G. NIANGA & CO
GARRETT NANIGA & HERMAN SIKKEMA
Of Fulton, IL
Naniga & Co., dealers in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, etc. This is a new mercantile firm, established at Fulton April 1, 1885, with a fine general stock valued at $3,000. The members comprising the firm are Garrett Naniga and Herman Sikkema. The senior partner, Garrett Naniga, was born in Fulton Township, this county, Feb. 18, 1861, and is the son of George snd Dereke (Felt) Naniga. He was reared on a farm, and in 1882 engaged as clerk for George DeBey, a general merchant of Fulton, and continued with him till April 1, 1885, when he formed the existing partnership with Mr. Sikkema. He was married in Ustick Township, this county, Oct. 15, 1884, to Miss Helen Sikkema, daughter of Jacob Sikkema. Mrs. Naniga was born in Holland and came to the United States in 1865. Mr. Naniga’s parents are also natives of Holland and came to the United States in 1855. He is a Republican; he and his wife attend the Presbyterian Church.
HERMAN SIKKEMA, junior partner of the above mentioned firm, is a native of Holland and was born June 21, 1858. He in the son of William and Annie (Housenga) Sikkema. He emmigrated to the United States in 1872 and arrived in Fulton, Ill., the same year. He has been eagaged in farming, mill work and teaming till April, 1885, when he formed the existing partnership with Mr. Naniga. He is Republican in politics and attends the Presbyterian Church. Messrs. Naniga and Sikkema are energetic young business men, who have hosts of friends who will rejoice to see them prosper in their newly entablished business. [Portrait & Biographical 1885 Pg 308]
ELI O. NASH
Eli O. Nash, contractor and builder, residing at Unionville, is a son of Samuel and Lydia (Mixer) Nash, natives of Vermont. The parents were married and settled in Vermont, and afterwards removed to Jefferson Co., “York State,” where they resided until their deaths. Their family comprised nine children, namely: Rufus, Almira, Emma, Asa, Eliza, Whitney, Unity, Nelson and Eli. O.
Eli O., subject of this biographical notice, was born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., March 13, 1826. He lived at home, assisting in the working of the farm and received the advantages afforded by the common schools; and on attaining the age of 20 years he engaged to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed until the spring of 1868, in York State. During the year last names, he came to Kane County, this State, and in the fall of that year to this county, and has resided here ever since, almost continually engaged in working at his trade.
Mr. Nash formed a matrimonial alliance in Jefferson Co., N.Y., Jan. 5, 1851, with Miss Parmelia Albro. She is a daughter of Alanson and Parmelia (Brooks) Albro, natives of Vermont, whose family consisted of four children, Oliver, Olive, Henry and Parmelia. Mrs. Nash was born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., June 24, 1831. Their family consisted of three children, only one of whom survives, Bert E. Alanson, De F. and Nettie P. died in infancy.
Politically, Mr. Nash is a believer in the tenets of the Republican Party. Socially, he is a member of the I.O.O.F., belonging to Grove Lodge, No. 257 [Contributed by Debbie Thormahlen from Portraits & Biographical Pg 787, Whiteside County IL 1885]
EDWARD HENSON NEVITT
OF Albany Township
Hon. Edward H. Nevitt, of Albany, has been a prominent business man of Whiteside County since 1850. He is a native citizen of the State, having been born at Carwi, White County, Jan. 6, 1822. He was 15 years of age when his father (see sketch of William Nevitt), removed his family to Albany Township, and until the date named he was engaged in farming, with the exception of the time spent in obtaing his education, which he completed by studying at Knox College. He had observed the advantages of the lumber trade on tbe Mississippi, and at the age of 28 years began his active connection therewith, pursuing his business vigorously in the various avenues of traffic in production-of lumber, until the summer of 1860, when he suffered almost total annihilation of his business relations from the tornado of June 3, which literally destroyed the village of Albany; his saw-mill, with the lumber and fixtures, and his residence, being swept away. He made a brave struggle to recover his losses, staying on the spot with his friends and neighbors, who had encountered similar disaster. In 1865, he was appointed United States Mail Agent, and discharged the duties of the position on the river route from Dubuque to Rock Island, one season. In the fall of the same year he again embarked in the lumber trade, in which he has since operated continuously.
Mr. Nevitt's abilities received early recognition by his townsmen, and he was elected to the position of Assessor on the organization of the township, and was successfully re-elected twenty years. He served as County School Commissioner and as Supervisor of Albany. He held the latter office six consecittive years, and was re-elected for a seventh term, but resigned to take his position as Representative of the Eleventh District, which included the counties of Whiteside and Carroll. He was elected to the Assembly of Illinois in the fall of 1876, and was made a member of some of the most important committees. His service in the 30th General Assembly was characterized by the same ability, faithfulness and public spirit which had made hurt prominent in local affairs and in the duties of his private citizenship. Mr. Nevitt is the possessor of a mind well stored by a wide familiarity with literature and prominent individuals in public life; and he is the recipient of the respect and esteem of all who know him for his disinterested services in the general welfare, as well as for his superior character as a man.
Mr. Nevitt was joined in marriage to Hannah Alvord, Dec. 27, 1855 at LeClaire, Iowa. She was born May 26,1826, in Elliottsville, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y. A daughter, Lizzie Blanche, was born April 19, 1856, and died Nov. 18, 1858. The wife and mother died Nov. 30, 1882. The second marriage of Mr. Nevitt, to Jennie Whiting, occurred Jan. 15, 1884. Mrs. Nevitt is a native of the City of Lockport, N. Y. [Portraits and Biographical Pg 779]
EDWARD H. NEVITT was born in Carmi, White county, Illinois, January 6, 1822. When twelve years of age his father moved from White county to near Knoxville, Knox County, Illinois. Here the family remained until 1837 when they all came to Albany. Mr. Nevitt was married to Miss Hannah Alvord at LeClaire, Iowa, on the 27th of December, 1855, Elder Hartzell, performing the ceremony. Miss Alvord was born in Ellicottville, Cattaraugaus County, New York, May 26, 1826. Lizie Blanche, marriage, was born April 19, 1856, and died November 18, 1858. When Mr. Nevitt first came to Albany he settled in the part of the town then known as Van Buren, now more particularly designated as Upper Albany. During the first years of his residence he followed farming. In 1847 he engaged in the lumber business on the Mississippi river, and continued in it about three years. In 1852 he became connected with the saw mill business, and was so occupied until 1860 when the mill in which he had an interest was, together with the lumber, machinery, etc., swept away by the Tornado. His dwelling house was also destroyed at the same time, thus entailing a heavy loss which it took several years to recover. In 1863 he was appointed mail agent on the river from Davenport to Dubuque, in which service he remained nearly a year, and then went into the lumber, insurance, and real estate business, in which he is still engaged. His fellow citizens early discovered that he was peculiarly qualified for an able, prompt and faithful discharge ofthe duties of a public trust, and in 1852, the first election after the township organization, elected him Assessor of the town, and continued him in that office at each succeeding election until 1877, a period of a quarter of a century. In 1870 he was elected Supervisor of the town, an office which he contininued to hold by re-election until January 1,1877, when he resigned to take his seat as Representative of the General Assembly of the State from the 11th District, to which office he had been elected for two years in in the fall before. During the late, long and arduous session of the Thirteenth General Assembly he was always vigilant in the discharge of his duties, rarely being out of his seat during session hours, or away from conmmittee work when it demanded his attention. He was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed and Enrolled bills, one of the most important committees of the House, and also member of several other committees. Mr. Nevitt was educated at Knox College. [History of Whiteside County]
Of Newton Twp
William Nevitt, father of Hon. E. H. Nevitt, and one of the earliest pioneers of Whiteside county, was born at Brownsville, Pa., in 1779. When a young man he moved to Kentucky, and in 1805 married Miss Mary Edlin at Beardstown, Breckenridge county, in that State. He moved from Kentucky to White county Illinois in 1818, and in 1834 from the latter place to a farm near Knoxville, Knox County, Illinois, where he remained until 1837 when he came to Albany, arriving in August. Here he purchased a farm just back of the present village of Albany, and also became one of the original proprietors of Upper Albany. In 1821 Mr. Nevitt was appointed Justice of the Peace by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State and the appointment afterwards duly confirmed by the Senate, and a commission issued to him by Hon. Shadrach Bond, the first Governor of the state. While a resident of White county he was several times placed in nomination by the Whigs of his district as Representative to the Legislature, but as the latter were in the minority his candidacy was unsuccessful. In 1831 he was appointed by the Governor as one of the Commissioners to improve the Little Wabash river. He had not long been in Whiteside when he was elected School Commissioner of the county, Jabez Warner, Esq., being his opponent. This office he held until his death which occurred in October, 1848. Mr. Nevitt had eleven children: John, James, Clement, William G., Allen, Edward H., Wilson, Nancy, Maria and Susan. Eliza married Alfred Slocumb; Nancy married Asa Langford; Maria married Noah Shelby, and Susan married Thomas Finch. The children living are Clement, who resides in Knox county, Illinois; William G. in Newton, Whiteside county; Edward H., in Albany; Mrs. Finch in Oskaloosa, Jefferson county, Iowa, and Mrs. Slocumb in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. [History of Whiteside County]
WILLIAM GRANVILLE NEVITT
Of Newton Twp
William G. Nevitt was born in Breckenridge county, Kentucky, in 1814, and was one of eleven children who all grew up and were married. In 1819, with his father, he removed to White county, Illinois. In 1832, when volunteers were called for to operate against the Sac and Fox Indians in the north part of the state, Mr. Nevitt, then a lad of sixteen, enlisted. His father equipped him with a horse, gun, and accoutrements, and he joined the Spy Battalion of the second brigade, and served honorably throughout the campaign. After the many trials of a lonely journey on horseback, Mr. Nevitt reached Knoxville, after the close of the Indian troubles. His father removed to that town in 1835. While at Knoxville, the subject of this sketch was employed to make the assessment of Henry connty, then attached to Knox for judicial purposes, and he, while thus engaged, visited Prophetstown and Portland, and assessed the settlers there, these two townships being then a part of Henry county. In 1836 his father, Wm. Nevitt, in company with others, bought the claim where Albany now is, and the next year, 1837, W. G. Nevitt was married and made a claim three miles southeast of Albany, where he now resides, and has for forty years. He has reared seven children, and lost two. Mr. Nevitt, in the early days of settlement, served as constable, and has also been a Justice of the Peace about twenty years. He is a type of the honest, hard-working, God-fearing farmer his rules of life being the Ten Commandments. [History of Whiteside County Bent/Wilson 1877]
WILLIAM GRANVILLE NEVITT, a farmer on Section 6, Newton Township, was born March 22, 1814 in Breckenridge Co KY and is he fourth son of Wm. and Mary (Edlin) Nevitt. His parents came to White Co IL when he was five years old, and he there grew to man's estate. He was 18 when the second invasion of BlackHawk took place and he volunteered in what was designated the Spy Battalion of the Second Brigade, in command of Colonel McHenry. He was equipped by his father with a horse and gun and was a participant int he battle of Bad Ax. After the capture of the troublesome chief, Mr. Nevitt set out on his return. He desired to make his way to his brothers' in Knox County and he started alone on his pony. He found his gun burdensome and he threw it away. The first night he found himself at the confluence of two creeks and he picketed his horse and slept on the ground. At day dawn he again set forth and toward nightfall struck a trail which led to a cabin in a corn field, but with no human eing near. He pressed on until he came to another cabin without an occupant, and he again rode on, following the trail which led to a block house, where he found the proprietors of the empty houses. This was near Henderson Grove in Knox County. He reached his brother the next day and remained with him two weeks, afte which he went to Lewistown to see his brother-in-law. He reached his home in September. He spent the next two years as an assistant in a blacksmith shop, after which he removed to Knox county. In 1836 he went to Oquakwa and there engaged to help build a sawmill. He joined his parents in Albany in 1837. In June he started in company with th Slocumbs to make claims. They went to a southeasterly course and located in what is now Neton Twp. making a claim on the west half of section 6, Stephen B. Slocumb locating the east half of the same. The other Slocumbs, four in number, made claims east of section 6 in the same twp. Their land lay in a straight line and the thoroughfare on which it was situated was called Slocumb Street. Mr. Nevitt cut logs and hewed timber for a dwelling and sent to Maquoketa Iowa for sawed lumber. His dwelling was 16 x 24 feet. He afterward increased its dimensions and occupied it until 1855, when he built the brick residence now occupied by himself and family. Mr. Nevitt had the use of three yoke of oxen during the first year of his residence in Newton Twp. and he was busy all summer breaking prairie for his neighbors, receiving $5 per acre for his services. He also went to Beaver Island to draw logs for a steam mill at Albany. He drew one 60 feet long that would "square" 14 inches which had been sought in vain by David Mitchell and a man named Bergen, who also had an interest in the mill.
Mr. Nevitt returned to White Co IL in the fall of 1837 and spent the winter. March 5, 1838 he was married to Leannah, daughter of John and Rebecca (Morely) Martin. The parents of his wife were natives of NC and wer pioneers of White County. April 5the the bridegroom set out with his bride to make their way to their future home. Both were on horseback, Mrs. Nevitt riding one given her by her father. They wer 14 days making the trip. They stayed a few days with the parents of Mr. Nevitt, until their house was completed. They owned two chairs, which was presented to them by the husband's parents. Seven of nine children born to Mr. and MRs. Nevitt are still living. Mary married D.J. Markee of Newton Twp./ Martha is the wife of H.H. Bliff of Webster Co Iowa/ Perry resides in Newton Twp/ Olney is a resident of Minneapolis MN; Nannie is the wife of C.C. Clendening of the same place/ Hettie married Charles Osborn of Minneapolis/ Minnie resides at home. [Portraits and Biographical Whiteside county]
JAMES W. NEWCOMER
James W. Newcomer, of the firm of Newcomer & Bayliss, publishers of the Sterling Standard, was born in Centre Co, Pa., Nov. 23, 1841; came to Illinois in 1846 with his parents, and settled near Freeport; learned the printer’s trade in the Freeport Journal office; enlisted in Co. D, 93d Ill. Vol. Inf., in 1862, and served three years; was wounded at Altoona Pass in October, 1864; was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in 1865. He published the Lena Star from 1869 to 1878; was United States Storekeeper at Sterling from 1878 to 1883. Subsequently he entered the firm of Mack & Newcomer, which in June, 1884, became Newcomer & Bayliss, publishers of the Standard, a straight Republican newspaper. Mr. Newcomer was married in 1870 to Miss Lola, daughter of Z. Stover, then of Lena, now of Republic, Kan. They have one daughter, Lulu, born Jan. 10, 1872. [Contributed by Marji Turner; Pg. 283, Whiteside County History 1880]
RANDOLPH C. NIBLACK
OF Albany Twp
Randolph C. Niblack was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, November 27, 1807. He went, when quite a lad to Sciota county, Ohio, where he learned the carpenter’s trade, and remained quite a number of years, and then came to Albany arriving April 14, 1837, and settled in Lower Albany. He at once commenced working at his trade, and built and assisted in building, some of the first erected houses in Albany.
On the 11th of February, 1835, he was married to Miss Amy Buck by the Rev. Mr. Hazard, of Lyndon. At that time parties had to go to Dixon for marriage licenses, and travel many miles of the distance without seeing a human habitation. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Niblack but both died in their infancy. Mr. Niblack made the first coffin needed in Albany, it being for a young child of Mr. Erastus Allen. He also painted the first house in the town, the present Eagle Hotel building. He has frequently been Commissioner of Highways for the town, and held other town offices. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
Phillip Nice, a merchant on Spruce Street, Sterling, was born in Montgomery Co., Pa., Nov. 12, 1845. His parents were Henry and Levinah (Tyson) Nice, natives also of the Keystone State, who moved to Ohio in 1850, and in 1865 to Sterling, this county. Mr. Henry Nice is a farmer and is at present residing north of Morrison. The subject of this notice received in his youth a common-school education, and at the age of the 19 left his paternal home and was a farm laborer by the month for seven years; then worked a rented farm for three years; next he was a clerk at Sterling fur years, since which time he has been a successful merchant in independent business. He deals honorably and is known to be a man of firm principles.
Dec. 25, 1873, is the date of his marriage to Miss Anna Kohnhaus, a native of Indiana, and they are the parents of five children, namely: Amelia, Joseph, Emma, Tobias and Edith. Mr. Nice is a Republican in his politcal views, and both himself and wife belong to the old Mennonite Church of Sterling Township. [Portraits & Biographical Pg 421]
Daniel Nicewanger is a farmer on section 31, Garden Plain Township. He was born in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., July 2, 1834. His paternal descent is of German, and his father, Joseph Nicenwanger, was born in Cumberland Co., Pa. The father conducted a home of public entertainment in the village of Mill Creek Pa., and he also owned a farm, which he managed.
The son operated as his father’s assistant in both his business interests. He was married July 2, 1857, to Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Lowrey. She was born June 22, 1835, in the town of Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., Pa., of mixed German and Scotch ancestry.
The newly married people passed the first year subsequent to their marriage on the homestead farm of the senior Nicewanger, after which they settled on farm, of which they were the occupants until 1862. In August of that year, the husband enlisted as a Corporal in the military service in the State of Illinois, and went to Connellsville. At that place he was transferred to the Quartermaster’s Department and served six months. His term of enlistment having expired, he was discharged in February, 1864. He re-enlisted in the regular army as a private. He was assigned to a position on the signal service department under Capt. Russell Pennis. He was soon after promoted to the rank of Seargeant and served till August, 1865, when he was honorably discharged, and returned to Westmoreland County.
In 1866 he came to Rock Island Co., Ill., to assume the duties as superintendent of the property known as the McCormick stock farm, which he managed five years. He afterward rented the same farm, and conducted his interests there two years. Meanwhile he bought the farm he now occupies in Garden Plain Township. It includes 120 acres, has a good outfit of buildings, and is under an excellent grade of cultivation. Its improvements includes one of the finest apple orchards in the county and a large assortment of varieties of small fruits.
Mr. Nicenwanger belongs to the Post Captain Mack, G.A.R. at Albany, to Lodge NO. 66, A. F. and A. M., to the A. O. U.W., of Garden Plain, and to the Forest Camp of Modern Woodmen. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Their children are named Anna, Grace, Etta and Joseph Edgar. The elder is the wife of William Drury, of Garden Plain Township. [Contributed by Marji Turner; Pg. 764, Whiteside County History, 1880]
ERASTUS G. NICHOLS
OF Prophetstown Township
Erastus G. Nichols was born in Essex county, Vermont, in 1801, in which place he passed his early life. In 1832 he moved to Niles, Michigan, where he remained three years, and then In company with Mr. L. P. Sanger took a contract on the Illinois and Michigan canal, and made the cutting through Camp Rock. He came to Prophetstown in October, 1837, and settled on the bank of Coon creek, near its confluence with Rock river. In 1840, Messrs. Nichols, Sanger, and Galbraith, contracted to dig the canal around the Rock river rapids, commencing the work at the present village of Rock Falls. These gentlemen put a large force on the work, and also opened an extensive store for that time, on the Rock Falls side. Mr. Nichols had been educated as a lawyer, and practiced some during his earlier life. In 1839, he was appointed Circuit Clerk for Whiteside county, but resigned before he had performed any duties, and in 1840 CoI. R. S. Wilson was appointed to fill the vacancy. He was the first! Postmaster when a separate Postoffice was established at Prophetstown, in 1844, but was attacked with small pox the next winter and died in February. In 1838-'39, he built a saw mill on Coon creek, which nearly ruined him financially. Mr. Nichols was a man of good ability, and very highly respected. He married Miss Elizabeth Graves. Their children were: Annette, wife of Alanson Stowell, living in Prophetstown; Edliza, wife of Phillip B. Brown, living in Prophetstown; Alpheus B., who married Miss Maria Paddock, and is now dead. Jones B., who married Miss Tamson Seely, and lives in Prophetstown; Sarah J., wife of Augustus Treadwell, living in Prophetstown; Ethan, now dead, and Wilbur, who married Miss Lucy Thorp, and lives in Prophetstown. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County, Page 381]
Of Prophetstown Township
Ethan Nichols was a native of Essex county, Vermont, and came to Prophetstown in 1838. He died of fever in August, 1839. Mr. Nichols married Miss Portia Hopkinson, in 1825. The children of this marriage were David H., living in Colorado; Alpheus, in Montana; Guy, in Wyoming; Ezra who was killed in the Mexican war; and Rufus M., now dead. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
Germany, like many miter parts of Europe, has furnished many of the most prosperous and industrious citizens of Clinton county, to which class lickings the subject of this sketch, who owns and occupies a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 29 Berlin township. He was born in Wurtemhurg. Germany, in 1838 and is a son of Charles Christian and Margaret (Nick) Nick, who spent their entire lives in that country, where both died at an advanced age. The father was a successful farmer. In the family were six children. Two of our subject's brothers came to the new world, William in 1867 and Jacob in 1869.
Gottlieb Nick grew to manhood in his native land, being twenty-seven years of age when he came to the United States with his wife. On landing in New York he proceeded at once to Illinois and located near Toledo, (?) Whiteside county, where he engaged in farming for seven years. At the end of that time he came to Iowa and spent three years in Cedar county, where he operated a rented farm three years. Since then he has been a resident of Clinton county, and after farming on several places he purchased his present farm about 1881. He first bought eighty acres, to which he has added from time to time until he now has two hundred and forty acres of as line farming land as is to be found in Berlin township. This he has placed under a high state of cultivation, and he is successfully engaged in genera] farming and stock raising.
In 1864 Mr. Nick was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Haas, in County Obedorf. Germany. Unto them were born nine children, of whom six arc still living, namely: George, born at sea, now follows the blacksmith's trade; Kate, born in Whiteside county, Illinois, is the wife of Andrew Simpson, who owns and operates an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 39, Berlin township, just across the road from our subject's place; they have four children - Annie, George, William and Charles; Caroline, born in Whiteside county, Illinois, is the wife of Daniel White, who is engaged in farming on one hundred and sixty acres of land in Sharon township; Gottlieb, born in Whiteside county. Illinois, now living in the west; Amelia, born in the same county, is at home with her parents; and William, born in Clinton county, Iowa, is assisting in the operation of the farm. The children deceased are Christina, who died when two weeks old; and Clara and Charles, who were both nine months old at the time of their deaths.
In his political views Mr. Nick is a Democrat but he has never sought office, though he served as school director two years, and has always taken an active interest in all enterprises for the public good. He is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church of North America, and has been an elder of the church at Bliedorn for the past four years. He is one of the leading and representative citizens of his community, and is respected and honored by a large circle of acquaintances. [The Biographical Record of Clinton County, Iowa ... By S.J. Clarke Publishing Company]
JOHN W. NILES
Sterling, Whiteside Co IL
Capt. John W. Niles, a retired farmer residing at Sterling, was born in Madison Co. NY Nov. 11, 1832. His parents, John and Sarah (Mosely) Niles, emigrated West in 1855, settling in Jones Co. IA upon a tract of 480 acres of land where they resided for 13 years. They then sold that place and removed to Sterling, and resided with their son until their death. Mr. Niles died in November 1882 aged 82 years and Mrs. Niles died Sept. 1, 1884 aged 82 years. They had lived together for 59 years.
Capt. Niles, the subject of this sketch, was an inmate of his paental home until he was 20 years of age, receiving an academical education at Hamiton NY. Then in 1850 he went to OH and was a clerk in a bank for a year. Returning to the State of NY he taught school winters until 1853 when he moved to IA and followed farming until the summer of 1861.
At this time the tocsin of war was sounded and he regarded it as a call to exhibit his patriotism by engagement in the field of carnage. Accordingly he enlisted in the 9th Ret. IA Vol. Inf. and was immediately appointed Sergeant. Going with Gen. Curtis' army to the southwestern part of the Stae of MO he participated in the battle of Pea Ridge. Next, he was in Gen. Grants army during the Vicksburg campaign, was at the charge of Vicksburg on the 22nd of May, 1863 and for gallantry in action he was promoted to the rank of 1st Lt. He was also engaged in the campaign of Lookout Mountain and missionary Ridge in the fall of 1863. In the summer of 1864 he was Regimental Quartermaster in the Atlanta campaign, and participated in Gen. Sherman's grand "march to the sea," when he received his commission as Captain. Was with Gen. Sherman at the surrender of Johnston at Raleigh, NC. He took part in many battles and skirmished too numerous to mention here. After participating in the Grand Review at Washington DC the 15th Corps, of which he was a member, was taken to Louisville KY in July 1865 and mustered out. Thus after a service of four years in the greatest war ever waged, Capt. Niles was honorably discharged.
Returning from the war he purchased 200 acres of land four miles south of Sterling, and occupied it as an agriculturist until October 1875 when he sold it and moved into a residence he bought on Walnut Street in the city of Sterling, where he is now a resident. He is Alderman of the Second Ward, and Secretary of the Board of Education of that Ward. Is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Commander of the Post of G.A.R., a Republican, a member of the Baptist Church of Sterling and a leading representative citizen of Whiteside County. [Portraits & Biographical Whiteside County 1885 Pg 417]
ROBERT S. NORRISH
Robert S. Norrish, an extensive farmer of Mr. Pleasant Township, located on second 2, is a representative of a large class in Whiteside County, who have been instrumental in its development, though he was born under another government. His farming interests also demonstrate the results of a life of honorable, judicious effort under the protection of a republican form of government. He is the owner of 680 acres of land, which is all under cultivation with the exception of about one-sixth. His farm is stocked with about 100 head of cattle and 16 horses, and he fattens for market an annual average of 75 hogs.
Mr. Norrish was born Oct. 1, 1826, in Devonshire, England, and his is the on of Samuel and Frances (Snow) Norrish. His parents lived and died in their native shire. Their children were named Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Francis, Edward, Robert S., John, Jane and Ann. Mr. Norrish was educated in his native country and lived there until 1850, when he came to the United States. He went at first to Ohio, where he was married, July 6, 1852, in Lorain County, to Tamzin Squire. They remained in Ohio until 1853, when they removed thence to Mt. Pleasant Township. The wife died there in October, 1863, having borne two children, who were named Samuel and Margaret A. The older child died in infancy. March 2, 1865, Mr. Norrish was again married, in Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, to Ann Adams. Their three children were named Robert A., Mary and John W. The daughter died in infancy. Mrs. Norrish was born Feb. 17, 1827, in Yorkshire, England, and is the daughter of George and Martha (Hargate) Adams. Her parents came to the United States in July, 1846, and located in Ohio. They had four children, named James, Ann, William and Mary.
Mr. Norrish is in sympathy with the principles of the Republican party. He is active in township local interests. Mrs. Norrish is a communicant in the Episcopal Church. [Contributed by Marji Turner; Pg. 322, Whiteside County History, 1880]
JAMES A. NOWLEN
James A. Nowlen, M. D., physician and surgeon ("Allopathis") at Morrison, was born april 6, 1853, in Wayne County, Ohio He is the son of Arthur and Asenath (Proctor) Nowlen. His father is a physician and resides at Des Moines, Iowa. The children of his parents, five in number are all living. Harvey is a harness-maker in Marengo, Iowa. Charles W. is an insurance agent at Morrison. Anna is the wife of John Roach, an employee in the postoffice at Chicago. Robert resides at Morrison. Dr. Nowlen is the youngest child. He was but five months old when his parents removed from Ohio to Unionville, Whiteside county, Ill., where his father established his medical practice. In 1860 the family came to Morrison, where Dr. Nowlen, then a lad of seven years, attended school until he was 17 years of age. During the next year he entered upon a course of systematic reading for his profession under the instruction of his father. He completed his sutdies at Rush Medical College at Chicago, where he was graduated in 1875. He also graduated in 1883, at the University of Medical College of New York. He was associated with his father in practice until 1879, since which date he has conducted his business alone and with satisfactory results. Dr. Nowlen is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Medical Association of Whiteside County. His marriage to Eve E. Kidd took place at Morrison, Jan. 16, 1879. His wife died Aug. 27, 1880. She was born Feb. 22, 1855, in Galesburg, Ill., and was the daughter of Joseph M. and Laura A. Kidd. Dr. Nowlen has officiated one year as County Coroner. [Portraits & Biographical, 1885]
OF Portland Township
Nathaniel Norton was born in the State of Maine, in 1805, and came to Portland in 1837. He purchased the claim of William H. Cushman, and having considerable means infused a great deal of life into the new settlement. He opened a store shortly after his arrival, and sold goods for a number of years. During this timee his store was broken into, the thieves cutting through the outer wall, and robbed of quite an amount of stock, thus making him the victim of the first burglary committed in Portland. In 1837 he started the first nursery in Whiteside county, and some of the finest orchards in the county today from trees procured of him. Two of the trees from his nursery on the farm of Frank Cushing, in Portland, bore fifty bushels of apples each the present season 1877. Mr. Norton added largely in the erection of Sharon church, and as long as the edifice stands his memory will be held dear by those who worship within its walls. Struggling as were the pioneers even at the time when the building was erected, it is doubtful if such a structure could have been built without Norton’s aid. He went to Chicago in 1843, and engaged in business, and is accounted one of the largest capitalists in that city. He was married in 1838 to Miss Sally Ann Getty. Their children were: Augusta, who married Lemuel R. Hall, and is now a resident of Chicago, and a child which died in infancy. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County, Page 362]
OLIVER S. OAKLEY
Oliver S. Oakley is a farmer of Mt. Pleasant Township, located on 463 acres of land on section 29, which is all under advanced cultivation excepting about 100 acres. Mr. Oakley is a native of Sweden, where he was born Feb. 7, 1836. His father and mother, Swan and Christiana (Jenson) Oakley, lived and died in that country. Mr. Oakley was brought up by his parents at home, and when he was 18 years of age he came to this country. The track of this Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was being laid, and he was employed as a laborer in the vicinity of Round Grove for some time. He next engaged by the month at farm labor, in which capacity he operated until 1862. He then began to rent farms, and devoted his attention to agriculture for about seven years, pursuing that method of operation. He went to Iowa in 1869, and bought 160 acres of land, which he continued to own and operate six years. In the spring of 1875, having sold his property in Iowa, he returned to Whiteside County, where he obtained possession, by purchase of the fine estate he now owns. Since obtaining the privileges of citizenship, Mr. Oakley has supported the issues of the Republican party. Mr. Oakley was united in marriage Jan. 3, 1865, to Jennie L. Maxwell. Alice M., Cora A., Ida S., Lottie C. and Freddie S. are the names of their children. Mrs. Oakley is the oldest of a large family of children, and is the daughter of David and Barbara (Cassels) Maxwell. Her parents lived and died in Scotland, their native land. She was about 12 years of age when she came to the United States. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church. [Contributed by Marji Turner - Portraits & Biographical]
J. DANFORTH ODELL
OF Mt. Pleasant Township
J. Danforth Odell was born in Petersburgh, Rensselaer county, New York, June 9, 1815, and came to Whiteside county in 1839, arriving the day before the last, or September election for the location of the county-seat. He was married to Miss Elsie Ann Peters in North Adams, Massachusetts, June 10, 1839. They have had two children, both of whom died in childhood. when Mr. Odell first came to Whiteside he purchased a claim, with a cabin and some small improvements, of dr. William Price, situated in the southeast corner of what is now Fenton township, known as the Lyman Bennett claim, and took possession in the December following. The Winnebago Indians stilllingered around their old hunting grounds, and it was both natural and desirable on the part of new-comers to obtain all the information possible of their habits and chaarateristics, and the advice was not to feed them. After a few days domicil Mr. Odell was obliged to seek some supplis, which would require the absence of the entire day, leaving Mrs. Odell at home alone; and soon after his departure an indian stealthily opened the door, glided to the fire, and silently surveyed the premises. Seeing a strange squar he inquire, "Where Moconder"? (medicine man). "Puckagee to O-hi-o," replied Mrs. Odell. He then asked for food, which she would not understand until he had made the demand a third time, accompanied by a dramatic flourish of his tomahawk, which brought to her recollection enough of the Indian dialect as to hurriedly furnish him food to his satisfaction. Having used Winnebago dialect in her first answer, he knew her to be no uneducated squaw. These Indians often visited their old homes in after years, and being treated with kindness, property was more safe while surrounded by them than it is now with our doted civilization. Mr. Odell continued to cultivate the rich soil fo the Rock river bottom for thirteen years, when he moved to Lyndon, where he clerkedin the general merchandise store of Marcus Sperry for about two years, and until Mr. Sperry's death, when he entered into partnership with F.K. Powell, and W.W. Gilbert, under the firm name of J.D. Odell & Co., which continued for nearly two years. Lyndon at that time sold more goods than any other town in the county, and one of the partners of the firm, who furnished no part of the capital, drew at the rate of $150 a month as his share of the profits. The firm was mutually dissolved while in the height of prosperity, and at a great sacrifice, as was then supposed. But Mr. Odell has often said afterwards it was the most fortunate move of his life, financially, as the firm was then indebted to New York and Chicago parties to the amount of nearly $12,000, and the firm was enabled to close up their liabilities about the time of the great financial crisis of 1857-58. Mr. Odell afterwards engaged in the grocery trade in Lyndon for about two years, and in March, 1863, came to Morrison, where he has resided fourteen years, retired from active business life, having seen enough, as he alleges, of the hardships of the frontier to pass the balance of his days in quiet retirement. Mr. odell was the first Town Clerk of Fenton township, and has been for severalyears, and is at present, Treasure of Mt. Pleasant township. He has considerable literary taste and ability, which he has used to good advantage as newspaper correspondent. He was for some time correspondent of the Whiteside Sentinel, writing under the nom de plume of "Tim Downes,' and has contributed various articles at other times. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County, Page 304]
GEORGE O. ODLIN
George O. Odlin, of Morrison, was born Aug. 26, 1823, in the town of Exeter, Rockingham Co. N. H. His parents, natives of the same place. The founder of the family in the United States was born in England. He is prominent in the colonial history of Massachusetts, from the fact that he was one of the original owners of the land now included in Boston Common. The Odlin family were among the pioneer settlers of New Hampshire, and were identified with the days of first things in the Granite State. Rev. John Odlin became the Pastor of the First Congregational Church at Exeter, in 1706, and retained his charge until he was succeeded in 1743, by his son, Woodbridge Odlin. The father died in 1776. The ministry of the son covered a period of 47 consecutive years, and the combined pastorate of father and son embraced 83 years.
Elisha Odlin, son and brother of those just named, is the ancestor in a direct line of Mr. Odlin of this sketch, from whom the latter is the sixth descendant. Elisha Odlin was also a clergyman in the Congregational Church, and was Pastor of a society at Amesbury, where the Quaker poet, John G. Whittier, lives. Winthrop Odlin, great-grandson of Elisha, was born in Exeter, which was also the place of nativity of his son, William Oldin, the father of James. William Odlin was a harness-maker by calling. James Odlin was a carriage manufacturer at Exeter, where he was born, and where he lived and died. The maternal great-grandfather of Mr. Odlin was named Jewett, and he was a member of one of the families who were among the original settlers at Salem and Danvers, Mass, where they are still represented by their descendants. The family of William included five sons; James, William, Joseph, Benjamin and Woodbridge. They were all enterprising and successful business men at Exeter. They were prominent in current affairs, and were Abolitionists in principle. The youngest, Woodbridge Odlin, endowed Phillips Academy, at Exeter, with $20,000, on the condition that 10 students from Exeter should be made the beneficiaries of the privileges of the institution, providing that there should be that number of poor and worthy applicants.
Mr. Odlin of this sketch was reared at Exeter. He was educated principally in the public schools of the place and attended the Exeter Academy several terms. He was 17 years old when he went to Concord to learn the printers trade, and was in that business there 12 years. In 1844, he purchased an interest in the New Hampshire Statesman, which was and is now published at Concord. He edited that journal seven years, and sold out in 1851. He continued a resident at Concord and Manchester until 1856, when he went to Fond du Lac, Wis., for the purpose of engaging in the milling business, in which he was employed until 1858. In that year he came to Union Grove Township. He bought an improved farm on section 5, and was engaged in its management until 1881, when he put the property into the charge of his son, and removed to Morrison, where he has since resided.
He was united in marriage Sept. 9, 1847, and died May 6, 1865; George F. was born June 13, 1862 and died April 6, 1874; Emma C. was born Aug. 30, 1862, and died July 1, 1884; John was born Jan. 17, 1855, and married Margaret Entwhistle; he is conducting the affairs of his father’s homestead; James was born June 14, 1859, and married Flora S. Corbett; they live at Guernsey, Iowa. The first wife of Mr. Odlin died March 25, 1869. He was a second time married to Harriet A., nee Fitz, the widow of Jason Childs, who died during the war in the military service of the United States. He was a member of the 1st New Hampshire Cavalry, and died in prison at Florence, S. C. She was born Aug. 16, 1836, in Chester, Rockingham Co, N. H. and has one child, Martha G. Odlin, born April 13, 1877. [Contributed by Marji Turner Pg. 470, Whiteside County History, 1880]
Of Clyde Township
Edwin Old, farmer, upon section seven, Clyde Township, is a citizen of this country by adoption, having been born Feb. 26, 1815, in Wakefield, Yorkshire England. His father and mother, Thomas and Elizabeth (Brooks) Old, were both natives of the same shire where the son was born, and were able to trace their line of ancestral descent to a very early period in the history of Great Britain. The father was a cloth manufacturer by profession and both he and his wife spent their entire lives where they were born.
Mr. Old was 12 years of age when he began to acquire a knowledge of the calling of his father. He served a regular apprenticeship and followed the business until he was 25 years old in the place of his nativity. In 1840 he emigrated to the United States and first located in the State of New Jersey. He went thence to Cairo, Greene Co., N. Y., where he obtained employment in the cloth manufacturing establishment of Horace Austin & Co., and operated in the interests of the firm five years. He was married June 17, 1841, in Cairo, to Ann Platt, and they have been the parents of seven children, of whom four survive: William, who married Georgiana Rhodes and resides at Clinton, Iowa; Adaline married Robert Davis, who is a gardener at Morrison; Frances married Thomas Gulliland, a farmer in Ustick Township. EIlen lives with her parents. The father and mother of Mrs. Old, John and Betty (Beens) Platt, were natives of Yorkshire. Her father was a weaver. They came with their family of three children to America. Mrs. Old was born Jan. 12, 1822, in Yorkshire, and is the oldest child and at the time of the removal of the family to the United States she was six years of age. They located in Cairo, Greene Co., N. Y., and there her father died in 1849. The mother died about 1831. After they had been married five years, Mr. and Mrs. Old went to Hobart, Delaware Co., N. Y., and in the year following returned to Greene Co., N. Y., locating in Windham for a time, whence they went to Haverstraw, in Rockland County, in the same State. After a residence there of three year:; they went to New Jersey. One year later they made a final change in their affairs and set out westward, coming to Clyde Township, where a number of English families from Yorkshire had located together with others from the eastern portion of the State of New York. Mr. Old purchased 40 acres of land on his arrival and set diligently about the work of improving his property and developing the general welfare of the community so far as lay within the reach of his individual influence. The entire section was almost wholly unimproved, and houses were few. There were literally no fences. The family encountered the novel experiences of pioneer life, but instead of being disheartened pressed eagerly forward in the work of making a home. The homestead estate now comprises 200 acres, with 160 acres under improvement. Mr. and Mrs. Old are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of England. [Portraits and Biographical Pg 203]
Of Hopkins Township
Ezekiel Olds, formerly an agriculturist of Hopkins Township, now living in retirement at Como, was born July 9, 1817, in Ashtabula Co., Ohio. He was a resident in his native county until his removal to Whiteside County, in 1856. He was accompanied by his wife and five children, and his father, Ezekiel Olds. The latter was a native of Vermont, and, after his marriage to Betsey (Pitney) Olds, settled in Ohio. The mother was born in New Jersey, and died in Ohio in 1831. The father died at Como. Their children were born in the following order: Phebe, Ezekiel, Sarah A., Louisa, John, Ruth, Cynthia and Betsey. Mr. Olds settled in the locality in Hopkins township designated the "Como Purchase," and has always maintained his residence there. In political preference he fraternizes with the Republican party, and he is a member of the Masonic Order. His marriage to Roxana Wilcox took place March 15, 1840, in Ashtabula Co., Ohio. She is the daughter of Lyman and Hannah (Lillibridge) Wilcox. They were natives of Rhode Island, and settled at Como in the spring of 1846. The father died in 1859. The demise of the mother took place at Rochelle, IlL, in 1870. Their children were four in number, and named Harriet, Roxana, Caroline and Delos. Mrs. Olds was born Dec. 2, 1824, in Ashtabula Co., Ohio. Following are the names of the nine children who have been born to her and her husband - William C., Roxana K, Lyman D., Harriet A., Frankie P., Fanny E., Ada, Hannah L. and Charlie W. [Portraits & Biographical]
Of Albany Township
Ezekiel Olds, resident at Albany, is the fifth child of Cheney and Anna (Walker) Olds, of whom a full and detailed account is given in connection with the sketch of Warren Olds. He was born Oct. 24, 1826, in Sturbridge, Worcester Co., Mass., and was a child of nearly two years when his parents removed to the State of New York. In his 12th year the memorable transit of the family to Whiteside County was accomplished, the events of which made a lasting impression on the remembrance of the lad, who found its novelty entertaining, notwithstanding its tedious length. At the age of 18 Mr. Olds began to work with his brother Warren as a carpenter and joiner, operating in that avenue of business continually until 1880 when he became interested in the growing of small fruits, which enterprise has since occupied his attention. He is engaged in the cultivation of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and grapes. The marriage of Mr. Olds to Sarah Pease took place Dec. 29, 1852. Mrs. Olds is the daughter of Henry and Mary (Warburton) Pease, of whom a sketch appears on another page. She is the mother of six children: Mary Elizabeth is the wife of George Van Beb Ber, of Savanna, Ill.; Fanny P., Edwin L., Edith H., Louisa N., and Albert H. are unmarried. In 1873 Mr. Olds bought his present reisdence, which is pleasantly located on a bluff overlooking the river. [Portraits & Biographical]
Of Albany Township
Warren Olds, of Albany, is extensively engaged in the cultivation of small fruits, and is also a market gardener. He is the oldest son of Cheney and Aroma (Walker) Olds, and was born Nov. 29, 1818, in Sturbridge, Worcester Co., Mass. His father was born March 3, 1793, in Brookfield, Mass., which was also the birthplace of his mother, June 23, 1794. The family descent on both sides is from the English. The progenitors emigrated to Worcester Co., Mass., in the early part of the 18th century. Ezekiel, father of Cheney Olds, was born in Worcester County, and about 1800 went to New Jersey. Soon after the close of the second war with Great Britain, he settled in Auburn, Cayuga Co., N. Y., where he became interested in the lumber business, owning a saw-mill, and managing the traffic in its various avenues until his death.
Cheney Olds was 12 years of age when his father removed to New Jersey with his family, and he there he attained to man's estate. His employer was drafted as a soldier in the War of 1812 and he took his place as a substitute, serving until the close of the contest. He went to the county where he was born after obtaining his discharge, and was there married, locating on the homestead estate of the family of his wife. He lived in Sturbridge until 1828, when he set out with his family for the State of N ew York, removing by the aid of teams to Albany, and thence on the Erie Canal to Weedsport, in Cayuga County. After a residence there of two years duration he went to Cattaraugus County, and bought 14 acres of land included within the Holland Purchase. The heavy timber of that section has become traditional, and it was necessary to cut the trees and burn them on the ground, the farmers cultivating the ground between the stumps. There the family remained until 1838, and Mr. Olds cleared 100 acres of land. In the spring of that year, having sold the farm, he removed his family to Olean, on the Allegheny River. They arrived there about the middle of March, intending to go down the river by the first steamer that moved after the ice should go out, but failed to do so. Their disappointment was fully alleviated by the intelligence of the explosion of the stearnboiler of the" Mozelle," causing 160 deaths! Mr. Olds and his sons engaged in the common business of cutting pine logs until the last day of April, when the family, consisting of the parents and nine children, took passage on one of the rafts on which the father and sons were employed, and went to Cincinnati, where they arrived May 16. They went thence on the steamer "Knickerbocker" to Albany, which they reached May 26, at 2 o'clock in the morning.
Mr. Olds made a claim three and a half miles east of Albany, where he broke a few. acres. It was State land, and he afterwards abandoned his title. He readily obtained plenty of work at boot and shoe making, which he had learned in his native State. He built a frame house in Albany on the corner of Church and Vine streets, where he resided until his death Dec. 7, 1874. Mrs. Olds, the mother, died Jan. 18, 1883.
Their children were born in the following order: Warren, in Sturbridge, Mass.; Chester, in Sturbridge, July 27, 1820 (died at Albany, March 3, 1852; Louis lives in Woodland, Yolo Co., Cal.; (see short bio below), Nancy is the wife of Peter Van Nest, of Garden Plain Township: Ezekiel and Walker live in Albany; Cheney resides in Woodland, Yolo Co., Cal.; Asenath is the wife of John Faxon, and lives in Nebraska; Mary died in Albany in 1838, aged three years.
Mr. Olds, of this sketch, was nine years of age when his parents went to the State of New York, where he grew up. He accompanied them on their removal to Albany; IlL and on arrival there obtained immediate employment at the carpenter and joiners trade. While living in Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., he obtained a practical knowledge of the trade of carpenter, at which he worked during the year previous to his removal to Albany. The first work in Illinois done by Mr. Olds was the building of a sod fence at a point seven miles south of Albany, in which he was assisted by Warren Fay and Timothy Clark. They occupied a log shanty and attended to their domestic affairs after the method known as "keeping bach." They had numerous adventures, all of which served to break the monotony of toil, and aided materially in making the situation interesting. One Saturday afternoon the party were on their way to Albany in a skiff on the river, when five stalwart Indians swam out to them and compelled them to go ashore, where they were detained two hours. Their captors searched their clothes thoroughly, and after holding a council of some sort, they were set at liberty, and made their way to Albany. During the period of their detention their thoughts were made entertaining by visions of scalping. burning, and other interesting devices they had seen delineated by illustrations of the encounters between whites and Indians.
Mr. Olds passed his first summer in lllinois at a point two miles north of Galena, where he obtained employment in haying and harvesting. In 1839 he went to Platteville, Grant Co., Wis., ,and the next two years he was engaged in steamboat and barge building at Rock Island. He returned at the end of that time to Albany, and was employed by George Clark five years as a builder. A few years later, in company with Duty Buck, he built a steam saw-mill at Albany, in whose management they were jointly interested until their establishment and business were wrecked by the tornado of June 3. 1860, in which Mr. Buck lost his life.
Mr. Olds continued to operate as a contractor and builder until 1877, when he engaged in the enterprise to which he has since given his attention. He owns 31 acres of land in first class condition, situated adjoining the village of Albany, where he cultivates all kinds of small fruits. His market list for 1884 comprised 13,344 quarts, or 417 bushels, of strawberries, 196 cases of black raspberries each containing 16 quarts, 202 cases of red raspberries, 255 cases of blackberries, 40 cases of cherries and 50 cases of grapes. He also raises many varieties of vegetables. Mr. Olds was first united in marriage to Harriet Shively, and they had two children. One is now living, Mary Jane. The wife and mother died in 1850. Mr. Olds was married a second time in Hancock Co., Ill., to Phebe, daughter of Jacob Golden. She was born in Mason Co., Ky. Four children were born of the secand marriage, one of whom, George W. is still living. [Portraits & Biographical]
LEWIS OLDS, a Yolo County farmer, was born June 5, 1822, in Worcester County, Massachusetts, a son of Cheney and Anna (Walker) Olds, natives of Massachusetts. The father, a farmer and shoemaker, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and received a pension from the Government. He was a pioneer settler in Illinois, in 1836, in Whiteside County, where he lived until his death in 1874; his wife survived until 1883. They had six sons and three daughters. Lewis was raised on a farm, and when of age he engaged in lead-mining in Wisconsin for several years. In 1850 he came across plain and mountain to California with horse teams, the trip occupying four months. He arrived at Hangtown and commenced mining at Coloma. In the fall he went down in the valley to sell some stock, and he also killed some animals and elk. Late in that season he went to San Jose and spent the winter. In the spring of 1851 he was a short time in San Francisco, and then spent three years in the mines at Yankee Jim’s and Michigan Bluff, with moderate success. In 1854 he settled upon his present property, six miles from Woodland, which he obtained from the Government by pre-emption, and on this he made all the improvements now existing there. The place consists of 160 acres, and he carried on general farming and stock-raising.
C. OLDS, his brother, was born in August, 1832, in Cattaraugus County, New York, was raised on a farm in Illinois, and was twenty years of age when in 1852 he came across the plains to California with ox teams, the time of the journey being five months. After arriving here he spent five years at the mines at Yankee Jim’s, with moderate success, in collecting gold. Then, in 1857, he settled in Yolo County upon a farm adjoining his brother, where he has ever since been a constant resident engaged in agriculture. In 1868 he returned to Illinois by way of the Isthmus, and in 1889 he visited Illinois again, but is more than ever satisfied with his location in the Golden State. [Transcribed by Kathy Sedler, July 2004 - Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891. pg. 336-337]
Of Prophetstown Township
Daniel Olmstead is a native of Canada, and came to Portland in 1838, locating a farm on Washington street, upon which he erected a fine brick house. He lived on this farm until 1865, and is now a resident of Nebraska. Mr. Olmstead married Miss Octavia Kendall. Their children were: Sarah, wife of Eugene Butler, living in Sterling; Augusta, now dead; and Frederick, who married Miss Ella Graham, and lives in Rock Island county. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County]
LUCIEN J. OLMSTEAD
Lucien J Olmstead, general farmer, section 29, Genesee Township, was born Aug. 1, 1830, in the township of Huron, Wayne Co., N.Y. He has been a resident of Whiteside County since 1864, and came to Illinois in 1852. His father, Elijah Olmstead, was a native of Connecticut and was of English descent. He married Gerusha Grover, who was born in the State of Vermont, whence she went in early life to Whitehall, N. Y., and from there to Wayne County, same State. She bore her husband 12 children, and after his death, which occurred in Wayne County, she married Robert Stage. Late in life she removed to Genesee Township, where she died.
Mr. Olmstead was next to the youngest child and he was four years old when his father died. He remained with his mother and stepfather until he was 16 years of age. He then was in Canada for two years. Returning home, he worked at painting three or four years. In 1852 he came West and located in Carroll County, where he spent some time working at his trade. Jan. 17, 1856, he was married in Wysox Township, Carroll County, to Sarah, daughter of John and Polly (Holmes) Dewey, who were born in the State of New York. Mr. Olmstead was born Aug. 30, 1836, in Chenango Co., N. Y. Her father died when she was six years old, and when she was 14 years she went with an older sister to Bradford Co., Pa. She obtained a good education in the common school, which she made available in teaching. She came, when she was 18 years of age, with her sister, Mrs.Julia A. DeWolf, to Carroll Co., Ill., and was married, as stated, two years later. Following is the record of five children of whom she is the mother: Ellen J. married James Keller and resides at Omaha, Neb., where her husband is engaged in teaching music. Frank lives in Omaha, where he is engaged in teaching and studying. Alanson lives at home. Luther D. is a student at Dixon, Ill. Fred L. is the youngest.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Olmstead resided at first in Milledgeville, Carroll County. Later they engaged in farming. In the fall of 1864, they purchased a farm in Genesee Township, where they established their homestead permanently. The farm included 182 acres, with 60 under improvement; 100 acres are now under the plow. Mr. and Mrs. Olmstead are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the former has officiated as Steward and Class-leader. In political conviction and connection he is a Republican. [Contributed by Marji Turner; Pg. 780, Whiteside County History 1880]
OF Prophetstown Township
Oliver Olmstead is a native of Canada, and was born in 1816. He came to the State of Illinois in 1836, and first located in Plainfield, Dupage county, but remained on a year, and in 1837 came to Prophetetown. During that year he married Miss Electa Hunt, and the young couple passed their honeymoon in a small cabin in Eight Mile Grove, rudely constructed of logs, with puncheon floor, mud fire-place and chimney, and minus a window. Their provisions were corn bread and frozen pork and potatoes, and at night the cabin was filled with a pretty rough-looking set of wood-choppers. The place was then in reality a howling wilderness, the fierce, cold winds finding their way into the cabin through the numerous cracks, and the wolves keeping a continual chorus during the night in the surrounding timber.
In March, 1838, Mr. Underhill moved to his claim on Washington street, where he had erected a cabin twelve feet square. On this claim he commenced work in good earnest, and at odd times worked at any job he could find, so as to get something to live on. At one time some necessary article was wanted by his wife for the household, and Mr. Olmstead started for Albany, a distance of twenty miles, to get it, walking the whole way. Not finding the article there, he went up to Fulton, eight miles further, where he obtained it, and then returned home by the way of Union Grove, making the whole distance traveled fifty miles, a feat of devotion and endurance worthy of record. He has carried on farming at his old place from 1838 until the present time, and is still able to do a good day’s work. He married Miss Electa Hunt in 1837. There children have been: George, who married Miss Fanny Green, and lives in Prophetstown; Oscar, who married Miss Elizabeth Clifton, and lives in Prophetatown; Alonso, who enlisted in the 9th fllinois cavalry, and died in the service; John W., Rosantha, David, and Willie, living with their parents; and Edna C., who is dead. [Bent & Wilson History of Whiteside County, Page 385]
Of Sterling, IL
Louis Oltmanns, editor of the Sterling Beobachter, was born in Jever, Oldenburg, Germany, April 30, 1836, his parents being Gerhard W. and Anna M. (Luemmen) Oltmanns, natives of Germany, who emigrated to this country in 1867 and settled in Sterling. The subject of this sketch attended private school, and college a short time, left his parental home at the age of 15 years and engaged in the mercantile business for 14 years; then, in 1865, he came to America and first was employed by R. B. Witmer at Sterling, until Feb. 1, 1883, when he assumed his present position. In his political views he is a Democrat. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and of the Luthran Church, to which latter body his wife also belongs. Mr. Oltmanns was married in 1868 to Miss Annie Lederer, a native of Germany, and they have had four children,William, Anna, Louisa and Mary. [Portraits & Biographical Whiteside County 1885 Pg. 286]
Of Lyndon Township
Brainard Orton was born in Oneida county, New York, July 21 1803 and came to Illinois in 1835, and settled in Knox county. In 1837 he came to Lyndon. Mr. Orton married Miss Hannah Smith, September 15, 1828. Their children were:
Brainard E., born October 23, 1833;
Henry E., born July 16, 1835;
Larue P., born May 23, 1839;
Albert E., born November 3, 1840;
Mathew C., born August 10, 1843, and
Hannah N., born February 1, 1845.
Of these Henry E. died June 2, 1841; Larue P., February 19, 1859; Albert E., August 25, 1846; Hannah N., June 5, 1845;
Brainard E., died April 22 (29), 1877. The latter died at Boulder City, Colorado, with that terrible scourge, consumption. He was one of the first manufacturers of Sterling for many years, being an active member of the "Williams and Orton Manufacturing Company, and was a thorough emchanic and business man. He carried with him as he went on his search for health in the pure air of the Rocky Mountain country, the kind wishes of his large circle of acquaintances, all hoping that he would return with health perfectly restored; but the destroyer had too firm a hold, and he had to yield; his family went with him, and remained in Colorado until his death; he married Miss Julia A. Mann; children, Larue, Ralph, Miles, Grace, and Robert. Mathew C. married Miss Alice Clifford; children, Mary, Alice, and Jennie C.
When Deacon Orton came to Lyndon he secured a large farm, and for that period engaged extensively in the dairy business. He sold his farm a number of years ago, and moved to Sterling where he still resides. With his two sons, Brainard E. and Mathew, he has contributed greatly toward developing the manufacturing capacities of Sterling. [Bent & Wilson History 1877]
ANDREW J. OSBORNE
Of Erie, IL
Andrew J. Osborne, contractor and bridge builder, resident at Erie, is a son of James and Rebecca (Glass) Osborne, and was born in Ashfield, Franklin Co., Mass., Dec. 17, 1828. His father was a miller by vocation, and died when Andrew was four years of age. His mother died when he was eight years old, and Andrew and his brother James, who constituted the issue of his parents' union, were left orphans. Andrew J. Osborne, after the death of his parents, went to live with an uncle, with whom he remained until he attained the age of 12 years. He then left his uncle's house and went to Livingston Co., Mich, where he worked on farms summers and attended school about six months during winters, and also improved his leisure time in study at home. In 1844 Mr. Osborne left Michigan and came to this State, where he remained four years, and then went to New York. He was in the latter State one year, and then came to Rock Island County, this State. Here, when 57 years of age, he taught school for a time in Canoe Creek Township. In the fall of 1850 he came to this county and taught an arithmetical school evenings in Erie Township. He taught what was then known as the Prussian System of Calculation. He continued teaching during the winters of 1851-2-3 in Portland Township, and met with success in his profession.
Mr. Osborne was united in marriage in Erie Township, March 24, 1853, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin H. and Mary J. Smith. She was born in Aurora, Ill., April 12, 1833, and bore him 11 children, namely: Charles F., Ella C., Henry A., Barnett A., Jesse E., Grant S., Rachel M. (deceased), Elizabeth C., Rebecca M., Lucy E. and Andrew J.
After his marriage Mr. Osborne purchased 160 acres of land in Canoe Creek Township, Rock Island County, which he cultivated for one year and then sold. He next came to Erie, this county, and erected a saw-mill there, which he ran for a year and then failed. His next move was to Cass Co., Iowa, where he was engaged in farming and milling for five years, when he returned to Genesee, Henry Co., this State. He remained at the latter place two years, and then came to Erie Township, this county, and moved on a farm his wife had received from her father, on section 15. He worked hard and industriously, and soon succeeded in paying all the debts he had contracted prior to his failure, and also purchased 160 acres of land on section 16, same township. He resided on the latter place for several years, and then moved to Erie. In 1882 he ran on the Greenback ticket for State Representative; and, although his popularity placed him several hundred votes ahead of his ticket, he was not successful. After moving to Erie he engaged in contracting to build bridges for wagon roads, and has continued in the business for a number of years. He has made a number of improvements in bracing bridges for wagon roads, and has continued in the business for a number of years. He has made a number of improvements in bracing bridges and so constructing the bridge as to prevent the timber from rotting. He has built a number of bridges in this and adjoining counties. Mr. Osborne still owns the 160 acres on the section which he rents. He is an original thinker of some merit, and has written numerous articles on finance, which have been published in the papers, and has also lectured on this subject; he has also written a pamphlet on finance entitled "New Treatise on Money," and has also written an article, now in process of compilation, onformation of coal and rocks, which promises to show a new departure in the science of geology. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, 1885, pg 414]
HARVEY L. OSBORNE
Harvey L. Osborne, deceased, formerly a resident of Lyndon Township, was born March 17, 1831, in Centerville, Allegany Co., N. Y. He was the fourth child of his parents, Charles and Sarah (King) Osborne, the former of whom was a native of Vermont; the latter was born in Oneida Co., N.Y. At 16, Mr. Osborne turned his attention to acquiring a knowledge of harness-making, going for that purpose to Randolph, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y. After serving an apprenticeship, he operated as a journeyman in his native State until 1855, when, in April, he came to Whiteside County. He worked at his trade in Portland one summer, and in the fall of the same year opened a shop in his own behalf at Erie, where he conducted a prosperous business until 1863. He rented a farm in Portland Township, which he managed one year. In 1864 he exchanged his property in Erie for land on section 31, of township 20, range 5, then, which is now Lyndon Township. He put the place in first-class condition for agricultural operations, built suitable structure for farm use, and set out trees. Mr. Osborne died March 8, 1885.
He was united in marriage May 18, 1856, to Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel P. and Emeline (Hollister) Brewer, a pioneer of Portland, where Mrs. Osborne was born. Mr. Osborne is survived by six children – Adelbert, Lois E., Etta L., Harper E., Elva L. and Laura E. [Contributed by Marji Turner, Pg. 672, Whiteside County History 1880]
Of Whiteside Co IL
Christian Overholser, farmer, section 3, ( Genesee Township), was born Dec. 9, 1831, in Harrison Co., Ohio. He is the son of Martin and Barbara (Arford) Overholser. The former a native of Bucks Co., Pa and the latter of Washington Co., Md. The ancestral stock in the paternal and maternal lines of descent is German. The parents of Barbara Arford died when she was 3 years of age, and she was brought up by the father and mother of her husband, to whom she was married in Harrison Co.,Ohio and with him and their children came to Illinois, arriviing in Genesee Township, May 4, 1854. Both are living in Coleta village; they are aged respectively 76 and 73.
The family removed in 1834 to Tuscarawas Co., Ohio. Mr. Overholser is the oldest of the children now surviving. He came to Genesee Township with his parents in 1854, and enjoyed all the experiences of the pioneer at Whiteside County, entering heartily into the work of improving a prairie farm from its original condition. The claims had been held some time, but only as bones of contention among the speculators. The parents are active members of the United Brethren Church, in which the father has held the offices of Trustee, Steward and Classleader. He was in early political life a Whig, and has latterly acted with the Republican party.
The son was married Sept 27, 1857, to Sarah Kilmer, in Genesee Township. Mrs. Overholser is the daugthter of Christian and Mary (Shoop) Kilmer. Her father was a carpenter by vocation, and both he and her mother were decended from ancestors of pure German origin. They were married in Pennsylvania, and went soon after to Holmes Co., Ohio which was then unsettled and not organized. Mrs. Overholser was born there, March 19, 1832 and is the youngest of seven children. . She come with her sister, Mrs. A. K. Hurless, to Genesse Township, in 1857 and was married as stated. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Overholser are recorded an follows: Frances A married Charles Lunn, and they reside on a farm in Hancock Co., Iowa, they have two children, Oliver N, born April 2 , 1882, and Ada B., born Dec. 4, 1883; Delilah J. married Volney G. Chaffee, and they are farmers in Wysox Township, Carroll Co., Ill. Their children were born as follows: Jessie M., Sept 11, 1880, Henry L., April 30, 1882; Christian, Feb. 23, 1884. Henry H. married Louisa Harlacher, and they live in Coleta, where the former is operating as agent for the creamery establishment of T. F. King & Co., at Morrison; their daughter Erma was born Feb. 20, 1884. Edwin W., William I. and Florence M. live at home. James L. and an infant unnamed are deceased.
The first home of Mr. and Mrs. Overholser was a pioneer's cabin 16 fort square, located on 40 acres of land, on section three, presented to them by the senior Oonrholser. The proprietor applied his efforts to its improvement and purchased 17 acres of timber and 80 acres of prairie adjoining, the farm now containing an aggregate of 137 acres of land in excellent condition. The place exhibits a valuable and tasteful collection of farm buildings, including a good residence. It is stocked with high grades of Shorthorn cattle and Poland swine. Mr. Overholser is a member of the United Brethren Church, and has held every office within the scope of the society; has been Sunday school Superintendent, and has been an indefatigable worker in that capacity. Politically, he is a Republican in sentiment and action. He has served long and ardously in local affices. He officiated three terms as Collector of taxes, six years as Constable, four years as Justice of the Peace, and a long period as Township Trustee. [Portraits & Biographical, 1885]
DAVID C. OVERHOLSER
David C. Overholser stock farmer and general agriculturist, on Section 9, Genesee Township, was born June 20, 1846 in Stark Co., Ohio. His parents, John and Julia A. A. (Weimer) Overholser, removed from there in 1858 settling in Coleta. A personal account of them appears in another part of this work. They had 11 children. Mr. Overholser of this sketch is the 3rd son and fifth child. When he was 12 the family, consisting of the parents and eight children, resmoved to Coleta, and he was educated primarily in the common schools of the township of Genesee. At the age of 20 years he entered the seminary at Mt. Morris, Ogle Co. Ill., where he studied two years and in the winter of 1866â€”7, he taught a term of school near Polo, Ill. He went to Western Iowa in the spring following, and, associated with his brother, Jooeph, he embarked in a mercantile enterprise. Their relationship existed about 18 months and was disolved by mutual consent.
Mr. Overholser was married Oct. 3, 1869, in Johnson Co., Iowa, to Elizabeth A. Bowersox and they have become the parents of seven children, whose record is as follows: Waldo A. was born July 9, 1870; James Elery, Nov. 5, 1871; Maggie B. Dec. 20, 1873; John D. Nov . 4, 1875; Julia S., June 9, 1877; Ralph E., May 3, 1881; Frederick R., Oct.25 1882. Mrs. Overholser was born Nov. 11, 1848, in Augusta, Va., and is the daughter of James E. and Mary M. (Shuey) Bowerxox. They were of German ancestry and descent and born and were born respectively in Maryland and Virginia. The former was a minister in the United Brethren Church. They were married in Virginia, and in 1854 went with their family of four children to Iowa, settlirg in Johnson County. Mr. Overholser was educated in Linn and Johnson Counties, completing her studies at Western College in the former. She afterwards taught school. Her father died in the fall of 1880 her mother is still living.
Mr. and Mrs. Overholser came to Illinois after their marriage, and located on 132 acres of land situated on sectoin 9, of which they became the owners by purchase a year later. The place at that time was partially improved, and it now contains 215 acres, all of which is under tillage. The place in well stocked. Politically he is a Republican and has been township trustee three terms and also officiated as collector. [Portraits & Biographical 1885]
JAMES P. OVERHOLSER
James P. Overholser, boot and shoe merchant, Third Street, Sterling, was born in Stark Co. OH Dec. 2, 1841. His parents, Martin & Barbara (Arford) Overholser, were natives of PA, moved to Ohio, and emigrated to this state in 1854, arriving at Coleta, this county, May 3, where Mr. O. purchased 210 acres of land, and afterward 300 acres more. He remained with his parents until 23 years of age, receiving a district school education. In 1864 he engaged int he boot and shoe trade at Lanark (Carroll County) for nearly two years. Next he attended the Eastman Business College at Chicago and graduated. In 1866 he entered general mercantile business at Coleta, in which he continued until the summer of 1868, when he sold out and went to Perry, Dallas Co Iowa and bought 200 acres of land. Returning to Sterling, he served McCoy & Galt as clerk for eight years; then in 1875 he engaged in the grocery business on Third Street, continuing until 1882, when he sold out that business and opened his present line of trade. Mr. Overholser is a leading man in the city of Sterling; is President of the Board of Education in the Second Ward, A Republican, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is his wife.
July 4, 1866 he married Lizzie, daughter of Jacob and Susannah (Bidler) Wetzell of Coleta, who are from Ohio. They have had 10 children - nine living - Cora Belle died Dec 23, 1876 at the age of 8, Nellie M, S. Guy, Lillie Blanche, Ida, Leona, Arthur Ray, Lena Viola, Mabel and Mertie. [Portraits & Biographical Whiteside County, 1885, Pg 618]
JOHN M. OVERHOLSER
John M. Overholser, general farmer, section 9, Genesee Township, was born Jan 19, 1854. He is the son of Martin and Barbara (Arford) Overholser of whom an account is given in the Christian Overholser Biography. The subject of this personal record was reared and educated in Tuscarawas Co., Ohio, where he was born. He was employed on his father's farm until he had passed his 20th birthday, and until the removal of the family to lllinois. They located on section 9 where the son entered into the work of improving a new farm in which he was engaged until he established himself as the independent head of a family. He formed a matrimonial alliance with Lydia, daughter of Jacob and Anna (Overholser) Crum, in Wysox, Carroll Co., Ill. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and were brought up in Harrison Co., Ohio. After their marriage they went to Sandusky County, and afterward to Wood County, in the same State. Mrs. Overholser was born there, April 18, 1835. She was 19 years of age when her father made a transfer of his family and business relations in Carroll Co., Ill. To her and her hnshand five children have been born: Elizabeth A. is the wife of W. C. Vinson, of Coleta; they have one child, Myrtle. Martin married Anna M. Dull and lives at home. Clara J. married Howard Hawkins of Clyde Twp. and they have one child Orval by name. Becca and James C. are the two youngest children. Mr. Overholser is the owner of 117 acres of land. In political faith and adherence he is a Republican. They belong to the United Brethren Church. [Portraits & Biographical 1885]
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