Hugh Nelson Walden
Hugh Nelson Walden, a well-known stock-raiser and farmer residing in section 31, Windsor Township, Shelby County, was born just a quarter of a mile south of his present residence, January 19, 1830. His father, Hugh Walden, was a native of North Carolina, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Montgomery, was born in Kentucky. They both came to this State before marriage, and were united near Shawneetown, and became residents of Illinois Territory in those early days prior to its admission as a State. It was in 1827 that this young couple came to Shelby County, and settled in Richland Township, and there they spent the remainder of their days, the father being called hence in 1869, and the mother surviving him for ten years. Every one of the five sons and five daughters of this worthy couple lived to attain maturity, marry and establish families of their own, but eight of the ten have now passed away, seven of them dying of that dire disease, consumption. The only surviving brother of our subject is Leonard V., the youngest of the family. He lives on the old homestead, which is now a portion of his brother's large farm.
Our subject has been twice married, his first wife being Maria Davis, to whom he was united March 17, 1853. Seven children were born of this marriage, of whom three are now living - Mary M., Nancy Ivy and Harlan, all of whom have grown to maturity and are living with their father. Their mother passed away March 6, 1874. Mr. Walden was married a second time, April 13, 1875, and was united at that time with Theoda D. Hazen, who was born in Bridgeton, Me., April 11, 1842. She is a daughter of John and Esther (Libbey) Hazen. Her father died in his native State April 14, 1877, and the mother still resides in Bridgeton. Only one of her three sons and three daughters have passed away, and Mrs. Walden is her eldest. By this marriage Mr. and Mrs. Walden have had three children, all of whom are deceased, two dying in infancy. Abbie Hazen, who was born October 2, 1877, died March 12, 1890; she was a bright, beautiful girl of thirteen summers, whose place can never be filled to her sorrowing parents, and who was sincerely mourned by many admiring friends and playmates.
Go to thy rest fair child, Go to thy dreamless bed While yet so gentle, undefiled. With blessings on thy head. Ere sin hath seared thy breast, Or sorrow waked thy tear, Rise to thy throne of changeless rest In you celestial sphere. If any man may be called a pioneer of Shelby County, Mr. Walden is pre-eminently one, as it has been his home for sixty-one years. Six hundred splendid acres constitute his farm in Windsor and Richland Townships, and upon them he has excellent buildings and fine improvements. The whole estate being in fact an ideal country home. Mr. Walden has always been a Democrat in his political views, and he says he expects to die a Democrat. He is a Universalist in his religious belief, although he holds no church connection. His excellent wife joined the Cambridge Baptist Church in Massachusetts, when she was only seventeen years of age, and she has ever maintained her membership with that organization. The township of Windsor has honored both itself and our subject by giving him at various times every office within its gift. He served seven years as Supervisor, ten years as Highway Commissioner, one term as Assessor, and School Director and Trustee for nine and ten years each. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Joel T. Walker
The name at the head of this sketch is that of one of the firm of Walker & Co., who are dealers in grain and owners of the Moweaqua elevator, which has the capacity for storing six thousand bushels. They have besides cribs for sixty thousand bushels of corn and fifty thousand bushels of oats. Mr. Walker has had the management of the elevator for the past three years. Under the present management the firm buy and sell from two to four thousand bushels annually. They deal chiefly in corn, and their business in this direction is the largest of any in the county. Our subject brings to it a judgment and executive ability that could not fail of success.
Prior to coming to this place, Mr. Walker engaged in business at Lawrence, Kan., dealing largely in grain and live-stock. He came to this county in June, 1888. Our subject was born in Madison County, Ill., October 13, 1835. He was only three years of age when his parents Edwin and Rebecca (Chance) Walker, removed to Lebanon, St. Clair County, where he was reared and educated. There he was married to Miss Eliza Alexander. She was born and reared in our subject's adopted county, and her parents David and Mary (Thomas) Alexander were early settlers. Her father, Mr. Alexander, went there from Pennsylvania when quite young. His wife was a native of the county and a sister of Col. John Thomas, who is yet a resident of Belleville, having attained an honorable old age.
After marriage, our subject and his wife lived in St. Lawrence County on a farm for a period of three years, and then moved to Macon county, settling in Blue Mound Township, at a very early day on an unbroken farm which was a part of the railroad lands of that State. By unceasing efforts they improved it and made a fine piece on which they lived for some years. Later they purchased a farm near the present village of Walker (so named in honor of our subject). This place they also improved but sold on going to Kansas in August, 1873. While in Kansas he spent some months of each year in the mining districts of Breckenridge, Colo. On leaving Kansas he came to this place where he has since been a resident.
Since Mr. Walker's advent in Moweaqua he has been President of the Village Board for one year and is ex-Mayor also of the town. While in Kansas he was probate Judge in Anderson County for one term, less a year, at which time he resigned to go to Lawrence County, Kan. While in Macon County, he was for four years Supervisor of Macon Township. His first vote after reaching his majority was cast for President Lincoln and since that time he has been an active and ardent Republican.
Mr. Walker met with a bereavement in the loss of his first wife who died in Macon County, in June 1863, being at the time only twenty-seven years of age. She left three children, Lawson L., Bertha and Mary E. Lawson is now engaged in business with his father, and the same traits that have made his father successful are apparent in the son. Bertha is the wife of Henry Nougle and living in Blue Moundville, Macon County. Mary E. is the wife of Wesley Langley. They reside in Lawrence, Kan.
Mr. Walker was a second time married. The lady whom he prevailed upon to become the mistress of his home was Mrs. Amelia A. Patton, nee Mason, a native of Lowell, Washington County, Ohio. She came West when a young lady, as a teacher but was soon married to William Patton in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Walker are religiously inclined. Mr. Walker being a member of the Methodist Church and his wife, a Baptist. They are both united however, in their sympathy for everything that relates to the well being of their fellow-men. They are one, also, in their love for home and home enjoyments. Mr. Walker's mother is still living, making her home with her son Elijah in Mason County; she was born in march 1812. Her husband's natal year was 1819. He lived until 1849. Our subject is one of four children; John W., Elijah, Edwin and Joel T. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Although our subject makes his residence in the town of Windsor, Shelby County, and thus enjoys the advantages of town life, he is actively engaged in farming. Mr. Walker is an omnivorous reader, and being a thoughtful man who judges and weighs for himself, he has the advantage of some of his fellow-men, whose views of general matters and current topics are only those of some one else. Original to a refreshing degree, our subject is very pronounced in all his views. He is a progressive man although not readily attracted by every new idea that for the moment is paramount, being practical in all his affairs.
The original of our sketch was born in Fayette county, Ohio, March 10, 1814, and thus it is seen that he had lived a long and eventful life. The early part of his life was spent in the woods during which time he was engaged in clearing, and in his native county, and he repeated the same experience in Fayette County, Ind., where he went when about nine years of age. In 1837 he came West and spent two months engaged in trading, visiting different parts of what was then considered the far West. At the end of that time he returned to Fayette County, Ind., and launched into the business of buying and selling cattle and hogs, finding his market in Cincinnati. They were not shipped as now, by rail, but our subject was obliged to drive them over the public highway.
September 20, 1847, Mr. Walker was united in marriage in Fayette County, Ind., with Miss Sarah W. Dorsey, and with her he began the journey of life, with a realization of the responsibilities that he had taken upon him. By this marriage he became the father of two children, whose names are respectively Sophronia and Amos W. The daughter became the wife of James Hartsel, of Ash Grove Township. Amos. W. is a teacher and has attained a wide reputation as an educator of advanced and progressive methods and theories.
Mrs. Sarah W. Walker died in Fayette County, Ind., about three years after their marriage and after his bereavement Mr. Walker returned to Illinois and settled permanently in Shelby County, in 1859. Prior to this he had lived here in 1842, but his stay had been comparatively short. In company with another man he had purchased twenty-thousand acres of land in Kansas. In 1866 he settled in Windsor Township and was from that time until 1884 when he removed to the village of Windsor, engaged in farming. He owns about six hundred acres of land in the county and considering his various possessions, must be accounted a wealthy man. Although Mr. Walker is a farmer and has been such for many years he has never bound himself down to the drudgery of agricultural life, trading in live-stock having been his chief occupation. Politically he is in sympathy with the promoters of the Greenback party. He is highly esteemed in the community of which he is a citizen and his opinions are regarded with a great deal of respect. His portrait is presented in connection with this brief biographical review. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The ideal life of an American agriculturist is perhaps not so often attained as poets and romances might lead one to expect, but when one sees a man not past the prime of life, comfortably settled with his wife and children upon a fertile farm which responds with generous crops to the thorough and systematic culture bestowed upon it, whose home is attractive and surrounded with beautiful grounds one can but envy a citizen so situated, especially if to this material comfort we may add that in reputation he stands high among his fellow men as worthy of their confidence. Such a life is that of William Walker, a farmer and stock grower, who resides on section 6, Oconee Township, and was born in Boston, Mass. August 18, 1846. His parents were Edward and Rachel (Simonds) Walker, natives of the Bay State, where the father was born in 1824 and the mother in 1820, Middlesex being her native county. He came to Illinois with his parents, when he was twelve years old and made his home at Alton. After awhile he returned to Massachusetts and remained for one year and then came to Pana, Christian County.
In that town Mr. Walker was married in February, 1871, to Miss Mary C. McConnell, daughter of Asa and Elvira (Newport) McConnell, natives of Ohio, where their daughter was also born in 1844. The young couple located on a farm in Oconee Township, which Mr. Walker had procured the previous year, and where he has since resided. Their happy union has been blessed by the birth of four children, of whom Edward, now nineteen years old is the eldest. The younger ones are Carrie C., aged sixteen; Asa, aged thirteen; and Ray a frolicsome boy of five years all of whom are living and under the parental roof, attending school in the neighborhood.
Matters of public interest always command the attention and consideration of Mr. Walker, who is now a member of the Building Committee which is engaged in erecting a church for the worshiping people of the community, and he has served for several terms as School Director of his district. He had only one brother, Edward, who died at the age of eighteen years. Our subject is a member of the Oconee Detective Association. He votes with the Republican party, having always supported its principles and believes that the theory of government which was endorsed by Abraham Lincoln is the true basis from which to secure prosperity for the country. Both he and his good wife are earnest and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is an honest, upright citizen, and enjoys the confidence of all who know him. His finely improved farm lies mostly in Oconee Township, where he has three hundred and five acres, and twenty acres lie across the line in Montgomery County. His pleasant home is delightfully situated and handsomely and comfortably furnished.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Whether it is that Shelby County is especially notable for the longevity of its inhabitants or not, the writer is not certain. It is a fact, however, that almost all of the gentlemen whose history it has been our pleasure to write, have passed the meridian of life and the majority of them are pioneer settlers who can look back upon the growth of the county from the earliest occupancy, when deer, and wild turkeys were much more frequently seen than the face of a neighbor. Our subject is one of the many whose experience includes the changes through which his vicinity and county have passed. Now residing on section 1, Ridge Township, he was born April 24, 1833, in Okaw Township, and is a son of John and Catherine (Lohr) Ward.
The grandfather of our subject, James Ward, resided in Kentucky, and thence three of his sons, namely, William L., John and James, came to Shelby County. Of these, William L. first came, his advent being in 1828. He located in what is now known as Todd's Point, where he entered a tract of land upon which he resided until about 1856, when he removed to Pickaway Township, residing there until his death, which occurred in July, 1872. James Ward came to the county in 1845 and resided in Okaw Township. Later he removed to Dry Point where he died about the year 1866. John Ward was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, but when very young his parents removed to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. He first came to Illinois in 1830, stopping for a time in Shelby county and then went back to Kentucky, but in 1832 he again returned to Shelby County, and in August, that year, was united in marriage to Catherine Lohr, who was reared in the same neighborhood with her husband in Kentucky. At the time of her marriage her home was in Morgan county, Ill., where her family were early settlers.
After marriage the young couple located in Okaw Township where they entered land and experienced all the ups and downs of pioneer life. He was, however, successful and became the owner of over two thousand acres of land, a large proportion of which he himself entered. He followed stock-raising principally, being especially interested in the breeding of cattle and mules. He died in March, 1880, being over seventy years of age. His wife died in 1870. He was always interested in politics, both national and local. At first belonging to the old-line Whig party, he afterward became a Republican. He was a member of the Christian Church, being a generous supporter of the name. He was a broad-minded, public-spirited man, interested in all public enterprises that promised to be to the advantage of the people. He was well and favorably known throughout Shelby County as a man of unstained honor and integrity.
John and Catherine Ward were the parents of eleven children, one of whom died in infancy, one in childhood and one daughter was accidentally killed when ten years of age. Eight of the children lived to be grown; of these our subject is the eldest; James w. lives in Decatur, Ill.; Lucinda is the wife of James Sudduth and resides in Springfield, Mo.; John W. died in Okaw Township; Charles resides in Shelbyville; George W. died in the latter place; Elizabeth is the wife of George A. Roberts and lives in Shelbyville, and Benjamin F. makes his home in Lincoln, Neb.
Our subject grew to manhood in his native township and he distinctly remembers pioneer days when deer and other game were plentiful. He attended such schools as were provided and in September, 1859, was married to Cordelia Van Hise, a daughter of James H. and Sarah Van Hise. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, December 2, 1838. The first home of the young couple was upon the place where he now resides. It then, however, comprised only ten acres of ground, hemmed in by a rail fence, their first dwelling being a log cabin which was primitive, indeed. Four years after marriage the log cabin gave way to his present residence, and since that time he has made many changes in his home and placed many substantial improvements upon his place. Mr. Ward is now the owner of six hundred acres of land, three hundred and seventy-three acres being located in Shelby County, and the balance in Moultrie County, on which he has good buildings.
Five children are the fruit of the union of our subject and his estimable wife. They are Abraham L., Catherine, Edward S., George A. and Ulysses G. Mr. Ward is a stanch Republican in politics and always votes at general elections for the man he believes best fitted for the office. He himself has never been ambitious to be an office-holder. Socially he is a member of the Association of United Workmen. Our subject is especially interested and engaged in the stock business, buying, breeding, shipping, etc., stock to the metropolitan markets. His history in itself is an apt illustration of what a man may accomplish in the fertile lands of the Middle States, by his own efforts, alone and unaided, but with ambition, industry and perseverance. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John R. Warren
A prominent position among the agriculturists of Shelby County is held by this gentleman, who resides on section 28, Tower Hill Township. He is now passing his declining years quietly in the enjoyment of the comfort accumulated through long years of toil. A native of Ohio, he was born in Pickaway County, February 17, 1820. His parents, Silas and Sarah (Riley) Warren, were natives of Delaware, the former born April 9, 1787, and the latter January 31, 1791. Both came to Ohio in youth, and after their marriage, which was solemnized in Pickaway County, they located in that place and made it their home until 1857. In the above-mentioned year the parents of our subject came to Illinois, settling in Shelby County and purchasing a farm on section 29, Tower Hill Township. The family was soon called upon to mourn the loss of the devoted husband and father, who died November 17, 1857. The widowed mother survived until January 29, 1867. This worthy couple held an enviable place in the regard of their neighbors, and although they left to their children little of this world's goods they bequeathed to them what is far better - the priceless heritage of a good name. They had a family of six children, of whom five now survive.
Upon the home farm in Pickaway County, Ohio, our subject passed his youth and at an early age became familiar with agricultural pursuits. His educational advantages were limited to the district schools, but by subsequent reading he has become well informed upon all topics of general interest. Upon arriving at years of maturity he engaged in farming on his own account and has made this his life work. A very important event in his life was his marriage in Pickaway County, Ohio, September 21, 1843, when Miss Minerva a. Anderson became his wife. Her parents, Thomas and Delilah (Scothorn) Anderson, were natives respectively of Indiana and Virginia. The father died in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 21, 1836, and the mother afterward came west to Shelby County, Ill., where she died at the residence of our subject October 22, 1860.
Mrs. Warren, who was the second among six children, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 9, 1822, and was reared to maturity under the parental roof. After their marriage our subject and his wife located in Pickaway County, Ohio, where they continued to live until the fall of 1849. At that time they came to this State and made their home in Tower Hill Township, Shelby County. There the wife died April 7, 1880. She was a religious woman, and had been connected with the church for many years, and was a member of the United Brethren Church at the time of her death.
On February 23, 1882, our subject was again married, choosing as his wife Mrs. Elizabeth J. Dum, the widow of Samuel Dum, who died in Fairfield County, Ohio. Mrs. Warren, who is a sister of the first wife of our subject, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 21, 1825, and by her first marriage became the mother of six children, viz: Israel, Thomas, Effie A., Samuel, William and Homer. The ceremony which transformed her into Mrs. Warren was solemnized in Christian County, Ill., and the union has proved of mutual happiness. The various members of the family are honored in society and are noted for hospitality and kindness of heart. The farm upon which Mr. Warren located after coming to Shelby County was entered from the Government and comprises eighty acres of fine land. Mr. Warren has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and has converted his original purchase into one of the best farms in the county. He has retired from the more active duties associated with farm life, and in the midst of his happy family circle, finds rest from the cares of earlier years. A member of the Democratic party, he has always taken an active part in political affairs and has served the people in several local officers. For fifteen years he was Justice of Peace and he has filled the office of Supervisor of Tower Hill Township for several terms. He takes great interest in educational affairs and has served the community acceptably in school offices. Religiously, he belongs to the United Brethren Church of which he has been a consistent member since 1844. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
No family in Shelby County has been more closely identified with the development of its vast resources than the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs. He is the proprietor of a beautiful and well-appointed farm, picturesquely situated on section 9, Tower Hill Township. The estate, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres, slopes toward the south and with its attractive residence, substantial farm buildings and cultivated fields forms a picture not easily forgotten. It is our pleasure to present on another page a view of this fine place. Step by step Mr. Warren worked his way until his worldly affairs were placed on a substantial basis, and today he is numbered among the well-to-do men of the county. While advancing his financial interests he has not neglected the better things in life, but has discharged in an able manner the duties of citizenship, and helped to elevate the intellectual and moral status of the section in which he has made his home. For the history of the parents of Mr. Warren the reader is referred to the sketch of J. R. Warren on another page of this volume. Lawrence Warren, who was the fifth in a family of six children, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, May 14, 1829. In his native place he passed his childhood and youth uneventfully, attending the district schools during the winter season and aiding in farm work during summer. He has made agriculture his calling in life, although he has followed carpentering to some extent. When ready to establish a home of his own, Mr. Warren was married, August 24, 1854, to Miss Mary Ann, daughter of John and Catherine (Reinhammer) Stout, natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Stout were married in the Keystone State, whence they removed to Pickaway County, Ohio, and there the father died. The mother survived him a few years and passed away in Sandusky County, Ohio. They had six children, the eldest Mrs. Warren, who was the third, was born in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio, January 1, 1832, and was reared to womanhood under the parental roof, acquiring a good education and a knowledge of housewifely arts. Immediately after their marriage Mr. Warren brought his wife to Illinois, making the journey in an emigrant wagon and locating in Christian County. After a sojourn there of two years, he came to this county and purchased the farm in Tower Hill, which is still his home. Of his union ten children were born whose record is as follows: James M., who died at the age of twenty years; Emanuel F., who is a professor in the Western College at Toledo, Iowa; John, a farmer; Nelson, who married Miss Anna B. Rosenberry and is a farmer; Lewis H. and George W., farmers; Mary L., who died when nineteen years old; Nora J.; Otis W., and Edward N. Every measure calculated to contribute to the progress of the community finds a firm friend in Mr. Warren, who is well known as a public-spirited citizen. In politics he is a Prohibitionist. He was the first Township Clerk in Tower Hill, has served as Highway Commissioner and held various school offices. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Church, while his wife belongs to the United Brethren Church. Of a genial and hospitable nature, it is not strange that his position among the citizens of this section is an influential one, and that he numbers his friends among the worthiest wherever he is known. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
A young and progressive man who has already attained a flattering degree of success and whose friends predict for him a brilliant future, is he whose name is written at the head of this sketch. He is a farmer and stock-raiser, operating two hundred and forty acres, located on section 17, Pickaway Township. At this place he settled in December, 1887. Not yet having reached his third decade, he has already accumulated a handsome property that many an older man has striven and labored in vain for years to acquire. He is one of the most thrifty men of the township where he has lived since his fourth year. He was born in Ridge Township, this county, April 19, 1866.
Since his fourth year our subject has lived in Pickaway Township, where he acquired a good common-school education that fitted him for the practical business of life, and since becoming of age he has been engaged in farming on his father-in-law's land. He is the son of Alva P. and Mary A. (Miller) Weakly, natives of Ohio and Illinois respectively. Our subject's father came with his parents, Samuel and Maria (Fetters) Weakly, to this State and county at an early day. They became pioneers in Ridge Township, this county, and there Samuel Weakly became the owner of a large tract of new land, which he improved. He lived to own six hundred acres of land, nearly all of which was well improved, and when he died in 1890, at the age of seventy-five, he was in more than comfortable financial circumstances. He was twice married. His first wife died in the prime of life, January 10, 1862. He was an active member of the United Brethren Church and Mr. Weakly helped to organize the church in this county and at various times held most of the church offices. He was School Superintendent for years, a public-spirited man and a liberal giver. Formerly he was a Republican in his political views, but in his last years became an adherent of the Greenback party, and finally of the Prohibitionists. His last wife, whose maiden name was Rachael A. Schafer, and who had formerly been married to a Mr. Petty, yet survives him. She is now fifty years of age. She bore Mr. Weakly one child, who is now deceased. The father of our subject. Alva P. Weakly was the second of four sons and six daughters. All are now married and have families with the exception of one.
Alva P. Weakly became of age in Ridge Township, and there married his wife, whose maiden name was Mary A. Miller, a native of that township and a daughter of C. P. Miller, an old settler there. For a further history of C. P. Miller's life refer to sketch of W. C. Miller, found in another part of this volume. After marriage the young couple began life as farmers in Ridge Township and there two children were born to them. They then moved into Pickaway Township and now have a fine and well-improved farm of three hundred and sixty-five acres, which has been their home since 1870. This fine place is the tangible result of years of industry, prudence and thrift. In their church relations they are prominent members of the United Brethren Church, of which Mr. Weakly is a Trustee. For years he was Superintendent of the Sunday-school and Class-Leader. Politically he is a Republican and has held various local offices under his party. He is now Justice of the Peace.
Our subject is the eldest of the family born to his parents, seven children in all, of whom there are five sons and two daughters. He of whom we write was married in this township May 1, 1887, to Miss Clara A. Moll. She was born here on the old Moll homestead, January 8, 1867, and was here reared and educated at Westfield Seminary. She is the daughter of Daniel Moll, of whom a sketch may be found in another part of this volume.
Mrs. Weakly is an accomplished and attractive lady. She and her husband are very popular among the young married people and their home is a delightful meeting-place for the gaiety and social life of the community. Their marriage has been blessed by the birth of a daughter, on the 16th of April, 1888. She is a bright girl and is the delight of her parents. The young husband and wife are members of the Locust Grove United Brethren Church and there do efficient work. Mr. Weakly is a Republican in his political preference.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Edson B. Weakly
An honorable position among the men to whom Shelby County is indebted for its present high state of its material development is held by Mr. Weakly, who resides on section 3, Ridge Township. The present condition of his farm attests to his ability as a financier and his judgment regarding agricultural affairs. As a citizen he is worthy of the respect and confidence that he has inspired by his honorable career. Not only is he a man of note in his own community, but he ranks among the most influential residents of the county. His success as a farmer has been unusual and he is also well known as a business man of ability and integrity.
Samuel Weakly, father of our subject, is well known among the citizens of this county, whither he came in 1852. He was born in Maryland, September 3, 1814, and removed to Ohio in 1824. In Fairfield County, that State, he was married February 12, 1839, to Miss Maria Fetters, who was born in Ohio in 1820. This worthy couple sojourned in the Buckeye State for many years after their marriage, and after their removal to Illinois, located in Ridge Township, this county, where they passed the remainder of their days. The mother passed away January 10, 1862. To her and husband ten children had been born, as follows: Emanuel J., Alva P., Naomi, Mary J., Eliza, Annie M., Jesse O., Edson B., Ida and Katie. The father contracted a second matrimonial alliance, choosing as his wife Rachel A. Petty, and of this union one child was born, Minnie B., who died May 6, 1889. The widow now survives, making her home in Assumption. The father died in Ridge Township October 21, 1890. He had been a member of the United Brethren Church since 1841, and was highly esteemed for his many excellent traits of character, ever seeking to do unto others as he would he done by. "Uncle Sam" as he was familiarly called, experienced many of the hardships of pioneer life, but by dint of perseverance and good judgment, became well to-do, and at the time of his decease, left a good estate for his widow and children.
Ridge Township, this county, was the native place of Edson B. Weakly, of this sketch, and April 25, 1857, the date of his birth. His life has been characterized by no unusual events, but has passed quietly and uneventfully. In his youth he received the advantages of the district schools, and as he is a systematic reader, keeps posted upon all topics of general interest. Early in life he commenced to aid his father on the farm, and naturally when the time came for him to choose a calling, he became a farmer, and has always followed agricultural pursuits. He now owns forty acres of good land, embellished with good buildings and well improved.
On March 26, 1882, Mr. Weakly and Miss Martha J. Moll were united in marriage in Pickaway Township, this county. The bride was the daughter of Daniel and Caroline (Wolf) Moll, who are natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively [sic], the father being born January 2, 1831, and the mother June 12, 1829, and are now living retired in Moweaqua. Mr. and Mrs. Moll had a family of six children, viz: Lydia C., Mary E., Martha J., John W., Clara A. and William H. Mrs. Weakly was born in Pickaway Township, October 12, 1859, and to her and Mr. Weakly have been born two children, Homer H. and Daniel R. Politically, Mr. Weakly is a Republican, and religiously he and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the United Brethren Church.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Rev. Henry Weakly
Rev. Henry Weakly, a man of ability and usefulness who pursues the double avocation of tiller of the soil and spiritual laborer in the vineyard of the Lord, has his pleasant home on section 2, Rose Township, Shelby County. His father was Benedict Weakly and his mother Martha Mathews, both born in Maryland, thence they migrated to Fairfield County, Ohio, and from there removed to Shelby County, Ill. Their marriage took place December 21, 1815, and they were successful and laborious farmers. It was in 1843 when they came to Shelby County, Ill., and they settled in Ridge Township which became their final earthly home. Our subject was one of the oldest members of his father's family, his native place being in Fairfield County, Ohio, where he was born September 7, 1826. He passed his early days in Ohio where he attended the common schools and after coming to Illinois he devoted himself to farm work, assisting his father upon the farm until he was twenty-five years old, when he was united in marriage with Miss Amanda Wagoner, a native of Indiana.
The young wedded couple made their first home in Ridge Township and there set up their household and industriously devoted themselves to farm labors. This was their farm home until they removed to Rose Township. Mr. Weakly first united with the Evangelical Brethren Church in Ridge Township, which church afterward became a part of the Southern Methodist. He has officiated in the pulpit since 1866. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1877 and four years later received the ordination of Elder. A large tract of land located in Shelby County is the property owned and managed by our subject. He has it in an excellent state of cultivation and has erected upon it, comfortable and neat farm buildings. This worthy couple are practically doers of good in the world, for as they have no children of their own they have acted as father and mother to four little orphans and have brought them up to attain lives and character of usefulness in the world. This truly good, industrious and benevolent life strongly reinforces the pulpit utterances of Mr. Weakly, and his eloquent exhortation to a Christian life are not without their effect upon the people to whom he administers. At a meeting which he conducted nine miles east of Nokomis, thirty-seven professed conversion to the Saviour. Aside from his domestic life and pulpit work, Mr. Weakly has been useful in the community as Highway Commissioner in Ridge Township.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Among the Best Farms on section 34, Ridge Township, Shelby County, will be noticed by every stranger or passer-by the finely cultivated acres and good, neat buildings of the excellent farmer whose name appears at the head of this paragraph. His father, Benedict Weakly, was born in Maryland, March 24, 1787, and his mother, Margatha Mathews, a native of the same State, was born May 1, 1797. They were married December 22, 1816, and made their first home in their native State, removing afterward to Fairfield County, Ohio, and in the summer of 1843 emigrated to Illinois and settled in Ridge Township, Shelby County, where they spent the remainder of their days; the father was called hence November 14, 1858, and the mother followed him to the grave April 15, 1878.
This worthy and venerated couple had ten children: Robert, Rebecca, Nancy, John, Henry, James, Margaret, Mary, William, and George. Robert is a farmer in Kansas; Rebecca was the wife of David Ewing and died in Ridge Township, September 16, 1843; Nancy married Richard Keirn and died in Assumption, Ill.; John died in South Dakota, July 25, 1888; Henry is a clergyman and farmer residing in Ross Township; James died in Kansas in Harper County in July, 1889; Margaret was the wife of Samuel Smith and passed away in Tower Hill Township, September 21, 1885; Mary died in infancy; William is a farmer in Ridge Township; and George died in infancy.
William Weakly was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, August 5, 1835, and was about eight years old when he came to Shelby County with his parents and here in Ridge Township, where he grew to manhood he has made his home from that day to this. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and is the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land which are highly cultivated and in a splendid productive condition. In his political views he is strongly inclined to believe in the doctrines which are promulgated in the platform 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]
Berry T. Webb
We are pleased to present to the consideration of our readers, the portrait and biographical sketch of the efficient School Director and Road Commissioner of Richland Township, Shelby County. An old settler in the county and a substantial farmer, he has gained the well merited approval of his neighbors as a worthy Christian gentleman and a citizen whose good judgment and
practical good sense made him useful in the community. He resides on section 13, Richland Township, ad has been in Shelby County since 1840.
John and Elizabeth (Young) Webb, the honored and beloved parents of our subject, were born in Tennessee, the former near Nashville in 1792, at a time previous to the organization of Nashville as a town. He was born in a block house in which the family were shielding themselves from the Indians. He and his worthy wife were united in marriage in Tennessee, and came to Illinois in 1840, settling upon what is now known as section 13, Richland Township, in the days before such organization was effected. Here they passed their remaining years, being thoroughly interested in reducing the wilderness to a farm of thrift, comfort and productiveness. The father died in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and the mother when she was about sixty years old.
The parents of our subject reared nine children, of whom one daughter died at the age of twelve years, and eight reached man's and woman's estate. Louisa married Madison Crockett and died in Shelby County; George died in Mississippi; Mary married Thomas Blythe and after his death became the wife of Jesse Barker, and ow resides in Shelby County; Nancy is the wife of Alfred Blythe; Lucretia became Mrs. H. Morgan and died in Missouri. Our subject is the next in age; William died in Dickinson County, Iowa; and Susan Ann became the wife of William Brady, and died in this county.
The birthplace of Berry T. Webb was in Tennessee, his natal day being April 8, 1825. It was in February, 1840, that he came to Illinois, where he had two sisters already living and the remainder of the family emigrated to this State during the fall of the same year. The Mexican War called our subject from the pursuits of peace to the activities of the march and battlefield, and in June, 1846, he entered the United States service as a soldier serving through the Mexican War, and returning home in March, 1847. As part of his reward for service he received a land warrant and with this he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land where he now resides. In October, 1848, the returned soldier began his domestic life by his marriage to Maria Ann Curry, who was born in Tennessee, March 15, 1826. Since marriage, the family home has been upon the same farm, to which Mr. Webb has added by purchase from time to time, until he now owns four hundred and twenty acres of as fine land as is to be found within the limits of Shelby County.
To Mr. and Mrs. Webb three children have been granted, all of whom are residents of this county, namely: John W., Louisa E., and Martha E. who is now the wife of Lafayette Stirwalt. Democratic simplicity, in the belief and practice of which Mr. Webb was brought up, and which he earnestly believes to be the true doctrine upon which to base the life of the country, still commands his adherence and his vote. He has been a member of the separate Baptist Church since the spring of 1848, at which time an organization was effected near his home, and his life both in his church connection and in business circles has from that day to this adorned the doctrine in which he believes. The influence of his family in the community is one which is conducive of good to all who come within the circle of its radiance. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
This gentleman, the popular Postmaster of Tower Hill, Shelby County, and Justice of the Peace, is known throughout Shelby County as an upright citizen and a reliable business man. Peaceful and law-abiding and a man of honor in the affairs of life, he has the respect of his acquaintances and his friendly spirit has won a warmer feeling from his neighbors. A veteran of the late war, every loyal heart will feel a thrill of gratitude to him as one of those valiant soldiers to whom we owe the preservation of the Union. The father of our subject, whose name was George L., was a man of considerable prominence in his community. He was born in Princeton, Ky., and in his early manhood married Nancy Smith, a native of Columbia County, S. C. They emigrated from Kentucky to Illinois in 1830, locating in Bond County, where they passed the remainder of their lives. The father served as Deputy Sheriff of Bond County for several years, held the office of Constable, and was Justice of the Peace for sixteen years. He discharged the duties of these various offices to the general satisfaction, and is remembered as a public-spirited citizen and one who in his business affairs was the soul of integrity. In his chosen calling of a farmer he was successful and acquired a competency, so that he was able to supply his family with every comfort.
In a family of six children our subject was the second, and he was born, February 1, 1831, near Greenville, Bond County, Ill. There he was reared to manhood and remained until he was about twenty-two years old. In the meantime he acquired an excellent education, of which he made use in teaching in Bond, Montgomery, Madison and Shelby Counties, this State. Later he attended school in Platteville, Wis., and also taught school for two terms in that State. He followed the profession of a teacher thirty years consecutively, with the exception of the three years in which he served in the army.
Mr. Weeks came to Shelby County in 1860, and on August 4, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry. He was appointed First Sergeant and served until the close of the war. He took part in many important engagements, among them being the battles of Chickamauga, Dalton, Tunnel Hill, Resaca, and other smaller engagements, and altogether he was in action for sixty-seven days. During the fierce conflict at Chickamauga he was commanded by Gen. Steedman to carry the colors, which he did during the remainder of that day, proving himself a brave and valiant soldier. Of the five who were in his mess, he alone escaped fatal injuries.
At the close of the war Mr. Weeks returned to Shelbyville and was soon engaged in his profession, occupying the position of Principal of the public schools in Windsor, Ill., for two years. He continued teaching until December, 1881, when he was appointed Postmaster at Tower Hill, filling the position satisfactorily until he was deposed under the administration of Grover Cleveland. In April, 1885, he was elected Justice of the Peace, was reelected in April, 1889, and is now holding that office. In April, 1889, he was re-appointed Postmaster of Tower Hill and assumed the duties of the position in the following June. He has held other offices in the township, and holds a prominent rank among the Republicans of the county. In 1884 he was a candidate for the office of County Surveyor on the Republican ticket, but was defeated by his Democratic opponent. However, he ran ahead of his ticket in every township, with one exception, in the county. Nor is he forgetful of things divine, for he has been a consistent member of the Methodist Church for many years, also acting as Sunday-school Superintendent for a long time. At the head of the household affairs in the pleasant home of Mr. Weeks is a refined and cultured lady, who prior to October 18, 1866, was known as Sevilla J. Sill. She was born in Monroe County, Ohio, September 4, 1845, and the ceremony which united her for life with Mr. Weeks was performed in Hennepin, Ill. Nine children came to bless the home, viz: Estella, the assistant Postmistress at Tower Hill; George D., Bertel, who died in infancy; John W., Nellie B., who died when two years old; Warren, Chase, Boyd and Lois A. The family are honored members of society and are deservedly popular in the community.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Samuel D. West
Samuel D. West is a prominent and well-known citizen of Moweaqua, Shelby County, who has held important civic positions in the city government. For many years he was among the leading mechanics of the county, and conducted a good business as a blacksmith here until he retired October, 1890 in favor of his son Frank. Our subject was born at Sempronius, Cayuga County, N. Y., August 12, 1821. His parents were Thomas and Rhoda (Dunbar) West, and they were natives of Oneida County, that State.
Mr. West was reared in Wayne County, N.Y., whither his parents removed in 1827. As soon as he was large and strong enough to handle the tools he began to work with his father in his smithy, and thus early acquired a good knowledge of the blacksmith trade. At the age of twenty-one he rented his father's shop at South Butler, Wayne County, and carried on his calling there some years. In the spring of 1854 he came to this county, as with characteristic shrewdness and foresight he saw that skilled mechanics would be in demand in a new and growing country. He came hither by rail to Chicago, and from there by the same means of transport to Springfield and Decatur, and from the latter place with a team to Moweaqua, which he had selected as a suitable location to begin his new life. He bought a small shop in the village and at once went to work at his trade, which he increased from year to year, until he was conducting a flourishing and paying business as blacksmith at the time of his retirement.
Our subject was married in May, 1844 to Miss Emma Baggerly, a native of Ontario County, N.Y., and a daughter of Peter and Jane Baggerly. For forty-six years they walked together through the sunshine and shadow that lay across their pathway, and then Death parted them, removing the faithful wife from the home that her presence had gladdened so long. She and our subject were blessed with two children Frank B. and Jennie. The former married Mollie Weakly, and they have four children - Mabel, Bertha, Della and Samuel. Jennie married Joseph B. Longevan, and they have two children living, Claud and Dwight. Mr. West was a Republican from the time the party was organized until 1888, and since then he has been a Democrat and a prohibitionist. His fellow-citizens, appreciating his worth as a man of exemplary habits, unswerving honesty and truthfulness in every word and act, and his capability, have often called him to responsible positions. He has served as a member of the City Council, and as President of the Board, and also as a member of the School Board. At one time he was elected Police Magistrate. He was also Justice of the Peace three terms, and has been Notary Public for upward twenty years. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
James H. White
We are pleased to present among the highly esteemed residents of Shelby County the name of James H. White, who resides on section 13, Rose Township. His father, William White, was born in Perry County, Pa., and his mother, Hannah Milligan, was a native of the same county. Their first home after marriage was in that State, from which they afterward removed to Montgomery County, Ind., and later to Christian County, Ill., where they located in Pana, and there they spent the remainder of their days. They were the happy parents of ten children, of whom our subject is the second.
James H. White was born in Perry County, Pa., July 16, 1829. There he received his early education and his practical training upon a farm and grew up to a vigorous young manhood. In 1851 he removed to Montgomery County, Ind., and engaged in the mercantile business in Waveland for about fifteen years. He sold out his business in 1865, and coming to Shelby County, located on section 13, Rose Township. Since his removal to this place he has devoted himself entirely to farming and dealing in stock. His rich farm comprises one hundred and twenty acres upon which he has placed good improvements.
The marriage of this gentleman took place in Crawfordsville, Ind., October 3, 1854, his bride being Miss Mildred Canine, a daughter of Richard and Eliza (Gwynn) Canine, both natives of Kentucky. The mother died in Crawfordsville, Ind., and the father still survives. Eight children completed this family circle and Mrs. White was next to the eldest of them. Her birth took place in Crawfordsville, Ind., April 2, l835, and there she was reared to womanhood.
The children who came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. White are seven in number, namely: Albert T., who married Miss Fannie Durkee; Clara S.; William R., who married Miss Fannie Smith, of Frankfort, Clinton County, Ind.; James; Walter; Minnie, who died when ten years old; and Alta P. Mr. White has the profound respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens and they have placed him in several offices of responsibility, all of which he has filled with real benefit to the community. He has for four terms been Supervisor of Rose Township and for several years acted as Justice of the Peace and Township Clerk. He is Secretary for Rose Township of the Farmers' Insurance Company. He is independent in his political views and does not ally himself with any of the existing parties, as he prefers to be free to follow his own judgment and convictions rather than to be guided by the party leaders.
Mrs. White is a woman of more than ordinary capability and influence and is the efficient and judicious President of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Moulton They have brought up their children in the faith and practice of the Christian religion and the whole family are united in the membership of the Presbyterian Church. The pleasant home of our subject has attractive surroundings and the farm buildings are excellent. Such a family as this is one of the greatest advantages which any township can have, as their industry and enterprise tend to its material prosperity and their character and intelligence make an influence for good in every way.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William Whitworth, who, as a sagacious, skillful farmer, has helped to make Shelby County a rich, well-developed agricultural center, has at the same time acquired a valuable property, and not only owns a fine farm within the corporate limits of the city of Moweaqua, but has here a handsome, well-appointed residence, in which he is living in retirement from active business. He is a native of Perry County, Ind., born May 25, 1838, a son of Abraham Whitworth, who was born in Virginia in 1807. The father of the latter, also named Abraham, was likewise a native of Virginia, and was the son of an Englishman, who came to this country and settled in the Old Dominion in Colonial times, spending the remainder of his life there.
The grandfather of our subject went from his native State to Tennessee with his family in 1811, and after a two years' sojourn in the wilderness in that State, he proceeded Northward into Breckenridge County, Ky., where he in time cleared a farm from the timber, and there closed his earthly pilgrimage. He married Nancy Board, who was born in Virginia and died in Kentucky.
The father of our subject was scarcely more than a babe when his parents took up their abode in Kentucky, and he grew to a vigorous manhood under the influences of the rough pioneer life of those days. When he became a young man he too became a pioneer, selecting the more newly settled State of Indiana as the scene of his operations, and he there took unto himself a wife, Miss Martha Gregory uniting her life with his. She was also a native of Virginia, and was a daughter of Peter and Mary (Dobson) Gregory, natives of Virginia, the latter a daughter of William O. Dobson, also a Virginian. After marriage, Mr. Whitworth, who had formerly been a pilot on a flatboat that plied on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, commencing life at boating when quite young, turned his attention to farming. In 1861 he came to Illinois, and settled on a tract of land that he bought in Moweaqua Township, located four miles east of the village, where he resided until his life was rounded out in death in July, 1864. His wife survived him until the following year, and then she too passed away, dying in the month of December. She was the mother of eight children that were reared to maturity.
The early life of our subject was passed amid the scenes of his birth. He came to Shelby County in 1858, and he began his career here by working out by the day or month. Prudently saving his earnings, in 1864 he invested in eighty acres of good farming land four and one-half miles northwest of the village of Moweaqua, and later added to it forty acres more. He resided on that place several years, devoting his energies to its improvement, and when he left it in 1886 to take up his abode in the city he had placed it under a high state of cultivation, and had made of it a well-ordered farm. He came to Moweaqua in the year mentioned, bought property, and in 1890 erected his present commodious residence, which is built after plans drawn by himself and wife, is very conveniently arranged and is an ornament to the city. He also has a fine farm advantageously located within the limits of this municipality, which contains sixty-four acres of well-tilled land, and is amply supplied with buildings and everything needful for its successful cultivation.
Mr. Whitworth has been twice married. In 1861 he was wedded to Miss Sarah Lamb, a native of Richland County, Ill. Their brief but happy union was closed by her death in 1864. She left two children, Clara and Alice. Clara married William Landram, and has two children. Alice married James Chance, and has four children. The present estimable wife of our subject, to whom he was united in marriage in 1866, was formerly Miss Isabella Doyle. She is a native of Macoupin County, this State, and a daughter of E. M. Doyle, who is represented in this work.
Mr. Whitworth, as we have seen, has become one of the prosperous citizens of this county through the exercise of good mental and physical endowments. He is a gentleman of sound principles and blameless life, who is justly held in high consideration by his neighbors and associates, and in him the Baptist Church has a conscientious, right-living member, his wife also belonging to that church, and identifying herself with its best efforts to elevate the moral status of the community. As a loyal and true-hearted citizen should, our subject interests himself in politics, and is a staunch adherent 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]
Thomas M. Wilmer
Many prosperous farmers and stock-raisers are to be found within the bounds of Oconee Township, Shelby County, and perhaps no one of them is more notable for general intelligence and worth both in his person and his family than he whose name appears at the head of this paragraph. He was born in Warren County, N. J., August 25, 1835. His parents were William A. and Catherine (Morrell) Wilmer. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Philadelphia in 1805 and the mother was born the same year in Essex County, N. J. Five children came to cheer this home, of whom our subject is the eldest. The brothers and sisters of our subject are as follows: William R., born in 1838, enlisted as a private in Company B, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry. He was promoted to be Hospital Steward of his regiment and afterward adjutant of the regiment and was killed in battle at Franklin, November 30, 1864; Francis M. born in 1840, enlisted in Company G, Fifth Illinois Cavalry. He participated in many maneuvers and engagements but died at home in 1864, of sickness while on a furlough. He had been promoted to the office of First Sergeant of his company; Theodocia R., born May 25, 1841, was also one of the victims of the war. Her allianced was the Captain of a company in the Fifth Illinois Cavalry and died in service. Miss Wilmer, never very strong, took to her bed upon hearing the news of his death and never recovered from the shock but died in September 1865; Lambert, born November 9, 1844, married Miss Maggie McConnell in Shelby County in 1867, and engaged in farming. He had a bronchial or lung trouble and removed to Colorado in 1881, hoping for relief but died at Ft. Morgan in that State in 1887. The removal of our subject from New Jersey to Illinois occurred in March, 1857, and he was then a young man under the parental roof, which was located on the farm where he now resides. His father was an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thomas Wilmer was married in September, 1865, to Miss Lydia A. Reed who was born in Mercer County, N. J., June 3, 1847. Her parents came from New Jersey to this county in 1857 and located in Oconee Township where they died both in one year - 1883. In their family there were eleven children, namely: John, Abram, Winchester B., Achsa, Lydia A., Alice, Willard, Charles, George, Mary and Emily.
To Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer five children have been born: Catherine M., who first saw the light March 2, 1867, has been a teacher in the public schools of Shelby County, for several years; Anna E., born March 4, 1869, is also following the same profession; Francis, born December 17, 1871, is also qualified as a teacher, having passed a successful examination; Clara G., born August 10, 1874. and Classena, born February 6, 1880, are at home.
Mr. Wilmer has always followed the business of farming, although he was educated for the profession of a surveyor. He is a Republican in politics and takes an interest in public affairs, making an effort to keep himself informed on the current events of the day. He is a thorough and systematic reader. Mr. Wilmer is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, although his preference is for the Congregational body. Both the paternal and maternal grandfather of our subject were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Morrell, held the rank of Major in the Fourth Regiment of New Jersey Continentals and was wounded at the battle of Long Island and left on the field for dead. Clinton B. Fisk in the New York Independent states that Gen. Washington detailed four soldiers to carry Maj. Morrell to his father's house at Elizabeth, N. J. On recovery he rejoined the army and remained with it until after the battle of Brandywine when his wound broke out afresh and he was compelled to leave the service. He spent twenty years of his later life as a Methodist minister. He was born in New York City in 1747 and died in Elizabeth, N. J., in 1838. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Many of the best characteristics in every branch of social and commercial life, are the outcome of the brawn and sinew of what is frequently called the middle class of society; in reality, the best class, for in it is usually found a common sense and practical view of affairs that is often want in both the highest and lowest classes. Our subject, although having filled a humble position in the ranks for some time, is one who by perseverance, energy and native ability has acquired much that many a richer man, and one who is pleased to think himself of a better class, is wanting in. He is the owner of a neat little farm in Rural Township, having been a resident of Shelby County since 1875.
Mr. Wilson was born in Delaware County, Ind., February 28, 1848. He is a son of William and Lydia (Antrim) Wilson, natives of Pickaway County, Ohio. They were married however, in Indiana, and resided in that State the remainder of their lives. The father died in 1863 at the age of forty-five. They were the parents of nine children, eight of whom lived to be grown. They were: Sarah, Robert, Samuel, Emma, Alva, Lizzie, Martha and Florence. Of these Robert and Alva are deceased.
After the death of our subject's father, his mother married a second husband, but there were no children by this union. She is still living in Delaware County, Ind., and is the object of the filial affection and care of her children. Our subject's advent into this State was made in 1875. He worked by the year on a farm until 1877, when he was united in marriage to Mary Ann Beckett, a daughter of William Beckett. She was born in Utica, N.Y. Our subject and his wife have two children, Anna and Lenora, who are the pride and hope of their fond parents. Politically he of whom we write feels that his interests are best furthered by a union with his class, and he is a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, although formerly he was Republican. In his religious connection he is united with the Church of God, as is his wife. He operates eighty acres of land. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
George W. Winn
George W. Winn is a resident on a fine farm located on section 38, Lowe Township, and settled in the county of Shelby December 9, 1862. Our subject was born Feb. 2, 1833, in Muskingum County, Ohio and is a son of James and Louisa (Shaw) Winn, natives of the State that is notable for its Presidents and Statesmen and pretty girls. Our subject's parents with their respective families moved from old Virginia to Ohio when they were children and were among the first settlers of Muskingum County. The Winn family settled in Prairie Township and the Shaw family in Adams Township. In their respective locations the parents of our subject were reared and meeting, married, soon after settling upon a farm in Salem Township, where they passed their lives and were reasonably successful as farmers. Our subject's father became the owner of two hundred acres of land in Ohio before his death. His decease occurred July 9, 1890, his wife passing away in 1879 or 1880. The father was born September 30, 1808. He was a Missionary Baptist in his church following and the mother was united with the Methodist Episcopal denomination. They have fourteen children, of whom our subject is the second in order of birth and the oldest one now living.
George W. Winn was reared on the home farm in Ohio, and in 1854 he was united in marriage to Miss Malinda A. Bowden. She was born in Salem Township, Muskingum County, Ohio, July 18, 1837, and is a daughter of Daniel and Helen (Adams) Bowden, natives of New Jersey and Ohio respectively. Our subject came to Illinois in the fall of 1857 and first settled in Edgar County, whence in 1862 he came to Moultrie County and purchased eighty acres of land which was little improved at the time. He is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land, whereon he lives and besides owns the farm where he was born in Ohio. This last-mentioned property comprises three hundred and eighty acres of valuable land.
Our subject and his wife have been the parents of eight children, six of whom have been spared them to be their comfort and sustenance in their declining years. They are, Charidota E., Cordelia M., George W., Clara B., Henrietta M., Sherman L. and Hattie R. Cordelia is the wife of Eli Smith and resides in Hall County, Neb.; Clara died at the age of sixteen years; Henrietta is the wife of Lewis Smith of Moultrie County. Politically, Mr. Winn fraternizes with the Democratic party and his devotion to the interests of his party has been rewarded by appointment to various local positions. He has been Collector for two years and was elected Justice of the Peace but resigned the office. In his religious belief he is an attendant upon and member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been a Class-Leader in that denomination for many years. In early life he was engaged as a teacher and continued so employed for three terms while yet in Ohio and taught for three terms after coming to Illinois. Mr. Winn was made a Mason in 1854.
James and Louisa Winn, the parents of our subject, have fourteen children, of whom the following grew to manhood and womanhood: George W., our subject, is the eldest, then follows John W., Dolphin, Martha C., Rosanna, Emeline, Hiram S., Henrietta C. and Franklin P. Dolphin died at Camp Denison, Ohio, soon after enlisting in the Civil War; Emeline is the wife of Peter C. Sawyer and resides in Muskingum County, Ohio; Hiram served as a soldier in the Civil War and experienced the horrors of Confederate prison life for fourteen months. Franklin resides in Adamsville, Ohio, where he is a merchant.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The name noted is that of the owner and proprietor of one the fine farms located on section 25, of Tower Hill Township. During the seventy-nine years that he has lived great changes have taken place in the calling to which he has always devoted himself. Greece could boast of her temples and statues, Rome of her laws and law-makers, but it remains for America to beat the world at Yankee inventions that are a labor saving of incalculable degree to the agriculturist. Whereas in his boyhood days our subject planted and hoed the corn by hand, and cradled and gathered the grain in the same manner, now the owner of a thousand acres can sit on the carriage seat of his binder, arrayed in a white polished shirt and patent leather boots and a fine suit of clothes made to order, and can accomplish as much in a day as was formerly accomplished in a month.
All his life Mr. Wirey has been engaged in the energetic and industrious pursuit of his calling, but he has now retired from active labor and is enjoying the fruits of his early efforts. He is of Pennsylvania parentage and is proud of the fact that he is thoroughly American. Our subject's father was John Wirey, who was probably born in Pennsylvania, as was his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Spidle. After marriage they first settled in Franklin County, Pa., and afterward removed to Westmoreland County, in the same State, there the father died. Left with the care of a family, the mother determined to seek easier conditions under which to make a living, and removed from the hilly country where she had lived in Pennsylvania, to the more fertile region in Richland County, Ohio. Later, however, she with her children came to Shelby County, this State. and in 1839 located on Robinson Creek, in Rose Township. There the family lived and labored together for six years at the end of which time they removed to Tower Hill Township, and there the mother died, after a life spent in self-sacrifice and loving devotion to her family. Her decease took place on section 34, and she was interred with all respect and honor in God's acre of the township. Our subject's parents were not exactly in the fashion for pioneer days, for instead of having a family of whose children was counted in the teens, only four little ones came to be the mother's comfort and stay in her time of tribulation and bereavement. Their names are Catherine, Polly, William and John. Of these our subject was the third in order of birth, being the eldest son. He was born in Franklin County, Pa., September 12, 1812, during that troubled period when it was decisively settled who should have supremacy in this country. He was reared in the village until he was fifteen years of age after which time he went to live with a man by the name of John Kinneard, of his native place, and he remained with him until of age when he went to Ohio, and from 1833 to 1839 inclusive, he made his home in Richland County, of that State. At the latter named date he came to Shelby County, in this State, and with his mother and family resided on Robinson Creek, Rose Township, until about 1845, when he came to Tower Hill Township, of which place he has ever since been a resident.
Mr. Wirey, as has before been said, has always been engaged in the calling of agriculture. Formerly he was the owner of two hundred acres of as fine land as there is in Tower Hill Township, and the greater portion of his life was spent in improving this tract and making of it a farm that is a model in its way. This he sold when well advanced in years and now lives retired from the active duties of life. Our subject has filled several local offices in the gift of the township, and has been Assessor of Tower Hill Township for one year, his political preferences he is a Democrat. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
To be an honorable and efficient agriculturist in the State of Illinois, where the soil responds so generously to the hand of him who cultivates it, is to be almost ensured in having a comfortable home and happy and congenial surroundings. The intelligent and praiseworthy people who settled in this State in its early days brought with them such conditions and such institutions as tended to gather about them the best class of emigrants, and they and their descendants have built up such social conditions as have bended to the prosperity and happiness of all. We find upon section 8, Oconee Township, Shelby County, a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser in the person of Thomas H. Wood, who was born in Woodburn, Macoupin County, this State, September 11, 1862. He is a son of J. M. and Elizabeth M. (Hilliard) Wood, the former being born in Sangamon County, Ill., in 1823, and the mother in the same State in 1826. The mother, who became a widow in May, 1887, after her removed to this county, still resides on her farm in Oconee Township. The Wood family is pleased to count itself as descended from the sturdy English stock which is representative of the people who demanded from King John that noble instrument - the Magna Charta.
Eight sons and four daughters were born to the parents of our subject, namely: Perminda, now Mrs. L. Howell, of Dodge City, Kan.; Mary, who has been twice married, first to James Coffee and after her widowhood to J. C. Lemay, and now lives at Gillespie, Macoupin County; Jennie, the wife of J. S. March, of Oconne; John H., who lives with his wife, Ella Brennan, in Woodburn, Macoupin County; William J., who has been an invalid for the last fifteen years, resides with his mother; Leonard D., who is farming in Gandy, Neb., and is married to Clarissa Holbrook; Luther and Abbie, who died in early childhood; Weston, who resides in Oconee Township with his wife, Sadie Doyle; Thomas, our subject; James M., who married Gilla Combest and resides on a farm in Oconee Township; Walter B., who married Blanche Brown and lives upon the parental homestead.
The subject of this brief life review came to Oconee Township with his parents when a young lad of some twelve years, and here he grew to manhood and has made his home that day to this. He obtained his education in the district schools of Illinois, which gave him an excellent preparation for his life work, and received a thorough training upon the home farm in the practical work of agriculture. February 23, 1883, was the day of days in the life of this young man as it united him in marriage with the lady of his choice, Miss Clara B. Speaker, daughter of David and Abbie Speaker, of Oconee. She was born November 27, 1861, in this township, of Rhode Island parentage. She lost her father when a little child and her mother took a second husband, whose name is Combest. She had three daughters by her first marriage, Mrs. Wood being the second in age, and the others being Ida M., now Mrs. Bowmer, of Providence, R. I., and Celia A., now Mrs. Murray, of Pana, Ill. To Mr. and Mrs. Wood two sons were born - Joseph, who came to them December 17, 1883, and the youngest, who was born March 5, 1891, is Cecil. Mr. Wood has always taken an active interest in political affairs and voted with the Democratic party until quite recently when he joined the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association and now heartily with them for the benefit of the farming community. He holds no church connection, but is an active promoter of all movements which look to the prosperity and improvement of the township, in which he owns two hundred acres of rich and productive land, most of which is situated on section 8, where he make his home. His farm is finely improved and he lives in comparative ease, reaping the rich reward of the efforts of his earlier years. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Charles E. Woodward
Charles E. Woodward, proprietor of the C. E. Woodward Roller Flour Mill, is a well-known and honored citizen of Shelbyville, Shelby County, with whose manufacturing interests he has been connected several years, and he has also been prominent in its public and social life. He was born June 12, 1815, on a farm eight miles from Bordentown, Monmouth County, N. J. His father, whose name was Nimrod Woodward, was a native of the same State, and was a son of Benjamin Woodward, who is also supposed to have been born in New Jersey, and to have been a descendant of one of the early English families of that Commonwealth. He was a merchant and a miller at Imlaystown, Monmouth County, and his last years were spent there.
The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation, and he had a choice farm located on Cream Ridge, Monmouth County, and there he tranquilly passed a long and useful life, dying in 1870, at the venerable age of eighty-two years. The maiden name of his wife was Catherine Emley, and she was a native of Burlington County, N. J. She died in the home of her son, Clarkson, at Hightstown, N. J. She was the mother of nine children - Ferdinand; Charles E.; Clarkson; Elizabeth; Mary A.; Reading and Emily (twins), Benjamin and Nimrod. The parents were pious and respected members of the Society of Friends, and reared their children in the same faith.
He of whom we write laid the foundation of a solid education in the public schools of his native county, and subsequently attended the Quaker Academy in Philadelphia, where he pursued an excellent course of study, whereby he was fitted for the profession of teaching, and at the age of twenty he entered upon its duties in his native State, New Jersey. In 1837 he accepted a position as teacher at College Hill, near Cincinnati, Ohio, which he resigned a year later to become assistant teacher at Cary's Academy, and two of President Harrison's cousins were among his pupils. He taught in that school a year, and at Vincennes, Ind., a like length of time, and in the winter of 1840-41 he came to Shelby County, making the journey with an ox-team, bringing with him his wife and household goods. He located eight miles from the village of Shelbyville on a tract of land which he had purchased, a few acres of which were broken, taking up his abode in the log cabin that stood on the place. In the spring he entered upon the pioneer task of developing his farm, but he did not wholly abandon his profession, as the two succeeding winters he taught in Shelbyville in a log building that had been used as a residence, there being at that time no schoolhouse in the village.
After his two terms' experience as a pioneer teacher in this county, Mr. Woodward devoted his time exclusively to the improvement of his farm until 1848, when he came to Shelbyville, and succeeded John Tachett as proprietor of the only hotel of which the village then boasted. The following year he bought a building, converted it into a hotel, which he managed one year. He then disposed of his farm and established himself in the dry-goods business at which he was engaged until he sold out at a good profit in 1859.
In 1861 Mr. Woodward was appointed Postmaster by President Lincoln and had charge of the post office at Shelbyville until August 1862, when Gov. Yates appointed him Quartermaster of the Seventy-ninth Illinois Regiment. He served in that capacity very efficiently until the close of the war and was mustered out with his regiment June 12, 1865. Returning home he resumed his duties as Postmaster which office he retained until relieved by President Johnson. After that he was employed as bookkeeper in a dry-goods house until 1868 when he accepted a similar position in the flour mill of C. C. Scovil. That gentleman dying a year later, our subject was appointed executor of his estate, and with J. P. Davis and J. W. Ward bought the mill now known as the C. E. Woodward Roller Mill of which he has been sole proprietor since 1862. He carries on an extensive business, manufacturing an unexcelled brand of flour. The mill occupies two commodious brick buildings, each three stories in height, with a basement, and furnished entirely with first-class modern machinery, the capacity of the mill being one hundred and twenty-five barrels of flour a day and two hundred barrels of corn-meal. That our subject has been successful in life is no doubt partly due to the fact that he possesses one of man's choicest blessings, a good wife, whom he secured in the person of Elizabeth Armstrong, a native of Knox County, Ind., to whom he was united in marriage in 1838. Thus for more than half a century they have shared the joys and sorrows common to mortals, and children have been born to them of whom they have six living, as follows - Charles S., Belle, Nimrod, Emily, Letton and Clarence L.
During these many years that our subject has been a resident of Shelbyville his citizenship has been invaluable to the community, as through his position as one of its enterprising business men he has aided in promoting its growth and prosperity, his public spirit and liberality have helped to forward all schemes to the advancement of its best interests, and he has rendered good service in the important civic positions that he has held. He has been President of the City Council, and for twelve years he was President of the Board of Education and to his zeal and interest in educational matters while occupying that office Shelbyville is greatly indebted today for the efficiency of its schools. Mr. Woodward is prominent in the social life of the city as a member of the following organizations: Jackson Lodge, No. 53, A. F. & A. M.; Jackson Chapter, No. 55, R. A. M.; and of Cyrus Hall Post, No. 138, G. A. R., of which he is Past Commander. As a true citizen should, he has always taken an interest in politics, and in early life was a Whig, but since the formation of the Republican party, he has been one of its staunchest supporters both in times of war and in times of peace. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Capt. George Wright
Conspicuous among those of foreign birth who periled their lives and fortunes to help save the Union during the Civil War Capt. George Wright is not the least worthy of mention. Since the close of the Rebellion he has shown the value of his citizenship in a far different field as a farmer of this county who for several years has interested himself in the introduction of fine horses into this part of the State, having a well-equipped stock farm in Pickaway Township, where he and his son are quite extensively engaged in breeding horses, and have several valuable thoroughbreds of the best strains, besides some imported stock of the purest blood.
Capt. Wright was born in Hutton, Yorkshire, England, October 13, 1825. His father, Robert Wright, was a native of the same shire, as was the grandfather of our subject who spent his whole life among the Yorkshire wolds. The father of our subject was reared to agricultural pursuits and always carried on his occupation in his native shire. He married Eleanor Bradley, who also passed her entire life in Yorkshire. She was the mother of six children, only two of whom came to this country, our subject and his sister Frances. The latter married Robert Dobson, and lives in Shelbyville.
At the early age of seven years the Captain commenced to earn his own living, as his parents were in poor circumstances, and he worked out by the year in different English shires until 1847, when he obtained employment in the chemical works at South Shields, where he remained two years. Ambitious to see something of the world and to make more of life than was possible in the land of his birth, in the pride and vigor of early manhood, he set sail from Liverpool in the month of May in the vessel "De Witt Clinton," bound for these shores, and landed at New York after a three weeks' voyage. He went directly to Massillon, Ohio, where he obtained work as a farm hand, and he resided there until 1858. In that year he made a new departure, and coming to this county, began his independent career as a farmer by purchasing two hundred and forty acres of wild prairie paying $9 an acre for one hundred and sixty acres of it, and $12.50 for the remaining eighty acres. He was a single man at that time, but he had the help and encouragement of his sister, with whom he resided until 1861. In that year the war broke out, and our subject responded quickly to the call for troops first given, with all the loyalty to the Government under which he had come to build up a new home, and with all the patriotism of a native-born citizen. So rapidly did volunteers come forward in this county that the quota was filled before our subject was mustered in, and he had to wait until the 25th of May before his name was enrolled as a member of Company B, Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, under Col. John M. Palmer, July 25, 1861, his regiment crossed from Quincy to Missouri, and was stationed in that State until the ensuing winter, being at different times quartered at Rolla, Macon City, Sturgeon, Jefferson City, Lipton, Springfield, Sedalia and Otterville, or wherever their services were most needed, being at the latter place the greater part of the season of 1861 and till the 1st of February 1862. When Gen. Lyon fought his famous battle at Wilson's Creek, and when Mulligan was engaged at Lexington, our subject and his comrades were sent to re-enforce them but arrived too late both times to be of much use. While at Jefferson City our subject received his promotion to be Second Lieutenant of his Company September 28, 1861. When his regiment left its winter quarters it was dispatched across the Mississippi River to Ft. Donelson, and much to the disappointment of the brave it arrived too late for the battle. They were, however, in good season for the engagement at Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, April 6, 1862, and did some desperate fighting in that dreadful battle, as is shown by the fact that two hundred out of their five hundred were left on the field at the end of the encounter. On that occasion, while faithfully performing his duty, and cheering his men on to the conflict, Capt. Wright received a bullet wound in the left arm.
October 25, 1872, marked another important event in the brave officer's military career, and it was on that date that he received his commission as First Lieutenant, to date September 13, 1862, and reading "Promoted for meritorious service at Pittsburg Landing." When the attack was made on Corinth, the Fourteenth Illinois distinguished itself for conspicuous gallantry in the fore-front of the battle. Its next move was to Grand Junction and La Grange, and June 17, 1862, found it at Holly Springs, Miss. The following October it was in the heat of battle at Metamora, sometimes called the battle of Hatchie. Our subject and his comrades spent the winter of 1862-63 at Lafayette, Tenn., and the following spring and summer were in active service in the famous siege of Vicksburg. Here again our subject was honored by promotion to the position of Captain, receiving his commission, which was dated May 8, 1863, June 30, 1863. After Vicksburg had fallen he led his men in the battle of Jackson, Miss., and afterward camped at Natchez. He was subsequently detailed with his company to escort Adj. Gen. Thomas to New Orleans. He rejoined his regiment near Vicksburg, and in the opening month of 1864 he and a number of his fellow-veterans returned to Illinois, where he obtained furloughs for his men at Springfield. For a month after that he was on detached duty recruiting troops in this county. In the spring he returned to his regiment, which was then stationed at Memphis, but he shortly returned to Illinois with Col. Hall, the commander of his regiment to assist him in obtaining recruits. Having replenished the regiment to the required number, they returned to the seat of war, arriving at Cairo May 13, 1864, and were soon at the front. The term of enlistment of the Fourteenth Illinois expired while at Huntsville, Ala., and soon returned to Springfield, Ill., where Capt. Wright was mustered out of the service, having served long and faithfully and he returned to this county with his honors thick upon him. The Captain took up the work that he had laid down to do battle for his adopted country, and was engaged in farming in Todd's Point Township for a time, his own land being leased. In 1870 he took up his residence once more on his farm in Pickaway Township, and has since occupied a leading place among the most intelligent and progressive farmers of this section. He has always dearly loved a fine horse. which he rightly considers one of the noblest of animals, and a few years ago he turned his attention to raising horses in company with his son, and they have met with signal success in their enterprise. They now have five costly, valuable stallions, four of them imported, as follows: "Thornton Echo" was foaled in La Fylde, Lancastershire, England; "Royal Oak" was bred in Cambridgeshire; "Rampton" was bred in Lincolnshire, "Arthur" is a fine roadster, half Hambletonian and half Cleveland Bay; and one of the handsomest and most promising of the stallions is "Castleraugh," an English hackney, bred in Effingham, Yorkshire, England, imported to this country in 1890. Messrs. Wright also have three imported English shire mares: "Lady Cannock," No. 2350, bred in Leicestershire;"Queen Sarah," No. 2352, bred in Lincolnshire; "Queen Henrietta, No. 2351, bred in Lincolnshire. These horses constitute one of the best selected and most valuable studs in this part of the country, and in their purchase the Captain laid the foundation of a business that is increasing each year, and he has already become known as a horseman of superior judgment, of marked capability and far-reaching enterprise, who seems to know the good points of a horse intuitively, and is never deceived in the worth of an animal. In his son, a young man of much force of character, he has an able coadjutor.
December 29, 1864, Capt. Wright contracted a marriage with Miss Jennie Turner that has added greatly to his well-being. Its happiness has been enhanced by the five children born unto them, namely, John Sherman, Florence Agnes, Frances Helena, Annie Jane and Alice Maud. Mrs. Wright is also of English birth and antecedents, born in Lancastershire, and a daughter of John Turner. She came to America in 1862. Before the war our subject was a Democrat, and was a devoted follower of the famous Stephen A. Douglas. The war seems to have changed his political views decidedly, as since he left the army he has been a strong Republican, and the party has no more ardent advocate in this section than he.[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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