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)
DANIEL W. MILLS. Probably no man is more popular among his fellow citizens than Mr. Mills, who is prosecuting agriculture very successfully on a finely cultivated farm of 196 acres, comprising a portion of section 2, township 15, range 13, in Scott County. He is still on the sunny side of forty, having been born July 16, 1848, at the homestead where he now lives and where he was reared to man's estate. His boyhood and youth were spent after the manner of most farmers' sons, and he assisted in the various labors around the homestead, remaining a member of the parental household until twenty years of age. About this time he assumed its management, and many of the improvements which have since been effected have been the result of his own industry, he having put up buildings, laid rail for fences, and planted hedges for the same purpose, also setting out fruit and shade trees and increasing the area of cultivated land, so that he has about 160 acres under the plow. The land is watered by Mauvaisterre Creek and is exceedingly fertile, yielding to its owner a handsome income. There is also a living spring on the farm and native timber sufficient for all practical purposes. An apple and peach orchard and trees of the smaller fruits yield to the family the luxuries of the season.
Some of the best of New England blood flows in the veins of our subject, who is the son of Alford Mills, a native of Massachusetts and born in 1802. The paternal grandfather, James Mills, who was also born in the Bay State, was a millwright by trade, which he followed in his native place and in Genesee County, New York, to which he subsequently removed. He, with one of his sons, served as a private in the War of 1812, the latter officiating as a drummer. Grandfather Mills came to Illinois in 1821 and located near Jacksonville, where he lived a year, then removed to the vicinity of Exeter, where, in partnership with Jesse Dickson, he put up a saw and grist-mill, the first of the kind in this section, and occupied the first house in Exeter, which, it is hardly necessary to say, was a log cabin. He finally retired from active labor and died in Exeter.
The father of our subject came to Illinois in 1821 and entered eighty acres of the present homestead, which he improved with buildings and fences. Prior to this purchase he had been employed in the lead mines of Galena, and thus obtained the money with which to buy land. He was married, August 29, 1830, to Miss Beda Lowe, who was born in New Madrid, Missouri, March 27, 1807. Her father, Aquilla Lowe, was born in Pennsylvania and went to Tennessee when a boy, where upon approaching manhood, he engaged in farming. Later he served in the War of 1812, was captured and confined a prisoner at New Orleans for some time. Prior to this, however, he had engaged as a live-stock dealer in his native State. From there he finally removed to Missouri, where he dealt in live stock for a time, then returned to Tennessee. After the war was over he migrated again across the Mississippi and operated as a carpenter in St. Louis. In 1819 he came to Scott County, this State, and entered a tract of land near what was then the small hamlet of Geneva. Upon this he effected some improvements, but later removed to the vicinity of Evansville, in Cass County. In the meantime he served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War, and maintained his principles as a member of the old Whig party. He had the honor of driving the first stake in locating the county seat of Morgan County, and one of his Democratic friends named it Jacksonville. He died in Scott County at the age of sixty years. The maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Mills, also named Aquilla Lowe, was a native of Germany and emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary War, in which he took part. He settled in Pennsylvania, but died at Knoxville, Tennessee.
The mother of our subject was very young when she removed with her parents to Tennessee from Missouri and made her home with her uncle. Although a child of three years she still remembers the earthquake at New Madrid. She was twelve years old when she came to Illinois and remained at home until her marriage. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and to her and her husband there were born eight children: Harriet, Mrs. Webster, lives near Exeter; Laura, Mrs. Straight, is a widow and lives with her mother; James, during the Civil War, served in the 129th Illinois Infantry, enlisting in 1862. He contracted lung trouble from which he died soon after. Mary A., Mrs. Graves, lives on a farm in Chautauqua County, Kansas; Aquilla enlisted the same year and in the same regiment with his brother James, served all through the war and was the color bearer of his regiment part of the time. He is farming in Cowley County, Kansas. Sarah E., Mrs. Haskell, is the wife of a prosperous farmer of Scott County; Rhoda, Mrs. Funk, lives on a farm near Exeter; Daniel W., our subject was the next in order of birth.
Our subject, politically, is a staunch Republican and has served on the Grand Jury. In his farming operations he makes a specialty of full-blooded Chester-White swine and graded Short-Horn cattle. He employs three teams to operate his farm, and is a great lover of fine horses, and owns some valuable specimens of the equine race, including the celebrated Belgian, "Bai Brussels," and is a stockholder in the Horse Breeders' Association at Bluffs.
Mr. Mills was married near Exeter, November 24, 1875, to Miss Nellie
Funk, a native of Scott County and a narrative of whose parents may be
found in the sketch of Jacob Funk on another page of this album. Of this
union there has been born one child, a son, Clifford, October 7, 1886.
EDWARD GRIFFITH MINER, a native of the State of Vermont, was born Jan. 21, 1809, and is the youngest of a family of six children. His father, William Miner, was a seafaring man a greater portion of his life, but spent his latter years on land. His grandfather, Clement Miner, was a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary struggle and held the rank of Lieutenant. His commission is now held as a valued heir-loom by the subject of this sketch, being issued and signed by Gov. Trumbull, the famous Governor of Connecticut, July 3, 1776. E. G. Miner's purpose and aspiration in life after attending school several terms in his native place, was to become a blacksmith. This, however, was found to be too heavy for his weak physical constitution, and abandoned, after a brief trial. He then went into a woolen factory and worked at that business for some years.
In the fall of 1832, he accepted an opportunity with some emigrants, to drive a team from the village, where he was located in Vermont, through to Scott county. Here he readily procured employment as a clerk and, as such sold goods until his employer went down in a financial crash, thus compelling a cessation of business. After doing business of the same nature as that in which he was before employed, for some time, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, thereby acquiring considerable money.
All old settlers of Illinois will readily recall the financial revulsion of 1857. It was in this year that the subject of this sketch organized and put into operation the banking house of E. G. Miner & Co., a financial concern, which through being able to successfully stem the adverse tide of that period, gained quite a wide reputation for solidity, prudence, and shrewd management. In 1865, this banking property with all its franchises passed by purchase into the hands of the then newly organized First National Bank of Winchester. The subsequent failure of this concern, marked an unpleasant era in the history of Winchester's commerce and is well remembered by many with feelings of regret bordering on anger. Upon the failure of this bank Mr. Miner again entered banking, putting into life at once, the now popular house of Miner, Frost & Hubbard - from which he retired to private life Jan. 1, 1886.
In glancing over this hasty retrospect of the outlines of a busy life we discover, that like too many Americans who make life a success, Mr. Miner remained at the front too long. Why a man should devote nineteen-twentieths of a life - all too short - to the acquirement of a fortune and reserve to himself the paltry fraction which is left for the enjoyment thereof, cannot be very satisfactorily explained to the reasoning mind. This idea has often been responded to with the assertion that a man enjoys the acquisition of wealth. This is true. A man may be somewhat gratified in the pursuit of wealth from day to day, that is, his avarice may be appeased; his ambition to outstrip his competitors gratified with success, but enjoyment has a different and a better meaning. The most charitable, and probably the most correct, cause to be assigned for such a long continued and persistent chase after riches, by many even unto death's door, is that of industrious habit. The man so habituates himself to industry that idleness becomes irksome and work appears to him the only medium of enjoyment.
This habit of business industry is almost daily seen in Mr. Miner, though he has succeeded far better than many others in divorcing himself from the tyrant "business." He may be seen almost daily walking from his elegant suburban home to the old banking house of Miner, Frost & Hubbard, where, surrounded by the familiar scenes of a past busy life, he reads the daily papers, or discusses current events with his old patrons and friends.
Mr. Miner was a member of the State Legislature of the sessions of 1846-8, and one of the Trustees of the Insane Hospital at Jacksonville for twelve years, having been first appointed thereto by Gov. Bissell. He was married at Edwardsville, Ill., April 19, 1834 to Miss Sophronia Alden, daughter of the Rev. John Alden of the Baptist Church, of Ashfield, Ind., and a direct descendant from John Alden, who did Miles Standish's courting for him, in the old Plymouth days. To this marriage six children have been born, as follows: James, Henry, Anna, Lucy A., John Howard, and Mary Ellen. The eldest is a practicing physician at Winchester; Henry is a farmer; Anna is the wife of Charles B. Hubbard, a banker at Winchester; Lucy A. died in August, 1887, aged about forty-six years; John H., born May 24, 1844, while a member of the 33d Illinois Infantry, was killed by bushwhackers in Arkansas, Sept. 14, 1862, and Mary E., born Aug. 19, 1847, died Aug. 28, 1848.
Mr. Miner is now sitting in the twilight of a well-spent life, calmly
and contentedly, knowing that he has done the best he could, and with that
record he looks forward without fear of the future.
JAMES MOODY, a well_known resident of this county, and who is now deceased, established one of the best homesteads within its limits, and which is located in Township 15, range 12, on section 13, Scott County. He first purchased eighty acres in 1866, was prospered in his labors as a tiller of the soil, and added to his possessions until he had 203 acres, all of which he brought to a good state of cultivation. Upon it he likewise erected substantial modern buildings, set out fruit and shade trees, together with a fine apple orchard, and gathered around his family all the comforts of life. After making for himself the record of an honest man and a good citizen, he departed hence, July 3, 1887.
Mrs. Frances E. Moody, the widow of our subject, was born at "Ham Farm" Pilton Parish, Somersetshire, England, June 2, 1829, and when an infant of three months was taken by her parents to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, where she lived until 1836; then, a child of seven years, she returned to England with her mother (her father having died at Cape of Good Hope), and remembers many of the incidents connected with the coronation of Queen Victoria, which ensued the following year. She attended the common school, and when a young lady of twenty_two years established herself in partnership with her sister in a millinery and fancy_goods store at Yovel in Somersetshire, England, in which they were greatly prospered, and gave employment to ten persons. She was married, Sept. 29, 1857, at St. John's Church in Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire.
Mr. Moody was born at "Murry Farm" Oct. 18, 1830, in Huntspill Parish, Somersetshire, England, where he was reared to manhood on a farm. In 1850 he came to America, and making his way to Illinois engaged in farming in Morgan County, until 1857. He then returned to England, where he was married, and in November following, set sail with his wife for America. They embarked at Bristol on the sailing vessel, the "Ospray," which landed them in New York City after a voyage of five weeks and one day. Until 1859 they lived on a farm near Jacksonville, then removed to Chariton County, Mo., where Mr. Moody prosecuted farming until 1862. That year they came to Scott County on account of the war, and Mr. Moody rented a part of the land which comprises the present farm, and which he purchased two years later.
To Mr. and Mrs. Moody there were born four children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, Martha E., is the wife of Thomas Richardson, a farmer of Macoupin County; William R. remains at the homestead as its manager; Clara J. is the wife of H. Perrett, an engineer by profession, and they are located in Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Frances Emma remains with her mother. Mr. Moody, in religious matters was a member of the Episcopal Church at Jacksonville, and politically was a sound Democrat. Further than officiating as School Director, and on various juries, he did not mingle with public affairs.
The surroundings of Mrs. Moody are attractive in the extreme, the
residence being especially beautiful, and set in the midst of well_kept
grounds. The location is among the finest in the township, and its natural
attractions have been largely added to by Mrs. Moody, who is a lady of
more than ordinary intelligence and cultivated tastes, with a love for
the finer things of life and everything tending to elevate humanity. She
was especially happy in her married life, and holds the memory of her husband
as among her most sacred possessions. She retains many pleasant recollections
of her childhood at the Cape of Good Hope and her later life in England,
and having rare conversational powers, is enabled to relate many an interesting
tale in connection therewith. Her home is the frequent resort of the refined
and cultivated people of Scott County, among whom she numbers many warm
AUSTIN MOODY, well known as among the oldest settlers and prosperous citizens of Morgan County, is a native of Somersetshire, England, the date of his birth being the 29th of October, 1834. He is the son of Austin and Jane Moody, to whom were born thirteen children, of whom the following are known to survive: Austin, the subject of this writing; Charles, who lives in England; Christopher, in Australia; Richard; Ann, the wife of James Bryant; Elizabeth, the widow of Mr. Smith, and Martha, wife of William Parnell, all of Somersetshire, England.
The education of Mr. Moody was received in the schools of the parish where he was born, and was fairly thorough in the usual English branches. At seventeen years of age he began to learn the trade of a butcher, and served a three_years's apprenticeship _ paying $100 as a premium for the same. In 1845 he emigrated to America, taking passage at the port of Liverpool upon a sailing vessel, and after an ocean voyage of five weeks, landed in New York city, whence he came almost at once to Naples, Ill., making the entire trip by water. He followed the following route: via Hudson River from New York to the Erie Canal, which he followed to the lake, thence to Cleveland, where he took the Ohio Canal to Portsmouth, which is adjacent to Cincinnati, and there he followed the course of the Ohio River and that of the Mississippi to St. Louis, and thence to Naples.
Arriving in Naples, our subject began work on a farm, and continued for about three years; in 1850 he purchased a farm for himself in section 14, township 15, range 12, now known as Merritt Precinct, Scott County. For this property he paid $8 per acre. His first purchase included but 100 acres, but to this he has added from time to time until it comprised 490 acres. He came to this country a poor man, and had practically nothing to begin with, but by long continued effort, intelligently directed, perseveringly continued in and sustained by thrift, he has been thus successful, assisted always by the most estimable companion of his life, who has been in every regard a true helpmate, faithful in every responsibility that has come to her in the domestic relation.
Mr. Austin was married on the 12th of December, 1850, being most favorably impressed with the admirable disposition and many happy qualities possesses by Mary Lazenby, the lady of his choice, who was born upon the 13th of October, 1828, in Yorkshire, England. She is the daughter of John (deceased) and Sarah Lazenby, by whom she was brought to America when about six months old. Her parents settled in Morgan County in 1829, near Jacksonville. Mr. and Mrs. Moody were the parents of six children, five of whom are living, viz: John, who is a resident of Scott County; Sarah, the wife of B. DeLapp of California; Mary, now Mrs. Charles Rawson of this county; Emma, the wife of Walter Birch, a railroad agent; James B., of Scott County. The deceased child is Henry.
Mr. Moody lived on his farm in Scott County until 1875, in which year he removed to Chapin, where he has lived a retired life for many years. He is a very earnest member of the Episcopal Church. Both our subject and his estimable wife are respected members of society and in every circle, both social and religious. The relation of our subject to questions of government and political economy is with the Democratic party, of which he is an old and tried member. Both Mr. and Mrs. Moody have been hard workers throughout their lives, and now in their declining years are reaping the harvest thereof, but their days are not spent in idleness or inactivity, but being relieved from the embarrassing responsibilities and cares of business, they are careful to spend them in acts of kindness and deeds of usefulness.
The parents of Mrs. Moody were very early settlers in Morgan County,
and settled about five miles west of Jacksonville. To them were born seven
children, of whom it was their privilege to bring five to the estate of
man and womanhood. These are: Mary, the wife of our subject; John and Charles,
both of this county; William, who resides in Missouri, and Isaac, also
of this county. The names of those deceased are as follows: Elizabeth and
James. In the death of John Lazenby the county sustained the loss of one
of its best and representative citizens. His widow, who is in her eighty_sixth
year, resides with our subject.
GEORGE W. MOORE, a live_long resident of Morgan County, was born within its limits in 1833, completed his education in Illinois College, from which he was graduated in 1856, and chose the occupation of a farmer, which he has since followed. Upon reaching man's estate, he was married to Miss Nannie, daughter of Col. G.M. Chambers of Jacksonville, and a native of Bourbon County, Ky. The only child born of this union is a daughter _ Eleanor I, who has been given an excellent education, graduating from Jacksonville Female Academy with honors in the class of '89, and still lives with her parents. They reside upon a beautiful farm, seven miles east of the city, where Mr. Moore is largely engaged in stock_raising and feeding, which he has prosecuted with marked success.
Our subject is the son of Dr. Edmund Moore, who was born in Roscommon County, Ireland, and came to America with his parents in 1798. During the first few years of his residence in the United States he had the unusual experience of living under three forms of Government _ first, the French in Louisiana, under the first Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte; second the Spanish in Florida, under King Charles the Fourth, and, lastly, under the great Republic. He completed his education in the Seminary at Bardstown, Ky., now known as Nazareth, and later took up the study of medicine. In due time he was married to Miss Mary O'Neal, a native of Bardstown, and later removed to Rockport, Ind., where he followed his chosen profession for five years. Then, in 1827, he came to this county, where he operated as a successful practitioner for a period of nearly forty years, and died an honored and respected citizen.
Mrs. Mary (O'Neal) Moore, the mother of our subject, departed this life eleven years prior to the decease of her husband. They were the parents of four children, one of whom, a son Lewis, a retired farmer, is an intelligent and highly respected citizen of Glendora, Cal.; Ellen became the wife of Samuel Tindall, a prosperous farmer of Morgan County; Sylvester L. is a resident of St. Louis, Mo. George W., our subject, completes the list. Two of the sons served in the Union army during the late Civil War, Sylvester being a member of the 101st Illinois Infantry, in which for gallant services he was promoted to the rank of Major. George W., our subject, held a Lieutenant's commission in the 1st Missouri Cavalry, and distinguished himself for his bravery and fidelity to duty.
Mr. Moore is everywhere recognized as a man of superior intelligence,
and as the encourager of all measures tending to elevate the people. He
is liberal in his religious views, but friendly to all church denominations
whose influence will make men wiser and better. Mrs. Moore is a lady of
cultivation and refinement, and greatly attached to her beautiful country
home. She is an earnest Presbyterian _ the church of her ancestors _ devoted
to her family, kind and obliging to her neighbors, and universally esteemed.
JOHN MORRISON is one of the oldest living settlers of Morgan County. He is a native of Ohio, and was born Feb. 4, 1815, in what is now known as Wyandotte County. He was a son of John and Mary (McCorklin) Morrison. His father was a native of Virginia, and is said to be of English descent. In the fall of 1832, with his parents he emigrated to what is now known as Scott County, Ill., and settled near Oxville, and there they both died. They were among those people who came to Illinois to seek better homes, and to gain in independence, and they found both. When they died they left to their children a good property and the heritage of a good name. Little did they expect that a busy empire was to spring up in the wilderness that surrounded them when they came to this great State. They reared a large family of children, of whom the following survive: Robert lives in Iowa; John; Henry B. lives in McLean County, Ill., and Richard in Hutchinson, Kan.
John Morrison of whom this is written, was practically reared in Ohio and Scott County, Ill., and was denied the privilege of properly gaining an education, but he persevered, reading all that came in his way until he became a self_educated man. He was married Dec. 31, 1840, to Sarah Coultas, a native of England. She was born March 31, 1821, and was a daughter of Richard and Sarah (Hardwick) Coultas, both natives of England. Her mother died leaving Mrs. Morrison when she was a helpless babe. When nine years of age, with her father, and the other children, five in all, she emigrated to America, making the voyage on a sailing vessel, which sailed from Liverpool, and after a voyage of over three months, landed in Quebec, from which place they came directly to what is now known as Scott County, Ill., but which then was a part of Morgan County. They resided a short time near Lynnville, and then removed to a farm near Riggston. In the early days the snow seemed to fall deeper than latterly. The winter preceding their removal to Riggston, the snow fell to an extraordinary depth, and the old settlers always referred to that winter as "the winter of the deep snow." Her father died on his original farm a number of years ago, leaving seven children, of whom four are living: William is living in Morgan County; John is a resident of Scott County, Ill., as are also Thomas and Mrs. Morrison. Mr. Coultas was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was one of the best known men of Morgan County, and his reputation as a man of industry and integrity, was the very best.
To Mr. and Mrs. Morrison there have been born nine children, of whom seven survive, namely: Robert C., is living in Morgan County: Charles R. resides in Cass County, Mo.; Thomas L. is a resident of Morgan County; Ada C., is the wife of Marshall Smith; Sarah E. is the wife of James Rexroat, and lives in Morgan County; Mary J., wife of M. H. Creig, is living in Cass County, Mo.; and Louisa C. Mr. Morrison settled on his present farm in 1847. As a matter of course, the land at that time was undeveloped, and the hard work incident to tilling new land fell to the lot of Mr. Morrison, but he and his wife persevered until they have accumulated their present magnificent farm of 270 acres of land, which is all under good cultivation, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that it was all earned honestly. They have been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church for a great many years, of which Mr. Morrison has served as Steward and Class_Leader. They are both active in all church matters.
Mr. Morrison is a Republican in politics, and is an ardent supporter of the principles of that party. He gave his second son, William H., to his country, he having died while in the army. His son was on his way home from Memphis, Tenn., and while at Mound City, Ill., he died, after having been in the service for over a year. Mr. Morrison has been a Justice of the Peace for nearly twelve years, and has filled the office with credit. As an exhibition of his possessing a public spirit, it may be stated that he aided largely in building the school_house in district No. 1, which was erected by means of subscription, and that he contributes liberally to the church, is a well_known fact. John Morrison is one of the very best men of Morgan County.
HON. ISAAC L. MORRISON. This book contains portraits of many illustrious men, whose names are indelibly impressed upon the history of Morgan County. Among these valuable engravings, certainly an important place belongs to that of the Hon. Isaac L. Morrison, Attorney and Counselor at Law. He took up his residence in the city of Jacksonville (then an unimportant village), in 1851, almost forty years ago. He was born Jan. 20, 1826, in Barren County, Ky., and is the son of John O. and Elizabeth (Wilbourn) Morrison, who were natives, respectively, of Virginia and North Carolina. After their marriage they settled, about 1793, in Garrett County, Ky.
The paternal grandparents of Isaac L. Morrison, Andrew and Polly (Burdett) Morrison, were natives of the North of Ireland. Grandfather Morrison emigrated to America at an early day in time to do good service as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He fought for his country's freedom but his earthly warfare ceased prior to the termination of the conflict. The patriots met with many disastrous defeats in 1777, one of the most serious being sustained in the battle of Brandywine. There the starving soldiers were cruelly slaughtered and left to die on the battle-field or linger in pain for days and weeks. Among the fatally injured in this battle was Andrew Morrison, who gave his life for the land of his adoption. On the mother's side the grandfather of our subject was James A. Wilbourn, a native of North Carolina, who removed to Kentucky in 1800. There he engaged in farming during the remainder of his life.
John O. Morrison, the father of our subject, departed this life in Barren County, Ky., in 1841. His wife, Elizabeth, survived him a period of twenty-two years, her death taking place in Barren County, in 1863. She was the second wife of Mr. Morrison, who, by his first marriage had become the father of six children. Of his union with Elizabeth Wilbourn there were born seven children, of whom Isaac L., our subject, was, with one exception, the youngest.
Young Morrison continued a resident of his native State until he reached his majority, acquiring his education in the Masonic Seminary at LaGrange, of which he was a student two years. He subsequently read law in the same town, and was admitted to practice in the courts of Kentucky, in September, 1849. Two years later, however, he came to Illinois, locating in Jacksonville, and was one of its pioneer attorneys. He formed a partnership, in 1861, with Cyrus Epler (now Judge of the Circuit Court), which continued until 1869. The firm then became Morrison, Whitlock & Gallagher, and was in operation until the death of Mr. Gallagher, in 1871. Since that time the firm has maintained an enviable reputation as Morrison & Whitlock.
The energy and intelligence of the young attorney were given ready recognition by the people of Morgan County, and it soon became evident that Mr. Morrison was destined for a prominent position among his fellow men. He was elected on the Republican ticket to the House of Representatives, in 1876, and served three terms thereafter, closing his services in 1883. He was one of the Republican delegates to the State Convention, which established the platform of that party in Illinois. Later, in 1864, he was a member of the Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. He has for a period of over thirty years taken on active interest in politics, and has done most excellent service in the upholding of party principles. His law practice has resulted in the accumulation of a good property, and he lives at his ease in one of the finest homes in Jacksonville.
The marriage of Isaac L. Morrison and Miss Anna R. Rappeljie, was celebrated July 27, 1853 in Jacksonville. Mrs. Morrison was born in New York City, and is a lady of fine literary attainments, and rare social qualities. The union of this gifted couple was blessed by the birth of two children, Miriam W., and Alfred T., both residents of Jacksonville. The family are connected with the Episcopal Church, which they regularly attend.
Mr. Morrison has been identified with the Jacksonville National Bank
since the time of its organization. He is general solicitor for the Jacksonville
& Southeastern Railroad, and rated as one of the ablest attorneys of
the State of Illinois. As a citizen, he is public-spirited and liberal,
progressive in his ideas, and highly esteemed among the people who have
known him so long and so well.
JAMES MORRISON, M.D., a venerable and highly esteemed resident of Jacksonville and one of its pioneer physicians, was born near Paris, in Bourbon County, Ky., Jan. 11, 1803. The father was a native of Ireland, and one of a family of seven children. The parents of our subject spent their last years in Henry County, Ky. William, his only brother, learned surveying, and at an early day, about 1820, went to Texas with a company of fifteen others, and was massacred by the indians. He left a wife and one son, whose whereabouts are unknown. James, our subject, spent his early years in Kentucky, pursuing his first studies in the common schools. When about eighteen years of age he commenced the study of medicine in Lexington, Ky., in the office of Dr. Benjamin Dudley, one of the most celebrated physicians of that time. When sufficiently advanced he entered the Cincinnati (Ohio) Medical College, from which he was graduated, and, before fully entering upon the regular practice, was united in marriage, in 1829, with Miss Lucinda Henderson, a native of his own county. They spent the first two years of their wedded life in Bourbon County, Ky., and then in 1831 came to this county, settling first in the little town of Arcadia. In the above_mentioned place Dr. Morrison practiced a number of years successfully, then returned to the Blue Grass regions and attended a course of lectures in the city of Louisville. This completed, and thus fortified for his future duties, he resumed practice in Arcadia. He was constantly anxious to advance himself still further in the knowledge of this most important calling, and, as soon as his circumstances would permit, proceeded to Philadelphia, Pa., and took another course of lectures. His prompt attention to his duties and his evident skill soon secured him an extensive patronage, and he found himself on the high road to prosperity with something laid by for a rainy day.
The first great affliction of our subject was the death of his excellent wife. Mrs. Lucinda Morrison, who departed this life on the 24th of October, 1850. Of this union there were no children. Dr. Morrison contracted a second marriage, May 16, 1853, with Miss Mary A. E. Troutman, and followed his practice thereafter for a period of thirteen years. In 1865 he retired, and spent his last days in the enjoyment of a handsome home in Jacksonville, of which he had been a resident for a period of twenty_three years. His death occurred Dec. 7, 1887. His remains were laid to rest two days later in a pleasant spot in Diamond Grove Cemetery. He had attained the ripe old age of nearly eighty_four years, and during his long and useful career was acknowledged as one of Morgan County's most distinguished and honored citizens. The doctrines of the Presbyterian Church coincided the most nearly with the religious ideas of Dr. Morrison, and he was a regular attendant upon the services thereof. In early manhood he was an old_line Whig, but upon the organization of the Republican party identified himself with the latter. Socially, he was a member in good standing of the I.O.O.F. He had no ambition for office of any kind, and, although frequently importuned to become one of the directors of the Jacksonville National Bank, he invariably declined.
Mrs. Morrison still occupies the pleasant home left her by her husband. She was the fourth of a family of ten children and the eldest daughter of Peter H. and Catherine M. (Giltner) Troutman who were natives of Kentucky, and spent their last years in that State. Mrs. Morrison was born Nov. 1, 1824, in Bourbon County, Ky. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and her childhood and youth were spent amid the quiet scenes of country life. After the death of her excellent mother, which occurred in 1840, in accordance with the mother's request, this daughter continued at home and took charge of the household. She is a lady of cultivated tastes, domestic in her inclinations, and greatly attached to her home. This she seldom left after her marriage with Dr. Morrison unless at his especial request.
The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Morrison are recorded as follows:
Elijah, the eldest, died in Kentucky, Jan. 21, 1841; Frank died in Coles
County, Ill., in 1881; Jacob is a resident of Jessamin County, Ky.; Eliza
J. became the wife of Andrew Darling, and lives in Carrolton, Ky; Nancy
A., Mrs. Alfred M. Clark, lives with her sister, Mrs. Morrison; Bernard
G. is engaged in business in Coles county, this State; John G. is a resident
of Andrew County, Mo.; Thomas A. died at his home, in Coles County, Ill.,
in 1867; and Sarah K. is the wife of S.K. Baker, of Lexington, Ky.
WILLIAM MORTIMER. One of the most attractive little homesteads of Woodson Precinct, belongs to the subject of this sketch. He is a gentleman in the prime of life, and is distinguished for his thoroughness and skill as a farmer and stock raiser, and his general habits of thrift and industry. His property is pleasantly located on section 25, and comprises 160 acres of choice land, which under careful cultivation yields the richest crops of Central Illinois. In the livestock line he is able to exhibit some of the finest animals in this region. In addition to the homestead he and his wife together own about 400 acres of land, all in this county, and are thus in the enjoyment of a comfortable income.
The first twenty years of the life of our subject were spent on the other side of the Atlantic, in Yorkshire, England, where he was born Aug. 9, 1847. His parents, William and Sarah A. (Hugill) Mortimer, were also natives of that shire, where the mother spent her entire life, dying about 1857. The father, some years after the death of his partner, emigrated to America in 1882, and died at the home of his son in this county, April 2, 1889. The parental family included seven children, of whom William, Jr. was the second born.
Our subject after reaching the United States proceeded directly westward to this county, and for five years thereafter was in the employ of Vincent Richardson and family, west of Jacksonville. His next ten years were spent in township 13, where in the meantime he was married, and settled upon a farm which he conducted five years, then removed to his present homestead. His marriage occurred Feb. 26, 1879, with Miss Sarah Rawlings, at the bride's home in township 13, range 10.
Mrs. Mortimer was born April 17, 1858, in this county, and is the
daughter of James and Frances (Hembrough) Rawlings, who were natives of
England, and are now in Morgan County. Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer are the parents
of five children, all living, namely: Cora and Carrie, twins; Hattie; Earl
and Eva, twins. Mr. Mortimer cast his first Presidential vote for Hayes,
and uniformly votes the straight Republican ticket. He has had little to
do with public affairs, however, aside from officiating as School Director
in his district. He is public_spirited and liberal, and a firm supporter
of those measures calculated to advance the community in morals and enlightenment,
and keeps himself well posted upon events of general interest to the intelligent
FRANCIS M. MORTON, a man of more than ordinary ability and enterprise, proprietor of the celebrated Morton Stock Farm, one mile east of Jacksonville, in township 15, range 10, devotes his time to breeding high-graded stock and fast horses, and is one of the leaders in his line in Morgan County. He owns two of the best road stallions in the county, and has some of the finest and swiftest blooded horses in this part of the State.
The subject of this biographical review was born on the farm where he now lives, Oct. 8, 1841. He is a fine representative of one of the oldest pioneer families of Morgan County. In 1819, a daring high-spirited, self-reliant youth, over whose head but eighteen summers had passed, penetrated to the wilds of this part of Illinois, animated partly by a desire for adventure, and in part to select a suitable spot whereupon he might build a home on this virgin soil. This bold, stalwart youth, Joseph Morton by name, who thus early sought his fortune in a wild, unsettled country, and became one of its first settlers, was the father of him of whom we write. Himself the son of a pioneer, he was born in Tennessee in 1801. Upon coming here he located on the first farm west of this, and after a time went to Madison County. But during the year he spent there, he was making arrangements to locate here permanently. In after years he accumulated a large amount of property, and owned 800 acres of fine farming land, the most of which he brought to a fine state of cultivation. He became prominently identified with the stock-raising interests of Morgan County, and engaged extensively in raising thorough-breds. He was an important factor in developing the vast agricultural resources of the county, and aided greatly in its upbuilding. He was an interested witness of the early and entire growth of Jacksonville, from the time when he used to chase the wolves over its unpeopled site to the present size and importance as the metropolis of a wealthy, populous region. He lived on his old homestead, and venerated by the whole community, until his eyes closed to the scenes of earth, in 1880. In his early days he had the help of a devoted wife, whose maiden name was Mary Odele, and they reared a family of five children.
The son of these worthy people, Francis M., who forms the subject of this sketch, received a substantial education at Jacksonville, and on his father's farm a sound training in all that pertains to agriculture. After leaving school he engaged with his father, who was at that time breeding thorough-bred stock. In 1865 he bought the homestead of his father and now has a valuable farm of 360 acres of well-tilled soil, amply provided with commodious, well appointed buildings; and he also has a half-mile track on his land. In 1868 he sold all of the thoroughbred stock and engaged in general farming, continuing it until 1885, when he once more turned his attention to raising thoroughbreds. At that time he bought Pepper, registered in the stud book as No. 2361, who comes of the most famous trotting stock in the world, and has a fine record as a colt getter in Morgan County. He was sired by Harold, No. 4113,. Who was the sire of Maud S., the Queen of the trotting turf, whose wonderful record of 2.08 ¾ has never been lowered. 1st dam Lelia, by St. Elmo, No. 375, record 2:30 twenty-one years ago. 2nd dam, Frazier's Camden thoroughbred. Through his sire Harold, Pepper traces his blood back to imported Messenger, an English thoroughbred, brought to this country in 1790, the founder and sire of the American trotting horse, of whom it is said that "when that old gray came charging down the gangplank of the ship which brought him over, the value of not less than a hundred million struck our soil." Harold was by Rysdyk's Hambletonian (the celebrated son of Abdallah, who was in turn the grandson of imp. Messenger), dam Enchantress, by old Abdallah. St. Elmo by Alexander's Abdallah. Pepper is a bay, height fifteen and three-fourths hands, weight 1,250; he is powerfully built, with excellent limbs, heavy bones and great substance, has fine action and gentle disposition. Mr. Morton's stud is headed by Motor, registered No. 7411, a beautiful bay sixteen hands high, weight 1,180, with a high standard of individuality. He is considered a remarkably fine horse. He was bought in Frankfort, Ky., South Elkland Street Farm for $7,500. He is a three year old, sired by Onward, No. 1411, record 2.25 ¼; 1st dam Griselda, by Wm. Rysdyk; 2d dam by Amos, Cassius W. Clay. Mr. Morton keeps a fine lot of high bred mares and is constantly increasing his stock and bids fair to have the finest stud in the country.
January 27, 1863, Mr. Morton was united in marriage with Miss Louisa Orear, daughter of George Orear, and to them have been born two children, Gilbert and George, both of whom are still members of their household. Gilbert married Miss Nellie Mathews, and they have two children - Lousia and Franklin. Mrs. Morton's parents were early settlers of Morgan County, and she was born on their homestead eight miles east of Jacksonville, and lived there until her marriage.
Mr. Morton possesses in a rare degree a well-balanced intellect,
acumen, foresight and business faculty so necessary to success in life,
and added to these are force and decision of character, so that his success
was assured from the start, and his place is among the most prominent and
prosperous citizens of his native county. The characteristics mentioned
as belonging to him have made his advice invaluable in civic affairs, and
he has held responsible township offices. He has carefully avoided politics,
although he does his duty at the polls, voting with the Democratic party.
GEORGE W. MOSS, one of the progressive farmers and stock raisers of township 16, range 11, has a fine homestead of 150 acres of land well improved, besides twenty acres of timber. In addition to general agriculture, he is able to exhibit some fine stock - high grade Norman and French draft horses and Short-horn cattle. He has expended much time and labor in bringing his farm to its present condition, which with its appurtenances very nearly approaches the ideal country estate.
Mr. Moss has occupied his present farm probably twenty years. He is a life long resident of Morgan County, having been born at his father's old homestead, Nov. 5, 1842. William Moss, an old resident of the township, was one of its earliest pioneers. He was a native of South Carolina, and died at the advanced age of eighty-three years. The paternal grandfather of our subject was John Moss, and he came with the family to Morgan County, dying here when ninety-two years old.
William Moss, the father of our subject, was a young man when his parents removed from South Carolina to eastern Tennessee, and he was there married to Rachel Bratten, who was born and reared there. After the birth of most of their children, they emigrated in the spring of 1828 to Morgan County, settled upon a tract of wild land in township 16, range 11, and began building up a homestead, upon which they spent the remainder of their days. The mother of our subject died when the latter was four years old, and his father was married a second time to a lady who also died before her husband. Mr. Moss was a true specimen of the hardy pioneer, expert with his rifle, and old fashioned flint-lock, and brought down many a deer - sometimes five in a day - as well as other wild game.
The subject of this sketch was the younger of his mother's children,
and after her death made his home with his father and stepmother. He was
married in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth P. Morrison, who was born near Concord,
Morgan County, Nov. 9, 1850. Her parents, Robert and Elizabeth A. (Puyer)
Morrison, were among the earliest pioneers of Morgan County, and her father
died in middle life. Mrs. Morrison married a second time, and again became
a widow. She is still living, is seventy-two years old, and makes her home
with our subject. She is an excellent old lady and highly respected by
all who know her. Mrs. Moss was quite young at the time of her father's
death, and supported herself until her marriage. She is now the mother
of nine children, three of whom are deceased - Mattie L., Grove and an
infant unnamed. The survivors are: Charles A., Ada O., Walter L., Nettie
M., Oscar R. and a babe unnamed. Mr. Moss is politically a straightforward
Democrat, and has held the office of Road Commissioner, besides serving
in other positions of trust and responsibility.
BENJAMIN F. MOSS. For the long period of sixty-two years the face of Mr. Moss has been familiar to the older residents of this county, to which he came in the fall of 1827. Twenty years of this time he has been Postmaster at Concord, and about that length of time has been engaged in general merchandising. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence and business capacities, and while with every other enterprising and progressive citizen, he has watched with interest the growth and development of the Great West, he has at the same time contributed manfully in bringing his adopted county to its present position among the communities of Central Illinois. In the meantime he spent a few years both in Fulton and Peoria counties, but finally chose Morgan as the scene of his future operations, and within whose limits he has been content to invest his labor and his capital.
In glancing at the early history of our subject, we find that he was born in Bedford County, Middle, Tenn., Jan. 13, 1822, and he is consequently now past the sixty seventy year of his age. His father, William Moss, a native of one of the Carolinas, was the son of John and Nancy (Galloway) Moss, who traced their ancestry to England and Wales. John Moss was a farmer by occupation, and coming to Illinois in 1829, accompanied by his wife, joined his son, William, who had emigrated to this locality several years before, being the first member of the family to remove from their native State. Grandfather Moss and his wife spent the remainder of their days in this county, and lived to the advanced ages of ninety-one and ninety-four years respectively. They were upright in their lives, and members of the Regular Baptist Church.
Grandfather Moss and his estimable wife were the parents of seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom William, the father of our subject, was the eldest born. Most of them lived to mature years, and were married. William was reared in South Carolina and Middle Tennessee, and when reaching man's estate, was united in marriage with Miss Rachel Bratton. This lady was the daughter of Benjamin F. and Mary (Hill) Bratton, who were natives of one of the Carolinas, and were early settlers of Middle Tennessee. Later, like the Moss family, they came, about 1817, to Illinois Territory, the year prior to its admission into the Union as a State. They located in Bond County, where the death of Mr. Bratton occurred a few years later. Subsequently his wife came to this county, and here spent her last days; both lived to be quite well advanced in years.
William Moss, after his marriage, settled on a farm in Tennessee, where he lived until after becoming the father of eight children. He then, in 1827, came with his family to this county, locating in township16, range 11, where he opened a farm from the wilderness, and built up a comfortable home, upon which both he and his wife spent the remainder of their days. The latter died when only fifty-three years old, but William Moss lived to the advanced age of eighty-two. Their family consisted of seventeen children, ten sons and seven daughters, of whom Benjamin F., our subject, was the fifth child. For a good many years the parents and all the children were living, and nearly all of the latter lived to become men and women. Benjamin F. was but a child when the family came to this county, and he, like his brothers and sisters, although attaining only a limited education, was trained to those habits of industry and principles of honor which made of him an honest man, and a good citizen.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Martha A. Martin, took place in this county in 1848. Mrs. Moss was born in Woodford County, Ky., March 13, 1829, and was the daughter of Robert and Italy (Hammond) Martin, who were likewise natives of that State, and the father a farmer by occupation. They left the Blue Grass State about 1829, and coming to this county, located in township 16, range, 11, where the father improved a farm from the forest. He only lived about twenty years after the removal, passing away in 1849, at the age of fifty years. His first wife had died several years previously, and he contracted a second marriage with Miss Mary Brown, who survived him some years.
Mrs. Moss was quite young at the time of her mother's death, and lived with her father and step-mother until her marriage. Her first born, a son, F. Edgar, died when five weeks old; Oscar was taken from the home circle when a promising lad of eight years; Eddie the third and last child, died when two years old. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Moss lived for a time at Peoria, where our subject engaged as a carpenter. In 1850, they removed to Farmington, Fulton County, where they sojourned eight years, and Mr. Moss dealt in chain pumps. Finally he returned to this county, where he has since made his home.
On the 22d of August, 1862, the Civil War being in progress, our subject enlisted as a Union soldier in Company B, 101st Illinois Infantry, under command of Capt. N. B. Brown and Col. Charles H. Fox. Mr. Moss proceeded with his regiment to the front, and met the enemy in several hard-fought battles. At Holly Springs, the 101st was detailed for special duty, after which nearly five companies were captured by the rebels, but were soon afterward paroled and exchanged. Our subject subsequently joined his regiment at Union City, near Columbus, West Tenn., and shortly afterward they were assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, under Hooker's general command, and were held in reserve at the battle of Mission Ridge. Afterward they were sent to relieve Gen. Burnside, at Knoxville. We next find them at Chattanooga, and later at Kelley's Ferry and Bridgeport, Ala.
On the 2d of May, 1864, the 101st started for Atlanta with the 20th
Army Corps under Gen. Hooker, and on the way fought at the battle of Resaca
and New Hope Church, during which Company B, was in the front line, and
exposed to the full fire of the enemy. Our subject, however, lived to meet
the rebels again at Kenesaw Mountain and Peachtree Creek, and on the 25th
of July, 1864, encountered the enemy at Atlanta. At this place Mr. Moss
received a gunshot wound in the leg above the ankle, and was sent to Nashville,
Tenn., where he suffered amputation twice. Being of robust constitution,
he survived the shock of the two operations, and lived to receive his honorable
discharge, and to return home. He was appointed Postmaster at Concord in
1866, which office he has since held with the exception of about eighteen
months. He established himself as a general merchant in 1870, and is now
in comfortable circumstances. He is a Democrat in politics, and with his
excellent wife, in religious matters inclines to Universalist doctrines.
JOHN MURRAY, whose name is indissolubly linked with the early and later history of Morgan County as one of its most intelligent and prosperous pioneers, is still dwelling among us in the enjoyment of a hale old age. The town of Murrayville, where he owns and occupies a valuable farm, was named in honor of his brother, and out subject has been a prominent factor in promoting its growth and increasing its material prosperity. He has been very extensively engaged in the past in breeding fine Short-horn cattle, and representatives of his stock may be found all around in this part of the country. He has been a very large land owner, but has sold off much of his real estate, and has reduced the acreage of his farm to 186 acres, all prairie land, and as fertile and well adapted to general farming as any in the county. Mr. Murray has given up the management of his farm to his son, and has retired from active life.
Mr. Murray was born Sept 3, 1812, in Galloway, Scotland, and was the second child in the family of four sons and one daughter born to John and Hannah (McKean) Murray, natives of the same shire. Three of the children are still living, and one son, David, was finely educated, and for many years was a leading business man in Portsmouth, Ohio, but is now living in retirement. The family came to America in 1835, and after living three years in Pennsylvania came to Illinois, taking five months to perform the journey. They settled in Morgan County, where Murrayville now stands, and here the good old father and mother stayed their earthly wanderings and passed their last days in peace and plenty, dying at a ripe old age, the mother passing away in 1856 and the father surviving her four years, his death occurring at the venerable age of eighty-seven years.
Our subject was bred to the life of a farmer in his native land, receiving the benefit of a common school education, and after coming to America had the general oversight of his father's affairs. In 1838 he came to Illinois on a visit, and being pleased with the country resolved to settle here. After purchasing 190 acres of land, just west of the present site of Murrayville, he went back to Pennsylvania for his father and mother and the rest of the family, and returned with them the same year. The country around here was very desolate in those days, and the prairies were filled with sloughs that have since been drained and form the best land here. Mr. Murray and several other young men cut and hewed timber to build a log church at Murrayville, which was the pioneer religious institution of the village where today four churches stand. The home in which our subject and his parents lived was a rudely constructed log house, with a mud chimney, puncheon floor, clapboard door, and all put together without a nail. That humble dwelling lasted them a year, and it was then replaced by a more commodious two-story frame house. In the opening paragraph of his sketch we have seen how Mr. Murray has prospered in the long years that have followed his settlement here, and that by hard and well-directed labor he has accumulated a fine competence. We will now refer more particularly to his domestic life.
Mr. Murray has been twice married. The first time, Aug. 27, 1847, to miss Sarah A. Huey, daughter of Daniel Huey, of Morgan County, who came here from Mississippi in 1835. He was a large land-owner, and after giving his two sons a quarter-section each, he still possessed six full sections of fine land. Mrs. Murray was the third child in a family of seven. Her married life was not destined to be of very long duration, as on Jan. 30, 1852, she folded her hands in death, and now lies quietly sleeping her last sleep in the pretty cemetery at Murrayville. She bore her husband three children, as follows: Peter, who died out West in 1884; James, who lives near his father, married Nettie Moore, and has one child; Sarah A., wife of James B. Beadles, of Jacksonville, Ill.
Mr. Murray's marriage to his present wife, whose maiden name was Rachel Emily Reed, took place March 7, 1854. She is the daughter of Silas Reed, a Virginian by birth, who became a pioneer of Scott County in 1839, and was a man of prominence in that part of Illinois, taking an active part in the public affairs of his day. To her and her husband three children have been born, as follows: John Edwin, who died in infancy; Catherine Reed, who married Henry C. Tunison, the manufacturer of maps in Jacksonville, and has five children; Ada, who lives at home with her parents.
Mr. Murray is man of unswerving integrity, of a high sense of honor,
and of true Christian principle, and is held in warm regard and reverence
by the entire community with whose interests his own have been identified
for more than half a century. His keen foresight, cool head, good powers
of judgment and discrimination, and other traits that he inherited from
a sterling Scotch ancestry, have led him to prosperity, and he is numbered
among the most substantial citizens of this part of Morgan County. Mr.
Murray has always manifested great interest in school affairs, and has
promoted the cause of education as School Director, which office he has
held several years, and for the past twelve years he has been School Trustee.
He is a model citizen in political matters, voting as his conscience dictates,
and has been a strong supporter of the Republican party since its formation.
He voted for William Henry Harrison, and in the fall of 1888, forty-eight
years later, had the pleasure of casting his ballot for his grandson, our
present President, Benjamin Harrison. He and his wife are both devoted
members of the Presbyterian Church, his connection dating from 1856, and
he is now an Elder, and has always been a warm supporter of the Sunday
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