HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Its Past and present
Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd & Co., Publishers, 1878.
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1975)
RANSON, John, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 10, P.O. Jacksonville; son of James and Sarah, natives of England, who emigrated to America, settling in Morgan County, eight miles southwest of Jacksonville; John was born in Morgan County, Jan. 27, 1837; received a common school education; since the days of his early youth has been farmer; at the breaking out of the rebellion enlisted in Co. K, 27th Regt. Illinois Infantry, at Jacksonville; was mustered into the service at Cairo, Illinois; remained in the service four months; was honorably discharged on account of general disability, at Cairo, Illinois, and returned to Morgan County; is now living on his farm, consisting of 400 acres; has a fine residence; Mr. R. is a very energetic man, and his enterprise is seen in everything that merits approbation; children: James, William, Samuel, and Charles L., all born in Morgan County: Mr. Ranson is a progressive farmer, and has made many improvements on this farm; for watering of stock he has superior facilities.
RAPP, Michael, harness maker, Morgan se cor. Square, Platt’s blk. r 29 S. East. Was the son of Michael and Susan Rapp, natives of Pennsylvania, where the subject of this sketch was born, Feb. 22, 1815. At an early age he became apprenticed to the trade of harness maker. At twenty_one years of age, possessed of an adventurous disposition, he wended his way to Illinois, and settled in Jacksonville, and entered into a co_partnership with M. Stacy for the manufacture of saddles and harness. About this time in his business venture Mr. R. would willingly have returned to his native place, but was compelled to remain on account of his capital being down to zero. For seven years Mr. Stacy remained a member of the firm, and then retired from active business. For nearly thirty_eight years Mr. R. has been a successful business man and an upright citizen of J., who has witnessed many important changes since his arrival, and who in early days formed a cordial friendship for Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and others. At one time in his business career, Mr. R. transferred the business to the hands of his son, who entered the army, and there contracted sickness which resulted in his death.
RAY, E. T. farmer, and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Waverly; the subject of this sketch was born in Wayne Co., Va., in 1845. Benj. Ray, father of E.T. Ray, was born in Virginia about 1800; there married Miss Melcina Garrett, by whom he had seven children: Benjamin, William, Albert, Lorena, Theodore, Mellville, Celeste, and E. T., who resided in Virginia during his boyhood. In his seventeenth year in 1861 he enlisted in Co. I, 9th Virginia Inft., Union troops. Twenty days from the date of enlistment, he was captured among others belonging to the regiment, and sent to Libby prison, where he remained a prisoner some three months; he then returned home on parole, afterward transferred to Columbus, Ohio, he was there honorably discharged November, 1862. From Ohio he made his way to Morgan Co., Ill., where he united in marriage the same year to Miss Sarah Ray, a daughter of Elijah and Sarah Ray. By this marriage, two children: Lillie M. born Jan. 27, 1863, Trueit O., born July 12, 1875
RAY, John B., farmer, Sec. 27, P.O. Waverly, was born in Van Buren Co., Iowa; Sept 17, 1838; married to Miss Mary E. Johnson, March 16, 1859; she was born Jan. 6, 1840, in this county, near Arcadia. Had two children: Martha J. was born March 31, 1862, died Dec. 11, 1867, and living, Louise B., born May 7, 1860. He came to Morgan Co. Feb. 1, 1851. Always been engaged in farming since he was a boy. He first came to Arcadia, where he was raised, then went to Sangamon Co. the first year after his marriage. Moved back to Arcadia, renting there seven years; then went to Mason Co. in 1865, building there on wild prairi he had bought; in 1869, he sold out and came to the present place of 120 acres, on which he has built a beautiful dwelling; he also owns 240 acres in Kansas, which he bought in 1869. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ray are active members of the M.E. Church.
REA, Benjamin, farmer and stock_raiser, Sec. 5, P.O. Murrayville. The annals of Ireland contain no more princely name than that which stands at the head of this history. Samuel Rea, grandfather of Mr. Rea, was a native of the province of Ulster, Ireland; at his death resided in the County Longford, Ireland; lived more than man’s allotted time, and died very old. Adam Rea, father of our subject, was a native of the County Longford; in his youth served in the Irish militia force; was at the battle of Ballin_a_Muck; was married to Miss Jane Guy, daughter of Mr. Frank Guy; the children to this union were Ellen, Frances, and Samuel. The sable cloak of death took the wife and mother to a better land about the year 1815. He married again, about the year 1816, to Miss Elizabeth Caldwell, daughter of James Caldwell; the fruits of this union were: Benjamin, died in infancy; Mary, Benjamin, Jane, James, and Eliza. Of these, Mary married James Caldwell, Eliza married Robert Caldwell. In the Winter of 1849, Mr. Rea, with his wife, daughter Jane, and two sons James and Samuel, left their lovely Isle of the Sea to cast their fortunes with the people of the Western hemisphere; landed at New Orleans, and came by boat to Cairo, this State; when the little family of emigrants reached Cairo, the little river town was a prey to cholera. A few days sufficed to have their names recorded among the victims to this terrible epidemic; the husband and wife died at the same moment, and were, by request, both deposited in the same casket. A fellow attache of the family, John Daley, survived to carry, tidings of the sad story of their death. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch, was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, July 9, 1819, and worked for twenty_nine years steadily on his father’s farm; was married June 8, 1848, to Miss Jane Cuttle, daughter of Mr. John Cuttle; there were born to this marriage, Mary J., born Sept. 17, 1849, died March 13, 1850; James A., born Jan. 6, 1851; Benjamin C., born July 20, 1853; Eliza J., born Oct. 27, 1855; John T., born Aug. 20, 1858, died in infancy; John W., born March 17, 1860; Thomas E., born June 20, 1863. On the 28th of June, 1848, left his native land to be a freeman in the land of Columbus; landed at New Orleans Aug 18, 1848; the trip to Illinois was made by boat, landing at Beardstown, thence by wagon to Springfield. Sept. 21, 1849, moved to Jacksonville; lived there five years; thence to Greasy Prairie, and became an agriculturist by purchasing 170 acres of land from Smith Bellows, and others; after doing much hard work making improvements, sold out; in 1864 bought the old Jimmy Nelson farm of 260 acres, near Murrayville; here he had to do much work in renovating the old dilapidated buildings, relics of fogyism; having accumulated enough funds, purchased to George Featherkile 80 acres more of land. Mr. Rea replaced the old log cabin with a large, commodious dwelling, which improvement has greatly enhanced the appearance of his large farm; here the homestead is located, and occupied by the family. Mr. Rea’s whole capital, when he landed in Springfield, was twenty_five cents! Reader, copy his life and learn of his ways, and be prosperous. Mr. Rea is a steadfast Republican, a rare thing in the Irish race. Mr. and Mrs. Rea are zealous members of the Methodist Church. The longevity of Mrs. Rea’s family is such that we cheerfully record it; her great_grandmother died at the age of 111 years, and her grandmother lived to be 103 years old.
READ, Jas. H. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. Franklin; son of John and Susan Read; natives of Butler County, Kentucky, where Jas. was born May 13, 1846; the father of James was a blacksmith, a superior workman, who on hearing the many glowing accounts of the far West, set out for Illinois, locating in Franklin. At the age of seven, young Read attended school; his teacher John Rinnaker; in 1864 he enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty_Fifth Illinois Infantry, under the command of Colonel Lackey, of Macon County; on being honorably discharged, at Camp Butler, at the close of the war, he returned to Morgan County, where he has since been engaged in farming. In 1858 Mr. Read married Miss Martha A. Brewer, a daughter of H.D. Brewer; by this marriage five children, four living: Fred E. born Jan. 23, 1870; Alice M. Feb. 12, 1871; Walter S. July 9, 1875; Fanny, Oct. 26, 1877.
RECTOR, Jas. S., farmer and stock raiser, son of Vincent and Artemesia Rector, natives of Virginia, where young Rector was born Oct. 4, 1816; receiving a liberal education; during the Winter of 1835; the Rector family moved to Morgan Co., Ill., settling in the vicinity of Jacksonville; remaining two years, they then moved to Pike Co., Mo.; James remained with parents three years, and then moved to Morgan Co., near Jacksonville; rented a farm seven years; in 1848, bought 228 acres, but very little improved; by dint of rare judgment he accumulated land rapidly, owning at one time some 900 acres; as he owned but $150 when he left Missouri, this speaks well for his enterprise; in 1840 he married Miss Minerva J. Morton, daughter of Jos. Morton; it is supposed Mrs. R. was the first white child born in Morgan Co., and the oldest one now living. Although never seeking office, his name has frequently been brought forward as a candidate; in addition to available mill property, Mr. R. now owns 525 acres land; children are Mary, Clara, Amanda, Geo., Jas., Isabel, Ella, Joseph, Andrew, Olly, John, Minnie, and Chase.
REED, J. H. Residence Franklin; Mr. Reed was born on his father’s farm, in Morgan County; parents are Martin and Sallie Reed, who settled in the county prior to the deep snow, and at this writing are residents of township 1309; Mr. R. in early life became a farmer; in the late war, although he did not rise to distinguished rank, he took an active part; was elected duty sergeant; subsequently he became second sergeant; he acquitted himself very creditably during the war; became a participant in the battles of Wahatchie Valley, Mission Ridge, Snake Creek Gap, Buzzard Roost, Peach Tree Creek; on the forced march to Knoxville, Tenn., and all through the Atlanta and Savannah campaigns, and many other engagements of the war; was honorably discharged May 15, 1865, and returned to Morgan County; prior to entering the army, in 1854, married Miss Juda Seymour, of Morgan County; three children; Jennie, Julia, and Belle; in 1867, Mrs. R. died; the following year was married to Mrs. M. E. Duncan, of Franklin; since the close of the war Mr. Reed’s principal occupation has been that of miller, and was at one time a member of the firm of Mansfield Bros., millers, of Franklin; was engaged as a carpenter and engineer; at this writing connected with McCullough & Co’s upper mills, Franklin.
REES, E. M., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 27, P.O. Franklin; the subject of this sketch, one of the most enterprising citizens of Illinois, was born in Virginia, where his parents settled nearly a century ago; emigrating from Wales, in 1793, the Rees family floated down the Ohio River to what is now Kentucky, then known as New Virginia; on the passage down several times they narrowly escaped destruction by the Indians; they settled in Kentucky during the spring of the year; here the subject of this sketch was born, Feb. 23, 1817; in 1839, he moved to Illinois, and here for a time he settled down to a quiet life; but his restless disposition could not long confine him to one spot, and the following year found him overseeing a sugar and cotton plantation in the South; here he remained nine years, and accumulated a nice fortune; returned to Morgan County, in 1847; he purchased part of the farm where he now resides; in 1849, he joined a party of gold hunters, en route for the gold mines of California, leaving Jacksonville on the 10th of April; at the end of nine months the party reached San Francisco, then a city of tents, with here and there an old ancient Spanish adobe house; on first arriving, Mr. Rees became a drayman, and subsequently became a miner, staking out innumerable claims, at times meeting with good success; for nearly ten years he roughed it in the mines of California; unlike the majority, he returned from there with a goodly amount of the shining metal; the year 1859 found him again a resident of Morgan County; on the 18th of November, of this year, he married Miss Julia Snow, of Ohio; Mr. Rees has in all probability to_day the finest farm property in the State for its size; it now comprises nearly 450 acres; twenty acres of this is planted with trees, making a beautiful grove, which, in addition to the handsome residence, is pointed out to strangers and tourists; for the benefit conferred on posterity Mr. Rees will be remembered long after the soul has taken its flight; thus by reading the life of the subject of this sketch, we realize how truly the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
REESE, John, farmer, Sec. 8, P.O. Jacksonville; son of David and Elizabeth; Mr. R. was born in North Wales, Kingdom of Great Britain, July 23, 1828; for twenty_one years he lived in Wales, and then emigrated to America, and first settled in Greene County, Illinois; he was engaged while there as a farmer; at the end of one year he settled in Lynnville, Morgan County, and there married Miss Sarah Batty, a native of Morgan County, of English parentage, who departed this life April 18, 1872, and was laid at rest in the Lynnville cemetery; in 1873, Mr. R. moved to Woodson township; children: George E., Elizabeth Ann, Hannah M., Emma Alice, and Benjamin F.; George E. married Martha Holmes, Elizabeth married Chas. Summers.
REID, John M., farmer, Sec. 31, P.O. Jacksonville; son of John B.A. Reid, who is one of the old settlers of Morgan County; John M. was born in Jacksonville, Aug. 7, 1855, and has lived in this county all his life; was married to Julia E. Williamson, Nov. 21, 1876, who was born in Morgan County, Jan. 2, 1857.
REID, Newton W., brickmaker, r S. Main; born in Morgan County, Aug. 8, 1848. His father Geo. W., came from Kentucky, to this State, and in 1840; married “Martha E. Williams,” the children by this marriage were: W.T. Reid, now Supt. of Schools, in San Francisco; John E. Reid, in business in Orange, California. N.W., the subject of this sketch, and Geo. W. Reid, lawyer, in Orange, California; these young men all received a liberal education, and on the attainment of their majority, began business each for himself. Newton was engaged in farming and cattle shipping, for a number of years. Married Feb. 2, 1875, to Miss Louise, daughter of Thos. McConnell, of Bushnell; she died June 27, 1867. Mr. Reid, in 1877, formed a co_partnership with Messrs. Tendick & Kespohl, in the manufacturing of brick; during the first year they made two and a half million brick, for which they found ready sale; the firm still continues Mr. R. resides with his mother; his father died in 1850.
REINBACH, Harry, (picture) During the greater part of his life was a dry goods merchant; for over thirty-five years transacted a general dry goods business, in Franklin, Morgan County; he was born in Altona, Germany, Dec. 20, 1812; he was the second son of Mendel and Esther Reinbach; he received a very liberal education in the mother country; he was possessed of an aspiring, ambitious disposition, that in after years counted and made him what he was, a representative business man; he left Europe for the new world in 1837; in due time he landed in New York city, and made his way to the State of Pennsylvania, where he remained for the space of three years, entering into a general merchandise business; from there he came to the fertile prairies of Illinois; in 1840, settled in Franklin, Morgan County; entered into a co-partnership business with E. S. Hinrichsen, a former partner in Pennsylvania, whose name is found elsewhere in this work; they erected the first business building in Franklin; both members were men of enterprise and sagacity, and sprang at once into a successful business career; in April, 1850, Mr. Reinbach returned to Europe, and there formed the acquaintance of Miss Sophia Dessau, teacher of a select school in the city of Hamburg; they were married on the 4th of September, 1850, and immediately thereafter started for America; arrived at Franklin in due time; one year from date of arrival dissolved partnership with Mr. Hinrichsen, and immediately formed a co-partnership with Hiram Van Winkle; they carried on a successful business for two years; the firm then dissolved, and Mr. Reinbach thereupon conducted the business up to the time of his decease, which occurred February 6, 1878; in his death Morgan County lost one of its most successful business men, noted for his enterprise and liberality; he left a large family in Franklin, consisting of wife and nine children: David E., Clarence, Gussie, Newton Z., Mendel, Anna H., Carrie, Ollie, and Bruck; three children deceased: Frederica, Dessau B., and Lena.
RENTSCHLER, George W. farmer, Sec. 19, P.O. Concord; born on Sec. 19, this township, Nov. 24, 1837; married Jan. 14, 1862, to Miss Lucretia Henderson, born in this county Nov. 18, 1842; had seven children: Edwin Roswell, born Jan. 19, 1863, died Sept. 27, 1866; Sila Grant, July 8, 1865; William Henry, March 12, 1868, died May 16, 1868; George Stephen, March 7, 1869; Ellen R. Sept. 28, 1871; Arthur, Feb. 5, 1874, died March 10, 1874, and Franklin M. Feb. 3, 1875; he commenced farming for himself in 1862 till ’65, then went to Macon Co., bought a farm of 160 acres, sold that in 1865, coming back here, where he is now farming on the old homestead, owning 265 acres, and 160 acres in Scott Co.; on one of the coldest days in January, 1856, he was hauling timber for the M. E. Protestant Church from Beardstown; in coming back the same day, when half a mile from Arenzville, the horses were frightened and ran off; unable to hold them, he jumped off, but fell between the wheels, the hind wheel passing over his body, rendering him insensible; the noise the team made attracted the attention of the blacksmith of Arenzville, who, seeing them, foreboded ill, and went in search of him immediately, found him sitting on a stump in a stupefied condition; he had him brought home, but he was unable to work for two months; had it not been for the kindly assistance he would have perished; his father, George Rentschler has retired from active life, is living with him now; he was born in Pennsylvania, Oct. 8, 1795; married to Sarah Miller in 1817, who died in 1824; had three children by her; all dead; married again in the latter part of 1824, to Catharine Zerby, born in Pennsylvania, Oct. 26, 1805; had seven children, four living: Elizabeth, now Mrs. J. C. Valentine; Sarah, now Mrs. L. Fredlander; George W. and Jacob; he left Pennsylvania and came to the present place in 1837; has been farming and milling; he recollects one incident, especially of 1839, showing the abundance of game; he was coming home from Arenzville in the forenoon hauling rail, a large deer stood in the road, the horses became frightened and would not advance, the old buck looked at him unconcernedly for some minutes, then quietly went into the brush; he saw one morning a gang of twenty-seven deer in front of his house grazing; the wolves were so numerous that they kept them awake nights by their howling, and got so fierce that they attacked his dog in the yard, and had he not gone out to his rescue, the dog would have been eaten up.
REXROAT, James M. farmer and dealer in stock, Sec. 13, P.O. Concord; rep.; M.E.; born in Morgan Co., nine miles north of Jacksonville, March 26, 1840; married July 3, 1867, to Sarah E. Morrison, born Sept. 1, 1849, daughter of John Morrison, of this section. Has two children: Charles E., born Oct. 23, 1869; Cora M., Nov. 1, 1871. Held the office of school director three years - 1866-7-9. Owns 206 acres, value about $10,300.
REYNOLDS, Ralph, retired farmer. A prominent citizen of Jacksonville; was the youngest of a family of four children. Parents of Mr. Reynolds were Ralph and Sarah, whose maiden name was Rody; they were natives of England, where the subject of this sketch was born near Liverpool in 1821. Receiving a liberal education he became apprenticed to a wagon maker. While quite young his mother died, and in 1833 he accompanied his father to America; from New Orleans, on arrival, the little party of emigrants, father, daughter, and two sons, took passage up the Mississippi, and located in Morgan County, near Jacksonville, where farm property was purchased. Mr. R. died shortly after arrival in Morgan County, at Jacksonville. Ralph, the honored gentleman of whom we here make mention, was in his sixteenth year on arrival of the family in America. Working at above mentioned trade a short time he moved to Iowa before attaining his majority and became a miner. Crossing the plains for California in 1849, he became a successful dealer in gold dust. In this trip he was accompanied by his wife and two children. Remaining six years in the Golden State he returned to England. The year 1861 found him again bon voyage for America. Taking up his residence in Morgan County, where he became the owner of a magnificent farm property, also the owner of one of the finest residences in Jacksonville. A more live, energetic man than Ralph Reynolds it would be a hard matter to find. Mrs. Reynolds was born in England in 1826. The daughter of Thomas C. Rout. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds was blessed with nine children, eight are living: Thos. C., Ralph B., Richard C., Charles, Sarah J., Frances A., Elizabeth E., and Mary E.
REYNOLDS, Thomas C. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 3, P.O. Jacksonville; son of Ralph and Ellen, natives of England, who emigrated to America, settling in Morgan County at an early date; afterward removed to Dubuque, Iowa, where the subject of this sketch was born, Jan. 2, 1846; when two years old his parents went to California, and remained there six years, and then recrossed the ocean to England; here the preliminary education of Mr. R. began, which was afterward completed in the Illinois College, of Jacksonville, on the return of the family, in 1860, to America; in 1867, he graduated from the college mentioned; in 1868, married Miss Carrie Trabue, a graduate of the Illinois College, and daughter of John Trabue, who was for many years Clerk of Morgan County Court; Mr. R. is now living on his farm of 240 acres, four miles southeast of Jacksonville; owns a nice residence; children are: Ella T., born 1870, Georgie Elmira, Oct., 1872, Edwin, 1875.
REYNOLDS, Thomas J. farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Pisgah; Mr. R. was born in Scott County, near the town of Winchester, April 7, 1847; here the old folks lived and died; for the past eleven years Mr. Reynolds has been a resident of Morgan County, first settling near the Mauvaisterre; March 22, 1864, he enlisted in Co. F, 33d Regt. Ill. Vol., for three years’ service; at the siege of Mobile, under the command of General Canby; on the close of the war honorably discharged at Vicksburg, Miss.; returned to Morgan County, and shortly after married Miss Anna M. McCausland; three children.
RICHARDSON, William, 517 W. State Street, Jacksonville. Born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, April 13, 1814. He was the sixth child of John and Elizabeth Richardson, of Yorkshire, England; emigrated to this country with his father and family of five children (his brother, Vincent, coming the year before) in 1831, and arrived in Morgan County, Oct. 22d, of that year, and settled where his son Peter D. now resides. Mr. Richardson’s father bought and entered land enough to make one section (640 acres) besides his timber land; his father died May 12, 1856, and his mother died Nov. 6, 1862, aged eighty-eight years. Under mr. Richardson’s able and industrious management, this wild, prairie land has become a beautifully improved and fertile farm. The subject of this sketch received his early education in England. Married in the Spring of 1841, to Anne, daughter of William and Mary Rawlings, of Morgan County - formerly from Yorkshire, England - born May 3, 1819; the fruits of this union has been ten children, eight of whom are still living: Mary Jane, residing with her parents, Elizabeth, now Mrs. Hayden, of the firm of Russel & Hayden, Jacksonville. Rachel, now Mrs. Isaac Lazenby, of Morgan County; Peter D., living on the old homestead, Naples road; Emma, wife of Henry Oaks, Bluff City, Scott County; Harriet Ann, now Mrs. James Ranson, Morgan County; Eliza, now Mrs. Thomas Ford, Greene County; Sarah Ellen, resides with her parents; Anne and Clara are deceased. Mr. Richardson was formerly a Whig, but is now a firm Republican, and sustained the flag of the Union by a good home influence, during the late rebellion. He is an upright, Christian man, and his house has ever been open to the pioneer preacher, of the Meth. Epis. Church, many of whom remember him with a lively interest; through his influence was founded two M.E. churches, one of which is now used as a school house. Mr. R. has been a director of the Jacksonville National Bank, since its first organization in 1870.
RICHARDSON, William R. farmer, P.O. Jacksonville; son of Vincent R. and Lydia Richardson; William was born on his father’s farm, in Morgan County, April 28, 1846; growing up on the farm he received a common school education; on the completion of his education, he worked with unflagging zeal on the farm; with the exception of some months spent in the purchase of stock, mr. Richardson has resided in Morgan County; at twenty-three, he married Miss Ann Alice Sanderson, daughter of Robert Sanderson, a native of England; in 1870, William bought 196 acres of land; a fine property; five children: Charles H., Mary Jane, Mary Ann, Nettie, and Robert.
RIEMAN, H. W. miller, Meredosia. In 1863 his father, Francis Rieman (deceased), established the business; after his death his son, H.W. Rieman, bought the mill and continued the business; was married in 1872 to Miss Louise Moeller, born in Missouri in 1854. Mr. R. died in the Fall of 1872; was buried in honor by the Masonic order of Meredosia, of which he was a member for ten years; was also a prominent member of the I.O.O.F.; had one child, Frances (deceased); his brother, C.C. Rieman, is now owner of the mill.
RIMBEY, Mary A., Mrs., farmer, Sec. 21, P.O. Murrayville, widow of Emmanuel Rimbey, son of Uriah and Mary Rimbey, natives of Carroll Co., Md., who moved and settled here in 1827. Mrs. R. is the daughter of John and Nancy Vertrees, natives of Pennsylvania, and were contemporary settlers with the Gunns, Wrights, and Storys, which is proof sufficient of their being hardy emigrants whose names shall ever adorn the scroll of fame, as the men and women whose heroic endurance and fortitude done so much to build up the great Northwest. Mrs. R. was born in Hardin Co., Ky., Jan. 22, 1824; in her fifth year, moved with her parents to near Winchester (then Morgan,) and in a few years thereafter moved to Morgan; at the early age of six, went to the pay school in the old log school; her first instructor was Mr. Pemberton; one day in company with her mother, going to hear a circuit preacher preach, a formidable grizzly stood in their pathway, but her courage did not fail her, and with swift strides soon carried the news to her father, who soon brought in bruin’s inanimate carcass to attest the credibility of killing the last bear. On Oct. 19, 1844, was united in marriage to Emmanuel Rimbey, by “Old Dad” Redmond, a local preacher of the Baptist Church. The fruits of this union are: Charles H. born Aug. 28, 1845; Margaret, Jan. 20, 1848; U. Hardin, May 24, 1850; M. Ellen, Nov. 20, 1852; Martha L. June 3, 1855; S. Mahala, Dec. 24, 1857; Jesse H. Dec. 20, 1860; Thomas J. April 14, 1863; George W. Nov. 28, 1865; Norah, Oct. 8, 1879, died Dec. 4, 1871. The sad demise of Mr. R. occurred Aug. 14, 1871, since which sad event she has bravely met the grave responsibilities of the business of the farm. The following children are married: Margaret to H. D. Radley, Jan. 2, 1861; Charles H. to Cynthia A. Smith, March 20, 1872; Martha L. to James l. Sink, Oct. 15, 1874; U. Hardin is a successful telegraph operator. Owns eighty acres, worth $7,000.
RING, James, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 30, P.O. Woodson; son of Michael and Margaret Ring; was born in the County of Waterford, Ireland, January, 1830; at nineteen, he emigrated from Ireland to America, on board the sailing vessel Empire State, which during the passage was shipwrecked off the banks of Newfoundland, and in consequence was compelled to return; shortly after, came to America on the sailing vessel Shannon; after eight weeks’ voyage landed in New York city; in 1855, he came to Morgan County, and since that date has been a resident; in 1853, was married to Miss Mary Hennessy, daughter of Patrick and Mary Hennessy; for six years has been school director; owns 133 acres of land; children living: Michael, James, Patrick, William, Daniel, and Mary; John and Thomas, deceased.
ROACH, James T., butcher, Waverly, Ill., was born in Madison Co., Ill., March 2, 1827. He came to Morgan Co. with his father, John D. Roach, in the Fall of 1831, remaining only two years, when they moved to St. Clair co. They returned to Morgan Co. in June, 1841, where he has resided ever since; was married to Miss Susan Draper, Dec. 15, 1855; she was born in Greene Co., Ill., Aug. 15, 1837, and raised in Waverly. They have seven children: namely: John T., Stephen E., Margaret A., James A., Mary J., Isaac F., and Charles A.
ROBERTS, G. D. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 35, P.O. Franklin; the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch is the second son of Peter and Emeline Roberts, whose names will be found recorded elsewhere in this work; Mr. R. was born in Morgan County, May 19, 1845; during the Autumn of 1873, he united his fortunes to Miss L. M. Dickinson, daughter of Jacob Dickinson, postmaster of Franklin; two children: Ralph, born July 31, 1875; Lulu, September, 1876.
ROBERTS, James A. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 23, P.O. Franklin. The gentleman who heads this sketch, was born in Washington County, Tennessee, Dec. 30, 1819; when but 11 years of age, his parents, William and Eve, crossed the broad prairies by wagons, and settled in Morgan County in 1833; at this time gave of every kind abounded; horse mills being used to grind the grist, the flour was bolted by hand. William, the father of James, was born near Savannah, in South Carolina, in 1797; he became a farmer and manufacturer of boots and shoes; and displayed a great talent for preaching the gospel; he married Miss Eve Rubel, by whom he had twelve children; of whom James was the fifth child; above the average, displaying great ability as a business man, he entered deeply into trade, and like a good many men, met with reveres; he died in 1869; after a useful life. Mrs. William Roberts is now in her eighty-sixth year, and still resides on the old homestead. James grew to manhood in Morgan County; in 1841 he married Miss Sarah Seymour, daughter of James P. Seymour, a native of North Carolina; twelve children were born to them, ten of which are living: Malvina, John, James H., Martin, Lydia, George, Susan, Peter, Julia and Louis. Mr. Roberts enlisted in Co. H, One Hundred and First Infantry, for a three years service; until the close of the war. A part of the company was captured at Holly Springs; at that time Mr. Roberts was transferred to the Marine Corps; afterwards rejoining his company, and became engaged in the battles of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain; Mission Ridge, Dallas, Resaca, and others; he served six months as company cook, and afterwards filled the office of Sergeant. After the close of the war he was honorably discharged, at Springfield, Illinois, and returned to Morgan County; a successful farmer, he lives in affluent circumstances; a generous man, who helps vigorously to promote the welfare of the County; he owns 345 acres of valuable land; the first house he purchased cost the enormous price of ten dollars, a log cabin, roughly constructed; which in time gave place to a handsome family residence.
ROBERTS, John W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 24, P.O. Franklin. Mr. Roberts was the oldest of a family of twelve children; his father, James A. Roberts, whose name will be found in the general history of this volume, was one of the first settlers of Morgan Co. John, who heads this sketch, was born in Morgan Co. in 1843; the following year the family removed to the Lone Star State of Texas, but after a short residence returned to Morgan Co., where they have since resided, devoting their time to farming. When quite small, young R. attended a subscription school, taught in a log cabin, where the scholars were seated on benches made of split puncheon; on leaving the school room he turned his attention to the vocation that he had been accustomed to when a boy. Jan. 3, 1877, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Whitlock, a daughter of Luther Whitlock. Mr. Roberts owns eighty acres of land, well improved; having the confidence of the community in which he lives, for several years he held the office of constable; lately his term of service expired.
ROBERTS, Peter, farmer, Sec. 2, P.O. Franklin; the subject of this sketch was born in Washington County, Tenn., Jan. 12, 1813; his parents were William and Eve, natives of Tennessee, who moved to Illinois as early as 1833, settling in Morgan County, near the present farm residence of the subject of this notice; Mr. R. was then of age, and possessed of a force of character and energy that in after years counted and made him what he is today, a representative farmer; his education he received in schools supported by subscription, held in log cabins; in 1848, he married Miss Emeline McGinnis, of Tenn.; when Mr. Roberts, now known far and near as Colonel Roberts, decided to come to Illinois, he worked thirteen days in the harvest field to pay the expense of passage; on arrival, he hired out to a brick making firm at Jacksonville, for $9 per month, and thought Illinois a famous State to grow rich in; the first pair of trowsers he bought in the State cost him seventy-five cents, getting a liberal discount off on account of a tear in them; in those good old days Mr. R. states the boys did not wear piccadilly collars, with nobby neck-ties, their time usually being spent following the plow, from the time they could reach the handles; as time passed on, Mr. R. accumulated property, owning at one time some 900 acres; at the present owns 670 acres; when quite a young man he was unanimously elected Colonel of State militia, commissioned by Governor Ford, for the prevention of local disturbances; in 1846, he organized a company for the Mexican service, but having the misfortune to receive a stroke of lightning, did not enter upon active field duties; Mr. Roberts is now enjoying the fruits of his early labors; his family consists of a wife and five children, whose names are: Thomas Benton, George Douglas, James Polk, Hardin Wallace, and Florence; in an early day Colonel R. was county deputy sheriff.
ROBINSON, Charles, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 27, P.O. Woodson; born in Yorkshire, England, April 1, 1825; his father was a farmer, and emigrated to America June, 1852; settled four miles west of Jacksonville; Charles, on arrival, entered 160 acres; in 1859, Mr. Robinson’s dwelling stood directly in the track of the tornado that created such havoc in Morgan county; as it is mentioned elsewhere in this work, we do not enter into particulars; Mr. R. noted the approach of the storm, went to the door to close it, but was drawn instantly from the building and carried a full quarter of a mine; on the decline of the storm discovered his daughter lying at his feet; on his return to the house he discovered that his father was badly injured, and he subsequently remained blind during the rest of his life; in 1872, his wife died; she was a native of Yorkshire, England; they were married at Jacksonville in 1856; on her decease, to Mr. R. was left the care of six children, the youngest only thirteen days old; Mr. R. owns 100 acres of land.
RODGERS, Charles, dry goods and grocery merchant, Woodson; was born in Greene County, Illinois; son of Charles and Miranda R.; his father was an extensive farmer; on his father’s farm he passed his early youth, at sixteen, the family moved to Macoupin County, Ill., Charles received a liberal education; in 1877, he settled in Woodson, and became established in the dry goods and grocery trade; in December, 1876, was united in marriage to Miss Jennie McMahan, daughter of N.G. and Melissa H.; one infant child, born 1878.
ROHRER, Albert, farmer and stock_raiser and Vice Pres. of the Bank of Waverly, Sec. 25, P.O. Waverly, oldest son of Jonathan and Mary Roher, whose names are mentioned elsewhere in this work; Albert, who has passed all of his life in Morgan Co., and who is one of our most substantial farmers, deserves more than a passing notice; inheriting an energetic disposition, he early started forward in a successful career. In his 25th year, in 1855, he united his fortune to Miss Jane C. Knowles, the daughter of Burton Knowles, of Menard Co.; he was then the owner of 120 acres, on which he bent all of his energies to bring to a proper cultivation, how well he succeeded, the present day shows clearly, for the small acreage referred to became an estate of nearly 1,000 acres, a magnificent property on which he erected one of the finest farm residences in Morgan Co., a fitting tribute to a life of energy and enterprise. Three children, two of whom are living: Newton B. and Mary E.
ROHRER, G. W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Waverly. The above named gentleman who has passed nearly half a century in the bounds of Morgan Co., comes of a numerous and respectable family; his father, Jacob Rohrer, who helped very materially toward the progress of this county, was born in Hagerstown, Md., in 1798; in an early day he accompanied his parents to Virginia, and afterward removed to Kentucky, where he married Miss Artimissa Patterson. In 1826, Jacob R., then a young man and possessed of energy and a vigorous constitution, set out for Illinois, and settled on arrival near Apple Creek, near which is now situated the city of Waverly; entering the same from the government, he became in due process of time a successful farmer, due in a great measure to his remarkable energy; he died in 1870, leaving an estate of 200 acres; his wife survived him some three years, and on her decease was laid at rest near Waverly. Geo. W., who is the only one now living in Morgan Co., was born in Morgan Co. Oct. 28, 1830, and passed his boyhood among such associates as the Clouds, Deatherages, and others; he received his education in a subscription school of the usual log cabin order. In his 22d year he married Miss Emily Sharp, a daughter of Isaac and Cloie Sharp, natives of Tennessee. The pioneer days of Mr. R. were not devoid of interest; times were indeed hard, commodities being frequently exchanged by barter, but he enjoyed those early days which developed an energy which is still unabated. Mr. R. now resides on his farm, comprising 78 acres. By this marriage ten children, nine of whom are living: William, Jacob, Newton, Ira, Flora, Lydia, Hollie B., Emma, and Carrie
ROHRER, W. G. farmer and stock-raiser, Sec. 26, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Rohrer was born on the old homestead of his parents, April 2, 1835. When old enough he attended a district school, also attended a graded school in Decatur, Macon Co. Returning from Decatur to Morgan Co., he became a school_teacher. When the war of the rebellion came on, he enlisted in the 101st Illinois Infantry, for three years’ service. Incapacitated from active field duties through exposure and hardship incident to army life, he remained but nine months, when he was honorably discharged and returned to Morgan Co. It should have been previously mentioned that he married prior to the rebellion Miss Susan A. Keplinger, a daughter of John Keplinger. Has one child, Fannie M. His wife died Sept. 8, 1860. On his return from the army, he married Miss Lucy A. Allyn, daughter of the Rev. Henry Allyn; three children: Floddie Lee, Luther R., Oscar A. Mr. Rohrer owns 371 acres, and takes a leading position as a farmer.
ROONEY, John, farm hand Sec. 36, P.O. Woodson; son of John and Mary Rooney; was born near Murrayville, this county, Feb. 10, 1859; the parents of this noble boy emigrated from their native land _ Ireland, the heritage of poets, and the refuge of the friendless, about the year 1849, landing at New York city, settling in the State of New Jersey for a few years; but the crisis of 1857 caused a suspension of public works, hence it was then that it dawned upon this heroic son of lovely Erin to leave the seabord, and seek a more congenial clime in the then far West; having left the haunts of the city, Mr. R. commenced life anew by working out on the farm, and continued in this groove until his death, which occurred in 1863; Mrs. R. survived her husband but a few years, her death taking place in 1871, leaving two orphans to the care of a cold hearted world; Jane, sister of the subject of this sketch, was born in October, 1861, and both of these little waifs are fighting the battle of life with a heroism worthy of their descent.
ROSE, William, farmer and superintendent, P.O. Murrayville, was born in Dalton, Lancashire, England, Dec. 2, 1836; parents names were John Rose and Elizabeth Riley. During the early years of boyhood, received a good education at a “Free Grammar” School in his district, but his parents being of moderate means, was a bar to his further progress in the higher branches of education, having to lend a helping hand to the wants of his father’s business. In 1859, left his native land to cast his fortunes with the people of the new world, landing first in Canada, and it was there he married Miss Elizabeth Thompson, on Dec. 25, 1861, at Harrington; has had by this union: John, born Jan. 12, 1863; Robert, born Nov. 23, 1864; William, born Oct. 7, 1865; Elizabeth E. born Nov. 15, 1867; Christina, born Jan. 19, 1870; Mary, born Nov. 13, 1872; Margaret, born Feb. 23, 1875, and Kate, born Jan. 19, 1878. Of this large family all are living. In 1869, by the solicitation of his employer, Mr. Andrew Russel, lumber merchant, Jacksonville, moved here, and at once assumed the responsibilities of the “Russel estate,” which position he still holds, with profit to his master, and honor to himself.
RUBLE, Richard, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 9, Town 15-8, P.O. Old Berlin; was born in this county in 1826, and has lived here since; first wife was Lucy D. Harris; she was born in Tenn., and was married in 1849; she died in November, 1863, leaving one child - John A.; was married again in April, 1864, to Sarah Jane Smetters, who was a native of Ohio, and came to this county when very young. Have six children, all living: Mary Ellen, Milton, Andrew J., George, Henry and Sarah Jane; owns 575 acres, valued at $28,750. On the 25th of June, 1844, Mr. Ruble, while cutting the top from a “bee tree,” lost his hold and fell to the ground, a distance of 74 feet and 4 in. Actual measure, and still suffers from injuries received from that fall. The tree still stands on what is known as the Craig farm, 4 miles northeast from Jacksonville. His father, Jesse Ruble, was born in East Tennessee, and came to this county in 1820, and settled four miles northeast from Jacksonville, where he lived until 1851, when he came to Sec. 9-15-8, and from there to Sangamon County, where he died Aug. 1, 1871, in his 73d year.
RUSSELL, Wm. At times it is a difficult task to follow, step by step, the successive stages of life of those who have taken a leading position in life. The Russels are of Scotch origin, all comfortably situated in life. Andrew and Agnes Russel, parents of Wm. Russel, were natives of Rothsay, Scotland, where William was born and grew up on the old homestead. In 1833 the Russels stepped on board a sailing vessel bound for America. By way of Springfield, Ill., they made their way into Morgan Co. Andrew Russel entered a large tract of land and became a very successful farmer. The subject of this notice received a classical education in Scotland; at twenty-eight he married Miss Emily Gallaher, daughter of Wm. Gallaher, a native of Kentucky, who moved to Illinois in its early settlement. Mr. Russel was in very comfortable circumstances compared to many that first made a home in the west. No man is better known in the early days of Jacksonville. First opening the largest store for the sale of China ware, boots, shoes, hardware, groceries, etc., strictly honorable in all business transactions, he went steadily forward to a successful career. A number of years ago he built the store he now occupies on the west side of the square, and made a purchase of a large business house. The Russel estate comprises over 5,000 acres of land; in addition to a part of this William owns a great deal of city property. This family was among the nobility of Scotland.
RYAN, Patrick, farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Franklin. Was born in the County Limerick, Ireland, about the year 1838; when very young left the beautiful “isle of the sea,” to cast his lot with the people of the new world, and landed at New York city, thence to Morgan County, where he first worked by the month; in 1860, he united his fortunes to Miss Winifred Doyle, by whom he has had eight children, all living: Thomas, Jeremiah, Mary, Kate, Lawrence, Onie, Anna, and Martin; when Mr. Ryan arrived in America he had no capital, but had willing hands, and a brave, manly heart, that carried him successfully through life, laying the foundation for a future success; now owns 305 acres of good land; for the past six years has been school director; there are, perhaps, but few men now living in old Morgan, who have done more to develop and enhance the business interests of the county, than the worthy gentleman whose history is herein sketched.
RYNDERS, Andrew, farmer and stock_raiser, Sec. 18, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Rynders is one of the oldest inhabitants and one of the earliest pioneers now living in Morgan Co., a man of extraordinary energy, he is worthy of more than a passing notice; he was born in Saratoga Co., New York, Jan. 15, 1798, the seventh of a family of thirteen children; he passed his early years in New York State, and married in his 24th year Miss Sarah Miner, a daughter of Amos Miner, an ingenious mechanic, who afterward removed to Illinois, where he passed the remainder of life. The subject of this sketch was apprenticed to the trade of a millwright; became a superior workman, and contracted mill work to a considerable extent in different parts of the State. This making it necessary for him to be frequently absent from home, he settled down to the quiet life of a farmer. In 1835 he concluded to better his fortune by directing his footsteps westward; after days and weeks spent in travel, he settled with his family in the vicinity of Waverly, where he entered a tract of land from the government, and moved into a log cabin built some years previous; at Little York he worked on the steam grist and saw mill that was in process of erection by the Miner family. Mr. R. relates that Coleman Deatherage put up a horse mill near Appalove, and Thos. Ross and Eziekel Springer constructed a saw mill, for which Mr. Rynders took charge as millwright. During those early days Mr. Rynders was a warm advocate of the extension of education. His memory is remarkable, even now, when he has long since passed the age commonly allotted to man; he still makes a hand in the harvest field; a hard worker all his life, he now finds no time for idleness. Going back a little into the early history of this family, we find that the first wife of Mr. Rynders died about 1846. There were eleven children born of this marriage, three of whom were living on the decease of Mrs. R.; Wm., Andrew, and Ruth. About 1847 Mr. R. was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Sevier; by this marriage one child, Sarah E., deceased. Mrs. R. departing this life about the year 1850, the following year he was married to Mrs. Arena Beasely, by whom he had eight children, four living: Andrew, William, Douglas, and Isiah; in 1864 this lady was laid to rest in the Jones Cemetery. Mr. R. afterward was united in marriage to Arena Arnot, who died Jan. 15, 1873. June 19, 1873, he married Mrs. Sarah Ann Alabaugh, who was born in Greene County. During his long and successful life Mr. R. has accumulated a fine farm property, which he still conducts at his advanced age successfully.