Location: Champaign Illinois

Biography of Arthur C. Singbusch

Arthur C. Singbusch, now city electrician of Champaign, is a man of thorough technical training and wide experience in his profession, and his proficiency is due to a combination of practical work in various industries and to the advantages afforded by the great technical schools of his native city. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Mr. Singbusch was born in Champaign October 13, 1882, a son of August C. and Anna (Wascher) Singbusch. His parents were both born in Germany, the father coming to America when about ten years of age. For twenty-five years August C. Singbusch was in the grocery business at Champaign, though with various other interests on the side, and now except for occasionally writing some insurance he is practically retired. He and his wife had only two children, Arthur C. and Elsa. Arthur C. Singbusch graduated from the grade schools of Champaign and for two and a half years was a student in the engineering college department of the University of Illinois....

Read More

Biography of Rollo Stewart Bassett

Rollo Stewart Bassett is a lumberman of wide and thorough experience in both the manufacturing and business ends of the industry, and for the past ten years has been district manager of the Alexander Lumber Company, with headquarters at Champaign. Mr. Bassett was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, March 9, 1872, a son of Charles F. and Bertha (Stewart) Bassett. His father was born in Cincinnati and his mother in Newport, Kentucky. His father is an old time lumberman, is an honored veteran of the Civil War, having served three years in the armies of Burnside, and is still living at Cincinnati, being connected with the National Flag Company of that city. His wife died at the age of forty-two. There were four children: Rollo S.; Edna, deceased; Newton, of El Paso, Texas; and Ferris, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rollo S. Bassett attended local schools at Cincinnati, and at the age of sixteen began working with his father in the lumber business. Later he attended high school and also the Art and Mechanical Institute of Cincinnati, where he perfected himself in mechanical designing and illustrating. Mr. Bassett at the age of twenty-two went to Chicago and was connected with a wholesale milling concern in that city until 1908. In that year he came to Champaign as his headquarters, and as district manager for the Alexander Lumber Company his territory covers Rantoul,...

Read More

Biography of Oliver B. Dobbins

Oliver B. Dobbins. As a lawyer Oliver B. Dobbins has gained some of the better distinctions and successes of the profession. He has been in practice in the profession in Champaign County twenty-three years. His ability is sought in cases of more than ordinary importance. During his career Mr. Dobbins has appeared in more than a hundred cases in the Supreme and Appellate Courts of the state. Of such cases he has succeeded in winning at a ratio of three out of four, and at one time he secured favorable decisions in twelve successive appeals. An individual distinction of which any lawyer might be proud is that he procured the largest judgment ever rendered in Champaign County in an action for fraud sixty thousand dollars. Mr. Dobbins has made a specialty of organizing and representing drainage districts, having organized and appeared as attorney for fifty such districts. His work in that line now covers a dozen counties. As a public leader Mr. Dobbins’ name is synonymous with high ideals and the better element of local citizenship. In national politics he has always been a Democrat, and has also been closely identified with anti-saloon work. In 1896 as county chairman of the Democratic party he had th,e honor of piloting the party to its first county victory in fifty years. From 1913 to 1915 Mr. Dobbins was mayor of Champaign....

Read More

Biography of Charles F. Hamilton

Charles F. Hamilton. The business life of Champaign owes much to the enterprise and energy of Charles F. Hamilton. He first became identified with the city in the lumber trade, and while he has numerous interests elsewhere he has always remained loyal to this city and it is not only to him a home but a place where his many well considered investments have contributed much to local improvement and benefit. Mr. Hamilton is a native of Macoupin County, Illinois, where he was born November 26, 1864, a son of Julius and Virginia L. (VanDeventer) Hamilton. His parents were both natives of Virginia and of old Colonial stock. Julius Hamilton came out to Illinois in 1856, first locating in Cass County, and in 1861 establishing a home in Macoupin County. For many years he was one of the most extensive lumber dealers in the state, operating a string of yards throughout the state. In the fall of 1880 he removed to Champaign and from this city he subsequently directed his interests and he died here January 21, 1903. His wife is also deceased and they were the parents of three children: Mary, Lizzie and Charles F. Charles F. Hamilton acquired a good education, but most of it out of school and by active contact with men and affairs. When only fifteen years of age he started work in bis...

Read More

Biography of Boyd S. Blaine

Boyd S. Blaine. A position of public trust is necessarily indicative of the man who fills it. When the duties of an office demanding a keen intellect, a never failing integrity and a capacity for hard and continuous labor are, for years, discharged so satisfactorily that popular vote confers them successively upon the same person, it is to be assumed that the individual thus chosen is possessed of those qualities which make for the best arrangements in our official life. In this connection we may mention the career of Boyd S. Blaine, one of Champaign County’s best known officials. When he entered life on his own account it was with the desire to become a leader in the business field, but circumstances so shaped themselves that he went from one public office to another until he finally disposed of his business ambitions and since 1912 has held the responsible position of circuit clerk and recorder. While it would be interesting to know how far Mr. Blaine would have gone in business circles, the people of Champaign County can be assured that they would have benefited in no greater degree through the work of another man who would have filled the post now occupied by the present efficient clerk and recorder. Boyd S. Blaine was born on a farm in Champaign Township, Champaign County, Illinois, August 20, 1868, being a...

Read More

Biography of David Bailey

David Bailey. In the latter part of 1854 or the early part of 1855 Mr. Bailey moved to Monticello, Illinois. After a short sojourn there he came to Urbana, and in March or April, 1856, moved to Champaign, where for a number of years, in connection with W. B. Bailey, he conducted a small country store in a frame building that he erected on the site now occupied by the Robeson Department Store. David Bailey was one of the thirteen men who founded the First National Bank of Champaign, in 1865. Application for organization was made to the government in January, 1865, and certificate was issued in April, 1865. The thirteen men signing up were in the following order: J. S. Wright, J. H. Thomas, W. M. Way, Hamilton J. Jefferson, B. F. Harris, J. S. Beasley, David Bailey, Daniel Gardner, W. C. Barrett, Simeon H. Busey, S. P. Percival, J. G. Clark and A. E. Harmon. Each took fifty shares, making a capital of sixty-five thousand dollars. David Bailey disposed of his interest in the bank some time in the ’70s. In 1882 he, with other men, founded the Champaign National Bank. The nine men signing the organization certificate and present at the organization were: Edward Bailey, 110 shares; Wm. S. Maxwell, 100 shares; Jas. C. Miller, 150 shares; Bernard Kelley, 40 shares; David Bailey, 60 shares; Isaac...

Read More

Biography of Captain Edward Bailey

Captain Edward Bailey is president of the Champaign National Bank, an institution which has become noted as one of the most conservative in the United States and as a leader among the great banking institutions of Illinois. He was one of its founders. He was born at Bloomfield, Edgar County, Illinois, September 8, 1843, a son of David and Hannah (Finley) Bailey, concerning whom mention is made on other pages. His early education was obtained in subscription schools at Bloomfield. In the last part of 1854 or early in 1855 his parents moved to Monticello, Illinois, thence to Urbana, Illinois, and in the spring of 1856 to Champaign, where he attended the public schools. In 1858 and 1859 he was a student at Atkinson Academy, Atkinson, New Hampshire. In the fall of 1860 he entered Douglas University in Chicago. This was the nucleus of the old Chicago University, which still later was founded and chartered as the University of Chicago. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 an independent military company was formed in this school. As a member of that company Edward Bailey learned the regulation drill and became very proficient therein. When Stephen A. Douglas died this company had the position of honor in the funeral procession and at the grave. In 1862 he enlisted in Company K, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was elected first...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of L. Forney Wingard

L. Forney Wingard is a successful lawyer at Champaign, has been in active practice over fifteen years, and besides his accumulation of professional interests he has identified himself in a public spirited way with the work of the community. His family has lived in Champaign County for a great many years. Mr. Wingard was born at Champaign June 3, 1875, a son of Benjamin F. and Mary C. (Forney) Wingard. His father was born in Indiana, son of David Wingard, who came to Champaign County in 1859. Both the father and grandfather were in the jewelry business at Champaign. Mr. Wingard’s mother was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and is still living in Champaign County. There were three children: Anna, at home with her parents; L. Forney; and Roy, a traveling salesman. L. Forney Wingard was graduated in 1893 from the Champaign High School, and then took the regular academic course in the University of Illinois, where he graduated A. B. in 1898. For his law course he entered the Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, and began active practice in 1901. He is director and assistant attorney of the First State Trust and Banking Company at Urbana, Illinois. For seven years Mr. Wingard served as secretary of the Champaign Board of Education. In 1915 he was elected alderman from the fifth ward, and was one of the last board...

Read More

Biography of Arthur Sheridan

Arthur Sheridan is one of the live and enterprising real estate men of Champaign, and has been broker and agent for some extensive blocks of central Illinois farm lands and has handled a number of important transactions in that field. He is also well known in local politics and is one of the citizens of Champaign who can be counted upon for effective exertion of public spirited service. Mr. Sheridan was born in Champaign, September 16, 1874, a son of Patrick and Catherine (Sullivan) Sheridan. His father was a native of County Mayo and his mother of County Cork, Ireland. Patrick Sheridan came to America about 1850, living in New York State for several years and in 1854 coming to Champaign County. He was long and successfully identified with mercantile pursuits in this county and died here in November, 1892. His widow survived him until March, 1894. They had seven children: John, Maria and William, all deceased; Anna, custodian of the State Home at Geneva, Illinois; Dominick and Elizabeth, deceased; and Arthur. Arthur Sheridan grew up in Champaign, attended St. Mary’s Parochial School, but at the age of fifteen gave up his studies and books to earn his own living. For three years he worked on a farm, and for about four years was connected with McFadden & Company in the feed business. He subsequently acquired interests in the...

Read More

Biography of Edwin P. Babb

Edwin P. Babb. The Babb family came to Champaign County in 1853. Five years later, at the home of his parents on a farm in North Ogden Township, Edwin P. Babb was born November 9, 1858. His life career has been one of commendable industry and accomplishment, has been liberally rewarded, and for a number of years he has lived retired in one of the comfortable city homes of Champaign. His parents were Milton and Elizabeth (Littler) Babb. Milton Babb was born in Grant County in what is now the state of West Virginia, grew up there, took up the occupation of farmer, and subsequently became a merchant. He owned a half interest in a large store in West Virginia, but on account of failing health removed to the west. Champaign County was still comparatively new and undeveloped when he located in North Ogden Township in 1853. Coming from the rough and semi-mountainous district of West Virginia he seemed to recognize the value of the rich land in Champaign County, and invested all the money he could secure in the farming district and kept purchasing new property until at the time of his death on January 22, 1868; he owned a thousand and fifty acres. He lived only long enough to accomplish part of the development of this land. In the early years the Babb family lived isolated compared...

Read More

Biography of Thomas McQuaid

Thomas McQuaid. Three generations of the McQuaid family have devoted their industry and their active years to the business of farming and the affairs of their community in Champaign County. The founder of the family here was Thomas McQuaid, Sr., now deceased, while Thomas, Jr., is owner of the old homestead in Compromise Township, but its chief responsibilities are now in the hands of his son John McQuaid. Thomas McQuaid was born at Rantoul, a son of Thomas and Catherine (Moiland) McQuaid. He was one of two children, his sister being Ellen. Thomas McQuaid, Jr., was educated in the Rantoul High School, and in 1884 married Anastatia Gordon. She was born at Aurora in Kane County, Illinois, a daughter of John and Mary Gordon. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McQuaid located on the old McQuaid homestead and took the active management of the farm. His parents lived with them until they passed away. Thomas McQuaid, Sr., was a native of Ireland and came to America in 1848. He married in Michigan and on coming to Illinois bought 240 acres in Champaign County. He had all the characteristics of those worthy people who come from the land of the Shamrock, and he earned his prosperity and left in his farm a splendid monument to his industry. It was Thomas McQuaid, Sr., and wife who set out the many trees...

Read More

Biography of Wolf Lewis

Wolf Lewis. The modern merchant is the man who knows what the people want and supplies the best facilities for meeting those wants. He acts on that solid commercial principle that real success is only a return for an adequate service rendered. Of Champaign merchants of this class there is no more conspicuous example than Wolf Lewis, whose department store in the large Illinois Building means to Champaign County about what the Marshall Field store means to the shopping public of Chicago. Mr. Lewis is a merchant almost by birthright, but has profited by a long and thorough experience and has been tested by the fire of adversity as well as by the stimulus of prosperity. Along with success in his private business ventures, he has combined a public spirit which has made him a factor in civic improvement and municipal betterment. He is looked upon as a man of the finest character and useful influence. Mr. Lewis is a native of Poland, where he was born May 15, 1858, a son of Reuben and Eva (Lewis) Lewis, both natives of Poland. The mother died in Poland when her son Wolf was a very small child. Reuben Lewis then immigrated to the United States, located at Troy, New York, and engaged in the wholesale dry goods business. He had left his six children behind him in Poland, and did...

Read More

Biography of Andrew Tornquist

Andrew Tornquist when he came to America from his native Sweden in 1879 had as his equipment some experience in mechanical trades and also as a farmer. Otherwise his capital was extremely limited. An earnest purpose, hard work, and that wisdom that comes with experience, have put him far ahead in the game of life, and while he is not wealthy as wealth is understood at the present time he is financially independent and for all that he has he has given an adequate reward in service and practical value to the communities where he has lived. Mr. Tornquist was born in Sweden, July 13, 1857, a son of Daniel and Carolina (Anderson) Tornquist, being their only child. When he was fifteen years of age his father died and the mother married again and is still living in Sweden. His father was a blacksmith and carriage maker. At the age of fifteen Andrew Tornquist had to take upon his shoulders unusual responsibilities. With such knowledge as he had picked up of his father’s trade he managed to carry on the little shop and business and also managed the farming property of his father. At the age of twenty Mr. Tornquist left home and removed to the city of Stockholm, where he worked at the building trade as a carpenter and brick layer. That experience continued for a year and...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Luther B. Souder

Luther B. Souder is proprietor of one of the oldest dyeing and cleaning establishments in Champaign County. It was originally established by his father more than half a century ago, and he has perfected and modernized its equipment and service until its facilities are now unexcelled by any similar enterprise in the county. Mr. Souder is a native of Champaign, where he was born January 4, 1878, a son of Samuel H. and Lottie A. (Taylor) Souder. His father was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his mother in Marysville, Ohio. Samuel Souder came to Champaign County in 1856, and was first identified with farming. In 1866 he established at Champaign a cleaning business, and by careful and thorough work soon had a trade that was profitable and satisfactory to himself and the community. He was active in this business until his death, which occurred in September, 1915. His widow is still living in Champaign. Their four children are: Louise, wife of Oscar L. Davidson, of Indianapolis, Indiana; Luther B.; Jennie E., wife of C. A. Carlson, of Champaign; and Mary, deceased. Luther B. Souder grew up in Champaign, attended the local schools, and as something that would be of benefit to him in his business he took a special course in art and design at the University. As a boy he worked in his father’s establishment,...

Read More

Biography of Daniel Morrissey

Daniel Morrissey. In the case of this well known citizen of Champaign success speaks for itself. Perhaps a few men remember the time when Daniel Morrissey was helping run a small weekly paper. That was more than half century ago. He early succumbed to an irresistible impulse to buy land. He bought with unlimited faith in the future of this locality, and his friends say that he also bought with almost unlimited skill and accuracy of judgment. Doubtless he made some mistakes, but they have not interfered with the big results. For the benefit of future generations, if not for the present, it is useful to state that Mr. Morrissey is one of the three largest land owners in Champaign County, and is president of the Morrissey Farm Land Mortgage Company. He was born in New York State, August 4, 1844, a son of James and Mary (Murphy) Morrissey, both of whom were natives of County Mayo, Ireland. His parents spent the last years of their lives in New York State. The spirit of independence, which is an Irish characteristic, was coupled in Daniel Morrissey’s equipment with unlimited industry and energy. At the age of fourteen he left home and went to Detroit, Michigan. There he had his first experience in a printing office. Subsequently he worked on the old Chicago Times at Chicago. His work as a printer...

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest