Location: Bureau County IL

Biography of Otis T. Dyer

No historical work claiming to he a true record of the growth and prosperity of Riverside for the decade of years preceding 1890, and claiming to record the establishment of many enterprises, industries and incorporations that have been the leading factor in placing her in the ranks of the leading cities and colonies of Southern California, could be considered as anything but glaringly incomplete without a more than passing mention of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. His association and connection with Riverside’s leading enterprises form an interesting chapter in the annals of the city and county. Mr. Dyer’s life, since Riverside received its first impetus, has been closely interwoven with every important enterprise or movement that tended to benefit the city and add to the welfare and prosperity of the community. The few facts obtained relating to his life and successful career are of interest. He was born in Portage, Genesee County, New York, in 1844. His parents were Leman W. and Philena (Green) Dyer. His father was a native of the Green Mountain State, and was a mechanic, a marble and granite worker by calling. When the subject of this sketch was four years of age his father moved to New London, Connecticut, and it was there where young Dyer received his early education, in the public schools. In the winter of 1857-’58, his father becoming...

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Biography of Volney P. Mooney

Volney P. Mooney, now probate judge of Butler County, had resided in this section of Kansas more than forty-eight years and had been successively teacher, merchant, lawyer and public official. The people of Butler County know him and trust him as completely as any other citizen. His father, the late Rev. Isaac Mooney, was one of the notable men in this section of Kansas. He was the founder of a town and community, and throughout his life held that community up to his own high ideals. It is not easy to lose sight of the tremendous influence either for good or evil exercised by the first comers to a new country. It is an old saying that “Birds of a feather flock together,” and the presence of one good man and true in a community is an incentive to others of like ideals and aspirations, and thus the pioneer of lofty character becomes the nucleus for the upbuilding of a community in which his purposes and standards of thought and action remain dominant for many years. That was true of the late Isaac Mooney. He was born in Miami County, Ohio, May 22, 1820, and came to Kansas in 1869. Coming into Butler County, he bought from J. R. Mead, the old Indian trader, the land lying south of Main Street in the present Town of Towanda. He took...

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Biography of Charles McHugh

Among those prominent in business, social and club life in the City of Rock Island, is Charles McHugh, a man who through persistent industry and commercial acumen has wrought for himself a successful career. His parents were Thomas Edwin and Ellen (House) McHugh. His mother was born in Syracuse, New York; his father was a native of Inniskillin, Ireland, but removed to this country, where the subject of this sketch was born September 3, 1863, at Syracuse, New York. Four years later his parents came west and located at Tiskilwa, in this State, where his mother is still living. Here their son received a common school education. Mr. McHugh remained in Tiskilwa until 1881, when he came to Rock Island. Seeking employment, he obtained a position as bell-boy at the Harper House, the hotel of which he is today manager and associate proprietor, but which was then owned and managed by the late Benjamin Harper. As a bell-boy Mr. McHugh received the princely salary of ten dollars a month, but with a firm determination to deserve and to attain a higher position he paid diligent attention to his duties. This determination upon his part was rewarded by a promotion to a position as clerk in the hotel, which position he held until 1894 when he, together with J. E. Montrose, purchased the management of the hotel from the Harper...

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Biography of Stephen Henry Velie

The City of Moline owes its prominence throughout the United States, and in fact, throughout the entire civilized world, chiefly to its manufactories. And to Stephen Henry Velie, deceased, who, during his life, was conspicuously identified with several of that city’s leading manufacturing establishments, Moline is greatly indebted for the preeminence she now maintains in industrial enterprise. Mr. Velie was born April 21, 1830, near Hyde Park, Dutchess County, New York, his boyhood, until he arrived at the age of fifteen years, being spent upon his father’s farm in that county. During this period he attended the public schools of that locality. In 1845 he went to New York City, where he made his home with his grandfather, Stephen Herrick, who was engaged in the commission business. While with his grandfather, Mr. Velie obtained valuable business training and experience which was of great advantage to him in later life. After remaining for some time in the home of his grandfather, Mr. Velie went to Poughkeepsie in the same state, and in 1847 came west, locating in St. Louis, Missouri. Here he was employed in the wholesale grocery house of Edward J. Gay & Company. Mr. Gay, the head of the firm, made his home in Louisiana, and was afterwards elected to congress from his district in that state. At this time Mr. Velie lived with him at his Louisiana...

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Biography of William Frederick Rapp

William Frederick Rapp, who came to Harvey County nearly forty years ago, had been a pioneer in many things, was one of the first merchants at Hesston, and had been identified with the growth and development of that town from the time it started. Among other interests Mr. Rapp is now president of the Hesston State Bank. Mr. Rapp was a practical farmer when he came to Kansas, and had acquired his early experience in one of the richest and most fertile farming sections of Illinois. He was born in Lee County, Illinois, May 17, 1852. His grandfather, Frederick William Rapp, was a sturdy German who went to Northern Illinois in pioneer times, and he had a tract of land well cleared and in cultivation when he was accidentally killed by a falling tree. His death occurred when his son John Rapp, father of William F., was a young man. John Rapp was born in Germany in 1827, and came as a child to the United States with his parents, spending his active career as a farmer in Lee County, Illinois, close to the line of Bureau County. He died on his farm there in 1861. In politics he was a republican, and a member of the Evangelical Church. John Rapp married Barbara Fauble, who was born in Germany in 1829 and died in Lee County, Illinois, in 1883....

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Biography of J. Louis Griswold, M. D.

J. Louis Griswold, M. D. During his long and active practice at Columbus, Doctor Griswold has become a recognized specialist in medical and surgical work, and has well earned a position among the foremost members of his profession in Cherokee County. Doctor Griswold has lived in this section of Kansas for more than thirty years, and was a druggist before taking up his studies and preparations for medicine. He was born on a farm in Bureau County, Illinois. His Griswold ancestors came originally from Wales and were colonial settlers in Connecticut. His grandfather, Willard Griswold, was born in Connecticut in 1776. He was the son of a soldier of the American Revolution, and other members of the family were also represented in the patriot armies. Willard Griswold became a pioneer farmer in the State of Iowa, where he died in 1874. Hubbard Griswold, father of Doctor Griswold, has for many years been a well known citizen of Southeastern Kansas. Born in Livingston County, New York, in 1830, he grew up in that state, and spent part of his boyhood as a “bound boy.” He worked hard to earn his own living from an early age, and as a young man went west to Michigan. His was a life of varied experience. For a time he was a boatman on the Mississippi River. He became an active farmer prior to...

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Biographical Sketch of Cassius C. Sheldon

Cassius C., son of Charles Sheldon, was born in Bureau county, Illinois, April 2, 1844. He was but four years old, however, when his parents returned to Phelps and he was educated there in the public schools. He has always followed farming. He is an active member of the Methodist church at Seneca Castle. He is a prominent member of the Seneca Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and has been a trustee for thirty years. He married, in 1865, Frances Fiero, of Gorham. They have one son, Charles E., born in 1867, a farmer, married Clara Francs and has one son, Lavaran, born March 24,...

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