Joseph Huntoon, deceased, a native of Hanover, New Hampshire, was born April 17, 1812, and came to Illinois in 1837, and settled at Andover Heights. Shortly afterwards he went to what is now called Richland Grove Township, where he was united to Miss Sylvia Tanneg in marriage also a native of New Hampshire, having been born at New Ipswick October 22, 1822.
Joseph Huntoon only had a common school education and at an early age learned the shoemaker’s trade. In 1844 he and Mrs. Huntoon took up their residence in Moline and he was the first shoemaker of that place, which was then a mere “Hamlet.” He resided at the corner of Second Avenue and Fourteenth Street, the property on which he lived belonging to Spencer White, and afterwards was the home of S. W. Wheelock.
Mr. Huntoon later removed to Fourth Avenue and Fourteenth Street, where he lived until the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad came west, and upon entering Moline, took a portion of their lot. This necessitated the removal of the house further back on the lot in order to make room for the tracks. The people at that time were so anxious for the railroad that they cared but little where the tracks were laid.
Some time later Mr. Huntoon removed to the old Joseph Jackman place where he resided until his demise.
Mrs. Huntoon was a charter member of the Congregational Church of Moline, being at that time only eighteen years of age. Soon afterwards Mr. Huntoon became a member of the same church, and both became steady church goers. Mr. Huntoon later became a deacon and also could be found on each Wednesday evening in charge of the Boys’ Club. Not only was Mr. Huntoon the first shoemaker of the place, but he was the second brickmaker as well. Finding that the brick industry was a profitable one he commenced to manufacture that material, and from 1846 to 1876 he supplied Moline with the greater quantity of its brick.
His family consisted of Edgar N., Joseph C., George H., Mary L. and Fannie A. Huntoon, all of whom were born in Moline. with the single exception of Edgar N., who was born in Mercer County, Illinois.
Through keen perseverance and business enterprise Mr. Huntoon acquired considerable wealth, and after giving his children a good education, left them well provided for. He possessed the faculty of making friends and was held in high regard by his many acquaintances.