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Biography of Isaac T. Leas

Isaac T. Leas. It is by no means an empty distinction to have lived actively and usefully in any community for a period of over sixty years. At this writing Isaac T. Leas is in his eighty-third year and is one of the few men who knew Champaign County before the time of the Civil War. He has been both a witness and an actor in the changing developments of a long time and is a real pioneer. He has been successful in his work and business and is still a hale and hearty man, enjoying the highest esteem of a large community. Mr. Leas was born near Covington, Indiana, October 27, 1833, a son of George and Lydia (Robinson) Leas. The ancestors of the Leas family came from England and were colonial settlers in Pennsylvania. George Leas had ten children, eight sons and two daughters, Isaac being the third in age. The latter spent his boyhood days and youth in his native county and when a young man came to Champaign County with his father. His father entered 160 acres of land and the son also secured a tract of land in section 9 of St. Joseph Township. In October, 1860, Mr. Leas laid the foundation of his own home by his marriage to Miss Ervilla Sumner. Mrs. Leas was also born near Covington, Indiana, a daughter of Selby and Rebecca (Hatheway) Sumner. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Leas settled down to begin wedded life on land which he bought, and with hope for the future, enthusiasm and unlimited energy their prospects all partook of a rosy...

Biographical Sketch of William Burgess

William Burgess, manufacturer and dealer in boots and shoes, Mattoon; was born in North Molton, Devonshire, Eng., Oct. 12, 1827; he emigrated to America in May, 1849; for two years after coming, he followed his trade in Syracuse, N. Y.; he subsequently lived at various points in New York, Cortland, Elmira, Tioga Point, Bath, Corwin, Addison, etc. In the spring of 1855, he returned to England remaining one year. In 1856, he returned to America, stopping for a season in New York; thence to Pennsylvania; thence back to New York. In June, 1857, he went to Canada, remained but a short time, and next went to Michigan; thence to La Fayette, Ind., from there to Covington, Ind.; thence to Decatur, Ill. During these years he followed his trade. In May, 1860, he came to Mattoon and opened up his present store. He is the oldest established boot and shoe merchant in the city. He was married in November, 1862, to Agnes Evans, a native of England; three children have been born to them-Mary E., Emily F., living; Jennie, deceased; they have also an adopted son- Richard, owns forty acres in Mattoon Tp.; also two business houses and a residence in the city. Is at present a member of the City...

Biography of Grover Chester Bowman

GROVER CHESTER BOWMAN – To be responsible for the proper and up-to-date management of modern schools, to endow them with an atmosphere which pervades both the teaching staff and the students, requires men of superior endowments who, as students have been in contact with high-class educational establishments of different types. In this respect Mr. Grover Chester Bowman, superintendent of schools of North Adams, has been singularly fortunate for having as a student, at a period of life when the mind is in a state for high receptivity and plasticity, come under the influence of the academic atmosphere of two of the most famous and ancient institutions of higher learning in America. Mr. Bowman is a native of Covington, Indiana, where he was born on December 15, 1884, a son of Hershel Volney Bowman, a general agent of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, and Cora Alice (Winders) Bowman. Mr. Bowman received his preliminary education in the public school of his native town and then became a pupil of the Tuscola, Illinois, High School, from which he graduated in the year 1902. Having completed his elementary studies, he became a student of Williams College, where, in 1906, he took the arts degree of B. A. and then matriculated as a graduate student, with advanced standing, of Yale University, graduating from there in 1912 with the degree of Master of Arts. After passing some time in the teaching profession and attaining a reputation as a pedagogue of force and originality with a keen love for his work, Mr. Bowman was nominated superintendent of schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He also holds...

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