Lee County Biography


Illinois outside of the city of Chicago owes its prosperity and advancement to the industry, enterprise and progressiveness of the representatives of agricultural life and prominent in this connection was David George of Lee county, who was the owner of extensive farms not only in this state but in Iowa. Pennsylvania numbered him among her native sons, his birth having occurred at East Berlin, Adams county, August 21, 1828. His parents, Jacob and Mary (Knop) George, spent their entire lives in Pennsylvania, where the father followed the occupation of farming. The family numbered four sons: Cornelius, David, Samuel and Henry and several daughters: including Mrs. Lizzie Weaver, Mrs. Anna Cline, Mrs. Molly McClellan and Mrs. Rachel Pentz.

Reared in the Keystone state David George worked at the carpenter's trade in early life and when a young man of twenty-three years came to Illinois, arriving in 1851. For two years thereafter he continued to follow his trade. After his marriage, which occurred in Pennsylvania in 1855, he returned to Lee county and settled in Franklin Grove, where he lived for a year. He then removed to a farm near Ashton and the remainder of his life was devoted to general agricultural pursuits. He became much attached to the farm and would not return to the town. His last four years were spent upon a farm near Franklin Grove, his industry and energy--his dominant qualities--finding expression in the careful and systematic manner with which he developed and improved his land. He owned six quarter sections near Ashton and a half section near Franklin Grove, making altogether twelve hundred and eighty acres in this county, in addition to which he had extensive property holdings in Iowa. He secured his land entirely through his persistent and intelligently directed efforts and always gave personal supervision to the management and development of his farms.

In Pennsylvania in 1855 Mr. George was united in marriage to Miss Susanna Reed, who was born in York, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1833, and died on the old home farm near Ashton, Illinois, November 23, 1898, when sixty-five years of age. In their family were four children: Martha, who became the wife of Joseph Sanders, and who died in 1888 leaving three children; William, born in 1859, who passed away in 1877; Ira, born August 17, 1864, who died October 13, 1907, leaving a widow and three children; and Mary, who is the wife of Charles Weybright and resides upon the farm formerly owned by her father near Franklin Grove. Mr. Weybright was born at Harrisburg, now Englewood, Montgomery county, Ohio, June 12, 1874, and there resided until twenty-one years of age. He is a graduate of the commercial department of the Mount Morris (Ill.) College. In 1901 he wedded Mary George and removed to Wichita, Kansas, where they remained for eight years, Mr. Weybright being there engaged in the milling business. In June, 1908, they returned to the old home farm near Franklin Grove in order to care for Mr. George with whom they continued until the latter?s death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Weybright have been born three children: Leslie, Clare and Olive. Mr. Weybright is an enterprising, progressive business man and in the control of his farming interests displays excellent business ability and keen discernment.

The death of Mr. George occurred February 14, 1912, when he had reached the venerable age of more than eighty-three years. He was a member of the Church of the Brethren and made frequent and generous donations to various churches and charities, giving freely of his means to advance the interests of humanity and promote public progress. He was one of the early and honored pioneer settlers of the community, having come here before the Northwestern railroad was built. When it was constructed the railroad and highway ran side by side along the border of his home place at Ashton, and he aided in securing the highway. He lived to see many notable changes as pioneer conditions gave way before an advancing civilization, and the change in nothing was greater than in his own financial condition which resulted from his business ability and unfaltering enterprise.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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