Marshall County

NURS, Newell

Isaiah NURS, now deceased, who was the father of Newel, came to Illinois July 4, 1836, and was one of the honored pioneers of this section of the country, for many years making his home in Hallock township, Peoria county, Illinois, but also owning the farm in Marshall county, where our subject now resides. He was born at Bainbridge, Chenango county, new York, March 19, 1815, and dying on the old homestead, in Peoria county, August 12, 1894, his remains were interred at Blue Ridge. On the 1st of July, 1836, he had arrived in that county in company with his father, Roswell NURS, and Ebenezer STOWELL, of whom mention is made in the sketch of Cyrus ROOT. On the 4th of the same month he located on the land where he made his home until called to the world beyond. He walked the entire distance to Quincy, in order to enter the tract, soon after built upon it, and did not return to h is native state for twenty years. His father, however, went back to New York, and brought the family to this almost unbroken wilderness, dying, March 9, 1863, at the age of seventy-five years. His wife had long preceded him, dying in 1838, at the age of twenty-seven years. She was one of the first to be interred in an old burying ground near the edge of the brush, near Northampton, but as her husband was buried at Blue Ridge, fifty-two years later her body was taken up and laid by his side.

In connection with his father, Isaiah NURS entered several tracts of land, amounting to eight hundred and eighty acres, lying along the boundary line between Peoria and Marshall counties, a portion in each, but he made his home in Peoria county, one-half mile south of the county line. On the 1st of January, 1838, at Northampton, Peoria county, he led to the marriage altar Miss Mary Newell HILL, a native of New Hampshire, and to them were born four children – Jerusha Barton, married H. S. DAMAN, and both died in Know county, Missouri; Martha E., is the wife of C. T. NEWELL, and they now make their home in Princeville, Illinois; Henry H. married Lucinda STEVENS, and lives on the old homestead; and Newel E., whose name introduces this review, completes the family. The mother of these children died June 15, 1892, after a happy married life of fifty-four years.

In the home farm, Isaiah NURS had one hundred and sixty acres, which he placed under a high state of cultivation, and also a like amount in Marshall county, one-half of which now belonging to his son Newel. He was a careful, conscientious business man, who met with fair success, and was quite prominent in township and county affairs, serving as road commissioner when the roads were laid out through his portion of the county. Being a strong anti-slavery man, he was therefore a strong republican, and his eldest son, Henry, served for three years in the Union army during the civil war, losing his left leg below the knee at Silver Run, near Goldsboro, North Carolina, the last battle in which Sherman’s army participated. While in the service he was a messmate most of the time of Cyrus ROOT. He belonged to Company C, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

In 1847 the father became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served as class leader for many years, and assisted in the organization of the Sunday school at Blue Ridge, of which he was superintendent for some time. He was a prominent member of the Old Settler’s society, and was a strong anti-Mason until after his son Newel joined that organization, now belonging to Lawn Ridge lodge, No. 415, when he became more liberal in his views. Although he attained a ripe old age, he was still well preserved, and was an exceedingly intelligent and well informed man, never given to argument, and never had but one law-suit.

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

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