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Biography of Rev. William E. Means

Rev. William E. Means, proprietor of the Atwood Herald, was born at Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, June 28, 1850. He attended the district school during the winter, working on prepared to enter Paris high school. In 1874 he matriculated at the Northwestern University, and was graduated from the theological department of this well-known institution in the farm (luring the summer months, until the class of 1879. After graduation he was admitted to the Minnesota conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was appointed pastor of the Rushmore charge, where a hand-some four-thousand-dollar church was built, free from debt. In the middle of the second year he was appointed to Lu Verne, where the church was greatly blessed during his labors with a sweeping revival, the church completed, and the way prepared for the paying- off of a crushing debt. Finding the Minnesota winters colder than he liked, he found an opportunity, in the spring of 1884, to transfer to South Kansas conference, where during the year he was instrumental in building two places of worship, a temporary building in Fort Scott, Kansas, which afterward became Grace church, and a beautiful village church at Hiattville, Kansas. The two years following were spent at Moran, Kansas, and were very fruitful. More than a hundred were gathered into the church, and the church thoroughly organized. A pastorate of three and a half years on the Caney charge was likewise fruitful in revivals, debt paying and church building. In October, 1891, Mr. Means was invited to become pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sidney, Illinois, and the following year passed a prosperous...

Biography of Jacob Redmon

Jacob Redmon. In these days when the American nation is, once more girded for battle, the people pay increasing honor and respect to the comparatively few survivors of that great struggle of fifty years ago when the object was the destruction of the institution of slavery as it is now the abolition of autocratic governments from the face of the earth. One of the veterans of that war against slavery living in Champaign County is Mr. Jacob Redmon of Ogden. He has lived to attain and pass the age of three quarters of a century and practically all his life has been spent in Champaign County. He was born near Sidney, Illinois, in 1841, a son of Isaiah and Mary (Thomas) Redmon. His father was a native of Pennsylvania. He was only a small child when his mother died, and he grew up practically among strangers near Homer. Jacob Redmon had one sister, Elizabeth, who became the wife of Gersham Wright. Jacob Redmon was twenty years of age when war broke out between the North and the South. One day he was attending Sunday school at the old Cottington schoolhouse. At this session of Sunday school there was also present Lieutenant Ed Hall. The lieutenant had in his pocket a company roll and young Redmon before the session was over asked Hall to put down his name for enlistment. He was mustered into service at St. Louis, Missouri, the same year and thus responded to the first call for three years men to put down the rebellion. As a member of Company C of the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry he...

Biography of John W. Mumm

John W. Mumm. Now living retired at Sidney, John W. Mumm for years controlled and directed the operations of some of the best farming lands in Champaign County. His career has been productive in the best sense of the term and has been significant of his sturdy character, upright manhood and long continued industry. Mr. Mumm was born at Sidney in Champaign County, November 24, 1864, and represents a family of early settlers. His parents were John J. and Magdalena (Witt) Mumm, both natives of Germany. His father was a native of the old Danish province of Holstein. When a young man John J. Mumm came to America and located in Champaign County, and lived here to acquire a large holding of fertile farm land. He and his wife had eight children: Annie, wife of Henry Witt of Sidney; Emma, deceased; Mary, still at home; John W.; Peter, deceased; Henry of Sidney; Reimer, deceased; and a son that died in infancy. John W. Mumm grew up on the home farm, attended the local schools, and at the age of twenty-one began his independent career as renter of sixty acres. Soon afterwards his father gave him eighty acres. He showed justifiable enterprise in handling this land and with the results of his labors was able to buy twenty acres. Later his father gave him another place of 120 acres and eventually eighty acres more. He worked the land, improved the buildings and other equipment and made for himself and family one of the most substantial rural homes in the county. A number of years ago he erected a handsome two-story...

Biography of Benjamin C. Paine

Benjamin C. Paine. Among the substantial citizens and large property owners of Champaign County, one who has contributed to his community’s welfare and prestige by his splendid citizenship no less than by the honorable success which he has gained in a material way, is Benjamin C. Paine. Belonging to a family that has been well known in the county for more than sixty years, Mr. Paine has maintained the high reputation borne by the family name and in offices of public trust and responsibility has vindicated the faith and confidence placed in his ability and integrity. Mr. Paine was born near Sidney, Champaign County, Illinois, May 12, 1867, a son of Andrew J. and Elizabeth (Shackelford) Paine. His father, born August 19, 1832, in Worcester County, Massachusetts, was twenty-three years of age when he came to Champaign County, Illinois, settling in Philo Township, where he resided for two years. He next purchased eighty acres of land near Sidney, but in 1868 removed to Raymond Township, where he bought a like tract, and this he had increased to 180 acres by the time of his death, September 15, 1903. Mr. Paine was a Democrat in politics and one of the influential men of his community, serving as town clerk for fifteen years and as justice of the peace from 1872 until his death. He was a man of upright character, upon whose judgment his associates depended in matters of business and civic importance, and who took the initiative in movements for the general public welfare. With Mrs. Paine he attended the Christian Church. Mr. Paine was married April 26, 1861,...

Biography of George W. Fenimore

George W. Fenimore. After half a century of almost uninterrupted peace and prosperity America is again at war, and in this condition the people appreciate more than ever the splendid services and devotion of those brave boys in blue who defended the Union at the time of the Civil War. That war made America a great and united nation, unexampled in resources and material achievement, and there is a direct logical connection between the victories of the Union troops on Southern battlefields fifty years ago and the present great world struggle, when America, by lending its resources and soldiers to war stricken Europe occupies the dominant position in the world’s affairs and can practically dictate the terms on which national life everywhere shall be reorganized on a basis of permanent democracy. Hence there is every reason to refer gratefully to the soldiers of our own Civil War, and pay tribute to the guardians of the nation in those critical times. One of them in Champaign County was George W. Fenimore, proprietor of the Fenimore House of Sidney. After a long life of arduous labor and industry he spent his declining years with the tender devotion and care of his wife and daughters, and answered the final summons of death on October 29, 1917. George W. Fenimore was born in Randolph County, Indiana, February 22, 1842, a son of Pierson and Eliza Fenimore, both natives of New Jersey, of English descent. His parents came to Indiana at an early day, and were married in that state. Pierson Fenimore was a well known road contractor and spent a useful, industrious career....

Biography of Roy Youngblood

Roy Youngblood, present assessor of Sidney Township, is a progressive young business man of that village. He began his career with limited capital and from employment by others has worked into a profitable business of his own. He was born at Sidney, Illinois, December 23, 1880, and is a son of William H. and Savilla (Lucas) Youngblood. His father was born in Logansport, Indiana, and his mother in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. His father, who is still living at Sidney, is an honored veteran of the Civil War. He served almost throughout that great conflict, part of the time in the Thirty-fifth and part of the time in the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry. As a result of the explosion of a caisson he became totally blind. He and his wife had six children: James, of Normal, Illinois; Anna, wife of William Eaton, of Sidney; Elizabeth, wife of T. L. Dalton, of Sidney; Howard, of Sidney; Grace, deceased; and Roy. Roy Youngblood grew up in his native village, attended the local schools, and after finishing a course in the Indianapolis Business College in 1900 he returned to his home town and became assistant cashier and bookkeeper in the State Bank. He served faithfully in that capacity four years and then made an opportunity for a business of his own as a restaurant proprietor. He conducts a model establishment and has a fine trade. On September 26, 1906, Mr. Youngblood married Leslie Yeazel, a native of St. Joseph Township of Champaign County. Mr. and Mrs. Youngblood have three children: Mary, Milton and Mildred, the latter two twins. Politically Mr. Youngblood has always acted in...

Biography of John W. Bocock

John W. Bocock, a retired business man at Sidney, has had an unusual range of experience varying from that of an old time telegraph operator to a cotton planter and farmer. Much of his active career has been passed in Champaign County but his business acquaintance is widely extended. Mr. Bocock was born near Washington Courthouse in Fayette County, Ohio, December 20, 1849. His parents were Elijah and Louisa (Gregory) Bocock, both natives of Ohio. His father came to Sidney and Champaign County October 12, 1856, and identified himself with the pioneer element in this county as a farmer. He did not live long after coming, his death occurring July 4, 1864, in the village of Sidney. There were four children: Nancy Maria, who died June 3, 1862; Martha Jane, who died October 16, 1864; Belle, widow of J. S. Frantz and living at Danville, Illinois; and John W. John W. Bocock was fifteen years old when his father died. His mother and two sisters being left upon their own resources it was necessary for the only son to put forth his efforts in assisting to support the family. His sister Belle did likewise but Martha Jane was ill and able to do but little. In June, 1866, the mother married Paul Laybourn, of Sidney, and John W. Bocock and his sister went to the new home in that village, Belle remaining until she married a few months later, while John W. was part of the family circle until the spring of 1870. Paul Laybourn by his marriage to Mrs. Louisa Bocock had one child; Roberta, now Mrs. R....

Biography of Charles D. Thompson

Charles D. Thompson has been a resident of Ogden for many years, and enjoys a substantial position in that community because of his record as a good citizen and his honest workmanship as a painter and paper hanger. Mr. Thompson was born August 24, 1853, at Leesburg in Kosciusko County, Indiana, son of John and Hester (Rhodes) Thompson. His father was born near Chillicothe and his mother in Marion County, Ohio. From Ohio the parents removed to Indiana and two months after the birth of Charles his mother died. Bereft of his mother, the infant was taken into the home of an aunt in Ohio, where he lived until 1861. He then joined his father and the other five children in Illinois. Charles D. Thompson is the only one of his brothers and sisters still living. He attended public school in Ohio and finished school at Sidney in Champaign County. He grew to manhood near Homer and in 1881, at the age of twenty-eight, married Miss Frances Sweet. Mrs. Thompson was born near Manchester in Delaware County, Iowa, daughter of Samuel and Maria (Lee) Sweet. Her father was born near Rutland, Vermont, and her mother in Virginia. Her mother was a second cousin of General Robert E. Lee. Maria Lee’s grandfather, James Lee, and the famous “Light Horse” Harry Lee of Revolutionary fame were brothers. When Mrs. Thompson was four and a half years of age her mother died, and at the age of six she came to Mahomet, Illinois, with her father, who passed away a year later. After that she was reared by her foster parents, Mr....

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....

Biographical Sketch of William Henry Trees

William Henry Trees has lived a career that entitles him to a place of honor and respect among the citizens of Champaign County. For years he was a successful farmer and is now a local business man at Sidney. He was born in Champaign County February 5, 1872. He is a son of Ephraim and Helen (Martin) Trees. Both parents were born in Ohio. His father came to Champaign County in an early day and located on a farm near Thomasboro. That farm he cultivated and was getting to a position where he could be considered prosperous when he met death as a result of a stroke of lightning in June, 1876. He left his widow with a number of small children. His widow died in 1904. Eight children were born to them: Louisa, wife of William Arnold, of Iowa; Warren, living in Iowa; Belle, deceased; Marion, of Ohio; John, of Sidney Township; George, living in Ohio; William H., and Jennie, wife of Frank Armstrong, of Sidney Township. William Henry Trees early learned to be dependent upon his own efforts and with only a common school education faced life on his own responsibilities. He made farming his independent vocation for a number of years, did well at it, and in January, 1917, bought a livery establishment at Sidney, which he now conducts. He also has one of the comfortable homes of that village. In October, 1895, Mr. Trees married Mary B. Towner, a native of Champaign County. They have three children: Bernice, deceased; Leal Gleason, at home; and Dorothy Hilene. Politically Mr. Trees is a Republican. He has served...
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