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
HON. CHARLES WHEATON, a leading member of the bar of Aurora, Illinois, was born in Warren, Rhode Island, May 29, 1829, and is the son of Nathan M. and Content B. (Maxwell) Wheaton, the former being the son of Charles Wheaton, who was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and was the son of Nathaniel, who was a native of the same place. Nathaniel was the son of Daniel, who was also born in Rehoboth, while Daniel was the son of Ephraim, who was the son of Robert, who was born in England in 1606, and came to America in 1636, landing at Salem. He was the founder of the family in this country. From Salem, he removed to Rehoboth, where his death occurred. He was a minister of the Baptist church.
Nathan M. Wheaton was born in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1785. He was a merchant and trader, in his own ships, to the West Indies, Cuba and other islands. His death occurred July 3, 1861. He was a member of the Episcopal church, and in politics was a Whig. Content Maxwell, his wife, was a daughter of James and Content (Brayton) Maxwell, who were members of the society of Friends, or Quakers. Notwithstanding his religion, James Maxwell served in the war of the Revolution, going into the service from Rhode Island. He was of Scotch ancestry. The Braytons were also Quakers. Content Maxwell was born in Warren, Rhode Island, December 26, 1795, and died in November, 1837. To Nathan M. Wheaton and wife were born nine children-Elbridge Gerry, Mary, Emma, Laura, Rebecca, Susan, Charles, Elizabeth, and one who died in infancy. Emma married William Baker; Laura married George L. Cooke; Susan married S. V. R. Hickox; and Elizabeth married Daniel L. Turner. All are now deceased save our subject and Elizabeth.
The early life of Charles Wheaton was spent at Warren, Rhode Island, and until sixteen years of age he attended the Episcopal school at Warren. He then came west, and entered the college, at Robin's Nest, known as Bishop Chase's Jubilee College, in Peoria county, Illinois, where he remained one year. To assist Bishop Chase, his father had bought two scholarships, one of which he used for his son. Upon leaving that college, he entered Trinity College at Hartford, Connecticut, from which he was graduated in June, 1849.
After his graduation, Mr. Wheaton entered the law office of Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas, at Worcester, Massachusetts, where he spent two years, and was admitted to the bar, in September, 1851. He there began practice, which he continued for three years, and in October, 1854, again came west, locating at Batavia, in January, 1855, then one of the most promising towns in the Fox River Valley, where he opened his office. He practiced there until 1859, when he removed to Aurora, opened an office, and has here continued in active practice. His first partner was S. W. Burns and then A. G. McDole, the firm name being Wheaton & McDole. In 1873, he opened an office in Chicago, which was run under the firm name of Wheaton, Canfield & Smith. This partnership continued until 1875, when it was dissolved, since which time he has been alone. Since 1875, his time has almost entirely been devoted to the trial of cases, and there has been but few cases of importance, in this or adjoining counties, that he has not been on one side or the other.
Mr. Wheaton was united in marriage to Miss Sarah H. Brewster, July 17, 1860, at Middlebury,.Vermont, of which place she is a native, born October 1, 1830. She is the daughter of Elisha and Rebecca (Fish) Brewster. Elisha Brewster was born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1790, and was the son of Seabury Brewster, who was the son of Wrestling, who was a native of Norwich. His father, also named Wrestling, was likewise a native of Norwich, and whose father, also named Wrestling, was a native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. His father was Love Brewster, who was born in England, and who was the son of Elder William Brewster, who came over in the Mayflower in 1620. Elisha Brewster married Rebecca Fish, at Hartford, Connecticut, September 28, 1812. She was born September 28, 1789. Her father was Miller Fish, born in Bazrott, Connecticut, in 1764, and married Huldah Corning, who was born in Hartford, November 4, 1765. Their children were: Henry, Rebecca, John, Mary, Frederick, Edward J., George H., Huldah C, John M., Julia C. and Arthur M.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton are the parents of five children, as follows: Lizzie T., who married Charles H. Hale, of Aurora, by whom she has two children, Bessie W. and Helen L.; Clara S., at home; Sarah, the wife of Bert A. Allen, living in Aurora, and they have one child, Charles W.; Anna H., at home; and Mary F., who married Harry H. Holden, of Aurora, and they have one child, Sarah M.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton are members of the Congregational church, and in politics he is a Republican. In 1864 he was elected mayor of the city, but resigned before the expiration of his term. For four years he served as a member of the board of supervisors, and in 1870 was a member of the constitutional convention, in which body he was an active factor. He resides in a beautiful home, at 297 La Salle street, which he had erected for himself, and around him are all his family, to whom he has given a home, and in whose society he finds much enjoyment.
In his long professional career, Mr. Wheaton has much to be proud of. He has been eminently successful in the trial of cases, rarely losing a cause he espoused, and his arduous labors have brought him a liberal competency. His professional career has been free from trickery and questionable practices, so often resorted to by members of the bar. His strength has been in a good education, a sound knowledge of law, a careful study of cases placed in his charge, the completeness of his briefs, his skillful management, and his able, logical and eloquent pleading, having always the respect of the court and the confidence of the jury. His private life has been as pure as his professional one, and he holds the esteem and confidence of the community in which he has so long dwelt.
SAMUEL W. CHAPMAN, ex-postmaster of Elgin and senior member of the firm of S. W. & A. M. Chapman, dealers in carriages, wagons and agricultural implements, 26 River street, Elgin, is a truly representative citizen of Kane county, where almost his entire life has been spent. He was born in Wyoming, New York, September 9, 1843, and is the son of Samuel and Margaret (Spittal) Chapman, both of whom were natives of Glasgow, Scotland. Their family comprised nine children, four sons and five daughters, eight of whom are now living— Samuel W., of this sketch; Helen M., wife of Frank P. Smith, of Kinsley, Kansas; Mary E., wife of John Collins, of Harter, Kansas; Sarah J., wife of Edson-B. Easton, of Guthrie, Oklahoma; Albert A., of Texas; John E., of Texas; Grace A., wife of Royal VV. Kimball, of Elgin; Julia A., wife of George M. Peck, of Elgin; and Fred L., publisher of "The Ram's Horn," Chicago.
Samuel Chapman, the father, by occupation was a farmer, and came to America in 1841, locating in Wyoming, New York. In 1844, he came to Kane county, Illinois, and settled in Plato township, where he engaged in farming until his death. He first purchased forty acres of wild land, and as his means increased added to his possessions until he was the owner of four hundred and sixty acres. Thoroughly loyal to his adopted country, when the South rebelled against the general government he assisted in raising a company of cavalry known as the Plato Cavalry, of which he was commissioned first lieutenant. He and John S. Durand furnished the horses for the company, which they afterwards sold to the government. After the battle of Pea Ridge he resigned and came home. Politically he was a democrat, and while not caring for office, served his township as supervisor for some years. His death occurred in October, 1886, at the age of seventy years. His good wife survived him more than a year, dying at the age of sixty-nine years. They were members of the Congregational church and died in the full assurance of faith in the life beyond the grave. Both were well known and universally esteemed.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, also named Samuel Chapman, was likewise a native of Scotland, and there died when about seventy-five years of age. His occupation was that of a farmer. The maternal grandfather, Andrew Spittal, was born in Scotland and died near Glasgow when about eighty years of age. He followed farming as a means of livelihood.
Samuel W. Chapman, our subject, was about one year old when brought by his parents to Kane county, and upon the old farm in Plato township his boyhood and youth were passed. The eldest in the family, he was early trained to labor upon the farm and knows from experience the meaning of hard work. His primary education was obtained in the subscription and district schools, and his collegiate training at Beloit College.
Soon after leaving college Mr. Chapman went to Burlington, Iowa, as cashier in the American and United States Express office, where he remained four years, discharging his duties in a faithful and conscientious manner. He then returned to Elgin and ran a flouring-mill, for ten years, when he secured the position as agent of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, remaining with that company for fifteen years, resigning in 1893, when he embarked in his present wagon, carriage and implement business. In 1896 he associated with him-
self A. M. Chapman, who, while of the same name, is no relation, and the business has since been conducted under the firm name of S. W. & A. M. Chapman. Notwithstanding the hard times since the business was begun, a good trade has been established, which is constantly increasing.
On the 15th of December, 1867, Mr. Chapman was united in marriage with Miss Alvena F. Stone, a native of Elgin township, and a daughter of Isaac and Abigail Stone, natives of New Hampshire, and who came to Kane county in 1831. Mr. and Mrs. Chapman now reside in a pleasant home. No. 753 Highland avenue, where they delight to entertain their many friends. Mrs. Chapman has for many years been a member of the Congregational church, and is well known in religious circles. Fraternally, Mr. Chapman is a Master Mason.
Like his father before him, Mr. Chapman is a thorough Democrat, and in the success of the party takes especial delight. His face is a familiar one in the conventions of the party, and his influence is felt in its councils. He has never cared for official position, as his tastes and inclinations ran in an entirely different channel. For seven years, however, he served as a member of the board of education, because of the fact that he is a firm believer in the public schools and desired to render all the aid in his power to make them efficient. In February, 1894, he was appointed by President Cleveland, and confirmed by the United States senate, as postmaster of Elgin, and served until February, 1898. His administration of the office was such as to win the confidence and good will of all the patrons of the office of whatever political belief.
As a business man Mr. Chapman is probably best known. For about eight years he has been a director in the Century club, a business men's association, and as such has exerted an influence for good in behalf of his adopted city. Thoroughly progressive, he is ever ready to champion anything that will advance the best interests of Elgin. This fact is well known, and this it is which commends him to all business and professional men, those on whose efforts the city relies for its growth and well-being. A citizen of the county for more than half a century, there is nothing that affords him more satisfaction than to see it take front rank among the counties of this great commonwealth, and to this end he is willing to bend all his energies.
MILTON THORNTON, who is living retired in the city of Geneva, has been a resident of Kane county for more than sixty-one years, having located here in May, 1837, at a time when the whole country was comparatively new, the cabins of the settlers being few and far between. He is a native of New Hampshire, born in the town of Thornton, Grafton county, October 20, 1809. His father, William Thornton, was also a native of New Hampshire, and a direct descendant of Matthew Thornton, of national reputation, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a farmer in New Hampshire, and there spent his entire life. His wife was Polly Bagley, a daughter of Winthrop Bagley, a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
Milton Thornton grew to manhood in his native state, and had but limited educational advantages. He is mostly self-educated, his knowledge, which is of a practical nature, being acquired since reaching mature years. He remained on the home farm with his father, assisting in its cultivation until he was twenty-eight years old. He then came west by way of the New York & Erie canal and the great lakes, to Chicago, and crossed the Fox river at Geneva May 24, 1837. He at once took up a claim in the town of Virgil, Kane county, comprising a tract of two hundred and seventy-five acres, on which he built a dwelling house, and, fencing the land, began its improvement. In due time he had a splendid farm, on which he resided for about forty years. He first built a small house, to which additions were later made.
For seven years after his arrival in Kane county, Mr. Thornton lived a bachelor's life, and during that time suffered from fever and ague, the prevailing disease of that early time, and also endured all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. His first marriage was in June, 1844, when he married Miss Ruth Jenkins, a native of Columbia county, New York, who came to Illinois, with her father, Joseph Jenkins, who was also a pioneer of Kane county. There were two children by this union, both of whom died in childhood. This wife died January 27, 1847, and Mr. Thornton next married Paulina Bunker, the wedding ceremony taking place December 23, 1847. She was a native of Columbia county, New York, and died May 16, 1876, at the age of sixty-five years. There were also two children by this marriage, and they also died in childhood. In Campton township, May 31, 1877, Mr. Thornton married Mary C. Thompson, a native of Greenbrier county, West Virginia, who came to Illinois in childhood, and was reared in Kane county. Her father, Robert Thompson, was also a native of West Virginia, and one of the pioneers of Kane county.
In early life Mr. Thompson was an old-line Whig, and cast his first presidential vote for Henry Clay in 1832. In 1840 he voted, in Kane county, for Harrison and Tyler, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." Being a strong anti-slavery man, and a believer in equal rights of all, he voted for John C. Fremont, in 1856, and has since been a stanch Republican, casting his last presidential vote at the age of eighty-seven for William McKinley and protection. He has never missed a presidential election since casting his first vote for that office. He has held several local positions of honor and trust, including township supervisor, justice of the peace, road commissioner, and in whatever position elected, made a faithful and efficient officer. He and his wife are members of the Unitarian church, being a firm believer in its doctrines and tenets. By his exemplary habits and upright character he has won the respect and esteem of all who know him.
WILLIAM W. BALDWIN is one of the younger members of the legal profession in Elgin, but his ability is by no means limited by his years, and he has now gained a clientage and reputation that many an older attorney might well envy. A native of Cooperstown, New York, born April 9, 1870, he is a son of Philander and Esther (Laberdie) Baldwin; the former of German ancestry and the latter of French ancestry. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a man of considerable prominence in Cooperstown, where he spent his entire life, and by speculation he became quite wealthy, but lost most of his money before his death. His son, Philander Baldwin, was a mason, contractor and builder for many years, but now follows farming near Ottawa Lake, Michigan, where he and his wife now make their home. They are the parents of six children, all living: William W.; Mrs. Minnie Davidson, who resides in Wisconsin; Albert, in the Tri-State College, Toledo, Ohio; Philander, a resident of Toledo, Ohio; Wesley and John, still with their parents. The father of this family is a Jeffersonian Democrat in his political belief, and his wife is a Catholic in religious faith.
William W. Baldwin obtained his education in the common schools and received few advantages in his youth to fit him for the practical and responsible duties of life. He was ambitious, however, and made the most of his opportunities. In 1887 he came to Elgin, where he continued his education by pursuing a commercial course, after which he took up the study of law. By correspondence he pursued a two-years law course under the direction of the Sprague University, and then entered the law office of Frank E. Shopen, who instructed him in the principles of jurisprudence for two years, after which he was admitted to the bar in Ottawa, Illinois, in December, 1896.
Mr. Baldwin at once returned to Elgin, opened an office and has since engaged in practice, meeting with gratifying success in his chosen calling. On the 15th of September, 1897, he formed a partnership with J. R. Powers, Jr., and the firm has attained considerable prominence in legal circles in Kane county. Mr. Baldwin was appointed notary public in 1895. In his business he has made a specialty of pension-law practice, also patent-law, and in the latter division of jurisprudence he has handled a number of very important cases with success. These have frequently called him to Washington; and he has won some notable victories in forensic encounters with men of high worth in the legal profession, a fact which plainly indicates his own ability. He is a member of the Chicago Law Students Association.
In his political relations Mr. Baldwin is a Republican and served as delegate to the Illinois Lincoln Republican League at Springfield in 1894. Socially he is connected with the Knights of the Globe and the Sons of Veterans. He is also a valued member of the First Baptist church and a man of benevolent, kindly nature.
Mr. Baldwin was married September 15, 1897, in Elgin, to Miss May L. Smith, a daughter of Curtis A. and Mary (Crowfoot) Smith. Her father is a representative of one of the old families of Elgin and is now connected with the Elgin Watch Factory in the responsible position of foreman of one of the departments. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have a wide acquaintance and high standing in the social circles of Elgin and share in the warm regard of many friends.
ISAAC H. WARREN, a prominent attorney of Elgin, with office in the Home Bank Building, is a man who thoroughly loves his profession, and is eminently gifted with the capabilities of mind which are indispensable at the bar. In preparing a case for trial every fact, however insignificant, is carefully studied and its possible relevancy to the merits of the case weighed and considered. He is thoroughly familiar with authority and never at a loss for a precedent.
Mr. Warren was born March 8, 1851, in Boone county, Illinois, and is a son of John and Anna (Church) Warren. His maternal grandfather, William Church, was an Englishman by birth and was a lieutenant in the English army, being in the service when Napoleon threatened to invade England. On coming to the United States William Church located in New York, where he followed the occupation of farming until his death. He married Miss Esther Deacon, and to them were born eight children—five sons and three daughters—of whom Mrs. Warren is the eldest. Two sons and all the daughters are still living, their average age being seventy-five years, and both in mind and body they are well preserved.
John Warren, our subject's father, was born in England, in 1811, and when nineteen years of age accompanied his parents on their emigration to America. He was one of a family of nine children—five sons and four daughters. During his younger years he engaged in farming in the Empire state, but at an early day came to Illinois, and upon a farm in Boone county lived until called from this life in 1884, at the age of seventy-three years. He was officially connected with the Congregational church, of which he and his wife were both earnest and faithful members. She is still living. Their children were as follows: J. W., a salesman living in Omaha, Nebraska; A. G., who died at the age of eighteen years; Isaac H., of this sketch; Etta, wife of W. W. Ware, a farmer of Batavia, New York; Josephine, deceased wife of Rev. M. N. Clark, a Congregational minister; and Della, wife of W. A. Whiting, a merchant of Poplar Grove, Illinois.
Reared on the old farm in Boone county, Illinois, Isaac H. Warren obtained his early education in the public schools of the locality, and he was later a student in Beloit College, of Wisconsin, having secured the
means to continue his studies by teaching for four years in the country schools. When his literary education was completed, he read law in the offices of several attorneys, and in January, 1891, was admitted to the bar, being licensed to practice before all the courts of the state. He at once opened an office in Elgin, and now enjoys a good practice.
On the 16th of May, 1882, Mr. Warren was united in marriage with Miss Viola O. McAllister, daughter of S. McAllister, of Elgin, and to them have been born two daughters: Louie O. and Vera L. Mr. Warren is a member of the Congregational church, while his wife is a Baptist in religious belief. Socially he is a prominent member of the Odd Fellows lodge of Elgin/ in which he is now serving as treasurer, and has passed through all the chairs in the Royal League, being past archon and deputy of the same. As a Republican he takes an active interest in political affairs, and has held some minor offices, including that of township collector and school director. In all the relations of life Mr. Warren displays that integrity of character that wins and holds the confidence of all with whom he conies in contact, and his many estimable traits of character have gained for him a host of warm friends. As a citizen he holds a prominent place in the regard of his fellow-townsmen.
DANIEL VAN GORDER, a well-known contractor, and one of the highly respected citizens of Elgin, living at No. 432 Fulton street, is a native of New York, born May 15, 1830, near Aurora, on Lake Cayuga, in the town of Scipio, Cayuga county, and is a son of John and Sarah (Helms) Van Gorder, who were born in Pennsylvania, of Holland ancestry. Throughout his business career the father engaged in contracting and hotel keeping, conducting a popular hostelry in Gcnesco, New York, for more thantwenty years. He was widely and favorably known, and well deserved the reputation he enjoyed of being one of the best landlords in his section of the state. He died August 20, 1852, aged sixty years, and his wife seven days later, at the age of fifty-nine. She was a devout and earnest Christian woman, a faithful member of the Meth-odist Episcopal church, and the poor and needy were never turned from her door empty-handed. She was kind and obliging at all times, and her home was the favorite stopping place with the minister. Of her nine children, Daniel is the eighth in order of birth, but only three are now living, the others being Selah, a contractor and builder, residing in Elmira, New York; and Amy, widow of Henry Houghton, and a resident of Galena, Kansas. The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent in his father's hotel at Geneseo, New York, which he visited a few years since, and in the public schools of that city he acquired his education. After leaving the school room he learned the painter's trade and for some years engaged in house painting, after which he was employed as clerk in hotels in New York City, Newark, New Jersey, and Rochester, New York. He began contracting in 1855, in New York, where he was employed as foreman on the Erie canal, but in 1857 came west, stopping first in Chicago. Subsequently he went to Dubuque, Iowa, and still later to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he spent some years as a railroad contractor. He has engaged in the same business in many states, including Colorado, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi. From Memphis, Tennessee, he came to Elgin in 1889, and here he has since made his home while continuing to engage in both railroad and general contracting. In 1849 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Van Gorder and Miss Laura Wei ton, daughter of Amos Welton, of Canandaigua, New York, and to them was born a son, Charles, now a job printer and prominent citizen of Elgin, who married Hannah Bundy and has two children, Prentice and William. The first wife of our subject died in 1864, at the age of twenty-three years, and in 1866 he wedded Miss Susan Bundy by whom he has one daughter, Lucille, a proficient and popular music teacher, now connected with the Hecker's College of Music in Elgin. In religious belief the the mother is an Episcopalian. In 1859 Mr. Van Gorder was made a Mason at Prairie du Chien lodge, No. 106, F. & A. M., and has since affiliated with that fraternity. Politically he is not identified with any party but votes independently, endeavoring to support the man best qualified for office regardless of party ties. As a citizen he ever stands ready to discharge every duty devolving upon him, and he has a large circle of friends and acquaintances in the various states where he has been located at different times throughout his active and useful career.
JUDGE R. N. BOTSFORD, senior member of the firm of Botsford, Wayne & Botsford, lawyers, Cook block, Elgin, is one of the truly representative members of the legal profession in Kane county. Whatever may be said of the legal fraternity, it cannot be denied that members of the bar have been more prominent actors in public affairs than any other class of the community. This is but the natural result of causes which are manifest and require no explanation. The ability and training which qualify one to practice law also qualify him in many respects for the duties which lie outside the strict path of his profession and which touch the general interests of society. This is what makes him a leader of men and often leads him, sometimes in reality against his will, into the political arena, and in times of war into the military service as commander of regiments, brigades, divisions and corps. That the subject of this sketch has left his impress upon the history of Kane county, its annals for the past fifty years will duly attest.
Richard N. Botsford was born in Newton, Fairfield county, Connecticut, October 28, 1830, and is a son of Austin N. and Volucia V. (Glover) Botsford, also natives of the same state, and the parents of eight children, five of whom are now living: Richard N., our subject; Eugene M., of Newton, Connecticut; Austin N., of Fort Dodge, Iowa; Caroline, wife of Edward Parsons, of Connecticut; and Alosia, wife of Reuben Johnson, of New Haven, Connecticut.
Austin N. Botsford, the father, was a man of marked ability, and by occupation was a farmer. He served his district as a member of the legislature, and was also a captain of the state militia. Religiously he was a Universalist. His death occurred in 1842, at the age of forty-four years. After his death his wife married W. Northrup, who died many years ago. She lived to be eighty years of age, dying in 1894, in New Haven, Connecticut.
The paternal grandfather, Philo Botsford, was a native of Connecticut, of English stock. He was the father of two children. His death occurred at the age of seventy-eight years. The maternal grandfather Glover was also born in Connecticut and died at the age of about fifty years.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native state and is a graduate of the State Normal School, at New Britain, Connecticut. For some years after his graduation he taught school in Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. While engaged in teaching he read law, and in 1857 was admitted to the bar in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Removing to St. Charles, Kane county, for a time he was engaged in publishing a newspaper, and in 1858 commenced the practice of law there. In 1869 he removed to Elgin and has here continuously made his home from that time, engaged in the practice of his profession. While yet residing at St. Charles, in 1861, he was elected county judge and acceptably filled out a four-years term.
On the 27th of December, 1860, Judge Botsford was united in marriage to Miss Ellen E. Bundy, daughter of P. E. and Pamelia (Lowell) Bundy. By this union two children were born, Carl E. and Alosia. The latter died in 1892 at the age of eighteen years. The former is now the junior member of the firm of Botsford, Wayne & Botsford.
Politically Judge Botsford is a Democrat, and although he has always taken an active part in political affairs he has never been an office seeker. Business and professional interests have demanded of him his time, and he therefore left to others office seeking. His reputation as an attorney secured him the nomination of his party for the office of supreme judge, in June, 1897, but as his party is in a strong minority in the district, he failed of an election. That he would have creditably filled the position is acknowledged by all, especially the legal fraternity.
The Judge comes of a long-lived race, his maternal grandmother living to be one hundred and two years old. Although near the three-score-and-ten mark, he is a well-preserved man with physical and mental abilities unabated. With the exception of a short time in Missouri and Wisconsin, he has been a resident of Kane county since 1851, and as stated, the impress of his mind has been left upon the county. He is honored and respected by all.
ELISHA WEED is a retired farmer living in the village of Hampshire, and is well and favorably known throughout Kane county. He was born in Bloomfield township, Trumbull county, Ohio, August 20, 1817. His educational advantages were such as were provided in the early days in his native county, when teachers were paid eight dollars a month and board around, many of them knowing but little more than some of their pupils. The school houses were built of logs and provided with wooden benches for seats.
John Weed, the father of our subject, was born near Bangor, Maine, and by occupation was a farmer. In the war of 1812 he served two years as sergeant in a Maine regiment and was in the battle of Sackett's Harbor. In Ohio he married Jemima Bigelow, daughter of Timothy Bigelow, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, who came with the family to Ohio, where he died. His wife was a Miss Hovey. In 1815 Timothy Bigelow moved with his family from Vermont to Ohio, the father and son walking all the way, the mother driving a four-horse wagon containing all their earthly possessions. In Cattaraugus county, New York, wolves killed one of their horses, and from there they drove three. They settled in Ohio when that was a wilderness and lived the life usual to pioneers. Of the nine children born to John and Jemima Weed, four are yet living, as follows: Elisha, our subject; George N., living in Ohio; Elizabeth, wife of John Burns, of Hampshire; and William, who resides in Missouri.
At the age of nineteen our subject went to Indiana, working in Bartholomew, Johnson, Floyd and Tippecanoe counties, at one time being employed on the old state road, from New Albany northwest. While at this work the contractor failed, and Mr. Weed could get no pay for his labor. The contractor promised to pay him, however, and agreed to keep him until he was paid. Mr. Weed walked one hundred miles to the contractor's home, where he remained for some time and was finally paid. For a time he rented land in Indiana and engaged in farming.
On the 10th of March, 1842, at Blue River, Bartholomew county, Indiana, Mr. Weed was united in marriage with Miss Julia A. Hartman, who was second in order of birth in a family of eleven children born to Francis and Magdeline (Gilbert) Hartman, both of German origin. She was born near Little York. Pennsylvania, July 22, 1822. A few years later her parents moved to Indiana and settled in Bartholomew county, at a time when the country was comparatively new, and where they had none of the comforts of their old Pennsylvania home. The mother cried over the desolate outlook, but after a time became more contented. By this union there were five children: the first named died in infancy; Helen M. married E. L. Starks, of Starks Station, and died, leaving one daughter, Mabel H., while one child died in infancy; Francis W. married Rachel Dean, by whom he has four children, Carrie A., Harry, Edith and Frederick, and they reside in Sac county, Iowa; George A. married Jane Tait, and lives in Sac county, Iowa; and Frederick P. A., who married Harriet Plummer, and lives on the old home farm.
In 1845 Mr. Weed came to Kane county, Illinois, traveling by wagon drawn by oxen, and located in Hampshire township, where he bought forty acres on section 27, to which he later added one hundred and twenty acres. His deeds, signed by James K. Polk, then president of the United States, have never been transferred. Deer, wolves and wild game abounded in the country at that time and the few neighbors were very far apart. It was nearly all raw, unbroken prairie and timber.
Mr. Weed is a member of the Masonic order, and is the last of the charter members living, of Hampshire lodge, No. 443. He has been a Mason for over forty years. In early life he was a Whig, his first vote being for William H. Harrison, in 1840. Since the formation of the Republican party he has been a strong advocate of its principles, and has voted his party's ticket. In early life he served as constable, road commissioner, school director and in other minor official positions. He is now one of the solid and substantial men of Hampshire township. The conditions of life now existing are very different from what they were when Mr. and Mrs. Weed came to
Kane county, a young married couple. Mrs. Weed learned to spin, weave linen and wool, and in early days made all the clothes for herself and family. After a long and useful life they arc now living in retirement, enjoying the fruits of their former toil, and surrounded by those who have intimately known them in days gone by.
JOHN R. POWERS, of the firm of J Baldwin & Powers, attorneys of Elgin, was born in the city which is still his place of residence, April 6, 1870, his parents being John and Johanah (Sutton) Powers, who were natives of Ireland and Illinois respectively. The father was a cooper by trade, and at the beginning of the Rebellion he laid aside all business cares and offered his services to the Union, enlisting as a member of the Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, with which he went to the front. Afterward he joined Company K, Sixteenth New York Cavalry, serving during the greater part of the war as a scout. His command often engaged in skirmishes with Mosby's cavalry, and in one of these engagements he was wounded, and was sent to a hospital in Washington. A few days after his recovery he was sent out with a company to hunt up Booth, the assassin, and was in the command that captured him. After his return from the war he secured a position on the police force of Elgin and served creditably in that capacity until he was chosen for the office of city marshal in 1870. For eighteen years he filled the latter position, discharging his duties with marked fidelity and ability, a fact which is plainly indicated by his long continuance in office.
On his retirement from that position he was elected supervisor and served for one term, after which he filled the office of constable, was then deputy sheriff, and was at one time alderman from the Seventh ward. When he left the office of marshal he purchased a half interest in the Elgin Ice Company, with which he was connected for two years. In 1897 he was again appointed marshal by Mayor Price, and is now serving in that capacity. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He has a family of five living children—John R., May, Celia A., Mabel and Charles L., and has lost one daughter, Nellie.
John R. Powers, of this review, pursued his elementary education in the public schools of Elgin and afterward attended the Elgin Academy. At the same time he read law with the firm of Botsford & Wayne, and and was admitted to the bar at Ottowa in June, 1897. He soon afterward entered into partnership with W. W. Baldwin, under the firm style of Baldwin & Powers, and the firm is now enjoying a fair clientage. They have pleasant offices in the Spurling Block, and they have already met with creditable success, while the business is constantly increasing. Mr. Powers is a young man of strong intellectuality and excellent business ability, and has the energy which always overcomes obstacles and ultimately reaches the goal of success. He is now holding the position of first sergeant in General W. F. Lynch camp, Sons of Veterans, also secretary of the Philomenian Club, and a member of several other social organizations. He has many friends in the community in which his entire life has been passed, and enjoys the confidence and respect of all.
MOSES H. THOMPSON.—The subject of this sketch has been almost a lifelong resident of Kane county, having come here with his parents in 1834, when but one year old. His father, Captain Thomas H. Thompson came to Chicago in 1833, returned to Plattsburg, New York, in 1834, and at once removed his family to Illinois, settling in Du Page county, and from there removed to Fox river valley in 1835, settling in what is now Dundee township, Kane county. Like all country boys in pioneer days, Mr. Thompson remained at home, working on his father's farm until twenty-one years of age.
When wishing for a broader and better education than could be obtained at the public schools, he took a course in civil engineering, which profession he followed for many years, beginning in the Galena and Dubuque lead mines about in 1858, and then upon government surveys and the early railroad lines west of the Mississippi. About 1860 he concluded to abandon the engineering and surveying business and engage in map publishing, which he did, confining himself almost exclusively to county map work, being the pioneer publisher in the west to show the name of each land owner upon each tract. This business was extended over nearly all of the northwestern states. In Illinois alone nearly one-third of the entire state was thus mapped. These maps were made so thorough and complete that copies were added to many of the libraries of the most prominent geographical societies of the world.
In 1872 Mr. Thompson became connected with the Elgin Gas Light Company, as its secretary and manager, in which position he continued about ten years. He then became identified with the Southwestern Lumber Company, as president and manager, but after four years' active management of the company's affairs, on account of ill health, it was determined to sell the property of the company, consisting of mills and pine lands in the state of Arkansas. After this Mr. Thompson returned to Elgin, his old home, where he has since resided. In 1864 he purchased one of the largest farms in Dundee township, from which time he has been largely engaged in the dairy business, and was among the first to make Elgin a pronounced dairy district. He was the first secretary of the Illinois State Dairymen's Association and continued as such for several years, always taking an interest in whatever pertains to the dairy interest of the state of Illinois. Mr. Thompson is now serving as president of the Elgin National Bank and has been since its organization in 1892. He is also president of the Old Settlers Association of Fox River Valley. He is a member of the Lakeside, Century and Waltonian Clubs. In politics he is a stanch Republican, his father, Captain T. H. Thompson being one of the founders of that party.
In 1862 Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Clarissa I. Miller, daughter of David and Clarissa Miller, and to them have been born two children: Walter M. and Clara I. Walter M. married Miss Elizabeth Cliff, December 16, 1885, and they have two children: Arthur C. and Kathryn. Clara I. was married to John A. Carlisle in 1891, and they now have one son, Donald T. The parents of our subject, Captain T. H. and Sarah (Hoit) Thompson, were natives of Maine and Plattsburg, New York, respectively. The mother was a daughter of Colonel Moses X. Hoit, who, as well as his ancestors, was among the foremost to make history during the American Revolution. The paternal ancestors of our subject were also among the defenders of the rights of this country.
DEWITT C. ADAMS, now living a retired life in the city of Dundee, but who for years was one of the active, enterprising and respected business men of this section of the state, is numbered among the old settlers who date their residence in Illinois since 1842. He was born in Cortland county, New York, January 29, 1824, and is of English descent, the family coming to this country at a very early date in its history, William Adams, his father, was born in Saratoga, Northumberland county, New York, in 1784, and was the son of Oliver Adams, also born in New York. Oliver Adams moved to Cortland county about 1804, and there made a home in the wilderness, where he reared his family. William Adams married Phebe Lewis, also a native of New York. After residing in Cortland county a number of years he removed to Syracuse, New York, and resided there four years. In 1842 he came to Illinois and settled in Cook county, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the residence of his son, DeWitt C., in 1859. His wife survived him five years, passing away January 1, 1864. They were laid to rest in the cemetery at Dundee. William Adams was a well-posted man and while taking an active interest in political affairs never sought nor would he hold public office.
In the family of William and Phebe Adams were three sons and two daughters who grew to mature years, as follows: Maria, wife of John Van Hoesen, of Hastings, Minnesota. Oliver, who was for many years a publisher of school records in Chicago, is now deceased. He was well-known throughout the state and elsewhere among educators as the publisher of Adams School Records and various school supplies which are yet used to some extent. DeWitt C, our subject, is next in order of birth. Harriet S. married Edward F. Wells, with whom she removed to San Diego, California, where she died. John C., who resides in Chicago, is a practical jeweler and was one of the original founders of the Elgin watch factory. He is now living a retired life. One daughter, Betsy, died at the age of fourteen years.
The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent in Cortland county, and in the city of Syracuse, New York. He had fair educational advantages, which he improved as well as possible, but is mostly a self-educated man. He was eighteen years of age when he came with the family to Cook county, Illinois. For three winters after his arrival there he taught in the public schools, being one of the pioneer teachers of Cook county. His life work, however, was that of a farmer. Soon after coming of age he purchased two hundred forty acres of land in Barrington township, which he put under a high state of cultivation and on which he resided for many years. In 1883 he rented the place and moved to Dundee, purchased some lots and built his present residence. Previous to this, however, he had become interested in business in that city, having become part owner in a lumber and coal yard. After his removal to the city he took an active part in the management of the business for several years, but lately sold out and is now practically living a retired life.
Mr. Adams was married in Elgin November 25, 1852, to Mary E. Harvey, a native of New York, born in Herkimer county, and a daughter of David Harvey, a pioneer settler of Plato township, Kane county. She was reared in this county, and received her education in the schools of Elgin. For some years previous to her marriage she was a successful teacher in the public schools. She died at her home in Dundee, February 19, 1895, leaving one son and one daughter. The son, William H., is now a business man residing in Chicago, while the daughter, Mary E., yet resides at home, and is her father's housekeeper. She is a well-educated lady, a graduate of the Loring Young Ladies' School of Chicago. One daughter, Carrie, died at the age of seven years, while one son, Louie, died at the age of two and a half years, and another, Charles, died at the age of nine months.
In early life Mr. Adams was an old-line Whig, and, like his father, was a strong believer in the principles of that party. A friend of liberty, he united with the Republican party on its organization, and voted for its first presidential candidate John C. Fremont, in 1856. Being a strong temperance man, he has of late identified himself with the Prohibition party. He has ever been a friend of education and the public schools, and has at all times used his influence in their behalf. Religiously he is a Baptist, of which church he has been a member for forty-eight years. The cause of the Master has ever been dear to his heart, and he has ever been willing to sacrifice time and money to advance its interests. For some years he was an active member of the Masonic fraternity, but of late has been limited.
When Mr. Adams came to Illinois he had but little of this world's goods, but by his own labor and enterprise he has accumulated a valuable property, and is. recognized as one of the substantial men of Kane county. He is a man of exemplary habits, of upright character and worth, and has the confidence and esteem of all who know him, and his friends are numerous both throughout Kane and Cook counties.
In the summer of 1895 Mr. Adams and his daughter made a trip to Europe, visiting a number of the cities and kingdoms of that land. They first visited Glasgow and North Scotland, including Edinburgh, through some of the German states and Switzerland, Paris, Venice, Rome, London and Liverpool, and altogether had a pleasant and profitable time. They returned home in the fall of the same year, feeling well repaid for the time and money spent.
REV. CASPER J. HUTH, the popular priest in charge of St. Charles Catholic church at Hampshire, Illinois, was born in Cologne, Germany, September 22, 1845, and with the family emigrated to America in 1855, leaving their home May 27, sailing from Antwerp June 1, and landing in New York, June 17. His father, Peter Huth, was born in Cologne, September 15, 1819, and in his native country worked as a day laborer. With a view of bettering his condition he came to the United States and settled in Freeport, Illinois, where he made his home the remainder of his life, with the exception of a short time; spent with our subject in Hampshire. Shortly before his death he returned to Freeport and died at the residence of his daughter, January 29, 1898. On coming to this country he secured work with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, in whose services he remained for many years, filling various positions, and for a number of years before retiring had charge of the roundhouse at Freeport. His life though an uneventful one, he so lived as to merit the confidence and esteem of his fellow men. In his native city he married Cecelia Mevis,.who became the mother of four children as follows: Caspar J., our subject; Mary, who died at the age of eleven years; Clara, who married John Zengerle, of Stillwater, Minnesota; and Theresa, wife of Charles Seeker, of Freeport, Illinois, with whom the father made his home at the time of death.
While yet residing in Germany, our subject attended the parochial schools, which he also attended after coming to Freeport, and which was supplemented by attendance in the public schools of Free-port. He began his theological studies in the University of St. Louis, at St. Louis, Missouri, and later attended St. Mary's of the Lake, at Chicago, Illinois, where he remained seven years, and was then a. short time in St. Francis College, Milwaukee, where he was ordained to the priesthood January 29, 1869.
Father Huth's ministry has been an unusual one in the length of time which he served at his various stations. His first charge was at Somonauk, De Kalb county, Illinois, where he remained fifteen and a half years, then took a vacation for six months, at the expiration of which time he was assigned to St. Charles' church, in Hampshire. This was in the spring of 1885, since which time he has ministered to the spiritual wants of the congregation of that village, in sickness and in health, at the bridal altar, and at. the bier. He is a man of energy and strong mental vigor, and
is greatly esteemed by Catholics and Protestants alike. One of his most pleasant recollections, is that of a visit while at Somonauk, of Archbishop, now Cardinal, Gibbons, who was visiting Bishop Froley, of Chicago. Many years after, at a large gathering of clergymen, at which the Cardinal was present, the latter recalled the visit and asked if the young priest who officiated at Somonauk was present, and when he was presented to him, gave the Father Huth a most cordial greeting.
After an absence of more than forty years from his native land, Father Huth now contemplates a trip abroad to revisit the place of his birth and greet his kindred whom he has not seen since boyhood. His many friends in Kane and De Kalb counties will wish him a pleasant journey and a safe return to take up the work of ministering to fallen humanity.
CHARLES P. REID, M. D., Hampshire, Illinois, is recognized as one of the best physicians in the north part of Kane county. He was born near Kingston, Frontenac county, Canada, October 16, 1848, and with his parents came to Kane county, Illinois. His father, David Reid, was born near Aiken Claurie, about thirty-five miles south of Glasgow, Scotland, February 13, 1813. His early life was spent in his native country, and in 1833, when twenty years of age, he emigrated to Canada, sailing from Campbellton on the vessel Margaret, of Londonderry. The voyage required three months, the vessel landing at Quebec. Two years later he was followed by his father, John Reid, the family settling near Kingston, in Frontenac county, where he lived seventeen years. John Reid, the
father of David, bought a farm of two hundred acres near Kingston, where his death occurred about 1852. His wife, Martha Armour, died about 1859. She was the daughter of William and Margaret Armour. John Reid was the son of William Reid, who married a Miss Gordon, and both died in Scotland.
In 1848, David Reid came to Kane county, Illinois, on a prospecting tour, and liking the country purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Hampshire township, returned home and in the spring of 1850, moved here with his family. He is now living with his daughter on the old homestead, where he spent nearly half a century. At one time he was the owner of three hundred and sixty acres, forty acres of which he later sold, leaving him the possessor of the south half of section 17. He was a good farmer, a good citizen, and good neighbor, and is yet living at the age of eighty-five years, but in ill health from a stroke of paralysis. While yet residing in Canada, he married Olive Powley, a native of Frontenac county, Canada, born in April, 1813. Her death occurred at the family residence on section 17, Hampshire township, in 1871. She was the daughter of William Powley, a native of Pennsylvania, who attained the age of ninety years, and who married Elizabeth Hoffman. His parents lived in America prior to the Revolutionary war, but after the close of that struggle returned to their native country, Germany, but some years later again emigrated to the states. About the time of the outbreak of the war of 1812, William Powley moved to Canada, where he secured a good farm and passed the remainder of his life. He often related to his children, how at one time in the forest he ran out provisions, and killed, cooked and ate a rattlesnake, which he always declared was, under the circumstances, very good. Of the four children born to David and Olive Reid, three are yet living as follows: John, a speculator and banker of Kansas City, Kansas. Dr. Charles P., our subject. Martha, wife of Alexander R. Walker, lives on the old home farm, and ministers to, and cares for her aged father, in his affliction.
The subject of this sketch attended the public schools of Hampshire and the Elgin Academy, and for one year at Clark Seminary, now Jennings Seminary, in Aurora. He then taught school during six winter terms, being occupied with farm work during the summer seasons. He began teaching at the age of nineteen. Previous to this he began reading medicine, reading privately for a time and then in the office of Doctor Kelly, of Elgin. He then attended Bennett's Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1872. He also studied pharmacy in Chicago, in the Pharmaceutical College, passing examination, and was for three years engaged in pharmacy in that city. In 1875 he began the practice of his profession in Hampshire, where he remained until 1888, when he joined his brother in Kansas City, Kansas, practicing there until 1894, when he returned to Hampshire. Since his first admission to practice, Dr. Reid has kept abreast of the times by occasional courses in medical colleges, having attended two courses of lectures in the Chicago Medical College, and one in Hahnemann, of the ' same city. In the summer of 1898, he proposes to again take a post-graduate course, obtaining a knowledge of the improved methods of medicine and surgery.
Dr. Reid, on the 6th of February, 1877 married Rosamond Heath, a native of Germany, who died in Kansas City, Kansas, August 16, 1889, leaving one child, Guy, a pupil in the Hampshire High School. Two-children, Olive and Mayne, died in infancy.
Dr..Reid delights in scientific subjects, and is of an inventive turn of mind. Among the creations of his inventive genius, may be mentioned an improved electric alarm, which gives warning when wires are cut or disabled, as well as "when the apartment is surreptitiously entered,, The fault with prior inventions has been that they get out of order and give no warning as to their condition.
Dr. Reid is prominent in business and social circles and was for eight years president of the village board, and for six years was a member of the school board. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Hampshire, in which he has filled all the chairs, and is a member of the Foresters and Knights of the Maccabees. A genial, whole-souled gentleman, he enjoys the esteem of the people amongst whom he has lived for nearly half a century.
GEORGE P. HARVEY.—The subject of this review is one whose history touches the pioneer epoch in the annals of Kane county and whose days were an integral part, of that indissoluble chain which linked the early, formative period with that of later-day progress and prosperity. He has borne an important part in the upbuilding of this section of the state and his name deserves an honored place among its prominent pioneers. He is now living at No. 208 Kimball street.
Mr. Harvey was born December 22, 1816, in Ontario county, New York, a son of Joel and Polly (Bennett) Harvey. On the paternal side he is of English descent. His great-grandfather was Medad Harvey, while his grandfather was Joel Harvey, Sr., a farmer by occupation, who removed from New Hampshire to New York at an early day, locating near Utica, where he died at the age of seventy years. Our subject's maternal grandfather spent his last days in Herkimer county, New York.
Joel Harvey, Jr., was a native of Massachusetts, but spent the greater part of his early life upon a farm twelve miles east of Utica, New York. He married Polly Bennett, a native of Connecticut, and they became the parents of six children, who grew to man and womanhood. Four are still living, namely: George P.; Emily, wife of Paul R. Wright, of Santa Barbara, California, Sarah, wife of Major W. M. Taylor, of Chicago, Illinois; and Joel D., of Geneva, Illinois. The father was a blacksmith by trade. In 1835 he came by team to Illinois,'accompanied by all the members of his family with the exception of our subject, who made the trip by water, as their goods were shipped in that way. They were followed by their faithful dog, who was very watchful of their possessions, not permitting a stranger to touch anything. The dog considered all Indians his enemies. The family arrived in Kane county in October, 1835, at which time there were only two log houses on the present site of Elgin, one on either side of the river. The father took up a claim of three hundred acres in the northern part of the town of St. Charles and improved and cultivated the place until his death, which occurred in 1840, at the age of forty-six. He took quite a prominent and influential part in public affairs, served as treasurer of Kane county for one term, was justice of the peace several years, and held various township offices. He was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was always a loyal and patriotic citizen. His estimable wife long survived him, dying June 10, 1872, at the age of seventy-four.
Mr. Harvey, of this review, was reared eight miles west of Syracuse, in Onondaga county, New York, on a farm, and completed his education in the academy in Baldwinsville. He was nineteen years of age when he came to Illinois, and in 1837 he purchased a farm of his own in Kane county, containing three hundred and twenty acres, which he improved and cultivated until his removal to Elgin, in 1848. Here he has since made his home with the exception of two years spent upon a farm in Elgin township. He built a large warehouse on the east side of the river for the Northwestern railroad in 1850-51, and had charge of the same for a number of years, storing all kinds of goods and grain. Later, in partnership with George W. Renwick, he engaged in the manufacture of threshing machines.
On the 13th of November, 1839, Mr. Harvey married Miss Mary L. Burr, a daughter of Atwell and Betsy (Wheeler) Burr, who came to Kane county from Pompey, Onondaga county, New York, in the spring of 1836, and first settled in St. Charles. Later they removed to Campton township, where they purchased land and continued to make their home until called from this life. They were of English descent, and Mrs. Burr was born and reared at the foot of the Hoosac mountains. Mr. Burr also aided in the war of 1812, and died about 1851.
Of the ten children born to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, four sons died in infancy. The others are as follows: Charles M. enlisted in the Seventh Illinois Infantry, under the first call for three-months' men, and after the expiration of his term re-enlisted in the Plato Cavalry, his company being first assigned to the Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and later to the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, serving as first lieutenant of Company B. Re-enlisting again as a veteran, he served until the close of the war. He was with Sherman's army on the celebrated march from Atlanta to the sea, and was once slightly wounded while carrying dispatches. He married Clara E. Conger and lived in Waco, Texas, at which place he and his wife and daughter all died. Welford W. makes his home on a ranch near Buffalo, in Wyoming. He married Mrs. Mary E. Orr, by whom he has one son, Ray Phelps, and she has two daughters by her former marriage—Minnie and Nellis. Cecil C. was formerly a successful teacher for a number of years, but for the past fourteen years has been librarian of the city library of Elgin. Mary E. is also at home. Estelle E. is the wife of William Freck, a machinist and inventor living in Chicago, and they have three children—Florence, Howard B. and Margaret Loraine. Illione is a writer in an insurance office in Chicago. The wife and mother passed away September 19, 1895, when almost seventy-eight years of age. She was a member of the Universalist church, which her husband also attends.
With Mr. Harvey resides his aunt, Mrs. Emily (Harvey) Ainsworth, who in 1843 came to McHenry county, Illinois, but later spent a short time in Missouri. On her return to this state she located in Richview and subsequently removed to St. Charles, where she had three sisters living, all now deceased. For the past twelve years she has made her home in Elgin, and is now eighty-eight years of age.
Mr. Harvey has ever been one of the popular and prominent citizens of the county, and in early life took quite an active and influential part in public affairs. In-the fall of 1854 he was elected county treasurer, and two years later was made alderman of the third ward of Elgin, serving in that capacity for six years. Subsequently he filled the office of assessor of Elgin township for two terms. He also served as internal revenue assessor for Kane county two years. From 1860 until 1862, he lived on his farm, but in the latter year returned to Elgin, where he has since continued to reside. For sixty-two years he has been identified with the interests of the county, has seen almost its entire development, as on his arrival here the Indians were far more numerous than the white settlers and most of the land was still in its primitive condition. He is now the oldest member of Kane lodge, I. O. O. F., with which he has been connected since 1851. Although eighty-one years of age he is still well preserved. Nature deals kindly with the man who abuses not her laws, and although his business cares have been extensive age rests lightly upon him. It is safe to say that no man in Elgin has more or warmer friends than George P. Harvey.
THOMAS BISHOP, deceased, was a native of Devonshire, England, born September 12, 1820, and at the age of eight years accompanied his parents across the ocean to Canada, the family locating in Quebec, in the schools of which locality he completed his education, which was begun in the mother country. After entering upon his business career he became interested in lumber and operated large tracts of forest land. He served as captain in the militia while in Quebec, and was a leading citizen of the community in which he made his home.
After his mother's death he and three brothers accompanied their father, Nathaniel Bishop, to Kane county, Illinois. The four sons secured work as farm hands, Thomas and one brother working on a farm on section 22, Elgin township, Henry and the other brother on a farm on section 28. After two years Thomas and William purchased a farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres, on which they had been employed, and Henry and his brother purchased the farm on section 28. In a few years two of the brothers went to Clinton, Illinois, and with the financial assistance of Thomas and Henry established themselves in the grain business, which they conducted with good success until their life labors were ended, winning a comfortable competence by their judicious management and untiring industry.
Immediately after becoming owner of the farm on section 22, Elgin township, Thomas Bishop began its further development and improvement and in 1856 erected the present commodious residence, which is one of the land marks of the neighborhood. He employed only common laborers to help him and laid the masonry, which is a fine specimen of cobble-stone range work, with his own hands. He also did the interior finishing and the home to-day stands as a monument of his thrift and enterprise. It has very substantial and thick walls like the edifices of the old countries, built to stand
for centuries. When he arrived in Kane county it was a wild and largely unsettled district. There was a stage road over the prairie and across his farm and all was open country. He hauled his produce to the Chicago market, finding there a little city just coming into prominence by reason of its shipping facilities. During the early years he also became an extensive stock trader, selling large numbers of cattle to the distillery companies and to the beef canning companies. He placed his land under a high state of cultivation until the well-tilled fields yielded to him a golden tribute and his farm became one of the best improved in the county. Neither was his attention given entirely to agricultural pursuits. He was a man of broad capability and made judicious investments in other business concerns which brought to him a handsome revenue. He was one of the organizers and stockholders of the Home National Bank, in which he served as a member of the directorate and was at one time a stockholder in the Elgin Canning Company. A man of strong personality he also took a leading part in local affairs and his influence and support were important factors in promoting the welfare of the community. He did efficient service in the interest of the public schools during his many years service as school director, and for about fourteen years he served as road commissioner, while for eight years he filled the office of supervisor, discharging all these duties with marked fidelity and promptness. He held membership in the Universalist church, and gave his political support to the men and measures of the Republican party.
Thomas Bishop was united in marriage to Miss Emma Stringer, who was born in Kane county, March 19, 1848, a daughter of John A. and Ann (Sterricker) Stringer. Her father was born in Devonshire, England, July 20, 1807, and died June 17, 1895. He removed from England to Canada, at the age of fifteen years, resided for a time in New York, and in September, 1845, came to Kane county, where he acquired three hundred and forty acres of land on section 29, Elgin township. In early years he was a grain farmer, and later became largely interested in dairy farming. His parents were Richard and Hannah (Garbet) Stringer. The former died in Canada, about 1822, at the age of sixty years, and the latter attained the advanced age of ninety-four years. Mrs. Ann Stringer, mother of Mrs. Thomas Bishop, was born near London, England, June 7, 1816, and is now living in California with her daughter. She is still a well-preserved old lady, able to walk a number of miles, and took a long journey across the continent without great fatigue. Her parents were Rev. Thomas and Jane (Williams) Sterricker, the former a Methodist minister, who spent the greater part of his life in Cherry Valley, Otsego county, New York, where he died at the age of fifty-five years, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-four.
By the marriage of Thomas Bishop and Emma Stringer were born six children: Clarence, of whom further mention is made in this sketch; Florence, his twin sister, who died at the age of six months; Frank, who died at the age of three months; Birdie, wife of A. M. Smythe, a jeweler, of Elgin; Wilbur and Walter, who are living in Elgin with their mother. The father of this family was called to the home beyond October 5, 1891, in his sixty-ninth year, and the community thereby lost one of its most valued citizens—a man whom to know was to honor. He was true to every trust reposed in him, whether public or private; his honesty in all business transactions was above question; and he commanded the unqualified respect of those with whom he was brought in contact. He bore an important part in the work of development in Kane county, and "his name will always be linked with those pioneers who laid the foundation for the present prosperity and advancement of this community.
Clarence Bishop, the eldest son of Thomas and Emma Bishop, was born on the farm which is now his home, March. 6, 1870. His elementary education, acquired in the district schools, was supplemented by study in the Elgin Academy and in Drew's Business College. At the age of eighteen years he put aside his text-books and became his father's able assistant on the farm, continuing his work with him until the father's death. He then operated the place for his mother until his marriage, in 1895, since which time he has leased the property from the estate. This is one of the best farms in the county, improved with large barns and outbuildings, supplied with a windmill connected with a well two hundred and sixty-five feet deep, which furnishes an inexhaustible supply of good water. There is also a mill and feed grinder and a twelve-horse power steam engine, and the fire appliances can throw a stream of water over any building on the farm. There is an ice-house with a capacity of one hundred tons, and thus upon his own place Mr. Bishop has all of the conveniences of city life. His land is sufficiently rolling to make good drainage, and is under a very high state of cultivation. He, however, raises hay and grain mostly for his stock, for he is a dairy farmer and keeps on hand from sixty to seventy head of high-grade cattle. Mr. Bishop was united in marriage with Miss Emma L. Schumacher, a native of Pekin, Illinois, and a daughter of Rev. Henry Schumacher, who was born in Ohio, and died in Elgin April 25, 1885. He was a minister of the Evangelical church, and for twenty-five years was a member of the Illinois conference. His wife, whose maiden name was Susanna Klick, was a native of Pennsylvania, and now resides in Elgin.
Mr. Bishop is a member of the Universalist church, in which he has served as trustee for six years; gives his political support to the Republican party, and is an influential factor in the political circles in Kane county. He is now serving his second term as school trustee, is a member of the Lincoln Republican club, of Elgin, and has been a delegate to the state Republican convention in Springfield. He is a man of excellent business and executive ability, whose sound judgment, unflagging enterprise and capable management have brought to him a well-merited success. In manner he is pleasant and cordial, which, combined with his sterling worth, makes him one of the popular citizens of his native county.
PROFESSOR MARVIN QUACKENBUSH, of Dundee, Illinois, is the efficient superintendent of public schools of Kane county, which position he has held since 1886. He is regarded as one of the best educators in the state, and as superintendent has but few equals. He is a native of New York, born in the town of Hatwick, Otsego county, November 25, 1842. His father, Abram Quackenbush, was also born in Otsego county in 1801, while his grandfather, James Quackenbush, was likewise a native of that state. The family were originally from Holland and settled in New York in the seventeenth century. Two brothers came from Holland about that time, one locating in Fort Orange, later called Albany, and the other in New York City. The branch of the family from which the Professor descended was that of the Albany brother. The name was originally spelled Quackenbos.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, James Quackenbush, was a soldier in the war of 1812, in which he held a commission. He settled in Otsego county, engaged in agriculture pursuits and there reared his family. Abram Quackenbush grew to manhood in that county, and in 1826 married Miss Delaney Wolf, also a native of New York, whose father was one of the early settlers of the Empire state and served in one of the old Indian wars. They were the parents of six children, as follows: Catherine, now the wife of Bradley Foss, of Laporte City, Iowa; Edward, a well educated man and a professional teacher for some years, and also a farmer, now living retired at Laporte City, Iowa; Maria, deceased; Adelia, now the wife of Rev. R. H. Wilkinson, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, now residing in Evanston, Illinois; Amelia, now the wife of Louis. Dutton, of Chicago; and Marvin.
Abram Quackenbush was a farmer in Otsego county, New York, and there all his children were born. Desiring to give them better opportunities for advancement in life he determined to come west, and in 1850 they moved to Illinois, locating in Kane county, near the city of St. Charles, where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. While yet a young man he learned the blacksmith trade, which occupation he followed in his native state in connection with farming. After residing in Kane county for some years he moved to Laporte City, Iowa, where he spent the remaining years of his life, dying at the residence of his daughter, in 1885, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. His wife preceded him to their heavenly home three years previously and both were laid to rest in the Laporte City cemetery, where a substantial monument marks their last resting place.
The subject of this sketch came to Kane county with his parents a lad of seven years, here grew to manhood and received his education in the common schools and in Jennings Seminary at Aurora, supplemented by a course at Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, Chicago. The war for the Union was now in progress and our subject felt it his duty to enlist, and accordingly offered his service as a member of the Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but was rejected at the examination on account of a severely injured foot. His desire, however, to assist in putting down the Rebellion was not cooled by his rejection, and in November, 1864, after raising a company of forty men, he joined the One Hundred and Fifty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry and went to the front. He was assigned to the quartermaster's department, and served in that connection until July 21, 1865, when he was discharged for disability and returned to his home.
Previous to entering the service of his country Mr. Quackenbush had taught three terms in the public schools, and after his return resumed teaching, first in country schools and later in charge of the St. Charles school on the east side, where he remained six years. He then taught one year at Geneva, after which he taught eleven years in Dundee. While in charge of the school at that place he received the nomination of superintendent of public schools of Kane county, to which position he was elected. He has been twice reelected, both times without opposition. This certainly shows the popularity of the man and his efficiency as superintendent.
Professor Quackenbush was married at Clintonville, Illinois, in August, 1870, to Miss Eleanor Boynton, a native of Dundee, Illinois, and a daughter of Nathan and Margaret (McClure) Boynton, who were pioneer settlers of Dundee. By this union there is one son, Edward, a graduate of Hobart College, Geneva, New York, now taking a law course at Elgin, Illinois. The grandfather of Mrs. Quackenbush, General McClure, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and died in Elgin about 1850. His son-in-law, Captain Jamison, was the first commander of old Fort Dearborn, and he and his wife were the first white couple married in Kane county.
Politically Professor Quackenbush is a Republican, and supports the men and measures of that party in all general elections, but in local elections casts his ballot for the best men, regardless of politics. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order, of the blue lodge at Dundee, Fox River chapter of Geneva, and of Bethel commandery at Elgin. He has served as master of the blue lodge and high priest of the commandery, and has represented his lodge in the grand lodge of the state and his commandery in the grand body of that order. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he and his wife are members of the Congregationalist church, in which they both take an active interest. For almost fifty years he has been identified with the interests of Kane county, especially in educational affairs. No man is better known in the county, and not one has more warm friends.
MAJOR B. T. HUNT
More than sixty-one years have passed since this gentleman arrived in Kane county, and he is justly numbered among her honored pioneers and leading citizens. He has been prominently identified with her business interests, but is now living retired. His is an honorable record of a conscientious man, who by his upright life has won the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact.
Major Hunt was born October 19, 1812, in Abington, Plymouth county, Massachusetts, of which county, his father, Thomas Hunt, Jr., was also a native. There the grandfather, Thomas Hunt, Sr., reared his family and lived for many years. Our subject's mother, who bore the maiden name of Susannah Pool, was also born in the old Bay state. The father was a merchant, farmer and tanner, and was one of the first to extensively engage in the manufacture of shoes in New England. He was one of the representative and successful business men of the state.
The subject of this sketch is the only one of the family now living.
In his native place he grew to manhood and obtained a good common-school education, which has well fitted him for the practical duties of business life. During his youth he assisted his father in the tanning and manufacturing business, as well as in the store, and thus obtained a good practical knowledge of business affairs, which has been of great value to him in later years. After the father became too old to have active charge of the business, the older brother, Joseph, and Thomas assumed control and built up the large shoe factory in that section, employing many men.
In 1836, during his early manhood, Major Hunt came west, locating in St. Charles on the 10th of September. Through a friend he purchased a half interest in two hundred acres of land east of the Fox river -the original town site-the other owners being Reed Fersons and Ira Minard. These three gentlemen engaged in merchandise there through the summer of 1836, but in the fall the Major returned to Massachusetts, locating permanently here the following spring. They continued in mercantile pursuits together for a couple of years, and then our subject sold his interest and started in business on his own account. Selling his general store in 1850, he built a tannery, which he successfully operated until 1861, when his plant was destroyed by fire. o Subsequently he embarked in the hardware business, in which he was interested until 1890, and also erected, at St. Charles, the first paper mill in the northwest, beginning the business on a small scale, with Mr. Butler, but gradually it developed into a large concern. Subsequently he built a new mill on the west side of the river, put in modern machinery, and did an extensive business for many years. In 1850 he leased the factory to Butler & Hunt, who continued its operation. The Major has been instrumental in establishing a number of enterprises that have not only advanced his own prosperity but have been extremely beneficial to the city.'
At St. Charles, October 12, 1842, Major Hunt was united in marriage with Miss Harriet H. Lathrop, who was born in New York and reared near Auburn, Cayuga county, that state. Her father, Simon Lathrop, settled in St. Charles as early as 1841. He had been a merchant previous to his removal to the west. He had three daughters. They became the parents of four children, of whom Charles, the eldest, died when young. (2) Frank Bradley is married and has four children, one son and three daughters. In 1887 he removed to Iowa, and for ten years engaged in agricultural pursuits in that state. In October, 1897, he and his family returned to St. Charles, where they are now living. With his son, Frank C, he is engaged in the hardware business in St. Charles. (3) Clarence married and located in St. Charles, whence he removed to Michigan, and later was engaged in business for about three years in Chicago. He then returned to St. Charles, where he died in the summer of 1897. (4) Wilbur C. obtained an excellent education and adopted the legal profession, which he followed in St. Charles for some years. He was a man of superior business ability and had the confidence and esteem of all. He died suddenly in the summer of 1897, leaving a wife and two sons, besides his parents and many friends to mourn his loss.
Politically, Major Hunt is a Jacksonian Democrat, and has ever been a stalwart supporter of the principles of that party, but has never cared for official honors, though he served for a number of years on the board of trustees of the village. He served as the first treasurer of Kane county; the receipts for the first year was about seventy-five cents. In those days the sheriff collected all taxes, and the treasurer served only in a nominal capacity. During his younger years he also served as major of the county militia. His estimable wife is a member of the
Baptist church. Major Hunt has witnessed almost the entire growth and development of Kane county, and in the upbuilding and prosperity of St. Charles he has been an important factor, giving his aid to all objects which he believed calculated to prove of public benefit. He is widely and favorable known throughout this section of the state, and those who know him best are numbered among his warmest friends.
THOMAS W. DUNCAN.
The expression '' the dignity of labor " is exemplified in the life record of this gentleman, who without reserve attributes his success to earnest work. He is a man of strong force of character, purposeful and energetic, and his keen discrimination and sound judgment are shown in his capable management of what is one of the leading industrial concerns of the state-the Illinois Watch Case Factory. No special advantages gave him a good start in life; he worked his way upward by energy, perseverance and diligence and the prosperity which is now his is the fitting reward of his own honorable efforts.
A native of Lindsay, Canada, Thomas Wellington Duncan was born December 6, 1858, and is a son of James and Mary (Hawkins) Duncan. His paternal grandfather was Thomas Duncan, a native of Belfast, Ireland, which city was also the birthplace of James Duncan, who left his native land in 1837 and immigrated to Lindsay, Canada. He was by trade a carriage-maker and followed that occupation until his retirement from business life about fifteen years ago. He is still living in Lindsay, a respected and valued citizen of that community. His wife was a daughter of Thomas and Jane Hawkins and was born in Edinburg, Scotland, where her parents spent their entire lives. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan are members of the Episcopal church. Their family numbered six children-Thomas, Jane, Margaret, John, James and William, of whom the first and last are still living, William being a resident of St. Louis, Missouri.
In the city of his birth Mr. Duncan, of this review, acquired his education and in Toronto, Canada, he learned the watchmaker's trade. In 1881 he removed to Chicago, and in 1887 became a member of the firm of M. C. Eppenstein & Company, wholesale jewelers of that city. In 1888 the Illinois Watch Case Company was incorporated and began the manufacture of watch cases on Clinton street. On the 1st of May, 1890, the factory was removed from Chicago to Elgin, where an extensive business is now carried on in the manufacture of gold and silver watch cases. The company is capitalized for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and their output is about five hundred thousand watch cases, which are sold in all parts of this country and shipped extensively abroad, even to Switzerland, the country famous for its watches. Their reputation for the excellence of their goods as well as the business reliability of the house extends throughout the country and has secured them an extensive patronage which yields to them a handsome financial return. In 1895 they added a new department to their business the manufacture of bicycles, and invested one hundred thousand dollars in this enterprise. Their special wheels are the Elgin King and the -Elgin Queen, which find a ready sale on the market by reason of their durability, their lightness, the ease with which they are manipulated and the other strong points of the first-class wheel. They manufactured the celebrated ten thousand dollar cycle of the Chicago Cycle exhibition in 1896. It was one of the "King" cycles and won the prize on the exhibition. It has been sent to Europe where it will be placed on exhibition first at a cycle show in Belfast, Ireland, and then in other cities of Great Britain, after which it will be exhibited on the continent. One hundred operatives are employed in the manufacture of the wheels and employment is furnished to four hundred hands in the watch-case department. The officers of the company are Thomas W. Duncan, president and treasurer; M. Abraham, secretary; and T. W. Duncan, M. C. Eppenstein and S. C. Eppenstein, directors.
Mr. Duncan is a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and neglects no duty of citizenship, but seeks no political office. However, he is a very public-spirited and progressive citizen, and has done much for the advancement and improvement of the city in which he makes his home. Prominent in the Masonic fraternity, he holds membership in Garden City lodge, No. 141, A. F. & A. M.; York chapter, R. A. M.; Apollo commandery, . K. T., and the Oriental consistory, S. P. R. S., all of Chicago. His name is synonymous with honorable business dealing, and in all circles Mr. Duncan commands the respect and esteem of those whom he has met
FRANKLIN S. BOSWORTH
Success is determined by one's ability to recognize opportunity, and to pursue this with a resolute and unflagging energy. It results from continued labor, and the man who thus accomplishes his purpose usually becomes an important factor in the business circles of the community with which he is connected. Mr. Bosworth, through such means, has attained a leading place among the representative men of Elgin, and his well-spent and honorable life commands the respect of all who know him.
Mr. Bosworth is a native of Boston, Erie county, New York, and a son of Benjamin F. and Almira (Smith) Bosworth. His father was born in Greenfield, New York, and was a son of Alfred Bosworth, who was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, of English parentage. The latter came to the West in the fall of 1839, taking up his residence in Dundee, Illinois, where he died in June, 1861. In his early life he followed the hatter's trade, but in his later years engaged in farming. He married Olive Child, a native of the Empire state, and they became parents of six children: Benjamin F., Oliver C, Increase O, Lucinda O, Mary C, wife of Harry Weed; Lucinda, wife of Alfred Edwards; and Abbie M., wife of Benjamin Simonds. All of this family are now deceased.
Dr. Benjamin F. Bosworth, father of our subject, studied medicine in early life, and practiced his profession until his removal to Illinois. He located in Chicago in 1856, and engaged in merchandising in that place until his removal to McHenry, Illinois, where he conducted a mercantile establishment until his death, in September, 1843. In politics he was a Whig. In his early manhood he was graduated at Union College, New York, then a noted institution of learning, and while practicing medicine was very successful. His wife, a daughter of Amos Smith, was also a native of New York. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died in New York about 1834.
Franklin S. Bosworth, their only child, was born December 17, 1832, and acquired his education in the common schools. He began merchandising in 1852, in connection with I. C. Bosworth, at Dundee, Illinois, where he carried on business until June, 1871, when he removed to Elgin. Here he purchased an interest in a hardware store on the East Side, which he successfully conducted until September, 1883, when he sold to Metcalf & Reed. In 1888 he purchased an interest in a lumber yard on the West Side and soon afterward extended his field of operations by dealing in coal. For three years he was associated in business with Lewis Eaton, but on the expiration of that period purchased his partner's interest, and was alone until 1896, when he admitted to a partnership his son, Frank H. Bosworth. The business is now conducted under the name of F. S. Bosworth & Son and they carry all kinds of lumber and hard and soft coal, and have built up a very extensive, profitable and satisfactory trade.
On the 4th of January, 1859, at Dundee, Illinois, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Bosworth and Miss Sarah E. Hunt, a daughter of Ward E. and Mary Hunt, her father a native of Vermont. Four children were born of this union, of whom the eldest, Reuben H., is now deceased. Edward is professor of Greek and also occupies the chair of theology in Oberlin College of Ohio. After completing his preliminary education in the common schools, he was for two years a student in Oberlin College, and then matriculated in Yale College, where he was graduated with honors. He is a young man of splendid mental attainments and exceptionally brilliant prospects. He married Miss Bertha McClure, of Elgin. Mary is now the wife of Walter F. Skeele, a resident of Los Angeles, California. Frank H. is with his father in business.
The family are members of the Congregational church, and in politics Mr. Bosworth and his sons are Republicans. He has been honored with several local offices, was elected a member of the city council in 1879, and in 1880 was elected mayor of Elgin, filling that office for two consecutive terms. His administration was progressive, and the city's interests were materially promoted through his efforts. He manifests a deep interest in the welfare of Elgin, and his influence and support are given to all measures beneficial to the municipality. Loyal to all public duties, honorable in all business relations, faithful to all the obligations of social life, he stands as one of the leading men of Kane county.
JOHN W. SEYMOUR, whose residence in Illinois covers more than half a century, and whose home has been maintained in Elgin for twenty-five years, belongs to that heroic pioneer band who were the advance guard of civilization in the northern section of the state, and who, since that time, have been prominent in support of all interests calculated to promote the general welfare; A native of Yates county, New York, he was born March 3, 1833, and is descended from one of three brothers who emigrated from England and took up their residence in the Empire state prior to the war of the Revolution. Jesse Seymour, the grandfather of our subject, served his country in the war of 1812, and his father, Ebenezer Seymour, was one of those who aided the heroes who fought for the independence of the colonies by supplying the army with cattle and other necessaries.
John Seymour, the father of our subject, was born in Putnam county, New York, December 2, 1784, while his wife, Elizabeth Seymour, was a native of Yates county, that state, .born December 1, 1794. In the spring of 1842 they emigrated to Illinois, locating at Miller's Grove, in the town of Barrington, Cook county. They were accompanied by their ten children, all of whom located in this state. The father died August 27, 1876, at the home of his son, John W., in Elgin, and the mother passed away on the old homestead in Cook county, September 28, 1881. He was a stanch Republican in politics and in his early life was a member of the Baptist church, but afterwards joined the Methodist church with his wife. Of the children, five are yet living: Harvey, of Elgin; Mrs. H. M. Campbell, of Edgewood, Illinois; Mrs. J. M. Miller, of Elgin; Joseph B., of Aurora, and John W., our subject.
The last named came to Illinois with his parents when nine years of age and was reared in their home. Later his home became theirs, and upon their death by inheritance and purchase he became the owner of the old farm, comprising three hundred and fifty acres of valuable land. He was married December 31, 1857, to Miss Emily L. Wood, of Volo, Lake county, Illinois, a native of Gainesville, Wyoming county, New York, born July 1, 1837. With her parents, George L. and Phoebe (Potter) Wood, she came to Volo Lake, in 1844, and continued a resident of this state until called to the home beyond. By her marriage she had two children, William H., born March 3, 1859, and Kleber A., who was born July 6, 1865, and died August 15, 1888.
In 1868 Mr. Seymour removed with his family to Barrington Station, Cook county, where he was engaged in merchandising in connection with A. K. Townsend, who was also assistant postmaster. In 1873 he took up his residence in Elgin, and has since been identified with the interests of that city. He has done much to promote its commercial prosperity through his connection with various enterprises. In the summer of 1882 he went abroad, accompanied by his wife, making the journey both a business and pleasure trip. After visiting the principal cities and points of interest in Scotland, England and France, he purchased and imported fifteen head of fine Percheron horses, and has since been engaged in the breeding of that stock in company with his son, William H. In 1892 they located what is known as the Concho Valley stock ranch, four miles north of San Angelo, Texas. Their stock has gained a wide reputation in the horse markets of the country, and their enterprise has been attended with most gratifying success. The ranch is under the personal supervision of the son, who married Jennie E. Hendrickson, daughter of Norman G. and Emily (Townsend) Hendrickson, by whom he has one son, Claude H. William H. Seymour is also engaged in dealing in coal, wood, cement, etc., in Elgin, as a member of the firm of Adams & Seymour.
In connection with his other business interests, John W. Seymour aided in the organization of the Elgin National Bank in the spring of 1892, and is a member of its directorate. From the beginning the institution has been a paying investment, and is regarded as one of the most reliable banking concerns of the county. Mr. Seymour is a man of sound judgment, keen discernment and excellent executive ability, entirely trustworthy, and carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. His success is well merited, being the legitimate outcome of his well-directed efforts.
In his political views he is a stalwart Republican, and he served as school trustee in the town of Barrington. He is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church, of which body Mrs. Seymour was also a member, and in which she took a deep and kindly interest, as well as in all charitable work. She was a lady greatly beloved by all who knew her, and her death, which occurred July 31, 1897, was mourned by many friends. In loving remembrance, the following lines were dedicated to her:
A precious one from us has gone,
A voice we loved is stilled.
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled.
God, in His wisdom, has recalled
The boon His love had given;
And though the body slumbers here,
The soul is safe in Heaven."
Mr. Seymour still makes his home in Elgin, and occupies his residence, at No. 165 North Gifford street, which he erected twenty-five years ago. It is still one of the best homes of the city, and its hospitable doors are ever open for the reception of his many friends.
SILAS BALDWIN, who, after a long and useful life in which toil, was the principal ingredient, is now living retired in the village of Hampshire, Illinois, is a native of Vermont, born in Dorset, Bennington county, May 15, 1823. He attended the district school at Dorset Hollow, and worked on neighboring farms by the month until twenty-six years old, when he had saved enough by his economy to buy a fifty-acre farm, which he cultivated for four years. The farm was almost covered with maple trees, from which he made maple sugar, selling the same through New York. The chance for advancement in life was thought by him to be very slim, and while, like Stephen A. Douglas, he considered Vermont a good place to be born in, he believed the West a better place in which to grow. In 1853 he sold his farm and came west; went first to Iowa, but not liking that country as well, came to Kane county, Illinois, where he bought eighty acres on sections 26 and 27, Hampshire township, which he improved, and on which he resided until March, 1890, when he retired from active life, visited one year with relatives in the east, and in 1891 purchased a comfortable home in the village of Hampshire, where he is now taking life easy.
Thomas Baldwin, the father of our subject, was born April 4, 1774, and died July 4, 1854. He was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Baldwin, the former dying January 9, 1808, at the age of seventy-nine years, and the latter dying March 13, 1808, at the age of sixty years. Thomas Baldwin was a blacksmith by trade and an expert tool-maker. When regular work was slack, he made fine tools for carpenters and others, and traveled through the country selling them. He was of thrifty Yankee stock, and moved from Connecticut to Vermont about 1817. A man of strong vitality, full of energy and ingenuity, he could not help succeeding in life. On the 19th of April, 1817, he married Polly Lamphor, born at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1788, and dying in 1862. She was the daughter of John and Mary Lamphor, the latter of whom died in 1813.
The subject of this sketch was the last born in a family of seven children born to Thomas and Polly Baldwin. He has two brothers living in Vermont and a sister living in California. Silas Baldwin was first married in Vermont, near Dorset, to Miriam Mumpsted, born January 5, 1819, and who died in Hampshire township November 4, 1878. Of the four children born to them, one died in Vermont and two in Hampshire township. The living one is Elizabeth Ann, who married Burdette C. DeWitt, by whom she has six children, as follows: Lillian M., who married J. William Webster, of Cresco, Iowa, by whom she has one son, DeWitt; Benjamin C.; Charles; Miriam E.; Roxie L. and Hazel M.
Mr. Baldwin's second marriage .was at Tecumseh, Michigan, where he married Mrs. Louisa Norton, widow of James T. Norton, born at Poultney, Rutland county, Vermont, and a daughter of Abijah Williams, Jr., a native of Massachusetts, born April 28, 1785, and who died at Poultney, Vermont, June 27, 1845, at the age of sixty years. Abijah Williams, Sr., was the son of John Williams, who married Asenath Hodge. John Williams was one of three brothers who came from England in colonial days. Abijah Williams, Jr., married Lucinda Hill, born in Hartford, Connecticut, and a daughter of Thomas and Lydia (Davis) Hill, her father being a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
Politically Mr. Baldwin was formerly an abolitionist, casting his first presidential vote for James G. Birney. On the organization of the Republican party, he became an advocate of its principles and with that party has continued to act until the present time. For twenty-five years he served as school director, supervisor three years, and has served as road commissioner, school trustee and village trustee, and was superintendent of Sunday-schools in an early day for a number of years. He is of that self reliant New England stock, a well-known figure in the village thoroughfares, and is highly respected for his just and upright life.
DUNCAN FORBES is one of the representative citizens of Kane county, whose birth occurred in "bonnie" Scotland, but who for forty years has been a resident of this country. He is now enjoying a well-earned rest in the village of Dundee, where he has resided since 1894. He was born August 12, 1834, in Perthshire, Scotland, and there grew to manhood. After attending the common schools for a time he was apprenticed to learn the cabinetmaker's and joiner's trade, serving a four-years term. After completing his trade he worked as a journeyman for a time, but, believing the new world afforded better opportunities for advancement, he came to America in 1858, locating first in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he worked as a journeyman two years. In March, 1861, he located in Chicago and went to work at ship carpentering. In July of the same year he commenced contracting, and built a house in Barrington township and one in Dundee.
Up to this time Mr. Forbes was a single man, but on the 12th of December, 1862, he was united in marriage, in Dundee township, with Miss Jeannette Cochran, a native of Scotland, who came to the United States when a child of nine years! Her father, Malcolm Cochran, was also a native of Scotland, who came to Dundee township, Kane county, in 1849, where he engaged in farming, following that occupation throughout life. After their marriage Mr. Forbes moved to Chicago and engaged in the furniture trade for nine years, building up in that time a most satisfactory trade. In October, 1871, he returned to Kane county, and located in Dundee township on the old Cochran homestead, where he and his brother-in-law, John Cochran, engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1894. He further improved and developed the place, and had one of the best farms in Dundee township. For twenty-three years he continued to give personal attention to the farm, and then rented the place and moved to Dundee, purchased a lot and built a large and substantial residence, one of the best in the village, and is now living a retired life.
Mr. Forbes politically is a stanch Republican, and cast his first presidential ballot for General U. S. Grant. He has supported the nominees of that party from that time to the present, casting his last vote for William McKinley in 1896. A friend of education and the public schools, he served some years as a member of the school board. He also served as township trustee for some fifteen years, but never desired or sought public office. Mr. and Mrs. Forbes were reared in the Presbyterian faith, but of late years have attended and supported the Congregational church.
Mr. Forbes has been a resident of Illinois for thirty-seven years, and Mrs. Forbes for forty-nine years. They have witnessed much of the growth and development of Kane county and northern Illinois, and are numbered among the esteemed old settlers. He is known in Dundee and Kane county as a man of exemplary habits, of tried integrity and worth, and he and his estimable wife are held in the highest esteem by all who know them. Commencing life a poor man, with nothing but willing hands and a stout heart, with the assistance of his good wife he has accumulated a good property, and they can well afford to spend the rest of their lives in ease and retirement.
John Cochran, the brother of Mrs. Forbes, came with his parents to this country a lad of twelve years. He here grew to manhood and continued to work upon the farm until his death, which occurred July 14, 1894. For two years he and his sister conducted the home farm, and also for a time were partners in the furniture trade. He was a man of sterling character, and one of the honest yeomen of the county.
ABEL D. GIFFORD, a retired farmer and pioneer of 1837, now resides in a beautiful home at No. 254 Villa street, Elgin. He is a native of Chenango county, New York, born in Sherburne, August 9, 1818, and is a son of Asa and Dinah (Talcott) Gifford, natives of Massachusetts, who at a very early day settled in Chenango county, New York, removing from there to Oneida county, where their last days were spent, the latter dying in November, 1822, at the age of about fifty-seven years, and the former in May, 1837, in his seventieth year. They were the parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, ten of whom grew to manhood and womanhood- Ruth, Experience, James T., Peleg, Sarah, Susan, Asa, Hezekiah and Harriet. Of this number, Peleg died when about a year old, and Sarah, died at the age of twenty-two.
All of the children then living came west and located in Kane county, in 1835, except Abel D., who remained at home to care for his parents. Both parents were members of the Baptist church, of which the father was a deacon for many years. By trade he was a carpenter, at which occupation he spent his early life. Later he engaged in merchandising, but the last years of his life were spent in agricultural pursuits. He was a good reader, a close observer, and a very prominent man in his community. For one term he served as sheriff of his county, was county judge and a justice of the peace for some years.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, who was of English descent, died in Massachusetts in middle life. The maternal grandfather Talcott was a judge in Herkimer county, New York, and at one time was very wealthy, but lost his money and property in unfortunate lawsuits. He was about seventy-eight years old when he died.
Abel D. Gifford, of whom we now write, was reared upon a farm in Chenango county, New York, and was early in life inured to hard labor. His education was received in the public schools of his native county, supplemented by a few terms in Vernon Academy. Soon after the death of his father he came to Illinois and located on a farm two miles east of the then city limits of Elgin, but which now adjoins the city. This was six years before the government survey. His first purchase was two hundred and sixty acres, which he finely improved and which yet remains in his possession. Since 1889 he has lived in Elgin, his son, Charles A., operating the home farm, where he is also engaged in dairying, having between seventy and eighty cows. During the season, his son also operates a threshing machine.
On the 20th of February, 1838, Mr. Gifford was united in marriage with Miss Harriet M. Root, a daughter of Dr. Anson Root, a pioneer physician of Kane county. By this union there was one child, Frank A., who died at the age of nine months. Eighteen days later the little one's mother gave up her life. Religiously she was a Baptist. The second union of Mr. Gifford was on the 9th of August, 1855, when he married Miss Julia E. Chappell, daughter of Harvey M. and Mary Chappell. For a number of years prior to her marriage Mrs. Gifford taught school in Kane county. By this union there were two children, Carrie L. and Charles A. The former married Charles Holden, and they have two children, Hazel H. and Gifford Merrell. Charles A. married Miss Florence D. Stickney, who died in March, 1897. They had four children, Frank A., Stanley, Walter and Florence.
The second wife of Mr. Gifford died July 10, 1893, in her sixty-ninth year. Religiously she was also a Baptist, and in the work of the church took a deep and commendable interest. For his third wife Mr. Gifford chose Mrs. Clara F. Whitten, widow of Dr. Parker Whitten and daughter of David and Harriet (Cain) Flood. Their wedding ceremony took place December 15, 1896. For some years the present Mrs. Gifford was a successful teacher in Richmond, Virginia, and Atlanta, Georgia, where she gave instruction to several hundred colored children. By her first marriage Mrs. Gifford had two children-Parker Merritt, who was killed by a kick from a horse when one year old; and Manfred Pitt, who is studying medicine at the Vermont State University.
Mrs. Gifford's parents were natives of the state of Maine. In early life her father was a farmer, and later a trader. He died in Lewiston, Maine, in 1865, at the age of forty-five years. His widow is still living, and makes her home at Woodsville, New Hampshire. The father was a consistent member of the Baptist church, while the mother holds membership with the Christian church. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Gifford, John Flood, was a native of Maine, of supposedly Irish descent. In the war of 1812 he served his country faithfully and well. Her maternal grandfather, Moses Cain, was also for a time in the military service. By occupation he was a farmer and a minister of the gospel.
The Gifford family are well known in Kane county. James T. Gifford, a brother of our subject, laid out the city of Elgin, naming it after the title of a piece of music that he fancied. As stated, the entire family, save the parents, came to Kane county and settled in the vicinity of Elgin in pioneer days. All were highly honored citizens, whose names and memories are cherished by their many friends and acquaintances.
Abel D. Gifford has now been a resident of this vicinity for more than sixty years, and has been identified with its growth and prosperity. The country was then wild indeed, and the thriving cities now in northern Illinois existed but in name. Chicago then gave no evidence of its present prosperity and magnificent proportions.
Since his thirteenth year Mr. Gifford has been a member of the Baptist church, and is the only surviving charter member of the First Baptist church of Elgin, which was organized in 1838, and of which he has been trustee since its organization and deacon for about fifty years. In the service of his Master he has always taken special delight, and has done much to advance the cause in the place which has so long been his home. Mrs. Gifford is also a member of the Baptist church.
Politically, Mr. Gifford is a Republican, with which party he has been connected since its organization. A strong believer in liberty, he naturally allied himself with the Republicans and labored for the success of the party. In the discharge of his duties as a citizen he has served in several local offices, being road commissioner of Hanover township for several years and also township assessor. On coming to Elgin he built his present beautiful home in 1889. On the premises he makes his own gas for lighting purposes, although he uses in connection electricity. The house is heated by steam and is handsomely furnished and most home like.
In all his life Mr. Gifford never drank intoxicating liquors of any kind, never chewed tobacco, and never smoked but a few times. His life has been indeed a temperate one, and no man stands higher in the estimation of the people. All esteem him for his many excellent qualities of head and heart.
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