Mt. Pleasant, and made a claim on section 4, he and George O. James being the first settlers in the northeast part of the township. He resided upon his farm until 1864, when he removed to Morrison, and now has charge of the stage route from Morrison to Spring Hill. He was married March 21, 1839, to Sarah Chamberlain, who was born February 28, 1814. Mrs. heaton died September 18, 1867. Children: Gideon c., Martha Jane, War P., Miranda, Nancy, Malissa and Clarissa--twins, and Judson. All the children are dead but Gideon and Nancy. Mr. Heaton was married December 13, 1868, to Mrs Lucy A. Thomas."
Alfred Heaton was born April 28, 1820, in Jefferson county, New York. In 1837 he came to Mt. Pleasant with his father and the family. he made his claim on Section 3 where he still resides. May 11, 1845 he married Miss Eliza Jane Robertson. Children: James W., died in the army; Ellen R. wife of W. P. Hiddleson; Olive A. wife of Oliver King; Alfarata, wife of Frank Babcock; Emily e. wife of N. J. Thomas; Ada J; Susan Kate who died in 1862. Mr. Heaton has made a successful growth with the country and has been well rewarded for the trials of pioneer life. He served during the war in the 8th Illinois Cavalry, the same regiment to which his son, James W. belonged. [Extracted from Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 300-301]
There is nothing in the life history of the average business man to attract the reader in search of a sensational chapter but the history of each substantial citizen who is energetic, faithful and reliable in business life and loyal in his devotion to the public good, contains lessons which may well be heeded by the younger generation. Frank Heflebower has made for himself a creditable position in the business world and his labors as cashier of the State Bank of Sterling, are now proving a valued element in its successful control. He was born in Polo, Illinois, October 27, 1865, his parents being John and Annie (Cookus) Heflebower, who were natives of West Virginia. The paternal grandfather, Daniel Heflebower, was born in Virginia and was a planter and slave owner of an early day. He died in 1865 at the age of sixty-five years. He was of German descent and was twice married.
The ten children born of the first union included John Heflebower, who was reared to agricultural pursuits and' has devoted his entire life to general farming. Removing westward in 1860, he settled in Ogle county, Illinois, where he still resides. He wedded Miss Annie Cookus, a daughter of Jacob Cookus, who was born in Old Dominion and was of German lineage. Her father made milling his life work and died from an accident prior to the Civil war. His wife was twice married, her first husband being a Mr. Snyder. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cookus were born eight children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. John Heflebower were born four sons and two daughters, namely: Charles W., who has passed away; George C., of Cameron, Missouri; Frank, of this review; Margaret Virginia, the wife of Samuel Fahrney, of Ogle counly, Illinois; Mary M., wife of Howard Irvin, also of Ogle county; and Joseph A., who resides in that county.
Frank Heflebower was reared in Ogle county, Illinois, remaining in Polo until ten years ago, after which his youth was spent on a farm. He attended the public and high schools of Polo and when he ceased to be a student became a teacher, following that profession for several years. He became a recognized factor in the public life and while teaching school made the assessment in Polo for five years, from 1892 until 1898. In the fall of the latter vear he was elected treasurer of the county, entering upon the duties of the office in December and filling the position with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents for four years. The next two years were largely passed in travel. In the fall of 1905 he arrived in Sterling and organized the Sterling State Bank, in association with R. G. Shumway. The bank was capitalized for fifty thousand dollars and has prospered from the first, a constantly increasing business being conducted. It is located at the southeast corner of Fourth and Locust streets and is supplied with all modern equipments, being thoroughly first class in every particular. The first president was N. G. Van Sant, who was re-elected to that office, while the vice president is Charles E. Windom, and Mr. Heflebower is the cashier. The last namedalso owns an elevator at Sterling and buys and sells grain. He is likewise interested in the coal trade in partnership with Alfred Weeks, the firm style being the Weeks Coal Company. He is continually alert for good business opportunities and displays a sound judgment that makes his opinions of value in the commercial world.
On the 12th of September, 1904, Mr. Heflebower was married to Miss Rilla Heller, a daughter of John and Emma (Lance) Heller. Mrs. Heflebower is a member of the Methodist church and is prominent in the social circles of the city. She taught school for seven years in early womanhood and afterward attended the Northwestern University at Evanston, from which she was graduated in the spring of 1904, being a pupil in elocution under Professor Cumnock. Mr. and Mrs. Heflebower reside at No. 405 Second avenue. Politically he is a republican and his interest in politics is that of a public-spirited citizen who desires above all things the general welfare. He is straightforward and reliable in all his business interests and his opinions are regarded as sound concerning commercial and financial interests. [Transcribed by Christine Walters, Source: History Whiteside County IL. From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908 By William W. Davis M.A. The Pioneer Publishing Co.]
Jacob Hein, farmer, section 19, Hahnaman Township, came to this county in 1858, purchasing 200 acres of good land, which he still occupies as a home, and where he has erected fine farm buildings. He now owns 360 acres of land, 200 of which is in cultivation. He was first married in Kendall Co., Ill., in 1851, to Christiana Krum, and they have five children, - Matilda, Gustavus A., William A., Jacob H. and Christian. Mrs. H. died May 1, 1860, and Mr. Hein was again married, Dec. 24, 1860, in Hahnaman Township, to Mary A. Hamblock and by this marriage there have been two children, namely, Mary K. and Matilda Elizabeth. Mr. Hein's parents were natives of Germany. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 369]
PETER F. HELLERSTEDT
Peter F Hellerstedt, of the firm of Hellerstedt Bros, manufactures of carriages, spring wagons, buggies, hearses, etc., at Morrison, was born in East Gothia, Sweden, Oct 20, 1843, and is the son of Anders P. and Anna K. Hellerstedt. The father was a carriage ironer and locksmith and reared his son to the same trades. The latter afterward entered a coach factory to complete his knowledge of the business in all its branches. In 1865, he left his native land to seek his advancement in the Western world, arriving in November of the same year in Chicago. He entered a shop in that city, where he worked for more than four years. He went thence to Moline, Ill., where he established himself in business in his own behalf, with relations on a limited scale, in accordance with his resources and ideas of safety in his trnaactions. Four years later he disposed o his interests at Moline, by sale, and in August, 1874, he came to Morrison, where he entered upon the duties pertaining to the position of foreman of the Morrison Carriage Works, in which he was occupied until October, 1876, the date of his initiation of his present business relations. July 7, 1879, he admitted his brother, C. A. Hellerstedt, to a partnership, and their establishment has been conducted under the joint management since. They have had a business career of marked prosperity and have built up a reputation second to none, in point of integrity and ability. They have invented and received letters patent for a two-wheeled vehicle, known to the trade as Hellerstedt's Road Cart, which is attracting favorable attention and bids fair to become popular. The patent is dated Jan. 27, 1885. The demands of their factory require several different buildings and they employ an average working force of ten men. The carriage repository and office are situated in the Opera House Block. Three buildings owned by Hellerstedt Bros. Are situated on Main Street, where they own a frontage of 100 feet. Mr. Hellerstedt is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was married Nov. 20, 1879, at Morrison, to Effie S. Smith, and they have two children, -- Carl Johan, born Oct. 21, 1880, and Ruth Mary, born Oct. 7, 1882. Mrs. Hellestedt was born in Kane County and is the daughter of Edmund and Mary Smith. [Transcribed by Marji Turner, Whiteside County History 1885 Pg 554]
JOHN L. HELMS
John H. Helms is a native of Hanover, Germany, in which country he was born Nov. 26, 1841. He attended school in his native country until he attained the age of 14 years, after which he followed the occupation of a farmer, until arriving at the age of 20 years. He then joined the army, in conformity with the laws of his native country, and served six years, during which time he participated in several battles. After receiving his discharge, he went to France, and resided in that country for two years. In 1868 Mr. Helms, realizing that he could better his financial condition in the New World, emigrated to the United States, and the same year came to this county, and for a time resided with his brother, Henry, who had preceded him and located in Lyndon Township. He remained with him for about one year, then went to Minneapolis, where he worked in a hotel one year. His next move was to the land of gold, California, in which State he was variously employed until 1873, when he returned to Lyndon and rented farms, which he cultivated for his own individual profit for a period of two years. Leaving the farm, Mr. Helms moved to the village of Lyndon, where he engaged in the provision and restaurant business, which vocation he followed for eight years. In 1882 he purchased the farm he at present occupies, adjoining the village plat and located on section 16. He has also other lands that he has bought at times, and at present his landed interests amount to 200 acres. Mr. Helms is a self-made man, and of this world's goods that he possesses, he has none to thank except his own indomitable energy, coupled with the active co-operation of his good helpmeet. He was united in marriage in the month of May, 1870, to Henrietta Carson. She died October following, without issue, and Mr. Helms was again married Oct. 24, 1873, to Miss Sophia Meyer, a native of Hanover, Germany. Four children have been born of the latter union, Emma, Anna, Willie and John. [Portraits & Biographical 1885]
HENRY E. HELMS
Henry E. Helms, a farmer on section 3, Lyndon Township, was born Oct. 12, 1833, in Hanover, Germany. He was educated under the compulsory laws of his country, and on the fulfillment of the period required, was, under the same regulations, placed at an apprenticeship to acquire a knowledge of shoemaking. His next lot would have been the conscription, which would have made him a soldier for three years: but in 1853 he left his native land for America. He came from Hamburg to New York on a sail vessel, and was on the ocean six weeks. He landed at the port of New York, May 2, and went with his uncle to Hartford, Pa., where he became a farmer, and worked through one season. During the winter succeeding he traveled in Illinois and Wisconsin, spending the next summer also in those States. In August, 1854, he came to Lyndon. He spent six years subsequently in farm labor. Nov. 8, 1860, he married Lucy, daughter of Thos. and Sarah (Locke) Gould, Whiteside County pioneers. In the spring of 1861 Mr. and Mrs. Helms removed to Ustick Township, and took possession of a rented farm. On this they operated with success six years. In 1867 Mr. Helms bought a farm lying partly on section 35 of Mt. Pleasant Township, and section 2 of Lyndon. On this he resided and made some improvements, and selling it two years later at an advance on purchase money. He made another investment on section 9 of the same township, on which he lived eight years. In 1878 he sold again, and went to the village of Lyndon, and was there a resident until 1880. In April of that year he took possession of the farm he now occupies on section 3, which he had bought some years before. It had practically no improvements at that time, but the owner has since put it in a valuable and attractive condition. He is now engaged in mixed husbandry. Mr. and Mrs. Helms have four children—Theora, Albert, Cora and John; one child, Daisy, died in infancy. The eldest was married June 23, 1881, to Charles A. Hamilton, grandson of Deacon A. Hamilton, thus uniting in the grandchildren two of the oldest pioneer families. [Portraits & Biographical 1885]
The subject of this sketch was born in Black Forest, Germany, October 18, 1852, and died in Morrison, Ill., March 10, 1926, aged 73 years, 4 months and 22 days. He came to America in 1883, making his home in Sterling. Jan. 1, 1884 he was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Eberhardt, whose home was also in Sterling. To them six children were born, two daughters passing away in infancy. The wife and mother in the home preceded husband and father in death 20 years ago, on March 17, 1899, leaving him with the care of four little children. To Mr. Hemminger great credit it must be said he kept his broken family together and reared them to maturity years. Although there were many times of difficulity for the father, the very trials the children shared with him but endeared him more than usual to their hearts. And in his old age their children did not miss their opportunity to show in love and appreciation what their father had done for them in childhood. The following are the children who remain to keenly mourn the loss of a loving father: Joseph Hemminger, Pueblo, Colo., Frederick, Steble, North Dakota; Mrs. George Schroeder and Mrs. Frank Freer of Morrison. For many years the father made his home with the last mentioned daughter. Six grandchildren, Dorothy Schroeder, Jeanette Freer, and the four children of Frederick, will greatly miss their grandfather whom they dearly loved. Mr. Hemminger had been failing in health for some years, due in part to the hard labor he had done in his life time, and the many trials he had endured, but his last illness was one of only a week's duration, which was an attack of influenza, to which his weakened heart succumbed. May those who mourn find grace to help them in their time of need in mankind's Great Comforter, Jesus Christ, who went over all the way of suffering and sorrow and who calls to each one of us "Follow me." [Contributed by Melva L. Taylor The Daily Gazette, Sterling, Illinois March 13, 1926 - Saturday, pg 7]
EDWARD J. HEMPSTEAD
Edward J. Hempstead, liveryman, Sterling, was born in Oswego Co. NY Aril 28, 1816, his parents being Col. William and Miriam (Hyatt) Hempstead, natives of the Empire State. His father dying in 1834, he assisted in support of the family until he was 25 years of age, when he bought a small farm and cultivated it six years. He then sold out and entered the livery business at Oswego City, which he followed for 14 years. Then he came to Sterling and engaged in the same business, in which he is enjoying fair success. He is the oldest liveryman in the city. Politically, he is a Democrat and religiously in sympathy with the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was married Oct. 8, 1846 to Miss Julia King and they have one son, Frederic, born May 21, 1848. [Portraits & Biographical transcribed by Christine Walters]
MILES S. HENRY
Of Sterling Twp.
Miles S. Henry is a native of Geneva, Ontario county, New York, and was born March 1, 1815. He was a schoolmate of Stephen A. Douglas, at the Canandaigua Academy, and upon leaving that institution studied law in the office of John C. Spencer, in Canandaigua, for three years. He came west in 1834, and stopped for a while in Chicago, and then went to La Porte, Indiana, there he purchased an interest in Michigan City, which was then coming into notice. He read law at La Porte with Hon. Gustavus A. Evarts, who had been Circuit Judge of the Northern District of Indiana, and then commenced to practice. In 1843 he married Miss Philena N. Mann, an adopted daughter of Judge Evarts, and in the same year formed a law partnership with him, and migrated with him and his family to Platte county Missouri. Not being based with the place, he returned to Illinois in the spring of 1844, and at the instigation of Judge Stephen A. Douglas, settled at Macomb, Mcdonough county. At this place he commenced the practice of the law with Hon. Jesse P. Thomas, Circuit Judge. After the August term of the Circuit Court, in 1844 be came to the Rock river country on an exploring tour, attended the session of the Circuit Court held by Judge Browne, at Lyndon, and was so well pleased with the valley that he concluded to settle at Sterling, to which place the county seat had just been removed. In October, 1844 he brought his family to Sterling and entered into the practice of the Law, soon attaining a prominent position at the bar. He resided for a year in the upper town, known as Harrisburgh, and then purchased and built a residence on the same lots,on Third st, where be now resides. In 1852 he opened a banking house in Sterling; in 1854 formed a partnership with Lorenso Hapgood, in the banking business, the firm name being M.S. Henry & Co., the firm continuing until 1861. During all that time he was also engaged in practicing law. In the fall of 1854 he was elected as Representative to the General Assembly of the State, on what was then called the People’s ticket, the party being afterwards called Republican. During the session of the General Assembly when he was a member, a United States Senator was elected, Abraham Lincoln and Lyman Trumbull being the candidates of the People’s party. Mr. Henry voted for Mr. Lincoln until he not requested, but demanded, that he should not vote for him any longer, but cast his vote for Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Henry was also a strong advocate of the Free School system, and during his term as Representative did more, ably, than any other member, to secure the passage of the first Free School in Illinois. He was a delegate from Illinois to the Republican National Convention, at Philadelphia, in 1856. which nominated , John C. Fremont for the Presidency, he, however, advocating the nomination of Judge McLean for President, and Abraham Lincoln for Vice President. In 1857 he was appointed Bank Commissioner of the State, by Gov. Bissell, and held the office until the war broke out, when he tendered a regiment of cavalry to the service; but it was refused by Gen. McClellan, because there was a greater proportion of that army of the military in the service than it required. Mr. Henry was also, in 1857, elected President of the Sterling & Rock Island Railroad Company, and endeavored to build a road from Sterling to Rock Island, and from thence to Oquawka, and remained President until 1861, when the project was abandoned in consequence of the breaking out of the war, the financial embarrassment of the times, and the violent opposition of the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, with which it would compete. In 1862 Mr. Henry was appointed Paymaster in the Army, which position he held during the war. After the war he was engaged in the oil business in West Virginia, and also in the manufacture of salt at Bay City, Michigan, and for three years was the President and General Manager of the Salt Company at that place. In consequence of the ill health of his wife, he sold his interest at Bay City, and returned home. His wife died soon after, and in October, 1873, he married Mrs Emily J.C. Bushnell, widow of Major Dr. H. Bushnell. On his return to Sterling, in 1868, he recommenced the practice of the law, in company with his present partner, C. C. Johnson, Esq., and has so continued since. Mr. Henry is one of Whiteside’s able and energetic citizens, and has many warm friends and admirers. [Whiteside Co History, Bent-Wilson Pg 405]
DANIEL B. HENWOOD
Daniel B. Henwood, farmer, and owner of the Henwood Ferry, near Erie, and a resident of Erie, was born in Harrisburg, Pa., July 22, 1824. His father, Abraham Henwood, was a native of Germany, a blacksmith by occupation, and moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, where he followed his trade, and died about the year 1828. His mother was a native of one of the New England States. The issue of his parents’ union was three children, all living, of whom Daniel B. is the oldest. Peter is a blacksmith and farmer, and resides in Angola, Ind., and Thomas is a hotelkeeper and farmer in Washington Co., Kan. Mr. Henwood remained at home until he attained his majority, and then traveled some years as a peddler. He then came to Springfield, this State, and acted as nurse under Dr. J.L. Dunyon, and continued at that vocation for a number of years. In 1851 he came to Erie Township, and purchased the Erie Ferry and 60 acres of land. He cultivated his land and ran the ferry for a time, and then engaged in the drug business at Erie, in partnership with Dr. Simmons, afterward with Dr. Springer, and then with Dr. Jackson, and was quite successful. In 1881 he sold out his drug business, and since then followed farming. He has about 20 acres in timber land, and 60 acres on section 7 and 8, Erie Township. He owns his residence in Erie, and two lots, besides three-quarters of an acre of land on Main Street, three store buildings and two or three other buildings. Mr. Henwood was married in Erie, June 27, 1852, to Miss Lydia E., daughter of Charles R. and Hannah (Maxwell) Coburn, born in New York, Jan. 4, 1828. They have had seven children, four of whom are living: Butler now tends the Erie Ferry and follows the vocation of farming; Carrie is the wife of F.E. Burridge, a drug clerk at Erie; Frank resides at home, and is a farmer by occupation; Ida is the wife of George Baker, a farmer in Montana. Mrs. Henwood commenced teaching at an early age, and taught in this county a number of years. Her parents were pioneers of the county, and she has witnessed all the trials incident to a pioneer life. [Contributed by Debbie Thormahlen - Portraits & Biographical Whiteside County IL 1885 Pg. 421]
ELI C. HESS
OF Sterling, IL
The prosperity of any community, town, or city depends upon its commercial activity, its industrial interests and its trade relations and therefore among the promoters of a town are those who stand at the head of its business enterprises. Among this class in numbered Eli C. Hess, a contractor and builder of Sterling, and the number and importance of the contracts which have been awarded him make him one of the substantial residents of the city. He was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, August 11, 1849, his parents being Michael R. and Mary Magdalena (Eschelman) Hess, natives of Pennsylvania. The family comes of German ancestry in the parental line, although representatives of the name came to America at an early day, the grandfather of our subject being a native of Pennsylvania, where he followed farming up to the time of his death. He married a Miss Rathphan, who long survived him and lived to be about ninety years of age. Their son, Michael R. Hess, was reared in the Keystone state and became a shoemaker of Lancaster county, while later he engaged in business in that state as a stone mason. He wedded Mary Magdalena Eschelman, a daughter of Jacob and Lutz Eschelman. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania and a carpenter by trade. He died in Lancaster county well advanced in years. After the death of his first wife he married twice. By his first union he had six children and by each of the other marriages had several children making twenty-one in all. In the year 1868 Michael R. Hess brought his family to Whiteside county, Illinois, and bought a farm of forty acres in Jordan township, which he improved. He died when about seventy-eight years of age and his wife passed away two years before at the age of seventy-four. He was a Mennonite in religious faith, while she was connected with the Dunkard church. They had a family of nine sons and three daughters, of whom ten are now living: Mary, the wife of Ripley Stauffer, of Penrose, Illinois; Zacharias and Jeremiah, twins, both residing in Whiteside county; Jacob, who makes his home in Kansas; Eli C., of this review; Emanuel; Emeline the wife of Henry Mellinger; Ephraim; and Susan, the wife of Jacob Trouth, all of Whiteside county; and Theodore, living in Elgin, Illinois. Eli C. Hess was reared in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, upon the home farm and acquired his education there. He came to Illinois in 1868 when a young man of nineteen years and worked by the month as a farm hand for a year. He was afterward employed as a stone-mason for two years and then took up the carpenterâ€™s trade, which he has since followed. He began doing contract work about 1879 and has since built many of the substantial residences and business houses of Sterling and the surrounding country. He also erected the township high school and a number of the factories of Sterling and of Rock Falls. His labors have been of a character to insure him a continuance of the liberal patronage accorded him and his fidelity to the terms of a contract has gained him the unqualified trust of his fellowman. Mr. Hess was married to a Miss Clara Huber, a daughter of Jessiah and Catherine (Leister) Huber. They have four children: Frederick Richard, a millwright living near Whiting, Indiana, married Nellie Frey. Nora May died at the age of three years. Arthur Herbert, a carpenter of Rock Falls, wedded to Nettie Bolton and they have one son, Leo. Earl Leroy completes the family. The eldest son served as a soldier in the Spanish-American war. Mr. Hess exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party. He has filled the office of school director, of highway commissioner and of collector of Jordan and Palmyra townships. During the past ten years he has lived in Sterling, occupying a beautiful home which he built in 1897. He is interested in all that pertains to the general welfare and has earned fir himself an enviable reputation as a careful man of business, who in his dealings is known for his prompt and honorable methods. [Contributed by Frank Hess from the History of Whiteside County]
CHARLES M. HEWITT
Of Montmorency Township
Charles M. Hewitt, a farmer, residing on section 35, Montmorency Twp., is a son of Moses P. and Sarah . (Webb) Hewitt, natives of the State of New York and Massachusetts respectively. Their family comprised seven children, namely; Chas. M., Elisha P., William, Joseph , John, Frances and Sarah M. Charles M., the subject of this biographical notice was born in Mexico, Oswego Co., N.Y., Feb. 6, 1835. He was reared on the farm and received an English eduation at the common schools of his native county, remaining on the parental homestead until about 22 years of age. At this period in his life's history, he engaged in the livery and stage business, which occupation he followed for about 18 months. In 1858 Mr. Hewitt came to this county, locating at Sterling, where he engaged in farm labor, and which vocation he followed in the neighborhood of that place, about four years; he then rented land and cultivated it for his own individual benefit for some four years longer. At the expiration of this time, he purchased 160 acres of land, located in Montmorency Township, upon which he settled and entered vigorously and energeticaly upon the task of its cultivation and improvement, and on which he has resided until the present time. Mr. Hewitt was united in marriage to Miss Ida Emmons, at Sterling, IL., in 1866. She is a daughter of A.F.R. Emmons, and was born in Sterling, this county, March 22, 1845. Their family comprised three children; Effie May, born May 10, 1867, died July 22, following, aged 10 weeks; Allie S. born Aug. 4, 1868; and Frankie, March 22, 1870. The parents of Mrs. H. were early settlers of this county and experienced all the trials and incident to the establishment of a h ome in this county during its pioneer days. Their family comprised four children; Harriet M., Ida E., William L. and Cora L. The parents are yet living and reside at Rock Falls. Politically, Mr. Hewitt is independent. Although a man who devotes his time strictly to his own business and not a seeker after office, he has officiated as Road Commissioner, and held other minor offices iwthin the gift of the people of his township. [Portrait & Biographical 1885 - Pg 766]
Of Jordan Township
John P. Hey, general farmer, section 23, Jordan Township, was born Feb. 11, 1856, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. His parents, Jacob and Klementina (Dal) Hey, were born respectively in Bavaria and Baden, Germany. she is a sister of Dr. Jacob Dal, of Chicago. They came to America in early life, and were married in Poughkeepsie. their son, who is the subject of this sketch, was but two months old when they removed to Illinois. The mother was a second wife, and Mr. HEY is the oldest child of the later marriage. The family settled in Lee Co., Ill., near Gap Grove, in Palmyra Township. Later, they came to Whiteside County and the father perchased 80 acres of land on section 23, Jordan Township (1858), which is now the residence of Mr. Hey, of this sketch. The latter was reared at home and educated at the public schools. At 21, he worked for his father by the month, and in the next year he became the husband of Elizabeth Baer, to whom he was married Feb. 26, 1878. She is the daughter of Martin Baer, of whom a sketch is given elsewhere. She was born Jan. 2, 1854, in Manor Township, Lancaster Co., Pa. When she was little more than three years of age, her parents came to Illinois, settling in Jordan Township, where she has lived and obtained her education. To her and her husband three children have been born, as follows: Mary A., March 14, 1880; Clement, March 8, 1882; Henry, March 8, 1884. Since their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Hey have lived on the Hey homestead. The former has become a prominent agriculturist. He first purchased 100 acres of land on section 22, adjoining the hoomestead. Later, he bought the 160-acre homestead on sections 23 and 26, and the entire tract is under an excellent order of tillage. Mr. Hey is engaged in raising horses, cattle and hogs, and buying and feeing cattle. He is a Republican in political preference. [Portrait and Biographical of Whiteside County, 1885]
RUFUS KEARSEY HIDDLESON
OF Mt Pleasant Twp
Rufus K. Hiddleson, resident at Unionville, where he is living in retirement, has been a citizen of Whiteside County since 1850. His father and mother, John and Mary (Pimm) Hiddleson, were natives of Pennsylvania, and came in 1865 to this county, where they passed the remainder of their lives. The mother, who was born in 1786, died April 19, 1866, in the township of Mt. Pleasant. The father, who was born in 1789, died Oct.25, 1875. Edwin M., Rufus K., Jane S., Wm. P., Rebecca, John A., Joseph H., Lydia A. and Mary E. were the names of their children. Mr. Hiddleson was born Jan. 19, 1813, in Chester Co., Pa., and he lived in that State until his removal to Whiteside County, obtaining there a common-school education and laboring as a farmer. On coming to Illinois, he located in the township of Mt. Pleasant, where he became an extensive land-holder, owning 440 acres of the variety of land which gives Whiteside County its prestige, located on one of the creeks which traverses the township. He has disposed of the major portion to relieve himself of the cares of extensive business connections in his advancing years, and is at present the owner of about 122 acres of land in Whiteside County. He also owns 160 acres of land in Mitchell Co., Kan. In political sentiment he is a Republican. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace four years and also has officiated in other township offices. He was first married March 12, 1836, in Lycoming Co., Pa., to Caroline Converse, and they became the parents of three children, - Sarah E., Lydia J. and William P. The wife and mother was horn in the State of Vermont, and died in March 1883, in Mt. Pleasant Township. Mr. Hiddleson was again married Aug. 28, 1883, in Grundy Co., Iowa, to Mrs. Charlotte (Dening) Long. Mrs. Hiddleson was born June 11, 1832, in England, where she grew to womanhood and was married to Simeon Long, who died there June 9, 1877. By her first marriage she had four children, - Ellen A., Emily M., Daniel D. and Charles. In 1882 she came with her children to the United States and located in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Hiddleson are members of the Protestant Methodist Church. The portrait of Mr. Hiddleson which appears on a preceding page is made from a likeness taken in 1885. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, Chapman Brothers Publishing Co., Chicago, 1885., Page 451-452]
WILLIAM PIMM HIDDLESON
OF Mt Pleasant Twp
Few citizens of Whiteside county can claim so long a residence here as does William Pimm Hiddleson, who for the past fifty-seven years has resided within its borders. He is numbered among the substantial agriculturists of this section of the state, owning and operating a farm of one hundred and thirty acres situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant Township. He was born in Sullivan county, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1843, a son of Rufus K. and Caroline (Converse) Hiddleson, who in 1850 made the overland trip to Illinois, the father making his way to Whiteside county, where he bought a claim from a Mr. Boyer, this property being now the home of our subject. The father was of Irish descent and the mother was a native of Vermont. After settling in Mount Pleasant township the father was engaged in general agricultural pursuits throughout the remainder of his life, his death there occurring in 1893, when he had reached an advanced age. He was well known in public life, having for several terms served as sheriff of the county, this being in the latter 50s, while he also acted as county commissioner and throughout the greater part of his residence in the county served on the school board. His wife preceded him to the home beyond, her death occurring in 1885. Their family numbered three children, the sisters of our subject being Elizabeth, a resident of the state of Washington and the widow of William Heaton, who died in Portland, Oregon, several years ago; and Lydia Jane, the widow of Henry Tucker and a resident of Morrison, Illinois. William Pimm Hiddleson was a little lad of seven years when he accompanied his parents from the Keystone state to Illinois. He was reared in Whiteside county and acquired his education in the schools of Morrison. From an early age he was trained to the duties of the home farm and thus received practical training, which served him well when he undertook the management of the farm property. He is now the owner of the place on which he was reared, the place comprising one hundred and thirty acres of valuable land, situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant township. He has made many modern improvements here and is now comfortably situated in life. Mr. Hiddleson was united in marriage to Miss Ellen R. Heaton, a native of this county, born in 1854. Her parents, Alfred and Ann Eliza (Robertson) Hiddleson, came to this state from New York about the year 1844. The mother died in 1888, but the father survived her and made his home in Morrison until March 20, 1908, when he passed away at the very advanced age of eighty-eight years. Mrs. Hiddleson is one of a family of six daughters and one son, the other members of the family being: Warren, who in 1861 enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry and died in Washington in 1862; Mrs. Olive King, who resides near Merrill, Iowa; Mrs. Alfretta Babcock, a resident of Shell Lake, Wisconsin; Mrs. Ada Galentine, of Kearney, Nebraska; Mrs. Emily Thomas, of Morrison; and Katie, who died in infancy. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hiddleson has been blessed with a son and daughter. Charles Pimm, who is engaged in the gas business in Morrison married Miss Margaret Spears, by whom he has two sons, Spears and Alfred, aged respectively eleven and nine years. Pearle Mae is the wife of Charles West, who is engaged in the livery business in Morrison. They have one son, Joshua Pimm West. Mr. Hiddleson gives his political support to the men and measures of the Republican Party and for many years served as a member of the school board. Few men are more familiar with the history of Whiteside county during the last half century than Mr. Hiddleson. As a boy he made his way across the country to Illinois, and with the family bore all the hardships and privations incident to a settlement on the frontier. Many of the now thriving cities and villages of the county were as yet not laid out and much of the farm lands were still unclaimed. He has seen the wonderful changes that have since been wrought and with its agricultural interests has been actively identified, so that the history of the pioneer settlement of Whiteside county would be incomplete without the record of his life and it cannot fail to be of interest to our readers." Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, Chapman Brothers Publishing Co., Chicago, 1885., Page 606-608 Few citizens of Whiteside county can claim so long a residence here as does William Pimm Hiddleson, who for the past fifty-seven years has resided within its borders. He is numbered among the substantial agriculturists of this section of the state, owning and operating a farm on one hundred and thirty acres situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant township. He was born in Sullivan county, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1843, a son of Rufus K. and Caroline (Converse) Hiddleson, who in 1850 made the overland trip to Illinois, the father making his way to Whiteside county, where he bought a claim from a Mr. Boyer, this property being now the home of our subject. The father was of Irish descent and the mother was a native of Vermont. After settling in Mount Pleasant township the father was engaged in general agricultural pursuits throughout the remainder of his life, his death there occurring in 1893, when he had reached an advanced age. He was well known in public life, having for several terms served as sheriff of the county, this being in the latter '50's, while he also acted as county commissioner and throughout the greater part of his residence in the county served on the school board. His wife preceded him to the home beyond, her death occurring in 1885. Their family numbered three children, the sisters of our subject being Elizabeth, a resident of the state of Washington and the widow of William Heaton, who died in Portland, Oregon, several years ago; and Lydia Jane, the widow of Henry Tucker and a resident of Morrison, Illinois. William Pimm Hiddleson was a little lad of seven years when he accompanied his parents from the Keystone state to Illinois. He was reared in Whiteside county and acquired his education in the schools of Morrison. From an early age he was trained to the duties of the home farm and thus received practical training which served him well when he undertook the management of the farm property. He is now the owner of the place on which he was reared, the place comprising one hundred and thirty acres of valuable land, situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant Township. He was made many modern improvements here and is now comfortably situated in life. Mr. Hiddleson was united in marriage to Miss Ellen R Heaton, a native of this county, born in 1854. Her parents, Alfred and Ann Eliza (Robertson) Hiddleson, came to this state from New York about the year 1844. The mother died in 1888, but the father survived her and made his home in Morrison until March 20, 1908, when he passed away at the very advanced age of eighty-eight years. Mrs. Hiddleson is of of a family of six daughters and one son, the other members of the family being: Warren, who in 1861 enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry and died in Washington in 1862; Mrs. Olive King, who resides near Merrill, Iowa; Mrs. Alfretta Babcock, a resident of Shell Lake, Wisconsin; Mrs. Ada Galentine, of Kearney, Nebraska; Mrs. Emily Thomas, of Morrison; and Katie, who died in infancy. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hiddleson has been blessed with a son and daughter. Charles Pimm, who is engaged in the gas business in Morrison, married Miss Margaret Spears, by whom he has two sons, Spears and Alfred, aged respectively eleven and nine years. Pearle Mae is the wife of Charles West, who is engaged in the livery business in Morrison. They have one son, Joshua Pimm West. Mr. Hiddleson gives his political support to the men and measures of the republican party and for many years served as a member of the school board. Few men are more familiar with the history of Whiteside county during the last half century than Mr. Hiddleson. As a boy he made his way across the country to Illinois, and with the family bore all the hardships and privations incident to a settlement on the frontier. Many of the now thriving cities and villages of the county were as yet not laid out and much of the farm lands were still unclaimed. He has seen the wonderful changes that have since been wrought and with its agricultural interests has been actively identified, so that the history of the pioneer settlement of Whiteside county would be incomplete without the record of his life and it cannot fail to be of interest to our readers. [Whiteside County History - 1908 Davis]
GEORGE & SAMUEL HIGLEY
Of Hopkins Twp.
George Higley, a pioneer of Whiteside County in 1837, was born in 1793 in Burlington, Vt. His parents went to Pennsylvania while he was yet young, and a few years later they proceeded to Geauga Co., Ohio. Mr. Higley bought a hotel in Unionville in that county, and a mill which was located on Grand River three miles from Unionville. He sold his interests in Ohio in 1834, and, accompanied by his wife and children, came to Illinois, traveling overland to Joliet, in Will County, where he was one of the pioneers. He built and conducted the first hotel at Joliet. In 1837 he visited Whiteside County, making a claim on section 8 of township 20, range 6, now Lyndon. He built a dwelling of the variety common to the locality, and left his brother, Samuel Higley, in charge while he went back to Joliet for his family. He returned to his claim in the spring of 1838; He occupied his log cabin one year, when the structure was removed and enlarged, and served as a home for some years, after which a frame house was built for their accommodation. In 1868 Mr. Higley sold his farm and went to Elairstown, Iowa, where he bought village property. He died there in December, 1880. His wife's death preceded his nearly ten years. Their children were 13 in number. Only five are living: Louisa A. is the widow of James Thomas; Angeline is the wife of Samuel King: they live in Blairstown, Iowa; Helen is the widow of Amzi Jennings and lives in Sterling. George W. lives in Oregon, and Henry C. in Rhinebeck, Iowa. George and Samuel Higley were men of giant stature, the latter being six feet six inches in height and the former measuring six feet four inches. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 502]
George Higley was born in 1793, and married Miss Phebe Chamberlain in 1817. Their children have been: Louisa Ann, George Y.who died at the age of sixteen, Alfred Alonzo, Angeline L., Helen M., Martha Jane, George Jr., and Henry C. Helen M. marrIed A. E. Jenmngs, February 21,1849; Children, George H., Francis C., William L., Edwin M., and Mary H. [Bent-Wilson History of Whiteside County 1877]
Samuel Higley came from New York State, and after a residence of twenty years went farther west, and died. He was noted for being six and a half feet high, and very slender.
A.D. Hill, editor of the Prophetstown Spike, office in Baldwins' Block, is a son of Benjamin F. & Rebecca (McElroy) Hill, and was born in Lancaster Co PA., June 19, 1842. Growing up, he was engaged as clerk in a store, taught school, and dealt in coal, lumber, grain, etc. and in July, 1866 came to Morrison, this county, where he was employed in buying grain, stock, etc., first by himself, and afterward in company with others; taught school; was local editorof the Whiteside sentinel, and finally, in company with Charles Bent, established the Prophetstown "Spike", issuing the first number of the paper Sept. 1, 1871. In October 1872 he bought out Mr. Bent, and conducted the paper alone until 1876, when he formed a partnership with Charles F. Gifford in the publication of the "Spike" and the "Tornado" of Tampico, the latter paper being established in May of that year. In January 1878 he sold the Spike, toJohn W. Olmstead. In the meantime, in April, 1878 he founded the Whiteside Herald, and conducted it for five years. In the fall of 1882 he dislocated his ankle, which laid him up for ensuing winter. The following spring, 1883, he returned to Prophetstown and bought the spike, since which time he has conducted it with success, employing usually two assistants. The paper is an eight-column folio, 4 pages, 26 x 40 inches, Republican in politics and devoted to local news. It is ably edited. A good job office is connected with the establishment. Mr. Hill has been a member of the Town Council one year; April 21, 1885, he was elected Vilage Clerk; has taken an active part in local politics, having been a Delegate to a number of District, County and State Conventions; was a member of the Il. National guard five years, holding the commission of Lieutenant of the 14th Battalion, with headquarters at Moline IL during a portion of that time. Mr. H. is a member of the IOOF.
He was married in Morrison June 1, 1872 to Miss Jane, daughter of John & Martha Beck and born in Newton Twp. this county. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have three children - the two eldest born in Prophetstown and the youngest in Morrison. They are John B., Martha R. and Vio C. [Portrait & Biographical 1885 Whiteside Co IL]
JESSE HILL SR.
OF Genesee Township
Jesse Hill Sr., and family, originally came from North Carolina, and settled on the north side of Genesee Grove in the summer of 1835. Previous to his coming he had lived a number of years in Indiana, but at the death of his wife, desiring to have all his children settle about him, he sought a home in the far West. When they came to the grove they could not cross Rock creek, as the water was very high, so they stopped until the water had fallen. In the meantime they reconnoitered the timber and the adjacent prairie, and concluded that there was enough to supply the "Hill Family," so they built themselves a cabin. One day a party of Indians came to the cabin and told them that there was a "smoky woman" meaning a white woman, on the south side of the grove. A messenger was immediately dispatched, and he found the James family. A treaty, offensive and defensive was at once entered into, by the families stipulating that the James family should own the south half of the grove, and the contiguous prairie, while the Hill family should occupy the north half, and the adjoining prairie. They were to repel all who intended to "jump claims," and the families, or their assignees, for the first few years.
The Hill family consisted of Jesse Hill Sr., and nine children, viz; John, Daniel, William, Zach, Jesse Jr and four girls. One of the girls married Nathaniel Moxley, one, Samuel Seer, one, James Walker and one, Ebenezer Huffman, now in Oregon, as far as their whereabouts can be learned. Jesse Hill Sr died a number of years ago at the Grove. John had six children; two are dead, one lives in Nebraska, one in Michigan, one in Iowa, one in Wisconsin and one, Jesse, in Illinois. John Hill died in Hardin County Iowa in 1852; his wife died in Wisconsin in 1859. Jesse Hill Jr lives in Oregon; Daniel in Kansas; William went to Texas before the war and has not been heard from since. Zach died at the Grove in 1854, after his return from California. His wife, and four children are now in Oregon.
Not having any teams, in the winter of 1835-36, they went to work and cleared up a field in the timber. The boys split the rails and the girls carried them on their shoulders to the place where the fence was to be built. Shoes, boots, broadcloths, silks, worsted goods and calicoes were not in the market, and if they had been there was no money to purchase them. So they had to be contented with buckskin moccasins as substitutes for boots and shoes. The women made linsey from the wool of the sheep, and dyed it with bark. The fabric was called butternut. The girls also made a coarse fabric from cotton by spinning and weaving. This was worn in the summer, the linsey in the winter. The dresses were cut, fitted and made at home, the fashions being entirely ignored.
An incident is related of a gentleman going to the Hill cabin one day about noon, and finding the father, three sons, and three daughters at their dinner, which consisted of potatoes boiled with the skins on. There being no chairs nor any table in the cabin, the potatoes were turned out on the puncheon floor, and the family were seated, tailor fashion, eating their frugal meal. As soon as they saw company, the girls ran and hid, but when the surprise wore off they returned and finished their meal. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 222-223]
JOSEPH W. HILL
Joseph W. Hill, of the firm of J. W. Hill & Co., dealers in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, crockery, notions, etc., at Prophetstown, is a son of William and Susan (Baker) Hill, and was born in Castleton, Rutland Co., Vt., Dec. 2, 1827. His father was a farmer by vocation, and also a mechanic. His parents family consisted of eight children, four of whom are now living. In Sept., 1835, the family started from Castleton, Vt., with teams and three wagons. The father had been prospecting in the fall of the previous year and had decided to locate in Knox Co., IL. On the way out, others traveling to Rock River induced him to come to this county, and he located two miles southwest of the present village of Prophetstown, on section 7, of the township of the same name. He bought a claim there, consisting of 160 acres, and when the land came into market he purchased the same from the Government. He subsequently added to his original purchase, and, at the date of his death, had a fine farm consisting of 200 acres, under a good state of cultivation. He died on his farm, Aug. 29, 1846. The mother also died there, Feb. 14, 1871. Mr. Hill, subject of this biographical notice, when 21 years of age, purchased the interests of the heirs of to the family homestead and resided on the same till March 7, 1881. He then moved to Prophetstown and rented his farm, and engaged in business in company with his brother William during the year 1884. He soon afterward purchased the building. His daughter has since been admitted as a member of the company. They carry a stock approximating $6,000, and are doing a good and constantly increasing business. Mr. Hill is the proprietor of 280 acres of land, including the old homestead. He has taken an active part in school matters, and is, truly speaking, one of the representative citizens of Whiteside County. He was married in Prophetstown Township, on the old homestead, to Miss Martha Reynolds, a daughter of Oliver and Sophia Reynolds, April 30, 1854. She was born in Pennsylvania, April 30, 1835, and has borne to her husband nine children. Harden R. is a farmer and stockman, and resides in Kansas. Leman resides on the homestead. Emma is a partner in the business at Prophetstown. Almira B. is the wife of Charles W. Hull, a banker in Kirwin, Kansas. Vera is the wife of Frank Warner, a farmer residing three and a half miles southeast of Prophetstown. Elma and Elbert L. are now living on a farm in Kansas. Mina also resides in the latter State; and Mertie J. is residing at home. [Transcribed by Christine Walters - Whiteside County History 1880]
LETTER WRITTEN BY JOSEPH W. HILL
Transcribed and Contributed by Warren Richman
There are many spelling errors, but I will type as the letter is written. Also, there are no beginning of sentences or periods. I've numbered two sentences and explained at bottom what I think he meant. The letter is not dated
"PJ protraotide this letter longer than I excetide I must tell you about the Draft here it did (#1) hurt any body but it frightened some we raised six thousand dollars in this town to heir 12 men to inlist to fill our quota there was no drafting in Whiteside County it is geting late bed time I will have to close slip in a note for Olde Abe we are going to give him Illinois by 25000 or more Majority if Grant would (#2) Richmond before lection little Me woula not get one electorial vote give my best respects to all that enquiring friends I wish you would send out a lot of the Vermont frenchmen out here write as soon as get this
Jos W Hill
Prophistown Whiteside County Illionois
dont forget the PO Ofice adress"
#1 should be it 'did not'
#2 not certain myself???
OF Prophetstown Township
William Hill was born in Rutland county, Vermont, in 1783, and came to Prophetstown in 1835. He came all the way from Vermont with teams, and was two months on the road, arriving at Prophetstown in the fall. He was a carpenter and wheelwright by trade, but became a successful farmer. His large family of sons were nearly grown up when he came, and they immediately made claims along what is now Washington street. Coming from New England, he appreciated the importance of schools, and the next year after his arrival succeeded in having a log school house built, which was used until 1841. This was the first school house in Prophetstown. Mr. Hill married Miss Susan Baker. Their children have been: J. Sullivan, who married Miss Rachel Belden, and lives in Prophetstown; Almira, who married J. Colin Southard, and is now dead; John, now dead; William, who married Miss Ann Smith, and lives in Prophetstown; Ezra, who married Miss Jane Underhill and lives in Prophetstown; Fordyce, who married Miss Polly Wall, and lives in Prophetstown; and Joseph, who married Miss Martha Reynolds, and also lives in Prophetstown, Mr. Hill died in 1846, and Mrs. Hill in 1876. The Hill family have lived in Prophetstown since their arrival from the East. William lives on his valuable farm, and has done much to improve the breed of sheep, cattle, and hogs in the county. He has lately introduced the Holstein cattle, so celebrated for their dairying qualities. Among the public positions held by him have been those of Supervisor and Justice of the Peace of the township. Joseph has also acquired a large competency by farming, and owns perhaps the finest farm in the town. During the present year, 1877, he has tried the experiment of tile draining, having laid about a mile of tiles. Ezra lives on Washington street, and has a fine farm, devoting his attention principally to raising hogs, in which he has been very successful. [Extracted from Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 375-376]
WILLIAM HILL, one of the leading farmers in Whiteside County, residing on section 5, Prophetstown Township, has 380 acres of land on sections 5 and 8. He is a son of William and Susan (Baker) Hill, and was born in Hubbardton, Rutland Co., Vt., Sept. 30, 1819. His father was a farmer by occupation, but was an experienced carpenter and joiner and wheelwright. Both his parents were natives of Massachusetts, and were the parents of seven children, all of whom grew to man's estate, and four of whom are now living. The eldest of the family now living is William, the subject of this sketch. Ezra is a farmer, residing in Prophetstown Township; Fordyce and Joseph W. both reside in Prophetstown. Mr. Hill's father, with his family, left Vermont Sept. 9, 1835, and emigrated to this county with a team, being two months on the road. Mr. Hill was reared on a farm, receiving only the advantages in the way of an education that the common schools of the neighborhood afforded. On reaching the age of 21 he went out into the world to battle with fickle fortune. He went north to the State of Wisconsin, where for five years he engaged in lumbering, part of the time working by the month, and for a while engaged in contracting on his own responsibility. In 1845 he left the pineries, and came to Whiteside County. Prior to that date, however, about 1838, he made a claim of 100 acres in Prophetstown Township, on what is now the Luther McKenzie farm. When it came into market, however, he was only able to obtain a deed for 40 acres of it. His brother, John, had made a claim of a quarter-section, where our subject now resides, but died before the land was put upon the market by the Government. Mr. Hill bought this claim for $200, to which he has since added until he now has 380 acres, under excellent cultivation. He has erected upon it a fine residence, costing $3,000, and added a number of improvements, which makes it one of the most valuable and conveniently arranged farms in the township. While engaged in general agriculture, Mr. Hill has made a specialty of raising Holstein cattle. He carried on his farm himself until 1877, when he rented it to his son, Mallory S., who now resides upon it. Mr. Hill yet, however, retains a half interest in the stock. They have about 40 head of graded Holstein cattle, and one full-blooded registered bull, John G. For a number of years they have also given special attention to raising Merino sheep. While never seeking political positions, Mr. Hill has been called upon by his fellow townsmen to represent the township in the Board of Supervisors, and also serve as Justice of the Peace, which latter position he has held for two terms. For several years he has also served as Township Trustee. He is also one of the originators of the Prophetstown Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, of which he has been a Director since its organization, and President ever since, except one year.
Mr. Hill was married in Prophetstown Township, May 6, 1846 to Miss Ann L., daughter of Harry and Ursula Smith. She was horn in Castleton, Rutland Co., Vt., Sept. 21, 1827. To them have been born eight children, five of whom are living: Hester is the wife of Edgar S. Bentley, harnessmaker of Prophetstown; John Q., farmer in Prophetstown Township; Leroy, engaged in farming at Canton, McPherson Co., Kan.; Truman, deceased; Mallory S., now residing on his father's farm; Stella A. wife of Frank Johns, farmer of Prophetstown Township; two others died in infancy. As a leading citizen, not only of his township, but of Whiteside County the publishers take pleasure in presenting Mr. Hills portrait among those of the representative citizens of this county in this album. [Portraits and Biographical]
OF Clyde Township
Leonard Hiner, farmer, resident on section 19, Clyde Township, has been a citizen of Whiteside County since 1855. He was born Aug. 30, 1813, in Lancaster Co., Pa. Leonard Hiner, senior, his father, was a farmer and was also a native of the Keystone State. Late in life he became a resident of Wabash Co., Ind., where he died in August, 1854. He married Catherine Bitterman, who was born in Lancaster County, and was of German parentage and descent. She died about 1860, in Wabash Co., Ind. Their children were 12 in number. Mr. Hiner was third in order of birth. He was reared on the farm of his father, and operated as a farm assistant until he was of age, with the exception of two years, when he was employed in a woolen mill. He was married in February, 1833, in Chester Co., Pa., to Mary Sparr, who was born in that county. Her parents, Frederick and Elizabeth (Criley) Sparr, were farmers and were born of German parentage, in Chester County. They lived in the same place throughout their lives. The record of the children of Mr. and mrs. hiner is as follows; Martin L. married Lizzie McFadden and is superintending the homestead of his parents. They have three children - Della M., Anna M. and Albertus B. Catherine M married Eugene Griffith, and resides in Iowa, Elizabeth is the wife of Jacob Wengert, a farmer in Benton County Iowa. Julia A. married William Alldritt, a farmer in Clyde Township. Rachel J. married Lewis Griffith and they live in Knox County, Ohio. Harriet is the wife of Mr. Little, and they are residents of California. After they had been married two years, during which time they had resided in Chester Co., Mr. and mrs. Hiner went to Lancaster Co., Pa., and a year later, went ot wayne County, and thence to Mercer County, Ohio. They passed seven years in the county last named on a farm of which they became the owners by purchase. The place was sold in 1854, and a year later the family came to Whiteside County. They made their first location on Elkhorn Creek, where their stay was brief, Mr. Hiner soon after deciding to fix his permanent residence in Clyde Township, where he purchased 80 acres of unimproved prairie. They place is now in an attractive and valuable condition. Mr. Hiner is a Democrat in political faith and has held several offices. Mrs. Hiner died in the fall of 1878 at the age of 71 years. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 215]
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