Location: Charleston Illinois

Biography of William E. Ginther

William E. Ginther, dealer in hardware and farm machinery, and general insurance agent, Charleston; was born in the province of Saxony, Prussia, May 2, 1834; his father was a wagon and carriage manufacturer, and he attended school and worked in his father’s shop till he was 16 years old, when he came to this country, landing in New York on the 4th of July, 1850; coming to Chicago, he worked on a farm and on the old Galena & Chicago R. R. for awhile; afterward engaged in farming for himself; in 1861, he engaged as a traveling salesman for H. W. Austin, of Chicago, his route lying through Central and Southern Illinois, and Missouri; in 1864, he removed to Charleston, and, until 1869, followed the hardware and lumber business, the firm being McGee & Ginther; he then became a partner in the firm of Weiss, Ginther & Co.., proprietors of the Charleston Woolen-Mill; in 1874, he resumed the hardware business, and in September, 1877, started in the insurance business also; he represents fifteen first-class fire insurance companies, and three life and accident companies. He represented a part of Cook Co. in the State Legislature in 1861 and 1862, his district comprising; the West Division of Chicago and the western portion of Cook Co.; for four years previously, he had been a member of the Cook County Board of Supervisors;...

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Biographical Sketch of Aaron Ferguson, M. D.

Aaron Ferguson, M. D., deceased, late of Charleston; was born in Wilkes Co., N. C., Dec. 11, 1802; he was a son of Joel and Lydia (Chambers) Ferguson, and the oldest of a family of nine children; when he was quite young, his parents emigrated to Bloomington, Ind.; he obtained a collegiate education in the Bloomington College, after which, he studied medicine under Dr. Maxwell, of that place, and attended a course of medical lectures in Cincinnati; in 1830, he came to Charleston and entered upon the practice of his profession. He was married May 21, 1832, to Miss Susan P. Morton, daughter of Charles S. Morton, the original proprietor of the city of Charleston; she was born in Fayette Co., Ky., May 31, 1814, and came to Coles Co. with her parents in 1829; all their children, three in number, are still living; William C. resides in St. Louis; Irvin B., in Rockerville, Dakota Territory, and Aaronella L. is the wife of G. W. Parker, of St. Louis. Dr. Ferguson, not content with previous attainments, afterward pursued a course in the Medical Department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., where he graduated about 1837; his practice was an extensive one, extending a distance of thirty miles in all directions; he was a close student all his life, retiring in his disposition, seeking no notoriety, and accepting no public offices,...

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Biographical Sketch of Frederick Frommel

Frederick Frommel, Charleston, of the firm of Weiss & Frommel, proprietors of the Charleston Woolen-Mill; was born in Ravensburg, Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, Dec. 5, 1825; at the . age of 14, he was apprenticed in a woolen-factory to learn the trade, and worked there until he came to this country in 1854; he spent several years in Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut; after which, he came West to Cincinnati, where he was engaged in traveling for two of the principal woolen houses in that city until 1869; he then removed to Charleston, and engaged with Henry Weiss, proprietor of the Charleston Woolen-Mill. On the death of Mr. Weiss, in the fall of 1869, he became a member of the firm of Weiss, Ginther & Co., till 1874, since which time it has been Weiss & Frommel; they employ about thirty hands, and manufacture all kinds of woolen goods and yarns. Mr. Frommel was a member of the City Council of Charleston, from 1874 to 1878. He was married May 16, 186(1, to Miss Annie Stuber, of Cincinnati, and has five children living – Emma K., Albert G., Ernst H., Minnie Ch. and Otto...

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Biography of Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin

Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin, attorney at law, Charleston; he was born in Kentucky Dec. 16, 1808, being the son of William and Elizabeth Kenner (Williams) Ficklin, both of Virginia. His early education was obtained in country schools, in Kentucky and Missouri, except about one year, which he spent at Cumberland College, located at Princeton, Caldwell Co., Ky., under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His parents having removed to Potosi, Washington Co., Mo., he commenced the study of law with Henry Shurlds of that place, who was afterward elected to the Circuit Court bench, and at a later period removed to St. Louis and engaged in banking until his death; Mr. Ficklin spent the winter of 1829 and 1830 in the law office of Gen. Robert Farris, of St. Louis; in March, 1830, he was admitted to the bar at Bellville, St. Clair Co., Ill., having been examined by Edward Cowles, then an old and well-established lawyer of that place; from thence he went to McLeansboro, Hamilton Co., Ill., meeting there with Chief Justice William Wilson, who advised him to locate in Mount Carmel, Wabash Co., Ill.; Mr. Ficklin attended the courts of that circuit commencing at Carmi, and when the circuit closed, he located at Mt. Carmel. In 1832, he went to the Black Hawk war in Capt. Elias Jurdon’s Company, and at the organization of the...

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Biographical Sketch of Giles Davis

Giles Davis, deceased, late of Charleston; although not one of the early settlers, was yet a citizen and business man who enjoyed in so large a measure the confidence of his fellow-men and was held in such universal and high esteem by the entire community, that it is with pleasure that we give a brief sketch of his life; he was born in Union Co., Ind., Nov. 7, 1824; he was the son of Elisha and Elizabeth (Shafer) Davis, both of whom were natives of Ohio; his youth was spent in the usual manner of farmers’ sons. On the 18t of October, 1845, when not quite 21 years of age, he was married to Miss Louisa Jinks, a daughter of Samuel and Phoebe (Winchell) Jinks, of Franklin Co., Ind. In 1868, he removed with his family to Jasper Co., Ill., and engaged in farming; in 1871, he came to Coles Co., and, until 1873, kept a meat market in Charleston; he then located on a farm in Seven Hickory Tp., where he resided two years, at the end of which time he returned to Charleston and resumed business; in 1878, just previous to his death, he engaged in the grocery business, which is still continued by his son, Warren R. Davis. He died Oct. 19, 1878, leaving a wife and eleven children – Sarah E. (Mrs. E. B. Wooden,...

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Biography of Jacob K. Decker

Jacob K. Decker, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Charleston; was born in Knox Co., Ind., Aug. 7, 1817; his parents, Isaac and Margaret Decker, were Virginians, and left that State in 1811, and were living in Fort Knox, on the Wabash, when the battle of Tippecanoe was fought; when he was 7 years old, his father died, and at about the age of 15, he was apprenticed by his guardian to a merchant in Crawford Co., Ill.; in 1836, he came to Charleston and engaged in the grocery business, with a capital of $250; about two and a half years later, he went to farming, which he has continued, in connection with other business, to the present time; in 1842, he engaged in the dry goods trade, which he followed until 1855; he then farmed exclusively until 1859, when he resumed the dry goods business, continuing till 1863, since which time he has been engaged solely in farming and stock-raising; he owns a fine farm of 750 acres adjoining the city on the north, although he resides in the city, where he owns a good residence with ten acres of land; he also owns a fine brick store on the east side of the public square, occupied by S. Barnes, besides which he owns 250 acres of land in Northern Iowa. In politics, he is a Republican. He has...

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Biographical Sketch of Jewell Davis, M. D.

Jewell Davis, M. D., physician and surgeon, Charleston; was born in Athens Co., Ohio, Oct. 27, 1811; he was raised on a farm, and followed that calling until about 1838, when he removed to Middleport, Meigs Co., Ohio, having a few years previously married Miss Cynthia Jones, of that place; they have three children – Mary V. (wife of E. L. Kelly), Curtis L., Teller of the First National Bank, and Reuben J., all of whom are residents of Coles Co. Dr. Davis followed coopering and carriage-making for a while in Middle-port; owing to illness in his family, he was induced to study medicine, studying successively all the various systems of practice -allopathy, homeopathy, eclecticism, bydropathy and chromo-thermalism, and during his forty years’ practice he has confined himself to no particular school, but has seized upon any remedy, from whatever source, which would accomplish his object -the relief of the patient and the cure of disease; his favorite system, however, is the eclectic; Dr. Davis came to Charleston in 1854, and began practice with Dr. A. M. Henry, now of Mattoon, with whom he also engaged in the drug business; after a few years, Dr. Henry disposed of his interest to Dr. H. C. Barnard; he afterward practiced with Dr. H. R. Allen, now one of the proprietors of the National Surgical Institute of Indianapolis, and with Dr. J....

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Biographical Sketch of Albert Compton

Albert Compton, retired, Charleston; one of the early settlers of Coles county; was born in Fairfax Co., Va., Sept. 24, 1812; in the fall of 1830, he left home and came to Vincennes, Ind., thence to Terre Haute, and from the latter place, in 1833, to Charleston, arriving on the 3d of March; he worked at his trade of a shoemaker for about two years, and then engaged as a clerk in the employ of Baker & Norfolk; in 1835, he was elected Constable and served two years; in August, 1838, he was chosen Sheriff of Coles County, which office he held four successive terms of two years each, or eight years in all; on the expiration of his term of office, he engaged in the dry goods trade, which he followed until 1861, when, having accumulated a comfortable competency, he retired from active business; he has also held the offices of Justice of the Peace and Master in Chancery. He owns some 280 acres of land in Coles Co., and two business houses and a dwelling in Charleston. He was married in January, 1836, to Miss Catherine Easton, daughter of the late David Easton, of Charleston; they have five children living – Rhoda, now Mrs. S. M. Shepard, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Nancy, wife of Randall Alexander, of Charleston; Rufus, Mary, wife of Felix Johnston, of Charleston, and...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas G. Chambers

Thomas G. Chambers, President of the First National Bank, Charleston; has been a resident of this county and city since 1838; he is a native of Cynthiana, Harrison Co., Ky.; he was 22d of January, 1816, being a son of James and Sally Chambers; he worked on a farm until the age of 18 years, when he entered a dry goods store as a clerk, and continued at that until he came to Charleston, as above stated. He followed clerking here for a time, and, in 1840, engaged in the dry goods business for himself, which he continued, with an interruption of two years, until 1866; he then established the private banking-house of T. G. Chambers & Co., and, in 1868, became President of the First National Bank. Mr. Chambers has served several terms in the City Council, but, with this exception, has never sought nor accepted public office of any kind; he has, however, been thoroughly alive to the interests of the city and county; he was one of the active organizers of the Coles County Agricultural Society – now the Coles County Board of Agriculture – and has been an officer of that society, either as Vice President, Treasurer or Director, with the exception of one year, from its organization in 1853 to the present time. On the organization of the Coles County Old Settlers’ Society in...

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Biographical Sketch of W. M. Chambers, M. D.

W. M. Chambers, M. D., physician and surgeon, Charleston, was born in Cynthiana, Ky., April 11, 1814; he is a son of James and Sally Chambers, both natives of Pennsylvania, who settled in Kentucky in 1810. His father was a soldier in the war of 1812; in 1850, his parents removed to Charleston, where his mother died in 1855, and his father in 1873. Dr. Chambers began the study of medicine in his native town in 1833, and, in 1836, began practice in Harrison Co.; he graduated in 1843 from the Medical Department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky. In 1846, he removes to Covington, Ky., where he practiced medicine until his removal to Coles Co. in 1855. In October, 1861, he was appointed, by President Lincoln, Brigade Surgeon in the Union army, and served in the army of the Cumberland till July, 1865; he was twice brevetted -first, as Lieutenant Colonel, and then as Colonel, for meritorious services, for the excellence of his reports and his superior management of hospitals. Dr. Chambers has been President of the Kentucky State Medical Society, of the Illinois State Medical Society, and of the Æsculapian Society of the Wabash Valley. He has held important positions in the American Medical Association, and has been a member of the Health Association of the United States; he has abandoned the ordinary country practice, and now confines...

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Biographical Sketch of D. H. Calvert

D. H. Calvert, dealer in drugs and medicines, Charleston; is a native of Platte Co., Mo.; he was born on the 28th of February 1841; he was raised on a farm, and at about the age of 16 years, entered Pleasant Ridge College in his native town, where he graduated in 1861; he then read law with Hon. E. H. Norton, the present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri; in 1867, he went to Frankfort, Ky., and continued his law studies with Judge Alvin Duval, and, in 1868, entered the Law Department of the University of Louisville, Ky., graduating in 1869; he came to Charleston the same year, and entered upon the practice of his profession; in 1872, he was elected City Attorney; after practicing three years, he was compelled by ill health to abandon the law and engage in other business; he followed merchant milling for some two years, and, in 1876, engaged in his present business. He was married July 5, 1870, to Miss S. B. Chambers, a daughter of T. G. Chambers, a prominent citizen of Charleston, and has one child – George C....

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The Firm of Dunn & Connolly

Dunn & Connolly, attorneys at law, Charleston; this firm was established in November, 1878, and is composed of two young attorneys, but gentlemen possessing the requisite qualifications of success. Frank K. Dunn was born in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Nov. 13, 1854, being a son of Hon. A. K. Dunn, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas; he graduated at Kenyon College, Ohio, in 1873; read law in his father’s office; entered Harvard Law School in 1874, graduating in 1875; he was admitted to practice the same year, and practiced with his father until November, 1878, when he came to Charleston, and formed the above partnership. Frank J. Connolly is a native of Morrow Co., Ohio; he was born in Chesterville, March 10, 1851; he came to Charleston in 1876; pursued his law studies in the office of his brother, Maj. James A. Connolly; was admitted to the bar in July, 1878, and formed a partnership with F. K. Dunn in November the same...

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Biography of Maj. J. A. Connolly

Maj. J. A. Connolly, attorney at law, Charleston; was born in Newark, N. J., March 8, 1838; his parents removed to Chesterville, Morrow Co., Ohio, when he was about 12 years old, and at the age of 18, he went to Mt. Gilead, the county seat of Morrow Co., and began reading law with Judge A. K. Dunn, of that city; he was admitted to the bar in September, 1859, and began practice in Mt. Gilead; in 1860, he removed to Charleston; while living in Mt. Gilead, he held the position of Second Assistant Clerk of the Ohio Senate for two years. In August, 1862, he entered the army as Major of the 123d Ill. V. I., serving till the close of the war, being for two years Inspector General of the 3d Division 14th Army Corps; he participated in the battles of Perryville, Ky.; Milton, Tenn.; Hoover’s Gap, Chickamunga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Ga.; the Atlanta campaign, Sherman’s ” march to the sea,” Bentonville, N. C., etc.; immediately after the last-named battle, he was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel for meritorious conduct in that engagement. Returning to Charleston, in 1865, he resumed the practice of the law. At the funeral of President Lincoln, in New York City, in April, 1865, Maj. Connolly was a member of the Guard of Honor, being the only Illinois volunteer officer present. In 1866, he was...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank L. Bishop

Frank L. Bishop, proprietor of the Bee-Hive store, dealer in dry goods and notions, boots and shoes, etc. Charleston; was born in Mt. Vernon Co., Ohio, Nov. 20, 1846; he is a son of Stephen and Joanna (Bane) Bishop, and came with his father’s family to Coles Co., as stated in his fathers biography; he was engaged as a clerk for Mathews, Alexander & Co., in Charleston, for three years, after which he spent three years in La Fayette, Ind; he then engaged in general merchandising in Loving-ton, Ill., the firm being Dickson & Bishop; after remaining there three years, he returned to Charleston and established his present business in September,...

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Biographical Sketch of Stephen Bishop

Stephen Bishop, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Charleston; was born near Providence, R. I. May 30, 1815; when he was but 2 years old, his parents emigrated to the then Far West, and located in Knox Co.. Ohio, where his father entered land from the Government, and engaged in farming, being among the pioneers in that part of the State; Knox Co. was then comparatively a wilderness; Mt. Vernon, the county seat-now a city of about 10,000 inhabitants-containing at that time but half a dozen houses; Mr. Bishop remained at home on the farm until he was 20 years of age, and then learned the trade of a blacksmith, and going to Mt. Vernon, carried on the carriage-making business there until 1858, when he removed to Illinois, and settled on a farm lying mostly in Coles. Co., his house, however, being situated just over the line in Clark Co.; in the spring of 1863, he removed to a farm in Seven Hickory Tp., containing 248 acres, on which he continued to reside until September, 1876, when he removed to Charleston, still retaining his farm in Seven Hickory Tp., and twenty acres of timber in Charleston Tp.; Mr. Bishop served one term as Justice of the Peace. He was married Feb. 25, 1841, to Miss Joanna Bane, of Knox Co., Ohio, who was born in Washington Co., Penn, Oct. 8,...

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