HAMILTON, Wm. D. Hamilton
HAMMER, William L.
HAYS, F. L.
HEIL, Dr. Henry Dinkel
HIGHT, Robert W.
HILL, Amandus H.
HOYT, J. N.
HUDDLESTON, James Woolward
HUFF, William J.
Wm. D. HAMILTON
The subject of this sketch was born in Kentucky April 22, 1818, and died June 14th, 1877. His father, John Hamilton, was born in Virginia. He afterward moved to Tesas, and died there about 1866. William D. came to Illinois about 1837. He taught school in Macoupin and Morgan counties for eight years, and afterward engaged in mercantile business in Scottville, Macoupin county. On the ninth of September, 1852, he was united in marriage to Miss Octavina Green. She was born in Morgan county, Illinois. Her parents, James and Mary Green, were natives of Virginia. Their respective parents removed to Licking county, Ohio, when Mr. and Mrs. Green were married. Mrs. Green's name was Thompson prior to her marriage. Mr. Green remained in Ohio until about the year 1820, when he emigrated to Illinois, and settled in Morgan county, where he remained until his death which occurred in 1862. He was a soldier of the Black Hawk war. He was also one of the very early settlers of that portion of Illinois. His wife, and mother of Mrs. Hamilton, died in 1846. By this marriage there were four sons and two daughters. Three of them have survived the parents. Their names are, Ann, wife of Thomas, Anderson De Condray, and Octavia, wife of the subject of this sketch. The date of Mrs. Hamilton's birth was June twenty-eighth 1831. She is the youngest of the family. She remained at home until her marriage. Mr. Hamilton was engaged in general merchandizing at the time of his marriage, in which he continued until 1856, when he purchased land in Macon county. It was raw and unimproved; he built a shanty on it sufficient to shelter him and his wife, and moved into it, and there remained for four years, when he moved back to Morgan county and farmed Mr. Green's place. One year later he sold out, and removed to South Wheatland township, where he purchased three hundred and one acres. He commenced its improvement, and there remained until his death. He was a man of considerable prominence in his neighborhood, and was several times elected Justice of the Peace. He was a member of the Christian church, and was also a respected member of the order of Freemasonry. Politically he was a democrat. In his private life he was of a domestic turn of mind, preferring his home to every other place. He was a kind husband, an affectionate father, and a firm friend, and was much respected by all who knew him. By his marriage there were ten children, five of whom are living.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 189
William L. HAMMER
William L. Hammer, who has laid aside all business cares except the official duties connected with the office of Justice of the Peace, is numbered among the early and representative citizens of Decatur. For forty years he has been identified with the public interests of this city, and well deserves representation in the history of Macon County. Born on the 2d of November, 1817, in Winchester, Clark County, Ky., he is a son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Webb) Hammer, both of whom were natives of that State. He comes of an old family of New Jersey, however, his grandfather, John Hammer, having been born there. The latter was a farmer, living in Clark and Monore Counties. Frederick Hammer was a blacksmith and farmer. After attaining to mature years he married Miss Webb, daughter of Aden Webb, her father being a native of England and her mother of Ireland. They were married in Virginia and reared a family of three sons and two daughters, all of whom are now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hammer were born eight sons and two daughters, seven of whom are now living, as follows: William L., Lucien W., Addison W., Silas R., Seth R., Mary (widow of Andrew D. Northcutt), and Sanford G.
The father of this family was a blacksmith and farmer. He came to Illinois in 1827, locating in Sangamon County, sixteen miles southwest of Springfield, where he made his home for ten years. In 1827, he took up his residence near Moweaqua, Christian County, where he entered a farm of three hundred and seventy-four acres. That he afterwards sold, and then bought land two miles east of Taylorville, removing to that farm in 1848. Abandoning his trade of blacksmithing, he turned all of his attention to the cultivation of his two hundred and thirty acres of land and to stockraising. His death occurred at the old home in 1867, in his seventy-third year. His wife survived him three years, and passed away in her seventy-sixth year. They were both for many years members of the Baptist Church, but shortly before his death Mr. Hammer left that denomination and became an adherent of the Christian Church.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who with his parents came to Illinois when a lad of ten summers. He acquired his education in the schools of his native State and after coming West, and was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, remaining at home, giving his father the benefit of his services, until twenty-five years of age. He was living in Christian County at the time he attained his majority. In 1846, he was elected Sheriff of that county and served for a term of four years, after which he engaged in merchandising for two years.
On the 11th of October, 1853, a wedding ceremony was performed which united the destinies of Mr. Hammer and Isabel M., daughter of Thomas East, a native of Adams County, Ohio. By their union they became the parents of five sons and three daughters, as follows: Leslie E., now deceased; Park S.; Guy, who died in his second year; Ruth, wife of John E. Grove, a dry-goods salesman of Decatur; Cora, now the wife of Arthur E. Spencer, of Joplin, Mo.; Eve; William A.; and Harold C.
About a year after his marriage, Mr. Hammer left Christian County and came to Decatur. From 1854 until 1856 he engaged in the dry-goods business. Following this latter year he was elected Justice of the Peace to fill a vacancy,and in 1859 was returned to that office. In 1860 he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and served eight years, after which he engaged in the banking business with T.O. and E.O. Smith and J.Q. Odor. This connection was continued for six years, when Mr. Hammer retired. He was also engaged in the grocery business during the same period. From that time, he lived a retired life until 1889, when he was again elected Justice of the Peace, and having been re-elected in the spring of 1893, he now holds the office. He was also honored with the position of Mayor in 1869.
In 1883, our subject was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 11th of August, at the age of forty-nine years, in the faith of the Methodist Church. The "Squire" is a member of the Christian Church, and fraternally is connected with Macon Lodge No. 8, A.F. & A.M.; Macon Chapter No. 21, R.A.M.; Decatur Council No. 16, R.&S.M.; and Beaumanoir Commandery No. 9, K.T. He is also a member of Celestial Lodge No. 186, I.O.O.F. In politics, he was originally a Whig and a disciple of Henry Clay. Since the organization of the Republican party he has been one of its stanch advocates. As we have seen, he has been honored with a number of local offices, and his offical duties have ever been discharged with a promptness and fidelity that have won him the commendation of all. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, one who manifests a warm interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community in which he has so long made his home. He resides at No. 371 West North Street, and is surrounded by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 211-212
John Hanks, whose name will go down in history as an early associate of Abraham Lincoln, was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, three miles from Beardstown, on the 9th of February, 1802. His father, William Hanks, was a Virginian who came to Kentucky at an early day, and settled on the Kentucky river, in Mercer county. His mother's name was Elizabeth Hall. The family lived in Hardin and Breckenridge counties, Ky., till the subject of this sketch was seven years of age, and then moved to Grayson county. He first became acquainted with Lincoln in Hardin county. Mr. Hanks was a first cousin to Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks. In the year 1822, when he was twenty years old, he went on a visit to Spencer county, Indiana. He was there two years, and made his home with the Lincolns, who had removed from Kentucky to that state. Abraham Lincoln was seven years younger than himself, and they worked together for two years, making rails, grubbing land, and performing the other labor required in the development of a farm in a new country. Mr. Hanks bought a piece of land next to the Lincoln farm, which he improved, and then went back to Kentucky. He afterward made several trips, twelve in all, down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. The only means of disposing of surplus farm products in those days was by floating them, on flat-boats, down to New Orleans, where a ready market was found. In the year 1826, he married Susan Wilson, a native of Grayson county, Kentucky.
In the fall of 1828 he moved to Illinois, and settled on the farm which he now owns in Hickory Point township, four miles north-west of Decatur. On his way from Kentucky to Illinois he passed through Spencer county, Indiana, and stopped for a while with the Lincoln family, and Thomas Lincoln, Abe's father, told Hanks to write back when he got to Illinois, and inform them what kind of a country he found, and if it was better than Indiana the Lincoln family would remove to Illinois also. Mr. Hanks wrote back, accordingly, soon after he settled in Macon county, that he liked the country, and considered it superior to that part of Indiana in which they lived. Consequently, Thomas Lincoln moved with his family to Macon county, in March, 1830. When he first came to Macon county, Mr. Hanks had cut enough logs for a house on the Sangamon river, but on account of not being able to get any prairie broke, had settled instead in Hickory Point township. On the arrival of Thomas Lincoln, he told him he might have the logs to build a cabin if he liked the location. The offer was accepted, and young Abe Lincoln hauled the logs together with a yoke of oxen, and a cabin was built near the Sangamon, in Harristown township, in which the Lincoln family lived while they resided in Macon county. In the summer of 1830, he went down to help the Lincolns fence a tract of land, and he and Abe cut and split enough rails to fence fifteen acres. From this lot of rails was taken those displayed at the Chicago convention, in 1860. In the sprinng of 1831, he and Lincoln built a flat-boat at Sangamon town, five miles from Springfield. They went there in March, cut the timber, built the boat, and in May floated it out of the Sangamon. At St. Louis, Mr. Hanks left the boat to come home and see his family, and left Lincoln and the rest of the crew to navigate it down the Mississippi to New Orleans.
In 1832 Mr. Hanks was in the Black Hawk war, having enlisted in a company commanded by Isaac C. Pugh. He came back to Macon county, and was engaged in farming till 1850, and then went to California. He was occupied three years in mining within sixty or seventy miles of Sacramento, and came back in 1853. On the breaking out of the war of the rebellion he volunteered, and enlisted in Co. A, of the 21st Illinois regiment. This was the regiment as colonel in command of which Gen. U.S. Grant entered the war. Mr. Hanks was fifty-nine years old when he enlisted. He served over two years as wagon master. While Grant had command of his regiment he had charge of his staff team. He served in Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi. Becoming incapacitated from duty by the rheumatism, he was honorably discharged at Winchester, Tennessee, after two years' service.
Since the war, Mr. Hanks has been three times to California and Oregon, and altogether has seen a considerable portion of this country. He has never held any office, nor has cared to occupy any public position. After Lincoln had been elected president he invited him to dinner at Springfield, and offered to do anything in his power for his old comrade, but he declined to accept any office, preferring to remain at home with his family. Before the war he was a democrat, but always supported Lincoln when he was a candidate for any office, and since the rebellion has been a strong republican. His wife died in March, 1863. He has had eight children, of whom six are now living. William resides near Moticello, in Piatt county. James Lewis lives in Lake county, Oregon. Jane married Alexander T. Medlin, and is now dead. John Felix died at the age of twenty-one. Emily is the wife of Elijah Loomis of Hickory Point township. Grayson lives in north-west Missouri. Mary Ellen married John Manning, and now lives in Humboldt county, California, and Levi Hanks, the youngest son, lives near Moawequa.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 204
NOTE: - Photo appeared in The Decatur Review in 1905. It was stated to have been taken in 1876 when John Hanks was in Boston touring with the Lincoln Log Cabin exhibit.
Was born near Ettenjeo, in Baden, February eighteenth, 1828. In 1833, his father, John B. Harpstrite, came with the family to America, and after residing a short time in Pennsyvania, two years at Dayton, Ohio, and then at Delphi, and near Terr-Haute, Indiana, in 1844 settled near Lebanon in Clinton county, Illinois. Mr. Harpstrite was sixteen when he came to this state. In 1825h married Dorothea C. Rubsamen of St. Clair county, and began farming for himself in Clinton county. In 1855 he moved to a farm in Wheatland township, six miles south of Decatur. In 1860 he engaged in the brewing business at Decatur, purchasing a small brewery. In 1865 he formed his present partnership with Henry Schauderman. Various improvements have been made and the Decatur steam Brewery is now one of the completest establishments of the kind in the state. His wife died in October, 1876. He has eight children living. He is a democrat, and in 1880 received the democratic nomination as member of the Board of Equalization from the fourteenth Congressional district. He has twice represented his ward in the city council.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 161
Kilburn Harwood, agent at Decatur of the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Company, was born at Ashburnham, Worcester county, Masschusetts, on the sixth of September, 1838. The history of the Harwood family in America dates back to an early period in the annals of New England, where three brothers of that name emigrated from England to Massachusetts. From these three brothers the family has spread to different parts of the United States, and now embraces many members. After residing many years in Massachusetts, the immediate ancestors of the subject of this biography removed to New Hampshire, in which state Kilburn Harwood, his father, was born. In Rockingham county, New Hampshire, he married Sallie Buss, and subsequently became a resident of Worcester county, Massachusetts. At Fitchburg, the seat of one of the two count-houses of Worcester county, Mr. Harwood's father acted as sheriff for a number of years; he was a man of considerable influence, and was a member of the legislature from Worcester county for two terms. The subject of this sketch was about the age of six when the family took up its residence at Fitchburg, in the year 1844. He obtained a good education in the public schools, leaving the Fitchburg high school when he was fourteen years old to begin life on his own account. At seventeen he entered the employment of the American Rattan Company at Fitchburg, and remained with them till the breaking out of the war of the rebellion.
In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company B of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment. This regiment formed a part of the Army of the Potomac. He took part in the battle of Ball's Bluff, and was in General McClellan's campaign on the Penisula in 1862. He was prsent at the battles of Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Savage Station, and Malvern Hill. At White Oak Swamp he received a serious wound in his left arm. In 1863, after his recovery, he was placed in charge of the rebel prisoners at the West Buildings, in Baltimore, in which position he was retained till the close of the war, though he was mustered out in August, 1864. He left the United States service on the 26th of May, 1866. He then came west, and settled at Decatur. He was first employed in the law office of Nelson & Roby, and afterward became bookkeeper for Mahlon Haworth, who then carried on the grain business. In November, 1868, he entered the office of the Wabash Railway Company at Decatur. In 1870 he was placed in charge of the ticket office, and since 1876 has acted an agent of the company at Decatur, having general charge of the company's business in both the ticket and freight departments.
His marriage took place on the second of September, 1879, to Miss S.C. Reeme, a native of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, but a resident of Decatur at the time of her marriage. In his politics he is a member of the republican party. In 1876 he was elected a member of the city council from the Fifth ward, of which he was then a resident; and in 1878 was chosen to represent the First ward in the same body. Mr. Harwood is a man of good business capacity, and occupies a responsible position. The business of the railway company at Decatur, which passes through his hands, amounts annually to about half a million dollars.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 160
Who has been supervisor of Austin township since 1876, was born at Saddleworth, Yorkshire, England, February 28th, 1833. His grandfather, Robert Hawkyard, was a woolen manufacturer. His father, William B. Hawkyard, followed several occupations, among which were those of a gardener and stone-mason. His mothers's maiden name was Maria Broadbent. The subject of this sketch was the fifth of eight children. He was raised in Yorkshire. He had but little chance to go to school, and the most of his education was obtained by his own efforts after he was grown and had come to America. When eight years old he went in the cotton mills, at Mosley Bottoms, Lancashire, and was so employed till he was seventeen. He then worked for a doctor four years. In January, 1855, he married, Hannah, daughter of Thomas Bottomly, a native of Yorkshire. In 1856 he borrowed the money to pay his passage, and came to America. It took eight weeks and five days to make the voyage. Landing at New York, he went at once to Manayunk, above Philadelphia, and found employment in the carpet mills, where he worked two years. In 1858 he came to Decatur, Illinois, and was employed by William F. Montgomery to build a fence around sections eight and nine, in Austin township, which Mr. Montgomery owned. Mr. Hawkyard has lived in Austin township ever since. In the spring of 1859 Montgomery rented him land and furnished a team, and he began farming for himself. In 1863 he purchased forty acres of land, from the Illinois Central Railroad company, which he still owns, and on which his present residence stands. He improved this tract, made some money by grazing cattle, in 1867 bought one hundred and twenty acres additional, on four years time, and met the payments as thry became due. He owns two hundred and eighty acres of land in sections four and ten, of Austin township. His farm is well-improved. He erected a fine barn in 1877. He has been one of the prosperous citizens of the township. He began life without any means, and all that he has accumulated has been the result of his own efforts. His children are John Thomas, Frederick L., William H., Henrietta, George E., Eva and Eva May. The two last are deceased. He has filled the offices of school director and township collector. He was appointed supervisor in 1876, to fill the unexpired term of J.S. Parker. He was elected to this position in 1877, and has been re-elected every term in succession since. The first vote he cast was as a democrat. When the national greenback party came into existence he believed its views on the finances to be correct, and for a time supported that party, and voted for Peter Cooper for President in 1876. He now believes the issues between the democrats and republicans, to be parpmount to all other, and he is a democrat.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 226-227
Mahlon Haworth has been a resident of Decatur since 1857. The family from which he is descended was of English origin. It is said that the first of the Haworths to come to American wereJames and Thomas Haworth; one of whom settled in Pennsylvania and the other in Virginia, early in the history of the American colonies. In England the Haworths had been members of the society of Friends from its first organization. George Haworth, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Virginia and lived there during the Revolutionary war. Mr. Haworth's father, Mahlon Haworth, was born in the valley of Virginia, near Winchester. He married Phoebe Frazer, a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, who was connected with a Scotch family which had settled in Pennsylvania at an early period. Shortly after mis marriage he removed to the neighborhood of Knoxville, in east Tennessee, where he lived several years, and where two of his children were born. About the year 1800 he concluded to make his home in Ohio, then a wilderness in which the white settlements were far from numerous. After residing for a time in Warren county, he purchased land and settled in Clinton county. He was one of the pioneers of that region, and when he first located there had only one neighbor within a distance of many miles. Mr. Haworth's parents died in Clinton county, Ohio, on the same farm on which they originally settled.
The birth of Mahlon Haworth occurred on this farm in Clinton county, Ohio, on the twentieth of August 1809. He was the suxtg if bube cgukdreb, That part of Ohio, though only forty miles from the city of Cincinnati, was in his early boyhood thinly settled. Schools had been established, but the course of instruction was usually very meager and limited. The school-houses were old-fashioned log structures with slab benches. Mr. Haworth took the best advantage possible of these opportunities. He could only go to school in the winter season. He attended school in the neighbothood of his home, and afterward at Xenis and Wilmington. His school days were over at the age of eighteen, and he then began teaching, at which he was occupied for three or four years. On the twentieth of August, 1830, he married Sarah J. Woolman, a native of Clark county, Ohio, who belonged to the same family as the celebrated John Woolman, famous as a Quaker preacher, and an early advocate of the abolition of slavery. In the year 1832 Mr. Haworth began the mercantile business, first in Warren county, Ohio, and afterward at Port William, in Clinton county. In the year 1835 he sold out his stock of goods, purchased a farm near Port William, and engaged in farming. He also for a time managed a saw-mill which was run by water-power. For nine years he served as justice of the peace, and for a considerable period was postmaster at Port William. He removed to this state in 1853, and for three years lived on a farm near Mechanicsburg, in Sangamon county. In 1857 he removed to Decatur, which has since been his home. In 1859 he undertook the business of buying and shipping grain, which he continued for nearly twenty years. In the year 1859 the present firm of Haworth and Sons was established, and the manufacture begun of the Haworth Check Rower, which has since had such a large and popular sale. The other members of the firm are his sons, L.L. Haworth, George D. Haworth and James W. Haworth. Mr. and Mrs. Haworth have been the parents of nine children. The three now living, L.L. Haworth, George D. Haworth and James W. Haworth are residents of Decatur. Of the two daughters, Annie M. is the wife of K.H. Roby, and Mary R. married George Simpson. Uriah E. Haworth, the second son, died in the year 1852, at the age of twenty, at St. Joseph, Missouri, while on the way to California. Another son, Mahlon F. Haworth, enlisted in 1861 in the Seventh Illinois Cavalry. He served with his regiment in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and other parts of the South; took part in several hard fought battles, and was finally taken prisoner at Colliersville, Tennessee. He was first confined at Belle Island and was afterward transferred to Andersonville, where he died toward the close of the war. Two other children died in infancy.
Mr. Haworth's political opinions have been in sympathy with the Whig and Republican parties. The first vote which he cast for President was in 1832, when he supported Henry Clay, the Whig candidate, against Jackson. From his earliest recollection he was opposed to slavery. His belief that no man had a right to hold another in servitude was imbibed from his parents, who maintained that doctrine in common with the great mass of the society of Friends. He was accordingly an early member of the Republican party, and has lived to see the final triumph of the principles to which he has been devoted all his life. He has never held any political office in this state with the exception of acting as a member of the city council of Decatur in 1859.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 145-146
F. L Hays, who has now been engaged in the dry goods business longer than any other merchant in Decatur, is a native of the town of Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio, and was born on the 23d of August, 1836, the son of Thomas and Abby (Johns) Hays. His ancestors were early residents of Ohio and located at Marietta, the first permanent settlement in the state. He was raised in the town of Delaware. He had excellent opportunities for securing an education. He attended the common schools till the age of sixteen, and then entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, in his native town, in which he ws a student two years, pursuing the regular classical course. After leaving college he went into a dry goods store, in the town of Delaware, thus gaining his first experience in the mercantile business, with which he has been connected from that time to the present. In 1855, he came West, arriving at Decatur in July of that year. He became a clerk in the store of Stamper and Elliott, with whom he remained till October, 1857, when he began business on his own account, opening a store under the firm name of F. L. Hays & Co. He was at that time only twenty-one years of age, without capital, but showed that he possessed excellent business qualifications.. His father furnished a capital of three thousand dollars, with which business was begun, at first in a modest and cautious way, but afterward, as soon as the firm saw that success was certain, on a larger scale.
In August, 1862, the second year of the war of the Rebellion, he raised a company of men, which became Co. F. of the 115th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He received a commission as captain. Taking the field in October, 1862, his regiment first saw service against the Confederate Gen. Bragg, in Kentucky. In January, 1863, the regiment was sent into Tennessee, and formed part of the Reserve Corp of the Army of the Cumberland. It participated in the battles of Chickamauga and Resaca, Georgia and took part in several long and trying marches. In June, 1864, he was promoted to major and made additional paymaster, and served as such till February, 1865, a short time fbefore the close of the war, when he resigned. While acting as paymaster, he was stationed at Louisville, Springfield, Illinois and Indianapolis. After returning to Decatur, he devoted his whole attention to the dry goods business, which had been carried on uninterruptedly in his absence. In 1865, the firm built the present store on Water street, and thus gained enlarged facilities. The firm remained as first formed till 1872, when Thomas Hays retired, and a partnership was formed with G. M. Bruce, under the firm name of Hays & Bruce. Business was carried on in that manner till 1876, when he became associated with E. D. Bartholomew, under the frim name of Hays & Bartholomew. Mr. Bartholomew gave place to Thomas Hays in 1879, and the old firm name of F. L Hays & Co. was again restored. Major Hays needs no commendation to the people of Macon County as a dry goods merchant. He has always endeavored to sell reliable goods at a minimum cost, and to make his profits rather from a large amount of sales, than high charges for any particular articles. A general dry goods business had been carried on, and he has found it to pay best to direct his attention to the sale of standard and reliable articles. His store is well known to the residents of this part of the state, and customers have invariably received generous and fair treatment.
He was married in September, 1861 to Miss Hattie White, a native of Bainbridge, Ohio, and a resident of Decatur at the time of her marriage. He has four children. In his political affiliations he has always been connected with the republican party, and has voted for every republican candidate for president since Abraham Lincoln, in 1860. He has paid close attention to business and has never filled any public office.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 157/8Submitted by: Toni
Henry Dinkel HEIL, M.D.
Henry Dinkel Heil, M.D., is one of the best-informed medical practitioners of Decatur, where for the past six years he has been engaged in practice. His birth occurred in Whitmore Township, within five miles of the city. He is a son of William and Catherine (Dinkel) Heil, both natives of Germany, the father having been born in Obersell, and the mother in Baden. Having emigrated to America in youth, their marriage was celebrated in Harrisburg, Pa., and in 1854 they journeyed Westward to Illinois, casting in their lot with the settlers of Macon County. They located on a farm in Whitmore Township, and the father devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred about twenty years ago. His mother died May 29, 1885. The Heil family numbered seven children, as follows: Almira, wife of Henry Elrick, an engineer residing in Argenta, Ill.; Henry, of this sketch; William, who married Miss Clara Hendrix, and is a farmer living in Argenta; Julia, who graduated from the Mt. Carroll Female Seminary, and is a leading teacher in the public schools of Illinois; Mary, wife of Frank Boyer, a farmer of Elwin, Ill.; George and Matilda, who are also living in Elwin. Matilda is a graduate of a business college at Dixon, Ill.
The Doctor was a boy of only twelve years when his father died, and the responsibilites of the household and the support of the family devolved very largely upon him, as he was the eldest son. He was thus early inured to hard labor and care, but thereby developed a self-reliance and independence of character that have proved of incalculable benefit to him in later years. At the age of nineteen he entered Westfield College, and after studying for two years engaged in teaching, which profession he followed for four years. It was his desire, however, to enter the medical profession, and in September, 1884, he became a student in Rush Medical College, of Chicago, where he pursued the regular three-years course, embracing six terms. He was graduated in the spring of 1887, with the degree of M.D. (with which he received a certificate of honor), and also with the post-graduate degree.
The Doctor is certainly a man of fine ability. In his practice he has been very successful and is a rising young physician of sterling qualities. He served as County Physician of Macon County for about two and a-half years. In politics, the Doctor is a Republican, and, socially, he is a member of Macon Lodge No. 8, A.F. & A.M.; and Chevalier Bayard Lodge, K.P.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon County, Illinois, 1893, pg. 219-220
James Herrel was born in Grayson county, Kentucky, August 29, 1813, where he remained until 1834, when he removed to Macon county, and remained two years; returned to Kentucky, thence to New Orleans; thence to Florida, as teamster in the war against the Seminole Indians; returned to Macon county in 1839, where he married Mary Miller, November 26, 1840, who was born April 22, 1811. Of their children--
Albert G. was born January 6, 1843; married S.J. Miller. Tabitha was born July 6, 1844, died February, 1845. Elizabeth A. was born October 18, 1845, died June, 1846. George W. was born October 8, 1847. Francis M. was born June 14, 1850, dead. Jamces C. was born January 27, 1852, dead.
Martha Albert HERRON
My grandmother's first cousin, Martha Albert Herron, died on Mon. Sept. 30, 2002, at the Vonderlieth Living Center in Mount Pulaski, Illinois. She lived most of her life in the Warrensburg area. An obituary is found in the October 3, 2002 issue of the Decatur Herald-Review.
I visited Martha at her Warrensburg home, along with my grandmother, Mildred Smee Lambka, in April 1986. Martha's mother, Clara Smee Albert, was the sister of my grandmother's father, Aaron Burr Smee. Martha and Mildred kept up correspondence until Mildred's death at the age of 90 in 1995. (Unfortunately, I do not have any of these letters.) The grandparents were Jacob and Martha Jones Smee, originally from the area of Perry and Cumberland counties, Pennsylvania.
Jacob Smee came to Three Oaks, Berrien County, Michigan from Pennsylvania about 1853. He later returned to Pennsylvania and married Martha Jones on June 21, 1864 in the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The couple returned to Three Oaks and made their home there.
It was through the marriage of a daughter, Rosa B. Smee, into the Binkley family that two of Jacob and Martha's six children came to live in Illinois. The Binkley's were from the same area of Pennsylvania.
Martha Jones Smee is also buried in Illini Cemetery. She died May 6, 1905, while visiting her children in Illinois. These families are also connected to members of the Lehn family found in Illini.
Written and submitted by: Sally K.
Robert W. HIGHT
Robert W. Hight, one of the representative farmers of Macon Township, residing on section 14, claims Virginia as the State of his birth, which occurred in Rockbridge County on the 21st of June, 1830. He is the eldest in a familiy of six children, numbering five sons and one daughter, who were born of the union of Samuel and Margaret (Rapp) Hight. (A sketch of his parents will be found elsewhere in this volume.)
Our subject spent the days of boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farmer lads, remaining on the old homestead in Virginia until seventeen years of age. He then left his native State and emigrated to Tennessee with the family, spending two years in that State. It was in 1849 that he became a resident of Illinois. In that year his parents removed to Greene County, were Robert remained for five years, when, in 1855, he came to Macon County. Here he purchased wild prairie land and began the improvement of the farm. Upon the tract of which he became the possessor not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made, but his labors have transformed the place into rich and fertile fields, and the farm of to-day bears little resemblance to that of thirty years ago.
July 23, 1863, in Macon County, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hight and Miss Martha J. Unroe, a native of Virginia. By their union has been born a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters. Ervel, the eldest, is now engaged in the banking business in Assumption, Ill.; Maggie is now the wife of Frank Webb, a merchant of Decatur; Florence is the wife of John Culver, owner of the marble works of Decatur; Norway, Frank, Robert, Clyde and Ray are still at home. Good educational privileges have been provided the children, thus fitting them for the practical and responsible duties of life. The family is one widely and favorably known in this community and its members rank high in social circles.
In politics, Mr. Hight was formerly a Democrat, but as he entertains and advocates strong temperance principles, his views on that subject led him to identify himself with the Prohibition party, of which he is now a stanch advocate. He has never sought or desired the honrs or emoluments of public office, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests. Himself and family are members of the Methodist Church. They reside upon a fine farm of four hundred and sixty acres of land, constituting one of the best farms of the neighborhood, with its richly cultivated fields and many improvements. His entire possessions, Mr. Hight has acquired through his own efforts and he may therefore be called a self-made man.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon County, Illinois, 1893, pg. 258-259
S.O. Hilbrant, who is engaged in the banking bunsiness in Argenta, was born in Botkins, Ohio, in 1872, a son of Samuel and Jemima Hilbrant. The father was also a native of the Buckeye state and about sixteen years ago he came with his wife to Macon county, Illinois, settling on a farm near Argenta, where both are now living. Mr. Hilbrant there owns eighty acres of valuable land, constituting an excellent farm, and he also has some town property.
S.O. Hilbrant was but a boy when brought by his parents to Illinois and in the schools of Argenta his early education was acquired. Later he attended the business college at Valparaiso, Indiana, and thus well equipped for the practical and responsible duties of life he entered upon the task of winning for himself a creditable position in the business world. Returning to Argenta, he gave his attention to farming, which he followed for two years, and then removed to Medaryville, Indiana, where he occupied the position of assistant cashier in a bank. He spent two years in that place, during which time he gained a good knowledge of the banking business. Returning to Argenta once more, he was appointed cashier in the bank of Gerber & Son, and has since attained a third interest in the institution, which was founded in 1887. This is an important factor in the business circles of the town and in no small degree to the business sagacity, the enterprise and the ability of the popular cashier, Narry Parr, a promising young man, is acting as bookkeeper at the bank.
In 1898, Mr. Hilbrant was united in marriage to Miss Minnie L. Sternberg, a daughter of Charles H. Sternberg, and a native of Medaryville, Inidana. Her father owns seven or eight hundred acres of land in that locality, is likewise engaged in the cattle industry and is the owner of three dredge boats. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hilbrant have been born three children: May, born May 6, 1899; Robert E. and William Edward, born in August, 1902. Mrs. Hilbrant holds membership in the German Lutheran church and both our subject and his wife occupy an enviable position in social circles and in the regard of their many friends.
Mr. Hilbrant votes with the Republican party and he served as tax collector in 1901 and 1902, making the best collections ever made in Friends Creek township. His fraternal relations connect him with the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. In matters of citizenship he is progressive and his aid is never sought in vain in behalf of enterprises for the general good. The banking frim with which he is connected owns the telephone system in Argenta, which operated three undred and seventy-five telephones. He is a progressive, wide-awake young business man, possessed of the energetic spirit which has been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of the central states, and has already attained success that many an older man might well try.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 169-170
Amandus H. HILL
Amandus H. Hill, who carried on general farming on section 3, Milan Township, is one of the self-made men of Macon County, for he started out in life a poor boy with only $4 in money. He has worked and labored to secure the prosperity which now crowns his efforts, and his path has not always been a flowery one. He has encountered hardships and difficulties, but these have been overcome by perseverance and a determined effort, and he therefore deserves all the more credit for his success.
Mr. Hill was born in Wood County, Ohio, November 30, 1851, and is of English and German descent. His parents, John and Hester (Crumm) Hill, had a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, and our subject is the fifth in order of birth. Eight of the number are still living. The father was born in September, 1823, in Ohio, and there spent his entire life, his death occurring in August, 1888. He always followed agricultual pursuits as a means of livelihood. His wife, who was born in the Buckeye State January 28, 1822, is still living there, making her home with her children. She has reached the age of seventy-one years. Of the family, Wallace W., the eldest, is a physician of Weston, Wood County, Ohio; Jane is the wife of Dolphis Hinkley, a resident farmer of Wood County; George E. is a grain-buyer of Ohio; John Rufus carries on agricultural pursuits in Henry County, Ohio; Amandus is the next younger; Martha is also deceased; Arsina is the wife of Charles Edward, a farmer of Ohio; and Lester is a school teacher and minister.
Mr. Hill of this sketch gave his father the benefit of his services and remained upon the home farm until nineteen years of age, when he decided to seek a home in the West. He came to Macon County, Ill., and, locating in Milan Township, was employed as a farm hand by the month for three years. He then rented land and continued its operation for five years, when, with the money he had obtained as a result of his labors, he purchased the farm on which he now resides.
As a companion and helpmate on life's journey Mr. Hill chose Miss Laura Bartlett, who was born in Madison County, Ill., September 5, 1854, and is a daughter of David M. and Nancy (Stinson) Bartlett. Her father was born in Illinois October 11, 1830, and in this State made his home until his death, which occurred in February, 1877. He served in the late war and was crippled in the struggle. His wife was also born in Illinois, and was called to the home beyond in 1862. Their familiy numbered six children, but the eldest, Mary Ann, died in infancy; Jane is the wife of William Mays, a resident of Nemaha County, Neb.; Altha is the wife of Charles Green, who is engaged in the livery business in Polk County, Neb.; William is a resident farmer of the same State; and Ida Belle died in infancy.
Four children grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, but Ora, their first-born, died in infancy. Those still at home are Linder, Wilbur and Guy. The parents hold memberhsip with the Christian Church, and their lives abound in good works and deeds. Mr. Hill is a stanch Republican in politics and warmly advocates the prinicples of that organization. He has served his township as Clerk, and has been Justice of the Peace for six years, discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity that have led to his re-election and won for him the commendation of all. As the result of his good business management and fair and honest dealing he is now the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and twenty acres, and devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893, p. 230-231
The subject of the following sketch is a native of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. He was born near Carlisle on the 3d of May, 1822. George Hiser, his father, was also a native of the same county and state. John Hiser, the paternal grandfather, was a native of Germany. He came to America and settled in the county and state above named, and married there, and remained in the county until his death.
Geoge Hiser, the father, came west to Illinois in 1850, and stopped with his son John until his death in 1858. He married Mary Wolfe. She is still living with her son John, in Oakley township. There were born to Geoge and Mary Hiser ten children, eight of whom are still living--six boys and two girls; John is the second in the family. His advantages for an education in his youth were exceedingly meagre; his father was poor and had a large family to support, so that John was at an early age forced to become a help and support of the family. He remained at home until his twenty-fourth year, when he hired out and commenced doing for himself.
In the fall of 1849 he concluded to come west. Being possessed of little means and unable to pay his passage, he started out on foot and walked the entire distance from Pennsylvania to Macon, Illinois. When he got here he found that there were better chances for a poor man than in Pennsylvania, and here he determined to stay. He first stopped in Decatur and worked at making rails during the winter. The next spring he hired to work on a farm, and soon after went into Spangler's flouring and grist mill, and six months later leased the mill and operated for one year and a half. He then went back to farming and making rails until 1858, when he purchased one hundred acres of raw land in Sec. 27, T 17, R 3 E, and commenced its improvement. There he has lived up to the present time, and now has a fine farm, well-improved and stocked.
On the 17th of September, 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Hess. She was also born and raised in Cumberland county, Pa. Her parents, Caleb and Barbara Hess, came to Illinois in 1850, and setted in Oakley township. Eleven children have been born to John and Sarah Hiser, nine of whom are living. Their names are: Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Seitz, a farmer living in Oakley township; Jane, wife of Levi Kniseley, a resident of Summer county, Kansas; Mary Jane, died at the age of twenty-one years; George, farmer, now farming the home place; William; John F., who died in infancy; Lida, Albert, Jacob, Henry and Sylvester Hiser. Both he and his estimable wife are members of the United Brethren church. Politically he is a democrat, and cast his first vote for James K. Polk in 1844, and from that time to the present has given his adhesion to the party of his early and first choice. He started poor and unaided. What he has has been accumulated by hard toil and the practice of rigid economy. Every cent of it has also been gotten in an honest and honorable way. Among his neighbors he is regarded as a man of strict propriety of character, a kind friend and good neighbor.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 220-221
The subject of the following biographical sketch is a native of Illinois. He was born in St. Clair county, May 19th, 1842. His grandfather, William Holcomb, was a native of North Carolina. He emigrated at an early age and settled in Tennessee, and from there came to St. Clair county, Illinois, in the year 1811. He was one of the rangers in the Indian wars and drew a pension from the government for services rendered as a soldier. He died at the advanced age of ninety-three years. He married Polly Rutherford; John T. his son, and father of the subject of this sketch, was born in St. Clair county. He remained there until his death, the date of which was August 25th, 1855. He married Livina Potter. She was born in St. Clair county, Illinois, where she still resides. By this marriage there were six children, three of whom are living. T.O. is eldest of the family. He remained at home until the breaking out of the late war. On the 8th of August, 1862, he enlisted for three years as a private in Company "H", 117th regiment, Illinois volunteers. The regiment was organized at camp Butler, Illinois. On the organization of the company Mr. Holcomb was elected sergeant. The regiment was brigaded at Memphis, Tennessee, and was attached, and known as the 2d brigade, 2d division, 16th army corps. Sergeant Holcomb participated with his regiment in all the battles in which it was engaged, and was mustered out and honorably dischared August 5th, 1865, at the close of the war. He returned home, worked on a farm in the summer months, and taught school in the winter. He engaged in general merchandizing in Freeburg, Illinois, and on the 1st of June, 1879, came to Oakley, Macon county, where he engaged in general merchandizing and grain business, in which he still continues. On the 14th of September, 1869, he was married to Miss Clarinda J. Smith, of St. Clair county. By this union there have been five children; three living, two boys and one girl. Their names are, Cassuys, Bessie and T.O. Holcomb. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church. He is a member of the A.F. and A.M. Lodge, and also a member of Belleville Chapter R.A.M. No. 106. Politically he is a republican.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 223
Mr. Hopson properly falls into that class of husbandmen whose services as a citizen and an agriculturist, render necessary honorable notice. He was born in Herimer county, N.Y. Oct 11th, 1819. He received a liberal education while in his native state. Hard study and the confinement to the school-room impaired his health, and he determined to spend a short time in recuperation on the sea, and he consequently spent the winter of '40 and the ensuing summer on the ocean. Mr. H. then devoted about a year in teaching and reading law. He next moved to the West and located in Macoupin county, this state, of which he remained an honored citizen till 1857, when he removed to this county, on the farm where he now lives, and which he purchased in 1856. While in that county he was employed principally in farming, though he at first taught several terms and gained considerable credit as an educator. He also paid some attention to the legal profession, but finding his physical organization utterly incompatible with the sedentary requirements of either the law office or the school-room, he abandoned all ideas of professional life in favor of the healthier exercise of farm duties. He owned two farms in Macoupin county. The first purchase was made in 1843, near Chesterfield, and the second nearer the county seat. He made money, and proved by his success that he had adopted a calling for which he was well qualified.
On locating in this county, he began the work of improvement on a raw quarter section. Within two years he had it all fenced and broken, performing all the required labor with his own hands, hauling his rails about eight miles. There was not at the time a dwelling-house in the town of Macon, and only a few small farm-houses in sight of his premises. The country soon however began to settle up, and in the summer of 57 Mr. Hopson counted as many as thirty two prairie [ox] teams engaged in turning over the sod, most of which were in sight of his house. Under careful management and skillful cultivation the original "one hundred and sixty" has grown into the dimensions of a three hundred and sixty acre tract, all in a fine state of tillage; and is now one of the first class homesteads of Macon County, where old-fashioned hospitality is still extended to all, such as was common in the earlier and pioneer days of the county.
He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Martha Richmond, daughter of Elkanah Richmond. This marriage occurred in 1848, while Mr. H. was enjoying a visit in his native state. She died in 1855, leaving a son, Chas. R. now engaged in the practice of law at Elgin. He was married the second time in 1859, his wife, being formerly Miss Sarah A. Fish, daughter of Wm. L. Fish, still living at the advanced age of ninety years. The nuptials were celebrated, June 23d, in the passenger depot, at Macon; which was likely the first marriage celebrated within the limits of the township. The issue of this union has been eight children, four survivors, vis, Edward F., Otho R and Misses Ethel and Lucy.
The remote ancestry were residents of Northumberland county, England. Five brothers came to this country together, three of whom died in the continental army. From one of the three survivors, Mr. H. counts his descent. The given name of his grandfather was Alvarus. He was a native of Conn., where also James, Mr. Hopson's father was born, who was only seven years old when the family settled in Herkimer county, N.Y. Miss Lucy Tuttle, whom he afterwards married, was also a native of the same state, and her parents settled in the same county at about the same date. They raised seven children, four of whom are still surviving the subject of this sketch, Mrs. Cramp and Mrs. Osborn of this township, and S.T. Hopson, a well known farmer of Macoupin county. Mr. Hopson was originally an ld-line Whig, and cast his first vote for Genl. Harrison. He supported Douglas in 1860. He supported Lincoln in his second and Grant in his first term, and has since acted with what has been known as the Greenback party, in which his name is well known. He has been appointed several times, but has attended only one state and two national conventions. He is not an office-seeker, and since settling in this county has only officiated in township positions and the office of Justice of the Peace.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p. 213-214
Jacob Hostetler, who died on the 11th of January, 1873, was one of the early settler of Harristown township. He was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, on the 6th of July, 1810. His father, Adam Hostetler, was Pennsylvanian of Dutch descent who became an early resident of Kentucky. His mother's maiden name was Hannah Hartman. His parents were married in Pennsylvania, and moved afterward to Kentucky. About the year 1825 Adam Hostetler moved from Kentucky to Indiana, and settled in Clark county of the latter state. Soon after the removal of the family to Indiana the father died. Jacob was the youngest son, and was obliged to remain at home and assist in caring for his mother. On this account his opportunities for acquiring an education were limited. He went to school but little, securing, however, mostly by his own efforts, a good business education, which enabled him to acquit himself with credit in all the positions in which he found himself in life. He grew to manhood in Clark county, Indiana, and on the 11th of March, 1833, married Tabitha Crum, who was born in Oldham county, Kentucky, on the 4th of November, 1816, the daughter of Andrew Crum and Mary Haymaker. Her parents were Virginians and early settlers of Kentucky. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hostetler moved to Illinois. In September, 1835, they settled on section 14 of the present Harristown township. At that time the settlements in that part of the county were few in number. Some locations had been made along the timber, but north of the Springfield road all was open and uncultivated prairie, which at that time the old settlers thought would never be brought under cultivation. Mr. Hostetler entered a tract of land on which a log house had already been built. He bought the improvement, and moved into the house which they occupied till more comfortable quarters could be arranged, residing on this farm from the time he came to the county till his death. He was a man who took an active interest in politics and public affairs. He had always been a democrat, and always supported the candidates of that party. He held the conidence of the people of his part of the county, who elected him to several public positions. For eight years he filled the office of Justice of the peace, and for a like time, also, acted as county commissioner. The duties he discharged with credit to himself and satisfaction to the citizens of the county. He was known as an honest and capable citizen, whose character was above reproach and whose integrity was beyond suspicion. He possessed good business capacity and accumulated considerable property. At the time of his death he owned between three and four hundred acres of land, and was one of the prosperous farmers of Macon county. Mr. and Mrs. Hostetler were the parents of three children, whose names are as follows: Francis Hostetler, now carrying on the mercantile business at Latham, in Logan county; Mary J., the wife of James Campbell, of Decatur; and Ellen, who married Charles Hunsley, of Harristown township. Mrs. Hostetler still survives and resides on the same farm which has now been her home for forty-five years. Her husband was one of the oldest settlers of the county, and during his life-time was intimately indentified with its business interest. It is fitting, therefore, that his name should be mentioned in these pages.
History of Macon County, Illinois, 1880, p. 186
Mr. Hoyt has represented Harristown township in the Board of Supervisors since 1877. He is a native of New England, and was born at Concord, New Hampshire, on the 15th of December, 1831. His ancestors were among the earliest residents of New England. The Hoyt family is of English origin, and some of its members were among the pioneer settlers of Concord. Jacob Hoyt, the father of the subject of this biography, was born at Concord. Jacob Hoyt, the father of the subject of this biography, was born at Concord. He married Fannie Tucker, who belonged to a Massachusetts family. J.N. Hoyt was the youngest of ten children. He was raised at Concord, attending the public schools of his native town, and academies in different parts of the state. In the spring of 1853, then twenty-one years of age, he came to Cleveland, Ohio, where he resided till 1868. He was a clerk in the Cleveland post-office for ten years, and in 1865 went into the business of manufacturing paper, which he continued till he removed to Illinois. He was married on the 20th of May, 1820, at Delaware, Ohio, to Mary A. Latimer, a native of that place. Her death occurred on the 21st of December, 1866. His marriage to his present wife, formerly Mrs. Eunice N. Thayer, took place on the 7th of April, 1869. He became a citizen of Macon county in 1868, and at that time settled in Harristown township, where he has since resided. He was chosen supervisor in the spring of 1877, and has since been selected every year to that office. In politics he is a democrat. He has been connected with the Masonic fraternity for several years, and is the present master of Summit Lodge, Mo. 431, A.F. and A.M., at Harristown.
The History of Macon County, p. 187
In giving historical sketches of the more prominent gentlemen of the county, it would not be right to omit the popular supervisor of Pleasant View township. He is a Buckeye by nativity, and was born July 27th, 1822. His father, John House, a native of the Keystone State, moved to Ohio in 1814. He was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Sarah Nicely, a short time after his return from the war of 1812. On settling in Ohio, a location was selected in Jefferson county, in which he improved a neat farm, on which he died in 1833, leaving his widow with six children. This property was afterwards sold for $16,000, and the family moved to Medina county, where their mother died in 1853. Mr. House was married in Jefferson county in 1851, the object of matrimonial alliance being Miss Nancy E. Frazer. After a brief wedded life, death sundered the relation, and he buried this excellent companion in Medina county in 1855. She left two children, one of whom, (Samuel, now residing in Arkansas,) still survives. In the same county he married his second wife, Miss Flora A. Martin, the daughter of James and Lucretia Martin. Within five years he was compelled to surrender this lady also to the stern mandate of Nature, which consigns all to the tomb. She died in 1860, and also left two children,--a son, now in business in Blue Mound, and an unmarried daughter at home. Mr. House bought his farm near Blue Mound in 1865, but did not move to it till the spring of 1866, and since that time the people have known him as a husbandman. Here he has made first-class improvements, and though not extensively engaged in agriculture, he manages to make every 0part of his quarter section of land pay good dividends. Taste and good management are everywhere manifest on his premises--unstinted hospitality makes his home not only one of refinement and elegance, but of social and intellectual enjoyment.
He has made himself generally useful in aiding measures looking to the public welfare, and has also borne a part in the discharge of official business. He is now serving as supervisor, for the eighth term, besides being in former years clerk and collector. His is not, however, an office-seeker, and feels more disposed to evade than to court positions of public trust. In politics he is a democrat of the old Jacksonian school; and therefore, while he holds that the relations between the General Government and States cannot be peaceably servered, he maintains the theory of strict construction as a doctrine of the Federal Constitution, and that the States, the great bulwarks of our freedom, have rights that the Congress of the Nation are bound to respect. He, with all good democrats, denounces centraization in all its forms, and is in favor of strangling its incipient tendencies wherever found.
For the people of the county, without distinction of political creed, he expresses a high regard, and feels that since he came to the county he has been among a people that have acted toward him like brothers, and with whom he expects to fraternize, while contributing his share in the material, moral, and social development of the adopted county of his home. In life he can say, in review of the past, that he has been successful, though he may not have reached the summit seen in youthful ambition. While he has enjoyed much, he has also passed through the deep waters--proved the vanity of many found allurements, and realized grief when pleasures seemed to predominate, as expressed in the beautiful lines of Burns, that--
"Pleasures are like poppies spread,
you seize the flower, the bloom is shed;
or, like snow-flakes on the river,
One moment white, then lost forever."
The History of Macon County, p. 210-211
James Woolward HUDDLESTON
James Woolard was born and raised near Litchfield. in Macoupin Co IL. He had moved to Decatur, Macon Co. IL by 1860 and lived there until the early 1890s. In the 1870 census, he was listed as a clerk with property valued at 2,000. By the 1880 census, he and his family were living in Hickory Point, Decatur Township and had one servant living with them. For unknown reasons, he left his first wife in the 1890s and lived for a time in Iowa, then traveled back to Illinois, then California, although late in life he returned to Illinois to visit his children and other relatives. He married again in 1896 after divorcing his first wife earlier that year. They went to the St. Louis World's Fair, but from 1897 on, they resided in southern California (Burbank, Hollywood, LA, Glendale, Sawtelle, Escondido, San Diego). He left his second wife in 1911. He was listed as a farmer there when he was 70.
James served one enlistment as a union soldier in the Civil War -- Private/Corporal 68th Illinois Inf Reg, Company I, -- from Jun. 62- Sep 62. He applied for an invalid pension and was receiving $6.00 a month in the 1890s. He had applied for a war-related disability -- lumbago which seemed to have shown up by the late 1880s -- and heart disease. He had a dark complexion and was 5' 7'' and weighed 144 at 58.
According to other pension records submitted by his second wife Mary, James Woolard could not settle down. They moved many times, and he died alone some 2 years after he stopped living with her, although they remained married. As described in her deposition, "we were not exactly estranged, but he was quite contrary, he always opposed anything I might want to do around the house; he was restless and wanted to keep moving around all the time...." He died suddenly of a heart attack "hoeing in his garden" near San Diego without any known assets.
James Woolard was the son of William Huddleston, b. 1792 Kentucky, died Aug. 27 1846 (James was 6) Greene Co. IL. William's family can be traced back to Henry Huddleston, born in England circa 1660 who settled in Buck's Co. Pa. James had told his second wife that his father had married 3 times and had large families in each. Available information indicates that he was married twice.
James' mother was Rachel Hendershot b. 2 Oct. 1808 near Louisville Kentucky. Died 27 Aug. 1854 (James was 14) in Henry Co. IL. William and Rachel were marrried Nov. 20 1833 in St. Clair Co. IL. It was William's second known marriage -- he first married his cousin Julia Huddleston -- and Rachel's first, although she remarried after William died to a Mr. Grey or Gray.
James Woolard's marriage #1: 27 June 1862 in Decatur IL. To: Margaret Meheir, who was born Feb. around 1842 in Ireland (She was living with her son James Frank by 1900 after James Woolard left her. She was still living there in 1910, but did not show up on the 1920 census.)
James Woolard and Margaret had 4 children:
1. Charles Atwell (or Otwell). Huddleston born around 1864 (his later census records indicate he was born around 1868. He lived in Kankakee, IL. James Woolard visited him when he lived in California. He was married to Blanche who was born circa 1878 in Illinois They had 3 children.
2. James Frank Huddleston born April 1867 in Decatur Macon Co. He married Ida May Hockaday on 25 Feb. 1891 in Maroa, Macon Co. IL He died 28 Sep 1931 on the Katie train in Oklahoma City and is buried in Greenwood Cem., Decatur IL. His wife Ida May was born 21 Sep 1868 Maroa, Macon Co. IL. and died 23 Nov. 1948 N. Hollywood CA. Both James Frank and Ida May were Methodists. They had 5 children:
3. Hattie (or Hallie) born 1868, she died at age 11.
4. Emma C. born 21 Jan 1871 in Decatur IL. Married Louis W. Norman in Decatur Macon Co. on 21 Jan 1891. She died 12 Oct. 1945. Louis was born 24 Oct. 1967 and died 15 Mar 1946, both are buried at Greenwood Cem Decatur. (they came out from Decatur to California to arrange the funeral for her father.)
James Woolard's marriage #2:: 2 June 1896, Mexico Missouri (They first met 2 years before in LA where she ran a rooming house. She had moved to LA from Missouri in 1887.).
To: Mary Antonia (Toney) Meyer b. 11 August 1857 Portland Missouri. (parents German/Austrian) died. 28 November 1939. She had since married another time before her death. At the time of the marriage, she was 39 -- never married before -- and he was 56. They had no children and they lived primarily in California. She initially applied for his pension in 1918, but did not pursue it. She formally applied for it again in 1921 and continued to press her claim through 1932.
Submitted by: Rob Huddleston
William J. HUFF
William J. Huff, of the Huff Brothers' Lumber and Planing Mill Company, is one of the enterprising, wide-awake and representative business men of Decatur, and is prominent not only in business circles, but is also a leader in church work and a popular gentleman, highly esteemed for his many escellencies of character. As he is widely and favorably known, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers.
On the 27th of December, 1861, Mr. Huff was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, and at the age of eight years came to Illinois with his father, A. Huff, a native of Harper's Ferry, Va. The family located in Douglas County. At the age of twenty William entered the commercial school at Valparaiso, Ind., and also attended a normal school, acquiring a good business education. he then took up his residence in Cerro Gordo, Ill., where he opened a lumber-yard in company with his brother, S.E. Huff. He borrowed $3,000 of his father to embark in business, and the first year he cleared about $300 on the lumber, but lost $200 on the sawmill. Later he established a lumber-yard in Sidney, which he carried on for three years, when he sold out, realizing a good profit. With the exception of $600 each, which the brothers inherited from their father's estate, they have made all that they now possess as the result of their own efforts.
For three years after being joined by his brother the partnership continued, and then William sold out and went to Wichita, Kan., where he spent the year 1885. There he secured a position with the Citizens' Bank, after which he secured employment as a real-estate agent with the Lee Loan and Insurance Co., which was then doing a big business. When the land office was opened at Garden City, he went to that place, where he engaged in locating claims for four months. Altogether his business venture in the West proved a very profitable one.
While in Wichita, Mr. Huff was united in marriage, on the 6th of August, 1885, with Miss Cora A. Pitts, who was then living in that city, but had formerly been a resident of Cerro Gordo. By their union was born a son, William Lindley. The mother died on the 1st of April, 1889, when their baby was only eight months old, since which time, Mrs. Julia M. Pitts, mother of Mrs. Huff, has been superintending the household of our subject.
On his return to Illinois, Mr. Huff located in Decatur and purchased the interest of C.P. Thatcher in the Thatcher Lumber Company. The firm then became Gaddis & Huff, William J. and S.E. Huff both being members of the firm. Business was carried on under that style for three years, after which the company was incorporated under the name of the Decatur Lumbering and Manufacturing Company. For two years our subject was its Treasurer, after which he retired from the firm. The year 1890 was spent as a lumber- dealer in Englewood, Ill. The present business was established and incorporated December 23, 1891, with a paid-up capital of $50,000. The incorporators of the company are William J. Huff, who is now President; C.T. Warfield, Vice-President; S.E. Huff, Secretary; and B.F. Huff, of Cerro Gordo, Treasurer. They have a branch business at Cerro Gordo, of which B.F. Huff is local manager. This company deals in lumber, lath and shingles, and manufactures doors, sash, blinds, moldings, wire and picket fence, and makes a specialty of all kinds of stair and porch work. They employ forty men, nearly all of whom are skilled workmen, and to them they pay an aggregate of $525 per week. Only the finest work is done by the Huff Brothers' Lumber and Planing Mill Company, and their enterprise is justly ranked among the leading industries of the city. Their business amounts to upwards of $140,000 annually and is steadily increasing. In his social relations, William Huff is connected with the Odd Fellows' society, and in politics is a stalwart supporter of the Republican party. He holds membership with Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is Trustee, and he is a prominent member of the Young Men's Christian Association, of which he is now serving as President. He takes an active interest in everything pertaining to the educational and moral upbuilding of the community, is a public-spirited and progressive man, and a valued citizen of the thriving county seat of Macon County. His business career has been an eminently successful one, and the industry and enterprise which have characterized his life have gained him a comfortable competence.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co, IL, 1893 - p. 223-224
Is one of the old residents of the county. His father, John Huston, was a native of Virginia, who emigrated to Ohio and settled at Bloomfield. He was married in Pickaway county, Ohio, to Phoebe Swisher, who was descended from a Maryland family of Dutch descent, who came to Ohio at an early period. Ulysses Huston was the third of a family of six children, by this marriage, and was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, on the 25th of August, 1824. He was raised on a farm. The greater part of his education was obtained in Ohio, which the family left in October, 1836, to come to Illinois. They struck the Sangamon river five miles from Monticello, on the 2d of November, just a month from the time they started. After staying there a few weeks they settled in what is now Whitmore township, near the mouth of Friend's creek. He there went to school a few weeks, one of the teachers being the Rev. D.P. Bunn. The school-house was built of logs, with greased paper for windows, puncheon floors and slab benches. His father died in 1847, and the old place on which the family settled, on coming to the county, is now in possession of Mr. Huston's brother. In February, 1858, he married Matilda McCoy, a native of Champaign county, Ohio, whose family moved to Indiana when she was small; settled in McLean county, of this state, about the year 1844, and a couple of years afterward, moved to Macon county. After his marriage he went to farming for himself, in Whitmore township. Three of his brothers were in the army during the war of the rebellion. In 1867 he purchased his present farm, situated on section thirty-four, Hickory Point township. He has seven children whose names are as follows: Phoebe, now the wife of Robert McCoy, Robert, Martha, now Mrs. Marion Major; Orus B., Jane, William and Mary L. He was first a whig, boted for Taylor in 1848, and afterward became a republican. While residing in Whitmore township he acted as justice of the peace.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 206
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