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Biography of Morris F. Cole

Morris F. Cole. The following sketch contains the important facts in the life and family record of a Champaign County citizen whose name always stood for all that was honest and of good report in the community. It also was significant of thrift and business integrity. Mr. Cole was a farmer, spent his life, which was prematurely cut short at the age of forty-nine, in Champaign County, and had gained a competence for himself by his well directed labors. He was born on a farm in section 24 of Philo Township, November 27, 1867. His death occurred at his home April 8, 1917. His parents, Charles F. and Maria (Pease) Cole, were natives of Massachusetts and were early settlers in Champaign County. His father was a practical farmer, and died in this county January 7, 1899. The mother is still living at Philo. They had eight children: Nellie, deceased; Belle, wife of Millard Porterfield, of Fairmount, Illinois; Hattie, wife of J. N. Black, of Mahomet; Angie, wife of J. T. Black, of Peru, Indiana; Morris P.; Royal G., of Cortland, New York; and Stella and Charles, both of whom died in childhood. The late Morris F. Cole was reared at home and in the local schools acquired a good education. At the age of twenty-one he went out to Wyoming and put in three years of adventure and exciting experience as a cowboy on the ranches. He returned to Champaign County in the winter of 1892, was married soon afterward, and he and his wife started housekeeping on a rented farm. He handled about 300 acres of rented land...

Biography of J. L. Peters

J. L. Peters. Three years have gone by since Mr. J. L. Peters passed that landmark of mortal journey known as three score and ten, and he and his good wife, who has been counselor and adviser and companion by his side for more than half a century, are now enjoying the comforts of retirement at their pleasant and attractive country home near the village of Tipton in St. Joseph Township. Mr. Peters is one of the oldest living native sons of St. Joseph Township, where he was born January 25, 1844. That date is of itself evidence that the Peters family came to Champaign County along with the earliest pioneers. His parents were William and Sarah (McNutt) Peters. They were born in Kentucky, were married there, and soon after their marriage they started for a new home in the North, making the journey in a covered wagon. At that time all of Champaign County was a new district, and Indians were still here in large numbers, and through their thieving and begging propensities were somewhat troublesome. Mrs. Peters had never been accustomed to such neighbors, and she lived in constant dread of the red men, though they confined their excursions to the Peters home to merely beg something to eat. When the Peters family came to Champaign County fully 500 Indians were living within its boundaries. They usually spent the winter in the South, but returned early in the spring and frequented the sugar maple groves, where they tapped the trees and made sugar. Amid the circumstances of pioneer life Mrs. William Peters would gladly have returned to...

Biography of Matison F. Dunn

Matison F. Dunn has spent a long and productive career as an agriculturist in St. Joseph Township, and for the last two years has lived retired from farming in the village of St. Joseph, and has conducted a very successful real estate enterprise. Mr. Dunn is a native of Champaign County, having been born on a farm in St. Joseph Township, February 9, 1868, a son of Zephaniah M. and Elizabeth (Mapes) Dunn. His father was a native of Kentucky and his mother of Maryland. Zephaniah Dunn, who was born in 1831, was only two years of age when his parents migrated to Illinois and settled near Urbana among the ‘few families then resident there in 1833. Thus the Dunns shared in the experiences typical of the country and described as pertaining to the early decade of the ’30s. Zephaniah grew up in these pioneer conditions, and during his youth he worked for Mr. Busey, one of the prominent farmers of the day, for wages of only 25 cents per day. Zephaniah Dunn had a family of eight children, six sons and two daughters, all of whom were educated in the district school known as the Patterson School. Matison Dunn after reaching his majority married Laura M. Berkshire, daughter of Jesse B. and Ida (Hawley) Berkshire. His marriage was the signal for the beginning of an industrious and active career as a farmer. For some years he rented eighty acres of land, but was not destined to remain long in that condition of semi-dependence. Prosperity has continued to smile upon him and his labors as an agriculturist had their...

Biography of George G. Irle

George G. Irle. In the famous farming district of Champaign County, where the possession of land spells prosperity, one of the active factors today is Mr. George G. Irle, whose well managed place is in section 16 of Somer Township. Mr. Irle began farming here over fifty-five years ago, and has been through practically every phase of experience as an Illinois farmer. He has had low prices and high prices for his crops, and through seasons both good and bad he has contrived to prosper and to grow in influence and affluence. Mr. Irle has lived in Champaign County since childhood, but was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1852. His parents were Henry W. and Christina (Hohn) Irle. Both parents were born in Germany, the mother in Nassau. Henry W. Irle came to America in 1848, locating at Philadelphia, where he followed the trade of brass founder. In 1862 he brought his family west to Champaign County, and changing his occupation located on a farm in Somer Township. He became one of the substantial men of that district, and lived a long and useful career. His death occurred July 27, 1901. His wife passed away August 16, 1884. Their five children were: Hulda, deceased; Francesca, who died in infancy; George G.; Henry H., deceased; and Francesca, wife of Thomas B. Thornburn, of Urbana, Illinois. George G. Irle was ten years of age when his parents came to Champaign County. In 1859, when a boy of seven, he had an exciting experience and barely escaped becoming victim of a famous kidnapping case in Philadelphia. It all happened on Christmas...

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