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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!

Nicholas W. Kelly
Kelly, Nicholas W was born 08 Feb 1845. He settled on a farm in Sec 8 of T8 R5. During the CW Nicholas was in Co F 154th IL Inf. On the 24 Apr 1866 he married Alsa C Haskin the d/o Charles. She was born 22 Oct 1847 in JC and died 15 Nov 1889. They had 10 children of which Luella, Clara, Thomas A, Benjamin C and Maida J were yet living in 1875. His parents were, Thomas and Elizabeth Anderson from Co Down, Ireland. They came to the US in 1842 to Haverstraw, NY. Thomas was a Chemical engineer. (1894)

Henry Ker
Ker, Henry was born 22 Jan 1829 in Prairie du Rocher. In 1849 he went to CA for the gold rush returning to RC in 1851. In May 1851 he married Mary Brown, who died in child birth in Feb 1852. His second marriage was to Mary Phegley the d/o Jacob in Feb 1854. She was born 08 Aug 1823 in Ohio Co, KY. Their children were Mary and William H. Henry's father was a colorful adventurer also named Henry. He was born in Boston, MA but his parents went back to London not long after. In Apr 1808 he left Lonfdon, landing in Charleston, SC. He traveled around the US for 8 years. At one point he was in the West Indies and was ship wrecked. Finally arriving in New Orleans he followed the Red River and stayed with the Indians. In Feb 1814 while in Mexico City he was captured by bandits, he escaped but his negro servant, Edom, was killed. Upon returning to the US he published a book about his travels in 1816 in NJ. In 1816 he finally settled in Prairie du Rocher in RC. He was a doctor and soon opened a store. He married Felicite Fascair in 1816. She died in Feb 1846. Henry Sr died 08 Jun 1828. Their children were: Henry, Ambrose, John and William. Felicite was married a second time to Antoine Langlois. (1875)

William Knapp
Editor of the Chester Tribune
William Knapp, the present editor and proprietor of the Chester Tribune, was born near the city of Chester, January 27th, 1853. His father was a farmer by occupation, and located in that section in the year 1844. During his early childhood he attended the district school, and after the removal of his parents to Chester, in 1864, the city schools, where he acquired an average education. During the winter of 1865-66, and the following spring and summer, he was in attendance at the Western educational Institute, now Western Wesleyan College, at Warrenton, Missouri, where he graduated with honors, being the most advanced of his class. Returning home, he studied some of the more advanced branches under Professor Morrison, of the Chester High School, and in May, 1868, entered the office of the Randolph County Democrat, now defunct, where he learned the business which he now follows. Here he remained until July, 1870, when he went to work in the job department of the Belleville Advocate, remaining four months. Next we find him employed as a compositor in the office of the St. Louis Republican, for four months, and then as a salesman in the grocery store of Schellhammer & Brother, St. Louis, until October, 1871. Upon his return home, he engaged as a clerk in his father's store, which position he occupied until he started in the newspaper and publishing business.
Forming a co-partnership with Charles D. Wassell, under the firm name of Knapp & Wassell, on the thirtieth of October, 1872, the Chester Tribune was established as a six-column folio, and was published as such until the purchase by Knapp of Wassell's interest, February twenty-first, 1874, when the paper was enlarged to its present size, five-column quarto. The Tribune is published every Wednesday morning at two dollars per year, and is an unflinching supporter of the Republican party in National, State, Congressional and Legislative affairs, but in County elections advocates the claims of the best men for office. "Men, not Measures," is its motto.
William Knapp was married to Miss Mamie L. Derousse, daughter of Squire Louis Derousse, of Chester, January twenty-ninth, 1873. A daughter was the fruit of their union, but in consequence of the confinement his wife died April the ninth, 1874, and little Maggie soon followed, departing this life July the twelfth, 1874.
Under the management of Mr. Knapp, the Tribune has reached a satisfactory degree of prosperity. Its columns are filled with choice reading matter, and it appeals to the family circle as a home and fireside paper. It maintains an advanced and decided position on questions at issue before the people and has rapidly won its way into the public favor and approval. [Source: "An illustrated historical atlas map of Randolph County, Ills. : carefully compiled from personal examinations and surveys." (1875) - tr. By Stephanie Thornton]

Charles J. Kribs
Kribs, Charles J was born in Belleville on 19 Feb 1867. He moved to Red Bud and married Susan E Bissinger on 10 Nov 1892. They had four sons one named William. In 1894 he was a merchant in Prairie du Rocher. In 1932 after serving as senator Charles and his wife moved to Los Angeles, CA. They returned to Prairie du Rocher in 1943. Charles died 18 Sep 1953


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