Marshall County

Lacon Township Biographies

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


Mr. MARTIN, president of the First National Bank of Lacon, was born in Wayne county, Ill., in 1824. His life demonstrates how a poor boy achieved wealth and distinction solely through his individual exertions, without the help or aid of relatives or influence. His early life was full of hardships and his education such as could be picked up in the poorest country schools. For several years he followed breaking prairie, and with the first money earned entered some land which he sold at an advance, and then entered more. His investments were carefully made and uniformly successful. He opened a good farm in Bennington township which he sold in 1857, and coming to Lacon embarked in the livery business, and went to loaning money. In 1849 be married Minerva HEDRICK, who died in 1857, leaving three children Frank, Lizzie and Clara. In 1858 he was married to Ann J. NORRIS, by whom he has five sons and daughters, Herbert, Edwin C., Ada L., Florence and Chester H. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank, and has held various-offices of trust in city and township.


Mr. PYLE is a watchmaker and jeweler in Lacon. He was born in the city of Richmond. Wayne county, Ind., in 1843, moved to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1870, and located in Lacon in 1877. He was educated in the city of his birth, and there also received rudimentary instruction in the business in which he has made himself proficient by experience and the exercise of the unusual degree of mechanical ingenuity with which he is endowed. In 1860 he married Matilda ROBINSON, a native of Greensburg, Ind. They have five children, Wm. H., Charles R., Maud, Blanch, and Olive. He is a member of the Masonic order. Served three years as quartermaster of the 40th Ind. Vol. Inf. during the war of the rebellion. He is a nephew of Samuel E. PERKINS, Judge of the Superior Court of Indiana, and Mrs. PYLE is a sister of Hon. Milton S. ROBINSON, late member of Congress from the Sixth District of Indiana.

Dr. Isaac H. REEDER, Physician and Surgeon

Dr. REEDER was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1824, and moved with his parents to Marshall county in 1834, settling in Lacon, or Columbia, as the village was then called. He was educated in Lacon, was a student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and graduated from that institution in 1852, commencing the practice of his profession in Lacon the same year, and has continued steadily in practice to the present time with the exception of three years spent in the army during the war of the rebellion, during which time he served as surgeon of the 10th 111. Vol. Inf. In 1850 married Catherine D. LUCAS, a native of Bloomington. They have one child living, Flora E., and one deceased. Dr. REEDER and his wife belong to the Presbyterian church, and he is a member of the state and local medical societies.

Rev. Father John F. POWER

Pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic), in Lacon. Mr. POWER was born in the city of New York, in 1850, and two years later his parents moved to Illinois, locating in Chicago. He studied theology in Mount St. Marys college, Emmettsburg, Md., and was ordained for the priesthood by the late Bishop FOLEY, of Chicago, April 12th, 1875. He was first stationed at Beardstown, where he remained one year, was for a short time in charge of the parish in Bloomington, and in June, 1877, was placed in charge of the parish at this place, where he has since remained. He has established a school here in connection with the church, with Sisters of Charity as teachers, where children of Catholic parents can receive a thorough preparatory education in accordance with the doctrines of their church, and by his consistent piety and zealous efforts in behalf of the temporal as well as spiritual welfare of the communicants of his church, has endeared himself to those of his own faith and won the respect and esteem of the entire community, irrespective of religions affiliations.

Richard GELL

This gentleman, member of the firm of Stire & Gell, merchants and clothiers of Lacon, is a native of England born in Huntingdonshire in 1818. Before coming to this country he received the business training of a ten years experience in the grocery business in the city of London. In 1851 he came to the United States, and located in Lacon, remaining here about seven years. He then moved on a farm in Steuben township, where he remained one year, lived in La Prairie five years, and then returned to Lacon, being connected with Fisher's flouring mill about four years. At the expiration of this connection he formed a partnership with Felix KAHN in the clothing business in Sparland which lasted seven years, when he again returned to Lacon and formed his present business partnership with Mr. STIRE. October 18, 1846, he married, in London, England, Mary A. WOOD a native of that city. They have one child living, Maria Nancy (now Mrs. MARTIN, residing in Tazewell county), and have lost one child by death. They are members of the Baptist church. A few years ago Mr. GELL visited his old home in the city of London, and has consequently three times crossed the broad Atlantic. He is an estimable citizen, a man of sturdy integrity, honest, upright and straightforward in all his dealings, and enjoys in a high degree the confidence and esteem of his fellows.


Mr. TAYLOR is a conductor on the Western Division of the C., A. & St. L. Railroad, and resides in Lacon. He was born in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1849. In 1872 he married Sarah J. FARRAYMAN, a native of Ohio, and together they located in Washington, Tazewell county, from which place they subsequently moved to Lacon. They have one child, Archie, born November 25, 1874. Mr. TAYOR has been connected with the C. A. & St. L. Railroad since he was a boy. He is a member of the Railway Conductors' Mutual Aid and Benefit Society of the United States and Canada.


Mr. PETERS is a barber and hairdresser located and carrying on business on Main street in Lacon. He was born in Prussia, in 1843, where be remained until 23 years of age, when he came to the United States and located first in Springfield, Ill., moving thence to Lacon in 1875, and commenced in business for himself the same year. In 1871 he married Malinda FRENCH, a native of Missouri, by whom he has four children, Emma, Charlie, Mary and Frederick. Mr. PETERS is a member of the I. O. O. F., and is also a member of Co. H, 7th Reg't Ill. N. G.

William GAPEN

Mr. GAPEN is a resident of Lacon engaged in the manufacture of saddles and harness. He was born in Scioto county, Ohio, in 1833, but was raised in Lacon, his parents moving here when he was but one year old. In 1857 he married Elizabeth BOYLES, a native of Adams county, Ohio. They have six children, - Charles, Mollie, Sallie, William, Emma Dell and Frank. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.; has been in business for himself since April, 1866.


A resident of Lacon, a stock dealer by occupation and proprietor of a meat market. Mr. HOFFRICHTER was born in Prussia in 1829, came to the United States in 1854, and in 1859 located in Lacon. The same year of his settlement here be married Margaret KRACH, a resident of St. Louis, born in Bavaria. They have four children, - Louisa E., Clara M., Anna T. and Bertha E. They are members of the Lutheran church, and Mr. H. belongs to the Masonic order and the I. O. O. F. He has been in business in the same location since 1859.

Carrie C. GAGE

Mrs. GAGE was born in North Wolfboro, N. H., and is a daughter of Aaron and Mary (BICKFORD) ROBERTS. The family came originally from England, and in the days of the colonies settled at Dover and became farmers. Mr. ROBERTS, senior, was born and labored on a farm when a boy, afterward removing to this place, where he died after a long and busy life. He followed merchandising here, amassing a large property, which was equitably divided among his descendants. Here his children were born and grown up, the sons assisting in the store and gaining a thorough knowledge of the business. Five sons and daughters were born to them, viz., Susan Abigail (Mrs. BLAKE), Alonzo and Porter D., living in Chicago, Mary B. G. (deceased), and Carrie C., the subject of this sketch. She married in 1854, Fred. GAGE, and moved immediately to Kenosha, Wis., where they lived two years, and went to Manitowoc where he engaged in business. Here he made the acquaintance of Phineas STEVENS, and in 1860, along with him and A. and P. D. ROBERTS, removed to Lacon, and under the firm of Stevens, Gage, Roberts & Co. embarked in merchandising, the lumber and grain trade. They did a very extensive business for a number of years, and were quite successful. Mr. GAGE retired from the firm about 1870, and purchasing a large farm west of Lacon, turned his attention to improving it. He also opened an exchange and loan office in Sparland. He had a first class aptitude for business, his investments were always safe, and he accumulated a large property. His married life was happy, and to them two children were born a son that died in infancy, and a daughter - Maria Theresa, born March 6, 1873.


Mr. GRIEVES comes from Selkirk, Scotland, where he was born in 1826, and obtained his education in the schools of the place. He was early put to work in the mills and obtained a thorough knowledge of the woolen manufacture in all its details. He set out to master the details and fit himself for something better than a mere laborer, and succeeded. Finding there was little opportunity to rise in the profession in the overcrowded manufacturing cities of the old world, he determined to emigrate, and came to the United States in 1848, finding employment in Lawrence, Mass. In 1851 he was offered the superintendency of a new mill at New Edinborough, Canada, remained till 1858, when he went to Utica in charge of a department in the celebrated Globe Mills. From there he went to West Troy and assumed charge of James Roy & Co.'s Shawl Mills. About this time the Lacon Woolen Manufacturing Co. was organized, in which Mr. GRIEVES became a stockholder, furnished the plans for the mill and purchased most of the machinery. He was its first superintendent, and continued there until about 1870, when he went to Beloit, Wis., and to Peoria in 1872, returning to Lacon in 1876, and assumed his present situation as superintendent and manager of the Lacon Woolen Manuf. Co. In 1848 he married Elizabeth HEART, and to them were given, George, Isabella, Jessie, John, Oliver and Christine. He has two children by a former marriage Elizabeth and Mary. Two daughters are married and live in Peoria, and one - Jessie, who was a very promising young lady, is buried in the Lacon cemetery.

Clarissa ILIFF

Lacon, Marshall county, Illinois.


Mr. SHAFER is a farmer living on section 13, who was born in Knox county, Ohio. His father settled in Hopewell township in 1846. living in the old homestead, three miles above Lacon until the close of his life. He was a Jacksonan Democrat, inflexibly honest and wedded to his opinion. His son Frank came to Lacon in 1846. and wedded Amelia CAIN, daughter of James CAIN, of Richland. He has a productive farm and a fine residence beautifully situated in a natural grove and surrounded with fruits, etc. They have four children, Mary E., James V., Henry B,, and Benjamin F. He is a good farmer and stock raiser, loves a good horse, and when business permits enjoys himself in hunting, etc., but don't neglect business for any pleasure.

George AUTH

Mr. AUTH is a watchmaker and a jeweler located and doing business in Lacon. He was born in the city of Fulda Hesse, Germany, in 1824, where he received a thorough classical education. He spent several years in traveling in France, Switzerland and England, and came to this country in 1852 and visited nearly all the states in the Union as a professor of languages. He is an accomplished artist in his trade, having been brought up to that art of delicate manipulation by his father, who was a finished artisan of wide celebrity in his native land. Mr. AUTH has added largely to his rich store of knowledge acquired in early life by close observation during his varied travels, his finished education greatly facilitating his efforts in that direction.

Edward WELCH

Mr. WELCH is a locomotive engineer whose residence is in Lacon. He was born in Essex county. New York, in 1843, In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, 118th N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, serving in the armies of the Potomac and the James under Gen. BUTLER. At the battle of Fair Oaks, Oct. 24th, 1864. he was captured, confined in the celebrated Libby Prison of excrable memory two weeks, and in Saulsbury, S. C., until March 2, 1865, when he was paroled and released, sent to Annapolis, Md , and thence to New York, where he lay sick several weeks and was finally mustered out at Plattsburg, N. Y., in June, 1865. December 15th, 1864, he was commissioned a lieutenant. In 1872 he married Helen LOGAN, a native of Pittsburg, Pa. They have three children, Clarence, Edward and Edith E. Mr. WELCH is a member of the Masonic order, and belongs to the brotherhood locomotive engineers.

F. C. GALE, Physician and Surgeon

Dr. GALE was born in Windham county, Vermont, in 1840 and comes from an old family that has given many eminent men to the country. His father was a farmer, and gave him a good education, after which he studied medicine, and after receiving his diploma entered the United States navy as assistant surgeon, in 1861, serving on board the U. S. steamer Potowska, engaged in the blockade of southern ports and the pursuit of rebel cruisers, also in which capacity he visited the different West India Islands, the Caribbean Sea, crossed the Atlantic and entered the Mediterranean Sea, visiting most of the consular states on the way. He was in the expedition of Com. Goldsboro
that captured Hilton Head, and the Carolina coast, also in Burnside's expedition, and in a great storm off Hatteras. Saw several vessels with all on board go down. The service was exciting and laborious, now chasing rebel armed cruisers, now capturing peaceful traders, and again having sharp encounters with rebel batteries and iron clads. Occasionally they would chase a noted rebel cruiser like the Florida, the Sumpter, the Nashville, and four times he was wounded, but never seriously. At the close of the war he was mustered out and returned home. In 1865 he married Fannie TAFT, daughter of the Hon. Geo. W. TAFT, of Vermont. She died in 1870, leaving two children - George Taft and Orpha M. His present wife was Jennie HANDWORK, whom he married at Morris, Ill., February, 1874. He came to Lacon in 1875, and has built up a large and lucrative practice.

Henry L. CRANE

Mr. CRANE was born in Crimtown, now Montclair, N, J., March 5, 1813, and moved at an early day to Ohio. He learned the trade of a brick mason, and followed it for many years. Here he joined the M. E. church, of which he was for 51 years an upright, consistent member. He was three times married, first to Elizabeth MARTIN, of New York city in 1834, to whom eight children were born as follows: Sarah, now Mr. W. W. DEAN; Josiah Wesly, Henry J., Mary and William, all dead. Charles is married and living in Lacon, and Margaretta, now Mrs. A. PICHEREAU. Mrs. CRANE died in 1851. In 1836 Mr. CRANE joined several of his neighbors, and came to Lacon, then Columbia, a not very promising town of five cabins and two frame houses. He was largely instrumental in organizing the M. E. Society, the first church formed in the place, and of the thirteen original members he was the last survivor but one. After the death of his wife he married Mrs. Eliza D. RANSLEY in New Jersey, in 1852 and by her had five children, viz.. George M., a printer: Greenberry F., Kate Celia, Henry L. and Nelly, at present living at home. Mrs. (RANSLEY) CRANE died in 1866, and in 1868 he wedded Mrs. Julia (WOLCOTT) WILSON, who survives him, born in Columbia county, New York. Mr. CRANE died Feb. 17, 1880, after a long and well spent life. For thirty years he was a local preacher of the M. E. church, and always an active, influential member. In 1848 he was elected sheriff, filling the office as principal or deputy four terms; was U. S. storekeeper nine years, and served as supervisor, collector, assessor, etc., for many years. Few men's lives were so long and so free from blemish, and he died regretted by all.

Capt. Henry FISHER

The subject of this sketch is a native of Union county. Pa., where he was born in 1833. Two years later his parents moved to Summit county, Ohio, where he was raised, and in 1856 he came to Marshall county. In February, 1862. he organized Co. C. 65th 111. Vol. Inf., of which he was commissioned first lieutenant, being promoted to the captaincy in December following. He participated in the exciting Shanandoah Valley campaign of 1852, which culminated in the siege and capture by the rebels of Harper's Ferry, and was one of that 11,500 brave men humiliated by surrender through the gross incompetence and mismanagement of superior officers. Was paroled on the field, exchanged in the spring of 1863, participated in the Eastern Kentucky campaign and defeat of the rebel Gen. Humphrey Marshall. Was with Burnside in the defense of Knoxville, where he was under siege 21 days, took part in the Atlanta campaign until the surrender of that city, and aided in administering that crushing defeat which Hood sustained at Nashville at the hands of “old Pap" Thomas. At the expiration of his term of service he returned to Lacon, went into the dry goods business in Sparland, where he continued five years, and then purchased his present homestead and settled down to bucolic pursuits. August 29, 1865, he married Mary THOMPSON, a native of this county. They have three children Georgie M., Jesse M., and Apley T., and one child, Cora E , by a former marriage. Mrs. FISHER is a member of the M. E. church.


Mr. LOCKETT is in the weaving department of the Lacon Woolen Manufacturing Co., and a thoroughly competent workman. He was born in Cheshire, England, in 1848, and came to the United States in 1855, locating in Coventry, Conn. He began weaving in 1861, in Connecticut, moved to Wilbraham, Mass., and then to Rhode Island, when after a brief stay he went back to Massachusetts, working in various places. He came to Lacon April 4, 1876. and was appointed to his present position. He married Emma STARTS in 1873, who was born in Bondsville, Mass. They have one child - William. Mr. LOCKETT is a member of the I. O. O. F. in good standing.


Mr. BLACKSTONE 's home is in Lacon, though he has been employed for a number of years in Peoria as U. S. inspector and gauger. His fine education and skill in mathematics eminently Qualify him for the position. He is a native of Portland, Maine, and the advanced ground he occupies politically is due to his early education and time. He opened the first hardware store in Lacon, in which he continued until appointed to his present position. In 1857 he married Elenora A. BULLMAN, born in Lacon, and to them have been born four children - Blanche B., August 26, 1861; Anne L., May 26, 1868; Roy Lot, July 20, 1871, and George Raymond, March 27, 1874. Also one child deceased. Mrs. BLACKSTONE is a daughter of Lot and Anne BULLMAN, among the first settlers in the county of Marshall. She is an ardent Christian, and an active worker in the cause of temperance.


Mr. BURTON is a retired farmer, born in Pomfret, Windham county, Conn., in 1810. He came to Illinois in 1855, settling in Macoupin county, where he lived until 1873, when he went to Missouri. The country there did not suit him, and after one season's trial he removed to Marshall county, where a married daughter, Mrs. WEIDERHOLD, was living. Here he has since remained. In 1833 he married Louisa CHANDLER, who became the mother of four children, viz.: Maria Burlingame, Mary E., Fanny and Aura J. He is well versed in national affairs, and likes to converse upon them.


Mr. SCRUTON is a retired farmer who, having achieved a competence, wisely settles down to enjoy it. He was born in Stafford county, New Hampshire in 1818, moved to Gloucester City, New Jersey, in 1845, and in 1854 came to Illinois, locating in La Prairie township. He married Sylvia YOUNG September 2, 1836, born in New Hampshire, and to them five children have been given William H., Anna, Asenath Augusta, May Flora and Olive Estella. Are members of the Congregational church. Mr. SCRUTON has been a hard worker, and having carefully husbanded his means, can now sit beneath his own vine and fig tree and enjoy the fruits. He has held various minor offices and been honored by his party with the nomination for treasurer of the county, a very responsible position.

Mrs. Emily K. DAVIS

Mrs. DAVIS was wife of the late Dr. DAVIS, a leading physician of Lacon and most respected citizen, who died November 9, 1873. She was born in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in 1829, and married June 17, 1856, in Fulton county, Ill. Dr. DAVIS was a brother of Dr. Charles DAVIS, of Henry, and born in Troy, New York. Few men were more entitled to respect and esteem of his neighbors. He was conscientious in the discharge of every duty, careful, respected the rights of others, lived within his means, and reared his family in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord. He was an excellent physician, and enjoyed a good practice when out short by his untimely death. To him were born four surviving children Charles Fremont, George Sheaff, Hattie Estelle, Franklin Silver, and one deceased, Mary Emma. Mrs. DAVIS’ children take after their father, and stand well wherever known. Fremont has a good position in the Elgin Watch Factory, George is a farmer, and the younger children are with their mother, now Mrs. TURBITT, she having re-married April 13, 1875.

Edward GREEN

This gentleman is a resident of Lacon and a dealer in boots, shoes, stationery and notions. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1834, and with his parents came to Marshall county in 1837. In 1864 he married Miss Sarah ELLIS, a native of Peoria county, Ill. They have five children - Julia E., Anna M., Albert E., Clara M. and Florence P. Mr. GREEN has been in business for himself since 1858, and keeps constantly on hand a large stock of boots
shoes, books, stationery and notions.

Thomas LOWE, Jr.

Marble Dealer, Lacon, Illinois.


Mr. NEWELL is a native of Kentucky and was brought up a farmer. When three years old his parents moved to Ohio, where he obtained his education, and thence to Indiana. He came to Lacon in 1869. In 1846 he married Charlotte F. HAM, born in Maryland, to whom four children have been born John E., William C., Frank 0. and Robert S. Frank is the western manager for C. H. McCormick, and two years ago was sent to Russia as his representative. Last year he visited Australia, was gone nine months and sold 1200 machines. Few young men unaided have won in such brief time positions so responsible and lucrative. Mr. NEWELL is agent for the Halliday wind mill, and does an extensive business in the sale of pumps of all kinds. He is enterprising and reliable, and commands the esteem of all.


Mr. HENTHORN was born in Fayette county, Pa., in 1810, and moved with his parents to Perry county, Ohio, in 1813, and to Marshall then Putnam county in 1835. His family were among the earliest settlers of Lacon, his brother-in-law, Gen. BABB, having been one of the prospectors of the place. His father was one of the founders of the M. E. church here, and its first leader. He was the second person interred in the Lacon cemetery. Mr. HENTHORN married Elizabeth C. MOELLER in 1835, and came to Lacon to live in 1848, following the trade of contractor and builder. Six children have been born to them Charles O., living in Chicago, George, in Peoria, Maria, (Mrs. CLAPP), Sarah and Laura, (teachers), and Lincoln living at home. Mr. HENTHORN has served as circuit and county clerk for several years, and filled various minor offices. He is an excellent penman, and each of his children inherit his skill. Iwo of his sons, Charles and George, served in the army during the rebellion.


Mr. CORCORAN was born in County Waterford, Ireland, in 1830, and emigrated to Wilbraham, Mass., in 1851, and from there to Illinois. He came to Lacon in 1855 and engaged to work for Jabez FISHER. His aptitude to learn and willingness to make himself useful specially commended him to his employer, who placed him in charge of the ferry, which position he filled for seventeen years, retiring from it to take the position of city watchman, which he has since filled. In 1860 he married Catherine CARNEY, born in Ireland. They have six children living - Willie J., Eddie, Patrick, Henry, Maggie (deceased), Thomas and Mary. Mr. CORCORAN has become thoroughly Americanized, and is a man of more than usual intelligence.


Mr. HOCHSTRASSER is a brewer by profession, born in Wurtemberg, Prussia, in 1846, and has been a resident of this country since 1865. He first located in Dunkirk, N. Y., whence he moved to La Salle, I11., in 1867. He came to Lacon in 1873, where he embarked in the brewing business under the firm name of Jacob Hochstrasser & Co. The works combine all the modern improvements and their beer is popular everywhere, finding large sale in private families as well as saloons. They have a capacity of 75 barrels per day, and supply all the towns around. In 1869 he married Caroline BOERS, a native of Prussia, and they have four children living - Augusta E., Louis W., Annie M. and Herman W. Two are dead. Mr. H. is a liberal German, honest in his transactions, and has a large circle of friends.


Mr. HUTCHINS is a successful merchant of Lacon, who has followed the mercantile business many years . His native place was Worcester county, Mass., where he was born in 1829 and lived until twenty years old, when he went south and followed steamboating on the Bed River and the Mississippi until the spring of 1851, when he came to Lacon and embarked in the mercantile business. In 1860 he went south again and was appointed by Gen. Allen agent for the quartermaster's department of the U. S. army serving under Generals Curtis, Strong and others. He saw much military service, and was occasionally called upon to shoulder a musket to repel expected raids, but in the course of three years obtained a sufficiency of military glory, and in 1863 resigned his position and returned to Lacon. In 1867 he married Nellie E. ECKLY, born in Columbus, Georgia, of an old and highly esteemed family, and to whom two surviving children have been given - Geo. W. and Lucy. In 1863 he formed a very successful partnership with D. C. WALLACE, the firm doing a large and prosperous business until Mr. W. retired, since when Mr. HUTCHINS has continued it alone. He is one of the best buyers in the country, a careful manager, and carries a very large stock. He has filled various official positions of trust and responsibility, has been an active worker in church and Sabbath schools, and sympathizes with all the great reforms of the day.


Mr. HEINRICH was born in Alsace, formerly a province of France, but conquered and annexed to Germany in 1871. He was born in 1846, and came to the United States in 1868, remaining in New York city two years, and came to Lacon in 1870. He married Ida BOERS Oct. 5th. 1873, a native of Prussia, and two children have been born to them - Bertha M. F. and Holdie S. He is a member of the German Workingmen's society, and an intelligent, useful citizen. He has been in the saloon business since 1877.


Mr. THIEDOHR was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1826 and came to this country in 1851, locating at Chicago, where he built up a nourishing business in merchant tailoring. The great fire in Chicago burned his establishment and in 1874, being offered liberal inducements, he came to Lacon. In 1856 he married Wilhelmina DANIEL, a countrywoman of his, by whom he has five children living - Leo, Theodore, Robert, Annie and Adelbert, and five deceased. As a tailor Mr. THIEDOHR has no superiors, and with the assistance of his two sons, both practical workmen, turns out a large amount of work. His large new shop is stocked with the finest cloths, etc., and he has a large number of orders constantly ahead. Mr. THIEDOHR is much attached to his family, and widely respected.


Mr. PIPER comes from a long-lived ancestry, and was born in Cumberland county, Pa., in 1816. He came to Lacon in 1852, and embarked in the lumber business the succeeding year, continuing in the business until 1873. In 1843 he married Nancy PYLE, in Pennsylvania. She died in 1851 leaving two children, Catherine and John. In 1856 he married Adda E. ESPY, born in Cumberland county, Pa., but lived in Philadelphia since she was a child. Mr. PIPER has been long and prominently connected with the educational interests of Lacon, is a man of liberal views, large hearted, and takes a decided interest in whatever promotes the general interest.

Mrs. Nancy DEVER

Mrs. DEVER lives in Lacon, and was born in the State of Delaware, in 1798. She came with her parents to Sciota county, Ohio in 1809, and from there moved to Marion county, Ohio, in 1826. She was married to Mr. DEVER Sept. 27, 1827, and located in Marshall county in 1833. Mr. D. died Jan. 3, 1845, leaving four children, one of whom has since died; James, William and Mary are still living. Her brother, Hubert BARNES, settled in this county three years before she came, and her brother Thomas B., who died in 1862, was a practicing physician and surgeon in Whitefield township. Mrs D. and family are members of the M. E. church.

Leonard C. McMURTRIE, Att’y at Law and Insurance Agent

Mr. McMURTRIE was born in the city of Peoria, Dec. 2, 1848, and when an infant moved to Princeville, coming to Lacon in 1854. His education was received at the Lacon high school. His family were decidedly above the average in ability and intelligence, and all evince a high order of musical talent. His sisters have married well, and are in good circumstances. His father died in 1878, and his mother is still living. He read law with Burns & Barnes, in this place, and was admitted to the bar in 1872. Finding an opening for a strictly office lawyer he made that a specialty and soon worked into a lucrative business, giving over the active practice of the profession to others. He has been very successful in procuring pensions, and does a large insurance business. Has served his township as supervisor and collector several terms, is Master in Chancery and notary public, and is an estimable, public spirited citizen for whom the future has much in store.


Mr. MOHLER is a prosperous citizen long identified with the interests of Lacon, who was born in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1832. When two years old his parents moved to Stark county, Ohio, where his father was long a popular hotel keeper and made money. In 1856 he married Caroline AGNE, and two years later moved to Lacon and along with Henry FISHER embarked in the grocery trade. He is shrewd and enterprising in business and prospers in whatever he undertakes. After some years they dissolved their business connection, Mr. FISHER went into the army and Mr. MOHLER built the fine brick store he now occupies and embarked in the grain trade. He is principal owner of the Lacon elevator, and does a large trade in grain, groceries and farm machinery. They have one child - Olive, and an adopted daughter, Hattie B. JOHNSON. Mr. MOHLER has been successful beyond most men, and deserves all his good fortune.

C. C. GAPEN, Postmaster

Mr. GAPEN was born in Geneva, Fayette county, Pa , July 17, 1808, and came west to Sciota county, Ohio, in 1830. He was married in 1832 to Sarah FORT, a native of Sciota county, Ohio, and to them four children were born - William T., Washington F., Mary A. and Timothy E. In 1834 Mr. GAPEN came to Crow Creek, and was employed in Owen's Mill. The county was then new and sparsely populated and the people for fifty miles around were dependent upon this mill for their flour; and while nearly all the settlers suffered from the effects of ague, the locality abounded in game and fish, and was literally a "land flowing with milk, honey and venison.” In 1834 Mr. G. moved to Stevenson county, I11., at that time the third family in the county, remaining there eight years and then returned to Lacon, where he has since resided. He carried on the blacksmithing business here for several years and early in the late war was appointed superintendent of the blacksmith shops at Jackson and Memphis, Tenn., returning in 1863. He was in Washington at the time Lincoln was assassinated, and remained in that city until the close of the war, witnessing the grand review of the victorious army of the North. Mr. G. was appointed postmaster in Lacon in 1870.


Lacon, Illinois.


Mrs. COUTLETT was born in Sciota county, Ohio, March 21 1822. She came to this county with her parents in 1830. Her father, James DEVER, was born in Virginia near Wheeling, July 20, 1791. He moved to Sciota county, Ohio, with his parents when a young man, and married Mary BARNES, March 6, 1817. She was born in Maryland, Oct. 13, 1799. They bad seven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third, the two oldest having died in infancy. Her father died Dec, 26, 1834, and her mother is still living and enjoys fair health, although in her 81st year; her mind is as clear and bright as many not half her age. Mrs. C. married John D. COUTLETT April 16, 1839, in Marshall county. They had seven children, four of whom died while her husband lived. The other three children are still living - Robert B., Claannah L. and William H. Mr. V died Oct. 15, 1878. He was born in Lancaster Pa., Dec. 25, 1812, and moved to this state about 1833. When Mr. DEVER came to Marshall county there were but few families, the ROBERTs and Col. STRAWN's and three other families residing on Bound Prairie, and two men who were working for Col. STRAWN. The fort was built around Mr. DEVERS house, which was occupied by the settlers during the Indian war. Mr. DEVER was a member of Capt. BARNES' company of volunteers. He was one of the soldiers in the war of 1812 who was surrendered by the treachery of Hull at Detroit, Mich. He was a temperate man in all matters, and although not, strictly speaking, a church member, he started the first Sabbath school in the county, at his own house, which has been continued down to the present day. Jesse HALE was the first circuit preacher permanently located in Marshall county, and made his home at Mr. COUTLETT's father's house when he held his meetings and preached for one year in 1833. Zadoc HALL was sent from conference in the fall of that year and preached at Mr. DEVER's also until the fall of 1834, when be moved to another station. Mr. DEVER having died that year, church service was soon after held in a large house which belonged to his uncle, John DEVER. Mr. DEVER was an active, energetic, thrifty man, and accumulated a competency, which he left his three daughters surviving him. He was a very successful farmer, Mr. COUTLETT came to Lacon about 1836, and brought with him considerable means, which he loaned, and lost part of. The balance he invested in real estate which improved. Mr. DEVER was a Jackson Democrat, and Mr. COUTLETT was a Whig and Republican. Mrs. C. lives at her pleasant home surrounded by old friends and neighbors and sees without a regret the years go by and the time approach when the Master shall call her.

James THOMPSON, (deceased)

The ancestor of the numerous and favorably known family of Thompsons residing in Lacon and vicinity was James THOMPSON, born in Cumberland county, Pa., in 1813, where he obtained his education and labored on a farm until 24 years of age. This was in 1837. Emigration then was tending to north Central Illinois and tying his not very extensive wardrobe in a bundle he came west, finding employment with John STRAWN at $7 per month. It is not probable he would have accepted such wages, but his mind was made up to remain in this country and STRAWN had several ruddy cheeked daughters of marriageable age with one of whom, Mary Ann, he soon struck up an acquaintance. In the fall he returned to Pennsylvania to spend the winter and in the spring came west again, embarking at Cincinnati on board the steamer, Moselle. She had a large cargo of freight and passengers, and while laying at the wharf at Cincinnati her boilers exploded with terrific effect, carrying away the whole forward part of the boat. Mr. Thompson was sitting in the cabin and at the moment went on to the hurricane deck, which he had no sooner reached than the crash came. He escaped on a raft that lay along side of the boat and was uninjured, while some 50 or 75 persons were killed. His companion was also saved, He reached here in the spring of 1838 and again went to work for Mr. STRAWN. In December he was married and began housekeeping in the log cabin which still stands. There were born six sons and one daughter, all of whom are living but the eldest which died in infancy. He was a good farmer and very successful, and after living here fourteen years he came to Lacon and went into the lumber business. He died of consumption in 1857.


Mrs. THOMPSON was a daughter of the late Col. John STRAWN, the pioneer settler of this portion of Illinois. She was born in Ohio, Feb, 28, 1820, and along with her parents came to this country when nine years old. Laborers then were few and Mr. Strawn’s family were early taught to earn their bread by the sweat of the brow. She labored in doors with her mother, and assisted out of doors when needed, following the plow in tending corn along with her future husband. It is safe to say the discipline was a good one, for Mr. STRAWN's girls all made good wives and married well. One day herself and sister Rachel followed the wagon trail leading to the river, and inside of a pen near the site of the present woolen mill, beheld the festering remains of five Indians, killed in a drunken debauch. In 1838 she wedded James THOMPSON, and began housekeeping a mile north from her father's, where her children were born. After a happy married life of 19 years, her husband died, leaving six helpless children to clothe and educate. That she performed by them her whole duty, the uniform rectitude of their lives attests, and like the Roman matron of old she can proudly point to them as her jewels. She has been a life long member of the M. E. church, and a faithful and devoted Christian. In her the poor always found a friend, and the needy were not turned away empty-handed. When Mr. THOMPSON died, his large property was left to her by will, and as each son and daughter came of age they have received their just proportion.


The subject of this sketch was born in Marshall county, December 26, 1841, and was a son of James and Mary A. THOMPSON, named above. He lived on a farm until twelve years old, attending the schools of the neighbor- hood, and gaining such education as they afforded. He early showed a predilection for business, and his success, marked as it has been, is due to himself alone. In early life he exhibited much shrewdness in buying and selling, and in Feb., 1864, entered into the grocery trade, in which he built up a large traffic. He attended very closely to business, following it successfully for five years, and devoted himself to loaning money, etc. In 1864 he married Eliza H. NORRIS, who brought him three children - Charles M., Jennie E., and John I. She died January l, 1876, and in October 12, 1677, he married his present wife, Emma J. NORRIS, to whom one child has been born Ora I. Mr. THOMPSON is a member of the M. E. church, and squares his conduct with the principles therein taught. Few men enjoy to a greater degree the respect of the community, and fewer still merit it. Mr. THOMPSON has taken a deep interest in church, temperance and Sabbath school work, having served as superintendent for many years.


Mr. THOMPSON is likewise a son of the James THOMPSON mentioned above, and was born on the old homestead in Hopewell township, January 1, 1843. His life has been mainly spent in this county, where he received his education, and labored on the farm until embarking in business for himself. In 1864 he wedded Miss Nancy STRAWN, sister of the Hon. C. C. STRAWN, of Pontiac, and granddaughter of Jeremiah STRAWN, one of the early settlers of Putnam county. They have three children – Martha, Fred S., and Isabella. In 1871 he succeeded his brother in the grocery trade, and has continued it with large success until the present time. As a merchant he has few equals, being a close buyer, a good collector, and an excellent judge of human nature.


Another son of James and Mary THOMPSON was the above named, now a prosperous merchant of Lacon. He was born at the old homestead in Hopewell, August 11, 1850, and educated in Lacon. He began business for himself in 1876, sold out two years later, and in 1879 built the fine store-room he now occupies. HP has displayed a decided aptitude for business, and in the short time he has been in trade has built up a traffic second to none in the place. His stock is large, his goods are fresh, and he is always ready to attend to customers. In I860 he married Mary GILLETT, born in Cleveland Ohio, and to them one child, William H., has been born.

Stephen Douglas THOMPSON

Mr. THOMPSON was born in Lacon in 1854, and is a member of the well known family of that name. He was educated in Lacon, and along with his brother embarked in the grocery and provision trade here in 1876, following it for two years. October 2nd, 1877, he married Annie REDDEN, born in Chicago. They have one child, Mabel, born November 1, 1878.


Mr. BRAUNS is a resident of Lacon and proprietor of a hotel, restaurant and saloon. He was born in the province of Saxony, Nordhausen, Germany, in 1834, and came to this country in 1854, first locating in Peoria, and settling in Lacon in 1876. In 1864 he was married in Vicksburg, Miss., to Miss Lizzie SHRODER. a native of Bavaria. They have four children living - Fred, Caroline, Charles and Attilla. April 21, 1861, he enlisted in Co. I, 8th Ill. Vol. Inf., served three months, re-enlisted in the same regiment and served three years. At Fort Donelson, Feb. 15, 1862, he was wounded in the breast by a cannon ball. He participated in the Vicksburg campaign, being in the battles of Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Fort Gibson and other hard-fought engagements, and when mustered out July 25, 1864, had attained the rank of first lieutenant. Mr. BRAUNS served in the royal army of Prussia from 1849 to 1851, before coming to this country.

Captain Jonathan C. KINGSLEY, County Clerk

Captain Kingsley was born in Harrison county, Indiana, Dec, 7, 1839, his father being a farmer, who died when he was seven years old, leaving a numerous family of helpless children unprovided for. Times were hard, the country was poor, and it was a hard struggle to provide food and clothing, the first essentials of living, so that all else was neglected. All who could do so must labor, even at the cost of education, so young Jonathan was early hired out, working early and late for $3.00 a month. He was stout and active, and willing to work, and never lacked opportunity. While but a boy he made two trips down the Mississippi on a flatboat, thus seeing for the first time countries he was afterward to traverse with armed men, carrying fire and sword. When 17 years old he moved to Peoria county, and engaged to labor on a farm at $15 a month, remaining there 8 years. In 1868 he rented a farm, a friend going his security. The season was bad, no crops were raised, and at the end be found himself in debt. About this time, too, he borrowed a horse of a neighbor, which died on his hands; but he went manfully to work by the month and paid all claims. In 1859 he made a claim, and along with two other young men, too poor to own wives, kept bachelors hall until the war broke out, and all went into the service. Intelligence was had that a rendezvous for cavalry was formed at Peoria, and young Kingsley, saddling his horse, rode across the country and enlisted in the 1st I11. Cavalry, April 25, 1861. The regiment was ordered to Missouri, where it joined Mulligan's command, got cooped up at Lexington, and after a hard fight was compelled to surrender, and they retained home under parole. He promptly enlisted in the 86th Infantry, and was elected 1st Lieutenant. The command soon devolved upon him, and until discharged at the close of his term of service he had the company in charge, except when detailed for special service. He fought under Buel at Perryville, and Rosecrans at Chickamauga; was with brave old Pap Thomas previous to Atlanta, and with Sherman in the memorable march to the sea. He helped corduroy the Carolinas, participated in the marches and battles that humbled the rebels and brought them under the stars and stripes, and finally joined in the triumphal homeward march to Washington, where the last grand parade of the grandest army that ever carried a banner took place. In 1862 Captain KINGSLEY wedded Miss Mary Agnes BELL, and to them seven children have been given, four of whom survive, viz. Henry S., Sarah, Isabel, Minerva, Agnes and an infant. In 1873 he was elected county clerk of Marshall county, and again in 1877, filling the position to the entire satisfaction of his constituents, and making one of the best officials the county ever had. In 1879 he helped organize Co. H, of the 7th Reg. I. N. G., and was elected captain. He is self-made and self-educated, never elated by success nor cast down by adversity, but doing his duty as he understands it.

Judge John BURNS

The subject of this sketch is a judge of the circuit court of this district, and resides in Lacon. He was born in Brook county, Va., in 1819, moved to Morgan county. I11., in 1834, and in 1835 located in Marshall county. After a thorough course of study and mental training he was admitted to the bar in 1851. and was actively engaged in the practice of his profession until 1873, when he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court. In 1879 he was re-elected for an additional term of six years. In 1851 he married Percilla CANNON, a native of Peoria county, who died in 1866, leaving six children - Julius C., Julia, Lizzie, William, and Ada. In 1869 he married Mrs. C. A. STEDHAM, a native of Delaware, who by a former marriage had one daughter, Mrs. BELLOWS, of Washington, I11., wife of a well known engineer on the G. & A. R. R. In early life Judge BURNS was a successful school teacher. In 1844 he was elected recorder of deeds, and in 1846 was appointed clerk of the circuit court, and the next election was re-elected. In 1856 he was candidate for State Senator, and in 1861 was a member of the Constitutional Convention. He was mayor of Lacon for several years, and has filled various other offices of trust and profit. As Judge he is deservedly popular, and his name as a jurist stands high. He has often been called upon to preside in cases outside of his district, was favorably spoken of as judge of the Appellate court. Judge BURNS is polished in manners, creates a good impression among strangers, and is universally commended for his fairness in the trial of cases.

Willis H. FORD

Mr. FORD is at present cashier of the First National Bank of Lacon, a position he has worthily filled for several years. He is a son of Allen N. FORD, the veteran editor, and was born here in 1848. After securing a full course of training in the public schools of his native place he entered Bryant & Stratton's Business College, where he completed his education In 1875 he married Ellen WILSON, born in this town, and to them two children have been born, Norman J. and Georgie A. He has been with the First National Bank since 1874.


A retired dry goods merchant residing in Lacon. He was born in Brown county, Ohio, in 1840, and located in Lacon in 1865, carrying on the dry goods business with a partner by the name of Mills. Beside the establishment in this city, the firm also had a store in Sparland. in which place Mr. WRIGHT made his home from 1868 to 1872. In 1870 he married Charlotte THENIUS, a native of Steuben township. They have two children - Beatrice and Frederick. Mrs. WRIGHT is a member of the Baptist church. He belongs to the Masonic order and the I. O. O. F. He has served two terms as sheriff of Marshall county, being elected to that office in 1872 and re-elected in 1874.

William KIEL

Mr. KIEL is the proprietor of a livery and feed stable in Lacon. He was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1838, came to the United States in 1848, first settling in Burlington, Wis., and in 1858 located in Lacon. He first engaged in contracting and teaming, which he followed until 1861, and then embarked in his present occupation. He now has the government contract for carrying the mails between Lacon and Sparland. In 1872 he married Elizabeth LESCH, a native of Germany, born in Hesse, near Marbourg. They have five children - Theodore, Emma, Elizabeth, Annie and William. Mrs. KIEL is a member of the Lutheran church.

Allen N. FORD

Mr. FORD was born in Thompson county, New York, December 4, 1807, and was brought up on a farm, but was apprenticed to the printing business at an early day, of which he became a thorough master. In 1829 he first saw New York, working there about one year, and then went to Hartford, Ct., going in a sailboat to New Haven, and thence on foot. Here he remained eight years, working steadily at his trade of book and newspaper making. He married here in 1833 Miss Sabrina LOVELAND, born in Connecticut, and to them four children have been given - three of whom survive, viz., Henry A., one of the leading editors and educators of Michigan; Frank D., a printer; and Willis H., cashier of the First National Bank. In 1837 he came to what is now Lacon, and established the Marshall County Herald, continued to-day in the Home Journal. For thirty-two years he continued its publication, until 1866, when it passed into the hands of its present owner. After forty years of newspaper work, he retired from the business to spend his days in his pleasant home. Mr. FORD is believed to be the oldest living representative of the press in the State, and the journal he established is the oldest in Central Illinois.


Mr. BERRY was born in the city of Limerick, Ireland, August 24th, 1844, and came to the United States in 1849, first settling in Boston, Mass., where he remained one year, and then located in Lacon, where he has since remained. He is the proprietor of a saloon, and has been engaged in business for himself since 1868. In 1876 he commenced the manufacture of soda water, and now supplies large quantities of this harmless and refreshing beverage to the trade in Lacon and neighboring towns. He also manufactures all other descriptions of temperance drinks.

Thomas TERRY

Mr. TERRY was born in County Waterford, Ireland, in 1834, and came to the United States in 1849. locating in LaSalle. where he remained until 1857, when he came to Lacon and went into the leather business. In 1869 he went into the grocery business; has been once burned out, and regained all, and now has one of the largest stocks, and is one of the most successful business men in the place. Mr. TERRY is a leading member of the City Council, has held other important offices, and is held In much esteem by his neighbors. In 1860 he wedded Ellen McDONALD, who brought him three children living to-day - Mary E., Margaret G., Catherine E. and four sons. Two of his brothers are priests in the Catholic Church, one of them the well known Father TERRY, of Ottawa. Mr. TERRY has accumulated a good property, and enjoys the respect of the community.


Mr. BROADDUS was born in Hopewell township, Marshall county, in 1840, and was a son of Lundsford BROADDUS, one of the early settlers of the township. The place he occupies is one of the very oldest, and upon his grounds was built the first store and kept the first school ever taught in Marshall county. In 1863 he wedded Ruth FORBES, born in Hopewell, and together they have five children Savella A., Cora E., Lillie May, Walter J. and Nancy B. Mr. B. is a good farmer, and his services are in demand as an auctioneer. He is a good judge of stock, likes a good horse, is not afraid of hard work, and is considered a successful farmer.

Dr. Lucius G. THOMPSON

Dr. THOMPSON is a native of Connecticut, though his parents removed from there when he was but two years old to Western New York, not far from Rochester. Here he lived until 1836, and then moved to Lake county, Ohio, where he received his education and began the study of medicine, graduating from Starling College, Columbus. Immediately after he removed to this place, and has been in constant practice over thirty years. Previous to leaving for the West he married Mary A. LINNEL, in Greenville, Ohio, and they have three living children - Calista L., Nellie M. and Francis Wayland. They are members of the Baptist church, of which the Doctor has been a liberal supporter for many years. Besides his medical practice, the Doctor has been actively engaged in business, and is one of the successful men of the town. He is a safe counsellor, and is considered one of the best physicians in the county.

Dr. W. W. DEAN

Dr. DEAN came from Plymouth county, Mass., where he was born in 1835, his parents removing to Tazewell county, Illinois, the year he was born. Here he obtained his education, and studied his profession in Peoria county. An elder brother. Frederick, was a successful dentist, and probably influenced his choice. After passing the usual examination he removed to Tazewell county and worked one year, after which he removed to Lacon in the fall in 1860. He is a careful and conscientious workman, and soon picked up a large practice, which he retains. In 1866 he married Mrs. Sarah E. PALMER (formerly CRANE), to whom has been born one daughter Lucy. Mrs. DEAN was the daughter of Henry L. CRANE, and was the first white child born in Lacon.

Jesse Q. HALL

Mr. HALL was born in Hopewell township in 1833, and is a son of James HALL, still living, who came there in 1830. He was brought up a farmer, obtaining his education at the old log school house on the Broaddus place. Up to 1863 he labored on the farm, when he came to Lacon, and entered the lumber business along with Captain MAYER, in 1866. He also engaged in the livery business, following it very successfully for many years. In 1854 he married Bell SHEPHERD, born in Ohio, who died in 1864, leaving him three children - James, Eva and Cora. In 1867 he married Mary WEAKLAM, born in Essex county, New York. She was a very successful school teacher, and much admired by her friends. Four children are the fruits of this marriage - Tracy Q., Burton J., Mabel L. and Edna June.


Mr. EDWARDS was born in Roberts township, Marshall county, September 10, 1844, and was a son of Chas, T. EDWARDS, one of the first settlers of the township. He was educated at Clark's Seminary, Aurora, and graduated from the N. W. University, Evanston, in 1872. Having chosen the profession of law, he became a student with Bangs & Shaw, and after an unusual close application to study and thorough mastery of principles he was admitted to the bar September 11, 1874, and began practice in Lacon. In December, 1875, he married Almira J. JONHSON, born in this county . In 1864 he shouldered a musket and went south to aid in putting down the rebellion, enlisting in Co. I, 141st Reg. I11. Vol., and was appointed first duty sergeant. In 1874 he became a partner in the firm of Bangs, Shaw & Edwards, one of the leading law firms of the district, in which he still remains. He is industrious and painstaking, and possesses the ability and the push to take him to the top round of the forensic ladder.


Mr. SMITH is a resident of Lacon, who is connected with the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad in the capacity of conductor. He was born in DeKalb county, in this State, April 10, 1847, and moved to Lacon in 1874. In 1873 he married Mary SICKLES, a native of Tazewell county, by whom he has three children Jessie, Kittie and Nellie. Mr. Smith has been engaged in railroading about fifteen years. He is a member of the Masonic Order, and belongs to the Railroad Conductors' Mutual Aid and Benefit Society of the United States and Canada. Mrs. S. is a member of the M. E. church.

Philip LONG

Mr. LONG is a native of Franklin county, Pa., where he was born in 1829. He was carefully educated, and early became an active and influential citizen, filling various offices, and serving one term in the State Legislature. In 1867 he married Adessa J. McKINNEY, born in Cumberland county, Pa. They have three children living Joseph M., David S. and Jennie. He came to Illinois in 1867, and for several years followed teaching. Was candidate for county superintendent of schools, and filled other offices. Of late years he has followed the purchase and shipment of stock, etc.


Clerk of Circuit Court of Marshall county.


Mr. HALSEY was born in Suffolk county, on Long Island. N. Y., in 1832, and lived there until he attained his majority. The HALSEYs were seafaring men, and the family escutcheon bears the name and deeds of more than one gallant sailor in the days of clipper ships and privateers. In 1854 he came to Galena, and was junior partner in the wholesale grocery firm of B. F. Felt & Co. Disposing of his interest here, he came to Lacon in 1862, and helped form the firm of Ellsworth & Halsey, who did a large and flourishing business up to 1867, when the senior partner went into the newspaper business, and he succeeded to the business of the firm, which he has prosecuted successfully to the present time. In 1866 he married Mrs. Libbie J. SHAW (MAXWELL), of Sullivan county, Ind., to whom one child was born, Evelyn. Mrs. SHAW was widow of Captain Fred SHAW, a gallant officer of the 11th Ill., who fell at Donelson, and had two children previous to this marriage, Mary Alice and Charles Fred.


Mr. SPECK was born on the river Rhine, in Germany, in 1829, and came to the United States in 1854, locating in New York. From there he went to St. Louis, and finally found his way to Lacon in 1858. He was industrious and a hard worker, and easily found employment In 1859 he established the butchering business, which, with a brief interval, he has since followed. In it he has been very successful, amassing a large property. In 1861 he married Alvina ZILM, by whom he has five children, - Henry, Louisa, Ferdinand, and infant twins. Mr. SPECK is an excellent butcher, very accommodating and popular.


Mr. DRESSLER (barber and hair-dresser) was born in Prussia, and left the Fatherland in 1873, coming to Chicago. He remained there five years, and removed to Lacon, where he settled in 1877 and began work for Fred PETERS. His first start in business for himself was in Varna, where he started a shop, and not succeeding to suit himself, sold out and removed to Lacon, opening the popular establishment he still runs. He is a good workman, is very industrious, and is much thought of in the community.

William H. RENSHAW

Mr. RENSHAW was born in Rowan county, North Carolina, in 1828, emigrated to Indiana in 1831, and to Illinois in 1847, where he engaged in farming, at which he was very successful. In 1849 he married Susan E. MARTIN, born in Illinois, and six children were born to them, - John H., Mary P., Nancy J., Sarah F., Clara E. and William H. Mrs. RENSHAW died in 1858. His second wife, Matilda E. ARMSTRONG, he wedded in 1870, and they have one child, Alvira M. His eldest son, John, has been for several years a resident of Washington, where he has a position in the U. S. Topographical Department. One of his daughters is also there. He has been for a number of years in the grain trade with J. L. MOHLER, and is steamboat agent, etc.

Francis H. STIRE

Mr. STIRE was born in Warren county, New Jersey, in 1837, his father being a farmer in comfortable circumstances, who died when he was young. He obtained an education there, and after the usual experiences and vicissitudes of a young man, came west. Came to Marshall county in 1856, locating in Wenona, and in 1859 married Lydia DYE, born in Plainfield, N. J. They have one child, - Alathea. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. H. 104th I11., Vol, and immediately went to the front. He was engaged in some of the severest battles of the war, was in Sherman's campaign to Atlanta, and afterwards in the march through Georgia and the Carolinas, terminating with the surrender of Johnson. Returning, he shared in the triumphal review at Washington, was mustered out in Chicago in June, 1865, and returned to his family. In 1866 he embarked in the grain business in Lacon, and in 1873 in the commission business in Chicago. After that he went to New York and spent a year, and returning formed a partnership with Richard GELL and went into the clothing business, in which he has been very successful. In 1880 he built the fine store room the firm occupies one of the best in the city. Mr. STIRE and family possess fine musical and social abilities, and have many friends.

Andew McKEON (deceased)

Mr. McKEON was born in county Monaghan, Ireland, in 1836, and came to the United States at an early day, remained some time at Chicago, and finally located in Lacon, where he learned the trade of cabinet making and upholstering. He became thoroughly master of the business, and in 1854 set up for himself. He put into it all is energies, giving it his attention early and late, and from the first it was successful. In 1861 he married Sarah STACY, born in the same county with himself, and to them were born six children - Jennie L., Francis J., Andrew B., May, Thomas and Rosella. Mr. McKEON died November 15, 1878. Himself and family belonged to the Catholic church, in which he was an influential and leading member. He was greatly beloved by his friends, was conscientious in his business relations, and respected by all.

William S. WOLLARD

Mr. WOLLARD is a native of Ohio, born in Licking county, in that state, in 1846, where he received his education, locating in Lacon in 1870. He evinced his patriotism by enrolling himself in the service of his country in Co. B, 48th Ohio Vol. Infantry, in 1865, as soon as his age rendered him eligible for enlistment, and served until mustered out with his regiment at Galveston, Texas, in 1866. In 1870, soon after settling in Lacon, he was appointed Deputy Clerk of Marshall Bounty, and the fact that he still retains the position is the best evidence of his fidelity and fitness in the discharge of the responsible duties which devolve upon the encumbent of that office. Mr. WOLLARD was admitted to the bar as an attorney in December, 1879. He is a member of Capt. Kingsley's company (H) 7th Reg., I. N. G.


Mr. CHAPMAN was born in Hartford county, Conn., in 1829, and came with his parents to Lacon when 15 years old. He went into the employ of J. & C. FISHER at an early day, and when the firm changed to William Fisher & Co., remained with them. He was a great favorite of Jabez FISHER, and his promotion was rapid, He was a good penman, and soon became thoroughly master of book-keeping and had entire charge of the correspondence and finances of the concern, conducting the business to the entire satisfaction of his employers. He left their employ to organize the firm of Chapman & Patrick, afterward changed to Fisher & Chapman, which continued until 1868. Afterward he became a member of the firm of Bensley, Chapman & Shinn, in Chicago, and went into the produce and commission business. In 1871 he returned to Lacon and became connected with the house of John Hutchins, and in 1880 established the extensive dry goods house over which he presides at present. In 1862 he was elected county clerk for five years, nerved two years as treasurer, and has filled other offices of trust. He has been twice married, and has three children.

Joseph E. ONG

Mr. ONG was born in Henry, Marshall county, in 1845, and with his parents removed to Magnolia when two years old. Moved to Lacon in 1860, and in 1861 enlisted in company C 49th I11. Volunteers, and fought in the battle of Perryville in Sheridan's division when he was severely wounded in the shoulder, and after lying in the hospital some time was discharged for disability. In 1873 he married Kitty McFADDEN, born in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have two children, Armand P. and Eugene R. He read law with Judge BURNS, and was admitted to the bar in 1869; served eight years as Master in Chancery, and has a large and lucrative practice. He is an extensive dealer in real estate, and holds a large amount of western lands.

Washington E. COOK

The ancestor of the COOK family was Elijah COOK, who came over with the Pilgrims and settled in Connecticut. Among his descendents was Ebenezer, a soldier of the Revolution, who at its close removed to Oneida county, New York, in the town of Augusta, and with eleven stalwart sons and two daughters made a large farm that was for long years after known as "Cook's Corners.” One of these sons was Ebenezer, and he married Sonora COMBS, to whom in the year of grace 1808, on the 29th day of December, was born the subject of this sketch. His father too was a soldier, and served on the northern frontier in the war of 1812, for which long after death his widow drew a pension. By occupation he was a cattle drover, and likewise run a hotel long and favorably known to travelers of that day. During her husband's long journeys his wife attended to the house, and here young COOK lived until eleven years old, when his father died and he was sent to learn the hatter's trade; but it did not suit his active temperament, and after a year or so he left and took a situation in a store, following the business several years. Next he went to New York and obtained a place in a hotel. Stayed a year and went to Honsdale, Pa., where he not only found a situation but a wife in the person of pretty Eunice A. KELLOGG, whom he married May 16, 1832. He purchased a hotel here which he run four years, sold out and moved to Dunkirk, where he turned surveyor and helped lay out the Buffalo and Erie railway. In June, 1833, he went to Birmingham, Ohio, and embarked in merchandising, following it with varying success for nine years, when he sold out and with his family came to Senachwine, Illinois, where his sister (Mrs. MORGAN) and four brothers had already settled. Here he bought of Col. SNYDER 320 acres of land for $1,280, most of it under improvement. The place has since been known as the HARNEY farm. He cultivated it for three years and sold it for $4,000, reserving the crop. That fall he removed to Henry to "lay on his oars" until fall, when he was elected county clerk and moved to Lacon in 1847. He bought a house of Silas RAMSEY, opposite the court house, where he lived until it burned down in October, 1862, and he moved to the place where he ever after lived. He served three terms of four years each as supervisor, making twenty-two years of service in the county board. He was one of the best officials the county ever had. His records are clear and the writing good. Was several times a candidate for the legislature, held various offices of trust, was personally very popular, and though defeated at times, invariably ran ahead of his ticket. In 1860 he was a delegate to the Charleston convention where the great split in the Democratic party occurred that made possible the election of President Lincoln. He was also a delegate to the Philadelphia National convention of 1868. He was an active member of the Masonic order and a Knight Templar, was punctual and regular in his attendance at the lodge, and took deep interest in its workings. Previous to his death he took an active interest in the construction of a new line of railroad through Lacon. He had two sons and two daughters born to him, Geo. W. E., living at home, Nellie E. (Mrs. WARNER) living in Montana, Isabel B. (Mrs. GARRATT), and Martin K.. deceased. The latter was a very persevering young man, who at the commencement of the war enlisted in the 4th I11. Cavalry, was promoted lieutenant and served on Gen. Hurlburt's and Canby's staffs. He was three years in the service, and after his return was killed by the premature discharge of his gun while hunting. Mrs. COOK lives at home with her eldest son, and looks after the large property left her by her husband. She is kind to the poor, and beloved by all her friends.


Mr. MOATS is by education a practical book-keeper, and was born in Stark county, Ohio, in 1849. He came to Illinois to see some friends in 1872 and finding employment with J. L. MOHLER, has remained here ever since. In 1873 he married Josephine PICHEREAU, the accomplished daughter of A. PICHEREAU, of Marshall county, and to them has been born one child, Mabel. Mrs. M. is a member of the M. E. church. Mr. M. has charge of the correspondence and finances of J. L. MOHLER. He is a good merchant, and has hosts of friends in the community.

Samuel W. SKELTON, Sheriff

Mr. SKELTON is a native of Morgan county, Indiana, where he was horn in 1845. He located at Belle Plain, Marshal county in 1850, and moved to Lacon in 1878, upon the occasion of his election to the office of sheriff of Marshall county in November of that year, a position he now occupies. February 22, 1871, he married Lizzie H. STEVENSON, who was born in Washington county, Pa. They have one child, Lena Myrtle, born Scot. 11, 1874. They are members of the Christian church. Mr. SKELTON made farming the business of his life prior to accepting the responsible position he now occupies in the service of the county.


Mr. RICKEY was born in Lacon in 1849, and comes from an old and well known family that settled here many years ago. In 1871 he married Anna GUADE, of German parentage, born in Chicago. He was born a farmer, and followed the business until 1878, when he purchased the stock and stables of Mayer & Hall, and embarked in the livery business. He keeps a very good stock of horses and carriages, is extremely accommodating, and his terms are liberal.

Frederick GEUDE

Mr. GEUDE lives on section 2, of Lacon township, and was born in Prussia, April 5, 1824. He lived there until twenty-eight years old, and then emigrated to the United States and located in this county. Previous to leaving he married Dora BLUM, born in Prussia, and to them three children have been given - Herman. Anna and Amil. Are members of the Lutheran church. Mr. GEUDE owns 126 acres, entered by Jordan SAWYER, and subsequently purchased by John F. SHEPHERD. He is township trustee, and has served as such five years, keeps his place under first class cultivation, and is a model farmer.


Mr. SEWARD is a farmer residing on section 26. He was born in Fayette county, Ohio, in 1818, and located in this county in 1842. In 1840 he married Emeline OWEN, also a native of Ohio, who died March 17, 1850, leaving two children, James A. and W. Scott. In the same year he married Mary JONES, who has become the mother of five children, Eliza J., (YOUNG), Mary Belle, Ella A., Emma (HUSHAW), Alice C. and Charles G. Mr. Seward is a member of the board of school directors, hap been road commissioner, and has served his township in various other local offices. He owns some 700 acres of land.

Thomas M. SHAW

Mr. SHAW was born in Marshall county, at that time a part of Putnam, in 1833, and was a son of George H. SHAW, one of the first settlers in the county. He labored on a farm when a boy, attending school at Judson college, Mt. Palatine, and completed his education at Mt. Morris. He read law with W. D. EDWARDS, a talented member of the Lacon bar, and began practice in Putnam county in 1858. In 1862 he was offered an advantageous partnership with Mark BANGS, which he accepted, and has since made Lacon his home. In 1863 he married Nellie F. HIRSCH, of Woodford county, and began the erection of the fine residence he now occupies probably not excelled by any in the county. Mr. SHAW takes considerable pride in his profession and stands at its head, As a lawyer he is painstaking and methodical, a close reasoner and good logician, appealing to men's intellects rather than their feelings. His large success attests his industry and perseverance. His practice is large and extends to all the neighboring districts and the Supreme court. In politics he is Democratic, and in 1858 was the nominee of the party for Congress. He has several times been elected mayor, and possesses in a marked degree the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.

Benjamin BABB

Mr. BABB was born in Perry county, Ohio, Sept. 22, 1812. He came to this county with his father when 19 years old, settling three miles south of Lacon, where he lived until his death. The family consisted of his father, mother and five sisters, and they were four weeks and four days on the road. They stopped at Col. STRAWN's until a location was found to suit and a cabin built, into which they moved and spent the first winter. The bottoms were full of Indians and through the winter they annoyed the family greatly. Mr. BABB was obliged to return to Ohio and they were exposed without protection to insults and the constant fear of death through all the long winter. Mr. BABB died in the spring of 1835, and he was buried on the point of the bluff north of his house. His son, Benjamin, married Nancy JONES, daughter of Levi JONES, of Pennsylvania, on the 4th of June, 1857. They were blessed with five children, two only of whom survive, Eliza and Estella. He died July 22, 1867, leaving his family and the care of a large farm to his wife. Mrs. B. proved a good manager, adding to the property year by year, and giving her daughter a good education. On the 15th of Feb., 1873, she married again and became Mrs. Sylvester MYERS. Her home is one of the pleasantest in the county, and here, surrounded by children and friends, she dispenses a generous hospitality to all.

Absalom JONES

Mr. JONES was born in Clark county, Ohio, in 1835, moved to Madison county, in 1844, and to the vicinity where he now lives in 1849. He was brought up on a farm, and in 1854 wedded Mary HEDLOCK, daughter of Samuel HEDLOCK who along with Timothy OWEN built the first mill on Crow Creek. Mr. JONES has three children - Albert, George and Samuel, and four have died. He owns a farm of 220 acres with good improvements and well stocked. In 1878 was candidate for the legislature, and has held all the minor offices of his township.

Samuel GIBB

The subject of this sketch was born in Cumberland county. Pa., in 1813, came to this county in 1830, and three years later married a Yankee school marm, Miss Mary HALL, of Baskingridge, N. J., where she was born August 31, 1812. She was liberally educated at home, and taught school several terms, refusing several eligible offers of marriage before she came west, wishing to see the world before making a choice. Soon after reaching here she met Samuel GIBB, a sturdy young mail carrier from Knoxville to Hennepin. It was a case of love at first sight. He was straight as an arrow, and made nothing of swimming a river, if necessary, in the absence of bridges. They were married in 1833, and began housekeeping at once. She was a good manager and he was industrious, and they made money lively. They own a pleasant home of 312 acres of land, and four sons and daughters - John W., Henry H., Sarah E. and Mary Catherine.


Mr. SOWARDS was born in Woodford county in 1830, and moved into Marshall county in 1864, when he purchased a fertile farm lying on the bottoms of Grow Creek. In 1858 he married Miss Edy Hunter, born in this county. They have seven children, - Eliza J., Mary A., William H., Charles B., Alice, Estella and Emma Bell. Mr. S. is a good farmer, quiet, industrious, and knows how to make money. He minds his own business, allows others to think as they choose, and forms his own opinions. If there were more men like Owen SOWARDS the world would be better.


Mr. FENN was born in Kent, Litchfield county, Conn., Aug. 22, 1799, and labored on a farm until 1818, when, with his brother Norman, they started for Dayton, Ohio, where he read law and was admitted to practice. He remained here in the active prosecution of his profession until 1836. when he journeyed to Illinois and made extensive investments that caused his removal and permanent settlement in Lacon. Here he resumed the practice of law, and carried it on successfully until 1855, when he became absorbed in railway enterprises and gave it over to others. He was twice married, first to Eunice POMEROY, who died the year after his arrival in Lacon, and his second wife was Fannie E. DUDLEY, to whom one son survives, Dudley E., born Feb. 17, 1810. Mr. FENN died January 3, 1873. He was a leading citizen in the town for years, and his influence was always on the side of right. In church and society he bore a prominent part, and his record is unsullied by a single blot or stain.


Mr. JOHNSON was born in New Hampshire in 1813, and moved with his parents to Cincinnati when quite young, where he remained until fifteen years old, and then started out for himself, going to Montreal, Canada, where he attended school and found employment in a store. He became part owner of a sailing vessel trading to New Foundland. After two years of profitable trading, the boat got caught on a rock and was wrecked, and his profits were swamped. After this he took service with a former employer until his father's death, when he returned home and settled the estate. In the summer of 1834 he struck out west and came to Lacon, and along with Jesse C. built the first mill in Lacon, running it successfully until 1842, when he sold out and went into loaning money and speculating until 1849. In the spring of that year a company of sixty men was organized for a trip to California, of which he was chosen captain. Reached the mines without mishap, but lost his health on the way, and was for some time an invalid. Visited all the diggings and prospected more or less, but his health continuing poor, concluded to go to Calcutta, and reached the Sandwich Islands, from whence he went to Lima in South America, and re-embarked on an old condemned hulk from New York bound for Panama. The voyage was long and tedious, but they finally reached there, and on steamer going north, he crossed the Isthmus to Navy Bay, and visited the West Indies, returning and taking a steamer up the coast, reached San Francisco again after a six months absence. Be next went to trading in the mountains, running two four-horse teams, and made money rapidly. Followed this two years and came home. Remained one year, went to New York and purchased a load of wagon stuff, which he sent round the horn, to San Francisco. Sold a part for $400 a thousand, and worked up the remainder. Got $50 for an axle, and $25 for stocking a plow. Paid $1,000 for a set of blacksmith's tools, and cleared it in a week. Was in California about nine years, and while there married Miss Sarah HOPKINS, a descendant of Ethan ALLEN. They have one child Hattie E., now Mrs. TAYLOR, of Streator. He owns five farms, and has considerable other property.

Charles S. EDWARDS

Superintendent of schools of Marshall county.


Mr. SHIELDS is a grocer doing business in Lacon, and is also proprietor of the City hotel. He was born in Marion county. Ind., April 4, 1833, and with his parents moved to Hamilton county, Ohio, when 12 years of age. He was educated in Cincinnati, and was married in that city, January 6, 1857, to Miss Martha E. PIERSON, a native of that county. They have four children - Angeline J., Laura E., Walter V. and Gertrude E. In the spring of 1857 Mr. Shields moved to Lacon, and for 16 years followed his trade, that of a mason and plasterer, a very large proportion of the public and private buildings in Marshall county bearing witness to the excellence of his handicraft. In 1870 be went into the restaurant business, which he continued until 1877, when he embarked in the grocery business, in which he is still engaged. November 10th, 1879, he assumed charge of the City Hotel, and with the efficient aid of his estimable wife and daughters has made it a model house of entertainment, very popular with the traveling public. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., is a close observer, a good judge of human nature, a safe adviser, and is an industrious, energetic and successful business man.

Jesse B. BANE

The object of this sketch was born near Wheeling, Va., May 17, 1812. His father was a farmer and raised five stalwart sons who grew to man's estate and two daughters. When twenty years old Jesse, along with a man named TUCKER, journeyed to Illinois, then an inviting field to emigrants, and stopped for the night at the cabin of John STRAWN to whom they engaged to labor at making rails at 25 cents a day and board. TUCKER did not remain long, but BANE doubtless looked into the future and beheld there a fine farm with growing crops, a wife and sturdy sons and daughters growing up round his hearthstone. It was a pleasant picture, and though the wages were low and the labor severe, it was Jesse toiling for Rachel and cheerily he worked on. In good time the farm, the cabin the sleek looking stock came and Rachel came too. Mr. BANE was an expert chopper and withal a carpenter, and helped build most of the old houses of Lacon. He labored through the summer, and in the winter he taught a term of school on Crow Creek where the now honorables G. L. FORT and Geo. C. BARNES were pupils. Mrs. COUTLETT (Sarah DEVER) also attended, and for some neglect of duty was punished, something which she has probably long since forgotten. In 1840 he married Rachel STRAWN, daughter of John STRAWN, and a notable wife she proved. There were born to them in course of time four sons and two daughters, - John S., George M., Jesse B. Jr., Charles C., Stella ( Mrs. DePUE), and Rachel Augusta, (deceased). John is an eloquent minister in the Cong'1 church, George qualified himself for the law, and George and Jesse are farmers. Mr. B. proved himself a capital farmer and good manager, in which he was ably assisted by his wife, he opened a large farm and added others to it. After a while he moved to Lacon and built a fine residence which burned down and then he built a better one. Himself and wife are now "well stricken in years," but their old age is cheered with the company of their children and grandchildren, and the reflection that in the conflict of life they have performed their whole duty.


Mr. STUBBLES was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in 1848, and came with his parents to Mount Morris, I11., in 1865. His father was a well known clergyman of the M. E. church, and in his varied labors visited with his family many parts of Illinois and Missouri. He came to Henry in 1869 and established himself in business, marrying in 1877 Helena F. HULBEN, born in Henry. They have one child, George J. Mr. STUBBLES has been very successful, building up a profitable and very pleasant business. He always carried a large stock and enjoyed a good trade. In 1880 he removed to Lacon and established himself in the same line of business, in which he reports a large success. His rooms are the finest in the city and he enjoys a large custom.

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

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