"F" SURNAME
BIOGRAPHIES




Robert FARIES

Robert Faries was born in Shelby county, Ohio, March 4, 1837. He lived on a farm near Middletown, Ohio, from the age of six to eighteen years, going to school nearly all the year round until the age of ten, after which he went in the winter time only. Having shown a mechanical bent by making many playthings, such as wagons, sleds, etc., and culminating in a working stationary steam engine and boiler, complete in every detail, it was decided that he should learn the machinist's trade and to that end he got work in the old Madison Railroad shop at Indianapolis, Indiana, remaining there and at the shops of the Indianapolis & Cincinnati Railroad until the spring of 1859, when he went with a party across the plains to Colorado, known then as Pike's Peak, starting about the middle of March and going from St. Joseph, Missouri, by ox teams. They arrived at a little cluster of sod-covered log cabins, called Denver city the 2ist of June, remaining in this vicinity until fall, when he joined a blacksmith in a trip to Taos, New Mexico, going with some Mexican teamsters who had brought up a load of flour and were going back empty. They stayed there until March, i860, when they went back to the mines. Having tried mining at first without much success, he made his living and other expenses at gun repairing in the company of, but not in partnership with, his blacksmith friend.

In the fall of 1860, with a company of others, who like himself, had failed to make a fortune in the short time that they had been in this new country, and had concluded that it would never amount to anything anyway, he went back to what they were in the habit of calling "The States." Arriving in St. Joseph late in October flat broke, he worked in a livery stable for a few weeks and later as an engineer in a planing mill. Business was dull in consequence of the political excitement which had just culminated in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of the United States. The mill shut down and he went back to Indianapolis, working for small wages in a machine shop through the winter. He enlisted in the fore part of March in Company II, Eleventh Indiana Volunteers for three months. Lew Wallace, colonel. After seeing some pretty rough service in Maryland and Virginia, the company was mustered out of service at Indianapolis, in July, after nearly four months' service. While most of his company re-enlisted for the three years' service he had become too deaf to hear the word of command and went to work again in the Indianapolis & Cincinnati Railroad shops, where he remained most of the time during the war.

In 1864-5 he invented and patented a cast iron steam boiler similar to some of those that are used now for steam and hot water heating, but as this manner of heating had not come into use at that time, he had little other use for it than to generate steam for steam engines. Me built several of these boilers and putt them into use in different places and at first they seemed to promise success and he got some good testimonials from the users of them. But later they developed some faults that caused their failure. He had sent out one of these boilers to Decatur for the use of the new firm of Greely & Brodt, who were starting a furniture factory on Mason street (now Wabash avenue) in the building which is now used for the Hard Plaster factory.

This brought him to Decatur in the spring of 1866. His boiler and this firm soon failing, he got a position with the Central Iron Works (now Union Works) who, together with mill and elevator work, built steam engines. He set up the engines they sold and worked in the shop between times, he remained with them about three years. He then, in 1870, went to work as foreman of the machine department of the Decatur Agricultural Works, where he remained until it went out of business in 1872. He got permission to put up a small engine here and run part of the machinery on plow and other farm machine repair work, he- paying a per cent of the income as rent for the use of building and tools. This arrangement lasted only about one year when Chambers & Quinlan bought the property and Mr. Faries worked for them for about another year. In 1875 he bought the Wilson Boiler shop, which is now a part of the Decatur Novelty Works on Morgan and Williams streets, and bringing the plow repair work with him, did general plow, machinery and boiler repair business and sheet iron work. In 1877 he took William L. Oakes into partnership with him in this business and in 1881 sold out his interest to Mr. Oakes. He then put a small engine and a lathe into the basement of his residence and did some special machine work in the winter and spring of 1882. In the spring and summer of this year he built the nucleus of the present Faries Manufacturing Company's plant and continued the manufacture of special machinery such as box fastener, hog-ring and checkrower wire making machines. During the winter and spring of 1883 he made some checkrower wire for the firm of Kaylor, McClelland & Fisher and having found that there was more money to be made by running machinery than in making it for others he continued to do this and has gradually worked into a manufacturing business, the chief of which has been checkrower wire. This got him into a patent law-suit, which lasted for over twelve years, costing a great deal of work, worry and money, and although he lost in the lower courts and finally compromised by paying a considerable sum, it was not all loss for the suit tended to deter others from going into the business in competition with him. In 1890 he built the first addition to the factory and among other improvements put in an electric lighting plant and in putting up fixtures for holding the lamps he devised an adjustable bracket for shifting and holding the lamp where put. He had before this been doing considerable brass work in the way of store window display fixtures and working lamp fixtures in with these and by continually adding to them, the company has worked up a very large electric and gas fixture business. Most of this fixture business has been worked up since the business was incorporated in 1894. Since the beginning twenty years ago, Mr. Faries and the Farie Manufacturing Company have made several important special machines, the chief of which are automatic checkrower wire machines and machines for spinning lamp shades.

A couple of years ago, 1900, Mr. Faries got up a little device for automatically tripping of a camera shutter and which he calls an "Autopoze," by the use of which the photographer is enabled to take his own picture, or include himself in "the group." While this is of not much importance in any way, a good many amateurs, and especially tourists, find satisfaction in the use of it. By putting themselves in the picture they can prove that "they were there."

In September, 1901, Mr. Faries, in company with others, started the Decatur Refrigerator & Manufacturing Company, but as factories are to be written up separately little need be said about this here.

Mr. Faries was married in Ohio in 1867 to Lena Bender. He has two daughters and one son, all grown up and the daughters married. Mr. Faries says he was born and raised a Democrat and has always been one, but as the party of that name has always been on the wrong side of the issue ever since he has been of the voting age he has always voted the Republican ticket.

Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 182-184

Top of Page


John P. FARIS

John P. Faris, one of the representative business men of Niantic, is a native of Highland county, Ohio, and was born on the seventh of April, 1840. The family from which he is descended was of Welsh origin. His great-grandfather, whose name was James Faris, emigrated from Wales and settled in Pennsylvania. He served as a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and was killed by the Indians during the progress of that struggle. His grandfather was named John Faris. His father Dr. E.S. Fairs, was born in Brooke county, Virginia, in the year 1807. The family moved from Virginia to Highland county, Ohio, in the year 1815. This was just after the close of the war with Great Britain, and they were among the pioneer settlers of Highland county. Mr. Faris' mother's name before marriage was Lucinda Pulliam. She was a native of the state of Kentucky.

In the year 1854, the family moved from Ohio to this state. They resided in Pike county till 1857, when they came to Niantic. Mr. Faris was 14 years old when he became a resident of Illinois. He attended the public schools in Ohio, and after he came to Pike county acquiring the elements of a substantial business education. He began life on his own account by becoming a clerk in a store in Pike county, and has been more or less identified with the mercantile business since. For two years and a half after coming to Niantic he was clerking in a store at that place. In the year 1861, then twenty-one years old, he embarked in business on his own account, and began buying grain at Lanesville in Sangamon county. He commenced operations with only a small capital, but in a short time was able to enlarge his business. In 1864, in partnership with Thos. A. Pritchett, he opened a dry goods store at Niantic. He sold goods with Esquire Pritchett as a partner for three years, and for two years afterward was a partner of A.W. Pritchett. When he entered into the mercantile business he also began the buying of grain which he has since followed.

His marriage occurred on the fourth of May, 1865, to Miss Fannie Ruby of Lafayette, Indiana. By this marriage he has had three children. The oldest child, Edith, died at the age of five years. The second, Charles, was nearly two years old at the time of his death. The youngest, John B., is living, and is five years old. In his political opinions, Mr. Faris may be called a democrat with a big "D". He is a sincere believer in the principles of the demodratic party, and considers that they are best fitted to carry out the ideas on which our forefathers founded this republic. He cast his first vote for President for a democratic candidate, and voted the democratic ticket ever since. He has served as town clerk of Niantic, and has filled other positions. He has been engaged in active business enterprises in Niantic longer longer than almost any other resident of the town. He is now engaged in the business of dealing in grain. He has also been employed in making collections in that part of the county. He is a genleman of unquestioned personal standing, and of excellent business capacity. His business training is the result of practical experience. He began life without any capital, except his own energy and natural business qualifications. He is an Odd Fellow, and also a member of the Masonic lodge at Illiopolis.

History of Macon Co., 1880 - p. 177

Top of Page



Charles M. FARNHAM

Charles M. Farnham, who devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits, is the owner of a good farm on section 5, Milam Township. He was born on the 17th of February, 1851, in Tunbridge, Vt., and was the youngest in a family of three children, two sons and a daughter. Hebbard, the eldest child, is now engaged in agricultural pursuits in the Green Mountain State, and the sister died in infancy. The father of our subject, Milo Farnham, was also born in Vermont and was of Welsh descent. His grandfather came from Wales to this country in Colonial days and served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, valiantly aiding the Colonies in their struggle for independence. Milo Farnham was a mechanic by trade and spent his entire life in the State of his nativity, where he died at the age of forty-five years. His wife, who was of English lineage, was also a native of Vermont, and was called to the home beyond when sisty-two years of age.

We all take up the personal history of our subject, whose well and worthily spent life deserves a place in this volume. He was only about a year old at the time of his father's death, and then went to live with his grandparents, with whom he remained until fourteen years of age. He then began earning his own livelihood by working as a farm hand by the month, and was thus employed for several years, when, in connection with his brother, he purchased a small farm, which together they cultivated until 1877. In that year Mr. Farnham sold his interest in the farm to his brother, and, coming to Illinois, sought a home in Macon County, where he has since resided. He hoped to better his financial condition by this removed, and his hope has been realized.

After his arrival in this State, Mr. Farnham again worked as a farm hand by the month for a period of two years, after which he rented land for five years. It was in Moultrie County that he first purchased a farm, and he carried on its cultivation and development for six years. When that period had passed by he sold his land and, coming to Macon County, his next purchase made him the possessor of the farm on which he now resides. It comprises eighty acres of arable land, and its well-tilled fields yield to the owner a golden tribute in return for the care and cultivation he bestows upon them.

In October, 1883, Mr. Farnham was married to Mill Ollie Bromley, of this county, a daughter of Brewel and Laura Bromley. One child has been born of their union, Maude, a little maiden of two summers, who is the delight of the household and the joy of her parents. In his political faith, Mr. Farnham is a Republican. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church, and to its support he contributes liberally, giving freely of his means, as he does to all other enterprises calculated to promote the general welfare or aid in the upbuilding of the county.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 203-204

Top of Page



Joseph W. FAWKES

The subject of the following sketch deserves to be ranked among the leading inventors of the age. The family, on the paternal side, are of English ancestry and of Welsh extraction on the maternal. His father, Joseph Fawkes, was a farmer, and a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. He belonged to the middle classes, and was possessed of a reasonable amount of property. Joseph W. is the third son in a family of seven children. He was born in Lancaster county, Pa., September 25th, 1825. His boyhood days were not different from most boys who grow up on the farm. He received such an education as the common schools of his county afforded. The great dream of his younger years and maturer life was to become an inventor, and originate machinery that would benefit the large class of cultivators of the soil, and lessen their toil, and make more pleasant and remunerative that great industry. Added to this desire was a genius that developed early in the boy. At the age of sixteen years he invented and made a model for cutting "shoe lasts," of irregular shape, which, with some later improvements, has come into general use. His next invention was a "seed drill," which was patented and has been in general use throughout the country for many years. On the 29th of August, 1854, he received a patent for his "lime spreader." This invention was exhibited at public fairs and in various places in the States of Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, and whereever shown valuable premiums were awarded it. His great invention, however, was the "steam plow," which excited favorable comment in both Europe and America. It was patented January 28th, 1858. It was afterward improved, and two other patents on it taken out. For this invention he now holds a number of valuable medals and testimonials. The one he prizes the most highly is the "Scott Legacy Premium," presented by the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. Upon its face it bears the following inscription: "Presented to J.W. Fawkes, of Lancaster, Pensylvania, for Steam Plow." On the other side, "Presented to the most deserving." He also has a metal of great intrinsic value, presented him by the Agricultural Society of Pennsylvania, and an autograph letter from James Buchanan, President of the United States, dated at Washington January 25th, 1860, in which he informs him that "he has been requested by the United States Agricultural Society to present Mr. Fawkes 'the Grand Gold Medal of Honor,' awarded him at Chicago in September last." Mr. Fawkes brought his steam plow west, and exhibited and operated it at different State Fairs in the Western States, and at all it received favorable mention, diplo9mas, and valuable premiums. The invention was a failure so far as getting the plow generally introduced, and also a failure in a financial way. The trouble was, that the invention was in advance of the times. The sluggish and conservative intellect of the masses cannot, nor do not keep pace with the active, energetic mind of the inventor. Few of the latter class live to see the full fruition of their hopes. Yet Mr. Fawkes does not despair of seeing in his life the steam plow introduced and successfully operated in Illinois.

He came west to Illinois in 1863, and settled in Decatur, where he followed house-raising, and operated a machine shop. In 1869 he purchased land in Maroa township, Macon county, which he improved, and from that time to the present has been busily engaged in cultivating the soil. He, however, by no means, dropped his inventions. Since living in Illinois he has seen the great necessity of ditching the vast area of low flat lands in the state, and with this idea in view he invented the "steam steel shovel scraper" for ditching, which in this country may be regarded as a very valuable invention. On the 18th of October, 1853, while yet a citizen of Pennsylvania, he married Miss A.E. Baughman, a native of Lancaster county. By this marriage there are seven children, all living--six boys and one girl. Their names are Howard B., William C., Jacob H., Joseph W., Charles G., Leslie H., and F.F. Fawkes. Both he and his wife are members of the M.E. Church. Politically he was orginally an old line whig. His first preidential vote was cast for General Zachary Taylor in 1848. He afterwards joined the republican party, and still continues a member. Upon the subject of temperance he is a total abstinence man, and has been a worker in the temperance cause for a great many years. At home and abroad he is a sociable and agreeable gentleman.

History of Macon Co., 1880 - p. 172-173

Top of Page



Abel S. FEREE

This gentleman came to this country from the dominion of Canada. He was born January 8, 1832, and is the son of Marshall Ferre and Nancy Stephens, residents at the time near the village of Beverly. When about three years old, his parents moved to Western Illinois, and located in Adams county, where a farm was purchased, on which the family resided till 1864, when another change made them residents of Shelby county, where his father died, November 12th, 1865.

Mr. Ferre had only such chances for an education as were common to the pioneers of Illinois, and consequently he had few opportunities to satisfy a natural thirst for knowledge. Though he did not drink deep from the perennial springs, still a sufficient amount of education was acquired to make him a fair business calculator, and he has added from time to time by general reading to the original stock, till he has reached a plane entitling him to a position among our best-informed and most intelligent citizens. He attained his legal majority in Adams county, and was there united in the holy ties of wedlock with Miss Sarah J., daughter of Lemuel Chapman. Her mother was formerly Martha Kansler, and at the time of her removal from Adams county, Tenn., was a widow with five children.

Mr. Ferre bought his first farm in Adams county, but sold out and moved to Shelby county with his parents. He did not purchase property in that county on account of the rumors of "milk sickness," once the common terror in many sections of the state. He bought his second farm in this township in the fall of 1865--a quarter section, which has since grown to 250 acres, under judicious management. This is in every sense one of the premium farms of Pleasant View township, and has improvements which entitle it to rank with other first-class estates of the county. Its owner broke the virgin soil and has expended on its improvement and cultivation the best energies of his life. He has not only been doing a prosperous business in general agriculture, but also in the general stock trade, for which his promises are admirable fitted. He has not onl prospered in worldly interests, but has been blessed in family relations. He has one married daughter, Nancy A. Price, of Piatt county, and three children at home, namely: Abel A., Marshall, and Charles M.

Though not an extreme partisan, he is a republican in politics, believing that the principles of his party are best adapted to the general welfare of the nation at large, and best calculated to the growth and expansive interests of the nation, especially those newer features developed by our increased population and vast diversity of local needs. To the people of the county he feels, without distinction of party lines, that he lives among a noble and energetic population, with whom he expects to labor for such a period as Providence may permit, for the growth, development and upbuilding of a still higher form of civilization, which will put Macon among the first counties of Illinois.

Mr. Ferre Has performed a vast amount of work with his own hands, and has shirked no duty either toward his township or county. He has a clear record, and has so lived that there is not a stain to dishonor his name, and we can say of him in concluding this notice, that he has made life a success, and that the lines have fallen to him in pleasant places.

History of Macon Co., 1880 - p. 211

Top of Page



John W. FLETCHER

John W. Fletcher, who is engaged in the dairy business, was born in Christian county, Illinois, near the town of Mount Auburn, December 2, 1847, his parents being Griffin T. and Martha (Churchill) Fletcher. His paternal grandfather was James Fletcher, a native of Kentucky, and his last days were spent in Decatur. Griffin T. Fletcher was born in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, and at an early period in the development and improvement of Illinois came to this state. He entered one hundred and sixty acres of land from the government in Christian county in 1831 and there improved a farm, upon which he made his home until 1855. In that year he removed to Sangamon county, Illinois, where he became the owner of four hundred acres of land, which he cultivated successfully until 1872. That year witnessed his arrival in Decatur township, Macon county, Illinois, where he spent his remaining days. While at Mount Auburn, in company with A.D. Northcutt, he purchased and sold stock, both cattle and hogs, driving them in large numbers to the St. Louis market. This was at an early day before the advent of the railroads and Abraham Lincoln assisted these gentlemen in driving their stock on three different trips. In his farming and stock-dealing operations Mr. Fletcher became very prosperous. securing a good profit as the result of his investments and labors. In his political affairs he was an earnest Democrat and he belonged to the Masonic fraternity. He was also a member of the Christian church in which he took a very active part. He served for some years as one of its elders and his fine voice made him a valued addition to the musical circles of the church. He was united in marriage on the lOth of June. 1833, to Miss Martha Churchill, a daughter of John Churchill, who was born in Maysville, Kentucky, and at an early day came to Illinois, settling in Sangamon county, whence he removed to Macon county in 1872. Mr. Fletcher, who was born in 1810, passed away September 6, 1883, and his wife died on the 2d of January, 1896. They were the parents of the following named children: Thomas, Mary, Jane, Rhoda E., David C., James L., John W., Willis, Abel P. and Martha Josephine. Thomas, Willis and Jane are now deceased.

Upon the home farm under the parental roof John W. Fletcher spent the days of his boyhood. His educational privileges were somewhat limited because of the primitive condition of the schools of that time and because his services were needed upon the home farm. He was married in Knox county, Illinois, and then engaged in farming from 1872 until 1882. On the expiration of that period he removed to Decatur, where he turned his attention to the dairy business and is now the oldest representative of this line of activity in the city. He started upon his business career without capital, but now has a comfortable home in the midst of attractive surroundings and he takes a just pride in keeping up his place in every particular. His has been a strenuous life and his diligence and enterprise have formed the foundation of his very desirable success.

On the 11th of May, 1870. Mr. Fletcher was united in marriage to Miss Emma Clevenger, a daughter of David and Eliza (Taylor) Clevenger. Her father was born in Ohio near Circleville and was a miller by trade. In 1853 he removed with his family to Bureau county, Illinois, at which time Mrs. Fletcher was about six months old. In that county he resided for eight years and then went to Knox county, this state, establishing his home in Abingdon. He died June 7, 1866, at the age of forty-nine years. His religious faith was that of the Christian church and his political belief was in accord with the principles of the Republican party. He had good knowledge of general business and was a broad reader, gaining extended information of many subjects. He married Miss Eliza Ann Taylor on the 15th of March, 1842. She was born in Pennsylvania and in her early girlhood days went with her parents, William and Betsey Taylor, to Ohio and afterward removed to Knox county, Illinois. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher were born five children: Daisy, who is the wife of E.S. Gray; Theron W.; Estella, who died at the age of twenty-three years; Griffin Taylor: and Minnie E., the widow of Dr. J.E. Ludea, of Crowley, Louisiana.

Mr. Fletcher holds membership relations with the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Masonic fraternity. He was made a Mason in 1894 and is a member of Macon Lodge, No. 8, of Decatur, while his wife and daughter Estella belong to Chapter No. 111, Order of the Eastern Star. He belongs to the Christian church and has led a life that has reflected credit upon the church and secret societies which he represents. His business relations have been all that is honorable between his fellow men and himself and the success he has achieved is attributable entirely to his own efforts, for without financial aid at the beginning of his career he has worked his way upward to the plane of affluence.

Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 881-882

Top of Page



Andrew Jackson FLOREY

One of the few remaining citizens of Eagle Point who donned the blue and went to the front during the '60s is A.J. Florey, who for nineteen years has discharged the duties of postmaster here. He was born in Macon county, Illinois, on the 20th of April, 1840, and is a son of Israel and Elizabeth Florey. The father was a native of Virginia and the mother of Tennessee but they located in Illinois in 1828, and passed the remainder of their lives on a farm in Macon county. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Florey of whom five are still living.

A.J. Florey was reared in the state of his nativity and educated in its common schools. When the call came for volunteers in 1861 he enlisted and went to the front as a member of Company A, Eighth Illinois Infantry, remaining in the service until honorably discharged at the close of hostilities. He participated in many of the notable battles of the war and was wounded at Fort Donelson in the jaw and the thigh. He was mustered out at New Orleans in February, 1866, and returning to Macon obtained work in a cooper shop. Feeling that he would like to try life in the west in 1873 Mr. Florey crossed the plains to Oregon, locating at Eagle Point and has continued to reside here. Nineteen years ago he was appointed postmaster and has ever since been the incumbent of that office. That he has discharged his duties efficiently is manifested by the period of his service and the regard in which he is generally held in the community.

In 1882 Mr. Florey was united in marriage to Miss Etta A. Nye, a native of Jackson county, and to them have been born six children: Florence E, the wife of William Vonderhellen; Chauncey; A.J., Jr.; Margaret; Theodore R.; and Judge Taft.

Mr. Florey cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln and has ever since given his allegiance to the Republican party. He maintains relations with his comrades of the field through the medium of his membership in Harrison Post, No. 47, G.A.R., and has ever been loyal to its principles. He is a man of strong convictions and much determination of purpose and in his private as well as his public life has manifested the same high principles and stanch loyalty to what he believes to be right, he evidenced when he went to the front in the service of his country.

The Centennial History of Oregon, p. 473

Top of Page



David FLORY

David Flory was born in 1803, in Virginia. Came to Illinois in 1825, and settled in what is now Macon county. Came with Draper, P.D. Williams and Epperson. Was married to Isabella Wright, who was born in Virginia. One child was born of this marriage - Jerome, who was born in 1838, now resides in Macon county. Was married a second time to Rachael Rittenhouse, who was born in 1826. Of their children - J.W. was born in 1850. Mellissa J. was born in 1858. Franklin was born in 1862.

History of Macon County, Ill., 1876, pg. 297-298

Top of Page



David L. FOSTER

The subject of the following sketch is "to the manor born". He first saw the light of day in Macon county, July 13th, 1848. He comes from a Scotch-Irish ancestry, and inherits from them the characteristics of that hardy, active and industrious people. His father, John C. Foster, was a native of Wilson county, Tennessee. The grandfather of David L. was the first Cumberland Presbyterian minister in the county. His son, John C. came with him here from Tennessee. He went back to his native state in 1847-8, and was married there for the second time; then returned to Macon county, and remained there until his death, December 20th, 1859. His first sife's name was Montgomery. By this marriage there were two children, named Robert M. and Tabitha, wife of R.P. Wilson. In the winter of 1847, he married Miss Mary Donnell. She was born and reared in Wilson county, Tennessee. There were two children by this latter marriage, Samuel L., and the subject of this sketch. The latter remained at home at work upon the farm, and attending the public-schools until he attained his majority. On the 3rd of February, 1870, he was united in marriage to Miss Matilda A. daughter of Clayborne and Matilda Jones. She was also born and raised in Macon county. Her parents were natives of Kentucky, and were among the pioneers of this county. Two children have blessed the union, a boy and girl, name Maud and George S. aged eight and four years, respectively. Both he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Politically he is a republican. He is an active member of the independent order of Odd Fellows, and belongs to Mt. Zion Lodge, No. 300. He is also an advocate of temperance, and is a member of an organization whose object it is to suppress intemperance and vice in the land. In April, 1879, he was elected justice of the peace, and now fills that position with credit to himself, and honor to those who placed him in that official capacity.

History of Macon Co., 1880 - p. 231

Top of Page



Edward FOULKE

The ancestry of the Foulke family on the paternal side are Welsh, and on the maternal, English. The ancestors came to America in 1698. They were Quakers, and came with William Penn when he made his second visit to this country. The settled near Piladelphia, and frm these have grown the present family. John M. Foulke, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Montgomery county, Pa. From there he removed to Baltimore, while in his twenty-seventh year. While a resident of Baltimore he married Ann Sinclair, who was a native of Baltimore. Soon after his marriage he came west, traveling over the mountains by stage-coach. He stopped in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained until 1840, when he returned to Baltimore and continued there until 1857, when he came to Illinois and located on section 26, T 18, R 2 E Macon county, and here he remained until his death, which occurred March 13th, 1874. His wife, and mother of Edward Foulke, died in Baltimore in 1844. Two children were born to John M. and Ann Foulke; Lydia A., and the subject of this sketch. The latter was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, July 31st, 1834. He received a good education in the common-schools, and when at the age of sixteen years he went to Norristown, Pa., where he entered the Freemount seminary, and remained there several years under the tutorship of Rev. Samuel Aaron, a Baptist minister. In that school he perfected his education, particularly in agricultural chemistry, which study he has, later in life, found very useful. In 1856 he came west, and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Maroa township, of the Illinois Central Railroad company. He commenced its improvement, and there he has remained to the present. On the 15th of October, 1864, he was united in marriage to Miss Adlaide Colladay, a native of Philadelphia. Five children are the fruits of this union; three sons and two daughters. Their names are Anna, John M., Edward, William Llewellyn and Caroline Edith Foulke. Politically he is a member of the republican party. Mr. Foulke enjoys the confidence and esteem of his friends and neighbors.

History of Macon Co., 1880 - p. 170

Top of Page



David J. FREELAND

Among the names of early settlers and prominent citizens, who have aided in the improvement and development of the rich resources of the county, we include the name of Mr. Freeland as the representative of a family, deserving more than a passing historical notice.

The origin of the family line dates back to the sunny climes of Italy, from whence they found their way to Ireland. In the early colonization of the United States, they left the Emerald Isle and settled in the South; at least they were citizens of North Carolina when the war of the American revolution threatened to sever the ties which bound the colonies to the mother country. John Freeland, Mr. Freeland's grandfather, with six brothers, aided in the cause of freedom, as soldiers in the continental army. At the time when Cornwallis and Greene measured their military strength, in the battle of Guilford Court-House, he was confined to a bed of sickness and fell into the hands of the British General, by whom he was subsequently released. After serving his country till the close of the war, he was united in marriage with a Miss Kate Johnson, of Orange county, in which he afterwards settled, and where he finally died. He raised a large and respectable family on his farm, near Chapel Hill, the site of the once renowned University of North Carolina, where graduated some of the first men of the nation, including Benton, Polk and others, of almost equal renown. There, James, Mr. Freeland's father, was born. He received a liberal education at the University. After completing his course at college, he applied his attention to surveying, and for twenty-five years performed the great mass of the work of this character for Orange county, and with an accuracy and skill which evinced the highest degree of efficiency in this branch of science, and at a time and in a locality, when lines were determined by "metes and bounds," and the surveyor had none of the advantages of meridians, base-lines, etc. He was early married to Miss Jane Strain, daughter of Alexander Strain, a well-known citizen of Orange county. In 1836 he sold out his small farm and directed his course to the then new state of Illinois and settled the same year in that part of Moultrie, which was afterwards set off in the formation of Macon county, near the site where his son, the subject of this notice, now lives; and where he resided till the time of his death in 1871, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. After settling in Illinois he gave his attention entirely to farming and concomitant interests, and became one of the most successful men of the county, in its earlier history. He entered and bought about eight hundred acres of land, most of which is included in the limits of the county, and which he principally reduced to cultivation. He not only gave his time and thought to the material industries of his settlement and community, but being himself a Christian by profession, he sought by all accessible methods, then in existence, the propagation and establishment of evangelical and literary agencies, which in every community lay the foundation for everything valuable in society.

He was a close calculator, saving, economical, charitable, persevering, industrious, and in his business transactions the very soul of honor. In all good work his wife, and estimable Christian lady, not only seconded but aided, with a woman' delicacy, the undertakings of her husband. They both joined the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina, and after coming to this state, united as a matter of convenience with the Cumberland Presbyterians; in which fellowship they continued till death put an end to their labors, she preceding him to the grave some three years.

They brought nine children with them to this county. Three of their sons are still living: John, a well-known citizen, and former county official of Moultrie county, now of Sullivan. Samuel, a well-known old settler and well-to-do farmer of the same county, and the subject of this sketch. James, a rising young misinter of the C.P. Church, and a graduate of Cumberland University, Tennessee, died in Sullivan. William died from the effects of wounds, received in the Union service, at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and another son, Joseph, died when a young man, also in Sullivan. Of the four daughters, three died in this county, and one near Wenona, Illinois.

Of Mr. Freeland himself, we design only briefly to speak. Still an epitome of his life and work as a citizen of the county is essential to a general family sketch. He was born April 19th, 1819, in his father's native state. He received a fair eduction in his earlier school days, completing an ordinary Academic course at Hillsboro, Montgomery county. He taught some six years after attaining his majority, since which time, he has given his attention entirely to the more congenial and active pursuits of agriculture, in which he has been in a marked degree successful; now, owning one of the best farms in the eastern part of the county.

He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Sarah, the daughter of David Strain, an early settler of Moultrie county, by whom he had one son, Alexander, a well-known citizen of Milam township and also a soldier in the late civil war for the suppression of the rebellion, growing out of the attempted secession of the Southern states. By his second wife, formerly Miss Martha Sawyer, daughter of John Sawyer, an old and well-known settler of Coles county, he has a family of nine surviving children, all being well educated, both in literature and the methods of business, and general usefulness. Mr. Freeland joined the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina, and with his parents united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on coming to this state, a fellowship in which he has maintained a consistent standing, all his subsequent life. His former companion lived and died in the same religious communion, and his present wife and nearly all his children, have membership in the same order. In the history of Mr. Freeland we have the general points embraced in most of our old pioneer homes, viz.: industry, honesty, hospitality and a warm-hearted cordiality, fostered under the peculiar conditions of the early days of our history. May those virtues survive and be handed down to the remotest periods of posterity, and may the names, as well as the social virtues of our old settlers, live in the memory of their successors for all time to come.

History of Macon Co., Illinois, p.235

Top of Page



Margaret Ann FREEMAN

Among the old and honored citizens of Macon county must be numbered Mrs. Margaret Ann Freeman, who is one of the few remaining "snowbirds," a name given to those who arrived here before the great snow of 1830-31. She has, therefore, witnessed almost the entire development and improvement of this section of the state and can relate many interesting incidents of pioneer days when this was a wild region largely covered with ponds and sloughs.

Mrs. Freeman was born on the 10th of May, 1822 in Montgomery county Virginia, a few miles west of the Blue Ridge mountains, and one of the most pleasant recollections of her childhood is that of the beautiful forest covered mountain range lying to the south east. Her parents were Abraham and Barbara Allen (Maury) Sheppard, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father was born on the 4th of July, 1776--the national day of this great republic--and was a son of John Sheppard, who came to this country from England in colonial days. After the Revolutionary war, Mrs. Freeman's father located near Newburg in Montgomery county, Virginia, where he rented a farm of a large landowner, and in connection with its operation he conducted a distillery, in this way using all the grain raised upon his place. With the aid of his sons, who were half-brothers of Mrs. Freeman, he hauled the finished product, together with cured pork fattened at the distillery, to Lynchburg, a distance of over one hundred miles, that being the nearest available market. For his second wife Mr. Sheppard married Barbara Allen Maury, a daughter of John and Christiana (Sprinkel) Maury. Her grandfather Maury, was a school teacher by profession. In September, 1830, they started west, accompanied by the smaller children of the family and a few of Mrs. Freeman's grown half-brothers. The mother and the younger children rode in an old fashioned carryall, a wagon being the conveyance for the remainder of the party. They were many days upon the road, but finally arrived in Decatur, Illinois, on the 10th of October. It was impossible to find a house to live in as the few log buildings then on the site of Decatur were then all occupied, so the family went into camp upon some open ground adjoining the courthouse, it being the present site of the St. Nicholas Hotel. There they remained until the weather became very cold and they were compelled to look for better quarters. Mr. Sheppard then rented a house on the Smallwood farm near the present city limits on the north, but as the former tenant could not move out for a few weeks, they found temporary shelter in a blacksmith shop, which was fitted up for their accommodation.

By his first marriage Abraham Sheppard had five sons and three daughters, namely: James, born February 9, 1786; William, born March 28, 1799; Mrs. Mary Manley, born December 1, 1801; John, born October 25, 1803; Stephen R. who was born January 11, 1806, and was first married in Montgomery county, Virginia, January 10, 1825, to a Miss Shuffer, and second in Macon county, Illinois, January 17, 1833, to Mary Hawks; Letitia, who was born April 24, 1808, and died in Virginia; Russel, who was born August 16, 1810, and was married in Macon county in 1832 to Sarah Manley, but died on the 24th of June, 1839; and Rhoda, who was born December 28, 1813, and was married in Macon county to Albert Lemons. Her death occured September 27, 1836. Five children were born unto Abraham and Barbara Allen (Maury) Sheppard, as follows: Henry Allen born November 6, 1817, died in Montgomery county, Virginia, June 20, 1824; Margaret Ann, now Mrs. Freeman, is the next in order of birth; Elizabeth Jane, Born July 4, 1824, married John Spangler, of Macon county; Leurany, born March 28, 1827, married Freeman Jones and died August 6, 1901, while visitng her sister, Mrs. Freeman, and she left several children, one of whom is Mrs. Houchin, a resident of Jefferson City, Missouri; and Rachel E., born May 19, 1829, married John Hull, of Logan county, Illinois, and later went to Kansas, where she died in May, 1902. Her children now live near Sabetha, that state.

Amid pioneer surroundings, Mrs. Freeman grew to womanhood and on the 11 of October 1838, she gave her hand in marriage to James Milor, of Ohio, the ceremony being performed by Elijah Freeman, a justice of the peace, who lived on a farm adjoining that of her father, about three miles east of Lincoln's log cabin in Harristown township, and who was the father of her second husband, James Freeman. Mr. Milor took up government land a mile or two north of Harristown and partially improved the place but unfortunately became ill and died in 1845 before it was proved up and it went back to the government. By that union three children were born: William Marion Milor, born August 30, 1839, married a Miss Dunlap and in 1876 went to Kansas. He had three sons, Franklin, Elmer and William. Saline Jane Milor, born December 11, 1841, was married January 2, 1862 to Horatio J. Eyman and spent her life on a farm about two miles southeast of Warrensburg, where she died March 24, 1896. Mr. Eyman was born July 21, 1825, and died December 16, 1882. Their children were as follows: Lillie May, born December 9, 1862, died January 7, 1873; Charles W., born July 11, 1865, was killed in a planing mill in Decatur, November 5, 1893; Minnie Ann, born October 11, 1867, was married April 22, 1891, to Edwin F. Boss, of Petoskey, Michigan, where they now reside, and they have one child, L. Cecil, born November 17, 1892; John A., born August 7, 1869, now a furniture dealer and undertaker of Argenta, Illinois, was married November 22, 1900, to Anna B. Reynolds, of that place, and they have one child, Neffa, born January 22, 1902; James M., born September 11, 1871, was married December 17, 1901, to Cora Culp and lives on the old home farm, which he owns; Arthur M., born October 8, 1873, died September 18, 1874; Sarah Margaret, born August 31, 1875, was married May 31, 1903, to Dr. F.B. Baker, of Chicago, where they reside; Samuel, born December 25, 1878, died on the same day; and Harry Horatio, born February 7, 1883, is with his brother, John A., in Argenta. John McHenry Milor, the youngest child by Mrs. Freeman's first marriage, was born March 11, 1843, and was married June 13, 1875, to Eliza Cathey, at Greenville, Michigan, where he was engaged in the nursery business for several years and later in merchandising. In April, 1879, he removed his stock of goods to Petoskey, Michigan, and conducted the first exclusive shoe store at that place. He also carried on a general store up to the time of his death except for a few years when engaged in the manufacture of woodenware. He died October 15, 1899, leaving two children: Carroll, who was born in Greenville, Michigan, August 28, 1876; and Winnie E., born in Petoskey, October 17, 1879. They now reside with their mother in the latter city.

Left a widow at the age of twenty-three years with three small children depending upon her, Mrs. Freeman had to fight the battle of existence in a frontier country with the wolves howling nightly in the forest not far from her log cabin home. She was again married on the 4th of July, 1847, her second union being with James Freeman, shortly after his return from the Mexican war, in which he had served as a private in Company C, Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted on the 27th of August, 1846, and was discharged on account of illness at New Orleans, May 25, 1847, before the expiration of his term of enlistment. The first lieutenant of his company was Richard Oglesby, who afterward became so distinguished and beloved by the people of Illinois. The regiment saw some severe service in the campaign under General Taylor and in the march to the City of Mexico. A relic much treasured by the children of Mrs. Freeman is a letter from Tampico, Mexico, written by James Freeman to the young widow, Margaret Milor, proposing marriage. This was written on his learning of the death of her first husband. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Freeman lived on a farm southwest of Decatur, about three miles east of the Lincoln log cabin, until his death, which occurred on the 6th of April, 1860.

There were seven children born of the second union, namely: Cerilda D., born April 7, 1848, was married June 25, 1876, to I.E. Mackey, now a resident of Indianpolis, Indiana, and their children are Margaret May, who marrid John McClintock and has one child, Laveta Evans; and William Allen, who married Elizabeth Hoaglin and has one child, Herman Evans. Susan Lavena, born February 7, 1850, died August 30, 1859. Joel Seth, born March 28, 1852, was named for Captain Joel S. Post, who was second Lieutenant in Mr. Freeman's company in the Mexican war. Matilda Ann, born March 15, 1854, is the wife of William Minson, living east of Decatur, and their children are Claud, Roy, Jessie, George, Otis and Ruth. The last named is now deceased. James Douglas, borh April 12, 1856, entered the retail shoe business at Petoskey, Michigan, in 1882, and continued in the same until 1893, when he accepted a position as traveling salesman for a wholesale shoe house, with headquarters at Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was married at October 26, 1882, to Ida M. Boss, and they have three children: Lowell C., who was born October 25, 1884, and is now a promising student of architecture and civil engineering; Homer D., who was born March 16, 1889, and died January 27, 1890; and Bessie M., botn July 18, 1891. Rosella, born April 3, 1859, was married November 2, 1881, to F.B. Ritchie, a dealer in implements and coal in Warrensburg, Illinois, and they had two children, Litta, born February 22, 1888, and Vilas Lamar, born February 23, 1891, who died in infancy. Rachel Emeline, born January 11, 1861, died in December of the same year.

For the past twenty years Mrs. Freeman has lived with her daughter Mrs. Ritchie at a pleasant home in Warrensburg, where she dispenses a cordial old-fashined hospitality to every visitor. She is remarkably vigorous for one of her years, her faculties of sight and hearing are still keen, and being very active she still takes enjoyment in performing the lighter household tasks. Her memory is good and she delights in telling interesting reminiscences of pioneer days. One of these is a tale of apparent danger but with a rather ludicrous ending. One dark night her grandfather, John Sheppard, who was then living near the Blue Ridge mountains, was aroused by a terrible noise near the river and concluded it was a band of marauding Indians, who were then quite hostile. Believing that they would attempt to kill the entire family the grandmother hastened to arouse her children and prepare for flight, but on going out to learn the cause of the noise her husband found, to his great relief, that the disturbance was caused by two colored women who were at the river washing clothes in the old way and who, becoming involved in a quarrel, had fallen to belaboring each other with the heavy wooden paddles used to beat the garments on the rocks. Mrs. Freeman has been a life-long member of the Christian church, first attending meetings in Illinois in the old courthouse at Decatur soon after the arrival of the family in this county. She is beloved by all who know her and has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances throughout this section of the state where she has so long resided.

Past And Present of the City of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois, 1903, p. 416-421

Top of Page



Milton P. FUNK

The subject of this biographical sketch was born in Morgan county, Illinois, June 9th, 1833. The ancestry of the Funks is German. Samuel Funk came to America in 1776, and settled in Virginia, and from him have sprung the present family. He married Elizabeth Cordell. Members of the family left Virginia and settled in Tennessee, where Martin C. Funk, the father of Milton P., was born. Martin C. married Janie Lieb. She died in June, 1878. Mr. Funk left Tennessee in 1828, and came to Illinois, and settled in Morgan county, where he improved a farm and lived until 1845, when he died. The subject of our sketch is the eldest of the children. Like all farmers' boys of Illinois of forty years ago, he was deprived of educational advantages and facilities for attending good schools and receiving such learning as now falls to the lot of the youth of the present day. His father dying while Milton was yet in his youth, he was compelled to help support himself and others of the family, and at an early age became a producer as well as a consumer. He grew to manhood and remained in Morgan county until the 28th of March, 1855, when he came to Maroa township, Macon county, and purchased eighty acres of raw land, built a cabin and went to work improving it. There he has lived till the present time. On the 22d of September, 1853, he married Isabella Todd. She died September 14th, 1874. By this marriage there have been three children living, named Henry M., John N., and Mary A. Funk. On the 22d of December, 1875, he married Miss Melissa Smith of Effingham county, Illinois. By this later marriage there is one child, named Ibra Maud Funk. He is a member of the Christian Church, and his wife of the Presbyterian. Politically he is a sound and thorough democrat, and gave James Buchanan his first vote in 1856. Mr. Funk is esteemed by all who know him. He is a good man, and an enterprising and first-class citizen.

History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 173

Top of Page






Home
Biography
Index Page



This Page Was Last Updated  

Copyright 2011 by Gayle Jones for ILGenWeb



All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of individuals engaged in researching their personal genealogy. Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.