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FRISBEY, Orrin

When the tocsin of war sounded and men from all walks of life responded to the country’s call in order to aid in the preservation of the Union Mr. FRISBEY was among the number and is therefore now classed with the honored veterans of the Civil war. He is, moreover, one who has made steady progress in the business world and although he started out in life empty-handed he is now the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of excellent farming land in Steuben township. He was born on the canal about twenty-four miles south of Cleveland, Ohio, May 4, 1840, and is one of the three children of Russell M. and Rosalinda (JOHNSON) FRISBEY. The father was born in Middletown, Vermont, in 1812, and the mother’s birth occurred there on the 4th of June of the same year. They were married in 1831 and in 1843 came to Illinois. Mr. FRISBEY was a farmer and prospered in his undertakings, owning at the time of his death three hundred and twenty acres of rich and valuable land. He also operated a coal drift for about fifteen years and thus added materially to his income. He voted with the republican party and was unfaltering in his support of its principles. He died in 1898, while his wife passed away in 1887. She was a very devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Of their children Edwin married Rachel J. OSBORNE and lives in this township, while Louis died at the age of fourteen years.

Orrin FRISBEY, the other member of the family, was only about three years old when brought by his parents to Marshall county. His childhood days were accordingly passed in Steuben township and he attended the Central district school. In his youth he aided in the work of the home farm and in 1861, on attaining his majority, he started out in life on his own account, having but one horse. His patriotic spirit was aroused by the continued attempt of the south to overthrow the Union and on the 14th of August, 1862, he joined the boys in blue of Company E, Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry, with which he served continuously until honorably discharged in Washington, D. C., June 6, 1865. He participated in about thirty battles but was never wounded, although he was often in the thickest of the fight and displayed marked bravery on many a battle-field. Since his return from the war he has given his attention to general agricultural pursuits and he spent the years 1877-1879 farming on contract fro Mr. GRENO in Ellsworth county, Kansas. He has made steady progress in his business life, being now the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive land on sections 15, 16 and 18, Steuben township.

Mr. FRISBEY was married to Miss Mary STEPHENSON, who was born in Dunnville, Canada, March 10, 1846. In her early girlhood, however, she was brought to Illinois and was reared in Woodford county until the removal of the family to Steuben township, Marshall county, where she has since lived. After her marriage her parents moved to New Jersey, where her father died. Her father, James STEPHENSON, was born near New Castle, England, November 4, 1812, and was an engineer and a school teacher, following the latter profession for several years. He was married in 1841 in Chippewa, Canada, to Miss Maria MERRIAM, who was born in Otsego county, New York, in 1817, and was four years old when her people removed to Canada. In 1850 Mr. and Mrs. STEPHENSON came to Illinois, settling in Woodford county, and in March, 1864, removed to Marshall county. In 1866 they became residents of New Jersey, where Mr. STEPHENSON died in 1869. His widow and her younger children then returned to Steuben township, Marshall county, Illinois. In politics Mr. STEPHENSON was a stalwart republican, giving unfaltering support to the party. His wife was a member of the Methodist church. Their children were: Mrs. Clara TARBELL, who lived in Chicago and died August 28, 1905, at the age of sixty-one years; Mary, now Mrs. FRISBEY; Joe, a carpenter by trade, living in Des Moines, Iowa; Mrs. Ellen RIDDLE, who is living on a farm in La Prairie township, Marshall county; Andrew, who wedded Julia ROOT and is professor of history in De Pauw College in Green Castle, Indiana; Mrs. Caroline DUNLAP, residing in Sparland; Maria, the wife of Edwin ROOT, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Alice, who died in infancy.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. FRISBEY have been born five children: W. S., who was drowned while in bathing in Wisconsin, at which time he was in the employ of G. A. OGLE, a publisher of Chicago; James, who died when about six years old and who had a twin brother who lived but a short time; R. M., who married Jessie DUNN and is engaged in the drug business in Mattoon, Illinois; and Clara L., the wife of Vernie KETCHUM, a farmer of Whitefield township, Marshall county.

Mr. FRISBEY has been an unfaltering advocate of the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and he keeps well informed on questions and issues of the day, yet has never been an office seeker, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, in which he has met with gratifying success.

Extracted 18 May 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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