Kane County, IL Biographies
Folks living in other Localities with roots in Kane County
ALEXANDER R. DEMPSTER
Sioux Falls with its pulsing industrial and commercial activities is continually drawing to itself men of enterprise who recognize the opportunities found in the great and growing northwest. Prompted by laudable ambition and impelled by enterprise and sound judgment. Alexander R. Dempster came to this city to establish a wholesale distributing house for the products made by the pump and windmill factory at Beatrice, Nebraska, in which he is interested.
His entire life has been passed in the Mississippi valley. His birth occurred in Dundee, Illinois, January 28, 1848, his parents being Alexander R. and Jane Blythe (Whittaker) Dempster. The former was a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, born May 15, 1811, and in 1832, about the time he attained his majority, he came to the new world. He first located in New York city, where he worked at his trade of quill making, but soon after his marriage went to Chicago, Illinois, subsequently settling on a farm near Dundee, Kane county, that state, where he devoted the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits. There he passed away in 1893, having attained the venerable age of eighty-two years. His wife was born July 4, 1816, in New York state but her father was of Scotch birth. To Mr. and Mrs. Alexander R. Dempster, Sr., were born ten children, equally divided as to sex, of whom three sons and three daughters yet survive.
Alexander R. Dempster of this review acquired his early education in the public schools of Carpenterville [sic], Illinois, and afterward attended the Elgin Academy at Elgin, that state, being graduated on the completion of several courses. He left Elgin in 1877 and went to Chicago, where he was in the employ of Field, Leiter & Company and subsequently with Marshall Field & Company until 1884. In that year he went to Beatrice, Nebraska, where he became connected with the manufacture of pumps and windmills. In 1895 he removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he established a similar business, while still retaining his interests at Beatrice. Fifteen years were passed in Des Moines and in 1910 he came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to open a wholesale distributing house in order to handle the products made in the factories at Beatrice. This brings him into closer connection with the trade of the northwest. The sales now cover a wide territory in this section of the country and the business is a growing and profitable one. Mr. Dempster has already become recognized as one of the representative business men of the city, belonging to that class who, while promoting individual interests also contribute to public prosperity.
On the 20th of July, 1871, at Dundee, Illinois, Mr. Dempster was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Crichton and to them have been born several children: Grace Ethel; Jennie; Mabel, the wife of Roswell R. Marsh of Fort Pierre, South Dakota; Edna Alexandria, the wife of Lee A. Lumbard, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Arthur Ruben Dempster, who was married November 26, 1914, at Mankato, Minnesota, to Veva Churchill, and is now conducting a cattle ranch at Fort Bennett, South Dakota.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Congregational church and Mr. Dempster belongs also to the Masonic lodge. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, but he has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs which are growing in volume and importance. In youth he made good use of his educational opportunities, in manhood he has made equally good use of the possibilities for business advancement, and his determination and laudable ambition have carried him into important relations.
[Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915; Submitted by Karen Seeman]
George R. Clay
Among the young men who have risen to distinction in this county is George R. Clay. He was born at Aurora, Ill., July 23, 1870, and came with his parents, M. W. and Nancy L. Clay, to Newton county Missouri in 1880. He attended the country school near his home a few years then went to school near his home a few years then went to school at Fort Scott, Kansas and Kansas City, Mo., until he received a good education. He then entered the law office of Col. Cloud at Pierce City where he read law until admitted to the bar at Neosho in 1892. During the Cherokee payment in 1894 he was in the Indian Territory buying Cherokee warrants for the Grand Forks, South Dakota National Bank. In January, 1895, he located at Pineville to practice his profession, and from the first made a phenomenal success. Though young and inexperienced in the practice, he won nearly all his cases and the first year made more money than any other lawyer ever made in this county in the same time. In 1896 he was nominated by the Democratic party for Prosecuting Attorney, and endorsed by the Populist. In the election which followed he received a majority over his opponent of 556 votes. Since taking charge of the office he has proven a vigorous prosecutor and is administering his office with credit to the party which elected him. Mr. Clay is a man of brilliant intellect and will evidently rise to distinction in his profession. [Source: "History of McDonald County, Missouri", by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897 - Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)
George C. Crandall
CRANDALL, George Clinton, physician; born near Elgin, ILL., June 18, 1865; son of George W. and Caroline (Perry) Crandall; moved with parents at early age to Michigan; educated in country school, high school, and Michigan Agricultural College, Lansing, Mich., graduating B.S., 1887; M.D., Medical Department, University of Michigan, 1890; married, Syracuse, N. Y., May 18, 1895, Nellie Merry; one son: George Washington. Worked on farm and taught school, previous to beginning medical work; appointed, 1890, on medical staff Northern Michigan Asylum at Traverse City; resigned, 1894, to go abroad; spent a year and a half in hospitals of Europe; located in St. Louis, 1895, and appointed professor of general medicine in Marion Sims Medical College, and continues in same chair in Medical Department of St. Louis University; president consulting staff of St. Louis City Hospital; medical director of St. Louis Society for Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis. Secretary and director St. Louis Dental College. Member National Society of Tropical Medicine, St. Louis Medical Society, Missouri State Medical Association, American Medical Association, American Medico-Psychological Association, Civic League, Citizens Industrial Association, Academy of Science. Clubs: Contemporary, City. Recreations: hunting and fishing. Office and Residence: 3674 Lindell Boulevard. (Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)
BUCKLIN, HON. JAMES W.
A renowned and active tribune of the people, whose life has been stormy and full of contests because of his ardent advocacy of their interests in every forum wherein public opinion is made or directed, Hon. James W. Bucklin, of Grand Junction, one of the leaders of the bar in the state, has won commanding prominence and influence throughout Colorado and is widely and favorably known elsewhere in this country and in portions of many others. He is a product of rural life, having been born on a farm in Kane county, Illinois, his life beginning on November 13, 1856. His parents were George and Arethusa (Winch) Bucklin, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New Hampshire, both of English descent and belonging to families that have been in the United States more than three hundred years, their American progenitors having come to this country in early colonial times. Mr. Bucklin’s paternal grandfather and maternal great-grandfather were Revolutionary soldiers. His father was a farmer and in the early ‘fifties moved to Illinois, settling first in Kane county and later in De Kalb, where he ended his days in 1875, his wife dying in 1868. Their son James was reared in that state and educated at the district schools, finishing his scholastic training with a two-years course at Wheaton College. In 1875 he entered the law department of the State University of Michigan, and was graduated there in 1877 before he was twenty-one. He then came to Colorado and was admitted to the bar at Denver, also before he reached his legal majority. At that time what is now Mesa county was a part of the Ute Indian reservation, and as it was to be opened to settlement at an early date, Mr. Bucklin, after practicing three years at Denver, determined to locate in this section. He proceeded as far as Gunnison, but owing to Indian massacres and delay in opening the reservation, he remained there two years practicing his profession. In the fall of 1881 the reservation was opened and, with a party of friends, he was among the first to make an effort to locate, following the Indians as they were removed by the soldiers. They met Governor Crawford at Delta, where he had located a townsite, but they persuaded him to join forces with them and move on to the site of the present Grand Junction. The company which organized this town comprised of the Governor, Mr. Bucklin and Messrs. Mobley, Warner, White and Rood. Mr. Bucklin is the only one of the number now living. The next spring he located permanently here and has lived here ever since. There were at the time of his arrival about sixty or seventy persons living within the present county limits, and there was not a frame building or floor or glass window in Grand Junction. On February 28, 1882, he opened the first law office in what had been the Ute reservation, and soon afterward put up a log building on Main street which he used as an office for a number of years. Lumber then sold at one hundred and fifty dollars per one thousand feet and no frame buildings were possible. The nearest postoffice and trading point was Gunnison, one hundred and fifty miles away. The first postoffice name of Grand Junction was Ute, but that lasted only three months, when the present name was adopted. A week after Mr. Bucklin’s arrival a stage line was established between Gunnison and this point. On this he made a trip to Gunnison which kept him nine days on the road and he was obliged to walk part of the way. He was the bearer of a package of money to Montrose for the establishment of the First National Bank there as a branch of the San Miguel Bank of Gunnison. The package was sewed in his overcoat, and he afterward learned that it contained ten thousand dollars. His first law case in his new home was conducting the defense of an Indian arrested for stealing blankets. He volunteered his services and cleared his client. In laying out the town a liberal policy was pursued, lots being reserved for churches, schools, public parks and public buildings, while every settler who was willing to build a home for himself had a lot given to him for the purpose. In the nature of the case a man as liberally endowed by nature and as ripened by study as Mr. Bucklin was in demand for public service. In the fall of 1884 he was the Republican candidate for the legislature from Gunnison, Pitkin, Montrose, Delta and Mesa counties and carried all of them. One of his principal acts in the ensuing session was the introduction of a bill to secure an appropriation of forty thousand dollars for the construction of a bridge over the Gunnison at Grand Junction, the provision being to take the money out of a government fund for public improvements which seems to have been overlooked and forgotten until recalled to notice by him. Another measure which he introduced was for the establishment of a labor bureau. This failed at the first session but was passed at the next, and provided for the establishment of one of the first bureaus of the kind formed in the United States. In the spring of 1886 he was elected mayor of the town, and while in office secured the repeal of the poll tax, and there has been none since. He also inaugurated the planting of trees in the parks and throughout the city. For two years he was county attorney and for one year city attorney. In the latter post he revised the ordinances and established a system of city legislation which has since been followed here, and has been copied by other cities of this state and other states. His legislative experience attracted his attention to the subject of political economy, which he studied thoroughly, making a specialty of the single tax theory, which he studied for the purpose of refuting the arguments of Henry George; but his investigation of the subject convinced him that Mr. George was right and, leaving his old party affiliation, he became an ardent advocate of that theory, organizing a movement in Mesa county for securing its adoption. In 1896 he was elected to the legislature as the advocate of this theory, and during the next few years he labored arduously in both branches of the legislature to get his theory passed into law, but through machinations of one kind or another his purpose was defeated until 1901, when a bill for the purpose was passed. Immediately afterward vicious attacks were made on it, an anti-Bucklin League was organized, large sums of money were raised and a special session of the legislature was called to repeal the law. The movement failed, however, and in the fall of 1902 the question was submitted to a vote of the people as an amendment to the constitution, and it was defeated at the polls, although receiving a large vote and carrying eight counties. Another bill of which he was the father was the public utility bill, which aimed to give the people of different sections of the state the right to acquire by purchase or condemnation water works, gas and electric light plants, and similar utilities at the actual cost of their construction. This measure was bitterly opposed by the corporations and the contest became one of the most noted in the history of the legislature. After the passage of this bill it was stolen and recovered in time for the signatures of the presiding officers only through his heroic efforts. The speaker of the house signed it just one minute before the final adjournment. In the session of 1899 he had a commission appointed to investigate for the benefit of the state the tax system of Australia. Mr. Bucklin was made chairman of the commission, and going to Australia made his investigation so thorough and his report so masterful that in February, 1901, the matter was taken up by congress and his report was printed in the Congressional Record. In the trip to Australia and for the work of his investigation he defrayed his own expenses, declining to be reimbursed by the state. In the session of 1901 he also secured the passage of a law reducing the rate of interest on state warrants from six to four per cent. In all his legislative experience he has been an active, working, fighting member, serving on important committees and as chairman of some. He is an ardent advocate of municipal ownership, and the law firm of Bucklin, Staley & Safley, of which he is the head, has carried on legal and political warfare for thirteen years to secure the application of such ideas to the affairs of Grand Junction, finally resulting in a fine water-works plant owned and managed most successfully by the city. As a lawyer he has been very successful, building up a large and representative practice. He has been married twice, first in 1884, to Miss Margie Champion, a native of England, who came to America with her parents when she was two years old. She died in March, 1885, and on January 1, 1895, he married a second wife, Miss Mary Lapham, a native of Canada but reared and educated in Colorado, her parents being among the pioneers of Mesa county. They have two children, James W., Jr., and Louis Lapham. Mr. Bucklin is a member of the Masonic order, holding the rank of past master in his lodge, and being also a Knight Templar. He has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church from his boyhood. He was one of the founders of the church at Grand Junction and helped to organize the Sunday schools at that place and Gunnison. He also read the first funeral service at Grand Junction. In business he has been very successful, acquiring considerable property and adding much by his improvements to the value and beauty of the town. (Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)
AMORY, Estelle Mendell Amory
AMORY, Mrs. Estelle Mendell, educator, and author, born in Ellisburgh, Jefferson county, N. Y., 3d June, 1845, passed her childhood on a farm. In 1852 her family moved to Adams, where her father, S. J. Mendell, engaged in business. The Mendell home was a home of refinement and culture, where were entertained many prominent persons, intercourse with whom did much to inspire the young girl with a desire to make a mark in literature. Her father served in the army throughout the war, rising to the rank of colonel by brevet. Estelle had developed meanwhile into a studious young woman, and had taught her first school. She studied in the Hungerford Collegiate Institute in her home town, and in Falley Seminary, Fulton, N. Y. In 1866 the family moved to Franklin county, Iowa. In 1867 she returned to the East and re-entered Falley Seminary, from which institution she was graduated with honors in 1868. Then followed seven years of earnest work as a teacher. In 1875 she became the wife of J. H. Amory, of Binghamton, N. Y., and went to Elgin, Ill., to live. During all those years Mrs. Amory had written much but published little. Ready acceptance of offered work now encouraged her, and soon she became a regular contributor to standard periodicals. Her well-known "Aunt Martha Letters," in the Elmira "Telegram," and the more famous "Aunt Chatty" series in the Minneapolis "Housekeeper," made her name a household word. Among the score of journals that have given her articles to the public are the "Ladies' Home Journal," "Mail and Express," Cincinnati "Enquirer," "Union Signal," " Babyhood," and "Golden Days." Mrs. Amory's family consists of a son and a daughter, and her home is now in Belmond, Iowa.
(American Women, Fifteen Hundred Biographies, Vol 1, Publ. 1897. Transcribed by Marla Snow.)
JOHNSON, Edward Roberts, coal operator; born, Aurora, Ill., Sept. 10, 1882; son of Lucius E. and Ella (Parker) Johnson; educated in public schools of Aurora, Ill., Helena and Great Falls, Mont., Toledo, O., Allegheny Institute, Roanoke, Va., and Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.; married at Toledo, O., Jan. 16, 1904, Edith Grace Carson. Entered employ of traffic department, Norfold & Western Ry., Jan. 25, 1904; then started in coal business as salesman for Percy Heilner & Son, Cincinnati, O., Oct. 1, 1904; assisted in establishing coal firm of E.R. Johnson & Co., in Detroit, July, 1905, of which is secretary and treasurer; secretary and treasurer H.T. Wilson Coal Co., vice president and secretary Draper Coal and Coke Co. since Feb. 1, 1906. Club: Fellowcraft. Office Majestic Bldg. Residence: 795 Trumbull Av. [Source: "The Book of Detroiters", Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1908 - Submitted by Christine Walters]
JOHNSON, Edward G.
Engineer; Galesburg; born March 8, 1859, in Aurora, Illinois; educated in the common schools. His parents were John Spencer and Eliza (Brown) Johnson of New Jersey. He married Ethel Tannery, at Aurora, August 5, 1884; they had one child, Lorin E. His mother was a daughter of one of the first settlers of Aurora. Mr. Johnson began work March 9. 1874, in the Engine Department of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and since 1879, he has been in the employ of that company as a locomotive engineer. In 1889, he removed from Aurora to Galesburg. Mrs. Johnson was a daughter of Robert and Anna (Fitch) Tennery, of Aurora. [pg. 779, "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County" Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1899 - Tr. by K.T.]
MILLER, Guy A., lawyer; born, Aurora, Ill, Sept. 11, 1875; son of Robert and Mary (Lillie) Miller; graduate Houghton School, Detroit, June, 1890; Detroit High School, June, 1894; University of Michigan, Literary Department, A.B., 1898; Law Department, same university, LL.B., 1900. In office of Wells, Angell, Boynton & McMillan for about six months after leaving college; was in office of Bowen, Douglas & Whiting for a year and a half, then began for self in Moffat Building, remaining about a year; was connected for a time with legal department Union Trust CO.; associated with Alexander J. Groesbeck since fall of 1904. Member Detroit Bar Association. Republican. Representative State Legislature, 1907-08. Clubs: Detroit Golf, Detroit Wheelmen. Recreations: Golf, baseball, bowling, bridge-whist. Office: 622 Majestic Bldg. Residence: 27 King Av. [Source: "The Book of Detroiters". Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1908 - Submitted by Christine Walters]
FAY, William, electrical engineer; born, Elgin, ILL., Apr. 5, 1864; son of John and Hannah (Welch) Fay; educated in public and private schools, Elgin; Drew's Business College, graduating, 1884; studied engineering for four years under Charles Vanvepole, Chicago; married, St. Louis, Aug. 8, 1897, Mrs. Cecilia G. Gray, nee Annis; one adopted daughter: Carlotta Belle. Was connected with the Chicago gas plant, 1888-91; in charge of lighting and power plants of Pennsylvania Ry. between Chicago and Crestline, O., 1891-92; was identified with the establishment and incorporation of the Aurora & Elgin Electric Ry., 1892-93; with the Thomson-Houston Electric Co., 1893; came to St. Louis, 1890, and was connected with Laclede Power Co., 1896-99; with the Imperial Light and Power Co. and its successor, the Union Light and Power Co., until 1903; at time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was in charge of the World's Fair Automobile and Transit Co.; in business for self since 1905. Republican. Catholic. Office: 1614, 721 Olive St. Residence: 5223 Cabanne Ave.
(Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)
McCLURE, DR. FINLA
Under the most favorable circumstances, the life of a country doctor is one of toil and to some extent, of hardship and privation. And when it is passed on the frontier, with a territory of enormous extent and sparsely populated to ride through, without roads, bridges or other public conveniences in many places, with danger ever near and the means of averting it often scarcely attainable, it becomes a destiny of great exactions and slender rewards, all the unfavorable elements being many times multiplied and the compensations rendered at the same time more uncertain and less profitable. On the other hand, however, the nature of his work and the wild life of exposure and hardship fashions the practitioner into a man of rugged health, strong nerve, ever ready resourcefulness, and commanding influence, makes him the friend of every settler and all of them friends of him, elevates him into a personage of universal regard, and gives him a controlling voice in the life of the region if he should choose to have it. Such as this has been the experience of many a good physician in the West, and among them, Dr. Finla McClure is worthy of high mention. He was born at Dundee, Illinois, on March 23, 1849, and six months later moved with his parents to Elgin, where he lived until he reached the age of ten years. The family then moved to Chicago, and in that city he completed his academic training at the high school and entered Rush Medical College for his professional course. He was graduated from the medical college in February, 1876, and at once began practicing in Chicago. He continued his work there until the spring of 1880, when he came to Colorado and located in Chaffee County, at a town then called Junction City, but since re-baptized Garfield, which was a small mining camp. The doctor opened an office in a tent there and was soon actively engaged in a large mining practice. He also, imbibing the spirit of the place and time, became interested in the mining industry, and this taste then acquired, has never left him, as he has had an interest in mining properties ever since. Her practiced medicine nine years at Garfield, serving as surgeon for all the large mines and companies, then in 1889, moved his office and residence to Salida, where he has since made his home and enlarged his practice. He is the oldest physician in the county and is easily in the front rank in his profession in this part of the world. He has also from the beginning of his career here, been active and forceful in political matters. He was a Republican until 1895, then became a Populist and was elected mayor of Salida as such, and since then he has served for a number of years as a member of the city council. In 1903, he was again elected mayor, he being at the time out of the state on a visit to Michigan. His interest in the growth and improvement of the city has been unflagging and has been shown in actions of wisdom and breadth of view. He is largely entitled to the credit for the fine streets of the city and for many other features of utility or enjoyment for its people. He started the work of improvement during his first term as mayor, and it has steadily progressed ever since, receiving a new impetus during his second term. He has also rendered efficient and valued service to the people as county physician, and to the fraternal life of the community as a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the order of Elks. He was married at Elgin, Illinois, on October 17, 1877, to Miss Leah S. Anderson, a native of that state. (Source: "Progressive Men of Western Colorado", Publ 1905. Transcribed By Joanne Scobee Morgan)
SHEFFNER, JESSE A.- ex-sheriff Natrona county; (Rep.); b. Kane county, Ills., Aug. 14, 1869; s. of Dr. A. N. and Mary (Rue) Sheffner; educ. pub. and H. S., Cook county, Ills.; went to western Nebraska, 1886; located in Casper, Wyoming, spring of 1890, and was employed as a clerk in mercantile establishment, 1890-9; city marshal, Casper, 1899-1907; sheriff Natrona county, 1907-15; mem. Masons; O. E. S.; Elks. Address: Casper, Wyoming. [Source: "Men of Wyoming", Publ 1915. Transcribed by Denise Moreau]
BUCKLIN, ALVIN N.
Alvin N. Bucklin, a brother of Hon. James W. Bucklin, of Grand Junction, (CO.) a more extended notice of whom appears on another page of this work, is one of the leading hardware merchants in this part of the state, and has shown in his business operations the same force of character and persistency of effort that have distinguished his brother in other lines of activity. He was born in Kane county, Illinois, on December 22, 1862, and is the son of George and Arethusa (Winch) Bucklin. He was reared in his native county and received his education in the public schools and the preparatory department of the Northwestern University at Evanston. After leaving school he was employed for a number of years as a traveling salesman, and during this time, in 1882, paid a visit to Grand Junction, then in its pioneer days. In 1890 he located there permanently, and since that time has been active and enterprising in business, having one of the best stocked and most extensive hardware stores in the city and within a wide range of surrounding country. This is conducted along the lines of the most straightforward and upright business methods, and with an enterprise entirely in keeping with the progressive spirit of the community in which it is located. On January 15, 1890, Mr. Bucklin was married in California to Miss Lillia B. Britton, a native of that state, her parents having been among the pioneers of Santa Cruz county and held in high esteem as leading and representative citizens. They are still living there, but the father has retired from active pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. Bucklin have one son, George F. Mr. Bucklin is a member of the Elks and at present (1904) is exalted ruler of his lodge at Grand Junction. In politics he is an active, working Democrat. [Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Tracy McAllister]
JOHN RAGEN resides six miles south of Kipling, where he follows general farming and raising stock. He has a good estate, and is possessed of considerable property. One of the characteristics that impresses one who knows Mr. Ragen, is that of energy and adaptability, which combine in a happy degree to form the western character so well known as the "rustler." He was born in Kane county, Illinois, on January 6, 1868, the son of Michael Ragen, a native of New York, who married Miss Catherine Hopkins, a native of Castle Bar, Ireland. She came to the United States when young and taught school and did bookkeeping work until marriage. She died in 1875. The father started without means in his younger days and began raising stock in Kane county, near Chicago, continuing the same with good success for thirty years. He died on January 2, 1900, in his sixty-eighth year. He possessed considerable property in Chicago and lost heavily at the time of the big fire. He had been one of the earliest pioneers in Kane county and brought the first horse team there. Our subject was one of four children born to this worthy pioneer couple, the other three being Mrs. Anna M. Maurer, Thomas, deceased, Michael W., deceased; the former in 1874 and the latter at Walla Walla, January 2, 1897. The early life of Mr. Ragen was spent in Kane county gaining an education and assisting his father on the stock farm. In the spring of 1887, he went to Salt Lake where he worked in the mines for a time then came on to Portland. He speculated in real estate there for some time and made plenty of money. Later we see him in Olympia and after that he opened ticket brokerage offices in Spokane and along the line of the Great Northern to Seattle. After a successful time at this he went to North Yakima, and there did well, buying and selling state and school warrants. Next we find him in the ticket brokerage business on the O. R. & N. and in 1899, he went to the Coeur d'Alene country and did mining. In December, 1901, Mr. Ragen came to Okanogan county and located his present place and since that time has given his attention to raising stock and to general farming. He now owns the old family home of his parents in Kane county, Illinois.
On May 28, 1900, Mr. Ragen married Miss May, daughter of Peter and Margaret (Tardiff) Deschamp, and a native of Portage. Wisconsin. Mrs. Ragen's parents were natives of Canada and are now dwelling in Lewiston, Idaho. They are the parents of five children, named as follows : William, Mrs. Ragen, Charles E., Mrs. Elizabeth Pixley, Emeda.
Mrs. Ragen was liberally educated, and then located a hamestead (homestead) near Nezperce, Idaho, upon which she later proved up. She was also saleslady at Nezperce and at North Yakima, Washington. [Source: "An illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington" Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 - Tr. by Helen Coughlin]
DENNEY, George Walter, newspaper editor; born Aurora IL, July 19, 1870; English descent; son of Thomas and Mary (Fowler) Denney; educated Aurora High School, and University of Mich.; graduated from Aurora High School in 1886; married Jane Franklin Hommel Oct. 3, 1899; member of Knoxville Lodge Knights of Pythias, Phi Kappa Psi; came to Tenn. in 1890, and has since been identified with the Knoxville Journal and the Journal and Tribune; now Managing Editor of Journal and Tribune. [Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler]
BURNHAM, Guy M.
GUY M. BURNHAM, editor of the Ashland Press, and one of the most capable and progressive journalists in Northern Wisconsin, is a scion of one of those old New England families whose posterity and influence may be found in almost every part of the United States. His first ancestor on this continent was Deacon John Burnham, who came from England on the good ship "Angel Gabriel," being a fellow passenger with Richard Mather, one of the progenitors of the famous magistrate, Cotton Mather. The vessel was wrecked off the coast of Maine, but most of the passengers were saved. Deacon John Burnham settled at Essex, Mass., where he became a useful and influential citizen. He served in the Pequot war, and a number of his descendants participated in the Revolution and other Colonial wars. Members of the Burnham family intermarried with the Choate and Andrews families, and their posterity became scattered throughout New England, and later branches of the family located at different points in the Mississippi Valley and other portions of the West. Most of the inhabitants of the village of Essex still trace their lineage to Deacon John Burnham.
Guy M. Burnham was born at Aurora, Ill., March 21, 1860, son of Julius C. and Julia A. (Baird) Burnham, the latter now a resident of Laporte City, Iowa. Julius C. Burnham was a native of Vermont, and a grandson of Josiah Burnham, one of the Revolutionary veterans. Julius C. Burnham removed to Illinois at an early age, and became a wholesale dealer in boots and shoes at Aurora. In 1849 he made an overland trip to California, and spent several years in that State, bringing home some specimens of gold which are still in the possession of his son, Guy M. His later life was passed at Laporte City, Iowa, where his death occurred in 1885, when he was aged sixty years.
At the age of eighteen years Guy M. Burnham went to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he attended the State Normal School. He taught at intervals in that State and in Minnesota, and graduated at the State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, in 1883, with the degree of B. S. In 1889 he went to Chicago and taught short hand in a business college, also doing more or less short hand work for the Inter Ocean and other newspapers. Since 1891 he has been connected with the Ashland Press, having had the chief editorial management of that journal for several years past. The paper was established as a weekly by Sam S. Fifield, in 1872. In 1887 the Daily Press was established by Joe M. Chappel, now editor of the National Magazine, published at Boston. From the start the Press has been one of the most popular and influential newspapers in the Upper Lake region and its reputation is well sustained under its present management. Mr. Burnham has also contributed a number of articles to the National Magazine, including a very interesting paper on the "Montana Feud," published in 1900. He has always exerted a marked influence in public affairs, and has been chairman of the Republican County Committee since 1897. For about the same period he has served as deputy United States collector of customs for the port of Ashland. In 1886 Guy M. Burnham was married to Luella George of Iowa Falls, Iowa. They have one child, Luellin Guy, born August 26, 1902. Mr. and Mrs. Burnham are connected with the Methodist Church, and with the Vaughn Choral Club, an organization of considerable local renown, of which Mr. Burnham has been director for a number of years past. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic Order, in which he is worshipful master; the Knights of Pythias; and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. [Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region, By J. H. Beers & Co (1905) pages 288-289; submitted by FoFG mz]
Of Coloma Township Whiteside County, IL
Ira Sillaman was born in Pennsylvania; married Miss Melissa Brooks in Ohio, and settled in Coloma in 1838. He was a wholehearted man, and esteemed by all old and modern settlers alike. At the time of their deaths, he and his wife resided in Como. Children: Homer, Rothmer, and Luna. Homer died of disease contracted in the army. Rothmer married a daughter of Mr. Numan's of Genesee Grove, and resides in Nebraska. Luna is married and lives in Wisconsin. W. W. Hawkins married Miss Sillamans sister, went to California and was with Daniel Brooks when he died. He now, with his family, resides in Aurora, Illinois. ["History of Whiteside County IL"; Bent & Wilson; 1877; Transcribed by C. Walters]
Residence of Humphrey Gardner - Wayland MI
This gentleman was born in Attica, Genesee (now Wyoming) Co., N. Y., Dec. 27, 1818. His ancestors came from England and settled at Brimfield, Mass., very early in colonial days. His father, Daniel Gardner, removed from Brimfield to Attica soon after the close of the war of 1812, and became one of the pioneers of the latter region. Here he married Miss Lorena Ensign for his second wife, and Humphrey was the second child born of this marriage. The early days of young Gardner's life, passed upon his father's farm, were uneventful, and marked by no epoch varying them from those of his associates in old Genesee. His educational advantages were limited to such as could be obtained by attending the district schools in his neighborhood in winter.
In 1837, at the age of nineteen years, in pursuance of a cherished desire to become a citizen of the great West, he proceeded by the usual routes and conveyances then in vogue to Kane Co., IL., Blackberry township, where he pre-empted an eighty-acre lot. There were very few people then in a county which is now one of the most prosperous and populous in the State of Illinois. Its inhabitants were all known by him. He remained in Kane County, following various occupations, until 1846, when he came to Wayland and purchased of the general government forty acres, situated on section 22, and from the latter date he has been prominently identified with the history of this township. To his original purchase additions have been made until he now owns four hundred and ninety acres in one body. In 1844 he married Miss Mary Brown. Two children were born to them, viz.: Florence, Aug. 16, 1845, and Loren, Sept. 9, 1847, died March 30, 1871. His wife died Feb. 3, 1865. He subsequently married Sylvia, the sister of his first wife. This marriage has resulted in the birth of three children, viz.: Olive, Oct. 27, 1867; Humphrey, Feb. 8, 1872; and Clay, Aug. 27, 1876.
Mr. Gardner's first vote was cast for Gen. Harrison in 1840, and he continued a member of the Whig party until its disbandment. Upon the organization of the Republican party he joined its fortunes, and remains a steadfast member of the same to the present lime. Socially he is held in high and deserved esteem. A quiet, unostentatious demeanor, coupled with great integrity, has gradually but surely placed him in the proud position he now occupies in the hearts of his friends.
As showing the estimation in which he is held by his townsmen at large, we need but add that he has held the office of township treasurer twenty-one consecutive years. ["History of Allegan and Barry counties, Michigan", 1880; Transcribed by C. Walters]
SMITH, O. B.
SMITH, O. B., lumberman, Merrill, (Wis.) was born in Erie, Pa., Sept. 10, 1823. He first settled at Trapp River, in 1844. He lived there but a short time, then went to Wausau, and made that his headquarters until 1853, dealing in lumber and logs. Then he located at Merrill permanently, and has since followed his present business. He was married at Kanesville, Ill., in 1856, to Sophronia RAVLIN, who was born in Clymer, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., Nov. 22, 1832. They have five children - Katie, Frank and Fred (who were twins), Dora and Charles. [Source: History of Northern Wisconsin, Western Historical Company (1881) Submitted to G.T. by Mary Saggio]
Of Morrison (Whiteside County, IL)
Jacob Feldman, one of the native sons of Morrison, born in 1859, passed away April 3, 1891. His father, Jacob Feldman Sr., a native of Germany, died in March, 1895, at the age of seventy-two years. He came to Morrison in the ‘50s and for many years was actively identified with its business interests as proprietor of a restaurant. In his later years he lived retired, enjoying well-earned rest from the active cares of business. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran church and in his fraternal relations he was an Odd Fellow. At the time of the Civil war he was drafted for military service, but did not go to the front on account of physical disability, which incapacitated hm for active field duty. His political allegiance was given to the republican party. In early manhood he married Christina Swartz, who was born in Germany and survived her husband for a number of years, passing away in 1904, at the age of seventy-five. She, too, was a member of the Lutheran church and a lady of many estimable traits of character. The family numbered but two children and the younger died in infancy.
Jacob Feldman, reared in his native city, pursued his early education in the schools of Morrison and afterward attended a German school at West Chicago. On putting aside his text-books he entered his father’s restaurant and was associated with him in business until his death. He had a wide acquintance in the city where his entire life was passed and where his many good qualities won for him favorable regard and popularity. In business he was energetic and throughly reliable and was therefore regarded as a worthy representative of the commercial interests of Morrison.
In 1882, Mr. Feldman was married to Miss Carrie Schoch, who was born in Geneva, Kane county, Illinois, in 1860, a daughter of Christian and Magdalena Schoch, the former a farmer by occupation. Both died during the infancy of their daughter, who was adopted by her uncle, Martin Schoch. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Feldman were born four children: Florence, who was born in 1884 and died in infancy; Alonzo J., who was born in 1886 and is a stenographer in Chicago; Elsie, born in 1888 and now at home; and Ella May, born in 1890 and a student in the public schools.
Mr. Feldman owned a fine home and business block in Morrison in addition to his restaurant interests. Fraternally he was well known, being affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows and the Masons. He attained the Knight Templar degree in the latter and the funeral services were conducted by the commandery of Sterling. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the German Lutheran church while his wife is a member of the Presbyterian church. The fact that many of his stanchest friends were those who knew him from his boyhood, indicated that his life was honorable and upright and that he justly merited the confindence and good will of those with whom he was associated. His death was the occassion of deep regret, not only to his family but to many of Morrison’s residents who had learned to esteem and honor him. [Contributed by Amy Anderson from the History of Whiteside County]
EARLY, WILLIAM A.
William A. Early, farmer, section 11, Montmorency Township, (Whiteside County, IL) is a son of Charles H. and Elicia (McKinney) Early, natives of New York and Canada respectively. They were residents of York State at the date of their death, that of the father occurring in the spring of 1863, and that of the mother in December, 1860. The issue of their union comprised seven children: Jane, Wiliam A., Margaret, Mary, Margie, Elicia and Charles H.
William A. Early, subject of this biographical notice, was born in Columbia Co., N. Y., Nov 18, 1832. He lived on the home farm, alternating his labors thereon by attendance at the common schools, until he attained the age of 21 years. On reaching that age he came to Kane County, this State, and resided one winter in Elgin. In the spring of 1854 Mr. Early came to this county, and for four years he was engaged in the livery business and teaming at Sterling. He then purchased 40 acres of land situated on section 11, Montmorency Township, upon which he erected good buildings, and entered actively and vigorously upon the cultivation of his land. He now owns 160 acres, 120 of which is tillable. He keeps about 40 head of cattle, 6 head of horses, and fattens some 50 head of hogs annually.
Mr. Early was united in marriage, in Geneva, Kane County, this State, Jan. 10, 1861, to Miss Susan A., daughter of Abraham and Susan (Dolph) Dunham, natives of Connecticut and New York, respectively. They settled in Kane County, this State, where they both died, inside of one week, in March, 1861. Their family comprised nine children, -- Edward, Harriet, Elizabeth, Sophia, Susan A, Fletcher D., Edward E., Charles and Martha.
Susan A. (Mrs. Early) was born in Stueben Co., N. Y., Nov. 18, 1835, and has born to Mr. Early eight children, -- Albert W., Emma J., Eva M., Hattie A., George W., Frank A., Mary E. and Charles F.
Mr. Early has held many offices of trust, and in politics is a Republican. Socially, he has been a member of the I. O. O. F. ever since he attained his majority. [Contributed by Marji Turner, Whiteside County History 1880 Pg 351]
William DEREG, Sheriff Lincoln County. Came to Merrill in the Fall of 1870, and worked in the pine woods and lumbering. He was also engaged working on the Wisconsin River, driving logs and running the river, which business he followed about six years; then he began the lumber business for himself, which he followed four years until the Fall of 1880, at which time he was elected Sheriff of Lincoln County. He was born in New Brunswick, May 22, 1857, and spent his school days in Blackberry, Kane County, Ill. [Source: History of Northern Wisconsin, Western Historical Company (1881) Submitted to G.T. by Mary Saggio]
WHITE, FRANK C.
The subject of this sketch, is a native of Illinois, born at Geneva, ILL., June 6, 1865, and was educated in the public schools. When only eighteen years of age he engaged to work for the Geneva Grape Sugar Co., and has made rapid progress in his profession, being promoted from a subordinate position to that of superintendent of one of the most important manufacturing sugar works in the world, during his twenty years of service. He started with the Geneva Grape Sugar Co. in 1883, and remained with that company five years during which time he was promoted to the position of night superintendent. In 1888 he accepted the position of assistant superintendent of the Peoria Grape Sugar Co., of Peoria, ILL., where he remained four years. After this he held the position of superintendent of the Firmenich Mfg. Co.'s works at Marshalltown, Iowa, the American Glucose Co.'s works at Buffalo, N. Y., and Peoria, ILL. In 1897 he accepted the position of assistant superintendent of the Chicago Sugar Refining Co.'s plant at Chicago, Ill., and in 1899 became superintendent of the same plant holding that position until he was transferred to the Rockford plant in Sept. 1902. Mr. White is a member of the Masonic Order being a member of Geneva Lodge No. 139 A.F. & A.M., Fox River Chapter No. 14 R.A.M., Aurora Commandry No. 22 K. T., Peoria Consistory 32nd degree S.P.R.S. In 1890 he was married to Hannah F. Prandy of Pontiac, ILL. He has two sons, Amasa L. White and Earl C. White. ["ROCKFORD TODAY" Historical, Descriptive, Biographical; pub. by The Rockford Morning Star; The Clark Company Press 1903; transcribed by Mark Seeberg]
CONNER, ERNEST E.
Chairman of the township of Baldwin, was born in Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, January 5, 1870, son of Edward and Lucy [Freeborn] Conner, natives of Steuben County, New York, who located in Kane County, Ill. in 1864. In that county they engaged in dairying until 1871, when they came to this locality and purchased 120 acres in Eau Galle township, which they broke and improved, erecting a house and outbuildings and carrying on a general farming business until 1891, making a specialty of keeping bees and sheep. Selling out to their son, they moved to Woodville, this township, where the father worked on the railroad one year for D. M. Sabin. He then moved to Hammond, this state, and engaged in the lumber business very successfully for some years. He died in July 1899, his wife passed away at Woodville, November 1, 1895. Ernest E. received his education in the public schools of Eau Galle and Baldwin and at the River Falls normal school. He then farmed with his father until 1891, when he bought the homestead at Eau Galle and continued until 1898, when he purchased the F. L. Wilford farm at Baldwin. The farm consists of 110 acres, and under Mr. Conner's ownership has been beautified and improved. Among other additions, he has erected a new barn. Upon this farm he has successfully carried on a general farming industry, raising good crops and breeding blooded stock, hogs, fowls, and horses. Mr. Conner was married December 21, 1891, to Jessie, the daughter of E. H. and Minnie [Keltz] Wilford, of Baldwin, Wis. He parents went to Kansas many years ago, and in 1881 came to Baldwin, where the father engaged in the meat business until 1906, when he sold out to his brother. He is now supervisor of assessment of St. Croix County, still making his headquarters in Baldwin. Mr. and Mrs. Conner have 3 children: Cora, born February 1, 1893; Clifford, born December 20, 1894, and Forrest, born April 12, 1901. The subject of this sketch was for 4 years side supervisor of the town board of Eau Galle during his residence in that township. He has been on the side board of Baldwin, and is now chairman of the town board, having ably served for 2 years. He is also clerk of school district No. 4, having served for a number of years. He is a Republican in politics, attends the Methodist Episcopal church and affiliates with the Baldwin camp, No. 3039, Modern Woodmen of America. He is a man of sincere convictions and untiring energy, and whether working for the township or for himself he uses the best business ability and judgement, and has been successful in township affairs as he has been in running his own farm. He is a thorough reader and keeps well informed on all the current topics. ["History of the St. Croix Valley", Vol. II" written in 1909 by Easton]
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