Peter C. Krabiel
Peter C. Krabiel, engaged in general farming on section 34 in the precinct of Hamilton, Hamilton County (Nebraska) and also interested in the Farmers' Elevator at Giltner, was born in Woodford County, Illinois, August 23, 1863. He was reared on a farm and pursued his early education in the district schools, while later he attended the town schools and for a time studied in Metamora, Illinois. Through his youthful days he remained with his parents on the home farm and early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He afterward worked out as a farm hand at eighteen dollars per month and still later worked at the carpenter's trade at a dollar and a quarter per day.
The year 1883 witnessed the arrival of Peter C. Krabiel in Nebraska, for in that year he came with his parents to Hamilton County. Here he began farming on his own account on rented land in 1888 and for several years continued to cultivate leased land, but carefully saved his earnings until his capital was sufficient to enable him to purchase a forty acre farm. Then he and his father bought eighty acres upon which there was a small frame house and some minor improvements. Mr. Krabiel put every fence, post and tree on the place, substantial buildings now adorning it, and he broke about one-half of the land. He now owns altogether four hundred acres of excellent farm property on which are two sets of good farm buildings and his attention is given to general agricultural pursuits and stock raising, although he rents most of his land.
Mr. Krabiel is connected with the Farmers' Elevator Company of Giltner. He is an independent voter, nor has he ever been an office holder, but has served on the school board of district No. 70. He has led an active and useful life and his energy has carried him steadily forward to the goal of success, so that he is now one of the substantial agriculturists of Hamilton precinct.
[Source: "History of Hamilton and Clay Counties, Nebraska"; Supervising Editors George L. Burr, O.O. Buck ;Compiled by Dale P. Stough By George L. Burr, O. O. Buck, Dale P. Stough (Published 1921) pages 122-123; submitted by Marla Zwakman]
Past and Present of Woodford County, Illinois, 1878
MEEK, EZRAR P., far.; P. O.Eureka; the subject of this sketch was born in Jennings Co., Ind., Nov. 20,1828, and is the son of Joseph and Uraney (Sullivan) Meek, who were among the first settlers of Woodford Co., having made their home here in 1830 : Mr. Meek has spent the greater part of his life with his parents on the old homestead, engaged in farming: has held several offices of trust in his township; Road Commissioner and School Director; he married in 1850, to Miss Mary A. Boyd, of Ky.; she was born Feb. 5, 1833, and is the daughter of Isaac B. and Elizabeth (Graves) Boyd; her father, Isaac B. Boyd, was born in Va., March 15,1812 ; her mother, Elizabeth Graves Boyd, was born in Cumberland County, Ky., Jan. 31, 1813 ; died May 9, 1852 ; who emigrated to Illinois and settled in Woodford County near Versailles, April 9, 1846: four children—Amanda J., born Jan. 27, 1851, married John Compton; Julia E., Dec. 13, 1852 ; William M., July 3, 1855 ; Parthenia, April 1,1859; Jessie C, Jan. 9, 1866 ; owns 160 acres of land; is a member of the Christian Church ; his political opinions are Democratic.
MEEK, RANSOM P., farmer; P. O. Eureka; the above named gentleman was born in Woodford County, Ill., and is one of the oldest living residents that were born in Woodford County; born March 7,1831, and is the son of Henry B. and Theny (Perry) Meek, who were among the first settlers of Woodford County; Mr. Meek has spent a greater part of his life in farming on the old homestead ; in 1858, he emigrated West to Kansas, and settled on a section of land and commenced farming; he remained there but a short time ; returned to his father's farm; has been married three times ; his first wife was Miss Isabel C. McClure, of Illinois ; died 1857; second wife, Miss Nancy Ann Killiard, of Ill; third wife, Miss Bettie West, of Woodford County, daughter of James and Nancy West, who were among the old settlers of Woodford County ; three children—Minnie, Nannie and Bazel; Mr. Meek, in his political opinions, is Greenback : is a member of the Christian Church.
MEEK, JESSE, farmer; P.O.Eureka; the subject of this sketch was born on his father's farm near Eureka, Woodford County, Illinois, April 5, 1834; his parents are Joseph and Uraney Meek, who are among the earliest settlers of Woodford County, having made their home in Woodford County in 1830 : Mr. Meek remained on his father's farm, where he was engaged in farming, and in the Winter gathering what instruction the district school could afford; October 8, 1857. He married Miss Millie Lamb, of Augusta County, Va., born March 17, 1838, daughter of Benjamin and Susannah (Buff) Lamb ; her father was engaged in the revolutionary war; he lived with his daughter until his death, which occurred Oct. 15, 1865 : he was 78 years old; when Mr. and Mrs. Meek commenced housekeeping, they arrived at the house their now live in, in a wagon drawn by two horses, having all their furniture and a half of a load of wood; they set out in life together, and to-day it is one of the comfortable and happy homes of Woodford County; Mr. Meek has held the office of Town Assessor of Cruger Tp. ever since the organization of that township ; Democrat in politics; member of the Christian Church : owns owns 200 acres of fine improved land, value $75 per acre: one child—William Henry, born Feb. 28, 1862.
McCLURE, SAMUEL H., farmer ; P. O. Eureka. This gentleman is one of the best known and highly regarded farmers of Woodford Co. ; was born in Vermilion Co.. Ill., Nov. 2, 1827. His parents are James and Mary (Campbell) McClure, of Kentucky, and were among the first settlers in Illinois, having: made their home here two years before the State was admitted to the Union, in 1816. His father, James McClure,. was born in 1795 ; he was in the Indian war of 1811, under Gen. Harrison, at the battle of Tippecanoe, and participated in the Indian war of 1812: died in 1870. Mr. McClure was engaged on his father's farm until he was 18 years old. He then accepted a clerkship in a general merchandise store in Washington, Ill. Here he remained for two years; he then went to Peoria, and accepted a similar position. On account of his health, he returned to farming in Woodford Co. From here he went to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and was engaged in the general merchandise business for seven years. In 1861. he returned to Illinois, and settled in Cruger Tp., where he has lived since, engaged in farming ; moved on place he now lives on in 1873. Married in June, 1856, to Miss Missouri Meek, born in Woodford Co. Ill., daughter of Henry B. and Theny Meek, of Ky., who were among the first settlers of Woodford Co., Ill., having made their home here in 1831. One child-Annie J., born 1864. Mr. McClure has held several offices of trust in his township-School Trustee, Supervisor. Justice of the Peace. His political opinions are Green backer; member of the Christian Church; owns 290 1/2 acres of improved land.
POYNTER, WM. A. farmer; P. O. Eureka: the subject of this sketch was born in Woodford Co Ill.. May 29, 1848: is the son of Rev. Wm. C. and Huldy J. Poynter. Wm. J. Poynter spent his childhood and early youth on his father's farm: engaged in farming from the time he was able to hold the plow ; in the Winter gathering what instructions the district school could afford : at fifteen years of age he entered the Eureka College, of Eureka, Ill., and in four years graduated and received his diploma; he then commenced teaching school in Tazewell Co., Ill., which business he followed for two years, thence in the mercantile business in Eureka, Ill., for seven years; owns a farm of 105 acres of fine improved land, valued at $8,000: he married Miss Maria J. McCorkle, of Eureka; one child-Charlie, born July 16, 1875.
REECE, JOHN S., farmer; P. O. Cruger ; was born in Pennsylvania April 19, 1812; is the son of Jeremiah and Rebecca (Robinson) Reece, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Reece remained on his fathers farm until he entered a blacksmith shop in Wheeling, W. Va., where he learned that trade; in 1853, he emigrated west and settled in Peoria, Ill., where he remained about two years, thence to Brimfield; from there he came to Woodford County, Ilk, and settled on the place where he now lives, which consists of 325 acres of fine land, and improvements, all of which has been made by hard labor and good management. Mr. Reece, socially, has a pleasing address and genial manners that win the respect of all. He is a member of the Methodist Church; his political opinions are Republican, He married Mrs. Ellen Holmes in 1867; have five children-Effie. Sherman, Johnnie, Winfield and Grant.
RAY, THOMAS, farmer; P. O. Eureka; was born in Butler Co., Ohio, Sept. 12, 1826; son of Phillip and Elinor (McCain) Ray, who were among the first settlers in Ohio; he remained on his father's farm until 1850; he then went to California, where he remained for six years, engaged in mining and farming; he returned and settled in Douglas Co., Ill., farming for seven years; from there he came to Woodford Co., and settled on the farm he now lives on. Mr. Ray has held the office of School Director for seven years; his political opinions are Republican; had four brothers in the late war; one of his brothers, Henry C., was killed at the battle of Chickamauga; his father, Philip Ray, was born March 16, 1783, died Fall of 1849; his mother, Elinor Ray. was born March 6, 1806; is living on the old homestead, in Butler Co., Ohio; he married March 12, 1861, to Miss Mary E. Wright, of Pa., born March 6, 1833, daughter of James Wright; five children -Nellie was born July 9,1862; Annie H., born March 18, 1866; Henry C, born April 21, 1870; James W., born May 23, 1871; Edith C, born April 4, 1873.
SCHREIBER, FRANCIS J., merchant: P. O. Cruder; was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1323; he emigrated to America and settled in Woodford Co. in 1853; he came here in moderate circumstances ; he commenced work in a brickyard in Germantown : here he saved a little money in the brick yard business and farming; he then came to Cruger in 1859 and opened a small general merchandise store, and to-day with his hard labor, good management, and fair dealing, is the owner of one of the best general merchandise stores in Woodford Co.; was appointed Postmaster of Cruger in 1860, which office he has held ever since ; has held office of School Director and Town Clerk; married Miss Adline Happ, of Germany : five children. Mr. S. is Liberal in his politics; member of the Catholic Church.
WALLAHAN, GEO. A. farmer and stock raiser: Sec. 3 ; P. O. Eureka; is a native of Columbiana Co., Ohio. He was born on the 26th of May. 1817: he has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits; in 1856 he removed to Rock Co., Wis., and after four years came to Woodford Co.; spent one year near Eureka and then settled on his present farm, where he owns 160 acres of land valued at $9,600. He also owns a farm of 160 acres in Metamora Tp., valued at about the same price. Mr. Wallahan was married Dec. 29, 1840, to Miss Elizabeth Hardman, who was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, Oct. 31, 1822. They have had four children, three of whom are living-Susan, Frank W. and Ida A.
Gerhard Harms was for many years a substantial businessman of Washburn, Illinois where he spent the greater part of his life as a carpenter and proprietor of a successful construction business. He was largely a self made man after emigrating from Wilhelmshaven, Germany. His career eventuated in success because of his untiring industry and good management, and at his death he not only left behind an estate, but a heritage of an honored name.
Gerhard Harms was born in Wilhelmshaven Germany in 1869 the son of Bernard and Maria Blackhoff Harms. When he was twenty four years of age he emigrated to the Unites States and arrived at New York City 30 Dec 1893 on the SS Ems. He first settled in Carroll, IA with his sister Margeretha. He then moved to Washburn, IL to work as a carpenter for Henry Fitschen where his capital was acquired through thrift and the strictest economy. He later became a contractor who built some of the prominent buildings in Washburn. Under his able and industrious direction the construction business developed into one of the city's successful enterprises. He lost a his business during the great depression.
Gerhard Harms married Anna Meta Fitschen, a native of Germany, on 9 April 1902 in Washburn. They had seven children: Francis (1903-1996), Lydia (1905-1968), Eileen (1908-1992), Julia (1910-1993), William (1912-1989), Adelbert (1915-1993), and Ruth (1920- ). Anna Meta Fitschen died on 6 February 1936 and is buried in Linn Mt. Vernon cemetery in Washburn.
Gerhard Harms was interested in civic affairs and was a devout member of the Lutheran Church. He died on 26 October 1935 and is buried in Linn Mt. Vernon cemetery in Washburn. [written and contributed by Mark Gleason]
Leonard Weber, a representative agriculturist of Pike township, residing on section 10, has made his home in Livingston county since 1869 and has taken an active part in its development. He was born in New York February 2, 1850, and is a son of George Weber, who was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, about 1820 and emigrated to the United States when a young man, locating near Utica, New York, where he married Sophia Horner, also a native of Wurtemburg. Her father died in Germany and she came to America at the same time as her future husband. In this country Mr. Weber worked for others and also engaged in teaming in New York for some years, three of his children having been born in that state, but in 1856 he came to Illinois and first settled in Woodford county, where he engaged in farming on rented land for several years. At length lie was able to purchase a small place in the southern part of the county, and on disposing of the same, in 1869, he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Pike township, Livingston county, which at that time was but slightly improved. After operating it for several years he sold and bought another place in Pike township, which he subsequently disposed of, and now makes his home in Pontiac township, where he owns a valuable farm of three hundred and twenty acres.
The subject of this sketch was a lad of six years when he came to this state, and in Woodford and Livingston counties he grew to manhood, his education being acquired in the public schools near his home. He remained with his father until he attained his majority, and then rented a farm on section 3, Pike township, where he engaged in farming for about six years. Mr. Weber was married in this county, April 2, 1878, to Miss Barbara Fischer, a native of Woodford county, Illinois, and a daughter of Joseph Fischer, a substantial farmer of Pike township, Livingston county, who was formerly a resident of Woodford county and was born in Germany. Mrs. Weber was reared and educated in this county. Our subject and his wife have a family of three children: Barbara S., Joseph G. and Leonard F., all at home.
After his marriage Mr. Weber continued to engage in farming upon rented land for about five years. He rented his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 10, Pike township, for two years and then purchased the place, to the further improvement and cultivation of which he has since devoted his energies. In his farming operations he is meeting with marked success and the prosperity that has come to him is certainly justly merited, for it is due entirely to his own unaided efforts and good management. Politically Mr. Weber is identified with the Democratic party on national issues, but at local elections votes for the men whom he believes best qualified to fill the offices regardless of party lines. For three years he served as school director, but has never cared for political honors. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the Evangelical church of Eppards Point. [The Biographical Record of Livingston County Illinois - Chicago - The S. J. Clarke Publishing, Company (1900)]
HON. GEORGE W. PATTON.
At the present time it is seldom that one wins prominence in several lines. It is the tendency of the age to devote one's entire energies to a special line, continually working upward and concentrating his efforts toward accomplishing a desired end; yet in the case of Judge Patton it is demonstrated that an exalted position may be reached in more than one line of action. He is an eminent jurist, an able judge and a leader in political circles. For several years he was successfully engaged in the practice of law in Pontiac and is now serving as judge of the eleventh judicial circuit. The Judge is a native of Pennsylvania, and during his infancy was brought to Woodford county, Illinois, in 1851, by his parents. Samuel R. and Jane (Haines) Patton, who were also natives of the Keystone state. His paternal grandfather was Rev. James Patton, and his great-grandfather. Rev. John Patton, both of whom achieved some local celebrity as Baptist ministers in western Pennsylvania, the latter having been pastor of the church at Smithfield, Fayette county, for thirty consecutive years, as the inscription on his monument, erected by his church, still attests. Judge Patton's maternal grandparents were John and Margaret (Anderson) Haines, farming people of western Pennsylvania. The latter was a daughter of James Anderson, a native of Ireland, who carried a musket for six years in General Washington's army during the Revolutionary war. During their entire residence in this state the parents of Judge Patton made their home in Woodford county, where the mother died in 1873, the father in 1886. He was a Democrat in politics, a successful farmer, a man of great industry, indomitable will and strong common sense, while the mother was a woman of keen wit, remarkable memory and forceful intellect. Reared on the home farm in Woodford county. Judge Patton attended the common schools of the neighborhood until twenty years of age, and then took a three years' course at Normal, Illinois, completing the same in 1871. During the following two years he taught school in Secor and El Paso, Woodford county, and with the money thus earned he commenced the study of law with Hay, Green & Littler at Springfield, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar in 1875, being a member of the same class as W. J. Calhoun, ex-Senator T. C. Kerrick and George Torrance. Subsequently he again taught school and engaged in other pursuits until 1881, following farming for three years to regain his health. In 1881 he commenced the practice of law at Fairbury, this county, and two years later located in Pontiac; where he formed a partnership with C. C. Strawn, which was dissolved in 1888. After that time he was alone and succeeded in building up a large and lucrative practice. On the 7th of June, 1897, he was elected one of the judges of the eleventh judicial circuit, composed of Livingston, Woodford, Ford, McLean and Logan counties, and is now most creditably filling that office. His mind is analytical, logical and inductive. With a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental principles of law, he combines a familiarity with statutory ? and a sober, clear judgment, which makes him not only a formidable adversary in legal combat, but has given him the distinction of being one of the ablest jurists in this section of the state. Although reared in a Democratic atmosphere. Judge Patton has never voted that ticket, but is a stanch Republican. He was a member of the state central committee of his party from 1894 to 1896. He was made a Mason at Fairbury, and is now a member of Pontiac lodge, No. 294, F. &. A.M.; Fairbury chapter. R. A. M.; Chenoa council, R. & S. M.; and St. Paul commandery K. T., of Fairbury. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge and encampment, and both he and his wife are members of the Pontiac Methodist Episcopal church, in which lie is serving as an officer. The Judge was married. September 20, 1877, to Miss Flo Cook, daughter of James and Lucinda Cook, of Fairbury and they now have two children. Marie and Proctor. [The Biographical Record of Livingston County Illinois - Chicago - The S. J. Clarke Publishing, Company (1900)]
Frank HUNZINGER, a prominent, well-to do fanner of Roanoke Township, has been a resident of Woodford County for thirty years, coming here when a boy of sixteen, and during that time he has been an important factor in developing its great agricultural interests, and he has become the proprietor of 320 acres of rich farming land, well stocked with cattle and horses of high grades, and provided with a neat and substantial set of frame buildings, pleasantly located on the northeast quarter of section 35, two and one-half miles south of the village of Roanoke. Our subject was born on the 3d of April, 1842, in Alsace, when it was a Province of France. his father, Jacob Hunzinger, was a native of the same place, while his father, George Hunzinger, is supposed to have been a native of Switzerland, who emigrated from there to Alsace, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, residing there until his death. The father of our subject was reared and married in his native land, and engaged in farming there until I860, when he disposed of his property there and then followed his sons across; the ocean to America. He located in Roanoke Township, buying a farm here, and was a resident of this place until his death. He and his wife were the parents of five children-Magdalena, Jacob, Elizabeth, Frank, and John, all of whom came to America. Frank Hunzinger passed his boyhood in his native land, and in its excellent schools gleaned a sound education, attending school quite regularly until he was fourteen years old. He then assisted his father on his farm until he was sixteen years old. At that age the ambitious lad set out in the world by himself, anxious to try life in America, whither his brother Jacob had preceded him. He set sail from Havre, France, in November, and after a long and tedious voyage landed in New York City in the following January, and at once made his way to his brother in Woodford County, this State. At that time he was a poor boy, his sole capital being a sane mind in a sound body, but he had inherited industrious and persevering habits from his good parents, and these with other good traits were enough to insure his success in any walk in life. He at once sought and found work by the month on a farm, and was thus employed until his father came, when lie remained at home with him the following two years to assist him in the management of his farm. He then began an independent life by farming on rented land. He was fairly successful in that venture, and was enabled to make a payment on eighty acres of land which he had purchased, said land now being included in his present farm. There were no buildings on it at that time, and he at once began to make the necessary improvements. He has met with more than ordinary success in his efforts to secure a home, and now has a fine farm that is comparable with the best in this locality in point of cultivation, good buildings, etc. Our subject has been a hard worker in his day, and by sound discretion, keen judgment and far-sighted forethought, has acquired a valuable property and placed himself among the most substantial citizens of his township. In his work Mr. Hunzinger has not been without the assistance of a faithful wife, to whom he owes much for his present prosperous circumstances. Her maiden name was Caroline Kuhl, and they were united in marriage in 1867. Mrs. Hunzinger was born in Woodford County, and is a daughter of Henry Kuhl, a well-known pioneer of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Hunzinger have six children, namely: John, Amelia, Joseph, Jacob, Lena and Etta. The family are prominent members of the Presbyterian Church, and are generous in its support. Although our subject is of foreign birth this country has no more lo3ral citizen than he. the most important part of his life having been passed here, and he is thorougly attached to American institutions and government. Politically, he is an intelligent supporter of the principles promulgated by the Democratic party. He is of the type of men called self-made, and we may add that he is well made. He is a keen observer, possesses ripe common-sense, prompt and systematic business habits, and in his dealings with others is always fair and square. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
Peter KENNEL, one of the most extensive land owners of Woodford County, an honored resident of Roanoke Township, is distinguished as being one of the oldest native-born citizens of the county, his birth having occurred here in what is now Worth Township, prior, to the organization of the county. His father John Kennel, an Alsacian by birth, was a prominent and well-known pioneer of this section of Illinois in the early days of its settlement, and while engaged in the accumulation of a handsome property he was an important factor in the development of the wonderful agricultural resources of this region, and thus helped promote the material prosperity of the county. Our subject in his turn has done much in that direction, and has contributed liberally of his wealth to advance the highest interest of his native county. The father of our subject was born near Strasburg, in the German province of Alsace, which France ceded to Germany after the close of the Franco-Prussian war. He received a very good education in the public schools, and continued to reside in his native land till he had attained manhood. He then came to the United States, ambitious to see something of life and to improve his fortunes. He first located in Ohio, and though a stranger in a strange land, his only capital good health, a fine physique, and indomitable energy, he soon found work, commencing his life on American soil by working out as a farm hand, receiving eight dollars a month and his board. After working about for a time he concluded to come further west, where he could secure cheap lands and have a better chance to build up a home, and in 1830 he made his appearance in Illinois, and located in what is now Worth Township, Woodford County. He made a claim to a tract of timbered land, the land roundabout here then being owned by the Government, and the most of it in its native condition. He built a comfortable log house, splitting the logs and hewing them down for a floor, riving out boards about four feet long to cover the roof, and, having no nails, putting on heavy poles fastened with wooden pins to keep the roof in place. The rude chimney had a stone foundation, and was made of earth and sticks. Mr. Kennel was a man of more than ordinary industry, capacity and enterprise, possessing good judgment, and by years of hard labor he not only improved a valuable farm, but bought more land, and accumulated a handsome fortune. He lived on his farm for many years till 1871, when he came to live with our subject and made his home with him till his death Dec. 18, 1888. His wife had died on the old homestead in "Worth Township many years before. The subject of this sketch was born in the humble log cabin that his father erected when, he first settled on his homestead, in Worth Township, July in Worth Township two miles from the old homestead, and there the first three years of his wedded life were spent. In about 1859 he settled on the place he now owns and occupies on section 5, Roanoke Township. He inherited industrious habits, keen foresight and other notable traits of character from his parents and has met with more than ordinary success in life. He is the proprietor of 1490 acres of land in Roanoke and Linn townships, besides tracts of land in Kansas and Nebraska, inheriting considerable real estate from his father. Our subject has not gained his wealth by being penurious, as he is very liberal, devoting much money to charitable objects, and giving material aid to every enterprise for the benefit of his township or county, while his children have had every advantage afforded by a good education in the public schools. Mr. Kennel was married April 8, 1856 to Miss Annie Schertz, and to them six children were born, five of whom are now living-Mary, John, Peter, Katie, Joseph. Mary is the wife of Christian Eigstine, of Linn Township, and is the mother of six children-Susie Anna, Mary Katie, Lizzie, Johnie: Peter. John married Sarah Bachman, and the other children are living with their parents. Mrs. Kennel was born in France, about 1837 but when she was an infant her parents, Peter and Magdalena Schertz, brought her to the United States. They settled in Worth Township, where her father bought a tract of timber land, and improved a good farm, on which he and his wife spent their remaining years. Mr. Kennel is classed among our best citizens, and his course in life has reflected credit on his native county, as he has always been true to himself and to others in all the relations of life as son, husband, father, neighbor, friend. He and his wife are members of the Mennonite Church, and are worthy disciples of the faith. In politics, Mr. Kennel is a decided Republican. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
David MARSHALL OWEN, Sheriff of Woodford County, occupies an honorable position among its native-born citizens, and his career, both in public and private life, justifies the high opinion of his merit that the people hold among whom his entire life has been passed, and their confidence in his singular fitness for the responsible office which he so ably fills. Our subject was born in Cazenovia Township, March 10, 1813, a son of James Owen, one of the earliest settlers of Woodford County, a pioneer of Cazenovia Township, of which he is still an honored resident. He was a Virginian by birth, born in Halifax County Jan. 1, 1801. His father, Walter Owen, was born in the same county, and his grandfather, David Owen, was likewise a native of Virginia, and was there reared and married. In the year 1815 he emigrated from the home of his birth to the State of Kentucky, and made his home in Barren County with his children till his death, in 1818. The grandfather of our subject was reared and married in Virginia, and removed from there to Kentucky about 1815, going there with his family with a team. After living in Barren County, that State, nearly three 3'ears, he came to Illinois and beanie an early pioneer of Wayne County. At that time the country was very wild, giving scarcely any signs of civilization, and deer, wolves, panthers and wild cats were plentiful. He entered a tract of land from the Government, the greater part of it being timber, and building a rude log house on the place for a dwelling, he commenced the hard task of clearing a farm. The nearest market was at Carmi, twenty miles distant, on the Little Wabash River, the approach to the town being over rough, and sometimes almost impassable roads, and the nearest mill was also at that point. Mr. Owen improved the greater part of his land, and resided there many years. Finally, he and his wife removed to Marshall County, and there spent their last days with their son Nathan. The maiden name of the- grandmother of our subject was Elizabeth Martin, and she was born in Halifax County, Va., a daughter of David and Elizabeth Martin. Six of the children born to her and her husband grew to maturity-Nathan, Joseph, Elizabeth, James, Daniel. Celia A. The father of our subject was about sixteen years old when his parents removed to the State of Kentucky, and he resided with them till their removal to Illinois, and still continued with them during their residence in Wayne County. As related before, wild game was then very plentiful-in Wayne County, and he soon became an expert hunter, and killed many a bear, deer, or other wild game, and was thus enabled to add many a delicious feast to the humble pioneer fare of the early settlers. He was a youth of intense religious feeling, and early united with the United Baptist Church, and while in Wayne County preached very acceptably for the members of that denomination. In 1835 he came to that part of Tazewell County now in Woodford County, and entered a tract of wild prairie land on section 19, Cazenovia Township, on which he has since dwelt for fifty-four years. He at once built the house in which he has since lived, building it of round logs, which he afterward hewed, and has since weather boarded and ceiled. For some years his wife used to cook all the meals by the fire in the open fireplace, and she spun and wove all the cloth used in the family. Mr. Owen is distinguished as being the oldest settler residing in Cazenovia Township, and one of the oldest in the county, lie is now in his eighty-ninth year, and notwithstanding his advanced age, enjoys a fair degree of health, and retains his mind and memory to a remarkable degree. He has not only improved a good farm, but has been an instrument in aiding the development of the agricultural resources of the count)-. He came here several years before its organization, and has witnessed almost its entire growth from a wilderness to a good state of cultivation. There were no railways in the early days of the settlement of this part of the country, and means of communication with the outside world were meagre and slow. The wild prairies were scarcely inhabited, and nearly all the land was in the hands of the Government, and for sale at $1.25 per acre. The settlements in the county were confined to the timber and along the streams, as the first settlers did not realize the value of the rich, virgin prairies as fanning lands. Soon after coming to this county, Mr. Owen joined the Christian Church, and became one of its most influential members, and was a local preacher in the church for many years. To him, Parker Morse, Sr., and Thomas Jones belongs the honor of having organized the first school district in the State of Illinois, and drawing the first funds from the treasury for the first free school taught in the Slate. Mr. Owen was married, Dee. 24, 1824, to Miss Candace King, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of John and Susan King. She died April 12,1869. Five of the children born to the parents of our subject are now living, viz: Thomas. John, David M., J. Madison and Mary J. David Owen, of whom these lines are written, received his early education in the pioneer schools of his native county, and was further advanced by attendance at the college at Eureka, where he pursued an excellent course of study. At the early age of fifteen he commenced to teach school, and was thus engaged for eight winter terms and three summer terms, and when not employed in teaching, he gave his attention to farming. In 1860 he bought eighty acres of timber land near his father's farm, but never located on it, however, but continued to reside on the old homestead where lie had been born and bred, and which was under his management, he devoted his spare time to clearing his land and improving a farm, which he afterward sold at a good profit. After his election to the important post of Sheriff of Woodford County, he left his old home and removed to Metamora with his family for greater convenience in the transaction of business. January 26, 1870, Mr. Owen took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Susan King, and one child, Myrtle, has blessed their happy wedded life. Mrs. Owen was born in Marshall County, III, and is a daughter of Enoch and Celia (Owen) King. Our subject is well-educated and well-informed, possessing much natural force of character, physical and moral courage, and is fully equal to the weighty responsibilities devolving on him in his present position. While residing in his native township, he bore an honorable part in the management of its public affairs, serving with ability as Township Assessor and as School Director. He is a Democrat in his political sentiments, firmly believing the policy of that party the right one to be pursued in the government of the country. Religiously, both he and his amiable wife are estimable members of the Christian Church, true disciples of the faith. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
John KELLOGG, a native of Vermont, is a good specimen of the sons of New England It who have actively aided in the development of Woodford County as a great agricultural center. He is spending his declining years in his pleasant home in Metamora, where he is still engaged in tilling the soil. His fine farm, lying partly in this township and the remainder in Cazenovia and Roanoke townships, shows in the abundant harvests it yields and in its neatly appointed buildings, every evidence of assiduous cultivation and careful improvement. Mr. Kellogg was born in the town of Stowe, Lamoille Co., Vt., Nov. 20, 1816. His father, Warner Kellogg, was likewise a Vermonter by birth, a native of the town of Paulet. His father, Aaron Kellogg came from England to this country with two brothers when he was a young man, and settled in Vermont. Some years after his marriage he be-came a pioneer of Stowe, and there spent his last years, he bought a tract of heavily timbered land, and before his death had developed a part of it into a good farm. The father of our subject was five years old when his parents settled in Stowe, and he there grew to man's estate. He inherited his father's land, and was actively engaged in its improvement for many years. In 1853 he sold his property in Vermont, having decided to try life in the marvelous agricultural regions of the West, and coming to Illinois he arrived in Clinton, De Witt County, the 1st of September. He explored the country around there, but not being quite satisfied with it, later in the fall came to this county, and five or six weeks after his arrival in Metamora his life was brought to a sudden close, and thus a citizen was lost to this community who might have been of great use in its upbuilding. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Janet Gregg, a native of Vermont, born in Waterbury, of which her parents, natives of Connecticut, were pioneers, died in Stowe, Vt., in 1851. To her and her husband were born twelve children, eleven of whom lived to maturity. John Kellogg, the subject of this biography, was bred amid the pretty hill scenes of his native State, and fortified by strong principles inherited from his worthy parents, he started out into the world to make life's journey on his own account in 1837. He went to Ohio by the way of Lake Cham plain and Erie Canal to Buffalo, thence by Lake Erie to Cleveland, from there by canal to Columbus, whence he took a team to Champaign County. He worked on a farm there until 1843, when lie returned to Vermont, and engaged in farming on his own account until 1853. He then sold all his possessions in the Green Mountain State, and in the month of March started on a second journey westward. He stopped in Champaign County, Ohio, until the following February, and in that month came to Metamora and settled on the farm that is still in his possession. There were but few improvements here then, and it has been Mr. Kellogg's good fortune to witness much of the development of this part of the county, and not only that, but to aid in its up-building himself. His homestead of eighty acres is all well improved, and he has besides eighty acres of line farming land near by in Cazenovia Township, and forty acres in Roanoke Township, all under excellent cultivation. Mr. Kellogg has been twice married. The first time in Champaign County, Ohio, in 1837, to Miss Laura Darling, a native of Woodstock, Windsor Co., Vt., and a daughter of Joseph and Nellie Darling. After a happy wedded life of six years she died in 1843, leaving one child, Warner, now residing in Cazenovia Township. The second marriage of our subject, which took place in Vermont in 1847, was to Dorothy W. Boynton, like himself a native of Stowe, Vt., and a daughter of David and Martha (Warren) Boynton. Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg have two children living-Martha and Phebe. Their son Lorenzo Dow died at the age of fourteen years. During his many years' residence here Mr. Kellogg has shown himself to be a conscientious, God-fearing man, whose life-record is without blemish. He and his wife are attendants of the Baptist Church, and are active in its support. He is a loyal adherent of the Democratic party in his political views. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
John ELLIS. The farming community of El Paso Township acknowledges a most worthy representative in the subject of this notice. Quite well advanced in years, he is one of the oldest farmers and stock-raisers in the county, and is now living retired from active labor, his residence being in West EI Paso, where he has a very pleasant and comfortable home. This he has occupied for the last ten years, and has become a familiar figure to the residents of the city. Prior to this he lived on a fine farm of 200 acres in Palestine Township, this counts', which he improved from the raw prairie, and upon which he settled in 1857, remaining there until taking possession of his present home. In connection with farming he operated a dairy, and was generally successful in his various enterprises. The subject of our sketch emigrated from England when a poor man, early in life, and settled in New Jersey, where he lived four and one-half years. He was born in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Nov. 6, 1816, and of pure English stock. His father, Sylvester Ellis, made his living by honest labor, mostly at farming, and when a young man was married to a maiden of his own shire. Miss Mary Render. They reared their family and spent their last days a few miles from the place of their birth. The father lived to the advanced age of eighty-four years, and the mother died when seventy-five years old. They were Episcopalians in religion, and worthy, honest people, who commanded universal respect wherever known. They were the parents of one child only, the subject of this sketch. John Ellis received careful home training, and remained with his parents until his marriage. This important and interesting event was celebrated in North Riding, in May, 1836, the bride being Miss Mary Nettleton, who was born in Yorkshire, May 1, 1815. Her parents, Joseph and Anna (Toole) Nettleton, were likewise natives of Yorkshire, where they settled after their marriage, and where they spent the remainder of their lives, both attaining nearly three-score years. Like the Ellis family they were Episcopalians in religion, and highly respected in their community. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis after their marriage continued the habits of industry in which they had been trained, and worked together with a mutual purpose to obtain a home and a competence. Our subject, however, was not satisfied with the progress he was making financially, and after he had become the father of several children, he in the early part of 1852 came to America. After a few month's sojourn in New Jersey he returned to England during the summer of that same year, and brought back with him his family, landing in New York City upon the day that Franklin Pierce was elected President of the United States. He went to New Jersey and established himself and his little family at Weston, in Somerset County, where they lived four find one-half years, and then came to Illinois, as already indicated. Settling in Woodford County, Mr. Ellis improved a piece of wild land in Palestine Township, and after years of unremitting toil finally found himself financially on solid ground. To our subject and his excellent wife there was born a large family of children, two of whom are deceased: One died in infancy, and Thomas was taken from the household circle at the age of thirty-seven; John, Jr., the eldest living, is President of the Peoples' Bank, at Beatrice, Neb.; Mary is the wife of Robert Hitch, a farmer of El Paso Township; Joseph is farming in Grant Township, Gage County, and he is also a Director in the Peoples' Bank at Beatrice; Jane is the wife of Harry Hitch, a farmer of Hamilton County, Neb.; Margaret, Mrs. Charles Campbell, is a resident of Wichita, Kan.; Thomas S. occupies the old homestead in Palestine Township. Our subject, politically, is a sound Republican, and Mrs. Ellis is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In addition to his other interests, Mr. Ellis owned a large elevator in West El Paso. This has a capacity of 30,000 bushels of grain; he has recently sold it, and it is operated by another party to whom Mr. Ellis transferred the business sometime since. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
Walter H. HAMM. Among the men who, during the early settlement of Panola Township, improved a farm from the wilderness, may be worthily mentioned the subject of this notice. He has now wisely retired from the active labors of life, having taken up his residence in El Paso in the fall of 1888, and is living in the enjoyment of the competence which he secured through arduous toil, economy and good management. He owns eighty acres of choice land on section 22 in Panola Township, 120 acres on section 9, and eighty acres on section 16, the homestead being on the latter. This he built up from a raw prairie, cultivating the soil, erecting buildings and instituting the improvements in keeping with the ideas of modern agriculture. He began farming in Panola Township in 1861, of which he was a continuous resident until his removal to El Paso. Mr. Hamm came to this county from New York State, where he had lived in Putnam County eighteen months, and to which he had removed from Livingston County, of which he had been a resident live years. Prior to this he had been a resident of Columbia County, N. Y., near the Duchess County line. He was born in Gallatin Township, Putnam County, Sept. 6, 1830, and is the son of Peter P. Hamm, a native of Columbia County, N. Y. The paternal grandfather, Peter Hamm, was of German parentage and ancestry and lived to be seventy-eight years old. He died in Schoharie County. His wife in her girlhood was Mary Hamm. She died in Massachusetts when ninety-one years old and was a member of the German Reformed Church. Peter P. Hamm, the father of our subject, was the eldest in a family of seven sons and five daughters. He was reared to manhood in Columbia County, N. Y., being brought up on a farm, and still lives in the county of his birth, being now ninety-three years old. He presents a remarkable picture of health and strength, both of mind and body, the result of temperate habits and correct living. He married in early manhood Miss Clara Van Allen, a native of the same State, and who died in 1882 at the age of eighty-two years. Both were members of the Presbyterian Church. Walter H. was their only son in a family of eight children, all of whom lived to mature years. Our subject received his early education in the common schools of his native county, spending his boyhood and youth on the farm and coming to Illinois with the family. He was married in this county to Miss Lucinda Allen, who was born in Muskingum County, Ohio. June 17, 1847. When a child of seven years she came with her parents, John and Susan (Marion) Allen, to Illinois, and they are now living in Lexington, McLean County, being quite well advanced in years. Mr. Allen has attained to nearly fourscore years. They came to this State in 1853; both are members of the United Brethren Church. In former years they belonged to the Methodist Church. Mrs. Hamm was a mere child when her parents came to Illinois. Of her union with our subject there have been born four children, one of whom died in infancy. Clara remains at home with her parents; she is a bright and accomplished young lady, having been graduated from the EI Paso High School. Susan is also a graduate from this school and remains under the parental roof; Ira L. is still pursuing his studies in that institution. Mr. and Mrs. Hamm are active members of the United Brethren Church, in which our subject has held various positions of trust and responsibility for some years back. He was instrumental in the organization of the church in Panola Township and was Superintendent of the first Sunday-school there. Politically, he conscientiously supports the principles of the Republican party. John Allen, the father of Mrs. Hamm, was born in England and lived there until a youth of sixteen years. In the meantime his father died, and in 1826 he emigrated to the United States accompanied by his mother. The latter spent her last years in Zanesville, Ohio, living to the great age of nearly one hundred years. The great-grandfather of Mrs. Hamm was game-keeper for an English nobleman. Mrs. Susan Allen, the mother, was born in Pennsylvania and was of German or Holland-Dutch descent. She removed to Ohio with her parents when quite young and is now living in Lexington, being seventy-six years of age. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford county, Illinois, 1889]
HON. JOEL A. RANNEY, a
representative citizen of Woodford County, is classed among its most
intelligent, successful farmers and stock raisers. He is the son of a
pioneer family, and the old homestead on which he lives was at the time of
his father's purchase in the early days of the settlement of this region,
a tract of wild, uncultivated prairie land. Now, with its well-tilled
acres, it's neat and commodious buildings, and various modern
improvements, it is considered one of the most desirable farms in the
GREEN LEE PATTERSON, a
prominent and influential farmer, residing on section 29' Palestine
Township, was born in Indiana, Sept. 26, 1827, and is descended from good
old Revolutionary stock. His paternal grandfather, James Patterson, was
probably a native of Pennsylvania or Virginia. When the Colonies took up
arms against the mother country, resolved to shake off the British yoke of
tyranny, like a loyal citizen he enlisted in their ranks, and served
during the entire war as captain. He participated in many of the most
important engagements of that struggle, and was ever found at his post of
duty, bravely fighting for American independence. By occupation he was a
farmer and followed that pursuit the greater part of his life. He married
a Virginia lady, and they settled near Harper's Ferry, since made
memorable by the John Brown raid. They continued to make their home in
that community until called from the busy scenes of this earth to the rest
beyond the grave. Unto that worthy couple were born a large family of
eight children, seven sons and one daughter, and the entire number were
married, reared families, and attained the ages of three-score years and
ten, though none are now living. Joshua Patterson, father of our subject,
was one of the younger members of the family, and in his
native State, Virginia, was reared to manhood Thence he
removed to Kentucky in company with an older brother and his only sister,
the party settling near Georgetown, Scott County, where he was joined in
wedlock with his cousin, Miss Mary E. Bell, who was born in Maryland, and
was a daughter of Robert Bell, who was probably also born in the same
State. Mrs. Patterson was only a little child when the death of her mother
occurred, and she was reared by an older sister, who went with other
members of the family to Kentucky, where her marriage with Joshua
Patterson was celebrated. The young couple began their domestic life in
Scott County, where the husband followed blacksmithing, which trade he had
learned in his native State. Five children were there born unto them, as
follows: Milton, Sanford, Dudley, Abby A. and Elizabeth. In 1825, the
family left Kentucky and removed to Indiana, settling in an almost
unbroken wilderness, not far from Decatur, where Mr. Patterson purchased
eighty acres of land, and began farming. A few years later, he removed to
Hush County, locating in Richland Township, where he bought 160 acres of
timber land, and in the midst of the forest made a home, he was a man of
energy, and in an incredibly short period of time had cleared away the
trees, plowed his land and planted crops. He continued to reside upon that
farm until his death, which occurred in December, 1851, at the ripe old
age of seventy-five years. He possessed a vigorous constitution and
hopeful disposition which especially fitted him for the trials and
hardships of pioneer life, and made his efforts successful, when many
another of a more despondent temperament would have failed. His excellent
wife survived him, dying at the age of eighty-eight years. After settling
in Indiana, they became members of the Christian Church, and died in that