PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF
MORGAN AND SCOTT COUNTIES, ILLINOIS.
Chicago, Chapman Brothers
Morgan County IL
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1984)
J. E. BAILEY was born near Bradfordsville, Marion County, Ky., April 20, 1831. Mr. Bailey was raised on a farm and received his education in the common-schools. His father kept him at home until he was nineteen years old, when he hired him out to work on the turnpike road in Kentucky. He continued this business for seven years, when he removed to Lewis County, Mo., and engaged in farming. He remained there three years, when in 1860, he removed to Morgan County, Ill., and worked on a railroad section for one year. At the first call for troops by President Lincoln, he responded by enlisting on April 16, 1861, in the 10th Illinois Infantry and was mustered in at Jacksonville, whence he was sent to Cairo. Here he assisted in hauling down a rebel flag. He was mustered out at Cairo, after three months' service, and returned home for a short time, when he re-enlisted at St. Louis in the 11th Missouri Infantry. He was in the battles of New Madrid, Point Pleasant, Corinth, Iuka, Guntown, Tupelo, Jackson, Miss., and accompanied the expedition up the Yazoo. He then joined Grant at Vicksburg, and engaged in the siege of that city for forty days. His company guarded Gen. Grant's headquarters, which was situated 120 yards from the breastworks, making it a somewhat dangerous duty. He took part in the charge on the 2nd of May, 1863. After the surrender of Pemberton, he went with his regiment to Mobile. They proceeded from there to Tennessee, and afterward skirmished around Nashville, and was also in the battle of Nashville two days. At Grand Junction he re-enlisted in the "veteran corps" and came home on a furlough, returning to his regiment before his time expired and served until the close of the war, being mustered out in January, 1865, having served four years and three months. Mr. Bailey was not wounded, although his comrades fell all around him, and he was in sixteen different engagements.
After the war, Mr. Bailey returned to Morgan County and worked on the railroad for several years. In 1867 he bought his present place of sixty acres, with no improvements, but has added to it until now he has a fine farm, well-improved, and well-watered. He planted an orchard in an early day which now yields an abundance of apples, peaches, and plums. He also has a fine vineyard. Upon his farm he erected a comfortable farm-house, the main part of which is 16x28, with a wing 12x24, while he has a capacious barn, 30x40.
John Bailey, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Taylor County, Ky. Reuben Bailey, the father of John, and grandfather of J. E. Bailey, was born in Virginia of English descent. He was an early settler of Taylor County, where he was a prominent farmer until his death. John Bailey engaged in farming in Kentucky until 1859, when he came to Scott County, Ind., locating near Jeffersonville. He is now living on his original purchase at the age of eighty-five years.
Politically, Mr. Bailey is a Democrat, and is also a member of the Baptist Church. J. E. Bailey's mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Carpenter, was born in Marion County, Ky., where she died. She was the mother of eight children, two of whom died in infancy. William A., the eldest served in the Mexican War and enlisted from Kentucky under Capt. Hardin.
J. E. Bailey married Mrs. Phoebe Peters, oct. 11, 1866. She is a
native of Indiana. Mr. Bailey is a member of the G.A.R., and also of the
Baptist Church, and in politics he is a strong Republican. In this community
he is reckoned as a man of excellent judgment and a good citizen.
JOSEPH W. BAKER, a veteran of nearly seventy-one years, is one among the oldest living settlers of this county, and may be found usually at his well-regulated home on section 34, township 16, range 12. He was born in Middle Tennessee, July 1, 1818, and is the son of Francis and Mary (Killabrew) Baker, the former a resident of North Carolina, and the mother also probably born there. The Baker family is supposed to be of English descent, while the mother of our subject traced her ancestry to Wales. A maternal uncle, Elijah Hancock, served as a soldier in the War of 1812.
The subject of this sketch was the fifth child and fourth son of his parents, and continued a resident of his native State until 1835. In the meantime his mother had died when he was sixteen years old. During the year mentioned he and his father set out for the West, coming to Morgan County, this State, and the elder Baker located in Bethel Precinct, where he died in 1840. Joseph W. attained to man's estate in Morgan County. He at an early age began to look out for himself, and never received any financial assistance in making his way in the world. He had, however, been trained to habits of industry and economy, and with this excellent capital he battled with the difficulties of life in a new country, and came out of the struggle with flying colors.
Mr. Baker, however, acknowledges that in the accumulation of his property he was greatly assisted by his estimable wife, who in her girlhood was Miss Mary Rowe, and to whom he was married June 5, 1855, at the bride's home in Morgan County. Mrs. Baker was born in Scott County this State, and by her union with our subject became the mother of nine children, five of whom are living: Melina is the wife of George Brookhouse; Lavonia, Allen, Edwin and Charles are at home with their parents.
Mr. Baker made his first purchase of land in 1846 or '47, and began
in earnest its development and improvement. While witnessing the march
of progress he has contributed as he was able to the general good, and
is numbered among the most reliable and praiseworthy citizens of this township.
He is not a member of any religious organization, but aims to follow the
maxim of the Golden Rule, and do unto others as he would be done by. He
believes in the establishment of schools and churches, and has given of
his means and influence to this end, as he has been able. He cast his first
Presidential vote for Van Buren, and has since been a stanch supporter
of Democratic principles. He was a School Trustee for eleven years, and
has served as School Director and Constable, but further than this has
never sought office, preferring to give his best labors to his farm, and
his chief attention to his family. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have made many and
warm friends during their long sojourn in this county, and now, sitting
under their own vine and fig tree, are reaping the reward of their early
toil and sacrifices. They endured many difficulties and hardships at the
outset, but now that the season of rest has come are fully prepared to
enjoy it, and look with satisfaction upon well-spent lives.
CHARLES A. BARNES, States Attorney, a gentleman young in years, has already a good start in the legal profession and the business world. He is bright and capable, and there is every reason to suppose, just entering upon a successful and honorable career. A native of Illinois, he was born in the then struggling town of Alton, Madison County, July 4, 1855. His parents were Rev. William and Eunice O. Hubbard (Barnes) natives of Massachusetts, the father a graduate of Yale College of 1839, and a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church.
The father of our subject for many years had charge of a congregation in the city of Boston, but on account of failing health he, in 1853, came to Illinois, and settled in Alton. He preached there five or six years, coming to Jacksonville in 1860. He is now living in retirement in this city. The wife and mother passed to her long home in 1872, having a family of four children. The eldest of these, William H., is now a Judge of the United States Circuit Court in Arizona; Nathan H., a resident of Hartford, Conn., holds a Lieutenant's commission in the United States Navy; Mary A., wife of Mr. M. V. B. Elison, is a resident of Freeport, Ill.
The subject of this biography after leaving the primary schools, entered the Illinois College at Jacksonville, and later Michigan State University at Ann Arbor, and was graduated from the law department of the latter in 1878. He at once settled in Jacksonville, where he entered upon the practice of his profession in company with his brother, William H., continuing there until he was chosen to his present position in the fall of 1884. He was first appointed City Attorney in 1882, serving one year, and elected States Attorney in 1884, which position he has since held. Politically, he votes the straight Democratic ticket, and socially, is a Mason, an Odd Fellow and a K. of P.
The paternal grandparents of our subject, Thomas and Sarah (Evans)
Barnes, were natives of Delaware. Grandfather Barnes in 1809 removed to
the vicinity of what was afterward Portsmouth, Ohio, where he engaged extensively
in farming, and where his death took place in 1818. His estimable wife
survived him many years, came to Illinois in 1834, and was a resident of
Marshall County at the time of her death, which occurred when she was about
eighty years old. They were the parents of five children, three of whom
are living, namely: Nancy, Mrs. Dever, of Lacon, now ninety years of age;
Henry, of Sannemin, Livingston County, aged eighty six years, and Rev.
William, father of our subject, who is seventy-two years old. The Barnes
family is of Scotch ancestry, while the Evans' trace their origin to Wales.
WILLIAM BATEMAN is one of the many prominent farmers of Morgan County who have started in life with but little, and now can point with pride to their lands and estates. He was born Greene County, Ill., June 27, 1831, and was educated in the common schools. Samuel Bateman, the father of William, was born in Yorkshire, England, Aug. 25, 1804. When a young man he became imbued with the spirit that has sent many people across the Atlantic in search of better homes and better prospects, and in 1830, he took passage at Liverpool, on a sailing-vessel, and in due time landed at New York. From there he proceeded West, going down the Ohio River, finally reaching St. Louis. Thence he came to Carrollton, Greene Co., Ill., on foot, arriving there with just fifty cents as capital upon which to make a start in life. He worked upon a farm by the month for eight years, until his earnings aggregated enough for the purchase for forty acres of land, which he bought, and building a log cabin, he set to work improving his land and making a home. In a few years he sold this place, and purchased a farm containing 120 acres. This he sold also in 1839, and in April 1840, in pursuance of a desire to better his condition, he removed to Lynnville, Morgan County. He lived in the village for eight years, when his old desire to own a farm came back to him. He bought a farm in 1850, after which he sold it, and thereafter resided with his youngest son until his death, which occurred March 24, 1883. His wife, and our subject's mother, was Sarah Lee. She was a native of Yorkshire, England, and came with her husband to America in 1830, a brother accompanying her. In after years the balance of her family came from England to Morgan County. There were six children in the family, three of whom are living: Ann E., Thomas, and William. Ann E. married Samuel T. Sanderson, of Morgan County, who is now a farmer in Caldwell County, Mo. They have six children: William, Nellie, George, Lizzie, Ada and Ford. Thomas married Sarah E. Penrose. He is a farmer, and has six children: Clara B., John, Mary, Jessie, Allie and Charles.
William Bateman, whose name appears at the head of this article, was married twice. His first wife was Charlotte Leak, of Morgan County, who died in 1860, aged twenty-one years. They were married in 1858. Mrs. Bateman's parents were natives of Yorkshire, England. Two children were the result of this union, one of whom is living, Sarah E., while William died at an early age. Mr. Bateman's second wife was Sarah A. Massie, a native of Scott County, Ky., and who was born Feb. 5, 1832. Her ancestry was Welsh and English. She came from the old country with her people to Morgan County, in 1836, while but four years old. She is the mother of five children: Jesse T., Mary J., John L., Annie E., and Flora. Mary married Fred Burnett, of Morgan County, who is engaged in farming. The balance of the children are at home with their parents.
Our subject commenced life on a farm, working for monthly wages, and was also a laborer for three years. He then rented a farm, continuing in that business two years, and before his marriage, he was the owner of a farm of 100 acres of good land, to which has been added thirty acres. His farm is well stocked, well cultivated, and well managed. He is engaged in a general farm business, and makes a specialty of fattening cattle for the Chicago market. He has been eminently successful in all his undertakings, and is counted one of the solid men of his neighborhood. This record has come to him by reason of merit.
Mr. Bateman is a sound Republican in politics, and has filled several
local offices with the fidelity which has characterized his private business,
and his neighbors ascribe to him all the attributes that surround the name
of a good citizen. The offices which he has held, are Road Supervisor,
School Director, and Clerk of the Board, and he has served on the county
juries several times. Mrs. Bateman is a member of the Christian Church.
J. P. BAUJAN is one of the representative business men of Meredosia. In his building, which is 20x120 feet, and situated on Main street, he carried on a hardware and agricultural implement business, and is also a dealer in lumber. In most country villages there is one man who generally occupies the position of "guide, philosopher and friend." If there is any advice to be given, or should any enterprise require a leader, there are one or two men who are considered the most competent for this place, and the subject of this sketch is what may be termed a leading man of his village.
He was formerly in business with D. H. Lollis. This partnership existed for twenty years, under the firm name of D. H. Lollis & Co. Some three years ago Mr. Baujan purchased Mr. Lollis' interest in the business, and thus became the sole proprietor. Mr. Baujan is a native of Siegburg, Germany, and was born Oct. 29, 1827. He came to America in 1852, landed at New Orleans, and from that port he pushed on immediately to Beardstown, Cass Co., Ill., and at once went to Arenzville. In 1856 he first came to Meredosia. Here he started a small business of a combination bakery and grocery store. This venture prospered, and he followed it for several years, when he formed the partnership spoken of before, and engaged in the lumber business, the other lines having been added since. He has the only lumber-yard in Meredosia.
In 1888 he served as President of the Town Board in Meredosia, and is now holding the office of Overseer of the Poor in his district - a position for which his charitable impulses admirably fit him. He is a member of the Masonic Order and of the Benevolent Lodge No. 52, which is one of the oldest lodges in the State. He is also a Knight Templar. He is an enthusiastic and hard-working member of these orders.
Mr. Baujan is a Democrat, and is an influential member of his party, but he is in favor, largely, of selecting the best men for offices, and, generally speaking, party ties rest upon him lightly. He has made all he possesses since he came to this country, which has been a result of his ability as a money-getter and of his sterling integrity. He was married to Matilda Keuchler, who bore him five children - Minnie, Emma, Louisa, Ida and Nellie - four of whom are living.
Mr. Baujan is a practical illustration of what this country has done,
and is doing, for people who strictly mind their own business, and who
go forward in their work with a determination to win. His large amount
of pluck and German persistence has aided him to attain his present proud
position in the hearts of his neighbors and among the business men with
whom he has dealings. It can be truthfully said of him that he never intentionally
wronged any man, and if a less fortunate person than he, makes application
to him for aid or relief, his request is sure to be granted.
JOHN E. BAYLESS deserves more than a passing notice in reviewing the lives and labors of the representative men of this county. It may be a sordid sentiment which gives prominence to the man who has been successful in the accumulation of dollars and cents, but it cannot be denied that these contribute greatly to the comfort and happiness of mankind; and he who has been successful in his efforts in this direction, is involuntarily accorded a dignity and respect to which he is undeniably entitled. Mr. Bayless, a self-made man, who began life at the foot of the ladder, dependent upon his own resources, is now the owner of 380 broad acres, comprising one of the most valuable farms in Morgan County, and pleasantly located on section 14, township 16, range 12. He began as a general agriculturist, but of late years has been engaged in stock-raising, and has realized from this industry alone a snug fortune.
A Kentuckian by birth, Mr. Bayless first opened his eyes to the light in Mason County, in the Blue Grass Region, on the 24th of April, 1826, and is the son of Ezra and Annie (York) Bayless, who were natives of the same State as their son. The father died when our subject was a mere boy, and his other passed away when he was a youth of fifteen or sixteen years. They had, however, in the meantime removed to Franklin County, Indiana, lived there two years, and then came back to this county, of which he has since been a resident. About 1855-56 he purchased ninety-five acres of land, the nucleus of his present homestead, and which he had prior to this time operated upon as a renter. He labored early and late for several years, improving his land and cultivating the soil, and was greatly prospered. He invested his surplus capital in additional land, thus placing it where it could not be carried off by the absconding bank cashier, until he attained to his present large possessions. The family for a number of years occupied a small frame house, until Mr. Bayless erected his present residence, which is represented in this volume, and which is a very tasteful and commodious structure, and with its surroundings very nearly approaches the ideal country home.
Mr. Bayless was wedded March 10, 1853, to Miss Melissa J. Green, who was born in this county May 3, 1836. Her parents, William and Catherine (Long) Green, were natives of Tennessee, and came to this county during its pioneer days. Their family consisted of nine children. The father died in Iowa, and the mother in Morgan County, Ill.
The household circle of Mr. and Mrs. Bayless was completed by the birth of five children: Luther F., who married Miss Addie Johnson, is farming the home place; Dora V., the wife of W. F. Deterding; Chalmers D., Nellie and Marcus D.; the latter is deceased.
Mr. Bayless came to this county without means or other resources
than his strong muscles and courageous heart, together with those principles
of honor and integrity in which he had been trained by his excellent mother.
He experienced his full share of the difficulties of pioneer life, bringing
his land from a state of nature to its present productive condition, and
he himself perfected all the improvements which we behold today. These
have involved a large amount of labor, time and money, but he rightly considers
that it has been capital well invested. While his personal interests have
absorbed the greater part of his time and attention, he has in the meantime
maintained a warm interest in the progress of his adopted county, and contributed
as opportunity has offered to the furthering of those enterprises calculated
for the best good of its people. Mr. Bayless has been the efficient counselor
and helpmate of her husband, and has labored with him in the accumulation
of their property. They enjoy an extended acquaintance in this county,
and welcome under their hospitable roof its best people. In politics, he
is a stanch Republican. He, his wife, and daughter, Mrs. Deterding, are
members of the Christian Church at Concord.
GEORGE N. BEAUCHAMP, a pioneer and prominent citizen of Morgan County, Ill., resides on section 26, township 16, range 12. He is a native of Maryland, and was born Dec. 16, 1834. He was a son of Richard and Zipporah Beauchamp, both of whom are supposed to have been natives of Maryland. When about four months old, the subject of this sketch came with his parents direct from Maryland to Morgan County, Ill. His father settled about five miles northeast of the residence of George N., and here resided until his death, which occurred in 1854, his wife dying five days before him.
When Galusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania introduced the Homestead Bill in the House of Representatives there was a determined opposition to the measure, and especially by those who were not friends of free labor. While Illinois did not reap a great deal of benefit from this most beneficent law, the great undeveloped West did. The opponents of the homestead act have lived to see that provisions that Mr. Grow's proposition was a wise one, and had its provisions been in force a generation before it became operative, the pioneers of Illinois would have been saved the great hardship of paying for their lands. It is true that $1.25 an acre is a small price, but dollars were more difficult for the Illinois pioneer to secure than anything else. Produce was practically worth nothing. Corn in an early day has been known to sell for five cents a bushel, wheat for twenty-five cents a bushel, and port for $1.50 a hundred. This will exhibit the fact that ready cash was almost impossible to get. When the land came into market it had to be paid for, and the money vultures of the early period were relentless in their demand for interest. As high as forty per cent was asked and received, and it is easy to conclude that such usurious interest was a burden too hard for a pioneer to bear, and to unload his burden, many an early settler was obliged to relinquish his land to the heartless money lender, after braving the trials incident to opening a new farm. This was one of the manifold trials of a pioneer, and none knew it better than Richard Beauchamp.
George N. Beauchamp was the second son of the family, and was reared to manhood surrounded by the difficulties that invariable assail the early settler. He received his education in the primitive schools that existed when he was a boy, but he has steadily increased his store of knowledge, and is now what may be termed a well-posted man of affairs. He was married Aug. 17, 1856, to Elizabeth Smith, daughter of John and Malinda Smith. Eight children have been born to this couple, five of whom are living: Sarah, wife of William Burrus; John married Anna M. Streuter, and lives in this township; Lydia, Frank and Florry. Mr. Beauchamp is the owner of 320 acres of land, half of which comprises his homestead.
There is too much of a disposition in these days to call men "self-made.:
There are many people who are called self-made men whose history will not
bear out the title, but Mr. Beauchamp by his own industry and shrewd financiering
has accumulated his splendid possessions by the inherent qualities that
surround such men as he. Himself and wife are devoted members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, in which organization he has held the office of Steward.
He has also served as Class Leader. He pays but little attention to politics,
but his abilities have often been called in requisition by his neighbors.
He has held the office of Drainage Commissioner in his district for three
years. He is, at this writing (1889) serving as School Director, and has
held that office for twelve years, and is now School Trustee. In most of
his undertakings, Mr. Beauchamp has been successful and he deserves his
success. In politics he is a stanch Republican.
JAMES B. BEEKMAN is a native of Menard County, Ill., and was born Jan. 29, 1845. He first went to a subscription school, and in later years the district school. In 1860 he attended the North Sangamon Academy near Athens, Ill., from there he went to Jacksonville and attended the Illinois College for nearly three years, and in 1864 he studied at Bryant & Stratton's Business College at Chicago, where he took a thorough course in bookkeeping. In the winter of 1863, prior to his attendance at the last named school, he carried provisions to the soldiers, and was also in the skirmish at Ft. Pickering. After leaving the business college he married Miss Julia A. Wood, of this county, which ceremony occurred Jan. 12, 1865, and immediately thereafter began his life as a farmer. He is the father of two sons and two daughters; George S. born April 3, 1867; William M., April 7, 1869; Hollie Gertrude, born Jan. 8, 1875; she was killed in a cyclone May 6, 1880; Mary Lou, born Feb. 18, 1882.
William T. Beekman, father of the one of whom this biography is written, is a native of Somerset County, N.J., and was born Feb. 23, 1815. He lived in his native State until 1837, when he emigrated to Menard County, Ill., where he worked at his trade, that of a wheelwright and carpenter, at which occupation he carried on a large business. At the age of forty he commenced railroading on the Jacksonville and Bloomington branch of the Chicago & Alton Railroad. He laid the iron to Mason City, Ill., when he was appointed Superintendent of that road, and served in that capacity for eight years. His wife's maiden name was Mary C. Spears, a native of Menard County, Ill. Her parents came to this State from Green County, Ky., in 1823, and located on a farm. Her father is now living (1889) on his first purchase at the ripe old age of eighty-four years, her mother dying in June, 1879. There were ten children in this family, whose record is subjoined.
John T. married Sarah Colby of Menard County; he died July 13, 1881, leaving two children - Lucy M. and Colby. He was a sergeant in Company F, 114th Illinois Infantry under Col. Judy. He participated in the Red River campaign and the siege of Vicksburg; was with Grant at the battle of Jackson, Miss., and his record covers thirteen battles. At New Orleans he had charge of 1,500 colored troops. His widow now resides on the farm owned by him in Menard County; Maria E. married John M. Zane, a nephew of Judge Charles Zane, of Springfield; he is a lawyer in Sac City, Iowa, and the father of two children - William F. and Florence. George S. married Jennie Harrison; he is following mechanical pursuits in Springfield, Ill., and has one son, Harry. Julia J. married Richard Pollard, a commercial salesman; they reside in Denver, Colo. Cornelius T. married Lou Kuchler, daughter of Dr. Kuchler, of Kansas City, Mo. He follows the profession of bookkeeping. Mary Anna married Walter W. Mathews, of Odebolt, Iowa, where he is a merchant and Postmaster; Sarah H. and Carrie W. are single and live with their parents; William H. is unmarried, and is practicing law in Omaha, Neb.
The subject of this sketch and wife own a well improved farm of 470 acres, and he is a successful breeder of horses, cattle, hogs and sheep. He rents a portion of his farm.
The family are members of the Baptist Church. Politically, Mr. Beekman
is a sound Republican, and he was, perhaps, inspired by the fact that the
first political speech he heard was delivered by Abraham Lincoln. He had
the honor of being Chairman of the Republican club of his precinct during
the Harrison campaign.
WILLIAM BEGNEL. One of the best regulated farms of Woodson Precinct belongs to the subject of this notice, who was born in County Louth, Ireland, about the year 1830. He received a common school education in his native county, of which he remained a resident until a man of twenty-eight years, employed at different occupations. At the expiration of this time, seeing little prospect of attaining to what he wished, socially and financially, he resolved to seek his fortunes on the other side of the Atlantic. He landed after a safe voyage in the city of New York the latter part of July, 1858.
Not long afterward we find our subject in Greene County, the southern part of this State, where he was for some three or four years employed as a farm laborer. He then commenced operating on rented land in that vicinity, where he resided two years, and spent a year thereafter in Macoupin County. In 1866 he came to this county with a snug little sum of money, which he invested in the land comprising his present homestead, then ninety-three acres in extent. He at once set himself to the task of improving his property, and was prospered in his labors. He invested his surplus capital in additional land, and is now the owner of 378 broad acres, which he has brought to a good state of cultivation, and which yields him handsome returns.
The Begnel family occupies a substantial brick residence, and the farm is supplied with all the other buildings necessary for the successful prosecution of agriculture. Mr. Begnel makes a specialty of stock-raising, in which he has been very successful. The farm is pleasantly located on section 24, and in all its appointments indicates the thrift and enterprise of its proprietor.
On the 5th of October, 1863, our subject took unto himself a wife and helpmate, Miss Margaret Dunn, who was born in County Queens, Ireland, about 1831. Her parents, Timothy and Mary (Doyle) Dunn, were also natives of County Queens, where they spent their entire lives. Mrs. Begnel was the eldest of their four children who lived to mature years. Of her union with our subject there have been born five children, viz: Mary E., who died in infancy; James H., Maggie R., Sarah E., and William F., who died at the age of six years.
Mr. Begnel, politically, is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles,
and with his wife and family belongs to the Catholic Church. He has served
as a School Director in his district, and is a man popular among his neighbors,
and hospitable to all who come within his doors. His father, James Begnel,
was born and spent his entire life in County Louth. The mother, Mrs. Margaret
(Hoy) Begnel, was born and reared not far from the early home of her husband,
and after his death came to America, and died at the home of her son, our
subject, Sept. 16, 1872. The parental family included five children, all
of whom lived to mature years, and of whom William was the third in order
of birth. His brothers and sisters are located mostly in Illinois.
WILLIAM A. BERRYMAN, one of the substantial farmers of Morgan County, was born in Barren County, Ky., Dec. 16, 1828. His career is a splendid object lesson to illustrate the possibilities of a man who possesses energy, to become the owner of his own vine and fig tree. His father William Berryman, was a native of North Carolina, and was born in 1794. He lived in that State until he attained his majority, when he removed to Washington County, Ky. At the age of twenty-five he married Mary Landers of that county. Her people came from Virginia, but were among the earlier settlers of Kentucky. After their marriage they removed to Barren County, Ky., and lived there until the death of the senior Berryman, which occurred in 1860. Mrs. Berryman, the mother of the one of whom this sketch is written, died in 1873. In this family were twelve children, four of whom are living. John M., married Zurilda Scott, of Barren County, Ky.; Susan married Zachariah Buckingham, of Tennessee; Sarah married William Jones, of Barren County, Ky.; Benjamin married a lady in Iowa; they now live in Texas, and have seven children. Green married a Miss Queen, of Iowa. He was a volunteer in the late war, and died in Arkansas in 1862.
The subject of our sketch married Mrs. Nall, of Morgan County. Her people came from Muhlenberg County, Ky., and were among the first settlers there. In company with two sisters and their husbands, she came to Macoupin County, this State, in 1834. She is of German ancestry as was her husband. Six children have been born to this couple, three of whom are living, whose records are appended: Levi married Isaac Hill's daughter, of Morgan County, and is following agricultural pursuits. They have one child, Goldie. Isabelle, married John Heddick, of Macoupin County; they have three children, two of whom are living, - Ada and Osay. Henry A. married Clara Dugger; he is a farmer.
The wife of the subject of this sketch is the mother by her first husband of the following family, and whose record is as follows: Franklin married Martha Evans, of Morgan County, and is now living in Clay County, Neb. They have nine children: Eva, Hannah, Serva, Anna, Amy, William, Frank, Mamie, and Minnie. Franklin was a volunteer in the late war in the 32d Illinois Infantry, serving in Company H, commanded by Capt. Ross. He served nine months when he became blind while in the line of duty, and is now the recipient of a pension from a grateful country, amounting to $72 a month. Susan married Haden Berryman, brother of the subject of this sketch. He is dead but the widow is now living in Morgan County with her seven children: Belle, William, Carlin, Frank, George, Julia and Lizzie. Felitha, deceased, married Felix Berryman, also a brother of the subject of this sketch; they had four children: Benjamin, Oscar, Mary and Charles. Nancy, deceased, married Eli Austin, of Morgan County; three children were born to this couple: Eli, Mary and Bert. Malinda, deceased, married John Scott, of Barren County, Ky.; they had four children: Dora, Ailsie, William and Hannah. Hannah, deceased, married John Crisswell; two children were in this family, Edgar and Clara. Eliza died at the age of seventeen, while Elizabeth and Russell died in infancy.
William Berryman, whose name appears at the head of the sketch, commenced
an active life poor, working on a farm at monthly wages. He slowly ascended
the latter of success until now he owns a farm of 320 acres, and has also
aided his children to a start in life. He is now enjoying the fruits of
his early industry and intelligence. Both he and his wife are members of
the Baptist Church, and politically, he votes the Democratic ticket.
G. V. BLACK, M.D., D.D.S., a popular practitioner of Jacksonville, is a native of this State, having been born in Scott County, Aug. 3, 1836. His younger years, when he was not in school, were spent on a farm, and he commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of his brother, Hon. Dr. Thomas G. Black, of Clayton, Adams County. He made rapid headway, and three later went to Winchester, and opening an office, commenced the practice of his profession, which he followed there until the breaking out of the war. Since 1864 he has given close attention to his profession in Jacksonville.
In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 129th Illinois Infantry, and thereafter engaged principally in scouting. He was injured while on duty, and for a period of six months was confined in the hospital in Louisville with brain fever. He retired from the service in the spring of 1864, and coming to Jacksonville, resumed the practice which he has since followed with success.
Dr. Black is a gentleman of fine literary attainments, and has devoted his talents mostly to matters connected with his profession. His first work, published in 1884, is entitled "Formations of Poisons by Micro Organisms." In 1885 he contributed several articles to the publication entitled "The American System of Dentistry." In 1887 he published "Histological Character of Periosteum and Peridental Membranes." In 1888 "The Compendium of Dentistry," a German work, by Jul Parreidt, translated by Louis Ottofy, was annotated by Dr. Black. He also invented for dental purposes two engines, and for a period of ten years gave much of his time to microscopical investigations, being the possessor of about 4,000 slides.
Dr. Black is a prominent member of the Illinois State Dental Society, which was established in 1865, and has also been President of the Illinois State Board of Dental Examiners. In the St. Louis Dental College he was a lecturer for several years, and assisted in the organization of the Chicago College of Dental Surgery in 1883. For more than four years he held the Chair of Pathology in that institution, and in September, 1887, was elected its Superintendent, holding the office until the expiration of the term of 1889, when he withdrew and returned to the practice of his profession in Jacksonville. He is a member of the Academy of National Science, at Philadelphia, Pa., and a correspondent of the Microscopical Society of Central Illinois, also of the First District Dental Society of the State of New York.
A large share of the dental practice in Jacksonville for many years has fallen to Dr. Black. He is a man genial and companionable by nature, prompt to meet his obligations, and is as popular among his fellow-citizens, socially, as among the members of his profession. He identified himself with the Masonic fraternity about 1870, having previously become a member of the I. O. O. F.
Miss Elizabeth A. Davenport, a native of Jacksonville, Ill., became the wife of our subject, Sept. 14, 1865. She was born May 5, 1840, and is the daughter of Ira and Minerva Davenport, natives of Kentucky and Ohio, and who spent their last years in jacksonville. Dr. and Mrs. Black occupy with their children a beautiful home at No. 349 East State street. In addition to this property, the Doctor is the owner of other valuable real estate in the city. Their two sons and two daughters are named respectively: Carl E., Clara, Arthur D., and Olive.
The eldest son of our subject was graduated from the Jacksonville
High School, in the class of '81, and form Illinois College in 1883. Later
he turned his attention to newspaper work, having charge for two years
of the local department of the Jacksonville Journal. Upon withdrawing from
this, he engaged with Dr. Price as a medical student at the Sanitarium.
Then entering the Chicago Medical College, he pursued his studies closely
until March, 1886, when he was graduated. Two years later he spent six
months in Europe perfecting himself in his medical studies. After his return
to America, he commenced the practice of his profession in Jacksonville.
His office is at his father's residence on East State Street. He is a young
man of fine attainments, and it is predicted that in the near future he
will take his place among the best physicians in the State.
JAMES BLUE. This very well-known resident of Jacksonville was born in Monroe County, Mo., Dec. 11, 1842, and is the son of Robert and Eliza Blue, who were natives of Kentucky. The mother died in August, 1870, and the father is still living in Missouri. He was born in 1813, and has followed farming the greater part of his life.
The subject of this sketch, when a youth of fourteen years, made his way to Kansas and lived there until 1867. Next he came to Jacksonville, and purchased the two lots where he now lives, and upon which he has put up a neat and tasteful residence, and the other necessary buildings. Like his father before him, he likewise has made agriculture his life occupation. When ready to establish a home of his own he was married to Miss Margaret Richardson, who was born in Kentucky. Their eldest child, Eliza, is the wife of Burl Hitt, and Mary married Charlie Hitt. The next child was John F.; Willie died when a promising youth of eighteen years; Ella, Birdie and James died in infancy. The remaining children are Stella, Robert and Maggie.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Blue are members in good standing of the Baptist Church. Mr. Blue has held the office of Deacon in this church for several years, and has been one of its chief pillars. He has also officiated as Treasurer and Church Trustee. He is an earnest advocate of temperance, and lends his political influence to the Prohibitionists.
John G. Bobbit
JOHN G. BOBBITT. A residence of sixty years in this county has made this gentleman quite well acquainted with its history, and he has also become well known to a majority of its older residents. He was brought here by his parents when a child five years of age, and spent his boyhood and youth amid the primitive scenes of life on the frontier, practically growing up with the country, with little education, but forming those habits of industry which have served him well in his struggle with the world. In starting out for himself he had no capital but his perfect health and strong hands, together with sound common sense and good judgement, but these qualities have served him well and he is now numbered among the independent farmers who, sitting under their own vine and fig tree, have few apprehensions for the future, being in possession of a competence and fortified against want in their declining years.
The property of Mr. Bobbitt embraces 340 acres of choice land, located on sections 7 and 18, the residence being on the former. He secured this land in its wild and uncultivated state, and has brought it to its present condition largely by the labor of his own hands. A native of Southern Missouri, he was born Nov. 6, 1824, and came with his father's family, to this county in 1829, when but few white men ventured to this region from which the Indians had not yet departed. Wild game of all kinds was plentiful but neighbors were few and far between, and the journey to mill and market, performed frequently by the slow means of an ox team, was a trip occupying several days. The little family established themselves in a rude log cabin, which sheltered them for a number of years, and until their means and circumstances enabled them to replace it by a more modern dwelling.
William J. Bobbitt, the father of our subject, was a native of North Carolina, a millwright by trade and a natural mechanic. He was the son of Southern parents, and his father Isham Bobbitt, served in the Revolutionary War, from the time the feeble band of patriots took arms against a powerful nation until peace was declared. He died in this county, at the advanced age of eighty-four years old. William J., inherited from his honored sire, his talent of handling edged tools, and became a master mechanic. Upon leaving his native State he located in Kentucky, where in due time he was married to Miss Elizabeth Hale. This lady was a distant relative of the celebrated John P. Hale. After their marriage the parents of our subject settled in Hopkinsville, Christian Co., Ky., where they lived until after the birth of two children. Then hoping to better their financial condition, they sought the Southwest, locating in Madison County, Mo., where the father put up a mill and engaged as a miller and general mechanic until coming to this county.
The elder Bobbitt now purchased forty acres of land from the Government and began the construction of a homestead in the wilderness. He lived but seven years thereafter, resting from his earthly labors in 1836, at the age of sixty-one years. Both he and his wife were members of the Regular Baptist church. The wife survived her husband many years, dying at the age of seventy-six. She was a number of years younger than he, and of their union there were born eleven children - five sons and six daughters, all of whom had reached mature years and married before a death occurred in the family. One son, William C., was waylaid and killed for his money in the gold regions of California. Three sisters are not deceased, all of whom left families. The eldest brother living has now reached the advanced age of over eighty years and the youngest member of the family is past fifty.
The subject of this notice at an early age was taught to make himself useful around the pioneer homestead. In 1848, he established domestic ties of his won, being married to Miss Martha J. Newton, who was born in Trigg County, Ky., Oct. 22, 1827, but who at the time of her marriage (which took place in Brown County, this State.) Was a resident of Bloomington, Ill. Her parents, Henry and Martha (Ezell) Newton were natives of Virginia, and are long since deceased. Henry Newton was twice married and was the father of a large family. Mrs. Bobbitt was a daughter of the first wife, who died when comparatively a young woman. She lived with her father and her sister Mary, principally in this county, growing up with a limited education. In those early days the plan of the resent school system had not been developed, for the children were scattered over the desolate country at such distances as to prevent a common meeting ground. Only armed men would traverse the lonely pats leading from one cabin to another. Mrs. Bobbitt like her husband, was taught to make herself useful at an early age, learning to be a good housekeeper and to perform all those duties necessary to the comfort and happiness of the household. Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. bobbitt, one son, Louis M., died at the age of thirty-four years, in township 15, range 10. He was married to Miss Ellen Busey, who survives him. They had two children - Walter N., and John C. Mary L., became the wife of J. B. Holliday, and they are living on a farm in township 15, range 11. They have four children - Ralf, Mable, Charles L., and Frank S. Hattie E., remains at home with her parents; she is a very intelligent young lady, greatly interested in music. Mrs. Bobbitt and her children belong to the Christian Church. Our subject, politically, was in former years a Democrat, but his warm interest in the temperance movement has since led him to identify himself with the Prohibitionists.
This volume will be cherished by its possessors, not only on account of its historical value, but also as presenting to view the familiar faces of old friends. Among all these the portrait of Mr. Bobbitt is important, as delineating a pioneer and prominent resident of Morgan County.
MICHAEL BODDY. The attention of the traveler passing the homestead of this gentleman is invariably attracted by the air of thrift and prosperity around it, and the evidences of cultivated tastes and ample means. Similarly, the attention of the reader is attracted to the fine engraving of his home, with its air of refinement and cultivated surroundings. The dwelling is set in the midst of evergreens and a tasteful shrubbery; there is a fine vineyard adjacent to the farm buildings, an apple orchard in good bearing condition, producing choice fruit, and other evidences of the enterprising and progressive agriculturist. General farming is carried on in this place, and Mr. Boddy is also quite extensively engaged in stock-raising. The property is pleasantly located on section 18, township 15, range 1, and came into the possession of the present proprietor in March, 1868.
A native of Yorkshire, England, our subject was born Feb. 20, 1829, in Thornton Parish, which was also the birthplace of his parents, Robert and Susannah (Hewbank) Boddy, both of excellent English stock. The Boddy family has been represented in that shire for several hundred years and, with few exceptions, consisted of people honest and well-to-do. The father of our subject was the greater part of his life employed as keeper of a rabbit farm comprising 1,000 acres of land, where were bred annually thousands of these animals. He naturally became familiar with their habits, and was an expert in this line of business. He was taken away in the prime of life, however, when only forty-five years old. The wife and mother survived her husband many long years, coming to America with her children, and dying in this county when past the age of ninety years. She came of a long-lived race, some of her ancestry attaining the age of over one hundred years. They were mostly Wesleyan Methodist in religion, and stanch adherents of the principles of the founder of Methodism.
The subject of this sketch was born after the death of his father, being the youngest of the three children comprising his mother's family. At the death of her husband the mother was left in straightened circumstances, and Michael, as soon as old enough, was required to assist in the maintenance of the family. His advantages for education were very limited, but he was a thoughtful boy and embraced every opportunity to acquire useful information, so that, by the reading of good books and studying as he had opportunity, he became quite well informed. He remained a resident of his native county until after reaching his majority; then, in 1851, emigrated to America, settling at once in this county. Four years later he returned to England with the intention of enlisting as one of a staff corps during the Crimean War. Upon landing at Sebastopol an armistice had been declared, and young Boddy accordingly returned to his old home in Yorkshire. He then opened a store of general merchandise, which he conducted four years, and in the meantime was married to Miss Ann Harrison.
Some time after his marriage Mr. Boddy, accompanied by his wife, once more sought the shores of America, and coming to this county the second time, located on a tract of land in township 15, range 11, where he confined his attention to agricultural pursuits, and was greatly prospered in his labors as a tiller of the soil, building up a comfortable homestead and accumulating something for his old age. In his labors and struggles he had the full sympathy and assistance of his estimable wife, who remained his faithful helpmate and companion until her decease, Sept. 20, 1882. She was born Jan. 22, 1834, and her history was similar to that of her husband in two respects. Both were natives of the same county in England, and both were reared in the doctrines of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Industrious and devoted to her family, she was not only deeply mourned by her immediate friends, but regretted by all who knew her.
Of his first marriage there were born to our subject a family of nine children, only two of whom are living - Ann and John - who remain at home with their father. The only one married was a daughter, Sarah, who became the wife of J. N. Harvey, and is now deceased. Mr. Boddy contracted a second marriage, in 1882, with Mrs. Mary (Parr) Harvey, a native of Leicestershire, England. Her father, William Parr, was nearly all his life in the employ of the Government at Belvior Castle, where he died, at the age of fifty-eight years. Her mother had been in youth Sarah Norton, of Lincolnshire. She lived to be eighty-one years old, and spent her declining years in the place of her birth. Both the father and mother were members of the Church of England. They were parents of seven children, of whom Mrs. Boddy was the youngest. Two died in England, and five came to America.
Miss Mary Parr was first married, in Wisconsin, to John Harvey, who
died in Illinois, March 3, 1878. Of this marriage there were seven children.
Mrs. Boddy received a common school education, and lived with her parents
until her marriage. Our subject, upon becoming a voting citizen, allied
himself with the Democratic party, and has held nearly all the offices
of his township, in which he has been a prominent man for many years. His
well-regulated homestead stands as a monument of his industry and perseverance,
and, in thus redeeming a goodly tract of uncultivated land from its original
condition, he has contributed his full quota toward the development of
his adopted county.
JACOB A. BOSTON is a native-born citizen of Illinois, Cass County being the place of his nativity, and July 3, 1840, the date of his birth. He is now connected with the farming interests of Morgan County, and since 1876 has been industriously and prosperously pursuing his vocation in township 16 north, range 8 west, where he has a well-developed, highly improved farm, that is second to none in the neighborhood in point of cultivation and in regard to its neat buildings and orderly appearance.
He comes of an old Kentucky family, who were pioneers of that State, and his paternal grandfather, John boston, was born there, Jessamine County being his birthplace, and there he was reared to the life of a farmer. He married and reared a family of children, and died in the home of his nativity at the venerable age of ninety-five years. His son, Anthony, father of our subject, was brought up on the Kentucky homestead, where he first saw the light of day, and was married in the county of his birth to Miss Louisa, daughter of James Stephenson, and soon after marriage in 1836, they came to Illinois and located in Cass County among its pioneers. They resided there until 1856, and then removed to Jacksonville to pass their declining years, where the father died in 1881, at the ripe old age of seventy-two years. The mother is still living, making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Andrew Bacon, and she is now seventy-three years old. Mr. Boston was a man of fine physique, possessing a sound constitution, and had vigorous health until within a short time before his demise. He was a member of the Baptist Church for many years, and died strong in the faith. Mrs. Boston also united with that church many years ago, and is still a consistent member. To this worthy couple the following children were born: James W., Mary A., now Mrs. William Patterson; Jacob; John W.; Robert, deceased; George E. died in 1881; Martha C. married James L. Dyer, and died in Kansas; Frances L., now Mrs. Andrew Bacon; A. Judson; and Charles C.
Their son, Jacob, was reared on the homestead that had been his birthplace, and was educated in the public schools of Cass County. He was carefully trained in agricultural pursuits by his father, who was a skillful and successful farmer, and on arriving at years of discretion, chose that occupation as the one by which he could best make a living, and the years that have since ensued, have justified the wisdom of his choice, as he is now one of the substantial and prosperous citizens of his community. He has a fine farm of 105 acres of as fertile and highly productive land as is to be found in this precinct, and it is all under good cultivation, and has many valuable improvements. He has not always lived here, however, since leaving his native county. In 1865 he bought a farm in Menard County, having lived prior to that time for a few years in Morgan County. He resided on this Menard County property until 1870, then returned to Morgan County. After staying here one year, he went to Missouri, and thence to Kansas, near Kansas City, where he remained a year. In 1876 he came back to Illinois, and bought his present farm in Morgan County, and has since been a valued resident of this township.
Mr. Boston is in every respect a good and law abiding citizen, who has at heart the highest interests of his native State, and of the community where he now lives, and for that reason he is a conscientious supporter of the Democratic party. He is a member of the Anti Horse-thief Association. He and his wife are zealous supporters of the Gospel, and are considered to be useful and estimable members of the Christian Church.
Mr. Boston has not been without the able assistance of one of the
best of wives, whose hearty cooperation has been an important factor in
bringing about his present prosperous circumstances. Mrs. Boston's maiden
name was Louisa Ransdell, and she is a daughter of Eli and Ann (Graff)
Ransdell, formerly of Kentucky. She was born and reared in this county,
whither her parents came in the early days of its settlement, and her union
with our subject was solemnized in November, 1865. Two children have been
born into their pleasant home, Mary and William. The latter is a student
in Illinois College.
JOHN W. BOWEN, Superintendent of the Jacksonville Manufacturing Company, occupies a leading position among the business men of the city. This concern was established in 1886, and occupies a factory and office at No. 728, Railroad Street. Its specialty is the Self-acting Swing, and other inventions patented by Mr. Bowen. This factory finds ready sale for its products in all parts of the United States and Territories. The factory gives employment during the busy seasons to a large force of men, and occupies a building 75x88 feet in area, and two stories in height. Mr. Bowen at an early age evinced a mechanical genius, which he has been enabled to turn to profit, and when a boy spent his leisure hours experimenting with tools and machinery.
A native of the Prairie State our subject was born in Pike County, April 28, 1850, and is the son of Billingsley and Sarah (Brackett) Bowen, the father a native of Ohio, and the mother of Illinois. The elder Bowen left the Buckeye State about 1835, and settled upon an uncultivated tract of land in Pike County, where he followed the pursuits of farm life until his death, which occurred Aug. 28, 1858, when his son, John W., was a little lad of eight years of age. The mother continues to make her home in Pike County.
Of the six children comprising the parental family but three are now living, namely: John W., the subject of this sketch; Jesse W., and Mary E., Mrs. May, of Springfield, Ill. John spent his boyhood and youth under the home roof, and soon after attaining his majority commenced working as a carpenter. Later he developed into a contractor and builder, finally establishing his headquarters in Jacksonville, Ill., and in time carried on the largest business of any single contractor in the city.
The lady who has presided in the most creditable manner over the
home and domestic affairs of our subject, was in her girlhood Miss Janette
F. McKean, and became his wife in 1871. Mrs. Bowen was born June 2, 1849
in Kentucky, and is the daughter of Squire and Mrs. James McKean, of Naples,
Ill., who were natives of Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Bowen there have been born
nine children, one of whom, Nettie A., died when an infant of five months
and five days. The survivors are: Lillian B., Mary A., John E., James W.,
Gilbert E., William F., Ralph E., and Reigh Prentice. The family residence
is pleasantly located at No. 503 East North Street. Mr. Bowen, politically,
is independent, aiming to support the men whom he considers best qualified
to hold office. Socially, he belongs to the I.O.O.F.
JOHN BRACEWELL. In the life history here presented we have a forcible illustration of what a man may accomplish by steady perseverance and untiring energy. Mr. Bracewell, now the owner of 700 acres of land in Morgan and Greene counties, this State, began life on the lowest round of the ladder, having only $1.50 at the time he and his young wife commenced housekeeping. He had come to a country wild and unsettled, with railroads and markets far away, and with limited facilities for prosecuting farming or any other business. He had no farm machinery, but he secured a tract of land, and as best he could, the implements necessary for tilling the soil and putting in the first season's crops.
Life passed with the young people amid many privations and hardships for the first few years, and then they began to realize that they were making some headway. The qualities which our subject had inherited from his substantial English ancestry were bound to win, and his career has been a marvel as much to himself, perhaps, as to those who have watched him. A native of Lancashire, England, Mr. Bracewell was born Feb. 14, 1816, and is the son of Henry and Amy (Wright) Bracewell. The father emigrated to American when the boy, John, was but an infant of a few weeks, leaving his family in England.
Soon after landing in New York City, the father of our subject made his way to Pittsburg, and then over the mountains to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he joined his brother-in-law, Joseph Wright, and engaged in a tannery. Later he started southwestward for New Orleans, and was never again seen by his family, all trace of him even being lost. John was reared by his mother and grandfather, John Wright.
Our subject was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and was self-educated, having never attended school. He lived on a farm until fifteen years old and then met with an accident which left him a cripple, and he then learned the shoemaker's trade at which he served until reaching his majority. Then opening a shop for himself in Derbyshire, he conducted this prosperously for three years, giving employment to many men besides himself. The voyage to America, in 1840, was made on a sailing vessel, the "John Taylor", which left Liverpool on the 5th of August and was wrecked by a storm off the Island of Cuba, where the passengers who were saved remained about twenty days, until re-embarking on another vessel, by which they reached New Orleans. Mr. Bracewell was thus ten weeks enroute to America, and in the Crescent City followed his trade thereafter for several months. Thence he removed to a point eighty miles from Cincinnati, Ohio, with his uncle, Joseph Wright, and in 1841 came to Illinois and purchased thirty acres of land in Greene County. Subsequently he entered forty acres from the Government and transformed this from a wild prairie into a productive and valuable farm, while at the same time, as opportunity offered, he employed himself at his trade.
For the first few years Mr. Bracewell and wife occupied a small log cabin on his Greene County farm, and in due time was enabled to build a better home. He had been married on the 5th of March, 1842, to Miss Sarah Whitlock. This lady was born in Russell County, Ky., Feb. 15, 1815, to William and Rose A. Whitlock, who were natives of Virginia. They lived in the Blue Grass State, probably fifteen years, then coming to Illinois, settled four miles south of what was then the unimportant village of Jacksonville, in time to experience the rigors of the deep snow which followed. A few months later they changed their location to the southern part of the county, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
While financially prosperous Mr. and Mrs. Bracewell have been visited by affliction in the loss of all their children - Henry, died at the age of thirty years; Amy, Rosanna, and Mary, all died in early life. They removed from the farm in Greene County to Murrayville in the spring of 1866, and although in a condition to lay aside the cares and labors of life, the active temperament of Mr. Bracewell will not permit him to be idle and now, at the age of over seventy-three years, he looks after his interests with his characteristic good judgment and much of his old time energy.
While not a member of any religious organization, Mr. Bracewell acknowledges
the value of the Church in a community, and contributes his full share
to its support. He is a Democrat in politics, and has served as School
Director and in other local offices in Greene County. About 1862 he identified
himself with the Masonic fraternity and now belongs to the Lodge at Murrayville.
The story of his pioneership, told in all its details, would make a large
and interesting volume. His mother never came to America and died in England,
November, 1887, at the advanced age of ninety-three years.
GEORGE BRAMHAM. In the settlement of Morgan County, a large number of English Yorkshire men have borne no unimportant part. Among them may be most properly mention Mr. Bramham, who has occupied his present farm for a period of twenty-three years, having settled upon it in the year 1866. It was then a tract of land upon which no improvement had been made, and the story of his experience in connection therewith is similar to that which has been made, and the story of his experience in connection therewith is similar to that which has been repeated many times in these pages. Suffice it to say that he began the battle of life without means, and by his own persevering industry has arrived at an enviable position, socially and financially. His farm embraces 150 acres of land located on section 8, township 15, range 11; the wife inherited the land from her father, and there they have a homestead which there is no doubt will form for them a safe shelter in their declining years.
Our subject emigrated to America in the fall of 1860, when a young man of twenty-two years, having been born Nov. 3, 1838. He grew to man's estate in his native Yorkshire, and was mostly engaged in farming pursuits. He is the offspring of pure English stock, being the son of Richard and Sarah (Stocks) Bramham, who were natives respectively of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The Stocks family removed to Yorkshire when the mother of our subject was a mere child, where she was married and where she lived until after the death of her husband. She then came to America and bought a farm in this county, where she lived until a short time before her death, when she made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Rachel Lake, until her decease, which occurred Nov. 18, 1887. She had then attained to the advanced age of eighty-four years, but retained her mental and physical strength in a marked degree.
Four sons and seven daughters comprised the household of the parents of our subject, all of whom lived to become men and women, and six of them came to America and settled in this county. George, our subject, arrived here in the fall of 1860. He was married November, 1864, to Mrs. Mary (Allison) Thomason. Mrs. Bramham was born in this county, and is the daughter of Adam and Mary (Norwood) Allison, who were natives of Yorkshire, England, and who upon coming to America in their youth, located in this county, where they formed the acquaintance which resulted in their marriage. Mr. Allison took up land and engaged in farming, and became well-to-do, leaving at his death a find property. His decease took place at the old homestead near Lynnville, where he was held in high esteem by the best people of his community. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, the friend of education and progress, and a useful and prominent citizen. Coming here in the twenties, and before the winter of the deep snow, he was a witness of the extraordinary changes which occurred, and performed his full share of the labor attendant upon the building up of the township, and forwarding the enterprises calculated for the general good. He established the first saw and grist-mill in this section of the county, and probably the first in the State. The wife and mother passed away some years prior to the decease of her husband, she also living to be aged.
Mrs. Bramham was the second child and daughter of her parents, whose family consisted of five children. One died quite young, and the other thee are married, have families, and are comfortably established in life. Mrs. Bramham was first married in this county, to William Rawling, who was a native of England. Of this marriage there were born a son and a daughter, William and Marietta; her second marriage with William Thomason, resulted in the birth of three sons - James, Allison, and Charles, all of whom are married, have families and are living in this county.
To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born three
children. The eldest, Arvilla, is the wife of Elmer E. H. Ticknor, and
they have two children, Leroy E., and Arthur E. Mr. Ticknor assists in
the operation of the Bramham farm. The two younger daughters, Ida and Anna,
remain with their parents. Both our subject and Mr. Ticknor vote the straight
PETER M. BRANER is one of the enterprising young farmers of Morgan County, and owns a good farm of 150 acres on section 13, township 16, range 11. Here he has spent most of his life excepting seven years in another part of the county. Mr. Braner is a native of Morgan County, and was born on the old homestead where he now lives, and which he owns. His birth occurred Feb. 24, 1856.
Peter M. Braner is the son of Peter Braner, a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, who was born and reared there. The elder Braner traces his ancestry to Germany. He came to Morgan County when its original state of nature was almost uninvaded. He began here as a farmer in the fall of 1831, and here he married Miss Hannah Henderson, who was born in Ohio, and whose parents had come from that State to Greene County, Ill., when that section was almost uninhabited. The Hendersons later came to Morgan County and located north of Arcadia, where the parents both died. They were people who enjoyed the confidence of all with whom the came in contact. When the old Militia Law was in force, the citizens of the country who were of proper age were obliged to meet and drill, once during the year. Mr. Henderson held the office of Captain, and acted as mustering officer. The early pioneers delight to tell of the old training days, and of the sport that was connected there with, and they never tire in relating these stories.
Peter Braner, the father of Peter M., began life as a farmer, and continued in this occupation until his death, which occurred in Morgan County, Aug. 4, 1888, at the age of seventy-six years. Politically, he was a Republican, and was always foremost to do anything for the public welfare. His wife preceded him to the grave, she dying on Jan. 2, 1877, at the age of sixty years. Peter M., of whom we write, received his education in Morgan County at the public schools. He was married to Hannah Farmer, who was born in the year 1851. She was daughter of James Farmer, who had lived a great many years in Morgan County, and who died at a great age. He was married twice, and both of his wives are also deceased. Mrs. Braner is the mother of four children - Gracie J., Katie L., Walter E. and Cora - all of whom are at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Braner are earnest, hard-working people, and are succeeding
well. Mr. Braner is a Republican in politics, and, as all good citizens
should, takes an interest in his party.
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