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Location: Champaign Illinois

Biography of David H. Coffman

David H. Coffman is one of the older residents of Champaign County, went from this district to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, and has turned his hand with credit and success to many undertakings, from farming to commercial lines. Mr. Coffman is now an honored retired resident of the city of Champaign, where in 1909 he built a substantial two-story home at 606 West Hill Street. He was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 1, 1840, a son of Noah B. and Elizabeth (Lamb) Coffman. His parents were also natives of Fairfield County and in 1859 brought their family to Champaign County, Illinois. Their home was a farm three miles north of the city of Champaign. Noah Coffman proved himself a successful farmer and stock raiser and continued to live in Champaign County until his death in January, 1864. The mother is also deceased. They had nine children: William H., of Champaign; Aaron F., deceased; Mary C., of Champaign; David H.; Lucinda Frances, deceased; Peter J., deceased; Samuel C., living in Iowa; Thomas D., of Oakland, California; and Sarah Elizabeth, deceased. David H. Coffman was nineteen years of age when the family removed to Champaign County. His early educational advantages were those of the public schools of Ohio. He remained a practical assistant to his father on the farm until September, 1861. Already the war...

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Biography of Charles N. Converse

Charles N. Converse. Identified with banks and banking all through his business life, Charles N. Converse, president of the Citizens State Bank of Altoona, Kansas, is widely known in financial circles where his judgment is deemed sound and accurate, and his reputation had long been that of a forcible, able and efficient business man. Charles N. Converse was born at Clinton, Illinois, June 22, 1863. His parents were Henry E. and Clara (Weaver) Converse, and his grandfathers were John Converse and Solomon Weaver. Solomon Weaver emigrated from Germany in boyhood and grew up at Clinton, Illinois, in which neighborhood he engaged in farming and there he died in 1883. On the paternal side the family traces its ancestry to France and when the first of the name, two brothers, came together to the American colonies, they spelled it Congiers. The brothers separated, one settling at Boston, Massachusetts, and the other at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Converse, the paternal grandfather, was born at Woburn, Massachusetts, February 14, 1813, and died at Clinton, Illinois, in June, 1880. He was an early settler in DeWitt County, Illinois, and a pioneer shoemaker at Clinton. He was a member of the Baptist Church and a good and worthy citizen. He married Eurania Nelson, who was born at Sutton, Massachusetts, in 1815, and died at Clinton, Illinois, in 1890. Of their family of children one survives,...

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Biography of Fernando A. Parsons

Fernando A. Parsons. The career of Fernando A. Parsons, of Chanute, is remarkable in many ways, but principally because of the number of fields which it had invaded and the success which had attended the ventures in which its author had been engaged. From his youth, when he paid his own way through college, Mr. Parsons had pushed steadily forward, always assisting his community’s interests while advancing his own. With a handsome fortune gained through his good business ability and persistent labors, and at an age when most men are content to retire, Mr. Parsons still continues as an active factor in business life, and is now president and manager of the Kansas Co-Operative Refining Company. Fernando A. Parsons was born at Readsboro, Bennington County, Vermont, September 29, 1849, and is a son of Benjamin Battles and Polly Maria (Blanchard) Parsons. The Parsons family came from England to Vermont during Colonial times, and on his mother’s side Mr. Parsons is a direct descendant of Governor Winslow of Massachusetts. Benjamin Battles Parsons was born in 1827, in Vermont, and was there reared and educated, and became a farmer and stockraiser, as well as a noted horse trainer and breaker. He served for several terms as sheriff of Windham County, Vermont, and was a prominent leader in civic and political affairs of his community, where he resided until 1849. In that...

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Biography of Alonzo J. Tullock

Alonzo J. Tullock. The profession of civil engineering is one which offers great opportunities to those equipped by nature and study for this line of work. It demands, however, perhaps a more thorough technical knowledge of more subjects than almost any other vocation in which man may engage, but its rewards are commensurate with its difficulties and on the pages of history the names of civil engineers who have seemingly accomplished the impossible appear with those of other benefactors of the human race. The great western country, without these able, trained, accurate and daring men would today have been yet sleeping, instead of offering homes and untold riches to the world at large. Among the men of Kansas who have represented this honored and difficult calling was the late Alonzo J. Tullock, whose work still lives, although more than a decade of years have passed since its author’s death. Mr. Tullock was a native of Winnebago County, Illinois, born on a farm near Rockford, March 21, 1854. His parents, George and Mary (Milne) Tullock, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of England and of French ancestry, were farming people and among the pioneer settlers of that part of the Prairie State. On one occasion, when the father drove to the markets at Chicago, before the days of the railroads, he returned from his long and tedious...

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Denney, William L. – Obituary

William L. “Bill” Denney, 63, of Champaign, Ill., and formerly of Wallowa County, died Aug. 13 after a long battle with pancreal cancer. Bramley Funeral Home in Champaign is in charge of arrangements. A funeral was held Aug. 18 in Divernon, Ill., with burial in Pawnee, Ill., at Calvary Cemetery. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 5 at Northside Baptist Church in Vancouver, Wash. A reception and visitation will follow. Bill was born Dec. 14, 1944, to Clifford R. and Mary (Betz) Denney in Spokane. He moved to Oregon in 1948 to the lower Imnaha area. He excelled in school with highest honors and several scholarships. He was grateful to Gardner Locke and Wm. Williams Sr. for help they gave him in high school, especially trigonometry, calculus and other advanced mathematics. He attended Oregon State University where he majored in forest-civil engineering, business administration and mathematics. He received his bachelor of science degree with highest honors. He worked for Bill Hagedorn of Portland as office manager and business manager for three years, then returned to Oregon State for graduate school. He received his MBA with highest honors in 1972. He met and married Arlys Wright in 1968. His daughter, Lanae, was born in 1975 and Rachelle was born in 1978. They lived in a home built at Salmon Creek. They moved to El Paso, Texas, in...

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Feathergill, Charles Francis – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon Charles Francis Feathergill, 79, of La Grande, died Jan. 14 at his home. A viewing will run from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at the Thomas Miller Mortuary in Corona, Calif. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. Monday at Crestline Memorial Park in Riverside, Calif. Charles was born on May 22, 1928, to Oscar and Lucy (Brewer) Feathergill in Champaign, Ill. He was raised and educated in Illinois and after graduating he married his high school sweetheart, Erin “Pat” Kenney. They had nine children together and were married for 26 years. He worked as a shipping clerk for IGA in Illinois for 21 years. He often took on side jobs to support his family. He later moved to California where he worked as a machinist for various companies. He remarried in 1985 to Cozetta Rainwater. They enjoyed traveling together throughout Oregon and Utah and spent 29 happy years together. Both Pat and Cozetta preceded him in death in 2005. Charles was a hard worker all of his life and will be remembered as a faithful employee who never missed a day on the job. He was an avid sports fan and an accomplished athlete while in high school. He was a proud grandfather to all his grandchildren and attended many their events over the years. Survivors include his children, Charles Feathergill of Girdwood, Alaska,...

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Biography of Jabez Bunting Watkins

Jabez Bunting Watkins of Lawrence is one of the most successful lawyers and bankers of the state. His business affairs have not been confined to Kansas but have extended all over the southwestern country. His reputation as a financial authority is likewise wide extended. A son of James and Barbara (Sprankle) Watkins, he was born near Punxsutawney in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1845. His father was a native of Wales, came to America at the age of twenty-five and died in Pennsylvania when his son, Jabez, was eight years old. The mother was a native of Pennsylvania of German parentage. Mr. Watkins was named in honor of Jabez Bunting, a noted Methodist minister who was buried in the Wesley churchyard in London, England. Across the road from that grave lie the bodies of John Bunyan, Daniel DeFoe and Isaac Watts, authors respectively of Pilgrim’s Progress, Robinson Crusoe and many of the best loved Gospel hymns. At the age of fifteen Mr. Watkins accompanied his mother and other members of the family from Pennsylvania to Fairfax County, Virginia. He lived in that county during the stressful days of the Civil war. His home was a cabin of two rooms and an attic. The home was in the country which was so desperately fought for by the armies of the North and the South. The Watkins house was near enough...

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Biography of Ed Green, Col.

Col. Ed Green. While Colonel Green’s home and interests have been centered in Kansas for a number of years, he is hardly less well known in the State of Illinois, where he was reared and where he spent many active years, and in fact throughout the country and even abroad the name of Col. Ed Green is one of the most prominent associated with the breeding of short-horn cattle and of fine trotting horses. His home is now at Howard, Kansas, and he owned several ranches in that section of the state. Colonel Green was born at Indianola, Illinois, October 8, 1865. His paternal ancestry goes back to Major Green, his great-grandfather, who served with that rank in the Revolutionary war. Major Green was a brother of the still more famous Gen. Nathaniel Green, one of the most distinguished leaders of the Revolutionary forces. Colonel Green’s grandfather was Ebenezer Green, who was born in Virginia, went as a pioneer farmer to Ohio and died in that state before Colonel Green was born. L. W. Green, father of Colonel Green, was born in Lake County, Ohio, in 1831. He grew up there, and in 1859 removed to Indianola, Illinois. There he became a successful farmer and stock raiser, and he, too, as well as other members of the family, gained more than local reputation as the breeder of fine horses...

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Biography of Otto Huber

Among the younger generation of Rock Island’s prominent business men whose names are deserving of special mention for what they have achieved in their chosen vocations in life, stands that of Otto Huber, who is the present secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Brewing Company, a Rock Island industry whose formation, growth and present scope, has been related elsewhere in this book. Mr. Huber was born in Rock Island January 19, 1866, and attended schools in that city until he was ready to enter the Illinois State University at Champaign, where he spent three years. Afterward he studied two years abroad and graduated from the Institute of Technology at Weihenstephan, near Munich, Bavaria, which country had been the birth place of his father, Ignatz Huber. After completing his education he entered his father’s business in 1889, but he was also a promoter of brewing enterprises in other cities, notable among which is the organization of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Company in 1893. This was a consolidation of four of Seattle’s brewing plants and was brought about by Otto Huber. The company today is the largest and most prominent brewing concern in the United States west of Milwaukee and St. Louis. He organized the Des Moines Brewing Company in 1907, of which he is the president. In 1893 when the Rock Island Brewing Company was formed, Mr. Huber...

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Biography of David H. Lloyde

David H. Lloyde is one of Champaign’s oldest and most widely known business men. In fact, his business is practically as old as the University of Illinois, which, as is generally known, is one of the greatest educational institutions of its kind in the entire world. The Lloyde business was originally established for and has always been distinctively supported by the student body of the state university. Mr. Lloyde is also president of the recently organized First University Bank, located at 606 East Green Street, in the very heart of the student district. The chief business with which his many years of industrial activity have been identified are two extensive music, book and stationery stores, one at 7 Main Street and the other at 606 East Green Street, in the same brick structure which houses the Lloyde bank. As a merchant he has for forty-three years supplied the needs of the students and others in the way of books and supplies, music, stationery, toys, photographic supplies, drawing instruments, pianos, organs, violins and small musical instruments, sewing machines, typewriters, talking machines and sporting goods, and is headquarters for novelties for holiday and other season’s events. Mr. Lloyde has been a continuous resident of Champaign since 1874. His name and his stores are landmarks, institutions familiar to every resident of Champaign County, the Twin Cities, and those formerly here as students....

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Biography of Edward C. Baker

Edward C. Baker. Born on a farm in Champaign County, Edward C. Baker has never deviated to any extent from the vocations to which he was reared, and increasingly fruitful results have flowed from his efforts. He now has the handling and management of one of the finest stock and grain farms of Champaign Township, located on Rural Route No. 5 out of the City of Champaign. Mr. Baker was born in Rantoul Township February 26, 1872, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Gehmrote) Baker. His parents were both born in Germany. Henry Baker came to America in 1837, and in the same year located at Champaign. For a short while he was a railroad workman, afterward did teaming in Champaign, and then removed to Rantoul Township, where he bought a farm. He was successfully identified with the management of that place until his death in February, 1896. His wife died there in 1880. Their children were nine in number: William, of Arcola, Illinois; Anna, wife of Adolph Langhoff, of Urbana; Lucy, wife of Charles Miers, of Thomasboro, Illinois; Henry, of Rantoul; Minnie, who lives at Thomasboro, widow of Jacob Miers; Edward C.; George, of Hensley Township; Albert, of Somers Township; and Louis, deceased. The environment of the average farm boy encompassed Edward C. Baker while he was growing to manhood, and his early education came from...

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Biography of James Barber

James Barber. Of the fine homesteads scattered about Champaign County one that betrays to the casual observer every evidence of thrifty and careful management and successful operation is that of James Barber, located in Champaign Township, on Rural Route No. 1 out of the city of Champaign. Mr. Barber has been a practical farmer in Champaign County since early youth, is a young man, vigorous and far sighted and keen in handling every detail of agricultural management. He was born in Colfax Township of Champaign County April 1, 1886, a son of Alfred C. and Louisa (Peters) Barber. His father was born in England and his mother in Kentucky. Alfred C. Barber came to the United States in 1856 with his parents, who located in Champaign County on a farm. Alfred Barber lived a long and productive life, and at his death his estate comprised 320 acres. He died in Champaign in February, 1909, and his widow is still living in that city. They were the parents of fourteen children: Mollie, Cora and Laura, all deceased; Oscar, of Hamilton County, Illinois; Josie, wife of Layton Snyder, of Lebanon, Indiana; Benjamin, of Scott Township, Champaign County; Emma, wife of Cerrola Foster, of. Scott Township; Nellie, wife of John Leach, of Champaign; James and John, twins; Bertha, deceased; Fannie, who lives in Champaign with her mother; Ethel, also in Champaign; and...

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Biographical Sketch of William B. Lyman

William B. Lyman is now carrying on a successful farming enterprise on the estate where he was born and where he has spent practically all the days of his life. This is in section 20 of Champaign Township. He was born at that farm June 26, 1884, a son of John P. and Julia (Ryan) Lyman. His parents were both born in Vermilion County, Illinois, but for many years have lived in Champaign County. Of their five children William B. was the second and is the only one now living. The others in order of age were named Mary, John and Julia, twins, and Thomas D. William B. Lyman grew up in a rural environment, had the advantages of good home training in addition to the country schools and a course of one term in Brown’s Business College. In 1908, at the age of twenty-four, he rented his father’s farm of 120 acres, and has handled its operations with a high degree of success ever since. Besides general farming he raises considerable stock and is also one of Champaign County’s farmers who devotes considerable attention to poultry. On February 10, 1908, Mr. Lyman married Mary Jordan, a native of Champaign County and a daughter of Patrick and Ellen Jordan. Her father is now deceased and her mother lives in Champaign. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman are members of the Holy...

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Biography of Joseph H. Winkler

Joseph H. Winkler, firm of Clark & Winkler, lawyers, Oakland; born in Coles Co., Ill., March 14, 1851, where he attended school during the winter and learned and worked at the blacksmith trade during the summer until 17 years of age, when he entered the State Military College at Champaign, Ill., where he attended nearly two years, during which time he worked at his trade Saturdays and mornings and evenings, from which he obtained the means to meet all of his bills contracted while attending the above College; he then, in the fall of 1873, entered the Law School at Albany, N. Y., which he attended nearly one year, graduating and receiving his diploma May 5, 1874; was admitted to practice at the bar of the State of New York May 8, of the same year; coming West again, he was admitted to the bar of this State on Sept. 14, 1874; the following winter he taught school two miles south of Oakland, boarding at home and walking to and from his school night and morning; the spring following he went to Mattoon and engaged in the law office of Horace S. Clark for several months, where he obtained more practical knowledge of law than in any term of law school which he had attended. He then associated with Mr. Clark in the law business and located in Oakland,...

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Biography of C. Maxwell Caldwell

C. Maxwell Caldwell. As a general electrical contractor C. Maxwell Cal dwell has more than made good in Champaign, and a few years ago he established his business in a two-story building which in point of equipment and service is without question the best small plant in the state, Chicago not excepted. He is in the general electrical contracting business and also handles supplies and does manufacturing in that line. It is the only business of the kind in central Illinois. Mr. Caldwell was born in Logan County, Illinois, September 7, 1879, a son of A. M. and Letitia (White) Caldwell. His father was born in New Holland in Logan County, Illinois, while his mother was a native of Ohio. In 1902 A. M. Caldwell removed to Champaign and for fifteen years he was live stock representative for the Chicago Live Stock World. He is now looking after a plantation of 3,000 acres in Arkansas, and is taking life somewhat leisurely. He and his wife have eight children: Grace, wife of Guy Stewart of Champaign; Emma, wife of George Bates of Great Falls, Montana; C. Maxwell; Richard of Champaign; B. John, who is associated with his brother in electrical contracting; Eva, also in business in her brother’s firm; Marie and Neil, both still at home with their parents. C. Maxwell Caldwell, preparatory to his active business career, had the...

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