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Randolph County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Note: These are extractions, not complete transcriptions, except where noted.
If anyone would care to transcribe the originals to replace these extractions, we would be VERY grateful!

Campbell, William H was born 12 Aug 1845 in RC. On 16 Feb 1874 he married Pauline Schuline, who was born in NY. Their children were: Mary C, Albert J, William H, Anna V and Agatha A. William's father was Samuel, born in SC and died in 1856 in RC. His mother was Nancy Glasgow, born in Sc and died in RC in 1876. Samuel had 5 sons and 3 daughters (1894)
Collier, William W was a saddle maker in Chester. He was born in Wayne Co, MO near Fredericktown on 12 Sep 1847. He opened a store in RC in 1870. He married on 31 Mar 1874 to Angelique Smith the d/o David and Frances. William's children were: Minnie C, Lelia S, Byron S, Mamie, John (d inf) and Elbert (d Inf). William's father was Miles H, who owned an estate and slaves in MO before he moved to Carlyle, IL. He died in Chester in 1882 while visiting his son. His mother was Mary S Short who did in St Louis. MO in 1886. Miles had 9 children. (1894)

Chambers, William G was born in RC T5R6 on 06 Nov 1830. AT age 17 he lost a leg in a gun accident. He became a teacher and moved to Sparta in 1859. While there he was Post Master 1861 to 1875. 01 Mar 1859 he married Belle Tenant, the d/o James and Ellen (McCormic) Tenant. Wm's father was William born 20 Aug 1788 in SC and died in 1840. He was a tailor. His first marriage is unknown but his second was to Wm's mother, Jane Hopper and they were married in SC. Jane died in 1860. In 1875 Wm and Jane's living children were: William G, Lucinda, Mary, Phobe, Thomas A, Joseph T and David. Wm's grandparents were David and Mary Chambers, both born in Ireland and died in SC. (1894)

Charles, Benjamin Hynes, Jr., lawyer; born, Chester, ILL., Apr. 26, 1866; son of Benjamin Hynes and Achsah Susan (Holmes) Charles; graduated from Westminster College, Fulton, Mo., A.B., 1885; taught school, 1885-88; studied law, 1888-91, graduating from Law Department, Yale University, LL.B., 1891; married, Keokuk, Ia., June 30, 1903, Nancy McCandless Home; one son: Benjamin Hynes, ILL. Admitted to bar, 1892, and since engaged in practice; senior member of law firm of Charles & Lackey (W. G. Lackey), 1898-1900; second associate city counselor, 1903-05; first associate city counselor, 1905-10; since in private practice. Member American Bar Association, Missouri State Bar Assn., St. Louis Bar Association, Civic League. Democrat. Presbyterian. Club: City. Favorite recreation: fishing. Office: 604-605 Merchants-Laclede Bldg. Residence: 20 Parkland Pl. (Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

Chesnutwood, Jonathan was born 25 Nov 1825 in Stark Co, OH. He came to RC in 1852 where he owned a store in Evansville until the CW. On 10 Jan 1856 in Dresden, TX he married Amanda Hartzell (born in Stark Co, OH). Jonathon's father was Samuel who family came from England to the US. Samuel married Hannah Heigh ca 1796 in Lancaster Co, PA. She was born in PA and her family came from Ireland. In 1814 Samuel moved the family to OH. He and Hannah had 9 children, several of which were born in PA. (1875)

Clendenin, C.C.
C.C. Clendenin, merchant at Lebanon, Mo., and son of Ephraim R. and Pauline (Conway) Clendenin, was born in Randolph Co., Ill., March 25, 1847. The parents were both natives of Randolph County, Ill., the father born in or near Rockwood and the mother at Old Kaskaskia. The maternal grandfather, Clement C. Conway, was born in Ireland, and immigrated to South Carolina at an early date. From there he moved to Kaskaskia, Ill. He was a hatter by trade, which occupation he followed the principal part of his life. He died on the Ohio River, in 1852, of cholera. The grandfather Clendenin died in Randolph County, Ill. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits for several years in Old Liberty, and was one of the first business men of that place. He resided on a farm the most of his time. The father of our subject lived and died in Randolph County, Ill. In his youth he learned the trade of ship carpenter, which he followed until 1862, when he enlisted in the late war, but the quota being full, he was appointed by Lincoln as enrolling officer for the Southern Illinois District, which position he was filling at the time of his death, which occurred September 20, 1864. The mother is still living, and resides in Walnut, Kas. They were the parents of seven children, four now living: Emma G., wife of James Miln, of Cairo; Colburn C., Charles M. and Adelle. Those deceased were named Sydney, Penelope and Clara. C.C. Clendenin was raised in Liberty (now Rockwood) Ill., where he received a common-school education. He worked on the farm until the death of his father, in 1864, when he served an apprenticeship at the trade of stone cutting, which he followed for twelve years, and worked in the meantime on some of the largest State buildings in Illinois. He assisted in building the Springfield State House, the Southern Illinois Insane Asylum, Normal University of Carbondale, and the penitentiary at Chester. He was contracting for about five years in Illinois. In 1879 he took the contract for all the stone work on St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Chester, Ill., the finest church building in the county. In 1881 he took the contract for the stone work for the Shiloh Hill College building, in Randolph County, Ill., and the insane asylum on the Randolph County farm. In September, 1881, he came to Lebanon, Mo., and here engaged in the monumental and tombstone business with a partner. This he carried on for two years, then sold out, and was elected constable Lebanon Township, serving two years. In 1886 he engaged in his present business with L.J. Kaffenberger, and the firm is known as Kaffenberger & Co. Mr. Clendenin was married December 20, 1871, to Miss Maggie L. Gordon, of Jackson County, Ill. To them was born one child, Etta, whose birth occurred October 23, 1872. He is a member of the K.L., National Lodge of Combined Industries, and Sons of Veterans. He is a member of the city council, and president of the town board. Mr. Clendenin is a strong advocate of organized labor, and it was the labor element that elected him to the position of city alderman. He was a delegate to the national convention of the United Labor party that met at Cincinnati, Ohio, May 15, 1888, which nominated Streeter and Cunningham for President and Vice-President. [Source:  "History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri", Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1889; Transcribed by K. Mohler]

Clendinen, William H
was born 10 Jan 1836 in RC near Rockwood. In 1856 he became a clerk and in 1861 he bought in to a store in Rockwood. He married Emily C Jones the d/o S T Jones on 23 Nov 1858. Their children were: Threc, Walter H, Roscoe T and Daisy G. William's father was John H who married Mary E Vickers. John and Mary also had a daughter Margaret A. William's grandfather was James, from KY. James came to RC T6 R7 in 1808 and settled mile west of Diamond Cross. He married Margaret Head d/o Joseph. In 1837 James moved to T8 R5 Sec 5. William's great grandfather was named John and he fought in the Rev War (1875).

Cole, Hermon C -- (Deceased).
Success is the creature of energy and tact. Men may sometimes blunder into fame or fortune, but, unless they possess sterling qualities, the sequel to their lives is apt to prove that they were unworthily intrusted with great advantages. Opportunities come to every man, but only a few seize upon them and rise with them to success. It is not because their opportunities are greater, but that they possess the qualities which in all ages have been recognized as masters of success, and by which they are enabled to take advantage of that
"----tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Neglected, all the voyage of their lives Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
These truths, which have been happily expressed in the saying that "every man is the architect of his own fortune," are, perhaps, nowhere more decidedly manifest than in the business activity of new countries. It is there that energy, enterprise, and administrative ability come to the front. The field lies open to every one alike, and the highest success is reached by the man of greatest enterprise and strongest purpose. Such a man was the late Hermon Camp Cole. As a business man he was known prominently, not only through Southern Illinois, but elsewhere; and while by his enterprise he built up an extensive business, and acquired an ample fortune, he at the same time developed the resources of a large section of country, and was of material aid in promoting the interests of Randolph County.
He was a native of Ovid, Seneca County, New York, where he was born on the 9th of May 1813. The family with which he was connected was of English and Welsh decent, and its first members came to America at a period early in the history of the colonies. The family had its home in New York State for several generations, and was well represented in the army of the patriots during the struggle of the thirteen colonies for their independence. Nathan Cole, the father of Hermon C. Cole, was born in Dutchess County, New York, March the 7th, of the year 1783 and afterward moved to Seneca County. His second wife, the mother of Hermon C. Cole, was Sarah Scott. She was born at Ridgefield, Connecticut, in the year 1790 and was four years old when her family moved to Orange County, where they located within twenty miles of New York City. Her father, Gideon Scott, in the year 1801, moved to Seneca County. This part of New York was then a wilderness. But few settlements had been made. There were no roads-only cow-paths led through the forest, with marked trees here and there along the route to point the way. Nathan Cole and Sarah Scott were married in the year 1807. They became the parents of seven sons. Hermon C. was the third. Six of these were born in New York, and one in St. Louis. These children were Abner B.; Burt S.; Hermon C.; Oliver; James Monroe; James Madison, and Nathan. The last named is now a prominent merchant of St. Louis, and was formerly Mayor of that city.
In the year 1821 Nathan Cole and his family left New York and came to St. Louis. This city was then a place of comparatively small importance. Nathan Cole engaged actively in business in St. Louis and East St. Louis (then known as Illinoistown), and was the first regular pork packer in the Mississippi Valley. He died at Chester in 1840. Hermon C. Cole was eight years of age when the family took up its residence in St. Louis. His education he received principally in the city, but when eighteen or nineteen, he was a student for three months at Shurtleff College, at Alton. He began active business for himself as a merchant in a small way in East St. Louis. He was then about twenty years of age. He began without capital. In 1837, the whole family came to Chester. Here his father, Nathan Cole, erected a flooring mill, the first ever established in the town, while H. C. opened a store, and engaged in the merchandising business. Chester had only been founded a few years previously, and the building of the mill marked a new era in its prosperity. Additional improvements in the mill were made two years after, and the exportation of flour to the southern markets was begun.
About 1840, Hermon C. Cole became interested in the mill as partner of Abner Cole. Having adopted the milling business, he prosecuted it with great energy and activity, and in the course of a few years the brands of the establishment became of the highest repute, not only in the West, but also through other sections of the United States. Wheat was little grown in Randolph County at the time of the establishment of the mill at Chester. Its cultivation, under the encouragement given by the Messrs. Cole, gradually increased, until it became the staple crop of the County. In June, 1844 Mr. Cole was married to Miss Emily Cox, of Stamford, Connecticut. After he became interested in the mill, he continued the mercantile business, which remained in his hands till the year 1867, when he disposed of it to William Schuchert. Mr. Cole subsequently became sole proprietor of the mill by purchase of the interest of his brother Abner. A few years since he took into co-partnership with him his two sons, Charles B. and Zachary T. Cole, and extended his business by opening, in connection with the already large milling interests, the banking house of H. C. Cole & Co.
Mr. Cole's first wife died in October, 1859. February, 1862, he was married the second time to Mrs. Sarah J. Flannigan. He had in all eleven children, six by the first and five by the second wife. Their names are Charles B., Zachary T., Alice E., Henry C., Eunice E., Edward E.; and by the second marriage Cora V., Grace, Hermon, Newell, and Nathan. Mr. Cole ended his long and active life on the twentieth of October, 1874, at his residence in Upper Alton, Illinois. Typhoid Pneumonia was the immediate cause of his death.
The business of the firm is now carried on by the sons, Charles B. Cole, Zachary T. Cole, and Henry C. Cole. A general banking business has been carried on at the mil since 1872. In the fall of 1875 a more commodious bank was opened on the hill in Chester, where this branch of the business of the firm is now carried on.
Mr. Cole's record shows him to have been the best type of a business man. In promoting his own interests, he made the country more prosperous around him. The part he performed in the work of aiding the agricultural interests of Randolph and the surrounding counties, was most important. He was mainly instrumental in developing the growing capacity of a section of Southern Illinois, now producing the finest quality of wheat raised anywhere in the United States. He sought excellence in everything and his brands of flour were known and appreciated in all parts of the country. Few men in one county have been the means of doing so large a share of usefulness, and acquiring a reputation so extended. His name was a synonym for everything that was honest and sincere, and while the early years of his life had been greatly embarrassed by the reverse peculiar to those times, he lived to see all of his efforts crowned with the highest earthly success, and to realize that his life had not been spent in vain, in the great amount of good he had accomplished for others. Hermon C. Cole was of slight, yet handsome and manly, build, with a face which spoke most eloquently the warmth of a true heart, and an eye which sparkled with kindness and good-will. His vivacity did not diminish with advancing years. His influence on society as always exerted for good. With an unstinted hand, he aided every work of charity and religion. He was loved, honored and trusted by all who knew him, and his calm and peaceful death was cheered with the hope of the humble and child-like Christian. ["An illustrated historical atlas map of Randolph County, Ills. : carefully compiled from personal examinations and surveys". (1875) - tr. By Stephanie Thornton]

Conner, William S
W. S. Conner -- There are few citizens of American blood, native born in Randolph County, who date their birth back as far as does Mr. W. S. Conner, a resident of the southern part of Township five-eight.  He was born within a quarter of a mile of his present residence, in the year 1815.
He was the son of Henry Conner, who was born in Maryland and moved to Kentucky when ten years old, about the year 1795. The Conner family is of Irish extraction. The name was formerly spelled "O'Connor," in which form it will be easily recognized as belonging to a numerous family in Ireland. Henry Conner was about twenty-two when he came to Illinois from Kentucky in the year 1807. He located at Kaskaskia, then the central point and commercial emporium of the Illinois settlements, and for three years worked for Colonel Pierre Minard. While here he married Miss Elizabeth Barnet, a native of Madison County, Kentucky. Henry Conner then moved to Monroe County, and settled on a farm in the American Bottom, at a point four miles south of what is now known as Chalfin Bridge. He continued farming here till about the year 1812, when a fire swept away his buildings, whereupon he returned to Randolph County, and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by William Phegley. Here on the twenty-first of October, 1815, William S. Conner was born, the third of a family of seven children.  Five of these, three sons and two daughters, reached maturity.  All are now deceased with the exception of Mr. Conner, who is therefore the sole representative of the family in his generation.
Henry Conner was a man of prominence and influence in Randolph County, in his day. In 1814 he was elected Sheriff of the County, when the jurisdiction of that office extended from the boundaries of St. Clair County to the mouth of the Ohio. He filled the office of Sheriff for seven successive years. He was United States Marshall for the district in which Randolph County was included, under the administration of John Quincy Adams. He filled several other offices, and during his life-time took a leading part in public affairs. He was an active Whig in politics, and was popular with the members of that party. He died in March 1832 at Kaskaskia, and his remains now repose in the old cemetery at that place.
William S. Conner lived in the County till the death of his father. He then went to St. Louis to embark in business for himself, but after a stay of only a few months he struck out for the Illinois river country, whose settlement had then but recently been begun. The localities which he traversed (in 1833) were new and uncultivated, among which were Peoria and Tazewell counties, now among the richest and most populous districts in Illinois.  This section was his home for four years. The lead mines of the Galena region next offered themselves as a field of enterprise. Here Mr. Conner spent twenty-one years in mining lead, principally in south-west Wisconsin and Iowa. He acquired an intimate and practical knowledge of the processes of mining, but met with varied vicissitudes of fortune. It was during his residence in Wisconsin that he married Nancy Stonier, a native of the State of Pennsylvania.
In 1858 he returned to Randolph County, and settled within a quarter o f a mile from the place of his birth, on land inherited from his father. Mr. and Mrs. Conner have had six children, of whom three are living, Harriet Louisa, Alice, and Lucy. The oldest daughter, Harriet Louisa, was married to Charles Phegley, and now lives in Pettis County, Missouri. . [Source: "An illustrated historical atlas map of Randolph County, Ills. : carefully compiled from personal examinations and surveys". (1875) - Tr. by Stephanie Thornton]

Craig, James was born in Scotland on 13 Jan 1804. He traveled to NYC in 1833 then coming to RC. He returned to Scotland in 1839 and married Margaret Crawford, while there. They returned to RC in 1840. Their children were Robert J, William C, and Elizabeth B. James' father was Robert, who was born in Scotland. His father married a woman named Stevenson. Robert and his wife had five children: James (our subject), John (died age 19), Robert (lived in Glasgow, Scotland), William (died in Perry Co, IL) and one other child that died young. (1875)

Crawford, Bryce was born 1815 in Ayrshire, Scotland. In 1838 he came to the US and RC. He was a merchant. In 1875 he moved to Sparta. On 10 Jul 1840, he married Marion Barr, who was also born in Ayrshire, Scotland. She was the d/o Andrew and Jane. Marion died in Aug 1892. Their children were: William D, Jane, Nellie, Andrew, Mary, Margaret, Marion and Andrew (d as an infant). Bryce's father was William, born in 1767 in Aryshire, Scotland and died in 1842. He was a maltster. His mother was Helen Beverige also born in Aryshire. William had 14 children: Andrew, John, William, David, Robert, George, Henry, James, Ellen, Benjamin, Bryce, Jane, Margaret and Mary Ann. (1894)

Crawford, James was born in Scotland. He came to the US at the age of 25, landing in NYC. He reached RC in 1838. James married Marion Garven in Jun 1840. Their children were: William J. During the CW James was in Co F 10th MO as an 1st Lt. His father was William who died in Scotland. His mother was Ellen (Beverage) who came to the US with her children and died in RC. They had 14 children: 10 sons and 4 daughters. Some of Wm and Ellen's children were: James, Andrew, Brice, Benjamin, George (d by 1875 in RC), Robert (d by 1875 in KS), Margaret, Jane and Mary A. (1894)


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