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Biography of Luke E. Hemenway

Mr. Luke E. Hemenway, father of Charles, F., was born in Shoreham, Vermont, August 7, 1816. His father was Francis S., born at Grafton, Massachusetts, January 23, 1784, and his mother was Clara Turrill, born in the year 1786. He was a direct descendant of Ralph Hemenway and Elizabeth Hewes, who were married at Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 5, 1634. He received a common school education at Shoreham, Vermont. Leaving home at the age of thirteen, he worked in a store at Bethel, Vermont, until the year 1838, when he removed to Grand de Tour, Illinois, where he married Jane E. Marsh, June 23, 1842. On August 7, 1855, Mr. Hemenway removed to Moline, Illinois, to take charge of the offices of the John Deere Plow Works. In the year 1860 he became a member of the firm of Hemenway, Wyckoff & Company, now the Barnard & Leas Manufacturing Company, and 1864 the call of his country prevailed against the demands of business. He was elected Captain of Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-second Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war. Then, his public duty discharged, he returned to Moline and took charge of the office of the Moline Plow Company, in which connection he continued until failing health led him to resign his position in 1875. Subsequently, he was agent for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, continuing therein until his appointment as postmaster in 1877, which office he held for a period of nine years, Mr. M. J. McEnery succeeding him, under appointment by President Cleveland. He served the City of Moline as Trustee for...

Biography of Charles F. Hemenway

A prominent and active figure in the business life of Moline, Illinois, has been, and still is, Mr. Charles F. Hemenway, the well known dealer in real estate and loans. Mr. Hemenway was born November 1, 1846, at Grand de Tour, Illinois. His father’s name was Luke E. Hemenway (to whom a special article is devoted in this book), who married Jane E. Marsh, at Grand de Tour, June 23, 1842. The Hemenways are direct descendants of Ralph Hemenway and Elizabeth Hewes, who were married at Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 5, 1634. Their grandson, Daniel Hemenway, was a delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of Massachusetts. He was Treasurer for the Patentees of the Town of Shoreham, Vermont, in the year 1873. From him is descended the subject of this sketch. Mr. Hemenway received a common school education in the Schools of Grand de Tour and Moline, finishing at the latter place at the age of fourteen. He left home at the age of fifteen, to accept a position in the post office at Lansing, Iowa, November 15, 1861. On August 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, Volunteers, at the age of fifteen years, and was honorably discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, June 6, 1865, with the rank of Corporal. Mr. Hemenway served with his company during the campaign in Northern Mississippi, being present at the capture of Holly Springs, of that State. He was detailed as clerk at Headquarters of the Third Brigade, Sixteenth Army Corps, July 11, 1863; again as clerk in the Adjutant-General’s Office, Sixteenth Army Corps, December 4, 1863, and as...

Biography of John Deere

No citizen in Rock Island County, or throughout the country, was probably more widely known than John Deere of Moline. He was born at Rutland, Vermont, February 7, 1804, and died May 17, 1886. 1805 the family moved to Middlebury, Vermont, where the children attended school in a district schoolhouse, which had a long fire place across the end of the room. The reading, writing and little arithmetic obtained here, before he was twelve years old, was the principal educational start Mr. Deere had for life. He afterwards attended private school for a few months, but the inborn inclination for active practical work must assert itself, and the career began, which, for unconquerable energy, determined will, and self-made success, has few equals, if any superiors. Becoming tired of the schoolroom, he hired himself to a tanner to grind bark, and the pair of shoes and suit of clothes purchased with the wages were the first inclination the mother had of John’s doings. At the age of seventeen he became an apprentice to Captain Benjamin Lawrence, and began learning the blacksmith trade. He faithfully worked out his engagement of four years, and was then employed in the shop of William Wells and Ira Allen, to construct iron wagons, buggies and stagecoaches. A year later he was in Burlington, and did the entire wrought iron work on the saw and linseed oil mill built at Colchester Falls. This indicates the mechanical ability of the young man; for it must be remembered that work which is now done by machinery, in those days must depend upon the skill and strength of the...

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