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
JOSEPH RICHARD HOLMES - chief of the Elgin water works, who for many years has filled this position to the entire satisfaction of the public, was born in Lincolnshire, England, at the town of Sleaford, November 12, 1851, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Lynton) Holmes, also natives of Lincolnshire. The father was a saddler by trade and followed that business as a life-work. He died when our subject was about five years of age, after which his widow married Charles Harris, who is also now deceased. By her first marriage the mother of our subject had two sons, Joseph and John, the latter now living in Lincolnshire, England, and by her second marriage had five children: Robert, Charles and Mary, wife of Thomas Best; Martha and Elizabeth.
When about six years old Mr. Holmes came to America with his widowed mother, the family living in Chicago until 1864, when they removed to Aurora and thence to Elgin. Our subject attended the common schools of Chicago and Aurora, and when a youth of fifteen began to learn the machinist's trade in the shops of Carter & Pinney, of the latter city. He applied himself diligently to the mastery of this business and became an expert in this line. Locating in Elgin in 1870, he entered the employ of Grownberg, Bearman & Company, in whose service he remained for five years, when he began work as an engineer. After a time he went from Elgin to Chicago, where he was engaged on the construction of a factory, and in 1888 he returned to Elgin, where he has since occupied the responsible position of engineer of the city water works. The plant was constructed that year at a cost of one hundred and seventy thousand dollars, the stand pipe has a capacity of over five hundred thousand gallons while the Holly engines have a capacity of six million gallons and two Worthington engines have a capacity of a million and a half gallons. The plant is located at the foot of Grant avenue and is one of the most complete in the state. It is supplied with a splendid filtering system and the water furnished to Elgin's people is therefore clear and pure as crystal. From the beginning Mr. Holmes has served as engineer and no more capable or trustworthy man could be secured for the position. His thorough understanding of the workings of the most intricate machinery, his unquestioned reliability and his conscientious fidelity to duty make him one of the most valued representatives of the public service of Elgin.
Mr. Holmes was married in Dubuque, Iowa, in July, 1873, to Johanna Pabst, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Pabst, the former living in Elgin, while the latter is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes are. the parents of six children: Hannah, Gertrude, Edward, Jessie, Katie and Joseph. Gertrude and Edward are now deceased, but the others are still at home. The family is an interesting one, in which the parents take a natural pride, and to their children they are giving good educational advantages so that they may become useful men and women. Mrs. Holmes is a member of the Catholic church and Mr. Holmes belongs to the Baptist church. His last presidential vote was cast for Major McKinley, but in politics he is independent. He belongs to the N. A. S. E., No. 49, is now serving as one of its trustees and has filled other offices. He is a man of sterling worth, a loyal son of his adopted land, and in the friendship of many of Elgin's best citizens he shares.
WINFIELD S. GAMBLE, a well-known civil engineer residing in Elgin, was born in Evanston, Illinois, July 25, 1861, and is a worthy representative of an honored and distinguished family, his parents being General William and Sophia Fredreka (Steingrandt) Gamble.
Gen. William Gamble
The father was born January 1, 1818, in county Farmanagh, Ireland, and was the oldest of four brothers, the others being James, David and Osborne, who all died in Chicago, where they made their home. The paternal grandfather of our subject, who also bore the name of William, was a native of Ireland, and at an early day came with his family to the United States.
In his native land General Gamble was educated as a civil engineer, and was in the queen's service before his emigration to the new world. In 1839, when twenty-one years of age, he crossed the Atlantic, and for five years after his arrival served in the regular army as a member of the First New York Dragoons, stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. On leaving the army he located in Chicago, being in the government service at old Fort Dearborn until his removal to Evanston in 1859. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted in the Union service and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, under Colonel Farnsworth. The regiment came into existence in this way: In August, 1861,General Farnsworth proceeded to Washington, District of Columbia, visited President Lincoln and Secretary Cameron, and from the latter obtained an order to organize the Eighth Illinois Cavalry.
The service at that time was greatly in need of more cavalry, and General Farnsworth was, by his extensive acquaintance, great ability and popularity well qualified for this work. He returned to St. Charles, Illinois, which he made his temporary headquarters, issued a call for twelve hundred men, and in two weeks the regiment was ready for duty. On the 18th of September, 1861, it was mustered into service and on October 14 started for Washington, arriving there two days later. With its twelve hundred stalwart men stepping to the tap of the drum and marching through the streets of Washington it created a great sensation. When Colonel Farnsworth was promoted, Mr. Gamble became its colonel. With the Army of the Potomac he participated in many important engagements, and at the battle of Malvern Hill was wounded in the side by a minie ball. After two months spent at home he was able to rejoin his command though the wound was a very serious one, breaking two ribs and the ball lodging in his shoulder blade. He was commissioned brigadier-general September 25, 1865, his command being composed of the Eighth and Twelfth Illinois, the Twelfth New York, and also a part of an Indiana regiment and a part of a Pennsylvania regiment. With his command he took part in all of the important campaigns of the army of the Potomac until the surrender at Appomattox, serving with distinguished honor and bravery. He was one of the generals on duty at President Lincoln's funeral. After the Eighth Illinois Cavalry was mustered out, he was on duty at Jefferson Barracks for about a year, being mustered out March 13, 1866, and July 28, 1866, he was mustered into the regular army as colonel of the Eighth United States Cavalry, which was ordered to California by way of the Isthmus. While waiting for transportation on the Isthmus the cholera broke out, and Colonel Gamble, with many of his troops, died from that dread disease December 20, 1866, being buried at Virgin's Hill, Nicarauga. He was a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and was a warm friend of President Lincoln. With the First Methodist Episcopal church of Evanston he held membership, and was a true Christian gentleman, as well as a loyal, patriotic and devoted citizen of his adopted country.
The mother of our subject was born in Hanover, Germany, January 31, 1821, a daughter of George H. Steingrandt, who was a member of the army of that country. In 1838 the family emigrated to America and located in Alton, Illinois, where they continued to live until the death of Mrs. Steingrandt in 1867. After that her husband made a number of trips to Germany, and finally died in Hanover about 1872. In their family were five children, three of whom are still living, namely: Louis, a resident of California; Henry, of Springfield, Missouri; and Mrs. Louise Steinberg, of St. Louis. Mrs. Gamble was a Lutheran in religious faith. She died June 11, 1895, in St. Louis.
To General Gamble and wife were born the following children: Louise died in infancy; Louise D. is now the wife of George W. Huntoon, of Evanston. George H., now a resident of California, was a member of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry during the Civil war, and was confined for eighteen months in Libby prison. After the war he was commissioned captain in the regular army, and was stationed at Fort Concho, Texas, later building Fort Stockton, where he was stationed for some time. William M., now in the grocery business in Pueblo, Colorado, was also one of the boys in blue, enlisting at the age of fifteen in the One Hundred Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Mary E. is a resident of St. Louis. Henry E. is now in Berlin, Germany. Emma is the wife of George H. Steinberg, of St. Louis. Victor H. L., city engineer of Rensselaer, Indiana. Winfield S. is the youngest now living. Besides Louise, those deceased are Elizabeth, Osborne, an infant and Josephine.
Reared in Evanston, Illinois, Winfield S. Gamble attended the common schools, and later was a student in the Northwestern University at that place. In the summer of 1879 he began life as a civil engineer in Dakota, in the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, and was subsequently in Iowa with the same road until December, 1880. The following January he went to Indiana where he built what was then called the Chicago & Indianapolis Air Line, now the Chicago, Louisville & Indianapolis railroad, being division engineer there. On the 1st of May, 1882, he entered the service of the Chicago & Great Southern railroad, remaining with them one year, and the following year was with the Northern Pacific railroad. He was next with the Grand Trunk, and in 1885 again went to Dakota in the employ of the Northwestern. For two years he was with the Lake Erie & Western railroad, having his headquarters at Bloomington, and was then in the government service on the drainage canal in 1887-8.
In June, 1889, Mr. Gamble came to Elgin, where for six years he served as city engineer, during which time he built the entire system of city railroads extending to Geneva, and also built the south annex to the Insane Asylum, which is regarded as the cheapest and best constructed building in the state, having enough money left out of the appropriation to furnish it. He ranks among the most able representatives of his profession in the state, and does an extensive and profitable business.
Politically Mr. Gamble is identified with the Republican party, and socially he affiliates with Gen. William F. Lynch camp, S. V. He is a man of fine address, of genial nature and winning manners and is popular with all who know him.
GEORGE P. HAGEN, the leading florist of Elgin, was born on the north side in Chicago, February 1, 1860, a son of George and Elizabeth (Shupp) Hagen. His maternal grandfather, Lewis Shupp, located in Chicago during the '50s, and throughout the remainder of his life engaged in gardening there. Our subject's father was a native of Germany, and on coming to the United States, in 1854, took up his residence in Chicago, where he and his wife still continue to live. By trade he is a carpenter, in politics is a Republican, and in religious belief is a Catholic. In the family were eight children, namely: Maggie, now the wife of Frederick Klingel, of Chicago; George P., of this sketch; August; John; Lizzie, wife of George Shall, of Chicago; Bertha, wife of Amiel Nelson, a florist of Chicago; Otto; and Franklin. With the exception of our subject, all live in Chicago.
In the public schools of Chicago George P. Hagen acquired his education, and began his business career with W. D. Allen, a florist of that city, with whom he remained for about eight years. Subsequently he was with a Mr. Hanson at Rose Hill for two years and a half, after which he was in the employ of R. J. Donoven, of Rose Hill, for nine years. The following three years he engaged in market gardening on his own account, but during the World's Fair garden products were very low, and the business did not prove profitable. Selling out in the fall of 1893, he came to Elgin, where for three years and eight months he was employed as gardener and florist by the Northern Illinois Hospital for the Insane, and on resigning that position, he leased property at No. 311 North Spring street, where he established his present floral gardens. His greenhouses are filled with a large variety of flowers both summer and winter, but he makes a specialty of the culture of roses and carnations, of which he has a very choice collection. His early training ably fitted him for the business, and he has succeeded in building up a large and profitable trade in Elgin and other places. The bright and sweet things of life have a great attraction for him, and he has that love for his business without which there is no success.
In Chicago Mr. Hagen was married February 17, 1884, to Miss Bertha Ebert, daughter of Frederick and Christine (Strauss) Ebert, who are still residents of that city. Mrs. Hagen was born in Strausburg, Germany, and was brought by her parents to this country. Our subject and his wife have four interesting children: Minnie, Ella, George P. and Myrtle.
The Democratic party finds in Mr. Hagen a stanch supporter, and in the Lutheran church he holds membership. Socially he is a member of the Royal League of Elgin, and has the esteem and confidence of all who know him.
JOHN D. VOLTZ, one of the most efficient telegraph operators on the line of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, having charge of the station at South Elgin, is a native of Baltimore county, Maryland, his birth occurring at the family homestead on the Reistertown road, a few miles from Baltimore City, November 13, 1837. His father, Philip Voltz, was a native of Alsace-Loraine, born in 1791, and was a soldier under the great Napoleon, being one of the few survivors of the disastrous campaign against Moscow. On the return of the Emperor from Elba he again took up arms and remained with him until the fatal battle of Waterloo. In 1818 Mr. Voltz came to America, locating in Baltimore, where he soon engaged in business as a market gardener, although he was a baker by trade, but which he never followed after his arrival in the United States. He married Miss Eliza Hurley, of Baltimore county, and died in 1854, at the age of sixty-three years.
John D. Voltz, of this review, pursued his education in the school at the corner of Green and Fayette streets, Baltimore, until the age of ten years, when he laid aside his text books to learn the more difficult lessons of practical business life. The first task assigned him consisted of the duties of messenger boy in the office of J. D. Pratt, who conducted a commercial agency. After six months he secured a position with the National Telegraph Company, working for a short time as messenger boy and then learning telegraphy. Since that time he has made the business his life work, and has continually advanced in harmony with the improvements which have attended the art. When he entered upon this work the telegraph lines of the country were owned by four or five hundred small companies, but gradually they have been absorbed by two or three large companies, making a more perfect system.
When Mr. Voltz had attained considerable proficiency, he was given a place in the government offices in Washington, District of Columbia, and thence went to Frederick City, Maryland, after which he was transferred to Station No. 4 on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, followed service at the following places, successively: Alimont Station, Rolesburg, Cheat River Valley, Smithton, Parkersburg, West Virginia, Sandoval and East St. Louis, Illinois. Severing his connection with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company about 1859 he went to the south, accepting a position at Lynchburg, after which he was stationed at Knoxville, Tennessee ; Atlanta, Georgia ; Montgomery, Alabama; Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina, where he was located at the outbreak of the Civil war. At that time he became attached to the Army, of the Cumberland and served until the close of hostilities under Colonel J. C. Van Duser.
When the war was over Mr. Voltz secured a position in Nashville as agent for the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad Company, thence went to Huntington, Tennessee, and later entered the employ of the Louisville & Nashville road, at Bowling Green, Kentucky. Later, at Clarksville, Tennessee, he was employed as bill clerk and afterward as agent until he was transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, where he remained as agent until 1880, when he went to St. Louis. In 1883 he went to Chicago and entering the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, was stationed as their agent at Clintonville, Elgin township. He has since been in the employ of that road, and is one of the most trusted and faithful representatives. His fidelity to duty and uniform courtesy to the patrons of the road has made him very popular, and he has gained a large circle of friends.
Mr. Voltz was united in marriage in South Elgin to Miss Viola F. Gulick, a native of Kane county, who died December 14, 1897. She was a daughter of Abraham and Matilda (Vastine) Gulick. Her father, born in Rush township, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1820, died November 26, 1894. He followed blacksmithing at Liberty Pole, Pennsylvania, and after his removal to Kane county, Illinois, purchased a large farm in Elgin township, which he successfully conducted. He was an enterprising, progressive business man and accumulated valuable farming land and other property. His parents were Charles and Catharine (Boone) Gulick. His wife, Mrs. Matilda Gulick, was also a native of Rush township, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Louis and Martha (Boone) Vastine, the latter a daughter of Henry Boone, a son of the noted Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone. To Mr. and Mrs. Voltz were born three children: Jay DeWitt, Florence E. and Aletia M., who are yet with their father. Mr. Voltz is a valued member of several societies, is clerk of Rustic camp, No. 548, M. W. A., and belongs to Elgin lodge, No. 117, A. F. & A. M. and the Telegraphers Mutual Association. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church, and is one of the valued and esteemed residents of his adopted county, whose well spent life commends him to the confidence and good will of all with whom he comes in contact.
ROBERT STRINGER, who resides on section 20, Elgin township, is a pioneer of 1844. He was born in Yorkshire, England, near the city of York, December 15, 1816, and is the son of Richard and Hannah (Garbutt) Stringer. In the spring of 1819 the family came to America, sailing from Hull in May of that year, and landing in Quebec, Canada, in the July following, being ten weeks and three days en route. From Quebec they went to Sharrington, near Montreal. The father was a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1766, and died in Canada in 1822. He was a small farmer in his native country, but on locating in Canada purchased a farm of one hundred and eighty acres. His death was probably hastened from the fact of losing money in saving his eldest son from the press gang, that tried to press him again into the service after having once served on a man-of-war.
After the death of her husband Mrs. Hannah Stringer took charge of the whole farm. She was a woman of strong mind and force of character and of great executive ability. She reared a large family and gave each of her children as good educational advantages as the country afforded, inculcating principles that made all of them good citizens. She died at the home of our subject when ninety-five years of age, being strong in mind and body until the end. To Richard and Hannah Stringer were born eight children, as follows: William, who moved to Otsego county, New York, and located in Cherry Valley; Richard, who lost his sight by premature explosion, while working for the government on Rideau canal, for which he received a pension during life; Jane, who married John Burton and died in Kane county; Ellice, who married Arthur Allison, who settled in Kane county; George, whose sketch appears elsewhere in the work; William, who died in Cherry Valley, New York; Mark, who settled in Plato township; Robert, our subject; and John, who died in Elgin township.
Mrs. Robert Stringer
Robert Stringer was but three years old when he came with his parents to Canada, where he grew to manhood and when old enough assisted in the cultivation of the home farm. He attended the public schools of Sharrington for a time, but obtained the greater part of his education at home, studying with the aid of his blind brother. The products of the farm were marketed at Montreal. Our subject would usually start at night with his loaded wagon, reaching La Prairie in the morning, and there taking the ferry nine miles to Montreal. The return trip was made at night, and after all it was found there was little pay for hard work. One by one his brothers came to the states, the last one with the exception of his blind brother, coming in 1844. Our subject remained with his mother working the farm, which, in 1837, she divided, giving him ninety acres, on which he erected a dwelling house near that of his mother.
In 1843 his mother came to Illinois to visit her sons, and liking the country, she wrote to her son Mark to sell out and come to Illinois. This he did in the spring of 1844, and on his arrival purchased one hundred and sixty acres. The deed for the latter, signed by President James K. Polk, was not received by him until 1850, and the old parchment deed is yet in his possession. Part of this land he has sold, and he now owns two hundred and thirty acres, all but a very few acres lying in section 20, Elgin township. Twenty-five acres of unusually fine timber lies in Plato township. In the early days he raised winter wheat, until the climate became unfavorable. Later he raised stock, and finally it was made a dairy farm. In 1878, he retired from active farming, renting the farm to his son, reserving a part of the house to which he has built an addition.
On the 9th of November, 1841, while yet residing in Canada, Mr. Stringer was united in marriage with Miss Martha Dibb, a native of Yorkshire, England, born June 23, 1823. Her father, William Dibb, who was a farmer by occupation, located in Canada, in 1821. He married Mary Mitchell, a daughter of Richard and Mary (Johnson) Mitchell. He died at the age of seventy-five years, while his wife survived him many years, dying when ninety-five years old. To our subject and wife six children were born, as follows: Margaret, widow of Leman A. Wood, now resides at Lake Crystal, Minnesota; Mary, wife of Thomas D. Cookman, of Mason City, Iowa; Alfred H., married Alice Baker, in Boise City, Idaho, where he died; Clara Emily died at the age of two years; Edwin, who leased his father's farm July 4, 1878, married Annie Dadswell, a daughter of Henry Dadswell, by whom he has three children, Alvin H., Ellice, and Marion; and Clara Alice, wife of Albert Smith, of Elgin. All of these children are well provided in life.
While residing in Canada, Mr. Stringer served in the Royalist troops during the Canadian rebellion, in 1837-8, incited by Papineau, and sometimes called by his name. The only battle in which he was engaged was that of Odeltown. Since coming to Kane county, he has seen wonderful changes in the country. Indians were occasionally seen for some years after his arrival, the prairies were all open and cattle ranged at will. He is one of the last left of the early settlers, a grand old man, universally honored, his long, upright life being a splendid example to the rising generation. In national and state elections, he votes the Democratic ticket but in local elections votes for the man, regardless of politics. During his early years he was a member of the Episcopal church, but of late attends the Methodist church.
GEORGE W. COOK, who conducts a bakery and restaurant in the village of Hampshire, is a well-known citizen of northern Kane county. He was born on section 31, Hampshire township, January 20, 1848, and was reared on the farm and attended the district school until the age of nineteen. When twenty years of age he received wages for his time and worked two years for his father. He then married and rented his father's farm for three years, after which he moved to the village of Hampshire and went into the business of well-digging and boring, and also in the sale of windmills. His dealings were quite extensive over three or four counties. He continued in that business for some years with gratifying success. In 1894 he bought a bakery and restaurant in the village of Hampshire, built a large brick store, 25 x64 feet, two stories in height, and has an extensive trade in bakery goods, fancy groceries and confectionery, with fresh fruits in season.
Burnham Cook, the father of our subject, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1809, and died in Hampshire township, Kane county, in 1871. By trade he was a molder, although he followed farming during the greater part of his life. Early in the '40s he left his eastern home and moved to Chicago, where he worked for some years, and then came to Hampshire township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in section 31. He married Lucy Ann Lamphere, who was also born in Norwich, Connecticut, and who lived to be fifty-five years old. They were the parents of six children, of whom four are living, as follows: Timothy P., residing in California; Lucy Ann married William H. Pease, and they reside in Geneva, Illinois; William L., living in the village of Hampshire; and George W., our subject.
George W. Cook was united in marriage with Julia A. Gage, who was born in Hampshire township, and a daughter of Cyril and Julia A. (Fields) Gage, the latter born in Saybrook township, Ashtabula county, Ohio, and a daughter of Havilah and Hannah (Haywood) Fields. Cyril Gage was the son of Solomon Gage, a native of New Hampshire, who married Miriam Gurnsey, a daughter of Cyril Gurnsey. Of the eight children of Cyril and Julia A. Gage, Mrs. Cook is the first born. To George W. Cook and wife eight children have been born, six of whom are living, as follows: Burton C., who married Clara Amic; Minnie, deceased; Alverta, Lucy, George W. Jr., Earl, Edward and Marie.
In politics Mr. Cook is a Republican. For some years he served as school director and as a member of the village board of trustees two terms. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of the Maccabees and the Home Forum. In the latter body his wife is also a member. As a business man, Mr. Cook is honest and upright, and his genial disposition makes him deservedly popular.
ROBERT S. EGAN, junior member of the law firm of Irwin & Egan, whose office is in the Cook Block, Elgin, was born in Sycamore, De Kalb county, Illinois, May 10, 1857, and is a son of William and Bridget (Sanders) Egan, who were natives of County Kilkenny, Ireland, and were the parents of seven children, as follows: Margaret, wife of William Tobin, of Rutland, Illinois; Alice, of Elgin; Mary, wife of Joseph King, of Elgin; Elizabeth, wife of Patrick Keefe, of Sycamore, Illinois; Robert S., our subject; Julia, wife of C. F. Irwin, of Elgin; and Anna, also of Elgin. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, came to America about 1848, locating at St. Charles, Illinois, where he remained one year. He then removed to Sycamore, where he engaged in farming for a few years, after which he returned to Kane county, dying here in 1879, at the age of about sixty-eight years. His wife survived him until 1893, departing this life at the age of seventy-one. Both were devout members of the Catholic church.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Patrick Egan, a substantial farmer in Ireland, where he died at an advanced age. His father also died in Ireland, at the extreme old age of one hundred five years. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Robert Sanders, was also born in Ireland and was by occupation a farmer. He lived to the age of four score years.
Robert S. Egan, our subject, was four years of age when his parents returned to Kane county, where he has since continued to reside. Until seventeen years of age he attended the country schools, and then took a two years' course at the Elgin Academy. For five years he taught schools, while at the same time he engaged in reading law. He began the study of law with Judge Henry B. Willis, who was formerly his school teacher. In March, 1882, he was admitted to the bar and at once opened an office in Elgin, where he engaged in practice alone for one year. He then formed a partnership with C. F. Irwin, which has continued since, the firm enjoying a large practice which extends into adjoining counties.
On the 22nd of September, 1886, Mr. Egan married Miss Laura A. Russell, daughter of Ira N. and Charlotte (Sherbourne) Russell, of Plato township, Kane county. They reside in a beautiful home at the corner of South and Jackson streets, Elgin.
Politically, Mr. Egan is a Democrat, with which party he has acted since attaining his majority, and he is now president of the Elgin Democratic Club. Possessed of good executive ability and being a fluent speaker, he has been enabled to do much for his party's cause in Elgin and Kane county. He has always been numbered among its most active workers, and in addition to his effective work on the platform, he has served as a delegate to the different state, district and county conventions. In 1883 he was elected city attorney of Elgin and served two years. Success has attended him in financial as well as legal affairs, and in addition to considerable real estate in Elgin, he is the owner of an excellent farm of one hundred sixty acres in Rutland township. He is also a stockholder in the Elgin National Bank, and serves as its attorney. Although comparatively young in the practice of law, Mr. Egan has already won an enviable reputation at the bar, having met with a very flattering success in the trial of cases. As a citizen he stands equally well, holding the confidence and respect of the people.
DR. SALEM E. WELD, senior member of the firm of Weld & Phillips, real estate dealers and insurance agents, located in the Home Bank building, Elgin, is a well known citizen, and a native of Kane county, born in Elgin township, just west of the city of that name, August 3, 1841. His parents, Francis and Harriet (Mann) Weld, were numbered among the pioneers of 1838, arriving here two years before the government survey was made, taking up a claim which was the farm on which our subject was born. (For further account of Francis Weld see sketch of Owen B. Weld, on another page of this work.)
Salem E. Weld was reared on his father's farm and attended the public and district schools of the neighborhood, receiving a good practical education. He remained under the parental roof until twenty-one years of age, and from the time when he was old enough to drop corn or follow a plow did his share in the farm work. About i860 he commenced the study of medicine in the office of Drs. A. L. Clark & A. Turner, and continued to read under their instruction until 1862.
The war for the union had now been in progress about one year. Young men were daily enlisting and the call was issued for more volunteers. Having been in preparation for some years, the south was in better shape for service than the north, and up to that time had been successful in the greater number of engagements. Every defeat made the northern men more determined, and the response to the calls of the present were quickly made. Our subject could no longer remain at home while his associates, the young men with whom he was reared, were daily going to the front. Accordingly, August 12, 1862, he enlisted as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under command of Col. John Van Arman. This regiment has a record for bravery and active service second to none. In the three years in which it was engaged it was in over one hundred battles and skirmishes. It was in the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Chattanooga, Arkansas Post, the Atlanta campaign, and the march to the sea, also the march through the Carolinas, with the battles of Goldsboro, Columbia and others.
During the last two years of his service Dr. Weld had charge of the field hospital of the Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps as hospital steward, and had the credit of having the best hospital in the corps. He was offered the captaincy of his company, but on account of his profession preferred to stay with the hospital. The experience there gained has been of inestimable service to him since that time.
After the war Dr. Weld returned to Elgin, completed his medical studies and graduated from the Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio, and began practice at St. Charles, Illinois, where he remained two years. He then returned to Elgin and opened a drug store in partnership with his cousin Russell, and for twenty-three years successfully engaged in that business. Selling his interest to Edwin Hall, he engaged in the real estate and insurance business. In 1896 he took into partnership H. W. Phillips, since which time the business has been conducted under the firm name of Weld & Phillips. Its success has been all that could have been anticipated.
On the 14th of May, 1885, Dr. Weld was united in marriage with Miss M. Elizabeth Hoag, daughter of James and Mary A. (Branford) Hoag. Mrs. Weld is a native of St. Charles, Illinois. While having no children of their own, they have one adopted daughter, Mildred. Dr. and Mrs. Weld are Christian Scientists, and in the teachings of that people have the utmost faith, believing them to conform not only to the scriptures but to common sense and the science of life.
Fraternally Dr. Weld is a Mason, a member of Elgin lodge, No. 117, F. & A. M.; L. L. Munn chapter, No. 96, R. A. M.; Bethel commandery, No. 36, K. T. Politically, he is a Republican, with which party he has been identified since becoming a voter. His first presidential vote was cast for U. S. Grant. Office holding has for him no special charm, but he served as coroner one term, from 1868. In 1872 he was elected alderman from the Fourth ward and served one term, and was library director twelve years.
Dr. and Mrs. Weld reside in a beautiful home, at No. 10 Hamilton avenue, Elgin, and there take pleasure in receiving their many friends. The Doctor represents one of the oldest families in Elgin, and, with the exception of the two years spent at St. Charles, has here made his home for fifty-six years. In the progress and development of the place he has borne no inconsiderable part, and is yet actively identified with its business interests. He has a large acquaintance throughout the county, and by all he is held in the highest esteem. His ancestry is of the best and most progressive people, those who have left their impress upon the history of the country. Samuel Morey, a granduncle, was the first man who ever ran a steamboat in the United States.
EUGENIO W. K. CORNELL, manager of the Elgin Packing Company, Elgin, Illinois, has been a resident of Kane county for more than half a century. He is a native of New York, born in Galway, Saratoga county, May 10, 1823, and is the son of Asa and Clarinda (Smith) Cornell, the former a native of Cheshire, Massachusetts, and the latter of New York. By occupation the father was a farmer, following that vocation during his entire life. A man of deep religious conviction, he united with the Baptist church at an early age, and for some years served as deacon in his church. His death occurred at Albion, New York, in 1854, while his good wife survived him fifteen years, departing this life in 1869, at Ionia, Michigan, at the residence of her daughter. She was also a member of the Baptist church, an exemplary Christian woman, one whose delight was in doing good and making others happy.
The Cornells are of Welsh ancestry, the first of the name coming to America at an early period in the country's history. Joseph Cornell, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Rhode Island, a minister of the gospel in the Baptist church. His godly example seems to have had a remarkable effect upon the family, nearly all of whom early in life entered the service of the Master as members of that church. Ebenezer Smith, the maternal grandfather, was a farmer, and was born in New York.
The subject of this sketch was reared upon his father's farm in Saratoga county, New York, and after attending school for a time in the neighborhood of his home, entered Galway Academy, where he pursued the prescribed course and was graduated when but fifteen years old. He then commenced teaching and for five years followed that profession at Saratoga Springs, New York. At Schenectady, New York, he studied dentistry and there commenced practice. However, he did not long remain at that place as he thought he could find a more favorable locality in the rapidly growing west.
Before leaving his native state, Mr. Cornell resolved upon marriage, and accordingly on the 24th of January, 1843, he married Miss Matilda C. Padelford, a native of New York, and daughter of Sedate and Margaret (Barney) Padelford, both of whom were also natives of that state. By this union seven children were born: Anna Mary, who married B. C. Wilkins and died in 1864; Eudora Bell, who died in infancy; Clara C., wife of S. J. Gifford, of Elgin; Luella W., wife of William T. Wait, of Elgin; Fred A., who married Jennie Rice and now resides in San Francisco, California; Charles Walter, who first married Kittie Brown, and after her decease married Hattie B. Kneeland, now residing at Elgin; and Frank B., who married Emma Butler, of Elgin.
One year after his marriage, Mr. Cornell removed to Ionia, Michigan, where he followed his profession two years, and then came to Elgin, being the first dentist to locate in the city. For four years he engaged in active practice, visiting at more or less regular intervals the towns of Aurora, St. Charles, Woodstock and other places. He then sold out his practice and in company with S. D. Wilder and Finla L. McClure, engaged in the dry goods trade under the firm name of Cornell, McClure & Company. This relation was continued until 1862, when he disposed of his interest in the business and went onto a farm, which he operated two seasons. In 1865 he returned to the city and formed a partnership with W. T. Wait and F. A. Cornell in the furniture business. In this line he continued with good success for fourteen years.
In 1879 Mr. Cornell was offered the position of assistant manager of the Elgin Packing Company, which was established and incorporated some ten years prior to this time, and which to-day has a national reputation, its canned goods, consisting of sweet corn, pumpkins, baked beans and lima beans, finding a ready sale in many of the leading cities of the country. The standard of the goods is always kept at No. 1. For ten years Mr. Cornell served as an assistant manager, since which time he has been general manager, and under his supervision much of the credit for the success of the company is due. The vegetables and other products used by this concern are raised in the vicinity of Elgin, and during the year several hundred people find employment in connection with the business. They have facilities for making all the cans used in packing their various brands and the factory continues work throughout the year. An average of over one million cases of goods are put up annually.
In early life Mr. Cornell voted with the Democratic party, but cast his last presidential vote for its candidate in 1852, when he voted for Franklin Pierce. By nature and training he espoused the cause of liberty, believing in the declaration of independence where it proclaims that all men are created equal. He therefore naturally attached himself to the Republican party on its formation in 1854, and voted for its presidential candidate in 1856, the great pathfinder, John C. Fremont. From that time to the present he has advocated the principles of that party. While residing in Ionia, Michigan, he was appointed and served as postmaster, and soon after coming to Kane county was elected school inspector. This was before the office of county superintendent of schools was created, and the inspector served as examiner of teachers for his district. He has held other local offices, and it goes without saying that every duty undertaken was faithfully discharged.
When eighteen years of age Mr. Cornell gave himself to the Lord and united with the Baptist church, that church with which the family have been connected as far back as its history can be traced. The First Baptist church of Elgin was organized some eight years prior to his arrival here, but on making this his home he placed his membership therein, and for fifty-two years has been one of its leading and most influential members. Of those composing the body at the time of his coming, only two now remain. Some have moved to other points, but the greater number have passed to their reward. For many years he has been one of its trustees, and for a long time served as superintendent of its Sunday-school. The church to him has indeed been a means of grace. His love for it has been strengthened as the years have passed by. It is to him meat and drink. For it he has ever been willing to make sacrifices of time and means, and seldom is his place vacant at its regular services. No other organization has ever been able to draw him away, and in none other has he ever had a place, save for a time with the Good Templars, where he hoped his influence might be useful in behalf of the temperance cause. Mrs. Cornell is also a member of the same church, and for it has the same love that characterizes her husband.
For more than fifty-five years Mr. and Mrs. Cornell have traveled life's journey together, happy in each other's love. While their hair has whitened, while they may not have that lightness of step which was theirs when they stood at the altar and took the vows of husband and wife, their hearts are light, and they have the assurance that they have the love and respect of their family and many friends, not alone in Elgin, but throughout Kane county.
CHARLES STERNBERG is a representative of that race who have done much to advance the interests of their adopted country, but who always have in their hearts a strong love for the fatherland. He was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, October 5, 1830, and there grew to manhood, spending the greater part of his youth on a farm. His educational advantages were limited, and he therefore is almost wholly self-educated, especially in the English language, which he acquired after coming to this country. After reaching the age of eighteen years he engaged at farm work at from twenty to twenty-five dollars per year, until his emigration to the United States. In 1858, he bade farewell to home and friends and set sail for the United States, landing in this country on the eighteenth of July. Coming direct to Dundee, Kane county, he worked here by the day at anything he could find to do. In the fall of that year he rented a farm in Mc-Henry county, and there resided for five years. In 1864 he made his first purchase of land, securing a farm of eighty acres at three thousand dollars, securing time on the greater part of its purchase price. There was a fair house and some improvements on the place, but Mr. Sternberg went to work and in due time had one of the finest farms in the township. He subsequently purchased fifty-five acres, which made him a valuable farm of one hundred and thirty-five acres.
John Sternberg, the father of our subject, was also a native of Germany and there married Mary Kracht, a Genoa lady. He came to this country with his son Charles, located in Dundee township, Kane county, and there spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of seventy-four years. His wife survived him some years and died when eighty-six years old. They were the parents of seven children as follows: Sophia, who married John Schroeder and moved with her husband to Michigan and there died; Fred, a substantial farmer of Kane county, now living a retired life in Dundee; Charles, of this review; Christopher, who was a farmer of Cook county, but is now deceased; Christine, wife of William Lempke, a retired farmer of Dundee; Henry, who died in Dundee; and John, who died in Germany a lad of fourteen years.
Charles Sternberg, our subject, was united in marriage, at Dundee, January 27, 1861, with Miss Frederika Schroeder also a native of Germany and born in the same state. Her father, Franz Schroeder, who located in Kane county, spent the last years of his life with his children, dying here in 1863. Mr. and Mrs. Sternberg have six living children-Augusta, wife of John Fierke, residing in Dundee; Fred, who is married and residing on the old homestead; John, a business man of Elgin, also married; Mary, residing at home; Henry, married and engaged in business in Dundee; and Emma, at home. Three of the children died in early childhood.
In the fall of 1886, Mr. Sternberg purchased a lot on the corner of First and South streets, where he erected a large and substantial dwelling, and where he has since lived a retired life. Politically he is a good Republican, with which party he has affiliated since becoming a naturalized citizen. He has been a resident of Kane county for forty years and is a well-known citizen, one who is esteemed for his many excellent traits of character. Commencing life here but with little means, he has accumulated sufficient to enable him to live practically a retired life.
SIDNEY HEATH, who for some years lived retired in his pleasant home at No. 233 Dundee avenue, Elgin, was numbered among the honored pioneers of Kane county, who located here when this locality was a wild and unimproved region. In the work of development he took an active part in the early days and aided in opening up the country to civilization. As the years passed he faithfully performed his duties of citizenship, and his interest in the welfare and progress of the community never abated.
Mr. Heath was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, January 22, 1812, and was a son of Richard Adams and Lydia (Steele) Heath. In their family were seven sons and one daughter, and our subject was the last of the number to enter into rest. The birth of the father occurred in Geneseo, New York, on Tuesday, June 7, 1785, and in early life he learned the shoemaker's trade. In 1836 he emigrated to Illinois, and after stopping a short time in Lockport, he came to Kane county in the fall of that year.
His son Joseph had purchased of Ira Minard a tract of three hundred and forty acres, on which the Northern Illinois Hospital for the Insane is now located, and this he divided between his father and brothers, Horace and Sidney. The father improved and cultivated his portion until called from this life, dying on his farm July 10, 1870. His wife, who was born Tuesday, December 23, 1788, had passed away March 30, 1866. Both were faithful members of the Congregational church, and highly respected by all who knew them.
Joseph Heath, our subject's paternal grandfather, was born in New York, of Holland ancestry, was a farmer by occupation and aided the colonies in their successful struggle for independence during the Revolutionary war. His wife was of English extraction. The maternal grandfather, Joel Steele, was a native of Connecticut, and was also an agriculturist. He died at the age of fifty-nine years.
Reared in Connecticut, our subject was educated in the old-fashioned district schools, and during his youth learned the shoemaker's trade, while upon the home farm he became familiar with agricultural pursuits. At the age of fifteen he went to the city of Hartford, where he worked under the instruction of his brother Horace until coming to Illinois with his family in 1836. He owned and operated the farm, where the hospital for the insane is now located, until 1870, when he sold his one hundred and forty acres for one hundred dollars per acre, though he had only paid about five dollars per acre for the same. Since that time he lived in Elgin, making his home at his family residence for over twenty-six years.
On the 28th of April, 1833, Mr. Heath led to the marriage altar Miss Charlotte Sophia London, who was born in Burlington, Connecticut, November 22, 1806, and was a daughter of Giles and Susanna (Daily) London. Five children blessed this union as follows: Charlotte Sophia, born October 24, 1837, married Samuel H. Norton; George S., born March 22, 1841, wedded Mary Cox, by whom he has three children: Harry E., John S. and Howard - and later he married again, and now lives in Boston; Susan Maria, born February 16,1843, died at the age of three year, Warren H., born August 2, 1845, married Elvira. Shepard, who died a year later, in 1870, and he afterward married Sarah A. Munger, of Woodstock, Illinois, by whom he has four sons- Milo S., Sidney J., George R. and Warren H. One son of our subject died in infancy. For fifty-eight and a half years Mr. and Mrs. Heath traveled life's journey together, and their's was indeed a happy married life. They celebrated their golden wedding, but our subject was later called upon to mourn the loss of his estimable wife, who died November 9, 1891. She was always active up to the time of her last illness, possessed a bright intellect, and was beloved by all who knew her. Both she and her husband were among the original members who organized the First Methodist Episcopal church in Elgin, in 1837, and he was the last of that little band to survive. He belonged to the first class formed here, and for many years served as class leader and steward. Although his father and brothers were all Democrats, Mr. Heath joined the Republican party on the outbreak of the Civil war, and voted for President Lincoln. When eighty-four years of age he was still quite active and strong, and had a good memory. He was never seriously ill until eighty years of age, owing probably to his temperate habits. He was always a quiet, unostentatious man, but his fellow citizens recognized his true worth, and elected him to a number of township offices. Very conscientious and strictly honorable in all his dealings, he became widely and favorably known, and had many warm friends. His death occurred November 14, 1897, and his remains were laid to rest beside those of his loved companion, who preceded him to their heavenly home. In his death one more of that number of heroic men who located in Kane county in pioneer days was called to his reward. His familiar figure will no more go in and out among us, but of him it can be truthfully said, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they shall rest from their labor and their works do follow them."
FRANCIS B. PERKINS, secretary of the school board of the city of Elgin, is a native of Illinois, born in Barrington, Cook county, July 8, 1841, and is a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of the state, his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (Proctor) Perkins, both of sturdy Puritan ancestry, having left their home in Essex, Massachusetts, and locating in Barrington in 1838, then an almost unbroken wilderness. They at once identified themselves with the religious and educational interests of the community, and helped to shape the early influences in the right direction. In their pioneer log house was taught one of the first schools of the township, and often religious meetings were held in the same place. The colporteur and itinerant preacher of whatever creed always found a welcome, and in consequence of their open door for such guests it gained the name of Deacon's Tavern. Their first church home was with the Congregational church at Elgin, six miles away, whence they made their way on the Sabbath over prairie and through woodland on foot or by the slow-going ox wagon. Later they were charter members of the Dundee Congregational church, and still later of the church at Barrington, near their own farm home. They were, pronounced in their views on temperance and slavery and gave all possible aid to all reforms. Their home was often the haven of rest to the black man on his way to Canada and freedom, and it was one of the many where was fostered that spirit of loyalty to the government and right that a generation later bore fruitage in an army of a million men who sprang to arms to maintain our free institutions. The father died in 1857 aged fifty-six years, his life no doubt shortened by the hardships incident to making a home under the adverse circumstances of a new county. He held honorably the office of deacon of the church for many years and though never prominent in politics was ever ready to bear his share of the responsibilities of citizenship. He had acquired a comfortable competence when he was called to lay down his life work, but the most precious legacy left his family was an unsullied name. His wife Elizabeth survived him some years, during which time she lived in Elgin, passing away in 1881 at the age of seventy-five years. She was a woman of heroic mold and the privation incident to the rough life of a new country served to bring into action the best and bravest of her nature. As in most homes transplanted from the refinements of the east, the mother felt most keenly the limited advantages for schooling that the future seemed to promise, and no toil or effort was too great so that educational advantages might be provided for the family growing up about her. A like spirit was in other homes of this region and no wonder that our present splendid school system came into existence.
The subject of this sketch is one of a family of seven children of whom four reached adult age. Three brothers died in early life. Elizabeth married Rev. John V. Downs, a pioneer Presbyterian minister of Illinois, and died at the age of sixty. John Proctor was for many years a conductor on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, now retired from active business, resides at Rockford, Illinois. Lydia Choate married Dr. Edgar Winchester, who was for a number of years a physician of large practice in Elgin, and, later, of San Bernardino, California, where he died and where she now resides.
The first sixteen years of his life Francis B. Perkins spent upon the farm home, thence after his father's death coming to Elgin to live with his mother, when for three years he attended the Elgin Academy, preparatory to entering Beloit College of Wisconsin, where he was pursuing his studies at the outbreak of the war. In August, 1861, at the first call for three-years men Mr. Perkins enlisted in Company A, Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, and at once took the field with his regiment. In the campaign early in 1862,under the command of General Curtis, ending in the decisive battle of Pea Ridge and the expulsion of armed Confederates from the state of Missouri, he bore his share in the vicissitudes of camp march and battle field. About June 1, 1862, a part of General Curtis' command, in which was the Thirty-sixth Illinois, was hurried to strengthen the lines in front of Corinth, Mississippi, where it arrived just before its evacuation. About this time he was transferred to Company K, Fifty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, remaining a member of that regiment till the close of his service, though on detached duty the last part in the Topographical Engineer Corps. In this branch of the service he took part in the Atlanta campaign under General Sherman, during the summer of 1864. After the fall of Atlanta, his term of enlistment having expired, he was honorably discharged from the army and came home. After a few months of study in Bryant's Commercial College in Chicago, he again entered the service of the government in the quartermaster's department, as draughtsman and clerk, and was located at Columbus, Kentucky, Alexandria, Virginia, and Little Rock, Arkansas, remaining until the winding up of affairs by reason of the close of the war. During the season of 1866 he engaged in cotton planting on the Arkansas river bottoms, and was fortunately one of the few who found it a paying venture. In the fall of 1868 he entered the employ of the Elgin National Watch Co., and worked for them twenty years. Seventeen years he was a foreman of a department and many valuable improvements in the manufacture of watches were made and introduced by him during this time.
In 1869 he married Mary E. Raymond, a daughter of an early settler, Augustine Raymond. She was educated at the Elgin Academy and at eastern schools and was assistant principal of the Elgin High School at the time of their marriage.
She was an active worker in the Congregational church of which she was a member and an efficient and faithful Sunday-school teacher. She died in 1873, leaving one son, Thomas E., now twenty-five years old, a musician by profession. His musical education was obtained under teachers at home and in Chicago and completing and graduating from the Metropolitan College of Music in New York City in 1897. He is now organist at the church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Perkins has been a member of the First Congregational church since his sixteenth year, serving the church at different times in the offices of clerk, trustee and deacon, which office he now holds.
He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and is actively interested in all that the organization stands for. He is also secretary of the 52d Illinois Veteran Volunteer Association and is ever ready to help and encourage his former comrades in arms.
The influence of the forty years spent in the community where he now lives has always been found on the side of right and order and he has taken an active part in promoting those measures which he believes calculated to advance the educational, moral, and material welfare of his city.
EZRA HANSON, deceased, was for many years one of the honored and highly-respected citizens of Elgin. He was born in Lebanon, Maine, April 22, 1806, a son of John B. and Dorcas (Libby) Hanson, also natives of the Pine Tree state, in whose family were fifteen children, six of whom reached years of maturity, the others dying either in infancy or early childhood. The father, who was a saddler and harness maker by trade, died in the east at about the age of fifty years, and his wife when forty-eight years of age. The paternal grandfather, who was of English extraction, was a shipbuilder of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was killed while launching one of his vessels.
In his native state Ezra Hanson grew to manhood, and on the 5th of September, 1833, be was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Kimball Upton, who traced her ancestry back to one of the earliest families in America, its founder being John Upton, who was born in 1620, and came to New England in 1639 or a short time previous. He became one of the prominent citizens of Salem, Massachusetts, served as constable, was otherwise prominently identified with the growth and development of Salem, and died July 11, 1699. His son William was born in Salem, June 10, 1663, and died in 1739 or '40.
He and his brother received the Woodhill and other land in Salem from their father. Paul Upton, the son of William, was born in 1709, and was the father of Ezra and grandfather of David Upton, who was Mrs. Hanson's father. The last named was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1772, and died in August, 1836; his wife bore the maiden name of Hepzibah Flint.
In 1837 Mr. Hanson came west, and first located on a farm near Sycamore, DeKalb county; Illinois. In 1843 he removed to Burlington, Kane county, and in 1854 came to Elgin, and made this place his home until called to the world beyond, June 15, 1890. Although he was a member of no religious denomination, he regularly attended the services of the Baptist church, and called himself an "outside deacon." A man of sterling integrity and strictly honest, he helped many to a better, nobler and higher life, and he was both widely and favorably known throughout Kane county.
He was of a genial and jovial disposition, and was a great hand to tell jokes.
Mrs. Hanson, who was born in North Reading, Massachusetts, August 20, 1812, died in Elgin March 28, 1876. She was a devout member of the Baptist church, led a blameless and noble life, devoting most of her time to the interests of her family. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson were as follows: Joseph H., born October 16, 1835, was an attorney, who died in Elgin August 14, 1892; Mary Upton, born January 10, 1839, in Sycamore, Illinois, is one of the highly-respected citizens of Elgin; Edward, born in Sycamore November 15, 1840, died September 9, 1841; Daniel King, born in Campton, Illinois. October 5, 1844, died in Burlington, Kane county, July 29, 1845.
GEORGE H. KNOTT, who is now successfully engaged in the grocery business at No. 482 Park street, Elgin, began his earthly career in Leicester, England, February 8, 1838, and in that place his parents, John P. and Eliza (Knott) Knott, were also born. The paternal grandfather spent his entire life in England, but the maternal grandfather, Thomas Knott, came to America in 1844, and located in Campton township, Kane county, Illinois. Later he removed to Chicago, where his wife died, and he subsequently made his home-for a number of years in Mishwaukee, Indiana. He was a turner by trade, and continued to work at the turning lathe until eighty-three years of age. He died two years later in Turner Junction, Illinois. In his family were six children.
John P. Knott, our subject's father, was a shoemaker by trade. In early life he came to the new world, but after spending eight years in St. Johns, New Brunswick, he returned to England. However, he again crossed the Atlantic in 1842, and after living for a short time in Campton, Kane county, Illinois, he located in Chicago, and for ten or twelve years conducted a shoe store at No. 9 Dearborn street. Later he spent three or four years at No. 67 Randolph street, and from there removed to west Madison street, but in 1859 he sold out and came to Elgin, where he continued to make his home until his death. Here he was engaged in the grocery business until his store was destroyed by fire in 1865, after which he lived retired. He died in 1876, aged sixty-seven years, and his wife passed away in June, 1895, at the age of eighty-three. Both were earnest and consistent members of the Baptist church, and were highly esteemed by all who knew them. Their family numbered six sons and one daughter, but only two are now living- George H. and Wallace H., both of Elgin.
Reared in Chicago, George H. Knott attended the old Fort Dearborn school, later pursued his studies in a private school conducted in the Methodist church, on Jefferson street, in that city, and after coming to Elgin, completed his education in the Elgin high school, under the direction of Professor Francis F. Haywood. He had clerked in a number of stores in Chicago before coming to Elgin in 1859, and with the exception of the time spent in the army and one year passed in Philadelphia, he has since been identified with the mercantile interests of this city.
In August, 1862, Mr. Knott enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and after serving for two years with that regiment he was detached and was with the consolidated A and B Battery until the close of the war. He took part in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post and Nashville, the siege of Vicksburg, the Atlanta campaign, and many minor engagements, and on the 22d of July, 1864, when General McPherson fell, he was taken prisoner, being confined in Andersonville for sixty-one days.
Mr. Knott went to Philadelphia in 1865, but the following year returned to Elgin, where he clerked in a grocery store until 1870, when he embarked in the same business on his own account in partnership with John Cox under the firm style of Cox & Knott. At the end of five years Mr. Cox withdrew and our subject continued the business alone for the same length of time, but at the end of that period sold out. Two years later he began dealing in coal oil, which business he carried on for seven years, but for the past thirteen years has again been interested in the grocery trade, conducting a store for some time on Chicago street, but now carries on operations at his home place, No. 482 Park street, where he has a neat store stocked with a fine grade of goods.
On the 8th of July, 1860, Mr. Knott was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Andrews, an adopted daughter of David E. Ambrose, and to them were born two children-Lillie M., now the wife of Walter Middleton, by whom she has one son, Walter; and Emma E., wife of Charles J. Reynolds, of Beloit, Wisconsin, by whom she has seven children. Mrs. Knott, who was a faithful member of the Baptist church, died in 1871, and for his second wife our subject chose Josephine Tourtellotte, who died fifteen months after her marriage. She, too, was a Baptist in religious belief. Mr. Knott was again married October 19, 1875, his third union being with Mrs. Elizabeth Sears, and two sons have been born to them - George R. and Leon S.
Politically, Mr. Knott is identified with the Republican party; socially belongs to Veteran post, No. 49, G. A. R.; and religiously is a member of the Baptist church, while his present wife is connected with the Methodist church. They have many warm friends throughout the community, and they justly deserve the high regard in which they are held by all who know them.
ELISHA DUNBAR WALDRON has for many years been one of the conspicuous business men of Elgin, in which city he was born January 27, 1848. His father, Andrew J. Waldron, came west in 1842, and after a brief residence in Batavia made Elgin his permanent home (1845), living for many years on the present site of "The Spurling," where the subject of this sketch first opened his eyes to the light of day.
The father was a native of Vermont and his wife, Calista S. (Smith) Waldron, was born in New York. They were the parents of three children: Martha, now the wife of Joseph Vollor; E. Dunbar; and Bertha, wife of Dr. W. G. Stone, all living in Elgin. The Waldron family traces its ancestry to Coventry; England, and the first of the name to come to America was George Waldron, who landed at Boston in 1670. The name of Andrew J. Waldron is indelibly stamped upon the pioneer history of Elgin, where, as an attorney, justice of the peace, banker or business man, his integrity was never questioned and his business judgment was implicitly relied upon. He was twice elected mayor and successfully administered the affairs of the city. He with five others was the original mover in securing the location of the National Watch Factory.
It is but natural, therefore, that E. Dunbar Waldron, who has inherited the public spirit of his father, should occupy today a prominent place in his native city as a man whose energy and enterprise have been, largely instrumental in encouraging and fostering the city's commercial and industrial interests, as well as in promoting in many ways the ethical, educational and religious; well-being of the community.
After a practical education in the public schools and the Elgin Academy, Mr. Waldron left, on account of poor health, to work in a lumber yard, hoping to be benefited by the outdoor exercise, and the result was highly satisfactory. For eighteen months he was a clerk in the Elgin post office. His commercial instincts prompted him to engage in business for himself, and he devoted the next two years to a book store, of which he had become proprietor.
At this time Chicago, the great commercial heart of the greater northwest, attracted him and he invested in the wholesale wood and willowware business, giving it his personal attention until 1871, when the great fire destroyed the city, and swept his interests there out of existence. He then returned to Elgin and assisted in organizing the Home National Bank, of which he soon became assistant cashier, and then cashier, filling the latter important position of trust for eighteen years. He still retains his interest in the bank, and since 1890 has been its first vice-president. He is also president of the Home Saving Bank.
Conservatively progressive, Mr. Waldron has always been ready to help anything calculated to help Elgin, and many of his best investments have been, partially prompted by his loyalty to the city of his birth. He is at present, in addition to the above, treasurer of the Elgin Loan and Homestead Association, having held that position since the organization of the society; treasurer of the Elgin Packing Company; treasurer of; the Elgin City, Carpentersville & Aurora Railway; President of the Elgin Lumber Company; and a stockholder in the National Watch Company, the South Elgin Stone. Company, and other prosperous, enterprises. He has also held the office of city treasurer a number of times. A Republican in politics, but believing in the purity of municipal government regardless of party lines, Mr. Waldron has always exerted a quiet influence upon local politics.
He is a member; of the board of trustees of the Elgin Academy, a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Union League Club, of Chicago, and an honorary member of the Chicago Bankers' Club. A Universalist in religion, he has done much to, aid that body, and the beautiful pipe organ in the Universalist church of Elgin is the gift of Mr. Waldron and his sisters, .in memory of their mother, Mrs. Calista Waldron Slade.
On December 2, 1873, Mr. Waldron was married to Miss Louise Town,, a daughter of J. J. and Esther (Graves) Town, of Des Moines, Iowa. Their home is at No. 181 South Gifford street, occupying a commanding elevation, and is surrounded by three acres of sloping lawn, shaded by venerable trees. It is one of Elgin's most substantial and beautiful homes. In Elgin and wherever known, the name of E. Dunbar Waldron is synonym for those qualities that go to make life worth living.
In proportion to its population the city of Elgin numbers among its men of wealth, standing, character and business enterprise as many as any city in the land. Among those recognized as being in the front, and whose skill and ability is unquestioned, is the man whose name heads this sketch, one who came to this country from across the water some forty years ago, an unknown lad, without influential friends to aid him in life's work. However, he brought with him a stout heart, willing hands and a determination to succeed, and success has crowned his efforts in a remarkable degree.
A native of England, Mr. Newman was born at Bishop Stortford, Herefordshire, March 11, 1842, and is a son of William and Emma (Thurgood) Newman, also natives of England, who lived and died in that country. Leaving school at the age of fourteen years, he was apprenticed to a a draper and grocer, with whom he continued three years, and then resolved to come to the United States, where the opportunities were much greater than in his own country for the enterprising person.
He was in his eighteenth year when he left his English home, and on the 29th of September, 1859, he landed at New York, and one month later he located in Chicago, where he found employment with Potter Palmer as clerk in his dry-goods store. After remaining with Mr. Palmer for about a year, he engaged with Ross & Foster, with whom he continued until 1864. Instead of spending all his salary on good clothes and for personal pleasure, as is so often done by mercantile clerks, from the amount received each payday he laid aside a portion, until his accumulations were sufficient to justify embarking in business on his own account. Even at that time Elgin was quite a trading point, with a good reputation, and on leaving the employ of Ross & Foster he came direct to this place and bought out the dry-goods store of M. & J. McNeil, which business he still continues. From that time to the present, more than a third of a century, he has been identified with the business interests of the city. The store purchased of the McNeils has grown with the city's growth until to-day it is one of the largest in Kane county. To its supervision he has always given his personal attention, and his stock is at all times varied and suited to the times.
As his means increased Mr. Newman has branched out and invested in other enterprises that have not alone added to his individual wealth, but to the wealth and general prosperity of the city. About 1876 he established the Spring Brook creamery at Elgin. The business was commenced in a modest way, but with the determination to make it noted for the excellent quality of butter and cheese manufactured. It was but a short time before it became known that the mark upon the boxes and cases "From the Spring Brook Creamery," was a guarantee of excellent quality. Year by year the business increased and creamery after creamery was added until to-day the Spring Brook creameries have over forty plants in active operation. The same good quality has ever been maintained and the reputation of its manufactured product is a No. 1. The business is now conducted by the John Newman Company, of which he is the principal proprietor, being ably assisted by his brother, Joseph Newman, in the general management.
For some years Mr. Newman has been a stockholder in the First National Bank of Elgin, a stockholder and president of the Elgin City Banking Company, one of the strongest and safest savings banks in the state outside of Chicago. His conservative nature, combined with a progressive spirit, makes him a model officer of such a financial institution. For many years he acted as treasurer and vice-president of the Elgin Board of Trade, and since 1894 has been its president, a position which he ably fills, and which enables him to do much for his adopted city. He never hesitates to do that which will advance the general interests of the city and cause it to occupy a front rank among its sister cities in the great commonwealth of Illinois.
Mr. Newman has been twice married, his first union being with Miss Haddie Virginia Beaty, daughter of Colonel John Farr Beaty, who was for many years secretary of the Chicago Board of Trade. Their marriage was celebrated September 5, 1867, at the home of the bride's parents in Elgin. By this union were four children: Paul B., who is associated with his father in the mercantile trade; John B., who is employed in the First National Bank of Elgin; Hattie, a young lady admired and esteemed by all who knew her, who was called from this life May 5, 1895; and William, who is in the office of the John Newman Company. The mother of these children died April 27, 1876. She was a consistent member of the Protestant Episcopal church, one whose life was in strict conformity to the teachings of the lowly Nazarene.
The second marriage of Mr. Newman was on the 27th of October, 1887, when he wedded Mrs. Laura J. Borden, of Fort Bend county, Texas, a daughter of Ezekiel and Martha M. (Winfrey) George, natives of Wharton county, Texas. She is a lady of high culture and rare social qualities, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and enjoys the love and esteem of all who know her.
Politically, Mr. Newman is a Democrat, with which party he has acted since becoming a citizen of the United States. In 1896, on the division of the party on the silver question, he took the gold side, believing the honor and integrity of the country should be maintained, and not degraded as it would be by a debased currency as advocated by those favoring the unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1. He is known as a Cleveland Democrat. While a politician in the true sense of the term, he has never been an office seeker. Time and again he has been solicited to give the use of his name as a candidate for mayor of Elgin, but has invariably refused the proffered honor. The only political office he ever held was that of trustee of the Northern Illinois Hospital for the Insane, receiving his appointment from Governor Altgeld. While he held the office he discharged his duties faithfully and well, to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. Because of the fact that he could not agree with the governor in his peculiar views on the silver question, or become a tool in his hand, he was removed by that gentleman, an act that did the governor no good, but which made Mr. Newman many warm friends.
A friend of education, Mr. Newman served for many years as a member of the board of education of Elgin, and for six years was its president. During that time four new school buildings were erected. For a number of years he has been treasurer of the Elgin Opera House Company. He has always held a prominent place in musical circles, and for years was president of the Elgin Choral Union. The only society with which he is connected is the St. George Benevolent Society, of which he was presiding officer for a long time. Religiously he is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and for that Church in Elgin he has done much in various ways, contributing of his time and means to its upbuilding. He is also one of the leading members of the Century Club of Elgin.
While Mr. Newman is known as one of the most prosperous business men of Elgin, it must not be supposed that it has always been smooth sailing with him, and that no losses have been experienced. Twice he was burned out, entailing upon him heavy losses, but like the famed Phoenix, there arose from the ashes larger and better buildings and more extensive stocks than before. On one occasion when burned out, and while the smoke was still going up, he rented a vacant storeroom, went to Chicago, purchased a new stock, and was ready for business within two days.
Such in brief is the life record of John Newman. For more than a third of a century he has gone in and out among the people of Elgin, leaving his impress upon almost every public enterprise, giving of his time and means to advance the city's interest. Broad and liberal minded, he is honored and respected by all. While at all times having a large number of men in his employ, he treats them kindly and in a considerate manner, showing himself to be their friend as they are his friends, and will do for him everything in their power.
Mr. and Mrs. Newman reside in a beautiful home at No. 321 Division street, Elgin, which is the abode of genuine hospitality, and where many friends are received and handsomely entertained. They have like-wise a fine summer residence on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where they spend a portion of the year. They believe in enjoying this life, as well they may.
ISAAC V. DOTY is a retired farmer residing on section 28. Hampshire township, and who has spent more than fifty-three years of his life in Kane county, Illinois. He was born in the town of Granville, near Lake Champlain, Washington county, New York, January 17, 1819, and is second in a family of five children born to Levi and Sallie (Bredenburgh) Doty. The father was a farmer and owned a large tract of land in Washington county, New York.
When our subject was but nine years old his mother died, and until the age of sixteen or seventeen years he attended a common school of his native state, after which he did farm work for neighbors. Later he rented a part of his father's farm, and, being united in marriage with Miss Celeste Thorington, began life for himself. She died leaving one child, Margaret, now the wife of Porter Baldwin, by whom she has six children.
In May, 1845, Mr. Doty left his native state for the west, taking a canal boat at Whitehall to Buffalo, New York, the fare being two dollars. They carried their own provisions with them for use upon the boat. From Buffalo they went to Chicago by lake, the fare for which was three dollars. From Chicago they came to what is now Starks Station, in Rutland township, Kane county, Illinois, where a brother-in-law was then living. He began farming on Starks' farm, where he remained three years, and then moved to Hampshire township, to the farm of his wife's father, eighty acres of which had been deeded to her. This our subject commenced at once to improve, erected every building, made every rod of fence, set out many of the shade trees, and for many years was there engaged in agricultural pursuits.
On the 3d of October, 1855, the second marriage of our subject occurred in Hampshire township, when he wedded Mrs. Aurilla Ingersol, widow of Orrin L. Ingersol, and to them four children were born, as follows: Mary, who married Julius H. Norton, who served in the war for the Union, and their four living children are Julius, William, Emma and Aurilla. Lucy married C. V. Jacobs, who was also in the war, and by whom she had one child, Mary, who is living; she is now deceased. William, who married Flora King, by whom he has two children, Ruth and Donald. Sidney, who died at the age of four years. Mrs. Doty is a daughter of Philip Terwilliger, a native of New York state, and of an old Dutch family. He married Mary Low, of Orange county. New York, and a daughter of Daniel Low, who died at the age of eighty years. He married a Miss Crany, who attained the age of eighty-six years. Daniel Low, Jr., is now living at Chenango Forks, New York, at the age of ninety years. Philip Terwilliger served in the war of 1812. He came to Kane county, Illinois, and built the first frame house in Hampshire township, where he owned a large tract of land. He died at the age of sixty-nine years. His father, James Terwilliger, married Eliza Terwilliger, and their respective ages at death were seventy-seven and seventy-three.
Fraternally Mr. Doty is a member of the Masonic order, and religiously of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which body his wife is also a member. In politics he is a Republican, and has held the offices of school director and road commissioner. Both Mr. and Mrs. Doty are numbered among the old settlers of Kane county. They remember when houses were few and far between, and they have seen wolves, deer and other game in large numbers in the vicinity. Mr. Doty was always a good marksman, and even now, at the age of seventy-nine years, can kill chickens with a rifle.
WILLIAM HENNEL BLACK.
Fortunate is he who has back of him an ancestry honorable and distinguished, and happy is he if his lines of life are cast in harmony therewith. Our subject is blessed in this respect, for he springs from prominent families of New England, and he has become one of the leading and representative citizens of Elgin.
Mr. Black was born in Ellsworth, Maine, January 1, 1845, a son of William Hennel and Abigail Eliza (Little) Black. His father was born in the same place October 18, 1811, a son of Colonel John and Mary (Cobb) Black. The birth of the grandfather occurred July 3, 1781, in London, England, where he obtained a good education, and when quite young entered the great banking house of Hope & Company, of that city, as clerk. While visiting London, in 1799, William Bingham, of Philadelphia, the principal proprietor of the great Bingham estate in Maine, employed Mr. Black to come to this country as clerk for General David Cobb, of Gouldsboro, Maine, agent for the estate. Mr. Black arrived the same year and soon mastered the details relating to the landed interests of the proprietors. From 1803 until 1808 he served as town clerk of Gouldsboro, was justice of the peace in 1804-5. He soon secured the confidence of his employers, agents and all persons doing business with him, and when Donald Ross, local agent at Ellsworth, was compelled to resign on account of ill health, Mr. Black was appointed to succeed him, removing to that place. When General Cobb and his associate agent, Mr. Richards, resigned, he was appointed general agent of the estate, which position he continued to fill until 1850, when he was succeeded by his son, George N. Black. For many years he was largely interested in the manufacture of lumber and ship-building, and in his business acquired a comfortable competence. He took an active and prominent part in military affairs, was commissioned captain July 2, 1805, of a company in the Second Regiment, Second Brigade, Tenth Division of Massachusetts Militia, Eastern Division, of which his father-in-law, General Cobb, was major-general; later was elected major of the same regiment, was breveted lieutenant-colonel June 12, 1812, and commanded the regiment when it was called to Mount Desert to repel a threatened British invasion, 1812-13. Although he was British born and at that time an agent for foreign principals, he did not hesitate. He was commissioned colonel June 20, 1816, but February 11, 1817, resigned and was discharged. Subsequently he was for many years captain of the Cobb Light Infantry, an independent company organized near his home. He died at Ellsworth October 20, 1856. He was one of the most prominent men in his community, his honor and honesty were never questioned, and he possessed all of those qualities which go to make up a good citizen, neighbor and friend.
In 1802 Colonel John Black married Miss Mary Cobb, daughter of General David and Eleanor (Bradish) Cobb. She was born at Taunton, Massachusetts, July 26, 1776, and died in Ellsworth, Maine, October 17, 1851. The children born to them are Mary Ann, John, Henry, Elizabeth, William Hennel, George Nixon, Alexander Baring and Charles Richards.
General David Cobb, a son of Colonel Thomas and Lydia (Leonard) Cobb, was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, September 14, 1748, and was graduated at Harvard College, in 1766, after which he studied medicine and engaged in practice at Taunton, Massachusetts, for some time. He was a representative to the general court from that place in 1774, and the same year was elected to the provincial congress which met in Cambridge. In 1777, during the Revolutionary war, he was elected lieutenant-colonel of the Sixteenth Massachusetts Regiment, was later elected colonel, and was afterward appointed by General Washington as one of his staff, where, out of five, he was second in rank. He always took a prominent part in public affairs, served as chief justice of the court of common pleas for eight years, was representative and speaker of the general court from 1789 to 1793, resigning when elected a member of the third congress of the United States, and held other prominent positions. He died April 17, 1830, honored and highly esteemed by all who knew him. In 1766 he married Eleanor, daughter of Ebenezer and Eunice (Cook) Bradish, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was born January 30, 1749, and died in Taunton, January 7, 1808. Their children were Eleanor Bradish, Betsy, Thomas, William Gray, Eunice, Mary (the paternal grandmother of our subject), David, Sally, Ebenezer, Henry Jackson, and David George Washington. General Cobb was an intimate friend and associate of General Washington, Nathaniel Greene, Benjamin Lincoln, Henry Knox, Henry Jackson, General La Fayette and Alexander Hamilton.
Colonel Thomas Cobb, the father of the General, married Lydia, eldest daughter of James Leonard, of Taunton, Massachusetts, and the only son born to them was David. Morgan Cobb, father of Thomas, was born December 29, 1673, and died September 30, 1755. On the 22nd of May, 1735, he was married to Esther Hodges, a daughter of Henry Hodges and his wife Esther, daughter of Captain John Galloy, probably a direct descendant of Emperor Charlemagne. Mrs. Esther Cobb was born February 17, 1678, and was the mother of Thomas. Morgan Cobb was a son of Augustine Cobb, a native of Norfolk, England, who came to Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1670.
William H. Black, Sr., our subject's father, spent his entire life in Ellsworth, Maine, and throughout his business career engaged quite extensively in farming, lumbering and ship building. He met with good success until later in life, when he suffered some heavy losses, from which he was never fully able to recover. His death occurred October 17, 1883. On the 4th of June, 1834, he was married to Miss Abigail Eliza Little, who was born in Castine, Maine, September 16, 1810, a daughter of Doty and Mercy (Tilden) Little. Her father was born at Marshfield, Massachusetts, October 3, 1766, a son of Thomas Little, who was born in 1719, and was a son of John Little, who married Anna, daughter of Richard Warren, who came to this country in the Mayflower in 1620. Thomas Little, born 1719, married in 1750, Sarah Baker, a daughter of Kenelm and Patience (Winslow) Baker, and they had ten children, all born in Marshfield, Massachusetts.
The children born to William H. and Abigail E. (Little) Black were as follows: Maria S., wife of Charles J. Perry, of Ellsworth, Maine; Harriet S., who first married Edward S. Tisdale, and after his death Andrew B. Spurling, of Elgin, Illinois, and died May 26, 1896; Charles S., who died as a paroled prisoner in the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, September 16, 1864, from wounds received at Gaine's Mills, while in the service; Celia C., the wife of George A. Dickey, now of Wollaston, Massachusetts; Hollis C. married Mary E; Deming. His business was in Boston, residing in Wollaston; his death occurred at Allisworth, Maine, July 14, 1893; Oscar T., twin of Hollis C, died in infancy; William H., the subject of this sketch; Lucie L., wife of Harvard Greely, of Ellsworth, and Mary H., also of Ellsworth.
Reared at the old home in Ellsworth, Mr. Black, of this review, began his education in the common schools of that locality, and later attended an academy. In Ellsworth he also learned the watch-maker's trade, and on the 6th of September, 1865, went to Waltham, Massachusetts, where he obtained a position in the finishing department of the watch factory, remaining there until December, 1867, when he first came to Elgin. He was employed in the finishing department of the watch factory at this place until 1870, when he returned to Waltham, but in June, 1873, again came to Elgin, where he has since made his home. During all this time he has been connected with the Elgin Watch Factory, and since the 1st of January, 1877, has been foreman of the finishing department, having about one hundred men working under him. This long term of service in this capacity is an evidence that his services are duly appreciated by his employers.
In Elgin, on the 23d of May, 1868, Mr. Black was united in marriage with Mrs. Fannie S. Kilbourne, a native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Joshua F. and Rebecca (Arnold) Smith, who were also born in Fitchburg, where one son is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Black have a pleasant home on Chicago street, Elgin, which was erected from plans made by himself. Politically he is identified with the Republican party, and socially affiliates with the Masonic fraternity. He is a pleasant, genial gentleman, who commands the respect and esteem of all who know him. Mrs. Black holds membership in the Universalist church, and like her husband, has many warm friends in her adopted city.
LOUIS H. YARWOOD, proprietor of the Yarwood art studio, is one of the best artists in this part of the state, and is also a teacher in landscape and scenic painting. For almost half a century he has made his home in Elgin, but he was born in the east, his birth occurring in Oriskany, New York, November 25, 1827, and his parents, Henry and Katie A. (Wiggins) Yarwood, were also natives of that state. Our subject is the oldest of their four children, the others being Marcus S., a resident of Chicago; Phoebe, wife of G. R. Raymond, of Dubuque, Iowa; and Arthur J., who was a Union soldier during the Civil war, and is now living in Wyoming. While living in the east the father was employed as a woolen manufacturer and dyer and held various offices. His wife, who was an Episcopalian in religious belief, died there at the age of forty-five years. In 1853 he came to Elgin, where he passed away at the age of fifty-nine years and eleven months. His father, Samuel Yarwood, was a native of England and died in New York, while the maternal grandfather of our subject, Benjamin Wiggins, was born in that state and died in Chicago, when about ninety-six years of age. His wife was only two or three years younger at the time of her death.
Mr. Yarwood, whose name introduces this sketch, began his education in the common schools of his native state and later attended the Whitestown Academy. He also began the study of painting when a child, and becoming very proficient in that art, he now devotes his entire attention to it. On his removal from New York to Elgin in 1851, he accepted the position of bookkeeper in S. N. Dexter's woolen factory, and later conducted a drug store for about fifteen years. The following eight years were spent as librarian of the Elgin public library, but since then he has devoted his energies to painting. He has gained a wide reputation as an artist of superior ability, to which he is justly entitled, his painting being among the finest produced in this section of the country.
Mr. Yarwood married Miss Caroline J. Drummond, and they have become the parents of three children-Willard H., who wedded Mary Hunter and had three children, Bertram and Marguerite, still living, and Willard H., deceased; Marc D., who is a successful piano teacher in Elgin; and Katie D., at home. The family have a pleasant home at No. 373 Park street, where they delight to entertain their many friends. A stanch Republican in politics, Mr. Yarwood was elected on that ticket to the position of alderman for one term, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. Socially he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
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