Chapter 37 - Mound Township, Part 1
This is considered one of the best townships in the county, and consists of beautiful, gently undulating prairie, in a good state of cultivation, there being only one quarter section of timber land on the west and another in the southeast corner. On section 14, is the summit of a very high mound, perhaps the highest point in the county; the ascent is very gradual, and scarcely perceptable. When the summit is reached a grand view of the surrounding country presents itself. From this mound the township derives its name. The mound is known as Dyer's mound. Kepple creek, in a semicircle, enters Mound from near the centre of the west side, then easterly to the center of the township, and turning gently north and west, flows by the C. B. & Q. water tank to its junction just below, with Drowning fork from the north, and thence to near the west line where it unites with the north fork of Crooked creek, which enters the township at its northwest corner. The head waters of Shaw fork pass eastwardly from a little north of the center of the township, and the very head waters of Camp creek, start in the south edge. The township is well watered and adapted to stock raising as well as the production of corn, oats, wheat, rye, clover, grass, etc. The soil is a dark loam, chocolate color, but when wet, very black. There is a fine bed of fire and potter's clay on John Booth's farm, north of Bardolph; also an extensive bed of white fire clay on Park Hillister's place, on Shaw fork, which supplies both of the Bushnell tile works. Good coal is mined quite extensively at the Hood and Clark mines, in the northeast part of the township, where, also, good sandstone is quarried for building purposes. There is a rich deposit of iron ore, one-half mile south of Epperson, on D. C. Flinty's farm; so says Mr. Worthen, the state geologist. It is probable that coal underlies most of the surface of the township.
Mound lies adjoining Fulton county and the fourth principal meridian on the east, with the thriving young city of Bushnell on its northern boundary, New Salem on the south, and the village of Bardolph on the west line. The C. B. & Q. railroad, traverses the northwestern portion a distance of five miles. The St. L. division of the same passes through the township from north to south near the center, where it effects a junction with the Wabash railroad, which enters about the middle of the east side, and running nearly west, passes the important shipping point of New Philadelphia to the above junction, and thence north, parallel with the former to Bushnell, thus giving the township three railroads. The station of Epperson is located on the St. L. division of the C. B. & Q. railroad, five miles south of Bushnell. New Philadelphia is the only village with the limits of the township. No township in the county has as good railroad facilities, with Bushnell on the north, Bardolph west, New Philadelphia the east part, and Epperson the center. Excellent farms with many fine, large dwellings, and good barns, and beautiful planted groves of maple, walnut and box elder, with fine and well trimmed hedges, and orchards, give a beautiful appearance to the eye. Some farms have from eight to ten acres, planted to small fruit, such as blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
The dairy is receiving considerable attention here. L. B. Sperry usually milks from 30 to 40 cows, and furnishes milk for the city of Bushnell; and W. H. Greene has kept from 20 to 30 cows and made cheese for a number of years, and has acquired a reputation for a good article equal to New York or Western Reserve. The fine stock business has and is receiving much attention by such enterprising citizens as J. Kepple, J. Shannon, J. Langford, John Work, and others, especially in rearing Clydesdale horses and Short Horn cattle.
The pioneer settlement of Mound was made by Joseph Smith, in 1830, who settled at Wolf Grove, on the northwest quarter of section 18, coming from Kentucky. He erected a cabin of round logs, but did not remain long, as he was of a restless disposition, and did not enjoy living in the county after it began to settle up. He was a great hunter, quite poor, and removed to Missouri, or some other state further west.
A son-in-law of Smith by the name of Osborne, came shortly afterward and located near Smith. He left about the same time as did his father-in-law.
Abner Cox, a bachelor, was the next settler, coming from Louisiana. He located on the northwest quarter of section 20. He improved the place, and in 1833, sold the same to Jacob Kepple. About a year afterward he removed to Fulton county, since which time he has not been heard of.
John Snapp, a son-in-law of Jacob Kepple, came in 1833, locating on the southwest quarter of section 30, where he built a cabin. He came to the county from Washington county, Tennessee. He remained in the township until about 1840, when he removed to Macomb township. In 1856, he went to Mercer county, Missouri, where he afterward died.
Durham Creel came to McDonough county in the spring of 1833, and located on section 18, Mound township, where he improved a farm. He was born in Kentucky, and came to this county from that state. He died in 1867, and his wife followed him on the long journey, in 1873.
Jacob Kepple came from East Tennessee in 1833, settling on the northwest quarter of section 30, on the farm improved by Abner Cox, who had built a double cabin and broke out several acres of land. Mr. Kepple lived on the homestead several years and afterward removed to Bardolph, where he died. Some of the family are still residents of this county.
Silas Creel came to the county in 1833, with his parents, and located near Bardolph, in Mound township. At that time he was but 15 years of age. He is at the present time a resident of Macomb township.
James Chandler came in the spring of 1838, settling on section 7, on the farm now owned by Bigger Head, where he built a small house and made some improvements, and afterwards moved away.
Thompson Chandler came in the spring of 1834, locating on the northwest quarter of section 6. He soon afterward removed to the city of Macomb, where he still resides. A sketch of this gentlemen appears in the Representative chapter of this volume.
The southwest quarter of section 6, was settled about the same time by a brother-in-law of Thompson Chandler, Jacob Chase. He built a house, made some improvements and afterward removed to Rushville, Schuyler county.
Elias Culp came in 1834, settling on the north half of the southwest quarter of section 19. He built a hewed log cabin and improved the place. He sold his farm and removed to Macomb township about the year 1841, where he resided some time and then removed to Iowa. He was a man of family, having a wife, two daughters and a son. He was given to hunting considerably, but was a good neighbor and citizen. He was a native of Pennsylvania.
Rev. William Howard Jackson, the father of the Jackson brothers in the village of Bardolph, and vicinity, landed in the county November 11, 1836. The northwest quarter of section 19 was previously purchased by George Miller for Mr. Jackson, before he came, also the timber land on the northwest quarter of section 13, Macomb township. He worked Mr. Miller's place in Macomb township the first season after arriving in the county, and in the fall of 1837, removed to his own land in this township, upon which he erected a log cabin and worked at his trade, that of blacksmithing. a couple of years after settling in Mound, he erected a hewed log cabin, in which his widow still resides. Mr. Jackson was born in Fauquier county, Virginia, March 1, 1804, being a son of Jacob Jackson. When a small boy the family removed to Orange county, Virginia, where he was married December 24, 1824, to Ann Miller, who was born in Rockingham county, that state, April 25, 1803, and was a daughter of John and Margaret Miller. Her people removed to Madison county, Kentucky, about the year 1805, and two years later, removed to Boone county, that state. Her father served in the war, 1812, and shortly after his return to Boone county, at the close of the war, his death occurred. In the fall of 1823, she returned to Virginia for a visit, and while there met Mr. Jackson, to whom she was afterward married, as stated above. Jacob Jackson and wife, the father and mother of William, died in Orange county, Virginia. After the marriage of William H., they resided in Orange county until 1834, when they removed to Fauquier county, from which place they came to this county. Mr. Jackson joined the Methodist Episcopal church in 1828, and in 1831, was licensed to preach by John Hersey, which he followed until his death, September 2, 1866. He was one of the pioneer ministers of this and Fulton county, and was one of the leading advocates in the establishment of the Methodist church at Bardolph. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were the parents of 10 children--John M., William J., Mary Frances, James W., Albert L., Nathaniel H., Hester A., Margaret E., Joseph, George and Thomas A.
James W. Jackson, the third son of William H. and Ann (Miller) Jackson, was born in Virginia December 6, 1830. He remained at home until 1852, and on January 28, of that year, he was married to Margaret Kepple, a daughter of Jacob Kepple. She was born in Tennessee January 22, 1831. He lived with Mr. Kepple, and helped to build a small cabin, in 1854, on the place where he now resides. In 1873, he erected his present home. They have had 12 children, as follows--Franklin P., died in infancy; Tamzin Ann, wife of Eli Holler, of Macomb township; Charles W., living in Macomb township; Laura J., deceased; Margaret A., wife of Conwell Fleming, living in Nebraska; Lewis A., living in Mound township; Harriet Eva, at home; Ida May, deceased; Minnie C., at home; John M., deceased; Mary Lizzie, living at home; James Elba I., at home. Mr. Jackson joined the M. E. church when but 15 years of age, and has been an officer in that body for many years. He has also been school director of his district, more or less, for 25 years.
William J. Jackson, the second son of William Jackson, was born in Orange county, Virginia, on the 15th of April, 1827. He remained at home with his father until August 23, 1848, at which date he was united in marriage with Hannah Crabb, a sister of Daniel Crabb. He then removed to the farm of Michael Vincent, in Macomb township, and one year later rented another farm. In the spring of 1852, he removed to section 19, where he had bought 40 acres in 1848. Here he resided until the summer of 1865, when he built his present residence on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 20, Mound township. His land is well improved, and paid for, he now being one of the most substantial farmers of the township. Mrs. Jackson departed this life on the 14th of January, 1868, leaving a husband and five children to mourn her loss. She was the mother of seven children, two of whom preceded her. The children were named, respectively--John H.; Anna E., wife of James Easton, of Bardolph; Frances, deceased; William W.; Emma, wife of A. W. Fluke; Minnie, wife of William Mason, of Bardolph. Mr. Jackson was again married in February, 1869, Mrs. Rachel A. Bates becoming his wife. By this marriage there are four children living--James M., Jeremiah, Henry Tilden, and Joseph E. Two of their children died in infancy--Temperance and Jennie. Mr. Jackson has been a church member since boyhood days, and at present is a member of the Bardolph M. E. church. He has held the office of justice of the peace four years in Mound township. The Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges claim him as an honored member.
William McCandless located upon the southwest quarter of section 30, in 1837, coming from the state of Pennsylvania. There was a cabin already constructed upon the place by John Snapp. He had a family of two sons and two daughters, and at the time of his death, some 30 years ago, divided the farm with the sons, Samuel and William Jr. The old gentleman was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and was highly respected by his many friends and neighbors.
David Noel and family came in the spring of 1837, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 7, where he resided until his death. His wife also died there.
Under this caption are given the sketches of representative people not mentioned under the head of early settlers.
Levinus Sperry, born in Waterbury, Connecticut, July 7, 1814, is one of a family of 14 children, of whom seven are now living, scattered through five states, from Ohio to Colorado. When he was five years old his parents moved to Hio, which was his home until the fall of 1838. It was during the latter part of this period that he made some flat boat expeditions down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Spending the winter on the lower Mississippi, he gained some knowledge of the workings of negro slavery, which in after years made him a stern and uncompromising abolitionist. Late in 1830, he migrated to Fulton county, Illinois, first to a place near Fairview, and two years later to Bernadotte. Here it was that he became a member of that courageous band, since famous as the conductors of the mysterious "underground railroad"; men who chose rather to risk the penalty of an infamous law than to violate the dictates of conscience and become partners in crime and oppression, by aiding to drive the slave back to bondage; men who chose to obey God rather than man, no matter what the consequences to themselves; and he entered into it with that same zeal and inflexible obedience to his convictions of right, which form so marked a trait of his whole life; made his word as good as his bond, and caused it to be said of him, that, "were all men as upright as he there would be small need of laws." It was at Bernadotte, in 1847, that he was married to Charlotte Churchill, who proved a helpmeet for him through the "heat and burden of the day," until some 10 years later, when she succumbed to the privations and hardships incident to frontier life, leaving four small children to be brought up without a mother's love. In 1849, he moved to what is now known as Seville Mills, in Fulton county, and four years later, in 1853, began improvements on his present farm, near where Bushnell now stands. No town was there then, nor were there any other settlers within sight. In 1855, he moved his family to his prairie home. This farm he gradually improved and enlarged until it was one of the largest and best in this vicinity. February 11, 1857, he was married to Joan Swayze, his present wife, and by this union there was one son, who is now deceased. She was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Catawissa, Columbia county, in 1834. The following is clipped from the Western Times, as showing the character of work in which she is engaged, and the estimation in which she is held in the country where she lives: "Mrs. Sperry, of Pueblo, Colorado, president of the Ladies' Benevolent Union, which she herself has established and which is doing a blessed work for God's suffering and poor, is president of the board of charities of the state, and accomplishes more active charitable work, in a "broad gauge" sense than any one man or woman we have ever known. She is like the sunshine of heaven all over, visiting the sick, relieving suffering everywhere; taking home the poor, deserted, dying wives, and folding to her motherly heart the motherless little ones. All Pueblo helps and blesses her. The Santa Fe, and Denver & Rio Grande railroads honor her request to carry the sick and maimed home. How glad these green places in the deserts of human selfishness makes our soul." In 1861, Mr. Sperry found his usually robust health so impaired by overwork that he was forced to abandon farming, and determined to cross the plains to the "far west," hoping thus to regain his health. He accordingly started with teams, accompanied by his sons, Mentor and Lewis. After traveling six months they reached the territory of Idaho, where they spent a year, engaged in mining and ranching, passing through the rigorous six months winter, with seven to ten feet of snow. Singularly enough, during the time spent in this wild region, and while on the journey thither, he endured the hardships and dangers incident to that manner of life, and enjoyed, meanwhile, almost uninterrupted good health. They returned by way of Salt Lake City, and the old California trail, breaking through the mountains northwest of Denver, and reached home in the fall of 1864. He then resumed charge of his farm, which he continued until he emigrated to Colorado, in 1876. Ever just, ever upright, ever true to his convictions of right, with a broad, deep and liberal judgment, he sifted every question, and having once decided it by its moral rights, no power on earth could induce him to change. Neither the open threats of mob law by the owners of fugitive slaves, nor the offer of bribes, could persuade him to desist helping the slave to his freedom. So in every important question, he took a bold and fearless stand. It is truly said of him, that you could sooner turn back the mighty Mississippi in its course, than prevail on him to do or sanction anything that was morally wrong; a pure, noble, christian gentleman, and no meed of praise or position of honor bestowed can be greater than such a name. Mr. Sperry has found his health much improved by the climate of Colorado, but since his removal there has made periodical visits to the old home place in Bushnell township. His son, L. B. Sperry, now resides upon the place, which, under his care, has been not only kept up, but still further beautified and improved.
Henry F. Rogers was born in the province of Hanover, Germany, in 1835, on the 20th day of December. His father's name was Deitrich, and he was born at the same place. His mother's native place was near that of his father. When 17 or 18 years old, Henry F. decided to try his fortune in the new world, and accordingly, after bidding good-bye to home, friends and relatives, he set sail for the United States. Arriving on America's shores, his first experiences were the same as fell to the lot of the average new immigrant. He finally brought up at Staunton, Macoupin county, near which place he hired out by the month. He was then engaged until he had reached the age of 26 years. He was married on the 3d day of April, 1861, to Christina Miller. She was born in Quincy, Illinois, and is a daughter of Rev. Jacob Miller. After their marriage they lived in Montgomery county, until 1865. He then removed to his present home on section 6, Mound township, where he had bought 123 acres of land. He set to work improving this farm, and now has a very creditable appearing place. Besides the above mentioned, he has added another parcel, containing 50 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are the parents of seven children--Jacob H., Mary M., Adelaide M., Katie E., John M., deceased, Benjamin M., Edward J., and Bertha L. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are members of the German M. E. church. He is a school director of district No. 1, and has held that position for nine years. The family are intelligent and highly respected.
John M. Wilcox was born in Carroll county, Kentucky, formerly Gallatin county, March 19, 1826. His father, Benjamin Wilcox, was born and reared in Shelby county, Kentucky, but afterwards removed to Carroll county, where he died in February, 1836. The maiden name of Benjamin's wife was Flora McCormick. She was born and reared in Lexington, Kentucky. After her husband's death, Mrs. Wilcox removed to McDonough county, locating in Chalmers township, two miles northeast of Middletown. She brought with her, her family of seven children. There they lived two years, then removed to Bethel township. In 1845, Mrs. Wilcox removed to Scotland township, where she was again married. She died in Bardolph. In 1879, John went to California, where he was engaged in the mines for three years. At the end of that time he returned home, having been quite successful in the west. In 1853, he bought the southwest quarter of section 31, which was then raw prairie. This land has since been brought into a high state of cultivation. He also owns 52 acres on the northwest quarter of the same section, besides 80 acres in Macomb township. He was married on the 13th day of March, 1855, to Mary Z. V. Yocum, daughter of Major Yocum, and then removed to his present location. Mr. and Mrs. John M. Wilcox have had six children born to them--George T., Elvira J., William F., Mary A., Robert C., John R., George T., married to Hetty Dorr, they live in Macomb township. Elvira J., died March 12, 1869; William F., died April 8, 1884; Mary A., married Eugene L. Lindsay, they live in Kearney county, Nebraska. Mrs. J. M. Wilcox died March 23, 1883. His niece, Luella Wilcox, is keeping house for him. R. C. and J. R., live with him and work the farm. He has been director of schools in district No. 5.
William Stephens, one of Mound township's substantial citizens, was born in Campbell county, Kentucky, on the 24th day of July, 1828. His parents were James and Margaret (Peck) Stephens. Both of his parents were of old Virginia families, his mother's ancestors, however, having been of German descent. James Stephens, father of William, was born in Kentucky, in 1801, and his wife was born in 1808. James settled with his family in the township of Industry, McDonough county, in the early part of 1836, and in March, 1838, removed to Fulton county, settling in the southern part. Here James and his wife lived until their death. William went to Oregon in 1853, and staid one year. He then went to California, where he was engaged in the mines for four and a half years. He came back to Fulton county in the fall of 1859, and in the spring of 1860, went to Colorado, but returned in the winter. He was married there on the 21st day of February, 1864, to Mary Markley, nee Welker. They came to McDonough county in 1873, and located on the northwest quarter of section 9. At this place the family have made their home ever since. Mr. and Mrs. Stephens are the parents of six children--Margaret, Etta, James W., Helena, Olney and Joseph. By her first marriage, Mrs. Stephens was the mother of one child--Mary L., who is now the wife of Charles Combs. Besides his possessions here, Mr. Stephens has 680 acres of land in the southern part of Fulton county. He has large numbers of both cattle and hogs. Mr. Stephens is a democrat, in politics, and has been quite prominent in township affairs, having been assessor, supervisor of Mound township two terms, and commissioner of highways three years. He is highly respected by all who know him.
Garret Ackerson Cadwalader, one of the prominent citizens of Mound township, has his residence on section 11, where he owns 336 acres of excellent land, and some 40 acres on section 2. He came to McDonough county in February, 1865, and for the following four years lived north of Bushnell, one mile. In 1869, he removed to his present location. In 1877, his residence was destroyed by fire, when he commenced the erection of his present dwelling. His farm, which is all under a high state of cultivation, is situated on the mound from which the township derives its name. Mr. Cadwalader is a native of Fulton county, Illinois, born July 8th, 1835, and is the son of Isaac Cadwalader, one of the earliest settlers of that county, and now among the wealthiest of her citizens, and of Elizabeth (Ackerson) Cadwalader, who were married in 1831, in Fulton county. Garret resided at home until his marriage on September 21, 1859, to Elizabeth Kost. This estimable lady died July 24, 1872, leaving four children--Henry L., now in Fulton county; Isaac L., a resident of Mound township; Laura E., wife of John Crawford, also a resident of this locality, and Ollie M., at home. On the 22d of October, 1874, Mr. Cadwalader was again united in matrimony, this time with Mrs. Nancy Cashman, nee Crawford. This union has been blest by one child--Willie H. Mrs. Cadwalader, by her former marriage, has two children--George W. and John H. In politics, Mr. Cadwalader is, and has always been since the organization of the party, a republican, and has held the office of assessor since 1881. He is also, one of the school board of the township, and takes a great interest in educational and church matters. In the latter he is a church trustee, class leader, and assistant superintendent of the Sabbath school. He is, also, a member of the time honored fraternity of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, belonging to Bushnell lodge No. 307. A truly upright man, he squares his life with the teaching of both church and society, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all his neighbors.
George W. Hutchins was born in Cumberland county, Kentucky, January 24, 1836, and is the son of William and Jane (Pace) Hutchins. His father died in the above mentioned state, but his mother is still living in the old home. In 1853, George W. came to McDonough county with his brother to visit an uncle, William Pace, but decided to remain. He, at once, entered upon his work here, first driving the stage from Macomb to Carthage, but soon afterward went to work for Isaac Grantham, then a resident of Macomb. He then came to Mound township, and was in the employ of Edward Dyer, for a time. In the winter of 1854-55, he went to Missouri, but being taken sick, he returned to Macomb, and was employed in the slaughter house during the winter. For several years he was engaged in farming, renting farms for that purpose. In 1860, he was in Texas, farming, but soon came back, locating in the township of Mound. On the breaking out of the great rebellion in 1861, he enlisted in company F, 55th Illinois infantry regiment, at Bushnell, and was mustered into the service of the government, at Chicago. In the sanguinary battle of Shiloh, he was wounded, and shortly afterwards was transferred to Quincy, Illinois, where he acted in the hospital corps. He was mustered out at the expiration of his term of service, and returning to this locality was, on the 2d of December, 1864, united in marriage with Phebe Beaver, with whom he lived until July 12, 1877, when she died, leaving five children--Sarah J., Fannie B., William L., Mary C., and Charles F. In July, 1878 he again entered upon the married state with Mrs. Sarah E. Hellyer, nee Welch, who at the time had three children--Frederick A., David H. and Minnie B. The result of this union has been three children--Clarence E., Herman C. and Goldie G. When Mr. Hutchins was first married he resided in Fulton county for about three years when he came back to this township and purchased land on section 13, but in 1875, moved to his present location on 14, owning 130 acres of fine land. He made most of the improvements. He is now director of school affairs in district No. 3, and has been road commissioner since 1870.
John W. Booth, the eldest son, was born March 16, 1827, in Berks county, Pennsylvania. He was married at Bardolph, Illinois, to Mary F. Jackson, daughter of Rev. Wm. H. Jackson, January 15, 1851. They settled on a farm in Mound township, on section 18, where they still reside. Their farm, of 320 acres is one of the best improved in this part of the state. Their family consists of seven children, of whom only three are living--John F., Henry L. and Clarence J. Those deceased are--Alta V., Albert D., Herbert L., and Gracie May. Alta V. Booth was born November 27, 1851, died July 25, 1874; Albert D. was born August 23, 1858, died October 22, 1880; Herbert L. died in infancy; Gracie May was born June 14, 1868, died November 25, 1871.
John F. Booth was married to Florence B. Archer, on December 30, 1875, and resides in Macomb, this county, where he is engaged in the grocery business, with his brother Henry L. Clarence J. is engaged in farming on the home place.
Geo. Booth, Sr., was born in county Tyrone, Ireland, in the year 1796, and at the age of 27, was married to Isabel Orr, of the same county; they immediately sailed for America, landing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, continuing the business for seven years. He next removed to Trumbull county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming, and remained there until the year 1843, when he, with his family, removed to McDonough county, Illinois, where he continued farming the balance of his life. Unto George and Isabel Booth were born 11 children, five of whom are now living--John W., George J., Robert, Mary A., Sarah J., and James O. George J. Booth died at the age of 47 years, at his residence, in Bardolph, this county. The three oldest children died in infancy.
Lewis Smick came from Boyle county, Kentucky, in 1851, and lived in the city of Macomb, and worked at the carpenter's trade two years. In 1853 he bought 240 acres of land in Mound township, where he has continued to reside. He was born April 2, 1809. His father was from Pennsylvania, and a hatter by trade; his mother was also from Pennsylvania; they both died in Kentucky. Lewis was married in that state, on the 17th of October, 1839, to Martha Bard Adams, a native of that state. They have raised five children--William A. was educated at Ashland and Louisiana, Missouri, and at the theological school in Princeton, New Jersey. After graduating, he went to Roseberry, Oregon, as a preacher in the Presbyterian church, where he now is; John W., married Lydia Woody, and now lives in part of the house with his parents; Priscilla Jane, married Ornan Sperry, and lives on a farm adjoining her father's; James C., married Lois Fleming, and lives on an adjoining farm; Nancy D., married P. W. Moor, and is deceased. Mr. Smick and wife are members of the Reform church. Mr. Smick has frequently been honored with public office, and has filled the position of justice of the peace; he is now school trustee. He has always been an earnest republican.
A. J. Fleming was born in Fauquier county, Virginia, on the 27th day of February, 1831. His grandparents on his father's side were from Ireland, and on his mother's side from Scotland. Both of his grandfathers were in the battle of Bunker Hill. His parents were born in Fauquier county, Virginia. In the fall of 1832, when A. J. was yet a mere child, his parents removed from Virginia to Ohio, locating near London, in Madison county. The family consisted of the parents and seven children, six of whom were girls and one a boy. A. J. loved with his parents until the spring of 1851. He then came west, and located in McDonough county, choosing a home on section 16, Mound township, and has ever since been a resident of this township. He was married, March 11, 1852, to E. C. Melvin. They have five children, four girls and one boy. Four of the children are married--Lois Ida was married to James Smick; Cornelia was married to Wesley Postlock; Conwell, to Alice Jackson; Francie, to Joshua Lindsey. Mr. Fleming has spent his life in farm work, and by good management has accumulated a goodly share of this world's goods. His mother died June 26, 1866, and his father, August 6, 1876.
John Slater is a native of England, having been born near the city of Manchester, in Lancashire, June 24, 1826. He is a son of Jonathan and Anna (Taylor) Slater, the latter a relative of Zachary Taylor, "old rough and ready," as he is familiarly called. Mr. Slater came to America in 1851, and on the 23d of December of that year, located in Newark, New Jersey, where he worked in a machine shop, having followed that line of trade in the cotton mills of his native place. Here he remained about two years, when he removed to Whitneyville, Massachusetts, where he labored in a cotton mill. In 1865, he came to this locality settling in Canton, Fulton county, where he lived for four years, when he removed to this county, locating at New Philadelphia. He bought the 80 acre lot where the depot now stands, but soon sold it, and purchased the place he now owns and resides upon. This farm consists of 120 acres of land on the northwest quarter of section 24, 85 acres on section 17, and 52 acres on section 23. Mr. Slater was married in England June 14, 1851, to Esther Butterworth, a native of "white cliffed Albion." Six children have been sent to bless their hearth, four of whom are living--Edmund T., Mary H. T., Sarah E., and Adaline. The two deceased were Victoria and John. Mr. Slater has always been interested in educational matters, and has been director of the school board from district No. 10, for the past nine years. When he came to America he was poor, like so many others who cross the ocean to better their condition, but now, with a comfortable competency, and surrounded by all the conveniences of life, he looks back with pleasure at the road he has traveled.
Henry H. Nance, M. D., was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, March 4, 1841. He is a son of William and Susan Nance. The Nance family are of French descent, but William was born in Indiana. After the birth of Henry, the subject of this sketch, the family remained but three weeks in Schuyler county, and then removed to Vermont, Fulton county. As an illustration of the difference between those times and the present, it may be related that they traveled to their new home in a two-wheeled cart, drawn by calves. Arriving at Vermont, William, the father, immediately set up in the practice of his profession, which was that of medicine. While thus engaged, his son, Henry, learned to like the healing art, and was accustomed to assist his father, while yet a boy, in the handling of medicine. He also went with his father on his professional calls, often being of assistance to him, and was thus enabled to acquire a practical insight into the mysteries of the science, in his daily life. He was educated at Vermont, and upon finishing his schooling, became a teacher, in which occupation, though quite young, he was successful. He continued this employment until after he had reached his 20th year. The dark war cloud was then hanging like a pall over the country. The young and ardent patriotism of our subject could only be satisfied with actual service in defense of his country's flag, and accordingly, the 2d day of August, 1862, found his name enrolled on the roster of company B, 84th Illinois infantry. He was mustered in at Quincy, and soon was at the front in the gallant army of the Cumberland. This enlistment also gave him splendid opportunities for advancement in his profession, as he went in as a hospital attendant. For a time, he served as nurse in the hospital at Quincy. He was then assigned to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he was made hospital steward. By order of General Rosecrans, he was detailed to division headquarters, and then to department headquarters, on the staff of General Sherman, with whom he started on the celebrated march to the sea. After the caprure of Atlanta, he was put in charge of the dispensary at headquarters in that city. After the evacuation of Atlanta, he was transferred to Lookout Mountain, and was made assistant surgeon. There he remained, serving in that capacity till the close of the war. At the cessation of hostilities he came home, and after three months, went to Ann Arbor university, in September, 1865. He graduated there in the medical department, on March 10, 1866. He then went to Wheeling, West Virginia. In the meantime he was married, on the 27th day of February, 1866, to Susan E. Rinkes, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Samuel Rinkes. Both of her parents had died previous to her marriage. Shortly after his marriage, the doctor returned again to Illinois, and practiced during the summer and fall of 1866 at Vermont. He soon came to McDonough county, and purchased the southwest quarter of section 4, Mound township, one and a half miles south of Bushnell. He practiced here two or three years, but on account of kidney complaint, was compelled to give up riding at the call of patients. He has devoted considerable time and means to making his farm a model, and it may be truly said that he has one of the best tile drained farms in the county, he being a strong advocate of tiling for farm purposes. He is at present engaged in the life insurance business, and is a director in the Western Mutual, of Bushnell. He was a charter member of the G. A. R. post, at Bushnell, and was its quartermaster for two years. Five children live to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Nance. Their names are--Charles M., William C., Mary E., Kate L., and Susie R.
The Jacobs family, Seth, and two sisters, reside on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 16. Their parents were Amasa and Lois (Moore) Jacobs. The father was a native of Connecticut, the mother of Vermont, but they subsequently removed to Onandaga county, New York, where they were married. The names of their children were--Luther; Peter; Zerviah, died in New York; Francis M., deceased; Amasa, living in Cass county, Iowa; Lois C.; Sylvia, deceased; Clark, deceased; Lucina; Clarissa, wife of Robert Adcock, now living in California; Elmina, deceased; and James G., deceased. In the fall of 1844, Luther, Peter, and Lois came west, traveling by wagon, and settled at Table Grove, Fulton county, this state, where Luther taught school. In 1846, the parents came also, with the remainder of the family, except Zerviah, who died in New York. In the spring of 1848, they removed to New Salem township, McDonough county. Here Mrs. Jacobs died, October 10, 1855; Mr. Jacobs died, October 4, 1857; they were buried at Table Grove. The children were married, with the exception of Lois, Lucina, Elmina and Seth. They located four and one-half miles south of Bardolph, in New Salem township. There they remained four years, then sold the farm and went to Bardolph, where they bought the hotel property. They conducted the hotel for three years, then came to their present location, on section 16, Mound township. On the 22d of September, 1869, Elmina died, leaving Seth and two sisters on the farm. The latter are members of the United Brethren church, at Mound. Their parents were also members of the same church.
Rufus T. Allen is a native of Pulaski county, Kentucky, born August 29, 1819. His parents were David and Patsey (Harris) Allen, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of Virginia. Rufus T. grew to manhood in Pulaski county, Kentucky, and was married there, November 19, 1840, to Rhoda Adams, a native of Pulaski county, who was born December 15, 1819. She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Adams, who were of Irish descent. In 1863, our subject came to McDonough county, and located about one-half mile north of what is now Good Hope. There he remained but a short time before he bought the northeast quarter of section 33, Mound township, to which he removed. The improvements on this farm have all been put on by Mr. Allen. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are the parents of three children--John, James, and Elizabeth, who is the wife of William Ingram. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are both members of the Free Will Baptist church. The family is much respected by their friends.
James K. Kepple is the oldest child of David Kepple. He was born July 31, 1838, on section 19, Mound township, and has ever since been identified with McDonough county. He was reared on the home place, and on the 24th day of March, 1859, he was married to Jane A. Greene, a sister of W. H. Greene. In October, 1861, he removed to the farm which his father had given him, on the east half of the northwest quarter of section 20. He soon bought the remainder of that quarter, and now owns the north half of the southwest quarter of section 17. He has made all the improvements on his place, and now has a splendid farm. Mr. and Mrs. Kepple are the parents of six children--Clara E., teaching; Lucy Ann, Etta M., Richard F., married Della M. Young, and lives in this township; Ollie J. and Bessie. Mr. Kepple has been making the raising of shorthorn cattle a specialty, which he raises and sells for breeding purposes. He also brought the first full-blood Clydesdale horse into the township, going to Canada for him, in 1875. He has handled this line of horses ever since, and now has fine stock of other kinds, and is known as a leading competitor at the state fairs of Iowa and Missouri. Among his recollections of early life in McDonough county, Mr. Kepple remembers how, when a boy, he had to go three or four miles to school, and, if returning after dark, it was no uncommon thing to hear the wolves, which then abounded, yelping around him. He has served the township as collector, assessor and supervisor, and has been school director for 10 years. He is a popular man, and enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens.
David Beale was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, on the 7th day of November, 1828. His parents were Benjamin and Hannah (Wykoff) Beale. His mother was of German descent. David, Sr., grandfather of our subject, died in Beaver county, and Benjamin removed to Virginia, where he and his wife both died. Our subject was married, on the 11th day of May, 1847, in Hancock county, Virginia, to Elizabeth A. Allison. In 1857 they removed to Illinois, locating in Mound township, this county. When they first came to this township, they located on section 21, but in the spring of 1860, they removed to their present location. Mr. Beale owns the east half of the northeast quarter, and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 19. There he has made all the improvements, and made a fine farm. His wife died on the 9th day of May, 1868. By their marriage there were nine children--Hannah Mary, deceased; Lynna, Sarah J., John S., Agnes B., Benjamin F., Edward M., Luella F. and William A. He was again married in February, 1871, to Mrs. Layander C. McHenry, nee Robertson. By this marriage there have been two children--Elizabeth May and Nannie G. He is an honored member of the A. O. U. W., and also of the Golden Rule.
John M. Work, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the 8th day of November, 1834. His parents were John and Margaret (McCluskey) Work. She was a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. When our subject was yet a boy, his parents removed to southern Ohio, where the family was reared. In 1866, they removed to this county, and purchased the east half of the southeast quarter of section 16, Mound township. There the parents lived until their death, Mr. Work dying in 1872, and his wife in 1869. Both were Presbyterians. They were the parents of eight children. Of these, seven grew to manhood and womanhood, and six are now living--four sons and two daughters. John M., was married in Ohio, in 1860, to Jane Gibbony. After his marriage, Mr. Work removed with his wife to Illinois, and located in this county and township. In 1864, he lost his wife by death. There were three children by this marriage, of whom one, Alice M., is living. He was married again, on the 28th of June, 1865, to Martha J. Hervey, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania. She is a daughter of Henry and Mary (Yates) Hervey. She came to this county from Peoria county. Mr. Work has some thoroughbred horses, than which no finer are to be found in the country. He has them for breeding purposes. He is a man with sufficient of the love of sport in his composition to be fond of the chase, and owns a fine pack of fox-hounds, with which he often indulges in his favorite amusement. Mr. and Mrs. Work are genial people, and are known for their hospitality, on any and all occasion. J. M. and S. Work were the first importers of Berkshire hogs in this vicinity. They first imported from M. H. Cochran, Compton, Quebec, Canada, and then from William Edward Tombs, Oxfordshire, England. In 1869, all their importing was done from Canada. Since 1865, they have paid much attention to this business, and they shipped and showed their stock together, until within a recent date. Their hogs were kept on the land lying in section 17 and 15. They did a large and lucrative business. John M., still follows the business on his farm.
William H. Greene was born in Chenango county, New York, January 25, 1837. His parents were Jonathan and Lucy P. (Breed) Greene, both of whom were natives of New London county, Connecticut. They family is of English descent. General Greene, of revolutionary fame, and the grandfather of William were own cousins. In 1851, William came to Farmington, Fulton county, and there started a dairy, which was the first in this part of the country. In 1856, he came to McDonough county, and located on the northeast quarter of section 17, Mound township. Here they have made all the improvements. Jonathan died December 19, 1873, on this farm. His wife died November 9, 1877. They are buried at Bushnell. Both were members of the Baptist church at Bushnell, and Jonathan was a life member of the Baptist theological seminary, at Chicago. Four children were born to them--William H., with whom this sketch was commenced; Jane A., wife of James Kepple; Angeline R., wife of John M. Fleming; Mary E., wife of A. C. Fleming, now living in Quincy. William H., yet retains the old homestead. He was married to Mary C. McLean, on March 23, 1861. She died October 15, 1864. By their marriage there were three children--Julia, Annette, who died September 20, 1864, and one who died in infancy. He was again married to Hattie W. Bemis, of Elyria, Ohio, on the 22d of March, 1866. By this marriage there were seven children--the first died in infancy--Willie W., Mary T., George H., deceased; Hattie M., Charles E., and Carrie E. William H. Greene, the subject of this sketch, is a member of the A. O. U. W., and also of the Golden Rule. When the grange movement was popular throughout the country, he was master of the lodge here four years. In his early years he took an interest in landscape crayon drawing, and has in his house, some fine specimens of his work. His sons also, have a taste in the same direction. The family are members of the Baptist church at Bushnell. Mr. Greene is the only remaining one of the organizers of that church.
Bigger Head, was born in Highland county, Ohio, on the 12th day of October, 1812. His father was William Head, a native of Pennsylvania. William's father was Bigger Head, who was born in Wales, but removed to America, locating in Pennsylvania. William, the father of the subject of this sketch, went to Kentucky, where he was married to Mary McLaughlin, a native of that state. A short time after the marriage he removed to Ohio, where his family of 14 children, 11 sons and three daughters, were born. Four of them came to Illinois and located in McDonough county. Two of them died, and are buried in Macomb, while one returned to Ohio, so that Bigger, the subject of this sketch, is the only one of the family now living in McDonough county. Bigger's first settlement in McDonough county, was in the year 1852, on sections 26 and 23, Macomb township, where he owned three quarter sections. He still retains 340 acres of the original tract. In 1876, he removed to section 7, Mound township, where he bought 80 acres on the northwest quarter, and 80 acres adjoining in Macomb township. Mr. and Mrs. Head have had 11 children, whose name are as follows:--Harriet, deceased; Ellen, deceased; James, deceased; Catharine; Maria; Rennick R. S.; Jennie; Alta, deceased; Newton; Johnnie, deceased; and Hettie. All are living near the home place, except Jennie, Catharine and Newton. Jennie is in Nebraska; Catharine is in Missouri, and Newton is a salesman for a Peoria grocery house. Mr. Head now has 504 acres of land. He has been a member of the M. E. church, for 45 years, and is now connected with the Bushnell congregation. He has held some official position for 40 years. He has never been on a jury, and never was in a court room two hours in his life. Mr. Head has assisted largely in building six churches. He is always a liberal subscriber to things of that character. He hewed the timber for three churches, while a residence of Ohio. He has always been ready to extend a helping hand to those in need, and when any one has the misfortune to lose his home by fire or other similar accident, Mr. Head always gives liberally.
James C. Updegraff was born October 16, 1813, in Jefferson county, Ohio, and was the son of Joseph and Susan (Kinsey) Updegraff. He left Ohio, in 1841, and settled near Lewiston, Fulton county, where he worked in a grist mill, he being a miller by trade. In 1856, he moved to McDonough county, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 27. He turned the first furrow on his farm. In 1859, he made a profession of religion and united with the Presbyterian church of Lewiston, under the pastorate of Rev. William McCandish. He transferred his membership, in 1858, to the Bardolph church, where he remained a consistent member until his death. He was married May 20, 1847, to Miss Humphrey. She is a member of the Presbyterian church at Bardolph. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Updegraff--John C., Mary A., Frank K., Elmer J. and Carrie B. Carrie is a teacher, having taught several schools in the county, and John C., takes care of the home farm. Mr. Updegraff died October 27, 1883, and is interred in the M. E. cemetery, in Mound township. He served as supervisor several terms, and was an active republican in politics. He was deeply interested in educational matters, and for several terms served as town clerk, the town meetings being held at his house before the erection of the town hall at Bardolph.
Delas Shannon, the youngest son of Joseph and Delilah (Milner) Shannon, was born October 2, 1850, while his parents were en-route from Ohio to Illinois. He spent his early life in McDonough county, and when 16 years of age, left home to go to Henderson county. He remained there a short time and returned home. In 1871-2, he traveled in Kansas and Missouri, returning to McDonough county in the spring of 1873. He was married December 23, 1877, to Martha Phillips, daughter of David Phillips. He has four children--Fred, Austin, Mary and Charles. He resides on the southeast quarter of section 25.
James C. Smick, the youngest son of Lewis and Martha Smick, was born May 11, 1855, on the old homestead, on section 10, where his father yet resides. He worked on the farm until 1875, when he commenced a course of study at Knox college, Galesburg. He remained in school until he had acquired a fair education, and January 18, 1879, was married to Lois J. Flemming. He now resides on the east half of northeast quarter of section 15, where he has a beautiful home; his residence cost about $1,800. They have three children--Conwell H., Zella Zoe and Clara F.
Ornan Sperry was a native of Portage county, Ohio, and was born January 1, 1833, and when quite young, removed to Summit county. From this point he removed to Lee county, Iowa, and in 1860, returned to Fulton county, Illinois, and in 1861, took up his residence in McDonough county. He was married January 1, 1862, to Priscilla Smick, and for four years after his marriage, farmed on Mr. Smick's land. He then purchased a farm, which he afterward traded for the northeast quarter of section 15. Here the father died in 1882, and is buried in the Bushnell cemetery. He left six children--William S., Albert W., Robert T., Lucy J., Martha E. and Winnie M. William S., carries on the farm
At the last annual report of the county superintendent, for the year ending, June 30, 1884, there were in the district township of Mound, 423 children of school age, 334 of whom were enrolled in the 10 schools of the township, none of which were graded. Seven and a half is the average number of months of school taught annually. Mound has 10 school buildings, which are all frame structures. The highest monthly wages paid any male teacher is $50, and the lowest $33, while the highest wages paid female teachers is $37.50, and the lowest $20. The estimated value of school property in Mound is $5,200, while the tax levy for the support of schools is $3124. The township is entirely free from any bonded indebtedness.
An early school was taught by Durham Creel, on section 20, near James Kepple's place, in 1839, or 1840. It was held in a frame school house, which was probably the second frame building erected in the township. The building was also used for church purposes and place of amusement.
In making a resurvey of school section 16, in 1849, the trustees were William McCandless, Joseph Crawford and David Kepple. It was surveyed by James Brattle who did most of that work in the county at that time. The consideration was $1.25, to $1.30 per acre, all selling at this price.
The first school house in district No. 2, was built in 1862, at about the center of the district and was removed in 1868, about a half mile south to its present location on the southeast quarter of section 19. The building is 20x22, and was erected by H. A. White of Macomb, at a cost of about $450, the building committee being composed of John W. Booth and James Jackson. Theodore Kendrick, of Macomb, taught the first term of school therein. John W. Booth, David Kepple and James Jackson were the first directors of the district. The present directors are James Jackson, James Kepple and James Logan, and Emma Bethel teaches the school at present. This was the highest grade school at one time in the county, outside the city of Macomb.
The first school house in district No. 3, also known as Whitehall, was a small affair erected about the year 1852, on the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of ection 14, where the Mound cemetery is now located. In 1864, the present building was erected on the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 13, at a cost of $481.95.
District No. 4.--Previous to 1855, school was held in Edward Dyer's house. In that year a frame house 22x30 feet was erected at a cost of $325. The present building, a good frame, was built in 1869, at a cost of $1,200, and is 22x36 feet in size. It is located on section 22.
Pleasant View, district No. 5.--The first school house in this district was erected in 1858, on the southwest quarter of section 30, about 80 rods from the corner. The building was 18x26 feet in size and served the district until the present house was erected in 1869. In the meantime the old building was removed to the center of the district in 1862, and the new house was constructed on the same site at the time above stated. The directors at present are S. V. Portlock, Peter Dougherty, and J. T. Kirkpatrick. Orie Beam is the teacher.
Cottonwood, district No. 6.--Building located on the northeast corner of section 33. It was erected in 1865, and enlarged in 1877. The first teacher of the district was Mary Hipsley. Mrs. Clara Kepple teaches the school at present.
Langsford, district No. 7.--The school house was moved from the New Philadlephia district to its present location, the southwest corner of section 25, in 1863. The size of the building is 20x24 feet.
District No. 8.--The building is located on section 2. The district was organized in 1860, and the house erected the same year at a cost of $600, its size being 20x26 feet. The first directors were John Crowel, Moses Wilson, and William Cox. Mary Harper was one of the first teachers of the school.
District No. 9.--The building is situated on section 10, and was erected in 1864, at a cost of $800; size 22x32 feet. The year previous school was taught in a dwelling near the present house.
The school house in district No. 10, which is attended by children from New Philadelphia, was erected in the fall of 1877, by W. B. Jellison and Perry Clark, on the northwest quarter of section 24. The contract for the erection was let for $800, and after completion was furnished by the district. The first term of school in this building was taught by James Ross. Previous to the erection of this building a school house was built on the same site several years ago, which was used by the district until the new structure was completed.
A good sand stone is found on sections 1 and 12, which is used for all purposes. Quarries are developed on the farms of Millington, Clark, Prindle and Hood, and large quantities of the stone are hauled to Bushnell and other points.
There is a clay bank situated on the northwest quarter of section 12, and is owned and operated by Munson and Parker Hollister. Most of the clay used by the Bushnell tile works is taken from this bank. It is also a fine potter's clay, and is about six feet in thickness.
Mound township was organized at the time of the division of the county in 1857. The first township election was held on April 7th, of that year, at which time Lloyd Thomas and William Jackson were elected justices of the peace, and Samuel H. McCandless was chosen to represent the township on the board of supervisors. The present officers of the township are as follows: Supervisor, Joseph Shannon; clerk, W. C. Swayze; assessor, G. A. Cadwallader; collector, E. K. Richards.
Mound Chapel M. E. church cemetery was laid out August 15, 1874, on the land of A. J. Fleming, on the northwest quarter of section 22; one acre was sold to the society for $50. The first burial was that of Peter Crownover. Besides he, Mrs. Atherton, Mrs. Vinson and George Greene were buried before the grounds were laid out by the society.
David Carter preached the first sermon in the township at the house of Jacob Kepple, in 1835, the appointment here being in what was known as the Pulaski circuit.
Joseph Smith built the first cabin in 1832, on section 18.
The first marriage was that of James Osborne and Ruth Smith, May 14, 1834.
The second marriage was Edward Dyer and Jane Kepple. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John P. Richmond, April 17, 1838.
Josephine Kulp was the first birth, about the year 1834.
The first justice of the peace was S. H. McCandless, who was also the first supervisor.
The first church was organized by Rev. John P. Richmond, a Methodist divine, at the house of Jacob Kepple.
The first death in the township was that of an infant child of James and Ruth Osborne, in 1835.
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 958-976. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen