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Location: Edgar County IL

Biographical Sketch of John Burwell

John Burwell, retired farmer; P. O. Oakland; born in Morris Co., N. J., Feb. 1, 1813, where he engaged in the manufacture of wrought iron until 19 years of age, when he emigrated West and engaged at his trade in the States of Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, until 1840, when he abandoned his trade and located upon his farm in Delaware Co., Ohio, where he lived until 1851, when, selling his farm, he emigrated West and located in Embarrass Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., purchasing a farm of 480 acres, which he worked until the spring of 1856, when he removed to Oakland, where he has since continued to live, with the exception of two years which he spent upon his farm; he owns 310 acres of prairie and timber land in Coles Co., Ill., and 320 acres in Henry Co., near Newton, Kan. He married Sept. 19, 1833, to Missouri Thorp; she was born in Franklin Co., Ohio; she died in 1853, leaving five children – Amos, Mary, Moses, John, Alice. His marriage with Lucy Ann Terhune was celebrated Sept. 19, 1853; she was born in Johnson Co., Ind.; she died in 1856, leaving one child, since deceased. He married April 18, 1857, for his third wife, Nannie McCrum; she was born in Huntingdon Co., Penn., Oct. 3, 1820; one child was the fruit of this union-Frank P., born...

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Biographical Sketch of John Buckler

John Buckler, farmer, Sec. 4; P. O. Oakland; born in Marion Co., Ky., June 22, 1838, where he was engaged farming until 16 years of age, when he removed to Illinois and located in Edgar Co., in 1854, where he was employed as farm laborer until 1862, at which time he rented and farmed until 1874, when he purchased eighty acres, which he worked four years; then sold out, and, after living in Douglas Co. eight months, purchased his present place of 160 acres, where he now lives, on Sec. 4, East Oakland Tp. He married April 7, 1862, to Harriet Davis she was born in Clark Co., Ill.; they have five children by this union, viz., Rosannah, Richard T., Emma Jane, Lorenzo Dow, Nettie...

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Biography of W. B. Zimmerman

W. B. Zimmerman, farmer; P. O. Oakland; one of the early settlers of Coles Co., Ill.; born in Augusta Co., Va., Feb. 4, 1826, where he lived until eleven years of age, when he emigrated with his parents to Illinois, and located in Edgar Co., in 1837; in the fall of 1838, they located in what is now known as East Oakland Tp., near where Mr. Zimmerman has since lived; he being the oldest son of Martin Zimmerman who emigrated from Virginia at the above date with a family of nine children; and the year following their arrival the whole family was prostrated by malarial disease with the exception of the subject of this sketch, who had the labor of managing the forty acres which his father had purchased, and the following spring found the family largely in .debt; he remained with his father until 20 years of age, when he worked out five months at $9 per month, giving his father half of his earnings and being himself soon after prostrated by sickness, which consumed his own earnings for doctor bills and medicine; the following year he worked out by the month at $10 per month, and having saved about $75, and owning a two year colt, he hired a horse to put in his crops, and commenced farming on his own account; in 1848, he purchased his...

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Biography of H. D. Williams

H. D. Williams, firm of Williams & Carter, merchants, Oakland; born in New York City Feb. 10, 1846; he emigrated West with his parents when 9 years of age and located in Edgar Co., Ill., where he attended school and engaged in farming until August, 1862, when he enlisted as private in the 66th I. V. I., and was immediately sent to the front; he was first engaged in the battle of Corinth, Miss., where his regiment suffered severely, losing fully one-third of its men in killed and wounded; he then went to Danville, Miss., where he remained nearly one year, during which time they built a fine stockade; he then went to Pulaski, Tenn., where he was placed in the hospital on account of sickness, and was detailed as hospital druggist for two months, when he returned to his regiment and was in the Atlanta campaign, which was a series of battles from the beginning until the siege and capture of the above-named place; among the more important battles, the first was at Snake Creek Gap, May 9, 1864, when the 66th, being in the advance, fought their way for upward of eight miles; afterward were the battle of Lay’s Ferry, Rome Cross Roads, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain and many others, arriving before Atlanta in July, where he remained during the siege, which lasted until September following; his next...

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Biography of M. B. Valodin

M. B. Valodin, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Oakland; born in Portsmouth, Scioto Co., Ohio, March 28, 1828; at 8 years of age, he removed with his parents to New Madrid, Mo., living there until 1838, at which time his father died, when he removed with his mother and sister to Edgar Co., Ill., where he engaged in farming until 1844, with the exception of one year in which he attended school in Paris; he then went to Wisconsin, where he was engaged at work in the shot tower at Helena, six months, and followed mining the same length of time, when he enlisted for the Mexican war, at which time the Government having trouble with the Indians, he, with his regiment, was employed in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota in removing the Indians to their reservation, until 1848; he then returned to Edgar Co., Ill., and followed farming until 1849, when he removed to Coles Co., and engaged in farming and raising and dealing in stock until 1864, at which date he located in Oakland, and to the above business engaged in the dry goods trade until 1866, when he sold his store and was appointed agent of the Illinois Midland Railroad, at Oakland, which position he held one year, and at the same time continued his farming and stock business, also dealing in lumber for one year; he...

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Biographical Sketch of William Tinsley

William Tinsley, farmer, deceased; born in Anderson Co., Ky., March 10, 1807, where he learned the cooper’s trade, which business he followed until 1831, when he came to Illinois and located in Edgar Co., where, after farming several years, he removed to East Oakland Tp., Coles Co., and located upon Sec. 4, where he lived until his death, and where his widow and two children still continue to reside; his first land he purchased for $3 per acre, to which, during his life, he added, as he was able, until at the time of his decease, he owned upward of 200 acres. He married, May 26, 1831, to Sarah H. Reeds; she was born in Kentucky, Nov. 30, 1806; she died Aug. 16, 1852, leaving two children now living, viz., Maria E. and Lucy K.; his marriage with Mrs. Susannah C. Handley was celebrated June 11, 1853; she was born in Virginia Jan. 1, 1826; she has three children by her previous husband, Michael Handley, viz., Justin H., Malinda J. and Susan E.; by her last union, she has four children now living, viz., Mary L., Martha M., Thomas W., George W. Mr. Tinsley died Nov. 24, 1869; he was held in high esteem by all who knew...

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Biography of L. C. Thornton

L. C. Thornton, farm implements, Postmaster, Oakland; one of the pioneers of Edgar Co., Ill.; born in Washington Co., Ind., Dec. 15, 1825; he removed with his parents in 1829, being then 4 years of age, and located in Edgar Co., Ill., where he attended school, and engaged in farming until Sept. 10, 1861, when he enlisted as private in Co. E, 66th I. V. I; this regiment was composed of picked men from the various Northwestern States, selected for their skill and accuracy in handling the rifle; the 66th was known in the army as the Western Sharp-shooters, and was generally thrown out in the advance upon any important engagement, and was often detailed in squads to pick off’ the rebel gunners; Mr. T. served as private for twenty-three months, when he was promoted to Second Lieutenant, then to First Lieutenant, then to Captain, which commission he held at the close of the war; he was with Sherman’s army in his march to Atlanta, as well as the siege and capture of the same; he then made the march through Georgia to the sea, spending the Christmas of 1864 at Savannah, Georgia; he then made the march north through South and North Carolina, during which they had many severe battles, until they reached Morrisville Station, N. C., when his regiment was selected is the advance guard of Gen....

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Biography of James H. Pierson

James H. Pierson, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Oakland; born in Warren Co., Ohio, April 6, 1847, where he engaged in farming until Feb. 15, 1863, when, at the age of 15 years, he enlisted as private in Co. A, 12th Ohio V. I., and went forward to battle for the Union; he was in many hard-fought battles, among which were South Mountain, Antietam, 2d Bull Run, Winchester, Cedar Creek, Lynchburg and was with the 16th Army Corps under Gen, Hunter in front of Richmond; at the battle of Winchester, he was wounded and sent to the hospital for two months; at the battle of South Mountain a ball passed through his blouse; at the battle of Lynchburg, a shot struck and carried away his canteen; while scaling a stone wall upon the retreat of the Union army at the battle of Winchester, a solid shot struck the wall beneath him, which demolished the wall, broke the stock of his gun into atoms, and stunned and bruised him badly by the falling stones; a companion seeing this incident and supposing him killed, so reported to his folks, under which impression they labored until his return at the close of the war; he was mustered out of service with his regiment in August, 1865, at Cleveland, Ohio. After remaining in Ohio a short time he emigrated to Edgar Co., Ill.,...

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Biographical Sketch of William R. Parker

William R. Parker, deceased farmer; born in Anderson Co., Ky., March 27, 1823; he emigrated with his parents to Illinois, and located in Edgar Co., in 1828, where he lived until 18 years of age, when he went to St. Clair, Co., Ill., and engaged in fanning two years, then to Minnesota, where he followed logging, rafting and milling for three years; returning to Illinois, he, with his brother, worked at blacksmithing one year, when, in 1848, he engaged in farming in Edgar Co., which business he followed until 1854, when he removed to Coles Co., and rented land, which he worked until he purchased the old homestead, where he located in 1865, and lived until his decease, which occurred Feb. 14, 1873, at which time he owned 165 acres, upon which he had good buildings, and which he had accumulated by his own hard labor, in which he was nobly assisted by his wife, who survives him, and who continues to live upon the old farm with the most of the family; they have since added to the farm, until it now contains about two hundred and forty acres of prairie and timber land. He married July 15, 1848, to Rebecca Clark; she was born in Kentucky Sept. 3, 1822; she emigrated with her parents and located in Coles Co. in 1828; they have seven children now living...

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Biographical Sketch of William Parker

William Parker, deceased farmer; born in Staffordshire, England, 1802, where he engaged in farming until 1835, when he emigrated to America with his wife, landing in New York Feb. 2, of the same year, coming directly West; they located upon a farm four miles from Cincinnati, Ohio, where they followed farming until 1840, at which date they removed to Edgar Co., Ill., where they engaged in farming until 1855, when, on account of ill-health, Mr. Parker retired from active labor, and, selling his farm, removed to Oakland, Ill., where he lived until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1862. Their marriage was celebrated Nov. 17, 1834; Mrs. Parker’s maiden name was Hannah Huslow; she was born in Staffordshire, England, May 1, 1814; she still lives in the brick house built by her husband, and occupied by them during his life. Mrs. Parker was quite well acquainted with President Harrison, he having dined with them upon several occasions previous to his election to the highest office of the...

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Biography of R. F. Larimer

R. F. Larimer, merchant, Oakland; born in Scioto Co., Ohio, Oct. 27, 1838, where he engaged in farming until 16 years of age, when, coming West, he located in Embarrass Tp., Edgar Co., Ill., and engaged in farming until 1856, when he went to Kansas for six months; returning to Edgar Co., he purchased one-half interest in a saw and flour mill, which he ran until Sept. 10, 1861, when he enlisted as private for three years in the 66th I. V. I.; this regiment was composed of picked men from the various Northwestern States, for their skill and accuracy in handling the rifle; while this regiment was credited to Illinois, it was known in the army as the Western Sharpshooters; in the marches they always led the advance, and when engaged in battle, were detailed in squads to pick off rebel gunners, and many a rebel battery has been silenced by the unerring aim of this regiment; he was in many severe battles, among which was Mt. Zion, Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Resaca, Lay’s Ferry, where the regiment, being in the advance, fought its way for eight miles, the regiment suffering severely in killed and wounded; he was next engaged at Rome Cross Roads, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, at which place among the killed was a younger brother; he was with the army during the siege and capture of...

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Biographical Sketch of James Zimmerman

James Zimmerman, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Ashmore; a son of Martin and Sarah Zimmerman; was born in Augusta Co., Dec. 8, 1827, and came to the State of Illinois with his parents in 1837, at the age of 10 years; his father, after spending one year in Edgar Co., removed to Coles Co., in 183S, and settled on a farm in the edge of Oakland Tp.; this farm is now owned and occupied by John B. Zimmerman, one of his sons. On the 12th of January, 1854, the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Mary A. McDavitt, a daughter of Nortley McDavitt, of Edgar Co., Ill.; she was born in Hampshire Co., Va., Jan. 13, 1830, and came to Edgar Co. with her parents in 1832; of seven children of this marriage five are living – William R., Roley O., Mary I., Ella E. and Cora N. Mr. Zimmerman began life for himself by working out by the month, and, in 1853, began improving his present home, which was then nothing but the raw prairie; he first entered 160 acres of land, from the Government; to this he has added at various times, until he now owns some 400 acres of as fine land as is to be found in Illinois, with good improvements and well-stocked, etc.; he has made a specialty of stock-raising, raising what...

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Biographical Sketch of Jacob Zimmerman

Jacob Zimmerman, of the firm of Zimmerman & Monroe, dealers in dry goods, notions, boots, shoes, etc., Ashmore; was born in Augusta County, Va., Sept. 19, 1836; in 1837, his father, Martin Zimmerman, removed with his family to Edgar Co., Ill., where he resided one year, and then settled in the edge of what is now Oakland Township, in 1838; in common with most of the pioneers, he began life in the West with an empty pocket, but with that unconquerable determination to succeed before which all obstacles recede and vanish away; he entered some land from the Government, to which he added until he owned a fine farm of 400 acres, and was regarded as one of the most reliable and substantial farmers in the vicinity; he died in 1852, leaving a family of eight children. Jacob Zimmerman remained on the home farm about two years after his father’s death, and then engaged in farming for himself; a few years later, he started in the mercantile business in Ashmore; he has been the agent of the American Express Co., for the past eighteen years; he served about two years on the Board of Supervisors, and a term or two as Assessor; he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the village of Ashmore seven terms, and several years, of the Board of School Directors. He was...

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Biography of W. K. Payne

W. K. Payne, retired, Ashmore; although not an early settler of Coles Co., is one of the pioneers in the adjoining county of Edgar, where he was a prominent citizen for forty-six years. He was born in Shelby Co., Ky., May 17, 1807, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Wright) Payne, both natives of Kentucky and descendants of old Virginia families. His early education was limited to such as the schools of that region afforded. In 1822, his father removed with his family to Owen Co., Ind. In 1831, Mr. Payne came to Edgar Co., and engaged in the mercantile business in Grand View; he built a store in that place, and after his marriage occupied it both as a store and dwelling; he afterward erected a substantial store and a fine residence on the same spot; both of these were recently destroyed by fire. Mr. Payne continued in the mercantile business in Grand View for thirty-five years, during which time he held the office of Postmaster for twelve years. In 1866, he retired from active business, and in October, 1877, he removed to Ashmore, where he now lives in the quiet enjoyment of the results of a long and successful business life. He was married Jan. 2, 1834, to Miss Matilda Wampler, who was born in Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio, July 22, 1815; she is a...

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Biography of Jacob I. Brown

Jacob I. Brown, Justice of the Peace, Charleston; a sun of John and Rachel Brown; born Oct. 12, 1819, near Jonesboro, Washington Co., Tenn.; his parents afterward removed to Wayne Co., Ind., but soon returned to Tennessee; their next move was to the White Water River, where his father and eight brothers and sisters died of yellow fever inside of a few months. His mother soon afterward removed with her remaining children, consisting of three sons and one daughter, to Bloomington, Ind. In 1832 or 1833, he went to learn the printing business, and worked for different parties till 1840, when he came on foot to Paris, Ill., and bought the Minas Statesman printing office, and began the publication of a Democratic newspaper; in 1844, he moved the office to Charleston, and started a paper called the Investigator, in connection with which he published a religious periodical, edited by Rev. Richard Newport. In 1845, he was elected Assessor for the county. He was married June 24, 1845, to Miss Ann E. Javins, who was born near Alexandria, Va., and after the death of her father removed with her mother to Vincennes, Ind., and after her mother’s death, came to Charleston, and resided in the family of her uncle, Albert Compton. In 1846 or 1847, in company with W. D. Latshaw, he began the publication of the Illinois Globe, Democratic...

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