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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...

Biography of Anderson Cox

ANDERSON COX. – There has never lived a man in the Northwest more worthy of commemoration than that pioneer of 1845, Anderson Cox. He was born near Dayton, Ohio, in 1812, of Quaker parentage, and moved with the family to Indiana in 1830, and claimed a share in the home formed on the Wabash river at Attica. He was married in 1836 to Miss Julia Walter, and in 1840 removed to New London, Iowa. In 1845, with his wife and four children, he made the journey to Oregon, and was in the company of immigrants who endured the privations and rugged experiences of the “Meek cut-off”. At the Des Chutes, the crossing of this turbulent river was effected by drawing the loaded wagon-beds over as ferries by means of ropes. Two canoes served to convey the family and their goods from The Dalles to a point known as Parker’s cabin, on the Lower Columbia. A return to The Dalles from this point was attempted, with flour for the immigrants still coming, and with the purpose of bringing down the wagons left at the mission. The journey, however, was discontinued at the Cascades, as there the flour was all given away to hungry parties coming from above, and as news was received that the wagons had been burned by the Indians. Returning to the Willamette, he found work and an abiding place for his family at the Salem mission, and the next season went south to the other side of the Santiam river, Mrs. Cox being the second white woman to cross that stream, and selected a Donation claim at...

Biography of Matthew Patton

MATTHEW PATTON. – This well-known and now venerable pioneer was born in Monongahela county, Virginia, November 15, 1805. As a child he moved with his parents to Highland county, Ohio, and four years later to Brown county, remaining until he was sixteen years old. Being naturally mechanical, he was sought and gladly received as an apprentice to a cabinet business by a certain Mr. Eli Collins, and at the end of four years of diligent application mastered the trade. Being young and ambitious, he turned his face to the far West, as Ohio, Indiana and Illinois were then called. After five years of labor and saving, he established a cabinet business at La Fayette, Indiana. In that city he wedded the daughter of Joshua and Ellen Grimes of Adams county, Ohio, on the 15th of April, 1830. Owing to the scarcity of money, and the limited demand for the products of his skill, he was obliged to take produce from the farmers as pay in exchange for his goods; and, having a large surplus of manufactured stuff, he determined to build a flatboat, load her with furniture, and embark for New Orleans. After encountering many dangers and hardships, he accomplished the trip, exchanging his load for merchandise; and, returning, he established himself as a merchant at Frankfort, Indiana. He removed subsequently to Newtown, and thence to the locality where he laid out and founded the town of Pattonsburg, Missouri, which he made his home until 1847, building during that time a saw and grist mill. Learning, however, of the vast resources of Oregon, and having had much trouble with...

Biography of A. H. Prevo

A. H. Prevo, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Charleston; was born in Randolph Co., N. C., Jan. 5, 1833; he is the only son of Alson H. and Pheriba (Phelps) Prevo, both natives of that State, the former of whom died when the subject of this sketch was a child, and the latter of whom now resides with her son, at the age of 70 years. At the age of 18 years he left the farm, and obtained employment in one of the lumber mills in the vicinity. In 1854, he came West as far as Fountain Co , Ind., and there engaged in teaching school. He was married Oct. 23, 1854, to Miss Mary E. Richmond, the only daughter of Henry and Sophia J. (Keller) Richmond, of that county; they have two children – Jennie and Alson H. Mrs. Richmond, now 66 years of age, is a member of her daughter’s family. Removing to Coles Co. in 1856, Mr. Prevo hired out to drive oxen at $20 a month, and board himself, and after following that for two years, he worked in the mill for two years more, when, having accumulated a sufficient sum, he purchased the mill in which he was employed, which he ran for a number of years. In 1867, he removed to Charleston, and fitted up the Charleston Stave-Factory, with a new engine, and continued that business one year; the next year, he built the Prevo & Spence Elevator, into which he removed the engine and machinery of the stave-factory; after continuing the grain business one year, he engaged in the stock business, shipping...

Biography of Peter O’Sullivan

We are pleased to accord to the esteemed gentleman of ability whose name heads this paragraph a representation in this volume of our county’s history since he has been very prominent in the affairs of Wallowa county from its incipiency, and its councils have profited much from his keen foresight and excellent wisdom, while as a private citizen he has manifested capabilities that are praiseworthy and commensurate therewith are his unsullied moral qualities and upright principles which have ever been a polar star in guiding him in all his arduous and responsible service in the state as well as in other states heretofore. It is frequently that we are called to the famous little isle of Goldsmith and Emmet when we trace the birth of some of our most loyal and prominent citizens, and such is the case in this pleasant task now before us. Peter O’Sullivan was born in Ireland in 1845, and while yet an infant in swaddling clothes his parents brought him to Vermont, whence they removed to Attica, Indiana, and later to Missouri. In this latter state our subject received his education and remained with his parents until they passed away. At the early age of fourteen he engaged in farm work for himself and when the war broke out he joined Company K, Thirty-fourth Missouri Infantry. The company was composed of young associated of our subject, all being but boys. Later, on account of the incompleteness of the company, the authorities disbanded it and sent the parties home, who had learned somewhat of the realities of war and were content to await in the...
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