Chapter 26 - Emmet Township
This township lies in 6 north, 3 west, and is about equally divided between timber and prairie land. It is bounded upon the north by Sciota, on the east by Macomb, with Chalmers and Colchester on the south, and Hire township on the west. A considerable portion of the city of Macomb is on section 36, of this township.
The township is well watered, and is an excellent stock country. Crooked creek passes through the southeastern portion, entering on the northwest quarter of section 25, and leaving on the southwest of 34. Spring creek and tributaries run through the greater portion of it, and furnish living water at all seasons of the year. There are many excellent farms here, and the farmers are, as a rule, well-to-do men. There are about 23,000 acres of land in the entire township, the majority of which is improved. In churches and school houses the township will compare favorably with any other in the county. The Quincy branch of the C. B. & Q. railroad passes through the southwest corner of the township.
Many interesting facts cluster 'round the early settlement of this township, which will be vividly brought to mind by the mere mention of pioneer days. The difficulties attending the first settlement of this country cannot be realized, or the hardships and privations undergone estimated, by any comparison with the new settlement in the west of to-day. Now, lines of railroads traverse the lands, markets for agricultural products are at hand for the settlers, buyers of grain and stock appear upon the scene, and ready money is always at hand for any and everything, for which a demand exists, and the so-called "pioneers" of the west to-day have comparatively an easy time. Penetrating the forests and wilds of this country over 50 years ago, making the tiresome journey with teams, settling remote from railroad or trading point, without society and with but little shelter, means almost hermitage, and all honor is due those brave men and women, who so nobly, in years gone by, endured these things, and placed in motion a series of events which have developed so rich and goodly a land; until Emmet township stands forth to-day in all its beauty and development, with desirable homes and happy surroundings, well tilled farms and comfortable houses.
The first to effect a settlement in Emmet township was Peter Hale, in 1830; he was also the first county coroner. He erected his cabin on the quarter west of Macomb, where the old graveyard is located.
Wm. Pringle settled a short distance further west at about the same time.
Samuel L. Clarke came with his father, James Clarke, from the state of Kentucky to McDonough county, in the spring of 1830. They settled on section 36, within the present borders of the city of Macomb. Samuel remained at home until his marriage, which occurred in 1853, to Nancy A. Hardin. They are the parents of four children—David H., James D., Clara and Samuel L. Samuel L. was born September 29, 1822, in the state of Kentucky, and was a son of James and Mary (Lewis) Clarke. His death occurred February 8, 1863, and he is interred in the Russell cemetery.
In the year of 1831, William Pennington removed from Pennington's Point, and located upon Spring creek, about eight miles northwest of Macomb, on section 8, where he resided until his death, although he spent a few years in the town of Blandinsville. Alfred and Perry, his sons, remained on the homestead a number of years, when they removed to the town of Blandinsville, where they still reside.
William Pennington came to McDonough county in 1828, from Schuyler county, this state, and was born in South Carolina; but removed to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. His first settlement was at what is now called Pennington's point, in New Salem township, but in 1831, he removed to Emmet township. Coming as he did, with a small amount of money, he succeeded in buying considerable land, which improved in value, and at his death made him worth considerable property. He was not possessed of a very strong constitution, and was sick a great deal of the time. He was quite a religious man, and not given to political aspirations. When he went to the polls he cast his ballot with the democratic party. His wife preceded him over the dark river, and they both lie on section 7, in Emmet township. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pennington, as follows:
Moses, now in Arkansas; Alfred, in Blandinsville; Nancy W., deceased; Perry, in Schuyler county; William R., Eli A., Joel R., John, deceased; Elijah and Elisha were twins, and died young. Eli still lives on section 8, where he owns 91 acres of land, and 61 acres on section 18. It is a pleasure we do not all have, that of being born and reared, and after marriage live on the same place; but such is the fact in Mr. Pennington's case. His marriage with Emeline Grills, occurred May 29, 1870, she being a native of East Tennessee, but was married in this county. Two children help to bind the hearts of these people—Mamie N. A., born December 19, 1872, and Alfred, born January 22, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Pennington are members of the Missionary Baptist church.
James Head, a native of Virginia, moved to the state of Kentucky when young, and in 1832, came to McDonough county, settling in Emmet township, southwest of the village of Sciota, on section 5. He resided there until 1855, when he removed to Macomb and there lived a retired life until his death, which occurred March 2, 1863. He improved the farm in this township, and raised a family of 12 children, three of whom still live in the county—Thomas, Maria, wife of Jefferson Hays, and William B.
Thomas W. Head, came with his parents to Emmet in 1832, arriving at section 5, on Christmas day, where they made a settlement. Thomas remained here until March, 1848, when he removed to Sciota township, where he still resides. Richard H. Churchill made a settlement on section 14, in Emmet township in 1832.
Job Yard, settled on section 30, in April, 1833, where he entered 240 acres of land, 80 of which was on section 16. He improved the land on section 30, where he made his residence.
Job Yard, Jr., a native of McDonough county, was born on the same farm he now lives on, a part of the old Yard homestead, owning 110 acres of the same on section 30, southeast quarter. He was born May 1, 1837, the youngest child of the family now living. He enlisted in August 1862, and was mustered in at Springfield, Illinois, September 10, in company I, 124th regiment. He participated in the battles at Mobile, Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Black River, and other severe engagements, in all about 20 battles, and was not wounded, but at Vicksburg was injured in falling from a precipice, injuring his spine, and was in the hospital. His marriage occurred February 13, 1873, to Sarah Webster, a daughter of John Webster, a farmer near Colchester, but formerly a druggist in Colchester. Four children bless this union—Francis E., John W., Etta J. and Isabel, now deceased. Mr. Yard is a republican and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Thomas C. Yard is one of Emmet township's most successful farmers. He worked at home, assisting on the farm until his father's death, when the responsibilities of the place and business were all vested in him, he took the matter in hand and was highly successful in carrying out the plans of his father, and until his mother married again, he was the sole manager. Job Yard Sr., spoken of in another place, was his father. Thomas had learned the trade of a stone mason, at which trade he worked for 12 years, five years of the time, however, he was engaged in lettering tomb stones, being very proficient in the art. Starting with nothing to speak of, he gradually worked his way up and is now one of the most prosperous farmers in the county, owning 600 acres of land and property in Macomb. His buildings are nice and neatly kept, showing thrift and good judgment, while on his land roam herds of good cattle, and droves of hogs—sometimes buying, feeding and shipping to Chicago on his own account. His wife was Louisa Phelps, a daughter of L. P. Phelps, who met his death in Macomb, in such a tragic manner in 1872. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Yard, four of whom are living—Clara A., Edward L., Truman P. and Jessie O. The deceased are—Francis E., William C., Emma L., Leander P. and Alva T. Mr. Yard is a strong republican and an active man in its cause.
About the year 1833, Levi Warren came, entering a good farm on section 33, where he resided a number of years. He was an eastern man and served through the Black Hawk war. He raised a large family of children, and afterward removed to Mercer county, where he died.
In 1834, Joshua Simmons entered land on the northwest quarter of section 4. He rented at first, but afterward bought 160 acres and added to the place until he had 210 acres at the time of his death, in 1883.
Joshua Simmons, deceased, was born in Halifax county, Virginia, November 23, 1806, and died Feb. 15, 1883. When he was nine years old he removed from his native state and became a resident of Kentucky. In 1834 he came to this county and made a settlement in the northwest quarter of section four. He engaged in farming, first renting, then buying 160 acres on section nine, to which he afterwards made additions, until at the time of his death the farm contained 210 acres. Mr. Simmons received but a limited education, and came to this county poor. By habits of industry, temperance and economy, he was enabled to succeed. He was married December 27, 1827, to Mary Webster, a native of Maryland, born April 29, 1810, who yet survives him, in good health and an apparent lease of life for years to come. They have had thirteen children—Mary Hardin, born October 7, 1830; Martha E., born March 1, 1832; James D., born August 14, 1834, and died December 15, 1884; Eliza J., born August 10, 1836; Zephaniah B., born September 11, 1838; Thomas M., born in 1840; William W., born August 22, 1843; Sarah Elisabeth, born April 14, 1845; Joel H., born in 1847; Matilda A., born September 9, 1849; William J., born February 24, 1852; John M., born October 27, 1855, and now married; and Mary C. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were members of the Baptist church, and he was one of the honest, straight men of McDonough county.
Thomas M. Simmons, third son of Joshua and Mary (Webster) Simmons, was born in this county, December 29, 1840. His early life was spent on his father's farm, and August 1863, he was united in marriage with Ruth Collins, who came to this county with her parents when quite young. She died April 4, 1865, and July 8, of the following year Mr. Simmons was again married to Nancy R. Barnes, a native of Highland county, Ohio, and daughter of Elias Barnes who settled in Emmet township in 1853, but is now living in Iowa. Mr. Simmons has had by his second marriage, five children—Thomas W., born January 6, 1870; Frederick E., born October 22, 1871, and died April 7, 1877; Frank L., born December 9, 1875, and died October 13, 1877; and George E., born November 29, 1879. Their only daughter, Pearl, was born November 26, 1868, and died April 15, 1869. Mr. Simmons after his first marriage, lived one year in Sciota township, then removed to Emmet township, where he has since been a resident. He purchased a portion of his present farm in 1868. He now owns 126 acres of well improved land and has a desirable home. Mr. Simmons takes an active interest in politics, and is a member of the republican party. He has held the offices of township Supervisor, collector and school director. Mrs. Simmons is a woman of fine education and was formerly a teacher. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In 1835, Benjamin Naylor, who came to Macomb in 1833, purchased the southwest quarter of section 29, and the northwest quarter of section 32, and erected a log cabin 20 feet square, with two rooms, on the southwest quarter of section 29. He has since died.
Benjamin T. Naylor, formerly a prominent citizen, but now deceased, came to McDonough county from Adair county, Kentucky, in the spring of 1833. He was born in March, 1801, and was a son of Benjamin Naylor, who was of English descent. B. T. Naylor was brought up on a farm, and received a fair education. He was a bright scholar, and particularly apt in mathematics. At the age of 19 he began learning the carpenter's trade, at which he became a skilled workman. The first piece of work which won for him the reputation for unusual dexterity, was the railing for a flight of winding stairs at the penitentiary in Lexington, Kentucky, for the construction of which he received $600. He intended, on coming to this county, to pursue his trade, and did so for a time. He assisted in the erection of the old court house and other buildings, in the city of Macomb. He also built the first frame house in that city, which is now occupied by the Catholic priest. Mr. Naylor abandoned his trade in 1842, and went on to a farm in Emmet township. He was married in 1831 to Adeline Bailey, a native of Virginia. By this marriage there were six children—John J., William B., George W., Sibian, Martha C. and Albert. His four sons served in the army during the late war. Sibian, John and Martha C. are deceased. Mrs. Naylor died June 26, 1880, and is buried with her deceased children in the old cemetery at Macomb. George W. Naylor now lives in Dakota. B. T. Naylor died December 8, 1883, in Hire township. The immediate cause of his death was, injuries which he received in consequence of his horses running away. He was, in his prime, a man of fine personal appearance, of medium height, weighing about 175 pounds, and possessed of a vigorous constitution, which was much impaired at the time of his death. In disposition he was genial and pleasant. He came to the county with very limited means, and died possessed of a comfortable fortune.
William B. Naylor, second son of B. T. Naylor, was born July 11, 1835, in Macomb. He was married August 9, 1855, to Melinda L. McCord, daughter of William McCord. He resided with his parents for one year after marriage, then moved to a farm on section 29, Emmet township, where he now lives. He owns 166 acres of land with good improvements, and is engaged in farming. Mrs. Naylor died March 24, 1864. Their children were--George J., Samuel L., Ida, and Louisa. Mr. Naylor was again married, October 11, 1866, to Priscilla James, a daughter of Joseph James, who came to this county in the year 1861, from Ohio. Mr. Naylor had, by his second marriage, one child—Charles, born July 17, 1867, and died September 1, of the same year. While in the army, Mr. Naylor participated in the battle of Chattanooga, and was subsequently taken prisoner by the rebels, and detained for a time at Libby prison, where he endured many hardships and much suffering. He was sent home after being exchanged.
Davis Hardin came to the county in 1835, living in Chalmers township, on rented land, one year. He then purchased a farm in Emmet, consisting of 80 acres of prairie and 120 acres of timber land, upon which he resided until his death, December 11, 1868. He was born near Springfield, Kentucky, May 14, 1797, and was a son of Henry and Mary (Davis) Hardin. Henry came with his son, settling in Emmet, where he died three years afterward. Davis was married in Washington county, Kentucky, September 30, 1824, to Eliza Webster, a native of the District of Columbia. When they came to McDonough county, they spent some three weeks on the road, traveling overland by wagon.
In 1836 Charles Creel came to McDonough county, and after a residence of about six months at Bardolph, removed to Emmet township, entering land on section 1, where he still resides. He was born in Adair county, Kentucky, August 17, 1807. He was married there, in 1833, to Parthena Bland. Since coming to the township, he has improved a farm of 234 acres. He has been a hard working man, and raised a family of 10 children. Mrs. Creel, who was one of the original members of the Presbyterian church, died April 17, 1882, and was interred at Walnut Grove cemetery. Mr. Creel was appointed captain of the company that went from Walnut Grove to engage in the suppression of the Mormon troubles in Hancock county.
Many others are found who have done their full share toward building up the township. Their sketches appear below:
George G. Guy, one of the early settlers of McDonough county, is a native of Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. The date of his birth was September 2, 1808. His father was Benjamin Guy, and mother, Rebecca (Flora) Guy. Benjamin Guy sprang from an English race, and his wife from the German. The subject of this sketch was married in Kentucky, to Angeline Tinsley, February 21, 1833, a native of Virginia, born June 17, 1812, and daughter of David Tinsley and Mahala (Cox) Tinsley, both Virginians by birth. After their marriage, they lived on a farm in Warren county, Kentucky, which he sold and removed to McDonough county, Illinois. Staying near Macomb for five months, he settled on his present location, where they have lived since. They made the trip with a four horse team, bringing all their worldly goods with them. The amount of money did not exceed $400, which he put into the 80 he now lives on, on section 20, Emmet township. The spring prior he had been to the county and bought 160 acres in Chalmers township, which he afterwards sold. Mr. Guy has been financially successful here, owning at one time between six and seven hundred acres of land, the most of which he has given away to his children. Living in a small log house at first, he has replaced it with a handsome residence, at a cost of about $2,500. Being a man of powerful physique, he has always done a great deal of work, and pushing all before him. The inflammatory rheumatism has troubled him some for nearly a year, at times nearly crippling him. He is a man who has many friends, and is one of the best of neighbors. His family of children numbered nine—Mahala, born February 10, 1834; Benjamin F., born November 27, 1835; David, September 8, 1837; Nathaniel, June 7, 1839, he was a soldier, enlisting in the 124th Illinois infantry, August, 1862, serving till July, 1863, when he died in Vicksburg hospital; James, born September 12, 1841; Harriet A., September 12, 1843, now deceased; Rebecca J., October 20, 1845; George G., January 2, 1848, and died September 2, 1849; Martha, November 15, 1849. He has 38 living grand-children and three great-grand-children. Mr. Guy is a religious man, and was very instrumental in building the M. E. church near by. He acted as class-leader a long time, and was superintendent of Sunday school for many years.
Benjamin F. Guy was born in Kentucky, November 27, 1835. His early life was spent with his parents. He was married February 25, 1858, to Mary J. Ledgerwood, a native of Hancock county, born near La Harpe, a daughter of John Ledgerwood and Peggy J. (Kelso) Ledgerwood. Her parents came to McDonough county when she was quite young. Her mother died when Mary was a child. Her father died in 1879. When Mr. Guy was first married, he lived on his father's place; but in 1858, he purchased 80 acres on section 18 and at present owns 120 acres where he lives. He has comfortable buildings and a pleasant home. His life has been spent mostly on the farm; but it has not prevented Mr. Guy from becoming acquainted with the modern improvements. He is in keeping with the times intellectually, providing the family with good books and papers, thus enabling them to advance as the world progresses. He has been a teacher in the common schools, in which occupation he was employed for a number of terms. Nine children have blessed the union of these people—Nancy A., wife of Thomas Ballew of Emmet township; Margaret J., one of McDonough county's teachers; George M., Harriett A., Mary E., Martha C., John P., William F., and Walter L. Mr. Guy was director in his school district from 1866 to 1884, and is one of the most earnest workers in the cause of christianity, being class leader in the M. E. church near by for years; his wife is also a member, but was formerly a Cumberland Presbyterian. In 1874-75, Mr. Guy was collector of taxes in Emmet township. He taught two terms of school.
J. W. Stapp (deceased) was among the really good men of McDonough county. While young he had great respect for religion, and in mature years, feeling himself called upon to preach, he gave attention to more particular study of the scriptures, and eventually became a power in the preaching of the word. He was a self made man, starting out in life with only the advice and protection of a step-mother. Unlike so many boys, who readily yield to temptation, he had a fine perception of right and wrong, and seemed inclined to lead an upright, honest, christian life, and became a noble christian gentleman, and no name of honor or word of praise can be greater than that. He was always found ready to do his duty, and various communities can testify to his honest presentation of the gospel, among them--Industry, Table Grove, Tennessee and Huntsville. He was the last of a family of five brothers and a half sister, and was married on the eighth day of August, 1854, to Mahala T. Guy. But like all the rest, the brightest and best seem born to die, and Mr. Stapp passed away from the scenes of this life, to a blissful, happy home above, perfectly resigned to the will of God, and sure of an eternal inheritance of joy and love. Thus pleasantly, this good man passed to his reward, leaving a family of seven children—George W., now living in Macomb township; Mary A., John G., Elizabeth B., wife of G. T. Ledgerwood, living in Tennessee township; Henry, living at home; Melvina and William B. His widow still lives on the farm in Emmet township, where she owns 105 acres of good land. Mr. Stapp was a native Kentuckian, and was born in Adair county March 25, 1826. He came to this county in the spring of 1833, and was here a resident until the time of his death. His life seems to have been one of affliction. His mother died while on the journey to Illinois, and his father died two years later. The loss of a mother was indeed a great one, yet he was fortunate in having a pious and good step-mother. She was true and faithful, and Mr. Stapp in a great measure had reason to thank her for his early religious training. He made a profession of religion on the 9th day of September, 1851; joined the Walnut Grove congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, March 22, 1852; joined the Rushville Presbytery of the same church in the same month, and two years after was licensed to preach the gospel. In October, 1854, he was severely afflicted with sore eyes, almost depriving him of sight, yet he still continued his regular appointments, and was ordained and set apart for the whole work of the ministry, September 28, 1857, by the Rushville presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Bersheba, in this county.
Jefferson Bayless is a native of Tennessee, born in Knox county May 27, 1827, and is the son of Isaac and Betsey Ann (Sumter) Bayless. Both died in Tennessee, and are interred in Knox county, that state. Jefferson grew to manhood in Tennessee, and made his home with his father until his marriage to Luartha Ledgerwood, also a native of Tennessee. Their marriage occurred May, 1851. This lady was not blessed with a long lease of life, her demise occurring in April, 1856, and her burialplace in the Atkinson cemetery, on section 31, leaving one child, Isaac, now living in Emmett township. Mr. Bayless was again married to Miss C. S. Lucy, a daughter of William and Eveline Lucy, of Tennessee, the marriage occurring in that state, September 28, 1858. Their children are—Eva L., wife of E. Richardson, living in Nebraska, Bessie A., Jennie H., Willie L., Ida M., Frederick B., John H. and Ray M. When Mr. B. settled on section 19 he bought at first 40 acres, and has since added more, making 140 acres prairie and 20 acres timber land. The improvements were all made by Mr. Bayless. He has a house, the main part 18x36, and wing 16x24, with a large barn and shed room for all of his stock. He is making a specialty of horses, raising a number to sell each year. He has held different offices in the township. In politics he favors the republican party.
John Ledgerwood, on coming to McDonough county, settled on section 19, Emmet township, taking eighty acres at first, subsequently removing to section 18. At the time of his death he owned 250 acres, which was divided between his heirs. He improved his land and built a nice house, costing at the time about $1,800, and was financially successful as a farmer here, coming to the county with only a few dollars in his possession. In his private life he was unassuming, and never sought notoriety, being a religious man and conscientious, never seeking to take advantage of any one. In his faith he was a Cumberland Presbyterian, as was his wife, and they lived up to the doctrines of that society. Both were missed sadly in the community and among their friends everywhere. By business tact, labor, industry and good management he accumulated considerable property. His childhood and youthful days were spent in Tennessee, where he was born December 17, 1810. Going to Indiana from Tennessee, he spent one year, and pushed on to Hancock county, Illinois, and subsequently to McDonough county, as above stated. His first marriage occurred in 1834 to Peggy J. Kelso, and three children blessed the union, two of whom are now living—Mary J., wife of B. F. Guy, and William H., in Kansas. His second marriage was in 1842, when Mrs. Nancy Durant, nee McCord, became his wife and four sons were born to them--Elijah and Elisha, twins, John and Samuel, the former dying in his young manhood, and the latter now living in Parsons, Kansas. Mr. Ledgerwood departed this life October 30, 1879, and was interred at Argyle. His wife followed December 1, 1884, and is buried at the same place.
Elijah Ledgerwood is a son of John Ledgerwood, and is now living on the old homestead where he was born April 7, 1844, He lived at home, assisting his father and helping to clear up the farm and make the improvements until his marriage, his lady being Clemantine Hill, a native of Indiana, and daughter of Thomas Hill, a native of Virginia, and who settled in Emmet township in 1861, on section 19, where he died. Mr. Ledgerwood lived first in Emmet after his marriage, but removed to Hire township soon after, remaining on his farm there till 1882, when he sold out and removed to his present location, the home formerly owned by his father. Mr. Ledgerwood is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and in politics his sympathy is with the democratic party. The following are the children comprising their family—John S., Melvina N. and Joseph S. Mrs. Ledgerwood is a member of the Cedar creek Baptist church.
James D. Griffith came to the county in 1853 and settled on section 7, buying 250 acres of John Gash, seventy acres of this was on 8, but at present Mr. Griffith owns 200 acres in his home place and 110 acres in Lamoine township. All of the improvements on his place were under his guidance and it is one of the best places in the county, having a house which cost $2,500, besides his own labor. The frame was all sawed at his own mill and the lumber purchased in Chicago. Mr. Griffith had about $3,000 in money upon arriving in the county, thereby enabling him to live and do business with greater ease. He has been an enterprising man, building a saw mill in Emmet township thereby filling a want long felt; in another place will be found a history of that enterprise. The early life of our subject was spent in Virginia, his native county being Buckingham, where he was born July 20, 1810. In 1829 he went to Highland county Ohio, walking to Charleston, and thence by water. He labored in the construction of the Ohio canal for three years, after which he engaged in farming there till 1853. His marriage was solemnized in 1833. Nancy A. Gillan became his wife, she was a native of Virginia, and daughter of William Gillan a soldier in the war of 1812, whose wife survived him, coming to McDonough county with her daughter, and made her home with Mr. Griffith, until her demise, in Jan., 1880. James' father died in Virginia, and mother in Ohio. The names and present residence of the children living, that were born to Mr. and Mrs. Griffith are--Mary J., widow of David Newell, in Emmet; Benj. A., in Sciota township; Henry C., in Blandinsville, James M., and Cary, in Emmet; Virginia A., widow of Joseph Hainline, living in Sciota; William C., in Hire; John A., deceased; Clara E.; Isaac W., wife of Samuel Reister, residing in Walnut Grove; and David C., living on the old farm, and owning eighty acres of land. He is a native of this county and was married October 14th, 1877, to Nannie T. Wooten, a native of Kentucky. One child—Winifred M., blesses this union. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics, he is a republican. Mr. G., furnished three sons to the cause of the late war. Benjamin, James M., and Cary, all wounded but not disabled. James M. was commissioned 2d lieutenant, while Cary F. was a non-commissioned officer and color bearer.
Cary F. Griffith, is a resident farmer of Emmet township, and owns the northwest quarter of section 22, and 80 acres on the southwest quarter of the same section. He occupied this land in the spring of 1874, and opened up a sheep farm. He made all the improvements, building his residence in 1879, and has devoted his time considerably, to raising Cotswold and Southdown sheep, having at times a herd of about 800. He is a native of Ohio, and was born in Highland county, December 12, 1841. His parents, James D., and Nancy A. (Gillan) Griffith, are now living in this township. Mr. Griffith served his country during the late war, enlisting August 12, 1862, in company I, of the 124th Illinois infantry. He was in the service three years, and was mustered out at Chicago, in September, 1865. He enlisted as a private, and was afterwards appointed corporal, then sergeant—also served as color bearer. Among the engagements in which he participated, were those at Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Brownsville, Chimky Station, Siege of Vicksburg, and Spanish Fork. After returning from the army, be remained at home one year, then engaged in the grocery business at Blandinsville, where he remained two years. December 7, 1868, he was married in Chautauqua county, New York, to Alice A. Phelps, who was born in Columbus, Warren county, Pennsylvania. She was engaged in teaching school in McDonough county, when he formed her acquaintance. She had been a teacher since the age of 14 years. By this union there are three children—James D., Lawson F., and Lou Ellen. Mr. Griffith was coroner of the county from 1880 to 1882. He is a member of the G. A. R., and of the A. O. U. W., and is politically a republican.
Few men are better known in Emmet township, than John Dunford Hainline, who for a period of more than 40 years has made his home on section 6. His parents were Geo. and Flora (Cockerel) Hainline, the former a Kentuckian by birth, being born in Fayette county of that state, while the latter was a Tennessean, but raised in the same county in Kentucky as her husband. John D., their son, was, born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, on the 7th day of September, 1816. His mother for years made all the clothing used by the entire family, while his father endeavored, in his way, to provide for their wants by tilling the soil. The implements that he used for this purpose would make the young farmer of this country stare in wonder and amazement. Just think of using a plow made entirely of wood, drawn by a horse wearing a collar made of bark, also of husks of corn! But such was the way the work was performed, and yet all managed to live. John was a great lover of amusements, and would go to as great a length to gratify his desires in this line as any in the land. Coon and possum hunting were among the chief means of diversion, occasionally varied by visiting the pretty girls of the neighborhood. The only educational advantages he received were in attending a school two months each winter, for about seven years, in an old log school house, where, on an old slab seat, he was compelled to sit from morning until night. For a window, a log was removed, and greased paper placed over the hole made by its removal. The branches taught in this school were “reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic.” Not a grammar or geography was ever seen in it. Notwithstanding the love of fun which predominated in young Hainline, he was in youth quite steady, the result of training received from his parents, who were quite strict in their government. In 1836, when but 20 years old, he led to the hymeneal altar Margaret Ann Douthit, and two years thereafter emigrated to McDonough county, settling in Emmet township. By her he had 11 children, eight of whom yet live, one son, George L., being killed at Bentonville, N. C., during the late war. This son was a member of the 16th regiment and was among the first to enlist in the defense of his country. James Lewis Hainline, a nephew, who was raised by Mr. H., enlisted at the same time, was wounded at Bentonville, and died in Missouri some time in 1866. Mrs. Hainline died November 3, 1869. About one year after, Mr. Hainline was again married, this time to Amanda J. Purdy, with whom he yet lives. One hundred acres of the farm of Mr. Hainline, was purchased by him on his arrival in the county for the sum of $700. The land was improved, and the price paid was considered very high at that time. Other land adjoining was afterwards purchased for $10 per acre. The farm is now one of the most valuable in Emmet township. In his day Mr. Hainline has been very stout and robust man, and has never, during his entire life, been confined to his bed by sickness but two weeks. The cares of the world never seem to trouble him in the least; he never worries or complains. Having, by his own industry, laid up for himself a sufficient amount of worldly goods to enable him to live comfortably, he passes along through life in a contented manner. On his land are found veins of excellent coal, which have but recently been discovered, and from which, during the past year about 15,000 bushels of coal taken. This being the only coal mine in that section of the country, will eventually make the land very valuable, indeed. In politics Mr. Hainline was originally an old line whig, but when the old party disbanded he affiliated for a time with the American party. In 1858, when Lincoln made his celebrated campaign with Douglas for the senate, a campaign of national importance, he voted the republican ticket, and ever since has been an earnest supporter of its men and measures. On the accession of Lincoln to the presidency in 1861, when war was proclaimed, his whole influence was exerted in the cause of freedom and union, and two of his sons (all that were old enough) he sent forth to battle for their country, one of whom, as previously stated, laid down his life in its defense, the other returning at the close of the war to receive honors from his fellow-citizens. He is one of the editors of the well known Macomb Journal. Mr. Hainline has never made a profession of religion, but has endeavored to live a strictly moral life, although we believe no man would resent an insult quicker than he. Among his acquaintances, he is highly respected.
Charles F. Johnson is a native of Indiana, born in Harrison county, February 17, 1846, a son of William F. Johnson, a native of North Carolina, born April 8, 1813, who removed from his native state to Mahaska county, Iowa, he did not stay, but came to this county in 1853. He settled on section 12, improving his farm there and raising a family of seven children, four of whom are now living. His death occurred September 23, 1883. Charles lived at home until 1865, when he went to Colorado, and was gone about 18 months prospecting and teaming the most of the time. Again returning to the county, he was married July 5, 1868, to Polly Ferguson, a native of McDonough county, born in Emmet township, and a daughter of William and Ellen (Sandusky) Ferguson, who both died in this county. Mr. Johnson bought his present home in 1882, consisting of 118 acres on section 7, the south one-half of the southwest quarter, and enough joining to make the above amount. He is principally engaged in stock raising. He has been school director and road commissioner, and is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Select Knights. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson—William E., born June 12, 1869; James S., born March 16, 1871; Clarence D., born April 4, 1873; Orie B., born May 15, 1879; and George L. and Jessie M., twins, born September 24, 1881.
Samuel Bright was born in Devonshire, England, in 1837, and came to America in 1854, settling in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, where he staid one year, and in the spring of 1855 came to McDonough county, following coal digging at Colchester for two or three years, when he made a trip to California, stopping in Eldorado county, in search of gold. In this he was quite successful. After staying one year he came home, where he remained till 1862, and being desirous of visiting the gold fields, went to Oregon, and thence to Idaho, where he staid till the fall of 1865, thence to Montana, at Diamond city, two years, thence down the Missouri, and again to Colchester, where he remained till he purchased his home on sections 30, 31, and 19, in all owning 175 acres. He has made one trip to California and two to Oregon, and is very favorably impressed with the country. His home is neat and everything betokens thrift and enterprise on the part of Mr. Bright. His marriage occurred May 25,1871, to Mary A. Fenton, a native of Tennessee, and they have four children living—George E., Louis, Lottie M., and Thomas W. Mr. Bright's parents were Thomas and Mary Bright, both born in England. The father is deceased, the mother still lives in her native country. He was a sieve maker there.
Louis Atkinson resides upon the northeast quarter of section 31, Emmet township. He owns a farm of two hundred acres, including that quarter, and 40 acres lying in the northwest quarter of the same section. He is engaged in the farming and stock-raising. He is of English descent, his parents being natives of England. Louis Atkinson was born in McDonough county in the year 1842, and lived on the homestead farm with his parents, until his marriage, February 11, 1866, to Maria J. Martin, daughter of George Martin, who settled in this county in 1850, but in 1868 removed to Henry county, Missouri, where he still lives. After marriage, Mr. Atkinson located upon his present farm, which was then unimproved. He now has a desirable place, with good improvements. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, seven of whom are living—Sarah Frances, Amos A., William C., Ira L., Ora C., Clara and Thomas J. Alta M. and Cora Jane are deceased. Mr. Atkinson is a republican in politics, and has been for two years director of the school board of this district.
James Morris Chase, Sr., son of Moody and Lucy (Farnum) Chase, was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, April 4, 1800. He was prepared for college at Phillips' academy, Andover, Massachusetts, under the preceptorship of John Adams. After graduating, he took charge, in the fall of 1827, of a private school in Shelbyville, Kentucky, which he taught nearly ten years, during which time he also studied theology, under the care of the Louisville presbytery, and, by that body, was licensed to preach in 1831. April 7, 1837, he was ordained pastor of the Presbyterian church in Macomb, Illinois; which office he held until 1846. From that time until his decease, he resided near Macomb, cultivating a farm and supplying churches in the vicinity. He was also, for a time, professor of the Greek and Latin languages in McDonough college at Macomb. He died at home, February 10, 1865, of typhoid pneumonia contracted by exposure, while acting as a delegate of the Christian Commission to the army in and about Chattanooga, Tennessee, the cause of his death attesting that staunch excellence of character, and energetic zeal for usefulness, which had characterized him through life. "He was a man of great energy, and of unflinching integrity of character. He had a mature, vigorous and well cultivated mind; was a successful and excellent teacher; was much respected as a preacher; was a good and faithful presbyter, and an able defender of the doctrines of the Presbyterian church."-- He was married in 1832, to Salina A., daughter of Judge Venable, of Shelby county, Kentucky. She died September 29, 1851; and he was again married, in 1854, to Andrea C., daughter of Urban A. B. Lang, of Quincy, Illinois, and a native of Denmark. He had seven children by his first wife—Henry, who graduated at Dartmouth in 1859; Joseph Venable, who graduated at Dartmouth in 1861; James Morris, Albert Moody, William Thomas, George Francis and Mary Alice. Of these seven, all are living except William Thomas, who died from exposure in the army near Knoxville, Tennessee, about a year before the father's death. Rev. Moody Chase, who graduated in the class of 1829, George Clement, M. D., of the class of 1841, and Albert Chase, M.D., of the class of 1844, where his brothers,--presenting the rare case of four brothers graduating at the same college—Dartmouth.
James Morris Chase, son of Rev. James Morris and Salina Ann (Venable) Chase, was born October 17, 1839, at Macomb, Illinois. He pursued his preparatory studies in the schools of his native town, and entered college at the beginning of the freshman year, at the fall term, August 24, 1860, at Dartmouth college, where he remained till February, 1861, when he left and went to Knox college, Galesburg, Illinois, where he remained one year. In September, 1862, be enlisted as a private in the 78th regiment of Illinois volunteers, which belonged to the 2d brigade, 2d division, 14th army corps, commanded by Major-General Jeff C. Davis, of Indiana. The first general engagement in which the regiment participated was the battle of Chickamauga, at which he was taken prisoner, on September 21, 1863. He was sent directly from the field to Richmond, Virginia, where he was first confined in a prison called Scott block, then transferred to the Pemberton, and thence to Libby prison, where he remained till January 1, 1864. These prisons had formerly been occupied as tobacco warehouses, but they were very comfortable quarters compared to Belle Isle, where he was next sent. Here there was no shelter of any kind, only the clouds above, and frozen sand beneath; it being in the midst of winter season, there was intense suffering among the prisoners. On March 15, 1864, he was started for Andersonville, Georgia, where he arrived on March 25, being 10 days on the railroad. The stockade at this place comprised 17 acres of ground, and contained 1,600 prisoners, and increased afterwards. He was confined there till September 10, 1864, and was sent to Savannah, Georgia. He remained here only one month, when he was sent Millen, Georgia, where he remained till November 10, 1865, when he rejoined his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina. He had been a prisoner nearly 14 months, and been an inmate of all the principal southern prisons. He was mustered out of the service at the close of the war, on June 25, 1865. He returned immediately to his former home in Macomb, Illinois, where he has continued to reside up to the present time, being engaged in farming and brick making, in which pursuits he has been very successful. His religious preferences are Presbyterian. In politics, he is a democrat. He was married March 16, 1881, to Mary A. Smith, of Macomb, Illinois. Mr. Chase is a very affable gentleman, and considered one of the best citizens in the county. His pleasant home is about a mile west of Macomb, and in plain view of the city. Mr. Chase now fills the important office of township treasurer, having just been appointed to act as successor to W. C. McLeod.
John W. Wilson is a son of Mark and Elizabeth (Naylor) Wilson, and was born in Yorkshire, England, March 8, 1836. The family emigrated to America in 1856, spent one winter in Boston, then removed to St. Louis, where they remained until 1863. In that year they came to this county, and located on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 33, Emmet township, where the parents are buried. John W. was united in marriage September 27, 1859, with Mary Ann Teasdale, a native of Westmoreland, England. On his marriage the young couple set up housekeeping on their own account, John working in the foundry at St. Louis, at the time. In 1863 he purchased a farm in this place to which he removed a few years later. In 1873 he purchased his present homestead. Mr. Wilson is a moulder by trade, and followed that occupation in his native country, also in Boston and St. Louis, as above stated. His farm contains 160 acres of well-improved land, his residence and other buildings are well built and convenient, and his place is altogether a desirable one. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have a family of eight children—George, Mark, John, Albert, Willis, Mary, Laura and Frederick. Politically, Mr. Wilson is a supporter of the greenback party, and religiously, is an Episcopalian.
John Berry was born in Perthshire, Scotland, near the banks of the river Tay, June 8, 1820. In the fall of 1851 he came to America, locating in Kentucky, near Haynesville. Two years later he moved to Springfield, Illinois, where he remained seven years, engaged in mining coal. He then came to McDonough county, and settled at Colchester, lived there two years, then removed to Chester where he also remained two years, after which he purchased a farm of 80 acres, the east half of the northeast quarter of section 5, and later the west half of the same quarter, located in Emmet township where he now resides. Mr. Berry was engaged in mining many years, but now follows farming. He was married in September, 1852, to Isabel Wiley, a native of Scotland, born near Glasgow. She came to this country in company with her brother, John Wiley, and settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Berry had three children—William J., now married to Ella Cale, and living on the farm, Mary and John.
William J, the eldest of these children, was brought up on the farm, which occupation he has since followed. Mr. and Mrs. William J. Berry have had three children—William P., John E. and Samuel L.
Isaac Newton Flemming, deceased, came to this county in 1860, and bought the west half of the northeast quarter of section 34, Macomb township, which was then unimproved land. The place is now owned by William Neece, by whom all the improvements upon it were made. Mr. Flemming was a native of Virginia, from whence he removed to Ohio, thence to Indiana, coming from that state to McDonough county, where he died in 1868. His wife, formerly Elizabeth Cox, now lives at Industry.
John W. Flemming, son of Isaac N. Flemming, was born in Indiana. He made his home with his parents until his marriage, December 25, 1871, to Mary McNally, a native of Georgia. Her father came to this county in 1860. He, James McNally, and his wife, Rachel (Fowler) McNally, are both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Flemming settled, at the time of their marriage, on the farm where they have since (with the exception of one year) resided. They have three children—Lou Ellen, William C. and John O. Mr. Flemming is a democrat politically.
Thomas A. Brooking, deceased, a pioneer of McDonough county, came here in the fall of 1835. He spent one winter in Macomb, and the following spring located on section 30, Macomb township, where he built a log cabin, cutting the timber and making the bricks used in its construction himself. He continued living there one year, then concluded (having had a fit of sickness) to seek a healthier location, and accordingly purchased the northwest quarter of section 7, Emmet township, of a squatter. This land he afterwards entered, and continued to add to and improve it until he had six hundred acres in 1837. He followed farming till 1856, when he moved to Macomb. He died in that city February 25, 1858. Thomas A. Brooking was born in Richmond, Virginia February 25, 1795. In early life he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He began the practice of his profession in Kentucky, where he was united in marriage with Mary L. Threshley, a native of that state. Soon after his marriage, he returned to his native state, and lived for a time at Sulphur Springs. He subsequently moved again to Kentucky, from whence he came to McDonough county. On his arrival here, the sum total of his earthly goods consisted of a pair of horses, a yoke of cattle, and $25 in money, but being a man of energy, economical and industrious, and a judicious manager, he accumulated a comfortable fortune. He cared nothing for money, except as a means for making his family and others comfortable and happy. He was a true christian, and a member of the M. E. church. He contributed liberally to the support of churches and was ever a friend to the poor and needy. He took an active interest in politics, but though often solicited to become a candidate for office, always declined, never holding any office save that of justice of the peace. His wife survived him until 1878. They had a family of christian children—Elizabeth, deceased wife of J. P. Updegraff; Lucy, wife of John C. Snyder, also deceased; Matilda J., Edward S., deceased; William T., Mary V., deceased; Alexander V., Louisa, deceased; Augusta, Maria R., deceased; Robert S., in Dakota; and Juliette E., wife of James Randolph.
One son, Alexander V. Brooking, was born in Kentucky, February 25, 1829. He lived with his parents until his marriage, then engaged in farming on his own account, purchasing a half interest in his father's farm. He afterwards bought the whole estate, owning then 640 acres, and was largely engaged in wheat growing. He moved from the farm to the city of Macomb and there ran a hotel and livery stable until 1882. In October, 1883, he returned to his farm. He still owns two good houses in Macomb. Mr. Brooking has been twice married, first to Elizabeth Randolph, a native of Ohio, who came to this county with her father in 1840. She died in August 1861, leaving three children—Melville R., Thomas A. and Nellie, deceased. Mr. Brooking was again married, in 1864, to Mary E. Butler, of Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois. Five children have blessed this union—Fred. V., Amy E., Brainerd B., Estella and Minnie V. Mr. Brooking is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the A. O. U. W.
Allen A. Walker, deceased, settled on Camp creek in Scotland township in 1835. He came here with considerable money and purchased a large amount of land in Scotland, Walnut Grove and New Salem townships. He improved a farm in Scotland township, where he resided until the time of his death. He was engaged principally in stock raising, and was highly prosperous in his financial undertakings. He was born in the state of Kentucky in 1802, and in his youth, received a fair education. He was mild and genial in disposition, and much beloved by all. He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and politically, belonged to the whig party. His death occurred August 30, 1858, in Scotland township. His wife was Amelia Rice, a native of Kentucky. She was born in December 1803, and died February 7, 1866. They were married June 18, 1825. Ten children were born to them, of whom five are living, and three are residents of this county. They were—Lucilla, born January 30, 1826; Benjamin R., born November 20, 1827; Mary A., born November 14, 1829; Margaret P., born August 19, 1831; Nancy J., born October 20, 1834; Allen A., born November 16, 1836; Sarah E., born April 29, 1839; Amelia C., born April 14, 1841; Theophilus G., born May 4, 1843, and Joseph A., born June 25, 1846. Of these, Benjamin R., Margaret P., Nancy J., Amelia C. and Sarah E. are deceased.
Allen A. Walker staid with his parents till his marriage, September 8, 1864, to Mary L. Savage, a native of Cass county, Illinois, and a daughter of Spencer and Louisa Savage. After marriage, Mr. Walker settled on a farm of 120 acres, near the old homestead. In 1867, he removed to his present home on section 12, Emmet township, where he owns 210 acres. He has a finely improved and valuable farm, and makes a business of raising, buying and feeding stock. Mr. Walker is a republican in politics, and, with his wife, a member of the Presbyterian church. They are the parents of two children—Spencer A., born August 30, 1864, and Elmer T., born March 24, 1867.
Abraham B. Stickle, one of the most extensive farmers of McDonough county, resides upon the homestead farm formerly owned by his father, Abraham Stickle. He owns, including the homestead of 160 acres, upwards of 1,000 acres of land, and is very extensively engaged in the stock business. His residence is a commodious and handsome structure, erected at a cost of $7,000. The surrounding grounds and garden are beautifully laid out and well kept, displaying the fine taste and care of their owner. His barn and other buildings are models of convenience, and the place and improvements altogether, are among the finest in the county. Abraham B. Stickle has always lived upon his present farm. He was married August 10, 1853, to Sarah Duncan, a native of Kentucky, and daughter of William and Catharine Duncan, who were early settlers in this county. William Duncan died in 1859; his widow is now living with her children. Mr. and Mrs. Stickle had two children—Amanda A. and William H. Mrs. Stickle died February 7, 1857. Amanda A. is now married to George Currier, and lives in Kansas. William H. also lives in that state, where he is engaged in the stock business. January 1, 1860, Mr. Stickle was again married, to Sarah Metcalf, daughter of William and Deborah Metcalf, of Carthage, Hancock county, Illinois. The latter was an early settler in that county, and participated actively in the Mormon war. Mr. Stickle has had by his second marriage, eight children, six of whom are living—Mianna, wife of Oscar McElvain; Arthur R., Delia, Walter, Edwin, Fred, Frank, deceased; and Mary, deceased.
Abraham Stickle, deceased, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1787, and was a son of Peter and Mary (Hollipeter) Stickle. Abraham grew to manhood in his native state and was there married to Susanna Bentzley who was born May 24, 1789. They were married October 11, 1810, and in 1839, came to McDonough county, Illinois, where they spent the remainder of their lives. They intended on coming here to settle in Macon county where he owned some land, but while on their journey to the (then) far west, they heard of the beauty and fertility of McDonough county, and resolved to visit it, which he did, and being satisfied that the county had not been misrepresented, purchased 160 acres on section 11, Emmet township. He afterwards purchased other large tracts of land in the township, and resided here until his death, September 30, 1872. He was an energetic and industrious man, and prosperous in business. He was a whig as long as that party had an existence, he then affiliated with the republican party. He was a sincere christian and much esteemed by all. Mr. and Mrs. Stickle were the parents of 10 children—Mary, Matilda, deceased; Susan; Jacob; George; Rachel, deceased; William; Abraham B., Robert N., deceased; and Sarah J. Mary resides in Pennsylvania, Susan in Michigan City, Indiana; Jacob in Brown county, Kansas; George, William and Abraham B., in Emmet township, and Sarah J., in Abingdon, Illinois.
George Stickle, second son of Abraham Stickle, resided with his parents until 1849. He was married May 17, of that year, to Julia George, a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, born in January, 1829. Her parents, John and Mary (Barrett) George, died in that state. Mr. Stickle settled where he now lives, on section 10, Emmet township, soon after marriage. He has a fine farm, 80 acres of which lies in section 10, with 147 acres adjoining on the north. His improvements, which are valuable, have been made by himself. Mr. and Mr. Stickle have six children living—Sadie, wife of Thomas Champion, of this township; Ella, who is an artist; Frances, wife of Harvey Oatman; Emma, Alice and Ernie B. Their oldest child, William H., died at the age of two years. Mr. Stickle is a public spirited man, and takes an active interest in the course of education. He is a republican politically, and, with his wife, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
William Stickle is by birth, a Pennsylvanian, having been born in that state, January 31, 1824. In 1839 he came with his parents to this county. In 1850 he left home and went to California, where he remained eight years, engaged in mining and ditching. He returned home in the spring of 1858 and, March 16, 1859, was married to Amanda J. Miller, who was born October 25, 1839. Soon after marriage he again went to California and continued there, engaged in the same occupation as before, until October 1868. He was fairly successful, accumulating considerable property. He settled on his return, on section 2, Emmet township, where he now owns 123 acres. He also owns 80 acres on section 11, and a timber lot of 26 acres on section 16. His present residence is on section 11. He has a desirable farm, with good improvements, and is engaged in general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Stickle have three children living—Charles W., born February 7, 1860; Kittie May, born September 25, 1863; and Edgar Carson, born January 31, 1875. William E., was born October 16, 1861, and died in September 1882; Frank L., was born May 21, 1873; and died October 13, 1877. Their oldest son, Charles W., is now a telegraph operator in Nebraska. Mr. Stickle has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church since 1841, and has held the office of school director 14 years.
Tobias George Painter, deceased, was among the pioneers of this county, came here at an early day, and endured the privations and hardships incident to a settlement early in the thirties. He was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Westmoreland county in December 1798. He was of German extraction, and spent his youth in his native state, receiving there a limited education, and had early in life the principles of industry, and frugality, thoroughly instilled into his mind. This kind of education served him well in later years, when thrown entirely upon his own resources, without money or property of any amount. He was married in his native state, and starting for a new country, arrived in Beardstown, on the Illinois river, in 1831, thence by team came to this county, spending the first winter with William Pennington. Subsequently they moved to Spring Creek, where a son named Marion was born. They settled first on section 8, of Industry township, where he afterwards bought a farm, built a log house sixteen feet square, remained about three years, then selling out to William Pennington, removed as before stated to Spring creek. They there occupied an unimproved farm, went to work and continued 18 months, then purchased a place where the son Marion now lives. They brought up seven children—Isabel, now the wife of Thomas Head of Sciota; Henry A., John F., Francis M., George B., Jacob L., deceased; and Mary Ann.
F. Marion Painter is a native McDonough county man, having been born within its borders November 15, 1835. When he was one year old, the family moved a short distance, to section 9, which place has since been his home, and where he now owns a large and well improved farm. His father, whose biography appears above this, was an early settler in the county, and gave Marion a start in life by presenting him with 80 acres of land. He seemed to, in a measure, inherit the thrift and enterprise of his father, and has accumulated a good property. He was married June 25, 1880, to Josephine Kitch, a native of Ohio. By this union there are two children—Alice B., born January 6, 1882, and Hazel Dale, born November 4, 1884. His lands are rented out, but to them he gives his personal attention and supervision. He was assessor for the year 1875. Politically he is a democrat, and boldly advocates and works for the principles enunciated by that party.
Eliphalet Hickman came to this county in 1861, and settled on section 4 of Emmet township, where he has since lived. He bought 230 acres within a short period, and now owns 305. His improvements are situated on the southwest quarter of the section, and the place is in good condition. He is a native of Indiana, born in Floyd county, March 13, 1831. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Sisloff) Hickman, natives of North Carolina. They both died in the state of Virginia. The year after his arrival here, he returned to Indiana, from whence he came, and enlisted in the army August 12, 1862, in company A, 81st Indiana infantry. After a service of six months, he was discharged on account of sickness, returned to New Albany, and thence came again to this county. He was married February 3, 1864, to Tacy Wilkinson. They have eight children—Elizabeth J., wife of Patrick Hickman, and living in Emmet; Ruby A, Ella, Lillie May, Charles L., Onie, Frederick E. and Grace. Mr. Hickman is a democrat. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising, feeding all the corn he raises.
Michael Callahan, a prosperous farmer of Emmet township, settled where he now lives, in 1866. He owns a large and valuable farm, upon which he has made all of the improvements. His residence is located on section 27. He makes a business of raising stock. Mr. Callahan was born in county Donegal, Ireland, about the year 1830, and came to America about 1851, landing at New York city. For two years after his arrival he worked at brick making in Athens, Greene county, New York. From there he went to Savannah, Georgia, after which he spent some time in different southern cities, Atlanta, Montgomery, Mobile, New Orleans and St. Louis. From the latter city he went to Muscatine, Iowa, then to Iowa City, from whence he came to Illinois. He was married in Macomb August 8, 1862, to Norah McCahan, who was born in county Down, Ireland, and came to America in 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Callahan have four living children—Mary E., John P., Anna E. and Joseph James. One son, Michael, is deceased. Mr. Callahan and his wife are members of the Catholic church.
Philip Henry Elting, deceased, formerly the owner of a large amount of land in this county, was born in Dutchess county, New York, February 14, 1814. His father was a native of Holland and his mother of France. The former was a wealthy merchant, and also owned a line of steamers on the Hudson river, plying between New York and Albany. They subsequently removed to Quincy, Illinois, and, after a short time, to Peoria, where Mr. Elting, senior, died, in 1860. He was an Episcopalian. Mrs. Elting died while on a visit to New York. Philip H. Elting received a liberal education, and engaged in keeping books in his father's store. In 1834 he came to this county for the purpose of taking charge of lands which he had purchased, and which were scattered through different portions of the state. He was the owner of the land upon which the present city of Bushnell stands. He accumulated much land by buying up tax titles, and in other ways. He died July 22, 1876, and is buried at Oakwood cemetery. He resided, at that time, on section 12, Emmet township. At the time of his death he owned 560 acres of land. Philip H. Elting was married January 24, 1834, to Margaret McSpiritt, daughter of Francis McSpiritt, who located in 1837 on section 24 of this township. After marriage Mr. Elting lived upon section 13, where John Elting now resides, remaining there until about the year 1860, when he removed to section 12, the present residence of his widow. Mr. Elting was a shrewd business man, honest and upright in all of his dealings, and much respected. Nine children of Mr. and Mrs. Elting are now living—Charles M., Levi Jones, Harriet A., James, John, Francis C., Nellie M., Philip E., and Harry L Robert, Mary E. and Margaret are deceased. These children have all enjoyed the advantages for obtaining a liberal education, and are intelligent and refined. They are Methodists.
Charles M. Elting, son of P. H. and Margaret (McSpiritt) Elting, was born in McDonough county, November 22, 1839. He has always resided here, making his home with his parents until his marriage to Sarah McCahn, who was a native of Ireland. They were married March 4, 1863. In February, 1873, Mrs. Elting died, and March 15, of the following year, Mr. Elting was married to Anna Anderson, a native of Sweden, and daughter of Benjamin Anderson, of Blandinsville township. Mr. Elting settled first on what is known as the county farm, on section 13, Emmet township. One year later he removed to Walnut Grove, where he also lived one year, then removed to section 12, Emmet, and remained two years, after which he bought 80 acres on section 23, on which he resided until about 1879, when be removed to his mother's farm. Two years later he returned to section 23, where he now lives. He owns the east half of the southwest quarter, and the west half of the southeast quarter of that section. Mr. and Mrs. Elting are the parents of five children—Alice A., Nettie V., William L., George H. and Margaret. The improvements upon Mr. Elting's farm have been made mostly by himself. He is engaged principally in stock raising, and is a successful farmer. He has been commissioner of highways nine years, and has also held the office of school director.
John Elting was born June 7, 1849, in Emmet township. His parents, Philip H. and Margaret Elting, resided at that time, on the south half of the northwest quarter of section 13. John remained at home until his marriage, February 3, 1876, to Lucy McLeod, daughter of William and Mary W. (Miller) McLeod, formerly residents of Missouri, where Mrs. Elting was born. Mr. Elting settled where he now lives, soon after marriage. He owns the south half of the northwest quarter of section 13, and has a good farm. Mr. and Mrs. Elting have four children—Edna E., born February 1, 1877; Wilmot R., born June 30, 1878; Mary M., born June 24, 1881; and Robert C., born in 1882. Mr. Elting is a republican in politics.
Charles H. Chatterton resides on section 15, Emmet township, where he located in 1873. He purchased the southwest quarter which was then all timber land, and proceeded to improve it. He now has 45 acres under cultivation and is engaged in the business of stock raising. Mr. Chatterton was born in this county and resided with his parents on the northeast quarter of section 11, Emmet township, until his marriage, November 5, 1868, to Elizabeth Laughlin, daughter of P. Laughlin, of Emmet township. Their union has been blessed with five children—Arthur, born January 29, 1871; Evan, born July 15, 1873; Nellie, born July 19, 1876; Orm, born July 20, 1879; and Alfred born November 27, 1883.
Charles W. Wettengel was born in Austria, October 27, 1831. He left his native country for America to avoid military service, starting July 10, 1850, upon a sailing vessel called the "Jeannette," which was 56 days in crossing the ocean. He landed at New York and went immediately to Pittsburg, where his brothers had preceded him. His parents, Christopher and Elizabeth Wettengel, came to America in 1852. Christopher Wettengel was a nailsmith by trade, which he taught his four sons. He followed farming close to Pittsburg until his death. Charles W., learned the shoemaker's trade in Pittsburgh, serving a two years apprenticeship, after which he followed the same four years in that city. He then went to Quincy, Illinois, where he was employed for a time, thence to Colchester, McDonough county, and there opened the first shoemaker’s shop in that town on the 8th day of May, 1857. The first farm which he owned was located on section 20, Emmet township. It forms a portion of his present farm of 160 acres, 80 acres of which lies in that section and 80 on section 21. This land was partly improved at the time of his purchase and is now in a good state of cultivation and well improved. He is engaged in stock raising, for which his farm is well adapted. Mr. Wettengel was married February 7, 1861, to Sarah M. Zimmerman, of Hire township. She is a native of Ohio, and a daughter of John and Christena (Kaiser) Zimmerman, natives of Bavaria, Germany. They came to America, in 1840, and settled in this county in 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Wettengel have six children—Albert B., in Pullman, Illinois, married to Dora Thisius; John C., in Oswego, Kansas, married to Florence V. Hicks; Clara A., Charles N., Henry P. and Lena M. Albert B., is now employed as painter at the Pullman Palace car works in Pullman. Mr. Wettengel is a member of the Lutheran, and his wife of the M. E. church.
James V. Guy, youngest son of Geo. G. Guy, was born September 12, 1841, upon the place where his father now lives, on section 20, Emmet township. His childhood and youth were spent in attending school and working upon his father's farm, where he remained until February 16, 1866. He was then united in marriage with Alvira A. St. Clair. Her parents, George and Sarah F. St. Clair were at that time, residents of Tennessee township, but formerly lived in Adams county, Illinois, where Alvira A. was born. Mr. Guy lived after marriage, on section 17, and later, on his father's farm. He moved to his present home in 1884. He owns 75 acres on section 17, all of which is under cultivation, except 15 acres. He carries on general farming. Mr. and Mr. Guy are members of the M. E. church. He is politically, a republican.
Andrew Jackson Hamilton, is a native of Kentucky, and was born October 15, 1819. He lived in that state until he came to McDonough county with his parents, in 1838. He may therefore be properly called an old settler, and has witnessed the development of this county, from a state of natural wildness, to one of civilization and prosperity. He has seen the transformation from vast stretches of open prairie, with few settlers, where the wind and blizzards, untrammeled, swept furiously along, to pleasant and comfortable homes, well improved farms, occupied by a happy people. This change has not been the work of a day, but has through a series of years, been gradually wrought out, first, by the toil and sacrifice of the pioneers, and later, by the brain and muscle of their children, by whose energy and perseverance, the land has become a desirable home for those of still later years, who did not participate in the trials, incident to pioneer life. McDonough county has been the home of Mr. Hamilton ever since first coming here, and he has been outside its borders but little. In 1844, concluding it was not good for man to be alone, his thoughts wandered back to the scenes of his childhood, and he returned to his native state, and took unto himself a wife from among the daughters of the Kentucky state, by the name of Julia Douthit. The ceremony occurred on the 4th day of October, and during the same month, he came back with his bride, to this county, and settled on the farm, in Emmett township, where he now lives. He there engaged in general farming, first raising flax, from which they made their own clothes, and later, wheat, rye, corn, and oats. He has also raised cattle, hogs, and sheep. They have had 12 children, five of whom are now living—Eliza Ann, the wife of William C. Griffith; Nancy; Geneva, who was married to Thomas Fife; Henry and Addie.
Patrick Laughlin, a native of county Meath, Ireland, was born March 1, 1814. His father, David Laughlin, was a miller by trade, and died in Ireland. His mother, Margaret (Connell) Laughlin, also died in that country. At the age of 15, Patrick had mastered his father's trade. He then left home and went to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1836, he left his native land for America, landed in Boston, where he worked for a time, at carpentering. He afterwards followed the same occupation in Frederickton, New Brunswick, and at Bangor, Maine. He removed to McDonough county, Illinois, in 1842, and settled in Emmet township on section 23, where he owned 160 acres of land. He followed his trade one year, after coming here. He purchased his present farm, consisting of 160 acres, the northeast quarter of section 13, same township, in 1844. His farm is well improved and cultivated. He has a commodious and substantial dwelling, erected at a cost of $3,000. He makes a business of stock-raising, keeping a herd of 40 or 50 head of cattle and other stock. He owns the southeast quarter of section 28, which he uses for a pasture. Mr. Laughlin was married February 11, 1839, to Mary Campbell, daughter of Francis and Bridget (Bogue) Campbell, natives of Ireland. Their marriage took place in St. Johns, New Brunswick. Nine children have blessed their union, five of whom are now living—Margaret, Elizabeth, Catharine, Daniel and Ellen. Francis, Jane, Agnes, and Frances are deceased. Mr. Laughlin and his family are members of the Catholic church. He has held the office of school trustee and commissioner of highways in this township, His son, Daniel is well educated, and has held the offices of town clerk and assessor. Mr. Laughlin came to the county in limited circumstances, but, by wise management, industry, and economy, has succeeded in accumulating a competence.
Edmund Rorer, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in Frankford, Philadelphia county, January 13, 1810, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Caster) Rorer. He has been considerable of a rover, and traveled over much country, and engaged in various occupations. When 20 years old he went to Florida and remained one year, or until 1831, when he was run out by the Indians and went to New Orleans. In that city he looked for employment, and there it was his trade of carpenter was of some assistance, and he engaged in the manufacture of coffins. From New Orleans he went to Grand Gulf, Mississippi, thence to Port Gibson, and worked at that place about seven years at his trade. He then went to St. Louis, and remained 14 years, working by the day and by the job. He then went to Philadelphia and remained a few months, then returning to St. Louis, he secured a situation as carpenter on a steamboat, then went again to New Orleans; but soon coming back to St. Louis, engaged in building bridges for two years, then went again to Philadelphia, remained a few months and went again to St. Louis, thence to Washington, and after witnessing the inauguration ceremonies, went to New York; thence to Long Island, and again returning to Philadelphia, worked at his trade for some time. Subsequently he made another trip to New York; thence to Pittsburg, Wheeling and St. Louis; then working on a steamboat, went up the Red river; then back to St. Louis, and to Philadelphia; then after 18 months returned to St. Louis, and traveled on the river a few years. He made a trip to Texas, and upon return enlisted in the army with Le Clede rangers, under Captain Hudson, went to New Mexico, was at Palo Alto and Buena Vista; then he went again to New Orleans and St. Louis, thence to California and lived a short time. Thus he wandered about from time to time and from place to place, until 1862, when he came to this county and has since lived here. In 1852, December 16th, he was married to Helen Marsh. They have nine children—Adelia A., Melinda B., Candace A., Lewis W., Chas. O., Anna L., Virginia L., Freeman W., and Mary L. Mr. Rorer has learned much by observation, having been in nearly every state of the union. He carried the mail across the plains for a number of years, and has seen humanity presented in its various phases, from high to low, from rich to poor, and is consequently a good judge of human nature, and well informed upon all matters, and elements which contribute toward the general "make up" of society.
Samuel Statler, a farmer of Emmet township, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Clinton county, July 6, 1853. He is a son of James and Hulda (Murphy) Statler. In 1855, his parents moved here with him, and engaged in farming. Subsequently they moved to Macomb, and there Samuel received his education, and afterwards returned to the farm. In 1881 and 1882, he was in Blandinsville, buying grain at that point, and while there, in February, 1882, he was married to Elizabeth Clark, of Clarinda, Iowa. In 1883 he again returned to the farm, and has since been managing the same, having 211 acres, and engages principally in raising and feeding stock. Politically he is a republican.
According to the annual report of the county superintendent, for the school year ending June 30, 1884, Emmet township has an estimated value of school property amounting to $4,800, and a tax levy for the support of her schools of $2,230. There is no bonded school debt in the township. The highest wages paid any male teacher is $40, and the lowest, $20 per month, while the highest monthly wages paid lady teachers is $35, and the lowest, $25. There are eight school buildings in the township, all of which are frame, in which an average of eight and one-sixteenth months of school are taught annually. There are 356 children of school age in the township, 213 of whom are enrolled in the schools.
Union district No. 1.--School was taught in a log house near Clark's sawmill by Henry Hardin, as early as 1835, and in 1840 a log house was built on section 10, near where the present building now stand, for school purposes, and the first school was taught by J. L. Cross. For several years, or until about 1854, this log house was used as a school building, when a difficulty arose among the parents in regard to a teacher then employed, and, in order to prevent the school being continued, the house was one night torn down, or made unfit for use. The term of school, however, was finished in the house of T. G. Painter by Jane Maxwell. Soon after, perhaps the same year, a frame building 22x28, was erected, at a cost of about $500. This was used by the district until 1881, when the present house was built on the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 9, which cost $875. The present teacher of the district is Nellie Ingram.
The first building erected for school purposes in district No. 2 was in 1841, on the northeast quarter of section 5. It was constructed of logs and built by general contribution, A. W. Kennedy teaching the first school therein. This was used until 1864, when a frame structure, 20x30, was erected on the southwest quarter of the section, at a cost of $600. Annie P. Shaw taught the first school in this building. This house was recently destroyed by fire, and in the fall of 1884 the present building was erected, at a cost of $650. Dora Hainline teaches the school at present, and J. L. Hainline, Isaac Griffith and John D. Hainline are the directors.
The school house on the southeast quarter of section 17, in district No. 6, was built in the fall of 1863. It is 18x36 feet in size, and cost about $900. Emma Whitson taught the first term of school in the building. The first directors of the district were John Ledgerwood, Franklin Guy and Jefferson Bayless.
The school house in district No. 7 is located upon the southwest corner of section 13, and was built in 1876, at a cost of $550. The old building which stood upon the same lot, was sold to the township, and was used for holding therein elections, town meetings, etc. John Casto taught the first term of school in the new building.
The schoolhouse situated on the north-west quarter of section 29 was built about the year 1864, at a cost of $1,000, and is 24x36 feet in size.
School district No. 8 was formed by the division of No. 7, and a school house was erected in 1877, on section 22, at a cost of $350. Alice Newell taught the first term of school in this building. The lot on which the school house stands was donated to the district by Cary Griffith, and consists of one acre on the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of the above section. Cary Griffith, Hugh White and Michael Callahan were the first directors, the present being John Hillyer, William Burton and Menard Granenwold. Alice Dorigan teaches the school at present.
CHICKAMAUGA STOCK FARM
This excellent farm is the property of A. V. Brooking, and consists of 340 acres located mostly on the east half of section 24, Emmet township. It is well improved having a barn 76x100 feet, having all modern improvements, and conveniently arranged for the business. It was built in 1876, at a cost of $4,000. Mr. Brooking the gentlemanly proprietor, devotes his attention mostly to the raising and breeding of fine horses; he has from childhood evinced an interest in good horses, and with maturer years this interest has not diminished, but increased, and with his experience and natural adaptability, he is well qualified to supervise a place of this kind. He has done much toward bringing McDonough up to its present high standard as a stock county. This farm is headquarters for roadster horses, and brood mares, from good strains of trotting stock. Some of them having a record of 2:32, and doubtless many of them would be able, under a proper course of training, to make records low in the twenties. These superior animals are being bred to stallions of undoubted merit, and the outcome of the business as conducted by Mr. Brooking can but be successful, and he is, and will be able to furnish not only good roadsters, but animals having the speed and endurance necessary to the turf. He has some imported horses, keeps on hand from 30 to 40 animals of good blood for breeding purposes, and each year adds to the number of good horses from Chickamauga stock farm, which is getting to be quite well known in this and adjoining states. It is a farm not only well improved, but one naturally adapted to this business, having among others things a spring of never failing water, flowing unceasingly, winter and summer, furnishing a full supply for seven different enclosures.
About five acres on the northeast quarter of section 35, is devoted to the growth of grapes by Joseph Marks. He commenced raising the fruit about 20 years ago, and some 16 or 17 years since began the manufacture of wine; at times making 50 or 60 barrels per day. A. Krauser has three acres and A. Switzer has about one acre devoted to the industry.
The Guy cemetery is situated on the northeast quarter of section 20, and contains two acres, which was deeded by George G. Guy, to the Methodist church. It is pleasantly situated and kept in fair improvement. George W. Guy was the first body interred therein.
A private cemetery belonging to John D. Hainline, is located on the northeast quarter of section 6, and consists of one-half of an acre. The first burial was the first wife of Mr. Hainline—Margaret Ann. It is now a burying ground for all relatives of the Hainline family, but as yet, none other than Hainlines lie there.
A public cemetery is situated on the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 5. It consists of two acres of land, purchased of Thomas Head for $200. The first buried there was John Mayfield.
This industrial enterprise is located on the northeast quarter of section 6, and has been in operation since 1870, covering an area of about 40 acres. It is owned by John D. Hainline and operated by James and William Anderson. The vein is 20 inches in thickness.
In 1854 the coal bank on the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 32, was opened. The present owner of the land is J. W. Wilson, who purchased it in 1866, but had previously worked the same for about three years. After he purchased the bank he began taking out about 50 bushels of coal per day. The vein is 26 inches in thickness and extends over about eight acres of land, although it originally covered about 18 acres. The product of the mine is as good a grade as is found, and sells at eight cents per bushel, yielding a good profit yearly.
In 1867 James M. Chase commenced the manufacture of brick on section 34, about a mile and a half west of the city of Macomb, where also is found a superior clay. The yard has averaged about 450,000 brick each season, giving employment to 12 hands, as all the brick are hand-made. Mr. Chase is sole proprietor of the yard, which is used for local purposes only. Nearly all the brick which entered into the construction of the court house at Macomb were manufactured by him.
Two ponds, devoted to the hatching and propagation of piscatorial varieties, are located upon the farm of Cary Griffith, on section 22, and are also owned by that gentleman. The first one was established in 1883, as a carp pond, in which Mr. Griffith placed about 45 of this variety. During the year of 1884 they made a growth of about four pounds each. This pond covers about one-fourth of an acre, and is six feet in depth, the water being supplied by springs. In 1884 the second pond was established, a short distance below the other. In this small body of water there are 14 varieties, including 12 game and 2 of cat fish. Mr. Griffith intends making this a business, and affording the markets a specialty of desirable fish.
A lodge of this order was organized in the township in 1860, and for more than ten years did most excellent work. For interest in business and temperance work it had no superior in the county. After an interval of 12 years, the second lodge, the other having become extinct so long ago, was organized at Mr. Lyle's, and usually meets every Saturday evening.
Elder John Logan, the noted pioneer preacher delivered the first sermon in the township, at the Spring Creek settlement, in the year 1832, at William Pennington's house.
David G. McFadden and Dorcas Bowen were the first couple married in Emmet, the ceremony being performed by James Vance, Sr., a justice of the peace, May 16, 1833. This McFadden was one of the two who were hung two years later for the murder of John Wilson.
The first justice of the peace was Mankin Champion.
Tobias G. Painter was the first supervisor.
Emmet township was organized at the time of the division of the county, in 1856. It was first called Spring Creek, but at the first meeting of the board of supervisors of the county, in May, 1857, the name was changed to that of Emmet. At the first township election, which was held April 7, following, B. F. Naylor was elected justice of the peace and J. T. Painter, constable. The present officers of the township are as follows: Supervisor, Julius Hartung; clerk, P. E. Elting; assessor, James A. Monger; collector, L. Flemming; highway commissioner, Daniel Sullivan; school trustee, Byron Bagby; justices of the peace, Joseph Howing and Timothy Sullivan; constables, Washington Dixon and Riley Sutton.
On section 25, and on the northeast quarter of said section, is found the largest deposit of fire brick, and tile clay probably in the county. The land belongs to Mr. Charles Shevalier, of Macomb, and through his endeavors has this matter been brought out, and it was undoubtedly due to his exertions, that the Macomb tile works came into existence. Along about 1835, a man by the name of Cleveland drew some of this clay to Ripley, and made it into tile and sewer pipe, and not until 1879, was this bed of wealth again disturbed. Joseph Patterson commenced drawing to the Eagle pottery, in Macomb, from this bank, but only used it one year; but when the tile works started up, they used all the clay they made up into ware, from this deposit, and at the present time are using 40 to 50 tons daily. This bank is 17 feet in thickness where it has been worked, and crops out in numerous places; the depth varies of course, but evidently there is enough clay here to supply the whole state.
Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, pages 664-694. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen