Knox County Illinois
Orange Township History
By John C. Eiker
Orange, as at present defined and bounded, was one of the first townships in the county to attract the attention of early immigrants to northern Illinois, and the pioneers were not wholly free from fear of predatory visits from the aboriginal owners of the soil. As a matter of fact, however, in 1830—the year when the first settlers arrived—the Indians were migrating to the west, and comparatively few of them remained. A blockhouse was erected, however, in 1830 or ’31, and the murder of a white man by a straggling band of hostile savages during the Black Hawk War threw the small community into a ferment of apprehension.
The township is crossed by several well defined trails. That which is known as the Peorian and Galena runs diagonally from northwest to southeast, passing also through Knox, crossing the northeastern corner of the present city of Knoxville. A little to the west of this is another, which crosses Brush Creek, in Section 30, and forms a sort of pathway from that stream to the headwaters of Haw Creek. Several Indian graves have been found and their traces are yet plainly discernible, just across the Knox Township boundary line, on Section 32. The last appearance of any considerable body of aborigines in the township was in 1843, when several hundred Sacs and Foxes camped on the northwestern quarter of Section 5, while on their way from the north to their reservation in Indian Territory.
About three-fourths of the soil of Orange consists of fertile prairie, the remainder being covered with a good quality of timber. The wooded sections lie along Brush and Haw creeks and their branches, on the west and east, respectively, where the surface is much broken. The center of the township is flat, and here may be found some of the most productive farms in the county. The township is under-laid by three distinct veins of bituminous coal, which are said to be capable of furnishing a well-nigh inexhaustible output but which have been as yet little developed.
The first white family to settle within the present limits of Orange was that of Joseph Wallace, who located on Section 15 in 1830, and found a rudely constructed cabin suffice for their shelter. After the death of his wife, on the old farm, Mr. Wallace removed to Iowa.
Asa Haynes (born in Dutchess County, New York in 1804) came in 1836. He had bought 300 acres on Section 30, on which he erected a one roomed log cabin, in which he took up his residence with his wife, formerly Miss Mary Gaddis, to whom he had been married October 7, 1830. He was hardy, daring and adventurous, but without education other than such as he had obtained during two months’ attendance at an Ohio district school each winter during six or seven years. He brought with him his two children, a half brother, Hiram, and a nephew, Isaac Hill. During their journey from Ohio, which occupied nineteen days, they encountered more or less rainfall during seventeen days, and found the rivers swollen to the summit of their banks, even the horses’ harness never drying. Mr. Haynes was energetic and enterprising, and from the outset proved a potent factor in the development of the new country. He started the first brick yard and in 1840, built the first saw mill, which was operated by water power obtained from Brush Creek. In 1841 he erected a large barn, and the following year replaced his primitive cabin by a brick house, which in those early days was regarded as commodious. While by no means a profound scholar himself, he took a deep interest in the imparting of at least a sound primary education to children. For a time he himself taught an elementary school in his little cabin, and when his brick home was completed, one room was reserved and furnished as a school-room. Miss Frances Moore was the instructress, becoming later, Mrs. Hiram Haynes. Asa Haynes became, in his day, the largest landholder in Orange Township, at one time owning 980 acres. He was one of the adventurers of 1849 and Captain of the “Jayhawkers” company of gold seekers formed at Monmouth. He led this little band of sixty across the continent. The hardships and privations which the men underwent caused many to drop by the way, but Mr. Haynes reached California safely, where he remained until 1851. Later in life he returned to California and made that State his residence for several years. He returned home and died at the house of a daughter, in Missouri, March 29, 1889. Of his six children, only one—Mrs. Nancy J. Wiley, who yet lives on a part of the old homestead—remains in the township.
James Ferguson came from Kentucky, with his family, in the same year with Mr. Wallace, settling on Section 11. He had several children, but only two are at present residents of Orange; Andrew J., a farmer living on Section 10, and Mrs. Sarah Weir, whose home is on Section 15. The elder Ferguson attained prominence as being the first Justice of the Peace and the first Overseer of the Poor in the township. He was also a soldier in the Black Hawk War, being commissioned as Major. He died in 1841, his widow surviving him for twenty years. Both sleep in the quiet plot of ground reserved for sepulture on the old farm.
Peter Godfrey is among the best known settlers of 1832, and he and his wife are among the oldest and most honored couples belonging to the “Old Settlers’ Association of Knox County.” John Denney and John and Simon McAllister arrived two years later, Isaiah Hutton and wife emigrated from the State of New York in 1827. He has since died (1883), but his widow and daughter still find their home on the homestead, which was theirs sixty years ago. Thomas Gilbert was also an early settler, his farm being on Section 8. His son, Thomas, is a prominent citizen of Knoxville, and two of his daughters still reside in that city.
Other early settlers of the township who are worthy of especial mention are as follows: Thomas and James Sumner, who came from Ohio in 1837 and settled on Section 23. James lost his life through an accident, but Thomas still lives at his old home.
Israel Turner emigrated from Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1837. He entered 240 acres on Section 32, remaining there until he died. Anderson Barnett also came in the same year, settling on Section 10. To him belonged the distinction of begetting the largest family of children (eighteen) ever reared in the township, nearly all of whom are yet living.
The oldest residents of the township at present are William Reed and Mrs. Sarah E. Weir.
The early houses were, of course, of logs, and of these Mr. Wallace built the first, on Section 15. Thomas A. Rude erected the first brick dwelling, on the farm of the late William Turner, in the same section. A portion of the latter is still standing, but the residence of Mr. Asa Haynes is probably the oldest structure in the county, remaining precisely as it was built.
The two earliest marriages were those of Alexander Robertson to Narcissa Ferguson, and of Daniel Fugua to Lydia Bomar. This was a double wedding and the ceremony was solemnized by Rev. Jacob Gum, at the Ferguson residence, on Section 10. The first white child born (1833) was Cynthia, daughter of James Ferguson.
It has usually been stated by historians of the township that the first death was that of a Mr. M. Cramer; but one of the oldest living settlers of Orange is authority for the statement that the first person to die was an aged female pauper, who was, at the time of her death, living on the farm of James Ferguson, at the time Overseer of the Poor. Both were interred in a plat of ground on Section 15, known as the McCramer burying ground.
Sixteen burials were made here, when interments were discontinued and there is now nothing to mark the spot. The Ferguson and the Ward burying grounds (the latter on Section 3) are neglected spots and are seldom used. There are, however, two other cemeteries, which are well kept up and which contain many handsome monuments. These are the Haynes, on Section 20, and the McAllister, on Section 12.
The first school house was of logs, and stood on Section 14. It was known as the Wallace School, and religious services were occasionally held within its rude, unplastered walls. The first teacher was Thomas Ellison, who wielded the birch during the winter of 1836. He died at Abingdon in 1897. Mr. Ellison was followed by Anderson Barnett, who taught in 1837 and 1838. The school house erected in what is now District No. 8 was of brick, Israel Turner being the mason and the carpentry being done by Charles Corwin. Miss Amanda Corwin, one of the earliest graduates from Knox College, was the first teacher and remained six years. Another early school house was that within the limits of the present District No. 3, where Miss Mary Gilbert Chaffee was the first to give instruction to boys and girls, some of whom have long since passed away, while others have grown old and silver-haired. At present Orange Township has eight schools, all ungraded, occupying well constructed frame buildings. The houses are modern and represent an outlay, in the aggregate, of about ten thousand dollars. In addition to this sum, libraries and equipments have cost a thousand dollars. The total enrollment of pupils is two hundred and seventeen.
The earliest religious service held in the township was conducted by Rev. Jacob Gum, a Baptist minister, at the home of James Ferguson. The first denomination to organize into a church society was the Methodist Episcopal. This body erected a house of worship known as Orange Chapel in 1855. It was built on Section 22, and was of brick, burned in the yard of Anderson Barnett and laid by Thomas Rambo. The building was dedicated in the spring of 1856, by Rev. Richard Haney. The Gilson Circuit was established in 1857-8, and Orange Chapel was included within its limits. The following is a list of its pastors, from 1857 to 1898: 1857-8, Rev. G. M. Irwine; 1859-60, Rev. Wm. Watson; 1860-61, Rev. C. M. Wright; 1862, Rev. J. B. Mills; 1863, Rev. G. W. Havermale; 1864, Rev. A. Beeler; 1865, Rev. A. Fisher; 1866-7, Rev. Thomas Watson; 1868-9, Rev. Stephen Brink; 1870-1, Rev. G. W. Miller; 1872-3, Rev. Jesse Smith; 1874, Rev. L. B. Dennis; 1877-9, Rev. F. R. Boggess; 1880-1, Rev. Frank Smith; 1882, Rev. N. H. Merriam; 1883, Rev. William Collens; 1886-7, Rev. Geo. D. Hensell; 1888, Rev. E. N. Bently; 1889-90, Rev. Lewis Apringer; 1891, Rev. Alford Mead; 1892, Rev. Samuel Albricht; 1893-5, Rev. B. C. Daniels; 1896, Rev. A. P. Bolen; 1897-8, Rev. S. E. Steele.
Early in the seventies revival services were held at the school house in District No. 4, which resulted in a general awakening of religious interest. At that time there was no organized church other than Orange Chapel, although there was, in the township, a moderate sprinkling of Congregationalists and Protestant Methodists. The fervor of both these sects was aroused. Both denominations organized societies, and Haynes Chapel was built by the Protestant Methodists. The Congregational Church had no place of worship and soon ceased to exist as a local organization. A general religious decline appeared to supervene about the same time, spreading over the territory between Knoxville and Hermon, on the north and south, and Gilson and Abingdon, on the east and west. In fact, for nearly twenty years, or until 1890, Orange Chapel was the only center of organic Christian effort. In the last mentioned year, however, a branch of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor was formed at Haynes Chapel, with nine active members. For several years the young people conducted weekly services there, after their customary fashion, and in 1893, Rev. A. W. Depew of Abingdon began preaching, with marked success; Haynes Chapel being considered an outlying station. By this time the Christian Endeavorers numbered forty, and it was not long before another Congregational church was organized, with twenty-two members. Its first pastor was Rev. Mr. Slater, who preached for the congregation from May 1894 to February 1895. For nearly two years thereafter, the church was without a regular pastor, but on December 1, 1897, Rev. West Alden accepted the congregation’s call. The present membership is thirty-eight, and the Young People’s Society is still maintained. The number of Sunday schools in the township is three, with an average attendance of thirty-six. Mr. J. K. Lawrence is Orange Vice President for the County Association.
The township was organized and its name chosen at a meeting held April 3, 1853. The name seems to have been selected on account of the shape of the central prairie, which, in those early days, was one of the most beautiful spots in the State. Asa Haynes was elected Supervisor; A. Barnett, Clerk; A. Pierce, Assessor; J. G. Rude, Collector; Peter Godfrey and David Stephens, Constables; Samuel Mather and J. Wallace, Overseers of the Poor; J. H. McGrew, Thomas Gilbert and Morris Chase, Highway Commissioners.
The chief industries are agriculture and stock raising, although in those early days, brick yards were started by Asa Haynes, Thompson Rude, and Anderson Barnett. These ventures proved unprofitable, however, and the kilns long ago fell into disintegration and decay. From the time of its settlement, Orange ranked high among the best cereal producing sections of the county, although a lack of transportation facilities prevented the marketing of the grain raised. More than half was used in the fattening of stock. Haynes, Godfrey and Sumner Brothers manifested great interest in improving the quality of live stock, and were the first to introduce spotted China hogs and short horn cattle. The principal market of the pioneers was Peoria, although Canton and Oquawka received a fair share of the farm products. The farmers hauled their produce by teams, receiving in exchange supplies which they carried home to their expectant families. The opening of the first railroad, in 1854, altered the entire situation, shippers now finding Chicago at once the most accessible and most profitable market.
The only village in Orange is DeLong, a flourishing little station on the line of the Narrow Gauge Road. It came into existence in 1882, and owes its being—as it does its name—to S. H. Malory. He bought the site from Wayne Marks when the preliminary survey of the line was made, in anticipation of a station being established thereon, and called the village DeLong in honor of the explorer of that name. It can boast two general stores, a barber shop, two blacksmith shops, two grain elevators, a building containing a hall and store room, and about a dozen residences. Its population is about fifty, and it is a relatively important shipping point for grain and stock.
Two societies have branches there. The Modern Woodmen established a camp in 1896, with sixteen members. The first officers were: C. A. Clark, V.C.; W. A. Wiley, Ca.; A. L. Turner, E. B.; F. Hopkins, W.A.; G. M. Clark, E.; E. T. Haynes, W.; G. W. Logue, S.; W. H. Wiley, J. Boston and J. F. Turner, Managers. The present official staff is composed of: R. L. Eiker, V.C.; W. A. Wiley, C.; E. Haynes, E.B.; B. C. King, W.A.; C. Wollsey, E.; J. Eckman, W.; E. Tucker, S.; L. Mather, W. Wise, and F.N. Clark, Managers.
A lodge of Good Templars was organized in the fall of 1897 and has greatly prospered, its present membership exceeding fifty. Its first officers were: H. L. Haynes, C.T.; Mrs. A. Wiley, V.T.; Miss Amy Briley, Secretary; Miss Sarah Haynes, Financial Secretary; E. T. Haynes, Marshal.
The township furnished its full quota of troops in both the Mexican and Civil wars, and has within its borders one veteran of both—the venerable Aaron Weir.
The census figures relative to population are as follows: In 1840, 490; in 1860, 876; in 1870, 1,167; in 1880, 1,130; in 1890, 851.
Orange Township Biographies
Asa Haynes -- Walter Redd -- Israel Turner -- James Borrell -- Frank Nelson Clark -- James W. Dunbar -- John L. Dunbar -- John Calvin Eiker -- Andrew J. Ferguson -- James A. Ferguson -- Jacob Gaddis -- George Long -- Anson Massey -- George E. Reynolds -- Lemuel W. Shreeves -- Alonzo T. Steele -- Samuel M. Turner -- William A. Wiley -- William H. Wiley
Captain Asa Haynes was born in 1804, in Dutchess Co., NY. He was of Scotch-Irish parentage, his grandfather, Enoch Haynes, having come to this country early in its history, together with a brother, William, who settled in one of the Carolinas.
The mother of Asa died while her son was an infant, and he was cared for by an older sister. At nine years of age he was “bound out” but six years later he rejoined his father, who was “coming west”. Clinton Co, OH was their destination, and here the boy helped clear the farm and shared in the toil and hardship of pioneer life. Now and then in the winter time he was sent to school for a brief term, but he received altogether not more than thirteen months of such instruction.
At the age of twenty-two, together with an older brother, purchased a farm; and four years later, Oct. 7, 1830, Mr. Haynes was married to Miss Mary Gaddis, of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was of Irish descent, was a noted beauty, and there were many suitors for her hand. She proved a devoted wife, and cheerfully bore her part in the common burdens of the time.
In 1836, Mr. and Mrs. Haynes removed to Knox County. They occupied nineteen days upon the trip, in almost continuous rain, finding the rivers greatly swollen, and reaching their journey’s end only after much discomfort and danger. They began their residence in Illinois in a log cabin of one room, located in Section 30 of Orange Township, where Mr. Haynes had purchased 300 acres of land.
The enterprise of Asa Haynes was equal to the opportunities afforded by the undeveloped country. Soon after his arrival he started a brick yard, and in 1840, built a saw-mill on Brush Creek. His appreciation of the advantages of education is evidenced by the fact that in winter he opened a school in his own house and taught it himself. In 1843 he built a large frame barn—the largest in the county at the time. The “raising” was an historic event; with only three exceptions every man in Knox County was present to assist. The next year saw the erection of a fine two-story brick house of twelve rooms, which is still standing. The lumber for the barn and the brick for the dwelling had been manufactured by Mr. Haynes himself; most of the furniture was constructed on the spot, a competent workman having been secured for the purpose. A large number of hands were employed upon the place, until it seemed more like a colony than a farm. Sheep were kept to supply the wool needed for clothing, and a tailoress was hired for six months every year to cut and make the homespun suits. With such a spirit of ambitious enterprise Mr. Haynes prospered, and performed his part in the development of Knox County. He was County Commissioner and Supervisor for several years.
Mr. Haynes was one of the celebrated “Jayhawkers” of 1849, and in that year, crossed the plains as Captain of the company from Monmouth. He was a republican, and during the Civil War was outspoken in the _expression of loyal sentiments and was several times threatened by the notorious Knights of the Golden Circle, though without effect.
For many years he was a noted stock-raiser, having been the first to introduce the spotted China hog, and one of the three men who first brought shorthorn cattle into Knox County. He was one of the founders of the Knox County Agricultural Society. At one time, Mr. Haynes owned nearly 1,000 acres of land in Orange Township, 500 acres in Iowa, and two fine farms in California, where, for several years, he made his home.
In religion he was a Protestant Methodist. He died at the old homestead in Orange Township March 29, 1889.
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Haynes: Clark, deceased; Margaret; Elizabeth; Anna M., deceased; Nancy; Mary E.; Charles A.; and Elery, deceased. One son and one daughter live in Kansas; two daughters are living in Missouri, and one daughter lives in Orange Township, near the old home. [back]
son of John and Elizabeth (Barber) Redd, was born in Shenandoah Co, VA., March 27, 1820. His father was a farmer and had served his country as a soldier in the War of 1812. His parents died while he was a lad of seven or eight years of age. The early struggle for a livelihood was a severe one, and the youth was glad to make a living as best he could.
In Feb. 1842, Mr. Redd, in his twenty-second year, came to Knox County. He had no capital, and for a year and a half worked here and there as he found opportunity. He then went to Knoxville and secured employment in a flour-mill, where he remained eight years and thoroughly learned the miller’s trade. Having accumulated a little money, he purchased 160 acres of land on Section 11 in Orange Township, where he lived until his death, improving his land and adding thereto until he had a farm of about 300 acres. Mr. Redd was a member of Knoxville Lodge, No. 66, A.F. and A.M. He was a republican.
Sept. 12, 1844, Mr. Redd was married to Frances Allen, daughter of William and Nancy (Wilkins) Allen. She was born in Jefferson Co. IN, April 5, 1826. Her father was a native of Kentucky; her mother was born in PA. The Allen family came to Knox County about 1836 and took up land in Persifer Township, where Mr. and Mrs. Allen remained until their death.
Mr. and Mrs. Redd are the parents of twelve children: Benjamin F., deceased; Robert H.; John W.; Julia and Julius, twins, both deceased; Lorena; Blanch; Frank; and Ida M., deceased. Robert married Melissa McDowell and is a farmer in Iowa; John married Clara Barnett and is a farmer in Colorado; Julia married John F. Fink and lived in Nebraska; Lorena is the wife of Peter Hawley, and lives in Knoxville; Blanch is the wife of Julius J. Maxey, and lived in Knox Township; Ida married Park Garwood and her home was in Nebraska; Grace married James Mowry and lived in Iowa; Etta is the wife of Frank Motter and lives in Persifer Township, Knox County. [back]
Was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1812. His parents were Henry and Susanna (Halderman) Turner, of Pennsylvania. They were of German ancestry. Henry Turner was a stone mason.
Israel Turner had no educational advantages other than the district schools.
At sixteen years of age he found employment as a boat hand on the Schuylkill and Union Canal, and at nineteen was master of a boat. After three years of this life he left the canal, and learned the trade of stone-cutter and mason, after which he found steady employment in bridge construction on the canal, and along the line of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.
In 1837, Mr. Turner came to Illinois, and, being favorably impressed with the fertility and promise of the prairie soil, he entered a claim for 240 acres of wild land in Orange Township, Knox County, and in 1840, began its cultivation. In addition, he found opportunity to work at his trade, and in 1843 he cut stone for the foundation of the first Congregational Church in Galesburg. From time to time he added to the acreage of his farm, and eventually became the owner of more than 1,000 acres in Orange and the adjoining townships.
Feb. 13, 1844, Mr. Turner was married to Lucinda E. Hammond, daughter of George and Elinor (Taylor) Hammond. She was born in Waterville, Kennebec Co, Maine, in 1826, and came with her mother to Galesburg in 1843. Mr. and Mrs. Turner were the parents of eleven children: Elizabeth E., married Michael Enwright, and lives in Iowa; Henry W., who lives on the old homestead, near DeLong; Hamilton J. married Anna R. Grimm and lives in Kansas; Israel F. married Anna E. Howerter, and lives in DeLong, Orange Township; Anna E. married Henry A. Howerter, and lives in Fulton Co, IL.; Isaac P. and Willoughby F., deceased; Abraham L. married Hattie C. Haynes, and lives at DeLong; Lenora A. married Albert C. Howerter, of DeLong; Elnora C. deceased; and Otis G. who married Lydia Tucker, and resides at DeLong.
Mr. Turner was, and his wife is, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. In politics he was a republican. He died Feb. 5, 1888. [back]
Farmer; Orange Township; born in England, July 31, 1842; educated in the common schools. His parents, Pattan and Roseannah (Johnson) Borrell, were English, as were his paternal grandparents, James and Elizabeth (Pattan) Borrell, and his maternal grandfather, Johnson.
March 27, 1867, Mr. Borrell was married to Eva N. Roberts, in Knoxville, IL. They have had four children: Mary L.; Fannie E.; Charlie P.; and Lenna L.
In politics Mr. Borrell is a republican. He holds the office of School Director. [back]
Frank Nelson Clark
Stockman; Orange Township; born July 15, 1864, at the Clark Homestead, Orange Township; educated in Knox County. His parents are Luther and Sarah Yeager Clark, the former from New Jersey; his grandfather was Abraham Clark. Mr. Frank N. Clark was married in Knoxville February 07, 1889, to Jennie R. daughter of John R. Wilder, of Knoxville, His father, Luther Clark, came from New Jersey to Knox County with his parents in 1843, and now owns a farm of two hundred and twenty acres. Frank N. was brought up his father's farm and became a practical farmer. when a boy ten years of age he was given charge of the swine which he bought, sold and improved according to his own good judgment which was remarkable. After clerking three winters in Knoxville, he returned to the farm, at the age of twenty-four, and became well known as the owner of "Orange Herd" of Poland China hogs. This stock is recorded; and one pig, Hadley's Model No. 35913, is valued at $3,000. Mr. Clark is a republican, and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. [back]
James W. Dunbar
Farmer; Orange Township; born Feb. 13, 1856, in Macon Co, IL.; educated in the Orange Township common schools and at St. Alban’s College, Knoxville, IL. His parents were Chauncey Dunbar of Ashtabula Co, OH, and Debby Ann (Woolsey) Dunbar of Saratoga Co, NY. His paternal grandparents, Thomas and Ruth (Harper) Dunbar, were from Ohio; his great-grandfather was Jacob Dunbar; his maternal grandparents, John and Elizabeth (Bradshaw) Woolsey, came from New York.
Mr. Dunbar was married to Ida A. Cox, Dec. 23, 1881 in Macon County. Their children are: Chauncey A., and Lenna A.
Mrs. Dunbar was the daughter of John F. and Mary A. (Carver) Cox, of Macon County.
Mr. Dunbar came to Knox County with his father in 1857; his father died June 1, 1898, leaving two sons and two daughters: John L., James W., Lucy A., and Eliza A. A son, Thomas, died in 1886. The mother died in 1890. The family came from Scotland at an early day, and settled in Ohio in 1798. Mr. James W. Dunbar lives on a well improved farm near DeLong. [back]
John L. Dunbar
Farmer; Orange Township; born in Marion Co, OH., Dec. 31, 1842; educated in the common schools. His parents were Chauncey Dunbar of Ashtabula Co, OH., and Debby A. (Woolsey) Dunbar of Saratoga Co., N.Y.; his paternal grandparents were Thomas and Ruth (Harper) Dunbar of Ohio; his maternal grandparents were John and Elizabeth (Bradshaw) Woolsey of New York; his great-grandfather was Jacob Dunbar. The Dunbars came from Scotland and settled in New York, whence they removed to Ohio in 1798; the grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution.
John L. came to Illinois with his father in 1857; the father died June 1, 1898; the mother died in 1891. Mr. Dunbar lives with his two sisters upon the homestead. He is a republican. [back]
John Calvin Eiker
Farmer; Orange Township; born January 24, 1833, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, where he was educated in the common schools. His parents were John Eiker of Carroll County, Maryland, and Charlotte Meyers Eiker of Fredericks City, Maryland; his paternal grandfather was David Eiker; his paternal great-grandfather, Abraham Eiker, a miller by trade, came from Germany and settled in Maryland; his maternal great-grandparents were Lawrence Myers, of Germany and Rebecca Horner. Mr. Eiker was married in Knoxville March 04, 1858, to Sarah Agnes Armstrong. They have six children: Calvin A.,; Edith May; Blanch M., wife of A. R. Green; Charlotte, wife of Gilbert Scott; Elmer Grant; and Roy Leander. Mr. Eiker's father drove his family overland from Pennsylvania to Knox County in 1852. He was a miller and farmer. and in 1863, removed to Decatur, Iowa, where he died at the age of eighty years. His wife died at the age of seventy-three. John C. Eiker was nineteen years old when he came to Knox County. He is a very successful and progressive farmer and owns two hundred and twenty acres of finely improved land. in 1874, he was elected President of the Farmer's Fire and Lightning Insurance Company, and during his twenty-five years of service, he has rendered valuable aid to the association. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics, he is a republican, and has filled most of the local offices. [back]
Andrew J. Ferguson
Farmer; Orange Township, where he was born April 25, 1836; educated in the district schools. His father, James Ferguson, was from Barren County, Kentucky, while his mother, Martha Maxey, came from Buckingham County, Virginia. His paternal grandmother was a native of Ireland, while his grandfather, Ferguson, was from Scotland. His maternal grandmother's maiden name was Wodfin, and both she and his grandfather, Maxey, were natives of Virginia. December 25, 1867, Mr. Ferguson married Victoria Woodmansee in Knox County; they have had three children, James A., George L., and Bessie L. In Politics, Mr. Ferguson is a democrat.[back]
James A. Ferguson
Farmer; Orange Township; born August 23, 1869; educated in the common schools. His father, Andrew J. Ferguson and his grandfather, James Ferguson, came from Kentucky to Orange Township about 1836. Mr. Ferguson was married to Minnie Mather, daughter of Richard Mather, at Galesburg, February 03, 1893. They have one child, Edith. Mr. Ferguson is a democrat. [back]
Farmer; Orange Township; born June 09, 1837, in Orange Township; educated in the common schools. His parents were James Gaddis of Pennsylvania, and Margaret Sunderland Gaddis of New Jersey. He was married to Luella L. Kennedy in Knoxville, Illinois, December 24, 1857; their children are: John H., Charles W., Henry, Frank E., Emma J., Mrs. M. Pink; Clara B., Mrs. Albert Turner, Mary, Mrs. Robert Haines; Martha , Mrs. Harvey Redd; Ora, and two deceased. James Gaddis was a farmer and came to Orange Township in 1836; he died in 1874, leaving two sons; Thomas and Jacob. After his marriage, Mr. Jacob Gaddis came to the farm he now occupies, and soon became a prominent farmer of the township. He is a democrat, and was Highway Commissioner for sometime, and School Director for fifteen years. [back]
Farmer; Orange Township; born September 14, 1817, near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; educated in the common schools. His parents, George and Catherine (Duffy) Long, came from Pennsylvania. He was married to Susanna, daughter of David Belden, in Galesburg, November 20, 1851. They had five children: George H., Jane, Anna, Catherine Bell, and Martha. Martha was married to Charles Hutson, son of George Hutson; they have one son, Chester. Mr. Long came with his father and family from Ohio to Knox County, in 1835, and settled at Knoxville. In 1840, he settled on the farm where his father died in 1862, leaving three sons. Mrs. Long died in 1884, since which time, Mr. Long has lived with his daughter, Martha. Mr. Long is a republican. He has traveled extensively. [Tr. by K.T.] [back]
(deceased); Farmer; Orange Township; born in May 1817, at Wilmington, Ohio, where he was educated. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Hale) Massey of North Carolina; his grandfathers were Francis Massey of N.C. and Jacob Hale of PA.
He was married to Elizabeth Hill, Feb. 7, 1838 in Clinton Co, Ohio. Their children are: Louisa, Isaac, Frank, Mary, Eli, Katharine E., Julia Martha, and Alfred. Isaac and Frank served in the Civil War. Katharine E. was married to William McCleary; their children are: George S., Nancy J., Lena C., Frank A, Elmer E, William M., Cora Edith, and Mary Elizabeth.
Mr. Massey came to Knox County in June 1844 with his wife and three children. They spent one winter in Knoxville and then removed to Abingdon, where he worked at his trade of harness-maker until he began to farm in Orange Township. He died in Feb. 1894.
Mrs. Massey was the daughter of Ephriam R. and Content (Haynes) Hill. The father of E. R. Hill was Isaac Hill, who was born at Newberg, NY. Mrs. E.R. Hill was born in Dutchess Co, NY, and was the daughter of Enoch and Elizabeth (Birdsell) Haynes. Enoch Haynes was a son of Asa Haynes, a native of Scotland, who bought land on the Croton River, NY, which is still owned by his descendants.
Robert E. Hill, brother of Mrs. Massey, came to Knox County in the spring of 1838. In 1839 he bought the farm of 165 acres where Mrs. Massey now lives. He was highly respected by all. The great-great-grandfather, Asa Haynes, had a brother, William, who settled in South Carolina, and who was the ancestor of the Haynes family of the South.
In politics, Mr. Anson Massey was a republican. [back]
George E. Reynolds
Farmer; Orange Township; born 1857 in Knox Township; educated at Lombard University, Galesburg. He is a son of Edward Reynolds. He went to Wood County in 1880.
In 1882 Mr. Reynolds was married to Sarah McNeal, who died, leaving three children: Clarence, Aline, and Mary. His second marriage was with Mrs. Ida Moore, in 1890, daughter of Thomas Smith of Knoxville. They have one daughter, Josephine.
Mr. Reynolds came to Orange Township in 1885, where he has since lived. He is a member of the Christian Church. He is a republican. [back]
Lemuel W. Shreeves
Farmer; Orange Township; born Jan 28, 1854 in Bedford Co, PA.; educated in the common schools.
He was married Feb. 19, 1874 to Martha Beecham in Galesburg. They have had six children, of whom five are living: Roy, Elva, Okey, Carrie Inez, and Bertha.
Mr. Shreeves is the son of David and Mary A. (Horton) Shreeves of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Edward Shreeves of England, died in 1870. David Shreeves came to Knox County May 10, 1855 and settled on the line between Knox and Fulton counties, buying a large tract of land, which he farmed until his death in 1873.
Lemuel stayed on the home farm till 1898, when he came to Orange Township. Mr. Shreeves is a Methodist. In politics he is a democrat. [back]
Alonzo T. Steele
Farmer; Orange Township; born June 15, 1851 in West Virginia; educated in the common schools. His parents are John and Mary E. Steele. They came to Illinois in 1851, and settled in Peoria County and moved to a farm near Gilson, Knox Co., in 1875; they now reside in Gilson, Haw Creek Township.
Alonzo T. lived on the farm in Persifer Township until 1888 when he removed to Knoxville and engaged in the lumber business. In 1892 he moved to a farm in Orange Township.
He was married to Sarah L., daughter of Peter Lacy, near Gilson, Dec. 4, 1875. Their children are: Ella, Arthur, Loy, William, Harley, and Faye. Ella was married to Edwin D. Cramer of DeLong, Sept., 8, 1898. Mr. Steele is a member of the Congregational Church. He is a republican. [back]
Samuel M. Turner
Farmer; Orange Township; born Oct. 6, 1853 in Chester Co, PA; educated in the common schools. His father was William Turner of Lancaster, PA; his mother’s maiden name was Refinger. His grandfather was William Turner.
Mr. S. M. Turner married Mary E. Metcalf in 1884 in Orange Township; their children are: Orin, Lee, Jennie, Eva, Gertrude, Maud, Pearl, and Mark. Mrs. Turner died Feb. 28, 1897.
Mr. Turner’s father was a farmer and came to Knox County in 1851. He died in 1896, aged 79 years, and left six sons and three daughters.
Mr. Turner is a democrat. [back]
William A. Wiley
Merchant; born in Orange Township, Knox County, Illinois, Arpil 6, 1869. His parents were William H. Wiley, of Wayne Co, IN, and Nancy J. (Haynes) Wiley, of Orange Township. His paternal grandparents were John Wiley of Bartonia, Indiana, and Mary A. (Hall) Wiley. His maternal grandparents were Asa Haynes, of Dutchess County, New York, and Mary J. (Gaddis) Haynes of Fayette Co, PA. His great-grandparents were Thomas and Nancy (Broden) Wiley of Bethel, Indiana.
Mr. Wiley was married to Anna M. Beamer, at DeLong, Illinois, Aug. 28, 1890. She was born in Gettysburg, PA, June 23, 1870, and came to Illinois with her parents when five years of age. Her parents, Henry M. and Maria (Storrick) Beamer, now live in Knoxville. Mr. and Mrs. Wiley’s children are: Elsie Mildred, born at DeLong June 8, 1891; and Charles Leslie, born at DeLong May 13, 1895, and died June 12, 1897.
Mr. Wiley graduated from the Western Business College, Galesburg, in 1891. He is in partnership with his father in a general merchandise store under the firm name of W. H. Wiley and Son. His father was a soldier in the War of the Rebellion; he was Supervisor for three years.
In religion Mr. W. A. Wiley is a Congregationalist. He is a republican, and at present holds the office of Supervisor. In 1892 he was elected Justice of the Peace, holding the office for four years. He was then elected Town Clerk, which office he held until his election as Supervisor. [back]
William H. Wiley
Farmer and Merchant, DeLong, Orange Township; born in Indiana in 1845; educated in Knox County. Mr. Wiley’s parents were John and Mary (Hall) Wiley, natives of Indiana. His paternal grandparents, Edward and Nancy (Braden) Wiley, were Virginians. His maternal grandfather was born in the South, and his maternal grandmother, Ruth (Nance), was a Virginian.
In 1867, Mr. Wiley was married to Miss N.J. Haynes. They have two children: William A. and Winifred H. Mr. Wiley has been a member of the Protestant Methodist Church for twenty-five years. In politics he is a republican.
He enlisted at Knoxville, IL., Nov. 8, 1863, in Company D. Seventh Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, and participated in the following battles: Collierville, Moscow, Summerville, Coldwater, Pulaski, Camelville, Duck Creek, Franklin, Nashville, Springhill, and other smaller skirmishes. He was mustered out at Nashville, TN: and was discharged at Springfield, IL., Nov. 9, 1865. Mr. Wiley has held the following offices: Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, School Director, and Postmaster at DeLong, which position he has filled for twelve years and still holds. [back]
Indian Point Township History (pg. 932)
By M. B. Hardin
Probably the first white man to visit Indian Point Township with a view to making his home within its boundaries was Azel Dossey, who entered it from Cedar in 1829, but remained only a few years. The first permanent settlement was made five years later, by John C. Latimer, who, in 1834, emigrated from Tennessee with his family. About the same time John H. Lomax came from Kentucky and settled in Section 7, and Stephen Howard, of the same State, who, with his family, settled on Section 6, putting up the first log cabin on that section. The next arrivals were in the following year (1835), when John Howard, Isaac and Alexander Latimer, and John Crawford pre-empted claims on Section 16. Mr. Crawford was a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Two years later, Alexander Latimer sold his claim to Daniel Meek, and removed to Cedar. With Mr. Meek came John Killiam, who settled on Sections 15 and 22. Henry D. Russell emigrated from Virginia at about the same time, and entered a claim in Section 24, where he lived for more than a quarter of a century, erecting the first brick house in the township in 1844. He was a thorough farmer, and his farm was one of the finest in the county. Early in the sixties he sold it to James R. Johnston, removing to Abingdon, and later to Kansas. Others followed, and the population of the new settlement began to grow space. Merriweather Brown made his clearing in Section 7, and Bartlett Boydstrom on Section 17. Mr. Brown became a prominent citizen, and was at one time County Commissioner; and Mr. Boydstrom’s son, William A., is superintendent of the building and bridge department of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, at Galesburg. In 1837 John Howard disposed of his claim to John Davidge, who had moved into the township from Woodford County.
Among those who at this period—and for many years afterward—were reckoned leading men, may be mentioned Daniel Meek, to whom reference has been already made. He was an extensive breeder of fine live stock, and took a lively interest in public affairs. At different times he held the offices of Justice of the Peace, Supervisor and County Commissioner.
It is of interest to recall the names of these early pioneers and to bring to mind the memory of their stalwart virtues and their power of hardy endurance, but the imperative necessity for the curtailment of space forbids more than a passing mention of many whose names are as a household word in the township. John Shumaker, Sr., settled on Section 12, in 1837. He was the father of a large family, of whom one son, James, lives in the same locality at the present time. Charles Fielder settled in the southern part of the township in 1838; and John Vertrees and William Stewart in 1839. That same year arrived Timothy and Julius Shay, who moved from Section 6 to Section 28 in 1844. George Hunt came in 1840; John Crowell in 1841; George Bowden, who settled in Section 14, in 1843; William Crawford, in 1844; and Charles Smith, who settled in Section 24 in 1846. Among others who came in the late forties and early fifties were Seth Bellwood, John Christopher, Silas Roe, Jacob Miller, Hugh Lowrey and George Cox. John Brown came in 1853. He has three sons, who, like himself, became prosperous farmers, and a daughter, who is the wife of J. Warren Dawley.
The early settlers encountered no Indians, although traces of aboriginal occupation were plainly discernible on every side. They found remains of the wigwams of the red men, together with innumerable flints, arrow and spear heads, axes and other implements of domestic or warlike use among savage tribes. It was the abundance of these relics that gave the locality its name—“Indian Point.” Comparatively little timber was found by the pioneers, and this grew chiefly in Sections 31 and 36, along the borders of Indian and Cedar creeks and of the small streams which were their tributaries. They did, however, find well watered, rolling prairies, with rich, arable soil, of dark color, which held out promises which both the past and present have richly fulfilled. Today Indian Point is one of the most fertile and highly cultivated townships in the county. Its fertility may be ascribed to Nature and to Nature’s God; its cultivation is due to the patient toil and resolute perseverance of its citizens. The highest point of elevation is on Mount Hope farm, owned by R. E. Ward, from which may be obtained a view extending twelve miles to the east and commanding most of Indian Point, part of Cedar and Orange and all of Chestnut Hill townships. A noteworthy feature of the agricultural interests at the present time is that nearly, if not quite, one-third of the farms are leased to tenants, the owners having either retired from active pursuits or taken up a residence where better educational advantages are obtainable for their children.
Most of the farmers are engaged in the raising of cereals and the propagation and marketing of live stock. Among those who stand foremost in these lines may be named W. W. Byram, Robert Byram, J. W. Dawley, J. Warren Dawley, Robert Smith, James Bowton, George and Thomas Brown, William Cable, Frank Hall, T. H. Roe, and Mr. Johnson. A fine breed of short-horn cattle is extensively raised and sold by J. W. Dawley and Son, on whose stock farm is also raised a large number of colts of Norman blood. W. W. and Robert Byram also deal largely in choice colts of this breed, raised by themselves. The breeding of fine Poland-China hogs is a feature on the farms of Indian Point. This is made a specialty by J. W. Lomax, J. L. Cashman, and Charles and Robert Shumaker.
The first birth in the township was a girl-baby, born to John H. and Nancy Lomax, in 1835; the second was also a daughter, sent to John C. and Nancy Latimer, the birthdays of the two children being not far apart. The first marriage was that of William Ogden to Damantha Roberts, which was solemnized Oct. 19, 1837 by Justice John Terry, of Chestnut Township. The first death to occur was that of Mr. Hubbard, who had settled in Section 16 in 1838. He died there, and his was the first interment in Indian Point cemetery.
The first public Protestant religious services held in the township, of which any record has been preserved, were conducted by Rev. John Crawford, a Cumberland Presbyterian clergyman, who has been already named as one of the earliest settlers. They were held at the house of John Howard. In 1848 the first church organization (and the only one ever formed outside of Abingdon and St. Augustine) was effected, under the guidance of Rev. Mr. Williams, of the Methodist Protestant denomination, at the “Valley School House.” The body disbanded in 1858. Subsequently the Methodist Episcopal Church organized a “class,” but it did not long continue in existence. A Roman Catholic mission was established at the present site of St. Augustine at a comparatively early date. It was visited by Father St. Cyrid in 1837. A building was erected, and dedicated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Kendrick of St. Louis, in 1843. Twenty years later a new structure was built. The present value of the church’s holdings of real estate is ten thousand dollars, the property being free of debt.
The first school was opened in the winter of 1837-38, its teacher being Dennis Clark, who, together with Jonathan Latimer, broke the first ground on the prairie in Section 6, in 1835. Mr. Clark was afterwards elevated to the bench, and is still living in the township. At that time the school district embraced all of Indian Point, together with a part of Warren County, and the original school house was constructed, after a solid fashion, of logs, and located in Section 16. The first winter’s roll contained the names of thirty pupils.
Township organization was effected on April 5, 1853, at a meeting at which Samuel H. Ritchey was Moderator and Thomas A. Baldwin Clerk. The first officers elected were: Daniel Meek, Supervisor; Dennis Clark, Clerk; S. H. Ritchey, Assessor; Jefferson M. Dawley, Collector; and Henry Ground and Charles Williams, Justices of the Peace.
At present (1899) the township is crossed by two railroads—the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and the Central Iowa—affording easy access for crops and stocks to all the great markets of the northwest and southwest. In earlier days, Copperas Creek and Peoria, on the Illinois, Oquawka, on the Mississippi, and Chicago divided the trade. An illustration of commercial methods before the advent of railways may be of interest. William Stewart and Daniel Meek hauled the first load of wheat to Chicago. They sold it for twenty-five cents a bushel; bought salt with the proceeds; carted the salt back to Indian Point, and disposed of it at a profit which they considered amply satisfactory.
The first two villages to spring up (and the principal ones today) were and are Abingdon, on the northern line, and St. Augustine, in the south. A description of the latter—somewhat in detail—is given in a succeeding paragraph.
Of the old time settlers of the township, but one is left—Judge Dennis Clark, of South Abingdon. The most venerable inhabitant, however, is Marsham Lucas, who has attained the extraordinary age of 96 years, and whose remarkable strength gives promise of his rounding out a century.
The population of the township, as shown by the United States census returns, increased from 218 in 1840, to 1,946 in 1890. The figures given during the intermediate decades were: 1860, 1,195; in 1870, 1,854; in 1880, 1,725. At present (1899) it is estimated at 1,100, exclusive of Abingdon and St. Augustine.
Outside of these towns there are six school houses (five frame and one of brick), valued at seven thousand dollars, in each of which the school terms extend over eight months.
The site of St. Augustine, Fulton County, known as old St. Augustine, was first occupied by Osten Mattingly and Samuel Smith, in 1835. They named the settlement after St. Augustine, the apostle of Africa. Mr. Smith returned to Kentucky in 1837, and Henry Mattingly arrived about the same time. The latter was born in Maryland, in 1797, and Osten one year later. They came to Illinois from Kentucky, where their parents had settled. The brothers formed a partnership and opened a store, and it was not long before a thriving settlement sprang up. When the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was built, the company found a side track could not be built nearer the village than the site of the present depot. Consequently, business soon drifted away from the old town. In 1854, the original village of what, not improperly, may be called new St. Augustine was laid out, and a survey made by E. T. Byram in 1856. Mattingly’s first addition was made in 1857. The site is one-half mile north of the old village, in Section 32, of Indian Point.
The place contains four general stores, conducted by enterprising business men, and two churches, Catholic and Christian.
April 29, 1897, a disastrous fire destroyed about two-thirds of the business portion of the village. But the inhabitants are industrious and progressive, and probably the loss will soon be repaired. The present population is about three hundred. In 1880 it was two hundred and eighty-nine; in 1890, two hundred and fifty-five.
The St. Augustine Camp of Modern Woodmen was organized September 24, 1896, with sixteen members. The first officers were: James Tamney, V. C.; M. J. Babbitt, W. A.; H. V. Harrod, E. B.; J. W. Decker, Clerk. The present membership is twenty-eight, and the officers are: James Tamney, V. C.; M. J. Babbitt, W. A.; G. H. Babbitt, E. B.; and H.V. Harrod, Clerk.
Indian Point Township Biographies
John Brown -- George Brown -- Warren Dawdy -- Benjamin F. Graham -- Milton Baxter Hardin -- Elisha John -- Olof G. Johnson -- William C. McElrea -- Truman H. Roe -- James Shumaker -- Milton Stegall
Son of George and Martha (Hopkins) Brown, was born in Clermont Co., OH., Feb. 26, 1825. His paternal ancestry is Welsh, his great-grandfather, Joseph Brown, having come from Wales when a young man, in time to carry a musket with the Continental Army in the War for Independence. The musket is now a cherished heirloom of his descendents. After the war, Joseph Brown settled in Kentucky, and was one of the pioneers engaged in constructing the Fort Laramie military road through that State into Ohio. In 1880, his son, whose name was Joseph, moved his family across the Ohio River on a raft, and took a farm in Clermont County, adjoining the old Fort Denison tract, an important military center during the Civil War. His wife was Mary (Parks) Brown, also of Kentucky. There were thirteen children, of whom two still survive. George Brown, the father of John Brown, was born in 1800, just before the removal of the family to Ohio. His wife was Martha (Hopkins) Brown. They had nine children.
John Brown was born on the old homestead, and received his education in the common schools. For seven years he served in the State militia, a member of the Newberry Company, First Ohio Regiment.
May 1, 1849, Mr. Brown was married to Eliza Ann Cox, daughter of James and Anna (South) Cox, residents of Ohio. Four years later, in 1853, Mr. and Mrs. Brown came to Illinois and settled in Indian Point Township, where Mr. Brown engaged in farming. He afterwards bought land on Section 15, where he now resides. He gradually added to his farm until eventually he was the owner of six hundred and forty acres, the greater portion of which he divided among his children.
Mr. Brown is a prominent farmer and stockman. He belongs to the denomination called Christian. In politics he is a democrat. He never had a lawsuit, nor was he ever summoned as a witness on a case. Mr. and Mrs. Brown celebrated their golden wedding May 1, 1899.
There are five children: John W.; George; Thomas S.; James William; and Ann, wife of J. Warren Dowdy. Three of the sons are farmers in Indian Point Township.
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born in Clinton Co., OH, Sept. 28, 1855; educated in the common schools. His father, William Brown, was born in Ohio; his mother, Mary (Smith) Brown was born in Virginia. His maternal grandfather, John S. Smith, was born in Virginia, and his paternal grandfather, George Brown, in Kentucky.
June 5, 1879, in Abingdon, Mr. Brown was married to Phoebe Swegle. Three of their children are living, Alta, Roland, and Mary; one son, Herbert, died in infancy.
Mrs. Brown is the daughter of Lafayette Swegle, a farmer who came from New Jersey at an early day.
In 1866 Mr. Brown came from Ohio with his father. He was a farmer and died in 1888, leaving four sons: John, Harvey, Robert, and George M. George M. left the old homestead in 1895, and bought the farm where his wife was born. In religion, Mr. Brown is a Christian. In politics he is a democrat.
Farmer; Indian Point Township, where he was born September 29, 1847; educated in the common schools. His parents, John and Tabitha Boydstun Dawdy, were natives of Kentucky. His paternal grandfather was James Dawdy. John Dawdy came to Illinois and settled in Wood County in 1826. Later, in 1836, he came to Knox County, and died in Indian Point Township in 1875. February 01, 1872, Warren Dawdy, was married to Anna Brown in Indina Point Township. They have had two children: Clara, Now Mrs. Robinson; and Minnie. The same year, Mr. Dawdy settled on the farm where he now lives. He is one of the prominent farmers of the county. In politics, he is a democrat.
Benjamin F. Graham
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born in 1865, in Clinton Co, OH; educated in Bartlett’s Commercial College, Cincinnati, OH. His parents, Samuel and Margaret (Hunter) Graham, were natives of Ohio; his paternal grandfather, Jonathan Graham, was born in Maryland. His maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were named Benjamin; the latter came from Ireland.
Oct. 23, 1894, Mr. Graham was married in Indian Point Township to Bell Myres. Mrs. Graham is a daughter of Stephen Myres, one of the early settlers of Indian Point, who died May 7, 1895, leaving one son, Harry, and four daughters: Bell, Emma, Lena, and Nellie.
Mr. Graham came to Indian Point Township in 1889, and began clerking in a store in Herman. Later he clerked for Mosser and Son in Abingdon, but in 1895, settled on the Myres homestead, where he is a farmer and stockman. In politics Mr. Graham is a republican.
Milton Baxter Hardin
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born July 12, 1829 in Clermont Co, OH., where he was educated. His parents, John and Mary (Dole) Hardin, and his paternal grandparents, Peter and Elizabeth (Rowan) Hardin, were born in New Jersey, as were his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Rebecca Dole.
Mr. Hardin was married in Fulton Co, IL, Jan. 28, 1864 to Ada C. Parker, daughter of Payton and Laney (McArthur) Parker of Virginia, and Ohio, respectively. Their children are: Hattie, wife of Eddy Cable of Kewanee, IL; and King Milton. They are graduates of Hedding College, Abingdon. Mrs. Cable has two children: Mildred and Merwin H.
In 1851, at the age of twenty-two, Mr. Hardin came to Illinois and in 1854 settled in Warren County. He clerked in a store in Abingdon for his brother, E. S. Hardin, for a year, and then engaged in the grain, lumber, and livestock business until 1864 when he bought a farm of 160 acres near Abingdon, to which he has added until he now owns 260 acres of land. He is a prosperous and successful farmer.
Mr. Hardin is a member of the I.O.O. F. and has filled all the offices of that lodge. In politics he is a republican, and has been School Director, Assessor, and Supervisor from 1881 to 1884.
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born Nov 24, 1832 in Clinton Co, OH.; educated in the common schools. His father, also Elisha John, was a native of Tennessee; his mother, Elizabeth (Brown) was born in Virginia. His paternal grandfather, Ebenezer John, was a native of Wales; his maternal grandfather, Christopher Brown, came from Germany.
In 1853, in Ohio, he married Rachel Lewis; they had four children: Mandaville, Mary E., Edwin, and Samuel.
Mrs. John was a daughter of George W. Lewis, who came to Illinois about 1829 and first settled near Danville; in 1858, he came to Knox County, and later moved to Missouri, where he died.
Mr. John came from Ohio to Indian Point Township in 1856, and bought a small farm. In 1862 he enlisted in Company K, Seventh IL. Cavalry, and served until 1865. He was in many hard battles, and was wounded Feb. 22, 1863.
He has been a very successful farmer and stockman, and owns 540 acres of land. He has given each of his sons a good farm. Mr. John is a republican in politics, and always takes a keen interest in public affairs. In religion he is a Christian.
Olof G. Johnson
Farmer; Indian Point Township; born Sept. 21, 1842 in Sweden, where he received his education and learned the shoemaker’s trade. His father, Gilbert Johnson, was born in Sweden in 1801.
In 1865, Olof G. Johnson came from Sweden and began to work at his trade for five years. In 1873 he began farming, and in 1888, bought his present farm, to which he has added until he now owns 200 acres of fine land. He is one of the successful farmers of his section of the county.
Feb. 5, 1872, Mr. Johnson was married in Knoxville to Ingrid Swanson; they have three children: Grant O., Kirk M., and Victor L. In religion Mr. Johnson is a Protestant. He is a republican.
William C. McElrea
Farmer, and former merchant; Indian Point Township; born Feb. 10, 1839; educated in the common schools. His father was born in Ireland and his mother in Pennsylvania.
In 1846, Mr. McElrea came to Indian Point Township with his father, and, after farming some years, engaged in the mercantile business at St. Augustine for nineteen years. He then conducted a store in Hermon, and in 1887, went to London Mills, where he was a merchant for eleven years. In 1898, he returned to the homestead where he is now a farmer.
Mr. McElrea has been married three times: his present wife was Lottie (Pierce), whom he married in 1891. By a former marriage he has one daughter, Emma, who is now Mrs. Frank Shover. In religion Mr. McElrea is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican.
Truman H. Roe
born in Norwich, Chenango Co, NY, May 19, 1839; educated in the common schools; Farmer; Indian Point Township. In 1842, Mr. Roe came to Knox County with his father, Silas Roe, and settled in Indian Point on Section 21, where his father died in 1865, leaving four sons: Silas, Daniel, Eli and Truman H.
Truman H. Roe enlisted in 1861 in Company B, First Illinois, and served until 1862, then returned and in 1864 settled on Section 20. He was married Sept. 22, 1864 in Galesburg, to Lucinda Stephens. Mr. and Mrs. Roe have three sons and two daughters: Oliver, Charles M., Perry, Eva, and Della. Mr. Roe is a republican, and was for several years a member of the Central Committee. For many years he was School Director, and has been Road Commissioner. In religion he is a Christian.
Farmer; Indian Point township; born in Jackson county, Ohio, December 30, 1821; educated in the common schools. He came to Indian Point with his father, John Shumaker, in 1837, and the family has been one of the most prominent and successful of that locality. In 1848, Mr. Shumaker married Mary A. Lowrey; they have three children; Charles, who married Elinor, daughter of Samuel Davis; William, who married Hattie, daughter of Dr. Reece; and Leonard, who married Clara Moss. Charles has one son, James H. Leonard has one son, Clarence C.
Farmer; Indian Point township; born in Cedar Township, Knox county, Illinois, May 21, 1851; educated in the common schools. His parents were Frederick and Lovina Marks Stegall; the former came to Knox County in 1836 and settled in Cedar Township about 1840, and died there in October, 1896. There were four children;: Milton, Elery, Sarah, and Emma J. His paternal grandfather was also Frederick Stegall. November 27, 1879, Mr. Stegall was married to Amanda Fernow in Knoxville, They have two children: Asa and Emery. After his marriage Mr. Stegall began farming in Cedar Township, and in 1887, he bought a farm in Indian Point Township, where he now lives. In Politics, Mr. Stegall is a democrat.
Chestnut Township History
By H. M. Reece
The surface of Chestnut is much broken, and it is frequently described as being one of the “rough” townships of the county. The fact is probably attributable to the number of small streams which flow through it, watering it well. The chief of these are the Spoon River, Haw and Brush creeks, and a large creek—not named—a little south of Hermon. The soil is fertile and the land (very nearly one-half of which was originally covered with timber) is generally well cleared.
The township lies in the southern part of Knox, on the boundary line of Fulton County. It is crossed by two railroads; the Fulton County narrow gauge line passes through it on a very nearly central north and south line, while the Iowa Central crosses its southwestern corner.
The earliest settler was Anson Dolph, who came from Kentucky in 1833. He raised a crop of wheat that year on Section 17, and in 1834 came as a permanent settler. In the year last named came also John Terry, from Virginia, who settled on Section 16 and became the first Justice of the Peace. He enjoyed the distinction of having performed the first marriage ceremony in the township, the contracting parties being a Mr. Gay and a Miss Cope, whose wish for a legal union was sufficiently strong to induce them to ride a long distance on a single horse. Those early marriages often presented romantic features wholly wanting the fashionable weddings of these days of purer refinement and higher civilization. To illustrate: one of the marriages solemnized by Squire Terry was that of a couple who stood on one bank of the Spoon River, while he pronounced the fateful words on the other, the stream being too swollen to permit either party to cross to the opposite bank. Mr. Terry afterward engaged in trade, and amassed what, in those times, was regarded as an independent fortune.
In 1836, Robert Leigh and Archibald Long came from Ohio and settled on Section 33, where Mr. Leigh remained until his death. Soon after his arrival he commenced raising hemp, and, there being no market for the raw product, he constructed a factory of a rude description, where he manufactured his own and his neighbor’s hemp crops into rope. For a time the industry proved very profitable; and he too, amassed a comfortable fortune. Mr. Long, soon after settling on Section 33, removed to Section 19, where, in 1842, he platted the village of Hermon.
He was a local Methodist preacher, and soon after his arrival at his new home he organized a Methodist class, which met regularly at his house for many years. Of this devoted band only one is yet living—Mrs. Sally Shafer. The history of the growth of the Methodist Church in Chestnut—as well as that of other denominations—may be found on one of the succeeding pages.
Among the early settlers should be also mentioned O. P. Barton. He was famous in those times as a pedestrian, and gave repeated evidence of his prowess and power of endurance in this description of exercise. Once, starting on foot at the same time with several horsemen for the land office at Quincy, one hundred miles distant, he outstripped them all, securing the prize offered to the winner of the race, which consisted of forty acres of government land in Section 17. Another pioneer was Harmon Way, who was famous as a marksman and hunter.
The first house was built of logs by Mr. Dolph on Section 17, in 1833. The first brick house was that of Robert Leigh, erected about 1845. The first road was the old State road, from Peoria to Oquawka, which ran diagonally through the township from southeast to northwest. Its course, however, has been since changed, so that it now follows section lines. The first bridge was built about 1846, at the point where the old road crosses Spoon River. It was a very cumbersome, wooden affair, which was carried away and demolished by a flood in 1855.
The first birth was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Shaver, in 1835. The first death was that of Jacob Harford in 1836.
The first graveyard was on Section 33, and was established by Robert Leigh, soon after he settled on the section. It is not now used as a burial spot, although the few graves there are well cared for by his son Benjamin, who is a prominent citizen of the township. Two other cemeteries have been laid out, as follows: One on Section 19, near the Methodist Church, by Archibald Long, which has been several times enlarged; the other, in 1863, by the trustees of the Christian Church, near their house of worship on Section 18.
The first school house, after the fashion of those early days, was built of logs, and was exceedingly rude, as regarded both its exterior and interior. It was put up in 1836, and some years afterward was replaced by a frame building, which, after undergoing many alterations, is still used as the school house of District No. 3. Two years later (1838) the second school house, likewise of logs, was built on Section 28. It disappeared long ago, and the site is now occupied by the church of the United Brethren. The first school teacher to exercise his vocation was Mr. Haskins, who taught in what is now District No. 3. At present the township has eight schools, none of them graded, occupying buildings valued at six thousand, five hundred dollars. The aggregate attendance is two hundred and forty-three, out of a total population of three hundred and eighty-six minors.
The first mill was built by Mr. Howard on Haw Creek, about 1845. It was designed both for sawing lumber and grinding corn, but was only used a few years and has long since been only a memory. There was also a saw mill on Litler’s Creek, on Section 25, about the same time, which has shared the same fate. Early in the forties, Mr. Parker manufactured brick on Section 23 for several years.
The first store was kept by John Terry on Section 16, and its stock was very limited. A Mr. Moor early established another on Section 15, but it proved unsuccessful, and he soon abandoned the enterprise.
One of the earliest taverns was kept by Jonathan Potts, on Section 22, on the old State road. The first physician was Dr. Porter, who came in 1838 and remained but a short time. He was succeeded by Dr. Morris, and he, in turn, by Dr. Wilson. At present the health of the town is looked after by Drs. McMaster and Browning.
The first settlers of the township were compelled to depend on Troy, in Fulton County, and on Knoxville, then the county seat, for postal facilities; but in 1848 a post office was established at Hermon, the mail being brought from Knoxville once a week. The first postmaster was a Mr. Massie.
The township was organized at a meeting held in 1857, by the choice of the following officers: Samuel Collins, Supervisor; John Terry and David Massie, Justices of the Peace; Mr. McCoy, Clerk; William Graves and Freeman West, Constables; Robert Benson, Collector; and Owen Betterton, Assessor.
For a complete list of supervisors since the organization of the township, the reader is referred to the article on “County Government”, in Part I.
Justices of the Peace since the first elected have been Owen Betterton, Hiram Culver, Walter Bond, Samuel Jamison, Henry Bond, George Haver, Marion Dyer, T. J. Routh, Clayton Trumbeel, J. W. Ogden, and John E. Davis and Lee Lucas, the present dispensers of justice for the township.
There is but one village in Chestnut, originally called Harrisonville, but now known as Hermon; a somewhat detailed description of which is given in a succeeding paragraph. A village was laid out in Section 23, in 1852, by Andrew J. Parker. It was situated on the right bank of the Spoon, near where the present bridge crosses that stream. It never grew, and the plat was vacated by the legislature in 1869.
Four denominations have churches in the township—the Methodist Episcopal, Christian, United Brethren, and Baptist. The first of these, in order in time, was the Methodist. Reference has been already made to the class established by Mr. Archibald Long, an early settler and local preacher. Through his efforts a modest church building was erected in 1842, and eight years later the congregation built their present commodious house of worship. Its original membership was thirty, and this has been increased to eighty. Rev. W. S. Welsh, a minister noted for piety and eloquence, is the present pastor, and Rev. G. W. Shafer is class leader.
The Baptist Society was organized early in the forties, by Elders A. Gogorth and C. Humphrey, and for a while numbered about forty. Of late years it has lost through deaths and removals, until only a few remain. They nevertheless maintain their organization, and monthly services are conducted by Rev. S. H. Humphrey.
The Christian Church in the township was organized in 1854, by Revs. John Miller and Gaston. The first officers were: Jonathan Price and A. L. Reece, Elders; and Joseph Rauth and Charles Smith, Deacons. At the outset the membership was about thirty, and services were held in the school house for the first ten years. At the end of that time the congregation erected their present comfortable house. The present membership is about one hundred, and the officers are: Joseph Beery and J. W. Odgen, Elders; Charles Martin, Edwin, John and C. E. Routh, Deacons; Mrs. Kate Routh, Sally Moon, and Ophelia Bliss, Deaconesses.
The Church of the United Brethren was organized in 1859, and the denomination has a well-built edifice, on Section 28. The present membership is about forty. Rev. Mr. White is pastor.
The population of Chestnut Township, as shown by the United States Census returns, at stated intervals, has been as follows: 1840, 335; in 1860, 1,268; in 1870, 1,144; in 1880, 1,087; in 1890, 919.
One veteran of the Mexican War—W. W. McMaster—resides within its limits. It furnished its full quota under each call during the War of the Rebellion, besides a number of volunteers who were credited to other localities. School district No. 5 sent thirty-eight men to the front, of whom three were given commissions on the score of bravery in action, viz:--Davis Vulgamore, made Captain, and Samuel Way, Lieutenant, in the Seventh Illinois Cavalry; and John Hall, Lieutenant in the Eighty-sixth Infantry Volunteers.
The village of Hermon was platted by Archibald Long, May 3, 1842. A fairly good clue to Mr. Long’s politics is afforded by the fact that he named it Harrisonville. It did not grow rapidly at first, the United States census giving the place a population of only 84 in 1850, eight years after it had been platted. The change of name was made in 1848, on the establishment of a post office. For several years it was more or less of a business place, but the rapid development of Knoxville and Abingdon, with their better railroad facilities, sounded its death knell. Today it is nothing more than a dull, country post office, on the line of the Iowa Central Railway. It can boast of two general stores, a blacksmith shop, and two churches.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows has a flourishing lodge, as also has the order of Modern American Woodmen. The former was instituted August 31, 1875, the charter members being C. E. Edmonson, S. P. Moon, Daniel Landes, Charles Thomas, and H. M. Reece. Of these only the last named is yet living. The first officers were: S. P. Moon, N.G.; Daniel Landis, V.G.; C. B. Edmonson, Secretary; and H. M. Reece, Treasurer. The present officers are: David E. McMaster, N.G.; S. C. Pattengill, V.G.; Charles Scaver and H. M. Reece, Secretaries; Samuel Pattengill, Treasurer. The lodge owns its own hall and has a surplus of nearly twelve hundred dollars in its treasury. The present membership is the smallest since the institution, numbering only twelve.
The Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America was organized July 23, 1896, with fifteen charter members, and the following officers: John Smith, V.C.; A. L. Browning, W. A.; W. D. T. Moon, Banker. There are now twenty-five members, with the following officers: John Smith, V.C.; Ira Rogers, W.A.; W.D. T. Moon, Banker; and A.L. Browning, Clerk.
Biographies of Chestnut Township
Mark Burnside, Benjamin Cramer, John E. Davis, Mrs. Sally A. Hopkins, G. M. Lee Lucas, L. R. Mather, D E. Meeks, Henry M. Reece, Charles E. Routh, Josiah Sampson, George W. Shaffer, Maurice Jones Townsend, Daniel Wainwright
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Maquon, Nov. 4, 1862; educated in the common schools. His parents were William and Julia (Terry), the former was born in Virginia. His maternal grandfather was John Terry, and his paternal grandfather was another William Burnside, also born in Virginia.
Feb. 13, 1884, in Chestnut Township, Mr. Burnside was married to Maud Cranston. They had three children: Robert Roy, born Dec. 25, 1884; Lula Pearl, born Oct 18, 1886; and Orpha Kitt, born Jan. 31, 1889.
Mrs. Burnside was born in Woodstock, Ohio, Dec. 20, 1862. She is the daughter of Charles and Keturah Cranston, who are living at Galesburg. She is a member of the Universalist Church.
Mr. Burnside owns a farm of four hundred and eighty acres, located in Sections 9 and 10, and has a very fine residence. He is a large dealer in cattle, hogs and sheep. In politics, Mr. Burnside is a republican. [back]
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Ohio, Jan. 10, 1839; educated in the common schools. His parents, William and Sarah (Shutes) Cramer, were natives of Ohio, and were born respectively Jan. 25, 1804 and Sept. 13, 1805, and died in 1875 and 1872. They were married Sept. 1, 1824. His maternal grandmother was Sarah Shutes, and his paternal grandfather was Adams Cramer.
Mr. Cramer was married to Louisa Haynes in November 1860, in Chestnut Township. They had four children: A. H., born Dec. 8, 1861; George E., born Nov. 22, 1863; Grace C., born Nov 5, 1869; and Asa, born Mar 13, 1877.
Mrs. Cramer was born in Orange Township, Knox Co, IL, Jan 30, 1842. She was the daughter of Herman L. and Gerilla Haynes, who died in Orange Township.
Mr. Cramer is a republican and has been Assessor for a number of terms: Road Commissioner two terms, and School Director for twenty years. He has been a dealer in grain and live-stock as well as a farmer. His farm of two hundred and fifteen acres is situated two and one-half miles southeast of DeLong on Sections 1, 3, 4, 9, and 10.
Mr. Cramer and his wife belong to the Methodist Church. [back]
John E. Davis
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born December 07, 1866, in Indian Point Township; educated in the common schools. His father, Samuel Davis, was born in Somersetshire, England, and died in 1892; his mother, Lucy J. Bond. born in Clinton county, Ohio, is still living in Hermon. His maternal grandparents were Walter and Ellen Moon Bond; his paternal grandfather, James Davis, was born in England. August 25, 1889, Mr. Davis was married in Chestnut Township to Rosa D. Hopkins. They have had two children, Nell, born April 29, 1891, and Floy, born August 12, 1893. Mrs. Davis was born in Chestnut Township August 25, 1868, and is the daughter of Thomas and Sallie A. Booten Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins was born January 04, 1831 He was a soldier in Company M, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, and after serving three years, was mustered out at the close of the war. He died August 23, 1895. Mr. Davis is a republican and has been Justice of the Peace and School Director in Chestnut Township. He has been Notary Public for five years, and is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 334, at London Mills. He has a cottage home on a farm of eighty acres in Section 21, which is abundantly supplied with stock. [back]
Mrs. Sally A. Hopkins
Chestnut Township; born in Jackson Co, Ohio, Feb. 17, 1832; educated in the common schools. Her father, Laban Booton, was born in Cabell Co, VA, Feb. 17, 1809; her mother, Catharine (Shoemaker), was born in Ohio June 6, 1812, and died Jan. 29, 1861. Her maternal grandparents were John Shoemaker and Sally (Woulfberger), the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Her paternal grandfather was Laban Booton; he was of English descent; her paternal grandmother, Nancy (Davis), was born in Wales.
Mrs. Hopkins taught school about seven years, and received her first certificate from Judge Sanford, of Knoxville. Dec. 7, 1865, near Hermon, IL. she was married to Thomas Hopkins; they had four children: Willie G., born Sept 3, 1866, died Mar. 18, 1870; Rosa D, born Aug 25, 1868; Mary C., born Nov. 24, 1870; and Frank L. born May 4, 1873. Rosa D. married John E. Davis.
Mr. Hopkins was born in Glenmorganshire, Wales, Jan. 4, 1831; his parents, Griffith and Mary Hopkins, died in Portage Co, OH.
Mrs. Hopkins came to Illinois in 1836, and lived in the township of Chestnut, afterwards residing about ten years in Peoria, when she returned to Chestnut Township, where she and her husband resided until the time of his death, Aug. 23, 1895.
Mr. Hopkins was Supervisor of Chestnut Township, Road Commissioner, Assessor five years, and School Director fifteen years. He belonged to the Odd Fellows in Hermon and Peoria, and was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He enlisted in Company M, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, and was mustered out Aug. 1865.
Mrs. Hopkins owns a farm of 160 acres, which she and her son are managing, on Section 4. Township of Chestnut. [back]
G. M. Lee Lucas
Farmer and Harness-maker; Hermon, Chestnut Township; born April 16, 1847, near Claysville, Washington Co, PA. His parents, George L. and Elizabeth Martha (McGuffin) Lucas, were born near Claysville, Washington Co, PA. The father, who was born Feb. 11, 1821, was a soldier in the Civil War, and was Fourth Sergeant of Company I, Seventy-seventh Illinois Volunteers. He died in a hospital ship on the Mississippi River, June 25, 1863. The mother was born Feb. 28, 1821, and died Sept. 25, 1848. His maternal grandparents were William McGuffin, born in Lancaster Co, PA, in 1796, and died Nov. 1847; and Mary (Graham), born in Washington Co, PA, June 1799. The paternal grandparents were Benjamin and Mary (Lee) Lucas, born in Washington Co, PA, Sept. 5, 1795, and Jan. 20, 1799 respectively. The paternal great-grandfather, Isaac Lucas, was born Jan 6, 1759, served through the Revolution, and died April 8, 1848; he was the son of Benjamin Lucas of Plymouth, who was born in 1730, and died Jan. 19, 1824; his father was William Lucas, the son of Samuel Lucas, who was the son of Thomas Lucas, who came from England and settled at Plymouth, MA.
Mr. G. M. Lee Lucas was married Dec. 20, 1870 in Elmwood Township, Peoria Co. to Catharine A. Schenck. They have had eight children: Annetta, born Dec 9, 1871; William L., born Sept.12, 1873; Mattie Anna, born Nov. 23, 1876; Henry Stewart, born Jan. 13, 1879; Harlan Page, born Nov. 29, 1881; Alvia May, born Oct 29, 1883; Ray Leone, born April 9, 1890; and Ralph DeWitt, born July 11, 1892.
Mrs. Lucas was born July 4, 1853, near Greenbush, Preble Co, OH, and was the daughter of William L. and Catharine A. (Snyder) Schenck. She is a member of the Methodist Church.
In the spring of 1854, Mr. Lucas came to Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL, and in 1894, came to Chestnut Township and settled on a farm of 160 acres in Section 8. For 15 years he had been a farmer in Elba Township. Mr. Lucas enlisted May 5, 1864, in Company D., One Hundred and thirty-second Illinois Volunteers and was elected Corporal. He was Justice of the Peace in Elba Township and now holds the same office in Chestnut Township. He was on the Grand Jury one fall term of court (1898) at Galesburg. In religion Mr. Lucas is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican. [back]
L. R. Mather
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Orange Township, Nov. 30, 1862; where he was educated. His parents, R. L. and Mary (Allen) Mather, were born in Illinois; his paternal grandfather, Samuel Mather, was a native of New York.
Feb. 24, 1885, Mr. Mather was married, in Knoxville, to Alie Grim. They have four children: Stella M., born Nov 28, 1885; George E., born Sept 8, 1887; Arthur C., born Feb 11, 1891; and Marie J., born June 19, 1894.
Mrs. Mather was born Jan. 21, 1861; her parents were J. S. and Elemina Grim, who are now living at Knoxville. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Hermon. She was for seven years a teacher in the public schools.
Mr. Mather is Road Commissioner for Chestnut Township and has been School Director for two terms. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Mine Shaft, of Knoxville. In politics he is a republican. He has a farm of 160 acres and raises considerable stock. [back]
D E. Meeks
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Knox County, Mary 23, 1861; educated in the common schools. His father, Abram W. Meeks, was a native of Virginia; his mother, Martha E. (Bonner), was born in Missouri.
In Chestnut Township, Sept. 1, 1886, Mr. Meeks was married to Netta Burnside. They have two children, William B., born in April 1888, and Fay, born March 12, 1891.
Mrs. Meeks was born in Chestnut Township, Dec. 25, 1864, and is the daughter of William and Julian (Terry) Burnside, who are now living in Galesburg.
Mr. Meeks’ father, Abraham W. Meeks, came from Ohio to Knox County about forty-nine years ago and is now living at Knoxville.
Mr. Meeks’ farm of 240 acres is located on Section 21. He is a dealer in horses, cattle, and hogs, and has a fine house and out-buildings. The house is heated by a furnace. In politics Mr. Meeks is a republican. [back]
Henry M. Reece
Farmer; Chestnut Township, born Aug. 2, 1837 in Highland Co, OH; educated in the common schools and in Abingdon College. His parents, Aquilla L. and Susanna (Smith) Reece, were born in Randolph Co, NC. His paternal grandfather was William Reece.
Mr. H. M. Reece was married first to Nancy Carter; they had four children: Caroline, Clarence, William and John. His second marriage was with Emma Owens; they had two children: Harriet and Frank.
Mr. Reece came to Illinois in 1850 and to Chestnut Township, Knox County, in 1854, and worked on his father’s farm. In 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War and was discharged from service July 3, 1865. After leaving the army he lived in Ohio for six months, and in Illinois for a year. In 1868 he went to Kansas, and at the end of five years returned to Chestnut Township. In politics he is a republican, and has served as Commissioner of Highways, Supervisor, and Justice of the Peace. In 1898 he was elected Treasurer of Knox County. [back]
Charles E. Routh
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Fulton Co, OH., Dec. 11, 1848; educated in Abingdon. His father, J.D. Routh, was born in Clinton Co, OH, May 6, 1819; his mother Jane A. (Smith), in Frederick Co, VA., Jan. 28, 1816. His maternal grandparents, John S. and Susan (Crouse) Smith, were natives of Virginia, the former of Loudoun County. His paternal grandparents were John and Jane Routh, the former from North Carolina, the latter from Tennessee. The paternal great-grandparents, Joseph and Molly (Redferson) Routh, were natives of NC, while the great-great-grandparents were Edward and Hannah (Redferson); the husband was born in Wales in 1776, and was of Scotch-Irish descent.
Jan. 25, 1876, in Hermon, Mr. Routh was married to Catharine J. Martin; they have had two children: Francis E., born Aug. 1, 1879; and John W., born July 3, 1888. Mrs. Routh was born in Ohio March 8, 1858, being the daughter of Francis and Eliza (Jones) Martin. She is a member of the Christian Church.
Mr. Routh came to Knox County with his parents in 1851, and settled on Section 22, Chestnut Township, where he now lives. His mother died March 3, 1888, but his father, who has been Supervisor for five years, School Treasurer twenty-eight years, School Trustee eight years, Commissioner of Highways, Assessor and Collector, is living with him.
Mr. Routh enlisted in Company K, Seventh Illinois Cavalry in the Civil War. He is Supervisor for Chestnut Township, and has been Town Clerk and Collector. In politics he is a republican. He is a member of the Christian Church. His farm is on Section 22, two and one-half miles east, and one-half mile south of Herman [back]
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born October 21, 1829, near Richmond, Indiana; educated in log school house in Knox County. His parents were Richard H., and Jane M. (Heath) Sampson of Maryland; his paternal grandparents were Richard Sampson of London, England, and Mary (Hamlin) Sampson of Maryland; his great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Sampson, died in England; his maternal grandfather was Josiah Heath. Mr. Sampson was married to Martha A. Street, in Fulton County, March 25, 1852. They have seven children living: Richard H., Martha E., Hulda I., Nicy Jane, Sir John Franklin, Elmer E., and Alpha L. Mildred W. Rist, Mary O. B. Lowden, William, and Josiah are deceased. The last two died in infancy. Mrs. Sampson was the daughter of William and Nancy (Combs) Street of Virginia. They were pioneers in Highland County, Ohio, and came to Fulton County, Illinois, in 1837. Richard H. Sampson came to Knox County, October, 1835, with his wife and six children: Mary, Margaret E., Martha J., Josiah, Rebecca, and Josephine. Benjamin F., Richard, Joseph C., and Tabitha were born in Knox County. He was first brought and improved 160 acres of land, where he lived for 15 years; he had been a teacher in Maryland; he died in 1850. His wife died in 1862. After his marriage, Josiah Sampson, farmed in Fulton and McDonough Counties, remaining in each for five years; he then returned to Knox County, bought out the other heirs to his father's estate, and now owns eight hundred and sixty-five acres of land in Chestnut Township. He is a successful farmer and stock raiser. In politics, Mr. Sampson is a democrat. [back]
George W. Shaffer
Minister; Chestnut Township; born Nov 16, 1824, in Lycoming Co, PA; educated in the common schools. His father, James Shaffer, was a native of New Jersey; his mother, Margaret (Brooks) was born in PA. His maternal grandfather was Benjamin Brooks; his paternal grandfather, Henry Shaffer, was a native of Germany.
Mr. Shaffer’s first wife was Amanda, daughter of Thomas Logue, and was born in Lycoming Co, PA, where her parents died. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. There were three children: Alonzo G.; Thomas J., who enlisted in the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, during the Civil War and died in the hospital at Memphis, TN; and Emma Amanda, who married Warren England, a lawyer in Knox County. Mr. England died, and his widow married William Jones, March 7, 1888.
Mr. Shaffer was married in Chestnut Township to Mrs. Sally Leigh, widow of Clark Leigh, who was born in Ohio, Sept. 15, 1831; she was the daughter of Archibald and Catharine Long, born respectively in Tennessee and Virginia.
Mr. Shaffer was a circuit preacher in Potter Co, PA, in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He served on the East Genesee Conference, and preached at the Westfield Pennsylvania charge. He came to Illinois in 1855, and preached at the Whitefield charge. After preaching seventeen years in the Central Illinois Conference, he went to Washington Territory and joined the Columbia River Conference, where he remained for ten years, and then returned to Chestnut Township. He is now a local preacher and preaches occasionally.
Mr. Shaffer owns a farm in Washington, but lives on a beautiful place three-quarters of a mile south of Hermon, IL. In politics he is a prohibitionist. He is a member of the Free Masons. [back]
Maurice Jones Townsend
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Jan. 23, 1859; educated in Hedding College, Abingdon, IL. His father was William Townsend, who was born in New York; his mother was Lodema (Jones). The father is still living in Chestnut Township; the mother is deceased.
Mr. Townsend was married Feb. 25, 1885, in Chestnut Township, to Ruth Grice; they have two children: Jessie Elvira, born March 17, 1889; and Estella Lodema, born Feb. 7, 1892.
Mrs. Townsend was born in Ohio March 17, 1858; she is the daughter of Joseph and Susan Grice. Her father is deceased.
Mr. Townsend has been Collector of the township of Chestnut for two years, and is a School Trustee. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 334, London Mills. In politics he is a republican. [back]
Farmer; Chestnut Township; born May 4, 1829, in Clermont County, Ohio; educated in the common schools of Ohio. His parents were Vincent Wainwright of New Jersey, and Nancy (Hall) Wainwright, of Ohio; his grandfather was Daniel Wainwright of New Jersey; his maternal grandfather was Jeremiah Hall, of England. Mr. Wainwright was married to Eliza J. Cramer in Ohio, December 13, 1849. Their children are: Vincent; Maguire; Joseph; Benedict (deceased); Sarah E. Eiker, and Clara C. (deceased). Mr. Wainwright settled on the farm where he now resides in 1873, and has greatly improved his land. His oldest son is in Louisiana, his second in Missouri, and one is at home. His great-grandfather and two brothers came to America from England, and were in the Revolutionary War; his great-grandfather was killed, and his grandfather was wounded; his father died in 1844. Mr. Wainwright is independent in politics and has been Road Commissioner; he has been Supervisor three terms. He is a member of the Methodist Church. [back]
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