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Biography of F. Garner

F. Garner, residing on Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, was born near Quincy, Illinois, March 5, 1835. His parents were George and Elizabeth Garner. His father moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, at an early day, and remained there one year when he crossed the plains to Utah, where he spent one winter. Frank was fifteen years of age when they left the Missouri river, and he drove an ox team all the way to California. While crossing the Missouri river on a ferry-boat, the team which he afterward drove became frightened and jumped off the boat into the water, and swam across safely with the yoke on. They left St. Joe with a train of sixty wagons in the spring of 1850, but many died on the way of cholera. The train being so long they divided it into six divisions of ten wagons each, and took turns leading. The ten wagons that led one day fell behind the next. George Garner was captain of ten wagons, and one day he was to lead he told his men to follow, and do hard driving, and by that means they would leave the rest behind, which they did, and got to the end of the journey just two weeks in advance of the rest. They lost two of their number by cholera and had some trouble with the Indians. Mr. Garner had a family of eight children. For a while after their arrival they lived in the fort at San Bernardino, and then Mr. Garner took up Government land, which he farmed fifteen years. He then purchased 100 acres on Base...

Biography of Joseph F. Tobias

Joseph F. Tobias has for many years been closely identified with banking in Ellsworth County and is now cashier of the Wilson State Bank. The Wilson State Bank was established under a state charter in 1886 by B. S. and Myron P. Westfall. Its original capital stock was $35,000 and the first officers were: E. E. Parks, president; M. P. Westfall, vice president, and B. S. Westfall, cashier. Its record of thirty years had been a splendid one, reflecting good management and prosperity to its stockholders and patrons. Today the bank had a capital of $40,000, surplus and undivided profits of $90,000, while the deposits, the best index of its popularity, aggregate about $600,000. The list of officials are: A. D. Jellison, of Junction City, Kansas, president; Charles W. Fielder, vice president and acting president; E. D. Schermerhorn, vice president; J. F. Tobias, cashier; and F. S. Percival and C. R. Jellison, assistant cashiers. The Tobias family were early settlers in Ellsworth County, Kansas, and were established in the very pioneer times on the northwestern frontier in Minnesota. Joseph F. Tobias was born in Minnesota, at the Town of Elysian, November 18, 1878. He is of an old Bohemian family. His great-grandfather, Winslow Tobias, was born at Velin, Bohemia, in 1783. He was a shoemaker by trade. One day he came into the house after hoeing potatoes in the garden and dropped dead. His death occurred at Zerhernse, Bohemia, in 1852. His wife, Catherine, was born also in 1783, at Velin, Bohemia, and she died at Wilson, Kansas, in 1880, when ninety-seven years of age. The only child of...

Biography of Major James Bruce

MAJOR JAMES BRUCE. – Major Bruce is one of our citizens who needs no introduction to the people of the Northwest; since he is known personally, not only to all the old pioneers, but to most of the second generation of the toilers of Oregon. He was born November 3, 1827, in Harrison county, Indiana, and at the age of ten moved with his parents to Quincy, Illinois. At twenty he began a border career, going to Texas, making many excursions in that then unsettled region, and at Cross Timbers joined Major Johnson’s rangers. He accompanied these troopers upon their expeditions to punish marauders, or to recover the stock which were perpetually stampeded and run off by the Indians. In one of these ventures he was engaged with his company in a fight with three hundred of the savages, whose rapid movements, impetuous charges, and ability to suddenly concentrate, or to miraculously disappear and reappear, seemed to multiply their number to about one thousand. Here the Major first saw their maneuvers and astonishing feats, such as riding concealed on one side of their horses. In 1849 he returned to his home in Illinois, and in the spring of 1850 was ready to go to the mines of California, – a trip even more eventful than that to Texas. He performed the long journey in the summer, using ox-teams as the means of travel, and having as his companion George Collins. Making but a short stoppage in the old mines of California, he urged his way to the northern part of that state to the Shasta or Redding diggings, where...

Biography of Abel E. Eaton

ABEL E. EATON. – The extensive reputation and wide influence of Mr. Eaton bespeak for him a candid notice in any work touching upon the lives of our responsible men. The seventh son in a family of eleven children, he was born May 30, 1834, at Conway, New Hampshire. The father, Simeon Eaton, a lawyer from Maine, and the mother from the same state, whose maiden name was Bessie Paine, made their home upon a farm. During the first eight years of his life, the boy Abel found opportunity for but seven weeks’ schooling. This was his annual stipend of educational advantages until his eighteenth year, when he secured eleven weeks in the South Conway Seminary. Nevertheless, having an active New England brain, he eagerly imbibed ideas and information from all sources, utilizing the evening hours by the torchlights and fireplace to peruse books. At the age of twenty, he obtained the consent of his parents to go to Ohio, and in this then somewhat remote region experienced the many adventures, and tried the numerous shifts and turns of the youth away from home, realizing his greatest profit in a business way form a pair of calves purchased with money that he had hoarded as a boy from the proceeds of his bean patch. In 1854 he penetrated the West as far as Huntsville, Indiana, and although having no literary effects, except a family dictionary purchased some time before with a bushel of his white beans, he was able to secure a school and to teach it successfully, although heretofore regarded as one of those practically unmanageable schools of...

Biography of Hoit, Mary Melvina

Mary Melvina Hoit 1842 – 1916 Biography Mary Melvina Hoit was born in Meigs County, Ohio in 1842. She was one of the two daughters. Her sister’s name was Ruthanar. We do not have the names of her parents but in scrapbook #3 in one of the letters she wrote to newspapers there is come family history. Her father moved from Meigs Co. to Quincy, Ill. In Adams County in 1844. They lived in town until the following spring when they moved to the north line of Adams County and purchased a farm from his brother-in-law, Truman Hocox. This farm was in the area, which was called Green Grove in 1876 (the date of the published letter). Mr. Hoit was present at the time the township was organized in 1845 and was he one who proposed the name of Keene, the name that it bore in 1876. He later held the positions of Clerk, Assessor and Collector. He also built the district schoolhouse, which was still in use in 1876. Mrs. Hoit taught school during this same time. (Ed. Note: All of the above places and directions check out completely with modern maps except for the town of Keene. There are two possibilities to explain this: one, the name of the town could have been changed in the ensuing years; two: the town no longer exists. It is our belief that this town possibly met the same fate as that of Paradise, Oregon. In the days when travel was so much slower and more difficult, it was necessary for the settlements to be closer together. With the advent of...
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