This collection provides 165 biographies of the leading men in the establishment of Rock County, Illinois. These extensive biographies provide a narrative into the History of Rock Island County Illinois.Read More
Collection: Biographical History of Rock Island Illinois
That farming in Rock Island County is a profitable occupation is attested by the subject of this sketch, who, though in business for himself but a few years, is now the owner of two hundred and sixty acres of well improved land in section eleven, Bowling Township. He was born in the same Township, the son of William and Margaret (Morrison) Coyne, March 15, 1866. After the usual schooling of the country boy and the practical preparation for life on the farm, he married March 27, 1901, Miss Nora S. Doonan, of Mercer County, Illinois. The latter is the daughter of James R., and Bessie Doonan, and was born in Mercer County October 30, 1876. Mr. Coyne after his marriage settled on the farm he now occupies, and has cultivated it since with unvarying success. He and his worthy wife are the parents of one son, Everett D., born March 13, 1905. Mr. Coyne is an ardent Republican. He has served two terms as Township Tax...Read More
William T. Coyne is one of the enterprising and up-to-date agriculturists of Rural Township, Rock Island County, and a member of one of the pioneer families. He is a native son of the County, having been born in Bowling Township June 16, 1861. He is a son of William and Margaret (Morrison) Coyne. Born on the farm, he has always followed that vocation. With a limited schooling he, by study and close observation, has gained through his own efforts a ready fund of general information, as well as a good working capital of special knowledge of use to him in his business. He was married in Rural Township March 8, 1893, to Miss Carrie M. Griffith. The latter was born in Rock Island January 23, 1870, the daughter of Elwood and Carrie E. (Baulch) Griffith, now of Rural. After his marriage Mr. Coyne settled on the farm he now occupies in Rural. The land at that time was badly run down and poorly improved, but by hard work and the application of advanced methods of agriculture he has brought the land to a high state of cultivation, and now owns two hundred and forty acres of the best producing ground in the vicinity, as well as one of the most comfort-able homes. In his political views Mr. Coyne is a staunch Republican. He stands high in the community as...Read More
The man whose name appears at the head of this sketch is known as one of the most industrious and enterprising farmers of Bowling Township, where he was born and has spent all his life. He first opened his eyes upon this world November 19, 1867, his parents being William and Margaret (Morrison) Coyne. He attended the public schools of the County, and February 18, 1896, was married to Miss Eilza A. Bauer. The latter is also a native of Bowling. She was born September 3, 1869, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (McDonald) Bauer. Her mother was a native of Ireland and her father a native of Germany, they being born in 1845 and 1821 respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Bauer were among the early settlers of the County. They were married here in 1868, and immediately took up their residence on the farm they still occupy. Their children are. Eliza A., Emma J., Mary E., and Sarah A., besides a son who died in infancy. Mr. Coyne after his marriage began the cultivation of a farm in Black Hawk Township. In January, 1907, he removed to the place he now occupies: He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Black Hawk and one hundred and twenty acres adjoining in Bowling. In his methods he is practical and at the same time thoroughly up-to-date....Read More
Rock Island County owes much to its Irish sons. They have tilled its soil, built up, developed and directed its industries, and are today among its most substantial and energetic citizens. In no case is the obligation more real than in that of William Coyne, senior, “Uncle Billy,” as he is popularly known. He was one of the earliest comers to this locality from Erin’s Isle, and after more than sixty-two years residence here is still a man of remarkable activity. He has been one of the county’s heaviest land holders, and though he has turned the greater portion of his estate over to his children he still directs the cultivation of a small farm and continues to actively look after his other business interests. William Coyne, senior, is a native of Ireland, born June 11, 1822, the son of Thomas and Martha (Brown) Coyne. His parents were Irish and the father died in that country when the son was young. The mother late in life came to America and spent her last days among her children, dying in Rock Island about 1887. There were six children: Mariah, Margaret, Matilda, Jane, William and Robert. Jane died in the mother country, but the others all became citizens of the United States. William is now the sole survivor of the family. Our subject was reared a farmer and has followed that...Read More
Among the younger business men of Rock Island County few have demonstrated their ability in as many different fields as has John W. Parker. City bred, and trained originally for commercial pursuits, he has been successful alike in trade, manufacturing, politics and ‘even agriculture. In addition, he has through his own efforts, secured a liberal education, including a fair knowledge of law, although dependent upon his own resources since the age of sixteen. Mr. Parker was born November 1, 1870, at Henry, Illinois, the son of Samuel and Anna Parker. His father was a native of Ohio and his mother was born in Ireland of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He attended the grammar and high schools of Chicago before going to work at the age of sixteen as stock-keeper for the Western Electric Company. He advanced rapidly, becoming timekeeper, pay-master, assistant cashier and purchasing agent, finally resigning after six years to engage in the real estate business. Two years later he took up the study of law in the offices of William E. Mason, at the same time being employed as teacher in the Chicago public night schools. During Mr. Mason’s successful campaign for the United States Senate Mr. Parker was his secretary and active political lieutenant, acquiring in this way an intimate acquaintance with the leading men of the State. In 1896 Mr. Parker was appointed assistant City Sealer for...Read More
The combination of human attributes which yields success in many fields, though a rare one, is embodied in the subject of this review. The drug business, manufacturing, stock raising, what ever he has turned his hand to, has given a balance on the right side of the ledger, so carefully has he studied and so well has he wrought. William H. Marshall was born April 23, 1851, in Warren County, Indiana. He was the youngest of eleven children, five of whom are still living. His father was Edward P. Marshall and his mother Ann (Kellam) Marshall, both being natives of Pennsylvania, and of Quaker ancestry and belief. The parents in the early forties settled in Indiana, where the father followed farming and stock raising till 1854, when he removed to Vermillion, Illinois, where he died in 1857. His mother having passed away in 1852, our subject was thrown upon his own resources at an unusually early age. His education was obtained in the common schools, and at the age of twenty he obtained a place in a drugstore at Rossville, Illinois. Here he remained two years, rapidly mastering the details of the business. Leaving Rossville he located at Shipman, Illinois, and there soon found a friend who made it possible for Mr. Marshall to start in business for himself. Success smiled upon him from the beginning, and at the...Read More
William McEniry, one of the early settlers of the County of Rock Island, was born in Charleville, County Cork, Ireland, a village near the line of County Limerick, on February 15, 1817, where he received his education and where he was engaged in mercantile business two years prior to his departure for America which was in April 1840, having heard much of the United States from an uncle who at that time lived in Albany, New York, he concluded to pay a visit to his uncle, and in company with his eldest sister, departed for America, arriving in New York City on a sailing vessel, steam vessels not being in use. He proceeded up the Hudson River on a steamboat to the City of Albany, and while visiting with his uncle he learned much of the country west of the Hudson River along the Erie Canal which had recently been opened to navigation. He decided to take a trip up the canal to Syracuse, and while there formed the acquaintance of John White, brother of the late Spencer White of Moline, who induced him to take charge of the office of a brick factory he was operating. In the Spring of 1841 John White’s father and mother were desirous of coming to Peoria, Illinois, to make their home with a daughter in that city. John White induced him to...Read More
One of Rock Island’s long established physicians who has achieved an enviable reputation in his profession, and who is held in high personal regard by all who know him, is Doctor Carl Bernhardi. He was born September 10, 1843, in the City of Koenigsberg, East Prussia, Germany. Here he spent his boyhood, receiving his preliminary education in the schools and colleges of his native city, and finally entered the medical department of the University of Koenigsberg in 1863. He continued his medical course in this university until the Autumn of 1866, when he went to the University of Berlin. From this latter institution he graduated one year later, August 15, 1867. Previous to his graduation Doctor Bernhardi served as a volunteer surgeon during the war between Prussia and Austria in 1866. He was present at the battles of Nathod and Skalitz, which occurred June 27 and 28 of that year, and also the battle of Koenigraetz, which occurred July 3. He was discharged at the close of the war which terminated September 3, 1866. He remained in Germany until March, 1869, when he came to the United States, going immediately to old friends at St. Louis. While there he learned that there was an opening for a German physician at Rock Island and consequently decided to locate here. He arrived in Rock Island on April 22, 1869, and has...Read More
It is seldom that a young physician entering upon the practice of his profession achieves instantaneous and striking success. The path that leads to a large and lucrative practice is in nearly every case a weary and a tortuous one. But to all rules there are exceptions. The young physician whose life we are to discuss in this sketch, Doctor Carl O. Bernhardi, although one of the younger of Rock Island County’s physicians, has, nevertheless, in the few brief years that he has practiced his calling, attained an eminence that places him well in the van as a prominent and successful member of the medical profession. He was born January 3, 1880, his parents being Dr. Carl and Mrs. Zoe Julia Bernhardi. A sketch of the life of Dr. Carl Bernhardi appears upon another page of this volume. Dr. Carl O. Bernhardi’s early education was obtained in the Rock Island German School, the Rock Island Public School and the High School. After graduating from this latter institution he entered the University of Illinois, where he pursued a specially selected course adapted as a preliminary to the medical course which he intended to follow later. Upon the completion of his course in the University of Illinois he entered Rush Medical College at Chicago in 1898, graduating with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1902. After his graduation he served...Read More
Frank H. Kelly, one of the younger members of the Rock Island County bar, is a native and a lifelong resident of the city in which he now practices his profession. He was born in Rock Island, February 8, 1870, the son of P. H. and Ellen Kelly. After completing a course in the public schools and then attending high school, he chose a career before the bar and began the study of law in the University of Michigan Law School, from which he graduated in 1891. The following year, February 1, 1892, he began practicing and has been actively engaged ever since. Mr. Kelly was appointed Master in Chancery in February, 1904, and served one term of two years. In March, 1906, he was appointed assistant State’s Attorney, and holds that office at present, he and J. K. Scott, State’s Attorney, dividing the duties of an unusually active administration. Mr. Kelly’s spiritual affiliations are Catholic. Politically he is a Republican and has devoted much time and met with considerable success in furthering the interests of his party. Fraternally, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Modern Woodmen of America, Court of Honor, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Mystic Workers. Personally, he is unassuming, of easy address, and popular among all classes to an unusual degree. June 5, 1895, Mr. Kelly married Anna A. Slattery, of...Read More
No vocation in life offers opportunity for greater genuine service to mankind than that of doctor of medicine, and the physician who fully appreciates his responsibilities and conscientiously responds to every call made upon him is a public benefactor in the highest sense of the term. There can be no question as to the reward that will be his in the after life. Such a man was Charles Crawford Carter, one of the best known and most generally beloved medical practitioners who ever ministered to the ills of the people of Rock Island County. Purity of mind, lofty ideals, and unselfish devotion to the welfare of others were manifested strikingly throughout the quarter of a century he practiced his profession in Rock Island and surrounding country, and in return he was esteemed and loved by all with whom he came in contact. Characteristic disregard of his own physical welfare where the needs of others were involved was manifested in the last act of his life, when he contracted septic pneumonia, which quickly claimed him, while ministering to a patient. Dr. Carter was born in San Francisco December 20, 1852, and died April 2, 1904, after an illness of one week. His parents were Elijah and Ann Maria Whitney Carter, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Massachusetts, and of puritan ancestry. The father was among those...Read More
Virgil Marion Blanding was born December 8, 1827, at Grenell Mills (now Aldenville), Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and died March 3, 1907. His father, Reba Blanding, was one of the original proprietors of Grenell Mills, but spent his later years on his farm nearby. His mother was Beulah Ann Grenell. Both branches of the family were of Hugunot stock; the known line of descent on the father’s side running from William Blanding, who emigrated to America and settled in Boston in 1640, where he soon after became “selectman.” His four great grandfathers, Noah Blanding, John Martin, Michael Grenell and Elijah Marshall, were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, the last named being a member of Arnold’s expedition against Quebec and one of the first inside the enemies works. He was wounded, made a prisoner and exchanged, and afterwards fought under General Wayne at Stony Point, continuing on active duty until the close of the war, from which he emerged with the honorable record of a brave, faithful and gallant patriot. The maternal great grandfather, Michael Grenell, was participant in the battle of Saratoga, and in that engagement distinguished himself by his courage and devotion. Mr. Blanding received a thorough common school education, and after courses in several academies entered Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the leading Baptist collegiate institution of the State, from which he graduated in 1852 as valedictorian of...Read More
It is a pleasure for the writer to take up the career of men who, through long years of residence in Rock Island County, have by their upright lives and splendid deeds won for themselves the enduring respect and regard of their fellow citizens. In this class the Honorable George W. Vinton stands prominent. He was born at Middlebury, Vermont, December 5, 1834. His father was John A. Vinton, who served as a drummer boy during the War of 1812. After the close of that war the father received from the United States Government a tract of land for his services. The elder Vinton was a good father, and gave his son splendid advantages for that early day. At the age of fifteen years George W. Vinton graduated from the Randolph Academy in his native State. Here he was a classmate of the late Judge Austin Adams, a former Judge of the Iowa Supreme Court. After his graduation from the Academy he was engaged in teaching for six terms. Tiring, however, of the life of a pedagogue, in 1855 he went west, settling in what was then the Territory of Minnesota. Here he learned the carpenter’s trade. In the fall of the same year he came to Moline, where he took the contract to build the Riverside Academy. Afterward he entered the employ of his uncle, John Deere, and...Read More
By her work as beneficiary recorder of the Royal Neighbors of America, the woman’s auxiliary to the Modern Woodmen of America, the largest fraternal insurance society in the world, Miss Myrtle E. Dade has shown herself a woman of rare business and executive ability. A quality no less rare, she has demonstrated her ability to efficiently supervise a considerable body of women without friction and in a manner which has accomplished wonderful results. So systematically has the work in her offices been handled that other similar societies have paid her the compliment of adopting many of the devices which she originated and first put in use in the beneficiary department of the Royal Neighbors, the headquarters of which is at Rock Island. Miss Dade was born in Fulton, Whiteside County, Illinois, which was the early home of the Woodmen Society. She was the daughter of Rufus E. Dade and Elizabeth R. Dade, and was one of a family of four children. Her father was a shoe dealer at Fulton and one of the leading citizens of the place. He enlisted in the Civil War in the Fifth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company F, September 10, 1861, and served till October 27, 1864. He participated with Grant’s command in some of the hardest battles of the war, being wounded at the Wilderness. June 6, 1866, he re-enlisted in the Forty-third Veteran...Read More
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