S.L. Calef, one of the old, representative families of Cass county, lives on a fine farm on section nine, township eighteen, range eleven, where he owns 320 acres, all well improved except a few acres, and all lying in the familiar and famous Sangamon bottom. On this fine land he has erected two sets of fine buildings. He came to the county in the fall of 1844, when he was a man of small means, but in a year's time he was able to purchase his first land of eighty acres and began to farm on his own account. Soon after this he bought another eighty, and some years later invested in 160 acres more, making 320 acres in all. He has as fine land as there is in the county, and it is all paid for. He has a comfortable bank account in addition, and is considered one of the well-to-do men of the county. He gave up active farming some fifteen years ago, and since that time has been taking life easy, having rented his farm to William Coleman (see biography). Mr. Calef came to this county and State from New Hampshire, where he was born, near Plainfield, Sullivan county, June 25, 1820. He came of New England parents, born in New Hampshire, of English ancestry. His father, Nathaniel Calef, was a native of Salisbury, New Hampshire, son of Benjamin Calef, who was born in New Hampshire, and lived and died in Salisbury, New Hampshire, being a farmer all his life. He was an old man when he died, and had always been a prominent member of society. He married a New Hampshire lady who lived and died there when quite old. Nathaniel Calef was married twice. He was married for the first time to Miss Elizabeth Hall, who died on the farm where they had settled after marriage. She left several children, of whom John Hall Calef is still living. He is on the old Calef farm in New Hampshire, and is an old man, aged eighty-six. His second wife, mother of subject, was Sarah Pettengill, she having been first married and borne a family to a Mr. Little, who died, and she married Nathaniel Calef, to whom she proved a good and faithful wife. She bore him our subject and a daughter, Lucinda, who became Mrs. Harrington, and died in New Hampshire, as did her mother, both old people. Nathaniel Calef, the oldest half-brother of the subject of this sketch, was a soldier in the war of 1812.
Our subject was married in Cass county to Lucy A. Main. She was born, reared and educated in Georgia county, Ohio, in 1829, and came to Illinois when young, settleing on a farm in Cass county with her parents, Lodrick and Ann Eliza (Beard) Main. They were early settlers and improved their farm, and died when old people. They were natives of Connecticut and went to Ohio when young, marrying in Genaga county, from which they came to Cass county, Illinois.
Mr. and Mrs. Calef have no children, but have raised and helped several young people. They are very well known people and have made a host of friends for themselves during their lives in this county. Mrs. Calef is a Methodist, and her husband is a Republican in politics.
William Campbell was born in county Tyrone, Ireland, April 18, 1818, on the same farm on which his father, Archibald Campbell, and his grandfather, William Campbell, were born. This farm was owned by his grandfather, who passed his entire life on it. William Campbell, Sr., was a member of the Episcopal Church, and in that faith reared his family. Archibald Campbell, like his father, spent his whole life on the farm on which he was born. He lived to the ripe old age of eighty-nine years. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth Stewart, she being a native of the same vicinity, and a daughter of James Stewart, who was a native of Ireland and a descendant of Scotch ancestry. Mrs. Campbell died in Ireland, aged seventy-eight years. The names of their six children are: Mary, William, Catherine, James, Archie and Ann. James and Archie are deceased. Mary is the wife of Samuel Shaw, and resides in Dixon, Illinois. Catherine married Hugh Gibney, and lives in Canada. Ann still makes her home in Tyrone, Ireland.
William Campbell, the subject of our sketch, was reared and educated in Ireland, and as soon as he was old enough aided in the farm work. In 1840, bidding farewell to the Emerald Isle, he sailed from Londonderry, May 10, and landed at New York after a voyage of thirty-one days. From New York he came direct to Illinois, making the journey via water, rail and stage, to Pittsburg, and thence by way of the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Beardstown. Then he cam by team to the vicinity where he now lives. At that time Cass county was sparsely settled, some of the land still being owned by the Government. He spent a few months with his brother-in-law, Samuel Shaw, and at this time was taken sick with ague. Seeking a change of climate, he went to St. Louis and took charge of a livery stable, remaining there three years. At the end of that time he came back to Cass county and bought a farm three miles and a half west of Virginia. This farm, consisting of 100 acres, he purchased for $5 per acre, a log house and stable and fifty acres under cultivation comprising the improvements on it. Five years later he sold out at an advance, and bought the farm on which he now resides, two miles west of Virginia. The improvements on this place at the time of purchase were a log house with a frame addition, and a frame stable. He has since replaced them with a good set of frame buildings, has purchased other lands at different times, and is now the owner of upwards of 1,000 acres in Cass county.
Mr. Campbell was married in 1845, October 10, to Mary D. Sudbrink, daughter of Frederick and Catherine Sudbrink. She was born in Germany, and came with her parents to America when young. Their four children are Henry I., Alfred, Emma Ann and Edwin.
Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party. He has served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners.
Louis W. Carles, a well-to-do and successful farmer and stock-raiser, living on section 30, twnship 18, range 11, was born in this township in 1847, and was here reared and educated. He is the son of George H. Carles, born in Germany in 1818. He was of pure Germany ancestry. His wife's name was Elizabeth Crims, and she died at the age of sixty-one. She and her people were member of the Lutheran Church. The father and his children, in September, 1844, started for the United States, landed in New Orleans, and on the largest steamer then running on the Mississippi they came to Beardstown. They arrived January 10, 1845, having been three months on the way. Soon after landing Mr. Carles and one son purchased land in the county, and before long the family became large land owners. Here Mr. Carles, Sr., spent the last years of his life, and died when eighty-six years. He had always been identified with the Lutheran Church as had his parents before him. George H. Carles, Jr., has, since he came to this county been a resident near Bluff Spring station. He is yet smart and active, and runs the homestead, having many friends in the county, among the early settlers. He was married in 1842, in Hanover, to L.O. Nora Deydrick. She was born and reared in Germany. Mrs. Geoge Carles is yet living, and is quite feeble. She is a Lutheran, as is her husband. Mr. Carles is a Democrat.
Louis is the only surviving member of quite a large family. Mr. Carles has been a resident of this county all his life. He has a fine farm of 160 acres, well supplied with good farm buildings. He still attends to overlooking everything himself. He is a well informaed man of good judgment, and is a prominent citizen.
He was married, in this county, to Caroline Musch, daughter of John and Albidena (Leppe) Musch. Her father came from Germany, and now resides in Virginia, Cass county; and her mother was born on the vessel from which she was named on the passage from Germany to America. She died in this county when past middle age. Mr. Musch has married a third wife, who is still living.
Mr. and Mrs. Carles of this notice are energetic young people and faithful members of the Lutheran Church. They are the parents of eleven children, two of whom died young: George H., Jr.; Gustav A., Robert G., William M., Herman H., Louis W., Jr., Julius O., J. Albert and Paul B. The whole family is an honor to the county in which they live.
Thomas H. Carter was born in Little York, York county, Pennsylvania, October 11, 1823. His father, Bushnell carter, a native of Connecticut, came when a young man to Pennsylvania, where he married Julia L. Barber, an estimable lady. He was an educated man, a successful lawyer, and died in early manhood. After the death of his mother our subject was taken by his father to an uncle in Connecticut, and there he grew to manhood. When twenty years of age he became a school teacher, and so contined until 1847, when he went to Canfield, Ohio, where he began the study of law under Judge Newton. He was admitted to the bar in 1852, after graduating from Ballston, New York. About this time, with a young wife, he made his way to Beardstown, and engaged in partnership in a general law business with a cousin, Carter Van Vleck, who had come here some years before. In later years he was connected in a legal way with Henry Philips, of Virginia, Illinois, but after some years he had sole charge of the business himeself. He became well-known through the State as one of the legal lights of the day, and has figured i it prominently. He has amassed a good farm property in Missouri, which is still in the family. He was not a politician, but he had been City Attorney of Beardstown, and from 1858 to 1861 he was Postmaster of the place. He was held in high esteem for his upright character and good qualities. He was a Democrat, a Master Mason, a good moral man and a great lover of home.
He was married to Miss Maria L. Peck, in Warren, Litchfield county, Connecticut, where he was reared. She was born in the same place December 13, 1825, and was a daughter of Phineas and Phoebe (Taylor) Peck, both of Litchfield. Mr. Peck was a farmer and purchased the old Peck homestead, which is tet in the family. His death occurred July 11, 1870, at the age of seventy-seven. He was a strong, active man, and both he and his wife were members of the Congregational Church, as are also their children. Mr. and Mrs. Carter had one son, Augustine P., now chief clerk of Superintendent Johnson of the Montana Central Railroad of Helena, Montana. He married Miss Frances B. Henderson of Monmouth, a daughter of Colonel Henderson, a prominent man of Warren county. Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Carter and wife have one bright daughter, Marcia P., named for her grandmother.
Mr. Carter died while in Peoria, Illinois, for treatment, on March 19, 1886, leaving to his many friends a memory most pleasing to cherish.
John K. Clark, a well-to-do and prominent farmer, living on sections 31 and 32, Township 18, Range 11, Cass county, Illinois, where he owns a fine farm, well improved and well supplied with farm buildings, of about 400 acres, lying in the Sangamon valley, near Bluff Springs, was born in this county in what is now Monroe precinct, in 1828. He is the oldest man in Cass county that was born here. The family later came to what is now Bluff Springs precinct in 1846, and here the parents afterward lived. Prior to coming to Bluff Springs they had lived for a time in Morgan county, Illinois, and also in Schuyler county, later in Henry county, Iowa, and there the father, Thomas, stuck the first stake of what is now Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Some time after this his attention was called to a beautiful spring located about three miles east of Mount Pleasant, and during his four years' sojourn in Henry county, Iowas, when it was all new ground, unbroken, he remained there. Later he sold and returned to Illinois, and in 1840 located in Cass county, where he became a prominent citizen and spent his remaining days there, dying in the vicinity of Bluff Springs, in 1852. He was sixty-seven years of age at his death. He was a good, well-known citizen of this county. He was born in Kenrucky, and was the son of Thomas Clark, Sr., who was born in London, England, and came to America when a young man, settling in Kenrucky, in Barren county, and there lived for some years as a prominent pioneer. He was married, and while yet in middle life was attacked by the Indians and murdered, and his house burned down. The mother died a natural death in Kentucky when quite an old woman. Thomas Clark, Jr., had followed his borther, William M., to Illinois, the latter coming here in the early '20s and settling in Morgan county. He is now dead. Thomas Clark was married in Kentucky to a lady of that State, Julia Ann King, of Scotch-Irish stock. She labored with her husband in building a home in those early days in Illinois. She died some fourteen years after her husband, and was about seventy-six years old. She was a Methodist.
John is the eldest son of four yet living children. His sister, Mrs. Mary Loosley, is the eldest, being a widow and now lives with him. Another brother, Owen W., was a teacher for many years in the public schools and taught penmanship in twenty-seven States, and also in the Dominion of Canada. He is single, as is our subject. Another sister is Martha, wife of Judge D.N. Walker, of Virginia. Two brothers and three sisters, now dead. Rev. William Clark, the older, was a member of the Methodist Epicopal Conference, and preached the gospel for forty years. Thomas was a well-to-do farmer and owned a fine farm near Bluff Springs, where his widow, two sons and a daughter, still reside. Cynthia, the oldest daughter, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and lived a consistent Christian life, and died at the age of seventy-two. Rebecca and Jane were also members of the Methodist Church. They died younger.
John Clark is one of the prominent men of the county and takes an active part in local matters. He is a Democrat, a live, good fellow who enjoys life as it comes. He started Bluff Springs, built the first house and store, sold the first merchandise, and was Postmaster of the place. This was about 1872. His brother Owen was also Postmaster for some time, and both brothers were teachers.
William H. Coleman, general farmer and stock-raiser, running th large cattle farm of 320 acres, and also owner of nearly 600 acres in the precinct of Philadelphia, all in Cass county, has lived in the county for thirty-two years, has always been engaged as a farmer and has always been quite successful. He began here as a poor man, and worked for $10 a month for the first four years, and after that began to farm on the Calef farm, which he has since run as a renter, and out of his savings he has purchased the large farm of 600 acres which he also runs on his own account, in connection with his rented farm, making nearly 1,000 acres that are under his control. He has been a hard-working man and has made all he has since he came to this county in 1860.
He was born in Westphalia at Menden, in Prussia, Germany, in 1840. He was reared in his native country and after he came to this county he attended the public schools through the kindness of his benefactor, S.L. Calef, whose place he has worked on since 1860. He reveres this kind gentleman and his wife as he would his parents, and his long residence on their farm show what their opinion is of his honesty and faithfulness.
Mr. Coleman is the son of Gotlieb Coleman (spelled in the German Kuhlmann), and the latter came to the United States in 1870. He made his home with his son, William, until his death in 1886. He was then eighty two years of age. He was a good old man and an active member of the Lutheran Church. He had married a German lady who lived and died in her native country, being only thirty-two years of age. Her maiden name was Mary Markman. She left six children at her death, of which William and a brother Henry, now a married farmer in Virginia precinct, this county, are all that are now living. William and his brother Henry came to the United States when young and single, coming in the spring of 1860 from Bremen, Germany, to New Orleans in a sailing vessel, Mary Margaret, with 636 passengers on board. After a thirty-nine days' voyage, they landed in New Orleans and came up the Mississippi river on a steamer to St. Louis, and from there to Beardstown, where they have both since lived, and have become good and successful farmers and reliable German citizens.
William was married in this county to Nancy McLin, born in Morgan county, where she was reared and educated. She has lost her parents, the mother dying in Morgan county, at the age of forty, the father in Cass county, aged sixty years, having always been a farmer by occupation.
Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are the parents of five children, yet living are: Ellen M., wife of Perry Davis, a farmer of Virginia; Charles E., at home helping on the farm; Edgar, John and Arthur, all at home on the farm.
Mrs. Coleman is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Coleman is a sound Republican. He has been very active in local politics, and once run for County Commissioner, running ahead of his ticket several hundred votes. He and his wife are good, hard-working people and are justly entitled to the success they have attained.
Joseph L. Cosner, one of the leading merchants of Virginia, was born on a farm in Phi8ladelphia precinct, Cass county, Illinois, June 26, 1855. Of his life and ancestry we record the following facts:
Thomas Jefferson Cosner, his father, was born in Lincoln county, North Carolina, July 31, 1815, son of Henry Cosner, who is supposed to have been a native of the same State. The latter was a blacksmith by trade, at which he worked in Lincoln county till about 1830, when he went to Indiana, being accompanied by his wife and six children, camping along the way and being six weeks in making the journey. He became one of the early settlers of Monroe county; bought a claim and entered a tract of Government land two and one-half miles west of Mt. Tabor. There was a log house on the place and a garden spot cleared. He worked at his trade, devoted his spare time to the improvement of his land, and lived there until his death. The maiden name of his first wife, grandmother of Joseph L., was Elizabeth Isahower. She was born in North Carolina, and died in Monroe county, Indiana. She reared seven children, viz.: Elizabeth, Sally, Joseph, Thomas J., Andrew, Lewis and Maria. Thomas J. was fifteen years old when his parents moved to Indiana, and he remained there with his father till 1836, when, in company with his brother-in-law, Martin Goble, he came to Illinois, making the journey by team. Here he was employed at farm work, first receiving $9 per month, and later $13. He continued to work for one man, Jacob Epler, the greater part of the time for a dozen years. He then purchased 120 acres of raw prairie land, built a small frame dwelling, and commenced a small frame dwelling, and commenced housekeeping. He was successful as a farmer, bought other lands, and is now the owner of 436 acres, all in township 17. He erected a good set of frame buildings on his farm, and continued his residence there, with the exception of short periods spent in Virginia, until 1887, when he removed to Virginia, and now lives retired. He was married in 1850, to Emily (Stevenson) Beard, who was born one mile from Lexington, Fayette county, Kentucky, December 20, 1827. Her father, Thomas Stevenson, is supposed to have been a native of the same county, his father having been a pioneer of Fayette county, where he spent his last years. Thomas Stevenson spent his life on a farm, and died near Lexington in 1831. The maiden name of his wife was Lucy Wyatt, she being a native of Kentucky and a daughter of Walter Wyatt. Her father was a Virginian by birth. He was one of the pioneers of Fayette county, and from there, in 1835, moved to Illinois, settling on Indian creek in Morgan county, where he bought land, improved a farm, and resided there till his death. The maiden name of his wife was Julia Bliss. She, too, was a native of Virginia, and died in Morgan county, Illinois. After the death of Mr. Wyatt she was married to John Creel, and came to Illinois in 1837, settling ten miles northeast of Jacksonville, where she resided till her death. The mother of our subject was ten years old when she came to Illinois with her parents, and remembers well the incidents of the overland journey and of pioneer life here. She assisted her mother in the household duties when quite young, and learned to card, spin and weave. After the death of her mother she went to live with her sister, with whom she made her home until her seventeenth year, when she was married to Maston Beard. He was a farmer of Morgan county, and died there. The parents of Mrs. Cosner are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They reared seven children, viz.: John T. and Jacob deceased; Henry, Joseph L., Lucy, George and Mollie.
Joseph L. Cosner was reared on a farm. He attended the district school a portion of each year, and subsequently advanced his education by a two years' course at Virginia. In 1874 he commenced his mercantile career as a clerk in the store of William B. Payne, and clerked five years. In 1879 he started for the gold fields of Colorado; prospected and mined about a year; had little success in finding gold, and returned home and engaged in farming. A year later he formed a partnership with J.J. Bergen, with whom he was associated in the mercantile business three years, after which the partnership dissolved. He then bought out the firm of Bergslesser & Jones, and has since conducted business alone. He carries an extensive stock of dry goods, clothing, hats, boots and shoes, fancy goods, etc., and does a large business.
Mr. Cosner has an inherent love for fine horses, and, in company with his brother George, is engaged in breeding the same.
He was married June 26, 1888, to Mary Gale Armentrout, who was born in Roodhouse, Illinois, daughter of Adam C. and S.E. Armentrout. She departed this life January 8, 1892, at the age of twenty-five years, six months and twenty-two days. Mrs. Cosner was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
James Crawford, of township 17, range 10, Virginia, is a native of Ireland born in 1833. His parents were William and Margaret (Patterson) Crawford, both natives of Ireland who came to America after marriage, about 1843. They located near what is now Virginia, where they spent their lives. Both parents are interested in the Virginia cemetery. They had four children, two of whom are now living.
James grew to manhood on his father's farm. He has always worked hard and has accumulated property valued at thousands of dollars, all the result of his own industry and economy. He owns 540 acres of land surrounding the town of Virginia, for which he has refused $100 per acre. He gives his whole attention to stock-raising and feeding. He and his son are now feeding about 500 head of three to four year old steers. He is raising about 300 acres of corn this year (1892). The voters of the family are Deomocrats, and the family are among the representative citizens of Virginia. They have been raised in the Presbyterian faith. This is not a long-lived family, the members generally dying young.
He was married in Jacksonville, in 1868, to Miss Jane Elliott, of Virginia, born in 1841. They have five children: Fannie, Willie, James, Maggie and Floy; two died in infancy,--Henry C. and Thomas Elliott. Willie is now of age and is supporting himself by farming a portion of the homestead, feeding 125 head of cattle.
Mr. Crawford is an outspoken man, who speaks exactly what he things, and these qualities indicate the honesty of his nature, as he scorns to gain the favor of men by flattery. He has given his children a good education. He is a man of almost unlimited means, yet he spends his days in toil, feeling that his work is not yet accomplished, though he feels the weight of advancing years. He is a man of sterling honesty and the couty is indebted to such men as he for much of it prosperity. He has resided for forty-five years on his farm.
Andrew Cunningham, of township 17, range 9, section 6, Virginia post office, Illinois, was born near Edinborough, Scotland, December 17, 1806. His parents were James and Marion (Wright) Cunningham, natives of Scotland, where they lived and died. His father was a baker and miller by occupation and owned and operated qa fouring mill in the village of Bonnington, a suburb of Edinborough. They had eight children: Archibald, John, Charles, George, Andrew, Margaret, Jeanette and Mary, now Mrs. Russell, living at Edinborough. The oldest brother died in Scotland. Charles, who was British Consul to Russia and died at Galatz, on the Balck sea. John and George died in Cass county, Illinois, leaing families. Margaret was Mrs. Blair and died in Edinborough. Jeanette became Mrs. Shaen and died in England.
Mr. Cunningham was educated in his own country, where he learned the baker trade, and sailed for America March 14, 1834. He was married in Canada, in 1836, to Ellen Allen, who was also born in Scotland, in 1812. She died in 1880. In 1835 he came to Cass county to look up a location and in the beginning of 1837 settled on his present farm. He entered about 700 acres of land, to which he has since added by purchase until he owns about 1,000 acres all, adjoining his present home. On locating here he started a tannery on his farm and followed that business until after the war. He has since superintended his large estate and taken life more easily. He is a literary man, keeps himself surrounded with newspapers and books and has a valuable library where he spends most of his time. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have five children: William went into the army in 1862 in the Third Illinois Cavalry, Company C, and died at Helena, Arkansas, December 12, following; Andrew died in infancy; Margaret married Dr. Alfred S. Dodds of Andrew county, Missouri; James A. lives with his father and superintends the farms; Florence married a lawyer, A.G. Jones, at Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. She attends the college at Lincoln, Illinois, but Margaret finished her education in England. The boys all had good school education. Andrew afterward attended a business college at Chicago. Mr. Cunningham is a Unitarian in religious belief, a Republican in politics and was a Whig before the organization of the Republican party. His first presidental vote was cast for Clay. He has been a School Trustee and Director. Both he and his son James are mechanically inclined. He has given a portion of his leisure time to sculpture, having now on exhibition two very fine ideal images of Venus and Hercules, besides other articles of animal sculpture.
James Cunningham settled in Charlestown, South Carolina, previous to the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. He at first served in the militia, under King George, and subsequently joined with the Colonial forces, with which he remained during hostilities.
Mr. Wright, the father of Marion Wright, also served in the war with the mother country.