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Illinois Burial Customs

The term Illinois Indians as used by some early writers was intended to include the various Algonquian tribes, encountered in the “Illinois country,” in addition to those usually recognized as forming the Illinois confederacy. Thus, in the following quotation from Joutel will be found a reference to the Chahouanous – i. e., Shawnee – as being of the Islinois, and in the same note Accancea referred to the Quapaw, a Siouan tribe living on the right bank of the Mississippi, not far north of the mouth of the Arkansas. Describing the burial customs of the Illinois, as witnessed by him during the latter years of the seventeenth century, Joutel wrote: ” They pay a Respect to their Dead, as appears by their special Care of burying them, and even of putting into lofty Coffins the Bodies of such as are considerable among them, as their Chiefs and others, which is also practised among the Accancea’s, but they differ in this Particular, that the Accancea’s weep and make their Complaints for some Days, where as the Chahoaanous, and other People of the Islinois Nation do just the Contrary; for when any of them die, they wrap them up in Skins, and then put them into Coffins made of the Barks of Trees, then sing and dance about them for twenty four Hours. Those Dancers take Care to tie Calabashes, or Gourds about their Bodies, with some Indian Wheat in them, to rattle and make a Noise, and some of them have a Drum, made of a great Earthen Pot, on which they extend a wild Goat’s Skin, and beat thereon...

Biography of T. W. Swigart

T. W. Swigart, the leading harness dealer and one of the most successful business men in Newman and Douglas County, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, in sight of A Westminister, July 3, 1831, and was a son of Joseph Swigart. When nine years of age T. W. Swigart removed with his parents to Seneca County, Ohio, where he spent a large portion of his life on a farm. From the years 1848 to 1851 he devoted his time to learning the trade of harness maker at Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was a young man of good habits and of splendid mechanical turn of mind; he learned the trade thoroughly and soon became a first-class work-man. In the year 1852 he removed to Attica, Indiana, where he resided and worked at his trade successfully up to the year 1870, when he went to Princeton, Illinois. There he met Miss Sarah Jane Martin, who, in 1871, became his wife. In the same year he came to Danville, Illinois, where he followed his trade until the month of February, 1873, when he came to Newman and succeeded Speelman & Ogden in the harness business. During his residence in Newman he has become one of the most successful business men in the city and has accumulated quite a lot of property. In politics he is thoroughly independent and there is very little of hypocrisy in his nature. He is thoroughly candid and outspoken in his convictions. He has served three terms as president of the town board. He has also been a member of the board of health and director of the Building...

Biographical Sketch of Leo H. Bireline

Leo H. Bireline, one of the youngest business men of Champaign, is successfully engaged in the metal roofing business, an industry which he learned during his youth, his father being also connected with the same line of business. Mr. Bireline was born in Danville, Illinois, June 19, 1894, a son of Henry and Emma (Diehl) Bireline, both of whom were also natives of Danville. His parents are still living at Danville and his father conducts a roofing and sheet metal works in that city. There were five children in the family: Catherine Ellen, wife of W. A. Meek of Danville; Robert, who is associated with his brother Leo in business at Champaign; Leo; Florence and Emily, both at home with their parents. Leo H. Bireline grew up in Danville, attended the city schools, spent two years in high school and finished his education in Brown’s Business College at Danville. There he took a bookkeeping and general business course, and with that equipment and with the experience he had acquired under his father he came to Champaign to take charge of the local branch of the sheet metal and roofing business. This business in its subsequent growth now requires all his time and active attention. The headquarters of the business is a large building 25×125 feet, with ample facilities for a perfect service in their particular line. Mr. Bireline married Ruby Bodine, a native of Kingman, Indiana, but reared in Danville. They have one child, Margaret. Mr. Bireline is a Republican in politics, is a thirty-second degree and Consistory Mason, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He...

Biography of James A. Talbott

James A. Talbott has not only achieved that success represented by large land holdings and rich and prosperous farms, but also the riches of friendship and community esteem. All this is well indicated by the title affectionately bestowed upon him and most people know him as “Uncle Jimmie” Talbott. Mr. Talbott and his family reside in Harwood Township, in section 36, near Gifford, but his farm possessions spread over a large area and include 1,600 acres of choice Illinois soil. Mr. Talbott is a native of West Virginia, and was the fourth of eight children born to J. V. and Sarah (Parsons) Talbott. He is of English stock on both sides and the families have been in America for many generations. Mr. James A. Talbott grew up in West Virginia and attended a school known as the Wise school, from the name of the land owner there. He was still young when his parents, in April, 1865, left West Virginia, soon after the surrender of Lee’s army, and migrated to Illinois. They heard the news of Lincoln’s assassination on arriving at Danville. J. V. Talbott bought ninety acres of land in Middle Fork Township in Vermilion County, paying $25 an acre. The family encountered many hardships and privations. J. V. Talbott had always suffered somewhat delicate health and the change of climate not agreeing with him he died in 1866, after about a year of residence in Illinois. He was a man of fine character, and in the brief time spent in Illinois had acquired a large circle of friends. His widow afterwards visited relatives in California and was...

Biography of Frank Kern Robeson

Frank Kern Robeson. Of the many business establishments in Champaign County perhaps none has a wider connection with the families of this section of Illinois and a better reputation due to many years of successful business relations than the Robeson Department Store, founded and built up by the veteran merchant Frank Kern Robeson, who has the distinction of having developed the first real department store in the city of Champaign. While his success and position in the community are now so well established, it is noteworthy that Mr. Robeson did not always have an easy course and one free from obstacles. He was born in the state of Pennsylvania. His parents, Alexander M. and Jane (Kern) Robeson, were natives of the same state. Their ancestors had come to America prior to the Revolutionary War. Both the Robesons and the Kerns were engaged in the great iron industry of Pennsylvania until a short time before the Civil War. In 1863 Alexander M. Robeson and his family moved to the pineries of Northern Michigan. During the next winter they and four other families endured the hardships of frontier life. When navigation closed in the fall there was no communication with the outside world except mail every two weeks brought in on sledges drawn by dogs. When navigation opened in the spring the Robesons took the first boat, a sailing vessel that left for Bay City, and thence proceeded by rail and by stage over corduroy roads to Rensselaer, Indiana. Rensselaer, now the county seat of Jasper County, was then a sparsely settled section in swamps and with no railroad communications. The...

Biography of John E. Gallivan

John E. Gallivan is a native of Champaign County, but his name is widely known over this entire part of the state. He is now serving as deputy state fire inspector. Mr. Gallivan was born at Ivesdale, Champaign County, August 18, 1860, son of Patrick T. and Anne (Doyle) Gallivan, both natives of Ireland. His father was born in County Kerry and his mother in County Wexford. Patrick T. Gallivan at the age of fourteen came to this country with his parents, Thomas and Margaret (Ferriter) Gallivan, who first located in the East and gradually kept moving westward until they reached Michigan. Patrick Gallivan eventually came to Ivesdale, Champaign County, and at the age of fifteen was driving a team in railroad construction work in that locality. At the same time he used some of his leisure time at night to educate himself. He remained with the railroad work on the Great Western, now called the Wabash, until that line was constructed through to Danville. After that for four years he worked for the Wabash in the railroad yards at Danville, and was finally appointed foreman of the section at Ivesdale in Champaign County, a position he held until 1867. In the meantime, hard working and thrifty as he was, he had invested his earnings in a 240-acre farm in Champaign County, and in 1867 he was ready to occupy it and make it the principal source of his living. He continued farming on that place until 1890, when he retired to Ivesdale, where his death occurred March 25, 1912. This honored old timer was at different periods township...

Biographical Sketch of Frank G. Russell

Frank G. Russell came to Champaign after an extensive business as a meat merchant both in local houses and on the road, and now enjoys high financial rating and a successful business as proprietor of the Chicago Market Company, dealers in meats and packing house products. Mr. Russell was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, October 1, 1888, a son of William and Emma (Braiser) Russell. His father was born in Burlington, Iowa, and his mother at Terre Haute, Indiana. Both are now living at Danville, Illinois, where his father for many years has been in the sign business. There were three children: Louis, associated with his father at Danville; Frank; and Harry, who is in the employ of his brother at Champaign. Frank G. Russell was educated at Danville, and at the age of eighteen entered the American Bank & Trust Company at Danville, where for about three years he had a practical training in bank work and general business which has proved of inestimable value ‘to him in subsequent years. From the Danville bank he went to Terre Haute and became assistant bookkeeper with Dowdall & Baker, wholesale meat dealers. He was with them two years in the offices and then about a year traveled on the road as their representative. This house eventually put him in charge of the market at Champaign, which he opened in 1912, and in 1915 he bought the business and continues to make a splendid success of it under his own management. In June, 1914, Mr. Russell married Nellie Ice, a native of Champaign. Mrs. Russell by a previous marriage had four...

Biography of George L. Inman

George L. Inman was for many years a. business man of power and influence in Champaign County. He was accustomed to handling large things in a large way, and besides the New Inman Hotel at Champaign, citizens of the county have reason to remember him for many other influences and activities. Mr. Inman was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, March 8, 1867, and was only a little past his fiftieth birthday when he died April 5, 1917. His death occurred at Cramer, Indiana, but he was laid to rest at Champaign, where he had his home for over a quarter of a century. Mr. Inman’s mother, Emily Drake, was a direct descendant of the great English admiral, Sir Francis Drake. Mr. Inman was the youngest of six children, the others being: Mrs. Dora Orton, of Erie, Pennsylvania; Sylvester C., of Erie; Fred, of Erie; Herbert and Emily, both deceased. George L. Inman grew up in Erie County, Pennsylvania, where his father was a lawyer, and he studied law under his father’s direction as part of a liberal education, not for the purpose of practicing. His first important enterprise was promoting the publication of a paper called the Farmers Ledger, located at Danville, Illinois. In the interests of that publication he traveled extensively throughout the Middle West. About 1891 Mr. Inman came to Champaign and engaged in the real estate and farm mortgage business. Mr. Inman is remembered by all with whom he came in contact as a man of great magnetism and personality. He had a host of friends, and. also an extended business acquaintance. He did much to...

Biography of James M. Current

James M. Current. One of the oldest business men in Champaign County is James M. Current, of Homer. He and his family have conducted a grain business for a great many years in this and in Vermilion County. His life has ‘been one of constant activity and from small beginnings he has acquired a competence and an honorable reputation. Mr. Current was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, January 21, 1842, a son of William and Mary (Bastion) Current. His parents were both born in Virginia, his father in 1803 and his mother in 1807. His father located in Vermilion County among the pioneers in 1826 and six years later was a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He was a farmer and his death occurred August 6, 1851. There were fourteen children in the family, and four sons are still living: George, now in the Soldiers Home at Danville, Illinois; James M.; Isaac, of Danville; and Samuel, who lives in Nebraska. Another son, Samuel, was a soldier and was one of the guards at Lincoln’s funeral in Washington. James M. Current grew up in Vermilion County and remained there as an active farmer until 1871. For three and a half years he was in the meat and grocery business at Danville, but in 1875 moved to a farm six miles southeast of Homer in Vermilion County. In 1892 he engaged in the grain business at Fairmont, and in 1901 moved his business headquarters to Homer, where he is still active, though now past seventy-five years of age. On October 18, 1859, when not yet eighteen years of age, Mr....

Biography of Andrew, Scott Rev.

Rev. Andrew Scott. The qualities of real manhood and the power of leadership were never in greater demand in church work than today. The clergy have always been men of education and of fine moral standing, and with these qualities the successful pastor must now combine the spiritual enthusiasm and some of the same enterprise and energy which are such vital assets in the business world. A better type of this modern minister Champaign County does not have than in the case of Rev. Mr. Scott, pastor of the Christian Church at Fisher. Mr. Scott is a man of letters, has had the benefit of extensive travel, is a fluent and logical speaker, and in the course of his active career has shown unusual capacity as an organizer, administrator and a real church builder. Some of these qualities he undoubtedly inherited from the land of his birth. He is a Scotchman by nativity, and was born at Melrose in Roxborough. His birth occurred February 13, 1857. He was the third in a family of six children, three sons and three daughters. All these children are living and all in Canada except Mr. Scott. His parents were Adam and Agnes (Gilroy) Scott. His father, who was born in the same locality as the son, was a Scotch teacher, an occupation also followed by the grandfather of Rev. Mr. Scott. In 1863 he determined to bring his family to the broader and more generous opportunities of the New World. The intention was to locate in the United States, but the war then raging between the North and the South caused a...
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