1894 Plat Book of Morgan County Illinois






1894 Plat Book of Morgan County Illinois
"Statistics of the Population of Morgan County By Townships, With Abstract of Agricultural Productions"







Napoleon B. VanWinkle was born November 11, 1802, in Wayne County, Kentucky, where, as a farmer, he remained till the fall of 1831, when he came to Morgan county, Illinois. He settled, about one year after, on section 29, township 14, range 8, where he has since resided. He was married November 27, 1832, to Miss Sarah Crow, of Pike county, Mo. They have had eleven children, six of whom are now living, viz: Micajah, now residing in Sangamon county; Elizabeth, Martin A., Rhoda L., Henry L., and Jacob E., all residing with their parents. Mr. Van Winkle has been for many years an active member of the M. E. church. He is one of the substantial pioneers of the county, who, by an active life and the influence of a good example, has added much to the welfare of the community in which, for nearly forty years, he has acted a conspicuous part as a citizen.

George C. Vaughan - The subject of this article was born in Dinwiddie county, Virginia, within six miles of Petersburg, on the 6th of April, 1816. John Elliott Vaughan, the father of the above, was a farmer and carpenter, and had been a resident of the county many years. He was a revolutionary soldier, and his career under Washington's command was one well worthy of mention. Mr. Vaughan lived to see the weak colonies become mighty states, and the people advancing in art, science and literature. He felt amply rewarded for all his toil, when he beheld the result of the war for independence. The road on which he resided was called the Vaughan road, on account of the many families of that name residing on the same. George, we might observe, had no advantages whatever for obtaining an education. The nearest school house was over four miles distant, and the walk was too extended for his tender years. When quite young his father removed to Kentucky and settled in Logan county. This section was improved to some extent, and contained an energetic and industrious population. Now and then a deer could be seen, but most of the game had retired to more distant regions. After living in the state several years, his father died at the age of forty-five, and George was forced to seek for a home among strangers. The man with whom he went to live, agreed to cloth and school George until he was of age. They neglected their charge in every respect save one, and that was, to employ him at hard labor from early dawn till late of night. One morning on his way to feed the stock, he followed the road leading to Todd county, and left his hard master to regret the loss of the industrious orphan boy whom he had treated so severely. George remained in Todd county a short time, and meeting two men by the names of Lyon and Horn, enroute with a drove of sheep for Illinois, entered into a contract with them to assist in driving the stock. He went with them as far as Carlinville. George commenced a journey on foot for Quincy, but meeting his brother near Columbus, Adams county, he remained with him for several years. Mr. Vaughan hauled the first load of logs used in constructing a cabin at Columbus. Mr. V. arrived in Adams county during the fall before the deep snow. Here, in this county, the storms were of the same severe character as in Morgan. Many of the people were forced to dig out of their cabins. Mr. V. drove an ox team over a stake and rider fence. These circumstances illustrate somewhat the depth of the snow in that locality. Mr. V. came to Morgan county, in 1837, and immediately engaged in working for the farmers. About seventeen years ago he purchased his present homestead, to which he has added at various times, until now in Arcadia and vicinity, he possesses over four hundred acres of choice land. Mr. V. was married in 1839, to Miss Rachel Gwynn, a daughter of Jacob Gwynn, of Morgan county. Mrs. Vaughan, died about twelve years ago, leaving five children. He was again married in 1860, to Miss Margaret Campbell, daughter of Peter Lyle Campbell of Schuyler county. Mr. Campbell was an old settler, having lived in the state several years. Mr. Vaughan seems in the prime of life, as he attends regularly to all the labor incidental to a farm. He is possessor of strong convictions, and is ever ready to assert the same on all proper occasions. His energy of character added to his industry has made his life a successful one. He can contemplate with joy, the change in his condition since a poor orphan boy when he started on his journey to the prairie state.

William C. Very. - How varied and momentous are the incidents of the life of a single individual! The active hand and brain of even three score years, with the relations of public and social life, leaves an historic impress upon which the reflective mind may ponder with profit and interest. >From the history of individual acts we learn how one relation becomes closely identified with others; blending two lives into one, and from which spring other intelligences to further enlarge the historic page, either with the splendid embellishments of a virtuous and holy life, or with the blots and blemishes of a career of folly and vice. In the history of a single life we may also contemplate the growth and increase of communities, the birth of states, and the great moral and political revolutions cotemporary with an individual. The march of mind, the development of the material world, and the rapid strides of the arts and sciences, thus far since the commencement of the nineteenth century, would open a theme of historic interest and value unequaled in the past annals of the world. There are connected with the subject of this sketch persons living today, whose lives, in point of years, are coequal with the life and history of our nation.

William C. Very was living under the administration of "The Father of his Country," and his wife's father, who is now living, commenced life before the adoption of the Federal constitution, and before the first President was inaugurated. How bold, how grand the comparison of the life of the aged veteran whose earthly career began in the past, anterior to the constitutional history of our great Republic. The one is a unit of mind and individual action, while the other is the great mass of integral individualities, blended into a sacred political oneness, for the benefit of each, and for the protection of all. While we love our country, we can but have a reverence for the memory of our sires departed, and rejoice to meet the occasional living representatives of the age when our national bark was launched on the almost unnavigated sea of popular sovereignty.

The subject of this sketch was born in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, May 30, 1795. His father, William Very, was also a citizen of Massachusetts, identified with the country during the revolutionary struggle. He was married to Miss Mercy Wiswall, and they had a family of six children, one son and five daughters, who reached years of maturity. William C. Very was a grandson of William Codington, of Rhode Island, whose name he bears. He was married, at the age of twenty-two, to Miss Lucinda Horton, of Norton, Massachusetts, by whom he had eight children, two of whom are deceased. Soon after his marriage he emigrated to Illinois, arriving in the state in the fall of 1822, and remaining over the first winter in Bond county. In the spring fo 1823 he came to Morgan county, and settled two and a half miles south of the present site of Jacksonville. When the land came into market he entered that on which he now resides. His wife died in August, 1831. He became acquainted with Mrs. Lydia W. Holmes, to whom he was afterwards married. Mrs. Holmes is the daughter of Silas Massy, who was among the early citizens of the county. Mrs. Lydia Very was born in Windsor county, Vermont, September 24, 1809. Her father (Silas Massy) was born in Salem, New Hampshire, April 1, 1786. When he was about two years of age, his parents moved to Windsor county, Vermont, where he was married, in 1807, to Miss Fannie Farnsworth, daughter of Stephen Farnsworth. Mr. Massy had a family of four children, three of whom are yet living. He removed, in the year 1810, to St. Lawrence county, New York, which was at that time almost an unbroken wilderness. On the breaking out of the war of 1812, he, as captain of militia, was called to the service, and was mostly engaged on the frontier, spending one winter at French's Mills, on the Canadian border. After the war he turned his attention to clearing up his farm, excessive physical labors of which impaired his health and constitution to the extent that he was induced to turn his attention to sock dealing, a business in which he was quite successful; acquiring a good capital for that early day. He went into partnership with a man who cheated him out of all he had acquired. In 1820 he started for the far west, and, after a trip of fourteen weeks on a flat boat, from Olean Point down the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, he arrived in St. Charles, Missouri, where he settled, in the fall of the same year. He remained till the fall of 1829, when he settled on land which he had previously purchased, two miles southwest of Jacksonville, in section 25, township 15, range 11. He had previously made some improvements on this farm, on which he still lives, being undoubtedly the oldest man at this time in Morgan county. When Mr. Massy came to Morgan county, he was comparatively poor, but possessing that energy which characterized many of the old pioneer settlers in the west, he succeeded in acquiring a good home and a comfortable competence. He has one of the valuable farms of the county, containing over a section (644 acres) of land. His business through life has been farming, and he has generally had a model farm in the several communities in which he has resided. His wife died August 7, 1871. They had lived together nearly sixty-five years, sharing each other's joys and sorrows during the most eventful period of their lives, when they were pioneers to the wilds of western New York, and subsequently making homes in the states of Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Three of their four children have families, and they have now living thirty-four great-grandchildren. Politically, Mr. Massy was a member of the whig party, and was a great admirer of the great champion of American industry, Henry Clay, for whom he always voted at all the presidential elections since Jefferson's time. He voted twice for Mr. Lincoln, with whom he was personally acquainted. He voted for U. S. Grant, and looks forward to the 5th of November, 1872, when he can give his ballot once more for the illustrious General. He has been a man of uncommon activity and power of endurance; and even now, at the age of eighty-six, he is enjoying good health, walks with an elastic step, and is able to superintend his farm. His three children are all residing near him. He is held in very high esteem by a large circle of acquaintances.

Mrs. Very, the daughter of Mr. Massy, is a woman of good colloquial powers and refined taste, though her educational advantages in early youth were not as good as those of the present time. She has, however, by devoting the hours of leisure to study and reading, acquired ability to converse intelligently on a great variety of the literary topics. Mrs. Very, by her first husband, had three daughters; two of them are married; one is the wife of Rev. J. T. Dixon, now residing in Nebraska; the other the wife of Hon. William Strawn, of Livingston county, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Very have had a family of three children, two of whom are deceased. The one living is the wife of Wilton Sibert, residing two miles south of Jacksonville. Mr. Sibert is largely engaged in rearing blooded Durham stock. (A view of his residence and stock farm will appear elsewhere). Mr. Very and wife raised an adopted child, John Butcher, who enlisted, and after serving faithfully in the army during the rebellion, was honorably discharged, and is located on his farm, in Kansas, where he is living, with a fair prospect of future usefulness. Their son, Oliver Very, also served three years in the late war, and made a faithful record in the defense of his country. Mr. and Mrs. Very are among the most highly respected citizens of the county in which they have resided for nearly fifty years.




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