George Damery, who carries on general farming on section 28, Pleasant View Township, Macon County, is one of Erin's noble sons. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1826, and is the fourth in order of birth in a family of eight children born unto James and Elizabeth (Gassnall) Damery. The only survivors of this once large family are our subject, and his brother Arsola, who is now a resident of Connecticut. The parents were also natives of the Emerald Isle, and in 1850 they bade good-bye to their old home and crossed the broad Atlantic to America. On reaching the New World, they settled in Connecticut upon a farm, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
Upon the old homestead in his native land, George Damery spent the days of his boyhood and his youth, and the educational privileges afforded him were those of the public school. He remained in Ireland until twenty-five years of age, when, believing that he could better his financial condition by emigrating to the United States, he made the voyage and became a resident of Connecticut, where, in order to secure a livelihood, he worked by day and month until 1860. That year witnessed his arrival in Illinois. He first settled in Morgan County, where he worked on a farm by the month for two years. He then determined that his services should prove more beneficial to himself, and began renting land. This he did for five or six years, during which time his efforts were comparatively successful and he acquired some capital. On the expiration of that period he came to Macon County and purchased forty acres of wild prairie land, on which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. Here he has made his home continuously since.
In 1857 Mr. Damery was united in marriage with Miss Johanna Carwin, of Morgan County, Ill., who has proved a faithful companion and helpmate to him. When they removed to their present home, our subject at once turned his attention to its development, and in course of time placed it under a high state of cultivation. The farm now comprises one hundred and twelve acres of rich land, and is considered one of the most highly improved and best farms in the county.
The cause of temperance has long found in Mr. Damery a firm friend and one untiring in his efforts to promote its interest. He votes with the Prohibition party, of which he is a stanch advocate. He was a delegate to the first State Convention of that party held in Illinois. It convened in 1872 and there were only eight delegates, all told. With the Methodist Church he holds membership, and his life is in harmony with his professions. His honorable, upright career, and his many noble deeds have made him one of the most highly respected and esteemed citizens of this community.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 216
Samuel Davidson was born in South Carolina, in 1774. From South Carolina he came to Southern Illinois; thence to Macon County in 1830; was married in South Carolina to Elizabeth Mays, who was born in the latter State in 1776. Mr. D. died in 1843, and Mrs. D. died in 1844. Of their children - JOHN was born in 1796; died in 1841. POLLY was born in 1798: died in 1840. ANDREW was born in 1806; died in 1871. NANCY was born in 1808. ELLA J. was born in 1810. ELIZABETH was born in 1814; died in 1833. CYNTHIA was born in 1816; died in 1835. BAXTER was born in 1817; was married to Elizabeth Harbaught in 1842, who was born in 1817; died in 1867. Of their children - D. L. was born in 183; married in 1867 to Virginia - , John A. was born in 1845; married in 1871 to Maula - , M. R. was born in 1848; married in 1874 to Emma Reeme, who was born in 1851. Arminda A. was born in 1850. Naoma A. was born in 1856. Mariah F. was born in 1859.
Mr. Davidson was married the second time, in 1869, to Lovina Travis, who was born in 1835.
History of Macon County, Illinois, From its Organization to 1876.
By John W. Smith Esq. of the Macon County Bar.
Submitted by: Sandy
Thomas Davis is another old settler who figured prominently in the affairs of the county, and who has done much to add both to its business and its wealth, and we therefore with pleasure add a brief notice of his life.
He is a native of the Keystone state, and was born in Washington county, September 12th, 1819, and is the son of George Davis and Hester Whiteman, natives of the same county. After attaining the age of manhood he went to Licking county, Ohio, where he served as a farm hand about five years, then spent some two years in farming and trading on his own account in Muskingum county. He next directed his course westward, and located in Mt. Zion township, this county, in 1848. He purchased a farm in company with Philo Buckingham, another well-known business gentleman, and began trading in sheep and catfle. He soon purchased other lands in that township, and became well-known throughout this section of the state, both as a prominent farmer and an active trader, and has maintained a business reputation from that day to this, which places him prominently before the people. For the last four years he has made a specialty in shipping horses and mules to the West, principally to Nebraska. Some of his investments have been very profitable, while others have involved heavy losses, and he has therefore had about the usual luck of all large traders. His object though, it seems, has not been so much to save money as to make it. His motto has been to create business, whether it promises large personal gains or not. He naturally loves to see business and trade active, the country prosper, even independent of his own immediate interests, and no man in his section of the county should have more credit than he for stirring up the active energies of general commerce.
He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Elizabeth Rogers, whom he married while on a visit to his old home in Pennsylvania. This companion he buried while a resident of Mr. Zion township. She was the mother of one child, which only lived a short time.
He was married to his present companion in 1856. Her given name is Margaret, sister to his first wife. She has had three children, all dead.
With respect to family history, the following items are gathered. His grandfather Davis was a native of Wales. He arrived in this country about the time of the Revolutionary war. He settled in Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he died. Mr. Davis' father was there born and raised and became a farmer and brick-mason. He then married the lady already mentioned, and raised seven children--six still living: Thomas, Eliza Hatfield, of native county, Isaac, a well-known farmer of this township, Joseph, a farmer of Borie county and Martha and Mary J.
In politics, Mr. Davis is an independent thinker, and votes as he thinks best for the general welfare of the country. He was a Unionist during the late war, and is in favor of the equal rights of all in civic privileges.
In physical constitution he has been endowed in a remarkable degree. He has had an iron constitution, and has performed a vast amount of manual labor. He is still robust and strong, and is yet blessed with unimpaired energies, and the prospect is that he will yet serve the county for many years in the work of material and social development.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 214
Cyrus F. DEMSEY, M.D.
C.F. Demsey who is now engaged in the practice of his profession at Warrensburg, was born at Portsmouth, Scioto county, Ohio, on the 13th of April, 1839. The family from which he is descended was of Irish origin. It is said that his great-great-grandfather lived in Ireland and was educated for the Catholic priesthood. Renouncing the Romish faith, he left Ireland and came to Jamestown, Virginia. The family name had been "McDempsey", which he changed to the present form of Demsey. Dr. Demsey's grandfather, whose name was Samson Demsey, moved to Ohio shortly after the opening of the present century. He was then young and unmarried. He taught school for several years. He married Sarah Nevin, who was also of Irish descent. She was born in Virginia, but when six or eight years old had come to Ohio with her father, who was one of the early settlers of the state. Samson Demsey was a man who stood well in the community in which he lived. He was a democrat, and took an active part in politics. He was chosen to several positions of trust and honor. He served as circuit clerk, and for a number of terms was a member of the Ohio legislature. He had five sons. The oldest, C.F. Demsey, practiced law at Cincinnati for a long number of years. The youngest, Adam Demsey, was a soldier in the Mexican war and settled in Indiana, where he died. The second was John N. Demsey, father of the subject of this biography.
John N. Demsey was born in Fayette county, Ohio, in the year 1813. About the year 1832, he was married at Chillicothe, Ohio, to Tabitha Duncan, a native of Jackson county, Ohio, and a daughter of General John Duncan. General Duncan was born in Tennessee, and was connected with the family of that name who settled in Middle Tennessee, where a considerable number of the descendants still reside. During the Indian troubles, connected with the war of 1812, he raised a regiment in Tennessee, with which to fight the Indians, and after having served in Ohio settled at the Salt Springs, in Jackson county, of that state, where he lived for many years. John N. and Tabitha Demsey, were the parents of eight children, of whom Dr. Cyrus F. Demsey was the second. In the year 1853, the family moved from Ohio to Illinois. After spending the winter of 1853-4 at Woodburn in Macoupin county, the following spring they came to Decatur. In January, 1855, they went to Clinton, DeWitt county, and in the spring of 1856 moved on a tract of five hundred acres of land, in Austin township, of this county. Dr. Demsey's father improved all of this land and began the business of raising wheat. Wheat growing in Macon county with the farmers was at that time an experiment. Several crops were raised with considerable profit, but the business in the end proved unremunerative, and many farmers lost large sums by successive bad yields. This was the case with Dr. Demsey's father. The enterprise proved disastrous, and swept away almost his entire means. While living in Ohio he had studied medicine, and he began again the practice of his profession; moving to Hickory Point township, seven miles north-west of Decatur. In those days when the settlements away from the timber, were few and far between, the physician practicing in the country, led by no means an easy life. He was obliged to undergo hard travel, much discomfort, and had little opportunity for leisure. He was a successful physician, and remained in active practice till his death, which occurred in March, 1874.
Dr. C.F. Demsey was about fourteen years old, when he came to this state. He had laid the foundation of a good English education in the schools of Portsmouth, Ohio, previous to his removal from that place. After coming to Illinois he attended school at Woodburn, Decatur, and Clinton. At the last place he went to a high-school, kept by a Dr. Haskell. He left home in the year 1858 and began life on his own account. In the spring of 1859 he went to California, sailling from New York, and reaching San Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama. He was in the navy on the Pacific Coast. He was in California at the commencement of the war of the Rebellion, and in the fall of 1862 enlisted in a private company raised in California, consisting of a hundred men, and known as the "California Hundred." This was an independent cavalry company; the men furnished their own horses and equipments; and it was their intention to take part in the war without regularly entering the United States service. On reaching the East they found the government unwilling to receive them as an independent organization, and accordingly, the company (which was said to be one of the finest that at any period of the war entered the service) was consolidated with the second Massachusetts cavalry. In the spring of 1863 the regiment was sent to the Peninsula, and placed under General Stoneman's command. It formed part of the force which made the celebrated raid around Richmond. The regiment was called to Wahington at the time Lee made his movement through Maryland and Pennsylvania, and reached Gettysburg in time to take part under General Custer's command in that decisive battle. The regiment followed the Confederate forces into Virginia, and at Fairfax Court-House Dr. Demsey was made a prisoner by the rebel General Mosby. He had a long experience of confinement in Southern prisons. He was captured August the 23d, 1863. He was taken to Richmond and confined in Libby prison till October, and then at Belle Island till February, 1864, when he was moved to Andersonville; the following September he was sent to Savannah, and from there to Milan, Georgia. In December, 1864, he was exchanged and sent from Savannah to Annapolis, Maryland. He was subsequently on detached service at Washington, Harper's Ferry, Port Tobacco and Baltimore, till the close of the war.
He returned to Macon county in 1865, and began the study of medicine at Decatur, with Drs. W.J. Chenoweth and S.T. Trowbridge. In the fall of 1866 he entered Rush Meical College, at Chicago, at which he subsequently attended a second course of lectures, and from which he graduated. He began practice with his father in 1867. In January, 1868, he went to Cass county, Missouri, where he practiced his profession till 1875, when he came back to Macon county, located at Warrensburg, and has since been engaged in active practice as a physician. He has also carried on the drug business, since 1876. His first marriage was in January, 1868, to Eliza A. Gouge, a native of Macon county. She died on the 31st of May, 1872. His second marriage took place in March, 1873, to Clarind Gates, who was born in Monroe county, Ohio. She was then a resident of Cass county, Missouri, to which place her father had moved from Ohio. He has three children, one by his first and two by his second marriage. He is a republican in politics.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 217
Francis E. DESPRES
Francis E. Despres, who is engaged in general farming on section 21, Pleasant View Township, is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born in Wayne County on the 2d of December, 1847. His father was born in France in 1823, and with his parents came to America when only six years of age. He was reared to manhood upon a farm, and in 1864 came to Macon County, where he has since made his home. Here he engaged in farming, having purchased land soon after his arrival. The mother of our subject, who bore the maiden name of Euphrozena Cotty, is also a native of France, who was born in 1823 and is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Despres had a family of twelve children, but eight of that number are now deceased. Those who still survive are Mary, wife of James M. Day, a farmer residing in southwestern Kansas; Francis E., of this sketch; Jennie, wife of Millard Pope, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in this community; and Delphia, wife of Fred Ketchum, a machinist of Bluff Springs, Sangamon County, Ill.
In taking up the sketch of Francis Despres, we present to our readers a life record of one of Macon County's worthy citizens. The first sixteen years of his life were passed under the parental roof in the State of his nativity. He then came with his parents to Macon County, where he has since resided. Upon the home farm he remained, giving his father the benefit of his services, until twenty-four years of age, when he was married to Miss Pauline Young, who is the daughter of Benedict and Cecelia Young, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. The young couple began their domestic life upon a part of the old home farm, which Mr. Despres rented and which he operated until 1882. In that year he went with his family to southwestern Kansas, where he remained for ten years. His business ventures were not very successful, and in that decade he became entirely cured of any desire to make his home in the Sun Flower State. Since his return he has been engaged in the management of the home farm.
By the union of our subject and his wife have been born seven children, three sons and four daugters, as follows: Anna E., wife of Joseph Flynn, who is engaged in school teaching in Macon County; Cecelia G., Eveline M., Francis Benedict, Thomas Edward, Joseph Eugene and Lillie May. The family circle yet remains unbroken by death, and with the exception of the eldest daughter the children are all yet under the parental roof.
Mr. Despres and his family and also his parents are members of the Catholic Church. In politics he was formerly a Democrat, but he has severed his allegiance to the old party, and now supports the People's party. Throughout the community in which he now lives he is widely known and he has a large circle of warm friends, being a popular and pleasant gentleman, who possesses many excellencies of character.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 214-215
William Dickey, the grandfather of the present Dickey family, was a native of Alabama, and came to Macon county and settled on Friend's Creek as early as 1828. The family were among the first settlers in this section of the country. William Dickey remained here until his death, which occurred June 28, 1832. His son, John Dickey, was also born in Alabama, and came with his father to Kentucky, then to Illinois, at the date above mentioned. He died while on a trip to Chicago, with produce. He was found dead in the road, his team standing close by. The exact cause of his death was never known. The date of his death was October 22, 1846. William Dickey, his son and father of the present family was born in Kentucky, October 11, 1814, and died January 17, 1875, in the sixty-first year of his age. On the 19th of October, 1852, William Dickey was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Ann Brennan. Bernard Brennan, her father, was a native of Ireland and his wife a native of Vermont. They were married in New York and afterwards moved to Canada, and in 1849 came to Illinois and settled on Friend's Creek, where Mr. Brennan remained until his death, which occurred January 13th, 1857. His wife and mother of Mrs. Dickey is still living, a strong, hearty woman, although in the eighty-fifth year of her age. Mrs. Sarah Ann Dickey was born in Canada August 25, 1828. She, by a former marriage Hiram H. Warner, had one child, a son, named Hiram H. Warner, now a resident of Kansas. Mr. Dickey, also by a former marriage, had six children, three of whom are living. John B., the eldest son, was a member of the 116th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers during the late war, and was taken prisoner and died at Andersonville. David A., another son by this marriage, was a member of the same regiment, and was killed on the 23d of July, 1864, in one of the battles before Atlanta. By the marriage of William and Sarah A. Dickey, there were nine children born to them. The names of those living are: Claretta J., wife of H.C. Griffin; Sarah L.; Henry E.; Charles A.; Margaret C.; Mary B.; and James H. Dickey. Mr. Dickey in his life was a consistent and active member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and was for nearly forty years an elder in that religious organization. In his locality he was a man of considerable influence, which he always wielded for the good of the community. He was a kind-hearted man, and suffered considerably in a financial way by going security for others, and then being compelled to meet their obligations. To his family he was a kind husband and an affectionate father, and his death was a great loss to them and to the entire community.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 202
Archibald Dickson, one of the representative farmers of Milam Township, who is living on section 14, is of Scotch birth. He was born on the 20th of December, 1837, near Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the fifth in order of birth in a family of eight children, whose parents were Archibald and Inez (Allison) Dickson. William, the eldest child, is now deceased; Georgiana and Peter have also departed this life; James is an extensive cattle dealer of Australia; Adam is a prosperous farmer of Milam township; Archibald is the next younger; George carries on agricultural pursuits in Clay County, Neb.; and Christiana, wife of Archie McNeil, is still living in Scotland.
The father of this family was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1806, and was there reared to manhood and married. Crossing the broad Atlantic to America, his death here occurred in 1851. His wife, who survived him for a number of years, was called to her final rest in 1874.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who spent his early boyhood days in the usual manner of farmer lads, remaining under the parental roof until fourteen years of age, when he began learning the stone-cutter's trade, to which he served a five-years apprenticeship, becoming quite familiar with it. He was a young man of twenty years when, in 1857, he bade adieu to friends and native land and crossed the briny deep to Canada, where he worked at his trade for about ten months. He then went to Janesville, Wis., where he was employed as a farm hand by the month until 1859. That year witnessed his arrival in Macon County, Ill., where he was again employed as a farm hand until after the breaking out of the late war.
On the 3d of September, 1861, Mr. Dickson, prompted by patriotic impulses, responded to the country's call for troops, and enlisted as a member of Company I, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, in which he served until the close of the war. He saw much hard service, participating in many important engagements. He was always found at his post and proved himself a valiant defender of the Stars and Stripes, which now float so proudly over the united Nation. Returning home at the close of the war, Mr. Dickson engaged in the operation of a rented farm until 1869, when he purchased eighty of railroad land, on which he now resides. It was quite swampy, and not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made thereon. There were very few houses in the township at the time, and the greater part of the land was still in its primitive condition.
On the 19th of November, 1868, Mr. Dickson wedded Miss Eva M. Allinson, of this county. She died August 2, 1872, leaving a son, James J., who is now a farmer of Shelby County, Ill. Mr. Dickson was again married, February 4, 1874, his second union being with Miss Jennie H. Hall, who was born August 12, 1853, and is a daughter of George and Emma (Galtry) Hall, of New Jersey. Their union has been blessed with seven children, six yet living: Ella M., Harry A., Mabel, Ollie, and Frank and Grace, twins. Nellie, the eldest, died in infancy.
The family have a beautiful home in Milam Township, Mr. Dickson there owning one hundred and sixty acres of rich land, which is uner a high state of cultivation and well improved. In politics he is a stalwart supporter of Republican principles, and has been honored with several official positions of honor and trust. He is now serving his second term as Township Supervisor, and was Assessor for two years, Road Commissioner for four years, Town Clerk and School Director. In all the offices that he has been called upon to fill he has discharged his duties in a prompt and able manner that has won the satisfaction of all concerned. He is alike true to every public and private trust, and his straightforward dealing and his honorable, upright life have placed him among Macon County's best citizens.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 255-256
Alfred N. DIEHL
Alfred N. Diehl holds a responsible position as foreman of the Hatfield Milling Company, of Decatur. He is a man of good business ability, industrious and enterprising, who has been connected with this mill since 1876, and has long served as its foreman. His seventeen years' connection with the company indicates his faithfulness to duty and the confidence reposed in him by his employers.
Mr. Diehl is a native of the Keystone State, his birth having occurred on the 24th of December, in York County. The family is of German descent and was founded in America in an early day. The grandfather of our subject, Jacob Diehl, was a native of Pennsylvania, and was a farmer, miller and distiller. He died when past the age of four-score years. Charles Diehl, the father of our subject, was also born in the same State, and became a prominent farmer of York County. He enlisted in the Mexican War, but saw no active service. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Leah Luthman, was of English descent. They were both members of the German Lutheran Church. The father died in 1873, at the age of seventy-six years, and his wife, who survived him until 1876, passed away at the age of sixty-five. They had a family of seven sons and six daughters, and with the exception of two who died in infancy all reached adult age. Those still living are Lucinda, Anna, Susanna, Jacob, Amanda, Rachel, Charles, Alfred N. and Edgar.
We find that the subject of our sketch was educated in the public schools of his native county and remained in Pennsylvania until seventeen years of age. He then followed Horace Greeley's advice and came to the West. It was in the fall of 1861 that he arrived in Illinois, locating in Decatur. In June of the following year, prompted by patriotic impulses and a desire to aid in the preservation of the Union, he entered the service of his country as a member of Company I, Sixty-eighth Illinois Infantry, for three months, and when his term had expired was mustered out, in September, 1862. He then returned to Pennsylvania, where he began learning the miller's trade, but about this time Gen. Lee invaded the State, and he resolved to again take up arms in defense of his country. His parents opposing this, he went to Indiana, and after working on a farm for a short time enlisted in Company A, Eleventh Indiana Cavalry, with which he served through all the campaigns until after the cessation of hostilities. He was freqently engaged in scouting duty, and participated in the battles of Nashville and Spring Hill. In June, 1865, the regiment was ordered to Kansas to guard the Indians, until a treaty had been made which insured peace. They then guarded railroads and overland trains, which were seldom safe from attack in those days.
After the war Mr. Diehl returned to Decatur, and resumed the milling trade, being in the employ of D.S. Shellabarger & Co. for nine years. He then spent one year in Pekin, Ill., holding an interest in the mill, which was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1876. On his return to Decatur, he associated himself with George Priest & Co., owners of a burrmill. In 1881 and 1882, he superintended the erection of a new mill, which was supplied with a new roller process, eighteen double sets of rolls, with a capacity of four hundred barrels of flour per day. In 1883 it became the property of John Hatfield & Co., and in 1888 the style of the firm was changed to the Hatfield Milling Company, under which name business is now conducted.
On the 9th of April, 1872, Mr. Diehl was married to Miss Annie Garver, daughter of David and Anna (Melhorn) Garver, who came from Pennsylvania to Macon County in an early day. Socially, Mr. Diehl is a member of Dunham Post No. 141, G.A.R. In politics, he is a stanch supported of the Republican party, and served as Alderman of the Fourth Ward from 1882 until 1884. His hopes of benefiting his financial condition by emigrating to the West have been realized, for he has met with fair success during his residence in Illinois.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 201-202
Benjamin F. DILLEHUNT
Benjamin F. Dillehunt was born in Hagerstown, Md., March 17, 1815, and was one of a family of five sons and two daughters. He was reared in the State of his nativity, and when a young man learned the carpenter's trade. At length he determined to make a home in the West, believing that better opportunities were afforded there than in the older and more thickly settled States of the East. In 1837 he made his way to St. Louis, and after a few days continued his journey to Springfiled, Ill., whence he came to Decatur, making a permanent location here. He entered a large tract of land north of the city, but afterward disposed of much of it, although at his death he still retained possession of one hundred and twenty acres. He engaged in the lumber business for a number of years with I. Shellabarger, and also did carpentering and contract work. He built the court house in Clinton, Ill., and immediately after, his work there having been so satisfactory, he erected another in Urbana, Ill.
On the 28th of January, 1841, Mr. Dillehunt married Miss Martha E. Nesbitt, daughter of William and Sarah (Nettlin) Nesbitt, natives of Philadelphia, Pa. Ten children were born of their union, eight sons and two daughters. Of this number one died in infancy; and Thomas and James died in early childhood. Hiram married Sabina Hollman, who is now deceased. They had five children, four yet living; Carl, Virgil, Leila and Sabina Eva. William married Cora Braden, and with his wife and four children, Laura, Maud, Welby and Clay, resides on the old homestead. Samuel, who follows farming near Blue Mound, wedded Helen Hughes, and they have seven children; Effie, Benjamin, Anna B., Bert, Tott, Bunn and Helen. Martha Elizabeth is the wife of Joseph Tait, a resident of Macon, Macon County, by whom she has three children: Daniel, Benjamin and Susan. Benjamin W. married Augusta Buchard, and four children grace their union; Leslie E., Gertrude E., Richard B. and Martha Marie. Anna C. is the wife of Walter Hutchins and they have one child, Clarence. Edwin S. married Addie Haynes, and unto them have been born four children: Thomas, Clara, Belle, Lena and Addie.
In the spring of 1892, Edwin Dillehunt, who was a member of the Decatur Fire Department, was nearly burned to death. He was ordered to drive his team and cart into an alley which the spring rains had made very muddy. The horses were stalled and were burned to death. In his endeavor to save the team Edwin was so badly burned that he nearly lost his life, and has not yet recovered from his terrible injuries, being still a great sufferer.
When Mr. and Mrs. Dillehunt came to Macon County they found it but sparsely settled, and the city in which they located was but a mere village. Our subject always bore his part in the work of upbuilding and development, and was recognized as a progressive and public-spirited man and valued citizen. His life was one which gained him the high regard of all with whom he came in contact and made his death deeply mourned. He passed away on the 23d of September, 1869. The old homestead is still owned by his widow, and she owns a pleasant residenct at No. 335 West William Street, Decatur, where she is now living. She is a member of the Methodist Church, and a most estimable lady, her friends throughout the community being many.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 224-225
John Dinneen, who in 1878 was elected coroner of Macon county, is a native of Ireland, and was born in the county of Cork, in November, 1836. His parents were Daniel Dinneen and Catharine Maloney. He was the second of a family of three children. His mother died when he was about six years old. In the year 1847 his father emigrated to America with two of his children, Mr. Dinneen and a sister. The oldest child, a boy, died in Ireland. They came in a sailing vessel from Cork to Montreal, Canada. For about a year they lived at St. Catharines, Upper Canada, and then moved to Worcester county, Massachusetts. Mr. Dinneen had gone to school a little in Ireland, but obtained almost his entire education in Massachusetts, where he attended school pretty regularly. At fourteen he went to work in a cotton factory, and at odd spells worked on a farm. In March, 1856, then twenty years old, he came to Springfield, Illinois. He was employed several years on the Great Western railroad, now the Wabash. Until 1861 he worked on the track, and was then promoted to take charge of the yard at Decatur. August, 1875, he opened a grocery store on Broadway, Decatur, which he has since carried on. January, 1864, he married Rose McDonald, a native of Ulster, Ireland, by whom he has two children, Catharine and Daniel. Until February, 1880, his residence was on a small farm which he owned, a short distance from the city limits. He was raised among the Whigs in Massachusetts, but subsequently became a democrat, and in 1860 voted for Douglas. In 1878 the democrats of Macon county nominated him for coroner. His popularity proved so great that he ran ahead of his ticket, and was the only democrat on it elected. He again received the nomination in 1880. He has many friends throughout the county.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 156
Thomas J. DRAPER
Thomas J. Draper, a highly esteemed farmer residing on section 15, Mt. Zion Township, is living in the neighborhood of his birthplace, for he was born in this township, March 3, 1855. His father, John A. Draper, was one of the first white children born in Macon County, the year of his birth being 1828. Prominent among the pioneer settlers was out subject's grandfather, who came from Virginia in 1825, locating here when Macon County was almost an unbroken wilderness. He settled on Steven's Creek, where he remained for about a year, after which he bought out an Indian trader, who lived about twelve miles northeast of Decatur. While there he was converted under the preaching of Peter Wright, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, about 1830 or 1832. He was of Scotch-English descent, and had served in the Black Hawk War. His son, John Draper, was widely and favorable known in this community, where he resided until 1892, when he removed to Douglas County, where he is now living. He crossed the plains to California in 1850 in search of gold. He returned in January, 1853 and was married in the winter of 1854, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah W. Jones, who was a native of Ohio, and of Scotch-Irish descent, as is also Mr. Draper. Her death occurred in 1888, and her remains were interred in Mt. Zion Cemetery.
The father of our subject chose farming for his life work, and at one time was the owner of a large tract of the best farming land in Macon County. In his family were seven children: Thomas J., whose name heads this sketch; John A., a resident of Iowa; Purnell; Abram Lincoln; Ulysses Grant; and Lewis Sherman, who are living in Decatur; and James Ottis, who died and was buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Thomas Draper, whose name heads this record, acquired his education in the schools of Macon County, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, having followed that business throughout his entire life. He started out for himself at the age of twenty-one years empty-handed, but he has made the most of his opportunities, and is now a successful agriculturist.
In 1885, Mr. Draper was married to Miss Luella S. Stewart, who was born in Macon County, and died in 1887, her remains being interred in Mt. Zion Cemetery. September 24, 1889, Mr. Draper was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary P. Wonacott, also a native of this county. Her father, John R. Wonacott, was one of the brave boys in blue of the late war, and is now deceased. Her mother, Margaret J. Blaney, is still living and makes her home in Mt. Zion.
Socially, Mr. Draper is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has been identified with the Republican party since becoming a voter and is a stanch advocate of its principles. His wife holds membership with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Their home is a pleasant one, situated on section 15, Mt. Zion Township, where Mr. Draper operates one hundred and sixty acres of good land. They are pleasant, companionable people, who hold an enviable position in social circles, and their sterling worth and many excellencies of character have gained for them the high regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893, p. 556-557
George W. DRURY, M. D.
Dr. George W. Drury, a successful prac-ticing physician of Decatur, was born upon a farm in Morgan county, Illinois, in 1853. his parents being George W. and Penelope (Evans) Drury. The father, a native of Ohio, came at an early day to Illinois, casting in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Morgan county, his first home being in the vicinity of Jacksonville. There he engaged in general farming and at the close of his active business career he removed to Forsyth, Macon county, where he lived retired until called to his final rest at the advanced age of eighty-three years. His wife died in the same place at the age of seventy-two years. They reared a family of six children, of whom four are now living: Josiah, a resident of Clay Center, Kansas ; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Harrison Duncan, of Forsyth ; George W., and Charles, who makes his home in Springfield, Illinois.
In his youth George W. Drury came to Macon county, being only about five years of age when his father established his home in Maroa township, Macon county. There he was reared upon the home farm and in early life he attended what was known as the old Center Ridge school. Afterward he continued his studies in the public schools of Forsyth and tlien when he had acquired a good literary education he took up the study of medicine with the intention of making its practice his life work. He became a student in the Missouri Medical College, in which he was graduated in the class of 1882, after which he established his office in Forsyth, where he remained for two years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Oreana, where he was associated with Dr. A. McBridge in the drug business for three years in connection with the practice of medicine. Coming to Decatur he remained for two years and during one year of that time was county physician. He afterward practiced in Forsyth for eight years, but in 1897 again came to Decatur, where he has since remained, having now a pleasant office at No. 224 North Main street. While he is well versed in the practice of his profession in all departments he is now making a specialty of the treatment of diseases of the heart, lungs and kidneys. He has informed himself particularly well along these lines and his skill is of a superior order. He now has a large private practice and he has also been medical examiner for several insurance companies, including the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, of which he has acted as examiner for the last three years.
In 1879 the Doctor was united in marriage to Miss Ruth Lehman, a daughter of Henry Lehman of Forsyth. After her death he was again married, his second union being with Daisy Bixler, a daughter of Andrew Bixler, also of Forsyth. Fraternally he has been connected with the Knights of Pythias Lodge from the age of twenty-two years, having joined the order in Coeur de Lion Lodge of Decatur. He was instrumental in the organization of the lodge at Oreana and later became a member of Forsyth Lodge, with which he is still affiliated. His political support is generally given to the Democracy, but he votes for men rather than for party. In his profession he has steadily advanced along lines demanding strong mentality, close application and conscientious purpose. His zeal and devotion in his work are noticeable features in his career and have contributed in large measure to his success.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 180-181
Dayton Dunham, who is now living a retired life in Decatur, was born in Essex County, N.J., November 12, 1814. His father, Henry Dunham, was a tailor and removed from new Jersey to New York about 1816. His wife bore the maiden name of Sarah Ellison, and unto them were born eleven children, but our subject is the only survivor of that family. On emigrating to the West, Henry Dunham located in Richmond, Ind., and a few years later died in Ft. Wayne, that State, of cholera, at the age of sixty years. Some years later his wife was called to her final rest. They were both members of the Methodist church.
Our subject was quite young when his parents removed to the Empire State, and was still a mere boy when they emigrated to Indiana. When a young man he began learning the hatter's trade, which he followed for a few years. On the 9th of July, 1837, was celebrated an important event in his life - his marriage with Miss Marilla Robinson, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Hughes) Robinson, both natives of Vermont. Six sons and four daughters were born unto them. Henry D. married Emma Kramer, of Decatur, and they have two children; Eva Myrtle and Orville; Sarah E. is the widow of William Dailey, who died, leaving seven children; George, Hugh, Marilla, Ada, Effie, Ida and Eliza; Amos was killed in the army during the battle of Ft. Donelson; Orvis and Orrin, twins, died when quite young; Caroline E. is the wife of James Bullard, of Decatur, by whom she has had six children; Eddie, Bessie, James, Nathan, Esther (who died at the age of three years), and one who died in infancy; Henrietta is the widow of Robert L. Perry; and Charles E. married Miss Anna Phillips and resides near Peterson, Iowa, with his wife and four children; Dayton, Charles, Hartwell and Cora.
It was in 1836 that Dayton Dunham came to Macon County, Ill., which was then quite new and sparsely populated. Many of the now thriving towns were not then in existence, and Decatur was but a small hamlet. Here he followed his trade for a while, and also engaged in teaming. Later he gave his attention to farming, and now owns about twenty-eight acres of the old Robinson homestead, which was formerly the property of his parents. When the war broke out he laid aside all business cares to enter the service of his country, joining Company B, Eighth Illinois Infantry, the regiment being commanded by Gov. Oglesby. He served until after the battle of Ft. Donelson, in which engagement he was so badly wounded that he was unfit for further duty. For about three years after the war he was compelled to walk on crutches. His health improving, he then began to work at gardening, which he followed for some years, and for eleven years, his wife carried on a greenhouse. In May, 1886, he received a paralytic stroke, and has since been unable to work.
Our subject is a member of Dunham Post No. 141, G.A.R., which was named in memory of his son, who was the first one killed from this neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are highly respected people, who have the warm regard and esteem of all who know them.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893, p. 225-226
This gentleman, who has been in the grain business at Warrensburg since 1873, is a native of this state, and was born in Sangamon county, eight misled north of Springfield, on November 17th, 1839. The Dunlap family is of Scotch origin. His father, Tennessee Dunlap, was born in Tennessee, and came with his father to Illinois, some years previous to 1830.
The family settled in Sangamon county, on Fancy creek. His mother, Elizabeth Cartright, was born in Bourbon county, Ky., and belonged to a family of three children, and was raised in Sangamon county, obtained his education in the common schools, and on growing up engaged in farming.
On the breaking out of the rebellion he volunteered, enlisting in August, 1862, in Co. B of the 130th Illinois regiment. From Camp Butler, Springfield, the regiment proceeded to Memphis, Tenn., where it passed the winter, and then went to Milliken's Bend, and afterward took part in the battles of Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion Hill, and Black River. It also participated in the siege of Vicksburg.
Mr. Dunlap had been placed on the roll of honor at Memphis. After Vicksburg was captured, he took part in the siege of Jackson, Miss., and was then detailed in recruiting service. He went to New Orleans, and assisted in recruiting the First New Orleans regiment, in which he was mustered in as 2d lieut. of Co. B, and in which he served till June, 1866. This regiment was composed of white Union soldiers principally from Louisiana.
He served in the commands of Gens. Banks, Sherman, Canby, and Sheridan, and most of the time under Canby. He was stationed at New Orleans, and various points along the Mississippi, and was engaged several times on detached duty, and sent to Havana, Dry Tortugas, and other points; was promoted to be 1st lieut., and was afterward commissioned as captain. His regiment was the last white volunteer regiment mustered out of the service.
He returned to Sangamon county, and engaged in farming. In 1867 he married Mary A. Shannon, a native of New York. He came to Macon county in the fall of 1867, and began farming in Niantic township, and afterward in Illini township.
Since 1873 he has been engaged in the grain business at Warrensburg. He has been a democrat in politics, though he has never been a strict party man, and on local issues has voted for the man whom he considered best fitted for the office.
He has three children--Gertie, Flora B., and Daniel Lee Dunlap. He is a member of the masonic order, and belongs to Beaumanoir Commandery, knights templar of Decatur.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 218
Bradford K. DURFEE
A member of the real estate and insurance firm of Warren and Durfee, was born at Marshall, Michigan, on the twenty-fifth of March, 1838. The history of the family from which he is descended in this country dates back to Thomas Durfee, who came from England and settled at Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1660. Nathan Durfee, of the sixth generation in descent from Thomas Durfee, was born at Fall River; accompanied his father to Ohio when a small boy; grew up to manhood in that state; and at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1837, married Margaret Kirk, and the same year removed to Marshall, Michigan. The subject of this sketch was their oldest son. His home was at Marshall and Battle Creek, Michigan, till 1857, in which year he came to Decatur. For a time after coming to this state he taught school. His father during the war of the rebellion enlisted in an Ohio regiment, of which Mr. Durfee's uncle, B.R. Durfee, was colonel; and while he was absent in the army Mr. Durfee had charge of the farm. In 1863 he was employed by the firm of Durfee and Warren to prepare the set of abstracts of titles of Macon county. In 1865 he became a member of the firm of Durfee, Warren and Co., and has since been associated with John K. Warren in the real estate and insurance business. He was married in October, 1868, to Lucy W. Hamilton, of Toledo, Ohio. He was brought up under strong anti-slavery influences. His father was one of the early abolitionists of Ohio. Mr. Durfee's sympathies were with the Republican party til 1872, when he believed its policy to be detrimental to the best interests of the country, and he has since acted with the Democratic party. In 1878 he was elected as the regular Democratic candidate to the Thirty-first General Assembly. He served on the committees on appropriations, insurance, banks and banking, and labor and manufactures; gave close and constant attention to the business before the legislature, and made an efficient member. In 1880 he again received the Democratic nomination for representative, the convention unanimously presenting him as the candidate of the party.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 147
George S. DURFEE
The birth of Mr. Durfee occurred at Marshall, Michigan, on the thirteenth of March, 1840. From Thomas Durfee, who emigrated from England and settled at Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1860, the Durfee family is descended. The parents of the subject of this biography were Nathan and Margaret (Kirk) Durfee. His father was born at Fall River, Massachusetts; went to Ohio with his father's family when quite young; in that state married Margaret Kirk; soon after his marriage removed to Michigan, and in 1857 became a resident of Macon county. George S. Durfee was seventeen when he came to Decatur. He principally obtained his education at Battle Creek, Michigan, and in the high school of Decatur, which he attended two winters after coming to this place.
At the beginning of the war of the rebellion, on the seventeenth of April, 1861, he enlisted under the three months call for troops, in a company raised at Decatur, and attached to the Eighth Illinois infantry as company A. He was mustered in the United States service on the twenty-fifth of April. The regiment lay at Cairo till the expiration of their three months' term of enlistment. Mr. Durfee at once re-enlisted for three years in the same company and regiment. The regiment was commanded by Colonel (afterward Governor) Oglesby. He had enlisted as a private, and was elected sergeant, to which position he was re-elected after his re-enlistment and was appointed by the colonel commissary sergeant. His regiment took part in the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Just before the battle of Shiloh he returned to his company as orderly sergeant, and in that fight received a wound in the hand. On the fourteenth of June, 1862, just after the siege of Corinth, he received a commission as second lieutenant. The regiment served under General Grant in his campaign through Northern Mississippi. On the thirteenth of February, 1863, he was commissioned as second lieutenant. He was in the battles of Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Mississippi, Champion Hill, and in the siege of Vicksburg. The captain of the company having been killed in the battle of Raymond, Mississippi, Mr. Durfee was promoted to be captain, his commission dating from the thirteenth of May, 1863. During the winter of 1863-4, the regiment re-enlisted as veterans. He was present at the second fight at Jackson, Mississippi, in 1864, and took part in the capture of Fort Blakely in Mobile bay, taken in April, 1865, after Lee's surrender. At Fort Blakely his regiment was the assaulting regiment, and was the first of the Union forces to enter Mobile. From Mobile his regiment was sent to Texas, where it assisted in paroling Kirby Smith's Confederate army. He was stationed at Shreveport, Louisiana, and Marshall, Texas, till the spring of 1866, and of the latter place acted as provost marshal for four months. He was mustered out of the United States service at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the fourth of May, 1866. The regiment was disbanded at Camp Butler, Springfield, on the sixteenth of May, 1866, five years and one month from the date of his first enlistment. He came out as third, ranking captain of his regiment in command of the dolors.
After returning to Decatur he was employed by the firm of Warren and Durfee till 1871, when he engaged in the agricultural implement business in Decatur, which he has since carried on. He was married on the fifth of September, 1867, to Sarah A. Powers, daugher of George Powers, one of the early residents of Decatur. He has four children living and one deceased. He has always been a Republican.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 149
Henry B. DURFEE
A former citizen of Decatur, was born in Washington county, Ohio, on the twenty-sixth of March, 1820. During the same year his father died, and his mother only lived four years afterward. He was descended from English stock. His ancestor, Thomas Durfee, emigrated to the colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1660, and settled at Fall River, where many of his descendants stil reside. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Ohio. In his early days he taught school, and during his apare moments read law. He was admitted to the bar, but never practiced the profession, preferring to work at the mechanical trade which he had learned, that of a cabinet-maker, and at which he excelled.
In the year 1849 he came to this state, settled at Decatur, and soon became closely indentified with the interests of the embryo city. From that time to his death his history was but a history of Decatur and Macon county. He was active in every enterprise, and intimately connected with every interest that promised to benefit the town and county. As early as 1857 he was a member of the city council, in which he served also in 1875, 1876 and 1878. On the adoption of township organization he was elected the first member of the board of supervisors from Decatur township, serving as president of the board, a position to which afterwards he was frequently chosen. When the state board of equalization was instituted, during the administration of Governor Oglesby, he was appointed the member for the district in which Macon county was included, and was subsequently elected to serve one term. He took an active interest in everything pertaining to free-schools, and at the time of his death had been a member of the board of education, almost continuously for fifteen years. He was an active Odd Fellow, and was a member of Ionic Masonic lodge, Macon chapter of Royal Arch Masons and Beaumanoir Commandery, Knights Templar.
He was one of the comparatively few who are endowed with those qualities of mind and heart which make an active public benefactor. It was apparent, as he advanced in years that the natural desire for personal gain was subordinated to the consideration of questions concerning the public good. The improvement and advancement of home interest was a constant subject of thought and attention. In fact a competence gained by business sagacity and earnest labor in earlier years, was finally sacrificed in the attempt to re-establish an industry, the success of which he deemed vital to the prosperity of Decatur. He was a positive, earnest, whole-souled, hard-working man of transparent integrity of purpose, firm in his friendships, and ever ready to lend a helping hand to the struggling and unfortunate. Hence it seemed on the day of his burial as though the entire community were moved with grief at a loss which was personal to each, and attested in a universal tribute of sorrow their estimate of the worth, and their veneration for the memory of a true man and friend of the people. His death occurred after a brief illness on the seventeenth of March, 1880. His loss was universally lamented by poor and rich alike, and it may be said with safety that no name is better, or more honorably known in Decatur and Macon county than was his.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 161
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