Location: Edgar County IL

Biographical Sketch of Daniel Gosnell

Daniel Gosnell was born in Huntington county, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1816. When he was ten years old his parents moved to Ohio, where he was reared on a farm, and has made agriculture his business through life. At the age of twenty-one years he settled in Edgar county, Illinois; in 1840 removed to Jasper county, in the same State, and in 1855 came to this county, and settled upon the spot where he now lives. He owns a farm of 235 acres, well improved, and has given his attention chiefly to stock-raising since he settled in Missouri. Mr. Gosnell was united in marriage, July 16, 1844, to Miss Rebecca Mathen. By this union they had three children, Emeline, Rhoda and Sarah E. Mrs. Rebecca Gosnell died March 16, 1851. Mr. Gosnell was married, August 23, 1851, to Miss Lucinda Poor, who was born August 24, 1826. By this marriage they have ten children, eight of whom are living: Stephen S., born June 11, 1852; Samuel H., born November 27, 1853; Frederick, oborn September 13, 1855; Isabel J., born December 31, 1857; William H., born July 17, 1860; Olive A., born January 26, 1862; Daniel W., born November 21, 1863; George W., born September 18,1865; Mary E., born June 11, 1867; and Osta F., born September 2,...

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Biographical Sketch of George White

George White, the well known implement dealer and auctioneer of Newman, was born near Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, August 18, 1842, and is a son of M. L. and Mary (Biby) White. Middleton White was born in Barren County, Kentucky and moved to Edgar County, Illinois, where he was married. His wife was also from near Glasgow. Kentucky. ‘They are both dead and buried in the Paris cemetery. George White came to Newman and located in business in about 1874, since which time his business has steadily grown until he is known as one of the most successful and extensive implement dealers in the entire County. He also handles the Mitchell wagon and several makes of buggies and carriages. His sales run from $25,000 to $35,000 annually. In 1844 Mr. White was united in marriage to Miss Della Clark, who is a native of Kentucky. They have two children: Henry W., who will graduate from the Chicago Homeopathic School of Medicine in March, 1901, and Fred, who is in business with his father. George White has here held the office of township supervisor and while he resided in Edgar County held the same office. In 1861 he volunteered in Company E, Twelfth Illinois Infantry and served through the entire Civil war. During the month of February especially his services are in great demand as a public auctioneer. He is...

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Biography of Stephen Redden

Stephen Redden was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, April 14, 1818, and was a son of James Redden, who, leaving a large family of children growing up, resolved to give them a better chance by going west. Consequently he made a flat-boat, and, with his family and several of his neighbors and their families, he embarked on the Ohio river for what was then considered the far west. Stephen Redden was at that time four years old. At Louisville they would not trust the flat-boat to carry them over the falls, but were put ashore and either walked or were conveyed in some other manner to Portland, just below the falls, where the boat landed and took them on board. They landed at Evansville, Indiana, sometime in the fall of 1822, and after disposing of the flat-boat and investing in an ox team Mr. Redden and family started for the land of promise, the Prairie state, while the other families cast their lot with the Hoosier state. It was no uncommon thing for them to meet bands of blanketed Indians and see droves of (leer, or to be “lulled to sleep” at night by the “music of the wolves,” on their journey from the Ohio River to the small village of Terre Haute, Indiana, which at that time consisted of a tavern, a few saloons and stores, and a...

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Biography of Rev. William E. Means

Rev. William E. Means, proprietor of the Atwood Herald, was born at Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, June 28, 1850. He attended the district school during the winter, working on prepared to enter Paris high school. In 1874 he matriculated at the Northwestern University, and was graduated from the theological department of this well-known institution in the farm (luring the summer months, until the class of 1879. After graduation he was admitted to the Minnesota conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was appointed pastor of the Rushmore charge, where a hand-some four-thousand-dollar church was built, free from debt. In the middle of the second year he was appointed to Lu Verne, where the church was greatly blessed during his labors with a sweeping revival, the church completed, and the way prepared for the paying- off of a crushing debt. Finding the Minnesota winters colder than he liked, he found an opportunity, in the spring of 1884, to transfer to South Kansas conference, where during the year he was instrumental in building two places of worship, a temporary building in Fort Scott, Kansas, which afterward became Grace church, and a beautiful village church at Hiattville, Kansas. The two years following were spent at Moran, Kansas, and were very fruitful. More than a hundred were gathered into the church, and the church thoroughly organized. A pastorate of three and a half...

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Biographical Sketch of J. A. McGown

J. A. McGown, a most successful business man and a typical farmer residing in Newman Township, was born in Edgar County, Illinois, March 30, 1832, and is a son of John and Olive Blackman, who were natives of Kentucky and New York respectively. His father emigrated to Edgar County, where he resided up to his death, which occurred April 18, 1882. His mother died in 1892. J. A. McGown was reared to manhood a farm in his native County and in about 1875 located in Newman Township, where he now resides. He owns four hundred and seventy-two acres of highly cultivated land and one of the most magnificent residences in the County. He farms on business principles and has made himself independent in a financial way by his careful and methodical way of doing things. On November 22, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha C. Todd, and to their marriage have been born five children: Florence, Olive, Grace, Arthur and Anne. Our subject has held the office of road commissioner for nine years, and twenty-one years out of the twenty-five he has resided in Newman Township he has been school director and is greatly interested in the success of education. In 1898 he built his new house. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Order of...

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Biography of John Lindsey

John Lindsey owner of the Evergreen Ficklin farm, was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, April 2, 1834. and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Blackburn) Lindsey. They were both natives of Ireland, and after their marriage came to this country in about 1820. They were both descendants Scotch-Irish ancestry and were members of the Presbyterian church. The father died in 1873, aged about sixty-five years ; the mother died when our subject was about twelve years old. Mr. Lindsey was reared on a farm and received a common-school education, and was engaged in farming in Ohio up to September 14, 1855, when he emigrated to Illinois and located on a farm in Edgar county, which he rented some three or four years. He then bought forty acres and tilled this until 1874, when he removed to Kansas and remained there for about two years and a half, at the end of which time he returned to Illinois and located near four acres, which he bought and still owns. He resided on this farm until 1885, when he came to his Evergreen farm, which contains one hundred and sixty acres. In 1853 he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Ebert, who was also born in Fairfield county, Ohio. She is a daughter of Daniel awl Mary (Gaul) Ebert. To their marriage have been born ten children. John Lindsey is...

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Biography of Oliver O. Hockett

Oliver O. Hockett, one of the younger members of the medical fraternity of Douglas County, and one of the leading men in the social, professional and educational life of Newman, was born in Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, March 2, 1866. He was graduated from the high school of Paris in 1882 and subsequently entered the state university at Champaign, where he remained for three years. He then took up the study of medicine with Dr. M. P. Smith, with whom he remained until he entered Chicago Hahnemann College, from which well known institution he was graduated in the class of 1880, and the following year he spent in the Hahnemann hospital. In March, 1890, he came to Newman and opened out in the general practice of medicine, and has succeeded far beyond his expectations. He is skilled and successful, and although having been in Newman but a few years, he enjoys one of the most extensive and lucrative practices in the County. He is a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society, contributes to the medical journals and keeps himself thoroughly in touch with the advancements being made in his profession. As a diagnostician in his profession, as well as in his judgment of human nature, he would pass muster in any community. Dr. Hockett is a son of Mahlon and Mary (Kimble) Hockett, natives of Vermilion and Edgar counties...

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Biography of James P. Heaton

James P. Heaton, who was a prominent citizen of Newman and a member of its board of education, was born August 16, 1845, and died March 14, 1897, aged fifty-one years, six months and twenty-eight clays. He was a native of Greene county, Pennsylvania, where his early youth was passed among the picturesque hills and scenery of that mountainous region. He was a son of William and Mary Heaton. At the age of sixteen years he came to Illinois and located on the Ridge, four miles north of Newman. At that time there was no church building in that section and in 1869 when the Cumberland Presbyterians built their church he contributed liberally toward its construction and helped in the good cause in various ways. In 1872 he joined the Methodist church, and when the M. E. church on the Ridge was built he and his brothers contributed largely toward its erection, upon ground donated by their father, who located on the Ridge sometime during the ’50s and entered a tract of land of 1,400 acres. He afterwards lived in Edgar county from 1873 until 1885, when he moved to Newman and lived there until his death in 1897. James Heaton was not long in becoming one of the most influential and prosperous citizens in his neighborhood. In 1871 he bought a tract of land now known as the...

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Biography of Alexander C. Kissee

A descendant of good old Virginia stock, Mr. Kissee inherited the fundamental principles of industry, integrity and deter-mination of purpose which became the attributes of his whole after life. He is a native of the Prairie State, born in Edgar County November 2, 1834, and the son of Arter and Ufins (Bledsoe) Kissee and grandson of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Weddill) Kissee. The grandparents were both natives of the Old Dominion and early settlers of Kentucky, where they passed their latter days, the grandfather living to be over one hundred years. The great-grandfather, Stoball Kissee, was a native of Virginia, but it is thought was of French descent. The family emigrated from Kentucky, to Indiana, and thence to Illinois, but later returned to Indiana, and settled in the northwest part of the State, where the father of our subject took up land. He was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, in 1810, and was married in Kentucky, to Miss Bledsoe, who was born in North Carolina, October 14, 1805. Mr. Kissee made his home in Indiana, until 1846 and then came to what is now Christian County, settling on Swan Creek, and later near Ozark. Thence he moved to Sparta and there passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1887. Formerly a Whig in politics he espoused the principles of the Republican party later, and was obliged to leave home...

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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...

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Biography of Samuel L. Burwash

Samuel L. Burwash. It was more than half a century ago, when he was a small boy, that Samuel L. Burwash first knew Champaign County. He was identified during his active career with the agricultural element. It is in agriculture that Champaign County has found its greatest prosperity during this period. Mr. Burwash was not an unimportant factor in that development. He prospered as did all the other progressive farmers of his time, and in recent years has enjoyed the fruits of his earlier toil and is now living comfortably in Champaign. He was born in Eastern Canada, near Montreal, November 16, 1851, a son of Samuel and Lois (Barber) Burwash, who were also natives of Canada. His father was a farmer by occupation. In 1860 the family removed to Edgar County, Illinois, and during the three years spent there the mother died. From Edgar County Samuel Burwash moved to Champaign County, and continued here an active farmer until his death. He and his wife had eight children, the first two of whom died in infancy. Besides Samuel L., the others are: T. N., a retired physician at Champaign; Delia M., deceased; Milo B. and Carrie, both unmarried and living together in Champaign; and Ella, deceased. Until he was twenty-two years of age Samuel L. Burwash lived in his father’s home. An education suitable for his future needs was...

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Biography of James R. Wills

James R. Wills. Special interest attaches to the career of James R. Wills of St. Joseph not only because of his long residence in that community but also for the fact that he is one of the honored survivors of the great struggle between the North and the South in the ’60s. Mr. Wills was one of the productive farmers of this county for fully forty years, and then turned over the heavier responsibilities to a younger generation and with his good wife, who has traveled by his side for over half a century, is enjoying the comforts of a good home and the esteem of many friends in the village of St. Joseph. Mr. Wills is a Kentuckian by birth, born in Clark County, son of Elijah and Ruth (Beall) Wills. The Wills family came to Illinois in 1855, first living in Edgar County and later locating at Urbana, where the mother died. James R. Wills received his education in the public schools of Kentucky and Illinois, and was twenty-three years of age when the war came on. He felt it a privilege as well as a duty to serve his country in that exciting time, and enlisted in Company K of the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry. His company was organized from men from Urbana and Homer. The record of this regiment was a splendid one. It served in...

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Biography of Hon. Thomas J. Roth

Hon. Thomas J. Roth. Since 1906 the legal profession of Champaign County has been capably and honorably represented at Urbana by Hon. Thomas J. Roth, former judge of the County Court and a legist of the county for forty-three years. For the greater part of this period Judge Roth was located at Rantoul, but came to Urbana to assume the duties of his judicial office, and upon the expiration of his term remained at the county seat in the enjoyment of a constantly increasing practice. Hon. Thomas J. Roth was born at Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, December 3, 1846. and is a son of Thomas B. and Esther (Ghrist) Roth. His paternal grandfather was a native of Holland who immigrated to the United States as a young man and located with his wife in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Thomas B. Roth, however, was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Mr. Roth’s mother’s maternal grandfather, Charles R. Morris, was born in Maryland and his wife in New Jersey, and Mr. Roth’s maternal grandparents, Jonathan and Mary (Morris) Ghrist, were both natives of Maryland, from which it will be seen that on the maternal side Mr. Roth’s ancestry is distinctively American for several generations. As a young man Thomas B. Roth removed to Pickaway County, Ohio, where he lived for a number of years, but in 1856 removed to a farm near Oakland, Coles...

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Biography of Martin Orlando Stover

Martin Orlando Stover. Farmers are the uncrowned kings of America today, and if they do not hold the political destiny of the country in their hands they are at least the custodians of the resources which are the most vital and necessary to the welfare and existence of the millions who live in the great cities and industrial centers. Champaign County has a wealth of men who are doing their part in the development of American agriculture, and it is no disparagement of what others are doing and have done to name Martin Orlando Stover as a recognized leader among them all. Mr. Stover has been identified with this county since 1883. His beautiful country home, known as Evergreen View, is located two and a half miles northwest of Mahomet on the Bloomington Road and it is one of the farms which might be selected as an example of what scientific and systematic management can accomplish. Mr. Stover was born in Edgar County, Illinois, March 31, 1861. His parents were Ptollman and Mary E. (Earhart) Stover. He was the second of their three children, and his two sisters are both deceased. His father was born in West Alexandria, Preble County, Ohio, in 1833, and is still living at the venerable age of eighty-four, his home being in California. He was reared and educated in his native state and was...

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Biography of William S. Norton

William S. Norton. Whatever their environment, men of true ability have the power to raise themselves above circumstances, and apparently handicaps and difficulties act only as a spur to increase effort and accomplishment. There are few Kansas whose careers better illustrate the truth of this assertion than that of William S. Norton, who is known so well in Cherokee County as a financier and business man. Mr. Norton could review by personal recollections practically every phase of life in Southwestern Missouri and Southeastern Kansas during the last half century. He was a Union soldier during the war and the keynote to his success can probably be found in the fact that he has been ever ready to meet danger and difficulty and has always been unusually resourceful in every exigency of a long life. As to his ancestry it can be stated that the Nortons were English people and were pioneers to the State of Ohio, where they settled before the War of 1812. Their first point of settlement on coming to America was North Carolina. Mr. William S. Norton was born in Edgar County, Illinois, July 26, 1844. His father was Amos Norton, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he was born in 1826. After spending the first nineteen years of his life in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, he moved to Edgar County, Illinois, where he...

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