BIOGRAPHIES published in
the "Biographical Record of Kane County, Illinois"
Originally printed by the S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1898
All biographies submitted by K. Torp
SQUIRE D. HUNT, president of the County Line Creamery Company, and one of the most enterprising farmers of Kane county, residing on section 32, Kaneville township, where he has a valuable farm of three hundred acres, dates his residence in Kane county, from 1847. He was born in Chenango, county, New York, July 9, 1840, and is the son of Daniel Hunt, born in 1804, in the same county and state. Joseph Hunt, his grandfather, was a native of Connecticut, and a pioneer settler of Chenango county, New York. During the Revolutionary struggle, he served his country and assisted in securing its independence-. He lived to the advanced age of ninety-four years.
Daniel Hunt spent his boyhood and youth on his father's farm, and later married Polly Dutcher, a native of Dutchess county, New York. Her father, Gideon Dutcher, was one of a pioneer family of that county, and from his family the county derived its name. After marriage Mr. Hunt engaged in farming in Chenango county, where he remained a number of years. In 1845 he came to Illinois, locating first in Oswego, Kendall county, where he remained two and a half years, and then moved to Kaneville township, Kane county, where he purchased eighty acres, which was a part of the farm now owned by our subject. The land was unimproved, but he at once went to work and in due time had the place under cultivation, and, as his means increased, purchased more land, until he was the possessor of one hundred and sixty acres. He was prosperous and successful as a farmer and, after a long and useful life, passed to his reward in 1889, at the age of eighty-five years. His wife died some three years previous.
Squire D. Hunt is the only survivor of a family of two sons and three daughters. His brother, Edwin, grew to mature years, married, owned and operated a part of the farm, and there died in 1864. His sisters were Jane, who married James H. Chapman, and died in Pike county, Illinois; Sarah, married W. J. Bates, located in Cortland, DeKalb county, Illinois, and there her death occurred; and Madeline, who died in infancy, in Oswego, Kendall county, Illinois.
The subject of this sketch came to Kane county, when but about eight years old, and here grew to manhood on the home farm, and assisted in its cultivation. He was educated in the Kaneville schools, and on the 26th of February, 1862, married Lydia E. Flanders, a native of Massachusetts, and a daughter of Parker Flanders, who was born in New Hampshire, there grew to manhood, and married Hannah Freeman, a native of New York. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Flanders located in Vermont, where he engaged in farming, in connection with other business. In 1854 he came to Kane county, Illinois, and located in Kaneville township, on the farm where his son now resides. To Mr. and Mrs. Hunt four children have been born, as follows: Myrtie, now the wife of Henry M. Smith, a farmer of DeKalb county, Illinois; Carrie, now the wife of W. H. Smith, residing on the Hunt farm; Alice and Harry B., at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Hunt began their domestic life on the old homestead, he taking charge of the business, his father and mother making their home with him in their declining years. Since coming into possession of the farm he has purchased more land, erected a large and neat farm residence, and made many improvements in the place, putting in some eleven miles of tiling, and setting out two good orchards. He carries on general farming and stock raising, feeding several carloads of stock, which he annually ships to the Chicago market.
Mr. Hunt was one of the originators and prime movers in establishing the County Line Creamery, in 1890. He was elected its first president, and by re-election has served continuously to the present time. The company now controls two creameries, and has a record second to none in the state. At the dairy convention in 1897 it took sweepstakes, scoring highest on butter of any on exhibition.
Politically Mr. Hunt has been a Republican since attaining his majority, having cast his first presidential ballot, in 1864, for Abraham Lincoln, and his last, in 1896, for William McKinley. For twelve years he served his township as road commissioner, and was township treasurer of road funds for eight years. For twenty-one years he has served as a member of the school board, taking an active interest in educational affairs. He has always been active in political affairs, and has served his party in various county and congressional conventions. He is a -member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Kaneville, and is now serving as steward. His wife and daughters are also members of that church, and all manifest an interest in its work. For half a century Mr. Hunt has been a resident of Kane county. That he has made his impress upon county affairs cannot be questioned. He is well known as one of its best farmers and business men, and as a citizen he is interested in every movement looking to its material welfare. No family is held in higher esteem.
HIRAM D. RUDD, now living a retired life in the village of Kaneville, is a veteran of the war for the union. Since 1856, he has been a resident of the village of Kaneville, and is now its oldest living settler. He was born in Rutland county, Vermont, at Middletown, December 8, 1820. His father, Samuel Rudd, was born in Westfield, Connecticut, of which state his grandfather, Increase Rudd, was also a native. The latter served in the Revolutionary war, and was at the battle of Bunker Hill, where he broke off the butt of his gun over the head of an enemy. From Connecticut, Increase Rudd moved to Vermont, when his son Samuel was a small child. The latter was carried by his mother on the back of a horse, the entire distance. He there grew to manhood and married Mary Ames, a daughter of Elijah Ames, who was also a soldier in the Revolutionary war from Connecticut, but who later moved to Vermont, locating in the wilderness, where he hewed out a farm. Samuel Rudd was also a farmer by occupation, and after rearing his family in Vermont, he later removed to Jefferson county. New York, locating in the town of Ellisburg, where his death occurred.
Hiram D. Rudd spent his boyhood and youth in Vermont, under the shadow of the Green Mountains. In early life he had fair common-school advantages, his education being supplemented by reading and study in after life. In September, 1846, he was united in marriage with Miss Emily Jane Lyman, a native of Rutland county, Vermont, born in the town of Ira, and a daughter of Isaac and Achsah (Ames) Lyman, both of whom were natives of Vermont, the latter being a second cousin of Charles Ames, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Rudd resided one year in Vermont, and in 1848 moved to New York, and settled in the town of Ellisburg, Jefferson county, where he engaged in farming for several years, and also in the carpenter's and joiner's trade. From Jefferson county, he moved with his family to the town of Gaines, Orleans county, New York, where they remained two years. In 1856, they carne to Kane county, Illinois, and located at Kaneville, where he has since continued to reside. Here Mr. Rudd worked on a farm until September 18, 1861, when he enlisted in Company I, Eighth Illinois Cavalry, as a private, and with his regiment went east, where it was assigned to the Army of the Potomac; with that army our subject remained while in the service. He participated in the fight on the Rappahannock, and also at Fairfax Courthouse, and in various cavalry engagements, at the same time doing a good deal of scouting duty. In 1862, he met with an accident caused by the stampede of a number of horses, at which time he got his back and hips badly hurt, and was permanently disabled. He was first sent to the regimental hospital, and later to Douglas hospital in Washington, District of Columbia, where he remained three months, and in 1863 was discharged from the service and returned home. He has since been crippled and unable to work to any extent.
Politically, Mr. Rudd was first an old-line Whig, but on the organization of the Republican party, became identified with it. As a Whig he voted for Henry Clay, a man whom he greatly admired and who was without doubt one of the greatest statesmen this country ever produced. As a Republican he voted first for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, a vote for which he has never been ashamed. Mr. and Mrs. Rudd are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which they both take an active interest. For thirty-four years Mrs. Rudd has had charge of a class in the Sunday-school, and was in attendance nearly every Sunday. As
the eldest resident of the village of Kaneville, Mr. Rudd is well known and his many friends will be pleased to read the record of his life work in the Biographical Record of Kane county.
HARVEY BRUCE DENSMORE resides on section 14, Sugar Grove township, about four and a half miles west of Aurora, where he is living a retired life. His residence in Kane county dates from 1836. He is a native of Windsor county, Vermont, born September 15, 1815. His father, Job Densmore, was also a native of Vermont. His grandfather Densmore was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill. He lived to be nearly one hundred years old. Job Densmore was reared in his native state, and there married Mary Jane Sprague, also a native of Vermont. By trade he was a miller, and for some years was engaged in that business. He is an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, but later in life withdrew from that church, but still continued his preaching. His death occurred in Vermont many years ago.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Vermont, then went to Cortland county, New York, where he worked on a farm and engaged in other employments. Having had a good common-school education, he engaged in teaching to secure means for a better education in Cortlandville Academy. While residing there he was united in marriage in 1836, and soon after moved to Kane county, Illinois, at a time when there was less than fifty inhabitants in Aurora. He drove through with three teams, in company with his father-in-law, George W. Densmore. He spent a part of the first winter after coming west with relatives in Chicago, and then moved to the farm where he now resides, having purchased the claim of two hundred and forty acres. There was a log house on the place, fourteen feet square, with puncheon floor and shake roof, into which he moved and resided for some time. He soon afterward built an addition to the cabin, making the shingles himself. His wife here died, about 1851, leaving one daughter, Sarah, who first married a Mr. Avery, who was killed while in the service of his country, during the war for the Union. She later married James Carter, a substantial farmer of De Kalb county, where they now reside. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Densmore married Miss Mary Jane Mather, a native of New York, who came west a young lady. By this union there is one son and three daughters-Charles M., who resides in Eugene, Oregon; Grace, wife of G. R. Lee, of Aurora; Jane, wife of Pratt Benjamin; and Jessie, wife of Charles Paul, of Wichita, Kansas. Pratt Benjamin was born in Kane county, Illinois, in June, 1856, and after his marriage in September, 1878, with Jane Densmore, he took charge of the Densmore homestead, which he has continued to operate until the present time.
Politically Mr. Densmore was originally an Abolitionist, and kept a station on the underground railway. On the organization of the Republican party he became identified with it, and has since been an advocate of its principles. At twenty-one he was elected township clerk, which position he held for many years. He has also served as justice of the peace and as a member of the school board. He voted at the first election ever held in the township. He assisted in the erection of the first school house in Sugar Grove, and taught the first school in Sugar Grove township. Later he taught two other terms, and has assisted in the erection of two other school houses.
In 1888, Mrs. Densmore died at the residence of her daughter in Aurora, and later Mr. Densmore went to Nebraska and purchased some village property in Stanton, Stanton county, and there resided two or three years, during which time he was employed in the office of the county clerk and recorder. While there he erected a brick house, which has since been converted into a bank. Since coming to Kane county, sixty-two long years ago, Mr. Densmore has witnessed many changes, and in the improvements that have been made he has taken an active part, and is recognized as one of the most progressive of the old settlers of Kane county.
JAMES C. MINARD, now living retired in the city of Aurora, has been a resident of Illinois since 1856. The family are of French descent, and were originally members of the Society of Friends. The great-great-grandfather of our subject was a native of France, and was among the first settlers of Connecticut. His son, Captain Joel Minard, was a native of Connecticut, as was also Joel Minard, Jr., his son, the father of our subject. The family at quite an early day moved to Ulster county, New York, where Joel Minard, Jr., was reared and where he married Susannah Letts, a native of Schoharie county, New York, and a daughter of William Letts, also a native of New York state, who spent the last years of his life with his daughter, Mrs. Minard, and died in Ulster county. To Joel and Susannah Minard were born four sons and four daughters; all except one grew to mature years, and three sons and one daughter are now living, as follows: David, who resides in Mississippi; James C, of this review; Elias, residing in Colorado; and Mrs. Jane Moody, who resides just across the Hudson, from Poughkeepsie, in Ulster county, New York. The father died in Ulster county, in 1852.
James C. Minard grew to manhood in Ulster county, and during the winter months attended the public schools and assisted his father upon the farm at other seasons of the year. He was born near Poughkeepsie, Ulster county, New York, November 13, 1825, and remained with his father until March 13, 1851, when he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Teerpening, a native of Ulster county, reared and educated in the same neighborhood with our subject, and a daughter of William J. Teerpening, also a native of Ulster county, New York. By this union are four living children, as follows: William J., married and engaged in farming near Storm Lake, Iowa; Lenora, wife of John H. Husk, of Aurora; Mary, wife of Theodore R. Davis, a druggist of Hinckley, Illinois; and James Edward,, a farmer of Kane county. They lost three children - Joel, who died at the age of fourteen years; Orin, who died at the age of five years; and Eva, who died when nine months old.
For five years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Minard resided upon a farm in Ulster county. New York. Desiring to better themselves in life, in 1856 they came west to La Salle county, Illinois, locating near Leland, where Mr. Minard purchased a farm of two hundred acres, of partially improved land, and at once commenced the further development of the place. He built a large and substantial residence, and otherwise improved the place until he had one of the best farms in that neighborhood. In connection with farming, for three years he engaged in the mercantile business at Leland with fair success. In 1895 he sold the farm and moved to Aurora, since which time he has been living retired. He owns, however, a well improved farm of one hundred and forty acres, near Batavia, on which his son, James E. Minard, is now living. He also owns a well-improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Storm Lake, Iowa.
In early life Mr. Minard was an earnest supporter of the Whig party, but since 1856, when he voted for John C. Fremont, he has supported the men and measures of the Republican party, save for a short time on account of his strong belief in temperance, he supported the Prohibition party. Of late he has cast his ballot in favor of the Republicans, voting in 1896 for William McKinley. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Minard are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. As a friend of education and an advocate of good schools, he served for years as a member of the school board. Since coming to Kane county he has made many friends who esteem him for his upright character and worth as a man and a citizen.
CORYDON L. DICKSON is a farmer residing on sections 5 and 6, Plato township. He was born in Union township, Broome,county, New York, August 5, 1843, and is the son of James and Lusetta S. (Gardener) Dickson, the former born in Cobleskill, Schoharie county, New York, and the latter in Canada. She was the daughter of Isaac and Susan (Butolph) Gardener. James Dickson was the son of Benjamin Dickson, a native of New York, who lived in Canada during the war of 1812, and who married Sarah Parsons. Of the ten children born to James and Lusetta S. Dickson, seven lived to maturity and five still survive. Lovisa E. married Addison Gleason, who is now deceased. She is now living in Hampshire. Lafayette lives in Idaho. Sheridan P. resides in Elgin. Corydon L. is the subject of this sketch. Edgar W. resides in the village of Hampshire.
The subject of this sketch came west, with his parents in 1850, they locating in. Hampshire township, May 9, of that year. His education was begun in the district schools of New York, and after his removal here he attended the district schools of Plato township, and completed his education at Beloit College, which he attended three or four terms after his return from the army. On the first call of President Lincoln he enlisted in Company A, Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Joslin, who was later commissioned colonel. This regiment was the first to enter the service from Illinois during the war of the Rebellion.
On the completion of his term of service Mr. Dickson returned home and remained with his father until he was twenty-four years of age. His father having purchased the body of land that the west half of the village of Hampshire is now built on, and having it to pay for, our subject, like a dutiful son, remained with him until he had paid for the land and secured a title. His father was also in debt, somewhat, for the farm on which our subject now resides, which, when paid for, was deeded to him for his faithfulness. The farm consisted of one hundred and forty-two acres, but, from subsequent purchases, it now consists of two hundred and sixty acres of fine rolling land, having a beautiful view to the eastward from his residence, and which is very fertile and is kept under a high state of cultivation. He also owns a fine village residence and five acres in the village of Hampshire.
Mr. Dickson was married in Udina, Illinois, April 12, 1868, to Mary Rowell, daughter of Samuel C. and Elizabeth (Ball) Rowell, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. By this union are two children, Luella Maude and Ethel May. The former married Edwin Walgren, the junior member of the firm of I. B. Countryman & Co., general merchants of Dixon, Illinois, where they reside. She took five terms in Dixon College, and was a successful teacher before her marriage. They have one son, Eugene Dickson. Ethel May attended Dixon College and also spent one year at Normal, Illinois, then taught school one year in Elgin and one in Franklin Grove. She is now employed in the office of the Union Wire Fence Company, of De Kalb, Illinois. Fraternally Mr. Dickson is a member of the G. A. R. post at Hampshire, and also of the Knights of the Maccabees of the same place. In politics he is a Republican.
ROBERT T. JAMES, who is the owner of a well-improved farm on section 28, Big Rock township, is a native of Wales, born at Flintshire, December 2, 1851, and in his native country lived until the age of eighteen years and there received a fair common-school education. With a laudable desire to better his condition in life, he determined to emigrate to the United States, where he learned the opportunities were much greater for the aspiring youth than in his native land. Accordingly, in 1869, he crossed the ocean, and went directly to Waukesha county, Wisconsin, and there engaged in farm work at seventeen dollars per month. During his first winter in this country, however, he worked for his board and attended the public schools that he might acquire a better knowledge of the English language. For ten years he continued to work by the month at farm work; but, in the meantime, in Waukesha county, July 8, 1871, he was united in marriage with Miss Ann Goodwin, also a native of Wales, who came to this country with her parents when but five years of age. Her father and mother, David and Jane Goodwin, were among the earliest Welsh settlers in Waukesha county. To Mr. and Mrs. James seven children have been born: Robert T., Jr., Lizzie Jane, John, William D., Maggie, Phebe (deceased) and Mamie.
In 1880, Mr. James rented a farm in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, on which he remained five years, and then came to Big Rock township, Kane county, Illinois, and rented a farm on which he remained five years, and then rented the Ben Davis farm for eight years, during which time he was quite successful and accumulated considerable property. In the spring of 1898 he purchased his present farm of three hundred and five acres, of which two hundred and thirty acres are under the plow, the remainder being meadow and pasture land. Commencing life in the New World a penniless youth, he has, by industry and economy, acquired a valuable property, and is now regarded as one of the successful and prosperous farmers of Kane county, honored for his manly worth and strict integrity.
Politically, Mr. James is a Republican, and has voted the ticket and advocated the principles of the party since acquiring his naturalization papers. He is the present commissioner of highways of Big Rock township. With his wife and two children, he holds membership in the Welsh Congregational church of Big Rock, in which he takes an active interest. One daughter, Lizzie Jane Wagner, belongs to the English Congregational church. Fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of the Maccabees. While only residing in Kane county a comparatively short time, he has made many friends by his upright character and sterling worth.
GEORGE VAN VOLKENBURG, an active and enterprising farmer residing on section 30, Kaneville township, where he owns and operates a farm of one hundred and thirty acres, has been a resident of Kane county since 1865. He was born in Yates county, New York, February 20, 1836. His father, Captain Andrew Van Volkenburg, was also a native of New York, born August 11, 1810. He there grew to manhood, and married Polly Freer, a native of New York, born September 27, 1797. By occupation Andrew Van Volkenburg was a farmer in Yates county, where he occupied a very prominent position, for some years being captain of the militia. He reared his family in that county, where his death occurred March 25, 1865. His wife survived him a few years, dying when about seventy years old, at the residence of her son, in Kane county, Illinois.
In his native county George Van Volkenburg grew to manhood, and received a fair education in the common schools. He remained on his father's farm, and assisted in its cultivation, until the latter's death. In January, 1854, he was married in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, to Marilla Hammond, a native of that county, where she was reared and educated. After their marriage he engaged in farming for eleven years in Yates county, New York, and then, in the spring of 1865, came to Kane county, Illinois, where he rented a farm for one year, and in 1866 purchased the place, where he now resides. The farm was an improved one, but to its further development he gave his time and attention for many years. In 1892 his barn was destroyed by a tornado, and his house badly damaged, while the windmill was torn down and the orchard nearly ruined. He has since repaired the house, rebuilt the barn, and set out more trees in his orchard. The place is now one of the most valuable in the section where located. Mr. Van Volkenburg lost his wife May 19, 1872. She was the mother of three children. Andrew died in childhood. Charles is married, and is helping to carry on the home farm. Herbert is also married, and has two children. He is also engaged in farming, in De Kalb county, Illinois.
Mr. Van Volkenburg was again married in Kaneville, Illinois, March 22, 1874, to Marietta Hazen, a native of New London county, Connecticut, a daughter of William and Laura (Ladd) Hazen, also natives of the same state. Her father there died when she was a child, and her mother removed with the family to Oneida county, New York, where she resided some twenty-six years. Mrs. Van Volkenburg was educated
in Oneida county, New York, and there engaged in teaching for some years. She continued in that profession after her removal to Illinois, and for two years was engaged in teaching in the public schools of Galesburg, Illinois, until her marriage. In 1872, she came to Kane county. Since 1886, her mother has made her home with Mrs. Van Volkenburg.
Politically Mr. Van Volkenburg is a stanch Republican, with which party he has continued to act since attaining his majority. While never desiring office, he served some three years as constable of his township, and was also a member of the school board for some years. Both he and his wife are members of the Kaneville Methodist Episcopal church, and for many years, until having a severe illness in November, 1894, he was one of its most active workers. For twelve years she taught a class of young ladies in the Sunday-school. Both were members of the choir for some twenty years. For a full third of a century, Mr. Van Volkenburg has been a resident of Kaneville township, and is well known especially in the northwestern part of the county. He is a man that stands high in the estimation of his fellow men, and he has ever been ready to assist in the material and moral welfare of his adopted county and state.
HON. ARWIN E. PRICE, who is now at the head of the city government of Elgin, and is one of the most prominent factors in her business circles, is a man whose worth and ability have gained him success, honor and public confidence. He enjoys the well-earned distinction of being what the public calls a "self-made man," and an analyzation of his character reveals the fact that enterprise, well-directed effort and honorable dealing have been the essential features in his prosperity.
Mr. Price possesses the true western spirit of progress, and is a western man by birth, training and preference. He was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, August 29, 1850, and is a son of Humphrey and Elizabeth (Evans) Price, natives of Wales. His paternal grandfather, Jonathan Price, spent his entire life in that county, reared a family of seven children, and died there at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather, John Evans, also a native of Wales, died in middle life. The father of our subject, having determined to try his fortune in America, crossed the briny deep and took up his residence in Rochester, New York, whence he removed to Waukesha, Wisconsin, about 1844. He there followed the pattern-maker's trade, and also engaged in the manufacture of threshing machines. His death occurred in 1878, when he had reached the age of fifty-nine years, and his wife passed away in 1862. Both were members of the Presbyterian church. Their family numbered twelve children, five sons and seven daughters, six of whom are now living: Lydia; Jennie, wife of Rev. Mr. Wilson, of Barton, New Jersey; David, who is living near St. Paul, Minnesota; Lucy, widow of Walter Ormsby, of Oakland, California; Arwin E.; and Carrie, wife of Harry Dailey, of Richland Center, Wisconsin.
Arwin E. Price in his early youth attended the public schools of his native town, and when twelve years of age began learning the marble-cutter's trade, completing his apprenticeship the day before President Lincoln was assassinated. He remained in Waukesha until about fifteen years of age, and then went to Madison, Wisconsin, whence he removed to Elgin in 1869. Here he worked for George P. Harvey for about two years, and then entered into partnership with his employer, they remaining together in the marble business for two years. On the expiration of that period Mr. Price bought out his partner and continued operations alone until 1889, when he removed to Chicago, where for three years he engaged in the real-estate business. In 1893 he returned to Elgin, and in 1896 purchased the marble and granite works of A. N. Soper & Company, still continuing the business under the name of the Elgin Marble and Granite Works, the plant being opposite the Bluff City cemetery. He turns out work which is both artistic and finely executed, and his honorable dealings have secured to him a liberal patronage, making his enterprise a profitable one.
On the 4th of September, 1869, Mr. Price was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Lewis, daughter of Francis and Clarissa (Soper) Lewis. Mrs. Price's great-uncle was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They have one daughter, Edith. Theirs is a hospitable home, always open to their many friends, and no one leaves it without feeling glad that he had the privilege of being there.
Socially Mr. Price is a Master Mason, and in his political predilections he is a Republican. In 1885 he was a third time elected alderman from the Third ward, and in 1888 was elected acting mayor. The following year he was elected for a full term, thus serving in that position for three consecutive years, and in 1897 he was again reelected, defeating William Grote, who had formerly defeated him. His administration is a progressive one, marked by improvement and reform, for he has the best interests of the city at heart. For a quarter of a century he has been a resident of Elgin, and no one is more devoted to its welfare than he.
CYRUS CALKINS, who resides on section 32, Sugar Grove township, is one of the successful farmers of Kane county. He is a native of New York, born in the town of Corning, Steuben county, January 14, 181 5, and is the son of Enos Calkins, a native of New Hampshire, who came to New York from Vermont when a young man. In Steuben county he married Parthena Perkins, a native of that county, and a daughter of Squire Perkins, also a native of Steuben county. By occupation Enos Calkins was a farmer and engaged in that calling during his entire life.
Cyrus Calkins is one of three sons and six daughters born to Enos and Parthena Calkins, and in his native county grew to manhood and received a good common-school education. In 1853 he came to Kane county, Illinois, and purchased a farm of one hundred and fifty-eight acres in Sugar Grove township, on which fair improvements had been made. He at once began its farther improvement and in due time had erected a good, substantial dwelling house, barns and other outbuildings and placed the land under a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Calkins was originally an old-line Whig, and in 1836 cast his first presidential vote for William H. Harrison. He again voted for Harrison in 1840, and was well pleased at his election. He has a vivid recollection of that exciting campaign. After coming to Kane county he received the appointment as postmaster of Jericho, and served twelve years. On the organization of the Republican party Mr. Calkins gave adherence to its principles, and has voted for every presidential nominee from John C. Fremont to William McKinley. For forty-five years he has been a resident of Kane county and has been identified with its agricultural interests. Coming here a comparatively poor man, he has by his industry and the practice of economy become one of the substantial men of the county, of exemplary habits, upright character and worth.
GEORGE E. DAUM is a representative of the younger generation of farmers of Kane county, Illinois He resides on section 30, Rutland township, on the farm where he was born, January 25, 1868. His father, George J. Daum, was born in 1831, in Asbach, Darmstadt, Germany, of which country Martin Daum, the grandfather of our subject, was also a native. The latter emigrated to America and spent the last years of his life in New York. In 1847 George A. Daum, the father, came to Illinois and located on section 30, Rutland township, on the farm where our subject now resides. He married Mary Hauslein, a native of Bavaria, and a daughter of Michael Hauslein, also a native of that country. By their union were eight children: Martin, Mary and Emma, all of whom died about the same time from diphtheria; William, who married Jennie Reams, resides in Hampshire township; George E., our subject; Lyda, living with her parents; Luella and John, who died of diphtheria.
George E. Daum attended the district schools until the age of fourteen years, then gave his whole time to farm work until the age of seventeen years. Going to Elgin, he worked for Mr. Bell, and later for Mr. Gary, at making concrete sidewalks. With the exception of nine months spent in Montana he was engaged in that business until twenty-one years of age. He then returned home and took charge of the home farm, which consists of one hundred and fifteen acres of well-improved land, with good house and barns. The farm is now devoted to dairy purposes, Mr. Daum usually keeping from twenty-five to thirty head of milch cows, the product of which he ships from Starks Station to Chicago.
Mr. Daum has been twice married, his first marriage, which was solemnized May 5, 1891, being with Miss Emma Matthews, born in Milwaukee, and a daughter of Martin Matthews, who served as a spy for the Union forces during the Civil war. She died June 21, 1897, leaving six children- George, Oscar, Frederick, Clara, Matilda and Marie.
Mr. Daum was again married December 2, 1897, with Miss Edith Turner, who was born in Galena, Illinois, and a daughter of William and Kate (Blaze) Turner, the former a native of Ontarioville, Illinois, and the latter of Alsace, Germany. Mrs. Daum was second in a family of eight children born to her parents. Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. Daum are members of the United Evangelical church. In politics, he is a Republican.
JACOB SALFISBERG, who resides at 140 Lincoln avenue, Aurora, Illinois, is a native of Canton Berne, Switzerland, was born March 25, 1834, a son of Johann and Mary Ann (Salfisberg) Salfisberg. There was no previous relationship existing between the two, although of the same name. The father and mother of our subject were both natives of Switzerland, and emigrated to the United States with their family in 1854. Sailing from Havre, France, in the month of October, on the ship Confederacy, they reached New York the following month, being thirty-eight days on the ocean. Their destination was Oswego, Illinois, at which place they arrived November 28, 1854. Christian Salfisberg, the eldest son, had come to America two years before and had already settled on the rich prairie lands of Illinois. The children of Johann and Mary Ann Salfisberg were as follows: Christian, Madeline, Jacob, Fred, Anna, Samuel, Rudolph, Adam and Mary Ann. The husband and father was in poor health, and he failed to find relief, as he had hoped, in the sea voyage, and survived the journey but one year, dying at Oswego in 1855, His wife survived him twenty-five years.
Jacob Salfisberg was educated in the public schools of his native land and there also learned the trade of a miller. He soon found employment in the mills at Oswego, and worked in the capacity of a miller for six years after his arrival. In 1860 he came to Aurora, and became engaged in the burning and selling of lime in the vicinity of Oak Park, continuing this business eight years. In November, 1868, he removed to Naperville, Du Page county, Illinois, where he purchased a quarry of very fine building stone, of the most durable quality and considered the best in the state. He furnished large quantities of the products of his quarry to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company to be used in the construction of bridges for their various lines. The supply and demand continued for many years. For a time he hauled the stone from his quarries by teams, using five of his own for that purpose and engaged others, and had the services of fifty-five men employed in operating the quarry. He eventually ran a line of railroad to the work, which greatly facilitated matters.
In 1889 Mr. Salfisberg disposed of the quarry and its surroundings, and a company was organized to carry on the business under the title of the Chicago & Naperville Stone Company. On selling the plant, Mr. Salfisberg retired from active business life and once more came to reside in Aurora. Business, the prevailing passion of his life, induced him, however, to purchase a half interest with J. Marshall Spiker in the business of artificial stone, cement and concrete, and many of the superb sidewalks of Aurora and other cities in this and adjoining counties have been constructed by this company. In 1895 Mr. Salfisberg purchased a farm in Kendall county, consisting of one hundred and seventy-two and a half acres, which is now rented by his son, Charles. Since purchasing he has made great improvements, erecting a fine dwelling house, barns and other outbuildings to the extent of six thousand dollars.
On the 4th of January, 1859, Mr. Salfisberg was married to Anna Salfisberg, a distant relative, and daughter of Jacob and Anna Salfisberg, and who came to this county with her parents. She was one of fourteen children, ten of whom are living at the present time. The children of our subject and wife are ten in number, of whom eight are living - Amanda, Charles A., Ida E., Jacob E., Anna, Edwin A., Frank O., and Maud May. Those deceased are Freddie and Emma. The last named was the wife of John Nicholas, and died leaving two children, John and Fred.
Mr. Salfisberg's interests in the artificial stone business is now looked after by his son, Jacob E , who is a man of good business ability. Fraternally Mr. Salfisberg is a member of the Masonic order, of the blue lodge, chapter, council and Knight Templar. A thorough-going business man, he keeps abreast with the times and has contributed his share in the upbuilding of Du Page and Kane counties. As a citizen he is greatly esteemed.
COIT SPALDING, the present efficient supervisor of Blackberry township, and the junior member of the firm of Cline & Spalding, general merchants, Elburn, Illinois, was born in Washtenaw county, Michigan, November 12, 1836, and is the son of Colwell and Benlah (Lyon) Spalding, natives of New York. In his native state, Colwell Spalding was by occupation a farmer, and followed that vocation after his removal to Kane county, Illinois, in 1844. He located in Blackberry township, where he purchased government land, which is still in possession of the family. A pioneer of the county, he was widely and favorably known for his many excellent traits of character - a man often referred to in settling troubles, such as arise between neighbors, and a man universally respected for his many sterling qualities. He died in this county at the age of eighty-seven years. He was a pioneer of Michigan before his removal to Illinois. Originally a Democrat, he voted for James K. Polk, but on the organization of the Republican party, gave adherence to it, and voted that ticket during the remainder of his life. He took great interest in political affairs, and was a great reader of periodicals and current literature. For many years he was a justice of the peace, and held other minor official positions. His wife was born in 1804, died in 1891. She was for many years a member of the Baptist church, and was very regular in attendance. Her parents were Mathias and Rhoda Lyon. Of their three living children, Gilbert resides in Greenwood county, Kansas, where he is engaged in farming; Coit is the subject of this sketch; and Louisa J. is the wife of Charles Eckley, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Coit Spalding was reared on the home farm in Blackberry township, and his education, began in the district school, was completed in an academy, which he attended one year. After leaving school, he remained for a time on the farm, then tried railway work one year, then clerked in a store, but mostly engaged in farming, until he commenced business for himself in Elburn, in August, 1891, where he formed a partnership with M. S. Cline, in the general mercantile trade. They now carry a fine stock and have their share of the business of the place.
Mr. Spalding was married January 1, 1863, to Miss Helen M. Barker, daughter of Jabez Barker, a native of Massachusetts, and who was a pioneer of Kane county. Three children were born of this union, James J., who married Miss Nettie Reeves, by whom he has one child, Fenner, is engaged in the lumber business in Elburn; Lester, who is in the livery business at Elburn; and Warren, a pupil of the public schools.
In politics Mr. Spalding is a Republican and a firm believer in protection. He was elected assessor of Blackberry township, in 1883, and held the office for five successive years. He was then elected supervisor of the township, and has held the office continuously to the present time. His reelection to the same office for so many years, speaks in unmistakable terms of a well-rendered and efficient service, and in this connection, it may be said that he is classed among the leading, enterprising and reliably solid citizens of the county, and a leader in his community in all enterprises, which, in his estimation, promises for the best interest of his township. For fifteen years he has also held the office of township school treasurer. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Blackberry lodge, No. 359, of Fox River chapter, No. 14, and of Sycamore commandery. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
ANDREW ANDERSON, residing on section 14, Big Rock township, is a representative Swedish-American, one who has the interest of his adopted country at heart. He was born in Sweden, November 20, 1842, and there grew to manhood, spending his boyhood and youth upon a farm. His educational advantages were limited, and his knowledge of the English language has been acquired since coming to the United States. Glowing accounts had been sent him of the opportunities for wealth in this land and he determined to emigrate with the hope of bettering his fortunes. In company with his brother, Oscar, he crossed the ocean and immediately came west to Batavia, Illinois, where he joined Swedish friends and soon secured work on a farm and in a stone quarry. The next summer he worked on a steamer on the Mississippi river, and then was employed on the Northwestern railroad at Union Grove, Whiteside county, Illinois.
In 1871. Mr. Anderson commenced work on the Illinois & Iowa railroad, with which he was engaged for several years. He then bought a small tract of land west of Big Rock, on which he located, but at the same time continued to work for the railroad company. As his means increased he purchased more land adjoining his little place, and there engaged in farming some thirteen or fourteen years. Disposing of that place, in 1895 he purchased the farm on section 14, where he now resides. The place was very much run down at the time of his purchase, but he has since made various improvements, and has to-day a good farm of one hundred and sixty-one acres, on which he has built a large barn, put up a wind pump, and underlaid it with many rods of tiling.
Mr. Anderson was married in Cook county in 1872, to Miss Lena Christiansen, also a native of Sweden, in which country she grew to womanhood. She has been to him a helpmeet indeed, and has co-operated with him in his work to their mutual advantages. Commencing life in the new world in limited circumstances, and among strange people, by his own labor and enterprise, assisted by his good wife, he has secured a large and valuable farm, a good home, and an honored name in the land of his adoption-.
Politically Mr. Anderson is a stanch Republican, and while interested in political affairs, has preferred to give his time and attention to his business interests, rather than in office seeking. He is a member of the Big Rock Congregational church, of which body his wife is also a member. For more than a quarter of a century he has lived in Kane county, the greater part of which time in Big Rock township, where he is well and favorably known.
SILAS S. FOOTH, who resides on section 9, Virgil township, is numbered among the well-to-do farmers of Kane county. He was born May 1, 1859, in Kane county, Illinois, and is the son of Simon and Barbara (Fried) Footh, both of whom were natives of Bohemia, Austria. They were the parents of two children, Lola and Silas S. In 1852 Simon Footh left his native land and came to the United States, locating in St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged in the cigar business, in which he continued about one year. In 1854 he came to Kane county, Illinois, and purchased eighty acres of land in Virgil township, and at once began its improvement and as time and his means increased, he purchased more land, until at one time he had a valuable farm of one hundred and eighty acres, all of which was under cultivation.
On the home farm the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, and while assisting his father in its cultivation, attended the district schools as the opportunity was afforded him, receiving a good common-school education. He has followed farming during his entire life together with stock-raising and has been fairly successful.
On the 10th of January, 1887, Mr. Footh married Miss Emma Sabin, a native of De Kalb county, Illinois, and by this union are three children, one of whom died in infancy. The living are Myrtie A. and Charlie S.
In 1888, Mr. Footh purchased his present farm of one hundred and fifty-three 35 acres, all of which is under cultivation, and which is a well-improved and valuable farm, the surroundings of which show the thrift and energy of its owner. Politically, he is an enthusiastic Republican, with which party he has been identified since attaining his majority. For three years he served as road commissioner, and was for several years a member of the school board. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of the Globe.
ERNEST A. GAGE resides on section 30, Rutland township, Kane county, Illinois, where he is engaged in general and dairy farming. The Gage family are of old colonial stock, and is scattered over the New England states. Lyman J. Gage, the present Secretary of the Treasury, undoubtedly sprang from common ancestry with the Gage family in Kane county. The first to come to this county was Cyril Gage, who came in 1844, with his brother-in-law, Caleb Truax. His father, Solomon Gage, Sr., came in 1846, and also located in Rutland township. He was the youngest of a family of seven children, and was born in New Hampshire, in 1788, and died in Rutland township, Kane county, October 21, 1851. He married Miriam Guernsey, also a native of New Hampshire, born in 1786, and who died in 1866. She was the daughter of Cyril Guernsey, who never came west. Solomon and Miriam Gage were the parents of eight children, of whom seven reached maturity. Socrates came west with Caleb Truax in 1844. Saloma married Evelyn R. Starks, the first settler of Rutland township, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. Esther married Caleb Truax, who was the first of the relatives to move west and settle in Kane county. Cyril, who came in 1844, with Caleb Truax, as before stated. John, who came in 1848, with his parents, and who is mentioned more at length elsewhere in this review. Solomon, Jr., father of our subject. Aaron came to Illinois with the family in 1848, and now lives in Missouri.
Solomon Gage, Jr., was born in Arcade, Wyoming county, New York, June 15, 1827. He was reared in his native county, and came west in 1846, and later bought a farm west of the present village of Burlington, Kane county, but sold the same after a few years. In company with his brother Cyril, he went to California in 1852, and there engaged in trading in cattle, meat, provisions, etc., to immigrants from the states. In 1854 he returned to Kane county, and after purchasing a lot of horses and cattle, went a second time to the coast, where he remained three years, employed as at first. On his first return the vessel on which he had taken passage, was wrecked and he was cast away on a desolate island, from which he was rescued after two weeks' exposure.
In 1857, having lost his first wife in California, Solomon Gage, Jr., returned to Kane county, married and bought a farm on section 30, Rutland township, where he lived until his death, March 7, 1886. The farm consists of one hundred and forty-one and a half acres, on which he erected all the buildings, but which has been improved by our subject since the death of the father with over two miles of tiling. In addition to the home farm, in the spring of 1884 he purchased six hundred and forty acres in Jackson county, Iowa, lying in Belmont and Hunter townships, on which his son, Charles, now resides. Solomon Gage, Jr., was first married March 15, 1854, to Susan Hogeboom, of Geneva, Illinois. She died in California, March 15, 1857, and was followed shortly after by their only child. On the first of July, 1858, he was again married, his second union being with Mary E. King, born in New Haven, Connecticut, October 4, 1840, and who died January 4, 1871. She was the daughter of Madison King, of English descent, a sail-maker by trade, who died when about seventy-eight years of age. His wife survived him, and lived to be ninety years of age. By this second union nine children were born, of whom four lived to maturity. Charles H., who married Estella McClelland, by whom he has three children, Ernest T., Florence and Mary, lives upon a large farm in Minnesota; Ernest A. lives upon the old homestead in Rutland township: Susan M., deceased, first married Dr. W. Heffelfinger, a resident of Lakefield, Minnesota, and after his death married R. E. Nash, who is now living in Chicago; John G. is the proprietor of a drug store in Hampshire.
Solomon Gage, Jr., was for the third time married in 1872, his union being with Mrs. Sylvia Brisbin, widow of Fields F. Brisbin, who died in Plato township in 1870. She was born in Canada in 1826. Her father, Ephraim C. Staunton, was a native of New Hampshire, and the son of Eldridge Staunton, a native of England, who bore arms against the mother country in the war of 1812, and who was killed in the battle of Black Rock, December 31, 1813. Ephraim C. Staunton married Sarah Samis, a native of New York state, and a daughter of Benjamin Samis, likewise a native of New York. They lived for a time in Canada, but came to Kane county, Illinois, in 1845, settling in Burlington township, where he died in 1861. Ernest A. Gage, our subject, was born on the farm where he now resides and after attending the district schools completed his education in Beloit College. With the exception of two and a half years, when he resided on a farm in Minnesota, he has spent his entire life on the home farm. In 1886, after his father's death, he took charge of the homestead, which has since been under his control. He was married March 31, 1891, to Emma C. Hemrick, a daughter of Philip Hemrick, of Rutland township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.
In politics Mr. Gage is a Republican, with which party he has been identified since attaining his majority. He has been a member of the school board for several terms. Fraternally he is a member of Hampshire lodge, No. 443, A. F. & A. M., of Hampshire, and Loyal L. Munn chapter, R. A. M., and of Blackhawk garrison, No. 32, Knights of the Globe, Hampshire. He and his wife are members of the Eastern Star lodge of Hampshire. As a farmer he is thoroughly practical and keeps his farm under a high state of cultivation, devoting it principally to dairy purposes.
TODD BENJAMIN, residing on section 19, Sugar Grove township, is in every respect a representative citizen of the county, and is now operating the home farm of two hundred acres on which he was born January 30, 1853. On his father's side he is of Scotch descent, his grandfather, Elisha, who was an early settler of Oneida county, New York, being of Scotch parentage. Leonard Benjamin, the father, was born in Oneida county, New York, in 1812, and there grew to manhood, and after having passed through the common schools entered Hamilton College, and taking the regular course, was graduated therefrom. In 1837, he came to Kane county, Illinois, and made claim to one hundred and sixty acres in Sugar Grove township, on which he built a small residence and began its further improvement. When the land came into market he secured his deed for the same, together with forty acres additional, which is yet in possession of the family and is the home of our subject. He later bought a farm of forty acres in Big Rock township. A well educated man and a practical farmer, he made of the place one of the best in the township. In 1891, the family residence was destroyed by fire, and he later built the present substantial residence.
Before coming to Illinois, Mr. Benjamin taught several terms in the public schools and after his arrival here again engaged in teaching in connection with his farm work, teaching in all about twenty terms. He here married Lucretia Emery, a native of Tompkins county, New York, and a daughter of Abner Emery. By this union were two sons and one daughter, Todd our subject; Ida, wife of Charles Dugan, a farmer of Sugar Grove township; and Pratt, also a farmer of Sugar Grove township and the present township assessor. By a former marriage there are two sons, Charles and James.
Leonard Benjamin was in his time one of the most prominent men in Sugar Grove township, where he served as supervisor, assessor, justice of the peace, township trustee, collector, and other positions of honor and trust, showing the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens. He died on the old homestead May 21, 1895. His widow survives and makes her home with her son, the subject of this sketch.
Todd Benjamin grew to manhood on the old farm, and in his youth assisted in its cultivation. His primary education was obtained in the schools of his neighborhood, after which he attended the Jennings Semi-nary at Aurora, preparatory to a college course. He then entered the State University at Ann Arbor, Michigan, from which he graduated in the class of 1878. When but eighteen years of age he taught his first term in the public schools, and taught several terms before entering the university. After completing his course, he taught some twelve or fifteen terms, and now holds a teacher's certificate. He has, however, abandoned the profession, and now gives his time exclusively to the management of the farm, of which he has had charge since 1890.
Mr. Benjamin was united in marriage in Tekamah, Burt county, Nebraska, December 8, 1895, with Miss Alta Breed, a native of De Kalb county, Illinois, and a daughter of Charles Breed, now deceased, who was an early settler of De Kalb county, Illinois, and also of Tekamah, Nebraska. Politically Mr. Benjamin is a lifelong Republican, and cast his first presidential ballot for Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1876. In local political affairs he has been somewhat active, and for eight years was a member of the county central committee of his party. He has also served as a delegate to various county and state conventions, in which his influence has been felt. For nine consecutive years he served as road commissioner, and has always been in favor of good roads. While not members, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin attend the People's church of Sugar Grove. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Sugar Grove. A life-long resident of Kane county, and the township where he resides, he is well and favorably known as a man of superior education, of good business ability, and of exemplary habits.
SAMUEL HARTER, a retired farmer living on section 17, Kaneville township, came to Kane county in 1854, and for three years was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Centre county, January 5, 1827. His father, Jacob Harter, was a native of the same county and state, as was also his grandfather, Andrew Harter. The family are of German ancestry, the first of that name who came from Germany being a pioneer settler of Centre county.
Jacob Harter grew to manhood in Centre county, Pennsylvania, and there married Elizabeth Kern, also a native of the same county. Her father, Stephen Kern, was also a native of Pennsylvania, of German parentage. In his native county Jacob Harter, engaged in farming, and there reared his family, spending his entire life there, dying in 1863. His wife survived him about two years, dying in 1865. Of their family of seven sons and three daughters, our subject is fifth in order of birth. All grew to mature years, and five of the seven sons are yet living.
Samuel Harter was reared in his native state, and in its common schools received the education, attending during the winter months, while assisting in operating the farm the remainder of the year. He remained under the parental roof until attaining his majority, and in 1849 was united in marriage with Mary Dauberman, a daughter of John Dauberman, of Centre county, Pennsylvania. After their marriage they remained in Pennsylvania until 1854, when they came to Kane county, Illinois, locating in Kaneville township, on land belonging to John Dauberman, a place of one hundred and sixty acres of partially improved land. On that farm he remained for about twenty years, giving his time and attention to the improvement of the place. In 1875 he bought his present farm of a hundred and thirty acres, and since coming into his possession he has made many improvements, including the erection of the substantial residence, good barns and other outbuildings, together with a good tenement house.
In 1857, some three years after coming to Kane county, Mr. Harter lost his wife, she dying, leaving one son, Adolphus, a farmer residing in Maple Park, Illinois. They lost one child, a daughter, who died when about one year old. In November, 1857, Mr. Harter married Elizabeth Gusler, a native of York county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jacob Gusler, a pioneer of Du Page county, Illinois, who later removed to Kaneville township, Kane county. By this marriage there is one son, Rodell S., who is married and is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business at Maple Park, Illinois. He is also a member of the town council and a justice of the peace.
Politically, Mr. Harter supported the men and measures of the Democratic party until 1896, when he voted for William McKinley and sound money. For years he served as commissioner of highways and also a member of the school board. He is now serving as township trustee, which position he has held for six years. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the United Evangelical church, and for some years he was a member of its official board.
Mr. Harter commenced life with but limited means, but by hard work and the practice of economy, he has acquired a competency. For forty-four years he has engaged in agricultural pursuits in Kane county, and that he has made a good farmer is attested by the improvements on his place. As a citizen his friends and neighbors all speak of him in the highest terms of praise.
FRANK DOBSON, a farmer residing on section 13, Virgil township, and who receives his mail at Lily Lake post office, is a native of Kane county, born on the farm where he now resides, June 28, 1854, and is the son of Abraham and Mary (Currin) Dobson, the former a native of New Brunswick, and the latter of Ireland. They were the parents of six children-Mary, Julia, Frank, George, Eleanor and Alfred. The paternal grandfather Dobson was a native of England, who emigrated to New Brunswick at an early day, and there engaged in farming, at which occupation he continued during his entire life.
In 1838, Abraham Dobson came to Kane county, Illinois, and purchased a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of government land, in Virgil township, and there engaged in farming and stockraising, in which he was quite successful. He died at the age of sixty years. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood on the old farm, which has always been his home. In the common schools, he received a fairly good education, and by reading and observation has since become a well-informed man. He has an interest in over six hundred acres of well improved land, and is classed among the most substantial farmers of Virgil township. In politics he is a Democrat, and religiously he is a member of the Catholic church.
S.W. MYERS is engaged in farming and stockraising on section 9, Sugar Grove township, where he owns and operates a farm of about three hundred acres of well-improved and valuable land. He is a native of Illinois, born near Eureka, Woodford county, July 26, 1856. His father, Lewis H. Myers, was born in 1835, in Pennsylvania, and removed to Ohio, when a lad of thirteen, with his parents. George Myers, the paternal ancestor, was one of the early settlers of Pickaway county, Ohio. There Lewis H. Myers spent his youth, and when but eighteen years of age, was united in marriage with Miss Christina Helvern, who was but sixteen years old, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Daniel Helvern, an early settler of Pickaway county, and also of German parentage. Soon after his marriage he moved to Indiana, and spent one year, and in 1856 moved to Illinois, locating in Woodford county, where he bought a partially improved farm of two hundred and forty acres, and there engaged in general farming. He was an active, enterprising and successful agriculturist, and by his thrifty habits has been enabled to retire from active business and is now residing in Washington, Illinois. He was duly honored by his fellow citizens and served in various official positions with credit to himself and satisfaction of others.
S. W. Myers is the second in order of birth in the family of four sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to mature years and all married with the exception of two. In his native county, our subject grew to manhood and received his primary education in the common schools, which was supplemented by two years at Westfield College. He was one year engaged in teaching during his college course, and after finishing his studies he farmed one year in Woodford county, and was then appointed deputy sheriff of the county, and removed to Metamora, then the county seat. After serving as deputy one term he returned to the farm where he spent four years and then moved to Eureka, where he engaged in the live stock business, in which he was quite successful. While residing on the farm he was elected a member of the board of supervisors of Woodford county, and after his removal to Eureka was again elected a member of the board, and during his service, was on some important committees including public buildings, almshouses, and judiciary.
In 1891, Mr. Myers disposed of his interest in Eureka, and came to Kane county, and bought the farm on which he now resides. Since locating here he has built a neat and substantial residence and several outbuildings, cleared and broke about seventy acres of new land, and put the place in the very best condition. For years he has been engaged in the fine stock business and is now making a specialty of Poland China hogs and Jersey cattle. He is also engaged to some extent in breeding thoroughbred Percheron horses. There is no better judge of fine stock in Kane county than Mr. Myers.
Politically Mr. Myers is a Democrat, with which party he has been identified since attaining his majority. In 1893 he was elected justice of the peace of Sugar Grove township, was re-elected and is now serving his fifth year. He has served as delegate to various conventions and is an ardent supporter of the free-silver measure. In 1896 he was nominated by his party as a candidate for the office of county recorder, but failed of election, the county being strongly Republican.
Mr. Myers was married in Woodford county, Illinois, February 7, 1878, to Isabelle Stumbaugh, a native of Woodford county, where she was reared and educated, and a daughter of Samuel Stumbaugh, one of the early settlers of that county. By this union there are five children, as follows: Gay, a young lady at home, who received her education at Sugar Grove, Illinois, and Knox College, Galesburg; Clark Shull, who is assisting his father in carrying on the farm; Lewis Dean, Mossie and Ruth, who reside at home. Mr. and Mrs. Myers were members of the Presbyterian church in Woodford county, but since locating in Sugar Grove they have not united with any church, though still feeling an interest in moral and church work. Fraternally he is a member of Sugar Grove camp, Modern Woodmen of America. A life-long resident of Illinois, but only residing in Kane county a comparatively few years, Mr. Myers has yet made many friends, who will be pleased to read this sketch of his life.
RICHARD DALE, who is now living a retired life on his farm in section 23, Big Rock township, is numbered among the settlers of 1852. He was born in Durham, England, July 28, 1824, and is the son of Thomas Dale, who was born .in Yorkshire, England, and who married, in Durham, Miss Ann Stoddard, a native of Durham. In 1852, he emigrated to the United States with his family, coming direct to Kane county, Illinois, and locating in the western part of Big Rock township, where he purchased an improved farm, and engaged in farming, there spending the last years of his life, dying July 28, 1862, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife survived him a number of years, dying in March, 1876, at the age of eighty-two years. Of their family of fifteen children, all grew to mature years, of which number the following named are now living: George S., residing in Chicago; Thomas S., of Hinckley, Illinois; Richard, of this review; Mrs. E. F. Long, of Big Rock; and Mrs. Alfred Summers, of Aurora.
Richard Dale came to Kane county, a young man of twenty-eight years, and assisted his father in the operation of the home farm, until the latter's death. He was married in Aurora, March 6, 1856, to Ann Summers, a native of England, born in Frome, Somerset county, England, and who came to this country with her parents when but eight years of age. Her father, Joseph Summers, was one of the first settlers of Kane county, locating here in 1836, and purchasing a tract of four hundred acres, in Big Rock township, and, at his death, left Mrs. Dale that part of the estate on which they now reside. To Mr. and Mrs. Dale five children were born: Joseph H. resides at home and is carrying on the farm; John R. grew to manhood, and died December 21, 1884, at the age of twenty-two years; Martha M. is yet residing at home; Ann S. is the wife of E. K. Frydendall, of Big Rock, and they have one child, Lura; Sidney J., a single man, also resides at home.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Dale located on the farm where they now reside, and he at once began its improvement. He has since built a neat and substantial residence, good barns and other outbuildings, and has tiled much of the land. He has now a well-improved and valuable farm of two hundred and eight acres. His good wife passed to her reward on the 17th of September, 1891, when nearly sixty-four years of age. Her death was mourned not alone by the family but by a large circle of friends.
Politically, Mr. Dale and sons are strong Democrats and give earnest and enthusiastic support to the men and measures of that party. For fifteen years, Mr. Dale served as commissioner of highways, and for twenty-six consecutive years was school director of Eagle school district, and is still serving as a member of the school board. Religiously, he was reared in the Episcopal faith. Identified with the interests of Big Rock township, for forty-six years, he is well known and is universally respected.
CHRISTOFER FREDERIC GEYER, who resides at No. 70, South Fourth street, Aurora, Illinois, is the well-known superintendent of the locomotive department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad, a position which he has held for the past twenty years, to the satisfaction of all concerned. He is a native of Germany, born in Wurtemberg, near Lake Constance, October 22, 1839. In his native city he remained until fifteen years of age, during which time he received a liberal education, although yet in his youth, he determined at once to begin life for himself, with a view of bettering his condition in life, he resolved to emigrate to America.
Leaving home, he took ship at Havre, France, in a sailing vessel, and was seven weeks in making the voyage across the Atlantic, during which time they experienced some very severe weather, the storms sweeping the deck, carrying off one of the masts and a portion of the forward deck. Arriving in New York, he proceeded at once to Buffalo, where he joined some friends, and spent the first seven months on a farm. He then went into the machine shops of Henry Hawkins, where he served a five-years apprenticeship, during which time he saved up five hundred dollars. An absence of six years from home and friends, made him desirous of once more returning to his native land. He accordingly recrossed the Atlantic and after spending three and a half months with his parents and friends, he returned to Buffalo, and again went to work in the machine shops. His employer later gave him a letter to a brother in Aurora, when he came here and went into the shops of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, where he worked as a journeyman until 1875. He was then promoted to assistant foreman and served in that capacity about two years, and then took charge of the boiler shop for a year. In 1878 he was given charge of the locomotive department and has held that responsible position up to the present time, having under his control from two hundred to four hundred men. Mr. Geyer was married in Aurora, March 29, 1864, to Miss Caroline Scharshug, a native of New York, born in the city of Brooklyn, and a daughter- of John Scharshug, who removed with his family to Aurora in 1853, and locating on a farm in the city. He now resides in Aurora, where he is living a retired life. By this union are three children: the oldest, Mary, is the wife of Frank Lincoln, of Aurora; Clarence, now a student at the Northwestern Medical College; and Edna I., a student in the East Aurora High School. They lost two children, Frederick O., who died at the age of eleven years, and Cora Josephine, who died at the age of seven years, both dying December 14, 1877, of diphtheria, and both buried in one grave.
Since coming to Aurora, Mr. Geyer has been fairly prosperous and has been able to make some investments. On the organization of the Improvement and Building Association, he subscribed to its stock, and was made one of its directors, and is now its vice-president. For eight years he was a member of the board of public works, the duties of which office he discharged in a faithful manner. Politically he is identified with the Republican party, on national issues, but in local affairs he votes regardless of party. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the blue lodge, chapter and Eastern Star. Mrs. Geyer was reared a Lutheran. In his thirty-five years residence in Aurora, Mr. Geyer has not only gained the confidence of the officials of the great road with which he is connected, but has also gained the respect of all the people of Aurora, and is recognized as one of its best representative citizens.
ASEM A. OAKLEY, a farmer residing on section 31, Hampshire township, is a native of the Prairie state, born in Genoa township, De Kalb county, Illinois, January 9, 1853, and is the son of John A. and Mary Ann (Eddy) Oakley, the former a native of Oak Hill, New York, born in 1818, and the latter a native of Yates county, New York, and a daughter of John Eddy. The first persons by the name of Eddy to come to America were Samuel and John, who came in 1630, in the ship Handmaid, landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts. They were the sons of Rev. William Eddye, vicar of the church of St. Dunstan, Cranbrook, County Kent, England, who married Mary Foster. Samuel Eddy was one of the original pur-chasers of the town of Middleboro, Massachusetts. His wife's first name was Elizabeth. Zachariah, son of Samuel, married Alice Paddock, and their son Joshua married Hannah Stevens. Their son John married Sarah Stevens and lived at Gloucester. Their son John was a captain in the Revolutionary war. He married Deborah Winsor, daughter of John Winsor, a celebrated Baptist minister of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Their son Richard married Susannah Shaw, the mother of Mary A. Eddy, who married John A. Oakley, the father of our subject. The name Eddye, from the Anglo-Saxon Edda, or Eadig, from root "ead", meaning prosperity. The remote ancestors fought in the holy wars, as is shown in the cross on armoreal bearings, which is a shield with the heads of three old men connected at shoulders by cross, croslet and dagger, salientwise for crest. The motto is ''Crux mihi grata quies."
In 1841 John A. Oakley came to Illinois and located in Genoa township, De Kalb county, where he purchased one hundred and twenty-five acres, on section 25, and forty acres adjoining in Hampshire township, Kane county, Illinois. He was a man of some prominence in De Kalb county, and for a time served as postmaster of New Lebanon. In politics he was a Republican. His death occurred in January, 1864. He was married about 1843 to Mary Ann Eddy, and they became the parents of five children, as follows: Erasmus A., deceased; Windsor, who lives in Sycamore, De Kalb county, Illinois; Melinda, wife of George Harrington, residing on the old Homestead, section 25, Genoa township, De Kalb county; Amelia, wife of George Hallock, of Seattle,Washington; and Asem A., our subject.
Asem A. Oakley remained upon the home farm in Genoa township, De Kalb county, until fourteen years of age, receiving his primary education in the public schools. He then went to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he pursued his studies in the college at that place, for three and a half years. From Hillsdale he went to Yates and Steuben counties, New York, where he spent six months visiting relatives and in working part of the time. Returning home he worked on the farm of his mother, until the age of twenty-three years, when he married Catherine Berry, born in Burlington township, Kane county, Illinois, and a daughter of Ebenezer and Matilda (Bennett) Berry, both of whom were natives of New York. Her father is now living retired in Sycamore, De Kalb county, Illinois. By this union are five children: Clifford, Daisy, Jessie, Kittie and Mary A., the latter being better known as "Bonnie. "The four girls are expert musicians, forming an orchestra on the piano, violin, mandolin and guitar. Their services are in demand for entertainments.
After his marriage, Mr. Oakley rented a farm in Genoa township, for three years, and then crossed the line into Burlington township, Kane county,, where he rented a farm for one year, after which he purchased his present farm of one hundred acres, on section 31, Hampshire township, which is a well improved place and is devoted to general and dairy farming. In politics Mr. Oakley is a Republican, and fraternally he is a member of Hampshire Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. He has never desired office and has only been prevailed upon to accept that of school director.
LOUIS A. DEAN, who resides on section 35, Big Rock township, has a well-improved farm of one hundred and thirty acres, and is numbered among the settlers of Kane county of 1847. He was born in Westchester county, New York, April 30, 1843. His father, Smith A. Dean, was also a native of the same county and state, where he married Delilah Wright, also a native of New York. In 1846 they came to Kane county, Illinois, with their family and located in Big Rock township, on the farm now owned and operated by our subject. On his arrival he purchased the land, a small portion of which had been under the plow, and at once fenced and commenced the cultivation of the place, and here died April 28, 1849, at the age of forty-seven years. His wife survived him and died December 2, 1882, at the age of seventy-two years. Their children were: Erastus married and residing in Waterman, De Kalb county; Alice, wife of C. W. Reynolds, residing in Morrison, Illinois; John, who accidentally met his death when forty years of age; Ada, wife of Edward Meade, residing in Dunlap, Iowa; Louis A., the subject of this sketch; and Mariam, widow of Alfred King, of Aurora.
Louis A. Dean came to Kane county when but three years of age and upon the farm in Big Rock township grew to manhood and attended the public schools of the neighborhood. His school life was during the winter months, the summer months being required for work upon the farm. He was married in Kane county, December 9, 1862, to Louisa Mewhirter, a native of Pennsylvania, born in Westmoreland county, and who came when a child to Kane county with her parents. Her father, William Mewhirter, was among the earliest settlers of the county and here died at the age of eighty-four years. His wife surviving him, died at the age of ninety years. To Mr. and Mrs. Dean two children were born. The eldest, Elmer, now owns and operates a farm of .one hundred acres adjoining the old homestead. He married Anna Loucks, daughter of Almeron and Henrietta Loucks, and they have a son, Lewis A. Elzora is the wife of Albert Greenacre, a stock dealer of Hinckley, Illinois. They have one daughter, Alice.
After their marriage; Mr. Dean rented a farm for some years in the neighborhood of the old home place. He then bought out the heirs of the family homestead, which consisted of one hundred and ten acres. He later bought twenty acres adjoining the farm, and has since built a good addition to the house, erected a large barn and various outbuildings, put up a wind pump, and tiled the farm, making of it one of the best in Big Rock township. In addition to his home farm, Mr. Dean has operated one hundred and sixty acres of other land for some years, and is recognized as one of the active and successful farmers of Big Rock township.
Politically, Mr. Dean is a Democrat, with which party he has acted and given his support since casting his first presidential ballot for General George B. McCIellan in 1864. Mr. and Mrs. Dean have been residents of Kane county since childhood, and attended the same school. They have witnessed the growth and development of the county and have been identified with its interests for more than half a century, and are well known and greatly esteemed in Kane and adjoining counties.
JAMES McMAHON is a prosperous farmer residing on section 23, Virgil township, where he owns and operates a farm of about four hundred acres of well improved and valuable land. He is a native of County Clare, Ireland, born in March, 1825, and is the son of Thomas and Nancy (Noonan) McMahon, both of whom were natives of Ireland, and became the parents of eight children.
The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood and youth in his native land, and on attaining his majority joined the great band of emigrants for the new world. Arriving in New York he proceeded to Connecticut, where he remained six years, and in 1862 came to Kane county, Illinois. In 1863 he returned to Connecticut, and married Mary Comins, a native of Ireland, and by this union were born fourteen children, seven of whom are living. In order of birth they are as follows: Thomas, Margaret, Katie, James, William, Dennis and Vincent.
In 1882 Mr. McMahon purchased the farm where he now resides, which then comprised about one hundred and seventy-one acres, but to which he has since added until he has now three hundred and ninety-five acres of as fine land as can be found in Virgil township, and which is under a high state of cultivation. Here he engages in general and dairy farming, and has been very successful. He is a natural born farmer, and has followed that occupation during his entire life. In politics he is a Democrat, and has voted that ticket since obtaining his naturalization papers in 1861. While taking a commendable interest in political affairs, he gives his time and attention to his extensive business interests, leaving office seeking and office holding to others. The entire family are members of the Catholic church, in the doctrines of which they have unbounded faith.
ELAM F. HATCH, who resides on section 7, Sugar Grove township, traces his ancestry back to Thomas Hatch, who was born in Kent county, England, in 1603, and who came to the new world with Governor Winthrop in 1630, landing at Cape Cod. Elam F. is in the sixth generation from Thomas Hatch. He was born in Sherburne, Chenango county, New York, February 10, 1839. His father, Elam Hatch, was born in 1787, in the same house in which our subject was born. Timothy Hatch, the grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, as was also his father, Jethro Hatch, the great-grandfather of our subject. Elain F. Hatch has a cane brought from England by Thomas Hatch in 1630, of which he is justly proud. The cane is of hazel wood with a heavy silver head, and ferrule. Descendants of Thomas Hatch have been well known in the history of the country and in various walks of life.
Elam Hatch, the father, was a farmer in New York, where he married Margaret Farrell, also a native of New York, and who is a descendant of an old family. In 1850, with his family, Mr. Hatch moved to Kane county, Illinois, and located on the farm in Sugar Grove township, now occupied by our subject. Purchasing a hundred and thirty acres of partially improved land, he built a good house, fenced the land, and opened up a good farm. Here he reared his family and spent the last days of his life, dying in 1876. His wife died the previous year. Their family consisted of four sons. The oldest, Israel Burdette, married in New York, came to Kane county, locating in Aurora, from which place he moved to Kankakee, and still later to Denver, Colorado, and there died in 1888. T. Yale is married and is a farmer by occupation and now resides in Highmore, Hyde county, South Dakota. Elam F. is next in order of birth. Frank D. is a merchant at Kankakee, Illinois.
The subject of this sketch was eleven years of age when he came with his parents to Kane county, Illinois. He grew to manhood on his father's farm and assisted in its cultivation and on the death of his parents succeeded to the home place. In Manchester, Vermont, October 1, 1868, he was united in marriage with Miss Augusta Maria Collson, a native of New York, who came to Illinois in childhood, lived in DeKalb county, where she was reared and educated. By this union are six children as follows: Burdette M., a conductor on the street railway, residing in Aurora; Lorenzo C, a farmer of Sugar Grove township; Cora G., wife of L. K. Owens, a farmer of Sugar Grove township; Addie M., wife of Eddie Phillips, of Big Rock, and Martha F., a young lady now housekeeper for her father. The children are all well educated and each of the daughters have engaged in teaching in the public schools. The wife and mother passed away December 28, 1895. She was an excellent woman, a true Christian, and her death was sincerely mourned by the family and a large circle of friends.
Politically Mr. Hatch is a life-long Republican, and cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and has voted for every presidential nominee of the party from that time to the present. He never wanted nor would hold office. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and is an official of the church at Kaneville. His parents were also members of that church, although they were reared in the Congregational faith. For forty-eight years Mr. Hatch has been a resident of Kane county, during which time he has contributed his share in its development and has always been interested in its growth and prosperity
DAVID HAMILTON, deceased, who was long a resident of Campton township, was born at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, June 11, 1815. He was the son of James and Mary (Kilpatrick) Hamilton, natives of Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire, Scotland, respectively. James Hamilton was a merchant tailor and clothier in the town of Hamilton, and carried on quite an extensive business. James and Mary Hamilton were the parents of nine children, our subject being the youngest of the family.
David Hamilton received his education at private schools in his native town. He learned the trade of a fruiterer and carried on that business very successfully for over twenty years on London street, Glasgow, Scotland. At the close of the war in 1865, he disposed of his business interests in the old country and came by steamer to the United States, landing at New York. He proceeded direct to Kane county, Illinois, and resided for a time with the Muirhead family in Plato township, until he could secure a desirable farm. He decided upon one in the northern part of Campton township, and made a purchase of eighty acres, on section 8. He subsequently added sixty acres and afterward an additional fifty acres, and to this was added twenty acres of timber, but subsequently sold two and a half acres to the railroad company. He, soon after purchasing, sold the fifty acres to his son-in-law, George Marshall. There was a log house on the eighty acres first purchased, and in this he resided. He was first married in Glasgow to Jane Morris, by whom he had five children. The wife and mother and youngest child died in Glasgow in 1863, his remaining four children accompanying him to America, and made their home with him for a time upon the farm. He married, for a second wife, Miss Margaret Bowie, September 20, 1867, the ceremony being performed in St. Charles, Illinois, by Rev. David Metlock. Mrs. Hamilton was born at Ardgwon, Inverkip, Renfrewshire, Scotland, March 20, 1820, her parents being Archibald and Ann (Frazer). Bowie. Her mother, who died when Mrs. Hamilton was a child, was a descendant of an old and honored family of Scotland. Her ancestor, being Simon Frazer, of Lovet, Inverniss, a very conspicuous family at the time the Stuarts filled the throne of England. Within the present century a protracted lawsuit has been waged over the Lovet estate, but was decided against the Frazer family, by a verdict of not proven. Mrs. Hamilton spent her childhood days on the sea-coast of Renfrewshire. She was an old friend of the first wife and her husband. She came to America in 1867 and the same year was married to David Hamilton.
The children by the first marriage were Jesse, who died unmarried at the age of forty-four, being accidentally burned to death; John; Mary, the wife of George Marshall, married March 31, 1879; they have three children-David, Jane and Madge; John, who married Vidi Westgarth, of Kane county, is now residing on a farm at Benton Harbor, Michigan; he has six children - Jesse, Isabella, Donald, Nellie, Margaret and John Van Clair; Margaret married, July 14, 1878, James Clark, a farmer near Manchester, Iowa, and has five children - Adelbert, Agnes, Foster, Edna and a girl of three years.
David Hamilton, of this review, while in this county devoted his entire time to dairy farming, keeping a herd of never less than forty milk cows. For some years prior to his death he was in delicate health, and died of heart disease in the Sherman Hospital, in Elgin, Illinois, December 17, 1894, aged eighty years. Soon after her husband's death, Mrs. Hamilton removed to Lily Lake, and erected a neat cottage in which to pass her declining years. She has an interest in her late husband's estate, some land of her own, beside the cozy residence and lot at Lily Lake. In 1885 she made a trip to bonnie Scotland, visiting her old home in Renfrewshire, and making a protracted visit. She again visited Scotland in 1895, staying four months. The trip was saddened by the absence of many of her old-time friends, who had gone to the land beyond. Although in her seventy-ninth year, Mrs. Hamilton is a very bright woman and an interesting talker, possessing all her faculties unimpaired. She is very active, occasionally taking long journeys on foot in the neighborhood, where she has resided for over thirty years, and where she is so well and favorably known.
JOHN J. READ, who is engaged in farming on section 12, Virgil township, was born on the farm where he now resides, November 6, 1852. He is the son of Richmond and Miranda (Sweet) Read, the former a native of Westmoreland county, New Brunswick, and the latter of Syracuse, New York. Of their family of ten children five are now deceased. Those living are: John J., Wilford A., Emma D., Otho E., and George R. The paternal grandfather, Eliphalet Read, was also a native of New Brunswick, and a farmer by occupation. He came to Kane county, Illinois, in September, 1837, and took up two hundred and forty acres of government land in Virgil township, which he improved and which was his home during the remainder of his life.
Richmond Read, the father of our subject, was one of the government surveyors in Kane county. He also took up two hundred and forty acres of government land, and here engaged in farming and stock-raising. He became one of the most prominent men in the township, and at one time was the owner of over five hundred acres of splendid land which he had under a high state of cultivation. His death occurred on the old homestead some years ago.
The subject of this sketch was reared upon the farm where he now resides, and which has been his home during his entire life. After attending the public schools of his neighborhood for a time he finished his education in the graded schools of Sycamore, De Kalb county, which he attended two years. On the 10th of January, 1877, he was united in marriage with Miss Lola Footh, a native of Virgil township, Kane county, Illinois, a daughter of Simon Footh, and a sister of Silas Footh, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. By this union three children were born - Fred R., Maude and Edith. Maude is now deceased.
Politically, Mr. Read is a Republican, and is a firm believer in the principles of that party. He cast his first presidential vote for Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1876, and his last vote for William McKinley, in 1896. He has been honored by his fellow-citizens with various local offices, including township collector, which position he filled for several years, and a member of the school board, holding the latter office for over twenty-five years. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America, and Knights of the Globe. He and his brother Wilford are the owners of five hundred and eight acres of land, which is a part of the old Read homestead. The improvements upon the place show the thrift of its owners, who are held in the highest esteem by their friends and neighbors.
CHARLES HOPKINS BARRETT, who is engaged in farming in Blackberry township, was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, October 16, 1850, and is the son of Sylvester and Caroline Adelia (Hix) Barrett, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of Renssellaer county, New York. They were married in Brainard, New York, and later removed to New Lenox, Massachusetts, where he engaged in his trade of mason and also in operating a quarry. After living in Massachusetts for a time, they went to Lebanon, New York, where they remained some years, and in the spring of 1857 came to Illinois, locating at Geneva. For some three or four years he worked the quarry at Batavia, then moved back to Geneva, there lived two years, while still working the quarry. He then moved to Sugar Grove township, where he worked at the mason's trade four years, then moved to the vicinity of La Fox, Blackberry township, where he resided until his death, April 24, 1896, at the age of eighty-six years and three months. He was well and favorably known throughout the county, especially during his active life. He was a member of the Congregational church, of which body his wife was also a member.
The paternal great-grandfather of our subject was a very prominent man in his day, serving as colonel of militia. His son, Nathan, was a man of great will power, but died comparatively young, the effects of a cancer in the neck, which severed the jugular vein. He became the father of three sons and three daughters, as follows: Ruth, who married Samuel C. Evarts, of Geneva township, but is now deceased; Julia, wife of William Fitch, lived and died near Lenox,. Massachusetts; Ettie, was the wife of William Hazzard, but is now deceased; Sylvester, father of our subject; James and Jedediah, who reside in the vicinity of Lenox, Massachusetts.
The maternal grandfather of our subject was Thomas Hix. His children were, Eliza, deceased; Solomon, deceased; Hiram, residing in Lebanon, New York; Charlotte, residing in New York; Philander, deceased; Mary Jane, deceased; Henrietta, who established a school, known as the Transylvania School, was a very successful teacher, and a most worthy lady; Sarah, wife of John Proper; Caroline Adelia, the mother of our subject; Ann Maria, wife of Edward Hulburt, resides in the state of Washington, Josephine and Albertine, twins, the former residing with Ann Maria, and the latter is deceased; Frances, residing on the old homestead in Rensselaer county, New York.
The children born to Sylvester and Caroline Adelia Barrett were Charles Hopkins, our subject; Lottie, wife of Willis Richardson, by whom she has one child, Ralph B., and they reside in La Fox, Illinois; Frank and Anna, twins, the former married to Emma Reid, and with the child, Imo, they reside at Union, Illinois; the latter is a primary teacher in St. Charles, Illinois, a lady of culture and refinement, and well worthy of the high esteem in which she is held by the school board, pupils and all concerned.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools and has spent almost his entire life on the farm. For some years he was engaged in dairy farming, having about forty cows and shipping the product to Chicago. He sold out February 18, 1898. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and has been quite active in political affairs, and keeps well posted on the issues of the day. He is perhaps one of the best posted men in his township, and has many of the elements of good citizenship. He is in accord with the progress of the community, on every line of advancement.
ADAM WEAVER, who resides on section 20, Batavia township, Kane county, is a representative farmer of Kane county, owning and operating a farm of two hundred and forty acres, two miles west of
Batavia. His residence in Kane county dates from 1849. He is a native of New York, born in the town of Ellsburg, Jefferson county, January 31, 1826. His father, John Weaver, was also a native of the same state, born in the Mohawk valley. His grandfather, Adam Weaver, was a soldier in both the Revolutionary war and the second war with Great Britain, in 1812. The family are of German ancestry, and were early settlers of the state of New York. John Weaver, the father, grew to manhood in the village of Mohawk, and there married Christine Chrisman, also a native of New York. After his marriage he settled in Jefferson- county, where he reared his family and spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1837.
Our subject was but eleven years of age when his father died, after which he was compelled to make his own way in the world: When a young man he went on the lakes as a sailor, and later followed the sea in the same capacity. In all he served some six or eight years on the water. Farming, however, was his main work, and he followed that in his native county for some years. On coming west he commenced work on a farm in Kane county, and for two years worked by the month on various farms. He then rented a farm for two years, after which he rented the Able farm, where he remained six years, and then purchased a portion of his present farm. To his original purchase he added from time to time until he had two hundred and seventy-five acres of valuable land, thirty-five acres of which he has since sold, leaving him a tract of two hundred and forty acres which is under a high state of cultivation, with a good frame dwelling house, large and substantial barn, and good out buildings. When purchased the greater part of the farm was unimproved.
Mr. Weaver was united in marriage February 9, 1857, to Mrs. Adelia Trimble, a native of Erie county, New York, born in 1825, and a daughter of John Talmage, who drove through from New York to Chicago, with a team in 1836, and located in Du Page county. Mrs. Weaver was but eleven years of age, and there she grew to womanhood, and first gave her hand in marriage to Charles H. Trimble, and they settled in Kane county, where he engaged in farming. In 1849, on the discovery of gold in California, he went to that new Eldorado, and there died soon after. By her first marriage, she became the mother of two children-Adelbert, who grew to mature years and then died, and Ella, who died at the age of thirteen years.
To Mr. and Mrs. Weaver six children were born as follows: Ada A., who died when about seven years of age; Frances E., now the wife of James McDermott, of Wisconsin; Imogene, who died in childhood; Fanny, who also died in childhood, Orissa, wife of Theodore Brandenburg, of Kane county; and Herbert A., who married Florence Emmett, a native of Kane county, who was educated in Geneva and Batavia, and taught school for some years previous to her marriage, as did also her husband; they have one child, Roy Maxwell.
Mr. Weaver was originally an old-line Whig, but has been a Republican since the organization of that party. For nearly fifty years he has been a resident of Kane county, and is well and favorably known as a man of exemplary habits and upright and character, he and his estimable wife are held in the highest respect by all who know them.
MARSHALL LAWRENCE, who is engaged in general and dairy farming on section 8, Burlington township, was born on section 32 of the same township, and is the son of Edward and Melissa (Marshall) Lawrence. Edward Lawrence is the son of Robert Lawrence, who for many years ran a boat on the canal in England, and there died at the age of seventy-three years, never coming to this country. Our subject's father was born in Thurnham, Lancashire, England, where for eleven years he ran a merchant boat on the canal. Removing from that place, he resided at Liverpool for about one year, and then came to America in company with two brothers, sailing for New York from Liverpool in 1850. The two brothers that accompanied him were .both younger. William is deceased, and John resides in Sycamore, De Kalb county. Coming direct to Kane county, Illinois, Edward Lawrence settled in St.. Charles, where he resided one summer, removing from there to Charter Grove, De Kalb county, where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. After his marriage he bought a farm on section 32, Burlington township, and later, about 1860, purchased the farm on which our subject now resides on sections 8, 16, and 17, Burlington township. Here Mr. Lawrence made his home until 1881, when he retired from active life and moved to Genoa, De Kalb county, Illinois, residing there up to November, 1896, at which time he removed to Elgin, where he is now living in retirement.
On the 4th of June, 1856, Edward Lawrence was united in marriage with Miss Melissa Marshall, born in Nottinghamshire, England, and a daughter of William and Mary (Bingham) Marshall. Mrs. Lawrence's father served for seven years in the British army. To this union were born four children in order of birth as follows: Marshall, the subject of this review; Jennie, residing in Elgin with her parents; Robert Edward, a merchant of Elgin; and Mary E., wife of Edwin Lawson, also engaged in the mercantile business in Elgin, Illinois.
Marshall Lawrence was an attendant of the district school No. 10, Burlington township, until his twentieth birthday, after which he rented his father's farm, consisting of one hundred and ninety acres on sections 8, 16, and 17, which he conducts as a general and dairy farm, milking from thirty to thirty-five cows, and selling the product to the factory at Burlington. Mr. Lawrence was joined in wedlock February 24, 1886, in Genoa, De Kalb county, Illinois, with Miss Sallie Schairer, a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a daughter of George and Salome (Vogt) Schairer, the former dying when Sallie was but five years old.
George Schairer was born in Baden, Germany, January 12, 1813, and died in February, 1868. In 1826, when only a lad of thirteen, he came to America, reaching his destination after passing through a number of exciting adventures, including that of shipwreck. He had sailed for New York, but eventually landed in New Orleans, from which place he started north. Working at various places in the different states on his way up, he finally reached Chicago, two years after his landing in New Orleans. On his arrival in Chicago he took up the trade of a tailor, which he learned thoroughly. Leaving Chicago he went to Naperville, Illinois, where he worked at his trade for many years. On the 15th of September, 1865, he removed to Burlington, Illinois, where he purchased a farm consisting of one hundred and forty acres. This farm was purchased on the 15th of December of the same year, and later was increased to two hundred and thirty-seven and a half acres, which his sons, Charles and Lewis, now operate. Mr. Schairer continued working at his trade up to a short time before his death. He was an earnest worker and an active member of the Lutheran church, and fraternally he was a member of the I. O. O. F.
George Shairer was united in marriage with Miss Salome Vogt, a native of Gierstheim, Alsace, Germany, and who came with her parents to America when ten years of age. The family settled in Lisle, Du Page county, Illinois, where the father bought an eighty-acre farm. Both parents of Mrs. Schairer were killed in a cyclone, which occurred in 1868, the father meeting his death at the bridge, being struck by flying timbers as he was hastening home to protect his family; the mother being killed in the house with her children, none of whom met injury. The grandfather of Mrs. Schairer, Philip Vogt, and his two sons were killed while serving in the French army in Africa. Of the seven children born to George and Salome Schairer, five yet survive, as follows: George, a resident of Aurora; Charles H., a resident of Elgin; Carrie M., wife of Charles A. Chase; Louis, a merchant of Burlington; and Sallie, wife of our subject.
To Marshall and Sallie (Schairer) Lawrence have been born two children, Pearl Winifred and Bertha May. In political belief Mr. Lawrence is independent, voting for the man he considers best qualified to fill the office regardless of party. He has served in several official positions, among them that of highway commissioner, which office he filled for some five years, and then refused to be a candidate. He was school director for over thirteen years, always taking a deep interest in all things pertaining to education or plans to advance the material interests of his county.
The city of Elgin has within its borders a number of men who have become prominent in the social, political and financial world, and among them all none stand higher, or are worthy of greater commendation than the one whose name heads this sketch. His parents, Wm. and Sophia (Eberhardt) Grote, were German peasants of thrifty, careful and religious habits, who spent their last days in the new world, locating in Bartlett, Du Page county, Illinois, in 1867, the , mother dying in 1879, at the age of sixty-seven years, and the father May 27, 1895, at the age of eighty-three years.
William Grote was born in the hamlet of Winzlar, in the province of Hanover, Germany, November 22, 1849, and there secured a limited education in the parochial schools. Early in life he learned of that country, in which peasant life was unknown, and where even the humblest had the opportunity of attaining the highest rank-the grand United States of America. Obtaining the consent of his parents, he crossed the Atlantic in 1866, when but sixteen years of age, landing in New York, but at once coming west, locating in Bartlett, Du Page county, Illinois, where for one year he was employed as a farm hand. He was then joined by his parents, and together they purchased a farm which they cultivated for nearly five years.
While not altogether distasteful to him, the life of a farmer was not suited to our subject. His energy and his mental make-up were not such as could be satisfied with farm work, however honorable or however profitable it might be. Accordingly in 1871 he left the farm and removed to Elgin, where he embarked in the mercantile business, which he successfully continued for eleven years. Though it yielded a good income and was a paying investment, it did not, however, offer the scope for extended operations which he desired, and he therefore disposed of his interests. Prior to this he had invested somewhat in real estate in Elgin, and on retiring from the mercantile trade he determined to engage more extensively in the real estate business.
Not having all the capital desired for the prosecution of his new enterprise, Mr. Grote associated with himself in a portion of the business E. D. Waldron, who became the "silent partner" of the firm. His success- was remarkable from the beginning. Mr. Grote carefully watched indications of -rise in land values, and when he thought investments could profitably be made, he bought land, and became the owner of extensive tracts in and around Elgin, in addition to much business property. This he divided into city lots, and more than twenty large additions were made by and through him, including the Grote & Waldron, first, second and third, Central Park, Winzlar, Boulevard and Grand View additions.
Some time later, upon the partial retirement from active business of Mr. Waldron, A. B. Church became associated with Mr. Grote,' thus strengthening the firm financially and otherwise. Substantial edifices, which add to the beauty and attractiveness of his adopted city, stand as monuments to the thrift and enterprise of Mr. Grote and his associates. While in company with Mr. Waldron, he erected the Grote & Waldron and the McClure blocks, and in 1880, in connection with Mr. Church, he erected the Merchants Hotel Block, formerly the Jennings House, in which is located the principal hotel in the city.
Time has shown that the highest type of business ability is found in the successful real estate dealer, who must be able to anticipate the rise and fall in the value of land, must be able to read character, so as to know the individual with whom he is dealing, and must so plan and arrange all matters that the persons who are in search of a location may be induced to settle upon property which he controls. Many cities of the west owe their existence to the enterprise and perseverance of some capable real estate dealer. They are virtually the founders of a town and are connected with its development from the time of its inception-. That Mr. Grote has all the elements of the successful real-estate man is attested by his work in and for Elgin.
Through the instrumentality of Mr. Grote many industries have been located in Elgin which promote commercial activity and make it one of the thriving cities of the northwest. It was through him that the well-known D. C. Cook Publishing Company established their, house here; also the Illinois Watch Case Company, the Ludlow Shoe Company, the Cutter & Crossett Company, manufacturers of gents' furnishing goods, the Elgin Silver Plate Company, and the Elgin Sewing Machine & Bicycle Company, all of great importance and value to the city, and representing a donated capital of about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars.
While Mr. Grote has great capacity for work and excellent business ability, his operations have all been confined to Elgin. He is thoroughly loyal to the city which gave him a home, and all his energies are for its upbuilding. Among the various concerns which have added to the material prosperity of the city, with which he is connected, are the Elgin City, Carpentersville & Aurora railway, of which he is president; also president of the Elgin Packing Company; secretary of the Elgin Lumber Company; president of the South Elgin Stone Company; director of the Home National Bank; director of the Home Savings Bank; secretary of the Elgin Brick and Tile Company; vice-president of the Elgin Milkine Company; in fact, he is connected with nearly every enterprise of importance in the city.
In his private life Mr. Grote has been most fortunate. He was married March 10, 1872, to Miss Kate Deuchler, a resident of Dundee, Illinois, and to them have been born five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom Augusta, Anna and William are still living. In addition to these they have an adopted son, Frank, whom they are carefully and tenderly rearing. Mrs. Grote has been to her husband a true help-meet, and has seconded him in every effort made to rise in the world.
Politically Mr. Grote is a stalwart Republican, and is deeply interested in the success and growth of his party. Although it would seem that his business enterprises would occupy his entire time and attention, he has served the people as supervisor two years and assistant supervisor four years. For six years he was one of the members of the board of education of Elgin, working earnestly for the advancement of its schools. In 1891 he headed his party's ticket for the position of mayor, was elected and served so acceptably that the business and representative men of the city, in 1893, elected him for a second term. He is strong in all the essentials that combine to make a valuable and trustworthy official. Whatever he undertakes to do he does thoroughly and well. He conducted his office as he would manage his own affairs, strictly on business principles, and for this reason he has given general satisfaction. The people delight to honor such men - men who accept public office as a public trust, and who bear its responsibilities and perform its duties fearlessly and conscientiously, jealously guarding the sacred interests of the people Whom they have been called to serve.
During the administration of Mr. Grote as mayor a new city hall was built, and upon its completion he donated the clock which now adorns its tower. Many improvements in the way of sewerage and paving were made during his incumbency of the office, the light and water plants were largely increased, and other improvements added, which make Elgin one of the most advanced cities in northern Illinois.
It is as a philanthropist and public benefactor that Mr. Grote is entitled to more credit than he has yet received. His charities have ever been of the most quiet and unostentatious character, and within a few years he has given thousands of dollars, with scarcely a comment beyond those from the people most directly interested. With the German Evangelical Association he has been identified since childhood, and in the erection of the magnificent house of worship of that body in Elgin, built at a cost of about thirty thousand dollars, and which is the finest in the city, he contributed most liberally, which enabled the church to be dedicated free from debt. He is trustee of the association, and for many years has been superintendent of its Sunday-school, a position which he is eminently qualified to fill. He also acted as one of the trustees for the association's board of publication for America, Germany and Japan, which has headquarters at Cleveland, Ohio, and as trustee for Northwestern College, located at Naperville, Illinois.
When the association desired to establish a mission at Lane Park addition to Lake View, Chicago, it was found that no funds were available, and Mr. Grote then set to work. He first secured two lots from the owners, and then personally assisted in building the church and partially supported its minister for a period of five years. This church is now prosperous and self-sustaining. When the Sherman hospital was erected in Elgin he contributed one thousand dollars, and, in addition, he has given much and often to other worthy charities, of which he keeps no record. He gives from a true Christian spirit, and not from any desire to win the praise of his fellow-men. There is nothing narrow or contracted in his nature, and he has made generous donations to various other churches, helping nearly all denominations in Elgin.
In 1887, accompanied by his wife and children, Mr. Grote crossed the Atlantic to the old world, and visited many parts of Europe, spending many pleasant hours amid the scenes of his boyhood. He has also traveled extensively in the United States, and finds in travel his chief source of rest and recreation. Mr. Grote is a very busy man, yet he is ever ready to pause in the midst of his business duties to listen to the appeals and relieve the needy. He is wholly worthy of the respect which is everywhere tendered him, for his very name is synonymous with honorable dealing, and with all that is elevating to the individual or beneficial to the city.
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