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Knox County Illinois
Genealogy and History


James Allen
James Allen, one of the leading citizens and most successful farmers of Chestnut Township, owning a large and finely cultivated farm of 200 acres, situated on section 4, is the subject of this personal history. He is engaged not only in farming, but in the raising of Short Horn cattle and Poland China hogs, and owns a blooded bull five years old, weighing 2,00 lb., by name "Judge Willets."
Mr. Allen entered life in Jefferson County, Ind., April 19, 1825. He is the son of Josiah and Jane W. (McDowell) Allen, natives of Kentucky, in which State they were wedded, removing to Indiana in 1810. From that State they emmigrated to Illinois in 1838, at which time the subject of this sketch was a boy of 13 years. The mother departed this life in the year 1852, and his father in 1863. Of this matrimonial alliance there were born nine children, six girls and three boys, namely: Rosanna, who married John Moore, and lives in the State of Indiana; Margaret, wife of Alkana Moore, resident of Knoxville, Ill.; Sarah married Jonathon Minor, both deceased; William took to wife America A. Maxey, and lives in Orange Township; Nancy married John Carico, a resident of Bureau County, Ill., and is deceased; Matilda married Alfred Carico, and lives in the State of Iowa; James espoused Miss Sarah M. Bragg, and lives in Chestnut Township; John married Miss Lydia Epperson, and lives in Bureau County, Ill.; Mary N. died at the early age of 16 years.
     Mr. Allen the elder settled in Orange Township in 1838. James remained at home on his father's place until after his marriage, when he purchased land in 1862 on section 4, in Chestnut Township, and where he has since remained.
     Mr. Allen of this notice, early in manhood, took to wife Miss Sarah M. Bragg, March 16, 1848. She was born Nov. 30, 1828; she is the daughter of Elias and Mary (Bryant) Bragg, natives of Virginia, who came to Illinois in 1836. They settled in Orange Township, and two years later removed to Chestnut Township. Her father was born in September, 1784, and departed this life Jan 20, 1861, in the State of Illinois. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. The date of her mother's birth was 1789, and she closed her eyes to this existence Sept. 14, 1865. Both she and her husband were of both English and Scottish lineage, and upon them were bestowed 15 children, viz.: Jane, wife of Benjamin McCort; James, who wedded Nancy M. Carter; Elizabeth, who wedded a Mr. Moore; Mary, wife of E. Hall; Abner, who formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Julia Carpenter; Frances, who married Mr. John Hendricks; John, husband of Miss Sarah Hurley; Harriet, wife of D. Mooers; Matthew died at the early age of 18 years; Mark, at the time of the California gold fever, went to that state and no word has been received from him for a number of years; Joseph married Miss Nancy Heppenstall; Sarah, wife of James Allen, of this sketch; Eliza died at the early age of five years; Andrew, in infancy, was removed from this earth, and there was an infant unnamed.
     About the parental hearth of Mr. and Mrs. Allen have grown up three children, although seven were born to them - Francis, born August 24, 1847; Harry, Sept. 30, 1851; Darius, Sept 7, 1855; Julius, born Aug 20, 1864; James, Sept. 7, 1867; Frank, Sept., 1872. Four children of the family were deceased in infancy, viz.: Harry, Darius, and two unnamed.
     Although the possessor of a handsome property, Mr. Allen has suffered great loss through the agency of fire, being once burned out, at which time all the family records were destroyed, and also the records of his farm; the entire detriment to his possessions he estimated at $2000. He began work in this section of the county in 1861, since which time he has been remarkably successful in his particular line of labor. He is in character moral and upright, and his wife is a member of the United Brethren Church. His parents were, politically, of the old-line Whigs, but Mr. Allen is Democratic in sentiment and belief.
(Transcriber's Note: The statements in paragraph five about the children of James and Sarah M. Allen are confusing and don't match the names and dates on the
cemetery stones.)
[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois", Biographical Publishing Company, 1886 - Submitted by Todd Walter]

Frank C. Baldwin
BALDWIN, Frank Conger, architect; born, Galesburg, Ill, (Knox Co) June 13, 1869; son of Charles Edward and Alta (Conger) Baldwin; educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; married at Boston, June 24, 1896, Lilian E. Edson. Has been engaged in profession at Detroit since 1890; member firm of Stratton & Baldwin, architects, organized, 1893. Director American Harrow Co., Pacific Era Publishing Co. President Michigan Chapter American Institute of Architects, president Detroit Architectural Club. Member Phi Gamma Delta. Clubs: Detroit, Detroit Riding, Detroit Boat, Country, University. Recreations: Hunting, yachting. Office: 1103 Union Trust Bldg., Detroit. Residence: Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
["The Book of Detroiters". Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1908 - Submitted by Christine Walters]

Walter Bull
Haw Creek Twp.-- Walter Bell (sic, s/b "Bull"), an aged resident of the township, came into the county 25 years ago. He was 85 years old Aug. 2, 1878. He is one of the few surviving veterans of the war of 1812. He also served in the regular army. He rode on the first horse car and the first steam car ever run in the United States, and saw the first steamboat run on Chesapeake bay. Mr. Bell enjoys good health, is able to be up and around, and will probably live several years longer. [History of Knox County, Illinois, Chas C. Chapman, 1878 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

James R. Catterton
The gentleman whose name we give in connection with this notice came to Knox County in 1854, from Lawrence County, Ill., and settled in Truro Township, where he lived for something over a year, and then moved to Elba Township. There he purchased 200 acres of land on section 8, where he has since lived. He has erected a fine residence on his farm to take the place of one which was destroyed by fire Dec. 6, 1882. At this writing he is the owner of 203 acres, 120 of which is under an advanced state of cultivation.
Mr. Catterton was born in Bullitt County, Ky., Aug. 19, 1819. In 1820, when he was quite young, his parents moved to Lawrence County, Ill., and settled on the Wabash River, where our subject lived until he came to this county. His early life was spent in attending the common schools, and working at shoe making and harness making, which he followed for a livelihood until after reaching maturity. He then engaged in the vocation of agriculturalist. In February, 1848, Mr. Catterton entered the regular army, enlisting in the 3d U. S. Dragoons, and served in the Mexican War till July of the same year, when the war ceased and he was discharged at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., nothing of importance occurring during his enlistment.
Mr. Catterton was married in Lawrence County, Ill., Feb 18, 1849, to Sarah A. Organ, daughter of Daniel A. and Lucinda (Rowland) Organ, natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively. Her father was a Captain in the Black Hawk War in 1832. Her parents settled in Lawrence county, Ill., where her father followed farming and where both parents died. They had three children who lived to attain the age of man and womanhood, and were named Sarah, Mary J., and John P. Sarah A., the wife of our subject, was born in Lawrence County, Ill., Sept. 28, 1830, and has born her husband (Mr. Catterton) seven children, of whom three survive, namely: Aurora A., Mary F. and Lura B.; the deceased are Sylvester, Martha J., Sarah A., and Edward M. Aurora is the wife of Samuel McKee, a farmer who resides in Summit, Ill., and they have three children - Adam E., Samuel G., and James C.; Mary Catterton is the wife of John H. Johnson, a druggist, and resides in London Mills, Fulton County; they have one child - Stella F.; Lura is the wife of Peter Norton, a farmer of Elba Township, and their daughter's name is Meda Rosalia, born Sept 13, 1885.
The Organ family were originally from England. Enoch Organ, the grandfather of Mrs. Catterton, was born in Virginia, and was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. Mr. Catterton's ancestry is Scotch, and his grandfather war was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. Dilar F. Catterton, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving five years; a portion of the time he was in the command under Gen. Harrison and was in Jackson's army in the South, and at New Orleans when the English army was defeated.
The parents of Mr. Catterton were Dilar F. and Anna (Robinson) Catterton, natives of Maryland and Kentucky respectively. They were married and settled in the latter state, from whence they removed to Lawrence County, Ill., where the father followed the trade of shoemaker, and where both parents resided until their demise; the mother died about 1832, and the father in 1867. Six children were born to them, named John, Nancy, James, Mary, Martha, and Isaac.
James Catterton has been Overseer of Highways and School Director in his township, and is a respected and honored citizen of the same.
He enlisted, in July, 1862, in Co. H, of the 102d Ill. Vol. Inf., and served his country faithfully and well until July 7, 1865. He enlisted as a private, and in November, 1862, met with a serious accident near Green River, Ky., by a mule falling upon him. This injury incapacitated him from active duty until the fall of 1863. He was detached and assigned to the 2d Bat. of Invalids or Veteran Reserve, and was dischrged at Rock Island, Ill., at the time above mentioned, when he returned to this county and once more entered upon the peaceful pursuits of life. He and his wife, together with their children, are members of the Christian Church. In politics Mr. Catterton is a stanch and active Republican.
A view of the fine residence of Mr. Catterton appears in connection with this sketch.
[Portrait and Biographical Album Knox County, Illinois, Biographical Publishing Company, 1886 - Submitted by Todd Walter]

Martin Cavanaugh
Born in the state of New York of Irish parentage, and inheriting from his ancestry a disposition to go forth into the unknown parts of the world and conquer new kingdoms of material and industrial wealth, Martin Cavanaugh, who is popularly known as “Mat,” one of the enterprising and prosperous ranch and cattle men of Eagle county, has wandered from his parental fireside many longitudes and worked out his desire to win a home and a place in the public esteem for himself. His life began on January 1, 1862, in Onondaga county, New York, near the city of Syracuse, and he is the son of John and Ann (McDonald) Cavanaugh, who were born in Ireland and emigrated to the United States soon after their marriage, moving later to Michigan and locating in Ottawa county, where the mother died on November 17, 1901, and the father is still living. The latter is a farmer and does grading work under contract. He is a Democrat in political connection and usually deeply interested in the welfare of his party. Four of the children survive the mother, James, Mrs. Ellen J. Buswell, Mrs. Mary Bidlack and Mat. The last named attended the common schools near his home and the business college at Grand Rapids, meanwhile working on the home farm, where he remained until he reached the age of eighteen. He then devoted several years to railroad work as engineer and yard master in Michigan at Grand Rapids. In 1881 he came to Colorado, arriving at Pueblo on March 13th, and there he served as yard master for one of the railroads until 1890. He then moved to Custer county, where he engaged in the cattle industry three years, or nearly that length of time. Late in 1892 he moved to Mesa and two years later to Whitewater, Mesa county, at both places continuing his connection with the stock industry, which he afterward continued further in Rio Blanco county, enlarging his interests and his operations in the neighborhood of Rangely until 1898. In that year he sold out there and changed his residence to the vicinity of Carbondale, on Cattle creek, Garfield county, where he remained until 1900, and then purchased his present ranch in the Gypsum valley. This comprises three hundred and twenty acres of tillable land, owning also another ranch of one hundred and thirty acres, of which ninety-five are under cultivation. His principal products are hay and cattle which he raises extensively in good qualities. Since becoming possessed of these properties he has made many improvements on them, building on the home place a comfortable and attractive modern dwelling, new corrals and other necessary structures. He lives four miles south of the town of Gypsum and is one of the leading citizens of the section, taking an active part in matters of local improvement as a man of progress and breadth of view and in politics as an ardent Democrat. He was married on November 22, 1887, to Miss Anna Brady, a native of Galesburg, Illinois. They have had two children, Mat and James, both of whom have died. Mr. Cavanaugh has mingled freely with the Ute Indians in his wanderings and speaks their language fluently.
[Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler]

Joseph Clesson
     Joseph Clesson, one of Knox County's respected citizens and well to do farmers, residing on section 26, Elba Township, was born in Deerfield, Mass., Sept. 7, 1818. Mr. Clesson is a son of Joseph and Mehitable (Stebbins) Clesson, natives of Massachusetts. The parents came to Shelby County, this State, away back in 1837, and there lived until their death. Their children were nine in number, and Joseph was the second in order of birth.
     Joseph Clesson came to this State with his parents and lived with them in Shelby County, until his removal to Peoria County. He resided in the latter county two years, when he moved here, and in the spring of 1855 made settlement in Elba Township, on the place where is at present residing. His life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he is at present the owner of 80 acres of good and productive land, on which he has erected a comfortable residence, and in the prosecution of his most independent of all callings is meeting with success.
     Mr. Clesson was married in Shelby County, this State, in 1839, to Miss Mary Humphrey. She bore him one child - Mary - who died when two years of age. Mr. Clessons wife died in this [Shelby] county, and in 1843 he formed a second martimonial alliance with Miss Elizabeth Humphrey, sister of his former wife, and a native of Ohio. Of the latter union, four children have been born, named Melvina J., Barbara A., Nancy E. and Joseph H.; the latter is deceased. Melvina is the wife of Samuel Patterson, a farmer of Elba Township; Barbara A. married Joseph J. Matthews, who is engaged in farming in Salem Township; Nancy became Mrs. Albertus S. Codding and resides in Victoria Township.
     Mrs. Clesson died in Peoria County, Feb. 1, 1853, and our subject was again married in Lowell, Mass., March 25, 1855, to Hepsia Carr, a native of Deering, N.H., and born Feb. 22, 1815. Mr. and Mrs. Clesson have an adopted son - Melva W. Clesson. Our subject has held some of the minor offices of his county, and in politics is a Democrat. He and his wife are believers in the tenets of the Universalist Church.
["Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois", Chapman Bros., 1886 -- page 384 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

George Radcliffe Colton
Colton, George Radcliffe, governor of Porto Rico territory, was born April 10, 1865, in Galesburg, Ill. In 1889-90 he was a member of the Nebraska House of Representatives; and served as lieutenant-colonel in the Philippine Islands; and resides in San Juan, P.I.
[Herringshaw's American blue-book of Biography: Prominent Americans of 1912- An Accurate Biographical Record of Prominent Citizens of All Walks of Life - Sub. by Therman Kellar]

Elijah Cramer
[excerpt from bio]
The father of our subject was a native of (Clermont Co.) Ohio, his parents, William and Sarah A. (Shute) Cramer, having emigrated to this state in 1852, making the journey overland and camping by the wayside to prepare their frugal meals. The father, on his arrival here, made his first purchase of land, consisting of 90 acres, in Chestnut Township. The land was somewhat improved when he bought it, and he located upon it with his family and continued it's improvement and cultivation, and added to the same until he had 400 acres of land, a large portion of which was under a fine state of cultivation at the time of his demise, which occurred in 1875. His wife died on the same farm in 1871, and they lie buried side by side in the Harper Cemetery in Chestnut Township.

(William's saltbox stone house that he built in 1854, is still standing on the South West Quarter of Section 3, Chestnut Township, on County Hwy 20 about 6 miles West of Maquon, and has been beautifully restored by the current (2001) owners, Steve and Fran Scharfenberg.) [Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois, 1886 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

William W. Dickerson, son of Louis Dickerson, of Georgia, and Elizabeth (Beck) Dickerson, native of South Carolina. He was born in White co., Ill., Aug. 3, 1820; married March 10, 1842, to Miss Sarah Housh, the union being blessed with eleven children, and just twenty years from date of marriage Mrs. Dickerson died; he was married again, Nov., 1865 to Elizabeth Highfield; they have two children. He has been School Director twenty years, Road Commissioner three years, and Overseer of Roads many times; is a farmer. Democrat. P.O., Gilson. ["HISTORY OF KNOX COUNTY, ILLINOIS", Chas. Chapman, 1878 - Sub by Todd Walter]

James T. Dickerson
[PARTIAL EXCERPT] His father, William Wright Dickerson, was born in White County, Illinois, August 3, 1820, and died August 11, 1885; his mother, Sarah (Housh) Dickerson, died in 1863; they were the parents of eleven children, seven of whom reached maturity: Mrs. Mary Morss, Mrs. Phoebe Morss, James T., Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, William, Mrs. Eliza J. Woolsey, and Mrs. Martha Dennis. In 1865, his father married again, the second wife being Elizabeth (Highfield) Dickerson; two children were born to them: John B., deceased; and Frank Wilson. His grandparents, Louis Dickerson, of Georgia, and Elizabeth (Beck) Dickerson, of South Carolina, were among the early settlers in the State.
[History of Knox County, Illinois, 1899 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

Ephus Donnelson
Ephus Donnelson, of Routt county, living on a fine ranch of two hundred and forty acres five miles northeast of Hayden, is a native of Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois, where he was born on October 21, 1856. His parents, John and Malinda Donnelson, were born in Norway but reared in the United States. Their final location, after living in a number of places was in Minnesota, where the mother died on April 12, 1880, and the father on February 12, 1901. They were members of the Lutheran church, and the father was a Republican in political allegiance. They had a family of ten children, four of whom are living, George, Ephus, Inger and Bertha. Ephus had but meager educational advantages, having opportunity only to attend the common schools and then but a short time. He remained at home working with and for his parents until he was twenty-four years of age. Then, in 1880, he started out in the world for himself, and coming to Colorado, located at Breckenridge, where he engaged in mining, working for wages and prospecting on his own account, and remaining there three years. In 1883 he moved to Middle Park, and there he was employed on ranches two years. In 1885 he changed his residence to the neighborhood in which he now lives, taking up a homestead claim on one-half of the land on which the town of Hayden has since been built. His ranch comprised one hundred and sixty acres. This he improved and cultivated and on it he lived and carried on a flourishing ranching and cattle industry until 1901, when he sold out there and bought the ranch which he now owns and occupies. This comprises two hundred and forty acres of excellent land, well supplied with water and all under cultivation. Hay, grain, small fruits and vegetables are raised in abundance, but cattle and horses are the chief and most profitable products. His cattle are all well bred Shorthorns and Herefords an his horses are of good strains. He has improved his ranch with superior buildings and other structures, and cultivated is land with every consideration of skill and diligence looking to the best results. He not only has one of the best ranches in his valley but is considered one of the best farmers in his locality, having the distinction of being an old settler and at the same time a modern up-to-date ranch and cattle man. Politically he supports the Republican party. On March 15, 1887, he united in marriage with Miss Martha J. Reid, a native of Montana. They have two children, their daughter Emma M. and their son John G. Colorado offers plentiful opportunities to thrifty and industrious men, and Mr. Donnelson is one of the vast number who have taken advantage of her bounty and made the most of it.

(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos)

James M. Foster
James M. Foster, farmer, son of Zebulon and Elizabeth (Wingate) Foster, the former a native of New York and the latter of New Jersey, was born Jan. 2, 1808 in Hamilton co., Ohio.; moved to Indiana in 1814; received a common school education; moved to Illinois in 1830, settling in Fulton co. until 1833, when he moved to Knox co.; was married June 13, 1841 to Eliza Combs, then again to a second wife, Louisa Roads, Sept., 1848; he is the parent of 9 children, of whom 7 are living; was a soldier in the Black Hawk War; has been School Director, School Trustee and Supervisor; Republican. P. O. Maquon. [History of Knox County, Illinois, Charles C. Chapman, 1878 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

Joseph E. Foster
Joseph Evans Foster, fourth son of Thomas Foster (and Eliza Horton) grew to manhood on the Broadtop Mountains (Bedford County, PA). At the age 22 he enlisted in Co. C, 133rd Reg. Pa. Vol., Captain , Alexander Bobb, Colonel, B. F. Speakman. They were mustered in at Harrisburg, Pa., on Aug. 14th, 1862. This regiment saw some very hard fighting on the fields of Antietum, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After his discharge he worked at the coal business in Bedford and Venango counties, Pa. Came to Illinois in 1866. Married Harriet, daughter of James M. Foster. She and their only child died May 14th, 1871. Joe has resided at Rapatee for 36 years. He has been a very useful man. Is a member of the M. E. church.
["History of the Foster Family - A Wonderful Story, Covering Nearly Two Hundred Years of Time, and Half the United States in Territory." D. I. Foster, Rapatee, Illinois, 1902 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

GEORGE V. JOHNSON, editor and publisher. (Rep.); b July 13, 1868, Knox Co.. Ill . s. of William and Margaret (Erickson) Johnson; educ. district schls., Kansas; grad State Agricultural College, Manhattan, Kansas, 1891 ; removed to Kansas at an early age and taught school and worked his way through college; learned printer's trade while attending college; removed to N. Mex., 1891, and was employed on a newspaper a short time; published newspaper at Sedan, Kansas, 1895-1903; farmed in Kansas. 1903-5; returned to New Mexico 1906, and purchased the Portales Times; secretary Roosevelt Co. Rep. Central Committee. 1908-11; chairman committee, 1911; mayor Portales. 1911-12; mem. I. O. O F., Masons, Modern Woodmen. Address: Portales, N. M. [Source: "Representative New Mexicans: The National Newspaper Reference Book ...", Vol. 1, Compiled and Published by C.S. Peterson, Denver, Colo., 1912 - Tr. by KT]

In 1836, David Housh, his twin sister Betty Burnett, with their companions and families, and their niece, Rebecca Ireland, came from Indiana in covered wagons, and settled in Haw Creek Twp. on the farm now owned by J.F. Burnett, and the one joining it on the west. In 1837 their brother George Housh, (Mrs. Lewallen and my great grandfather), came with his wife and children in a covered wagon and settled in Haw Creek Twp. on the farm known as the Chas. Mills farm, at the top of the Gilson hill. In 1838, other great grandparents of mine came from Ohio, John and Elinor Mowrey, and settled in Haw Creek Twp. on the farm owned now by my father. Their home was about halfway between my parents home and where ???Donaldson now lives. They kept an Inn and the stage coach stopped there overnight. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Thomas Housh, son of George Housh. This couple are Mrs. Lewallen and my grandparents. Our grandfather served nine months in the Civil War. He took part in the battle of Perryville, Ky. and the raid after Gen'l Bragg and his forces. He came home on April 1, 1863, and a son, Grant, my father, was born ten days later.
[Excerpt from: "When Knox County Was New" by Eunice Housh Snow -- Not published, from a presentation she made to the Maquon Illini Club Oct 23, 1930 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

Thomas Housh
Thomas Housh, a farmer on section 28, Haw Creek Township, was born in Washington County, Ind., Dec. 25, 1829. He is the son of George P. and Polly Housh. They removed from Indiana in 1837. They were farmers, and when they came to Illinois bought and improved land and made a home, on which both of the old people died. The mother died a number of years ago; the father in 1864. This family was of German origin. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812 and in the Black Hawk war.
     The subject of this sketch was married to Elizabeth Mowery, Feb. 23, 1851. She is the daughter of John and Elenor Mowery, and was born in Ohio, Oct 31, 1835. Her father, John Mowery, was born in February, 1809, and her mother Aug. 13, 1810. The subject of this sketch and wife are the parents of eight children, as follows; Milton A., born Nov. 25, 1851; Mary, May 22, 1854; John M., Oct. 13, 1857; Grant, April 11, 1863; Charles F., Sept. 8, 1869, and Jennie Pearl, Aug. 24, 1881. Jessie and Willie died in infancy. Mr. H. is raising a girl, Addie M. Housh, born July 14, 1876. Mrs. Housh died March 20, 1885.
     The subject of this notice enlisted in Co. F., 86th Ill. Vol. Inf., under Capt. J. L. Burkhalter, Aug. 7, 1862, and served nine months. He took part in the battle of Perryville, Ky., and the raid after Gen. Bragg and his forces, and was mustered out at Quincy, Ill., April 1, 1863. He then came home and lived on the farm up to the present. He owns 157 acres of good land, all under fence and has fine improvements. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., also is a member of the G. A. R., and politically is a Republican.
["Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County", Chapman Brothers, 1886 - Sub by Todd Walter]

Lester C. Johnson
Having come to Colorado and located in Mesa county in 1887, and since then having devoted all his energies and time with the exception of the first year to the fruit interests of the section. Lester C. Johnson, living two miles and a half northeast of Fruita, has been a substantial contributor to the development and improvement of his neighborhood and the expansion of its wealth of production and opportunity, he was born in Knox county, Illinois, on May 29, 1864, the son of Daniel H. and Julia A. (Jones) Johnson, both also natives of that state. In the spring of 1870 the family moved to Republic county, Kansas, locating on a farm. The parents now live in Grand valley, where they have been since the fall of 1887. There are four children in the family all living, and Lester is the oldest. He was six years old when the family moved to Kansas, and in that state he was reared on the family home, assisting in its labors and sharing its trials, and attending the district schools in the winter months until the spring of 1887, when he came to Colorado and settled in Mesa county. Here he worked by the month for a year, then located on the ranch which he which at that time was wholly uncultivated and in a state of natural wildness. In the spring of 1889 he began to set out fruit trees, and this he has continued steadily year by year ever since, until he has now thirty-five of his acres in thrifty and promising young trees, many of which are in fine bearing order. His selections are mainly winter apples, and his crop of 1903 was large and profitable, yielding a net income of more than four thousand dollars, ten carloads of the fruit being shipped to Denver. His first planting produced five hundred and fifty dollars worth of apples on one acre in 1903, and the other bearing trees in proportion. While developing his orchards he raised strawberries, potatoes and similar small products, from the very start making his land yield good returns for his labor. On February 5, 1889, he was married to Miss Alice Handley, a native of Illinois. They have four children, Edith, Grace, Merwin and Harold. In politics Mr. Johnson is a Democrat, and while he is active and forceful in the service of his party at times, and never neglects its interests, he is not an office seeker. Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen of the World, holding a membership in the camp of the order at Fruita. He is also a member of the independent Order of Odd Fellows at the same place.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Tracy McAllister)

Elisha Thurman
Elisha Thurman, farmer, P.O. Maquon, was born July 1, 1812, in Highland co., Ohio. Parents were Thomas and Feba (Goard) Thurman, natives of Virginia. His early life was passed on the farm; he moved to Illinois in 1830, settling in Knox co., and has been out of the county only three years time since. Dec 25, 1834, he was married to Anna Hall. They are the parents of 9 children, seven are living. Was first a member of the Methodist Church, but now belongs to the Christian, which he joined in 1838 or '39. Has been School Director and Trustee. Republican. Owns 592 acres of land.
[History of Knox County, Illinois, Charles C. Chapman, 1878 - Sub. by Todd Walter]

Josiah Tucker, farmer, son of Samuel and Mary (Sells) Tucker, was born in Tuscarawas co., Ohio, Nov. 12, 1826; his only educational opportunities were those of the district school. He served in the United States Army as a private during the Mexican War. He went from Ohio to Michigan in 1852; thence to Illinois, in 1855. Nov. 12, 1848, he married Catherine Baughman who had 6 children; in 1862 he married Nancy Catherine Akins, who is the mother of 6 children. He joined the Baptist Church in 1841. Republican, P.O., Knoxville. ["History of Knox County, Illinois, Charles C. Chapman, 1878" - Sub. by Todd Walter]

James A. Underwood
Though he is now a resident of Redbluff, Tehama County, California, Mr. Underwood still retains real estate interests in Woods County, Oklahoma, and as one of the pioneers who here settled at the time when the Cherokee Outlet was thrown open to settlement, in 1893, he is fully entitled to specific recognition in this history of the state in which he contributed his quota to civic and material development and upbuilding. He further has the distinction of having been likewise a pioneer of Kansas and his also is the honor of having been a valiant soldier of the Union in the Civil war.
Mr. Underwood was born in Knox County, Illinois, on the 18th of February, 1846, and is a son of James W. and Minerva (McDonald) Underwood, the former of whom was born in the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1823, and the latter of whom was born in Kentucky, in 1824, their marriage having been solemnized in Ohio and they having become pioneer settlers in Illinois, where the devoted wife and mother died, at Peoria, in 1866. They became the parents of three sons and four daughters, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth: Adaline and Mary Catherine are deceased; William J. is a sterling pioneer citizen of Dewey County, Oklahoma; Columbus and Clara are deceased; and Alice A., the widow of Henry C. Young, resides with her brother, James A., at Redbluff, California, in which locality the two are associated in the ownership of a fine cattle ranch of 512 acres. The father, James W. Underwood, was a millwright and carpenter and became a successful contractor. He attained to the-venerable age of eighty-two years and passed the gracious evening of his long and useful life in the home of his son, James A., at Alva, Oklahoma, where his death occurred in 1905.
In the schools of the present beautiful little City of Peoria, Illinois, James A. Underwood acquired his early education and in his youth he there learned the trade of carpenter, under the effective direction of his father. When the Civil war was precipitated upon a divided nation he promptly tendered his aid in defense of the Union, by enlisting in Company A, Second Independent Illinois Cavalry. With this gallant command he participated in many engagements, including a number of important battles, but during the long period of his service he escaped injury save in the reception of two flesh wounds. He received his honorable discharge at the close of the war and he vitalizes his more gracious memories of the days of his military career by his identification with the Grand Army of the Republic, in which noble and patriotic organization he is stil l affiliated with Post No. 8 at Alva, Oklahoma.
After the close of the war Mr. Underwood continued in the work of his trade in Illinois until 1873, when he established his residence at Wichita, Kansas, where he became a pioneer contractor and builder and erected a number of the early houses of the now metropolitan city. He built up a profitable business and later continued to be engaged in the same line of enterprise for a number of years at Leavenworth, that state, and in Kansas City, Missouri, besides which he was for a time a leading contractor at Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
In 1893, assured of the value of the opportunities presented at the opening to settlement of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma Territory, Mr. Underwood participated in the historic '' run'' into the newly opened district and located a homestead claim six miles distant from the present thriving City of Alva, judicial center of Woods County. He remained on this claim ten years, made excellent improvements on the same and brought it into effective cultivation, in the meanwhile having duly perfected his title to the property. After leaving the farm, which he later sold, he engaged in the grocery business at Alva, where he still owns valuable property. He developed a substantial business, and became known as one of the representative citizens and honored pioneers of this section of the state. In 1913 he disposed of his business and removed to Redbluff, California, where he has since lived virtually retired, though he maintains a general supervision of the extensive and valuable cattle ranch in the ownership of which he and his sister are there associated. Mr. Underwood has distinctive inventive talent along mechanical lines and has patents on a farm gate and also a hay press, both of which were devised by him, and both of which have met with approval and practical demand. He has ever been known as a man of much business ability and civic loyalty, and his progressiveness and energy have been the dominating factors in his career of successful achievement.
At Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Underwood to Miss Vina Evens, and of their five children the first three died in infancy. The surviving children, Edward H. and Iris Alice, remain at the parental home, in one of the beautiful sections of Northern California.
(Source: A Standard History of Oklahoma Volume 4 By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn - Transcribed by Cathy Ritter)

Albert H. Turner
That the printing press is an educator has come to be universally recognized, and that its influence is the most potent in the dissemination of general information is universally admitted. Journalism is distinctly a literary field wherein advancement in the sciences and the arts is encouraged and wherein the ethics of business, politics and the professions finds reformation. Its effects upon the world of civilization have been magical as a stimulator and developer of the principle of originality, the faculty of invention, and as an exhibitor of the world's doings in one grand panorama of activity. In the light of its general results then, he who chooses and carries forward upon a high plane the profession of journalism, as applied to the realm of newspaper work, is a benefactor of his race. The editor who, not withstanding public or personal adversity, encourages his readers to be hopeful, patriotic and virtuous in the eyes of the law, performs a service to humanity, the measure of which cannot be expressed in words. To effectively do such a work requires a breadth of information and a wealth of experience not in possession of the occupant of every editorial chair.    A journal which has had much to do with the educational, industrial and moral affairs of Neosho county, is the Chanute Times. It came into existence at the time of small things in Chanute and its policy has done much toward shaping the destiny of its town and county. Whatever may be said with reference to the talent of its founders its present owner, A. H. Turner, is one of the characters of Neosho county whose reputation for learning, uprighteousness and patriotism has been long established. He was not unknown to Neosho county Centennial year, for he had already spent two years within its borders and the public and private relations he has assumed to its citizenship have been such as to establish an unalloyed and unreserved confidence between them. As an editor, although comparatively a novice in the work, he is regarded as one of the strong men of the fraternity, and his periodical maintains a patronage and a circulation second to none in the county.
    Mr. Turner was born in Clinton county, Ohio, August 5, 1850. His parents were Martin L. and Mary Jane (Spears) Turner, natives of the state of New Jersey and Ohio. The father was a teacher in early life, then became a farmer, and in 1865, located in Knox county, Illinois, where he resides at the age of seventy-seven, while his wife has reached the age of seventy-two years. The former has passed a life of physical and mental activity, possessed strong convictions and radical views on all great national questions, was an avowed Union man during the rebellion and has been more or less active in the politics of his county since the war. He is a good talker and on this account especially, is his support of personal friends for office valued and appreciated.     Our subject is the eldest of three children, the others being Lawrence K., who died at twenty-one years, a widely known, highly respected and popular young man, and Addie, wife of Cyrus Dikeman, a large stock farmer in Illinois. Mr. Turner was educated in Abington College, Illinois, and graduated in the scientific course, class of 1873. He had prepared himself for teaching and had taught several years before finishing his college course, so that when he completed his course he entered the profession with experience. He taught a year in Illinois and in 1871 came west and located in Neosho county, Kansas. Good and able men were in demand in the schools of Kansas in that day, more so than now, for they were the exception then, now they are the rule. He immediately identified himself with school work and after two years, was chosen a candidate for county superintendent. His administration was endorsed with a re-election in 1878, and in January, 1881, he retired from office, having given the cause of public education in Neosho county four years of diligent, intelligent and efficient service. The next year he was principal of the Chanute schools and, following this, he served a year and a half as cashier of the Chanute bank. An opening then presented itself for an engagement in the hardware business in Chanute and this he took advantage of. For sixteen years he handled hardware and implements and was only retired in 1894, when he met with a heavy loss by fire. In the space of the following four years he gathered his scattered and weakened resources together preparatory to another business venture. In 1898 he purchased the Chanute Times, one of the oldest newspapers in the county, and is engaged success fully in its publication. In his political leanings Mr. Turner is noted for his advocacy of Republican doctrines and candidates, and while he is not violent and abusive of the rights and opinions of others his defense of his own position sometimes amounts to an arraignment of the party opposed to him. His position among the able men of the state warranted Governor Stanley in appointing him one of the Regents of the State Normal school in 1899, which position he held two years.    Mr. Turner was married to Miss lda Stone in 1878. She was a daughter of Luther and Susan Stone and was born in the state of New York. Her father brought his family to Kansas and took up his residence in Neosho county many years ago. Mr. Stone died several years ago and Mrs. Stone is now spending her last years with her daughter in Chanute. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Turner are Addie, deceased at eight years; Clair K., a student in the State Normal school of Kansas; Emma R., who is in the same institution; Vyrl, and Eva and Ava, twins. In his society connections Mr. Turner is a member of the Christian church, a Blue Lodge Mason and a Workman of the Ancient Order.  [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]

Edwin H. Minard
Among the pioneers of Neosho county and veterans of the civil war is E. H. Minard, the person whose name introduces this brief record. He was born in Medina county, Ohio, April 29, 1842, and is the second born in a family of eight children. His father was Milton D. Minard, a native of Ohio, and his mother was Hannah E. Smith, a lady of New York birth. Milton D. Minard was by trade a cabinet maker. In 1842 he settled in Victoria, Illinois, on the frontier, and in 1861 he enlisted in Company H, 51st Illinois infantry for service in the civil war. In 1868 he came to Kansas, again casting his lot with the people of the prairie pioneers. He settled in Crawford county and there died in 1876 at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow survives and resides with her son, our subject.
Edwin H. Minard was reared in Knox county, Illinois, and received such education as the country schools there afforded. He learned the trade of carpenter and cabinet-maker and was employed at the same when the war came on, August 1, 1862, he enlisted in Company K, 83rd Illinois infantry and was discharged from the service in July, 1865. He participated in the second battle of Fort Donelson in February, 1863, and was in other smaller engagements and skirmishes of the war. Owing to his height he always stood number two in his company, there being one other in the ranks of the same height or taller.
In October of 1865 Mr. Minard came to Kansas and stopped in Fort Scott where he worked at his trade till the 9th of April, 1863, when, having returned to his Illinois home, he was married to Miss Mary Harris. He brought his young wife to his Kansas "claim" in Crawford county, where they remained in the act of improving a home and fulfilling the law's requirements for a title to the land. In 1871 he sold his farm and engaged in coal mining at Fort Scott four years. In 1880 he removed to St. Paul and has since been occupied with the building and construction of houses and doing other things in line of his trade. Wagon and carriage repair, and manufacture now employs his attention.
Mr. and Mrs. Minard had three children born to them but only one survives, viz., William, a resident of Adelle, Oregon. Mr. Minard is a Republican and is a member of G. K. Warren Post, No. 114, Grand Army of the Republic. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]

Joseph P. Coomes
One of the pioneers of Walnut Grove township, Neosho county, was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, November 19, 1840. He is Joseph P. Coomes, the subject of this article, and is well known throughout the municipality in which he lives. He is a son of F. P. and Rachel (Hagan) Coomes, Kentucky people, who, about 1854, emigrated to Illinois and settled in Knox county. They remained there, engaged in farming, till 1867, when they made another advance westward and settled in Neosho county, Kansas. April 9, 1886, the father died in St. Paul at the age of seventy-eight years, and his wife died in 1889 at the age of seventy-five years. Of their children Joseph P. is the fourth, and only seven are living.
When the rebellion broke out Mr. Coomes was ready to volunteer for the defense of the Union. He enlisted October, 1861, in Company K, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry and served three years, ten months and seven days. He was in twenty-seven battles beside many small "settos" and skirmishes and he kept a diary of his doings all through the service. In studying it after the war was over he found he had been under fire three hundred sixty-five different days - nearly one-third of his term of service exposes to the bullets of the enemy. Notwithstanding this remarkable period of hazard he escaped unhurt, save the humiliation he experienced when captured by the "Johnies" July 22, 1864, the day that General McPherson was killed. Andersonville prison was at the end of nearly all roads for a captured Federal in those days and Mr. Coomes was taken to that iniquitous place without delay. He spent two months within its stockade and was reduced, in that time to about one-half of his original size. He was taken out with other prisoners and exchanged at Rough and Ready, Georgia. He returned to his command and renewed his efforts at crushing the rebellion on behalf of "Uncle Sam." Upon his return home at the end of the war he resumed farming and, in 1867, came to Kansas. He took a "claim" in Walnut Grove township, Neosho county, comprising a quarter section, and this he has converted into a fine farm. His residence stands on an eminence back some distance from the road and his bars and other improvements make an attractive landscape to look upon.
Mr. Coomes was married on the 2nd day of May, 1876, to Miss Nettie Parkhurst, an Illinois lady who came to Kansas with her parents in 1867. Ten children have been born to this worthy couple, namely, Frederick A., Thomas, Clarence, Eugene, Maud, Joseph E., Alice, Florence, Grace and Ada.  Mr. Coomes' record as a citizen is without blemish. He has performed his full portion toward the maintenance of our Republican institutions and a stable government. He believes in a policy of government advocated by the Democratic party and support its candidates for state and national officers at the polls. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]

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