Marshall County

WEBBER, Addison Porter

Addison Porter WEBBER, deceased, who was spoken of by his friends as "one of the best men that ever lived," became a pioneer resident of Marshall county and for more than a half century lived within its borders respected and honored by all who knew him. His birth occurred in Gayhead, New York, October 9, 1829. His parents were Dr. Robert and Harriet (PITTS) WEBBER, who came to Illinois in 1852, settling near Lawn Ridge, where the Doctor engaged in the practice of medicine until his death, being one of the prominent early physicians of the county. He was the youngest of a family of five sons and was the last survivor of that family. The WEBBERs are descendants of one of the first Dutch settlers of New York, the ancestry being traced back to Henry WEBBER, who was born in the Empire state in 1727.

Reared in the state of his nativity, A. Porter WEBBER acquired there a common-school education and remained in New York until twenty-three years of age, when, at the time of his parents' removal to Illinois, he also became a resident of Marshall county and settled with them upon a farm near Lawn Ridge. Coming to this county in early manhood, while it was nearly all raw prairie, he endured many hardships and privations such as are incident to frontier life. He also worked for many of the early settlers and bought and sold different tracts of land, but did not engage in farming on his own account until his marriage, in 1858, when he settled in Valley township, Stark county. It was in December of that year that he wedded Miss Rachel Naomi CALDER, also of Lawn Ridge and a daughter of Joseph CALDER, one of the early settlers of that locality. Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life in Stark county, where they lived until 1867, when Mr. WEBBER purchased a farm in La Prairie township, whereon he resided until his death, covering a period of almost four decades. Throughout his entire life he carried on general agricultural pursuits and placed his land under a high state of cultivation, adding thereto many modern improvements as time wrought changes in the methods of farming, while inventive genius introduced new machinery to facilitate the work of the fields. His life was one of industry, perseverance and enterprise qualities which are essential elements in success, and as the years passed he won a goodly measure of prosperity.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. WEBBER were born six children: Alice, now the wife of Lewis T. WOOD, a real-estate and insurance agent at Lacon; Alma, the wife of J. W. GREEN, an extensive farmer and stock-raiser of La Prairie township: Lulu, who died at the age of thirteen years; Maud, the wife of Linus ROOT, a farmer living near Blue Ridge; Mabel La Veta, who remained at home to care for her aged parents until their death, and is still a resident of this county; and Herman, who is the fourth child and only son. He was married September 24, 1895, to Miss Anna COLLINS, and now resides just across the road from the old homestead, which he has managed for several years in connection with the work of his own farm. His wife was a daughter of Patrick COLLINS, a well known and prominent pioneer resident of this part of the state. Herman WEBBER attended the Sparland high school, the Northern Illinois Normal School at Dixon, Illinois, and was thus well fitted for life's practical and responsible duties. He is now numbered among the enterprising and successful farmers of La Prairie township and owns four hundred acres of valuable and productive land, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation. In politics he is independent, and has served as justice of the peace. His religious views are indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. Unto him and his wife have been born five children, namely: Margaret, Robert, Lawrence, Wilfred and Florence.

During the time of the Civil war and for many years thereafter Mr. WEBBER was a stalwart republican, but as the issues which brought about that rebellion passed away he saw that the next great battle of the American people must be fought at the ballot box, and so arrayed himself with the prohibition party and voted as he prayed as long as he was able to attend the elections. He was never connected with any secret organizations, but in early life united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and until the time of his death was a faithful and devout member and one of its most active and helpful workers. He held the office of trustee, steward and Sunday-school superintendent and teacher and for many years was regarded as one of the most valued representatives of the congregation, his labors being far reaching and beneficial for the upbuilding of the church. Mrs. WEBBER was also equally faithful to the church and was a most estimable Christian woman. Together they traveled life's journey for forty-seven years, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity, but on the 27th of February, 1905, they were separated through the death of the wife, who passed away at the age of sixty-five years. Not long afterward the health of Mr. WEBBER began to fail, and his strength gradually declined until on the 27th of July, 1906, at his home in La Prairie township, where he had resided for nearly forty years, he passed away. One of the local publications said of him: "He was quiet and reserved in his manner but firm in his belief of what was right. When quite young he united with the Methodist church and lived a conscientious Christian life. He hated shams or pretense in everything and lived only for what was grand, noble and uplifting. In the community in which he resided he was considered a pillar on which all might lean. He never mingled in politics or public affairs, but was ever ready to give freely of his advice, which was much sought for. His noble character was shown to best advantage in his own home. He was a kind and loving husband, a devoted father. He was never more happy than when surrounded by his children, their husbands and wives and his grandchildren. In his parents' home he was one of five brothers, and in later years when they moved to Marshall county the affection of the WEBBER brothers for each other was always noticeable. He was the last survivor of the family. The funeral was held Sunday at three o'clock at the Methodist Episcopal church in La Prairie and was very largely attended. Rev. DILLE, pastor of the church, assisted by Rev. Thomas MARTIN, conducted the services. Both were personal friends of the deceased and spoke comforting words to the bereaved children. They held his life as an example for the rising generation and touched on the beautiful character of the man who had spent a full half century in the neighborhood and departed without leaving an enemy or a stain on his character."

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

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