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
ANSON C. BUCKLIN, now living a retired life in Dundee, Kane county, Illinois, was for many years a successful farmer and dairyman of Fox river valley. He dates his residence in Illinois since June, 1837, coming here when Northern Illinois was a wilderness. He was born in the town of Adams, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, October 15, 1823. His father, Isaac Bucklin, was born in the same town, county and state, and on the same farm. His grandfather, Jeremiah Bucklin, was born in Rhode Island, in 1745, and removed to Adams, Massachusetts, in 1767, and took up a large tract of wild land. He served in the war for American independence, and was in the battle of Bennington. John Bucklin, the great-grandfather of our subject, was also born in Rhode Island, in which state he was quite prominent. His ancestors moved to Rhode Island with Roger Williams. He also moved to Adams, Massachusetts, and there the last years of his life were spent. Jeremiah Bucklin was one of the first settlers of Adams, Massachusetts, and was a millwright by trade. He built the first flouring mill in North Adams, for Oliver Parker, and at South Adams built one for himself on the present site of the Brown paper mill. At that that place he reared his family, and for many years was recognized as one of its prominent citizens.
Isaac Bucklin grew to manhood in Massachusetts, and there married Miss Achsa Wilmarth, a native of that state, born in Berkshire county. His birth occurred in 1790. They were the parents of three children - Anson C., our subject; Olive, who grew to mature years, but is now deceased; and Jane, who married George Browning, also deceased. Isaac Bucklin was a farmer and died in his native state in 1826. In 1837 Mrs. Bucklin sold the old home farm, and, with her family, accompanied by some relatives, came to Illinois, by way of the Erie canal and the lakes to Chicago, and, moving farther west, located in the Fox river valley. She took up a claim of nearly three hundred acres of land, in what is now the township of Barrington, and also two hundred and forty acres on Fox river, which is now East Dundee. Making her home on the Barrington land, she built a house, improved the farm and there spent the last years of her life, dying about 1871.
The subject of this sketch came to Illinois with his mother and family, and, a boy of thirteen, held, the plow which turned the first furrow on the place and helped develop the farm. He remained with his mother until her death, she having conveyed to him the old homestead. He built there a good, large residence, barns and other buildings, and made of it one of the best dairy farms in Fox river valley. He commenced shipping milk to Chicago in 1856, and has continued in the dairy business since that time, usually having upon his place about seventy-five milch cows. In October, 1884, he left his son Henry on the farm and moved to Dundee, where he built a house and has since lived practically a retired life.
Mr. Bucklin was first married, in Cook county, in 1844, to Miss Julia Jinks, a native of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Henry Jinks, a pioneer of Barrington township. She died October 15, 1873, leaving two children-Frances, wife of Daniel Burks, a business man of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Henry I., a farmer residing on the old homestead, who was born December 24, 1853, and was married March 6, 1883, to Miss Mary Welsby, by whom he has three children, as follows: John A., born December 24, 1883; Julia I., born October 13, 1885; and Olive E., born December 3, 1887.
In October, 1877, our subject married Miss Emma Merritt, a native of New York, but then living in Bloomington, Illinois. She died about two years later, and in December, 1880, Mr. Bucklin married Mrs. Emma Miner, who was born and reared near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and daughter of Russell Mallory.
Politically Mr. Bucklin was first identified with the Abolition party, and on the organization of the Republican party became one of its stanch supporters, and in 1856 voted for its first presidential candidate, General John C. Fremont. Being ever a believer in temperance and the principle of prohibition, he has of late years supported the Prohibition party. He is a member of the Baptist church, of which body his wife is also a member. For sixty-one years he has been a resident of the Fox River Valley, and the changes which have been made in that time can hardly be conceived, even by those most active in the transformation. Few men are better known and none more highly esteemed.
HALSEY ROSENCRANS, M. D., deceased, was for a many years a prominent and successful physician and surgeon of Elgin. He was born September 14, 1818, in New Jersey, of which state his parents, Asa and Jane (Cole) Rosencrans were also natives. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, removed from New Jersey to New York, and in 1834 came to Kane county, Illinois, where his sons, Horace and Frazier, had located one year before, being numbered among the earliest settlers of this section of the state. The family endured all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life, and from the wild land the father developed a good farm.
Dr. Rosencrans was the fourth in order of birth in a family of nine children, and during his boyhood and youth he assisted his father in the work of the farm, acquiring his literary education in the public schools. He accompanied his parents on their emigration to Illinois, studied medicine, and in the latter part of the '40s graduated from Rush Medical College. He began the practice of his chosen profession in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and later opened an office in Elgin.
The Doctor was one of the '49ers, having crossed the plains to California during the great gold excitement of that year, on a prospecting tour. Later his brother Garrett also went to the Pacific coast, and after about a year spent there, they returned together. Dr. Rosencrans did not engage in mining on account of the rough crowd with which he would have to associate. Locating in Calhoun county, southwestern Texas, he there engaged in the practice of medicine until 1863, when he was forced to leave, his life being in great danger. He was a man of deep convictions and dared even in Texas to make known his sentiment. He was warned by his friends that he must go, as an attack upon him was being planned. The Doctor was a physician in whom the best people of his acquaintance put, implicit confidence and he was the only one in his community that could handle yellow fever. Many of his southern friends told him: "If ever I have yellow fever, I want you to attend me, without reference to what it will cost or how we may differ in politics." His professional skill they admired, and they wanted his attention in case of sickness, hence he was permitted to remain in Texas long after others of his political faith were driven away, but finally he was forced to leave. Before the war he passed through two epidemics of yellow fever, and at one time he and a priest were the only ones left to care for many of the poor sick and dying who could not get away. From Texas he went to New Orleans, which was then in the hands of the Union forces, and was soon afterward appointed assistant surgeon in a hospital. Later he was transferred to another hospital on the Brazos, and continued to serve as surgeon in the Union army until the war ended. Subsequently he returned to Texas and resumed practice in the community where he had previously lived. In 1873 he came to Elgin, but two years later, during the terrible yellow fever epidemic, he went to Indianola, Texas, feeling it his duty to assist in caring for those suffering with that dread disease. Returning to Elgin, he successfully engaged in practice here for several years.
Dr. Rosencrans was twice married, his first union being with Miss Eliza Hale, by whom he had three children: Fannie is the wife of Captain Theodore Hayes, of Texas, and has four children-Charles, Wiltsie, Minnie and Fannie. Captain Hayes was an officer in the Union army. Lizzie is the wife of H. H. Bilter, a farmer of Eola, Illinois, and has four sons-Raymond, Carl, Eugene and Hale. Cora is the widow of
Thomas O'Neal, by whom she had seven children.
Mrs. Rosencrans died in New Orleans in 1863. The Doctor was again married September 11,1873, his second union being with Miss Cynthia E. Bowen, and the marriage ceremony was performed by Professor C. G. Finney, president of Oberlin College, of which Mrs. Rosencrans is a graduate. She is a daughter of Lucius E. and Margaret (Dildine) Bowen, of Oberlin, Ohio, who now sleep side by side in the .cemetery at that place. Mrs. Rosencrans is a consistent and faithful member of the Congregational church of Elgin, and both she and her husband held membership in the Scientific Society of that place. In social circles they also occupied an enviable position.
In 1886 Dr. Rosencrans went to Indianola, Texas, to visit his daughter, and at that place was killed on the 20th of August of that year. During a storm he was in his office, which was located in the same building with the signal service office. He and Captain Reed, who had charge of the signal service, were together. The Doctor told him they had better leave the building as it was swaying and would likely be blown over soon, but before they could do this another blast came and the building fell burying the Doctor and his friend, who were instantly killed by the falling timbers. They were soon covered with water and it was some hours before their remains could be removed. This was on Matagorda Bay in the region of the terrible storms to which that place is frequently subjected. Dr. Rosencrans was an eminent physician, having the professional skill which comes from faithful study and long and successful experience in his chosen calling. He was also an able writer, contributing many articles of merit to papers and medical journals. Being genial and companionable, he was a favorite in society and wherever known was held in the highest regard.
ALDEN KENDRICK WRIGHT, who has for many years been at the head of one of the departments of the Elgin watch factory, is a native of New Hampshire, born November 8," 1842, in Hanover, of which place his parents, Horace and Mary Ann (Foster) Wright, were also natives. The paternal grandfather, Asa Wright, was born on the old homestead at Hanover, which had been in the family for many years. The Wrights were of Scotch origin, and came to the new world prior to the Revolutionary war. The grandfather of our subject was a farmer by occupation, but the father engaged in the tanning business, learning his trade with his father-in-law, Caleb Foster, and while in his service he became acquainted with his future wife. Throughout the greater part of his life Horace Wright lived in Hanover, New Hampshire, but spent his last days in Lebanon, that state, where he died October 13, 1871. He was a Universalist in religious belief, and in politics was first a Whig and later a Republican, joining that party on its organization, as he had ever been an anti-slavery man and was connected with the "underground railroad." He was of medium size, of a genial, though quiet disposition, and was very domestic in his tastes. Wherever known he was held in high regard, and was often called upon to hold different official positions, including those of selectman and tax collector. His wife, who was a faithful member of the Congregational church, also died in Lebanon, November 24, 1872. She was a daughter of Caleb and Mary (Putnam) Foster, and granddaughter of Richard and Sarah (Greeley) Foster, the last named being a relative of Horace Greeley.
The subject of this sketch is one of a family of four sons, the others being Roswell F., still a resident of Lebanon, New Hampshire; Orin S., of Clinton, Iowa; and William H., of Newport, New Hampshire. In the common schools of Lebanon Alden K. Wright began his education, later attending the Kimball Union Academy at Meridian, New Hampshire. When his school days were over he went to Haverhill, that state, where he served an apprenticeship to the watchmaker's trade, after which he was employed for three years by the firm of E. Howard & Company, at Roxbury, Massachusetts. While with this distinguished company he acquired his great skill in the business of watch-making. For a year and a half he was with the United States Watch Company, was with the Hampden Company for about the same length of time, and for the following three years was with the American Watch Company at Waltham, Massachusetts.
It was in 1874 that Mr. Wright came to Elgin and entered the employ of the Elgin Watch Company, with which he has ever since been connected, serving at first as inspector of watches. Being appointed assistant foreman, he served in that capacity for seventeen years, and for the past three years has been foreman in the finishing department B, overseeing about two hundred workmen. Through his vast experience in every department of watch manufacture, he is able to preside over his department with great skill, as he is qualified to quickly detect any imperfection in the mechanism of the watches, which makes him a valuable man to the factory - one of superior usefulness.
In Boston, Massachusetts, May 21, 1874, Mr. Wright was united in marriage with Miss Nannie H. White, a native of that city, and a daughter of Henry Kirk and Harriet (Thompson) White. Her mother, a native of Gloucester, Massachusetts, died in September, 1897, the father dying in February, 1898, at Wrentham, that state. Their children were: Henry K., William N., Louis B., Alice P., wife of Adelbert Newton, of Boston; Nannie, wife of our subject; and Caroline, of Brooklyn, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Wright have three children: Louis W., Helen, and Arthur K.
Mrs. Wright is a member of the Universalist church of Elgin, and Mr. Wright, who is a good musician, has sung nearly all his life in church choirs until lately. Politically he is a supporter of the men and measures of the Republican party, while fraternally he is a prominent member of the blue lodge, No. 522, F. & A. M.; Loyal Legion, Munn chapter, R. A. M.; and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. For the past two years he has been a member of the board of education in Elgin, and taking a deep and commendable interest in educational matters, has made him a very active and efficient member. He owns a pleasant and commodious home on Spring street, where he and his family delight to entertain their many friends. His chief source of recreation is found in hunting and fishing, of which sports he is extremely fond. Though a hard worker, he believes in devoting a portion of one's time to judicious and healthful recreation, and like most men who care for these sports, he is genial, generous and kind-hearted, being very popular with all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
ANSON W. ROOT, who is now practically living retired from business cares at his pleasant home, No. 277 Chicago street, Elgin, was born December 20, 1823, in Genesee county, New York, a son of Dr. Anson and Lucinda (Wilson) Root. The paternal grandfather, Ephraim Root, served in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war, as a recruit from near Haverhill, New Hampshire, and as he carried a sword it is believed he was an officer. He spent his entire life in the east, dying in Genesee county, New York, when past the age of eighty years. By occupation he was a farmer. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sally Skinner, died at the age of eighty-five years. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Amos Wilson, departed this life at the advanced age of ninety-six years. One of his sons was Judge Isaac Wilson, of Batavia, Illinois.
Dr. Anson Root, our subject's father, was also a native of Genesee county, New York, and was surgeon of a regiment in the war of 1812, receiving for his services his regular pay as a surgeon and later a land warrant, which he located near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He also served as a surgeon in the Canadian rebellion. In 1838 he came west, and after spending a year on the Fox river he took up his residence in Elgin, where he made his home until called to his final rest in 1866, at the age of eighty years. For fifty years he successfully engaged in the practice of his chosen profession, was one of the leading pioneer physicians of this section of the state, but spent his last years in retirement, enjoying a well earned rest. He served as alderman of Elgin for a time and held other public positions of honor and trust. His wife, who was for many years a consistent member of the Baptist church, died in 1847, at the age of fifty-four years. In their family were eight children, two sons and six daughters, but only three are now living: Orpha, widow of Samuel Burdick, and a resident of Elgin; Martha, wife of C. H. Loomis, of Los Angeles, California; and Anson W., of this sketch.
On leaving the home farm at an early age, Mr. Root, of this review, learned the trade of a clothier, and for about ten years engaged in the manufacture of cloth, after which he learned the carpenter and joiner's trade, following it some years. For twenty years he was also interested in the milling business, and still owns a good mill property in Elgin, which he rents, besides a number of houses there and a good farm near Beloit, Wisconsin, deriving from these a good income. He also has money securities.
In 1846 Mr. Root led to the marriage altar Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William Himes, of Michigan, and to them was born a son-William A., a resident of Elgin, who married Alda Gray, and has one child, Kate. The wife of our subject, who was a consistent member of the Baptist church, died in 1856, aged thirty-two years, and the same year Mr. Root married Miss Harriet B. Parmelee, a native of Waterloo, Canada, and a daughter of Rufus Parmelee. Two daughters blessed this union: Ida R., wife of R. E. Linkfield, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by whom she has two children, Alice and Edith; and Alice M., wife of F. E. Wolcott, of Chicago, by whom she has one child, Maud.
In 1853 Mr. Root was initiated into the mysteries of the Odd Fellows' society, and with one exception is now the oldest member of Kane lodge, of Elgin, in which he has filled all the chairs, and also been representative to the grand lodge. He was for about ten years a member of the Masonic order. His political support has always been given the Republican party, but at present he is what is termed a silver Republican, advocating the free coinage of silver. From 1847 until 1867 he made his home in Beloit, Wisconsin, and while there served as assessor eight years, alderman nine years, and was undersheriff and acting as deputy provost marshal during the Civil war, aiding in the capture of deserters, etc. For five years he also served as county superintendent of the poor, for the same length of time was county supervisor and in Elgin also served as county supervisor five years and assessor three years. He is one of the reliable, enterprising men of the city, is deservedly popular with all classes of citizens, and his many estimable traits of character have won him a host of friends. His wife is a consistent and active member of the Baptist church.
THOMAS W. TEFFT
Mrs. Thomas Tefft
If one desires to gain a vivid realization of the rapid advance in civilization which the last few decades have brought about, he can listen to the stories that men who are still living among us, and by no means overburdened with years, can tell of their boyhood. The log cabin home, the still ruder school house with its rough seats made of slabs, its limited range of studies and its brief terms, arranged on the subscription plan, the routine of work at home, unrelieved by any of the modern devices by which machinery is made to do in a short time what formerly occupied the entire year,-these and many similar descriptions will bring up in sharp contrast the advantages of to-day. The subject of this sketch, a highly-respected citizen of Elgin, and the present alderman from the Sixth ward, has many interesting reminiscences of this sort.
Mr. Tefft was born in the town of Lebanon, Madison county, New York, October 30, 1824, a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Collins) Tefft, a sketch of whom is given in connection with Jonathan Tefft, Jr., on another page of this work. In the schools of his native county our subject began his education, and after the emigration of the family to Kane county, Illinois, in the fall of 1835, he pursued his studies in the old log school house on Gravel Hill, on the Bosworth farm, south of Elgin, and later in a school in the township of St. Charles until twenty-one years of age.
Mr. Teft remained with his father until he attained his majority, aiding in the arduous task of transforming the wild land into highly-cultivated fields, and then he and his brother Eli operated the old homestead on the shares for one year. Coming to Elgin in 1846 he worked at anything which he could find to do. He purchased a team of oxen, with which he plowed gardens for the villagers. In the fall he worked with a threshing machine, which he and his brother subsequently leased and operated through the winter. As the entire country was devoted to the raising of grain at that time, there was much threshing to do. In the spring Mr. Tefft again broke prairie, sometimes using twelve or thirteen yoke of cattle to a plow. He continued to follow these occupations until March, 1849, when he started to California in a party of six men, making the journey in two wagons. In May they crossed the Missouri river thirty miles above St. Joseph, and in September reached their destination, having avoided large parties in order to have plenty of feed for their cattle. Fortunately they were not troubled by the Indians. Mr. Tefft went direct to the mountains in Calaveras county, and in the summer of 1850 was joined by two brothers. He stayed in California two years, and always regrets that he did not remain there, buying land near Sacramento. He met with fair success in gold mining, and during the time when nothing else could be done he engaged in hunting, and sold the game not needed by himself and partners. Venison brought three shillings per pound.
In the fall of 1851 Mr. Tefft returned to Elgin by way of the Isthmus, New York and Chicago. The following year he built a large brick livery stable on the west side, Elgin, which he owned until 1865 conducting it for several years. He served his fellow citizens as constable, policeman and city marshal most of the time. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for three months, was commissioned second lieutenant, and was stationed in Chicago. Subsequently he re-enlisted in the one-hundred-days' service with the rank of first lieutenant, and was stationed most of the time at Columbus, Kentucky, doing guard duty.
After the war Lieutenant Tefft bought his brother Jonathan's farm, lying partly in section 36, Elgin township, Kane county, while part lies in Hanover township, Cook county, which he still owns, while his brother Jonathan, purchased the old homestead. Retiring from farm labor in 1876 our subject purchased a residence on Chicago street, Elgin, where he lived until 1881, when in partnership with his brother, Eli, he bought a stone quarry at South Elgin and moved .there to superintend the working of the quarry. After operating it successfully until 1884, they sold and he returned to his home on Chicago street, Elgin. The following year, however, he purchased a thirty-five-acre farm south of the asylum, on which he lived for six years, selling in 1891, when he bought his present home at 403 Jewett street.
Mr. Tefft has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Emily B. Joles, daughter of Spencer Joles, and to them were born five children: Egbert, who died at the age of four years; Harvey, who now lives in Idaho; Emma, who married Sylvester Mead, and has five children-Wilbur, Frank, Archie (deceased), Roy and George; they make their home with our subject; Albert P. and Bertram W., who are also residents of Idaho. Mrs. Tefft died in April, 1869, and he subsequently married Mrs. Frances (Gould) Kinloch, who by her first husband had one son, Sanford G. Kinloch, who made his home with our subject until he attained his majority and then bought Mr. Tefft's thirty-five-acre farm south of the asylum. The second wife died May 12, 1887.
Mr. Tefft was a charter member of Clintonville lodge, No. 511, F. & A. M., of which he was master for twelve years, and he now holds membership in Elgin Lodge, No. 117. Politically he is a stalwart Democrat. He has always taken an active interest in political affairs, and in the spring of 1897 was elected alderman from the sixth ward-a position he is now creditably and satisfactorily filling. He is always numbered among Elgin's valued citizens, and on the rolls of Kane county's honored pioneers his name should be among the foremost.
MALACHI CHRISTIAN GETZELMAN, of Elgin, is now living a retired life in the enjoyment of a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves by reason of his industrious efforts of former years. Accomplishment and progress ever imply labor, energy and diligence, and it was those qualities that enabled our subject to rise from the ranks of the many and stand among the successful few. He is now one of the highly-respected citizens in Elgin, and his long residence in Kane county and the active part he has taken in its development well entitles him to representation in its history.
Mr. Getzelman was born in Bavaria, Waurtzburg, Germany, January 1, 1837, a son of Malachi and Mary (Getzelman) Getzelman. His father was a mason by trade, and in 1848 came to the United States, locating in Hampshire township, Kane county, where he purchased forty acres of unimproved timber land and began the development of a farm, to which he added until at the time of his death his homestead comprised one hundred and fifty acres of valuable land. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious belief was a Lutheran in early life, but later joined the Evangelical church. His death occurred in August, 1862, and his wife passed away on the 1st of August, 1882. They were parents of five children who reached mature years: Michael, Jacob, Malachi, Margaret, wife of John Haible, of Elgin, and Henry, who died in Nevada about twenty years ago.
In the land of his nativity Mr. Getzelman, of this sketch, attended the public schools, and at the age of eleven he accompanied his parents to America. He assisted his father in the operation of the home farm until after the inauguration of the Civil war, when his loyalty to his adopted country prompted his enlistment, and on the 1st of October, 1861, he joined Company K, Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, going into camp at Geneva. About the 1st of November he went to St. Louis, thence to St. Joseph, Missouri, and later returned to Kentucky. With his command he started to Fort Donelson, making forced marches, but arrived just too late for participation in the battle. His company was then sent as guard over the prisoners to Chicago. On their return to the south they participated in the battle of Shiloh, followed by the siege and battle of Corinth, and all the battles from Lookout Mountain to the capture of Atlanta, including the memorable march with Sherman to the sea. From Savannah they marched through the Carolinas, joining Grant's army on the march to Richmond, and on the 24th of May, 1865, participated in the grand review in Washington, the most celebrated military pageant seen in the history of this country. Mr. Getzelman passed through the war uninjured, save on one occasion, when he received a slight bullet wound under the arm. At that time he and several companions were out on a foraging expedition, and were discovered and pursued by a band of Rebel cavalry. So greatly were they outnumbered by the boys in gray that they decided the best thing to be done was to flee, but the Rebels were well mounted and escape seemed almost impossible. However, fully aware that capture meant the horrors of Libby and Andersonville, Mr. Getzelman determined to escape if he could, feeling that he would rather be killed than enter one of those southern prison pens. Mounted on a mule, he put the animal to its best possible speed, but as he reached a fence the mule refused to jump it, and our subject, then tumbling over the fence, made his way toward a swamp, pursued by the bullets of the enemy, several of which pierced his clothes, making him think that his earthly career was drawing to a close. However, he succeeded in reaching the swamp, and ultimately arrived at camp once more, but his companions were captured. The next day, when his colonel suggested that he had better go on another foraging expedition, he asked to be excused!
Mr. Getzelman was mustered out of the service July 6, 1865, and resumed agricultural pursuits which he successfully conducted for many years. He purchased eighty acres in Hampshire, township, and for six-teen years made his home thereon, but in the meantime increased the boundaries of his farm until it comprised seven hundred acres of rich land in one tract. He placed much of this under cultivation, made many excellent improvements and developed one of the finest farms of the county. For a number of years he engaged in general farming, but later years turned his attention more specially to dairying. He was very industrious and enterprising and his well directed efforts, capable management and honorable business methods brought him a success which year by year added to his income until he is now the possessor of a very handsome competence. On leaving the farm he spent five years in the village of Hampshire and in 1893 removed to Elgin, where he purchased the Crosby residence on Highland avenue, a fine home in which he is now spending his declining days, surrounded by the comforts that go to make life worth the living. He has sold a portion of his old farm, but still retains the ownership of the homestead of three hundred acres, which he rents. He also has a farm of three hundred and sixty acres in Dundee township and considerable city realty. All has been acquired through his own efforts and his property is a splendid indication of his busy and useful life. Mr. Getzleman was married in Chicago, September 4, 1865, to Ernestine Rudolph, a daughter of George and Eva (Eichler) Rudolph, natives of Germany. Mrs. Getzelman was born in Saxony, and by her marriage has become the mother of the following children: Emma, wife of Israel Reams, of Hampshire; Lydia May, wife of Charles J. Smith, of Elgin, who was born in Marine, Illinois, a son of Erasmus and Louisa (Bright) Smith, the former a native of Baden and the latter of Saxony, Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were married June 1, 1878, and have one child, Ernest Theodore E., who has received a liberal education and is now a member of the class of 1898 in one of the Chicago law colleges. He is married. Benjamin C., who is married and living in Elgin, is a graduate pharmacist, but now occupies the position of bookkeeper in the Elgin National Bank. Edna and George died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Getzelman are members of the Christian Evangelical church and are people of the highest respectability, whose many excellencies of character have gained them the warm regard of all with whom they have come in contact. In politics he is a stanch Republican and is a valued member of Elgin Post, G. A. R. He is a director in the Elgin National Bank, and has ever taken a very active interest in the development and progress of the community, doing all in his power for the promotion of its business, political, educational and moral interests. While in Hampshire he served as a member of the school board. He is as true to the duties of citizenship in times of peace as he was when following the starry banner on southern battle fields, and his life record is one well worthy of emulation.
E.H. Abbott, MD
EDWARD H. ABBOTT, M. D., is engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Elgin, his office being at 1 57 Chicago street. In a few short years his devotion to his profession has won him a place among the ablest representatives of the medical fraternity in this locality.
Dr. Abbott was born in Elgin, in the old Adams house on Villa street November 6, 1866, being the first child born to Frank W. Abbott and his wife, Dora L. (Helm) Abbott, the former a native of New York, the latter of Hanover, Germany. The paternal grandfather, Hiram Abbott, was an American of Scotch descent, and his wife, Jennette Robinson, was a descendant of the Rev. Jedediah Hibbard, a hymn writer and Baptist minister of early New England times and a minute man in the Revolution. Hiram Abbott was a merchant of Cayuga county, New York, and died before reaching the age of fifty years, leaving one son and two daughters.
Otto and Fredericka (Berling) Helm, the Doctor's maternal grandparents, were natives of Germany, who coming to America early in 1850, located upon and developed a small farm in Barrington township, Cook county, Illinois. There Otto Helm died in middle life, while his wife surviving him, reached the age of seventy-two years. In their family were three sons and one daughter.
During his youth Frank W. Abbott first came to Elgin about 1856, but later traveled through the Rocky Mountain states and into Mexico, returning in 1861 to enlist as drummer in Company I, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. After serving three years he re-enlisted and remained at the front until the close of the war, participating in the battles of Donelson, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Iuka, Corinth, Hatchie, Town Creek, Bear Creek, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap, Day's Ferry, Rowe Cross Roads, Dallas, Calhoun Cross Roads, Mills Grove, Kenesaw, Decatur, Atlanta, Lovejoy's Station, Jonesboro, Altoona, Bentonville, Sherman's march to the sea, and Savannah. After the war he entered the Elgin National Watch Works, where he was acting as job foreman at the time of his death, which occurred May 7, 1882, when he was forty-two years of age. He was an active member of the famous Elgin Military band for years. Fraternally he was a Master Mason, and politically a Republican. His widow still survives and with her children lives at No. 358 Yarwood street. Besides the Doctor there are two daughters-Catherine L., who is first assistant in the Gail Borden Public Library; and Jennette E., who is employed in one of the offices of the National Watch factory.
Dr. Abbott was handicapped in early life by the loss of his father, and at an early age, fourteen years, he took his father's place as the family mainstay. Beginning in the watch factory on his father's job, he worked his way upward, succeeding in everything he undertook. Thrown into the society of mechanics he developed an interest in that direction and mastered mechanical drawing and mathematics in several years of night work. Then turning to literature and science he continued his night work, being in this his own tutor. During the same time he took an active part in local athletic circles, also edited the watch factory department of the Elgin "Every Saturday" for three years, acted as secretary of Kane lodge, No. 47, I.O.O.F., for the same length of time, and passed through the chairs in that lodge. In 1888 he helped organize the Republican Tinners' Campaign companies, acting as chairman in the meetings of the organization. Beginning the study of medicine several years before leaving the watch factory, he entered Rush Medical College, Chicago, with a year of work to his credit and graduated from that institution in the spring of 1895. Soon after locating in Elgin, Dr. Abbott undertook the treatment of a severe case of burning of the limbs and body of a young lady of Elgin. The case was pronounced a hopeless one, the patient being at death's door. After faithful preparation hundreds of skin grafts were placed upon the denuded flesh with complete success, the young woman regaining her health with the restoration of the destroyed cuticle. The case was a record one of its kind, the surface grafted (two square feet) being one of the greatest ever reported to the medical profession. Chicago and St. Louis papers devoted much space to the operation, while nearly every paper in the middle states mentioned it. This case established the Doctor's reputation, and has been followed by others which gained him an enviable standing in his profession.
Dr. Abbott was recently elected a member of the Fox River Valley Medical Association and of the American Medical Association; takes an active part in the Odd Fellows, Independent Order of Forresters, Knights of the Maccabees, Mystic Workers of the World, Royal Circle, and the Sons of Veterans. In the latter organization he holds the State of Illinois Supreme Surgeoncy upon the commander's staff. He is also medical director of the Sons of Veterans' Life Association, the insurance branch of the order, and is a member of the Carleton Club. In November, 1895, he purchased a half interest in the drug business at 159 Chicago street with C. F. Wm. Schultz & Company. The business has since been conducted with gratifying success, Mr. Schultz being a skilled pharmacist, a graduate of the Chicago School of Pharmacy, the pharmaceutical department of the University of Illinois. The aim of this firm is to keep only the best and choicest of drugs and druggists' sundries.
Politically the Doctor is an Independent Republican, and takes a commendable interest in public affairs. He is a whole-souled, genial gentleman of a literary turn of mind, having contributed a number of articles for the local and general press. Being yet young, his promise for future eminence is flattering.
FRANCIS BURTON, an honored pioneer of Kane county, who is now living retired in Elgin, was born in Sherrington, near Montreal, Canada East, December 14, 1829, a son of John and Jane (Stringer) Burton, natives of Yorkshire, England, who emigrated to Canada about 1815, and were married in Montreal. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, enlisted as a volunteer in the French war, and was killed in an engagement at Odeltown, in 1838. His wife died in Kane county, Illinois, in 1866, a worthy member of the Episcopal church, to which the father also belonged. To them were born nine children, as follows: William, Richard, Mary, the wife of George Marshall, of South Elgin; John, Francis, George, who died at the age of seven years; Alice, widow of George Church; and Ann, wife of George Cookman.
Reared in Canada, Francis Burton obtained his education in the public schools of that country, and upon the home farm he early became familiar with every department of farm work. Coming to the United States in 1845, be located in Kane county, Illinois, where his brothers, William, Richard and John, had previously taken up their residence. In 1850, before he had attained his majority, he made his first purchase of land, it being a tract of ninety-six acres in Plato township, which he leased. In 1852 he had "an attack of the gold fever," and, with his brother Richard, crossed the plains to California, where he engaged in mining for about six months with reasonable success, operating principally on Weaver creek. On his return to Illinois he worked in a distillery at Clintonville for a time, and then operated a farm, which he rented-of his uncle. At the end of that time he purchased eighty acres in Elgin township, Kane county, to the cultivation and improvement of which he at once turned his attention. Subsequently he bought another eighty-acre tract adjoining, which he afterward sold to the original owner, John Springer, and later purchased fifty acres in Plato township, which he operated for a few years. On selling that place he bought one hundred and seventeen acres adjoining it on the east. This place, together with his first eighty-acre farm, he still owns, and he successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1884, when he leased his land to his son-in-law and removed to Elgin, where he has since practically lived retired in the enjoyment of the accumulations of former years. In connection with general farming, he devoted a great deal of his time to stock raising and dairying, and his farm is now chiefly a dairy farm.
On the 6th of September, 1853, Mr. Burton was united in marriage with Miss Mary Poole, a native of England, and a daughter of Charles Poole. Nine children blessed this union, namely: Charles R., a resident of Kingston, Illinois; Adeline M., wife of George Wright, of Elgin; George F., a butter maker living in Mount Carroll, Illinois; Fenny, wife of Charles Ladd, living near Iowa Falls, Iowa; Olive; William L., who lives on his father's farm at Iowa Falls; Frank, a carpenter of Elgin; and Lottie and Minnie, who died in childhood.
In his political affiliations Mr. Burton is a pronounced Republican, and he has most acceptably served in a number of township offices. He and his wife are both consistent members of the United Brethren church, and are held in high regard by all who know them on account of their sterling worth and many virtues.
FRED W. JENCKS, the present efficient alderman from the second ward, is one of the leading and most popular business men of Elgin, where he is interested in a number of different enterprises. Although a comparatively young man, he has done much to promote the commercial activity, advance the general welfare and secure the material development of the city.
A native of Kane county, Mr. Jencks was born in Dundee, July 6, 1861, and is a son of Dennison and Elizabeth (Hollister) Jencks, the former a native of North Adams, Massachusetts, the latter of Danbury, Connecticut. The father came to Illinois in 1841, is one of the oldest residents of the county, making his home in Dundee for many years. Since 1872, however, he has resided in Elgin, where for over twenty years he was successfully engaged in the insurance business, but is now living retired at the age of sixty. A public-spirited, enterprising citizen, he has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs; for three terms he served his fellow citizens as county supervisor, alderman of Elgin fourteen years, and postmaster at Dundee for eight years. Religiously Mrs. Jencks was identified with the Baptist church. She was called to her 'final rest January 18, 1897, at the age of fifty-six years.
Fred W. Jencks, the only child of this worthy couple, by adoption, has been a resident of Elgin since ten years of age, his parents removing from Dundee to this city at that time, and in the academy he completed his literary education. In 1877 he became interested with his father in the insurance business, and now represents some of the most reliable firms in the United States, besides others of foreign countries. These include the Royal Fire, of England; the Girard, of Philadelphia; the AEtna of Hartford, Connecticut; the Glens Falls, of New York; the Traders, of Chicago; the Imperial, of London, England; the St. Paul, of Minnesota; the American Central, of St. Louis; and the Scottish Union & National, of Scotland. He does the most extensive business of any firm of the kind in Elgin. He is also serving as a notary public, is a licensed city bill poster and distributor, is interested in the real-estate business, and for the past eleven years has been the efficient and popular manager of the Elgin Opera House, of Elgin, which has prospered under his charge.
On the 17th of June, 1883, Mr. Jencks was married to Miss Lizzie, daughter of Andrew Schaller, and they now have one child, Mabel V. Fraternally is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while politically he is identified with the Republican party. In 1895 he was elected alderman from the second ward, receiving the largest majority of any candidate on the ticket, a fact which plainly indicates his popularity, and the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens. He has been a member of some of the most important committees, and has been chair-man of the fire and water committee during his entire incumbency. He has exerted his influence in behalf of the best interests of the city, and that his services are appreciated is evinced by his continuous re-election. For the past five years he has been president of the Illinois State Bill Posters Association.
HANS JOHNSON, a farmer residing in the village of Hampshire, is a native of Denmark, born in Husby, November 11, 1845. He there attended the Lutheran parochial school until the age of fourteen, when he commenced work on a farm, and later was employed as foreman of a large farm belonging to the minister of their church, which position he retained for three years. For three years he was in the Danish army, serving from 1868 to 1870, inclusive. He was a corporal in the artillery service. At the time of the Franco-Prussian war he was again called into active service, and assisted in guarding the frontier. In the fall of 1872 he came to America. He left Denmark September 27, for Hull, England, and encountered a severe storm on the North sea, being driven back to Scaggen on the Danish coast. He sailed from Liverpool, England, October 10, 1872, and landed at Quebec on the 22d of the same month. From Quebec he went to Luddington, Michigan, where he worked eight months, and then went to Grand Haven, in the same state, where he was employed two months. From Grand Haven he went to Chicago, and secured work on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad in Indiana. Receiving no money for his labor, he returned to Chicago and began work for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. Later he secured work in Plato township, Kane county, on the farm of Ira Russell, where he remained four and a half years, then rented a part of the Russell land. A sister came from Denmark to keep house for him, and on her marriage some months later he sold the stock and farm implements and took charge of a farm for a widow lady east of Elgin. He ran that farm for two years, when on the 28th of March, 1883, he was united in marriage with Miss Reka Dahl, and to them have been born six children - Lizzie, Ella, Charles, Katherine, Grace and Florence.
After his marriage Mr. Johnson went to Pingree Grove, rented the farm of L. N. Kelly, comprising five hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid a cash rent of seven thousand, five hundred dollars for the five years. In the fall of 1890 he bought his present farm of one hundred and fifty acres, which lies partly in the village of Hampshire, and which is well improved, having on it a good frame house, a large basement barn 36x80 feet, with twenty-four-foot posts, a windmill eighty feet high, the place being well drained with three thousand feet of tiling. The farm is used for dairy purposes, and Mr. Johnson keeps from forty to fifty head of cows, the milk from which he ships to Chicago.
Hans Johnson, Sr., the father of our subject, married Kern Jansen, who was also a native of Denmark. He was a laborer in Denmark and came to America, but not being able to adapt himself to the customs of the country, became dissatisfied and returned to his native land, where his death occurred in 1881, when about sixty-eight years of age. Of his six children, all came to America and here made their homes.
In 1892 an exciting and almost fatal accident occurred to our subject. He was filling his barn with hay, when the fork descended unexpectedly, piercing through his clothing and grazing his flesh. It was a rather too close call for comfort. Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Hampshire. Fraternally, he is a Master Mason and a member of the Eastern Star, of which his wife is also a member; also a member of the Royal Neighbors, of the Knights of the Maccabees, Modern Woodmen of America and Knights of the Globe. In politics he is a Republican.
FRED ROEHL, of Dundee, Illinois, has been a resident of Kane county since the spring of 1854. He is a native of Prussia, born August 14, 1832, and is the son of Charles and Louisa (Kroll) Roehl, also natives of that country. His father was a sailor, owner and captain of several vessels and followed the sea the greater part of his life. When Fred was but seven years of age his mother died, leaving three children. In his boyhood he had good common-school advantages, but learned the English language after coming to this country. While yet residing in his native land, he learned the stone and brick mason trade in a most thorough manner. In 1854 he came to United States, and for a few months worked on a farm near Dundee. In 1855, he formed a partnership with Mr. Parker, a mason, and engaged in contracting and building with him about seven years. There are in Dundee a large number of business and dwelling houses, which show the architectural skill and handiwork of Mr. Roehl.
In 1863 Mr. Roehl engaged in the saloon and hotel business on the east side in Dundee, in which he continued about three years, when he sold out and moved to West Dundee and there engaged in the grocery, butcher and saloon business for some seven years, building up a large and profitable trade. He then sold out and returned to East Dundee, started a hardware store, and also again engaging in building and contracting, erecting four business houses. He likewise carried on a saloon and butcher shop, but after two years sold out the hardware store, but continued in the other lines of business three years longer. Selling out his saloon and butcher shop, he started a lumber yard and engaged in that business about five years. Selling the lumber business he opened a wood and coal yard in Elgin, which he continued some four or five years, since which time he has been dealing in milch cows and stock.
Mr. Roehl was married at Dundee, July 25, 1857, to Louisa Haasa, a daughter of Henry Haasa, and a native of Hanover, Germany, where she was reared and educated. She came to this country in 1854 with her parents, who first settled in Elmhurst, but later move to a farm near Barrington Centre. By this union nine children have been born, four of whom are living, the remainder dying in childhood. The living are Charles, now residing in Iowa; Carrie, wife of Joseph Johnson, a resident of Algonquin, Illinois; Louisa, wife of William Hagel, a business man of Chicago; and Frank, engaged in the butcher business, as junior partner of the firm of Smith & Roehl.
Politically, Mr. Roehl is a Democrat, with which party he has been identified since becoming a naturalized citizen. He has held several local offices of honor and trust, serving first as constable for four years, and, though again elected, declined the office. He also served as trustee of the town on the west side and chairman of the board on the east side. In every position he has discharged his duties faithfully and well. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Lutheran church, one of its charter members in Dundee. In the erection of their house of worship, in Dundee, he contributed liberally of his time and money.
For forty-four years Mr. Roehl has been identified with the business interests of Dundee. He has built for himself in this time some fifteen business houses and residences in addition to those erected for other people. He has probably done as much as any one man toward improving and developing his adopted city. Numbered among the old settlers of the place, he enjoys the confidence and respect of all.
Mr. and Mrs. William Marshall
WILLIAM MARSHALL, proprietor of the Railroad avenue farm, on section 19, St. Charles township, is admitted to be one of the best farmers in the township, and the man who is well regarded by the community in general. He was born in North Clifton, on the banks of the river Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, April 21, 1821. His father, William Marshall, Sr., was also a native of the same shire, where he. married Mary Bingham, a native of Lincolnshire, England, by whom he had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, all of whom grew to mature years, save one son.
William Marshall, our subject, was reared in Nottinghamshire, England, and in his boyhood received a very limited education. In his youth he was apprenticed for a term of seven years to learn the blacksmith trade, his only compensation being his board during that time. After completing his trade he worked as a journeyman in Nottinghamshire and Lancastershire, and had the reputation of being one of the best mechanics in the vicinity.
On the 25th of March, 1843, in Nottinghamshire, he married Miss Sarah Harpham, a native of Headon, near shire-town of Retford, Nottinghamshire, and three years later, with his wife, he set sail for America, taking ship at Liverpool, April 22, 1848, and landed in New York, May 24, 1848, being thirty-two days in making the trip, during which time they encountered some severe weather. From New York he went up the Hudson river to Albany, and by the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to Chicago, where he worked for a few days for the McCormick company, and then came to St. Charles, started a shop, and worked at his trade for about four years.
Believing he could better himself, Mr. Marshall sold his shop and rented a farm for two years, and then purchased seventy-six acres of the farm on which he now resides. The farm was partially improved, having on it a log house with a stone chimney, and shake roof. He lived in that house until he had made considerable improvements in the place, when he erected a neat and substantial house, that was burned down May 21, 1894. He then built his present residence, which is a frame, with pressed brick veneer and stone. This is a fine residence, and one of the best in the township. Mr. Marshall has also upon the place five barns, and other outbuildings, of the most substantial character. From time to time he added to his additional purchase, until he had three hundred acres of as fine land as could be desired, but he has since sold one hundred and ten acres, leaving him one hundred and ninety acres in his present farm. In addition to this farm he owns a valuable four-acre tract and several lots in St. Charles, as well as a number of lots in
Chicago, Aurora, Evergreen Park and elsewhere. Some five years after Mr. Marshall located in St. Charles township, he was joined by his father, and later his brothers and sisters came to this country. The parents and youngest son remained with our subject for about one year and then removed to De-Kalb county, where they spent the remaining years of their life, the father dying at the age of about ninety, while the mother was ninety-four years old at the time of her death. Thomas Marshall, their youngest son, remained with them until their death, when he succeeded to the property which they had accumulated, and is now one of wealthy men of De Kalb county. All the brothers and sisters started in life without a dollar and now all are wealthy and influential. Three of the sisters married three brothers, Edward, John and William Lawrence, and became wealthy.
After a long and happy married life, Mr. Marshall was deprived of his wife, her death taking place February 14, 1895, leaving five children - Jane, wife of Richmond Cook, who was a farmer of Kane county, and is now deceased, by whom she had six children; Mary Ann, wife of Joseph Kirk, of St. Charles township, Kane county, by whom she has ten children; Elizabeth, wife of Charles T. Shaver, whose farm adjoins that of Mr. Marshall; they have one child; Addie Eliza, wife of Truman Albee, of Elgin, a machinist in the watch factory, by whom she had two children; and William Henry, a farmer of St. Charles township. Three children died in infancy and one at the age of three years.
On the 19th of May, 1897, Mr. Marshall was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Mary L. Templeton, of Chicago, widow of Rev. John G. Templeton, who held a position with Marshall Field & Company, of Chicago. His brother, Thomas Templeton, is a partner in that firm. Mrs. Marshall was born in Collinsville, Marquette county, Michigan. Her father, Azel Lathrop, was a pioneer of that county, in which there is a town named for him. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall have two children (twins), Marcus Fletcher and George Lathrop, born February 28, 1898. By her first husband, Mrs. Marshall has three children - Thomas Templeton, who holds a position with Orr & Lockett, Chicago; Robert Templeton, a student in the seminary at Evansville, Wisconsin; and Mary Templeton, a Student in the home school.
Politically, Mr. Marshall was formerly a Republican, but for some years has been identified with the Prohibition party. He is a member of the Free Methodist church, with which he has been identified for thirty-eight years. He was one of the original members of the organization in his neighborhood. For fifty years he has been a resident of Kane county, and, although he came a poor man, by industry and economy he has accumulated a competency, and is enabled to take life easy. His friends are many throughout the county, and no man is held in higher esteem.
ABRAHAM LEATHERMAN, an honored veteran of the Civil war now living retired in the city of Elgin, is a native of Illinois, born in the town of Hanover, Cook county, December 21, 1840, and is a worthy representative of one of the highly respected pioneer families of this section of the state. His father, Abraham Leatherman, Sr., was born in Kentucky, October 25, 1801, and was reared in Louisville. The paternal grandfather was only seventeen years old at the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, but he joined the Continental army and served all through that terrible struggle, returning home to find that the other members of the family had all been killed, probably by the Indians.
At the age of eighteen years Abraham Leatherman, Sr., left his native state and removed to Greencastle, Putnam county, Indiana, where he engaged in farming until taking up his residence in Hanover, Cook county, Illinois, on the 20th of October, 1835. Here he pre-empted four hundred acres of land which he later purchased when it came into market, and to the cultivation and improvement of the place he devoted his time and attention until 1865, when he sold it. This place was known as Leatherman's Hill, and the famous hostelry which he kept was known as Leatherman's Inn. Retiring from active business life in 1866, he purchased a small tract of land known as the John Hill farm and there made his home until coming to Elgin in 1885. Here he built a house adjoining that of our subject, where he died February 16, 1889. He was a large man, standing six feet in his stockings, was of a genial temperament and was devoted to his family. In political sentiment he was a Democrat, and in religious belief was a Baptist.
Abraham Leatherman, Sr., was married at the age of twenty-one years to Miss Mary Duese, who was born in Indiana January 18, 1803, a daughter of David Duese, and died February 18, 1889, being laid to rest by the side of her husband in the old cemetery at Elgin. She, too, was a faithful member of the Baptist church. Nine children were born to this worthy couple: (1) William, born January 7, 1823, enlisted August 12, 1862, in Company I, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil war, and died of smallpox while at Camp Butler January 28, 1863. (2) David, born October 25, 1824, was a farmer by occupation, but is now living retired in Kansas. (3) Sarah, born October 26, 1826, married David Longley, and makes her home in Chickasaw county, Iowa. (4) Frederick, born November 5, 1828, was one of the "Forty-niners," and died in California, supposed to have been murdered for his money in 1852. (5) Jane, born November 23, 1830, is the wife of Seth Stowell, who lived for some years near Spring Brook, Illinois, but is now residing in Nebraska. (6) John, born January 7, 1833, was also one of the boys in blue during the Civil war, enlisting August 12, 1862, in Company F, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was taken prisoner in June, 1864, when in the campaign against Price, and was confined for nine months in Andersonville prison, being released after the surrender of General Lee. He is now a retired farmer, living in Watseka, Illinois, but also owns a place in Louisiana, where he spends the winter months. (7) Elizabeth, born July 9, 1835, is the wife of Joseph R. McChesney, of Glen Ellyn, DuPage county, Illinois. (8) Evan, born December 3, 1837, was also a Union soldier, having enlisted in the spring of 1865 in the One Hundred and Forty-first Illinois Infantry, and is now a farmer living in Watseka, Iroquois county, Illinois. (9) Abraham, Jr., of this review, is the youngest of the family.
Reared in Hanover, Cook county, the subject of this sketch attended the common schools during his boyhood and youth, and when not in the school room, assisted his father in the labors of the farm. Responding to his country's call for aid, he enlisted August 12, 1861, in Company F, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in at Chicago. From there the regiment proceeded to Memphis, Tennessee, and Mr. Leatherman took part in all the marches and battles in which it took part, including the Tallahassee expedition, the Vicksburg campaign and the Arkansas expedition. He was selected as one of the guard to the prisoners brought from Arkansas to Camp Butler, where he remained on duty for about a year, going to Memphis in the spring of 1863. He was then under General Sturges in the campaign against Price, and was next with his regiment detailed to guard the railroads around Memphis, being thus engaged when the war ended. He was mustered out at that place, and discharged at Chicago, June 29, 1865, being at that time a member of what was known as the Third Board of Trade Regiment of Chicago. After his return home, Mr. Leatherman successfully engaged in farming and dairying, purchasing one hundred and eighty acres of the old John Hill tract. There he carried on operations in a most profitable manner until 1883, when he came to Elgin and took up his residence at the corner of Porter avenue and Park street, in a house which he had erected for his home. He leases his farm, and is now enjoying that ease and retirement which should always follow a useful and honorable career. On the 13th of June, 1867, Mr. Leatherman was united in marriage with Miss Josephine A. McChesney, born in Chicago, and a daughter of James H. and Mary Brown (Hull) McChesney, who were born in New York City, and are now living in Adams county, Wisconsin. They have eight children living, namely: Josephine, Mary and James, deceased, Margaret, Jane, Samuel, Joseph, John, deceased, and James, Mark and Myrtle. To Mr. and Mrs. Leatherman have been born the following named children: William O., born April 15, 1868, died September 20, of that year; Jesse T., born July 8, 1872, died September 13, 1872; Foneta M. M., born June 10, 1875, is now the wife of Edward Hunt, of Hanover, Illinois; Ida D., born July 18, 1880, and May E., born May 12, 1888, are both at home. The parents are both consistent members of the Congregational church, and are widely and favorably known. Politically Mr. Leatherman is identified with the Republican party, and socially affiliates with Elgin post, No. 49, G. A. R. His efforts in life have been crowned with success, so that he now enjoys a handsome competence, and his career has ever been such as to win for him the respect and confidence of all who know him.
JOHN RADLOFF, of Dundee, is a native of Germany, born in Mechlenberg, August 25, 1839. He there grew to manhood and received a good education in the German language, attending school about seven years. He was reared on a farm and remained with his father until nineteen years of age, when he began life for himself, working at various occupations in his native country for about six years. He was united in marriage at Mechlenberg, in 1863, with Miss Mary Schroeder, a daughter of Frank Schroeder, also a native of Germany.
With that laudable desire to better himself, Mr. Radloff determined to emigrate to the United States, and in 1865, accompanied by his young wife, he crossed the Atlantic, landing in New York city, from which place he came directly to Illinois, locating in Huntly, McHenry county, where he joined some of his relatives who had preceded him to the new world. He first worked on the railroad at that place, in and around the depot, and was content to do anything honorable which he could find to do. In 1868, he rented a farm near Huntly and engaged in farming and dairying. In 1877 he purchased a farm of one hundred and fifty-one acres near Barrington, Cook county, to which he removed, and on which he continued to reside for nineteen years. In 1896 he rented the farm, built a residence on First street, Dundee, into which he moved with his family and has since lived a retired life.
To Mr. and Mrs. Radloff seven children have been born: Sophia, wife of Charles Young, of McHenry county; Rachel, wife of Fred Rousch, of Starks Station, Illinois; Fred, a farmer residing on the old home-stead; Caroline, wife of William Miller, of McHenry county; Mary; wife of Fred Miller, residing in Cook county; Bertha, wife of Burton Chapman, watch inspector in the Elgin factory; and Louis, who is assisting his brother 011 the farm.
Politically Mr. Radloff is a stanch Republican and believer in protection and reciprocity. His first presidential ballot was cast for U. S. Grant in 1872. For about fifteen years Mr. Radloff served as a member of the school board and as overseer of highways about seventeen years, making a faithful and efficient officer. For some years he was an official of the Farmers' Insurance Company of Barrington township, and was one of its appraisers for six years.
Religiously he is a member of the Lutheran church and is one of its active members, having served as deacon in the same for some years. His wife and children are also members of the same body; and all take an active interest in the work of the church.
Mr. Radloff has been a resident of Illinois about thirty-three years. He came here a poor man, but by his industrious habits he has acquired a fair share of this world's goods, has seen his family well provided and is now enjoying a well earned rest.
GENERAL JOHN SHULER WILCOX
GEN. JOHN SHULER WILCOX, of Elgin, is one of the best known men in Kane county, and one highly honored by all. He comes of a brave and patriotic family, whose deeds are a part of the great record of our country's history. His ancestry is traced back to William Wilcockson, who came to this country in 1635, as shown by the following taken from the New England Historic Genealogical Register, Vol. XIV., part 4, page 304:
"2d Aprilis, 1635. Theis underwritten names are to be transported to New England, imbarqued in the Planter, Nico Trarice, Master: William Wilcockson (lynen weaver), age 34; Margaret Wilcockson, age 24; Jo Wilcockson, age 2."
It will thus be seen that the name was originally Wilcockson. In due time it was changed to Wilcox. William Wilcockson settled first at Windsor and afterward removed to Stratford, Connecticut.
His fourth child, Samuel, settled at Simsbury, Connecticut, where his first son, also named Samuel, was born April 15, 1666. The eighth child of the second Samuel was named Ephraim, and was born February 4, 1707. He married Hannah Hill, of Simsbury, Connecticut. They were the parents of Silvanus Wilcox, who was born at Simsbury, November 14, 1735, and married Christine Curtis, a daughter of Peter Curtis, of that place. A few years later he moved with his family to Nine Partners. Dutchess county, New York, where he remained some years, and then went to Alford, Massachusetts, where, in 1768, he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits.
In the first town meeting held in Alford in 1775, Silvanus Wilcox was elected constable and collector of taxes, and the same year was elected one of the selectmen of the town, which office he held five terms. The trouble with Great Britain had commenced, and Mr. Wilcox was appointed one of a committee of safety. A little later a company was raised for military service, and he was elected captain. In the campaign of 1775-76 it took an active part, and in September, 1777, the company joined the regiment of Col. John Asjley, and marched to Saratoga, where they participated in the capture of Burgoyne. After a long struggle the war for independence was brought to a successful termination, and Captain Wilcox retired to his farm to enjoy the blessings of peace and pursuits of agriculture. After residing on his farm in Alford for nearly thirty years, he sold it and removed to the Greenland tract, where he resided until his death.
Silvanus Wilcox, Jr., the son of the Revolutionary hero, was born in Alford, Massachusetts, May 26, 1762. He married, and in April, 1787, moved with his wife and daughter to Schoharie Creek, New York, where he and his wife are buried, their graves being enclosed with a stone wall, a plain marble slab marking their resting place, with his name inscribed "General Silvanus Wilcox." He attained the rank of general in the New York State Militia. His son, Elijah Wilcox, was born in Montgomery county, New York, May 10, 1791. He there married Sally Shuler, also a native of New York, and was recognized as one of the leading citizens of Fultonville, that state, where he lived for many years. In the State Militia he rose to the rank of brigadier-general, and in the civil service of his town and county served in several local positions. In May, 1842, he came to Kane county, Illinois, and located on a farm two and a half miles northwest of Elgin, where his last days were passed. The farm, known as the Wilcox homestead, is now owned by Judge Silvanus Wilcox. the eldest son. To Elijah and Sally Wilcox ten children were born, as follows: Amelia A., who married John Hill; John S., who died at the age of sixteen years; Silvanus, who married Jane Mallory; Rensselaer, who died in infancy; Daniel S., who married Sarah Ballard; Calvin E., who married Emily Larkin; Edward Sanford, who married Sarah Clarke, and later Cordelia Peck Alston, sister of George M. Peck; Hannah M., wife of Charles R. Collin; John Shuler, our subject; Will-am H., who wedded Mary A. Green, and after her death Mrs. Helen Green. Of these, four are living in Elgin: Silvanus, Mrs. Collin, John S. and William H.
Elijah Wilcox was in politics a Democrat, in religion a Universalist. In 1846 he was elected to the Illinois State senate and served four years, with credit to himself and constituents. When the Civil war commenced he warmly espoused the Union cause; and did much in the way of encouragement to the men who left for the front. He was foremost in educational and agricultural movements, and always labored for the progress and advancement of the community and the state, and departed this life holding the esteem of all who knew him. He died December 11, 1862, while his good wife survived him many years, dying April 4, 1882. She was a devoted member of the Congregational church. With his three sons he received honorable mention in Moses' History of Illinois.
John Shuler Wilcox, ninth child of General Elijah and Sally (Shuler) Wilcox, was born March 18, 1833, at Fultonville, Montgomery county, New York, and with the family came to Elgin, Kane county, Illinois, in May, 1842, where they located on the old homestead now the property of his eldest brother, Judge Silvanus Wilcox. When he was a boy he drove the breaking team of seven yoke of oxen to a great plow turning with each furrow twenty-seven inches of wild prairie sod, clean cut and as straight as a ribbon. The log cabin with shake roof, puncheon floor, wooden latch and thong latch string were familiar realities. The lurid gleam of prairie fires against the dark horizon of night was a common sight, and the howl of prairie wolves at daybreak and evening was often heard. Wolves and deer were abundant, sand hill cranes, wild geese and ducks abounded. Prairie chickens and quails covered the prairies, and vast flocks of wild pigeons darkened the sky in their annual migrations. The songs of the brown thrush, robin, oriole, cat bird, lark, bobolink and other birds filled grove and prairie with music. Myriads of wild flowers bloomed from every spring until late autumn, and it was indeed a beautiful and fertile land. In the winter of 1842-3 the lands came into market and it was a busy and anxious time with the early settlers, adjusting their claim lines to the government surveys, and securing title to their lands.
Mr. Wilcox's boyhood was spent on the farm, and in 1851 he was employed a few months in a store in Union, McHenry county, Illinois. Going to Galesburg in 1852, he attended school there for about a year and a half, at what is now Lombard University. Returning to Elgin he studied, law in the office of his brother, Hon. S. Wilcox, and was admitted to the bar in 1855. That winter, as president of the Young Men's Association, he introduced to Elgin audiences such eminent men as Wendell Phillips, Elihu Burritt, John G. Saxe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Bayard Taylor, etc., in a course of brilliant lectures rarely equaled. He was also a member of the Elgin Library Association.
On September 3, 1856, Mr. Wilcox married Miss Lois A. Conger, at Galesburg, and in 1858 they built their first house, now No. 456 Douglas avenue, Elgin, where they have since resided. It has ever been an ideal home to their family, and the center of a most generous and genial hospitality. Six children have been born to them, namely: Dwight Conger; John Hill; Gertrude; Marie, now Mrs. Robert Fuller Fitz, of Boston, Massachusetts; Frank Conger; and Marguerite. Frank C. and Gertrude died in infancy, and John H. in 1892.
About 1856 a military company was organized in Elgin, of which Mr. Wilcox was a lieutenant, and for two years the "Continentals " under the drill and discipline of the lamented Col. E. E. Ellsworth, who was killed at Alexandria, Virginia, early in the war, was the crack military company of northern Illinois. In 1855 Mr. Wilcox opened an office in Elgin and soon acquired a good clientage, and a fair reputation as a popular speaker and rising young lawyer. Upon the president's first call for troops he at once began arranging his business, preparatory to enlisting.
In August, 1861, Mr. Wilcox became a member of a military company and was chosen its captain. It became Company K, Fifty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and upon the organization of the regiment he was chosen its lieutenant-colonel, was subsequently promoted to the colonelcy, and by the president was commissioned brevet brigadier general of volunteers. He served with his regiment in its campaigns, marches and battles until the spring of 1864 when he resigned. At request of the governor and adjutant-general of the state, he commanded the camp of organization of the One Hundred and Forty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and practically gave the summer and fall to the enlistment and organization of troops and the political campaign resulting in the second election of Mr. Lincoln to the presidency.
Mr. Wilcox then resumed his law practice with flattering success although greatly handicapped by an impaired hearing, resulting from injury received at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi. In 1865 he became one of the original incorporators of the First National Bank, serving over twelve years as a director, and for a time vice-president of the bank. In 1869, with others, he incorporated the Elgin. City Banking Company, the first savings bank in Elgin, and served about ten years as one of its officers. In 1866 he was elected and served one term as mayor of the city. He served a number of years on the public library board, and while its president had the Elgin library designated by the congressman of this district to receive all public documents issued by the government, including the unique and very costly war records of both the Federal and Confederate governments. He served several years as director and as president of the Elgin Agricultural Society. For over a quarter of a century he has been a member of the board of trustees of Elgin Academy, and several years its president. From 1843 to 1854 his father was a member of the same board.
Up to 1871 Elgin had but one railway, and the excessive charges for passengers and freight were exasperating. The charges on a box of tea or upon a piano were heavier from Chicago to Elgin than from New York to Chicago. Committees, of which General Wilcox was a member, were sent by meetings of citizens at various times to confer with the railway authorities, hoping for favorable concessions, but failing to obtain relief, the movement took form in the organization of the Chicago & Pacific Railway Company, in 1871, and he became a member of its board of directors and its general solicitor. They constructed its road to Byron, Illinois, on the west bank of the Rock river, where it succumbed to the combined opposition of the Illinois Central, the Chicago & Northwestern, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads, and failed, its property passing by lease to the last named road, which has since extended the line and completed the road, giving the people the benefit of frequent and convenient trains at liberal rates, with a prompt and generous service in all respects. Mr. Wilcox lost a comfortable fortune and over six years of hard service in this enterprise, but has had the satisfaction of knowing it has resulted in immeasurable good to his fellow townsmen and to a large section of the country along its line.
In 1877 Mr. Wilcox was appointed postmaster of Elgin, having by reason of his deafness abandoned his chosen profession. In 1882 he embarked in the fuel trade and warehouse business, and is now dealing in coal, wood, sewer pipe, etc. He was one of the incorporators of the Elgin Loan & Homestead Association, and was for five years on its board of directors. He outlined the organization of the Elgin Patriotic Memorial Association, and prepared its articles of incorporation. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, but under stipulation that his comrades shall not ask him to take any office, though he has served as representative to both state and national encampments a number of times; been on staff of the commander-in-chief; and is now representing the department of Illinois on the committee "in charge of patriotic exercises in public schools," by appointment of the commander-in-chief. On every Memorial day he is called upon to address the people, and at the schools and at patriotic assemblages he is a frequent speaker. He is a member of the military order of the Loyal Legion, and of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee.
General Wilcox's views are broad and kindly; he loves every church and Christian work. He is a devoted Universalist, and has been an active member and officer of the parish since its organization. For twenty-five consecutive years he was superintendent of the Sunday-school. He has ever been a stanch friend of the Elgin Woman's Club, of which his estimable wife was one of its incorporators and its president during the first eight years of its work, which included the appropriation of over twenty-two hundred dollars in aid of the Elgin Academy and the erection of the Sherman hospital.
He transmitted the money contributed by the generous people to famine-stricken Ireland, and to the sufferers in Armenia. Indeed it would be difficult to recall any generous movement in aid of education, charity or patriotism, of which he has not been an active factor.
Mrs. James McElroy
DR. JAMES McELROY, a well-known veterinary surgeon residing at the corner of Brook street and Jefferson avenue, Elgin, has made his home in Kane county for fifty-four years, arriving in pioneer days. Elgin, which is now a great manufacturing city and railroad center, was at that time only a small station on the stage line between Galena, Rockford, Hazel Green and Dubuque, and the greater part of the country round about was still in its primitive condition. The difference between the past and the present can scarcely be realized, even by those who were active participants in the development of the county. The present generation can have no conception of what was required by the early settlers in transforming the wilderness into a well settled and highly cultivated county.
Dr. McElroy was born in the eastern part of Ireland, December 3, 1814, a son of Tarame and Elizabeth (Cody) McElroy, and in his native land acquired his literary education and also studied pharmacy in Dublin, graduating in 1836. He has since successfully engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery. On coming to the new world in 1840, he first located in Albany, New York, from there removed to Schenectady, later to Syracuse, that state, and then was for three years with Mr. Howlet, coming with him to the west to buy horses. Since 1844 Elgin has been his home and post office address, although he has spent some time at other places, being in the employ of Frink & Walker, and Moore & Davis, in Milwaukee, for eight years.
In 1840 Dr. McElroy was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Smith, who was born December 17, 1816, and departed this life January 27, 1894, at the age of seventy-eight years. Six children were born to them, five sons and one daughter, namely: Tarrence, who was married and died at the age of thirty-six years; John, who was married and died at the age of thirty-two; Edward, who for the past five years has been engaged in buying horses for the United States government; James, a conductor on the Iron Mountain railroad, at Texarkana, Texas; and Mary Elizabeth, who is now her father's companion and housekeeper.
Although eighty-four years of age Dr. McElroy appears much younger as he is still able to attend to his professional duties; his eyesight is undimmed, and his natural force of character unabated. Nature deals kindly with those who disobey not her laws, and the Doctor attributes his good health to the important fact that he has always been temperate in all things, dissipation of every kind having been studiously avoided. He possesses many of the admirable characteristics of the Irish race, being of a genial, jovial disposition, fond of wit and humor, and generous almost to a fault. Courteous and companionable, he has made many warm friends in his adopted country and has the respect of all who know him.
BENJAMIN COX, now living a retired life at No. 418 Mountain street, Elgin, traces his ancestry back to John Cox, who came to America long prior to the Revolutionary war, accompanied by two brothers, Thomas and William Cox, each of them locating in New York city or state. John Cox married Elizabeth Palmer, and they became the parents of the following named children: John, William, Jamieson, Thomas, George, Clark, Henry, Joseph and Stephen, and a daughter, Elizabeth.
David Cox, Sr., the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in New York City, October 9, 1767. He married Judith Corning, of Beverly, Massachusetts, who was born October 2, 1767. In early life he followed the sea, but later located on a farm at Wilmot, New Hampshire, where his death occurred at an advanced age. In their family were three sons and three daughters - David, John, Benjamin, Judith, Betsy, who died in infancy, and Betsy the second.
David Cox, Jr., was born October 2 1, 1790, at Beverly, Massachusetts, and at Wilmot, New Hampshire, married Lydia Bean, by whom he had three children, two now living - Benjamin, our subject, and Lydia, now the wife of D. O. Carter, of Painesville, Ohio. Eliza, the deceased, was the wife of Horace French. Early in the present century he moved west, locating in Mantua, Portage county, Ohio, where he died in 1838, in the forty-eighth year of his age. His wife survived him until May 10, 1877, dying at the age of eighty-one years. They were both members of the old-school Baptist church. After the death of her husband Mrs. Cox married again, her second husband being Enoch Colby, of Concord, Ohio, where he died. During the war of 1812 David Cox, Jr., was called out as a soldier to help defend Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but as the British did not land, his regiment was disbanded.
The maternal grandfather of our subject, Jeremiah Bean, was a native of Salisbury, New Hampshire, and by occupation was a farmer. He married Mehitable Garland, also of Salisbury, New Hampshire, by whom he had a large family. In the war of 1812 he served his country against the British, and was wounded in the ankle at the battle of Plattsburg. He died at an advanced age.
Benjamin Cox, of whom we now write, was born in Wilmot, New Hampshire, December 28, 1819, and is the son of David Cox, Jr., and Lydia (Bean) Cox. He was reared on his father's farm in New Hampshire until sixteen years old, assisting in the farm labor when old enough to work, and attending the district schools three months in winter and three in the summer each year. He then accompanied his parents to Ohio, where he continued to assist in farm work until the death of his father, when he learned the manufacture of women's shoes at Lynn, Massachusetts.
On the 19th of July, 1841, he married Miss Susan Bell, daughter of James and Betsey (Spangler) Bell. By this union were four children - Jennie C., Helen E., Jay M. and Charles B. Jennie C. married C. Morris Jennings, and they have one daughter and one son, Mildred and Benjamin. They reside in Union, Illinois. Helen E. married Samuel Monroe, by whom she has two children, Ella and Frank E. Her home is in Elgin. Jay M. died at the age of twenty-one. Charles B. lives in Juarez, Mexico, where he is trainmaster for the Mexican Central railway. He married at Turner Junction, now West Chicago, Illinois, Mary Alice Trull, and they have three children, Clara B., Helen E. and Benjamin Trull. Mrs. Susan Cox died July 8, 1884, aged sixty-one years and twenty-four days. She was a devout member of the Methodist church, and died in the full assurance of faith.
For his second wife, in June, 1885, Mr. Cox married Mrs. Esther (Gardner) Marsh, widow of Mason M. Marsh, and daughter of Dwight and Cynthia (White) Gardner, natives of Massachusetts, who removed to New York in childhood and were there married. A brother of Mrs. Cox, Dwight Foster Gardner, now resides on the old homestead on which his father and grandfather lived and died. Her marriage with Mason M. Marsh was celebrated in Madison county, New York, in 1857. He came first to Elgin in 1850, where his death occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Cox now reside in a large and comfortable home, No. 418 Mountain street, which was erected by him in 1870. In his religious belief Mr. Cox is a Universalist.
In 1842 Mr. Cox left his Ohio home on a prospecting tour. Believing that in Illinois the opportunity for advancement was greater than in the place where he then resided, he came to this state, and being favorably impressed with Kane county, purchased a claim of one hundred and twenty-three acres from another party, and subsequently entered the same, paying the government price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. In the spring of 1843 he returned to Ohio, and in the fall of the same year came back with his wife and baby in a one-horse wagon. On that farm, which lies two miles west of Elgin, and to which he later added forty-three acres, he lived until his removal to the city, in 1870. On his arrival in Kane county, Mr. Cox had but about ten dollars in cash, and for a while worked for other persons for fifty cents per day, husking corn, and taking his pay in corn. The horse with which he made the journey to Illinois he traded for a yoke of oxen, with which he farmed until he could purchase a span of horses. As soon as he got his horses he commenced hauling his wheat and other grain to Chicago.
Farming in Illinois, in pioneer days, was not an easy job. It required hard work. Mr. Cox was not averse to work, and toiled early and late, sowing and reaping. Success crowned his efforts, and in 1870 he was enabled to retire from active labor and take life more easily. In the meantime, as stated, he had increased the size of his home farm, and had purchased a farm of ninety-three acres in Union township. In addition to these farms and his family residence, he owns the house in which his daughter lives in Elgin. For more than half a century Mr. Cox has been a resident of Kane county. His face is a familiar one in and around Elgin, and few men have more loyal and steadfast friends.
CHARLES E. LEWIS, the well-known superintendent of the Carpentersville branch of the New York Condensed Milk Company, has occupied that position since the plant was established at that place in 1888. He is a native of Sharon, Litchfield county, Connecticut, born September 3, 1847. His father, Hon. Miles B. Lewis, was also a native of Connecticut, born in Bridgeport in 1811. He there grew to man-hood, and in 1832 moved to Sharon. His marriage with Miss Maria Kelsey was celebrated at Milford, Connecticut. She was a native of that state and was a woman of great refinement and lovable disposition. There they continued to reside and reared their family of nine sons and one daughter. Of their children William S., is a retired business man of Chicago; M. K., is a merchant of Duchess county, New York; Charles E., our subject; Eliza, who married Allan Brown, of Sharon, Connecticut, but who removed with her husband and family to Iowa in the spring of 1868, where both have since died.
The Lewises are of Welsh origin, three brothers coming from Wales at a very early day, one locating in New York, another in Pennsylvania, and the third in Connecticut. Miles B. Lewis is a direct descendant of the one who located in Connecticut. He was a man of more than ordinary ability and served two terms in the Connecticut legislature at the time P. T. Barnum was a member of that body. His death occurred in the spring of 1893. His good wife yet survives, and is now eighty-four years of age and a well preserved old lady.
The subject of this sketch remained at home until eighteen years of age and there received a good common-school education and learned the milk business, the family being intimate with the Bordens, pioneers in that business. In the Borden factory at Wassaic, New York, he received his first lessons in the milk industry. Leaving home he came to Kane county and began working on the farm of Cornell & Wilder near Elgin, with whom he remained about ten months, although he only intended working for them two weeks, that he might give them instructions in the care of milk. From Cornell & Wilders he drifted around for quite a while working at anything he could find to do that was honorable." In the spring of 1869, Mr. Lewis was married at Elgin, Illinois, to Miss Marilla Reaser, a native of Kane county, and a daughter of Anthony Reaser, of one the pioneer settlers of Plato township. She received a good education in the schools of Elgin, and for some time previous to her marriage engaged in teaching. By this union were three children, as follows: Susan, now the wife of R. W. Church, who is connected with the condensed milk factory at Carpentersville; Ella, who is engaged in the millinery business at Nunda, Illinois; and Frank H., who holds a position in the factory with his father.
Soon after marriage Mr. Lewis moved to Crystal Lake, McHenry county, and took charge of the farm of S. S. Gates, where he remained one season. He then determined to go where he could get a farm of his own without much expense. Accordingly, in 1870 he moved to Pottowatamie county, Kansas, and took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and at once commenced its improvement. In due time he had as fine a farm as was in the neighborhood, but in 1876 he sold out and returned to New York, locating in Wassaic, Duchess county, and engaged with Mr. Borden in the condensed milk business at that place. He remained there until 1882 when the company sent him to Elgin as an operator on the vacuum-pans. In that position he continued until the erection of the factory at Carpentersville, when he received the appointment as its superintendent, which position he still continues to hold to the entire satisfaction of the company and its many patrons. The capacity of the factory has been increased until it is now one of the best in the country, and to its work Mr. Lewis gives almost his entire time and attention.
Since taking the superintendency of the factory, Mr. Lewis has purchased residence property in Dundee, and has now one of the nicest homes in the place. Politically he is a Republican, with which party he has been identified since casting his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant in 1868. While preferring to have others serve in official positions, Mr. Lewis served for three years as a member of the town board, with which he was connected on the institution of the water works. While on the board he was chairman of the finance committee and looked carefully after the finances of the city.
Fraternally Mr. Lewis is a Master Mason and also a charter member of Silver Leaf camp, No. 60, M. W. A. Religiously he and his wife are members of the Congregational church of Dundee and take a commendable interest in the work of the church and its various auxiliary societies.
For a third of a century Mr. Lewis has been identified more or less with the interests of Kane county, and has endeavored to contribute his share to its growth and development. He is well known throughout Kane and adjoining counties as a man of good business ability and exemplary habits, enjoying the confidence and respect of all, and it is with pleasure that he has given representation in the Biographical Record of Kane county.
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