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


Thomas Ware

Page 663-664 Granville Township

A farmer, residing in Granville. He was born in Franklin county, Mass., in 1806, came West in 1833, and with his brother Ralph located in this township and commenced farming, which avocation he has successfully followed to the present tiem. In 1833 he married in Worcester, Mass., Miss Nancy L. Shepherd, also a native of that state. She died in 1846, leaving five children, two of whom have since died. Thomas S., Nancy L. (Mrs. Farwell), and Charles K. are still living. May 6, 1847, Mr. Ware married Miss Mary A. Stewart, a native of Bond county, Ill., his present wife. The children by this marriage are William S., Mary A., Sarah E., Henry M., James W., Joseph E., Lucy E., and Justin P. They are member of the Congregational church, and consistent and energetic workers in the cause of temperance. Two sons-in-law of Mr. Ware and his son Charles K., served in the army during the war of the rebellion, two of them being wounded. As one of the first settlers of the township Mr. Ware was prominently indentified with the establishment of schools and churches, and was an active and cheerful worker in providing suitable accommodations for these indispensable adjuncts of civilization. He owns 375 acres of land, all under cultivation save the timber, and his improvements are pleasant and substantial.


William Waugh

Page 643 Hennepin Township

Mr. Waugh, deceased, was born in Cumberland county, Pa., in 1798, and in 1833 married Amelia Frazer, a native of Somerset county, born in 1815. They arrived West in 1839, locating at Peru, and came to Putnam county in 1853. They have eight children living - viz. Mary, Ellen, Richard, Jane, William, James, Edwin and Armstead. Mr. Waugh died in 1878, having lived a long and useful life, and been very successful in his undertakings. They have a finely cultivated farm of 300 acres. Four sons, eash with families, live at home.


William Weeks

Page 645 Hennepin Township

Mr. Weeks is a stock dealer, and has a meat market in Hennepin. He was born in Devonshire, England, in 1854, and came to this country in 1875, locating in Hennepin, where he commenced business for himself. He was married June 6, 1879, to Miss Ida Deyoe (born in Henry, Marshall county, Ill.) Himself and wife are members of the M. E. church. Mr. W. has for some time been a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge; and by close application and thoroughly understanding the wants of the public, has built up a good business, and his market is a popular resort for all desiring anything in his line.


William Wheeler

Page 673 Senachwine Township

Mr. Wheeler was born in Licking county, Ohio, February 24, 1842. He is the son of Ira and Susan Lee Wheeler, who came from New York state in 1832 and settled in Ohio, where they lived until 1848, when they moved to Fulton county, Ill., lived there until 1863, and moved thence to Putnam county. In 1864 he married Malvina Read, daughter of Philip and Tryphena Davis Read, formely from Fall River, Mass. They have four children - Charles W., Chettie T., Lizzie M. and Ollo. Mr. Wheeler owns one of the best farms in the county, embracing 320 acres and the Samuel Bacon place. She purchased it about six years ago.


Alanson Whitaker

Page 665 Granville Township

Mr. Whitaker is a retired farmer living in Granville, and is one of the pioneers of Putnam county. He was born in Cumberland county, N.J., March 24th, 1810, and in 1835 started "overland" for the far distant west, arriving at Hennepin after a journey of four weeks. May 28, 1839, he married Maria J. Taggart, a native of Pennsylvania. She died in 1845, leaving two children, Emma, born January 17, 1840, and Otis N., born July 31, 1844, the latter of whom died July 28, 1845. June 19, 1851, Mr. Whitaker married Hannah Boxandale, his present wife, a native of Lancastershire, England. They have two children, Mary R., born September 15, 1852, and Sarah C., born March 2, 1857. Mr. Whitaker and wife are members of the Baptist church, of which he has been 30 years a deacon. He has also been treasurer of the school fund fifteen years. He owns valuable property in the village.


Benjamin F. Whitaker

Page 652 Hennepin Township

Mr. Whitaker is a farmer, living on section 36, and was born in Magnolia township in 1830. His parents are numbered among the earliest residents of old Putnam. In 1859 he married Nancy J. Peterson, also a native of Putnam. They have four children living, Frances L.,Mary E., Grace A. and Ruth J. Five children have died. Mr. Whitaker served one term as assessor. He owns a well improved farm of one hundred acres, with good dwelling, etc., and is comfortabley fixed so far as this world goes. His father - Aaron Whitaker, was one of the first settlers in the county, coming in 1829, and serving in the Black Hawk war.


Joel Whitaker

Page 645 Hennepin Township

Mr. Whitaker is a farmer, living on section 36, in Hennepin township. He was born in Cumberland county, New Jersey, in October, 1815, and located in Putnam county with his parents in May, 1835, where he has lived ever since. February 2, 1854, Mr. W. married Mrs. Jane Noble (Leech), who bore them seven children, Harriet, Louis, Adda, Frank, Lucinda, Jennie and Joel Henry. Mr. W. is commissioner of Highways, and treasurer of the school board, and himself and wife are members of the Baptist church of Granville. He owns a fine farm of 220 acres with good improvements, and is regarded as one of the solid men of the county.


Frank Whiting

Page 667 Granville Township

Mr. Whiting is a farmer and lawyer, born in Lockport, New York, in 1836, removed with his parents to Michigan in 1838, and to Putnam county in 1853. He married Caroline Packingham in 1856, born in Granville. In 1861 he was a soldier in the rebellion, enlisting in the 20th Illinois Volunteers, and was elected Lieutenant. He served until discharged through disability, occasioned by disease contracted on duty. He has five children, Fred. H., Mary L., Lincoln E., Lucy A., and Cornelia J. He has filled various offices, has a lucrative practice, and is regarded as a sage advisor and a rising man.


John Williams

Page 679-680 Biographical Department

Section 31, Senachwine, Putnam county. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., May 16th, 1813. Son of Thomas and Frances Hunter Williams. Thomas served in the war of 1812. His father, John Williams, was a citizen of New Jersey, was taken prisoner by the British and died while in prison and was buried in what is now known as Washington Square. William Hunter, father of Frances, was in the Revolutionary war and at the battle of Germantown under Washington. In 1824 Mr. John Williams, then a lad of eleven years of age, shook hands with La Fayette in the old Independence Hall. Having learned the bricklaying business was employed in the year 1836 in building Girard college. During the autumn and winter he made a circuitous route from Phhiladelphia to New York City, New Orleand up the Mississippi to St. Louis and thence to Hennepin, Putnam county. In 1843 pre-empted a claim of 160 aces of land in tp 10,N,W,section 3, and the ensuing spring, 1844, came to the farm they now reside on. Wa married Oct. 22, 1843 to Melinda Morgan, daughter of Alanson and Melinda Peters Morgan, Warren, Lichfield county, Conn., formerly Hebron, Mass. Have eight children, John M., Thomas, Irvin S., Melinda, Frances, George, Adaline, and Martha Ann. John M. resides in this county. Frances, now Mrs. Lorenzo Brunt, lives in this county. The other children live at home with their parents. Mr. Williams is a man of advanced opinions upon all questions relating to the welfare of the human family and does his own thinking. He has been a leading anti-slavery man and in the days of the "underground railroad" often assisted fugitives on their way to freedom. He was an active instigator and assistant in driving the Reeves gang from the country. He is a good talker, clear headed and genial hearted, a warm friend to those worthy of it and a hater of shams.


John M. Williams

Page 679 Biographical Department

Mr. Williams was born August 28, 1844, and is a son of John and Malinda Morgan Williams, well-known citizens of Senachwine Township. He enlisted January 26, 1865, as a private in company A, 148th Regiment Ill. Volunteers was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee and in August received his discharge at the close of the war. In 1872 made a tour through the west, visiting Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri with the intention of locating but returned and May 25, 1876, married Eliza J. Downey, daughter of Francis and Jane Welch Downey, of this township. Has one child, Carrie E. In 1872 was the active agent, as well as prime mover together with other citizens of Senachwine, in making a saving to the county of ten thousand dollars by stopping the issue of bonds for that amount which otherwise would have been issued in favor of the Kankakee and Illinois River railroad. Mr. Williams is a farmer by vocation and shells corn for gain men and others. Has been constable for four years, collector for one year and school director six years, and is also an ingenious mechanic and inventor, having secured patents on an invention that promises to become valuable.


William Hunter Williams

Page 677-678 Senachwine Township

Mr. Williams lives on section 19, township 14 west, range 10 east, Putnam county, Ill. The ancestors of the subject of this sketch were John Williams, a native of Wales and Ann Williams, his wife, a native of Plymouth, England, resided previous to the war of the American Revolution, in the colony of New Jersey. During the war their domicile was burned by the British army, causing a separation of the family, and at which time it is supposed their family record was lost or destroyed. Their son Thomas Williams was bound for a number of years to a farmer, after which he moved to the city of Philadelphia Pa., where he learned the business of house painter, and on May 2, 1807, he married Frances Hunter, daughter of William and Frances Hunter of Philadelphia, of which union was born on the 15th day of January 1811, William Hunter Williams, the subject of this sketch. When he was about seven years old his father removed with his family to the city of Baltimore Md., where on the 17th day of October, 1822, his father died, leaving a widow and four children, who returned to Philadelphia, where William H. attended the public schools of the city until about fourteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to William Ford to learn the business of silver-plating.

In the month of May, 1837, in consequences of the financial convulsion of the country he sought to improve his circumstances by removing to what was then called the Western States. Accordingly in the fore part of June, 1837, he reached the village of Hartford, Dearborn county, in the south-eastern portion of the State of Indiana. In the month of August of that year he made a prospecting tour on foot to Indianapolis, the thence went to the eastern part of Illinois, where his further progress west was arrested by fever and ague (his objective point being Alton, Ill.), and caused him to endeavor to retrace his steps to Hartford, Ind., which was accomplished with great effort during some time in the month of September.

In the year 1838 he gained his first experience as a farmer joined with the disadvantage of a relapse of the ague and fever, having rented seven acres of land and raised a crop of corn, and in the latter part of the summer of that year took a position as clerk in a country general store. Late in the autumn of 1838 he was engaged as clerk and hand on a flatboat to take a cargo of flour and pork to the lower Mississippi River, having accomplished which he, in the spring of 1839, returned to Hartford, Ind., making a detour to visit his brother, who had preceded him to Putnam county, Ill., upon which occasion he concluded to settle permanently in Illinois.

Returning to Hartford, he was offered a situation on a store-boat, and continued in the boating business until sometime in September, 1839, and on or about the 21st of September stared on horseback form Hartford to go to Marshall county, Ill., arriving Oct. 1, 1839. On the firs of May, 1843, he entered eighty acres of land and received the Government patent for the same, under the administration of President John Tyler, and on the 26th day of December, 1856, purchased eighty acres adjoining from Samuel c. Bacon.

On the 29th day of June, 1843, he was married to Miss Theodosia Holmes Lyon, daughter of Abijah Lyon and Comfort Holmes Lyon, natives of Westchester county, New York, who removed for the city of New York to Marshall county Ill., in the spring of 1839. Mr. Williams has nine children as follows: Frances H., William A., Martha Mary, John Howard, Emma E., James Albert, Theodosia Ann and David Herbert. Frances H., now Mrs. Samuel A. Wilson of Adin, Modoc county, Cal.; Martha now Mrs. Charles M. Hobbs, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Mary now Mrs. O. H. Lincoln, of Marengo, McHenry county, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln are now professional teachers. Emma E., now wife of Rev. W. B. Berry, lives at Barry, Pike county, Ill.; William A., resides in the town of Belvidere, Thayer county, Neb; John H. lives at home engaged in farming; Jas. A. is teaching in Bureau county, Ill.; Theodosia A. is in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and D. Herbert at home attending school.

Mr. and Mrs. Williams commenced housekeeping on the first purchase of land in the spring of the year 1844, passing through all the experiences of a pioneer farmer incident to that period of the history of the State of Illinois. In 1847 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace of Senachwine precinct holds the same office at the present time, and lives on his original location, was county judge for a period of six years, succeeding Joel W. Hopkins in that office, Mr. Hopkins being elected a member of the State Legislature; was postmaster at the village of Senachwine nearly ten years; was town clerk a number of years; was township treasurer of schools nearly thirty years; served one year in the office of town collector. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are members of the Henry Society of the New Jerusalem or Swedenborgian church for over twenty years. The judge, as he is familiarly called, is now 69 years of age. His wife in 58 years. They with their large family of children enjoy a remarkable degree of health.


Amos Wilson

Page 657-658 Magnolia Township

The subject of this sketch lives on section 23, and was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1794, and is now eighty-six years old. In 1824 he settled in New Castle, Delaware, and in the fall 1826, Belmont county, Ohio, where he lived until the spring of 1851, when he located in Putnam county, Illinois. He was married to Hannah Brown, born in Chester county, Pa., in 1818, by whom he had five children, Joshua R., Margaret, David, Thomas and Hannah. Mrs. W. died in 1826. In 1828 he wedded Anna Morris, of Columbiana county, Ohio, who brought him nine children, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Morris A., Mary, Amos B., Olive, and three who have gone to another world. Himself and family are members of the Society of Friends. His home farm embraces 440 aces, and besides he owns 320 acres in La Salle county, and the same in Saline county, Kansas. With a single exception he is the oldest citizen in the two counties. Mr. Wilson is a self-man man, and owes his success to his own exertions, through the aid of the Great Master above.


Mason Wilson

Page 660 Magnolia Township

Mr. Wilson was born and has always lived in this township, his existence dating back to 1844. His wife was formerly Laura E. Bell and her native place was Belmont county, Ohio. They have two children, James F. and Blanche E. His father, Bird Wilson, came to this county in 1831 and died in 1872. He was a gold hunter in California in early times, having made the trip across the plains in 1859. Mr. Wilson has a very pleasant home on a farm of 80 acres.


Henry D. Winship

Page 672 Senachwine Township

Mr. Winship was born in Princeton, Bureau county, Ill., May 19, 1837. He was a son of Ralph and Lucetta Cooley (Winship), formerly of New Hartford, New York. At nineteen years of age he left home for Minnesota, and entered a lumber camp, afterward engaged in Government surveying. In 1861 he raised a company of volunteers in Livingston county, and entered the service under Colonel Hovey, in the 33d Illinois Infantry; participated in all the battles of the Western Department, under Generals Steel and Curtis; in 1864 was promoted to a Captain in the Army of the Tennessee, 23d Army corps, under General Schofield; was transferred to the Army of the James; served in the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond, thence to Texas under Genral Sheridan; was honorably discharged, March 6, 1866, having served four years and eleven months. He was married on July 4, 1860 to Clara S. Cox, of Manlius, Bureau county. They have four children - Clarence, Lee, James M. and Sidney. Mr. W. followed farming and engineering for several years subsequent to the war, and during the last two years has been manufacturing tile and brick.


James M. Winship

Page 678-679 Senachwine Township

Mr. Winship was born in Lewis county, New York, October 2, 1825. He is a son of Ralph and Lucetta Cooley Winship, who came to Princeton, Bureau county, in June, 1835. James M. moved from Princeton to this township in March 1868, and has resided here ever since. In 1850 he married Mary Ann Read, daughter of Philip and Tryphena Read of Senachwine. They have five children, - J. Orrin, Cora Eva (now Mrs. Martin L. Condit, of this township), Orville W., Walter E. and Jessie M. In 1852 Mr. Winship left Princeton, crossed the plains and Rocky mountains with a an ox team, visited California, remained there one year and returned hame (home) in the spring of 1863. He owns a fine farm of 192 acres, and is engaged in the manufacture of drain tile and brick. He has been supervisor of the town for two successive years, and school director for many years. Is a member of the Christian church. He has a vivid recollection of his frequent trips to Chicago at an early day, with grain and pork, bringing back lumber at $8.00 per M for the building of the court house in Princeton. In 1876 he made an extended tour through the east, visiting Philadelphia during the Centennial exhibition, Washington, Mr. Vernon, New York city, and old friends in Oneida county, New York


Lambert Winterscheidt

Page 644 Hennepin Township

Mr. Winterscheidt is a farmer living on section 1, and was born in Prussia in 1820, coming to this country in 1845. He came to Hennepin in 1847 and married Mary Dreasen in 1848. She was born in Prussia on the river Rhine, Dec. 12, 1828. They have had nine children, Elizabeth, William H., Mary J., Wilhelmina, Josephine, William Augustus, Georgia, and two deceased. Mr. Winterscheidt possesses all the industry and thrift of his people and owns a finely cultivated farm of 214 acres. Has served several terms as school director and filled other offices. Before coming to this country he served three years in the Prussian army.


Fred Wolf

Page 661 Magnolia Township

Mr. Wolf is a native of Bavaria, Germany, where he was born in 1841, and came to the United States in 1848. He landed first in Putnam county, then removed to LaSalle, and finally returned to Putnam in 1865, where he has since resided. In 1863 he wedded Clara Mardin, born in Putnam county, by whom he has seven children, George, Emma, Edward, Clara, Louis, Fred and Martin. They are members of the Catholic church. Mr. Wolf is a first-class farmer and a hard worker, owning 200 aces of well imporved land in Putnam, and 100 in La Salle county.


Michael Wolf

Page 661-662 Magnolia Township

The subject of this sketch came from the "Fatherland", having been born in Bavaria in 1832, and emigrated to this country in 1848, first locating in LaSalle county. He married Eva M. Hermine in 1854. She was born in Germany. They have six children - four sons and two daughters, viz., Theodore F., Jacob, Theresa, Frank, Peter, and Lizzie and belong to the Catholic faith. Mr. Wolf is energetic and pushing, a good manager, hard working and industrious. He owns a finely cultivated farm of 240 acre, a good brick dwelling house and first class improvements.


C. Wood (Crisfin Wood)

Page 646 Hennepin Township

Mr. Wood is a retired farmer, living in Hennepin. He was born in Brownsville, Fayette county Pa., in 1820, and moved to Warren county, Ohio, with his mother, when he was only two years old, and came to Putnam county in 1854, locating in Magnolia township, where he remained until 1869, when he moved to Hennepin. He was married to Miss Martha Crosley in 1862. They have only one child, Ida, who was born in 1859. Mr. W. still owns his fine farm in Magnolia township, which he rents out. He has been a successful farmer, taking a lively interest in everything pertaining to agriculture, and is now living on the income from his property.


James Alfred Wooley

Page 672-673 Senachwine Township

Mr. Wooley was born May 6, 1811 in Chesterfield, England. In 1832 left home and while on his voyage to this country was wrecked on the Fayal Islands. Reaching New York, he went directly to Albany, where he was employed in Dr. Nott's foundry. Found employment in various places; thence proceeded to Philadelphia, where he resided nearly six years, following his usual vocation. He came to the State of Illinois in 1842, and located in Senachwine township, where he purchased a farm of eighty acres directly from the Government; afterward two eighty-acre farms, one of which he sold and built a store at Senachwine. He was married in 1836 to Martha Ann Williams, daughter of Thomas and Frances Hunter Williams of Philadelphia. Mr. Wooley has six children living as follows: Susanah, William P., Kate, James Alfred, Fanny and Priscella Angeline. William resides in Iowa; and James A., a physician in Occident, Sonoma county, Cal. As an oculist, Mr. Wooley has had much practice and experience, and has been most successful in his treatment.


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