Marshall County

Whitefield Township Biographies

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

Chauncey W. BARNES

Mr. BARNES is a son of Jeremiah BARNES and Betsey CONDREY, of Hampden county, Mass., and was born in 1814. Their sons were John N., located in Bradford county, Pa.; Robinson in Sullivan county, Pa.; Jeremiah C. in Bradford county. Pa. Chauncey W. left Massachusetts in 1823, and came to Bradford county, Pa., living there until the fall of 1836, when he went to Florid, Ill., and in the spring moved to Evans township in this county, and from there came to Whitefield, where he has ever since resided. In 1833 he married Miss Sallie B. MARTIN, daughter of Benajeh and Abigail EASTERBROCKS, of Bradford county, Pa., formerly from Woodstock, Conn. They have had seven children, three of whom are living, - George M. resides in Kansas, Chauncey C. in Whitefield and Charles L. in Missouri. George M. enlisted in the army and served until the close of the war. Has held the office of justice of the peace. Owns a farm of 160 acres. His wife died in 1872. Mr. BARNES has been a prominent citizen in the township, and is a member of the "Old Settlers' Association." His recollection of early history is distinct, and he is good authority on the subject. Is a man of enlarged views, clear-headed, and a good citizen.

Rudolph KING (deceased)

Mr. KING was born in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1820, and came to the United States in 1852, locating first in Henry, and in Whitefield in 1855, remaining there until 1865, when he purchased the home where he afterward lived. He married Emily KENDRICK in 1855. She was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in 1827. Mr. KING died Jan. 27, 1877, leaving seven children - Sarah L., William H., Sophia R., Albert B., Francis M., Willetta and Laura A. Mr. KING devoted his time to the elegant farm which he was engaged in cultivating. Sophia R. married Charles HAWKSWORTH. They have one child, Arratta Demarch, born March 11, 1879. Mrs. KING and heirs owns 320 acres of land in a high state of cultivation with first-class improvements. This farm is one of, if not the best improved farms in Saratoga township, or in the county. Sarah L. visited Europe for her health, in company with Mr. and Mrs. MARSHALL, of this township, in 1878.

Kerley WARD

Mr. WARD was born in 1820 in Fulton county, N. Y., and is a son of Jesse WARD and Sarah JOHNSTON, They had eight children - Jesse (deceased), John O., resides in Beloit, Wis., Sarah MEACHAM, in Williamston, Mass., Mary A. (deceased), Jeremiah, in Iowa, Samuel (deceased), Thomas (deceased). The subject of this sketch came to Indiana in 1846 and located in Switzerland county, and in the autumn of 1851 came to Henry, Ill. He is a farmer and owns 240 acres of land. In 1846 he was married to Roxy J. PHILLIPS, daughter of Porter PHILLIPS and Polly BLISS, of N. Y., who died in 1865. He married a second time, Hannah PAYNE, daughter of Thomas PAYNE and Margaret FLETCHER, from England. The grand-father of Mrs. WARD resides in Whitefield at the advanced age of 95 years. Mr. WARD has six children, - Alvena E. married Horatio CLARK and lives in Bureau county; Jennette R. is a teacher in Bureau county; Emma L. is a teacher, and lives in Iowa; George W. resides in Bureau county; William K. and Mary live at home.


Mr. TANQUARY was born in Steuben township, Marshall county, Ill., in 1837. He married Miss Ellen WILLIAMS in 1859, born in Clay county, Ill. They have five children - C. M., Mary A., George S., Lawrence H. and Nellie. Mr. T. is a Member of the M. E. church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. He enlisted in company E. 86th Regiment Ill. Volunteers Aug. 18, 1862, and served during the war. He took part in all the battles in which his regiment fought and shared the glory of Sherman's march to the sea. He was wounded at Bentonville, N. C., March 19, 1865, and was discharged for disability from the effects of his wound. He has never recovered the use of his arm which is stiff at the elbow joint.


Mr. WAUGHOP was born in Portsmouth, Va., Oct. 8, 1830, and was a son of Richard WAUGHOP and Eliza WILLIS. They had five children - Jane F., Rebecca (deceased), Eliza (died in infancy), Amos and E., living in Decatur, Ill. Mr. WAUGHOP, Sr., married a second time to Mary A. BOWMAN, of Virginia, by which marriage they had eight children, four sons and four daughters. Mary E. married Xenophon WILMOT and resides in La Prairie; Dr. J. W, resides in Olympia, Washington Ty.; William H., in Davis county, Ia.; Virginia A. married S. B. WILMOT, deceased; Benjamin F., of Ford county; Prof. Geo. W., of Hedding College, Knox county, Ill.; Sarah A., deceased; Emma married Rev. E. VanPETTEN, of Peoria. Mr. W. was married April 2d, 1857,to Mary C. BonDURANT, daughter of Isaac G., a native of Virginia, and Marcy S. HAY, born in Kentucky, residents of Tennessee, and her grand father, John HAY, was a native of Boston, Mass. To them were born four children, - Clara B., Isaac W., Marcie A. and Richard L., all living at home. Came west in 1834 with her parents, settling in Tazewell county, Ill., where they passed their days. His father was a ship carpenter by trade and afterward a farmer. Left Tazewell county at the age of 23 and came to La Prairie township and lived there four years, returned to Tazewell county and remained four years, and came to Whitefield in the spring of 1865. He has a farm of 160 acres. Is a member of the Christian church, Mrs. WAUGHOP was a school teacher for many years in Tazewell and McLean counties.

Deacon M. DUNLAP

Mr. DUNLAP was born in Licking county, Ohio, in Nov. 3, 1838, and is a son of John DUNLAP, born and raised in Rockingham county, Va., and Margaret ROBINSON, born in Licking county, Ohio, who had eleven children, only four of whom survive. Sarah, married William YORK and resides in Henry; John in Iowa; Ann Eliza married Nelson HAM, and located in Kansas. Mr. DUNLAP came west with his parents in 1847, settled in Fulton county, then went to Peoria county, and in 1852 came to Marshall county. Mr. DUNLAP, Sr., died in 1864. He was a blacksmith and gunsmith. Mr. D. married Sabra E. WOOD, daughter of Thomas WOOD and Rachael FLOWERS, April 10th, 1867. They had two children - Lois M. and Oscar M., deceased. He is a farmer by occupation and his farm consists of 80 acres. He is a member of the Harmon G. Reynolds Lodge, No. 395. Also a member of the M. E. church. Mr D., Sr., was a member of the same church and an earnest and zealous worker in the community in which he lived. Deacon M. is a zealous worker in the temperance cause, likewise is a class leader in the M. E. church. Mrs. D. was a teacher for twelve years in Marshall and Stark counties.

John Henry SAXBY

Mr. SAXBY was born in county Kent, England, Feb. 12, 1819. He came to the United States in 1855 and located in this county. He is a bachelor and lives for the good of others. He is a liberal, kind hearted man, and a consistent member of the Congregational church. He owns 160 acres of land in a good state of cultivation.

Warner COMBS

Mr. COMBS was born in Hampshire county, Va., in 1825, and was a son of Jacob COMBS and Sarah EDWARDS, of Virginia, from which marriage were born nine children, six of whom are now living - Harriet married George EYESTONE and resides in Wyandotte county, Ohio. Mary Jane married Benj. W. PITEGELL and resides in Kewanee, Henry county, Ill. John resides in McDonough county, Thomas in Whitefield, and Isaac in the Indian Territory. Mr. COMBS married Elizabeth WOOD, daughter of Frances WOOD, of Wyandotte county, Ohio, by whom he had five children - Sarepta, Horace, Emma, Electa, and Sherman. Mrs. COMBS died in 1886. He entered the marriage state a second time in May, 1868, marrying Hannah JOHNSON, daughter of Henry JOHNSON and Mary DAVIDSON, of Kentucky. Of this union are two children - Charles Harrington and Edna Viola. Mr. COMBS came to Illinois in the spring of 1852 and located where he resides at the present time, on a farm of 160 acres, also owns a stock farm of 800 acres in the town of Steuben. The grand parents of Mr. COMBS on the paternal side were John, born in Frankfort, Germany, and Ellen SNELL. On the maternal side, Thomas EDWARDS and Martha CESNER.

Elnathan PLATTER

Mr. PLATTER was a son of Jacob PLATTER and Hannah COXE, of Miami county, Ohio, where the subject of this sketch was born May 31, 1828. Mr. PLATTER, Sr., was a native of Washington county, Pa. Hannah COXE, of Miami, O., and her mother were among the earliest settlers of Cincinnati. Of the union of Hannah and Jacob PLATTER were born 12 children, 8 of whom are now living. Nicholas H. resides in Wells county, Ind., David P. in Missouri, Abraham H. in Polk county, Oregon, Jeremiah F. in Wayne county, Ia. Elizabeth married John COMBS and resides in Champaign county, Ill.; Bethsheba married H. B. ALLEN and resides Sullivan county, Ill.; Sarah married Franklin KIRK and resides in Davenport, Iowa; Zeruiah married Timothy S. HUNT and resides in Marshall county. Two died in infancy and one at the age of nine years. Elnathan came to Illinois Oct. 8, 1841, and lived in Peoria county until 1852, and then removed to Whitefield township where he now resides. He was married in 1861 to Maria GAGE, daughter of Philo GAGE and Elizabeth TULL, both of New York state. They have had ten children, eight of whom are still living - Ella May, Jacob E., Rhoda Maud, Stella Grace, David (deceased), Nellie Augusta, Mary Caroline, Sarah (deceased), Ida and and Caly Daisy. Mr. PLATTER has followed the vocation of farming, and owns 130 acres in the township. Is a member of the Christian church and a leading citizen.


Mr. BIDWELL was born in Cumberland county, New Jersey, June 17, 1845, son of George BIDWELL and Phebe DAVIS. Mr. BIDWELL, senior, was a native of Middlebury, Vt., and Mrs. BIDWELL, of Cumberland county, N. J., and were married December 1, 1836. He came to this state in June, 1852, and located in Whitefield township. His vocation was that of a farmer. In early life had been teacher in the state of New Jersey. Held the offices of school trustee and commissioner of highways, and assisted in laying out many of the public roads of Whitefield. While a citizen of New Jersey was a member of the seventh day Baptists. Died June 13, 1879. His widow, the daughter of Rev. John DAVIS, is a firm believer in the doctrines of the seventh day Baptists as taught by her father. Mr. BIDWELL was a man of great intelligence and highly respected in the community in which he lived. He preserved an individuality to a remarkable degree, was a lover of antiquities, revered the relics of the past, and held sacred the mementoes of friends. Chester BIDWELL retains a relic in the shape of a fowling piece in perfect preservation, handed down from George BIDWELL, his grandfather, whose name is graven upon the mounting made for him when a young man, and who carried it in the war of the Revolution, and at the siege of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, also a set of silver spoons that were given to his father by his mother, which are more than a century old. He resides on the old homestead with his mother in her 74th year, and carries on the farm which contains 120 acres. A sister, Delia, married William TRUE, October 27, 1859, died January 1, 1861. A brother John died February 24, 1861, aged nine years.

Alered J. DEIHL

Mr. DEIHL was born in Frederick county, Md., in 1833, and is a son of Daniel DEIHL of York county Pa., and Mary A. KOHLER, a native of Adams county. They had eleven children, seven of whom survive. Ezekiel resides in Whitefield; Alice married Jas. S. BRASSFIELD, of Sparland; Marv A. married A. W. FORNEY, Woodford county; Calvin resides in Sedgewick county, Kan.; Irena married Ichabod McKINNEY, Champaign county Ill.; Martin L. lives in Ford county, Ill. Mr. D. came west in 1862, first settling in Peoria county, and then in Marshall county. Was married in 1867 to Sylvia M. HUNT, daughter of Richard HUNT and Ruth HORRAM, residents of Whitefield, formerly from New Jersey. They have four children - Mahlon A., Blanche May, Carrie R. and Ina Pearl. He enlisted in 1862 in company B. 86th III. Volunteers. Was corporal ordnance sergeant, and color sergeant Fought at Mill Creek, Tenn., Dec. 4, 1862; Chickamauga, Ga., Sept. 18, 19, 20, 1863; Mission Ridge, Tenn., Nov. 24, 1863; Buzzard Roost, Ga., Feb. 25, 1864; Kennesaw Mt., Ga., Jan. 27, 1864. Was discharged at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill., Aug. 5th, 1865, for wounds received in battle. He is a farmer and owns 241 acres of good land.


Mr. BONHAM was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, in 1831, and came to Marshall county with his parents in the spring of 1835. He is a son of Warford BONHAM, who died July 23, 1869, leaving nine children, of which the subject of this sketch is the youngest. He married Miss Luana SWIFT in 1852. She was born in Angelica, N. Y. They have five children living - Alice R., Rosco L., Millard F., Carrie M. and Emily N., and one deceased, Lillie S. He is school director, and has been assessor two times. He owns 210 acres of land in sections 35 and 36. The father of H. D. BONHAM was a man of more than ordinary note. He was born in Maryland in 1781, and lived there until his tenth year, when his father having died his mother removed to Washington county, Pa., where he labored on a farm until 18 years old, when he visited Ohio and selected a location near the then new town of Bainbridge. In 1808 he married Rebecca MASON, and opened a hotel. In 1812 he enlisted and throughout the war commanded a company serving in north-western Ohio, returning at its close to his hotel, which he run until 1824, when he removed to Pickaway county, Ohio, and went to farming, following it until his removal west in 1834. In that year, with an outfit of one four-horse and two two-horse wagons he came to Illinois, settling on the place where he ever after lived in 1834. A partial sketch of him is given elsewhere. He died in July, 1869, aged 88 years. He was the father of 12 children, the grandfather of 83, and the great-grandfather of 27.

Charles Wilson PECK

Mr. PECK was born in Canton, Fulton county, Ill., November 12, 1845, son of Wilson PECK, of Greenwich, Conn., and Phebe ALWARD, of Tioga county, Pa., of which union there are six children living, namely, Benjamin W., Alice M., Elisha R., William and Willette (twins), Benj. W and Elisha R. reside in Kansas. Alice married George VALE in Whitefield township. William is in Woodford county; and Willette married Albert J. MARTIN, and resides near Minonk, Ill. Chas. W. married Sophrona KETCHUM, daughter of Eddy KETCHUM and Harriet SMITH, pioneers of Peoria county. By this marriage have been born five children - Millicent, Harriet, Eddy, Charles and Harry. Mr. PECK enlisted in Co. I, 47th Reg. Ill. Vol., served one year and was mustered out at the close of the war. Is a farmer. His ancestral line is so distinctly defined and so worthy of emulation among the citizens of the west that it is entitled to prominence as connected with the records of the olden time. His father, Willson PECK, was son of Elias, who was son of Robert, born June 30, 1739, all of Greenwich, who was the son of Samuel, borm in 1706, the son of Jeremiah, born in 1659, both of Guilford, Conn., and son of Jeremiah, born in 1623 in the city of London, Eng., who came to this country with his father, William PECK, who was one of the founders of the New Haven Colony in 1637. Mrs. C. W. PECK has six brothers and two sisters as follows: Daniel resides in Henry county; Mrs. John COMBS in McDonough county; Eliphalet in Ford county; Ichabod C. in Champaign county; Smith in Henry county; Spencer and Sidney in Marshall county; and Martha E. married Horace J. STANCELL in Ford county.

Charles Taylor BRANDENBURG

Mr. BRANDENBURG was born in Harrison county, Ind., in 1849, and was a son of Joseph BRANDENBURG and Sarah GUARTNEY. He came to Marshall county in 1868, formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah E. ANDREWS, with whom he united in marriage in 1875, and has one child, Sarah Edna. Miss ANDREWS was daughter of Harmon ANDREWS, who was born in the city of New York in 1820, and Eliza PETERSON, of Westmoreland county, Pa. They were married in Fulton county, Ill., Nov. 22, 1843, and to them were born eight children, five of whom are now living, - Benjamin C. and Daniel H. reside in Ford county, Ill.; Mrs. Sarah E. BRANDENBURG lives on the old homestead; Jas. H. in Marshall county, and Jennie lives in Lacon. Mr. ANDREWS in early life was a ship carpenter, but located in Fulton county in 1843, and followed farming until the war with Mexico, when he enlisted and served until its close. An old flint-lock gun is preserved in this family, bearing the inscription, "Vera Cruz, March 27th, Cerro Gordo, April 18th, 1847," battles in which he was actively engaged. In 1855 he came to Marshall county and entered 160 acres of land by the warrant issued him for service in the Mexican war. In the beginning of the late rebellion he raised Co. G. 47th Ill. Inf. Vols., but afterward resigned and formed another company, of which he was captain and was attached to the 151st reg't Ill. Vols. He was taken prisoner Oct. 31, 1862, at the battle of Corinth, Miss., and paroled Oct. 15, 1862. The circumstances of his capture were as follows: A shell bursting near his company, a piece struck him so as to stun him, and on regaining his senses he found himself alone, his company having passed on in the battle. He was mustered out at the close of the war, having served with honor, and returning to private life, resumed his vocation as a farmer. He served as county treasurer two terms, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1875, owned 240 acres of land in Marshall and 600 acres in Ford county.

Robert S. ERWIN

Mr. ERWIN was born in Butler county, Pa., in 1829, and was a son of John ERWIN and Mary BATTS, of Hagerstown, Md. They had seven children, of whom six are living. Mr. K. came west in 1855, and has lived in Whitefield ever since. When the 86th Reg. Ill. Vols. was formed he enlisted, and was severely wounded at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, and confined in the hospital until the close of the war. His brother Charles also enlisted, and served some time in the artillery service. Both were honorably discharged when the war was over. Mr. John ERWIN, father of the above, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and obtained a land bounty for his services. One of Mr. ERWIN's sister's married Henry KIRK, the descendant of a British soldier of the Revolution, who deserted from his command and settled in this country.


Mr. BROWN was born in St. Lawrence county, N. Y., April 22, 1828. Son of Luther BROWN, formerly of Grotton, N. H., and Permalia PARKER, daughter of Anson PARKER, formerly of Dorset, Vt. Came to Steuben county, Ind., in 1840, with his parents and resided there until 1849 where his father died in 1843. His mother died March 25, 1864, at Fairbury, Ill. In September, 1849, came to Marshall county, and in 1856 located in Whitefield township. Married in February. 1858, to Miss Elizabeth BARNES, daughter of William G. BARNES, of Bradford county, Pa., and Clarissa WARFIELD, also of Pennsylvania. Has four children, Florence N., Jasper W., Carrie E. and Edmund L. Served in the army during the late rebellion one year, from Sept, 30, 1864, to October 25, 1865, in the 32d Reg. Ill. Vols. Has held the several offices of constable, supervisor, school treasurer and justice of the peace. Has three sisters and two brothers living, - Mrs. Alvira MALCOLM, who resides in Cambridge, Henry county, Ill.; Mrs. Eliza JONES, in Ventura county, Cal., and Mrs. Lydia A. PATTEN, San Jose, Cal. Anson resides in Sumner county, Kansas, and Orson in Cass county, Iowa. Mrs. BROWN, grandmother of Cyrus, lived in the days of the Revolution, and often related seeing the burning of Charlestown on the morning of the battle of Bunker Hill. Mr. BROWN owns a farm of 320 acres.


Mr. NIGHSWONGER lives in Whitefield township, Marshall county, Illinois. He was born in West Virginia, October 13, 1815, son of Reason NIGHSWONGER and Susan BUFFINGTON. To them were born six sons and three daughters, namely: Jane SARGENT, who resides in Stark county, Ill.; Peter in Davis county, Mo.; Abraham, Whitefield; Samuel, Iroquois county; Lena RICKARD, Pike county; Reason, Moulton, Iowa; Asa, Steuben, and Mary ROBINSON, Livingston county. In 1833 he married Anna JOHNSON daughter of Henry JOHNSON and Mary DAVISON, from Kentucky. Have had thirteen children, three of whom are dead. Those living are: Mary MARSHALL, who resides in Whitefield; Henrietta HOLLER, Whitefield; Margaret BOOMER, Wayne county, Iowa; Richard J., Green Co., Iowa; Lewis, Livingston county; Josephine SELLER, Sparland; Luania KERR, Whitefield; Joshua F., at home; Susan HOLETON, Chillicothe, and Paul at home. Two died in infancy, and Adaline BURSON died at the age of 32 years and left two children, Solomon and Alice, who are living near Princeton, Bureau county. In early life Mr. NIGHSWONGER followed the business of building boats, piloting and as captain of boats on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. In the year 1834 or 1835, after the completion of a steamer built at Naples, Ill., those engaged in its building went on an excursion down the Illinois river to St. Louis. On account of the name of the boat "Cold Water" the citizens of that city refused to permit her to land, the temperance name in those days being incompatible with the habits and customs of the people. She was therefore obliged to cross to the opposite side and change her name before the passengers could effect a landing in that city.

Enoch Geo. GREEN

Mr. GREEN is a wealthy and influential farmer of Whitefield, born in Saratoga county, New York, in 1827, and son of Philip and Nancy ADDINGTON GREEN, to whom twelve sons and daughters were born, nine of whom survive. Their names are Malissa PETTITT, Isaac A., Susan M. LAKE, Sally BERRY, Caroline HEPPERLY, Philip H., Samuel L. and Elizabeth M. DOTY. Mr. G. came went in 1837 with his parents, and lived in Peoria county until 1849, when he moved to Henry. Has been a resident of Whitefield township 13 years. In 1849 he married Harriet M. daughter of J. B. COYKENDALL, of Allegany county, N. Y., and to them were born nine children, seven of whom survive as follows: Braganza and Andrew J., living at Yates City; Jonathan at San Jose, Cal.; Mary GRAYSON at Russell, Iowa, formerly eight years a teacher in Farmington and Lewiston); John R. Tecumseh, Kansas, and Horatio G., at Bismarck, Dakota. One sister, Augusta, died in infancy, and Elizabeth W. was a very successful teacher in Peoria county, who died in 1861. Jonathan is engaged in the packing business at San Jose, and John R. was a gallant soldier in the 11th Ill Cav., serving until the close of the war. Horatio went into a Wisconsin battery as private and returned with a captain's commission. Mr. GREEN was for a number of years in the lumber trade at Henry, and has always acted a conspicuous part in the business and politics of the county. He filled the offices of supervisor, justice and several others, and bears a high reputation for ability, loyalty and integrity. He owns a large farm, and is "well to do" in the world.


Whitefield, Ill.


Whitefield, Ill.

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

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