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)
GEORGE EBEY. This gentleman is an honor to the citizenship of Scott County, and no one of its citizens is more worthy of the consideration and veneration in which he is held by all who know him than he, for he is a thoroughly upright, high-minded man, whose life record is without blemish. He represents the industrial interests of Winchester Precinct where he resides as a prosperous farmer and as a successful potter.
Mr. Ebey comes of sturdy Revolutionary stock. His paternal grandfather, a German by birth and descent, emigrating to America in the seventeenth century, cast in his lot with the Colonists, and bravely fought with them for freedom from British rule, and yielded up his life in the cause at the storming of Stony Point. The parents of our subject, George and Mary (Ellebarger) Ebey, were born in Pennsylvania, and married and settled in their native State. The father was a man of good ability, full of ambition and enterprise. He was a millwright, and owned a flour-mill in Pennsylvania, and used to ship his flour on his own boats from his manufactory on the Juniata River to Baltimore. Desirous of making money still faster, he built two vessels, and loading one with flour and the others with castings bought from a foundry on credit, he dispatched them to the Baltimore market. But while going down the Susquehanna River the vessels were run upon a rock near its mouth and wrecked, the pilot having been bribed to do the act, and both vessels with their entire cargo and three of the crew were lost. Mr. Ebey was on board of one of the vessels, and not being able to swim, he lay upon the bow of the sinking boat during that entire March night, and when rescued in the morning was entirely helpless from west, cold, and exposure. This accident was a serious interruption in his hitherto prosperous career, and caused him to sell his property in Pennsylvania, and in 1804 to remove with his family to Ohio. He bought a tract of heavily timbered land in the primeval forests of that State, twelve miles north of Columbus, on the Sciota River, and there entered upon the pioneer task of hewing out a farm. He also engaged in his business as a miller, erecting a saw and grist mill in partnership with Mr. John Sells. He there reared his family until after the sad death of his wife (in 1815) broke up his home - misfortune having once more set its seal upon his financial affairs, as the title to his land was found to be defective and he had to give it up. The mill, however, had been built on his partner's land, so that he did not lose his share of that. He rented a mill near Columbus, and lived there five years, and then, some of his children having married, he broke up housekeeping and lived among them, his death occurring in 1848, at the venerable age of eighty-four years. He and his wife were the parents of eleven children, of whom our subject was the tenth in order of birth. He was born in Ohio Jan. 18, 1811. He received his education in various places, as his brother-in-law, with whom he lived, moved frequently. His father came to Illinois in 1828, and he came with him, and they settled first in Sangamon County, whence our subject made several trips back to Ohio. He had learned the potter's trade from his brother-in-law, and when nineteen years old established himself at that calling, and not having money enough to carry on the business alone, was obliged to work on shares for about three years.
May 3, 1832, our subject was married, in Ohio, to Miss Matilda, daughter of Robert and Jane Kilpatrick, natives, respectively, of County Antrim, Ireland, and of Washington County, Pa. The father was a weaver by trade, and migrated to this country and settled in Pennsylvania. He married there, and in 1815 removed with his family to Ohio, becoming a pioneer of that State. He died in 1824, and the mother in 1855. They had eleven children, of whom Mrs. Ebey, the fifth in order of birth, is now the only living representative. She was born in Crawford County, Pa., March 31, 1812. To her and her husband ten children have been born, seven sons and three daughters, all of whom have lived to maturity, but four have since died. In the hour of their country's greatest need, they loyally sent forth three of their beloved sons to do battler in her honor, and two of them were sacrificed to preserve the Union in its entirety. Their son, Fletcher, enlisted in Company C, 28th Illinois Infantry, was badly wounded at Shiloh, came home, after lingering in ill-health some years, and died from the effects of his wound, Oct. 18, 1876. Their eldest son now living, Thomas, served three years as a member of Company K, 14th Illinois Infantry, and was spared to return to his parents and friends. He was born Nov. 24, 1835, and is now happily established in a home of his own near his father's. He married Emma Alder, and they have three children. The record of the other three children of our subject and his wife is as follows: Mary Jane, born May 12, 1840, married William Garland, of Wyoming, and they have three children; Eliza, born Jan. 29, 1843, married Henry Stahl, of Elkhart, Ill., and they have five children living; Minnie, born Nov. 29, 1845, lives at home with her parents; Olive, born Dec. 17, 1848, lives in Custer, Dak.; Orville, born Dec. 27, 1851, lives on his father's place, married Mary Bulmer, and they have five children; David, born April 27, 1854, married Lucy Summers, and had two children, Katie and a younger one, who having been born just after her father's death, was named Davie in memory of him. This son died June 22, 1882, in the very prime of early manhood, and thus, shortly after the golden anniversary of their wedding day a half-century before, these worthy people lost their "baby" in his twenty-eighth year.
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ebey lived in Ohio until the following year, 1833, and then removed to Manchester, Ill., and the next year came to Winchester, and thus became numbered among the pioneers of this place. Two years later mr. Ebey bought this place and here they have lived for over half a century. He erected a pottery, and has been actively engaged in that business to this day. He has also gradually worked into farming, and now has a fine farm of 200 acres of land, of exceeding fertility, one mile northeast of Winchester.
Mr. Ebey is a thoroughly patriotic citizen, and during the late war contributed his quota toward carrying it to a successful issue. Thirteen volunteers went out from the shelter of his home to join the Union Army. Three of them were his sons, one a son-in-law, and the others were men in his employ. He constituted himself a committee of one, to look after the boys, and made eight trips to the seat of war; visiting the battlefield of Shiloh, and bringing home his three sons who had fought nobly there; one was dead and another severely wounded, as heretofore mentioned. Mr. Ebey was a personal friend of President Lincoln, Richard Yates (the War Governor of Illinois), Peter Cartwright, and other notable men of this State. The famous preacher (Peter Cartwright) used to make his home his abiding-place for the night when he was holding quarterly meetings in this neighborhood. Mr. Ebey raised a company for the Mexican War, was elected its captain, but was not called upon to serve, as the quota was filled. In early times he was a Whig in politics, and was one of the first of the Abolitionists, and until 1884 was a supporter of the Republican party, but in that year he joined the ranks of the Prohibitionists, and has stood by that party ever since. He and his wife are both active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and they let their light so shine as to be seen of others who recognize in them, happy, sincere Christians.
The life-record of our subject shows him to be a man pure and spotless
in the eyes of the world, one who has always aimed to do good. Sound discretion,
promptitude and method in his business transactions, have been important
factors in bringing about his success in his undertakings. At this writing
he possesses good mental powers and a fine physique, so that he has passed
the milestone that marks seventy-nine years of a busy life, and yet does
not bear the marks of such a venerable age, but is still hale and vigorous,
and it is the hope of his many friends that his kindly presence may be
spared to them many years before he is called to pass over the river.
JOHN H. ECKHOFF, a native of this county and one of its most enterprising young farmer and stock-raisers, owns and operates 200 acres of land on section 21, township 16, range 12. He has just passed his thirty-second year, having been born May 11, 1857, and is of German parentage, being the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Oberkotter) Eckhoff, the father a native of Hanover, Germany, and the mother born in Prussia
The father of our subject emigrated to America about forty years ago, and for three years was a resident of Cleveland, Ohio. There he met his future wife and was married, and to them were born five children, of whom four are living, namely: John H.; Annie, the wife of Albert Uhnken; Henry and T. F. Upon coming to Illinois early in the fifties they established themselves in Meredosia Precinct, and for several years thereafter the father rented land in both Morgan and Scott counties. In the fall of 1865 he secured the property now owned and occupied by our subject, and here the parents both died, the mother in 1872 and the father in 1883.
The elder Eckhoff was a poor man when coming to this county, but at his death left an estate of 160 acres of land in addition to $8,000 worth of personal property. This fact indicates the success with which he labored and the manner in which he overcame the hardship and difficulties incident to pioneer life. Without making any great stir in the world he pursued the even tenor of his way in an honest and upright manner and while accumulating the wherewithal to make life comfortable and desirable, established himself in the esteem and confidence of his neighbors. He was the friend of religious and educational institutions and a member in good standing of the Lutheran Church, in which he served as a Trustee, and to the support of which he contributed liberally. Politically, he affiliated with the Democratic party, and served in the district as School Director.
The subject of this sketch obtained his education in the public schools
and grew up amid surroundings far different from those of the young men
of today. He was thoughtful and intelligent beyond his years, and by a
course of reading has always kept himself posted upon current events. His
200 acre farm is steadily growing in value under his good management and
careful cultivation, and he has already become a man of note in his community.
Like his honored father he supports the principles of the Democratic party.
HENRY EILERS, one of the younger farmers of Morgan County, is a self-reliant and energetic man who was obliged to assume the responsibilities of life at an early period in his existence. This experience, however, far from detracting from his character and acquirements, proved undoubtedly the best school in which he could have been taught. He is now in a prosperous condition and operating a well regulated farm of 120 acres on section 23, township 16, range 12.
Mr. Eiler's was born in this county May 30, 1855, and his only education was acquired in the district school of his native township. His father being in poor health Henry, when a boy of fourteen, assumed the responsibilities of carrying on the farm. Prior to this, however, he had labored as far as his strength would permit, following the plow when a lad of eight years. He lived at the homestead until approaching the thirty-first year of his age, and was then married, Jan 14, 1886, to Miss Nannie Bryant. The father is an old resident of Concord. The mother died May 15, 1889. Of this union there have been born two children, Edna May, and one who died in infancy. Mr. Eilers, politically, gives his support to the Republican party, but with the exception of serving as Road Supervisor, has taken very little part in public affairs. In religious matters, he is a Presbyterian, while his estimable wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The parents of our subject, Henry B. and Johanna (Tholan) Eilers, were natives of Germany. The father departed this life April 11, 1881 and the mother was subsequently married Thomas Bowen, and now lives in Jacksonville. Mr. and Mrs. Eilers came to the United States in their youth and prior to their marriage, which took place in this county. They settled near the present farm of their son and became the parents of nine children, of whom the following survive, viz: Henry, our subject, Mary, the wife of Charles Dahman, of Kansas; Rickey, a resident of this township; Haley, the wife of Joseph Bowen, of Concord Precinct; Emma; Edward lives with Henry, and Frederick is in Kansas.
Henry B. Eilers was one of the earliest pioneers of this county and
became one of its most prosperous men. He had not capital when he settled
here but in due time had accumulated property to the amount of 400 acres
of land, which with its buildings and appurtenances comprise a very valuable
estate. He was a man entirely respected in his community and a member in
good standing of the Presbyterian Church.
HEZEKIAH EVANS, a veteran of the late war, was born in Clark County, Ky., June 12, 1827. His father, Daniel Evans, a farmer by occupation, came to Morgan County in 1829 and settled on a tract of government land about one-half mile from the present limits of the city of Winchester, Scott County.
The hardships, privations and trials of a typical pioneer were undergone by the elder Evans, and little did he know that a mighty empire was to spring up where was then virgin prairie. But he, in common with all other brave pioneers, builded better than he knew. Posterity will not likely recall what these people did for the advancement of this great county, but the fact nevertheless remains that the march of civilization owes its progress to these old heroes, and it is meet that their names should be embalmed in history. From Winchester, in 1853, the father, Daniel Evans, removed to Iowa, and from there, a year later to Missouri, where he lived until the outbreak of the late war. During the Rebellion he lived in Winchester, thence returned to Missouri, and at Kirksville, that State, spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1874 at the age of seventy-two years.
Hezekiah was the second of seven sons. In 1852 Hezekiah Evans went to California overland, and remained there one year, returning to Illinois via the Isthmus and New York. In 1855 he engaged in the livery business, and in March 1863, enlisted at Winchester as a private soldier in Company F, 33d Illinois Infantry, and served until mustered out by reason of the close of the war in Nov. 1865. Leaving the army he returned to Winchester, and has here continued to prosecute his old calling, that of the livery business - in which he has been very successful - up to the present time. He has been five times elected alderman, a fact which fully illustrates his popularity and fitness for the office, and is now representing the second ward in the City Council. He has always been active and aggressive Democratic worker and possesses the fullest confidence of his party, while his election to the position of Post Commander of the G. A. R. at this place, attests alike his fidelity, patriotism and good citizenship.
Mr. Evans was married in this county in 1849 to Miss Harriet Claywell,
who has borne him eight children, four of whom are dead. The living are:
Hezekiah Jr., now in St. Louis; Laura (Mrs. Frank Morgan) of St. Louis;
Charles, who is associated with his father in the livery business, and
William. The list of the deceased is as follow: James died in 1849, aged
four months; Charles died in 1854, aged two years; Minnie died in 1867,
aged eighteen months; Ollie died in 1888, aged thirty-three years; and
Hattie died in 1872, aged fifteen months. In addition to their own children
Mr. and Mrs. Evans have reared eleven orphans, which fact fully attests
the kind-heartedness of this couple.
BENJAMIN E. EYRE is a general farmer and stock-raiser, and is located on section 28, township 15, range 11. H makes a specialty of Holstein cattle, of which he has a very fine herd. His farm is particularly adapted to the purposes of stock-raising, it being well watered and otherwise well fitted for this purpose. He owns 215 acres in another part of the township, which is the old homestead where his father originally settled in 1843, and here it was that Benjamin first saw the light of day on July 12th, 1844. His boyhood days were spent here, and here he was educated. He is the son of John and Ann (Elliott) Eyre, who were natives of Yorkshire, England, and whose parents were also English. After his marriage Mr. John Eyre commenced working at his trade, that of a forger of iron, and was thus engaged in his native shire when he and his family turned their faces toward the New World and in search of better times. He is the only member of his father's family that came to the United States, and was the last of the family. Four of his children were born in England: Alfred died in England, and Elizabeth breathed her last on the Atlantic Ocean as they were coming to this country, and was buried at sea. When John Eyre came to Morgan County with his wife and two children he purchased 120 acres of land at $13 per acre, and then commenced to make a home, and success crowned his efforts. Their original homestead was the scene of their labors until the death of Mr. Eyre, in 1876, at the good old age of seventy-eight. He was an active member of the Methodist Protestant Church, and was a Class-Leader. Politically, he was a Republican, and took great interest in politics. The mother of Benjamin died in 1872, at the age of sixty-eight. She was a member of the Methodist Church, and left behind her an excellent record.
Benjamin Eyre is the only child of his father's family born in this country. He has a brother and sister living, viz.: Joseph E., a resident of Sacramento, Cal., who went there in 1859, and is engaged in mining. His sister, Mary A., is the wife of Clinton S. Campbell. They are now living in Hancock County, Ill. The subject of this sketch was developed to manhood in this county, and after becoming of age he was married, at Winchester, Ill., Feb. 15, 1868, to Miss Elizabeth Frame, who is a native of Scott County, Ill., and a daughter of Peter and Rachael (Kelly) Frame, now both deceased, having died near Winchester on their farm. They were early settlers of this county, and were very successful in life. At the time of their death they had a family of seven children, one son and six daughters. Mrs. Eyre was the third daughter and child of the family, and in Scott County she was reared to maturity. She is the mother of six children, all of whom are at home: M. Anna, Minnie F., John Walter, Orpha E., Frank N., and Le-Roy.
Mr. and Mrs. Eyre are active and influential members of the Methodist
Protestant Church, of which organization Mr. Eyre is Steward, and politically,
he believes that the Republican party is right, and never omits an opportunity
of voting for the candidates of that party. He is man well thought of in
his community, and is a valuable citizen.
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