Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led


Clay County

Genealogy and History



C Surnames

G.W. Campbell, undertaker, Xenia, was born in West Virginia August 18, 1847, and is the son of George and Letitia (Wilcox) Campbell. Our subject's opportunities for an education in early life were very limited. It is since he reached manhood that he has obtained a good business education by being his own teacher. His has been a life which but few experience. In 1881, he left home, and tried to join the Federal army, but on account of his youth was not accepted till in 1862, when he was sworn into the service of his country to fight against father and nearest relatives, who had followed the fortunes of their old State, Virginia, and were officers in its army. Our subject served till the close of the war, and was mustered out. with his company, Company F, First Virginia United States Volunteer Infantry. During his service, he was in thirty-three battles, and received two shots and a saber cut, and was also prisoner at Belle Island for three months. He belonged to Dick Blacer s body of scouts, till all but twelve out of 110 men had been killed, when they returned to their regiment. The last year of the service, he was in the command of Gen. Phil Sheridan. During his service, he was at the capture of his father, and was allowed to offer him his freedom, only requiring the oath of allegiance, which his father refused to take, so was sent to Rock Island, Ill., and died there. In 1868, or early in 1867, our subject came to Xenia, and began learning the carpenter s trade, which occupation he followed in the capacity of contractor and builder till 1881, when he gave up the building, and has since given his attention to the undertaking business. He carries a complete stock of everything required in his line coffins, caskets, robes, etc. His business house is 22x36 feet, two stories high. Besides this, he also has a neat residence, and a farm of 120 acres near Xenia. September 6, 1874, he was married in Xenia to Miss Addie Morris, daughter of B. S. and Jane (Smith) Morris. He by trade is a carpenter, and is engaged on the building of the 0. & M. depot at Springfield, Ill, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have one son, Willie Walter born Septemb 26, 1875. Mr. Campbell is a member of the Lodges A., F. & A. M. and IOOF of Xenia, Ill. In politics, he is Democratic, but takes no part in political life. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Note: I believe the above G.W. Campbell and this George W. Campbell are the same person, but due to the diifferent birth yearand difference in the mothers first name, I felt compelled to include both & leave it to the researcher to decide for themselves and sort out the different details.

George W. Campbell One of Xenia's most prosperous merchants is Mr. Campbell, who needs no introduction to the people of his township and county. During the years of his residence, from the close of the Civil war when he, with nothing more than half a dollar in his pocket, arrived in the township to the present time, his progress has been marked and rapid. A veteran of that war, his life uncovers one of those unhappy family tragedies which that crisis in our history brought about, especially in the states of Virginia nad Maryland, when the spectacle of father and son taking different sides in the quarrel was seen. George W. Campbell fought and bled for the Union, and his career in a business sphere since that time has been another successful struggle.
He was born in Virginia on August 18, 1843, the son of George Campbell and Amanda Wilcox, his mother, a native of Pennsylvania. His grandparents on his father's side were of Scotch-Irish descent and came to this country from Scotland. His father migrated to Virginia where he married and followed the occupation of a farmer. When the war broke out the elder George espoused the Southern cause, becoming a member of the Eighth Confederate Cavalry, and, having gone through the conflict died at Rock Island, Illinois, some years after. His wife died in 1878.
George W. Campbell, at the outbreak of the war, was a member of the First Virginia, later the Ninth Virginia Volunteers, who supported the Northern banner, and this placed father and son in different camps. On account of his fighting against the Confederacy he was harshly dealt with by his parents who forbid him to return to the paternal home. His father was a prosperous farmer and upon his death the management of his estate falling to his wife, she disinherited her son George W.
Our subject saw four years' service in the Civil War, engaging in thirty battles, being twice wounded and twice taken prisoner. He was wounded at the battle of Sumnerville, being shot in the thigh, and again at Sugar Creek, a ball entering his foot. In this last engagement the Union forces suffered defeat in the morning, completely turning the tables in the afternoon when they completely routed the enemy.
George W. Campbell came to Xenia almost absolutely penniless, after doing a man's part to preserve the consolidation of his country, in the winter of 1867. He obtained work as a painter and afterwards learned carpentry and the cabinet-making trade. About thirty-six years ago he started in the undertaking and furniture business. Ever since he has engaged in that line his success has been marked. He met with trials and setbacks during the early period of his business life but they were of a temporary nature and never obstructed his steady prosperity. He married on September 6,1874, Addie Morris, a lady whose parents came from Ohio, bringing her with them when she was but three years old. Mrs. George W. Campbell bore her husband one son, William, who has been a constant source of comfort to his parents during their life. He is a licensed embalmer and is associated with his father in business. Some years ago he marred Ada Corson, of Xenia. They have two children.
Mr. Campbell is a Democrat in politics and a sturdy adherent of the Democratic ticket. He has never been ambitious to hold public office, but he has served for a time as Mayor and Alderman. George W. Campbell and his wife are members of the Baptist church and zealous in church affairs. He is, himself, a prominent member of the Masonic Fraternity in Xenia and a leading member of the local branch of the Grand Army of the Republic George W. Campbell, in addition to his large mercantile business, is a large real estate owner in Xenia, and the owner of residential as well as business property. His store is a spacious one, being eighty feet by thirty-five feet, the business being conducted on two floors.
The subject of our sketch is deservedly popular with the people of every creed and class in the community, and the well merited success he has won during the course of an eventful life is but his just deserts.
Excerpt from: Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--Pub. 1909

Alfred Cambron, farmer, P. O. Ingraham, is a native of Lawrence County, Ind., and was born in May, 1842. His father, Charles Cambron (deceased ), was a native of Kentucky. Mr. Cambron spent his early life on the farm, and attended the common schools.
At the breaking-out of the late war, he felt that his country needed his services, and he therefore enlisted May 13, 1861, in Company A, Twenty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He served through the entire struggle, not having been discharged until the 15th day of November, 1865. He was on detached duty all the time, serving most of the time as wagon master. The Government officers were loath to let him go when discharged, and he served in that capacity for four months as an employee after receiving his discharge.
Mr. Cambron is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was married, May 20, 1873, to Mary Neugent. a daughter of Benedict Neugent. They have four children Laura, Charley, Lula and John.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

John M. Chaffin, farmer, P. O. Clay City, was born in Scioto County, Ohio, on March 28, 1828, and is a son of Reuben and Sarah (Smith) Chaffin. The father was a native of New Hampshire, and of English descent, the mother, a native of Vermont, and died in January, 1876. The father was both a farmer and miller by occupation. His death occurred in February. 1863.
Subject was the fifth of eleven children, of whomnine are now living, viz., Osman, in Howard County, Ind. ; Mrs. Electa Smith, of Stanford Township ; Leander, in Warren County, Iowa ; Francis M. , in Page County, Iowa ;
Reuben, in San Diego County, Cal. ; Mrs.Lucy Michaelney, in Sumner County, Kan.;Benjamin F., in Warren County, Iowa ; Mrs. Roxy Newlan in Scioto County, Ohio, and John M. (our subject).
The latter' s education was received in the schools of his native county. He remained at home until twenty-one, assisting in his father's mill, and also learned the carpenter's trade. He then became a partner in a mill in Scioto County.
In 1852, he came to Clay County, and here for a number of years he followed his trade of carpenter.
In the fall of 1865, he came to his present farm, where he now owns 390 acres in Sections 13 and 24, of Township 3 north. Range 7 east. He has about 300 acres in cultivation. Mr. Chaffin was married in Stanford Township, on May 17, 1863, to Miss Mary E. Claypool, a daughter of John Claypool, of Ohio. Mrs. Chaffin was born on May 10. 1845, and is the mother of three living children, viz., Herbert Bruce, born March 27, 1864 ; Francis Marion, born December 25. 1869 ; Horatio Clyde, born January 4, 1873.
Mr. and Mrs. Chaffin are both members of the Clay City Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is a strong Republican.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Abel Chaney, farmer, P. O. Clay City. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is one of the oldest settlers now living in the township. He was born on February 5, 1816, in Calvert County, Md. , and is a son of William and Ann (Wilkinson) Chaney, natives of that State. Subject was the eighth of ten children, four" of whom are now living, viz., Louis, Abel and Henry in this township, and Mrs. Phoebe Ann Price, of Flora.
Soon after subject was born, his parents moved to Butler County, Ohio, where the father died on September 1, 1834, and in October following the mother moved to Clinton County, Ind., with her family. Here she died in 1841. Subject's education was received mainly in the schools of Ohio. He remained at home with his mother until twenty-two, and then settled down on a farm in Clinton County, and commenced life for himself.
There he remained until September, 1853, and then came to Clay County. He settled on his present farm in this township, where he now owns 130 acres in Sections 24 and 25, of Township 3 north, Range 7 east. He has about 110 acres in cultivation, and about two and a-half acres orchard.
Mr Chaney was married, in Clinton County, Ind., on January 4, 1838, to Miss Christina Fisher, a daughter of Peter and Catherine (Zaering) Fisher, natives of Pennsylvania, and of Dutch descent. Mrs. Chaney was born on October 4, 1818, and is the mother of nine children, six of whom are now living, viz., Washington C, born April 2, 1839, and now in Flora ; Thomas A., born October 5, 1841, now in Wayne County ; Sarah C, born May 4, 1844, now wife of F. J. Sheridan ; David F., born October 1, 1846, now in Wayne County ; Phoebe Ann, born October 27, 1848, now wife of E. McGilton; Charles O, born March 3, 1862, and now at home.
Of the deceased ones Louis M. was born February 15, 1851, died August 19, 1858 ; Mary E. was born May 17, 1853, died August 4, 1860 ; Edward A. was born September 21, 1853, died April 23, 1862.
Mr. Chaney has served in many offices, among which are School Treasurer twelve years, and Justice of the Peace twelve years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Chaney are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South of Clay City. In politics, our subject is identified with the Democratic party.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Dr. J.R. Chatham, physician and surgeon, Xenia, was born in Maury County, Tenn,, October 13, 1842, and is the son of Robert and Mahala (Hood) Chatham, now residents of Union County, Ill., and who are the parents of four children, two of whom are now living, viz,, Dr. J. R., and Jennie, wife of Luther Robinson, of Union County, Ill. When about seven years of age, our subject was brought from Tennessee by his parents to Fayette County, Ill., and there he was reared on a farm and received his common school education. He afterward attended Shurtleff College at Alton, Ill.. When beginning the study of medicine, it was under the instruction of Dr. Sumner Clark, of Ramsay, Ill., but now of Effingham. Our subject then attended the St. Louis Medical College, graduating from the same in the spring of 1873. For one year he then practiced at Ramsay, in partnership with Dr. Clark, but in 1874 located at Xenia, and has since practiced successfully here, with a steadily increasing business. The Doctor has one of the best medical libraries in the county. He makes a special study of surgery, and consequently gets most of the practice in that line of his profession. April 29, 1877, he was married in Xenia to Miss Ophelia Thomas, a daughter of Benjamin Thomas, who was the chief engineer on the 0. & M. R.R. when it was located. He resided at Xenia, and died in May, 1880. His wife, Mrs. Chatham s mother, was a member of the Talliafero family, one of the earliest families to settle in Clay County. Mrs. Thomas died when her daughter was small. Dr. and Mrs. Chatham have three children, viz., Charles F., Benjamin B. and Dora May. He is a member of Xenia Lodge, I.O.O.F, and is associated with the Republican party in political belief. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Thomas J. Clark--The subject of this biographical review is eminently deserving of mention in a compilation as is the nature of this one, owing to the fact that his has been an active life, fruitful of good results and among his friends and acquaintances he has ever held an honorable position.
Thomas J. Clark, publisher of The Clay County Democrat and one of the men of influence in this part of the great Prairie state, was born in Hancock county, Indiana, August 4, 1853, the son of Aruna Clark, who was a native of Sevier county, Tennessee, and who came to Indiana when twenty years old, settling in Rush county. He was a carpenter and a minister, thus emulating the life of the lowly Nazarene. He removed to Shelby county, Illinois, in 1860, and in 1865 moved to Effingham county, this state, where he resided until his death in March, 1884. The Clark family originated in Tennessee. The subject's mother, who died in 1882, was Charlotte Furman. Her mother was a native of Scotland and her father of Pennsylvania, of German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Aruna Clark were the parents of six children, two of whom died in infancy. They are, Jonathan E., of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Sarah Arnold, of Tucumcari, New Mexico; Mrs. Jennie Wood, of Beecher City, Illinois; Thomas J., the subject. Thomas J. Clark spent his early life in Effingham county, this state, receiving a limited education in the country schools there, and later attended the city schools of Effingham. After his school days he learned the blacksmith trade at which he worked for eight years. He then clerked in a general store for two or three years, after which he went to railroading, which he followed up to February, 1908, having given his employers entire satisfaction in that line of work. In July, 1908, Mr. Clark bought the Clay County Democrat, which he now conducts in a manner that shows him to be a moulder of public opinion, his paper being a power for good in Clay county. He has a good plant, well equipped and his paper is well edited and the mechanical appearance of each issue shows that this part of the work is well looked after. Since assuming charge of the plant the circulation of The Democrat has increased as well as has the advertising.
Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Mary Lilley, December 20, 1876. She was born and reared in Fayette County, Illinois, and to this union four children have been born; William Edwin, who is married and is living at Clarkson, Washington; Mrs. Gertrude Roseberry, of Pana, Illinois; Mrs. Caroline Myers, of East St. Louis; Don, a linotype operator, living in East St. Louis.
Our subject served one term as school director at Beecher City, Illinois, and was City Clerk of Flora, for a part of one term, having been appointed to fill a vacancy. In his fraternal relations Mr. Clark belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen. In politics he is a loyal Democrat. He is thoroughly interested in the affairs of his party and does what he can in furthering the policies of the same.
Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland,Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909

George W. Colborn, farmer, P. O. Bible Grove. Among the steady, well-to-do farmers in Clay County is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born August 20, 1825, in Hamilton County, Ind. He is a son of Robert Colborn, a native of Ohio, who came here about 1840, and entered considerable land at $1. 25 per acre. Robert Colborn was a good citizen, farmer and neighbor. He died here, mourned by all who knew him.
The mother of our subject was Rosanna (West) Colborn, a native of Virginia. She also died here. She was the mother of ten children, some of whom with their descendants are now living in this county. Our subject did not get the help in starting in life that others did, yet by his industry and perseverance, he has done so well that he was able to buy the home place, and now owns 640 acres of land and is one of the largest land owners in the township.
He was joined in matrimony to Miss Ophelia Ackison, born September 21, 1829, in Holmes County, Ohio. She is a daughter of William and Harriet (Cook) Ackison. He is a native of Pennsylvania and she of Rhode Island. Nine children, of whom seven are now living, blessed this happy union, viz., Nancy J. Curtright, Robert W. (deceased), Rosanna Webster, Steven A. , Martha, George W., Caroline and Josiah F.
Mr. and Mrs. Colborn are members of the Christian Church. He has served the people as Constable and Justice of the Peace; the latter office he has held for the last twenty years. In politics, he is identified with the Democratic party.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Kenneth Conour, who is the subject of this sketch and pictured above has been one of Clay City's industrious business men for the past 16 years, coming here from Sumner, Illinois, in the year of 1914. He was born May 12, 1894,at Sumner,Illinois, and after reaching an age of usefulness he found employment in the poultry business with J. M. Prather, and it was there in Sumner he learned the poultry business, which, at that time including the dressing of poultry and the packing of dressed poultry.In 1914 Mr. Conour and Gene Dale, forming a partnership, came to Clay City and bought out the J. M. Prather branch poultry business here and after about six months Mr. Conour bought his partner's interests and has continued the business ever since in the name of K. Conour Produce Company. Mr. Conour, no doubt, is alone responsible for putting Clay City on the map as one of the best poultry and egg markets in this section of the country.

Back at the time he came here, merchants who bought poultry and eggs, shipped independently. Later it was found that independent shipping was added expense in handling country produce and the producer had to pay in the end. Mr. Conour made it possible to reduce the shipping expense by wholesale buying and selling, taking the produce from the buyers not only in Clay City but from the entire community and inland towns. Too, "Red," as he is commonly known, has maintained a market for a varied line of produce, including junk of all kinds old iron, rags, metals, and green hides. Many times having car lords of of iron piled up around on his premises before loading out.
He has prospered, he has paid good prices and after sixteen years of buying the various lines of produce coming in from all sources he has maintained a reputation of square-dealing with his patrons--honest weights, good prices--good
checks has done this.
Source: Pictures and Biographical Sketches of the Business Men of Clay City, Illinois 1930 Obituraries by the Clay County Advocate Press

Joseph D. Cope, farmer, P. 0. Xenia, was born in Stark County, Ohio, January 30, 1835, to Samuel and Hannah D. (Chamberlain) Cope. The father was born in Ohio March 10, 1810. His occupation was various. While living in Ohio, he was engaged in the mercantile and tavern business. After moving from Ohio to Wayne County, Ill., in 1853, his business was that of farmer and in saw mill. He died in 1859 in Washington, D. C., while on business there. The mother was born near Wilmington, Del., February 25, 1810, and is still living, and with her son in Clay County. She is the mother of three children, viz., Eliza J. (deceased), and, dying in 1854, was twenty-four years of age; Joseph D., our subject, and Louisa L., who died while small. Our subject was reared and educated in Ohio, and began learning the blacksmith trade before moving to Wayne County, Ill., in 1853. Since coming to Illinois, his principal occupation has been f arming. In the fall of 1864, he came to his present farm in Clay County, which contains 160 acres of land, about ninety being in cultivation. September 12, 1859, he was married in Wayne County, Ill., to Miss Maria J. Wickersham. She was born in Ohio, a daughter of Sampson and Antha (Whitaker) Wickersham, who came to Wayne County at an early date. Mrs. Cope died February 6, 1880, and was the mother of nine children, six of whom are now living Samuel, Lorena, Joseph H., William L., Franklin E. and Carson. (Charles P., Effie J. and Antha, deceased.) Mr. Cope is a member of John P. Moody Lodge, No. 510, A., F. & A. H., of Iuka, He is a member of the Greenback party in politics. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Hon. Hiram H. Chesley, attorney, Louisville, was born in Aroostook County, Maine, September 8, 1844, and is a son of Bela H. Chesley, of Anoka, Minn., a native of Oxford County, Maine. Mr. Chesley served in the late war in Company H, Twentieth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, Gettysburg and others. He received a gunshot wound through the neck at Gettysburg, which crippled him for life. He lay paralyzed for eighteen months, entirely helpless, and has suffered untold misery ; not an hour passes until the present time that does not bring its pains. He came to Marion County, Ill., in September, 1865. He there read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1867. In April, 1870, he located in Louisville, where he still remains, engaged in the practice of his profession. He was married, January 23, 1868, to Mary E. Tubbs, daughter of Alva Tubbs(deceased). She was born in Jennings County, Ind. Mr. Chesley is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1876, and served one term to the satisfaction of his constituents.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Gabriel Clark, harness dealer, Flora, Ill., was born in Preble County, Ohio, in 1831, and when eight years of age came with his parents, George W. and Mary Clark, to Lawrence County, Ill. There he grew to manhood, and was married in 1861 to Lavina Ann Underwood. She was a native of Lawrence County, and died in Flora in 1871, leaving three children George M., Henrietta and John G. Clark.
Mr. Clark remained in Lawrence County until coming to Flora in 1866, where he has resided principally since, and until recently has been engaged at the trade of gunsmith.
He was married to his second wife, Mary F. Leonard, in 1873. She was born in Martin County. Ind. , in 1849. She, too, died in Flora, in April, 1881. This marriage resulted in the birth of two children Charles L. Clark, deceased, and William H. Clark.
Mr. Clark is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Flora, and is doing a very successful business as a harness-maker, which he has conducted since 1881. His father died in Lawrence County, Ill., in 1881, and the mother at the residence of her son Gabriel, in Flora, 1878, while on a visit to that place.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Isaac K. Clark, dealer in groceries and provisions, and member of the City Council for the First Ward, Flora, Ill.,
was born October 30, 1840, in Vinton County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He is a son of Robert and Nancy (Fee) Clark, both of whom were natives of Ohio. His father was born about 1818, and is still a resident of the Buckeye State. The mother was born in 1811, and died in July, 1879. She was the mother of six children, two of whom are dead Henry, Esther, Isaac K., Abram, Robert and Hannah Clark. Both of the daughters are deceased.
On the 31st of May, 1862, Isaac K, enlisted in Company G, Eighty-eighth Ohio Regiment, from which he was discharged in September of the same year, in consequence of the expiration of the term of enlistment. He subsequently assisted to organize the Second Regiment of Ohio Militia, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company A. which ho held until the expiration of five years, when the organization was disbanded. They were frequently called into active service, and assisted in the capture of the rebel raider, John Morgan.
Mr. Clark came to Flora, Clay Co., Ill., in 1868, and in November of the following year engaged in mercantile business with Allen Hanks, under the firm name of Hanks & Clark. In April, 1870, Mr. Hanks sold his interest in the business to Mr. G. W. Arbnthnot, with whom Mr. Clark did business until October, 1871, when Mr. C. retired from the firm. Since January, 1872, he has been associated for a time with Mr. Black, and later with M. L. Deal.
In January, 1881, he opened his present business, which he has successfully conducted since. He is a man of good business qualifications and unquestioned integrity, and served the city as Treasurer in 1879.
He was married in Clay County, Ill., June 4, 1872, to Alwilda M. Free, daughter of AVilliam and Mary (Elson) Free. Alwilda M. was born January 8, 1844. Their family consists of Dora May, born September 25, 1873, died August 4. 1875; Cora Bell, born February 21, 1876; Isaac Newton, born January 4, 1879, and Maggie Clark: born April 21, 1882. William Free was born in Pennsylvania, and Mary, his wife, was born in Virginia.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

William I. Clifton, County Clerk, Louisville, was born in Orange County, Ind., December 3, 1835, and is a son of Henry Clifton (deceased), a native of Kentucky, and an early settler of Orange County. Our subject was reared on the farm, and received a common school education. He has taught school winters and farmed summers for the most part ever since he arrived at the age of seventeen years. He came to Clay County in 1858, where he has since resided. He was elected County Clerk for Clay County in November, 1882, and has tilled with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the people the offices of Assessor, Township Clerk, Constable and School Trustee in Songer Township for several years. He was married, in March, 1859, to Sarah E. Hale, daughter of Levi Hale (deceased), who settled in this county in 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Clifton had seven children born to them ; six of these are living Mittis J., John R.,Mary E., Malary A., William C. and Ottis S. Mr. Clifton is a member of the Masonic fraternity in good standing, and also of the Christian Church. Mr. Clifton is a man of high social qualities, and one whose opinions are regarded with great respect.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

George W. Colborn, farmer, P. O. Bible Grove. Among the steady, well-to-do farmers in Clay County is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born August 20, 1825, in Hamilton County, Ind. He is a son of Robert Colborn, a native of Ohio, who came here about 1840, and entered considerable land at $1. 25 per acre. Robert Colborn was a good citizen, farmer and neighbor. He died here, mourned by all who knew him. The mother of our subject was Rosanna (West) Colborn, a native of Virginia. She also died here. She was the mother of ten children, some of whom with their descendants are now living in this county. Our subject did not get the help in starting in life that others did, yet by his industry and perseverance, he has done so well that he was able to buy the home place, and now owns 640 acres of land and is one of the largest land owners in the township. He was joined in matrimony to Miss Ophelia Ackison, born September 21, 1829, in Holmes County, Ohio. She is a daughter of William and Harriet (Cook) Ackison. He is a native of Pennsylvania and she of Rhode Island. Nine children, of whom seven arenow living, blessed this happy union, viz., Nancy J. Curtright, Robert W. (deceased), Rosanna Webster, Steven A. , Martha, George W., Caroline and Josiah F. Mr. and Mrs. Colborn are members of the Christian Church. He has served the people as Constable and Justice of the Peace; the latter office he has held for the last twenty years. In politics, he is identified with the Democratic party. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Tucker W. Culbertson, farmer, P.O. Louisville, was born in Lawrence County, Ind., November 12, 1846, and is a son of John B. Culbertson (deceased), a native of Lincoln County, Ky. Mr. Culbertson was brought up on the farm and attended the common schools. He came with his parents to this county in 1860, and has since made this his home. He was a soldier for Uncle Sam in the late war, serving in Company B, Forty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Resaca, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro and others. He was honorably discharged from the service August 15. 1865. Our subject was married, June 16, 1860, to Miss Mary J. McKnelly, a daughter of John McKnelly (deceased), who died during the late war while in the service of his country. Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson have had nine children, of whom eight are living, viz., Luella, Sarah F. Mary J., Rebecca E., Annie E., Alfred A., John B. and Theodore. Mr. Culbertson owns 200 acres of land, and is engaged in farming and stock-raising on Section 2. He is a member of the following orders: Masonic, Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic. He is also a member of the Baptist Church. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"

Tucker Williamson Culbertson and Others
My maternal grandfather, Tucker W. Culbertson, was born in Lawrence Co., Indiana, November 12, 1846. He was the son of John Bright Culbertson and Mary Blair, and the grandson of David Culbertson and Sarah (Sally) Bright. The ancestry of David Culbertson is uncertain. According to family tradition he was born in Pennsylvania, a son of Col. Samuel Culbertson whose ancestry is traced backed to County Antrim, Ireland, and beyond. Sarah Brightís ancestry is traced backed to a German forebear who was born about 1591. The Bright German name was Brecht, which was anglicized to Bright a couple of generations after the first Brecht ancestor arrived in Pennsylvania about 1725. As a widow, Mary Blair Culbertson moved her small family from Indiana to Clay County, Ill., about 1860. They settled in Blair Township, apparently among a host of relatives, as there were many Blairís there and elsewhere in Clay County.
TWC served as a private in the 48thIllinois Infantry from February 1864 to August 15, 1865. He saw considerable action in various campaigns but escaped serious injury. He married Margaret Jane McKnelly in his home Township on June 16, 1866. They had twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. My mother, Mary Jane Culbertson, born February 3, 1872, was one of the brood, Grandpa did well in Illinois as a farmer, sawmill operator and hotel proprietor, and by the end of the nineteenth century had accumulated a comfortable amount of farm land, implements, livestock, and monies. Additionally he served as Captain of Company I, 9th Illinois Infantry in 1898 and 1899, but arrived in Cuba after the shooting had stopped. During his service he heard enchanting stories from New Mexico members of Teddy Rooseveltís Rough Riders, particularly one about a beautiful spot in the Barrancos Valley, then Guadalupe County; where the deer and the antelope played and where a man of his means could become a gentleman sheep grower and hunt to his heartís content.  In 1901 TWC made a trip to the Barrancos Valley and selected his spot, near the headwaters of Barrancos Creek. The place had eleven flowing springs, grass was belly high to a tall horse and the area was teeming with deer and antelope. He did what was necessary to identify the place as his and returned to Illinois.  In the spring of 1902 TWC moved lock, stock and barrel, to New Mexico Territory. The family, including my mother Mary Jane Culbertson and perhaps my uncle John Bright Culbertson, shipped their goods, implements and a few horses, by rail to Portales and from there to the chosen site by horse, wagon, and buggy, a distance of around 75 miles. They built a nice home and outbuildings of the abundant sandstone in the vicinity, and corrals and sheep pens. They bought several hundred ewes and a few rams and became sheep growers.  The sheep business prospered for a few years. Before 1910 drought, homesteading, overgrazing and other factors forced TWC to dispose of his holdings in New Mexico Territory and return to the farm he had retained in Clay Co., Illinois. But while he was here he and grandma greatly enjoyed the climate, the friendliness and neighborliness of the local people. Most of all, TWC delighted in hunting the beautiful deer and antelope. He thought of himself as a wildlife conservationist. When chided for participating in the overkill of the beautiful animals he stated that he might as well get his share, they would inevitably soon be wiped out anyway, which they were, in that area. ["Then and Now Lea County Families", Vol.1; By John W. Nelson; Transcribed by Jennifer Weatherford]

John W. Culter, druggist, Clay City, was born in Brown County, Ohio, January 19, 1841, and is a son of Irwin and Cordelia (Williams) Culter. Both parents were natives of Ohio. Subject was the third of five children, and of that number three are now living Milton B, in Daviess County, Ind.; John W. (subject), and William H. (in Marion County, Ill.). The free schools of his native county furnished subject his means of education. At the age of seventeen, he commenced farming, and followed that until October, 1860, when he came West. The first year of his residence here he taught school in Wayne County, but afterward settling in Stanford Township ; then taught school until 1875. He then came to Clay City and purchased a stock of drugs belonging to C. D. Pennybacker, and has since been engaged in that business. In the spring of 1881, he sold an interest in the store to Dr. Block, but in the fall of that year Mr. A. Doherty bought out Dr. Block's interest and the business has since been continued under the firm name of Culter & Doherty. Mr. Culter was married, September 14, 1865, to Miss Lizzie Hawkins, a daughter of Henry and Sarah (Shields) Hawkins. The father was born in Yorkshire, England, May 26, 1801, and came to Canada with his parents in 1827. The mother was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, August 15, 1803, and was of Scotch parentage ; she came to Canada with her parents in 1825. They were married in Canada December 27, 1832, and emigrated to Illinois in 1846, and after a number of years came to this county, where the father died October 15, 1859, aged eighty years. The mother is still living with her son-in-law at an advanced age. Mrs. Culter was born in Canada March 27, 1843, and is the mother of four children Henry E., born November 23, 1866 ; Edith M., born May 14, 1868 ; Mary C, born February 20, 1870; Mattie, born April 14, 1872. Mr. Culter has been a strong Republican all his life ; he has held some offices of importance, among which are Collector and Assessor of Stanford Township, and Justice of the Peace of this township since 1880. Is a member of Clay City Lodge, No. 488, A. F. & A. M., and is connected with the Christian Church. In the time of the war, he was a member of the Union League, and served as Secretary of the Clay County organization. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


The name of Cunningham has long been an honored one in Clay county, Illinois, where for several generations have lived most worthy representatives of the family, who were, and are, always to be found associated with every movement which promised an addition to the community's wealth and material advancement. Especially is this true of the late John M. Cunningham, for many years a valued and honored citizen of Flora, and his son, Charles S., the prominent business man and present head of the city government. The family is of Scotch origin and descends from an old and honored one of Virginia, where was born Benjamin F. Cunningham, who, when a young man, made his way westward and settled in Clay county, becoming one of its earliest pioneers. He first located in the southern part of the county along Cottonwood creek and there engaged in the milling industry. His equipment was crude and his labor arduous, but by sturdy industry he succeeded. Later he came to Flora and engaged in the banking business under the firm name of the Cunningham and Harter Savings Bank. It was one of the pioneer institutions of the locality. This business he conducted with much ability until withn a year of his death which occurred in 1876. He possessed many rare and excellent traits of character, and abounding industry and was much honored and esteemed. Among his children was John M. John Minor Cunningham was born near Flora, March 24, 1844, and was there reared and grew to manhood. He acquired such an education as the community afforded which was broadened in later life by reading, association, contact and native intelligence. He was associated with his father for some time in various enterprises, finally embarking in the jewelry business which he conducted profitably for many years. He was directly and indirectly connected with various other enterprises, ever putting his shoulder to the wheel of progress, and was deeply interested in the growth and advancement of his native county, and in all that pertained to its welfare.
Mr. Cunningham first married on January 1, 1866, Jennie E. Hawkins, whose early death occurred on September 24, 1874. To this yqion three children were born, one of whom died in infancy. Those living are Charles S., and Clyde L., the latter a resident of Julesburg, Colorado. The mother of these, whose death was sincerely mourned, was of Scotch ancestry, her mother and grandmother having emigrated from Scotland. On February 3, 1876, Mr. Cunningham again married, the lady being Mary Elizabeth Finch, a direct descendant of Sir Heneage Finch, who was born in Kent, England, in 1621, and whose eldest son, Heneage, was first Earl of Nottingham and was Lord Chancellor of England. Mrs. Cunningham was born September 25, 1854, and was the first white child born in Flora. To this marriage there came children as follows: Fremont, who died in infancy; Nelle, born September 29, 1875, and married Jerry J. Bowman, October 22, 1902, and Max F., born April 14, 1883.
Mr. Cunningham was a member of Flora Lodge No. 204, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Order of the Eastern Star No. 105, Royal Arch Chapter No. 154, and of Grand Commandery No. 14, Knights Templar. He was much attached to these orders and highly prized the associations there enjoyed. He attended the Knights Templar conclaves at Boston, Louisville and Denver. At his death the funeral auspices were conducted by Gorin Commandery No. 14, of Olney. He and his wife were for many years regular attendants and liberal contributors of the First Presbyterian church of Flora and of whose board of trustees he was an honored member. At the death of Mr. Cunningham. which occurred suddenly and unexpectedly March 13, 1906. fitting and appropriate resolutions were adopted by the various commercial, religious and fraternal units with which he was connected, and from these we quote the following: "From among us there has been taken a loving husband, a kind and indulgent father, a faithful friend, a genial companion, a successful business man and honored citizen and one whose place can not be filled."
At a special meeting of the directors of the Flora National Bank, of which he was a director from January, 1893, to his death, suitable resolutions were drawn and spread upon the minutes. In part these resolutions said : "His counsels were always wise and at all meetings he took a prominent part. We feel our great loss and will miss the sound advice which he was ever ready and competent to give, and his good judgment in all matters pertaining to the bank." Resolutions of like character were adopted by the Masonic and other bodies.
Of Mr. Cunningham on old friend has written: "A grand life indeed was that of John Minor Cunningham, a life set to the Golden Rule, to kind acts and ways, helpful at needed times, a friend to his fellowman, assisting, if it were a loss to him, aiding, if the sacrifice fell on him, and in an active business career covering many years he was ever fair and just in his dealings. He was associated with Flora from its infant state, aided in its growth, assisted in the introduction of its schools, churches and public itu stitutions. He was foremost in establishing business in Flora, co-operating with the best interests of the city 'and its rural districts daring and bold in the advocacy of social order, sober living, good government and fair and honest transactions of business." Charles S. Cunningham, son of John M., was born in Flora, March 27, 1870, and, like his father, has lived there all of his life. He attended the public schools, afterwards entering the jewelry store of his father. He long ago mastered every detail of the business and conducts perhaps the leading establishment in that line of trade in Southern Illinois.
Mr. Cunningham married in 1890, Eva L. daughter of John Jackson, of Allegan, Michigan. To this union two sons have been born, Rexford J., and Charles J. He has figured somewhat conspicuously in the political affairs of Flora and was first elected City Treasurer, in which capacity he served two years; he was then Alderman for two years and in the spring of 1907 he was elected Mayor of Flora and has given the city an economical, efficient and thoroughly moral administration, taking the same care and interest in public affairs as he does in those of purely personal nature. Mr. Cunningham, it may be here stated, has not sought for or accepted office because of the honor that might be attached thereto, but has been actuated solely by a desire to lend the best efforts that is in him toward the maintenance of law and order and the growth and advancement of the city and its commercial, moral and material worth. He has been especially vigorous in the enforcement of local option laws and is earnestly advocating a system of water and other municipal advantages.
Aside from his official duties and his personal affairs, Mr. Cunningham is also prominently connected with various other enterprises, being a director and vice-president of the First National Bank of Flora, a director of the Breese-Trenton Coal and Mining Company and of the Friend Telephone company of Flora. He is a Republican in politics ; fraternally he is a member of the Flora Lodge No. 204, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of the Knights of Pythias, and of the Ben-Hur lodge. He is a member of the Illinois State Historical Society of Springfield, and both he and Mrs. Cunningham are members of the Methodist church of Flora.
Mr. Cunningham appears entirely capable of emulating the example of his worthy progenitors and is closely following in their footsteps. He possesses an unblemished character, a strict integrity, an intelligent appreciation of his responsibilities and a faculty of accomplishment. He fully realizes that these traits of character have described through the blood of his ancestry and to whatever heights he may be destined to ascend, his most valued possession, his greatest pride shall ever be that priceless heritage of his forefathers an honored name.
Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909



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