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)
WILLIAM M. CORINGTON, a native of Morgan County, is a worthy descendant of one of its highly respected pioneer families. He owns a part of the farm that his paternal grandfather developed from the wild, uncultivated prairies of the part of the county embraced in township 16, range 9, his homestead being finely located on section 25. Here he is quite extensively engaged in raising and shipping cattle, having his farm well stocked with all it can carry, and selling from three to five car loads each year.
Joel Corington, the grandfather of our subject, was of Welsh descent, although a Kentuckian by birth, having been born in Bourbon County, that State. He was there reared and married, his union with Mary Ellen Nichols taking place in 1818. They lived in the blue grass region until 1835, when with their family and household effects they emigrated to Illinois, coming to this county and becoming its pioneers. They spent the first winter in Jacksonville, and in the spring of 1836 removed to this farm, where our subject now lives, which then comprised 270 acres. They made their home here until about 1855, when they returned to Jacksonville, where, in the course of nature, they both died, aged, respectively, eighty_seven and seventy_three years. When they first came her the country roundabout was very thinly settled, and the markets were far distant, and the grandfather had to drive his hogs either to St. Louis or to Alton to dispose of them.
John W. Corington, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky in 1824, the fourth child in a family of eight belonging to his parents. He was a boy of eleven years when he accompanied his parents to their new home in Morgan County, and here, amid its pioneer scenes, he was reared to man's estate. He married Miss Ann E., daughter of Robert and Mary Cassell. Her father was of German ancestry, and was a native of Bourbon County, Ky., and her mother was of Irish descent, and was also a native of that county. They came to this State in 1835, and lived on their farm in this county east of Jacksonville many years, and finally retired from active life to that city, and there he spent his last days, and she is still living there at an advanced age. After marriage the parents of our subject began housekeeping in this township, but four years later Mr. Corington purchased a farm nine miles east of Jacksonville, and removed to it with his family, and he is still living there, enjoying a competence that he has gathered together by frugality and well_directed toil. The faithful wife and devoted mother, who had shared his labors, and had greatly aided him to become prosperous, closed her eyes in death, Aug. 5, 1884, aged fifty_seven years. Of their ten children eight survive, and all were born and reared on the farm where the father now lives, except their eldest daughter, Mary E., now the wife of Thomas Corcoran, who was born in this township. The othes are Frank, Robert, Emma, now Mrs. Jacob H. Strawn; Kate now Mrs. Marven Thompson; John B., Charles Clifton; Jennie, now Mrs. Woods. Frank and Robert are deceased. The father has married again, Mrs. Grace Kurtz becoming his wife.
William M., our subject, was reared on his father's farm to an energetic, capable manhood. His educational opportunitis were exceedingly limited, but he made the most of them, and is today an unusually intelligent and well_informed man. Oct. 20, 1869, he took a step that has had an important bearing on his after life, in his marriage on that date to Miss Alice, daughter of Martin and Elizabeth (Peacock) Tincher. Soon after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Corington established themselves on a farm in this township, but after living here six years they removed to Jefferson County, Neb., and Mr. Corington engaged in the mercantile business in Fairberry. A year later he returned to his native State and rented this farm of his grandfather, and four years later bought 196 acres of it, which he still owns, and devotes his time to its cultivation and to raising and shipping stock, as before noted. His farm is one of the choicest in this part of the county, and is well fenced, and is provided with a comfortable dwelling and other commodious buildings.
Mr. and Mrs. Corington's family consists of five children _ Claude M., Clinton F., John M., Bessie E., Lew E., all of whom are receiving fine educational advantages.
Mr. Corington is a man whose stability of character, sturdy self_respect,
and genuine honesty of purpose are well calculated to win the highest respect
of his fellow_citizens, by whom he is well liked. He is a hard working
man, and has accumulated a comfortable property, whose value is increasing
under his careful, prudent management. He is so busy attending to his private
affairs that he has never had time to entertain a desire for public office,
but as a good citizen he does his duty at the polls, voting the Democratic
ticket on each election day. He and his highly esteemed wife belong to
the Christian Church, and their daily lives are guided by its teachings.
JOHN W. CORINGTON, a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky, may be usually found at his rural homestead on section 12, township 15, range 9, where he has operated successfully as a tiller of the soil and gathered around himself and his family all the comforts of life. He was born Nov. 11, 1821, and when a lad of ten years came to Morgan County with his parents, of which he has since remained a resident.
Joel Corington, the father of our subject, was likewise a native of Bourbon County, Ky., and born about 1795. He learned saddlery and harness_making, at which he worked in the Blue Grass State until coming to Illinois, then turned his attention to farming. He departed this life July 31, 1879. Mrs. Ella (Nichols) Corington, the wife and mother, was born in Ohio in 1805 and was of English descent. The parental household included eight children, only three of whom are living _ James C., Emily E. and John W., our subject. The deceased are Rosaline, Amanda, Wesley W. and two who died in infancy. James C. married Miss Mary Fitch of Ohio, and lives on a farm in Buchanan County, Mo.; they have six children. Emily was first married to Daniel McCoy of Bourbon County, Ky., and who died leaving his widow with one child _ Fanny; she was then married to Joseph Cunningham, a retired farmer of Jacksonville.
The subject of this sketch, upon reaching man's estate, was married to Miss Ann Cassell, of his native county. Her parents, Robert and Mary Cassell, came to this county when their daughter was a child of three years. Of this union there were born ten children, eight of whom are living. William married Alice Tincher and is farming in this county; Mary E. is the wife of Thomas J. Cochran, a merchant of this county; John B. married Mamie Reeves, who became the mother of two children and died, and he was then married to Eugenia Thompson; he is farming in Morgan County. Charles married Miss Sadie Hurst and is a resident of Morgan County. Jennie is the wife of William Woods, a farmer and stock_dealer. Emily E., Clifton and Kate complete the list of survivors.
Our subject, Oct. 13, 1887, was married to Miss Grace Curts. His
father, when coming to Morgan County, purchased 275 acres of partially
improved land. John W., in addition to owning a homestead, has a farm of
600 acres and makes a specialty of breeding fine horses, while he also
handles cattle and swine. He is a member in good standing of the Christian
Church, and has held the office of Trustee for a period of twenty_five
years. He is a sound Democrat, politically, and labors earnestly in support
of his party.
JOHN B. CORRINGTON is a fine type of the native_born citizens of Morgan County, sons of its pioneers, who are actively engaged in tilling its soil and extending its immense agricultural interests. He is successfully and profitably managing a large and well_improved farm, comprising 340 acres of land on section 32, township 16, range 8 west, besides eighty acres of valuable timber land. He makes a specialty of raising and feeding cattle, and sells a large number each year.
Our subject is a son of John W. and Ann E. (Cassell) Corrington. (For parental history see sketch of his brother William on another page of this work). He was born on the farm where his father now lives, east of Jacksonville, and was there bred to the life of a farmer, receiving a sound, practical training in all that goes to make a good farmer. He gleaned a good education in the local district school, making the most of his advantages, and is to_day a well_informed man. In October, 1882, he took unto himself a wife, marrying at that time Miss Mary H., daughter of H.L. Reaves, of this county. Their wedded life was not of long duration, for the shadow of death fell across their peaceful home, and the young wife and mother was taken from her loved ones May 27, 1885. Two children, Elsa A. and Mary E., were the fruit of that marriage. Mr. Corrington was married to his present wife Jan. 19, 1888. Her maiden name was Eugenia S. Thompson, of this county, of whom see sketch in this volume. She is to him a devoted wife, and to his children a kind, loving mother. She presides over their pleasant home with grace, attending carefully to the comforts of its inmates.
Mr. Corrington early entered upon the career of a farmer, and has
already achieved more than ordinary success. His home farm is all under
admirable cultivation, excepting that part of it devoted to pasturing his
herds of cattle. His neat, substantial buildings are in good order, and
he has every appliance for conducting agriculture in the most profitable
way. Our subject possesses sufficient acumen, foresight, and decision of
character to make him an important factor in fostering the highest interests
of his community, and he is rightly considered a valuable citizen. He is
straightforward in his manner and independent in his views, and is well
liked by all with whom he comes in contact either in business or in society.
He is a Democrat, but not an active politician, and resolutely refuses
to accept any office, as his private affairs occupy all his time. He and
his wife are consistent and active members of the Christian Church, and
in that faith his first wife died.
EDWARD COULTAS, an honored veteran of the late war, representing one of the early pioneer families of Scott County, is now one of its skilled and highly prosperous tillers of the soil, and is contributing his share to its material welfare, and to its advancement socially and religiously. On section 26, Winchester Precinct, range 12, the broad acres of his highly cultivated, well-stocked farm, with its fine commodious brick dwelling and other substantial buildings, form a pleasant picture in the landscape.
Our subject was born June 3, 1839, in the humble pioneer home that his parents, George and Eliza (Wilson) Coultas, had established here. They were natives of Yorkshire, England, and migrating to America in 1830, came directly to Morgan County. They did not become acquainted with each other until after that time, and they were married in 1835. They then settled in Scott County, which was then a part of Morgan County. They located on a farm entered from the Government and were the first settlers in this section, their nearest neighbors being five miles distant. Before his marriage and shortly after landing here, the father had enlisted in the army which was raised to prosecute the Black Hawk War. He did valiant service throughout that conflict and took an active part in several engagements. Some years later he received a land warrant for what he did in that war. After settling here he was obliged to go to Morgan County to earn money to help support his family, while his wife was left all alone with their babe in their windowless, cheerless log cabin, and often at night she was annoyed by the wolves howling outside, and in the morning as she stood at her door was startled often by the deer dashing past close to her. It must indeed have been a lonely, wild scene that greeted her eyes, with no signs of the advancing civilization beyond her threshold. But the brave woman kept up her courage for the sake of husband and little one, and in the years of toil and hardship that followed she was ever ready to sympathize with and aid her husband, and was, indeed, his right hand in the work of upbuilding a home. To that worthy couple were born eight children, five boys and three girls. Of their sons, three are farmers, one is a professor, and one is a minister in the Methodist Episcopal denomination. The father departed this life June 10, 1859. Fifteen years later the mother closed her eyes in death.
He of whom we write was their second child. His schooling was necessarily limited, but he made good use of his time when the district school was in session, and by observation and reading has gleaned a fair education. He remained at home assisting his father in the support of the family until 1862. He had watched the course of public events that had culminated in bloody strife with intense interest, and in the month of August, that year, he laid aside his home duties at the higher call of his country, and cast his lot with his brave fellow-men who had preceded him to Southern battle fields. He enlisted in Company H, 129th Illinois Infantry, and went with his regiment to Louisville, Ky., where it was assigned to Gen. Nelson's division of Gen. Buell's army; Benjamin Harrison became his Brigade-General. Our subject and his comrades were set to guard a railroad in Tennessee, until they were placed in the 20th Army Corps, and then they took an active part in the Atlanta campaign. Mr. Coultas took part in all the battles in which his regiment was engaged, and was always found in his place in the ranks in the most hotly waged contest. He was with Sherman in his march through Georgia and the Carolinas, and for his good conduct was promoted to be Corporal, and was detailed all through the campaign as a scout and forager, acting so well in those capacities as to merit the commendation of his superiors. He took part in the grand review at Washington, and was subsequently discharged with his regiment, having proved himself a daring, courageous and efficient soldier.
After his experiences of the hardships and privations of army life, Mr. Coultas returned to his Illinois home, and once more resumed the peaceful vocation to which he had been bred, gladly laying down the sword for the pruning hook. After farming on the old homestead awhile he bought a small farm, and marrying Miss Ruth Southwell, Feb. 24, 1867, they began their wedded life thereon. Mrs. Coultas was a daughter of Robert Southwell, who is now a prominent grocer in Winchester. She was born Sept. 22, 1844, the third child in her parents' family. She was well educated in the old academy at Winchester. After marriage she and Mr. Coultas made their home in a little log house of three rooms, and had to struggle hard to get a good start as they had nothing but their hands and brains and stout hearts. But by quiet and persistent efforts, directed by sound common sense and constant attention to the practical every day affairs of life, they have succeeded beyond their expectations, and are now in prosperous circumstances. Besides the fine brick residence on his home place, Mr. Coultas has purchased a substantial frame house just east of it, that is now occupied by a renter, together with a commodious barn, 40x60 feet, and other necessary outbuildings. His farm comprises 250 acres, well adapted to the needs of a stock-raiser, and he raises medium grades for the market, and is gradually introducing a higher grade of horses in his place.
Mr. and Mrs. Coultas have had eight children, of whom the following four are living: Mabel, born Aug. 17, 1868, is at home; Charles E., born Sept. 5, 1870, is preparing to enter college next year; Bertie M., born Oct. 23, 1877; Chester, Aug. 31, 1883. This pleasant household was sadly bereaved by the death of two daughters, twins, who were bright promising girls, who died in July, 1882, and their memories are still cherished in the hearts of the father, mother, sister and brothers.
"It singeth low in every heart,
When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joys of life,
They softened every frown.
"But oh, 'tis good to think of them
When we are troubled sore;
Thanks be to God that such have been,
Although they are no more."
Mr. and Mrs. Coultas and their two eldest children are active members
of the Presbyterian Church, take a lively interest in the Sunday-school,
and carry their religion in to their every day lives. Mr. Coultas has served
his precinct as Justice of the Peace four years, and as School Director
several years, and in whatsoever capacity he may act he is always found
to be the right man in the right place. He is a fine specimen of the genus
homo denominated the self-made man, as will be seen by the perusal of this
brief life-record. He has always been a stalwart Republican, and never
fails to vote at elections and to use his influence for the benefit of
his party. He took an active part in the election of his old brigade commander,
Gen. Benjamin Harrison, to the presidency.
HON. OLIVER COULTAS. Many portraits of honored residents of Morgan County add value to these pages, and among them none reflect the lustre of a noble name more than that of the Hon. Oliver Coultas. This gentleman, an ex-member of the Illinois Legislature, to which he was elected by the Democracy of his district, in 1879, is recognized as one of the most wealthy and prominent men of Morgan County. His possessions have been the accumulation of a lifetime of industry, and he has been blessed by Providence with that sound common sense and good judgment which has enabled him to make fortunate investments. At the same time he has pursued a straight-forward course in life, and has thereby gained the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens.
Mr. Coultas is the owner of nearly 700 acres of land, the larger portion of which is improved and devoted to stock-raising. His homestead is finely located on Section 6, township 14, range 11, where he has 285 acres in a state of thorough cultivation, and a set of modern buildings, together with the machinery, and other appliances necessary in the proper carrying on of a well-regulated estate. East of Jacksonville he has a valuable farm of 130 acres, with fine buildings, and he has eighty acres in township 15, range 11, besides 180 acres in Scott County. He has occupied his present homestead over thirty-five years, and has thus become one of the landmarks, whose name will be remembered long after he has departed hence. In the early days he made a specialty of swine, in which he dealt largely for a period of fifteen years, in the interests of Mr. Gale, of Galesburg. Mr. Gale was the first man who shipped live port to the East as a business, and with the assistance of Mr. Coultas accumulated quite a fortune. Our subject also accumulated a snug sum of money, and wisely invested it in real estate, just in time to save himself from loss by the failure of his employer.
The North Riding, of Yorkshire, England, was the native place of our subject, and his birth occurred April 12, 1827. His father, William Coultas, was a substantial Yorkshire farmer, of pure English stock, and remained a resident of his native county until quite late in life. The mother was, in her girlhood, Miss Mary Saunderson, who was born and reared not far from the native place of her husband. They became parents of eight children, and after their son Oliver had emigrated to the United States the parents and five of their children followed him, all locating in this county. One son, George, however, later settled in Scott County, and at his home the mother died, after having more than reached her threescore years. The father subsequently made his home with a daughter, Mrs. Myron Duger, of Kansas, and died there after the close of the war, at about the age of seventy years. Both parents had been reared in the doctrines of the Church of England, and trained their offspring in accordance with its precepts. Of the six sons and two daughters comprising the parental household five are living.
Mr. Coultas, our subject, came to the United States a single man, but in due time met his fate in the person of Miss Margaret Headen, whom he married in this county, Feb. 16, 1854. Mrs. Coultas was born May 16, 1838, and is the daughter of Dr. Thomas Headen, who is a native of Tennessee, and of Southern parents. He was married in his native State, whence he came not long afterward to this county, being one of its earliest settlers. He engaged in the practice of his profession, and followed it until with a few years of his death, which occurred at the home of one of his daughters in Scott County, when he was probably seventy years old. His wife had passed away some years previously, in middle life.
Mrs. Coultas was reared to womanhood under the parental roof, acquiring a common-school education, and a knowledge of those housewifely arts upon which depend to so great an extent the comfort and happiness of a home. She has been the able assistant of her husband in his ambitions, and has contributed her full share toward the building up of their home, and establishing the reputation of the family. Eleven children came to bless their union, the record of whom is as follows: S. Ann became the wife of John I. Gordon, and they live on a farm in Macon County, this State; Alice G. is the wife of Alvis Kumley, and they live on a farm near Alexander; Maggie S. married C. M. Sevier, of this county; Samuel I. married Miss Minnie Lee, and they are residents of this county; Mary F. is the wife of James B. Gordon, and they occupy a farm in Scott County; Oliver, Jr., Lottie B., Henry L. and William E. are at home with their parents; two children died in infancy.
Our subject and his estimable wife are members in good standing of
the Christian Church, and in the councils of his party in this section
Mr. Coultas is recognized as a leader, and a man whose judgment is seldom
at fault. During two years' service in the Legislature he introduced many
wise measures, and took a special interest in local matters. The district
then included Scott and Greene counties.
THOMAS P. COULTAS, a native-born citizen of Winchester Precinct is a grandson of one of its earliest settlers and the son of one of its well-known citizens, and on the old homestead south of Riggston which his grandfather had purchased from the Government nearly sixty years ago in the early days of the settlement of Scott County, he was born Oct. 8, 1842. Since attaining manhood he has identified himself with the agricultural interests of his native county and township, and owns a valuable farm of 240 acres of rich arable land lying on section 24, which is under excellent cultivation, has a neat and cosy dwelling, ample barns, and other necessary buildings, besides good machinery for carrying on the farm so as to produce the best results with the least expenditure of time and labor. There are about fifty acres of timber on the place and a fine orchard. Mr. Coultas has his farm stocked with more cattle than it can support and he has to buy feed for them every year. He began three years ago to introduce full-blooded Red-Polled cattle, buying stock of Gen. L. F. Ross, the noted cattle breeder, of Iowa City, and he now has six fine specimens of that breed.
The father of our subject was born in Yorkshire, England, Oct. 20, 1815, and in 1830 he accompanied his parents and other members of the family to the United States, and settled with them in Illinois, on section 3, this precinct. That winter was a memorable one to the early settlers of this state as the "Winter of the Deep Snow", which fell to the depth of four feet on a level, and in contrast with that he can compare the mild winter of thirty-seven years later, when the weather was so warm that the corn actually sprouted in the fields in inch on Christmas Day, as witnessed by our subject and two companions, and doubtless by many others. While the snow was lying on the ground to such great depth, Mr. Coultas and three others went out one day on a deer hunt, and by ten o'clock had killed fourteen of the wild animals, the deep snow having impeded their movements. The hunters stripped the hides off of their game, took the shoulders and hams and left the remains to a very large pack of wolves who had been hungrily eyeing them while they worked. Times were very hard then for the pioneers of Illinois, prices were low and markets were far distant. They had to haul their wheat to the Illinois River, after having threshed it by having the horses trample it out on the ground, and then they obtained only twenty-five cents a bushel for it. Hogs that weighed 175 pounds only brought seventy-five cents a hundred weight when marketed.
Mr. Coultas, our subject, inherited 120 acres of his father's homestead, and by unremitting toil, and judicious management of his affairs, he has increased its value and has added to its original acreage till he owns a 300 acre farm that is classed among the best in this part of Scott County, and he is considered one of the substantial, reliable citizens of the township which he has helped to build up. He still takes an active interest in politics, and stands by the Democratic party as firmly as in days of yore when it was his privilege to cast his vote for "Old Hickory" the first president that he helped to elect after he obtained his majority, and he also had the honor of voting for Cleveland, the last Democratic president. He received his education partly in England and partly in America, leaving school when about eighteen years old, and when twenty-one years old he began life for himself, his father hiring him to assist him in the management of his farm. He has been twice married. His first wife, who died in 1855, was Mary Pickering, daughter of Thomas Pickering of Yorkshire, England. Our subject was the eldest of the six children born of that marriage, four sons and two daughters, five of whom are still living, and the names of the others are Robert, Mary, Henry and George. Mr. Coultas was married to his second wife, whose maiden name was Mary Dean, April 10, 1856. She was a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Robinson) Dean, of Cheshire, England, and her death occurred Sept. 4, 1876. Of the ten children born of that marriage nine are now living, as follows: Isaac James, Mattie May, wife of Edward Chrisman; Adela, wife of Garland Overton; Alice Hardwick, wife of John Kirkland; Sallie Belle, wife of John A. Obermeyer, William Edgar, Charles Burr, Samuel John, Florence Lulla and David Brengle.
Thomas P. Coultas of this biography received a common education in the local district school, completing his studies when about eighteen years old, and after that devoted his time to assisting his father on his farm. He remained at home till he was twenty-one, and then married, taking unto himself as a wife and companion Miss Lizzie F. Hawk, their marriage being solemnized Feb. 25, 1863. She is a daughter of A. J. and Jane (Frame) Hawk. Robert Hawk, her grandfather, was an early pioneer of Illinois, and his home was three miles northeast of Winchester, and there he died many years ago. His wife died only fourteen years ago, having attained extreme old age. He took an active part in the Black Hawk War, and figured prominently in all the scenes of pioneer times. His son A. J., Mrs. Coultas's father, was a prominent farmer in his day and owned several hundred acres of land. He died in June, 1863, and his wife survived him eight years, when she too passed away. They had six children, five of whom are still living. Mrs. Coultas was the second child of the family, and she was born in Scott County, Nov. 29, 1842. She was educated in the district school and remained an inmate of the parental household till her marriage with our subject. They have had nine children, seven of whom are living, of whom the following is the record: Clayton E., residing half a mile northeast of the paternal homestead, was born Aug. 6, 1864, and is married to Alice Stainsby; Minnie L. was born June 13, 1866; John A., Feb. 7, 1868; Annie B., Sept. 29, 1870; Allie R., Dec. 10, 1873, and died July 28, 1873; David F. was born Oct. 18, 1874; Nellie F. was born ___ 16 1876; Raymond W., Jan. 26, 1880; Mary Ella, March 2, 1883, and died August 12, of the same year. There has been considerable sickness in the family, and the beloved wife and mother was stricken with paralysis in her left side six years ago, and is still suffering much from it, but bears this affliction nobly and with cheerfulness.
After marriage Mr. And Mrs. Coultas settled on a farm belonging to his father that had been purchased of William Cox, and the young couple began housekeeping in an old frame house, in which they lived three years. Mr. Coultas then purchased 240 acres of land where his present home stands, and on it was a good house and barns, and all but twenty acres of the land was broken. He has been prospered in his calling and is comfortably well-off.
Our subject is prominent among the farmers of this locality, and
possesses pleasing social qualities that make him personally popular with
all in the community. He is a skillful manager and brings a clear head
and sound common sense to bear on his work. He has held public office with
credit, and has always worked for the highest interests of his native precinct.
He has been School Director and Road Overseer. In politics, he is a decided
Democrat and has always acted with that party, with the exception of time
when he worked for the election of Peter Cooper, the Greenback candidate
for the presidency. He is a valued member of Saladin Lodge, No. 48, K.
of P. Mrs. Coultas has been connected with the Christian Church as one
of its most consistent members.
WILLIAM COVEY first saw the light of day in Knox County, Tenn., March 5, 1836. He and his twin brother, Samuel, came with their father, Robert Covey, to Morgan County in the fall of 1836, where the father made the acquaintance of Judge Samuel Wood, Dr. Moore and others. Robert Covey died in 1839. William Covey's mother, whose maiden name was Ann Dodd, was also a native of Knox County, Tenn. In her family (the Dodds) were six children. Her sister Adeline married E. C. Phetteplace, who resides near Petosky, Mich., where he is farming. He is the father of seven children. Nancy Todd (should be Nancy Covey) married Andrew J. Mann, who is a retired farmer, living at Franklin.
The subject of this sketch married Nancy Seymour, Feb. 7, 1860. The date of her birth is Nov. 29, 1842. Her father Richardson Seymour was a native of North Carolina, and came to Morgan County in 1828, and died June 1, 1888. Her mother is still living on the homestead. Mr. and Mrs. William Covey are the parents of three children, two of whom are dead. Mary E. was born Sept. 2, 1866, and died Oct. 13, 1871; Bartlett was born Sept. 2, 1866, and died Nov. 13, 1871; Hattie was born Feb. 13, 1874, and is at home with her parents.
Mr. Covey at the tender age of ten years, was thrown upon his own resources. He lived with Washington Hart, and at this time, came the period that was to try his mettle. Without friends, without money, and nearly bereft of hope, he faced a cold and pitiless world, but with the resolution to come out a winner, which he did. He married, and after that event, purchased 200 acres of land with a small clearing, upon which he erected a cabin and stables, and commenced to improve his farm. He brought his land up to a high state of cultivation, put up better buildings, and at last he was in the possession of a model farm. In 1883 he removed his family to Franklin, and there engaged in the business of conducting a livery, sale and feed stable. He has been eminently successful in his last venture, and has built a fine residence, and barns suitable to carry on the business in which he is engaged, and now carries a stock of horses, cutters and buggies that would do credit to a much larger place than Franklin.
Mr. Covey was one of the innumerable throng that caught up the refrain "We are Coming Father Abraham Three Hundred Thousand More," when the great war President in 1862 made a call for troops. He enlisted Aug. 11, of that year in the 101st regiment, and in the company commanded by Capt. Fanning. He was at the siege of Vicksburg, and was on the second boat that landed at the wharf of the beleaguered city, after the surrender of the garrison. He was also at the battle of Resaca, Ga., Dallas, Ga., Atlanta, Evansboro, Bentonville, and participated in a large number of skirmishes. He was also with Sherman when he made his march to the sea. He then went to Richmond, and by that time hostilities had ceased, and he received an honorable discharge June 7, 1865.
Mr. Covey has always borne the reputation of being an honorable,
conscientious, and upright citizen. His judgment is much in request by
his neighbors. Mrs. Covey is a communicant of the Baptist church.
PHILLIP COWDIN. The preservation of family history is a matter to which most intelligent people of the present day are giving especial attention, and the subject of this notice is one of those who appreciate its propriety and importance. He is usually to be found at his pleasant homestead, comprising 160 acres of well-cultivated land on section 33, township 16, range 11, a part, however, lying on section 34. He has been a resident of this township most of the time since coming to this county, in the spring of 1857, and is one of the self made men who by their own efforts have accumulated a competence for their declining years.
Mr. Cowdin is past sixty-nine years of age, having been born Jan. 12, 1820. His native place was Worcester County, Mass., and his father, Phillip Farrington Cowdin, was a farmer by occupation, and a native of the same county as his son. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Cowdin, served for a brief time as a Revolutionary soldier, being the son of a commissioned officer of the same war, and who bore the same name. The latter, Capt. Thomas Cowdin, was born on the Atlantic while his parents were crossing from Ireland. They located in Worcester County, Mass., and were represented by a large number of descendants, many of whom lived an died in the Bay State, of which one brother and two sisters of our subject are still residents.
Both Thomas Cowdin, Sr., and his son, were farmers by occupation, and lived to an advanced age. Both became fathers of large families. Thomas Sr., had twelve children. Thomas, Jr., married Miss Mary Farrington. She also was born and reared in Massachusetts, and had a brother, Lieut. Jacob Farrington, who was a commissioned officer under King George III. Thomas Cowdin, Jr., and wife, after their marriage spent their lives at the old farm constituting land upon which their ancestors first settled when coming to this country, as members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They also reared a large family, of whom Phillip Farrington Cowdin, the father of our subject, was the second son and fourth child. His life passed in a simple and uneventful manner until he attained to a man's estate, and he was then married in his native county to Miss Eunice Sawyer, who was born in Fitchburg, Mass., and was of ancestry similar to that of her husband.
After their marriage the parents of our subject settled on the old farm where the father and grandfather before them had lived and died, and where they also spent the remainder of their lives, both being within a few years of fourscore when gathered to their fathers. They are remembered as people of more than ordinary worth and intelligence, and were the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters, four of whom are yet living, including the eldest and youngest child. Phillip, our subject, was the youngest but one of the family, and the first who came to this county was Putnam, now deceased. He made his way to the West early in the thirties, and died here. Phillip is the only one now living in the West.
Our subject was reared, educated and married in his native county, his bride being Miss Emily Pratt, their wedding being celebrated at her home in Massachusetts. Mrs. Cowdin was born in Fitchburg, Mass., July 26, 1823, and is the daughter of Levi and Emily (Fuller) Pratt, natives of Worcester County, and of New England parentage. Levi Pratt was the son of David Pratt, who, the records indicate, served in the Revolutionary War, and who later settled down on a farm in Worcester County, after having been married to Hepsibah Fay. Both he and his wife lived to be quite aged.
After his marriage Levi Pratt, with his young wife, settled down on a farm near Fitchburg, where his death took place at the age of fifty-seven years. His wife Emily, had preceded him to the better land when forty-seven years old. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Phebe (Poor) Fuller, who were born and spent their entire lives in the Bay State. Mrs. Cowdin was the third child and second daughter in a family of six boys and five girls born to her parents, eight of whom are now living. She was well reared and educated, and is the only member of her family in this State. The six children born of this marriage of our subject is recorded as follows: John Prescott, who resides in the West, is married and the father of one child; Anna F. became the wife of Isaac Houston, and they live on a farm in Sherman County, Kan.; Frank P. operates a farm in the same township as his father; Sarah E., Lincoln P. and Grace are at home with their parents. John P. and Anna, also Grace, have followed the profession of teachers. Lincoln was graduated in the Business College at Jacksonville.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Cowdin form a bright and interesting
group, and reflect great honor upon their parentage and training, and both
parents and children attend the Congregational Church, and uniformly give
their encouragement to the projects having in view the moral and social
elevation of the people around them. Our subject cast his first Presidential
vote for Clay, and politically is a decided Republican.
MANTON COX, an English-born citizen of Bethel Precinct, is numbered among its most enterprising and prosperous men, being the owner of a fine farm 240 acres in extent, and located on section 33, township 16, range 12. Mr. Cox is a little over fifty-two years of age, having been born April 28, 1837, in Rutland County, England, and is the son of William and Ann (Manton) Cox, who spent their entire lives upon their native soil.
Our subject remained a resident of his native country until reaching his majority, receiving a somewhat limited education, but being trained by his wise parents to those habits of industry and frugality, which laid the foundation of his success in life. As a youth he was more than ordinarily ambitious, and not being satisfied with his condition or his surroundings in the home of his youth, determined to see what lay beyond the Atlantic. Accordingly in the fall of 1858 he secured passage on a sailing vessel bound from Liverpool to New Orleans, and reached the latter city after a voyage of nine weeks.
Mr. Cox from the Crescent City made his way directly to this county, where he secured employment on a farm at $13 per month. In due time he met his fate in the person of Miss Charlotte Thorp, to whom he was married on the 8th of May, 1859. This lady was born April 25, 1834, in Rutland County, England, and is the daughter of Daniel and Susan (Knight) Thorp, who were natives of England. The young people began their wedded life together in Morgan County, and they are now the parents of nine children, eight of whom are living. Mary A. is the wife of Henry Urven, of Kansas; Ellen E. married Samuel Brockhouse, of this county; Charles R. is farming in Bethel Precinct; William H., Frank S., Sarah E., Susan I., George T. are at home with their parents; John died when three years old.
Mr. Cox first farmed on rented land east of Concord village for a short time, then removed to the Meredosia bottoms where he sojourned two years. He settled on his present place in 1874, and has brought his land to a good state of cultivation. He has effected all the improvements which have made it a valuable piece of property, and in his labors has been ably assisted by his excellent and sensible wife, who has borne with him the heat and burden of the day. Mrs. Cox is a lady respected by all, and a member in good standing of the Methodist Protestant Church.
Our subject, politically, affiliates with the Democratic party, and
keeps himself well posted upon events of interest to the intelligent citizen.
In the fall of 1883 he crossed the ocean to old England, and spent six
weeks very pleasantly among the friends and associations of his boyhood.
Mrs. Cox visited the old home in the summer of 1886, sojourning in England
two months. The Cox homestead comprises 220 acres of land, while Mr. Cox
owns twenty acres in the vicinity of Jacksonville. He commenced life at
the foot of the ladder, and by his own perseverance and energy has attained
to a good position among his fellow men, and better than all enjoys their
entire confidence and esteem.
CHARLES COX. Within the past few years the young men of Morgan County, who were born within its precincts and educated in the institutions of learning have stepped to the front to take their place among its agriculturists, its business or professional men, and are doing their share in the maintenance of its varied and extensive interests.
Among the most intelligent, wide-awake and prominent of these stands the subject of this sketch, who, notwithstanding his comparative youthfulness, has already gained a sure footing among the solid, substantial members of the farming community of township 16, range 10, the place of his nativity, and is, indeed, considered one of the leading horse-breeders in this part of the county, being the possessor of some fine blooded registered animals and fast trotters. He manages two farms in township 16, range 10; his home farm on section 35 and another which he rents, comprising 176 acres on sections 3 and 34. Both are provided with good buildings and have every convenience for prosecuting agriculture successfully. A view of his home place appears in this volume, showing its improvements and surroundings. His farm is neatly fenced, and eighty acres of it are under a high state of cultivation, while a neat, roomy dwelling and substantial barns adorn the place.
Our subject is the son of the late Charles and Francina (Phillips) Cox. (For genealogy see the sketches of his brother Hardin Cox and of John Phillips.) He is of good pioneer blood, and was born Feb. 9, 1865, on the farm where he still makes his home. He was reared on the old homestead, and received the rudiments of a good education in the district schools, afterward taking a course at the Jacksonville Business College, where he ranked well as a scholar. When he was but nineteen years of age our subject took upon himself the responsibilities of married life, and Jan. 30, 1884, his union with Miss Jennie N., daughter of David and Ellen (Shields) Belchy, was consummated. In their pleasant household three children have blessed their happy wedded life, namely: Beulah, Alberta and Harold. As we have seen Mr. Cox devotes himself to farming and has met with more than ordinary success in his vocation. He is noted especially as a breeder of fine horses, and has some registered stock that is classed among the best in the county. He has a fine dark-gray Percheron, No. 14,123 French, No. 8,396 American, and keeps from ten to fifteen brood mares of high grades. He is the owner of the celebrated trotter, Red Pepper , which is a very high-bred horse, direct descendent of Maud S., although not a registered animal.
Our subject is gifted with a clear brain, steady purpose, and great
force of character, and is an honor to the citizenship of his native county
that looks to him and her other young sons to do good service in the support
of her institutions and interests, to extend her wealth, and aid in giving
her the proudest place among her sister counties. He is a young man of
correct habits and fine principles, and he and his amiable wife are among
the most influential members of the Baptist Chapel at township 15, range
10. Mr. Cox has mingled somewhat in the public life of his township, for
which he is eminently fitted, and as School Director for three years has
done what he could to promote the cause of education.
HARDIN COX is thoroughly identified with the extensive agricultural interests of Morgan County as one of its energetic and successful farmers and stock-raisers. He is pursuing his calling on the place where his father located after marriage, township 16, range 10, and where he was born Oct. 17, 1847. He comes of good old pioneer stock, his grandfather, Jeremiah Cox, having come here with his family from their old Kentucky home, in the fall of 1829, in the very early days of the settlement of the county, and cast his lot with the few settlers that had preceded him to this section of Illinois. He spent the remainder of his life on this homestead, which by hard labor he developed from the wild prairies, and here he died Dec. 3, 1862, at a ripe old age. He was born in Washington County, Md., and at the age of six months was taken by his parents to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. For many years prior to his location in Illinois, he was a resident of Litchfield, Grayson Co., Ky. He was twice married. The wife of his early manhood was Harriet R. Briscoe, to whom he was married April 30, 1820. She was born Oct. 3, 1803, and died July 17, 1823, leaving two children, namely: Charles, the father of our subject; and Eliza, who married John Huffman, and subsequently died. Over four years later, Dec. 3, 1827, he was again married, to Margaret Yates, a native of Washington County, Ky., and born June 25, 1805. To them were born eleven children, of whom ten survive. The wife and mother lived for many years thereafter, passing away Nov. 2, 1882.
Charles Cox, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky, and was a lad of eight years when his parents brought him to this county, where he grew to maturity. He was united in marriage with Miss Francena H., daughter of Spruce Phillips, whose sketch is published in this volume. They became the parents of eight children, as follows: Hardin, the subject of this sketch; Evan, deceased; Mary, deceased, was the wife of William J. Miller; Jeremiah; Hannah, Mrs. James H. Long; Harriet, now Mrs. John T. Sample; Lizzie, deceased; and Charles. The father was bred to the life of a farmer, and followed that vocation with financial success until his death, April 27, 1885, at the age of sixty-four years, one month, and three days. He was a good man and a reliable citizen, who possessed the confidence and respect of all about him. His wife survived him until May 28, 1888, when she too passed to the great beyond, aged sixty-two years, four months, and ten days. She was a true and consistent member of the Baptist Church, and we may remark in this connection that the paternal ancestry of our subject for some generations belonged to the Christian denomination, with the exception of his grandfather, who was converted from that faith to Catholicism by his second wife.
Hardin Cox, of whom these lines are a brief life record, was reared on the homestead where he was born, and where he still lives, spending a part of his early life in Jacksonville, where he attended school and gained a practical education. When it came time to choose his life work, he selected that of a farmer, to which his tastes, as well as his early training adapted him, and is now conducting with marked success the farm which his father gave him. It comprises 240 acres of land under high cultivation and well improved, having a fine set of buildings and all the modern conveniences for carrying on farming so as to obtain the best results.
To the wife who presides so pleasantly over his home, making it comfortable and attractive not only to the members of the household, but to all others, Mr. Cox was married near Somserset, Ky., on the 4th of February, 1885. Her maiden name was Mattie J. Saunders, and she is a daughter of G. W. and Jane (Long) Sanders, natives, respectively of Virginia and Kentucky, and residents of the latter State. Two children, Mabel S. and H. Charles have come to gladden the home and wedded lives of our subject and his amiable wife. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Cox was engaged in teaching in one of the prominent seminaries of Kentucky for three years.
Mr. Cox in 1873 removed to Chicago and engaged in the live-stock commission business with Robert Strahorn & Co., drawing a salary of $1,800 per year for three years. At the expiration of that period he returned to his farm, where he has since passed his time, with the exception of three months during which time he was solicitor for B. F. Harrison & Co., Chicago.
Mr. Cox is prompt and methodical in his habits, which, combined with
steady industry and thrifty management, have been the means of his achieving
an assured success while yet in the prime of life. He and his wife are
members in good standing of the Baptist Church, and the record of their
lives shows them to be true Christians. Mr. Cox is conservative in his
political views, and coming from a Democratic family, follows in the footsteps
of his forefathers in politics.
JOHN H. COX is a native of Morgan County, where he was born March 1, 1838. He is in the possession of a good common-school education, supplemented by a good fund of common sense. His father, Harris Cox, was born in Mercer County, Ky., Oct. 20, 1807. He lived in his native State until he attained his majority. He married Nancy McClellan, who was a distant relative of Gen. George B. McClellan. She was born July 12, 1809. After his marriage Harris Cox removed to Boone County, Ind., and lived there four years, but becoming dissatisfied with that country, he made up his mind to better himself, and consequently, in 1834, came to Morgan County and located on a piece of land, which he afterward developed into a splendid homestead. He died in 1864, his wife preceding him. They had six children, three of whom died in infancy, and three are living, a record of whom follows: Ailsie married Melchi Hart (deceased). She was married again to Helms Roberts, of Sangamon County. He is now a farmer of this county. Julia Ann married James Hill, of Morgan County, who died in Franklin, leaving one son, Robert. John H., of whom this sketch is written, married Mary F. Boyer. Her father came from Kentucky, while her mother was a native of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are the parents of seven children, six of whom are living, namely: William H., George, Charles, David N., Nancy, and John E. George married Susan Edwards, daughter of Marion and Rachel Edwards, of Morgan County. He is farming. The rest of the children are living at home with their parents.
The father of the subject of this sketch was married twice, his second wife being Mrs. Mary Sims, and to this union there were born eleven children, eight of whom are living: William H., Jane, Lucinda and Er (twins), James L., Sarah, Miriam and Mary M. Jane married Luther Cline, of Ohio, who is now a farmer in Morgan County. They have six children. Lucinda married David Chambers, of Morgan County, and they are the parents of two children. Er married Emeline Rees, and is a farmer of Morgan County, they have six children. James L. married a lady in Jackson County, Mo., to whom was born two children; he is engaged in railroading. Sarah married George Smith, of Athensville, Greene Co., Ill.; he is engaged in the lumbering business, and they have four children. Miriam married Marion Smith, a farmer of Greene County; they have five children. Mary M. married Ransom Chambers, a farmer of this county. The result of this union was three children.
John H. Cox, in common with most of the people who go to a new country to seek a home and to better themselves, had little upon which to build his present fortune. Seven years after his marriage he had but eighty acres of land, partially improved, but by industry, intelligence, and economy he has increased his holdings, so that now his farm contains 167 acres of unsurpassed land, every spot of which is improved, and which brings large returns to the owner. Besides raising grain, he takes great pride in good stock, and finds that it pays.
The members of Mr. Cox's family are consistent members of the Baptist
church, of which he has been Clerk for a long time. Politically, Mr. Cox
is a sound Prohibitionist, leaning toward Democracy. He has held the office
of Constable and School Director, is a member of the I. O. O. F., and is
also a Patron of Husbandry. Mr. Cox is reckoned by his neighbors and acquaintances
as being a solid, substantial farmer - a reputation well earned.
WILLIAM P. CRAIG who is variously engaged in business at Woodson as a grain buyer, general merchant and manufacturer of bricks and tiling, and in that connection sustains a reputation most favorable, was bon on the 31st of July, 1836. He is the son of Edward and Mary Ann Craig, of Kentucky, and the place of his nativity was Morgan County, Ills. The grandfather James Craig, was born in Virginia, emigrated to Kentucky and later in life, to Illinois, and was one of the founders of the old school Presbyterian Church near Jacksonville, known as Union Church, organized Oct. 2, 1831, of which he was one of the first Elders, which office he held to his death.
The father of our subject, was born near Shelbyville, Ky., 1807. He followed agricultural pursuits both in his native state and this. He was one of Morgan County's pioneers, and came to Illinois in 1830, entering land almost immediately upon his first arrival, nine miles southeast of Jacksonville, upon which farm he lived until his death, March 30, 1883. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and for thirty-five years was one of its ruling elders. In early life his political relations were with the Whig party, but in later years he was numbered with the Republicans. Both husband and wife were members of the same religious connection therewith. The wife was born in Winchester, Ky., in 1811, and died Aug. 20, 1879.
The maternal grandfather of our subject, William C. Posey, was a Virginian by birth, and in youth moved to Kentucky, and came to this State in 1827, when Morgan County was in its infancy. He made his home in the vicinity of what is now Jacksonville, but at that time could hardly aspire to the dignity of a village. He entered a tract of land just east of the present city limits, and there continued farming until his death. He is on record as being one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, which was organized June 30, 1827, at which time the nearest Presbyterian Church was seventy-five miles. This church is known now as then, as the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. He was also one of the founders of the Illinois College in the same city. The first Board of Trustees of this institution were elected on the 5th of December, 1829, and the name of William C. Posey is found as one of the board. To his self-sacrifice and patient continuance in spite of difficulties and discouragements, and his unquestioned ability, the College owes much of its reputation and success. He was a zealous worker, an excellent citizen, and a thorough and well educated man. In politics he was a Whit.
The family of which our subject is a member included seven children, five of whom are sons, of whom our subject was the first born. The others were Ann E., James G., George E., Belle M., Lloyd A., and Alexander P. Of these all survive excepting Ann E. and James, the former of whom departed this life in infancy, the latter in the year 1858, being seventeen years old.
On the 20th of February 1862, Mr. Craig and Mary M. Flatford, were united in wedlock. She is the daughter of Nathaniel and Louisa (Harney) Flatford, the former os whom was born in Virginia and the latter in Kentucky. Mr. Flatford in early life learned the trade of a cabinet maker and followed the same for many years in Jacksonville. After this he turned his attention to farming, and continued thus employed until his death, August, 1883. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and were regarded as true members of the same.
The subject of our sketch has been engaged in farming for many years and still retains the farm on which he resided before moving to Woodson. All the recollections of his childhood and early years cluster around the farm of his father, where he obtained his first knowledge of agricultural pursuits. He continued upon the home farm with his father until he was twenty-five years of age, and from that time until 1883 continued similarly engaged in his own interests. Five years previous to his coming to the town he purchased the now extensive tile and brick works of Messrs. Craig & Bohne. These are perhaps the most extensive of any in the district, and have a reputation for good work that is worth a great deal to the business every year. This department of his affairs he has placed in charge of his brother Lloyd A. He has quite a large home trade for the goods manufactured, and also ships quite extensively. He has supplied his yard with all needed and helpful modern machinery, and a steam heat drying house constructed out of brick, standing 40x90 feet, two stories in height and covered with a metal roof. The quality of his productions is unquestionably high. He has constantly in use four down draft kilns, with a capacity of 30,000 brick and 10,000 tile per diem. The lowest estimate of the valuation fo the works would be at least $10,000.
Mr. Craig and wife are both members of the Presbyterian Church, in
good standing; our subject is now what might be called an enthusiastic
politician, but at the same time is much interested in everything that
is connected with the best interests of the community and State. He always
votes with the Republican party, of which he has been a member ever since
he has had the privilege of casting a ballot, and that was at the birth
of the party. In all the relations of life our subject enjoys the highest
regard of his fellows and is much esteemed by those who know him best.
JOHN A. CRAIN, a dry-goods merchant and banker of Waverly, is senior member of the firm of J. A. Crain & Co., and has been a resident of Morgan County since March, 1846. He was born in Fleming County, Ky., Nov. 5, 1822, and is of English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, James Crane, was born, reared and married in England and emigrated to America about 1728. He made settlement in Fauquier County, Va., where he resided until 1798, then with his son Samuel, removed to Fleming County, Ky., the wife and mother having died in the Old Dominion. Grandfather Crain was a farmer by occupation, reared a large family and lived to be over ninety years old. His children settled mostly in South Carolina.
Samuel Crain, the father of our subject, was born in 1760, and served four years as a private in the Revolutionary War under the direct command of Washington, and was present at the surrender of Yorktown. In 1785 he was married to a Virginia lady of English descent. In 1798 they removed to Fleming County, Ky., where the wife and mother died about 1810. The children born of this marriage were named respectively, Simeon, John, William, James, Lewis, Elizabeth, Lucinda, Phebe and Sarah. After the death of his first wife Mr. Crain was married, in 1819, to Jane Moffett, a native of Kentucky and of Irish and German parents. He became owner of a plantation where he spent his remaining years, being successful financially. He owned a number of slaves, several of whom were freed at his death, which occurred in June, 1825, the result of a fall. Of his second marriage there were born six children, viz.: Thomas, John A., Charles, Samuel, Elijah and Louise, all of whom, with the exception of the subject of this sketch are deceased.
John A. Crain continued a resident of his native State until a young man of twenty-four years. Then coming to Illinois he located in Waverly, establishing the pioneer store in the place, which he conducted with signal success. It was probably also the oldest store in the county. In 1870 he established a private bank, which is still in operation. He has at different times owned large tracts of real estate, sometimes as high as 2,000 acres. He disposed of a large portion of this, having now 600 acres besides his town property.
Mr. Crain has been twice married, first in 1848 to Miss Elizabeth
Manson, whose parents were early settlers of Morgan county. She was born
in Emmettsburg, Md., and died in 1852, leaving two children, both daughters:
the elder, Mary, became the wife of Byron L. Carter, and died in Waverly,
leaving three children; Lucy married James Dennis, and died in Waverly,
leaving one child. Emma also died in Waverly. In 1856 Mr. Crain married
his second wife, Eleanor M., daughter of Dempsey and Mary (Roberts) Kennedy;
this lady was born in Pennsylvania, and came to Illinois with her parents
when quite young. Of this union there have been born six children, the
eldest of whom, Kate, is the wife of Rev. George R. Beatty, and resides
in Ocala, Fla.; Ella is the wife of Newton H. Rohrer, of Waverly; Maude
was the third child; Oliver remains with his father, and has charge of
the bank; Chase is a resident of Florida, and Thomas resides at home. Mr.
Crain, politically, is a Republican, and in religious matters has been
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1840.
JAMES F. CRAWFORD, a representative man of Scott County, and an ex-county official, is a native of Lincoln County, Tenn., where he was born March 25, 1832. His father, Samuel Crawford, was a native of Augusta County, Va., while his paternal grandfather was born in the same State, and was a Revolutionary soldier, serving seven years as a Lieutenant in that memorable struggle. He died in Virginia.
Samuel Crawford, the father of James, was a young man when the War of 1812 commenced, and enlisting he served through until peace was declared. He later moved to Tennessee, where he married and settled down as a farmer. In 1836 he came to Scott County, and located where Bluffs is now situated. He bought a tract of land, broke it up, and commenced farming on a prosperous basis. His farm contained 480 acres. Later he gave up active pursuits and removed to Pike County, Ill., where he lived in retirement until the 8th of October, 1870, when he died at the age of eighty-two years. He was a Republican in politics, and had belonged to the Presbyterian Church for fifty years. His wife, the mother of the one of whom this sketch is written, was named Janet Gibson. She was a native of Rockingham County, N.C., and of Scotch Irish descent. Like her husband she was a member of the Presbyterian Church. She died in 1854, at the age of fifty-four years, and was the mother of fourteen children, whose names are herewith given: John G., Rachel C., William C., Margaret S., Levi P., Polly A., Felix M., George W., Samuel, Eliza, James F., Harriet N., Alexander N. and Martha A. Levi P. was the chaplain of the 105th Illinois Infantry, and enlisted in 1862, but resigned before the close of the war.
James F., whose name appears at the head of this sketch, was four years old when he came to Illinois. The journey from Tennessee was made by ox team, and occupied about four weeks. At this time all kinds of wild game was plenty, and especially deer, which afforded meat in abundance for the pioneers. Common schools were the only means of gaining an education, and they were of the most primitive kind. James remained at home until he became of age, when he began operating a farm for himself by renting land from his father. He was thus occupied until he enlisted, in August, 1862. He joined the 129th Infantry, and was tendered a captain's commission by Gov. Yates, which he declined and accepted that of First Lieutenant. His regiment was mustered into service at Pontiac, on September 8, from which point it was ordered to Louisville, just in time to participate in a raid conducted by Buell. The hardships surrounding a soldier's life completely broke down Lieut. Crawford's health, and he was therefore obliged to resign. H was discharged at Bowling Green, in December, 1862, and on account of his severe disabilities was sent home to die. He was confined to his room for a long time after, but slowly recovered, when he again engaged in farming for a short time, after which he was employed as a stonemason, which he followed for over twenty years, being a master at the business. In the meantime he carried on farming on a small scale, and in 1872 purchased his present homestead, with no improvements, but by degrees he has brought his farm up to a high state of cultivation, and has erected thereon comfortable buildings.
Lieut. Crawford has been married twice, his first wife being Miss Martha E. Peoples, who was born in Guilford County, N. C. The marriage occurred Sept. 29, 1853, and resulted in the birth of one child, May, now the wife of Charles Lincoln, a merchant of Naples. On the 8th of June, 1856, he was again married, this time to Miss Eliza Grady, a native of Bluffs, and whose birth occurred Dec. 23, 1836. She is the mother of thirteen children, as follows: Royal, Edward E., William G., Samuel G., Clara J., Margaret E., John F., Rachael A., Martha E., Annie E., Grace F., Fannie and James Blaine. Of these Royal, Rachael and Annie are deceased. Edward E. is a farmer of Clayton County, Kan., as is also Samuel G.; Clara J. married Charles Bloyd, a farmer of Clay County, Kan.; Margaret married William Murphy, also a farmer of the same place. The rest are at home.
Mr. Crawford has held the office of County Coroner, the term of which
extended from 1881 to 1883. He was Township Trustee for eight years, Justice
of Peace for six years, and School Director for twelve years. He is a prominent
member of the A.F. & A.M., at Naples, and has been Master of his lodge.
He also belongs to the I.O.O.F., at Bluffs, and has filled all the Chairs
in that organization. He has also held the office of Post commander of
the G.A.R., of Bluffs. Politically, he is a stanch and reliable Republican.
He is particularly proud of the fact that President Harrison was his brigade
commander during his service in the army. Mr. Crawford's record as a citizen
and soldier is perfect.
THOMAS CROUSE. This name is recognized as that of one of the most energetic business men of Murrayville, where he is Postmaster, and who may usually be found at his store on Main street, where he deals in groceries, hardware, paints, oils, etc., and occupies a one_story brick building, 20x75 feet in dimensions. He is also a manufacturer of and dealer in harness and saddlery, and gives employment regularly to three clerks, while in the busy season he increases his force. He carries a stock valued at about $5,000 and enjoys a trade of $12,000 to $15,000 annually.
Mr. Crouse was appointed Postmaster of Murrayville Oct. 16, 1885, from which circumstance may be guessed his political affiliation. Morgan County has always been his home and is the place of his birth, which occurred Jan. 12, 1858. His parents, Andrew C. and Elizabeth (Kitner) Crouse, are deceased. Thomas acquired his education in the district school, and at Murrayville, and spent his time mostly upon a farm until a lad of fifteen years. He then commenced his apprenticeship as a saddler and harness maker in Jacksonville and three years later his mercantile experience began, and he has been in trade almost uninterruptedly since that time.
Mr. Crouse in 1876 visited the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia and traveled through many portions of the East. Later he visited the Exposition at New Orleans, and in the winter of 1881 made his way to the Pacific Slope, spending several months in California. Accompanied by his wife he revisited the Golden State during the winter of 1888_89. He has traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes _ undeniably a very wise investment of time and money.
The 24th of November, 1885, witnessed the marriage of our subject with Miss Clara, daughter of C. F. Strang, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Crouse is a very intelligent lady, a favorite of the social circle and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject politically, votes the Democratic ticket, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity.
Andrew C. Crouse, was a native of North Carolina, born in Stokes County, June 9, 1816, and a pioneer of Central Illinois, coming to this county as early as 1836. He located and lived several years north of Jacksonville, but in 1850, went to California and remained six years in the gold diggings. He crossed the plains with a drove of cattle and was occupied about six months in the journey; he returned by the way of the Isthmus. One year later he went to Pikes Peak, remaining this time three years, but subsequently visited New Mexico and the Black Hills, remaining away this time one year. Upon returning to this county he purchased land about one mile south of Murrayville, and lives there now upon a good farm. He has seen the time when he could have purchased land forming the present site of Jacksonville at $1.25 per acre. He has been successful in the accumulation of property, possessing real estate probably to the value of $20,000, the accumulation of a life of industry and perseverance. He visited his old home in North Carolina a few years since. Politically, he a stanch Democrat.
The property of Andrew C. Crouse, is located on section 18, township 13, range 10. He comes of Southern stock, being the son of Andrew C., Sr. and Peggy Crouse, who were likewise natives of North Carolina, the father, of German descent and the mother of Irish. He remained a resident of his native State until reaching his majority, receiving limited advantages, and at the age of twenty years made his way to this county and began life for himself as a farmer on rented land. In company with his brother_in_law, George Fry, he finally crossed the Mississippi into Iowa, where he took up a claim and remained one year. Then selling out he returned to this county and purchased a farm three miles north of Jacksonville, upon which he operated about ten years. His next removal was in 1865, to his present farm.
To Andrew C. and Elizabeth (Kitner) Crouse, there were born ten children, and the survivors are recorded as follows: George is a resident of Missouri; James lives in this county; Thomas, our subject, is the third child; Charles is a resident of this county; John lives in Murrayville; Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin. The wife and mother departed this life at the homestead, Jan. 2, 1883. She was a lady who by her estimable qualities had endured herself to a large circle of friends and acquaintances by whom she was deeply mourned. She had been faithful and devoted to her family, and the encourager and sympathizer of her husband during the trying times of settlement in this county.
Mr. Crouse visited nearly all of the States and Territories and improved
all his opportunities for obtaining useful information, and now, surrounded
by all the comforts of life, he is passing his declining years quietly
and free from care, surrounded by his children and friends and respected
by all who know him. Alexander the oldest son was a member of the 101st
Illinois Infantry, and was killed in the battle of Shiloh. He carried the
SAMUEL CROWTHER, is a thrifty and intelligent farmer, living on section 1 and 2, township 16, range 11, where he owns a good farm of 140 acres. When he came here the place which he now occupies was heavily wooded, and by hard work he has succeeded in making a model farm. Those who have opened farms on the prairie, have but little conception of the labor that is attached to the clearing up of timber land. On the prairie farm the first improvements are easily made by breaking the land, but in the timber the trees must all be taken out by the roots, and here the labor is.
Mr. Crowther is a native of Lancastershire, England, and was born in Oldom, March 23, 1833. His father, James B. Crowthers, was also a native of Oldom, and by trade was a hatter, an occupation that he followed in England, and for some years after reaching the United States. His father was married in his native town, to Charlotte Tyson, who was also a native of the same place. After their marriage, the parents of Samuel, lived in their native town until and births of most of the family, five of whom came to America. On March 16, 1842, they sailed from Liverpool on the ship "Sherian," and were one month making the voyage, landing in New York, April 16. The family lived in New York for five years, the father meanwhile working at the furrier business. From New York they proceeded to Danbury, Conn., where they remained three years. They later returned to Brooklyn, N.Y., residing there for five years, where the elder Crowthers was occupied at his trade, that of a hatter, and in the meantime, Samuel became quite proficient in making hats. Life in a city becoming irksome, the father concluded that he would seek his fortune in the West, and accordingly in 1854, he proceeded to Morgan County, where his son, of whom we write had come the previous year. The parents resided here until their death, the father dying at the age of sixty_five, while the mother reached seventy_three years. These people had an excellent reputation in this county.
Samuel C. came to Morgan County without any money or friends. He was obliged to walk a part of the way from Chicago to Jacksonville, because he had no money with which to pay for a ride, he having the misfortune to lose part of his money while on his way from the East. But he overcame all obstacles, and aided by his good wife, he has succeeded in making a good home. His wife's maiden name was Nancy Ater, who was a native of Morgan County, and a daughter of Bossel and Nancy (Thompson) Ater, both of whom are deceased, her father being a man quite old when he died. Her mother died in 1877, at the age of eighty_three years. Mr. and Mrs. Ater, came here from Ohio, and were pioneers in this county. Mrs. Nancy Crowther died at her home, in May, 1879. She was then about forty_five years old, and was the mother of seven children, four of whom are deceased. Catherine was fatally burned by her clothes catching fire when she was seven years old; Mary J. died in infancy; Edwin died of diphtheria at the age of six years, The others are: Elizabeth A., wife of Henry A. Bridgeman, who is a groceryman of Arenzville, Ill.; Hattie married T.B. Hogan, a farmer of this county; Nettie, now deceased, was the wife of William Webb; Laura A. is unmarried.
Mr. Crowther took for his second wife, Mrs. Clack nee Morrison. She was born in Kentucky, and is the daughter of Hige and Elizabeth (Defrease) Morrison. Her father died in Kentucky while her mother and the rest of the family came to Cass County, in 1862. Her mother spent her last days in Cass and Morgan counties, dying at about four_score years of age. Mrs. Crowther married her first husband in Kentucky, leaving no children.
Mr. and Mrs. Crowther are active members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, of which Mr. Crowther is Steward; he has been Class_Leader and
Sunday_school Superintendent. Mr. Crowther is a Prohibitionist, and an
ardent advocate of temperance.
WILLIAM H. CRUM. The surname of this gentleman is familiar to Morgan County, as belonging to a leading pioneer family of this region. He and his brother Samuel are extensive breeders of stock, having some of the finest blooded horses, cattle and hogs to be found in the State of Illinois. They live on and are managing the old homestead, where they were born and reared, and which is still in the possession of their father, John W. Crum, an honored resident of Jacksonville, whither he has retired to enjoy his ample fortune free from the cares and annoyances of business.
The subject of this sketch was born March 15, 1855, on this farm, and on the very spot where the house stands in which he now lives. (For parental history see sketch of his father). He was here reared, and has never had a home elsewhere. He received the foundation of a sound education in the local district schools, and was then sent to the business college at Jacksonville, and, as he was studious and always stood high in his classes, after leaving school he was well equipped mentally for any career that he might choose to follow. He decided to adopt the calling to which he had been bred, as he had a natural taste for it, and had received a good practical training, and, returning home, he and his brother Samuel have been engaged together, as noted in the opening paragraph of this biography. This farm is especially well adapted to stock raising, and comprises 580 acres of highly cultivated and very productive land.
The Crum brothers have already gained an enviable reputation as successful horse breeders, and they have some very fine blooded animals. They have one of the best Percheron Norman horses in the State. He was imported by J. W. Ramsey, of Springfield, Ill., and is registered in the stud books of France as No. 8773, and in the American stud book as No. 8398, his name being Franchard. He is a fine, active dapple gray, and his colts are considered a superb lot. The Crum brothers also have a dark bay horse, Orear, of the Wilkes stock, registered in the American stud book as No. 7586. He was bred near Paris, Ky., by James Miller, who bred his ancestors for three generations. He is a horse of great promise, and although his speed is not developed, he being young, he gives every indication that he possesses the necessary power, action and blood to trot under thirty. Our subject and his brother have a handsome dark brown roadster, Joe Sprauge, who is of good stock, though not registered. They also pay attention to raising hogs, and have a fine herd of Polands and Berkshires.
Our subject has a quick keen intellect, that has been well trained by a liberal education, and his standing among the young agriculturists, natives of this county, is of the best. In his business dealings he is strictly honorable and fair, and his credit stands high in financial circles.
This sketch would be incomplete without some brief reference to the
parents of this young man. While Morgan County was still in the hands of
the pioneers, John Crum's father made his way from the old home in Kentucky
to this region in search of land, as he had a large family. He came to
this State three times before selecting a suitable site for a location,
riding a horse named Coose, who was a family favorite, and when he died
he was buried on the farm. Mr. Crum finally chose his present homestead
on section 12 township 16m, range 10. He was very much prospered in his
calling, acting well the part of a pioneer, and as we have seen, retired
to private life in the city of Jacksonville, giving up the care of his
extensive farm to his sons. He has been twice married, Feb. 14, 1850, he
was wedded to Mary A., daughter of Martin and Margaret (Grimsby) Coons,
a woman of high character, who was in every way worthy of the respect and
affection accorded to her. Their marriage was blessed to them by the birth
of the following children: Samuel H., Mathias M., William H., James A.,
an infant that died young, Charles W.; five of these are still living.
They were bereaved of the mother by death July 1, 1877. May 29, 1879, Mr.
Crum was again married, Frances D., daughter of William Orear, who came
here in 1826, becoming his wife. She was to him a true and devoted companion,
and her death, Aug. 29, 1888, was a sad loss.
ABRAM A. CRUM is one of the most liberal and public spirited citizens of Morgan County, who has been an important factor in bringing about its present prosperity as a great agricultural centre, and who is always active in promoting its highest interests. He is one of the most extensive and most successful of the farmers and stock raisers of this part of Illinois, and his large farm, embracing 600 acres in township 16, range 10, on sections 12 and 13 of the choicest and most fertile land in all this region, is under the highest cultivation, well fenced and divided into fields, capable of yielding extraordinary harvests. It has a substantial, well-built set of frame buildings, with other valuable improvements, and everything about the place betokens a skillful hand and master mind directing affairs.
The father of our subject, Mathias Crum, was born in Virginia, and when a young man he removed to Louisville, Ky., where he married Miss Margaret Spangler. Her father was an early settler of Kentucky, and was killed by the Indians on the present site of Louisville, and that place was the birthplace of his daughter. Soon after marriage, Mr. Crum removed with his young wife to near Albany, Ind., where they eliminated a farm from the primeval forests of that section of the country, and in their pioneer home their fifteen children were born, three of whom died quite young, the others growing to maturity, and six of them still surviving. In the year 1831 the parents of our subject became early settlers of this county, locating on a tract of wild prairie, where the father entered 160 acres of land, and here they spent their remaining days, the father dying March 8, 1841, and the mother April 22, 1852. During his residence here he was very much prospered, and became the owner of 400 acres of fine farming land which is now in the possession of his sons, with the exception of 120 acres. He was a shrewd, far seeing man, who stood well with his fellow pioneers and his death was a blow to the interests of his community, as it removed a wide awake citizen who was doing much for the development of the township and county. He was descended from sturdy German stock, and his parents, who were natives of Germany, came to America in colonial times, and had a son who served in the Continental army during the last year of the War of the Revolution. The maternal grandparents of our subject were also natives of Germany, but they were married after coming to this country, their wedding taking place in Kentucky. The grandfather had learned the trade of a blacksmith in the old country.
He of whom we write was very young when he accompanied his parents to this county, and here he was reared to man's estate on his present farm, growing with the growth of the country. When he first began farming on his own account the country roundabout was still thinly settled, and the markets were far distant, and he used to have to sell his hogs and farm products at St. Louis or at Beardstown. We have alluded to his property in the opening lines of this sketch, and the brief limitations of this biographical review forbids us tracing the steps by which he attained his present high position as a wealthy, influential farmer, whose word is as good as his bond, and whose honesty and honor have been preserved unsullied through all the year since he commenced life on his own account. In his busy career he has found time to materially aid all schemes for the public good, and his hand and influence are felt in every plan that is pushed forward for the benefit and advancement of the township and county. He is a whole souled, high minded man and his warm, generous heart beats responsive to the calls of the weak and helpless for assistance, and he is never unmindful of the sufferings of the poor. He also contributes liberally to the support of the churches and other public institutions worthy of his attention.
Mr. Crum is blessed with a good wife, who is also kind anc charitable,
and cooperates with him in his benevolence. They were united in marriage
in January, 1853, and of the children that have been born in their pleasant
home, two survive, Lydia Ellen and Albert, the latter living in this township.
Lydia married Hiram B. Baxter, and they live near Ashland. Mr. Baxter was
a brave and faithful soldier in the late war, serving three years, and
was wounded several times. Mrs. Crum's maiden name was Sarah Buchanan,
and she is a daughter of one Thomas Buchanan, a pioneer of Morgan County,
who came here from his old home in Kentucky in 1838, or thereabouts. She
is a devoted member of the Christian Church, and her daily life is evidence
of her earnest Christianity. Mr. Crum is deeply interested in the political
situation of the day, and is at heart a true Republican, always giving
that party his cordial support.
THOMAS B. CULLY is one of the younger generation that has grown up since this county has been settled, and who have inherited their fathers' homesteads. The farm upon which Mr. Cully is now residing was located by his father very early in the history of Morgan County, about 1834, and is situated on section 36 of township 16, range 11, and consists of 170 acres of average Illinois prairie land, which means as good as there is under the sun.
Mr. Cully's father, Joshua Cully, bought this place when it was partially improved. He came here from his native State (Indiana), where he was reared to manhood and married, and after the birth of two children came to Morgan County. He came overland with teams, and located on the farm that Joshua Cully had previously selected. After the selection was made Mr. Cully sent for his wife and children. About a year after they came to Morgan County Mrs. Cully died, while in the prime of life, leaving two children, one of whom, Elizabeth, died at the age of forty_five years, and left two children, her husband having died before her. The living child of Mr. Cully by his first marriage is J. M. Cully, now a resident of Kansas, where he is engaged in farming. Joshua Cully married for his second wife Miss Mary E. Shartzar. She was born in Virginia of German ancestry, and was quite young when her parents removed from Virginia to Illinois, where they located in township 15, range 11, near the County Poor Farm, and there her parents died. Her father was a very successful farmer, and was well liked by his neighborhood. Joshua Cully was fortunate in his selection of a wife, and together they built up a good home and a most excellent reputation. Mr. Cully was born in the first year of this century, and died in 1859. His wife survived him, passing away in 1881, when she was sixty_seven years of age. The house that was built by his father and mother is owned by Thomas B. Cully, and by him is held in reverence. In this country people think too little of old landmarks, and the march that is being made toward riches is never stopped, nor even obstructed for a moment, by any of the old monuments that ought to be retained for the associations that cluster around them. The old log cabin, in which the early struggles of our fathers and mothers were made, ought to be preserved as a precious relic of the heroic days when it cost something to be resident of Illinois.
Thomas B. Cully is the second child of eight children, five sons and three daughters. All the daughters and two of the sons are now dead. William W. and John J. are now residents of Morgan county, where Thomas B. was reared and educated. He was married here to Mary E. Angel, who was also a native of Morgan County, and was born in 1847. She is the daughter of John Angel, whose biography appears in another part of this Album. Mrs. Cully had the advantage of being trained to womanhood by careful, conscientious, and intelligent parents. She is the mother of eight children: Ida M., Thomas H., James O., Nellie C., Johanna, Elmer and Albert (Twins), and Frank.
Since their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cully have lived on the farm which
they now own and occupy, and where they have scored a great success in
life. They are members of the Methodist Church, an organization in which
they take a great deal of interest. Politically, Mr. Cully is an ardent
Democrat, and has held about all the local offices.
RALPH C. CURTISS. Thirty-six years ago the eighteen year old State of Illinois was the cynosure of many an eye, especially among the young and enterprising sons of New England who emigrated to it in goodly numbers, contributed to its vigorous growth financially, and formed a part of the bone and sinew of its moral and religious elements.
With these pioneers came the subject of this notice, then a young man of twenty-two years. Although possessing limited means he was equipped with a good education, and engaged for eight years as a teacher in the infant town of Waverly. At about the expiration of this time he was married, and from that time forward interested himself in agricultural pursuits, by which he gained the competence he is now enjoying. He lives on a fine farm comprising 260 acres, occupying the southeastern part of section 22 in Waverly Precinct. A view of his comfortable home and pleasant surroundings appears in this volume.
Litchfield County, Conn., is the native place of our subject, and the date of his birth is March 5, 1831. He is the son of Erastus and Harriet (Tanner) Curtiss, who were likewise natives of Connecticut, and born in Warren; the former Sept. 20, 1789, and the latter in 1795. Mrs. Curtiss' father, Ebenezer Tanner, was a commissioned officer in the Revolutionary War. The parents of our subject were reared and married in their native place, where the father followed farming and spent his entire life. The household circle was completed by the birth of five children, who lived to become men and women. The eldest born, Charles H., and the second son, Franklin A., continue residents of Warren; Ellen H., is the wife of Ransom F. Everett of this county; Cyrus D., during the late Civil War enlisted in Company I, 101st Illinois Infantry, and served about one year when he was discharged on account of his physical weakness. He died in June 1865, leaving his wife with two sons - Charles F. and Winthrop.
The father of our subject was twice married, his second wife being Johanna Sturdevant, and of this union there were born three children, the eldest of whom, Homer S., during the war served in the 3d Connecticut Heavy Artillery, which was soon changed to Infantry, and assisted in the defense of Washington City. After the war was ended he came to this county, and died in 1875; Lucy J., Mrs. M. A. Strong, and Frances L., who married Austin R. Humphrey, are residents of Warren, Conn.
Erastus Curtiss was a man of more than ordinary ability, active in politics and bitterly opposed to the institution of slavery. He was one of the first in the movement of the liberty party, which insisted upon abolition, and being a man of means was enabled to exert a large influence. He died however, before being permitted to see the extinction of that institution. He was a man broad and liberal in his views, greatly interested in the cause of education, and gave to his children the best of advantages.
Our subject was a little lad of six years when he was deprived by death of the affectionate care of his mother. He remained with his father until a youth of nineteen years, attending school much of the time, then began teaching, and followed this several seasons in his native State. He was well fitted for this employment, having completed his studies in the State Normal School, which was instituted especially for the training of teachers. During his after labors in the State he introduced many excellent measures in connection with the school system, and was uniformly popular and successful.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Calista Lyman took place at the home of the bride in Sangamon County, Ill., in 1862. This lady is the daughter of Henry and Mercy (Sanders) Lyman, and was born in Sangamon County, Ill., July 14, 1834. Her parents emigrated from Vermont to Illinois during the early settlement of Sangamon County, where they spent the remainder of their lives. After his marriage Mr. Curtiss purchased 100 acres of his present farm, to which he added from time to time, and instituted modern improvements. He has substantial and convenient buildings, forest and fruit trees, all the requisite farm machinery and the general appliances of the well-regulated country estate.
Mr. Curtiss makes a specialty of stock-raising and is in the enjoyment of a competence, to which he was assisted, as he generally admits, largely by the industrious efforts of his estimable wife. Mrs. Curtiss is a lady of great common sense and intelligence and highly esteemed by all who know her. Our subject and his wife have never been blessed with children of their own, but have reared several others, who were without home or friends, giving them proper training and good advantages.
As the son of an Abolitionist Mr. Curtiss could scarcely now be otherwise
than a stanch Republican in his political belief. Although having extensive
interests to look after he has frequently served as a delegate to the conventions
of his party and exercised no unimportant influence in its deliberations.
In religious matters he coincides with the doctrines of the Congregational
AUGUSTINE A. CURTISS. The young man glancing fifty years ahead into the future esteems it a long period of time in the life of an individual, but at the end of this time, in looking back, it invariably appears brief. The scenes and incidents which have been crowded into a half century, often appear more like the dream of a night, and the labors of men have achieved that which at one time appeared impossible. Mr. Curtiss has seen much of life, and has noted with keen interest the great changes which have transpired, especially in the Great West, and he has been one of those men whose energy, enterprise, and perseverance have assisted in the growth and development of Morgan County, which has attained to a leading position in the great State of Illinois. He represents a fine property, and is numbered among the leading men of his county.
Of New England birth and parentage, our subject first drew the breath of life in Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Conn., April 3, 1817. His parents were Homer and Cherry (Everett) Curtiss, who after their marriage resided in Salisbury three years, then removed to Warren, in that State, where their son, Augustine A., was reared to man's estate on a farm, and received his education in a common school, supplemented by a term in the academy at Warren, Conn. They finally decided to seek their fortunes in the young State of Illinois, and made their way to this county, settling near the embryo town of Waverly, where the father secured a tract of land, and where our subject assisted in opening up a farm.
Young Curtiss remained a member of the parental household until a young man of twenty_five years, then, desirous of establishing a fireside of his own, he was married, in 1842, to Miss Laura Lyman. This lady died less than two years later, leaving one child, a daughter, Laura, named after her mother. This daughter, upon reaching womanhood, was married to William W. Brown, and died leaving one child, which afterward followed its mother to the better land. Mrs. Curtiss was a native of Vermont, and when coming to Illinois with her parents settled near Farmingdale, in Sangamon county, where she lived until her marriage.
Our subject, in July, 1848, contracted a second matrimonial alliance with Miss Huldah L., daughter of Joseph A. Tanner, who was the first man to settle upon the present site of Waverly. Mr. Curtiss made farming the business of his lifetime, and has been remarkably successful both as an agriculturist and business man, investing his capital, wisely and having the faculty of developing his land to the best advantage. He at one time was the owner of over 400 acres, but disposed of a portion of this, and has now 300 acres in the home farm, besides 100 acres of timber, and an interest in a large farm in Macoupin County.
During the latter years of his farming operations Mr. Curtiss made
a specialty of stock_raising, from which he realized quite a little fortune.
His land is now operated by other parties. He has contributed largely to
the building up of the town of Waverly, was instrumental in establishing
the bank in which he has a controlling interest, and he is also one of
the stock_holders of the Waverly Creamery. He has been the uniform encourager
of those projects calculated to elevate the people, morally and socially,
and with his estimable wife is a member in good standing of the Congregational
Church. He is a uniform supporter of the Republican party. He has discharged
the duties of the various local offices, and has always signalized himself
as a liberal and public spirited citizen _ one of those useful to his community,
and numbered among its most honored men.
THEODORE E. CURTISS was born in Litchfield County, Conn., in the town of Warren, May 28, 1813, and settled in Morgan County in the spring of 1835. His ancestors for many generations resided in the New England States, where they came from England. His great_grandfather was an officer in the Revolutionary War, and his son, whose name was Augustine Curtiss, was his aid during the same war, and subsequently drew a pension therefor.
The father of Theodore E., after marriage, resided in Connecticut until he was fifty years of age, when, in 1837, he came to Illinois, passing his remaining days in Waverly. He died in the year 1886, lacking but little over a year of rounding out a full century. His wife had died ten years before this. They were the parents of five children: Miranda, who married M. B. Strong, and resides in Connecticut; Theodore E.; Augustine A., who is a farmer in Morgan County; Lodenia, who married J. R. Godfrey, and is a resident of Godfrey, Ill.; and Frederick, who resides in Sangamon, Ill. There have been no deaths in the family, and the youngest member was over fifty years of age when his mother died.
Theodore E., of whom we write, passed his boyhood days on a farm, and received the limited education that was generally obtained in the common schools of his day. He resided in his native town until 1835, when he came to Illinois and purchased 160 acres of land, which he improved. In 1836 he returned to Connecticut, and the following year was married to Laura A. Sackett. She was born in the same town as her husband, and was a daughter of Justus and Polly (Bradley) Sackett. Immediately after marriage they came to Illinois, and settled on land which he had purchased in 1835. His parents, two brothers, and one sister also returned with him. The journey was made via New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and the Ohio River, occupying three weeks. Waverly was platted in 1835, and our subject assisted in the work, he having come to Illinois with Joseph A. Tanner, father of Dr. Tanner, President of Illinois College. Mr. Curtiss gave his entire attention to farming until about 1852, and in addition to his farming operations he was interested in a general store with his brother, Fred Curtiss, and J.W. Ross. The business continued under this firm name for some five years, when Theodore sold out his interest to engage in farming; the firm then dissolved. He now owns 400 acres of land, all well improved, and resides in Waverly, where he is passing a retired life in his pleasant home. He is interested in the Bank of Waverly.
Mr. Curtiss, on June 1st, 1867, was called upon to mourn the death of his wife. She was the mother of one child, who died in infancy. On Dec. 22, 1868, he married Augusta L. Tupper, a Massachusetts lady, the daughter of Martin and Persis Lomira (Peck) Tupper. The Tuppers resided in Connecticut for several generations. Mrs. Curtiss was born Feb. 4, 1832. Her father, Martin Tupper was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church, and preached in several different towns. He was a minister for more than forty years, over twenty_five of this period being spent in Hardwich, Mass. His wife died at the age of sixty_seven years, but he lived two years beyond the allotted four score and ten. They were the parents of six children. Henry is a minister in the Congregational Church, and is located at Joy Prairie Church, Morgan Co.,Ill; Augusta, the wife of our subject; Emily married Dr. J.C. Norris, of Philadelphia, and died in 1866; James B.T. in an employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, in Washington, and was a soldier for three years. Louisa resides in Waverly, and Elizabeth died in 1864.
Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss are the parents of one child, a son, Theodore T. Theodore E. Curtiss, at the time the Whig party was alive, belonged to that organization, but is now an ardent Republican and a supporter of its policy. He is a communicant in the Congregational Church, being one of the founders of that society at Waverly. Mr. Curtiss has made his way in the world, and achieved his present success through his own persistent efforts.
A portrait of Mr. Curtiss will be found in this volume, and is a
valuable addition to an interesting work.
ANN C. CURTS (PARKER), whose maiden name was Ann C. Parker, is a native of Lycoming County, Pa., and was born May 19, 1832. Her parents came to Sangamon County, Ill., in 1837. Her father, in conjunction with his farm, carried on the blacksmithing business. He was born April 21, 1801, and died Sept. 25, 1867, and was interred in the cemetery at Island Grove, Sangamon Co., Ill. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Carson, was a native of Philadelphia. Her father was a lawyer.
Mrs. Curts, whose name is at the head of this sketch, is proud of the fact that the grandfather of her husband was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and that he lived to the age of one hundred years. The father of Mrs. Curts had a family of eight children, of whom four are living, namely: Henriette, Sarah J., Emma and Ann C. Henriette is single, and is a teacher of the High School in Humboldt County, Cal.; Sarah J. married John Richmond of Ohio, who is a farmer and stock-raiser in Brown County, Neb., and they have two children - Lulu and John; Emma married James Manson, of Waverly, Ill., who is a merchant, and they have five children - Clara, William, Eva, Frank, Nellie; Ann C., of whom this sketch is written, married George Curts (deceased) in Sangamon County, Ill., in 1869.
Our subject's husband commenced life as a farmer, in Morgan County, this State, and continued in that business until his death, which occurred Feb. 12, 1885. He was a very successful farmer, a man of good repute, and a consistent member of the Christian Church. He was the father of eight children, all of whom are dead except George W.; he married Miss Nellie Comstock, who died in 1882, leaving three children - Marriette, Margaret and Oveta; George is now engaged in superintending the old farm for his mother. Mrs. Curts inherited 200 acres of land from the estate of her husband, there being 900 acres in all. It is in a good state of cultivation, with fine buildings; is well stocked, and is a home of which any one might be proud. She is a lady who has many friends, who admire her many good qualities of heart, and her son is looked upon as a model farmer.
Mr. Curts while living was a prominent Democrat, and took great interest
in public affairs. He was in politics for principle, not office.
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