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Biography of Charles W. Wilson

Charles W. Wilson, editor and proprietor of the Tuscola Review, was born fourteen miles west of Plainfield, Indiana, February 15, 1856, and in 1865 located in Tuscola. He attended school more or less up until fourteen years of age. In 1872 he entered the office of the Tuscola True Republican as office boy. The paper was owned by Charles Smith and was Democratic in politics. Later he entered the office of the Tuscola Gazette, which was edited by Hon. Leander B. Lester, now of Washington. Mr. Wilson remained here about one year when he went to the Review, then owned and edited by Converse & Park, who founded the paper July 23,1875. In 1876 he went on the printing force where he remained for some years. Converse & Park were succeeded by the well-known writer, Col. Phecian, who was the editor for six months; the latter was known as one of the wittiest writers the newspaper fraternity afforded. During this time he wrote a great deal for the Inter-Ocean, which kept him away a great deal, and this forced Mr. Wilson to take charge of the editorial tripod. Howard was succeeded by Major Asa Miller, who managed the paper up to December, 1892, when he sold out to Charles W. Wilson, who reconstructed the plant throughout, buying new machinery, and today issues every Friday one of the newsiest, wittiest and cleanest County newspapers published east, west, north or south. Mr. Wilson has a paid circulation of three thousand and there is little doubt but what his paper is read by twelve thousand people every week. His career as a...

Biography of James A. Williams

James A. Williams, who has won his own way in the world and reached a degree of success beyond the average of men at his age, was born in Monongahela City, Washington County, Pennsylvania, August 1862. He is a son of John S. and Elizabeth (Van Vorhis), natives of the same County. James Williams wedded Nancy Van Allen and they were among the early settlers of Washington County, the latter having been born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Abram Van Vorhis, was one of the early farmers of that section and also traded in stock considerably. He was of Holland extraction. James A. Williams grew to manhood on a farm and never attended school after he reached the age of thirteen years; at that age his mother died and he was thrown upon his own resources. In about 1885 he decided to try his fortunes in the west, and after arriving in Illinois settled in Tuscola Township, where he became a farm hand; at this he continued until he was twenty-two years of age. By industry and good management he now owns two hundred and forty acres of well improved land in Douglas County, for which he has been offered eighty-five dollars an acre. Subsequently he bought the store at West Ridge, which he sold to W. H. Fry in December, 1899. He previously owned one at Allerton, which he bought in 1894 and sold in the following year. In September, 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss Amy McGrath, and they have three children: Ida, Charles and Earle. Mr. Williams resides on one of his farms,...

Biography of Albert W. Wallace

Albert W. Wallace is president of the First National Bank of Tuscola, one of the leading banking institutions of central Illinois. The First National Bank was organized in November, 1869, with a paid up capital of one hundred and thirteen thousand dollars. Its first president was William P. Cannon (a brother of Congressman J. G. Cannon) and W. H. Lamb was the first cashier. Mr. Cannon remained president until 1872, when he was succeeded by Henry T. Caraway, who remained president up to January 1, 1898, when he was succeeded by Mr. Wallace. Mr. Lamb remained cashier up to July 1, 1898, when he was succeeded by the present cashier, F. H. Hammett. The bank was reorganized in the fall of 1890 and the capital stock reduced to sixty thousand dollars. The directors of this bank arc among the wealthiest men of the County. A. W. Wallace, who has been connected with the First National Bank for years, is a son of Andrew G. Wallace, whose death occurred in July, 1878. The ancestry of the Wallace family is traced back to Scotland. Andrew G.’s grandfather emigrated from Scotland to Ireland, and from there to America, settling in Pennsylvania near where the three states of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania came together. He had five sons, three of whom moved away from their Pennsylvania home. One of these was William Wallace, the youngest child, who came to Hardin County, Kentucky, and from there removed to Davis County, Indiana, where Andrew G. Wallace was horn March 31, 1824. He was the second child by his father’s second wife, whose maiden name was...

Biography of James L. Reat, M. D.

James Lee Reat, M. D., one of the most distinguished physicians and surgeons of Illinois, and who has been long and honorably connected with the professional and industrial interests of Douglas County, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 26, 1824. The Reat ancestors are traced back to Scotland, where the name was pronounced in two syllables, with the accent on the last. Two brothers emigrated to this country during the war of the Revolution, one of whom espoused the cause of the rebels, the term by which the patriot colonies were then known, and served through that struggle with Washington’s forces. The other brother sided with the Tories, in consequence of which the two brothers became alienated and a total separation occurred between the two branches of the family. Dr. Reat is descended from the one who cast his fortunes with those of the patriots and who, after the war, settled in Frederick Town, Maryland. At this place James Reat (father) was born and subsequently found his way to Ohio, where he married Susanna Rogers, a Virginia lady, and with her settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. When our subject was five years old, his parents removed to Coles County, Illinois, where the father purchased a farm on which they resided for a time, then removed to Charleston and lived there up to the time of his death, in 1868. Dr. Reat’s early education was derived from the meager advantages offered the neighborhood schools of that day and later attendance at the seminary at Charleston. That institution was conducted under eminent professors and here Dr. Reat received a good...

Biographical Sketch of J. W. Phillips

Of the many leading and successful business men of Tuscola who have fought their way successfully through life and who have been the architect of their own fortune in the true sense of that term is the subject of this sketch. He is a dealer in poultry, produce, fish, etc., and is also interested in the ice business. He founded his present business in Tuscola in 1896, constructing a building 80×20 feet, and one and one-half stories high. This building burned ill August of the following year, and he immediately erected on the same site a more commodious one, 120×30 feet. It is safe to say that Mr. Phillips’ poultry business is one of the very largest in the state outside of Chicago. He has about twenty-five men traveling and buying poultry and produce throughout the year. For fifteen years previous to his coming to Tuscola he was engaged in the same line at Arthur. Mr. Phillips was born in Clay County, Tennessee, April 18, 1861, his parents removing when he was quite young to Hawkins County, some fifty-five miles east of Knoxville, in the same state. He is a son of William Phillips who was a native of Hawkins County, Tennessee. William married Miss Emily Phillips (no relation, though bearing the same name). The father died in 1863, and his mother in 188, aged seventy-seven years. In February, 1881 Mr. Phillips wedded Miss Nellie M. Fitch, of Coles County, Illinois. They have four children: Vena, Dona, E. W. and Herald. Mr. Phillips is a member of the Woodmen and...

Biographical Sketch of Charles L. McMasters

Charles L. McMasters, dealer in grain, coal and seeds, and a popular young man of Tuscola, was born on a farm three miles northwest of Tuscola, in Tuscola township, March 26, 1867, and is a son of S. L. and Hannah ( Maris) Maris)McMasters, who were natives of Parke County, Indiana. In 1869 his father sold, his farm and removed to Sand Springs, Kansas, where he followed farming and stock raising until his death in Mary, 1870, after which his mother, with three children, two sons and one daughter-Charles being the younger-removed to Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas, where she resided until the spring of 1877, thence moving to Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, where she died October 3, of the same year. In March, 1878, Charles, being only in his eleventh year, returned to Tuscola to live with his uncle, James Davis. Here he went to school until February, 1886, when he became a clerk for Davis & Finney, in the grain business, and remained their bookkeeper and confidential clerk up to 1888, when Mr. Davis died. The firm was then succeeded by Finney & McMasters, which business continued up to 1891, when Mr. McMasters bought the interest of his partner and since then has been alone. He is now in the midst of what promises to be a most successful business career. He buys and sells about two hundred and fifty thousand bushels of grain annually, and also deals in coal for the local trade. Mr. McMasters has thrice been elected to the office of city treasurer, belongs to the Masonic and Red Men fraternities and is deservedly popular...

Biography of Francis A. McCarty

Francis A. McCarty was one of the most remarkably successful business men who ever resided in Douglas County. He was born in Schuyler County, New York, April 23, 1837, and died at his home in Filson, May 14, 1899. He was a son of John and Laura (Frost) McCarty, natives of New England. Charles McCarty, brother of Joseph McCarty, was born at Morristown, New Jersey, in 1776, and died in Montour, Schuyler County. New York, November 15, 1858, in his eighty-third year. Joseph McCarty (grandfather) was the father of John, Charles, William and David, was born January 9, 1778, and died July 25. 1845. His wife, Mary Harnerd McCarty, was born August 15, 1774, and died January 20, 1846. John McCarty (father), son of Joseph, was born May 15, 1805, and died January 14. 1875. Joseph Frost (grandfather) was born June 4, 1797, married Sallie McCarty, and died October 27, 1847. He was a son of Joseph Frost, a soldier of the Revolution, who was burn May 22, 1754, and died May 28, 1844, at Catherine, New York. He married Lucy Couch, a daughter of Jonathan Couch, who was married September 19, 1781, died April 8, 1843, and was buried at Catherine, New York. Appended herewith is a certificate from the Adjutant General’s office of the state of Connecticut: “Hartford, September 11, 1895. This is to certify that Joseph Frost (grandfather of Francis A. McCarty) served in the war of the Revolution, and the following is his service according to the records of this office ; Private in Colonel Benjamin Hinman’s regiment. Discharged in northern department September 11, 1775....

Biographical Sketch of John M. Madison

Within the past two years Tuscola has lost many of its oldest and most prominent citizens by death, but in the list none have been more sadly missed or sincerely mourned than our subject, John M. Madison, whose death occurred Monday, July 13, 1896. He was born in Harrison County, Kentucky, May 6, 1823, and was at the time of his death in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He belonged to a family of ten children; one brother and two sisters are still living: H. B. Madison, Tuscola ; Mrs. Harriet Parrish, of Cynthiana, Kentucky; and Mrs. Parmelia Carter, of Washington. On September 22, 1851, our subject married Miss Jennie Rankin, at Cynthiana, a good and noble woman, who preceded him to the grave only a few years. To them were born Harry, Robert and Fannie, all of whom reside in Tuscola, the two former composing the large clothing- house of Harry Madison & Company. In 1854 Mr. and Mrs. Madison came to Charleston, Illinois, where he opened up a store, and in 1860 they removed to Tuscola, where Mr. Madison engaged in the mercantile business, which he continued up to within two years of his death. For many years he conducted the leading general store in Tuscola and by his honesty and straightforward dealing with his fellow men prospered in a gratifying manner. He was a man of unquestioned character and possessed the fullest confidence of all of our people. He and his wife spent the later years of their lives with their daughter, Mrs. Fannie Loose, who made it the purpose of her life to care...

Biography of Frank F. Loose

Frank F. Loose, one of the leading farmers and business men of the county, residing upon his farm in the north suburb of Tuscola, was born in the city of Springfield, Illinois, in the year 1859. He was reared on the farm and was educated in Springfield. his father’s farm lying just south of the city. His father, Jacob G. Loose, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, just across from the Maryland line. He sank the first shaft in the vicinity of Springfield, on his own farm, mortgaging almost everything he had to accomplish this, and his venture was richly rewarded by finding a paying vein of coal. He became quite well to do, and died on his farm in 1874. Mary Elizabeth (Iles) Loose, his mother, was a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of Washington Iles, who was a stock buyer and who was born in Kentucky and emigrated to Springfield, Illinois, where he lived until his death. Frank E. Loose located in Douglas county in about 188o, and on September 3, 1879, he married Miss Fannie, the only daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John M. Madison (see sketch). She died June 25, 1897. She was born in Tuscola, and was nearly thirty-five years old at her death. At the age of fifteen she united with the Christian church of Tuscola, in which denomination she was an active church worker throughout the rest of her life. When seventeen years of age she was united in marriage to Frank F. Loose, who survives, with their only child, Jennie, who is about fifteen years old and was...

Biographical Sketch of John C. Hostetler

John C. Hostetler, who is engaged in the agricultural implement business, including buggies and wagons, and recently elected alderman from the third ward in Tuscola, was born in Douglas County, August 27, 1866, and is a son of D. C. and L. M. Hostetler, natives of Indiana. The father settled in Bowdre Township some time in the ‘fifties, and died in Tuscola, in 1895, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. His mother is still living. Mr. Hostetler was married in 1889 to Miss Laura A., daughter of H. C. Jones, whose sketch is found on another page. They have one child, Leon. Mr. Hostetler operated a planning and repair shop previous to entering into his present business, which he sold out in 1896. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Order of Red Allen, and is one of the popular and promising young business men of Tuscola....
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