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Biography of Rufus Walker

Rufus Walker, one of the most extensive fuel dealers in Moline, was born in Williamstown, Orange County, Vermont, December 10, 1839, his parents being Rufus and Susan Walker. Eleven children, seven boys and four girls, were born to this couple. The father, who was a shoemaker by trade, died December 22, 1839, when the subject of this sketch, the youngest of the large family, was only twelve days old. The seven sons all learned the same trade as the father, that of shoemaking. Rufus Walker obtained a common school education in Williamstown, and in November, 1860, he left his native state and came west, settling in Rock Island County, where he obtained a clerkship in the general store of Ainsworth & Walker at Edgington. He was employed in this store until July, 1864, when he purchased the business and conducted it until February, 1873, when he removed to Rock Island, and in company with C. E. Dodge purchased the business of E. H. Smyth, which they conducted for three years under the firm name of Walker & Dodge. In the spring of 1876, together with Mr. Meigs Wait, he secured the right of way and about $22,000 in money for the Mercer County Railroad Company. Mr. Walker ran a general store furnishing supplies during that same year. They also purchased the land where the village of Reynolds now stands, and laid out that town, later going into the lumber business there, and continuing in that business until the winter of 1887. In February, 1882, Mr. Walker moved from Rock Island to Reynolds. When the firm discontinued the lumber business...

Biography of Henry A. Ainsworth

Henry A. Ainsworth, president of the Moline Trust and Savings Bank, and president of the Williams & White Company, manufacturers of steam hammers and other special tools, is classed among the truly representative citizens of Moline, and dates his residence there since 1870. He is a native of Vermont, born in Williamstown, September 28, 1833. His father, Calvin Ainsworth, was also a native of Vermont, born in Brookfield, but in early life moved to Williamstown, where for fifty years he was a general merchant, well and favorably known in all that section of the country. He married Miss Laura Lynde, a native of Vermont, whose father, Cornelius Lynde, was the first circuit judge of Orange County, that state. The Ainsworth family was of English descent, the first of the name coming to New England in the Seventeenth Century and locating in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The Lyndes are also of English descent, having settled in this country prior to the Revolutionary War, several of the name taking part in that struggle. The subject of this sketch grew to man-hood in his native village, and in the district schools received his primary education which was supplemented by attendance in two academies. In 1853, at the age of twenty years, he left home and came west, locating in Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois, where he engaged in general merchandising on his own account. In this line he continued eight years, then sold out, and for a few years was engaged in the hardware and agricultural implement trade in the same place. In both lines he met with good success. In 1870 Mr. Ainsworth came...

Biographical Sketch of V. N. Bacon

V. N. Bacon came to Elmore from Williamstown, Vt., in 1850, and located upon “Mt. Lookout farm,” on the west side of Elmore pond, in 1850, where he resided until his death, in 1874. His son, Oliver D., now resides on the farm, where, in 1878, he established Camp Bacon, a resort for campers and picnickers. This is a beautiful location for boating and fishing, is supplied with boats, a camp-house 15×25 feet, and all the accessories of a resort of this kind, and is well patronized each...

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