Location: Cook County IL

Biography of Gray C. Briggs, M.D.

Dr. Gray C. Briggs, a well known Roentgenologist, was born in Burlington, Iowa. June 30, 1882, a son of Dr. Waldo Briggs, who became a noted surgeon of St. Louis. He was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, July 3, 1856, his parents being William Thompson and Anna (Stubbins) Briggs. He won his professional degree on the completion of a course in the medical department of the University of Nashville, at Nashville, Tennessee, and in 1877 began practice in St. Louis. From 1895 until 1898 he was professor of surgery in Beaumont Medical College and in the latter year accepted the professorship of surgery in the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons, since continuing in this position. He is also superintendent of Jefferson Hospital and is president and dean of the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias. He wedded Nellie Gray, a native of Jamestown, New York, who passed away at the age of forty-five years. Dr. Gray C. Briggs, their only child, was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and the Central high school, after which he became a student in the University of Chicago and later attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis, from which he was graduated in 1909 with the M. D. degree. Following his graduation he spent the first...

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Biography of Charles E. Schaff

Charles E. Schaff, receiver for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, was born on a farm in Licking county, Ohio. February 4, 1856. He is a son of the late Isaac M. Schaff, who was also born in the Buckeye state and represented one of the old families there of Dutch descent. In early life the father engaged in agricultural pursuits and later turned his attention to railroading, becoming connected with the train service of various roads. He passed away in Carroll county, Missouri, in 1888, aged fifty-seven years, having become a resident of Missouri four years before. He married Angeline Cleaves, a native of Maine and a representative of one of the old New England families of English lineage. She is now living in Columbus, Ohio. By her marriage she became the mother of seven sons and six daughters, of whom eight are living. Charles E. Schaff, the eldest of the family, was educated in private schools of Virginia and at the age of fourteen started out to provide for his own support. He was first employed as water boy on the Pennsylvania Railroad and initiated his business career with a wage of fifty cents per day. Later he took up railroading and was advanced through various parts of the train service, acting as supervisor and in various executive positions. His first official position was that of...

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Biography of J. S. Summers, M.D.

Dr. J. S. Summers, specializing in the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat at Jefferson City, his thorough preliminary study and his later postgraduate courses keeping him in close touch with professional thought, progress and scientific investigation and research, comes to this state from Indiana, his birth having occurred in the city of Wallace, June 27, 1870. His parents, A. J. and Annie (Cunningham) Summers, were also natives of Indiana, where the father followed the occupation of farming, and in addition to his care of the fields he took an active interest in public welfare, particularly in matters pertaining to the schools, and served as a director on the school board. In 1880 he removed from Indiana to Coffeyburg, Daviess county, Missouri, since which time the family has been represented in this state. On the paternal side Dr. Summers is a representative of an old Virginia family, his grandfather having been born in the Old Dominion, while his mother’s people came from Ohio. Dr. Summers largely acquired his education in the village school at Jameson, Daviess county, Missouri, and in the preparatory school at Liberty, Missouri, before entering upon a course of study in the William Jewell College, from which be was graduated in 1899 with the Bachelor of Arts degree. He remained at Liberty as assistant in chemistry and physics in the William Jewell...

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Biographical Sketch of Leonard M. Rice

Leonard M. Rice is a lawyer of Jefferson City, where his birth occurred February 9, 1887, his parents being Jefferson D. and Zara (McKenzie) Rice, both of whom were natives of Cole county, Missouri, as were their parents, their respective families having been represented in this state for many years. Leonard M. Rice was graduated front the high school of Jefferson City 1n 1904. He went to Chicago in 1909 and took up the study of law in the John Marshall Law school, from which he was graduated in 1912 with the LL.B. degree. He returned to Jefferson City and became connected with the Central Missouri Trust Company in their abstract and title department, where he continued until February, 1917, when he opened a law office, and in April of that year he was elected to the position of city attorney. In May, 1917, Mr. Rice enlisted and went to Fort Riley, where he was in training until August, 1917, when he was commissioned first lieutenant and assigned to the Three Hundred and Fifty-third Infantry of the Eighty-ninth Division. He went overseas in June, 1918, and remained with his division all through the Argonne drive and the St. Mihiel offensive together with other engagements. In February, 1919, Mr. Rice returned with his regiment to Newport News and was honorably discharged at Camp Funston, Kansas, on the 10th of that...

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Biography of Frank Kentling

FRANK KENTLING. In the midst of the failures and disasters of life it is a real pleasure to review the career of a man whose efforts have been crowned with success and whose life has been honorable in every particular, as has that of Frank Kentling. He is now a general merchant, farmer and stock dealer at Highlandville, Missouri, and is one of the foremost business men of his section. He possesses all the thrift and perseverance of his Teutonic ancestors and has met with the success that is sure to follow. Mr. Kentling was born in 1841 in North Germany, as were also his parents, Dr. Bennett and Johanna Kentling, the father dying there about 1883. He was a physician for many years. The mother is still living in the old country. Eight children were born to them. One child, Francis, came to the United States about 1875 and died in St. Louis, while attending the St. Louis Medical College. Our subject received a good collegiate education in his native country and for some time clerked in a grocery and dry goods store. In 1865 he came to the United States and spent two years in the grocery business in Chicago. Later he spent the same length of time in the same business at St. Louis and in 1870 came to Highlandville, where he established a store. About...

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Biography of Claes F. Norstrom

Claes F. Norstrom is among the pioneer claimtaking and homesteading element of the country around Lindsborg. In fact some of the early matters of historical interest are a part of his personal record and experience. McPherson County was a wild and untamed district when Mr. Norstrom arrived in 1868 and secured a tract of Government land adjoining the present town of Lindsborg. In that one community he had worked out his destiny and had resided there nearly half a century. Many acres were brought under cultivation and made to produce bountiful crops by his energy. His influence was not confined to his homestead. He had been a factor in the life and affairs of Lindsborg and that section. His fellow citizens have from time to time conferred upon him the responsibilities of township officer and of other positions of trust. Since it was organized in 1888 Mr. Norstrom had been treasurer of the Swedish American Insurance Company of Lindeborg. He had been a director of the First National Bank of the city since 1907. Both church and schools have been helped by him and he was one of the organizers and for twenty years had been a trustoe of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Lindsborg. One of the interesting landmarks of this section is a log house which Mr. Norstrom carefully preserves on his farm and which stands in...

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Biography of Holmes Dysinger, Rev.

Rev. Holmes Dysinger has for the past twelve years been connected with the Western Theological Seminary of the Lutheran Church at Atchison, and since 1910 had been dean of the seminary. He had spent more than thirty years in the work of the church as a minister and as an educator, and had been connected with prominent schools and pastorates in nearly all parts of the country. Mr. Dysinger is of an old Pennsylvania family and was born at Mifflin, that state, March 26, 1853. The Dysingers’ original home was in Southern Germany. They came across the ocean and settled in Pennsylvania not long after William Penn planted his colony there. Joseph Dysinger, father of Rev. Dr. Dysinger, was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, in 1824, and for seventy years was a resident of Walker Township in that county. In early years he followed contracting but later was a farmer. He finally retired to Mifflin and died in that Pennsylvania city in November, 1904. Politleally he was a democrat and a very active member of the Lutheran Church. Joseph Dysinger married Mary A. Patterson, who was born in Walker Township, Juniata County, near Mifflin, in 1831. She is now living at the venerable age of eighty-six, at Atchison. A brief record of the seven children is: Austin, who was a teacher and died at Ottawa, Illinois, in January, 1905;...

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Biography of J. T. B. Gephart

J. T. B. Gephart is president of the Citizens State Bank of City Falls, Jefferson County. Mr. Gephart had been prominently associated with banking in that old town of Kansas for over thirty-four years. The present Citizens State Bank is the logical successor of the old Hicks, Gephart & Company, which was instituted as a private banking house in 1871 by Mr. S. C. Gephart and W. C. Hicks. On the death of Mr. Hicks in 1878 he was succeeded by W. F. Hicks, and the death of S. C. Gephart in 1882 brought his son J. T. B. Oephart into his place. Then in 1888, on the death of W. F. Hicks, Mr. Gephart bought the other interests but continued the bank as a private institution under the name Hicks, Gephart & Company. Then in 1897 the Citizens State Bank was organized and acquired the old firm of Hicks, Gephart & Company. At the present time the offleers are J. T. B. Gephart, president, and Charles T. Gephart, cashier. The banking house is situsted on Broadway and Sycamore streets. While for many years Mr. Gephart had given his almost undivided time and attention to banking, he is known to the older citizens as a very skillful physician and surgeon, and though no longer in practice he can properly be referred to as the pioneer doctor of Valley Falls,...

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Biography of Herman J. Bialeschke

Herman J. Bialeschke. For upward of sixty years the Bialeschke family has had a prominent part in the farming and business activities of southwestern Champaign County. Herman J. Bialeschke came to this county when a small child, industriously followed farming for many years, has played a very vigorous and public spirited part in local affairs, and is now enjoying the comforts of retired life in the village of Sadorus. He was born in Germany, July 28, 1855, a son of Frederick and Minnie (Nofftz) Bialeschke, who were also natives of the fatherland. In, 1857, when he was about a year old, the parents came to America, first, locating in New York and afterwards in Chicago, and about 1858 settled in Champaign County. His father did farming at Sadorus and for two years lived on the farm of the old pioneer, Henry Sadorus. In 1865 the fruits of his industry enabled him to buy forty acres in section 8 of Pesotum Township. In the past fifty years his name has become associated with the ownership of some of the best farming land in that township and he is still owner of 320 acres. He is now eighty-six years of age and his wife is eighty-eight. This venerable couple had eight children, Herman J. being the oldest. Amelia and Hulda are both deceased; Lafayette and Albert live in Pesotum Township; Emma...

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Biography of Howard Wrean

Howard Wrean. From the occupation of railroad engineer, which he followed for a number of years, Mr. Howard Wrean has turned to the quiet and productive resource of farming, with an excellent estate in section 6 of Harwood Township. Mr. Wrean is one of the competent agriculturists of Champaign County, and he and his family are people of many associations in this section. Mr. Wrean was born near Ludlow, a son of George and Amelia F. Wrean, his father a native of Nova Scotia and his mother of Denmark. They married in Pennsylvania and were the parents of seven children, all of whom grew up and received their education in the public schools at Ludlow. When George Wrean came to Champaign County he located on a farm west of Rantoul and later bought 170 acres a mile and a half northeast of that town. Here his promising career as a farmer was cut short after a residence of only four years. He died suddenly in 1886. His widow survived until February 28, 1917. Mr. Howard Wrean married Miss Frances C. Marquette. She was born at Philo, Illinois, a daughter of James and Cornelia (Ennis) Marquette, her father a native of Ohio and her mother of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They married at Philo, Illinois. The Marquettes are of French ancestry, but the family has been in this country for a number...

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Biography of William Sullivan

William Sullivan has been a life long resident of Champaign County and has figured in business affairs as a printer, newspaper man, and in later years in the real estate and insurance business. He has one of the principal offices for the handling of real estate and insurance at Champaign. Mr. Sullivan was born at Urbana Illinois, February 12, 1862, a son of John and Ellen (McCann) Sullivan. Both parents were natives of Ireland, the father born in County Cork and the mother in County Limerick. John Sullivan came to America about 1855, and in 1857 located at Urbana. Subsequently he removed to Champaign and built a tavern across the street from where the Illinois Central depot stands. This tavern was known as the Travelers Home. In many ways it had historic associations with the life of the times. The principal work outside of farming then going on in this district of Illinois was railroading. The Travelers Home became headquarters for the newcomers in this section of Illinois, and John Sullivan’s acquaintance with officials of the railroad enabled him to secure first employment for a large number of these newcomers, many of whose families still remain in and about Champaign to this day. The other class of patronage upon which the Travelers Home relied for its prosperity was entertaining the emigrants then traveling across the country seeking new homes...

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Biography of Mrs. Suzan Kirk

Mrs. Suzan Kirk, widow of the late Bernard Kirk, is a Champaign County woman around whom center many associations and interests that betoken the spirit and achievements for which American life is most note-worthy. Mrs. Kirk was born in County Louth, Ireland, a daughter of Patrick and Ann (Casey) McGinnis. She was about fifteen years of age when her father died. While she was a girl in Ireland her cousin Mary Curley returned on a visit to the old country, and had much to say about the wonderful opportunities of the New World. It was these stories which largely decided Suzan to cast in her lot with the country across the water, and at the age of nineteen she set out and came alone across the ocean, landing at New York and going on to Chicago. She spent some time near Chicago, and while there met Bernard Kirk, also a native of the Emerald Isle and a son of Henry and Bridget Kirk. Bernard Kirk in the meantime had established himself in Champaign County and was in Chicago on business when he met Miss McGinnis. The acquaintance thus began continued with ripening affection until wedding bells sounded. The young couple possessed many of the virtues for which the land of Shamrock is noted, and began with vigor and enterprise the task of developing a 160-acre tract of land which...

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Biography of Alvin E. Huckins

Alvin E. Huckins is head of the leading clay products business of Champaign County. A mechanical engineer by profession, Mr. Huckins has been identified with several large industrial corporations in the United States, and now gives his time and energies to a plant at Urbana which is capable of turning out any form or class of product from clay. It is a big business, and Mr. Huckins is considered one of the big business men of this community. He was born in Chicago, July 31, 1884, and as a young man made his way through difficulties to success. His parents, Clarence L. and Flora E. (Ryans) Huckins, were both natives of Canada and both are now deceased. His father was for many years in the wholesale tobacco business in Chicago. Mr. Huckins was the youngest of their five children, the others being: William A., of Miami, Florida; Albert C., of Chicago; Webster Lee, of Chicago; and Luella R., wife of Walter Quinn, of Chicago. Mr. Huckins had a grammar school education in Chicago, and sold papers in order to pay his way through the English High and Manual Training School of that city. He also did night work in an architect’s office and subsequently had some valuable experience with Pierce, Richardson & Neiler, a prominent firm of consulting engineers. For a year and a half Mr. Huckins was assistant...

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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...

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Biography of Jacob Moudy

Jacob Moudy. The community of Ludlow in Champaign County pays special honor and respect to Jacob Moudy and his family. Mr. Moudy has had a long and active career. His years have been spent with benefit to himself and also to his family, friends and neighbors, and he has done something to make every community with which he has been identified a little better and to elevate the standards of life and morality. Mr. Moudy is a son of Peter and Elizabeth Moudy, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. In the early days they migrated from Pennsylvania down the Ohio River, traveling on a flatboat to Cincinnati. Later they went still farther west to Illinois, making this journey in the old-fashioned prairie schooner. Peter and Elizabeth Moudy had eleven children, Jacob being next to the youngest. When Jacob Moudy was twenty-three years of age the war cloud arose over the land and he enlisted with the boys in blue and went to the front at Columbus, Kentucky, on the Mississippi River at Columbus Ford. Later his command was moved to the Little Obion River in Tennessee, and he was employed there chiefly in guard duty and in protecting railroads. With the close of his term he went to Chicago and was mustered out, but was still desirous of continuing his service to his country and sought to get...

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