La Salle County IL Biographies
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Daniel Arentsen.

Daniel Arentsen is a native of the town of Freedom, LaSalle county, born at the Arentsen homestead, which he now owns and occupies, the date of his birth being July 31, 1854. His father, one of the early pioneers of this vicinity, was Thorbjoren Arentsen, whose first residence here was a log cabin by the roadside, north of the present homestead; the mound on which it stood is still to be seen. It was during the first year of his parents' residence here that Daniel was born; and as he is the youngest he is therefore the only one of the family born in the house in which he now lives.

During those early days deer, wolves and other wild game were plentiful. Often when the first of the family to sally forth in the morning came out, a herd of deer would be witnessed within five or six rods of the house, some standing and some lying down, chewing their cud as contentedly as a flock of sheep! They were not afraid, for they seemed to know that no harm was intended. Although a good shot Mr. Arentsen, the father, took but little interest in hunting. On one occasion he picked up a pair of deer's horns about half a mile distant from the house and gave it to Daniel, our subject, as a memento of the by-gone days, and these horns are still in the possession of our subject.

On the day that Daniel was twenty-one years old his good old father and mother asked him to stay with them as long as they lived and be their support in their old age, adding that when they had passed away to the silent land the homestead should be his. As he loved his old parents and thought more of them than everything else in this world, he promised to stay with them throughout the remainder of their lives if he indeed should live so long; and that promise was never broken. On the I3th of January, 1888, his mother died, and on the i4th of August, 1889, Daniel bought the farm, and also a timber lot, of his father-one hundred and five acres in all-at forty-five dollars an acre, amounting to four thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars-on the condition that when his father died he was to pay each of his brothers and sisters an equal share of the amount and also have an equal share himself; and his brothers and sisters were then to give him (Daniel) a good warranty deed of the same. Including Daniel there were still five brothers and sisters living; and when each had an equal share of the amount above stated said share was nine hundred and forty-five dollars. Daniel was therefore to pay the other four three thousand seven hundred and eighty dollars. On the I4th of September, 1889, the father died, and as our subject had no deed of the land his two brothers charged him each twelve hundred and fifty dollars, and his two sisters each one thousand and twenty-five dollars, making a total of four thousand five hundred and fifty dollars!

Mr. Arentsen is living alone, having never married. Politically he is a strong Republican and an earnest believer in the application of the golden rule to all the details of practical life.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 792-793 - Contributed by N. Piper]



David Arentsen

David Arentsen, a son of the late pioneer, Thorbjoren Arentsen, was born in South Freedom township, LaSalle county, on the old Arentsen homestead, now the property of Daniel Arentsen. the date of his birth being March 12, 1851. His early life was identical with that of other youths reared on the frontier and his school opportunities were in keeping with his time. From his father he learned the lessons of honesty and industry and by example was taught what true manhood is. When he started out in life on his own responsibility, it was as a farmer on a portion of the home farm, which later came into his possession and to which he has added by subsequent purchase and improved, until now his farm is one of the best and most attractive in the township.

Mr. Arentsen was married April 5, 1877, to Sarah Olsen, a daughter of John and Ann (Halverson) Olsen, who came to this country from Bergen, Norway, in 1860. In the Olsen family were ten children, of whom four are now living, namely: Martha, whose first husband was Soren Eames and whose second husband was Oliver Gruncly; Mrs. Sarah Arentsen; Josephine, the wife of Osman Tisdale, of Artesia, South Dakota, and Christ Olsen, of the same place. Mr. and Mrs. Arentsen have reared only one child, an adopted one, Ella Sophia Eames, a daughter of Soren and Martha Eames.

The Arentsen family are identified with the Lutheran church, and politically Mr. Arentsen is a Republican.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 655-656 - Contributed by N. Piper]



Helia Arentsen

This citizen of the town of Freedom. LaSalle county, was the son of the late pioneer Thorbjorn Arentsen,

Our subject, Helia Arentsen, was born in Perry, Wyoming county, New York, April 26, 1839, and was not favored with an excellent schooling, but had to be content with what he could obtain in the little "log seminary," as it was styled. However, he got sufficient book knowledge to enable him to teach a district school one winter, but after that he became a farmer and held to that without interruption, except as to the period he served his country during the Rebellion. He came to Illinois with his parents in 1844. August 25, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Second Illinois Artillery, as a private. His regiment was a part of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and he served in the western army under General Logan, receiving his discharge September 24, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee.

Mr. Arentsen was married at Ottawa, Illinois, by Justice of the Peace Arthur Lockwood, to Julia Thompson, a sister of Andrew Thompson, of Leland, Illinois. After his marriage he began life with a team and wagon and the money he had saved from his salary as a soldier. He went to housekeeping on the spot where the handsome residence now stands and where he was the possessor of sixty acres of land. His prosperity was attested by his final ownership of one hundred and twenty acres, which he had made one of the most beautiful farms in all his township. He claimed to be nothing, if not a farmer. He filled a small town office or two, but he never permitted his friends to lead him off for political crumbs, when he knew his success lay in the soil. He was, however, a director on the school board for eighteen years. He was a staunch Republican. He died January 20, 1900, a great loss to the community.

Of his family it may be added that his children are: Henry T., who is a prominent young Republican and a member of the advisory committee of the party for the town of Freedom; Joseph E.; Clara R.; William T., with Reed & Co., of Ottawa; Annie C., a successful teacher of the county schools; Emma S., a pupil at Dixon (Illinois) University; and Herbert L.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 621-623 - Contributed by N. Piper]



Thorbjorn Arentsen

Thorbjorn Arentsen was born among the pine-clad hills of that most picturesque of all northern European countries-Norway-in Bergen, March 21,1812. To better his condition he emigrated to America, in 1836, just after his marriage, and worked at day labor in his new home in New York. He had led the life of a sailor in Norway, but came here to lay the foundation for something more to his liking, and to gain a freedom not once to be thought of in his native land. In his search for a spot to suit his fancy, he left the state of New York and by water came to Muskegon, Michigan, and from that point he wended his way overland to LaSalle county, Illinois, by ox team. He found himself twelve dollars in debt, but by day labor he supported his family and repaid this sacred debt. How our subject came into possession of his first piece of American land may be of interest in this connection. There were two young Norwegians in this locality who wanted to become preachers. One of their chief qualifications was the possession of the proper garb of a broadcloth suit and a plug hat. This mantle neither of them had, but one of them owned twenty acres of wild land; and Mr. Arentsen had in his possession, left over from his days of greater prosperity and when his thoughts ran more to style, a broadcloth suit and the coveted "tile;" and when it was proposed by the germinating reverend to swap the land for the clothes he lost no time in agreeing to do so, and the head of the Arentsen house became a freeholder of Freedom township. He pursued his new occupation with renewed diligence and industry and made a success of it. His accumulations came somewhat slowly, but as they did come he found them in the form of additional area to his homestead, and when he died he was the owner of a large farm.

Thorbjorn Arentsen was just the type of man that made life valuable in that early day. He was not endowed with selfishness; on the contrary, he had an unselfish interest in all his neighbors and was especially awake to the needs of those who were in distress. During the cholera scourge he aided in nursing the sick and buried the dead, thus unavoidably exposing himself to the attacks of that deadly plague, with no thought of its possible consequences to him. Wherever there was needed a word of encouragement to the stricken, or bit of comfort to the afflicted, he always had it ready, and his presence did as much good as the old doctor's remedies. He was a Christian gentleman and prominent in the Lutheran church. He passed on to his reward September 14, 1889. His devoted wife, Caroline, died January 13, 1888. Their children were: Cecelia, wife of Christ Olson, of Ottawa; Helia; Henry, who died in the army, during the civil war; he was in Company D, Second Artillery, and died April 26, 1863; Caroline, wife of Ole Thorson, of Freedom; David and Daniel Arentsen.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 621-623 - Contributed by N. Piper]


Mr. Argubright

Deer Creek, Page 341

Mr. Argubright, from Ohio. Settled in the west part of Deer Park about 1837 or '8. He died soon, leaving several children: Andrew, married Catharine Trout, and died in 1847; Jacob ; Nancy, married William Turner; and James.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Abraham T. Armstrong

Abraham T. Armstrong, deceased, was a native of La Salle County, born in Mission Township, May 19, 1836, a son of Hon. John S. Armstrong. He was reared a farmer, but being of a mechanical turn of mind, early learned the use of tools and this knowledge was subsequently of much benefit to him. When a young man he located in Serena Township and was the founder of the village, making the first improvements and being one of its most active business men. He was twice elected Supervisor from Serena, and held the office of Justice for quite a number of years. He was ever foremost in his efforts to build up and improve the community in which he lived, both financially and morally. He labored hard to secure the erection of a church in his village. He was a kind, genial, generous, sympathetic man - the soul of integrity and perfect honesty. The poor and needy always found in him a friend. He married Miss Hannah Badgley in March, 1862, and to them were born tow children - J.S. and Belle. Mrs. Armstrong died in 1873, and in 1875 Mr. Armstrong married Lottie, daughter of Joseph H. and Sophia Hall. To them was born one son - Frank H. Mr. Armstrong was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the A.O.U.W. He died Feb.15, 1884.

Page 588-589

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Mrs. Elsa (Strawn) Armstrong

Deer Creek, Page 324-325

Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, from Licking County, Ohio, leaving her husband in Ohio, settled on Sections 35 and 86, T. 33, R. 2, in town of Deer Park, in 1831, with a family of seven children. A woman of great energy and business capacity. She died in 1871, aged 82 years. Her children were: John S., living in town of Mission; George W. in Brookfield; William E. died in Ottawa; Joel W., (seebelow); Jeremiah died in California ; Perry lives in Morris, Grundy County, lawyer and member of the legislature; and one son, who lives in California.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


George Washington Armstrong

Brookfield, Page 446-447

Geo. W. Armstrong, the first, settler in Brookfield, came from Licking County, Ohio, with his mother, Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, in 1831; he made a claim on S. 28, T. 33, R. 3; but John Hogaboom jumped it and finally bought it for $28. Armstrong made a claim on S. 1, T. 32, R. 5, and moved on it in the fall of 1833 ; was encamped there when the stars fell, Nov. 13th, of that year ; made a farm and has resided there since, except when a contractor on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Mr. Armstrong has been prominent as a politician ; has been Town Supervisor, and Chairman of the Board several years, and has served five terms and still is a member of the Legislature. He married Anna Green, of Jacksonville, I1l., and has nine children : John G., married Nellie McCann, lives in Ottawa ; William, is in Colorado ; Julius C., married Hattie Goodrich, and is a Congregational minister in Cook County ; Eliza M., married William Crotty, now of Kansas; Joseph, at home ; Marshall, is in Chicago University; Susan, married Robert Laughlin, and lives on the line of Grundy County; James E., at Champaign at school; Charles G., at home.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Brookfield Twp, Page 53-54

Hon. George Washington Armstrong, a prominent farmer of Brookfield Township, was born Dec. 11, 1813, in McKane Township, Licking Co., Ohio, a son of Joseph and Elsie (Strawn) Armstrong. His grandfather, John Armstrong came from County Fernanaugh, Ireland, where he was a flax and linen dealer, with his family, in 1789, and settled in Somerset County, Pa., and engaged in general merchandising. Joseph Armstrong was a farmer, merchant and woolen manufacturer, and at an early age George W. was employed in reels and winding bobbins in the factory. Our subject received only a limited education in his youth. He went through all the rooms in the factory but the spinning, thoroughly mastering the trade ane becoming an expert weaver. In April, 1831, he came to Putnam County, now Marshall County, Ill., and the following July settled in La Salle County with the family, with the exception of the father, who remained behind to adjust the business. The eldest son went back and George had charge of the family, the father dying soon afterward, before leaving Ohio. The family settled in South Ottawa, where the widowed mother lived until 1851 when she moved to Ottawa. She died in Morris Ill., in June, 1871. In 1832 Mr. Armstrong participated in the Black Hawk war, and in the autumn of 1833 he bought a claim in Brookfield Township, and in November of that year commenced building a log house on his land. In December, 1834, he attended a meeting in the interest of the Illinois & Michigan Canal at Ottawa, and acted as its Secretary and later carried a record of the proceedings to Vandalia, and then to the seat of Government, spending the winter there aiding the passage of the Canal bill. About this time he formed the acquaintance of Stephen A. Douglas, who rendered him invaluable assistance.

Before returning to La Salle County, Mr. Armstrong spent a month at school in Jacksonville, paying special attention to the study of mathematics. He was married at that place, March 15, 1835, to Anna Green and began housekeeping in Brookfield, La Salle County, in 1836. He built a saw-mill in the east part of this county and in 1837 took a contract on the construction of the canal at Utica, to which place he removed, remaining there until 1841. He then returned to Brookfield Township and resumed farming, where he has since made his home. Mr. Armstrong has always been a politician, and while Stephen A. Douglas lived was his staunch supporter. He was elected to the Legislature in 1844, and to the Constitutional Convention in 1847. In 1858 he was the Douglas candidate for Congress against Hon. Owen Lovejoy, the Republican nominee, but was defeated although receiving 15,000 votes. In 1870 he was a nominee with Judge Caton to revise the constitution but was defeated. He was a member of the Legislature from his district for eight consecutive years and was an eminently useful member. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors for La Salle County for twenty-two years, fourteen years of the time acting as its chairman. He was one of the five directors who built the Kankakee & Seneca Railroad, having a capital stock of only $10,000 and expending over $500,000 without a mortgage of lien of any king.

Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong have reared a family of nine children, giving them a fair education, all married and settled in life except one. The children are as follows: John G., a journalist of Ottawa; William, served as a Captain in the late war, and was Provost Marshal under General Sherman in the march to the sea now in Colorado; Julius C., also a soldier in the late war, graduated at the Western Theological School at Chicago, and is now a Congregational minister of Chicago; Eliza P., wife of William Crotty, resides in Burlington, Kan.; Marshall N., an attorney at law, of Atlanta; Joseph L., at home; Susan Ida, wife of L. B. Laughlin, of Bridgewater, Dak.; James E., a graduate of Industrial University at Champaign, now resides in Englewood, and is a teacher in the high school; Charles G., graduated at the same university, now lives in Piatt County, Ill.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Towns, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. - Volume II - Chicago Inter State Publishing Co., 1886, Chapter III - Transcribed by Nancy Piper ]

George W. Armstrong was born in Ohio, December 11, 1812, and was a son of Joseph Armstrong, whose birth occurred in Ireland and who was of Scotch-Irish descent. The great-grandfather, John Armstrong, was a linen merchant, and came to the United States in 1780, locating in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in merchandising for a number of years. His son Joseph was a lad of only ten years at the time of the emigration to America'. He was reared and educated in Pennsylvania and there married Miss Elsie Strawn, a representative of an old and honored Pennsylvania family. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Armstrong were born nine sons, namely: John S., who died in Ottawa, Illinois; George W., the father of our subject; William, who died in South Ottawa, in 1850; Joel, who died near Ottawa, in 1871; Jeremiah, who went west in 1849 and died in California in 1850; James, who died near Ottawa; P. A., a very prominent citizen of Morris; Clifford, who died in Licking county, Ohio; and I. Z., who went to the west in 1849, and is now living in Sacramento, California. Joseph Armstrong, the father, died in 1856, and the mother passed away in 1871.

George W. Armstrong spent his youth in Ohio and is indebted to its common schools for the educational privileges afforded him. In 1831 he came to the west, making the journey with wagon and team. Two years previously his brother John had come to Illinois and taken up his abode in Putnam county. During the Black Hawk war George W. Armstrong was with his mother and brothers in the fort at Ottawa. They settled in this county in 1831 on a half section of land, built a log cabin and began life in the west in true pioneer style. On the 10th of March, 1835, George Armstrong was married, in Jacksonville, Illinois, to Miss Nancy Green, a native of Knox county, Ohio, and a daughter of John and Susanah (Winter) Green, both of whom are now deceased. Her sister, Matilda Green, was the first wife of Jacob Strawn, the great cattle king.

Mr. Armstrong, father of our subject, has led a very busy and useful life and is a prominent and influential citizen. For a year or two he operated a sawmill on Wauponsee creek, in Grundy county, and then built and opened a general store, which he later sold. For nineteen years he served as a supervisor and for twelve years was the chairman of the board. For ten years he was a member of the state legislature, being elected first in 1844. He was a member of the constitutional convention in 1847. He was elected to the legislature again in 1871, after which he served for six years without interruption. He was an active working member of the house and aided in securing the adoption of many important measures which have proved of great benefit to the state. He was also a member of the first county convention of LaSalle county, and at all times has been a progressive, public-spirited and loyal citizen. He was a war Democrat at the time of the hostility between the north and the south and was an ardent admirer of Stephen A. Douglas, the Little Giant of Illinois. Probably no man in LaSalle county has been more prominent in public affairs or done more for her best interests than George W. Armstrong, who has left the impress of his individuality upon many departments of our public life. A valued member of the Masonic fraternity, he was one of the active promoters of Seneca Lodge, in which he held his membership. He was a man five feet and seven inches in height, erect in carriage and quick in movement. He was of high moral character, firm in his convictions, and the temerity with which he made known his position and his marked ability well fitted him for leadership. His wife passed away February 25, 1893. Like her husband, she shared the high regard of all who knew her, for she possessed many sweet, womanly qualities which endeared her to all. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were born nine children, eight of whom are now living: William, of Pueblo, Colorado, who served for four years as a Union soldier in the civil war, being captain of Company A, Fifty-third Illinois Infantry; Rev. Julius C., a pastor in the Congregational church, who served for three years with the Ninety-first Regiment of Illinois Volunteers; Millie Eliza, wife of William Crowley, of Burlington. Kansas; Joseph L., who is living on the old homestead farm; Marshall W., a well known attorney of Ottawa; Susan Ida, wife of L. B. Laughlin, of Bridgewater, South Dakota; James E., principal of the high school at Englewood, Illinois; Charles G., an electrician in Chicago; and John G., who was a successful lawyer, and died in Ottawa in 1890, at the age of fifty-four years.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 121-123 - Contributed by N. Piper]


Joel W. Armstrong

Deer Creek, Page 325

Joel W. Armstrong came from Ohio with his mother's family in 1831, married Cordelia Champlin, and settled on Sections 35 and 36, T. 33, E. 2; was a large fanner and stock dealer; he was a teamster with the army in the Black Hawk war when a mere lad ; he held the office of County Recorder; was several terms Justice of the Peace and Town Supervisor; a good business man and prominent citizen. He died in 1871, leaving five children. Mulford, his oldest son, died before his father, just after graduating at the Chicago University with the first honors-much regretted; was a young man of great promise. Nellie married E. C. Lewis, and lives on the old homestead; Julia married Isaac Smead, and lives at Normal; Cora, Walter and Hart are at home.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Pg 214 Deer Park Township

Joel W. Armstrong was born in Licking County, Ohio, Jan. 6, 1817 and was a son of Joseph and Elsie (Strawn) Armstrong, natives of Pennsylvania, and when a mere boy his parents moved to LaSalle County, Ill., settling in this township on section 36, previous to the Black Hawk war. The mother died at Morris, Ill., in 1871, aged eighty-three years and the father died at the age of seventy-one years.

He was married to Cordelia Champlin, a daughter of Christopher and B.S. (Lee) Champlin. Her parents were born and reared in New London, Conn., and about 1839 came to this county, living at Ottawa about six years, both now deceased. Mrs. Armstrong was born Dec. 8, 1824 in Ashtabula, Ohio, and when fifteen years of age moved with her parents to Ottawa, Ill.

To Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were born five children Mulford C., born April 12, 1843 and died Sept. 14, 1867, just after graduating at the Chicago University; Nellie A., wife of E. C. Lewis; Julia A., wife of I. D. Smead, President of the Ruttan Heating and Ventilating Company of Toledo, Ohio; Cora E., Walter L. and Hart C. living at home.

After becoming of age, Mr. Armstrong served one term as County Recorder, after which he settled on the farm on section 35 where his widow still resides, and where he died Dec. 3, 1871. He was buried in the Baptist church cemetery near his old home in Deer Park Township. He was Supervisor of this township for several years and was the first Postmaster in this township. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of the Baptist church.

[History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper].


John Armstrong

Mission, Page 416-417

John Armstrong, then a minor, came from Licking County, Ohio, in company with his uncle, John Strawn, in the fall of 1829, and hired out by the month near Hennepin, stopping for some time with James Wallace in the Brown settlement, South Ottawa. He returned to Ohio in 1831; the same year his mother, Mrs. Elsa Armstrong, moved to Illinois with her family. He again came to Illinois in 1833.

He married Margaret Trumbo, daughter of Abraham Trumbo, and settled on Sec. 10. town of Mission, in June. 1884, where he still lives-a successful farmer and stock dealer: He was an ardent supporter of the Grange movement, and is now Treasurer of the State Grange. He has six children: Abram, married Charlotte Grant, and lives at Serena ; Elsa, married Henry Parr ; Joseph, married Mary Havenhill, in Mission ; Josephine, married Samuel Parr ; Benjamin, a lawyer, is in Kansas; Fanny, at home.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

John Strawn Armstrong, a son of Joseph and Elsie (Strawn) Armstrong, was born in Somerset County, Pa., May 29, 1810. His father was a native of Ireland, coming to this country when eight years of age. He was married in 1808 and emigrated with his family from Somerset County, Pa., to Licking County, Ohio, in 1811, settling on land previously entered by Isaiah Strawn. In politics he was an old-time Democrat. He has a family of nine children, one son born in Pennsylvania and eight sons born in Ohio.

John S. Armstrong, the eldest, was reared to manhood in Licking County, Ohio, his early education being obtained in the primitive log-cabin school-houses. When young he used to team across the Allegheny Mountains. In August, 1829, he came to Tazewell County, Ill., embracing at that time all the State north to the State line, untiel the winter of 1830-31. He took up land in what is now Marshall County, on wild prairie, where he built a blacksmith shop and log cabin, which he sold in 1831. He afterward settled in Deer Park Township, La Salle Co., where he located a claim.

Jan. 1, 1834, he was married to Margaret Trumbo, a native of Licking County, Ohio, baron March 7, 1814, a daughter of Abraham Trumbo, who was born in Virginia. In 1834 he settled in Mission Township, where he has since resided, and is one of the well-to-do farmers of the county. To Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong have been born ten children, five still living Elsie, wife of Henry Parr; Abraham T., who married Hannah Badgley (both deceased); Josephine, wife of Samuel Parr; Joseph, who married Mary Heavenhill; Benjamin, an attorney of Independence, Kas., who married Melitta Bristol, and Fannie B. Armstrong, the youngest. He has always taken an active interest in the Grange, being Master of the first subordinate Grange in the town and afterward was Treasurer of the State Grange.

[History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.]


Joseph Armstrong

Joseph Armstrong, section 4, Mission Township, was born on the old Armstrong homestead on section 9, Mission Township, Jan. 25, 1841, a son of Hon. John S. Armstrong. He was reared on a farm and has made agriculture his chief business in life. In 1871 he lived in Serena, and while there built the Serena Hotel. In December 1883, he located on the farm where he now lives. He owns a valuable farm of 350 acres two miles southeast of Sheridan, which is now cultivated by tenants. He has been a successful farmer and stock-raiser, and is now living retired from the active labors of the farm. He was married Jan. 17, 1867, to Mary E. Heavenhill, daughter of Fielding Heavenhill. She was born in this township Nov. 19, 1846. They have three children - Emma M., Benjamin S. and John H. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Select Knights.

Page 439

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Joseph L. Armstrong

Success in any walk of life is not the result of chance, but is the outcome of keen sagacity in business affairs combined with well directed effort, and it is these qualities which have made Mr. Armstrong, of Brookville township, one of the most enterprising and prosperous farmers of LaSalle county.

His birth occurred on the old family homestead March 1, 1847, his parents being Hon. George W. and Nancy Armstrong. Joseph Armstrong, whose name begins this sketch, was reared and educated in LaSalle county, and having arrived at years of maturity he was married, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Miss Laura J. Henderson, the daughter of John P. Henderson, now deceased. They located on the old home farm, which comprises four hundred and thirty acres of rich and arable land. Altogether Mr. Armstrong owns eight hundred and sixty acres, and from the golden harvests which he garners he secures a good income. He is accounted one of the leading agriculturists of the county, and in his methods he is progressive, practical and systematic. His dealings are also characterized by the utmost fairness, and he justly merits the confidence reposed in him.

Politically Mr. Armstrong is a Democrat, having supported that party since attaining his majority. He keeps well informed on the issues which divide the country politically, and is therefore prepared to give intelligent support to his views. He has served for four years as a county supervisor, and has been a member of the school board for fifteen years, discharging his duties in a most prompt and satisfactory manner. Not only as a representative of one of the prominent pioneer families of the county, but also because of his own personal merits, does he deserve mention in this volume among the leading citizens of his section of the state.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 121-123 - Contributed by N. Piper]


Marshall N. Armstrong

Marshall N. Armstrong, attorney at Law, was born in Brookfield Township, La Salle Co., Ill., a son of George and Anna (Green) Armstrong. He was reared in this county, receiving his early education in the schools of his neighborhood. In 1871 he entered the University of Chicago, remaining there till 1877. He then attended the Union College of Law two years, from which he graduated June 5, 1879, after which he practiced a short time in Chicago. He then came to Ottawa, La Salle County, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. He was married in Brookfield, Ill., June 22, 1881, to Frances P. Osgood, daughter of L. P. Osgood, of that place. Two children had been (born) to them - Lucy May and Horace Henry. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Congregational church and his wife is a Methodist.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 505-506 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


William E. Armstrong

Ottawa, Page 254-255

Wm. E. Armstrong, son of Elsa Armstrong, came from Ohio with his mother in 1831. He married Sarah Ann Strawn, daughter of Joel Strawn. He was for some time captain of a steamboat running from the head of navigation on the Illinois River to St. Louis. He and his wife died several years since.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Ottawa, Page 254-255 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


William S. Armstrong

William S. Armstrong is a native of Ireland, born March 10, 1821 and in about 1843 immigrated to America, first locating at Pittsburg, Pa. In 1852 or '53 he settled in Ottawa, La Salle Co., Ill., where he has since made his home. April 23, 1866, he married Ann Wallace and to them have been born four children - Sophie E., born Jan. 15, 1868; Annie M., born May 1, 1869; Willie, born Sept. 9, 1870 and Wallace, born March 18, 1875.

In 1861 Mr. Armstrong enlisted in the Eleventh Illinois Infantry as a private in the three-months service, then promoted to Corporal, then made Color Guard, then appointed Color Sergeant in the three-year service. He participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and Shiloh, when he was discharged on account of his eyes. After his eyes got well he re-enlisted the following August in Company I, Fifty-third Illinois Infantry and was appointed Color Sergeant. He took part in seventeen engagements altogether. He was in all of the engagements in front of Atlanta and with Sherman on his march to the sea. He was at the grand review at Washington, D.C., where he bore the colors of his regiment. He was mustered out at Louisville, Ky. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is Color Bearer of his post. In politics Mr. Armstrong is a staunch. Republican.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 506 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Charles R. Arnold

Charles R. Arnold, photographer, is a native of Vermont, born in May, 1842. He passed his youth on a farm and had the advantage of a common-school education. At the age of eighteen years he began to learn photography and after serving his time he opened his first gallery in Essex County, N.Y., and was engaged in business in that State till 1884 and in the spring of that year he located in Marseilles where he has a large and neatly fitted up gallery, well filled with fine specimens of his work. He has had an experience of twenty-five years in his business and his work in unexcelled in the county. He was married in 1877 to his present wife, Anna Allen, of St. Lawrence County, N.Y.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 815 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Stephen Arnold

Stephen Arnold, Recorder of Ottawa, is a native of Germany, born Jan. 28, 1838. In 1852 he came to the United States and lived two years in New York, attending while there the English schools. In the summer of 1854 he came to La Salle County, Ill., and located in Mendota. In 1869 he was elected Justice of the Peace and in 1879 was elected County Recorder to fill a vacancy caused by the death of C. W. Denhard. He was elected to the same office and re-elected in 1884. He was married in December, 1858, to Margaret Hoffman, a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, born in 1841. They have had six children, but five of whom are living - Philip, of McPherson County, Kas.; Heman C., druggist of Newton, Kas.; Henry L., clerk in the recorder's office; Amelia and Arthur G. Mr. Arnold is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 506-507 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Fridthjof G. Arntzen

Fridthjof G. Arntzen, merchant, Serena, Il., was born in the province of Nordland, Norway, Dec. 19, 1847, a son of Andrew Arntzen. He was educated in Holck College in Bergen, Norway, completing his coursein 1868. He then clerked in a store a year in in 1869 came to the United States, and from Chicago went to Dane County, Wis., and worked on a farm during the summer, returning to Chicago in the fall and worked at the carpenter's trade during the winter. In the spring of 1870 he went to Carrollton, Miss., and worked on a plantation one season; then returned to Chicago and in January 1871, came to La Salle County and lived in Norway till March, when he located in Serena, and clerked in the store of Schlambush & Mason, later for Mr. Mason, till March 1, 1882, when he bought the stock. He keeps everything usually found in a general store, carrying a stock valued at $6,000, and has an annual trade of $15,000. He was married June 27, 1882, to Henrietta Hoxsey, daughter of John D. Hoxsey, an early settler of Serena Township. They have two children - John D. and Mary E. Mr. Arntzen is a member of the A. O. U. W.

Page 637-638

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Fridthgof G. Arntzen.

Fridthgof George Arntzen, a retired merchant of Serena, was born in the parish of Flagstad in the northern part of Norway, December 19, 1847. His father, Andrew Arntzen, was a merchant, and our subject was reared and trained in that line of business. At the age of nineteen years he left school and became a bookkeeper in the office of a merchant at Bergen, Norway. Upon finishing his engagement there, in 1869, he joined a company of young people who were emigrating to the United States. He embarked from Bergen on the sailing vessel Valkyren, bound for Quebec, and after five long weeks of water journey he landed, on the i6th of June. He continued his journey by rail to Chicago, went to Wisconsin and found work on a farm that fall and winter. He had heard so many roseate accounts of the south that he went to Mississippi, where he secured work on a plantation. This was too far south for a man born in sight of an iceberg and reared in the pure air of pine-and-hemlock-perfumed Norway; so, by the middle of the following December, he made his way back to Chicago. In the spring of 1871 he came to LaSalle county, Illinois, and clerked for a time in the village of Norway. He came to Serena, March 13 of that year, and then began clerking for Mason & Schlenbusch, and later for Mr. Mason.

In 1882 Mr. Arntzen succeeded Mr. Mason, by purchase, and conducted a general merchandise business just ten years, retiring in 1892.

The date of Mr. Arntzen's marriage was June 27, 1882. He chose for his companion Henrietta, a daughter of John D. Hoxsey. Mr. and Mrs. Arntzen are the parents of John Decatur, born 1883; Mary E., born in 1884; and Richard, born in 1891

In national matters Mr. Arntzen has identified himself with the Republican party. By his strict attention to business, as well as by his dealings with his neighbors and friends, he has shown himself to be a gentleman of the first order and one worthy of the confidence of the public. He adopted American ways and habits and early became as thorough an American as if born in this country. He has never sought nor favored publicity for himself, preferring to remain a quiet and modest man of affairs. Unlike many other foreign-born people, the Scandinavians come gracefully under the flag of this nation and prefer to become as one among us. They are a portion of the best of our adopted brotherhood.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 371-372 - Contributed by N. Piper]

 Edward Atkinson

Edward Atkinson, pitt boss of Earl Shaft No1., of Streator, was born July 21, 1845, in Cumberland County, England. He was reared in his native county and there received a limited common-school education. At the age of ten years he began working in the mines near his birthplace where he was employed till he was twenty-three years old. Jan. 2, 1863, he was married at Distington, England, to Miss Jane Pape, of that place. The same year, 1868, he immigrated to America, landing at Castle Garden, N.Y. He came at once to Streator, La Salle County and was employed as a miner by the Vermillion Coal Company until 1870. He was then engaged as a miner in Shaft No. 1 until 1876, when he was promoted to roadman, having charge of the men and drivers of the mine until 1880, since which time he has had full charge of the shaft. He and his wife are members of the Independent church at Streator. Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson have three children living - Dora, Lee and Anna Burrow.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Vol. II, Page 76 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Elisha R. Atwood

Elisha R. Atwood, M. D., is a native of Wyoming County, N.Y., born Sept. 1, 1830, a son of Elisha and Elvira (Demmon) Atwwod, natives of Vermont and Massachusetts, respectively, and early residents of New York. Our subject remained in his native county till twelve years of age when he removed with his father's family to Branch County, Mich., and received his education at Spring Arbor Academy. In his youth he began the study of medicine with his father, who was a physician, and in 1859-60 he attended the medical department of the University at Ann Arbor, Mich. He then came to La Salle County, Ill., and continued his medical studies with Dr. J. S. Bullock, of Vermillionville and at the session of 1863-64 completed his studies at Rush Medical College, Chicago. He then located in Eagle Township, near where Streator now stands and in 1865 moved to Lostant where he has since continued the practice of medicine. He also has a drug store in connection with his business and carries a stock of $3,500 and is doing a fair business. Dr. Atwood is a member of the Baptist church. He was married to Miss Isabel M. Morris, a native of Pennsylvania, Nov. 18, 1862. They have five children - Frank M., Julia, Ella, Elisha M. and Mulford D.

Vol. II Page 332

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa- Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


AU

Daniel Austin

Daniel Austin, farmer, section 35, is a son of Seneca S. and Sarah (Lake) Austin, natives of Greene County, N.Y. They had a family of three sons - Daniel, George F. and Chester Y., all native of Greene County, N.Y. The family came to Illinois in 1855 and lived in Stark County two years and three years in Bureau County when they returned to New York and remained there eight years, after which they returned to Illinois for permanent settlement and at present S. S. Austin and Son have a general store in Rutland. Daniel Austin, whose name heads this sketch, was born in November, 1844 and in 1855 came with his father to Illinois and returned with him to his native State. In 1865 he enlisted in Company H, Nineteenth Regulars, United States Infantry and served three years. He relates a ludicrous adventure while he and five companions were driven to the upper deck of a Mississippi steam and held there by 200 of Quantrill's guerrillas. The Union men had the rebel leader and were able to hold the upper deck, though the rebles kept the boat fast to the shore. A compromise was finally effected, the rebel leader given up and the steam (the United States) given to the Unionists. Mr. Austin learned engineering at this time and later he was with Major Carlton in an Apache campaign in Arizona and Mexico. On leaving the army he came to Rutland and was employed as engineer in the steam mill and later in the coal shaft. For three years he managed the stock farm of H. Cooper, Groveland, and in 1882 he bought his present farm and for a year after he was unable to do any work on account of sickness. Although he has met with much misfortune he yet retains his naturally cheerful disposition and has now a good farm and home. He was married in 1870 to Miss Sarah, daughter of Calvin Cooper. She was born in Connecticut and came with her people to Bureau County, Ill., about 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Austin have two children - Addie, born April 22, 1871 and Clara, born March 4, 1873.

Page 305-306

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa- Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Freeman Austin Sr.

Freeman Austin was born in Delaware County, N.Y., May 26, 1804, and moved to Niagara County with his father when a young man, where he married Phoebe Adair, a native of Canada. In 1850 he moved to La Salle County, Ill., and settled on the southwest quarter of section 26, Ophir Township, on a land warrant located in 1848. Of his family of three sons, Freeman E. is the only one living. John A. was drowned near Starved Rock, June 16, 1860, aged twenty years; Abraham H. was a member of Company D, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Infantry and was killed in Hartsville, Tenn., in 1862, aged nearly nineteen years. In 1871 Mr. Austin sold his farm and has since lived with his son. His wife died in 1879.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 684-685 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Freeman E. Austin

Freeman E. Austin is a son of Freeman Austin . Freeman E. Austin was born in Niagara County, N.Y., May 11, 1838. In 1869 he located in Mendota and has since worked at the carpenter and bridge building trades. He married Louisa Austin a native of Yates County, N.Y., daughter of Orrin Austin. They have four children - Abram A., born in September 1863; Ward L., September 1864; Elmer E., June 1866 and Ida H., June 1868. One child died in infancy.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa, Page 684-685 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]



George L. Austin

The town of Rutland, LaSalle county, has a no more enterprising business man and public spirited citizen than George L. Austin, who has served in various local positions of responsibility and trust, always acquitting himself of the duties devolving upon him and meriting the approbation of everyone concerned.

He is a son of Seneca S. and Sarah H. Austin, who are represented elsewhere in this work. He was born in Greene county, New York, July 25, 1847, and spent eight years of his life there. In 1855, he came to Illinois with his parents, and for the succeeding five years he lived in Stark and Bureau counties. Then returning to the Empire state, he remained there for several years, completing his education. In 1868 he again came to this state and resided in Bureau and LaSalle counties, assisting his father in farming a portion of the time for several years. He had learned the machinist's trade at Albany, New York, in 1866, and for seven years he was occupied in work along this line of endeavor, with good results. In 1876 he purchased an interest in his father's general store at Rutland, the firm being Austin & Son, for thirteen years or more. At the end of that period the young man purchased his father's share of the enterprise, and since then has conducted it alone. On the I5th of April, 1899, his store and nearly all of his stock of goods were destroyed by fire, but, nothing daunted, the energetic proprietor opened a store in temporary quarters, within a week after the unfortunate occurrence, and is now building a handsome brick block, of two stories and basement, an opera-house being above the stores.

In company with his brother, Chester Y. Austin, Mr. G. L. Austin owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, two miles and a half from Rexford, Sheridan County, Kansas. He is very successful as a business man, and is on the high road leading to assured wealth. He is looked up to and his judgment relied upon in financial and public matters, and after serving as a member of the village board of trustees for some time, he acted in the capacity of president of the same for a year. He also was the treasurer of the township for some four years. Formerly he was active in the Masonic order, but has a letter of demittance from the lodge, and still keeps his membership in the Odd Fellows society. Politically he uses his franchise in behalf of the Republican Party.

On the I3th of February, 1881, Mr. Austin married Miss Kate D. Shull, daughter of Frederick A. and Sarah M. (Barger) Shull. They have become the parents of three daughters and a son, namely: Leslie, Fern, Caro and Ruth. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he being one of the trustees, and is one of the most zealous workers in the cause.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 725-726 - Contributed by N. Piper]


Phineas Austin

Phineas and Elizabeth (Crisler) Austin, with their family of five children, moved from Steuben County, N.Y., to this county in 1843, making the trip by team. They spent one summer at Milford on Fox River and two years later they settled on eighty acres of land in this township. In 1865, Phineas Austin, having buried his wife, moved to Livingston County, selling the eighty acres of land to his son William. From there he went to Nebraska, where he died in 1879, in his eightieth year. The oldest child, Catharine, married Barton J. Austin (deceased) and she died on her way to California in 1881; our subject William was the second child; Edward now resides in Nebraska; Cornelia married Joseph Smith of Greene County Iowa, and Freeman lives in Vermillion County, this state.

Page 496

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Seneca S. Austin

Nearly forty-five years ago this honored citizen came to Illinois, and for almost a quarter of a century he has dwelt in the town of Rutland, LaSalle county. His life has been an exceptionally active and useful one, and though actuated by a proper amount of ambition and desire for success, he has ever kept in view the higher aims which should animate mankind, and has nobly striven to fulfill what he believed was his chief mission. As he looks back along the pathway he has pursued for just eighty years, he can have but few regrets, for the majority of his mistakes have been errors of judgment, not of deliberate choice, and his heart has been filled with love and sympathy for his fellow men and a genuine desire to aid them by every means in his power.

He is one of the five surviving children of Daniel and Betsy (Drigg) Austin, who were natives of New York state and Connecticut respectively. Four of their children have passed to the better land, and those who remain are named as follows: Seneca S.; Harriet, the widow of Curtis Rogers, of Utica, Illinois; John, a citizen of Greene county, New York; Alphonsine, the wife of Curtis Lacy, of Greene county, New York; and Louisa, who resides in the same county and is the wife of Isaac Smith. The father, Daniel Austin, was a successful farmer of that locality, where he died in 1875, at the age of nearly eighty-two years. His widow's death took place seven years later, when she was in her eighty-sixth year. Both were devoted members of the Christian church. Jeremiah, the father of Daniel Austin, was a native of the Empire state, a weaver by trade and a farmer to some extent. He had two sons and three daughters, and lived to an advanced age. The father of Mrs. Betsy Austin was John Drigg, a native of Connecticut. He was a brick and stone mason and a plasterer by trade. His children were six in number-two sons and four daughters.

The birth of Seneca S. Austin occurred on the parental homestead in Cairo township, Greene county, New York, August 4, 1819. He early mastered the details of agriculture and attended the old fashioned subscription schools of that early period. After he reached his majority he followed the usual custom of learning a trade, and at length was pronounced an excellent blacksmith, but he soon abandoned that pursuit and resumed farming, to which he gave his energy until 1875.

On the 15th of October. 1843, a momentous event occurred in the history of Mr. Austin, as on that day Miss Sally Lake was united to him in wedlock, and during the many years which have come and gone since then she has, indeed, been a faithful sharer of his joys and sorrows. Her parents were Godfrey M. and Permelia (Edwards) Lake, natives of the Empire state and farmers by vocation. The father was of Dutch descent, a son of William and Mary (Miller) Lake, of old New York families. The latter, Mrs. Mary M. Lake, reached the remarkable age of one hundred and ten years. Godfrey M. Lake died at his home in New York, February 3, 1887, when six months over eighty-two years of age, and his widow, who died in 1895, was then ninety-one years and four months old. Mrs. Sally Austin is one of their nine children, only three of whom have crossed to the other shore. Mary B., now of Grand Rapids, Michigan, first married Edmund Spring, and after his death she became the wife of Peter Day. Ann C. is the wife of Henry Risedorph, of Cairo, New York. George and William H. Lake reside in Greene county, New York, and Lydia R., the youngest, is the wife of Ezra Thorn, of Greenville, New York.

Three children-Daniel M., George L. and Chester Y.-blessed the union of S. S. Austin and wife. Daniel M., of Rutland, chose Jennie Cooper for a wife, and their children are named Addie, Clara and Clifford. George L. wedded Kate Duffield Shull and their four children are Leslie, Fern, Caro and Ruth. He is a general merchant at Rutland, and is represented elsewhere in this work. Chester Y. married Nora Briggs and their three children are Clem, Ollie and Bernice. Their home is in Streator, and he is employed as a distributing bill agent of the Santa Fe Railroad Company. Concerning Daniel M. Austin, we may add that he enlisted in the United States army when he was twenty-one years of age and was out on the frontier three years. He has a farm of eighty acres two miles east of Rutland, but, his health failing about five years ago, he rented his land and has since lived in Rutland. Chester Y. Austin was formerly a telegraph operator at various points, and now he is employed in a different capacity by the Santa Fe Railroad Company.

In 1855 S. S. Austin came to Illinois with his wife and three children, locating on a farm in Stark county. He experienced the hardships of the pioneer on these western prairies, and was obliged to break the hitherto uncultivated ground with the great plows and the yokes of oxen, according to custom. In 1858 he removed to Bureau county, and after two years more of western farming he returned to his native state, where the conditions were in many respects more favorable. He remained there for eight years, and then came back to his old farm in Bureau county. Four years later he located in Rutland, where he has since made his home. He bought property here and was engaged in the lumber business for two years. During the ensuing thirteen or fourteen years he, in partnership with his son George, was engaged in general merchandising. Then selling his interest to his son, he retired to enjoy the competence which he had justly earned.

When residing in Bureau county, Mr. Austin was one of the school trustees, and has served in the same capacity since coming to Rutland. He also served as township clerk when he dwelt in Stark county, and at all times has taken a commendable interest in the community wherein his lot was cast. He and his estimable wife are members of the Christian church, and have hosts of sincere friends in various parts of the country.

[Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Volume I, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company 1900, Page 735-737 - Contributed by N. Piper]


Silas Austin

Brookfield, Page 450

Silas Austin came in 1836.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


William Austin

William Austin was born in Canada, June 5, 1825, during a temporary residence of his parents there. His parents were Phineas and Elizabeth (Crisler) Austin. When fifteen years of age William Austin was employed on a small canal in New York State, but becoming entangled by the tow line, he lost his left leg. In 1845 he went to Chicago and engaged in making shingles. From that time he acted for himself, independent of the family and soon after had earned enough to possess a land warrant with which he located 160 acres of land, a part of his present homestead. He has since added eighty acres and now has a finely cultivated farm of 240 acres with building improvements noticeably good. In April, 1850, he was married to Lydia Ann Norton, born in Pennsylvania, her parents, Cyrus and Matilda (Wright) Norton, living in Peoria at the time of the marriage. Both Mr. and Mrs. Norton died in Minnesota. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Austin six are now living - Charles W., living on part of his father's farm, which he rents; George, a resident of Ida County, Iowa; Cyrus, residing in Mendota Township; Alta B., a school teacher; Carrie, wife of George Davis, residing in this township and Tilda, wife of Guy Worsley of this township. Early in married life Mr. Austin lived for four years in Waltham Township, serving as Collector for two years. He has also served as Collector for this township for three years. In politics Mr. Austin affiliates with the Republican party.

Page 496-497

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Joseph Avery

Joseph Avery, who settled in La Salle County in 1836, was born in Rensselaerville, Albany Co., N.Y., Dec. 1, 1796. When fifteen years of age he went to Albany, where he was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade. His parents, Daniel and Elzabeth (Heyde) Avery, had a family of ten sons. The father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and received a pension for his services. He died in Jefferson County, N.Y., 1821. His widow survived till 1823. She was a member of the Methodist church. Our subject was married in Oswego County, N.Y., in 1826, to Laura Fellows, born July 19, 1794, in Tolland, Conn., and died in December, 1860. They had three children - Adaniram, Marion and DeWitt. The sons died in early childhood. Marion, now Mrs. Gray, is a resident of Ottawa. Mr. Avery left his native State in 1836, coming to La Salle County. He settled in Ottawa when there were but few settlers and first engaged in teaming. In 1840 he located a claim, where he has since made his home, having lived here for forty-five years. In 1837 he was a delegate to the County Convention at Ottawa. He has been a life-long Democrat. In 1826 he joined the New York State militia, and was commissioned in succession Sergeant-Major, Adjutant, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, Senior-Colonel, and Brevet Brigadier-General, but refused to accept the latter office.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886, City of Ottawa- Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


Burton Ayres

LaSalle, Page 373

Burton Ayres, and wife, Orilla Langworthy, from Ohio, came to La Salle in 1830, and settled on S. 14; a blacksmith and farmer. His shop was at the foot of the bluff, near the Little Vermillion ; he died in 1870. He had six children: James, is married, and lives in Iroquois County ; Myron D. is also in Iroquois ; Elizabeth, is married, and lives in Iowa; Franklin, is in Kansas; Warren, is single, and lives in Princeton ; Charlotte, is married, and in Kansas.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY,- Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

 

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