From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 556-557, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Mrs. Minerva Hinman was born near her present farm home, January
2, 1832. Her father was Ralph Alexander, and her mother, Elizabeth
Fields. She was born in Indiana, and he in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1808.
Elizabeth Fields was left an orphan at eight years, was reared by a Mr.
Scott, of Indiana, who gave her a good schooling for that period. She
was married in Indiana, at sixteen years of age, to Ralph Alexander,
when he was twenty-six. He was a tanner and currier by trade, and
followed that business until they came West to Brown county, in 1829.
They came as other emigrants did, and made their first stop in this
neighborhood, at the home of Ezekiel Rosses, who had come here about
six months earlier. The two families dwelt in this one log house during
that memorable winter of deep snow, and it was not a large cabin,
either. With his good span of horses, Mr. Alexander helped Mr. Rosses
harvest his first crop of grain and hay. He took a half section of land
close by, to which they moved in the spring of 1830, and lived in the
rough log cabin on the place. It was in this mansion that our subject
first saw the light. Eight years later they moved into the two-story
hewn-log house, and in this very good dwelling the father died, in
1846. He died a comparatively young man, leaving his wife, who survived
him some thirty years, and died in Kansas, aged seventy. She was the
mother of twelve children, many of whom have also passed away. The
living ones are: Thomas M., a ranchman in Arizona, now seventy-one
years old, who killed two mountain lions at this age; Milton H., living
at Versailles, Illinois; Mrs. Hinman; James, now in Arizona, and the
youngest of the family; John P., pastor of the Baptist Church at
Mrs. Hinman was married in this county, in 1851, to Gideon
Hinman, who was a widower with three sons. They have had eight
children: Clara, Otis, Ralph and Hester have died. The living are:
Minerva J. Withrow, of Cooperstown; Nellie Swenson, wife of a farmer at
Mound Station; Abraham Lincoln, the unfortunate son, crippled and
nervous from infancy from whooping cough. He is very bright in some
things, especially in figures. He cannot express himself. Elizabeth is
the next child, and is known as Dolly, a young lady at home, who
graduated at the Rushville Normal College, being the valedictorian. Two
of the sons of Mr. Hinman's first marriage are still living, large
farmers and stock dealers.
Mr. Hinman left his wife this fine estate of 160 acres of rich
farm land with good buildings, well stocked. She has made a success of
conducting it, pays taxes like her male neighbors, even if she cannot
vote. She believes in a rotation of crops and clover. She grows from
forty to sixty acres of corn, yielding from fifty to sixty bushels per
acre, and feeds the most of it to hogs, of which she sells from fifty
to sixty-five per year. She has colts, and about thirty head of cattle
raised on the farm. The farm is in a finer condition than ever before.
Mr. Hinman came here about 1840. He was a school teacher, and he
soon settled on eighty acres south of Cooperstown, and two years later
he entered 160 acres. He started with no means at all, but by his
industry he accumulated a large property. He was in ill health some
time before his death, and Mrs. Hinman had the experience that has
proved so valuable to her in the management of the farm.