Carroll County Biography

MRS. MARY T. (McCOY) HALDERMAN

Thirty-Two years numbers the sojourn of this lady in Carroll County, to which she came when a young lady of eighteen years, in the year of 1857, and she has since made her home in Mt. Carroll. The present flourishing city was at that time in wide contrast with its present condition and the Indians had left the place only about five or six years efore. Mrs. Halderman has been one of those warmly interested in the growth and development of Northern Illinois, possessing more than ordinary intelligence and performing well her part upon the worlds great stage.

Our subject made her home with her sister, Mrs. Halderman in Mt. Carroll until her marriage with Nathaniel Halderman, which took place on the 11th of August 1875. She was the second wife of Mr. Halderman; he having first married her sister, Miss Elizabeth McCoy. The lady died in November of 1873, leaving three children; Nathaniel H. Jr., who retains an interest in the mill established by his father; Rebecca T., who married John M. Adair who is in the office of the Secretary of State, Springfield; and Hattie E., a young lady who still makes her home with her mother.

Mr. Halderman was born in Montgomery County, Pa., May 1, 1811, but in early life removed with his parents to Chester County, that State, where he commenced learning the miller's trade when a youth of sixteen years. Subsequently he returned to his native place where he followed his trade for a time, then changed the scene of his operations to Bridgeport, near Schuylkill River. In 1848 he came to Mt. Carroll, and in partnership with Mr. Emmert, asisted in building the first mill erected in Salem Township, and for many miles around. They also established a store of general merchandise, and became owners of the land where the city of Mt. Carroll now stands. Mr. Halderman was a man of unusual energy, ever devising some new project which should benefit both himself and his neighbors. He assisted in the establishment of the Mt. Carroll Seminary and remained one of its most liberal patrons until his death. He officiated as County Treasurer for eight or ten years and was the first Mayor elected after Mt. Carroll became an incorporated city. Prior to this he had served as a Village Trustee for many terms and after the town became a city represented his ward in the Council. In manner he was more than ordinarily modest and reserved, and a man in whom the people had entire confidence. He had been thrown upon his own resources early in life and accumulated his property by industry and perseverance. He was at one time the owner of several thousand acres of land in Salem and other townships, and at his death, which occurred June 27, 1880, left a fine estate to his heirs. In religious matters he was a devout member of the Baptist Church, assisted in organizing the society at Mt. Carroll, and ever gave to it a liberal support, being largely instrumental in its establishment and maintenance. Politically, he supported the Republican party.

To Nathaniel and Mary T. Halderman there were born two children only. a son and a daughter, Edwin M. and Mary D., who remained at home with their mother and have given the best of educational advantages. Henry Halderman, the father of Mr. Halderman, was a native of Pennsylvania and belonged to the Society of Friends. He was a farmer by occupation, and spent his entire life in his native State. The family traces its origin to Germany.

Mrs. Halderman is the daughter of John and Rebecca (Hirsch) McCoy, who were natives respectively of Ireland and Pennsylvania. Mr. McCoy crossed the Atlantic when a youth of sixteen years, and died in Pennsylvania when his daughter Mary T., was a child of ten. The mother remained in the Keystone State until her death which occurred in 1869. The parental household included eleven children, of whom but three are living. Mrs. Halderman retains her interest in the mill property, and expects to become a stock-holder after the contemplated formation of the stock company which will probably operate it in the future. She owns and occupies a comfortable home on Clay street, and numbers her friends among the cultivated people of the city.

From a friend of the family we have gathered other interesting particulars in relation to the first settlement of Mr. Halderman in this county. It is stated that he first came West in 1841 to locate and establish himself in the milling business. His first objective point, and where he first stopped was at Grand Detour in Ogle County. He was unsuccessful, however, in effecting such terms and conditions as he wished for in connections with the water-power of Rock River at that point, and consequently abandoned the project. He then came to this county, really intending to go through to Galena, but on the way was attracted by the water power in Straddle Creek, adjacent to the present site of Mt. Carroll. He determined to locate here and improve the water-power, and took up a section of land, including the later mill site, making a contract with David Hurley to build the dam.

It was probably about the year of 1842 that Mr. Halderman associated himself in partnership with Mr. John Reinwold (Rinewalt), and the firm was afterward familiarly known as the "Mill Company" by the early citizens of Mt. Carroll. This company built the mill, and conducted the business for many years, and in the meantime also acquired a large tract of land adjacent. At this time the county seat was located at Savanna, but by an act of the Legislature the people of the county voted for its removal, Aug. 7, 1843. As an inducement to select Mt. Carroll, Messrs. Reinwold & Halderman proffered forty acres of land as a donation for the site of the courthouse, and upon which the Baptist Church now stands. After the county seat had been located it was thought that the courthouse site was too far from the center of the town, and with the consent of all parties the donators withdrew their first proposition, and in its stead proffered the block of ground which the county building now occupies, and in addition agreed to erect the courthouse, according to the plans and specificaitons submitted.

This proposition was accepted, and the agreement carried out in good shape. The first courthouse was a plain two story stone building with offices on the first floor, and the courtroom above, surmounted by a tower known as the "belfry" in which hung and rang the familiar court-house bell for many years. The original town platt was laid out by Mr. Halderman on land taken up by himself, and is still known as the "N. Halderman plat of the town ofMt. Carroll." This firm later made three additions, and were also interested with others in what was known as the "mill Company's Store" located at Stag Point where the Sheldon homestead now stands, and which was the first store of its kind in Mt. Carroll.

Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 976

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