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)
SAMUEL DANIELS. As a representative of the pioneer element of this county, Mr. Daniels stands pre_eminent, one of the old landmarks, whose name will often be recalled with kindly remembrance long after he has been gathered to his fathers. He came to Central Illinois not long after the Indian had departed, and purchasing a tract of wild land, proceeded to the construction of a homestead. In this he succeeded admirably, accumulated a competence, and is now enjoying the fruits of his labors at a pleasant country homestead, finely located on section 5, township 15, range 11.
Mr. Daniels was at one time the owner of nearly 400 acres of land, the whole of which he brought to a god state of cultivation, and upon which he effected the improvements naturally suggested to the progressive and enterprising agriculturist. He has given each of his two children 160 acres, which in the case of the deceased of either, becomes the property of the widow. This arrangement is one not often entered into, and is a good index to the character of the man. A glance at his early life and antecedents acquaints us with the fact that he is the scion of an excellent family, the son of Verin and Polly (Eaton) Daniels, of Massachusetts, who at the time of his birth, Nov. 15, 1808, were residents of Fitchburg. The mother died there when about seventy_three years old; she was a lady of more than ordinary intelligence, and one possessing all the Christian virtues. As a wife and mother her example was one worthy of emulation.
Verin Daniels was by trade a carpenter and millwright, and like his estimable wife, spent nearly all his life in Fitchburg. In 1838, however, he set out for the great West, joining his children in this county, but only lived until the following year, dying in 1839, at the home of his son, Verin, after having nearly attained the eightieth year of his age. Prior to coming to this county, he had sojourned for a time at Nashville, Tenn. Both he and his estimable wife were members of the Old Puritan Church, of Massachusetts, in the faith of which they died. Politically, Mr. Daniels, was a Jackson Democrat. Two of his brothers served in the Revolutionary War. After entering the army they were lost track of, and never afterward heard from.
Mr. Daniels, as will be noted, is approaching the eighty_first year of his age. He was the youngest but two of nine children, six sons and three daughters, and is the only living member of his father's family. He was reared in his native town, and learned the trade of a clothier from his father, which in those times was not very profitable, he receiving during his apprenticeship only about $1.50 per week, and boarding himself out of that. Later, he became master of the cloth_making art, but finally abandoned it for the more congenial occupation of a machinist, and for some time was employed in running the Columbia Cotton Mills at Mason Village, now Greenville, N.H. Here he fulfilled a five year's contract as a member of the firm of Bacon & Daniels. The mill under his supervision was conducted strictly on the prohibition plan, and Mr. Daniels steadfastly refused to employ anyone who persisted in the use of ardent spirits. The consequence was that it was noted as being the best managed and most reliable establishment, not only in New Hampshire, but in all New England.
During his connection with this enterprise, our subject made quite a little sum of money, and finally determined to invest it in the great West. In the meantime, however, he provided himself with a wife and helpmate, being married in Washington, N.H., Aug. 17, 1837, to Miss Mary Safford. Soon afterward, setting out on a bridal tour to their new home, they landed in what is now this precinct, this county, Oct. 30, 1837, and Mr. Daniels at once began purchasing land and bringing the same to a state of cultivation. He was prospered from the beginning, and in the course of a few years found himself surrounded by all the comforts of life, and with a prospect of a competence for his old age.
Mrs. Mary (Safford) Daniels was born Feb. 5, 1813, in Washington, N.H., where she was reared and married. Her parents were of excellent New England stock, and spent their entire lives in the old Granite State, occupied in agricultural pursuits. Miss Mary received a common_school education, and was taught by a careful mother those housewifely duties, and knowledge of which is so essential in the comfort and happiness of a home. She was ambitious, and wishing to earn money for herself, finally entered the mill conducted by Mr. Daniels, where she was employed about three years before her marriage. After coming to the West, she was the faithful and efficient assistant of her husband in all his plans and undertakings. She became the mother of two children, and departed this life at the homestead, Sept. 20, 1885. Her funeral services were conducted by the minister of the Baptist Church, with which she had been connected in membership many years.
George B. Daniels, the only son of our subject, upon reaching manhood was married to Miss Carrie M. Abbott. He became the father of two children, and died March 5, 1884, at his home in this precinct, where he had settled and engaged in farming. He was thrifty and well_to_do, a worthy member of the community, and a member in good standing of the Congregational Church. His widow still retains the farm property left her by her husband, where she makes her home and manages the place.
Miss Mary L. Daniels, the only daughter of our subject, became the
wife of James C. Fairbanks, and they are living on a farm near Concord.
Mr. and Mrs. Fairbanks are prominent in the social circles of their community,
are prosperous financially, and have a very pleasant home. Mr. Daniels,
upon becoming a voting citizen, allied himself with the old Whig party,
with which he remained until its abandonment by the organization of the
Republicans. To the latter he has since given his unqualified support,
voting with it for a period of thirty_three yeas. He is a Baptist in religion,
and has for a long time held the office of Deacon in the church at Jacksonville
and in this precinct.
BAZZILL DAVENPORT, Esq. The fifty six years of the residence of this gentleman in Jacksonville compass his entire life, as here his birth took place, Jan. 26, 1832. His parents were Ira and Nancy (Henderson) Davenport, natives respectively of Virginia and Ohio. Ira Davenport left the Dominion with his parents when a child, they emigrating to Ohio, where he was reared to manhood in Pickaway County. He there remained until 1829, assisting his father in developing one of its best farms. There also he was married.
The parents of our subject came to this county in the year above mentioned, bringing with them two children. The father now departing somewhat from his former occupation, engaged in general merchandising and milling, and acquired a good property, continuing to reside in the vicinity of Jacksonville until his death. In company with one Mr. Fitzsimmons, he operated the City and Morgan Mills. He was a prominent man in the county, and in 1845 was elected Sheriff, serving two years. In 1848 he was elected to the same office to fill a vacancy, and held it successively for a period of seven years. He also engaged in pork packing. A man energetic, capable, and of excellent judgment, he was closely identified with the growth and development of Morgan County, together with that of the city of Jacksonville. He was an active spirit in most of its leading enterprises, and among other responsible positions held the office of Treasurer of the Blind Asylum for many years before his death. He was then succeeded by his son, David S., who held the position until his death, in 1876. Upon the death of David it was given to Bazzill, our subject. The three discharged its duties for a period of twenty-five years.
Ira Davenport, politically, was an Old Line Whig during his early manhood, and later affiliated with the Republicans. Both parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mother is deceased, her death occurring in December, 1835. The parental household included seven children. Bazzill pursued his first studies in the subscription schools of this county. About 1850 our subject and his brother, Brackston, started for California, going overland by team, setting out on the 9th of April. They arrived in Sacramento City on the 22d of August following, but soon afterward returned east as far as Ringold, Cal., where they established a grocery and provision house, which they operated until the spring of the year following. Then, dividing the spoils, they struck out in different directions, entered the mines, and were engaged in searching for gold until 1857. They were quite successful in their labors, and deciding to return home, took passage on a steamer, crossing the Isthmus on the 4th of July.
Soon after his return to Jacksonville, our subject began clerking for his father in the flour and feed store, and was thus employed until the spring of 1872. He was then elected City Assessor and Collector, which office he held four years. The two years following were occupied in the settlement of the estate of his brother David. Mr. Davenport was elected Justice of the Peace in 1877, holding the office four years and being re-elected. In 1885 he was appointed Public Administrator for the county - first under Gov. Beveridge, and has received the appointment from each successive Governor since.
The 31st of December, 1861, witnessed the matrimonial alliance of our subject with Miss Mary E. Metcalf, a native of Greene County, this State. Mrs. Davenport was born Dec. 30, 1842, and was the daughter of William and Sarah (Buchanan) Metcalf, natives of Kentucky. Their family consisted of four children, and she was the eldest. She received a good education, being for a time a pupil in the Jacksonville Female College, and remained under the parental roof until her marriage. Of this union there were born two children, sons - Ira W. and Fred. The elder is now a student at Yale College, and a very bright and promising young man, and has been elected Superintendent of the Public Schools of the city of Jacksonville. He was graduated first from the High School at Jacksonville, then from the Illinois College, and subsequently became a teacher in the Blind Asylum, where he continued two years. He commenced in the primary department, and in three months had been promoted as one of the principal instructors of the institution. He resigned this position to enter Yale. Fred completed his studies in Illinois College, and now is a student of the Renssalaer Polytecnic Institute at Troy, N. Y.
Mrs. Davenport was a lady of many excellent qualities, and a prominent
member of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church for a number of years.
Her death took place on the 30th of June, 1885. Of this body our subject
also has been a member and was Treasurer for many years. Politically, he
votes the straight Republican ticket, and in the I. O. O. F. has been through
all the Chairs of his lodge - Urania, No. 243 - of which he is now Deputy,
besides holding the same office in Ridgely Encampment, No. 9 and the Jacksonville
Rebecca Degree, No. 13. The family residence is No. 503 East State Street.
The Squire's office is on the north side of the Square, No. 43½.
He is a general favorite in the social and business circles of his community.
WILLIAM DAWSON is the son of a worthy pioneer of Scott County, an early settler of Winchester Precinct who bore an active part in its development, and for nearly forty years he has himself been closely identified with its farming and stock_raising interests. He has inherited and is successfully managing his father's old homestead which was purchased from the Government in the early years of the settlement of this section of the country, and has been improved from a wild tract of prairie to a fine, highly productive farm, supplied with substantial buildings, good machinery, and, in fact, with all the necessary conveniences for carrying on agriculture to the best advantage. It comprises 152 acres of rich, arable land, one and three_fourths miles north of Winchester, and is well stocked with cattle, horses and hogs of good grades.
Our subject comes of a good old Delaware family, and inherits from a sterling ancestry those fine traits of character that make him an honorable man and a good citizen. And he is himself a native of that State, born in Sussex County, Aug. 26, 1813, to Zachariah and Polly (Beauchamp) Dawson, who were likewise of Delaware birth. The father was bred to the life of a farmer and was in good circumstances, and did not need to move to a distant State to better his condition, but he was a man of spirit and enterprise and the stirring life of a pioneer in a newly settled country had attractions for him, and in 1837, he came with his family to Illinois. He invested some of his money in forty acres of land in Scott County, then a part of Morgan County, and he and his wife set up their household goods in the little log house that he bought for the shelter of his family. They made many valuable improvements, were much prospered in their new home, and accumulated a fine estate of 300 acres of valuable land, and here their remaining years were passed in peace and plenty, the father first closing his eyes in death, dying Sept. 10, 1874, at a ripe old age, and the mother following him to the life beyond April 11, 1878, in her eighty_seventh year. To that worthy couple eleven children were born, nine sons and two daughters.
He of whom we write was the eldest of the family, and he remained an inmate of the parental household in Delaware till he was twenty_three years old, gleaning his education by frequent attendance at a subscription school. He worked for his father giving him able assistance in the management of his farming interests till he was twenty_one, when he began life on his own account, finding employment in working by the month on his grandfather's farm, and occasionally making a trip in a schooner carrying wood to various points on the Delaware River. In the fall of 1835, our subject shipped on a schooner running between Concord, Del., and Baltimore, Md. But in April, 1836, he gave up the life of a sailor and proceeding to Cincinnati, worked in a shipyard the ensuing fifteen years. May 11, 1837, he was married to his first wife, Miss Nancy, daughter of David and Susan Hill, of Delaware. Four children were born of that marriage, but they and their mother are now dead, Mrs. Dawson dying in 1843. Oct. 24, 1843, Mr. Dawson was a second time married, taking unto himself as a wife, Miss Allie Hastings, daughter of James and Allie Hastings, of Delaware. The three children born of that union all died in infancy, and the mother also departed this life, her death occurring Jan. 26, 1849. In that year Mr. Dawson came to Illinois, and Sept., 11, he was wedded to his present wife, formerly Miss Eliza N. Penton, daughter of Mathias and Holland Penton, of an honorable and well_known Delaware family. Soon after his marriage Mr. Dawson returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, and remained there until 1851. In the spring of that year he came back to Illinois and settled on the old homestead which has since come into his possession, and has been a valued resident of this township from that time. He has given his entire attention to his farm where he engages successfully in mixed husbandry, and is justly numbered among the solid substantial citizens of this place.
He is well endowed with firmness, energy and enterprise, and notwithstanding the necessary infirmities that accompany advanced age, he is still active and vigorous, working for work's sake from long years of industrious habit, although the snows of seventy_six winters have frosted his head. He is fully trusted by his fellow_men because he has always carried himself as an upright, God_fearing man should in the eyes of the world, and has conducted himself towards others so as to secure their good will and respect. He takes an active part in politics and is an unswerving support of the Republican party, and the temperance issue has no stronger advocate in word and deed than he. He has contributed his quota for the material advancement of the township, and has done good service both as Road Overseer and school Director. He and his wife are sincere and consistent Christians, and active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been trustee. He is identified with the I.O.O.F., belonging to Winchester Lodge, No. 70.
In the accumulation of a competence Mr. Dawson has had the invaluable
aid of one of the best and most capable of wives who has labored faithfully
by his side during all the long years of their wedded life that number
forty. Age has dealt kindly with Mrs. Dawson, and she is in good health,
and retains much of her old vigor. The following is the record of the eight
children she has born her husband, six of whom are now living: Laura Augusta,
born Nov. 18, 1850, died April 5, 1864; Belle Zera, born July 8, 1853,
died Aug. 14, 1871; Miles Messick, who lives three and one_fourth miles
northwest of Winchester, was born Jan. 1, 1855, married Jane Hornbeck,
and they have four children; Luella born April 12, 1852, is the wife of
R. T. G. Coultas, who lives one_fourth miles west of Riggston, and they
have seven children; Charles Coverton, who lives in Buffalo County, Neb.,
was born May 29, 1856, married Nellie Hawk, and they have two children;
George May, who lives two and one_half miles northeast of Winchester, married
Sarah Campbell, and they have three children; Theophilus, born Jan. 10,
1860, is unmarried and lives at home with his parents; Thomas, who lives
a mile and a half northwest of Winchester, was born Jan. 23, 1862, and
married Ida Haney.
WILLIAM C. DAY, M.D., a prominent physician and surgeon, of Scott County, was born at Hopefield, Ark., Jan. 24, 1837. His parents, Preston J. and Agnes (Boatman) Day, were natives respectively of the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, while both were descendants from Irish parentage. The family name of the former was originally O'Day, the prefix having been dropped since coming to America. Born to the senior and Mrs. Day were two sons, the subject of this sketch, and Dr. James L. Day, a prominent and successful physician of St. Louis, Mo.
Dr. William C. Day, was thoroughly educated in a full literary course at Lebanon (Mo.) Academy, the senior Day having removed to Missouri in 1840, and began the study of medicine at Hartville, Wright County, that State, when about nineteen years of age. In 1861 he was graduated from Missouri Medical College, as a doctor of Medicine; and in 1871 received the ad_e_undem degree from St. Louis Medical College, and in 1880 attended the Chicago Medical College, having previously listened to several extra lecture courses in St. Louis. Thus it will be discovered that as a student of medicine and surgery, Dr. Day improved his opportunities, and that he has profited thereby, is fully confirmed and attested by his high rank and standing in the noble profession which he has chosen. He began practice in Texas County, Mo., and in June, 1862, notwithstanding the fact that the region in which he was located was in sympathy with secession, he entered the army fully determined to do all in his power to suppress the Rebellion. His first rank was that of Assistant Surgeon of the Missouri S.M. Cavalry. With this command he remained until March 23, 1863, at which time he was mustered into the Fourth Mo. S.M.Cavalry, and with that organization held the rank of Assistant Surgeon until mustered out at Warrensburg, Mo., April 18, 1865. During the summer and fall of 1862, he was Post Surgeon at Springfield, Mo., and on Jan. 8, 1863, participated in the battle fought at that place. During the year 1863 he was five months on detached duty as Examining Surgeon and personally passed upon over 8,000 negro volunteers that were accepted into the army. While in the service the command with which he was identified fought many stubbornly contested and decisive engagements with Shelby, Price, and Quantrell, in Missouri and Arkansas, and the conclusion may be easily reached that those enterprising leaders furnished the active young surgeon an abundance of work to do in the line of his profession. Dr. Day's record as a medical officer in the army is one to which his friends can proudly point. His humanity and skill will long be remembered by the poor fellows who were unfortunate enough to require his services, during that long and bloody period. Old soldiers as a rule were prejudiced against all surgeons as being heartless, bluff and inconsiderate, but none of these faults can be truthfully ascribed to Dr. Day. He simply rests upon his record.
In May, 1865, Dr. Day located at Palmyra, Ill., in partnership with Dr. R.J. Allmond of that place, whose daughter he married on the 20th of February, 1866. He remained at Palmyra nine years, removing to Greenfield, this State, in May, 1874. In the spring of 1880 he removed to Peoria, and a year later came to Winchester. Here he at once took high rank in his profession, and that he has successfully maintained that position, is easily proven by his popularity and success. Dr. Day is by great odds the leading physician and surgeon of Winchester at this time, and there is but little fear that he will in the near future see a successful rival. His conscientious devotion to duty, coupled with monumental industry, make it impossible for him to have much apprehension of competitors. He devotes his time to his practice, which is general and extends for miles around.
Dr. Day is identified with various medical societies, is a Royal
Arch Mason; Surgeon of the G.A.R. Post of this place; a prominent member
of the Winchester Literary Union, and the author of several able scientific
papers read before medical societies and published in leading medical journals.
By his wife, who died in 1879, Dr. Day has four children, to_wit: Lewis
R., a student of medicine; James A., also a student of medicine; Anna A.,
and Gertrude L. The present Mrs. Day, to whom the doctor was married at
Greenfield, July 2, 1880, was Miss Bessie E. Harris, a lady of superior
educational attainments, and a native of Pennsylvania.
OSCAR A. DELEUW, Attorney and Counselor at law, holds a good position among his legal brethren in Jacksonville and vicinity. A native of Sheboygan, Wis., he was born Dec. 8, 1847, and is the son of Dr. Leopold W. and Johanna M. (Lubick) DeLeuw, natives of Prussia. The parents emigrated to America shortly after their marriage, settling in Milwaukee, Wis., where the father practiced as a physician and surgeon. He was a well-educated man, having been a student at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin.
Dr. DeLeuw continued in practice at Milwaukee until about 1854, then removing to Madison County, Ill., sojourned there for a time, but later changed his residence to Alton, where he resided with his family until the outbreak of the Civil War. They then removed to Carlinville, Macoupin County, and thence in 1865, to Jacksonville. Here the father established a drug business in connection with his practice, but in 1870, selling out both practice and store, took up his residence in the city of St. Louis, Mo., where he followed his profession until his death, which occurred in 1887. The mother had died in Carlinville in 1863.
The parental family included seven children, six of whom are living, named respectively, Oscar A., Hattie L., Josephine, Huldah, Guido and Charles. Edmund J., the eldest born, died at the age of thirty-one years. He also was a practicing physician, and at one time hospital steward in the Government service on the Mississippi River, in the 133d Illinois Infantry. He also carried on a drug store at Jacksonville. He remained in the service until the close of the war, and died in 1878. Guido, a resident of St. Louis, Mo., is agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Charles is a merchant and resides at Rochester, Minn.
The subject of this biography attended the common schools of Madison County, the High School at Alton, and the Blackburn Theological Seminary at Carlinville. He was a lad of fourteen years at the outbreak of the Civil War, and in the year of 1863 enlisted as a Union soldier in Company A., 122 Illinois Infantry, being on detached duty. Later he was transferred to the 121st United States Infantry, and promoted to First Lieutenant. After the close of the war he was mustered out and received his honorable discharge at Louisville, Ky., Oct. 5, 1865. He met the enemy in the smoke of battle at Tupelo, in Mississippi; was present at the storming of Spanish Fort and the city of Mobile, and traveled over a goodly portion of the State of Kentucky, fighting guerillas and bushwhackers. With the exception of a slight wound over the eye with a piece of shell, he escaped uninjured.
In the year of 1866 Mr. DeLeuw entered the law school at Harvard,
Mass., from which he was graduated in 1868. The year following he was admitted
to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and established
himself at Jacksonville, of which he has since been a resident. Here he
was elected City Attorney in 1871, serving one year. He was married in
August, 1872, at the home of the bride, in Winchester, to Miss Bessie M.
Tribbey, a native of this county, and the daughter of Dr. George S. and
Eleanor (Stratton) Tribbey, who were natives of Kentucky, and are not deceased.
Mrs. DeLeuw was born Sept. 14, 1850, and by her union with our subject
became the mother of six children, who are named respectively, Oscar, Johanna
M., Eleanor S., William L., Georgiana S. and Elizabeth T. They form a bright
and intelligent group, and are all at home with their parents. The family
residence is pleasantly located at No. 817 Routt Street. Mr. DeLeuw is
a Republican in politics and occupies a good position among his legal brethren
in Morgan County.
THOMAS DENBY is one of the class of farmers who believe that mixed husbandry is the only safe method for an Illinois farmer to pursue. He is an extensive stock_raiser of this part of Morgan County, making a specialty of swine, and intelligently following this business, in which he has accumulated a fortune. He is a man who reads the literature bearing on the business in which he is engaged, and he is reaping the benefit of this most commendable plan of doing. There are many people engaged in agricultural pursuits who are firmly intrenched in the belief that no real knowledge is gained from books that bear upon practical farming. Of course, they are wrong, and Mr. Denby is one who believes that this idea is erroneous.
Mr. Denby has always bred the Poland_China breed of hogs, and he believes _ and his experience is corroborative of this belief _ that this strain of hogs is the best. He has been feeding swine since 1845, and during that long period has given this branch of stock_raising his undivided attention. He has the deserved reputation of raising the finest and largest hogs in Illinois, as a few figures will illustrate: In 1852 or 1853 he shipped to Beardstown, Ill., a lot of comprising eighty hogs that weighed on an average 437 ½ pounds net, and the heaviest of these animals weighed 610 pounds, while the lightest was 404 pounds. This is said to be the heaviest lot of hogs ever shipped from Beardstown.
Mr. Denby owns 202 acres of land on section 21, township 15, range 11, and it is safe to say that there is not a better cultivated piece of land in this region than his. Upon this farm is erected a brick house which is a model of comfort and convenience, and the barns, sheds, etc., are all in keeping with the place. The farm is well watered and is admirably adapted to the business in which Mr. Denby is engaged. He spares no pains to buy the best appliances to carry on his farm, believing that the best is none too good for a farmer and stock raiser who would succeed.
Mr. Denby was born in Yorkshire, England, July 17, 1822. He is the son of Thomas and Ellen (Conderd) Denby; the former is a native of Lincolnshire, and the latter of Yorkshire, where they were married. After the senior Denby marriage, he began to farm in Yorkshire, and there all his children, four in number, were born. In 1832 he concluded to try his fortune in America, and accordingly, on April 3, shipped at Liverpool on board a sailing vessel, and started for the New World. While on the Atlantic, their ship encountered a terrible storm, which continued unrelentingly for eight days and nine nights. During this storm there seemed to be no hope that the ship would ever reach land, but the passengers, of whom there were a great many, were stout Englishmen and Scotchmen, and by hard and persistent work at the pumps they managed to keep the boat from sinking. They finally reached New York City on the 1st of August, having been nearly three months on the ocean. The ship contained over a thousand people, who suffered all the tortures of death. After the senior Denby had landed he proceeded at once to Morgan County, which he had heard spoken of as the garden spot of the United States. Here he purchased 200 acres of land, the same now occupied by his son Thomas. The father, in 1847, decided to go back to England, and while making the trip was attacked by a fever, and died while on the Atlantic. His body was buried at sea. He was then about fifty_three years of age, and seemingly had before him years of happiness, but Providence decreed otherwise. His wife died in Jacksonville in the fall of 1847, the same years in which her husband passed away. They were universally regarded as persons of intelligence and virtue.
Mr. Thomas Denby was only ten years of age when he came to America
with his parents. His first marriage occurred in Morgan County and was
to Martha R. Sparks. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1821. She died
in 1846, and left behind her the reputation of being a hard working and
intelligent woman. She left one son, George T., who died at the age of
twenty_one. The second marriage of Mr. Denby was to Mary J. Wells, who
was born in 1821, in Morgan County, where she has remained since. She is
the mother of five children, two of whom are dead, namely: Sarah E., wife
of George W. Kilham, who died leaving a son and a daughter; and Thomas
E., who died when he was two and a half years old. The living are: Mary
E., wife of George V. Ramson; they live on a farm in the same township
as their parents; Anna M. is the wife of T.O. Graves, who is also farming
in the same township; Ann E. is the wife of John W. Leach; they are also
living on a farm here. Mrs. Denby is a member of the Methodist Protestant
Church, and there is not a lady in all the country around who is more respected
than she. Mr. Denby politically affiliates with the Democratic party.
WILLIAM F. DETERDING is successfully engaged in the occupation of a stock-raiser and farmer on section 24, township 16, and range 12. He is a native of Illinois, having been born in Jacksonville, Oct. 29, 1849. There is a class of foreign born citizens, who after emigrating to America, stand in their own light by immediately settling down in the large cities. Here they live in squalor and dependence all their lives. But there is another class, and notably among the Germans, who use better judgment. They push out to the Western country where land is cheap, and there rear homes for themselves and children that will always remain a monument to their foresight and industry. The younger generation that succeeds this class of pioneers reaps the benefits of the sacrifices made by its ancestors, and the men ultimately become the leaders of their community in the way of possessing goods of this world. Morally they are the superior of the descendants of those who remain in the large cities and consequently are better citizens. Mr. Deterding is one of the younger generation referred to. He is the son of George (deceased) and Louisa Deterding, who were natives of Germany, and who were married in their native land. They emigrated to America and settled in Jacksonville, Ill., when there were but three houses there, and have witnessed the transformation of a wild prairie to a busy, bustling city.
George Deterding, the father of the one whose name appears at the head of this sketch, worked for many years on the Wabash Railroad, between Jacksonville and Quincy, and while so doing resided in Jacksonville. He subsequently purchased a farm on section 10, township 16 and range 12, and lived there until his death, which occurred shortly after purchasing the farm. His record was that of one of the best citizens of Jacksonville, and as a pioneer he ranked among the first. He was the father of five children: Louisa, wife of William Krona, they are now residing in Cass County, this State; William F., Caroline, wife of John Aufdenkamp, who are residents of Seward, Neb.; Margaret wife of Frederick Maner. They are living in Cass County, Ill.; George is living in Missouri.
The mother of the subject of this sketch again married, taking for her second husband Henry Wegehoft, by whom she has had three children. Two are living: Mary, wife of John Musch, residing in this county, and Addie who is at home. In the death of the senior Deterding, Morgan County was deprived of a good man. He came to this country without means, and from a very small beginning accumulated a good property and left his family in comfortable circumstances. He was entitled to the distinction of being one of the very foremost of the German pioneers who came early to Morgan County, and his acquaintance was extensive. He died in the faith of his fathers, that of the Lutheran Church.
William F. Deterding as has been before stated, was reared to manhood under adverse circumstances, as the life of a pioneer is not conducive to the gaining of an education or a knowledge of the world. He is not obliged to indulge in any flight of imagination when he says that this part of the country was at one time a wilderness, and that wild game was abundant, notably deer, and that he has seen numbers of this game where now are herds of cattle. When he was a boy, schools and churches were scarce, now educational and religious advantages are to be found on every hand. He was married Feb. 14, 1878, to Miss Dora Bayless, daughter of John Bayless, by whom he has had four children: Della, Elton, Alma and George. He owns a good farm of 160 acres, under first class cultivation, and the buildings are in keeping with the place. He has accumulated all of this property by his own efforts, assisted by his wife.
Mr. Deterding belongs to the German Lutheran Church. Politically,
he is a Democrat but does not take any active part in politics. In summing
up his history it may be said that he is a successful man and a good citizen.
JAMES H. DEVORE. This gentleman is widely and favorably known throughout Woodson Precinct and vicinity as the owner of a good farm property, pleasantly located on section 22. He emigrated to this region during the period of its earliest settlement, being among the first of those adventurous spirits who firmly believed in the future of this State. He recognized coming possibilities in its rich soil, which, under a proper course of cultivation, would in time yield to the agriculturist the wealth he sought. Time has proved the correctness of his theory, and he may with pardonable pride, consider himself one of those who assisted in developing the rich resources of the county.
Mr. Devore is the owner of about 300 acres of choice land, which he has improved with substantial buildings, and here lives comfortably without making any pretensions to style or elegance. A view of his residence appears on another page, and is a good representation of the comfortable home of a practical farmer. He has made it the rule of his life to live within his income, and has not only kept his estate unembarrassed, but has increased its value each year. Nature endowed him with sound common sense, and he was at an early age trained to habits of industry and economy, which have served him well during his struggle to obtain a competence.
A native of Fayette County, Ky., our subject was born June 24, 1829, and was the eldest child of Uriah J. and Sarah J. (Mallory) Devore, who were natives of the same county as their son. Soon after marriage they settled about nine miles from the city of Lexington, where they lived until October, 1831. The father, resolving to see something of the great West, came with his family to this county, and settled in what is now Jacksonville Precinct, where he took up quite a large tract of land, some four or five hundred acres. From that time he confined his attention strictly to agricultural pursuits, building up a good homestead, where he spent the remainder of his days, passing away on the 5th of April, 1881; the mother is still living, making her home with our subject, and is now quite well advanced in years. They were the parents of two sons and two daughters, two of whom reside in this county, a daughter lives in Missouri, and one is dead.
Our subject was a child two years of age when his parents came to this county, and consequently grew up with the country. He spent his boyhood and youth under the parental roof, and when of suitable years and strength began to assist his father in the various employments of the farm. He acquired his education in the common school, and shortly before reaching the twenty-second year of his age was married, May 27, 1851, to Miss Catherine J. VanWinkle.
Mrs. Devore was born in Wayne County, Ky., Dec. 4, 1832, and is the daughter of Jason and Elizabeth (Simpson) VanWinkle, who were natives of Kentucky, but early settlers of this county. They located in township 15, range 9, where both spent the remainder of their days. Mrs. Devore was the third in a family of seven children, and by her union with out subject has become the mother of three sons and four daughters, namely: William T., Sarah E., Mary J., Annie R., James H., Robert L. and Lucy M. Both our subject and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. Devore is a Trustee, and he contributes liberally toward its support and maintenance.
Politically our subject affiliates with the Democratic party. He has held the office of County commissioner five years, and has officiated as Township Trustee and Treasurer, besides discharging the duties of many other local offices. Socially, he belongs to Murrayville Lodge No. 432, A.F. & A.M.
JAMES P. DEWEES is the son of a pioneer of Morgan County, who came here in the early days of its settlement, and in the prosecution of his calling as a farmer accumulated a handsome property, and left besides an honorable name as a legacy to his children. He, of whom we write is one of the oldest native citizens of this county, and has been counted among its successful grain-growers and stock-breeders these many years. He has a farm on section 31, township 16, north, range 8, west, that is not exceeded in value or productiveness by any other of equal size in the vicinity, and the home that he has built up here is one of the most beautiful in the township.
Our subject is of Kentucky lineage, on both the paternal and maternal side. His father, Nimrod Dewees, was born in Barren County, that State, in 1801, a son of John Dewees, an early settler of that region. He was there reared and married to Elizabeth Murphy. In 1830, animated by the pioneer spirit of his forefathers, he with his wife and four children left their old home and penetrated the wilds of Illinois as far as this county, and located near where the county infirmary now is. There the mother gave up the struggle for life in March, 1837. She was a truly good woman and a sincere member of the Christian Church, of which her father was a preacher in Kentucky. The father married a second time, mrs. Eliza (Sanders) Kerr, becoming his wife, and by her he had four children, of whom one survives. Mrs. Dewees died, leaving the memory of a just and good woman, and one who as a member of the Christian Church, had led an exemplary life. Mr. Dewees married again, Mary J. Talbot, becoming his third wife. She is a thoroughly good woman, and an esteemed member of the Christian Church. She lives in Jacksonville with her daughter, Mrs. M. L. D. Keiser, who is her only surviving child. In March, 1866, the father of our subject rounded out a useful and busy life. He was ever an influence for good in this community, materially advancing its interests, and his death was sincerely lamented by the many friends and acquaintances that he had made in Morgan County, during his thirty-six years' residence here. He was a member of the Christian Church, and led a pure and spotless life in consonance with its teachings. His son, William W., who was born in Kentucky in 1822, and that son's son Henry, served in the late war, as members of the 101st Illinois Infantry. William died in Piatt County, Ill. In March, 1888.
James Dewees was reared on his father's farm to the life of a farmer, and from him inherited property that gave him a good start in life. After his marriage he and his bride began their wedded life on a farm now owned by Frank Robinson. In the following fall our subject went to Texas, and stayed in the Lone Star State till the spring of 1860, and then came back to his native State and with his family settled in Sangamon County. Five years later, he came with them to this county and settled on his present farm, where he has ever since lived. The farm comprises 240 acres of land in a high state of cultivation and all fenced, and a commodious, well-appointed frame house and a large barn have taken place of the one-story frame house and small barn that formerly stood on the place. Here he and his family have one of the most charming and beautiful homes in this locality. The lawns are tastefully laid out with walks and lovely large flower beds, flower stands, etc. and adorned with fine shade trees and everything to make the place attractive.
In these years our subject has had the able assistance of the best of wives, to whom he was united in marriage near Carrollton, Greene County, Ill., Sept. 29, 1858, and they have reared a family of six children to honorable and useful lives, as follows: George E. (see sketch), S. N., Lizzie A., Frank L., Norman and Hettie. Mrs. Dewees' maiden name was Nancy J. Trimble, and she is a daughter of Harvey and Margaret (Rice) Trimble, natives of Kentucky. Her father was born in 1811, and her mother in 1810, and she died Dec. 5, 1887. The father is an esteemed resident of Greene County, Ill., of which he was a pioneer.
Mr. Dewees is a thoroughly practical man, skillful in his calling,
and he well knows how to work to advantage so as to produce the best results.
Sound judgment and foresight are the prominent traits in his character,
and have led him to prosperity. He commands the respect of all with whom
he comes in contact either in business or in a social way, as he is known
to be a man of high moral character, who would not willfully wrong another.
Having been reared by pious parents in the faith of the Christian church,
he united with it early in life, but as there is no organization of that
denomination in this neighborhood, he is not as active in religious matters
as he was once. He is a Democrat in politics, though rather reserved and
wants no office.
CORNELIUS DEWEES. One of the best regulated farms in township 16, range 11, is owned and operated by the subject of this notice, who is one of the earliest settlers of this county. His homestead embraces 240 acres of thoroughly cultivated land, with good buildings and modern improvements, forest, fruit and shade trees, and all the appliances of the enterprising and progressive agriculturist. As a man and a citizen Mr. Dewees has fulfilled his obligations to the community in a praiseworthy manner, and enjoys the friendship of the best people of this region. He is thus entitled to a more than passing notice in a work of this kind.
With the exception of eight years spent in Jackson County, Mo., prior to the late Civil War, Mr. Dewees has been a resident of this county since 1829. He served in the Mexican War, but saw little active fighting. He was born in Barren County, Ky., Nov. 22, 1824, and is the son of Southern parents - Nimrod and Elizabeth (Murphy) Dewees, who were natives of North Carolina, where Grandfather Cornelius Dewees, it is believed, was also born, reared and married. When Nimrod was but a child they removed to Kentucky, where they sojourned for a number of years, and where the mother of Nimrod died when quite old.
In Barren County, Ky., the father of our subject was married to Miss Murphy, who was born in Virginia. After the birth of four children, one of whom died, the parents with their three living children came to this county, and the father entered a tract of Government land on section 1, in township 15, range 11, now owned by William Patterson (a sketch of whom appears on another page in this volume). This tract embraced 168 acres, and Mr. Dewees was obliged to go to Vandalia to secure his title and pay for his claim. It remained the home of Nimrod Dewees until 1846, and there his wife, Elizabeth, died. Subsequently he was married a second time and removed to a farm near Alexander, a few miles east of Jacksonville. In 1852 he changed his residence to Jacksonville, where he died, in 1866, at the age of sixty-five years, having been born in 1801. The name of his second wife was Eliza Sanders, and after her death he was married to Miss Mary E. Talbert, who is now a resident of West State street, Jacksonville.
Our subject is the second of nine children born to his mother, who died when he was in his boyhood. He attained to his majority in this county, in the meantime acquiring a common-school education, and becoming familiar with farm pursuits. Then desirous of seeing something of the world he started out on the 10th of April, 1849, with a company of men designing to cross the plains to California, and arrived in the Sacramento Valley on the 26th of November following. For some months thereafter he was in the employ of one man in the city of Sacramento, then engaged in mining and later began farming in the valley of San Jose, not far from the bay, and was thus occupied until the 1st of January, 1853. He now started homeward by the water route and New Orleans, and came up the Mississippi as far as Cairo, Ill., where he engaged in farming until 1863.
Mr. Dewees in the meantime was married, in 1856, in Pettes County, Mo., to Miss Mary Goodwin, who was born in Tennessee in 1831. Her parents were James B. and Mildred M. (Powell) Goodwin, who were natives of Virginia, and closely allied to the F. F. V's. Mr. Goodwin was a farmer by occupation, and both he and his wife, leaving their native State in their youth, removed to Wilson County, Tenn., where later they were married. Mrs. Dewees was their first and only child born there, as when she was an infant they removed to Morgan County, Mo., during its pioneer days. Mr. Goodwin died in 1838 when a man in the prime of life. His father, Francis Goodwin, was a patriot of the War of 1812, having enlisted in his native State of Virginia. He also migrated to Morgan County, Mo., where he died in 1855, when over seventy years of age. His wife, Elizabeth, was a native of Virginia and died when her son, James B., was a child of three years. He was the only one of her two children who lived to mature years.
Mrs. Mildred M. Goodwin, the mother of Mrs. Dewees, after the death of her first husband was married to Joshua Harrison. They, with their two children started for Texas, and while on their way there the mother died Oct. 1, 1870, after she had nearly reached her threescore years. She, with both her first and second husband, was a member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Dewees, after the death of her father, remained with her mother until her marriage. Of her union with our subject there have been born eight children, four of whom died young, viz: Anna, Lou K., Frank L. and James R. The latter died at the age of twenty-eight years; Mildred E. is the wife of James A. Powell, and they reside in Bates County, Mo.; Ernest G. married Miss Nettie Patterson, and they live on the farm of our subject; Cora B. and Mary A. also remain with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Dewees, with their children, are active members of the Christian Church, and our subject, politically, is an uncompromising Democrat.
GEORGE E. DEWEESE. Among the rising young farmers of the present generation who, within the last decade, have become important factors in sustaining and extending the material interests of Morgan County, the gentleman whose name is at the head of this sketch occupies no mean position. He is bright, alert and talented, and possesses fine business qualifications that have already won him a reputation for sound judgment, keen discrimination and far reaching forethought. He owns a valuable farm of 200 acres, on section 19, township 16 north, range 8 west, which is partly under cultivation and the remainder devoted to pasturage; is neatly fenced, and supplied with a fine set of buildings, including a roomy, well-appointed house, a commodious barn, etc. It is admirably adapted to the requirements of a stock farm, and Mr. Dewees pays much attention to breeding superior road-horses of a fine Hambletonian strain, intending in the future to devote himself almost wholly to that rather than to cultivating the soil.
Our subject is the on of James and Nancy J. (Trimble) Deweese, for whose personal history see sketch of James Deweese on another page of this work. He was born near Waverly, this county, June 5, 1862, but was reared in this township, receiving the foundation of his education in the district school, and afterwards completing it by a course in Illinois College at Jacksonville, and subsequently pursuing his studies at the Jacksonville Business College. He was thus fitted for any calling that he might adopt, and brings a well-trained mind to his work. Ever since leaving college, in 1879, he has been engaged as noted in the commencement of this article, and in 1882 he began farming on his present farm, and since his marriage has lived here. He makes a specialty of breeding standard road-horses, keeps several mares of good blood, and his stallion, Dictator, a bay horse, three years old, which he keeps chiefly for breeding purposes, is of the famous Hambletonian stock, noted as producing some of the fastest trotters in America. His farm is in a fine condition, and is amply supplied with everything necessary for carrying it on to the best advantage, and the buildings and all are in good repair. Mr. Deweese is quite a mechanical genius, and though never learning the carpenter's trade, he has built an addition to his barn; and put another building all by himself.
Nov. 10, 1887, Mr. Deweese was united in marriage to Miss Hattie, daughter of John Virgin, of whom see sketch on another page of this volume. She presides with charming grace over their home, and renders it comfortable for him and attractive to their numerous friends who enjoy its generous hospitality.
In Mr. Deweese, his native county finds one of its progressive, wide-awake
sons, who is honest-hearted, whole-souled and public-spirited, and is in
every way a very desirable citizen. He has good mental endowments and strong
opinions of his own on all subjects that interest him, which he expresses
frankly on proper occasions, though not so as to give offense. He is a
member of the K. of P. Lodge at Jacksonville, and also of the Anti-Horse
Thief Association of this neighborhood.
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