Lee County Biographies

Contributed by Randy Cox


David Petticrew, farmer, Amboy, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, February 22, 1820. He was the eldest son by James and Elizabeth (Haines) Petticrew. Both his grandfathers did veteran service in the war of the revolution, being enrolled during the entire period and engaged in a number of battles.

In 1826 Mr. Petticrew's father settled near where Niles, Michigan, now stands and in 1837 removed with his family to Livingston County, Missouri.

At a subsequent period his father made another removal to the vicinity of Fort Scott, Kansas, where he died about the beginning of the war.

In 1847 the subject of this sketch returned to Michigan and resided until 1854, when in November he came to Amboy, and bought the farm where he now lives south of the city. Next spring his family came.

He was married, in 1845, to Mrs. Margaret Miller (Roof). By her first marriage she had a daughter, Matilda, now Mrs. Henry Somes, of Iowa. By the last union there were seven children: "Jasper; Sylvester (m. Miss Maggie May); Frank (m. Miss Ida Clark); Olive; Alice (wife of James Pursley); Emma; and Ella.

Jasper volunteered for three months at the beginning of the war, and served at Camp Douglas; he afterward re-enlisted in Co. I, 89th Illinois Reg., and served to the end of the war. He was wounded in the right leg in the battle in front of Atlanta, July 22, 1864.

Sylvester enlisted in Co. G, 7th U.S. Cav., Col. Custer, April 8, 1874, [see notes below] and was in the service nearly a year in Dakota. "Frank performed military service in the regular army about the same length of time in 1875 and 1876.

Mrs. Petticrew is a member of the Baptist church, and Mr. Petticrew is a prominent republican.

Additional Notes from Randy Cox:

Different from some of the information published in the book above, our cousin, George Petticrew, found that James' son, David Petticrew, married Margaret (Roof) Miller in 1845 in Livingston Co., MO, not in Cass Co., MI. (letter from genealogical library in Livingston Co., MO). His research reveals that the Petticrews were neighbors of the Roof family in Cass Co., MI and some of the Roof's moved to Livingston Co. about the same time James and his family did. George believes that James, his family and David's family, all moved back to Cass Co. in 1847. He notes that the children mentioned do not include Phylene, Mary and Andrew, whose birth date is about 7 months after Sylvester's. As one report that George has seen said, David had a son who died. He wonders if maybe Andrew was a premature delivery who did not survive.

In the "History of Lee County...", it says that Sylvester (my great grandfather) married "Miss Maggie May". Margaret was a Hetherington. Her father may be the Joseph Hetherington listed as residing in Maytown, Lee County, Illinois on the 1880 Illinois census. He is reported as being from England; Jemina from Canada. Margaret May (Mae?) was not in the home by that time.

A marriage license issued in Lee County, names Slyvester Petticrew of Amboy, 22 years, and Margaret M. Hetherington of Amboy, 20, official presiding, a Justice of the Peace. The certificate is dated March 20, 1876.

Sylvester's application for army pension (S.O. 1689579), in 1931, spelled his first wife's name: Margret May Hetherington, and stated that she had died "about 18 years ago, Iowa, LA" (1913?). He also identifies a second wife, Evlyn May Doyron, living with him in Kinder, LA in 1931. He stated that he had married her "about 16 years ago" (1915?), in Iowa, LA (a Rev. Yookie presiding). He listed surviving children: Blanch May Petticrew Jones, Lee County, Ill, Fred G. Petticrew, Lee County, Ill, Lucy V. Petticrew, Iowa, LA, Gladys Petticrew [Cox], Iowa, LA, Else Lee Petticrew, Iowa, LA. The pension record lists next of kin: "father, David Petticrew, Lee County, Illinois." He must have been about 79 and had sought the assistance of another man, who lived in Lake Charles, in filling out the application forms.

According to his military records in the National Archives, Sylvester's military number was 1689579. He served April 8, 1873 to March 1, 1874 in Troop G, 7th Cavalry Regiment in the Dakota Territory (Sioux Indian Campaign of the "Indian Wars"), enlisting in Yankon, D. T. He was discharged at Fort Lincoln, D.T. (signed by Lt. Col. G. A. Custer). He was described then as 5 ft. 7 in., blue eyes, auburn hair, born in Michigan, complexion robust, occupation farmer. The pension record number is C-2604661. Sylvester and Margaret married in Amboy but later moved to southwest Louisiana, lured to the beautiful lake region by a circular sent out by a railroad company recruiting men to build the Watkins railroad from Alexandria, LA to Lake Charles. After completion of the job he began farming in Iowa, LA.; moving to Kinder, LA late in his life.

The 1860 census, Town of Amboy, Lee County, IL, shows Petticrew, David, age 40, Farmer, Margaret, 35, Jasper, Andrew, Sylvester, Frank, Olive, Pauline Cannon.

The 1880 census, Amboy Township, Lee County, IL, shows David Petticrew, his wife, Margaret and their children Emma, Olive, Ella and Willie Sprig (adopted). Immediately following: Petticrew, Licester (sp.) (Sylvester), age 26, Margaret, age 24 (b. Canada, mother b. Canada, father, b. England); Blanche, age 3 and Fred, age 1; Hetherington, Joseph, age 20, b. Canada (probably her brother).

In the Amboy News, August 26, 1882, it states, "Sylvester Pettigrew has moved into the Wm. B. Stewart house on Division Street.

In the Amboy News, January 6, 1883, David Petticrew offers for sale his farm, one mile south of Amboy on the Illinois Central railroad.

In the Amboy News, January 27, 1883, it states, "David Petticrew has rented his farm for the coming year to James Parsley [sic], his son-in-law [James Pursely married David's daughter, Alice, b. about 1862]

In the Amboy News, March 10, 1883, it states, "Frank Petticrew packed up and started for Dakota this week."

In the Amboy News, March 31, 1883, it states, "David Petticrew has gone to Dakota after land."

In the Amboy News, Oct. 13, 1883, in an article titled "To Whom Honor is Due" it states, "The following is a list of soldiers and their widows, in Amboy, who are pensioned by the government for causes assigned and the amount received by each: ... Jos. Hetherington, chronic diarrhoe [sic], $10; ..."

In the Amboy News, Oct. 20, 1883, it says that Rev. O. F. Mattison officiated the marriage of Henry Walters and Miss Ella Petticrew on "Wednesday". They went to live on Mason street.

In the Amboy News, July 12, 1884, it stated, "Jasper Petticrew, the owner of an extensive cattle ranch in Colorado, is her visiting his parents".

The 1900 census of Calcasieu Parish, LA shows Sylvester Petticrew, Margaret (b. Canada), Frederic G, Lucy V., and Gladys.

According to George Petticrew, Ella, the child of David and Margaret Petticrew, is listed as married with Henry Walters, per the 1900 Illinois census for Amboy, Lee County, when Margaret, then 77, was living with them. She reportedly was born in Indiana of parents from Pennsylvania. In the 1900 IL census for Freeport, Stephenson Co., IL., shows the wife of Frank Petticrew, Ida (Clark), living with their daughter Laura and her husband, William J. Dawson.

In "Portrait and Biographical Record", pages 385 and 386, there are four paragraphs. It explains, among other things, that David lived in Dakota for about five years while he rented his farm on section 26, Amboy Township. It also states that he married Mrs. Margaret (Roof) Miller (b. March 3, 1823) on July 12, 1843. It names the daughter born of her first marriage, Matilda Miller, who married Henry Somes, then names her children by David, along with their spouses.

There is a short article in "Kinfolks", Vol. 24 No. 2, pg 84: "Sylvester Pettigrew who rode with Custer's Indian fighters applies for his pension in Lake Charles (from the Lake Charles American Press.

Sylvester's obit, in the Lake Charles American Press, May 1, 1939 says that he was living five miles south of Kinder. He was 85 years old when he died April 27, 1939. He was buried in the Iowa cemetery. His second wife, Evelyn, and their daughter Elsie were not mentioned


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