Location: Edgar County IL

Biography of Harry R. Harshbarger

Harry R. Harshbarger of Sedan had found varied employment for his energies since he reached manhood, but is now chiefly engaged in the business of oil production, and had some of the most valuable properties of that kind in Chautauqua County. He was born at Vermilion, Edgar County, Illinois, May 28, 1868. His father was John W. Harshbarger, long and favorably known in Kansas. John W. was born in Cabell County, Virginia, in what is now West Virginia, in 1835. His father, John Harshbarger, also a native of Virginia, died in the western part of that state three months before his son, John W., was born. Grandfather John Harshbarger was a blacksmith. His wife was a Miss Doolittle, of a Maryland family, and a sister of United States Senator Doolittle of Maryland. The Harshbargers originated in Switzerland and came to Baltimore in colonial days. John W. Harshbarger was reared in Edgar County, Illinois. He also married there. While a young man he studied medicine and in 1861 he enlisted in Burgess’ Sharpshooters and participated in a part of the Missouri campaign and also was in some of the fighting cast of the Mississippi, but after the battle of Shiloh was discharged on account of disability. He then re-enlisted as a hospital steward in the regular army and for four years was stationed in that capacity at the Army Hospital...

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Biographical Sketch of Bush Bros.

Bush Bros., farm and stock; P. O. Charleston; David, John and Nelson; David was born in Northampton Co., Penn., March 1, 1832. He married Miss Elinor Stiff Jan. 28, 1864; she was born in Perry Co., Ohio; they have five children – four living, viz., Lillie D., John H., Eliza M. and Mary F.; he lived two years in Pennsylvania, when, with his parents, he moved to Ohio, and, in 1838, they came to Illinois and settled in Edgar Co., where they lived until 1849, when they came to Coles Co., and settled about two and a half miles west of Charleston, and in 1854, they came to Seven Hickory, and settled near the present place. John H. Bush was born in Perry Co., Ohio, Oct. 5, 1837. He married Miss Polly Ann Jarvis Oct. 27, 1874; she was born in Illinois; they have one child, viz., Loyal Nelson; in 1862, he enlisted in the 123d Ill. Inf.; was in the service three years; after one year’s service he was sent to the hospital, remaining six months; was then transferred to Invalid Corps, and acted as guard. Nelson Bush was born in Edgar Co., Ill., May 8, 1846, and in company with his brothers has always lived with his parents; their parents, Jonathan and Eliza Lee Bush, were natives of Pennsylvania; he died Oct. 6, 1856; she died in...

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McQueen, George Dallas – Obituary

The sad news of the death of Mr. George Dallas McQueen, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Demp Cutsinger, of near Chrisman, reached the city, Monday. The deceased had been in failing health for some time and went to the St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, where on Sept. 28th a surgical operation for cancer of the stomach and other complications was performed. His condition was known to be serious and having recovered from the operation, he went to the home of his daughter where he remained until death. George Dallas McQueen was born May 4, 1844, and was united in marriage to Miss Frances McQueen, January 4, 1872 [Bartholomew Co., IN]. To this union five children were born, four of whom have preceded him to the great beyond. His wife died some twenty-one years ago, but he never remarried. He made his home for a number of years with his daughter, the late Mrs. Sinclair Helm, near Murdock, and after her death in Feb. 1916, has made his home largely with Mrs. Cutsinger. He departed this life at the ripe old age of 74 years, 6 mos. and 28 days, Monday morning, Dec. 2nd . He leaves to mourn his demise, one daughter, Mrs. Mabel Cutsinger, three grandchildren, one great grandchild and a large circle of relatives and friends. The deceased and his wife removed to Douglas County...

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Cutsinger, Jennie House – Obituary

After a lingering illness of several months, Mrs. L. D. [Draper Maletta] Cutsinger died at her house [June 26, 1898] two miles west of Palermo Saturday night, about ten o’clock. She has always had delicate health and finally became the victim of consumption. Mrs. Cutsinger, who was the youngest daughter of Thomas House, was born in this city, March 12, 1872, and spend a larger portion of her life in this city and on a farm southeast of the city. She graduated from the Newman schools in 1889 at the age of sixteen years and married to L. D. Cutsinger, Jan. 26, 1898. A short funeral service was conducted at the home at 11 o’clock Monday by Rev. J. B. Pawson, of Hume, and the remains brought to the Newman Cemetery for interment; the funeral procession arriving at the cemetery about 1:30 o’clock, where a large concourse of her Newman friends had gathered to pay the last tribute of respect to her. The INDEPENDENT joins the many friends in extending sympathy to the bereaved husband and relatives. Newman Independent, June, 1898 Contributed by: Shelli...

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Biographical Sketch of John Jarvis

John Jarvis, farming and stock; P. O. Arcola; the subject of this sketch was born in Madison Co., Ky., Dec. 25, 1809; he married Miss Polly Ray, Jan. 22, 1830; she was born, same place, Aug. 9, 1802; they had eight children, two living, viz., Robert and William. He lived in Kentucky until 1830, when he came to Illinois and settled in Edgar Co., near Paris, where he lived three years; he then moved to Kentucky, where he lived eleven years; he then moved again to Illinois and settled in Edgar Co., about fourteen miles west of Paris; he lived there about nine years; he then moved to Coles Co. and settled on the Embarrass; while here his wife died; he then married Mrs. Rodman (formerly Miss Rachel Flora); she was a native of Kentucky. In 1865, they moved to the present place; in March, 1868, he lost his second wife; they had no children. June 16, 1868, he married Miss Mary Hedges; she was born in Fountain Co., Ind., Nov. 3,1848; they have three children, viz., James E., Melissa C. and Loyal. He is no office-seeker, having all he can do to attend his private business. In 1874, he moved to Nebraska and lived there three years, when he returned to his present place; he owns 287 acres in this county and 240 in Nebraska, which he has...

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Biography of P. A. Kemper, M. D.

P. A. Kemper, M. D., physician and surgeon, Mattoon; was born in Culpeper Co., Va., Aug. 31, 1832; his early education was under the direct supervision of his mother, who was a well-qualified schoolmistress; his father was an artisan by profession, of whom he was bereft at the early age of 8 years; when about 16 years of age, he left home and came to Paris, Edgar Co., Ill.; in the fall of 1855, he began the study of his profession with Dr. D. O. McCord, remaining in his office two and a half years; during the winter of 1857 and 1858, he attended Rush Medical College, and, at a later date, received his degree; He began the practice of his profession in Pleasant Grove Tp., Coles Co., March 3, 1858; here he remained until 1876, excepting an absence of two years in the army. In 1861, he raised a company for the 5th Regiment, and was chosen Captain of the same; his position he resigned for that of Assistant Surgeon of the regiment; when the final organization occurred, however, through the treachery of professed friends, he failed in receiving the appointment; notwithstanding the unjust treatment to himself and Col. Updegraff, the commanding officer, he elected to remain with his boys, as a private in the ranks, rather than return home; in June, 1862, he was captured at Pocahontas,...

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Biographical Sketch of Theodore Jonte

Theodore Jonte, dealer in harness and saddles, Mattoon; was born in Nashville, Tenn., April 4, 1839; his father was a wholesale confectioner; he received a good common-school education, and, at the age of 16 years, left home and came West, settling in Quincy, Ill., where he engaged in working at his trade; in the fall of 1861, he engaged in laboring for the U. S. Government in the making of cavalry equipments; the fall of 1862, he came to Paris, Edgar Co., and engaged in business with Wm. Legy; they operated a shop in Paris, and one in Grand View at the same time; Mr. Jonte had charge of the latter; in the fall of 1864, he removed to Mattoon, and opened up his present business; his is the only first-class establishment in the city. He was married in 1865 to Anna Stone-burner, a native of Grand View, Ill.; has one child-Alberta. Owns considerable real estate in the city. In 1876, he was chosen City Mayor; is at present Assistant Supervisor of Mattoon Tp.; also a member of the Board of Education, West...

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Biography of J. O. Rudy

J. O. Rudy, real estate agent, Mattoon; was born near Louisville, Jefferson Co., Ky., May 1, 1827; his parents moved to Illinois, and settled near Paris, Edgar Co., in 1830; his early life was spent upon the farm, and his early experiences were those of a farmer’s son; his education was derived from the common schools; in 1850, he crossed the plains to California, where for two years he applied himself to mining; near the close of 1852, he returned, having as his reward for toil, hardships and privations, about $3,000 in gold; on his return, he engaged for one year in operating the old homestead; near the close of 1853, he engaged as a partner in the dry goods business, in the firm of Augustus & Rudy, at Paris; in the fall of 1858. The firm closed out business, and he moved to his land in Douglas Co., and opened up, and improved his farm; in 1862, he was appointed Post Trader to the Pawnee Nation, under the administration of President Lincoln; this position he held till the beginning of the administration of Andrew Johnson, returning in the fall of 1865; he next went to Trumbull Co., Ohio, and engaged in sinking wells, and in the manufacture of lubricating oil; this he followed one year; in the spring of 1867, he came to Mattoon, arid in company with...

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Biography of Rev. J. W. Riley

Rev. J. W. Riley, Pastor Missionary Baptist Church, Mattoon; was born in Clermont Co., Ohio, Nov. 9, 1823; his ancestral line, traced through five preceding generations have been ministers in the Baptist Church; his father’s family furnished six ministers to the society, himself and five sons. From an historical record gathered from time to time, it was ascertained that the family of near relatives have furnished thirteen ministers of the Gospel; ten of these are Baptists, two Methodists and one Christian. His father, Rev. J. W. Riley, Sr., founded the first Missionary Baptist Church in all this section; this was at Bloomfield, Edgar Co., as early as 1835. Out of that grew the Bloomfield Baptist Association, which is today one of the largest in the State. His early life was spent upon the farm and in attendance upon school; at the age of 15 years, he became a member of the church, and soon after began to take part in its public exercises; he was ordained to the ministry April 26, 1845. He was married in 1843, to Olive J. Crouch, a native of Clermont Co., Ohio; she died April 4, 1855. His second marriage occurred Sept. 7, 1856, to Sarah A. Vance, of Licking Co., Ohio; she was educated at Granville College, Ohio. From first wedlock he reared five children – three sons and two daughters; from second,...

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Biographical Sketch of Aris Galbreath

Aris Galbreath, farmer; P. O. Rardin; was born in Nicholas Co., Ky., Jan. 20, 1812. His parents removed to Scott Co., Ind., when he was 2 years of age, where he lived until 18 years of age, when he emigrated with his mother to Illinois and located in Edgar Co., in the Fall of 1830, where he engaged as farm laborer for two years at $8 per month; in 1832, he located in Ashmore Tp., Coles Co., Ill., working one year for $100, out of which he saved money to enter 40 acres of land, which he improved one year, when he sold out and purchased 240 acres, which he improved for ten years, which he then sold and entered 160 acres of prairie and purchased 40 acres of timber in Morgan Tp., upon which he lived until 1875, when he removed upon his present place, after renting his old homestead; he now owns 300 acres of land with three sets of buildings. When Mr. G. located here, wolves and Indians were plenty, and to obtain quail, prairie chickens or other game, was only necessary to shoot from your door or window. He married Dec. 8, 1835, to Jane Reed; she was born in Spencer Co., Ky., Oct. 9, 1817; they have three children, now living by this union-James T., born Oct. 9, 1836; William R., Nov. 4, 1838;...

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Biographical Sketch of F. M. Parker

F. M. Parker, farmer; P. O. Rardin; born in Edgar Co., Ill., March 18, 1849; he is the eldest son of Wm. M. Parker, who emigrated from Kentucky, and located in Edgar Co., Ill., in the year 1829; he died in Coles Co. Feb. 14, 1873; his mother was born in Co., and emigrated with her parents, and located in Coles Co. in 1828; the subject of this sketch remained with his parents, and assisted in farming, until 20 years of age, when he was employed as farm-laborer for about four years; he first commenced farming for himself in 1871, in Edgar Co., and the year following in East Oakland Tp., Coles Co.; he removed upon Sec. 5, Morgan Tp., in December, 1873, where he has since successfully followed farming. He married Sept. 14, 1871 to Sarah J. Roberts; she was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio, March 11, 1848; she is daughter of Thomas Roberts, whose biography appears in this work; they have four children by this union-Rhoda A., born June 30, 1872; James W., born May 1, 1874; Cara A., born May 21, 1876; Dora R., born April 29, 1878. Mr. Parker has held the office of Road Overseer for two years, and Collector of Morgan Tp. for...

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Biographical Sketch of A. J. Bigelow

A. J. Bigelow, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Fuller’s Point; one of the early settlers; was born in Massachusetts Oct. 10, 1829; came to this State in 1852, and settled in Edgar Co.; he removed to Coles Co. in 1852, where he has since resided; his farm consists of 254 acres, valued at $7,000. He was married to Miss Ada Green, who was born in Massachusetts; they have two children – Levi and Charley E. Since his residence in the township, he has held the office of Supervisor one year and School Director ten years. He was a participant in the late war, having enlisted in the 79th I. V. I.; after volunteering, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant, and later was promoted to First Lieutenant, and as such served faithfully for several months, when he was promoted to Captain; he served in the war about three years, and was discharged with honor at its...

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Biographical Sketch of John D. Farris

John D. Farris, farmer and nurseryman, Sec. 2; P. O. Charleston; owns 900 acres; was born in Edgar Co., Ill., Sept. 30, 1827, and was engaged with his father in farming and nursery business until 29 years of age. Was married to Eliza J. Manfort Jan. 28, 1852; she was born in Henry Co., Ky., March 16,1833; the fruit of this marriage is eight children, viz., Caleb, Mattie M., John N., Olive, Israel J. (deceased), William, Anna and one infant. Mr. Farris’ father started the first mill to grind wheat and corn in this township; people came a great distance to mill, this being the only one for miles around; Mr. Farris has carried on farming and nursery business very extensively, and has still a great variety of trees yet on hand; he has put in over 4,000 rods of tiling on his own land in the last few years; raised at one time 162 bushels of grain on one acre of...

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Biographical Sketch of James R. P. Cassaday

James R. P. Cassaday, farmer, Sec. 10; P. O. Campbell; was born in Edgar Co., Ill., Aug. 22, 1845; lived with his parents until 14 years of age, when they died, leaving him to shift for himself. He was married to Catharine Edmond Oct. 17, 1867; she was born in Virginia Feb. 8, 1844; died Aug. 13, 1877; they had six children – four dead, two living; the names of the living are Mary E., William H.; the names of the deceased are Jemima, Joanna, Sarah E. and one infant. Mr. C. was then married to Mary M. Neal July 20, 1878; she was born in Cumberland Co., Ill., Sept. 7, 1841. Mr. Cassaday has held office of Pathmaster one term, School Director several years. He was in the late war; enlisted in 1863 in 11th Ind. V. C., Co. D; served two years, and was in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and was also on the plains fighting the Indians six months. Mr. Cassaday’s grandfather on his father’s side was in the Black Hawk war. Mr. Cassaday owns 77½ acres of excellent...

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Biographical Sketch of James Gray Bovell

James Gray Bovell, farmer; P. O. Larna; owns 260 acres; was born in Washington Co., Tenn., June 1, 1825, and came to Edgar Co. with his parents when only 4 years old; he stayed there five years; then came to Coles Co., where he has since resided. He was married May 6, 1846, to Eliza Dryden, who was born in Bedford Co., Tenn., July 24, 1825, and has had four children, viz., Mary E. D., Nancy C., John W. and one infant; Mary E. D. is the only one living. Mr. and Mrs. Bovell’s parents were natives of...

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