The Record of Olden Times Biographical Department - Putnam County
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Transcribed by Nancy Piper


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Dr. J. F. O'Neal

Page 641

A resident of the village of Florid, and a practicing physician and surgeon. He was born in Juniata county, Pa., in 1843, was educated in Pennsylvania and studied medicine there, graduating from the medical institute of Cincinnati in 1874. He first located in Henry, where he began the practice of his profession in partnership with Dr. Kalb, with whom he had studied before graduating. In the fall of 1874 he removed to Florid, and by industrious and studious attention to the profession of his choice has built up a large and lucrative practice. He has recently erected a very pleasant residence, the best possible evidence that he has come to stay; and as he is an eminent student and lover of his profession, and withal a pleasant sociable gentleman who improves on acquaintance is a valuable and sequisition to the community.


Mons. Olson

Page 667 Granville Township

Mr. Olson was born in Denmark, in 1840, and came to this country in 1857, locating in LaSalle county, where he still lives, and is engaged in farming. His residence is on section 6, Eden township, LaSalle county, but his post office is Granville. In 1876 he married Mary Leech, a native of Putnam county, by whom he has two children, Jennie Zu and Harry L. They are members of the Baptist church. Mr. Olson enlisted in Co. D, 104th Illinois Inf. In 1862, and served until the close of the war. He was captured at Hartsville, Tenn., in 1862, and paroled on the field, was wounded at Petrie Creek, Ga., in 1864, and at Bentonville, N.C. in 1865. He owns eighty-three acres of land all under cultivation, with good improvements.


Christian Opper

Page 668 Granville Township

Mr. Opper comes from the province of Hesse Cassell in Germany when he was born in 1838. He emigrated to this country in 1855, locating in Granville began his present business which he has followed for twenty-five years. In 1858 he married Elizabeth Schneider, a countrywoman of his, and together they have five children living, Helen E., Emma A., Henry W., Mary A. and Bertha. Are members of the Congregational church. Mr. Opper is a hard worker and a good mechanic.


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George Packingham

Page 668 Granville Township

Granville, Illinois


David L. Packingham

Page 669 Granville Township

The father of Mr. Packingham came to Putnam county in 1834, and shared in all the hardships attendant upon settling a new country. The subject of the present sketch was born in 1850 and in 1879 married Myrtie Fuller, born in Sansfield Massachusetts, in 1861. He owns a well cultivated farm of 120 acres.


James C. Packingham

Page 669 Granville Township

Mr. Packingham lives on section 16, and was born in Granville township. His wife was formerly Miss Gracie Penniman, and her native place Vermont. They were married in 1872, and two children bless the union, Frank F. and Lucy May. He owns 120 acres of finely cultivated land, and is thrifty, energetic and successful.


Asaph Parmalee

Page 642

Mr. Parmalee is a farmer and was born in Putnam county, in the house in which he now resides in 1851. He was married in 1872 to Miss Agnes Thomas, likewise a native of Putnam county. They have one child, Irton, born in 1875. Mr. Parmalee is a member of the local protection society and cultivates about one hundred acres of land.


George S. Park

Page 655-656 Magnolia Township

Mr. Park is a farmer, whose homestead is on section 25 and 26, and was born in Windham county, Vermont, October 28, 1811. He came west in 1832 on a tour of investigation. He visited Missouri and Illinois and selected for his future home the neighborhood in which he now resides. He taught school in Sangamon county for a while and returned to Vermont in the fall of the same year. His father soon after came west and located near Pekin, while the son preferred his first selected location, in what is now Magnolia township. He purchased a claim of 160 acres from Cornelius Hunt for $300 which is part of his present homestead. He and his father then entered 800 acres more in the same neighborhood.

He attended the Illinois College at Jacksonville two years, where he was a class mate of the late governor of Illinois - Richard Yates. Being obliged to leave college in consequence of poor health, he went to Texas in 1835, and while there the war for independence began, so young Park volunteered in the army of General Houston. By treachery on the part of the Mexicans his division of 250 men were obliged to capitulate to the army of Santa Anna and were disarmed. The prisoners were to have been embarked on a ship for Galveston, but while on the march to the vessel they discovered preparations for their slaughter by their captors.

Young Park suggested an attack on their guards, but before he could get any concerted action of his men, the guard drew up and fired on the disarmed prisoners. He saw their movements and fell upon his face, the murderous volley passing over him. The next instant he was on his feet and flying for the river. It was a race for life; the treacherous guards loaded and fired again and again, the bullets flying thick and fast, but fortunately never hit him. When he thought himself safe and on the verge of freedom, he found himself confronted by a line of sentries along the river bank, but did not stop, and when without a few feet of the river two Mexicans crossed muskets in front of him. He then turned to one side and made for a single sentry, whose gun he turned aside and jumped into the river, bullets flying round him. He floated down some distance until he got under the bank, when he rested and recovered breath. He then ran along the shore under the protection of the friendly bank until he got out of range, when he again took to the river and swam to the other side.

He saw three of his comrades running for life the same course he had come, closely pursued by the Mexicans. He started across the prairie in the direction of Gen. Houston's army, which was about seventy miles distant. He was soon intercepted by mounted scouts sent out to capture such as might have escaped, but being on the alert he saw them and hid himself in a hole concealed by long buffalo glass so the horsemen could not ride over him. They came close to him several times but gave up the hunt at night, when he started for his headquarters, which he reached safely.

Texas gained her independence, the Houston troops soon disbanded, and young Park returned north, or rather to Missouri , where he located land. He married Miss Mary L. Holmes, July 12, 1855. She was born and educated in New York city. They have one child, a very accomplished young lady, Miss Etla, who was born in Missouri in 1857. Mr. Park located about ten miles above Kansas City, in Missouri, and was the founder of Parkville, Platte county Mo. He has donated a large tract of land and a suitable building worth $35,000, for the purpose of a college, in which young people of both sexes can receive a practical education - boys in the art of husbandry, and girls in the duties of perfect housekeepers, in addition to other necessary branches of education.

Mr. Park has always been a consistent Republican, though not an Abolitionist. He maintained, while editor and proprietor of his paper, that the people of Kansas had the right to say whether they would have a free or slave state; and for boldly and fearlessly advocating those principles, he was mobbed, his press thrown in the river and his life threatened. In fact, he had to barricade himself in his house, determined to defend himself to the last against any odds rather than be driven from his home, having been guilty of no crime. He provided himself with firearms and laid in a good store of ammunition, with a keg of powder ready to blow up the building had the mob of border ruffians succeeded in breaking in, determined to die in the ruins rather than abandon his home.

When they could not persuade him by threats or otherwise to leave, they told his young wife that as they had passed resolutions in their "Blue Lodges" that he must leave on account of his Republican principles, they would be ruined if they did not carry out the resolution, and if he would promise to leave in two, three or six weeks, all, all would be satisfactory; but if not, that blood would surely be shed, as there were several hundred men waiting only for the signal to attack him. The reply of his brave young wife was that Mr. Park and she were going to Texas in the winter, but she was not in the habit of letting strangers and enemies set the day she should go; that she would go with Mr. Park and that he would go when he was ready. This was the end. He afterwards sued the ringleaders of the mob who destroyed his press and type, and they settled with him satisfactorily. He held his ground, showing the grit of a Napoleon, and was afterwards elected to the Senate. He moved to Magnolia in 1873, where he has the finest residence in the county, with 480 acres in his home farm; also 2,000 acres in LaSalle and other counties in this State, and large tracts in Missouri, Kansas and Texas.


John F. M. Parker

Page 678 Senachwine Township

Was a son of Ezekiel Parker and Margaret Ann Engle, formerly from Green Briar county, Virginia, and was born in Amity, Knox county, Ohio. In 1839 they moved to Effingham county, Ill., where they resided for about seven years. Mr. Parker died in 1846 leaving six children, three sons and three daughters, the latter having since died. Samuel resides in Chicago, S. S. in Libbey, Oscella county, Ia., and the subject of this sketch in Putnam county, Ill. Mr. Parker resided prior to hir residence in Senachwine, with his mother in Fulton county and in Beardstown, Cass county, Ill. Came to Senachwine July 13, 1857 and commenced life there as a clerk, school teacher and deputy postmaster. During his residence in this township he aided in founding and building the Christian church. He is still connected with the church as pastor, and laboring at the same time as the evangelist of the Bureau and Putnam county Christian Co-operation Society. Aug. 6, 1863 he married Mary A. Wherry, daughter of Elder John Wherry and Malinda Perkins of Putnam county, from which marriage six children were born, namely: William S., Emma L. James E., Mary V., Walter C. and Anna Maud.


James A. Patton

Page 639

Mr. Patton is an extensive farmer, who was born in this county in 1843 on the place he now occupies, and has ever since resided here. In 1864 he married Laura J. Blanchford, of Joliet, Will county, who has borne him three children, William A., Perlie A., and Claudia A. He owns three hundred and thirty-five acres of land, the greater part under a high state of cultivation. His improvements are first class and his home very attractive.


James L. Patterson

Page 642-643 Hennepin Township

Mr. Patterson is a farm and mechanic, living in Florid. He was born in Warren county, Ohio, in 1843, coming to Putnam county in 1860. When the rebellion broke out, he promptly offered his services , enlisting in the 534 Illinois Volunteers, and serving until mustered out at Springfield at the close of the war. While on forate duty at Moscow, Tenn., he was captured by the rebels, but made his escape three days later. Again he was captured at Jackson Miss. July 12th 1863 and confined in Libbey prison, Castle Thunder and Belle Isle for four months. Came home on a furlough; and though never having been exchanged, and legally not compelled to serve, he went, and at the hard-fought battle before Atlanta was captured while on a charge to recover the body of Gen. McPherson. This time he was sent to Andersonville, where he endured a living death for ten months, suffering all that man could and live. He helped construct the great tunnel, and was one of the first who passed through. Himself and two others had got seventy-five miles away, when they were tracked by blood-hounds and captured by Texas Rangers. When returned they were bucked and gagged, and the most inhuman tortures inflicted upon them. From Andersonville they were removed to Macon, Georgia, and from thence to Jacksonville, Florida, and retained until after the surrender of Lee, April 9, 1865. He married Lorinda Bole, a native of Illinois. He is a member of the Andersonville Association of the U.S.


Charles C. Penniman

Page 666-667 Granville Township

Mr. Penniman was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont in 1832, and was among the first to offer his services to his country in the dark days of 1861, enlisting in the Ninth Vermont Volunteers, Company K. He was service in the Shenandoah Valley, and was captured by the rebels at the disgraceful surrender of Harper's Ferry by Colonel Miles, where 11,500 brave men laid down their arms. He was first sent to Annapolis Md., and then to Chicago, where he remained until exchanged. May 6th, 1863, he moved with his command to Little Rock, Arkansas. His regiment was the first to enter Richmond at the capture of that city. At the close of the war he settled in Putnam county, where he pays special attention to the breeding of fine horses.


Alvin Perkins

Page 678 Senachwine Township

Mr. Perkins was born October 22, 1834, and was a son of Jesse and Amy Garton Perkins, who came from the State of Kentucky and located in Bureau county in the year 1833. Six surviving children were born to them, namely: Elijah, Madison, Matilda, Jesse, Cirena and Alvin. Elijah and Jesse reside in Cass county, Iowa. Matilda married William Wherry and lives in Green county, Iowa. Cirena and Mrs. Jeremiah Drake live in Senachwine, and Madison in Page county, Iowa. Alvin married Miss Lydia Hamilton, daughter of James and Elizabeth Long Hamilton, of Ohio, in the year 1856. Has seven children living - Edward, Jennie, Carrie, Austin, Alvin Grant and baby boy. In the year 1860 he went to Pike's Peak, where he remained until August, when he returned home in 1864 he went to Austin Nevada, worked in the mines about one year, then visited California, and returned home via the Isthmus. In 1867 he sold out in Bureau county, moved to Pottawatomie county, Iowa, remained there one year and moved to Putnam county. He owns 315 acres of fine land.


Norman I. Peters

Page 671 Senachwine Township

Mr. Peters was born in Caro, Cayuga county, N.Y., in 1839. Son of Norman and Mary E. Peters. Lived there until 15 years of age. Came to this state, town and county in 1854. In 1862 he enlisted in the 113th Ill. Vol. Infantry. Served about three years in the army of the Tennessee under General Sherman. Was discharged at Memphis in 1865 at the close of the war. Since then he resided eight years in Bureau county, carrying on a farm of 160 acres. Removed to Iowa, and returned to Senachwine three years ago, where he has resided, doing a general merchandizing. Mr. Peters contemplates moving to Caledonia, this county, and will engage in mercantile pursuits as here. He married in 1866 Susan L. Merritt of Bureau county. Has six children - Flora A., Joseph N., Eber F., Hulda J., Edith and Ira.


John I. Peterson

Page 668 Granville Township

A farmer, living on section 28. Post office, Hennepin. He was born in Putnam county in 1839, being a son of the late Isaac Peterson, one of the pioneers of the county, who died in 1875. In 1864 Mr. Peterson married Jane Elizabeth Waugh, a native of Pennsylvania. They have four children - Nellia A., William A., Armelia L. and Frank L. He has occupied the position of road commissioner for the last three years. Owns in partnership with his brother 360 acres of improved land and 190 acres of pasture and timber land.


Josephus Phelps

Page 642

Mr. Phelps is a native of Worcester, mass., where he was born in 1904. In 1820 he enlisted in the regular army and served three years, after which he settled in Putnam county about 1833. In 1840 he married Miss Lydia Clark of Onondago county, New York and to them were born seven surviving children, Mary, Fabius E., Irene, Irvin, Flavious J. and Charles F. Mr. Phelps' patriotism was inherited in his sons, two of whom became soldiers in the late war. Fabius belonged to the 105th Ill. Volunteers and shared with Sherman the glory of the march to the sea. At Atlanta he was taken prisoner and was confined in Andersonville two months. Another son, Arthur, was in the 100 day service. Mr. Phelps in the olden time occasionally assisted escaping negroes on their way to Canada. He owns and cultivates a small farm on which he resides.


Edward Phillips

Page 657 Magnolia Township

A farmer residing in section 34, his post-office being Magnolia. He was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1834, and located in this county in 1842 with his Uncle George. October 8, 1857 he married Mary Jane Smith, who was born in Schuyler county, Ill., in 1838. They have eight children, John H., Elizabeth J., Clara A., Mary E., Charles E., Martha A., George T., and Maud. Mr. Phillips owns and operates a water-power saw and grist mill, with ample facilities for doing the custom work of the surrounding country, and can manufacture any description of lumber required for ordinary purposes. He owns 240 acres of improved land.


John H. Phillips

Page 657 Magnolia Township

Residence, section 34. Postoffice, Magnolia


H. C. Pierce

Page 635

H. C. Pierce, farmer, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1829, and came to Illinois with his parents in 1832, landing in Crow Meadow. Indians being troublesome at the time, they returned to Pekin, and remained until the spring of 1833, when they came to Hennepin Township, and have since remained here. In 1846 he married Mary Lansberry, who was born in Orange county New York, in 1832. She died in 1874, leaving three children - Charles, Joseph H. and Benjamin F. In 1877 he was married again to Sarah Pierce. They are members of the M. E. church, in which he has been steward since 1865. Is a member of the Masonic order. Mr. Pierce has a vivid recollection of the Indians, and the good old times of early life in Putnam County


Joshua Poling

Page 659 Magnolia Township

A farmer residing on section 34. His post office address is Magnolia. Mr. Poling was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1828, and located in this county in 1854. In the year 1856 he was married to Miss Sarah Hunt, a native of Putnam county, who was born in 1831. They have five children, John W., Phillip, Clara Bell, Mary E., and Willis. Mr. Poling's homestead consists of seventy acres of land, all improved. George Hollenback, Mrs. Poling's uncle, lived in Kendall county at the beginning of the Black Hawk war, and with others was warned off by Shabbana, but did not leave until the enemy appeared. He hid his money in the ground outside his cabin when he left, but after going a short distance returned for it, when the Indians discovered and pursued him. He escaped by taking to the swamp, spent one night in a tree top, and finally secured safety and shelter under the roof of a friend. He soon returned and found his house in ashes but his money was all right where he had hidden it.


G. W. Pool

Page 636

This gentleman now deceased was born in Maretta, Ohio in 1800 and died in 1857 leaving 10 children. Henry died in a rebel prison in Cahoba, Alabama. Aaron was also in the army. His remaining children were George, Belle, Franklin, Sidney, Sarah, Edward, Charles and Lucy. Four children were born to him by a former marriage vis. Mary, William, Albert and Charlotte. Mrs. Pool's maiden name was Sophronia Bascons. She was born in Portland County, New York and married in 1838. Her estate comprises 380 acres. The farm is carried on by the son.


Thomas M. Purcell

Page 672 Senachwine Township

Mr. Purcell was born in Medina, Orleans county, N.Y., April 8, 1858. Son of Morgan and Ellen Purcell. His grandfather, Thomas Purcell and wife Mar, as also his maternal grandfather, Michael and Elizabeth Whalen, came from Tipperary county, Ireland. Came to this township in 1861. Has resided here ever since in the occupation of farming, as also has his father, Morgan Purcell. Has five brothers and sisters, as follows: Mary, Libbie, Ellen, John M. and Joanna, all of whom are now living with Mrs. Ellen Purcell, their mother. Mr. Purcell, senior, died in 1871.


Amos T. Purviance

Page 635

The subject of this sketch was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1823, and removed to Illinois in 1847, locating in Hennepin. He learned the printing trade when young, but after coming to this State worked at farming, teaching school winters. In 1845 he married Mary M. Ong, their union being blessed with two children, Retta and Frank O., both born in Putnam County. Is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; was elected Sheriff in 1854, and County Clerk in 1857, which office he has since held. His place, known as "Hartzella", covers the site of the old trading house erected in 1817. It is a natural grove of twenty-two acres, beautifully situated on the bank of the Illinois River, one mile above Hennepin, and contains specimens of every native tree in Northern Illinois.


Price Purviance

Page 670 Granville Township

The gentleman was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, January 5, 1830, and when fifteen years of age came with his parents to this county. They located on section 33, Granville township, and the claim and dwelling are still occupied by the subject of this sketch. His parents were James and Margaret Purviance, the former of whom was born at Red Stone, Pa., and died in 1877. Mrs. Purviance, who is still living with her son on the old homestead, is a native of Maryland. Mr. Purviance is a member of the school board and clerk of that body. His post office address is Hennepin.


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