William H. Fagen
William H. Fagen, the gentleman whose name is at the head of this sketch, is the editor and proprietor of the Stewardson Clipper, and is a man of recognized intellectual and literary ability, besides having a keen business instinct and tact, that have done much to build up a reputation for his organ in the town. Mr. Fagen is versatile in his turn of mind, having been engaged successfully in several different kinds of business. He is of Irish ancestry and is noted among his confreres for the wit and geniality common to the Irish race. The original of this sketch was born in Shelby County, near the county seat, April 24, 1861. He is a son of Michael and Margaret (Sherlock) Fagen, both natives of Ireland, who came to the United States in early life, meeting and marrying in Shelby County. He of whom we write was born on a farm but was reared in Shelbyville, where he received his education. When about seventeen he entered the office of the Shelbyville Democrat, filling the humble position of office boy, or what is commonly known in the printing fraternity, as "printers' devil." He remained in this office for six years during which time he was advanced to the position of foreman of the office. He then engaged in a restaurant and grocery business at Shelbyville, where he clerked in a store. In 1887, he came to Stewardson and founded the Clipper, a five column quarto sheet, published weekly, and devoted to the interests, both social and commercial, of Stewardson and vicinity. The paper is neutral in politics.
Our subject's mother died at Shelbyville, October 2, 1888. The father still resides at Shelbyville. The family was composed of five children, who are Mary, John, Andrew, and Michael, besides our subject. Mary is now the wife of David Burkhart. They are all residents of Shelby County. Mr. Fagen has eschewed the estate of a benedict, never having married, therefore his biographical sketch is not so lengthy as is that of many of our subjects whose careers are chronicled in this Record, because their history is largely that of the domestic life. Doubtless he of whom we write has had his romance, few, if any there are, who have lived past years of maturity, who have not. The original of our sketch is a Roman Catholic in his religious belief and training, being a devout member and generous supporter of the same. For one year he held the position as Marshal of the village of Stewardson, and discharged the duties of the position to the satisfaction of all concerned.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John W. Falk
John W. Falk fills multifarious offices of usefulness at Herborn, Shelby County, being its merchant, Postmaster, express agent, freight agent and carrying on a fine business in the manufacture of tile. His business ability and thorough going, progressive character, are giving a push to this young town, which will tell upon its future. Mr. Falk was born in Germany, September 7, 1856, his parents being John and Anna (Franke) Falk. The family came to the United States in 1858 when our subject was scarcely two years old. Their first home was in Chicago, but they did not tarry there many years, as they thought best to devote themselves to agricultural pursuits. Accordingly they sought out some of the rich but unbroken prairie soil where they might make their home and by industry gain the wealth which was hidden under its surface. The father was not a man of means and felt that in order to secure for his children the best advantages of this new world he must place them where they might rise more readily than in a great city. Shelby County was chosen as the home of the family and here the father purchased forty acres of land. He was hampered in his work by poor health, but still by earnest endeavor and industry coupled with economy he became the owner of two hundred and forty acres of land and placed upon it excellent improvements. His death occurred in 1877 when he was fifty years old. He was an earnest and devout member of the Lutheran Church in which his wife was in sympathy with him. The worthy widow still survives and is making her home in Shelby County on the old homestead.
Five of the children of John and Anna Falk grew to man's and woman's estate. These were Joseph; Dora, wife of William Rozene; Elizabeth, wife of John Scheef, Caroline, the wife of Henry Zalman and our subject who was the fourth in order of birth in the family. He was but five years old when the family removed to Shelby County, and therefore feels that almost his entire life has been identified with the growth and progress of the community in which he lives. He received the usual thorough drill and instruction given to a farmer's boy and was educated in the district school. Although his school advantages were extremely limited he availed himself thoroughly of all opportunities which were placed within his reach and has acquired a good business education by independent study and endeavor. At the age of twenty-one years, John Falk engaged in merchandise at Stewardson, an enterprise which he conducted for one year, after which time he decided to go upon a farm and establish a home of his own. He was married in 1878 to Anna Giesler, daughter of Adam and Mary Giesler who was born in Elkhart County, Ind., November 16, 1862. After following agriculture, for some eleven years he established a mercantile business at Herborn in 1889, and soon afterward became a partner in the tile factory, and later took up dealing in grain. The tile business at Herborn was established about ten years ago by Hunt and Gallamore. The present firm does business under the title of the Herborn Tile Manufacturing Company and is composed of the following gentlemen: Joseph Falk, John W. Falk, and A. T. Weber. Mr. and Mrs. Falk own together some one hundred and forty acres of excellent land. Our subject is identified with the Republican party and works for its prosperity, although he devotes only a limited portion of his time and interest to political matters. He has been placed in the office of School Trustee in which he is efficient and active and is actively forwarding the educational interests of the township. He feels these to be among the most vital and necessary matters which should engage the attention and zeal of every worthy and broad-minded citizen. The attention of the reader is invited to a view on another page of the residence and store of Mr. Falk. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The family of which our subject is a representative is a long established American family, descended from German stock. The father of this gentleman bought about one thousand acres of land in Holland Township, Shelby County. The father was born in Vermont and was a resident of New York State thence he removed to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio, and finally located in Shelby County, Ill., on a portion of which our subject now lives, having a farm of one hundred and eighty-one acres adjoining the town of Fancher, besides considerable land in the town. He is now a retired farmer, making his home in the village which was named for him by the railroad authorities in consideration of his liberality in donating land and money to aid in the construction of the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Railroad. He of whom we write this brief sketch, first saw the light of life in Delaware County, Ohio, July 25, 1835. His parents Samuel and Polly (Dickson) Fancher, were natives of Luzerne County, Pa., and the heads of a truly patriarchal family. Only five of their twelve children are now living, namely: John, Morris, William, Henry and Juliana. Morris lives in Kansas, Juliana in Zanesville, Ohio, and the others are residents of Illinois; county, and John in Effingham County; Juliana has been twice married, her first husband being Jeremiah Rogers and her present name being Mrs. Sine. Our subject came to Illinois with his parents when he was a mere boy and grew to manhood in Shelby County, having his training and education upon the farm in the district schools. Here he found his wife, a native of the same county, and here he expects to spend the balance of his days in the pursuit of farming, which is with him a dearly loved calling. His wife's maiden name was Susannah Piper. Her parents were natives of Ohio and her grandparents were Pennsylvanians and of German descent. Before marrying Mr. Fancher she was a widow, her first husband being Mr. Shannon W. Gallagher. The little railroad station of Fancher which was established upon Mr. Fancher's farm has gathered about it a pleasant little village having two stores, a hotel and the usual shops. It in is [sic] the midst of a very fine farming district and has an excellent community back of it. Mr. Fancher has been a life-long Republican in his political views and takes a lively interest in politics. He is not a member of any church but gives liberally of his means to the support of churches, Sunday-schools and other objects of benevolence. Mrs. Fancher has three children by her former marriage: Nettie, Gertie and Nellie Gallagher.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The portrait on the opposite page represents a gentleman who figures among the citizens of Shelby County as one of its most wide-awake, versatile and sagacious business men. He is at the head of various important enterprises centering in Todd's Point Township, his place of residence, where he has a large store for the sale of general merchandise, a factory for the manufacture of tile, and an extensive farm, all of which are under his supervision, and are ably managed.
Todd's Point Township is the birthplace of our subject, and August 3, 1858, the date of his birth. His parents, Isaac and Anna Jane (King) Fleming, were among its earliest settlers. They were natives of Westmorelandshire, England. The paternal grandfather of our subject was an extensive farmer and stock-raiser of that shire, where he spent his entire life. The father of our subject grew up amid the pleasant surroundings of his English home, and received a good education in the local schools. In 1839 he started out to seek his fortune and making his way to the island of Santa Cruz, was employed there on a sugar plantation until 1850, when he again started out into the world, and coming to this county, located in Todd's Point Township, he having previously sent money to buy land at this place. At that time this section of the country was sparsely settled, the best land being owned by the Government, and since sold at $1.25 an acre. Mr. Fleming built on his land, and devoted his energies to general farming and stock-raising until 1861, when he returned to England to spend his remaining days amid the scenes of his youth, and in due time was gathered to his fathers. His widow, the mother of our subject, still resides there. Three children were born of her marriage - James, a resident of Missouri; Mary who lives with her mother, and Thomas.
The subject of this life-record was but a child of three years when his parents returned to England, and he was reared in the home of his ancestors, and was educated in English schools. He did not, however, in all these years forget the land of his birth, and in 1887 he came back to begin life anew in his native township, and has since been closely connected with its leading interests. He established himself in the mercantile business, and has here a commodious, two-story brick building for store purposes, in which he carries a large and varied stock of general merchandise suited to the wants of his customers. Besides conducting a good trade as a merchant, he opened a tile factory near his store in 1888, which has been in successful operation since, turning out a superior article that commands a ready sale among the farmers and all who are interested in drainage. Mr. Fleming also superintends the cultivation of his large farm, of four hundred and forty acres of excellent tillage land, lying in Todd's Point Township. Although his interests are so diversified he manages each with surpassing skill, employing systematic and business-like methods, attending carefully to details, and in all that he does making every stroke count.
Mr. Fleming was married in 1886 to Miss Margaret Charlton, a native of Newcastle, England. They have a very pleasant home, replete with every comfort, and Mrs. Fleming's sister, Miss Alice Charlton, is a welcome inmate of their house hold. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
George W. Fluckey
George W. Fluckey is a resident on a farm located on section 17, of Tower Hill Township, Shelby County. His father was Adam Fluckey, who was probably a native of Pennsylvania. His mother was Mary Sellers. After marriage they settled in Perry County, Ohio, and from there moved to what is now Morrow County, Ohio; there they died. They were the parents of seven children, of whom our subject was the second in order of birth. He first saw the light of day in Perry County, Ohio, August 12, 1830. His early life was spent on a farm in Morrow County, Ohio, and there he learned the duties incident to farm life.
Mr. Fluckey was married October 2, 1856, to Miss Arvilla Brown, their nuptials being celebrated in Morrow County, Ohio. By her he became the father of three children, whose names are: Sarah E., Ira A., and Winfield S. The first named wife of Charles Summers. Ira married Melinda Fagg. Mrs. Arvilla Fluckcy, died in their home in Morrow County, in April 1862. Two years later, he again took upon himself the duties and obligations of marital life and was united to Edith A. Bennett. She also was a native of Morrow County, Ohio. Six children cluster about the home board. Their names are Isaac N., Lewis B., George B., William E., James A. and Bertha A.
The removal from Ohio to Shelby County, this State, was made in April 1868, and at that time they settled in Tower Hill Township, of which place our subject has ever since been a resident. He has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits and is the owner of three hundred and seventeen acres of fine land. Mr. Fluckey has erected a very attractive residence on his place. It is tastefully built and conveniently arranged. This place is graciously presided over by his wife, who has been his aid and helpmate in gaining the position which he at present enjoys. He of whom we write is held high in the esteem of the people in the community where he resides. A thoughtful and earnest man he is genial and whole-souled. Several local offices in the gift of the township have been thrust upon him and his service as a School Director has been appreciated by the fact that he desires to keep the times in educational matters, seeking to make the standard of the schools in his district, irreproachable. In politics he is an adherent of the Republican party, the views as taken by that party of commercial affairs and general government being such as harmonize with our subject's theories. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which they are ardent workers and generous supporters.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Andrew J. Foltz
Each life has its romance, its comedy and tragedy, but our lives under a veil of reserve, and peering through it the casual observer can find only hints and vague outlines of what is beneath. Could every man be his own historian and deal with himself honestly and frankly, biographies would be more interesting. That, however, is not always possible nor would it be in all cases advisable, therefore we must lay down the facts as we know them and read between the lines as our sympathies and knowledge of human nature shall dictate.
The subject of our sketch is a resident upon the farm that is located on section 12, in Rural Township. Since 1849, he has been a resident in Shelby County, and during that time has been engaged in the work of planting and reaping, a noble work, in that, without the products which the farmer gives us, we could not support life. Mr. Foltz was born in Union County, Pa. March 2, 1845. He is a son of Joseph and Mary Foltz also natives of Pennsylvania. The family emigrated to Shelby County this State, in 1849 and first settled in the southern part of this county, entering some Government land, but they soon removed to Rose Township, settling on Robinson Creek. In 1857 they again made a change, going to Knox County, Mo. and here they resided until 1862, when they returned to Shelby County and passed their remaining years in Rose Township. The father died December 1, 1879, being at the time about sixty-eight years of age. The mother is still living and resides with a daughter in Knox County, Mo.
Our subject is one of nine children born to his parents. Of these, eight lived to be grown. Their names are: Arden W.; Lilah; Joseph H.; Sarah; John; our subject, Andrew J.; Thomas J. and Jerome. The eldest son lives in the southwestern part of Missouri, as does also his sister Lilah, who is the wife of Lorenzo Jarvis. Joseph H. resides in Minneapolis, Minn. Sarah is the wife of Samuel Jarvis, and lives in Northwestern Kansas. John makes his home in Southwestern Kansas and Thomas J. is a farmer in Western Kansas, Jerome died in Knox County, Mo. Our subject was reared a farmer and in his peregrinations with his family through the different States, he learned much of the methods employed in different portions of the country in agriculture, and also of the nature and requirements of the soil. When Andrew Foltz reached his teens, he was employed by the month in work as a farm hand. In 1867 he was united in marriage to a lady who bore the historic name of Reed, belonging to a family of old and high standing in Kentucky, and previously in Virginia. Emily Reed is the daughter of William Reed and was born in Kentucky, Oct. 3, 1846. Mr. and Mrs. Foltz are the parents of the following children, most of whom have reached years of maturity. The eldest is a daughter whose name is Minerva. She is the wife of Frank Beckett. The other children in name and in order of birth are as follows: Andrew Campbell, William B., Laura; Genetta died in infancy; Albert H. and Effie.
On his marriage our subject felt the importance of making a home of his own and be secured a farm in Tower Hill Township which he has cultivated assiduously. Some ten years ago, the gentleman purchased his present farm which comprises one hundred and sixty acres. It is fine land well located and watered, and bears good improvements. Politically our subject affiliates with the Democratic party although he is rather inclined to be independent in his vote, giving his influence not always to the man of party if he thinks some other man is better fitted to fill the office in question. For some time, he has filled the position of School Director. He is a member in good standing of the Church of God, and the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would that they should do unto you, is the precept that guides him in his relations, both business and social, with his fellow men. The father of Mrs. Foltz died June 15, 1891, at the venerable age of ninety-one years.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Ellsworth Foster was born in Pickaway Township. Shelby County, December 23, 1863, his birthplace being the farm that he is now so successfully managing, and he has taken his place among the manly, independent, wide-awake young farmers and stock-raisers who within recent years have stepped forward to help carry on the great agricultural interests of this county so well developed by their pioneer sires. Our subject is a son of John Foster, an old and well-known citizen of this county, now living in honorable retirement at Shelbyville. He in turn was the son of another John Foster, both being natives of Yorkshire, England. In 1843 the grandfather of our subject left his early English home to seek another in this country, bringing with him his wife and six children. The family set sail from Liverpool on the good ship Glasgow, and after a voyage of six weeks and four days, landed at New York, and proceeded directly to Ohio, journeying by the Hudson River to Albany, thence by Erie Canal to Buffalo, from there on the lake to Cleveland, Ohio, and then by canal to Madison County, in the same State. In 1849 the elder John Foster brought his family to Shelby County, and was one of the first settlers on the prairie of Todd's Point Township, but few pioneers having preceded him to that locality, and they had selected homes in the timber. The country was mostly in its primitive condition, with deer and other kinds of wild game plentiful. Mr. Foster entered a tract of Government land, and building at once, devoted his time afterward to stock-raising and general farming until his life was rounded out by death at a ripe age. His wife also died on the home farm in Todd's Point Township. In her maiden days she bore the name of Ellen Atkinson. She was a native of Yorkshire, England, and a daughter of Thomas Atkinson. She reared six children, named as follows: Joseph, Mary, John, Alice, Thomas and James.
The father of our subject was a lad of thirteen years when he came to America with his parents, brothers and sisters, and still has a vivid remembrance of his boyhood's home and of the pioneer life that the family was obliged to lead after coming to this country in the newly settled regions where they located in Ohio and this State. He was bred to the life of a farmer, and resided under the parental roof until his marriage. He then engaged in farming in Todd's Point Township a few years. His next venture was to buy one hundred and twenty acres of prairie in Pickaway Township. He busied himself in the years that followed in the improvement of his place, erecting a substantial set of frame buildings, putting the land under admirable tillage, and greatly adding to the attractiveness and value of the farm by planting fruit and shade trees. In 1889 Mr. Foster yielded the management of his farm to the competent hands of his son Ellsworth, and retired from active labor to a pleasant home at Shelbyville, which he then purchased.
John Foster took Rachel Dobson as his wife in 1848, and for more than forty years they have shared life's joys and sorrows together. Mrs. Foster was born in Westmorelandshire, England, and is a daughter of John and Jane (Clark) Dobson, who were also natives of that shire, and came to America about 1836. They settled among the pioneers of Stark County, Ohio, and there spent their remaining days. Both Mr. and Mrs. Foster are sincere members of the Presbyterian Church, and are people of high principle and character. They are the parents of six children, namely: Ann Amelia, J. Williams, Wesley T., J. Ellsworth, Norman H. and Jennie.
Ellsworth Foster grew to man's estate in the home of his birth and was educated in the local public schools. He was an active, sturdy, self- reliant little lad, and even when very young was of much assistance on the farm, and early acquired a thorough familiarity with agricultural pursuits. He lived with his parents until his marriage, and then they removed to town and he took charge of the farm. He is managing it judiciously and with good results, and has already acquired a good reputation for his skill and practicality in carrying on farming after the most approved modern methods. He is straightforward and candid in his dealings, stands well financially, and his pleasant social qualities make him popular with his associates. He is an active member of William Penn Camp, M. W. A. He holds sound and sensible views in regard to politics, and is a true Republican. To the lady who presides so pleasantly and graciously over his home, and co-operates with him in who may happen beneath its roof, our subject was married in 1889. One child, whom they have named Faith, completes their household. Mrs. Foster was formerly Edith Noon, is a native of Waukesha County, Wis., and a daughter of James and Hannah (Fear) Noon, an extended sketch of whom appears elsewhere. Mrs. Foster is a lady of culture, and in her the Unitarian Church has a valuable member, who is active in its every good work. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
James Foster, a member of the County Board of Supervisors representing Todd's Point Township, is one of the leading farmers of this locality, and the well-appointed farm that he owns and occupies was developed by his father, John Foster, a pioneer settler of this part of Shelby County, from a tract of wild land that he purchased from the Government when he first came to this State many years ago. Our subject is a native of Yorkshire, England, born October 21, 1838. His father was born in the same shire, where his parents spent their entire lives. John Foster was reared and married in the land of his birth, taking as his wife Ellen Atkinson, also a native of Yorkshire, and a daughter of Thomas Atkinson. In 1843 Mr. Foster emigrated to this country with his wife and six children setting sail from Liverpool on the good ship "Glasgow," and landing at New York after a voyage of six weeks and four days. He proceeded directly to Ohio by the way of the Hudson River and the Erie Canal to Buffalo, thence by Lake Erie to Cleveland, and from there into the interior of Ohio by canal to Massillon. He found employment on a farm and resided there until 1849. Then, having heard favorable accounts of the fertility of the soil and other advantages possessed by this county, he made his way hither, bringing with him his family, and cast in his lot with the pioneers of Todd's Point Township. At that time the prairies of Illinois were but sparsely settled, as the early settlers had considered the timber lands much more desirable in every way, not realizing the wonderful richness of the prairie soil. Accordingly much of the open land was still in the hands of the Government and Mr. Foster entered a tract. He erected one of the first frame houses ever built on the prairies of Todd's Point Township and otherwise improved his place into one of the most desirable farms in the locality, making it his home until his eyes were closed in death. His wife also died on the home farm. They reared a family of six children, named as follows: Joseph, Mary, John, Alice, Thomas and James.
James Foster was a boy of four years when he crossed the Atlantic Ocean with his parents, and he has a distinct recollection of the incidents of that ever memorable voyage and of the pioneer life that followed in Ohio and this State. He has been an intelligent witness of the growth of this county, and has been no unimportant factor in helping to make it a great agricultural center. In his boyhood he attended the pioneer schools, assisted his father on the farm and continued to live with his parents until he made a home of his own at the time of his marriage, when he settled on a part of his father's land. He has since purchased the original homestead, and has greatly increased its value by the many fine improvements that he has placed upon it, including a commodious and well-ordered set of frame buildings. He has one hundred and eighty acres of land under a high state of tillage, and derives a solid income from the cultivation of his fertile fields.
In 1866 Mr. Foster married Miss Martha J. Lenover, and their pleasant wedded life has been blessed to them by the birth of three children - Cora Belle, Henry and James. Cora married S. Wheeler, since deceased, and she lives with her parents. Mrs. Foster a native of this county, Shelby Township her birthplace. Her father, John Lenover, was born in Pennsylvania, went from there to Ohio, thence to Indiana, and finally came to Illinois, and was a pioneer of this county, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a skillful blacksmith and followed his trade here a number of years. His wife died in 1849. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Boys and she was a sister of Alexander Boys. (For her parental history see sketch of William Boys). Mrs. Foster is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as such is true to her religious obligations, as well as in all things pertaining to her duties as wife, mother and friend.
Mr. Foster is a man of a pleasant, kindly nature, and he has withal in a full measure those practical traits of character that make him a useful citizen, capable of filling places of trust and honor. His fellow-citizens, recognizing this, have repeatedly called him to the responsible position of Supervisor, and he has now been a member of the County Board for some years, being first elected in 1887, again in 1889, and re-elected in 1890 and 1891. He is a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and in his politics he is an unswerving Republican. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John Freeman, capitalist, residing in Moweaqua Township, is one of Shelby County's best known and most prominent citizens, who has long been concerned in its financial interests, has been a potent agent in its material advancement, has had a hand in the management of its public affairs, and is closely identified with its social and political life. He is a descendant of fine old New England and Revolutionary stock, and his ancestors were among the early settlers of Massachusetts, his native State. Edmund Freeman, of English birth, being the first of the family to come to America, the "Abigail," bringing him hither on her second trip across the Atlantic in 1635. He first located at Saugus, Mass., but subsequently went to the town of Sandwich, Barnstable County, where he secured a large tract of land, including Sagamore Hill, the greater portion of the land being still owned by his descendants.
Our subject was born on Purchase Street, Boston, Mass., January 14, 1831. His father, Benjamin Freeman, was born in that city December 31, 1803, and was a son of Watson Freeman, who was also a native of Boston. The grandfather of our subject was fourteen years old when the Revolutionary War broke out. Patriotic blood ran in his veins, and notwithstanding his youth, two years later he enlisted April 7, 1777, in the Fourth Continental Regiment. He was present at Burgoyne's defeat in 1778, and was afterward honorably discharged from the army. But the youthful patriot was still anxious to help secure the freedom of his country, and he soon entered the naval service as a privateer. In 1782 he was wounded in a battle at sea, and with ship and crew was captured by the British. He was taken to the hospital at Portsmouth, England, and later discharged from there. He returned to his native country, and in 1800 engaged in the mercantile business with another gentleman under the firm name of Freeman & Baty, and subsequently with Mr. Cushing, as Freeman & Cushing. They were heavy importers of china, crockery ware, etc., and the grandfather of our subject continued in the business a number of years until his retirement with a handsome competency. He died at Sandwich April 10, 1813. The maiden name of his second wife, grandmother of our subject, was Experience Freeman, and she was also a native of Boston.
Benjamin Freeman was reared and educated in the city of his birth. He commenced life on his own account as a sailor, but he did not long pursue that vocation, as he preferred following in the footsteps of his father as a merchant. He continued in business in Boston until 1839, when he came to Illinois and invested in several thousand acres of land, destined some day, as he shrewdly foresaw, to be very valuable. In 1841 he removed his family to this State, the journey being performed by steamer from Fall River to New York, thence by canal and rail through Philadelphia to Pittsburg, from there by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to St. Louis, and thence overland to their destination in Hillsboro, Montgomery County. Mr. Freeman did not live to enjoy his new home very long, as in July of the same year his life was brought to an untimely end by his death while yet in his prime, and the county was deprived of the services of one of its most able pioneers, who, if he had lived, would undoubtedly have done much to develop its resources and promote its growth. His wife bore the maiden name of Sallie Shaw Shurtleff. She was likewise a native of Boston, Mass., a descendant of some of the old families of that city, and a daughter of Dr. Benjamin and Sallie (Shaw) Shurtleff. She was married a second time to Henry R. Child, who died in 1848. She returned to Boston in 1849, and died in that city in 1876. She had ten children by her first marriage, and one by the second.
John Freeman was ten years old when he came to Illinois with his parents. He was given good educational advantages, and was a student at Shurtleff College in Alton when the discovery of gold in California created such profound excitement in all parts of the world, and in 1849 he threw aside his books and bade farewell to college life to join the seekers after the precious metal on the Pacific coast. He, with others, made the entire journey across the plains and mountains with ox-teams, a long and weary way over what was then known as "Great American Desert," and after they left the Missouri River they saw no white settlements, except that of the Mormons, until they arrived in California, while buffalo, deer, antelopes and other wild animals were encountered in large numbers. Arriving at Weaverville, September l7, after many months travel, our subject at once took a job at scoring logs receiving $11 a day, and in that way he earned money to buy provisions to take to the mountains, where cornmeal and bacon, the chief articles of food, were a dollar a pound each. He engaged in mining in Maraposa County until December, 1851, and then started for the East with his gains, and traveling by the way of the Isthmus and Havana, joined his family at Boston. His health had suffered from the privations and hardships that he had had to endure in the rough frontier life of the two preceding years, and he did not immediately engage in any active business, but traveled while recuperating, and during the time of the Crimean War visited Crimea. He was away from home about nine months, and then returned to Boston, where he remained until 1857. In that year he came back to Shelby County, intending to dispose of his landed interests here, but he liked the country so well that he decided to improve his real estate, and built, and has ever since had a home here, though making his residence here only a portion of the time. For three years he lived at Shelbyville, and in 1879 went to Decatur, where he became interested in the mercantile and hotel business, and for a time managed the new "Deming." He still retains his interest in the mercantile business there, and is connected with a hotel elsewhere. Mr. Freeman was married in 1859 to Miss Ellen A., daughter of A. F. and Louisa (Wheadon) Wilson, and a native of Jacksonville, Ill. Their home is attractive in its appointments and surroundings, and its pleasing comforts as presided over by the gracious, considerate hostess and the kindly, courteous host are held in grateful remembrance by those who have enjoyed them, whether as a "stranger within the gates," or as friends, of whom our subject and his amiable wife have many. Four children have been born to them, two of whom are now living; Alice F., wife of Oscar F. Spaulding, and John B. Not only has Mr. Freeman helped to advance the financial standing of this county by his judicious investments and by his business qualifications, but he has been of invaluable service as a civic official. He has represented Moweaqua Township on the County Board of Supervisors several terms, and while holding that important office always looked closely after the interests of the public, and his intelligent and generous advocacy of various enterprises for the benefit of the community at large has often contributed to their success. He is an ardent Republican in his political views, and his party has in him an earnest champion of its policy. In his social relations he is connected with the Masonic fraternity and also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has been a member of the former since 1859, when he joined the Dewitt Clinton Lodge at Sandwich, Mass. He identified himself with the Odd Fellows by joining the Winnissimete Lodge at Chelsea, Mass., and he is a member of the Shelbyville Lodge, K. of H.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John J. Fritz
In this gentleman we are pleased to call to the notice of our readers, one of the most prominent of the German American citizens of Ridge Township, Shelby County. He is thoroughly German in his sturdy industry, integrity and thrift, and American in his determination to make this land of freedom a happy home for himself and his postperity [sic]. His excellent farm bears the marks of thorough culture and good management, and the neatness and convenience of the buildings are a compliment to the owner which is more effective than words.
John Jacob Fritz, Sr., the father of our subject, was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and came to this country and died in Ridge Township. His wife bore the maiden name of Rosanna Clay, who was also a native of Wurtemberg, and she also passed away in this township. Of their twelve children, our subject was the third in order of age, being born in Wurtemberg, Germany, March 19, 1833, and emigrating at the very early age of four weeks to a new world. They first settled in Lancaster County, Pa., and there made their home for three years, after which they went to Ohio, and lived in Morgan County, until a short time before their death, when they removed to Shelby County, Ill.
He of whom we write, lived at home until he was eighteen years old, and then removed to Fairfield County, Ohio, and worked upon a farm until he came to Shelby County, in the fall of 1860. He then rented the land which he now owns in Ridge Township, and brought on his wife to whom he had been united in Fairfield County, Ohio, in February, 1858. Her maiden name was Barbara Sauder, and she was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in September, 1841. After five years of renting, the young man purchased two hundred and twenty acres and he has now as fine an improved farm as is to be found in the township, upon which he has erected a good house and other excellent farm buildings. His farm has been increased from time to time by purchase until it now comprises six hundred and sixty acres. Mr. and Mrs. Fritz lost two sons, William and Simon, in infancy. Those who survive are: John B., who married Emma Eversole; Lizzie, the wife of Clinton Eversole; James; Ella, who married Charles Beery; Edward, Samuel, and Charles B. The parents are members of the Evangelical Association in which Mr. Fritz has filled the offices of Steward, Trustee and Class-Leader. His political views incline him to believe that in the principles of the Democratic party are to be found the best governmental ideas. He has officiated as Highway Commissioner and as School Director and in both capacities has served faithfully and efficiently.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John S. Fry
John S. Fry, who is now one of the successful farmers of Penn Township, was a volunteer in the Union ranks during the late war, and his military record is that of a brave, patriotic soldier, who cheerfully endured hardships, the perils of battle, and even death, to serve his country in her time of greatest need. His native place is the town of Bremen, Fairfield County, Ohio, and the date of his birth November 11, 1845. He comes of one of the old pioneer families of that section, and his father, Henry Fry, was born on the same farm as himself. The grandfather of our subject, John Fry, was an early settler of that region. He was born, reared and married in Virginia, taking for his wife Mary Leib, also a Virginian. He removed from his native State to Ohio in the early years of its settlement, and was a pioneer farmer of Fairfield County. He bought a tract of Government land midway between Bremen and Rushville, on Little Rush Creek, and cleared a farm, upon which he pleasantly passed the remainder of his life. His wife died at the home of her daughter in Seneca County.
In the county in which he was born the father of our subject was reared amid pioneer scenes. He attended a German school at Rushville, and at other times assisted his father on his farm until he was sixteen years old. At that age he began to learn the trade of a cabinet-maker and was employed at it until his marriage, but after that time be devoted himself to farming the remainder of his life, which closed with his death at a ripe age, January 1, 1875. The wife who shared with him for many years the joys and sorrows common to mortals, survives him, and now makes her home with a son near Millersport, Ohio. In her maiden days she bore the name of Jemima Scott Shaw and she was born two miles south of West Rushville, Fairfield County, Ohio.
Our subject was one of seven children and was carefully reared in the home of his birth. He was but a boy when the great Civil War broke out, yet the following year he offered his services to his country and on the 16th of July his name was enrolled as a member of Company D, One Hundred Twenty-Ninth Ohio Infantry. The most important battles in which he took part during that term of enlistment were those fought at Wild Cat, Ky. and at Cumberland Gap. In 1863 he veteranized in Company B, Seventeenth Ohio Infantry, and joined his regiment at Ringgold, Ga. He accompanied it on the famous Sherman campaign at Atlanta, and did some good fighting in the engagements with the enemy on the way to that city. At Resaca our subject received injuries in the right knee, but he continued with his regiment until Atlanta was reached. After the fall of that City he joined the provost guard and went with that command to the sea, and from there, by the way of the Carolinas and Richmond, to Washington, where he took part in the Grand Review. After that event he returned with his regiment to Virginia and served until his honorable discharge, July 16, 1865, just three years to a day after he entered the army.
After his long and bitter experiences of the hardships and excitements of a so1dier's life, Mr. Fry returned to his old home in Ohio, and quietly resumed the peaceful vocation that he had abandoned to take up arms in the defense of the stars and stripes. In 1871 he went to Missouri and was a resident of Pettis County, that State, for one year. He then came Eastward as far as Illinois and bought the farm that he now owns in Penn Township. Since he took possession of it twenty years ago he has demonstrated the fact that he has a clear understanding of farming in its various branches, as his farm is well ordered and compares favorably in all respects with all the others in its vicinity.
Mr. Fry has had the good fortune to secure the helping hands of an efficient wife, to whom he was united in marriage June 17, 1869. Her maiden name was Emeline Ruffner, and she is also a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, a daughter of Jonas and Susanna Ruffner. These are the names of the seven children of our subject and his wife: Frank E., Dolly V., Theron R., Eva S., Belle and Dell (twins) and Carrie. In this brief life-record of our subject his value as a loyal citizen has been shown by his course during the war, and is well known by the people among whom he has lived for many years since that time. He is exemplary in his habits, upright in his conduct, and in him the Presbyterian Church finds one of its most consistent members. His life as a soldier is held in remembrance by his connection with the Grand Army of the Republic at Bethany. Politically he is a staunch advocate of the Republican party.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Among the names held in honor in Shelby County, that which introduces these paragraphs has for many years had a place. He who hears it came hither in 1871 and has been a potent factor in the well-being of the citizens, bearing a worthy part in the battle of life as a private individual, and acting with ability in prominent positions to which he has been called. He is one of the number before whom discouragements flee, and who surmount obstacles that lie in their way without letting the world into the secret of their existence. He has therefore gained a competency where many would have failed, and has pushed to a successful conclusion affairs that in other hands would have resulted far differently.
Many years ago William Fuget and Sarah Kunkle were united in the holy bonds of wedlock, and began their wedded life in Pennsylvania, of which State they were both natives. They resided for many years in Cumberland County, where both died at a goodly old age. Of their nine children the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth, and he was born in Cumberland County, September 12, 1844. He passed his youth in the usual manner of farmer lads of that period, alternating attendance in the district schools with farm work. Until he was twenty-one years old he lived in the Keystone State, whence he removed in 1865 to Pana Ill., and engaged in different occupations.
In August, 1871, Mr. Fuget arrived in Shelby County, and locating in Tower Hill, began working in a flour mill. For a time he rented the mill and afterward bought a one-third interest in it. This interest he sold and became the head miller of the Anchor Mills in Tower Hill, owned by John Runkle & Son. This responsible position Mr. Fuget is still filling to the satisfaction of all concerned. His pleaseant [sic] home is presided over by a lady of culture, with whom he was united in marriage in Pana Ill., in January, 1871. She bore the maiden name of Miss Shaffer and was a native of Pennsylvania. Her parents, John and Christina (Davis) Shaffer, were natives of Pennsylvania. The father is living with our subject and the mother is deceased. Mr. Puget and his estimable wife have a family of three children - Minnie M., Lora E. and Grace E. Minnie M. is the wife of M. H. Fenton, of Tower Hill, and Lora E. is the wife of George E. Allen, of Arkansas. Mr. Fuget has been called upon to fill various official positions and has honored every position which he has filled, by proving capable, faithful, and eminently trustworthy. He is at present serving as Supervisor of Tower Hill Township, has been Township Collector, and has held several school offices in the village. He also served as President of the village and Trustee for several terms. Politically he is an ardent supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and takes a lively interest in everything that affects the prosperity of the city or county. Socially he belongs to the I. O. O. F., the K. of P., and the Modern Woodmen of America. With his wife, he has won a secure place in the affections of his associates and is highly esteemed for fine social qualities and noble character.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Adam H. Fulton
Forty years seems in considering the history of the development of some countries, a mere speck of time, but in this Western World, since railroads have been reaching out their grasping fingers in every direction and carrying along their line an infusion of vigorous life, it is not astonishing that as much should have been done in so short a time, as has taken ages to evolve in the Old World. It is a truism that we are the heirs of all the ages, and that fact should make us modest instead of boastful. Our subject first saw the light of day a little over forty years ago upon the place where he at this time resides, his natal day being June 10, 1851. These forty years of life spent in Rural Township have not been without avail, for his early efforts have been crowned with success, and he is now a large and prominent farmer of Shelby County, residing on section 13, of Rural Township. He is a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Hill) Fulton, natives of County Antrim, Ireland. They were married in their native land, and in 1849 came to the United States. Adam Fulton, our subject's father, entered land from the Government in Rural and Ridge Townships, but he died in the winter of 1851 or 1852. The original of our sketch being the only child and an infant of but six months old at the time of his father's death, he was not of much assistance to his mother for some time after her bereavement. She lived until March, 1890, when she died at the age of seventy-seven years. The father of our subject was the only member of his family to leave the native land for the United States, but on his mother's side he has an uncle living in Shelbyville, whose name is George B. Hill. Our subject was reared on a farm and early learned the duties of a farmer's land. His education was attained at the common schools, and there he was fitted for the practical relations of life. He continues to reside on the homestead and has not yet made up his mind to surrender his bachelor freedom and enter the Benedictine ranks.
Mr. Fulton is the owner of a section of land and also thirty acres in Ridge Township. Upon these he has erected good buildings, and the houses and barns on each are attractive and commodious structures. He devotes himself principally to the raising of grain and has found this generally to be a most lucrative business. The father of our subject was forty-seven years of age the time of his death. He came to the United States some years prior to 1849, and was a merchant at Cincinnati, and also kept a country store in the village of Henton, Shelby County. He returned to Ireland, during which visit home he was married, and in 1849 brought his bride to the United States. They were good, substantial citizens and associated with the best element wherever they lived. In their religious preference they were attendants upon and members of the Presbyterian Church. Like his parents, our subject is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party and has held several of the minor local offices in the gift of his party. He is one of the substantial business men of the county, and besides the land he owns here, he is also the owner two hundred acres in Flat Branch Township, one hundred and sixty of which was entered by his father and is known as "Bald Knob." As do all these places, this boasts of a good class of improvements. On another page of this volume the reader will find a view of Mr. Fulton's homestead.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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