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"







William J. Wackerle, M.D., was born in Baden, Germany, February 23, 1819. He went through his medical course and graduated at the University of Heidelberg in 1839, and soon after emigrated to this country. He settled in St. Louis, and followed his profession until July, 1845, when he moved to Meredosia, where he now resides. He was married February 19, 1843, to Miss Susan F. Anderson, of Fauquie county, Virginia. He has five children, all living, viz: William F., Charles J., Louis J., Edward J., and Fannie E., all of whom are now residing with their parents. Dr. Wackerle has followed his profession since he first came to the county. He has also one of the most prominent graparies in the county; his vineyard contains about four thousand vines. His wine is of a good quality, some varieties, including Concord stock, unsurpassed in the state. He has given some attention to bee-keeping, and as an apiarian has few if any equals in the county. He is esteemed for his skill in his profession, and for his good qualities as a citizen.

Daniel Waldo was born in Cheshire county, New Hampshire, January 6, 1802. Boot and shoe making, teaching, and itinerant trading was the early business of his life. He was married to Miss Mariah T. Baker, July 18, 1831. He had, by this union, Mabel Rebecca, wife of Capt. Thomas White, who was killed at Dallas, Ga., while commanding the 116th regiment Illinois volunteers. Mrs. White is now residing at Maroa, Ill. His second child, Sarah, died in infancy, and his wife died September 8, 1834. Mr. Waldo came to Meredosia in October, 1831, and his family in November of the next year. He was again married, March 31, 1836, to Miss Emily Fox, from Batavia, N.Y. He had, by this marriage, Maria E., present wife of Burrett Allen, of Ogden, Utah; Eveline, wife of Thos. J. Ward, of Fall City, Nebraska; James D., a citizen of Meredosia; Alber M., residing with his father, and Mary Rosella, who died in infancy. His wife died January 23, 1855. He was again married, to Mary Jane Thomas, formerly of Columbus, Ohio, July 5, 1859. He has, by this marriage, only one child, Miss Nellie, now residing with her parents. Esq. Waldo, with his brothers, James E. and George C., commenced merchandising in Meredosia. He erected the first steam saw mill in the present limits of Morgan county, and, soon after, the first steam flouring mill and distillery on a large scale, which interests he disposed of about twenty-two years ago. He has devoted his energies to the improvement of his property for some years past, and also serving the people as acting justice of the peace for many years, and as postmaster for nearly twenty years. Stephen A. Douglas, at the Sherman House, in Chicago, declared that Esq. Waldo was the first man that shook hands with him in the state of Illinois. The first railroad of any importance built in the state was the road from Springfield to the Illinois river. Mr. Waldo and others took the contract to grade it from Illinois river east several miles to Vangandy's. When the grand and imposing ceremony of first breaking ground on the first railroad in the state was inaugurated, Esq. Waldo was appointed to throw the first shovel full of dirt. Some few of the old citizens then present are still living; but not one of them then thought that in less than thirty years Illinois would stand at the head of the list with over 7,000 miles of railroad completed. Esq. W. opened the first store in Mt. Sterling, Brown county, in the fall of 1831. The record of an active life of over forty years cannot, in our limits have more than a partial notice; but we will remark that, as an upright, public spirited man, Mr. Waldo has no superior, and is highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. A view of his residence, and of Smith's Hotel (A. Smith, proprietor), which he at present owns, appear elsewhere in this work.

John Walihan was born in Fairfield, Columbiana county, Ohio, January 16, 1815. He followed merchandising in his early life. He was married April 15, 1841, to Miss Emily E. Folsom, and settled in Bethel, Morgan county, Illinois, where he continued about nine years. He removed to Arcadia in 1850, where he continued in business one year. He removed to Meredosia (his present residence) in the spring of 1852, where he continued in his mercantile pursuits, to which he added a large trade in grain, being about seven years in partnership with General Grierson, before 1861, at which time the firm of Grierson & Walihan (owing to misfortunes in their business) were under the necessity of making an assignment. Since then Mr. W. has not engaged extensively in any business, but has acted a conspicuous part as justice of the peace. He has had by his first wife ten children, all deceased except one son, John, now residing in Arenzville, Cass county. Mr. Walihan was married to his second wife, Miss Susan Freeman, of Meredosia, in December, 1861, and by this union has had four children: two have died in infancy, the others (Stella and Effie) are now living with their parents. We may safely predict that Miss Stella, though now only six years of age, bids fair in the future to become a scholar of superior attainments. Esq. Walihan has passed through severe personal afflictions, having been called upon to mourn the death of twelve members of his own family; but, like one of old, he has sustained his integrity in all his losses. He is one of the honored and esteemed citizens of Morgan county.

Ellis Wilcox - This gentleman, a brief sketch of whose history appears below, was born in 1792, about six miles south of Nashville, Tennessee. When six years of age, his father, John Wilcox, emigrated to Logan county, Ky. Afterwards a portion of this county was cut off, and termed "Simpson" county. He was married to Ann Lewis, daughter of Nehemiah Lewis, an old citizen of Simpson county. He died at Carlinville, Macoupin county, several years ago. His schooling comprised only a few days. Those institutions of learning were extremely limited in numbers, and were situated at points too far distant for Ellis to attend a sufficient length of time to gain an adequate idea of more than the rudiments of the English language. Ellis was learned in the science of distilling, and worked for a long time at this branch of trade in Warren county. He has had eight children, viz: Lucy, now Mrs. Thomas Ray; Thoms, married to Ann Ruble; Josiah, married to Fannie Patterson; John, married to Fannie Scott; and Charles, married to Caroline Caruthers. The remaining three children are dead. Mr. Wilcox came to this county the same day that General Jackson was re-elected President. He entered considerable land at that time. Since then he has added much land by purchase, besides deeding to his boys several fine farms. He is now in his eightieth year, and, to judge from his activity, we should imagine him much younger. He is a good shot with a rifle, and, with the greatest ease can bring down the squirrel from his lofty seat on the topmost branch of the forest tree. His robust health is evidence of the temperate and frugal habits of his early life. Now that he has exceeded in years "the allotted time of man - three score years and ten." he seems to possess more manly strength and vigor than we are accustomed to see indicated in the actions of our middle-aged men of the present generation. His children possess the enterprise and industry of their esteemed father. The sons are noted as enterprising and straightforward business men, and the old pioneer can look with pleasure upon their actions and characters. His aged wife, too, puts to shame many of the young ladies of the present generation, by the amount of labor she performs during the day. That this noted couple may live to enjoy good health many years more, is the earnest prayer of all. A good lesson can be drawn from the life of Mr. Wilcox for the instruction of all in temperate and frugal habits of life. By this means, the longevity of the present generation could be increased, and we, like the subject of this sketch, would be spared till a good old age. We can, however, copy his honesty and integrity of purpose, as well as his industry and enterprise.

Rev. George C. Wood. - Among the early settlers of the west, the Rev. George C. Wood is well known, both in Missouri and Illinois, having been a resident of the west for forty-two years. Mr. Wood was born in the city of New York, May 20, 1805. He graduated at Williams College in 1827, and at Auburn Theological Seminary in 1830. In 1830 he came west, and first settled at St. Charles, Missouri. After remaining here two years he accepted the offer of a Professorship in Marion College. In 1838 he came to Illinois, and after preaching at several places, he removed to Jacksonville, where he still resides. In his ecclesiastical relations Mr. Wood is a Presbyterian, and became a member of the Synod of Illinois at its organization, in 1831; the Synod then embracing the states of Illinois and Missouri, and all the territory west and north. And of all the original members of that synod he is the only one living in the state. With the toils and privations, the joys and pleasures of a pioneer life, he has had full experience; and in laying the foundation for this and coming generations has been permitted to do his part, and having witnessed the progress, he is now beholding a consummation which he and his colleagues did not anticipate.

Judge Samuel Wood was born in Madison county, Ky., October 16, 1813. He is the oldest son of Richard Wood, who was a native of Amherst county, Virginia, and who emigrated to Madison county, Ky., in 1806. He was married to Miss Celia Gregory, several years before he left Virginia. He had by this union ten children, four of whom died in youth; the others, in after life, became citizens of Morgan county. They were, in the order of their birth: Nancy, deceased, former wife of Andrew Samples, now residing near Waverly; Jane, deceased, former wife of Robert Hardin, of California; Polly, present wife of Nathan Moore, of La Plata, Mo.; Samuel, the subject of this sketch residing on Section 16, township 14, range 9; James, of Labette county, Kansas; Rebecca, deceased, former wife of James Antyl (probably Antle) of Morgan county. Mr. Wood's first wife died in Madison county, Ill., in November, 1819. He was again married, in 1821, to Mrs. Hessie Conlee, relict of Rev. John Conlee. He settled on Section 9, township 14, range 9, in March, 1826.

Mr. Wood was one of the pioneers of Morgan county, who, by a practical industry and moral life, was an ornament to the early community in which he lived, and a blessing to his family. His wife died in September, 1861. Mr. Wood died June 20th, 1865. They were both esteemed for their many virtues. The subject of this sketch first settled on Section 16, in the township where he now resides. He purchased, entirely on credit, forty acres, in 1837, which he has from time to time increased, until, at this present, he has nearly three thousand acres of land, being the largest improved farm in the county. True, Judge Wood had but a small financial capital with which to begin life, but he possessed that which was more valuable; viz.: an enduring basis of moral principles, with an energy untiring and persistent, which, combined, have not only made him a good farmer, but a useful citizen. He is strictly a self made man. His education is practical, and he possesses those business qualification which insure success. His citizenship outranks the state, as he became a citizen of Illinois one year before it was admitted to the Union. He has devoted an active and industrious life, thus far, to the developing of a county and state which take pride in claiming him as one of their prominent and useful citizens. He was married January 5, 1831, to Mrs. Martha Smith, relict of Harvy Smith, by which union he had eight children, in the following order of birth: viz.: James, both March 16, 1833, residing two miles east of his father; Elizabeth, born September 24, 1835, who died July 27, 1844; David, born April 4, 1838, residing three miles east of his father; Milton, born September, 4, 1839, residing five miles west of Springfield; Iven, born February 24, 1841, residing near his father; George, born December 9, 1842, also residing near his father; Julia A., born June 17, 1847, present wife of James B. Beekman, residing near her father; and Richard S., born October 20, 1851, now residing with his parents.

Judge Wood and his wife are still living in the enjoyment of mental and physical strength almost unimpaired by age, and they may still remain for years a blessing to their family and to the community of which, for so many years, they have been active and useful members. Mr. Wood was elected Associate Judge of the County Court, in November, 1869, which position he fills with ability, and satisfactorily to his fellow citizens. He, like his father before him, has made farming and stock growing a specialty.

Mason F. Woods was born in Simpson county, Kentucky, September 24, 1810, and followed agriculture in early life. He settled, in the winter of 1834, about three miles northwest of Waverly (Shirtliff Point), Morgan county, where he followed farming about four years, when he sold his farm, and, in 1838, opened a store two miles west of Waverly (at Appalonia), where he continued four years. In addition to his merchandising he was also engaged in farming and stock dealing; which business he has since represented on a large scale. He was one of the pioneers in stock dealing - a business which today has become quite prominent, and has many able representatives in Morgan county. Mr. Woods was married, January 26, 1837, to Miss Sarah Y. Chestnut, of Todd county, Kentucky. They have five children now living, viz: James Jefferson, residing in his father's neighborhood; Martha Elizabeth Ellen, wife of William L. Chambers; Eva A., and Emma S., both residing with their parents. Mason and Katie both died in infancy, and Giles P. was killed, in his thirteenth year, by a stroke of lightening. Mr. Woods, as one of the upright, substantial business men of Morgan county has the esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He is one who, by an industrious life, has shown the possibilities of human accomplishment. His farm, one mile north of Waverly, is among the best in the county. With all his capabilities for usefulness unimpaired, he may still live for years, a blessing to the community in which, as a Christian man and citizen, he has so long been prominent.

John Wiley Wright (LATE OF Wright'S precinct). - The Wright family were originally from the Carolinas. They removed to Tennessee during the war of 1812, and settled in Dixon county, where John Wiley Wright was born on the 15th of March, 1816. The country was rough and broken, and it seemed almost an impossibility to obtain a sufficient quantity of tillage land. The subject of this article, as a boy, was accustomed to the severe task of cleaning this wood land. His advantages for education were those obtained in a new and thinly populated country. The teachers were usually of the same character as the building, which was in common places called a school house. The youth were sadly neglected, the course of study being very crude, and the term being of unsatisfactory continuance as regards any lasting results. At the age of fifteen his parents removed to Illinois, and located in Sangamon county, near the city of Springfield. They remained there two years and then came to Morgan county, and located in the southern portion of the same. This precinct was called Wright, on account of this family being among the first and most prominent of those engaged in settling the same. In this county Wiley attended school for a limited period owing to the amount of labor required from his immature hands, he did not or, at least, could not avail himself of the advantages of the course of instruction. In after-life, it was a source of sincere regret that he was not better versed in the studies of our common schools. At the age of twenty-two he was married to Miss Eliza E. Wyatt, daughter of Edward Wyatt, an old resident of Wright's precinct. Mr. Wyatt was a contemporary with the Wrights and was prominently identified with all the interests of that section of Morgan county. Mr. Wyatt was engaged for a short time in the so called "Mormon war." The disturbance was soon quelled, and he returned to his home uninjured. About 1860, Mrs. Margaret Wright, the mother of Wiley, died. She was a firm, decided woman, who was worthy of being the wife of that veteran pioneer, John Wright. Mr. John Wiley Wright first improved some of his father's land, but afterwards removed to section thirteen, having purchased a fine body of land situated therein. At the time of his death, January 18th, 1866, he possessed a fine farm of over three hundred acres. Thus in his fiftieth year passed away one of the most enterprising and public spirited citizens of Morgan county. As a kind and sympathetic neighbor he was well known among the first families, his hand ever being open to assist the needy and distressed, while his house often sheltered the traveler caught in one of our fierce rain or snow storms.

Few of us to-day fully appreciate the trials and labors incident to the first settlement of a new country. Without the many comforts and conveniences which colonies possess to-day on entering some lately developed territory, the pioneer, at that time relied on mother earth for the necessities of life in lieu of the luxuries of modern times. Thus under many hardships, their diet consisting of plain and homely fare, they exhibited such heroism as the world had been wont to swell upon, and to regard with mingled sentiments of surprise and admiration. Mr. Wright was regarded as among the most industrious and enterprising of those brave men who at the period were laying the foundation of Morgan county's future greatness. It would be a great pleasure to-day to read the complete history of the doings of the settlers prior to the "deep snow." The student is accustomed to admire the classic verse in which are depicted the labors of Eneas and his brave Trojans while endeavoring to found a state; so we love to read the scanty records of those times when the fate of Illinois seemed trembling in the balance, and the settlement of old Morgan appeared to be postponed till some more favorable period. No Virgil has portrayed their trials in heroic metre. No muse has sung of their achievements, but yet, we trust that their names and their memories are stamped upon the hearts of the present generation never to be effaced. It has been said that "republics are ungrateful," and that the time will come when the names of Wright and other pioneers will become obsolete, but we feel confident that the people of this section will never forget how much they are indebted to those brave men who planted the standard of civilization in the wilderness and transmitted the heritage of liberty, pure and undefiled, to the present generation. Mr. Wright was a man of character and public spirit, who foresaw in a measure, the future Morgan, and endeavored to promote the interests of education and the church, in every way, and upon all occasions. To him the character of the people was of more moment than their pecuniary standing, knowing that the true greatness of a people depends more upon their intellectual and moral stamina than mere worldly pelf. He advocated and encouraged the system of public road improvements, which, if accomplished according to Mr. Wrights designs, would have made this portion of the country unsurpassed for highway privileges. Mr. W. was well versed in agriculture and was ever ready to afford much valuable information on that and kindred subjects. His mind was well stored with the principles of farming, and he loved to practice them on his well cultivated fields. Mr. Wright was among the first promoters of agricultural societies, and in a liberal manner aided and fostered their management up to the day of his decease. The children, five of whom are yet residing in this precinct, by their good conduct preserve the good name of the family, free as it ever has been from any blot or tarnish on its fair reputation.

Mrs. Wright attends to the management of the large estate, and with the aid of her enterprising children, has kept the same in an excellent state of cultivation. She possesses many of the excellent qualities of her late husband, and great success has attended her efforts as an agriculturist.

John Wyatt was born in Culpepper county, Virginia, in 1797. Soon after he became of age he settled in Scott county, Kentucky, where he was married to Miss Rebecca, daughter of William Wyatt. Soon after, he moved to Missouri, where he remained till the spring of 1821, when he settled near the present site of Jacksonville, Illinois, which was at that time a part of Madison county. He was one of the first settlers in the county, and possessing, as he did, good business qualities, he was early called upon to fill many important offices in the early history of the county, which trusts he filled with credit to himself and to the county, which he represented. He was a good man; often, in obliging others, he acted detrimental to his own personal interest. He followed farming, as his chief business on his farm five or six miles southeast of Jacksonville, till the spring of 1839, when he removed to section 36, township 14, range 9 (having laid out his addition to the village of Franklin previously), where he filled the measure of a well spent and useful life, being loved and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He departed this life January 6, 1850, aged fifty-three years. His wife died August 29, 1865. Mr. Wyatt had a family of twelve children - eight sons and four daughters; two of the former and three of the latter are still residing in the county. Mary, present wife of Thomas Hoffs, of Honey Grove, Texas, and Minerva, present wife of A. M. Wright, are residing near Franklin. James M. is residing in Sangamon County. Sarah, wife of T. M. Scott, is residing near Franklin; and also his son, Col. Wm. J. Wyatt. Col. Wm. J. Wyatt was born October 28, 1825. He was married to Miss Eliza A. Williams, September 28, 1849, by which marriage he has had three children; viz: James W., deceased; George H., and Mary A., residing with their parents. Col. Wyatt, at the call of his country, in the Mexican War, served under Col. John J. Hardin, commanding company G of the regiment which, with our forces in that struggle, gained imperishable laurels, as well as at Buena Vista, where his regiment was actively engaged. He again left the peaceful pursuits of his farm, and the social comforts and pleasures of home, at the call of his government, and took an active part in getting up the 101st regiment Illinois volunteers, which, as lieutenant colonel, he commanded, remaining in the service about one year. As one of the prominent citizens of Morgan county, who has been identified with its growth and history for the past forty-seven years, Colonel Wyatt is widely known and respected for his many good qualities. He is, in short, a public-spirited citizen, a good farmer, and an upright business man, and is duly appreciated by a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county and state. A lithographic view of his stock farm and residence, near the village of Franklin, appears in this work.




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