Albert A. Hyde. A native of Champaign County and one who has spent his entire life within its borders, watching its development throughout the years of its greatest growth, Albert A. Hyde is so well known to the citizens of this great agricultural center that it may seem supererogatory to give his record in detail in a work of this kind. On the other hand, Mr. Hyde is one of those who have helped to make history in the county. He has not merely been a witness to progress he has also been a participant in the movements which have made for the same, and his record of citizenship is also worthy of note.
Albert A. Hyde was born November 7, 1856, in Champaign County, Illinois, the third in a family of six children born to Adolphus W. and Sophia H. (Choate) Hyde. Of these children five are living: Elizabeth, who is the wife of G. E. Durbin, an agriculturist in the vicinity of Backus, Minnesota; Peoria, who is the widow of Joseph L. Neal, also resides at Backus; Albert A., of this review; Carrie A., who is the wife of J. H. Abbott, a retired farmer of Lincoln, Illinois; and Adolphus Bruce, a prosperous farmer and miller of East Bend Township. The father of these children was born in Switzerland County, Indiana, February 16, 1835, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he had mastered before coming to this State in young manhood. In Illinois he was married, but returned to Indiana and spent four years in the Hoosier State, then coming back to the prairie country, where he settled on the land which had been taken up by his father from the United States Government, and the deed for which bears the bond and seal of Franklin Pierce, under date of January 3, 1856. This paper is still in the possession of Albert A. Hyde, and is a document which will be handed down with pride to his descendants.
Adolphus W. Hyde was first a Whig and later a Republican, and his vote was sturdily given to Abraham Lincoln at a time when the country needed every loyal citizen. While not a man who courted honors or sought preference above his fellows, he was one who recognized and appreciated the duties of citizenship, and for nineteen years served capably and conscientiously as township treasurer of East Bend Township. Mr. Hyde was of English stock and traced his ancestry to a family that was due to receive a large inheritance. However, he made no public mention of the fact, and seemed to be perfectly content to have his reputation rest upon the things that he did himself and not the accomplishments of those who had gone before him. When he died, October 27, 1907, a faithful member was lost to the Methodist Church, which he had joined in 1881 and which he had helped to build, as had also his son, Albert A., of this review. He was laid to rest in Mount Hope Cemetery. Mrs. Hyde was born in the same county as her husband, January 25, 1828, and died June 20, 1909. Her example and precept had been such as to guide her children along the right paths; her training was of the kind that brought them up to straightforward and sterling manhood and useful and modest womanhood; and her memory will be kept forever green in the minds of her children as a kind, loving and always self-sacrificing mother.
In a home of this kind it was not unnatural that Albert Hyde should grow up with ideals of clean and honorable living; nor is it surprising that he should remain under the parental roof until he was thirty years of age. Aside from the education that he secured in the public schools and the training that he gained during the leisure to be found in a family in which each member was supposed to do his or her part in contributing to the general income, he is a self-educated man. During his career he has seen much, has observed more, has gained information through association with his fellow men, has exercised a mind naturally bright, and as a result he is well informed, intelligent and alive to all that is going on in the great world, and able to converse upon it in a way that leaves no doubt as to his information. Brought up an agriculturist, he has been content to follow the vocation of the husbandman, and his fine tilled fields show the result of his industry and good management.
Mr. Hyde married March 18, 1886, Miss Alice M. Norton, and they are the parents of four children: Edith, who is the wife of P. M. Hamm, connected with the United States Mail Service at Dewey, Illinois; Nellie, who resides with her parents; Marian A.; and Paul A.
Mrs. Hyde is a native of Pickaway County, Ohio, born April 29, 1861, a daughter of Edwin D. and Mary (Rhoades) Norton. There were four sons and three daughters in the family, and of these five children are residents of Champaign County. Edwin D. Norton was born in Pennsylvania, February 26, 1830, and died December 20, 1898. He went to Ohio as a young man and resided there until 1865, and during his residence in that State served as postmaster at Tarleton during the administration of President Lincoln. In 1871 he came to Champaign County, Illinois, and made his home here until his death, which occurred on his farm in the vicinity of Bondville. He cast his vote for Fremont and was a stanch and sturdy Republican. Mrs. Norton was born in Indiana, January 13, 1838, and is still living, at the age of seventy-nine years, being a resident of Champaign. She is a faithful member of the Methodist Church and one of the most beloved ladies of her community. Mrs. Hyde, after completing the public school course, spent two years at Monticello High School, and for four years following was one of the most popular and successful teachers in Champaign County. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the work of which she takes an active part, as she does also in the activities of the Ladies’ Aid Society, to which she also belongs. Like her husband, she is a firm believer in the value of education, and the Hyde children have been given every opportunity to fit themselves for the battle of life.
Mr. Hyde’s first vote was cast for President Garfield, and since that time he has been an active and helpful supporter of every candidate who has headed the Republican ticket. For the past six years he has been a member of the board of directors of the public schools. His fraternal connection is with Camp No. 6319, Modern Woodmen of America, at Dewey. The well cultivated and handsome 160-acre Hyde estate is situated two and one-half miles east of Dewey, on the North and South Road, in East Bend Township, and upon it stands the modern and hospitable home where the family’s many friends are always welcome.