E. S. Andrus
E. S. Andrus, farmer, P. O. Lemont, Cook County, was born in this county December 27, 1835, and was probably the first white child born in what is now Downer's Grove Township. He was married, in 1862, to Apthia, a daughter of Andrew and Phoebe (Daily) McMillan, residents of this township and parents of nine children. Mr. and Mrs. Andrus are the parents of four children, namely, Frankie M., Albert R., Marvin P., and Phoebe M. He settled on his present farm of fifty acres in 1867, and has made good improvements. His father, Thomas Andrus, was among the first settlers of Chicago, having come there about 1833; he was born in Vermont January 26, 1801, and is a son of Lincoln and Amy (Short) Andrus, natives of Massachusetts. Thomas was married, in 1823, to Philena Fox, by whom he was given two children, viz., Mary (Mrs. Moses Walton), Elizabeth (Mrs. Lorenzo Walton). Mrs. Andrus died and Thomas was married, March 23, 1835, to Melissa A., daughter of John and Zerna (Sanford) Snow. After going to Chicago, he worked at carpentering, and drove the first pile in the Chicago River. In 1835, he settled on eighty acres of land, a part of his present farm of 130 acres. He kept a hotel in a log cabin, and was Postmaster for fourteen years. Mr. Andrus began breaking the wild prairie with an ox team ad a plow with a wooden mold-board. He has been Justice of the Peace, County Commissioner, Town Clerk, and Assessor. He assessed the township in 1870. He and family are stanch Republicans. Thomas cast his first vote for Jackson. The companion of Mr. Thomas is yet with him, yet very feeble. She was married, prior to that with him, to Dwight Bartlett, the result being one child, Horace D, a farmer in California. (source: Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin and Co., 1882, p 79 - Submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Many of the early settlers of Downer's Grove were purchasers both of Government and Canal lands.
Very few of them were land claimants, but bona fide purchasers from the first. Mr. Downer, whose history if told in connection with the village of Downer's Grove, was the first settler of this town. Many other pioneers of this town are also mentioned in connection with the history of its villages, but one of them, who had no participation in village building, deserves a page on account of his experiences, which are so representative of life here in the early day. This was Thomas Andrus, born in Rutland County, Vt., from whence he inherited those inflexible traits of character that are almost certain to make a man pull through difficulties. He was born in 1801; came to Chicago December 1, 1833; couldn't find anything to do, and started back toward sunrise on foot, but before he had arrived to the Calumet, a man hired him to drive an ox team. This occupation lasted till the next year, 1834, when a venturesome man determined to erect a three-story hotel on the northwest corner of Lake and Dearborn street, and carpenters were wanted. Of course he was a carpenter; he was a Yankee, and that meant a carpenter just then. The next winter it might have meant a pedagogue, but whatever it means it always means the best of the kind wanted.
Mr. Andrus went to work and filled the bill satisfactorily, and there is evidence that he was above par in the estimation of his employer; for when the frame of his building was up, Mr. Andrus suggested to him to call his magnificent three-story hotel the Tremont House, after the still celebrated house of that name in Boston. His advice was taken, and the name has been transmitted to the third generation of Tremont Houses; the present one on the corner diagonally opposite where the first was built in 1834, being the third in succession, the second one having been burned in the great fire of 1871. The first one had a billiard table in the third story, which then overlooked the whole one and two-story town. Dearborn street was then the great thoroughfare to the North Side, to which it was connected by a draw-bridge that lifted perpendicularly by means of windlasses, but when the next bridge came to be built, the Clark streeters subscribed the most and won the prize, for money then "made the mare go" as well as now, and it made the bridge go.
Now, let us take Mr. Andrus through one more old way-mark in Chicago before he goes to settle. It is this: He assisted in driving the piles for the foundation of John H. Kinzie's warehouse in 1834, the first ever built in Chicago, and saw the first lot of wheat shipped from it that ever went East from the place. In the autumn of the same year, Mr. Andrus returned to Vermont, and the following spring (1835), came back with his wife and three children, arriving at Chicago in June, and in July settled where he now lives, on Section 6, Town 37, Range 11.
After Mr. Andrus had been settled six weeks, an election was held for Justice of the Peace, and he was one of the candidates. He came within one vote of being elected, but his rival having three votes while he had but two. Mr. Harris, the fortunate wire-puller, was duly sworn in, but he had to go to Chicago where folks swore to be thus dubbed. The next term Mr. Andrus ran against the same man for the same office and was elected, and could have retained the office a second term had not his wife interfered. This tidy Vermont girl saw more tobacco juice than profit in it (for the trials were held in her parlor), and she requested her husband to decline a renomination. His acquiescence was no mean example in favor of woman's rights. The first schools of the place, says Mr. Andrus, were taught in discarded private houses, whose owners had built better ones, and Miss Nancy Stanley was the first teacher. She afterward married Mr. Bush, and subsequently Mr. Dryer for her second husband.
Mr. Andrus was appointed the first Postmaster of Cass Post Office, which was organized in 1834, and held the position fifteen years, during which time 5 cents was reported to him as an error in his account.
Edgar S., the fourth child of the family, was born after their settlement where they now are, and was the first white birth of this town. He is now one of its residents. (source: excerpted from Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin and Co., 1882; pp 195-196. Thomas Andrus was buried June 1888 in Cass-Darien Cemetery in Darien, DuPage County, Illinois (source: Cass Cemetery - Submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Wells Howard Blodgett
BLODGETT, Wells Howard, lawyer; born, Downer's Grove, Du Page Co., Illinois, Jan. 29, 1839; son of Israel P. and Avis Blodgett; educated at Illinois Institute (now Wheaton College), Wheaton, ILL.; served in Union Army in Civil War, 1861-65; received congressional medal of honor for gallant and meritorious service in 1862, and in July, 1865, was mustered out as colonel of the 48th Regiment of Missouri Volunteers; married, Waukegan, ILL., July, 1865, Emma Dickson; children: Margaret, Henry and Edith. Studied law previous to Civil War and was admitted to bar in 1861; resumed practice after war and has continued ever since; member Missouri House of Representatives, 1866-68, and of State Senate, 1868-72; assistant attorney, 1873-74, and general attorney, 1874-79, St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern R. R.; general solicitor of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Ky., 1879-84; general counsel for the receivers, Wabash Lines, 1884-89; general solicitor, 1889-1900, vice president and general counsel, 1900-1911, general counsel for receivers since Dec. 11, 1911, Wabash R. R. Member St. Louis Bar Association. Member of Blair Post No. 1, G. A. R., and Missouri Commandery Loyal Legion. Clubs: Mercantile, Noonday. Office: R. 1110, 706 Chestnut St. Residence: 4449 W. Pine Street. (Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)
William Davey, farmer, P. O. Lemont, Cook County, was born in England March 7, 1825. His parents, John and Catherine (Pomplin) Davey, came to New York in 1855, thence to Downer's Grove in 1858, where they farmed until 1868, when they went to Iowa, where his mother died September 13, 1881; his father still survives; their children were ten in number, seven living. Mr. Davey attended school in Europe, and was a policeman two years in London. He came to New York in 1852, and worked on a farm at $130 per year. In 1857, he came to Illinois and rented land of Benjamin Prentiss. He married, in 1858, Mary A. Dodge. Her parents, Sceva and Ruhama, came her single; her father died in 1870, and her mother in 1860; they had eleven children. Mr. and Mrs. Davey are the parents of nine children--Carrie B., who graduated at Downer's Grove High School, and is among the leading teachers of the county; Alice C., Mary E., George W., John S., Edward, Charlie, Laura and Elvira. Mr. Davey has been School Director. He had three brothers in the late war, who returned uninjured. He has twenty-three acres of fine timber, worth about $100 per acre, which has been made by his own labor; he is at present farming on John Oldfield's farm. Himself, wife and daughter, Carrie B., are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Cass. (Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin, 1882. pp 92-93 - Submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Capt. Robert Dixon
Hon. Robert Dixon
Lucius B. Fancher
Lucius B. Fancher, county superintendent of schools in Ramsey County, whose home is in Devils Lake, is making an enviable record as one of the foremost educators of the state. He is thorough, systematic, and well educated, and is an earnest worker for the advancement of the public school system of North Dakota. Our subject was born in Du Page County, Illinois, August 3, 1860, and was reared on a farm, and removed with his parents to Martin county, Minnesota, when he was four years of age, and when ten years of age settled in Fairmont, where the father moved owing to his election as clerk of the district court of Martin County. There our subject grew to manhood and received a liberal education and attended the Mankato State Normal, where he took the advanced course and graduated in 1879, and also took special courses in different lines and a business course in Minneapolis. After graduating from the State Normal he was employed as deputy auditor of Martin County, and was thus engaged about a year and a half, and then followed various vocations until he engaged in teaching as a profession. He was principal of the schools at Jackson and at Sherburn, Minnesota, and went to Mayville, North Dakota, in the fall of 1885 and assumed charge of the city schools and remained three years in that capacity, and in the fall of 1888 was elected superintendent of the city schools at Devils Lake, and was also principal of the high school. He held the position until the close of the school year in 1894, when he resigned and was elected county superintendent of schools in Ramsey county. He did very efficient work and was re-elected in 1896 and again in 1898 and is now serving his third term in that office. Our subject was married near Mankato, Minnesota, to Miss Amelia A. Bradley, a native of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Fancher are the parents of three children, named as follows: Harlan R., Hazel and Carroll E. For several years Mr. Fancher was secretary of the Young Alen's Christian Association, at Devils Lake, and he was one of the incorporators of the Devils Lake Chautauqua Association, and served as its first corresponding secretary, and was a member of the committee that selected the beautiful grounds of that now famous summer resort. He is prominent in state educational work and enjoys the confidence and esteem of the people among whom he labors. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by B.Z.]
WESLEY FELL, farmer. P.O. Gower, was born in Cass, this county, October 24, 1861; son of Joshua and Emeline (Hewitt) Fell. His mother was born February 29, 1830, and is the daughter of Orsemus and Ida (Spaulding) Hewitt, natives of Ohio; she was one of nine children, six of whom are living. Mrs. Fell's mother was a school-teacher in her younger days, and attained her knowledge of arithmetic by ciphering on birch bark. She was also a very popular nurse among the sick. The grandfather, Spaulding, was a teacher of vocal music. The father of our subject is a brother of Mrs. Elijah Smart, whose sketch is in this work. Mrs. Fell had, by her marriage with Joshua fell, nine children, five of whom are living, viz., Alson, who is married to Susan Bonner, and is a farmer in Jasper County, Ind.; Anna; Carrie; Edgar, who is with his brother in Indiana; and Wesley, our subject, who attends to the old homestead. The farm now consists of eighty acres of well-improved land. The boys are as energetic a class of young men as can be found, and are fast accumulating means. Mrs. Fell, the mother of Wesley Fell, is a faithful member of the Methodist Church, in which denomination the children are deeply interested. (source: Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin, 1882, p 96 - Submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Bruce A. Griggs
BRUCE A. GRIGGS, manager of the C.&O. Steamboat Company, Wenatchee, Chelan county, (WA) was born at Grand Forks, North Dakota, March 30, 1874. His father, Alexander Griggs, was a native of Wisconsin, of Scotch ancestry. At the age of fifteen years he began a steamboat career on the Mississippi river, and was engaged in this line of business for many years. In 1891 he came to Wenatchee and built the boats, W.H. Pringle, Selkirk, and Gerome, and purchased others. These boats he ran up to the period of his death, January 25, 1903. The mother, Hattie T. (Strong) Griggs, is a native of Connecticut, and now resides at Wenatchee. Alexander Griggs, the father, was for a time in partnership with James J. Hill, in the east, the firm name being Hill & Griggs.
Our subject was reared and educated in North Dakota, graduating from the high school and the North Dakota University, at Grand Forks. Since coming to Wenatchee he has been engaged in the steamboat business exclusively, and has held master's and pilot's papers since 1898. He has three brothers, Clifford C., James J. H., and Ansel, and three sisters, Lois A. Pringle, Mary J., and Esther M. Seaman.
At Hinsdale, Illinois, January 16, 1896, our subject was united in marriage to Rose E. Bassett, a native of North Dakota. Her father is a merchant of Brewster, Washington. Her mother, Alice (Goodrich) Bassett, is dead. Mrs. Griggs has one brother, John E., living at Brewster. Her child, Alexander, is aged five years. Both herself and husband are members of the Episcopal Church. Mrs. Griggs is a highly accomplished lady, having been educated at the University of North Dakota, and is a cultured performer on a number of musical instruments. Mr. Griggs' political affiliations are confined to neither one of the dominant parties, he being an Independent. He is a member of Valley Lodge, No. 116, K.P., and the Commercial Club. [SOURCE: "An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington"; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 - Tr. by Tammie Rudder]
John Mackinder, retired farmer, P. O. Hinsdale, is a native of England, born July 26, 1813; son of John and Ann (Blackburn) Mackinder, who wee the parents of seven children --Mary (Mrs. William Banks), John, Elizabeth (Mrs. George Taylor), Richard, Ann, Joseph and Edward. His parents were members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Mackinder received a limited education, and began life working on a farm; he came to Chicago, Ill., in 1851, thence to Fullersburg, this county, where he bought eighty acres of land, which, after five years, he sold out and bought 100 acres in Cass, where he remained several years, and then invested in property in Fullersburg, where he has since resided. In 1833, he married Lydia, daughter of John and Lydia Cross, natives of England; from this union eight children have been born--Mary A. (Mrs. John Fuller), Elizabeth (deceased), Ellen (Mrs. Morrell Fuller), Jane (Mrs. Cyrus Fetterman), John, Edward (deceased), Emma (deceased) and Susan (Mrs. Robert Chilvers). Mrs. Mackinder died September 7, 187-, since which time, Mr. Mackinder has resided with Mr. Morrell Fuller; he is a Republican and is connected with the Universalist Church. Mr. Fuller, with whom he resides, is a plasterer in Chicago, and served three years in Company B, One Hundred and Fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry as Drum Major; he was married in 1865, and has one child---Nellie. (Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co, 1882, p 106 - Submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Eliza F. Smart
MRS. ELIZA F. SMART, farmer, P.O. Cass. Elisha Smart, husband of Mrs. Eliza F. Smart, was born in England February 10, 1816. His parents, Joseph and Mary (Brice) Smart, natives of England, came to America in 1825 settled in Monroe County, N.Y., where their thirteen children grew up, and came here in 1844. Mr. Smart worked by the year at $35; spent a few months at the cooper's trade, and, at the age of twenty, bought a farm of 100 acres in New York. He married, in 1835, Eliza, daughter of Jsohua and Mary (Camach) Fell. Her father died September 25, 1846, and her mother March 24, 1861; they were Methodists. Mr. Smart remained three years on his farm in New York, then sold out and came to Illinois, taking four weeks en route, and settled on fifty acres of land. Mr. and Mrs. Smart united with the Methodist Episcopal Curch in 1839, Mrs. Smart being the oldest member of that church now at this place. In 1853, Mr. Smart went to the California gold fields, where he remained about seven years, and was somewhat successful. Mrs. Smart bought seventy acres of land, the present farm, while her husband was in California, which his earnings and the produce of the farm soon placed clear of debt. Eight children were born to them, all living--Mary, Mrs. George Price; Wesley, married Lucy Ahle; Caroline, Mrs. Thomas Leonard; Fannie E., Mrs. Amenzo Gilbert; Jerome, married Lucy Ahle; Cecilia, Mrs. Peter Warden; Ann M., Mrs. John Warden; and Josephine, Mrs. Martin Madden. Wesley was in Company B, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, three years. (source: Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin, 1882, p 117 - submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
George E Smart
G. E. Smart, farmer, P.O. Lemont, Cook County, a brother of S. R. Smart. whose sketch appears elsewhere, and was born October 7, 1847, in this township. He attended school as much as was convenient, and worked on his father's farm. He married, December 25, 1877, Esther, daughter of John and Louisa Hall. Her parents came here in 1870; her father died March 27, 1882; of their twelve children, three are living, viz., Thomas H., Eliza and Esther M. Mr. and Mrs. Smart have two children--Kittie L., born June 20, 1879; and Jennie M., born June 20, 1881. They have 138 acres of well-improved land. Mrs. Smart was born January 2, 1854; she is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Cass. Mr. Smart is very successful in farming. (source: Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin, 1882, p 118 - submitted by Ida Maack Recu]
Farmer, P.O. Cass, was born December 12, 1841, in the village of Cass, this county. His father, William, was born in 1808, in Bedfordshire, England, and his mother, Mary (Fell) Smart, was born July 4, 1817, in Lincolnshire, England. They were both single when they came to America, and were married in 1839, and from this union five children were born, viz., S. R., William H,, George E., Albert and Mary E. Subjects father settled in this county, in what is now Cass, and died December 26, 1876; his wife, subject's mother, lives with her son Henry, and is hale and hearty. Subject received his education in the common schools, and, when eighteen years old, went to New York on a visit; while there, attended an academy at Rushford, N.Y., and, on his return home, resumed farming. At the age of twenty-two, he rented land of his father and began farming for himself. He married March 4, 1868, Editha, daughter of Welcome D. and Sarah (Spaulding) Morton, natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively, now residents of Vinton, Iowa, and parents of nine children, three living, viz., Editha (Mrs. Smart), Denison and Lucy. Mrs. Smart was born in this county March 3, 1847. She and her husband are the parents of four children, viz., Blanche, born March 24, 1870, in Illinois; Ida, born May 12, 1872, in Jefferson County, Iowa; Gerrit S., born February 13, 1874, in Jefferson County, Iowa, died February 12, 1880, with scarlet fever; William D., born October 18, 1876, in Iowa. In 1869, Mr. Smart bought a farm in Jefferson County, Iowa, and in the spring of 1870 removed to that State, where he remained until 1876, when he returned to the old homestead. While in Iowa, Mr. Smart was very successful, having secured two fine farms and improved them, making them worth about $6,000. A railroad is now in progress which will make the farms very valuable. One farm has a fine brick house and all necessary buildings. The other farm has new frame buildings, of first-class material. This amount of valuable property has been obtained by his own labors. While in Iowa, Mr. Smart bought cattle at Chicago and fed them on his farm. He is making a specialty of fine cattle. He has 180 acres under very fine improvement, where he now resides, in Section 33. Himself and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Cass, in which he is Steward; they attend Sunday school. (source: Blanchard, Rufus. History of DuPage County, IL. Chicago: O.L. Baskin, 1882, pp 117-118 - submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Fred Henry Volberding
Fred Henry Volberding, the leading merchant of Bensenville, Du Page County, Ill., comes of the good, old sturdy German stock which has been so materially responsible for the development of this part of the State. He was born on his father's farm, December 29, 1861, being a son of Fred Henry Volberding, Sr., born in the village of Lutter, Hanover, Germany, April 18, 1828, son of Henry Volberding, Sr., who founded the family in America, being a pioneer of Du Page County. Henry Volberding was born also in Lutter, where he became a farmer, and there all his children were born, they being: Frederick Henry, Sophia, Henriette, Dorothy and Louis.
As his children grew up, Henry Volberding recognized the necessity for making some change that would bring within their reach better opportunities for advancement, so in 1845 he came to the United States, sailing from Hamburg, Germany, and arriving at New Orleans. From this city he made his way to Addison Township, Du Page County, coming via the Mississippi river. He entered land to the amount of 165 acres in the township of his choice, and was the original settler on the property. Immediately he began improving it, but the change and hard labor following the long trip resulted in his death a few years after his arrival. He was one of the charter members of the old Lutheran Church in Addison Township, and a most worthy and excellent man.
Frederick Henry Volberding followed his father a year later, arriving here in 1846, then being a young man eighteen years old, well educated in his won language. He settled on the farm his father had entered, and later married Louisa Struenkel, born in Germany. These two spent their lives on this farm. They made many improvements, erecting good, substantial buildings and developing the land into a high state of production. In addition to the original property, they owned eighty acres in Bloomingdale Township and 370 acres in Hanover Township in Cook County, as well as heavily timbered land in the latter county. Their industry and thrift resulted in the accumulation of a substantial fortune and they died wealthy. Their children were: Sophia, Amelia, Mary, Louisa, who died when twenty-one years old, and Fred Henry. Mr. Volberding died on the farm February 23, 1883 his wife having passed away in 1872. In politics he was a Republican and was proud of the fact that he voted for Abraham Lincoln.
Fred Henry Volberding was brought up in the healthy atmosphere of the farm, where he learned the duties pertaining to an agricultural life, attending school until he was nineteen years old. When he was twenty-one years of age he married in Leyden Township, Cook County, on April 11, 1883, a daughter of Henry and Minnie (Bunge) Dierking, who settled after their marriage in Du Page County. Mr. and Mrs. Volberding lived on the Volberding homestead of 165 acres until their removal to Bensenville in 1893. Here they had a pleasant home farm, but when they located in the village they embarked in a mercantile business, and had more opportunity to give to social matters. Mr. Volberding is a man of exceptional business ability, and has managed his establishment in such a manner as to win continued custom and his prosperous career has been very gratifying not only to himself but his fellow townsmen who take pride in the success of village institutions. Mr. and Mrs. Volberding are the parents of the following children: Amanda, born February 19, 1884, married A. H. Bauck, an engraver in Chicago, Harry H., born January 10, 1891; Rosa, born April 18, 1896; Leroy, born September 30, 1899; Frederick, born September 2, 1902; Esther, born September 26, 1904.
The political convictions of Mr. Volberding make him a strong Republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodman, He has had a successful career, and his straight-forward course has won for him the confidence and good will of his neighbors and fellow-citizens. Although a resident of Bensenville, Mr. Volberding retains the family farm, which he cherishes as the homestead of Volberdings and looks upon it as a monument to the hard work of his forebears. (source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1913. - submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
The Smart family was one of the earliest in Du Page county, and its members have always represented the best interests of any community where they have lived. In 1838 Elisha Smart brought his wife and one young son, William, from Cattaraugus county, N.Y., to Illinois, being accompanied by his wife's father, Joseph Fell. He then had no definite location in mind, and after landing at Chicago looked for work, and was employed by William B. Ogden, who sent him to Du Page county and set him to work making rails. The family began housekeeping in a little log house and he and his father-in-law made good wages splitting rails for Mr. Ogden for $3 per hundred, and Mr. Smart was able to purchase land at $2.50 per acre. Mr. Fell also brought his family the neat year, purchased a farm, and died on it at the age of fifty-four years. Mr. Smart was often employed at teaming and hauled goods from Chicago for a local merchant, among other things supplying meat to builders of the Illinois and Michigan canal two and a half miles distant. He became interested in various enterprises and always prospered, being an energetic worker and an excellent business manager.
In 1853 he went overland to California in company with L. B. Cobb and other neighbors, and spent seven years in California working at various occupations there, including chopping wood and mining. He sent money home for the purchase of more land on which was his last residence, and returned home in the spring of 1859. At that time he owned 130 acres of good farm land and spent the remainder of his life in farming. At one time he was constable. He died in 1900 at the age of eight-seven years, and his wife died in her seventy-third year. They had eight children who lived to maturity, namely: Mary, who married George Price and died at the age of sixty-five years; Wesley, who served through the Civil war and died when about forty years old; Caroline Amelia who is the widow of Thomas Leonard and lives in Chicago; Fanny, who married Menzo Gilbert and lives at Chicago; Jerome, who is mentioned at some length in the succeeding paragraphs of this article; Emma C., who is the widow of Peter Warden and lives at Washington Heights, Ill.; Maria, who married John Warden; and Josephine, who is the wife of Hon. Martin B. Madden, M.C., and lives in Chicago.
Jerome Fell Smart was born on the old home farm in Downer's Grove township, September 15, 1846, and received his early education in the public schools, later attending college at Plainfield and Wheaton. In 1880, he embarked on a grocery business at Lemont, Ill., in which his father also had an interest, and he spent ten years in Chicago, where he had a teaming business. In 1894, he returned to the home farm, which he has since made his place of residence, carrying on a general line of farming and having a dairy of about twenty cows. He is active in local affairs and in political principles believes in securing the election of the men best fitted to fill an office of public trust. A strong supporter of the Cass Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his parents were original members, he is a zealous worker in the cause.
On December 31, 1878, Jerome F. Smart married Alada V. Ahle, of Elgin, and they became parents of three children: Mabel Clare, who is a teacher in the Chicago schools; E.M., who is a teacher in the public schools of Kaneville; Leslie E., who is a student in the agricultural operations and, like his father, is a man of business acumen and ability. He has the genuine respect of his neighbors and is well known throughout the township, where most of his life has been passed. (source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1913 - submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
Alfred H. Pahnke
The present system of tiling swamp land is one that has given back thousands of acres which had been worthless. The rich land thus redeemed yields remarkable crops, and the possessors of them are among the most prosperous of the farmers to be found in any section. Among those thus fortunate in Du Page County is Alfred H. Pahnke, born in Winfield Township, May 11, 1880, a son of Fred W. and Albertine (Miller) Pahnke, natives of Germany. In 1871, Fred Pahnke went to Chicago, just after the big fire, realizing that there were great opportunities offered for a carpenter. After two years in that city, he went to Batavia, where he worked as a wagonmaker with the Newton Wagon Co., for fifteen years. Albertine Miller had come to Batavia with her mother, in 1869, and on February 25, 1875, she married Mr. Pahnke. Mrs. Pahnke died March 26, 1909.
In connection with his brother-in-law, Mr. Pahnke purchased sixty-two acres in Winfield Township, but soon bought the former out. There were no improvements on the place, it all being swamp, timber, and stumps where timber had been. Mr. Pahnke first built a house and dug a well in a little space he cleared in the woods. He then began clearing off the timber, and put the land under improvement. He kept on adding buildings and buying more land, until he had seventy-two acres. In 1903, he tiled and drained the property, so that it is now very valuable. In order to have sufficient money to go on with his improvements, Mr. Pahnke worked for some years at his trade in Batavia, to which he moved in October, 1910. In 1899, he bought five acres just across the road in Kane County, and in 1900 bought more, so that the farm now comprises 141 1-2 acres, all of which is cultivated except twenty-five acres. Mr. Pahnke was married in May, 1910, to Hannah Miller, sister of his first wife.
Alfred H. Pahnke attended district school, and spent one term at the German Lutheran school at West Chicago. On March 1, 1910, he and his brother, Fred C., assumed charge of the farm which they operate together.
Fred C. Pahnke was born November 10, 1884, and on November 30, 1910, he married Esther Raddant, born in Batavia Township, Lane County, Ill., daughter of Fred and Henrietta (Plautz) Raddant, native of Germany. The Pahnkes are Lutherans and Republicans. Albert H. Pahnke belongs to the Aid Association of Lutherans of Batavia. Miss Minnie S. Pahnke keeps house for her brother Alfred. They all belong to a family well known in the county, and are sturdy, level-headed young agriculturists who know how to make their farm pay for the work they expend upon it. (source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1913 - submitted by Ida Maack Recu)
J. George Wright
When the complete history is written of the American Indian's adjustment to the white man's civilization — a story that will often be fraught with the tragedy of the savage's ignorance and helplessness pitted unequally against greed and conscienceless exploitation — there will run through the book like a shining vindication of one's too frequently abused faith in human nature the account of how wisely, sanely, honestly, and humanely J. George Wright, superintendent of the Osage Indian Agency with headquarters at Pawhuska, has administered Indian affairs for nearly half a century.
Mr. Wright was born in DuPage County, Illinois, January 8, 1860, the son of James G. Wright, who came to America from Liverpool, England, and Elmira (Van Osdel) Wright, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, both of them people of exceptional character and stability. Under President Arthur, the father was appointed as agent for the Rosebud Sioux Indian Agency in 1882, and served in that capacity until 1886. The year 1883 marked J. George Wright's entry into the Indian service. He acted as farmer and later as chief clerk of the Rosebud Agency under his father's direction and, in spite of his youth, made such a good record for himself that he was retained in the Indian service through President Cleveland's first administration, regardless of the fact that he was a Republican in his political affiliations. The Wrights, father and son, are given credit for being responsible for the first real steps toward interesting the Sioux Indians in education, farming, and the production of livestock, and J. George Wright probably did more than any other one man to induce the Sioux to conform to governmental regulations.
In 1889 a Sioux Indian Commission consisting of General George Crook of the United States Army, Major William Warner, afterwards United States Senator from Missouri, and Governor Charles Foster of Ohio, paid an official visit to the Rosebud Agency, carefully reviewing the work being done there and conditions having to do with the Sioux tribes as a whole. As a result of the recommendation made by these men, President Harrison appointed J. George Wright Indian agent for the Rosebud Agency. In 1893, without solicitation on Mr. Wright's part— for he supposed that naturally, with a Democratic administration coming into power, all Republican appointees would be replaced — he was reappointed Indian agent by President Cleveland, with Hoke Smith as Secretary of the Interior. Indeed, Mr. Wright was the only Indian agent in the service who did not fall victim to the replacement rule. Again without solicitation, he was appointed in 1896 by President Cleveland to the office of Indian inspector, a position which made him a direct representative of the Secretary of the Interior, making investigations of the various Indian Agencies wherever he might be detailed. The appointment and promotion under the Democratic administration are, because they could have come so obviously only as the result of his great ability and integrity, and wide knowledge of Indian affairs, outstandingly conspicuous among the many recognitions of worth Mr. Wright has received during his career.
Mr. Wright came to the Oklahoma section in 1898, when he was detailed by Secretary Bliss to the Indian Territory as inspector in charge of the Five Civilized Tribes, and in 1905 he was reappointed by President Roosevelt. Two years later he was appointed commissioner of the Five Civilized Tribes, continuing to serve in this capacity until 1915, when the office was abolished. The office was a difficult and delicate one, due to the existent strife among some of the members of the Tribes, many white settlers of the Indian Territory, and the Interior Department in Washington, as a result of efforts on the part of the unscrupulous to deprive the Indians of their title to lands without due compensation. Even well-meaning individuals, unaware of governmental rules having to do with Indian lands, were frequently guilty of unfair dealings with the Red Men. Mr. Wright set his shoulder to the task of protecting the rights of the Indians, and much that has been saved to possession of the peoples of the Five Civilized Tribes, results from his efforts.
With some hesitation Mr. Wright came to the superintendency of the Osage Indian Agency in 1915, upon the urgent request of both Franklin K. Lane, then Secretary of the Interior, and Cato Sells, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The place was reputed to be a hard one to fill, but with such wisdom and tact and sound good judgment has Mr. Wright met the problems involved, that he has served as superintendent of the Osage Indian Agency longer than any other individual. Under Mr. Wright's management, development of the oil and gas industries on Osage lands progressed rapidly. Incomes of some of the members of the tribes increased from two or three hundred dollars a year to twelve hundred dollars, whereupon another difficulty developed, for the Indians completely lacked ability to care for so much wealth and many of them were becomingly deeply indebted. Mr. Wright presented the facts to a Congressional Committee of which Homer Snyder, chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs, was a member. As a result of his report and recommendations, passage was secured for the Act of Congress of March 3, 1921, providing that Indians without certificates of competency should receive only one thousand dollars a quarter out of their incomes, the parents of minors receiving five hundred dollars a quarter for each minor, while the balance of their funds should be used, first, to discharge past indebtedness and, second, to be held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior and invested safely. The enforcement of a regulation of this nature naturally brought down upon the head of Mr. Wright a storm of abuse, both from the Indians who had developed a taste for riotous spending and from the white people who were selling worthless goods to them at ridiculously high prices. But Mr. Wright c ould not be deterred from the course that he was convinced was for the best interests of the Indians. Congress amended the original Act of 1921 on February 27, 1925, making more liberal provisions with regard to manner of investing the Osage Indian funds, but in general outline the policy of holding the money in trust remained the same. Now, time having proven the salutariness of Mr. Wright's program, few critics remain, but many have come to admire deeply his vision regarding the effect of the law and its rigid enforcement upon the Indian population. Conditions have been stabilized and constructive uses are being made of the wealth of the Osage Indians. Under Mr. Wright's administration of the laws he recommended, the so-called restricted members of the Tribes have been completely released from the something like two millions of dollars worth of indebtedness under which they struggled in 1921, and have accumulated more than thirty millions of dollars worth of credit.
In recognition of the great service he has rendered and the loyalty consistently shown them, the Osage Tribal Council and the Osage Indian Protective Association have, on several occasions, passed resolutions of appreciation for his services, and requested that he be continued as superintendent as long as he would consent to serve.
On January 3, 1925, Mr. Wright married Irene Basford of South Dakota (see accompaning biography), the marriage taking place in Washington, District of Columbia, where she had been in the service of the Interior Department for more than ten years. (Source: Oklahoma, A History of the State and its People, by Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright, Volume IV: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York, 1929; transcribed by Mary Saggio.)
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