Peter W. Rickard, an intelligent and progressive farmer of Cass county, Illinois, residing in township 19, range 9, was born in Windham county, Connecticut, August 26, 1823.
His parents were Peter and Mary (Healy) Rickard, both natives of Massachusetts, the mother's birth having taken place in Dudley, of that State. The father died one month previous to the birth of the subject of this sketch. Grandfather Rickard was a brave and efficient soldier in the Revolutionary war, and died in the service. The Rickard family is of French ancestry and took a prominent part in early Colonial times. Our subject's mother was a daughter of Stephen and Rhoda (Marcy) Healy, also natives of Massachusetts, both of whom were related to old and respected families of that State. They died in the Bay State between the ages of seventy and eighty years. Both her father and grandfather were distinguished soldiers in the Revolutionary war, although the fame of her grandfather, Major Nathan Healy, rather outshone that of her father, the elder gentleman receiving a liberal pension from the Government for his able services in that memorable struggle. The Healys were orginally from England, and, as far as known, were successful farmers. On the maternal side, Mr. Rickard's mother was an own cousin of William L. Marcy, at one time Governor of New York. Their revered parents had eight children, of whom our present subject is the sole survivor; some of these were tradesmen and successful merchants. The mother died in Windham county, Connecticut, aged about sixty-nine years, universally lamented for her kindly ways and Christian character.
The subject of this sketch lived with his mother until he was eight years of age, when he went to live with a brother-in-law, ith whom he remained until he was fourteen. He, then, found employment by the day or month, and at the same time didigently prosecuted his studies in the free school, which he continued to attend until he attained the age of twenth-one.
He then started for the West, Illinois being the objective point, then on the extreme frontier. In these days of rapid transit, it is interesting to note, by way of contrast, the time consumed by the journey. He went by cars and boat to New York city, and thence, via the Erie canal and Cumberland stage route, to Philadelphia and Wheeling, which took four weeks; time. He thence proceeded by the rivers to Beardstown, Illinois being twenty days en route, arriving at the latter place in the fall of 1844. He taught a subscription school for several terms, after which he taught a free school, continuing thus for many years, teaching in the winter and farming during the summer. He first purchased 120 acres in his present township, on which he settled soon after marriage. He afterward kept a general store for a year in Chandlerville, when, in 1857, he sold his first farm and bought 240 acres, on which he now resides. He lived on the old farm while the present one was being prepared for occupancy. Besides this valuable and extensive property, he owns a fine tract of forty acres, in this vicinity, all of which is devoted to mixed farming, in which he is very successful, being numbered among the most prosperous farmers of the county.
Mr. Rickard was first married June 22, 1846, to Miss Elizabeth Pease, an intelligent lady, and a native of Ohio. Her parents were Aborn Pease and wife, natives of Connecticut, prominent and early settlers of Illinois, who died at an advanced age. By this marriage, Mr. Rickard has one son, Henry A., who was born February 12, 1848; he married Julia Hardin, and has two children. Mr. Rickard's union was destined to be of short duration, his wife dying on the old farm, in the twenty-seventh year of her age.
November 5, 1854, Mr. Rickard was again married, his second wife being Miss Mary Harbison, an estimable lady, a native of this county and a sister of Moses Harbison, a prominent resident of this locality. By this marriage there was one child, now deceased. This union was also suddenly dissolved by the hand of death, before whose power all must bow. This gentle and beloved lady expired October 6, 1856, leaving many friends to mourn her untimely taking away.
April 21, 1856, Mr. Rickard was married to Miss Mary C. Taylor, well and favorable known in this community, where she was born March 21, 1840. Her parents, Henry B. and Mary P. (Hawthorn) Taylor, are honored pioneers of Illinois. Mrs. Rickard was a pupil of her husband when he taught school here in the early day. She is well informed and intellectual, being well adapted to be a companion to a person of her husband's superior ability and training.
By this marriage there have been nine children, five now living; all born on this farm. Those surviving are: Charles E., born July 18, 1860; John T., born June 29, 1862; Francis M., born October 8, 1867; Mary, born March 4, 1871; James A., born December 25, 1879.
Mr. Rickard was formerly an old-line Whig, and cast his first vote for William H. Harrison, at a time when there was no tickets, each person writing the name of the candidate of his choice. He has taken an active interest in the politics of his township, and has held the position of superintendent and other local offices, discharging his duties in his several capacities with ability and integrity.
Mr. and Mrs. Rickard and all the family are earnest and useful members of the Congregational Church, of which Mr. Rickard is a Deacon and Trustee. The entire family are prominent in temperance work and all matters tending to the material and moral advancement of the community.
Although caring less for pedigree than our English cousins across the water, yet we tacitly admit that tendencies and early training have much to do with shaping a man's career through life. While Mr. Rickard has worked out his own properity and salvation, yet he has, no doubt, often drawn inspiration from the contemplation of the virtues of his illustrious ancestors, whose example he has insensibly been led to emulate.
Anton Rink, a succssful brewer of Beardstown, was born on the river Rhine, August 9, 1833. He is the only member of his family now living in this country. His mother died in Germany when he was only two years of age. In 1850, and after his father's second marriage, he left the old country, and after a long and weary trip finally settled in Perry county, Missouri, where the father died four years later. His wife married a second time, and continued to live in Perry county until her death in 1890.
Mr. Rink came here from Missouri after he had spent ten years on a farm and had made some money to put into a business. He then was poor, but is now very wealthy, and has become so by his own efforts, and has been a real benefit to the town in which he lives. He arrived in 1864 and purchased a part in the brewery run under the name of A. Rink & Co. In 1867 he built a large brick brewery, with a capacity of 5,000 barrels per annum. The business has been successful, being represented on the road by himself and son in a commercial way. He is also a wholesale liquor dealer, running other places of business in the city. He is a stockholder, a promoter and original director of the First State Bank of Beardstown. He has been interested in all local matters affecting the good of the city ever since he came here, including the building of a wagon bridge across the Illinois river. He has been bridge across the Illinois river. He has been City Treasurer, and is a Democrat in plitics. Mr. Rink, a sincere man, has not only been ambitious, but is also successful in earning a good reputation for ability, honesty, industry and executiveness.
He was married, in 1865, to Margaret Schultz, who was born in the same province and near her husband in Bavaria, Germany, and came, when twelve years of age to Menard county, Illinois. Her parents lived and died in Germany. They were members of the Catholic Church. Mr. and Mrs. Rink were the parents of eight children, five of whom are living: John and Amil assist their father in his business; Jessie is a teacher of music and has been well educated; Clara, now at home, was educated at Quincy, Illinois; and Arthur is in the deaf and dumb institute at Jacksonville, he being a deaf mute. Mr. and Mrs. Rink family are members of the Catholic Church and take an interest in social matters.
John F. Robinson, County Clerk of Cass county, is one of the prominent and influential men of the county. He is eminently a slef-made man. Beginning life a poor boy, he has worked his way up to his present position of wealth and influence, being now classed with the leading citizens of his county. A review of his life gives the following facts:
John F. Robinson was boen in Crawford county, Ohio, May 31, 1851. His father, Andrew D. Robinson, was a native of the same State, and a son of James Robinson, one of the pioneers of Ohio. Andrew D. was quite young when his father died, and he was reared by his mother. He married in Ohio, and resided there till 1852. That year, leaving his wife with her parents, he started for California, making the journey with teams across the plains. At that time there were no white settlers between the Missouri river and California, except the Mormons. After his arrival in the Golden State, he engaged in packing provisions to the ines, and subsequently assisted in operating the first threshing-machine in that State. He remained there till 1856, when he returned East via the Isthmus route, and located in Linn county, Iowa, on a rented farm between Marion and Cedar Rapids. A year later he bought a partially improved farm in Spring Grove, two miles and a half west of Paris, where he lived till 1887. Leaving his son James in charge of the farm, he then removed to Center Point, where he now lives retired. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of John F., was Elizabeth E. Wachtel. She was born in Ohio, and her death occurred in Iowa in 1865. The maiden name of his second wife was Eva L. Patney. He reared five children by his first wife, and of those born to his second wife three are living.
The subject of our sketch was an infant when his father went to California. In 1854, when he was three years old, he was taken by his mother and her parents to Iowa, making the journey with a horse and buggy. Iowa at that time was thinly settled, and there were no railroads in the State for two years afterward. Young Robinson attended the common schools, and advanced his education by attendance at the State University. In 1871 he came to Cass county, Illinois, to seek his fortune, landing here with no capital save a willing hand and a determination to succeed in life. He found employment on the farm, working by the month in summer, and during the winter of 1871-72 he attended school in Chandlerville. The following ten years he taught school a part of each year. In 1874, he made his first purchase of real estate--a farm of 120 acres in Richmond precinct. Since then he has been an extensive and successful dealer in both farm and city property. He now owns four farms in Cass county, and a half interest in five other farms here. He is also interested in farm land in Clarke county, Iowa, and has city property in Kansas City, Missouri, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
In March, 1873, Mr. Robinson married Caroline (Houghton) Davis, who died April 19, 1874, leaving one child, Ada L. In August, 1879, he was united in marriage with Mary J. Witty, by whom he has two children, Lavina E. and Lee E.
Politically, he has always affiliated with the Democratic party. He cast his first vote for Horace Greeley. While teaching school he devoted a portion of his spare time to the study of law.
In 1882, Mr. Robinson was elected to the office of County Clerk of Cass county, for the legal term; was re-elected in 1886, and again in 1890.
Fraternally, Mr. Robinson is associated with Virginia lodge, Mo. 544, A.F. & M.; Hospitaller Commandery, No. 32, K.T.; Ashland Lodge, No. 341, I.O.O.F.; and Virginia Camp, M.W.A.
Casper Rohn, a general farmer in sections 32 and 33, range 12, township 18, Beardstown precinct, has a well improved tract which has been his farm for twenty-one years. He was born on a part of the farm which he now owns, September 23, 1842. His parents were Henry and Elizabeth (Longore) Rohn. They both came to America and were married after landing in St. Louis, and later came to Beardstown )for further history, see history of J. Henry Rohn, this book). They were very early settlers, haveing come to the county three years after the Indians had left the State.
Mr. Casper Rohn has been a hard-working man, has been moderately successful, and has made his way in the world by his own efforts.
He was married first to Mary Jockisch, of Cass county, Illinois, and resided in this county until her death in 1876, at the age of twenty-five years. She was a good, kind wife and mother, and left her husband four children: Lizzie Eveland, living in Fulton county, Illinois; Clara, at present in Jacksonville, Illinois; Philip is at home on the farm, and George, who lives at Boody, Illinois. Mr. Rohn was married a second time in this county, to Deliz Dunn, born in Morgan county, daughter of an old settler. Her father now lives in Missouri, but her mother died there some years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Tohn are the parents of six children: Lulu, Walter, Frank, Charles, Samuel and Ruth. They are associated with the people of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Rohn is an ardent Republican. Mr. Rhn is an honest, peaceable, home loving German citizen, and he and his worthy wife are greatly esteemed by their hosts of friends.
Henry Rohn, farmer and stockraiser, living on the old homestead in township 18, range 12, of the precinct of Beardstown, was born at the same place, September 20, 1837. He is the oldest member of the family. The father, Henry, was a native of Hesse-Darmstadt. Henry Rohn, Sr., had grown up, but was yet single, when he came to the United States with his brother John, and after a long, tedious passage, they landed in New Orleans, and from there proceeded to St. Louis. Here he stopped and married the girl who had come with him from the same province. Her name was Elizabeth Longore, and they soon came to Cass county and entered, in the year 1837, Government land. They added to it from time to time until he owned 1,300 acres, made by him and his thrifty wife. He was $105 in debt when he landed in Beardstown, having to borrow money to come there. He continued on this same land, improving it until his death in 1891. He was then nearly eighty-six years of age. He was a well known pioneer, a successful farmer, a good neighbor and husband, and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife is yet living, aged eighty-one years, smart and active, making her home with her son William, and is still an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
J. Henry has lived on the farm he now owns all his lifetime. It consists of 820 acres, and of this 500 acres are under the plow, with good farm buildings. He has owned the old homestead for fifteen years.
He was married in this county to Malinda Wagle, born in Brown county, in 1840. Her father was Jephtha Wagle, of Madison county, Kentucky, who was married there and came to Brown county as an early settler, and latermoved on a farm near Arenzville, and there lived and died. His wife is yet surviving, at the age of eighty years, making her home in this county. Her maiden name was Phoebe Todd, and she was a relative of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. Mr. and Mrs. Rohn are the parents of four children: Albert and Louis H. are both at home helping on the farm, and Carrie and Nettie are twins, and both are birght and intelligent children. The whole family are Methodists, and are good types of German citizens. Mr. Rohn is a stanch Republican.