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)
THE REV. FRANKLIN W. PHILLIPS, M.D., for many years Superintendent of the Illinois Institution for the Education of the Blind, was born in Montgomery County, Ky., Nov. 5, 1827, and died at Jacksonville Jan. 17, 1888. His father, William Phillips, was a minister of the gospel, and descended from the old historic and highly esteemed Phillips family of Maryland. Both he and his wife died in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the subject of this sketch became for three years, during his boyhood, an inmate of the household of an uncle, at Paris, Ind. In 1840 he returned to Cincinnati, and entered Woodward College - now known as Woodward High School - from which he withdrew for the purpose of learning the carpenter's trade. Having made a profession of Christianity, and becoming a member of the Methodist Church, he, in 1845, began preparation for the ministry, and in 1848, after a rigid examination, he was admitted to the Kentucky Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His health having become impaired, he was reluctantly forced in 1856 to withdraw his connection from Conference and to locate. In doing this, Mr. Phillips was obliged to temporarily surrender the hope and ambition of his life. In the meantime, having read medicine, he attended lectures at the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville, and soon afterward began practice as a physician at the town of Livermore, McLean Co., Ky. He entered at once into a good practice at that place, afterward removing to Todd County, Ky., where he remained until 1864, when he began to cast around for a new location. The result was his investigation brought him to the conclusion that Illinois offered him a better field for his talents, and in the last year mentioned he removed to this State. His health having been restored, he believed it was his duty to re-enter the ministry, which he did by joining the Illinois Conference, and during the succeeding ten years he preached at Mattoon two years, Jacksonville four years, Springfield three years, and Danville district one year. In June, 1874, he was made Superintendent of the Institute for the Education of the Blind, and while in that office introduced many reforms, and placed that great institution in the front rank of its kind in the United States. In his death the State sustained an irreparable loss.
Dr. Phillips was married at Mackville, Ky., in Oct., 1853, the daughter of Rev. Richard J. Dungan being the happy bride. She is now (1889), and has been for some years, the Matron of the institution over which Dr. Phillips so successfully presided for fourteen years.
In glancing at this brief sketch, it will be seen that Dr. Phillips
was a man of more than the ordinary mould, and that the characteristics
of industry, intelligence, integrity and influence were blended in him.
In his management of the great institution for the amelioration of the
sightless wards of the State, the Doctor exhibited rare ability, and though
it is a common thing for humanity to praise the dead, in this case the
duty is not perfunctory, but is one which becomes a pleasant task to all
persons who were ever associated with Franklin W. Phillips.
JOHN R. PHILLIPS is one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of township 16, range 10, and is especially noted far and wide as a breeder of fine Percheron horses. He has a large farm on section 35, that in respect of cultivation and improvement is conceded to be one of the most valuable as well as one of the most desirable estates in the vicinity. Mr. Phillips represents well-know pioneer families, who were among its early settlers. He was reared here in those primitive times, and has a distinct recollection of the country when its broad, rolling prairies scarcely knew cultivation, and the fine old primeval forest trees along the water courses had been but little disturbed by the ax of the bold frontiersmen of fifty or more years ago. From this beautiful region, which but a short time before had been the home of the Indian, bears, wolves, deer, wild turkeys, and other wild game had not yet fled before advancing steps of civilization. In the great changes that the years have wrought since then our subject has played an important part, and he is now numbered among the wealthy and substantial agriculturists that are the mainstay of the prosperity and high standing of the county.
Our subject comes of good New Jersey stock, his grandfather, Titus, and his father, Spencer phillips, having been born and bred in that State. It is thought that all of the grandfather's children were born in that State, and in 1816 he moved from there to Hamilton County, Ohio, with his family, and thus became a pioneer of that part of the country. He remained there until 1831, and then disposing of his property he once more became a pioneer, removing still further westward and in the spring of 1832 he located with his family on the farm now owned by our subject; the parents and maternal grandparents of the latter coming here at the same time. His grandmother Phillips died a few years later, and the grandfather died, perhaps fifteen years after their settlement here.
The father of our subject was among the younger ones of his parents' family, and was born May 8, 1800, and was a lad of sixteen when his parents emigrated to Ohio. In that State he was reared to a vigorous manhood, and was there united in marriage to Miss Hannah Robison, a native of New York, who had accompanied her parents to the Buckeye State in its pioneer days. After coming to Illinois he bought 160 acres of wild land jointly with his father, the old homestead now being included in the farm owned by our subject. In the comfortable home that was built up by their united labors the parents passed their remaining days, enjoying the respect and regard of their neighbors, among whom they numbered many warm friends, and when they were gathered to their fathers leaving to their descendants, by whom their memory is held in reference, the precious legacy of lives spent in well-doing and guided by the highest Christian principles. The mother was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, but the father never identified himself with any Church, although he was converted at the age of sixteen and ever after led a true and Christian life, dying firm in the faith. In his politics, he was a good Democrat. To him and his wife were born fourteen children, ten of whom grew to maturity, as follows: Wilson, Allen, Francina, Elizabeth, John R., Sarah, Titus, Robison, William, Martha E. and of these five survive.
The subject of this sketch was born in Ohio, Oct. 15, 1830, and as we have seen was reared on the farm where he still makes his home, having been a mere infant when his parents brought him here. In the years that have passed since he attained man's estate his energetic and persistent toil have brought him due reward in the handsome property that he has accumulated. His farm comprises 480 acres of choice farming land, well fenced, and provided with an excellent set of well-appointed buildings and with an ample supply of modern machinery for various agricultural purposes. During the last few years he has made a specialty of rearing Percheron horses of fine breed, and he has some fine blooded horses of that blood, among which we may mention, Arthur, registered No. 5,546; and Frank, registered No. 6,520, a fine gray, imported from France, foaled April 25, 1885, and brought to this country by M. W. Dunham in 1886.
In the month of May, 1868 Mr. Phillips and Miss Margaret E. Berry were united in the holy bonds of matrimony, and in their pleasant home five children have blessed their wedded life, all of whom are members of the household yet, as follows - William H., Spencer L., Charles E., John H., David E. Mrs. Phillips is a daughter of William and Margaret (Sharp) Berry of this township. She is in every respect all that a true wife and devoted mother can be, and all who come under her influence hold her in high estimation. In her Methodist Episcopal Church finds one of its most valued members.
During the many years that Mr. Phillips has lived in this county
as a boy and man he has made an extensive acquaintance and all who come
in contact with him either in a business or social way unite in testifying
to his integrity of purpose and never failing honesty in action. In all
the years of his manhood he has walked the undeviating path of honor, justice
and right, and is looked up to with respect by all in the community. He
is one of the influential members of the Baptist Church, and always actively
cooperates with his pastor and fellow-members in all its good work. He
may be said to have inherited his political beliefs from his Democratic
ancestry, and ever stands firmly by his party in success or defeat.
WILLIAM S. PHILLIPS. Superintendent of the Illinois Institution for the Education of the Blind, is fulfilling the duties of a very arduous and responsible position in the most praiseworthy manner. He was born at Mackville, Washington Co., Ky., July 8, 1856, and is the second son of the late Dr. Franklin W. Phillips, his distinguished predecessor as Superintendent of the institution above_named, and a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The subject of this notice came to Jacksonville with his parents in 1866, and here pursued his primary studies in the public schools. Later he entered Illinois College, and in 1877 accepted a clerkship under his father, then Superintendent of the Institution for the Blind, which he retained until the latter's death, which occurred Jan. 17, 1888. In May following the Trustees, after visiting various other States and their institutions for the training of the blind, and after considering many other applications, very properly chose the present incumbent as the worthy successor of his father.
The history of this admirably conducted institution comes not within the province of this work, albeit it is proper to say that it now contains 164 pupils with five literary teachers, six music teachers, and about thirty other officers and employees, there being altogether forty_four persons on the pay_roll. Mr. Phillips entered college with a view to the profession of law, but, subsequently finding the training and education of the blind congenial to his tastes, he decided to confine himself thereto, and it is now altogether certain that the trustees did a wise thing in naming him to a position ordinarily so difficult to fill.
On the 12th of June, 1884, Mr. Phillips was united in marriage with
Miss Mary C., the accomplished daughter of the Rev. Preston Wood, of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, now located at Springfield. Both our subject
and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He
is also identified with the Masonic fraternity, the I.O.O.F. and the K.
of P. He is a liberal and public_spirited citizen, and not only fully acquainted
with the best methods of conducting the institution over which he presides,
but as a citizen is highly esteemed in the community.
DR. THOMAS J. PITNER, of the firm of Drs. Pitner & Malone, Jacksonville, occupies one of the best_appointed offices in the city, and has a beautiful home on West College avenue, No. 215. A man understanding thoroughly the multitudinous details of his profession, he has achieved success and has acquired a competence. He is the owner of valuable property in the city and vicinity, and is numbered among its prominent and influential men.
The 17th of November, 1842, is notable as being the birthday of our subject, which took place in Cass County, Ill, at the modest home of his parents, William and Catherine (Price) Pitner, who were natives respectively of Tennessee and Ohio. They were married and came to Illinois in 1831, locating in that portion of Morgan which is now Cass County, where they lived until the death of the father, which took place in 1875. The mother is also deceased, dying when our subject was quite young.
The paternal grandparents of our subject were Michael and Catherine (Rubel) Pitner, natives of Rockingham, Va., and of Maryland. Grandmother Pitner lived to be ninety_five years old. The great_grandfather was John Pitner, also a native of the Old Dominion, and a soldier of the Revolutionary War. His father was Adam Pitner, who was born in Germany, near the city of Coblentz. He emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and two of his sons did valiant service in that memorable conflict. The fate of one was never known. Michael was in the battle of New Orleans, under the command of Gen. Jackson.
William Pitner, the father of our subject, was the eldest of a family of twelve children, all of whom grew to mature years. His brother, Levi C., became a clergyman of the Methodist Church, together with a brother, Wilson. Franklin R. developed into a physician and surgeon. Montgomery was one of the earliest pioneers of this county, coming here when there were only three houses upon the present site of Jacksonville. He purchased several hundred acres of Government land lying two miles east of the present city, where he resided until his death. Rev. Levi C. Pitner was pastor of the Centenary Church, Jacksonville, from 1863 to 1865. He is now a resident of Chicago. Wilson finally moved to California, where he continued his labors in the Master's vineyard until his death, in 1882. Dr. Franklin R. Pitner at an early day located in Clay City, this State, where he is still engaged in the duties of his profession. One sister, Lydia, is the wife of Rev. H. Dickens, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church; he continued his pious labors until his death, which occurred in September, 1882. Alexander during the active years of his business life, was engaged in farming, but is now living in retirement in the city of Jacksonville. The family is notable for its standing, and has been prominent in the county and State for a long period.
The maternal grandparents of our subject were Henry and Polly (Marlow) Price, the former a native of Rockingham, Va., and of Welsh descent. He farmed extensively in the Old Dominion until his removal to Ohio. Later he removed further Westward, settling first in Cass County this State. Subsequently he took up his residence in Macon County, where his death took place at the age of eighty years. Grandmother Price is deceased. Their family included seven children. William, the father of our subject, was born in 1800, received a fine education, and also became familiar with farm pursuits. He taught school near the city of Nashville, Tenn., a number of years. He married Miss Catherine Price after the removal of the family to Illinois, and they became the parents of two sons, of whom our subject is the only one living. William Pitner was Justice of the Peace, a member of the Board of Education, and Sheriff of Cass County a number of years. He was prominent in local affairs, and as a man of ability and integrity commanded the respect of his community. His death took place in Decatur, March 25,, 1875. The mother had preceded her husband to the silent land twenty_two years, her death taking place in February, 1853.
The subject of this biography pursued his first lessons in the district school, and at the age of fifteen years entered one of the city schools at Beardstown, where he remained two years. Then he became a student at the Wesleyan University in Bloomington and from there entered McKendree college at Lebanon, where he staid one year, then entering Illinois College, at Jacksonville, he was graduated from that institution in 1862, after taking a post_graduate course of two years. He began his business career as a dry_goods salesman in Jacksonville, but a year later, the war being in progress, enlisted in the 100 days service, remaining five months, and doing garrison duty mostly in Missouri.
After the close of the war Dr. Pitner commenced the study of medicine in 1865 under the instruction of Dr. H. K. Jones, of Jacksonville. After thorough preparation he repaired to New York City, and entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons, from which he was graduated in 1869. In the fall of that year he commenced the practice of his profession at Jacksonville, and was thus steadily occupied until 1875. Then having a great desire to perfect himself still further in the knowledge of his profession, he crossed the Atlantic to Germany, and entering the University of Vienna, applied himself closely, and remained abroad one and one_half years. Since returning to Jacksonville he has closely confined himself to the duties of his profession. He associated himself with Dr. Malone in 1885, and they make a very strong firm, having command of a fine practice throughout the county.
Dr. Pitner stands high in the profession in this part of Illinois,
being a member of the Medical Society of Morgan County, the Medical Club
of Jacksonville, the American Medical Association, and a life_member of
the Illinois State Medical Society. He is a Trustee in the Jacksonville
College and of the Y.M.C.A., being also one of the Directors of the latter.
Politically, he is a stanch Republican, and in religious matters, a member
of the Methodist episcopal Church. Dr. Pitner was united in marriage with
Miss Eloise Griffith, daughter of Dr. Griffith, of Springfield. The wedding
took place at Springfield, May 28th, 1889. She is a cultured young lady,
and highly esteemed in the social circle of her home.
CARL POND. The wealth of Morgan County consists largely of its farm property, and they who have redeemed the primitive soil from its original condition, have perhaps accomplished more than any other class of men in bringing it to its present proud position among the communities of the Great West. The subject of this notice has been in no wise behind his neighbors in thrift, enterprise, and industry, and is able to look over 200 acres of finely cultivated land, which the labor of his own hands has made valuable. He now enjoys a comfortable income from the products of the soil, and sitting under his own vine and figtree, is enabled to look around him with a pardonable degree of satisfaction. Not only has his life been characterized by diligence and prudence in the accumulation of this world's goods, but such has been his course in his dealings with his fellow-men, that he has secured their unqualified respect. He is one of the oldest farmers of this precinct, and his property is located on section 22, township 16, range 12.
A native of Erie County, Pa., Mr. Pond was born Feb. 9, 1829, and is the son of Martin J. and Amanda (Simons) Pond, the father a native of Connecticut, and the mother of New York State. The paternal ancestors of our subject, were of English descent. The Pond family can be traced back to three brothers who left England prior to the Revolutionary War, in which it is believed they participated, and after its close, settled in New England. The father of our subject later served in the War of 1812.
About 1838, when our subject was a lad of nine years, his parents, leaving Connecticut, emigrated to Illinois, and for a short time resided in Sangamon County. Thence they removed to Brown County, where they sojourned two years, and in 1841 came to this county, where the father secured the land which his son Carl now owns and occupies. He first entered 160 acres from the Government, upon which there had been no improvements whatever, it lying as the Indians had left it. The story of the years which followed, has been too often told in this work, to need repetition here. Suffice it to say that the Pond family endured their full share of privation and hardship, and in due time received the legitimate reward for their labors. The father departed hence about 1865. Five of the eight children comprising the parental household are still living, namely: Annie, Melissa, Mrs. Kinney, a widow of Concord; Alfred a resident of Menard County; Carl Jr., and Harriet (Mrs. Thorndyke), of Concord. The deceased are: Lovina, Loretta and Cyrus.
The father of our subject was a well-educated man, with excellent business capacities, and became quite prominent in his adopted county, serving as Township Trustee, and occupying other positions of trust. He for a time after coming here, taught school during the winter seasons, and interested himself in all the projects tending to benefit the people. He voted the straight Republican ticket, after the organization of this party, and was widely and favorably known throughout this region. In his death the community lost one of its most valuable men.
The subject of this sketch received a limited education in the subscription school, and assisted his father in development of a new farm, remaining under the home roof until ready to establish domestic ties of his own. He was married Feb. 19, 1857, to Miss Manilious Moore, a native of West Virginia, and who was born July 29, 1832. Mrs. Pond was the daughter of William and Keziah Moore, who left the Old Dominion at an early day, and settled in Cass County, this State. They were farmers, and lived and died in Cass County, in the same home where they first settled. Of this marriage there were born twelve children, eleven of whom are living: Xavier married Alice Clark, of Cass County, and he was also a resident of the same place; William, Katie; Charles married Nettie Webster, and is a farmer in this precinct; Edward married Florence Wildy, he is also a farmer of this township Frank, Nina, Truman, Haleyon, Royal and Arthur G., are at home with their parents.
The father of Mrs. Pond was a native of Pennsylvania, and of Irish
descent. The mother was born in Ohio, and traced her ancestry to Scotland.
To them there were born thirteen children, twelve of whom are living, namely:
Manilious, the wife of our subject; Nelson, a resident of Cass County;
Nancy F., the wife of Alfred Pond, of Menard County; Robert B., of Cass
County; Thomas S. of Washington County, Kan.; Amanda (Mrs. Robert McNeal),
of Cass County; William A., of Montgomery County, Iowa; John, of Phelps
County, Neb. Charles in Morgan County; Ulysses G. in Phelps County, Neb.;
Adelaide, the wife of George Wubker, of Montgomery County, Iowa; Alma,
of Cass County, this State; Calvin died when an infant. Mr. Moore died
in 1865. He may be most properly classed among the pioneers of Illinois,
as he settled in Cass County about 1835, and there both parents spent the
remainder of their days. The mother survived her husband for a period of
twenty years, remaining a widow, and died in 1884. She was a member of
the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The father had served as Township Trustee,
and was a man of good judgment, and excellent business capacity. Mr. Pond,
politically, is a live Republican, as are also all his children, and has
served in the capacity of School Director, but further than this has carefully
avoided the responsibilities of office. His brother, Cyrus, served in the
Union army three years during the late Civil War. During Mr. Pond's long
live, he has always been a temperate man, never having indulged in intoxicating
liquors or tobacco in any form.
JAMES PORTER. The subject of this notice, who is living in single blessedness on a snug little farm of 120 acres on section 36 in Woodson Precinct, came to this region when a youth of sixteen years, in the fall of 1834. He was accompanied by his parents, William and Sarah (Tingle) Porter, and remained with them until their decease. William Porter departed this life March 7, 1843, and the mother, who only survived her husband four and one-half years, died Sept. 13, 1848.
The parents of our subject were natives of Delaware, whence they removed in their youth, prior to their marriage, to Kentucky. After uniting their hearts and fortunes they settled in Scott County, that State, and lived there until their removal to Illinois, in the fall of 1834. The father secured a tract of land, and, with the aid of his son, built up a comfortable homestead, where both parents spent their last days. Their household consisted of six children. James, our subject, was born in Scott County, Ky., Aug. 14, 1818, and there received the most of his education in the common school. He grew up a dutiful son and an industrious youth, following in the footsteps of his honored father, and being mostly engaged in farming pursuits. The old homestead is now occupied by himself and younger sister, Nancy, and our subject secured his farm in 1875. He has erected a neat and commodious dwelling, and his barn and other outbuildings are well adapted to the purposes of general agriculture. There is no fault bo be found, whatever, with his career as a man and a citizen, excepting the fact that he had never thought best to take unto himself a wife and helpmate. His domestic affairs are presided over by his sister Nancy.
Politically, Mr. Porter affiliates with the Republican party, and
he has been for many years a member in good standing of the Christian Church.
No man has watched with warmer interest the growth and development of his
adopted county, and he has contributed his full quota in bringing it to
its present condition.
J. H. POTTS, of the firm of Potts & Son, breeders of fine Short_horn cattle, is located on a splendid stock farm just west of Jacksonville, and which consists of 230 acres of land. This farm has been admirably arranged for the purposes of stock raising. Messrs. Potts & Son have been very successful in their efforts to sustain a good strain of the celebrated cattle which they breed. The present head of their herd of about seventy_five cattle, is the well_known Imp King, of Aberdeen, a splendid animal four years of age, and one of the very best of the Cruikshank breed.
Mr. Potts began the breeding of Short_horn cattle in 1869, his first start being with the fine cow, Bell Morland. By intelligent purchases and a strict adherence to business, he has constantly added to his herd until he now has as fine a lot of cattle as one wishes to see. He has exhibited his stock through this State, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska, and at all points his cattle have been received with applause. He has had many competitors, but as a rule he has brought home the blue ribbon. His herd has taken more than $33,000 in premiums, and all this is the result of persistently working to get the best in his line.
In connection with their cattle breeding, Potts & Son have made a specialty of South Down sheep. They have a flock of more than fifty head, which has been a source of revenue both at fairs and fat stock shows at Chicago and Kansas City. The firm of Potts & Son was established in 1876, and has been a success from the beginning. They never omit anything in the way of aiding their ambition to own the best herd of cattle in the country.
J.H. Potts has been a resident of Morgan County since 1868. He is a native of Illinois, and was born near Whitehall, Dec. 7, 1823. His father, William Potts was born in New Castle, England, and was the son of English parents. William Potts' father was Dr. Anthony Potts, of New Castle, England. Dr. Potts married an English lady, and after the birth of William Potts, in 1796, the family came to America, and while on the sea, one child, Ann, was born. On landing, Dr. Potts lived for a few years in New York, when he later came to Fayette County, Ohio, where he located near Washington, and as a matter of course was one of the early settlers of that county. There the doctor and family lived until 1820, when they came to Greene County, Ill. This afterward became the home of Dr. Potts, except a few years when he lived in Burlington, Iowa. He died near Whitehall, this state, in the year 1852, and at the time of his death, was ninety_three years old. He was a Presbyterian, and politically, acted with the Whig party. His first wife, who came to America with him, died in Fayette County, Ohio, being then a little past middle life. She was also a Presbyterian, and was the mother of six children, each of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. After the death of his first wife, the Doctor again married, and his second wife was killed in Ohio by a runaway team. She was a Mrs. Smith when she married Dr. Potts. William Potts, the father of the one whose name appears at the head of this sketch, was reared in Fayette County, Ohio, until he became of age. He was married in Ohio, to Miss Margaret Parker, who was born in Virginia. Her parents were Absalom and Massy (Cooper) Parker. They removed from Virginia to Fayette County, Ohio, when their daughter, Margaret was ten years old. Absalom Parker lived in Fayette County until after the death of his wife, when he came West to Illinois, where he joined his children, and lived with them until his death.
William Potts and wife had one child born to them while living in Fayette County. In 1820 he started for Illinois with a keel boat, his route being via the Sciota River, thence to the Ohio River down to Cairo, Ill., when they ascended the Mississippi River, cordeling the boat; they would take a rope and go in a draft and tie the rope to a tree and go back to the boat and get hold of the rope and pull up to the tree and go again. He afterward located in Greene County, as it is now called, it then being Madison County, Ill. They lived then on what is now called the old Judge Woodson farm. Later he located in Apple Creek Prairie, and lived there until he died, at the age of sixty_eight. Politically, he was a Whig, afterward a Republican, and belonged to the Methodist Church. His wife survived him, and died in 1873, aged seventy_five years. She also died in the Methodist faith.
J.H. Potts is the third child of a family of seven, four sons of
whom yet survive. He was reared at home as a farmer's boy, and when twenty_four
years old, was married near Whitehall, Greene County, Ill., March 30, 1848,
to Miss Nancy Smith. She was a native of Virginia, and was born in August,
1829, and died at her home in Greene County, June 4, 1855. She was one
of the best of women and was deeply mourned. She left two sons, one of
whom died on the 11th of July, 1855. the one living, William T., is now
Mr. Pott's partner in business. He is married and lives on a farm. Mr.
J.H. Potts married for his second wife, Mrs. Louisa Ransdell, nee Green,
daughter of Stephen and Cynthia (Riggs) Green, now both deceased. Mrs.
Green died in Jacksonville, in April 1879, at an advanced age. She was
a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Green died at Jacksonville, Jan.
4, 1889, aged nearly eighty_one years. He was also a member of the Christian
Church, and politically, was a Republican. Mrs. Louisa M. Potts was born
in this county, Nov. 2, 1829, and here she was reared and educated. Messrs.
Potts & Son are Republicans.
JULIUS F. PRATT. The Pratt family is widely and favorably known throughout this county, and is recognized as forming a part and parcel of its best element, representing its intelligence, enterprise, industry and virtue. The homestead of this gentleman, comprising 160 acres of thoroughly cultivated land, is finely located on section 6, township 15, range 11, and he also has 174 acres on section 5. He has been his own architect and builder, and his dwelling, barns, and outhouses furnish an admirable illustration of the character of the man. They are neat and substantial, provided with every convenience and finely adapted to the requirements of the proprietor, and for the prosecution of agriculture after the best methods.
Mr. Pratt came to this county in 1845, poor in purse, and occupied himself as a renter until he could become a land_holder. Two years later he realized his desires, securing a tract of land which had never been subjected to any cultivation, and he thereafter labored early and later for a number of years before feeling assured of his ultimate success. Appearances would indicate that he should be well satisfied at the present, for he is in the enjoyment of a handsome income and a competence sufficient to keep himself and family from want during their natural lives. Cultivated tastes and ample means have been exercised in the adornment of the dwelling both within and without, and the home with all its appointments very nearly approaches the ideal of peaceful rural life, where nature and art alike contribute to the comfort and happiness of mankind.
A native of Bridport, Addison Co., Vt., our subject was born Aug. 25, 1819, and is the son of Lyman Pratt, the son of David Pratt, the latter of whom was a native of Massachusetts, whence he removed to Vermont during the early settlement of the Green Mountain State. He located on a tract of wild land in Addison County, from which he improved a farm, and where he spent the remainder of his days, attaining to the advanced age of eighty_three years. He was the scion of an excellent old family of South Adams, Mass., and was distinguished for his kindly Christian character, his stern integrity, his high morality and Christian principles.
Lyman Pratt, the father of our subject, also a native of Bridgeport, Vt., was carefully reared and educated, and like his father before him chose farming for his life occupation. He was surrounded by all the healthy influences of the time and place, and grew to an admirable manhood, well_fitted for the future duties of life. When of suitable years and circumstances he was married to Miss Asenath Williams, who was born and reared not far from the childhood home of her husband, and was the daughter of Joseph and Polly (Gray) Williams, the representatives of a fine old family who spent the greater part of their lives in Bridport, and died there. Mr. Williams was a clothier, but being fond of rural life became owner of a farm, and also engaged in agriculture. They were people blameless in their lives, and when departing hence left to their children the heritage of an untarnished name.
After their marriage Lyman Pratt and his young wife settled down to farming near the old Pratt homestead in the vicinity of Bridgeport, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father died at the age of sixty_seven years, and the mother when forty_five years old. They were prominent members of the Congregational Church and widely and favorably known throughout their community. Mr. Pratt was a member of the old Whig party until its abandonment, and the then identified himself with the Republicans. The parental household included seven children, two sons and five daughters, all of whom are living. Four of them are residents of Illinois and Kansas, two being of this county. All are married and have children of their own.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest child of his parents, and spent his boyhood and youth in his native county, attending the common school and developing into a worthy manhood. He was employed as a teacher some time before his marriage, which event occurred on his twenty_sixth birthday in the township of Middlebury, Vt., his bride being Miss Loranie Snow. Mrs. Pratt was born in Bridport, Vt., Jan 18, 1816, and is the daughter of Leumnim and Alice (Bennett) Snow, the father a native of New York State and the mother of Connecticut. They were married in Addison County, Vt., and began their wedded life at Bridport, where Mr. Snow pursued his trade of a stonemason. Subsequently they changed their residence to Shoreham Township, where the death of Mr. Snow took place in 1820, at the early age of thirty_eight years. The wife and mother, remaining a widow, lived to come to Illinois, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Pratt, in 1851, at the age of sixty_seven years. She had been identified with the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches, and was a lady of rare qualities, one whose name is held in kindly remembrance by all who knew her.
Mrs. Pratt was the only child of her parents, and was quite young
at the time of her father's death. She was carefully reared by her mother,
and completed her studies in Middlebury Seminary, after which she occupied
herself as a teacher for ten seasons in the public schools. She is a lady
of fine intelligence and well fitted to become the partner of such a man
as her husband. Of this union there have been born four children, the eldest
of whom, a daughter, Alice, is the wife of John B. Joy, a well_to_do farmer
living in township 16, range 11; Lyman L. married Miss Frances Steele,
of Oberline, Ohio, and they occupy the farm of our subject, on section
6; Ellen E. makes her home with her parents, but at this writing (May,
1889) is visiting in California; Thurow H. remains at home and assists
his father in the operations of the farm. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are devoted
members of the Congregational Church, with which their children are also
connected, and in which Mr. Pratt has been a Deacon for the long period
of twenty years. Politically, he is a sound Republican, and is at present
the Treasurer of his school district. The family occupies a position in
the front ranks among the foremost people of this county.
SAMUEL W. PUFFER, engaged as a lumber merchant at Winchester, came to this place in the fall of 1860 with only $15 in his "inside pocket" and besides was $75 in debt. He now transacts several thousand dollars worth of business annually and is generally considered well_to_do. He owns and occupies a comfortable home in the northeast part of the town and is known to a large proportion of the people in this locality.
The subject of this notice was born in Colerain, Franklin County, Mass., Jan. 8, 1837, and is the son of Dr. Chenery and Lucy T. (Alden) Puffer, the former a native of Sudbury, Mass., and whose paternal ancestor, John Puffer, the first representative of the family in America, came over from England in the "Mayflower." The mother was the daughter of John Alden, a descendant of John Alden of olden times who was principally distinguished as the friend of Miles Standish, the Captain of Plymouth. She was born in Ashfield, Mass., and was the mother of four children, three of whom are living, viz: Henry M., an Attorney of Shelburne Falls, Mass.; Samuel W., our subject, and Charles C., of Rochester, N.Y.
Mr. Puffer and his brothers received a good education _ all being graduated from the Rochester University _ Samuel W. and Henry M. in 1860 and Charles three years later. In 1860 our subject came to Scott County and for some time afterward followed the profession of a teacher; he occupied the position of Principal of the Winchester schools for two years. In the meantime he devoted his leisure hours to the reading of law and was admitted to the bar in 1863, but instead of engaging in the practice of law embarked in mercantile business. He became interested in the lumber trade in 1868.
The marriage of Samuel W. Puffer and Miss Mary C. Powell occurred
on the 22d of May, 1866. Mrs. Puffer was born in Winchester Dec. 6, 1843,
and is the daughter of Starkey R. Powell, an old settler of this place.
This union resulted in the birth of four children, only two of whom are
living, viz: Starkey Powell, born July 10, 1874 and Chenery Willis, March
31, 1878. Mr. Puffer religious matters is identified with the Baptist Church
while his estimable wife belongs to the Presbyterian Church. Our subject,
politically, votes the Republican ticket but steadily declines to take
upon himself the responsibilities of the office holder. Socially, he belongs
to the Masonic fraternity.
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