Putnam County Pioneer Biographies, Sketches and Obituaries

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Nancy Piper unless stated otherwise



Esther Rhodes Mills, daughter of Moses and Susanna Rhodes, was born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, First month 7, 1820 ; died in Chicago, Eighth month 23 1902, aged 82 years, 7 months, and 16 days. She was united in marriage by Friends' ceremony to Henry Mills, son of Joseph and Sarah Mills, Ninth month, 1839. They emigrated to Putnam county, Illinois, the same fall, making the journey in a two-horse wagon, six hundred miles, and locating on a farm previously purchased by his father. Shortly after, they purchased twenty acres of the farm, upon which they built a brick house, in which they lived several years, removing then, about 1850, to a tract of land lying near Illinois Yearly meeting-house, which was made a permanent home while the family remained together.

Two sons and two daughters survive her. About three years after the death of her husband, which occurred Seventh month 4, 1878, Esther removed to Jewell county, Kansas, residing with her daughter, Martha E. Vale, but removing three years ago to Chicago, which was her home at the time of her decease.

She was a devoted companion, a tender mother, a consistent neighbor, living a quiet, Christian life, worthy of emulation. Her trials were many, and through all she bore them with that fortitude which can only emanate from the Divine source. Her last moments were impressive, folding her arms across her chest as if to say, " I am ready to yield to the Master's call." A short service was held in Chicago, after which the body was brought to McNabb, Putnam county, Illinois, Eighth month 25, conveyed to the home of Abel Mills, where relatives and friends gathered, and a meeting was held; thence to Friends' burying ground at Clear Creek for interment. On the way to the cemetery a short pause was made in front of the old home, where so many years of her self-sacrificing life had been spent. A. M.
[Source: Friends' intelligencer, Volume 59 By Friends Intelligencer Association, 1902]

David B. Moore

David B. Moore, who derives his income from a valuable farming property of two hundred and ten acres in Hennepin township, is now living retired from business cares in the village of Granville. His life occupation was that of farming, and when his labors had brought him a comfortable competence he put aside the more arduous duties of life to enjoy his remaining days in rest from further labor. He was born in the town of Independence, Washington county, Pennsylvania, February 7, 1831. His father, James Moore, a native of old Virginia, was a miller and wheelwright in early life and subsequently located on a farm in Washington county, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1800 and died at the age of forty-eight years, while his wife, Nancy Boyd, who was born in the Keystone state, lived to be eighty-four years of age and passed away on the old homestead farm in Washington county.

David B. Moore is indebted to the public-school system of his native county for the educational privileges that fitted him for life's practical and responsible duties. He remained at home with his parents until twenty-three years of ae, and then, ambitious to engage in business on his own account, he started for Illinois, making his way down the Ohio river and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Hennepin, where he landed in the fall of 1853. He was a poor man with no reserve capital, and as necessity rendered it expedient that he find immediate employment he began work at husking corn. He and his brother John afterward engaged in chopping wood in the first winter. They were strangers, and as they had little money they had to purchase their supplies on credit. They tried to buy an ax in Granville on time, but the merchant would not trust them. Finally Moses Chapman, an early settler and blacksmith in Granville, went security for them until they could earn the money to pay for the tools. They made the payments out of the first money earned, and from that time on always had good credit and were recognized as honest men. By the succeeding spring David B. Moore had saved enough to purchase a team and tools and then began farming on his own account on rented land on Hennepin Prairie. He had good crops and in this way made a start.

On the 30th of August, 1855, he secured a companion and helpmate for life's journey through his marriage to Miss Martha Moore, who though of the same name was not a relative. She was born in Putnam county, June 20, 1836, a daughter of Robert Moore, one of the early settlers.

Mr. Moore, of this review, following his marriage rented land of his father-in-law and put in eight acres of fall wheat, which averaged thirty-eight bushels per acre. Wheat was then worth about thirty-five cents per bushel, and not desiring to sell at that low figure he built a in and stores his wheat, later hauling it to Peru, where he sold it for a dollar and a quarter per bushel. This placed him in comparatively easy financial circumstances, and with the proceeds of his crop he purchased the following year ninety acres of land in Hennepin township and near the old Union Grove church. A log stable and a one story frame house were the only improvements upon the farm, but with characteristic energy he began its further development and soon placed it under cultivation. He worked earnestly and persistently year after year, and as he found it possible to make other purchases h added to the farm, until it now comprises two hundred and ten acres of very rich and productive land in Hennepin township. He also owns sixty acres near the village of Granville and a beautiful home in the town. He continued to reside upon the farm until 1902, when, satisfied with the competence that he had already acquired, he put aside the more active duties of business life and retired to Granville, where he has erected and now occupies a neat cottage on east Hopkins avenue.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Moore have been born six children, all of whom are living: Wilson, who follows farming in Hennepin township; Fannie Evaline, the wife of John Wintersheid, a resident of Coffey county, Kansas; Harry, who wedded Eva Pangburn and lives upon the old home farm; Minnie, the wife of Milton Ford, who is farming in Granville township; Perry, who is married and lives at Florid; and Howard, who is married and resides in the west.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Moore have for many years been zealous and devoted members of the Presbyterian church. In 1837 he commenced Bible work in his school district in Hennepin township and was local agent until 1862, since which time he has been a county worker, and from 1892 until the present time, in 1906, he has been president of the Putnam County Bible Association.

He was reared in the faith of the democracy and followed in his father's political footsteps in early days, voting for Pierce and Buchanan, but when the question of slavery became the dominant issue before the people and the republican party was formed to prevent its further extension he joined its ranks, cast his ballot for Abraham Lincoln and has voted for each presidential nominee of the party since that time. For thirty-two years he filled the office of school director and has always been an authority on school laws of the state. The cause of education finds in him a very stanch friend, and he is also interested in the material, political, and moral progress of his community. He is an entertaining gentleman, a fluent conversationalist, who though denied broad education privileges in youth has read widely and thought deeply and in the school of experience has learned many valuable lessons. He relates most entertainingly incidents of the early days in this county and of the hardships and privations encountered in his own business career, and he deserves and receives the admiration and respect of his fellowmen, by reason of what he has accomplished, while his present honorable retirement is the fitting reward of his life of former toil.

Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties
By John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, Page 146, 149
Printed by the Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago, 1907

George A. McCormick, M. D.

Dr. George A. McCormick, the only physician of Hennepin and proprietor of a drug store there, is one of the best known and most popular residents of Putnam county, and although other physicians have located in Hennepin they find that Dr. McCormick is so strongly entrenched in the affections and confidence of the public at large that they must, of necessity, seek locations elsewhere.  For forty years he has made his home in this county, and with the exception of the first year has continuously resided in the town.

A native of Knox county, Indiana, he was born October 28, 1846, and is a son of Robinson and Sara B. (Smith) McCormick, both of whom were natives of Virginia, the former born in 1804 and the latter in 1812.  When a young man Robinson McCormick became a resident of Indiana, where he followed farming and stock-raising, purchasing and owning a tract of land, which he operated until his death.  He attempted to join the Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but was rejected.  Later he got an appointment as wagonmaker with the same regiment, and in February 1862, contracted a cold, which resulted in his death soon afterward. He was married twice, the mother of our subject being his second wife. He had seven children by his first wife and five by the second wife, who died during his absence in the army in 1861.  Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and Mr. McCormick gave his early political support to the whig party, while on its dissolution he joined the ranks of the new republican party.  Of the twelve children, only two are living, the sister being Mrs. Steele, of Eleanor, Indiana.

Dr. McCormick was a youth of fifteen when his mother died, and the year following, his father's death occurred.  He had been reared to farm work and was familiar with no other line of activity, so about the close of the war he rented land and engaged in farming on his own account, but the inflated prices brought about by the war had collapsed and farm products brought little money.  At the end of a year he had barely enough to pay his debts, and he resolved to seek his fortune elsewhere. Accordingly he came to Hennepin in September, 1866, and for a year worked on a farm, after which he found employment in a drug store in Hennepin.  He served an apprenticeship, learned the business and in 1876 became proprietor of a drug store, which he has since conducted.  He also owns an interest in a store in Granville, Putnam county.  After three years in Bennett Medical College, of Chicago, he was graduated therefrom in 1883 and has since been practicing in Hennepin, where he has a good business.  His skill and ability are widely acknowledged and have been demonstrated in the manner in which he has handled intricate cases with good results.

Dr. McCormick has been married twice.  In 1871 he wedded Angenetta Simpson, who died in 1876, leaving three small children, tow of whom are now living - Mrs. Ida B. Shepherd and Mrs. Ira Windersheidt, both living in Hennepin.  In 1877 Dr. McCormick was married to Miss Mary Fitzpatrick, a native of Hennepin and they have ......(continued page 446 - not copied)

Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties
By John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, Page 445
Printed by the Pioneer Publishing Company, Chicago, 1907

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