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Carroll County Biographies


The church has always exerted a beneficial influence upon the lives of men and the progress of communities. When a church is established in a locality, its beginnings in true civilization are written, and because of this and the power of the moral force it exerts, the men instrumental in bringing about its organization, and continuing its healthy growth, are deserving of more than passing mention. The establishment and progressive advancement of the Brethren Church of Milledgeville are due to the efforts of the Livengood family, whose united efforts have been directed towards making this denomination a religious power in Carroll county. One of the most active in church work at present in this locality, is Henry Livengood, a retired farmer of Milledgeville. He was born in Somerset county, Pa., July 5, 1845, being a son of Abraham and Anna (Meyers) Livengood.

Abraham Livengood, one of the grand old men of Carroll county, whose memory will be cherished, was born in Somerset county, Pa., September 22, 1822, and died in Milledgeville, February 13, 1890. In 1854, he came to Carroll county, locating on 320 acres of land which he developed into so fine a property that it is still pointed out as one of the model farms of the county. At one time he owned 840 acres of land, but eventually disposed of much of it, and in 1884 retired, intending to pass the remainder of his life among his children, but his active spirit could not rest content, and in 1886, he in conjunction with a Mr. Knapp built a two-story brick structure on Main street. In this building, the two, who had formed a partnership, conducted a first class mercantile business. Mr. Livengood was far seeing, and often when land was selling for a trifle an acre, would declare that he firmly believed he would live to see it held for $100 per acre, and his faith was more than justified. He was instrumental in the upbuilding of the new part of Milledgeville, and was prominent in advancing educational matters. However, he was more active in church work than anything else. While living in Pennsylvania he was a Dunkard, and continued to espouse that faith until the formation of the progressive Dunkard church, known as the Brethren, when he became one of its most enthusiastic supporters, helping to build the church, and direct its government. When he died, full of years, after a useful and happy life, the whole community mourned him, and attended his funeral in crowds to do him honor.

A worthy son of his honored father, Henry Livengood, has always labored towards the advancement of his church and community, and is now numbered among the most representative of the old solid men of this county. He was but a lad when brought here by his father in 1854, and has grown up within its confines, becoming thoroughly acquainted with all the needs and possibilities of his community. He attended school, and assisted his father on the farm, until he was twenty-three years old, when he married. At this time he bought eighty acres on section 8, Wysox township, later adding to his original purchase until he owned 320 acres. This continued the family home for many years, during which time he made many improvements developing it into a magnificent property. He erected a residence 30x30, large barns, and other buildings, and specialized on Poland-China hogs, being a leader in raising this variety. His shipments ranged from 100 to 200 head of hogs annually, and he also raised cattle and horses, in addition to carrying on general farming. Eventually, he retired leaving the management of his farm to his sons.

On February 5, 1871, Mr. Livengood was united in marriage with Amanda Miller, born in Somerset county, Pa., July 9, 1853, daughter of D. M. and Mary (Lichty) Miller, who came to Carroll county in 1864. Mr. Miller was a Brethren preacher. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Livengood; Alice, who was born March 27, 1873, a graduate of the city high school, is at home; Anna, who died at the age of three and one-half years; William Wallace, who was born August 30, 1879, and Charles A., who was born January 23, 1882. William married, December 4, 1907, Rose Dambman, a native of this county. One child, Marian Amanda, was born June 11, 1909, on her great-grandmotherís eightieth birthday. Charles A., married June 22, 1904, Hattie Goble, and one child, Catherine Amanda, was born March 5, 1909. Two sons live on the home farm, and make a specialty of raising Short-horn cattle. Mr. Livengood gave his children good educations, and made their home attractive. He is one of the leaders of the Brethren Church, and most liberal in his contributions toward its support.

Mr. Livengood distinctly remembers the hardships of early days, and the pleasures as well. The family came to Carroll county when the prairie grass stood as high as a manís head, when he was on horse back. Upon one occasion Mr. Livengood went with his uncle to Mt. Carroll after some cattle. On the return trip, a blizzard began to rage, and the helpless travelers crawled into the box of their wagon, drawing over them an old blanket. Even then, they nearly froze to death, and were thankful to get out alive. Looking back upon those days, and comparing them to the present ones, Mr. Livengood feels that the present generation is being given many advantages, but still holds to the belief that all these hardships developed character, made hardy, healthy men, ready to endure all and build out of the wilderness present civilization.

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, Vol. II, Munsell Publishing Company, 1913

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