Bureau County Illinois  
History and Genealogy


 Edward A. Washburn

Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois
by George B. Past, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906.
Biographical - Page 159

Edward A. Washburn, president of the Farmers National Bank, was born May 23, 1847, on Cherry island in Jefferson county, New York. His paternal grandfather, White Washburn, was a representative of an old Massachusetts family and served in the war of 1812, participating in the battle of Sackett's Harbor. His son, Alva Washburn, a native of New York, served in the Civil war as a member of the One Hundred and Eight-sixth New York Volunteer Infantry, participating in the Virginia campaign and in various engagements before Petersburg. By occupation he was a farmer, devoting his entire life to the tilling of the soil. He married Miss Clarissa Adams, a daughter of Ambrose Adams, a well known and respected farmer of Jefferson county, New York, who was also a soldier of the war of 1812 and participated in the battle of Sackett's Harbor, and their family numbered four children, one of these being the subject of this sketch.

Edward A. Washburn was educated in the schools of Jefferson county, New York, and afterward engaged in teaching school until 1870, when he became a resident of Bureau county, Illinois, settling in La Moille township, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits. His capability and enterprise in business were soon manifest and the favorable regard which he won from his fellow townsmen led to his selection for public office. He was chosen a member of the board of supervisors in 1873 and re-elected in 1874 and 1875. In the latter year he was chosen county treasurer, filling the position for four consecutive terms - a record scarcely paralleled in the history of the county and unsurpassed for official integrity and capability. The first three terms were for two years each and the fourth term, which came under the new constitution, was for four years, while one extra year of service was given the county officers before the new constitution came into full force, making in all eleven years. In 1886 Mr. Washburn was elected to the state senate as the candidate of the republican party and left the impress of his individuality upon the statutes of the state. Before his term as senator expired he removed to Holdrege, Nebraska, where he remained about four years, being engaged in banking. While there his worth as a citizen and business man was recognized by his being elected mayor of the city and he was called upon to take part in the political councils of the state. In 1894 he returned to Princeton to take the presidency of the Farmers National Bank, where his business interests are now centered, and the sate, conservative policy of the institution as promoted by Mr. Washburn is one of the salient features in its success and substantial growth.  

On the 4th of January, 1871, Mr. Washburn was united in marriage to Miss Firona A. Lowe, who was born at Pillar Point, New York, January 19, 1850, a daughter of Jacob and Betsey (Hancock) Lowe. Mr. And Mrs. Washburn have two children: Gertrude C., who was married December 18, 1892, while residing with her parents at Holdrege, Nebraska to Edward G. Titus, of that city, where they now make their home; and Elva L., who was married at the home of her parents in Princeton, November 23, 1904, to Corwin Radcliffe, of Merced, California, where they now reside.  

Mr. Washburn is a thirty-second degree Mason being affiliated with the Oriental Consistory of Chicago. He is prominent among the energetic and successful business men of Bureau county, and his life record most happily illustrates what may be accomplished by faithful and continued effort in carrying out an honest purpose.

John Warfield

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896

Page 37, 39-40

John Warfield, deceased, who resided in Princeton township, was for many years a conspicuous figure in Bureau county. He was the object of respect by young and old, and he was greeted with affection and esteem by one and all, and in his declining days he enjoyed the reward of a well ordered life and one in which he had exerted himself to do good to those around him.

He was a native of Maryland, born January 26, 1810, and was a son of William and Martha (Bye) Warfield, also natives of the same state. His paternal grandfather, Philip Warfield, was of English descent, whose ancestors were numbered among the early settlers of Maryland. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Jonathan Bye, who died at the age of eighty-four years, and whose family were members of the Society of Friends.

William Warfield spent his entire life in his native State, where his death occurred when our subject (John Warfield) was but six months old. After his death his widow became the wife of Jacob Halloway, who removed to what is now know at Belmont county, Ohio, where her death occurred in 1865. By her first marriage she had three children; Mary, deceased; Maria, now the wife of Joseph Walker, by whom she has five children, and is now a resident of Belmont county, Ohio, and is in her eighty-ninth year; and John, of this sketch. All of the children by the second union are now deceased.

Mr. Warfield, of this review, was reared on the farm of his stepfather, and at the age of twenty-two years began merchandising, going for his first stock of goods to Baltimore, Maryland. He first crossed the Allegheny mountains on horseback and his later trips were made by stage coach. While he purchased his first stock of goods in Baltimore, he usually obtained his supplies from Philadelphia. While on one of his early trips he was the engine which was afterward on exhibition at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, which he visited. Opening his store at Uniontown, Ohio, he conducted the same for fourteen years, during which time he was very successful and succeeded in accumulating his first few thousand dollars. He removed from Uniontown to Bridgeport, Ohio, where he engaged in the wholesale grocery business for the following ten years. While residing in that city he was president of the Belmont branch of the State Bank of Ohio, a position which he filled for nine years, the bank successfully, by his good management, passing through the panic of 1837.

In 1833, while still residing in Belmont county, Ohio, Mr. Warfield was united in marriage with Miss Lydia E. Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Elias Smith, and they became the parents of five children, as follows: William, now residing in Quincy, Illinois; Andrew, of Clinton, Iowa; Jacob H., who died in 1890; Eliza Jane, at home; and Wilson R. of Des Moines, Iowa.

Mrs. Warfield died May 1, 1851, and in 1852 Mr. Warfield wedded Rebecca Wilson, a native of St. Clairsville, Ohio, who died in 1887. To them was born one daughter, Lydia Emma, now the wife of Volney S. Cooper, of Princeton. Rebecca Wilson was the daughter of Stephen and Amy (Smith) Wilson. Mr. Wilson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was a member of the Society of Friends. Amy, his wife, was a native of Pennsylvania, in which state she was reared.

The Wilsons were early pioneers of Illinois, and were prominently identified with the history of Bureau county. Stephen Wilson was postmaster for a long time and also held the office of justice of the peace. In politics he was first a Whig and latter a republican. He departed his life in March 1872, and was followed by his widow in 1890.

Mrs. Rebecca Warfield was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was prominently known for her kind, genial nature, her charities and her earnest, efficient church work. For his third wife, Mr. Warfield chose Mrs. Jane (Pennington) Bellangee, whom he married in 1889, and who lived but two years after her marriage to him.

In 1856, Mr. Warfield came to Bureau county, and located on section 9, Princeton township, where he engaged in farming and also invested a considerable amount in lands, which he later sold, using his capital in other ways. He subsequently removed to Quincy, Illinois, where he spent five and a half years, after which he returned to his home in Princeton township.

In early life Mr. Warfield was politically a Whig, casting his first presidential vote in 1832, for Henry Clay. He continued to support that party until its dissolution, after which he became a republican, with which party he affiliated during the remainder of his life. While a resident of Uniontown, Ohio, he filled the position of postmaster, the only office of honor or profit that he ever held, caring nothing for political preferment. Starting in life unaided and working at farming during his youth, he lived honestly and economically; was industriously inclined, ambitious and healthy, and became by judicious management the possessor of a handsome competence, which enabled him to spend his declining years in ease and retirement.

For over forty years he was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in all the relations of life was upright and honorable. His death occurred August 4, 1896, and was a sad blow not only to the family but to friends. Mr. Warfield was a man of fine intellect, broad-minded, yet modest and reserved withal. He was of genial nature, gentle and pure in character, and a devoted husband and father. He had a kind word for all and was a most interesting companion, not only to the old, but to the young, holding in an eminent degree the respect, confidence and love of kindred and a large circle of friends left to mourn his loss.


Stephen R. Welch, one of the leading fruit-growers and representative citizens of Mesa county, this state, whose postoffice is at Grand Junction and whose farm is three miles northwest of that city, is a native of Bureau county, Illinois, where he was born on April 4, 1857. His parents, Enoch and Eliza (Richardson) Welch, were natives, respectively, of Vermont and Ohio. The father came west when a young man and was married in Ohio. By this marriage he had two children. His wife died in that state and he moved to Bureau county, Illinois, where he married a second wife, the mother of Stephen. He was a mason by trade and wrought at his craft in the various places of his residence. In 1869 he moved his family to Benton county, Iowa, and three years later to Woodbury county, that state. He died at Sioux City, that county, leaving a third wife to survive him, his second having died at their Illinois home in 1866. The second marriage resulted in three children, all living, Stephen being the first born. He was reared in Illinois and Iowa, and received a public-school education. After leaving school he worked on farms in Iowa until 1874 when he returned to Illinois and located in Lee county, where he passed four years working on farms. He then moved back to Woodbury county, Iowa, but not long afterward again returned to Illinois. Soon after his marriage, in the spring of 1882, he settled in Clay county, Iowa, and there he remained engaged in farming until 1896. He then sold his farm of one hundred and sixty acres at twenty-nine dollars per acre, having purchased it at twelve dollars per acre. He then came to Colorado, locating in Mesa county and bought the forty acres on which he now lives, about half of which had been planted in fruit trees a year before. He has brought his land and orchards to a good state of productiveness and reaps large returns from his labor, having in 1903 one thousand boxes of apples and eight hundred of pears, also sixty tons of hay and five tons of potatoes, which brought him an income of over two thousand dollars. These figures will be much increased as times passes, as his trees are just coming into full bearing order. On February 24, 1881, he was married to Miss Arella Geisinger, a native of Dixon, Illinois, and daughter of David and Sarah (Barrett) Geisinger, the former born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. They are now living at Storm Lake, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Welch are the parents of three children, Leo W., Clara V. and Russell E. In political faith Mr. Welch is a Republican, and in fraternal alliance a Modern Woodman of America.

(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

John H. Weissenburger
Catharine (Dorn) Weissenburger

John H. Weissenburger, Hall Township, was born in Putnam County, Ill., June 16, 1850. His parents, George and Eva Weissenburger, were natives of Bavaria, Germany. The former is now living in Dimmick Township, LaSalle Co., Ill. The latter died in Section 4, Hall Township, Bureau County, January 31, 1862; they having come here in 1859. There were the parents of the following children, viz: Corad, of Iowa; Catharine of Putnam County Ill.; Eva, of LaSalle County, Ill; George of Hall Township; Valentine of Hall Township; Louis of Peru and John H., our subject. John H. Weissenburger was married in this county March 14, 1871 to Catharine Dorn, who was born in Westfield Township June 12, 1852, a daughter of John and Carrie (Snyder) Dorn, old settlers of Bureau County. Mrs. Weissenburger died September 30, 1883, leaving two children, viz: Jennie E., born May 29, 1873; John H., March 14, 1877. Mr. Weissenburger is a Democrat in political views.
[Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, by Henry C. Bradsby, Chicago Publishing Company, 1885]

David L. Whitten
William Whitten
Elizabeth (Daggar) Whitttin

William Whittin (deceased) was born in Erie County, Penn., May 28, 1819 and there grew to manhood and then came West, and subsequently made Illinois and Iowa his home. In 1851 he was married in Lee County, Iowa to Eliza J. Larison, who was born near Ithaca, N.Y., December 27, 1830, and in childhood went to Iowa. In 1860 Mr. Whittin came to Bureau County, Ill., and settled the farm of 160 acres now occupied by his family and died January 20, 1877. His only son, David L. Whitten was born in Putnam Co., Ill., August 31, 1858 but was mostly reared and educated in Bureau County. He was married January 7, 1880 to Miss Elizabeth Daggar. She was born in Putnam Co., Ill., October 20, 1856, and is the daughter of Peter and Janet Daggar. The father is deceased, but the mother resides at Storm Lake, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. David L. Whittin are the parents of one daughter, viz: Lucy E., born July 4, 1883. Mr. D. L. Whittin is a stanch Republican in politics as was also his father.
[Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, by Henry C. Bradsby, Chicago Publishing Company, 1885]

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