America owes much of her progress and advancement to a position foremost among the nations of the world to her newspapers, and in no line has the incidental broadening out of the sphere of usefulness been more marked than in this same line of journalism. North Dakota has enlisted in the newspaper field some of the strongest intellects in the state --- men of broad mental grasp, cosmopolitan ideas and notable business sagacity. Prominent among these is Fred Falley, the present secretary of state, and editor of the "Wahpeton Globe."
He was born York, Clay county, Illinois, July 1, 1859, a son of Richard and Louisa (Scranton) Falley, natives of Massachusetts and Illinois, respectively. The father, who was a wagon-maker by trade, removed to Illinois in 1842, and there died in 1877. The mother departed this life in the same state in 1868. Our subject received a good high-school education in his native country, and during his youth learned the printer's trade at Lancaster, Wisconsin, under Edward Pollock, who was then publishing the "Grant County Herald." Coming to North Dakota in 1880, he located at Wahpeton, where he worked at his trade about four years. In 1883 he founded the "Sargent County Teller at Milnor, North Dakota, and conducted that paper until 1887, when he purchased the "Wahpeton Globe," which he is still successfully carrying on. It is one of the best papers published in the state and is the Republican organ of Richland county.
In 1885 Mr. Falley married Miss Clara Mitchell, who died in 1892, leaving one son, Richard M. He was again married in 1896, his second union being with Mrs. Sadie Pyatt, by whom he has one son, Morgan. Fraternally Mr. Falley is a member of the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically he is a pronounce Republican. He served as secretary of state senate for several sessions, and in 1896 was elected secretary of state and re-elected in 1898. He has proved a most efficient and popular officer, and during his incumbency has made a host of warm friends throughout the state. [Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]
John W. Farris, lawyer and legislator, was born January 20, 1846, in Marion County, Illinois, son of Hiram K. and Abigail Farris, the first-named a native of Kentucky and the last-named born in Indiana. His father removed from Indiana to Marion County, Illinois, in 1840 and was a resident of that county for many years. He was prominent both in public and private life, and while a resident of Marion County served as county clerk. Later he became a resident of Clay County, Illinois, where he held the office of county judge. He died in the last named county in 1865.
His son, John W. Farris, passed the first five years of his life in Marion County, and then went with the family to Clay County, where he received his education in the public school, having as teacher at one time Sila L. Bryan, father of Hon. William J. Bryan, of Nebraska, the distinguished leader of his party in two presidential contests. When the Civil War began he was less than sixteen years of age, but he was a well developed youth, of chivalrous nature, and begged his father to allow him to enlist in the Union Army. The elder Farris consented, and he was mustered into Company K, of the Forty-eighth Illinois Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, October 23, 1861. He participated in the battle of Shiloh, where he received a slight gunshot wound; was at the sieges of Corinth and Vicksburg, participated in the battles at Jackson, Mississippi, Missionary Ridge and Atlanta, and marched with Sherman to the sea.
On the 22d of April, 1864, at Scotsborough, Alabama, he was promoted to second lieutenant, and April II, 1865, he was made adjutant of his regiment, which position he held until he was discharged from the service. He was mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, and received his discharge at Springfield, Illinois, August 31, 1865. Immediately afterward he returned to his home in Clay County, Illinois, where he remained until January, of 1867. He then removed to Lebanon, Missouri, and during the first year of his residence there was engaged in the newspaper business. In 1870 he was elected county assessor of Laclede County, and in 1874 he was elected to the office of clerk of the circuit court, which position he filled for four years. He had previously—in 1872—been appointed clerk of the probate court of Laclede County, and he held this office continuously until 1880. In 1882 he was elected to the State Senate from the twenty-second district and served four years as a member of the upper branch of the General Assembly, gaining distinction as an able and conscientious legislator, and a faithful guardian of public interests. While serving as a public official he read law, and in 1883 was admitted to the bar. Since that time, when not in the public service, he has been engaged in the practice of his profession and in the management of insurance business at Lebanon, Missouri.
After his admission to the bar he served as prosecuting attorn'ey of Laclede County, and later was returned to the General Assembly as a member of the lower house. His previous experience as a legislator and his high standing as a man caused him to be elected speaker of the House in the Thirty-ninth General Assembly, and he retired from that position with the record of having been one of the ablest and fairest presiding officers who have controlled the deliberations of that body. In politics Mr. Farris has always been a Democrat, and he is one of the recognized leaders of his party in Missouri.
He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and has served as eminent commander of the commandery, high priest of the Royal Arch Chapter, and worshipful master of the subordinate lodge with which he affiliates. He has been a member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Masons since 1876. He is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Edward Fender, farmer, P. O. Iola, was born September 16, 1826, in Ashe County, N. C, son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Bath) Fender. Andrew Fender was a native of North Carolina, and was a farmer and blacksmith by occupation.
He came to this county from Owen County, Ind., in 1843, and settled in Louisville Township, where he lived one year, then came to Larkinsburg Township, where he settled in Section 11, and bought the improvements on Lowtrip's farm, which land he deeded the next year. After living here eighteen years, he went to Mercer County, Ill., where he lived fourteen years; then returned to this county, and after a three rears' residence here moved back to Mercer County, where he died March 11, 1883, aged one hundred years.
He was married four times, his first wife, Sarah O. Bath, died leaving seven children, viz., Aaron, Louis, John, Nellie, Anderson, Catharine and Nancy, of whom only Aaron is now living. His second wife, Elizabeth Bath, born in North Carolina, was the mother of six children, viz., Daniel, Andrew, Charity (deceased), Edward (our subject), Elizabath Williamson and Nancy (deceased).
His third wife, Mrs. Margaret Dyer, died in Mercer County. She was the mother of four children by this marriage, viz., Polly A. Shieft, Isaac, Madison and Jacob. His fourth wife, Mrs. Bingum. is yet living, and is the mother of several children.
Our subject has been a farmer and trader. After he was married, he bought eighty acres of land in Louisville Township, which he sold. He then bought 120 acres which he also sold, living only a short time on each place. He then bought 160 acres in Oskaloosa Township, where he lived about twenty-nine years, during which time he bought considerable land, owning at one time 640 acres.
He moved to Iola in February, 1873. and has practically retired from active life. He started with nothing in the world and is a self-made man in every respect. While in Iola, he worked at the blacksmith trade part of the time, also was in a drug store, and for two years owned a one-third interest in the Iola Mills. He never learned to read and write, but has done a good deal of business in his life.
Our subject was married here, April 9, 1846, to Miss Ella J. Davis, born February 16, 1829, in Tennessee. She is a daughter of Basil and Sarah (Tims) Davis. She is the mother of eleven children, of whom five are now living, viz., John W., Andrew B., Henry M., Theodosia Williams and James N.
Mr.and Mrs. Fender are religiously connected with the Baptist Church. He is a Democrat; and has yet 280 acres of land, having given all his children a farm or its equivalent in money. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "
I. D. Fender, farmer, P. O. Edgewood, Effingham Co., Ill., was born December 24, 1839, in Lawrence County, Ind. His parents were John and Matilda (Sheeks) Fender, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Lawrence County, Ind.; she died in 1875. John Fender, the father of our subject, came to Illinois in 1850, and settled in Effingham County, where he died in the fall of 1865. He was one of the largest farmers of his day, owning at one time over 1,200 acres of land in this and Effingbam Counties, of which a great deal was deeded to his children before his demise. He was also a great stock-trader as well as farmer, and widely known for his honesty in dealing and his broad ideas and general knowledge. He was married in Indiana. His wife was the mother of nine children, of whom live are now living, viz.: Malinda C. Brown, Isaac D. (our subject), Sarah (deceased), Daniel (now a resident of Mercer County), John B. (deceased), Mary E. (deceased), Joseph O., Martha E. Brown (deceased), and Henry D.
Our subject was reared and schooled in Indiana and in this county. He has been married twice, the first time in 1860, to Sarah J.Price, a native of this township, a daughter of James and Sina (Trover) Price, he a native of North Carolina, and she of Larkinsbnrg Township, of which her father was an old settler. Seven children were the result of this union, of whom only Sina O, born May 16, 1868, is now living.
After the death of Mr. Fender's first wife, he was married a second time, to Eugenia Brown, born April 2, 1855, in Johnson County, Ind., daughter of Job and Phoebe (Williams) Brown. Four children are the result of this union, viz.: Charley J., Phoebe L. , Robert O., and Maggie D.
Mr. and Mrs. Fender are members of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. He is a Republican; has been Tax Collector three terms; and keeps his farm of 250 acres in a high state of cultivation. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "
(NOTE: Please confirm all data for yourself. A researcher has written in claiming this history has errors in it. Since it was printed in the "Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909", we will not change the data we transcribed. We did not do the research, we just transcribed the history book. It's not our intention to provide a history of the whole FINCH family from day 1 and therefore will NOT be trying to "fix" this piece from 1909)
Sir Heneage Finch was the first Earl of Nottingham, England (1682), and was Lord Chancellor of England. He was descended from an old family, many of whose numbers had attained a high eminence in the legal profession; and he was the oldest son of Sir Heneage Finch, the Recorder of London. He was born in Kent, December 23, 1621, educated at Westminster and became a member of the Inner Temple, 1638; he was admitted to the bar in 1645, and became one of the leading members thereof, being called the "English Cicero". He was chosen a member of the Convention Parliament in 1660, and shortly afterward appointed Solicitor-General, and in 1675 Lord Chancellor. In 1660 he was also created a baronet, and in 1670 he was made Attorney General. He died in Great Queen Street, Lincoln Inn Fields, December 18, 1682, and was buried in Ravenstone in Bucks. He was spoken of as the father of equity, and was the originator of the Statutes of Frauds, which are accepted in America and England as universal law and justice. He also published some of the speeches in the trials of the Judges of King Charles I, in 1660, and later emulated himself with other publications appertaining to the execution of King Charles I, but was not their author. Sir Daniel Finch was the second Earl of Nottingham, and the son of Sir Heneage Finch, was born in 1647, and died January 1, 1730. He entered Parliament in 1679. and was one of the privy counsellors who in 1685 signed the order for the proclamation of the Duke of York, but kept away from the court during the reign of James the II. After the abdication of James II, he was one of the leaders of the party who were favorable to the establishment of the Regency. He declined the office of Lord-Chancellor under the reign of William and Mary, but accepted that of Secretary of State, and filled that position until December, 1693, and he also held the same office under Queen Anne in 1702, and retired in 1704. On the accession of George the First he was made President of the Council and withdrew from office in January, 1716; on the 9th day of September, 1729, he succeeded to the Earldom of Winchelsea and died on the 1st day of January, 1730.
Sir John Finch was a son of Sir Daniel Finch, the second Earl of Nottingham, was counsel to the Crown under George II, in the early part of his reign, and for his strong liberal views, and the active interest he took in espousing the cause of liberalism he was by King George the Second, banished from the realm, and coming to America, landed at the port of Boston, and married somewhere in the eastern part of Massachusetts, and after a time emigrated to New York, and founded what is taken to be the Northem branch of the Finch family. To Sir John Finch, the banished counsellor of the court of King George the Second, were bom two sons, whose names were respectively, Isaac F. Finch and John Finch ; Isaac Finch and John Finch left their homes in the State of New York and settled in Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, sometime previous to the Revolutionary war ; they engaged in the milling business in an extensive way; and when the Revolutionary war broke out they were each at the head of a large family. Isaac Finch enlisted in the Revolutionary war, and John remained at home to look after the families of his brother Isaac and his own, and also their property ; they were then living in Wyoming Valley, at Fort Forty. Isaac Finch was killed in the battle of the Wyoming Massacre, July 3, 1778, and John and his entire family were massacred at the same time. Unto Isaac Finch and Amy Finch, his wife, were born five sons and five daughters, and the names of these children were: Isaac, Moses, John, Enos, Amy, Rebecca, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary and Solomon. On the 4th day of July, 1778, Amy Finch, the widow of Isaac Finch, with the aid of faithful servants, loaded her household effects into a wagon drawn by a pair of oxen, and with all the children, excepting Isaac Finch and Amy Finch, who were then visiting in Massachusetts, prepared to fly from the recent scene of the bloody carnival. As the wagon was about to pull out with the household goods and children, a number of Indians seeing one of the servants standing by the wagon, with savage yells and flourishing tomahawks rushed upon him and with their tomahawks dashed out his brains, bespattering with blood and brains the five-monthsold baby of the deceased Isaac Finch and his widow, who was lying upon the bed-clothing in the wagon. The name of this five-monthsold baby was Solomon Finch, the last born. The widow of Isaac Finch, together with these children, then took their departure from the scene of the massacre and after many days of tedious, tiresome and dangerous travel, made their way through swamp and wilderness for some three hundred miles to Genesee county, New York, where they were finally given shelter, food and clothing, and abided until they were joined by the son and daughter who had gone on the visit to Massachusetts. They finally built them a house of logs and remained in this settlement for some years, and until the children were grown and married.
It seems that all the children of Isaac and Amy Finch were married in this part of New York, except Solomon, who again returned to the scene of the battle where his father and other relatives had met their death, and there married a Sarah Gardner, whose father owned the battlefield on which had been fought the bloody battle of Wyoming, and here he was married, and soon afterward returned to Genesee county, New York, and joined his relatives. He was married on the 13th day of March, 1804.
Solomon Finch was born on the 31st day of January, 1778, married to Sarah Gardner on the 13th day of March, 1804, and died on Elm Creek farm, Clay county, Illinois, in June, 1851, at the age of seventy-three ; and to this union were born Rebecca, Mary, James Gardner, Almena, Solomon, Tomkins and Amos Farm Finch, Rebecca Finch was born January 5, 1805, in the Wyoming Valley, in Pennsylvania, married to George Shirts in Indiana, November 29, 1821, and to this union were born William Shirts, February 12, 1823, who died in 1885 ; Augustus Finch Shirts, November 26, 1824; Mary E. Shirts, July 26, 1826; Angeline Shirts, November 26, 1828; Sarah Shirts, November 29, 1830, and Hiram G. Shirts, July 15, 1834; in May, 1842, after the death of George Shirts, Rebecca Finch Shirts was married to Jay Ridgeway, to whom was born Solomon Ridgeway. Rebecca Finch Shifts died in 1873.
Mary Finch, born January 24, 1807, in Genesee county, New York, and was married to Hiram Finch, son of John Finch, who was the son of Isaac Finch, November 28, 1829, and to this union was born one son, Henry Clay Finch; Mary Finch died December 29, 1839.
James Gardner Finch was born October 16, 1809, in Rochester, New York, and was married to Sarah Woodborn, November 28, 1833, settled in Clay county, in November, 1839, and to this union was born one son, Francis M. Finch, April 29, 1837, wno died in Andersonville prison, July 27, 1864. After the death of Sarah Woodburn Finch. James Gardner Finch married Mary Ann Purdom on the 2ist day of July, 1839, and to this union were born Walton H. Finch, October 13, 1840, and he died in Pamona, California in 1894, leaving a large family. Cynthia C. Finch was born February 24, 1845; John C. Finch, born January 23, 1847; George W. Finch, born June 21, 1849, and died in Harper county, Kansas, in 1896, leaving a large family; Henry Clay Finch, born October i, 1852; Charles Sumner Finch, born July 24, 1856; Florence Evaline Finch (Kelly), born March 24, 1858; Almena Finch, born in the State of New York, January 13, 1812, married to Stephen Knolton, afterwards to Benjamin Creus, and later to Gabriel Manly, the latter to whom she bore one daughter, Emma Manly, July 28, 1832; Emma Manly married A. J. Hurlock in 1862, and after his death she again married John Ryan, in Kansas, 1876.
Emily Finch was born to Solomon and Sarah Finch, May 12. 1816. and died October 13, 1871.Augustus H. Finch was born to Solomon and Sarah Finch September i, 1818, and died November 12, 1820. Solomon Tompkins Finch was born to Solomon and Sarah Gardner Finch in Hamilton county, in the state of Indiana, on the 2 ist day of November, 1820, and in February, 1847, he moved with his parents to Clay county, Illinois, where his mother, Sarah Gardner Finch, died June, 1847, and on the 22d day of July, 1847, he was joined in marriage with Bethsheba Long, who was born April 15, 1831, and who was the second daughter of Rosamond and Hanna Stanford Long, and to this union were born Rebecca Margaret Finch in April, 1852, and who died with premature consumption in March, 1868.
Mary Elizabeth Finch, who was born in Flora, Clay county, Illinois, on the 25th day of September, 1854 (being the first child born in the city of Flora), and Solomon Tompkins Finch on the 23d day of February, 1857, in the town of Flora, Illinois. On the 14th day of April, 1857, Solomon T. Finch died, leaving surviving him Bethsheba Long Finch, his widow, and the three children, viz : Rebecca Margaret, Mary Elizabeth and Solomon Tompkins Finch. Solomon Tompkins Finch, son of Solomon Finch and Sarah Gardner Finch, was the first business man in Flora, Clay county, Illinois, having embarked there into business with one George Harter, under the firm name of Finch & Harter, which continued until his death. In 1870 Bethsheba Long Finch on the I5th day of February was married to John Resen Finch, who was a son of Aaron, and grandson of John Finch, who was a brother of Moses and Solomon Finch. To this union was born one child, Martha Luella Finch, on the 7th day of February, 1871, and on the i6th day of July, 1871, Bethsheba Long Finch departed this life. Amos Farm Finch was married to Louisa Griffith August 10, 1852, and to this union was born one son, Hiram Clayton Finch, on the nth day of May, 1854, and after the death of Louisa Griffith Finch, Amos Farm Finch married Sarah Elizabeth Davis on the 5th day of December, 1860, and to this union were born Rosa Belle Finch, August 21, 1861 ; Henry Ernest Finch, August 28, 1868; he married Sarah E. Sibler; Clarence A. Finch, February 6, 1872, married Lulu Morrean on November 17, 1895, and Maggie Elizabeth Finch, November 3, 1875.
Mary Elizabeth Finch was on the 3rd day of February, 1876, married to John Minor Cunningham, whose father was an early settler in Clay county, Illinois, and to this union were born three children, viz : Fremont Cunningham, born on the 29th day of November, 1876, and died six years later. Nelle Cunningham was born September 19, 1878, and was married to Jerry J. Bowman, October 22, 1902. Max Finch Cunningham was born April 14, 1883.
Solomon Tompkins Finch was on the 28th day of May, 1884, married to Lillie Estella Pearce, the youngest daughter of Frederick and Martha Ingrahm Pearce. The father, Frederick Pearce having been born in Leeds, England, came to this country with his father when he was but twelve years of age ; first settled in Western Pennsylvania, and afterward moved to the city of Pittsburg. When at the age of manhood he married Martha Ingrahm, and in 1858, moved with his family, which consisted of his wife and two children at that time, to Ingrahm Prairie, Clay county, Illinois; engaged in the milling business, and was among the first settlers of Flora. After his removal to Flora, Illinois, his youngest daughter. Lillie Estella Pearce, was born on the 13th of January, 1862. To the marriage of Solomon Tompkins Finch and Lillie Estella Pearce were born two sons ; Earle D. Finch, born in the city of Flora on the 14th day of March. 1865; and Rollae D. Finch was bom in the city of Flora on the 7th clay of September, 1887.
Solomon Tompkins Finch, after taking a preparatory course at Loxa College, entered the Michigan University, from which college he graduated in the law department, in 1879, and after being admitted to the bar of Illinois commenced the law practice in Flora, Clay county, Illinois, the home of his birth.
Hiram Clayton Finch, after graduating in medicine, entered into the practice, and in 1882 moved to Iowa, continuing the practice and on the 6th day of October, 1882. was married to Ausis Oliva Matthews in Jasper county, Iowa, and to them was born one daughter, Ethel Finch, on the 29th day of December, 1884. Moses Finch, son of Isaac and Amy Finch, was born in the Wyoming Valley, April 15, 1771, and was married to Sarah Beanon in 1789, and to them were born eleven sons ; their names were : Isaac, Kinney, Charles, Beanon, Abraham Wheeler, Benoni Wheeler, Moses, Archibald Wheeler, James Beanon, Nathaniel, Walter and John. Sarah, the mother of the above sons, died in Indiana, June 17, 1831. The sons all grew to manhood. Moses Finch, after the death of Sarah, his wife, married Alanda Grange, a widow with three sons and two daughters. To Moses Finch and Manda Grange Finch were born two daughters, Florilla and Rebecca. Rebecca married in 1860, and she and her husband died in 1 86 1. Florilla married a Doctor Graydon. of Southport, Indiana.
To John Finch, son of Isaac Finch and wife, were born three sons, viz ; Jubal, John and Cyrus. The mother of these children died, after which John Finch married again, and by his second marriage he begot four daughters, viz : Sarah, who married a Dr. Amos Palmer; Elizabeth, who married a man by the name of Davidson ; Margaret, who never married, and Laura, who married a man by the name of Meak. After the death of the mother of these children, John Finch married the third time, and unto this marriage were born, Hiram C. Finch, John Finch, Fabious M. Finch, who was a prominent lawyer and judge in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lived to an advanced age. Rebecca, who married James Holl ; Angeline, who married a man by the name of Williams, Cynthia married Dr. Nathaniel Mall, and Horatio Finch studied law, and afterwards died in San Francisco, California.
Hiram C. Finch was married to Mary Finch, on the 28th day of November, 1829, and to this union was born one son, Henry Clay Finch. Mary Finch died December 29, 1839. and after her death, Hiram G. Finch married his second wife, and to this union were born Frank, Allice, who was married to John Connor, and Horatio Finch. The name of the second wife of Hiram G. Finch was Mariah Passwatter. Fabious M. Finch was married in 1810 to Mariah Allen, and to this union were born John A. Finch and Alice Finch. John A. Finch, after having studied law, made a specialty of the insurance law, and being associated with his father in the law practice under the firm name of Finch & Finch, became one of the first insurance lawyers in the United States, and compiled what is known in the law practice as Finch's Insurance Reports. John A. Finch died suddenly in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while on business in that city.
Fabious M. Finch soon followed the death of his most honored son, and left surviving his widow and Alice Finch, a most estimable and accomplished daughter, unmarried. Aaron Finch was married in Indiana, 1823, to Mary Waddell, and afterwards moved to Clay county, Illinois, and settled on a farm eight miles southeast of Flora, Illinois. To Aaron Finch and his wife were born : James Austin Finch and John Resen Finch ; also a daughter, Laura. Aaron Finch died in the early fifties. James Austin Finch was joined in wedlock with Mary P. Griffith and studied medicine and died in the early sixties. To this union was born one son, James Austin Finch, Mary P. Finch died in 1898. James Austin Finch was married to Florence Brissanden, studied law, became well up in his profession, and was elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney of Clay county in 1876, and afterwards located in Olney, Illinois, where he died in the summer of 1881. To this union of James Austin and Florence Brissanden Finch were born four children, viz: Mary, William, Laura and James Austin.John Resen Finch was born in Indiana, moved to Clay county, Illinois, with his father, arid settled on the farm with his father. He first married Sarah Schooley, and to this marriage were born one daughter and one son, viz: Mary Matilda and William Fabious Finch. After the death of his first wife he married Rachel Schooley, a sister of his first wife, and to this union were born one son and one daughter, viz:
Aaron and Amy Finch. After the death of Rachel, the second wife of John Resen Finch, he then married Bethsheba Long Finch, and to this union was born one daughter, viz : Martha Louella Finch. After the death of Bethsheba Long Finch, John Resen Finch then married one Sarah Warmath, and departed this life in 1879, having continued to reside on the farm upon which he and his father located upon moving to Clay county, Illinois.
Augustus Finch Shirts, who was born to George Shirts and Rebecca Finch Shirts, was born November 26, 1824, married to Nancy Barnhill, and to this union were born three children, viz: George Shirts, Mary Shirts, who married a man by the name of Baker, and Elbert Shirts. Augustus Finch Shirts studied law. settled at Noblesville, Indiana, became very prominent as a lawyer, and as a politician, also became noted as the author of the history of Hamilton county, Indiana, and retired from the lawpractice in 1900.
George Shirts, son of Augustus Finch Shirts, studied law, graduated at the law department of the University of Michigan, in 1876, entered the law practice at Noblesville, Indiana, became eminent as a corporation lawyer, and in 1903, was selected by the Governor of the state of Indiana, as one of the Codifying Commission, and selected by that body as their clerk.
In the early spring of 1814, Amos Parm, John, Moses and Solomon Finch, together with their families, went in wagons from Genesee county. New York, to Olean Point, New York, a point on the tributary of the Ohio river, and building a flat-boat there, they floated down the river to the Ohio river, and thence down the Ohio river to North Bend, Ohio, the present site of Cincinnati, Ohio, and after landing there, Solomon T. Finch took service under Gen. William H. Harrison (Old Tippecanoe), and after the war was over still remained with him for a time as superintendent of his plantations, the old log cabins that were famous during the campaign of Gen. William H. Harrison as a candidate for President. Enoch Finch settled somewhere in the eastern part of Ohio, and Moses and John went to Brookville, Indiana, engaged to some extent in the milling business there, and afterward went to Connersville, and were there joined by Solomon Finch. Soon afterward Moses went to Michigan, and died there at an advanced age.
In April, 1819, Solomon Finch and his family and part of the family of John Finch, moved from Connersville to Hamilton county, Indiana, and settled on what was then known as Horse Shoe prairie, about two miles from the present site of Noblesville, Indiana, the county seat of Hamilton county, and they were followed in the following September by John Finch, and the remainder of his family. John Finch lived to a ripe old age, and as shown many were his sons and daughters. He died in Hamilton county, Indiana. The compiler of these accounts, including deaths, births, marriages and events, has relied upon statistics furnished him by old members of the family in its various brandies, and on the war records furnished him from the department at Washington, and on letters from the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, England, and on the true historical data as furnished by reliable authors. He has compiled this short history not for any compensation, but because he has felt that it ought to have been done by some member of the family, but up to this time, they have all been too busy a lot of Finchs to give it their attention. Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909
Solomon T. Finch--One of the men who has stamped the impress of his strong individuality upon the minds of the people of Clay county in a manner as to render him one of the conspicuous characters of this locality, is the subject of this sketch, one of the prominent attorneys of the southern part of the commonwealth of Illinois. Faithfulness to duty and a strict adherence to a fixed purpose, which always do more to advance a man's interests than wealth or advantageous circumstances, have been dominating factors in his life, which has been replete with honor and success worthily attained.
Solomon T. Finch was born in Flora, Clay county. February 23. 1857, the son of Solomon T. Finch, who was born in Indiana, and who came to Illinois in 1849, settling in Clay county. He was the first merchant in Flora, and was influential in the affairs of the pioneer days of this community. He was in business here until his death in 1857. The subject's paternal grandfather was also named Solomon. He was a native of New York, having removed from the Empire state to Southern Indiana, and was superintendent of the log cabin display in General Harrison's campaign in 1832. He came to Illinois with his father in 1849. His death occurred in 1851. The subject's mother was Bathsheba Long, who was a native of Virginia. She passed to her rest in 1872. She was a representative of a fine old southern family. Three children were born to the subject's parents, namely: Rebecca was born in 1852, and died when fifteen years old; Mary is the wife of J. M. Cunningham, of Flora, she having been the first child born in Flora, the date of her birth being 1854; Solomon T., the subject of this sketch, is the youngest child. The father of the subject moved to Flora in 1853, and engaged in the dry goods business.
Mr. Finch received his preliminary schooling in the common schools of Flora. He attended Loxa College in Coles county, this state. Desiring a higher education, he entered the University of Michigan in 1876, from which he graduated in 1879, from the law department, having made a brilliant record in the same. He was admitted to the bar in 1880, and has been engaged in practice ever since. He removed to Springfield in 1900, where he practiced for five vears with his usual success, but he moved back to Flora in 1905, much to the satisfaction of his many clients and friends in Clay county.
Mr. Finch was united in marriage May 28, 1884, to Lillie E. Pearce, daughter of Frederick Pearce, who was born in England, having emigrated to the United States in 1858, when he was twenty years old. Lillie E. Pearce was born in Flora within one block of where Mr. Finch was born. Two sons have been born to the subject and wife, Earl D., who is associated with his father, is a graduate of the Springfield high school and also a graduate of the law department of the State University ; Rollae D. also graduated from the Springfield high school, and is in 1908 a student in the medical department of Washington University, St. Louis. They are both bright young men, who give promise of brilliant careers.
Mr. Finch was nominated by the Democratic party for County Judge in 1898, but was defeated, however, by only one vote, although the county was largely Republican. He was also his party's nominee for State's Attorney in 1908, but went down in defeat with the rest of the ticket. He is engaged in the law and abstract business and his office is always a busy place. In his fraternal relations he belongs to the Blue Lodge, Royal Arch and Knights Templar Masons. He organized and was the first chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias in Flora. He also belongs to the Woodmen. He is a loyal Democrat. He belongs to the Presbyterian church. Mrs. Finch and their youngest son are members of the Methodist church.
Mr. Finch has seen many changes in Clay county during his lifetime. Progress has been made, doing away with the old landmarks and substituting in their places all the evidences of advanced civilization, and in all matters pertaining to the general good and improvement he has been deeply interested, nor has he withheld his aid when it has been solicited for the advancement of any public measure of worth, but on the contrary he has often been the instigator of movements that have resulted in permanent good to the community honored by his residence. He is a highly respected citizen, held in uniform regard by those who have known him through long years. Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909
Uriah Fisher, Jr., is a son of Uriah and Elizabeth (Core) Fisher. They were both natives of Virginia, where they were married, and where four children were born, including Uriah Fisher, Jr., who was born March 31, 1828. In 1836, the family removed to Tennessee, where they resided two years, and where one child was born. In 1838, they removed to Illinois, and settled in Wabash County. In 1843 or 1844, they came to Clay County, and purchased a tract of land in Section 17, of Town 3, Range 6, where they lived until the time of their death. The father died January 4, 1859, and the mother lived to be eighty-four years old, and died May 17, 1883. The family consisted of Peter F., Catherine, William, Uriah, Elizabeth, Sarah F., Calvin, the last of whom was born in Clay County,Ill., all of whom are deceased except Uriah. Uriah was married, January 15, 1852, in Clay County, to Mary Golden, daughter of Edward and Mary Golden, who were among the first settlers of Clay County. Mary (Golden) Fisher was born in Clay County. 111., September 16, 1832. In August, 1862, Mr. Fisher enlisted in Company F, Ninety-eighth Illinois Infantry, from which he was discharged at Springfield July 7, 1865, having participated in the battles of Hoover’s Gap, Chickamauga, siege of Atlanta, and all the fighting incident to the Atlanta campaign and battle of Selma, Ala., taking part in the memorable charge on that place. Since the war, he has devoted his time to the pursuits of the farm, and owns a farm of eighty acres in Section 17, of Harter Township. They have had six children, four of whom are living at this time—Rebecca C, wife of James Jacobs, was born January 22. 1853; Jane F., wife of Jefferson McGrew, born March 30, 1855; Mary E., wife of James Lyon, was born February 24. 1860; William D., born June 11, 1857, deceased; Eliza A., born September 2S, 1862, deceased; John N. G., born April 29, 1867; and Dora G. Fisher, born June 5, 1869. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "
George Foster was born December 5. 1830, in Muskingum County. Ohio. Andrew Foster, his father, was born in Pennsylvania December 11, 1788, and there grew to manhood, and married Nancy St. Clair, who was born in the same State, October 7. 1790. They emigrated to Muskingum County, Ohio, residing there from 1815 to 1841, when they removed to Jackson County, of the same State. There the father died in August, 1865. The mother, in 1867. came to Clay County, Ill., and died at the residence of her son, George Foster, in December of 1872. They had eleven children (George being the tenth), seven of whom are now living. The parents were both members of the Baptist Church, the mother having belonged for fifty -eight years. George Foster came to Clay County. Ill., in 1865. and has been a resident of Harter Township since. On the 8th of December. 1852, in Jackson County, Ohio, Mr. Foster was married to Lora A. Hayward, who was born in Scioto County, Ohio, in 1832. She died in 1876. in Clay County, Ill., and was the mother of five children, three of whom died previous to their mother. Martha M., the eldest, was born in Jackson County. Ohio. November 7, 1855, and died January 22. 1874; Leonard A. was born January 28, 1858, in Ohio, and married Miss Annie Abbott, November 15, 1883; Effie E., wife of Z. Reeder, born in Ohio, May 8. 1861; Ernest H.. was born June 24, 1865, and died June 30, of same month. The youngest was born in Clay County. Ill. and died unnamed. Mr. Foster was married, May 22, 1879, to his present wife. Mrs.Martha Owens, widow of G. Owens, and daughter of Henry and Sarah Hawkins. She was born April 12, 1834, in Canada, and came to Clay County about 1858. with her parents. Mrs. Foster was married first to Greenbury Owens, December 16, 1860. by whom she had five children, all of whom were born in Clay City, of Clay County. The record of this family is another evidence of the frailty of human life, and shows how in a few brief years our fondest hopes may be dwarfed. Four times in the brief space of five years the death angel invades this household, and takes in his embrace one of its members; first, Sarah A., the eldest child, died on the 28th of February, 1868; she was born November 19, 1861. The next was the father, who died in Clay City, August 18, 1871; he was buried at Flora, with the honors of the Masonic fraternity, of which he was an accepted member. Mattie Owens was born June 11, 1868, and died October 6 1872; Flora I. was born November 2, 1863, and died April 5, 1873. The two surviving children are Edward G, born April 7, 1865, and Albert H. Owens, born August 28, 1870. While Mrs. F. has been thus bereaved of very much that would make life happy, she is still a submissive Christian lady, and lavishes her heart’s affections on her present family, which includes an orphan child, named Lola Manicol. Mr. and Mrs. Foster own a farming interest in Harter Township, consisting of 420 acres of beautiful land. "Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "
John Freeman also came here about 1841, and was then an old man. His children-Samuel, William, John, Ruth Hord, Minus, Mark, Lemons, whose daughter is yet living in this township; Anderson and Rebecca Johnson are either dead or living in other countries. From The History of Clay County printed 1884, reproduced 1969 by Martin Printing and Album Company, Flora Illinois. Page 148 Submitted by Tricia Frame