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Illinois Burial Customs

The term Illinois Indians as used by some early writers was intended to include the various Algonquian tribes, encountered in the “Illinois country,” in addition to those usually recognized as forming the Illinois confederacy. Thus, in the following quotation from Joutel will be found a reference to the Chahouanous – i. e., Shawnee – as being of the Islinois, and in the same note Accancea referred to the Quapaw, a Siouan tribe living on the right bank of the Mississippi, not far north of the mouth of the Arkansas. Describing the burial customs of the Illinois, as witnessed by him during the latter years of the seventeenth century, Joutel wrote: ” They pay a Respect to their Dead, as appears by their special Care of burying them, and even of putting into lofty Coffins the Bodies of such as are considerable among them, as their Chiefs and others, which is also practised among the Accancea’s, but they differ in this Particular, that the Accancea’s weep and make their Complaints for some Days, where as the Chahoaanous, and other People of the Islinois Nation do just the Contrary; for when any of them die, they wrap them up in Skins, and then put them into Coffins made of the Barks of Trees, then sing and dance about them for twenty four Hours. Those Dancers take Care to tie Calabashes, or Gourds about their Bodies, with some Indian Wheat in them, to rattle and make a Noise, and some of them have a Drum, made of a great Earthen Pot, on which they extend a wild Goat’s Skin, and beat thereon...

Biography of W. L. Watson

W. L. Watson was born Vermilion County, Illinois, on the 22d of December, 1837. His father was William D. Watson, in his early life an itinerant Methodist preacher who traveled extensively through Indiana, having been born in the neighborhood of Vincennes, and in Fountain County, of that state, married Mary Low. His health finally failed him, and coming to Illinois, he located above Georgetown in Vermilion County. William Watson, the grandfather, was born in Kentucky, and when a young man settled in the vicinity of Vincennes, Indiana. W. L. was the oldest son and second child of the family. His father came to Douglas County, then Coles, in 1839, and located first on Brushy Fork, a short distance west of Newman. After a residence here of a year or two he moved to Camargo, and afterward to section 35, in Township 16, range 9, where he resided till his death, which occurred in October, 1858. His wife survived him till April, 1866. They had nine children. W. L. Watson was between four and five years old when his father located southeast of Camargo. At this latter place he mainly received his education, partly under the instruction of his father, who taught school at Camargo and was one of his first teachers. The old log school house stood about one hundred yards north of Alonzo Lion’s store, on the road leading north from Camargo. In the winter of 1849-50, and also 1853-54, he attended the Georgetown Academy, in Vermilion County, then having the best reputation of any school of learning in this part of the state. At the death of...

Biography of T. W. Swigart

T. W. Swigart, the leading harness dealer and one of the most successful business men in Newman and Douglas County, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, in sight of A Westminister, July 3, 1831, and was a son of Joseph Swigart. When nine years of age T. W. Swigart removed with his parents to Seneca County, Ohio, where he spent a large portion of his life on a farm. From the years 1848 to 1851 he devoted his time to learning the trade of harness maker at Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was a young man of good habits and of splendid mechanical turn of mind; he learned the trade thoroughly and soon became a first-class work-man. In the year 1852 he removed to Attica, Indiana, where he resided and worked at his trade successfully up to the year 1870, when he went to Princeton, Illinois. There he met Miss Sarah Jane Martin, who, in 1871, became his wife. In the same year he came to Danville, Illinois, where he followed his trade until the month of February, 1873, when he came to Newman and succeeded Speelman & Ogden in the harness business. During his residence in Newman he has become one of the most successful business men in the city and has accumulated quite a lot of property. In politics he is thoroughly independent and there is very little of hypocrisy in his nature. He is thoroughly candid and outspoken in his convictions. He has served three terms as president of the town board. He has also been a member of the board of health and director of the Building...

Biographical Sketch of George W. Henson

George Warren Henson, deceased, was born September 5, 1821, at Cynthiana, Kentucky. He was a son of Gideon and Nancy (Shumate)Henson. He was the eldest of a family of six children and of Scotch-German descent. With his father’s family he left the state of his nativity in 1834 and emigrated to Vermilion County, Illinois, and there remained until 1844, when he came into the section of country which is now Douglas County and immediately began the improvement of a farm. He married Miss Eliza P. Sargent, a native of Illinois. To this union were born eleven children, six of whom are living, two sons and four daughters. The County of Douglas, by the death of Mr. Henson, lost one of its most prominent citizens and honorable men. Politically he was a Democrat. He was a Mason, a pioneer of the County, and a man possessing a spirit of charity and enterprise. His death occurred May 9, 1881, at his residence near Camargo,...

Biographical Sketch of Leo H. Bireline

Leo H. Bireline, one of the youngest business men of Champaign, is successfully engaged in the metal roofing business, an industry which he learned during his youth, his father being also connected with the same line of business. Mr. Bireline was born in Danville, Illinois, June 19, 1894, a son of Henry and Emma (Diehl) Bireline, both of whom were also natives of Danville. His parents are still living at Danville and his father conducts a roofing and sheet metal works in that city. There were five children in the family: Catherine Ellen, wife of W. A. Meek of Danville; Robert, who is associated with his brother Leo in business at Champaign; Leo; Florence and Emily, both at home with their parents. Leo H. Bireline grew up in Danville, attended the city schools, spent two years in high school and finished his education in Brown’s Business College at Danville. There he took a bookkeeping and general business course, and with that equipment and with the experience he had acquired under his father he came to Champaign to take charge of the local branch of the sheet metal and roofing business. This business in its subsequent growth now requires all his time and active attention. The headquarters of the business is a large building 25×125 feet, with ample facilities for a perfect service in their particular line. Mr. Bireline married Ruby Bodine, a native of Kingman, Indiana, but reared in Danville. They have one child, Margaret. Mr. Bireline is a Republican in politics, is a thirty-second degree and Consistory Mason, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He...

Biography of William Tomlinson

William Tomlinson. One of the oldest residents of Champaign County is Mr. William Tomlinson, whose home is at Penfield in Kerr Township. Mr. Tomlinson has experienced more than the average trials and ordeals of existence and he is well entitled to the esteem and respect that he enjoys in his community. Mr. Tomlinson was born in the Village of Franklin, near the City of Indianapolis, in Marion County, Indiana, a son of Robert and Rachel (Sheets) Tomlinson. His parents were both born in Indiana and his Grandfather Sheets was of German descent. Mr. Tomlinson was one of eight children, seven sons and one daughter. When he was a child his father died and a little later his mother passed away at Carlyle on the Mississippi River. William Tomlinson came to Vermilion County, Illinois, with his uncle, Elisha Crawford, in 1849, when ten years old. He came to Champaign County in 1852, and arrived here a poor and friendless boy with no money and with nothing except his own determined ambition to stand him in good stead while making a way in the busy world. For a year he worked for a farmer at $6.50 a month, and his hours of employment were from sunup to sundown. When Mr. Tomlinson came to Champaign County there were no railroads and very few towns. The nearest market place for mail and other supplies was Danville or Urbana. The young man had instead of money a boundless supply of push and energy, and he has used his industry to secure the living which he believed the world owed him. At the age of...

Biography of James A. Talbott

James A. Talbott has not only achieved that success represented by large land holdings and rich and prosperous farms, but also the riches of friendship and community esteem. All this is well indicated by the title affectionately bestowed upon him and most people know him as “Uncle Jimmie” Talbott. Mr. Talbott and his family reside in Harwood Township, in section 36, near Gifford, but his farm possessions spread over a large area and include 1,600 acres of choice Illinois soil. Mr. Talbott is a native of West Virginia, and was the fourth of eight children born to J. V. and Sarah (Parsons) Talbott. He is of English stock on both sides and the families have been in America for many generations. Mr. James A. Talbott grew up in West Virginia and attended a school known as the Wise school, from the name of the land owner there. He was still young when his parents, in April, 1865, left West Virginia, soon after the surrender of Lee’s army, and migrated to Illinois. They heard the news of Lincoln’s assassination on arriving at Danville. J. V. Talbott bought ninety acres of land in Middle Fork Township in Vermilion County, paying $25 an acre. The family encountered many hardships and privations. J. V. Talbott had always suffered somewhat delicate health and the change of climate not agreeing with him he died in 1866, after about a year of residence in Illinois. He was a man of fine character, and in the brief time spent in Illinois had acquired a large circle of friends. His widow afterwards visited relatives in California and was...

Biography of Thomas M. Lyman

Thomas M. Lyman gave many consecutive years to the management of an Illinois farm, and through hard work and intelligent management obtained the financial competence which enabled him a few years ago to retire from business and enjoy the comforts of a good ‘home in the city of ‘Champaign. Mr. Lyman was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, February 6, 1866. His parents, Bernard and Mary (McLennan) Lyman, were both natives of Ireland. His father came to America as a young man about 1854, lived for a time near Eaton, Ohio, and subsequently removed to Vermilion County, Illinois. He farmed a few years near Ridge Farm and made his farm in Champaign County the scene of his productive labors for many years. He died in Champaign County in 1904 and his wife passed away in 1902. Their children were: Lucinda, wife of John Martin, living in Adams County, Nebraska; John, a retired farmer in Champaign; Mary Jane, who died in childhood; Bridget, who married John W. Early, both now deceased; Thomas M.; William, deceased; Catherine,’ deceased wife of James B. Hagan; and Mary, wife of William McMahon, of Champaign. Thomas M. Lyman was born in Vermilion County but was reared and educated in Champaign County. The country schools supplied his early instruction. He lived in the wholesome atmosphere of a farm and that was the vocation he took up when ‘he started to make his own way in the world. Mr. Lyman was a progressive farmer until April, 1914, when he retired and removing to Champaign bought a fine home in that city. He was married January 29, 1895, to...

Biography of Patrick Brennon

Patrick Brennon was for many years identified with the community of Ogden as a stanch and reliable merchant, a citizen who was never negligent of his responsibilities and duties, and altogether completed a well rounded life of activity and service. A native of Dublin, Ireland, where he was born in 1844, he came to America at the age of fourteen. He had limited advantages in his youth, and by sheer force of will and determination gained a substantial position in the world. He lived in New York State for a time and then came west and located in Vermilion County, Illinois. He went from that county into the ranks of the Union army and three years after his honorable discharge in 1868 he laid the foundation of his own home by his marriage to Miss Cornelia Terrell. Mrs. Brennon, who is still living at the old home in Ogden, was born at Georgetown, Illinois, and grew up and married there. Her parents were William and Artemesia (Douglas) Terrell, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Kentucky. Artemesia Douglas’ family was related to that which gave Illinois and the nation the great figure of Stephen A. Douglas. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Brennon came to Ogden, which was then a small hamlet consisting only of a post office and a general store. Mr. Brennon taught school for several years here and also in the Fairmount School. The young people bought a home at Ogden and, possessing youth, industry and energy; they were not long in establishing themselves permanently. For some time Mr. Brennon was passenger agent...

Biography of Alonzo O. Morrison

Alonzo O. Morrison. One of the families that was established in Vermilion County, Illinois, in the early ’40s and has ever since been a representative agricultural one in east central Illinois bore the name of Morrison. This branch of the family was of pioneer stock in Ohio and doubtless can trace its far back ancestry to Scotland. The leading representative in Champaign County is Alonzo O. Morrison, a highly respected resident of Homer, Illinois. Alonzo O. Morrison was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, November 17, 1859. His parents were James Perry and Harriet A. (Sterns) Morrison. The father was born in Ohio and the mother in Virginia. When they came to Illinois James Perry Morrison secured land from the government, and this land he developed and his subsequent life was devoted to general farming and stock-raising. He was a man of sterling character, just in all his dealings with his neighbors and generous to his children. His death occurred in 1888. His widow survived until 1894. They were the parents of the following children: Elijah, who is a resident of Homer, Illinois; James, who died in infancy; Alonzo O.; Jasper, who died in childhood; Florence, who is the wife of J. M. Boggess, of Homer; and Harland P., who resides at Homer. Alonzo O. Morrison attended the public schools and remained at home assisting his father. When he was twenty-seven years old he took charge of a farm of 120 acres that his father had given him in Vermilion County, on which he carried on farming for two years and then sold advantageously and bought 1 a part of...
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