Marshall County

Hopewell Township Biographies

Biographical paragraphs of the residents of Hopewell Township, Marshall County, Illinois, as penned by Ellsworth Spencer in Records of the Olden Time, published in 1880.


Mr. BULLMAN was born in Morris county, New Jersey, February 21, 1806. He enjoyed the advantages of a common school education, and labored on a farm until twenty-two years old, when he married Catherine HALL, born May 30, 1808, and started west the same year, in company with his mother and younger brother Lot. They found a stopping place on the Wabash until the spring of 1832, when they came to Marshall county and selected the place where he has ever since lived and hopes to die. He was a good worker, and so was his wife, and the prairie was soon transformed into a thriving farm, with fields loaded with wheat and corn. In course of time children were born to them, five in number - Hattie, Theodore, Mortimer, Clementine and Theresa. After a long and useful life Mrs. BULLMAN, the faithful companion of his better days, died, and they laid her beneath the daises. Mr. BULLMAN still lives at the old farm, which his son Mortimer carries on, and where his children and grand children come to visit him. Of the latter there are five.


The subject of this sketch is a farmer in Hopewell township, born in Germany, March 23d, 1848. He came to Marshall county in 1862, and married Miss Rosey REABSHLER. She was born in Germany, Sept. 25th, 1846. They have five children, - William, Mary, Emma, Edward and John.

Margeland JASON

Mrs. JASON is widow of the late John JASON, and was born in Germany in 1819. She came to the United States in 1843, and the following year was married, in New York city. She lived there four years, and came with her husband to this county in 1848. He was for several years a ferryman, and lived some time at Sparland. He was born at Dane, Germany, in 1820, came to the United States in 1843, and died in 1877. He was a prudent, industrious man, and accumulated a large property, owning six hundred acres of land at his death. They had seven children, - Mary, John, Peter, Frederic, Charles and Elizabeth.


Mr. MYERS is a son of William MYERS, and was born in Edgar county, Ill., Sept. 24th, 1857. He came to Marshall county in 1873, and married Addie Cora SSTRAWN, June 3d, 1879, and in about six months after she died, leaving him a widow at 22. She was a daughter of Enoch STRAWN, and was born in Hopewell township, July 19th, 1859. Mr. MYERS is a good worker and an honest man.


Mr. HANCOCK was born in New Hampshire, Sept. 7th, 1815, and married Martha J. COLBY, March 27th, 1844. She was born July 10th, 1825. They have three children, - Lydia A., James and John, living, and two deceased.


Mr. PURSEL was born in Huntington county, N. J., in 1814, and located in this county in 1857. He married Miss Mary COLE in 1826. She was born in Somerset county, New Jersey. They have five children, - Peter, Rebecca, Selinda, George and Jane. He owns 80 acres of farm land and 20 of timber. His farm is in a good state of cultivation.

Mrs. Mary VERNAY, (widow}

Mrs. VERNAY is a resident of Hopewell township, and was born in Baltimore county, Md., Jan. 11, 1809. She married David VERNAY Oct. 18, 1832, and located in Marshall county in the spring of 1833. He was born in Hartford County, Md., June 20, 1799, and died Sept 17, 1865. They had two children, James, born Dec. 34, 1834, and William (deceased). Mr. V. was a member of the Presbyterian church. Mrs. VERNAY owns 80 acres of land in her homestead and 60 acres of timber land. She rents her farm and lives on the income of her property.

William STRAWN

Mr. STRAWN was born in Ross county, Ohio, in 1814, and came to Illinois in 1829. He married Helen M. BROADDUS in 1840, born in Caroline county, Va., in 1821. They have ten children - Lucy B., Jacob, Leland, Leroy, Caroline V., John J., Helen and William (twins), Ralph, W. E. and Alford T. Are members of the Congregational church. He was assessor one term, has been a school director several years, and road commissioner. He owns in his homestead 160 acres. Also a farm in Iroquois county, and one in Bennington township. He gave his children each a farm. He served in the Black Hawk war and was granted a section of land as bounty. He has been a noted hunter in his day and remembers the prairie when from the Illinois river to Washington, Ill., there was not a single white man. His ten sons and daughters were all born here, and he has seen them grow up to men and women and comfortably provided for.


Mr. COLESON is a farmer in Hopewell township, who was born in Sweden in 1856. He came to the United States in 1869, and located in Marshall county. He married Anna LINDGEN in 1877, born in Germany. They are members of the United Lutheran church. He rents 160 acres of land which he cultivates, and is a hard working farmer.

Joseph St.Clair BULLMAN

Mr. BULLMAN is a son of Lott BULLMAN and was born and reared in Hopewell township. He has a good farm of his own, and a pleasant home, is industrious and knows how to take care of himself. He married Susan, daughter of Henry WIER, Sept. 22, 1875, and to them has been given one child, Ullman J.


Mr. STONER was born in Richland county, Ohio, February 2, 1841, and came to Illinois in 1864, finding a home in Marshall county, where he has a splendid farm of 240 acres in cultivation and 100 acres in timber. His wife was born in Putnam county, and his five children are Wilbert L., Effie M., John R. and Edna A. Mr. Stoner is much respected in his township, where he has held the office of town collector and school director.

William F. MYERS

Mr. MYERS was born in Ohio, October 14th, 1833, and was married in 1856, his wife being a native of Ohio, and born in 1832. He first settled in this state in Edgar county, and removed from thence to Indiana and stayed two years, lived in Michigan one year, came to Marshall county and lived three years, was in Kansas three years, and returned to Marshall county. They have ten children - Edgar, Italy L., Robert, Riley, Jacob, George, Laura, Lilly, John and Rosey. He owns a fine saw mill and cultivates a large farm of 120 acres. Mr. MYERS is industrious and honest, but has been very unfortunate, having had his mill burned down and his leg broken through accident.

Frederick JASON

Mr. JASON is by occupation a farmer, and lives on section 16, where he owns and cultivates sixty acres of land. He was born in Sparland, April 1st, 1853, and married Miss Emma JONES in 1877. She was born in Missouri, July 26, 1857. They nave one child, whom they call Andrew Jackson.


Mr. JONES is by occupation a farmer, owning and cultivating 290 acres of land in Hopewell township. He was born in Chillicothe, Ill., in 1836, and has lived in Marshall county since 1844. He enlisted in Co. B, 17th Ill. Vol., was elected lieutenant, and badly wounded at Fort Donelson, from the effects of which he has since been a sufferer. Being debarred from active service, he resigned in 1862 and returned home, where he married Miss Emma M. HALL, a very accomplished lady, born in Marshall county in 1842. They have two children, Julian Charles and James Hall. Mr. JONES is a man of influence in his township, has filled important local offices, and is a gentleman of good address and more than average ability. Mrs. JONES was well educated, and in 1879 was a candidate for county superintendent of schools, for which she is well qualified.


Mr. MARTIN is a farmer by occupation, living in Hopewell township, where he cultivates fifty acres. He married Mary BERRY in 1868, and they have five children, - John, Mary, Catherine, Philip and Charles.


Mr. BULLMAN was born in Morris county, New Jersey, July 9th, 1811 , and came west in 1830. He stopped on the Wabash river one season, and came to his present location in 1832. He married Ann BABB, daughter of Joseph BABB, of Somerset, Ohio, in 1836. She was born in 1815. They have four children, - Eleanor Ann (Mrs. BLACKSTONE), Margaret Jane (Mrs. HANCOCK), Joseph St. Clair and Clarissa Frances (deceased). Mr. and Mrs. BULLMAN have led long and useful lives, and their good deeds will be remembered after they have paid the debt of nature. Besides their own children they have reared several orphans, giving them good educations and otherwise aiding them. Few persons are so widely known, and fewer still so generally respected.

William W. HANCOCK

Mr. HANCOCK was born in the city of Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 17th. 1813, and comes from an old Protestant family. When 15 years old his father died, and he was sent to his grandfather, a large farmer, to be educated, where he made himself useful, and was promoted to keep the books of the farm. He remained until 20, and then embarked for the new world, landing at Philadelphia. Letters of introduction found him friends, and upon their recommendation he went to the country and bargained with a man named WALKER to labor a year and a half for the privilege of learning the mysteries of farming, but all he learned was that WALKER got his services free and learned him nothing. Then he hired one year to a neighbor for $140, after which he joined a young man named CHAPMAN and came to Dayton, Ohio, where he made the acquaintance of Ira and Norman FENN and accompanied them to Illinois, embarking on board the steamer Paul Jones, and paying $18 for a cabin passage to Columbia (Lacon). This was in 1836. He found board with Dr. EFFNER, who lived in a log cabin north of John HOFFRICHTER’s, and after looking about some time purchased a claim east of Lacon from a man named BARNHART, where he has ever since resided. That year he married Miss Elizabeth ORR, and after more than 40 years of wedded life has never regretted his choice. She was born in Cecil county, Md., and their children are James W., William, Andrew R. and Ira Fenn. Are members of the Presbyterian church. He has filled the office of supervisor, assessor and other positions, has often been chosen to settle estates and the confidence of the public in his honesty and integrity has been shown in various ways. Mr. HANCOCK has be in successful in business and secured an ample competence for the future. His children have grown to man's estate and developed traits of character that shows they do not belie their training, and proved themselves worthy descendants of good parents. One event darkens their lives, the loss of their favorite and only daughter, but her place is filled by a grand daughter, Nellie, who remains with them.

George MYERS

Mr. MYERS is a farmer, and lives on section 33, Hopewell township. Postoffice. Lacon. Was born in Green county, Ohio, in 1847. Located in this state in 1864, and in this county in 1874. Married Miss Alice HUNT in 1869. She was born in Fulton county, Ill. They have three children, - Otto M., Lulu V. and Andrew P. He cultivates 120 acres.


Mr. HANCOCK is a son of William HANCOCK, one of the early settlers of Hopewell, and belongs to a family bearing a deservedly high record. He was born in Hopewell township, November 26, 1842, and married Margaret J. BULLMAN, daughter of Lot and Ann BULLMAN, January 25, 1863. They have three children - Bruce, Blanche and Pearl. Mr. HANCOCK is an industrious farmer, who minds his own business, and knows how to make money. He served one term as sheriff, performing his duties conscientiously and well, and is much respected in the community.


Mr. JOHNSON is a farmer of Hopewell township, who was born March 6, 1837, and came to Marshall county in 1867. He married Mrs. PEARSON in 1858, a native of Ohio, born in 1838. They have four children - Mary E., John L., Ella D. and Rossie. Mr. JOHNSON is a good farmer and cultivates 120 acres.

William W. FEAZLE

Mr. FEAZLE is a farmer by occupation, and cultivates 120 acres on section 36 of Hopewell township. He was born in Ohio, June 6, 1830 and came to Marshall county in 1845. He was married in 1842, and his wife died January 11, 1879, leaving four children - Eliza C., Melford F., George W. and Andrew J. He comes from a family well known in Marshall county, as energetic, pushing and money-making. He is a good farmer, keeps his premises in good condition, drives a good team, and likes his friends.

Christian PONTOW

Mr. PONTOW is a farmer, living on section 35 in Hopewell township. He was born in Prussia in 1815. He came to America in 1864, finding a home in Marshall county. He married Augustina DAGANDER in 1859. She was born in the same place. They have three children - Hennstein, Gustav and Albert. Are members of the Evangelical church. He rents 160 acres of land, which he has under good cultivation.


The subject of this sketch was born October 15, 1838, and was a son of William McNEEL, one of the oldest citizens of the county, an account of whose brutal murder in his own house in the fall of 1862 is given elsewhere in this book. The subject of this sketch married Miss Malinda DAVIS, born in 1850, and by her he has two children - Merty I. and William H. He is a good farmer, and cultivates 50 acres of land.


Mr. ROWLEY was born in Columbia county, New York, in 1841, and came to Bloomington, Ill., in 1865. He came to Lacon the following year, and has established with his brother one of the finest nurseries in the county. They are largely engaged in the cultivation and sale of small fruits, supplying the home market, and sending large supplies abroad. Mr. ROWLEY served throughout the war in the 89th New York, making a good record as a soldier. At its close he came west and married Margaret E. BELL, born in Zanesville, Ohio, March 9, 1846.


Mr. WINTER lives in Hopewell township, and cultivates 150 acres. He was born in Pennsylvania, February 15, 1836, and came to Illinois in 1856, finding a home in Whiteside county. He married Martha 8. McNEAL, April 10th, 1862, born in Marshall county in 1840. They have six children, - William C., John, Araminta, Nellie, Viola and Daniel E. One child, Franklin, died in 1872.


Mr. FOWLER was born in Butler county Ohio, in 1834, and located in this county in 1852. He married Miss Lucy A. McWHINNEY, February 27, 1855. She was born in the same county in Ohio. They have four children - James E., Alice, William and Frederick. They are members of the Baptist church. He is collector of his township. He was one of Illinois' gallant soldiers, with the scars of battle on his person, and will carry them to his grave. He enlisted in Co. D, 77th Ill. Vol. Inf., in 1862, and served actively until wounded at the battle of Arkansas Post, January 11, 1863. He then went to the hospital, and when convalescent was transferred to the Invalid Corps at St. Louis, where he remained until 1865, when he was mustered out at St. Louis. He is pleasant sociable, gentle, kind and hospitable, a loving husband, kind father and a good neighbor, as he was a faithful soldier of his country.

William BOYS (deceased)

Mr. BOYS was born in Monroe county, Pa., February 23d, 1805, and married Leuticia MORGAN, a native of the same county, born June 8th, 1808. They came to Marshall county in 1834, settling in Hopewell township, where Mrs. BOYS died in 1880. Six children were born to them, of whom three are still living, - Charles, Ellen, Emily (Mrs. RAMSEY); and John, Mary (Mrs. NORTON) and Morgan, deceased. Mr. BOYS died October 2d, 1869. He left a beautiful residence and a fine farm of 160 acres.


Mr. ANTRIM was born in New Jersey, July 21st, 1808, and came to Marshall county in 1853. He married Jane HINDS in 1840, born in Ohio, February llth, 1821. They have nine children, - Elizabeth A., Francis, John A., Amanda, Mary, Thomas, James H., Minard and Richard. Mr. ANTRIM lives on section 26, and has 80 acres of land under good cultivation.




Farmer, Hopewell township.


Mr. STONER is a native of Ohio, where he was born October 27, 1854. He came west in 1877, and found a home in Marshall county, Illinois, where he has under fine cultivation eighty acres of land. He married Miss N. A. OWEN, March 13, 1879, born in Ohio in 1853.


Mr. SUNDERLAND is a native of Putnam county, Illinois, and was born July 18th, 1847. His occupation is that of a liveryman, and he has a good stock of horses and carriages for hire at all times. His wife was formerly Jennie A. READ, born in Hennepin, September 24th, 1852, and they have one child, Walter, born February 23d, 1876.


I was born in North Carolina, February 11, 1800, and set out for the west by sea by the way of Savannah, Mobile, and New Orleans in 1829. I worked some months as a carpenter in Mobile, went west to Vicksburg, Miss., and from there in 1830 I came to Louisville, Ky.; from there to Vincennes, on the Wabash, in Indiana. Went north to Honey Creek, Otter Creek, Fort Harrison, Terre Haute, north near Lafayette, west or north-west 80 or 90 miles to a place called Amboy. I was pleased with the trip, and traveled back that fall by the way of New Orleans and
Charleston. My step-father and mother and the family of Jesse SAWYER were getting ready to move, and we set out with wagons and teams for Illinois. Alter a long and tiresome travel arrived in Putnam county in October, 1831. My parents settled on the north side of Round Prairie. I helped build two log houses. The country looked gloomy; no roads, no mills, not much to eat but Irish potatoes. I visited the site where Lacon now is. There was no building in it, but saw a few Indian graves and an Indian trail up and down the river. The beautiful grass was unmolested till Colonel STRAWN hauled a log through the village to designate where the streets should be, and made a sale of lots. I bought two lots. So little was doing here that I went down to Pekin, and got employment for the winter on a boat for Yazoo or Vicksburg. The previous summer was wet and cold. There was no good seed corn. Seed brought from the Ohio River sold as high an $3.00 per bushel. I brought seed from New Madrid, Mo., got sugar and corn and some dried fruit at St. Louis, bought plows at Naples, and the boat brought my freight to Peoria and put it out. I found a man in Peoria that had a large sailboat, which I chartered to bring my freight to Columbia landing. We could not obtain a loaf of bread, and matches were not in use, so we rowed the boat, for we had a head wind, all the way, and eat sugar for 36 hours. By watching the way we found the entrance to the lower basin. Mine was the first freight landed that 1 knew of where Lacon now is, in April 31, though there had been trips made to Hennepin. Hennepin had a few houses when I came. After I got back the Black Hawk war commenced, and I went out as a ranger on the frontiers, drew rashions, got a land title and drew wages, and at the close of the war I entered some land three miles east of Lacon. I married February 23, 1833. My wife was born in Davis county, Ky., 1809. Her name was Sarah Ann EDWARDS. We raised eight children - Willis Russell, Margaret Ann, Love, Sarah Cathrine, Lemuel, Mary, Amanda Emma, E. Russell. Four survive, and four have passed from here.

My occupation has been farming. Of late years I have tried to preach, because I thought I could point out to man the plan of salvation. I belong to no visible church. I believe in the church built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone. Where the Bible speaks we speak; where it is silent we are silent. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Him. The gospel teaches that God's children should speak the same things. We cannot unite only by the gospel; we cannot walk together except we are agreed. I would like to be a peace-maker. Offences will arise, but wo unto him by whom they come. I do not permit myself to be called "reverend," because it don't belong to man: reverend and holy is His name, meaning God. Of late I have traveled extensively, north, south, east and west. Lemuel RUSSELL


Mr. WIER comes from a Scotch ancestry, and his father was a British soldier in the war of the Revolution, who came to this country about 1777 and served during the war, the regiment to which he belonged being stationed at Castine, Maine. After the close of his term of service, he was granted a tract of land in the province of New Brunswick, but the cold, inhospitable climate prevented its acceptance, and he went down into Maine and bought a piece of heavy timbered land near what is now Montville, where with the help of his sons he cleared a large farm. Here the subject of this sketch was born and grew to manhood. When 19 years old the war of 1812 was raging, and wishing to enlist, he obtained the signature of his father, and writing above it permission, presented it and was accepted. He served one year. When 21 years old he walked to Wheeling, Va., and worked by the week until he earned $500, when through the rascality of a man from whom it was due, he became involved in a suit for the value of a negro who had ran away, and was obliged to pay $1000. He stayed here 20 years, and accumulated $3,000, which he brought to Illinois. He reached here in the year 1830, paid $500 for 160 acres, entered another quarter beside it, and went to work. While living in Virginia he married Catherine BYRNE, and two children were born to them, Henry and Benjamin, the latter of whom was accidentally killed after coming to Illinois. Daniel B. was born here. Mr. WIER was a hard worker and took good care of his earnings, which he invested in land. He never profited by the necessities of the poor, nor speculated on the rise and fall of grain, though his ready means gave ample opportunity. He planted large orchards, raised large numbers of cattle and hogs, putting his surplus into land. At the time of his death he owned some 1200 acres, and his estate was valued at from $69,000 to $75,000. Besides his own family he raised and educated six or seven orphan children, caring for them as he did for his own, and dealing by them with justice and liberality. No man was more generally and justly esteemed for his many virtues than "Uncle Johnny," by which term he was universally known, and the noblest and highest tribute that could be paid him is the simple inscription upon his monument. "He was a friend to the poor."

Henry WIER, a son of the above, succeeded to the home estate, which he still retains. He is an extensive farmer and manufacturer, raising an average of 4500 bushels of apples annually. In 1877 he began the manufacture of vinegar, with a capacity for turning out 3,000 barrels annually. Is also an extensive stock raiser and shipper. He was twice married, his first wife being Caroline BROADDUS, who bore him one child, Susan; and the second time to Adelia McKINNEY, by whom he had two children. Mr. WIER is perhaps the largest land-holder in the county, owning 1540 acres.


Mr. STRAWN was born in Perry county, Ohio, January 18th, 1822, and moved to what is now Marshall county in September 1829. His father was the first settler in western Marshall county, and when he came the Indians were in full possession. The subject of this sketch, although but ten years old, has a very distinct recollection of events, and being an active, ambitious lad, had opportunities of seeing and observing not accorded to many. He had many notable hunting experiences, saw much of Indian life, and at one time joined a party of young fellows in a canoe trip to Peoria, then having but very few white inhabitants. He obtained a bounty for services in the Black Hawk war. He married, April 7th, 1853, Hester Ann BUSKIRK, who brought him two daughters, one of whom is married and lives in Iowa, and the other is Hessa, reared by Mrs. McManigle. She died January 10th, 1857, and he married Juliette GORE, June 14th, 1858, to whom were born ten sons and daughters, Addy, Cora (dead), Enoch Landon, Clara Alice, George W., Milan (dead), Marian, Glenn, Levicy, Julia (Pearl), and Matilda. His wife died in January, 1880. Mr. STRAWN has 360 acres of land under cultivation, a good house and barn, and a fine display of stock, etc. His daughter Addy married Mr. MYERS, and died in a few weeks after marriage. He has served many years as justice of the peace and filled other public offices. Is a man looked up to in the community, and "well to do."

Extracted June 2011 from the Biographical Department in Records of the Olden Time

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