1906 Historical Encyclopedia Of Illinois & History
of Morgan County IL
& HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY
Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1906.
RAMMELKAMP, Charles Henry, Dr., President of Illinois College, Jacksonville, was born in New York City, February 25, 1874, in boyhood removed with his family to South Orange, N. J., and there attended the public schools, graduating from the high school in 1891, winning the State scholarship in Rutgers's College. Preferring to enter another institution, after a year spent in preparatory work at South Orange, he entered Cornell University, where he became especially interested in history, also served for a time as editor of the "Cornell Sun," a daily paper published by the students. During his entire college course he was an active member of the University Christian Association, becoming its Vice-President; was also President of the Curtis Debating Club, the strongest organization of its kind connected with the University. In his senior year he won the Woodford prize in oratory, the most important prize in connection with the institution. Graduating in June, 1896, he received the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, and was elected to the Fellowship in American History, was also a member of the "Quill and Dagger" Society and an honorary in the Greek Letter "Phi Beta Kappa" Society. After graduation, he remained at Cornell, continuing his post graduate work in American and English History and Political Science. While thus engaged he was appointed Instructor in American History, retaining this position for three years. In 1900 his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The next year was spent in travel abroad and in study at the University of Berlin, and while there h received an appointment as Instructor in History at Leland Standford University, California. During his connection with this institution he received the appointment of Professor of History and Political Science in Illinois College, where, by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees during the second year of his incumbency, he was tendered the presidency of the institution, which he accepted April 15, 1905.
RANNELLS, Charles S., prominent stockman and farmer, Pisgah, Morgan County, Ill., was born where he now resides, on the paternal homestead, December 5, 1857, the son of Samuel M. and Mary R. (Springer) Rannells, the latter, a sister of the late Reuben Springer, the well known philanthrophist, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Rannells' father, Samuel M. Rannells, was a native of Bourbon County, Ky., and in 1832 came with his father, William Rannells, to Morgan County, Ill. The latter entered land from the Government and was engaged in farming throughout his life. Samuel, the father of Charles S., was also a successful farmer and an extensive cattle feeder. He died in 1881, his wife having preceded him in 1873.
Charles S. Rannells has made farming and cattle-feeding his life occupation. In his boyhood he attended the local schools, and later (1879) became a graduate of Illinois College, Jacksonville. When his father died he inherited an estate of 400 acres of land, with other property. His landed property now consists of 1,500 acres, and he sends annually to the Chicago market 800 to 1,000 head of cattle and innumerable pigs.
Mr. Rannells was married May 19, 1880, to Cornelia May Stevenson, daughter
of Septimus C. Stevenson, residing in the vicinity of Orleans, Morgan County.
In 1897 he was appointed by Governor Tanner a member of the Illinois Railroad
and Warehouse Commission, holding that position for four years. He also
served his party one term as Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee,
being a member of that organization for three terms. He is a member of
the Jacksonville Lodge of Elks, and in religious faith and association,
a Presbyterian. His residence and grounds are commodious and handsomely
improved, making a most attractive homestead.
RANSDELL, Ernest C. , farmer and stockman, of Morgan County, residing on Section 28, Township 14, Range 9, was born where he now lives March 28, 1877, the son of William L. and Sarah J. (Davis) Ransdell, the father born near Lexington, Ky., and the mother in Illinois. Mrs. Ransdell is a daughter of Daniel Davis, a farmer of Morgan County. The father, William L. Ransdell, moved to Illinois from Kentucky with his father, Presley. The latter entered land in Section 32 of the above named township, and reared a family of nine children, seven sons and two daughters. He became a successful farmer, and at his death left a large estate to be divided among his children. William L. Ransdell, who was the fifth child in order of birth in his father's family, became a very successful and extensive landowner, and dealt largely in cattle. His estate consisted of 1,014 acres. He was the father of seven children, four of whom survive: Mamie A., William L., Charles D. and E. C. The father, William L., Sr., was a member of the Christian Church, and a Republican in political belief. He died in March, 1897.
Ernest C. Ransdell was brought up on the farm and in his boyhood attended
the local school. Later he was a pupil at Reed's Seminary, and completed
his schooling in the High School at Jacksonville, where he remained for
three years. Mr. Ransdell owns 200 acres of land, and conducts his farming
operations in partnership with his brother Charles, who owns 232 acres
adjoining. The former lives on the old homestead, while Charles, who is
unmarried, resides with him. Mr. Ransdell was married December 19, 1900,
to Lucy Henry, the accomplished daughter of Charles E. Henry, one of the
largest cattle-breeders of Morgan County, and they have one son, Charles
Donald. The family attend the Christian Church.
RAWLINGS, William E., farmer and stock-man residing on Section 8, Township 13, Range, 9, was born near Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, August 12, 1845, the son of Edward and Elizabeth (Holt) Rawlings, his father being a primitive Methodist preacher by profession, and a tailor by trade. William E. obtained his schooling in the land of his birth, and in his youth became a gamekeeper on an old English estate. In 1864 he emigrated to Quebec, Canada, but thence came direct to Jacksonville, Morgan County, where his uncle, Stephen, was then living. He at once assumed the vocation of farming, and later purchased the farm, which has been his continuous home, and upon which he now resides. In 1866 Mr. Rawlings' parents, with the remainder of the family, followed him to America, and the mother died in Morgan County in 1875. The father married again and made fourteen trips between the Old World and the New, finally dying in England.
On October 20, 1869, William E. Rawlings was married in Girard, Macoupin County, Ill., to Eliza E. Fanning, daughter of Joseph Wesley Fanning, and to himself and wife have been born five children, four of whom are now living, viz.: Annie Jane, wife of Thomas Oxley; Albert Edward, who married Lenora Timberman; George William; and Minnie Belle, who is at home.
Mr. Rawlings has served his district on the School Board twelve years.
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has been
Steward for many years. In politics he is a Republican. His farm, consisting
of more than 126 acres, is thoroughly cultivated, being also well improved
with a comfortable residence, good out-buildings, an orchard, and all that
constitutes a pleasant country homestead. It is almost needless to say
that the improvements are the result of Mr. Rawlings' enterprise and industry.
RAWLINGS, David, a prominent farmer living on Section 20, Township 14, Range 9, Morgan County, was born October 11, 1849, the son of Henry and Catherine (Dudhope) Rawlings, the former a native of Yorkshire, England and the latter of Scotland. Henry Rawlings came to Illinois with his father, William Rawlings, and they were among the early settlers of Morgan County. The parents of David were married in Morgan County, and had a family of eleven children, six of whom survive, viz: David; Mary, wife of Jesse Jones; Isabel, wife of Thomas Vanstone; Sarah, wife of George Oxley; Catherine, wife of Marshall Rees, and James. Henry Rawlings was a successful farmer and had amassed a fine estate of between 600 and 700 acres prior to his death, which occurred in 1873.
David Rawlings attended the country schools in his youth and assisted in the work of the farm. He was married February 11, 1874, to Eveline Scott, daughter of E. Scott, to whom four children were born, viz.: Henry E.; Grace, wife of S. H. McDevitt; Nellie, wife of R. Buckner; and Arthur.
On reaching maturity, he began farming as an independent venture, and
his success is shown by the fact that he is now the owner of more than
200 acres of fine farming land, which is leased to tenants. His place is
well improved and he himself is the author of its continuous development.
Mr. Rawlings has served his district on the School Board for six years,
votes the Republican ticket, and is a substantial citizen, as well as a
RAWLINGS, Greenbury B., farmer and stock-man residing on Section 21, Township 15, Range 9, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Cass County, this State, January 28, 1843, the son of G. B. Rawlings, Sr., and Elizabeth (Dobler) Rawlings, the former a native of Maryland, and the latter of Lancaster, Pa. On the paternal side Mr. Rawlings is of Scotch-Irish descent, and on the maternal, Pennsylvania Dutch. The father of Mr. Rawlings settled in Cass County in the early '30s and was there engaged in farming and cattle breeding. Here the son was trained to farm life, obtaining his education in the country schools. At the age of twenty-four he bought the old homestead and conducted farming on his own account. The farm, which consisted of 200 acres, located seven miles southwest of the town of Virginia, he conducted for about fifteen years and then sold it. He continued farming, however, in Cass County until 1898, when he removed to the place where he now lives.
Mr. Rawlings was married January 27, 1875, to Margaret Pfeil, daughter of John C. and Amanda C. (Haymaker) Pfeil, and of this union were born four children, viz.: John Addison; Elsie Elizabeth, wife of Howard E. Thornley, a farmer of Cass County; and Mary Margaret and Amanda Cassandra, both living at home.
Mr. Rawlings is now engaged in farming on 160 acres of land, which is
well cultivated and produces abundant crops. Mr. And Mrs. Rawlings have
given their children a fair education, and the family are members of the
Presbyterian Church at Pisgah, and have the respect and confidence of the
entire community. John Addison Rawlings, the only son, was a student in
the Illinois College at Jacksonville, and for three years thereafter pursued
a course in the Indiana Law School, at Indianapolis, Ind., from which he
graduated May 28, 1902. He spent a year in that city in the practice of
his profession, but desiring to live near his family, removed to Morgan
County, and in January, 1905, was appointed Deputy Circuit Clerk, which
position he still holds. He was married August 2, 1905, to Emma Scott Hoyt,
one of Jacksonville's accomplished young ladies. The Rawlings family are
RAWLINGS, James, a prominent and successful farmer of Morgan County, residing on his pleasant home farm in Section 32, Township 14, Range 9, was born near Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, August 12, 1822, the son of William and Mary (Wilson) Rawlings, who moved from their native country to America in 1834. William and Mary Rawlings had nine children, five sons and four daughters, part of whom came with their parents to America in 1834, the remainder following in 1840. William Rawlings bought land in the township where his descendants now reside, and being a man of means, first secured 500 acres to which he later added some two or three hundred acres more. He lived about twenty years in his adopted country, and his wife survived him about ten years.
James Rawlings, who was the third child of this family, was educated in England and assisted on his father's farm until he had reached his twenty-fourth year, when he began farming his own account. On the 26th of February, 1848, he was married to Frances Hembrough, a daughter of John and Hannah (Turvey) Hembrough, all natives of Yorkshire, England. The Hembroughs came to America in 1839. They had a family of twelve children, of whom Frances was eighth in order of birth.
James Rawlings and wife became the parents of eight children, five of
whom survive. Two children died in infancy, and a daughter, Hannah T.,
died after her marriage. Mr. Rawlings has made farming and stock-raising
his life occupation, but since 1888 has left the management of the estate
to his children. He has been very successful as a business man, and before
dividing much of his landed property among his children, he owned 1,200
acres. Mr. Rawlings and wife and their family belong to the Methodist church.
He served his district on the School Board.
RAWLINGS, James E., whose residence is on Section 19, Township 14, Range 9, is a leading farmer and stockman of Morgan County, and is the owner of 500 acres of excellent farming land. This home is surrounded by improvements of the highest character, his estate consisting of two farms, one of 253 acres and the other of 240 acres. Of the latter he leases 200 acres to tenants, and carries on farming on the home place himself. He was born in Morgan County, March 13, 1861, the son of James and Frances (Hembrough) Rawlings. He has been identified with farming all his life, but lived nine years (1895-1904) in the city of Jacksonville.
On October 4, 1887, Mr. Rawlings was married to Serilda L. Seymour,
daughter of Robert Seymour, and they had two children, both of whom died
in infancy. The wife and mother died December 28, 1903. Mr. Rawlings is
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of the Order of Elks, and
in politics, is a Republican.
REES, Elijah Milford, (deceased), who was a prominent farmer and stockman of Morgan County, was born in Clark County, Ky., the son of John and Georgiana (Ray) Rees, and reared in Madison County, that State. The Rees family was of Welsh stock, being numbered among the historic passengers of the "Mayflower." The father of Elijah M. moved to Illinois from Kentucky a few years prior to his death, which occurred in Morgan County, where he was buried. Elijah M. Rees was born February 22, 1817, and at the age of twenty-one moved to Illinois and remained in Morgan County for a short time, when he proceeded to Texas, where he became engaged in business for several years, being a resident of that State during the Mexican War. He later returned to Morgan County, and in 1849 accompanied a party overland from Jacksonville to California, where he remained nine years, when he returned by way of the Isthmus and New York to Morgan County, bringing with him some capital. Before he started to California he bought 320 acres of land in Section 27, Township 14, Range 9, and on his return settled thereon and began its improvement. He planted a grove of different varieties of trees, which he tended with great care, and it is now, perhaps, the finest grove in the country. The fine homestead residence of to-day was built by him in 1874. He added to his estate which at the time of his death aggregated, as at present, 460 acres.
Mr. Rees was married November 18, 1858, to Julia Snow, daughter of Libbins and Mercy Snow, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of New York. The father of Mrs. Rees was a drummer boy in the War of 1812, at that time being about thirteen years of age. Mr. Rees and wife had no children of their own, but legally adopted a son, William Milford Rees, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. They also adopted a daughter, Susan Jane Wilson, who with her foster brother is one of the heirs to the estate. The foster son, William M., manages 200 acres of the homestead, the remaining 260 acres, with the exception of some timber land, being rented to other tenants by the widow of Elijah M. Rees.
Mr. Rees was a progressive and ambitious man, and most successful in
business affairs. In politics, he was a Democrat; was a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church and a prominent Mason. He died August 9, 1892, and was
buried in Franklin Cemetery with Masonic honors. Mrs. Elijah M. Rees was
born in Genesee County, N. Y., but reared near Wooster, Ohio, completing
a four years' course in the Woman's College at Jacksonville, after which
she was a teacher in that institution for two years. Mrs. Rees is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church and resides in a pleasant home, erected
by herself in Franklin.
REES, William M. , farmer and stockman, residing on Section 27, Township 14 North, Range 9 West, Morgan County, Ill., was born in this county March 28, 1862, and in infancy became the legally adopted son of E. M. and Julia (Snow) Rees. Mr. Rees was a native of Kentucky, who came to Morgan County in 1838, and later moved to Texas, returning to the Illinois county in 1849, and there purchasing 320 acres of land. In the latter year he was seized with the gold fever, and went overland to California, there made some money and in 1858 returned after an absence of nine years, by way of Panama and New York. After his return to Morgan County he resumed work on the land which he had bought in 1849, built a good residence in 1874 and planted an excellent grove, which is a monument to his memory to-day. In fact, he thoroughly improved his valuable farm and continued an agriculturist until his death, which occurred August 9, 1892. He was married to Julia Snow November 18, 1858, and their union being childless, they legally adopted from infancy the son, William M., and became the foster parents of a daughter, Susan Jane (Rees) Wilson.
William M. Rees always resided on the home farm, while his mother, Mrs. Julia (Snow) Rees, lives retired in the village of Franklin. The homestead estate is managed by him, and will, in the natural course of events, become his property by inheritance. Mr. Rees has served his district as Road Commissioner and upon the School Board, and during the 1897-99 held the office of County Commissioner. He also served as delegate to State and County Conventions, and at the present time is a member of the County Central Committee, President of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company for his township, and one of the Directors of the Springfield Cyclone Insurance Company. He belongs to the Masonic Order, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Elks, Modern Woodmen, Knights of the Maccabees and Protective League.
Mr. Rees was married to Harriet Dalton, of Nevada City, Mo., and the
following named children have been born to them: Ruby, a graduate of the
Franklin High School and the Jacksonville Business College; Nellie J.,
a graduate of Franklin High School; Birdie, a student in the Woman's College,
Jacksonville; and William Milford, Jr.
REID, David W., M. D., a practicing physician and surgeon, with office and residence at 235 West College Avenue, Jacksonville, Ill., was born at Yonkers, N.Y., October 13, 1855, the son of Robert and Margaret Reid. The parents and family came to Illinois in 1867, when David W. was a boy and settled in the timber on a farm of 80 acres in Greene County. They were close to the line, and their church and postoffice were in Morgan County. Robert Reid continued farming until his retirement from active life, when he settled in Murrayville, his death occurring September 6, 1904. His wife still makes her home in that town. They were parents of seven children, David W. Reid being the third member of the family. As a boy he was educated in the public schools of New York, later taking a course in the State Normal School at Normal, Ill., where he graduated in 1883. He then taught school for four years and took a medical course in the Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College, Chicago, from which he graduated in 1889. He went West and commenced practice in Ogden, Utah, and after five years thus employed he returned to Murrayville, Morgan County. Five years later he decided to move to Jacksonville, which he did in 1898, and now has a large and growing practice.
Dr. Reid was married December 25, 1883, to Caroline A. Humphrey, daughter
of Col. Thomas W. Humphrey, of the Ninety-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteer
Infantry, and has one son, Robert. The Doctor is a member and for the past
three years has been Secretary of the Morgan County Medical Society; is
also a member of the Illinois State Medical Society and of the American
Medical Association. He is connected with the Presbyterian Church and in
politics, is a Republican.
REID, George W., living retired from active farming life at 402 North Church Street, Jacksonville, Ill., was born on the farm of his late father, three miles north of that city October 21, 1853, the son of Stephen Holland and Martha (Garratt) Reid, his father being a native of Lexington, Ky., and his mother, of Cheshire, England. The latter came to America with her mother and the other children of the family, after the death of her father, in 1845, and was married to Stephen H. Reid, Jr., February 19, 1846. The father of George W. was born in Lexington, Ky., April 23, 1815, and in 1826 accompanied his father, Stephen H. Reid, Sr., to Morgan County, where the latter entered and bought land and commenced farming operations. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch died in 1827, and his father passed away November 16, 1889. Stephen H. Reid, Jr., was a successful farmer and left an estate of 260 acres, now owned by George W. and four other members of the family. The deceased was an active member of the "Underground Railway." Originally a Republican, before his death he became a radical Prohibitionist. He chose for his first wife Martha Capps, their marriage occurring January 26, 1837. She died after becoming the mother of three children, none of whom survive. His second marriage was to Martha Garratt, by whom he had seven children, six of whom are living, viz.: John G., M.D. of Oklahoma; Lydia C.; Richard W., lawyer and Justice of the Peace; Sarah E., deceased; George W.; Enoch S. and Elijah J. The estate left by the father is yet undivided.
In his youth George W. Reid attended the district schools and worked
on the home farm, and in 1875, accompanied by his father, mother and his
sister (Lydia Capps Reid) and his brother, moved to Jacksonville. The mother
died March 3, 1876, but George W. and his sister still make their home
together. Mr. Reid has served as Chairman of the Central Committee of the
Prohibition party, and is a member of Grace M.E. Church, Jacksonville,
his father having been identified with that denomination as a local preacher.
He was well educated, obtaining his higher mental discipline in the Collage
at Lebanon, this State. During his management of the family homestead the
elder mr. Reid devoted much attention to the breeding of high-grade stock,
and under his supervision were conducted many improvements.
REINBACH, N. Z., editor and Postmaster, Franklin, Ill., was born in that place October 1, 1858, the son of Harry and Sophia (Dessau) Reinbach, natives of Hamburg, Germany. As early as 1842 Mr. Reinbach had emigrated to America and engaged in mercantile pursuits in Morgan County, Ill. Seven years later he returned to his native land, married Miss Dessau, and returned tho his adopted country, where he became the father of twelve children, six of whom survive until the present time. Mr. Reinbach died on February 6, 1878, his wife surviving him until May 9, 1904.
N. Z. Reinbach attended the schools in Franklin, and as a youth assisted his father in the store with which the latter was connected. In 1895 he purchased the "Franklin Times," an independent newspaper with a large circulation throughout the county, and which under the new management has become a power in local affairs.
On January 1, 1882, Mr. Reinbach was united in marriage to Ida M., daughter of John Cox, a prominent farmer and early settler of Morgan County, and of this union five children have been born, viz.: Claire, wife of Albert Lukeman; Eulalie, wife of J. Lloyd Miller; Wanda; Gloria and Vivenne.
In the midsummer of 1898 Mr. Reinbach received the appointment of Postmaster
of Franklin, and so satisfactorily has he filled this position that he
still the incumbent of the office. For twelve years he was Justice of the
Peace, having filled that position from 1893 until 1905, being elected
three times, although the precincts were Democratic by 200 majority. In
political matters he is an active Republican, who is proud to say he assisted
in the nomination of ex-Governor Richard Yates, and who has frequently
been a delegate to State and County conventions. For twenty-four years
he has belonged to the I.O.O.F., also being connected with Ridgely Encampment,
at Jacksonville, and Rebecca Lodge, No. 103. He has been a Mason for ten
years, also being identified with the Star Chapter, of which he is a charter
member; is one of the charger members of the M.W.A.; and belongs to the
Maccabees, Loyal Americans and the Mutual Protective League. In religious
matters Mr. Reinbach is a member of the Christian Church at Franklin.
REXROAT, John Garrett, retired farmer, residing at Jacksonville, Ill., is a descendant of one of the old and honored families of Morgan County. He is a son of Zachariah and Sarah (Bristow) Rexroat, and was born on his father's farm near Arcadia, Morgan County, February 6, 1838. His father, a native of Kentucky, migrated from Adair County, that State, to Morgan County during the spring of 1831, following the winter of the deep snow. He entered Government land northwest of the site of the present village of Arcadia, to which he added by purchase from time to time until he became one of the most extensive landholders and successful farmers in this section of the State. His property at its maximum aggregated about 1,900 acres, most of which was very fertile and easily cultivable, and he was acknowledged to be one of the most expert judges of land values in Southern Illinois. He was a man of sagacity and forethought, shrewd in his estimate of human character, and always alive to the worthiness of any project connected with agriculture in its various branches. The older residents of the county remember him as a useful, high-minded citizen who, though leading an active and very busy life, never refused to lend a helping hand toward the advancement of the welfare of the community. His death occurred on his farm in 1887. His wife Sarah Bristow, who came to Illinois about 1825 and died in 1893, was a daughter of Thomas Bristow, of Irish ancestry, whose parents emigrated to America in childhood. Thomas Bristow became an honored pioneer of Morgan County, migrating from North Carolina about 1825, locating near Jacksonville, Ill., and afterward purchasing a farm east of Arcadia. This he sold upon his removal to Texas, where he died. 'Squire Bristow, as he was always known, was the first citizen of Morgan County to be elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, his election having occurred when he was still a very young man. He was a resident of the county when Illinois decided against slavery, to which he personally was strongly opposed.
John Garrett Rexroat received a comparatively limited education in the subscription schools of his neighborhood, his attendance thereupon being confined chiefly to the winter months, as his father required his services upon the farm during the period from early spring until late fall. The work demanded of him was laborious, though his father was no more severe as a taskmaster than most men of that pioneer period who were compelled to be; but the lessons of hard work and self-denial which he had learned upon the farm molded the strong character inherited from his ancestors, and equipped him most satisfactorily for the battle of life. Two days before reaching his majority, he commenced an independent career; began farming at twenty-two and stock raising at twenty-three years of age. He devoted the most active years of his life to agriculture, in which he was eminently successful. Stock-raising and trading were avocations to which he devoted considerable attention. About 1890 he relinquished his active labors upon the farm and removed to Jacksonville, where he has since resided in retirement, although for about ten years prior to his permanent removal to the city it had been his custom to reside in town during the winter months. He has identified himself with the financial institutions of Illinois to an extent seldom seen among those who have made farming their life work. He is a stockholder in the Farmers' National Bank, of Virginia, Ill. (Of which he has been a Director about nineteen years), the Centennial National Bank of Virginia and the Jacksonville National Bank, and is a Director in the Centennial Bank; also a stockholder in the Illinois Telephone Company of Jacksonville. He is known as one of the most wealthy and representative agriculturists and stock-raisers in this section of the State, as well as one of the most extensive landholders in Morgan County, owning over 900 acres of fertile and tillable land in Morgan and Cass Counties. In addition to being prominent in these interests, he deals in stocks and loans money.
October 11, 1860, Mr. Rexroat was united in marriage with Sarah Ann,
daughter of George and Sarah (Pence) Roberts. They have been the parents
of five children: George Washington, a grocer in Virginia, Ill.; Zachariah
L., who resides on the old home place in Cass County; Mary Eliza, wife
of Carl B. Frankenberg, of Jacksonville; John Craig, now a resident of
Cass County, Ill., and Austin, who died at the age of two years. By those
who have known Mr. Rexroat best during the long years of his residence
in his native country, he is highly esteemed for his integrity, his public
spirit and those other traits usually pertaining to a man whose life has
been of use to the community, as well as to himself and his immediate family.
He has always cheerfully cooperated with his fellow men in the advancement
of worthy causes, and his name will be indelibly associated with the progress
of Morgan County.
REXROAT, James Morrison, a prosperous farmer who conducts operations on an extensive scale in the vicinity of Concord, Morgan County, Ill., was born on a farm north of Jacksonville, March 26, 1840, the son of Zacchariah and Sarah (Bristow) Rexroat, the former being a native of Kentucky. Zachariah Rexroat was born in 1807, and died at the age of eighty-one years. In 1830 he located in Morgan County, with seventy-five cents as his working capital, and settled about three miles north of Arcadia. Later he entered two tracts of heavily timbered Government land, aggregating 117 acres, and during his life became owner of about 1,900 acres in Morgan, Cass and McDonough Counties. He here built a one room log cabin, covered with clapboards, and weighted down by logs, and later assisted in the erection of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Arcadia.
Mr. Rexroat was married to Sarah Bristow, and their union resulted in the following named children: Sarah Ann, wife of Hezekiah Kenney, of Arcadia; John G., of Jacksonville; James M. of Concord, Ill.; Lewis L., who lives just east of the last named place; Mary Ellen (Mrs. Johnson), of Jacksonville; Henry H., who resides a mile west of Arcadia; Margaret E. (deceased), wife of Oliver Thompson; William Bailey, of Jacksonville; Alice M., wife of Lawson Rexroat, of McDonough County, Ill.; and James M.
In boyhood Mr. Rexroat attended the subscription schools in the vicinity of his home, and then became a student in what was then known as Brush College, at North Prairie, Ill. Until he reached the age of twenty-five years, he remained with his father, and then settled on a farm given him by the latter, three miles northwest of Concord. There he carried on farming successfully for twenty-seven years. At first he had 120 acres; his landed possessions now comprise 880 acres, composed mostly of timber land. He is engaged in general farming, and raises many hogs and cattle. He is also a stockholder in the Chapin Bank.
On July 3, 1867, Mr. Rexroat was married to Sarah Elizabeth Morrison, a daughter of John and Sarah (Coultas) Morrison, who was born on her father's farm, three miles northwest of Concord. Four children resulted from this union, namely: Charles E., who is engaged in business in Concord; Cora M. (Mrs. Yeck); Alice G., widow of Dr. A. H. Johnson, of Holden, Mo.; and John O., who lives at home.
In politics, Mr. Rexroat is a strong Republican, but is disinclined
to hold office. He has, however, served as School Director for nine years.
For many years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
having served as Trustee, and also as Steward. He has been closely identified
with that religious denomination - for six years at Arcadia, for twenty-seven
years at Hopewell and for thirteen years at Concord. Mr. Rexroat is a man
of very high character and reputation - one of the foremost among the representative
farmers of Morgan County.
REYNOLDS, Ralph. - Viewed from the standpoint of diversity of experience, capacity for contributing to the well-being of the community, allegiance to those qualities which constitute the fundamentals of good citizenship, and length of association with the stable happenings of Morgan County, the career of Ralph Reynolds must be regarded as a singularly interesting and fortunate one. Mr. Reynolds was born north of Liverpool, England, November 25, 1821, and is a son of Ralph Reynolds, also a native of England.
Ralph Reynolds, Sr., a scholar and man of wide information, was educated for a sea captain, but refrained from yielding to his nautical inclination at the request of his mother. He married in England, and at the death of his wife in 1834 three sons and a daughter were left to his care. Embarking in a sailing vessel bound for the United States, he finally arrived in St. Louis, not knowing he was in a slave State, and in 1839 came to Morgan County, locating in the then small town of Jacksonville. By this time his son and namesake, Ralph, was fourteen years old, and of sufficient education and development to share in the labor of the older man. Together father and son worked on the Northern Cross Railroad (now the Wabash), which had been built by the State and equipped with wooden rails and mules for motive power. They took up the wood and laid iron rails, living meanwhile in a cabin in the timber, and, this contract having been completed, migrated to Canada to put in a bid for Government works, which, however they failed to secure. In 1845 they went to Dubuque, Iowa, leased land and engaged in lead mining for four years.
The resourcefulness of the Reynolds became apparent during the winter of 1848-49, when they gathered provisions and supplies, and made arrangements to undertake the long journey across the plains to the gold fields of California. With ox-teams and wagons they started in the early spring of 'forty-nine, proceeding by way of the Mormon trail to Salt Lake City, and thence to the sink of the Humboldt, where a contention arose in the party as to the better of two routes - that by way of the Truckee or Carson River. Ralph Reynolds, Sr., who at the start had been elected Captain of the company, ordered the big wagons and cattle on to the Cason route, but eight rebelled and went the Truckee way, to meet the bitter fate of many of the early argonauts. The more fortunate party was seven months on the way, and during that time toiled along dusty trails, crossed deserts, starved ad thirsted through the long stretches of sage covered plains, guarded the camp at night from the approach of stealthy savages, forded rivers, avoided quicksands, climbed the ascent of the Rocky Mountains, and wandered among the precipices of the Sierra Nevadas. Arriving at their destination, they bought gold dust and had it coined, and for about one month engaged in mining, until the inhaling of quicksilver undermined the health of the younger man. Thereupon they sold their mining interests to Joseph M. Douglas, who, as a result of the further development of the gold dust business, cleared up an even $1,750,000. On April 6, 1855, they embarked at San Francisco for Panama, and, upon arriving in New York, the son, still in a weakened condition, crossed the ocean to Europe, and for six years lived with his family at his old home near Liverpool.
In 1861 Mr. Reynolds returned to Jacksonville, where he owned property and had numerous business interests, and where he unexpectedly came into possession of one of the finest farms in Morgan County, and the State. He had loaned $10,000, and received no interest, and in self-defense bought this immensely fertile property. Four years later he sold the farm and since has made his home in Jacksonville, living in the same house since the close of the Civil War. The last year of his life in the country is held in pleasant remembrance because of the sojourn there of Richard Cobden, the eminent British statesman and philanthropist.
Since living in Jacksonville Mr. Reynolds has been much interested in real estate brokerage, and has consummated some of the largest deals in the county and State. The most important of these, however, was the sale of the Alexander estate, in partnership with M.P. and A. E. Ayers, for $486,000. The commissions alone would have amounted to over $90,000. The brokers, however, waived a large share of their rights, receiving only $13,000 each.
Since assisting to organize the Prohibition party in Springfield about thirty years ago, Mr. Reynolds has not voted the Republican or Democratic ticket. In the meantime he has suffered somewhat for his devotion to a high principle, and has been the defeated candidate for Mayor, and State Senator. He was President of the Board of Trustees when the city charter was adopted, and was largely instrumental in getting the same through the Legislature. The same winter W. S. Hook secured a charter for the Jacksonville Street Railroad, but Mr. Reynolds secured two amendments to the charter, one stipulating that the road should not run through the Public Square and the other that rolling stock should be operated within three years. In the face of great opposition Mr. Reynolds opened the Diamond Grove Cemetery about forty years ago, converting a 40 acre brush tract into a solemn and beautiful city of the dead, laying out the walks and drives himself, and otherwise contributing to is appropriateness and utility. So bitter was the feeling against an innovation, which since has proved of incalculable benefit to the town, that threats were made to burn his house over his head.
With his family Mr. Reynolds is a member of the Baptist Church. Two
years ago he celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of his marriage, which
occurred October 26, 1844. Mrs. Reynolds, formerly Ellen Perry Routt, was
born in London England, in July, 1826, and comes of a fine old English
family. Eight of the ten children of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are living:
Thomas C., born September 14, 1849; Sarah Jane, born December 6, 1853,
the wife of William Becraft, of Paris, Ky.; Frances Ann, born December
7, 1855, the wife of Walter Rice, of Jacksonville; Elizabeth Ellen, born
March 15, 1858, the wife of William J. Stevenson, of Omaha, Neb.; Mary
Emma, born May 19, 1860, living with her parents; Ralph Bright, born June
14, 1862, a resident of Jacksonville; Richard Cobden, born February 5,
1864; and Charles Walter, born June 1, 1866, a resident of Indianapolis,
Ind. James C., the second of the children, who was born November 25, 1848,
is deceased, as is also Humboldt C., the third child, who was born September
14, 1849. At the age of eighty-four years Mr. Reynolds retains much of
the vigor, and all of the heart and interest of youth. His life has sped
by with settings of increased prosperity, and he has borne well, as becomes
a Christian gentleman and a high minded man, those trying experiences and
discouragements which visit even the most fortunate of men.
RICE, Albert Clark, a prominent and successful farmer and stock-raiser in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Scott County, Ill., January 3, 1853, the son of Elbert Gallatin and Mary Ann (Camp) Rice, his father being born August 6, 1823, in Columbia, Tenn. His grandfather, Ebenezer Rice, of Worcester County, Mass., migrated to North Carolina, where he married Katy Baldridge, and then removed to Tennessee, thence, in 1832, removing with his family to Illinois and settling in the southwestern part of Morgan (now in Scott) County. He located near Riggston, where he bought a land claim, and lived until his family were all matured, but finally moved to Cass County, where he died. He was a member of the Christian Church, and, on account of his industry, uprightness and piety, was beloved by a large circle of friends.
The early life of the father was passed on the farm near Riggston, where he remained until his marriage in 1847. Afterward he lived near Princeton, Cass County, for sixteen years, and from 1868 to 1892, his home farm-which was purchased from Ralph Reynolds-was on "The Mound" west of Jacksonville, where W. S. Rice now lives. A few months before his death he moved to Jacksonville. Early in the 'fifties he began preaching in the Christian Church, ministering in Morgan, Scott, Cass and Menard Counties. He preached regularly in Exeter, Concord Church, near Woodson, Sweetwater (Menard County), at Antioch, Princeton and Philadelphia (Cass County), but continued to live on his farm. Beginning with little he left a large estate to his family, acquired by industry, frugality, good judgment and honesty. His salary as a preacher was devoted entirely to mission work.
During the period of the Civil War., E. G. Rice was thoroughly loyal to the Union, and was anxious to volunteer for the service; but, as he had a family of ten children, his neighbors persuaded him to remain at home and attend to his domestic interests. He had an extensive acquaintance, was widely esteemed, preached many funeral sermons and performed many marriage ceremonies for miles around. In early life he was an active Republican, but later became a Prohibitionist, and was a candidate for several offices on the ticket of that party.
The wife of E. G. Rice was formerly Mary Ann Camp, a member of a very prominent family in Scott County. She was the daughter of George and Nancy (Felton) Camp, her father being a native of Massachusetts and her mother, of Vermont. The family journeyed from Vermont to Pittsburg in an ox-cart and thence to Shawneetown, Ill., on a flatboat, continuing the journey by the former conveyance to Riggston. The father entered Government land, and about the year 1834 built the first large frame house in Scott County. He was a (er) and merchant, and conducted a carding mill operated by ox-tread power. He was a prominent Mason and very active in that order. The children of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Rice were as follows: Sarah E., wife of James H. Campbell; Nannie C., wife of George W. Rawlings; Albert C.; Walter S.; William P., of Harrisonville, Mo.; Mary J., wife of Charles O. Culver, of Fort Collins, Colo.; Laura F., who died at the age of two years; Georgia A. (deceased), wife of Frederick H. Rankin, of Athens, Ill.; John C., of Caldwell, Idaho; Emma F., wife of George Vickery, of Jacksonville; and Eva M., wife of Marcus A. Hulett, of Morgan County. The father died February 12, 1892, and the mother passed away September 8, 1902.
Albert C. Rice attended the public schools, and was graduated from Illinois College in 1874. He then taught school, farming meanwhile, for ten years, and has always been deeply interested in the public schools. In 1879 he located on his present farm, where he has since been engaged in general farming, and in raising and feeding stock. For many years he has been active in Farmers' Institute work. For three years he was President and also served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Morgan County Farmers' Institute; and his fine farm shows evidence of progressive ideas in its improvements and management.
Mr. Rice was married October 23, 1879, to Minnie Joy, a daughter of Lyman F. Joy, of this county. Two children have resulted from this union, namely: Harry, who is a student at Eureka College, and Florence, studying in the Illinois Woman's College. Albert C. Rice is a strong Republican, but is public spirited and enthusiastic to support whatever he thinks is for the good of the community. He is a member of the Antioch Christian Church, and has been Superintendent of the Sunday-school for eighteen years. During this time he has also been actively engaged in the work of the Morgan County Sunday School Association.
The careers of the members of the Rice family, as shown in this review,
are so conspicuously worthy as to need no words of praise. The lives herein
protrayed speak for themselves.
RICHARDSON, John V., formerly a prominent and prosperous farmer, now living retired in his fine residence near Jacksonville, Ill., was born in the vicinity of Franklin, Morgan County, Ill., on February 14, 1840, the son of Vincent S. and Lydia (Rawlings) Richardson, natives of England, the former being born in Yorkshire. In 1830 Vincent Richardson came on a sailing vessel to the United States, the voyage consuming fourteen weeks. He landed in New York, and thence came by boat to Illinois where he entered several hundred acres of Government land, including the spot where his son, John V., was born. In 1831 he returned to England, where he was married to Lydia Rawlings, and during the same year, located permanently in Morgan County, brining his wife's family with him.
Vincent S. Richardson was the father of seven children, namely: Mary A., wife of Robert Riley, of Morgan County; John V.; William, who lives near Jacksonville, Ill.; Lizzie, who died in 1884, the wife of Charles Lazenby; George, who lives in the vicinity of John V.; Vincent, a farmer in Stafford County, Kans., and James, who is a farmer in Champaign County, Ill. The father of this family died in 1896, when nearly ninety years old, having always enjoyed good health, and being known as a liberal contributor to the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was successful in all his undertakings, and was influential in local politics, holding several township offices.
John V. Richardson remained on the farm near Franklin until he was ten years old, when his father removed to the place where the former now lives. He grew to manhood, attending school in a hewed log house containing one room, with a fireplace, slab seats and plank floor. Mr. Richardson remained at home until he was twenty0two years old, when he located on his present farm, there keeping "bachelor's hall" until the time of his marriage in 1866. On this place he has since continuously resided, with the exception of three months of 1879 which hee passed in England. The farm consists of 236 acres located on the State Road six miles west of Jacksonville. On it Mr. Richardson has made all the improvements, and until his retirement conducted general farming.
On November 28, 1866, Mr. Richardson was united in marriage to Mary Coumbes, a daughter of Richard W. Coumbes, and four children were born to them, namely: Minnie, who died at the age of eighteen years; John W., who carried on the home farm; Walter, who died when four years of age from accidentally drinking carbolic acid; and Annie, wife of William Coultas, who occupies the old homestead near Lynnville, Ill. The mother of this family died in 1887, and on October 25, 1903, Mr. Richardson was married to Alice M. Wilson, a native of Yorkshire, England.
In politics, Mr. Richardson is a supporter of the principles of the
Republican party. He has held the office of School Director, and served
six years as Supervisor. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
in which he is a Trustee. While in the full vigor of his prime, Mr. Richardson
was regarded as one of the leading agriculturists of Morgan County, and
the exceptionally fine farming property owned by him attests the intelligence,
diligence, integrity and enterprise, through which it was acquired and
RIFE, Jacob, a prosperous carpenter and contractor of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Cumberland County, Pa., October 26, 1826, a son of Jacob and Susan (Wharton) Rife, natives of Pennsylvania. The father died in 1865, and the mother, in 1863. Mr. Rife's ancestors on the paternal side were of German origin, while his maternal ancestry was of Irish derivation. In early youth Jacob Rife attended the district schools in the vicinity of his home in Pennsylvania, and afterward learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in that State until 1849. In October of that year he came to Illinois, and a year later settled in Winchester, whence he subsequently moved to Jacksonville. There, in 1856, he was married to Ann Eliza Towning, who was born and schooled in England. Two children, Samuel and Mary Elizabeth, resulted from this union. Mary graduated from the High School, and Samuel also pursued his studies there. Both are employed in Russel & Lyon's jewelry store - Samuel as a jeweler, and Mary as bookkeeper.
Politically, Mr. Rife is an independent Democrat. Religiously, he is
connected with the Lutheran Church, and his wife is a member of the Lutheran
Church, and his wife is a member of the Christian Church. Fraternally,
Mr. Rife is affiliated with the A.F. & A.M. and the I.O.O. F. He is
one of the oldest residents of Jacksonville, and many of its residences
and mercantile buildings attest his skill as a builder. He has been a busy
and important factor in the growth of the city, and is regarded everywhere
as a most worthy and upright man.
ROBERTSON, John R., the well known and efficient Cashier of the Jacksonville National Bank, was born in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., July 10, 1872, a son of John and Kate (Rawlings) Robertson, natives of Illinois, the former born near Orleans, Morgan County, February 2, 1823, and the latter, on August 2, 1842, near Beardstown, Cass County. (See sketch of father preceding). His paternal grandparents, Alexander and Elizabeth Robertson, were natives of Perthshire, Scotland, while his grandparents on the maternal side, Greenbury and Elizabeth Rawlings, were born in Lancaster, Pa.
John R. Robertson received his early mental training in his native city, and after his school days were over, became Assistant Cashier of the Farmers' National Bank, serving in this position until 1895, when he was elected Assistant Cashier of the Jacksonville National Bank, from which, on July 1, 1896, he was promoted to the position of Cashier of the same institution.
On December 24, 1902, Mr. Robertson was united in marriage with Ettie May Pierson, who was born in Boston, Mass., where she received her education. One child, John Robert Robertson, has resulted from this union.
Politically, Mr. Robertson is an active and influential Republican.
He served as Chairman of the Morgan County Republican Central Committee
from 1900 to 1903, was a member of the Governor's staff, and at present
is on the Board of Trustees of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, in
Jacksonville. Religiously, he is a member of the Westminster Presbyterian
Church, in which he officiates as a Trustee. In fraternal circles, he is
affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., having passed the 32d degree at
Peoria, Ill. He belongs to the Mystic Shrine, of Peoria, and is a Knight
Templar and a member of the Chapter, Council and Blue Lodge. He is also
identified with the M. W. A. K. of P., I. O. O. F. and B. P. O. E. Mr.
Robertson is one of the most capable, favorably known and popular of the
younger business men in Morgan County.
ROBERTSON, John, (deceased), one of the most successful farmers and business men of Morgan County, Ill., was born on his father's farm at the head of Mauvaisterre Creek, east of Jacksonville, in that county, February 2, 1823, the son of Alexander and Elizabeth Robertson. The father, one of the earliest pioneers of Morgan County, was born in Perthsire, Scotland, August 13, 1775, and was a representative of one of the strong and ancient Scottish clans. To him and his wife were born the following named children: Daniel, born June 12, 1804; Alexander, born February 19, 1806; Margaret, born February 29, 1808; Charles, born June 26, 1810; Elizabeth, born October 22, 1812; Catharine, born April 29, 1815; Emily, born May 24, 1817; Christina, born March 9, 1819; and John, born February 2, 1823. Alexander Robertson died November 14, 1856, and his wife, who was born August 20, 1780, passed away February 15, 1862.
In the spring of 1819 Alexander Robertson left his native land for the United States, and soon after arriving in New York City came as far west as Johnsburg, N. Y., where he remained until the following winter. Proceeding westward as far as Alton, Ill., which was then, after St. Louis, the principal center of population in the Mississippi Valley, he soon afterward joined the party which started in pursuit of the Indians who were responsible for the Schrone massacre, and accompanied this punitive expedition to Monticello. Upon his return he passed through the eastern part of Morgan County, and was so impressed with the fertility of the soil at the head of the Mauvaisterre that he returned to that point shortly afterward, entered a tract of land, erected a primitive log cabin, and began the work of developing a farm from the raw prairie. The remainder of his life was spent on this tract. A man of strong convictions, his personality made a marked impress upon the community during the pioneer period. He was widely known as a man of integrity; was straightforward and honest in all his dealings, and extremely conscientious. A stanch Presbyterian, he served as Elder in the church for many years. In politics he allied himself with the Whig party; but he never sought public office.
John Robertson received a common school education. The early years of his life were spent upon his father's farm. As soon as his means permitted he purchased a tract of fine farming land adjoining his father's farm, located about four miles north of the site of the village of Orleans, to which he added from time to time until he had become the owner of about 2,500 acres, all of which was exceptionally fertile prairie land. In his farming and stock operations he exercised rare business sagacity, and became a recognized power in important financial operations in Morgan County. He was one of the founders of the Jacksonville National Bank, in which he served as Vice-President from its date of organization until two years before his death, when failing health led to his retirement. He also held the controlling interest in the Farmers' National Bank of Virginia, Ill. He was one of the organizers of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, to the support of which he was a most liberal contributor, and in which he served as a Trustee for more than thirty years.
A devoted adherent to Republican principles, and a strong Union man during the Civil War, he contributed generously of his means toward the support of the soldiers in the field. His intense patriotism is well illustrated by the manner in which he came to the aid of the Federal Government during the darkest days of the Rebellion. On Black Friday, which is regarded by many historians as having been the most critical day in the history of the Government, Mr. Robertson requested the Treasury Department to deliver to him $50,000 worth of United States bonds, for which he paid in cash at a high premium. This act, which was practically a loan to the United States when its credit was at the lowest ebb, and when investors generally were expressing the gravest fears as to the financial stability of the Union, was preformed in a spirit of patriotism and confidence in the ultimate success of the Government. It redounded to the credit of Mr. Robertson and in itself is sufficient to entitle his name to be perpetuated as one of the most noble, high-minded and patriotic citizens of the commonwealth. It is also related of him that during the days when Richard Yates, the famous War Governor of Illinois, was campaigning in behalf of the Union party, Mr. Robertson on more than one occasion held tallow candles near the speaker. Though a man who shrank from attracting public attention to himself, his nature and spirit were such that he was never able to resist an impulse to participate actively in those public matters and functions which had for their end the strengthening of the hand of the Republican party and the cause of the Union.
Mr. Robertson was twice married. On December 18, 1844, he was united with Mary Ann Drinkwater, who was born November 3, 1824, of an old family of Cass County, Ill., and died May 10, 1867. They became the parents of the following named children: Elizabeth, born September 24, 1845, and died October 6, 1846; John Wesley, born December 1, 1846; John T., August 19, 1848; Mary J., April 23, 1850; Frank, January 17, 1852; Martha, January 8, 1854; Cassandra, November 4, 1855; Richard, September 16, 1857; and William L., September 25, 1860.
Mr. Robertson's second marriage occurred October 6, 1870, when he was united with Kate Rawlings, daughter of Greenbury and Elizabeth Rawlings, of Cass County, Ill., who survives him. Their children are as follows: John Rawlings, of Jacksonville; Kathryn, wife of Preston R. Smith, of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Elizabeth, who resides at home. Mr. Robertson's death occurred December 5, 1895.
John Robertson was a representative of that rare type of men who combine
in their personality great force of character and fixity of purpose with
generosity of heart, wide mental vision and a spirit of good-fellowship
and humanitarianism. His life was one of great practical utility and broad
usefulness. It has been said of him that, had he been so situated as to
devote his talents to a commercial or financial career in a great city,
he inevitably would have become a national figure. Few men have lived in
Illinois, who, as private citizens, have made records which have left such
an indelible impress upon the communities in which they have been factors.
He was essentially "a big man," in the common acceptance of the
term, whose limitations were prescribed not through lack of opportunity
so much as through his own desire to live a quiet, unostentatious life,
free from the turmoil and strife so characteristic of the career of the
modern successful man of affairs.
RODGERS, Henry J., Sheriff of Morgan County, Ill., was born in Waddington, N. Y., August 17, 1862, a son of James A. and Margaret W. (Common) Rodgers, the former a native of Scotland. James A. Rodgers was brought to this country by his parents, who settled in Waverly, Ill., in 1867. He became a contractor and carpenter, and followed that occupation in Waverly until his death in 1893. His widow, who survives him, is still a resident of that place.
In youth Henry J. Rodgers received his mental training in the public schools of Waverly, and on reaching maturity became connected with a saw-mill, where he remained for three years. Then in partnership with others, he operated the first steam threshing machine in that section, and in 1886 purchased the Waverly Machine and Blacksmith Shop. This he still owns, having added to it an implement and carriage department. In 1895, with others, he established an electric-light plant of which he has been the sole owner since 1899. In the winter of 1898, he sold the implement and carriage business. In addition to holding the above mentioned interests, Mr. Rodgers is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Waverly.
On August 23, 1882, Mr. Rodgers was united in marriage with Fannie Belle Holtzclaw, of Versailles, Ill., and their union has resulted in three children, namely: Fay Louise, Henry Jay, and Edith Georgia.
In politics, Mr. Rodgers is an earnest, active and influential Democrat.
He was for three years a member of the Waverly Board of Education, and
from 1895 to 1899, served as Mayor of the city. In the fall of 1898 he
was elected County Treasurer and Assessor and continued in this position
until 1902. He was then elected Sheriff of Morgan County, and in January,
1899, removed to Jacksonville. Fraternally, Mr. Rodgers is affiliated with
Waverly Lodge, A.F.&A.M., Jacksonville Encampment and Jacksonville
Chapter, R.A.M. He is a charter member of the K.of P., of Waverly, and
belongs to the I.O.O.F. there. He is identified also with the M.W.A. Religiously,
he is connected with Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, of Jacksonville.
In view of the facts stated, it will readily be inferred that Mr. Rodgers
is one of the most prominent and popular citizens of Morgan County.
ROHRER, Albert, retired farmer, residing in Waverly, Morgan County, Ill., and ex-President of the Bank of Waverly, was born March 16, 1830, the son of Jonathan and Mary (Traughber) Rohrer, natives of Logan County, Ky. In the fall of 1827, Jonathan Rohrer removed from Kentucky to Illinois, and located on 240 acres of Government land, which cost him $1.25 per acre. His signal success as a farmer is manifest in the fact that previous to his decease, he was the owner of 1,400 acres of very productive land, which he divided among this children, besides leaving them $45,000 in money. At the age of fourteen years Jonathan Rohrer learned the trade of a coppersmith, but never engaged in that occupation. His life was devoted to farming and stock-raising. He was the father of seven children, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of M. S. Kennedy; Albert, Milton S., and John Wesley, deceased; Mary C., widow of Bartley G. Pugh; and Louisa, wife of William Fletcher. The father of this family united with the Methodist Church while living in Kentucky, and although not connected with any religious denomination after settling Illinois, led an exemplary Christian life. He died on February 17, 1879, and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Traughber, passed away March 25, 1879.
In his early youth Albert Rohrer received his mental training in the country schools and the public schools of Waverly, Ill. He began life for himself on a farm of 120 acres, which was a gift from his father, and through the same industry, steadfastness of purpose, economy, preserverance and integrity which dominated the life of that honored parent, accumulated 1,260 acres of land, divided into four farms. This is the outcome of thirty years of diligent and successful effort as a farmer and stock-feeder. Mr. Rohrer was one of the original stockholders on the Jacksonville & St. Louis and the Eastern & Bluff Line Railroads, and he has been active in the promotion of all worthy enterprises in his section of the county. He was also one of the founders of the Bank of Waverly, organized in 1877, serving for several years as one of its Directors, and was its President when the institution was compelled to suspend, through losses occasioned in connection with some of its most important investments. The bank was sponsor for a mill at Waverly, which became heavily involved on account of mismanagement of its affairs, and when its doors were closed, August 11, 1898, Mr. Rohrer, together with several others interested in the institution, found themselves on the verge of financial ruin.
On October 18, 1855, Mr. Rohrer was united in marriage with Jane C. Knowles, a daughter of Burton Knowles, and a native of Indiana. At the age of fourteen years she was brought by her parents to Menard County, Ill. Three children have resulted from this union, namely: Albert Lee, who died in infancy; Newton B., of Waverly, Ill.; and Mary Emma, wife of James E. Hutchinson, of Kansas City, Mo., Superintendent of a division of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad.
In politics, Mr. Rohrer is a firm Democrat, but, although attending
strictly to his duties as a citizen, has never sought political preferment.
For many years, however, he served his township as School Director. Religiously,
he has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more
than fifty-seven years. He donated the land on which Rohrer Chapel is located,
and contributed $700 toward its construction. He has also assisted financially
in the erection of several other churches in his section. He has lived
a busy, useful and dutiful life, and his declining years are solaced by
the consciousness that he transmits to his posterity an unblemished name.
ROHRER, Newton Bell, a retired farmer of high standing, whose home is in Waverly, Morgan County, Ill., was born on his father's farm in that county, August 16, 1856, the son of Albert and Jane C. (Knowles) Rohrer, natives of Illinois and Indiana, respectively. (See sketch of Albert and Jonathan Rorer, father and grandfather of Newton B., preceding, in this volume.)
In boyhood Newton B. Rohrer received his elementary mental training in the public schools and supplemented this by a subsequent course in the Jacksonville Business College, from which he was graduated in 1878. Shortly afterward he bought a farm situated about a mile northeast of Waverly, on which he carried on farming with profitable results for sixteen years. This property he still owns, but since 1896 has resided in Waverly, his sight having become impaired to such an extent as to necessitate his withdrawal from active business. For about fifteen months he served as clerk for the Waverly Milling Company. Since his retirement from Agricultural pursuits he has devoted considerable attention to the real estate and mortgage loan business.
On March 17, 1880, Mr. Rohrer was united in marriage with Ella Summerfield
Crain, a daughter of the late John A. Crain, of Waverly. On political issues,
Mr. Rohrer's opinions are in harmony with the policies of the Democratic
party. His religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal Church,
in which he officiates on the Board of Trustees. In fraternal circles,
he is identified with the A.F.&A.M., being a member of Waverly Lodge,
No. 118, and of Hospitaler Commandery, No. 31, K.T., Jacksonville; is also
affiliated with Linton Lodge, No. 401, K. of P. He is a man of strict probity,
and as a member of the community is enterprising, public spirited and progressive.
ROTTGER, John, (deceased), for many years a prominent and successful business man of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was a native of Minden, Germany, where he was born on February 6, 1840. In 1852 he came with his parents to the United States, and spent one year in St. Louis, Mo., whence the family moved to Morgan County, Ill., locating on a farm near the village of Franklin. His father being in poor circumstances, John Rottger enjoyed slender advantages for mental improvement. He spent his evenings in attendance at a night school, where he acquired a meager knowledge of a few elementary branches. After he attained manhood he was employed for some years as a nurseryman by Prof. J. B. Turner, of Jacksonville, and later learned the trade of cabinet making. When he had mastered this he purchased his employer's business and combined that line with undertaking. Thus he continued until the time of his death, at which period he was one of the oldest business men in Jacksonville, having been a resident of the city from 1856.
On November 27, 1873, Mr. Rottger was united in marriage with Anna M., a daughter of Edwin H. and Anna M. (Cooper) Carlile. This union resulted in six children, as follows: Maude (Mrs. Thos. W. Sweeney); John Frederick, undertaker and embalmer; Anna Wilhelmina, who is now Mrs. Spelman, of Texas; Uria Beatrice, actress and soloist; Jessie Carlile, a student in the High School; and Lucille Amelia, who attends public school in Jacksonville. Mrs. Rottger's father was of English and Scotch extraction and her mother was born in Chester County, Pa., of German descent. The parents settled in Illinois in 1852, locating on a farm ten miles from Jacksonville, and both dying at the age of eighty-four years - the father in 1883 and the mother in 1898. By a former marriage Mr. Rottger was the parent of two children, viz.: C. H. Rottger, now District Manager of the Bell Telephone, Springfield, and Mary E. Pierson, of Jacksonville.
Mr. Rottger, was a consistent member of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal
Church of Jacksonville, and was in fraternal affiliation with the A.F.
& A.M. order, in which he was a Knight Templar. In the I.O.O.F., he
had passed all the chairs of the Jacksonville Lodge, of which he was a
member for forty-two years, having represented it in the Grand Lodge. He
was a diligent and conscientious worker, faithful to all his obligations,
a man of dutiful spirit and pure life, and all who knew him were his stanch
friends and admirers.
ROUTT, Charles Louis, (deceased), Jacksonville, was born in Woodford County, Ky., September 13, 1825, a son of Harvey and Catherine Maria (Springer) Routt, both natives of Kentucky. Charles L. Routt was educated in the Catholic College at Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of seventeen completing a course which included a mastery of the dead languages, as well as French and German. Throughout his life he remained a great student, and was an extensive general reader. Upon the completion of his college course he returned to Morgan County, where his parents had located in 1834, and at once began assisting in the operation of the home farm, eight miles southeast of Jacksonville. His father died in that city in 1872, and the son continued farming upon property inherited from the paternal estate. A short time prior to his father's death, he also removed to Jacksonville, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away November 26, 1894. Individually, he possessed over 1,000 acres of good farming land in Morgan and Sangamon Counties, and he and his brother, William R. Routt, held a large amount of land in partnership. He also owned several store buildings in Jacksonville, and a third interest in the Grand Opera House. Though a stanch Democrat, he never cared for political honors.
Mr. Routt will be best remembered by reason of his multifold munificences
to the Church of Our Savior, of Jacksonville, and to the foundation of
Our Savior's Hospital of that city. He also made large gifts to the Catholic
Convent, at Springfield, Ill., and to the support of the Catholic Church
and its auxiliary institutions. Upon his death it was found he had devised
the sum of $75,000 to be devoted to the furtherance of the church work
of the diocese, under the direction of the Bishop. His name will always
be held in most loving remembrance by those interested in the welfare of
the church, and also by many needy persons who were in no manner identified
with Catholicism. He was a man of a quiet, retiring disposition and of
profound philanthropic and humanitarian instincts. His numerous splendid
traits of character endeared him closely to a large proportion of the population
of Jacksonville and vicinity. Mr. Routt inherited a portion of the great
estate of Reuben Springer, of Cincinnati, and this he regarded as a trust
fund to be devoted to the elevation of the educational, moral and religious
status of the community. The Routt Club, of Jacksonville, was named in
his honor. Mr. Routt never married.
ROUTT, William Reuben, Jacksonville, one of the most widely known and highly esteemed citizens of Morgan County, was born in Woodford County, Ky., April 1, 1832, a son of Harvey and Catherine Maria (Springer) Routt, who came to Illinois in 1834 and settled on a farm eight miles southeast of Jacksonville. He was reared on this farm, attending the common schools of the neighborhood. Early in manhood he bought a tract of land located near his father's home, to which he added by purchase and inheritance from his father and his brother, Charles L. Routt-a sketch of whose life will be found in an adjoining part of this work. Though he has made large gifts to charity, education and religion, he is still regarded as one of the wealthy men of Morgan County. In 1886 he relinquished the active operation of his extensive farming interests and removed to Jacksonville, where he has since lived in practical retirement, though still, in conjunction with his son, Harvey J. Routt, retaining a general supervision of his properties. He owns considerable real estate in Jacksonville, principally in the business portion of the city, is a Director in the Hockenhull-Elliott Bank, and in the Jacksonville Gas & Electric Light Company. He is a Democrat in politics, but has always declined to accept nominations to public office.
Mr. Routt was originally a member of the Christian Church, in which he was reared by his parents, and which he entered at the age of sixteen years. For many years he served as Elder and Deacon. But he was for a long time unsettled in his belief and finally, in 1896, two years after the death of his brother, embraced the Roman Catholic faith and entered the Church of Our Savior at Jacksonville. Like his brother, he has been extremely liberal in his gifts to that church and its dependencies. The magnificent pipe organ in the church was donated by him. The old Routt Club House on East State Street he transferred to the parish for educational purposes, and also built the addition to Our Savior's Hospital. His most noteworthy gift in late years has been the sum of $15,000 and the ground for the foundation of Routt College, which is named in his honor, and which he endowed with $50,000 on the day of its dedication.
In 1870 Mr. Routt was united in marriage with Martha Ann Ransdell, a
native of Morgan County, and they have one son, Harvey John Routt, who
is preparing to carry on the work undertaken by his father. Harvey J. Routt,
who is their only child, gave $10,000 toward the founding of Routt College
and is a professor in that institution. He is young man of a literary turn
of mind, and a most ardent lover of truth for its own sake. High-minded,
fearless and uncompromising in the things that make for lasting peace,
he is recognized as a potent factor in the community and will certainly
sustain with dignity the honorable name bequeathed him by his ancestors.
ROWE, Fred H. - The early idea that the lawyer was the best educated as to the rights of man and the limitations of government, both of them prescribed by law, still prevails to an appreciable extent. Thus law and politics ever were akin, and many who desire the largest compensations for their calling, gravitate irresistibly toward this combination of opportunities. In this dual role Fred h. Rowe had been prominently identified with Jacksonville ever since his admission to the bar of Illinois in 1888. Mr. Rowe's youth had, as surroundings, the rugged hills of Vermont, among which he was born December 20, 1857. His parents were Harvey and Annie (Lyon) Rowe, both natives of the Green Mountain State, the former born in 1831, and the latter in 1830. The elder Rowe, who was a marble and granite dealer, broadened his activities to include a keen interest in politics, and served in the Legislature of Vermont, and otherwise contributed to the well-being of his community until his removal to Jacksonville, Ill., in 1886. An appreciation of scholarship, and a firm determination to brush away all obstacles to success, seem to have been distinguishing traits of the early, as they are of the later life of Fred H. Rowe. Having insufficient means to pursue his studies beyond the high school, he created his own opportunity for a college education by working in the post office at Poultney, Vt., while preparing for college at Troy Conference Academy, from which he was graduated in 1876. He thus earned his tuition at Williams College, from which he graduated with honor in 1880. He was President of his class, and took honors for oratory and debating. During the following year he taught in the St. John's School, at Poultney, and in 1882 came to Jacksonville, where he became identified with business affairs for six years. In the meantime he began to read law in the offices of Morrison & Whitlock and Judge Thompson, of Jacksonville, and was admitted to the bar in 1888.
Mr. Rowe cast his first presidential vote for James A. Garfield in 1880. In 1889, the year after his admission to the bar, he was elected Attorney of the city of Jacksonville, and was reelected to the same office for a second two years' term in 1891. In 1898 he was a candidate for County Judge. During the 'nineties he developed excellent campaigning ability, drew large and interested throngs throughout the State, and served as Chairman of the committee which resulted in the nomination of Richard Yates, Jr., for Governor of Illinois, at Peoria, in 1900. During 1901 he was private secretary for Governor Yates, and from 1901 until 1905 was State Insurance Attorney. He has served on county, State, city and Congressional committees, was Chairman of the Republican State Committee from 1900 to 1905, and has been prominent in the local deliberations of his party ever since comint to Illinois. Mr. Rowe is eminently social in his tendencies, and is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Masonic fraternity, of the local lodge of the latter order being Master during 1896-97.
The wife of Mr. Rowe, whose maiden name was Marietta Mathers, was born
in Jacksonville, in 1857, the daughter of Wesley and Millicent (Yates)
Mathers, the former a brother-in-law of the first Gov. Richard Yates, and
for a time a hardware merchant of Jacksonville, and Mayor of the city in
1875. Mrs. Rowe is a graduate of the Illinois Woman's College, and has
been a Trustee and President of the Alumnae Association of that institution.
Mr. and Mrs. Rowe are the parents of three children: Cole Y., who was born
June 16, 1886; Richard Yates, born December 12, 1889; and Millicent Emily,
born August 17, 1891. Mr. Rowe is the personification of twentieth century
energy and resource, and with his extended and many sided experience, broad
knowledge of men and affairs, and excellent professional equipment, would
seem destined to fill an even more important place in the future than he
has in the past.
RUTLEDGE, Charles G., Bank Cashier, Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Jacksonville, January 1, 1861, the son of Rev. George and Mary Ann (Mathers) Rutledge, the former a native of Augusta, Va., and the latter of Enniskillen, Ireland. (For genealogy of the Rutledge family, see sketch of Rev. George Rutledge, preceding.) Charles G. Rutledge's mother, Mary Ann (Mathers) Rutledge, was born at Enniskillen, Ireland, September 15, 1819, the daughter of Wesley and Elizabeth (Dennen) Mathers, both natives of Enniskillen, Ireland - the former born December 15, 1780, and the latter June 20th, of the same year.
The subject of this sketch received his education in the public schools of his native city and Illinois College, graduating from the latter in the class of 1881, and later taking a course in Brown's Business College. On March 14, 1882, he entered into the employment of the banking firm of M. P. Ayers & Co., at Jacksonville, with which he has been associated twenty-four years, at present (1906) holding the position of Cashier. Official positions held by him include those of member of the Board of Education, to which he was elected on the Republican ticket in April, 1903, and with which he is still connected, and member of the Jacksonville Library Board. In hi political affiliations, Mr. Rutledge has been identified with the Republican party; is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is associated with the Masonic bodies up to the Knights Templar Commandery, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. Rutledge was married at Glasgow, Mo., April 30, 1890, to Ada C.
Harrison, who was a native of that city and educated at the Mary Institute,
St. Louis. They have had two children born to them - a son and a daughter
- the former, Orrel Harrison, born April 20, 1895, and the latter, Lily-Way,
born June 26, 1898. Mr. Rutledge's entire business life has been spent
in the city of Jacksonville.
RUTLEDGE, George, Rev., (deceased), former Methodist Episcopal clergyman of Morgan County, Ill., was born in Augusta County, Va., November 11, 1811, the son of George and Mary (Galbraith) Rutledge, both natives of Augusta County, Va., the former dying in that State in 1825. Three brother os the Rutledge family who were natives of England, came to America, one of whom, John Rutledge, became a Chief Justice; John became Governor of South Carolina, and the third, William R., became a planter in Virginia. The latter was the grandfather of Rev. George Rutledge, the subject of this sketch. At the age of twenty years George Rutledge, Jr., was converted and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His father having died seven years previous, and being the eldest child, the care and maintenance of the family devolved largely upon him and assisted to develop those sturdy qualities which, in after life, were prominent traits of his character.
Soon after his conversion Mr. Rutledge entered the ministry, first as a supply on Abington Circuit, Baltimore Conference, under Rev. Charles B. Tippett as Presiding Elder. A year later he was admitted on trial as a member of the Baltimore Conference and immediately transferred to the Illinois Conference, where he occupied positions as follows: Sangamon Circuit, 1835; Jacksonville, 1836; Sangamon, 1837-38; Knoxville, 1839; Lewistown, 1840-41; Rushville, 1842; Carrollton, 1843-44; Quincy 1845; Rushville, 1846; Jacksonville, 1847; Sparta District, 1848; Winchester, 1849-50; Alton District, 1851. The Southern Illinois Conference having been set off about this time, he remained a member of the Illinois Conference and, in 1852, was stationed in Griggsville. Appointments later held by him included Presiding Elder of the Jacksonville District, 1853-56; Pleasant Plains Circuit, 1857-60; Carlinville Station, 1861; Bloomington District, 1862-65; Jacksonville Circuit, 1866-70. His death occurred September 7, 1871, as the result of typhoid fever, by which he was attached after attending a quarterly meeting on the West Jacksonville Circuit August 27th previous.
Mr. Rutledge was married June 1, 1837, to Mary Ann Mathers, who with
three daughters and four sons survive him. He was a zealous worker in the
interest of the church whose cause he had espoused at an early age, and
was an especial friend and champion of the Illinois Conference Female college
- now the Illinois Woman's College - during the infancy of that institution.
A generous tribute was paid to his memory in a "Memoir" printed
in the Minutes of the Illinois Annual Conference held at Jacksonville,
September 20-25, 1871, a few weeks after his death. (For sketch of Rev.
William J. Rutledge, a brother of Rev. George Rutledge, and who was an
Army Chaplain during the Civil War and one of the founders of the Grand
Army of the Republic, see page 462 of the "Historical Encyclopedia
RUTLEDGE, William J., Rev., clergyman, Army chaplain, born in Augusta County, Va., June 24, 1820; was converted at the age of 12 years and, at 21, became a member of the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, serving various churches in the central and western parts of the State - also acting, for a time, as Agent of the Illinois Conference Female College at Jacksonville. From 1861 to 1863 he was Chaplain of the Fourteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers. Returning from the war, he served as pastor of churches at Jacksonville, Bloomington, Quincy, Rushville, Springfield, Griggsville and other points; from 1881 to '84 was Chaplain of the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. Mr. Rutledge was one of the founders of the Grand Army of the Republic, and served for many years as Chaplain of the order for the Department of Illinois. In connection with the Ministry, he has occupied a supernumerary relation since 1885. Died in Jacksonville, April 14, 1900.
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