Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biographical Sketch of Daniel White

Daniel White, son of Samuel White, was born near the city of Richmond, in Madison County, Kentucky, February 26, 1831. He remained in his birthplace until he was about twenty-one years of age, during which time he was engaged in farming and working for his father. After becoming of age he was engaged in farming for two years, and then worked in a mill three years. August 9, 1862, he was enrolled in Company F, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, and was in the service during the war, being in several battles and skirmishes. After the war Mr. White moved to Tazewell County, Illinois, where for seven years he was engaged in farming. He then moved to Piatt County, Illinois, where he was farming for six years. In 1816 he moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, where he farmed two years. In 1880 he came to Daviess County, Missouri, where he purchased a farm and has since been living. In 1857, Mr. White was married to Miss Mary S. Cruise. They have six children: William S., Martin V., Mary T., James A., Eliza and...

Biography of Edwin S. Swigart

Edwin S. Swigart, a former mayor of the city of Champaign, is a thorough business man, and his reputation as a successful manager of large and important interests was one of the chief reasons why the people of Champaign desired him as their mayor. A native of Illinois, he was born near Farmer City in DeWitt County, December 11, 1861. His parents, Jacob and Rebecca (Davis) Swigart, were both born in Ohio. Jacob Swigart, who was born in 1827 and died in 1907, removed to DeWitt County, Illinois, in 1847. Rebecca Davis was taken to DeWitt County in 1837, when a small child, and she is still living, being now one of the oldest settlers of that county. Jacob Swigart followed farming during his active career, and became well known in politics and business affairs. In 1868 he was elected a member of the State Legislature. In a family of nine children, Edwin S. Swigart was the sixth in order of birth. His early advantages were those of the common schools of DeWitt County and for three years he was a student in Lombard College at Galesburg. He had considerable experience as a farmer, and after his marriage in 1885 he remained on the home place for a year. Mr. Swigart was one of the organizers of the Creamery Package Company, then located at Morrison, Illinois, and for a time he gave this business his entire time and energies. The company has since grown to very large proportions, and now has its main offices in Chicago. For six years Mr. Swigart was associated with his father in the management...

Biography of Benjamin Franklin Harris

Benjamin Franklin Harris. Love of land, of peace and industry, cardinal virtues in the lives of men and nations, were ever present influences in the long life of the late B. F. Harris of Champaign County. To say that he left “a good name” as a legacy to his family, is to state only part of the truth. It was a strong name, one that is vital today, and the memory of it has an inspiration to all those who have the resolution and the will to labor in order to secure worthy places in their respective spheres. Without disparaging the remarkable material achievements associated with the name in Champaign County, there is need to emphasize the wonderful virility of the family stock and its permanence. America, and this is particularly true of the Middle West, can show comparatively few families who can take root and grow and flourish generation after generation in one spot. In fact mobility in population has been exalted in some quarters almost to a virtue. Of the Harris family five generations have lived in Champaign County, beginning with the father of B. F. Harris, Sr., and coming down to his great-grandchildren. More important still, each generation has amplified and expanded the interests of the preceding. The word virility is as applicable to the family today as it was when Champaign County was on the frontier. In 1916 there was held a simple ceremony at the University of Illinois, which attracted wide newspaper publicity even at a time when politics and a world war were the absorbing topics of conversation.. This was the hanging of...

Biography of Captain Edward Bailey

Captain Edward Bailey is president of the Champaign National Bank, an institution which has become noted as one of the most conservative in the United States and as a leader among the great banking institutions of Illinois. He was one of its founders. He was born at Bloomfield, Edgar County, Illinois, September 8, 1843, a son of David and Hannah (Finley) Bailey, concerning whom mention is made on other pages. His early education was obtained in subscription schools at Bloomfield. In the last part of 1854 or early in 1855 his parents moved to Monticello, Illinois, thence to Urbana, Illinois, and in the spring of 1856 to Champaign, where he attended the public schools. In 1858 and 1859 he was a student at Atkinson Academy, Atkinson, New Hampshire. In the fall of 1860 he entered Douglas University in Chicago. This was the nucleus of the old Chicago University, which still later was founded and chartered as the University of Chicago. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 an independent military company was formed in this school. As a member of that company Edward Bailey learned the regulation drill and became very proficient therein. When Stephen A. Douglas died this company had the position of honor in the funeral procession and at the grave. In 1862 he enlisted in Company K, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was elected first lieutenant by the company. After serving out that enlistment he returned home and at the request of his parents attended commercial school. He also clerked in a dry goods store owned by his father and W. B. Bailey. In 1864...

Biography of William Harry Coffman

William Harry Coffman, justice of the peace, is one of the old timers of Champaign County, went from this locality into the War of the Rebellion, from which he returned a captain, and for more than half a century has been a farmer, business man and public official. Though his years now number fourscore, he is still looking after the duties of his office as justice of the peace and also handles considerable insurance. He was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 13, 1837, a son of Noah B. and Elizabeth (Lamb) Coffman. His father was a native of, Virginia and his mother of Ohio. Noah B. Coffman spent his life as a farmer. In 1852 he removed with his family to Piatt County, Illinois, and on March 1, 1861, arrived in Champaign County, where he continued farming until his death in 1863. His widow died in 1872. Of their nine children William H. was the oldest. The others are: Aaron F., deceased; Mary C., who has never married and lives at Champaign; David H. of Champaign; Lucinda F., Elizabeth and Peter J., all deceased; Samuel C. of Fullerton, Nebraska; and Thomas D. of Oakland, California. Judge Coffman was fifteen years of age when the family came to Illinois, and his education was acquired in district schools both in Ohio and in this state. He lived on the home place with his father until he was twenty-four years of age. He had managed the farm for his brothers and sisters until he was twenty-two and then farmed it on his own account for a couple of years. When his...

Biography of Charles Christopher Liestman

Charles Christopher Liestman. There was a time when farm life in Illinois was one of continuous hard work and more or less social exclusion, but no better proof is needed to mark the change than is afforded in Newcomb Township, Champaign County, by such careful and progressive agriculturists as Charles Christopher Liestman. With a finely improved estate of 160 acres, located in a section of the county where public spirit is shown in fine roads prevailing, Mr. Liestman for many years has proved that farming is now not only one of the most profitable of occupations but the most independent. He belongs to an old pioneer family of the state, extended mention of which will be found in the present work, in the biographical sketch of Mrs. Adam Kroner. Charles C. Liestman was born in Piatt County, Illinois, July 8, 1878, the fifth in a family of twelve children born to Ludwig and Frederica (Karston) Liestman, who moved to Champaign County when Charles C. was a child. He grew up on the home farm and attended the public schools, afterward assisting his father and giving his time until he was twenty-three years of age. He has always devoted himself to agricultural pursuits and has conducted his different undertakings with so much energy, coupled with intelligent judgment, that they have been successful. In addition to general ‘farming and raising cattle and stock, for twenty-three years he and his brother Herman have harvested all through this section for the same parties each season and also have operated their first class harvesting outfit in Piatt and McLean counties. Mr. Liestman married February...

Biography of Cyrus E. Jackson

Cyrus E. Jackson. In an enumeration of the magnificent resources of Champaign County too much cannot be said of the banks and the bankers, since without their functions and their power all industry would soon be paralyzed. In this group of live and enterprising business men stands Cyrus E. Jackson, cashier of the Dewey Bank at Dewey. Mr. Jackson has been identified with that center of trade and population for a number of years, and is not only a banker but a merchant and one of the leading men in public affairs. Though a resident of Champaign County most of his life, Mr. Jackson was born in Piatt County, Illinois, September 4, 1872. He is a son of Isaac A. and Adaline (Smith) Jackson. Of their family of three sons and two daughters, three are still living. Isaac A. Jackson was born in Indiana in 1843 and died very suddenly in 1906. When he was ten years of age he accompanied his parents from Indiana to Illinois, the family locating near Farmer City. Grandfather Jackson was one of the early settlers in that part of central Illinois. Isaac Jackson acquired only a common school education and applied his efforts in a practical and energetic fashion to farming throughout his active career. At the time of his death he owned 260 acres of the splendid soil of Champaign County. This branch of the Jackson family is of English origin, the lineage being traced directly back to old England. Isaac Jackson was reared in the atmosphere of Whig politics when a boy, and on coming of age joined the Republican Party...

Biography of Adam Kroner

Adam Kroner. In making productive the vast prairies of the Middle West no one class of people has borne a more steady and effective part than the German element, and particularly to those who came as colonists after the German revolutionary troubles of the ’40s. Representing the second generation of this element is Mr. Adam Kroner, concerning whose work and standing as a Champaign County agriculturist only the highest words of praise may be spoken. Mr. and Mrs. Kroner occupy a fine home in Newcomb Township. Mrs. Kroner is also of a prominent German family of the county, and at all times has proved herself a valuable helpmate and counsel to Mr. Kroner in the establishment and building up of their beautiful rural home. Mr. Kroner was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, July 29, 1865. He was the fourth in a family of six children, five sons and one daughter, whose parents were Frederick and Marie Kroner. Four of these children are still living: Emma, wife of Charles Zimmerman, a farmer at Wiseburg in Dearborn County, Indiana; Adam; Christ, who is unmarried and has a farm at Yorkville in eastern Indiana; and Martin, who is married and owns a good farm home in Dearborn County. Frederick Kroner was a Bavarian German and was born in the old country in 1825. His death occurred in 1901. He served an apprenticeship and was a journeyman mechanic, but subsequently turned his attention to agriculture. He was educated in German schools and when a young man sailed for America, spending many weeks on the ocean in one of the slow-going sailing vessels. He...

Biography of James F. Rankin

James F. Rankin has proved his ability both in general business affairs and as a banker, and is the organizer and active official of the State Bank of Sidney. Mr. Rankin was born near Deland, Illinois, October 31, 1879, a son of Joseph H. and Emma (Brown) Rankin. His parents were natives of Ohio, and his father was for a number of years a general merchant at Deland, but about 1902 removed to Champaign County and located in the city of Champaign, where he is still living. James F. is the only surviving child, his younger brother, Willis D., having died in infancy. Mr. Rankin was graduated from the public schools of Deland in 1898, and soon afterward entered the employ of John Kirby, a private banker. With that experience he assisted in organizing the State Bank of Deland, which he served as assistant cashier. Then, realizing the needs of further education, he entered the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Chicago, and from there in 1901 went to the National Bank of Commerce at Kansas City, Missouri, one of the largest banks in the Missouri Valley. He served as teller there two years, and with this metropolitan experience returned to Champaign County and for four years was draft and collection teller with the First National Bank of Champaign, Illinois. He then gave up banking and for four years was assistant superintendent of the great plant of the Republic Iron & Steel Company at Moline, Illinois. It was in 1911 that Mr. Rankin organized the State Bank of Sidney and has since given it his chief time and energies....

Biography of Charles Birch

Charles Birch. The farming community around Rantoul has no more progressive and public spirited citizen than Mr. Charles Birch, whose home is in section 21 of Rantoul Township. Mr. and Mrs. Birch have a model country home, and though still comparatively young they have surrounded themselves with ample comforts and have been able to liberally provide for a growing family of children. Mr. Birch was born in Piatt County, Illinois, a son of Thomas and Jane (Thompson) Birch. His parents were natives of Ireland and came to this country in early life. Mr. Charles Birch received his education in the schools of Piatt County, and from early manhood has followed steadily and sturdily the vocation of farming. On August 26, 1902, he married Miss Margaret Ward, a native of Champaign County. Her parents, Patrick and Mary (Williams) Ward, were also natives of Ireland. Mrs. Birch received her education in Champaign. They started their married life at Bondville in this county, and being without capital to buy land of their own they rented a tract and farmed it six years. Both of them exhibited business capacity and were willing to live economically and simply in order to get a start. About eight years ago they bought 160 acres contained in their present farm. Their home is four and a half miles northwest of Rantoul. They have excellent building improvements and conduct their farm on a business like basis. They also own 180 acres in Moultrie County, Illinois. The children born into their home are named Mary, Genevieve? Ward, William, Margaret, Ilene and John Joseph. These children have been well educated...
Page 1 of 212

Pin It on Pinterest