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"

John N. Marsh is a native of Sullivan county, New York, and was born November 20, 1823. He is the youngest child of S. N. March, who was a lumber dealer. The subject of our sketch received his early education in the schools of Monticello, New York. After leaving school he taught for a period of three years. He then engaged in mercantile pursuits at Bridgeville, New York. He continued in that business at that place for three years. In the fall of 1846 he was married to Miss Thirza N. Ketchum, daughter of Dr. Alex, Ketchum, of Bridgeville, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Marsh have had a family of eight children, three boys and five girls. In the spring of 1855 Mr. Marsh removed to Lanesborough, Pa., where he resided five years, and in the fall of 1860 settled in Jacksonville, Illinois, where, for five years, he was engaged in the boot and shoe business. He was then appointed assistant assessor of internal revenue, under Johnson's administration, and held that office nearly two years. In April, 1872, he was elected city clerk of Jacksonville as the people's candidate. Mr. Marsh is giving his children the advantages of a good education.

Horatio H. Massey was born October 17, 1811, in St. Lawrence county, New York. His father, Silas Massey, a native of Salem, New Hampshire, was born April 1, 1786. He was married at Windsor, Vermont, to Miss Frances Farnsworth, in 1806, and moved to St. Lawrence county, New York, in the summer of 1811, where he resided till 1819, when, with his family, he emigrated west and settled in St. Charles, Missouri. In is worthy of note that his trip from Olean Point to Shawneetown, owing to low water, occupied the flat boat on which he made it fourteen weeks. He remained in St. Charles until the spring of 1828, when he removed to Wisconsin, where he remained till the fall of 1829, when he came to Morgan county, and settled on section 25, township 15, range 11, two miles southwest of Jacksonville (having made the improvements three years before), where he now resides. His wife died in August, 1871. He had four children, three of whom are now living, and are widely known in this vicinity. They are Lydia, Stephen S., and Horatio H.

Mr. Horatio H. Massey was married to Margaret Officer, April 17, 1834. He had six children, viz.: Fanny, wife of Henry W. Very; Laura L., wife of G. W. Breen; William S., residing with his father; Lydia M., wife of Major C. C. Cox, of Paola, Kansas; Mary E., relict of the late William Sibert, now residing with her father; and Horatio H., Jr., also at home with his parents. Mr. Massey, by an active, industrious life, has contributed to increase the wealth of Morgan county, and is surrounded by an intelligent family, who are ornaments to the society in which they move.

Capt. Cyrus Mathews was a native of Kentucky, born Jan. 5, 1806. He was the son of Richard and Sarah Mathews, who emigrated to Morgan county about the time of its earliest settlement. He bought land, - or, rather, entered a tract, - eight miles east of Jacksonville, where his time was devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was one of the prominent citizens of that day, and, with many others, he became a victim of cholera, and died in August, 1833. His widow survived him until April, 1853.

Cyrus Mathews received his education in the common schools of his native state, and came to Morgan county with his parents. He was married November 3, 1831, to Miss Frances Readman, daughter of Thomas Readman, of Cass county, by which union they had one daughter, Frances L., present wife of J. B. Retter, who is residing two miles south of Jacksonville. Soon after his marriage he made a trip to the lead mines of Galena. He served in the Black Hawk war, with the rank of captain. His first business in Morgan County after his marriage was merchandising in Jacksonville; and he was also acting as deputy sheriff. His next business was at Exeter, having bought the Exeter Mill, which at that time was one of the best flouring mills in that section of country. This business he followed successfully until 1853, when he sold his mill and returned to Morgan county. He bought a farm of about five hundred acres, which he cultivated successfully, but was soon called, by the popular vote, to serve the people as sheriff of Morgan county, a position which he filled to the entire satisfaction of his fellow-citizens. He resided in Jacksonville until 1860, when he again moved on to his farm, where he resided until March, 1871, when he sold his farm and bought a residence in the city of Jacksonville, in which he spent the remainder of his life. He died February 5, 1872. His first wife died August 4, 1831.

Mr. Mathews was married three times. He was a man who possessed many sterling qualities; was a good business man, and possessed those qualities that made him the especial favorite of his political friends, being, undoubtedly, the strongest candidate his party (Whig) could bring forward in the canvass. He was twice a candidate for the state legislature, as well as a successful one for the office of sheriff. He was a strong supporter of the Union cause during the rebellion, and always an advocate of popular education. An active benevolence, was among his many virtues. He devoted nearly fifty years of an active life to the development of Morgan county.

Col. Samuel T. Matthews was born in Greene county, Kentucky, on the 21st of January, 1799. His father, Richard Mathews, was among the first settlers of that county, having emigrated from Tennessee a short time before the birth of Col. M. The Mathews originally were Virginians. The Taylors, of which family Mrs. Matthews was a member, were Pennsylvanians, but had immigrated to Greenbriar county, Virginia, prior to the removal of the Matthews to Tennessee. Col. Matthews' father was a farmer, and Samuel, as a boy, was accustomed to the toil and labor of that occupation. He never attended school while at home. He, however, boarded out among the neighboring farmers, and was enabled to gather some rudiments of the common English branches. Twelve months, however, would include the entire time devoted to the acquisition of knowledge in the schoolroom. When twenty years of age, he was engaged to teach school for a term of nine months. Owing to sickness in his family, he was forced to discontinue the school at the expiration of six weeks. This brief experience as an instructor in the schoolroom, he considered invaluable, fixing, as it did, the knowledge already acquired, and giving him a more adequate idea of the great field of learning.

In February, 1821, Col. M. was married to Miss Sarah Ann Adams, daughter of Elijah Adams, of Greene county. Mr. A. came into the county about the same time as the Matthews and Taylors. He afterwards moved into Illinois, just before the "deep snow." He died at the residence of Col. M., having lived to the extreme age of eighty years and over. Col. Matthews was quite a military character before coming to this state. Being popular with the people, he was elected a captain in the militia, and received a commission from the governor. H served in this capacity with great eclat for several years. He had long desired to make a trip to the famous prairie country of Illinois. So in 1821, with his own and his father's family, he started, and arrived in the Mauvaisterre precinct in the fall of that year. The country was sparsely settled. Game roamed at will over the vast extent of prairie and woodland. The hunter rejoiced at the sight of deer and bear, while the farmer was pleased at the remarkable excellence of the soil, its easy cultivation, its water privileges, and the abundant supply of nearly all varieties of timber. After completing their cabin, the men worked at the plow, the women at the wheel, and soon the people felt that they possessed a home, and waited for more emigrants to arrive in order to have school houses and churches. They were happy, as all the industrious are wont to be. Often the mind of the pioneer reverts to those halcyon days, when their meat was venison, and their clothes were manufactured by their good wives' handiwork. New settlers came in. Family after family arrived, till the country was inhabited to some considerable extent. All was quiet on the Mauvaisterre. When the Winnebago war broke out on the northern frontier, Col. Matthews was foremost in raising men for the conflict. Troops were raised in Morgan and Sangamon counties. As Colonel of the battalion thus formed, Col. Matthews started for the scene of conflict. The Winnebago Indians had long been threatening, and the people expected a prolonged and bloody war, with the massacres and cruelties characteristic of the Aborigines. The troops were led to Galena, and awaited orders. Happily there was no blood shed. The trouble was quelled without resort to arms, and all difficulties, for the time being, settled in an amicable manner. In 1831 the Black Hawk war again disturbed the usual serenity of the Mauvaisterre neighborhood. The citizens once more were called to arms, to protect their northern brethren from the incursions of Black Hawk. During this period, Col. Matthews acted as captain. They proceeded as far as Rock Island. When the difficulties were over they returned home. Jealous of the increasing strength of the whites, the Indians, in 1832, again started their war whoop, and preyed upon the remote settlements. This time Col. M. acted as captain in the onset, but during the war was promoted to Colonel, on account of his bravery and complete knowledge of military affairs. At the battle of Bad-Axe Black Hawk was captured, and the Indians, after the seizure of their chief, soon relapsed into humbleness and inactivity. For some time Col. M.'s regiment was detailed as guard on the frontier, but were glad, in a short time, to receive orders to return home. This was the last of his military career in active service. Col. Matthews was sheriff of Morgan county from 1828 to 1832. He was a popular officer, and performed the duties of his office to the satisfaction of all law-abiding citizens. Col. Matthews was also elected representative to Vandalia (the capital at that time), in 1833 and 1834, and held the same honorable position at Springfield, in 1843 and 1844. As a member of the legislature he gained considerable reputation as a wise, prudent, and far-sighted member of the lower house. Few men in this portion of central Illinois have accomplished the work that Col. M. has achieved for the security and improvement of this section. A brave soldier, a wise legislator, and an honest executive, he has served the people for many years, gaining their confidence and esteem. Col. Matthews resides on the old homestead, where he dispenses hospitality with no stinted hand, and is every ready to assist the people, as of old, in all matters of internal improvement.

Shelton J. Mattingly was the son of William and Nancy Mattingly, of Washington county, Kentucky, where Shelton was born, June 22, 1817. His father died when Shelton was an infant, leaving two children. Mrs. Mattingly was again married to Reuben Bird, and in the fall of 1824, they moved to Morgan county, Illinois, settling about nine miles north of Jacksonville, on a piece of government land. Here Mr. Bird died in the fall of 1826, leaving four children, with their mother, in poor circumstances. Mrs. Bird immediately set to work at her loom to lay up money enough, aside from supporting her family, to pay the government for the land on which she lived. Many of the old settlers can testify to her fleetness in weaving, for in less than a year she had seventy dollars in cash stored away in an old tea pot on a high shelf in the cabin. Nearly all the land at this time was entered, but Mrs. Bird was so well respected that she was allowed to hold a squatter's claim; but in the fall of 1827, parties prospecting for lands to enter, informed her that they wished to enter her claim. After failing to come to some terms for the improvements, and her many entreaties not to disturb her, as she informed them she had only thirty dollars yet to raise, they gave her one more day to get it. It then being late in the evening, and it being very difficult to raise, in those times, that amount of money in so short a space of time, and take it thirty-five miles to Springfield, yet she was not discouraged, and although a dark cloud was overhead, she set about her task with her characteristic will and determination. She told Shelton, who was then only ten years of age, to get "Old Black", a noble old animal she was too, as many of the old settlers will testify (she being nearly 18 hands high, and very muscular). After the darkness of the night set in, Widow Bird, on her faithful "Old Black," started for the head of Indian Creek, a distance of twelve miles, to borrow the required thirty dollars. She made the trip and borrowed the money, although it rained during the whole trip. Early next morning she started for Springfield, on trusty "Old Black". The roads were very heavy, but noon found her at Spring Creek, three miles west of Springfield. The storm of the previous evening had swollen the stream and washed away the bridge, leaving but one stringer. This could not stop Mrs. Bird in her undertaking. She took the bridle rein, intending herself to walk on the only remaining piece of timber, and let "Old Black" swim, but instead of swimming "Old Black" walked on the same piece of timber as did Mrs. Bird, both making the feat in safety, and soon arrived at the land office. On counting over the money the receiver (Mr. Enois) found a one dollar counterfeit bill. Mrs. B. borrowed the one dollar from the receiver, partook of his hospitality (which was very limited, as the whole family cooked, ate, and slept in the same room), and at three o'clock started for home, with her difficult task accomplished, and a heavy weight off her mind. Mrs. Bird lived to see her children grown and comfortably situated, and to do many acts of kindness and benevolence, not only to her family, but to neighbors. She was a pioneer member of the Methodist church, and was always zealous in the cause of Christ, her Saviour. She died, universally beloved, in 1856, at the age of seventy-three.

Shelton J. Mattingly, her son, and the subject of this sketch, still lives on the same old farm, and is one of the few old settlers who has lived on the same farm forty-eight years. He is a sincere Christian, a good neighbor, and is universally respected and esteemed by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

General Murray McConnel was a native of Orange county, New York, where he was born September 5, 1798. His father was a farmer, and followed that occupation through life. The early education of General McConnel was limited to the advantages afforded by the common schools of his native state. Leaving New York in 1812, he set out to seek his fortune in the Great West. He spent about a year in Louisville, Kentucky, then a small village; after which he led rather a wandering life for several years, traveling over portions of the territories of Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, and Missouri, and penetrating the great western plains nearly as far as the present site of the city of Denver. In all these travels his business was flat-boating, trading, and hunting. He then settled at farming in Herculaneum, Missouri, where he became acquainted with Miss Mary C. Mapes, a native of New Jersey, who was born near the central part of the state, in 1800, whom he married soon after. Her parents, in her childhood, moved to Ohio, and, in 1816, to Missouri.

After the passage of the "Missouri Compromise," which admitted Missouri as a slave state, Mr. McConnel almost immediately took his young family and removed to Illinois, locating in what was then Morgan county (now Scott), where he remained till the town of Jacksonville was laid out, when he moved there, and commenced the practice of law. The qualifications of General McConnel for the profession in which he afterwards gained such distinction, consisted in his rare natural abilities, coupled with his close observation of men, and his remarkable penetration of mind. He was also, like many of his colleagues of the bar in Illinois, a close student, possessing naturally a quick, clear, and logical mind; and he improved his natural qualifications by using his leisure time for study while a farmer of Missouri and Illinois. In Jacksonville he continued the practice of his profession till 1852. As an attorney, Mr. McConnel stood high in his profession, being an ornament to the bar of Jacksonville, and comparing favorably with his noted compeers with whom he was contemporary, such as Lincoln, Douglas, Walker, Williams, and Browning, who have added a lustre and a dignity to the bar of Illinois, almost unequaled in the history of American jurisprudence.

General McConnell, like many of our distinguished statesmen who have passed away, assisted in the formation of many of those political and social institutions of which the Prairie State may justly be proud. He was one of that class of upright, public-spirited men whose influence was felt in giving strength and tone to the great political issues of his time. He lived in the perilous times of the late rebellion, and, with Stephen A. Douglas, believed in the "vigorous prosecution of the war." He was, in short, a consistent, active war democrat from the first, and exerted a strong and powerful influence in sustaining the flag of our country, undivided and unstained by traitors. In 1864 he was elected senator, to represent Sangamon and Morgan counties in the state legislature. He was one of those noble men who recorded their votes in favor of the protection to all American people. Posterity will justly appreciate such acts when the faithful historian shall have transmitted them to the future, accompanied by the surrounding influences and prejudices which these men had to encounter, and in spite of which they dared to do their duty.

Mr. McConnel was commissioned by Governor French a major general of Illinois State Militia and served with distinction during the Black Hawk war. After his return, he was elected to the state legislature, as the regular candidate of the democratic party. He was afterward appointed by the governor of Illinois, State commissioner of Internal improvements, which was the last office he held till 1855, when President Pierce appointed him Fifth Auditor of the United States Treasury. He continued in this position till 1858, when, in consequence of some difference of opinion between himself and President Buchanan, he resigned his office.

Such is briefly the political record of General Murray McConnel. As an attorney, he was distinguished; as a politician and office holder, honest and patriotic; and as a citizen energetic and public spirited.

Mr. and Mrs. McConnel had a family of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. His son, John L. McConnel, was one of the leading lawyers of the state, and an author of some celebrity. He was also commissioned captain, and served with distinction in the Mexican War. He died in January, 1862. His son, Major Edward McConnel, served through the rebellion in the regular army. He was breveted major, for gallantry on the field at the battle of Jonesborough. He has two daughters living, one of whom is the widow of the late Senator McDougal, of California.

General Murray McConnel was assassinated in his own private office, about nine o'clock a.m. on the 9th of February, 1869. Thus fell one whose active life had been contemporaneous with the most eventful period of our history. He had witnessed stupendous changes in all that region over which he had been an early traveler. Sixty years ago he first became acquainted with the villages and settlements along the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers, which have grown into populous cities, such as Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, and St. Louis; and others, like Chicago, Davenport, Quincy, St. Joseph, and Leavenworth, have sprang up as by magic, and attained a commercial importance and significance almost unequaled in the annals of the world. He lived to see the turbid western streams which he had navigated with the flatboat in his early career, become the avenues of a commerce, by steam power, so extensive as to almost bid defiance to mathematical calculation, as to its extent and value. The introduction of overland communication by railroad, and the lines of telegraphic connection between the east and the Pacific coast, were the creatures of his day. And the wild, sparsely settled territories over which he roamed have become developed and cultivated states, adorned with rich farms, commercial cities, and pleasant homes. If we consider the great physical and commercial changes that have taken place in the northwest within the period with which the subject of this history has been contemporaneous, we shall be able to form some idea of the progress, in all these respects, which he, in his career as a tourist and citizen, was permitted to witness, during those eventful sixty years of his active life.

Mrs. McConnel is still living, and is highly respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. She is a member of the Episcopal church, and is a woman of excellent social and Christian virtues.

George M. McConnel was born in Jacksonville, December 23, 1833. He is the sixth child of General Murray McConnel. He received his academic or preparatory education in Jacksonville, and then went to Union College, Schenectady, New York, whence he graduated in 1852. He commenced reading law in the office of his brother, Captain John L. McConnel, and completed his legal education in the law school of Harvard University, in 1854. The next year he commenced the practice of his profession in Jacksonville. He was married in June, 1857, to Miss Maria Gillette, daughter of Dr. B. Gillette, one of the oldest resident physicians of Morgan county. They have had seven children, four of whom are still living.

In the spring of 1858, he removed to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he engaged in commercial pursuits. Removing from St. Paul the next year, he went to St. Louis, and remained there till the breaking out of the rebellion, in 1861, when he returned to Jacksonville, and resumed the practice of his profession. He continued in the same till the latter part of 1863, when he was appointed a paymaster in the army, with the rank of major of cavalry. He remained in this position till July 31, 1865, since which time he has been engaged in manufacturing and banking interests. He is one of the stockholders of the jacksonville National Bank, an interest to which he devotes a large share of his attention. He was elected mayor of Jacksonville, in April, 1872, as the regular nominee of the republican party, with which he has acted since 1858. Previous to his election to the mayoralty, he had served three years as an efficient alderman. Mr. McConnel is a man of good business capacity, a public speaker, a man of refined tastes and culture, and sometimes exercises his literary gifts, both in prose and poetry, by writing for the popular magazines of the day.

Ezekiel McCurley, son of Joseph McCurley, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Morgan county, was a native of Kentucky, and was born March 12, 1808. He went, with his father, from Kentucky to Tennessee, and from there to Alabama, where he remained till April, 1828, when he (Ezekiel) became a citizen of Morgan county, But finding it was not good to remain alone, he was married to Miss Jane Criswell, of township 14, range 9, in November of the same year. He remained about one year three miles south of Jacksonville, and soon after his marriage, entered the west half of north-east quarter of section 19, township 13, range 9, where he has resided over forty-two years. He owns, at this time, one of the best stock farms in the township. He has had a family of eleven children - four sons and seven daughters. Two of his children are deceased, and eight are now citizens of Morgan county. Of these, Samuel, James T., Julia Ann, wife of John E. Spires, and Margaret M., wife of David Henry, are citizens of their native township; William Mairon is five miles east of Jacksonville; Eveline, wife of Jerret Seymour, two miles east of Jacksonville; Susan Catherine resides with her sister Eveline, and Mary Elizabeth with her parents. Mr. McCurley is highly esteemed by all with whom he is acquainted. He is one of the honest self-made farmers of Morgan County.

Henry McDonnell, house and sign painter, and glazier, also, dealer in wall paper, floor and oil cloths, window shades, paints, oils, and glass, is located on west State street, in Masonic Temple (Gallaher's Block), near the public Square. Mr. McDonnell is one of the reliable, energetic business men of Morgan county. His mechanical skill has shown by his work on many of the prominent buildings in the city of Jacksonville, among which are the Centenary Church, Catholic Church, and First National Bank of Jacksonville. In wall paper he keeps a large stock, and sells at such prices that his numerous patrons are satisfied that he is filling an important place in the mercantile and mechanical interests of Morgan county.

Andrew McFarland, A.M., M.D., LL.D., was born in Concord, New Hampshire, July 14, 1817. He is the son of Rev. Asa McFarland, who was a distinguished clergyman of New Hampshire. Dr. A. McFarland was educated at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1840. He pursued his medical course under Prof. D. Crosby, and received his diploma from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1843. He was appointed superintendent of the New Hampshire Asylum for Insane in 1845. Dr. McF. Has made the study of mental diseases a specialty. In 1850 he made a tour of visitation to the leading insane hospitals of Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland Italy. He resigned his position in New Hampshire in June, 1854, and was afterwards appointed superintendent of the Illinois Hospital for the Insane. He was reappointed, in 1864, for another term, but resigned in 1870, a position which he had filled for many years. Dr. McFarland was married in 1842 to Miss Anne H. Peaslee, of Gilmanton, N.H. They have had two sons and two daughters. His eldest son is a practicing physician in Lexington, Ky., and his youngest is residing in the city. Dr. McFarland is now engaged in founding a private retreat at his commodious residence, Oak Lawn, which is being enlarged, for the reception of patients who may desire his counsel and treatment in mental diseases. Illinois College, in 1869, conferred upon Dr. McFarland the title which his great experience and erudition entitled him to receive, viz.: that of LL.D. Dr. McFarland and family worship at the First Presbyterian Church.

Captain John W. Meacham was born in Christian county, Kentucky, August 10, 1816. He was a son of Joseph Meacham, of Sangamon county, Ill. Capt. Meacham settled in Springfield, Ill., in 1838, where for several years he followed his trade, that of carpenter, when he engaged in the grocery and confectionery business till 1848. He then removed to Waverly, where he followed the same business for five years, when he engaged in the livery business. In the meantime he became a close student, fitting himself for the practice of law, and was admitted to the bar January 9, 1861. In enlisted in 1861 for three years, and was commissioned captain of company I, 14th regiment Illinois volunteers. He was actively engaged (receiving a wound in the head at the battle of Shiloh) till December, 1862, when he was honorably discharged, having the affection of the company with which he had shared the perils and privations of camp life and active service. He has the confidence of his fellow citizens, whom, as acting justice of the peace, as notary public, and as attorney, he has served, being esteemed for his sound judgment and correct counsel. He was married to Miss Ann Young, August 6, 1839, and has had six children, all of whom, except one, are now deceased. His only son, Robert, as a teacher, is well known in this and adjoining counties. Capt. M. and his wife are professing Christians. They have been called upon to pass through many afflictions, all of which they have borne with Christian trust and resignation.

Ebenezer T. Miller was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, February 26, 1801. He came to Edwards (now Lawrence) county, Ill. (near Lawrenceville), in the year 1817, where he remained ten years. On the first day of June, 1827, Mr. Miller became a citizen of Jacksonville, where he still resides. He was married to Miss Lucinda Davis, daughter of Joshua Davis (a prominent citizen of the county), September 23, 1830. They have had a family of five children, in the following order of birth (being, by birth, all citizens of Morgan county), viz: Cicero D., still a citizen of Jacksonville, born July 29, 1832; Charles T., born February 22, 1835, at present engaged in farming on a large scale in the vicinity of St. Paul, Minn., where he has been a citizen since he left Morgan county in 1858; Frances L., former wife of Charles King, who was recently a prominent dealer in dry goods in Jacksonville - (Mrs. King died May 8, 1860); Joseph H., born March 29, 1841 - left the city of his nativity in 1858, and is now residing in Magnolia, Pike county, Miss., being largely engaged in mercantile business. His youngest son, William K., was born February 23, 1851, and is now residing with his older brother, Joseph H. We would remark that all of Mr. Miller's family had those advantages of an education in their early life which the city of their nativity could so amply furnish. The aged parents can, with feelings of pride, claim the assurance of having acted well their part towards those committed to their charge, who are today prominent business men and ornaments of the communities in which they respectively reside. On the 1st of July, 1827, Mr. Miller established the first carding machine in Morgan county, on the present site of Prof. Turner's residence. He was engaged with his brother-in-law, James Parkinson, now residing at Virden, Ill., and continued the business one year, when he sold out to his partner, and worked at his trade, as a carpenter and builder, until 1842. Since that time he has followed farming for several years. He was postmaster for four years under Presidents Taylor and Fillmore. He was one of the trustees of the Presbyterian Female Academy, and took a very efficient and active part in its erection. He is now (except Judge Lockwood) the only one of the original board living. He has for the last ten years been retired from all active business except such labor as he is able to do in the way of improving his beautiful city, lot and residence, where, with the wife of his early years, he still lives, enjoying comparative health, and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances in the city where they have spent forty-five years of active, busy life.

Henry M. Miller, the only son of Ebenezer Miller, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, January 23, 1826. He came to Morgan county with his father in the fall of 1840, and settled, the next year, on the farm where he now resides. His father was well known, for years, to most of the citizens of the county on account of his prominent position which he in early assumed as an opponent of slavery. As a member of the Congregational church, he lived a consistent Christian life, and died in the full triumphs of a living faith, February 17th, 1865. He lived to see, at least, the twilight of the glorious day which was soon to beam with universal splendor over an enslaved and distracted country. His wife, Permelia, daughter of Joseph H. Hopkins, of Litchfield, is still living with her son on the old homestead.

Mr. Miller is among the prominent fruit growers of the county and conspicuous in the nursery business, especially in the growing of Osage hedge plants. He has, for the spring trade of 1873, over 3,000,000 plants. He introduced the first plants into this part of the country, and, with Prof. Turner, was emphatically one of the pioneers in this important interest, which, in fencing, is so far superior and which is so rapidly taking the place of all others in the northwest. Mr. Miller is highly esteemed for his upright business habits, honesty in his dealings, and for his many virtues as a Christian and citizen. A view of his beautiful Nursery and Fruit Farm, with his residence and out-buildings, is shown in this work.

Isaac L. Morrison was a native of Barren county, Kentucky. He was born January 20th, 1826. He is the son of John C. Morrison, who was a native of Virginia. His father, after his marriage to his first wife, settled in Garrett county, Kentucky, in 1793. He figured in the Indian wars of his time, and was with Buckner and Metcalf (afterwards governor), and with Warren, and was engaged in the battle on the Miami, in the state of Ohio. His occupation was farming. He moved to near Glascow, in Barren county, in 1809, where his first wife died. He was afterward married to Elizabeth Welborn, daughter of James Welborn, of North Carolina. She was the mother of the subject of this sketch. Mr. Morrison died in 1841, and his widow survived him till 1863, when she died, also, at the old homestead, in Kentucky.

Mr. Isaac L. Morrison received his literary education at the Masonic Seminary, in Lagrange, Kentucky. He afterwards read law in that town, under Addison M. Gazlay, and in September, 1849, he was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of his profession. He came to Jacksonville in June, 1851, where he established himself in the practice of the law, which he has successfully followed since that time. To say that Mr. Morrison stands high in his profession in Morgan county and this portion of the State, is simply reiterating a fact known to most of our citizens. Politically Mr. Morrison is a member of the republican party, and was a delegate to the State convention which first established the platform of that party in Illinois. He has since been a firm and efficient supporter and advocate of those principles. He has ever been an opponent of slavery and its extension. He was a member of the convention in 1864, that nominated Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Morrison was married, in July, 1853, to Miss Anna B. Raple, daughter of Jonathan Tucker, deceased, of New York City. Mrs. Morrison is a native of New York City, and is a lady of high culture and accomplishments. Mr. Morrison and his wife have two children, a son and a daughter, who are both living. He and his family are members of the Episcopal church. Mr. Morrison is esteemed for his intrinsic value as a citizen, as well as for his correct counsel and sound judgment as an attorney.

Col. Joseph Morton was born August 1, 1891. He is the fifth child of Robert and Elizabeth Morton, who, with their family, moved to North Carolina in 1806. He there engaged in shoe manufacturing and farming. His father's ancestors were English and his mother's German. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Sorrels. In 1811, Mr. Morton, with his family, moved to Bledsoe county, Tennessee, where Mr. Morton died, in March, of that year. Mrs. Morton, about four years after, married Mr. Wily Kirby. They soon after moved to Adair county, Kentucky, where in 1825, Mr. Kirby died. Mrs. Kirby, with her two children, which she had by Mr. Kirby, came, with her son, William Morton, to Morgan county, in 1828, where, after a few years, she died.

Col. Joseph Morton received most of his education in Madison county, Kentucky, having located, in March, 1819, four miles from Alton, on Ratin's Prairie. In the fall of 1820, in company with John Bradshaw, he came and built a cabin on land east of the present site of Jacksonville. That was a short time previous to the government survey, and twelve or fifteen families, scattered promiscuously over the present limits of Morgan county, was about the extent of settlement at that time. Col. Morton was married April 27, 1823, to Miss Mary, daughter of Daniel Odell, a native of Kentucky. His wife, when three years of age, came to Illinois, and was raised by her grandmother, in Madison county. After his marriage Col. M. settled on land about a mile and a half east of Jacksonville, where he followed farming and stock growing successfully for many years.

Col. Morton, when he first came to Morgan county, worked by the month. His capital was a good constitution, an active mind, and a willing hand. He is one of the few pioneers now living who was familiar with the site of the flourishing city of Jacksonville when it was unimproved by the hand of man, save the stake or flag stuck at intervals, to mark the path from the cabin of one pioneer to that of his neighbor, several miles away, in the edge of some distant timber. He assisted in erecting many of the first log cabins in the county. Col. Morton is a man of such energy and perseverance as we continually needed and brought into requisition by the pioneers of fifty years ago. He removed difficulties by labor, instead of being discouraged by their existence. Col. Morton and his wife have had a family of thirteen children, all of whom save three, have passed off the stage of life. Those living are, in the order of their birth: Minerva, present wife of Jas. S. Rector; Clarinda M., wife of Samuel T. Crawley, of Kirksville, Missouri; and Francis Marion, the youngest and only son living, residing on the homestead with his aged parents. He has a wife and two children. Politically Col. Morton has acted with the democratic party. He and his wife have been members of the Christian church nearly forty years. Several years ago Mrs. M. had the misfortune to lose her sight, by an attack of erysipelas.

In the fall of 1836 Col. M. was elected to the state legislature. At that time the capital was at Vandalia. In 1846 he was again elected for one term in the house, and in 1854 he was elected to the state senate, which position he filled with honor to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He was elected, in 1861, to the state convention, which held a session to revise the state constitution. In 1830 he took the census for the county of Morgan, which then included the present counties of Scott and Cass. The population of the whole (three counties) was little over 9,000. In 1835 he took the state enumeration for the census, including the same counties, which showed an increase of over fifty percent. Col. Morton is one of the pioneer citizens of the county, whom the people have, at various times, honored with important political trusts, all of which he has filled with credit. The life of Hon. Joseph Morton is a bright example of what can be accomplished by perseverance and energy, when its possessor loses sight of self, and labors for the good of those around him. With all his brilliant successes, Col. M. has had trials and losses; but in the midst of them all he has preserved those manly and Christian virtues which endear him to a large circle of friends.

1894 Index
County Main Page

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