Location: Champaign County IL

Biographical Sketch of W. W. Pepper

W. W. Pepper, a popular lawyer and a successful young business man, was born on a farm seven miles south of Newman May 24, 1866, and is the eldest of seven children born to Dudley H. and Nancy Liston Pepper. His father was a native of Kentucky and resides at Oakland. Mr. Pepper received his early education in the public schools of Oakland and afterward took a three-years’ course in the University of Illinois in Champaign. After leaving the university he took a two-years’ law course at the Northwestern University at Evanston and was graduated with honor in 1893, shortly afterward being admitted to the bar. On June 28, 1890, Mr. Pepper married Miss Nora Hinds, of Hindsboro. In March, 1894, Mr. Pepper located in Newman and commenced the practice of law. He became at once deservedly popular and in May, 1895, was chosen city attorney, which office he filled with due honor until the expiration of his time. He was re-elected to the same office, but resigned to look after his other business. It can be truly said of him that he is a man peculiarly after his own style. He has no model and seeks after none, save that which is the creation of his own mind. Starting out in life as he did, without means, perseverance and energy constituted his only capital. He entered his profession...

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Biography of Ira M. Mulliken

Ira M. Mulliken, junior member of the well-known firm of Barr & Mulliken and one of the rising young business men of Newman, was born in Champaign County, Illinois, December 17, 1865. His father, James W. Mulliken, was a native of Johnson County, Indiana, and removed to Champaign County in about 1852. His mother Catherine was a daughter of Rev. Samuel F. Miller, who was horn in 1815, and at present resides in Arcola. (See sketch of W. H. Bush, of Hindsboro.) In about 1868 the father of I. M. Mulliken removed to a farm near Hindsboro, where the latter remained until he arrived at the age of twenty-one years, when he went to Arcola to reside, and there worked at the carpenter’s trade. He attended Lee’s academy at Loxa, Illinois, for six months, then subsequently attended the embalming college at Indianapolis. From 1893 to June 1, 1896, he was a member of the undertaking firm of Mike, Miller & Co., at Charleston, Illinois. In the latter year he removed to Newman to accept a partnership with James Barr (see sketch). On September 4, 1893, he was married to Miss Ida A., a daughter of John W. Allison, of Arcola. They have one child, a daughter, Frances Marie. He is a member and noble grand of the I. O. O. F. elder iii the Christian Church, and superintendent of...

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Biography of Rev. William E. Means

Rev. William E. Means, proprietor of the Atwood Herald, was born at Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, June 28, 1850. He attended the district school during the winter, working on prepared to enter Paris high school. In 1874 he matriculated at the Northwestern University, and was graduated from the theological department of this well-known institution in the farm (luring the summer months, until the class of 1879. After graduation he was admitted to the Minnesota conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was appointed pastor of the Rushmore charge, where a hand-some four-thousand-dollar church was built, free from debt. In the middle of the second year he was appointed to Lu Verne, where the church was greatly blessed during his labors with a sweeping revival, the church completed, and the way prepared for the paying- off of a crushing debt. Finding the Minnesota winters colder than he liked, he found an opportunity, in the spring of 1884, to transfer to South Kansas conference, where during the year he was instrumental in building two places of worship, a temporary building in Fort Scott, Kansas, which afterward became Grace church, and a beautiful village church at Hiattville, Kansas. The two years following were spent at Moran, Kansas, and were very fruitful. More than a hundred were gathered into the church, and the church thoroughly organized. A pastorate of three and a half...

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Biography of Oliver O. Hockett

Oliver O. Hockett, one of the younger members of the medical fraternity of Douglas County, and one of the leading men in the social, professional and educational life of Newman, was born in Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, March 2, 1866. He was graduated from the high school of Paris in 1882 and subsequently entered the state university at Champaign, where he remained for three years. He then took up the study of medicine with Dr. M. P. Smith, with whom he remained until he entered Chicago Hahnemann College, from which well known institution he was graduated in the class of 1880, and the following year he spent in the Hahnemann hospital. In March, 1890, he came to Newman and opened out in the general practice of medicine, and has succeeded far beyond his expectations. He is skilled and successful, and although having been in Newman but a few years, he enjoys one of the most extensive and lucrative practices in the County. He is a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society, contributes to the medical journals and keeps himself thoroughly in touch with the advancements being made in his profession. As a diagnostician in his profession, as well as in his judgment of human nature, he would pass muster in any community. Dr. Hockett is a son of Mahlon and Mary (Kimble) Hockett, natives of Vermilion and Edgar counties...

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Biographical Sketch of Walter C. Blaine

Walter C. Blaine was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in the class of 189$. He commenced the practice at Murdock, where he remained until October, 1898, when he formed a partnership with Dr. William E. Rice, of Tuscola. Dr. Blaine is a native of Champaign, Illinois, and was born June 1 866. He graduated from the Champaign high school, and after four years attendance was graduated from the University of Illinois, at Champaign, on certificate. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, member of the Woodmen, and a member of the Douglas County Medical...

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Biography of Elizabeth Clark Jenkinson

Elizabeth Clark Jenkinson, daughter of the late venerable John Clark of Gifford, whose career has been fully sketched in preceding pages, resides on one of the fine farming estates around Gifford and some special mention should be made of her family. She is the wife of Mr. Alfred Jenkinson, who was born at Lacon, Illinois, a son of Benjamin and Mary A. (Willy) Jenkinson. Benjamin Jenkinson was born in Yorkshire, England, and his wife in Leicestershire, England. They immigrated to America at an early day and were married at Lacon, Illinois, in 1857. Of their ten children Alfred was the oldest. The children all attended district schools in Marshall County, Illinois, and experienced the hardships incident to pioneer life. The Jenkinson family lived in a log house, and their efforts served to reclaim a portion of Illinois soil to cultivation. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Jenkinson began their wedded life on his father’s estate half a mile north of Gifford. Here Mr. Jenkinson has found ample opportunities to prove his ability as a farmer and his business judgment has enabled him to acquire a farm of 200 acres. Their family consists of four children, Clemens J., Mary Isabel, Jessie Virginia and John Benjamin. The education and training of these children were a primary consideration of Mr. and Mrs. Jenkinson from the beginning. They sent them to the...

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Biography of John A. Clark

John A. Clark. Among the numerous families of Champaign County whose activities have contributed materially to its upbuilding and the promotion of its best interests that of Clark stands prominent. Now living retired at Rantoul, Mr. John A. Clark spent the best years of his active career as a successful farmer, and he reared and liberally provided for his family through the fruits of his toil in the fields of this county. Mr. Clark is a son of John and Jean (Butters) Clark, both of whom were born and reared among the hills and heather of Scotland. John Clark’s heart was won by a Scotch lassie and he succeeded in persuading her to change her name. The young people were possessed of characteristic energy and progressiveness, strong traits of the native Scotch. It was their ardent desire to cast their lot with the New World, concerning which they had heard wonderful stories. On the day following their wedding, when the festivities of the occasion were scarcely ended, John and Jane Clark started for America. The future was rainbowed with promises, and seen through a rosy tint of bright anticipation they courageously undertook to carve out their own fortune. After landing in New York they lived there two years and then removed to Cook County, Illinois, and still later to Champaign County. From time to time children came into their...

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Biographical Sketch of Paul J. Strahle

Paul J. Strahle is one of the younger business men of Champaign, is active and aggressive, and has already acquired a secure position as a unit in the commercial community. A native of Champaign, he was born February 20, 1892, the only son and child of John G. and Catherine (Dawson) Strahle. His mother was born in England and died at Champaign, March 1, 1912. John G. Strahle is also a native of Champaign County, was for a number of years a tailor by trade, but is now associated with his son in business. Educated in the public schools of Champaign, Paul J. Strahle early evinced a strong inclination and tendency for mechanical pursuits and he served an apprenticeship which in itself constituted the equivalent of a technical university course. For a time he was in the engineering department of the Cadillac Company at Detroit, also with the Studebaker Company, and from there removed to Dayton. Ohio, and had a thorough course of training in the engineering departments of the Delco plant. Mr. Strahle is an expert electrician and is master of practically every technical detail connected with the construction, assembling and repair of automobiles. In March, 1915, he engaged in business for himself at Champaign in electrical supplies and garage. He is now manager and proprietor of the Willard Service Station there. Mr. Strahle is unmarried. He is...

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Biography of Joseph Kerr

Joseph Kerr. One of the oldest and most honored names in Champaign County is that of Kerr, and its substantial qualities are fittingly commemorated by that name being assigned to one of the prosperous townships. It is in section 5 of this township that Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kerr reside and have their fine country home. Mr. Joseph Kerr has for many years been a hard working and prosperous farmer and has a great deal of real accomplishment to his credit. He was born in Kerr Township, a son of Samuel and Betsy Ann (Taylor) Kerr. His father was born in Ohio and his mother in Kentucky. Samuel Kerr, who was of Scotch-Irish stock, was one of the earliest pioneers of Champaign County and the first settler in the Sugar Grove community. He located there when his. nearest neighbor was six miles away. The country was a raw and unbroken prairie. There were no railroads nor towns, and the Kerr home was a nucleus around which other settlers gradually gathered and began the development of one of the finest sections of the entire county. Samuel Kerr was not only a hard working pioneer but a man of splendid character, and it was for him that the township was named. Mr. Joseph Kerr grew up in this county, attended the local schools, and started life independently when he married Emma...

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Biography of Louis William Schluter

Louis William Schluter. A splendid farm and country estate two miles east of Gifford represents the toil and effort and expenditure of character and industry on the part of the Schluter family covering a long period of years. The present manager of that farm, and one who knows full well how to get the best out of the soil, is Louis William Schluter, a young and progressive farmer whose activities have brought him commendable prominence among the agriculturists of this section. Mr. Schluter’s home is in section 36 of Kerr Township. He is a native of Champaign County and a son of John William and Gesche (Fecht) Schluter. His parents were both born in Germany but came to America when single and were married in this country. They first located in Adams County, Illinois, and then came to Champaign County. They possessed the sturdy characteristics of the German fatherland, and by energy and economy secured the comforts of their simple home and gradually expanded their holdings to the possession of a very splendid estate. For a long time John W. Schluter worked for wages of $13 a month. There came a time when he was able to buy his first land, and he gradually accumulated more until his estate consisted of 480 broad acres, improved with excellent buildings, shade trees, and altogether constituting one of the most attractive farms...

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Biographical Sketch of Leo H. Bireline

Leo H. Bireline, one of the youngest business men of Champaign, is successfully engaged in the metal roofing business, an industry which he learned during his youth, his father being also connected with the same line of business. Mr. Bireline was born in Danville, Illinois, June 19, 1894, a son of Henry and Emma (Diehl) Bireline, both of whom were also natives of Danville. His parents are still living at Danville and his father conducts a roofing and sheet metal works in that city. There were five children in the family: Catherine Ellen, wife of W. A. Meek of Danville; Robert, who is associated with his brother Leo in business at Champaign; Leo; Florence and Emily, both at home with their parents. Leo H. Bireline grew up in Danville, attended the city schools, spent two years in high school and finished his education in Brown’s Business College at Danville. There he took a bookkeeping and general business course, and with that equipment and with the experience he had acquired under his father he came to Champaign to take charge of the local branch of the sheet metal and roofing business. This business in its subsequent growth now requires all his time and active attention. The headquarters of the business is a large building 25×125 feet, with ample facilities for a perfect service in their particular line. Mr. Bireline married...

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Biography of Peter Peterson

Peter Peterson. For many years the late Peter Peterson was a resident of Champaign, was a quiet and industrious business man, acquired considerable property and made his name influential and honored in this community. A native of Sweden, Mr. Peterson was born in 1848. He was twenty-one years of age when he left his native land and came to America in 1869, soon afterward locating in the city of Champaign. He had received his education in Sweden and was well fitted for a life of activity. He engaged in the dray and transfer business at Champaign, and conducted that actively for nearly forty years. He was in the full vigor of his powers almost until the last, and his death occurred in Champaign in August, 1909. He was married in 1871, at Champaign, to Marian Christina Olson. She was born in Sweden and came to Champaign in 1870. Mrs. Peterson is still living, but an invalid and has lost the power of speech. She has one of the comfortable homes of Champaign, owns considerable property, and her constant attendant in her declining years is her daughter, Mrs. Sophie J. Parr. The only son of Mrs. Peterson, Charles J. Peterson, lives in Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Sophie J. Parr was born in Champaign. She is a highly educated woman and has long been identified with public school work in Champaign. She...

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Biography of William H. Zorger, M. D.

William H. Zorger, M. D. For thirty-one years Doctor Zorger has practiced his profession in DeWitt and Champaign counties. He is a talented physician, has the advantage of long and thorough experience, and has been trained in the best schools of this country and by extensive observation and study here and abroad. His able assistant and partner not only in life but in his profession is his wife, who is one of the pioneer women of the state to take up medicine as a profession and is one of the best equipped specialists in Champaign County. Doctor Zorger was born in DeWitt County, Illinois, September 5, 1860, a son of Jacob S. and Margaret (Miller) Zorger. His father was born in York County, Pennsylvania, and in 1833 removed to Monticello, Illinois. He established a mill, which for a number of years was the only mill to supply flour and meal to a large section of country. The mill was sold to Mr. Collins in 1858, and he in turn sold it to Mr. McIntosh, and for many years it was known as the McIntosh Mill. Jacob S. Zorger died at Weldon, Illinois, in 1902, and his widow is still living there. Of their ten children five are living, and Doctor Zorger was the fifth in order of birth. Doctor Zorger spent his early life in his father’s home, had...

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Biography of David G. Fisher

David G. Fisher, now living retired at Champaign, began farming in this county nearly half a century ago. He realizes as few men still living do the difficulties and the handicaps to which farming was subject in those early years, and he has also realized along with extensive experience financial independence and the success which is the object of all ambitious men. Mr. Fisher was born in Fulton County, Illinois, December 3, 1839. His parents, Frederick and Sarah (Fouts) Fisher, were both born in Clark County, Indiana. When they went to Illinois in 1833 they passed through Champaign County, but sought what to them seemed a better location in Fulton County. There they lived prosperously the rest of their days as farmers and both of them died in that county. Their children were: Jacob, John, Henry, Cynthia, all now deceased; Mary, who still resides in Fulton County; Sarah, wife of Marion Kimberland, of Missouri; David G.; Clara, deceased; Isabel, living at Canton in Fulton County, widow of Jacob Fouts; Elizabeth, deceased; Ellen, wife of Thomas Beets, of Kokomo, Indiana; and Fred L., of Canton, Fulton County. David G. Fisher was reared and educated in Fulton County. He left home at the age of twenty-four and bought a farm of 140 acres near Canton and was busy with its cultivation and management until ill health compelled him to give up...

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Biography of William Tomlinson

William Tomlinson. One of the oldest residents of Champaign County is Mr. William Tomlinson, whose home is at Penfield in Kerr Township. Mr. Tomlinson has experienced more than the average trials and ordeals of existence and he is well entitled to the esteem and respect that he enjoys in his community. Mr. Tomlinson was born in the Village of Franklin, near the City of Indianapolis, in Marion County, Indiana, a son of Robert and Rachel (Sheets) Tomlinson. His parents were both born in Indiana and his Grandfather Sheets was of German descent. Mr. Tomlinson was one of eight children, seven sons and one daughter. When he was a child his father died and a little later his mother passed away at Carlyle on the Mississippi River. William Tomlinson came to Vermilion County, Illinois, with his uncle, Elisha Crawford, in 1849, when ten years old. He came to Champaign County in 1852, and arrived here a poor and friendless boy with no money and with nothing except his own determined ambition to stand him in good stead while making a way in the busy world. For a year he worked for a farmer at $6.50 a month, and his hours of employment were from sunup to sundown. When Mr. Tomlinson came to Champaign County there were no railroads and very few towns. The nearest market place for mail and other...

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