Illinois Genealogy Trails

Biographical Sketches of Charter Members and Masters of Wabash Lodge, No. 179, A.F. and A.M.
Coles County, IL
©Transcribed by Kim Torp


AUGUSTUS H. CHAPMAN
(photo torn)

AUGUSTUS H. CHAPMAN, the first Master of Wabash Lodge was born in Paola, Orange county, Indiana on August 4, 1822, where his father was engaged in the mercantile business. His father died in June 1826 and in October of 1827, his mother and the family moved to Lawrence county, Illinois, locating on a farm. His mother died in June 1836 and he remained on the farm until 1844, when he came to Charleston, Ill and engaged in the mercantile business with Byrd Monroe. He was a charter member of Charleston Lodge, No. 35, which received its charter Oct. 7, 1845. He filled the office of Master, and other positions. On moving to Paradise, where he engaged in the mercantile business, he demitted from Charleston Lodge, and became a charter member and first Master of Wabash Lodge at its organization in 1854. He served the Lodge as Master in 1854 and 1855, as secretary in 1857. He demitted from Wabash Lodge in April 1858, and affiliated with Charleston Lodge, No. 35.

In 1859 he was appointed agent of the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad co., for the town of Charleston, which position he filled until he entered the Union army in 1861, promoted Lieutenant Colonel in December, 1862, and served as such until April 13, 1865, when the war being virtually over, he resigned and returned home and shortly afterward was appointed U.S. Indian Agent for the Flathead Indians in Montana, which position he held for two years, when he returned home and was appointed assistant assessor Internal Revenue for this district, which position he held until the office was discontinued in 1871. In 1873, after the death of Circuit Clerk W. N. McDonald, he was appointed to fill vacancy by the circuit court.

He was engaged in procuring the right of way for the present Clover Leaf railroad company and remained in their employ as special agent for 9 years, when he entered the service of the present Big Four railroad, as traveling freight agent and remained in their employ until his death, September 11, 1898, and he was buried in Charleston.

He was married September 9, 1847 to Harriet A. Hanks, and to them three children were born, two sons and one daughter.

Dr. JOHN APPERSON


Dr. John Apperson was born January 8, 1794 in Culpepper county, Virginia. Served as sergeant major in a Virginia regiment in the war of 1812, married Sidney Hanson of Hansonville, Va., August 2, 1821 and came to Illinois in 1829, coming over the mountains by wagon. He located in Coles county, in October of that year about 4 miles south of the present town of Mattoon. He was the first practicing physician of Coles county, and one o of the early settlers of Coles county. His practice extended over a large scope of country and his office was usually on horse-back. Often when he slept, his saddle was his pillow the soft side of a puncheon or the green earth, his bed and the blue sky his covering.

He petitioned Temperance Lodge, No. 16, located at Vandalia, for the degrees in Masonry and was elected. Before proceeding further, however, Charleston Lodge, No. 35, just then organizing and working under dispensation begged the privilege of conferring the degrees which was granted and he received them in that Lodge, and was probably the first Mason made by that Lodge.

He was active in the organization of Wabash Lodge, was one of its charter members, was one of its early Masters, besides serving it in other capacities. He served as Master in 1856, as Chaplain in 1854, 1855, 1857, 1858 and 1859 and remained a member until his death June 5, 1877, at the ripe old age of 83 years. He was a devout and zealous member of the Methodist church and had lived in that faith for more than half a century. In the early pioneer days of Coles county when churches were few and far apart, services were frequently held at his home.

To write his history would be to write much of the early history of Coles County. Coming to Coles county when it was a wilderness, practicing medicine over such a large portion of the county, as actively engaged in the early religious work as he was, his life became so interwoven with the affairs of the period that a history of his life would be a history of the times. He was one of those rare characters whom all who knew loved and respected.


HARVEY B. WORLEY

Harvey B. Worley was born May 25, 1819, in Hardin county, Kentucky and grew to manhood there. Came to Illinois November, 1840, or shortly after he became of age and remained a citizen of the neighborhood in which he first settled until his death 52 years later.

He married Miss Amanda T. Lawson of Hardin county, Kentucky, on September 24, 1840 and their wedding tour was a trip to Illinois, in a covered wagon where they made their home. To them was born 9 children, six sons and three daughters, all of whom lived to be grown save one son who died in infancy. He was one of the early settlers in this part of the state, was a charter member of Wabash Lodge and was otherwise influential in the organization of the Lodge. He was made a Mason by Charleston Lodge, No. 35, in 1852, and demitted from that lodge to assist in the organization of Wabash Lodge May 23, 1854. He served Wabash Lodge as Steward 1854, Junior Deacon 1855, Senior Warden 1856 as Treasurer 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1866, and demitted from Wabash Lodge, No 179, March 8, 1868, and affiliated with Miles Hart Lodge, no. 595. He served Coles county as sheriff in 1856 and 1857. He died April 8, 1892, and was buried in Glenwood cemetery at Shelbyville, Ill. He was a man of kindly disposition and strong personality and helped to develop in no small degree the community in which he lived. He was well and favorably known over the adjoining counties and his death was deeply regretted by his many friends.

ABSALOM W. WALLER

Absalom W. Waller was a charter member of Wabash Lodge, NO. 179, and at the time of its organization May 23, 1854, was a man about 45 years of age. He opened up and improved a prairie farm on the east side of the I.C. railroad, a mile and a half north of the present town of Neoga, this however was before Neoga was located, and here he lived with his family. Though living on the farm, he was a contractor and builder by trade and contracted for and built the depot and railroad office buildings first erected in Neoga.

His family consisted of three sons, Jack, George and Frank, and two daughters, Miranda and Mariah. The older daughter Miranda, married Allen Buckner, a presiding elder of the Methodist church, living in Paradise, who was a man of strong personality and much ability. He raised a regiment of troops which he commanded in the civil war, was pierced through by a ball from the enemy and through his body a silk handkerchief was drawn. This wound which would have been fatal to most men failed to end his life and he lived many years after in Emporia, Kansas, where he preached, lectured and sang (for he was a great singer) and served as chaplain of the state senate, at Topeka.

Absalom Waller, the subject of this sketch moved from Illinois to Oregon many years ago and has since passed to the great beyond. The writer of this sketch was well acquainted with the family and boarded with them the dry summer early in the fifties, and herded cattle on the prairie east, west and north of where Neoga stands. There were but few families living there then, some of the Wings to the southeast, old Mr. Walt and Mr. Brown to the north on Brush creek, Em. Milliard to the east and Manning Smith to the west, while at Long Point lived Silas Hart and a man named Bishop. One could ride horseback from Dry Grove to Neoga and Long Point, without riding around any man's farm.

ISAAC N. HART


Isaac Hart, the subject of this sketch, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, July 20, 1800, moved to Paradise, Ill, 1850 and remained continuously until his death. He was a charter member of this lodge, at its organizaiton, May 23, 1854, which he served as Tyler, until his death in 1867. He was made a Mason in Kentucky, before coming to Illinois. He married the widow of John Pryor and to them were born seven children, four sons and three daughters.

He was a devout member of the Christian church, being a minister of that faith of more than local reputation. He had a vein of humor and great versatility of natural wit which made him an unique figure in the Lodge. As Tyler, always careful and mindful of the comforts of his brethren, cheerful and jovial he thus endeared himself to the brethren. A Kentuckian by birth and education he was endowed with that broad hospitality characteristic of his native state. Possessed of deep piety he was always happy in the Christian's life and realm. He died April 20, 1867, and was laid to rest with Masonic honors in the old Camp Ground cemetery, the old camp meeting ground, northeast of Paradise. Truly the most hallowed, sacred, historic spot in this part of the country.

"There is no death, the stars go down
To rise upon some faster shore,
And bright to Heaven's jeweled crown
They shine forever more."


WILSON L. SOUTH

Wilson L. South, a charter member of Wabash Lodge, was made a Mason in Kentucky, his native state, before coming to Illinois. He served Wabash Lodge as Senior Deacon in 1854 and 1855 and was thus first to fill that office. He was treasurer in 1856, Senior Warden, 1868 (sic, probably should be 1858), and demitted October 1859.

Brother South was a talented man. After coming to Illinois he attended the public school, applied himself vigorously had a retentive memory, was a deep thinker, good reasoner and strong debator. He studied medicine under Dr. Peyton W. Henry at Paradise, attended medical lectures and was popular as a young physician. He went west at an early day and has practiced his profession as a leverage to the accumulation of a large fortune, being a large land owner and ranchman and when last heard from lived in Trinidad, Colorado.

NEWTON W. CHAPMAN

Newton W. Chapman was born at Paola, Orange county, Indiana about 1824, and came to Illinois with the family in 1827. After having studied medicine he commenced the practice of his profession at Paradise, where he was regarded as a doctor of more than ordinary ability and enjoyed a lucrative practice. He was made a Mason in Charleston Lodge, No. 35, in 1846, was a charter member of Wabash Lodge and was otherwise instrumental in organizing the Lodge May 23, 1854. He was first Senior Warden in 1854 and 1855, was elected Master in 1857. He demitted from Wabash Lodge in 1858 and became charter member and first Master of Mattoon Lodge, No 260, on its organization 1858. At the breaking out of the civil war he was assistant surgeon in the 54th Illinois Infantry. After the close of the war he retired to private life in Tuscola, Ill., where he resided at the time of his death several years ago.


COL. JAMES MONROE, 123rd Ill.

James Monroe was born about 1822, of Kentucky parentage. At the organization of Wabash Lodge, when Paradise was in its prime, he was a man about 33 years of age and engaged in the mercantile business at that point. He was made a Mason by Charleston Lodge, No. 35 in March 1855, and was admitted to membership in Wabash Lodge, December 27, 1856 and demitted therefrom December 17, 1858, joining Mattoon Lodge No. 260, which was organized that year and was perhaps a charter member of that Lodge. He served Wabash Lodge as Senior Warden in 1857 and as Master in 1858. After leaving Paradise in 1858, he engaged in the mercantile business in Mattoon.

He married Mary J. Cunningham, December 1, 1856 in Dry Grove. She was the daughter of James T. Cunningham, prominent farmer of Coles county and the member of the legislature at Vandalia, Ill., who gave Paradise its name.

At the breaking out of the civil war James Monroe tendered his services to his country and was chosen Colonel of the 123rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served with distinction. He was killed in the battle of Farmington, Tenn., Oct. 7, 1863. His remains were brought back to Illinois and buried at Dodge Grove cemetery, Mattoon.

He was a man of strong personality; had a host of friends and died regretted by all who knew him.

"Soldier rest they warfare o'er
Sleep the sleep that knows no waking,
Dream of battlefields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking."


WILLIS H. CLARK

Willis H. Clark was born in Owen county, Ky, July 27, 1822 and moved to Coles county, Ill., when about 18 years of age. He was made a Mason by Charleston Lodge, No. 35, some time about 1850 or 1852, and was a charter member of Wabash lodge, at its organization, May 23, 1854.

He married Sidney Margaret Apperson, December 24, 1845, and died August 5, 1854. Was buried with Masonic ceremonies at the old Camp Ground cemetery, and his funeral was the first ever conducted by Wabash Lodge. He was a prosperous young farmer, a devout and zealous member of the Methodist church and left a host of friends to mourn his early death.

J. FONROSE LAWSON, SR

 J.F. Lawson, Sr. was born in Hardin county, Ky., September 4, 1838 and came with his parents to Coles county, Illinois, about 1844. He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, January 28, 1861, being at that time about 22 years of age. He was married July 25, 1861 to Miss Martha Epperson and to them five children were born. He at first engage in the general merchandise business at Etna and did quite an extensive business. He was one of the first merchants as well as one of the early citizens of Etna, and at one time his store occupied the same site as now occupied by Wabash Lodge. After leaving Etna, he travelled for Hulman & Cox, of Terre Haute, then with Havens & Geddes, of Terre Haute, staying with them for over 20 years and is at present in business for himself in Mattoon.

He served Wabash Lodge, as Master in 1866 and 1867, as Senior Warden, in 1864, 1865 and 1870, as secretary in 1862 and 1863. He demitted from Wabash Lodge in February 1870 and affiliated with Mattoon Lodge, No. 260, which he also served as Master, and of which Lodge he is now a member. At one time he engaged in the mercantile business in Kansas, Illinois, and while located there, he transferred his membership to the lodge there and served that Lodge as Master also.

He has served Paradise township as Justice of the Peace, Supervisor and Town Clerk and in all the various positions of honor and trust he has held, he discharged his duty with fidelity and to the satisfaction of his employers, constituents and brethren. He is a man of friendly disposition, is a member of the Royal Arch and Knights Templar orders, is a man of wide acquaintance and highly respected. He has been a consistent Christian since early manhood, being a member of the Methodist church and lives the life of an exemplary member.

JOHN RANDOLPH APPERSON

John Randolph Apperson, one of the early Masters of Wabash Lodge, was born April 17, 1831, in the northeastern part of Paradise township, in what is commonly called Dry Grove. There he grew to manhood, attended school at the Dry Grove school house and was married April 15, 1851, to Miss Mary Hart, and to them two children were born.

He joined Wabash Lodge, June 23, 1855, served the Lodge as Secretary, 1856 and 1860, as Junior Deacon in 1857 as Master in 1859, 1861 and in all his association with the craft he envinced the true fraternal spirit and was much liked by his associates. In the trying times of 1861-1865, he tendered his services to his country and enlisted August 9, 1862, as first Sergeant, Company D, 123rd Ill Volunteer Infantry, and went to the front. Was wounded at the battle of Perryville from the effects of which he died October 17, 1862. His body was brought back and buried in the Dry Grove cemetery, near where he was born and raised. He was a man extremely popular both in the Lodge and out, and left a host of friends to mourn his early death.

PEYTON W. HENRY

Peyton W. Henry was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, No. 179, February 10, 1857, being at that time 26 years of age. He was born in Shelby county, Illinois, December 28, 1830, his parents having moved there from Culpepper county, Virginia, a few months previous. He was educated as a physician and practiced this profession until his death which occurred October 5, 1861. He was married in the spring of 1854 to Miss Ellen Donaldson of Cincinnati, Ohio, and to them were born two daughters, who were still living at his death. He was buried at Shelbyville, Illinois. He served Wabash Lodge as Junior Warden in 1858, Senior Warden, 1859 and master in 1860. He was the last Master to preside over the Lodge in the old mud house in Paradise, as the Lodge was moved to Etna while he was master. He was a consistent member of Christian church and was dearly beloved by all who knew him.

WILLIAM W. APPERSON

William W. Apperson was born March 19, 1834 in Dry Grove, Coles county, Illinois. Was married to Miss Barbara Ann Rhodes, and to them seven children were born. He resided on his farm in Dry Grove until 1882, when he moved with his family to Bloomington, Ill., and from there in the spring of 1883, he moved to Nebraska and a little more than a year later went to southwestern Kansas, and is now living at Newkirk, Oklahoma Territory.

He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, December 27, 1856 and served the Lodge as Master in 1863, 1864, 1865 and 1875, as Senior Warden in 1860, 1861, 1872; Senior Deacon, 1858, 1880 and 1881, as Secretary in 1867 and 1868. He demitted from Wabash Lodge, November 9, 1883, when he moved away from the state. He always took an active interest in public affairs, and after leaving Illinois, acquired quite a little political reputation. He passed through the exciting time of southwestern Kansas in the eighties, when county seat wars were common and was regarded as an orator of more than local fame. He served as U.S. Consul at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1891, 1892 and while there had yellow fever which came near costing him his life.

He now lives at Newkirk, Oklahoma Territory, and in spite of the numerous hardships through which he has passed and his 70 years, he is hale and hearty as the average man 25 years his junior.

GEORGE W. CROSS


George W. Cross was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, May 8, 1857 and was at that time 22 years old. He was a native of Coles County, Illinois, and was born July 19, 1834. He was an honorable and upright man, serving the public with fidelity in various capacities such as deputy sheriff, school treasurer, justice of the peace and was the administrator of several estates, and to his credit not a breath of scandal ever came against any of his private or public acts. He served Wabash Lodge as Master in 1868, 1870 and 1871; as Senior Warden, in 1866 and 1867, as Senior Deacon in 1860. He demitted from Wabash Lodge, February 23, 1872 and affiliated with Neoga Lodge, No. 279.

He was married February 15, 1866 to Sarah Jane Stewart and left no living children. He was never a member of any church, but was a believer in the doctrines of the primitive Baptists and died in that faith, March 29, 1899, at the age of 64 years and was buried with Masonic ceremonies by Neoga Lodge, No 279 at the Baptist cemetery about 4 miles northwest of Neoga, Illinois.

A.Y. HART, Sr.


A.Y. Hart, Sr. was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, May 17, 1861, being at that time 27 years old. He enlisted as a soldier in Company B, 21 Illinois Infantry (General Grant's old regiment) May 9, 1861, and served with honor to himself and his country. He was in the various battles in which that historic regiment participated, and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant, September 17, 1864, at Atlanta, Georgia. He served Wabash Lodge as master in 1874 and 1886; as Senior Deacon in 1876, 1877, 1883, 1884 and 1885; as Chaplain in 1880; as Tyler, 1888. He demitted from Wabash Lodge June 6, 1865, was admitted as a member again in 1872, and again demitted in 1891. He affiliated at one time with Miles Hart Lodge and served that Lodge as Master; was a Royal Arch Mason. He was born in Dry Grove, Coles County, Illinois, August 31, 1833, and has been a resident of this county ever since.

He was married Dec. 2, 1854 to a Miss Cynthia Capps and they have five living children and several grand-children who are the pride and joy of their declining years. He is at present a resident of Mattoon, Illinois, and is Justice of the Peace and in connection therewith conducts a collection agency. He has served Paradise Township in various capacities. He has been a member of the Methodist church since early manhood, being now about 71 years of age.

JOSEPH CAVINS


Joseph Cavins was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, September 9, 1864, being at that time 25 years old and is still a member of that Lodge. He was born in Marion county, Ohio, January 24, 1838, moved with his parents to Dry Grove, Coles county, Ill., in 1840, and has been a continuous resident of the county ever since. He served Wabash Lodge, as Master in 1872, 1880, 1885 and 1896; as Senior Warden in 1871; Junior Warden, in 1874; Secretary, 1869 and 1893; Senior Deacon, in 1870, 1882, 1879, 1889, and 1891; Chaplain in 1888, 1893, 1899, 1901, 1902, 1903; Marshal, in 1881 and 1900; Steward in 1865 and 1868.

He has been twice married and has nine living children, is made happy in his old age by several grand-children. He has lived in Dry Grove, Etna and is at present a resident of Mattoon. In every community where he has lived, he has been a public spirited and religious man, filling various township offices with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. He has been twice elected supervisor of Paradise township, served 7 years as school treasurer. Has also served as Justice of the Peace, assistant supervisor and various other positions of trust. He is an active member of the Methodist church having served as treasurer at the building of the Dry Grove Methodist church, and of the recently constructed Methodist church of Mattoon. In all of these capacities not a breath of scandal has been against him. He was a school teacher in his early manhood, and taught nine terms of school in Dry Grove district, the district in which he was raised. He was a soldier in the civil war and was Co. C., 1st Ill. cavalry. He is a Royal Arch Mason,and the oldest affiliated member of Wabash Lodge.

ENOCH B. HART


Enoch B. Hart was born in Dry Grove, Coles county, August 31, 1833. Grew to manhood in this locality and married Miss Mary Treace about 1848 or 1850. He joined Wabash Lodge, No. 179, in July 1862 and served as Master in 1876, Senior Warden, 1868, 1869, Junior Warden 1867 and 1872, Senior Deacon, 1878.

He served his country in the trying times of 1861, 1865 as Corporal, Company D, 123rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, enlisting August 9, 1862, and was mustered out on June 28, 1865, and during this time was in the various battles in which this regiment participated. He died November 22, 1882, and was buried at the old Camp Ground cemetery, with Masonic honors.

R.B. TATE


R.B. Tate was born in Coles County, Illinois, July 25, 1833, and remained a resident of the county until his death, nearly 57 years later. He was a man of strong personality and a local Methodist minister of some fame. Though always ready to assist in the work of the church, he was by occupation a farmer. He served Paradise township in various offices chiefly supervisor, which office he held several terms and such was his popularity that he could generally get any office in the township he wanted.

He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge, June 26, 1858, and served Wabash Lodge as Master, 1869, 1873, 1877, 1882, 1883 and 1884. As Secretary, 1859 and 1872, as Chaplain, '75, '76' '78, '79, 1881, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890. He was twice married and left two children. He died July 18, 1890, and was buried at the Paradise cemetery. He had a great many friends and was mourned by all who knew him.


J.F. WOOLDRIGE


J. F. Wooldridge was born March 29, 1839, in Macoupin county, Ill., and moved with his parents to Kentucky in 1841- and again to Illinois in 1860, locating on a farm near the village of Paradise. He was married December 29, 1858 to Miss Rebecca Newton and has four living children and several grand-children to comfort him in his declining years.

He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge in August, 1862, serving the Lodge as Master in 1889, Senior Warden in 1881, Junior Deacon 1868, as treasurer 1869, 1873 and 1878, Steward 1875, as Chaplain 1886, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895,1896, 1897, 1900, 1901. Has been a member of Wabash Lodge for over 40 years.

In the stormy times of 1861, 1865, he enlisted in Company D, 123rd volunteer Infantry in August 1862, and was honorably discharged July 5, 1865. Has been a continuous resident of Coles county since 1860 and is at present a resident of Mattoon.

D. Mc L. JOHNSON


D. McL. Johnson, was born April 13, 1822 in Steward county, Tennessee, and moved to Kentucky in 1856 or 1857, and from there to Coles county, Illinois in 1864, locating on a farm near the village of Paradise. He married Miss Martha J. Wilson early in life and to them were born several children.

He belonged to Masonic order for over 52 years and Wabash Lodge over 35 years, having been made a Mason in 1850 or 1851 and affiliated with Wabash Lodge in April 1867. He was also a Royal Arch Mason in good standing at the time of his death. He served Wabash Lodge as Master in 1881 and again in 1895, as Senior Warden 1874 and 1880. He died quite suddenly March 13, 1903, and was buried with Masonic ceremonies by Wabash Lodge at the old Camp Ground Cemetery northeast of Paradise.

B.H. LAWSON


B.H. Lawson was born April 4, 1851, one mile west of Etna, Illinois, on what is now known as the Jacob Larue farm. He was married October 28, 1875 to Mary C. Kelley and to them were born six (?can't read) children. He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge No. 179, Oct. 3rd, 1873, and though still a comparatively young man, he enjoys the distinction of having served this Lodge as Master the longest of any Master since the organization of the Lodge. He served as Master 1878, 1879, 1888, 1892, 1898, 1899, 1900 and 1902. As Junior Warden 1876. As Secretary 1875, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883 and 1884. As Senior Deacon 1887 and 1890. He now resides on his farm one and one half miles south of Etna. He owns something over 400 acres of fine farming land all in a high state of cultivation. He has served the public as Township Collector, and Highway Commissioner several terms. Is public spirited and takes a deep interest in affairs around him. His interest in masonry has never flagged and he is now a Royal Arch Mason and takes a deep interest in the work of that Lodge also.

J.P. DECKARD

J.P. Deckard was born December 6, 1856, in Coles County, Illinois, and was married November 17, 1876. He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge in 1897, as Junior Warden in 1882, as Junior Deacon in 1884 and 1901. He was educated as a physician and has practiced his chosen profession since his graduation, being located at Paradise, Illinois from the first and has a practice in that vicinity.

W.C. ABELL

W.C. Abell was born October 14, 1870 in Coles County, Illinois, and has been a resident of that county ever since. He was made a Mason by Miles Hart Lodge, No. 595, at Gays, Illinois. He demitted from that Lodge in May 1899 and affiliated with Wabash Lodge in June of same year. He served Wabash Lodge as Senior Warden in 1900 and as Master in 1901 and 1903. He was married to Miss Jennie Major in September, 1896. By occupation he is a farmer, owns a fine farm in Mattoon Township, is prosperous and well esteemed by those who know him

CLEMME GOAR



Clemme Goar was born in Frankfort county, Ky., September 15, 1796. Was united in marriage to Elizabeth Hart of Hardin county, Ky., in the year 1815. He moved to Park county, Ind., during the year 1821, where he resided sixteen years, from thence he moved to Paradise, Coles county, Illinois. Brother Goar was twice married and by first union were born 10 children, seven boys and three girls. He moved from his farm in Dry Grove to Mattoon early in the history of this city and engaged in the mercantile business with A.Y. Ballard. He built several substantial houses and was active in business as well as church and social life while remaining in Mattoon. He removed to Jacksonville, Ill., in 1862, from thence to Winchester, Scott county, Ill., where he died April 22, 1890, being at the time of death 93 years, 7 months and 7 days old.

Uncle Clemme, as he was familiarly known in the community, and the subject of this sketch was widely known, a Methodist preacher, was active in church work, a man of strong personality. Firm in his conviction of right and wrong, he left his impress in shaping the moral, religious and political, trend on the community of those early times. He wrought in many fields of labor and usefulness. Industrious, energetic coupled with an iron physique he suffered no man to go beyond him in the labor of those times.

On the Sabbath, he was in the log school house preaching, for there were no churches there. On the week day he was in the field or in the timber with broad axe in hand constructing and building houses. There is frequent reference to the subject of this sketch in the first pages of this book. He and Miles W. Hart built the first steam mill in this part of the county in 1837. The town of Paradise was surveyed for Clemme Goar and Miles W. Hart in the spring of 1837. Brother Goar's Masonic record in Wabash lodge is brief; made a Master Mason August 7, 1857, demitted Oct. 1, '58. The mud house in Paradise was the first home of Wabash lodge and was built for Clemme Goar in 1837.

S.S. MAJOR


S.S. Major was born in Martinsville, Indiana, June 7, 1842, and moved to Illinois in October 1865, locating on a farm in Paradise township and he has remained a citizen of Coles county ever since, being at present a resident of Mattoon. He was married in 1869 to Miss Mary E. Diehl and to them were born 8 children. He joined Wabash Lodge No. 179, May 25, 1877, and served the Lodge as master in 1887, as Senior Warden in 1886, as Junior Warden 1878, 1898, 1899, as Senior Deacon in 1896, as Junior Deacon in 1889 and as Steward in 1880, 1890, 1892, 1893, 1897, 1900, and 1901.

He is a successful manager of his business affairs and is quite a prosperous farmer, owning a large tract of fine farming land in Paradise township, all in a high state of cultivation and while now living the life of a retired farmer takes a deep interest in the affairs around him. He has served Paradise township in various capacities always filling the positions with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public.

He was a soldier in the Civil war serving his country as a member of Co. H, 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, enlisting August, 1862,and was mustered out July 1865. He is a member of the Methodist church, a man of sterling worth and well liked by all who know him.


HARRY GARDNER

Harry Gardner was born and raised on a farm in Mattoon Township, was born February 28, 1860. Joined Wabash Lodge, May 6, 1887. He served the Lodge as Senior Deacon 1888, Senior Warden 1889, Master 1890. He was first a school teacher by occupation, and growing tired of that, quit it and engaged in the book and stationery business but for the last 13 years has been a traveling salesman in the interest of a tannery and has traveled over the greater portion of the United States in the interest of his employers. He is still fond of rural life and loves to spend all his spare time on a fruit farm he owns in Southern Illinois. He has never held nor sought to hold public office. He is devoted to the principles of Masonry and is a member of the Royal Arch and is a Knight Templar.


D.C. GANNAWAY

D.C. Ganaway (sic) was born in Paradise, Coles county, Illinois, September 6, 1849. Joined Wabash Lodge No. 179, May 9, 1873, being at that time 23 years of age. He has served Wabash Lodge as Junior Deacon 1874, as Secretary in 1876 as Junior Warden in 1877, as Senior Warden in 1878, as Master in 1891, as Senior Deacon 1893, as Secretary in 1876, 1894 and 1895. He demitted from Wabash Lodge April 13, 1900 and affiliated with Charleston Lodge No. 35. He was married November 1, '77 to Miss Lyda Campbell and to them were born four children. He has served Paradise Township twice as Supervisor and Coles county as Treasurer. He is at present a resident of Charleston. He is a consistent Christian and a member of the Methodist church.


A.L. GREEN

A.L. Green, the 20th Master of Wabash Lodge, was born in Washington county, east Tennessee, March 17, 1852, and at this writing is 52 years old. Moved to Columbus, Bartholomew county, Indiana, November 1865,and from there to Dry Grove, Coles county, Illinois, in November 1873. He was born and raised on a farm and has lived on a farm much of his life and knew what it was to brush the drops of honest sweat from his brow. His education was not neglected however. He had the advantage of a common school education which he added to by careful reading and close application and doing all he undertook with neatness and accuracy. He is at present a bookkeeper living in Mattoon. He has never married. He made his home with his uncle, A.B. Green, on a farm in Dry Grove for a number of years, but on the death of the latter he with the family moved to Mattoon where he now resides. He joined Wabash Lodge in November 1875 and has served the Lodge as Secretary for 10 years which is probably the longest time any member ever filled that important office. Served as Junior Warden in 1880, Senior Warden in 1883 and as Master in 1893 and 1894 as Secretary in 1878, 1879, 1885, 1886, 1887, 18888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892 and as Steward in 1876 and 1878.

He has served Paradise Township some 8 or 10 years as Town Clerk, was also elected and served as Justice of the Peace, was faithful in his duties which he discharged with honor to himself and satisfaction to the public.

WILLIAM M. DECKARD

William M. Deckard, the present master of Wabash Lodge was born in Paradise Township, Coles County, Illinois, June 24, 1859, and was married to Ellza H. Taylor February 26, 1881, and to them were born three children. He had the misfortune to lose the wife of his youth leaving his home desolate and his children without a mother, and he was married a second time September 8, 1898 to Mrs. Clara F. Baker and to them has been born one child. His children now are two sons and two daughters. He was made a Mason by Wabash Lodge January 4, 1901, and served Wabash Lodge as Senior Deacon in 1902, Senior Warden 1903 and as Master in 1904 having been elected Master in 3 years from the time he was made a Mason. He is also serving Wabash Lodge as Master in the 50th year of its existence.

Of public service he has served Paradise township as Collector and Assessor, filling these offices with credit to himself and the satisfaction of the public. By occupation he is a farmer owns a fine farm in Paradise township on which he resides. He has been a resident of this township almost continuously since his birth. He is a consistent Christian and has been a member of the Methodist church for 28 years.


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