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Biography of John Russell Stewart

John Russell Stewart. As a citizen who for many years was closely identified with journalism and local affairs in Champaign County, the people of this section feel a corresponding interest in the personality and career of John Russell Stewart. As supervising editor of this publication, the publishers feel that this interest should be gratified by the inclusion of a brief personal biography. He was born on his father’s farm in Butler County, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1840, a son of William and Eliza Jane (Gibson) Stewart, who were both of direct Scotch-Irish descent. Mr. Stewart received his education in the local public schools and private academies, grew up on his father’s farm, and at the age of eighteen qualified for work as a teacher and was in the schoolroom in that capacity for four terms. Coming west in 1863, he found work in the public schools of Scott County, Iowa. In the same year he had volunteered his services to the Union army in the Civil War, but was rejected on account of defective eyesight. After four years in Scott County, Iowa, he moved to Tama County, and became superintendent of schools at Toledo, the county seat. In 1868, he was elected superintendent of the Tama County public schools and filled that office until the time of the Chicago fire in 1871. As early as 1860 Mr. Stewart became deeply interested in politics and for more than half a century has actively championed the principles of the Republican party as writer, as speaker and as local campaigner. While in Iowa his active work in politics led to a connection as...

Biography of Abraham Graham

Abraham Graham. The quiet life and substantial accomplishments of the farmer have been the lot of Abraham Graham, who is now living in the town of Penfield, retired from the strenuous labors which marked his early youth. Mr. Graham has been identified with Champaign County almost half a century, and his life record is one that will be read with pleasure by his many friends and acquaintances as well as by his family. He long ago accumulated sufficient to protect him against the days that are to come, and the respect in which he is held is no less than his material accomplishment. Mr. Graham is a native of the Emerald Isle, born in County Monaghan, December 27, 1838, a son of Hugh and Sarah (McMahon) Graham. He was the third of nine children, six sons and three daughters. He acquired an education in his native country and at the age of nineteen determined to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities of America. Accompanied by a cousin, Miss Rosa Martin, he sailed on the ship Aurora and five weeks and three days later arrived at Castle Garden, New York. From there he went to Providence, Rhode Island, and for nine months during the panic of 1857 worked in lumber yards. He then became a farmer at Glencove in Queen’s County on Long Island, but three years later came west to Illinois, stopping first at Buffalo. Later he joined a cousin at Illiopolis and worked on a farm there for several years. On February 26, 1867, Mr. Graham married Miss Anna E. Welsh. She was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania,...

Biography of Roger E. Zombro

Roger E. Zombro is one of the live and enterprising business men of Champaign, and after a number of years of practical experience as an employee graduated into the ranks of independent merchants and now conducts one of the most popular men’s furnishing goods stores of the city, drawing his trade from the best classes of people. Mr. Zombro was born at Midland City, Illinois, October 16, 1880, a son of Jacob W. and Mary M. (Cheney) Zombro. His parents were both born at Mechanicsburg, Ohio. Jacob Zombro spent the last twenty years of his life in the insurance business, and he died at Weldon, Illinois. The mother died at Champaign in July, 1916. They were the parents of five children: Minnie, wife of B. F. Peltz, of Clinton, Illinois; James B., of Logan, Utah; Janette, wife of J: H. Alsbury, of Maroa, Illinois; Edna, wife of George Reddick, of Clinton, Illinois; and Roger E. Mr. Roger E. Zombro began life with a fair equipment of education. He attended the common schools and lacked only three months of graduating from the high school at Weldon, Illinois. On account of poor eyesight he had to give up his studies, and soon afterward at the age of fifteen, he began acquiring a mercantile experience as an employee of William Gushard & Company at Decatur, Illinois. He was in that company’s dry goods establishment four years and then transferred his employment to McPherson, Edwards & Company in their dry goods store at Springfield, Illinois. After about two years at Springfield Mr. Zombro came to Champaign in 1901 and was successively connected with...

Biography of William O. Smith

William O. Smith. For more than half a century a resident of Champaign County, William O. Smith is known to the people of this section as a man who did his brave and efficient duty in the Civil W T ar, as an active and industrious farmer, and as one who in all the relations of a long and busy life has lived up to the best standards of citizenship. He is also known through his children, a number of whom now occupy worthy and honorable places in community affairs. Mr. Smith was born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1839, a son of S. B. and Mary Ellen (Sheperd) Smith. His father’s native home was near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. William O. Smith was one of a family of five sons and two daughters. In 1846, when he was seven years of age, the family removed to Sangamon County, Illinois, and rented a house in Sheldon’s Row in the city of Springfield. For two years they had the distinction of living in the same house with Abraham Lincoln and his wife. The house was a double apartment, the Smiths occupying one side and the Lincolns the other. S. B. Smith served eighteen years as justice of the peace in Sangamon County. Mr. W. O. Smith as a boy attended the Lake Creek District School in Sangamon County. After leaving the common schools and working for a year he realized the need of more education and saved and earned the money necessary to give him a course in the Springfield High School. While in high school he was invited to join...

Biography of John D. Burton

John D. Burton. Like many of his contemporaries in the field of journalism in Southeastern Kansas, John D. Burton, proprietor and editor of the Potwin Ledger, began his career at the case. His entire life had been devoted to newspaper work, as compositor, editor and owner of publications in various parts of the country, but principally in Kansas, where he had resided and labored since the fall of 1878. While his present publication was founded only recently, it had already gained a wide circulation and promises to become an organ of influence in public matters under Mr. Burton’s wise and experienced direction. John D. Burton was born at Springfield, Illinois, July 1, 1857, and is a son of David A. and Elizabeth (Tarr) Burton. He comes of a family which, originating in England, was founded in North Carolina by three brothers, William, Thomas and Allen Burton, the last named of whom, his great-grandfather, became a pioneer farmer of Indiana and died in the vicinity of Terre Haute. Allen H. Burton, son of the immigrant, and grandfather of John D. Burton, was born at Charlotte Court House, North Carolina, and was there reared, educated and married. Subsequently he went to Indiana, but later became a pioneer into Williamson County, Illinois, where he condueted a blacksmith shop until his death. He married Cynthia Boyle, a native of Ireland. David A. Burton, father of John D., was born in 1832, at Mount Vernon, Indiana, and was there reared. He received a fairly good education in the public schools and in his younger years was a teacher, subsequently becoming connected with newspaper work as an editorial writer. Throughout...

Biography of Shelby D. Taylor

Shelby D. Taylor. A large tract of Champaign County’s fertile acres have been developed and improved by Shelby D. Taylor, who still owns one of the valuable farms of the county, though for a number of years he has lived retired at Champaign. Mr. Taylor came to Champaign County thirty-five years ago. He was born in Morgan County, Illinois, May 15, 1851. His parents, both natives of Kentucky, were George and Polly E. (Tucker) Taylor. His father was born July 20, 1805, and died September 23, 1886, and his mother was born August 15, 1807, and died January 22, 1894. Both of them died in Jacksonville, Illinois. George Taylor spent his active years as a farmer. He and his wife had ten children: Maxmillie, who was born January 6, 1831, and died in February, 1916; Edward A., born January 9, 1833, and died in February, 1912; Benjamin H., born October 2, 1835, and died October 26, 1892; William P., born December 22, 1837, now lives at Springfield, Illinois; Casabianca B., born December 2, 1839, is a resident of Jacksonville; Phoebe, born March 13, 1842, wife of George Scott of Norfolk, Virginia; Sarah F., born May 5, 1844, wife of Edward E. Telling of Champaign County; George Z., born September 20, 1846, died October 21, 1907; John H., born February 20, 1849, a resident of Mattoon, Illinois; and Shelby D., who was the tenth and youngest of these children. Shelby D. Taylor was reared on his father’s farm in Morgan County, attended the public schools there, and his early experience was farm work. After his marriage he continued farming in...

Biography of Charles F. Wendling

Charles F. Wendling’s farm enterprise is identified with the south-eastern part of Champaign County, in Raymond Township. His fine farm home is situated in section 10, on Rural Route No. 36 out of the town of Broadlands. Mr. Wendling has been a man of affairs in this community for the greater part of his life. He was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, December 15, 1874, a son of John and Margaret (Monigan) Wendling. His father was a native of Alsace, France, and his mother of Ireland. The father was born in 1842, came to America in 1854, at the age of twelve, lived first in Macon County, Illinois, and later in Sangamon County, and in his early years, a young man with no capital, he did cattle feeding and farming. In 1876 he came to Champaign County, locating in Raymond Township, where he was successfully identified with the business of farming until his death in October, 1916. His wife also passed away on the old homestead in that township. They were the parents of six children, three of whom died in infancy. Annie is still at the home place and the mother of two children, named Roy and Ethel. The second in age is Charles F. The daughter Mary is also at home. Charles F. Wendling acquired his education in the district schools of Champaign County and at the age of nineteen went to work on a farm, hiring out his labor for three years. He then rented a place of eighty acres, and subsequently one of 160 acres, and at his father’s death he took charge of the...

Biography of Hon. James Harvey Slater

HON. JAMES HARVEY SLATER. – Mr. Slater has ever borne a conspicuous part in the public affairs of Oregon; and no one has preserved a more honorable name. His mental qualities are solid rather than brilliant, and his operations weighty rather than keen. He is a man whose integrity has never been impeached; and he has ever been relied upon as a friend of the people. In his two terms at Washington, once as congressman, once as senator, he has performed some very effective work for our state; and all Oregonians hold him in high esteem. The following brief sketch will furnish the data of his life, and be eagerly read by all. He was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1826, and remained there until 1849. He received a common-school education, and prepared himself for college; but, abandoning further advance in that line he concluded to try his fortunes in California, coming to the Pacific coast in 1849. After a year in California he came up the coast to Oregon, and located near Corvallis in Benton county, where he put to good use his former education by teaching public school for two years. In 1853 he made a venturesome trip to California, and was at Yreka during the Indian troubles in which General Joseph Lane took so prominent a part. he returned to Oregon the same fall. In 1854 he married Miss Elizabeth E. Grey, a daughter of Reverend R.D. Grey. Having pursued legal studies, he was admitted to the bar in the same year, and continued his occupation as clerk of the Untied States district court, to...

Biography of Samuel V. Mallory

Samuel V. Mallory, now superintendent of the city schools of Morrill, Brown County, had been a, Kansas educator for many years. He had been connected at different times with the public schools of three states–Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma–and both as a teacher and administrator his work rests upon the seeure foundation of sincere and effective service. Mr. Mallory had lived in Kansas since early youth and he represents some of the best elements of American ancestry. His great-grandfather, John William Mallory, spent his life in Virginia, having been born near Harper’s Ferry. He married Elizabeth peyton, who was the daughter of an officer in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Mallory’s grandfsther was Valentine Roger Mallory, who was born at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia in 1797, and moved from that state to Sangamon County, Illinois, near the capital at Springfield, and was an early farmer in that district. He died at Springfield in 1866. His wife was Nancy Dawson, a native of Kentucky. Several generations of the family were represented in and around Springfield, Illinois, and it was in that city that Samuel V. Mallory was born April 16, 1856. His father is the venerable R. U. Mallory, who was born at Springfield in 1828 and is still living, nearly ninety years of age, at Morrill, Kansas. He grew up and married at Springfield, became a farmer, and in 1871 migrated to Kansas and located in Ottawa in Franklin County. Subsequently he pre-empted 160 acres in Jewell County and only recently left his farm to take up a retired residence in shawnee, Oklshoma. He had been a republican since the organization...

Biography of Sylvester Werneth

Sylvester Werneth came to America from the Fatherland. He was born in Germany, on the 29th of December, 1856, and when eight years of age crossed the Atlantic with his parents, the family locating in Wisconsin, whence they afterward removed to Springfield, Illinois. In the capital city of the Prairie state he acquired his education in the public schools and was there reared to manhood. When about sixteen years of age he entered upon an independent business career, learning the brewer’s trade, at which he worked in St. Louis, Missouri, and in California. In 1886 he came to Weiser, Idaho, and purchased the little brewery in the old town. He has since successfully carried on the brewing business, increasing his facilities to meet the growing demands of his trade, until he now has the best equipped and one of the largest breweries in the state. In 1897 he purchased a large lot in the new section of Weiser, near the depot and in the business center, and erected thereon a large brick building, ninety by seventy feet, and two stories and basement in height. The brewing department is twenty-five by fifty feet, all of brick and substantially built the best brewing plant in the state. He manufactures a fine article of beer and has a large home trade, besides shipping quite extensively to various places in the northwest. He also owns a good residence and grounds in the city. In 1885 Mr. Werneth married Miss Mary Fisherkiller, a native of Illinois, but of German descent. They have four children, namely: Tresea Ellen, Mary Francis, Ethel Julia and Louis Sylvester....
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