Dr. John E. Powell

Taken From the Henry Republican
August 31, 1876

Dr. John E. Powell, reached on Sunday last, the venerable age of 76 years. Though so far on life's journey, he is still physically quite robust and enjoys a reasonable degree of good health. He is an Englishman by birth, his native place being London and the date August 27, 1800. At 14 years of age he entered London hospital as a student of medicine and surgery, and after seven years of careful preparation, was commissioned as physician, and assigned to duty of the British transport "Mary" then engaged in carrying femal convicts to New South Wales. After a cruise of 25 months, he was relieved and place in charge of St. James hospital in London, where he remained until 1828.

In that year he visited America, and was charmed with it. Going back, he resigned his commission, and removed permanently to this country, settling first at Utica, N.Y., but in 1833 came to the Prairie State, which has since been his home. He is as hale, hearty and cheerful as a man of 50, and many years are seemingly yet in store for him.

With this little personal history we may add, as a fitting addenda to a long and pleasant life, the little surprise that awaited him on Saturday afternoon. A few personal friends were invited in to tea, and to congratulate the doctor on his good health and to enjoy the occasion with him. This of course was as merry and delightful as such as occasion could well be. Then came a presentation from his children, two sons and three daughters, as follows: A gold headed cane, with inscription of the donor, from J. A. Powell of Rockfield, Ind. A pair of gold framed spectacles from F. A. Powell of Henry. A set of gold studs and sleeve buttons from Mrs. L. H. Wikoff of Hinkley. A medicine knife and folding scissors, an ingenious novelty from Mrs. J. M. Ellis, and a pair of gloves and a paper weight, form Miss Louie Powell of this city.

The occasion and the presents were a joyful surprise to father Powell, who received these tokens of filial affection with intense gladness, and his wife, who may be said as to be the author of this pleasant event, witness its success with heartfelt delight. Occasions of this nature are always agreeable, and Father Powell will ever point with pride and satisfaction to his 76th birthday.


James E. Porterfield, manager and stockholder of the Toluca Lumber and Hardware Company, and one of  the wide-awake and energetic business men of Toluca, is a native son of Illinois, his birth occurring near Dover in  Bureau county, October 9, 1849, and with the commercial anti agricultural interests of this section of the state he  has been prominently identified. His father, James Porterfield, Sr., was a native of Belmont county, Ohio, and a son  of John Porterfield, who was born in the north of Ireland, and on coming to the new world first located in  Pennsylvania, but finally settled in Belmont county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming throughout the remainder  of his life. In his family were sixteen children, all of whom reached years of maturity. The father of our subject was  reared and educated in the county of his nativity, and in 1836 emigrated to Bureau county, Illinois, where he married Eliza Brigham, a native of New Hampshire, and they became the parents of three children: Joseph B., of  Normal, Illinois, who is married and has two children; John, of Fullerton, Nebraska, who is married and has six children, and James E., of this review. After the death of his first wife the father was again married, but had no children by the second union.

James Porterfield, Sr., was one of the honored pioneers of Bureau county, where he entered government land, and although he was in limited circumstances on his arrival, by industry, enterprise and good management, became well-to-do. Being a strong anti-slavery main, he assisted many a helpless negro on his way to Canada and freedom, and aided Lovejoy and Hollbrook in their good work. He was a consistent and active member of the Congregational church. His oldest son was in the one hundred days service during the civil war.

Upon the home farm in Bureau county our subject grew to manhood, and besides the country schools also attended an academy. At the age of nineteen he began teaching, which profession he successfully followed for four years. On the 25th of December, 1872, Mr. Porterfield was united in marriage with Miss Icedora Miller, daughter of Henry J. and Jennie (Williams) Miller. Two daughters blessed their union: Edna, who was born near Spring Valley, acquired her education in Princeton and at Oberlin college, Ohio. She is now the wife of C. A. Brown, of Princeton, by whom she has one son, James E. Ada Lois, the younger daughter, is at home.

For a few years after his marriage, Mr. Porter field followed farming in Illinois, and then removed to Wilson county, Kansas, where he dealt in live stock for over a year. On account of his wife's health he returned to Bureau county, where he remained until 1881, when he went to Emporia, Kansas, where for a year he engaged in stock dealing. Subsequently hie purchased land in Greenwood county, that state, where lie still owns eight hundred and seventy-five acres of productive and well stocked land. Two years later he again came to Illinois, this time locating in La Salle, where he engaged in the manufacture of brick and tile for a short time, and then removed to a farm near Spring Valley. Later he became connected with the Spring Valley Coal Company, and in 1885 again turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he followed for three years. On the expiration of that time he embarked in the grocery and shoe business at Spring Valley, being at that place during the memorable miners' strike. For a few years he was in the employ of a lumber firm in that city, and in 1893 came to Toluca, to accept his present position, which he has since filled to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. He is also a director and stockholder in the First National bank of Toluca, and secretary of the Devlin Coal company. He is a man of good executive ability, sound judgment, and is one of the most capable business men of Marshall county.

Mr. Porterfield is a firm adherent in the principLes of the republican party., which he has always supported since casting his first vote for General Grant in 1872, but has never cared for the honors or emoluments of public office, preferring to give his exclusive time and attention to his business interests. He is a faithful member of the Congregational church, and while a resident of Spring Valley served as trustee of the church at that place.

Taken From The Biographical Record, Published in 1896
Pages 533

Frederick Story Potter

Frederick Story Potter of Henry, Illinois is one of the best know and most highly honored of the attorneys of Marshall county. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, November 3, 1827, and is the son of Frederick and Caroline A. (Story) Potter, who were also natives of the nutmeg state. His father was a contractor and builder and followed in that occupation the greater part of his life. In 1840 the family came to Illinois, locating in Christian county, between Decatur and Springfield, where they remained until 1846, and then removed to Beardstown, where the mother died in 1865. Some years after the father removed to Henry, where he too, passed away April 2, 1892, at the age of seventy-eight years.

The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent with his parents until sixteen years of age. His health failing him at Beardstown, he came to Henry, where for three years he was in the employ of Robert Dawson as bookkeeper. He then engaged in general merchandising on his own account and continued in the business until 1862 with fair success. Closing out his stock of merchandise he entered the office of P. S. Perley, under whose instruction he read law, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1864. Forming a partnership with his preceptor, they were associated together until August, 1873, since which time he has practiced alone. Mr. Perley, who is now a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, is a man of great ability, a graduate of Bowdoin college, being a classmate of Gen. O. O. Howard, John N. Jewett, and other men who have since become noted in the history of our country. In 1870 he was a member of the Illinois constitutional convention which framed our present state constitution.

In 1872, Mr. Potter was elected state's attorney for Marshall county, and served four years with credit to himself and to the county which he represented. Faithful in the discharge of every duty, he prosecuted the evil-doer without fear or favor, while tempering mercy with justice. Since his retirement from that office, he has given attention wholly to his private practice, of which he has always had his full share. He is regarded by all who know him as a safe counselor, one whose advice it is wise for the client to follow. It has never been a practice with him to advise litigation when other counsels would subserve the same ends. He has followed in this respect in the footsteps of such wise counselors and advocates as Abraham Lincoln, John T. Stuart and others who became noted at the Illinois bar.

Politically, Mr. Potter was originally a Douglas democrat, following the lead of that eminent statesman during that great contest with Lincoln in 1858, when the latter represented the newly organized republican party as its candidate for the United states Senate in opposition to Douglas, who was then serving as United States Senator, and was the democratic candidate for re-election. With all the ardor of a young man, Mr. Potter entered into that canvass at a time when he should exercise the rights of franchise for the first time. Again, in 1860, he followed the lead of Douglas, who had been nominated by one wing of the democratic party for the presidency. But Douglas was defeated, some of the southern states passed acts of secession, the war followed, and young Potter became a war democrat. The transition from that postion to republicanism was easy, and from early in the '60s to the present time, he has been an uncompromising republican.

In every campaign his voice is heard upon the stump and he has dealt some stalwart blows for the principles espoused. In 1880 he was quire active, supporting the side of Grant against Blaine, but his purpose was accomplished with the defeat of both by the nomination and election of Garfield.

Mr. Potter has been twice married, his first union being in 1858, with Miss Louisa V. Dawson, of Henry, by whom three children were born; Ellsworth Story, now a traveling salesman, residing in Peoria; Carrie Louisa, who married Daniel S. Schneider, but who died in September 1892; and Ida, now the wife of Eugene D. Lane, of Sterling, Illinois. The wife and mother died July 21, 1871, her death being mourned by husband and children and a large circle of friends who esteemed her for her worth as a genuine womanly woman, a loving wife and mother, and faithful friend.

Some three years after the death of his first wife, on the 29th of April, 1874, Mr. Potter was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Isabella House, daughter of Willard House, an early merchant and miller of Grand Detour, Illinois. By this union three children were also born; Gertrude and Fred W., graduates of the high school class of 1895; the latter is now a student in his father's law office; and Sarah Elsie, a high school student.

In addition to his legal duties, Mr. Potter is interested in everything calculated to build up and strengthen the business of his adopted town and county. For twenty-four years he has been a director of the Henry Bridge Company, and for fifteen years its president. A friend of educaton, he does all in his power to promote the interests of the public schools. For many years he has been an active worker in the Masonic order, and is a member of Henry lodge, No. 119, F. & A. M. and of Chilicothe chapter, R.A.M., of Lacon. He is not a member of any church, but contributes to the support of the Protestant Episcopal church of Henry, of which his wife is a devoted member. As a citizen he is held in the highest esteem by his fellow townsmen.

Transcribed and Donated by Nancy Piper
Taken From The Biographical record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois., Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1896, Pages 46, 49

Wm. M. Pyle

Mr. Pyle is a watchmaker and jeweler in Lacon. He was born in the city of Richmond, Wayne county, Ind., in 1843, moved to Keokuk, Iowa in 1870, and located in Lacon in 1877. He was educated in the city of his birth, and there also received rudimentary instruction in the business in which he had made himself proficient by experience and the exercise of the unusual degree of mechanical ingenuity with which he is endowed. In 1860 he married Matilda Robinson, a native of Greensburg, Ind. They have five children, - Wm H., Charles R., Maud, Blanch and Olive. He is a member of the Masonic order. Served three years as quarter master of the 40th Ind. Vol. Inf. During the war of the rebellion. He is a nephew of Samuel E. Perkins, Judge of the Superior Court of Indiana and Mrs. Pyle is s sister of Hon. Milton and Robinson, later member of Congress from the Sixth District of Indiana. -

[Source: Record of Olden Times or 50 years on the Prairie, 1880, Page 681 Lacon Township - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Rev. Father John F. Power

Pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic) in Lacon. Mr. Power was born in the city of New York, in 1850, and two years later his parents moved to Illinois, locating in Chicago. He studied theology in Mount St. Mary's College, Emmetsburg, Md., and was ordained for the priesthood by the late Bishop Foley, of Chicago, April 12th, 1875. He was first stationed at Beardstown, where he remained one year, was for a short time in charge of the parish in Bloomington, and in June, 1877, was placed in charge of the parish at this place, where he has since remained. He has established a school here in connection with the church, with Sisters of Charity as teachers, where Catholic parents can receive a thorough preparatory education in accordance with the doctrines of their church, and by his consistent piety and zealous efforts in behalf of the temporal as well as spiritual welfare of the communicants of his church, has endeared himself to those of his own faith and won the respect and esteem of the entire community, irrespective of religious affiliations. . -

Record of Olden Times or 50 years on the Prairie, 1880, Page 681 Lacon Township - Transcribed by Nancy Piper

Frederick Peters

Mr. Peters is a barber and hairdresser located and carrying on business on Main street in Lacon. He was born in Prussia, in 1843, where he remained until 23 years of age, when he came to the United States and located first in Springfield, Ill., moving thence to Lacon in 1875, and commenced in business for himself the same year. In 1871 he married Malinda French, a native of Missouri, by whom he has four children - Emma, Charlie, Mary and Frederick. Mr. Peters is a member of the I.O.O.F., and is also a member of Co. H., 7th Reg't Ill. N.G. -

Record of Olden Times or 50 years on the Prairie, 1880, Page 682 Lacon Township. Transcribed by Nancy Piper


The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896. - Marshall county Biographical extractions pages 100-199

Transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass

Robert PRINGLE. Among the well known men of Scottish birth, who have done much in developing the various industries of Marshall county, especially its farming interests, must be classed the subject of this sketch, who for more than forty years has resided on section 27, La Prairie township, where, with the help of his sons, he operates one of the best farms in this section. He was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, October 10, 1821, and is a son of Andrew and Elizabeth (PRINGLE) PRINGLE, the former a native of Selkirkshire, and the latter of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Although bearing the same name they were not relatives. Andrew PRINGLE, who was by occupation a shepherd and laboring man, came to the United States in 18500, stopping for a time in New York, and in 1853 came to Marshall county, where he died at the age of seventy-seven years. His good wife survived him some yeas, dying in her eighty-eighth year.

The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent in Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire, where he received a limited education, but where he was inured to hard work, commencing at a very early age upon a farm, and continued in that occupation the greater part of the time until coming to this country. While pursuing his farm work his thoughts often turned to the new world with its greater possibilities, he had learned, for the poor man. Relatives and friends had crossed the ocean and written back glowing accounts of the land which was destined to be his future home.

In 1848, when twenty-six years of age, Mr. PRINGLE bade farewell to the loved ones at home and set sail for the United States. Landing in New York city he proceeded to Ontario county, New York, where he remained about four years and a half, working at whatever he could find to do, and carefully saving his money. In December, 1852, he came to Marshall county, his relatives, the DAVIDSONs, having preceded him.

While yet residing in Ontario county, New York, Mr. PRINGLE was united in marriage with Miss Jeannette TURNBULL, a native of Roxburghshire, Scotland, and a sister of Robert TURNBULL, who settled temporarily in New York. To them were born seven children - Beatie, who married John TITUS, and died at the age of twenty-two; Lizzie, who married Robert SCOON of La Prairie township. They have four children living - Frank T., Clifford, Beatie, Jeanette; John Andrew, who married Lillie Stewart, who died October 23, 1893, leaving one child Lillian; Mary, Adam and Jennie at home. Mrs. PRINGLE died August 30, 1873. She was a woman of excellent character, a loving mother and faithful wife.

It was shortly after his marriage that Mr. PRINGLE came to Marshall county. On his arrival he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, a part of his present excellent homestead, for which he paid four dollars per acre. He had just money enough with which to pay for the land, but wishing to keep some for present use he only made a small cash payment. As the land was unimproved, he rented an improved farm, on which he resided until 1854, when he moved to his own land and commenced its improvement. A little later he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of improved land, and his life work was well begun. IN the early days wheat was a sure crop and the soil yielded largely, making it a profitable cereal, notwithstanding the difficulty in marketing. As wheat raising became more and more uncertain, he changed to corn and stock-raising, in which he was quite successful. For some years he fed cattle, and his shipments have annually been from one to four car loads. He was also for a time a breeder of sheep, in which line he continued until that, too, proved unprofitable, when he abandoned it, but the industry has lately been taken up by his sons, with some success, they usually having a flock of some three hundred head on hand, and annually ship from two to four car loads.

Success has generally crowned the efforts of Mr. PRINGLE in the new world. To his original purchase of one hundred and sixty acres he has added from time to time other tracts until his farm consists of seven hundred acres in one body, all of which is operated by himself and sons. While confining himself generally to faming operations, he has occasionally ventured his means in other channels. On the organization of the Lacon woolen mills he became a stockholder to the extent of twenty-five shares. While this has not been as profitable as might be wished, two seasons of prosperity followed the venture, that during the Crimean war and near the close of the civil war.

Politically, Mr. PRINGLE has always been a stanch republican, he becoming an American citizen about the time of the birth of that party. He has neither accepted nor sought official position, his tastes not running in that channel. Like most of his kith and kin, he is a great admirer of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns, and in Scottish sports and festivities always has a lively interest. A good neighbor, a loyal citizen, he is greatly esteemed by all with whom he has been brought in contact.


The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, Published in Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1896. - Marshall county Biographical extractions pages William H. PARKINSON, …Page 201

Transcribed March 2011 by Norma Hass

In 1866, Mr. PARKINSON led to the marriage altar, Miss Isabel GIBSON, daughter of James and Lucy (GAYLORD) GIBSON, the former a native of Scotland, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandfather, Lemuel GAYLORD, become a resident of Marshall county as early as 1831. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, in which struggle his father, Lieutenant Aaron GAYLORD, was killed at the battle of Wyoming. The parents of Mrs. PARKINSON were married in Marshall county, settled upon section 8, Evans township, where they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1855, and the mother in 1891. In their family were tow children - Isabel and James, of Benton county, Indiana. Previous to her marriage with Mr. GIBSON, the mother had been the wife of George MARTIN, who first came to Marshall county about 1830, and who participated in the Black Hawk war. To them were born two children - Aaron G., deceased, and Sylvia, widow of James KIRKPATRICK, who became a member of the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the civil war, and died in the service.

Mrs. PARKINSON was born on section 8, Evans township, December 10, 1843, and was educated in the district schools of the neighborhood. By her marriage with our subject she has become the mother of six children, all of whom have been given good educational privileges. James W. completed the business course and graduated at the Northern Illinois school at Dixon. He also graduated at the Chicago Veterinary College and is now practicing his profession. Ginson is deceased. Lucy J., who was also a student at Dixon and later became a teacher, is now the wife of James HAMILTON, of Evans township. Edgar G. also took the business course at Dixon, and is now a student in the Normal at Valparaiso, Indiana. May E. is attending the Normal at Normal, Illinois. Grace A. completes the family.

The parents are both members of Evans Grange, No. 35, in which for two years he served as master. Mr. PARKINSON has always supported the republican party and is a strong silver man. Himself a well-informed man, for over twenty successive years he has served as school director, for the same length of time has been secretary and treasurer of the Cumberland Cemetery association, for two years was president of the Marshall County Farmer's Institute, and is its present secretary and treasurer. When he began life for himself his only property consisted of a fifth interest in one hundred acres of land which sold for twenty-seven dollars per acre, but he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now the possessor of a good farm, which yields him a comfortable income. He has made many friends throughout the county, and all who know him have for him the highest regard.

Under the auspices of the Katherine Gaylord Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution, in 1896, a beautiful monument was erected over the grave of Katherine GAYLORD, the wife of Lieutenant Aaron GAYLORD, and the great grandfather of Mrs. PARKINSON. In the erection of the monument, contributions were made by descendants of the worthy heroine, Mrs. PARKINSON being among the number contributing. The following inscription was placed on the monument:

"Katherine Cole Gaylord, wife of Lieutenant Aaron Gaylord, 1745-1840. In memory of her sufferings and heroism at the massacre of Wyoming, 1778, this stone is erected by her descendants and the members of the Katherine Gaylord Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution."

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