Samuel Decounter
Biography

From: Biographical  Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892, by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; page 311-12; a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Samuel De Counter, one of the largest land-owners in Woodstock Township, was born in Brown County, Illinois, October 4, 1827, a son of Peter Frederick and Nancy Scounts De Counter.  They were married in 1824, near Bonn’s Lick, Missouri.  The father was a native of France, and emigrated to the United States in 1820; five year later he came to Brown County, and the following year brought his family here; he bought land which he converted into a fertile farm, residing upon it until his death at the age of eighty-four years; his wife also died in the county, at an advanced age, she was a Virginian by birth.  Two children were born to them: a daughter, now deceased, and the subject of this sketch.  Samuel remained at home until he was twelve years old, and then his father married Mary Manser, who died ten years later.
  Samuel engaged in driving a peddling wagon until he was twenty-five, and then began his career as a farmer.  He has been twice married; his first union was to Miss Catharine Miller, a native of Summit county, Ohio; she died in Brown county at the age of thirty-one years, leaving three children.  Frederick is married and the father of five children; Morris L. is married and has seven children; Emma is married and the mother of seven children.  Mr. De Counter was married a second time in 1860, to Mrs. Harriet Stubbs, who was born in Floyd county, May 17, 1826, and was the mother of two children.  Her parents, William and Jane (Gailey) Clark, father a native of Kentucky and the mother of Pennsylvania, emigrated to Illinois in 1852, and died in this State at an advanced age; they have ten children, two of whom are now living.  By his second marriage Mr. De Counter had one daughter, who died at the age of twenty-one years, leaving one boy, Clarence Southey.
  Politically, he adheres to the principles of the Democratic party, but takes no active interest in the movements of that body.  He has been one of the most energetic and enterprising of farmers, and has amassed a handsome estate.  He has always pursued strictly honorable methods, and has an enviable reputation wherever his name is known.

From: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Illustrated 1908, edited by Newton Bateman, LL. D. and Paul Selby, A. M., Volume II, Schuyler County”, edited by Howard F. Dyson, pages 811-812, a Reprinted by Stevens Publishing Company, Astoria, Illinois 61501, 1970, is sold by the Schulyer County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  De Counter, Samuel - A lifelong resident of the locality which is still his home, and still in the days of his prime, one of the most vigorous, successful and useful characters of Schuyler County, was born in Ripley (once part of Woodstock) Township, Schuyler County, Ill. {now Brown County}, October 4, 1827.  He is a son of Peter Frederick and Nancy De Counter, natives of France.  His father was a soldier in the Napoleonic wars, and was with Bonaparte when the great Emperor was captured.  Having effected his escape, the subject of this sketch immediately came to the United States, landing at New Orleans.  After teaching school there for a while he went to St. Louis, and then to Boone’s Lick, Mo., where about the year 1823 he was married to Nancy Sconts, a lady of Scotch-German descent.  In the spring of 1827, they came to Illinois, settling in Schuyler County, in the southeast quarter of Section 33, Woodstock Township.  Peter F. De Counter cleared and cultivated a well conducted farm in moderate extent, on which he remained until the time of his death, in 1855, his wife having passed away in 1833.  They were the parents of two children, Jeanetta and Samuel.  The former married Jonas Albert, by whom she had three children, as follows: William Albert, Ida and Samuel Albert.  William A. is now a resident of Kansas, living in Smoking Valley.  Ida first married Alpheus Eddy, and after his death, Jonas Albert, by whom she had one child, Sherman Dalgreen, now living at Los Angeles, Cal., both of his parents being deceased, the death of the mother having occurred in 1884.  Samuel Albert has been for twenty years lost to the family, no tidings of him having been received during that period.
  In early youth, Samuel De Counter had an opportunity of attending school about three months only.  He left home when he was little more than twelve years of age, his father having married a second time.  When quite a young man, he had some experience in riding race horses, and from that drifted into teaming.  About the year 1850 he turned his attention to farming in the vicinity of his birthplace, and in 1860, bought eighty acres of land in Section 27, Woodstock Township, four acres of which had been cleared.  A log cabin with a wide fireplace stood in the opening, and applied himself to the arduous task of clearing the ground of timber and brush, and making a comfortable home and productive farm.  In this effort he achieved a signal success.  Under  careful and sagacious management, all his undertakings were attended by profitable results.  To his original 80-acre purchase he made additions amounting to 958 acres, and the home farm now comprises 1038 acres, of which 668 acres are in Camden Township.  His career has been one of the most prosperous ever known in Schuyler County.  Beginning without the advantages of even ordinary schooling and destitute of financial resources, he gained his education through keen observation and by availing himself of every opportunity of self-instruction, and this, together with energy, perseverance, thrift and integrity, is the foundation of his present handsome competency.  Naturally possessed of a strong mind and sound judgment, he became a leader in connection with the agricultural interests of the county, and for many years was conspicuous in all enterprises pertaining to its progress and development.  In the period of his activity, he was always a man of genial disposition, of jovial bearing and kindly impulses, and never declined to relieve the needs of anyone approaching him in distress.
  Mr. De Counter has been twice married, his first marriage taking place in 1850, when Catherine Miller became his wife.  Three children were the issue of this union, namely: Frederick S., Maurice and Emma.  Frederick first married a lady named Shull, and after her death, was wedded to a Miss Ronery, residing in Camden Township, Schuyler County, who is now deceased.  He was the father seven children by this marriage, as follows: one who died in infancy; Harriet, Anna, Dorothy and Brice, all deceased; Peter F. and Clarence of California.  Frederick De Counter departed this life in 1895.  Maurice De Counter married Minnie Houser, and by her had seven children, namely: Dotty and Mary, both of whom died at the age of twenty years; Nettie, who died in 1905; Samuel, deceased; Susan, Lella and Lon.  Maurice De Counter died January, 1901, and his widow is a resident of Camden Township.  Emma, the third child of Samuel De Counter’s first marriage, became the wife of Nelson Riding, a farmer in Camden Township, and they had eight children, namely: Laura, Samuel, Katie and Daisey (deceased), Clifford, Logan, Raleigh, and Guy.  Catherine (Miller) De Counter, first wife of the subject of this sketch, passed away in 1854, and Mr. De Counter subsequently wedded Harriet Stubbs, who died, much lamented, November 7, 1906.  She was a faithful and devoted companion and a constant helpmeet of her husband for half a century, and much if his success is attributed to her invaluable assistance.  Her union with Mr. De Counter resulted in one child, Catherine, who died at the age of nineteen years.  The later became the wife of George Luthey, and was the mother of one child, Clarence.
  Politically, Samuel De Counter has been an adherent of the Democratic party throughout his mature life, but has never entertained any ambition for official distinction.  On numerous occasions he has been solicited by appreciative friends to become a candidate for public office, but has steadfastly declined, preferring to devote his whole attention to his extensive personal interests, and to promoting the welfare of the community by his earnest endeavors as a private citizen.  He is profoundly respected by all classes in the locality where his career has spanned a period of four-score years.

 
1861 Militia Roll


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