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)
JAMES DeWOLF. Among the well_to_do farmers and stock_raisers of Scott County is James DeWolf, who owns in section 32, Winchester Precinct, one of the finest and most productive farms to be found in this section of Illinois. It comprises 280 acres of very fertile soil, and is supplied with all necessary appliances for conducting agriculture to the best advantage. Here he sows and reaps as the seasons come and go and here he gathers in his bountiful harvests of grain. He has erected a handsome residence, a roomy, substantially built barn, and everything about the well_ordered place is indicative of his thrift and industry. Our subject has given considerable attention to stock raising and has some valuable dairy cows, usually milking about ten. Mrs. DeWolf for her skill in butter making, even in the hottest weather, is famous in all the country round, and makes forty pounds a week of as fine butter as goes into the market.
Our subject and his wife both come of good New England stock, and are themselves natives of that section of the country. Mr. DeWolf was born in Berkshire, Vt., and Mrs. DeWolf in Westboro, Mass. He was the fifth child in a family of five sons and two daughters, (three of whom are now living) born to Roswell and Henrietta (Colburn) DeWolf,natives, respectively, of Vermont and Massachusetts. He is a lined descendant of the famous Hannah Dustin of Haverhill, Mass., who won historical fame on account of her capture by the Indians in the winter of 1697, after continued wanderings amid the gloomy surroundings of winter. Threats of torture aroused her and her companions to desperate action. One night they beheaded several of their sleeping captors, and escaped through the wilderness to their friends. A few years since a beautiful monument commemorative of the deed was erected to her memory in the thriving city that stands on the site of her former home. The parents of our subject never came west, but lived and died in their pleasant New England home. The father passed away in 1829 at the age of forty_eight, and the mother survived him but a few years. Being thus early orphaned James DeWolf was obliged to do what he could for his maintenance when he was only seven years old. He used to work during the summer, and in the winter gleaned a fair education by attending the district school. As soon as old enough he commenced to learn the carpenter's trade in Massachusetts, and worked at it steadily until he came West. Nov. 26, 1848 he took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Hannah Wadsworth, in whom he has found a true helpmate, one who has actively assisted him in the upbuilding of their pleasant home. She was born April 27, 1827 to John and Persis (Kimball) Wadsworth, of Grafton, Mass., the youngest of their nine children, four sons and five daughters. Her father was a farmer in the old Bay State, and there his death occurred in 1829 while yet in life's prime, he being forty_eight years old. The mother survived him until 1858, when she too passed away at the ripe old age of seventy_six years.
In 1855 Mr. and Mrs. DeWolf came to Illinois with their family to cast their lot with the pioneers of Scott County. He bought 120 acres of his present farm, on which stood an old log cabin. Into this the family moved and began the hard struggle to develop a farm from the wild prairies. They suffered many hardships and privations, and had to sacrifice much to gain a solid footing in their new home. Mrs. DeWolf was very homesick at first and her regretful thoughts constantly wandered to the comforts of her old Massachusetts home. She became thoroughly convinced that nothing too bad could be said about the country here, and that the old saying was true that "it was death to women and horses in this section." By hard work our subject managed to break up his land and get it under good cultivation, though he often had to figure his expenses very closely to make both ends meet, being compelled at times to deprive himself and family of many things that they had been used to consider the actual necessities of life. But his early labors have been duly rewarded, and he has added other land to it from time to time; purchasing at one time thirty seven and one half acres of land at $40 an acre, at another time eighty acres at $75 an acre, besides some timber land and a tract of land in Greene County.
Our subject and his wife have had five children, four of whom are now living, as follows: Persis is the wife of William Mehrroff, of Greene County, and they have six children; Edwin lives with his parents on the homestead; Mary A. wife of R.H. Rousey, and mother of two children, also lives under the parental roof; Henrietta married Stephen Cooper, of Greene County, and they have one child. Their daughter Mary is a fine scholar and finished her education in Jacksonville at the Washington High School. She has a first_grade certificate and has taught school five years in Greene, Morgan and Scott counties, and is accounted one of the successful teachers of this section of the State.
Mr. DeWolf is a keen, shrewd, far_seeing man and seems to have a knack for making money. He has led a busy life, and has had too much to do in attending to his own affairs to mingle in the public life of the precinct and assist in the administration of its government, the only office that he has held being that of Road Overseer. He is a live, energetic man, who has carved his own way in the world from the days of his childhood by sheer force of will, unremitting industry, and prudent management, and to_day stands among the most substantial and prosperous men of his calling in his neighborhood. He takes an interest in all political matters and votes the Republican ticket, being a firm believer in Republicanism.
An interesting feature of this volume is a view of Mr. DeWolf's residence, with its pleasant surroundings.
JAMES DINWIDDIE, the son of a pioneer of Morgan County, is a prosperous member of its farming community, and is one of the leading citizens and public officials of his township. Since the old homestead that belonged to his father came into his possession he has augmented its size by a further purchase of seventy acres of land, and now owns a farm of 250 acres that is in all respects one of the best ordered and most desirable in this locality.
Mr. Dinwiddie's paternal grandfather, William Dinwiddie, was a native of Ireland, and, after coming to this country, he located in Kentucky, was twice married, and spent his last days in that State, of which he was a pioneer, having been an early settler of Bourbon County. His first wife was Martha McConnell, and they had seven children: William, Thomas, James, Samuel, Joseph, Julia, and Martha A. His second marriage was to Miss Reynolds, by whom he had two sons, John and David. His son, Thomas C., came to Illinois from the old Kentucky home about the year 1826, and was engaged in blacksmithing in Galena the ensuing nine months. At the expiration of that time he came to this county, and located on the farm where our subject is living. He established himself in the tannery business, and conducted it several years. In the spring of 1830 he took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Vizilla Sims, and she was of great help to him in the founding of a pleasant home, and aided him in making his life a success during the years that they walked its paths together. Her parents, the Rev. James and Dolly (Spillars) Sims, brought her from Kentucky, where she was born in 1811, to Illinois, then a territory, in 1815. They located first in Madison County; two years later removed to Sangamon County, and six years after that, in 1823, came to this county, and were among its earliest settlers. Jacksonville, now the county seat, was then only a small hamlet, with a few small log houses and one little store. Mr. Sims, who was an earnest Methodist and a fervent expounder of the Gospel, became the first preacher in this part of the county. He also engaged in farming, and had a farm north of the centre of township 16, range 10 west, on section 18, and there his wife died. He later sold that place and lived some years with his children, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Black, in Sangamon County.
The farm belonging to the father of our subject joined his father_in_law's on the west, and he and his young wife began housekeeping in a log cabin, 16 x 16 feet, with a clapboard roof, a clapboard door on the south side, and a window of six panes of glass, 8 x 10, on the north side. They lived there several years, and in that humble bode our subject was born. Later his father bought an interest in a tan_yard owned by his brother_in_law, Wesley Sims, and then removed to a farm house which he had built near the yard. He and his family lived in that many years, but in 1857 he erected and took possession of the house where our subject now lives. He was not spared to enjoy his new home many months, for in 1858 he was gathered to his fathers, having rounded out a good life that was useful to himself and beneficial to others. He was a man of influence in this community, and was greatly beloved by his neighbors. He had been Justice of the Peace of this township many years, and in that capacity always sought to promote amity among those about him. To him and his wife came nine children, as follows: William, deceased; James; Andrew, deceased; Samuel; Helen married W. K. Richardson, and died in this county; Martha A. married Mr. Thomas Richards; Thomas; Isabelle and David, deceased. The mother is a cherished member of the household of our subject, and, although she has reached the advanced age of seventy_eight years, she is still hale and active. She is a firm Christian, and an esteemed member of the Protestant Methodist Church. Her daughter, Mrs. Richards, accompanied her husband to California soon after their marriage, and on their return they staid at Salt Lake City more than a year, and their first child was born in that Mormon stronghold.
The subject of this biography was reared on the farm, and gleaned his education in the primitive log schoolhouse, with slabs for seats, and other rude furnishings. He early adopted the calling to which he had been bred, and for which he has a natural aptitude, and now owns his father's homestead and the seventy acres besides before referred to, his farm being pleasantly located in township 16, on sections 18 and 7, range 10, and on section 16, of range 11. He has his farm well tilled and well stocked with cattle of good grades, and has a fine, large frame house, a commodious barn and other suitable farm buildings, all in good order.
To the lady who presides over his pleasant home, and graciously aids him in dispensing its bounteous hospitalities, Mr. Dinwiddie was united in marriage, in January, 1865. Mrs. Dinwiddie's maiden name was Anna H. Richardson, and she was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, her parents, Josiah and Beulah (Kelsey) Richardson, natives of Pennsylvania, having located there soon after their marriage. They came to this county in February, 1866, and spent their last days here. The first of the Richardson family to come West was William K., who married our subject's sister Helen. Next came Anna Richardson on a visit to her brother William, and she never returned to her old home, as she was wooed and won by our subject. Then came Hattie Richardson, and she met with the same fate that befell her sister, our subject's brother Thomas winning her for his wife. Father Richardson was of an intensely patriotic nature, and, notwithstanding he was past fifty years old when the war broke out, he offered his services to the Government as a soldier, and, on being rejected in that capacity, he joined the 1st Artillery of Ohio as a mechanic, and did good service in that calling three years and one month, and was then discharged on account of ill_health.
Mr. Dinwiddie possesses in an eminent degree the best traits of his
ancestry, and to these, perhaps, he owes his good fortune. His fellow_citizens,
recognizing his ability, and respecting him for his unblemished character,
saw fit to elect him to the responsible office of Township Treasurer seventeen
years ago, and so satisfactory has his administration of the affairs of
that position been that they have kept him there ever since. He is prominently
connected with the A.O.U.W. as a member of Freeman Lodge No. 60 of Arcadia.
Mrs. Dinwiddie belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and leads an
exemplary Christian life. They are the parents of three children, viz:
Owen Guy, Horace Wayne, and James Garfield.
GEORGE E. DOYING, one of the proprietors of the Illinois Courier, the Illinois Legal Index (both of Jacksonville), and of the Quincy (Ill.) Herald, and editor-in-chief of the first-named paper, was born in Lower Canada, June 22, 1839. In 1854 he located in Charleston Hollow, Vt., and there learned the printing business. At the outbreak of the late war he was attending school in Pennsylvania, and gave up his studies to become a member of Co. B, Third Pennsylvania Reserves, with which command he remained three years, participating in the meantime in the historic battles of Dranesville, McClellan's Peninsula Campaign, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, South Mountain, Antietam, etc.
Leaving the army, he worked a while in the government Printing Office at Washington, and in 1866 came to Illinois. For ten years, ending in 1876, he was in the printing business at Carlisle, this State. For two years of the time, associated with others, he published The Constitution and Union, and in 1874 was one of the organizers and promoters of the Clinton County Pioneer, a German paper yet published at that place.
In 1876 he came to Jacksonville, where he has since become interested, as indicated, in the papers named in the introduction of this sketch. The Courier is a flourishing paper, with a wide and growing circulation. Its tone is neat and elegant, and although its mission would appear to be principally local, its leaders show a broad range of thought and a versatility of current and general information. Of the Legal Index the writer has no information, and of the Quincy Herald it is not his province to write in this volume.
Mr. Doying is a Knight Templar, an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias
and a Knight of Honor. At Carlisle, Ill., Dec. 2, 1869, he married Miss
Hattie Norris, and to this union have been born nine children, two of whom
died in infancy.
HON. HENRY DRESSER. No one has conferred greater benefits on that section of Scott and Morgan Counties near where he resides than the subject of this notice. It was through him more than all others that the Scott and Morgan levee and drainage district was organized, bringing large areas of waste land into cultivation, adding greatly to the wealth, as well as healthfulness of that section of the two counties. When first proposed, the scheme was regarded as visionary by most persons, and was met by a factious opposition from some who were most benefitted in the end. Judge Dresser, from his observation and knowledge of the kind of engineering required, was confident of success from the first, and the result will be a living monument to his energy, tact, and judgment, as enduring as bronze of marble.
Most any intelligent individual having the slightest acquaintance with Mr. Dresser, would acknowledge at once that he is a man of more than ordinary abilities. He is thoroughly well_informed upon all general topics, and has been endowed by nature with that temperament which seldom yields to any obstacle or abandons any project which he has conceived. By his own enterprise and industry he has accumulated a fine property, being the owner of over 1,000 acres of land, situated in Scott and Morgan counties. He is a Democrat, politically, and has represented Scott county in the Illinois Legislature two terms with credit to him self and satisfaction to his constituents.
The descendant of a good family, our subject was born in Pomfret, Conn., on the 27th day of December, 1813, and is the son of the Hon. Nathan Dresser, a native of the same place, and born in 1774. The paternal grandfather, Nathan Dresser, Sr., was likewise a native of Connecticut, and a farmer by occupation. He represented an old New England family, which traced its ancestry to England, and was first represented in America during the Colonial days, and settled on Narragansett Bay. Nathan Dresser, Jr., was a tailor by trade, which he chose rather from necessity than otherwise, having been a cripple and unable to follow other than a light pursuit. He kept gentlemen's furnishing goods, and in connection with his trade, conducted a store in Pomfret, and there spent his entire life, departing hence in 1834, at the age of sixty_four years. He was a prominent man in his community, and represented the town in the Connecticut Legislature in 1828_29.
The mother of our subject was Mrs. Rebecca (Leffingwell) Dresser, a native of Connecticut, whose father followed farming and was of English descent. She came west after the decease of her husband, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Stone, in Springfield, Ill. The parental family included five children _ Lucretia, Charles, Nathan, Mary, and Henry, our subject. The latter is the only survivor. He was reared in his native town, and given the advantages of a practical education. At the age of eighteen years he entered upon an apprenticeship as architect and builder, serving three years and becoming master of the profession. About the time of reaching his majority he repaired to Massachusetts, where he engaged as a contractor and builder, and from which State he removed, in 1838, to Illinois.
The journey of our subject to this then pioneer region was made via the Hudson River and Erie Canal to Buffalo, thence by lake steamer to Chicago, and from there overland to Springfield, Ill. At this latter point he sojourned until 1848, continuing to operate as an architect and builder. That year he changed his residence to Scott county, and purchased the land from which he has built up one of the finest homesteads within its limits. In the meantime he was employed by the directors of the Sangamon and Morgan Railroad Company, to facilitate and furnish material for the reconstruction of a portion of what was then known as the Northern Cross Railroad, situated between the Illinois River and Springfield, and he was thus occupied most of his time until the fall of 1850, when he purchased and turned his attention to the improvement of his present homestead, although he continued operating as a contractor and builder for several years.
In 1854_55 Mr. Dresser followed the river as captain of a steamboat, and thereafter, in addition to his business of contractor, was carpenter, mason and bridge_builder. Later he was Superintendent of the building of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Jacksonville. But the great enterprise in which he was mostly interested was the draining of the lands already spoken of, so that now a portion of the vast area of useless marsh has given way to cultivated and productive fields.
Mr. Dresser was first married in Brooklyn, Conn., Dec. 19, 1836,
to Miss Phebe Stone, who was born in that State, and who died in July,
1853. He was married a second time in Barry, Pike Co., this State, to Miss
Martha Heseman, a native of Sussex, England. She died in December, 1857.
Mr. Dresser contracted a third matrimonial alliance in Providence, R.I.,
with Miss Elizabeth P. Work, who was born in Eastford, Conn., and who died
in March, 1880. Mr. Dresser has no living children. He was first elected
to the Illinois Legislature in the fall of 1868, and the second time in
1875. In November, 1861, he was elected Judge of the County Court, holding
the office four years. He was a member of the Masonic lodge at Naples,
and in religious matters adheres to the doctrines of the Episcopal Church.
In early manhood he belonged to the old Whig party, voted for Henry Clay,
and erected the highest Clay pole in the State at Springfield, and which
reared its top to the height of 226 feet from the ground. In 1858 Mr. Dresser
became a Democrat. He has been active in the councils of his party in this
section, and officiated as Chairman of the Central Committee, besides holding
other offices of trust and responsibility.
CHARLES J. DRURY. One of the finest farms in Morgan County, and the property of the subject of this sketch, comprises 360 acres of choice land lying on section 27, township 15, north range, 9 west. It is largely devoted to stock_raising, and under the careful cultivation of a period of fifty_six years, is abundantly productive of any crop which the proprietor may wish to raise. He early began a system of tiling, using before pottery came into existence, fence boards, which have since been replaced by the more modern methods of drainage. The farm buildings in their style of architecture and substantial character complete the modern idea of improvements upon the country estate of to_day.
Mr. Drury and his wife occupy a position among the first families of Morgan County. The latter is the author of "A Fruitful Life," compiled from memory on the life of her father, and which is published and sold by the American Sunday_school Union of Philadelphia. Mr. Drury is a gentleman, charitable, refined, and one who from the advantages of a fine library gains rich stores of information. The home comforts that surround this family are unexcelled. Everything within and without indicates cultivated tastes and ample means, and they welcome within their hospitable doors a host of friends.
Our subject was born in Sciota County, Ohio, Oct. 6, 1822. His parents were Lawson and Ann (Smith) Drury, natives respectively of New Hampshire and Vermont, and both were born in the year 1800. Lawson Drury died when a young man of thirty_three years, of cholera, at the farm which his son now occupies. The mother survived her husband a period of thirty_three years, remaining a widow and passed away in March, 1865. The parents came to Illinois in the spring of 1831, and the father purchased 160 acres of land, afterward entering eighty acres adjoining. Charles J. continued with his mother and took care of her until her death, attending the district school and making himself useful about the homestead as he gained in strength and knowledge.
Lawson Drury, Sr., the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., 1770. He was a man of fine capacities, taught school during his younger years, and upon leaving his native State located in New Hampshire. Thence he emigrated to Ohio, where he officiated as Postmaster and Magistrate at Haverhill, and finally became Associate Judge, occupying the bench for a period of ten years in Portsmouth, Ohio. Mrs. Ann (Smith) Drury, the mother of our subject, was a well educated lady and taught school successfully for a number of years before her marriage. Possessing great refinement and cultivation, she was highly esteemed by all who knew her, and was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church.
The subject of this sketch was ten years of age at the time of his father's death, and under the wise and judicious training of his excellent mother developed into a man imbued with the highest principles of right and rectitude. Strictly temperate he was the first man in his community to dispense with whiskey in the harvest field, a custom which was once prevalent during the early history of Illinois. He still continues a stanch advocate of the cause of temperance. As soon as of sufficient years and judgment he assumed the management of a farm, and with the aid of his mother conducted it successfully from that time on. The household included six children, only two of whom are living, our subject, and a sister older, Mrs. Martha J. Wiswell, a resident of Henry County, Mo.
On the 21st of May, 1867, Mr. Drury was united in marriage with Miss Belle Paxson at the home of the bride in Jacksonville. The parents of Mrs. Drury, Stephen and Sarah (Pryor) Paxson, were natives respectively of Tennessee and Ohio. The latter is still living, making her home with her son, in the city of St. Louis, Mo. She was in early life a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but later identified herself with the Congregationalists, with whom she still preserves her membership.
Stephen Paxson, who in earlier days was well known as the pioneer Sunday_school Missionary of Illinois and Missouri, was the son of Joseph and Mary (Lester) Paxson, and was born Nov. 3, 1808, in New Lisbon, Ohio. The name was originally spelled with a T. The first representatives of the family in this country were three brothers who crossed the ocean from England during the Colonial days. Joseph Paxson was born in Virginia, and his wife, Mary, in Maryland. They were married in the Old Dominion, whence they removed to Columbiana, Ohio. They became the parents of seven children of whom Stephen was next to the youngest. The father died while these were young; her circumstances forced the mother to seek homes for her children among strangers. Each one became a child of Him who has made a special promise to the fatherless.
Through his own exertions Stephen Paxon secured an education, after mastering untold difficulties late in life, for he at the age of thirty years was scarcely able to read. He was early imbued with those sentiments of religion which inclined him to earnest effort in the Master's vineyard, and to strain every nerve in this field of labor. By his untiring energy he established over 1,300 Sunday_schools, by which means 80,000 children were brought under the influence of religious training. He became one of the most effective speakers in the land, holding spell_bound audiences in all the leading cities in the United States as he recited his experiences in the cause to which he had devoted his life.
To Stephen Paxson, Illinois is indebted for her admirable system of county and township Sunday School organization. He was the instigator of the first convention held in the State of Illinois, and frequently assembled mass_meetings in the groves, which were attended oftentimes by as many as 3,000 people. He was never lengthy or tiresome in his discourse; an earnest talk of thirty minutes was usually the time he employed to convince his hearers of the necessity and importance of this great work among the young. From his excessive labors grew the present county and township Sunday school organizations of the Prairie State.
At the seventh annual convention of Illinois Sunday_school workers held in Peoria in June, 1865. Mr. Paxson presented his views on this subject and urged the appointment of a special committee whose duty it should be to take the matter in hand and prosecute it throughout the State. His plan was seconded by D.L. Moody, Mr. Vincent and others, and unanimously adopted by the convention. Moreover a fund of $2,500 was raised on the spot. Those interested immediately went to work and never ceased their pious efforts until 102 counties of Illinois were thoroughly organized. The whole life of Mr. Paxson was devoted to religious labors, and thousands of hearts well nigh stood still when the telegram flashed over the country that "Father Paxson" was no more. His death occurred in may, 1881, and the long funeral train which followed his remains to their last resting place, attested more forcibly than words could do the estimation in which he was held by the people.
The lady now familiarly known in this county as Mrs. Belle (Paxson) Drury was graduated from the Methodist Female College at Jacksonville, in 1863. She continued in that institution as a teacher for a period of four years. Previous to becoming a student at Jacksonville she had pursued her studies at Monticello Seminary in Godfrey, Ill. Of her union with our subject there were born two children, a son and daughter, Frank E. June 11, 1869, and Edith, July 16, 1873. The former, a bright and promising young man, has just entered upon his junior year in the college at Jacksonville. Edith is pursuing a classical course in the Presbyterian Female Academy.
Mr. Drury is identified with the Presbyterian Church, in which he is a Deacon, while his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Drury, politically, is an earnest Republican, and has held the office of Township Trustee for a number of years. Mr. Drury first visited the farm which later became and still continues his home, when a lad nine years of age, in company with his uncle and his mother, riding in a carriage once owned by Gen. LaFayette, and which he rode in while visiting this country in 1824. The General met with the misfortune of having his carriage overturned into the river, and its white silk linings were thereby very much damaged. Taking another, he proceeded on his journey, leaving orders to have his carriage sold, and the uncle of Mr. Drury purchased it.
To the parents of Mrs. Drury there were born eleven children, five
of whom died in infancy: six are now living. William is a Presbyterian
minister and Superintendent of the missions of the Sunday school Union
for the Southwest, having under his supervision twenty_six men engaged
in missionary labors. He usually spends his winters in the East lecturing
in behalf of the mission. The mantle of his honored father has in a large
measure descended upon him. Corey, the youngest brother, and also an evangelist,
has for three years been the assistant of Dr. Pentecost in his pastoral
work in the city of Brooklyn, N.Y. Frederick is a lawyer of note in the
city of St. Louis, Mo.
MRS. HANNAH E. DUNAVAN (CHAMBERLAIN), widow of the late James W. Dunavan, is a woman of more than ordinary force of character and business capacity, and is numbered among the successful, substantial agriculturists of Morgan, her native county. She comes of sterling New England stock, and is a worthy daughter of a pioneer family. After her husband's death she bought the fine farm on which she lives, which is beautifully located on section 24, township 15, range 10, three miles from the centre of the public square in Jacksonville.
Timothy Chamberlain, the father of our subject, was born in the historical old city of Salem, Mass., and lived there until after his marriage with Miss Mary Dennis. He subsequently moved to this State and located in this county. Here his wife died after the birth of ten children, and Mr. Chamberlain afterward married Miss Julia Fairweather and our subject was the only child born to them. Mrs. Chamberlain was the daughter of Richard Fairweather, a native of Connecticut, and a landowner there and here. The father of our subject took up a tract of raw land, and by persevering industry and the aid of his good wife, he built up a comfortable home, in which he passed his remaining days, until death called him hence in July, 1872. His widow survived him until Jan. 25, 1888, when she too passed away, dying at the home of her daughter. They were people who were well known and widely respected for their many kindly traits of character.
Their daughter, of whom we write, was born July 8, 1846, in this county, on the parental homestead, on the Vandalia Road, three miles from Jacksonville. Her education, begun in the local schools, was completed in that city. >From her mother she received a careful training in all that goes to make a good housewife, remaining at home until the time of her marriage. Jan. 13, 1862, her union with James W. Dunavan, a worthy young man of this county, was duly solemnized. In the happy years that followed six children were born into their pleasant home, all of whom are living: Julia Ellen married Silas T. Whitehead, who died Jan. 25, 1888, leaving her with one child, Ellen Mabel, and they are now living with our subject; Mary Elizabeth married Richard Phillips, a farmer by occupation, living one mile north of her mother's home; Mattie Jane married Peter C. Maddox, of this town, and they have one child; Lute D., James H. and May are at home with their mother. Mr. Dunavan was a Kentuckian by birth, born in the town of Hopkinsville Feb. 26, 1839. His father, Wyan J. Dunavan, was also a native of Kentucky. In September, 1846, he emigrated to these parts with his family, and established himself at his trade of a carpenter, in town, and was a resident here until death. His son James was a child of seven years when he came to Morgan County with his parents, and his boyhood and youth were passed in Jacksonville, his education being conducted in its schools. He early learned the carpenter's trade, and was engaged at it as a contractor and builder until two years after his marriage, when he moved onto a farm with his family, and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, living mostly in Morgan County. His death, Jan. 6, 1886, was a severe blow to the interests of his community, which then lost an upright, sober-minded citizen, who had its welfare at heart; his family lost the kindest of husbands and most devoted of fathers, and his neighbors a true friend. By steady and well-directed industry he accumulated a competence, and left his family in comfortable circumstances.
Mrs. Dunavan is a notable manager, and after her husband's demise
she invested some of her money in this farm, which comprises 141 acres
of land, and is finely located, its nearness to the metropolis of this
region making it a valuable piece of property to own, aside from its excellent
improvements and highly cultivated soil. Here she has established a cosy
home, where she and her children live in peace and contentment, enjoying
all the comforts of a well ordered household. Mrs. Dunavan rented her farm
one year and moved into town, but with that exception has lived here since
purchasing the place. She is a consistent and valued member of the Centenary
Methodist Episcopal Church at Jacksonville, and it is the united testimony
of all who have the pleasure of knowing her that she is a truly good woman,
of fine character and large heart, and that evinces itself in many kind
deeds for the benefit of those about her.
RICHARD Y. DUNCAN. Among the younger men of this county, who have made their own way unaided in the world, the subject of this sketch deserves more than a passing notice. He does a general blacksmithing business at Franklin, where he has built up a good patronage and enjoys a large measure of respect from its best people. He was born in Jacksonville, this county, Feb. 20, 1860, and received only the advantages of a common-school education, but nature endowed him with sound common-sense and the qualities of ambition and perseverance which have enabled him to rise above adverse circumstances, and have gained him a good position among his fellow-men.
Our subject is the son of John B. Duncan, who was born in Tennessee Aug. 10, 1817. He came to this county during his early manhood, and occupied himself as an attorney-at-law with admirable success, filling finally the position of County judge. He was a man of very patriotic sentiments, and upon the outbreak of the Rebellion enlisted as a Union soldier in Company H, 32d Illinois Infantry. He was given a Captain's commission, and at the battle of Hatchie, Oct. 5, 1862, suffered the loss of a limb. Upon his recovery, however, he returned to the army, but was taken ill from the effects of his wound, and died at his home, in Franklin, in the year 1864. Mrs. Adeline G. (Wright) Duncan, the mother of our subject, was a native of Frankfort, Ky., born on the 17th of June, 1823, and came with her parents to this county in the year 1829. Grandfather Wright was a farmer by occupation, and spent his last years in Morgan County. To the parents of our subject, there were born twelve children, eight of whom are living and four deceased, the latter being Henry, James, Sarah, and Nellie. Margaret E. became the wife of John H. Reed, of Franklin, and they live in Bloomington, Ill., where Mr. Reed is employed as a machinist and engineer; they have one child, a son, Walter. John H. married Miss Mary S. Rutledge, of Franklin; he is a blacksmith by trade, and they have six children. Mary R. is the wife of Isam Seymour, a farmer of this county, and mother of nine children. William W. married Mary Gibson of this county, and is occupied as a teacher in Franklin; they have four children. Lilly B. is the wife of Lafayette Clayton, a farmer of this county, and they have five children; Charles B. is a blacksmith by trade, in company with our subject, and remains a bachelor; Emma L. is the wife of John R. Jolly, a stock-dealer of Franklin, and they have five children.
The subject of this sketch was mostly employed during his younger
years at blacksmithing, and when ready to establish domestic ties was united
in married with Miss Carrie Reinbach, the wedding taking place at the bride's
home, in Franklin, May 1, 1884. Mrs. Duncan was born April 2, 1862, in
Franklin, of parents who were natives of Germany and came to America in
1849. They settled in Franklin, where the father engaged as a merchant
and died jan. 1, 1876. The widow subsequently married Gabriel Evans of
Jacksonville. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have two children - Dessau W. and Meda
M. Mr. Duncan belongs to the I.O.O.F., in which he has held the various
offices of his lodge. His wife is a member of the Christian Church. Politically,
our subject is a decided Prohibitionist, and is a member of the Town Board
of Trustees. Both he and his brother Charles deserve great credit for the
perseverance with which they have labored, and on account of the position
to which they have attained solely upon their own merits.
WILLIAM T. DUNN. This gentleman is recognized as a leading stock_raiser of this county, being one of the first who introduced the famous Holstein cattle into this section, in the breeding of which he is largely interested, and has at the head of his herd "Tim Tulan" and "Fenelon,", both registered animals from the herd of George E. Brown & Co., of Aurora, and aged two and three years respectively. The farm of Mr. Dunn comprises 160 acres of valuable land, where he has all the buildings and appliances suitable to the requirements of adjuncts of this industry, and the rich pasturage forms a beautiful range for his herds. The farm is located on section 8, township 15, range 11, and although Mr. Dunn has only occupied it since 1884, he has effected many improvements, and there are few which excel it in its location and general value.
Our subject is a native of Illinois, having been born in Cass County, Feb. 24, 1850, and is the son of John and Caroline (Treadway) Dunn, both of whom are deceased, the father passing away in Cass County in October, 1875, at the age of sixty_four years. He had been a resident there for the long period of forty_one years, settling there when the country was mostly a wild prairie, and assisting in developing his township, where he was numbered among its most useful citizens.
The father of our subject was born in Cornwall County, England, where he lived until reaching man's estate, then came to America, and settling in Cass County, this State, was married to Miss Treadway, who was born in Ohio of American parents, the name of her father being Edward Treadway. The Treadway family lived for many years in the Miami Valley, whence they removed to Illinois about 1837, and spent their last years in Cass County. Mrs. Caroline Dunn, after the death of her husband, retained the homestead until about two years before her decease, then went to live with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Paschal, of this county, where she spent her last days and died in 1887, at the age of seventy_three years; both she and her husband had been active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church from the time of uniting with it in 1858.
Our subject was the next to the youngest of the nine children born to his parents, four of whom are living, the three besides himself making their homes in Cass County, this State. He was reared and educated in his native county, and remained a member of his father's household until twenty_five years old. He was then married to Miss Matilda Chalfant, who was born in Beardstown, this State, March 12, 1856. Her parents were Thomas and Ann (Norton) Chalfant, natives of Wheeling, W. Va., who came to Illinois in their youth, and formed, in Beardstown, the acquaintance which resulted in their marriage. Mrs. Chalfant died in Cass County in the spring of 1878, at the age of forty_one years. She was taken away very suddenly with neuralgia of the heart. Mr. Chalfant still resides in Beardstown, where he is employed as a pattern maker, wagon_maker, and general mechanic, and is now about sixty_six years old.
Mrs. Dunn was given a good education, being graduated from the high
school at Beardstown, and afterward occupied herself as a teacher some
time before her marriage. The two children born to our subject and his
estimable wife, a son and a daughter, John and Alice, died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Dunn are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which
our subject officiates as Steward, and in politics he upholds the principles
of the Republican party.
BENJAMIN DYE has been a resident of Morgan County nearly thirty years, and during that time has been prosperously pursuing agriculture and is one of the prominent farmers of township 15, range 10. Here he has a beautiful home, replete with all the modern conveniences and comforts, of a pleasing style of architecture and constructed of brick. His farm comprises a quarter of section 12, and it is considered one of the best managed and most desirable in this part of the county.
The subject of this biography was born April 30, 1828, in Miami Co., Ohio, within five miles of the town of Troy. His father, Vincent Dye, was a native of the same county, born in the early days of its settlement, and after attaining to manhood he undertook the pioneer task of constructing a farm from the primeval forest in that wild, sparsely settled part of the county. He took unto him a wife, Rebecca Swills, and seven children blessed their union, three of whom are living: our subject; Maria, now Mrs. Harris, of Indiana; Fanny, (Mrs. Ellidge) of Missouri. In 1832, he moved with his family to Tippecanoe Co., Ind., and became a pioneer there. In 1859, he made another move and became a pioneer of still another State, this time settling in Bates County, Missouri. He was not allowed to remain in undisturbed possession of his new home very long, but on account of his strong union and anti-slavery sentiments, which he was too noble to disguise even for peace and safety, he was driven out of that county, and returning to Indiana in 1861, he died there in the month of August, aged sixty-five years, and now lies quietly sleeping his last sleep near Dayton, Ind. He was a good and true man, whose honorable, manly course through life merited the highest respect. His wife stayed in Missouri after his departure to look after their property, and after the close of the war came to Illinois and made her home with our subject till she closed her eyes in death at the age of sixty-five years.
Our subject inherited from his worthy parents many sterling traits of character that have made him a strong, manly man, true to those high principles that they inculcated by percept and example. He was a child of four years when he was taken from the beautiful scenes of his early home to Indiana, and there, near Dayton, seven miles from LaFayette, where his father took up new land, he grew to manhood, obtaining a good, practical education in the common schools. After his school days were over he engaged with his father in farming till he attained his majority, when he worked on a farm for some one else at first, and after a little had a farm of his own. He began with eighty acres of timber land, which he improved into a fine farm before he left it, and erected a good frame house and other buildings. When he first started out in life, desiring a companion and helpmate, Mr. Dye asked Miss Sarah Bugher to share his fate and fortunes with him, and they were united in marriage in June, 1850. Mrs. Dye is an Indianian by birth, born about six miles south of Delphi, the county seat of Carroll County, in 1829, and she lived under the parental roof till her marriage. Her father, Samuel Bugher, was a native of Miami County, Ohio, and was there married to Miss Nancy Schaeffer, who was born near Troy, that State. They moved to Indiana at the same time that the parents of our subject did, and lived there till after the marriage of their daughter and our subject, when they went to Wisconsin. Mr. Schaeffer died there, and his wife also, her death preceding his. He was always a farmer and also owned and managed a mill.
To Mr. and Mrs. Dye were born twelve children, ten of whom are living, four of them born in Indiana, and all have received good school advantages and are well-bred. Ollie Ann, is now Mrs. Ezra Brown, of Cowley County, Kansas; Eugene, who lives at home, married Margaret Miller, and they have two daughters; Belle and Rebecca are at home, the latter a teacher; Sampson is in Cowley County, Kan.; Nancy and Rhoda are at home; Lewis is farming with his father; Benjamin, Jr., and John are at home.
Mr. Dye became a man of prominence in his Indiana home, although he avoided politics, and he served in all the School and various District offices. On the organization of the Republican party he bravely took sides with it and advocated its principles, although he knew that in doing so in that part of the country where he was then residing his very life was in danger, the pro-slavery element predominating and the Southern sentiment very strong. He incurred the hatred and animosity of his neighbors, who called him a "black abolitionist," and pitched on to him and he barely escaped having serious trouble. He was a member of the militia or home guards, Company B, 10th Ind. And accompanied his regiment to Virginia at the time of the call for "100 day" volunteers. Prior to going on this expedition Mr. Dye deemed it expedient to sell his property in Indiana, and did so in the spring of 1861. But he did not come to Morgan County, this State, till the fall of 1861, when he bought his present farm, the land of which was improved to some extent, and he has ever since been a valued resident of this township. His removal to this place was made with teams and it took ten days to accomplish the journey.
In the twenty-eight years that have elapsed since our subject came
her to dwell among the kindly, hospitable people of this township, he has
shown himself an open-hearted, generous, public-spirited citizen, one who
is ever on the side of the right, ready to succor the needy and unfortunate,
and who has at heart the good of the community. He and his wife are highly
esteemed in social circles, and for a time he was a member of the I. O.
ANDREW A. DYER. Probably no counties in Illinois have been more thoroughly settled up by intelligent and enterprising men than those with which we have to do in this volume, and Mr. Dyer is in no wise behind his neighbors as a thorough and progressive farmer. He came to his present place in 1881 and has eighty acres of thoroughly cultivated land on section 1, township 15, range 11. Beside this, he owns sixty acres more on the same section, which is partially improved with some excellent pasture.
Prior to his removal to this place, Mr. Dyer owned a farm on township 15, range 12, where he lived four years. He has been a resident of this county since 1874, and made his home for a time with his uncle. He was born in Jonesboro, Tenn., July 7, 1850, and is the son of John Dyer, who at the time of the birth of our subject was Sheriff of the County. He was also born in East Tennessee, and mainly engaged in agricultural pursuits. The mother in her girlhood was Miss Paulina Whitlock, a native of Tennessee and born near Jonesboro. The parents were married in that State and the father lived upon and conducted a farm until 1853, when they removed to Illinois and lived in Scott County and other places in the southern part of the State for many years. The mother died in Scott County in 1859, when about forty years of age, from cancer. She was a good woman and an active member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
The children of the parental family comprised four sons and two daughters. One son, William, during the Civil War enlisted in Company C, in an Ill. Infantry regiment and met death on the battle field of Shiloh. He was at the time acting as Lieutenant. The eldest, James, is employed as a book-keeper in Pittsburgh, Cherokee Co., Kan. He served in the Union army three years, and was once slightly wounded. John is Deputy Circuit Clerk, and makes his home in Winchester, Scott County. He served in the army ninety days. Rebecca, the only sister living of our subject, is the wife of William White, who was shot by the hot-heads of Missouri during the war. Mrs. White is yet living, making her home in Canton, where she is carrying on a good business for herself.
The subject of this sketch was but a lad when his parents came to Illinois. A few years later his father removed to Pleasant View, Cherokee Co., Kan., where he died when about fifty-five years old. He was a Whig during his early life but later became identified with the Democratic party. Our subject has been familiar with farm life from boyhood and naturally chose this as a vocation. When ready to establish a home of his own, he was married in Jacksonville, in July, 1876, to Miss Sarah E. Liter. This lady was born in this county, July 16, 1857. Her parents, Abraham and Elizabeth (Liter) Liter, were natives of Kentucky, an came to Illinois at an early day, settling on land from which they constructed a good farm, and where the father made his home for the long period of forty years. He died in August, 1880, while the death of the mother took place two years prior, when she was seventy years old. Both were active members of the Christian Church.
Mrs. Dyer was the youngest child of her parents, whose family consisted of four sons and four daughters; one son and daughter are deceased; the others make their home mostly in Illinois and Kansas. The Liter homestead is situated in township 15, range 10, and there Mrs. Dyer was reared to womanhood. She acquired her education in the common school, and became mistress of those housewifely duties the knowledge of which has so much to do with the comfort and happiness of home.
Of her union with our subject there have been born four children,
one of whom, Leroy, died at the age of four months. The others, Olie, Henry
E., and Stella F. are at home with their parents. Mr. Dyer votes the straight
Democratic ticket, and with his estimable wife is held in high respect
in his community.
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