Colonel W.E. ALCORN was born in Baltimore, Md, April 17, 1818, and is the son of James and Margaret (CARNAHAN) ALCORN. The former, a native of Ireland, came to America with his parents when four years of age. He served thirty-two years in the United States Navy, as Sailing-Master and Captain; he assisted in sinking the Government ships near Fort McHenry, to keep the British from capturing them; his Navy service ceased at the election of Gen. JACKSON for President, owing to a difference of opinion politically, after he went to Alexandria D.C.; where he manufactured sails for ships, for a number of years; he finally received pension of $10,000; he then moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, at which place he died in 1847, in the seventy-fifth year of age. His wife also died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1863, in the eighty-fifth year of her age. Our subject, in 1828, shipped on board the ship"Eagle", of Boston, and went to Europe, and returned, and then shipped on a brig and went to the West Indies, and followed seafaring until 1840, at which time he went to steamboating, and has navigated the principal rivers of the United States. In 1850, he engaged in manufacturing all steamboat appliances, and continued at this a number of years. In 1866, he came to Richland County, Il and located on a farm of 850 acres near Noble, where he lived until 1880, when he moved to his fine residence near Olney. In the late war, he served as First Lieutenant in the "One Hundred Days of Service." He has been married twice; first, in 1847, to Miss Ann ROW, a native of Indiana; she died in 1862, the mother of six children. The only living one is James W. He next married, in 1864, Mary J. VANDOLAH. To them have been born ten children -- George S., Philip S., Grant, Henry Clay, Annie A., Laura, Clara, Ethel, Bessie, and John (deceased). Col. ALCORN is a radical Republican. [History of Cumberland, Jasper, and Richland County, Illinois; F.A. Battey & Co; 1884]
COL. W. E. ALCORN, an honored veteran of the late war, now residing in Olney, was born in Baltimore, Md., April 17, 1817, and is a son of James and Margaret (Carnahan) Alcorn. His mother was born in Baltimore, but his father was a native of Ireland, and at the age of two years was brought to this country. His mother died about two years later in Wiscasset, Me. When about five years old, James Alcorn bound himself out to a sea-captain for six years. He was in the United States navy for thirty-two years, and then, because he was not a Democrat, he was dismissed from the navy-yard by Gen. Jackson with two hundred and fifty others, among them young John Randolph, who was a lieutenant. James Alcorn was a very prominent man, and in company with his father, Col. Alcorn, saw many of the leading men of the nation.
The father of our subject sunk the ships across Baltimore Harbor to keep out the British in the War of 1812. The Colonel saw Gen. La Fayette in Baltimore in the year 1824. He was taken by his father to Washington in 1825 to see John Quincy Adams inaugurated President. He also saw that illustrious man lay the corner-stone of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. On the 4th of March, 1829, he saw Gen. Jackson inaugurated, and about six weeks later saw him break dirt for the Ohio & Chesapeake Canal, at Georgetown, D. C. On the 26th of April, 1831, he saw young John Randolph, of Virginia, who was turned out of the navy-yard in which he was a lieutenant at the same time as our subject's father. At that time young Randolph wrung Gen. Jackson's nose. They then drove everybody off the "Sidney, " which was a mailboat carrying mail from Washington City to Potomac Creek, and Randolph went onto the wharf, pulled two pistols from his pocket and challenged any of Jackson's friends to fight a duel with him. Mr. Alcorn 's father, who was present, called out three cheers for John Randolph. The duel, however, was not fought.
After James Alcorn left the navy he followed the sea for some time. In his family were six children: James, George, William E., Margaret, Laura and Cordelia. George went to sea on a whaling-vessel and was never heard of afterward. James went out in a sloop of war, the " Hornet, "
commanded by Capt. Claxton, and was gone three years. After his return he entered the merchant service.
Col. Alcorn has also spent much of his life in naval service. For eighteen years he followed the sea. In 1837 he shipped on the vessel, "Eagle, " of Boston, and went to Amsterdam. After eighteen years spent on the high seas, he was on our southern and western rivers for twenty years. In 1836. when Texas had trouble with Santa Anna, he was a member of the Texan navy, and was in the battle of San Jacinto, above Lynchburg. In 1846 Col. Alcorn fitted up a new vessel, built at Cincinnati, called the "Ann Chase, " to be used by the United States troops in the Mexican War. This was loaded at Cincinnati with wagons, Government stores, etc., and floated down the river to New Orleans, where the cargo was disposed of, and another cargo of wagons and ammunition of war was taken on. While at New Orleans pay-day came and Mr. Alcorn received his pay for the past seven months. With some of the crew he then started with the ship for Brazos, Santiago, at the mouth of the river. At the mouth of the Sabine River the vessel blew up. The captain, who had been placed in charge just as she was ready to sail and who knew nothing about steamers, asked Mr. Alcorn what to do. On the suggestion of our subject the anchor was dropped and the wreck cleared away. About five o'clock in the afternoon they lowered a boat, put four men into it, and the Captain and Mr. Alcorn went ashore. Writing a letter to the authorities at New Orleans, they stated that the boat had blown up and asked for a tug to tow them into Galveston. Their request was granted, and after repairing the boiler at Galveston, they again loaded and once more started to Brazos. At length they reached their destination, disposed of their cargo, took aboard another, and a month later started back for New Orleans, but the second night out the boat went ashore in a gale, and so complete was the wreck that she was never again fit for service.
On the 6th of October, 1846, Col. Alcorn married Miss Ann M., daughter of William and Ann Rowe, of Indiana. Six children were born unto them: John, Orlando, William Edward, Maggie, Cordelia and James, but the last-named is the only one now living. The mother died in June, 1862, and after her death Col. Alcorn wedded Mary Jane Vandolah. They became the parents of eleven children. George, a resident of Columbia, Tenn., married Myrtle Chauney, and they have a daughter, Marguerite; Philip married Anna Notstein, and resides in Olney; Ulysses Grant married Etta Harris, and lives in Olney. The younger members of the family, Anna M., Henry Clay, Laura E., Clara F., Ethel V., Bessie and Mary, are at home. John died in infancy.
Col. Alcorn entered the service of his country during the late war, enlisting in 1863 in the Two Hundred and Twenty-third Ohio Infantry. After the war he came to Olney and purchased a farm of eight hundred and fifty acres north of Noble. A part of this he has since traded for sixteen houses and lots in the city of Indianapolis, Ind., but he still retains the ownership of three hundred and twenty acres. For some time he made his home in Noble. It was in 1879 that, having built his present residence in Olney, he removed to this city, where he has since made his home. Himself and wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he belongs to Bowyer Post No. 92, G. A. R.
In politics, Col. Alcorn is a stanch Republican. In 1836 he voted for William Henry Harrison in New York City. In 1840 he and a party went down the river on a steamer, and Ianding at Portsmouth, Ohio, he again supported the Tippecanoe hero. In 1844, in Mobile, Ala., he voted for Henry Clay. In 1848, in Cincinnati, he supported Zachary Taylor. As he was in California in 1852, he lost his vote but in 1856 he supported Millard Fillmore. In 1860 and 1864, he cast his ballot for Lincoln, and in 1868 and 1872 for Gen. Grant. In 1876 he supported Hayes, in 1880 Garfield, in 1884 Blaine, and in 1888 and 1892 Benjamin Harrison. Col. Alcorn has taken an active interest in politics and the success of his party. He is a popular, genial gentleman, and in the community where he now makes his home he has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, who esteem him highly. Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.563 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
Hon. James C. ALLEN -- one of the respected citizens of the county, was born in Shelby County, Ky, on January 29, 1822, and is the seventh of ten children born to Benjamin and Margaret (YOUEL) ALLEN, both natives of Virginia. Benjamin was educated and married in his native state, where in early life,he engaged in the manufactuing of sickles. Afterward, he engaged in blacksmithing and farming. In 1802, he removed to Shelby County, Ky, and thence, in 1830, to Parke County, Ind, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1847. From early life he was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, in which he was for over thirty years an elder. James C. ALLEN, our subject, received his early education in the log schoolhouse of olden time. Afterward he attended a high school at Rockville, Ind. Most of the time until he was nineteen yers of age he was employed on his father's farm. He then commenced reading law in the office of Messrs. HOWARD & WRIGHT of Rockville, Ind, and in August, 1843, he was admitted to the bar as a lawyer. In December following, he moved to Sullivan, Ind, where he was engaged in the practice until the autumn of 1845, when he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Indiana, holding the office for two years. In 1847, he removed to Palestine, Crawford County, Il, where he resided about twenty-nine consecutive years. In 1850-51, he represented Crawford and Jasper counties in the lower house of the State Legislature. In 1852, he was elected to Congress from the Seventh Congressional District of Illinois, and was re-elected in 1854. In 1857 he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives, serving during the Thirty-Fifth Congress. In 1860 he was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois, but was defeated by Richard YATES. In 1861, he was elected Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, which position he held to fall of 1862, when he was elected Congressman-at-large for Illinois. In 1861, Gov. YATES tendered him the command of the Twenty-First Illinois Infantry, which was afterward commanded by Gen. GRANT; and in 1862, President LINCOLN tendered him the command of a brigade. Having no military taste or training, he declined both offers. In 1870, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of Illinois, and in June 1873, was elected Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit. Removing to Olney in 1876--where he since resided--in 1877 he was appointed one of the Appellate Judges for the Fourth District of Illinois. He held this office until 1879, when he resumed the practice of his profession. The Judge is the President of the Toledo, Texas, and Rio Grande Railway, now being constructed. He was first married, January 22, 1845,to Ellen KITCHELL, youngest daughter of the Hon. Joseph KITCHELL. To this union were born three children, (all deceased). Mrs. ALLEN died in May 1852, He was next married in June, 1857, to Julia A. KITCHELL, daughter of Harvey KITCHELL. Seven children were born to this union, all of whom are still living. Both the Judge and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. His first wife was also a member. In politics, the Judge is a stanch Democrat, although during the late war he was known as a "war Democrat." His life has been an unusually active and eventful one. [History of Cumberland, Jasper, and Richland County, Illinois; F.A. Battey & Co; 1884]
HON. JAMES C. ALLEN, senior member of the law firm of Allen & Fritchey, of Olney, is an early settler and prominent citizen of Illinois. Judge Allen is a native of Shelby County, Ky., his birth having occurred on the 29th of January, 1822. He is the seventh in a family of ten children born unto Benjamin and Margaret (Youel) Allen. His parents, who were natives of Rockbridge County, Va., were married in the State of their nativity, and in 1801 emigrated to Shelby County, Ky., then a sparsely settled region. The father of our subject was of Irish descent, and the mother of Scotch, each a representative of a sturdy race, possessing marked and strong characteristics, both mentally and physically. The Scotch-Irish people of America have by their energy, intelligence, enterprise and frugality won prominence and respect wherever they are found.
Benjamin Allen was a blacksmith by trade. In early life he engaged in the manufacture of sickles, and later followed the occupation of farming. He remained in Kentucky until 1830, when with his family he removed to Parke County, Ind., where he and his estimable wife spent the remainder of their days. They were industrious, upright people and worthy members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Allen served thirty years as Elder. His death occurred in 1847, at the age of sixty-eight. His wife died in 1833, at the age of sixty-three.
The childhood and youth of our subject were passed on his father's farm in a new country, where advantages of education were meagre. His primary education was received in the traditional log schoolhouse of pioneer times, after which he attended the High School in Rockville, Ind. At the age of nineteen, he entered upon the study of law in the office of Messrs. Howard & Wright, of Rockville, and was admitted to the Bar in August, 1843, being then only a few months past his majority. In December, following, he entered upon the practice of his profession in Sullivan, Ind., which he continued until the fall of 1845, when he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Indiana, which position he filled for two years.
In the spring of 1847, Judge Allen removed to Palestine, Crawford County, Ill., where he made his home for about twenty-nine consecutive years. An earnest Democrat in political faith, he was chosen to represent Crawford and Jasper Counties in the Lower House of the Illinois Legislature for the years of 1850 and 1851. In 1852, he was elected to Congress from the Seventh Congressional District of Illinois, and was re-elected in 1854. In 1858, he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives and served through the Thirty-fifth Congress. In 1860, he was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois, but was defeated by Richard Yates, the candidate of the then rising Republican party. The following year he was elected Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, which position he filled until the fall of 1862, when he was made Congressman-at-Large for the State. In 1861, Gov. Yates tendered him the command of the Twenty-First Illinois' Infantry, and the following year President Lincoln offered him the command of a brigade, but having no military taste or training, he declined both offers. In 1870, Judge Allen was chosen a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of Illinois, of which body he proved a valuable and useful member. In 1873, he was elected Judge of the Second Judicial Court, and in 1874 was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Appellate Bench for the Fourth District of Illinois, where he served until the spring of 1879, when e resumed the practice of his profession in Olney, to which place he had removed in that year. Soon after coming to Olney, Judge Allen formed a law partnership with Joseph Longenecker, then a rising young lawyer, now the famous Prosecuting Attorney for Chicago, which connection was continued until Mr. Longenecker removed to Chicago. In 1881, the existing partnership with Hon. Theodore A. Fritchey was formed.
Judge Allen has been twice married; first on the 22d of January, 1845, to Miss Ellen, the youngest daughter of Hon. Joseph Kitchell, by whom he had three children, all now deceased. Mrs. Allen died in May, 1852. On the 12th of June, 1856, in Palestine, Ill., the Judge married Miss Julia A. Kitchell, his present wife. She was born in Palestine, Ill., and is a daughter of James H. and Nancy (Gill) Kitchell. Seven children were born of the latter marriage, all of whom are living. Harry K., the eldest, is now Court Reporter, and resides in Olney. Fanny is the wife of John Ratcliff, Assistant Cashier of the First National Bank of Olney. The younger members are Carrie, James H., Fred W., William Y. and Maggie. James is employed by the St. Louis Transfer Company. Fred holds a position under the State Government at Springfield, Ill.; and William is engaged in farming near Olney.
Judge Allen and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church. In his political views, he has always been a stanch Democrat, and has done substantial service as a public speaker in support of his party, and also in conventions. During the late war, he was in perfect accord with the patriotic sentiments uttered by Stephen A. Douglas, the great leader of his party at the critical time of the breaking out of the war. That the Judge has won prominence in professional and political life is well indicated by the facts herein given. That he has deserved his constant promotion is shown by the fact that no sooner did he vacate one office, than he was called upon to fill another. He is known to many of the prominent men of the country, and is recognized as a gentleman of merit, possessing more than ordinary ability Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.234 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
Ellis W. ALLEY-grocer, was born in Franklin County, Ind, May 1, 1857, and is the second child of five born to Joseph W. and Emma (FOSTER) ALLEY, natives of Franklin County, and of Irish extraction. Joseph W. was educated and married in his native State and county, and there followed agricultural pursuits until 1868, when he removed to Denver Township, in this county. He bought a farm and resided there until his death, on December 29, 1875. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he belonged to the I.O.O.F. Ellis W. received a good common school education, and was employed on his father's farm until he was twenty-one years old. From 1878 until 1882, he was engaged in teaching during the winter, while he still worked on a farm in the summer season. As a teacher, Mr. ALLEY, succeeded admirably. On January 1, 1883, he opened a grocery store at Olney, Il and at present is doing a thriving business there. He is yet unmarried. In politics he is a Republican and is a very enterprising and much-esteemed young man of Olney. [Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887) - Submitted by Judy Edwards]
David H. ANDERSON -- farmer and stock-dealer, native of Decker Township, Richland Co., Il, was born on August 16, 1854,is the son of Issac and Jemima (BROWN) ANDERSON, and is of German extraction, and natives of Kentucky and Tennessee respectively. They came to Richland County almost half a century ago, and settled in Decker township, which was then one vast wilderness. Mr. ANDERSON has long been one of the prominent men of the Township and still resides there. Our subject attended the early schools of Decker Township during the winter,worked on the farm in the summer, and remained at home and assisted his father on the farm until majority, when he began life for himself.In October, of the centennial year, he was united in marriage to Ella, a daughter of Abner COMBS, and a native of Clermont County, Ohio. To this household has been born three children-Claude A., Roscoe K. and Myrtle. Immediately after the marriage, Mr. ANDERSON moved to his present place of residence two and one-half miles south of Noble. He is a Democrat, and his first Presidential vote was cast for Hancock. He has been a Clerk and Supervisor of Decker Township, and in 1880 he was made a Mason, and is now Master of the Noble Lodge, No.362. He is a leading citizen of the county and a thorough gentleman. [Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887) - Submitted by Judy Edwards]
N. B. ALLEN, M. D., was born November 8, 1852, in Owensboro, Ky., and is the son of N. B. Allen, Sr., also a native of Owensboro, and, since 1862, in the employ of the United States Government as gauger, in his native town. The subject of this sketch came to Olney in 1873, and commenced the study of medicine with Dr. E. Boyer ; in 1874-75 he attended his first course of lectures at the Medical College of Ohio; March, 1877, he came to Claremont, where he has since been actively engaged at his profession ; in the spring of 1878 he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa. He was married, September 1, 1874, to Cecelia, daughter of the Rev. W. E. Ravenscraft, of Olney ; two sons bless this union. The Doctor's mother was a niece of Gen. Joseph H. Daviess, who was a prominent lawyer of Owensboro, Ky. he was killed at the battle of Tippecanoe, in 1814. [Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887) - Submitted by Judy Edwards]
PHILIP SHERIDAN & ULYSSES GRANT ALCORN comprise the well-known firm of Alcorn Brothers, liverymen of Olney. Their parents are Col. W. E. and Mary J. Alcorn, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Philip was born January 21, 1867, and Misses G. was born on the 3d of January, 1869. The birth of both occurred in Noble, and their entire lives have been spent in Richland County. With their parents they came to Olney in 1880, and have since made their home in this city. The boys were both educated in the public schools of Noble and Olney, and were thus fitted for the duties of life. In his youth Grant learned the painter's trade. In 1890 Philip bought the livery stable and stock. belonging to the estate of W. C. Rickard, and has continued in business since that time. Two year later, in 1892, he associated with him his brother Grant, and the business has since been conducted under the firm name of Alcorn Brothers.
We now turn from the business to the private lives of these gentlemen. Philip Alcorn was united in marriage with Miss Anna Notstein, of OIney, and they have a pleasant home in this city. Ulysses Grant married Miss Etta Harris, a daughter of J. W. C. and Harriet (Jones) Harris. Both families have a wide acquaintance in this community, and their friends are many.
In their political affiliations the Alcorn brothers have followed in the footsteps of their father, and both vote the Republican ticket, but neither have been aspirants for public office. Socially, Philip is a member of the Odd Fellows' fraternity. They do a general livery business, and in connection with the same carry on feed and sale stables. Their barns are well equipped with everything in their Hue, including good horses and fine turnouts, and from the public they receive a liberal patronage, which is well deserved. From the beginning they have done a large business, and their earnest desire to please their customers has gained for them the confidence and good-will of all with whom they have been brought in contact.
Since the above was written, the death of Philip S. Alcorn occurred. He passed away at his home in Olney, on the 10th of May, 1893, deeply mourned by his many friends. Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.599 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
FRANK E. ALVORD, a prominent young farmer of Richland County, residing on section 34, Noble Township, was born in Clinton County, Ill., September 27, 1861. His father, Joshua N. Alvord, was born in New York, August 20, 1823, and acquired a good academic education. He studied law and was admitted to the Bar before attaining his majority. When a young man he emigrated to Michigan, and after a few years went to St. Louis, acting as superintendent of construction on the telegraph line along the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad from Cincinnati to St. Louis. He leased the line and operated it himself for several years, being an expert operator. Twelve years were spent in this way, but about 1860 he removed to Clinton County, Ill., where he purchased two hundred acres of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising. In 1865, he came to Richland County, locating in Decker Township. He purchased land, obtaining some from the Government, and at one time owned fourteen hundred acres in this county. In 1881, he removed to Missouri and from there to Texas. He now owns a ranch of ten thousand acres in Callahan County. He started out in life by teaching school, but has steadily worked his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence, his good business judgment and tact, combined with his industry and enterprise, having gained him a handsome fortune.
Mr. Alvord was married in Michigan to Louisa Hickok, of that State. They had four children: Helen, wife of Mr. Junkins, of Decker Township; Clara, deceased; and Albert and Henry, whom we will mention later on. In Clinton County the father was again married, this time to Jennie Leavenworth, of Vermont, who died leaving two children: Frank E., of this sketch; and Fred, of Texas. For his third wife, Mr. Alvord wedded Mary Junkins, by whom he has two daughters: Louisa, wife of R. D. Williams, of Texas; and Ella S.
Mr. Alvord served as Supervisor and as Commissioner and held other local offices. He has been a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church, and a life-long Democrat.
Albert Lewis Alvord, who was born in St. Louis January 6, 1853, went with his parents to Clinton County, and at the age of seven came to Richland County. In 1888, he traveled through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and bought four thousand sheep. After two years spent in Texas, he went to Kansas, returning to this county in 1891, since which time he has operated his farm of one hundred and thirty acres. He was married February 10, 1884, to Alvina, daughter of James L. Shields. They have four children: Ethel, Fred, Harold and Shields. In politics, A. L. Alvord is a supporter of the People's party, and belongs to the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.
Henry Alvord owns and operates six hundred acres of land, one-half of which was given him by his father, and he resides on section 34, Decker Township. He was born in Clinton County, December 21, 1859, and came to this county at the age of four. Like his brothers, he was educated in the district schools and remained with his parents until he had attained man's estate. On the 25th of September, 1885, he wedded Miss Eva B. Rawlings, daughter of Shadrach and Belle Rawlings, of Olney Township. They have three sons and a daughter: John R., Jay N., Clara M. and Jule H. Mr. Alvord has served two years as Highway Commissioner. In politics, he is a Democrat, and himself and wife are members of the United Brethren Church. The Alvord brothers are among the most prominent farmers of the county, and belong to one of its leading and representative families.
The boyhood days of Frank Alvord were spent in Decker Township herding cattle. At the age of twenty-four, he began working for himself. He went to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, spending four years in the West, and commencing his journeys in 1885. He has now been living on his present farm of three hundred and twenty acres five years. It is a fine place, containing an eighty-acre orchard and all the improvements and accessories of a model farm.
Mr. Alvord was married February 2, 1888, to Miss Eva Hedrick, one of the fair daughters of Decker Township. Their union has been blessed with a daughter, Ella Frances, born June 21, 1889. The subject of this sketch and his young wife are numbered among the leading citizens of this community, ranking high in social circles. She is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a supporter of the Democratic party, having cast his first vote for Grover Cleveland in 1884. Mr. Alvord is a man of good business ability, and is recognized as one of the successful and progressive agriculturists of the community. Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.393 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
FREDERICK AMETER, deceased, for forty-four years made his home in Richland County, devoting his energy to the cultivation of his farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 6, Olney Township. This place is pleasantly and conveniently located three miles west of the city of Olney. In the midst of the well-tilled fields are a good frame residence, barns and other outbuildings. There is also an orchard, together with all the other modern improvements and conveniences of a first-class farm.
Mr. Ameter was born on May 5, 1822, in the canton of Berne, Switzerland, and was the youngest in a family numbering three sons and three daughters, whose parents were William and Susan (Shafer) Ameter. The father was a farmer by occupation, and followed that business throughout his entire life. He died in his native land in 1826, when our subject was only four years of age. Frederick remained at home in the land of his nativity until about twenty-seven years of age, and worked as a cattle-herder for $5 per month. Hoping to better his financial condition, he at length bade adieu to friends and native land and in 1849 took passage on a Westward-bound sailing-vessel, accompanied by his mother and brother Christian. The latter, however, died two months later. The mother purchased a small farm of eighty acres on Grand Prairie, in Preston Township, Richland County, Ill., and there lived with her son until her death, which occurred in 1853. She was laid to rest in the German Reformed Cemetery.
On the 1st of January, 1851, Mr. Ameter was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda Balmer, who was also a native of Switzerland and attended the same school as her husband during her girlhood.
Seven children were born of this union, and in order of birth they were as follows: Frederick, who aids in the operation of the home farm; Jacob, who is a resident of Colorado; Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Betebenner, a prosperous farmer of Richland County; Caroline, deceased; Josephine, wife of John F. Glathart, a well-known and successful farmer of this county; John, who went to Alaska, where his death occurred when twenty-five years of age; and Clara, who is still under the parental roof.
The parents of this family were both members of the German Reformed Church and highly respected people, whose many excellencies of character gained them warm regard. In his political affiliations Mr. Ameter was a Republican. He served as School Director in his district, and held the office of Road Commissioner for the long period of twenty years, a fact which indicated his faithfulness and fidelity to duty. His fellow-townsmen and those who knew him speak of him as an honorable, upright man, straightforward in all his dealings. His life was well spent, and his example might be followed to advantage by many. He came to this country without capital, but had no occasion to regret his determination to try his fortune in the New World, for he here met with prosperity and gained a comfortable home and many friends. Mr. Ameter died at his home on the 24th of May, 1893, and his remains lie in the cemetery at Olney. Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.219 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
GEORGE W. ARMSEY, the efficient County Surveyor of Richland County, now a resident of Olney, is a native of West Virginia. He was born in Marion County, on the 5th of August, 1837, and was the eighth in a family of eleven children, five sons and six daughters. His father, George Armsey, was born in Maryland, of German ancestry, and was a farmer by occupation. When a boy, he left his native State and emigrated to Virginia, where he grew to manhood. On the 20th of March, 1823, he was married to Miss Sophia May, a native of Virginia, but of English descent. The family remained in that State until 1852, when they removed to Ohio, and four years later to Indiana.
In April, 1864, Mr. Armsey enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Indiana Infantry, and served nine months, when he was discharged on account of disability, his health having failed him. He was over sixty years of age when he entered the service. In 1865 they came to Illinois, settling in Richland County, where Mrs. Armsey died in May, 1866, and Mr. Armsey passed away in September, 1867. Both were interred in the German cemetery near Olney. Of their family only six are now living: Caroline, wife of Henry M. Ross, a farmer of West Virginia; Oliver, a farmer of Ohio; Sarah, widow of Thomas Holt, and a resident of Olney; Lucinda, wife of Vincent Slazor, who resides in Nebraska; George W.; and Eveline, who wedded John Shively, and lives in Chicago, Ill.
Our subject was reared to farm life, and remained at home assisting his father until his twenty-eighth year. In 1861, he entered the service of his country as a teamster of the Fifteen Indiana Infantry, and thus served until the spring of 1862, when, his time having expired, he re-enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Indiana Regiment, in which he served nine months. On the 18th of March, 1864, he joined Company E, One Hundred and Fifth-fourth Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He entered the service as a private, and rose to the rank of Orderly-Sergeant.
After the close of the war, Mr. Armsey came to Olney and engaged in carpenter work, a trade he had learned in Indiana, and which he has since followed. In December, 1868, he was united in marriage with Sarah J. Lanear, of Richland County, whose death occurred on the 8th of the following June. On the 30th of June, 1870, he married Mrs. Adams, widow of John Adams, whose maiden name was Loretta M. Banks, a native of West Virginia. This union has been blessed with a daughter, Clara Lottie, who was born October 2, 1871, and is now the wife of-J. R. Heinselman, a school teacher and farmer of Richland County. Mrs. Armsey had one son by her first marriage, Elmer E. Adams, who married Miss Jennie Cazel, of Olney, October 23, 1887, and is now a resident of Chicago. They have one child, Alva Lee.
Mrs. Armsey's parents were Andrew Edward and Barbara (Sager) Banks. The former was born at Greencastle, Lancaster County, Pa., June 6, 1815, and is of Irish descent, and the latter was born August 7, 1814, in Washington County, Md., and was of German origin, the family having been founded in America by her grandfather, Jacob Sager, who was born in Hesse, Germany, and served as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Banks were married in Maryland, and came to Illinois in 1864, settling in Richland County, where Mrs. Banks died March 8, 1881. They reared a family of four children, one son and three daughters, and all are yet living. Eliza Jane, is the widow of F. G. Brownell, and resides at La Fayette, Ind.; Loretta Minerva, who was a successful teacher, married John Adams, a native of Ohio, May 14, 1863, and after his death, which occurred April 7, 1868, became the wife of G. W. Armsey; Jasper Columbus lives in Olney; and Alice Vanloon is the wife of J. F. Clem, a farmer of Olney Township.
Mr. Armsey has worked at his trade much of his time, and, being a skillful workman, has attained success in that business. For some years past he has studied surveying, and has thoroughly fitted himself for the position to which he was elected in 1892. He is proving an efficient officer, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity. Mr. Armsey is a self-made man, for he began life for himself empty-handed, and his success is due to his industry, enterprise and well-directed efforts. He owns a beautiful country house and farm, comprising one hundred acres of rich land, pleasantly situated about half a mile southwest of the city limits, besides a neat and comfortable residence in Olney. His moral, upright life and sterling integrity have won for him the high esteem of a large circle of friends. Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.297 - Submitted by Judy Edwards