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Biography of Frank Kern Robeson

Frank Kern Robeson. Of the many business establishments in Champaign County perhaps none has a wider connection with the families of this section of Illinois and a better reputation due to many years of successful business relations than the Robeson Department Store, founded and built up by the veteran merchant Frank Kern Robeson, who has the distinction of having developed the first real department store in the city of Champaign. While his success and position in the community are now so well established, it is noteworthy that Mr. Robeson did not always have an easy course and one free from obstacles. He was born in the state of Pennsylvania. His parents, Alexander M. and Jane (Kern) Robeson, were natives of the same state. Their ancestors had come to America prior to the Revolutionary War. Both the Robesons and the Kerns were engaged in the great iron industry of Pennsylvania until a short time before the Civil War. In 1863 Alexander M. Robeson and his family moved to the pineries of Northern Michigan. During the next winter they and four other families endured the hardships of frontier life. When navigation closed in the fall there was no communication with the outside world except mail every two weeks brought in on sledges drawn by dogs. When navigation opened in the spring the Robesons took the first boat, a sailing vessel that left for Bay City, and thence proceeded by rail and by stage over corduroy roads to Rensselaer, Indiana. Rensselaer, now the county seat of Jasper County, was then a sparsely settled section in swamps and with no railroad communications. The...

Biography of A. D. S. Alkire

A. D. S. Alkire is the well-known and popular City Clerk and Assessor of Riverside, a position he ably fills with credit to himself and honor to that enterprising city. Mr. Alkire is a native of Pickaway County, Ohio, born at Mount Sterling in 1837. His father, William A. Alkire, was a native of Kentucky and a descendant of an old colonial family of Virginia. He was a carpenter by trade, but was engaged also in farming. Mr. Alkire’s mother, Hannah (Osborne) Alkire, was a native of Ohio, and died when the subject of this sketch was but four years old. He was reared in his native place, and his lot from early childhood was one of labor. At the age of eleven he really commenced life on his own account and depended upon his own exertions for support and schooling. It was a rough school for a boy, but he developed those manly traits of his character which have in after years secured his success in business pursuits and enabled him to wage the battle of life, gaining victories where his more favored competitors suffered defeat. Mr. Alkire’s first essay in supporting himself was in learning the shoemaker’s trade. A hard master forced him to abandon that, and he engaged in work for the farmers of his town until sixteen years old. He then learned the carpenter’s trade, and with his brother worked in Putnam County until 1880. In that year he located in Jasper County, Indiana. The war of the Rebellion in 1861 aroused his patriotic spirit, and he abandoned his occupations and consecrated himself to the...

Biography of Ernest F. Day, M. D.

Ernest F. Day, M. D. The work of Doctor Day as a physician and surgeon had met with cordial appreciation and patronage since he came to Arkansas City over fifteen years ago. He is in every way a most competent and thorough professional man, and in recent years had extended his opportunities for service by his management, in association with Doctor McKay, of the Mercy Hospital there. Doctor Day is a native of Indiana but had spent practically all his life in Kansas. He was born at Rensselaer in Jasper County, Indiana, October 20, 1876. He is of very old American stock. It is said that the first of the family to come to America was a silk merchant from England, who located at Jamestown, Virginia, when that was a struggling colony early in the seventeenth century. Doctor Day’s grandfather, Wilber Day, was born in North Carolina in 1819, grew up and married in his native state, and in the early days came to the Northwest and was associated with the great frontiersman, Simon Kenton, in fighting with the Indians. He became a pioneer settler in Jasper County, Indiana, and was a farmer there until his death in 1895. One of his sons, Louis, was a soldier in an Indiana regiment during the Civil war and was killed at Lookout Mountain. Wilber Day married Margaret Sands, who was born in North Carolina and died at Rensselaer, Indiana. Five of their children are still living: William, a retired resident of Rensselaer, Indiana; Amanda, who lives at Kingman, Kansas, widow of Edom Antrim, who was a ranchman; John Day, father of...

Biography of Hon. Philip A. Marquam

HON. P.A. MARQUAM. – Judge Marquam is one of our most substantial citizens, whose faith in the Pacific Northwest, and in Portland in particular, has been rewarded by a fourfold recompense. A genial gentleman, adding to his native force of will and business sagacity refined literary tastes and love of natural beauty, he is now, in his hale, ripe years, a man most delightful to meet, and whose acquaintance or friendship is a valuable possession. His further claims, which are numerous, upon the recognition of society and history, will appear as this sketch proceeds. His father, Philip W. Marquam, a cabinet-maker, came from England at the age of twenty, and settled in Maryland, marrying Charlotte Mercer Poole, a daughter of the wealthy planter upon whose manor now stands Poolesville. It was near Baltimore that our subject was born, February 28, 1823. By sickness and financial misfortune the father was induced to seek a new home at the West, locating first in Ohio, but soon afterwards in Tippecanoe county, Indiana. There he entered an eighty-acre tract of government land, which was “just as God had made it,” – nowise despoiled of tree or bush. But father and mother and the ten children, of whom Philip was the eighth, went to work with vim and discretion, and pressed back the woods from about the cabin, bringing at length as much as half of the farm into cultivation. As the children grew up they began to press out into the world, feeling after a career. The daughters, of whom there were six, received fine educations, married and settled near their old home...

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