David P. KELLER
When Mr. Keller came to the county in 1869, he purchased the tract where he now lives, 240 acres, then entirely in a state of nature, and for which he paid $31.00 per acre. He at once began to improve, and has since added another 40 acre tract, to what is now one of the finest homesteads of the county. It is high, rolling, rich, and healthy, and includes a fine grove of timber, known to old settlers as Hickory Bunch. He has pursued what is often styled as a mixed system of husbandry, raising all the cereals common and usual to the country, and does a business in the line of live stock. He is therefore ready for the market in its different variations. He is a close calculator, a neat workman, and spends money liberally, and every part of his possessions bears the impress of these characteristics. He has not only added a superb estate to the county's wealth, but has built up a beautiful and refined home for his family, which will stand as a monument to his skill, taste and industry, when his remains find a resting-place with his fathers who have gone before.
Mr. Keller was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, July 10th, 1834. He was raised to manhood on his father's farm, and was well educated in letters and all branches of practical business. He was first married, Jan. 1st, 1856, to Miss Mary Hampson, who died the same year without issue. Was married again Sept. 20th, 1859, to his present wife, formerly Miss Rebecca McFarland, daughter of Walter and Julia (Wideler) McFarland, early settlers of Fairfield county. Her grandfather McFarland, was from Scotland, and was accompanied to this country by a brother, who became a soldier in the continental army. Her father served his country as a soldier, during the war of 1812. He settled in Fairfield county about the year 1800, when Ohio was a new country.
When the late civil war broke out Mr. Keller volunteered, but only remained in the army about a year, when it became his imperative duty to return home, which he did in 1864. The following autumn he came to Shelby county, this state, but not liking the soil so well as that of this county, he sold his farm and moved here.
Mr. Keller's ancestors date back to that great "bee-hive of nation"--Germany. His grandfather, Henry, was a native of York county, Pa., and married Miss Catharine Seitz. They raised numerous children who afterward scattered over the West and South. Daniel, Mr. Keller's father, was the sixth and youngest son. He located in Fairfield county, in 1902. His wife was Susanna Ruffner, and they are both still living in their old county, where their parents settled on coming to the state. They raised eleven children, six sons and five daughters, and have three sons and all their daughters still living. Their residences are as follows: Emanuel of Pettes county, Mo., Augustus R., Indian Agent in Montana Ter., Mrs. Lovina (Jonas) Hite, Mrs. Sophia (Jno.) Caldwell, Mrs. Catharine (W.L.) Rigby, and Mrs. Susan (Wm.) Medill, reside in their native county; Mrs. Catharine R. (Jackson) Shaver is a resident of Lasalle county, this state. They are all well circumstances, and all have the highest social standing.
Of Mr. Keller it is not necessary to speak, as he is one of the "best acquainted men" of the county, one that is not only known, but also knows everybody. The writer's opinion is that he is a whole-souled, enthsiastic, and high-minded gentleman, not only of high and meritorious standing, but also clear-headed, not only in business matters, but on the great national topic of the age--the currency question. It is needless to say that he is a greenbacker of the first water, and an uncompromising friend of popular government and popular rights.
Mr. and Mrs. K. have been highly blessed in their family relations, and are conferring on their children a good education. Names as follows: Walter S., Augustus R., Ada D., Grace, and Julia A. Two of the daughters are now in attendance at the school at Valparaiso, Ind.
History of Macon County, Illinois, p.214
Dr. James Stebbins KING, M.D.
Dr. King's ancestors were early settlers of New England. His father was named Alexander C. King, and his mother was Emeline Fitch Stebbins. The King family settled at Suffiedl, Connecticut, in 1816. The Stebbins family came from England, and settled at Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the year 1630. This was only ten years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. His mother was connected with the Fitch family, one of the members of which was John Fitch, who built the first steamboat in 1788, and navigated it on the Delaware river. Dr. King's parents were married at Hatfield, Massachusetts, September 29th, 1831, and the same day started for Terre Haute, Indiana, where they arrived on the 12th of October.
Their oldest child, James Stebbins King, was born at Terre Haute, Ind., May 9th, 1836. Alexander H. King was one of the early merchants in Terre Haute, having located there in 1823.
In 1848 he moved to Clinton, Indiana, and 1852 settled at Leroy, McLean county, in this state. In both places he was engaged in the mercantile business. Dr. King had good educational advantages. He attended the common schools, and afterwards a select school at Leroy. When seventeen he became teacher of a school at Leroy, which he taught about a year, and then taught six months at Toronto, Indiana. He began the study of medicine in 1856, with Drs. S.A. Noble and J.W. Coleman, of Leroy. He matriculated at the Rush Medical College of Chicago, in the autumn of 1858, and the next fall began his second course of lectures at the Ohio Medical College of Cincinnati, from which he graduated with distinction in March, 1860.
Immediately after his graduation he was elected resident pysician at St. John's Hotel for Invalids at Cincinnati, which position he held for a year. He then established himself in practice at LeMont, near Chicago, where he remained till 1863, when he offered his services to the government, and was appointed acting assistant surgeon in the regular army.
From October, 1863, to March, 1864, he was surgeon in charge of the Thirty-Fifth Iowa regiment. From March to July 1864 he was post-surgeon at Vicksburg on General McPherson's staff. He afterward acted in the same capacity at Natchez, and had charge of the hospitals at that post, till his resignation in the fall of 1865.
After his resignation from the army, he was placed in charge of the state hospital at Natchez, and established himself in general practice. The unsettled condition of affairs in the South induced him to return to Illinois, and in May, 1874, he became a resident of Decatur, where he has since been engaged in the active practice of his profession.
He was married on the thirty-first of December, 1860, to Mary E.Carter, a native of St. Catharines, Canada. He has two children. In his politics he has generally voted the democratic ticket, though he has occupied an independent position, holding himself free to support the best men of either political party.
In 1876 he served as county physician. He is a member of St. John's Episcopal Church. He is connected with the Masonic Fraternity, and is a member of Beaumanoir Commandery, Knights Templar, of Decatur. He belongs to the Decatur Medical Society, the District Medical Society of Central Illinois, and the American Medical Association.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 156
J. STEBBINS KING, M.D., of Decatur, is not only well known to the medical profession and in social circles of this community, but is a gentleman and scholar of high attainments, who of late years has devoted much time to the study of metaphysics and psychology. He is the author of the "Black Spectre," published in "Godey's Lady's Book" in January, 1892, and has been the contributor of several interesting articles to the "Arena," among others a metaphysical story entitled "George Wentworth," which will appear in the September or October number of that magazine. Its sequel, "Lucile Gastrell," will be published in the near future. These articles set forth great metaphysical truths, clothed in a romantic covering.
The father of our subject is A.C. King, a retired merchant of LeRoy, McLean County, Ill. He is still a hale and hearty man at this writing (1893), although he has reached the age of ninety years. He was born in Suffield, Conn., May 20, 1803, and in 1830 removed to Terre Haute, Ind., where he engaged in merchandising. The following year he returned to Hatfield, Mass., and married Emeline F. Stebbins, a native of Springfield, that State, who was born January 30, 1811. Bringing his young wife to the West, he continued in business in Terre Haute until 1837. In 1848 he went into business in Toronto, Ind., and in 1851 he opened a merchandise establishment in Le Roy, Ill, where he is still living. His wife died at Terre Haute, Ind., October 21, 1842. There were three children born of that union; James, of this sketch; William Rose, who was born September 5, 1838, and died October 1, 1849; and Caroline Rose, born September 13, 1840. For his second wife, Mr. King wedded Mrs. Bonnell, and unto them were born two children; Ellen Amelia, who was born January 4, 1845, and died in 1875; and Edward William, who was born July 22, 1848, and is a merchant of Le Roy. In 1875, Mr. King married Mrs. Emeline Cochrane, with whom he is still living.
We now take up the personal history of the Doctor, who was born in Terre Haute, Ind., May 9, 1836. He there attended school, and during vacations clerked in his father's store. He afterward engaged in teaching for about three years, and in 1856 began the study of medicine with Drs. Noble and Coleman, of Le Roy, Ill. He attended lectures at Rush Medical College, of Chicago, in 1858 and 1859, and in the winter of 1859-1860 attended the Medical College of Ohio, in Cincinnati, from which he was graduated the following spring. Immediately afterward, he was elected physician at the Hotel for Invalids in Cincinnati. Later, he began practice in Lemont, Cook County, and was there married, December 31, 1860, to Miss Mary E. Carter, who was born at St. Catharines, Ontario, then Upper Canada. Her father, John Carter, died when she was quite small, and she was reared by her uncle, John Yelyea, of Lemont.
In 1863, the Doctor left his home and practice and entered the army as a surgeon, serving until November, 1865, when he resigned his position. For the first six months he was a surgeon in charge of the Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, after which he was on duty as post surgeon at Vicksburg, whence he was transferred to Natchez, Miss., where he was in charge of the Officers' General Hospital, as well as the United States General Hospital. He was also military health officer of the city, and while still wearing the blue opened an office in Natchez, where he remained ten years. He enjoyed a large practice and gained the friendship and respect of many Southern people while still in the army.
It was while in Natchez that Dr. King was made a Mason. Becoming impressed with the beauties of Masonry while an army surgeon, he wished to unite with the order, and one day he happened to speak about joining to Samuel Stewart, of the Andrew Jackson Lodge of Natchez, saying that he presumed he would have to send his application North and be elected there before he could have the degrees conferred at Natchez. Mr. Stewart assured Dr. King that that would not be necessary, and that he could be elected there, for, although the lodge was largely composed of Confederate soldiers, Masonry knew no North and no South. His fellow-citizens of Natchez also prevailed upon the Doctor to accept the position of editor of the Natchez Courier, a tri-weekly, which advocated the colonization of the negro, and in connection with his regular practice he served on the editorial department of that paper for two years.
At the earnest solicitation of his wife's people, Dr. King returned to the North and resumed practice in December May 4, 1874. He and his wife have a pleasant home at No. 844 North Water Street. They have two children: Cora Belle, wife of Frank P. Roach, a dry-goods merchant of Decatur; and Le Roy Carleton, who is United States agent for the California Fig Syrup Company.
The Doctor belongs to the Medical Society of Central Illinois, and is also a member of the Capital City Medical Society, and of the Illinois Army and Navy Medical Association. He has been very successful in his practice and thereby has gained a handsome competency, so that hereafter he intends to devote much of his time to literary pursuits, making a study of metaphysics. He is an associate member of the Society for Psychical Research, an international organization, compoased of the leading scientific men of England, France and the United States. His wife is Secretary of the Chautauqua Circle and of the Woman's Club, and devotes much of her time to literature. The Doctor and his wife are members of Grace Methodist Church, and our subject is a prominent Mason, having taken high degrees in that fraternity. In politics, he is a supporter of the Prohibition party.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, Illinois, 1893 - p. 200-201
Dr. Joseph KING, M.D.
Dr. Joseph King, who is now living a retired life at No. 719 North Main Street, Decatur, was born in Wythe County, W.Va., on the 31st of December, 1808. His parents, William and Catherine (Steffy) King, were natives of the same State and were of German descent. The former was a farmer of his native State and lived upon the old King homestead, which he had inherited from his father, John King. Having survived his wife several years, he died at the old home at the age of seventy. Their children were Joseph; Reuben and Elizabeth, both deceased; Valentine, a resident of Marshall, Ill.; William, also deceased; and Christopher, who is farming on the old homestead in Virginia.
The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood in West Virginia and Ohio. His early education was acquired in the old-time subscription schools. Having determined to enter the medical profession, he became a studen in the Sixth Street Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati, and later began practice in Virginia. On leaving the Old Dominion, he removed to Lancaster, Ohio, where he continued in practice for a time, but later returned to Virginia. Subsequently he once more made his home in Lancaster, and in 1837 came to Illinois, taking up his residence in Decatur, where he has since made his home, covering a period of fifty-five years. The county was then in its infancy; there were often large herds of deer to be seen, and wolves were very numerous and troublesome. The prairie grass grew higher than a man's head, and it seemed that the work of upbuilding and developing the county had scarcely begun, but the Doctor at once energetically began practice and successfully continued the prosecution of his profession until quite recently.
On the 8th of December, 1842, Dr. King married Miss Maryette Packard, a native of Vermont and a daughter of Sylas and Lydia (Tracey) Packard, who emigrated to Illinois in 1830, coming the whole distance with a team in company with two other families. They left their homes in Vermont in April and arrived in Macon County in June. They had started for Springfield, but learning that the Government land was all sold in that locality they decided to locate in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Packard became the parents of three sons and two daughters, but one son died in infancy, and Catherine Agnes, the eldest, also died when quite young. John Eberle, a druggist of Decatur, married Sarah Emma Jackson, and unto them has been born a daughter, Lillian Clara. Clara L. is the wife of R.R. Montgomery, a real-estate agent of Decatur, and they have three children, Robert DuFay, Richard J. and Cora May. Willie J. is married and lives in Chicago.
The doctor was the founder of Macon Lodge No. 8, A.F. & A.M.; also of Macon Chapter No. 21, R.A.M., in both of which he still holds membership. He is also one of the charter members of the Odd Fellows' lodge of Decatur, and his wife belongs to the Episcopal Church. In politics, he was formerly a Whig, but since the organization of the Republican party has been one of its stalwart supporters. His long residence in the county and his professional duties have brought him a wide acquaintance, and his well-spent life has gained him many warm friends. He has been a witness of almost the entire growth and development of the county, and well deserve representation among its honored pioneers.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, Illinois, 1893 - p. 205-206
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