1894 Plat Book of Morgan County Illinois
1894 Plat Book of Morgan County Illinois
"Statistics of the Population of Morgan County By Townships, With Abstract of Agricultural Productions"
Samuel Camm was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, January 24, 1807. He was the son of William and Mary Camm, of Sheffield. Samuel C. Camm was married in May, 1836, to Miss Jane Merrimack. He was afterward engaged as proprietor of a coffee house, in Sheffield, till 1841, when, with his family and three children, he came to this country, and settled near Winchester, Scott county, Ill., where he resided until the death of his wife, which occurred in August, 1849. Mr. Camm had an addition to his family of five daughters, born in Scott county. He was again married to Miss Martha D. Butler, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Butler, of Virginia. He is now residing on his well cultivated farm, two miles southeast of Jacksonville. His oldest son, William, on the breaking out of the rebellion, raised a company, and was elected captain of company H. 14th regiment Illinois infantry, being mustered into service in the spring of 1861. Captain Camm was soon after promoted to the office of lieutenant colonel, which he held till the close of his three years service, during which he participated in many hard fought battles, being at Shiloh, in the campaign of Vicksburg, etc. He enlisted in Hancock's corps, and served as captain of company H, 1st regiment, to the end of the war. He is now in Missouri. Mr. Camm's second son, Bernard, was also a volunteer, in the 101st Illinois regiment, serving four years as a non-commissioned officer. He is now residing in Champaign county. Mr. C. was brought up in the Episcopal church, but his wife is a Methodist. He visited his native land after an absence of twenty-nine years. Mr. Camm commenced in this country with a small capital, but by his industry, and good, orderly management in business, he has acquired a comfortable living, and is a gentleman well respected by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Joseph Capps was born January 23, 1811, in Clark county, Kentucky. He was the son of Caleb and Martha Capps, who were natives of North Carolina. They emigrated and settled in Clark county, Kentucky, in 1810. Joseph received his early education in Kentucky. His regular trade was that of a machinist, although he followed wool carding for several years in his native state. He was married November 23, 1837, to Miss Sarah Ann H. Reid, daughter of Stephen H. Reid, and in the fall of 1838 he came to Morgan county. He established wool carding in Jacksonville, and after several years, added to his business, cloth dressing. He first commenced spinning about twenty years ago, and added to his manufacturing interest from time to time, until January, 1872, when he has the most extensive woolen manufactory owned by a single individual in central Illinois, giving employment to over eighty persons. His enterprise as a citizen and business man was extensively known and duly appreciated. Mr. Capps was for over twenty years an active official member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which his family still belong. His death occurred from varioloid, March 10, 1872. As a business man, he was reliable and energetic; as a citizen, active and public spirited; and as a Christian, consistent and zealous. His loss to the church and community is deeply felt.
W. Chauncey Carter was born in Fairfield county, Connecticut, April 2, 1820. His father, Ebenezer Carter, was a native of the same county, born March 17, 1797. He received his education in Connecticut, and was married to Miss Eliza Weed, daughter of Enos Weed, by whom he had three children, two of whom are now living. The subject of this sketch is the oldest of the family. Mr. E. Carter, with his family, emigrated to Illinois in the fall of 1834, and after a short residence in Winchester, bought a farm south of Jacksonville, in January, 1835, where his oldest son now resides. He gave his children the advantages of a good education. Mr. Carter and his family were all members of the Congregational church. Mr. Carter was a shoemaker by trade, and carried on manufacturing largely and successfully while in his native state. He was a man of unusual energy, and by too close application to business lost the enjoyment of good health. Politically, he was strongly anti-slavery in his views. He was highly esteemed by all who really knew him. His widow is still living, and is residing with her daughter, Mrs. Woodward, in Jacksonville.
The subject of this sketch is a graduate of Illinois College, of the class of 1845. Soon after receiving his diploma, he visited Connecticut, and on his return, engaged with his father in farming. He was married November 19, 1846, to Miss Julia Ann Wolcott, by which union they have had a family of nine children, six of whom are now living. Soon after his marriage, Mr. Carter commenced farming on his own account, which he continued about two years. He then followed teaching for two years, when he resumed farming, which business he has since followed. He purchased a farm south of his father in 1851, and is now residing on the old homestead. He has at this time a valuable farm of over six hundred acres. In business he has been energetic and successful. His children in the order of birth, are: Samuel W., Willie W., Ella M., Walter Lee, Truman Post, and Herbert, all residing with their parents. Mr. Carter is endeavoring to give his children the advantages of a liberal education. He was politically a whit, and is now a zealous republican. He is a good citizen, and highly esteemed for his many virtues.
George Carter was born in Warren, Litchfield county, Connecticut, May 25, 1809. He is the oldest son of Daniel and Lucinda Carter, who were both citizens of Warren, Connecticut. They had a family of twelve children. Mr. Carter's vocation was that of a farmer for many years. He emigrated west in October, 1835, and settled at Waverly, Morgan County, Illinois, where he remained until the fall of 1864, devoting his time to agricultural pursuits, excepting about five or six years spent in merchandising. Since 1864 he has been a citizen of Jacksonville, and is now devoting considerable of his time to the interests of his farm, situated in the north part of the county. Mr. Carter was married to Louisa J., daughter of Rev. Carlos Smith of Ohio, on the 6th of April, 1853. They have had two children, Edward E. and George M., both of whom are residing with their parents. His family are members of the Westminister church, of Jacksonville. Politically, Mr. Carter was a member of the Whig party, and since the dissolution of said party he has been identified with the principles of the republican party. Mr. Carter is one of the substantial citizens of Morgan county, who has the esteem of those who for the last thirty-seven years have had the pleasure of his acquaintance.
John Carter was born in West Virginia, September 20, 1822. He is the second son of John and Nancy Carter, who emigrated to Morgan county in the spring of 1827, and located on a farm near Lynnville, where the old gentleman spent the remainder of his life. In 1851 John Carter, the subject of this notice, formed a co_partnership with John Gordon, in mercantile business at Lynnville, which exists at the present time. Mr. Carter has been twice married, and has four children. He moved to Jacksonville in 1866, since which time he has been in the drug and hardware business, on the west side of the public square.
Samuel Caruthers is the oldest son of James Caruthers, one of the old settlers who, over forty-five years ago, settled on or near the same farm which his son now resides. Samuel Caruthers was born in Tennessee December 15, 1812. His father settled in Madison county in 1815. After five years he removed to the territory of Arkansas and settled near Little Rock, where he lived till the fall of 1825, when he became a citizen of Morgan county, Ill., where he resided until his death. November 28, 1849.
The subject of this sketch came to the county with his father, and has been one of the few citizens who have devoted over forty-six years of the prime of life to the development of its resources. He has been a worthy and respected citizen. Mr. C. celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his birthday by his marriage, December 15, 1836, to Miss Emily McMahan. By this union he has had a family of seven children, five of whom are still living, viz: Ann B., residing near Waverly; Caroline M., present wife of Charles Wilcox, of Berlin, Sangamon county; George A., a citizen of the same county; five miles northeast of Waverly; Jane, present wife of Ransom R. Carter, two and a half miles northeast of Waverly; and Francis Marion, now residing with his parents. Mr. Caruthers is largely engaged in farming and stock growing, and owns one of the most desirable farms in the southeast part of the county. Being still in health and unimpaired mental vigor, he may long remain a useful citizen in the community where he has so long been respected as an upright business man.
John H. Carver was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 12, 1826. He came to Naples April 5, 1836. A portion of his early life was devoted to carpenter work as an apprentice (about one year). He then followed clerking several years for Royal Movers & Co. He engaged in mercantile pursuits at Naples, in 1857, where he is still interested in the firm of M. H. Mauch & Co. He came to Meredosia in 1859, taking charge of the above company's branch house, where he now resides. A lithographic view of their business house appears in this work. Mr. Carver was first married May 16, 1849, to Miss Almira, daughter of Captain Orlando Kellogg, of Naples. He has by this marriage two sons, George W., now residing and employed with his father, and Royal M., with J. L. Miller, of Meredosia. His first wife died October 9, 1854. He was married again November 15, 1866, to Miss Kate, daughter of James Steele, now residing in Manchester, Illinois. He has had by this union two children, Katie B. and Lillian. Mr. Carver, as a public spirited and upright citizen, is too well known and appreciated to call for commendation in this short sketch. The best ground for appreciation of his merits is to know him.
Dr. John T. Cassell, was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, December 29, 1803. He graduated under the tuition of Rev. Barton W. Stone, at Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1821. He went through his medical course at Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated at Transylvania, University, in the spring of 1826. He soon after established himself in the practice of his profession, five miles east of Lexington, in his native county, where he remained until 1833. He made his first tour to Jacksonville, Illinois, in the spring of 1830, making at that time an investment in real estate. He bought two lots at $100 each, on the west side of the square, one of which he sold in 1870, for $16,500; the other, occupied by the Hardware store of Conover & Dunlap, he still owns. He moved his family to Morgan county in the fall of 1833, making his first settlement on south Main street, where he remained about five years. He then removed to his land, eight miles east of Jacksonville, on the Springfield road, where he soon improved a farm of over 1,300 acres. He remained on his farm till 1853, when he sold it and returned to Jacksonville, where he now resides, his object being the superior advantages for the education of his children.
Dr. Cassell, in addition to farming, has dealt largely in real estate. In 1855 he engaged in merchandising on the west side of the square; he also built the City Mill which he run for several years. He disposed of the mill in 1860, and of his merchantile interest the next year. Since 1871, he has been in a measure retired from all active business. Dr. Cassell has practiced his profession for forty_six years, but without remuneration since 1833. He was married to Miss Mary L. Gregg, of his native county, November 28, 1827. She died about fifteen months after. He was again married in 1831 to Mrs. Sarah Meagly. By this marriage he had seven children, only two of whom are now living; viz.: H. O. Cassell, of the firm of Cassell & Smith, Attorneys at Law, Jacksonville, and Dr. M. H. Cassell, a practicing physician of Jacksonville, Illinois. He was married to his present wife, Mrs. Mary R. Robertson of Davenport, Iowa, May, 27, 1852. By this union he has one daughter, Kate, about fifteen years of age, residing with her parents. Dr. Cassell is a substantial, plain, common sense business man _ a man who, in a career of nearly forty years, by his energy and perseverance, has added to his own, as well as to the general wealth of the county. He is one of our highly esteemed citizens.
Lyman Chapin was born in Chickopee, Hamden County, Massachusetts, October 27, 1825. His opportunities for education were in the common schools of his State and Williston Seminary. His chief occupation has been farming. He was married to Mrs. Julia Wetherbee, of Southwick, Massachusetts, April 3, 1848. He came to Morgan county in the autumn of 1852, and settled on the farm where he now resides. He has two children, Ella Mariah and Edward D., beside his stepson, Wm. B. Wetherbee. Mr. Chapin has three brothers, who are all prominent citizens of the county; viz.: Captain Horace, one of the proprietors of the Jacksonville Journal; Cornelius O., residing with Lyman, at Chapin; and Quartius Horatio, United States mail agent. Lyman with his brother Horace, laid out the village of Chapin in 1858, and added his first addition in 1870. The village is about ten miles west of Jacksonville, at a point where the Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis Railroad crosses the Toledo, Wabash, & Western Railroad. It is now in the incipient stages of its growth; but, judging from its location in one of the finest portions of our State, and, possessing as it does, the advantages of two important railroads, we may safely predict, that at no distant day it will become a thriving mercantile and manufacturing town, that will reflect credit on our state and honor on its founders, whose name it bears. Mr. Chapin is one of those stirring, energetic, public spirited citizens, who has done much to advance the interest of the county and the state.
Col. Alexander R. Chesnut was born in Ross county, Ohio, September 6th, 1801. His father, Charles Chesnut, was a native of Rockingham county, Virginia. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Robertson, daughter of Col. Robertson, of Augusta county, Virginia. They had two children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the oldest, and at this time, the only one living. His father, with his wife and family, settled in Ross county, Ohio, in 1797. He served with the rank of captain, during the war of 1812, under General Harrison participating in the battles of Fort Meigs and the Thames. His occupation through life was farming. His grandfather, James Chesnut, was a soldier of the revolutionary war, and was a witness of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown. Captain Charles Chesnut died, at his residence, in 1857, at the advanced age of nearly eighty-nine years; his wife died about twenty years previous.
Col. Chesnut received his early education in the common schools of Ohio; although the facilities in those early times were quite limited compared with the present. His early occupation was farming. He was married, January 1st, 1833, to Miss Mary Ann, daughter of Robert McAllister, of Ross county, Ohio. They had by this union a family of six children, of whom four are still living, and are married and well settled in Illinois. The Colonel, after he was married, settled on a farm in Chillicothe, which he had previously purchased, where he resided till 1849, when he left on the1st of October, and, after about six weeks, located at Mount Auburn, Christian county, Illinois, November 15th, 1849. He purchased a farm of about three hundred and twenty acres, on which he resided two years, when he sold it and moved to Logan county, Illinois, and bought a farm of four hundred and forty acres, known as "Conger's Grove," on which he resided till 1867, at which time he moved to Jacksonville, and bought the farm on which he now resides. The Colonel, at the breaking out of the rebellion, though too old to join the service in the field, took an active part in recruiting, and in putting up the old 7th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and also the 106th regiment. He also aided, indirectly, by his financial contributions, and several substitutes whom he procured to represent him in the army. Few of the citizens of our state acted a more patriotic part than Col. Chesnut. In his veins flowed the same patriotic blood that prompted his father to assist in giving life to the nation, and to aid in preserving it afterwards, in 1812. The first wife of Colonel Chesnut died May 9th, 1863. He was again married to his present wife, Mrs. E. Bennett, relict of Esquire Bennett, of Logan county, November 15th, 1867. Politically, Colonel Chesnut was a Whig. He was a warm admirer of the political teachings of that great statesman, Henry Clay, with whom he was personally acquainted. He became identified with the republican party, at its organization, supporting Abraham Lincoln, who was an old acquaintance and personal friend. He voted for U. S. Grant, at his first election, and now looks forward with pleasure to next November, when he expects to cast his ballot for him again. His eldest son, and his son-in-law, Jefferson Donavan, residing near Mason City, are among the prominent farmers and stock dealers of Logan county. His youngest son, Alexander Chesnut, is now a merchant in St. Joseph, Monroe county, Illinois. His youngest daughter, the present wife of John M. Jones, is residing with her father on the farm. When Colonel Chesnut began life he had but little means; but, being energetic and persevering, he has made life a success, by acquiring for himself a competence, and bestowing upon his children such practical advantages of education as shall enable them to act well their parts in the drama of life. The Colonel is pleasantly situated on his farm, east of the limits of the city of Jacksonville. A lithographic view of his farm residence appears elsewhere in this work. He is respected by large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county and state.
W. C. Clark was born in Athens county, Ohio, on the 6th of October, 1818. His father, William Clark, was a farmer, and Mr. Clark, whose history appears below, was accustomed to farming from his early life. He also worked for some time, in Ohio, for a saddler, in order to perfect himself in that line of business. Mr. Clark was twenty-seven years of age when he came to Illinois. In 1845 he located in Menard county, remained here one year, and in 1846 removed to Morgan county. He was married, in 1852, to Miss Sarah Sample, daughter of Jacob Sample, Esq., of Morgan county. Mr. Clark has been a resident of Illinois for twenty-seven years, and has lived on his present farm and Mr. Alexander's property twenty-six years. When Mr. C. first came to this section, there were no settlers living in the vicinity. Two men by the names of Shultz and Ward had formerly lived in the neighborhood, but had moved away. A Mr. Foster also moved in about that time, but only remained a year, and went to some other point. At this time gave was very plenty, and in some places the tall prairie grass grew as high as the head of a man on horseback. Deer and wolves roamed unmolested, and the hunter only had to travel a short time before he could secure a sufficient quantity of venison, wild turkey, or some other variety of game. The father of Mrs. Clark was an old settler, having been the county from childhood, and many years prior to the "deep snow." In looking over the incidents recorded in the lives of the pioneers, we are struck with the bravery they exhibited in meeting every danger and suffering all the trials of pioneer life without a murmur. We have listened with pleasure to the incidents in the life of the subject of his sketch, and, if our space was more extended, would be glad to chronicle same. We feel a great pleasure in presenting his name as a wide-awake citizen, who never falters when duty presents itself. His life is well known to all the old families, and we have yet to hear anything derogatory to his character as a man, or his standing as a citizen. Mr. Clark is in the enjoyment of good health, and attends personally to the management of his estate. The admirable cultivation of the farm, its system of drainage, and crops, indicate to all the master hand that controls and guides the labor in the property. His genial nature and hospitality are well known, and we can speak with truth as regards the latter from personal experience. He has taken a deep interest in the improvements which have ranked old Morgan among the best counties in the Union, and in those affairs that interest the public at large he has taken a prominent part.
George W. Clark was born in Dekalb, St. Lawrence county, New York, October 19, 1822. He, with his father's family, emigrated to Illinois, and settled in Clayton Township, Adams county, in 1837. His parents, Silas and Elmina Clark, had, at that time, a family of ten children, six sons and four daughters. Mr. Clark, the father, died in Clayton, in August, 1856, and his wife, in November, 1869. Mr. George W. Clark settled in Morgan county, near Bethel, in 1847, and engaged in farming until 1852. He commenced mercantile business at Bethel, in 1855, which he continued till 1862, when he removed to Jacksonville, where he now resides. He was elected constable in 1848, which office he filled four years, when he was elected justice of the peace, and remained in that office till December 2, 1862. When he came to Jacksonville he acted as deputy sheriff till 1867, when he was elected clerk of the circuit court and recorder, which position he now occupies. Mr. Clark was married in December, 1847, to Miss Margaret Taylor, daughter of John and Mary Taylor, by which union they have had eight children, seven of whom are still living. As an official citizen of Morgan county, Mr. Clark has a record which reflects credit alike upon himself and those who gave him the important trusts which for over twenty years he so ably filled.
William C. Clayton was a native of Georgia, born August 14, 1802. His father moved to Warren and Caldwell counties, Ky., and thence to Missouri, where he remained till 1829, when he removed to, and settled on, section 25, township 14, range 9, Morgan county. After a good citizenship of twenty-five years he died, leaving a family of three sons, still citizens of Morgan county, of whom William C. is the oldest, he having entered the land he now lives upon bout forty years ago. At that time there were no improvements on the prairies north between Franklin and Judge Wood's. He was married in 1824 to Minerva, daughter of Robert Woods, by whom he has had eight children, only two of whom are now living - Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Slacks, of Franklin, and Francis M., residing with his father. His amiable wife died March 6m 1869. Mr. Clayton, by his industrious life and moral influence, has been for forty years a blessing to the community in which, as a citizen, he has so efficiently acted a conspicuous part.
Hon. Newton Cloud was born in Stokes county, North Carolina, November 30, 1804. He removed, with his parents, to Logan (now called Simpson) county, Kentucky, where he remained until the fall of 1827, when he came to Morgan county, and settled on the farm where he now resides. He was married, February 15, 1825, to Miss Elizabeth C. Wood, of Warren county, Kentucky. They have had nine children, four of whom are deceased. Mr. Cloud became a local Methodist preacher in 1827, and was among the pioneer clergymen who first preached in Morgan county. He has had an active experience of forty-five years as a preacher, and has been required to fill a full record as a statesman. He was first elected to the legislature in 1830, and has been re-elected for sixteen subsequent sessions, serving in both branches and making for himself a noble political record of thirty-four years. He was canal commissioner of Illinois for a term of two years, and also a delegate to revise the state constitution in 1847, over which body he was called to preside. He was speaker of the house one session. His political record is brilliant, reflecting credit upon his constituents as well as himself. He acted fearlessly and honestly for justice and right, regardless of the fear or favor of men.
David Cole was born in Middlesex county, New Jersey, February 21, 1817. His father, James Cole, had a family of thirteen children, of which number David was the oldest son. In his youth he was, like thousands of our young men, wholly dependent upon his own exertions and energy for success through life. At eighteen years of age he commenced an apprenticeship to acquire a knowledge of blacksmithing, which he followed three years, or until 1838, receiving the paltry sum of fifteen dollars per annum as compensation for his services; and from that amount he clothed himself. He continued at journeyman's work, at eight dollars per month, for a year. When in April, 1839, he stared for the far west. He secured passage on a steamboat from Pittsburg to St. Louis; but the boat failed to reach its destination, as it was burned to the water's edge, near Cairo, Illinois, which endangered the lives of the passengers, and destroyed most of the baggage, and all of the freight. After being forty days out from New Brunswick, New Jersey, he arrived at Meredosia, Illinois, on the 30th of May, 1839. He came immediately to Jacksonville, which at that time contained but a small population, and few of the shade trees of which the city now boasts as ornaments to its thoroughfares. Here he engaged work with Mr. James Cosgrove, at blacksmithing, and continued with him about two years, when Mr. Cosgrove died; after which time he took charge of the shop, as partner with Mr. Cosgrove's widow, who at present resides in McLean county, in this state. He continued as partner for about four years, when he established his own blacksmith business, on the corner of Morgan and West streets, where he now resides. His business at that time increased, and he engaged largely in the manufacture of plows, being the largest manufacturer of the solid mould board plow in the county. In connection with his plow shop he carried on an extensive shoeing business.
Mr. Cole was married, January 2, 1842, to Miss Sarah Southerland, of Kentucky. By this union he had six children, viz: James William and Henry Theodore, the eldest, both of whom died in infancy. Next in order, John Edgar, who was a member of Company K, 27th Illinois volunteer Infantry, being engaged in many of the battles in the west, under Buford, Pope, and Rosecrans. He was taken prisoner at Chicamauga, and, after seventeen months imprisonment in seven different southern prisons, he, with a few others, who survived the siege which resulted in the death of thousands of valuable lives, were exchanged. He is at present at Aurora, Illinois, as an ornamental painter, in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Company. He has few superiors at his trade in the country. Ben F., Clark S., and Charles W., are still residing with their parents. Mr. Cole, as a Christian man and industrious citizen, is well known by a large circle of patrons and friends in the city and county, in which, for over thirty years, he has been respected for his characteristic virtues. His economy, energy, honesty, and probity as a business man, are points in his character which are worthy of imitation by the youth of our land, who are to be, through the Divine blessing, the sole artificers of their own fortunes in this world. Mr. Cole and his estimable wife are members of the Presbyterian church, and their lives are consistent with their Christian profession.
Rev. Isaac Conlee was born in Green county, Tennessee, May 7, 1795. His father, Rev. John Conlee, moved to Barren county, Ky., in 1891, where he remained till 1814, when he settled ten miles southeast of Edwardsville, Ill. Isaac followed the next year. His father had a family of twelve children, four of whom, in after life, were citizens of Morgan County, viz: Isaac, Whitfield, Vincent, and Rachel, wife of C. Maupin. His father died in 1817. His mother, Mrs. Hessie, became the second wife of Richard Wood in 1821, and died in September, 1861.
Isaac was married in Kentucky, June 20, 1814, to Miss Sarah McDonald, and had twelve children: Rebecca, present wife of James Wood; Eliza Ann (deceased), former wife of Thomas Weller; Priscilla, wife of Andrew Wood; Josiah, a citizen of Girard, Ill.; Nancy, who died in infancy; Allen, now near Waverly; Betsey Ann, wife of Richard Rogers (son of Rev. Wm. Rogers, one of the first preachers of Morgan county); John, residing near Carlinville; Polly (deceased); Mary M., wife of James Stice; William, living near Carlinville, and James, near Waverly. His wife died August 3, 1858. He was again married, to Mrs. Jane Sherman, relict of James Sherman, formerly of Morgan county, August 6, 1859, who is still living. She is a woman highly respected by her large circle of acquaintances. Rev. Mr. Conlee has raised a large number of orphan children, having been a father to the fatherless. In November, 1824, he settled four miles south of the present site of Waverly, and has been an active and useful citizen ever since, being rather, "a man of all work.: He built the first horse-mill in the township in the spring of 1829, and another in 1837, in which business he was engaged till 1846. No customer of his ever left without an invitation to dine with the proprietor. He worked on the first state house at stone laying; was handy at brick laying, and never knew what he could do until he tried, but usually accomplished whatever he undertook. Few of the early settlers have had a more varied experience than Isaac Conlee. He was familiar with the site of Alton before it contained a single house; knew St. Louis when it was hardly a first-class village; staid over night, in 1821, with two brothers named Wilson, in a double log cabin, which was all there was then of the city of Springfield. He became a citizen of Illinois three years before it was a state, and, as his health is good, may still live many years. As a Christian man and citizen, he has the respect and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances in the state in which he has resided for over fifty-seven years.
John M. Coons - This gentleman was born in the county of Fayette, state of Kentucky, on the 14th day of February, 1800. His boyhood days were passed in this county, and in conversation with the old pioneer we note that his mind often reverts to the scenes of his early life. Working on the farm was the main occupation of most of the youth of that period, as schools were rare, and the facilities for obtaining an education were deficient in every respect. Mr. Coons' entire attendance at school would not amount to over forty days. Most of his knowledge was obtained by reading by the light of the hickory blazing on the fire place. When the remainder of the family were asleep, often, he would study till the "wee small hours" of the morning. Mr. Coons was the youngest of the children, and, as was the custom in those days, he learned the trade of his father, viz: saddle and harness making. He also perfected himself as a carpenter and wagon maker, besides being able to work as a millwright. At the age of eighteen he was married to Miss Sarah D. Shay, daughter of Dennis Shay, a revolutionary soldier and an old citizen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mrs. Coons was born in Fredericksburg, on the 7th of January, 1798. Mr. Coons emigrated to Illinois, and finally located in this state in November, 1838. As they passed through Springfield the contractors were laying the foundation of the old state house. The land which they purchased at that early date now bears an altogether different appearance from the raw, uncultivated prairie. As to Mr. C's family we would state that two children were born, who still live and enjoy good health. Mrs. C. died on the 28th of January, 1865. After a long and lingering illness, she passed away to that other world where sickness and distress are unknown. Mr. C. is over seventy-two years of age, and is hale and hearty. He preserves to a remarkable degree the elasticity of his youth. In this connection it would not be out of place to state that his father, Frederick, was a revolutionary soldier, and enlisted in the colonial army in 1776, in Culpepper county, Virginia. He was one of the forlorn hope at Stony Point, being under the direct command of Gen. Wayne, often called "Mad Anthony." The captain of the company in which he served was John Gilisson. He was ill with the putrid sore throat at the time of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. He moved, in 1794, into Kentucky. He raised seven boys and six girls, all of whom lived to be grown and married. The subject of this sketch was the youngest. In conclusion, we would say that the nem of John M. Coons is a household word among all the early settlers. He has won the confidence of all as an honest, faithful, and enterprising pioneer and citizen.
John D. Cooper was born in Sumner county, Tennessee, December 22, 1809. With his father, George W. Cooper, and his family, he emigrated to Morgan county, and settled in township 16, range 11 (Concord), in November, 1829. He was married January 28, 1836, to Miss Margaret Willard, of this county. He had by this marriage four children as follows: William M., at present engaged in mercantile business with his father, in Chapin, Illinois, who keeps a full assortment of goods for the country trade; Martha, present wife of D. M. Bronson, attorney, residing in Eldorado, Kansas; Hester A., present wife of Lewis Hanback, attorney, of Topeka, Kansas; and George, who died in infancy.
Mr. Cooper's wife died January 15, 1847. He was again married to Margery Ann Risley, of Jerseyville, Illinois, September 28, 1847. He had by this union the following named children: Mary A., wife of O. T. Johnson, of Alexander, Missouri; Hardin and Ida, who live at home with their parents. Mr. Cooper came to his present farm in or near Chapin, where he now resides, in September, 1847.
Besides the mercantile business above described, and farming, Mr. Cooper has carried on regularly through life the cabinet and carpenter trades. In character, he is a man of sterling worth, who has devoted the energies of a busy life to the interest of society and rearing a family who are respected and useful citizens. His good qualities are highly appreciated by a large circle of acquaintances.
John W. Corrington was born within ten miles of Paris, Kentucky, at a place called North Middletown, on the 11th of November, 1824. His father, Joel Corrington, was a saddler, and pursued this branch of trade in Kentucky, but upon coming to Illinois, and locating in Morgan county, he relinquished this business, and followed farming. He at the present time resides in Jacksonville, having paid not attention to active labor for several years. He is seventy-seven years oaf age, and yet hale and hearty, and able to undergo considerable fatigue. His wife is seventy-four years of age; though somewhat enfeebled by sickness a year ago, she yet exhibits considerable vigor and strength.
John W. Corrington was married, at the age of twenty-one to Miss Ann E. Cassell, daughter of Robert F. Cassell, Esq., a resident of Jacksonville. Ten children have been born, nine of whom are living and one is dead. Mr. C. came to Illinois from Kentucky when only eleven years of age. The passage was up the Mississippi to the Illinois river, then up this stream to Beardstown, thence by land to Morgan county, arriving in the latter in March, 1834. Schools were held occasionally in an old log building dignified by the name of a school house; and Mr. C.'s early knowledge as regards learning was obtained by an intermittent attendance at this school. His education is practical rather than intellectual, and he has learned much from the contact and experience of actual life. He has resided on his present farm, in section 12, nearly twenty-two years, and has made all the improvements that we can perceive on the place. At the date of his locating the farm there were very few settlers, and these were widely scattered, mostly located by the timber and water courses. Mr. C. is, comparatively speaking, a young man, yet he has seen a great change come over the prairie and timber lands of Illinois. What was once the home of the wolf and the deer, now is cultivated and inhabited by many hundreds of enterprising farmers and citizens. The tall prairie grass has given place to the blue grass and the timothy, and the game is spoken of as among the things of the past. Mr. Corrington is an industrious, hard-working, and enterprising citizen. He is conversant with the important agricultural and improvement questions of today, and believes in the "go ahead" doctrine which characterizes many of our leading western farmers. He bears an untarnished name, has the respect of his fellow citizens, and well sustains his reputation as a wide awake and public spirited farmer.
William Coultas, Esq. Was born in Yorkshire, England, February 9, 1810. He is the second child of Richard and Sarah Coultas, who had a family of seven children. On the 1st of May, 1830, Mr. Coultas embarked with his family for America, and landed at Quebec on the first of June following. From there he came to Morgan county, Illinois, on the 6th of August, 1830, where he bought a farm. He died at the residence of his son Thomas Coultas, in September, 1857, his wife having died in England. William Coultas came to Morgan county with his father. At the age of twenty-five, he was married to Jane Richardson, daughter of John and Elizabeth Richardson of Morgan county. They have had eight children, seven are still living. Mr. Coultas is residing on his farm near Lynnville.
Ancil Cox - This pioneer was born in Henry county, Virginia, on the 11th of June, 1791. The parents of Mr. Cox (father, John, and mother, Eliza, whose maiden name was Harris), were Virginians, and lived near Rockingham county, North Carolina. His father was a farmer, and Ancil worked on the farm more than he attended school, even when the latter was in session. About 1801 and 1802, went to school in Rockingham county, North Carolina, for a little while, though exposed to considerable inconvenience in so doing. The school house was a little, rude log cabin. He attended a portion of the winters of 1801 and 1802, as above stated, and left his books to attend to the more laborious duties of a farmer boy. Till his sixteenth year he worked on his father's place; then his people moved into Kentucky, and started a new farm in Franklin county.
In 1813, he hired out to a farmer, but catching the war fever of that time(war of 1812), he hired a man to fulfill his engagement on the farm, and enlisted in Col. Richard Johnson's regiment of mounted men. James Johnson, brother of Richard, was Lieutenant Colonel. This was among the first regiments to go from Kentucky. On the fourth of July, 1813, he was at Fort Sandusky, on the Sandusky river. From this place they went to the mouth of the Huron river, and stayed thirteen days. They then rode back to Kentucky, and recruited their horses for fifteen days. They rendezvoused at the crossing, by Col. Johnson's farm, and rode as far as Dayton, Ohio. Here Mr. Cox was taken ill, and forced to return home. The regiment, however, went forward to Detroit, and fought the "Battle of the Thames." A brother of Mr. Cox was in the engagement, but luckily, was uninjured. Seven men, only, of the regiment was killed. The regiment was divided into two battalions, one fighting against the Indians, and the other against the British. It was at this battle that Tecumseh was killed by Col. Johnson. Mr. Cox was ill a long time after his return home, and unable to attend to any business. But his health finally recovered and he was married, at Wolford county, in November, 1816, to Miss Mary Buchanan, daughter of J. Buchanan, Esq., an old resident of Wolford county. Mr. Buchanan accompanied Mr. Cox on his trip to Illinois.
In 1819, with his wife and a small child, in company with his father-in-law, Mr. Cox crossed the Ohio river, at Louisville thence to Vincennes, Indiana, crossing the Wabash river at this point, and went as far as Madison county, Illinois, and located by the forks of Silver Creek. Madison county, at this time, included many thousand square miles, almost a state in itself. The following spring they came to Morgan county, and settled on sections three, fourteen, and nine. This land he still retains, and it has advanced greatly in value from its original cost. No settlers were in the neighborhood; save here and there a solitary Indian, or a company of the same, no persons passed the house till the fall of 1820. Never in the history of the state was game more abundant. Wolves, and occasionally a few bears, could be seen. The tall prairie grass waived to and fro, as the wind blew. The timber was more open that at present, and even there the grass grew to a great height. Mr. Cox, though many of his neighbors entered into the Black Hawk war, remained at home to look after his family. Mrs. Cox died about two years after their arrival in the state, leaving two small children to mourn the loss of a fond mother's care.
In 1832, Mr. Cox was again married to Miss Lucy H. Palmer, daughter of James Palmer, Esq., an old pioneer of Morgan county. Seven children were born, of whom two are dead. Mrs. Cox is over seventy-two years of age. She is a noble specimen of those women who were true help-mates of the early frontiersmen, and bravely assisted him in all the trials incidental to such a life. Mr. Cox is in his eighty-second year, and seems possessed of considerable endurance and strength for a man of his advanced years. He resides on the old homestead, and looks back with the pleasure upon the changes time has wrought upon the surface of the country. Where once the war cry of the Aborigines was heard, now peals forth the cheerful song of the husbandman. The prairie grass is succeeded by fertile fields of Indian corn and wheat. The rude cabin gives place to the elegant mansion. School houses and churches, those blessed evidence of civilization, are everywhere to be seen. No sound or shock of war is ever heard in this peaceful region, for war and tumult have given place to agriculture, and the implements of violence grow rusty by disuse, and are spoken of as among the things of the past. Mr. Cox has seen the country in all its vicissitudes, and can honestly say: "I have helped to found a state." Although he has no Virgil to perpetuate his deeds in classic metre, we trust that these few lines roughly drawn as they may be, will present to the reader a faint idea of the brave-hearted and energetic pioneer, Ancil Cox, who was among the first settlers of Morgan county, and nobly assisted in all her troubles, and now happily rejoices over her great successes.
Lee Cox was born in Chesterfield county, within ten miles of Richmond, Virginia. His father, Higason Cox, as well as his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Cary, were born and raised in the "Old Dominion." Higason Cox was a farmer and accustomed to the raising of corn and other grain. When Mr. H. Cox was thirty years of age, he started, with his family (Lee was bout nine years of age at that time), for Tennessee. He passed over the mountains and finally settled in Clayborne county, East Tennessee. This was a rough and broken country. It required great labor to procure a scanty crop from the unwilling soil, and after a while it failed entirely to produce even the ordinary grasses.
Lee went to school very little in Virginia, and still less in Tennessee. As regards books, about all knowledge was obtained prior to their emigration from Virginia. Lee's father was surety for some parties on promissory notes. The makers failing to pay the consideration, Higason lost nearly all his property paying the debts. Being honest, he reserved nothing, and so, heart-worn and weary, he crossed the mountains to recruit his failing fortunes. This emigration was fatal to Lee's desire to obtain an education. In Tennessee Lee would attend school possibly for a week, and then be absent for three or four weeks. The boy Lee would also hire to various parties for the "munificent" sum of five dollars per month; yet this was considered high wages in those days. vWhen Lee was in his twenty-first year, he left Tennessee, crossed the Ohio at Louisville, the Wabash at Vincennes, and came to Morgan county. He had a brother and brother-in-law in Morgan, who had lived in this state three or four years previous to his arrival. He worked for his brother the following two years. He was then married to Miss Beccie Scott, daughter of William Scott, who had lived several years in the state, and was well known many years prior to the "deep snow". Mr. Cox also purchased forty-two and a half acres of prairie land and thirty of timber, and for the first time in his career commenced farming on his own account. He was very successful, and was enabled after a short time to purchase more land, and to live more at his ease.
The pen fails to describe adequately the condition of the county at that period. The settlers were poor, and used every device to obtain credit and groceries. No money scarcely was in circulation, and bartering was the only method of obtaining articles necessary for use. The settling of the territories at the present time is child's play compared with the locating and improving this state prior to the opening of our great railroad thoroughfares and line of state canals. Ducks, turkeys, and, in fact, all kinds of game, were plenty, and easily satisfied the hunter's quest of prey, on account of their abundance. Wolves, also, abounded, and were hunted by mounted men, who slew them by the hundred. As parties came into the country, and new settlements were made, they disappeared before the advancing tide of immigration. Now and then an occasional bark may be heard, but we are safe in making the assertion that the game, as a rule, has disappeared, nevermore to return. Mr. C. has eighty acres of land which, as brush prairie, cost him eight dollars per acres. This, as good timber, is easily worth seventy-five dollars per acre. The soil originally was very free from weeds and more swampy than at the present time. Corn was more easily raised, but yet the land is now in a better condition than formerly. Mr. C's property (as may be noted from a glance at his view) possesses many advantages for a stock raiser and grain producer. A fine row of black walnuts, of forty-five years growth, makes a cooling shade for the stock in summer.
Mr. Cox takes a great interest in educational affairs, having been a school director for over seventeen years. With the exception of this office, he has declined all engagements of a public character, preferring the peaceful labors of the farm, and a quiet home life, to the bustle and confusion of a public position. As to his domestic relations, we would state that he has had nine children, of whom eight are living. Mr. Cox's wife, after a long and lingering attack of consumption, died in 1848. He was again married, in 1849, to Mrs. Elizabeth Reynolds, widow of John Reynolds, an old settler, and daughter of Mr. Crawley, an old pioneer of Kentucky. Mr. C.'s children, spoken of above, are all boys, with the exception of two. Boys are an especial necessity on a corn-growing farm like Mr. C.'s.
The above are some of the incidents in the history of one of our oldest pioneers. The poor boy can read the same, and be encouraged to work more earnestly, with the assurance that success may finally perch upon his banner. We need not look to the field of conflict for the true type of a hero, for among the early pioneers of Morgan county the same could be found in large numbers. Their victories were not obtained through blood-shed, but were accomplished by a series of attacks against hunger, poverty, trials and distresses. They now can look with pleasure upon their laborious career, and receive the trite compliment, "well done, good and faithful servant," enjoy the fruits of your labors. The reputation of Mr. C. for honesty, enterprise, and faithfulness, is too well known to require any mention at our hands. Owing to press of other matter, we cannot enlarge upon them at this time. But we urge upon all to read carefully the incidents in his personal history, and resolve to imitate his example, and thus benefit the country at large by a good and useful career.
John C. Crabtree was born in Ohio county, Kentucky, March 13, 1825. He moved to Morgan county (now Scott) and settled five miles north of Winchester, in 1829, with his widowed mother, where he resided until March, 1854, when he removed to section 18, township 14, range 8, where he now resides. He was married Dec. 25, 1843, to Miss Martha A. M. Six, and has a family of seven children now living. Mr. Crabtree, as a representative shipper and stock dealer, has been prominent for about fifteen years, being well known in St. Louis, Chicago, and New York. He is now principally engaged in farming and stock growing, and has the best stock farm in the township. Mr. Crabtree is esteemed for his numerous good qualities as a citizen and business man.
John A. Crain was born in Flemming county, Kentucky, November 5th, 1822. He settled in Waverly in March, 1846, where he now resides. He has a mercantile record of over twenty-six years. He was alone in business one year, three years in the firm of Nilson & Crain & Manson. Since the spring of 1855, he has been a member of the well known firm of Crain, Manson & Co., now engaged largely, on the east side of the square, Waverly, in the sale of dry goods, boots and shoes, and clothing. In the spring of 1871 they established a bank in connection with their mercantile house. Mr. Crain is a self-made business man, who, for a quarter of a century has laid the foundation on which he has built up a business profitable to himself and useful to the interest of the community, in which he, as a Christian and business man, is highly esteemed.
Homer Curtis was born in Warren, Litchfield county, Connecticut, May 20, 1787. He followed farming, and taught school during the winter in his early life. President Sturtevant, of Illinois College, in his youth, attended his school, and today is one who cherishes the memory of his old teacher. He married, October 25, 1810, Miss Charry Everritt. By this union he has, Orra M., born August 15, 1811, present wife of Martin B. Strong, of Warren, Conn.; Theodore E., born May 28, 1813; Augustine A., born April 3, 1817; Frederic H., born March 1, 1825; and Lodema, born October 7, 1822, present wife of James R. Godfrey, of Madison county, Ill. Augustine A. is residing with his aged parents. (A picture of the home farm house appears in this work.) His two brothers live near Waverly. Mr. Curtis, with his family, left the early associations and home of his youth, and after a journey of twenty-three days, arrived in the young village of Waverly April 26, 1837, where he and his aged wife are still living, a comfort to their family and friends, and ornaments of the Congregational Church, to which they have been attached since 1816; they are a blessing to the community and county in which, for thirty-five years, they, with their family, have been good, useful, and respected citizens.
George Curts - This gentleman was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, on the 8th of February, 1803. The father of Mr. Curts, Jacob Curts, Esq., and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Enlew, were old residents of the county. The Curts originally emigrated from Germany and located in Kentucky, many years previous to the birth of the subject of this sketch. The Enlews, as far back as can be traced, were residents of the state long before the time of its admission into the Union. During the boyhood of Mr. C., deer were very plentiful and occasionally bears were killed on the mountains and hills. The buffalo had gone to more extended grazing grounds in the far distant west. In the early settlement of Kentucky, the country was sparsely populated, but yet some little attention was paid to education. School depended upon the subscription of their patrons, and were in session for a few weeks at a time, then a long interval would ensue, in which most of what had been learned would be forgotten. The churches and school houses were constructed of logs, and when we remember that the Curts and Enlews were contemporary with Daniel Boone, the great pioneer, we can judge of the improvement which has taken place since. About the time of their leaving the state, the log buildings in that section used for churches and schools, were torn down, and in most cases replaced by substantial structures of brick. The subject of this article was forced to pay more attention to tilling the soil than to intellectual matters. The dull routine of farming in a rough and broken country with a few days at an itinerant school would comprise most of his life until 1822, when his father removed to Indiana, and settled in Washington county. George now was apprenticed to a blacksmith. For some little time he worked at this trade, but still having in view a trip to the western regions, and desirous of possessing a home among the prairies of Illinois, in company with William Jackson, a neighbor, he started on a tour through Illinois. His friend having purchased land within three or four miles of Jacksonville, he remained with him nearly three years. About this time he purchased a quarter-section of land five miles southeast of Jacksonville. After making considerable improvements on the land, he sold the same and visited Kentucky for the purpose of buying a farm in that state and making it his home. He did not find his new location as desirable as he anticipated, so having the opportunity of purchasing some Illinois land of a Kentucky gentleman, he did so, and again started for the prairie state, which ever since has been his home. This land was located in Morgan county, and comprises a portion of his present extensive farm. After the lapse of a few months, Mr. C. was married to Miss Nancy Huffaker, daughter of Jacob Huffaker, Esq., an old settler of Mauvaisterre precinct. Eight children were born, viz: Elizabeth, deceased; Jane, deceased; William, deceased; George Washington; Jacob Frank; Eviline, deceased; Barton, deceased; and Marietta, deceased. Mrs. Curts dying, Mr. C., at the age of sixty-eight, was again married to Miss Caroline Parker, daughter of Charles S. Parker, an old resident of Sangamon county, and well known as a prominent citizen of central Illinois. Mr. Curts has over five hundred and sixty-five acres of choice land in sections seventeen, sixteen, and nine. He attends principally to the raising of grain and the feeding of stock. During his career as a farmer in this county he has raised many herd for the Chicago and St. Louis markets. He resides in a comfortable mansion, about six miles from Jacksonville. Though over sixty-nine years of age, he attends personally to the management of his large farm. Mr. C., has been prominently associated with many improvements which have been made in the name of Morgan so well known as a wide awake county. He is in favor of reform, and ever exerts his influence for the right.
He can look back with pleasure at the great strides which Illinois has taken since her advent into the union; to the extensive prairies which the wild Indian and buffalo were wont to roam over; now covered with all the emblems of industry, and to the cities and towns which at that time either had no existence or were small and straggling, now centers of a vast and constantly increasing commerce, and endowed with all the privileges of the older cities of the east. He is permitted to behold the fruition of the labors of his early life, and can enjoy the comforts so nobly earned by him since coming as a poor boy into this now wealthy region. Among the pioneers who have inaugurated, encouraged, and fostered the then young state of Illinois, no name will be better respected as an honest and industrious citizen, than that of George Curts, a few points in whose life we have stated above. If space permitted, we could give many incidents of interest in his early career, but suffice it to say that a careful reading of the few lines in this personal sketch will give the reader some idea of the county in its early settlement. We trust that Mr. C.'s health may remain as good as at present, and that he may long be spared to witness the great improvements which are now taking place. He can now look back upon a life well spent, and admonish the youth of the present age to pattern after his example. His family cannot but respect his manly virtues, and feel impelled to transmit the same, by leading a life of industry and enterprise.
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