WOOSTER YALE IVES
of Fulton Township
Wooster Y. Ives is a native of Wallingford, Connecticut,and was born July 8, 1810. He came to Whiteside county May 1, 1837 and together with Edward Corbin, made a claim under the bluffs on section 19, of Congressional township 22, now the town of Ustick. Mr. Corbin soon sold his share to Mr. Ives and went to other parts. He was one of those peripatetic individuals of whom there were quite a number throughout this section at quite an early day. Their principal business was to locate claims, make some improvements and then sell at as high a price as they could get to actual settlers and pass on to another locality. Mr. Ives built a small house, the first erected in the present township of Ustick, did some breaking and then went back to Connecticut brought on his wife. He was married to Miss Elizabeth C. Blake, Jan 1, 1837. There were no children by this marriage. Mrs. Ives died on the 1st of August 1850, and on the 25th of August 1853, Mr Ives married Miss Elizabeth Parrish, his present wife. Mr Ives disposed of his farm in Ustick, some years ago, and moved to the city of Fulton, where he has since continued to reside. He was always a great hunter and in the early days when game abounded, was accustomed to spending days at a time in the chase and never failed to return during the proper season with a large supply of venison and wild fowl. Now that game has become scarce in this section, he journeys every fall to the woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota to indulge in his favorite pursuit. He has twice crossed the plains to California and returned and at each time, met with thrilling adventures. Mr Ives is of a quiet, retiring, disposition, and has never sought public position. As a man and a citizen he is universally respected. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 468-469]
WOOSTER Y. IVES, of Fulton, one of the earliest pioneers of Whiteside County and a noted hunter of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, was born in Meriden, Conn., July 8, 1810 and is the son of Watrous and Polly (Yale) Ives. He was brought up in his native State and began business as a peddler of Yankee clocks and notions. In the spring of 1836 he made an unsuccessful attempt to come West via the Great Lakes. He was shipwrecked on Lake Erie and returned to the East. In the spring of 1837 he came to WhitesideCo., Ill., and made a claim in the western part of the town of Ustick where he built the first house in the township. He finally had 600 acres of land. Mr. Ives sold his farm and since 1868 has made his permanent residence in the city of Fulton. Mr. Ives, from early boyhood, was passionately fond of the chase, and when 15 years old was an expert with the rifle. He killed the first deer and bear he saw runing wild. This occurred before leaving New England. After reaching the Mississippi he found a field worthy of his ambition. Wild deer abounded in this region in those early days, while small game was to be found in abundance. Choice furred animals, such as the otter, beaver and mink, were to be found in considerable numbers along the great river and its tributaries. Mr. Ives could not content himself with the dull routine of the farm while such tempting game was so near at hand. Accordingly, help was hired to cultivate the farm, and during the hunting and trapping season Mr. Ives was killing deer or trapping otter. He ranged the Mississippi and its tributaries, between St. Louis and St. Paul, with marked success. He performed the unusual feat of killing eight deer in four shots in one season. The number of deer killed by him east of the Rocky Mountains aggregated between 900 and 1,000. Wild turkeys and small game were taken in proportion. He fell in with a great Southwestern trapper in an early day, from whom he learned some valuable secrets in relation to trapping and soon became so proficient in the art that the otter and beaver were almost taken at will. There was one occasion when he took nine otter in one morning from a setting of eleven traps. He has caught upwards of 500 otter, between St. Louis and St. Paul. Mink and the smaller furred animals seldom occupied his attention. While he enjoyed , the sport hugely, he made it a source of profit far greater than his labor on the farm would have been. So sure was he of his skill that he would contract loads of deer for delivery on certain days, just as a man now would contract a car load of hogs or cattle from his pens; and he was never known to fail to fill his orders. In April, 1850, he joined a party of his friends from Fulton and went overland to California. They left Fulton April 9 and reached Hangtown, Cal., Aug. 1, following. On the very day that he reached his destination, his wife died at Fulton, although it was some weeks before he learned the sad news! He undertook working in the mines in California, but the plentiful supply of game about and the good prices paid in that section, soon tempted him to the mountains with his trusty rifle. As his game was principally marketed, he kept a pretty good record of it. During the three years spent in that region he bagged about $400 worth of game a month. The list included about 300 antelope, 125 elk, 5 grizzly bears, 9 black and brown bears and a large number of deer of a smaller species. He returned to his home in the spring of 1853, via Panama and New York. Mr. Ives resumed farming and hunting, in this county, which he continued till the spring of 1862, when, having leased his farm, he accompanied a friend on a trip through Oregon and California. While on their way over the mountains their wagon train was attacked by the Indians, his friend was shot through the arm with an arrow and nearly lost his life from loss of blood. Mr. Ives succeeded in shooting two of the Indians, one of whom he killed: the others retreated. He spent two and a half years traveling in Oregon and California, and returned to his home via Panama and New York. During his hunting and trapping excursions Mr. Ives has had many exciting adventures and endured many hardships, and several times has barely escaped with his life. The history of his life, properly told, would afford material for an interesting book of itself, our space will only. admit of this brief mention. His fame as a most successful hunter is known from the Mississippi to the Pacific. He made his last hunt ing excursion in 1882, to Northern Wisconsin, when 72 years old, and in the 51st year of his active life as a hunter. Mr. Ives was first married in Connecticut, Jan. 1, 1837, to Elizabeth Blake, a native of New York City. His second marriage took place, in the same State. Aug. 21, 1853, to Miss Elizabeth Parrish, daughter of John and Polly (Gun) Parrish. Mrs. Ives was born in Litchfield Co., Conn. In politics he is a Democrat. [Portrait & Biographical Pg 241]
AARON C. JACKSON
OF Mt. Pleasant Township
Aaron C. Jackson was born in Morristown, Morris county, New Jersey, October 29, 1800. When five years of age, he, with his father's family, removed to Fort Pitt, Pa., and some years after to Knox county, Ohio, locating near where the City of Mt. Vernon now is, then a place consisting of two houses. From boyhood to manhood Mr. Jackson was engaged in the usual avocations of pioneers in wooded country felling trees, grubbing, and opening farms from the primeval forests. His educational advantages were acquired in the log school houses from imperfect text books, and still more imperfect teachers, whose chief requisites were ability to wield the birch and control the hardy pioneer boys. January 16, 1823, Mr. Jackson married Charity Ann Young, daughter of Judge Young, of Ohio, she being a sister of D. B. Young, now of Morrison. In 1837 he emigrated to Illinois, and settled in what is now Mt. Pleasant township, his claim being about one half mile east of the present City of Morrison. The claim of 160 acres, 40 of which was timber, he purchased for $900,00 from Pardon Dodge. Some of the land had been broken, and a rude log cabin erected. Mr. Jackson experienced all the vicissitudes and pleasures of pioneer life, such as hauling dressed hogs to Savannah and Galena, where they were sold for one cent a pound "in trade," the "trade" being calico remnants, no single piece of which was sufficient to make his wife a dress. Mr. Jackson was President of a Society of Settlers to prevent Claim Jumping; in 1839 was commissioned a Justice of the Peace. In 1842 he was elected a representative on the Whig ticket to the State Legislature from Whiteside and Lee counties, serving two years. He was facetiously dubbed "The Log Cabin Candidate," from the style of architecture of his residence. His opponent was known as the leader of the "Dixon Stage Party." Mr. Jackson triumphed by a majority of sixteen votes. Whiteside county was largely Whig, while Lee county was Democratic. In 1847 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention, receiving 322 votes. His opponent, Jonathan Haines, received 304 votes, and D. B. Young, 53. From 1852 to '57 he was Supervisor of Mt. Pleasant township, and during President Lincoln's administration Postmaster of Morrison. Mr. Jackson is still a resident of Morrison, quietly spending his days near the scenes of his pioneer life. Mrs. Jackson died September 5, 1855, and on November 26, 1856, Mr. Jackson married Sophronia Gibbs, widow of Alonzo Gibbs. Mrs. Gibbs was mother of Edward Gibbs, of Lyndon, and Mrs. S. W. Robinson and Mrs. Alpheus Clark, of Morrison. The children of A. C. Jackson were: Daniel B., born October 31, 1823-drowned July 8,1837; Flavius J., born August 22, 1826; Susan L., born February 13, 1828; John Y., born September 14, 1829; Tryphene, born June 15, 1831; Elizabeth, May 27, 1833; Phebe L., born September 2, 1835; Silas M., October 22, 1837; Amanda, born December 8, 1840; Lafayette J ., born February 23, 1843-died at Grand Rapids, Mich., July 22, 1875. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 298-299]
JOHN V. JACKSON
John V. Jackson, farmer, section 25, Union Grove Township, is a prominent citizen of Whiteside County, where he has been a land-holder since 1856. His parents, Aaron C. and Charity A. (Young) Jackson, were natives of New Jersey, and were married and settled in Ohio. They came thence about 1837, and purchased a claim in the township of Mt. Pleasant, which had been located in the previous year. The senior Jackson was an able and influential man, and was active in promoting the general welfare of the community. The township of Mt. Pleasant, which was organized in 1852, received its name from him. The farm on which he settled was situated near the city of Morrison, and included 160 acres of land, with 40 acres of timber. His local public life comprised his operations as president of a society of settlers to prevent claim-jumping, as Justice of the Peace, and as Supervisor. In 1842 he was elected Representative on the Whig ticket, and served two years in the Legislature of Illinois. In 1847 he was chosen a member of the Constitutional Convention. He officiated as Postmaster at Morrison during the administration of President Lincoln. His wife died Sept. 5, 1855. His demise occurred June 10, 1879. Their children were 11 in number, and were born as follows: Daniel B., Flavius J., Susan L., John Y., Tryphena, Elizabeth, Silas, Phebe, Amanda and Lafayette; one child died in infancy. Mr. Jackson was born September 14, 1829, in Knox Co., Ohio, where his father was a pioneer. He was about eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to Illinois, and he passed the years of his minority in attendance at the district school and in farm labor. On reaching his majority he engaged in efforts in his own interest, working out by the month one year on a farm. In 1852 he went to California, making his way there overland, with the purpose of operating as a miner. He spent four years in that vocation, with reasonable success, although he was unable to work during the first winter. He returned to Whiteside County in 1856, and purchased 120 acres of land on section 25, Union Grove Township. The prairie sod was still lying under the skies as it had lain through the centuries of the past, and was first broken by Mr. Jackson, by whom the farm has been put in first-class agricultural condition. It is now all under the plow, and five acres of timber belong to the estate. It has been supplied with an excellent class of building. He was united in marriage to Cordelia Huntley, Dec. 17, 1857, at Morrison. She was born in Ogden, Monroe Co., N. Y., Feb. 11, 1830, and is the daughter of Erastus L. and Phebe (Eldridge) Huntley. Her parents were natives of New England, were married and settled in the State of New York, whence they removed to Michigan, where her father died. Her mother was born Jan. 15, 1803, in Sharon, N. Y. After the death of her husband she returned to the home and associations of her earlier years in the Empire State, where her life terminated, at Warsaw, Aug. 29, 1849. Her father, Seth Eldridge, was born Oct. 2, 1773, and died May 20, 1865, in Yates, Monroe Co., N. Y. March 11, 1826, she married Erastus Little Huntley, who was born Dec. 21, 1797, and died Nov. 14, 1848, in Hartland, Livingston Co., Mich. They had nine children. Following are their names in the order of their birth: Rebecca E., Henrietta S., Cordelia, Phebe A., John E., Erastus L., Edwin, Seth E. and Robert A. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson have no children. In 1869 they adopted Lillie M. Weaver, who was born May 28, 1864, in Mt. Pleasant Township. Mr. Jackson is identified with the Republican party in political relations, and he has officiated through a long series of years in local positions of trust. He acted in the capacity of Magistrate nine years, as Commissioner eight years, and seven years as Assessor. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. [Contributed by Marji Turners Whiteside County History Portrait & Biographical Pg 317]
Sullivan Jackson, farmer, section 4, Mt. Pleasant Township, is the son of Thomas L. and Freedom (Heaton) Jackson. The former was born Oct. 23, 1787, in New Lisbon, New London Co., Conn. He went to the State of New York, and in December 1824, was married to the daughter of William and Martha (Bailey) Heaton, who settled in the township of Mt. Pleasant in 1837. She was born in 1805. They had three children. The family removed in 1835 to Portage Co., Ohio, and in April 1841, he set out with his family for Illinois and arrived in May following, in Whiteside County. The father died Jan. 12, 1882, aged nearly 95 years. The mother died Jan. 23, 1879. The children are still living., - Floyd H., Mary and Sullivan. The latter was born Dec. 3, 1830, in Jefferson Co., N. Y. He has resided on the same section since he came in 1841 to Mt. Pleasant Township, and he is the owner of 265 acres of land, of which about 160 acres are under tillage. Politically, Mr. Jackson is a Democrat, and has held several township offices. He was united in marriage, Dec. 3, 1862, in Mt. Pleasant, to Almira C. Baxter, and they have two children – Andrew and Ralph B. H. Mrs. Jackson was born March 10, 1843, in Schoharie Co., N. Y., and is the daughter of Stephen and Emeline (Dillenbeck) Baxter. Her parents were natives of the State of New York and settled in Mt. Pleasant Township in 1856. They removed to the township of Lyndon, where the mother died Nov. 18, 1877. Their children were named Almira C., Jennie L., Lizzie S. and Clara T. Contributed by Marji Turners Whiteside County History Portrait & Biographical Pg 346]
THOMAS L. JACKSON
OF Mt. Pleasant Township, Whiteside Co IL
Thomas L. Jackson was born in New Lisbon, New London county, Connecticut, October 23, 1787. At thirteen years of age he removed to New York State where he resided until 1835, being engaged in farming during the whole time. During his residence in Jefferson county, New York, he was married in December, 1824, to Miss Freedom Heaton, daughter of William Heaton, who then resided in St. Lawrence county, New York. About the year 1835 he moved with his family to Portage county, Ohio, where he lived for several years. In April, 1841, he left Ohio for Illinois, arriving in Whiteside county in May of that year, and settling on section 4 in the present township of Mt. Pleasant. He has resided on the same farm continuously since that date. Children: Floyd H., born October 20, 1825--married Miss Ellen J. Carlton, and lives in Story county, Iowa; Mary, now Mrs. J.W. Wells, of Chicago, born July 25, 1827; Sullivan, born December 3, 1830--married Miss E. C. Baxter, and lives with his parents. Mr. Jackson was 90 years of age October 23, 1877, and is the oldest person in the township. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 301]
WILLIAM C. JACKSON
As a blacksmith and a dealer in all kinds of hardware, buggies and wagons, William C. Jackson supports both commercial and industrial lines of business in Shedds, Linn county. His business probity and sterling character have made him one of the most popular men in the town and one deserving the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen. Mr. Jackson was born March 6, 1862, in Whiteside county, Ill., the son of Barney K. and Malinda (Constant) Jackson, the former being born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, December 21, 1827, and the latter being a native of Illinois. When only a boy B.K. Jackson removed with his parents to Illinois, and there grew to manhood and married, following teaching and clerking until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served about sixteen months. He then returned to Illinois, where he lived until 1866, when he removed to Franklin county, Iowa, and there followed farming for twenty years. In the year 1886 he came to Linn county, Ore., locating near Brownsville, where he lived retired until his death at the age of sixty-nine years. Both himself and wife were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. After the death of his wife, which occurred at the age of fifty-one years, Mr. Jackson married a Mrs. Wilson, who still survives him. Besides William C. Jackson of this review, there were the following children: Charles L. located in the home place; Mary, the wife of Charles Sickle, of Topeka, Kans; and Anna, wife of Charles Manas, located in Porto Rico. Her husband served as a lieutenant in the regular army during the war with Spain.
In tracing the life of William C. Jackson we find that it has been very much like that of many other early Oregon pioneers. He enjoyed a comparatively brief time of school attendance in his hime district, after which, at the age of nineteen years, he took up the blacksmith trade, in 1883 taking up his residence in California, where he earned his livelihood by the prosecution of his trade. At the close of eight successful years in this locality he changed his location to Shedds, Ore., succeeding E. Becker in a blacksmith shop of this place. Having met with a success in his work he felt financially able in 1902 to enter into a hardware business, now handling all kinds of farm implements, buggies, wagons, etc. He owns both his business and residence property here, and is enjoying a well earned prosperity.
In California in 1885, Laura Brummett, a native of Missouri, became the wife of Mr. Jackson, and they now have three children, all of whom are at home - Gladys, Ellsworth and Mildred. in his fraternal relations Mr. Jackson has held all the chairs in the Woodmen of the World, in which he is past consul. In religion he is a member of the United Presbyterian Church, and in politics cast his vote with the Republican party. ["Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", page 886]
ALPHA EUGENE JACOBS
Tampico Twp., Whiteside Co IL
Alpha Eugene Jacobs, druggist and stationer at Tampico, was born Jan. 22, 1856, in La Salle Co. Ill. His father was a farmer and is now decased. The latter came to Tampico Township in 1860 and settled on a farm. Mr. Jacobs was a pupil in the school at Sterling and acquired a business education in the Commercial College at Chicago. He afterwards taught three terms in the common schools of Whiteside County. Mr. Jacobs was a member of his father's family until his marriage, in Tampico Township, to Ida Badgley. She was born Dec. 26, 1859, in Tampico Township, and always resided in the same place until her marriage. Her parents reside in the village. Asahel and Sadie M. are the names of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs. Previous to his marriage, Mr. Jacobs had established his business as a druggist, in which he has achieved popularity and success. He has a valuable and well assorted stock of goods common to his lines of business and he owns village property, and also an individual interest in the estate of his father, which includes 240 acres of land. In political faith and relations he is a Republican, and he is now serving as Village Treasurer (1885). He is a member of the Masonic lodge. Mrs. Jacobs belongs to th Methodist Episcopal Church. [Portraits & Biographical]
Joseph Jacobs, deceased, formerly a farmer of Tampico Township, was born in Castile, N.Y., Oct 15, 1828, and was reared to manhood as a farmer's son. During his youth the family changed residence to a point on the Genesee River, in Allegany County, same State, where he received his education. On arriving at the age of 21 he came to Illinois, and settled in La Salle County, near Sandwich. A year later he removed to a farm near Aurora, Ill. While living here he was married and soon afterward he moved upon a farm in Dekalb Co., Ill., near Sandwhich and he came thence to this county and located upon an 80-acre tract of land in Tampico Township, which he improved 10 years, and then he moved to another 80-acre piece of land on section 23, near the village of Tampico, half of which has since been incorporated into the village plat. He afterward bought 80 acres more on section 10, and the whole tract of land he improved and occupied up to the date of his death, July 21, 1881.
Mr. Jacobs was a kind husband and father, a quiet neighbor and a useful citizen. He was a reliable Republican, a member of the I.O.O.F., and he became a member of the Methodist Epicsopal Church. Mrs. Jacobs is also a member of the same. He was married Jan. 23, 1855 (Kendall County), to Miss Mary E. (Electa) Smith, daughter of Jehiel and Rozanna (White) Smith. Her father, a farmer, was a native of Vermont, and her mother of New York. After her parents were married they settled in Allegany Co., N.Y., where she was born, Nov. 12, 1831, and she was 18 years of age when the family emigrated West, settling in DeKalb Co., Ill. She is the mother of four children: Alpha Eugene (see sketch); J. Marion, who resides in Brown Co., Dak., engaged in farming; Mary Evaline, who married Dr. A.H. Morse, and resides in Walcott, Dak. and Albert H., at home. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 609]
ADAM & JOHN JAMES
OF Genesee Township
Adam and John James came to Genesee Grove in 1835, and settled on the south side of the Grove. The mother of the James brothers died in 1838; this was the first death in the Grove. Several Indians - Winnebagos - came to the James cabin one day while the men were from home. Being unaccustomed to Indians, the two women fled, leaving them in peaceable possession of the premises, and went across the country to Union Grove, which was then the nearest settlement. Night overtaking them, they slept in the high grass. One of the women had an infant, and carried it in her arms all the way. Neither mother nor child suffered any injury from the journey or the exposure of lying on the ground during the night. They reached Union Grove the next day, very much pleased with the success of the adventure, and fully determined not to be surprised again by the Indians. There was however, no mischief done during their absence. Adam James sold his claim to William Wick and others, and returned to Morgan Co IL. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 222]
GEORGE O. JAMES
OF Mt. Pleasant Twp., Whiteside Co IL
George O. & Nancy James
Photo reprinted in the Daily Gazette Bi-centennial Edition July 1, 1876
George O. James was born in Ash county, North Carolina, April 14, 1806. When a child, he, with his father's family, removed to Kentucky, and from that State to Morgan county, Illinois. Mr. James travelled from the latter county to Whiteside in 1835, on horseback, first stopping at Elkhorn, where he remained about six months. At the expiration of that time he made a claim on section 9 in the north part of Mt. Pleasant, where he still lives. For the first two years of his residence in the township,
he lived in a cabin in the timber on section 5. Mr. James has been a hard-working farmer all his life, and assisted much in the development of the country. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Fatherkill, November 1, 1830, who died in 1831, about one year after marriage. On February 9, 1836; Mr. James married Miss Margaret Thomas, who died January 6, 1866. On January 6, 1870, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Jane S. Mecem, of Pennsylvania. Mr. James is the father of William S., born September 14, 1831; Anthony A.,
born August 26, 1837 (died 12 May 1917 buried in Grove Hill Cemetery); Elizabeth J., born Apri1 5, 1840; Adam C., born March 27, 1842; Anna L., born December 11, 1845. William S. married Miss Rosanna Shepler, and lives in Fenton; Anthony A., married Miss Anna Norrish, and lives in Clyde; Elizabeth J. married Hiram Smith, and lives in Story county, Iowa; Adam C. married Miss Mabel Robertson, and lives in New York; Anna L. married John Little, and lives in Iowa. [Biography from Bent & Wilson - History of Whiteside
County 1877, Page 298]
OF Fenton Township
Joseph James was born in Bristol, England, on the 21st of April, 1814, and emigrated to America in May, 1830, settling first at Flemington, New Jersey. In May, 1836, he came to Whiteside county, and located a homestead on section 33, in Fenton township, upon which he resided until his death, October 9, 1875. He helped put up the first log cabin in Erie township, and at the time of his decease was one of the oldest settlers in the south part of Whiteside county. On the 9th of March, 1843, he was united in marriagc to Miss Jane Medhurst, in Monmouth, Warren county, Illinois, who still survives him. Their union was blessed with eight children, five of whom are yet living. Mr. James was a kind and affectionate husband, an indulgent father, a genial and accommodating neighbor, a patriotic citizen, and a whole-souled, upright man. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 202]
ROBERT SNOW JAMES
Of Morrison, IL
Robert Snow James who owns and operates a farm of seventy-two acres, on section 3, Mount Pleasant township, is a native of Clyde township, and was born February 2, 1865. He is a son of Amos A. and Ann (Norrish) James, the former a native of Mount Pleasant township, Whiteside county, Illinois, and the latter of England. She is a sister of Robert S. Norrish, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. Amos A. and Ann James were the parents of eight children, of whom Robert S. was the fourth in order of birth. (See sketch of Amos A. James on another page of this work.) On the old home farm in Mount Pleasant township the subject of this sketch spent his boy hood and youth, and as soon as old enough was assigned his share of farm labor. He attended the district schools of the township and received a good common-school education, which has been put to a practical test in his business career. He remained at home, assisting in the cultivation of the home farm until his marriage in 1890 to Miss Rosa Thomas, who was born in Mount Pleasant township, and the daughter of A. P. Thomas, who is also represented in this volume. By this union one child has been born, Vera. Immediately after their marriage, our subject and wife took up their residence on the family homestead of his father, which he operated for several years, doing a successful business in general farming. In 1897 he purchased his present farm of seventy-two acres on section 3, Mount Pleasant township, which he cultivates in addition to one hundred and thirty acres which he rents. While under cultivation, the farm which he purchased is devoid of improvernents. In politics Mr. James is thoroughly independent, voting for the man rather than the party. While never a seeker for office, he has served his district as school director for ten years, doing all in his power to advance the interests of the public schools. Fraternally he and his wife are members of the Mystic Workers of the World As a citizen he is always willing to do all in his power for the general good of his township and county. [Whiteside County Biographical Record 1900 pg 118]
ROBERT T. JAMES
Robert T James, of the firm of Dickinson & James, dealers in hardware, tinware, agricultural implements, farm machinery, wagons, buggies, etc., at Erie, is a son of George and Ellen (Tindall) James, and was born in Trenton, N. J., Jan. 13, 1847. His father was a dealer in masons’ building materials, coal, lumber, etc., and died in New Jersey, June 1, 1871. Robert T. was clerk and book-keeper for his father until the latter’s death, when he came with his family to this county, and farmed on the family estate of 267 acres in Fenton Township. He had one-half the estate and continued to cultivate it for nine years, meeting with success. In 1881 he went to Erie and purchased a half interest in the business of J. F. Dickinson, the firm becoming Dickinson & James, which relation still exists. They carry a large stock and are doing a good and increasing business. Mr. James was united in marriage with Miss Mary F., daughter of John and Mary Crossley, in Trenton, N. J. She was born in Trenton, N. J., Jan. 4, 1843, and bore Mr. James two children, Henrietta and Elnora. Mr. James is a member of the Masonic Order and of the Order of Modern Woodmen of America. He owns a one-third interest in the skating rink at Erie, also his residence and two lots. [Contributed by Marji Turner; Whiteside County History Portrait & Biographical Pg 797]
WILLIAM A. JAMISON
William A. Jamison, a prominent agriculturist of Montmorency Twp. resident on section 34, came to Whiteside in 1858. He passed the first year in farm labor as an assistant, and in 1859 rented land, in which latter method he operated three years, after which he settled on a tract of land purchased by his mother in 1859. After a residence of two years he rented a farm, which he conducted four years. He then bought 160 acres of land, which is still in his possession, together with a subsequent purchase of a similar amount. His farm of 320 acres is all under tillage. Mr. Jamison is a decided Republican and has held several township offices. He was born Feb. 1, 1841 in Blooming Grove, Franklin Co., Indiana and is the son of Thomas and Sarah (Smith) Jamison. His father was a native of Delaware and his father (do they mean mother?) was born in Ohio. After their marriage, they settled in Union Co IN where the father died April 7, 1853. The mother came in 1859 to Whiteside County, and is still living. Their five children were William A., Rebecca B., Joseph A., John Q. and Emma. The latter died when 2 years old. Mr. Jamison was married in Iowa on Feb. 4, 1868 to Elizabeth, daughter of Amos and Anna (Kniffen) Brown, and they have had 3 children - Mary E., Anna G and Emma. Mrs. Jamison was born in the State of Michigan. Her parents were also natives of that State and came thence to Whiteside in 1865 where they lived three years. They went to Iowa, where the mother died. The father died Oct. 1, 1881 in Michigan. Their children were Edward, Elizabeth, Marvin G. and Marion H. [Portraits & Biographical 1885 Pg. 784]
PERRY L. JEFFERS
Of Lyndon Township
Perry L. Jeffers (born 12 August 1816) came to Lyndon in 1836, and worked for C. G. Woodruff that season. He afterwards made a claim southwest of W. O. Dudley's, and sold it to John M. Scott, and then settled in Delhi, where he secured a farm of four hundred acres. Mr. Jeffers was elected Sheriff of Whiteside county in 1850, and made a capable and thorough going officer.He married Julia, eldest daughter of Chauncy G. Woodruff, in 1838; she dying, he married Miss Ann Bidwell, and after her death married Miss Philena L. Fitch. He died of cholera at Lyndon in August (31), 1854. Children, John and Charles. [Bent & Wilson History 1877]
Of Union Grove Twp.
Stephen Jeffers was born in the town of Enfield, New Hamphire, March 21, 1790. He first moved to New York state, and came from there to Whiteside county in 1838, and located on Delhi prairie, in the present township of Union Grove, his farm being the same now owned and occupied by E. V. Lapham. He was married in 1813, at Windsor, New York, to Miss Cynthia Coburn. The children by this marriage have been: Perry L., born August 12, 1816; Mary, born July 20, 1818; Stephen, born September 20, 1820; John, born January 20, 1823; Charles, born September 14, 1825; Clarissa, born September 20, 1829; Ellen, born October 28, 1831; Sarah, horn December 25, 1838; and Alvah, born May 20, 1836. Of these Perry L. married Miss Julia Woodruff, October 15, 1836, and died in Lyndon September 2, 1854 (31 August 1854) ; Mary married John Kent in 1841, and died in Union Grove July 13, 1876; Stephen married Miss Julia Maxwell, February 14, 1844, and lives in Hanover, Jo Daviess county; Charles married Miss Elizabeth Williamson, April 4, 1851, and also lives in Hanover; Clarissa married Henry Chapin, September 30, 1851, and lives in Galena, Jo Daviess county; Ellen married B. D. Brown, July 5, 1852, and lives in Fenton; Sarah married Lineas J. Robinson, May 17, 1852, and lives in Fenton; Alvah married Miss Louisa Boyer, December 2, 1855, and lives in Iowa. Mr. Jeffers sold his farm in Union Grove in 1854, and purchased one in Fenton. He died in Fenton February 21, 1858, and is buried in the Lyndon cemetery. Mrs. Jeffers is still living at the advanced age of eighty years, and resides with her son-in-law, Mr. Lineas J. Robinson, in Fenton. [Bent - Wilson History of Whiteside County 1877]
James Jemison, farmer, section 21, Ustick Township, is the son of Samuel and Mary (Dummond) Jemison, who are natives respectively of Scotland and Ireland. Their seven children were named Jane, Martha, Matthew, Samuel, Jeannette, James and David, and he lived on his native soil until he was 20 years of age, when he emigrated to the United States; and, after spending five years in the city of Philadelphia, he went to Lancaster Co., Pa. A year later he came to Whiteside County, and lived for a time on its western limits, but finally located in Ustick Township. He is the owner of 120 acres of land, most of which is in tillage. In political relations he is a Republican, and has served his township as School Director and as Overseer of Highways. Mr. Jemison was married Dec. 6, 1854, in Lancaster Co., Pa., to Jane, daughter of Thomas and Margaret (McCrumb) McKee. She was born Aug. 16, 1833, in Ireland, which was the native country of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Jemison have had 14 children, but only seven of them are living. They are named Martha, Samuel, Margaret J., William, Charles, Mary E. and Eli. Thomas, Mary J., James (1st), Alexander, Margaret I. and James (2d) died in childhood. James D. (3d) died in infancy. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church. [Contributed by Debbie Thormahlen from Portraits & Biographical Pg 786 Whiteside County IL 1885]
George H. Jennings, was born Feb. 7, 1850, in the Township of Lydon; and he is the son of Amzie and Helen (Highley) Jennings. His father was a farmer in Lyndon Township, and he was brought up on the homestead. He obtained a fair education in the district schools. His marriage to Julia W. Whipple took place Dec., 13, 1872. She was born in Barre, Worcester Co., Mass., and is the daughter of Leander J. and Julia (Anson) Whipple, both of whom were born in the Bay State. Mr. Jennings lived on the homestead of his father a year after marriage, and then located in Lyndon village, whence he removed to a farm and continued to push his agricultural interests as a renter until Oct. 22, 1882, when he bought the family homestead where he is now engaged in prosperous farming. Myra E., Mabel and Ross are the names of the children belonging to the family. Squire William Jennings, grandfather of George H., was the earliest settler of the family in Lyndon Township, whither he came in 1844. He was born April 9, 1798, in Orange County, N. Y. When he had attained employment of the Hudson River, where he operated some years and rose to the responsibilities and honors of a Captain. He was married Dec. 24, 1825, to Emeline Gaylord, a native of Plymouth, Litchfield Co., Conn., born April 1, 1808. At the time of their marriage they settled in the town of Hornby, Steuben Co., N. Y., Mr. Jennings buying land there in the heavy timber. He improved and put his farm in good condition, and was its occupant with the exception of four years until his removal in 1845 to Whiteside County. The interval referred to was passed in Yates County. Mr. Jennings set out for Illinois with a horse and buggy, and a wagon and a span of horses. The teams were driven to Buffalo, whence the party embarked for Chicago. Arrived at that place, the family again took passage with their teams for Whiteside County. Mr. Jennings pre-empted land on section 7, in what is now Lyndon Township, and built a frame house, for which he drew the lumber from Chicago. He was a resident on his farm ten years, removing in 1855 to Como, where he died in 1856. His widow is still his survivor, and resides at Round Grove. Their children were Amzie, Egbert, Mary J., Gaylord M. and Willis L. The daughter is the only survivor. Amzie E. Jennings was born Dec. 22, 1824, in Steuben County, KY., and was the eldest son of S. W. and Emeline (Gaylord) Jennings. He was brought up by his parents on the farm where he was born, and was 21 years of age when his parents came with their family to Lyndon Township. After a short residence on the estate, pre-empted by his father, he bought land adjoining and built a home, in which he lived the rest of his life. He died Oct. 9, 1879. He was twice married. Lydia Hill, to whom he was married in April, 1845, died in October of the same year, and he married Helen Higley. She was born in Geauga County, Ohio and survives her husband. Since October, 1880, she has lived at Sterling. George H., Francis C., Willis L., Edwin M. and May H. are the names of her sons and daughters. Mrs. Jennings is the daughter of George and Phebe (Chamberlain) Higley. [Contributed by Marji Turners Whiteside County History Portrait & Biographical Pg 768]
Chalkley John is one of the most prominent, active and enterprising citizens of Whiteside County, and resides in Jordan Township, of which he is Supervisor. He is also the editor and manager of the Farmer’ Gazette, published at Sterling, and is President of the Sterling Gazette Company. He owns a farm on section 24, of Jordan Township, to which place he came in 1859. He was born Oct. 10, 1839, in Shamokin Township, Northumberland Co., Pa. Elida John, his father was a native of the same county and was of Welsh origin, being the son of Abia John, who was born in the vicinity of the city of Philadelphia, of Welsh parents, and who was a farmer. Elida John came West and located in the township of Jordan, where he became an extensive land-holder and a citizen of prominence, dying in May, 1883, aged 8 years. In Pennsylvania, the family acquired an honorable reputation, and the elder John was highly esteemed for this excellency of character, the reliability of his judgment, his sound common sense and his unswerving integrity, which made him a man to whom his fellow townsmen often looked as an arbitrator to settle disputes. He reached prominence in local official positions in Jordan Township, and enjoyed to an unusual degree the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. In his death, the loss to the community was regarded as a public calamity. Sarah Hughes, to whom he was united in marriage, and the mother of our subject, is an estimable lady. She is the daughter of a Pennsylvania farmer of English and Welsh extraction. But one of her ten children is deceased, -- Ruth Anna, -- who was the sixth in order. The survivors are all married, except one, and are named Palemon, Edwin, Martha A., Abia C., Hugh l., Chalkley, Sarah E., George D. and Lydia E. The mother is still living, and is 83 years of age, and makes her home with her son, the subject of this biography. The ancestry is well known, and held their age to a remarkable degree, as the family records show. Mr. John passed the years of his minority under the authority of his father, and he received only a common-school education. He possessed an active, ambitious mind and a body strong in health and characterized by the vigor which is a trait of his lineage. With determination to make his mark in the world, he set out for the West, coming to Illinois. On landing in Whiteside County, which was at the time mostly unbroken prairie, he sough employment on a farm of 160 acres his father had previously secured in Jordan Township. He took possession of his father’s claim and began the work of improvement, boarding with his sister, who had preceded him to the township and was engaged in teaching in the public schools. He had made considerable improvement on his father’s farm, where he had settled in the spring of 1859, but afterwards purchased 160 acres of wild prairie land on section 24, in partnership with his brother, Hugh L. The latter erected necessary building, and the brothers proceeded with the work of improvement. Later, Chalkley John bought out the interest of his brother. His marriage to Anna Nixon occurred on the 24th day of August, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. John had one child, -- Marius,-- born Feb. 15, 1877. The mother died at her home in Jordan Township, in November, 1878. She had occupied a high position in the Church of the Friends, and was held in universal esteem for her womanly character and excellent traits. With the exception of an interim of a few years, Mr. John has resided on the old homestead of his father, with his aged mother. His farm gives evidence of the value of the persistent application of energy and industry in agricultural avenues. Previous to his election as Supervisor, Mr. John held the office of Road Commissioner four years, to which he was elected to the office of Supervisor every year since, with the exception of one, and he still holds said office. He has performed the duties of his official life in a manner every way creditable. He is a Republican of positive stamp, and has taken a deep interest in local affairs. The paper with which he is editorially connected is published a the Gazette buildings at Sterling, and his nephew, W. R. Cobb, is the secretary and treasurer of the proprietary interest. Mr. John is a director in the Northwestern Agricultural Society, which holds its exhibitions at Sterling. He is a member of the Friends Society, in which his father was a leading actor, and was for many years and up to his death an Elder in his relations to the organization. [Contributed by Marji Turners, Whiteside County History Portrait & Biographical Pg 543]
Elida & Sarah John
Elida John deceased. It is right that the lives of the upright should be kept in tender remembrance; and wiht no touch of adulation upon our hearts or pens, we note down some of the occurances in the life of him who has recently passed on.
The subject of this sketch came to IL in advanced life, and here lived measurably retired from the world, yet never ceased to feel a deep interest in his fellow beings and in the affiars of government. Born in 1805, he became acquainted with the hardships of that early day; but notwithstanding the meager chances for instruction in literary perferment, he always ranked among the foremost in intelligence and solid worth. He became a teacher and was always identified as one of the leaders. After marriage he continued teaching and established a school in part of his residence. He was careful that from their infancy his own children should be well taught with the true and able assistance of their mother, to supply them what the rigor of the times denied to him.
When the free-school system was established in PA he was elected a member of the first Board of School Directors in Shamokin Twp. Northumberland County; and there are many who attest to the arduous labor of that faithful Board whose duty it was to divide the large, wooded, hilly township into suitable school districts and to contract for and inspect the building of the many school houses erected at that time. Nearly all of the heavy literary work fellinto the hands of Mr. John. After getting these schools operational he visited them and encouraged both teachers and pupils to the highest attainments, reminding the children especially that they were then enjoying privileges richer than their parents ever knew.
For about 20 years he followed the occupation of surveyor and conveyancer in Northumberland, Columbia, Montour and Schuylkill Counties PA. His reputation for correctness became such that he was often summoned to go long distances to survey disputed lines. Seeing very early the evils of intemperance, there was no other way than to lift voice and influence against this increasing tide of ruin. The jug of whisky at that time was almost always found in the harvest field, but he refused to furnish alcohol in any form to his workmen. His neighbors predicted that he would get no assistance, but, offering a shilling a day more than the common wages, and no whisky, he succeeded in getting a sufficiency of sober hands, and enough more work done and in better condition to fully compensate for the difference in wages. The Board of School Directos were opposed to the temperance movement; one of the members was even a distiller; and when building those schoolhouses this man offered a resolution that no temperance nor abolition meeting should be held in them. The subject of this memoir, knowing himself to be in the minority, so amended the resolution to also exclude singing-schools - a pastime which nearly all of the board greatly enjoyed. He thus defeated the resolution and saved to philanthropy those free school houses. All through his life of 78 years, and often an owner of much grain, he never sold one bushel to a distiller. Although an old man when he settled here, his business ability was recognized and his fine penmanship graces the pages of public documents in the records of Jordan, as well as the registries in society archives.
Sarah H. John, wife of Mr. John, was born in 1802 of English and Welsh parentage and was the youngest child of Hugh and Mary Hughes. A farm upon the site where has since risen the pleasant and wealthy borough of Kennet Square in Chester Co PA, was the first landed possession of her ancestors in the new world. Her parents settled on the banks of Shamokin Creek in Northumberland Co PA, womewhere about the year 1790. She and her future husband grew to majority in the same neighborhood, and so closely have their lives been blended that in writing the history of one we almost produce that of the other also. Her husband being also appointed Justice of the Peace by the Governor, brought much domestic and other care into her hands, yet an energy and willing spirit smoothed the pathway through rugged difficulties, making theirs a hospitable and pleasant home. [Portraits & Biographical 1885 Pg 639]
ADAMS G. JOHNSON
A well known and prominent citizen of the reservation country, being also influential throughout the country, for he was elected county commissioner, having a plurality of two hundred and forty-four, Mr. Johnson is entitled to a place among those represented in the county history and it is with pleasure that we accord the same to him.
Adams G. Johnson was born in Whiteside County, Illinois, on January 14, 1839, being the son of Jeremiah H. and Harriet M. (Getty) Johnson. The father was born in Washington County, New York, on December 12, 1797, and died in 1871. The paternal grandfather of our subject was born in Vermont and died in 1852, aged eighty-four. This venerable gentleman had married Miss Parker, a native of the Wyoming valley in Pennsylvania. She removed from that fateful valley just three days before Chief Brant's terrible massacre, going to the Mohawk valley in New York. Some of the Parker family fought in the Revolution. A brother of the lady mentioned was Captain Thomas Parker in the war of 1812. This man had two sons in the Civil war; one, Colonel Thomas Jefferson Parker, commanded the Thirty-fourth New York Infantry, and Captain Fred Parker was commander of a company of his regiment and he fell at the battle of Chancellorsville. Our subject's father was related to Stephen Hopkins, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he bore the name of his illus-trious ancestor, the middle initial indicating Hopkins. The family was also related to General Nathaniel Greene, of Revolutionary fame. The mother of our subject was born in Erie County, New York, in 1805 and died in 1872, being of Scotch-Irish descent. Adams G. was raised on a farm in Illinois and educated in the district schools there.
In 1859, he and his father and some friends went to Osawattomie, Kansas, but returned the same year. Then our subject went to Pikes Peak and mined for a time, but as politics became heated, the southerners there threatening vengeance in case Lincoln was elected, Mr. Johnson returned to Illinois for the express purpose of voting for Lincoln. He made the journey with ox team. Upon the breaking out of the war, Mr. Johnson enlisted in Graham's Independent Rangers, a cavalry company, which was taken from Moline, Illinois, the place where Mr. Johnson went in as a corporal, to Quincy and there mustered in. Thence they went to Fort Leavenworth then to the siege of Lexington, Missouri, where our subject was captured by Price. Being paroled he went home, but later was discharged at St. Louis and then re-enlisted in the Eighth Kansas Infantry, Company I, under Captain H. C. Austin, and he served until the close of the war. He was in detached and garrison duty much of this time. Mr. Johnson was mustered out on November 4, 1864, at St. Louis, after which he served one year as auditing clerk in the commissary under Captain Hollis Steadman. Then he went to raising cotton in Arkansas, later kept hotel in Moline, Illinois, for a time, and in 1871 he came to The Dalles, Oregon. His family having gone to California to visit relatives, they joined him later and for a decade he raised sheep and farmed. Then he was deputy sheriff, then deputy United States marshal and other official positions occupied by him until 1895, when he came to Genesee, Idaho, and at the opening of the reservation he came hither, and in 1898 he filed on his present place, three miles south from Nezperce. He has a good farm and does general farming.
Mr. Johnson married Miss Mary E. Hogue on October 29, 1866. Her parents, James M. and Emma (Ridgeway) Hogue, lived in Newcastle, Placer County, California, the father being of Scotch descent and a native of Tennessee, while the mother was born in Philadelphia and was of English extraction. Two children have been born to this marriage, Hollis C., a dentist and dealer in mines, in Columbus, Montana; Emma, wife of S. B. McCullough, a stockman in Idaho County. Mr. Johnson has one sister, Helen S. Young, a widow in Genesee, Illinois. Mr. Johnson is a Republican and active in the political field, always being allied on the side of progress and improvement. [An Illustrated History Of North Idaho Embracing Nez Perces, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai, And Shoshone Counties State Of Idaho Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903]
CALEB C. JOHNSON
Of Fulton Township
Hon. Caleb C. Johnson, closely associated with the legal and political history of Sterling and Whiteside county, his course reflecting credit upon the district which knows him as a progressive, public-spirited and honored citizen, was born May 23, 1844, in one of the pioneer log houses of the township of Ustick, about four miles northeast of Fulton. His paternal grandfather, John Johnson, was born in England and came to this country with his two brothers, Elias and ... . The two brothers both went south and all trace of them has been lost. John Johnson married first, Carol Conke, a native of Holland, and had six children; Sarah, Permelia, Abigail, Betsy, Jesse and Elias. He married, second, Rebeccka Ostrander, by whom he had one boy, John. He practiced law in Troy, New York, and won a reputation as a toted criminal lawyer, being a man of marked eloquence and oratorical power. He served his country as a soldier in the Revolutionary war and lived to a ripe old age.
His son Jesse Johnson, father of our subject, was born in Troy, New York, April 2, 1798, and when a small child lost his mother. His father having married again, he left home at the early age of twelve, and never again saw any of his people. He sailed on the lakes for some time and then returned to Lewis county, New York, settling near Lowville, where he met and married Miss Mary Webb, of West Hadley, New York, she being a daughter of Charles and Mary (Gilbert) Webb, both natives of the Empire state. Her mother lived to be 97 years of age.
Following his marriage, which took place in the year 1822, Jesse Johnson engaged in farming and in clearing land. About 1835 he removed with his family to Indiana, settling at Mishawaka, near South Bend, where a contract to dig a mill race was let to him. He was engaged as a contractor there for about two years. In 1838 he came to Whiteside county, Illinois, his objective point being Plainville. But he learned that a man by the name of Wing, who owed him a thousand dollars, was at Fulton. He therefore made his way to Fulton, and in the course of time effected a settlement, accepting pay principally in town lots. He was there just before the land came into market and made a claim of three hundred and twenty acres, which he entered and improved, continuing the cultivation and development of that property until 1853. There was a great deal of stone in the bluffs and with some of this he built a fine house. He had one of the most beautiful farms for stock to be found anywhere. In 1853, however, he left the farm and moved to Fulton, purchasing the ferry franchise across the Mississippi river, and in company with his son-in-law William Knight, putting on the first steam ferry that was ever operated on the river north of St. Louis. The boat was a nice side-wheeler called the "Sarah", named after his daughter, Sarah, the wife of William Knight and was built for Mr. Johnson at the large steamboat yards at New Albany Indiana. He brought her own Ohio to Cairo and thence up the Mississippi to Fulton. After operating the ferry for two or three years, he invested his means in town lots which rose continuously in value until Clinton was made the division town on the railroad. Mr. Johnson resided in Fulton until his death, which occurred October 12, 1876. His widow died April 18, 1879. He was the father of twelve children, all of whom reached maturity with the exception of Cornelia P., who died in infancy. Five of the children are now living. Cornelia P. (second) is the widow of Richard Green, of Fulton and is now living there; Henrietta, the widow of Charles A. Davidson, is now living in Kansas City, Missouri; Eliza N. the widow of Samuel Dennison, is also living in Kansas City MO; Anna M. the widow of William Reed of Fulton is now living with her son, George, in Louisiana; and Caleb C.
One son, Charles J. Johnson, went to Morrison IL about 1856 and practiced law there for a number of years, after which he went to Rock Island and later to Chicago, but eventually returned with his brother, Caleb C., and continued in the practice of law until he had attained an advanced age. He did at the home of his sister, Mary Ware, near Fulton, in July 1899. At one time he was judge of the county court of Whiteside county and was long regarded as a most powerful and eminent attorney.
Another son, Edward L. Johnson, served throughout the Civil war, enlisting in the First Nebraska Inf. as a private but died before he reached home, while his regiment was at Cape Girardeau MO.
Cornelia P. (second) and Harriet married brothers, Richard and William C. Green, respectively both prominent residents of Fulton.
Caleb C. Johnson was reared in this county, spending the first eight years of his life on the home farm and then accompanying his parents on their removal to Fulton. He was educated in the common schools and at the Military Academy at Fulton, and entered from there into the life of the volunteer soldier, enlisting as a member of Co C 69th IL Vol. Inf. He re-enlisted in Co D 140th IL Inf and served until the end of the war. The regiment was principally engaged in guarding railroads and was badly cut to pieces by guerrillas.
His military service ended, Mr. Johnson returned to Fulton and in 1866 went to Morrison IL where he began reading law in his brother's office. In 1867 he was admitted to the bar. In 1868 he accepted a position as clerk on one of the large boats belonging to he Diamond Joe Line and found this a very delightful occupation. But in March 1869 he came to Sterling where he entered into partnership with Major Miles S. Henry. They opened a law office in the building where Mr. Johnson is now located and remained together until Mr. Henry's death in 1878. He was then joined by his brother in a partnership under the firm style of C.J. and C.C. Johnson, continuing together until 1893, at which time he went to North Dakota, having been appointed receiver of a national bank of Jamestown North Dakota, by James H. Eckels, comptroller of the currency. In 1896 after settling up the affairs of the bank, he returned to Sterling and again became actively engaged in the practice of law.
His name is familiar to all those who are at all acquainted with the legal history of Whiteside county. He has been retained by either the defense or the prosecution in a great many of the important cases tried in the courts of the district. He never fails to prepare his cases thoroughly for trial and the presentation of them indicates a mind trained in the severest school of investigation, and to which close reasoning has become habitual and easy. His deductions follow in logical sequence, and his marked ability is demonstrated by the many notable forensic victories he has won.
On the 15th of August 1871, Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Josephine E. Worthington, a daughter of Eliphalet Bulkeley Worthington, long deputy clerk of Whiteside county circuit court, and Sarah (McShane) Worthington. They have one son, Jesse W. a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He is now reading law in his father's office, having spent two years in the graduate Law School of the Caleb C. Johnson is an exemplary member of Rock River Lodge No 612, A.F. and A.M.; Sterling Chapter No 57, R.A.M. and Sterling Comandery, No. 57, K.T. of which he was the first eminent commander, serving for two and one half years. And he was also an officer in the grand commandery of Illinois.
Politically he is a democrat and has been honored by a number of official positions. At one time he served on the board of supervisors and was a member of the building committee that had in charge the erection of the clerk's office at Morrison. He served as city attorney for a number of terms first in 1869. In 1885 he was elected to the Illinois legislature and re-elected for the sessions of 1887, 1893, 1897 and 1903, he being at that time the nestor of house democrats. He also served in one or two special sessions. He was at every session a leader, taking an active part in the proceedings at all times. His complete knowledge of parliamentary law and usages, together with his natural ability as a political tactician and party leader, won for him in the session of 1893 the position of temporary speaker and organizer of the house, and afterward the chairmanship of some of the most important committees in the house. Under Cleveland's first administration Mr. Johnson was deputy collector of internal revenue and in 1888 he was a delegate to the democratic national convention of St. Louis. At present Mr. Johnson is out of politics, devoting himself entirely to his law practice, but performing faithfully the duties and demands made upon him incident to good citizenship. He is a member of the Wallace school board, president of the library board and a trustee of the Illinois Soldier's and Sailors' Home at Quincy. A few years ago he was associated with C.L. Sheldon in an attempt to induce the government to change the proposed line of the feeder for the Hennepin canal so that it would join Rock river at Sterling instead of at Dixon. These two gentlemen were sent to Washington for this purpose and succeeded in their mission, and Sterling is today consequently entering upon an industrial era of great promise. Mr. Johnson has always been a close student of those questions which are to the stateman and to the man of practical affairs of deep interest. His labors and efforts have been an essential factor in promoting the best interests of Sterling and Whiteside county and have borne fruit, not only in legislative halls but through the wider contact and friendship with men of the state. [History of Whiteside County 1908 William Davis]
HENRY BERNARD JOHNSON
Henry Johnson, general farmer, on section 26, Genesee Township, was born in Altenburg Germany Sept. 13, 1842, and is the son of Volkart and Gertrude (Sies) Johnson who were natives of the same German State. His father was a shoe maker by trade and removed with his family to the U.S. in 1852. They first found a home in Prairieville (now Palmyra) Lee Co. IL. Three years later they began farming. The son assisted in the improvement and establishment of a homestead until he had passed his majority by some years. He was married Nov. 27, 1866 to Metta, daughter of Henry J. and Frelsa (Reckleis) Iris (should be Eilers). The family came from Germany and were natives of the same State, where Mr. Johnson was born and his father's progenitors originated. Mrs. Johnson was born Jan. 24, 1845 in Germany. She was 21 when her father emigrated with his family to the U.S. and he became a farmer in Whiteside County. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and all are yet living except one. They are Freleca, William, Mary, Anna (Hannah Henrietta) and Metta (Maggie) (twins), Henry, Charles and Barnet. Volkhart is deceased. On the event of their marriage, Mr. & Mrs. Johnson removed to a farm in Jordan Township, where the former became the proprietor of 80 acres on which he resided and which he improved in a creditable manner. In 1872 the place was sold, and the farm of which Mr. Johnson is now the proprietor in Genesee Twp. was bought, including at the date of purchase 100 acres. He has since increased his estate to double its original acreage and the entire amount is under fine improvement and its buildings add greatly to the appearance and value of the property. He owns a considerable amount of valuable stock. He is a Democrat and has held minor offices in the Township. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. [Source: Portraits & Biographical 1885 Pg 783; Photo contributed by Barry Johnson]
Of Portland Township, Whiteside Co IL
Jeremiah H. Johnson was born in Whitehall, Washington county, New York, in 1797, and married Miss Harriet Getty in 1828. Their children have been: George, now dead; Caroline, now dead; Helen S., who first married W. C. Whitmore, and, after his death, Thomas Young, and now lives in Henry county, Illinois; Harriet E., wife of Dr. E. J. Talcott, living in Portland; and Adams, living in California, Mr. Johnson died in 1871. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County IL 1877]
Of Fulton Township
Jesse Johnson was a native of Troy NY and was born April 2 1798. He came to Fulton in June 1838, and remained until October of that year and then moved to the bluffs, five miles east of Fulton, where he had purchased a farm, and upon which he remained, attending strictly to its cultivation, until 1853, when he returned to Fulton and made that place his home for the rest of his days. Mr Johnson was married to Miss Mary Webb, at Lowville, Lewis County NY February 18 1822. The following are the names of the children of this marriage according to date of birth: Mary Jul 28 1823; Sarah R Oct 6 1824; Charles J., Jul 8 1826; Harriet Feb 10 1828; John D Jun 8 1830; Edmund L Apr 8 1832; Cornelia Mar 18 1834 - died when an infant; Cornelia P Jun 18 1836; Henrietta Aug 25 1838; Anna M Sep 23 1840; Eliza N Mar 22 1842; Caleb C May 23 1844. Mary married C L Ware and lives at Fulton; Sarah married W H Knight of Fulton and died January 12 1864; Charles J married Mary Exley and lives in Chicago; Harriet married William C Green and lives at Fulton; John D married Olive Abbott, and lives at LeClaire IA; Edmund L (Deceased) married Mahala Wright, and was a resident of Fulton; Cornelia P married Richard Green and lives at Fulton; Henrietta married Charles Davidson and lives at Bloomington IL; Anna M married William Reed (Now deceased) and lives at Fulton; Eliza N married Samuel Dennison and lives at Fulton; Caleb C Married Josephine Worthington and lives at Sterling. The three sons living, Charles J, John D and Caleb C. are eminent lawyers. Mr Johnson never held any public position, save that of Road Commissioner for one term in the early days of Fulton. He died at his residence in Fulton after a lingering illness October 12 1876. [Bent-Wilson History of Whiteside County 1877 - Pg 187]
JESSE JOHNSON (deceased) was born in Troy, N. Y., April 2, 1798, and was the son of John and Sarah (Conkle) Johnson. His father was a graduate of Yale College, a soldier of the Revolution and a prominent attorney of New York. Jesse went to Loweville, Lewis Co., N. Y., while a young man, where he was married Feb. 8, 1822, to Miss Mary Webb. They had four boys and eight girls: Mary, wife of Carlos Ware, of Fulton Township. Sarah, wife of William Knight, died in December, 1863. Charles J. married Mary Exley, and is an attorney of Sterling, IlL., Harriet, wife of William C. Green, the present Mayor of Fulton. John was an attorney of LeClaire, Iowa; he married Olive Abbott, and died in July, 1884, leaving a wife and seven children. Edmond L. married Mahala Wright, was a soldier of the late war and died in 1862, leaving a wife and son. Cornelia died in infancy. Cornelia P. is the wife of Richard Green, a merchant of Fulton, Ill. Henrietta, wife of Charles Davidson, a locomotive engineer of Bloomington, Ill. Anna M., widow of William Reed and a resident of Clinton, Iowa. Eliza, wife of Samuel Denison, of Port Byron, Ill. Caleb C., the youngest, is an attorney of Sterling and a Representative to the State. Legislature from Whiteside County. He married Josephine Worthington.
Mr. Johnson moved from New York to Indiana in 1832, and in June, 1838, came to Fulton, Ill. He spent the summer at the village and in the fall moved to a farm about five miles distant, and was one of the very first to begin farming in the county. He remained on his farm till 1853, when he returned to the city and in company with his son-in-law, William Knight, purchased and put in operation the first steam ferry between Fulton and Lyons. He subsequently formed a partnership with Daniel Oliver in the grocery business at Fulton, but retired from business several years prior to his death, which occurred Oct. 12, 1876, at his residence in Fulton. His wife survived him till April, 1879. She was an estimable lady and highly respected. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were members of the Baptist Church for many years. Mr. Johnson was a Whig in early life and on the organization of the Republican party, became an earnest supporter of its policy. He never sought public office and only once served in a public capacity at Fulton, that of Road Commissioner. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 202]
J. SPERRY JOHNSON
of Prophetstown Township
J. Sperry Johnson was a native of Castleton, Vermont, and born in 1809. He came to Prophetstown in 1835, and his first claim where William Hill now lives. This claim he afterwards sold, and went to Fox river where he remained several years, and then returned to Prophetstown, settling in the southwest corner of the township where he opened a large farm, and engaged in sheep and cattle raising. He died in 1876, after a long and severe illness. Mr. Johnson married Miss Betsey C. Gault in 1838. Their children were: Harrison L., living in Prophetstown; Thomas F., living in Kansas; Carlos E. who enlisted in the 34th Illinois Volunteers, and died from disease contracted in the service; Frank V., living in Prophetstown; Ellen M., wife of Wallace Burroughs, living in Nebraska; and Clement D., who married Miss Fanny Booth, and lives in Prophetstown. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County Page 376-377]
LIZZIE ALICE (DEETS) JOHNSON
Mrs. Lizzie Alice Johnson, a pioneer of the Big Bend country of Eastern Washington, will be 99 Sunday (November 2). Still as alert as when she rode horseback to flee marauding Indians 78 years ago, the tall, slender woman recalls the back-breaking and poverty-stricken days when she was one of the few white women in the Big Bend country. Her husband, Henry homesteaded 160 acres near Almira, Lincoln County in ????. He then sent East for his wife and their three small children to join him. It was awful, Mrs. Johnson recalled. Indians roamed the country and ground squirrels and grasshoppers ate our crops. We almost starved to death. We sowed seven crops before we finally reaped our first harvest. The Johnsons called their homestead "Poverty Hill", Johnson, a skilled carpenter, took on building jobs while his wife did washington for bachelors during the "seven lean years". My husband was always much of the time building shacks for other homesteaders, Mrs. Johnson said. I had to haul water from a 100 ft. deep well more than a mile from our place. One day, as I was returning on horseback, I was chased by a band of Indians. My children were home alone and I was scared to death. Finally I confronted the Indians with a pleasant, "Hello". All they wanted was directions to Coulee City. They were lost. Johnson, an astute business man, constructed a wheat elevator and warehouse at Almira. The family soon was one of the wealthiest in the Almira-Davenport area. Johnson died in 1915, but left his family some of the best wheat land in Lincoln County. Mrs. Johnson, whose education ended at the eighth grade, moved the family to Pullman so her children might attend college.
Many's the time I took off my apron in the middle of a washing and took in a musicale or lecture at Washignton State College, Mrs. Johnson said. Our home was virtually on the campus. In fact, they had to move it several times as the college expanded. It sort of made up for those long days on Poverty Hill. Mrs. Johnson proudly related that her youngest son, Charles, the only one of her five children still living, had one of the best scholastic records in Washington State College history. The son, an electrical engineer, owns a prosperous electronics-manufacturing company in Los Angeles. Mrs. Johnson now lives with a niece, Mrs. Victor Garber, 14411 First Av. S., who is planning a big family dinner Sunday. Attending will be Mrs. Johnson's son, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Mrs. Johnson takes a daily automobile ride, sometimes as far as Bellingham and back in a single day. She enjoys good music and reading. Her favorite hobbies are watercoloring, which she took up recently and gardening. Something else she doesn't think anybody knows about," Mrs. Garber whispered as an aside, "She helped put a number of deserving youngsters through Washington State College."
Mrs. Lizzie Johnson Observes Her 99th Birthday on November 2
A former resident of this area who reached her 99th birthday Nov. 2, has taken up water color painting as a hobby. She is Mrs. Lizzie Alice Deets Johnson, formerly of Emerson, whose brothers were the late J.M. and W.W. Deets of Emerson. Mrs. Johnson lives with a niece, Mrs. Victor Garber, 14411 1st Ave. S. Seattle Wash. She also has several nieces and nephews in this vicinity. The picture of Mrs. Johnson and an interview just prior to her birthday was carried in a Seattle newspaper. A copy of the paper was brought to the Daily Gazette by Mrs. C.W. Deets of Emerson. A family dinner in the Garber home on Sunday Nov.2 honored Mrs. Johnson's birthday. [Contributed by M. King Deets. This story related by Mrs. Johnson at age 99]
Robert Johnson was born 8 March 1797 in Washington County, Maryland. They lived just across the Pennsylvania-Maryland border in the Hancock area. Because they were back and forth, Robert met Rebecca Truax who lived in Fulton County, PA. They were married in 1827 in Fulton Co, where they made their first home. Louise, Joseph, Elizabeth, Margaret, Sarah Ann, Denton, Nancy, Hester, Robert, Jr., Emma and William were all born in Akersville, Fulton Co, PA.
In 1848 the family moved to Whiteside County, Illinois, where the 12th child, Harriett, was born 23 August 1849. She died in April, 1853, in Hopkins Twp. I believe Robert's father to be Joseph Johnson. I found Robert's brother Denton's Will in Western Maryland Genealogy quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct), Washington County Will Abstracts, Vol 16, No 2, April 2000. Later I found a Western Maryland Newspaper Abstract where Thomas and Joseph, “executors of Joseph” sold property in February, 1807. Robert was named in Denton's Will, with his (Robert's) son, Denton's nephew, as a beneficiary. Robert's first-born son was named Joseph; other sons named Denton, William and Robert. In Whiteside where they lived in 1857, they'd been out plowing and came in because of a thunderstorm. Denton was sitting on the hearth near the fireplace when lightning struck the chimney, came down through the chimney, and killed him. He was 20 years old. Louise married John Armstrong in 1844 in PA. Elizabeth married Sansom Wink in 1848 in PA. Margaret married Martin J Ryerson about 1850 in Illinois. Sarah Ann married William Petty in IL. Nancy married Emanuel Metzger in IL. Hester (Hettie) married David L Pittman in Sterling, IL. Robert, Jr married Mary Jane Lane Tuttle, 20 September 1877 in IL. Emma married Christ Hershey in IL. William married Ella V Kendall in IL.
Robert died 10 August 1877 at the age of 80 years, in Hopkins Twp, and is buried at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Whiteside County. Rebecca died 15 June 1886 at the age of 79 years, and is also buried at Hickory Grove.
[Contributed by Jayne Kennedy Sweger, who adds this Note) - "Robert & Rebecca are my 2nd great grandparents, and their daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Sansom Wink, are my 1st great grandparents, through their daughter, Axaphia, who married Richard Y Kennedy, also of Whiteside County."]
ROBERT R. JOHNSON
Hopkins Township, Whiteside Co IL
Robert R. Johnson, farmer, section 9, Hopkins Twp. is a son of Aaron and Sally (Law) Johnson, natives of Pennsylvania, who removed to Ohio, where they lived till their death. They had a family of nine children - Rachel, Mary A., Robert R., Margaret, Ephraim, Rebecca, Thomas, Aaron and Samuel. The subject of this sketch was born in Washington Co., PA. June 16, 1819 and was 17 years old when his father removed to OH; he continued to live at home till 24 years of age. He engaged in farming in Ohio till the fall of 1854, when he came to Whiteside County and lived in Jordan Twp. about nine months, and since then has lived in Hopkins Twp. In 1856 he settled on section 9, where he had bought 400 acres previous to his coming to the county to reside. He has disposed of all but 165 acres, and all this except five acres is in a state of good cultivation. Mr. Johnson was married in Perry Co OH May 12, 1852 to Susan, daughter of Isaac & Nellie (Chenoweth) Brown. The former was born in Ireland, and at the age of 3 years moved to VA; he was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church for a number of years. Mrs. Johnson's mother was a native of VA. They settled in the State of Ohio, where they finally died. They had a family of nine children, - Ellen, Margaret, Susan, Eliza, Isabella, Absalom, Matilda, Martha and Harriet. Mrs. Johnson was born in Perry Co. OH Feb. 15, 1827 and has become the mother of 8 children - Alice C., Sarah E., Monroe, Julius A., Herbert H., Hattie E., Effie E., and Ida B. Monroe died Dec. 13, 1872 when 14 years old. Mr. Johnson in his political views is a Democrat. Mrs. Johnson is a member of the Lutheran Church. [Portraits & Biographical 1885 Pg. 319]
Of Prophetstown Township
Samuel Johnson was born in Castleton, Vermont, in 1805, and came to Prophetstown in 1838. In 1839, he married Mrs. Christina Smith, widow of Robert Smith, and settled near Jefferson Corners, where he lived about twenty years, when he moved to Sterling, He is now living on a farm in Coloma. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are: L. L., who married Miss Block, and lives in Coloma; he was a Lieutenant in the 34th Illinois Volunteers; and Christina, wife of Charles Tenny, living in Vermont. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
OF Fulton Township
Col. Samuel Johnston was a native of Johnstown, Montgomery county New York, and came to Illinois in 1834, settling first in Dixon, where he remained until 1840, when he came to Sterling, and opened the second public house in that place. In 1842 he settled in Fulton, and engaged in the hotel and merchandising business. Col. Johnston was married to his first wife, Miss Hannah S Watrous, on the 2d of April, 1799 the following being the children of that union: Styres W., Mary Ann, Hannah, S. Watrous, and Elizabeth. Of these, Mary Ann and Elizabeth are dead. Elizabeth married Dr. John Nash, and moved with her husband to California, and both died there. Styres W., lives near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Hannah married Dr. A. Benton, of Fulton, and after her husband’s death moved to Chicago, where she still resides. S. Watrous, or as he is more familiarly known among his friends and acquaintances, "Wat", lives near Fort Scott, Kansas. Col. Johnston’s first wife died October 4, 1818, and on February 28, 1823, he married Miss Rebecca Crawford at Bettsburg, Broome county, New York, The only child of this marriage is Mrs. Rebecca S. Sayre, the popular proprietress of the Revere House, in Morrison. Mrs. Sayre has been twice married, first to Augustin Phelps, one of the earliest of Fulton’s merchants, and after his death, to Geo. W. Sayre. During his lifetime Col. Johnston was an active, through-going business man, and was one of the best known hotel keepers of his day. His hotel in Fulton called the Fulton House, was widely and extensively patronized. While a resident of Dixon he materially aided in the organization of the first Masonic Lodge at that place, and was also one of the first to organize a Masonic Lodge at Fulton. He was enthusiastic in all that pertained to Masonic matters, and never missed attending a communication of his own Lodge, or of a sister Lodge, whenever he was within reaching distance. He died in September, 1854, at South Bend, Indiana, and his wife at Fulton on the 23d of December, 1884 [Bent-Wilson 1877 Pg 190-191]
FOSTER H. JONES
Of Garden Plain Twp.
Foster H. Jones, deceased, formerly a farmer on section 26, Garden Plain Township, was born Aug. 6, 1832, in Saratoga Co., N. Y. He went to Columbia, Ohio, when he was a young man, where he was a resident until 1854. He was married Aug. 17, of that year, to Elizabeth Cox, who was born in Adams Co., Ohio. In the same year he became a citizen of Whiteside County. He rented land in Garden Plain Township for five years after his removal to Illinois, and in 1859 he bought a parcel of land on section 26. Its improvements consisted of a log house, some fencing, and ten acres broken. The family occupied the log house about four years, when the proprietor built a fine frame house, and he has since erected large and valuable farm buildings to suit the needs of his business; and he has also set out numerous trees of various descriptions. He continued the purchase of land, and at the time of his death he was the owner of 360 acres, in excellent condition for prosperous agriculture. His widow still occupies the homestead. Albert, John C., Charles H., Ernest E. and Cora Edna are the names of the children who survive. Mary died in infancy. Frank was born Aug. 7, 1857 and was killed on the cars at Mendota, IL., Nov. 29, 1882. Maggie was born March 31, 1859. She married Ira Clough and settled in Burlingame, Kan., where she died Feb. 22, 1883. Albert is married and lives in Garden Plain Township. John C. is the manager of the homestead, in which he is assisted by Ernest. The parents of Mrs. Jones were natives respectively of New York and Ohio. [Portrait & Biographical 1885 Pg 751]
FRED GEARHART JURGENS
Of Rock Falls
A prominent photographer in the city of Rock Falls during the early 1900's was Fred Jurgens, who for many years operated his business from a studio in his home located at 1511 Prophetstown Road. Jurgens had been employed at the Eureka Manufacturing Company when a health condition in the form of rheumatism resulted in his resignation. It was at this time he engaged in the photography business and while his primary work was in commercial photography, he did portrait work also. In 1910 he built a spacious new home, now 1511 Prophetstown Road, on a 10 acre land tract he owned. The land was a small farm then at the southwest edge of Rock Falls. A feature of the new home was a skylight in the studio area to aid in his photography business. Not long after he entered the commercial photography business, Jurgens was to photograph "The Kelly Triplets." The Kelly triplets was a great event of the year 1911 and they were the children, all daughters, of Mr. and Mrs. Guy Kelly. The Kelly family at that time lived on First Avenue just north of the Thome and decker Blacksmith Shop. The Kelly triplets born Oct. 7, 1911 included Hazel, Hester and Helen. Jurgens was a popular photographer of the early 1900's and was the recipient of many commissions for local photos and portraits. Fred Gerhard Jurgens was born in Bremen, Germany and migrated to the US in 1868 when he was 16 years old. He lived in various communities in the state of IL before settling in Whiteside County. He married Theresa Harms who was born near Prairieville in Lee COunty in 1878. It was around the year 1880 Fred and Theresa Jurgens purchased the small 10 acre farm at the west edge of Rock Falls. The four daughters of the marriage probably attended Riverdale Schoo. The Jurgens family settled in an old home on the 10 acre tract and during the years 1909 and 1910 constructed an impressive new home which stands today and is located at 1511 Prophetstown Road. At one time this small farm was the first farm west of Rock Falls on the Prophetstown Road. Jurgens and his wife were the parents of four daughters, one of whom is still living and she is Mrs. Charles U. (Ella) Powell of Pasadena, Calif. The other daughters included Mabel, Cora an Clara. Mabel married Tracy Smith and after farming in this area for several years, accepted a homestead near Havre Montana. Mabel was the oldest child in the Jurgens family. Cora married John D. Van Bibber of Dixon who was also a photographer. Van Bibber later became the chief of police in Dixon and served in that capacity for 28 years until his death in 1945. Ella married Charles U. Powell of Polo, Ogle County IL who operated a jewelry store there. They later moved to Pasadena, Calif. where they reside today. Powell operates a jewelry store there. Clara the youngest jurgens daughter married Peter J. Dietz and they farmed on the Dietz farm on Buell road south of Rock Falls. Peter Dietz and Clara Jurgens were married in the new home built by Jurgens in 1910 and they were the parents of two daughters, LaVerne Dietz Montgomery who resides in Rock Falls and Fern Dietz McCall of Warren, Mich. Theresa dn Fred Jurgens celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1928. In 1932 Jurgens died and he was preceded by his wife Theresa in 1929. Shortly after the death of Mrs. Jurgens, their daughter Clara and her husband Peter Dietz moved from the farm to take care of the elder Jurgens until his death in 1932. Shortly afterwards, the family sold the 10 acre Jurgens farmette to Adolph Von Templehof. The Jurgens property changed ownership again during June of 1974 when it was purchased by the late Robert D. McCulloh. The property is currently (1976) maintained by the McCulloh family. [From the Sterling Gazette Feb. 28, 1976]
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