SCHROEDER, Rudolph H.
SEIBERLING, John D.
SEIBERLING, Peter M.
SHADDOCK, James M.
SHETTEL, Henry A.
SIMPSON, George S.
SKELLEY, Lewis F.
SLEETER, Jno. H.
SMALLWOOD, Joseph P.
SMITH, Edward O.
SMITH, Milton A.
SMITH, Washington S.
SMITH, William C.
STAFFORD, Henry H.
STUART, Oliver L.
STUART, John T.
Rudolph H. SCHROEDER
Rudolph H. Schroeder, now engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 15, Illini township, was born on the 3d of May, 1856, in Milford, Massachusetts, about twenty miles from Boston, and is a son of Rudolph Max and Mary (Hagely) Schroeder. During his boyhood he accompanied his parents on their removal to Monroe, Wisconsin, where the father conducted the first shoe shop in the place. There our subject attended school until twelve years of age, working in a pop factory at fifty cents per day during his vacations, and while in school taking care of a drayman's horses, wagon and barn, for which service he received two dollars and a half per week.
After leaving school he served a three years' apprenticeship to the tinner's trade with Jacob Schuler and was given three dollars per week. Leaving Monroe in 1870 Mr. Schroeder came with the family to Macon county, Illinois, and his father erected the first house in the adjacent town of Warrensburg and to him was delivered the first goods over what is now the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railroad, which had just been built. Our subject entered the employ of A. T. Little, who was then conducting a hardware and tin shop at the southeast corner of the park in Decatur, and was given ten dollars at the end of the first week although there was no stipulated salary.
Later he worked by the piece and made as high as eighteen dollars per week. While in that employ he manufactured twenty-two thousand patented fire kindlers. During the panic of 1871 he lost his position and returned to his father's home in Warrensburg, where he worked at anything he could find to do, receiving from one dollar and a half to two dollars per day. For a time he assisted his father in his harness shop, and in 1873 took charge of his father's farm one mile north of Warrensburg but continued to live in town and work in the shop at night. In the spring of 1881 he was made overseer of a three hundred and twenty-acre farm and boarded with Charles H. Faith, one and a quarter miles from Warrensburg, for two years. During the dull season on the farm he worked at the carpenter's trade for J. M. Keefer, of Warrensburg, and continued to follow that occupation until 1886. About this time he purchased five lots in the village, but during his wife's illness came very near losing his property but managed to save it and built thereon a nice residence, now occupied by C. J. Tucker. Mr. Schroeder conducted a restaurant in Warrensburg for a time and after his father's death had charge of the harness shop until his brother Will took possession. He then embarked in the tin manufacturing business and afterward added hardware to his stock, building the north end of the shop now occupied by his brother Will. He was a member of the firm of Ed White & Company, and when the firm failed he assumed a part of the debts and carried on the business alone. He covered with corrugated iron the elevator of William Ritchie and also the one that was burned belonging to Victor Dewein, on the site of the present elevator of Faith & Dewein. He also put a tin roof on the last named, soldering it all at night and doing the entire job alone. Subsequently he was a member of the firm of Schroeder Brothers and since selling out business has been conducted under the name of Fred E. Schroeder.
For the past five seasons our subject has lived in Illini township on the farm belonging to Francis Winslow, of Decatur, and has engaged in general farming, operating two hundred and forty-seven acres of land with the assistance of his sons. He keeps a good grade of stock, including fifteen horses and colts, a number of cows, hogs and sheep. He began the sheep industry with twenty-three ewes but now has thirty and has raised fifty-seven lambs. He sells the latter when they are about three months old. During his five years' experience he has lost only five sheep and he derives a good income from his wool.
On the 26th of July, 1882, Mr. Schroeder married Miss Alpha Retta Akers, a daughter of O'Neill and Eliza Jane Akers. She was born, reared and educated in Woodsfield, Monroe county, Ohio, and in 1881 came to Warrensburg to live with her aunt, Mrs. Dr. Dempsey. Our subject and his wife have seven children: Manzy, born April 3. 1883; Earl, February, 1885; Emmett, March 1, 1S87; Charley, September 26, 1889; Carrie, December 26, 1893; Max, July 26, 1896; and Catherine, December 31, 1900. She was born in one century and dressed for the first time in the next.
Mr. Schroeder is prominently identified with several civic societies. In 1880 he became a charter member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 600, of Forsythe, and now belongs to Decatur Encampment, No. 37, I.O.O.F., Decatur Canton, No. 19, Patriarchs Militant. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Royal Neighbors, the Ridgley Protective Association and the Rebekahs, having been a member of the Sovereign grand lodge of the last named order for fifteen years. His wife is also a member of the Royal Neighbors and Rebekahs and takes quite an active and prominent part in the work of the latter organization. She has taken the Chevalier and Uniform degrees of the Patriarch Militant, and is now serving her eleventh year as noble grand and captain. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Warrensburg and like her husband is highly respected and esteemed by all who know her. Mr. Schroeder was reared a Democrat and affiliated with that party for some time, but for the past ten years has voted the Republican ticket. For thirteen years he has efficiently filled the office of constable and has served as bailiff under three different sheriffs.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 884
William Schroll, a prominent and influential citizen of Decatur, who is now living a retired life at his pleasant home, situated at No. 322 South Union Street, claims Pennsylvania as the State of his nativity. He was born in Cumberland County, about seven miles from Harrisburg, on the 10th of February, 1833, and is a son of George and Elizabeth (Bailey) Schroll. His parents were also natives of the Keystone State. About 1843 they removed from Cumberland to York County, but their home was again about the same distance from the capital city of Pennsylvania. The year 1850 witnessed their emigration Westward. They came to Illinois and located in Wheatland Township, about six miles southeast of Decatur, where the father secured wild land and opened up a farm, upon which he made his home until his death. He cleared two hundred and forty acres of land and placed it under a high state of cultivation. His death occurred in September, 1861, at the age of fifty-eight years. His wife, who survived him about twelve years, died in 1873 in Decatur. This worthy couple had a family of six children, as follows: Jacob R., who is now living at Farber, Audrain County, Mo.; Ann B., wife of Peter Weiser, who is living in Holdredge, Neb.; William, whose name heads this record; George, who died in Arcola, Mo.; Samuel, who died in Paola, Miami County, Kan.; and Elizabeth, who became the wife of Silas Timmons and died in this county. The three children now deceased were all married and left families.
The subject of this sketch was only ten years of age when his parents removed to York County, Pa., and was a young man of seventeen when they came to Illinois. He remained upon the home farm until twenty years of age and then began learning the carpenter's trade in Decatur with Ricketts & Simpson. When he had mastered the business he continued to follow it as a means of livelihood until 1856, when he turned his attention to the occupation to which he had been reared. He removed to a farm ten miles northwest of Decatur, and was one of the first settlers on the prairie, where he located and where he made his home from 1856 until 1873. He had improved three hundred and sixty acres of land, placing the entire amount under a high state of cultivation. From 1873 until 1876 he made his home in this city, and then returned to the farm, where he lived until 1881. Since that time he has lived a retired life in Decatur. He was formerly engaged quite extensively in buying and shipping stock. He still owns four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, which he rents. This is divided into two farms, one of three hundred and twenty acres in Hickory Point Township, and the other of one hundred and sixty acres in Illni Township.
The lady who is now Mrs. Schroll was in her maidenhood Miss Thomasine Eleanor Barrow. She was born in Westmoreland, in the north of England, and at the age of nineteen years came to the United States. When a young lady of twenty-two she became the wife of our subject. Their union was celebrated January 16, 1855, and unto them have been born the following children: John Franklin, a grain dealer at Pierson, Piatt County, Ill.; Charles E., a member of the firm of Buckingham & Schroll, attorneys-at-law; Nellie D., who is a student in the State University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, she having been graduated from the Decatur High School in the Class of '90; and Wilbur Fred, who is now attending the Decatur High School. Charles was a graduate of the High School, and then pursued a four-years course in Harvard University, spending three years in the law school. Five children of the family are now deceased; Willie B., who died at the age of four months; George, who died at the age of thirteen years; Lizzie, who died at the age of a year; Winifred, whose death occurred in her sixth year; and Lillie, who died in her fourth year.
In political sentiment, Mr. Schroll is a Republican and has served as Alderman of the Third Ward for two years. He is truly a self-made man, for when he began farming he had only $450. He has made judicious and careful investments, has exercised good judgment in his business affairs, and as a result of his enterprise and industry he has acquired a handsome property, which now enables him to live retired.
Portrait and Biographical History of Macon Co., IL, 1893, p. 233-234
John D. SEIBERLING
Though still a young man, Mr. Seiberling deserves a passing notice, both on account of the services he has rendered his country and the business relations he sustains to his town, as well as to preserve a record of a well-known family.
His grandfather, Jno. D. Seiberling was a native of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, where he served as post-master fifty-four years, and was the oldest P.M. of the Keystone state. He married a Miss Bear, and lived to the age of ninety-two years, and died while on a visit to Ohio. James Seiberling, now a well-known citizen of this township, father of our subject, is also a native of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, was raised there and also there married to Miss Sarah Moser. He afterwards settled in Summit County, Ohio, where he lived till he moved here in 1864. He has had a family of fourteen children, all now dead, save six, viz.: Catharine App, J.D., O.R., P.M., Sarah Wise and Miss Mary ---all of the town of Blue Mound.
John D. also claims Lehigh county as the place of his nativity. He was about ten years old when his parents moved to Summit county, Ohio. There he was raised and secured a good education, and also learned the harness-making trade. He entered the army in 1862, and fought in the Union ranks till the close of the war, and was in the battles of the Wilderness, Gettysburg and other serious engagements of the eastern campaigns. He was seriously wounded at Gettysburg, and came very near being a sacrifice on the altar of the country for his devotion to the Union. He won a reputation while in the service, of a brave soldier and a true patriot. After the close of hostilities he returned to Ohio, and worked at his trade til 1871, when he came to Blue Mound and embarked in the gracery trade, in which business he represents the oldest house of the kind in the town. He has a large and growing business, and has proved himself a valluable acquisition as a good merchant and an active promoter of general enterprise. He is democratic in politics, and does not consider that in any respect his record as a Union soldier is compromised thereby. He fought in the army alone for the integrity of the Union and not for any system of principles purely political, and now votes the democratic ticket as embodying the best doctrines for the government of the nation.
He was married in Ohio, October 22d, 1868. His wife was formerly Miss Jennie Foster, of Summit county. They have one child, a son, Erl.
History of Macon Co., 1880, p. 210
Peter M. SEIBERLING
Peter M. Sieberling, who is successfully engaged in the grocery business in Blue Mound, is a native of the Keystone State. He was born near Allentown, Pa., on the 17th of May, 1874, and is the fourth in order of birth in a family of fourteen children, whose parents are James and Sarah (Moser) Seiberling. The father of our subject is also a native of Pennsylvania, and was there reared to manhood upon a farm. After attaining his majority, he engaged in keeping tavern for several years. At length he determined to move Westward, and in 1852 emigrated to Ohio, where he purchased a farm, upon which he resided for twelve years. It was in 1864 that he came to Macon County and purchased land upon which the town of Blue Mound is now located. He is still living on the old homestead, where he has now resided for thirty years. His wife, who is also a native of Pennsylvania, is also residing at the old home. The Seiberling family is of German extraction.
The subject of this sketch spent the first four years of his life in the county of his nativity, and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio, where he remained until sixteen years of age, his boyhood being passed upon the home farm. After coming to Illinois, he remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, when he started out in life for himself, having received such educational privileges as the public schools afforded. After leaving home he began railroading, being employed on a construction train and as a brakeman. He also served as a conductor on a freight train for a time, but at length he abandoned that pursuit and returned home to engage in partnership with his brother in the grocery business. This connection was continued for about nine years, when he sold his interest in that store.
After selling out, Mr. Seiberling purchased the store which he still owns and occupies, which contains a good brick storeroom, 75x20 feet in dimensions, and which is well filled with a complete stock of groceries, queensware and everything found in that line. His dealings are always characterized by the strictest honesty and integrity, and he has therefore won the confidence and goodwill of his patrons, who are many.
An important event in the life of Mr. Seiberling occurred on the 24th of December, 1874, when was celebrated his marriage with Miss Clara E. Goodman, a native of Decatur, Ill. Their union has been blessed by a family of six children, of whom five are still living, namely: Edith R., Terrance P., Vera H., Max and Louis. Edwin G., the fourth child, died in infancy. The children are all attending school.
Politically, Mr. Seiberling is a supporter of the Democratic party, with which he has affiliated since attaining his majority. He has been called upon to serve in a number of public positions of honor and trust, having filled the offices of Township Clerk, Township Collector and Trustee on the Village Board. He was also a member of the School Board for several terms, and in the various positions which he has held his prompt and faithful performance of duty has won him high commendation. Socially, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 253-254
James M. SHADDOCK
James M. Shaddock belongs to that class of people to whom the prosperity and stability of the county is largely due - the farmers. He carries on agricultural pursuits on section 10, South Macon Township, and is numbered among the leading farmers of Macon County. As he is widely and favorably known in the community, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers.
Mr. Shaddock is a native of Virginia. He was born in Caroline County, on the 17th of August, 1848, and is a son of James A.L. Shaddock. His father was also born in the Old Dominion and still resides in that state. He is of English descent, and throughout his entire life he has followed farming. After arriving at years of maturity he wedded Annie E. Rollins, who was also a native of Virginia, and was likewise of English lineage. Ten children were born of their union.
Our subject, who was the third in order of birth, passed his boyhood days quietly under the parental roof, attending the select schools, according to the custom of the South. At the age of twenty-one he determined to seek a home in the West, and, having arrived at that epoch in a young man's life when he becomes his own master, he made the journey to Macon County, Ill., and cast in his lot with its early settlers. As he had no capital, he had to secure employment in order to provide for his maintenance, and hired out as a farm hand by the month. He was thus employed for about four years, when he rented land and engaged in farming for himself. As his financial resources were increased and his labors brought him in some capital, he purchased land, and he now owns two thousand acres, comprising a fine farm that is pleasantly situated three miles south of Macon. It is supplied with good buildings and is well fenced, and the highly cultivated fields indicate the careful supervision of a practical and progressive owner.
In March, 1877, Mr. Shaddock was united in marriage with Miss Jemima Atteberry, of this county. By their union has been born a family of five children, of whom one died in infancy. A son and three daughters are still living, namely: Lula May, Maud E., James Franklin and Bertha Ann. They are still under the parental roof and are the joy of the household.
Mr. Shaddock holds membership with the Presbyterian Church, and his wife belongs to the Methodist Church, but they are united in acts of kindness and in the interest which they take in all that is calculated to upbuild humanity. Socially, our subject is a member of Macon Lodge No. 434, K.P. He is now serving his district as School Director, and the cause of education finds in him a loyal friend. In local politics, he votes independently, but at national elections he supports the men and measures of the Democracy.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 241
Henry A. SHETTEL
Sound judgment combined with fine ability in mechanical lines has enabled the subject of this biography, a well known resident of Warrensburg, Illinois, to make for himself a place among the leading business men of that place. Here he follows blacksmithing and also deals in agricultural implements, wagons, buggies, etc., and has built up a good trade which is constantly increasing.
Mr. Shettel was born in York, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1869, his parents being Daniel G. and Sarah (Jacoby) Shettel, also natives of that state, where their ancestors located at an early day in its history. The father was born in Conewago township, York county, in 1844, and was engaged in blacksmithing at Faustown for some time. Our subject received a good practical education in the common schools of his native place, where he was a student until he attained his majority, though in the meantime he had started upon his business career, working two years in a dynamite manufactory on the Susquehanna river near Mt. Wolf. After leaving school he assisted in the construction of the oil lines from West Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, being thus employed for eight months. During the following two months he worked on his father's farm, and then went to Middlebury, Indiana, where he spent one month.
About this time his father was killed while felling a tree and Mr. Shettel returned home and had charge of the farm for one year. It was then sold and he removed with his mother to York, Pennsylvania, where he worked in the Billmire & Small car shops for eight months first as a horseshoer and later as a car builder. In the spring of 1893 he came to Illinois and for four months was employed on a farm near Bearsdale, after which he was on Mrs. William Montgomery's stock farm for a few months. He next entered the employ of John Barron, a blacksmith of Warrensburg and three years later purchased the shop which he has since conducted with good success. He also deals in buggies and agricultural implements and in this branch of his business he has also prospered.
Mr. Shettel was married February 21, 1901, to Mrs. Verna (Taggart) Keister, who was born January 13, 1868, a daughter of Harrison and Margaret J. (Hanks) Taggart, of mini township, where she was educated in the public school. This union has been blessed with one child, Catherine, born October 6, 1902. Mr. Shettel owns a nice home and business location and the success that he has achieved is certainly well merited, being due entirely to his own industrious efforts and good management. He is a good reliable business man, and his fellow citizens recognizing his worth and ability have elected him alderman of the second ward, which office he is now filling. By his ballot he supports the men and measures of the Republican party, and he is a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 17, of Decatur.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 181-182
Lewis F. SKELLEY
Lewis F. Skelley, the popular and efficient City Clerk of Decatur, who is now serving his second term in that office, has lived in the city for twenty-two years. He came here from Goshen, Ind., his birth having occurred on a farm near that place February 22, 1853. His father, Walter Skelley, was a native of Ireland, who, crossing the briny deep, took up his residence in the Hoosier State. He crossed the Atlantic in 1826, landing in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Upon a farm near Gosehn he resided until some sixteen years ago, when he died at the age of eighty. His wife had passed away five weeks previous, in her seventy-third year. They had been married fifty-one years.
Our subject is the youngest of their twelve children, ten of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and are still living. William now makes his home in Napa City, Cal.; Francis, who formerly engaged in the grocery business in Decatur, is now a farmer of Decatur Township; Patric is living with his brother Lawrence in DeWitt, Iowa; Mary is the wife of Ed Perry, of Omaha, Neb.; Matthew is engaged in farming in Elkhart, Ind.; Lawrence carries on agricultural pursuits near DeWitt, Iowa; John makes his home in Decatur; Isabel is the wife of George Purl, of Goshen, Ind.; Teresa is the wife of John Collins, of Goshen; and Lewis completes the family.
Upon his father's farm in the Hoosier State our subject was reared to manhood, and in the common schools of the neighborhood acquired a good education. His two brothers, Francis and John, had removed to Decatur about the close of the war, and in 1871 they were joined by our subject, then a young man of eighteen years. Here he secured employment as a salesman with the firm of Milligan & Skelley, who were doing a grocery business, and continued in their store for two years. He was then employed in the book store of M.D. Coffeen and continued to devote his energies to that business for several years. In the mean time Mr. Milligan sold out his interest in the grocery store to our subject, and in 1879 the firm name was changed to Skelley & Co., and he did business along that line until the spring of 1882.
On the 20th of August, 1878, Mr. Skelley was joined in marriage with Miss Mary DeCourcey, daughter of Patrick and Catherine DeCourcey, of Decatur. They have become the parents of three sons, two of whom are living; Arthut, a lad of thirteen years; and Lewis, eight years of age; James, the second son, died at the age of nine years. The Skelley family have a pleasant and comfortable home at No. 954 East William Street.
Our subject entered upon his offical career in December, 1882, when he went into the County Clerk's office, serving as Deputy under George P. Hardy, with whom he continued up to the time of his election to the office of City Clerk, in 1891. In the spring of that year he was nominated on the Republican ticket, being opposed by F.C. Betzer, and although he had to overcome quite a strong Democratic majority he won the contest by a vote of one hundred and ninety-six. So faithfully did he fill the office that in 1893 he was again nominated by his party and won the election over C.W. Montgomery by a majority of fifty. The promptness and fidelity which he manifested in the discharge of his duties have won him warm commendation.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893, p. 198-199
Frank Shlaudeman, an educated gentleman and prominent business man of Decatur, is Vice-President of the Decatur Brewing Company, and also Vice-President of the Decatur Ice and Cold Storage Company. His entire life has been passed in this city, where his birth occurred on the 17th of June, 1862. Under the parental roof the days of his boyhood were passed, and his primary education was acquired in the public schools of the city. He afterward attended the University of Illinois, at Champaign, taking a five-years course as a mechanical enigneer in the mechanical department. He was then graduated from that institution in the Class of '82, with the degrees of B.S. and M.E. After his graduation he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and entered the employ of the Brush Electric Light Company. He worked in all the departments of that company and became familiar with every detail of the business. Later he spent six months in Chicago. He had expected to devote his attention to electrical work, but events caused him to abandon this plan. However, he has built two electric machines, one for lighting the ice factory and one for motor purposes in the bottling works, of three-horse power. He put up the first electrical machine in Decatur, a Brush machine of ten-horse power for exhibition purposes.
In October, 1886, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Shlaudeman and Miss Josephine Baum, whose home was in Springfield, Ill. They have a pleasant residence on Webster Street, and are well known in this community, having many friends. From his boyhood our subject has been familiar with the brewing business, and in 1886 entered the brewery. Since that time he has given his entire attention to the business, and has practically been its manager. He has entire charge of the manufacturing department, and his brother Harry superintends the office and sales. The property covers a tract of several acres. The Decatur Brewing Company was oncorporated on the 27th of March, 1888, with a capital stock of $50,000. It's officers are H. Shlaudeman, President; Frank Shlaudeman, Vice-President; and Harry Shlaudeman, Secretary and Treasurer. It has a capacity of twenty thousands barrels annually, with an annual business of fourteen thousand barrels, and they purchase about fifteen thousand bushels of barley, mainly grown in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Employment is furnished to twenty-three men. The bottling works are separated from the brewery. Mr. Shlaudeman is an intelligent and cultured gentleman, pleasant and popular, and a man of good business ability.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893, p. 254-255
George S. SIMPSON
George S. Simpson has for many years been connected with the firm of Haworth & Sons in the manufacture and sale of check-rowers and corn-planters. He is the originator of improvements on the check-rower which are still indispensable in the use of its manufacture. His long service is a high testimonial to his fidelity to the interest of the firm.
Mr. Simpson was born in Indiana County, Pa., May 13, 1843. He came to Decatur in the fall of 1859, and has resided here ever since. His parents, Nathaniel and Margaret (Sprankle) Simpson, were also natives of the Keystone State. The Simpson family is of Irish origin, and was founded in America by the grandfather of our subject, David Simpson, a farmer and miller, who was born in the North of Ireland. When a young man he crossed the Atlantic and located in Indiana County, Pa., where he reared a family of three sons and one daughter. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Frederick Spranke, was of German birth. He too was a young man when he left the Fatherland and cast his lot with a people strange to him in Jefferson County, Pa. Like Mr. Simpson, he followed the occupations of farming and milling.
The father of our subject carried on agricultural pursuits in the Keystone State until 1855, when he emigrated to Keokuk, Iowa, where he made his home for a year. He then removed to Assumption, Ill., but a short time before the war went to Denver, Colo. He formerly had served as a scout with Buffalo Bill. After the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted as a private in the Seventh Colorado Calvary, but his meritorious conduct won him promotion to the rank of Major, a title he did no long enjoy, however, as he never returned from from the struggle. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and served as Deacon of his congregation while in Pennsylvania. His wife belongs to the same church. She is now living with her son George and is seventy-eight years of age. Their four children are Agnes, wife of R.C. Cochrane, of Assumption, Ill.; Elizabeth, wife of Robert C. Leforgee, of Decatur; Emma C., wife of Elmer R. Culver, of this city; and George S.
Our subject was only thirteen years old when his parents he came to Illinois. His educational privileges were very meagre, but he possesses an observing eye and retentive memory, and by his experience he has gained a practical and useful knowledge. Various pursuits engrossed his time and attention until, as before stated, he formed a connection with Haworth & Sons, since which he has employed part of his time in selling their check-rowers and corn-planters, traveling through Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa.
On the 26th of April, 1866, Mr. Simpson was united in marriage with Miss Mary P. Haworth, daughter of Mahlon and Sarah (Woolman) Haworth, of Decatur. She is the youngest child living of her father's family, and was born in Port William, Clinton county, Ohio. Shce came to Decatur in 1856, and was educated in the public schools. Two children have been born until Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, George H. and Fred, the latter of whom is at home. The former married Miss Grace Blume, daughter of George P. Blume, of Decatur, and they have one son, George B. George H. is in the real-estate and insurance business. Mrs. Simpson is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Simpson is a Republican in politics, having supported that party since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He has served six years in the city council and has taken a decided stand in favor of public improvements, having been an untiring worker in the advancement of the city's interests. Our subject and his wife have a comfortable home at No. 367 West Main Street, which is the abode of hospitality, and he also owns other city property. He is widely and favorably known in business circles, and is a popular and genial gentleman.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893, p. 731-732
Jno. H. SLEETER
Was born in this county, January 14th, 1850. He was married March 27th, 1872, to Miss Annie H. Harmel, daughter of Louis and Matilda Harmel, natives of Germany, formerly of this county but now of St. Clair county, in this state. This marriage occurred in St. Joseph, Missouri, and the young couple immediately located on their present homestead in this township. They have three children, viz: Reynolds, Clara M., and Olga.
It was the intention of Mr. Sleeters parents to have him enter some of the popular professions, he being of a naturally delicate constitution, and to this end a course was early begun. He spent seven months at Mt. Zion Academy, in this county; seven months at the Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, and then seven months at the Wesleyan College, Warrentown, Warren county, Missouri. This death of his father about this time rendered it necessary for him to return home and aid in the support of the family, a circumstance that directed his course to agriculture as a business, in which he has not only been successful, but which ha (sic) conferred on him a sound and healthy constitution. Thus does Providence direct men aright in the affairs of this life.
Mr. Sleeter has shown great taste and judgment in the arrangement and improvement of his property, in which he has brought to his aid all the scientific help accessible, and he has as a result one of the most presentable, refined and cultivated homes of his township. He has been perfectly temperate in his habits all his life, and is an advocate of the temperance cause, and hopes to see the time come when the curse of intoxicating beverages will be banished by the force of appropriate legislation from the entire nation. He is a republican in politics and a Methodist by religious profession, his lady being with him a member of the same communion, in which they are known as active workers. He is also a musician, and has taught a number of terms in training the young in the use of the vocal organs in the divine gift, and has otherwise proved himself a valuable aid in building up the social interests of his neighborhood and community.
His father William was a native of Prussia. He migrated to this country when a young man, and was married to Miss Amelia Varnhorst, daughter of John Varnhorst, a native of Prussia, and also an old settler of this county. He became a well-to-do farmer, and was well known in business circles as a gentleman of enlarged views and public spirit. He hoped to see his children not only well settled in life but graduated in the best schools, but death put and end to his mortal career in 1866. He left behind him a wife and five children, all still living. John, William, and Mrs. Lottie Hauck are residents of this township, and the mother (now Mrs. Philip Pinger) and the other heirs are in Buchanan county, Missouri.
History of Macon County Illinois - 1880 - p. 193
Submitted by: Eric
Joseph P. SMALLWOOD
Joseph P. Smallwood, who for many years has been prominently connected with the business interests of Decatur, but is now living a reitred life in his comfortable home at No. 159 West North Street, was born on a farm a mile and a-half from this city, July 10, 1829. His parents, Parmenus and Deborah (Brown) Smallwood, were both natives of Virginia, and after their marriage, which was celebrated in the Old Dominion, emigrated to Ohio, in 1823. The following year they came to Illinois, locating in Macon County, being among its first pioneers. The Indians in this locality were then more numerous than the white settlers, deer and wolves were plentiful, and prairie grass grew higher than a man's head. The father was a farmer, and in the year of his arrival entered three hundred and twenty acres of land a mile and a-half north of Decatur, which he transformed into a good farm. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812. His death occurred in 1850, at the age of sixty years, and his wife, who survived him until 1877, passed away at the age of eighty. She was a member of the Christian Church. Unto them were born the following children: Thompson, Amanda, Betsy, Susan, Sallie, George, John, Samuel, Douglas, Asbury, Joseph, Gideon, and one who died in infancy. Only four are now living, our subject and his three sisters: Amanda, wife of William Bennett; Betsy, wife of Walter Roben; and Susan, widow of Emanuel Davis.
In taking up the life record of our subject we present to our readers the sketch of a man widely known throughout Macon County. His early education was acquired in the proverbial pioneer schoolhouse, built of logs and furnished with slab seats. He aided in the development of a farm until sixteen years of age, when he determined to follow some other pursuit, and began learning the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for five years. In 1850, during the gold excitement in California, he made his way to that State, but he did not meet with any great degree of success. In the spring of 1854 he returned to Illinois and resumed farming, to which occupation he devoted his energies until 1859. In that year he traded his land for a steam-mill and engaged in the milling business for about a year. He then went to Montana, where he was engaged in freighting during the summer season for seven years. in 1870 we again find him in Decatur, where he embarked in the clothing and merchant-tailoring business, which he followed for thirteen years. On the expiration of that time he sold out and began improving his farms in Edgar and Shelby Counties. He now owns eight hundred acres of land in Hume and two hundred in Windsor.
In October, 1857, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Smallwood and Miss Mary, daughter of Samuel Frederick, of Decatur. They became the parents of two children, Effie and Sheridan. The latter died when quite young. The former became the wife of John B. Lauffer, and is also now deceased. The mother of this family died in October, 1859, in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, in which she held membership.
In 1885 Mr. Smallwood erected a handsome block known as the Smallwood Flats, 88x40 feet in dimensions and three stories and a basement high. It is heated by hot water, and is supplied with hot and cold water and all modern conveniences. He also owns condiderable other city property. In addition, Mr. Smallwood has a stable and feed-yard at No. 355 East Prairie Street, where several hundred horses can be accomodated. He has raised a number of thoroughbred horses, including "Aloha," a celebrated running horse, which he sold in 1892 for over $20,000. He now has some very fine thoroughbreds in his stable. Mr. Smallwood is a man of enterprise and perseverance, and his keen judgment and good management have been important factors in his success in life. He has made a handsome fortune by his well-directed efforts, and can now live retired, resting in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 239-240
Edward O. SMITH
Hon. Edward O. Smith, deceased, was not only one of Decatur's pioneer settlers, but was for mny years its most prominent, progressive and public-spirited citizen. He witnessed its growth from a mete hamlet to a prosperous city of nearly twenty thousand inhabitants. In all the years of his long residence here he was ever foremost in promoting the best interests of the place, and did more than any other man to secure to the city its numerous lines of railroad and its substantial prosperity. Whether acting in the capacity of an humble mechanic, sagacious business man or wise legislator, the welfare of Decatur was kept in constantly in view. To such men the city is indebted for its present importance, and the Biographical Record of Macon County would be imcomplete without some extended mention of one whose history was so inseparably connected with the upbuilding of city and county.
Mr. Smith was a native of Montgomery County, Md., his birth having occurred April 15, 1817, and he was the fourth child in a family of six children born unto Rev. James and Rachel (Owen) Smith. Rev. Mr. Smith was a native Virginian, and a distinguished minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who had preached in Baltimore and Philadelphia. He died in 1825. His wife was a native of Montgomery County, Md., and survived her husband but a few years. Their children were nearly left orphans and were taken charge of for some years by their maternal grandmother, Mrs. Rachel Owen, a noble and capable woman. Under her judicious guidance Edward passed the years of his boyhood in work and play, and, having improved the few meagre school privileges to be had at that time, he made his way, at the age of fifteen, to Washinton, D.C., where for about two years he served as clerk in a store. The time spent in that city brought but a small return in the way of salary, but the surroundings were such as to make a deep impression on the mind of a thoughtful and observant lad. This was during the first term of Gen. Jackson's administration, when the President was fighting the United States Bank with tremendous energy. At this time, 1832, a panic was spreading through the land, the credit system was crumbling to pieces, and curses loud and deep were rained upon the head of "Old Hickory." The threatened nullification of the tariff laws by South Carolina, and Jackson's vehement declaration and stamping out of incipient rebellion, were another vivid lesson in politics. Calhoun, Clay, Webster and Benton, the political Titans of the time, were to be seen and heard at their best as they contended in the political arena.
It is not strange that with such surroundings Edward O. Smith, being at the most impressionable age, had his mind strongly turned to political and constitutional questions, and that his whole subsequent life was colored by that early environment. Mr. Smith's active life on his own responsibility befan just as the great wave of emigration dashed over the Alleghanies. The wave brought him with it, and he afterwards went with the first breaker over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas. In the autumn of 1834, at the age of seventeen, the self-reliant lad, with his worldly effects in a bundle across his shoulder, and his entire hard-earned cash capital of $19 in his trousers pocker, journeyed on foot, following the old National Road across the mountains of Ohio, then a frontier State. After a tramp of five hundred miles, he halted at Springfield, Ohio, where he learned the carpenter's trade with Samuel Price. Some throat trouble coming on, he concluded to try the prairie, and took up his westward journey again. He worked for a time in Montezuma, Ind., and for a year in Terre Haute. In May, 1837, he found himself in Decatur, where he lost not a moment of time in doing his part in the building up of the town. Though but twenty years of age, he entered at once upon the erection of a hotel, a mill and other buildings, the site of which was then in the midst of heavy timber. Although Mr. Smith's time was much occupied in building and other business pursuits, he devoted his spare moments assiduously to reading, and thus acquired a liberal education, or rather possessed himself of a fund of varied and useful information. He kept himself posted on the public questions of the day. His ability and integrity were soon recognized by the people and he became an important factor in State as well as local affairs. He went quietly on with his building operations, with unshaken faith in the destiny of the State, and steadily investing his profits in land and improving the same, continued in active business in Decatur for sixteen years. In his different business enterprises he was successful, but while he loved to make money he did not let its power harden his heart or warp his judgment. Surrounded by a society that had a superstitions dread of such an innovation, he built a theatre and dedicated it to Free Speech, a dedication that money could not induce him to dishonor.
In 1843, Mr. Smith married Miss Harriet Krone, a native or Lewisberry, York County, Pa., born September 11, 1826, and a daughter of David and Ruth (Worley) Krone, who were natives of the Keystone State. In 1839 they came to Decatur, where they kept a hotel, at which Mr. Smith boarded, and it was there that the acquaintance lef to marraige. Though Miss Krone was but seventeen years of age when married, she proved a sensible, faithful and tender wife and mother. Hers was indeed a busy life. The rearing of a large family at that time meant much of which the present generation has but little conception. Among the pioneers many kinds of work, from butchering to coloring and weaving, were done at home. Workmen on the farm or in the shop usually boarded with their employers, and politicians, preachers, peddlers and friends were frequent callers, and usually made it a point to stop all night. All this meant a vast amount of work and worry for the mistress of the house, but patiently and uncomplainingly she made the sacrifices demanded of her, looking well to the ways of her household and promoting her husband's interests in every possible way. During his absence in California on two different occasions of three years each, she not only had the care of the large family, but had to look after his property and business affairs, and this, combined with the added anxiety and suspense regarding his whereabouts and safety, amade her life no easy one. Faithful to every trust committed to her, and wise and judicious in her management of the home, credit is largely due to her for their success in accumulating a competency. Her useful life was characterized by many acts of kindness and charity, and her home was the abode of genuine, open-handed hospitality.
Mrs. Smith became the mother of four sons and six daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, and with one exception all are living at this writing. Rachel R., widow of Judge A.J. Gallagher, resides in New York. James. D., lives in Roseburg, Ore. Lydia A. Marriage Aquilla Toland, and after his death married George B. McKee, of San Jose, Cal. M. Ella is the wife of Rev. S.S. Hebbard, of Viroqua, Wis. Harriet is the wife of Frank Moore, of Decatur. Laura S. is the wife of E. Lester Brown, of Elmwood, Ill. Edward O. resides near Moweaqua, Ill. Lowell A. is near Dalton City, Ill. Gertrude is the widow of George W. Waltz, of LaFayette, Cal.; and Thomas C. died in San Jose, Cal., at the age of twenty-four. The mother of this family died January 16, 1867. For his second wife, on the 15th of April, 1869, Mr. Smith married Mrs. Catherine Hillman, of Elmwood, Ill, and the fruit of this marriage was one daughter, Kathryne, living with her mother in San Jose, Cal. Mrs. Smith is a daughter of the late Hiram Brown, of Cummington, Mass., and is one of the Board of Lady Managers of the California World's Fair Commission.
In 1847, Mr. Smith was elected a member of the Illinois Constitutional Convention, representing Piatt and Macon Counties. In 1848, he was the Whig candidate for State Senator for the central counties of the State, and was elected by a flattering majority. One of his first efforts in the Senate was to secure, through resolutions of the State Legislature, a donation from the National Geovernment of lands for the construction of the Illinois Central and the Northern Cross (now the Wabash) Railroads. This was successful so far as the Illinois Central was concerned, and to Mr. Smith belongs the credit of taking the first steps in that great project. He was active in securing for Macon County several of her railroads, and was an incorporator and original director of one of them. While in the Constitutional Convention, he was one of the authors of the special provision, adopted by a separate vote, levying a two-mill tax to liquidate the State debt. This proved to be a wise measure, for the State bonds, which had fallen to thirty percent, were soon taken by eastern capitalists at par.
Mr. Smith made a number of overland trips to California for the benefit of his health, usually taking with him droves of cattle and horses. At that time such a journey was full of adventure and often of suffering and danger. He first went in 1853. Remaining on the Coast a few years, he realized liberal profits from his ventures and returned to Decatur and erected a number of business buildings. In 1858, business being in a depressed condition, he started on a second trip to California. On his return to Decatur in 1861, after an absens of three years, Mr. Smith was elected Mayor of the city, and, this being the first year of the Rebellion, the duties of the office were unususally important. Many regiments of soldiers were fed at the city's expense, and new questions were constantly arising which required prompt attention. During the war he did all in his power as an official to assist the Union cause, and also contributed liberally of his own means. He supported Lincoln for re-election, but after the war acted with the Democratic party. He made one exception, however, and always voted for Gen. R.J. Oblesby at every opportunity, for between these two existed from their first acquaintance in 1837 a warm and intimate friendship that quite bridged the chasm of politic. He was well acquainted with prominent men of the State, including Lincoln, Douglas, Palmer, Trumbull, Logan and Yates, and was not unworthy to stand among them.
In 1870, Mr. Smith removed to California and for the remaining years of his life made San Jose his home, where he was held in high esteem. As he had a hand in the formation of the constitution of Illinois, so he now took a seat in the Constitutional Convention of California, and found work there well suited to his taste and capacity. Mr. Smith was a publi-spirited man, a genuine patriot. Never an office-seeker, he faithfully filled the responsible positions to which he was called by the popular voice. To him belongs the rare distinction of having been selected to assit in framin gthe constitution of two great States of the Union - Illinois and California. His business sagacity was always freely devoted to the unselfish advancement of public interest. No man did more than he in planning and constructing the network of railways to which the thriving city of Decatur largely owes her prosperity. Without the advantages of a higher education in his youth, he was a man of rare intelligence, well informed, a reader of good books, thoughtful, with a wide and deep interest in all that concerned the welfare of humanity. He was broad and liberal in all his views, a man who did his own thinking and quietly shaped his own creed, counting as Truth as of equal authority, come from where it would. He was not only successful in this world's affairs, but had an abiding confidence in our continued indentity in another workd, which is closely bound to this, and that bonds of love and friendship formed here are not sundered by death. In his domestic relations, Mr. Smith was exceedingly fortunate and happy. Toward his wife and children he was model of thoughtful affection and generosity. He gave to them with a liberal hand of the wealth that he had accumulated by his toil and enterprise. The strong points of his character were what might be termed the heroic type. He was fearlessly loyal to his convictions of truth and to his sense of duty. In the presence of danger he was unconscious of fear, and bore the severest trials with unyielding fortitude. In journeys across thousands of miles of unbroken wilderness, infested by bands of hostile Indians, and beset by dangers undreamed of, and by privations under which the stoutest hearts were often overcome, his bravery and fortitude saved his own life and that of many others. He threw his strong arm of protection around whomsoever he chanced to meet in need of succor, and shared with them his last morsel of food. He made no profession. His life was his creed. His political career was clean, and he was known as a man who could not be corrupted. His influence could not be purchased. However much he might be mistaken he was honest. In the fall of 1889, with his wife and youngest daughter, he carried out the dream of his life, crossed the Atlantic and made an extended tour of Europe, visiting many of the chief points of interest, his trip including a visit to the Paris Exposition and the world-renowned Passion Play. On his many journeys he was chary of good-bye scenes, preferring to start on a trip across the continent as though he was going to a neighbor's, and it was in pathetic keeping that his departure on the mystic journey was instant and without a parting word. He passed away suddenly of heart disease March 8, 1892, at his home in San Jose, and three days later his remains were interred in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 195-198
Milton A. SMITH
Milton A. Smith, proprietor and editor of the State Sentinel, the Prohibition organ for central Illinois, published at Decatur, has long been prominent in temperance work, and though his residence in Macon County is of short duration, he is not unknown by reputation to the readers of this volume. He was born on a farm in Massac County, Ill., and is a son of George H. and Lucretia (Hammond) Smith, both of whom were natives of Georgia. On the paternal side he is of English and Irish descent. His maternal grandmother, however, was a Cherokee Indian, and her husband also had Indian blood in his veins. In 1837 the parents of our subject came to Illinois.
Milton received a common-school education, and when only fifteen years of age joined the boys in blue of the Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry, but was mustered in as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry, after its consolidation with the Ninth Mounted Infantry. He was in Sherman's army until the close of the war, participating in ninety-six battles and skirmishes and going with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea. When the war was over he was honorably discharged and returned home. He then taught school for a number of years, and became Principal of the Vienna High School. For two years he was a law student, but abandoned that profession to enter the editorial field. For sixteen years he was editor and proprietor of the Johnson County Journal, but at length sold that paper, and in 1892 came to Decatur, purchasing the State Sentinel. This paper is devoted to the local interests of Macon County, but the principal motive of its publication is the furtherance of temperance principles and the Prohibition party.
In 1874 Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Emma Wright, of Vienna, Johnson County, Ill., and unto them have been born eight children, six yet living; George R., Bessie Lee, May, Effie, Nellie, and Earl R. Eunice died at the age of three years; and Lloyd was thrown from a wagon and killed at the age of eight months. The parents and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Smith was one of the lay delegates from the southeron Illinois Conference at the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held at Omaha, in May, 1892.
Our subject cast his first Presidential vote while in the army for Abraham Lincoln, and supported the Republican party until his views on the temperence question led him to become a Prohibitionist, as he saw that the old party would not act on that question. He has been prominent in temperence work for a number of years, and his efforts to rid the people of the liquor traffic and is consequences have been productive of much good. He has served as Chairman of the Twelfth Congressional District, and also of the party, and has been a delegate to two National conventions and several State conventions. One leading characteristic of his was shown in his renouncing the old party, with which he had long been connected, as his conscience led him to enter the Prohibition field, and he never wavers in carrying out any conviction which he believes to be right. He has been a prominent worker in church and Sunday-school, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He advocates any worthy enterprise calculated to upbuild the community and uphold a higher moral standing. Although his residence in Decatur has been of short duration, he has already won the confidence and good-will of its best citizens and gained the high regard of many.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 230-231
Washington S. SMITH
Washington S. Smith, a well known grain dealer of Mount Zion, Illinois, was born in Bath county, Kentucky, September 27, 1850, and is a son of Benjamin and Frances (Stoner) Smith, who were natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. It was in 1857 that the family came to Illinois and located in Decatur. The parents removed to Mount Zion in 1890, and there the father died in December, 1901, at the ripe old age of eightythree years, and the mother passed away in June, 1902, at the age of seventy-nine. They had eight children, all of whom are still living, namely: Wheeden C, a resident of Decatur; Mary E., wife of Robert N. Henderson; Minerva M., wife of E.O. Humphrey, of Chicago; Washington S., of this sketch; Maria R., of Decatur; Nannie S., wife of O. M. Scott, of South Wheatland township, Macon county; Anna R., wife of H. N. Greene, of La Place, Illinois; and J. Davis, of Decatur.
Washington S. Smith had but limited educational advantages during his boyhood, attending the subscription schools for only a short time, but his training at farm work was not so meager. He remained under the parental roof until 1881, when he commenced operating a farm and was engaged in farming and stockraising exclusively until July, 1900, when he purchased the grain business of J.A. Roney, of Hervey City, Illinois. A year later he purchased of George B. Spitler of Mount Zion a grain elevator and coal business and at the end of another year acquired through purchase the elevator and grain business of George E. Davidson at Prairie Hall, Illinois, so that he is now the owner of three good elevators in Macon county and is one of its largest grain dealers. Mr. Smith handles both corn and oats and ships his grain to Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Terre Haute and many southern points.
In 1881 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Ulery, a daughter of Eli and Mary Ulery, and to them have been born four children, as follows: Gladys, Sidney M., Guy U. and Paul S. Socially Mr. Smith is a member of Mount Zion Lodge, No. 300, I.O.O.F., with which he has been connected since 1880, and he affiliates with the Democratic party. In former years he took quite an active and prominent part in political affairs; was a member of the board of supervisors from 1885 until 1890 and chairman of that important body in 1889 and 1890. In the fall of the latter year he was elected to the general assembly and re-elected in 1892. On the expiration of his term of office he concluded to retire from active politics and give his entire time to his business interests, which he finds much more congenial to his tastes than politics.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 882-883
William C. SMITH
William C. Smith, a pioneer residing on section 16, South Wheatland Township, was born July 2, 1819, in Rutherford County, Tenn., about twenty-five miles from Nashville. his grandfather, Robert Smith, was of Scotch lineage, his wife being of Irish descent. He was in the Revolutionary War, and was taken prisoner during the struggle. His death occurred near Princeton, Ky. His son Robert, the father of our subject, was born in Guilford County, N.C., in 1782, and was fourteen years of age when his parents located on the banks of the Cumberland River, near Nashville, Tenn. They afterward took up their residence on Stone River, ten miles from Murphreesboro. The Indians were then quite numerous and the entire country was wild. Robert Smith, Jr., volunteered for service in the War of 1812 under Gen. Jackson, but was forced to return home on account of sickness. He was married in Wilson County, Tenn., to Miss Ellen Wilson, who died when our subject was four years old, leaving three sons and four daughters. One child died in infancy; Margaret died in 1828, just after the removal of the family to this county; Nancy, wife of Henry Trauber, died in Mt. Zion Township; Robert, who served in the Black Hawk War, died in 1835; Elizabeth became the wife of A.M. Wilson, of Mt. Zion, and both are now deceased; Sarah Jane, deceased, was the wife of J.P. Law; and William completes the family. All were born in Tennessee.
The father emigrated with his family to Sangamon County, Ill., with a four-horse wagon and two-horse carriage, and was accompanied by John Wilson and his family. They remained a year in Sangamon County and then came to Macon County. Although the county was not then organized and the land had not yet come into market, Mr. Smith entered over one thousand acres of land in different localities. His home was a log cabin, 20x40 feet in dimensions, and contained two rooms. It stood on the site of our subject's residence, and there he made his home until 1855, when his death occurred, and he was buried in Salem cemetery. His first wife died in Tennessee, and later he there married Mrs. Jane (Crisp) Allen, whose death occurred in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Mr. Smith was a Jacksonian Democrat, and was acquainted with Andrew Jackson. He held membership with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of this neighborhood, of which he was one of the founders, and was much interested in church work. A prominent and influential citizen, he was widely and favorably known in the community, and is numbered among the honored pioneers. His son, A.W., served as County Commissioner in an early day.
William Smith, whose name heads this record, had very limited school privileges, but his training at farm work was not meagre. He early learned to swing the axe and use the mall and wedge and reap-hook. In the early days he has killed deer and has borne all the experiences of frontier life, sharing in its pleasures and in its hardships. When he had attained a sufficient age he took charge of the old home farm and cared for his father until his death.
In 1842 Mr. Smith was joined in marriage in Blue Mound Township with Miss Lucy J. Pope, who was born in North Carolina in 1819, and is a daughter of Dempsey Pope, who came to Macon County in 1827. For forty-two years she proved a faithful helpmate and companion to her husband, but was called to her final rest in 1884, having had six children, John W., who was born in 1843, and educated in Mt. Zion Academy, afterwasrd graduated from the law school of Albany, N.Y., and is now an attorney of Chicago. He is the author of "Smith's History of Macon County." George Robinson died at the age of five months. William B., who was born in 1845, and married Miss Goff, of this county, is living upon a part of the old homestead, and is a prominent and representative farmer of the community in which he has spent his entire life. He has served as Assessor and Justice of the Peace of his township. Robert, who resides upon a part of the old homestead, carries on a sawmill and blacksmith shop. He married Belle Wilson, and they have two children. He and his brother William were both students in the academy at Mt. Zion, and he completed his education in Lincoln Universitry, of Logan County. Sarah is the wife of A.L. Myer, a farmer of South Wheatland Township. James Willis, who was educated in Decatur, married Ada Grey and resides in Chicago.
In 1885 our subject was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Mary E. Smith. Her parents were William D. and Marilla (Martin)Baker, who came to Illinois at a very early day. The father is now deceased, but the mother is still living at the age of ninety-four. Mrs. Smith was born in Macon County in 1831, and became the wife of John R. Smith, who enlisted for the war as a member of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, and died in the service. Her mother is still living on the farm where she located in the spring of 1829. Her father served on the first grand jury of the county. Her grandfather, Josiah Martin, served throughout the Revolutionary War, and participated in the battle of Cowpens. The members of the Martin family are Mrs. Smith; Rev. N.M., who is living on the old homestead; Mrs. M.L. Dennis, of this county; and Rev. W.P., a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, Ill.
The subject of this sketch cast his first Presidential vote for Van Buren, and has since been a supporter of the Democratic party. He now owns a good farm, but rents his land and is living a retired life. He has served his township as Road Commissioner. He and his wife are numbered among the most prominent citizens of the community, few having longer resided in Macon County than they. They have been identified with its entire growth and upbuilding, and well deserve mention among its honored pioneers.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893 - p. 245-246, 251
Fred Spittler, who is a successful gardener, conducting a large and constantly growing business in Decatur, was born in Baden, Germany, in 1873, and is a son of Frederick and Catherine Spittler, both of whom were natives of the fatherland. In the year 1888 they left that country, and with their children came to the new world, arriving in Decatur on the 2nd of May of that year. The father was a farmer by occupation and followed that calling throughout his business career. He died in 1891 at the age of fifty-four years and his widow still survives him. They were the parents of five children, of whom two are living, the sister of our subject being Carrie, the wife of John Madden, who is living in Missouri.
The subject of this review was a lad of fifteen years at the time of the emigration and in order to procide for his own support he entered the employ of Theodore Steiner, a gardener, with whom he remained for five years, gaining an excellent knowledge of the business both in principle and detail. His practical work enabled him to conduct his own business successfully when in 1894 he started out on his own account at his present location at No. 538 South Peake street. Here he has fine gardens with adjoining hot houses, there being fourteen thousand square feet under glass. He has recently enlarged his plant in order to meet the growing demands of his trade and has introduced a hot water system. He raises from four to five crops in his hot houses between October and May and in the summer seasons produces excellent products in his gardens, their quality, size and flavor enabling him to find a ready sale on the market. He is indeed the leader in his line and has attained recognition as such throughout this part of the state. He makes a study of the soil and its adaptation to the needs of various plants and he is always enriching and preparing the soil by the judicious use of the elements necessary for the production of various vegetables and plants. He buys supplies in New York and Chicago and by reason of this he is able to raise the largest amount possible from a given amount of soil. He is thoroughly qualified for his work, continually broadening his knowledge concerning his chosen pursuits and his opinions are regarded as authority in this section of the state concerning everything connected with gardening. Recently he has purchased a fine farm in Decatur township, comprising eighty-two acres, and has placed this under a very high state of cultivation for the production of choice fruits.
Mr. Spittler is very enterprising and with quick recognition of the business possibilities of the new world he has steadily worked his way upward until he has now is one of the leading German-American citizens of Macon county, who in his undertakings has prospered and who by his diligence, enterprise and honorable efforts, has won for himself a credible position in the business world. He is a member of the German Aid Society and also of the Turin Society.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, pub. 1903, pg. 843
Henry H. STAFFORD
Henry H. Stafford, head engineer for the Hatfield Milling Company of Decatur, is a native of New York. He was born in Essex County, July 16, 1829, and is a son of Caleb and Rebecca (Eggleston) Stafford. In 1836, when our subject was a lad of seven years, the parents emigrated Westward to Illinois, and locating in Sangamon County there spent the remainder of their lives, the mother dying at the age of fifty-five years, while the father's death occurred at the age of sixty-five.
Mr. Stafford whose name heads this record spent his boyhood upon the home farm, but at the age of nineteen began learning the blacksmith's trade. He did not follow it, however, but returned to the farm and carried on agricultural pursuits until 1856. In the fall of that year he came to Decatur and secured a position as fireman in the old Frank Priest Mill, which then stood on Decatur Street, and which was burned in 1864. After a year he was placed in charge of an engine and continued to serve in the capacity of an engineer until 1861.
In that year, Mr. Stafford, on the first call for seventy-five thousand volunteers to aid in crushing out the rebellion, enlisted in Company A, Eighth Illinois Infantry, the company being raised in Decatur in April, 1861. He did duty at Cairo for three months. Being then taken sick with typhoid fever, he did not re-enlist, and after his recovery he returned to the mill. He had charge of an engine at Du Quoin and one at Riverton for eighteen months. He then came to Decatur, and since 1857, with the exception of about a year, has served as a mill engineer. In 1870, he secured a position in the mill where he is now employed, it being then owned by Priest & Crissy. Here he has remained continuously since, although the ownership has constantly changed, the firm of Priest & Crissy being succeeded by George Priest, then Priest, Deal & Co. Later it became the property of the Hatfield Company, and subsequently the Hatfield Milling Company was incorporated. Under the supervision of Mr. Stafford new boilers and engines have been placed in the mill. He is an expert and careful engineer and has had no accident, except on one occasion, when the breaking of a pipe crushed his two middle fingers on the right hand.
Mr. Stafford was married in 1851, the lady of his choice being Miss Lauretta Ross, of Sangamon County, whose death occurred in 1858. In 1863, in Riverton, he married Lydia A. Wright. By the first union were born two children: Orlando Co., who is now Superintendent of the Decatur Brick and Tile Company's works; and Lauretta, wife of Emory Morris, of Sangamon County. The children born of the secong marriage are: Eleanora, wife of Elmer Miller, of Chicago; Grace, wife of Charles Houghton, of Chicago; Leota, who is now a studen in the Jacksonville Institute, of Jacksonville, Ill.; and Charles Henry, who is also attending school. The familiy reside at No. 325 South Water Street, in the home which was built by Mr. Stafford in 1857.
Our subject is a member of the Odd Fellow' society of Decatur and has passed all of the chairs. He has attended the Grand Lodge and Encampment, and is a member of the Patriarchs Militant, or Uniformed Degree. For thirty-seven years he has made his home in the city and has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development. His life has been well and worthily passed and his long-continued service in one mill indicates his faithful performance of duty.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macon Co., IL, 1893, pg. 221-222
Elizabeth Stark, born approximately 1840 in Indiana, came to Decatur, Il, sometime between 1880-1900. Her maiden name to the best of our knowledge was Alsbury, as noted on her son Timothy's death certificate, who died in Springfield, Il on August 5, 1952. As of January of 1998, it remains a mystery as to what happened to William Carmon Stark. William Stark shows up as head of household in Menard County, Il in 1880 according to the census, but is listed as Carmon Stark. William's date of birth according to the census was 1820 with place of birth listed as "Indiana". William isn't found in Macon County, Il in 1900, only his wife Elizabeth. I suspect that William Stark died somewhere between Menard and Macon County, Il between 1880-1900. Listed under the same household in the 1900 Soundex in Macon County, Il are Elizabeth Stark's daughter, Flora Stark, born April of 1872 in Illinois, who in 1905, at the time of her mothers death, is named Flora Fisk, another daughter Minta Jester, born December 1876 in Illinois, a grandson named Pearl Hill born February 1898, a grandson named Roy H. Jester, born November 1897, a grandaughter named Iva May Jester, born March 1900, a grandaughter Lottie Stubblefield, born October 1883 and a Mavice Reeves born April 1886.
Just a few days before Elizabeth Stark's death, which occurred on February 1, 1905, the following news item was published in the Decatur Review dated Feb 3, 1905:
FOUND OLD MOTHER HAD DIED FRIDAY
Shocking Discovery for Caller at Jester Home
INTEREST IN CASE
Charitably Inclined Help Others in Distress
Prompted by the communication printed in the Review Thursday afternoon, Mrs. H. G. Kepler Friday visited the family of Mrs. Jester at 955 East Sangamon Street. Mrs. Kepler found that the circumstances were even worse than were related in the communication. Mrs. Jester, her mother, 76 years old and three small children, had been living in one small room and were absolutely destitute of food and coal. The older woman, Mrs. Kepler, when found, was beyond all suffering. She died during the night.
Mrs. Kepler at once ordered a quantity of groceries sent to the house. Her husband, who is a clerk in the Illinois Central Freight Offices, found ready sympathy among the men there. Money enough to pay for a load of coal was quickly raised and Dan Macknet was instructed to deliver the coal. Mr. Macknet happened to have nothing but screenings on hand, but he volunteered to deliver a load of that at his own expense.
FUND OF TWENTY DOLLARS
The sympathy of the Ward school teachers was also aroused by the communication and a subscription was at once started. The teachers contributed 25 cents each, which will make a fund of nearly $20 dollars. The money from some of the schools was sent into the superintendent's office this morning and the rest of it will be sent in this afternoon.
Mrs. Kepler found that Mrs. Jester had been supporting her mother and children by washing. Since the older woman has been so sick, Mrs. Jester had been obliged to give her whole attention to her and neglect her work.
DIED DURING NIGHT
Mrs. Elizabeth Stark was the name of the mother of Mrs. Jester. She died Wednesday night of a complication of diseases. She was 76 yearsold.
The funeral was held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Much interest has been taken in this case and many have asked "The Review" today aboutthe family! Mrs. Stark left four daughters and two sons, Jane Alsbury, Flora Fisk, Mary Reeves, Minta Jester, Timothy Stark, all of Decatur and a son Jefferson Stark of Nokomis, Il.
Timothy Stark, born October 10, 1874 in Athens, Il, married a Katie (?) approx 1898 in Decatur, Il and had a son named Jesse Stark, who died in Decatur, Il and is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Decatur, Il. His wife Gladys Stark, still presently resides in Decatur, Il. Timothy later married Bertha Stout, daughter of Daniel and Fannie (Kingry)Stout. Bertha was born August 15, 1882 in Newton, Il and died March 2, 1962 in Springfield, Il. Bertha was first married to John McConnell May 28, 1900 in Piatt County, Il. John was the son of Nathaniel and Mary (McMillan) McConnell. At the time of Bertha's death, the following children were listed: Gerald C. Stark, Elza McConnell, Harry McConnell, Stella Bolinger, of Decatur, Mrs. Walter Reich of Decatur, Mrs. Edwin Baker, Mrs. Paul Gauwitz and Mrs. Vera Coffee. Timothy Stark, Bertha's husband, died March 3, 1962 and both are buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Springfield, Il.
Vera Stark, first married Gus Altevogt on August 15, 1938 in St. Charles, Missouri. Gus is the son of John and Lettie Bell (Sammons) Altevogt. Gus and Vera divorced after having the following children: Kenneth Altevogt, Keith Altevogt, Gus Altevogt Jr, Florence Stevenson and Martha Wiker. Vera later married a man by the name of Haden Coffey, but that marriage also ended in divorce. Vera (Stark)Altevogt was born July 8, 1922 and presently resides in Witt, Il.
Florence Altevogt, born June 29, 1940, married Dewey Hays in 1957 in Decatur, Il, the son of Otis and May (Thomas) Hays. Dewey Hays was born December 14, 1927 in Decatur, Il and died January 14, 1994. Dewey and Florence had the following children: Barbara Clayton, who presently resides in Raymond, Il, Vera Durstine, Carol Bernardini, Sandra Emerson, Jimmy Hays, David Hays and Brenda Mehlburg. After Dewey and Florence divorced in 1976, Florence married Joseph Stevenson of Coalton, Il.
Barbara Clayton, born June 23, 1958 in Springfield, Il, married Olin Clayton of Witt, Il, born March 20, 1951, the son of Dale and Lavonne (Armentrout)Clayton. Olin and Barbara have two children, Belinda Suzanne Clayton, born June 27, 1979 and Andrew Olin Dale Clayton born August 8, 1980. Olin Clayton is employed with Bridgestone/Firestone in Decatur, Il after Hillsboro Glass, the factory with which he was employed for 20 years, closed. Barbara is a traveling RN. Belinda Clayton is employed with Mizera's Market in Raymond, Il and Andrew is a Junior at Raymond Lincolnwood High School.
Any information about this family would be greatly appreciated! Have also discovered on the 1900 Soundex that Jefferson Stark married a Polly Hendrix, daughter of James and Polly (Nash) Hendrix, on August 7, 1883 in Menard County, Il. Jefferson and Polly also had a daughter Viola born October 15, 1884, also in Menard County, Il. Polly Hendrix was born August 1866 in Illinois and they also had the following children: Willie Stark, born December 1889, Rosa Stark, born December 1892 and KatieStark born December 1895.
Submitted by: Andrew & Belinda Clayton
Oliver L. STUART
The Stuart family are of Scotch ancestry. The ancestors of the present family settled in Virginia at an early day. William Stuart, the grandfather of Oliver L., removed from eastern to western Virginia, and settled in Wythe county. He afterwards removed to Tennessee, where he remained until his death. His son, Daniel Stuart, was born in Virginia, and removed with his father to Tenessee in 1823. In 1829 he emigrated to Illinois, and settled in Whitmore township, Macon county, where he remained until his death in 1856. He was a farmer. He married Sarah Florey; she was born in Virginia, and settled in Whitmore township in January, 1871. By this marriage there were five children, three sons and two daughters. Two sons and one daughter survived the parents, viz.: Mary, wife of Edward M. Kile; John T., and the subject of this sketch. O.L. Stuart was born in Decatur, September fifteenth, 1833. His father moved his family from Decatur to Sec. 13, T. 17, R. 3 E., the next year after O.L.'s birth; there he grew to manhood. He passed his youth like most of the farmers' sons of the pioneer era of the state. His education was received in log school-houses, under disadvantages and inconveniences that would shock the youth of the present day; but, not-withstanding all obstacles, he received a fair education. He remained at home until his marriage, the date of which was June first, 1854. He married Miss Elizabeth Kile, daughter of Joseph W. and Mary Kile. They are among the old settlers of this section of the state. By this marriage there have been seven children, six of whom are living, all girls. Their names are: Mattie E., Bertha Luella, Jessie F., Mary Belle, Atta G., and Carrie H. Stuart. The same year that witnessed his marriage also witnessed his removal to Sec. 14 of Whitmore township, where he commenced farming for himself and has continued to reside to the present. Both he and his wife and members of his family are members of the M.E. Church. Politically, he has been a republican. He began voting when the republican party was formed. He cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont in 1856, and from that time to the present he has been an earnest and active supporter of its principles. His father was a soldier of the Black Hawk War, and was in the disastrous battle known as "Stillman's Defeat." He was one of the pioneers of Macon county. His son, the subject of this sketch, may also be regarded as one of the old settlers, if forty-seven years' residence in the county will entitle him to that honor. In all these years, among neighbors and friends, he has borne the reputation of a peaceable, quiet and honest man.
History of Macon County, Illinois, 1880, p. 164
John T. STUART
John T. Stuart, a worthy representative of one of the early pioneer families of this county, who owns and operates one hundred and twenty acres of land on sections 13 and 18, Whitmore Township, was born on the farm which is still his home, July 23, 1836. His father, David Stuart, was a native of Virginia, and was of German and Scotch descent. After arriving at man's estate , he married Sarah Florey, who was also born in the Old Dominion. About 1834, they removed from Virginia to Tennessee, and in 1836 joined a party of eight or ten families en route for Illinois. Railroad transportation was then unknown in this locality, and with team and wagon the journey was made. Mr. Stuart made his first location in Decatur Township, Macon County, and after a short time he entered from the Government eighty acres of land on what is now section 13, Whitmore Township, but which at that time was not organized. Indians still lived in the neighborhood, and the county seemed just wakening to civilization. For a number of years, he had to haul his grain to Springfield, and he and his family experienced all the difficulties and trials of pioneer life. His farm conprised forty acres of timber land and forty acres of prairie, and upon it a small log cabin had been previously erected. Mr. Stuart at once began its development and there carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred June 23, 1857. He was one of Nature's noblement and he left to his family a priceless heritage of a good name. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, and through his connection with the Good-Templar Lodge he did effective service in the cause of temperance. He always took an active part in politics, and in early life was a supporter of Whig principles, but on the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks. In an early day, he served as Constable of the county for a number of years. The cause of education found in him a warm friend and he helped to organize the schools and lay out the roads in this locality. His wife, who was also a member of the Methodist Church, passed away January 1, 1874.
In the Stuart family were three children, two sons and a daughter: Oliver L., a farmer of this township; John T,, whose name heads this sketch; and Mary, wife of Edward Kile, a farmer residing in Friend's Creek Township, Macon County.
Our subject has no other home than Macon County, and is familiar with the history of its progress and upbuilding for a period of fifty-six years. In his early days there were no public schools and he attended the subscription schools, which were held in a log house on section 13, Whitmore Township. School was in session for only three months during the year and during the remainder of the time, as soon as he was old enough, Mr. Stuart worked on the farm. He remained upon the old homestead until after his father's death and then took charge of the farm, caring for his mother until she was called to the home beyond. He now owns one hundred and twenty acres of good land, and has a neat and valuable farm, upon which he carries on stock-raising in connection with the cultivation of cereals adapted to this climate.
On the 19th of July, 1860, Mr. Stuart was married to Miss Minerva A. Young, a daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Shaw) Young. The lady was born in Crawford County, Ohio, April 2, 1841, and came to this county with her parents in 1849. By her marriage, she became the mother of ten children, namely: Adda, wife of Charley Hedges, a farmer residing in Nebraska; Sadie, a successful school teacher of the county; William, a farmer of Maroa Township; Emma, who is also teaching school; Amanda, at home; Samuel, Frank, Robert, James, and David, who died October 26, 1864.
Mr. Stuart is a public-spirited and progressive citizen and one that has taken an active interest in all that pertains to the upbuilding of the community and the promotion of the general welfare. His fellow-citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, have called upon him to serve in public office, and for twelve years he has filled the position of Constable and for fifteen years served as School Director. In politics, he is a Republican and always votes with that party, for, according to his judgment, its principles are those best calculated to promote the interests of the majority. Himself and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and are active workers in the Master's vineyard.
This Page Was Last Updated Sunday, 21-Jan-2018 11:34:01 EST
Copyright 2011 by Cheryl Rothwell for ILGenWeb
All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of individuals engaged in researching their personal genealogy. Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.