Knox County Illinois
A town is a political, a township a physical, division. They are often confounded, and in deference to popular custom townships have been, in some instances, referred to as towns in this history. Townships are squares of land, each containing thirty-six sections, laid off by United States surveyors for convenience in describing land. So far as this governmental survey is concerned, they have no names, and are designated only by their distance from principal meridians and base lines. Towns, on the contrary, have come to us from the political system of New England. They are units of government. Whenever a county adopts township (really town) organization three commissioners are appointed to lay out the towns. Then the voters in each town meet and choose a town name. Therefore, in naming their towns the voters simply named the townships in which they lived. Thus Indian Point town exactly coincides with Township 9 North, Range 1 East. Yet it is absolutely incorrect ever to speak of Indian Point township, or of town 9 North, Range 1 East.
Knox County contains twenty townships, and for some years had the same number of towns. But, owing to the division of Galesburg into the town and city of that name, it now has twenty-one.
Rio Township History [pages 795 -796]
by E. H. Goldsmith
This portion of Knox County is situated in the extreme northwest corner, the greater part of it consisting of good farming land, being well drained by Pope Creek, which flows through the northern tier of sections, and various branches of Henderson River. About one-fourth of the township was originally composed of timbered land, that bordering on Pope Creek being rather poor in quality, while, on the contrary, the timber along the Henderson River was excellent. Coal has been mined to a limited extent in this locality. Stock-raising was formerly the principal agricultural pursuit, but of late years that industry has been superseded by the raising of grain, there being at present 19,800 acres of improved land, much of which has been increased in value by tilling.
From all available records it would appear that Joseph Rowe was the first white man to settle in the township; his arrival being closely followed by Reece Jones and Joseph Halliday, while John Cresswell came to Section 27 in 1832. A stockade, the erection of which was made necessary by the Black Hawk War, was, in honor of Mrs. Cresswell, called “Fort Aggie”. John R. Woolley located a claim here in 1832, and Samuel Brown arrived in 1834. The latter states that very little land was under cultivation at that time. The following pioneers settled in the township in 1836: Isaac M. Wetmore; John F. Wikoff, who journeyed from Ohio on horseback and erected a cabin in the woods west of the present homestead; George W. Weir; Elsia Robertson, who once saw a drove of more than fifty deer in this vicinity; Larkin Robertson; Nelson and Lewis Coe; Samuel Melton; and P. W. Epperson. Luther Fitch came in 1840, Eber Moor and John L. Bloomfield arrived in 1845, and the Maxwell family were also early settlers. John B. Edar first located in Knox County in 1832, removing to Rio in 1867. Alexander Heflin was born in Rio, and Mrs. Heflin’s grandfather, John McMurtry, participated in the Black Hawk War. Among the pioneer business men were the Robinson brothers, who were engaged extensively in cattle-raising. Their sales averaged $400,000 annually for seven years.
April 5, 1835, witnessed the birth in the township of the first white child, Thomas Marion Goff. On December 29, 1836, was celebrated the first marriage, that of Allen S. Brown and Mary (Polly) McMurtry, the latter of whom still survives. The first death was that of Mrs. Mary Williamson McMurtry.
This part of Knox County was at one time called North Prairie, but when the citizens met on January 14, 1850, to name the township, Rio Grande was on every tongue—the Mexican War having just come to a successful termination—and the first part of that name was suggested as being appropriate to this region, more particularly so by reason of the numerous streams with which it abounds. The meeting, however, adjourned, leaving the question to be decided by the county officials, and they, at the solicitation of Lewis Coe, determined on Rio as their choice.
The first town election was held April 5, 1853, one hundred and four votes being cast for the following successful candidates: Reuben Heflin, Supervisor; Paul Hahn, Clerk; Lewis Goff, Assessor; Daniel Robertson, Collector; Josephus Hahn, Overseer of the Poor; Larkin Robertson, Justice of the Peace; W. D. Epperson, Constable; Samuel Brown, John Gibson, and T. J. Jones, Highway Commissioners.
The first school in the township was taught by Mrs. Cresswell, at her home. There are now nine school districts, comprising one graded and eight un-graded schools, each of them having a library. Of the former Miss Mary E. Maley is principal, and Miss Mary A. Hurst assistant, the enrolment numbering fifty pupils. The nine frame buildings devoted to educational purposes are valued at $5,560, and the libraries at $287. Of three hundred and fifty-nine persons under twenty-one years of age, one hundred and eighty-seven attend the public schools.
Rio Village was platted in 1871 by William Robinson, and was first called Coburg, in honor of the Coe brothers. The pioneer store was built and conducted by Messrs. Schroeder and Owens. The post office was originally called North Prairie, Nelson Coe being the first postmaster. The present incumbent of that position is Frederick A. Landon, a very efficient and courteous official. The business interests of the village are in the hands of competent and energetic merchants. H. F. Schroeder and Company have a fine line of dry goods and groceries, while Sexton and Landon have been in the same business for about five years. Labar and Junk supply the people with hardware and furniture; S. S. Bair conducts a grocery and notion store; James G. T. Mansfield deals in lumber and hardware; C. F. Peters carries on a restaurant; Mead and Mead, a meat market; and the Misses Junk and Fisher a millinery establishment. The Rio Hotel is under the management of J. Van Arsdale; David Eiken is the village smith, and also keeps a wagon shop; and the elevator, which does an extensive business, is operated by Fraser and Graham.
Fraternally, Rio Township is well represented. Blue Lodge, No. 685, A. F. and A.M., was chartered October 1, 1872 by D. C. Cregier, G. M.; O. N. Miner, Secretary; Robert Deatherage, Master; Alexander Heflin, S. W.; William Hair, J.W.; and the following charter members: Joshua Bruner, M. Conley, F. A. Landon, Robert Robson, W. D. Wright, J. B. Edgar, D. Robertson, C. I. Epperson, G. M. Wetmore, J. Shankholtzer, R. Allgeyer, and M. S. Shepherd. The present officers are: M. Dickerson, Master; Dr. J. N. Cox, S.W.; D. L. Rowe, J. W. There are sixty-eight members.
Horeb Chapter, No. 4, A. F. and A.M., was organized October 14, 1850, with these officers: G. C. Lanphere, High Priest; E. S. Cooper, King; J. M. Witt, Scribe. The charter was issued by W. B. Warren and J. E. Anderson. The present officers are: L. J. Smith, High Priest; Frank Campbell, King; N. Moody, Scribe. The membership numbers one hundred.
The Rio Lodge I.O.O. F. has twenty-five members and occupies its own hall. The first officers were: L. S. Whitcomb, N. G.; H. E. Whipple, V. G.; William Van Tassell, Secretary; J. C. McMurtry, Treasurer. The officers now serving are: D. Deatherage, N. G.; S. Lovis, V. G.; G. A. Wier, Secretary; A. Larson, Treasurer.
Rio Camp, Modern Woodmen, holds its meetings in Odd Fellows Hall. The charter members numbered sixteen and the initial officers were: E. H. Schrieber, V. C.; C. F. Peterson, C.; B. G. Peterson, B; J. C. Egan, W. A. The present officers are: E. J. Tye, V. C.; C. F. Peterson, C.; J. W. Epperson, B.; Monie Almgren, W. A. The Camp now has twenty-five members.
Chapter No. 313, O. E. S., was organized August 2, 1895, with twenty-one members and these officers: Lizzie Schreiber, W. M.; J. P. son (sic), Secretary; Josephine Smith, Treasurer. The present officers are: Mary McMurtry, W. M.; Adam Littlefield, W. P.; Josephine Smith, A. M.; Lois Epperson, Secretary; Ella Bair, Treasurer. There are now fifty-two members, who meet in the Masonic Hall.
The Home Forum has a flourishing Camp in Rio.
Biographies for Rio Township
Adams, Wilson R. | Brown, Fred Smith | Brown, Jacob Edward | Conrad, Carl | Coziahr, Wilson | Edgar, Arthur J. |Hall, Ira R. | Melton, Frank A. | May, Samuel Wells | Moor, Angus | Olson, Charles W. | Stafford, Samuel | Weech, John| White, Willard Justin | Wikoff, Winn Conger | Woolley, David E.
Wilson R. Adams
Farmer; Rio Township; born in Indiana, September 22, 1834; educated in Illinois; his parents were James and Sarah (Miller) Adams, of North Carolina. He was married to Sarelda J. Rusk in Knox County, March 6, 1856. Their children are: Rosa G., Henry M., Ida R., Eddie A., E. Otis, Sarah A., and Clyde W. Theron died in infancy. Mr. Adams is a member of the Methodist Church. In politics, he is a democrat. He has held the office of Road Commissioner.
Fred Smith Brown
Brown, Fred Smith, Farmer; Rio Township; born Feb. 6, 1869, in Chicago, IL. His parents were Thomas Brown Jr. of London, England and Emily (Ware) Brown of Williamstown, Vermont. His grandparents were Thomas Brown of Kendal, England, and Priscilla (Smith) Brown of Maidenhead, England; his maternal grandparents were Horace Ware of Pormfret, CT. and Persis (Chase) Ware of Cornish, N.H. His great grandparents were Frederic Ware of Westfield, CT, and Jermina (Manning) Ware of Woodstock, CT.
Mr. Brown was married to Anna D. Robson at Rio, Knox Co. IL., Nov. 5, 1895. They have one child, Grace. Mr. Brown is a member of the Congregational Church.
Jacob Edward Brown
Brown, Jacob Edward, Teacher and farmer: Rio Township, where he was born July 12, 1851; educated in Galesburg. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Miller) Brown, of Montgomery County, IN. His paternal grandparents were Samuel Brown of Kentucky and Jane (Bell) Brown of New Jersey; his maternal grandparents were Abraham Miller of Tennessee and Mary (Little) Miller.
Mr. Brown was married to Elizabeth M. Oakes in Story Co, IA., March 14, 1877. They have five children: Athol, Talent, Elizabeth, Jennie, and Edna. In politics Mr. Brown is a democrat. He is a member of the Universalist Church.
Conrad, Carl, Farmer; Rio Township; born Mar 15, 1848, in Brengetosta, Sweden. His parents were Carl John and Anna Louisa (Elstedt) Holt of Sweden; his paternal grandfather was Peter Elstedt.
Mr. Conrad married Charlotte Granberg, Feb. 22, 1872, in Woodhull. Nine children have been born to them: Alfred Benjamin, David Amanuel, Gilbert Henry, Amanda Wilhelmina, Emily Augusta, Rose Eilinda, Christian Lenne, Clara Sophia, and Anna Charlotte. Clara S. died Nov. 28, 1877 and Anna C. died Dec. 14, 1877.
Mr. Conrad is a republican. He is a member of the Lutheran Church.
Coziahr, Wilson, Farmer; Rio Township; born July 9, 1846, Ontario Township, Knox Co, IL.; educated in the common schools. His parents were Ludwick and Christian (Brown) Coziahr; his paternal grandparents were William and Susanna (George) Coziahr, and his maternal grandparents were Joe and Lydia (Harmous) Brown, of North Carolina; his great-grandfathers were Ludwick Coziahr and Abel Brown.
Mr. Wilson Coziahr was married to Emma Bowers in Ontario Township, Oct. 2, 1873. There were ten children, five sons and five daughters; one son is deceased.
Mr. Ludwick Coziahr came with his wife and three children to Illinois in 1841, and settled in Henderson Township, then removed to Ontario Township, and later to Rio Township, where Mrs. Coziahr died April 15, 1899, at the age of 81 years.
Mr. Wilson Coziahr is a Protestant. In politics, he is a democrat, and has served for a time as Road Commissioner.
Arthur J. Edgar
Edgar, Arthur J.; Farmer; Rio Township; born in Walnut Grove Township, Knox County, Il, March 14, 1866; educated in Rio Township. His parents were James B. Edgar of Sangamon County, Illinois, and Lucinda Kennedy Edgar of Knoxville, Illinois. His paternal grandparents, Samuel and Mary LeFever Edgar, were natives of Kentucky; his maternal grandparents, Andrew and Mary Sheldon Kennedy were born in New York . In religion he is a Protestant. He is a democrat. Mr. Edgar is a School Director and Collector.
Ira R. Hall
Hall, Ira R., Farmer; Rio Township; born Nov. 18, 1829 at Java, Wyoming Co, NY; educated at the seminary in Arcade, NY. He is a member of the Congregational Church.
He was married to Mrs. Cynthia Ann Lyon at Rio, IL., Nov. 5, 1894.
He enlisted in the War of the Rebellion for three years, Company A, Seventy-Seventh Illinois Volunteers, being mustered in Sept. 2, 1862.
In politics he is a republican.
Frank A. Melton
Melton, Frank A., Farmer; Rio Township; born April 20, 1875, in Rio, Illinois; educated in Rio, Wataga, and Galesburg. His parents were W. J. Melton, born in Ontario Township, Knox County, and Mary (Knox) Melton, born in Connecticut; his grandfather was George W. Melton.
He was married to Alice N. Coziahr, at Rio, Oct. 20, 1897. Mr. Melton is in religion a Protestant. In politics he is a democrat.
Samuel Wells May
May, Samuel Wells, Farmer and manufacturer; Rio Township; born March 20, 1838 in New York; educated in Knox College. His parents were Harvey Henry and Delia Duane (Ray) May of Washington Co, NY; his grandparents were Ellis Nathaniel and Mary (Wells) May of NY.
Mr. May was married to Elizabeth Hanan, in Fayette Co, PA, Nov. 27, 1870.
Mr. May has held the office of Supervisor. He is an independent in politics. In religion he is a Presbyterian.
Moor, Angus, Farmer; Rio Township; born in Anson, Maine, Feb. 8, 1835. His parents, Eber S. and Lydia T. (Daggett) Moor, were natives of Maine; his paternal grandparents were John and Susan Moor; his maternal grandparents were George and Mary Daggett.
Mr. Moor came to Knox County with his parents in 1844 and received his education here. In 1859, he crossed the plains, and for seven years mined in California, Idaho, and Montana, returning in 1866. On the journey he came in a row boat down the Missouri River and from Fort Benson to St. Joseph’s. After his father’s death in 1879, Mr. Moor purchased the home farm where he still resides.
Dec. 23, 1882, Mr. Moor was married at Galesburg to Lydia F. Daggett Stevens, who was born in Atkinson, Piscataqua Co, Maine, June 17, 1844. Mrs. Moor has, by an earlier marriage, six children: Conrad, Jessie, George, Howard, Harry, and J. Fred. Mr. and Mrs. Moor have one son, Don A. Mr. Moor is a republican.
Charles W. Olson
Olson, Charles W., Carpenter and farmer; Rio Township; born Dec. 23, 1846 in Molmohus Land, Sweden; educated at Hersef Soken, Sweden; his parents were Ola and Elsie (Anderson) Person of Sweden.
Mr. Olson was married March 1, 1884, to Emma Christine Selberg, in Woodhull, IL. They have eight children: Emil Gotfred, Hattie Melinda, Carl Harmon, Minnie Alvera, Esther Madena, Hilma Clarence, Hartwick Albin, and Walter William.
Mr. Olson is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is a republican.
Stafford, Samuel, Farmer; Rio Township; born in 1837 in Ireland; his ancestors were from England and Ireland; his paternal grandfather lived to the age of one hundred and nine years.
Mr. Stafford was married to Lucinda Melton in Oneida, IL., in 1867. They have one son living, Guy M.
Mr. Stafford came to America in 1857, enlisted in the United States Army, and served four years and seven months. In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican.
Weech, John, Farmer; Rio Township; born Aug. 1, 1856, in Somersetshire, England; educated in Oneida, Illinois. His parents, Joseph and Martha (White) Weech, came from England.
He was married to Mary Wooley at Galesburg, Jan. 20, 1883. Their children are: Richard B., Mary Luella, deceased, Inez Ann, John Glenn, and Walter S.
Mr. Weech’s parents, with their five boys and five girls, came to Knox County in 1858. After living in Walnut Grove Township for eight years, they bought a farm of 80 acres, to which they later added 120 more. They were thrifty people. The father died at the age of 58 years; the mother died at the age of 67.
John Weech worked on the home farm till he was 26 years old, when he married and settled on a farm in Adams County, Iowa. After living in Iowa for five years, he returned in 1884 to Knox County, and bought his present farm of 260 acres; he also owns 320 acres in Boone County, Nebraska.
Mr. Weech is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a republican, and has been School Director. Mr. Weech is a successful farmer.
Willard Justin White
White, Willard Justin, Rio; Physician; born April 19, 1872 in Wallingford, Vermont. He is the son of Dr. N. White, who was for seventeen years President of Lombard University, Galesburg, IL. His mother, Inez (Ling), daughter of Lorenzo Ling, was born in Portland, Maine. Both parents are descendants of the Pilgrims.
Doctor White first attended the public schools of Galesburg; at twelve years of age he entered the preparatory department of Lombard University, and at the age of nineteen, graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 1891. Three years later he received the degree of Master of Arts. After graduating, he taught school for two years, then entered the office of Dr. Judd, and in the fall of 1893 entered Barnes Medical College, St. Louis, Missouri, where, in 1895, he received Junior first honors in the form of a gold medal; he was also the recipient of two special prizes. In 1896 he located at Rio, Illinois. In religion Dr. White is a Universalist. He is a republican.
Winn Conger Wikoff
Wikoff, Winn Conger, Farmer; Rio Township; born in Oneida, Illinois, June 29, 1875. His father, Fred Z. Wikoff, was a native of Rio Township; his mother, Ida (Conger) Wikoff, was born in Galesburg. His paternal grandparents were John F. Wikoff, a native of New Jersey, and Cornelia (Crane) Wikoff, a native of New York; his maternal grandparents were J. Newton and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Conger.
Mr. Wikoff graduated at Brown’s Business College, Galesburg.
He was married Feb. 22, 1898 to Carrie D. Wetmore, of Ontario.
Mr. Wikoff is a republican.
David E. Woolley
Woolley, David E., Farmer; Rio Township; born near Ontario Oct. 3, 1854; educated in the common schools. His parents were John R. Woolley of Crawford County, Indiana, and Elizabeth S. (King) Woolley of Kentucky; his grandparents were Richard B. and Nancy (Hughes) Woolley.
He was married to Maribah I. Means, Oct. 20, 1878. They have four children: Arthur P., Clarence O., Eva May, and Rollo Ray.
Mr. Woolley is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican.
Ontario Township [pages 799 - 802]
by A. D. Metcalf
Lying in the northern tier of townships in Knox County, Ontario, stretches out, a broad expanse of almost unbroken prairie. There are few streams and the only hill is Pilot Knob. This rises to a considerable elevation above the surrounding country, and probably received its name from the circumstance that it can be seen for a distance of several miles. A grove of about eighty acres nearly covers it, and is the only growth of natural timber found in the township. Notwithstanding the fact that it lies some two miles to the south of the "Galena Trail," the number of arrow heads found in the vicinity has given rise to the belief that this hill was once a favorite camping ground for the Indians.
The first settler was Alexander "Williams, who broke and fenced in twenty acres of land on the northwest quarter of Section 30, in 1833. This property was subsequently purchased by I. M. Wetmore. In 1833, also came George W. Melton, who took up his home on Section 31, living on the same farm for nearly sixty years, and dying there in 1891. Three years after his arrival he married, and his daughter, Elizabeth-now Mrs. Ralph Voris-was the first white child born in the township. Other early settlers were the families of the Wetmores, Cranes, Chapmans, Camps, Hollisters, Savages, Moshers, and Powells, most of whom had emigrated from Oneida County, New York.
Rude as were their surroundings, these pioneers did not lose sight of the paramount importance of education for their children, and as early as 1839 the first school house was built. It was known as the "Camp school-house," and was located on the northwest quarter of Section 32. Its first teacher was Sally Ann Belden, of Center Point, and among the earliest pupils and teachers were Louis Burt, James Hammond and Harvey Powell, with the lady who is now Mr. Powell's wife. The building was also utilized for the holding of religious services, Rev. S. G. Wright usually officiating. A Sunday school was also taught here, being first organized in the Spring of 1841 and Ward K. Hammond being its first Superintendent.
Prior to 1840, the people depended upon Knoxville for both the receipt and sending of mail matter. In that year the first postoffice in Ontario township was opened, with Edward Hollister as postmaster.
Trading facilities in those early days were decidedly poor. Farmers hauled their grain to Peoria by wagon, and frequently drove their live stock to Chicago on the hoof. A general store was opened in the southeast quarter of Section 30 about 1840; and in 1845, I. M. Wetmore opened a store for the sale of dry goods only on the same section, driving to New York the year before and bringing back his stock by teams. The building in which Mr. Wetmore conducted his business is still standing, on the farm of Norman Fay. Another general store was opened about 1853, by Miles and St John. Its original location was at the point known as Ontario Corners, but in the Autumn of the following year the firm removed to Oneida. Their first store building is now owned by L. B. Shedd.
A noteworthy occurrence in the township's early history was a violent disturbance of the elements, which is still well remembered by many of the older citizens as "the great storm of June 5, 1844." Nearly every house was unroofed, and it is said that on the farm of T. E. P. Wetmore only two fence posts were left standing, while throughout the entire region the loose soil which had been turned over by the plowshare was sent swirling through the air in eddying, blinding clouds. One eyewitness, Ezra Chapman, describes the storm's general appearance as resembling a wheel, about one hundred feet in diameter, rapidly rotating and advancing at the same time.
Township organization was effected April 3, 1853, at a meeting where I. M. Wetmore was Moderator and W. J. Savage, Clerk. Previous to that time Ontario had been associated with Rio as a voting precinct The first election resulted in the choice of Edward Crane as Supervisor; E. P. Brott, Collector; W. J. Savage, Clerk; John Burt, Assessor; T. E. P. Wetmore, Overseer of the Poor; G. W. Melton, James Hammond and John Powell, Commissioners of Highways; J. W. Crane and E. C. Brott, Constables; Ezra Chapman and S. E. Mosher, Justices of the Peace. The first officer to dispense justice in a minor court had been Royal Hammond. The name "Ontario" was selected in memory of the lake near whose bosom many of the early settlers had had their home in childhood and youth.
The present officers are: G. L. Stevenson, Supervisor; L. W. Ewing, Clerk; L. E. Olson, Assessor; C. E. Bennett, Collector; G. E. Fredricks, John M. Peterson and C. B. Wetmore, Commissioners of Highways.
It is a fact worth mentioning that the roads of this township, with one exception, are all on the section lines.
Reference has already been made to the anxiety of the settlers to establish schools. They were no less ready to make sacrifices for the advancement of religion. The first church organization to be formed was that of the Presbyterians, in 1840, but this is now extinct. A Congregational Church was founded August 12, 1848, with seventeen members, the first pastor being Rev. D. Todd. A building was erected, and dedicated (November 4) in 1851. The congregation also owns a comfortable parsonage. Rev. Charles Slater is the present pastor. In 1851, a "Union" church edifice was erected, which, three years later, passed into the hands of the Baptists, who still control it. Rev. R. M. Wilbur was the first, and Rev. William H. Dickman is the present, pastor. In 1866i the Christian denomination built a church edifice in Section 2, at a cost of two thousand dollars. This was thirteen years after the organization of the society, by Samuel Croy. A parsonage is situated conveniently to the church, and the minister in charge of the fold is Rev. G. A. Brown. Some detailed reference to the churches in Oneida will be found in the paragraphs devoted to the history of that
The township is strongly republican in politics, and in the ante-bellum days was intensely anti-slavery in sentiment. The old "underground railway" ran through it, Galesburg and Cambridge being important stations on the line. In Ontario, Horace Powell, and C. F. Camp may be said to have occupied the positions of conductor and depot-master respectively.
During the War of the Rebellion the people were fervently loyal. One hundred and ninety-six men went to the front from Ontario Township. Several of them achieved distinction, and many never returned. Some of the commissioned officers who rose from lower places were Brevet Brigadier General F. S. Smith, Brigadier General David R. Clendenin, Colonel N. H. Walworth, and Captain O. Powell, while to give a detailed record of individual valor would be well-nigh tantamount to duplicating the roster of enlistment. The women of the township were no less devoted than the men, and Ontario gained an enviable prominence in the record of hospital supplies sent forward to the defenders of the integrity of the Nation.
The following named citizens of the township have represented the legislative district in the General Assembly: A. S. Curtis, 1878-80; O. P. Cooley, 1884-90; Frank Murdoch, 1892-98.
The city lies in the southeastern part of Ontario Township. Charles F. Camp may be said to have been its first resident, and it was he who platted the original village, on September 1, 1854, in connection with B. S. West and S. V. R. Holmes. Before Christmas of that year it had become a railway station, and a hotel was built the same winter. The first house in Oneida, however, was built by Jackson Rogers, and is now owned by Rev. Mr. Swansen. The growth of the early town was very gradual, there being only eight resident families at the end of its first year. These were those of C. F. Camp, J. J. Rodgers, C. W. Robertson, John Kenny, S. Cooley, John Eckley, M. Osgood and E. Child. The promoters of the enterprise, however, were not idle. A monster Fourth-of-July picnic was held in 1855, at which between nine and ten thousand persons were present, and dinner was free to all comers.
The question of incorporation as a village was agitated early, having been discussed at a meeting held on December 3, 1858. It was then resolved to submit it to popular vote on December 24, and the ballot stood forty-seven in favor of and eighteen against incorporation. On January 7 following, trustees were elected as follows: C. F. Camp, H. L. Sage, J. M. Brown. J. M. Henning and W. B. LeBaron, the gentleman last named being subsequently chosen president of the Board by his fellow members.
In 1869 the General Assembly incorporated Oneida as a city, with greatly extended municipal limits. The officers chosen at the first charter election, held April 5, 1869, were: F. G. Jelliff, Mayor; George H. Vorce, City Clerk; J. A. Pratt, Police Magistrate; and G. L. Stephenson, Marshal. The first Board of Aldermen was composed of D. D. Martin, R. Bristol, E. J. Petersen and E. Bennett. One of the beneficent provisions of the charter was the prohibition of the sale of liquor within the city limits, the good effect of which is shown in the character of the residents who have been drawn to the city and in the good order which prevails. The present city officers are: L. M. Nash, Mayor; and L. W. Ewing, Clerk. Aldermen: Frank Hosier, Frank Epperson, James McGrath, T. Haon, William Stephenson and Dr. Z. H. McClanahan. A Board of Education is also in office, composed of D. McConchie, President; F. S. Stephenson, Secretary; J. R. Mitchell, D. W. Westland and H. W. Crane.
Oneida was made a postoffice in 1854, with C. F. Camp as postmaster. The first school house was built in 1855, Mary Allen West being the teacher. It was known as the "South" School, and the building was used for all sorts of purposes. In fact, so various were the uses to which it was put that it came to be popularly called "Freedom Hall." On week-day evenings it was always available for political meetings, singing schools or intinerant shows; while on Sundays the members of three different denominations praised God - with more or less regular alternation - beneath its roof. The building was ultimately bought by the Adventists, who used it as a house of worship for several years, until their organization disbanded.
Something has been already said in reference to the church history of the township, but it may be supplemented by a very brief reference to churches in Oneida. On May 4, 1863, a Presbyterian church was organized, under authority of the Presbytery of Schuyler, at the school house in District No. 3. In 1865, it was reorganized at Oneida. The congregation erected a house of worship, which was blown down in 1868 but soon afterwards rebuilt, and a parsonage added. In all, Oneida has had five churches, three of which are still extant. The Lutherans organized a church there in 1863, with Rev. S. G. Abraham as pastor. It had once twenty-five members, but has ceased to exist. The Universalists developed some strength as the town grew, but their house of worship was burned in January, 1867. It was rebuilt, but was later destroyed by a tornado. The same storm lifted the Baptist meetinghouse from its foundation, and neither of these structures was ever repaired. A Congregational church was organized on December 22, 1852, by a council consisting of J. Blanchard, who presided; Rev. Dr. Edward Beecher, Rev. Jeremiah Parker and others. A church building was erected in 1855 at a cost of about four thousand dollars, and the congregation has since built a parsonage, at an outlay of twenty-five hundred dollars. The first pastor was Rev. H. C. Abernethy, who remained in Oneida for ten years. Rev. W. S. Pritchard is the present minister.
The Methodists formed a church organization, under the direction of Rev. R. N. Moore, but did not build a church until 1863. The structure then erected cost three thousand, five hundred dollars. Rev. L. P. Crouch was the first, and Rev. Mr. Graves is the present pastor.
The city supports an excellent graded school, which enjoys a well deserved reputation for the character of the work done. The building is of brick, two stories in height, with a basement of stone, and is heated by steam. It was erected in 1870, at a cost of fourteen thousand dollars. R. V. Field is the Principal, and the corps of assistants is composed of Misses Ella Rowe, Lizzie Talbot and Mary Gavin.
There are two grain elevators, one of which is owned and operated by G. W. Barnett, while the other (known as the Farmers' Elevator) is owned by farmers and conducted by L. B. DeForest, under a lease.
Banking facilities are afforded by the Oneida State Bank and the firm of Anderson and Murdoch. The former was incorporated under the State banking law in 1891, with a paid-up capital of $25,000. Its stockholders number twenty-three. A. D. Metcalf is President; G. K. Pittard, Vice President; and W. D. Patty, Cashier. The old Oneida Exchange Bank was a private institution, and was founded in 1857 by O. Sharp. He soon disposed of his banking business by a sale to W. L. Hubbard. The latter removed to Chicago in 1867, and the bank passed into the hands of J. B. Conyers, who sold it, in 1872, to J. N. Conger. In 1877 it was bought by A. B. Anderson and Frank Murdoch, who have conducted it ever since under their firm name.
The people of Oneida are both enterprising and prosperous. Three times the business part of the city has been laid in ashes, and three times the courage of the citizens has proved equal to the task of restoration. Pleasant, well-cared for homes are numerous, and the inhabitants exhibit great interest in preserving the reputation for beauty which the place enjoys.
The history of journalism in Oneida is of especial interest. The first paper to appear was the Oneida News, which was started, in 1876, by a boy named Arthur W. Ladd, and the issue was "run off" on a three dollar press. In 1882 J. C. Montgomery began publishing the Oneida and Neighborhood News. In 1883 T. B. Phillips bought this paper, and changed its name to the Oneida News. Three years afterward he recovered it to Montgomery, and subsequently it was discontinued. The Oneida Dispatch was founded by O. B. Kail and D. C. Porter in 1880. In 1882 Kail (who had bought Porter's interest in the business) began the publication of the Woodhull Dispatch. In 1886,. M. A. Chesly bought out Mr. Kail; and in 1894 he took B. J. Dunlap into partnership, and in 1895 the name again became the Oneida Dispatch. In 1897 Chesly and Dunlap sold out to Burgess and White.
Various societies have lodges, or branches, at Oneida. The Masonic Order established its first lodge on March 26, 1860, and is in a flourishing condition. The lodge owns the fine brick building in which its handsomely furnished hall is situated. The present officers are: .P. Murdoch, M.; John Anderson, S. W.; Albert Miller, J. W.; Frank McConchie, S. D.; Thomas Hosier, J. D.; A. J. Miller, Secretary; A. B. Anderson, Treasurer; and R. Mihoy, T.
The I. O. O. F. first appeared on October 15, 1857. The charter was surrendered in 1861, but the lodge was reinstalled June 3, 1874. The present officers are: O. L. Higgins, N. G.; Nels Newlander, V. G.; L. W. Ewing, Secretary; A. B. Anderson, Treasurer.
The order of the Eastern Star also has a flourishing lodge, chartered January 15, 1889, with twelve members. The present membership numbers thirty-five. The first officers were: Miss Kittie Brainard, W. M.; C. G. Graved, W. P.; Mrs. Eliza Hosier, A. M.; F. T. Prouty, Secretary. The present officers are: Mrs. J. B. Colton, W. M.; E. Marche, W. P.; Mrs. E. L. Miller, A. M.; G. L. Stephenson, Treasurer; W. A. Brainard, Secretary.
The Oneida Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America was chartered May 25, 1888, with nine members. This membership has been increased to eighty. The first officers were: A. McConchie, V. C; G. E. Barnett, W. A.; Henry Clifford, E. B.; S. C. Whitcomb, C. The present officers are: H. W. Crane, V. C: J. W. Talbot, W. A.; L. E. Olson, E. B.; W. S. Crane, C.
There is also a branch of the Home Forum at Oneida. The charter members numbered twelve, and the present membership is seventeen. The officers are: G. L. Stephenson, President; S. C. Whitcomb, Vice President; F. Whitcomb, Historian; S. C. Whitcomb, Medical Examiner; A. R. St. John, Secretary.
Biographies of Ontario Township
Allen, Judson Wright | Allen, Wilford L. | Anderson, Andrew Borland | Anderson, Reuben Ballou | Brown, Charles M.C. |
Burt, J. Calvin | Clearwater, Abraham S. | Cox, Levi J. | Crane, Henry Wetmore | Crane, James Wilson | Edwards, Mrs. A.E. | Fay, Oscar Locke | Finley, Joseph Alexander | Fisher, Joseph | Fleming, Mrs. Emily A. | Fredericks, Gustav Eric |
Hammond, James | Hannam, William | Holt, Martin S. | Mackintosh, George Donald | Melton, Miss Elvira Lee |
Metcalf, Albert Dwight | Mitchell, Hugh M. | Mitchell, John Raymond | Mitchell, Samuel P. | Mosher, William J. | Murdoch, Frank | Pittard, William J. | Reynolds, Alvah | Stephenson, George Lowry | Van Auken, Harrison | Wetmore, Charles Bridge
Judson Wright Allen
Allen, Judson Wright, son of Barber and Mary (Chappel) Allen, was born in Cayuga County, New York, June 14, 1830. Barber Allen was born in Massachusetts, and was a soldier in the War of 1812.
J. W. Allen received his education in Galesburg. His first effort at self-support was when, in the early pioneer days, as a teamster, he hauled pork from Galesburg to Peoria. He afterwards bought a farm of four hundred acres in Ontario Township, part of which he later disposed of, and bought land near Oneida, to which he gradually added until he owned a farm of 330 acres of improved land.
Mr. Allen was married in Knox County December 4, 1856, to Nancy W. Kiger. Four children have been born to them: William L.; Mrs. Mary Mitchell; Mrs. Jessie E. Kourthour; and Mrs. R. Rose Brainard, who died at the age of twenty-one.
Mr. Allen is a well informed and broad-minded man. Among his many interests, aside from his duties as a progressive and up-to-date farmer, may be mentioned the subject of education, to the advancement of which he has given much time and attention. He is a member of the Congregational Church of which he was a trustee for twelve years. In politics, he is a republican, and was Supervisor for four years, 1882 to 1886, during which period the present handsome court house at Galesburg was erected. He has been Alderman of Oneida for twelve years, which is but one of the many evidences he has received of the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.
Wilford L. Allen
Allen, Wilford L., farmer, Ontario Township, born Oct 31, 1857; educated in Oneida, Knox County.
He was married to Gertrude L. Finley, in Ontario Township, Feb. 20, 1890. Mrs. Wilford Allen is a daughter of J. Alexander Finley, a representative citizen of Ontario Township.
Mr. Allen has been a farmer all his life. In religion he is a Congregationalist. He is a republican.
Andrew Borland Anderson
Anderson, Andrew Borland, banker; Ontario Township; born Sept 10, 1832 in Scotland, where he was educated. His parents were James and Mary (Borland) Anderson, of Ayrshire, Scotland. His grandparents were James Anderson, born near Glasgow, Scotland, and Andrew Borland, of Ayrshire, Scotland.
He was married to Mary A. McQuie at Oneida, Illinois, Dec. 21, 1860. They have three children: William H.; John H.; and Mary E., who is the wife of Dr. A. F. Stewart.
At the age of eighteen, Mr. Anderson came to America and located at Paris, Ontario, where he worked at his trade of blacksmithing. In 1852, he came to Victoria, Knox Co, IL. and in 1857, to Oneida, where he opened a shop. In 1864 he bought a half interest in a hardware store which he managed for five years. In 1874 he began private banking and in 1877, formed a partnership, and operated under the firm name of Anderson and Murdoch, of the Oneida Exchange Bank. Mr. Anderson became a member of the Masonic fraternity in Oneida in 1861, and is a member of the I.O.O.F. Oneida Lodge. He has held many offices in these orders. In politics, Mr. Anderson is independent.
Reuben Ballou Anderson
Anderson, Reuben Ballou, Oneida, Ontario Township, harness-maker; born April 20, 1838 near Dayton, Ohio. He is of Scotch-Irish descent on his father’s side, his great-grandfather and great-grandmother being Scotch and Irish respectively. His grandfather was born in South Carolina and was married to Mary Penny, a native of the same State. His father, John P. Anderson, was born in Glasgo, Kentucky, and was married to Anna Markham, who was born in Tennessee, and was a daughter of Beverly Markham, who was born in England, and of Elizabeth (Ward) Markham, of Hanover County, Virginia. Elizabeth Markham was a first cousin of Henry Clay and was his first teacher.
Mr. John P. Anderson came to Galesburg, IL., Oct 30, 1848, with his family. After a residence here of ten years, he moved to Lowell, Des Moines County, Iowa, where he died in Feb, 1861 at the age of fifty-six. His wife died in Galesburg in Aug. 1852.
Charles M.C. Brown
Brown, Charles M.C., Farmer; Ontario Township; born Sept. 3, 1874, in Oneida, IL; educated in Knox County. His parents were Benjamin F. Brown of Albany, N.Y. and Jennie (McCormack) Brown of Scotland.
Mr. Brown was married to Josie Pittard in Knox Co. Dec. 25, 1895. They have two children: Eva and Benjamin.
J. Calvin Burt
Burt, J. Calvin, Oneida, Ontario Township; Farmer; born Feb. 7, 1827 in Medina Co, OH., where he was educated. Mr. Burt’s parents were John and Lucinda (Hammond) Burt, the former born in Taunton, MA., the latter in Vermont.
Mr. Burt was Township Treasurer and Commissioner for twenty years. In religion he is a Congregationalist. He is a prohibitionist.
Abraham S. Clearwater
Clearwater, Abraham S., Farmer; Ontario Township; born May 3, 1818, in Montgomery Co, N.Y.; educated in New York State. His father, Jacob Clearwater, born in New York, was of German descent, while his mother, Esther (Shealy), also born in New York, was of Scotch descent.
April 13, 1856, Abraham S. Clearwater was married to Margaret Jane McGregor in Ontario Township. Two children were born to them: Clark A; and Carrie L, wife of Charles Moore. Margaret Jane McGregor was born in Matilda, Canada; she was the daughter of John and Jane (Wood) McGregor, who were natives of Canada; they were of Scotch descent.
Abraham S. Clearwater came to Knox County in the fall of 1843, and bought eighty acres of land in Section 30, which he converted into one of the best farms in the township. Later he added one hundred and three acres in Section 29, besides timber land in Rio. A farmer all his life, his only official work was in some local offices. His word was as good as his note. He was a man of sterling traits of character, a good husband and father, of quiet disposition, and ever willing to aid a neighbor.
He united with the Baptist Church in 1837. In politics he was a republican. He died April 29, 1898.
Levi J. Cox
Cox, Levi J. Farmer; Ontario Township, where he was born on Section 21, Jan.1, 1849; educated in Knox County. His parents, James R. and Emma (Pittard) Cox, were born in Somerton, Somersetshire, England, where they were married. They came to the United States in 1848, with his grandfather, Joseph Cox, who was also born at Somerton, but died in Kansas at the age of 98. The latter’s wife, Sarah Davis, as well as Emma Pittard and her father, were natives of Somerset. James R. Cox was born in 1815 and died May 13, 1897, at the home of Levi J.
Levi J. Cox was reared on a farm, and at twenty-five years of age he had only three hundred dollars. He bought forty acres of land on Section 16 for two thousand dollars, upon which he made a small payment. By industry and economy he soon paid for his farm, and now owns four hundred and fifty-nine acres of land, one hundred and twenty acres of which he inherited from his father.
September 3, 1873, he was married to Elizabeth West in Galesburg. They have two children: Arthur B. and Stewart J.
Mrs. Cox’s father was Samuel West, a farmer of Green Co, PA. He moved to Morgan Co, OH., and died there when 78 years old. His wife, Catherine Anderson, was of Scotch descent. She died in Ohio, and her daughter came to Illinois with her brother, Isaac P. West, and lived in Woodhull, Henry County, until her marriage.
Samuel West’s father, John, was kidnapped in Glasgow, Scotland, before the Revolution, and brought to the colonies, where he was sold to a Quaker near New York. He enlisted in the Colonial Army, hoping to come across the sea captain who had sold him. He settled in Green Co, PA. where he died.
Levi J. Cox is an A. F. and A. M., Oneida Lodge, No 337. In politics he is independent.
Henry Wetmore Crane
Crane, Henry Wetmore, son of James W. and Cornelia L. (Wetmore) Crane, was born in Ontario Township, Knox County, IL. July 7, 1859. The family is of English descent, their history in this country dating back to early times in New England. The parents of James W. Crane were born in CT., and settled, immediately after their marriage, in Oneida Co, N.Y. James W. was the fourth child and second son in a family of six children. The family came to Ontario Township in June 1837, and settled on an unbroken prairie, where they made a farm, and where the father of James W. died in 1848, and the mother in 1854.
The parents of Cornelia L. Wetmore lived and died in New York State, where her father was a successful merchant. She came to Knox County about two years before her marriage.
Henry W. Crane was the oldest son, and was educated in the Oneida High School, and in Knox College, Galesburg. He was married in Henry Co., IL. Sept. 25, 1882 to Carrie Wood Stickney. They have three children: Zina S., Mary Ann, and James Henry.
Mrs. Crane’s parents were Henry and Mary (Wood) Stickney, old residents of Henry County, now deceased. Mrs. Crane was born in Henry County, and received her education in Knox College, Galesburg.
Mr. Crane was one of the organizers of the Oneida State Bank, and has ever since been on its Board of Directors and also a member of the Finance Committee; he is also a farmer, or, more especially, a manager of farms, as he rents his own farm and that of his wife, and resides in Oneida, of which place he has been a prominent citizen since 1888. He keeps his land in a high state of cultivation by rotation of crops, having always at least one-third of the area in pasture, or meadow, and taking a share of the crop instead of a money rent, has proved for him an element of success.
In politics Mr. Crane is independent. He has been a member of the Board of Education, an Alderman and Mayor, to which office he was elected in 1895, and which, by re-election, he has held to the present time. He is a member of the Baptist Church of Ontario, and is a thorough-going, progressive, public spirited citizen.
James Wilson Crane
Crane, James Wilson, son of Zina and Harriet (Hall) Crane, was born in Marcy, Oneida County, April 20, 1829. His parents were born in Durham, CT., and died in Knox County, the father aged 63 and the mother 58 years. His paternal grandparents were Frederick and Anna (Babcock) Crane, and on his mother’s side, Luther and Harriet Hall, all of whom were born in Connecticut.
Zina Crane, before coming west with his family in June 1837, purchased three hundred and twenty acres of unbroken prairie land in Knox County, to which he added one hundred and sixty acres of timber land. In coming to Knox County he followed the example of Rev. George W. Gale, of Oneida County, and one of the founders of Galesburg. He assisted in the organization of Ontario Township, and was interested in educational matters, and with Charles F. Camp, now deceased, built the first school house near Ontario Corners. In politics he was a whig.
James W. Crane came with his father to Knox County and became a farmer and stock-raiser. He attended the common schools for a short time, but received the principal part of his education by his own efforts. He was married in Ontario Township May 29, 1854, to Cornelia L. Wetmore, daughter of Jesse and Louise (Holmes) Wetmore. She was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., Sept. 5, 1833. They have three children: Henry W., now living in Oneida; Frank, a resident of Cummings, Traill Co, N.D.; and Carl S., now living at the old homestead.
In early times Mr. Crane drove his stock to Galena, thirty or forty days being required to make the trip. He at one time added one hundred and fifty turkeys to his drove of hogs which were killed and sold to the miners. It is said that Mr. Crane is the oldest resident of Ontario Township; he is certainly one of the best known and most influential farmers in Knox County. He has a farm of two hundred and forty acres of choice land, a fine residence, and convenient farm buildings. He has been very successful in his business, and formerly had large land interests in North Dakota, which he sold to his son Frank, who resides in that State.
In politics, Mr. Crane is independent. He is an attendant of the Unitarian Church. He has traveled extensively in the United States, is broad and liberal in his views, and is greatly respected and honored wherever he is known.
Mrs. A.E. Edwards
Edwards, Mrs. A. E.; Farmer; Ontario Township; born December 10, 1852, in Stark County, Illinois; educated in Knox County. Her parents were George W. and Philena Green Rome. Mrs. Edwards was married to Samuel Edwards in Cambridge, Henry County, Illinois, December 09, 1868. They have ten children: John Franklin, George Nelson, Minnie M., Arthur H., Myrtle A., Ernest C., Bertha P., Samuel O., Amy M., Archie T. Mrs. Edwards is a republican.
Oscar Locke Fay
Fay, Oscar Locke; Farmer; Ontario Township; where he was born October 25, 1855; educated in Oneida, Illinois. His parents were Norman Fay, of Vermont, and Susan Chapman Fay, of New York. He was married to Nellie B. Main in Ontario Township, March 18, 1891. He was brought up on the Fay homestead, and became a practical farmer and stockman and now has a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres. His father, Norman Fay, was born September 22, 1821, at Saxton's River, Vermont; his parents were John Fay, of Massachusetts, and Phoebe Locke Fay, of Rockingham, Vermont;' his grandfather was Ebenezer Locke, of New Hampshire. Mr. Norman Fay was married to Susan Chapman, in Knox County, December 25, 1853. Two children were born to them, Oscar Locke, and Sarah J. Norman Fay came to Knox county in 1850, and in 1854, bought and sold a farm, and in 1855, bought on hundred and sixty acres of land in Ontario Township where Oscar L. now lives; in April, 1891, he moved to Oneida. His wife was a daughter of Ezra and Sarah Lanphere Chapman, of Whitesboro, Oneida County, New York. When eight years old she came with her parents to Knox County. Mr. O. L. Fay is a republican, and in April, 1899, was elected to the office of Supervisor; he is a member of A. F. and A. M. Oneida Lodge, and is a charter member at Oneida
Joseph Alexander Finley
Finley, Joseph Alexander; Farmer; Ontario Township; born in Delaware County, Ohio, March 26, 1839. His father, Joseph Finley, was born in Highland County, Ohio, in 1807, and after the death of his wife, came with his family, in 1843, to Illinois, where he settled on Section 21, Ontario Township, where he farmed until his death in 1865, at the age of fifty-eight. His mother, Jane, died in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1841. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Finley, was of Scotch descent, and was born in Pennsylvania, and his maternal grandfather, John Ferris, was born in West Virginia. Mr. Finley was educated in Illinois. April 23, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, First Illinois Cavalry, furnishing his own hose and equipments. At the battle of Lexington, Missouri, after a gallant fight, he and his regiment were captured and paroled, September 20, 1821. When the regiment reorganized in December, he joined it and served until his honorable discharge in July , 1862. After his return to Knox County he resumed grain and stock farming, and is to-da7y one of the foremost farmers of Ontario township. He was married to Mary E. Cox in Knox County, November 05, 1868. They have five children: Gertrude Louisa, wife of W L. Allen; Georgia Elizabeth; Joseph Orton; Clyde Alexander and Lucy Beatrice, who are students in Knox College, the former being a well known athlete. The parents of Mrs. Finley, Joseph Levi and Elizabeth Cogging Cox, were an old an honored English family who came to America in 1853, bringing with them their daughter, Mary, who was born in Somersetshire, February 18, 1846. They settled in Ontario Township, Knox County, where the mother died, leaving three daughters, Mrs. Finley, Lucy A., and Sarah G. Cox. Mr. Finley is a member of the Congregational Church. In politics, he is a republican.
Fisher, Joseph, son of David and Jane Morris Fisher, was born May 27, 1831, in Somersetshire, England. His parents were of English birth, and came to Summit County, Ohio, when Joseph was three years old. In 1838, the family removed to Mercer County, Illinois, and in 1841 they settled in Clover Township, Henry County, where the father ran a saw mill. After the death of his father, and his burial in Andover Cemetery, which occurred in January, 1844, Joseph and his mother came to Knox County, settling first in Sparta Township, but later purchased a farm of eighty acres oi9n Ontario Township, where the mother died, aged seventy-four years.
Joseph Fisher was educated in the common schools of Ohio and Illinois. He was married October 20, 1852, to Emily, daughter of Woodford Fisher, of Kentucky, who was an old settler of Knox County. She died November 15, 1888. aged fifty-four years, leaving an adopted daughter, Nellie.
Mr. Fisher was again married, October 30, 1890, in Knox County, to Elizabeth, daughter of Vile and Jane Kember Pittard, who came from England to Chicago in 1854, and in 1855 r3emoved to Knox County, where they died in Ontario Township.
Mr. Fisher and his wife own eighty and one hundred and sixty acres of land, respectively, in tracts adjoining each other, making a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres. He has been a farmer all his life. He is a republican and has held several local offices. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher attend the Ontario Congregational Church, of which Mrs. Fisher is a member.
Mrs. Emily A. Fleming
Fleming, Mrs. Emily A.; Oneida, Ontario Township; born in Licking County, Ohio, October 18, 1815; educated in Ohio. She was married to James M. Fleming in Muskingum county, Ohio, March 10, 1836, Their three children are: Susan Mary, born December 30, 1847, who afterwards married T. J. Barnes; Emily A., born January 18, 1850, married to Fulton N. Scott, and died September 01, 1876; and Clay, who died September 15, 1853. Ira J., son of Mr. and Mrs. F. N. Scott, is in Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Fleming's parents William Wells, and Susan Bigelow, were from Connecticut, and were married March 23, 1814. Mr. Wells died May 08, 1823, aged thirty-three years old, His wife died in Ohio when over eighty years old. Mrs. Fleming went to live with Rev Solomon S. Miles and his wife, Ann Eliza Gilmore, who was a minister of the Presbyterian but changed to the Congregational Church. They came to Knox County and settled on a farm near Gilson, where they died, and their son Rufus inherited the farm. Mrs. Fleming was about twelve years old when she went to live with them in Newark, Ohio. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Fleming settled upon her father's farm of six hundred and eighty acres of land in Ontario Township. They moved to Oneida in 1856. Mr. Fleming died in 1867. Mr. Fleming was a republican; he was a great temperance man, and a well informed, intelligent citizen. Mrs. Fleming is charitable and kind-hearted and enjoys the good-will and respect of all who know her.
Gustav Eric Fredericks
Fredericks, Gustav Eric, son of Charles and Inga Charlotte Fredericks, was born October 23, 1852, in the Province of Ostergotland, Sweden. His parents were both born in Sweden, his father in Ostergotland. He came with his parents to this country, reaching Knox county, Illinois, July 17, 1857. They lived two years in Galesburg, and then moved to Soperville, Henderson Township, where they resided on a Timber farm from 1859 to 1867, when they removed to Log City, remaining there until 1870, then they removed to Ontario Township, where they bought a farm on one hundred and sixty acres for $13,000. In 1878, the parents removed to Altona, Walnut Grove Township. Gustav E. bought the farm on Section 11, adjoining the old homestead, in 1896, where he now resides. The father was a very successful farmer, and owned five hundred and twenty acres of land. He lives in Altona, aged eighty-two years, respected and honored by all who know him. His wife died January 11, 1892, aged seventy-four years.
Gustav E. Fredericks was married in Ontario Township, February 26, 1876, to Ida Matilda Walgreen, daughter of Nels P. and Johanna Walgreen, who were prominent among the farmers of that vicinity. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Fredericks were: Mrs. Clara A. Swanson, Mollie Co. Co, Fanny C., Jennie, Emma R., Minnie, Henrietta, Hilda C., Clarence N.; Herbert A., and Carl E., both deceased.
Mr. Fredericks has been one of the most progressive farmers in the county. He bought the first self-binder, and the first traction engine in Ontario Township. He is considered one of the best threshers of grain in that part of the country, having been engaged in the business since he was fourteen years of age. He has threshed the grain on some of the farms in his neighborhood for twenty-seven years, and has made a careful study of all kinds of arm implements and machinery.
Politically, Mr. Fredericks is a republican. and has been Road Commissioner twelve years. In religious beliefs he is a Lutheran , and has been a trustee of the Lutheran Church at Altona.
Hammond, James, was born July 7, 1824, in Medina Co, OH. His father, Theodore Hammond was born near Hartford, CT., and his mother, Rebecca (Farnham) Hammond was also a native of CT. Her grandfather was John Farnham of the same State. She died Nov. 4, 1824. Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Hammond moved to Summit Co, OH. In 1810, and Mr. Hammond removed to Illinois in 1844. The grandparents of Mr. James Hammond were Jason Hammond of Bolton, CT., and Rachel (Hale) Hammond of Glastonburg, CT.
Mr. James Hammond was reared on a farm and was educated in a log school house at Hammond Corners, Bath, Ohio. At the age of twenty years he came to Knox Co., in the company of Royal Hammond, a cousin of his father. He located in Ontario Township and herded sheep. In 1850 he bought 160 acres of land of Knox College, in Section 33, Ontario Township, and converted the tract into a model farm on which he has spent most of his time for the last half century.
He was married in Ontario Township Oct. 7, 1847 to Susan Porter Powell, daughter of John and Maria (Wilson) Powell. Mrs. Hammond was born near Utica, NY and in 1836 came to Knox Co. with her uncle, Charles F. Camp, a prominent and enterprising citizen. She died Mar. 16, 1897 aged 75 years. She was an estimable woman, a member of the Congregational Church, in Ontario Township, which she helped to establish; she was charitable, a good neighbor, and a loving, faithful wife and mother. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hammond were: Park Henry, deceased; Charles Camp, deceased; Edwin Powell, deceased; Ella M.; Fannie C.; and Ira E. Fannie C. graduated from Knox College in June 1881.
Mr. Hammond has been a hard worker, frequently doing two days’ work in one, and he soon became an influential citizen. In 1867 he built a most substantial dwelling of brick, with double walls, selecting the wood for the inside, oak, ash and curled walnut, from timber cut on his own farm. Much of the furniture was made to order, and the whole establishment is the pride of the county as well as of the township. He has never speculated, but has been uniformly successful in his operations, and he attributes his good fortune to frugality and hard work. He raised fine stock, and had one of the first herds of Galloway cattle in the county. He has been a prominent figure among the farmers of Knox Co. for many years. He was Supervisor several years and has held different school offices. In politics he is a republican, and in his church religion a Congregationalist.
Mr. Hammond has traveled extensively in the United States, and spent two and a half years in Tehama Co, CA., where he owns a fruit farm.
Hannam, William, Farmer; Ontario Township; born in England April 18, 1854; educated in Sparta Township, Knox Co. His parents, Charles and Elizabeth (Thorn) Hannam; his paternal grandparents, John and Rhoda (Vile) Hannam; and his maternal grandparents, William and Ann (Brown) Thorn, were natives of England.
Mr. Hannam was married to Lillie Fooks in Sparta Township Feb. 25, 1886. Their children are: George Walter, Alta Vera, and Mark Paul. In politics he is a republican.
Martin S. Holt
Holt, Martin S., Farmer; Ontario Township; born Sept. 7, 1836, at Lykens, Crawford Co, OH., where he was educated. His parents were Sidney Holt of Madison, Oneida Co., NY and Ruth (Andrews) Holt of Pennsylvania.
He was married to Martha Pittard in Ontario Township, IL., Dec. 28, 1865. Mr. and Mrs. Holt have five children: Albert Allen, Mary E., George H., Sidney V., and Frank W.
Mr. Holt belongs to the Congregational Church. In politics, he is a republican.
George Donald Mackintosh
Mackintosh, George Donald, Farmer; Ontario Township; born Feb. 27, 1831, in Edinburgh, Scotland; educated in Edinburgh. His father, James Mackintosh, and his grandparents, Donald and Elspeth (Forbes) Mackintosh, came from Scotland.
In religious faith, Mr. Mackintosh was a Swedenborgian. He was a republican.
Miss Elvira Lee Melton
Melton, Elvira Lee, Oneida, Ontario Township; daughter of George W. Melton; educated in the common schools. She was reared on the homestead in Knox County and moved to Oneida in 1892. Since January, 1894, she has taken the place of mother to a nephew and three nieces named Melton: Albert R., Bessie A., Catharine N., and Grace A.
George W. Melton was born Sept. 5, 1811, and was a son of David and Catherine (Phrimmer) Melton, who settled in Henderson Township in May 1834. He was married March 26, 1836 to Mary Ann Riley, the daughter of William and Ellen (Jewel) Riley. In 1837 he settled on Section 31, Ontario Township, where he died in 1891, aged 80 years. His wife died in Oneida at the age of 79. Ten of their eleven children reached maturity: Elizabeth; Henry; William; Lucinda; Elvira; Catherine, deceased; Medora; Ella; Loraine; Lillian; and George.
Mr. Melton is remembered as a generous and kind man. He was a prosperous farmer, and reputed to be worth $100,000. In politics he was a staunch republican. Mr. and Mrs. Melton were members of the Congregational Church. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1886. Mrs. Melton was an excellent manager and to her Mr. Melton attributed much of his success in life.
Albert Dwight Metcalf
Metcalf, Albert Dwight, Banker and hardware merchant; born in Orange Township, Oct. 20, 1852. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Bruce) Metcalf, of Vermont and New York respectively. The ancestry of the family is English, the first Metcalf settlers coming to America before the Revolutionary War. His grandfather Samuel was born in NY and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He settled in Orange Township, and died at the age of 70, his wife living to be 81 years old. He was a Congregationalist, and a deacon in the church for many years.
Albert D. Metcalf was educated in the common schools, and at Knox College, from which he graduated in 1875. At that time he owned an interest in the lumber and grain business at Oneida, which was operated under the firm name of Jones and Metcalf. He afterwards sold out and engaged in the lumber business with his brother until 1890. They then went into the hardware business with A. W. Jones, whose interest they afterwards purchased. The firm of Metcalf Brothers have greatly enlarged their stock, and carry farm implements, harness and buggies. In 1891, Mr. Metcalf became President of the Oneida State Bank.
He was married May 4, 1876 to Eva J. Muzzy, who was born in PA, and was a daughter of John and Saloma (Chittenden) Muzzy, of MA. Mr. Muzzy died during the Civil War.
In politics Mr. Metcalf is a prohibitionist. He is a Deacon in the Congregationalist Church, and has been Superintendent of the Sunday school for twenty-three years.
Hugh M. Mitchell
Mitchell, Hugh M., was a native of Ohio, and was born in Harrison County, May 25, 1820. His father was John Mitchell, who lived in his early years in Washington County, PA. He was a man of strong intellect and was educated in the common schools of his native State. At an early date, he went to Ohio, and married Margaret McGee, a native of Jefferson Co, OH. Both parents were of Irish descent, and after marriage settled in Harrison County, when it was almost an unbroken wilderness. Here they lived long and industrious lives, and at last, transformed the wild land on which they had settled into a fine farm. They raised a family of eleven children. Mr. Mitchell was a soldier in the War of 1812.
Hugh M. Mitchell partook of some of the marked characteristics of his father. He was endowed with a good intellect and a sound judgment. He was educated in the common schools, showing the same perseverance there as was exhibited in the business affairs of his after life. He remained on the home farm until he was twenty-four years of age, when he married and settled on a 40 acre tract of broken, hilly land. By his industry and economy, he prospered, and saved a sufficient amount of means to purchase a large farm, on which he moved in 1847. To his farming, he added, in 1853, the business of keeping a tavern for the accommodation of travelers, which proved to be very lucrative. Here a small village sprang up, and after the Post office was established, he was appointed Post-master, holding the office for twelve years.
Mr. Mitchell was not pleased with this double-headed business of keeping an inn and farming. He had a great fondness for the farm. So he resolved to engage wholly in that occupation. He sold out and came to Knox County in the fall of 1864. He bought a farm in Sparta Township, where he lived until 1871, when he removed to Ontario Township. Here he purchased a farm of about 300 acres, making his landed possessions in the two townships of Sparta and Ontario about 600 acres. At the same time he owned a nice residence in Oneida. Thus from small beginnings, he became one of the wealthiest farmers in Knox County.
Mr. Mitchell was no ordinary man. Endowed with a good intellect and trained in the habits of industry and economy, he soon rose to a condition of affluence. His business judgment was unerring and his attention to duty never flagged. The path of rectitude he saw before him, and from it, he never turned aside. He was just and generous, and lived a life that becomes a man. His religious faith was Presbyterian. Both he and his wife were members of that church. Politically he was a Jeffersonian democrat. He firmly believed in the principles of that party.
Mr. Mitchell married March 19, 1844 to Nancy Nash. Her parents were farmers in Pennsylvania, and when she was but a child, removed to Harrison Co, OH., where they lived and died. They had a family of seven children, consisting of two sons and five daughters. The wife of Hugh M. Mitchell, was a most estimable woman and was born Aug. 9, 1820.
To Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were born six children, five sons and one daughter. Three sons and the daughter are deceased. John R. is a resident of Oneida and owns a farm in Ontario Township; Samuel P. resides on a farm north of Oneida; Hugh Parks was a farmer in Gage Co, Nebraska for a number of years, but later was in the employ of the Iowa Central Railroad Company; and J. Calvin was the founder and editor of the Keithburg Times. The greatest legacy that Mr. Mitchell left his children was a good education. They attended either Knox or Monmouth College. He died Nov. 2, 1898.
John Raymond Mitchell
Mitchell, John Raymond, son of Hugh M. and Nancy A. (Nash) Mitchell, was born Aug. 13, 1847 in Harrison Co., Ohio. The Mitchell family were emigrants from the North of Ireland, and of Scotch descent. Hugh M. Mitchell was born in Harrison County, May 26, 1820, and was married March 14, 1844 to Nancy A. Nash, born in the same county, and daughter of William and Hannah (Drummond) Nash of Pennsylvania. He came to Knox County in the fall of 1864, and located in Sparta Township, a mile and a half east of Wataga. He resided there from 1864 to 1871, and then moved to Section 23, Ontario Township, where he had a large farm. He afterwards went to Oneida, where his death occurred Nov. 2, 1898. The paternal grandparents of John R. Mitchell were John and Margaret (McKie) Mitchell, both born in Westmoreland Co, PA. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and settled in Harrison County, Ohio, when the country was a wilderness.
The education of John R. Mitchell was begun in the common schools of Ohio, and completed in Wataga, IL, to which State he came with his father in the year 1864. He was brought up a practical farmer, and owns a very fine farm of 320 acres in Ontario Township. He was married in Oneida, March 23, 1876, to Anna Jennett Muir, daughter of Thomas and Martha J. Finley (Heagy) Muir. They have four children: Vida May, Maurice Finley, Anna Myrtle, and Nannie Grace.
Mr. Muir was born in Creeton, Scotland, Dec. 12, 1826 and emigrated to Knox County in 1839 with his mother and stepfather, Samuel McCornack. The family settled first near Knoxville, where they had a saw mill. Mr. Muir was a clerk in the store of John Johnston, a well known merchant of Knoxville. He was married Oct. 24, 1853, lived in Nebraska City, Nebraska, a year, and returned to Oneida, where, after an active and useful life, he died, aged 58 years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church at the age of twenty-five; a Sunday school superintendent, and leader of the choir many years. His children by his first marriage were Anna Jennett and Thomas F. By a second marriage to Mrs. Sarah Hutchinson, there were two children, Sarah Louisa and Mary Ella.
In politics, Mr. Mitchell has been a republican since 1869, casting his first vote for General Grant, and is a firm believer in republican principles. For many years he has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and has, for a number of years, taken especial interest in educational matters in Oneida. At present Mr. Mitchell rents his farm and quietly enjoys the results of his previous labor.
Samuel P. Mitchell
Mitchell, Samuel P., Farmer and Real Estate Dealer; Ontario Township; born March 30, 1855 in Cassville, Ohio; educated in the common schools and Monmouth Academy. His father was born May 26, 1829 and was married March 19, 1844; he died Nov. 2, 1898. His mother, Nancy Ann (Nash) Mitchell, was born Aug. 9, 1820. She is now living in Oneida.
Mr. Mitchell married Sept. 2, 1880 to Mary E. Allen. Their children are: Newton Wright; William Arthur, deceased; Frederick, deceased; Lula Mabel; and Irma Ann.
Mr. Mitchell came to Sparta Township when ten years of age. He became a practical and successful farmer. In 1884, he went to Columbus, Kansas, where for three years he was an extensive dealer in farm lands. He also spent a winter at Pasadena, California, and for a year engaged in the milling business at Columbus, Kansas. He returned to Oneida, Knox County, and located on a farm of 80 acres. He is now managing his father’s estate.
Mr. Mitchell is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and is also Sunday School Superintendent. In politics he is a republican. He has served as School Director of his township.
William J. Mosher
Mosher, William J., son of S. Emerson and Mary (Crane) Mosher, was born in Paris, Oneida Co, NY, Aug. 9, 1841. His paternal great-grandparents were John Mosher, born in New London, CT., and Elizabeth (Lawrence) Mosher, born in Groton, MA, and on his mother’s side, Henry and Jerusha (Parmalee) Crane, born in Durham, CT. His grandparents were Josiah Mosher, born in Pepperel, MA, and Rebecca (Doolittle) Mosher, born in New London, CT, and on his mother’s side, Henry and Octavia (Hungerford) Crane, the former born in Durham, CT, the latter in Litchfield, NY.
His parents, S. Emerson and Mary Crane Mosher, were born in Oneida Co, NY. They were married in Paris, Oneida County, where they resided till 1851. He was a carpenter, and was also interested in a saw mill and grist mill. He was a school teacher twenty years, a captain in the militia, and was always known as Captain S. E. Mosher. He was a man greatly respected for his integrity. His father, Josiah, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served in his brother John Mosher’s company. Captain S. E. Mosher removed to Illinois, the family arriving in Galesburg, May 6, 1851, where many of the pioneers were known to them. They soon settled in Ontario Township, locating on Section 32, and brought under cultivation the farm now owned by William J. Mosher. S. E. Mosher was Justice of the Peace many years, holding that office to the close of his life. He died in Galesburg, Feb. 23, 1867, aged 59 years. His wife died March 10, 1857, aged 42 years.
Mr. William J. Mosher was educated at Knox College and at the Business College of Galesburg, and of the latter institution he was the first graduate. He was married in Ontario Township, Nov. 26, 1868, to Sarah E. Wetmore, daughter of Theodore P. Wetmore. Three children have been born to them: Grace Eveline, Cornelia Alice, and George Emerson. Grace E. graduated from Knox Conservatory in 1898.
Mr. Mosher is a republican, and has been School Trustee 21 years. He is owner and manager of the factory of the Ontario Cheese Company, located on his farm, which was established by Samuel Chapman, who sold out to the present company.
Murdoch, Frank, Banker: Ontario Township; born Sept. 2, 1842, in Ayrshire, Scotland; educated in Ohio and Illinois. His parents Thomas D. and Janet (Snithers) Murdoch, and his maternal grandparents, James and Mary (Watson) Struthers, came from Scotland, as did his paternal grandparents, Francis and Janet (Nimo) Murdoch. His parents came to Trumbull Co, Ohio, in 1852, and to Knox Co, IL, in 1857. They bought land in Sparta Township, and died in Oneida, aged 82 and 72 years, respectively.
Mr. Murdoch was married to Alta, daughter of Alvah and Jerusha (Stevens) Wheeler. His second marriage was with Mary Ellis in Oneida, June 1877. Their children are: Myrtle, Alta, Maud, and a nephew, William B. Hurst, whom Mr. Murdock has adopted.
Mr. Murdoch came to this country with his parents, and was a farmer until 1873 when he became Cashier of the Oneida Exchange Bank. In 1876, he became sole owner of the bank, and formed the now existing partnership with A. B. Anderson.
Mr. Murdoch is a Mason and a member of the Oneida Lodge, No. 337, and of the Galesburg Commandery, No 8 K. T. He served three years as Eminent Commander, is a member of Oriental Consistory and the Mystic Shrine, Chicago, IL. Mr. Murdoch is a republican, and was elected to the Legislature in the years 1892-94-96; during these three terms he served on many important committees. Mr. Murdoch was for four years a member of the Knox County Central Committee, and for two years was its Chairman; he served eight years in the National Guard; was Brigade Commissary of Subsistance with rank of Captain on the staff of J.N. Reece, of Springfield. Mr. Murdoch is a Presbyterian.
William J. Pittard
Pittard, William J., son of Job and Mary (Thomas) Pittard, was born in Ontario Township, March 14, 1850. His parents were born in Summerton, England, and came to the United States in 1847 arriving at Chicago, May 22. After having lived two years in Chicago they settled on a farm in Knox County, where they became prosperous farmers. They made additions to the 80 acres of land first purchased, until they owned 320 acres of farm land, and several town lots in Oneida. They moved to Oneida, and after residing there about two years, went to the home of their son, William J., where they both died, aged 72 and 71 years respectively. Politically, Mr. Job Pittard was a republican. He was a Congregationalist, and a deacon in the church of which he was a worthy member. He became paralyzed, and was for several years attended by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary A. Pittard, who nursed him most faithfully through all his suffering. Her own parents also died at her home, and were ministered to by her with loving care.
Mr. William J. Pittard was educated in the common schools of Knox County. He was married in Knox County, March 29, 1879, to Mary A. Green, daughter of Daniel and Amy (Dewitt) Green. Mr. Green was a native of the State of New York. Mrs. Pittard was born in Henry Co, IL., March 4, 1854. They have three children: Josie A. (who married Charles Brown), Frank C., and Edith Leona.
Mr. Pittard was a man of remarkable honor, and highly respected by all. In religion he was a Presbyterian. He was a member of the I.O.O. F. In politics he was a republican. He died in Jan. 2, 1893.
Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Pittard, with the assistance of her son, has managed the farm consisting of about 110 acres; she owns another farm of 160 acres in Ontario Township.
Reynolds, Alvah, born in Bedford, New York, May 22, 1830. His father, Enoch Reynolds, was born in Lewisboro, NY. in 1794, and removed to Somers in 1811. He was married in 1819 and in 1827 removed to Bedford, where he died at the age of 84 years. His paternal grandfather, James Reynolds, was a soldier in the Revolution, and drew a pension. After the war he was a farmer in New York State, and died at Crossriver (now known as Lewisboro), New York. Maria Reynolds, the mother of Alvah, was born near the east line of Westchester Co, NY, and died in Bedford, NY, aged 45 years. Her father, Nathaniel Reynolds, was a soldier in the Revolution, and drew a pension. He was a prisoner on Long Island. He died at Crossriver (now Lewisboro).
Mr. Alvah Reynolds was brought up on a farm, but was apprenticed to a carpenter at the age of sixteen, and followed the trade thirteen years. He was married in Henry Co, IL. May 10, 1859 to Susannah Hayden, daughter of Jonathan and Hulda (Reeves) Hayden, pioneers of Henry Co, where they settled in 1853. Mr. Hayden now lives at Blairstown, Iowa, and is 91 years of age. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are: Mrs. Orlena F. Tracy, Mrs. Ida A. Crandall, Arthur A., Charley C., Anna A., and Jennie May.
In politics Mr. Reynolds is a republican, and in religion a Christian. He has been a school director thirty-six years. He bought 160 acres of land in Ontario Township, Knox County, which is now in a high state of cultivation. He has been very successful and added to his farm from time to time until he owned 720 acres of land in Ontario Township, and in 1893 gave each of his six children an 80-acre farm, and has a good farm left for himself. His farm was excellent for stock raising, and Mr. Reynolds is considered one of the most successful stock raisers in the county; his success may doubtless be attributed to industry and strict economy. He is progressive, and has a wide influence in the church and in the community.
George Lowry Stephenson
Stephenson, George Lowry, Ontario Township; Merchant; born Oct 20, 1838 in Kirkeudbright, Scotland. His father, George Stephenson, was born in North, and his mother, Isabella (McMillan), in South Scotland. They were Presbyterians and died in this country.
Oct. 26, 1865, Mr. Stephenson was married in Copley Township to Grace L. Stewart, of Glasgow, Scotland. They have five children: Frank S., Milton J., Grace D., Jessie I., and George Harry.
In 1850 Mr. Stephenson came with his parents in a sailing vessel to the United States, the voyage lasting five weeks. They landed at New Orleans, and an additional two weeks were required to reach St. Louis by steamboat. After a month they came up the Illinois River to Peoria, and from there by team to Knox County. They settled on a farm in Copley Township, and soon owned 80 acres of improved land. Here the parents died, and Mr. Stephenson grew to manhood and acquired his education in the public schools.
In 1863 he became a merchant in Oneida, selling first groceries, and then men’s furnishing goods. In 1872 he started a dry goods store which is his present occupation. Mr. Stephenson is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics, he is a republican. The reading of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Thaddeus of Warsaw” made him an abolitionist, and he was an ardent supporter of Lincoln, rendering valuable service to the cause. In Oneida, he has been Constable, Collector, City Marshall, Alderman and Mayor. In his township he has been School Director, President of the Board of Education, Supervisor for eighteen years, and for thirteen years chairman of the County Board. Mr. Stephenson has been an auctioneer. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. (ancient), and has been a Mason since 1862. In Galesburg he joined Chapter No. 48, now of Oneida; also Galesburg Commandery No. 8. He is also a member of Medina Temple, Chicago. In 1898, Mr. Stephenson received unanimous nomination for State Representative, but refused to run because the Senate had refused to reapportion the State.
Harrison Van Auken
Van Auken, Harrison, Farmer; Ontario Township; born in Albany Co, NY, Oct. 12, 1836. His parents were Aaron and Catherine (Ostrander) Van Auken. They had six children: Hannah, Martha, Calvin, John, Harrison, and Fletcher.
Aaron was born in Albany Co, NY as was also his wife Catherine; they came to Knox County Nov. 10, 1858; he died Sept. 1, 1890, aged 86, and his wife died Jan. 14, 1892, aged 84. Aaron’s father, John, was born in 1777. Catherine’s parents were John and Catherine. The family’s ancestors came from Holland.
Harrison Van Auken married Sarah E. Ray in Knox Co., April 17, 1895. Mrs. Van Auken’s parents, Robert and Anna M. (Stake) were born in Franklin Co, PA., where they were farmers.
Mr. Van Auken was educated in Monroe Co, NY; he is a successful farmer and owns 360 acres of valuable land. He is a democrat in politics.
Charles Bridge Wetmore
Charles Bridge Wetmore; Farmer; Ontario Township; born on the Wetmore homestead in Ontario Township, September 23, 1844; educated in Knox County. His parents, Theodore P. and Eveline C. (Morse) Wetmore, were natives of New York State; the former from Yorkville, Oneida County; the latter from Herkimer Country. His maternal grandparents were Horace Morse, a native of Massachusetts and a soldier in the war of 1812, and Thirza (Underhill), born in the State of New York. His maternal great-grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier. His paternal grandfather, Erza Wetmore, was born in Connecticut, while his wife, Susan (Palmer), was a native of Rhode Island. Susan Palmer's father was Fones Palmer, a Revolutionary soldier from Hopkins, Rhode Island. The paternal great-grandfather, Captain Amos Wetmore, was a soldier in the Revolution; his wife was Rachel Parsons. Mr. C. B. Wetmore's father died August 16, 1876; his mother, May 29, 1892, aged respectively sixty-six and seventy-eight years. Mr. Wetmore was reared on the homestead which he bought from the heirs; the farm consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of land and nineteen acres of timber. August 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers, and was wounded at the second battle of Fort Donelson, February 3, 1863. He was discharged from the hospital at Paducah, Kentucky, in April 1863. He has never fully recovered, and draws a pension. He was Postmaster at Oneida for two years. January 22, 1868, he was married, in Knoxville, to Thirza M. Moore. There are three children: Eveline M., Thoedore L. and George E. Eveline M. married Birney W. Adams; Theodore L. and George E. are at home. Mrs. Wetmore is a daughter of Lyman K. Moore, a pioneer of Rio township, and granddaughter of Holland Moore, a soldier of the Revolution. In politics, Mr. Wetmore is a republican. He has been Road Commissioner and Township Collector. He is a member of the A. F. and A. M., Oneida Lodge, No. 337.
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