Genealogy Trails


Richland County, Illinois
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BARTLETT Y. WATKINS is successfully engaged in farming on section 18, Olney Township, Richland County. His farm is pleasantly located about four and one-half miles southwest of the city of Olney and comprises one hundred and four acres of rich land, under a high state of cultivation and well improved. The good buildings, the well-tilled fields and neat appearance of the place prove the owner to be a man of practical and progressive ideas. We feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers.
A native of North Carolina, Mr. Watkins was born on the 20th of July, 1842, and is the third in order of birth in a family of ten children, whose parents were James G. and Mary (Patterson) Watkins. Of the six sons and four daughters, three are now deceased. Those still living are Bartlett, who is the eldest surviving child; Elizabeth, wife of Elias Ridgely, a farmer of Indiana; La Fayette, who makes his home in Olney; James M., who is engaged in farming in this State; Margaret, who married G. E. Jones, a resident of Christian County, Ill.; William A., an agriculturist of this State; and Eben, who also makes his home in Christian County.
The father of this family was of Scotch and English extraction. He, too, was a native of North Carolina, born March 30, 1817. Upon a farm he was reared to manhood and after his marriage emigrated in 1838 to Tennessee, where he remained until the fall of 1852. At that time he came to Richland County, Ill., and purchased a farm, on which he spent the remainder of his life. His death occurred November 7, 1872, and he was laid to rest in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. His wife, who was born December 27, 1816, in North Carolina and was of German and Irish extraction, died in Decatur, Macon County, on the 28th of May, 1884.
Mr. Watkins whose name heads this record was a lad of only ten summers when he came with his parents to this County. Upon the home farm he remained and in the summer months aided in the labors of the field, while in the winter season he attended the public schools of the neighborhood, acquiring a good English education. When about nineteen years of age, however, he left the parental roof to enter the service of his country. Prompted by patriotic impulses, he enlisted November 27, 1861, and was assigned to Company E, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, in which he served for about one year. On the expiration of that period he received his discharge on account of physical disability.
Returning to the North, Mr. Watkins remained at home until he had arrived at mature years, when he rented land and began farming in his own interest. On the 22d of November, 1863, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Lawless, a native of the Buckeye State, born February 27, 1843. He brought his bride to his new home and now for thirty years they have traveled life's journey together. Twelve children came to bless their union, six sons and six daughters, but four have been called to the home beyond. Commodore, the eldest, is engaged in farming in Richland County; William F. follows the same pursuit in Clay County. The younger members of the family who are still under the parental roof are Edward, Jennie, Oliver, Otis A., and Laura and Lora (twins).
In his political belief Mr. Watkins is a Democrat, having supported that party for a number of years. He is straightforward and honorable in all his business dealings, and the sentiment of the Golden Rule has ever been a controlling influence in his life. He and his family are widely and favorably known in this community. The Watkins' household is the abode of hospitality and its members rank high in the circles of society in which they move.  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.208 - Submitted by Judy Edwards


DAVID WHEELER, who has been a resident of Richland County for thirty-seven years, now follows farming on section 6, Olney Township. He is one of the worthy citizens that Maryland has furnished to this community. He was born in Baltimore County on the 14th of November, 1837, and is the tenth in order of birth in a family of fifteen children, ten sons and five daughters. With one exception, all grew to mature years, and eleven of the number still survive. The parents were Wason and Anna (Samson) Wheeler. The former was born in Maryland in 1798, and grew to manhood upon a farm in that State. Having attained to mature years, he wedded Miss Samson, whose birth occurred December 1, 1803. Mr. Wheeler served in the Mexican War, and continued his farming operations in his native State for several years after his marriage, when he went to Richland County, Ohio. There he remained until 1853, when he came to Richland County, Ill., and purchased a tract of wild timberland. Upon the farm which he opened up he made his home until his death, January 8, 1877. His wife died on the old homestead in December, 1892.
Our subject was a babe of a year when the parents emigrated with their family to the Buckeye State. He then lived in Ohio until fifteen years of age, when he came to Richland County, Ill. No event of special importance occurred during the days of his boyhood and youth, which were quietly passed at home. On arriving at years of maturity, he commenced earning his own livelihood by working as a farm hand by the month. After one year thus passed, he abandoned the plow for the rifle, and, donning the blue, enlisted in Company B, Ninety-eighth Illinois Infantry, in July, 1862, for three-years service. He was wounded in the right cheek by a ball from a rebel gun, which broke his jaw and then came out of his ear. He did faithful service and participated in a number of engagements.
When the war was over, Mr. Wheeler was honorably discharged and returned to his home. Soon afterward he purchased forty acres of timber land on section 6, Olney Township, and, after clearing away the trees, plowed and planted it. In course of time the once undeveloped tract yielded to him abundant harvests. Since that time he has devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits, and now owns thirty-eight acres of good land three miles west of Olney, which are under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He also owns sixty-five acres of land in Noble Township, twenty-five of which are under cultivation.
On the 4th of November, 1866, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Wheeler and Miss Amanda Madden. The lady is a native of Ohio, her birth having occurred July 10, 1844. Unto them were born three children, but only one is now living. Willie C., the eldest, died in early childhood, and Bennie is also deceased. Olivia Edith, born February 16, 1880, is the only one now living. The mother died in Olney Township January 23, 1891, and was buried in Baline Cemetery. Mr. Wheeler is a member of the United Brethren Church, and in politics is a supporter of the Republican party. During the long years of his residence here his life has been so honorable and straightforward that he has won universal confidence and esteem, and has the regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.  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.222. Submitted by Judy Edwards


 


CHARLES LAUNER, one of the early settlers and representative farmers of Richland County, residing on section 17, in Olney Township, is of Swiss birth. He was born in Berne, Switzerland, on the 16th of June, 1837, and is the youngest in a family of eleven children, numbering seven sons and four daughters. The parents, Stephen and Catherine (Roth) Launer, were also natives of that country. The father was a tailor by trade, and followed that business in Switzerland until his death, which occurred in 1843, when our subject was a lad of six years.
Two years later, in 1845, Charles accompanied his mother and three brothers and two sisters to America, and the family made their way to Richland County, Ill., locating upon a farm of eighty acres in 1846. The elder brother died about a year later, after which the family was scattered, and our subject went to live on a farm with a man by the name of Weiss. Since that early day he has made his own way in the world. He worked by the month until 1859, when, with the capital which he had secured as the result of his industry and economy, he bought forty acres of land where he now lives, and began the development of a farm, devoting his energies to its improvement until 1861.
In June of that year, Mr. Launer offered his services to his adopted country, and joined the boys in blue of Company A, Benton Cadet Infantry, in which he served three months. He then joined the Sixty-third Illinois, and was in the service until January, 1865. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Ft. Derucy, but after a couple of weeks was released. He was never wounded but had several narrow escapes. On one occasion a part of his coat was shot off by a cannon ball. After receiving an honorable discharge he returned to Richland County and resumed farming.
On the 23d of February, 1865, Mr. Launer was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Glathart, who was born October 23, 1843, in Carroll County, Ohio, and is a daughter of John and Catherine (Voncannel) Glathart. Her parents were both natives of Switzerland. Crossing the broad Atlantic they settled in Ohio in 1829, and in 1845 came to Illinois, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father died in October, 1866, and the mother was called to her final rest in January, 1872. Eight children were born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Launer, a son and even daughters, but two died in early childhood. Emma C. is the wife of David Shaw, a farmer of Macon County, Ill.; Alice M. is the wife of George Kinkade, an agriculturist of this county; Carrie V. and Lulu are both popular and successful school teachers; Stella M. and June G. are still under the parental roof.
The Republican party finds in Mr. Launer one of its loyal and stanch advocates. He cast his first Presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, and has voted for each nominee for the office since that time. He has served as School Director for several years and is now serving his second term as Commissioner of Highways, the duties of which position he has discharged with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. Socially, he is a member of Eli Bowyer Post No. 92, G. A. R, and himself and family are members of the Christian Church. The Launer home is a pleasant one, situated on a farm of one hundred acres of valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved with all the accessories of a model farm. In connection with general farming, Mr. Launer is also extensively engaged in sheep-raising. His property represents his own efforts, as the advantages of his youth were very megre, but he has made the most of his opportunities through life, and a comfortable competence has rewarded his industry.  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.227 - Submitted by Judy Edwards


GEORGE HEINDSELMAN, one of the honored pioneers of Richland County, is engaged in farming on section 6, Olney Township. His entire life has been passed in this locality, for he was born about four miles south of his present place of residence, on the 18th of February, 1841. His parents, Caleb and Catherine (Drayler) Heindselman, came from Germany, and in the Fatherland were married. In 1830 they bade adieu to their old home and crossed the briny deep, locating first upon a farm in Ohio. After coming to this country the family circle was increased by the birth of seven children, George being the seventh in order of birth.
In 1840, Caleb Heindselman came with his family to Richland County, Ill., and entered land near the city of Calhoun, where he and his wife spent their remaining days. His death occurred in 1875, at the age of seventy-five years, and his wife died in 1876, having reached the age of four-score years. They were both buried in a German cemetery, where a beautiful monument marks their last resting-place. Only four of their children are now living: Catherine, now the wife of Jacob Slychemyer, a farmer of this county; Caleb, who follows the same pursuit; Margaret, wife of H. C. Black, an agriculturist of Richland County; and George, of this sketch. .
Our subject remained at home with his parents until he attained to man's estate, and at an early age began following the plow. From his boyhood he has been familiar with farm labor. In August, 1862, however, occurred a change in his program. At that date he offered his services to the Government and enlisted in Company G, Ninety-eighth Illinois Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He was very fortunate, in that he was never wounded or taken prisoner, yet he participated in a number of hotly contested battles, including the engagements at Chickamauga, Hartsville and Selma.
At the close of the war, having been honorably discharged, Mr. Heindselman returned to his home, and engaged in farming with his father for about a year, he then purchased forty acres of timberland and hewed down the trees in order to build a log cabin. The work of opening up a farm he continued until the entire tract was under cultivation. He has added to the original purchase until he now owns one hundred and eighty-four acres of good land, which yields to him a golden tribute. In addition to his beautiful country home, there are good barns and other necessary outbuildings and all of the modern improvements and equipments found upon a model farm.
On the 2d of January, 1868, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Heindselman and Sophia Klopenstein. The lady was born February 2, 1850, in Gallia, Ohio, and has become the mother of eight children, four sons and four daughters, but two of the daughters died in infancy. Those still living are: William Tell, who aids in the operation of the home farm; John R., who follows agricultural pursuits during the summer months, and engages in teaching school during the winter season; Lillie C., wife of James Kimmell, a merchant of Calhoun, Ill.; Homer C., who is now attending the Olney High School; George and Flora, who are still at home. The children have all been provided with good educational privileges.
Mr. Heindselman votes with the Republican party. He has never sought political preferment, in fact has steadily refused public office. He never slights his duties of citizenship, however, and is a public-spirited and progressive man, who does all in his power to promote the best interest of the community in which he makes his home. He is straightforward and honorable in all his business dealings, and his word is as good as his bond.  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.232 - Submitted by Judy Edwards


BENJAMIN F. HEAP is a well-known farmer and one of the native sons of Richland County. He was born January 26, 1847, in Olney Township, and is now living on section 23, where he carries on general farming. His parents were Isaiah and Rachel (Powell)Heap. His father was a native of Guernsey County, Ohio, and was reared upon a farm in the Buckeye State. When a young man he came to Richland County, entered land from the Government and then married. From that time until his death, he engaged in agricultural pursuits, with the exception of about a year, which he spent in the service of his country, as a member of Company E, Sixth Illinois Cavalry. He was one of the honored pioneers of the community, and a prominent and influential citizen. He died April 27, 1881, respected by all who knew him. Mrs. Heap, who is also a native of Ohio, and is of German extraction, is still living on the old home farm. In the family were eleven children, four sons and seven daughters, of whom our subject is the eldest.
Benjamin F. Heap remained upon the old farm until eighteen years of age, and during the winter season attended the district schools, acquiring a good education. On the 28th of March, 1865, although only eighteen years of age, he became one of the boys in blue, enlisting at the same time that his father joined the service, both becoming members of Company E Sixth Illinois Cavalry.
About a year previous he had left school and offered his services, but was rejected on account of his age. He was mustered out after the close of the war, receiving his discharge November 25, 1865. After he, returned home, Mr. Heap was ill for about a year as the result of his army experience. When he had sufficiently recovered his health he began working s a farm hand by the month. A year later he rented land and embarked in business for himself. He now owns an eighty-acre farm three and a-half miles south of Olney, and in addition to its cultivation devotes much of his time to the manufacture of brooms, which industry yields him a good income.
On the 6th of March, 1870, Mr. Heap was united in marriage with Miss Mary D. Wilson, who was born March 29, 1847, in Guernsey County, Ohio, but was then living in Coles County, Ill. Three children grace their union, as follows: Carrie, who was born April 22, 1871; Mark O., March 8, 1874; and Charles L., September 27, 1876. They are still at home with their parents. The family is one that is widely and favorably known in this locality. In politics, Mr. Heap is a Republican, and socially is a member of Ed Kitchell Post No. 662, G. A. R. He is a public-spirited and progressive man, faithful in the discharge of every public duty, and true to every private trust.
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.240 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



JOHN DONOVAN PARKER, deceased, was born in Mason County, Ky., December 7, 1815, and died in Parkersburgh, Ill., May 9, 1883. His parents were James and Susan (Donovan) Parker. The family removed from Kentucky to Illinois in the fall of 1818, and became pioneer settlers of Lawrence, now Richland, County. There were then but three families on the present site of Parkersburgh, and besides a small settlement at Calhoun, there were probably no other residents in the county at that time. James Parker bought a squatter's claim, and upon that farm made his home until his death in 1868, at the age of eighty-nine years. When the family came, a tribe of Indians were encamped on Sugar Creek, but after a few months they removed to a reservation further westward. The nearest gristmill to the Parker home was eighteen .miles distant, and the nearest store was at Albion, sixteen miles away. The settlers depended largely upon game for their food. For a number of years Mr. Parker made annual trips to New Orleans, building flatboats at Mt. Carmel, which he loaded with corn and floated to market down the river. On the return trip, which was made on foot, he would bring dry goods and other supplies.
John D. Parker, whose name heads this sketch, attended a private school in Albion and thus acquired his education. He succeeded to the ownership of his father's farm of two hundred acres, which he carried on until his death. He also dealt in live stock and was a successful business man. For many years he kept a tavern, and the business is still carried on by his widow. His hospitality was extended to all, the penniless as well as the affluent, and his house was a popular resort in the days when all traveling was done by team or on horseback.
On the 13th of September, 1838, Mr. Parker married Miss Eliza J. Woods, a daughter of Andrew and Cassandra Woods, of Richland County. She was born in Kentucky, near the mouth of Licking River. They became the parents of eleven children: George W., of Arnold, Neb.; Mrs. Mary Cassandra Jenners; Susanna, wife of F. Althouse, of Chicago; Jarnes A., deceased; Eliza J., wife of A. Althouse; John G., of Harper City, Kan.; Clara C., wife of E. S. Whittaker; Charles W., of Mt. Erie, Ill.; Edgar R., of Springfield, Mo.; Arthur M. and Ulysses G.
About 1860, Mr. Parker planted the village of Parkersburgh. He was always prominently identified with the history of this county, and did much toward its growth and upbuilding. In politics he was formerly a Whig, but later was a Democrat. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity and held membership with the Methodist Church. He was a kind and affectionate husband and father, was very seldom from home, and always kept his children near him until his death. He was very charitable and free-hearted, a friend to the poor and needy, and an upright and respected citizen, and no man in Richland County had fewer enemies.
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.241 - submitted by Judy Edwards


JAMES A. OSBORN, manager of the Parkersburgh Mill, in which he also owns an interest, is one of the leading citizens of this community. His life record is as follows: He was born on the 4th of March, 1849, near Lancaster, Ill., and is a son of Daniel Osborn. His father was a native of Virginia, and came with his parents to Illinois about 1825, the family locating in Lawrence County. Daniel was united in marriage with Nancy Thompson. In Lawrence County, he erected one of the first gristmills there built, and carried on business in that line for a number of years. He now resides on a farm near Lancaster.
The subject of this sketch spent the greater part of his boyhood days upon a farm and in the common schools, where the most of his education was acquired. For three months, however, he was a student in an academy at. Friendsville, Ill. At the age of twenty-two years, he began working at the milling trade, and three months later he took charge of one of the largest mills in southern Illinois. This was located at Friendsville. Since that lime he has operated and managed mills at
various places.
On the 27th of February, 1871, was celebrated the marriage of James Osborn and Mary French, a daughter of Newton and Sarah French. Her parents were pioneer settlers of Lawrence County. Unto our subject and his wife have been born three children, a son and two daughters, namely: Rosa, now the wife of A. L. Seibert; Nora and Charles M. The family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of Death, and the two younger children are still under the parental roof. The Osborn household is the abode of hospitality and its members rank high in social circles.
In political sentiment, Mr. Osborn is a Democrat, but has never been an aspirant for public office, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. It was in 1890 that he purchased an interest in the Parkersburgh Flouring Mill, of which he has since had charge and he has proved himself an able manager. He thoroughly understands the business in all its details and has therefore controlled affairs successfully. Since becoming connected with the mill, he has enlarged it and put in the new roller process. The present capacity is fifty barrel of flour per day. This finds a ready sale in the surrounding markets and the owners of the Parkersburgh Mill are enjoying a flourishing trade. Mr. Osborn is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, and is widely and favorably known in this 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.252 - Submitted by Judy Edwards


VALENTINE PFLUM, who devotes his energies to farming on section 5, Olney Township, is one of the representative citizens and honored pioneers of Richland County, born in Baden, Germany, February 12, 1829. He is a son of Peter and Barbara (Sharp) Pflum. The father as a German farmer and remained in his native land until 1854, when he crossed the broad Atlantic and took up his residence in Meigs County, Ohio, where his death occurred in 1872, at the age of seventy-one years. His wife survived him sometime, and departed this life in West Virginia, in 1886, when eighty-two years of age.
In the usual manner of farmer lads, our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth. He remained with his parents until twenty-five years of age, when he determined to seek home and fortune in the New World, of whose advantages and privileges he had heard such favorable accounts. It was on the 12th of March, 1854, that he took passage on a Westward-bound vessel, which after a voyage of twenty-eight days dropped anchor in the harbor of New York.
Ere leaving his native land, Mr. Pflum was married, Miss Elizabeth Hartman becoming his wife. A family of eight children has been born of this union. Peter, who was born in Germany, is the eldest, and was only about a year old when his parents crossed the Atlantic; John is a farmer of Noble Township, Richland County, and operates a steam-thresher; George is also engaged in farming in this county; Valentine follows agricultural pursuits; Adam is engaged in the same business; Henry is at home; Elizabeth is the wife of John Snippert, a farmer of this county; and Mary is the wife of Case Bassett, also a farmer. The children all own their own farms, and, like their parents, are well-known and highly respected citizens of the community.
For some years after coming to the United States, Mr. Pflum made his home in Ohio, where he carried on farming. In 1874 he came to Richland County with his family and settled in Noble Township, where he resided until 1888, when he purchased the farm upon which he now lives. It is one of the best improved places in the township. It has upon it a comfortable residence, good barns and other outbuildings and a five-acre orchard.
Mr. Pflum exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, but has never been an aspirant for the honors or emoluments of public office. He is a member of the German Evangelical Church of Olney, and is a man whose sterling worth and strict integrity have gained for him many friends. Whatever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts, and the competence which he now possesses is but the just reward of his labors. The day on which he sailed for America was a fortunate one for him, for he has met with prosperity in his new home.  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.252 - Submitted by Judy Edwards


JOSEPH FRY, who is now engaged in fruit growing on section 18, Olney Township, Richland County, claims Ohio as the State of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Mt. Vernon on the 25th of June, 1820. He is the youngest in a family of nine children, numbering seven sons and two daughters, but all are now deceased with the exception of our subject and his brother Jacob, who is now engaged in fanning in Wisconsin.
The parents of this family were Michael and Elizabeth (Reese) Fry. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, and was a farmer by occupation. In an early day he left the Keystone State and went to Ohio, from where he afterwards emigrated to Richland County, ll., in 1838. Here he afterwards entered land from the Government, being one of the pioneers of this locality, and upon the farm which he improved spent his remaining days. His death occurred at the age of seventy-seven. His wife, who was also born in Pennsylvania, was called to the home beyond at the age of seventy-six years, while living in Edwards County.
We now take up the personal history of Joseph Fry, who is widely and favorably known to the citizens of this community. The greater part of his youthful days was spent in Ohio, and in its public schools he acquired a limited education. At the age of seventeen he bade adieu to his native State and started on the Westward journey to Illinois with his parents. Under the parental roof he remained until he had attained his majority, and to his father he gave the benefit of his services, for from an early age he worked in the fields, thus becoming familiar with all the details of farm life. Having arrived at years of maturity, he started out for himself and began working as a farm hand by the month, in which capacity he was employed for several years. In this way, as the result of his labors, good management and economy, he obtained some money, which he invested in forty acres of land. This was the nucleus of his farm.
In 1844 Mr. Fry led to the marriage altar Miss Nancy Kaner, who resided in Edwards County, Ill. Eleven children have been born to the union of this worthy couple, six sons and five daughters, but death has broken the family circle and only six are now living. Edith I., the eldest, is the wife of Rev. William Rowley, a Methodist minister of Colorado; Sarah E. is the wife of Thomas Shaw, who follows farming in Clay County, Ill.; R. T. is now serving as Postmaster in the city of Olney; James A. is a well-known farmer of Clay County; Nettie comes next; and Lena is the wife of John Glathart, a farmer of Olney Township.
For many years Mr. Fry successfully engaged in farming, but in 1892 he sold his farm and put his money out at interest. At this writing he is superintendent of the fruit farm owned by his son. He is an honored pioneer of the county and worthy of representation in its history. In his political views he is a Republican, and though he manifests an interest in politics, as all true American citizens should do, he has never been an aspirant for office, in fact has steadily refused to serve in public positions. For fifty-five years he was a member of the Christian Church, but is at present a member of the New Light Church, and is now serving as Deacon. He takes a great interest in all religious work, and is assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school. He has long been an earnest laborer in the Master's vineyard and in his declining years he can look back over a well-spent life of faithful service.  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.253 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



FREDERICK E. SCHONERT, a practical and progressive farmer residing on section 20, Olney Township, has for many years made his home in Richland County, and is numbered among its leading and influential citizens. Of German birth, he first opened his eyes to the light of day in Saxony, Germany, December 24, 1834. His parents, Godford and Catherine (Shellhorn) Schonert, were both natives of the Fatherland. The former was a German farmer. They became the parents of seven children, six sons and a daughter, one of whom died in the Old Country before the death of the mother, which also occurred in the land of her birth. In 1851 Mr. Schonert bade adieu to his old home, and with his children sailed for America. He took up his residence in Olney Township, Richland County, where he made his home until his death, which occurred two years later, at the age of sixty. The children still living are Christopher, a retired farmer of this county; Frederick E., our subject; and Christian, who follows farming in Wabash County, Ill.
Mr. Schonert whose name heads this record spent the first sixteen years of his life in Germany , and then accompanied his father on the voyage across the Atlantic, which was made in a sailing vessel that dropped anchor in the harbor of New York after ten weeks spent upon the water. Before coming to America, he had learned the tailor's trade, at which he worked for six months after reaching Richland County. Being obliged to abandon it on account of his health, he then went to live with a farmer, with whom he remained until he had attained to man's estate. In compensation for his services, his employer then gave him forty acres of land and a horse. For about a year after attaining his majority, he worked as a farm hand by the month and was then married.
It was on the 27th of November, 1856, that Mr. Schonert was united in marriage with Miss Fredericke G. Membell, who was born in Saxony, Germany, January 19, 1839. Her parents, Andrew and Cathrine Membell, were also natives of that country, and emigrated to America on the same ship in which our subject sailed. After reaching Richland County, Mr. Membell entered the farm upon which Mr. Schonert now resides, and with his wife there lived until called to the home beyond. His death occurred November 25, 1855, and Mrs. Membell passed away November 27, 1867. Their remains were interred side by side in the German cemetery. Seven children, four sons and three daughters, grace the union of our subject and his wife. Catherine, born May 20, 1858, is the wife of H. H. Jones, a farmer of this county; Mary, born July 24, 1860, is the wife of Conrad Kurtz, who follows the same pursuit in Richland County; the next child died in infancy; Sarah, born April 13, 1865, married John W. Gallagher, also a farmer; Charles, born November 5, 1867; Eli G., born July 25, 1870, and Harry Ed ward, born October 3, 1873, are still at home. The children have been provided with good school privileges and are thus fitted for the practical duties of life.
Mr. and Mrs. Schonert began their domestic life upon the farm and he now owns two hundred and twenty acres of rich and valuable land situated four and a-half miles southwest of Olney. There is a neat residence and a good barn upon the place and other modern improvements. Mr. Schonert has led a busy and useful life yet has found time to faithfully discharge his duties of citizenship. He served for three terms as School Director and is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. Socially, he is connected with Olney Lodge, Independent Order of Mutual Aid. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and his wife holds membership with the German Lutheran Church. An honorable, upright man, he has the respect of all with whom business and social relations have brought him in contact. 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.256 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



HON. GIDEON D SLANKER, a farmer and insurance agent of Olney, has been a resident of Illinois since 1855, and has made his home in this city since 1864. He owns a tine farm of one hundred and eighteen acres, of which eighteen acres he within the corporation limits of Olney and are the site of his residence. Mr. Slanker claims Ohio as the State of his nativity. He was born in Easton, Wayne County, September 26, 1836, and is a son of David and Matilda (Eisher) Slanker. His parents were natives of Berks County, Pa., and came of old families of German origin. They removed to Ohio in 1833, and spent the remainder of their lives in the Buckeye State.
Our subject obtained his education in the common schools and was reared to manhood in the usual manner of farmer lads, no event of special importance occurring during his youth. Leaving his native State, he went to Altoona, Knox County, ?., where he served as a merchant's clerk until July, 1862, when he left that place and went South. In the fall of 1863 he became a resident of Lawrence County, and the autumn of 1864 witnessed his arrival in Olney, where he has since made his home. For three years he was here employed as a salesman in a store, but since 1868 he has engaged in the insurance business, and in addition he now carries on farming.
Mr. Slanker was married in Bridgeport, Ill., June 2, 1864, to Miss Augusta Klein want, a daughter of Gustavus Kleinwant and a native of Albion, Edwards County, Ill. Unto them were born two children, a son and daughter, but Charles, the elder, died October 30, 1887, at the age of twenty-two years and two months. The daughter, Florence L., resides at home. The parents and Miss Florence are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Their home is the abode of hospitality and in social circles they rank high.
Mr. Slanker is connected with the various Masonic bodies of Olney, being a member of Olney Lodge No. 140, A. F. & A. M.; Richland Chapter No. 38, R. A. M.; Gorin Commandery No. 14, K. T.; Olney Council No. 55; the Scottish Rite; and the Mystic Shrine, of which he s Past Potentate. It will be seen that Mr. Slanker has gained a high rank in Masonic fraternities, and he is well and widely known among his brethren of the order. He takes considerable interest in political affairs and votes with the Republican party. He has held the office of Mayor, and in 1890 was elected to the Legislature as a member of the Thirty-seventh General Assembly, representing the Forty-fourth District, including Richland, Clay, Wayne and Edwards Counties. He served on a number of important committees, including the Committees on Insurance, Work-houses, Canals, River Transportation, State and Municipal Indebtedness and the Executive Department. In all public offices which he has been called upon to fill, Mr. Slanker has discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity, which have won him the commendation of all concerned. He is not only a leader in Republican circles in this community, but in other ways is a man of prominence and influence. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, and has the high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.  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.261 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



REUBEN HAMILTON, who for many years has been engaged in farming on section 17, Denver Township, is one of the worthy citizens that Indiana has furnished Richland County. He was born in Gibson County, of the Hoosier State, February 15, 1830. His father, Asa Hamilton, was a native of Virginia, and during his boyhood emigrated to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood on a farm. His father was a wealthy tobacco-raiser and slave-holder. A brother of Asa served as Clerk of the Court in Boone County for forty years. In that county Mr. Hamilton was married, and after a few years his wife died, leaving three children. He later removed to Gibson County, Ind., where he wedded Miss Margaret Mills, a native of Gibson County. In 1831 they came to Illinois, locating on the Fox River in Richland County. Their last days were spent on the Wabash River in Clay County. Mr. Hamilton was a great hunter and sportsman, and for this reason enjoyed his home on the frontier. His second wife died in this county and he was afterwards again married. His death occurred at the age of seventy-two. He was a Whig in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity and a genuine pioneer. Nancy, the sister of our subject, died in Clay County; and Empson, his brother, died in infancy. There was also a child by the third marriage, Jesse, who lives in Indiana.
Reuben Hamilton's earliest remembrance is of the log cabin on Fox River. Almost his entire life has been spent in this locality. At the age of eighteen he began working as a farm hand in this neighborhood and since that time has made his own way in the world. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey, he chose Mrs. Orpha Jane (Evans) McDade, who was born and reared in this county. Their union was celebrated in 1848, and about two years after their marriage they located upon the farm which has since been their home. The land was covered with brush and timber, and so wild was the region that deer were frequently seen near the house. Mr. Hamilton built a log cabin and began the improvement of his place. He entered some land from the Government, for which he paid in coon skins. He now owns eighty acres of arable land and a good home, and is successfully engaged in general farming.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were born three children. Allen and Isaac were twins. The former married Eliza Bacon and died leaving three children. The latter wedded Eliza Rexroat and is a prosperous farmer of Denver Township. Melinda died at the age of five years.
For many years Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton have been members of the Christian Church, and are prominent in their support of all worthy interests. Our subject cast his first Presidential vote for James Buchanan and supported the Democratic party until 1892, when he deposited a ballot for Gen. Weaver. The gentleman of whom we write is one of Richland County's honored pioneers. Almost his entire life has been passed here, covering a period of more than sixty years. He has witnessed the entire growth and development of the county, has seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, its towns and villages spring into existence, and in the work of progress and development he has borne his part. His history is identified with that of the county, and in its advancement he feels a just pride.
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.267 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



JOHN F. GOODART, who owns and operates one hundred and forty-seven acres of land on sections 26 and 35, was born in Wabash County, Ill., near Friendsville, January 4, 1842, and is the only child of Gotlieb and Mary (Oman) Goodart, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father of our subject was a weaver by trade. In 1832 he crossed the Atlantic to America in a sailing-vessel. It took three months to make the voyage, and before they reached their destination the provisions were all consumed. At length they landed in Philadelphia. Mr. Goodart first located near Zanesville, Ohio. He was a poor boy, without money or friends, and was dependent upon his own exertions for a livelihood. He first provided for his own maintenance by working on a canal.
In 1839 Mr. Goodart left Ohio, and went to Wabash County, Ind., where he worked in a castor oil factory for a number of years. In 1842 he removed to Marion County, and spent about a .year near Salem. Going to Hancock County, Ill., he located near the present site of Hamilton, where he engaged in farming until the autumn of 1848, when he came to Richland County, and located in Noble Township. Here he entered eighty acres of Government land on section 26, paying the regular price of $1.25 per acre, and after the erection of a log cabin, 16x20 feet, began the development of a farm. In that home he lived until his death, which occurred September 5, 1866. He was laid to rest in Elaine Cemetery in Richland County, where a monument has been erected to his memory. He had been reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, but after coming to this country joined the Christian Church, to which his wife also belonged. In politics, he was a Republican. Mrs. Goodart died January 31, 1878.
Our subject was a lad of six summers when with his parents he came to Richland County in 1848. He was reared to manhood upon the farm which is still his home, and in the summer months he aided in the labors of the field, while in the winter seasons he acquired an education in the district schools. He attended the first school taught in this district. The building was a log structure and was furnished with split-log seats. At the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Goodart left the home where his boyhood and youth had been passed to enter the service of his country, and became a member of Company B, Ninety-eighth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. D. D. Marquis. He was mustered in at Centralia, and going to the front, participated in the battle of Hoover's Gap, where he was wounded in the left thigh by a shell from the enemy's guns. He was first taken to the field hospital, but on the succeeding day was sent to the hospital in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where his wound, a very serious one, confined him from June 24, 1863, until February 25, 1865. On that date he received an honorable discharge from the service.
Mr. Goodart then returned to his home in Noble Township. His father died the following year and he then took charge of the farm, which he has since owned and operated. He now has one hundred and forty-seven acres of land, which is under a high state of cultivation, and he also raises a good grade of stock. On the 20th of April, 1865, Mr. Goodart was united in marriage with Miss Jane Wheeler, a daughter of Wasson and Annie Wheeler. Nine children were born of their union, but four are now deceased, namely: Sarah, the eldest, and Oscar, Mary and Sidney, who were the fourth, fifth and sixth in order of birth. Those still living are Annie, Ira, Nora, Roy and Bessie.
As every true American citizen should do, Mr. Goodart takes quite an active interest in political affairs and keeps well informed on the issues of the day. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, but has never been an aspirant for the honors of public office. Socially, he is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and is a member of the Christian Church. Almost his entire life has been spent in Richland County, and as one of its early settlers, he has witnessed much of its growth and development. During the forty-five years of his residence here he gained a large circle of friends and acquaintances and for his sterling worth is held in high regard.  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.267- Submitted by Judy Edwards


S. H. HAWKINS, a well-known farmer whose home is on section 5, Decker Township, Richland County, is a native of the Hoosier State. The place of his birth is in Gibson County, and the date of that event 1825. His father, Henry Hawkins, was born in Tennessee and after his marriage to Martha Hill removed to Union County, Ind., where in the midst of the forest he developed a good farm. Both he and his wife passed away many years ago. In religious belief he was a Cumberland Presbyterian and took great interest in church work. He exercised his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party. The Hawkins family comprised the following children: James J., a farmer of Missouri; Thomas, of St. Joseph, Mo.; Margaret, deceased; S. H., of this sketch; David, who died in Missouri; Clara, wife of William Montgomery, of Decker Township; Eliza E., whose home is in Union County, Ind.; and William Berry, deceased.
Swinging the axe and cradle, attending the subscription schools, and enjoying the pleasures which are found on the frontier, Mr. Hawkins of this sketch spent his boyhood. At the age of eighteen years he began working as a farm hand in the neighborhood, and when twenty-four years of age he bought land and began fanning in the county of his nativity, where he made his home until his removal to Illinois. Ere leaving he was united in marriage with Margaret Montgomery, who died in Indiana, leaving five children, Jane, John, Samuel, David and Martha, all of Decker Township. For his second wife Mr. Hawkins wedded Mrs. Ansor, and after her death he was married in November, 1888, to Mrs. Van Matre, daughter of John and Gertrude (Lewis) Hazelton. She was born in Ohio, and removed to Clay County, Ill., with her parents, who there spent the remainder of their lives. In that county Miss Hazelton became the wife of Mr. Van Matre, and unto them was born a daughter, Jennie May, wife of Jake Patterson, of Clay County. Her first husband was killed in the army. He served for three years in the Ninety-eighth Illinois Infantry and lost his life at the battle of Selma, where so many of the company were killed.
Mr. Hawkins and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church, contribute liberally to its support, and in all possible ways aid in its upbuilding. He takes an active interest in the cause of education and has done much for the advancement of schools. He cast his first Presidential vote for Lewis Cass and has since been a warm advocate of Democracy. Throughout his entire life he has followed the occupation of farming, and now owns an excellent farm, although it is a small one of only forty acres. It formerly comprised two hundred acres, but he has generously given the remainder to his children. His life has been a busy one and the success which crowns untiring and well-directed efforts has come to him in the shape of a competence, which now provides him with the comforts of life.   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.267 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



WILLIAM R. WAXLER is the owner of one of the finest farms of Richland County. It is situated on section 21, Madison Township, and comprises three hundred and forty-four acres of the best land on Sugar Creek Prairie. Almost the entire amount is under cultivation and he rich and fertile fields give evidence of the Industry and intelligence of the owner. His present fine residence, one of the best country homes in the county, was built in 1891. Upon the farm are also good barns and outbuildings, well-kept fences, the latest improved machinery and all the accessories of a model farm. Mr. Waxier devotes the greater part of his time to stock-raising, making a specialty of the breeding of Shorthorn cattle and Merino sheep. He is a man of excellent business ability, and in the line to which he devotes his energies he has won a well merited success.
Our subject was born near Chandlersville, Ohio, February 19, 1844, and is a son of Jacob A. Waxier. His parents were both natives of Muskingum County, Ohio, and of German descent. The father was a carpenter by trade. He died in Zanesville, Ohio, August 15, 1861. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Tabitha Ayers, died April 7, 1857. They had a family of three children, the eldest of whom is William. John C. is now a grain-dealer of Oriska, S. Dak.; and Anna B. is the wife of L. B. Bacon, of Chrisman, Ill.
On the death of his mother, which occurred when he was a lad of twelve years, our subject left home and began life as a shepherd boy. After his father's death he became the guardian and support of his brother and sister. When the war broke out he was anxious to aid his country, and on the 11th of November, 1861, enlisted in Company A, Seventy-eighth Ohio Infantry. After his first term had expired he re-enlisted under Capt. David C. Fowler, of Company F, One Hundred ad Sixtieth Ohio National Guards, and served one hundred days. He afterward became a member of Company B, Thirty -second Ohio Infantry, and remained in the service until his final discharge, May 11, 1865. The first battle in which he participated was at Ft. Donelson. This was followed by the engagements at Ft. Henry, Pittsburg Landing, the Shenandoah Valley campaign, and the battles of Monroe Junction and Martinsburg. After his last enlistment he was stationed at Columbus. Ohio.
When the war was over Mr. Waxier resumed fanning in Muskingum County, Ohio. He was in the employ of one man between the ages of fourteen and twenty-two, with the exception of the time spent in the army. In the spring of 1868, he came to Richland County and settled in Madison Township, renting a farm until he was able to purchase.
Mr. Waxier was married June 7, 1866, to Amarilla, daughter of Jesse Hendershott, of Norwich, Ohio. Four children have been born unto them: Fred, Nellie, Harry and Frank. In politics, Mr. Waxier is a Republican, and in religious belief is a Methodist. To his own industry and good management is the success of his life due. He started out empty-handed but has steadily worked his way upward to a position of affluence. 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.270 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



CHRISTOPHER FRANKLIN is the owner of a good farm of two hundred and forty acres in Preston Township, Richland County. The tract of valuable land is now under a high state of cultivation and well improved. The owner carries on general farming and stock-raising, and is recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of this community. Born in Lincolnshire. England, November 5, 1824, he is a son of William and Betsy Franklin, who had a family of six children, namely: Elizabeth, James (deceased), William, George, Christopher and Jane. Our subject received quite limited educational privileges, but his training at farm labor was not so meagre. He remained with his parents until twenty years of age, and then began working as a farm hand by the month in his native land. It was in 1849 that he determined to seek his fortune in America, and, taking passage on a sailing-vessel, he landed in New York City after a voyage of six weeks and three days. He did not tarry long in the Eastern metropolis, but went at once to Middletown, N. J., where for about two years he worked at whatever honorable pursuit would furnish him a livelihood. At the expiration of that period, he established a brick and tile factory, which he operated until 1854. That year witnessed his removal to Clinton County, Ohio, where he engaged in farming for a year. He then again devoted his energies to the manufacture of brick and tile, and followed that pursuit in the Buckeye State until 1859, when he came to Jasper County, Ill. After renting land in Fox Township for a year, he purchased land in Preston Township, Richland County, a part of his farm, and has since resided thereon. Mr. Franklin was twice married. In 1845 he was married to Miss Mary Peasgood, and unto them were born four children, but James, the second child, is the only one now living. William, the eldest, is deceased, and two died in infancy. The mother was called to her final rest in 1850, and in 1852 Mr. Franklin was again married, his second union being with Miss Sarah Westle, by whom he has one child, John.
In his political affiliations, our subject is a Democrat. He takes quite an active interest in political affairs, and keeps well informed on the issues of the day. He has been called upon to serve both as Road Commissioner and School Director. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, who takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community. He is a self-made man, and for his success in life deserves no little credit, as he started out to make his own way in the world empty-handed. The obstacles and difficulties in his path have been overcome by a determined will and great energy, and his possessions stand as a monument to his enterprise. His hopes of obtaining a good home in the New World have been realized, and he feels no regret on account of the step taken for his removal to the New World when a young man of twenty-five years.  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.275 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



EDWIN HEDRICK, who resides on section 15, Decker Township, is one of the extensive land-owners and one of the pioneer settlers of Richland County, dating his arrival from 1843. A half-century has passed since then, in which time he has been prominently identified with the history of the county, aiding in its upbuilding, and bearing his part in its development. His life record is as follows: He was born on the banks of Rough Creek, Ohio County, Ky., January 23, 1830, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Lucas) Hedrick, the former a native of Ohio, and the latter of South Carolina. During childhood, they both removed to Kentucky, where they were married. In 1841, they came to Illinois, locating on the farm which is now the home of our subject. Mr. Hedrick was one of Nature's noblemen, and was a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He entered a half-section of unimproved land in Decker Township, and carried on a country store, but he was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring in 1845, at the age of forty-nine. His wife survived him some years, and was called to her final rest in 1876. Their two eldest children, Harrison L. and Bettie Ann, are deceased; Edwin is the next younger; Mason, a soldier of the late war, is a minister of the Presbyterian Church ill Effingham County; Mrs. Susan Ramsey died in this county; Sarah Emily died in Kentucky; Francis died at the age of twelve years; and Amanda is living in Shelby County, Ill.
Edwin Hedrick was thirteen years of age when he came to Illinois. He was early inured to hard labor, for after the death of his father the management of the farm and the cares of the family fell largely upon his young shoulders, but the duties attendant thereon he faithfully discharged. At length he attained to man's estate, and on the 22d of June, 1857, was married to Miss Mary Ann Adamson, a native of Kentucky, and an early settler of this county. They have seven children: Elvira, wife of Jo Gallagher, of Decker Township; Francis Marion, a wealthy farmer and trader of Texas; Samuel A., also a prosperous agriculturist; Eva McClellan, wife of Frank Alvord; Mattie E., wife of Charles Henry; Emma at home; and Eddie R., a student in the State University of Bloomington, Ind., who will graduate from the law department in June, 1893. The children were all provided with good educational privileges, and are intelligent, respected citizens of the various communities in which they reside.
Mr. Hedrick is a leader of the Democratic party in this locality, and of its principles he is a stanch advocate. He was one of the founders of the Union Presbyterian Church, and gives liberally to church and missionary work, and to every enterprise calculated to uplift humanity. The poor and needy find in him a friend, and from his hospitable home none are turned away empty-handed. For thirty-five 3 years he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity. The business interests which occupy his attention are those of farming and stock-raising. He began with one hundred and twenty acres of wild and unimproved land, but his possessions now aggregate six hundred acres. For thirty-six years our subject has engaged in dealing in stock. Straightforward and honorable in all his business relations, he has won universal confidence and gained a handsome property, which places him among the wealthy citizens of the county. His possessions stand as a monument to his well-directed efforts.  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.276 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



CHRISTIAN KISTNER, who follows general farming on section 35, Preston Township, is one of the worthy citizens that Germany has furnished to Richland County. He was born in that country on the 5th of April, 1829, and is one of a family of nine children, whose parents, Joseph and Mary (Weidner) Kistner, were also born in the Fatherland. In order of birth, his brothers and sisters are as follows: Valentin, Philip, Adam, Celia, Lizzie, Annie and Henry J.
No event of special importance occurred during the childhood days of our subject, which were quietly passed upon his father's farm. He acquired a good business education in the public schools and remained under the parental roof until he had reached the age of twenty-one years. Having arrived at man's estate, he began to plan for his future life, and determined to seek a home in the New World. Bidding good-bye to friends and Fatherland, he took passage on a sailing-vessel, which after a voyage of seven weeks dropped anchor in the harbor of New Orleans, and he landed in the Crescent City. This was in 1851. Mr. Kistner made his way northward to Winterberg, Ind., and there began working on a farm by the month. He was thus employed for five years, and in 1856 came to Illinois, first locating in Clay County, where he made his home until 1871.
During that time Mr. Kistner was married. It was on the 7th of April, 1858, that he was united in marriage with Miss Mary, daughter of Paine and Barbara Gumble. Seven children were born unto them, as follows; Philip, now deceased; Edward, who follows farming in Jasper County; Adam, a farmer of Preston Township; Caroline, deceased; Henry, who aids in the operation of the home farm; Annie, wife of Wallace Zerkel; and Andrew, deceased. The mother of this family died in 1875, and her remains were interred in the Catholic Cemetery of Singleton. Mr. Kistner married his present wife in 1875. She was Mrs. Margaret Wagener, widow of Jacob Wagener, and a daughter of John and Catherine Binkoffer.
On leaving Clay County in 1871, Mr. Kistner took up his residence near St. Morris, Jasper County, where he lived until 1874. On the expiration of that period he came to Preston Township, and has since resided upon the farm which is now his home. It comprises one hundred and fifteen acres of land and is a well-improved and valuable tract. The owner carries on general farming and stock raising and in his business career he has met with good success, gaining a comfortable competence. He has led a busy and useful life, yet has found time to devote to public interests. He always bears his part in the support of those enterprises calculated to promote the general welfare. In politics, he has always been a supporter of the Democratic party, and by that party was elected to the office of Road Supervisor. He holds membership with the Catholic Church. 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.276 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



JAMES GALLAGHER, a successful farmer residing on section 2, Decker Township, Richland County, is numbered among the early settlers of this locality, and with its history his life record is inseparably connected. He has here shared all the trials and hardships of frontier life, and during the forty-one years which have passed since he became a resident of this community, he has ever borne his part in its upbuilding and advancement.
Our subject was born in County West Meath, Ireland, July 25, 1827, and is a son of James Gallagher, who spent his entire life in that region. The children of the family were Patrick and Joseph, both of whom died in this county; Mary, of Philadelphia, Pa.; James, of this sketch; John; Michael, a farmer in Richland County; Elizabeth, who died in Ohio; and Marcella, wife of John Hughes, who owns the farm adjoining that of our subject.
Mr. Gallagher had very limited educational advantages in his youth. He remained on the Emerald Isle until he had attained his majority, when, wishing to try his fortune in the New World, he sailed from Dublin to Liverpool and from there to New Orleans, where he arrived after a voyage of eight weeks. He was the first of the family to cross the briny deep. Going up the river to Cincinnati, he worked as a farm hand for a year and a-half near that city. He then drove a team in Hillsdale, Ohio, for six months, after which he went to Evansville, and spent the succeeding year in driving spikes for the Evansville & Terra Haute Railroad. It was in 1852 that he purchased eighty acres of land, a part of his present homestead. This he divided with his brother, but since locating thereon in 1854 he has gradually extended his possessions as his financial resources increased until he now owns one hundred and seventy-eight acres of valuable land. There were many hardships to be met, many difficulties to be overcome, but he steadily toiled on and he now has a handsome property.
In 1856, Mr. Gallagher married Saralda Garret, a native of Kentucky. Her parents were pioneers of this county and still live with their daughter. Unto them have been born the following children: Masella, wife of John Burton, a merchant of Bon pas Township; John, who is engaged in farming on section 12, Decker Township; Levi, a successful agriculturist of Indiana; Michael and Henry, who follow farming in Decker Township; Jo, James and Marion at home.
The Democratic party finds in Mr. Gallagher a stanch supporter, he having supported its nominees since casting his first Presidential vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. He has served as Township Commissioner for six years, proving a capable and efficient officer. The community recognizes in him a valued citizen and an honored pioneer. He has seen the wild lands of the county transformed into good homes and farms, its hamlets grow into thriving towns, and the work of civilization and progress carried forward until the country of today bears little resemblance to that of forty years ago.  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.277 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



WILLIAM W. SPARR, deceased, was born in Monroe County, W. Va., January 26, 1825, and was of German descent. His father. G. W. Sparr, was a native of Virginia and married Sarah Wickline, by whom he had five children. Our subject was born and reared on his father's farm, and in the public schools he acquired a good business education. With his parents he remained until twenty years of age, when he began to earn his own livelihood by working as a farm hand. After a short time, however, he secured employment in a gristmill and to that work devoted his energies for a number of years. He became a carpenter and millwright by trade.
In 1847, Mr. Sparr emigrated to Ohio, where he made his home for the fifteen succeeding years. It was in 1862 that he came to Illinois and took up his residence in Noble Township, Richland County, purchasing the farm now occupied by his family. It comprised one hundred and ten acres and he at once began its development and improvement. Within the boundaries of the farm there are now three hundred and ten acres of highly cultivated and valuable land.
On the 10th of November, 1850, Mr. Sparr was united in marriage with Miss Eliza J. Adams, who was born near Wheeling, W. Va., February 25, 1831, and is a daughter of Martin and Phoebe (Taylor) Adams. Her father was born in Virginia and was of German descent. In the Adams family there were twelve children. There were fifteen children born unto our subject and his wife, namely: Lizzie M. and Olivia J., both deceased; George, Phoebe, Martin A., Arthur W., Seward (deceased), Robert N.. John C., Sarah, Mary A., Lillie J. and Luella M., both deceased, and two who died in infancy. The family is a prominent one in this locality and its members rank high in social circles. Mr. Sparr always took an active interest in political affairs and kept himself well informed on the issues of the day. However, he never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of public office. He voted with the Republican party and did all in his power to upbuild it and insure its success. With the Methodist Episcopal Church he held membership. He was an industrious and enterprising man, and the comfortable properly which he left to his family had all been acquired through his own well-directed efforts. In the community where he lived he was held in high regard, for he was a man of sterling worth and possessed many excellencies of character. His death occurred May 17, 1884, and his remains were interred in Wesley Cemetery, in Denver Township. In his death the community lost one of its best and most highly-respected citizens.
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.286 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



JOHN M. OAKES, one of the enterprising and well-to-do farmers of German Township, Richland County, residing on section 14, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Stark County, on the 14th of March, 1840. His father, Paulus Oakes, was a native of Germany , and bidding good-bye to the Fatherland crossed the broad ocean to the United States with his parents when a youth of sixteen years. He became one of the early settlers of Stark County, and there met and married Elizabeth Renier, a native of Germany , who came to this country when a maiden of fourteen. After his marriage, Mr. Oakes located upon a farm which he hewed out in the midst of the forest, and upon the old homestead he is still living, a hale and hearty old gentleman of eighty years. He lost his wife about 1870. The family of that worthy couple numbered eight children, five sons and three daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood.
The subject of this sketch is the eldest child. No event of special importance occurred during his youth, which was quietly passed on the old homestead farm and in attendance at the district schools, where he acquired a good English education. He remained at home until after he had arrived at man's estate, and then to earn his livelihood began working as a farm hand in the neighborhood. He was thus employed for about five years. In 1871, he secured as a companion and helpmate on life's journey Miss Rosina Weiler, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Ignatius Weiler. Their union was celebrated in Stark County, and they began their domestic life upon a farm belonging to his father. The year 1872 witnessed their arrival in Richland County, where Mr. Oakes purchased a farm of one hundred acres in German Township. Upon it was a house and barn, and it was otherwise improved. After eighteen years he added to this another tract of sixty-five acres, and now owns one hundred and sixty-five acres of rich land, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has set out a good orchard upon it, rebuilt the barn and built a granary.
In January, 1884, Mrs. Oakes was called to her final home. Six children were born of that union: Mary, Amelia, Lawrence (who died October 28, 1892, at the age of seventeen years), Matilda, Alois and Siloina. In this county, on the 9th of May, 1885, Mr. Oakes was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary, daughter of Andrew Halm, a pioneer settler of Richland County. They had one child, who died at the age of three months.
Mr. Oakes and his family are all members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Since the years of his manhood, he has won by his labor, enterprise and well-directed efforts a handsome competence that places him among the substantial citizens of this locality. In politics, he is a stalwart Democrat, and with one exception has supported each Presidential nominee of the party since casting his first vote for Gen. George B. McClellan in 1864. He was elected Commissioner of Highways in August, 1881, and served in that office for twelve consecutive years, being the present incumbent. His long-continued service well indicates his faithfulness and fidelity to duty, traits which have characterized his entire life in all of its relations, whether public or private.
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.287 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



JOHN N. HORNER, senior member of the firm of Homer Brothers' Elevator Company, of Olney, President of the Olney Bank and President of the Olney Paving Brick and Tile Company, is one of Olney's most enterprising and successful business men. He was born in Gettysburg, Darke County, Ohio, March 4, 1841, and is the eldest son of George W. and Sarah (Reck) Horner. His parents were also natives of the Buckeye State, and his grandparents on both sides were from Pennsylvania.
John N. Horner was reared and educated in his native town, and in April, 1864, enlisted in the late war for the Union as a member of Company C, One Hundred and Fifty-second Ohio Infantry, for one hundred days' service. He was with his regiment in active service in the Shenandoah Valley during the hot campaign of 1864. The regiment was guarding Gen. Hunter's army supply trains, and in discharge of that duty was involved in several sharp skirmishes. Mr. Horner served for nearly five months, and was mustered out in August following his enlistment. On his return from the army, he was engaged in teaching school in Ohio for a time, and later engaged in merchandising in his native town and in the grain trade in company with his brothers David and George W.
In September, 1868, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Rush, a daughter of Harmon H. Rush, who is now living in Olney at the age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Horner is a native of Ohio. By .the union of our subject and his wife have been born two children, sons: John J., born November 5, 1878; and Paul Linn, April 8, 1885.
In April, 1872, Mr. Horner came to Olney, Richland County, Ill., and engaged in the grain trade. The year following he was joined by his brother David, and a year later by another brother, George W. These two, with himself, comprised the firm of Horner Brothers. In 1876 they erected the elevator which bears their name, and which they have since operated. This elevator is the most complete in its appointments of any in southern Illinois. It was built at a cost of $10,000, and has a storage capacity of seventy-five thousand bushels, being the largest in Olney. The Horner Brothers are extensive dealers in grain, and for several years, while crops were the best, their annual shipments reached as high as one thousand carloads, or about seven hundred and eighty-three thousand bushels, largely wheat. At the present time the amount shipped ranges from five hundred to six hundred carloads annually.
In February, 1882, in company with Henry Spring and others, Mr. Horner was instrumental in founding the Olney National Bank, now the private bank of Olney, of which he is President. It is one of the leading financial institutions in Richland County, and does a good business. In 1891 Mr. Horner organized the Olney Paving Brick and Tile Company, of which he has since been President. This is one of the important industries of the city. From twenty-five to thirty men are employed, and the output of the works amounts to three million bricks and tile. His brother David is interested with him in this enterprise. Their products have won favor among the people, and the demand has increased until it has been determined to enlarge the capacity of the works the coining season. This company not only manufactures, but takes extensive contracts for laying, brick, and they ship large quantities of brick and tile to neighboring counties.
Mr. Horner is a member of Eli Bowyer Post No. 92, G. A. R. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church. In politics, he is a Republican, and is serving his third year as Alderman from the First Ward. In municipal affairs he is active and influential.
On the 17th of January, 1887, George W. Horner died, since which time his widow represents the estate of her husband in the firm of Horner Brothers. The Homer Brothers have been in business together almost continually since reaching manhood, and have always worked together in harmony and with fair success. They have always been known as upright and enterprising business men, public-spirited, and as such cheerfully supporting necessary public improvements, educational and religious interests. Their business enterprises have been such as to benefit the community wherein they reside, as well as themselves, and have been of importance, not only to the city of Olney, but to Richland County.  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.288 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



ROBERT S. TEDFORD is a well-known farmer of Preston Township, Richland County, living on section 29. The record of his life is as follows: He was born on the 14th of February, 1847, in Brent County, Tenn., and is a son of Robert and Rebecca (McClery) Tedford, who were also natives of the same State. The family is of Irish extraction. In 1853, when our subject was six years of age, the parents left their home in the South and took up their residence in Crawford County, Ill. Of their ten children, Elizabeth, Ann, Hannah, Nancy and Alexander are now deceased. Those still living are Margaret, Sarah, Elizabeth, Robert S. and John.
The days of his boyhood and youth Robert S. Tedford spent almost entirely in Crawford County, where he was early inured to the labors of farm life. Although he attended school to a limited extent, he is mostly self educated, having acquired a good practical knowledge through experience, reading and observation. Under the parental roof he remained until twenty-two years of age, when he began life for himself in Crawford County as a farmer. In 1869, he chose a companion and helpmate on life's journey, Miss Mary Duncan becoming his wife, but after a short married life of ten years, she died in 1879. Her remains were interred in the Duncanville Cemetery, of Crawford County. Three children, a son and two daughters, Laura, Anna and Robert, were born of their union, and are all yet living. In 1880, Mr. Tedford was united in marriage with Mrs. Orpha Cravins, widow of Harry Cravins and a daughter of John and Catherine (Alvis) Breedlove. Their union has been blessed by three children, Effie, Luther and Ernest. Mrs. Tedford was born in Gibson County, Ind., and came to Jasper County, Ill., with her parents when four years of age. Her parents were both natives of the Hoosier State.
It was in 1880 that Mr. Tedford became a resident of Richland County. He purchased one hundred and seventy-two acres of land on section 29, Preston Township, and locating thereon has since made the place his home. He carries on general farming and stock-raising. His land is a valuable tract and the rich and fertile fields and the many improvements upon the place indicate that the owner is a man of practical and progressive ideas. He possesses good business and executive ability and therefore has won prosperity.
Mr. Tedford votes with the Republican party, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' Lodge and also belongs to the Presbyterian Church. Although his residence in this community has been comparatively short, he has nevertheless formed a wide acquaintance, and those who know him speak of him as a straightforward, honorable man and a valued citizen.
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.291 - Submitted by Judy Edwards



A. V. JOHNSON, who follows farming on section 14, Decker County, has the honor of being one of Richland County's native citizens and one of her pioneers. He was born December 28, 1832, in Madison Township, and few there are whose birth occurred in this locality that have so long here resided. His father, Moses Johnson, was a native of Virginia, and from Kentucky came to Illinois at an early day. He married Sarah Mason, who was born in the Keystone State and came with her parents to Parkersburgh, Ill. Mr. Johnson was a farmer and stock-raiser. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and died in 1850. His wife survived him many years, passing away in 1885, at the age of seventy-nine. There were eight children in the family, but only two are now living: A. V. and Moses, who makes his home in Olney.
The subject of this sketch moved into the neighborhood which is still his home when quite a young lad. There were very few houses upon the prairies and one could ride for miles without a settlement to intercept his progress. He has borne all the experiences and hardships of pioneer life, and has been an eye-witness of almost the entire development of the county. His educational privileges were quite limited. He attended the subscription schools, which were held in a log building with slab seats and other primitive furniture. His father died when he was fifteen years of age, and our subject remained with his mother, aiding her in the development and care of the home farm until his marriage.
In 1856 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Mary Jane Rawlins, one of Richland County's fair daughters, whose parents came from Ohio to Illinois in an early day. Unto them were born four children: Sarah M., now the wife of Jasper Henry, an agriculturist of Decker Township; Addie, who keeps house for her father; Jennie, wife of John Holmes, who is engaged in farming in Decker Township; and Andrew L., at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson began their domestic life upon the old home farm, and to its cultivation and improvement he has since devoted his energies. He has also engaged in stock-dealing to some extent and has met with excellent success in that branch of his business. He started with only eighty acres, but as his financial resources have increased, he has made additional purchases from time to time until his landed possessions now aggregate twelve hundred acres. He started out in life empty-handed, and to his own efforts is due his prosperity. He has labored earnestly for success, has overcome the difficulties in his path by a determined will and enterprise, and the handsome competence which he now has is certainly well merited, being the reward of honest industry.
In 1890 Mr. Johnson was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 9th of November in the faith of the Methodist Church, of which she was a consistent member. Besides her family she left many warm friends to mourn her loss, for she was a most estimable lady. Mr. Johnson also holds membership with the church at Union Chapel. He takes an active part in religious work and the moral upbuilding of the community, and has given liberally of his means in support of every enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit. He cast his first Presidential vote for James Buchanan, and has since been a stanch Democrat. He faithfully filled the office of Supervisor for six years, but has never sought public preferment. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic lodge of Noble, and is accounted one of the wealthy and most highly respected citizens of Richland County. 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.292 - Submitted by Judy Edwards

 



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