David R. BLACKWELL is a progressive farmer residing on section 16,
Steuben township, and has a large and extensive acquaintance throughout
Marshall and adjoining counties. He was born July 3, 1848, and is the son of
Rev. David BLACKWELL. His father, who was a minister of the Methodist
Episcopal church, and a member of the Illinois conference of that body, died
when he was but two weeks old. After his father’s death his mother went with
her two children, the other being William R., now a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal church, to reside with her husband’s parents, at Mt.
Vernon, Illinois. They there made their home until our subject was four
years and a half old, when she removed to Marshall county, where she had
formerly resided and where she met and married Rev. David BLACKWELL, who
then had charge of the Methodist church in Lacon.
Six months after the return of the family, Mrs. BLACKWELL was united in marriage with James TANQUARY, as sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. TANQUARY, who later in life was known to every one as Uncle Jimmy TANQUARY, gave a home to the two fatherless boys, and to all intents and purposes became a father to them. William R. grew to manhood, graduated at the Wesleyan university at Bloomington, Illinois, and at the age of twenty-eight years commenced preaching the gospel as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church. At present he is residing at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, to which place he removed in order to give his children good educations. His work in the church was in the northern central part of Illinois, and he is well and favorably known throughout his section.
Both boys grew to manhood on the farm of their step-father, and our subject continued there to reside until his marriage, August 11, 1872, with Miss Rebecca HOSKINS, who was born in Steuben township, January 10, 1853, and is a daughter of John and Eliza (BONHAM) HOSKINS. Her father was a native of Pickaway county, Ohio, and there married Eliza BONHAM, and immediately started for Illinois in company with her parents, Narford and Rebecca (MASON) BONHAM. The BONHAMs settled in Whitefield township, three miles north of Sparland, which John HOSKINS settled on the bottoms, from which he removed to the prairie, where Mrs. BLACKWELL was born. He died in 1879, but her mother is still living in Nebraska. Mrs. BLACKWELL is the only representative of the family now residing in Illinois.
Soon after their marriage our subject and his wife moved to a farm which he rented near Pontiac, Livingston county, Illinois, where they resided three years and then went to Adair county, Iowa, but on account of failing health returned to Illinois, and located in Steuben township.
To Mr. and Mrs. BLACKWELL eight children have been born – William, Edson, Lillian, Lucinda, Leslie, Rowland, James and Fred, all of whom yet reside at home. William, however, at present writing, is a student in the Western Normal college at Bushnell, Illinois. He is a graduate of the Gem City Business college at Quincy, Illinois, and has had two years’ experience as a teacher. The family are members of the Bethel Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. BLACKWELL is a trustee. In politics he is a republican.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.
The farming interests, which are the chief source of revenue in Marshall county, as "well as in other districts in Illinois, find a worthy representative in David B. BLACKWELL, who owns and operates an excellent tract of land on section 16, Steuben township. He is one of the native sons of Illinois and is imbued with the spirit of enterprise and progress which have been the dominant factors in the substantial and rapid upbuilding of the state. His birth occurred in Mount Vernon on the 3d of July, 1848. His father, the Rev. David BLACKWELL, was born in Kentucky and for many years devoted his life to the work of the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church. He became a member of the Illinois conference and at one time was pastor of the Methodist church at Lacon. He died near Mount Vernon when forty years of age, his son and namesake being then but two weeks old. His wife bore the maiden name of Lucinda WATKINS and was born in Ohio. Following her husband's death she and her two children went to live with his brother's family near Mount Vernon. Her elder son is William B. BLACKWELL, now a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. BLACKWELL and her children made their home with her husband's brother's family for about four and a half years and then removed to Marshall county, where she had formerly resided. She afterward became the wife of James TANQUARY, who gave a home to the two fatherless boys and bestowed upon them a father's care and attention. The elder, William E. BLACKWELL, was graduated from Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Illinois, and at the age of twenty-eight began teaching the gospel as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, since which time he has become well known in connection with Christian work in northern Illinois.
David E. BLACKWELL was reared to manhood upon the farm of his stepfather and attended school at Bethel, completing his education, however, at Sparland. He remained with Mr. TANQUARY until twenty-one years of age, when he began farming on his own account, spending one year near Wenona. He then rented a farm near Pontiac, Livingston county, where he resided for one year, after which he went to Adair county, Iowa, but on account of failing health returned to Illinois and located in Steuben township upon his father-in-law's place. He later purchased the property and resided thereon for fourteen years, when he sold out and bought the farm which is now his place of residence on section 16, Steuben township. Here he has one hundred and sixty acres of excellent farm land which yields to him large harvests in return for the care and labor he bestows upon the fields.
On the 11th of August, 1872, Mr. BLACKWELL was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca HOSKINS, who was born in Steuben township, January 10, 1853, and is a daughter of John and Eliza (BONHAM) HOSKINS. Her father was a native of Pickaway county, Ohio, and following his marriage, which was celebrated there, he started for Illinois in company with his wife's parents, Warford and Rebecca (MASON) BONHAM. The BONHAMs settled in Whitefield township, three miles north of Sparland, while Mr. HOSKINS took up his abode in the bottom land and later removed to the prairie. He died in 1879, while his widow removed to Iowa to be with her children and later to Nebraska, where her death occurred August 21, 1904, at the advanced age of ninety-one years.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. BLACKWELL have been born eight children: William, born in 1873, who attended the Western Normal College at Bushnell, Illinois, in 1896 and for two years was a student in the University of Wisconsin in the summer sessions, afterward became a student in Morningside College at Sioux City, Iowa, graduated with the degree of bachelor of philosophy in 1905. He is at this writing, in 1906, a professor in the college at Lemars, Iowa. Edson, born in 1876, is now engaged in farming in Steuben township and married Stella SUFT. Lillian, born in 1878, is the wife of Arthur KEHELENBACH, a resident farmer of Steuben township. Lucinda is the wife of Christie REYNOLDS, of Denver, Colorado. Leslie, born in 1883, died in 1900. Holland, born in 1885, James Quinn, in 1887, and Fred, in 1890, are all at home. The family are members of the Bethel Methodist Episcopal church, in which Mr. BLACKWELL has held office, while his political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party. Almost his entire life has been spent in this portion of the state and he is one who, through the natural advantages offered by Illinois and through the utilization of its business opportunities, has worked his way upward and is now a prosperous farmer with one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land to show as proof of his life of industry and thrift.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.