Widow of John R. Smith & Azariah Wick Of Genesee Township
Amanda Wick, a sister of R. T. Hughes, was first married to John R. Smith, a son of T. W. Smith, one of the first Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois. She had one child, I.S. Smith, who is now living in Chicago. Mrs. Smith afterwards married Azariah Wick, August 6, 1838. She had 7 children by this marriage. Mr Wick enlisted in the 75th Regiment of IL Infantry in 1862, as a private and died in Military Hospital No. 14, at Nashville TN. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County IL 1877]
OF Genesee Township, Whiteside Co IL
John Wick was born January 26, 1793 in Fayette County Kentucky; at the age of five his family emigrated to Ross County Ohio, where he spent his boyhood. He married Elizabeth King of Loudon County Virginia on the 14th of April 1814. Children: Margaret was born January 14 1815; Eunice, March 8 1816; Azariah and Absalom , twins, April 16 1818; John K July 28 1820 and Moses September 8 1822. Mrs Wick died February 1823. John K and Moses are living, one in Genesee Grove, the other in California. Margaret, the wife of Harmon Hopkins is living in Iowa. Eunice the wife of Mr. Howard also lives in Iowa. Mr Wick had been a farmer all his life. He came from Ohio directly to Illinois and settled in Genesee Grove in October 1836. He was a soldier in the war of 1812; he was drafted and immediately mustered into the service, and rendezvoused at Columbus Ohio. His regiment was at once ordered to upper Sandusky to re-enforce General Scott, who was threatened with an attack by the British Army. They reached headquarters just the night before the battle - near enough to hear the cannon, but not to engage in the encounter. General Scott won the battle, and Mr. Wick's regiment was detailed to guard the prisoners. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 222-223]
OF Genesee Township, Whiteside Co IL
William Wick was born in Fayette county Kentucky. He was about two years younger than his brother John and also went with the family to Ross County Ohio. He married Margaret Redman , as sister of Eli Redman in Ohio. He came to Illinois and settled in Genesee Grove in June 1836. Children: Nancy, Emeline, Charlotte, Louisa, an infant that died, Eli and William. Eli lives in Missouri and William in Iowa. Nancy married Wm P Hiddleson and now lives in Kansas; Emeline married William Crum and died in about a year; Louisa married John Moxley and now lives in Missouri; Charlotte married Harvey Summers, and also lives in Missouri. mr. Wick died in 1858, and is buried in Genesee Grove. He was drafted during the war of 1812, and served in the same regiment as his brother John. He was an honest, unsuspecting man, and often became the victim of designing persons; he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The pioneer ministers of that, and all denominations as well and indeed everybody found a cordial welcome at his house. No member of his family now resides in this county. Mrs. Wick is still living, at a ripe old age , with her daughter Mrs. Moxley. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 223]
Of Portland Township, Whiteside Co IL
A. T. Wiggins was a native of Montpelier, Vermont, and was born in 1816. He came to Portland in 1838, and in 1839 formed a partnership with Job Dodge in the mercantile business, remaining until 1841, when the partnership was dissolved. He then became connected with William Pollock, in the same business at Como, and died in 1845. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
THOMAS J. WILBER
OF Erie, Whiteside Co IL
Thomas J. Wilber, who is now living retired from active labor in the village of Erie, was born in New York state, July 28, 1840, a son of James and Katherine (Nolls) Wilber. The father, who owned and operated a sawmill in that state, died about 1884, and the mother departed this life in 1871. In their family were eleven children. Our subject was reared by his maternal grandfather, and remained with him until twenty-two years of age. On the 23d of January, 1867, he was united in marriage with Miss De Vera Grover, and soon afterward they came to Whiteside county, Illinois, locating on a farm in Garden Plains township, where they lived for about two years. The following year was spent in Iowa, but at the end of that time they returned to this county and took up their residence in Erie, where Mr. Wilber was successfully engaged in mercantile business for a number of years. He owns a good farm of eighty acres in Fenton township, which he has improved and cultivated, and resided on it for seven years. Since the spring of 1899 he has lived retired in Erie, enjoying the fruits of former toil.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilber have one child, Lawrence A., who is now engaged in the stock business in Hillsdale. The parents are both earnest and consistent Christians, though members of different religious denominations, Mr. Wilber belonging to the Christian church, his wife to the Seventh Day Adventist church. In politics he is independent, voting for the men whom he believes best qualified to fill the offices, regardless of party affiliations. He commands the respect and confidence of all who know him and is one of the honored citizens of his community. [Whiteside Biographical Record 1900, Pg 450]
Andrew Wilkinson, retired farmer and formerly one of the largest land owners in the county, and at present residing at Prophetstown, is a son of James and Samantha (Field) Wilkinson, and was born in Oneida Co. NY Jan. 31, 1836. His father was a farmer and a native of the same county, and was born Jan. 5, 1814. His mother was born April 14,1814. The former died April 7, 1874 and the latter Aug. 21, 1882. When a young man of 24 years of age, in 1860, Andrew came West to find a wider field to work in and to join with the enterprising men in building up the great prairie State. He came to Whiteside County and located in Prophetstown Township. The following autumn his father and mother with the other members of the family - one son and three daughters - joined him. They soon began to buy land in this section, and accumulated until at one time they owned 2,016 acres of fine farming land on the Rock River bottom. Shortly after their arrival here, they bought 40 acres of land in Prophetstown Township and subsequently 120 in Tampico Township, and afterwards 889 in Hume, and at subsequent purchases in the latter township 597 acres. They accumulated all this land before selling any. A number of years after the above named purchases, they bought two farms in Lyndon Township, one of 140 acres and the other of 416. Andrew still owns 565 acres in Hume Township and one and a half acres in Prophetstown city. While farming tey raised large numbers of hogs and cattle, doing their own shipping. He now owns 183 head of cattle and 25 horses. The members of his father's family were born in the following order: Andrew, the subject of this sketch; Alonzo, now living at Sterling; Ann Eliza wife of George D. Wiard, a farmer near Ypsilanti Mich; Annett, wife of J.M. V. Sanderson of Moline, Ill.; Sophronia, wife of C.H. Field in the American Express office, Chicago. Those deceased are Margaret and Jay. The former died Sept. 16, 1871 and the latter April 18, 1873. The subject of this sketch was married Jan. 1, 1857 in Oneida Co., NY to Miss Sarah E. daughter of Coonrad and Sally House. She was born in Oneida COunty, Dec. 2, 1837. To them have been born two children - Irwin G. who is a farmer in Hume Towship, and Eva J., wife of Henry Clark of Prophetstown. Mrs. Wilkinson died in Tampico Township Feb. 23, 1866. Mr. W. was again married March 11, 1879 this time to Mary M. Quigley who was born in Lancaster Co., PA Sept. 10, 1836. Mr. W. retired from the farm, where he had been eminently successful, in January 1883, and has since resided at Prophetstown. He is a Mason and a member of the Order of Modern Woodsmen of America. [Portraits & Biographical pg 477 contributed by Maggie Earl]
WINFIELD SCOTT WILKINSON
Of Mt. Pleasant Township
Winfield Wilkinson was born in Skaneateles, Onondago county, New York, September 11, 1812. In 1834 he went to Georgetown, Kentucky, and remained there until 1837, when he came to Jacksonville, Illinois, and was employed at that place, and at Springfield, as civil engineer in the service of the State, until October, 1839, when he came to Como, Whiteside county. Mr. Wilkinson was married November 10, 1841, at Como, to Miss Francis Elizabeth Sampson, daughter of Capt. Henry B. Sampson. Their children have been; Mary C born at Como April 14 1843; Alfred E born at Skaneteles, Onondaga county New York December 6 1846; Henry B born at Como, April 8 1849 and Frank, born at Sterling March 11 1857. Mary C married Charles H Cogswell, May 20, 1869 and resides at Clinton Iowa; children, Francis E and Charles H. Alfred E married Miss Annie Oldham of Gainesville Texas November 4 1875 and resides at Sherman Texas where he is engaged in the practice of law, and now wears the judicial ermine; one child, Henry. Henry B resides in Chicago. Frank died at Morrison, November 21 1860. Mr. Wilkinson resided in Como until September, 1856, when he moved to Sterling, and in 1858, at the removal of the County Seat, came to Morrison. Probably no man in Whiteside county has taken a more active and prominent part in its affairs than Mr. Wilkinson. His peculiar qualification for an able and honest discharge of the duties of a public trust, were early recognized, and for more than a quarter of a century his fellow citizens freely conferred these trusts upon him. When the lands upon which Como is situated were placed into market by the government, he was one of three gentlemen selected by the claimants to bid them in, and for the lands in Hopkins township he was the only one selected to make the purchases. In 1842 he was elected County Surveyor of Whiteside county, and held the position five years. In 1844, and while still County Surveyor, the people of Whiteside called upon him to represent them in the General Assembly of the State, which he did, greatly to their satisfaction, and to the interests of the State, for a term of two years. When the County Court which superseded the the County Commissioners' Court in all county affairs, was first organied, he was elected one of the associate justices, and in 1853 was again elected County Surveyor, holding the position until 1857, when he became County Clerk, the duties of which office he conducted with signal ability until 1869, a period of twelve years.
At the conclusion of his term, the Board of Supervisors, for whom the County Clerk is ex-officio clerk, passed a resolution highly complimenting him for the able and faithful manner in which he had discharged the multifarious duties of this office, and sincerely regretting that he had concluded to retire from it at the close of his term. He has also represented the township of Mt. Pleasant in the Board of Supervisors. In 1870, upon the adoption of the new Constitution, he was elected a Senator of the General Assembly from the district then comprising the counties of Whiteside and Lee, and served a term of two years, during which time he aided materially by his sound judgment, discrimination mind, and close attention to legislative duties, in properly completing the laws of the State so as to make them conform to the newly adopted Constitution. The labors of the General Assembly when he was Senator were made unusually arduous and exacting on account of the conflict of the then existing laws with the new Constitution, and itrequired the utmost care and ability on the part of the members of both Houses, to remodel the former so as to make them conform to the latter without rendering them nugatory by reason of unconstitutionality. Mr. Wilkinson gave the new fundamental document the closest study, and by that means, aided by a comprehensive and systematic mind, was enabled to readily discover the objectionable features in a bill proposing the remodeling of an old law, or the creation of a new one. At the close of his Senatorial term, Mr. Wilkinson retired from public and political life, as wella s from active business cares. He is the owner of a large farm near Como, a find residence in Morrison, besides other property, and surrounded by friends, is passing the days of the sere and yellow leaf with that ease and contentment which a well spent life always brings to the happy possessor. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 302]
WINFIELD SCOTT WILKINSON, of Morrison, became a resident of Whiteside County in 1839, and had been in the State two years previous to that date. He has been prominently connected with the municpal affairs of that county during the entire period ofhis active life. He is widely known in his public and official relations and as a staunch friend and promoter of the general welfare.
The genealogical record of the Wilkinsons in America is complete. Lawrence Wilkinson was the founder of the race, and Mr. Wilkinson belongs to the sixth generation. Lawrence was born in Lanchester, in the shire of Durban, England. His father was named William, and his grandfather bore the same name as himself. He settled at Providence, R.I., in 1645, as nearly as can be estimated, and he died in 1692, nine years after the death of Roger Williams. From William Wilkinson, who married Mary Conyers, the succession is traced as follows: Lawrence married Susannah Smith; John, their third child, married Deborah Whipple; Daniel, fifth child of John and Deborah, married Abigail Inman. John, who was the seventh child of the latter, married Betsey Tower, and they became the parents of four children - Alpha, Alfred, John and Diana - all now deceased. Alfred was born in Cumberland, R.I., July 6, 1786. His parents went thence to Troy, and from there to Skaneateles, N.Y., where he died, July 19, 1859, on the farm where the family settled, and on which he was buried. He was distinguished for his learning, conscientiousness, public spirit and religous fervor. He married Susan Smith, by whom he had six children: Joab, Winfield Scott, Harry, Morton Smith, Elizabeth and Sarah. After the death of his first wife he married Laura Edwards, who survived him. Two children, Harry and Elizabeth, are deceased. Joab is a farmer in Macon Co., Ill. Morton is an attorney at Welles, Minn. He studied for his profession at Skaneateles, began his practice at Eaton Rapids, Mich., and removed, in 1847, to Minnesota. Sarah resides on the homestead which was the pioneer home of her grandfather. The generations that have descended from Lawrence Wilkinson have included some of the most distinguished names in the history of the country. Ruth Wilkinson, daughter of Samuel, eldest son of Lawrence, was the mother of Stephen Hopkins, Governor of Rhode Island, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Jemima Wilkinson, the Prophetess, belonged to the fourth generation. The roll of those who attained distinction in learning, law, theology and mechanics is too extensive for the scope of this sketch.
Mr. Wilkinson was born Sept. 11, 1812, in Skaneateles, N.Y. He was under the parental authority during his minority, and obtained a good education. He first engaged in teaching on reaching the period of his legal freedom, and afterward acquired a thorough and practical knowledge of the business of civil engineering. In 1837 he came to Jacksonville, Ill., and was employed by the State in the capacity of civil engeineer until the fall of 1839, when he located in Whiteside County.
In October of that year he bought a farm on section 25, near Como, in Hopkins Township, which contained 70 acres. Como flourished, and became the leading settlement in the eastern part of Whiteside County. The Government land sales took place in 1843, and Mr. Wilkinson was one of three selected by the claimants of Como to bid them in. He was chosen to perform the same service for the settlers in Hopkins Township. During the entire period of his residence in Hopkins, his peculiar fitness for the transaction of business in the interests of a pioneer community were recognized and kept in active use. In 1842 he was elected County Surveyor, and discharged the duties of the position five years. In 1844, he was elected Representative, and served two years in the General Assembly, fulfilling the obligations of his trust in a manner that reflected credit upon himself and upon the judgment of his constituents.
The business of Whiteside County was transacted by a Commissioners' Court, until the institution of the County Court. Mr. Wilkinson was named for the chief official, but declined, and accepted an appointment as Associate Justice. The first meeting of the Court was held in March, 1850, In 1853 he was again elected County Surveyor, and held the position until 1857, when he was elected County Clerk, the event being made conspicuous by his being the nominee of the Independent Democratic element of the county. He was twice re-elected, and served an aggregate of 12 years, or until 1869, when he declined a further incumbency. The ability and public spirit he had manifested in his official relations won for him the appreciation of the community, and the commendation of the officials of the county with whom he was connected ex officio. He was elected Senator in 1870, when the adoption of the new Constitiution of Ilinois demanded that the people should be represented by the soundest judgment and most disinterested integrity. His district included the counties of Whiteside and Lee, and the service rendered by Mr. Wilkinson in the Legislature justified the discretion of his constituents. In September, 1856, he removed to Sterling, then the county seat. On the removal of the county government to Morrison, in 1858, he changed his residence to the latter place, of which he has since been a resident. At the termination of his Senatorial term, in 1872, he retired from public and active life.
Mr. Wilkinson owns a farm on section 34, Hopkins Township, which is conducted by a tenant, and also his residence at Morrison, and 16 acres of land.
His marriage to Frances E. Sampson, occurred at Como, Nov. 10, 1841, and they have had four children. Mary, born April 14, 1843, married Dr. C. H. Cogswell, and resides at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Alfred E, born Dec. 6, 1846, is an attorney at Dennison, Texas. He studied at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and was graduated in 1869, reading the class poem. Henry B., born April 8, 1849 is in company with his uncle, Hon. H.R. Sampson, and is doing business as a real-estate and loan agent. They are the owners of the only complete set of abstracts in Whiteside Sounty. Frank, born March 11, 1857, died Nov. 21, 1860. Mrs. Wilkinson is the daughter of Capt. H.B and Nancy (Turner) Sampson, pioneers of Hopkins Township. She was born Jan 8, 1814. On her mother's side, she is descended from Governor Carver, of Massachusetts, and her grandfather, Colonel Turner, was a graduate from Harvard in 1767 and joined the Colonial army at Boston with a company of volunteers. [Portraits and Biographical]
Of Prophetstown Township
Calvin Williams is a native of Monson, Massachusetts, and was born in 1799. When five years of age, his parents moved to Cortland county, New York, and in 1823 to Erie county, in the same State. Mr. Williams moved to Michigan in 1833, and in 1837 came to Prophetstown, where he still lives, working at his trade of carpenter, although seventy-eight years of age. He married Miss Sally Hill in 1823, their children being: Enos, living in Portland; Emily, who married Johnson W. Gage, and lives in Prophetstown; Harriet , who first married Ryland Smith, and, after his death, Henry Myers, and lives in Prophetstown; Eliza, wife of David Barber, living in Prophetstown; Armina, wife of Andrew J. Seely, living in Portland; Lovina, wife of Richard Thompson, livitig in Portland; and Nathan, who married Miss Lillian Parish, and lives in Sterling. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
HENRY P. WILLIAMS
Henry P. Williams, physician, Sterling, was born in Rockford, Illinois ., Sept. 1, 1859, his parents being Lewis and Anna (Mesler) Williams, natives of the city of New York. His c father, who was a hardware merchant there sold out and came to Rockford, III. He enlisted in the 74th 111. Vol. Inf. as First Lieutenant, was appointed Regimental Quartermaster, and died in the service of his country in November, 1862, at Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Williams, the subject of this sketch, reinained at his parental home until of age, and since that time his mother has resided with him. He attended College at Beloit, Wis., graduating in 1882. He commenced the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Utley, of Sterling, attended a course of lectures at Rush Medical College,Chicago, and graduated in the spring of 1884, since which time he has devoted his time to the practice of his chosen profession. Dr. Williams is a staunch Prohibitionist, a member of the Presbyterian Church and a citizen of very high standing. [Contributed by Christine Walters; Whiteside County History 1880]
Leslie Williams, druggist, established his present business at Fulton in August, 1872. He is a native of Boston, Mass., was born Feb. 17, 1848, and is the son of George and Catharine (Ravis) Williams, of Welsh descent. He was adopted by John L. Thompson, with whom he went to Burlington, Iowa, in April, 1856. He came to Fulton the following June, and was educated in the public schools of this city. When 15 years of age he began business as a clerk with his half-brother, H. J. Ravis, dealer in general merchandise, and remained with him till 1867. He spent the next two years as a salesman in a hardware store at Fulton. In 1869 he bought out a stock of fancy goods, books and stationery, and started in business for himself. He was doing well until a fire occurred, Jan. 2, 1872, that swept away his entire stock, by which he suffered a loss of $1,500, and on which he only realized by insurance $500. In 1872 he opened in the drug business. He has conducted this establishment about 13 years with marked success, and now has a large, tasteful and well stocked store in his line. His stock averages in value about $5,000, and includes everything usually found in a first-class drug store. He was married at Fulton, Nov. 22, 1872 Miss Anna Gerrish, daughter of B. S. Gerrish. Mrs. Williams was born in Portsmouth, N. H.
Mr. Williams has held various offices of local importance, and is the present Township Clerk and Township School Treasurer. He has held the former office six years and the latter eight. He has always taken a warm interest in politics, is an earnest Democrat, and in 1880 was a Delegate to the Illinois State Democratic Convention. He was made a Freemason immediately after becoming of age, and is a member of Fulton City Lodge, No. 189. He is also a member of Fulton Chapter, No. 108, R. A. M. With his characteristic earnestness, Mr. Williams applied himself to acquiring a knowledge of Masonry, and is recognized as one of the most efficient members of the order. He is a man of good executive ability, quick perception and sound judgment, supported by a habit of earnest application to the matter in hand, which assures a prompt and correct discharge of public and private duties that may devolve upon him. [Contributed by Christine Walters; Whiteside County History 1880]
OF Montmorency Township
Nathan Williams was born in Pomfret, Windham county, Connecticut, in June, 1821. He commenced teaching district school at the age of seventeen, and continued teaching during the winter terms for six consecutive years, attending Brooklyn Academy at the fall terms. At the expiration of his last term as teacher, he engaged as clerk in the Masonville Manufacturing Company, where he remained two years, and then became a partner in the mercantile firm of Williams, Ely & Co. This firm continued business for five years when Mr. Williams purchased the entire interest of the concern, and carried on business in his own name until he came to Sterling, Whiteside county, in 1856. On his arrival in Sterling he again became a merchant, building a store for himself, and continuing in trade three years, when he retired and purchased a farm in Montmorency township, upon which he has since resided. The farm of Mr. Williams is situated upon sections 17, 18, 19 and 20, in the township of Montinorency, and comprises six hundred and forty acres. He has taken a great deal of pains to bring his farm under a good state of cultivation, and it is now one of the finest farms in the township. During his residence in Connecticut Mr. Williams was a school officer nearly all the time after he became of majority, either as a member of the Town Examining Board, or as Director, and for part of the time as both, and was also a Justice of the Peace for nine years. Since coming West he was School Trustee in Sterling for five years, and in Montmorency a School Director for twelve years. He has also been Assessor of Montmorency township for three years. At the fall election in 1871 he was elected a Representative to the General Assembly of the State, from the 11th District, composed of Whiteside and Carroll counties, and served the full term of two years: Mr. Williams was a Whig in politics until the organization of the Republican party, and has acted with the latter ever since. [Bent & Wilson 1877]
HON. NATHAN WILLIAMS, a citizen farmer of Montmorency Township, resident on Section 20, came to Whiteside County in 1856. He was born June 18, 1821 in Pomfret, Windham Co. Conn. His parents Nathan and Phila (Day) Williams were also natives of that county where his father was for many years a farmer, having been born on the farm where he passed his entire life. He was a neighbor of Gen. Israel Putnam, and died in 1862. The mother died in 1876. Their children were born in the following order: Wareham, Nathan, John, Watz, Deborah, Julia and Albert D.
Mr. Williams passed his boyhood's years in school and on his father's farm, where he was an assistant until he was 16 years old. At that age he engaged in teaching, and was occupied several seasons in that capacity. He attended an academy at Brooklyn, four miles from his home, which distance he walked night and morning. When he was 22 years old he became a clerk in the employ of the Masonville Manufacturing Company, and officiated three years in that capacity, and in that of bookkeeper in their interests. In 1846 he became interested in mercantile pursuits at Putnam, Conn., in which he was engaged nine years, and operated principally alone, with satisfactory results. He found that his health was becoming broken from the confinement and other causes, and he determined to try a change of climate. In 1856 he came to Sterling, where he again interested himself in his former pursuit, in a building which he erected for the purpose. After two years he was obliged from the same causes to sell his business. He then, in 1858, bought 160 acres of land on sections 19 and 20 in Montmorency Township, fixing his homestead on the latter. He has been fortunate in his agricultural projects and has extended his ownership until he is the Possessor of 880 acres of land in the same township. Nearly 6oo acres are under excellent tillage. His stock includes about 100 head of cattle, and between 40 and 50 horses. He is interested in raising fine breeds of the latter, and was the first to introduce Clydesdales into Whiteside County. He also fattens about a hundred head of hogs annually. In the early days of his political career, Mr. Williams was a Whig; and, on the adjustment of party elements and organization of the Republican party, he joined its ranks and has since Supported its is- sues. In his native State he was actively interested in local and general politics, and his executive abilities and public spirit brought him a long array of official honors, wholesomely mixed with official labor. He has served an aggregate of 20 years as Justice of the Peace in Connecticut and Whiteside County, and in the latter has been Township Assessor five years. He has also been warmly interested in school matters in both States. At the fall election of 1870 he was elected for the position of Representative from the 11th District, comprising Carroll and Whiteside Counties, and served through two regular and two special sessions, covering ten months during the two years of his term.
Mr. Williams was united in marriage in Thompson, Conn., July 23, 1845, to Catherine B. Thatcher. They became the parents of five children, of whom there are four survivors: Ada T., Thomas T., N. Percy and Abbott. Mrs. Williams was born Dec. 5, 1819, in Hartford, Susquehanna Co., Pa., and is the daughter of Thomas and Betsey (Mills) Thatcher. Her father was born in Massachusetts, and her mother was a native of Connecticut. The former was a manufacturer and spent most of his life in Connecticut, where he was married. He died March 28, 1845. His wife died June 19, 1825. Their children were Sarah M., Catherine B., Ellen and Anna F. [1885 Portrait and Biographical Whiteside Co]
OF Fulton, IL
A.C. Williamson, a young business man of Fulton, is one of the leading druggists of the city. He was born March 16, 1872, in Swedonia, Mercer county, Illi- nois, a son of James W. Williamson.
His father was born and educated in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. but caine to Illinois while yet a young man, hoping in the broad prairies of the west to find unlimited opportunities for improving his financial condition. When ready to establish a home he located at Orion, Henry county, where he carried on general farming until his removal to Creston, Iowa, where he is now living. In 1869 he married Mary U. Cook, who was born in Scot- land, but at the age of sixteen years came to America with her parents, who settled in Orion, Illinois. Two children were born into their household, namely: A. C., the special subject of this brief biographical notice; and Blanche, who lives with her parents.
A. C. Williamson was twelve years of age when he went with his parents to Creston, in whose public schools he completed his early studies. At the age of sixteen, he took the first steps leading to a mercantile career by entering the drug store of Schifferle & Co., at Creston, remaining there a year. Having decided, however, to prepare himself for the occupation in which he was now employed he entered the Illinois College of Pharmacy, at the North Western University, from which he was graduated in 1893. Coming then to Fulton. Mr. Williamson accepted a position with George B. Robinson, in the store where he is now established. In 1895 Mr. Williamson purchased the business of Mr. Robinson, and he has built up a thriving trade, his ability, practical judgment, and systematic business methods bringing him assured success in his dealings, and his future is bright with promises. In politics Mr. Williamson is a stanch Republican. Fraternally he is prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Fulton City lodge, No. 189, A. F. & A. M.; of Fulton chapter, No. 108, R. A. M.; and of Sterling commandery, No. 57, K. T. Religiously he is a member of the First Presbyterian church, of Fulton. [Whiteside County Biographical Record 1900 pg 275]
GRIFFEN W. WILSON
Of Newton Twp., Whiteside Co IL
Griffin W. Wilson, farmer, section 1, Newton Township, was born in Pomfret, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., March 27, 1827. He is the eldest son of Ashley and Lorinda (Graves) Wilson, who were natives of the State of New York. They located in Chautauqua County about the year 1825, where the father secured a claim of timber and improved a farm. In 1841, they went to Ohio, settling in Lake County, where they resided about five years, after which another removal was effected, to La Porte Co., Ind., where the parents died. Mr. Wilson was an inmate of the parental household until his marriage in 1854, to Pheobe Layman. She was born in La Porte County,and is the daughter of Joshua and Eliza (Travis) Layman. Her parents were natives of the empire State.
In 1856 Mr. Wilson came to Newton township. He settled on "Slocum Street," where he purchased a farm, and carried on agricultural operations until 1860. In that year he boght 160 acres on section 1. About 80 acres had been broken and a small house had been built. Mr. Wilson has improved the entire acreage, and erected excellent farm buildings. He has since made a purchase of the southeast quarter, and is the owner of the entire eastern half of the section. On the latter he has built the necessary structures, including a dwelling, where he is now living. The place is in fine condition, and its value and appearance are considerably enhanced by the shrubs and ornamental trees hich the owner has planted. He raises grain and stock, and is engaged in mixed husbandry. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are members of the United Brethren Chruch, which is located in Garden Plains Township. The record of their children is as follows: Ord A. married Anna C. Hanson, and they have three children: Seth A., Daniel A. and Clara V. A sketch of the life of Mr. Hanson may be found on another page. Frank E. married Mattie Crump; they have one child, Joseph L. Herbert W. is the name of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson's youngest child. [History of Whiteside County Portraits & Biographical 1885]
Of Clyde Township, Whiteside Co IL
John Wilson was born February 9, 1812, in Renfrewshire, Scotland. He emigrated from his native country in 1832. November 28, 1841, he was mrried to Jane Blue. In September 1839, after the "Patriot War," in which he was engaged, he came to Dent's Grove, in Clyde, and made his first claim on section 17. He now has a fine farm on section 5. Children: Sarah, who married E M Bechtel; Thomas, who married Miss Elsey; John, who married Belle Leggett; Alexander, who married Deborah Fletcher; Maggie, Kate, Lizzie, and Charles - who all live in Clyde. Two children died in infancy. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County, Page 145]
JOHN P. WILSON
Of Clyde Township, Whiteside Co IL
John P. Wilson was one of thirteen children born to a farmer in Whiteside County Illinois, and in youth he suffered an accident which left him lame for life. Yet, by sheer courage and ability, he rose to be one of the foremost lawyers of the state, sought after by great men, and by some of the most powerful corporations in this county and abroad. It was on July 3, 1844, that he was born on a farm near Garden Plain, IL. His father was a native of Scotland and a graduate of the University of Glasgow. His mother was from a family of early settlers in the Mississippi Valley.
He worked on the farm as a boy, and attended the grammar schools. If he had not met with an accident he might have developed into a prosperous farmer, and Chicago might never have known him. But when he became too lame to do farm work he started to carve for himself a place in the legal profession.
First, he worked his way through Knox College at Galesburg, IL, and was graduated with the class of 1865. Then he began to read law, paying his way by teaching in Galesburg Academy. After two years of this he came to Chicago, in 1867, and got work in the law offices of John Borden, who specialized in real estate litigation. There the young student laid the foundation for the great reputation he was to achieve in later years. He, too, devoted himself to the legal aspects of real estate deals.
Four years after he arrived in Chicago, the Great Fire of 1871 swept the city away, and left the title to thousands of parcels of real estate clouded. Moreover, a great controversy arose aver the laying and collection of taxes, and the courts were appealed to by both sides. Mr. Wilson was employed in this litigation, and despite his youth, he was quickly known as one of the shrewdest and best informed men in the city on all legal matters pertaining to ownership of land. It was in the course of these trials that he met many of the influential men who later were his clients.
The next important case in which Mr. Wilson was retained, was the attempt to overthrow the statute creating the Probate Courts. He was still a young man then, in 1877, but his reputation was such that Judge Joshua C. Knickerbocker, who had just been elected judge of the new Probate Court, chose him to defend the act. Mr. Wilson handled the case from the filing of the first bill to he decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois, and the act was upheld. In the next decade he established a reputation as a trial lawyer, and he was associated in important litigation with such leaders of the bar as Corydon Beckwith, Lyman Trumbull, Melville W. Fuller, afterward Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; William C. Goudy and others. He was counsel for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1892 and 1893. He it was who, in 1896, drafted the laws under which was created the Sanitary District of Chicago. Again the statute he had favored was attacked, and again he handled the case through all the courts until the Illinois Supreme Court had sustained it. Mr. Wilson was married on April 25, 1871, to Miss Margaret C. McIlvaine, daughter of John D. McIlvaine of Chicago. Their children were Margaret C., Martha, John P., Jr., Anna W. (Mrs. William R. Dickinson), and Agnes R. Mr. Wilson's favorite charity was the Children's Memorial Hospital, and he gave freely of his time and means while alive, and at his death left a large sum for its endowment. He aided the University Club of Chicago to secure its present home, and he was long a trustee of Knox College. He lived to the age of 78, and two weeks before his death, on October 3, 1922, he was actively practicing his professional ___(?) [Contributed by Rommy Lopat and Transcribed by Christine Walters; Source: Chicago and Its Makers ed by Paul Gilbert and Charles Lee Bryson, Chicago, 1929]
JOSEPH M. WILSON
Of Jordan Township, Whiteside Co IL
Joseph M. Wilson was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, May 12, 1803, and died April 2, 1874. Mrs. Frances Wilson, his wife, died May 19, 1877. Mr. Wilson’s family of children consisted of Catharine, born January 9. 1831; Mary, born March 31, 1833; Hannah, born February 22, 1835; Nathan, born December 9, 1836; Elizabeth, born May 5,1838; John M, born February 16, 1840; James Sykes, born January 31, 1842; Joseph, born January 4, 1844. Catharine, Hannah, Elizabeth, Joseph and John are dead; with the exception of the latter, all died in early childhood. John married Laura Blackenstone April 30, 1869. James S. married Mary F. Mitchell; three children. Nathan married Catharine A. King, of Richmond, Indiana; seven children. Joseph M. Wilson settled in Jordan township July 3, 1835, and built a log mill which was started May 22, 1836. He was engaged in other enterprises, and did much to develop the resources of the new country. [Pg 263-264 Bent-Wilson 1877]
ROBERT L. WILSON
OF Sterling Township, Whiteside Co IL
Robert L. Wilson was born September 11, 1805, in Washington county Pennsylvania. He is of Scotch-Irish extraction, his ancestars having emigrated from Scotland and settled near the city of Belfast soon after the conquest of Ireland by Cromwell, in the Sixteenth Century. In 1778 they settled in York county, Pennsylvania, and in 1782, the father and mother of the family, with ten children, emigrated to the then far west and settled in Washington county Pennsylvania. The journey was made, and goods transported, upon pack horses over the mountains, there being no roads. This mode of travel was slow and painful. The Wilson family again emigrated in 1810 to near Zanesville, Ohio This journey was made by pack horses. The subject of this sketch, then five years of age rode a pony. Col. Wilson’s father died when he was seventeen years of age and left him without patrimony, and only his own resources. The young man determined to secure an education, he attended the imperfect winter schools of the neighborhood and advanced far enough to read the testament and write imperfectly; continuing in school until he was nineteen he became qualified to teach, and taught during the winter, and attended school three years, when having an outfit of books and clothing and twenty-seven dollars in money, he started afoot to New Athens, Ohio, and by dint of hard study during the terms of school, and teaching through vacations, he finished the curriculum of Franklin College, Ohio. At the close of his school days he went to Kentucky and taught an academy at Sharpsburg. While teaching here he read law and rode six miles each Saturday to recite to Judge Bobbins. He passed a successful examination and was licensed to practice under the laws of Kentucky in the fall of 1833. March 28, 1833, he was married to Eliza Jane Kincaid. He emigrated to Illinois and landed at Beardstown November, 4, 1833, settling near Springfield, where he taught his last schools. In August, 1836, he was elected one of the seven represeritatives from Sangamon county. Two Senators were also elected, who, with the Representatives, were known as the "Long Nine." This delegation were all whigs, and their united height was fifty-four feet—an average of six feet each. The Senators were Archer G Herndon and Job Fletcher. The Representatives were Abraham Lincoln, Ninian W. Edwards, John Dawson, Andrew J. McCormick, Dan Stone, (afterwards Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in which this county was included), Wm. F. Elkin, and R. L. Wilson. Col. E. D. Baker (afterwards United States Senator from Oregon, and killed at Ball’s Bluff) was elected to fill the vacancy of Dan Stone. The specialty of the ‘Long Nine’ was the question of removal of the State seat of Government from Vandalia to Springfield, and in this they succeeded. In March, 1840, Col. Wilson removed to Sterling, and his family followed the succeeding year. Soon after his removal to Whiteside he was appointed Clerk of the Circuit Court, which position he held from April, 1840, to December 1, 1860. During fourteen years of this time he was Recorder of Deeds, and for eight years was Probate Justice. In the spring of 1861 he was in Washington City when Fort Sumter was fired upon, and enlisted as a private in a batallion of volunteers commanded by Cassius M. Clay, and known as the "Clay Guards." This organization numbered about 400 men, principally, non-residents, and were armed with breech-loading carbines from the Arsenal by the War Department. This body of men acted as night police, and were instrumental in preventing the city from falling into the hands of the rebels. Upon the arrival of the Seventh New York, 1,500 men strong, with a six gun battery, the "Clay Guards" were disbanded, and the discharges signed by president Lincoln and Secretary Cameron. Col. Wilson then returned to Sterling and assisted in raising Company A, 34th Illinois Regiment, and was elected Captain, but declined in favor of Lieutenant Edward N. Kirk, afterwards Brigadier General. In July, 1861, he called on President Lincoln and tendered his services in any capacity where he could be useful. Mr. Lincoln informed him that he had made a list of his old friends whom he desired to appoint to office, and said, "now, Colonel, what do you want?" He answered, Quartermaster will do. Mr. Lincoln replied, "I will appoint you a Paymaster." The appointment was made August 8th, and confirmed by the Senate the next day. He was placed on duty at Washington, made payments on the Potomac, and at his quest was transferred to the West, with headquarters at St. Louis. He continued in the service four years and four months, when he was honorably mustered out with the certificates of non-indebtedness signed by the Second Auditor and Second Comptroller of the Treasury. During his term of service Wilson disbursed $7,000,000, and paid over 100,000 men. On the 10th of May, 1875, he started upon the tour of Europe, visiting the points of interest in her Majesty’s kingdom, and then inspected the cities and scenes of the Continent. He was absent 112 days, the expenses of the trip being $750.00 [Pg 411 History of Whiteside Co. Bent-Wilson]
Of Clyde Township, Whiteside Co IL
William Wilson Was a scotchman by birth. He first settled in Canada, and became involved in the "Patriot War." He was taken prisoner, and experienced the "pleasures of a Canada jail." In 1839 he settled in Clyde. He was married in Canada. His wife died a number of years ago. When last heard from Mr. Wilson was in California. [Bent & Wilson History 1877]
PETER H. WILT
Peter H. Wilt, one of the progressive farmers of this county, residing in the village of Erie, and owning 400 acres of land in Portland Township, was born in what is now Blair Co., Pa., April 1,1819. His father, Peter Wilt, was a native of the same State, and a farmer by occupation. His mother was also a native of Pennsylvania, and bore to her husband one child, Peter H., the subject of tin's biographical notice. He was reared on the farm and received the advantages afforded by the common schools, and on attaining majority, turned his attention in the direction of that vocation, agriculture, which he had previously followed. In March, 1866, he came to Portland Township, this county, and purchased 250 acres of land, located on sections 27 and 28. He resided there till March, 1880, and added to his original purchase until lie is at present the proprietor of 400 acres of land. He was the possessor of three farms, in his native State, comprising nearly 400 acres, previous to his removal to this county, but disposed of the same with the expectation of increasing his acreage in the West. He has a fine farm and raised usually from 40 to 50 head of hogs; also kept a small dairy and made a number of improvements, such as the erection of a residence, barn, etc. In March, 1880, he purchased seven lots on which were located a fine residence barn, etc., in the village of Erie, and moved thither with his family. He is at present Justice of the Peace, which office he held four years, and in the spring of 1885 was re-elected to the same position; he was.also a member of the Village Board, and of the Order of Masonry. Religiously, he is a member of the Methodist Church.
Mr. Wilt has been united in marriage twice. His first marriage occurred in Blair Co., Pa., and the lady of his choice was Miss Mary Young. She was a daughter of Balser and Catherine (Birket) Young, and was born in Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 1821. She bore him 16 children, n of whom are living: Sarah is the wife of Christian Beeler, a resident of Newton Township; Jacob resides in Altoona, Pa.; Mary A. is a resident of Spring Hill, this county; Adam is a farmer of Fenton Township; Margaret is the wife of E. W. Clapper, Postmaster at Spring Hill; Rebecca J. is the wife of Jos. Kelley, a resident of Iowa; Catherine is the wife of Barber Curtis, a resident of Clinton, Iowa; Martha J. is the wife of Thomas Graham, residing in Portland Township; Lydia A. is the wife of John Clapper, a resident of Spring Hill; William H. and Ella reside at home. Mrs. Wilt died in Erie village, March 21, 1883, and Mr. Wilt was again married in Kearney, Neb., July 21, 1884, to Margaret Featherstine, a native of Canada, in which country she was born Aug. 10, 1849. Turned his entire attention to the carriage business, in which he was interested until he became the proprietor of the Revere House. Dec. 16,1884. Mr. Ferguson still sustains his relation to the hotel. [Contributed by Christine Walters; Whiteside County History 1880]
Of Hopkins Twp., Whiteside Co IL
Sansom Wink, a prominent farmer of Hopkins Twp. is a son of Jacob A. and Sarah R. (Markle) Wink, natives of Fulton Co. PA, where they lived till their death. They had a family of 6 children - Thomas H., Amos, Beulah R., Lucinda, Sansom and one who died in infancy.
Mr. Wink was born in what is now Fulton Co. PA Dec. 22, 1819. He was raised on the farm, receiving the benefits of the schools of that period and community and remained there until he was 29 years of age. He continued to reside in the Keystone state until 1867, when he moved to the West. He accordingly came to Whiteside County. He settled on section 4 of Hopkins Twp. where he resides at present. He owns a fine and valuable farm of 160 acres and enjoys the declining years of life amid pleasant surrounding. Mr. Wink married in his native county March 22, 1848 to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Rebecca (Truax) Johnson, who were natives of MD and PA respectively. They were the parents of 12 children, of whom Elizabeth was the third. She was born in Fulton Co PA Dec. 2, 1830. To Mr. and Mrs. Wink have been born 14 children, all of whom are living but one, Lizzie, who died in infancy. Those living are Jacob J., Sarah R., Thomas H., Huldah J., Samantha, Celesta H., Wesley C., Axophia B., Cecelia A., Howard L., Elmer W., Corinna B., Olive and Charles A.
Mr. Wink has always taken an active part in promoting the welfare of the community in which he has lived and filled some of the local official positions. Politically he is a Prohibitionist. Both he and his wife are of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This photograph was taken in 1878.
[Portraits & Biographical 1885 Whiteside Co.; Photo of Sansom and Elizabeth submitted by Jayne Kennedy Sweger]
Of Prophetstown, IL
John Winkler , who owns and operates 115 acres on section 35, Prophetstown township, making a specialty of raising and feeding hogs, was born in Bureau county, IL, November 12, 1862, a son of Robert and Harriet (Spake) Winkler , who were born near Dayton, Ohio. In the early 50's they took up their abode in Bureau county, Illinois, where the father was engaged in the operation of rented land for twelve years. At the end of that time he bought one hundred and twenty acres of land, thus being an active factor in the early development and improvement of this state. Robert Winkler departed this life on the 5th of February, 1905, but his wife is still living in Prophetstown. Their children, seven in number, were as follows: Elsie J., the wife of William Devenney , of Prophetstown; Thomas Z., deceased; John, of this review; Minnie, the wife of H. Bollen; Dennis, who resides in Mendota, Illinois; Hattie, who became the wife of Oscar Swan and makes her home in Bureau county, Illinois; and one who has passed away.
John Winkler received his education in the common schools and when he had attained the age of fourteen years left the parental roof to make his own way in the world. When he had worked as a farm hand for fourteen years he was married and after this important event in his life he rented a farm, which he successfully conducted for five years. On the expiration of that period he purchased one hundred and fifteen acres on section 35, Prophetstown township, where he has since made his home. In addition to the work of general farming he makes a specialty of raising and feeding hogs and in both branches of his business he is meeting with a well merited measure of prosperity, being recognized as one of the alert and enterprising representatives of agricultural interests in this locality. Mr. Winkler was joined in wedlock to Miss Anna Noon, who was born in England in 1874, a daughter of Charles and Martha (Hughes) Noon. Her parents emigrated to Canada in 1874 and after living in that country for a short time crossed the border into the United States, locating in Whiteside county, Illinois, where the father purchased a farm. Charles NOON passed away in 1907, but the mother is still living on the old homestead farm. Mrs. Winkler was the youngest child in a family of fourteen children and by her marriage has become the mother of five: Myrtle V., Martha H., Harold, Ralph and Ray D.
John Winkler gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is at present serving as a school director. He belongs to Odd Fellows Lodge No. 508, at Prophetstown, while both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. His life has been one of continuous activity, in which has been accorded due recognition of labor, and today he is numbered among the substantial citizens of his community. [Wm. Davis History of Whiteside 1908]
ELHANAN C. WINTERS
Of Rock Falls, IL
In time to come this volume will acquire added value as a repository of records whose historical significance will then be fully appreciated, but readers will doubtless peruse with special interest the stories of gallant service in that great struggle which settled once for all that this nation is, in truth, one and indivisible. It has often been said that the letters sent home during the war by the soldiers of all grades would make, if published, a better history of the war than has yet been given and the suggestive views of the conflict in the individual experiences contained in this book certainly give new color to many a historic scene. Among the gallant defenders of the Union from this state was Mr. Winters, now a well-known real-estate dealer of Rock Falls. He was born in Bedford, Indiana, September 18, 1843 and comes of a very patriotic and loyal family five generations of which have been represented in the wars of this country His great-grandfather was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolution; his grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812. his father of the Mexican war, himself of the Civil war; and his son of our recent war with Spain. On the 7th of August, 1861 Mr. Winters enlisted in Company A, Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at Sterling, and was mustered into the United States service at Camp Butler, Springfield, September 7, 1861. They joined Sherman's army at Camp Nevans, near Elizabethtown, Kentucky, October 15 1861 and after remaining there one month moved to Munfordsville, where they went into winter quarters. In February, 1862, they were ordered to join Grant at Fort Donelson, but not reaching there in time to participate in the battle, proceeded to Nashville, being among the first troops to arrive there. Later they joined Grant's army at Pittsburg Landing, and in the battle at that place the regiment lost one hundred and twenty-nine men in killed and wounded. The command participated in the siege of Corinth during the following May and June until its evacuation, and then w ent to Tuscumbia, Iuka, Huntsville and Battle Creek, resting at the last named place a month. In the memorable campaign and battles that followed, Mr. Winters acquitted himself with honor, as the history of the regiment shows and furnishes a detailed account of the same. He was promoted from corporal to sergeant. He took part in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Rome, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, and the engagements in Georgia and the Carolinas, and when the war ended participated in the grand review at Washington, D. C., May 24, 1865. He was mustered out at LouisviIle, Kentucky, July 12 1865 and finally discharged at Chicago, July 17, 1865 as first sergeant, after having served three ears and eleven months.
Returning to his home in Carroll county, Illinois, Mr. Winters engaged in farming there until 1876 On the 20th of December, 1866 he was united in marriage with Miss Paulina Scoville, a daughter of James and Elizabeth Hills) Scoville, whose sketch is given on another page of this work To our subject and his wife were born four children, of whom Wayne C., the eldest, died at the age of five years. James C., a resident of Sterling, is business manager for the Sterling Standard. He married Ethel Follette, who died in 1894, and for his second wife he married Eva Montague, by whom he had one child now deceased. Alice M is the wife of Robert B McNeil who served as a non-commissioned officer in Company E, Sixth Illinois Volunteers, in the war with Spain. He is now reporter for the Sterling Standard and a resident of Rock Fails. They have three children - Wayne, Althea and Dorothea. Carl, a compositor in the office of the Sterling Herald, was a member of Company E, Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during the war with Spain, and was one of the first to land at Porto Rico.
For two years after leaving the farm, in 1876 Mr. Winters was city, salesman for the firm of Galt & Emmett, dealers in farm machinery in Sterling. He was then engaged in the agricultural implement business on his own account at Coleta until October 1880. Having sustained painful and serious injuries by a fall from a windmill tower, he was unable to engage in any business for a year. He then sold his business in Coleta and went on the road as traveling salesman for the Northwestern Barb Wire Company, of Sterling, for three years, the Barnes Manufacturing Company, of Freeport, two years, and for Sickles & Preston, a wholesale hardware firm of Davenport, Iowa, for two years. In 1890 he located in Rock Falls, and has since engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business, with good success. He has also been very successful as a United States pension claim agent.
In politics Mr. Winters is a Republican, and is at present secretary of the county central committee. He has served as justice of the peace for nine years, and city clerk of Rock Falls for the past seven years, being the present incumbent of both offices. He is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is held in high regard by all who know him. He is also an honored member of Will Enderton Post, No. 29, G. A. R., was its first adjutant, served as commander one term, and is serving his third term as chaplain. [Biographical Record Whiteside County IL, 1900]
JAMES M. WINTERS
Of Morrison, Whiteside Co IL
James M. Winters, a retired farmer, resident in the village of Coleta, in Genesee Township, was born March 22, 1809, in Leicester Township, Genesee Co., N.Y. His father, Timothy Winters, was a farmer by calling and was born in Pennsylvania. He was of Irish origin and was married in his native State, to Margaret Lemon. He fixed his family residence in Genesee County and lived there some years, removing thence to Washington Co., Ind. He engaged in farming there until his deth in 1841, when he was 56 years of age. The maternal grandparents of Mr. Winters came from Germany to the United States, and from them descended the families of their name in this country, who are of German origin. The mother of Mr. Winters was born in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, near the line of the State of New York, where she was brought up to womanhood and married. She went with her husband to Indiana in 1817, and died in Washington County, in 1822, aged 38 years. She was the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters. Mr. Winter's birth was preceded by that of our sister, and he was a little less than nine years of age when his father removed his family to Indiana. Washington Copunty was in its infancy, having been organized only one year previous to their settlement within its borders. He was an inmate of his fathe's household until the years of hisminority were passed, which were spent in obtaining a common-school education and in acquiring a complete understanding of agriculture. His education was limited according to the meagre advantages afforded by the pioneer schools, but his temperament led him to observe and reflect to an extent that sufficed as well for mental training as instruction would have done. He had also good judgement and discrimination in the choice of books, of which he was fond.
He was married Aug. 17, 1831, (the year following that in which he became his "own man"), to Susan, daughter of George and Tabitha (Hendricks) Gyger. She was born in East Tennessee, and her parents were natives of Scotland. They removed from Tennessee to Indiana in the year in which the State was organized. Her father died in Washington County in 1831; the mother's death occurred about four years later.
Mrs. Winters died in Coleta. She was a woman of decided Christian character and passed the later years of her life in earnest, devoted labor in the cause which was nearer her heart than any other. She died June 10, 1882. In religious connection she belonged to the United Brethren Church. She is sincerely mourned by her numerous acquaintances, and seven children are left motherless by her death. Two children had gone before to the other world. George Clinton Winters, one of the deceased sons, became a soldier of the Union Army, enlisting in Co. A 34th Reft. Ill. Vol. Inf., commanded by Co. E.N. Kirk, of Sterling. He was seized with typhoid fever, from which he died in the hospital at Louisvile, Ky., soon after his regiment was assigned to its position. John M. died in 1856, aged three years. Following is the record of the seven children who survive: Catherine, who married Newton Dodd, a farmer of Clay Co., Kan.; William J., who married Elizabeth Fowler and now resides in the vicinity of Traeer, in Tama Co., Iowa; Tabitha H. who married Cephas Hurless, late Supervisor of Genesee Township. He died at Coleta in the fall of 1884. James P. married Olive Baxter and lives at Marshall, Iowa; Matilda C. who married E. M. Olmstead and lives at Coleta; E.C. Winters, who married Paulina Scoville and livea at Sterlling, Ill.; Melissa is the wife of Charles Wallace, a farmer of Riley Co, Kan.
Mr. Winters was a second time married, at Coleta, Dec. 9, 1884, to Anna Skill, daughter of Timothy and Margaret (Carr) Skill. Her parents were natives of Ireland, where their entire lives were passed. Her father died at 50 years of age, in 1883. Mrs. Winters was born in the north of Ireland, Dec. 25, 1858, and emigrated to the United States in 1880, and had been in America four yers when married.
Mr. Winters came from Washington Co., Ind., to Illinois in 1847, and located at first in the township of Wysox, Carroll Coutny, where he continued to reside until the fall of 1876, the date of his retirement from the life of a farmer, when he fixed his residence at Coleta. He is the owner of four dwellings at the place, and has 11 acres of land laid out in village lots. Mr. Winters is an active member of the United Brethren Church, in which he has been a Class-leader and Trustee. While a resident of Carroll County, he was active in the administration of local affairs. He was elected Assessor of the township of Geneseee in 1884, and is now the incumbent of that position, which he has held since the date of his first election. He is an earnest and zealous Republican. [Portrait & Biographical 1885 Pg 355]
R. B. WITMER
OF Sterling Township
R. B. Witmer was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1827, and was engaged in mercantile pursuits while a resident of that county. He came to Sterling in the summer of 1855, and during the same year engaged in mercantile business as one of the members of the firm of Patterson & Witmer. Business was done under that name for several years, when James Galt became a member, and the firm name was changed to that of Patterson, Wittner & Galt. Mr. Galt soon withdrew, and his place was taken by Joseph M. Patterson, and the firm became Patterson, Witmer & Co. In 1866, Mr. Wittner purchased the interest of the Messrs. Patterson, and assumed sole charge of the business. He soon afterwards took in a partner, and the firm became Wittner & Co., and so remained until 1872 when the Sterling Mercantile Company was formed, of which he was the principal stock holder, and so continues. Mr. Witmer has steadily refused to accept any public position, as his extensive private business has demanded all of his time. He has been for a long time one of the leading men in the temperance movement in Sterling, and to his efforts in a great measure is due the fact that Sterling is a no license town. Mr. Witmer is an active, energetic man, and to him Sterling is much indebted for its rapid growth. [Pg 448, History of Whiteside Co. Bent-Wilson, 1877]
Mathias Wolber, a successful farmer and stock-raiser of Genesee township, was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, April 17, 1857, a son of Chris and Salome (Deiterle) Wolber, who were natives of Germany. The parents emigrated to the United States in 1854 and on reaching Chicago Mr. Wolber pawned his trunk in order to obtain money enough to make the journey to this county. On arriving here he worked as a laborer for two years and then purchased ten acres of land in Jordan township, bringing it under a high state of cultivation. Six years afterward he sold the property and bought forty acres of government land, which he likewise improved, and as his financial resources increased he added to his landed buildings from time to time until at the time of his death he owned two hundred and sixty acres in Jordan and Genesee townships. His success came to him as the merited reward of his unfaltering determination and untiring industry, and he was widely recognized as a worthy pioneer and progressive citizen of his community. His demise occurred in 1893 when he had reached the age of seventy-four years, while his wife, who still survives him, yet resides in Jordan township on the old homestead farm. Unto this worthy couple were born seven children, namely: Mathias, of this review; Mary, the wife of Alexander Grehling, of Sterling; John, deceased; Henry, who lives in Carroll county, Illinois; Rose, the wife of Charles G. Bort, of this county; Frank, who makes his home in Jordan township; and one who died in infancy. Mathias Wolber acquired a common-school education, and after attaining his majority worked for his father by the month for four years. On the expiration of that period he rented a farm, which he operated successfully for ten years, and subsequently purchased one hundred and twenty acres on section 14, Genesee township, where he has since resided. In addition to the work of the fields he makes a specialty of stock-raising and in the conduct of his farming interests has met with a gratifying measure of prosperity by reason of his well directed energy and capable business management.
Mr. Wolber was united in marriage to Miss Christine F. Steltzer, who was born in Jordan township, August 30, 1860, a daughter of Charles and Edith (Starry) Steltzer, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Maryland. They came to this state in the early 50's. Their family numbered eight children: Nettie, the wife of James Capp, of Sterling; C. W., who lives in Iowa; Mrs. Wolber; Henry M., of Sterling; Edith, who became the wife of W. H. Guinther and resides in Jordan township; George, also of Sterling; and two who are deceased. Charles Steltzer, the father, was called to his final rest in 1885 but the mother still survives at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. Wolber have two children, Edith A. and Warren M., both at home. The former attended business college for two years at Sterling, Illinois. In his political views Mr. Wolber is a democrat, quite active in the local ranks of the party. He has served as collector for two years and as supervisor for the past eight years, being at present chairman of the board, while for eighteen years he has been school director. Fraternally he is connected with Coleta Camp, No. 76, M.W.A., of which he is serving as treasurer. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the German Lutheran church, with which his wife is also identified, both Mr. and Mrs. Wolber being widely and favorably known throughout the community as people of genuine personal worth and sterling traits of character. Throughout his entire life or for more than half a century he has resided in this county and has therefore been a witness of the many changes that have occurred, transforming the region from a barren district into one of the richest agricultural sections of the state. [Whiteside County History 1908]
CHRISTIAN G. WOLF
Of Jordan Township, Whiteside Co IL
Christian G. Wolf is a general farmer and stock-grower on section 17, Jordan Township, and was born Sept. 19, 1842, in Wurtemberg, Germany. His father, Jacob Wolf, was a farmer in Germany and died there in 1866, aged 64 years. The mother of Mr. Wolf, who was Rosena Schielb before her marriage, was also born and died in her native country. Her death occurred in 1852. After the loss of his mother, which took place when he was 10 years of age, Mr. Wolf remained under the care of his father until 1860. In that year he came to the United States. He was 18 years old and was accompanied hither by his brother Jacob, younger than he, and now a farmer in Jordan Township. Soon after landing, they came to Illinois, making their first stop in the State at Sterling. Mr. Wolf readily obtained employment on a farm and spent some time working by the month. He became interested in the Civil War, and decided to become a soldier. He enlisted Aug. 10, 1862, in Co K, 82d Ill. Vol. Inf., Capt. Joseph Granhort. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac under Generals Burnside, Hooker and Meade, and was attached to the corps of Sigel and Howard. Mr. Wolf was a participant in the disastrous day's fight at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, where he sustained a slight wound in the left leg near the foot. At Gettysburg, where he was also under fire, he received another gunshot wound in nearly the same place. He was also in the actions at Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Knoxville, Tenn., besides numerous other contests of less importance, and received an honorable discharge at the close of the war. His papers were dated July 6, 1865. He was in the military service nearly three years.
After returning to Jordan Township, he worked some time for his brother, David Wolf, and was afterwards employed at various points as a general laborer. He was married April 14, 1868, at Sugar Grove, Lee Co., IlL,. to Mary Buehler. She was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Oct. 23, 1843, and was 19 years of age when she joined her parents in America, they having come to the United States some time previously. She has had six children, - Charles, Louisa, Katie, Abraham, Andrew and Anna. Prior to his marriage, Mr. Wolf had bought 80 acres of land in the township where he now resides and on which he settled. He has applied himself vigorously to tbe work of improvement and has placed his farm in excellent condition. It now includes 125 acres, and is supplied with creditable and suitable buildings.
Mr. Wolf is a Republican in political views, and is in sympathy with the general and local issues of that party, and has been holding an office as Commissioner of Highways in Jordan for the last four years. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. [Portraits & Biographical]
AARON A. WOLFERSPERGER
Sterling, Whiteside Co IL
Aaron A. Wolfersperger, attorney at law, Sterling, was born in Jordan Township, March 22, 1856. His parents John and Lydia (Kapp) Wolfersperger, natives of Lebanon Co., PA came from the Keystone state in 1851 to Jordan Township. Mr. W. purchased land at different times, so that he is now the proprietor of 640 acres. Aaron remained at his parental home until 15 years of age, laboring on the farm and attending the district school; then leaving home, he attended a college at Naperville one year, an institution under the auspices of the Evangelical Church; then four years at the college at Carthage IL, where he graduated; next a term of six months at Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie NY, receiving a diploma; followed farming the next summer; and teh ensuing fall he went to Chicago and attended the Union College of Law for two years, receiving a diploma; finally, in the spring of 1879, he came to Sterling and commenced the practice of law. In 1881 he was elected Justice of the Peace and has held the office since. In 1884 he was elected City Attorney, and re-elected in the spring of 1885. He is one of the leading and rising lawyers of Sterling. Politically he is a Democrat, and in his social relations he is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and of the A.O.U.W. Mr. Wolfersperger was married Nov. 4, 1880 (Whiteside County) to Anna Hendrick(s) a native of this state. They have two children; Lelia S. born Aug. 4, 1882 and John J. Aug. 26, 1884. [Portraits & Biographical 1885 Pg 321]
John Wolfersperger, retired farmer, residing at Sterling, was born in Lebanon Co. PA Oct. 14, 1820, his parents being John & Margaret E. (Trautman) Wolfersperger, natives of the same State. Remaining at home until 31 years of age, he came to Jordan Township, this county and boutht a saw mill and 100 acres of land, where he remained three and a half years. In the fall of 1853 he entered 240 acres, in the same township; in the following spring he entered 80 acres more; and in the fall of 1854 he moved upon this tract, aggregating at the time 320 acres. He resided on that place until 1883, when he went to Kansas and spent a winter there to attend the tract of 960 acres of land which he had bought in 1873. In 1884 he returned to Sterling and purchased a residence, which he now occupies. He has, since his first purchases of land, bought and sold real estate so that he is now the proprietor of a total amount of 720 acres in Jordan Township and 1600 acres in Prairie Co. AR. In his political principles, Mr. W. is a Democrat. He and his family attend the Lutheran church. He was married Oct. 20, 1844 to Lydia A. Kapp, a native of the Keystone State and they now have four children living - Henry F., Aaron, Cassie and Margaret. Henry F. married Tillie Duefflinger, and they live in Kansas with a family of six children - John, Dan, Lydia, Maggie, Maud and Bent. Aaron married Anna Hendricks and they have two children - Lelia and John J. Cassie married William Seidel and they reside in Kansas. Margaret married W.W. Davis, and they have a son John. [Portrait & Biographical of Whiteside County 1885 Pg. 315]
A. D. WOOD
Of Newton Township
A. D. Wood, a well-known farmer and highly esteemed citizen of Newton township, whose home is on section 22, was born in Berkshire, Massachusetts, December 8, 1849, a son of Mason B. and Mary (Paul) Wood. The father was a native of Massachusetts, and in that state engaged in farming during early life, but in 1865 he came to Whiteside county, Illinois, and took up his residence in Newton township, where he died in March, 1887. His wife passed away in June, 1886. In their family were seven children, namely: Zelotus R., who is now conducting a hotel in Berkshire county, Massachusetts; Amelia, wife of J. B. Frazelle, of Clinton, Iowa; Susan, who married Edward A. Tucker, and both are now deceased; A. D., our subject; John B., a farmer of Newton township, Whiteside county; Caroline, wife of W. H. Valentine, of Montana; and Olive, deceased. A. D. Wood remained at home with his parents until he was married, February 9, 1888, to Miss Margaret Blean, who was born in Whiteside county, February 10, 1851, a daughter of Robert and Margaret (Thompson) Blean, natives of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. They now have one child, Lida M., who was born July 24, 1889, and is attending school. During his early life Mr. Wood became thoroughly familiar with all the duties which fall to the lot of the agriculturist, and throughout his active business life has successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. After his marriage he located upon his own farm on section 28, Newton township, and there continued to reside until 1896, when he sold the place and moved to the H. Y. Beardsworth farm. He is the owner of eighty acres of valuable and well-improved land on section 27. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party and its principles, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. He takes considerable interest in educational affairs and has served as school treasurer for a number of years. Both himself and wife are faithful members of the Presbyterian church, of Newton, and he also belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees. [Whiteside Biographical Record 1900 Pg 407]
HARRY HUNTER WOOD
Harry Hunter Wood, president of the Eureka Company, carriage manufacturers at Rock Falls, is in this connection closely associated with the industrial, development and consequent prosperity of his city and county. He was born in Sterling, Illinois, March 15, 1872, his parents being John and Susan (Holdridge) Wood, natives of the state of New York. His paternal grandfather was a farmer and dairyman, while the father followed various pursuits, devoting some time to the purchase and sale of real estate and of horses. Removing westward he became an early settler of Sterling and after residing there for a number of years began the manufacture of wagons, being president of the Union Wagon Company, which placed upon the market the Union wagon that was sold in all parts of the country. Mr. Wood continued in that business up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1881, when he was sixty-one years of age, while his wife survived him and passed away in May, 1906, at the age of seventy-two years. She was a member of the Episcopal church.
Harry Hunter Wood was reared in Sterling and acquired his education through the medium of the public schools and the Sterling Business College. He passed through consecutive grades until he became a high school student and afterward received commercial training qualifying him for life’s practical and responsible duties. After putting aside his text books he secured a position as bookkeeper and grain buyer in connection with G. T. Elliott’s elevator and for a short time was in the Sterling postoffice. In 1890 he became bookkeeper for the Eureka Company, carriage manufacturers, and subsequently went upon the road as its traveling representative. His capability led to his promotion to the position of sales manager and later he purchased an interest in the business, of which he was made secretary. In August, 1906, he purchased the interest of Thomas A. Galt in the enterprise and was chosen president and treasurer of the company. They manufacture vehicles for domestic and foreign trade and employ about seventy-five people. The factory is located in Rock Fails and is equipped with all of the latest improved machinery to facilitate work in their line. They hold to high ideals in the character of their manufactured product in their personnel and in their service to the public, and that they have gained public confidence and patronage is indicated by the fact that their output is now about five thousand finished vehicles annually.
On the 20th of October, 1903, Mr. Wood was married to Miss Etta McCune, a daughter of James A. and Ella (Pickett) McCune. The family residence is at No. 805 West Fourth street and both Mr. and Mrs. Wood have a wide circle of friends in Sterling and other parts of the county. [History of Whiteside County - by Davis 1908]
Of Clyde Twp.
James Wood, general farmer on section 19, Clyde Township, was born March 5, 1832 in Sattelworth, Yorkshire, England, and he is the son of Joseph and Mary (Brodbent) Wood, who were farmers in England, their native country. They had four children, the two oldest being twins, and the third in order of birth being the son who is the subject of this sketch. He was eight years of age when the family abandoned their native land to find a home across the sea. They located in Worcester, Mass., and later went thence to Rockland Co., N. Y. Soon afterward they made another removal, to Dutchess Co., N.Y. In 1848 Mr. Wood came to Clyde Township with his father. At that date the township was comparativety in its original state, being mostly unimproved and the prairie still lying fallow as it had done through alt the yeara in which it had spread its broad arrm to the sunlight. Newcomers experienced the inconveniences and privations of the pioneer period, chief among which were the remoteness of the markets. For ordinary supplies it was necessary to go to Albany and Mt. Carroll. To sell stock, a distance of 60 miles must be traversed to Rockford. Mr. Wood’s first purchase of land included 69 acres, which he let to another party some time after. In company with three others, - Thomas Aldritt, Ephraim Bestle and Richard Trye, — he went to Pike’s Peak. This was in 1869, when the gold fever was at its height, and they made the route thither with a four-horse team across the plains, and encouetered the experiences common to the emigrasts of that year. They met with disaster, as there was no work for any one and they had no means to aid them in returning. They finally sold some mining implements, comprising picks and shovels, which they fonnd in a deserted camp. They were thereby enabled to buy a sack of flour at Denver, for which they paid $6, and which served as supply until they came within the limits of civilization. After reachiog his home Mr. Wood located on his farm.
Aug. 17, 1862, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Elizabeth J. (Marshall) Densmon, at Fulton, Whiteside County. Mrs. Wood is the daughter of Alexander A. and Elizabeth (Chalbiant) Marshsall. She was born June 16i, 1832, at Lexington, Ky. Her parents were born in the State of Kentucky and were of English descent. The mother died when her daughter was 12 years of age. After that she lived in Brooklyn, N. Y. By her first husband she is the mother of one child, Edwary C. Tucker. By her second husband she had no children. Lulu G. is the name of the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Wood.
They have now 160 acres of land in Clyde Township, all of which is under excellent cultivation. They also own three lots in Morrison. Mr. Wood is also joint owner of 160 acres in Dakota. He is rapidly gaining ground as a stock man. He is zealous and active in the interests of the Republican party and has held several township offices. Mrs. Wood belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 451]
MIDDLETON G. WOOD
Of Genesee Township
Middleton G. Wood was born in Virginia February 26 1811. When one year old he was taken to NC and stayed there until he was 16, when he went to Greencastle IN; thence to Rockville. Came West and settled in Georgetown, Vermillion county IL. Married Lucy Ann Law, December 25, 1832. In the spring of 1836, he went to Mt. Pleasant Iowa, but came back to IL in the fall of that year, and settled at Eagle Point. He lived there until 1843 when he went to Hickory Grove. Mrs. Wood died January 11, 1848 leaving 3 children. Mr. Wood married Sarah West in October 1850 and had 7 children by this marriage. He is a blacksmith by trade. In January 1837, he made an agreement with Hezekiah Brink and Elijah Worthington to open a blacksmith shop in the upper part of Sterling - then called Harrisburg. They agreed to build the shop, furnish the tools and be ready for him to commence work on the 1st day of May 1838. At the time agreed upon he reported himself ready, but the shop was not completed, and the enterprise was abandoned [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 228-229]
CHARLES H. WOODBURN
OF Sterling, IL
Charles H. Woodburn, the popular and efficient court stenographer of Whiteside county and a well-known attorney of Sterling, residing at No. 501 Filth avenue, was born in that city November 5, 1862, and is the only child of James H. and Susan (Farrar) Woodburn, whose sketch is given on another page of this work. The early life of our subject was passed under the parental roof, and he attended the Sterling public schools, the Wallace high school and the Sterling Business College, where he gave special attention to stenography. He became quite proficient in that art, and was soon called upon to do court and legal reporting.
In 1888 Mr. Woodburn was made the first official reporter for the old Thirteenth judicial district, comprising seven counties, receiving the appointment under Judge John D. Crabtree. The large circuit and his numerous duties occupied his entire time until taking up his present profession. In his intimate and long connection with the court and legal affairs, he became familiar with the profession of law. He was admitted to the bar in November, 1897, but on account of the duties connected with his official position he found it impossible to give his attention to practice until 1899, when he opened an office in the Kreider, Harpham & Williarns building, on the corner of Third and Locust streets, where he has since engaged in general practice. He is one of the brightest professional men in Whiteside county, and starts out on his career with brilliant prospects.
On the 11th of February, 1885, Mr. Woodburn was united in marriage with Miss Mary Clatworthy, a native of England and a daughter of Rev. W. H. and Elizabeth (Croker) Clatworthy, who were also born in that country. In early life the father was a minister of the Wesleyan Methodist church, but in 1878 retired from that calling and turned his attention to farming in Lee county, Illinois, becoming an extensive land owner. Mr. and Mrs. Woodburn are active members of the Fourth Street Methodist Episcopal church of Sterling, and he also belongs to the Knights of the Globe and the Independent Order of Mutual Aid. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and takes an active and commendable interest in public affairs. [Whiteside County Biographical Record 1900 pg 121]
GEORGE W. WOODBURN
OF Sterling, IL
George W. Woodburn came to Sterling from Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1837, and in the spring of the next year was joined by his family. With the exception of seven years search for gold in California, be resided on his farm just west of the city of Sterling, where he died full of years and honors, June 18, 1872. James H., his only child, was ,born October 12, 1836, and married Miss Susan A. Farrar, November 15, 1858; children; George W. and Charles H. He enlisted in Company I ,75th Illinois Volunteers, and served three years during the war; was always in the front, and participated in all the battles of his regiment, except the battle of Perryville, when be was on detached service, was never sick in the hospital, never bad a leave of absence, and was not off duty a single day; he now owns and lives upon the old homestead. George W. Woodburn, was twice married, his first wife dying April 5, 1846. His second wife now resides in California. [Whiteside County History, Bent Wilson 1877 Pg 402]
CHAUNCY G. WOODRUFF
OF Lyndon Township
Chauncy G. Woodruff was born in Livingston county, New York, October 1, 1797, and came to Lyndon on the 5th of August, 1835. He had the distinction of being the first child born in his native town. Mr. Woodruff and his family, consisting of his wife and three children, were, in connection with Adam R. Hamilton and family, and Wm. D. Dudley and family, the pioneer settlers of Lyndon. Mr. Woodruff's children were Julia, Orange G., and Mary J. Julia married Perry L. Jeffers, and died a number of years ago. Orange G. married Mrs. Helen M. Boardman, April 27, 1859; children, Lena E., Laura B., and L. Winnifred; Mr. Woodruff is well known throughout the County, and is a highly esteemed gentleman, and has been for some time United States Storekeeper at Sterling. Mary J. married David Hicks, and lives in the township of Lyndon, near the Prophetstown ferry. Mr. Woodruff took a prominent part in the affairs of Lyndon Precinct and township, and of the county, at an early day, and was a! man of sound judgment, and unswerving integrity. He followed the vocation: of a farmer, though in his early life in Lyndon he also prosecuted the trade of carpenter, to which he had been trained in New York. Many of the residences of the older settlers of the central and southern parts of the county bear the marks of his tools. He was a pronounced christian, a member of the Congregational church for many years, and was one of the founders of the church of that denomination at Lyndon. At the time he settled in Whiteside county it was a part of JoDavess county, and being elected Justice of the Peace he made the long trip to Galena to secure his commission of office. He was one of the two Justices of the Peace appointed by the Legislature to canvass the vote and declare the result for the location of the first seat of justice of the county, in 1839. He died at his home near Lyndon on Sunday, April 25, 1875, of old age and general debility. The partner of his early trials died many years ago, but a second wife, worthy of him, who cheered his life for nearly a score of years, yet survives. [Bent-Wilson 1877 Pg 271-272]
ORR F. WOODRUFF
Morrison, Whiteside Co IL
Orr F. Woodruff, attorney at law at Morrison, was born June 30, 1840 in the township of Clarendon, Orleans Co NY. Winfield Woodruff, his father, was a native of the state of NY. He married Solemma Terry, who was also born in nY. Of their three children, Mr. Woodruff of this sketch is the oldest. WIlliam M. is an agriculturist and dealer in stock near Kearney NE. John J., resident at Kearney was formerly an attorney and is now interested in sheep industry. In 1875 the parents went to Kearney, where the father died in November 1884. The mother survives.
Until he was 19 years of age, Mr. Woodruff continud under the direction of his parents on the homestead farm and acquired a high-school education. He came to Morrison in November 1859, where he became a student of law in the office of Hon. Henry M. teller, Secretary of the Interior under President Arthur. Mr. Teller was then engaged in legal practice at Morrison, and under his preceptorship Mr. Woodruff enjoyed unusual advantages and derived much practical benefit from the association of the office. In May 1861 he was admitted to practice in all the courts of Illinois and on receiving his credentials he established his business in the former office of Mr. Teller, who went to colorado. Mr. Woodruff has since conducted the relations of an extensive and popular practice with success. He has risen through ability, industry and high-minded integrity, to distinction in his profession. He is still engaged in the management of a large and lucrative practice in the County, Appellate and Supreme Courts of IL and in the Federal Courts at Chicago.
Mr. Woodruff has won an honorable and enviable position at the Bar as a criminal lawyer; and has been connected with a number of prominent cases involving the liberty and sometimes the lives of individuals. Standing firmly on the fact that the results of crime are irretrievable in most instances, he is just as inflexible in taking the humanitarian view.
In connection with his legal business he has extensive agricultural interests in Whiteside County, and is the owner of 1,000 acres of land at Alpena, Jeraud Co. D.T. On the latter he is making a specialty of fine stock. His herds there comprise 150 head of short-horn cattle and 20 horses of percheron grades. He owns two farms in Whiteside County, comprising 280 acres, located five miles southwest of Morrison in Fenton Twp. and 240 acres situated 14 miles distant from Morrison in the same direction, in Newton Twp. and they are stocked with about 40 head of thoroughbred Durham cattle and 30 horses. He has obeyed the obligations of his citizenship at Morrison and responded to the demands of the general public by serving two terms as Mayor, the aggregated period of his official career as the chief executive of the municipality including the years 1879 to 1882. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Dunlap Lodge 327 at Morrison.
Mr. Woodruff has been married twice. He first formed a matrimonial alliance with Victoria O'Hara Nov. 11, 1862 and they became the parents of two children, Maitland J. and Maude, both now deceased. The death of the wife and mother took place at mOrrison in October 1867. She was a native of the Dominion of Canada. Mr. Woodruff was married a second time Feb. 22, 1869 at Morrison to Mary Lathro. She was born in August 1843 in Canada. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 325]
WINFIELD W. WOODRUFF
Winfield W. Woodruff, deceased, was formerly a resident of Lyndon Township, whither he removed in 1852 from his native State,New York. He was born in Livonia, Livingston County, in the Empire State, in 1817. His father, Landon J. Woodruff, M. D., was a prominent physician and surgeon of Western New York, and was desirous that his son should fit himself for the same profession, giving him a substantial education as preparatory to that purpose; but the young man's proclivities led him in another direction, and on his marriage he settled himself to the pursuit of agriculture in his native State.
He was married Jan. 1, 1839, to Solemma F. Terry, and they became the parents of three sons: Orr F., of whom an extended sketch appears elsewhere in this work, is a distinguished lawyer at Morrison ; William M. is a farmer and stock dealer at Kearney, Neb.; and John J. is an attorney by profession and possesses uncommon talent, but is engaged almost exclusively in the sheep industry at Kearney, Neb. They are all worthy citizens, in whom their parents felt a just pride. The condition of public affairs in the State of New York, which existed when Mr. Woodruff found himself qualified to enter upon the duties and privileges of citizenship, was such as to develop all the abilities with which he was endowed by nature. His boyish enthusiasm had been quickened and kept alive by the public training days, and he became an active member of the State militia. His commission as Ensign in the 215th Regt. N. Y. Vol. Inf., is dated May 2, 1840, and bears the autograph signature of William H. Seward, Governor of New York. He was a Whig of intense partisan sentiment, and in after years was fond of rehearsing the incidents of the "good old log-cabin times of 1840." He was strenuously opposed to the slave element.
He resided in Lyndon Towriship nine years previous to the culmination of the discontent and disloyalty of the southern portion of the United Stares, watching the succession of Ominous events with all the interest of a patriotic citizen. He manifested the stuff of which he was made and the quality of his loyalty, by enlisting when he was 44 years of age as a private in the Eighth Ill. Vol. Cav., at the time of the organization of the regiment in 1861. His military career was in conformity with his character, and he made an honorable record. After the war he resided in Whiteside County until October, 1875, when he went to Kearney, Nebraska, to reside. He died in November, 1884, from the result of injuries received while attempting to manage a powerful sheep. He had nearly accomplished the allotted period of three-score and ten years and passed to his reward in the enjoyment of the honors of a pure, worthy life of uprightness and usefulness. His wife survives him. [Portrait & Biographical History of Whiteside Co 1885]
Of Montmorency Twp., Whiteside Co IL
Edgar Woods, a farmer on section 26, Montmorency Township, is the son of Peter C. and Angeline (Blacklidge) Woods. His parents were natives of Indiana and settled in Franklin County after their marriage. In December, 1864, they came to Whiteside County, and located on a farm in the township of Montmorency, where the death of the father occurred, June 7, 1880. The mother died Sept. 21, 1874. Harvey C., their oldest child, died June 20, 1875. They have two surviving sons. Edgar is the elder. Edgar was born May 12, 1856 in Franklin Co., Ind., and he was eight yeam of age when his parents removed to Whiteside County. He was educated in the common schools. He has been occupied in agricultural pursuits exclusively. Is 1880 he took possession of the farm on which he has since lived, and of which he became the owner by right of inheritance from his father’s estate. He is the owner of 240 acres in the township where he lives and has 180 in advanced and profitable cultivation. Mr. Woods is independent in political opinions and relations. He has held the office of School Trustee five years, sad has officiated two years as Collector.
His marriage to Anna, daughter of Tyler and Rhoda (Ward) McWhotter, took place Dec. 24,1879. She was born in Metamora, Franklin Co., Ind., April 10, 1856. Three children are now included in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Woods — Roy G., Mabel A. and Chester C. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 743]
HENRY S. WOODS
Of Coloma Twp.
Henry S. Woods is a farmer and stock-grower of Coloma Townstiip and is a resident on section 32. His parents, Junius and Diadamia (Cook) Woods, were natives of Connecticut. His grandfather, Sansoet Woods, was a soldier of the Revolution and was in active service during the seven years of that conflict He was the son of Col. Nicholas Woods, an officer of the English army in the struggle known to history as the French and English War and lost his life at the battle of Sackett’s Harbor. Junius Woods was a fife major for a short time in the War of 1812. Orson C. Woods, the third son of the latter, was in the military service of the United States during three years of the Civil War, eacaping without injury. The parents settled after their marriage in Oneida Co., N. Y., where they died. Their children were named Nancy M., Samuel T., Clarissa, Henry S., Orson C., Helen F., Junius and Junius E. . - Junius died when three years old.
Mr Woods was born Feb. 15, 1829 , in Oneida Co, N. Y. His first business venture was as a liveryman, whro he was 19 years of age, and he established his interests in the town of Camden, Oneida Co., N. Y.; continued his operations there until 1862, when he sold out and came to Whiteside County. He farmed the first year on a rented farm in the townohip of Montmorency, residing meanwhile in the city of Sterling. He then rented a farm in Coloma Township, which he managed five years. He then purchased 160 acres on which he has since conducted his agricultural operations, and is devoting much effort and attention to the improvement of his stock, especially in horses. Mr. Woods is a Republican and belongs to the IOOF.
He was united in marriage to Sophia F. McCune, Sept. 22, 1853, in Camden, Oneida Co., N. Y., and they have one child, Lillie A., now the wife of B. F. Woodford, of Rock Falls. Mrs. Woods was born Oct. 6, 1829, in Oswego Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Stephen and Polly (Davenport) McCune. Her parents were natives of Vermont and removed thence to Oswego Co., N. Y., whence they made another removal a few years later to Akron, Ohio. There the father died, and the mother returned to Oneida County to spend her remaining years. She died at Delphos, Ohio, whither she had gone for a visit. Their children were 11 in number and were named Polly, Lydia, Harlow, Eliza, William, Charles H., Francis S., Jerusha, Sophia, Orilla and Catherine A. Mrs. Woods is a communicant in the Episcopal Church. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 664]
Of Morrison, IL
Oscar Woods, member of the hardware firm of Woods & Clendenen, hardware merchants and dealers in farm machinery, windmills and pumps, at Morrison, was born Oct. 18, 1837 at Homer, Licking Co., Ohio. Leonard Woods, his father, was born in Vermont and was but ten years of age when his parents removed from the Green Mountain State to Ohio, where the family was among the first of the pioneer element that located at Granville in that State. The senior Woods married Mary Sinnet. She was born in Massachusetts and went when a little girl with her father’s family to Granville, Ohio, they being also among the first permanent white settlers. In early life Leonard Woods was a teacher, and though he became a farmer in more advanced life, he always recognized the value of intellectual culture, even in the most ordinary walks of life, and gave earnest attention to the education of his children. He and his wife are no longer living, but their six children survive, and in their various positions sustain the honor of the name they inherited and verify the value of mental training they received through the efforts and precepts of their parents. Mary, oldest child and only daughter, married Rev. A. A. Russell, who in stationed in Exeter, Neb.; Warren belongs to a coal-mining corporation near Warren, Ohio; Arthur H. is a minister of the Baptist denomination, and is in charge of a flourishing society at Paterson, N. J.; Hubert C., D. D., is the officiating clergyman of a Baptist Clanrch in St. Paul, Minn. he received his degree in 1880; Byron A. is the Pastor of a Baptist Church in the city of Philadelphia. The three last named completed their preparatory studies and were graduated at Madison University, N. Y., and were afterwards graduated in the theological department of the same institution. The parents removed to Illinois in 1861, and settled in Morrison, where the father lived in retirement till the time of his death. Mr. Woods is the third child of his parents. He was educated until he was n7 years old in the common schools, and afterwards attended school at Dennison University in Granville Ohio, after which he taught school and passed the winters of six years in that vocation, devoting his time through the summer seasons to farming. He came to Illinois in 1861, and became a land holder in the township of Fair Haven, in Carroll County. In the spring of 1865 he removed to a farm of 240 acres in Union Grove Township, where he lived until 1871 and prosecuted his agricultural interests with satistactory results, owning a valuable farm. In 1871 he removed to the city of Morrison, where he engaged in traffic in live stock, in company with George A. Whitcomb. After a business connection of five years, he bought the interest of his partner and soon after sold his entire business. In 1876 he bought the interest of A. A. Carter in the business in which he is now engaged, and its relations were conducted for a period of seven years, under the firm style of Ferguson & Woods. In January, 1883, he became by purchase the owner of the entire establishment and sold an interest therein to F. Clendenen. his present business associate. Mr. Woods owns a half interest in the buildings utilized in the prosecution of his mercantile interests, including a store and warehouse, also his residence and two acres of ground in the south part of the city. He has officiated several years as a member of the Board of Education of Morrison, and is at present Supervisor of Mt. Pleasant Township, in which capacity he is serving his fifth term; is chairman of the board. Mr. Wood was married Nov. 11, 1863 in Alexander, Ohio to Amanda Shaub, and their three children were born as follows; Francie, Sept. 2, 1865; Edna D., Jan. 21, 1868; Louis O. April 28, 1875. The two oldest were born in Union Grove Township; the youngest at Morrison. Mrs. Woods was born Dec. 25, 1839 at Newark, Ohio, and is the daughter of Martin and Esther Shaub. Her father was born in December 1811, in Lancaster Co., Pa. and is still living. Her mother was born Dec. 25, 1818, and was the daughter of Hon. John Sthrom, who was a member of Congress from Lancaster, Pa., at the time Abraham Lincoln was a member of that body. He died in Jan. 1885 aged 89 years. He was probably the oldest ex-Congressman in the United States at the time of his death. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 480; Transcriber's NOTE:*** Warren Woods - brother of Oscar Woods went to Colorado sometime after 1891 -- He and his sons, Frank and Harry, formed the Woods Investment Company and the town of "Victor Colorado" was created.]
Of Prophetstown Township
David Woodward is a native of Warren county, New York, and was born in 1811. He came to Whiteside county in the fall of 1837, and remained during the winter in Portland. In the spring of 1838 he made a claim at the bluff which is now known as Woodward’s Bluff, and has resided there ever since. He has been for over forty years a worthy member of the Methodist church, and is highly respected. Mr. Woodward married Miss Mary Leach in 1835.. The children have been: Elizabeth, wife of James Keefer, living in Henry county Illinois; Martin, and Henry M., now dead; Emma, living in Prophetstown; Ellen, wife of J. Willis Keefer, living in Prophetstown; Mary Elsie, wife of Edgar Hammond, living in Prophetstown; and Milton, also living in town. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
MILTON B. WOODWARD
Milton B. Woodward, farmer residing on section 29, Prophetstown Township, and owning 120 acres of land thereon, is a son of David and Mary (Leach) Woodward. He was born on the farm where he at present resides, and where he has lived all his life, June 10, 1852. His father was a native of New York, and was born April 13, 1811. He came to this county in 1838; the following year he bought a claim, the same being the farm on which Milton B., the subject of this notice, now resides, and on which the father died Nov. 22, 1882. His mother was a native of New York, and was born Dec. 12, 1811, and now resides with Milton B. The parents had seven children, five of whom are still living. Elizabeth is the wife of James Keefer, a farmer residing in Henry Co., Ill.; Emma is the wife of J. E. Graham, a farmer in Carroll Co., Iowa; Eleanor is the wife of J. W. Keefer, a farmer residing in Prophetstown Township; Mary E. is the wife of Edgar Hammond, a farmer residing in the same township; the deceased are Henry M. and Martin. The parents were among the early pioneers of Prophetstown Township. They came here from Chicago with an ox team, spending the winter of 1838 and 1839 with a brother of the mother, and then came to Prophetstown Township, and located on the identical farm on which the subject of this notice is residing. They built a log hut on what is known as Woodward's Bluff, in which they resided for a number of years, when the present comfortable frame residence was erected.
About 1877 Mr. Woodward purchased the parental homestead. He makes a specialty of Jersey cattle, and is engaged also in the dairy business; he also raises from 30 to 40 hogs annually and a number of sheep. He was united in marriage in Fletcher, Sac Co., Iowa, Sept. 12, 1883, to Miss Evelyn Brimmer, daughter of Gilbert and Lucinda (Finch) Brimmer. She was born in Steuben Co., N. Y., July 26, 1860. They have one child, David H.,born Jan. 11, 1885. The father of Milton B. was identified with the Democratic party, but the son is not a party man. [Contributed by Christine Walters, Whiteside County History 1880]
L. H. WOODWORTH
Of Coloma Township, Whiteside Co IL
L. H. Woodworth was born in Norwich, Vermont, October 20, 1806. He resided in that State until he reached his majority, and attended the military, scientific and literary school at Middletown, Connecticut. After completing his studies he was a teacher in the military school at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He was afterwards Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Jefferson College, Mississippi. In the meantime he studied law. Failing eyesight precluded the pursuit of his profession as he desired. He spent two years in the employ of the State of New York as resident engineer upon the Black River Canal.
In the spring of 1839 he removed to the west, and settled at the Upper Rapids on the south side of Rock River, and bought the claim of Isaac Merrell, upon which he now lives, at Rock Falls. He had charge as engineer of the contract to build the canal, which was let in 1839. The work was commenced in 1840 by Nichols, Sanger & Galbreath. Mr Woodworth has divided a portion of his real estate into lots, now embraced in the flourishing town of Rock Falls. He and Daniel Brooks were the first two Justices of the Peace in Rapids Precinct. He was also Swamp Land Commissioner, County Surveyor and Supervisor.
He married Parmelia Parks, May 14, 1834 in Saratoga County New York. Mrs. Woodworth died December 1 1844. Children: Leonard H born June 12 1836; George L born December 1, 1841; Leonard H married Miss Hattie Jenkins and resides in Sterling; George L Woodworth enlisted in Company A 34th IL Regiment and was killed at Stone River December 31 1852. Mr Woodworth married Alice H Goodell October 24 1845. Two children: Clarence C born October 22 1853; Alice S born June 12 1859. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Pg 130-131]
L. H. WOODWORTH, farmer, section 27, Coloma Township, was born in Norwich, Vt., Oct. 20,1806. His parents were Abel and Olive (Patridge) Woodworth, natives also of the Green Mountain State. His father was a carpenter by trade. He remained with his parents until of age, receiving a common-school education. He also attended the Military Academy at Middletown, Conn., for seven months, and the Military Academy of New Jersey 18 months, in 1828-'9. After completing his studies, at the age of 17, he taught district school four winters. He then taught for a time in the Military School at Perth. Amboy, N. J., and afterward as Assistant Professor of Mathematics, in Jefferson (Miss.) College. About this time he commenced the study of law; but his sight failing somewhat, he had to abandon the pursuit of his chosen calling, and for two years he was in the employment of the State of New York as Resident Engineer upon the B1ack River Canal.
In 1839 he emigrated to Illinois, settling on the Upper Rapids on the south side of Rock River, where he purchased of the Government a fractional quarter (91 acres) of section 9, Sterling Township. He afterward sold this, and in 1842 preempted 124 acres on section 27, where he still lives.
Mr. W. has been Justice of the Peace, Town Supervisor, County Surveyor of Whiteside, etc. In religion he is a Universalist, and in politics a Republican, taking a deep interest in the welfare of the community and of the nation.
May 14, 1834, in Saratoga Co., N. Y., Mr. Woodworth was married to Permelia Parks, who died Dec. 1, 1844, leaving two children, Leonard and George L. Mr. W. was married again, Oct. 24, 1845, to Mrs. Alice H. Gooden; and by this marriage there have also been two children, Clarence C. and Alice S. [Portraits and Biographical 1895 Pg 533]
Of Morrison, IL
Edwin A. Worrell, of the firm of Baker & Worrell, buyers and shippers of stock, at Morrison, was born Nov. 12, 1843, near Chesterfield, Jefferson Co., Ohio. His parents, Isaiah C. and Elmira (Kirk) Worrell, were both natives of Ohio, and both belonged to the Society of Friends or Quakers. In 1851 they removed thence to Fulton Co., Ill., where they engaged in farming. In 1853 they made another removal, to Hubbard's Grove, in Jordan Township, Whiteside County, where the father purchased 80 acres of land and where the family lived about three years. They went thence successfully to the townships of Sterling and Montmorency and Hume, and made a final location in Rock Falls, where the senior Worrell died, and where the mother still lives.
Mr. Worrell was reared on the various farms on which the family were resident; and before the termination of the obligations of his minority, his native country was in the throes of civil war. Shortly after he had passed his 20th birthday, in November, 1863, he entered the Union Army, enlisting as a private in Co. C, 8th Regt. Ill. Cavalry and continued in the service until the close of the war, receiving his final discharge in July, 1865. The command was sent to the Army of the Potomac, and Mr. Worrell was under rebel fire through the battles of the Wilderness, at Menoxa Junction, Upperville, Fredericks City, Tonleytown and elsewhere, besides being engaged in a number of skirmishes. On being mustered out of the military service of his country, he returned to Whiteside County and passed some time in traveling through the West for the purposes of prospecting, locating finally in Whiteside County.
In December, 1866, he was apponted Deputy Sheriff of Whiteside County by L. A. Lincoln, then Sheriff, and after operating in that capacity two years, in the fall of 1868, he was nominated on the Republican ticket for Sheriff. He made a successful campaign and was successively renominated five times, serving in the office six terms, or 12 years. In 1880, succeeding his last offical term, he was again renominated in the convention by acclamation, but declined to permit the use of his name a seventh time. Soon after vacating his office of Sheriff, he became interested in traffic in Western land, and in the spring of 1881, he removed to Unionville in Union Grove Township, where he purchased a residence and remained until July, 1884, when he became a resident of Morrison once more. During his residence at Unionville he continued his operations in real estate, going in 1882 to Dakota, where he entered 320 acres of land. On removal to Morrison he exchanged his property at Perry, Iowa, for 240 acres of land in Union Grove Township, situated on section 21, of which he is still the owner. The place is fine and valuable, as is the estate he still holds in Dakota. He is the owner of two dwellings and three lots therewith connected, at Morrison. In November, 1884, he formed his present business association with B. G. Baker, and they have since operated successfully in stock. Mr. Worrell is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Morrison and of Alpheus Clark Post, No. 118, G.A.R. He has officiated two years as City Councilman, and is now a member of the Board of Education.
The marriage of Mr. Worrell to Lucretia M. Lincoln took place on Sept. 7, 1869. She was born in Stephenson Co., Ill., and is the daughter of Lester and Julana Lincoln. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Worrell were born as follows: Clifford L., Harry H., Annie, Belle and Florence.
The mother of Mr. Worrell was a sister of General Edward N. Kirk, who received his death wound in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Two of his brothers, James and Albert Worrell, were members of Co. A, 34th Regt. Ill. Inf., and the latter was wounded at the battle of Lookout Mountain. They both live in Whiteside County. [1885 Portrait and Biographical of Whiteside Co]
ARTEMUS W. WORTHINGTON
Of Coloma Township
Artemus W. Worthington was born in Colchester, Connecticut, in 1813; married October 9, 1837. Removed to the west, and settled in Harrisburgh, July 3, 1839. About one year afterwards, settled upon the south side of the river. While picking up wheat sheaves Mr. Worthington was bitten by a rattlesnake, from the effects of which he died. Children: Isabella born in 1839; Robert born in 1845; Alfred born in 1846; Alice born in 1848; Robert Emanuel born in 1853; Robert died in infancy; Isabella married E. B. Trowe; Alfred married Miss F. E. Sherley. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside 1877County Page 132]
CHARLES M. WORTHINGTON
Of Sterling, IL
A review of the Gazette's history shows continued progess from the pioneer days to the present. In 1861 the paper was purchased by a company headed by the late Charles M. Worthington,the first white boy born in Sterling, who later became the husband of Mrs. Fannie M. Worthington, prominent leader in Federated Woman's clubs and Republican Women's club affairs in Illinois.
Mr. Worthington's father, Elijah Worthington, was one of the first settlers of Sterling, coming here in 1835 from Wilkesbarre Pa., where he published The Record of the Times for a number of years before he came west. He was a partner of Hezekiah Brink in the establishment of the first Sterling store, located east of his home, which was on the site of L.A. Bittorf's present handsome residence on the river bank at Sixteenth Avenue. The elder Mr. Worthington died in 1846, eight years before the publication of the first newspaper here. Had he lived until the community was large enough to support a newspaper he probably would have been the first editor. C.M. Worthington soon bought out the other interests and became proprietor, and under his administration, according to the Whiteside County history, The Sterling Gazette increased rapidly in circulation and influence and took a leading position among the newspapers of Illinois. In September of 1870 Mr. Worthington sold the paper to George Terwilliger, who had been for several years editor of the Syracuse N.Y. Daily Journal. It was his purpose in coming west to locate on the Mississippi River, then the great artery of commerce through the central part of the nation, so when he had an opportunity to buy the Fulton Journal, he sold the Gazette back to Mr. Worthington and moved to Fulton. In 1873 Mr. Worthingotn sold a half interest in the paper to W.F. Eastman, later publisher of the Moline Dispatch, and the firm name again became C.M. Worthington & Co. Mr. Eastman became sole owner in March 1876 and in July of that year sold a half interest to D.J. Jenne, and the firm name was Eastman and Jenne. In 1880 the late Chakly John and William R. Cobb, both old soldiers of the Civil War, became owners of the paper. Editor Cobb was a brilliant writer and the paper continued to hold the prestige it had acquired under Mr. Worthington and Eastman and Jenne. [Sterling Daily Gazette November 2004]
CHARLES W. WORTHINGTON
Charles W. Worthington, Postmaster of Sterling, was born in that city, Sept. 16, 1838. His father, Elijah Worthington, was a native of Connecticut, from whence he moved to Luzerne Co., Pa., engaging in mercantile pursuits at Pittston,and as newspaper publisher at Wilkesbarre. In 1833 he was married to Miss Eliza Ann Merritt, of the latter place, and in 1835 emigrated to Illinois, becoming one of the original proprietors of what is now the city of Sterling. He died in 1839. His widow married Leonard Goss, moving to his home at Mt. Carroll, where she died in 1846. From eight years of age until thirteen, Charles, the subject of our sketch, had no permanent abiding place, but " grew up with the country " as best he could. At 13 he entered the office of H. G. Grattan, at Mt. Carroll, to learn the printing business, and, after three years' apprenticeship, returned to Sterling, serving the various grades as compositor, foreman and local editor of the Sterling Times, until circumstances mustered the paper out of existence, in 1857. After a year's sojourn in St. Louis, perfecting himself in the printers art, he accepted the position of foreman and local editor of the Sterling Gazette, then published by Wm. Caffrey. In 1861, in company with his father-in-law, W. C. Page, he purchased the Gazette and continued in the management of the office until 1875, except a short interval in 1870, and during his term of service in the army, as First Lieutenant of Co. A, 140th 111. Vol. Inf. He has rilled several official positions, viz.: Collector of Taxes in 1861; Alderman in 1863-4; United States Revenue Inspector and storekeeper in 1866-7. In 1880 he was appointed Postmaster, and re-appointed in 1884. Mr. Worthington is a native, and to the manner born, being the first male child born in the settlement ; and can justly take pride in the fact that he has seen the rude cabins of pioneer days give place to the thriving city of the present time to the prosperity of which he has contributed in no small degree. [Contributed by Christine Walters Whiteside County History 1880]
OF Sterling Twp, Whiteside Co IL
Elijah Worthington was among the first settlers at Sterling, and one of the original proprietors of the town. He was born at Colchester, Conn., in October, 1802. His family afterward removed to Pennsylvania, settling at WilkesBarre, in the Wyoming Valley. In 1825, Mr. Worthington married Miss Caroline Pratt, by whom he had three children, one dying in infancy. A printer by profession, after a few years of mercantile life at Pittston, Pa., he engaged in the publication of the Record of the Times, at Wilkesbarre, a paper still in existence. During the Masonic excitement of those days, he took grounds in opposition to the Order, and assumed the publication of the Anti-Masonic Advocate, vigorously assailing the principles of Free Masonry. In 1830 his wife died, and in 1833 he married Miss Ann Eliza Merritt, of Wilkesbarre, by whom he had two children, one dying in infancy. In 1835, he came to Sterling, made his claims, built a log cabin on the spot where his son’s residence now stands, and brought his family hither the year following. In 1837, in company with Hezekiah Brink, now living in Sterling, he started a store in a log cabin just east of his house, and now the property of Mr. W. F. Eastman. At that time this store was the most pretentious mercantile establishment in the country, west of Dixon’s Ferry. Mr. Worthington was actively identified with all the public enterprises of that day, and would have contributed largely by his energy and enterprise, to the denlopment of his adopted home, had not death terminated his usefulness. He died in December, 1839, of acute pneumonia, after an illness of but a few days, aged 37 years. His two children, Helen, and Elijah, by his first wife, died the following year. His widow married Leonard Goss, Esq., removing to Savanna, arid afterwards to Mt. Carroll, where she died in July, 1846. The only member of Mr. Worthington’s family now living is his son, C. M. Worthington, for many years editor of the Sterling Gazette, and whose, home is upon the same spot where his father erected his log cabin forty-two years ago. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside Co Page 403]
ELIPHALET B. WORTHINGTON
OF Sterling Township
Eliphalet B. Worthington was born in Coldchester, Conn., September 7, 1797. When a mere lad removed to Wilkesbarre, Pa., where he attended school and learned the printing business. In 1824, he formed a partnership with his uncle and commenced the publication of the Newsboy in Chester, Pa. After a few years he returned to Wilkes Barre and became the editor of the Journal and Anti-Masonic Advocate of that town. April 24, 1834, he married Sarah McShane, of Philadelphia, and removed to where Sterling now stands, in the spring of 1837, to the town of Harrisburgh, which consisted of four cabins occupied by H. Brink, John Ogle, Samuel S. Geer, and Elijah Worthington, the latter gentleman the brother of the subject of our sketch. Mr. Worthington was one month taking the trip from Wilkesbarre to Sterling. In the spring of 1838 Mrs. Worthington commenced a school which was designed for the nucleus of an academy, to which the proprietors of Harrisburgh donated a lot. The school was taught in the first frame house built in the settlement. The boards were sawed from hardwood at Wilson’s mill, at a cost of $40 a thousand. The following are the first names that appear upon the school roll: Wm. M. Kilgour, Nancy Jane Kilgour, Andrew, Alfred, Esther, and Julia Bush, Geo. W. and Lucinda Brewer, Helen M. and Elijah Worthington, Jr. The next year a class was formed in painting, composed of Messrs. Benton, Johnson, Woodly, Stephens, and Brown; Dr. John Bates, critic. In November 1841, Mr. Worthington was appointed postmaster at Sterling by President Tyler, and managed the office during his administration and those of Polk and Taylor. Mr. Worthington was deputy clerk of the Circuit Court of the county for about fifteen years. His real estate claim was made upon the, south side of the river, which he sold to A. F.R. . and Samuel Emmons. He subsequently made a claim which he,sold to Henry Landis. Sterling was his permanent home until the time of his death, November 14, 1871. Children: Anna M., born February 15, 1835; Edward L., born October 5, 1836; Emily F., born February 3, 1840; Mary L.., born February 2, 1843; Josephine, born May 28, 1845; Louise, born July 16, 1847. E. L. Worthington married Caroline Haven; of Ohio; three children. . Anna, M. married Lorenzo Hapgood. Emily F. married A. A. Norwood. Mary L. married S. S. Lukens. Josephine is now the wife of C. C. Johnson. [Whiteside Co. History, Bent & Wilson 1877 Pg 404]
E.B. WORTHINGTON, deceased, formerly a prominent resident of Sterling, was a native of Colchester, Conn. married, April 24, 1834, Miss Sarah, daughter of E. McShane, of Philadelphia, Pa., and in 1837, with her and their two children; emigrated from Luzeme Co., Pa., to Harrisburg, this county, now the eastern portion of Sterling, and then consisting of but four log cabins. The two children were Anna, who afterward married Lorenzo Hapgood, and Edward L., both now deceased. This was the fifth family to locate here. To induce Mrs. Worthington to open a school, the town proprietors gave her a town lot, on which her husband built the first frame house in the locality. The frame was raised on the 4th of July, 1837, and occupied on the last day of November. The school was commenced early the following spring, with 10 or 12 pupils. For a list of their names, see history of Sterling, on another page. Mr. W. made a claim on the south side of Rock River, and, after improving it, sold it to Henry C. Landis, the present owner. Mr. Worthington was chosen Postmaster, under President Harrison, and remained in office 12 years. When the county seat was located and the courthouse about to be built the towns of Harrisburg and Chatham united, under the name of Sterling, in honor of Major Sterling, of Pennsylvania. Being desirable that the postoffice should be more central, Mr. W. selected a location on Broadway, namely, block 52, east of Broadway, built, and removed there in November, 1843. This place he continued to occupy until his death, which took place Nov. 14, 1871. It is still owned and occupied by his widow, who is now in her 79th year. Mr. W. held the position of Deputy Clerk of the circuit Court for several Years. Before leaving Pennsylvania, Mr. Worthington edited the Anti-Masonic Journal and Wilkes Barre Advertiser for four years when, on deciding to emigrate West, he sold to a Mr. Minor. To Mr. and Mrs. W. four daughters were born, in Sterling, viz.: Mrs. S. S. Lukons, Mrs. A. A. Norwood, Mrs. C. C. Johnson and one who died in infancy. Since then the first named has also died [Portraits & Biographical 1885 - Pg 562]
Herman Worthington is one of the substantial agriculturists of Ustick Township, and owns a farm on section 19. He is the proprietor of 385 acres of land in Whiteside County and has 80 acres under culture. He was born June 26, 1836, in Wayne Co., N. Y., and is the son of William S. and Sarah E. (Jenkins) Worthington. Thev were born in the State of New York and there the mother died, April 14, 1885. The father is still living. They had seven children, of whom three lived to grow up. They were named Elizabeth, Herman and Solomon F.
Mr. Worthington obtained a common school education of limited scope, and resided with his parents until the age of 25 years. In 1861 he came to Whiteside County. He has since pursued his interests in agricultural directions, with the exception of five years when he was interested in shipping live stock at Morrison and in the sale of clothing.
Mary Hollinshead became the wife of Mr. Worthington April 5, 1865. She is the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Rush) Hollinshead, of whom a sketch is given with that of Joshua Hollinshead. She was born July 21, 1839, in Clyde Township, Whiteside County, and is the first child born to her parents after their removal to Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Worthington have two children,—Sarah E. and Mary. Mr. Worthington is a Republican, and has been Supervisor and Trustee of Ustick Township. He is a member of the Masonic Order. [Contributed by Christine Walters Whiteside County History 1880]
MRS. PHEBE WORTHINGTON
Mrs. Phebe Worthington, a resident of Coloma, and a widow of Artemas W. Worthington, deceased, was born in Colchester, Conn., in 1813, and was married Oct. 9, 1837. She came West and settled in Harrisburg, this county, July 3, 1839, and afterward moved across the river and located on what is now called Coloma, where Mr. Worthington died in 1855. She has had six children, four of whom are still living. Isabella was born in 1839; Robert, 1845; Alfred, 1847 ; Alice, 1849; and Robert E., 1853. She has a farm of 160 acres, on-which she resides, and which is managed by her son Alfred. The latter married Martha Wright, a native of Pennsylvania, where she was born March 3, 1873. They have five children, namely—Mabel, OUie M., Artemas W., Edgar S. and one not yet named. Mrs. W.'s parents were Richard and Phebe (Ketchum) Sammis, natives of Long Island and members of the agricultural community. [Contributed by Christine Walters Whiteside County History, 1880, Pg 322]
OF Clyde Township
Samuel Wressell was a native of Lincolnshire, England. After emigrating, he first settled in Canada. In 1838 he located in Clyde township, making his first claim on section 14. He afterwards took up the claim where Mr. Z. Dent now lives, the latter gentleman paying $100 for it. Mr. W. died at the age of 80 years. His wife died several years before him. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 145]
OF Hume Township
Charles Wright was born in the town of Ruport, Bennington county, Vermont, April 27, 1806, and was brought up in his native Green Mountain State. At the age of twenty he crossed over into Washington county, New York, where he remained a year, and at the age of twenty-one settled in Burford, county of Oxford, Canada West. He resided in Canada from that time until April, 1839, when he came to Whiteside county and settled first near Prophetstown, and in 1840 in Hume. Mr. Wright married Miss Cynthia Martin at Blenheim, Oxford county, Canada, on the 31st of January, 1833. Their children were four sons, and four daughters: Charlotte P., born July 9, 1834; Alexander H., born June 17, 1836; Charles P., born July 9, 1838; John W., born March 23, 1847; David E., born October 12, 1853; Emily M., born September 18, 1840; Cynthia C., born November 4, 1842, and Sarah E., born May 20, 1844. Of these, Alexander H. died November 25, 1865, aged twenty-nine years, and Charles P., May 28, 1857, aged twenty, both of consumption; David E. died at the age of six years. Charlotte P. married Abel Cleaveland February 3, 1852; Mr. Cleaveland died August 18, 1855, and Mrs. Cleaveland married Carlos Haven, March 4, 1857; she is now residing at Port Henry, New York. John Wentworth Wright married Miss Mary Jane Jones, March 1, 1870; children, Mertie E., born December 7, 1873, and Ralph Collier, born November 13, 1875; Mr. Wright is now an extensive farmer, residing at the old homestead in Hume. Emily M. married James Johnson, March 4, 1857; had one child, Larmia, born October, 1859; Mr. Johnson died in April, 1862; in April 1864, Mrs. Johnson married Geo. M. Fern, and is now living in Prophetstown; children, Mary E. and Charles W. Cynthia C. married George Haven, April 12, 1860; Mr. Haven was a native of Essex county, New York, and came to Whiteside in 1854, and was a farmer and stock grower; he died October 30, 1875, of typhoid fever, at the age of forty- two years; there is one child, Nellie, by this marriage. Sarah E. married Wallace Johnson; children, Edwin H., Grace E., and Charlotte P. Mr. Wright’s first wife died January 24, 1855. He afterwards married Miss Nancy A. Brydia, who still resides at the homestead in Hume. During his early days Mr. Wright was a school teacher, and then he became a farmer which occupation he followed until his death, which occurred September 25, 1875, having very nearly arrived at three score years and ten, the allotted age of man. He occupied a number of Public positions during his lifetime, the duties of which he discharged with credit to himself, and with general satisfaction to the public. In 1852 he was elected Sheriff of the county; for nine successive years was Supervisor for the township and for seven years Deputy Revenue Assessor in this District. As a man, his actions were guided by the golden rule; as a neighbor and friend he was kind and generous, and in the discharge of the rare quality of charity was wont to quote the Scripture passage, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He was the center of the social circle into which he was thrown, having an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes, and a faculty of relating every incident in that peculiarly happy manner that renders the relator so indispensable to a social gathering. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 239]
Of Prophetstown Township
Edward Wright was born in Rome, Oneida county, New York, in 1811 and came to Illinois in 1833, remaining awhile at Plainfield, Kendall County. In January, 1835, he same to Prophetstown in Company with William Perkins. At that time there were no houses on the South side of Rock river from Dixon down, until the grove just above Prophetstown was reached, where there were two cabins, one occupied by Mr. McClure and the other by Mr. Beatwick, an Englishman. Messrs. Wright and Perkins made a claim adjoining Asa Crook’s, and which took in the land on which the village of Prophetstown now stands, and also enough of the bend of the river below to make what they considered two good-sized farms. Perkins soon after returned to Kendall county, while Mr. Wright remained to hold possession, and make improvements, and eventually purchased the interest of Perkins. Mr. Wright then took R. Ammidon as a partner, and the claim was divided.
In 1836 he sold his share, with the exception of twenty acres which had been previously conveyed, to Jabez Warner, who had then just come up the river with a flat boat loaded with flour and provisions. He then went a few miles further up the river, made another claim and commenced improvements, but having had the chills and fever for the most of the time for two years, reluctantly left Whiteside county in the fall of 1839 and settled near Lisbon, Kendall county. Mr. Wright married Miss Clark, daughter of W. L. Clark, of Lyndon Precinct, in October, 1840. Children have been: Julia. Emily, Clara, and Lottie, all of whom are now living, and married; they have also had three others, who are now dead. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
THOMPSON M. WYLIE
Of Tampico, IL
Thompson M. Wylie, member of the mercantile firm of McMillan & Wylie, at Tampico, was born June 29, 1837, Fayette Co., Pa. Joseph L. Wylie, his father, was a hardware merchant and was married in Fayette County to Jane McKean, a native of the same county and State, of Scotch-Irish descent. The parents of Mr. Wylie reside on a farm in Tampico Township.
He was educated primarily in the district schools of his native county, and completed his studies at Madison College when 19. He had also taught nine terms of school. In 1857 he accompanied his parents to Illinois, and the family located in Tiskilwa, Bureau County, where Mr. Wylie was a resident until he entered the military service of the United States during the Civil War. He enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, from Bureau County, in the 93d IL Vol. Inf., enrolling in Co. E, Captain C. Wilkinson. The regiment was commanded by Colonel Putnam, of Freeport, Ill., and was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. Following is a list of engagements in which Mr. Wylie was a participant: Jackson, Miss., May 14, 1863; Champion Hill, May i6; Vicksburg, May 22. At the latter he sustained a gunshot wound in the calf of his leg. On recovery he was transferred to the 15th Army Corps under General Logan, and was afterwards in action at Mission Ridge, Nov. 16, 1863, and at Altoona, Oct. 5 of the same year. The regiment was attached to the cornmand of General Sherman and from that on was under his orders during the march through Georgia to the sea, and the Carolinas and thence to the final scenes at Washington. Mr. Wylie received his discharge July 5, 1865. He returned to Bureau County and was for a short time interested in the lumber business. He came to Tampico in 1871 and formed the business relations in which he has since been engaged. The yearly aggregate of the transactions of the firm make an extended and prosperous exhibit.
Mr. Wylie is a Democrat in political affiliation. He has served his township in the capacities of Supervisor and Clerk. He was first married in Neenah, Wis., to Helen Kellogg. She was born and educated in that place and was the daughter of a Wisconsin farmer. She died in Bureau Co., Ill. Mr. Wylie was married a second time, in Bureau County, Nov. 4, 1871, to Minnie Barnard. She was born July 29, 1849, in the county where she was married, and is the daughter of Josiah and Joanna (Carter) Barnard. Her parents were of New England origin and her father was a business man of Bureau County. Blanche, born July 12, 1872; Ralph,’born Aug. 5, 1878, and Tracy, born May 6, 1883, are the names of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Wylie. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Wylie has been connected with its official Board since the organization of the society at Tampico. He is also Sunday—school Superintendent. [1885 Portrait and Biographical of Whiteside Co]
LEWIS D. WYNN
Lewls D. Wynn, Hardware Merchant, Third Street, Sterling, was born Sept. 8, 1849, in Knox Co., Ohio. His parents were Dr. Ulysses and Sarah A. (Cox) Wynn, natives respectively of Virginia and Ohio. At the age of eight years, young Lewis went to live with his uncle , William Cox in Indiana, and remained two years; then for a time he was employed in the grocery of Dan Wirick, in West Unity Ohio; then two years in the dry-goods house of Morrison & Elliott; next he was clerk for a year in his uncle’s hotel at Stryker, Ohio; then he was traveling agent for Dr. N. S. Dodge, of Chicago, until his health failed; then he entered the preparatory department of the Doctor’s business at Mishawaka, Ind., and for some months was employed in putting up medicine; then for a time ran the stoke machines in the Milbourne Wagon Works.
In 1864 he enlisted in Co. H, 48th Regt. ILL Vol. was placed in Gen. Sherman's command and was under fire several times. Marching from Nashville,Tenn.,to Savannah, Ga., thence to Raleigh, N. C., whence he came to Louiseille, Ky., and to Indianapolis where he was honorably discharged.
Returning from the field of carnage, he attended school at West Unity, Ohio, his native home, then a year at Ollivet College, Eaton Co. MI., and then as an apprentice he devoted three years in the acquisition of a knowledge of the tinner's trade at Hudson, Mich. continuing as a journeyman to work for the same firm for a time, and in 1870 went to Hillsdale MI where he followed his trade two years. Thence he came to Sterling and worked in the tinshop of R. S. Witmer for a year, then in Chicago until the great fire of 1871, then in Toledo, Ohio, then in Chicago again, and finally back to Sterling, where he was employed by Diller & Hither and afterward by Lawrence & Betts, until 1876 , when he went in business for himself, at 460 Third Street. In 1880 he sold out and purchased a half interest with the Solar Stove Works, of Joliet, in a westwardbranch at Kansas City MO, and engaged for two years in the wholesale and retail of stoves. Returning again to Sterling, he resumed the stove business at the old site, 460, Third St. In 1883 he moved his goods into the corner block on Third and Mulberry Streets, where he has since conducted his trade with increasing prosperity.
Mr. Wynn was married in 1873 to Miss Lotta A, Pixley, of Hudson, Mich., and they have one daughter, Ila A., born March 1, 1879.
In his political views Mr. Wynn is a Democrat. He is a member of the Orders of United Workmen and Select Knights. [Portraits & Biographical 1885]
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