Lee County Biography

William Ellery Ives

The best biography of an honorable and influential man is sure to be his own works. The simple recital of prominent events in the life of Mr. Ives needs not be elaborated by the biographical writer, and the personality of names, places and dates is important only as they enable the reader to trace the steps of his mental growth. He is widely known as an eminent attorney-at-law and is the pioneer lawyer of Amboy, where his shingle has been hung to the breeze since 1854. He has been foremost in all important measures for the development of the city, and was the prime mover in founding and carrying on the first newspaper ever published here.

Ellery, Chautauqua County NY was the birthplace on May 24, 1821. His parents, Almon and Nancy (Tomblin) Ives, were natives respectively of Vermont and New York, and the former was engaged as a farmer and civil engineer. At Malone, a town on the St. Lawrence River in New York, he married and in 1816 settled in the western part of that State when it was an unsettled country. In 1834 he migrated to Illinois under promise to survey the public lands, but when he came West Andrew Jackson, then President, concluded that to the "victor belongs the spoil," and as Mr. Ives was a Whig, his services were not desired. He settled in that part of La Salle County which in 1840 became Kendall County, and improved a farm. In the public affairs of the county he became quite prominent, serving as the first Recorder of Deeds, and afterward becoming Judge of the County Court, which office he held several terms.

In 1854 the father of our subject removed to Bloomington, this State, and a year later came to Amboy, where he died March 5, 1864, aged 75 years and 8 months. During the last years of his life he was a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and in his religious sentiments he was an earnest member of the Baptist Church. The mother of our subject died at Amboy, April 22, 1862. There were nine children in the family, of which our subject was a member, as follows - Almond B, a lawyer at Bloomington IL, where he died; Simeon P., a minister in the Baptist Church, now residing in Missoula Mon.; William E., of this sketch; Franklin B., a physician whose home is in Chicago; Isaac S., formerly a physician at Oswego IL, where he died in 1852; Sarah M., who married Alfred Tucker and resides at Ottawa IL; Enos J., a member of the Board of Trade at Chicago, and a resident of Woodlawn; Ruth A., who married Willis Hawthorn, and died in Amboy; and Nancy, who became the wife of Warren C. Sears, and makes her home in Burlington, Kan.

When the Ives family moved to Illinois William E. was but a boy entering upon his teens. His youth was passed upon a farm and he received a good education at Grandville Academy. Having resolved to enter upon the practice of law, he attended the National Law School at Balston Spa, N. Y., where he graduated in 1852. He first located for the practice of law in Oswego, Ill., whence he came to Amboy, becoming first attorney here, and now enjoying the distinction of being the oldest lawyer in Lee County. Besides attending to his large practice, he manages a stock farm which he owns, located near Amboy and comprising one thousand acres.

On December 8, 1841, occurred the marriage of Mr. Ives to Miss Susan R., daughter of James Ryon, and sister of Dr. Ryon, of Amboy, whose sketch is presented in another portion of this volume. Mrs. Ives was born April 17, 1821, in Tioga County, Pa., and her union with Mr. Ives has been blessed by the birth of five children, two of whom died in childhood. The survivors are — Charles E. Ives, a lawyer of Amboy; Esther N., wife of Elijah A. Winn, of Amboy; and James N., of Denver, Col. The latter is a graduate of Rochester University, N. Y., and a lawyer by profession, having practiced for a time in Dixon, this State whence he removed to Denver in and there published a paper called the Mining Review he has devoted considerable attention to literary pursuits, and as a writer possesses more than ordinary ability, wielding a ready pen and being known as a forcible illustrator of truths. Financially, he has been very successful and is now devoting his energies mainly to real estate, although he was recently interested in the Colorado Business Directory as its publisher.

During his earlier years Mr. Ives was a stanch adherent of the Whig party, but has been a member of the Republican party since he served as delegate to the convention which organized the party in this State in 1860 he made “stump” speeches for Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency, and has contributed his influence to the success of the party. Frequently he is called to serve as delegate to district and state convention and in many positions of trust and responsibility he has served, always with distinguished ability. As Mayor of the city of Amboy he served creditably for four years and contributed no little to the development of the resources of the place. He was also States Attorney for six years he is serving as Treasurer of the Baptist Church, of which he is a consistent member. Socially, he belongs to the Royal Arch Masons his home is one of the most elegant in Amboy and is the only residence here which is heated by hot water. His success has not been attained without great effort on his part, for when he came here he was quite poor, and it has been only by the exercise of great industry and shrewd judgment that he has become well-to-do.

1892 Portrait and Biographical Record Lee Co


Son of William Ellery Ives

Charles E. Ives is a prominent and successful attorney of Amboy, which city has remained his place of residence since December, 1854, or for almost six decades. Immediately after the close of the Civil war, in which he had participated as a loyal defender of the Union, he entered his father's law office and subsequently practiced in association with him for a period of twenty years, the firm being known as W. E. Ives & Son. Since 1908 he has practiced his profession independently and has been accorded a liberal and lucrative clientage. His birth occurred in Pavilion, Kendall county, Illinois, on the 14th of October, 1842, his parents being William E. and Susan (Ryan) Ives. The father remained an able and successful representative of the legal profession in Amboy from 1854 until his death more than a half century later. During that period he was honored by election to the position of state's attorney and also served as mayor of Amboy. His demise occurred in 1908, when he had attained the venerable age of eighty seven and a half years, while his wife was called to her final rest in 1883, at the age of sixty-two years. The remains of both were interred in Amboy. Representatives of the Ives family, which is of English origin, came to the United States at an early period in the history of this country. A Mr. Bingham, brother of the great grandmother of our subject, served under Colonel Ethan Allen in the Revolutionary struggle.

In the acquirement of an education Charles E. Ives attended school at Mount Morris, Illinois, and later pursued his studies in the Chicago University, leaving that institution in 11862, however, in order to join the boys in blue in their defense of the Union. In June of that year he became a member of the Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Regiment and in 1864 reenlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, serving with the latter command until the cessation of hostilities. He proved a brave and valorous soldier and returned home with a creditable military record. Having determined upon the legal profession as a life work, he entered the law office of his father and eventually became his partner, practicing in association with him under the firm style of W. E. Ives & Son for a period of twenty years. Since 1908 he has practiced independently at Amboy. His success in a professional way affords the best evidence of his capabilities in this line. He is a strong advocate with the jury and concise in his appeals before the court. Much of the success which has attended him in his professional career is undoubtedly due to the fact that in no instance will he permit himself to go into court with a case unless he has absolute confidence in the justice of his client's cause. Basing his efforts on this principle, from which there are far too many lapses in professional ranks, it naturally follows that he seldom loses a case in whose support he is enlisted.

On the 18th of March, 1874, at Fenton, Michigan, Mr. Ives was united in marriage to Miss Eva J. Lamb, a daughter of the Rev. Aroswal and Sophia Lamb, her father being a pastor at Hartland, Michigan. Our subject and his wife have three children, as follows: William E., who is an expert machinist in the employ of the Public Service Company; George S., a druggist of Franklin Grove, Illinois; and Eva F., who is the wife of F. J. Blocher, a clothing merchant of Franklin Grove, Illinois.

Mr. Ives is a republican in his political views and has ably served in the capacity of justice of the peace since 1901. He has likewise acted as town clerk and has made a highly creditable record as a public official. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church, and he also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a dependable man under any condition and in any emergency His quietude of deportment, his easy dignity, his frankness and cordiality of address, with the total absence of anything sinister or anything to conceal, foretoken a man who is ready to meet any obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, a right conception of things and an habitual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activities.

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

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