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Biography of William Tomlinson

William Tomlinson. One of the oldest residents of Champaign County is Mr. William Tomlinson, whose home is at Penfield in Kerr Township. Mr. Tomlinson has experienced more than the average trials and ordeals of existence and he is well entitled to the esteem and respect that he enjoys in his community. Mr. Tomlinson was born in the Village of Franklin, near the City of Indianapolis, in Marion County, Indiana, a son of Robert and Rachel (Sheets) Tomlinson. His parents were both born in Indiana and his Grandfather Sheets was of German descent. Mr. Tomlinson was one of eight children, seven sons and one daughter. When he was a child his father died and a little later his mother passed away at Carlyle on the Mississippi River. William Tomlinson came to Vermilion County, Illinois, with his uncle, Elisha Crawford, in 1849, when ten years old. He came to Champaign County in 1852, and arrived here a poor and friendless boy with no money and with nothing except his own determined ambition to stand him in good stead while making a way in the busy world. For a year he worked for a farmer at $6.50 a month, and his hours of employment were from sunup to sundown. When Mr. Tomlinson came to Champaign County there were no railroads and very few towns. The nearest market place for mail and other supplies was Danville or Urbana. The young man had instead of money a boundless supply of push and energy, and he has used his industry to secure the living which he believed the world owed him. At the age of...

Slave Narrative of George Thompson

Interviewer: William R. Mays Person Interviewed: George Thompson Location: Franklin, Indiana Place of Birth: Monroe County, Kentucky Date of Birth: Oct. 8, 1854 Place of Residence: 651 North Young St., Franklin, Indiana William R. Mays Dist. No. 4 Johnson Co. Aug. 2, 1937 SLAVERY DAYS OF GEORGE THOMPSON My name is George Thompson, I was born in Monroe County, Kentucky near the Cumberland river Oct. 8, 1854, on the Manfred Furgeson plantation, who owned about 50 slaves. Mister Furgerson [TR: before, Furgeson] was a preacher and had three daughters and was kind to his slaves. I was quite a small boy when our family, which included an older sister, was sold to Ed. Thompson in Medcalf Co. Kentucky, who owned about 50 other slaves, and as was the custom then we was given the name of our new master, “Thompson”. I was hardly twelve years old when slavery was abolished, yet I can remember at this late date most of the happenings as they existed at that time. I was so young and unexperienced when freed I remained on the Thompson plantation for four years after the war and worked for my board and clothes as coach boy and any other odd jobs around the plantation. I have no education, I can neither read nor write, as a slave I was not allowed to have books. On Sundays I would go into the woods and gather ginseng which I would sell to the doctors for from 10¢ to 15¢ a pound and with this money I would buy a book that was called the Blue Back Speller. Our master...

Slave Narrative of Angie Boyce

Interviewer: Wm. R. Mays Person Interviewed: Angie Boyce Location: Franklin, Indiana Place of Birth: Adair County, KY Date of Birth: March 14, 1861 Place of Residence: 498 W. Madison St., Franklin, Ind. Wm. R. Mays Dist 4 Johnson Co. ANGIE BOYCE BORN IN SLAVERY, Mar. 14, 1861 on the Breeding Plantation, Adair Co. Ky. Mrs. Angie Boyce here makes mention of facts as outlined to her by her mother, Mrs. Margaret King, deceased. Mrs. Angie Boyce was born in slavery, Mar. 14, 1861, on the Breeding Plantation, Adair County, Kentucky. Her parents were Henry and Margaret King who belonged to James Breeding, a Methodist minister who was kind to all his slaves and no remembrance of his having ever struck one of them. It is said that the slaves were in constant dread of the Rebel soldiers and when they would hear of their coming they would hide the baby “Angie” and cover her over with leaves. The mother of Angie was married twice; the name of her first husband was Stines and that of her second husband was Henry King. It was Henry King who bought his and his wife’s freedom. He sent his wife and baby Angie to Indiana, but upon their arrival they were arrested and returned to Kentucky. They were placed in the Louisville jail and lodged in the same cell with large Brutal and drunken Irish woman. The jail was so infested with bugs and fleas that the baby Angie cryed all night. The white woman crazed with drink became enraged at the cries of the child and threatened to “bash its brains out...

Slave Narrative of Henry Clay Moorman

Interviewer: William R. Mays Person Interviewed: Henry Clay Moorman Location: Franklin, Indiana Place of Birth: Breckenridge County, Kentucky Date of Birth: Oct. 1, 1854 Place of Residence: 427 W. King St., Franklin, Ind. William R. Mays District 4 Johnson County HENRY CLAY MOORMAN BORN IN SLAVERY IN KENTUCKY 427 W. King St., Franklin, Ind. Henry Clay Moorman has resided in Franklin 34 years, he was born Oct. 1, 1854 in slavery on the Moorman plantation in Breckenridge County, Kentucky. Mr. Moorman relates his own personal experiences as well as those handed down from his mother. He was a boy about 12 years old when freedom was declared. His father’s name was Dorah Moorman who was a cooper by trade, and had a wife and seven children. They belonged to James Moorman, who owned about 20 slaves, he was kind to his slaves and never whipped any of them. These slaves loved their master and was as loyal to him as his own family. Mr. Moorman says that when a boy he did small jobs around the plantation such as tobacco planting and going to the mill. One day he was placed upon a horse with a sack of grain containing about two bushels, after the sack of grain was balanced upon the back of the horse he was started to the mill which was a distance of about five miles, when about half the distance of the journey the sack of grain became unbalanced and fell from the horse being too small to lift the sack of grain he could only cry over the misfortune. There he was, powerless...

Slave Narrative of Mandy Cooper

Interviewer: Wm R. Mays Person Interviewed: Frank Cooper Narrative of: Mandy Cooper Location: 715 Ott St., Franklin, Indiana Died at Age: 115 Wm. R. Mays Dist. 4 Johnson County, Ind. July 29, 1937 SLAVERY DAYS OF MANDY COOPER OF LINCOLN COUNTY, KENTUCKY FRANK COOPER 715 Ott St., Franklin, Ind. Frank Cooper, an aged colored man of Franklin, relates some very interesting conditions that existed in slavery days as handed down to him by his mother. Mandy Cooper, the mother of Frank Cooper, was 115 years old when she died; she was owned by three different families: the Good’s, the Burton’s, and the Cooper’s, all of Lincoln Co. Kentucky. “Well, Ah reckon Ah am one of the oldest colored men hereabouts,” confessed aged Frank Cooper. “What did you all want to see me about?” My mission being stated, he related one of the strangest categories alluding to his mother’s slave life that I have ever heard. “One day while mah mammy was washing her back my sistah noticed ugly disfiguring scars on it. Inquiring about them, we found, much to our amazement, that they were mammy’s relics of the now gone, if not forgotten, slave days. “This was her first reference to her “misery days” that she had evah made in my presence. Of course we all thought she was tellin’ us a big story and we made fun of her. With eyes flashin’, she stopped bathing, dried her back and reached for the smelly ole black whip that hung behind the kitchen door. Biddin’ us to strip down to our waists, my little mammy with the boney bent-ovah back,...

Biography of Joseph Ralph Burton, Hon.

Among the men who have come out of the Hoosier State to aid Kansas in its. real growth and development, there had been no finer man nor better citizen than Hom. Joseph Ralph Burton. Youthful in years as he was in experience when he came to Kansas in 1878, he plunged at once into the heart of affairs and gained ready recognition from the people. Senator Burton had at that time the ability to impress others with his reliability; he gained public confidence; he possessed the power of making people know that his talents were not merely skin deep but that they were solid, substantial and lasting. Nearly forty years have passed since he cast his fortunes with the workers who have constrncted the mighty commonwealth of the Sunflower and his reliability need not now be mentioned, it is so well known; the public confidence which he gained in his youth had been strengthened and solidified as the years have passed; his hold upon the people is strong and sure because of what he had done in their behalf. His record speaks for itself. Joseph Ralph Burton was born on his father’s farm near Mitchell, Lawrence County, Indiana, November 16, 1852, his parents being Allen C. and Elizabeth (Holmes) Burton. The Burton family, which is of English origin, was founded in America about the year 1750. John P. Burton, the great-grandfather of Joseph R., was a colonel of the Continental line in the war for American independence, and Hutehinson Burton, a brother of the colonel, was a member of the Continental Congress from Virginia. William Burton, son of Col....

Biography of Charles Engler

Charles Engler. In the passing away of the old pioneers of Shawnee County, Kansas loses many of her worthiest citizens, many whose names should be perpetuated in the most enduring annals of this section. They were the pathfinders, the leaders who first dared dangers that still, for years afterward, menaced the life and prosperity of settlers from east of the Mississippi. Such a pioneer was the late Charles Engler of Topeka Township, Shawnee County, who, at one time, owned more than 1,000 acres of fine land in this part of the state. Charles Engler was born in Germany, and it was largely to escape the compulsory military duty of his native land that he came to America. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing vessel that required fifty-three days to make the voyage. He was young, robust and industrious and easily found employment in the United States and after reaching Franklin, Indiana, secured a place on a farm and remained there for the next eleven years. Those were days when wages had not been inflated and his salary of $11 per month was deemed sufficient. That it enabled him to not only live but save money he had the satisfaction of proving later on. In 1857 Mr. Engler came to Kansas. For a time he worked at odd jobs in and around Topeka, which was then a comparatively small place. He secured work from the town in hauling rock for the building of the old courthouse and bought some property situated at Fifth and Fillmore streets. He also was employed on the farm of the late John Farnesworth,...

Biographical Sketch of J. L. Scott

J. L. Scott, dealer in groceries, queensware and glassware, Mattoon; was born in Henry Ky., in 1836; his early life was passed upon the farm, and his education was derived from the common schools; in 1856, he moved to Franklin, Ind., where he engaged in mercantile pursuits; in 1863, he returned to Kentucky, located in Louisville, and was employed in the United States Government Pay Department, under Gen. Thurston, Paymaster of the Army of the Cumberland; in the spring of 1865, he removed, with his parents to Coles Co., Ill., and purchased a farm of 160 acres northeast of Mattoon; in 1871, having disposed of his farm, he came to Mattoon, purchased a stock of groceries, and has since resided here. He was married Dec. 10, 1861, to Catharine J. Runyon, a native of Vernon, Jennings Co., Ind; has four children – William H., Mary F., Gracie and Charlie. Has held the office of Supervisor of Humboldt Tp.; is at present Worshipful Master of Mattoon Lodge, No. 260, A., F. & A....

Biography of Byron Jennings Carver

Byron Jennings Carver, who served as county attorney for Miami County from 1913 to 1917, had not only proved his ability on many occasions as an able lawyer, but also as a forceful man of affairs and one who is willing to fight for his convictions and his position as to right. Mr. Carver had a hard struggle to get into the legal profession, being a poor young man and having to teach and struggle along at the same time that he was studying and qualifying for the bar. He is a native of Indiana, having been born at Franklin in Johnson County July 31, 1874. He was one of the seven children of Captain Socrates and Mary (Day) Carver, both natives of Indiana. His father was a son of an associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who had come from Virginia to Indiana. Grandfather Judge Carver married a Miss Tracy. The Tracy family came to America in 1640, from Scotland, and located in Maryland. They were a mingling of Scotch, Irish and English ancestry. Nathaniel Tracy and some of his brothers, Charles, Thomas, Philip and William, were also soldiers in the Revolutionary war. Nathaniel Tracy subsequently removed to Kentucky and lived there until 1818. Thomas and John F. Tracy, sons of William and Elizabeth (Tanner) Tracy, were soldiers in the Mexican war and fought at Buena Vista and in other battles of that struggle. John F. Tracy was killed on the plains while on the way to California in 1853. James Tracy was a soldier in the War of 1812 under Governor Shelby of Kentucky. Capt....

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