Bath Township History part 2

c. 1834-1880




Joseph F. Benner came from Ohio, and settled in this township. He assisted in building the Court House when the seat of justice was moved to Bath. Mr. Benner removed to Lincoln, Logan County, a good many years ago. Samuel Craggs came to this section in 1845 or 1846 ; was a carpenter by trade, and came from ” Old Hengland.” His wife was a sister to Smith
Turner. Two brothers William and Charles Craggs at present live in Kilbourne Township. His father was also among the early settlers, but died many years ago. William, Daniel, Francis and John Bell may also be numbered among the early settlers, though the exact year of their settlement is not remembered. After a few years they returned to Greene County, where they came from. They
were a chime of Bells that were perfectly harmonious in tone, as we were told that all four of the brothers married sisters (Morrows), and soon little Bells began
to jingle. They married sisters to Thomas Hubbard’s wife. William and Daniel were preachers ; William entering the ministry as soon as he reached manhood. J. P. Hudson came from Massachusetts to Illinois, and settled in Macoupin County in 1838, removed to this town in 1845, and located at Matanzas, where he resided several years, and then removed to his farm about five miles east of Havana, and afterward to the city “of Havana. About 1866, he removed to Mason City. He claims to have introduced the first McCormick’s Reaper into this county, and sold it afterward to William Ainsworth, of Lynchburg Township.

The Clotfelters settled in Bath Township in 1839-40. They came from Morgan County here, but were natives of some of the older settled States. The family consisted of Jacob Clotfelter, Sr.,and his sons Jacob and Michael. Theold gentleman has been dead some ten years, having removed to Kansas with his son Jacob, where he died. Michael lives in this township. Kean Mahoney came from the “auld sod ” and was one of the early settlers in Bath. He owned land near the village, and made an addition to it known as Mahoney’s Addition. He went to California in 1853, and as he has never returned, if living, is probably laboring with Dennis Kearney to compel the ” Chinese to go.” The Beesleys were from New Jersey, and finding plenty of sand here, like their
own little State down on the Atlantic coast, located in Cass County, and in 1845 came to this township. The elder Beesley lives at present with his son Frank in Jacksonville, while John, another son, lives in the city of Virginia. They were prominent merchants and grain-dealers at Bath, and did an extensive business. D. B. Frost, a down-east Yankee, settled here in 1843, and
afterward sold out and moved to Wisconsin.

Drury S. Field came from “Old Virginny,” and settled in Mason County in 183-, on what is known as Field’s Prairie, where he died in 1838. He was a physician, and said to be the first practitioner in Mason County. He was a man of wealth, and entered considerable land, or had it entered by V. B. Holmes, as already noted in this chapter. A. E. Field was a son, and, like his
father, a “doctor,” also a man of intellect and influence in the community. Mr. Field raised a large family of children, most of whom are dead. As they settled in that portion of Bath which was taken off to form Kilbourne, they are further noticed in the history of the latter town. Edward Field, the father of Dr. Drury S. Field, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and served through the long and desperate struggle for independence. Stokes Edwards came here among the pioneers, and still lives in this township, or on the line between this and Kilbourne Township. John A. Martin, another pioneer, from the sands of New Jersey, came here about 1846 or 1847. He first settled in Morgan County, but came to Bath, as recorded above, where he resided until his death, about four years ago. Thomas Howard, a brother-in-law to F. S. D. Marshall, came about 1845, and died some years ago. Thomas Hardisty came from Peoria to this settlement, but was originally from Kentucky, and used to regale his friends with many stories and anecdotes of that famous old State. He settled here in 1847 or 1848 remained but a few years, and then moved away. J. W. Northern was also an early settler, and removed to Kansas, since which little has been heard from him.
Israel Carman and James Gee, brothers-in-law, came here together from New York, in an early day, and are both long since dead.

John B. Renshaw came in 1845, and was one of the first blacksmiths in the settlement. He went to California, and whether living or dead his old associates do not know. J. A. Burlingame is from New York, and came to Bath in the forties. He is the genial agent for the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, at Bath, and is a fixture in that position, which he has held since the completion of the road.
S. S. Rochester came from Greene County, this State, somewhere in the forties, and is still living in Bath Village. He was a strong Democrat, but, at the election of 1860, for certain reasons, voted the Republican ticket. After the election was over, the victorious party met in the saloon to glorify the result, which they did by drinking toasts. A Mr. Samuels, who was a zealous Republican, drank the following toast to Mr. Rochester, which, for years, was a byword among his friends: “Here is to ‘Sydney Breese’ Rochester, who voted the Republican ticket late in the evening,” with a heavy emphasis on the last words. Many of Mr. Rochester’s old friends will remember this with some amusement. A son, B. F. Rochester, also lives in Bath, and is one of the respected citizens of the place ; another is mentioned as Lieutenant in the Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry. Lewis Clarkson came in 1833, and was the first settler on Field’s Prairie. He went to Missouri in 1837 or 1838.

Gen. J. M. Ruggles is a native of the old Buckeye State, and came to Illinois in 1837. He first came to Mason County in 1844, but did not locate
until 1846. He settled in Bath in. that year, and commenced the mercantile business with Maj. Gatton. He was elected to the State Senate in 1852, for the district composed of Sangamon, Menard and Mason Counties, Abraham Lincoln being a member of the Lower House. In 1856, he was appointed on a committee with Lincoln and Ebenezer Peck, to draft a platform and resolutions for the new party then forming upon the ruins of the old Whig party. The other members of the committee being otherwise engaged, the duty devolved on Ruggles, who drew up the first platform of principles of the Republican party. In 1861, Gov. Yates tendered him a commission as Quartermaster of the First Illinois Cavalry. He was soon promoted to the office of Major of the Third Cavalry, in which regiment he remained until mustered out of service in 1864, as noted in another part of this chapter. In all the positions held by Gen. Ruggles, whether civil or military, his duty has been discharged with faithful fidelity. He owns a fine lot of land in the county, mostly in Kilbourne Township, and resides at present in Havana. Franklin Ruggles, a brother of Gen. Ruggles, came to Bath in 1851, and took an interest in the flouring-mill then building by Gatton & Ruggles. A sawmill was also built, which was operated by the same power as the flouring-mill, and did a large business for several years, under the superintendence of Franklin Ruggles. He finally wore himself out by hard work and exposure in his business, and died in 1855 leaving two sons, John and James, who now lie in the grave beside their father in Bath Cemetery. John was killed at the battle of Shiloh.

Isaac N. Mitchell is a native-born ” Sucker.” His parents were among the pioneers of Morgan County, and came there from Kentucky. When Isaac was seventeen years old, the family moved to Field’s Prairie, in this township, where he worked on the farm until the age of twenty-one, when he came to the village of Bath. In 1867, he was elected Treasurer of Mason County, and, in 1869, County Clerk. He has held various other minor offices, in all of which he has given satisfaction. He is at present one of the respected citizens of Havana. Daniel R. Davis and Benjamin Sisson were from New England. The latter came to the settlement about 1842, and died several years ago. Davis was one of the first settlers on the prairie east of Bath, and came as early as 1838-39. He was an old sailor, and had been all over the world. In an altercation, one day in Bath, he was struck with a scale weight, from the effect of which he died. Leslie and George Lacy were from the old Quaker State of Pennsylvania and came to the settlement about 1842. Both are still living in the township. Henry McCleary was a jolly Irishman, and the life of the early settlers of Bath. He is recorded among the pioneers and many are the jokes traced to his authorship. One beautiful Sabbath “morning about sunrise, he was slipping out with his gun, when some one asked him where he was going. With ready Irish repartee, replied, that he had an appointment to meet Messrs. Holland and Lefever (two very strict church members), down by the river and go hunting, and he was afraid he would be late.” He was a carpenter, and when Dr. Oneal created anew office in Bath, McCleary was engaged to do the work. Dr. Oneal had a partition put in the office, which seemed to puzzle the Irish man. One day he stopped work and told the Doctor if he would pardon his curiosity, he would like to ask “what he was having that partition put in for, anyhow ‘i ” The Doctor told him that a couple of young men, viz.: Toler and Atherton, were going to study medicine with him, and he wanted a back room where the young men would be secure against interruption. McCleary, scratching his head, replied, ” Well, I don’t know anything about Atherton, but that Toler boy is just fool enough to make a doctor.”

Dr. John C. Galloway was an early settler of Bath and had a successful run of practice for several years, and then moved to Kansas. John R. Teney is an old resident of the county,
living in Bath ; also, B. C. Anton. James M. Robinson came about 1852, and was elected the first Police Magistrate of Bath. He had been in the Legislature from Menard County.
From “Bingen on the Rhine,” the following sturdy citizens came to Bath Township: G. H. and J. H. Kramer, J. H. and Diedrich’ Strube, Peter Luly Adolph Krebaum, John Havighorst, and two brothers, John Rudolph Horstman and John Henry Horstman. The Kramers came to this country together, and are both still living, highly respected citizens of Bath. They are among the
prominent business men of the place, and have accumulated a good deal of the world’s wealth. J. H. and Diedrich Strube were also brothers, and came about 1844-45. J. H. Strube is still living, but Diedrich has been dead some time. Their father came to Illinois with them, but he too, died years ago. Adolph Krebaum was elected Circuit Clerk and moved to Bath in 1845, and remained
there until 1851, when the county seat was moved back to Havana.

Peter Luly is among the early settlers, but it is not known what year he came to the town. He went to Peoria and died there. John Rudolph Horstman came to Bath in 1836, and was a blacksmith by trade. His brother, John Henry Horstman, came about four years later. A peculiarity of these brothers was both bearing the name of John. They have been dead some time. Havighorst is .among the early settlers, and located at Matanzas, but now lives in Havana, where the Havighorst family is more particularly referred to among the early settlers, as well as the Schultes and Krebaums. They have grown up with this great country, of which they had heard in their own land, and crossed the ocean to try their fortunes where all are free, regardless of the poet’s pleading words to the contrary : sprecht ! warum zogt ihr von dannen ? Das Neckarthal hat Wein und Korn ; Dor Schwarzwald steht voll finstrer Tannen,
Im Spessart klingt des Alpler’s Horn.

When the pioneers whose names are recorded above came to this section, Bath Township was not the highly cultivated farming district it is noAV. Wild prairies, timber-land, marshes and sloughs then, are now finely-improved farms. The timber has been cleared off, prairies turned upside down and marshes drained. By ditching and artificial draining, much land once supposed to be
worthless may now be reckoned among the best in the town. In place of the elegant country residences of the present day. a cabin of black-jack poles, daubed with mud, sheltered the settler and his family. Wolves were plenty, with now and then a panther to relieve the monotony. The present generation know little of what their parents had to undergo in opening up the country.
In the early times, the people went to mill at Duncan’s, on Spoon River, in Fulton County, until Simmonds built a mill on Quiver, which was more convenient, inasmuch as it was on the same side of the Illinois River that they were themselves. A few years after Simmons built his mill, McHarry erected one, also, on Quiver Creek. These supplied the people of this section until the erection of a mill in the village of Bath. There are no mills in the township outside of the village.

The first blacksmith in the township was Guy Spencer. He was an Eastern man and one of the early settlers of the county. He died twenty or twenty-five years ago. The first stores and post offices were in the villages, and are noticed in that connection. The first school, it is believed, was taught by Miss Berry, who, some time after, married F. S. D. Marshall, noticed in this chapter as one of the pioneers. She was a stepdaughter of B. F. Turner, brother of Smith Turner. The first death to in the settlement was Louis Van Court, an old hunter. He was a bachelor, and lived u around,” staying first with one and then with another, and was very wealthy owning a gun, a fiddle and an axe. He died in 1836, and, as an old settler informed us, was buried in the sand, near where the village of Moscow once stood. Since his day, many of the pioneers have followed him to the land of shadows. Hiram Blunt, a son of Thomas Blunt, is supposed to have been the first birth in Bath. At any rate, he always claimed to have been the first born in the county contesting that honor with Mr. Krebaum, who is elsewhere mentioned as the first in the county. The first marriage is lost in the mists of
antiquity ; but that there has been a first marriage, followed by many others, the present population bears indisputable evidence.

The first messenger to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to the people of Bath Township was the Rev. Mr. Shunk, a Methodist minister. He established the first class and church of that denomination, and used to preach at Maj. Gatton’s before there was any church edifice erected in the town. He came originally from Pennsylvania about 1841, and died some three years ago
from the effects of sunstroke. Another of the early preachers was the Rev. Mr. Daniels, of the Baptist Church, who is still living in the village of Bath, arid occasionally preaches in the Christian Church of Bath. Rev. George A. Bonney was also an early preacher in this section, and of the Methodist denomination. There are two church edifices in the township outside of the village,
viz. : Mt. Zion Baptist Church, on Sec. 35, some five or six miles southeast of Bath ; it was erected twenty years or more ago, and is an ordinary frame building. The other is a German Lutheran Church, in the northeast part of the town. It is a neat frame edifice, built about 186465, and well attended by the German citizens, who comprise most of the population in this part of the town.
Bath Township is traversed by the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, which was completed through the town in 1859. A full history of this road
is given elsewhere in this work, and will not be repeated in this chapter. It is the only railroad running through Bath, about twelve or thirteen miles of it being in the town. The Springfield & North- Western Railroad, which was completed through from Springfield to Havana in 1873, although not touching this township, receives considerable freight from it, much of the grain in the eastern
part of Bath being hauled to Kilbourne and shipped over this road. Thus it will be seen that Bath Township, with the benefit of two railroads and river
transportation, is well supplied with shipping facilities. Mason County adopted township organization in 1861, when some changes- were made in the boundaries of the original townships, or election precincts.

Bath formerly included in its boundary one half of the present town of Kilbourne, as noticed in the history of that town. Under the new order of things J. H. Allen was the first Supervisor of Bath Township, while J. H. Dierker represents it at present in the honorable County Board. In politics, Bath Township has always been Democratic, and, since the organization of the Republican party, it has been more strongly Democratic than ever. During the late war, it was loyal to the core, and furnished troops in excess of all calls. No draft occurred in the town during the entire struggle,
and it could have stood another call without having been subjected to one pretty good evidence in support of Mr. Lincoln’s assertion, that he could never put down the rebellion without the assistance of the War Democrats.

Bath turned out a number of shoulder-straps, as well as her full quotaof muskets. Among the former, we may mention the gallant Ruggles, noticed in the list of early settlers in another page. He went into the war as Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the First Illinois Cavalry, but was soon promoted to- Major of the Third Cavalry, and, at the battle of Pea Ridge, to Lieutenant
Colonel. At the close of the war, he was breveted Brigadier General for meritorious services. Charles “W. Houghton, Captain in the Eighty-fifth Regiment of infantry ; T. F. Patterson, Captain in same regiment ; Charles H. Chatfield entered as a private, was wounded, came home and veteranized, and was elected Captain in same regiment, and was killed at Chickamauga ; Samuel Young was Lieutenant in same regiment ; C. H. Raymond, First Lieutenant in same ; George O. Craddock, entered as private, and was promoted to a Lieutenancy in same regiment before close of war ; A. J. Bruner (killed in Missouri), J. H. Mitchell and A. T. Davis were Lieutenants in the Seventeenth Infantry; J. H. Schulte, Captain, and W. W. Nelson, Lieutenant, in the One
Hundred and Eighth Infantry ; W. H. Rochester, Lieutenant in Twenty-seventh Infantry ; J. W. Chatfield, Second Lieutenant in same regiment ; A. H. Frazer, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and then Captain in the Fifty-first Infantry ; Robert Huston, Lieutenant in same regiment ; Charles Reichman, Second Lieutenant in Twenty-eighth Infantry ; F. S. Cogshall and W. W. Turner, Lieutenants in Eighty-fifth Infantry ; Frank A. Mosely and John B. Brush, Lieutenants in One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Regiment (one hundred days). The rank and file, too numerous to be mentioned in this limited space, were of the sturdy ” sons of the soil,” who bore themselves bravely in the front, of the fray. To those who laid down their lives upon Southern battle-fields,
Requiescant in Pace.


THANKS to those that have been reading these but this project WILL BE SUSPENDED due to low readership. There will be the final segment (part 3) of Bath Township tomorrow then we pause.  (Yesterday I had 8 readers)

c. 1834-1880 (it is here as is…from the book)

Bath Township

This township has considerable river-front, and, excepting Lynchburg, is the southwest town of Mason County. It has an area nearly equal to two Congressional towns, embracing about seventy sections, and is some twelve miles long by six to eight miles wide. It is bounded on the north and northwest by Havana Township and the Illinois River, on the west by Lynchburg
Township, on the south by the Sangamon River, and on the east by Kilbourne Township. The soil, like that of most of Mason County, partakes of a sandy
nature, but is exceedingly fertile, producing corn, oats and wheat in great abundance. At the time of its settlement, about one-third of the land included
in Bath Township was timbered, the remainder rolling prairie ; well watered by the numerous little lakes here and there, among which may be mentioned Wolf, Wiggenton, Swan, Fish, Goose, Bell, and, perhaps, others, while it is drained by the Illinois and Sangamon Rivers, White Oak Creek and numerous sloughs.

Artificial draining has also been added, by the opening of ditches at the public expense. One of these modern but valuable improvements extends
through the eastern part of the town, and is known as the Ruggles’ Ditch, car- rying off the superfluous water, through Jordan Slough, into the Sangamon River ; and another in the northeast, Black Jack Ditch, conveys the water, through White Oak Creek, into the Illinois. The “Main Branch” of the Illinois River, as it is termed, and which is the deeper channel, but the nar- rower, diverges from the broader stream about two miles north of the village of Bath, thereby forming an island west of the village, some six sections in extent,
called Grand Island, and containing several farms and residences, to which reference will again be made. The Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, more particularly noticed in the general county history, traverses the entire length of Bath Township, entering the north part through Section 26 and running, in a southwest direction, to the village of Bath, when it takes a course due south, on the section line, crossing the Sangamon River between Sections 29 and 30. This road has been of great benefit to this section in transporting the large quantities of grain produced, and, with the competition afforded by the river, the farmers are enabled to secure reasonable rates of freight. The stations in this town are Bath and Saidora, the history of which will be givenin another chapter.

The first dwellings reared by white men in the present town of Bath were built by John Stewart and John Gillespie in 1828. Gillespie erected his cabin
on the old site of Moscow, and Stewart on Snicarte Island, a portion of which belongs to this township. They were from Tennessee, and though acknowledged the first actual settlers, did not remain long in the town, but in a year or two removed to Schuyler County. Gillespie left his claim “for better or worse,” but Stewart sold out to Amos Richardson, and he, in turn, sold it to John Knight, who had entered the land. This was the first land entered in what is now known as Bath Township. Knight was from the East, and was what was called in those early days, by the Southern people, who composed the majority of the settlers, a ” flat-mouthed Yankee.” Knight settled here in 1829-30, but in a few years removed to Fulton County, where he died soon after. He sold the place to James H. ‘Allen, with whom he had an extensive law-suit. He sued Allen for the improvements made on the place, but, before the cause was decided, he died.

Henry Shepherd was the first settler in the north part of the township, locating on the spot where afterward rose the village of Matanzas. He was from Eastern Pennsylvania, and is acknowledged to have been the first settler in this immediate neighborhood, though no one now can tell the exact time of his settlement. He entered his land, however, in 1832, and probably came
but a short time prior to that date. It is related of him that he would never allow a plow in his corn, but cultivated it exclusively with hoes, a mode of farming that would be looked on at the present day as decidedly peculiar. His death was a singular one, but as we are not sufficiently skilled in medical technicalities to describe it in fitting terms, we will refer our readers for particulars to some of the old settlers (Charley Richardson, for instance), who still remember the circumstances.

From Kentucky, the ” dark and bloody ground” of aboriginal story and song, the township received the following additions to its population : Joseph
A. Phelps,^F. S. D. Marshall, Col. A. S. West, Dr. Harvey Oneal, Maj. B. H. Gatton and his brother, R. P. Gatton, John S. Wilburn, C. P. Richardson,. Rev. J. A. Daniels, James Holland, Thomas F., Samuel, Laban and Richard Blunt, William H. Nelms, William, John G. and C. Conover, Samuel Pettitt, and perhaps others. Joseph A. Phelps settled in the township about 1840, but shortly after
moved into the village of Bath. He was the first Circuit Clerk of Mason County, and was at one time Probate Judge, and for a number of years a Justice of the Peace. He finally removed to Nebraska, where he died in 1878. Marshall came from Cass County to this settlement, but was originally from Kentucky. He was a young lawyer when he caine here, was elected the first Master in Chancery, and, in 1845, appointed Circuit Clerk by Judge Lockwood ; was also elected to the Constitutional Convention of 1847-48. His death occurred in 1854-55. He married a Miss Berry, who taught one of the early schools of Bath. Col. West first came to the State in 1827-28, and settled near the present city of Virginia, in Cass County, and in 1844 came to this township, where he still owns a large farm, though for some time has been living in Kansas. He visits his former home and old neighbors occasionally, and still vividly remembers the privations of early times in this section of the country.

After the county seat was moved to Bath, and before a court house was built, Circuit Court was held at his residence. He was one of the early merchants of Bath ; served also with distinction in the Winnebago war. Dr. Oneal, an old settler of this township, married his daughter. He came from Virginia, Cass County, to this township, but, as already noted, was from Kentucky, and settled here about 1842-43, but lives at present in Kilbourne Township, and will be further noticed in the chapter devoted to that town. I Maj. Gatton came to the State with his father, in 1824, and settled in Cass
County (then a part of Morgan), when he was but sixteen years old. In 1831, having begun the battle of life, he located in Beardstown, where he resided until his removal to Bath, in May, 1841, soon after the formation of Mason County. When Maj. Gatton settled in the present village of Bath, there was but one little pole cabin then in the place, besides the house he had had built for his own use before his removal. His brother, R. P. Gatton, came on before him and attended to the building of it, that it might be* ready for his brother’s family. It was of hewed logs, and, with the exception of the pole cabin already alluded to, was the first residence in Bath Village. The body of this building is still standing, though moved from its original site, and modernized by being
weatherboarded and lathed and plastered.

R. P. Gatton lived in the village until his death, in 1873. Maj. Gatton is still living, enjoying fine health for man of threescore and ten years. He has been one of the solid business men of the place, one of the first merchants and grain-dealers, and still follows the latter business to some extent. To his active memory, we are indebted for much of the history of this township. He is noticed further in the history of the village. John F. Wilbourn first settled in Beardstown upon coming to the State, but came to Bath in 1843. He served as Circuit Clerk, and was the second Postmaster at Bath. He lives at present two and a half miles east of Mason City. Charles P. Richardson is one of the oldest settlers of Bath Township, now living, having settled here in 1836, and lived in the town ever since. He first settled on Grand Island, opposite Bath, and for ten or twelve years has been living in the village. He came to the State with his father in 1819, the next year after it was admitted into the Union, but did not settle in this county until 1836, as noted above. He was one of the chain-carriers to President Lincoln, when he surveyed the original village of Bath, as hereafter noticed. The surveying party made their home at Mr. Richardson’s while engaged in the work, who, with true Kentucky hospitality, refused all offers of remuneration, but ” honest Old Abe,” determined to compensate him for the trouble his party had caused him, surveyed his land free of charge. Mr. Richardson is still living and in vigorous health, with a mind well stored with ,the history of the county and anecdotes of the pioneer days, some of which are given to embellish these pages.

Rev. J. A. Daniels was born in Virginia, but removed with his parents to Kentucky when a child. He came to Illinois in 1835, and settled in Cass County, and, in 1845, came to this township, where he has resided ever since, most of the time in the village of Bath. He is one of the pioneer preachers of the Baptist denomination. James Holland was his father-in-law, and came to the town with Daniels. He died a number of years ago. The Blunts came here in the thirties. Thomas F. and Laban came first. Just here we give the following from A. A. Blunt, a son of Thomas F., PS of interest to his family and old friends : ” Thomas F. Blunt was born in Kent County, Md., and removed with his parents to Kentucky in boyhood. He married Miss Alderson, of Hart County, Ky., and of eight children born to them, four are still living. In the fall of 1831, he removed to Missouri, and, in 1833, to Illinois. He came to the territory now embraced in Mason County in December of that year. In 1849, unaided and alone, he built a schoolhouse, for school and church purposes, and provided a teacher for the ensuing winter. He was one of the original members of Mount Zion Baptist Church (mentioned elsewhere), and the only one now living in the county. He owned the first threshing machine and the first reaper ever operated in Mason County. In 1872, he was attacked with palsy in his right side, with which he is still a sufferer.”

A few years later, Richard Blunt, a brother to Thomas and Laban, came to the settlement. He and Laban died in the township. Samuel Blunt, one of the brothers, lives at present in Kilbourne Township. William H. Nelms first settled in Cass County, and came from Beardstown to Bath in 1842. He and Maj. Gatton had the first store in Bath, a business continued for some time, and a son of Mr. Neltns now lives in Havana, and is engaged in the grain business. The elder Mr. Nelms was one of the original proprietors of the vil- lage of Bath. The Conovers came to the township and settled within a mile of Bath, about the year 1841. There were three brothers of them Combs, William and John G., and their father settled in Morgan County in 1821, where the family lived until the sons came here as above. All are dead except John G., who lives in another part of the county Sherman Township, we believe. Samuel Pettitt settled here about 1848, and some years later moved to Missouri, where he died.

From Tennessee, the home of Old Hickory, we have the following recruits: Joseph Adkins, Joseph Wallace, William and James Dew, Manning and Thomas Bruce, Nelson R. Ashurst, John Johnson, Matthew Wiley and son, Patrick W. Campbell, and his son, George H. Campbell, and probably others, whose names we have failed to obtain. The Campbells were among the early settlers of Bath Township, were prominent business and professional men, and accumulated a large property. George II. Campbell, a son of Patrick W. Campbell, came to the township as early as 1838, then a youth of but seventeen years ; his father came in 1840, and settled down in the southern part of the town near Smith Turner’s. He was the first Surveyor of Mason County, an office he
held for a number of years, and was one of the highly respected citizens of the town and county. George H., upon whose shoulders the father’s mantle worthily rests, was elected to office in early life, that of Assessor and Treasurer of the county, soon after attaining his majority. He married a daughter of Maj’. Gatton, and their eldest son, William H. Campbell, is an able lawyer of Havana, and the present Mayor of that city. George H. Campbell is a lawyer of ability and has served his country at the bar, in the legislative halls of the State, and on the tented field. His record as County Judge is well known and needs no comment. He was elected to the Legislature in 1858, and served with ability. During the late war, he assisted in raising the One Hundred and Sixth Regiment of Illinois Infantry, of which he was made Lieutenant Colonel, but resigned in about a year on account of ill health. At present he resides in Mason City, where he is further noticed.

next week- Bath Township



GEORGE BLACK, hotel, Manito; was born in Blair Co., Penn., Dec. 24, 1810, and remained there until 1857, engaged in farming and teaming; his first efforts in farming were in 1841, at which time he rented of Hawkins for two years, and next or R. Bell six years ; he next moved to Mr. Bell’s brother’s farm for five years, moving next to Tazewell Co., 111., remaining there two years; he next rented a farm of H. Alwood for two years, afterward renting of Alexander Trent two years, and then ofMrs. Whitehead four years, after which he bought the present hotel in Manito, 111., moving there in 1865, and has recently improved it very much ;*it is the only hotel in town, and has a very good patronage. He was married, in 1834, to Rebecca Manley,a daughter of a worthy tailor by trade : she was born in Lancaster Co., Penn. ; they had eleven children. Mr. Black is now 69 years old, and but one year of his allotted three- score and ten remains ; yet he bids fair for a few more sunny days to ripen his good old age. 

JOSEPH DAILY, farmer ; P. O. Manito ; was born in 1829, in Ireland,*and remained there until 15 years old, when he went, with his mother, to England, and engaged in driving stage-coaches; in 1854, he came to New York and worked for President Fillmore for seven months ; he then mined coal in Virginia for three months ; he then came to St. Louis and remained some time, when he went to Kingston, 111., and engaged in mining ; he next started a coal mine for himself near Peoria, in 1856, and some time afterward, started another at or near Pekin, where he succeeded very well ; he hauled his coal to Mason City and exchanged it for corn, which he hauled back and sold at Pekin ; in 1859, he started another mine near Lancaster Landing, in partnership with Joseph Steward, and continued one winter ; he then lived in Pekin for six years, then moved to Manito, 111., and engaged in lumbering and buying grain ; in 1864, he bought eighty acres in Manito Township; in 1867, he settled on it and hasincreased it to 640 acres; when Mr. Daily began business at Pekin, he had just five cents. Was married, in 1860, to Mary Fox, of Ireland ; they have had two children Joseph, who died in 1865, and Joseph, born in 1866. He has property in Manito worth $1,000, and in Pekin $2,000, also 160 acres of land in Tazewell Co. ; he has held the office of Highway Commissioner and Roadmaster.


S. EAKIN,lumber-dealer, Notary Public, collecting agent, Manito ; was born Oct. 25, 1827, in Greene Co., 111., on farm, and remained there until 10 years old, when he moved, with his father, to Whitehall, where he engaged in merchandising with his father for two years ; his father then moved to Montezuma, 111., and engaged in merchandising for some time, when his father built a stone mill. Mr. Eakin worked for his father until 23, at masonry, carpentering and farming. In 1851, Mr. Eakin went to Fulton Co., and settled at Ellisville and engaged in carpentering and improving a farm. He remained until August; spring of 1852, he began teaming with A. Roper, of Montezuma, and remained until 1853 ; was engaged part of this time laying track on T., W.& W. R.R. In the fall of 1853, he returned to Fulton Co., settling at Fairview, and was occupied in farming, plastering and stone work, until the spring of 1855. when he learned daguerreotyping, with W. H. Seaving, of Canton, 111. In 1855, he returned to Montezuma and engaged in daguerreotpying there, and in Scott Co., until the fall, and then worked at plastering and brick-laying until Dec. 22. when he was taken <?ick, and was confined until February ; after his recovery, he went to Fulton Co. on business, and, on return worked at stonemasonry until 1856, when he left for Moroy, and engaged in plastering till the close of season, returning then to his home in Pike Co., where he remained until March, 1857, when he went to Spring Lake, Tazewell Co., and engaged in plastering and improving his farm until spring of 1858, when he was elected Assessor, and appointed collector of taxes for Ezekiel A. Poe ; he was also engaged in farming, but was unfortunate, by reason of crops failing, and, in 1859, he came to Manito, 111., and stopped at 0. C. Bartram’s during the winter ; next changing his home to J. K. Cox’s ; here he remained, engaged in trading, until 1860, when he worked at Pekin, laying brick with H. Ribbet, until midsummer, When he was again taken sick. In the fall of 1860, Mr. Eakin began boarding with B. F. Nash, and remained there until he enlisted in July, 1861, in Co. C, 2d I. V. C., and remained until Aug. 16, 1862, when he was wounded at the battle of Merriweather’s Ferry, Tenn. ; was taken to hospital at Union City, and remained until Oct. 30, when he was discharged by Gen. Grant ; he returned home from Cairo, on horseback, and became administrator of his father’s estate, who had died in 1861 ; also settling up his own business, and making his home with Nash until spring, at which time he found his business such as to demand a settlement, which he made by paying his creditors 100 cents on the dollar, leaving him only his clothes, books, and’ some poor notes. Shortly afterward, he purchased his present residence, and rented the’same to Dr. J. W. Neal. In April, 1863, he went to Brown Co., and engaged in canvassing for ” Abbott’s Historyuntil June, when he was again taken sick, recovering in time to attend the celebration at Quincy, 111. ; he then went to Morgan Co., and canvassed for ” Mitchell’s Atlas ” until August ; not succeeding well, he re- turned to Manito Aug. 20, and engaged at plastering and bricklaying until 1876, when he went into the lumber business at Manito, which he still continues. Dec. 25, he was married, in schoolhouse in Manito, to Minnie Ziegenbein, born in Germany; they have three children Lillian, Ernest J. and Daisy B. His wife is in the millinery business, at Manito, and is doing well. Mr. Eakin has held offices of Police Magistrate (now in second term), Notary Public at present; has been Trustee of Schools, and President of Board of Trustees ; March 7, 1874, he was appointed School Treasurer, and still holds that office ; was Trustee of Manito, and was once candidate for County Clerk, but was defeated ; is insurance agent for the Hartford Insurance Co. ; is a charter member of Manito Lodge, No. 476, A., F. & A. M., and now holds the office of W. M. in same.

JOHN FURRER, farmer; P.O. Manito; was born June 9, 1838, on a farm in Germany, where he remained until 14 years old, when he came with his parents to Illinois, and settled in Mason Co., and has been here ever since. He first engaged in farming for Mr. Akers, near Topeka ; after hurd working three years, for $10 a month, he worked for himself, on what is the Kidman farm, for three years. In 1864, he was married to Lidda Singley, of Pennsylvania ; after marriage they settled on Mr. Starrett’s farm, and remained two years, after which he moved to Mr. Schrink’s farm, and has been there ever since a period of twelve years. They have four children Sarah, William, Lindy and Melia, deceased. They are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Furrer takes quite an interest in educating his children, furnishing them excellent literature. 


REV. W. B. GILMORE^clergyman, Manito; was born April 4, 1836, in Mechanicsville, N. J., remained there until li years old, when his parents moved to Springfield, 111., and remained a year ; they then moved to Fairview, Fulton Co., where his father now lives ; his mother’s maiden name was Vanordstrand. He attended school while he was with his parents, and at length studied Latin and Greek, under Rev.Mr. Jerolmon ; during 1859 and 1860, he taught school at Fairview. . In September, 1861, he went to Holland, Mich., and attended the Hope College, at that place, where he graduated in 1866 ; he then commenced his course in the Faith Seminary, at Fair- view, in which he graduated in 1869. He then went to Amelia Court House, Va., and engaged in the Amelia Institute, remaining four years. During this time, he married Christine C. Van Ralte, daughter of Rev. A. C. Van Ralte, founder of the colony of Holland, Mich. ; they moved to Holland, Mich., where he engaged as Principal of the Female Academy for a year. Owing to ill health, he abandoned teaching, and came to Spring Lake, Tazewell Co., and took charge of the Reform Church there. In 1876, he began his labors at Manito, where he now resides ; has held almost all offices connected with the Church. All through life, he has depended upon his own resources ; he gave instruction in music while in the Institute at Michigan. He has had four children A. V. R., Willie B. S., d.ed June 25, 1871 ; Margaret A., died Feb. 21, 1879 ; Frank E., died Feb. 13, 1879.


GEORGE HECKMANN, blacksmith and carriage-maker, Manito ; was born Aug. 24, 1831, in Baden, Germany, and remained there until August, 1853, when he came to New York and engaged in his trade, blacksmithing and wagon-making, for two years, after which he came to Pekin, 111., and worked for T. & H. Smith at smithing for eleven years. In 1866, he was in business for himself in Pekin for a year. In September, he moved to Manito, 111., settling in partnership with N. Weber until Dec. 13, 1871, when the firm of Heckmann & Weber moved to Pekin and remained there in business until 1874, when Mr. Heckmann sold to Fry & Weber, and returned to Manito, July 24, and engaged in the present business. Mr. Heckmann has accumulated a little fortune; has a shop, house and three lots in Manito and 106 acres of land in Tazewell Co., under fine improvement, earned entirely by his careful management. He has been a member of the M. E. Church twenty-three years ; his wife and two children are also members. He was married, Jan. 24, 1856, to Mary F. Weber, of Pekin; they have had ten children Lizzie (dead), George, Freddie (dead), Philip, Arthur, Anna, Lewis, Liddie, Ida, and Frankie. George is working at wagon-making in Kansas City. Mr. Heckmann has held the office of Town Trustee. THOMAS HILL, farmer; P.O. Manito; was born in England in 1825, on a farm, and remained there until 1851, engaged in farming with his father. He came to New York ; remained but a short time ; then came to Illinois, settling at Knoxville for six months, making brick ; he then worked on a farm in Knox Co. for Bainbridge, for one winter, when he hired out to Squire Marks for a year, and afterward went to Peoria and engaged in working in a tavern for Prince, where he remained some four years ; he then worked at farming at Princeville for five years for himself; from there he came to Mason Co. and engaged in farming for himself, renting of B. Prettyman ; he then went to what is called Egypt and engaged on E. Alwood’s farm for two years. Nov.22, 1862, he was married to Nancy C. Charltou, of Clark Co., 111.; some time after marriage, they bought land and settled on it and rented ; he sold out in a year and rented a farm of George Alfs for three years ; from there they came to the present farm of 240 acres, 160 ot which they inherited and the rest they have obtained by their own labor ; the land is worth probably $50 per acre. His wife had the following children before marrying Mr. Hill James B., A. Lincoln, William H.; after this marriage John T., George W., Annie, Mary (died Oct. 14, 1864, Sargent M., Cornelius E., Columbus, Sarah A. (dead), Charlie. 


MATTHEW LANGSTON, farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born June 4, 1824, in Rutherford Co., Tenn., on a farm, and remained there some time ; when quite young,

he went to Missouri, and his lather there engaged in farming and as a wheelwright for some two years; they came, in the fall of 1828, to Illinois, and settled in Morgan Co. ^now Scott), on a farm ; Mr. Langston remained at home until 1843, at which time ho

went into partnership wiih his’ brother and bought a saw-mill of their father, owning

and running it until the spring of 1850, when he sold out and moved to Mason Co. and improved a farm, which he sold in 1873 ; he was engaged in mercantile business

at Manito from 1865 until 1873, in which year he went to Kansas and farmed a year, returning and settling in Manito, 111., on some property which they now own ; he is now

managing and farming a piece of land owned by Peter W. Gay, of Manito Township ; he was engaged one year in the war with Mexico, and, in the late war, was Captain of

a company in the 85th I. V. I.; he has held various offices in the township and

district, such as Justice of the Peace in Manito, one of the first Commissioners who

laid off the township. Supervisor of Manito Township six years, School Trustee and

Treasurer, Road Commissioner, Collector one term ; elected County Judge, served two

years and then resigned, and, in the fall of 1870, was elected Representative from the

Sixty- First District of Illinois, which position he filled with honor; he is a member of

Lodge No. 476, A., F. & A. M., of Manito ; his education was very limited ; he studied

arithmetic but eleven days ; by securing all kinds of valuable literature, he has made

himself both useful and beneficial. Mr. Langston’s father was a minister and early

educated his son. Was married, in 1848, to Elizabeth Havens, of Illinois; she died

in February, 1850 ; in January, 1851, he was married to Sarah Havens, a sister of his

first wife ; they have five children William M., Elizabeth, Rebecca, Ellen, Edward.


  1. R. McCLUGGAGE, physician and surgeon, Manito ; was born in Holmes Co. , Ohio, June 13, 1844, on a farm; when 16 years old, he went to Southern Ohio,

and engaged in farming with his father, until 1865, when he came to Illinois,

settling in Mason Co., working on a farm by the month, going to school in winter ; in the fall of 1867, he commenced teaching school at the Walker district ; he

continued teaching in Illinois until 1871, when he went to Nebraska and engaged in teaching and laboring; he taught there in the summer of 1871, and winter of 1S72

and spring of 1873, after which he returned to Mason Co., 111., and read medicine at Mason City, with Dr. I. N. Ellsbury, until the fall of 1875, when he began attending

Rush Medical College at Chicago, graduating in 1877, when he returned home and

began practicing medicine at Manito and has met with good success ; during the winter of 1878, his office burned up in connection with Dr. Walker’s, and consumed every

medical book in town ; he is at present Highway Commissioner. He was married, in April, 1877, to Clara Todd, of Topeka, 111.; they have one child Thomas


  1. BENJAMIN RUTHENBURG, merchant, Manito; was born in 1819 in Prussia : remained there until 21, when he went into the army for two years; in 1843, he came

to Baltimore and from there to Philadelphia, thence to Nashville, Tenn., where he

began merchandising, afterward moving to New Orleans and engaging in selling goods ; he then moved to St. Louis, in 1845, and, in partnership with his brother, dealt in dry

goods for six years, when he sold out and next engaged as clerk in merchandising for a firm in Agency City, Iowa, which he afterward bought and continued in until 1859, in which year he married Mrs. Dolinda Sparks, (Witherforth); she had two sons Edgar

and Hubbard Sparks ; Edgar owns a farm of 200 acres which he and his brother manage. In 1861, Mr. Ruthenburg engaged in merchandising in Spring Lake Town until 1863, when he came to Manito and engaged in merchandising; in 1877, he transferred

his business to his step-son. He was a Justice of the Peace at Spring Lake and also member of the first Town Board of Manito ; he owns property worth $2,000, earned

entirely by his own labor and management. 


  1. W. ROGERS, farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born Oct. 14, 1825, in Clark Co.,

Ky., on a farm and remained there until 6 years old, when he went with John C. Rogers

to Old Virginia ; Mr. John C. Rogers was a Baptist minister, who married W. Bonitield, of Virginia; they moved to Illinois in 1831, and settled in Morgan Co., on a farm, where Mr. Rogers lived until 1850. In 1848, he was married to Rebecca Langston, of Tennessee ; they settled, some time after, .on Hugh Davis’ farm for a year,

afterward renting for a year ; he then moved to a farm owned by Livingston, in Tazewell Co.. for a year; in 1851, lie settled the present farm of 160 acres, then a raw

prairie, but now. by improvement, is one of the finest forms in the country ; Mr. Rogers made his happy home by his own labor and management; he takes an interest in all


modern improvements, having on his farm utensils worth laboring with ; in an early day,

he took quite an interest in starting hedges ; he has taken much care in selecting and

cultivating fine fruits for home use ; has held offices of Supervisor, Road Commissioner

and Pathmaster. Has five children Lucinda S., John W.~, Mary E., Rhoda R. and

Nellie E. ; John has taught school and is now attending the institute at Mason City.

Mrs. Rogers is a member of the Lutheran Church.


  1. B. ROBINSON, builder and contractor, Manito ; was born Sept. 15,

1836, in Union Co., Penn., and remained there until 14 years old. His father was a tailor by trade and also followed piloting on the Susquehanna River. When

Mr. Robinson was 10 years old his father died, leaving him an entire orphan, his mother having died when he was 6 months old ; he came to Tazewell Co., 111., when

about 10 years old, in company with his brother-in-law, Mr. Boone, and settled at Pekin for some three years ; when about 17, began to work at carpentering, and has

been at it ever since ; after leaving Pekin, they went to what is called Egypt, Tazewell

Co., and settled on a farm for some five years; Mr. Robinson then came to Egypt Station (now Manito) ; in 1861, he enlisted in Co. A, 28th I. V. I., and remained in the

service until April 6, 1866 ; he went out as a drummer, in which capacity he served

two years, and was then appointed by the Colonel Regimental Postmaster and afterward

Brigade Postmaster; on his return from the war, he settled in Manito and soon married.

Aug. 3, 1866, Mrs. Martha Boone, daughter of G-eorge Black; she had one child Ella A. Boone ; by their marriage they had two children Drusilla R. and W. W. Mr.

Robinson has held the office of President of Board of Trustees three years and is such

at present ; Village Trustee six terms ; Justice of the Peace three years and still holds

the Office ; Town Clerk, Collector, and is now collector and insurance agent for the Phoe-

.nix, American Central, at St. Louis, Rockford, of Rockford, and Home, of New York ; he also belongs to Lodge No. 476, A., F. & A. M., of Manito ; he has held office of Secretary in the Lodge seven years ; is now S. W.


JOHN 0. RANDOLPH, farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born Dec. 9, 1816, in Virginia ; son of Philip Randolph, who died before J. 0. Randolph was born ; when

Mr. Randolph was 6 weeks old, his mother moved with him to Tennessee, where she

supported herself and children ; when Mr. Randolph was 12 years old, he worked out for his board ; at 13, he hired out at $3 per month, and was to go to school in winter; wrlen

he was 15, he was bound out to A. Blackburn, with whom he went from Sullivan Co.,

Ind., to La Porte Co., Ind., and engaged working on a farm for five years, when he

began business for himself on a farm near Terre Haute, where his mother was living. In 1837, he married Elizabeth Best, of Harrison Co., Ind.; they lived in Vigo, lad.,

six years. In 1843, he moved to Clark Co., 111., and engaged in farming and keeping

woodyard, running a saw-mill and building boats; he remained until 1851, when he

moved to Manito, 111., and settled on a farm, renting of Thomas Landrith ; in 1853,

they bought a farm of 100 acres in Manito Township, paying for it by their own labors ; in 1856, he went into mercantile business at Spring Lake, 111., and continued it until 1859, when he returned to farming until 1871 ; in that year, he opened a grain busi- ness in Forest City, and continued it until 1876, when he moved to Manito ; he sold

his farm in 1877 to P. W. Thomas ; he has a house and two lots in Forest City and a house and three lots in Manito. Has held office of Justice of the Peace, Clark Co..

111.; Constable, Vigo Co., Ind.; Assessor, Manito Township; School Treasurer arid Director, Clerk of Board of Trustees and has taught school. Has had seven children

Mary L., Susan E., Mary P. (dead), John E. (dead), William C. (dead), Margaret

  1. (dead), Nancy J. (deadj. 


  1. A. ROSHER, Postmaster and dealer in dry goods and notions, Manito ; was

born April 27, 1827, in Germany, and remained there until 1849, when he came to New York, staying there a short time, and then went to Milwaukee, Wis., where he

engaged in the grocery business for three years ; afterward, going to Peoria, 111., and

engaged in dry goods for eight years ; he then moved to Manito, 111., and engaged in

his present business, managing it ever since. In 1869, he was made Postmaster at this place and still holds that position ; some time after he became Postmaster, he took it

upon himself to procure the establishment here of a money-order office. He was married, in 1850, to Caroline Darris, by whom he had eleven children Dora, William,

Gustus, Eda, Charlie, Otto, Mena, Ida, John, Emma (died July 4, 1853), Matilda

(died Dec. 20, 1859); his wife died in 1874. In 1875, he married a second time. Mr. Rosher is doing a first-class business and is using his means with frugality ; his home is under fine improvement. 


RICHARD SAUTER, boots and shoes, Manito ; was born in Wittemburg April

3^1831, and remained there until 21, engaged in the boot and shoe business; in May.

1852, he emigrated to New York, and soon went to Reading, Penn., and was engaged

in shoemaking for four years ; he next went to Steubenville and worked for Kent six years ; from there he moved to Pekin, 111., and worked at shoemaking for John Velde

one year ; moving from there to McLean Co., he settled at Danvers and engaged in the

boot and shoe business for himself for two years. Nov. 25, 1857, he was married to Elizabeth Hotz, of Pekin. They shortly afterward moved to Havana, where he opened

in the same business, remaining until he came to Manito ; he now has a happy home

with two lots and a good boot and shoe shop. Has held office of Trustee of Manito

two terms ; is a Freemason ; he was Vice President of the German Free School of

Havana, 111. Names of his children Philip, Matilda (deceased), Emma (deceased).

Carl (deceased), Bertha, Margaret, Elizabeth, Sabina. Philip makes harness in connection with his father’s business. 


REV. A. SIEVING, minister, Manito; was born Sept. 9, 1847, in District of

Melle, Hanover, Germany ; at the age of 7, he came with his parents to St. Louis, Mo.,

where his father was in the boot and shoe business for seven years ; here he attended

school ; in his 15th year, he began attending the Gymnasium College at Ft. Wayne.

Ind., and remained six years; after graduating, he went to St. Louis, Mo., and attended

the Concordia College for four years ; he graduated there and soon after engaged in the

ministry at Lincoln, Benton Co., Mo., in the Lutheran Church ; remained there about

five years ; he then came in 1876 to the Egypt Lutheran Chu r ch in Mason Co. and is still rendering services at that place ; he has another appointment at Sand Prairie,

Tazewell Co., which he founded ; he has taught school ; was Secretary of the Western

District of the Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other States. Was married May 12, 1872,

to” Mary Querl ; has three children Charlie, Theodore. Augustus, besides Annie, an orphan girl, whom they are raising. Mr. Sieving devotes his entire attention to the



PETER SINGLEY, farmer ; P. 0. Manito ; was born in 1817, in Pennsylvania, on a farm, and remained until 1861 ; was engaged in farming until 21 ; when he was 25 years old, he began coal mining in Pennsylvania, and followed it for twenty-five

years, part of which time he was under a boss, and afterward WHS foreman, the boss

having been killed; in 1850, he came to Illinois, and bought 160 acres, which he paid

for by his own labor ; his improvement on the same has made it one of the finest farms

in the county. He was married, first, in 1844, to Catharine Boyer, by whom he had

three childreu Emma, Elizabeth A. and Henry; his wife died in 1849. In 1850, he was married again to Josephine Huntzsinger, of Pennsylvania ; they have had eleven chil- dren ; deceased Margaret, Josiah, Eliza, Christiana, Walter ; living Jeremiah, Hannah, George, Ida. Peter and Sarah J. He has been no office-seeker, but has been

connected with schools. Mr. Singley settled on his present farm in 1861, and has been

here ever since. When he was married the first time, he was $5 in debt, and had no



BENJAMIN SINGLEY, farmer; P. O. Manito ; was born in 1832, in Schuyl

kill Co., Penn., on a farm, and remained there until 1863 ; was engaged in farming and

handling timbers, when, in 1863, he came to Illinois, settled and engaged in working

for farmers by the day, $1 to $2, cutting hedge ; in 1869, he began farming on the

present farm of forty acres ; he has improved this little farm, and made it one very

desirable. He was married, in June, 1860, to S. Zimmerman ; they were blessed with

five children David R., Rebecca (deceased), Annie, Jacob and Lindy ; he has been no office-seeker, but has held the office of Postrnaster. Mr. Singley and wife belong to the

Egypt Church, Lutheran, and have been members ever since the organization of the same.


  1. N. SHANHOLTZER, miller, Manito; was born in Hampshire Co., Va., in 1841, and remained there, farming for his father, until 18 years old, when he moved to Licking Co., Ohio, and commenced farming; here he remained five years, when he went

West, and finally settled in Tazewell Co., 111.; he farmed for two years, afterward engaging

in milling, at Dillon, 111., for four years ; he then moved his machinery to Manito, 111., in 1870, and has been here ever since. This is the first and only mill in the township.

Mr. Shanholtzer manages his own business, and is doing splendid work for the public ; he is an active worker in the temperance movement ; has held office of Trustee of

Manito. He owns a beautiful lot and house, in addition to his mill. In 1868, he was

married to Marinda Rector, of Dillon, Tazewell Co., 111.; she died April 29, 1873. By

herjie had two children, Minnie Belle (deceased), and Miranda E. He was married, Jan. 23, 1879, to Mrs. S. C. Rector (Dean). She had one child Nellie Rector. 


HENRY A. SWEET, retired farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born July 12, 1818, on a farm near Mendon, Worcester Co., Mass.; when about a year old, he went with his parents to Connecticut, and livedvin that State until 21 ; when old enough, he began

clerking in a dry-goods store for Joseph W. Turpin, at Warehouse Point, Conn., after which he went to New York, and worked at carpentering for three years. In 1842,

he came to Ohio, and engaged in wagon-making and merchandising until 1849. In 1852, he sold out and came to Green Valley, 111., and farmed until 1860, then engaging

in grain business in Pekin, 111., for two years ; he then moved back to his farm in Tazewell Co., and stayed there until the spring of 1867, when he came to Manito, and

engaged in grain and lumber for one year. In 1868, he went into mercantile business,

and was burned out; was also express agent for three years. In 1870, he moved again

to his farm in Tazewell Co., and remained until 1875, when he returned to Manito, and

became station agent for one year. In .1876, he entirely lost his eyesight, which has

but slightly returned. Was married, in 1840, to Mary Weber, of Massachusetts, and

has eight children Henry, Mary, George W., Annette, Rowena, Fannie, Carrie, Eva,

and Leroy. He has held office in Ohio ; was Town Clerk and Trustee three years

in Tazewell Co., 111.; was Supervisor, Assessor, Collector, Commissioner of Highways,

Poormaster and Justice of the Peace fourteen years. In 1864, he took the census of

Tazewell Co.; was President of the Board of Trustees of Manito one year; he taught

school eleven months ; he has 90 acres, well improved, also a house and four lots in Manito.


  1. SCHOENEMAN, saddler and harness-maker, Manito ; was born in Germany in 1833 ; he remained there, engaged in harness-making, until 24, when he came to Peoria,

111., and engaged in business until 1861, when he enlisted in ‘Co. A, 2d Artillery, for three year,;, returning in 1864 to Peoria, and remaining a short time, and then moved

to New Orleans, where he was in the harness business for a year and a half. He was

married, while there, to Rosena Ruth, of New Orleans; in the latter part of 1865, they moved to Peoria, and shortly afterward to Manito, where he engaged in the harness

business, which he still continues. He owns 160 acres in Arkansas, three houses and

lots in Manito, and the property in which he carries on his business, all of which

they have earned by their own labor and management. He has held the office of

.Town Trustee for two terms ; has been no office-seeker ; has given strict attention to business by doing his own work, thus acquiring the confidence of the people. 


FREDERICK SCHNELLE, farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born in 1836 in Germany; when 15 years old, he came with his parents to New York, and worked with

them on a farm ; in 1854, he moved to Havana, 111., and worked at farming for H. H.

Marbold, in Menard Co., afterward working for Fred Looks in Mason Co., and next for John and James Wilson, of Tazewell Co. In I860, he began working on his present

farm of 240 acres, attained entirely by his own labor and management ; he has made

good improvements. Was married, in 1860, to Elizabsth Bahrens, of Germany, and

by her he had nine children George, Henry, Ettie, Fred, Katie, Willie and Catherine

(deceased). Mr. Schnelle makes a specialty of threshing wheat. He is Collector, and

has held the office three years ; he has been School Director twelve years, and Commissioner three years. 


JOHN THOMAS, farmer; P. 0. Forest City ; was born Sept. 19, 1815, in New

York, and remained there until his parents moved to Trumbull Co., Ohio, settling on a

farm, where he remained some ten years farming, on his grandfather’s farm ; his father

died when he was very young; in 1832, Mr. Thomas moved to Western Ohio and set- tled in Seneca Co., remaining there, farming, with his uncle; from Ohio he moved to Monroe Co., Mo., and engaged in farming for himself on some land which he had

bought. In 1836, he was married to Elizabeth Painter, of Mo. ; by her he had four

children Eliza E., Perry W., Samuel R., John W. ; Dec. 25, 1856, some time after the death of his wife, he was married to Parthena F. Cugdale, of Illinois , by her he

bad three children William, Edgar, Charles ; his second wife -died Aug. 7, 1876;

April 15, 1877, he was married to Miss Sutton. Mr. Thomas settled in Mason

Co. in 1853, on what is now the Caldwell farm ; in April, 1877, he bought the

present farm of twenty-one acres, and owns in all 140 acres ; he has held the offices of

School Trustee and Director ; he has been a member of the M. E. Church thirty-four

years ; his wife is also a member of the same church.


  1. A. WHITEFORD, farmer; P. 0. Manito; was born in 1842, in Medina Co.,

Ohio, on a farm, and remained there until he was 14 years old, at which time he came,

with his parents, to Illinois, and settled in Mason Co. on a farm which his father bought ; he remained there with his father until he began working in a machine shop

at Wadsworth, Medina Co., Ohio, and remained there engaged for three years. He married Julia Blanchard, of Gifford, Ohio, whose parents were from Connecticut; in 1871,

they settled on the present- farm of 160 acres, half of which they inherited, and half

they have obtained by their own management; with the improvements they have made

this farm presents a fine appearance. They have one child Flutie. 


  1. J. S. WALKER, physician and surgeon, Manito; was born on a farm in Shelby Co., Ind., Feb. 16, 1842, and remained there until 3 years old ; his father was

a farmer ; in 1845, the family moved by team, as was customary in those days, to Mason Co., 111., and settled on a farm which they bought ; here he attended school

during the winter until 1862, when he enlisted in Co. K, 85th I. V. I., and remained

in the service nearly two years ; he was promoted to Sergeant and afterward Orderly.

On his return from the war, he read medicine with Dr. J. F. Atkinson, of Lexington, Mo.,

for two years ; he at once began attending the St. Louis (Pope’s) Medical College,

which he continued for two years, during which he graduated, and, returning home,

began practicing medicine at Forest City ; this he continued for five years ; he then came to Manito, 111., where he now practices quite extensively, and with good success ; in the winter of 1878 he met with quite a misfortune, having his office, in connection with his drug store, burned, not even saving a book from the fire ; he

contracted quite a cold in his efforts to save his dwelling, which has almost confined him ; he anticipates going South to improve his health ; the people of this community will very much regret the loss of Dr. Walker; they will remember him as one

of the influential men of their community, and, as a physician, skillful and attentive

especially so in his treatment in surgery, which has been a good part of his large

practice; he has held the offices of School Treasurer and Trustee. He was married,

in 1870, to S. A. Bradley, of Chicago ; they had two children Alberto .and Eugene,

‘who died Sept. 20, 1878.




(circa 1834-1880)
This village, situated on the P., P. & J. R. R., near the center of the northern boundary of the township, was surveyed and platted by James Boggs, Deputy County Surveyor, for James K. Cox, Robert M. Cox and William A. Langston, in 1858. Soon after the laying-out of the town, Hon. Hugh Fullerton, of Havana, acquired an interest for the influence exerted by him in procuring the location of the depot on the village site. The expectations of the proprietors must have been very great, and they possibly may have imagined that in the rearing of the first two or three buildings they beheld a miniature Chicago in embryo arising in their midst. One hundred and ten acres were laid out in blocks, streets and alleys.

Manito did not increase in growth very rapidly, until the close of the war,- in 1865. Egypt Station had been laid out in 1857, on the line of the railroad, about three-fourths of a mile southwest of where Manito now stands, and when the road went into operation, in 1859, from Pekin to Virginia, the contest for the mastery waxed warm. Egypt Station had the advantage in the beginning, in that she’ already had two or three stores and the post office, but Manito secured the location of the depot, and immediately the
scepter departed out of Egypt. The village of Spring Lake, which has already been mentioned as having been established by Col. Robert S. Moore, as early
as 1851, contributed to j;he upbuilding of Manito, by giving her business men and citizenship to swell the population of the newly begun village.

The farm residence of James K. Cox, erected in 1851, stands near the center of the business part of the village, east of the railroad, and may be easily recognized from
the fact that it stands at an angle of about forty-five degrees with the street fronting it. The first business house in the village was erected by James K. Cox, and was occupied early in 1860 by E. A. Rosher, as a general merchandise store. Mr. Rosher is still a citizen, and is the veteran merchant of the village. The second store in the was kept by J. P. & Alexander Trent.A. M. Pollard, from Spring Lake, opened a grocery store in 1861. Langston & Havens, Rankin & Luckenburg, had each a general store quite early in its history. J. Mosher opened the first drug store in 1865 or 1866. In 1868, Smith, Hippen & Co., of Pekin, built an elevator, at a cost of $5,000. It has a capacity of 15,000 bushels, and 10,000 bushels cah be handled through it per day. It is operated under the personal supervision of Fred Knollhoff, who is a. member of the firm.

The firm of Smith, Hippen & Co. was the first in tho- place to purchase grain on an extensive scale. Their annual shipments range from 250,000 to 300,000 bushels. Previous to the building of the elevator, a Mr. Cranwill had bought grain for some years, at this point, and shipped in gunny sacks on flats. In 1876, James A. McComas built the Manito ele- vator, at a cost of $6,500. It had a capacity of 20,000 bushels, and, in annual shipments, ranged from 200,000 to 250,000 bushels, making the total annual
shipments from the village from 500,000 to 600,000 bushels. This was operated by McComas one year; afterward by different parties, and, in 1878,
Grier & Co., of Peoria, took charge of it. It was totally destroyed by fire on the 29th of May, 1879. The building contained 5,000 bushels of grain at the time of its destruction. The village of Manito is conceded to be the best grain point on the P., P. & J. R. R., from Peoria to Havana, except Pekin. The business trade of the village aggregates about $500,000 annually. Some of the statements in regard to the history of the village and the dates of their occurrence may not be, in every particular, correct, but this is owing to the fact that the village records have been twice destroyed by fire, and the dates given are those that have been furnished us by the citizens who took an active part in the proceedings.

The village was incorporated under the special act known as theSpringfield and Quincy Act, in 1866. The following named persons were chosen as members of the first B oard of Trustees : R. S. Eakin, Joe W. Brooks, Smith Mosher, Joe Cranwill and E. W. Crispell. The Board selected R.,S. Eakin, President; Joe W. Brooks, Treasurer, and Joe Cranwill, Clerk. Stephen W. Porter was first Police Magistrate. The village continued under this organization till 1875, when the charter was surrendered by vote, and it was re-organized under the general law for cities and villages. The present Board consists of W. B. Robison, Thomas Boon, Joel Cowan, J. S. Pollard, M. Lins and A. J. Roberts. The officers of the Board are : W. B. Robison, President ; J. S. Walker, Treasurer ; W. C. Hall, Clerk ; R. S. Eakin, Police Justice.



The Methodist Church was erected in 1867. Among the early pastors, we find the names of Revs. Middleton, Sloan, Shagley and Goldsmith. Rev.
Sloan is remembered as the minister who was accustomed to make the entire round of his circuits on foot. Stephen W. Porter and family, Thomas Boon
and family, Father Nash, P. S. Trent and family, were among the early communicants of the Church. Elders Miller and Page, of the Campbellite order,
held meetings here at an early day, and had at one time an organization, but did not build a house of worship. The Catholic Church was built about 1870.
The building is a neat frame, patterned after the modern style of church buildings. They have a large and flourishing congregation. Sabbath schools are
regularly held at both churches.

In 1861, a petition was presented to the Post Office Department, praying for a removal of the post office from Egypt
Station to Manito, with a change in name to that of the village. The prayer of the petition was granted, and Smith Mosher was appointed first Postmaster.
He was succeeded in office by his brother, John Mosher, in 1865. In 1866, A. M. Pollard was appointed, and, in 1869, E. A. Kosher received the appointment, and still holds the position. In 1870, J. N. Shanholtzer erected a steam grist-mill in the village. This is the first and only mill ever built in the township. The cost of construction was about $6,000. It has two runs of stone, and is capable of turning out about eighteen or twenty barrels of flour per day. It has a fine run of custom,
and manufactures a first-class quality of flour.

Manito Lodge, A., F. and A. Masons, was organized under dispensation from Most Worshipful Deputy Grand Master J. M. Gorin, in 1865. In October, 1866, a charter was issued from the Grand Lodge, over the signatures of H. P. H. Bromwell, Most Worshipful Grand Master, and H. G. Reynolds,
Grand Secretary, to Henry A. Sweet, R. S. Eakin, A. G. H. Conover, John Thomas, Peter W. Gay, B. Ruthenburg, A. A. Griffin, Smith Mosher, Perry
W. Thomas, Hubbard Latham, Zachariah Miller and W. W. Pierce as charter members. Henry A. Sweet was appointed W. M. ; R. S. Eakin, S. W. ; A.
G. H. Conover. J. W. Regular meetings occur on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. In 1878, the lodge room was built by a joint-stock association. In the destructive fire which occurred December 22, 1878, the Lodge sustained heavy loss, the records, furniture and paraphernalia being entirely, consumed. At present it has a membership of twenty-two. The present officers are: R. S. Eakin, W. M.; W. B. Robison, S. W.; E. S. Starrett, J.W.; J. P. Cowan, Treasurer: Fred Knollhoff, Secretary ; J. C. Perkins, S. D.; R.W. Whiteford, J. D.; M. W. Rodgers, Tiler. A Lodge of I. 0. 0. F. was organized about the year 1871, but “has some time since ceased to exist.

The village at present has a population of about 600, and has four general merchandise stores, two groceries, two drug and notion stores, one harness-shop,
two boot and shoe shops, one hardware store and tin-shop, one millinery, notion and fancy goods establishment, three general blacksmithing and repair shops.
Drs. J. S. Walker and J. R. McCluggage are resident physicians, and deal out pills and powders for the pains and aches of the people, while William Maloney
deals out coal in quantities to suit the purchaser. The early settlers of the village were fond of playing practical jokes upon each other, and frequently did not scruple to tackle even strangers. Before corporate powers were conferred, it is stated that a man by the name of Moore came in and desired to start a saloon. He approached Joe Cranwill on the subject, and Joe furnished him the necessary license, for which he charged him the round sum of $25. Joe shoved the money down in his own pocket, and let the boys into the secret, and, as he spent most if not all of it in ” setting ’em up,” nothing was said about it, and it was many moons before Moore found out that
his license was a fraud, and that he had been tricked out of his money.

Many of the early denizens of the village will remember the days when ” High Cod Court,” as it was called, was in vogue. This was not a chartered institution, so far as we could learn, nor do we know that it had the sanction of the powers that be, ordained to meet in solemn conclave at Springfield biennially, in its establishment. But certain it is that it existed. Having charged some individual with an offense against the peace and dignity of the village, the Court would assemble and proceed to try the offender. The person presiding was dubbed the Hon. Judge Advocate, to whom all matters of difference between the lawyers for prosecution and defense were submitted, and from whose decision there was no appeal. Witnesses were called and examined, who were not expected to tell the truth any more than a witness of to-day is expected to testify to facts before a Congressional Investigating Committee. Indeed, the oath administered had a saving clause for the prosecution, couched in these words :

” And you furthermore swear that you will not tell the truth in the case now
pending, wherein,”

No matter how clearly the defendant might prove his innocence, conviction was sure to follow. The penalty was generally drinks for the crowd, and usually cost the accused about $1. But these days have long since passed away, and the citizens of Manito are as staid and sober-going people as are their neighbors. And yet the old citizens love to recount these days of fun and frolic, and, in imagination, live over again the scenes and incidents of their early manhood’s years. The name Manito was undoubtedly taken from the Indian word Manitou, though with just what significance it was applied to the village, we have no means of determining.


(tomorrow is Village of Manito history)

Richard L. Porter, a son of Stephen W. Porter, was, so far as can be ascertained, the first child born of white parents in the township. His birth dates back to 1841. The first death of which we have any account given was that of William Herron, who has already been mentioned as the earliest settler, and whose grave is on the farm on which he first settled. The exact date of his death cannot be ascertained, though it must have occurred as early as 1844 or 1845. The first wedding was celebrated between Alexander Graves and Polly Ashmon. This happy event occurred in 1846, at the residence of the bride’s father, Zeno Ashmon, one of the early settlers. Outside of the village of Manito, but two houses of worship have been erected in the township. These are both in the eastern portion. One is a German Lutheran, or Lutheran Evangelical, and the other a German Methodist, or, as it is commonly designated, Albright. These churches were both built in 1869. Rev. Reisinger organized the Lutheran congregation in 1867, and was Pastor of the Church some years.

Rev. Henry Siering followed him,, and was’ the spiritual teacher of the congregation about five years, when he was succeeded by his brother, Rev. Hermann Siering, the present Pastor in charge. The Church has a membership of about fifty souls. They have regular services and a flourishing Sunday school. Of the Albright, or German Methodist, we were unable to learn any particulars other than that the society is in a prosperous condition, meeting regularly for worship, and having a Sunday school connected with it of fine interest.

No mill was ever built in the township save the one of recent date, built in the village, and to which reference will be made in its history. The P., P. & J. R. road enters the township near the center of the southern boundary of Section 6, and, passing through in a general northeastern direction, leaves it at the northeast corner of Section 21, thus giving to the township about five- miles of railroad. Among her citizens who have received political preferment at the hands of the citizens of the county, we may mention the names of John Pemberton and Matthew Langston. John Pemberton or ” Uncle Jackey,” as he is familiarly called, was chosen Associate Justice of the county in 1849.

The other members who assisted in holding down the seat of justice were Smith Turner,. County Judge, and Robert McReynolds, Associate. This position he held until 1853. He was also chosen to represent the county in the Lower House in quite an early day. It is said of him that, so great was his zeal to secure a successful issue of the campaign, whereby Mason County might be properly represented at the capital and a seat for himself secured in the Grand Council,, that he was found once or twice outside the limits of his county, earnestly engaged in trying to persuade the citizens of an adjoining county that he was the proper man to represent Mason County in the General Assembly, and that he would be grateful to them for their support. This he did, not with any design of obtaining his seat fraudulently, but simply from the fact that he did not recognize that he had passed beyond the limits of his own county.

A vote for and against township organization was taken November 11, 1861, to take effect April, 1862 The vote for adoption prevailed, and Hon. Lyman Lacy, of Havana, Maj. B. H. Gatton, of Bath, and Hon. Matthew Langston, of Manito, were chosen Commissioners to divide the county into townships. Mr. Langston was chosen first Supervisor of Manito Township, and held the office three terms in succession. In 1865, he was elected to the office of County Judge, and sat upon the judicial bench two years, at the end of which he resigned the position to devote himself more fully to his private affairs. In 1871 and 1872, he represented his county in the Lower House, at Springfield. Since then, he has devoted himself to the quiet pursuits of agricultural life. The township of Manito acquired its name from that of the village, which had been platted and recorded before the township was laid out. About twenty-five years ago, a tragedy occurred within her borders, and with a brief allusion to this we will close our township history.

In 1849 or 1850, Benjamin Alwood and family, consisting of his two sons Andrew Jackson and Hugh M. and two daughters, came from New Jersey and settled not
far southeast of the present village of Manito. The Alwood family were possessed of considerable means, and entered a large amount of land. From various causes, they soon became unpopular with their neighbors, whether justly or otherwise it is not our province to explain. The feeling of hatred grew into gigantic proportions, and finally culminate  in open demonstrations. As early as 1853 or 1854, a party in disguise waited upon the family and informed them that they must quit the neighborhood. The Alwoods informed them that they had come to stay, and did not propose to be frightened away. Not long afterward, a crop of wheat belonging to a man by the name of Hoyt was destroyed by fire. It was the generally received opinion, though it was by no means supported by positive proof, that the Alwoods had a hand in the burning, or, at least, had privy knowledge of the fact that it would occur. At any rate, this was made a pretext for destroying* their entire crop, by way, as it was said, of retaliation. This was followed up by the burning of their house and the shooting of Hugh M. and one of his sisters. The shooting in this instance did not, however, prove fatal. It so happened that at the burning of the wheat crop, Jack Alwood followed the parties, and succeeded in identifying some of them before he was discovered and forced to flee for his life. Legal proceedings were instituted, and a number of persons were indicted before the grand jury. Trials were appointed, but were postponed from time to time.

After the burning of their home, the Alwood family moved to Quiver Township and remained a short time. Returning, they built a hewed-log house and set about raising their crops. In the fall of 1856, while Jack Alwood was in his field, engaged in cutting up corn, he was shot by unknown parties, and instantly killed. This put an end to the prosecution of indictments against parties supposed to have been engaged in the destruction of their property. While this sad occurrence was deeply deplored by the better
class of citizens, it was nothing more than had been expected for months previous to its commission. He had been warned time and again that a continued attempt on his part to prosecute the indictments found would speedily lead him to an untimely grave. Let us hope that no similar occurrence may ever again darken the fair name of Manito Township and those of her citizens.

History of Manito Township part 2



As early as 1850, we may add to the list of names already given, those of Jacob Jacobs and family, James Overton, Amos Ganson, William and Nult Green, and that of Col. Robert S. Moore. Jacobs was from New York and Overton from Kentucky. Amos Ganson settled in Egypt, southeast of Manito, and opened a blacksmith-shop, the first in the township. Col. Moore was originally from Kentucky. His parents settled in Sangamon (now Menard) County, in 1837. He was a soldier in the Mexican war, and participated in the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, etc. He located his land warrant in Manito Township, and became a resident of the county in April. 1849. He was the founder of the village of Spring Lake, a village established at the head of a small lake of the same name, near the boundary line between Tazewell and Mason Counties. He built a grain warehouse here as early as 1850 or 1851, and engaged in buying a shipping grain.

John Pemberton, Emery Hall, Matthew Langston, James M. Langston, M. W. Rodgers, James K. Cox and his son Robert M. Cox, Riley Morris and John 0. Randolph were citizens of Manito Township as early as 1851. Pemberton and Hall may possibly have come as early as 1849. The others all came in 1850, except the Coxes, who came in 1851. The Langstons came from Tennessee to that part of Morgan County afterward included within the limits of Scott County, and from Scott to Mason. Rodgers was from Kentucky. The Langstons and Rodgerses purchased the pre-emption rights and improvements of James McCoy, who had settled just across the line in that part of Tazewell County lying east of Manito Township. Matthew Langston had served in the war with Mexico, and laid his land warrant in Section 1, Manito Township. James M. Langston located in the same section, and Rodgers just north of the Langstons, on Section 35.

These were among the earliest settlements made on the prairie any considerable distance from the timber. Joseph Leese settled in the immediate neighborhood in the summer of 1850. He came from England,. and, after a residence of fourteen or fifteen years, sold out and returned to his native land. James K. Cox was a native of Virginia. In 1810, he emigrated to Tennessee, thence to Madison County, 111., in 1819. From there he removed to Morgan County in 1822, and, in 1851, to Mason County, locating on the site of the present village of Manito. During the years 1851, 1852 1853, 1854 and 1855, the prairie portion of the township settled up very rapidly, so that any attempt to give the names of settlers and the order of their coming in would be utterly vain. With this somewhat hasty glance at the early settlements of the township, we will proceed at once to note, somewhat,, the general appearance of the country as it appeared to the early pioneer, and some of the many difficulties with which he had to contend in procuring and establishing a home for himself and those dependent upon him.

When the first settlers came, the prairie, stretching back east from the river presented to the eye a grand and imposing scene. As far away as the eye could reach, the tall, blue- stem prairie grass was waving in the autumn breeze like a boundless sea. This, with the myriads of flowers of all hues and colors interspersed, awakened feelings of admiration which the finest landscape gardening fails to inspire. Nature had wrought a work which art can never equal. Many of the flowers planted and nourished by the hand of Nature’s God far surpassed in delicacy and beauty those of rarest culture of to-day. Every fall, the whole face of the country was swept over by fire, the flames of which would reach high up toward the heavens, then swoop down, reaching a hundred feet ahead, taking into their grasp the tinder-like material. None but those who have seen our prairie fires of twenty or thirty years ago can comprehend their magnificent grandeur. At the date of the earliest settlements, game of all kinds abounded in plenteous profusion. It was by no means an uncommon thing to see herds of deer ranging in numbers of from seventy-five to one hundred, and their course was plainly marked by the parting of the tall grass. Often times would they approach within rifle-distance of the pioneer’s cabin, and many the fine fat buck or juicy doe that paid the forfeit of its life for this act of forwardness. Oftentimes, too, would they put the husbandman’s labor to naught by completely destroying his patch of ” garden-sass “in a single night.

Wild geese, ducks, cranes and other water-fowls were here in abundance, and were not a little source of annoyance to the early settlers in the destruction of their crops. Sometimes, an entire field of wheat would be destroyed in a few days by flocks of geese, as the biting of the geese seemed to poison the tender plant and utterly destroy it. The wily wolf and artful fox came in for their share of depredations, in robbing hen-roosts, pigsties and sheep-cotes ; and what a wolf didn’t know about howling wasn’t worth knowing. When Abel Maloney, who has already been mentioned as one of the earliest settlers, first came, he brought with him his two oldest boys, William and John, together with some stock. After erecting his log cabin, he returned to Menard County for his companion and the rest of the family. The boys were left to take care of
the house and look after the stock. William, who now resides in the village of Manito, thus relates his experience :

” Soon after my father left us, a continuous rain set in, by which the Sangamon and it tributaries were so swollen that he was unable to return until after the lapse of four long weeks. During that period, we looked upon no human face save that of each other. At night, we would take the geese, ducks and chickens, along with the dogs, into the cabin and securely bar the doors, preparatory to trying to sleep. As soon as the twilight began to deepen, the wolves began their orgies. Between the squealing of the hogs and the howling of the wolves, night was rendered hideous and sleep seemed to be forever divorced from our eyelids. Indeed, we sometimes feared, from the vigor with which they howled around our cabin and scratched at its rude door, that they might affect an entrance and make mincemeat out of our poor little bodies ere the coming of the gray morning in the east should force them again into their secret coverts. Not a hog was left out of the number brought, on my father’s return. You may imagine we welcomed the old folks right heartily when they did put in an appearance.”

Coon Grove was so named from the vast number of coons found there in an early day. The same authority states that, when they came in 1841, “the woods were full of ’em.” Many of the trees were hollow, and had beside them Indian ladders (saplings with the limbs cut off some distance from the body), and holes chopped into the trees evidently the work of the Indians, made in their attempts to catch “old Zip Coon.” At certain seasons of the year, Mr. Maloney states that they were wont to go, about sunset, and drive them from the fields like droves of sheep. They were very destructive to crops near the grove. While the early pioneers of this section were exempt from many of the” graver difficulties with which the settlers of other portions who had preceded them by a decade or more of years were forced to contend, yet theirs was by no means a life of ease and luxury. Homes were to be provided, farms to be made, and implements necessary to theirsuccessful cultivation to be procured. Money with them was scarce, for, generally speaking, they were men of limited means, who had left the more densely populated portions of our own country to try their fortunes in the great and growing West. Their milling was done, oftentimes, fifteen to eighteen miles away.

Their principal trading was done at Pekin, Mackinaw, Delavan and Havana. At these points, they sold their products and laid in their supplies of dry goods and groceries. In times of high-water, they would take their grists to Spring Lake by ox-team, and from thence in skiffs down through the lake, up the river, and thence, through Copperas Creek, to Utica, in Fulton County, rowing a distance of eight or ten miles. If a plow needed repairing, it must needs be carried to Pekin, Mackinaw or Havana. It took all summer to raise a crop, and all winter to deliver it. If we may credit the statements of their descendants, the early settlers of this section were not men of deep religious convictions. Although the invincible circuit-rider was among them at an early day, we. hear of no general religious awakening until comparatively a recent date. An unfailing indication that the Sabbath Day had dawned, was to see the women equipped with fishing-tackle, the men with their guns and accouterments, all parties moving out headed toward Spring Lake. Here the day was passed in pleasure seeking and merry-making.

Sometimes the men would stake off a race-course, and, attired in a garb which was rather an abridgment of a Hottentot’s costume, would indulge in foot-racing. We are by no means to conclude from this that they were savage in their dispositions, for none more hospitable to the stranger, or the one in need, could be found than the early settlers of Manito. It was simply their way of having sport. Fighting and quarreling were almost unknown amongst them ; and if a friendly fisticuff sometimes occurred, the combatants generally left the battle-field good friends. They did not forget nor neglect the early educational interests of their children. Consequently,we find them at an early day in their history building a schoolhouse, and maintaining a school by subscriptions.

The first schoolhouse in the township was erected near the site of the present residence of William Starritt, in Coon Grove. It was constructed of round logs, notched down at the corners, and was chinked and daubed after the approved pioneer style. The building was sixteen feet square, had one window of three lights, 8×10, and a door of entrance. It may have been a little dark for purpos es of study on a cloudy day, but it was certainly admirably adapted to weak eyes. It was covered with clapboards, and when it rained drops came down about as well inside as out, though not quite as fast. Stephen W. Porter is given as the first Solon who directed the footsteps of the aspiring youth of Manito up the rugged steeps of science.

The second school building was a hewed-log house, erected in the limits of the present village of Manito. Miss Adeline Broderick and Mrs. Rachel Ott were among the first teachers in this house. At present the township has seven school buildings, each a neat frame, supplied with the more modern improvements for the comfort of the pupils. From the Treasurer’s last report to the County Superintendent, we find the principal of the township fund to be $2,963 ; amount of tax levied. $1,925 ; value of school property, $2,100 ; number of scholars under twenty-one (including color), 178 ; between six and twenty-one, 195 ; males between six and twenty-one, 130 ; females, 139 ; highest wages paid male teachers, $50 ; highest paid females, $55 ; ‘total amount paid for school purposes, $1,316.50 ; males between twelve and twenty-one unable to read and write, 2 ; cause, neglect of parents and willful neglect of child.

The first post office established in Manito Township was kept by Col. R. S. Moore, at his residence, on what is now known as the P. W. Gay farm. This was established in 1851, on the route leading from Havana to Delavan. It was called Pilot Hill Post Office, after a high hill on the route, some three or four miles northwest of the point at which it was kept. A year or two later, it was moved farther south, toward Havana, to the residence of John Pemberton, who was the second Postmaster. At a still later date, it was taken to Berkstresser’s store, at a point called Egypt Station, and was re-christened with the name of Egypt Station Post Office. Finally, on the establishment of the village of Manito, and the consequent overthrow of Egypt Station, it was removed to Manito, and the name of the office was changed to that of the town.

Ministers, in connection with the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian Churches, came among the people in an early day, to preach to them the word of life. Meetings were held at the homes of the settlers. Rev. Caldwell, a Methodist minister, was, perhaps, the first who had regular stated appointments. The Baptist and Presbyterian brethren were not far behind him in point of time. At a later date, the ubiquitous Methodist itinerant, Peter Cartwright, was in their midst. He was present in 1852 or 1853, and conducted a camp-meeting at Walnut Grove, at which there was a great awakening among the people. Many were happily converted, and remained faithful workers in the ranks of the Church throughout the remainder of their lives. As late as the spring of 1865, he preached in the village of Manito, in the upper story of the building now occupied by Messrs. Burnett & Perrill as a general merchandise and drug store.

Dr. John Allen, who resided near Mcllarry’s mill, in what is now Quiver Township, was the first practitioner who sought to alleviate their aches and pains. Dr. Mastiller came at quite an early day. He was a student in the office of Dr. Allen. Dr. Holton, who located at Spring Lake, in Tazewell County, was also among the earlier practitioners. The first resident physician in the township was Dr. John B. Meigs, a young man who came in 1855 or 1856, and who still resides in the village of Manito. He came from Macoupin County. Others have followed, too numerous to mention.

Manito Township

The information below comes from a book entitled, “The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois” The book has an unnamed author and covers the years from about 1834-1880. I hope you enjoy this information and let others know that it is out there. Thanks – Tom




He who attempts to present with unvarying accuracy the annals of a country or even of a district no larger than a township, the history of which reaches back through a period of more than a quarter of a century, imposes upon himself a task beset with difficulties on every hand. These difficulties are often augmented by statements widely at variance, furnished by early settlers and

their descendants as data from which to compile a true and faithful record of past events. To claim for a work of this character perfect freedom from the slightest inaccuracies would be simply to arrogate to one’s self that degree of wisdom which alone resides in the councils of the omniscient I Am. If, therefore, kind reader, the time and place of recorded events may not, in every particular, agree with your individual opinion, please bear in mind we will ever incline to those statements which seem supported by the greater weight of testimony. To give FACTS, and facts only, should be the highest aim and ambition of every writer who professes to deal with incidents of the past. This shall be our goal, this our guiding-star. How well the task shall be performed, we submit to the judgment of a discriminating public. 

The township of Manito is situated in the northeast corner of Mason County, and comprises within its present limits a little more than forty-five sections. It is somewhat irregular in shape, being eight miles in extent along its northern boundary line, by nine miles north and south along its eastern boundary line. The extreme west line of the township is but four miles in extent from north to south. With the exception of two or three small groves in the north and northwestern portions of the township, the entire area of Manito Township is prairie. The central, eastern and southeastern portions are somewhat flat, yet for the most part easily susceptible of drainage. When the first settlers came, much of these portions were denominated swamp-lands, but these, by artificial drainage, have been converted into the most productive farms within her limits. And where once wild geese and ducks in countless numbers swam lazily about amidst the rank-growing rushes or floated calmly and undisturbed upon the stagnant waters, may now be seen finely cultivated fields teeming with the fast-ripening harvest. The soil in this portion of the township is of a deep black loam, freely intermixed with sand, but is exceedingly fertile and productive. Indeed, such a vast amount of corn, oats, rye and wheat is annually produced in this portion of Manito and those adjacent to it, that the citizens have for many years recognized the propriety of designating it as their Egypt. Corn, however, is the staple product of this, as well as most other portions of the county.

No tortuous stream courses its way through the township. Water, however, is easily obtained even in the highest portions at a depth of from twenty to thirty feet. A hollow, pointed iron tube, one and one-half inches in diameter, with slottings near the point for the admission of water, is driven to the required depth below the surface, and, when once a vein is tapped, an inexhaustible supply is afforded. In this manner, a ”drove-well” thirty feet deep can be begun and completed in a few hours’ time. The northwestern and western portions of the township varies in its surface configurations from that which we have described. The soil is of a somewhat different character, the lighter colored and more argillaceous subsoil appearing at or near the surface. The surface is a plane of higher elevation and is somewhat broken and hilly. It is, however, quite productive and yields fine crops of corn. One peculiar characteristic of the soil is that it can withstand excessive drought or long continued wet weather better than that portion known as Egypt. The greatest drawback to this section is its lack of pasturage and meadow lands. Farmers are necessitated to feed their stock throughout the entire year and to procure their hay from a distance, varying from twelve to fifteen miles. In position, this township lies north of Forest City Township, east of Quiver Township, south and west of Tazewell County. Passing from the topography of the township, we enter at once upon that period of its history pertaining to its



As has already been stated, the timbered area of Manito Township was of limited extent. Black Oak Grove in the northeast, Coon Grove on Sections 31 and 32, together with the outskirts of Long Point Timber on the extreme western boundary, comprise the timbered district, with the exception of a small grove on Section 30, not exceeding six acres in extent, called Walnut Grove,

from the character of the timber found there. And as in other portions of our Western country, the earliest settlements and improvements are found in and along the outskirts of the timber, so, likewise, the earliest settlements were made here in the groves of this township. No matter how unproductive the soil along the timber line, nor how rich and fertile the broad acres of outstretching prairie might be a few miles away, the early pioneer built his rude log cabin near the timber and began the work of opening up his farm, leaving for those who should succeed him after the lapse of a decade or more of years, the most productive and finest farming lands in all his section of territory.

Among the earliest, if not the earliest settler of the township, was one William Herron, who settled as early as 1838 or 1839, just east of the present village of Manito, on the farm now owned by John Woodworth. He had emigrated from Ohio to Mackinaw, Tazewell County, some years earlier, and from Mackinaw to Mason County, and settled in the edge of Black Oak Grove, as before stated. A maiden sister kept his house for him. He lived the life of a bachelor and, dying, was buried on the farm on which he settled, few, if any now living, can point out the exact spot where repose the mortal remains of Manito’s earliest settler. To him may be applied most fittingly the words of the poet

“Not in the churchyard’s hallowed ground,

Where marble columns rise around,

By willow or by cypress shade,

Are thy poor mortal relics laid. Thou sleepest here, all, all alone No other grave is near thine own.

‘Tis well, ’tis well, but oh, such fate Seems very, very desolate.” 


At or near the same time came Stephen W. Porter, accompanied by his wife, and settled near the edge of the pond now included within the corporate limits of the village of Manito. Porter was a nephew of Herron’s, and came here from Mackinaw. He continued to live in this section of the county up to the date of his demise. A man by the name of Ray came from New York and settled in Coon Grove, or rather between Coon Grove and Long Point timber, on the farm now owned by W. H. Cogdell, as early as 1840. He built a log cabin and was the third permanent settler in the township. Soon after coming, he planted a quantity of apple-seeds, and from the seedlings thus raised put out the first apple orchard made in this section of the county. The line of the P., P. & J. R. R. passes through this orchard a short distance northeast of Forest City. There yet remain a few of the trees planted by the hands of the early settler nearly forty years ago. After a few years’ residence, he sold out his possessions and started back to the Empire State, but sickened and died on the way. As an evidence that labor was cheap and money scarce with the early settlers, it may be stated that the making of rails could be contracted for two bits or 25 cents per hundred, and the pay was taken in meat at 12 cents per pound, two pounds paying for the labor of making one hundred rails.


 Of settlers in the township as early as 1845. the following names occur: Abel Maloney, Layton Rice, George Baxter, John Davis, King Hibbard, James Green, Thomas Landreth, Zeno Ashmon, William Mayes, Douglas Osborne, Alexander and Wesley Brisbaur. Maloney came originally from the Old Dominion and settled in Menard in 1838. In 1841, he came to Manito Township and settled in Coon Grove near the location of Union Station, on the P., P. & J. R. R. He was in poor circumstances when he came, but accu- mulated means rapidly and was considered wealthy at the time of his death, which event occurred in 1849. His son William and his daughter, Mrs. Robert M. Cox, at present reside in the village of Manito. Rice came from Kentucky and first settled in Menard, but, in 1842, came to Coon Grove and began the improvement of a farm. George Baxter was from Kentucky, and ” squatted” in the edge of Long Point timber as early as 1843. He was somewhat noted among the early settlers but not by any means popular, as his preconceived notions of the eternal fitness of all things had led him to form a matrimonial alliance with one of Kentucky’s ebon daughters, whom he made the sharer of his sorrows and the doubler of his joys. He had come to this great and growing State, where he might enjoy the society of his loved companion and the comforts of his home unmolested, where, figuratively speaking, he might worship beneath his own vine and fig tree, but soon it seems the red hand of persecution was raised against him. 

Robert Green entered him out in 1845, and he next located west of Simmond’s Mills, in Quiver Township. Green followed him up, and, a few years later, he moved with his fair bride to the State of Missouri, and was seen no more in this goodly land. The year 1843 brought into the settlement Davis, Hibbard and Green. Davis was from Virginia, and had first settled in Menard before coming to Mason County. He settled the farm now known as the Randolph farm, and had, at the date of his settlement, a family of four girls and three boys. He is remembered among the old settlers as the man who never was seen wearing a pair of gloves or mittens. No matter how inclement the weather, his labor was always performed bare-handed. Hibbard came from Mackinaw, and set- tled at the north end of Black Oak Grove. After a residence of a few years, lie sold out, purchased three yoke of oxen from Thomas Landreth and started by the overland route for Oregon. As he was never heard of afterward, it is presumed that both he and his family fell victims to the unerring rifle or tomahawk of the noble red man of the forest. James Green came from Menard County to Coon Grove, but, a few years later, returned to his former residence.

About the same date, Indiana furnished to the population Zeno Ashmore and a brother named Calvin, the latter popularly known far and wide as “Jefunky.” The Ashmores are represented as being rather shiftless in their dispositions. Zeno settled and lived for a time on what is known as the McHarry place, a part of which is included in the present limits of the village of Manito. “Jefunky” lived around promiscuously for a number of years and finally located in Washington, Tazewell County, where he died some eight or ten years ago. Thomas Landreth came from Virginia and settled at Mackinaw, Tazewell County, as early as 1824 or 1825. In 1844, he came to Coon Grove to Mason County, where for $200 he purchased the claim of Layton Rice. Rice returned to Menard County, and now resides not far from Mason City. Landreth became a permanent settler, remaining until his decease. At the date of his coming, he had a family of six children. He was twice married and was the father of twenty-two children. His son, John S. Landreth, is now a citizen of Manito Village. William Mayes and Douglas Osborne were from Kentucky, and the Brisbaurs from Mackinaw. These came in during the year 1845. Mayes was familiarly known as “Hame-Legs” Mayes, a name applied to him on account of his excessive bowleggedness. Of the Brisbaurs,it may be stated that in quite an early day, Alexander removed to Texas and Wesley to Oregon. While this portion of the county did not rapidly increase in population till some years later, nevertheless there was annually a steady, healthy increase.

Quiver Township Biographical Sketches





LORING AMES, farmer; P. O. Topeka; son of Zephaniah Ames, whose ancestors came over in the Mayflower during the reign of William and Mary. They were of English descent. His mother’s maiden name was Case. She was born in Connecticut, and was married to Mr. Ames in Maryland. In 1818, they came to Illinois, and settled on a farm in St. Clair Co. for a few years. They moved, in 1823, to Adams Co., where they both died he, in 1835, and she, in 1825. The subject of this sketch was born Sept. 13, 1806, and, when 1 year old, moved with his parents to Hemlock Forest, in Pennsylvania, and was there until 15 years old, when he came to Illinois with his parents. In 1827, he went to the lead mines in the West. During the time he was there, he participated in a war with the Indians, who were headed by Red Bud. He returned in 1829, and shortly afterward took a flatboat, starting from Quincy,  and running to New Orleans. This was the first flatboat ever run down from Quincy, and was loaded with hogs, corn, potatoes, onions and oak staves. He returned in 1830, and worked on a farm for Gov. Wood, for two years. He had considerable management of Gov. Wood’s business, and was often called Governor by strangers. He next worked on a steam mill for Holmes; afterward, on a farm until 1832, when he was in the Black Hawk war. On his return, he began farming:, and continued it until married, which was in 1833, to Elmira Jones, daughter of Deacon Jones, who laid out Canton. In 1836, he moved to Fulton Co., and made brick in partnership with his father-in-law for one year ; he then farmed in Fulton Co. until 1856, when he came to Mason Co., and settled the present farm of 160 acres, which they obtained  by their own labor. He became a member of the Congregational Church in Quincy, in 1831, and is now with the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Topeka, Il. His wife is also a member. The names of their children are Ardelia, Orpheus, who was in the war of the rebellion for three years ; Joel, also in the war ; George, Charles, Diantha and Emily.


S. ALLEN, farmer and teacher ; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Sylvanus Allen, who was born in Mason Co., Ky., Feb. 10, 1797, and moved to Ohio in 1804 ; was married Nov. 29, 1821, to Miss Bakehorn, daughter of George Bakehorn ; she was born April11, 1803, in New Jersey, and died Dec. 31, 1875. In the spring of 1830, they moved to Miami Co., Ohio, where they afterward resided. Mr. L. S. Allen was born Jan. 24, 1834, on a farm in Miami Co., Ohio ; at the age of 17, he began teaching, nd made his home with his parents until he was married, Aug. 27, 1865, to Mrs. Ella F. Davis, a daughter of Amos Flowers ; her husband, Mr. Davis, died in the late war. In 1864, Mr. Allen began merchandising at Lena, Ohio, in partnership with Mr. Brecount. In 1865, Mr. Brecount drew out, and Mr. Allen continued the business until 1867, when he came to Mason Co.,IL, and soon engaged in merchandising, at Topeka, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. Flowers, and continued thus until about 1874, when they sold the business to Colviri & Hoagland. He then began teaching during the winters and farming in the summers, which he still continues. They have, by their frugality, secured themselves a house and lot in Topeka, and eighty acres of well- improved land near by. They have no children ; he has held the office of Town Clerk, and is at present a Notary Public ; he and his wife are members of the M. K. Church, at Topeka, in which ho has held the offices of Steward and Trustee, and is now KK Superintendent of the Sabbath school in that Church. He was once Justice of the Peace, and was also in the war, enlisting in the 147th Ohio V. I. 


B. APPLEMAN, farmer; P. 0. Topeka; is the son of John and Catharine Appleman, both of New Jersey, the former of whom was born Oct. 7, 1800, came to Illinois about 1848, and was killed by a team running away, Sept. 28, 1866. He was a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church. His wife was born Oct. 26, 1800 ; her maiden name being Cross. Her confession was with the Reformed Church, but she afterward united with the Presbyterian, in which communion she died, April 6, 1872, a faithful Christian, sincerely devoted to the interests of the Church. They had a family of eleven children William C., born Dec. 4, 1821 ; Mary A., Jan. 2, 1824; Cornelia E., Jan. 27, 1826; Sarah L., May, 1828: Margaret A. (deceased), Nov. 18,1830; Alexander C., Jan. 22, 1833 ; Emeline, Sept. 22, 1835 ; Fannie C., Feb. 14, 1837 ; Augustus B., Nov. 1, 1838 ; John, March 14, 1841 ; Josephus M., Nov. 5, 1843. The subject of this sketch was born in Somerset Co., N. J., and when 9 years old came with the family, by team, as was customary in those days, to Mason Co., 111., and settled on thefarm which he now owns. It was then a raw prairie, but by their labors has become fine arable land. At 21, he rented of Mr. Anno for one year, afterward working on the farm of his brother-in-law, Mr. Cross. He then bought the present farm, the old homestead of his father, of 160 acres, and has since increased it to 280 acres. His marriage with Hannah C. McReynolds was celebrated Dec. 31, 1869, by Rev. Henr Decker, of the Reformed Church. Her father’s name was Robert McReynolds, who was born April 13, 1791, in Columbia Co., Penn. He was a farmer, Assessor and Judge.Her mother’s maiden name was Moyier. She was born Nov. 14, 1801, in Pennsylvania. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which communion they died. Mr. Appleman has been blessed with the following children Clara F., born in February, 1870 ; Clarence and Clayton, twins, Aug. 30, 1872 ; Frank M., Dec. 11, 1878., He has been and is now School Director, and was once Road Commissioner. His farm, which lies two miles northwest of Topeka, is one of the finest in the country. One could not be otherwise than happy, being thus surrounded by the fields and groves that lie adjacent to this residence. Yet Mr. Appleman has reasons for desiring to change localities. 


CHARLES BARTELS, fanner and stock-dealer ; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Henry Bartels, a native of Germany, who came to America some thirty years ago , was a farmer and coal miner, and now makes a home with Mr. Bartels, whose mother’s name was Long, daughter of a noted farmer of Germany ; she came to America about thirty three years ago. The subject of this sketch was born Sept. 15, 1849, in Pottsville, Penn., where he remained until 21, at which time he came, with his parents, to Illinois, settling on the present farm of 160 acres, eighty of which now belong to him, the rest to a brother ; this is the old homestead of his father. Mr. Bartels has made good improvements and possesses a fine little home. His marriage with Anna Wills was celebrated Aug. 11, 1872 ; she is a daughter of William Wills, of Topeka, one of the noted men and early pioneers of the township, and one of the first settlers of Mason Co. ; she was born in 1854, in Mason Co., III. ; two children were the fruit of their marriage George H., born May 30, 1873; Lillie A., Aug. 7, 1876. Mr. Bartels has followed threshing and carpentering; he has been no office seeker, and has spent his past years in rural life. 


THEODORE BELL, druggist and hardware, Topeka ; son of William Bell, who was born in Pennsylvania ; was a stonemason, and died in August, 1861; his wife’s maiden name was Hennigh, daughter of Daniel’ Hennigh, a noted farmer; she survived her husband and, two years after his death, came to Illinois, and is now making her home in Kansas, with her son Daniel. The subject of this sketch was born May 18, 1846, on a farm in Pennsylvania, and remained there engaged in going to school most of the time until 15 years old, when he left the scenes of his childhood soon after his last farewell to his father, and came, with his two sisters and one brother, to Mason Co., 111.; two years afterward, his mother came. Mr. Bell engaged, at his settlement, in farming for his older brother, Mr. Daniel Bell, with whom his mother makes her home in Kansas, and worked for him one season ; when nearly 18, he enlisted in Co. L, llth I. V. C., and served eighteen months; returning from war, he began working for his brother, on a farm, for one summer, and then engaged in clerking in a drug store for Harper & Robinson, of Havana, for six months; he then taught school for some time in Sherman Township. Mason Co., and afterward attended school at the Northwestern University at Plainfield,Il., for two terms; from there he went to Pennsylvania and engaged in reading law for a year with the firm of Longworth & Jenks ; afterward, he made a visit to Kansas and soon engaged in teaching school for three years, and, in 1875, he, like others who have left the beautiful plains of Mason Co., returned and engaged in teaching school for three years ; he then bought the drug store at Topeka, owned by C. H. Martz, to which he has added a hardware department,,nand in which business he still continues ; he has held the office of Town Clerk.


NATHAN CLARK, farmer ; P. 0. Petersburg ; is a native of Otsego Co., N. Y., where he was born May 9, 1818. There his boyhood and early life were spent, and, being of a musical turn, he studied music, and was for many years leader of a string band that became quite noted. He remembers furnishing music for Gen. Winfield Scott, and a number of other distinguished guests. He came to Illinois in 1863, locating in Mason Co. He now owns a fine tract of land. He removed to Petersburg in 1877, and renovated the Elmo House, and opened it as the Clark House. He married Elvira, daughter of Capt. Benedict, of Maryland, Sept. 2, 1845. They are parents of nine children, all of whom are now living and well educated, five being already teachers. Few can look back with more satisfaction over their past life than Mr. and Mrs. Clark. Mr. Clark was for a number of years passenger conductor on the P., P. & J. R. R. In 1879, Mr. Clark moved upon his farm in Quiver, where he now resides. 


GEORGE D. COON, farmer and stock-dealer ; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Reuben and Anna Coon. The former was born on a farm in New Jersey, in 1787, and came to Illinois in 1842. His wife’s maiden name was Drake, daughter of George Drake, of New Jersey. She was born in 1793. They are both dead; he died in 1862, she in 1853. They were both members of the Baptist Church of New Jersey, and died in that faith. The subject of our sketch was born April 9, 1813, in New Brunswick,NJ., and remained there until 1839, and was engaged in farming and blacksmithing. In that year he came, by team, to Illinois, and settled in Greene Co., where he remained until 1842, at which time he moved to Mason Co., and settled on a farm for some time. He then settled on the present farm of eighty acres, which he had entered from the Government prior to his settlement on the same. He has given his attention entirely to agricultural pursuits, and has increased his land to 820 acres, and has improved the same. Seven hundred and twenty acres of this land is the fruit of their own labor and management. He celebrated his marriage, in 1836. with Harriet Brown, daughter of Stephen Brown, of New Jersey. He came to Illinois in 1849, with a family of seven children. His wife’s maiden name was Bishop. Mrs. Coon was born in 1815. Six children were the fruit of this happy marriage Mary J. (now Appleman), who has taught school, Waller L., Reuben G., Sophia B., George D. ; deceased, R. R. Mr. Coon retains a membership in the Baptist Church in New Jersey. At the time of Mr. Coon’s settlement the county was but little settled, and there yet remained now and then a wild animal which had perhaps narrowly escaped the flint-lock and spear of the savage. He has toiled on in rural life in the same channel with his neighbors, and has improved these raw prairies. 


ALBERT CROSS, farmer and stock-dealer; P. O. Topeka; son of S. B. Cross, of Mason City Township ; his mother’s maiden name was McReynolds, daughter of a noted farmer of New Jersey; he was born Aug. 11, 1856, on a farm in Mason ‘Co.; 111., where he remained until 16 years old. at which time he moved with his parent* to Mason City Township, where they remained engaged in farming for four years. Mr. Cross, Sept. 20, 1876, was married to Fronia Slade, of Ohio, daughter of J. W. Slade ; her mother’s name was Van Gorden. a native of Ohio. After marriage they settled on his father’s farm in Mason City Township, and remained there some time, when they moved to the present farm of 160 acres, owned by J. W. Slade, which Mr. Cross controls, and on which he is having good success, having this season raised, wheat which averaged over twenty bushels per acre; this farm is finely improved. They have been blessed with one child Stephen R., born Nov. 23, 1878.


SARAH A. CADWALADER, boarding, Topeka; is a daughter of Isaac Wiseman, a farmer of Ohio ; he was born in 1776 in South Carolina, and died Dec. 31, 1833, in Hamilton, Ohio. Her mother’s maiden name was Harper, daughter of a farmer of Virginia; she was born in 1789 in Virginia, and died in 1856 in Ohio. The subject of this sketch was born in 1819 in Butler Co., Ohio ; when 14 years old, she went with the family to Hamilton, Ohio, where the family had gone for the benefit of part of them who were suffering with consumption, which disease ended the life of her father. In 1837, she was married to Hugh Beaty, a bricklayer and plasterer ; they settled at Hollow Springs for one year ; in the latter part of 1838, Mr. Beaty died, leaving her with an infant, which, shortly afterward, died also ; she then went to her mother’s home in Hamilton, Ohio, where she bore this sad bereavement. In 1842, she came with her mother and sister to Havana, 111., where she remained seven years. We here note a matter which shows a kind and sympathizing heart : This lady helped to make the shrouds and to lay out the bodies of eighty-five persons during a period of seven years. In 1849, she was married to Rees Cadwalader, a mechanic of Pennsylvania ; he was of a Quaker family, in which denomination he consecrated his all: he died in 1867. She, sometime afterward, bought and improved some property in Topeka, 111., where she now resides. By her last husband she had two children, both of whom died while infants. She is a strict member of the M. E. Church at Topeka, I11., in which communion she consecrated herself early in life. 


JOHN G. DEVERMANN, farmer and stock-dealer, P. 0. Topeka; son of John Deverman, of Hanover, Germany, who died about 1862. Mr. Deverman’s mother’s maiden name was Hurkamp ; she was born in 1803 in Germany, and died May 8, 1879, at Mr. Deverman’s residence, in Quiver Township, where she had been living for some time ; she came to Illinois about 1863. Mr. Deverman was born Nov. 19, 1835, on a farm in Germany, and remained there until 22 years old, when he came to Illinois, settling in Havana for two months, and working for his brother-in law, at butchering; he next went to Matanzas, and engaged in farming for R. Havighorst, for one year, when he began farming, renting of George Beal for five years. He then, in 1864, married Anna Budke, of Germany, born in 1845 ; she came to Illinois, with her parents, in 1848 ; they were blessed with seven children Henry, Mary, Heoman, Willie, John, Lizzie and Katie (deceased). Mr, Deverman is now holding the office of School Director. He certainly felt decidedly the effects of poverty in his younger days ; on his arrival in this country he had but $15 ; this talent he improved, until now he has a farm of 225 acres, finely improved, the reward of his energy.


W. DOWNEY, physician and surgeon, Topeka; son of W. B. Downey, who was a native of Indiana, and is a farmer, now living in Allin Township, McLean Co., 111. His parents were English descent; his mother’s maiden name was Eaton, a daughter of John Eaton, of Indiana ; his father was also a farmer. Dr. Downey was born Nov. 4, 1851, near Martinsburg, Keokuk Co.. Iowa. At 41 years. he came with his parents, by team, as was customary in those days, to McLean Co., 111., and then engaged in farming and attending school. When 17 years of age, he began learning photography with Benjamin Gray, at Bloomington, 111. ; he continued this for one ye’ar, and then engaged to Gray and managed a gallery for him at Lincoln, Bloomington, and Fairbury ; while at the latter place, he bought this gallery from Gray, and moved it to Chatsworth, and there continued the business for six months In 1871, he quit photography, and returned to Allin Township, McLean Co., 111., where he attended school in the country. In 1872, he began teaching, which he continued, in connection with reading medicine, for over three years. In 1872, he attended one term at the Normal School, in McLean Co., Il; during the period he was teaching, he devoted every spare moment to the study of Latin and other branches congenial to his taste ; so earnest was he in the pursuit of the knowledge requisite to his future profession, that he studied on his way to and from school, and recited at night to John Q. Harris, who was Principal of the Stanford Schools. He has passed through many of the higher studies. In 1875-76, he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, in which he graduated, and then engaged in practice with Dr. S. B. Wright, at Stanford. 111., for one year. In 1877, he came to Topeka, 111., where he has since practiced. He is an active and enthusiastic member of his profession, and enjoys an extensive practice. He has served a full share of those humble, but important public offices. He has twice been a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford, 111., and was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Library at the same place, of which he was one of the founders. He is’ now Police Magistrate of Topeka, and also Town Treasurer.


MOSES ECKARD, farmer ; P. O. Topeka ; son of Henry Eckard, of Baltimore, Md. ; was of German descent. His mother’s maiden name is Glass. She was from Maryland, and of German descent. They raised a family of four, two of whom survive Mr. Eckard and Elizabeth Morton. She is now living on the old homestead of her father. Mr. Eckard was born Oct. 8, 1812, in Fredericks Co., Md. He worked at farming. In 1837, he left the scene of his childhood for Ohio, where he worked at farming, carpentering, and such work as he could get to do. He afterward went to Kentucky, and there worked by the month at $12 until 1839, when he settled in Fulton Co , 111., for one year, and then worked for Jacob Moss for one year. He then came to Mason Co., and worked by the month for a long time. In 1844, he began farming eighty acres a part of the present farm of 500 acres, which was then raw prairie, but now has become fine arable land. By marriage he added 200 acres, making 700 acres. He was married to Sarah E. Simmonds Feb. 15, 1844. She was a daughter of Pollard Simmonds, who was born May 2, 1799, and was a farmer and miller. His father was born in 1773. His mother’s maiden name was Ritter. She was the daughter of Richard Ritter, of Maryland, born in 1763. Their marriage occurred Aug. 7, 1821, in Kentucky. Mrs. Eckard was born June 29, 1822, in Mason Co., Ky. She was the oldest of nine children, of whom but five survive Her father and mother are dead. He died Feb. 14, 1864, in Illinois, and she died May 10, 1855, in Illinois. They have had six children; the living are Sarah, W. H., station agent at Topeka, James P. and John R.

H. ECKARD, express and station agent and grain merchant, Topeka ; son of Moses Eckard, who was born in Maryland and a mechanic ; his mother’s maiden name was Simmons ; daughter of P. Simmons, of Kentucky; she was born in 1823, in Kentucky. The subject of this sketch was born .May 1, 1846, on a farm in Mason Co., 111., and remained there engaged in farming until 1867, when he engaged in merchandising at Topeka for a year, after which he engaged as station and express agent at Topeka ; also in buying grain for McFadden & Simmons, at this place, which he still continues. He was married, in 1868, to Amelia J. Bandean, daughter of John and Jane Bandean ; her father was drowned in a lock at Louisville, Ky., about the year 1846; her mother died in July, 1874. Mr. Eckard has held the office of Township Collector and Clerk, and is now School Director. He has frugally used his means, and has secured a nice house and lot in Topeka. Has three children Freddie R., Elmer^M. and Harry W.


W. FLOWERS, merchant, Topeka ; son of Amos and Phoebe Flowers ; was born in Pennsylvania ; the former was a merchant, physician and minister of the M. E. Church ; he died July 30, 1861, in Ohio ; the maiden name of the latter was Longstreth, daughter of Miller Lougstreth, a noted farmer ; she died Aug. 12,1874. They had eleven children, all of whom died in infancy except four. Mr. Flowers was born Juno 9, 1846, in Palestine, Darke Co., Ohio, and remained there until 6 years old, when the family moved to Miami Co., Ohio, where Mr. Flowers remained until 1866, when he came alone to Mason Co., and settled, teaching school at the Walker district, Mason Co., for one term ; he then came to Topeka and engaged as clerk in the dry-goods store of Eckard & Nichols for two years ; he then went into partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. L. S. Allen, in dry-goods, under firm name of Allen & Flowers, and was thus connected six years. They then drew out, and the firm became Colvin & Hoagland. He then engaged in buying grain at Topeka for tVo years, for himself, after which he engaged in clerking for the firm of S. V. Brown (now Oliver Brown), which he still continues. His first marriage was in 1869, to Cassie Kelley, daughter of James Kelley, a farmer and stock-raiser; she died July 5, 1873, leaving two children Harry W. and Ellis C. In 1875, he was married to Mattie Curtis, daughter of Alfred Curtis, of Butler Co., Ohio. By this wife he also had two children Edna and Laura B. He has held the office of Town Trustee of Topeka, and Director of Schools, which he still holds, and has also been Town Clerk and Postmaster. He and wife are members of the M. E. Church of Topeka.


H. HUGHES, farmer and stock-dealer; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Harry Hughes, of Scotland, who was awhile in Pennsylvania a physician and overseer of iron-works. His wife was Hannah Penchion, daughter of John Penchion, of Ireland. She was born in Pennsylvania. He died about 1849, and his wife some time afterward came to Ohio, where she died in 1871. They were both strict church members. The subject of this sketch was born Oct. 5, 1841, on a farm in Franklin Co., Penn., and there remained till 21, when he enlisted in the 21st P. V. C., and served nearly two years; was a Corporal, and was wounded in the thigh at the battle of Bunker Hill, Va. On his return from the war, he engaged in teaching and teaming, in Noble Co., Ind., for about two years. In the spring of 1865, he left Indiana, with but little means, and came to Mason Co., 111inois., having on his arrival at Havana only $13.60 ; he engaged at work in a livery stable for Joseph Taylor, of Havana, for three months, when having saved his means, he engaged in partnership with Taylor, and was thus connected for three years, when Mr. Taylor drew out and the firm changed to Hughes & Banould, and continued such until : 869, when they sold to Taylor, and Mr. Hughes engaged in farming on 40 acres of land, near Mason City, which he owned ; he was also renting in addition ; he continued his farming at said place for two years, during which time he added 80 acres, and then traded his 120 acres for the present farm of 250 acres to which he has since added, until he now has 450 acres, which have been obtained entirely by his own labor, and which he has improved and made of fine quality, and well adapted to cattle raising, which he makes a specialty. Mr. Hughes was married, in 1867, to Georgiana Taylor, daughter of Joseph Taylor, one of the early settlers of Mason Co., and once Mr. Hughes’ partner in the livery business; Mr. Taylor’s wife’s name was Honchin ; she was born in Kentucky, and is still living ; she had six children. Mr. Hughes has been no office-seeker, but has been connected with the schools. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church at Ebenezer. Their marriage blessed them with three children, all living Cleggitt, born April 28, 1869 ; Ethiel G.July 31, 1871 ; Lulia B., Nov. 7, 1875.


CONRAD HEINHORST, farmer and stock-dealer ; P. 0. Bishop’s Station ; son of William and Louisa Heinhorst of Germany ; the former was born in 1811 ; the lat- ter in 1811, also ; her name before marriage was Miller, daughter of Fred Miller ; they came to this country in 1854. The subject of this sketch was born in 1837, on a farm in Germany, and remained there until 17 years old, when he came with the family to Illinois, settling near Chicago and remaining there two years ; while there, three of the family died with cholera. They next moved to Mason Co., and settled at Long Point, near Bishop’s Station, where he lived until 1861, when he enlisted in Co. G, 38th I. V. I., and was four and a half years in the war, and was Corporal. On his return, he married Mary Himmel, daughter of John Himmel. They at once settled the present farm of 160 acres, 120 of which was inherited by his marriage, and 40 he has made by his own labor and management. They have five children Emma, Lula, Katie, Clara, and an infant deceased. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church at Bishop’s Station, and have been since 1866 ; he is now Trustee in the Church and Secretary in the Sabbath school ; he has been School Director six years, and is now ; he also held the office of Roadmaster.


CONRAD HIMMEL, farmer and stock-dealer; P. 0. Topeka; son of Adam Himmel, whose genealogy is given in the sketch of his son, T. F. Himmel, which appears in this work ; was born May 28, 1843, on a farm in Germany; when 3 years old, he came with his parents to Mason Co., 111., and settled on the farm where his father now lives, and remained there until 1867, at which time he made his home on the present farm of 300 acres, about one-half of which he has made by his own labor and management, and by his improvements, has transformed into a farm which ranks among the very best. In 1867, he was married to Elizabeth Bishop, of Illinois daughter of Henry Bishop, of Mason Co., 111.; .she was born in 1844; they began life together, on their new farm, which was but little improved, and by frugality, have made a happy home for their six children, five of whom are living Mary M., Evaline, Clara, Kemmit B. and Lewis W.; one deceased Conrad. Mr. Himmel united with the Evangelical Church at the age of 14, in which he still continues ; his wife is also a member. He has held the office of Church Trustee, and is now Steward, and has also been Superintendent of Sabbath school.

T. F. HIMMEL, farmer and stock-dealer; P. 0. Topeka; son of Adam Himmel, who was born in 1803, and came with, his family to Illinois in 1848. Being one of the early settlers of this county, he early engaged in improving the raw prairie, and by the assistance of his industrious companion, whose maiden name was Wise, they had gathered a portion of this world’s goods ere their allotted threescore years had passed. This accumulation has been handed down to their nine children. They were both church members of the Evangelical Association, in which communion she died in 1866. She was born in 1804, and of course did not reach the allotted span of life, as has her companion who is now 76 years old, with a prospect of adding yet more years to a ripe old age. The subject of this sketch was born April 17, 1851, on a farm in Mason Co., 111., where he remained with his father, until married, June 6, 1871, to Elmira Yunker, daughter of Lawrence Yunker, of Germany. She was born May 16, 1854, and came with her people to Illinois, in 1860; they now live in Peoria Co. After marriage they settled on the old homestead of their father, of 1 90 acres, half of which he has made by his own labor and management, and the rest was inherited ; his aged father, of whom we have spoken, makes his home with him. Their marriage blessed them with four children Annie, Frank, Liddie and Elmira ; he and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church at Bishop’s Station, in which association’s Sabbath school, he has held the offices of Librarian and Treasurer. Mr. Himmel makes a specialty of shelling corn for the public. He is agent for Smith’s American and the Mendota Organ Companies, and takes quite an interest in music, an enthusiasm which began in 1870, during which year, he attended the Northwestern College, at Plainfield, Will Co., 


JOHN W. HIMMEL, farmer and stock-dealer; P. 0. Topeka; son of Adam Himmel, of Germany, who came to Illinois in 1846, and is still living in Quiver Township. Mr. Himmel’s mother’s maiden name was Weiss, daughter of Henry Weiss, of Germany^ teacher and musician. The subject of this sketch was born Aug. 12, 1830, in Germany, and remained there until 16, occupied with going to school at Weinheim ; in 1846. he came to New Orleans, and shortly afterward to St. Louis, Mo., and was engaged in the Arsenal, making cartridges for the Mexican war, continuing for five years, when he came to Mason Co., 111., and engaged in working on a farm for his uncle George Himmel for four years; he then went to making rails ; in 1854, he began farming fur himself, on a farm now owned by J. Shrine, and remained there four years ; in 1858, he bought the present farm of 160 acres, which he has made one of fine quality ; he has added largely to his land, owning also quite an amount in Iowa. His marriage with Elizabeth Pfeit, daughter of John Pfeit, of Germany, was celebrated in 1 854 , nine children were the fruit of this union. . In 1851, Mr. Himmel experienced relig- ion in the Evangelical Association, in which work he throws his whole soul, and has been a local minister since 1858; his wife and part of the children are members of the same denomination ; he has held offices in the church, and was Township Collector for several years, and is, at present, Township Treasurer and Assessor, and has been for ten years ; he is also Treasurer of the Farmers’ Fire Insurance Company, of Mason Co.; he prides himself on securing for his children valuable literature ; to record, here, what friends and neighbors have said to us of him would appear too much of flattery for these pages.


W. KELLEY, farmer ; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Samuel and Anna Kelley ; the former was born in Delaware in 1773, and was a farmer and millwright; his wife was born about 1788, in Delaware ; her maiden name was Needles. The subject of this sketch was born Jan. 8, 1819, in Delaware, where he remained until 1829,. when the family moved by team to Ohio, settling near Dayton, and engaged in farming (or rather, the subject of sketch, some time, subsequently, engaged in blacksmithing) ; during the time they were there, Mr. Kelley’s father died, thus leaving his son in care of a widowed mother, who came with him to Illinois in 1854, and settled on the farm where they now reside; this farm, of 305 acres, was, at that time, raw prairie, but now, by his labor, has become fine, arable land ; the means by which Mr. Kelley acquired and improved this farm were entirely the fruits of his own labor. His marriage with Clarissa Benham, daughter of R. Benham, of Miami Co., Ohio, was celebrated in 1843; seven children were the fruit of this union three are deceased Joseph, Cassie and William ; four living Clarence .(who taught school and graduated at Lincoln University in 1879, and is now reading law with Dearborn & Campbell, at Havana), Mollie, Frank and Charlie. Mr. Kelley has filled a full ^hare of those humble, but important and useful positions in the schools, and as Township Trustee, and is now a member of the Board of Supervisors, elected in 1873, and has been an active member ever since. 


DAVID KEPFORD, ‘farmer; P. 0. Topeka; son of David Kepford, of Pennsylvania; born in 1803, and was a farmer, plasterer, stone and brick mason and car- penter. His mother’s maiden name was Bartel daughter of Mr. Bartel who died when she was quite young; David Kepford was born Jan. 29, 1836, on a farm in Ohio, and remained there until 7 years old, when the family moved by team to Indiana and settled in Noble Co., where they engaged in farming, plastering, brick and stone work and carpentering; in 1857, he came to Illinois and settled on the present farm of 120 acres, earned mostly by their own management. He married, in 1858, Hannah Colwcll, daughter of William Colwcll, a local minister of the M. E. Church. He died in 1861. His wife still survives, and makes her home near Bloomiugton, 111., with her daughter; they have six children Mary A., Luella G., Emma, Charlotte, Claretta, and one not named ; ,he has held school offices. He and his wife are members of the M.E. Church, of Topeka, in which he has held office as Steward, and is, at present, a Director of same.


MRS. JANE LITTELL, farmer ; P. 0. Topeka ; daughter of Stephen Brown, a farmer of New Jersey ; her mother’s maiden name was Bishop, daughter of James Bishop. The subject of this sketch was born Jan. 9, 1815, on a farm in New Jersey ; remained there until married, in 1833, to Aaron Littell, of New Jersey. They settled in New Jersey for four or five years, and, in 1840, they came to Illinois, and settled in Greene Co., and there engaged in farming, renting for three years, when they came to Mason Co., 111., and soon entered 80 acres of land, which they settled on, and which has since been their home. They have increased this to 240 acres, and have made it a tine farm. Mr. Aaron Littell was son of Nathaniel Littell, whose wife’s maiden name was Cosner ; he has held the office of Supervisor of Quiver Township, and was purchasing agent for the Grangers, which he held up to the time of his death, in 1875. He and his wife were members of the Baptist Church of Mt. Bethel, N. Y.; their urikm blessed them with ten children, three now dead Sophy, William, Carrie, wife of Ver Bryck ; the living are Stephen, Harriet M., George W. C., Nathaniel, Kate, Esther and Libbie.


T. LESOURD, farmer ; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Joseph and Rachel Lesourd. The former was born in 1809, in Ohio, and was a farmer of that State ; his wife’s name was Gossard, daughter of Charles Gossard, of Maryland ; she is still living with her husband, in Topeka, 111. C. T. Lesourd was born Feb. 4, 1843, on a farm in Butler Co., Ohio, and remained there until 24, engaged in farming and horse-dealing. He commenced working for himself when about 19, on his father’s farm, in partnership with Wm. G. Lesourd. In 1867, he came to Mason Co., 111., settling and engaging in farming ; he rented of Caleb Slade, two years ; in 1867, he bought the present farm, but did not settle on it until 1869 ; he rented the farm to J. C. Newlin. In 1870, he married Vallora Curtis, daughter of A. W. Curtis, a farmer of Butler Co., Ohio ; she was born in 1844, attended school at Oxford, Ohio, and has taught school ten years. They have two children, Elvyn and Alfred. His wife is a member of the M. E. Church at Topeka. He has held offices connected with the schools and roads, and was elected Constable in 1876, which he still holds. He has 100 acres of land under fine improvement.


C. LEMASTERS, wagon-maker and carpenter, Topeka ; son of P. W. Lemaster, of Kentucky, who was of French descent, a farmer, and an early settler of Hancock Co., 111.; he came to Mason Co. in 1869, and is now in Nebraska ; his wife’s maiden name was Crabb, daughter of Vincent Crabb, of Ohio; she died in 1865, in Illinois. J. C. Lemasters was born April 4, 1846, on a farm in Brown Co., Ohio, and remained there until 2 years old, wheu he came with the family to Hancock Co., 111., and there remained until 1863, when he came to Fulton Co., 111., and engaged in working by the month for three months, afterward returning to Ohio and working on a farm for his uncle, V. M. Crabb, and soon after removed to Fulton Co., and engaged on a farm for Miles & Warner for two years. In 1867, he came to Mason County, and engaged in teaching at Ebenezer, afterward teaching at the Bishop Schoolhouse, and in Topeka. He then engaged in merchandising, in partnership with T. J. Metzler, for six months ; Mr. Metzler then withdrew, and Lemaster continued the business for six months, and then moved the stock to Lone Tree, Neb., where he continued in mercantile business for six months, and then engaged in farming for four years. In 1878,  he returned to Mason Co., and soon engaged in carpentering and wagon-making at Topeka, in which he still continues. He was married, in 1870, to Libby Todd, daughter of Joseph Todd, and sister of. Thomas and George Todd, whose sketches appear elsewhere; she was born Aug. 15, 1845. They have two children Lena M. and Clara R. Mr. Lemaster has held the office of Town Clerk, and is at present Clerk ; he was School Director in Nebraska. He and his wife are members of the M. E. Church at Topeka, of which he is Steward; he is also Vice President of the Sabbath schools of Quiver Township, and is also a Sunday-school teacher at Topeka.


M. McREYNOLDS, farmer; P. 0. Topeka ; son of Robert McReynolds, who was born April 13, 1791, and was a turnpike builder, railroad contractor, canal digger,

distiller and farmer ; he came to Illinois in 1838; was a farmer during his career in Illinois, except while in’the office of County Judge and Assessor. He married Susanna Moyer, daughter of John Moyer, of German descent; she was born Nov. 14, loOl, in Pennsylvania ; they had nine children, six of whom survive. Robert McReynolds died Nov. 15, 1872. J. M. McReynolds was born Sept. 8, 1822, in Columbia Co., Penn. In 1838, the family came by team and rail to Peoria, 111.; shortly afterward, his father bought and settled on some land in what is now Havana Township, where J. M. remained until 1847. January 22, 1846, he was married by Rev. T. C. Lapas, of the M.E. Church, to Catharine A. Dentler; their children were Robert H., Lemuel W., Eliza J. (who has taught school), Eugene, Ely, Fannie A. and Willis D. His wife died Dec. 18, 1855 ; she was a member of the M. E. Church. He was married, Feb. 2, 1860, to Mary Cadwalader; by this marriage he was blessed with seven children Clara C., Adelbert C., Luella M., Oscar R., an infant, deceased, John C. and Ralph. Mr. McReynolds has held the office of Supervisor for two terms and has been connected with the schools as Trustee and Director ; he was once Assessor of what was then Mason Plains Township. They are members of the M. E. Church at Topeka,IL. Mr. McReynolds settled on his present farm of 230 acres in 1847, obtained entirely by his own labor and management. He is devoted to the Church and to his family, who cherish him as a faithful and loving father. 


C. McINTIRE, farmer and dealer in stock, Havana ; son of William Mclntire, who was born in Ireland, and came to Philadelphia, Penn., when quite young, and learned street- paving ; he died in 1854, being killed by horses running away. His mother’s maiden name was Wilson, daughter of William Wilson, of Danish and German descent, and an early settler of New Jersey. H. C. Mclntire was born May 12, 1824, in Philadelphia, and remained there until 16, when they moved to New Jersey, and were there until 1840, at which time they moved to Illinois by team, as was customary in those days, and settled in Jersey Co., 111., on a farm which they bought, and engaged in farming and running a threshing machine. Top wages on the farm during part of this time were $9 per month. In the winter of 1845-46, he made two trips to New Orleans, driving cattle for Robbins & Hayes, of St. Louis. In March, 1846, he began farming, renting of Russell, of Jersey Co., 111., for two years ; he afterward ran a machine in connection with his farming. . Mr. Mclntire worked with the first thresh- ing machine and cleaner that ever ran in Illinois, which was in 1841; in 1850, he bought a machine in partnership with C. S. Thompson, one year afterward buying him out. In 1851, he moved to Mason Co., settling in Havana Township, and, in the fall of 1851, he bought the present farm of 80 acres, and, in the spring of 1863, they settled on the same. Nov. 28, 1852, he was married to Lucy T. Wheeler, daughter of John P. Wheeler, of Maryland ; he was a farmer, miller and tavern-keeper. Her mother’s name was Payne, a cousin of Zachary Taylor, the President ; also cousin of Col. Richard M. Johnson ; she was born Dec. 12, 1833, in Kentucky, and came to Illinois when quite young. Ten children were the fruit of this marriage William (deceased), Fannie M., Emma (deceased), Lizzie, Mary (deceased), Susan and Johnny (twins, both deceased), Deborah, Hudson, Freddie (deceased). Mr. Mclntire makes a specialty of fine fruits, and is at present breeding fine horses. He has been no office- seeker, but was Vice President of the first Agricultural and Horticultural Society of Mason Co.; was Corresponding Secretary and Secretary of the same.


GEORGE W. TODD, farmer ; P. 0. Topeka ; is a son of Joseph Todd, and brother of Thomas Todd, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. The subject of these notes was born in December, 1848, in Ohio; <when quite young, he came with the family to Mason Co., 111., where they made their future home ; when 20 years old, he began farming, which he still continues. In 1870, he was married to Kate Atwater, a daughter of William Atwater; she was born April 7, 1849, in Mason Co., 111. ;-they settled on a part of the old homestead of his father, and soon afterward sold it to his sister and moved to Nebraska, where he farmed on a claim of 160 acres ; they were there nearly two years, and then returned to Illinois, and soon afterward bought eighty acres of the old homestead, which is his present abode ; he has made good improvements. Mr. Todd has been no office-seeker, and hence has confined his whole attention to farming and stock-raising ; they have two children Lillie and Emma.


THOMAS H. TODD, farmer; P. 0. Topeka; is a son of Joseph Todd, of Maryland, who was born about 1800, and died in 1870, and was a farmer, and one of the early settlers of Mason Co., 111. His wife’s maiden name was Nancy DeWitt, daughter of Peter DeWitt, a farmer of Pennsylvania; she was born Oct. 1, 1812, in Pennsylvania, and died May 6, 1860. The subject of this sketch was born Nov. 23, 1841, in Ohio; when 12 years old, he came with the family to Illinois, and settled with them on Fisk’s farm in Mason Co., for one year ; they then farmed for Coon until 1854, when they moved upon the present farm of 240 acres, which is now of fine quality ; the old homestead contains 400 acres ; their father remained there until death, at which time the farm was divided among the children, and Mr. Todd bought out some of the heirs, and has now 240 acres. In 1861, he enlisted in Co. A, 28th I. V. I., and was there until the close : he was Sergeant. On his return from the war, he engaged in farming, which he still continues. In 1872, he was married, by Rev. Henry E. Decker, to Martha J. Duncan, daughter of John Duncan, of Pennsylvania ; her mother’s maiden name was Greer. Mrs. Todd was born Feb. 2, 1844, in Pennsylvania, and came to Illinois in 1862 ; her father is dead ; her mother is still living ; thev have three children: Joseph C., born Nov. 12, 1874; Annie E., Nov. 20, 1876, and Johnny, Feb. 14, 1879. He has held offices of schools and roads, and is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry ; he and wife are members of M. E. Church at Topeka.


W. VER BRYCK, farmer and teacher; P. O. Topeka ; is the son of Richard VerBryck, who was born in 1873, in New Jersey, and was, in his younger days, a cab- inet-maker, afterward a sailor and ship-carpenter until he was about 33, when he began painting portraits and general miniature paintings ; this he continued until his death, which occurred in 1867. The people of Indiana well remember this fine artist, and will long continue to praise his works. His companion (Miss Whitenack) was a daughter of Andrew Whitenack, of New Jersey; she was born in 180S and died in 1861. The subject of this sketch was born Nov. 25, 1846, in Warren Co., Ohio, near Lebanon, the seat of the National Normal School ; at the age of 10, he came, with the family, to Johnson Co., Ind., where his father and mother departed from him ; he there attended school at the Hopewell Academy, preparatory to attending the State University at Indianapolis, Ind.. which he entered in 1862, and failed to complete the course on account of a disease of the eyes; in 1865, he completed a course in the Commercial Department at Indianapolis; in 1871, he came to Champaign Co.,IL, and farmed one year; afterward came to Mason Co., 111., and bought and settled eighty acres of land three and one-half miles from Mason City, which he farms during the summer; in the winter of 1872, he began teaching, and has taught every winter since but one ; he taught two terms at Topeka, 111. ; he is engaged for the winter term at the Walker District, Mason Co. He was married, in 1871, to Caroline Littell, of Mason Co., daughter of Aaron Littell, a farmer, one of the early settlers of Mason Co. This marriage of Mr. Ver Bryck to Miss Littell blessed them with one child Walter 0. He has held the office of Town Clerk.



Village of Topeka, Illinois History




The village of Topeka is situated about seven miles northeast of the city of Havana, on the P., P. & J. R. R., and is the only village embraced within the limits of Quiver Township. It was surveyed by J.. W. Boggs, for Moses Eckard and Richard Thomas, in 1858. In order to secure the town site, Eckard and Thomas purchased 180 acres of David Beal, and 80 acres were made into a town plat. Forty acres were donated to the railroad company in order to secure the station. The first residence in the village was erected by J. L. Yates, in 1860. He was a blacksmith by trade, and had been plying his trade at McHarry’s Mill, prior to locating in the village.

He was followed, a short time afterward, by E. Y. Nichols, M. D., who built the second residence, and, as a matter of course, was the first resident physician of the place. Harrison Venard was the third resident of the place. Venard was from Ohio, and, in company with a Mr. Rosebrough, who was also from the Buckeye State,opened the first store in the village, near the close of 1860. The firm of Venard & Rosebrough, after a few months, became that of Venard & Musselman. A second store was opened in 1863 or 1864. by Musselman and Aaron Littell. The latter came from New Jersey, but had settled in the county andin the township in 1843. Others came, in from time to time, and other stores and shops were opened, till, at one time, Topeka seemed to be on the highway to prosperity.

But, like many of our Western towns, it attained its growth almost in the dawn of its existence, and, for some years past, it has remained stationary. A grain warehouse was built by Moses Eckard, in 1860. R. W. Stires, of St. Louis, was the first to operate in grain at this point. R. R. Simmonds, of Havana, and Porter Walker have operated in grain at different times. The grain was handled in sacks and shipped on flats. In 1875,Flowers. Allen & Sherman built a very small and cheaply constructed elevator; this has been but little used since its completion. Low & Foster, through W. Eckard, handle the grain at present. About seventy thousand bushels is the average amount handled annually. A neat and substantial passenger depot was erected by the railroad company in 1872, which adds to the appearance of the village. Harrison Venard was the first agent at this point.

W. Eckard is the present gentlemanly agent, and has held the position since The Methodist Episcopal Church, the only house of public worship in the village, was erected in 1865, at a cost of nearly $4,300. Among the early communicants, we find the names of Lewis H. Ringhouse and wife, Mrs. Susan Colwell, David Kepford and wife, Caleb Slade and wife, Phillip Brown, John M. McReynolds and family. Rev. T. J. M. Simmons was the first Pastor of the Church. It has since enjoyed the labors of Revs. J. G. Mitchell, M. Pilcher, G. M. Grays, and others. Rev. L. A. Powell is the present officiating minister. The congregation is in a prosperous condition, and working harmoniously for the upbuilding of the cause. A Sunday school of fine interest is connected with the Church.

The post office at Topeka was established in the latter part of 1860, or early in 1861. Harrison Venard was the first Postmaster. The salary at no time has been princely, and those who have kept it have endured it as a necessary evil rather than from choice. J.F. Ruhl is the present incumbent. A neat frame school building was erected in 1867. It is not grand and imposing in its appearance, but is amply sufficient to accommodate the village urchins.


An act to incorporate the village of Topeka was approved by the Legislature April 10, 1869. Under this act, Samuel R. Yates, Phillip Brown and Robert G. Rider were named as Trustees of the village, their term of office to continue until the first Monday in April, 1870. The Board organized by electing S. R. Yates, President; L. S. Allen, Village Clerk ; Phillip Brown,Police Magistrate, and John Norman, Town Constable. The revenue of the village from license of any kind has been very limited, and whatever public improvements have been made have been paid for by direct taxation imposed upon the citizens, or by voluntary contribution.

The members composing the present Board are the following : Phillip Brown, D. W. Flowers, W. H. Eckard. The village officers are : Phillip Brown, President ; Theodore Bell, Town Clerk, and Dr. J. W. Downey, Police Justice. The business of the place is comprised in one general store, one drug, grocery and hardware store, one confectionery and two blacksmith-shops. Dr. J. W. Downey is the resi- dent physician, and is a well-read and successful practitioner. The population of Topeka does not exceed one hundred and fifty. Although the village site is the most eligible of any point along the route from Pekin to Havana, yet its proximity to the latter renders it altogether improbable that Topeka will ever be more than the pleasant little village of to-day, drawing its patronage and support from the immediate vicinity in which it is located.


Tomorrow- Biographical Sketches of Quiver Township


Missed Previous Articles?

Sherman Township 1

Sherman Township 2

Village of Easton

Bio Sketches of Sherman Township

Crane Creek Township 1

Crane Creek Township 2

Crane Creek Township 3

Bio Sketches of Crane Creek Township

Pennsylvania Township 1

Pennsylvania Township 2

Pennsylvania Township 3 and Teheran

Bio Sketches of Pennsylvania Township

Salt Creek Township 1

Salt Creek Township 2

Salt Creek Township 3

Bio Sketches of Salt Creek Township

Forest City Township 1

Forest City Township 2

Village of Forest City

Bio Sketches of Forest City Township

Quiver Township 1

Quiver Township 2

Village of Topeka

Bio Sketches of Quiver Township


–previous articles listed at bottom–



PART TWO Quiver Township

During the year 1842, a number of settlements were made in the township. Benjamin Ross, Daniel Waldron, William E. Magill, and George D. Coon were among the permanent settlers at the close of 1842. Ross was from Tennessee, and had settled in Cass County some years prior to coming to Mason. Waldron was from New Jersey, and remained a citizen of the township till the date of his demise, which occurred some years ago. William E. Magill came from the Quaker State to Menard County, and from there to Mason, as before stated,
and is one of the early settlers, who is still surviving. George D. Coon came from New Jersey, and settled in Greene County in 1839. At the same time, Stephen Brown, his father-in-law, and Robert Cross and Aaron Littell, brothersin-law, came and settled near him. In 1842, Mr. Coon came to Mason County, and settled in this township near the creek, and the following year moved to his present place of residence. Loring Ames, a native of the old Bay State, came West in 1818, and settled in St. Clair County, Illinois Territory.

In 1823, he moved to Adams County, and, in 1836, to what is now Mason County. In 1842, he became a citizen of Quiver, and at present resides on his farm near the village of Topeka. He served in the Black Hawk war, first as a private in Capt. G. W. Flood’s company, and later as a Lieutenant in the company of Capt. Pierce, of Col. Fray’s noted regiment. Rev. William Colwell, a native of England, emigrated to America in 1838, and first settled in Cass County, In February, 1841, he came to Mason County, and resided near Bath until the fall of 1842, at which time he removed to Quiver Township. He died in April, 1861, from the effects of a kick from a horse. He was a substantial citizen, a man of abilities and great personal worth. He served in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a period of about forty years, and the result of his labors will only be known in that day when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed.

George Sleath settled in 1843, but did not remain long. He sold out to Robert Cross and moved away. In 1843, Cross and Littell came and settled on farms adjoining that of George D. Coon. These they improved and occupied until the date of their decease. Fred High, Henry Rakestraw and Freeman Marshall made settlements during the year 1843. High was from Tennessee, Rakestraw from Kentucky and Marshall was a nativeborn Hoosier. Some of the Rakestraws still reside in the township, near McHarry’s Mill, but the names of High and Marshall have long been absent from her citizenship. Moses Eckard, whose name occurs prominently in connection with the history of the village of Topeka, came from Maryland, and located in Fulton County in 1839. The following year, he came into what is now Mason County. In 1844, he was married to Sarah E. Simmonds, daughter of Pollard Simmonds, who settled in Havana Township in 1838, and built the mill elsewhere referred to.

In the fall following his marriage, he moved to his present place of residence, and has continuously lived there since. At the date of his settlement few, if any, others were living in the southeastern section of the township, all the settlements so far having been made along the bluff timber and in the central portion. In 1847, John M. McReynolds, whose father
had settled in Havana Township in 1838, located about two miles northeast of Moses Eckard’s. His residence still remains on the farm he first improved.

Hon. Robert McReynolds, the father of John M., came from Columbia County, Penn., in 1838, and settled some seven miles east of the present city of Havana, in Havana Township. In 1849, he became a citizen of Quiver Township, and, as he was at an early day officially connected with the interests of the county, we deem it proper to give some points of his life in this connection. In 1845, we find him a member of the Board of County Commissioners. To this office he was re-elected in 1846, and again in 1848 and 1849. In 1849, he was chosen Associate Justice with John Pemberton, Hon. Smith Turner being County Judge. In every position, public or private, conscientious integrity marked his course. He was an earnest and zealous advocate of the Gospel as taught by the Wesleys, and, having united with the M. E. Church in 1831, was not only a pioneer in this county but a pioneer in Methodism in the West. In building his first residence, an extra large room was provided, which was not only designed for the use of his family but also for religious worship.
Quarterly meetings, over which the venerable Peter Cartwright presided, were held here, and, on one occasion, fifty of the brethren and sisters were present for

The first Sunday school in the county was established at his house in 1841, and consisted of twelve teachers and twenty-one scholars. His death occurred in 1872. His son, following in the footsteps of his father, has been an efficient member of the Church since early boyhood, and for many years has held official relation to the congregation at Topeka. Stephen Brown, who
has already been mentioned as having settled in Greene County in 1839, ten years later became a citizen of Quiver. John Appleman, from New Jersey, Thomas Yates and George Ross, from the Buckeye State, became citizens as early, as 1848 or 1849. These all settled in the region of the township familiarly known as “Tight Row.” Appleman died some years ago, and Yates in 1876. Ross, after a residence of two years, returned to Qhio on a visit, and while there sickened and died. From 1850, the settlements increased so rapidly that any attempt to enumerate them in the order in which they occurred, would be a fruitless task.

Of one who came into the township in 1845, we must speak somewhat at length, as, perhaps, no one of her citizens is more widely or more favorably known. Hugh McIIarry, a native of Ireland, emigrated to America in 1825. He was but a “broth of a boy” of some eighteen or nineteen summers, who had come to try his hand at making a fortune in “Swate America.” He started in life in the land of his adoption penniless. Soon after coming, he engaged in labor on the Erie Canal, but the natural bent of his mind was toward milling. He soon obtained a situation in the mills at Louisville, Ky., where he remained till 1842. During his residence in Louisville, he became an ardent admirer of George D. Prentice, the veteran editor, of the Journal, and through its influence, was molded into a stanch Henry- Clay Whig. With this party he acted during its existence, and, on the formation of the Republican party, he was among the first to espouse its principles. In 1842, he came to Beardstown, Cass County, and again engaged in milling.

In 1843, he purchased the mill site on Quiver Creek, and, in 1845, constructed a grist-mill. Julius Jones, Charles Howell and William Pollard had built a dam and erected a saw-mill at this point some years previous. For the improvements made and the site, McHarry paid the sum of $1,500 cash. The saw-mill stood on the east bank of the creek, but when the grist-mill was constructed it was placed on the west bank, and, consequently, stands in Havana Township. A complete history of the enterprise will be given in connection with the sketch of that township. Mr. McHarry’s residence stands on the bank of the creek in Quiver Township, and amid its pleasant shades and quiet retreat he is quietly passing his declining years, enjoying the society of his children and friends and the large competency he has acquired by a life of honest toil and well-directed energy. He is by far the wealthiest man in the township, and owns a large amount of the best land in the county. Few citizens of the county are more widely known or more highly esteemed for their good qualities of head and heart, than Hugh McHarry, the miller.


Missed Previous Articles?

Sherman Township 1

Sherman Township 2

Village of Easton

Bio Sketches of Sherman Township

Crane Creek Township 1

Crane Creek Township 2

Crane Creek Township 3

Bio Sketches of Crane Creek Township

Pennsylvania Township 1

Pennsylvania Township 2

Pennsylvania Township 3 and Teheran

Bio Sketches of Pennsylvania Township

Salt Creek Township 1

Salt Creek Township 2

Salt Creek Township 3

Bio Sketches of Salt Creek Township

Forest City Township 1

Forest City Township 2

Village of Forest City

Bio Sketches of Forest City Township

Quiver Township 1

Quiver Township 2

Village of Topeka

Bio Sketches of Quiver Township