Location: Douglas County IL

Biography of I. W. Burgett

I. W. Burgett, deceased, was, during his residence in Douglas County, one of its leading and most successful farmers. From the time he was ten years old he spent the whole of his eventful life in Sargent Township. He is a descendant of English and German ancestors, who were among the early residents of Ohio. His grandfather was in the war of 1812. His father, Abraham Burgett, lived in Pickaway County and there married Eliza Wells, a native of Ohio. He and his wife continued to live in that County, and there Isaac W. Burgett was born. The family shortly afterward removed to Indiana and settled in Vermillion County, near Perrysville, on the Wabash River. Here Abraham Burgett followed the occupations of cooper and farmer. He died in 1840, leaving five children. Isaac W. Burgett was born June 18, 1829. When the family removed to Douglas County they settled near the mouth of Brushy Fork. He went to school in the Sargent neighborhood and in the vicinity of Newman. On coming to Douglas County his mother rented land, and when a mere boy he had charge of the farm and with a younger brother performed nearly all the labor. This continued until his mother’s second marriage. In the summer he worked at home and in the winter went to school. When about eighteen years of age he started out...

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Biography of Judge John Brown

Judge John Brown has been for over sixty years identified with the best interests of Douglas County. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, May 7, 1822, on a farm, where he remained until the age of seventeen. This farm was located on Paint creek, two miles from Chillicothe, the County seat of Ross County. Our subject is a son of Nimrod Brown, who was a native of Augusta County, Virginia, and who served in the war of 1812. His mother was, before her marriage, Elizabeth Eigelbright, and was born in Monroe County, Virginia. When our subject was but seven years old his father died, and his mother, with three sons and four daughters, emigrated to what is now Douglas County, in about 1838, and settled in what is now Sargent Township. The Judge’s paternal grandfather, Washington Brown, was a Virginian by birth. At the time his mother located in Sargent Township she was very poor, the oldest son, Washington, managing the business. Land at that time sold for from four to six dollars an acre, but money was very scarce. This was in September, 1838, the date of his mother’s settlement in Sargent Township. Judge Brown married in 1844, Sally Ann Barnett, who was a daughter of William and Mary Barnett, natives of Kentucky and early settlers in Vermilion County. Mrs. Brown died in 1853, leaving one child,...

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Biographical Sketch of George W. Brock

George W. Brock, one of the reliable and representative farmers of Newman Township, residing within the corporate limits of the city of Newman, was born twelve miles southwest of Crawfordsville, Indiana, September S, 1846. His father, Seth Brock, was a native of Warren County, Ohio. He was a carpenter by trade and farmed also, owning farms in Wayne and Montgomery counties: he later removed to Mason County, Illinois. He was a strong pro-slavery man, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; was born in 1813 and died in 1873. He wedded Mary A. Palmer, who was a daughter of Jesse Palmer, a native of North Carolina, but who be-came one of the early settlers of Indiana. Elijah Brock (grandfather) was born in Ohio. George W. Brock was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. At the age of sixteen years, on account of a severe spell of sickness, he lost the use of his right side. He married at Camp Butler, Miss Malinda Vanhook, daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Mann) Vanhook, and the result of this union was one child living, Ada Lucy, aged fifteen years, and three dead : Phillip L., Harry C. and Ethel Ellen. Mrs. Brock, who was a most estimable woman, died February 16, 1899. She was a devoted member of the Christian Church at Newman and her loss was deeply...

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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 Robert M. Black

Robert M. Black, the subject of this memoir, came from an ancestry of more than ordinary importance and prominence. His great-grandfather, with his family, removed from Scotland and settled in Virginia some years before the Revolutionary war, caused by the traitor Arnold in portions of Virginia, volunteered, though far past the age of liability, for military service, and was one of the soldiers, who, under Lafayette and Gen. Wayne, turned and drove back Lord Cornwallis. He was intimately acquainted with Lafayette, Gen. Wayne and Gen. Lord Sterling, who were frequent guests at his house. His youngest son, George Black, the grandfather of our subject, was born on the 8th of July, 1767. He was nine years old when the Declaration of Independence was issued. He was a son of the Revolution and saw and caught the spirit of most of the stirring scenes of that eventful period. George Black, with his family, re-moved from Virginia and settled in Kentucky, some time before the war of 1812. He became a soldier of this war in a regiment of mounted rifleman and rendered important service under the command of Gen. Harrison. With such an ancestry, whose character and qualities he reproduced and reflected, together passed through the terrors and excitement with his own individual traits, we may under stand the life of Robert M. Black, who was the ninth in a...

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Biography of Joseph Ashurst

Joseph Ashurst, principal and superintendent of the Camargo public schools and present nominee of the Democratic Party for the office of County superintendent of schools, has been a leading educator in the County for several years. He was born in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, April 16, 1872, and is a son of Henry Clay and Elizabeth (Thurman) Ashurst, who were both horn in Pulaski County, Kentucky. His grandfathers, Henry Ashurst and Joseph Thurman, were natives of Virginia and early settlers in Pulaski County, where they were engaged in agricultural pursuits. His father, Henry C. Ashurst, was one time sheriff of his native County. Joseph Ashurst attended the common school and afterward the high school, and is largely self educated. In Douglas County he stands at the very front rank as a successful educator and teaches in his schools at Camargo, beside the common branches, botany, philosophy, zoology and algebra. Prior to his coining to Camargo, which was in September, 1899, he resided at Arthur, where lie located in 1890 and taught school in the country and subsequently was grammar teacher in the Arthur schools, which position he resigned to accept his present one. In 1894 he was united in marriage to Miss Lucy B., a daughter of Henry C. Wood, a retired farmer, of Arthur, but formerly of Moultrie County. Mr. Wood was born near Vincennes, Indiana, in 1845,...

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Biographical Sketch of the Brown Brothers, Richard and Daniel

Brown Bros., Richard and Daniel, farming, stock and road grading and ditching; P. O. Humbolt; are natives of Nelson and Hardin Cos., Ky.; they were born Dec. 22, 1826, and July 22, 1832, respectively. They were born on the farm, and have always followed farming; they lived in Kentucky until the fall of 1854, when they came to Illinois, and settled about ten miles south of Charleston, where they lived about three months; they then moved on the Springfield road, in Douglas Co., where they lived one year, when, in 1856, they came to the present place, and have lived here since. With the exception of a term as Assessor by Richard, they have held no office, except connected with the school and road. Richard Brown married Miss Elizabeth Morrison, of Kentucky, Sept. 23, 1852; she died Nov. 7, 1860. They had five children, two living, viz., Sally Ann and Mary Jane. His present wife was Mrs. O’Bannon, formerly Miss Elizabeth Ann Bridwell; they were married Feb. 16, 1862; they have two children, viz., Ida B. and Richard Alonzo. He owns over 200 acres in this township, which he has earned by his own labor and management. Daniel Brown married Miss Mary Morrison, of Kentucky, Dec. 3, 1853. They had seven children, five living, viz., John P., William A., Susan T., James H. and Alburtis R. He owns over...

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Biography of William A. Coolley

William A. Coolley. Of the financial institutions of the smaller communities of Champaign County, which, by reason of the character of their officials and the manner in which their business has been conducted, have acquired and held in greater or less degree the confidence of the public, one of the best and most favorably known is that operating as the Bank of Broadlands, a house which has been built upon an honorable policy and maintained along straight-forward lines. Much of the success that has attended this institution has been brought about through the splendid business and financial ability of William A. Coolley, one of its founders and now its president. Formerly an agriculturist, Mr. Coolley is familiar with this part of the country, where he has built up a reputation for sound integrity and practical ability. Mr. Coolley was born in Douglas County, Illinois, March 4, 1862, being a son of John A. and Harriet (Wyckoff) Coolley, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Ohio. John A. Coolley was for many years engaged in farming in Douglas County, where he owned a large and valuable property, but after his retirement came to live at Broadlands, where he died June 8, 1915, Mrs. Coolley having passed away August 30, 1903. There were six children in the family, as follows: William A.; Nettie, who is the wife of...

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Biography of George Skinner

George Skinner is one of the prosperous farm owners and well known citizens of Champaign County, now living retired at Urbana, and for his success the credit is due almost entirely to his individual efforts and his steadfast honesty and integrity. Mr. Skinner was born in Somersetshire, England, January 29, 1850, and was about four years of age when he accompanied his parents, Robert and Anna (Rich) Skinner, to America. The family first located near Elk Grove, northwest of Chicago, and in 1873 they moved to the vicinity of Homer in Champaign County, where Robert Skinner spent his last years and died in 1883. Robert Skinner and wife had four children: Amelia, who died in 1888; Rhoda, who died in 1913; George; and Henry, now a resident of Los Angeles, California. When George Skinner was fourteen years of age the family removed to Shelby County, Illinois, renting a farm there three years and after another year at Arcola they went to a rented farm south of Homer, where George Skinner remained five years. In the meantime his father had suffered a severe accident by a fall on the ice and he and his brother assumed many of the responsibilities connected with the management of the farm and the domestic upkeep. Mr. George Skinner eventually acquired land of his own and by systematic improvement and development continued his land holding...

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Biography of Isaac Newton Wade

Isaac Newton Wade. There are doubtless a number of men and women now in mature years who knew Isaac Newton Wade in Champaign County as a teacher. He was one of the early educators, and afterwards for a long period of years was a traveling salesman for a text book house. Mr. Wade is now living retired at Champaign, in which city he has had his home for the past forty-five years. He was born in Lockland, Ohio, May 13, 1846, a son of Moses and Rachel (Ferris) Wade. His mother was a native of Mount Arie, Ohio, and died at Lockland. The father, who was ‘born in Switzerland County, Indiana, became a merchant tailor, and died at Champaign, Illinois, at the age of eighty-five. Of their five children the first three died in infancy. The fourth was the late Arthur Elliott Wade, who died at Urbana in 1916. The youngest of the family, Isaac Newton Wade, acquired a liberal education. He attended College Hill (General Sam Gary’s College near Cincinnati), and subsequently entered Hillsdale College in Michigan. He was graduated from Hillsdale in 1868 and has the degrees Master of Arts and Master of Science. While at Hillsdale he was a schoolmate and friend of the famous poet Will Carleton, who sang his way into the hearts of many thousands in the previous generation and whose poems are...

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Biography of Jehu Everett Davis

Jehu Everett Davis, a prominent banker and business man of Pesotum, has pursued a very active career ever since leaving school. He represents one of the old established families in this section of Champaign, County. Mr. Davis was born at the village of Pesotum July 4, 1874, a son of James Edwin and Lavina (Crawford) Davis. Both parents were born in Ohio and came to Champaign County in 1867, locating at Pesotum, where they still reside. His father has been in the grain business and in other activities for many years. The only child of his parents, Jehu Everett Davis was well educated in the local schools, and at the age of sixteen entered the Wesleyan University at Bloomington, where he pursued special courses for two years. For one year he attended the business college at Valparaiso, Indiana. His first regular position was with the firm of Baughman, Orr & Company, bankers at Tuscola, Illinois, where he remained fourteen months. He then bought B. Gardiner’s undivided interest in the lumber, implement and harness business at Pesotum and was connected with that enterprise seven years. Then with his father in 1907 he organized the Bank of Pesotum, the first financial institution of the town. On account of failing health he sold his interests there and on April 1, 1912, bought from William Kleiss an interest in the Kleiss & Gilles...

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Biography of John D. Seltzer

John D. Seltzer, now living retired at Villa Grove, spent many useful and productive years in Champaign County. These years dealt pleasantly with him and in response to his energy and good judgment rewarded him with one of the finest farms in Raymond Township, which he still owns, and he is able to look back upon his past years with a great deal of satisfaction, born of practical achievement and the performance of the many duties that are assumed by public spirited citizens like Mr. Seltzer. He is of old Pennsylvania stock and was born in Schuylkill County of that state April 6, 1843. His parents, Michael and Mary (Fryer) Seltzer, were natives of the same county. His father was a farmer, later engaged in the hotel business and for nine years served as superintendent of the Alms House in Pennsylvania. Going west, he lived about three years in Kansas, and through the inducement of his son John finally located in Champaign County. He and his wife had seven children: Francis and Abraham, both deceased, were Union soldiers in the Civil War; Rebecca, now deceased; Charles, also a veteran of the Union Army; John D.; Amanda; and Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Borda, living in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. John D. Seltzer grew up in his native state, but early in life came west to Illinois and spent a year and...

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Biography of James W. Henderson, M. D.

James W. Henderson, M. D. One of the old and honored physicians and business men of Southeastern Kansas is Dr. James W. Henderson, who first became identified in a professional way with Labette and the surrounding country thirty-two years ago. Labette County was at that time new and all its towns, farms, roads, and other facilities were in a primitive condition. Doctor Henderson had his share of the hardships of pioneer practice. To almost a generation he was known as the kindly, courteous and helpful physician and friend, and the esteem in which his name is held is as satisfactory as the material rewards that have been given him. He is a native of that picturesque and famous district of southwestern Indiana, Posey County. He was born there near New Harmony September 13, 1846, a son of William and Mouring (Ballard) Henderson. The Hendersons were a Scotch-Irish folk that went out from England to Virginia in colonial times. Doctor Henderson’s grandfather John Henderson was a native of Virginia, and settled in the early days in Posey County, Indiana, where he followed farming until his death. Doctor Henderson’s maternal grandfather John Ballard was a native of North Carolina and died in Clinton County, Ohio, in 1816, before Doctor Henderson’s mother was born. William Henderson, father of the doctor, was born in Virginia in 1804, was reared in that state, and...

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Biography of George James Sharp

George James Sharp during the thirty odd years he had lived in Elk County had been a farmer, school teacher, county official, abstractor and lawyer, and his friends and associates say that whatever he undertakes he does with all the enthusiasm of his nature and to the limit of his ability. He is an exceedingly useful citizen, and his services have for several years been untilized by the City of Howard through the office of mayor. Mr. Sharp was born on a farm in Hendricks County, Indiana, December 26, 1862, a son of William P. and Anna T. (Higgins) Sharp. He had a very interesting ancestral record. The first Americans of the name were Scotch-Irish people who came from the north of Ireland to Virginia in colonial days. Mr. Sharp is descended from revolutionary ancestors on both sides. His great-great-grandfather, James Sharp, participated in the struggle for independence and became a celebrated scout both during that war and afterwards in the western wilderness. This revolutionary patriot was born in Virginia, but after the Revolutionary war he moved across the mountains and settled in Kentucky. In Bath County, Kentucky, is a town named Sharpsburg, where a number of the Sharp family settled in pioneer times. The village was named in honor of Moses Sharp, a relative of the branch of the family now being considered. Moses Sharp was in the...

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Biography of G. K. Sipple, Hon.

Hon. G. K. Sipple. During 1910 the retired colony of Neodesha was augmented by the arrival of G. K. Sipple, whose activities have been centered in Wilson County since the year 1881, and whose career is expressive of the possibilities of country life when directed by a well-trained mind, an earnest purpose and a keen appreciation of its benefits and prerogatives. Mr. Sipple is a Union veteran of the Civil war, and a citizen who had contributed to his community’s welfare. That his worth had been appreciated is evidenced by the positions of public trust which he had filled, his public service culminating in his election as a representative to the Kansas Legislature. G. K. Sipple was born in Grant County, Kentucky, March 12, 1844, and is a son of Rev. W. H. and Nancy (Ashcraft) Sipple. The original member of the family in this country was Caleb Sipple, who took part in the settlement of Delaware with Lord Delaware’s party. John Sipple, the grandfather of G. K. Sipple, was born in 1780, in Delaware, where as a young man he engaged in schoolteaching, and subsequently turned his attention to farming. He went as a pioneer farmer to Harrison County, Kentucky, and in 1862 removed to Tuscola, Illinois, where his death occurred two years later. He was a stanch whig. Rev. W. H. Sipple was born in 1813, in...

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