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Biography of Fred Eugene Pettit

Fred Eugene Pettit is a veteran business man and merchant of Marion County, and until he retired a few years ago conducted one of the largest stores at Peabody. Mr. Pettit was reared and educated and gained his first mercantile experience in the State of Illinois. He was born at Wyoming in Stark County, Illinois, January 8, 1861, a son of Peter and Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit. Peter Pettit was born in New York State and located in Illinois in 1851, when the country was new and undeveloped. After a few years he lost his health and suffered invalidism throughout the latter part of his life. He died at the comparatively early age of forty-six years. Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit was born in Devonshire, England, in 1830. When she was six years of age she came with her father to America. The Baileys first located at Oswego, New York, moved from there to Wisconsin for three years, and then returned to New York State and located near Syracuse. It was at Syracuse that Mary Bailey married Peter Pettit in 1851. After their marriage they moved to Wyoming, Illinois, and she continued to make her home in that state for many years, but finally came to Peabody, Kansas, where she died in September, 1911. Peter Pettit and wife had four children: Edgar A., deceased; Maggie May, Mrs. J. D. Smith, of Peabody; Fred Eugene; and George T., deceased. His father being an invalid, Fred Eugene Pettit had an early realization of the responsibilities of life and found it necessary to make his own living when the average boy is attending...

Peoria Tribe

Peoria Indians (through French Peouarea, from Peoria Piwarea, ‘he comes carrying a pack on his back’: a personal name. Gerard). One of the principal tribes of the Illinois confederacy. Franquelin in his map of 1688 locates them and the Tapouaro on a river west of the Mississippi above the mouth of Wisconsin River, probably the upper Iowa River. Early references to the Illinois which place them on the Mississippi, although some of the tribes were on Rock and Illinois rivers, must relate to the Peoria and locate them near the mouth of the Wisconsin. When Marquette and Joliet descended the Mississippi in 1673, they found them and the Moingwena on the west side of the Mississippi near the mouth of a river supposed to be the Des Moines, though it may have been one farther north. When Marquette returned from the south, he found that the Peoria had removed and were near the lower end of the expansion of Illinois river, near the present Peoria. At the close of the war carried on by the Sauk and Foxes and other northern tribes against the Illinois, about 1768, the Kickapoo took possession of this village and made it their principal settlement. About the same time a large part of the Peoria crossed over into Missouri, where they remained, building their village on Blackwater fork, until they removed to Kansas. One band, the Utagami, living near Illinois river, was practically exterminated, probably by the northern tribes, during the Revolutionary War1 Utagami, according to Dr Wm. Jones, may mean the Foxes who were known to the northern Algonquians as Utugamig, ‘people of...

Biography of Hon. Samuel S. Guyer

The Honorable Samuel S. Guyer was born at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1814. In his early manhood he was a contractor in New York City and in the construction of the Pennsylvania Canal System. In 1839, with his mother, sister and two brothers, he removed to Peoria, Illinois, from which base he engaged in the business of building flat boats and carrying cargos of merchandise to trade with the planters between Natchez and New Orleans. In the great tornado at Natchez in 1842, he lost all his possessions and barely escaped with his life. Returning to Peoria he studied law and qualified for the bar in the office of Mr. Knowlton, father of our former townsman, William S. Knowlton. In 1843 he came to Rock Island to practice his profession. He was appointed by the Court to defend the Redings, indicted for complicity in the murder of George Davenport, and he succeeded in securing their acquittal. In 1847 he was elected Sheriff of Rock Island County, which office he held for two terms. He was one of the incorporators of the Coal Valley Mining Company, and of the Rock Island and Peoria Railway Company, which road, then built only as far as Coal Valley, was under his management until 1861 when he sold his interests to the late P. L. Cable. In this enterprise he had been associated with Charles Buford, Holmes Hakes, N. B. Buford and Ben Harper. He secured the charter for the Chippiannock Cemetery Association, of which he was a director until his death. After disposing of his mining and railroad interests he became a member...

Biographical Sketch of Henry E. Brown

Mr. Henry E. Brown was born and uneducated in Elmwood, Peoria County, Illinois, until his sixteenth year when he moved to Peoria and entered the high school, afterwards entering Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, from which he graduated in 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Physics. Since then he has been connected with the Rock Island Public Schools, starting as a teacher and five years ago becoming principal of the high school. Mr. Brown has always been greatly interested in all educational matters and has received much recognition for his interest by educational associations. He is at the present time president of the Western Section of the Northern Illinois Teachers’ Association. He is also author of a text book which has had a very wide sale among the schools of the country. Mr. Brown is at present thirty-five years old, and was married in 1906 to Miss Bertha...

Biography of Frank A. Landee

It is a safe presumption that Frank A. Landed the widely known retail grocer of Moline, is an example of self made manhood that is worthy of the most persistent and conscientious emulation. Mr. Landee was born in Kalmar, Sweden, August 11, 1852, and from the moment of his arrival in this country, his career has been marked by unceasing toil and honorable occupation and transactions. From a lad, wholly unknown, his rise has incessantly been in the ascendancy. He is at the present time a member of the Board of Directors of Augustana College; and is a member of the purchasing and building committee for the same institution; Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Swedish Lutheran Church; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Independent Order Odd Fellows Lodge No. 583 (Swedish) of Moline; Director of the Peoples Trust and Savings Bank; Vice-President of the Moline Furniture Works; Trustee of Court of Honor Lodge No. 100, of Moline; was President of the Swedish Republican State League during Yates governmental campaign; is an active member of the Moline Business Men’s Club; is one of the directors of the Retail Merchants Association in his home city, and holds and has held numerous other positions of trust and responsibility during his diligent lifetime. His attitude toward those who toil is best exemplified by the signal honor bestowed upon him by the linemen of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific general system in the year 1903. For twenty-two years Mr. Landee had charge of the telegraph and electrical department of the Rock Island System, and had during that...

Biography of Rev. George W. Gue

A man who, while never a permanent resident of Rock Island, yet lived in the city long enough to leave a permanent impress there and to be remembered with gratitude by many, was Reverend George W. Gue, for several years pastor of the First. Methodist Church, and builder of the present house of worship of that congregation. Honored in various ways by his church he bore his preferment well and earned the love and respect everywhere of those with whom he came in contact. Mr. Gue was born in Neville, Clermont County, Ohio, February 27, 1840, and died at Portland, Oregon, July 24, 1901. When ten years of age, his parents removed to Princeville, Peoria County, Illinois. At the age of nine years he had completed an academic education and was admitted to the Central Illinois Conference, being at the time the youngest member of that organization. As the years passed he was assigned to the most important posts in the conference and served also as presiding elder. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in the Union army, being soon promoted to Chaplain of the One Hundred and Eighth Illinois Regiment. In later years he often proudly mentioned the fact that he was the youngest Chaplain in the Army. Serving throughout the war, Mr. Gue returned with his Regiment to Peoria in 1865, and was there mustered out. Afterward he became prominent in Grand Army circles in the State, serving one term as department Chaplain. He also published a book entitled “Our Country’s Flag.” Mr. Gue was for a number of years presiding elder of the Kankakee district....

Biography of Guy V. Pettit

In none of the walks of life, perhaps, does the personality of the man impress itself so thoroughly upon the public with which he deals as in the case of the editor of a country newspaper. While he does not reach the thousands that the editor of a metropolitan daily does, he offsets this disadvantage through the close personal relations he sustains with his patrons and thereby his position in the community is rendered the more difficult of the two to maintain. While the head of the news gathering department of a big paper may strike right and left with but small chance of offending any considerable portion of his clientele, the scribe of the country weekly must exercise care and tact, for his financial success requires the support of at least half of the people of his territory. Therefore the trenchant pen is not his to wield. He must attain his ends by other means. A successful country editor is Guy V. Pettit of the Reynolds Press-a man who has the rare gift of being able to give expression to his own ideas of right and wrong and still retain the personal friendship of practically every individual who reads his newspaper. Mr. Pettit was born July 17, 1868, seven miles south of Geneseo, on a farm in Henry County, Illinois. He is a son of Charles E. and Ellen M. Pettit, and dates his ancestry on American soil well back into the seventeenth century. His paternal grandparents were Pennsylvanians and his maternal grand-parents New Yorkers. His father was a private in Company E, Eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and...

Biography of Francis Fletcher

FRANCIS FLETCHER. – Mr. Fletcher was among the very earliest of the settlers of Oregon, being here two years before the establishment of the Provisional government, and has consequently seen the great development of this state and coast form its earliest inception; and he has himself been one of the most active to induce the progress of the last fifty years. He was born in Yorkshire, England, March 1, 1814, and, at the age of fourteen years, crossed the water to Ontario, Canada, and afterwards to Peoria, Illinois. In 1839, in company with Amos Cook and others, he started for Oregon. An interesting bit of his life’s history is the chapter dating from the spring in which he left Peoria. It was then and there he heard Reverend Jason Lee, who had been to Oregon, lecture upon the then almost unknown Pacific Northwest; and he was fired with a resolve to come to the land of the setting sun. A company of sixteen men was formed, of whom our subject was the most conspicuous. They started early in May and went to Independence, Missouri, where they exchanged their wagons for pack animals, and after one week’s delay went forward upon their trip across the mountains, deserts and plains to Oregon. After traveling about one hundred and fifty miles, they saw their first Indians, a sight which so weakened two of the party that they turned back. The party traveled on the Sante Fe’ route and met Sublette’s company returning from the Rocky Mountains to St. Louis with furs. Two men who joined them at Independence had been over the...

Biography of Amos Albert Belsley

Amos Albert Belsley has been a spirited factor in the business and civic life of Wellington, Kansas, for the past fourteen years. He is one of the leading real estate men of that section, and is a former mayor of the city. His birth occurred on a farm in Woodford County, Illinois, near Roanoke, August 24, 1878. He was the sixth in a family of nine children born to Peter and Cathrine (Schertz) Belsley. His father was born and reared in Woodford County, Illinois, and the grandfather, Peter Belsley, came from Alsace-Lorraine and settled in Illinois in 1830. Peter Belsley, the father, spent his active career as a general farmer and stock raiser, and died in October, 1899, while his wife now lives in Peoria, Illinois. He was very prominent as a democrat, and filled many places of trust in his community. He was president of the Roanoke Coal Mining Company of Roanoke, Illinois, from 1882 until the time of his death in October, 1909. Amos A. Belsley grew up on a farm, attended district school, and from the age of eleven to eighteen he had the opportunity of attending school for only three months each year. Later, as a preparation for his business career, he took a course in the Brown Business College of Peoria, Illinois. It was in 1902 that Mr. Belsley came to Kansas and located at Wellington. For a time he was bookkeeper in the Farmers Bank, and in 1906 he and others organized the National Bank of Commerce, and he was assistant cashier and a director of that institution until 1909. When he left...

Biography of Alfred Hovenden

ALFRED HOVENDEN. – Mr. Hovenden, known everywhere among the early pioneers as one of the most benevolent, upright and sagacious of men, was born in Kent county, England, August 26, 1824, of that steady, sterling English stock that fainted not and never failed. He crossed the water to American when twenty years old, and made his first home on a farm in Peoria county, Illinois. In 1849, together with his brother Charles, he turned his property into money, purchased an outfit with the intention of making the Pacific coast his home, and started westward, still being uncertain on the early states of the journey whether it would be to Oregon or to California that he would ultimately go. In his company was also David Logan, the talented but dissolute son of Judge Logan of Illinois. Having betimes decided to take the northern track, Mr. Hovenden came on into the Willamette valley, and laid his Donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres near the present site of Hubbard. He made this spot his home for more than thirty-five years, and was still in rugged health, with the prospect of many more years of life and usefulness, when he met with the accident by which his useful career was ended. By sturdy industry, close application, careful dealing and integrity, he amassed a competence, owning several good farms and a flourishing currant business. He was married in June, 1956, to Miss Sarah, a daughter of Bartholomew Soden. This lady was born in Tasmania, of the Australasian Islands, and came from that antipodal region to America in 1852, settling soon in Polk...
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