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Biography of William Coyne, Senior

Rock Island County owes much to its Irish sons. They have tilled its soil, built up, developed and directed its industries, and are today among its most substantial and energetic citizens. In no case is the obligation more real than in that of William Coyne, senior, “Uncle Billy,” as he is popularly known. He was one of the earliest comers to this locality from Erin’s Isle, and after more than sixty-two years residence here is still a man of remarkable activity. He has been one of the county’s heaviest land holders, and though he has turned the greater portion of his estate over to his children he still directs the cultivation of a small farm and continues to actively look after his other business interests. William Coyne, senior, is a native of Ireland, born June 11, 1822, the son of Thomas and Martha (Brown) Coyne. His parents were Irish and the father died in that country when the son was young. The mother late in life came to America and spent her last days among her children, dying in Rock Island about 1887. There were six children: Mariah, Margaret, Matilda, Jane, William and Robert. Jane died in the mother country, but the others all became citizens of the United States. William is now the sole survivor of the family. Our subject was reared a farmer and has followed that vocation practically all his life. He received but a limited education, but in later life found time to remedy the defects of his early training and become thoroughly posted, both in relation to business affairs and in a general way:...

Biography of H. W. C. Tappendorf

In other articles appearing in this work frequent mention has been made of the astounding growth Rock Island has undergone during the past few years, and of the many new buildings, especially residences, that have been erected during that time. All, or nearly all, of the contracts that have been let for these have been placed with the city’s home contractors, one of the most prominent of whom is H. W. C. Tappendorf. He was born July 4, 1862, at Provence Holstein, Germany, the home of his parents, John T. and Hannah Tappendorf. He attended the public schools of his native town during his boyhood, and upon the completion of his school days he took up and mastered the carpenter’s trade in that thorough and systematic manner for which Germans are renowned. In 1886 he came to America and located in Davenport, Iowa, where for two years he worked at his trade as a journeyman carpenter. In 1888 he came to Rock Island, and here he continued to work as a journeyman in the employ of others until 1896, when by his industry and frugality he had accumulated sufficient money to start as an independent contractor in a small way. In this he was successful, the growth of his business being steady and continuous until it has reached its present proportions. Although a general contractor, Mr. Tappendorf has specialized along the line of church building, and has been called upon to erect some of the largest church edifices in the country. He now does a business averaging about $100,000 a year, a splendid record for a man who started...

Biography of Dr. A. H. Arp

There is no period in the world’s history which fails to demonstrate that exceptional ability and knowledge are invariably triumphant and lasting, and live in memory long after the finite clay has returned to mother earth. In medicine, as. in every profession or business, nothing succeeds like success, but to attain success requires a master mind, a logical and conservative policy and a thorough understanding of one’s chosen calling. This being. true, what shall be said of those who are inordinately endowed with genius and ability of accomplishment? Hence, is so much as success is measured by achievement, and in turn, success is bona fide proof of exceptional capability, it can be perceived that the prolific mind if not permitted to hide its lamp of genius under a bushel. Personal adaptation and knowledge are recognized with a certainty that passes understanding, and are never permitted to remain dormant for any great length of time. Whether it be found in business, politics, art or medicine, the result is the the same-cream will not cease rising until it has reached the top. A timely and parallel case for illustration is to be found in Doctor A. H. Arp, of Moline. Born December 4, 1861, in Davenport, Iowa, and being left fatherless at the age of three and a-half years, he was never the less endued with the perquisites which go to make a virile and intelligent being, and such he has been during his entire lifetime. After the death of his father his mother removed to Moline, where she took abode with her brother, Doctor P. H. Wessel. In that city...

Biography of H. E. Casteel

Herbert E. Casteel, one of Rock Island County’s most enterprising and highly regarded citizens, prominent in banking and business circles and a self made man, was born in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa, March 15, 1860, and was the son of Appleton and Elizabeth Gardner Casteel. Mr. Casteel’s strides to prominence are the result of hard toiling and struggle in his early days and his keen business methods and perseverance in later years. Terminating his studies in the public schools of Davenport, he was not any too well provided with education with which to enter the great field of business struggle, but with optimistic ideas he quietly worked them to a point of value and with each change of position came a promotion and higher salary. To this end he directed his ardent ambition until he reached the estimable position of bank president. Mr. Casteel’s business career dates back many years, owing to the fact that he started out for his own livelihood at an early age. When only thirteen years of age he went to Port Byron, Illinois, and two years later, in 1875, he entered the employe of the Port Byron Lumber Company as bookkeeper, which position he held for two and a half years. In 1875 he went to Rapids City, Illinois, where he entered the employe of Taylor Williams at the same occupation and, for two and a half years more he followed this special work. As a departure from the lumber business Mr. Casteel became associated with John Schafer in the mercantile business, and after some years in this, and upon dissolution of partnership he,...

Biography of William A. Meese

When that evil day shall come whereon William A. Meese exchanges his 7 1/8 derby of commerce for the starry crown of heavenly reward, doffs his conventional haberdashery of the Mississippi Valley for the celestial cerements of eternal bliss, Moline will pause in its onward march to industrial eminence, consider well this life-time of devotion to the city’s interests, drop a tear of affection for a departed comrade and wonder with apprehension where the half-dozen men are to spring from to take his place in the struggle for civic improvement. He has been for a half-century the loyal friend of his town, the unwavering champion of Moline’s claims to consideration, her press agent, advocate and guardian spirit. This esteem is mutual and reciprocal and the constant plea of Moline is that William A. Meese may long be spared to serve as her envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. His list of activities for the good of his city before deliberative and legislative bodies and as a member of organizations which have built the city into its present proud condition, spiritually, morally, educationally and industrially has not been written. The record is long, honorable and fortunately incomplete. William A. Meese was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, February 1, 1856. It has been a subject of regret that he was not a native of Moline, but this error, not his own, he repaired as speedily as possible by bringing his family to the village of promise in the garden spot of the Mississippi Valley at the age of two. His father, Henry Bruno Meese, and mother, Johanna (von Thielde) Meese, were natives of...

Biographical Sketch of Hugh A. J. McDonald

Mr. McDonald was born in the City of Rock Island, Illinois, November 13, 1862, the son of H. A. J. and Sarah J. McDonald, of Scotch-Irish descent. He was married to Mary C. Gall June 5, 1889, in Rock Island, Illinois. The offspring of this union are Hugh Earl and George Hobart McDonald, both resident in Rock Island. Mr. McDonald was a member of the State Infantry of Illinois, Company A, Sixth Regiment, from 1884 until 1893, when he resigned with the rank of Captain, which he had held during the last eighteen months of his service. He was manager of the business of David Don from 1882 to 1902. On November 13, 1902, he was appointed by Governor Yates as Chief Clerk of Illinois Western Hospital for the Insane, which position he held till March 1, 1906. During this period, for the space of one year-1903 to 1904-he was Captain and Adjutant of his old Regiment, the Sixth Illinois Infantry. For a period of two years Mr. McDonald was City Collector of Rock Island, resigning the position in 1895, on account of increasing duties in other directions. Appointed as postmaster at Rock Island, by President Roosevelt, on February 1, 1906, he took charge on March 1. Mr. McDonald’s education was acquired in the public schools and in the International Business College, at Davenport, Iowa. He is Past Commander of Rock Island Commandery Knights Templars, member of Trio Lodge No. 57 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, member of Rock Island Chapter No. 18 Royal Arch Masons, Kaaba Temple Nobles of Mystic Shrine, etc. Mr. McDonald is a member of...

Biography of Walter Johnson

Mr. Walter Johnson, the subject of this sketch, died in Rock Island, November 23, 1903. He was for a third of a century one of the vital forces of the community. For twenty-seven years he occupied the editorial chair of the Daily Union, in which position he at all times was an able and courageous champion of that which he considered right, and calculated to make the community better. His editorial utterances carried weight not only because of their intrinsic merit and evident fairness in the presentation of the subjects under discussion, but because it was recognized throughout the community that they represented the honest and calm judgment of a man who in his private life exemplified his public utterances, and who at all times was actuated by the principles and motives of the Christian gentleman of the highest type. Mr. Johnson was born in London, England, April 27, 1843, being a son of John F. and Harriette Augusta (Ryley) Johnson. The elder Mr. Johnson, who was a ribbon manufacturer in England, came to this country in 1851, settling at Welton, Iowa, at which place and Lyons, Iowa, he engaged in general merchandising, in connection with farming, until 1862, when he removed to Davenport, where he engaged in the grocery trade until 1867, when he removed to Rock Island, which city was his home until his death in 1888. Walter Johnson, whose educational opportunities – in England and Iowa were supplemented by private study, inspired by the influence of cultured parents, his mother bringing to Welton the first piano ever seen in that section of the country, early evinced...

Biography of Patterson S. McGlynn

Patterson S. McGlynn, one of the proprietors of the Daily Dispatch, was born in Connecticut in 1850, of Irish parentage. He was educated by his father to read and write and to be appalled by the multiplication table before being sent to country schools in Iowa, commencing at Washington in the State named, “graduating” to a printing office when he was thirteen years old, and then at the age of sixteen going back to school in the old stone school in Davenport, where his printing-office education raced him through to graduation to the high school. But his education may be said to have been chiefly attained at home and in printing offices. After, service as a printer on the Davenport Democrat and on the old Davenport Gazette, under the late Ed. Russell, he was promoted to be a reporter on the Gazette, with his field in Rock Island in 1876 and 1877. From 1877 to 1880 his home was in Chicago, where he had more printing office and newspaper experience. In 1881 he came to Moline to work for the Rock Island Union. After having represented the Union in Moline for more than four years, in company with John K. Groom, he took charge of the editorial management of the Dispatch, the firm name having been McGlynn and Groom, Mr. Groom taking the business management. This was in July of 1885. Since that time he has held a half interest in the Dispatch, continuing with W. F. Eastman after Mr. Groom sold his interest to that gentleman in 1891. Mr. McGlynn was married July 5, 1880, in Davenport, to...
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