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BLOOD, Daniel Needham

Daniel Needham BLOOD, now deceased, was for more than forty years one of the leading and most highly respected citizens of Henry, Marshall county, Illinois. He was a native of New Hampshire, born at Hollis, July 7, 1813, and was a son of Joseph P. and Rachel (NEEDHAM) BLOOD. His father was a contractor and stone-mason by trade, and when Daniel was but five or six years of age, removed with his family to Boston, Massachusetts, and later to Rochester, New York, where he was a contractor in the construction of the locks on the Erie Canal. There our subject spent his youth and secured a fair education in the public schools of the city.

In early manhood, Mr. BLOOD removed to Victor, New York, where he engaged in farm work, and was there married January 1, 1838, with Miss Salome ROOT, a native of that village. For eight years the young couple lived at Victor, and there three children were born to them. In 1845 he made a trip to Illinois, with the view of locating should he be pleased with the country. This visit satisfied him that in this grand state the poor man, who was industriously inclined, had a rare opportunity for bettering his condition in life. He therefore determined to remove here, and so, in 1846, with his wife and three children, he moved to Farmington, Illinois, where he joined his brother, James BLOOD, in the manufacture of plows. This brother, when the news came of the discovery of gold in our newly acquired possession, California, was attacked with the gold fever, and was among the first in 1849 to go to the new Eldorado. He returned in 1851, and organized a company, which included several members of the family, again took up his westward march, and is yet living in Santa Barbara, California.

Our subject continued in the manufacture of plows but a short time, and then purchased a flouring mill in Fulton county, which he operated until 1851, when he removed to Henry, Illinois, and here engaged in the hardware business for three years. He then purchased a small farm about two miles northwest of the village, to which he added by subsequent purchase, making a farm of over two hundred acres, on which he made extensive improvements. This farm for the succeeding thirty-four years was his home, and here his children grew to manhood and womanhood, and from which they went out to pursue their various callings in life.

Mr. BLOOD was a thorough and practical farmer, confining himself to no special feature of farm work, but carrying on a diversified farming. He was quite successful in stock raising, and made some money in that line. In addition to his home farm he invested somewhat in other lands, and also engaged to a limited extent in trading and speculating. At the time of his death he was the owner of considerable land and personal property, and was considered among the well-to-do and prosperous men of Marshall county.

In 1888, he determined to leave the farm, and purchasing a residence in Henry, he removed to the village and practically lived a retired life. For two years he was a great sufferer from heart trouble, and death came to his relief July 11, 1890, at the age of seventy-seven years and four days. His wife preceded him to the “land beyond” some six weeks, so their separation was of but short duration.

To Mr. and Mrs. BLOOD six children were born, two of whom died in infancy. The living are William M., a farmer, now residing at Whitewood, South Dakota; James A., a merchant of Santa Barbara, California; Mary L., of whom mention is made further on in this sketch, and Daniel N., a farmer, living near York, Nebraska.

In his political views from the organization of the party until his death, Daniel N. BLOOD was a thorough and consistent republican, and while really averse to holding official position, yet held several offices of a local character, the duties of which he discharged with conscientious fidelity. In later life neither himself nor wife were connected with any church, though favoring the work of the church and contributing of their means to both church and Sunday school. He was a great friend to education and gave freely toward the erection of the Henry Female seminary which stood on a part of his farm, and which was erected under the auspices of Rev. H. G. PENDLETON, the first Congregational minister of Henry, and opened November 12, 1849. For some years the school was conducted by Rev. PENDLETON as a boarding school for young ladies, having an attendance of about one hundred pupils. The first building was burned February 15, 1855, after which a more pretentious four-story brick was built, together with a handsome brick residence, the latter still standing. The first corps of teachers employed were from Mount Holyoke seminary. Until after the beginning of the war the school flourished, but it then began to decline, and that struggle proved its death blow. For some years school was conducted in the building by various parties, but without success, and it was finally passed into the hands of Mr. BLOOD, who, on being convinced no good would come of it, had the main building torn down.

Mr. BLOOD was a man of strong, positive character, and a most careful business man. He was loved in his home, and had many warm friends in the community where he so long resided.

Mary L. BLOOD, the only daughter of Daniel N. and Salome (ROOT) BLOOD who grew to womanhood, was born in Fulton county, Illinois, but removed with her parents to Marshall county in early childhood. Here she grew to lovely womanhood, and in the Henry seminary received her literary education, which was, however, finished in the Hyde Park seminary of Chicago. She remained with her parents until her marriage, June 11, 1873, with Captain Thomas Q. HILDEBRANT, a native of Ohio, who for ten years was a prominent attorney of Joliet, Illinois. Captain HILDEBRANT was a great admirer of the “Little Giant,” Stephen A. Douglas, and in the presidential campaign of 1860, stumped the state for that eminent statesman, who was a candidate for the presidency. The “Little Giant” was, however, defeated, and Abraham Lincoln elected. The southern states which in the event of such an occurrence, had threatened to secede, made good their threats as far as was in their power by passing acts of secession and the appeal to arms. Like his great leader, the patriotic blood of Mr. HILDEBRANT was fired and he determined to do all in his power to put down the rebellion and wipe out the insult to the old flag. At the first call to arms, he offered his services and raised a company, which became Company F, Twentieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and at the head of his company he marched to the front. On account of ill-health he was compelled to resign after one year’s service.

On leaving the service, Captain HILDEBRANT removed to Ohio, and as his old-time health was renewed, he determined again to enter the army, and became a member of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, mainly on staff service. On one of the fields of battle, Captain HILDEBRANT lost his sword, which was a present to him by his old company. It was picked up by a rebel who sold it, and after having been used by a rebel officer, at the close of the war was taken to his home in Florida. A friend of Captain HILDEBRANT, while traveling in that state, some twenty-three years after, saw the sword on which the name of the captain was engraved, recognized it, arranged with the soldier for its purchase and returned it to its owner, then residing in Washington, D. C. It is now among the archives of the Grand Army post at Joliet, to which several of the original company belong.

Soon after their marriage, Captain and Mrs. HILDEBRANT removed to Cincinnati, where he engaged in the practice of law until 1884, when they removed to Washington, D. C., where he resumed practice, making a specialty of practice before the court of claims, and where he attained great distinction as a successful advocate. He resided in Washington until his death, April 8, 1890. His death, however, occurred at Henry, at which place he was then visiting. His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery at Henry, which was laid out on land formerly owned by her father.

Since the death of her husband, Mrs. HILDEBRANT has made her home in Henry. Until the death of her parents she lived with them, and since that time has resided in the house where they peacefully passed away. Mrs. HILDEBRANT is a woman of no ordinary ability, which has been recognized by those with whom she has been associated. She was one of the first women elected a member of the school board, and was secretary of the Henry school board for one year. A member of the Congregational church, she takes an active interest in all its work. She also belongs to various clubs, among them being the Woman’s club and the Chautauqua club, and her influence for good is felt in each.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois , 1896.

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