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Randolph County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Note: Some of these may be abstracted, instead of complete transcriptions.  We're adding the complete biographies slowly but surely!
The abstracted bios were transcribed by Jeana Gallagher unless otherwise noted

Samuel B. Adams
Judge Adams is one of the old settlers of Township 4-7. His father was John Adams, who came to Randolph County about the year 1820. The family was of Irish descent, and on coming to America settled in North Carolina. About the year 1804, or 1805, they emigrated from North Carolina to Kentucky, and were among the pioneers of the district in which they settled. Samuel B. Adams was born on the thirtieth of September, 1815, and was the son of John Adams and his wife Jane, whose maiden name was Carson. The Carson family was also from North Carolina, and resided in that state previous to the Revolutionary war. In the war for independence Jane Carson's father took part. The home of the Carson family was only four miles from Kings Mountain, and when the memorable battle occurred at that place, Judge Adams' grandfather was one of the Continental soldiers who did good service in the engagement, and assisted in securing the defeat of the British.
John Adams had nine children, of whom Samuel B. was next to the youngest. He was five years old, when in the fall of 1820, the family left Kentucky to make a home for themselves in Illinois. The journey was made with a team and wagon, and on reaching Randolph County, the family halted in the neighborhood of the present town of Evansville. John Adams put up a house on the public lands on the banks of Camp's Creek, not far from Evansville, and here the family lived for two years. He then bought land in Section 20, of Township 4-7, eighty acres, the last half of the northwest quarter. The land was uncultivated at the time Mr. Adams took up his residence there in the year 1822. A rudely constructed log house sheltered the family. The tough ground was broken, a crop put in, and thus the first improvements made on a farm where the family afterward lived between forty and fifty years. Here John Adams lived till the rugged life of the pioneer was closed by death. He died in the year 1831. He was an excellent representative of the old Kentuckians who played so important a part in settling southern Illinois.
Of Samuel B. Adams it may be only said that he received a common log school-house education, similar to that which was offered in thinly settled sections of country fifty years ago. He never attended school in a schoolhouse whose windows contained a pane of glass. But many a man has gone to Congress from a log school-house and the history of the country shows that sometimes boys whose opportunities have been fewer, have risen to positions the highest. The very obstacles with which rigorous circumstances seemingly impeded their progress have been the stepping-stones by which they have risen to eminence and fame. Mr. Adams worked on a farm during the summer, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, and in the winter he attended school whenever a school could be started in the sparsely populated settlement. He was obliged to walk a distance of from two to four miles when the schools were in session, and the result of it was that for the great part of the book knowledge which he acquired in his younger days he was obliged to rely on his own efforts. When he was sixteen his father died, and the management of the farm was left to him and his mother. His older brothers had all married and left home. Mr. Adams was of a vigorous constitution, strong and energetic, and the farm prospered under his care. His mother died in July, 1847.  About two years after his mother's death, in June, 1849, he was married to Candace Owen. She was born in Randolph County, in the year 1825. Her father's family was from Kentucky, originally from Georgia, and came to Illinois while it was yet a territory. Her father's uncle, Ezra Owen, was one of the pioneer settlers. He came to the County, according to the best accounts, about the year 1809, and settled in the Dr. Fisher neighborhood, near the point of the bluff, west of the Okaw, about a half a dozen miles above Kaskaskia. Ezra Owen was a prominent man, and major of the militia. Judge Adams' wife was a daughter of Levi Owen, who came to Randolph County when a boy, and lived with his uncle Ezra.
The original homestead, in Section 20, came into the possession of Judge Adams, and his younger brother, and finally it passed entirely into the hands of the former, who added one hundred and twenty-seven acres to the original eighty. Mr. Adams became a successful farmer. In the year 1859 he moved to the east side of the Okaw, having purchased a farm in Section 26 of the same township. Two years after he sold his farm west of the Okaw, and centred [sic] all his interests in the property he had acquired south of the present town of Baldwin. He resided here till the summer of 1875, when he became a resident of the town of Baldwin. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have had four children, all of whom are now living. Their names are Eliza Jane, Andrew G., Levi K., and John Q. Mr. Adams has been successful as a farmer. Beside property in Baldwin, he owns a half section of land, and is justly estimated as one of the substantial citizens of his section of the County.
Judge Adams has always taken a warm interest in affairs relating to the State and County. Without being an extremist in politics, he has been a Democrat; and has voted the Democratic ticket ever since he was qualified to cast a ballot. He is, however, a man of liberal mind, and has enjoyed the confidence of the people. He was six years magistrate when he resided east of the Okaw, and filled that position with ability and impartiality, and to the general acceptance of the community. In the year 1853, though not an aspirant to public office, he was selected as Associate Justice of Randolph County, and during the four years he filled this position he discharged its responsible duties in a manner that gained him increased credit and popularity. The Judge is a member of the Presbyterian church at Baldwin, and in all respects is a useful citizen. In personal appearance, Mr. Adams preserves the stalwart proportions of the old Kentucky pioneers. His frame towers six feet in height. His weight is two hundred and ninety pounds; and altogether, with his muscular power and physical bearing, he may be taken as a good specimen of the class of men who transformed a wilderness into a cultivated country, and from the abode of herds of deer and the haunt of wild animals, made it the home of a free, civilized, and cultivated people.[Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]

John R. Allen
Allen, John R was born 21 May 1839 in RC. During the CW he was in Co I 22nd IL Inf, In Sep 1863 he was shot in the leg losing it. He was taken as a POW and was exchanged in Oct 1863. Upon returning to RC he opened a store in Sparta. On the 29 Apr 1864 he married Mary C McClinton the d/o Samuel. Their child was CF. John's father was Andrew M born in 1810 in Preble Co, OH, He came to RC in 1816 and died 05 Jul 1845. Andrew was a tanner. John's mother died in 1826. John also had a brother named William. John's grandparents were John (b NJ) and Sarah (Allen) Allen (b SC). They were married in Jefferson Co, GA then moved to OH>RC. John's great grandfather was Robert who came from England to NJ before the Rev War. He was a ship owner. (1894)

George B. Allison
Allison, George B was born 10 Mar 1862 in Marion Co, MO. He was the Post Master and a lawyer in Chester. On 08 Sep 1886 he married Flora Gant the d/o Robert & Kate. Their children were: Maggie M, Robert G and William E. George's father was Ebenezer who was born in Fifeshire Scotland. He married in 1856 in Scotland to Margaret (Gow) who was born in Perthshire Scotland. Her parents were William and Elizabeth (in 1894 she was still alive at age 101) Ebenezer and Margaret came to the US not long after they married to Rochester, NY. In 1859 the family moved to Rolla, MO where Ebenezer fought for the Union Side in the CW. In 1866 the family came to Chester. They had 7 sons and one daughter. In 1894 William G, George B, Ebenezer, Alex G and David were still living. Ebenezer Sr died in Mar 1886 in RC. (1894)

Henry J. Armbruester
Armbruester, Henry J was a doctor in Steeleville. He was born 04 Mar 1857 in St Louis, MO. He married on 17 May 1883 to Louise W Stahlberg the d/o Charles and Lousia (Long).. Henry had one child named Charles A. Henry's parents were Henry, an architect born in Germany, and Louise (Unfried) also of Germany. Henry had 10 brothers and sisters. (1894)

Max Azmann
Azmann, Max was a doctor in Chester. He was born in Chester on 26 Mar 1865. His father was F WAzmann, born in Germany and came to Chester in 1858. He was also a doctor. He died 05 Aug 1880. His mother was Lucy Propst, who was born in Germany and died 12 Oct 1887 in Chester. Max had 10 siblings. (1894)

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