1906 Historical Encyclopedia Of Illinois & History
of Morgan County IL
& HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY
Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1906.
SANDERS, Charles Joseph, one of the best known and most highly respected agriculturists of Morgan County residing on his farm half a mile north of Concord, was born in Loudoun County, Va., February 14, 1825, a son of Edward and Barbara Ann (Byrns) Sanders. His father, who was born in Annapolis, Md., in 1774, served in the War of 1812, and participated in the memorable battle of North Point, when the British forces attempted to land and occupy the city of Baltimore. His wife, who was born in Bladensburg, Md., was a daughter of John Byrns, also a native of Maryland. John Byrns fought with the regular Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary War, with the exception of about eighteen months when he served in the command of General Francis Marion in South Carolina. He participated in the battle of the Brandywine, where he was wounded five times. His record throughout this great struggle was a valorous one, to which his descendants point with pardonable pride. He died at the patriarchal age of one hundred and ten years. He was twice married, first to Annie Tate, and upon his death in 1846 was survived by his widow and ten children - five by each marriage. His second wife, Barbara Byrns Sanders, left her Virginia home with her five children, in 1848, and started overland for Illinois, the journey consuming thirty-three days. Charles J. Sanders, the subject of this sketch, was a member of this party, having first visited this region in 1847, and returned home in the spring of 1848. Mr. Sanders was reared on his father's farm in Loudoun County, Va., and received a limited education in the early subscription schools. His father lost $84,000 by becoming security for the Sheriff of Loudoun County, and, finding himself unable to continue in business, freed his slaves. This left the family practically without means, and resulted in their determination to seek a home in a new State where they might build up their fallen fortunes. The first location of the family was in Springfield, where Mr. Sanders accepted any employment that offered itself. There he remained until 1852. During his residence in Springfield he formed an acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln, then a struggling lawyer, which ripened into a friendship that existed up to the time of Lincoln's death. In 1853 Mr. Sanders returned to his old home in Virginia and brought back with him his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Byrns, whose husband, John Byrns, had served in the Revolutionary War. She spent the remainder of her life in Illinois, dying at the age of over eighty years.
In 1852 Mr. Sanders and his brother, James J. Sanders, came to Morgan County and purchased a farm of 212 acres north of the site of the village of Concord. At this time it contained a rude house of two rooms and a kitchen, and the land was but slightly improved. The two brothers began at once to develop the property, and so successful were their efforts that they accumulated over 800 acres of land, now forming one of the most valuable pieces of farming property of its extent in Morgan County. It is finely located and includes a commodious and attractive residence, with other improvements, all of which are the result of the combined labors of the two brothers, who remained equal partners until the death of James J. Sanders, August 20, 1897, at the age of seventy-four years.
Though Mr. Sanders has operated his farm continuously since settling upon it with his brother, for several years he also dealt in grain, making his headquarters at Concord. In politics, he was originally a Whig. Upon the organization of the Republican party, in 1856, he entered its ranks, and as one of the six residents of Concord who dared defy public sentiment and vote for General Freemont for the Presidency. He went to Jacksonville with Samuel French's company to participate in the first Fremont parade held in Morgan County. His first vote, as a Whig, was for Zachary Taylor for President, and Richard Yates, for Member of Congress. For the past twenty years he has been an ardent Prohibitionist. During his entire lifetime he has never sought political office, and has consented to fill none excepting such local posts as good citizens are called upon to occupy from time to time, such as Supervisor of Roads and School Director.
Mr. Sanders has been one of the most prominent men in Odd Fellowship in Morgan County. Initiated into the order at Concord in 1852, he has served many terms as Noble Grand of that lodge. For several years he was Representative of the Grand Lodge of the State, and for eight years was Deputy Noble Grand of the Grand Lodge. While occupying the latter exalted office, he instituted the lodges at Bethel and Arenzville, and reorganized the Bethel Lodge, when it was removed to Chapin. (See history of Odd Fellowship.)
Soon after the beginning of the Mexican War, he enlisted for service in Colonel Mason's regiment, which was organized in Loudoun County, Va.; but before the command could enter active service the war had terminated and, much to his disappointment, the regiment was disbanded. But he has an honorable record of service in the Union Army throughout the Civil War. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and First Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served continuously with that command to the end of his term of service, or until the close of the conflict. At the battle of Peach Tree Creek, Ga., he was wounded in the frontal bone and the ear, though not seriously. At Holly springs, Miss., he was one of the members of the four companies of his regiment which were captured by the Confederates, and held prisoner for about six months. He was with his command on the memorable March to the Sea, and participated in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C., where, in June, 1865, he was mustered out as First Sergeant, receiving his discharge at Springfield, Ill. He still retains custody of the battle flag presented to his company by a Miss Smith, a relic which is prized very highly by his family and the citizens of concord generally. For many years he was a member of the Grand Army Post instituted at Chapin.
On May 21, 1856, Mr. Sanders was united in marriage with Hannah Eagle, who was born in England, September 19, 1835, and came to Morgan County in 1855, with her parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (Stagles) Eagle. The latter, who became well known and highly esteemed residents of this county, came to America in 1853, first locating in Monroeville, Ohio. Mrs. Eagle is still living at the age of ninety-one years. Mrs. Sanders' brother, Thomas Eagle, entered the Union Army at the age of fifteen years as an attache of the One Hundred and First Regiment, though not as an enlisted man, on account of his youth. He subsequently enlisted in Company B, Sixty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving with credit. Her father served three months in the defense of Washington in the Civil War, and her grandfather, Reuben Eagle, served with the King's Troops in England at the time his son, Thomas, was born.
Mr. and Mrs. Sanders have been the parents of ten children, of whom five are deceased, namely: Elizabeth, Edward Lincoln, Louie, William Sherman and Grace. Those now living, are named as follows: Martha Ellen, who married Thomas R. Smith; Mecca Delores, who married Charles W. Yeck; James Edward, Minnie Byrns and Charles Ernest. The three youngest children reside with their parents, the two sons sharing in the operation of the home farm. James Edward Sanders, who was born July 1, 1874, enlisted June 13, 1898, in Company K, Nineteenth Regiment, U.S.A., and served nine months during the Spanish-American War. His command first went into camp at Tampa, Fla., and afterward participated in the maneuvers in Porto Rico. He was discharged at Lares, Porto Rico, April 16, 1899.
Charles J. Sanders belongs to that rugged type of men who form the bone
and sinew of a community or a State. In their ambition for financial success,
he and his wife, and Mr. Sanders' brother, James J., never forgot their
duty to their fellowmen, but always assisted in the promotion of all worthy
projects which had for their aim the advancement of the general welfare.
Mr. Sanders has been a useful and helpful citizen, liberal in his support
of educational and religious institutions, and always willing to extend
a helping hand to his friends and neighbors who have been less fortunate
than he. Now, in the twilight of a long and honorable career, he and his
estimable wife are surrounded by their affectionate family and enjoying
the comforts to which their years of devotion to their family and friends
entitle them. A high-minded, unselfish, public-spirited citizen, a man
whom all delight to honor, he is entitled to recognition among the representative
men of Morgan County, and his life record should be a source of gratification
and pride to his descendants and to the entire community.
SANDERS, William Davis, D. D., (deceased), orator and educator of Jacksonville, Ill., a man of marked literary ability and great scholarly attainments, was born in Huron County, Ohio, the son of Dr. Moses Chapin Sanders, a distinguished physician and surgeon. He prepared for college at Huron Institute, Milan, Ohio, and in 1841 entered the Western Reserve College at Hudson, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1845. During the next three years he was principal of the Richfield Academy, Summit County, Ohio. In 1848 he entered the Western Reserve Theological Seminary at Hudson, completing his course there in 1851, and during this period executing a plan which rescued the college from great peril and added over $100,000 to its resources.
Soon after completing his studies in theology, July 10, 1851, Dr. Sanders was united in marriage with Cornelis Ruth Smith of Cleveland, who still survives him and resides in her beautiful home in Jacksonville. Of the five children born to them, one has died, and the remainder occupy prominent business and social positions in Cleveland and Jacksonville. Immediately after completing his studies, Dr. Sanders was ordained by the Presbytery of Portage and took charge of a church at Ravenna, Ohio, where he labored three years with marked success. He was then called to the chair of Rhetoric, Elocution and English Literature in Illinois College, which he ably filled for fifteen years from the fall of 1854, through his personal exertions, relieving the institution from financial embarrassment. Dr. Sanders was recognized as among the most powerful of the anti-slavery orators of his day and as among the most eloquent of the supporters of the Union cause. One of his most patriotic appeals was pronounced by him in Strawn's Opera House, April 12, 1861, to the Hardin Light Guard and the Union Guards, on the Sabbath preceding their departure for the field. Among other oratorical efforts which gave him great celebrity, were his welcome to Gen. John A. McClernand in 1862, to Gen. Benj. H. Grierson in 1863, his discourse at Quincy upon the fall of Richmond, his oration in Carlinville the same year, and his welcome to ex-President Grant on occasion of his visit to Jacksonville in 1880.
Dr. Sanders' name, however, will perhaps be perpetuated longer as that of the founder of institutions of learning, than from any other cause. He was the originator of the "Young Ladies" Athenaeum," a school established in 1864, which enjoyed the patronage of the wealthiest and most intelligent families, and under his superintendence, occupied a large field of usefulness. It was first in this region, if not in the West, in promoting the higher education of women. The Illinois conservatory of Music is also the offspring of his untiring energy, its establishment dating from 1870. Dr. Sanders was repeatedly called to pulpits in the large cities, but persistently declined such alluring offers. In the socio-literary life of Jacksonville he was active, and in 1860 or 1861 he, with Rev. Dr. Hamilton, established The Club, one of the first literary organizations which have become so numerous throughout the West of late years.
Dr. William D. Sanders was a man of the strongest convictions, of great
courage, and of the broadest, yet most individual sympathies. He was possessed
of an unusual fund of information, acquired by extensive reading upon almost
every topic, keeping in close touch with the progress of religion, politics
and great enterprises and movements in general. As a teacher his ability
to impart instruction was extraordinary, and the enthusiasm he could arouse
in pupils was a matter of enduring value to them in the acquisition of
knowledge. He belonged among the great teachers, and in that lofty realm
his influence will probably be the most enduring. His death occurred October
SARGENT, John Collens, (deceased, formerly a retired minister and farmer, of Markham, Morgan County, Ill., was born near that place June 22, 1828, the son of William Lamb and Melinda (Hughes) Sargent, the father and mother being natives of Kentucky. The parents moved to Morgan County in 1824, and the father first entered 160 acres of Government land, to which he added 80 acres, located five and a half miles west of Jacksonville. The family moved to Andrew County, Mo., in 1868, where the father died at the age of eighty-four years, the mother having passed away in Morgan County when about sixty-six years of age.
William L. Sargent was a prominent man in the communities in which he lived. Politically he was first a Jackson Democrat; then a Whig, and afterward a Republican. He served two terms in the State Senate, and was County Commissioner and Justice of the Peace. He was one of the principal founders of the Methodist Episcopal Church, organized in the schoolhouse, which afterward became the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church. In this he was a member of the first class, and held the offices of Steward and Trustee. During the Civil War he served on the Christian Commission for about six months, was captured by the Confederates near Nashville, Tenn., and was paroled and sent home. He had six sons in the Union Army, all of whom survived the war, viz.: John C., Charles A., William Smith, Thomas J., Henry and James, all being privates except John C. The period of their combined services was thirteen years. Their uncle, John Sargent, served in the Black Hawk War.
John C. Sargent made Morgan County his home, being reared on a farm and attending the subscription schools of his neighborhood. IN 1851 Mr. Sargent united with the Mount Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, near Markham, during a revival conducted by the pastor, Rev. C. W. Lewis, and he then formally dedicated himself to religious work. He studied for the ministry under the direction of his mother and James Dalton, a local church leader, and took a four years' conference course. He began preaching in 1854, in Morgan County, being received at the conference held at Hardin, and his first sermon delivered in Wesley Chapel, after which he did circuit and station work. In 1855-56 he was stationed over the church at Manchester; in 1857 was at New Hartford; in 1858-59 at Lynnville, and 1860-61 at Whitehall.
In 1862 Mr. Sargent enlisted in the Union Army, being elected First Lieutenant of Company G, Ninety-first Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. A month later he was commissioned Chaplain of the regiment and served two years. He was in service at Shepherdsville and Elizabethtown, Ky., where he was captured by John Morgan, paroled and sent to Benton Barracks. On July 4, 1863, he went down the Mississippi and was six weeks in New Orleans and six months in Brownsville, Texas. Upon his return from army service, Mr. Sargent was stationed, as a minister at Payson, Adams County, Ill., remaining there during the balance of 1864 and the year 1865; for the next two years was pastor of the Fifth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Quincy; was at Griggsville in 1869-70; 1871-74, at Hillsboro and Greenfield, and for the following three years conducted pastorates at Clayton and Mt. Sterling; 1878-81 had the West Jacksonville, North Jacksonville and South Jacksonville circuits; served the church at Chapin in 1882; from 1883 to 1895 bore a supernumerary relationship to the conference, and in 1896 was placed in the superannuated list. In 1848 Mr. Sargent first settled on the place upon which he spent the last years of his life, until about 1873, during his most active ministerial career, renting it to others, but afterward operating it himself. His death occurred on this farm in June, 1905.
On May 28, 1848, Mr. Sargent was married to Belinda Holliday, who was born here June 14, 1828, near the site of the County House. She is the daughter of James Holliday, who moved on the Sargent place in 1829. James Holliday was born in Yorkshire, England, between 1780 and 1790, and in 1821 settled in Indiana, where he remained three years. In 1824 he located in Morgan County, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1855, as a lifelong farmer. He was the first Englishman to settle in Morgan County, and through correspondence induced many others to follow him. His wife was Eleanor Thompson, who made all the cloth and clothing for the family. At his death Mr. Sargent left a widow and three children (three having died young), as follows: John A., at home; George, Living at Springfield, Ill., freight agent for the Wabash Railroad; and W. T., a farmer. Mrs. Sargent's brother, Joseph, served in the Black Hawk War.
Politically, Mr. Sargent was a stanch Republican, but his life work
in the ministry precluded activity in any but the field of religion. His
funeral at the Centenary Church, Jacksonville, was largely attended, and
in his death it was universally felt that the community had lost an earnest
Christian friend, and the Methodist Church one of its most faithful and
SCHAFER, John Joseph, President of the Jacksonville (Ill.) Meat Company, was born in Baden, Germany, March 15, 1857, and there received his mental training in the public schools. His parents, who were both natives of Germany, died in the Fatherland. Mr. Schafer emigrated to the United States in 1870, first locating in Schenectady, N.Y., and afterward in Albany, that State, where he was employed in the foundry of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. Later, for eighteen months, he was engaged in the butchering business with Henry Gray, and then worked for a like period as a butcher, in Brookfield, Mo. Afterward he spent two years in Quincy, Ill., moving thence to Jacksonville, where he has since resided. Two years after settling in Jacksonville, Mr. Schafer started in business for himself. In 1899, with others, he organized the Jacksonville Meat Company, of which he was elected President, and in which capacity he has since acted. The concern is incorporated with a paid-up stock of $30,000. The plant is of large dimensions, and the company is extensively engaged in packing and shipping all kinds of meats.
In February 1878, Mr. Schafer was united in marriage with Barbara Oslenschlager, who was born in Terre Haute, Ind., April 3, 1856, and there, in girlhood, received her education in the public schools. To this union were born three children, namely: Albert J., Frank F. and Carl J. Another member of the family group is Minnie Oslenschlager, daughter of George and Catherine (Hassler) Oslenschlager, who has shared Mr. and Mrs. Schafer's home since her infancy.
In politics, Mr. Schafer is a Democrat, and served in 1897 as a member
of the Jacksonville City Council. Fraternally he is a member of the I.
O. O. F. Mr. Schafer is a thoroughly competent business man, and applies
himself to the affairs of his company with a degree of energy and constancy
productive of most satisfactory results.
SCHOLFIELD, Thomas, retired from active farming, residing at 509 Kosciusko Street, Jacksonville, Ill., was born at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, October 25, 1835, the son of James and Maria (Buckley) Scholfield. The family emigrated to America in 1841, and coming direct to Morgan County, They remained fro a year and a half at Lynnville, and then located on 80 acres of timber land which was afterward cleared. James Scholfield was by trade a carpenter and erected many houses and barns throughout Morgan County. He also closely attended to his farming interests and acquired an estate of 200 acres, dying at the age of sixty-six years, and leaving a family of seven children, of whom Thomas was the eldest.
Thomas Scholfield has made farming his occupation through life, and his chances for an education were very limited in his boyhood days. On October 1, 1857, he was married to Elizabeth Herring, who was born in England August , 1836. They became the parents of ten children, eight of whom are living, namely: Ellen; Eliza, wife of George Scholfield; Ellsworth; William; Alice, wife of Charles Gibbs; Della; Ida, wife of Bert Rawlings; and Fred, who is conducting his father's farm of 174 acres. Mr. Scholfield moved into Jacksonville, in 1897, and bought the house in which he now resides. He has served his district as School Director, Road Master, and in other capacities, being a substantial and capable citizen. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and, fraternally, is connected with I.O.O.F. In politics he is a Republican.
The Herring family moved to Morgan County the same year as the Scholfields.
Mrs. Scholfield's father was a button maker and a farmer, and on his demise
left a family of five children.
SCOTT, Charles Edmond, D. V. S., a well known and successful veterinary surgeon of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Metamora, Ill., July 8, 1863, the son of James and Sarah (Spencer) Scott, natives of Northumberland, England, and Morgan County, Ill., respectively. His father was born about the year 1824, and his mother, about 1829. The former died July 3, 1889, and the latter in Jacksonville, July 2, 1888. James Scott was a blacksmith and veterinary surgeon, in England. When he came to the United States, he first settled in Woodford County, Ill., where, for a short time, he followed the trade of blacksmithing, and then moved to Lynnville, where he was engaged as a blacksmith and carriage-maker. In 1866, he located in Jacksonville and engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery, in which he continued until his death.
The subject of this sketch was three years old when his parents removed to Jacksonville. His elementary education was received in the public schools there, after which he became a pupil in the High School. He then pursued a course of study at Brown's Business College, Jacksonville, and finally at the Chicago Veterinary College, from which he was graduated in 1891. In the same year, he began the practice of his profession in Jacksonville, in which he has continued ever since with remarkable success. During recent years the veterinary surgery has made remarkable strides, and Dr. Scott has kept fully abreast of this advance and has contributed his share to it, adopting new remedies and methods which science has proved to be superior and the value of which has been attested by the Doctor's success. He is a member of the State Veterinary Association.
On February 21, 1894, Dr. Scott was joined in wedlock with Lula Potter
of Jacksonville, a daughter of Joseph and Melinda (Anderson) Potter, of
a highly respected family of that city. One child, Potter Alexander, was
born of this union, but died in infancy. Fraternally, Dr. Scott is affiliated
with Jacksonville Lodge, No. 152, K. of P. Religiously, he is a consistent
member of the Christian Church.
SEWALL, Eliza Ward (MIDDLETON) -Eliza Ward (Middleton) Sewall was born at Locust Hill, near Nanjemoy Creek, Charles County, Md., July 27, 1795, the daughter of Samuel Ward Middleton, born in that county, September 4, 1755, and Catherine Taliaferro (Hooe) Middleton, born in Charles County, Md., near Efton Hill, November 1, 1865. The Middletons were thrifty, prudent people, and Samuel Ward, who spent his entire life on a plantation in Charles County, was no exception to the rule. He was fortunate in the possession of a wife who had excellent executive ability, and who was skilled above the average in the accomplishments of her day. Among other things she was credited with being able to knit in one day one of the long stockings worn by the men of that time, the stitches so arranged as to spell his name, and the day, month and year of his birth.
The maternal family of Hooe is traceable in English history to the year 1600, the coat of arms being a silver teapot with a lion's paw engraved upon it. Mrs. Sewall's maternal grandparents were Richard and Annie (Ireland) Hooe, and her great-grandparents were Gilbert and Annie (Dent) Ireland. Richard Hooe's mother was a Taliaferro, the Taliaferro family having arrived from England over three centuries ago. John, son of Robert, fought the Indians in 1692; Philip was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1780; Benjamin, who was born in Virginia and during the Revolutionary War served as a subordinate in Morgan's celebrated rifle corps, was sent to Congress from Georgia from 1799 to 1802. Others bearing the name of Taliaferro won the rank of Captain, Major and Colonel.
Eliza W. Middleton was educated in a select school near her home in Maryland, and by private instruction. Dancing in those days was regarded as a much greater accomplishment than at the present time, and in all ways was a much more graceful performance. None exceeded in grace and ability Eliza W. Middleton, who not only attended the classes in her neighborhood, but had private lessons as well. She also was well trained in the domestic arts, and at the time of her first marriage, September 23, 1817, to William Adams-who lived only two months after the union-was a wife calculated to adorn any station in life. The second marriage of this graceful, old-time lady, occurred in Washington City, August 9, 1821, to William Sewall, a man of domestic tastes, and honorable, upright nature. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Sewall lived in East and West Virginia for about eight years, and in December, 1829, came to Jacksonville, Ill., where they remained until April 4, 1833. They then settled on a farm in Cass County, Ill., where Mr. Sewall died, his wife returning to Jacksonville in the fall of 1850, the better to educate her four younger children. After her children were married and established in homes of their own, she returned to Cass County and lived with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Harriet A. Goodell, near Chandlerville, where her death occurred October 5, 1874, at the age of seventy-nine years, two months and nine days.
Mrs. Sewall was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was particularly
active in church work during the pastorate of Rev. J. M. Ellis, one of
the earliest clergymen of Jacksonville. She was large hearted and charitable,
and the possessor of a sweet and affectionate disposition. She was the
mother of four daughters and two sons: Henry Middleton, born March 6, 1823;
Catherine Taliaferro Hooe, born November 6, 1825; Susan Elizabeth, born
July 30, 1829; William Winter, born February 11, 1832; Mary Middleton,
born July 13, 1835; and Harriet Abigail Sewall, born April 14, 1838.
SEYMOUR, Robert, a well known and highly respected farmer and stockman, living in his pleasant, hospitable house on Section 3, Township 13, Range 9, Morgan County, Ill., was born in North Carolina May 20, 1827, the son of John and Sarah (O'Brien) Seymour, both natives of that State, who came with their family to Morgan County in 1829. The grandfather, also named John Seymour, came to the county later and died in Hart's Prairie, at the age of eighty-five years. The father, John Seymour, Jr., and his brother, James P., in 1829, entered 160 acres of prairie and 80 acres of timber land, constituting a portion of the farm upon which Robert Seymour now lives, and which became the old homestead. The two brothers farmed in partnership for a time, but eventually their business interests were separated. To John Seymour, Jr., and his wife, Sarah, were born six sons and three daughters, all of whom reached maturity, namely: Andrew J.; Agnes, who became the wife of J. H. Austin; Robert; Mary, who married John Hutchinson; Jared, Edward D., George W., and Henry McD.; and Mildred, who married John W. Woodmansee. The father, John Seymour, was born in North Carolina in the year 1800; was a very successful farmer, and became prominent in the community in which he lived. At his demise, March 10, 1856m, he left a fine estate of 600 acres of land. His wife died in 1861.
Robert Seymour attended the district school in his boyhood and was educated to farming, an occupation which he has followed with success through the many years of his well spent life. During this time he has maintained and increased the improvements of the homestead, and now owns an estate aggregating 740 acres.
Mr. Seymour was married in 1849 to Sallie Ann Burch and they have reared
to maturity the following named children: James P.; Martha E. and Mary
A. (twins); Wilmeth J., and Serilda L., the last named deceased. The wife
and mother died in 1872. In August, 1872, Mr. Seymour was married to Mary
Ella Wright, daughter of Thomas Wright. Mr. and Mrs. Seymour live happily
in their pleasant home on the farm, enjoying the comforts and many of the
luxuries of life. Their labors and responsibilities are light, as their
farm is leased and cultivated by others. Mr. Seymour has been a lifelong
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Class Leader and steward
of the same for forty-five years. He lives the simple life, and votes in
support of Prohibition principles; has served his district as School Director
six years, and is familiarly and affectionately known as "Uncle Robert"
by his friends and associates.
SEYMOUR, Edward D., representative farmer and stockman, residing on Section 9, Township 13 North, Range 9 West, in Morgan County, Ill., was born on his father's farm a short distance north of his present home, January 22, 1834, the son of John and Sarah (O'Brien) Seymour, of whom a more extended sketch appears in connection with that of Robert Seymour. In his boyhood Edward D. attended a subscription school in his neighborhood, but, in later life, realizing the need of further instruction, was a pupil in the district school with his own children. He had already served as a member of the School Board, before he thus rounded out his education in his mature years, and had assisted in organizing the Providence School near his home. He left his father's homestead in 1857 and, in association with his brother, Jarrett, bought 220 acres of land, which later was divided and in 1859 the partnership was dissolved. Edward D. now owns a fine farm of 200 acres, with substantial improvements made by himself. The farm which he occupies is one of the first settled in the county, being originally the property of Isham Gibson, an early pioneer, from whom, in 1847, it was bought by John Seymour, his brother.
Edward D. Seymour was married January 22, 1857, to Anna W. Spires, daughter
of John Spires, who came to Morgan County in 1831, and to them have been
born seven children. Of this family two are deceased, viz.: Albert, who
died at the age of eleven months, and Oliver T., in March, 1899, aged twenty-four
years. Those still living are: Marion Sylvester, a farmer; Sarah E.; Jeannette,
who is the wife of A. J. Stice; Amanda Jane, wife of Charles E. Criswell;
and Mae, who is a graduate of the Jacksonville High School and Woman's
College, and is now engaged in teaching. The family are members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Seymour votes the Prohibition ticket.
SHARPE, Anne (MCFARLAND), M. D. - Of the women of Illinois who labor unceasingly to maintain the highest tenets of medical science, who apply intelligence, progression and experience to the alleviation of human ills, and seek to arouse an interest in sanitation and healthful methods of living, none have drawn nearer to the popular conception of professional dignity and usefulness than Dr. Anne McFarland Sharpe, Medical Superintendent of the Oak Lawn Sanitarium, at Jacksonville, Ill. Dr. Sharpe, who is a daughter of the late Dr. George McFarland, and granddaughter of Dr. Andrew McFarland, for many years Superintendent of the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, was born in Lexington, Ky., October 10, 1868. Her mother, formerly Mary Elizabeth Bush, also was a native of the Bourbon State. Both the McFarland and Bush families were represented in the Revolutionary war.
Dr. George McFarland, after a service in the Civil War, practiced medicine in Kentucky from 1866 until 1880. He then brought his family to the home of his father, Dr. Andrew McFarland, in Jacksonville, and in time became Assistant Physician of the Oak Lawn Sanitarium. Anne McFarland, who was twelve years old when the family located in jacksonville, was graduated from the Jacksonville Academy after a four years' course in 1887, and later took a course in bookkeeping and stenography at the University of Kentucky. In 1888 she entered the Woman's medical College, connected with the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Ill., from which she was graduated with honors March 30, 1891, and at once was installed as Medical Superintendent of the Oak Lawn Sanitarium, thereby fulfilling the earnest desire of her grandfather, that she make a special study fo the care of the insane.
In June, 1896, Dr. Anne McFarland, married Vincent C. Cromwell, of Lexington,
Ky., and thereafter made her home in her native city until the death of
Mr. Cromwell in 1899. At Jacksonville, Ill., January 2, 1901, occurred
the marriage of Mrs. Cromwell and J. Thompson Sharpe, the latter born at
Port Elizabeth, N.J., in November, 1864, whose father and grandfather were
both physicians. Since his marriage Mr. Sharpe has become the capable business
manager of the Oak Lawn Sanitarium. Two children have been added to the
Sharpe household: Vincent Carroll Cromwell, born August 25, 1897; and a
son, Maskell McFarland Sharpe, born January 6, 1902. Dr. Anne Sharpe is
a member of the Morgan County Medical Society, the American Medical Society,
the Rector's Aid Society, the Home Economics Club, and the Country Club.
She is also a Colonial Dame and a Daughter of the American Revolution.
For a number of years Dr. Sharpe was associate editor of the "Woman's
Medical Journal," the only periodical of the kind published by women
in the world. She finds a religious home in the Trinity Episcopal Church.
SHEPPARD, Joseph Johnson, retired farmer of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Adair County, Ky., near Jimtown, September 10, 1827. His ancestors were of Scotch and Irish origin. He is a son of Thornton and Elender (Hopper) Sheppard, the former born in North Carolina, and the latter a native of Kentucky. The father moved to Kentucky and thence, late in 1830, about the time of the "Deep Snow" came to Morgan County. In the spring of 1831 he built a small house on the north fork of Mauvaisterre Creek, and later bought a little place near his present home. The house without a nail and had clapboard doors and frame. Afterward he built a hewed log house. His first purchase of land (40 acres) was made from Levi Buchanan, for which he gave two yoke of oxen and a wagon. But 10 acres of the land were broken, although it was all of good quality.
Thornton Sheppard preached in the Primitive Baptist Church for forty-nine years. In Illinois he ministered to four churches, walking twenty miles in order to cover his pastoral territory and receiving no pay for preaching or attendance. He did the same work in what are now Cass and Greene Counties, and at the Pisgah Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, in Morgan County, of which the family are still members. He died in his eightieth year, and four years after his decease, his widow, also in her eightieth year, passed away. He carried on farming industriously, sought no official honors, and in the church was a peacemaker. He and his wife reared eleven children, of whom but three sons and two daughters are living.
Joseph J. Sheppard has resided in Jacksonville since the fall of 1830. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-seven years old. His mental training in the country subscription schools was limited by reason of his father's lack of means, but the discipline in business matters which he received proved useful to him in after years, and he assisted the other children of the family.
On June 20, 1854, Mr. Sheppard was married to Mary Elizabeth Coffman, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of Abram Coffman, who came to Morgan County with her parents in 1852 or 1853. The favored couple celebrated their golden wedding in 1904, twelve children having been born to them as follows: Emma Jane, who died in infancy; George W., who is at home; John S., of Jacksonville; Irvin Dunlap, of Morgan County; Alice, deceased; Sylvester, of Morgan County; Emily R., the wife of Henry Paul, Jr., of Carlinville, Ill.; Clara, who is at home; McClellan, of Morgan County; Luther; Lucy, wife of J. Henry Scott; and Ulysses, deceased.
When Mr. Sheppard came to Morgan County deer were abundant. The snow
was shoulder deep. There were no neighbors nearer than several miles. From
this humble condition and these discouraging surroundings, a clear head,
stout heart and diligent hands have lifted Mr. Sheppard into the ownership
of 2,100 acres of excellent farming land, and he has the best reasons to
be proud of the results of his labors, which he is now enjoying in contented
retirement. Politically, he has always been identified with the Democratic
party, although in local affairs he takes an independent course. He served
as School Director for twenty-five years. In religious views, he is a Christian,
but is not connected with any church.
SHEPPARD, John Simpson, owner and manager of a fine farm in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Ill., and resident of that city, where he holds an official position, was born on a farm six miles south of Jacksonville, on November 3, 1857, the son of Joseph J. and Mary E. (Coffman) Sheppard. His grandfather, Thornton Sheppard, who was the first of his family to come to Illinois, was born in 1795 on the family estate in South Carolina. After living some time in Adair County, Ky., in 1830 he settled in Morgan County, Ill., where he took up forty acres of Government land, which now is in the possession of the Sheppard family, still later becoming the owner of other lands. He carried on farming throughout his life, was also a Baptist minister for forty-nine years, and died on the old homestead in 1871, at the age of eighty years. His mother was a cousin of Gen. Johnson, of Revolutionary fame. Joseph Johnson Sheppard was born September 10, 1827, in Adair County, Ky., and at the age of four years came to Morgan County, Ill., with his father. He received his mental training in the district schools of the county, and has also been engaged in farming all his life. He lives on the old homestead, six miles south of Jacksonville, and is the owner of 1,000 acres of valuable land. He was married June 20, 1854, to Mary E. Coffman, who is a native of Rockingham County, Va., and a daughter of Abraham and Rachel (Howidishell) Coffman. Both of her grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War. Joseph J. Sheppard and his wife became the parents of the following children, namely: Emily Jane, who died at an early age; George W.; John S.; Irvin D.; Alice R., and Ulysses Grant (both deceased); Sylvester S.; McClellan; Clara; Luther and Lucy.
John S. Sheppard received his elementary education in the district schools, after which he was a student in Illinois College, and finally graduated from Brown's Business College in Jacksonville. He then worked on the homestead with his father until 1888, when he bought a fine farm in Section 23, Township 13, Range 10, West of the Third P.M., and, although holding public office in Jacksonville, still attends to the management of his extensive agricultural interests. He established his home in Jacksonville, on October 24, 1898.
On November 13, 1888, Mr. Sheppard was united in marriage with Mattie L. Parker, of Brown County, Ill., a daughter of James M. and Jane (Clark) Parker. Three children have been born of this union, namely: Edna Lillian, born August 2, 1892; Russell and Randall (twins), born February 20, 1896. The two last named died when about six months old.
In politics Mr. Sheppard is an unswerving Democrat. While living in
the country he served as Township Trustee. He was appointed Deputy Assessor
of Jacksonville by H. J. Rodgers, during the last year of the gentleman's
term of office, and J. W. Clary, the present County Treasurer, on assuming
his office, immediately appointed him to the same position. Fraternally,
Mr. Sheppard is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is an enterprising,
systematic and progressive farmer, and in his public relations is regarded
as a capable and faithful official.
SHORT, William Fletcher, D. D., Rev., educator and retired minister of the Methodist Church, was born in Butler county, Ohio, November 9, 1829, the son of Rev. Daniel Short, who came with his family to Morgan County in 1834, and was widely known and held in high esteem by a large circle of friends throughout Central Illinois, as an able and influential preacher of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. He was a member of the Twenty-first General Assembly from Sangamon county. The subject of this sketch grew up on a farm, meanwhile experiencing the hardships and privations incident to the life of a farmer's boy of that early period. About the age of twenty years, feeling himself called upon to enter the Gospel ministry, he decided to seek a collegiate education, and accordingly entered McKendree College at Lebanon, Ill., where he pursued the regular course of study up to the senior year, when he became a student at the Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Ill., graduating therefrom in 1854. Before graduation he accepted a call to the principalship of the Missouri Conference Seminary located at Jackson in that State. After remaining there two and a half years, he tendered his resignation on account of impaired health, and entered the pastorate as a member of the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church. The charges later held by him included: Island Grove, Williamsville, Waverly and Winchester, each two years; Carlinville, three years; Hillsboro, one year; Grace Church, Jacksonville, three years, and as Presiding Elder of the Jacksonville District, four years.
In July, 1875, Dr. Short, was elected President of the Illinois Female College at Jacksonville, serving in that capacity for eighteen years. His administration, as the head of this important and flourishing institution, was characterized by a wise Christian policy, resulting in the elevation of the standard of scholarship, the establishment of a home-like government and the employment of a high order of talent in the Art and Music departments. The result has been manifest in a marked increase in the patronage and a broader and higher reputation acquired by the institution. In 1893 he was appointed Superintendent of the Illinois School for the Blind at Jacksonville under the administration of Governor Altgeld, retaining this position for the period of four years. The addition of several large buildings and the introduction of a number of other needed improvements, marked his administration of the affairs of the institution. After his retirement from the Institution for the Blind in 1897, Dr. Short reentered the ministerial field as Presiding Elder of the West Jacksonville District, which position he continued to fill for six years. At the expiration of that period, having completed fifty years of service in connection with the Methodist Church, he retired from active ministerial work. In August, 1854, Dr. Short was married to Sarah B. Laning, of Petersburg, Ill. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the Wesleyan University of Ohio in 1877.
As a citizen Dr. Short has always manifested a deep interest in public affairs, and has won a position as a favorite in social and religious circles, and also holds a high rank in the Masonic fraternity. He has proved himself a man of strong patriotic impulse, and during the Civil War took occasion to express himself strongly in support of the Union cause. He made many patriotic speeches arousing the loyal enthusiasm of his fellow citizens and, as a War Democrat, effectively assisting in mustering recruits for the Union Army. No one in that day took a firmer stand, both private and in public, in opposition to the Rebellion and in support of the perpetuity of the Union.
The Short family is of combined Scotch-Irish extraction, illustrating,
in its leading characteristics, the keen wit and vivacity of the one branch,
with the sturdy firmness and vigorous manhood of the other. Dr. Short's
most recent and important work has been in connection with the preparation
of the historical part of this work.-PAUL SELBY.
SMITH, Alexander, Captain, retired, Jacksonville, Ill., enjoys the distinction of having been the first man to enlist in the first company of the first regiment to go into camp for active service in the Civil War. Captain Smith was born in Eaton, Ohio, June 27, 1844, a son of Alexander and Ellen Elizabeth (Ritchie) Smith. His father, who was born in Petersburg, Va., removed to Pennsylvania, where he married, and thence migrated to Ohio. He died in Iowa in 1857. His wife was born in Montpelier, Vt.
Early in life Captain Smith started to learn the saddler's trade, and was thus engaged at Atlanta, Ill., at the outbreak of the Civil War. Upon receipt of the news from Washington and President Lincoln's first call for volunteers, he immediately abandoned his work upon a set of harness he was making, and hastened to enlist. This was upon the 15th day of April, 1861; but as the organization of his company was not completed until the day following, the date of enlistment has been officially recorded as on April 16th. A summary of his record in the service of the Union during the Civil War is as follows:
Enlisted as a private in Company E, Seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, April 16, 1861, at Atlanta, Ill., at the age of sixteen years and ten months; promoted to Corporal April 29, 1861; re-enlisted and promoted to First Lieutenant July 25, 1861, at the age of seventeen years and one month; promoted to Captain at Corinth, Miss., November 12, 1862, at the age of eighteen years and four months; reenlisted in the veteran service, with the rank of Captain, December 22, 1863, at the age of nineteen years and six months; mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 9, 1865, having just passed his twenty-first birthday; final discharge at Springfield, Ill., July 13, 1865. The principal battles and campaigns in which he participated were as follows: Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, battle of Corinth, Town Creek, Ala., Florence, Ala., George campaign, Allatoona Pass, March to the Sea, Savannah, Carolina campaign, battle of Bentonville, Columbia, Neuse River Bridge, surrender of General Johnston's Army, and the Grand Review at Washington.
One of the most noteworthy incidents in the many engagements in which Captain Smith and his command participated occurred at the memorable battle of Allatoona Pass ("Hold the Fort.") His regiment there engaged, was armed with the Henry rifle, a sixteen shooter, now known as the Winchester rifle. In this fight, in which twelve hundred men of the Union forces were pitted against the comparatively over-whelming force of six thousand Confederates, Captain Smith's company suffered a greater loss, compared with the numbers engaged, than any other during the entire Civil War. He took into battle a company of fifty-one men, of whom forty-one were lost. During the engagement, one of the fiercest of the whole war, the flag carried by the regiment was perforated by two hundred and seventeen bullets. It is also a fact worthy of note, that though Captain Smith was a participant in many of the most sanguinary battles of the war, he was never captured by the enemy, was never disabled by sickness, and was never wounded. Through an error, common in the work of enrollment, his name appeared on the muster rolls as John Alexander Smith, and this name has been retained in the records at Washington to this day.
Upon the close of the war Captain Smith located at Mattoon, Ill., where from 1866 to 1869 he was employed as clerk in the "Essex House." In the latter year he removed to Jacksonville, becoming clerk, and afterward manager, of the "Dunlap House." This property ultimately fell into the possession of the Northwestern Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wis., from whom he secured the title by purchase in 1880. This hotel, and the "Park Hotel," of Jacksonville, which he purchase din 1883, have since remained in his possession. For the first few years of his proprietorship he managed both hotels at different times, until, after he had remodeled the "Dunlap House," he devoted his time exclusively to the latter until January 1, 1904, when he leased it to others. Though still owning both properties, he is now living in retirement at his attractive home, No. 1153 West State Street.
Though a stanch adherent of Republican principles, Captain Smith has never sought nor filed public office. He has taken an interest in but one of the secret or fraternal societies, aside from those organized by veterans of the Civil War - the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a member of the Matt Starr Post, No. 378, G. A. R., of Jacksonville, of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the Untied States, and the Society of the army of the Tennessee - the oldest of the Civil War societies, which was organized April 9, 1865, the day on which Lee surrendered.
Captain Smith was married April 7, 1875, to Josephine Marie Litzelman, who was born in Terre Haute, Ind., of Alsatian descent. Her father, Mathis Litzelman, located in Jasper County, Ill., where he resided for many years. Captain and Mrs. Smith have an adopted son, Alexander Smith, Jr., who enlisted for service in the Spanish-American War at Kansas City, Mo., with the Third Missouri Infantry. During the summer of 1904 he acted as manager of the "American Hotel," at St. Louis, Mo., erected for the accommodation of visitors to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
Personally, Captain Smith has taken a lively interest in those movements
organized to advance the general welfare of Jacksonville. He is honored
by his fellow-citizens as a man of public spirit and exemplary character,
and as one of the most devoted patriots of the great state of Illinois.
His splendid war record alone entitles his name to a position of honor
among the citizens of the Commonwealth.
SMITH, Richard, (deceased), was born in Cheshire, England, on January 15, 1811, the son of Richard and Sarah Smith, natives of that country. In boyhood he received a good mental training, was reared to manhood on a farm and subsequently was employed as clerk in a store. After his marriage to Elizabeth Garrett he conducted a dairy farm. In 1854, being desirous of giving his invalid wife the benefit of a sea voyage, he came to America on a sailing vessel and landed at Quebec, Canada, after being seven weeks on the ocean. Both Mrs. Smith and her son, George, died on the voyage and were buried at sea. Mr. Smith preceded from Quebec to Morgan County, Ill., and shortly afterward bought the farm upon which he died in 1872. The property, which he purchased of James Garrett, consisted of 110 acres of timber land, on which stood a small frame house in a clearing of perhaps fifteen acres. He was possessed of some means when he settled in Morgan County. Mr. Smith's wife, whom he married in England, was formerly Elizabeth Garrett, and five children resulted from their union, namely: Sarah, who became the wife of Rev. James Boicourt, a Methodist minister; Jane, widow of George Robson; and Elizabeth, George and Peter, who died young. The only member of this family now living is Mrs. George Robson. Her husband was a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1835, and her marriage to him took place in 1860. After that event, Mr. Robson rented land for two years, and then came to the farm of his wife's father, where he died June 15, 1902. Mrs. Robson, was nine years old when she came to Morgan County. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Smith was a member of the Wesleyan Church, and was active in religious and charitable work. He was an upright, conscientious man, and lived a blameless, useful life.
SNOW, Charles G., Rev., comes from New England stock. His grandfather, Eleazer Snow, of Bridgewater, Miss., served through the Revolutionary War under General Putnam. His father was Libeas Snow. Charles was born in Oswego County, N.Y., December 30, 1817. He came to Ohio when a young man; and to Scottville, Ill., in 1841. He taught school for a few years in Ohio, and after arriving in Illinois was engaged in that calling for a period of fifty-seven years - doubtless a longer time than any teacher in the State, if not in the nation. That honorable distinction was fitly recognized by the Illinois State Teachers' Association at their last session by complimentary mention and resolutions.
Mr. Snow's religious career began at Scottville, Ill., in 1843. In the
same year he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Winchester,
Ill., under the ministry of Revs. Norman Allyn and William H. Milburn.
He was licensed to preach by Rev. Peter Cartwright, D.D., in 1854, was
ordained Deacon by Bishop Edward R. Ames, and Elder by Bishop Levi Scott.
Mr. Snow possessed excellent natural gifts, to which were added the advantage
of fine mental discipline, and a large store of information from reading.
He was frequently employed in pastoral work, in which he served with much
acceptability and usefulness. He still, at the age of eighty-seven, possesses
much physical and mental strength and activity.
SPENCER, John H., M. D., a physician and surgeon conducting a successful practice at Murrayville, Morgan County, Ill., was born on his father's farm five miles south of that place, November 1, 1867, the son of B. F. and Mary C. (Peyton) Spencer. The father of Mrs. Mary C. Spencer, who was a farmer, moved from Kentucky to Hancock County, Ill., where he was one of the early settlers. B. F. Spencer, the father of John H., was born in Morgan County, a son of William and Parthenia Spencer, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter, of Indiana. They came to Morgan County at an early day, and there became successful farmers. He was a soldier of the Black Hawk War. William Spencer's father, Elisha, great-grandfather of John H., came with his family to Illinois and died in Morgan County at the age of one hundred and four years. William Spencer had four sons in the Union Army during the Civil War, including B. F., the father of John H. They all enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and First Volunteer Infantry, and all returned. After the war B. F. Spencer engaged in farming. He and his wife Mary C. Peyton, were married in Morgan County, and became the parents of ten children - five sons and five daughters - John H. being the second in the family. Both parents are yet living on their homestead of 160 acres.
The boyhood days of John H. Spencer were spent upon the farm and in the public school. He later attended the American Medical College at St. Louis, Mo., graduating therefrom in 1902, and at once commenced the practice of his profession at Franklin, Ill., where he remained one year, when he removed to Murrayville and established a good practice. He is a member of the Morgan County Medical Association, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America. Politically he is a Republican and frequently serves as a delegate of his party to State and County conventions. He was elected Coroner in 1896 for a term of four years, was reelected in 1904, and is the present incumbent in that office. He was also elected President of the Village Board of Trustees in 1904, and is now filling that position in a satisfactory manner. He is equal partner with his brother I. F. Spencer, in 420 acres of land in Greene County, Ill., where they are successfully and extensively engaged in feeding and breeding cattle, hogs, and goats.
Dr. Spencer was married December 21, 1899, to Ellen Strang and they
have two children: Margaret L. and Clarence Strang.
SPENCER, B. F., living on Section 31, Township 13 North, Range 10, West, Morgan County, Ill., farmer and stockman, was born where he now resides February 21, 1845, the son of William S. and Parthenia (Totten) Spencer. His grandfather, Elisha Spencer, was born in England and became a citizen of the United States, settling in Kentucky, and later removing to Lawrence County, Ill., where William S., the father of B. F. Spencer was born. Both father and grandfather eventually removed to Morgan County at an early period in the history of that section of the State.
B. F. Spencer was reared to an agricultural life, in his boyhood attending the district schools. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and First Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for a period of three years, but after serving one year was discharged on account of disability. Returning home he entered upon his lifelong occupation as a farmer. He now owns and operates the farm known as the old Spencer homestead of 160 acres, to which he has added many improvements since it came into his possession.
Mr. Spencer was married September 14, 1865, to Mary C. Peyton, daughter
of James Isaac Peyton, who lived near Warsaw, Ill., and to them have been
born ten children, five sons and five daughters. Of these nine survive,
viz.: Kate, wife of Robert Wagstaff; John H.; Thankful, wife of Virden
Wagstaff; Frederick; Parthenia, wife of Walter Chapman; Isaiah; Nelly,
wife of Robert Chapman; Charles; and Grace, wife of Henry Osburn. Mr. Spencer
has held the office of School Director for thirteen years, is a member
of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Republican in politics, and connected
with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he holds the office of Steward.
SPRINGER, Francis M., one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born near Lexington, Fayette County, Ky., April 11, 1820, the son of Francis and Elsie (Runyon) Springer, all natives of that State. All of the family except the father came by team to Morgan County, in 1832, and he followed somewhat later, by water. They settled eight miles east of Jacksonville. Francis Springer, who was a cabinet-maker by trade, was a soldier in the War of 1812.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest of a family of five children, of whom he alone survives. He was twelve years old when he came to Morgan County. Shortly after his arrival he attended the subscription school in the vicinity of his home, first studying his lessons in a log school house, under the instruction of a gentleman named McClure. After his school days were over, he commenced work at $6 per month, having often split rails for fifty cents per day. He worked out until about the year 1842, when, in partnership with Dr. Cassell and Robert Cassell, he bought a sawmill on the Mauvaisterre, in the Cassell neighborhood, which they operated for several years. After his marriage Mr. Springer carried on farming until 1855, when he removed to Jacksonville, where the Cassell brothers and himself built the City Roller Mills. A year afterward Mr. Springer sold his interest, and has since, for many years, conducted a livery business.
On November 6, 1845, Mr. Springer was married to Eliza J. Alexander, a native of Ohio. This union resulted in the following named children: George, Mary, Laura, Kate, John and Hettie.
In politics, Mr. Springer is a Prohibitionist. He served for one year
as City Marshal. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church. Mr.
Springer is a man of high principles, and has a strong sense of duty. He
has lived a long, busy and useful life, and, in his declining years, is
comforted by the consciousness that he has the entire confidence and esteem
of a host of friends.
SPRINGER, Charles F., Col., son of the preceding, was born in Sullivan County, Ind., August 10, 1834, came to Illinois in 1848, and located at Jacksonville. In 1858 he graduated with honors from DePauw (then Asbury) University, Greencastle, Ind. After his collegiate education he adopted the law as his profession. He enlisted in the military service early in the War of the Rebellion, on the 24th of February, 1865, was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel and was mustered out January 16, 1866. He was a Republican in politics, and in 1868 was chosen Presidential Elector on the Republican ticket from the Twelfth Congressional District of Illinois, and in the following year was elected to represent the Edwardsville Senatorial District in the Constitutional Convention of 1869-70. By his death one of the best and noblest men passed away, with a record of honorable service complete and illustrious, and well rounded out by those Christian virtues which gave a crowning beauty and value to his character.
SPRINGER, Family, The -Among the early residents of Morgan County none have attained greater and worthier distinction than the Springer family, who came at an early day from Indiana. One of the best known in pioneer times was Rev. Levi Springer, a Methodist preacher of much ability, who was for a number of years regularly engaged in pastoral work in the county. He finally retired from the active ministry, and spent the remainder of his life on his farm near Virginia, Cass County, where he died. He possessed a large measure the affectionate respect of his pioneer fellow-citizens.
SPRINGER, John T., Hon., brother of the preceding, and son of Rev. Thomas B. and Catherine (Sandusky) Springer, was born in Sullivan County, Ind., Jan. 31, 1831. After completing his education in the Jacksonville public schools, and taking a brief course in Illinois College, he went to California, where for two years he was engaged in mining and as superintendent of a water-works system. Then returning to Jacksonville, he began the study of law with Judge William Thomas and in 1858 was admitted to the bar, at once commencing practice in Jacksonville, which he continued until 1883. In 1859 he was elected Commissioner of Public Schools for Morgan County, in which he served four years, as successor to Dr. Newton Bateman, who had been elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction for his first term.
About 1883, having retired from the practice of his profession on account of the demands of his private business, he became a stockholder in the First National Bank of Jacksonville, and was subsequently elected President of the institution. Serving until 1897, when it surrendered its charter and was reorganized as a private banking house. Of the original bank he was one of its first Directors. In 1864 and again in 1866 he was elected Representative from Morgan County in the State Legislature, serving two terms, and was prominently identified with important legislation of that period, especially the enactment of the laws regulating corporations, and that which resulted in the erection of the east wing of the Central Hospital for the Insane.
On August 14, 1858, Mr. Springer was united in marriage with Sarah Henderson,
a daughter of Cary Henderson. This union resulted in three children, namely:
John Wallace, of Denver, Colo.; Nellie (Mrs. Edward M. Kinman), of Jacksonville;
and Lula C., who died at the age of twenty-seven years. Originally a supporter
of the Democratic party, since 1896 he has maintained an independent attitude
in political campaigns. Religiously he has no sectarian connection, although
formerly a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. He is a man
of superior ability, and his long career in Jacksonville has been conspicuous
for its identification with measures of public interest. In his early life
he gained some literary prominence by his correspondence and contributions
to newspapers. A romance of California, from his pen, entitled "Frank
and Lillian," was first published in the "Golden Era," of
SPRINGER, John W., Hon., son of John T., was born in Jacksonville, Ill., July 19, 1858, graduated from De Pauw University, Greencastle, Ind., in 1878, studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar in 1881. In 1890 he was elected a Representative in the Thirty-seventh General Assembly from Morgan County. He has resided for a number of years in Denver, Colo., where he has gained distinction by reason of his public and philanthropic services, and his connection, with great financial interests. He has been President of the National Live Stock Association seven years; is also Vice-President of the Continental Trust Company of Denver, and the Continental Land and Cattle Company; besides being a member of a number of other large organizations. Originally a Democrat, he espoused the cause of Republicanism on the money issue, and was the choice of the Colorado delegates for Vice-President in the Republican National Convention in Chicago, in 1904.
SPRINGER, Thomas B., Rev., brother of the preceding, was born in Washington County, Ky., April 2, 1795. He came from Indiana with his family to Morgan County, Ill., in 1847, and located in Jacksonville. He died December 13, 1861, at New Lebanon, Ind. His wife, Catherine Sandusky, was born January 14, 1796, in Washington County, Ky., and died August 9, 1872, at New Lebanon, Ind. Twelve children were born to them, all of whom, except Hon. John T. Springer, of Jacksonville, are now deceased. The father served the public faithfully for many years as a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
SPRINGER, William McKendree, Hon., son of Rev. Thomas B. Springer, was born in New Lebanon, Ind., May 30, 1836. At the age of twelve years he removed with his parents to Jacksonville, Ill. He graduated from De Pauw University, at Greencastle, Ind., in 1858, and the same year located at Springfield, Ill., and commenced the study of law. He also engaged in newspaper work, both at Springfield and Lincoln, Ill. He was admitted to the bar in 1859, and began the practice of law at Springfield. In 1861 he received the degree of A. M. and in 1866 that of LL. D. from his alma mater, the latter being conferred upon him by Illinois College in 1890. Mr. Springer was married December 15, 1859, to Miss Rebecca Ruter, daughter of Rev. Calvin W. Ruter, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and author of an able work on church history. Mrs. Springer was a rarely gifted woman, and became widely known as author of a large number of magazine articles, and having written "Beechwood," "Self," "Leon," "Songs by the Sea" (poems), and "Intra Muros." It is said that the several editions of the last named book amounted to 300,000. Mrs. Springer died soon after her husband's death. An only son, Captain Ruter W. Springer, who is a Chaplain in the United States Army, survives his parents. Judge Springer was Secretary of the Illinois State Constitutional Convention of 1862. In 1870 he was elected a member of the Twenty-seventh General Assembly from Sangamon County. That Legislature was principally engaged in the revision of the laws of the State, and in that work he took a prominent part. He was elected a member of the Forty-fourth Congress, from the Twelfth (Springfield) District in 1874, and was reelected successively until 1892, making a record of twenty years of continuous service in Congress. During his first year in Congress he introduced a resolution declaring the precedent of retiring from the Presidential office after the second term had become a part of our republican system, and that any departure from that time-honored custom would be unwise, unpatriotic, and fraught with peril to our free institutions, which was adopted-yeas,233; nays, 18.
In 1875 he was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures of the State Department, and was a member of many other important committees, as the Potter Committee, which investigated the Presidential election of 1876, and of the joint committee which reported the Electoral Commission bill of 1876-77. From 1882 to 1884 he delivered numerous speeches in Congress on the establishment of the tariff commission, and the revision of the tariff. He introduced a large number of notable bills in Congress, including the famous Springer bill, under which the Territory of Oklahoma was organized, and which created a judicial system for the Indian Territory; also the bill for the admission of Washington, Montana, and North and South Dakota into the Union as States. Among the notable bills introduced by Mr. Springer was the amendment to the bill granting $1,500,000 to the Centennial Commissioners, and his successful efforts in recovering the amount through the United States Supreme Court, a procedure which won him a wide reputation. From time to time he was Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Territories, Banking, Currency and other important committees in Congress. On his retirement from Congress after twenty years of faithful and valuable service, on March 20, 1895, he was appointed by President Cleveland as United States Judge of the Northern District of Indian Territory, and Chief Justice of the United States Court of Appeals in Indian Territory. His term expired December 12, 1899. During his incumbency in that office, he made his home at Muskogee, Indian Territory. On his retirement from the judicial bench he removed to Washington, D. C., and there engaged in the practice of law. He was general attorney for the National Live Stock Association, and general attorney for two of the tribes in the Indian Territory.
When the controversy between the States of Missouri and Illinois came
up over the alleged pollution of the waters of the Mississippi River, at
St. Louis, by reason of the sewerage from the Chicago Drainage Canal, which
resulted in bringing suit by the State of Missouri in the United States
Supreme Court against the State of Illinois and the Chicago Drainage District,
he was retained as general attorney for the Chicago Drainage District.
He contracted a cold during his last visit there on that business, to which
he had devoted himself almost wholly, having made a deep and thorough study
of the case, and had the matter completely in hand for final arbitrament.
(By a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States, since
Judge Springer's death, the ground which he maintained on this issue has
been sustained.) Judge Springer was a man of plain and unassuming manners,
and in his wide acquaintance, and official intercourse with people of all
classes and parties, all were alike to him, whether rich or poor; whether
of his own or another political party. He died at the family residence
in Washington, D. C., December 4, 1903, after a short illness of pneumonia.
His burial was in Springfield, Ill.
STANDLEY, Richard, retired farmer, Jacksonville, Ill., is one of the oldest of the living native-born citizens of Morgan County. He was born on his father's farm five miles northwest of Jacksonville February 4, 1828, son of Noble and Nancy (Smart) Standley, both natives of Tennessee, where they were married, and whence they came to Illinois in 1819. In that year Noble Standley entered a quarter-section of Government land five miles northwest of the site of Jacksonville, then but a small hamlet; and subsequently made another entry of 60 acres. The land was virgin prairie. The elder Standley erected a two-room cabin of unhewn logs, with the ground for a floor and a flue of sticks held together by mud. After having made some material progress in the improvement of his land, he erected another log house of two stories, containing four rooms, with a clapboard floor in the second story. He and his wife had a family of seven sons and two daughters, and to clothe this family the parents were compelled to work up the raw wool and flax into cloth, doing their own spinning and weaving. His children were all educated in a log school house, the first seats in which were plain logs, which subsequently were replaced by slabs. Their first teacher was a man named Haynes. The family was exceedingly poor in those days, and the children did not secure a very liberal education, as it was necessary for them to spend the larger portion of their time in assisting their parents in the great task of developing a farm from the wilderness. Noble Standley had served his country in the War of 1812, and received from the Government a warrant entitling him to a quarter-section of land. He did not lay the warrant himself, however, but transferred it to his son William, who secured land thereon either in Missouri or Kansas. Another son, John, went to California in 1848, by way of Cape Horn, and now resides near Roseburg, Ore. Mr. Standley spent the remainder of his life on his farm, where his death occurred.
Richard Standley was born in the first log cabin built by his father, was reared on the farm, and at the age of nineteen years went to work for neighboring farmers at $8 per month. Three years later he married, and until 1861 rented land upon which to engage in independent agricultural operations. He then purchased 120 acres, which formed the nucleus of his present farm, and to which he later added another 120 acres, an is now the owner of 240 acres of fine, productive land. For two years he and his brother operated a saw-mill, and for thirteen years Mr. Standley operated a threshing machine, part of the time as the partner of Neil Turley. He has also been a successful stock-feeder in connection with his general farming. When, in 1861, he found himself in a financial position to purchase land, he visited Kansas with the expectation of making an investment there; but after prospecting the country he came to the conclusion that Illinois was much the better State for agriculture, and soon afterward returned to leave this State no more.
In November, 1896, Mr. Standley and his wife removed to Jacksonville, where they have since lived in retirement, enjoying the well earned fruits of their long years of toil. Mr. Standley has been independent in politics, and has never consented to occupy political offices, with the exception of the local posts which all good citizens are called upon to fill from time to time. For forty years he has been an Odd Fellow, affiliating with Urania Lodge, No. 243, of Jacksonville. He was married October 1, 1846, to Rachel Ausmus, a native of Morgan County, where she was born February 11, 1827. Her parents, Philip and Deidia (Bratton) Ausmus, came from Tennessee to Illinois about the time of the arrival of the Standley family. Mr. and Mrs. Standley have a family of twelve children, and now have forty-seven living grandchildren and seven living great-grandchildren. Their children have been as follows: Henry B., born August 17, 1847, and died at the age of fourteen; Cyrus, born November 16, 1849, now a resident of Greenwood County, Kans.; Philip, born August 23, 1851, now of Shelby County, Ill.; Sarah, born June 3, 1853, and died at the age of five; Noble, born July 3, 1855, and died at the age of fifteen months; Benjamin, born April 15, 1857, and died at the age of seven months; Eliza, born October 1, 1858, now the wife of Lafayette Gusman, of Markley, Ind.; Mary Jane, born October 19, 1861, now the wife of Major Valentine, of Ashland, Kans.; Oscar, born July 10, 1862, died at the age of five; Joseph, born April 14, 1864, a farmer of Morgan County; Edward, born March 11, 1866, managing the home farm; and Richard, Jr., born May 18, 1868, assisting his brother Edward in the operation of the farm.
Mr. Standley and his wife are numbered among the highly esteemed native
residents of Morgan County, within whose borders they have spent their
entire lives, with the exception of the brief period passed in Kansas,
as noted. They are entitled to recognition not only for their many good
qualities, but for their long identification with the history of the county
in which they are honored landmarks. Though they have lived quietly, building
for the future of their children and grandchildren, they have neglected
no opportunity to do all the good they could for their neighborhood, contributing
of their time and means to the promotion of all worthy enterprises.
STEVENSON, Henry S., a prominent farmer and stockman of Morgan County, residing at No. 1050 College Avenue, Jacksonville, was born four miles southeast of the city July 1, 1846, the son of William C. and Cassandra (Staley) Stevenson, the former a native of Scott County, Ky., and the latter of Middletown Valley, Frederick County, Md. In 1829 William C. Stevenson, the father (also named William C.), six brothers and a sister, and the entire family settled down to farming on the Briar Fork of the Mauvaisterre. William C., Jr., at that time was a lad of fifteen or sixteen years, and he made farming his lifelong vocation, with the exception of four or five years, when he was engaged in the hardware business in Jacksonville. He retired from business cares in 1862 or 1863, after which he made his home in the city until his death, July 28, 1898, at which time his post office address had been Jacksonville for nearly seventy years. Formerly a Whig, he became a Republican, and took an active interest in general politics, and was successful both as a farmer and business man. His wife, and the mother of the subject of this sketch, died September 14, 1903.
Henry S. Stevenson attended the country school until he was ten years of age, when his parents moved to Jacksonville. In 1864 he enlisted in Company C One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (a 100 days' regiment), in which he served nearly seven months. He then attended Illinois College into his junior year, after which he engaged permanently in farming and the feeding of stock, in which lines he has been very successful. He owns a fine farm of 250 acres, upon which he has built two substantial residences. In 1872 Mr. Stevenson and family took up their residence in Freeport, Ill., where he engaged in the manufacture of beet sugar, C. H. Rosentiel, his wife's father, being at the head of the enterprise. The enterprise did not prove a financial success, and eight years later he returned to Morgan County and resumed farming.
Mr. Stevenson was married November 8, 1871, to Louisa Rosentiel, daughter
of C. H. and Hannah (Gilman) Rosentiel, and of their family five children
survive, viz.: William H., a professor in an Agricultural College in Iowa,
and who married Daisy Scott, of Champaign, Ill.; Edward R., a farmer in
Morgan County, who married Gertrude Cleary; Claire S.; Hannah L., and Charles
Howard. Mrs. Henry S. Stevenson died October 20, 1900. Mr. Stevenson is
a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
STEVENSONS, The . - The Stevenson family have been justly regarded as embracing among their members some of the most prominent and worthy citizens of Morgan County. Their ancestors were William C. and James Stevenson, who came together to Morgan County from Kentucky in 1829. These brothers were preceded by Elliott Stevenson, son of William C., in 1828. The wives of William C. and James were sisters - the Misses Mary and Martha Elliott. The children of William C. were: Elliott, Fleming, William C., Benjamin F., Mrs. Martha Vance, John. Septimus C., and George.
The children of James Stevenson were: Mrs. Anthony Boston, Mrs. Jacob Ward, Mrs. Edward March, William, James, Robert, Mrs. Sarah Bennett and Augustus.
The sisters of William C. and James Stevenson were Mrs. James H. Lurton
and Mrs. Absalom Ogle. A colony of sixty-nine persons later came together
from the same part of Kentucky from which the Stevensons emigrated in 1829,
and located in Morgan County. Of that colony only three persons are now
living. The coming of the Stevenson families resulted in attracting a large
number of immigrants from Kentucky to the county who subsequently became
prominent citizens, among whom were Gen. John J. Hardin, the Cassells and
STEVENSON, Irvin, farmer and stockman, living on his well cultivated farm on Section 28, Township 15, Range 9, Morgan County, Ill., was born on his father's homestead, a short distance from where he now lives. December 14, 1848, being the son of Septimus C. and Evaline (Hill) Stevenson, whose life history appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Stevenson was inured to farm work, and his education was obtained in the district school near his home and the High School at Jacksonville. He began farming on his own responsibility when he became of age, and has made this his life occupation. He pays much attention to feeding of well graded stock, which he has found a profitable occupation.
In December, 1879, Mr. Stevenson was married to Kate Clarke, a daughter
of Charles Clarke. Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson have one son, H. Clarke Stevenson,
who was educated in the military school at Upper Alton, Ill. He is now
assisting his father on the farm.
STEVENSON, James Fleming, one of the oldest, most extensive and most prosperous stock dealers in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born four and a half miles west of that city, September 11, 1830. He is a son of Elliott and Jane (Stevenson) Stevenson, natives respectively, of Scott and Woodford Counties, Ky., the places of their birth being only about ten miles apart. They remained in Kentucky about four years after their marriage, which occurred October 21, 1824. In November, 1828, (election day) they camped upon the ground which afterward became the site of the capitol in Springfield, and then passed into Morgan County to seek favorable locations. In he following spring both his father and his uncle (James Stevenson) with their brothers-in0law and families, located permanently in Morgan, Cass and Scott Counties - then one county - and to the number of sixty-nine commenced life in the Western country. This was the largest colony, composed exclusively of related families which ever settled at one time in that region.
Elliott Stevenson, the father of James F., while a resident of Kentucky, was an overseer on the plantation of a Mr. Chambers, and thus earned sufficient money to invest in Morgan County lands. The father and mother died in 1883. James Stevenson was at one time a civil engineer, and in 1848 surveyed the route of the Sangamon & Morgan Railroad, running from Naples to Springfield.
Upon settling in Morgan County, in 1829, Elliott Stevenson purchased, for $625, 200 acres of land west of Jacksonville, which he sold six years later. He also bought 350 acres five and a half miles east of the present city. Before his death he also owned 300 acres of land in Kansas, and when his son, James F., was twenty-one years of age, he was the proprietor of fully 1,000 acres in Morgan County. This remarkable accumulation of landed property was largely due to the industry and shrewdness of the son named. The land was well adapted to stock raising and supported much valuable live stock, including $4,500 worth of Durham cattle.
In boyhood James F. Stevenson received his mental training in the early subscription schools. He was reared on the farm where he remained until he was thirty-five years old, giving considerable attention to the stock business. In 1865 he moved to Jacksonville and devoted himself to that line - buying stock cattle on commission. He took many train loads of stock to the New York markets. He has carried in cash, of other people's money, as much as $40,000 at a time, accounting for every penny. He followed the stock business until 1905. In 1866 he shipped the first load of cattle sent out of Kansas City, has operated extensively in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa, and has made as many as a hundred trips to New York. Many times he has driven his herds to St. Louis, where they were shipped by boats to New Orleans, handling stock in Kansas before that State had a railroad. In 1903 he transacted business for a stock firm amounting to $50,000 and is still in their employ. One of his most successful transactions was during the silver panic, when he was engaged by Ayers National Bank to dispose of eighty-eight car loads of cattle, which could not be sold in the local market. He shipped the stock to New York and, after an absence of twenty-two days, returned to Jacksonville with $85,000 clear of all expenses.
Politically, Mr. Stevenson was first a Whig, and acted with the Republicans
until the demonetization of silver, since which he has been an independent
voter. He was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church. He is a man
of the highest integrity of character, and enjoys the implicit confidence
and unbounded respect of all who know him.
STEVENSON, Septimus Clark, now one of the older agriculturists of Morgan County, residing on his farm about seven miles east of Jacksonville, was born near Lexington, Ky., September 21, 1821, a son of William C. Stevenson. (See sketch preceding.) The latter, a native of Virginia, was a member of a party of sixty pioneers, who, in 1829, came overland from Kentucky to Illinois, bringing with them 300 sheep, 100 cattle and a long train of wagons. William Stevenson located on a farm two miles west of the present residence of S. C. Stevenson, where he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits. He was bitterly opposed to the institution of slavery. While a resident of Kentucky he possessed a number of slaves, which he would not sell, and which he could not free without becoming responsible for their subsequent actions. When he decided to come to Illinois, he therefore retained the old slave quarters on his farm, which he allowed the blacks to occupy for a year, in the meantime selling them for a nominal sum to those who, as he believed would accord them generous and humane treatment, each master having been selected by the slave before the sale. He sold each slave for $500, several times that amount being easily obtained on the open market. He was an old-time Whig, and a great admirer and friend of Henry Clay, whom he knew well, his home in Ashland, Ky., being located near that of the Great Pacificator.
William Stevenson was one of the builders of the first log schoolhouse in his neighborhood, which was located in the woods near his home. He was also one of the founders of the first church in the community, which was organized in his home, where religious services were held in the pioneer days. Dr. Lyman Beecher was then a member of the Presbytery with which this church was connected, and was at the Stevenson home at the time of organization. Mr. Stevenson was elected an Elder of the society, and filled that office most of his life thereafter. For some time he also acted as Church Chorister. Upon the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, he equipped one of his sons and a nephew with proper accouterments, and sent them into the service with his blessing. The elder Mr. Stevenson married Martha Elliott, a native of Kentucky, who bore him the following named children: Fleming, John, William, Benjamin, George, Septimus C., besides two sons who died in infancy, and one daughter, Martha, who married Samuel Vance. All are now deceased except the subject of this sketch.
Septimus Stevenson resided on his father's farm until he became of age, when his parents gave him a tract of 220 acres situated one and a half miles west of his present location. This he improved and sold two years later for $9 per acre. He then *1852) purchased about 320 acres, half of which had been slightly improved, which is included with his present farm. About this time he was united in marriage with Eveline Hill, who died September 4, 1868. On December 16, 1869, he married Miriam Bosworth, who died suddenly May 27, 1903, as the result of an accident. She served throughout the Civil War as a nurse, attached to the relief department of the Union Army. By his union with Eveline Hill, Mr. Stevenson became the father of seven children, as follows: Irvin, a farmer residing west of his father; Fannie, wife of James Cully, of Jacksonville; Thomas, of Chicago; Lottie, wife of George Guthrie, of Jacksonville; William, of Omaha, Neb.; May, wife of Charles Rannells, of Pisgah; and Frederick, residing in Ohio.
For some time Mr. Stevenson was a Trustee of the old Athenaeum School,
of Jacksonville, now defunct; and he has been a supporter of the Jacksonville
Female Academy, and other institutions of that city. For many years he
has been an Elder in the Pisgah Presbyterian Church. He has been a warm
friend of educational institutions, and has given all his children exceptional
advantages in this direction. During the Civil War he contributed generously
toward the support of the Union soldiers in the field, and in various other
ways throughout his long and useful life has contributed to the success
of all worthy movements inspired by a desire to truly advance the interests
of Morgan County. His stock operations have been quite extensive, especially
in the more active years of his career; and he has always been known as
a man of great industry and energy. He is public spirited and progressive
to an unusual degree, and is esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances
as a man entitled to be ranked with the worthiest and most substantial
type of American citizenship.
STEWART, Samuel Brown, City Clerk, Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Annapolis, Md., September 1, 1868, a son of John and Mary C. (Deem) Stewart. His father, who is of Scotch parentage, served for about ten years in the United States Navy as Master-at-Arms on the "U.S.S. Dispatch." During the Civil War he was assigned to duty on the "Paul Jones," on which vessel he saw most of his active service. Since 1884 he has resided at Ozawkie, Kans.
Samuel B. Stewart came to Jacksonville in November, 1884, and for several years resided with an aunt in that city. The common school education which he had begun while a resident of Maryland was supplemented by a year's course in Whipple Academy, after which he entered Illinois College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1891. Entering the employ of the "Jacksonville Journal" soon after the completion of his college course, he was a member of the staff of that paper for five years. For six months, in 1896, he acted as city editor of the "Springfield State Journal." Upon his return to Jacksonville he was associated with the "Illinois Courier" until May, 1897, when he was elected to the office of City Clerk as the nominee of the Republican party. He has been continuously reelected to that office every second year since 1897, his reelection in 1905 following one of the most hotly contested and bitter campaigns ever waged in any city in Illinois.
Fraternally, Mr. Stewart is identified with Jacksonville Lodge, No.
570, A.F.& A.M., Jacksonville Chapter, No. 3, R.A.M., Jacksonville
Council, No. 5, R.&S.M., Hospitaler Commandery, No. 31, K.T., St. Paul
Conclave Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, the Consistory
and Shrine at Peoria, and has been the Presiding Officer in the Chapter,
Council and Commandery. He is also a member of the Order of the Eastern
Star, in which he is Past Patron; of Illini Lodge, No. 4, I.O.O.F.; of
Favorite Lodge, No. 376, K.P., and a charter member of Jacksonville Lodge,
No. 682, B.P.O.E. He is a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
On June 6, 1893, he was united in marriage with Daisy D. Roosa, a daughter
of Charles A. and Sarah V. (DeHaven) Roosa, now of Springfield, but formerly
residents of Jacksonville. Mrs. Stewart is an influential member of the
local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a graduate
of the Illinois Conservatory of Music, at Jacksonville.
STRAWN, Gates, was born on a farm known as "Grass Plains", five miles southwest of Jacksonville, Ill., the son of Jacob and Phebe (Gates) Strawn, the former a noted farmer and cattle dealer of Morgan County. (For genealogy of the family, see sketch of the father, Jacob Strawn, preceding in this volume.) Gates Strawn was educated in the local public schools, Illinois College, the Ohio Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School, graduating from the latter in 1865. For a time during the Civil War (in 1862) he served as a member of Company E, Eighty-fourth Ohio volunteer Infantry, under the veteran General Wood, who had previously been a soldier in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Later he traveled overland to California, and thence took ship for South America, while there crossing the Andes three times. Then returning home, in 1869 he was married to Miss Almyra Trabue, a member of a prominent family of Jacksonville, later making a trip to Europe, where he spent about one year.
A zealous Republican in his political opinions, Mr. Strawn has not been
a seeker for office, buy by appointment of Gov. John R. Tanner, served
one term as President of the Board of Trustees of the Institution for the
Deaf and Dumb at Jacksonville. Though not a church member, he is a regular
attendant upon the services at the State Street Presbyterian church, Jacksonville,
and is a member and President of its Board of Trustees. Unselfish and public
spirited, he takes a deep interest in enterprises affecting the welfare
of his home city, and entertains a just pride in his descent from two such
parents as Jacob and Phebe (Gates) Strawn, the first of whom died in 1865,
and the latter on February 6, 1906.
STRAWN, Jacob, who during a large portion of the period covered by his life, was one of the most widely known farmers, and in many respects one of the most remarkable men on the roll of those departed leaders, who, in various spheres of action, have reflected honor upon the State of Illinois, was born in Somerset County, Pa., May 30, 1800. He was a son of Isaiah and Rachel (Reed) Strawn, of whom the former was one of nine sons born to Daniel Strawn, a native of Bucks County, Pa., whose father died when Daniel was a child. Rachael (Reed) Strawn was a native of Sussex County, N.J. Jacob Strawn (the grandfather of Daniel, and great-great-grandfather of the subject of this memoir) came from England to the United States in 1682, with William Penn. When Daniel Strawn reached mature years he became the husband of a Miss Purcely, of Bucks County, Pa., whose parents came from Wales to that State, early in her girlhood. Her union with Daniel Strawn resulted in nine sons and three daughters, among the former being Isaiah Strawn, above mentioned. After his marriage Daniel Strawn became a farmer, and followed that occupation for the remainder of his life. Isaiah Strawn settled on a farm in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, Pa., where he carried on farming and blacksmithing. To him and his wife were born six children, of whom four were sons - Jacob being the youngest. With the exception of one daughter, who afterward passed away in Coshocton County, Ohio, where she had previously gone with her husband, the family, in 1817, moved from Pennsylvania to Putnam County, Ill., where they located in the vicinity of Hennepin, on a farm near that of Mr. Strawn's son, Jeremiah. The earlier ancestors of Jacob Strawn were Quakers in religious faith, although at a later period some members of the family allied themselves with the Methodist church, and with other denominations. They were of sturdy and stalwart stock, with strong physical development, and almost impervious to fatigue. Nearly all of them followed agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Isaiah Strawn died April 4, 1843; her husband passed away just one year later, and both were on the verge of their eighty-fourth year.
In boyhood Jacob Strawn utilized the opportunities for mental training afforded by the schools of his native county. It is said of him that, during a visit to one of his aunts, at the age of ten years, he watched her intently while she was engaged in feeding calves; and, overhearing an allusion to the profit anticipated on their sale, determined to become a stock dealer when he reached manhood. When he was seventeen years old his parents moved to Licking County, Ohio, and when he reached the age of nineteen years, he was married to Matilda Greene, a daughter of Rev. John Greene, of Licking County. When he left Somerset County, Pa., Mr. Strawn had saved $100, which he gave to his father, to apply on the payment for a tract o f unbroken land, purchased by the latter in Ohio, and his marriage left the young man $7 in debt - a fact which is here mentioned as an illustration of his early provident habits, ad well as his filial affection. Mr. Strawn's first marriage resulted in three children - who grew to maturity, reared families, and became in comfortable circumstances - namely: Rev. William Strawn, of Odell, Ill.; James G. Strawn, a farmer of Orleans, Ill.; and Isaiah Strawn, a farmer and dealer in horses, Jacksonville, Ill. While a resident of Ohio Mr. Strawn was engaged to a considerable extent in dealing in horses, and while thus occupied, in 1828 made a trip to Illinois, where, instead of adding to his supply of horses, he bought land. For one tract, known as the Cobb farm, five miles southwest of Jacksonville, he paid $10 per acre for 160 acres, and on a portion of this the family residence was afterward established. Returning to Ohio he sold his interests there, completed his arrangements for moving, and on May 17, 1831, arrived in Morgan County, locating on his purchase of three years before. This investment was the initiatory step in that unparalleled career which made Jacob Strawn prominent in the long line of Illinois stock raisers, developed an enterprise of colossal proportions, and inaugurated the cattle business of the State.
For the following few years after he established himself on his Morgan County farm, Mr. Strawn occupied, with his family, a log house, of the crude construction common to that primitive period. It included a second story which was reached by means of a ladder. In that rude but comfortable dwelling, mrs. Strawn died December 8, 1831. On July 8, 1832, Mr. Strawn again married, wedding Phebe Gates, a daughter of Samuel Gates, a prominent pioneer settler of Greene County, Ill. Miss Gates was a lady of unusual beauty and intelligence, and possessed many other feminine graces. Her father was born forty miles from Portland, Me., and when a young man journeyed to Ohio, and settled on the banks of the Muskingum River. At an early age he married a Miss Emerson, who was born in Windsor, Vt., and was a relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Miss Gates was four years old when her parents brought her to Illinois, which was then a Territory, and was not admitted to the Union as a State until several months after their arrival. They made the journey to Illinois in company with another family, traveling by keelboat from Marietta, Ohio, to their destination. For a time they sojourned on the Mississippi Bottoms, in the western part of Calhoun County, Ill., and later located in Bluffdale, Greene County, eight miles west of Carrollton, Ill., a region settled mainly by Eastern people. The Bluffdale postoffice was established in 1828, in the house of John Russell, and various members of the Russell family held the office from that period until 1905. Mrs. Strawn attended one of the earliest select schools in Illinois, conducted at Bluffdale by John Russell, who was a man of literary ability. His school was even patronized by the children of some of the best families in St. Louis, for the reason that at that time (1828) St. Louis had no school equal to the Russell Institute, which was about seventy miles from that city. The well known selection contained in all the schoolreaders of fifty years ago, entitled the "Worm of the Still", was written by John Russell, who was one of the best of the pioneer educators, and was for some time a Professor in Shurtleff College.
The union of Miss Gates with Mr. Strawn resulted in six children, one of whom died in early childhood. The members of this family were: Julius E. Strawn, a prominent farmer, banker and philanthropist; Daniel, the first born, killed in a mill; Jacob Strawn, Gates Strawn, D. G. Strawn and Martha Amelia Strawn. David was engaged in the dental profession in Boston, Mass., and now is a well known farmer and citizen of Jacksonville. The only daughter, Martha Amelia, spent three years in Dr. Gannett's School in Boston, Mass, where unremitting application to study enfeebled her to such an extent that she fell a victim to consumption and filled a premature grave at about twenty-two years of age. She possessed rare natural endowments, both physical and mental, and combined in her person many of the distinctive and excellent traits of both her parents. She died at her home five miles southwest of Jacksonville, July 15, 1868. Jacob Strawn, Jr., the third son, received his intellectual culture in Jacksonville. At an early age he was afflicted by a pulmonary ailment, and by advice of his physician went abroad, making a six months' tour of Europe, and visiting Egypt and Palestine in company with Rev. L. M. Glover, D.D. He returned home in the fall of 1858, and on March 12, 1862, was untied in marriage with Mary Jane Patterson. Their union resulted in three children, two of whom were sons. The father of this family died in Jacksonville, Ill., October 10, 1869, his de3ath being widely and greatly lamented.
For a considerable period the subject of this sketch supplied the St. Louis market with a large proportion of the beef consumed in that city. He purchased and disposed of larger lots of cattle than any other dealer in this country, and among stockmen his name became familiar as a household word from ocean to ocean. During the first years of his residence in Morgan County, Mr. Strawn was engaged in butchering and milling, and furnished the meat and flour supply of Jacksonville. He was the owner of a flour mill, and raised large crops of wheat and corn. He was also one of the most extensive land holders in Illinois, being the owner of 10,000 acres in Sangamon and Morgan Counties, besides his home farm of about 8,000 acres. About the year 1850 he made a complete innovation in the customary methods of conducting the stock business, and disposed of his cattle on the ground where he fitted them for market, thereafter confining his attention to the work of grazing and feeding. He was the initiator in Illinois of the system of stall feeding with corn. In 1859 he began the erection of the superb Strawn's Opera House in Jacksonville, which was finished in 1861, and dedicated in March of that year, thereby adorning the city with its most ornate, commodious and imposing public structure, with which his name will be perpetually associated.
During the Civil War, Mr. Strawn was one of the pillars of the Union cause, and rendered most patriotic service in strengthening the arms of the Government. During the darkest period of the conflict he donated to the Christian commission, when that noble body was in sore need of means to prosecute its work, the handsome sum of $10,000. On being informed by a hospital nurse from Vicksburg that the supply of milk for the disabled soldiers was scanty and inferior, he promptly raised the means to buy fifty cows, which he sent under the care of a special attendant to the hospital stewards at that point. Politically Mr. Strawn was a Whig in early life, and became a Republican on the organization of that party in 1856. The death of Mr. Strawn occurred August 23, 1856, at the country home where he first settled, and he was buried in Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville. Mrs. Strawn spent the last years of her life in the home erected by herself in Jacksonville, but died, deeply lamented by her family and a large circle of friends, February 6, 1906. By her will, besides leaving generous bequests to her children and their descendants she made liberal donations to educational and benevolent institutions, including $20,000 to Illinois college, $10,000 to jacksonville Female Academy and a like sum to the Passavant Memorial Hospital.
The causes of the phenomenal success of Jacob Strawn are not difficult
to determine when his pronounced characteristics are considered. He possessed
in an extraordinary degree, those qualities that make the highest success
certain. He was exempt from all indulgences which weaken the will power,
and induce a purpose when formed to waver. He had a comprehensive grasp
of th details of every enterprise which he undertook, and intuitively foresaw
the outcome. He was resolute, tenacious, prompt in decision and action,
and his perseverance knew no flagging. His mind penetrated the innermost
possibilities of any business problem which confronted him, and his plans
eventuated in precise accordance with the calculations on which they were
based. Withal, he was scrupulously honest and absolutely reliable. He was
an indefatigable worker, and inspired his employees with a spirit of industry.
Although his mental absorption in some important venture made him occasionally
terse in speech and brusque in manner, he treated everyone fairly and equitably.
He was a hospitable entertainer, and charitable to the deserving needy.
Devoid of ostentation, his vast possessions never stimulated vanity or
impaired his manhood. He was a disciple of the strenuous life, and was
born to achieve success.
STRAWN, Julius E., one of the most prominent educational characters, and well known as one of the most extensive land owners in Morgan County, Ill., was born December 2, 1835, at Grass Plains, that county, five miles southwest of Jacksonville. He is a son of Jacob and Phebe (Gates) Strawn. Jacob, who was a son of Isaiah Strawn, was one of a family of six children and a native of Pennsylvania. The father of Jacob Strawn married Rachael Reed, of Suffolk County, N.J. They moved to a farm in Turkey Foot township, Somerset County, Pa., where six children were born to them, four of whom were sons - Jacob being the youngest. At a later period the father located in Licking county, Ohio, and in 1837 Isaiah Strawn settled in Putnam County, Ill., where he died April 4, 1843, at the age of eighty-four years. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In 1828 Jacob, the father of Julius, purchased the "Cobb Farm", on which he settled in 1831 and which continued to be his home until his death, August 23, 1865. For that farm he paid $10 per acre, at that time the highest price ever paid for farming land in Morgan County. On that tract was a log house which originally contained one room, but at the time of purchase had two, with a loft above. Mr. Strawn paid $1,600 for the property, and some time before his death he was the owner of 18,000 acres of land. In 1857 he sold 3,000 acres for $100,00.
Julius E. Strawn was a delicate child, weighing but twelve pounds at the age of one year. As there was no school in the vicinity of his home, when only ten years old, he was sent to a private school conducted by the Rev. William Eddy, who afterward became a celebrated missionary. Subsequently Mr. Strawn was a pupil in the private school of Messrs. Talmage Collins and Wilder Fairbanks, riding on horseback to and from his home. Afterward he attended the district school taught by James Henderson, and recited his Latin lessons under the tutorship of Paul Selby. In the fall of 1856 he entered the preparatory school of Newton Bateman, where he spent one year and was prepared to begin his classical course in the Freshman year at Illinois College, which he entered in 1857. From this institution he was graduated in 1861. After spending several months as an agent for his father in New York City, in connection with cattle shipped to that point by the latter, eh went to Philadelphia, where he remained a few months, and then returned home. He was next occupied, for two years, in cultivating a portion of his father's land in the eastern part of Morgan County. During the Civil War he received, unsolicited, an appointment on the staff of the War Governor, Richard Yates. In the autumn of 1865 he went abroad for a three years' European trip. He remained some time in London, where he was the recipient of courtesies from Charles Francis Adams, the United States Ambassador to Great Britain. He also visited Ireland, and attended the World's Fair, held in Dublin. After including, in his travels, many points of historic interest in Scotland, he returned to London, and thence journeyed to Paris where he made an extended stay. From Paris he went to Belgium, traveling over that kingdom, passing through the Rhine country, and stopping several weeks at Aix-la-Chappelle. He then took a trip up the Rhine, and remained some weeks at the baths in Crenznach. While there he made an excursion to Russia. In that country he was well received by the United States Minister, Cassius M. Clay, who obtained for him an introduction to the Winter Palace, and the picture galleries and private apartments of the Czar, where he viewed the crown diamonds and other royal treasures. Returning to Germany, he visited Frankfurt; made a tour of Baden; and spent several weeks at Heidelberg. Thence he traveled to Munich, and over the Alps, via the Brenner Pass to Verona and Genoa, Italy, and then, with some German friends, made a trip by coach over the Riviera to Nice. He returned to Italy by sea and spent several weeks in Rome, again reaching Germany by way of Geneva, Switzerland. While traveling in Switzerland he was advised of th serious illness of his sister, Mattie Strawn, and hastening to London, boarded the mail train to Queenstown, Ireland, where he caught the steamer which had left Liverpool the day before. He took passage on the steamer "City of London", Capt. Brooks in charge, who commanded the "City of Washington," on which he had made the voyage to Europe. His sister died before he reached home. After his return he resumed the charge of his lands and farm, but made his home with his mother on the old homestead until 1882, when Mrs. Strawn and family located in Jacksonville, where she continued to reside until her death in February, 1906.
Mr. Strawn has always been a warm friend and supporter of Illinois College, and the Presbyterian Academy. He was made a Trustee of the former institution in 1876, and also of the Presbyterian Academy. Since the death of L. M. Glover, D.D., in 1882, he has been President of the Board of Trustees of the Jacksonville Female Academy. He has served as Trustee of Illinois College under each President and each Acting President since the presidency of Dr. Edward Beecher. During the winter of 1904-1905 he was Acting President of that institution for three months. On the resignation of President Barnes he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustee, and Acting President until the regular election. Mr. Strawn has been a stockholder in the Jacksonville National Bank since 1871, and a member of the Board of Directors since 1884. On the resignation of President O. D. Fitzsimmons, he was elected to the vacancy, but declined to serve. In 1905 he was again elected President of the bank, and this time accepted.
Politically, Mr. Strawn lends his support to the Republican party. Religiously,
he has worshiped with the congregation of the Presbyterian church since
his childhood. He is one of the most Prominent representative citizens
of Morgan County, and is regarded as a pillar of strength in the community
of which is a conspicuous member.
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