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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 John Weber

John Weber, the junior member of the firm of Weber Brothers, was also born in Westfield, Clark Co., Ill., April 19, 1856, and came with the other members of the family to Charleston, at the age of 10 years.

Biographical Sketch of Daniel Weber

Daniel Weber, of the firm of Weber Brothers, bakers and confectioners, Charleston, is a son of Godfrey and Frances (Muller) Weber; he was born in Westfield, May 31, 1854, and came with his parents to Charleston in 1866; he spent a part of his time on his father’s farm in Hutton Tp., and a portion in the store in Charleston, and on the death of his father, in 1877, he, with his brother John, succeeded to the business. He was married April 29, 1878, to Miss Rosa Riegger, of Bloomington,...

Biography of R. A. Traver

R. A. Traver, of the firm of Traver & Nixon, manufacturers of and dealers in brooms, brushes, etc., Charleston; was born in Schenectady Co., N. Y., Aug. 19, 1837; he was raised on a farm; in 1856, he removed with his parents to Brooklyn, N. Y., where, for two years, he was employed as a book-keeper for A. W. Hendrickson & Co., coal-dealers; in 1858, he went to Harrison Co., W. Va., where he was engaged in farming and carpentering till 1867; he then came to Clark Co., Ill., and engaged in the broom business, but soon afterward removed to Charleston, where he established the Charleston Broom-Factory, and has been an enterprising citizen of the city ever since; he is at present a member of the Board of Aldermen. His partner in the business, M. C. Nixon, is a native of Harrison Co., W. Va., his father being one of the most prominent farmers in that part of the State; at the age of 18, he went to Pittsburgh, Penn., where he received a thorough business education in the Iron City Business College; he then spent a few years in traveling in the West, and, in 1874, came to Charleston and entered into partnership with Mr. Traver. When Mr. Traver came to Charleston, there were but about fifteen acres of broomcorn cultivated in Coles Co.; its culture is now one of the chief sources of wealth, especially in the northern part of the county; there are thousands of acres cultivated annually, and the amount is constantly increasing; this firm alone has raised, during the past year, 500 acres. The...

Biographical Sketch of William H. Mack

William H. Mack, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Ashmore; was born in Kentucky April 11, 1828, and came to Illinois when he was 5 years old, with the family of his father, William Mack; after spending one winter in Coles Co., his father settled in Clark Co., where he died about eight years ago; Mr. Mack lived in Clark Co. until he became of age, and then came to Coles Co.; he began life by working out by the month, and, after accumulating some money, he purchased 120 acres of land, on which he settled in the fall of 1853; he now owns 790 acres in his home farm, and 100 acres in Clark Co.; his farm is one of the best in the county, is well fenced, under good cultivation, and improved with a fine two-story dwelling, barns, outbuildings, etc., costing not less than $6,000; his residence occupies a beautiful eminence, and from it can be plainly seen the village of Kansas, in Ed- gar Co., while the church-spires of Westfield, in Clark Co., and of Ashmore, in Coles Co., are visible. Mr. Mack has given considerable attention to the raising of stock, keeping from 50 to 150 head of cattle; having no leisure nor inclination for official life, he has never sought nor held public office, but has devoted himself exclusively to the management of his large farm. He was married Dec. 19, 1850, to Miss Elvira Anderson, a daughter of Robert Anderson, one of the early settlers of Edgar Co.; she was born in that county Feb. 25, 1832, and removed with her parents to Coles...

Biography of Mrs. Thurza Epperson

Mrs. Thurza Epperson; P. O. Westfield; among the pioneers of Coles Co., who came in the year 1834, was Green Epperson, who was born in Madison Co., Ky., about the year 1800. He was married Dec. 22, 1829, to Miss Thirza Woods, a daughter of Adam and Mary Woods; she was also a native of Madison Co., Ky., born Dec. 6, 1807. After their marriage, they removed to Estill Co., Ky., thence to Clark Co., and from there to Coles Co., Ill., in 1834, where they settled on the farm still in the hands of the family, and which contains 200 acres in the home place, besides 80 acres in Clark Co. Mr. Epperson was a man of integrity of character, industrious and economical in his habits, and possessed of the requisite qualifications of success, and, had he lived, would undoubtedly have become one of the wealthiest citizens of the county; he died Jan. 29, 1850, leaving a wife, who still resides on the old homestead. Of a family of eleven children, nine are living, as follows: Brutus C., was born Oct. 27, 1830, in Estill Co., Ky., and is now a farmer in Bear Valley, Cal., to which State he removed in 1852; Cassius C., was born in Clark Co., Ky., June 24, 1834, and also removed to California in 1852, and is now a farmer in Sutter Co.; Sidney K., was born in Coles Co., Ill., Jan. 28, 1836, served in the late war, enlisting in Co. H, 59th I. V. I., was promoted to Quartermaster, and is now a Government Inspector at Omaha, Neb.; Rhodes was...

Biographical Sketch of W. R. Comstock

W. R. Comstock, dealer in groceries, drugs, medicines, etc., Ashmore; was born in Clark Co., Ill., Feb. 1, 1850; he is a son of Levi and Lucy Comstock; his father was born in Indiana, and his mother in Kentucky; they both came to Illinois in childhood with their parents, who were among the early pioneers of the State; when the subject of this sketch was about 4 years of age, his father removed with his family to Coles County, and settled about three miles northeast of Ashmore village, where he still resides. Mr. Comstock remained on the farm until 1872, after which he read medicine and attended one course of lectures in Rush Medical College, Chicago; in 1874, he engaged in his present business in Ashmore. He was married Nov. 2, 1876, to Miss Ella Hogue, a daughter of Thomas W. Hogue, of...

Biography of William H. Brown

William H. Brown, farmer and stock-raiser ;P. O. Ashmore; was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., March 23, 1813, being a son of Jonathan W. and Elizabeth (Aiken) Brown, and accompanied his parents in their removal to Milton, Ky., to Lawrence Co., Ill., and to the Walnut Grove, Edgar Co., in January, 1825. He remained at home until he was nearly 21, when he began working on a farm; he worked at various employments in different places until he was married, Nov. 4, 1835, to Miss Elizabeth McGhan, of Clark Co.; he then settled on a farm in Clark Co. During the summer of 1835, he was associated with his father and brother in grading a portion of the old Terre Haute & Alton Railroad. His wife died Sept. 14, 1838, leaving one son, William W., who, in the late war was Orderly Sergeant of Co. H, 10th I. V. C., and was killed at the capture of Little Rock, Ark. In the spring of 1839, Mr. Brown came to Coles Co., and on the 13th of June, 1839, married Mrs. Emily Buck, a daughter of John T. Olmsted, an old pioneer of Edgar Co., settling in Grand View about 1828, and afterward came to Coles Co.- Of nine children of this marriage, six are now living – John O. (now a resident of Charleston, Harriet, wife of James Bull, of Edgar Co.), Frederick, James H., Edwin W. and Francis A; their eldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth, died April 19, 1849, at the age of 7½ years; Emma A. died Nov. 18, 1870, at nearly 20 years of age; George...

Biographical Sketch of Godfrey Weber

Godfrey Weber, deceased, late of Charleston; born in Oberslingen, Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, Dec. 24, 1820: his father was a vineyardist, and his early years were passed among the vine-clad hills and sunny slopes of his native land. He was married in August, 1848, to Miss Frances Muller, who was born in Wisgoldingen, Wurtemberg, Germany, May 27, 1824; they immediately emigrated to America, and settled near Louisville, Ky., and engaged in gardening and wine-growing; two years later, he removed to Clark Co., Ill., and located on a farm near Westfield, to which town he afterward removed, and worked in the Westfield Mill for eleven years; in 1866, he removed to Charleston, and engaged in the bakery and confectionery business, in which he continued till his death, which occurred Sept. 7, 1877; he left a wife, who still resides in Charleston, and ten children – William ( a farmer in Hutton Tp.), Kate (wife of John Hederich, of Charleston), Frederick C. (of Hutton Tp.), Louisa (Mrs. Schaun, of Charleston), Daniel, John and George (of Charleston), Emma E. (wife of William Louden, of Westfield, Ill.), Matilda F. and...

Biographical Sketch of Isaac N. Craig

Isaac N. Craig, retired farmer; P. O. Charleston; one of the early settlers of Coles County; was born in Montgomery Co., Ky., Sept. 25, 1810; his father removed with his family to Illinois in 1828, and purchased a farm in Clark Co.; Isaac N. remained at home on the farm until 1831. On the 14th of April, 1831, he was married to Miss Catherine Henson, of Edgar Co., Ill., who died May 1, 1841, leaving five children, three of whom are living – La Fayette, Elizabeth – Mrs. Harmon Gregg – and Harriet, wife of Harvey Fowler; Mr. Craig, after his marriage, settled in Clark Co. On the breaking-out of the Black Hawk war, Mr. Craig enlisted in the 2d Brigade, under Gen. Milton Alexander, and served through the war. In 1835, he removed to Coles Co., where he has been a prominent farmer and stock-raiser ever since; Mr. Craig began life poor, and has met with some reverses of fortune, but has, nevertheless, accumulated a handsome property; he owns some seven hundred acres of land in the county, and a fine residence, with twenty acres of land, in the city of Charleston, where he resides; he is a Director and stockholder in the Second National Bank. He married his present estimable wife July 1, 1841; she was Miss Elizabeth Bloyer, of Coles Co.; they have had eight children, six of whom are now living – Catherine (wife of Robt. McMullen), James W., Andrew J., Eliza E. (wife of Newton Swango), Isaac B. and Thomas J.; all of Mr. Craig’s children are living in Coles...
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