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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...

Biography of Samuel P. Atkinson

Samuel P. Atkinson. Perhaps Champaign has no more sturdy and progressive citizen than is found in Samuel P. Atkinson, manager of the S. P. Atkinson Monument Company. He is a thorough American, with a backing of colonial ancestry and Revolutionary stock; and is a veteran of the great struggle which prior to 1914 the people of the United States has called the saddest page on the world’s history. Mr. Atkinson is a vigorous and able business man, but he is much more, for he has the true welfare of his city at heart and is zealously working to advance movements that will be of the greatest permanent benefit to the whole community. His entire life has been a busy, useful and interesting one. Samuel P. Atkinson was born in Central Ohio, November 26, 1844. His parents were Peabody and Marenda (Elliott) Atkinson, both of whom were descendants of Revolutionary heroes and natives of New Hampshire. The old Atkinson homestead situated ten miles from Concord, New Hampshire, was the cause of a pilgrimage made by Samuel P. Atkinson in 1916, and in the vicinity, with other kindred of generations gone, rest the ashes of his grandfather, Joseph C. Atkinson. To Peabody Atkinson and wife seven children were born, namely: Henry and Mary, both of whom are deceased; Joseph, who is living in Ohio; George, who is deceased; Samuel P.; and Annie and Nettie, both of whom are deceased. The father of the above family died from an accident in August, 1863, and the mother passed away in 1866. Samuel P. Atkinson completed his junior year at Marietta College of Ohio,...

Biography of Francis M. Avey

Francis M. Avey. Of the men whose ability, industry and forethought have added to the character, wealth and progress of Champaign County none stands higher than Francis M. Avey, now living retired at Rantoul, which has been his home for over forty-five years. Among other enviable distinctions Mr. Avey is one of the honored survivors of the great war of the rebellion, and he was a member of the first regiment that marched away from Illinois to fight in the South. His entire career has been in keeping with the high standards of patriotism which caused him to enter the army as a youth. He was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 24, 1835, and is now past four score. He is a son of Daniel and Hannah (Van Hise) Avey, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. Francis M. was the third of five children. His father was a farmer, and F. M. Avey grew up and obtained his early education in Butler County, Ohio. As a boy he heard much of the country of Illinois and Indiana, and at the age of sixteen his ambitions prompted him to go out to Fountain County, Indiana, where he had a brother. There he began an apprenticeship to the blacksmith’s trade. Having learned the trade, he took his accomplishments into western Missouri. At that time western Missouri was a scene of the terrible border ruffian warfare which went on with more or less regularity until after the close of the Civil War. It was not a safe territory for a man who came from a free state...

Biography of Mrs. Jane Patton

Mrs. Jane Patton. To live beyond the age of ninety is in itself a distinction. But in the case of Mrs. Jane Patton, whose home is out in the country in Kerr Township, many more substantial things and associations are connected with her long life. She is one of the notable women of Champaign County. Children and grandchildren have a source of pride in referring to their relationship to this venerable woman whose life began so early in the nineteenth century and has never ceased to bear the fruit of good deeds and wholesome influences. Her maiden name was Jane Cade. She was born in Fountain County, Indiana, May 3, 1824, and has the distinction of having been the first white child born in that section of Indiana. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. William Cade. They were honored pioneer settlers of Fountain County, and during the War of 1812 her father had fought in the American army. He was long active in politics. She was born when James Monroe was still President of the United States. The Erie Canal was still in process of construction and not a single mile of railroad had been laid in the United States. Indiana was only eight years old and Illinois had been a state for six years. She was in her twenties before the Mexican War was fought and was well on toward the middle period of womanhood when the Civil War closed. Mrs. Patton grew up in her native county and had to depend upon the meager opportunities of the district schools at a time when they were supported by...

Biography of A. A. Arms

A. A. Arms, now living retired at Thomasboro, has truly lived the strenuous life. He has entered heartily into all the experiences that come to the farmer in a new country and after subduing his own acres and acquiring the fatness of the land he was not content to settle down into a life of studied ease, but has sought adventure and knowledge far afield. Mr. Arms is without doubt the best known hunter in Champaign County. He has the riches of trophies gained from the chase sufficient to stock a museum. He has traveled to many remote fastnesses of the wild game and knows the haunts and character of wild animals from the standpoint of the naturalist as well as the hunter. Mr. Arms comes of pioneer stock. He is a son of Orrin and Cynthia A. (Hubbard) Arms. His grandfather Hubbard spent his early life at Sheffield, Massachusetts, and soon after Indiana was admitted to statehood, which occurred in the year 1818, he migrated to this far western country and settled at the highest point then occupied by a white resident on the Wabash River at the mouth of the Vermilion. He arrived in the spring and his nearest neighbor, excepting Indians, was a white family ten miles below who arrived in the following November. In that frontier district he began making a home, and he went three miles from his cabin to break up land for his first corn crop in what was known as Meed Prairie. Orrin Arms was born near Montpelier, Vermont, son of Jesse Arms. Orrin Arms moved to Attica, Indiana, and his...

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...

Biography of J. K. P. Yeats

J. K. P. Yeats, who before he reached his majority gave loyal service to the Union in the Civil War, has spent half a century as a practical farmer in Champaign County and his life is closely identified with its welfare and making. The Yeats family were pioneers in southwestern Champaign County and lived as close neighbors to that great pioneer whose name appears so prominent in this history, Henry Sadorus. Mr. Sadorus often told the children of the Yeats family many interesting experiences of his pioneer life. J. K. P. Yeats was born in Fountain County, Indiana, and was five years of age when his parents, Zepheniah and Matilda (Kerr) Yeats, came to Champaign County in 1850. His father was a native of Ohio and his mother of Kentucky. During the youth of Mr. Yeats the only school in the neighborhood was one maintained on’ the subscription plan and he learned his lessons in that institution. He was nineteen years of age when he enlisted toward the close of the war in Company H of the Twenty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He went with other boys from Champaign County to Chicago, and almost immediately after his enlistment went on to Richmond, Virginia, and camped a mile and a half from that city. His company and regiment were in the Fourteenth Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Most of his duty was as guard around Richmond and he remained in the service until July 24, 1865, when he was mustered out and given his honorable discharge. On August 26, 1867, Mr. Yeats married Elizabeth E. Johnston. She is...

Biography of A. C. McElwee

A. C. McElwee. The township of St. Joseph has some of the best farms in Champaign County, and one that at once attracts attention by its well tilled fields and splendid improvements is the Elder Row Grain and Stock Farm, the proprietor of which is A. C. McElwee. Back in 1856, more than sixty years ago, his grandfather, C. J. McElwee, acquired 120 acres. It was raw and unimproved and largely became a farm under his efforts. That was the foundation and nucleus of the Elder Row Grain and Stock Farm. Oddly enough, the land has not been retained in the family possession by the usual method of inheritance, but always by purchase from one member or one generation of the family from another. Thus what one generation developed has been taken by the next succeeding and every year has witnessed increasing value and care and management. Mr. A. C. McElwee, the present proprietor of this fine farm, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, December 27, 1864, a son of Leonard C. and Anna M. (Simmons) McElwee. Leonard C. McElwee was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1837. His wife was born in Ohio, and they were married in Fountain County, Indiana. Leonard C. McElwee for many years combined the vocation of school teacher with that of farmer, teaching country schools in winter terms. He and his wife had a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, A. C. being the youngest son. The latter was educated largely in the Bowers District School in St. Joseph Township, his parents having moved to that township in 1874....

Biography of Nelson Case, Hon.

Hon. Nelson Case. It would be difficult to properly and justly review the history of Oswego and its responsible men through whose activities and public-spirited endeavors this city had attained its present importance and prestige, without giving due attention to the life of Hon. Nelson Case, who for forty-eight years had been a resident here, and who as a lawyer, judge, city official and counsel for large business interests, had been prominently identified with the municipality’s progress and development. Judge Case was born at Falls, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1845, a son of Chauncey and Mary Elma (Roberts) Case. He comes of Revolutionary ancestors, and belongs to one of America’s old families, the original ancestor being John Case, who emigrated from England, and was one of the original parties to receive land grants at Simsbury, Connecticut from the Crown, and the first delegate to the General Court from Simsbury. He died February 21, 1704. William Case, son of the emigrant, was born January 5, 1665, and died at Simsbury, March 3, 1700. His son was James Case, the great-great-grandfather of Judge Case, who spent his life at Simsbury, where he was born March 12, 1693, and died September 26, 1759. Amasa Case, the great-grandfather of Judge Nelson Case, was born at Simsbury, October 18, 1731, and after a life passed in agricultural pursuits, died August 18, 1824. Among his children was Amasa Case, Jr., the grandfather of Judge Case, who was born at Simsbury, October 29, 1753, followed farming all his life, and died in 1834. Chauncey Case was born at Simsbury, Connecticut, August 27, 1802, and was...

Attaway, Bessie McCulley Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Baker County, Oregon Bessie Attaway, 102, of Baker City, died Oct. 16, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center. Her memorial graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Lennie Spooner of the First Church of the Nazarene will officiate. Bessie was born on Nov. 7, 1902, at Attica, Ind. She was the fourth of nine children born to James and Stella McCulley. As a young girl she moved with her family to Phoenix, Ariz. She spent most of her childhood and school years there. Bessie met and married her high school sweetheart, Alford Attaway, at Phoenix. They were married 61 years. Their married life was spent in Southern California. Bessie was known by her family and friends affectionately as “Grandma Bessie.” She loved knitting, crocheting, fishing, gardening and camping. She was preceded in death by her husband, Al, who died in 1981 and was the last surviving sibling. “We all will miss our Grandma Bessie. For almost 103 years she cared for all, without a complaint,” her family said. Survivors include her son, Jim Attaway, and his wife, Connie, of Baker City; four grandchildren, Cathy Blankinship, Johnny Attaway, Susie Cassidy and Danny Attaway; six great-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rachel Center through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 25, 2005 Transcribed by: Belva...
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