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Biographical Sketch of Jacob K. Cottonham

Jacob K. Cottonham, farmer; P. O. Charleston; the subject of this sketch was born in Floyd Co., Ind., Nov. 15, 1831. He married Miss Sallie Ann Fowler March 5, 1855; she was born in Coles Co., Ill., Dec. 13, 1843 they had seven children, six living viz., William E., Margaret L., George A., Joseph U., Charles D. W. and Hervey F. He lived in Indiana until 1855, when he came to Illinois, and settled in Coles Co. near Charleston, and engaged in brickmaking, and continued in the business nearly eight years, when he engaged in farming; in 1874, he came to his present place, and has lived here since; he owns 120 acres here and 49 in Charleston Tp., which he has principally earned by his own labor. His parents, Andrew and Margaret Grant Cottonham, were natives of Kentucky and Virginia; they were married in Indiana; they came to Coles Co. in 1855; he died Aug. 29, 1869; she is living herewith her son. His wife’s parents were James and Susan Ann Lumbrick Fowler; were natives of Tennessee and Coles Co., Ill. (probably), they being in this county at a very early date; they died in 1843 and 1848,...

Biographical Sketch of John Foreman

John Foreman, farmer; P. O. Charleston; the subject of this sketch was born in the District of Columbia March 17, 1823. He married Miss Harriet E. Richardson Oct. 10, 1842; she was born in Franklin Co., Ohio, March 24, 1820; they have seven children, viz., William T., John R., Joseph, Isaac P., David B., Thomas N. and Edward P. He lived in the District of Columbia until he was 12 years of age; he then moved to Fayette Co., Ky., with his parents, who engaged in farming, and he remained until 1853, when he came to Illinois and settled in Charleston, where he lived two years while improving his farm; he then came on his present place, and has lived here since. In 1865, he was elected Supervisor of Seven Hickory Tp.; he was also one of the first two Justices of the Peace of this township, being elected in 1860, and served four years; he has also served as Commissioner of Highways and Township Trustee. He owns 260 acres in this county. His parents, Joseph and Mrs. Chloe Payne Foreman, were natives of England and Virginia; they were married in the District of Columbia; they moved to Fayette Co., Ky., in 1834, where his father, died; his mother died in Lexington,...

Biographical Sketch of William Henderson

William Henderson, blacksmith, Oakland; born in Gurnsey Co., Ohio, Sept 25, 1831, where he learned and worked at the blacksmith trade until the fall of 1858, When he emigrated West and located in Lawrence Co., Ill., where he followed his trade until 1862, when he enlisted as a private in the 60th I. V. I., and went forward to battle for the Union; he served with his regiment one year, when he was detailed as blacksmith in the Quartermaster’s Department at Chattanooga, Tenn., where he remained until the fall of 1865, when he returned and worked at his trade at Marion, Ill., and Terre Haute, Ind., until August, 1866, when he located in Charleston and worked at his trade until June, 1872, when he removed to Oakland, where he has since lived. He is President of the National Christian Temperance Union, and is held in high esteem for the noble stand he has taken in the cause of temperance; he was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Oakland at the last municipal election, which office he now holds. His marriage with Ellen Eaglan was celebrated March 27, 1871; she was born in Virginia June 2, 1835; they have four children now living by this union, viz., Francis, John, Edward and...

Biographical Sketch of Merrill F. Hackett

Merrill F. Hackett, retired farmer; P. O. Oakland; born in Lexington, Fayette Co., Ky., Sept. 10, 1821; he removed with his parents, when 8 years of age, and located in Springfield, Sangamon Co., Ill., where he learned and worked at the trade of brickmason until 1841, at which time he removed to Charleston, Coles Co., and engaged at his trade and farming and stock-raising until 1856; he then removed to the northern part of Coles Co., where he followed farming and stock-raising until 1875, when he purchased his present place of about thirty acres, upon which he has a fine residence, and removed to Oakland, where he has since continued to live; he also owns 613 acres of land in Douglas Co., which he has rented. He married Jan. 22, 1867, Elizabeth J. Sargent; she was born in Coles Co., March 22, 1839; her parents were among the early pioneers of Coles Co., locating in 1830; they have four children by this union-Snowden S., Gennella C., Lora E. and Florence...

Biography of Thomas H. Duncan

Thomas H. Duncan; P.O. Oakland; born in Clark Co., 111., April 29, 1844, where he attended school and engaged in farming until August 1, 1862, when he enlisted as private in Co. A (Capt. James B. Hill), of the 123d Regt. I. Y. I., and went forward to battle for the Union; he first went to Louisville, Ky., then marching South, was engaged in the battle of Prairieville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1862, going then to Murfreesboro, Tenn., where he remained until May, 1863, when, on account of disability, he received his discharge, and, returning home, engaged in farming for a short time; then, after attending the Westfield College one term, he engaged as clerk in the dry goods store of J. M. Miller, at Charleston, which position he held for nearly two years, when, on account of ill-health, he returned home, where he remained until the fall of 1868, when he entered the college at Eureka, where, after attending one term, he worked as clerk in the stores of Kirkbride and Marcilleot, at Eureka, during the summer, and in the fall again entered the college, but on account of ill-health was unable to remain but a short time. In early life, he had formed a determination to obtain a collegiate education, and his lack of means only tended to stimulate his energies in that direction, and to obtain the means to defray his expenses while attending college, he employed all his time, Saturdays, mornings and evenings clerking; this labor, added to his hard study, so impaired health that he was obliged to give up his long cherished hope of...

Biographical Sketch of Edward Conaghan

Edward Conaghan, merchant, Oakland; born in County Donegal, Ireland, Aug. 15, 1841, where he engaged in farming until 18 years of age, when he emigrated to America, landing in New York in the fall of 1859; coming directly to Charleston, he engaged with his brother peddling, taking his stock of goods upon his back and selling from house to house; after following this for nine months for his brother, he commenced peddling on his own account, taking his first stock of goods, which invoiced at $20, in a pack upon his back, working in all kinds of weather, until 1863, when he associated with his brother and engaged in the hotel business at Peoria, Ill., which, proving unprofitable, they closed out, and, after paying all their indebtedness, he had barely enough means left to again start his portable dry goods and notion store, which consisted, as described above, of his pack, which he carried upon his back, buying his goods direct from first hands in New York, which enabled him to compete with the largest dealers in Coles Co.; he continued doing business in this manner until 1871, when he associated with David Jones, and located in Oakland in the grocery and queensware trade, which they continued until Jan. 3, 1876, when, purchasing his partner’s interest., he added a stock of dry goods, clothing, etc., until he now carries a stock second to none in town, and his business is yearly increasing. Upon his arrival at Charleston, he was not only penniless, but was in debt for his fare to this country, and his first earnings were used to...

Biographical Sketch of Francis M. Waters

Francis M. Waters, Ashmore; dealer in dry goods and notions, boots and shoes, hats, caps and clothing; was born in Ross Co., Ohio, March 16, 1838, and is a son of Baker and Mary Waters; in 1847, his parents removed to Coles Co., and settled in Charleston, where his father carried on the wagon and carriage. Making business about ten years; he then removed to a farm in Ashmore Tp., where he lived till his death, in 1875; Mr. Waters’ mother died the year before; the family consisted of eight sons and one daughter, all residents of Coles Co.; when he was 12 years old, Mr. Waters entered his father’s shop to learn the wagon-maker’s trade. He was married Feb. 14, 1861, to Miss Edith Austin, a daughter of John and Susan Austin, of Ashmore; she died Jan. 4, 1862, leaving one child-Edith E.; in 1862, he entered the 123d Ill. Vols. as principal musician, and on the re-organization of his regiment as mounted infantry, he was made regimental bugler; he served with his regiment till the close of the war, participating in all of its engagements-numbering over one hundred and twenty; among them, Perryville, Ky.; Milton, Tenn.; Hoover’s Gap, Chattanooga; Chickamauga, Farmington, Peach-Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, siege of Atlanta, Selma, Ala., Columbus and Macon. Returning, he carried on the carriage-making business one year, and at the same time started his present business. He was married a second time Aug. 12, 1869, to Miss Eliza O’Brien, of Ashmore; she died March 6, 1877, leaving one child -George...

Biography of Joshua Ricketts

Joshua Ricketts, dealer in grain and produce, groceries, glassware, queens-ware, etc., Ashmore; was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio, March 13, 1821. He is a son of Joshua and Sarah (Taylor) Ricketts. He remained at home until he was 13 years old, when he went to Knox County, Ohio, and engaged in study with a view to preparing for the ministry, but meeting with a change in his religious belief he abandoned the idea and engaged in farming, afterward learning the trade of a marble cutter. At the age of 23 he went to Coshocton, Ohio, and followed farming for a while, afterward removing to Terre Haute, Ind., where he engaged in the marble business. In 1849, he came to Illinois, remained one year in Clark County, and removed thence to Charleston, Coles County, in 1850. There he carried on the marble business till 1861, when he enlisted as a private in J. W. Bissell’s Engineer Regiment of the West; was promoted to Second and afterward to First Lieutenant. He served in this regiment twenty months; when Gen. Morgan made his raid into Indiana Mr. Ricketts again enlisted in the 109th Ind. Vols. and was commissioned by Gov. Morton, Adjutant of the regiment. After a brief service of eight days the regiment was mustered out, the occasion for their enlistment having ceased. On the call for 100-day men, in 1864, Mr. Ricketts, not waiting for a commission, again volunteered in the 143d Ill. Vols., and served as Sergeant of Co. “A.” He took part in the capture of Island Number Ten, siege of Corinth, and the battle of Corinth on...

Biographical Sketch of Allison M. Mitchell

Allison M. Mitchell, of the firm of Ashmore & Mitchell, dealers in boots and shoes, Charleston; is a native of Coles Co; he was born in Charleston Dec. 29, 1852, being the son of Rev. Robert A. and Ann E. Mitchell; his father was born in Washington Co., Tenn., and came to Coles Co. with his parents in 1833; he received a collegiate education, and after pursuing a theological course, located in Charleston as Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, of which he remained in charge for twenty years. Allison M. Mitchell, the son, was raised on a farm until he was 19 years old, and then entered the grocery store of his uncle, I. B. Mitchell, where he remained for three years, after which he spent about two years in the employ of W. M. & E. A. Jenkins; on the 18t of January, 1878, in company with W. J. Ashmore, he purchased the boot and shoe business of B. M. Payne, in which he has since...

Biographical Sketch of Isaac B. Mitchell

Isaac B. Mitchell, dealer in groceries and provisions, Charleston; is the youngest son of James A. and Esther Mitchell; he was born in Charleston, Ill., Jan. 6, 1841; he remained on the farm until the age of 15 years; the next four years he spent in the Charleston Academy, where he prepared for the Sophomore class in college, intending to pursue a college course; but, in 1861, owing to circumstances, he abandoned the idea and engaged in farming. In April, 1862, he enlisted in Co. A, 68th I. V. I., for three months. He continued farming until 1865, teaching school during the winters; in 1865, he engaged in mercantile business in Charleston. He was married Dec. 11, 1866, to Miss Florida A. Miles, a daughter of John A. Miles, of Charleston, and has four children – John M., Charles B., Richard R. and Paul. He continued merchandising until 1867, and then farmed for one year, starting in his present business in...
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