Chicago, Chapman Brothers
Morgan County IL
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1984)

, manager, associate editor and one of the proprietors of the Winchester Standard, the leading Republican paper of Scott County, was born at Exeter, this State, July 20, 1850. He was educated at the public schools of Winchester, and at the age of sixteen years began the printing business on the Winchester Times. After an experience of several years as journeyman printer upon various papers, he came to the conclusion that "a rolling stone would gather no moss," and so in 1874 he purchased an interest in the Waverly Illinois Times, from which he retired with in a few months, and returned to Winchester. Here he was on the Independent about two years, working next in order and in various capacities on the Jacksonville Daily Journal and Rock Island Union. In 1877, associated with his father, George H. Palmer, he purchased the Morrisonville Times, to which he devoted about three years of labor. During the year 1880 he was for a short time one of the proprietors of the Roodhouse Review; and during the winter of 1880_81 he traveled in the interest of the Good Templars as Grand Lodge Deputy. In May 1881, again associated with his father, he took charge of the Standard, which paper under their joint ownership and management has rapidly risen in public favor, patronage and influence, and as a molder of public opinion, takes high rank within the scope of its circulation. In 1883 it absorbed the Independent, and now holds undisputed sway as the leading Republican paper of the county.

Mr. Palmer is a member of the Christian Church, and is prominently identified with the I.O.O.F., the K. of P., the Modern Woodmen and the Sons of Veterans. He was married in Jacksonville, this State, July 8, 1876, to Miss Naomi A. Van Winkle, the accomplished daughter of T. J. Van Winkle, Esq., and has had born to him five children, four of whom are living, as follows: Georgia, Jesse M., Era, and Fred.

Socially, Mr. Palmer is closely connected with all projects that look to the betterment of society, and in politics he is an aggressive, stalwart Republican.

GEORGE H. PALMER, senior proprietor and editor of the Winchester, Standard, a bright, newsy and aggressive sheet, noticed elsewhere in this volume, first saw the light in the historic city of Limerick, Ireland, on the 9th of March, 1827. His father, David Palmer, and family crossed the sea, and landed in Kingston, Canada, in 1836. He remained in Canada about two years, when he went to New York State, and in 1843 came to Illinois, settling in Carroll County in 1845, being then thirty_seven years of age. The educational advantages of George H. were comparatively meagre, and he was, when ten years of age, apprenticed to learn a trade, that of a tailor. He commenced this vocation in the State of New York, and, after coming to Illinois, he gave many years of assiduous and painstaking application to his business in the towns of Exeter and Winchester, Ill.

In August, 1861, our subject saw that his country needed his services, and, therefore, enlisted at Exeter, this county, as a musician in company B, 27th Illinois Infantry, and served to the full end of the term of enlistment. He rose to the rank of Orderly Sergeant in Company 34, 2d Battalion, Invalid Corps, this promotion being fully deserved. His war record is one of which he should be proud, as he took part in all the battles in which his regiment participated, among which was the siege and capture of Island No. 10; battle of Farmington, Miss., May 9, 1862; siege and capture of Corinth, Miss., May 28, 1862; battle of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, and Jan. 1, 1863. Being incapacitated for active service in the field, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and May 27, 1864, was promoted to the peculiarly responsible position of Orderly Sergeant of Company 34, 2d Battalion. He was discharged at Paducah, Ky., Aug. 17, 1864, and returned to Exeter. In November, 1865, he removed to Winchester, and in October, 1866, was appointed Postmaster of that city and held that position until July, 1868, from which time up to January, 1886, he was the Postmaster's Deputy, filling that office with rare fidelity and intelligence. Since leaving the postal service he has devoted his whole time to the advancement of the interests of his newspaper.

Prior to the war Mr. Palmer was Postmaster at Exeter. He has also held the office of City Clerk of Winchester; has served as Justice of the Peace four years, and as Notary Public for the same length of time. He is a member of the Christian Church; of Pioneer Lodge No. 70, I.O.O.F.; Saladin Lodge No. 48, K. of P.; Scott Lodge No. 30, I.O.M.A.; Hasse Post No. 203, G.A.R., and Winchester Encampment No. 66, I.O.O.F., of which he is serving his twelfth year as Scribe of said encampment. He was three years Commander of Hesse Post No. 203, G.A.R., and is now Inspector of the last_named order for the twelfth Illinois District.

Mr. Palmer was married at Jacksonville, Sept. 12, 1849, to Miss Elizabeth F. Covington, and there have been born to them two children _ Frank M. and Frederick E. The latter died, in 1852, at the age of nine months. To this list may be added the name of a much beloved adopted daughter, Madora E., now Mrs. J.S. Wilson. Mr. Palmer's varied experience has been one to which he can proudly refer. His positive convictions, his indomitable will and singleness of purpose may well be emulated by the rising generation.

ROBERT Y. PARK. This highly respected old citizen of township 16, range 11, is nearly sixty_one years of age, and has been a resident of this county since a small boy. He is a life_long farmer, and has a snug homestead of seventy_five acres on section 35. His industry and perseverance, have resulted in the accumulation of a competence sufficient for his declining years, while his life has been that of an honest and upright man who enjoys the esteem and confidence of his neighbors in a marked degree.

Our subject first opened his eyes to the light in Todd County, Ky., Sept 20, 1828, and is the scion of an excellent family, his parents being Thomas and Jane (Maben) Park, who were both natives of South Caroline, and both born of Irish parents who traced their ancestry to Scotland. The Park family was first represented in this country prior to the Revolutionary War. The Mabens were from the same part of Ireland, and Henry Maben, the maternal grandfather of our subject, served as a private during the Revolutionary War. After his marriage in South Carolina he removed to Todd County, Ky., where he died a very old man, and left a family of seven children.

John Park, the paternal grandfather of our subject, sojourned a few years in Kentucky, then came to Sangamon County, Ill., where he was a pioneer settler. He took up a tract of land from which he made a comfortable homestead, and died at the advanced age of eighty_five years, leaving a family of eight children. His son, Thomas, the father of our subject, was reared and educated in his native county, where also he was married and where he lived until after the birth of seven children. Then disposing of his interests in the Blue Grass State, he came with his family in 1828 to Illinois, and they lived for three years in Sangamon County. In 1829 they came to this county and entered a tract of land on township 16, range 11, where Thomas Park and his estimable wife lived and labored together and died when quite well advanced in years. Mr. Peak departed this life in March, 1850, when sixty_two years old. The wife and mother survived her husband until December, 1871, and was then eighty_three years old. Both were members of the United Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Park had been an Elder for many years. In politics he was an Old Line Whig.

The subject of this sketch was the youngest son in a family of six sons and two daughters. One daughter died in childhood before the removal from Kentucky. Henry M., died May 17, 1889, aged seventy_two; the survivors are John J. aged seventy_four years; James A., aged seventy; Elijah H., sixty_eight; William R., sixty_four; Robert Y., our subject, sixty_one, and Sarah G., fifty_nine. With one exception they are all married, have families of their own, and are in comfortable circumstances. Robert Y. like his brothers and sisters, was trained to habits of industry and thus was laid the foundation of a character which has made of him a reliable man and a good citizen.

After becoming of age, Robert Y. Park was married in the township where he now lives, to Miss Malinda A. Scott, a native of his own county in Kentucky, and born Nov. 27, 1832. The parents of Mrs. Park were David and Elizabeth (Bean) Scott, the former born in what is now West Virginia, and the latter, it is thought, a native of Todd County, Ky., where their marriage took place. They began their wedded life together on a farm there, where they lived until after the birth of two sons and three daughters, the latter of whom are yet living. The sons _ William H., and Isaac N., died at the ages of seventeen and nine. Of the daughters, two are married _ Malinda, the wife of our subject, and Catherine E., Mrs. Tandy. The unmarried daughter, Mary A., is living with our subject. The mother died in Kentucky at the age of thirty_six years. Later the father and children came to this county and located in township 16, range 11. Mr. Scott was subsequently married to Miss Elizabeth Millen, and both are now deceased; he being sixty_eight years old at the time of his death, and his wife sixty_six.

Mrs. Park was quite young when she came with her father to Illinois and she has since been a resident of this county. Of her union with our subject there has been born one child only, a son, Frank P., who is now twenty_three years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Park are members of good standing of the United Presbyterian Church at Clayton, Ill., and in politics, Mr. Park is undeniably a Republican.

WILLIAM PATTERSON. The fact is beginning to be recognized that the art of successful farming requires as much skill and intelligence as that of any other occupation, and the man who is successful in this line deserves as much credit as those who belong to the learned professions. Mr. Patterson, who has been more than ordinarily prosperous, is pleasantly located on section 1, township 15, range 11. In addition to general farming he makes a specialty of short-horn cattle, Poland-China swine and Percheron horses. He is one of those rare characters who maintain that it costs but very little more to raise a good animal than a poor one, and he much prefers to give his best efforts to the former. He has been established in his present homestead since the year of 1866, and has 240 acres of choice land with first-class improvements. A part of this is devoted to pasturage, and the cultivated ground is treated under a methodical system, which produces the best results.

Mr. Patterson has been a resident of this county since December, 1853, and occupies the land which he purchased that year. Prior to coming here he had been a resident of both Iowa and Missouri, owning land in each State. He sold out upon coming here from Missouri, and afterward operated as a renter until ready to purchase again. He was born in Carroll County, Ohio, Sept. 1, 1832, and lived there until Dec. 18, 1853. His father, John Patterson a native of Scotland, was born near the city of Dumfries and came of pure Scotch Presbyterian stock. He was reared to farm pursuits and emigrated to America when a young man, prior to his marriage, preceding his family to this country and locating in Carroll County, Ohio. Later he was joined by two brothers and one sister - Adam, William and Jane - locating in Pennsylvania.

John Patterson was married in what is now West Virginia, to Miss Isabelle McGaw, who like himself, was a native of Scotland and came with her parents when a young girl to the United States. The latter settled in West Virginia and it is probable there spent the remainder of their lives. The young people after their marriage, lived for a time in the Old Dominion, then located on a farm of 160 acres in Ohio, to which he afterward added a like amount and built up a good homestead. He was a cautious and careful business manager and accumulated a good property. His death took place Sept. 18, 1859. The wife and mother had preceded her husband to the silent land, Nov. 17, 1846. They had been reared in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, to which they loyally adhered all their lives.

Five sons and four daughters completed the household circle of the parents of our subject, of whom, Margaret, wife of Mathew Nichol, a farmer of Pennsylvania, and Adam are deceased. The latter met his death on the battlefield at Goldsboro, N. C., March 19, 1865, after three years service in the 98th Ohio Infantry, Company H, under Capt. A. G. Thomas. He was aged twenty-seven years, having been born May 1, 1838.

William Patterson our subject, was reared to man's estate in his native county and soon after reaching his majority, emigrated to Cass County, Ill., where he sojourned two years, then crossed the Mississippi into Iowa. Later he moved on to Missouri and from there came to this county. From his boyhood up he had been familiar with farming pursuits and chose these for his life occupation. He was married at Jacksonville, March 11, 1858, to Miss Mary A. Boston, who was born in Cass County Ill., April 18, 1838. Her parents, Anthony and Louisa (Stephenson) Boston were natives of Jessamine County, Ky.; the father was of German ancestry, while the mother traced her origin to Ireland.

Mr. And Mrs. Boston emigrated to the United States when quite young and were married in Cass County, where Mr. Boston subsequently entered 200 acres of land from the Government. They began life in limited circumstances, having nothing but their land, and this in order to become productive, necessarily involved a large amount of hard labor. The country around them was wild and unbroken, and thinly settled. They battled with the elements of a new soil and the difficulties of a distant market, and lived there until 1856. Mr. Boston then sold out and coming to this county purchased a farm three miles east of Jacksonville, upon which he labored a few years and then with his estimable wife, retired from the active duties of life and removing to the city there spent his last days, departing this life April 9, 1879. The mother is still living and makes her home with her daughter Mrs. A. J. Bacon, near Jacksonville. She is now seventy-three years old and belongs to the Baptist Church.

Mr. Boston was born in Woodford County, Ky., in 1807, and came to Illinois in 1832. He was a Democrat, politically, and in religion, a Baptist. Mrs. Patterson was the eldest daughter and second child in a family of six sons and three daughters. One son and one daughter are deceased; the latter, Martha, was the wife of James Dyer, and died in Wichita, Kan. George Boston was married to Miss Melvina Caldwell, and died at his home seven miles east of Jacksonville, in 1879.

Mrs. Patterson was born April 18, 1838, and remained a member of the parental household until her marriage, acquiring her education in the common school. Of the nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Boston, one son, Ulysses G., died when a promising young man of twenty three years old. The survivors are recorded as follows: Louisa B., is the wife of John Williamson, a painter by trade and they reside in Jacksonville; Nettie, married Ernest Dewees, a farmer of this county; G. Wallace remains at home and assists in operating the farm; Irvin A., Mattie, Edward, Leonard and W. Maude, are also at home with their parents. Mrs. Patterson has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the past twelve years. Mr. Patterson, politically, is a Republican, "dyed in the wool," a man with decided ideas and one whose opinions are generally respected.

JACOB H. PEAK was born in Anderson County, Tenn., on May 26, 1829. His father, Absalom Peak, came to Scott County, Ill., Sept. 29, and died May 23, 1867. He married Rebecca Butler, whose parents lived and died in Anderson County, Tenn. Their marriage occurred in 1822. The old lady is now living in Scott County on the farm taken up by her husband in the first decade of the present century. She was the mother of ten children. The following six of whom grew to maturity: Sallie, Germania, Jacob H., Luke, William and Mary J.

Sallie was married twice. Her first husband was C. T. Gillham, by whom she had two children, Harriet and Delos. Her second husband was I. J. True, by whom she was the mother of four children. She is deceased. Luke went to California in 1853, where he married and is now farming in Merced County, that State; William married June Leib, and is farming in Scott County, this State. They have two children: Charles and Leo D.; Mary married John W. Morrison. They are now living in Vernon County, Mo., with their four children: Charles, Delos, Willard and James.

Jacob H. Peak married Mathilda Campbell, whose father came from Tennessee. In her father's family there were sic children, four of whom are living: Newton J., James P., Mary Jane and Matilda. Newton J. married Susan Simmons. They are now residing in Scott County, and have six children: Ann, Mollie, Lucy, Lizzie, Lois and Norman; James P., married a Miss Bacon, and is now living near Odell, Gage Co., Neb. They have four children: Minerva, Ralph, Ira and Matilda. Mary Jane married George W. Camp. They reside in Riggston this State, and have eight children: Charles, Mark, John, Cynthia, Joseph, Alice, Fannie and Florence.

Mr. Peak, whose name appears at the beginning of this sketch, was the father of seven children, four of whom are living: Mary J., Kate, Dora and Lula. Kate married Sherman Luttrell, and is the mother of two children: Rova May and Lois. Alice (deceased) married Jacob Bowyer of this county. She left three children, who are living with their grandfather. Their names are Scott P., Mary J., and Herschel.

When Mr. Peak commenced life his possessions consisted of a horse, saddle and bridle, but by hard work on a farm, he accumulated enough money from his monthly wages to buy a place containing 118 acres of partially improved land, soon after his marriage. He afterward sold this farm and purchased a quarter section of land in this county, adding each year thereto, until he now owns 330 acres of rich Illinois prairie. This farm is all under a high state of cultivation, and upon it have been erected good buildings. He does a general farm business and is eminently successful. He is one of that class of farmers who believes that if anything is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well, and upon that precept he has built up a reputation as a farmer whose method of operations might be profitably imitated. His wife and children are members of the Christian Church.

Mr. Peak, politically, is a sound Democrat, and firmly believes in the principles of his party, although he has kept aloof from politics and has held no office except that of Township Trustee, a position whose duties were discharged in his usual painstaking manner. He has often served on the county juries and as a Juryman has invariably given satisfaction. In a summary of his life Mr. Peak may be truly called a representative Illinois farmer.

Among the pleasant homes of Morgan County, views of which appear on these pages, few are more attractive externally or internally than the country residence of Mr. Peak. It portrays the comforts of rural life amid the pleasant prospects of Nature.

JOSIAH PERKINS, son of an early pioneer of Scott County, was born on his father's homestead, a half mile southeast of Winchester, oct. 9, 1836. Nearly the whole development of the township and county has taken place within his lifetime, and he has assisted in promoting their growth both as boy and man, and now owns a good farm that is under excellent tillage, and yields him a profitable income. In the place of his nativity he and his wife have labored hard in the upbuilding of a comfortable home, and they have reared a large family to become honorable and useful members of society.

The father of our subject, William Perkins, was a native of Cumberland County, Ky., as was also his mother Polly Ann (Groce) Perkins. In 1829 they emigrated to Illinois, and the father purchased an 80 acre tract of wild land from the Government in Winchester Precinct, and became one of its original settlers, not a habitation being on the present site of the town at that time. After a year he entered eighty more acres of land, and in the course of time, by prudence and hard labor accumulated a very good property, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1880, at a ripe old age, owned 230 acres of fine farming land. His original purchases were covered with brush, and it required considerable toil to clear the land and prepare it for cultivation, but he was equal to the task, and developed a valuable farm. The mother of our subject died in the same year as his father, she being sixty-nine years old, and he about seventy-three. To that worthy couple eight children were born, three sons and five daughters, and two sons and two daughters are still living.

Josiah, of this biographical sketch, received the most of his limited education in a subscription school, which he did not attend very much, as the most of his time was spent in cutting and burning brush. He stayed at home with his parents, working hard to help his father until he was twenty-three years old. He then established a home of his own, by having invited Miss Martha Jane Hopper, the eldest of the twelve children of Joshua Hopper, an old settler of Morgan County, formerly from Kentucky, to assist him in its upbuilding, their marriage occurring Nov. 17, 1859. Mrs. Perkins' mother, whose maiden name was Greene, and who was born in Kentucky about seventy years ago, is still living. After their marriage, our subject and his wife began their wedded life on a part of his father's farm, living thereon six years. Mr. Perkins then bought sixty acres of the land where he now resides, and has since added to his original purchase until he owns a farm of 143 acres, nearly all under cultivation, and fertile and productive, for which he paid $50 an acre in 1866. He devotes himself to mixed husbandry, raising grain and live stock with good success, as he well deserves, he having toiled with persevering industry and good judgement.

To him and his good wife twelve children have been born in their happy home, nine of whom are living, as follows: Albert, William, Emmeline, Mary Ann, Frances C., Ida Belle, Geneva, Nettie, and Daniel D., and all are in good health, being well endowed mentally and physically. Albert, Emmeline, and Mary Ann are married and well situated.

Mr. Perkins is of a mild, amiable disposition, unobtrusive in his conduct, paying strict attention to his own business, and not meddling with other people's affairs, and he is well spoken of and liked by the whole neighborhood. He is a good, law-abiding citizen, and has done good service in his native precinct as School Director and as Road commissioner of township 14, range 12, of which office he is at present an incumbent. He is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. In general elections he stands with the Democrats, but in local elections he votes for the man irrespective of party. He is a temperate man, and a believer in the Christian religion, though not a church member. Mrs. Perkins, a truly kind and good woman, belongs to the Baptist church, and is zealous in its support.

CALEB PERRY, one of the earlier residents of Scott County, departed this life March 5, 1884, after having reached his more than three score and ten years. He was born near Winchester, Frederick Co., Va., in 1812, learned the trade of a carpenter, and after his marriage removed to Exeter, Scott County, where he operated as a contractor and builder. He there purchased a residence and other property, and was quite prominent in local affairs, officiating as Constable and Collector for many years, also as School Director and Village Trustee. He was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Christian Church.

Our subject was married Nov. 6, 1848, to Mrs. Jane McCormick, daughter of John Hill, a native of North Carolina, and widow of Richard McCormick, a native of Tennessee, a farmer by occupation, and who died in Merritt Precinct in 1844. John Hill was born in North Carolina in 1791, and removed to Hickman, Tenn., in 1812, where he was one of the earliest settlers. He came to Illinois in 1828, locating near Lynnville, where he entered land, improved a farm, and lived there until 1842. He then removed to North English, Iowa, where he bought a large farm and resided until his death in 1864. He was a member of the Christian Church. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Carlin, a native of North Carolina, and a relative of Gov. Carlin, of Illinois. The Carlin family is of Scotch descent. Mrs. Hill died in Macoupin County, Ill. There were seven children in the family, namely: Mary Arizona, Emily and Lizzie, deceased; Jane, Mrs. Perry; Frank, deceased; Adaline and John, the latter deceased.

Mrs. Perry was born in North Carolina, Oct. 14, 1818, and was a mere child when the family removed to Tennessee. They came to Illinois in 1828, locating near Sycamore, and Miss Jane remained at home until the death of her mother. She was married in Merritt Precinct, in 1839, to Mr. McCormick. Of this union there were born two children: John F., now deceased, and Richard F. John, during the late war, enlisted in the 14th Illinois Infantry, and met death on the battlefield of Shiloh, April 6, 1862. Richard was in the 129th Illinois Infantry, serving a few months toward the close of the war. He is now a merchant of Ottumwa, Iowa. Mrs. Perry is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She draws a pension from the Government and is living quite retired, in comfortable circumstances.

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