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Biography of Joseph Franklin Hickey

Joseph Franklin Hickey, president of the Mercantile Insurance Agency of St. Louis, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 19, 1876, a son of William P. and Elizabeth (Roddey) Hickey, both of whom were also natives of the Buckeye state. The father served during the Civil war as a member of an organization for home defense known as Squirrel Hunters and received honorable discharge and special mention for individual service from Governor David Tod of Ohio at the close of the war. Joseph F. Hickey was educated in the public schools of Cincinnati and in a private school at Ludlow, Kentucky. He was graduated from high school, but the death of his parents prevented him from entering college, for which arrangements had been made ere his father and mother passed away. After leaving school he was employed by the Jones Brothers Electric Company at Cincinnati, Ohio, with the idea of later pursuing a course in electrical engineering. Coming to St. Louis, he was made secretary and treasurer of the Merchants Express Company of this city and occupied the position for six years, after which he resigned in 1905 to take up financial interest and official position with the Mercantile Insurance Agency. He became principal owner thereof and president In 1919 and has since been active in directing the interests of the business, in shaping its policy and in enlarging the scope of its connections. He is also general agent in Missouri and southern Illinois for the General Accident. Fire & Life Assurance Corporation, Ltd. He is a member of the executive committee of the Fire Underwriters Association and treasurer of...

Biographical Sketch of Henry King

It is not the rule for men to follow the trade or profession to which they are best adapted and to achieve the dominant ambition of their lives. This inclination and result can in absolute truth be said of Capt. Henry King. He learned the printer’s trade because the attraction was irresistible, and advanced from the composing room and hand press to the editorial desk because he must have foreseen the work he was best fitted to do. His taste and capacity were for writing, a natural force impelling him to reduce the workings of his mind to written form–and it was real writing, for he never used a stenographer or typewriter, and his “copy” was the perfection of chirography. As a young man he published and edited a weekly newspaper at his home town, LaHarpe, Illinois. This work was interrupted by a four years’ service in the army in 1861-65. Returning from the army, he engaged in a profitless mercantile business, and studied law, but all the time there was a ceaseless call to write, and he was soon working on the Daily Whig, at Quincy, Illinois, of which he became editor. Later, in 1869, he removed to Topeka, where in turn he edited the State Record, the Commonwealth and the Capital. From the latter post he went to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, in 1883, first as contributing editor, and for the last eighteen years of his life as managing editor. Conducting a metropolitan newapaper gave him the broad field for which he had prepared himself, and in which he gained a reputation that was conspicuous and a fame...

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...

Biographical Sketch of William D. Burton

William D. Burton is a Champaign County pioneer, was a farmer during his more active years, and since moving to Champaign has done much for the betterment and improvement of that city. Mr. Burton was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, January 28, 1830, a son of Elijah and Deliah (Dimmitt) Burton, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. His father was a farmer and both he and his wife died in Knox County, Illinois. There were nine children: Malinda J., who died in California; Harvey, deceased; William D.; Henry, of Grant’s Pass, Oregon; Sarah, John and George, all deceased; Oliver, who lives in Iowa; and Hiram, of Colorado. William D. Burton was reared in Ohio, and first passed through Champaign County when on his way to Iowa. The following year, 1858, he returned to Knox County and later to eastern Illinois and located on a farm four miles north of Mahomet in Champaign County. He still owns a hundred acres of the land which he developed and cultivated in that section. In 1892 he came to Champaign, was real estate agent for some years, and invested in local property, including his own home and other parcels of real estate. Mr. Burton was the man who set out all the trees in the East Side Park addition. On March 20, 1856, he married Mary Abbott Wright, who was born in Licking County, Ohio, October 16, 1829, and died at her home in Champaign February 15, 1917. Mr. Burton has two children: Eliza is the wife of Dr. J. I. Groves, of Champaign; Dora is the wife of...

Biography of William H. Manser, M. D.

William H. Manser, M. D.,had that splendid satisfaction which comes to the man who found himself in a congenial vocation early in life and had steadily broadened and improved his service and capacity for doing good. Dr. Manser is now the oldest physician in point of continnous service at Burden, where he had practiced thirty-three years. Though of New England ancestry, the Mansers having located in Massachusetts in Colonial times, Dr. Manser is a native of old Virginia, born at Beckley in what was then simply Western Virginia and as a result of the Civil war became the State of West Virginia. Dr, Manser was born there March 29, 1859. His grandfather, Jared Manser, was born in Massachusetts in 1790, spent all his life in the Bay State, and died at Monterey in 1883. He was a hatter by trade and also followed farming. He married Laura Garfield, who was born in Massachusetts and died at Monterey in that state. John Garfield Manser, father of Dr. Manser, was born at Monterey in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in 1821. He was reared in his native Iocality, and when a young man went to Mercer County, Virginia, where he married. In 1851 he graduated M. D. from the Medical College of Ohio, and gave the rest of his active career of more than thirty years to the practice of medicine, chiefly in Mercer County, Virginia, and West Virginia. In 1884 he retired from practice and came to live with his son in Burden, where he died in 1885. He was on the Southern side during the war between the states, and served as assistant...

Biography of Isaac Newton Wade

Isaac Newton Wade. There are doubtless a number of men and women now in mature years who knew Isaac Newton Wade in Champaign County as a teacher. He was one of the early educators, and afterwards for a long period of years was a traveling salesman for a text book house. Mr. Wade is now living retired at Champaign, in which city he has had his home for the past forty-five years. He was born in Lockland, Ohio, May 13, 1846, a son of Moses and Rachel (Ferris) Wade. His mother was a native of Mount Arie, Ohio, and died at Lockland. The father, who was ‘born in Switzerland County, Indiana, became a merchant tailor, and died at Champaign, Illinois, at the age of eighty-five. Of their five children the first three died in infancy. The fourth was the late Arthur Elliott Wade, who died at Urbana in 1916. The youngest of the family, Isaac Newton Wade, acquired a liberal education. He attended College Hill (General Sam Gary’s College near Cincinnati), and subsequently entered Hillsdale College in Michigan. He was graduated from Hillsdale in 1868 and has the degrees Master of Arts and Master of Science. While at Hillsdale he was a schoolmate and friend of the famous poet Will Carleton, who sang his way into the hearts of many thousands in the previous generation and whose poems are still read and appreciated. After completing his education Mr. Wade taught school in Ohio until 1870, when he came to Illinois and continued teaching in Douglas County. His work as a teacher in Champaign County was done at Sadorus, Rantoul...

Biographical Sketch of Peter Becker

Peter Becker was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1841. His father, George Becker, was born in Prussia and came to the United States about 1846, locating at Mansfield, Ohio, where he was a merchant. He had served his term in the regular army of Germany. Peter Becker was five years of age when brought to the United States, and he grew up at Mansfield, Ohio. From that point he enlisted and served as a Union soldier, and after his period of gallant and faithful service he returned to Mansfield, was married there, and in 1868 brought his family to Atchison, Kansas. Here he became a pioneer merchaut and for many years conducted a successful grocery business. He built his residence and store on Main Street just outside the limits of Atchison, and became a very extensive property holder. His death occurred in Atchison in November, 1914. Mr. Peter Becker was a democrat and at one time served as treasurer of Shannon Township of Atchison County. He was affiliated with Friendship Lodge No. 5, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with Unity Camp No. 356, Modern Woodmen of America, and was associated with his old army comrades in A. S. Everest Post No. 493, Grand Army of the Republic. In Mansfield Peter Becker married Louisa Gribling, who was born in Coblenz, Prussia, in 1842, and died at Atchison in August, 1901. They had a large family of children, eleven in number. William Becker, who was born September 16, 1869, was educated in the Atchison public schools and St. Benedict’s College, had never married and is now a resident of Wallace, Idaho, where...

Biography of Col. La Fayette Mosher

COL. LA FAYETTE MOSHER. – There is perhaps no resident of Oregon more widely known and generally respected than L.F. Mosher. He has held so many prominent positions, and is so well qualified to fill them, that it only seems a natural thing to see him in the senate, and as a justice of the supreme court. He was born in Benton County, Kentucky, September 1, 1824. So entirely did he bend his energies tot he gaining of an education, that at the age of nineteen years we find him a graduate of Woodward College, Cincinnati, where he carried off honors on June 30, 1843. After graduating, he acted as deputy clerk of the supreme court of Hamilton County, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican war. He at once came valiantly forward and joined the Fourth Ohio Regiment, and served in the brigade of General Joseph Lane until the close of the war. When the war was ended he entered the law office of Pugh & Pendleton, the members of the firm being ex-Senator George E. Pugh, now deceased, and ex-Senator George H. Pendleton. He was admitted to the bar in May, 1852, and at once began the practice of his profession in Cincinnati. He came to Oregon with General Lane in 1853, landing in Portland in May of that year. The following months he went to the mines in Jackson County, and took part in the Indian war of the same year, acting as adjutant-general under General Lane. He also earnestly engaged in the Indian war of 1855-56, acting as a volunteer, though not...

Biography of Paul F. Mohr

PAUL F. MOHR. – Perhaps to no man is Spokane Falls under so deep a debt of gratitude for the early completion of the diverging lines of railroad, tapping the richest parts of the surrounding territory, as she is to Mr. Paul F. Mohr. To this gentleman’s persistent efforts, coupled with a thorough knowledge of his undertaking, is directly attributable the completion, in the year 1886, of the Spokane & Palouse and the Spokane & Idaho Railways, both of which roads will exert a powerful influence on the future of the city. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 28, 1849, Mr. Mohr is now in all the prime and vigor of manhood. After receiving a classical and scientific education in this country, at nineteen years of age he went to Germany to take the course of civil engineering at the renowned Polytechnic Institute of Stuttgart, and afterwards went to Hanover, Germany, and to Heidelberg, to perfect himself in special branches of his profession. After three years of study and travel, Mr. Mohr returned to the United States and entered the service of the Pennsylvania Company, in the P., C. & St. L. Railway, as assistant engineer. In 1872 and 1873 he made the survey for the Texas Pacific Railway Company through New Mexico and Arizona, returning to Cincinnati when the latter road was stopped by reason of the memorable panic of 1873. He thereupon entered into a partnership with his father, who founded one of the oldest and largest manufacturing concerns in Cincinnati. Young Mr. Mohr soon became prominent in many business undertakings, was a director of the Cincinnati &...

Biography of George Holtapp

George Holtapp is one of the conspicuous factors in the modern agricultural activities of Champaign County. The name is one that has been identified with Champaign County history for many years, and he is one of the younger generation and with a brother is managing the resources of a fine farm in Harwood Township in section 33. The home is on Rural Route No. 3 out of Rantoul. Mr. Holtapp was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, a son of Joseph and Barbara (Hoffman) Holtapp. His parents were natives of Germany. There were seven sons in the family, George, Fred, Charles and John, residents of Iowa, and Frank, Lewis and George of Champaign County. Joseph Holtapp passed away in 1914. He had spent many years of usefulness and was a man of neighborly kindness and enjoyed a large circle of friends. He lived to see his sons well reared and all of them splendid citizens. The mother died in 1900 and her remains are interred in Maplewood Cemetery at Rantoul. She was an active member of the Baptist Church, while her husband was a German Lutheran in faith. George Holtapp married, in 1915, Miss Elizabeth Moore. She was born in eastern Kentucky, a daughter of John and America (Johnson) Moore, her father a native of North Carolina and her mother of Kentucky. Mrs. Holtapp was educated in the Kentucky public schools and when a young lady she came to Vermilion County, Illinois, to visit her aunt, Flora Hogge. While here she became acquainted with George Holtapp, and the acquaintance ended in her changing her name from Moore to Holtapp. After...
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