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)
GEORGE Z. TAYLOR, a native of this county, and known to a large proportion of its leading citizens, was born at the old homestead of his parents in Township 14, Sept. 20, 1847. He there spent his boyhood and youth, receiving such educational advantages as the schools of that time afforded, and also under careful parental training acquired those habits of industry which have been the secret of his success, for he is without question one of the most successful and enterprising men of Central Illinois. He owns and occupies a fine homestead, 170 acres in extent, where he has good buildings, and everything about him to make life pleasant and desirable. He is in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness, and coming as he does from an excellent family, occupies no secondary position among the leading men of Morgan County. His property is pleasantly located on section 36, and his land has been brought to a thorough state of cultivation, producing in abundance the richest crops of Central Illinois.
George Taylor, the father of our subject, was a native of Harrison County, Ky., and married Miss Polly E. Tucker, who was born and reared not far from the childhood home of her husband. They were married in their native State, and settled in Shelby County, where they lived about three years. They came to Illinois in 1831, settling in the southeast corner of what is now Township 14, where the father constructed a good farm, and where he and his estimable wife spent many years. Finally retiring from active labor they removed to Jacksonville, where the death of the father occurred Sept. 20, 1886; the mother is still living. They had sojourned happily together for a period of fifty-nine years, two months and two days, and reared a family of ten children, all of whom are living, and making their homes mostly in Illinois. They were named respectively: Maxamilia, Edward A., Benjamin H., William P., Cassabianca R., Phebe J., Sarah F., George Z., our subject; John H. and Shelby D.
Our subject, a few days before reaching the twenty-sixth year of his age was married, Sept. 16, 1883, to Martha E., daughter of Thomas and Olive (Dyer) Jefferson, the wedding taking place at the bride's home in Morgan County. Mrs. Taylor was born in this county, Oct. 17, 1864, and was here reared to womanhood, acquiring her education in the common schools. Her parents were natives of Yorkshire, England, and she was the eldest of their six children. They came to America about 1840, and are still living at the farm which the father purchased soon after his arrival in this country.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor comprises two sons and a daughter: William R., Agnes B., and George D. Mr. Taylor votes the straight Republican ticket, and has held the office of School Director. Both he and his estimable wife, like the parents of our subject, are members in good standing of the Christian Church. The mother of Mr. Taylor has been identified with this church for the long period of sixty years.
Mrs. Ceris C. MOOERS TAYLOR (KEENER)
MRS. Ceris C. MOOERS TAYLOR (KEENER). This lady was well known and highly respected throughout the city of Jacksonville, having come to this county in the spring of 1881, and purchased thirty-one acres of choice land just outside the city limits. There she erected a fine residence, and gave her attention to the importation of Norman horses and other fine trotting stock. Considering the success which attended her efforts in this direction, it is scarcely necessary to say, that she possessed more than ordinary capabilities, in fact, her business qualifications exceeded those of mankind in general.
The events of interest in the life of Mrs. Taylor were essentially as follows: She was born in Scott County, Ill., Jan. 10, 1847, and was the daughter of Thomas C. and Caroline (Ditson) Keener, who were natives respectively of Gettysburg, Pa., and Sangamon County, Ill. The father was a corn merchant and grain dealer at Naples, Ill., for a period of twenty-seven years, being senior member of the firm of T. & F. Keener. After his death Mrs. Keener assumed charge of the business, which she conducted successfully two years.
The subject of this sketch, after emerging from the common school, entered the Jacksonville Academy, where she completed her education. On the 11th of February, 1865, when a maiden of eighteen years, she was united in marriage with Mr. Royal Mooers, and of this union there were born three children, namely: Fanny, Thomas, and Edward. In 1876 she assumed her maiden name, and had that of her children changed from Mooers to Keener.
Mrs. Keener, on the 4th of January, 1887, was united in marriage with Mr. Frank C. Taylor, at this time a resident of Jacksonville. Mr. Taylor was born in Kentucky, from which State his parents removed to Jacksonville, where he has spent nearly his entire life, and was for a considerable time a reporter on the Courier. He is now practically retired from active business. He and his wife occupied a very fine residence, situated in the midst of beautiful grounds, adorned with shade trees and shrubbery. In the rear of the residence are a great variety of fruits, such as grapes, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, and Mrs. Taylor experimented with untried varieties of nuts, such as English walnuts, hard and soft shell almonds, and the native giant and Japanese varieties of chestnuts. She also had the pecan, hard shell hickory, and black and white walnut tress, besides filberts and Japanese persimmon.
In the fruit line Mrs. Taylor had all the varieties of apple, peach, pear, plum and cherry. To the culture of these she gave much time and attention with the view of determining what varieties were hardy and would flourish most successfully in that particular locality. As a horticulturist, she obtained an enviable reputation in Morgan County, and her experiments were of decided advantage, not only as connected with her own labors, but those of others interested in this line. She always maintained that she received her inspiration for this work from Prof. J. B. Turner. She also was a lover of flowers, as the grounds surrounding her home indicate, and in summer, hundreds of visitors came from the city and country surrounding to view the result of her taste, industry, and skill. Mrs. Taylor was a lady of many and varied accomplishments, and her genuine love of horticulture and everything pertaining thereto was greatly to her credit, while her perseverance was proverbial. She died May 11, 1889. Her death removed one of the most prominent members of the society of Morgan County, and left a void among friends and her home circle which time can not entirely restore.
On another page in this volume will be found a portrait of this lamented lady. Thus, although she has passed to her rest, her kindly face still turns its pleasant glance upon the gazer.
GODFRED TENDICK, who is widely known throughout Morgan County, is a manufacturer of bricks, and proprietor of the old Edgemond Yard, situated on the corner of Morton and Tendick streets, of Jacksonville. He was born in Germany in 1830, and is the son of John and Jennie (Finmans) Tendick, also natives of the Fatherland. His father was engaged in farming from his youth. In 1853 he determined to come to this country, but did not live long enough after his arrival to appreciate its institutions and liberty. His death occurred four weeks after coming to this city, and the mother followed him two weeks later, leaving a family of eight children, only three of whom are living, viz.: Hannah, now Mrs. Ringmeister, of Logan County, in this State; Derrie, and our subject, both of Jacksonville.
The early education of our subject was obtained in the schools of his native country, which he continued to attend until twelve years of age, then learned the spool and weaving business. When seventeen years of age, he commenced boot and shoe making, and continued to work at that trade for about thirty-three years. In 1850 he came to America, and was soon well established in his business, which he followed for about twenty years, keeping in constant employment throughout that time from seven to ten men. Closing up his business in 1878, he engaged in brick-making in Jacksonville, and was for two years a member of the firm of Caspold, Reid & Tendick; the firm continued for the succeeding three years under the name of Reid & Tendick, but at the end of that period, our subject bought Mr. Reid's interest, and since that time has conducted the business alone. He has always in his employ from fifteen to twenty-five men and in addition to local trade, ships largely into the surrounding towns and country.
Mr. Tendick has built two stores and numerous houses in the city, always seeking its advancement and improvement. He also finds time to supervise the farming of his landed property, comprising 300 acres of some of the best agricultural land in the district. He is the head of a family that occupies a high position in local society, and is regarded as one of Jacksonville's substantial, public-spirited and loyal citizens.
In the year 1854, the subject of this biography, was joined in wedlock with Miss Belle Tendick, the daughter of Peter and Jane (Schutten) Tendick, who also were natives of Germany. Her father was occupied in agriculture in the Fatherland, but learning from friends of bright prospects in America, concluded that this country would be better for his children, and therefore came hither in the year 1853, and settled in Jacksonville. The home circle included five children, four of whom are living, viz.: Mrs. Tendick, the wife of our subject; William; Catharine, now Mrs. Kastrup; all residents of the above city; and John, whose home is in Texas. The father and mother continued to reside in Jacksonville until their death, which occurred in the year 1854, the father's death succeeding that of the mother in two weeks.
The family of our subject comprises also five children, to whom have been given the names here subjoined: Jennie, now Mrs. Porten of this city, who has become the mother of four children - Lillie, Clarence, Elmer, and a child who died in infancy; Peter, (deceased); John S., who is engaged in business at Canton, this State, and who married Rosetta Thompson, a native of Canton; Edward and Clara K.
Both our subject and his wife are members in good standing of the German Methodist church, of which Mr. Tendick is one of the Trustees. In matters relating to political economy, he espouses the cause of the Republican party, and has always been one of its firmest adherents and warmest supporters.
This volume, designed to perpetuate the names of influential citizens
of Morgan County, would be incomplete, did it not portray the faces of
those men, known and honored by all as powerful agents in upbuilding the
county. Among such Mr. Tendick occupies a prominent place, and consequently
his portrait contributes to the value of the work.
MRS. ELLEN THARPE (WILKINSON). In 1830 William and Frances (Richardson) Wilkinson, of Yorkshire, England, crossed the Atlantic to seek a new home in the Western World. Coming directly to Illinois, they settled on a farm in Morgan County, where they became the owners of 250 acres of land. The third daughter of this pioneer couple is the subject of the present sketch. Her mother died in 1851, and her father in 1856. Ellen Wilkinson was born in Morgan County, Feb. 6, 1833. Educated in the branches usually taught in the subscription schools of those early days, and no doubt thoroughly instructed by her mother in all domestic duties, she remained an inmate of the parental household till she went forth to preside over a home of her own on her marriage with Sanders Tharpe, which took place Oct. 28, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Tharpe immediately rented a farm in Morgan County, on which they lived till March, 1854, when they bought their present homestead of 120 acres in Scott County, on section 25, Winchester precinct, No. 14, range 12. The work of improving the farm went on till the breaking out of the Civil War, when responding to his country's call, Mr. Tharpe enlisted, in August, 1862, in Company H. 129th Illinois Infantry. He was with his regiment three months and five days, taking part in its toilsome marches and other active duties till disabled by illness. Congestion of the lungs caused his death at Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 10, 1862, and thus early a brave and efficient soldier was lost to the cause. Mrs. Tharpe by this sad event was left a widow with five children of tender age, three sons and two daughters. She proved an excellent manager of the farm as well as her household, conducting her affairs with marked success. A part of the land she rented out for two years. With this exception, she attended to its cultivation herself, when her boys were small, often accompanying them to the field and sharing in the actual labors of seed-time and harvest. Her son Cornelius and his wife Hebe, nee Reed, live on Henry Todd's place; they have seven children. Her daughter, Martha A., wife of William D. Wells, of Scott County, is the mother of four children. Her other children - Frances A., Lyman, and William W., as yet unmarried - live with their mother in the pleasant home built by her two years ago. Lyman is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Winchester. The Tharpes are a family of readers. Thus, in a measure, self-educated, they have thriven by their own industry and intelligence.
Mrs. Tharpe is of a deeply earnest, religious nature, but no bigot. Blessed with a sound constitution, a cheerful disposition, and an object in life stimulating her to generous exertions, she has enjoyed good health and a fair share of worldly prosperity. A Penelope in faithfulness to the memory of her patriotic husband, she has untiringly devoted herself to her children, of whom it is little to say that they do credit to their ancestry and their training.
WILLIAM THIES. Some of the most successful and thrifty farmers of Morgan County, are sons of the Fatherland, who crossed the Atlantic, many of them poor in purse, to establish for themselves a home in the undeveloped West. They labored early and late as tillers of the soil, and were, as they deserved, almost uniformly prosperous. Among them the subject of this notice occupies no secondary position. His career has been signalized by industry, honesty, and frugality, and he is now the owner of a good farm of 120 acres, pleasantly located on section 7, in township 14. At the beginning he had in common with his neighbors many difficulties to encounter, but he persevered, and after a few years found himself upon solid ground, and sitting under his own vine and fig tree, surrounded by all the comforts of life. He was very fortunate in his selection of a life-partner, Mrs. Thies being in all respects the suitable companion of her husband, one who has encouraged him in his worthy ambitions, and who has never evaded any known duty. They are recognized as people of more than ordinary intelligence, and are valued accordingly in their community.
Our subject was born in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Aug. 1, 1836, and is the oldest child of Frederick and Fredricka (Englebright) Thies, who were natives of the same place as their son, and where they both spent their entire lives, the father dying in 1863, and the mother in 1864. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters, and those beside our subject, are now in Germany. William was reared to manhood in his native Province, and trained to farming pursuits, which he followed there until a man of thirty-two years.
In 1868, Mr. Thies set out for America, accompanied by his wife and one child. They landed in New York, and came directly to this county, locating in Jacksonville, where Mr. Thies engaged as a butcher, and where they remained about three years. He then rented a farm of the late Samuel Wood, for the same length of time, then removed to another in that locality upon which he operated for a period of twelve years. By this time his accumulations enabled him to purchase his present farm, of which he took possession in January, 1886. He has good buildings, and all the conveniences for carrying on agriculture and stock raising in a profitable manner. He has made it the rule of his life to live within his income, and meet his obligations when they became due. He has consequently been enabled to each year lay aside something for a rainy day, and ensure himself against want in his old age.
To Mr. and Mrs. Thies have been born six children, viz: Frederick T., William L., Samuel C., John C., Charles J., and Anna L. The eldest is twenty-seven years of age, and the youngest nine, and they are all at home with their parents, except Frederick. Mr. and Mrs. Thies are members of the Lutheran Church, and our subject, politically, is a decided Republican. He is the friend of education, freedom and equality, and occupies no secondary position among the reliable elements which form the basis of all society.
Mrs. Louisa (Germann) Thies was married to our subject in Germany in January, 1864. Her parents were John and Johanna (Beindchnieder) Germann, who emigrated to America in August, 1868, and settled in township 14, this county. The father was engaged in farming, and departed this life, Jan. 10, 1880. The mother is still living, at an advanced age. They were the parents of eight children, of whom Mrs. Thies was one of the younger. She was born Aug 27, 1840, and remained a member of her father's household until her marriage.
JUDGE OWEN P. THOMPSON, Presiding Officer of the County Court, is a native of this county, within whose limits he has spent the greater part of his life. He is still a young man, having been born Feb. 3, 1852, and is the son of James B. and Mary (McGuier) Thompson, who were natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The paternal grandparents of our subject were Bernard and Mary (Phillips) Thompson, natives of Ohio, where they lived until 1834, engaged in farming pursuits. James B. continued a resident of the Buckeye State until 1834, when he came to Illinois, locating in Bethel Precinct, this county, where he spent the remainder of his life engaged in farming. He became the father of a large family, was an honest and industrious citizen, and a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. In 1886 he abandoned active labor, and took up his residence in Jacksonville, where he is now living in retirement, having attained to the good old age of seventy-seven years. The devoted wife and mother passed away in 1881, aged sixty-seven. Their family of six children included three sons and three daughters. The parents early in life identified themselves with the Protestant Methodist church, with which the mother continued until her death, and of which the father remains a member.
The brothers and sisters of our subject are located as follows: Clark M. is teaching in Winchester, Scott County; Mary, Mrs. Crawford, is a resident of Colorado; Sarah, Mrs. McPherson, of McPherson County, Kan.; Ella is unmarried, and continues the companion of her father; Perry C. is a practicing physician of Jacksonville; Owen P. was the youngest child. The latter remained upon the farm with his parents until a youth of nineteen years, acquiring a practical education, and then commenced teaching. This he followed two years, then wishing to perfect himself further in the profession, attended the Normal School at Bloomington two terms. He subsequently taught in Morgan County five years.
Young Thompson had ere this chosen the profession of law for his future vocation, and now entering the Law School at Albany, N.Y., took a full course, and was graduated in 1876. He commenced the practice of his profession in his native county, establishing himself at Jacksonville, where he has since continued. He gave evidence at an early period in his career of more than ordinary ability, and in 1886 was chosen for his present responsible office. He is a Democrat in politics, and a member in good standing of the Masonic fraternity, a Knight of Pythias, and belongs to the order of United Workman.
Miss Elizabeth Ruddick, a native of Jackson County, Ind., became
the wife of our subject on the 31st day of May, 1883, the wedding being
celebrated at the home of the bride in Jacksonville, Ill. Mrs. Thompson
was born Jan. 2, 1857, and is the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Ruddick,
who were natives of Ohio. She is a lady of excellent education, and a graduate
of the Illinois Female College, at Jacksonville, where she completed her
studies in 1878. Of her union with Judge Thompson there have been born
two children - Mary R. and Perry P.
ALFRED C. THOMPSON. This gentleman who is well known among the business men of Jacksonville and vicinity, operates as a machinist and steam fitter, having his works, which were established in 1875, at No. 734 Railroad street. Formerly in connection with this, was a brass and iron foundry, which the proprietor discontinued in 1881. He commands a first class patronage from the people of Morgan County, and occupies a position among its solid men.
A native of Yorkshire, England, the subject of this sketch was born July 15, 1829, and is the son of John and Mary (Coates) Thompson, who spent their entire lives in their native England. The father was engaged in the boot and shoe business, and the parental household included fourteen children, all of whom lived to be men and women, but it is a sad and singular fact that of this large family Alfred C. is the only one living. The father departed this life when about ninety-five years of age, and the mother at the age of ninety. The brothers and sisters mostly remained in England during their lifetime.
Mr. Thompson was brought to America by a paternal uncle, when a little lad eight years of age. They settled in Philadelphia, and that same year the uncle died, leaving no family, and the boy was thrown upon his own resources without friends or money. Young as he was, however, he proved equal to the emergency, and scorned to accept charity. He ran errands for five cents, keeping an eye continually to business, and first made his bed in a livery stable. After a time, as his honesty became apparent, he was allowed a buffalo robe on the office floor. He felt quite rich when he had made twenty-five cents a day.
In due time young Thompson secured a steady job in the sheriff's office, sweeping out, operating as errand boy, and making himself generally useful. When fourteen years of age, still continuing in the Quaker City, he began his apprenticeship as a machinist, serving three years. He worked two years as a journeyman in Philadelphia, then, desirous of a change of location, made his way to Belvidere, N. J., where he worked a year, then started for the West. After reaching the state of Indiana he located in Lafayette, and found employment in the gas works at that point. A year later he was in Detroit, Mich., operating as foreman in the machine shops of Johnson & Mayne.
Mr. Thompson was employed by the above firm a period of three years, then going south into Kentucky was given charge of the extensive smelting works in Bullitt County. Thence a year later he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he secured a position in the gas factory, and during his stay there constructed the Telescope Gas Holder, which attracted considerable attention among the craft. In the fall of 1853 we find him again locating in the West, with headquarters at Chicago, and in employment on the lakes as engineer. In the fall of 1858 he was engaged as a gas fitter in Peoria, Ill., where he established a thriving business, adding foundry work, steam-fitting and machine shops, and giving employment to forty men. Here he transacted an extensive business until the fall of 1875, when he sold out, and coming to Jacksonville embarked in the enterprise which has here proved likewise successful.
Mr. Thompson while a resident of Detroit, Mich., was married, July 4, 1853, to Miss Eleanor Trusler. Mrs. Thompson was born in August, 1828, in Bath, England, and was the daughter of John and Jane Trusler, who were natives of England, and are now deceased. Her father's family included twelve children, seven now living, and mostly residents of Canada and the United States. Of her union with our subject there were born one son and three daughters, three living: Mary J., Mrs. Hickliable, of Kansas, is the mother of four children; Martha J., Mrs. Runkel, is a resident of Jacksonville, and the mother of four children - Alfred, Eleanor, Fritz, and one deceased; Alfaretta C., Mrs. Howe, of Jacksonville, is the mother of one child, a daughter, Myrtle. Mrs. Eleanor Thompson departed this life at her home in Pekin, Ill., in September, 1873.
Our subject contracted a second marriage, March 1, 1873, with Miss
Edith Smith, at that time a resident of Pekin, Ill. This lady was born
about August, 1847, and is the daughter of Arnold and Jeanette Smith, who
were natives of New England, and are now living in Kansas. This marriage
has resulted in the birth of five children - Eleanor, Emeline, Alfred C.,
John A., and Edward C., deceased. The family residence is pleasantly situated
on East College avenue, No. 604, and with its surroundings forms one of
the attractive homes of the city. Mr. Thompson, socially, belongs to the
I. O. O. F., and politically, is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party.
As a self-made man he has built up for himself an admirable record, and
illustrated in his career the result of perseverance and industry in a
JAMES B. THOMPSON. This gentleman is one of that class of substantial citizens who have done so much in opening up the new West, and who have expended the best years of life to that end, and now have retired from the active duties and driving cares to enjoy the rest and comparative quiet that they have earned by the years spent in unceasing rush of life.
Mr. Thompson is a native of Brown County, Ohio, but was reared to manhood and married in Hamilton County. He counts the years of his life from the 17th of September, 1810. His father was Bernard Thompson, whose wife previous to her marriage, bore the name of Mary Phillips. Both were natives of the Buckeye State, and were married in Brown County.
The grandfather of our subject also bore the cognomen of Bernard Thompson. He, with his wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Bing, was born in Maryland. He was the owner of a mill on the Brandywine River, and quite above the average in his prosperity. During the War of the Revolution, and, again, that of 1812, he served on behalf of his country. His son, Bernard Jr., also served in the War of 1812 for a period of six months. Mr. Thompson received a land warrant, and upon it obtained eighty acres of land in this county. He came to Morgan County in 1834, and settled in the western part, continuing his residence there until his death, in 1865. He sustained the loss of his wife prior to his western removal, in 1831.
Bernard Thompson, Jr., to whom reference was made above, was the father of ten children, of whom but two are now living, namely: Andrew J. and our subject - both of this county. The latter gentleman spent his boyhood and youth on his father's farm, and, after receiving the best education the common schools of the time afforded, became his father's helper in its operation, continuing thus until he had attained his majority. In those days the State of Ohio was not as it is today, all the circumstances and surroundings going to show that it was a new and undeveloped country, and those who resided within its borders were in very truth pioneers, with all the freedom and opportunity that such a position affords, but at the same time living a life filled day in and day out with its inconveniences, difficulties and hardships. Among the latter most assuredly must be reckoned that of the educational institution of that day, which, from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall, was one constant reminder of frontier life.
Among the settlers in Clermont County, of the above State, were Collins and Sarah (Taylor) McGuire. They were both natives of the Keystone State, and had brought with them many of the characteristics of that people. They had made for themselves a home and farm in the new country and were prospering. Previous to leaving Pennsylvania, there had been born to them a daughter, Mary, who, as she came to more mature years, revealed a womanliness and happiness of disposition that attracted numerous admirers, even in a new and comparatively undeveloped country - among others, our subject. Every arrangement being completed, they were married in May, 1834.
In October of the same year Mr. Thompson came to Illinois, and settled in this county, about three miles north of Jacksonville. For four years he rented a farm there, and then removed to Greene County, where he was similarly occupied. Returning to Bethel, in this county, he went into business as a blacksmith, and continued thus engaged for three years. Previously he had purchased 120 acres of new land, which lay about three miles west of Bethel; and also took forty acres of Government land. Subsequently he purchased 160 acres more - a total of 320 acres. As the first purchase was entirely unimproved, he proceeded to put a small frame cottage of two rooms upon it, and set to work to bring about a better order of things. One drawback to the position was the fact that the nearest market was Meredosia, on the Illinois River. In after years, when civilization had come nearer to his farm, he was enabled to make many improvements that had been long contemplated, and became one of the largest grain and stock-raisers of the district.
Mr. Thompson has reared a family of six children, and has been rejoiced to see them one by one enter into honorable positions in life. Their names are as follows: Clark M., Mary J., Sarah, Ella E., Perry C., and Owen P. Clark, who is now a resident of Scott County and engaged in school teaching, was married, in 1878, to Miss Verenda Pratt, and they are the parents of three children, viz: Maud, Guy and Blanche; Mary is happily married to John T. Crawford, a prosperous ranchman of Colorado, and their family circle includes eight children, whose names are as follows: Zelica, Dill O., Leora, James, John, Ruth, Mary and Julia; Sarah is Mrs. A. A. McPherson, and lives in Kansas - her family circle includes five children: Alpha E., Etta, Valeria, Ross and Owen. Perry is one of the physicians of Jacksonville, and Owen, an accomplished lawyer and Judge of Morgan County.
Mrs. James B. Thompson died on the 31st of January, 1881. She was a member of the Protestant Methodist Church, as is our subject. They were prominent in bringing about the organization and building of the Church of Bethel, her husband being elected one of the Trustees. They took an active part also in promoting the work at Meredosia, and their efforts were rewarded by seeing similar progress in that place.
The subject of our sketch removed to Jacksonville in 1884, where
he has made his home ever since. In matters political he is allied with
the Democratic party, and has always taken great interest in promoting
the advancement of their cause. He is a citizen valued in the community
because of his high personal character, his integrity and efficiency as
a business man, and the social status he is privileged to enjoy by reason
of the large measure of success that has attended him through life.
THOMAS THOMPSON, a highly respected citizen of Alexander, is living with his family in one of its most comfortable, and cosy homes. He is of pure Scottish ancestry. His father, also named Thomas, removed from Scotland, our subject's birthplace, to Ireland with his family, when our subject was a mere child. His mother, Catherine Thompson, was a native of Ireland, and after her return to her native country, she did not survive many years, both she and the father dying, leaving the little Thomas to care of his elder sisters, Eliza and Anna, who brought him to the United States when he was seven years old. They landed in this country the fall of the year that Polk was elected to the Presidency, and for several years made their home in Philadelphia. Our subject was reared and educated in that city, and was set to learn the trade of a weaver, and later to gain a knowledge of the art of printing. About 1852, in the prime of early manhood, and well-equipped to make his way successfully in the world, he ambitiously resolved to try life in the Great West. Polk County, Mo., was his destination, and there one of the most important events of his life took place, for in that State he was married to Elizabeth J., daughter of William and Martha Edwards, the ceremony that made them one, being performed in June, 1854. They began their happy wedded life in Polk County, and they continued to reside there until May, 1864, when they recrossed the Mississippi River, and came to Franklin, this county. In the month of December, 1866, they removed to Alexander, and still make their home there.
Mrs. Thompson is derived from Southern ancestry. Her paternal grandfather, John Edwards, was a native of South Carolina. In early manhood he went to Nelson County, Ind., and there married Mary, daughter of Theophilus Bass. They lived in the Hoosier State until quite a large family was growing up around them, and they removed to Mulenburg County, Ky., where Mr. Edwards became a large plantation owner, having large tracts of land, and a great many slaves, and raising a great deal of cotton. He and his wife passed their last days in their Kentucky home. Mrs. Thompson remembers well the many noted spots on Boone's reservation connected with the name of the great frontiersman, and her mother has often told her of the trials that the early pioneers of Kentucky had to endure far from the centres of civilization, where there were no mills for bolted flour, and other things that are now almost considered necessaries were then unprocurable luxuries.
Of the eight children born to our subject and his estimable wife, three are still living, namely: John M., William, Eugenia, the latter the wife of John B. Corrington, (of whom see sketch on another page of this volume). Four of the other children died in infancy. Our subject and his wife have spared neither pains or money in educating their sons and daughters; Eugenia and Emma were both graduated from the Methodist College at Jacksonville. Their wedded life has been overshadowed by the death of their daughter Emma, which occurred March 12, 1880. She was thrown from a horse that she rode to and from school, and received injuries from which she suffered nearly a year before her weary spirit was released, and she entered the life immortal, for which she was so well fitted. She was accomplished and talented, a fine musician, and had received a superior education. For four years she had been teaching school very successfully.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are people of sterling worth, sincere Christians,
and valued members, respectively, of the Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal
LEVI F. TICKNOR. As a nursery man and fruit-grower, Mr. Ticknor is acknowledged on all sides to be a success. He owns and operates forty acres of very choice land, situated on section 10, township 15, range 11, where he has made his residence since 1858, and, since 1868, has given his attention almost exclusively to his present business. He carries a full and complete stock of the best varieties of the choicest fruits, and his long experience has made him an expert in regard to the proper care and treatment to be exercised in connection therewith.
Mr. Ticknor came to Illinois from his native State, New York, in the spring of 1858. He was born in Upper Lisle Township, Broome County, that State, Aug. 13, 1825, and is the son of Elias and Mary (Covy) Ticknor. Elias Ticknor, also a native of Broome County, was born on the farm that had been taken up in the woods by his father, Elias Ticknor, Sr., and was one of a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters. Grandfather Ticknor was a native either of New Hampshire or Massachusetts, and sprang from a family which had settled in New England probably during the colonial days. They were mostly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and were almost uniformly well-to-do, and people noted for their honesty and integrity. Grandfather Ticknor was married in early manhood to Miss Lydia Bingham, and not long afterward emigrated to Broome County, N. Y., where he settled in the woods, and gradually cleared up a farm. After living to the advanced age of eighty-four years, he was accidentally killed by falling from a shed. His good wife had preceded him to the silent land some years.
Elias Ticknor, Jr., the father of our subject, was reared at the homestead in Broome County, N. Y., and in that county was married to Miss Mary Covy, a native of New York State, who traced her ancestry to Holland. After emigrating to the United States, they settled in Broome County, N. Y., at a very early day. The parents of our subject, after their marriage, began their wedded life at the old Ticknor farm, where they lived for a few years, then removed to Grandfather Covy's farm in the same county, where they spent the remainder of their days; the father dying at the age of fifty-eight years, and the mother soon afterward at about the same age.
Four sons and four daughters comprised the household of Elias Ticknor, Jr., and his estimable wife, of whom Levi F., our subject, was the eldest. The children are all living and married, with the exception of one son, Horace. This son, during the Civil War, enlisted in Company K, 27th Illinois Infantry, and was killed by rebels at Mud Creek, Tenn., when about twenty-four years old. He enlisted as a private, and was promoted to Corporal. Levi F., like his brothers and sisters, was reared under the home roof, and at an early age taught to make himself useful about the farm. He acquired a common school education, and grew up sound in mind and body, and amply fitted for the future duties and responsibilities of life.
The life of our subject was passed in a comparatively uneventful manner until his marriage, which occurred in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., at the home of Miss Flora Thompson, who was a native of that county, and was born in 1826. The parents of Mrs. Ticknor were John and Mary Thompson, natives of Vermont, where they were born, reared and married, and whence they removed to Cattaraugus County, N. Y., while it was still a wilderness. The father took up a tract of Government land, from which he constructed a comfortable homestead, and there both parents spent the remainder of their days. Their family consisted of five children.
Mrs. Ticknor remained with her parents during her childhood and youth,
receiving a common school education, and being trained to habits of thrift
and industry. Of her union with our subject, there have been born four
children. The eldest son, Leroy, married Miss Helen Farnham, and they are
living on a farm in Gage County, Neb.; Elmer E. H. married Miss Eva Bramham,
and they are living on a farm in township 15, range 11; Alena is the wife
of Frank Losee, and they live on a farm near Gibbon, Buffalo Co., Neb.;
Harry M. is at home with his parents. Mr. Ticknor, politically, is a sound
Republican, in the principles of which party he is fully engrafted by the
example of his father and grandfather before him, who belonged to the old-line
JOEL TURNHAM, one of the oldest living settlers of this county, retired in 1876 from active labor, and is now living amid the comforts of a snug home in Meredosia. He was born in Spencer County, Ind., over sixty-six years ago, Feb. 14, 1823, and is the son of John and Mary (Barrett) Turnham, who were natives of Nelson County, Ky., His paternal ancestors are supposed to have come from England, while on the mother's side he believes himself to be of Scotch blood. The former died when his son Joel was a little lad four years of age, and he was wholly orphaned by the death of his mother, which occurred when he was a boy of twelve. Thereafter he lived with his sister, Mrs. Elener Pointer, until reaching his majority. In May 1st, 1828, with his mother and other members of the family he emigrated to Illinois, and they all located in Meredosia's Precinct, this county.
Mr. Turnham pursued his early studies in a subscription school conducted in a log cabin with greased paper for window panes, and sometimes simply mother earth for the floor. The benches and desks were fashioned from slabs, all hand made, and the other appliances of the institution were of the most primitive style. After the death of his mother young Turnham was thrown largely upon his own resources, and since that time has had many a rough encounter with the world, but for the most part has been successful. He was employed as a farm laborer, during his early manhood, a number of years, and after accumulating a little capital operated as a renter. In 1869 he purchased 160 acres of land in township 16, range 13, section 24, in which he still retains a one-half interest. During the early days he broke quite a large amount of prairie with oxen, and probably no one man has done more downright hard work on the frontier than Mr. Turnham.
Our subject has been three times married, and is the father of three
children. Mr. Turnham's first marriage was September, 1847, to Sarah Beauchamp,
by whom he had one son George. She died when he was two years old. His
second wife was Mary Beauchamp, whom he married September, 1851, and by
her had one daughter, Mary, now the wife of Mr. Waldo. Mrs. T. died when
Mary was twenty-eight days old. He was married to his present wife, Mary
Jane Thompson, Aug. 18, 1855, and by her has one child, Horace. Thus it
will be seen by each wife he had one child. George Turnham married Martha
Ann Harris. He carries on the old homestead. Mary, is the wife of James
D. Waldo; and Horace is seventeen years old, and resides with his parents;
he was graduated May 6, 1889, at the High School at Meredosia. Our subject
cast his first Presidential vote for James K. Polk, and since becoming
a voting citizen, has given his unqualified support to the Democratic party.
He has led a strictly temperate life, and has always been warmly interested
in the labors of those who are endeavoring to put down the liquor traffic.
Otherwise than serving as a Township Trustee, he has had very little to
do with public affairs, but is regarded as one of those reliable and substantial
citizens, of whom the best elements of the community are formed, and whose
word is considered as good as his bond.
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