Lee County Biography


Among the men who located in the now prosperous city of Aurora, when it was but a small hamlet on the prairie, was the father of John H. Pease, who settled there in 1835, and helped to lay the foundations of what proved to be a leading industry in later years. His name was Anson Pease, and his wife was Sarah Arm (Johnson) Pease. Both were natives of Tompkins County, N. Y., whence they removed to Ohio in the early days of its settlement, remaining there until 1835, when they came to Aurora, and established a permanent home. Mr. Pease was a millwright by trade, and his practiced eye saw at once the capacity of Fox River to furnish power. He was not disappointed in the result, and found ample employment at his trade until his death. His widow still survives at a ripe old age.

John H. Pease was born at Painesville, Ohio, in August, 1834, and was therefore but a year old when his parents removed to Aurora, where his entire life since has been passed. Until eleven years of age he attended school, but was then put to work in a general store, to fit him for a mercantile life. He remained in that position some years, and thoroughly mastered the requirements of the business. He subsequently purchased an interest in the dry goods store of Holmes Miller, forming a partnership which continued uninterruptedly for twenty-one years, being finally dissolved only because of the disability of Mr. Pease, whose close application to business had undermined his health, and was the means of bringing on the chronic rheumatism from which he has suffered for years.

Mr. Pease is a man of too much energy to be satisfied with a condition of inactivity; so after giving up mercantile life he turned his attention to the manufacturing interests of Aurora, in several of which he is interested. He is junior member of the firm of Hill & Pease, manufacturers of doors, sash and blinds. This firm, in October, 1881, also started and operated successfully the first electric light plant, by a system of towers, in the United States, under a contract for live years. This plant attracted the notice of many people from surrounding cities, as well as from the Pacific coast, who sent delegations to Aurora to investigate the working of electric lighting apparatus. Mr. Pease is president of the Wilcox Manufacturing Company; a stockholder in and director of the First National Bank of Aurora.

He is married to Helen M., daughter of Jonathan and Rebecca (Chamberlain) Forsyth, and they have one child, Edwin Anson Pease, now fitting himself for a business career at the Chicago Commercial College. The parents are both members of the People's Church. Mr. Pease's life has been more than ordinarily successful, a fact due to his adherence to the lessons learned in the stern school of experience, from his early boyhood, and to the principles of integrity and unswerving honesty, which have ever been his distinguishing characteristics.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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