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Biographical Sketch of James M. Bresee

James M. Bresee, farmer; P. O. Etna; is the son of Dorous and Fanny Bresee; was born in Cumberland Co., Ill., Jan. 30, 1847; moved to Coles Co. Feb. 12, 1870; is the owner of 120 acres of land valued at near five thousand dollars; was Road Overseer and School Director for ten years or more; was married to Sarah J. Stowers, of Coles Co., April 5, 1868. Names of children – boys: Bird E., born Nov. 18, 1875; girls: Minnie V., born Aug. 22, 1869; Lillie E., born Oct. 17, 1871; Hellen M., born March 1, 1873. Was in the late war, 156th I. V. I., Company A. His father, Porous Bresee, died in California July 15, 1852. His mother is still living in Mattoon; was born July 5,...

Biographical Sketch of Joseph Cavins

Joseph Cavins, farmer; P. O. Mattoon; was born in Marion Co., Ohio, Jan. 24, 1838; moved to Coles Co., Paradise Tp., in 1840; was married Dec. 25, 1862; maiden name of wife Melissa E. Ferguson. Names of children: Elmer W., Joseph O., Elzy C., William F., Stanley T., Lester B. Owns 80 acres of land worth about six thousand dollars. Public offices held: Justice of the Peace, Town Clerk, School Trustee, Supervisor, and taught school nine terms in the same District; was also in the late war. His father and mother, Joseph and Nancy Cavins, were born in Loudoun Co., Va.; moved to Coles Co., Paradise Tp., Ill., in 1840. His father died about May 12, 1846; his mother Aug. 20, 1852, or there about. Names of their children – boys: John, James, Randolph, William, Joseph and Thomas; girls: Martha, Mary, and...

Biographical Sketch of Phaon H. Dornblaser

Phaon H. Dornblaser, farmer; P. O. Etna; is the son of Felix and Eliza Dornblaser, of Lehigh Co., Penn.; was born in the same county and State April 20, 1838; moved with his parents to Coles Co., Paradise Tp., Ill., April 20, 1855; is the owner of 170 acres of land, probable value, $7,000; was School Director six years, also Road Overseer one year. Was married to Mary E. Jeffries, of Coles Co., Dec. 29, 1860; was the daughter of James and Matilda Jeffries; names of children, boys-French I., born Jan. 28, 1862; James A., born Feb. 6, 1868; Edward (deceased), born Nov. 18, 1869, died March 20, 1872; girl-Antoinette, born Nov. 28, 1864. His father, Felix Dornblaser, served his time, three years, in the late war; died on his way home on the boat, near St. Louis, August 12, 1864; 5th Cavalry...

Biographical Sketch of William B. Ferguson

William B. Ferguson, farmer; P. O. Mattoon; is the son of William and Nancy Ferguson; was born in Bradford Co., Penn., Dec. 8, 1828; moved with his parents to Paradise Tp., Coles Co., Ill., Oct. 15, 1839; is the owner of 601 acres, valued at or near $18,000. Was married to Fanny M. Hart, of this county and township; she is the daughter of Miles H. and Catherine Hart, and was born Dec. 13, 1837; married March 8, 1854; there are eight children by this union, viz., Ed, Thomas, James, George, Ella, Ann and Almira; (deceased) Mellissa, Deckard died Jan. 28, 1878. His father, William Ferguson, was born in 1805, died in 1877, in the 73d year of his age; his mother was born in 1805, died in 1877, in the 73d year of her age. He has held the office of Supervisor two years, Assessor one year and School Trustee three...

Biographical Sketch of Joseph F. Goar

Joseph F. Goar, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Etna; was born in Parke Co., Ind. Jan. 8, 1832; he is a son of Clemme and Elizabeth (Hart) Goar; in 1836, his father came to Coles Co. and entered a large amount of Government land, returning for his family in 1837; he built the first steam mill in the county, and was a prominent citizen of Paradise Tp. until 1862, when he removed to Jacksonville, Ill., where he now resides; his mother died in this county in 1855. Joseph F. was raised on the farm, and on the 2d of Oct., 1855, married Miss Mary L. Buckles, of Hardin Co., Ky.; they have three children – Robert C., Kate M. and Sarah E.; Mr. Goar resides on a farm of 220 acres, adjoining the old homestead; he served six years as Constable, and resigned the office in August, 1862, to enter the Union army as a member of Co. D, 123d I. V. I., serving through the war; among the engagements in which he participated may be mentioned the battles of Milton, Tenn., Hoover’s Gap. Chickamauga, Farmington, Peach-Tree Creek, siege of Atlanta, battles of Jonesboro and Selma. In 1867 he was elected Commissioner of Highways, and served three years; in 1874, he was chosen Collector of his township, and on the 6th of Nov., 1877, was elected County Treasurer of Coles Co.. which office he now...

Biographical Sketch of George W. Willson

George W. Willson, farmer; P. O. Etna; is the son of John and Elizabeth Willson; was born in Maryland, Aug. 12, 1826; moved to Coles Co., Ill., Sept. 12, 1836.; is the owner of 700 acres of land, valued at or near $21,000; was Justice of the Peace and Road Commissioner for a number of years. Was married to his first wife, July 12, 1836, Sarah Floyd; names of children, boy, Nicholas P.; girls, Lillia A., Rossy J.; was married to his second wife, Mary S. Myers, widow of Henry H. Tucher, April 13, 1868; names of boys living, Francis A., John A. (deceased), William (deceased); girl, Maggie E.; the names of Mr. Henry Tucher’s children, living – girls, Ada U., Eva B.; children dead-boy, Arthur S.; girl, Bell L. Henry H. Tucher died Aug. 25, 1866; was born Jan. 27,...

Biographical Sketch of James H. Williams

James H. Williams, farmer; P. O. Etna; is the son of William and Elizabeth Williams, of Culpeper Co., Va.; was born June 12, 1826, in Culpeper Co., Va.; moved with his folks to Coles Co., Paradise Tp., Ill., on Dec. 20, 1836; is the owner of 171 acres of land, valued at $4,500. Is Commissioner of Highways, and has been for seven years, also School Director for eight years, and is at the, present time. Never was married. His father, William Williams, was born in Culpeper Co., Va., Aug. 3, 1789, died Jan. 7, 1855, in the 67th year of his age; his mother (Elizabeth Williams) was born in Culpeper Co., the late war three years, in Company D., Va., April 22, 1792, died Nov. 30, 1873, 123d Volunteer Ill. in the 84th year of her...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Diantha F. Benefiel

Mrs. Diantha F. Benefiel, farmer; P. O. Etna; is the daughter of James and Elizabeth Shores, of Bradford Co., Pa.; moved to Coles Co., Oct. 12, 1843; was born in Bradford Co., Penn., Sheshequin Tp., April 22, 1823; her maiden name was Diantha F. Shores ;. was married to her first husband, William N. Smith, March 31, 1844; names of children, boys-George W., Miren L., Julius E., William W.; girls-Elizabeth H., Arloa N., Irena S. George W. died Jan. 24, 1871. Her husband, William W. Smith, died April 8, 1861; is the owner of 320 acres of’ land, also a large flour-mill at Kickapoo, also three offices and four stone houses in Mattoon; is all valued at or near $30,000; was married to her second husband, Mr. George W. Benefiel, Feb. 6, 1868; has no children by her second husband; her first husband’s parents’ names were Jerrad and Clarinda Smith, of Coles Co., Ill.; Jerrad died Sept., 26, 1844; Clarinda died Sept. 18,...
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