Chapter 35 - New Salem Township
This township is one of the best for agricultural purposes in McDonough county. It is bounded on the north by Mound, on the east by Fulton county, on the south by Eldorado, and on the west by Scotland, and embraces all of congressional township 5 north, range 1 west.
The land, for the most part is level and gently rolling prairie, with a patch of timber about Pennington's Point, and little belts in the northeast and southeast corners of the township.
Camp creek has its origin in New Salem township. The stream was so named from the fact that William Osborn camped on its banks all the summer of 1828, on what is now the farm of Theophilus Walker, in Scotland township. Its two branches, commencing respectively in section 3 and 25, converge at a point on the northwest quarter of section 21, forming the main body of Camp creek, and passing into Scotland from the southwest corner of section 19. These streams, with the many little rivulets, serve to irrigate the farm lands, and also afford water for stock raising purposes in sufficient quantities.
The Rock Island & St. Louis division of the C., B. & Q. railroad, runs through a good portion of the township. Coming in from the north as the center of the north line of section 3, it runs directly south until it touches Reedyville, when its course is changed to the southeast, and it passes into Fulton county from the southeast corner of section 25.
No township in the county has a better record in the matter of stock raising than New Salem.
To William Pennington belongs the honor of having made the earliest settlement in New Salem township.
He came to McDonough county in 1828, and on the 1st day of January, of that year, located at what is now called Pennington's Point, the locality having been given its name in honor of Stewart Pennington, in 1834, by Cyrus Walker. William was the first settler in that immediate vicinity, and may be justly ranked among the pioneers of the county. He was born in the state of Virginia on the 25th day of March, 1799, and, when a boy, moved with his parents to Greenbrier county, Kentucky. On reaching manhood's estate, he left home and removed to Indiana. After a few years he removed to Illinois, and finally bought up in McDonough county as stated. He engaged in farming, and subsequently purchased land in Emmet township, which is yet owned by his sons. He was married, while a resident of Indiana, to Rebecca Osborn, a native of North Carolina. They both have passed away since coming to this county, but the names of their descendants are still familiar in some localities of the county. They were the parents of ten children, six of whom are now living. Their names are as follows--Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Nancy, Alfred, Oliver P., William R., Eli A., Joel R., and John L.
Salem Woods bought the land on which his son Edward now resides, in 1827. He came out from Pennsylvania, to look at it, in 1828, but, finding this region of country too thinly settled to suit him, he returned to Pennsylvania, and did not bring his family here to make a permanent home till the fall of 1831.
Salem Woods, deceased, is a native of the state of New York, and was born in Madison county, June 4, 1799. His father was Samuel Wood. He was reared in the state of New York, and removed thence to Erie county, Pennsylvania. There he followed the occupation of saddler and harness making, having learned the trade in his native state. He left Pennsylvania, and came on foot to McDonough county, in 1828. He looked over the land in this county, particularly a tract, now on section 30, of New Salem township, which he had purchased before coming here. He remained a few weeks and then returned to Erie county. But he was much pleased with the country here, and thought he saw in the rich soil great possibilities for the future, and having determined to make this his home, he came again in the fall of 1831, and took up his permanent abode on section 30, New Salem township. The following is taken from S. J. Clarkes history, as a reminisence of this old pioneer:
"I left Erie county, Pennsylvania, May 28, 1828, and came to Terre Haute, Indiana, intending going to Vandalia, then the captial of the state of Illinois. While in a store in Terre Haute, I met the captain of a boat who told me he would take me to Vincennes, if I would work my passage. While Vincennes was no nearer Vandalia than Terre Haute, the country was better settled, and I decided to accept his offer. Arriving at Vincennes, I at once started on foot to Vandalia, traveling one day 30 miles and passing but one house. At the capital I called upon the state auditor and told him I wanted to pay my taxes on a quarter section of land, the same I now own and on which I have lived for 47 years. He asked me if I had any state paper, when I answered that I had nothing but silver. My taxes were $1.60. He took one-half of a $3 bill, telling me to add 10 cents to it and it would settle the bill. This he let me have for 75 cents. I therefore paid my taxes for 85 cents. Being very anxious to reach McDonough county, I started from Vandalia late in the afternoon, thinking to stop at a house I was informed was only six miles on the road. This house I reached just before sundown, where I found the woman sick and was refused admittance. I then had to trudge on six miles to the next house, endeavoring to make it in as short a time as possible. The night was very dark, and a thunder storm came up, and in a short time I was drenched to the skin. By the lightning's flash I noticed a point of timber some distance ahead, and reaching it gave several yells, thinking it possible some one might live there. I received no answer, and would fain have stopped there for the night, but was afraid to on account of the wolves, which were then in great numbers. I passed on, crossing a creek and coming to another open prairie, and after traveling some distance, I was met by a pack of dogs. I called loudly for some one to take off the dogs, and my call was answered by a man, who kindly took me in. I asked for some bread, but this they did not have, and for a supper I had a bowl of milk. I then lay down on the floor in my wet clothes and slept soundly during the remainder of the night. In the morning I was directed to Beard's Ferry, now Beardstown, where I intended to cross the Illinois river. There was but one house there at that time, although the town had been laid out. I came out into Schuyler county, where, on Sunday, I met several people going from church. Of them I enquired of certain lands, telling the township, range and section. One of the party spoke up and said that he had the adjoining farm. This was William Pennington, who now lives in Emmet township, and who had come down to mill and was compelled to wait several days for his grist. He directed me on to Carter's settlement, where I met for the first time, Elder John Logan, the pioneer preacher. From this settlement I passed on to hunt my land, intending to stop at William Pennington's. On arriving near where I thought the place ought to be, I could find no house, no path, or any signs of life, until after a long search I heard a rooster crow. This led me to Mr. Pennington's house, which was then the only one in the township. I found my land beautifully located near the timber, which I thought would soon be cut away.
"There was a piece of land north of Crooked creek, that I desired to see, and I told Mr. Pennington that if he would accompany me, I would work for him as many days as he should be gone from home. He accepted my offer, and we started out, having plenty of "corn dodgers" and pork to take along. Southwest of the present town of Macomb, we came on to a number of wigwams, from which the Indians had vacated, but very recently. We crossed Crooked creek, where Bacon's mill was afterwards built. West of Macomb, after passing through the timber, which but few white men had ever trod, we came to a large prairie. Here we halted and could see nothing beyond. I told Mr. Pennington it was no use to go further, as I did not want the land thus situated. So we retraced ours steps and arrived at the home of Mr. Pennington the next evening. I thought it a beautiful country, but not enough timber to fence even a small portion of the vast prairie.
"Some years after this I carried eight bushels of wheat to Bacon's mill, on Crooked creek, to get ground, but on account of low water I was unable to get my grist. I came up from home after it two or three times, and still failed to get it. Being out of flour, I took my wheat to Ellisville, in Fulton county, and finding so many teams here before me, I knew my chances were poor, so I took my eight bushels of grain on to Rushville, where, after waiting a considerable length of time, I succeeded in having it ground. At Ellisville I met two four-horse teams all the way from Burlington, Iowa, and, like me, they had to go on to Rushville to have their grain ground. Such an experience as this would terrify the modern farmer, but they were only a specimen of what the early settler had to undergo."
Mr. Wood was married in New York state June 12, 1823, to Cornelia Grow, a native of New York state. They were the parents of six children--Morillo, who married Martha Hall, living in Clay county, Nebraska; George H., married to Nancy Jane Harlan, now deceased, and he is living in Conejos county, Colorado; Daniel D., married to Jemima Hammer and living in New Salem township; Almeda L., wife of Randolph Hall, living in Table Grove; Edward, whose personal sketch may be found elsewhere, and Jonas Platt, who died in 1844, aged four years and ten months. As may be seen, Mr. Salem Woods was one of the pioneers of this county, and some of his descendants are still among her respresentative citizens. He lived within her borders from the time of his settlement until his death, which occurred September 27, 1879, making a continuous residence of nearly half a century in McDonough county. His widow is now living with her son Daniel D., at the advance age of 81 years.
Edward Woods is the youngest son of Salem Woods, and was born on section 30, New Salem township, July 4, 1832, and now, after three years more than half a century, is still residing on the farm which was his birth place. He was reared and received his education in New Salem township, and never called any other place home. He may therefore be called a McDonough county man. He was married January 8, 1857, to Sarah Adcock, a native of Washington county, Kentucky, her parents being Thomas and Ann (Hall) Adcock, who came to this county in the fall of 1837, and located in Chalmers township, where they lived one or two years and then removed to Macomb. Her mother died there July 3, 1858, and her father died in Nodaway county, Missouri, October 24, 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Woods are the parents of three children--Manford, now married to Mary E. Harlan, and living in this township; Lawrence, who died January 12, 1879, aged 16 years 6 months, and 25 days; and Orel, living at home. Mr. Woods is a live, energetic man, has been commissioner of highways three terms, and has been connected with the schools of district No. 9, as director. He has 135 acres of land, 125 of which are under cultivation, and the remainder timber land. He devotes his time to general farming, and to some extent raises stock.
Daniel D. Woods, a native of Erie county, Pennsylvania, was born April 1, 1827. In 1832, he emigrated with his parents to McDonough county, Illinois, and settled on the northeast quarter of section 30, New Salem township. He resided in this vicinity till 1850. In March, of that year, he started with an ox team for California, crossing the plains, he arrived at his destination in September, of the same year. He remained in the land of gold about two and a half years, then returned home. March 2, 1854, he was married to Jemima H. Hammer, who was born October 12, 1832, in Monroe county, Kentucky. In 1855, Mr. Woods purchased and moved to the farm he now occupies, comprising the northeast quarter of section 8, New Salem township. His residence was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1880. The following year he erected the more commodious and comfortable dwelling, in which he now lives. He has good farm buildings, including, barn, sheds, etc. He has 700 rods of Osage hedge, in good condition, and about the same amount of drain tile. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have had five children born to them, four of whom are living--Licetna A., born December 13, 1854, and married February 15, 1872 to Whitney S. Leighty, of Kansas; James B., born March 19, 1856, and married December 19, 1878, to Luella Seaburn, and living in this township; Clara G., born October 6, 1859, and married April 19, 1877, to Austin Pontious, of this township, and Laura C., born August 1, 1861, married to W. O. Thomas November 20, 1881, and living in Kansas City. Edgar H. was born June 11, 1858, and died November 11, 1876. He is buried at Pennington's Point. Mr. Woods is an enterprising and successful farmer, and politically a republican.
T. J. Pennington came to McDonough county in February, 1831, and located at Pennington's Point, in the southwest corner of New Salem township. He died on the 27th of September, 1875. His widow now resides on section 17, Industry township.
Stewart Pennington was a settler of 1830, entering the northwest quarter of section 30. He was born in North Carolina in 1793, and was a son of Richard and Hannah (Boone) Pennington, the latter of whom was a sister of the celebrated Daniel Boone. Mr. Pennington's death occurred September 20, 1859, at the residence of his son-in-law, W. B. Pile, in Industry township. Mr. and Mrs. Pennington were the parents of 13 children--Nicholas H., Thomas J., Nancy, Richard, Abigail, Warner, Hannah B., Elizabeth Z., Stewart M., Mary M., Leander W., Joshua J., and Wm. T.
In the spring of 1833, Major Stephen Yocum came with his family to this township, settling on section 19. He was born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, on the 17th day of February, 1800. His parents were George and Rebecca (Powell) Yocum, natives of Virginia, who emigrated to Kentucky before the beginning of the present century, where they engaged in farming, and also, for a number of years, in the milling business. Their family consisted of 11 children, four boys and seven girls. As might be inferred, Mr. Yocum was raised on a farm, and in the occupation of tilling the soil, he labored until called to his rest. Mr. Yocum remained with his parents until after he reached his majority, when he went forth into the wide world, with nothing but a brave heart and willing hands, to labor for himself. For two years he remained in Kentucky, making his home with a married sister, when, thinking to better his condition of life, he turned his steps toward the newly opened Prairie state, and settled in Marion county, where, on the 29th of September, 1829, he was married to Mary Dorris, daughter of John Dorris, who emigrated from Smith county, Tennessee, to Marion county, Illinois, in 1827. About four years after their marriage, the worthy couple came to make their home in McDonough county, arriving here in the spring of 1833, settling on the north side of Camp creek, where, in the edge of the timber, he erected his cabin, and commenced to improve the land he had entered. They were the first couple to settle upon the north side of the creek, and to encroach upon the broad, fertile prairie, which is now dotted over with fine farm houses and barns, being, without doubt, the wealthiest portion of the county. Mr. Yocum settled upon section 19, and there lived and labored the rest of his life, rearing a large and respected family, and improving one of the best farms in the county. While living in the southern part of the state, Mr. Yocum was elected lieutenant of the state militia, and afterwards promoted to the captaincy. When the war against the celebrated Indian chief, Black Hawk, broke out, he was by the governor, commissioned as major, and as such, served faithfully during the war. By this title bestowed upon him he was ever afterward known. M. Yocum was always kind to his children, and liberally provided for each. There were in all 11 children, nine girls and two boys, one of the latter dying in infancy, the other reaching his majority, and enlisting in the service of his county as a member of company C, 84th regiment, Illinois volunteers. He was made regimental color bearer, and at the battle of Stone river, December 31, 1862, he laid down his life in defense of his county. Unfortunately, that part of the field was taken by the enemy soon after he fell, and whether they buried him, or his body was interred by others, was never known, as his body was never recovered. This was a sad loss to his loving parents, who doted on him as an only son, and would have sacrificed anything to give him a christian burial. A beautiful monument has been erected to his memory in the cemetery at Pennington's Point. Major Yocum departed this life on the 22d day of October, 1874. His funeral was preached by the Rev. W. S. Campbell, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and his remains were consigned to the tomb at Pennington's Point, this county. His loss was deeply felt by a large circle of friends all over the county, as well as elsewhere.
William B. Pile was a settler of the year 1833. He resided here until 1838, when he removed to Macomb, where he resided many years. His wife, Hannah Boone Pile, nee Pennington, was a daughter of Stewart Pennington.
William Moore came to Pennington's Point in November, 1835, and located on section 31, where he bought 53 acres of land, on which he now resides. He was born in Monroe county, Kentucky, in 1802, and was reared in that county, and resided there, until coming to this county.
OTHER PROMINENT PEOPLE
Below is given an account of the settlement and other facts necessary to give a proper representation to those who, while they were not pioneers in this township, have been active and prominent in the affairs of their township and county:
Stephen Blackstone is a native of Wisconsin, having been born on the 17th of January, 1838, in Lafayette county, that state. In 1840, while he was still an infant, his parents removed to McDonough county, Illinois, and having purchased a quarter section of land in New Salem, of John Greenup, for some $300, settled down to make their improvements. Stephen is the oldest child, and only son, of Beverly and Elizabeth (Blisset) Blackstone, having two sisters now living, one in Iowa and one in Nebraska. Beverly, the father, was born and reared in the state of New York, and the mother was a native of England, coming to the United States when but nine or ten years of age. Beverly Blackstone emigrated from New York to Wisconsin, about 1836 or 1837, and to McDonough county, Illinois, as above stated, where he died, January 2, 1861. Stephen Blackstone is one of the substantial farmers of the county, having followed that occupation all his life, and giving his whole attention to it. He has a fine farm of 640 acres, all finely improved. He has put in 2,200 rods of drain tile, and otherwise brought the place into a high state of cultivation, and takes a just pride in his place. He is largely engaged in raising and feeding stock, mostly cattle and hogs, a business which he commenced about 1860. He was elected, in the spring of 1885, to represent New Salem township on the board of supervisors. March 2, 1865, Stephen Blackstone and Mahala Smith, daughter of Reuben and Mary Smith, were united in matrimony. They have five children--Beverly, Lizzie, George, Nettie and Clara. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were natives of Kentucky, who came from their native state to McDonough county, about the year 1848, and bought a farm near Bardolph, where Mrs. Smith still resides. Mr. Blackstone is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, having made a profession of faith during the winter of 1857-58. He stands very high in the community in which he lives, and is truly one of the representative men of the county, one of the bone and sinew that have helped build it up until it holds the place it does in the bright galaxy of counties of the state of Illinois.
James E. D. Hammer may properly be classed among the pioneers of this county, coming here in June, 1834. He found the country in its state of natural wildness, with few exceptions. The virgin soil was yet unvexed by the plow. The nimble deer, thoughtless of danger, lightly bounded o'er the prairie, or contentedly grazed upon the succulent grasses of the plains. Mr. Hammer has witnessed the development of this country, and contributed his full share in effecting the transformation. He is a native of Tennessee, and was born in Washington county, April 28, 1809, his parents being Richard and Anna (Fisher) Hammer. When he was 10 years old the family removed to Monroe county, Kentucky, where in 1844 his father died, and his mother in 1854. In 1834, James E. D. left Kentucky and came to this county, locating on section 24, of Scotland township, where he built a house and commenced improvements. He broke and fenced 200 acres. In addition, he had 100 acres of timber land, a part of which was located on section 19. The home of his family was on the original farm in Scotland township until 1845, when he removed to Pennington's Point, in New Salem township, and located on section 30. He was married in Monroe county, Kentucky, April 15, 1821, to Nancy Pennington, a daughter of Stewart and Jeremiah (Houser) Pennington. Her parents were both born in Tennessee, and came to McDonough county in the fall of 1830, and located on section 30, at what is called Pennington's Point, on the place now occupied by James Hammer. Stewart Pennington was born June 10, 1784, and died in the county September 20, 1859. Mrs. Stewart Pennington was born February 24, 1788, and died September 22, 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Hammer are the parents of nine children: U. J., Stewart Franklin, who married Margaret Harlan, and is now living in Linn county, Oregon; Jemima H., married to D. D. Woods, living in New Salem township; Richard McKenzie, married to Susan Bowles, living in Adair; William Jefferson, married to Louisa Woolley, residents of Crawford county, Kansas; James, who died at the age of 25 years, September 19, 1866; Josiah Yancey, married to Mary Hall, and living at Pennington's Point; Lianda Jane, married to William Jones, living in Scotland township; David Taylor, who died at the age of 27 years, November 29, 1876, and who was the husband of Clarissa (Woods) Hammer; and Eva Virginia, the wife of Grow Hall, residents of Table Grove. Mr. Hammer now owns 200 acres of good land, 150 of which is under cultivation. He is a prominent example of what pluck, energy and perseverance can accomplish. Upon his arrival here he had but 75 cents in money. He cut and split rails through the day and hauled them in the night. Mrs. Hammer has often related how, while engaged herself at the spinning wheel in the middle of the night, she has heard him throwing off rails along the fence line. Thus it appears how they toiled to make a start, yet by these very sacrifices they can now the more fully appreciate comfortable surroundings, and have the satisfaction of a home honestly won, a competence fairly gained. Many incidents of interest might be related in connection with the settlement in those days. Mr. Hammer was a fine shot with the rifle, and one of the best deer hunters known to the settlement, and unlucky it was for the deer that came within range of his rifle. On one occasion during the winter of 1837-38 he had business in Macomb, and on his way there, arriving at "Kill Jordan," he forded the stream. About two hours afterward John Greenup, who was hauling pork for him, attempted to cross the same stream with a team, on the ice. This was a sudden turn from rainy weather to extreme cold, and Mr. Greenup actually crossed on the ice, where so recently Mr. Hammer had forded the stream. But the wagon and load broke through and froze fast, and had to be abandoned.
Josiah Yancey Hammer was born November 14, 1843, in Scotland township. He was brought up and received his schooling within a half mile of where he now resides. In 1862, he enlisted in the United States army in company C, of the 84th Illinois volunteer infantry and served until the close of the war. He participated in all the battles of the army of the Cumberland, except Stone river. He was discharged at Springfield, June 22, 1865, returning home. He was here married October 23, 1866, to Mary C. Hall, daughter of Randolph and Almeda Hall. They have one child, Della A. He has 85 acres of land all under cultivation. He is a member of the Grand Army post, at Macomb, and has been township collector one year.
Alvah Clark is a native of Massachusetts, born in Franklin county, October 29, 1804. When he was 12 years old, his father emigrated to Chautauqua county, New York, where Alvah assisted him in clearing a farm which was heavily timbered. In 1840, Alvah Clark came to McDonough county and purchased the south half of section 3, New Salem township, where he has ever since resided. He was married in 1842, to Sarah Woods, a native of Chautauqua county, New York, born June 23, 1823. Their first home was a log cabin, in which they lived for a number of years. In 1876, Mr. Clark built the house which is their present residence. It is a commodious and comfortable structure and was erected at a cost of $1,500. His barn was built in 1867, and cost $1,200. His other improvements, including buildings and fences, are substantial and in good repair. He has nearly 800 rods of Osage hedge upon his farm, which is in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Clark has been an enterprising and industrious farmer, and is now in properous circumstances and reaping the reward of his past labors. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have had a family of eight children, six of whom are now living--Antoinette, born November 30, 1843, now the wife of Evan Brown, of Prairie City township; Anderson A., married to Martha Moore and living in Mound township; Ambrose, married to America J. Watson, and living in Marshall county, Iowa; Hiram, living with his father; Alvah J., married to E. R. McKinzey, and living in Mound township, and Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Biggs, of this township. Marion and Jonathan died in infancy. All their children were born in the log cabin which is still standing and in a good state of preservation. Mr. Clark, is a democrat, politically, and has held the offices of road commissioner and school director several terms. He has always been held in high esteem in the community where he has been so long a resident, and is justly deserving of the respect in which he is held by all. He has taken an active interest in public affairs and is still an influential citizen. He was one of the judges of the first election ever held in New Salem township.
Joseph M. Leighty came from Pennsylvania, to McDonough county in 1856, settling then in Eldorado township, where he resided until 1865. In that year he removed to the northeast quarter of section 20, New Salem township. Two years later he moved to section 17 of the same township, where he lived one year; then returned to the northeast quarter of section 20, which he purchased, and has since that time continued to reside upon. He owns 160 acres, all in a high state of cultivation. He has a new, two-story frame dwelling house, erected in 1884, at a cost of $1,400; also a tenant house, which cost $330. Mr. Leighty spends all of his time in the cultivation and improvement of his farm. He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, February 18, 1824. His early life was spent in his native state, and he was there married, in 1846, to Rebecca Harshman. Ten children have blest their union, six of whom are living--Daniel, William, Samuel, Leroy, George and Mary. Those deceased are Isaac, Lyman, and twins, who died in infancy. Mr. Leighty is an enterprising and worthy citizen. In politics is a republican.
William G. Wilkins is a native of this county, born in New Salem township, December 21, 1838. At the age of four years he went to live in Fulton county, with a man named William Ritter, with whom he remained until 24 years old. In February, 1863, he was married to Susannah Reedy, and the same year moved on the southeast quarter of section 15, New Salem township, where he has since resided. He also owns 30 acres on the northeast quarter of the same section. His farm is a valuable one and in a high state of cultivation. He has a large two-story frame house, built in 1872, at a cost of $3,000. His barn and other farm buildings are of the best class. Mr. Wilkins has upon his place a fish pond in which he takes especial pride, having it stocked with German carp, which are in a flourishing condition from which he expects an abundant supply of fresh fish. He is engaged in general farming and is in a prosperous condition financially. The first car load of corn ever shipped from Adair over the then, Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis railroad, was shipped by Mr. Wilkins, also the first car load of rye. Mrs. Wilkins was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, and came with her parents to Illinois in 1856. They have three children--Mary L., Orion R. and Uriah G. Mr. Wilkins is a member and trustee of the United Brethren church, also a trustee of Methodist Episcopal church at Adair. Politically, he supports the democratic party. Mr. Wilkins' parents were natives of England.
Lafayette Williams came to this county from Ohio, in 1854. He rented a farm in Eldorado township one year, then, in company with his brother, Washington Williams, purchased 212 acres of land in Bethel township. They improved the land and continued to reside in that township until the fall of 1862, when they sold out and dissolved partnership. The following spring, Lafayette Williams bought the place on which he now lives, located on the southwest quarter of section 15, New Salem township. In 1870, he again entered into partnership with his brother, and purchased the east half of the northwest quarter of section 9, New Salem township. In 1874, Lafayette sold his interest in this land to his brother, Washington, and the following fall, bought the west half of the northwest quarter of section 16, of the same township. The latter place is in a high state of cultivation, well improved and fenced. It is now occupied by Mr. Williams' son-in-law, James Elwell. His home farm is also a valuable one and splendidly improved. Lafayette Williams was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, October 30, 1824. His wife, formerly Emily S. Dailey, was born in the same county, November 24, 1833. They have had seven children, five of whom are now living--Virge, born September 23, 1857, now married to James Elwell; Lucy E., widow of George Pile, born May 1, 1861; Hattie J., born October 11, 1863; Mary, born August 10, 1868; and Lotta A., born March 1, 1871. Those deceased are--Washington, born March 20, 1853, and Ellsworth, born April 6, 1866. All of the children were born in McDonough county, except Washington who was born in Hocking county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a trustee. He is a republican in politics, a successful farmer and a good citizen.
Thomas Seaburn is a son of Jacob and Mary (Megrady) Seaburn. Jacob Seaburn was born in Berkeley county, Virginia, October 22, 1791, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was married in February 1823, in Ross county, Ohio, and had a family of seven children, five of whom reached maturity. His wife was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1793, and now lives with her son, George Seaburn, in New Salem township, McDonough county, Illinois. Jacob Seaburn, died January 29, 1878, near Table Grove, Fulton county. Thomas Seaburn was born August 24, 1830, in Ross county, Ohio. He removed with his parents, to Table Grove, Fulton county, in the fall of 1843. In 1851, he returned, in company with two others, to Ross county, Ohio, for a visit. They traveled on horseback the entire distance, and did not cross a railroad. In the spring of 1852, he was employed by a Mr. John Entrekin, an extensive cattle dealer of Pickaway county, Ohio, to drive a herd of 108 fat cattle, he having the entire control of them, from that county to Philadelphia. He was on the road 52 days, riding the same horse on which he had started from his home in Table Grove, Illinois, and delivered the cattle safely at their destination. He returned to Table Grove, Illinois, in the fall of the same year, and in 1853, bought the northwest quarter of section 22, New Salem township, paying for the same, money borrowed, at 10 per cent. In September, 1854, he had a severe attack of typhoid fever, in consequence of which he was confined to his bed the entire winter following. In April, 1855, he was recovered sufficiently to get about on crutches, and growing gradually stronger, was able during the summer to walk with the aid of a cane. He has never fully recovered, however, from the effects of that illness. On the 21st day of February, 1860, he was married to Annie E. Johnston, a daughter of David and Sarah (Day) Johnston, of Pike county, Illinois, of whom, the former was born July 13, 1798, in Wythe county, Virginia, and died in September, 1879; the latter, a native of Grayson county, Kentucky, was born in 1801, and died in September 1865, in Perry, Pike county, Illinois. David Johnston was surveyor of that county for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Seaburn went to housekeeping March 13, 1860, upon his farm in New Salem township, where they have ever since resided. Five children have been born to them, all of whom are now living--Mary Luella, born September 22, 1861, now the wife of J. Bird Woods, of New Salem township; Johnston S., born June 3, 1864, was married to Sallie Baker, of Jacksonville, Illinois, and now living in Macomb; Frank T., born March 24, 1867, now at home with his parents and Jessie May and Edwin J., twins, born August 20, 1875. Mr. Seaburn's residence is a handsome and commodious structure, erected in 1884, at a cost of $3,000. His barn and other improvements, are very good, and his farm is one of the best tiled in the township. He has upon his place, a large amount of Osage hedge, also a grove of cottonwood trees planted in 1868. He is engaged extensively in feeding stock, also carries on general farming, and is a thorough going farmer, everything about his place indicating thrift and comfort. Mr. and Mrs. Seaburn are members of the Christian church. Mr. Seaburn is a staunch supporter of the republican party, and a prohibitionist, and an earnest advocate of woman's rights. He is one of the leading citizens of New Salem township.
Isaac Holley, of New Salem township, is a son of William and Elizabeth (Stockwell) Holley, natives of Virginia. Isaac was born March 29, 1839, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and was reared upon a farm where he remained until 18 years old. He then left home, still following farming. January 17, 1864, he started west, coming to Ottawa, LaSalle county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming one year. In the spring of 1865, he came to McDonough county, and lived for one year on a farm in New Salem township, which he rented of T. F. Randolph. He then moved to Fulton county, and remained until the spring of 1867, working by the month on the farm of J. D. Powell. At that date he returned to this county and bought 80 acres of land in Bethel township, which he sold the following year, and purchased his present farm. The latter comprises the east half of the northeast quarter of section 17, New Salem township. He has a convenient and comfortable dwelling, also, good stables, sheds and other farm buildings. The land is highly cultivated and well fenced. He has about 100 rods of Osage orange hedge, which is in good condition and well kept. Mr. Holley was married January 14, 1869, to Lorinda Brundage, and by this union has had eight children, five of whom are living--Ellsworth E., born November 10, 1869; Nicholas T., born November 10, 1872; Mary F., born October 14, 1876; Olive M., born October 7, 1878; and Edward E., born October 11, 1883. Mrs. Holley was born November 30, 1846, and is the daughter of John and Lucy A. (McClure) Brundage, residents of this county. Mr. Holley devotes his time entirely to the cultivation and improvement of his farm. He is democratic in politics and has served six years as director of school district No. 4, New Salem township.
Lycurgus Merrell came to this county in 1854, and went to live with Henry S. Leighty. He is a native of Ohio, and at the time of coming here, was 10 years old. He remained with Mr. Leighty until 1879. He was married Frebruary 15, of that year, to Vadie J. Walker. He lived, after marriage, in Eldorado township seven months, then moved to H. S. Leighty's farm where he lived two years. He then, in 1881, purchased his present home which is located on the northwest quarter of section 9, New Salem township. He has a valuable farm and good improvements. His business is general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Merrell have had two children born to them--Earl Preston, born January 8, 1882, and Edie, who was born January 8, 1880, and died February 22, 1881. Mr. Merrell is a republican in politics, and a good citizen.
Joseph E. Porter, one of the leading citizens of New Salem township, is of the seventh generation from John Porter, who was born in Dorsetshire, England, in the year 1596, and emigrated to America in 1635. The father of Joseph E. was Noah Porter, who was born in Wendell, Franklin county, Massachusetts, September 26, 1792. He (Noah) was married in 1815, to Nabby Comins, of Wendell. They settled upon a farm in their native town, and eleven children were born to them, nine sons and two daughters. One son and one daughter died in childhood. The others lived to reach maturity. Noah Porter, in order to give his children advantages for obtaining a good education, sold his farm in Wendell, and purchased another in New Salem, also in Franklin county. It was at the academy in that town that his eight sons and one daughter fitted themselves for teaching, in which occupation they all subsequently engaged. The eldest son, Elijah, has since held important offices in the town where he resided. Another son has been twice elected to the state senate of New Hampshire, and has occupied the position of cashier of the Cheshire National Bank, for more than 30 years. Joseph E. Porter, the subject of this sketch, was born in Wendell, Franklin county, Massachusetts, July 9, 1821. He resided with his parents until 21 years old, and in his youth was engaged in teaching during the winter, farming in the summer, and attending school in the spring and fall seasons. September 14, 1842, he was married to Susan M. Cogswell, daughter of Jonathan and Lydia Cogswell, of New Salem, Massachusetts, natives of Lunenburg, in the same state. Jonathan Cogswell was born May 13, 1792. His wife, formerly Lydia Boynton, was born October 22, 1791. Their marriage took place October 19, 1816. In 1844 Mr. Porter moved to Framingham, twenty miles west of Boston, where he worked for $14 per month, continuing eight months, and during the winter cut cord wood for fifty cents per cord. In 1848 he returned to New Salem, and purchased a farm on which he lived till 1856. In that year he came to McDonough county, Illinois, and located in New Salem township, where he now resides, purchasing then his present place, of J. H. Baker. It comprises the southwest quarter of section 4. It was then wholly unimproved. He now has a finely improved and highly cultivated farm. His residence, barn and other buildings are substantial, commodious, and models of convenience, and his place is altogether one of the most desirable in the township. Mr. Porter was formerly a whig in politics, but since the organization of the republican party, has been identified with its interests. His eldest son was attending Abingdon college when President Lincoln called for 100-day volunteers. He responded by enlisting, and was killed while in the service, at Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Porter has been a professing christian since 1844, when he united with the Congregational church at Framingham, Massachusetts. On coming to this county, he became a member of the Presbyterian church at Bardolph. His present church connection is with the Congregational church at Macomb. He has, since his residence here, been much of the time in office, holding the position of county supervisor three times, justice of the peace six years, and school trustee 15 years. When McDonough county was divided into township organizations, Mr. Porter's brothers gave the name to New Salem township, in honor of the town where they were brought up--New Salem, Massachusetts. Noah Porter died October 8, 1855, in this township, while on a visit to his sons. His remains were taken back to Wendell, Massachusetts, and laid to rest in the cemetery where four generations of his ancestors are sleeping side by side. His widow, Nabby Porter, survived till January 4, 1868.
Robert G. Rutledge owns and resides upon a farm located on the northeast quarter of section 3, New Salem township. He purchased the place and settled here in 1853, and now has an excellent farm with good and comfortable improvements. Mr. Rutledge was born May 2, 1821, in Greenbrier county, West Virginia. He resided with his parents until 32 years of age. He was then married to Elizabeth A. Portlock, who was born January 30, 1833. This marriage took place November 18, 1852. Seven children have blessed their union, three of whom are living--Jasper, born July 31, 1858, living with his parents; Jane V., born January 13, 1863; married to Charles C. Effland; and Amanda E., born July 24, 1865, living with her parents. Those deceased are--Mary M., born July 30, 1854, and died October 2, 1855; Stephen A., born February 14, 1860, and died March 11, 1862; Lillian E., born January 20, 1869, and died September 25, 1870; and Maria F., born March 3, 1856, and died May 4, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Rutledge have, for years, been members of the United Brethren church at Pilot Grove. He has served as steward of that church for the past 10 years. In politics, he is a democrat.
Isaac Opp, an early settler of McDonough county, was born in 1822, in Milton, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. In 1837, he emigrated with his mother and step-father, and eight brothers and sisters, to Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio. He obtained his education in the common schools of Milton and Wooster. In the spring of 1842, he removed with the family to Stephenson county, Illinois, and the same year visited this county. Two years later, (1844) he went to Fulton county, where he remained, living with his brother-in-law, Jacob Ritter, until May 3, 1846, at which time he was married to Mary Ann Crowell, a daughter of Charles and Priscilla (Fowler) Crowell. Charles Crowell was a native of Connecticut, and his wife, of Virginia. They were married in 1825, and reared a family of seven children, five of whom are now living. They moved to Fulton county, in 1844, and there Mr. Crowell soon after died, at the age of 39 years. His widow, Priscilla, survived until 1876, when she died, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Opp, in New Salem township, McDonough county. Mr. and Mrs. Opp have had five children born to them, four of whom are living--Charles Edwin, Mary Lovina, Clara Annetta and Austin Albinus. Their eldest child, a daughter, died in infancy. Mr. Opp settled where he now resides, one and a half miles southeast of Adair, on section 23, New Salem township, about the year 1865. He has an excellent farm, containing 133 acres, but not all in a body, which is all cultivated. In religious belief, he inclines strongly to the Christian faith, and in politics, is a staunch supporter of the democratic party.
James Harris is a native of this county, and was born in Eldorado township, December 8, 1834. He lived with his parents until 21 years old, following the various occupations incident to farm life, handling stock, and also, meanwhile, teaching school a number of years. He was married January 21, 1864, to Ella E. Wall, in Missouri, where he taught school two years, then returned to Illinois, and engaged in farming in this county and New Salem township, until 1865, when he went south and raised cotton for two seasons. In 1868, he went to the state of Texas, and was there and in Kansas in the cattle business three years. He then came back to his farm in New Salem township, on section 12, and engaged in general farming and dealing in stock for six years, then removed to the farm he now occupies, the west half of the northeast quarter of section 24. This place is well improved, and its condition marks the thrift and enterprise of its owner. In addition to his home farm, he owns the west half of section 25, 94 acres on the northwest quarter of section 24, the northwest quarter of section 12, and 250 acres on section 30, of Farmers township, Fulton county. He also has considerable timber land in different localities. The father of Mr. Harris was born in Cayuga county, New York, May 5, 1806, and died January 10, 1868, on the place now owned by the subject of this sketch. His mother was born in Madison county, New York, September 27, 1806, and is still living with her son James. They were early settlers in the state, having emigrated from the east in 1832. His wife, Ella E. Wall, was born September 26, 1841, and died January 11, 1868. They had one child born to them June 6, 1865, named Daniel O. Mr. Harris is a live, energetic farmer, and deals to a considerable extent in stock.
William Carlin, deceased, a former resident of New Salem township, was born May 12, 1807, in county Derry, Ireland, and was one of a family of eight children. At the early age of 12 years he learned the trade of linen weaver, which he followed during the winter seasons, working upon a farm in the summer, from that time until the spring of 1844. He then sailed for America, in the ship City of Berlin. After an ocean voyage of nine weeks and three days, prolonged on account of rough weather, he landed in Philadelphia, June 3d. He engaged at his trade in that city, with a brother, Thomas Carlin, who had preceded him to America. The trade of weaving was then a lucrative one, particularly the weaving of carpets and suspenders. November 2, 1847, William Carlin was united in marriage with Eliza Dougherty, and in October, of the following year, removed to Farmers township, Fulton county, Illinois, where he resided nine years. In March, 1857, he came to McDonough county, and located on the northwest quarter of section 25, New Salem township. Here, on account of an imperfect deed, he was compelled to pay twice for his land. He lived upon section 25, until his death, August 19, 1884. All of his children were with him during his last illness. For 20 years previous to his death, Mr. Carlin had not been engaged in laborious farm work, having given his sons entire charge of the business. He devoted his time to gardening and bee culture, making a successful business of the latter, and always having from 60 to 100 colonies. Mrs. Eliza Carlin was born in Londonderry, Ireland, March 14, 1825. She was left an orphan, at an early age, and came to America in the fall of 1843, crossing the ocean in the ship Britannia, and landing at Philadelphia, where she resided until after her marriage. She died, after 37 years of wedded life, April 8, 1884, four months previous to the death of her husband. Both are buried in the Catholic cemetery at Macomb. They reared a family of nine children--James J., born August 12, 1848, in Philadelphia; William H., born March 25, 1850; Angeline C., born February 11, 1852; Margaret J., born August 18, 1854; Alexander, born June 27, 1856, in Farmers township, Fulton county, Illinois; Amanda J., born June 24, 1858; John E., born February 2, 1860; Stephen M., born December 13, 1863, and Eliza R., born August 2, 1867, in New Salem township. Of these, William H. and Alexander are deceased; the former died February 8, 1873, and is buried in Barker's cemetery, Fulton county, and the latter died May 29, 1871, and is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Macomb. Angeline C., the only one married, is the wife of Robert F. Parks. They have two children, Mary and Earl. Mr. and Mrs. Carlin were zealous Catholics, and reared their family in that faith. Politically, he was a staunch democrat. His charities were equalled only by those of his wife. From the peculiar location of their residence, giving for charity was almost an every day occurence, and of the many who asked, none ever left their door hungry. They left this earth without an enemy, their rule of action having always been, "do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you."
John F. Miner is a native of Indiana, and was born in Jefferson county, September 22, 1820. His home was with his parents until he was 17 years old, when he lived for three years with his brother William. He was married, December 23, 1841, to Susannah Ward, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Butler county, August 7, 1819. By that marriage where were 11 children, all of whom are living--Eliza J., born May 13, 1843, and married to Wilford Boyer, now living in this county; George G., born February 6, 1845, and married to Susan Bossart, now living in this county; Martha A., born September 19, 1846, now the wife of Hiram Ritter and living in Fulton county; John F., Jr., born January 25, 1849, and married to Elizabeth Ritter, now living in this county; Charles H., born November 28, 1850, married to Florence A. Cadwallader, and now living in this county; James E., born December 19, 1852, and married to Ancieville A. Meredith, who died August 28, 1883; Mary G., born November 19, 1854, now the wife of Smith Barker, and living in this county; Susannah N., born December 16, 1856, now the wife of Charles Mullen, and residing in this county; Parkhurst W., born December 5, 1858, married to Florence L. Randolph, and living in Fulton county; Anna E., born November 27, 1860, now the wife of William R. Swango, living in this county; and William A., born April 8, 1863, now living with his parents. Mr. Miner's parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and those of Mrs. Miner came from New Jersey. Mr. Miner bought the farm he now occupies, in 1847. It is located on section 13, New Salem township. His place is well improved, and is adorned with a handsome brick residence, 37x30, two stories high, erected at a cost of $10,000; the other buildings on the premises are also in good condition. A glance at this farm shows that its owner must be a man of thrift and enterprise. Mr. and Mrs. Miner are members of the Baptist church. Politically, Mr. Miner is a democrat.
Christopher Wetsel settled on the farm where he now resides, in 1859. It is located on the southeast quarter of section 28, New Salem township, and contains 80 acres. He has continued to reside here since that time, with the exception of three years spent in the army. Mr. Wetsel owns also 40 acres on section 27, this township. His land is in a high state of cultivation, and his improvements of a good description, including a large and comfortable dwelling, built in 1883, stables, sheds, corn cribs, etc. He has upon his place a good orchard, containing various kinds of fruit trees. He has also a large amount of Osage hedge in fine condition. His time is devoted wholly to the care and cultivation of his farm. Christopher Wetsel was born in Augusta county, Virginia, April 14, 1831. He remained there with his parents, George and Sally (Nebergall) Wetsel, until he reached the age of 14, then, with them, emigrated to Fulton county, Illinois, and lived 18 months on a farm rented of W. B. Wright; then removed to another farm in the same county, owned by Hiram Harris. They remained on the latter place six years, and during that time Christopher attained his majority and went to work for himself. He began by breaking prairie with an ox team, which he followed two seasons, working during the winter at any employment that would bring him an honest dollar. On October 20, 1853, he was married to Mary E. Ellwell, and the following spring, rented a farm in Fulton county of J. McFadden, raised one crop, then rented, of John Chambers, another farm in the same township. One year later he rented and moved to the farm of John Harris, in McDonough county, where he remained until his removal to his present home, in 1859. August 7, 1862, Mr. Wetsel enlisted in company F., of the 84th Illinois infantry, and served 2 years and 10 months. He was mustered out and discharged at Camp Harker, Nashville, Tennessee. He participated in all of the engagements of his regiment, except those at Perryville, Kentucky and Stone river, Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Wetsel have had five children, only two of whom are now living--Martha F., born May 2, 1856, now married to George Leighty, of this township, and Hettie F., born January 10, 1867. Those deceased are--Eliza J., born October 28, 1854; Mary E., born January 8, 1861; and Nora E., born December 25, 1869. Mr. Wetsel has been a consistent member of the United Brethren church for nearly 35 years, and has been parsonage trustee and class steward since 1865. Mrs. Wetsel joined that church in 1858, and still holds a membership. Mr. and Mrs. Wetsel, at the time of coming to this county, were in very limited circumstances, but are now, owing to their own energy and industry, in posession of a competency. Mr. Wetsel belongs to a long-lived family. He is one of a family of 10 children, 7 sons and 3 daughters, all of whom are living. Both of his parents are still enjoying life. His father was born in 1808, and his mother in 1810.
John W. Swango owns and occupies a farm of 120 acres, on the northeast quarter of section 21, New Salem township. The land is in a good state of cultivation and his improvements valuable. He has a neat and comfortable residence, 24x28 feet, erected at a cost of $1,100. His stabling, sheds, etc., are ample and convenient for the accommodation of stock. He makes a business of general farming. Mr. Swango was born October 25, 1860, in New Salem township, McDonough county, Illinois. January 14, 1883, he was united in marriage with Ella Hodgen, also a native of New Salem township, born January 14, 1863. They have one child--Clyde Ray, born January 7, 1884.
Eli Ellwell, deceased, was a native of Ohio, born February 13, 1827. He emigrated to Illinois in 1845, and March 1, 1849, was married to Mary A. McKee. She was born June 29, 1828, in Sangamon county, Illinois. They had seven children, four of whom are living, namely--Jonathan D. born May 16, 1850, and now married to Adelia Silvernail, and lives on the farm with his mother; James M., born February 1, 1852, now married to Virge Williams, and living in this county; Julia E., born February 10, 1854, now the wife of John Dickey, and living in Kansas; Malissa G., born December 11, 1861, now the wife of Willis Wetsel, and living in Beardstown, Illinois. The three deceased were--Mary E., born June 16, 1856, died August 7, 1856; Frances E., born September 7, 1859, died January 15, 1861; and Thomas, born July 23, 1857, died October 10, 1878. Mrs. Ellwell's father is James McKee, who was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, in 1803, and is now living in Missouri. Her mother was Elizabeth (Plastens) McKee and was born in Ohio in 1805, and is still living. The subject of this sketch enlisted in the army of the United States August 7, 1862, in company F, 84th Illinois volunteer infantry, and was killed on the 30th day of December, 1862. He was buried in the Foster burying ground, of Eldorado township. The farm, located on section 35, consists of 80 acres of well improved land and is now owned by Mrs. Ellwell.
David Nebergall, a prominent farmer of New Salem township, is a native of Augusta county, Virginia, born September 12, 1805. His father was a farmer, and David was reared to that occupation, obtaining his education in the common schools. He lived with his parents until 23 years old, then, April 19, 1827, was married to Mary A. Switzer, daughter of John and Catherine (Fateley) Switzer. She was born March 4, 1804, and died April 1, 1879. Mr. Nebergall emigrated to Illinois, about the year 1846, coming with teams, and for five years lived upon a farm rented of Rev. George Rutledge. In March, 1851, he purchased and moved to the farm on which he now lives, comprising the southeast quarter of section 12, New Salem township. It is now a highly desirable place, well improved and in a good state of cultivation. He owns, also, 42 acres of timber land in Fulton county, 30 acres on section 27, Harris township, and 12 acres in Farmers' township, also in that county. Mr. Nebergall is a member of the United Brethren church, at Pilot Grove, of which he has acted as steward for a number of years. His wife was also a member of that church and a consistent christian woman. He is in politics, a republican. Mr. and Mrs. Nebergall, had 13 children born to them, nine of whom are still living--Philip, born January 9, 1828, was married May 10, 1849, to Mary A. Hall, and living in Fulton county; Amy E., born March 20, 1830, married to Jacob Switzer, April 12, 1849, also living in Fulton county; Margaret F., born August 6, 1831, married to Andrew Pontious, April 15, 1851, living in Iowa; Mary J., born January 2, 1834, married to John Switzer, April 6, 1853; the latter was a member of company G, of the 103d Illinois infantry, and died in 1863, while in the service at Vicksburg. His widow has since been married to Jacob Goff, and now lives in Fulton county. William H., born September 5, 1836, married March 20, 1861, to Martha M. Hartford, living in this township; Reuben J., born August 6, 1833, married April 9, 1870, to Etta Carter, living in Fulton county; Martha C., born August 13, 1841, married April 5, 1881, to Henry Schroder, of Fulton county; Sarah M., born November 6, 1843, living at home with her father; Rebecca E., born March 4, 1849, married to John Wilson, March 6, 1871, living in New Salem township. Joseph White, an adopted son of Mr. Nebergall, was born October 8, 1855, and married February 5, 1876, to Mary Rutledge, and is now living in this county. The deceased children of Mr. and Mrs. Nebergall, are--Sarah W., born February 20, 1829, and died July 13, 1830; John Switzer, born September 6, 1832, and died August 13, 1834; and Jacob, born February 26, 1835, and died June 11, 1850.
C. P. McDonald moved to his present residence on the southwest quarter of section 11, New Salem township, in March, 1857. He owns 160 acres of excellent land, in a good state of cultivation. His residence is a fine one, erected in 1882, costing $2,100. His barn and other improvements are of the best class. He has upon his farm a small lake, which was made in 1880, and first stocked with catfish and suckers; these, in 1883, were seined out, and the lake was stocked with German carp, which are now in a flourishing condition, some of them weighing three and four pounds each. Mr. McDonald was born December 16, 1830, in the state of Ohio, where he remained, living with his parents, until 19 years of age. He then went to work by the month for a man named Blodgett Smith, with whom he continued one year, receiving for his services $8 per month. He emigrated to Illinois in 1849, and worked for six months on the farm of Charles Ross, for $12 per month. In 1851 he rented, of Charles Ross and Jacob Ritter, 60 acres of land, but on account of a wet season, failed to raise a crop. The following fall he rented a farm of Daniel Harris, and lived upon the same five years. He was married, February 12, 1852, to Lucy Ann Hollar, who was born January 19, 1835. Eleven children have blest their union, seven of whom are living--Alexander, born December 18, 1852, married February 20, 1879, to Mary Overmiller, and living in Kansas; William H., born June 21, 1855, married to Lida Morris, March 10, 1883, also living in Kansas; Uriah, born October 14, 1860, married October 4, 1882, to Emma Burrows, living in New Salem township; Perry A., born April 3, 1865, living in Clay county, Nebraska; Anna M., born October 12, 1867, living with her parents; Orion P., born April 24, 1870, and Isaac N., born November 24, 1872, also living with their parents. Those deceased are Abner, born February 15, 1858, and died March 4, of the same year; Lydia Ann, born in October, 1862, and died in 1863; two other children died in infancy. Mrs. McDonald died February 28, 1875. Mr. McDonald was again married to Mrs. Martha Switzer, widow of John Switzer. By this union three children were born--James F., born October 26, 1876; John Emmet, born March 22, 1880; and Manford, born August 13, 1882. Mrs. McDonald has one child by her former marriage--Chauncey Switzer, born May 27, 1867, and now living in Fulton county. The present Mrs. McDonald is a daughter of James and Jane (Livingston) Litchfield, and was born February 20, 1845. Mr. McDonald came to this county with $5, the sum total of his worldly wealth, but is now in possession of a comfortable fortune.
James Burchett was born in Surrey, England, February 12, 1813. He remained with his parents in his native country until 1833. In that year he attained his majority, and started, on a sailing vessel, for America. He landed in New York after a nine weeks' voyage, and from there went to Upper Canada, where he lived two years. He was married there, in 1834, to Martha Mansfield, and the following year removed to Fulton county, Illinois, and for seven years lived upon a rented farm. He then purchased 53 acres of land in Farmers' township of the same county, improved and lived upon it about two years, then sold out and moved to McDonough county. He purchased, then, 40 acres of land on section 3; also the place on which he now lives, comprising the southeast quarter of section 2, New Salem township. In addition to the above he now owns another quarter adjoining it on the southeast; also 80 acres on the northeast quarter of the same section, and 40 acres on section 11. He owns in Fulton county 80 acres, partly improved and part timber, located in Farmers' township, on section 6. He has fine improvements upon the farm where he resides, including his residence, barn and other buildings. His other farms are also well improved. He has, altogether, about 7 miles of Osage hedge and 700 rods of drain tile. He is an energetic and thorough-going farmer, everything about his place indicating thrift and comfort. Mrs. Burchett died in 1842, and the following year Mr. Burchett married Lucy Woods. He had, by his first marriage, four children, all of whom are deceased. By the latter union, five children were born, four of whom are now living.
L. M. Williams came to McDonough county with his parents in 1855, since which time he has been a resident here. He was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, October 18, 1851, and resided with his parents until 25 years of age. October 25, 1876, he was united in marriage with Dora Adcock, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Hall) Adcock. After marriage, Mr. Williams rented the east half of the northwest quarter of section 9, New Salem township, and lived upon the same six years. He then purchased his father's farm, for which he paid $4,500, and which is still his residence. He has a valuable and well cultivated farm with good improvements. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have had two children born to them--Walter, born January 24, 1878, and died in infancy, and Clarence R., born October 14, 1883. Mr. Williams is a member and steward of the Methodist Episcopal church at Adair. Mrs. Williams is a member of the Christian church. He is a man of good education and politically, a supporter of the republican party.
George W. Thomas is a native of Pickaway county, Ohio, and was born May 25, 1834. He was married to Nancy E. (Mitchell) September 15, 1868. They have had six children, five of whom are living, and one is dead, as follows--Otis, born June 6, 1869, living at home with his parents; Lena L., born September 1, 1870; Howard and Truman, twins, born December 22, 1873; George W., born August 9, 1876, and Cora, born December 20, 1879. Truman died January 22, 1884. Mr. Thomas remained at home with his parents until 21 years old. He came to Illinois in 1857, and hired out to Justice Kinne, of Fulton county, to work on a farm by the month. In 1858, he went back to his native state, and brought thither his mother and her family. In June, 1861, he enlisted in the army of the United States, in company H, 28th Illinois volunteer infantry, and remained in the service four years and eight months. He was first corporal of the company for three years. He was always ready for duty, and participated in all the engagements of his regiment, and was not wounded, except at Spanish Fort, where he was hit by a piece of shell, but not seriously injured. He was at one time put in command of his company on detailed service, and made a successful raid, losing one man in a lively little skirmish, was out four days, and proved himself competent to fill the position to which he had been assigned. His father was a native of Maryland, and died in Pickaway county, Ohio, in 1858. The parents of Mrs. Thomas were John and Phoebe A. (Britt) Mitchell. The former was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, January 27, 1799, and is still living. The latter was born in Virginia, May 7, 1800, and died in this county, October 17, 1880. They emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1835, thence to Illinois, in 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Adair, and he is the class leader of that organization. Politically, he is a republican. He has held the office of collector one term, in Scotland township, and is a christian gentleman.
George Bateson, a farmer of New Salem township, was born in Perry county, Ohio, in 1849, came to this state in 1855, and here followed farming until 1864, when he enlisted in the United States army, in company A, 28th Illinois volunteer infantry. He served 18 months, and was mustered out at Brownsville, Texas. He then came back to this state and resumed farming, which business he has since continued. His father was a native of Maryland, born in 1796, and died June 20, 1878, in Fulton county. His mother was a native of Pennsylvania; was born in 1815, and died in Fulton county in 1878. Mr. Bateson has a good common school education, belongs to the republican party, and is a good citizen.
Lewis J. Bateson, a resident of New Salem township, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Perry county, January 28, 1838. He came to this state in the fall of 1855, and has always made farming a business. He was married March 29, 1866, to Lucinda Ewing, who was born June 15, 1835, and died July 8, 1881. They were the parents of two children--Carrie E., born February 2, 1869, and Croton S., born August 19, 1871. Mr. Bateson enlisted in the army of the United States for the suppression of the rebellion, March 22, 1862, in company F, 61st Illinois volunteer infantry. He was a corporal for 11 months, and then discharged on a surgeon's certificate of disability. Recovering somewhat from his ill-health, he re-enlisted in the 151st regiment, served one year, and was then, at the close of the war, mustered out at Columbus, Georgia. He then came back to Illinois, and has since followed farming. He has been connected with the M. E. church since he was 19 years old. Politically, he belongs to the republican party.
George Seaburn, one of the farmers of New Salem township, is a native of Ohio, and was born March 14, 1828. He was brought up on a farm and lived on the old homestead with his parents, assisting in the various duties and employments incident to farm life, until 22 years old. August 11, 1850, the important event of his marriage occurred to Sarah M. Kerr. She is a native of Virginia, born in Augusta county, March 17, 1833. They have had born to them seven children, four of whom are now living--Mary J., born July 3, 1851, was married to Peter Doughterty, October 3, 1872, living in this county; Florence E., born October 8, 1855, was married to Samuel Leighty, December 19, 1875, living in Adair; Lizzie K., born October 15, 1865, living at home; George A., born September 28, 1853, died December 14, 1854; John H., born May 8, 1859, died July 5, 1861; Johnston, born May 3, 1863, died May 13, 1864. His first settlement in New Salem township, bears date in 1851, and he first located on section 25. On the 28th day of March, 1853, he started across the plains for California, with an ox-team, and arrived there August 26, of that year. He remained in California until June of the following year, then started for Illinois, and was found again at home June 30, 1854, making the trip by steamer. He there bought and removed to the farm he now occupies, which is the northeast quarter of section 26. This place is well improved, well fenced and under a good state of cultivation, making a good farm and a desirable home. Mr. Seaburn enlisted in the Union army, August 7, 1862, in company F, 84th Illinois volunteer infantry, and served with that regiment until May 1, 1863, when he was run over by a mule team and crippled, in consequence of which he was taken to the field hospital. He yet suffers from the effects of the injury received at that time. On the 1st day of July, 1863, he was transferred to the veteran relief corps, and sent with a company to Louisville, Kentucky, as that place was threatened by John Morgan. They were successful in keeping him out of the city, and Mr. Seaburn was then sent to the state of New York, to assist in enforcing the draft; from there he was sent to Chicago, and thence December 3, 1863, to Rock Island, to guard prisoners. He remained at that place until June 30, 1864, when he was honorably discharged and returned home. Mrs. Seaburn came to this state in September, 1835. Her father, Amaziah Kerr, was born in Virginia, June 2, 1798, and died in this county, June 23, 1878. Her mother was likewise a native of Virginia, born February 28, 1808, and died in this state August 27, 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Seaburn are both members of the Christian church. Mr. Seaburn, politically, affiliates with the republican party, is a man of good sound judgment, and stands well among the citizens of this county.
George T. Harlan was born December 29, 1827, in Monroe county, Kentucky, and in 1834, removed with his parents, Wesley and Nancy (Greenup) Harlan, to McDonough county, Illinois. He assisted his father in improving the farm in Industry township, located on section 1. December 25, 1856, he was united in marriage with Talitha Yocum, who was born October 17, 1832, a daughter of Major Stephen and Mary (Dorris) Yocum, who settled near Pennington's Point in 1833. Mr. Harlan settled at the time of his marriage, upon a farm located on the south half of section 31, New Salem township, where he still resides. They are the parents of 11 children, seven of whom are now living, four having died in infancy--Leroy P., the eldest now living, was married March 31, 1881, to Emma Chadderdon, and has one child. They are living on the farm settled by his grandfather Harlan. The children living at home are--Emma, James F., Ambrose S., Inez, Julia and Alma.
Marcellus Herndon, a farmer of New Salem township, is a native of this county, having been born in Scotland township, November 1, 1858. He was brought up and received his education in his native township. His parents are residents of Adair, where his father is a prominent merchant. Marcellus was married October 31, 1878, to Lizzie Rexroat, daughter of Hasting and Patsy (Riggins) Rexroat. Her father was a prominent farmer of Scotland township. They are the parents of two children--Archie and Willie. Mr. Herndon has 120 acres of land, 35 of which is under cultivation. He is engaged in general farming, paying some attention to stock raising.
The following statistics relative to the schools of New Salem township, have been gleaned from the last annual report of the county superintendent, for the year ending June 30, 1884: New Salem has 10 schools, none of which are graded. There are 359 children of school age within her boundaries, over 300 of whom are enrolled in the schools, 8 1/2 being the average number of months taught during the year. There are 10 school buildings in New Salem, all of which are frame. The salaries paid teachers are very liberal, the highest monthly wages received by any male teacher being $53, while the lowest was $30 dollars per month. The largest monthly salary paid female teachers was $40, $18 being the lowest. The estimated value of school property was $6,400, with a district tax levy of $3,500. At the time of the last report there was a bonded indebtedness in the district township of $500. But one district in the township had a library, and it contained 40 volumes.
The first school house in New Salem township, was a log cabin, erected in 1837, on the northeast corner of section 30. Its first teacher was Martha Campbell, a sister of James and Nelson Campbell. She afterward became the second wife of John Milton Walker.
The school house in district No. 1 was built in 1858. The first directors were: David Nebergall, James Burchett and Jesse Carnahan. The first teacher was William Harris. The directors for 1885 are: C. P. McDonald, William Ritter and William Hefner. Elizabeth Hall is the teacher. The building in use is situated at the northeast corner of section 11. It was erected at a cost of $400.
District No. 2--A school house was moved to the present site in 1858. A new building, one with all the modern improvements, was erected in 1870, at a cost of $1,450. It is 24x36. It is located on the southeast corner of section 4. The first directors were: A. Hanson, Robert Rutledge and James Partlock. The present directors are: William E. Lance, George E. Porter and David Coyner. The first teacher was Susan Little. Mary M. Kirkpatrick is the present teacher.
District No. 3--The first school house in this district was erected in 1855. The present building was put up in 1883, at a cost of $1,200. It is located on the southeast corner of section 6. The first directors were: J. B. Wood, W. L. Ritter and Henry Sinnitt. The first teacher was Emma Bethel. Flora Mann is the present teacher.
District No. 5, Reedyville--About the year 1855, a log house was moved from Fulton county and placed on the northeast corner of section 22, now owned by Emory Lowens. In this building four terms of school was taught, by the following teachers: R. C. Porter, William Hammond, Allen Yaple and Elizabeth Miller. On the districts of the township being divided, in 1857, the school was discontinued, and the log house sold at public auction for $20.
A new school building was erected in 1884, at a cost of $2,500, located at Reedyville. The contractor was Newton Willis, of Table Grove. The first directors were: Jonas Wissler, W. G. Wilkins, Thomas Elwell. The present directors are--W. G. Wilkins, Thomas Ellwell and John Reedy. Minnie Russell was the first teacher here. James Vail now holds that position. Forty scholars attend this school.
District No. 6--The school house in this district was erected in 1868. The first directors were John Miner, Sr., Charles Ross and William Ritter. The first teacher was Silas McDugan. Thos. Randolph, Edward Miner, Jr., and Tell Wilson are the present directors. The school building is situated on the northeast corner of section 20.
District No. 7--The first board of directors in this district was composed of Joseph Lowens, William Kelly and David Harlan. The first teacher was Maria Griffin. The school house is located on the southwest corner of section 30. It was built in 1858, at a cost of $700, and was rebuilt in 1879. H. H. Harris is the teacher at present. J. C. Hammond and J. J. Carlin are directors.
District No. 8--The school house of this district is located on the northeast corner of section 33. It was erected in 1858. The first directors of this district were: John Wetsel, Hugh Chapman and Addison Griffin. A. B. Wetsel, M. G. Reedy and John Grim constitute the present board. The first teacher was Mrs. Gregory. J. Rose Mickey now holds that position.
District No. 9--The first directors in this district were: S. F. Hammer, Thos. Moore and Morillo Woods. The first teacher was Anna Gool. The school house was built in 1861, at a cost of $350. The present board of directors is composed of the following: Thomas Moore, George F. Harlan, and J. Parker. Carrie Bussart is the teacher. The average attendance at this school is 22.
District No. 10--The school house used by this district was built in 1881, at a cost of $675. The directors are: E. B. Lowens, Simon Pontious and Benton Gregory. The teacher is Rebecca Lowens.
William Pennington plowed the first land in New Salem township in the early part of 1828. This land was on the northwest quarter of section 30.
He built the first cabin on the same section, shortly after his arrival there, which was on January 1, 1828.
The first death was that of Joshua J. Pennington, son of Stewart and Jemima Pennington. He died on the 10th day of September, 1838, and is buried at the Pennington Point cemetery.
The first marriage in the township was that of Morgan Jones and Elizabeth Osborn. They were married on the 20th of February, 1834, by Squire Joseph Osborn, at the residence of the bride's parents, William and Coziah Osborn.
The first white child born in New Salem township, was a son of William and Rebecca (Osborn) Pennington. This child is Oliver Perry Pennington. He still resides in the county, living at Blandinsville. He was born July 29, 1831.
Stewart Pennington was the first commissioner elected in the township.
The first school was taught by Martha Campbell, in 1837.
The first sermon preached in the township, was delivered at the house of William Osborn, by the Rev. Harris, a Baptist minister, in the summer of 1834.
New Salem township was organized April 7, 1857. The judges of the first election were: Alvah Clark, Thomas Adcock and Salem Woods. Simon Pontious and Lyman Porter were elected justices of the peace.
The first clerk of New Salem township, was Joseph Lowens.
The officers elected April 7, 1885, are as follows: Stephen Blackstone, supervisor; J. G. Guffing, clerk; A. B. Wetsel, assessor; J. M. Elwell, collector; Edward Waters, highway commissioner; W. B. Wright and J. C. Hammond, justices of the peace; H. W. Miller and Aaron Kinnie, constables; Thomas Seaburn, school trustee.
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 901-926. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen