Location: Freeport Illinois

Biography of Andrew H. Miller

Andrew H. Miller, brother of Alvin W., is also closely identified with the business affairs of Formoso, where he is manager and treasurer of the Formoso Mercantile Company. He was born at Freeport in Stephenson County, Illinois, June 3, 1872, but, like his brother, was educated in the public schools of Jewell City. He left high school at the age of sixteen, went to work for the Robinson Mercantile Company, and had been connected with that firm almost altogether throughout his business career. In 1900 the company sent him to Formcso as manager of their large general merchandise store, which is one of the chief business enterprises in Jewell County. The store is located on Main Street. Mr. Miller built a modern residence on Main Street in 1908. He is a republican, prasident of the board of education, is past master of Formoso Lodge No. 336, Aneient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of Jewell Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Beloit Commandery of the Kuights Templar. In 1898, at Jewell City, Andrew H. Miller married Miss Jessie Postlethwaite. They have one child, John Postlethwaite, born January 17, 1909. Mrs. Louisa McClung Postlethwaite, mother of Mrs. Andrew H. Miller, and residing at their home in Formoso, was born in Williamsburg, Ohio, daughter of Robert R. McClung, one of the Kansas pioneers. Mr. MeClung was born in Butler County, Pennsylvania,...

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Rader, Hilda G. Brunn – Obituary

Former Ellensburg area resident Hilda G. Rader, 90, died Monday [January 16, 1984] following a short illness in Modesto, Calif. She had been living in California with her son and daughter-in-law since 1980 She was born in Freeport, Ill., on Jan. 3, 1894, one of eight children of Christian and Marie Brunn. Her father emigrated from Sweden in the early 1880’s and her mother, Marie Horz [Hertz], was a native of Germany. The Brunn family moved to the Kittitas Valley shortly after the turn of the century Mrs. Rader was graduated from Ellensburg Normal School and taught in public schools in Washington State. She and Ben F. Rader were married on Sept. 14, 1915. They operated a dairy farm in the Wilson Creek area until his death on Sept. 12, 1963. Mrs. Rader then moved to Ellensburg where she made her home at 900 E. First Avenue for 17 years She was a long time member of the First Christian Church and during her active years she had been a member of the Grange and Gallina Club Survivors include a son, Dr. William E. Rader of Modesto; two grandchildren; four great grandchildren and one brother, Mark Brunn of Yakima The funeral will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Evenson Chapel. The Rev. Bill Dietz will officiate and burial will follow at the IOOF Cemetery. The family suggests memorials to the...

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Biography of Edward Heller

Among the representative orange groves of that section of Riverside colony known as Brockton square, mention should be made of the one owned by Mr. Heller. His residence and land, ten acres in extent, is located on the south side of Rubidoux Avenue, about half a mile west of Brockton Avenue. Five acres of his tract is in oranges, about twelve years old from the seed; the balance, or three acres, is in budded trees of the Washington Navel and Mediterranean Sweet varieties; one acre of his land is devoted to raisin grapes, and one acre to alfalfa. At this writing Mr. Keller has resided on the place less than two years, but during that time he has shown that he is a practical horticulturist. His system of pruning and budding are unequaled, and are producing the best of results. Everything about the place, the neat cottage residence, suitable outbuildings, well ordered grounds, etc., denote the pleasant and comfortable California home. Mr. Heller was born in Haynau, Province of Schlesien, Prussia, in 1824. His parents, Benjamin and Caroline (Sturm) Heller, were natives of Saxony: Mr. Heller was reared and schooled in his native place, and early in life apprenticed as a furrier. Upon the expiration of his apprenticeship he worked as a journeyman in Dresden, Hamburg, and other places until 1849. He then decided to try his fortunes in...

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Biography of John Loy

John Loy, father of Mrs. Edwin Grant Betz, was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, in 1840. He grew up and married there, took up farming as his vocation, afterwards moved out to Illinois and was a farmer near Freeport four years, then returning to his native state and county, where he remained five years. On his next journey westward he came to the vicinity of Chapman, Kansas, arriving in the spring of 1880 and buying a section of land in Dickinson County. He was more than ordinarily successful as a farmer and business man, and was one of the esteemed residents of Chapman when he died in 1887. Though a democrat, he voted for Lincoln during war time. He was one of the pillars in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in any community where he lived. John Loy married Matilda Reapsome. She was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, in 1842 and is now living at Chapman, Kansas. Her grandfather Reapsome was a native of Germany, ran away from home at the age of fourteen, and came to America. While in Pennsylvania he attracted the favor and good will of a Mr. Piper of Perry County. Piper had taken up a large tract of Government land, including several thousand acres, and for some reason did not wish this land to revert to any of his relatives. In order to make assurance...

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Biography of Rev. R. F. Sweet, D. D.

The old axiom which tells us that kind deeds and gentle words live forever is one which not only inspires the mind with its sublimity, but its truth is so often brought home to us, and so forcibly that it affords a solace we do not always feel. A noble life invariably begets its full measure of love and veneration, and even though myriads of kindness done and self-sacrificing efforts are lost to earth the hand-maidens of the Great Seer of Heaven have the fullest knowledge of them all. All men who have been so graciously endowed with that most precious of all human attributes-love for his fellow-men-have been amply repaid for their self-obligation, generosity and charity; for their weakness, submissiveness and obedience to the mandates of the Deity. This truism was abundantly exemplified during the lifetime of Reverend R. F. Sweet, and substantiated by the wealth of love which his memory impels. Instead of donning the robes and authority of a bishop an elevation twice proffered him, Mr. Sweet preferred to retain the modest position of rector, so that he could more generally and more frequently minister to humanity; unassuming to the extreme, he nevertheless accomplished in-conceivable good and lightened numerous burdens worldly and spiritual, and was con-tent to reap the harvest of brotherly love which was his, rather than hoard sordid accumulations. Even this brief reflection of...

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Biography of John W. Potter

Newspaper work is essentially transitory in its nature. The newspaper article that may be read with the most absorbing interest today by thousands is tomorrow forgotten by the eager public as it is then no longer “news” and some more recent event has occurred upon which public attention is centered for a few brief hours. Consequently the newspaper article possesses none of the stability of other literary effort. Rarely is it kept for general reference except in the files of the newspaper office itself. It is read, makes more or less of an impression for a time and is superseded by the next day’s issue and tossed aside. To make a permanent impression upon this particularly kaleidoscopic field of the world’s work requires something more than mere talent; it requires absolute genius, and the fact that a publisher and editor can make a deep and lasting imprint upon the public conscience-an imprint that remains unobliterated for years after his decease shows him to have possessed that genius. Such a man was John W. Potter deceased, for years publisher and editor of the Rock Island Argus. He was born August 17, 1861, at Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland, his parents being John W. and Josephine (Ryan) Potter. That in his early youth he should enter the newspaper field seemed only natural as his environment tended strongly in that direction, both his...

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Biography of Richard Meyer

Richard Meyer. When he was twenty years of age Richard Meyer came to Kansas with his parents and since then, for thirty-six years, has been a resident of Riley County. He was born at Freeport, Illinois, March 3, 1860, and was reared and received his education in that locality. Farming, stock raising and stock feeding have given him abundance of opportunity to work out his destiny, and the work has not only been congenial but on the whole profitable. Mr. Meyer probably ranks as one of the chief stock feeders in Riley County. The spirit of progressiveness has kept him out of the ruts of agricultural industry, and while some of the experiments that he has made have not proved financially profitable, yet they have been not without benefit to himself and others. He has developed some original methods and plans of farm husbandry, and has reached a promising degree of financial success. Along with his inclination to take some of the untried and untested methods of doing business, he has shown a great deal of courage and determination and resourcefulness in the face of difficulties and misfortune. Some years ago an unsuccessful deal in cattle caused him the loss of his entire farm. That was not a permanent setback. He immediately began retrieving his lost possessions, and gradually paid off the indebtedness until he now owns the farm...

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Biographical Sketch of T.V.E. Sweet

T. V. E. Sweet, was a native of the city of Freeport, where he was born August 3, 1849. He derived his education from the public schools of the city, and in the more advanced branches of learning from the Northwestern University at Evanston, where he was a student two years. He worked at the printing trade until 1870, and in 1875 entered upon that clerical career in in which he has accomplished so much good, as a local preacher in the Rock River conference. His first religious work was at Thompson, ‘Illinois. At Shirland he was local supply, and was ordained to the full ministry in 1879. His first regular ministerial charge was at Dundee, where he spent a year. He was two years at Seneca and Marseilles, at Kankakee one year, LaSalle one year, Warren one year, Amboy one year, Morrison three years, Princeton three years, Joliet three years, Austin two years, and at Embury church in Freeport two years. In 1895 he was appointed presiding elder and was re-appointed to that delicate and responsible position in 1899. Elder Sweet and Adelaide Goodrich were married December 29,1875, at Pearl City, Illinois, where Mrs. Sweet was born, being a daughter of Hiram and Susie (Gable) Goodrich. Her maternal grandparents were Jacob and Elizabeth (Machamer) Gable; the former is still living at the age of ninety-six, while the latter...

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Biography of Michael Stoskopf

Michael Stoskopf,  Freeport,  is one of the most prominent members of the  Stephenson county bar, and takes high rank among the leading lawyers of the northwest. He is thoroughly rooted and grounded in the fundamentals, understands profoundly the great principles of justice and equity on which human society rests and sees with the eye of a master the application of these basic principles to all the details of business and commerce. He knows what he has to say before he is on his feet, and when he stands before a jury there is an energy and a force in what he says that comes only from knowledge and belief. He has a clear and analytical mind, and reasons out a proposition in law with all the clearness and force with which he would demonstrate a theorem in Geometry. Step by step he leads the way, and the jury cannot refuse to follow. As an orator he is convincing and wins his case, not only by mastery of the law and argument, but by his candid and earnest manner. Leonard Stoskopf, the grandfather of Michael, was a blacksmith and farrier by trade and spent his entire life in his native Alsace, then a province of France. He taught his business to his son, Valentine, who was born in Engenheim, Alsace, March 8, 1817. Valentine attended the local school until he...

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Biography of John J. Pluemer

John J. Pluemer, for many years a resident of Freeport, is now passed eighty-two years, and has given up all active business enterprises. He has been an active and pushing man of affairs, and has borne his part in life manfully. He was born in Ost Friesland, now a part of Prussia, Jan. 3, 1817, where he attended school until he was about 16. To secure for him a better education his father put him into a lawyer’s office where he remained until he was nineteen. His father was a farmer and dealer in peat for fuel purposes, the latter on an extensive scale, and as John J. was an only son, the business required and received personal attention. When he reached the age of twenty-seven his father retired and turned the entire business over to him. Mr. Pluemer conducted it until 1852, but as he was outspoken in his convictions and antagonized the opinions of the world around him, he sold out and sought a home in the freer world of the new west. Despite his peculiar views and the opposition of the ministers, he had been elected to a position in his German home corresponding to that of supervisor in this country. In March 1852 he sailed from Bremen, leaving his wife and family to follow him the next August. He landed in New York May 1,...

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Biography of John Piper

John Piper, now living a retired life in Freeport, was born Feb. 7, 1832, in Washington county, Maryland, at the place where, thirty years later, the great battle of Antietam was fought. His parents were Jacob and Anna (Kitzmiller) Piper, both of Washington county, and his grandfather, Daniel Piper, was born February 4, 1780, and died March 3, 1857. He was a farmer and spent all of his life in the above county. His wife, whose maiden name was Brown, was born September 2, 1774, and died July 8, 1851. Grandmother Kitzmiller was born January 23, 1777, and died July 30, 1860. May 15, 1845, Jacob Piper started for the west by wagon train, in a pasty composed of twenty-one persons, eleven of whom are now living, as follows : Mrs. Henry Dovenberger, Forreston, Illinois; John Dovenberger, Forreston; D. J. Piper, Brookville township, Ogle county, Illinois; Elizabeth Shearer (now married), Maryland township, Ogle county; Mrs. August Bergman, Freeport; Mrs. D. D. Iler, Ridott Village; Sarah Kitzmiller, Ridott; John Piper, subject of sketch; Elizabeth A. Trime, Le Grande, Iowa; Jacob W. Piper, Le Grande, Iowa; J. M. Piper, county superintendent of schools of Ogle county, Illinois. Those deceased are: Jacob Piper and wife; Anna Piper; Henry Shearer and wife; Mrs. Shearer; Jacob Dovenber and wife ; Henry Dovenberger; Mrs. Geo. Dowel; Samuel Fiper (soldier in Union Army); John Kitzmiller (drafted...

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Biography of Adam Miller

Adam Miller, retired blacksmith, and one of the pioneer settlers of Stephenson county, is a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, where he was born March 13, 1826. His parents, Ludwig and Barbara (Klein) Miller, both of the same country in Germany, came to America in 1851 with his entire family and located in Freeport, where he worked at the blacksmith’s trade until his death about 1885. His wife died at the age of 66 years. They had six children, as follows: Adam, Catherine, widow of Joseph Nix, resides in Ridott Township, Stephenson county; Charlie, who died in 1896, was a farmer in Iowa; Barbara, wife of John Dilly, a farmer, lives in Ridott Township; and two others who died in infancy. They were all educated in the common schools. Adam Miller learned the blacksmith’s trade which he followed until the age of fifty years when he retired from active business. In June 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Dilly, a native of Germany, born Jan. 8, 1830. She was the daughter of Johan and Dortha (Schmidt) Dilly, both of Germany, who emigrated to this country Oct. 13, 1853, and settled on a farm in Ridott township, Stephenson county, where they both died aged 86 and 88 years respectively. Mrs. Miller died Sept. 25, 1897. She was the mother of eight children, five of whom died in...

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Biography of Bernhard Huenkemeier

Bernhard Huenkemeier, an old and honored resident of Freeport for more than half a century, is deserving of a prominent place in these pages, not only for the energy and ambition he has displayed in the development of the commercial and social interests of this part of the state and the upright and manly character that he has fashioned in the sunshine and shadow of life, but also for his friendly and sympathetic nature.. He is a man of broad sympathies and generous impulses, and during the long years in which he has been connected with very important interests in Freeport, he has made a host of friends who rejoice at every stroke of good fortune that has befallen him, and will gladly peruse this sincere tribute to an honorable man, a public-spirited citizen, a kind friend and neighbor and a gentleman in every social and domestic relation in which he may be found. Mr. Huenkemeier was born in Lippe-Detmold, Germany, August 19, 1822, and is a child of Bernhard and Sophia (Schilling) Huenkemeier, both life-long residents of this ancient German principality, where the family maintained its home until after the death of the husband and father in 1853. The bereaved widow and mother then crossed the ocean and became an inmate of• the household of her son Bernhard for a short time, after which she established a home...

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Biography of John Fosha

JOHN FOSHA, of Silver Creek township, Stephenson county, is widely known as one of the most successful farmers of northern Illinois, and he has achieved his present enviable position solely through his own efforts. He has extensive real estate holdings in Kansas as well as this state, as substantial results of his wise use of brain and brawn, and can congratulate himself that while he is still erect and vigorous he has accumulated such a property and stands so well in the business world. Frank and Anna Maria Fosha, the grandparents of the Silver Creek farmer, were born in Lippe-Detmold, Germany. He was a common laborer, and died in America in 1860, aged ninety-one years, ‘seven months and twentynine clays. Frank Fosha, the father of John, was born in the ancestral home in 1805, and died March 5, 1879. He was a linen weaver in Germany, and came to this country in 1836. He sailed from Bremen October 30th, and was seventeen weeks on the water. It was a stormy passage and terminated at Baltimore after many almost unendurable hardships. He found employment in a store at Frederick, Maryland, and was then employed in a fulling factory at Chilcott in the same state. He went to Shepherdstown, Virginia, where he made his home for a number of years, and worked in a cloth factory. In 1848 he made his...

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Biography of Gen. Smith D. Atkins

Smith D. Atkins, who is a lawyer, soldier, journalist and politician, was born on the 9th of June, 1836, near Elmira, Chemung Co., N. Y.; he came with his father’s family to Illinois in 1848, and lived on a farm until 1850. He then became an apprentice in the office of the Prairie Democrat, which was the first paper published in Freeport. He was educated at Rock River Seminary, Mt. Morris, Ill., working in the printing-office and studying during his spare hours, and in 1852 obtained the foremanship of the Mt. Morris Gazette, while he was yet a student in the seminary. In 1853 he became associated with C. C. Allen, who, during the war, was a Major on the staff of Maj. Gen. Schofield; they bought this paper and established the Register at Savanna, Carroll County. In the fall of the same year he entered the office of Hiram Bright, in Freeport, as a student of law, and was admitted to practice June 27, 1855. After his admission he continued to read law for some time in the office of Goodrich & Scoville, of Chicago, Ill., and then entered upon his practice in Freeport, dating his entry into the active duties of his profession Sept. 1, 1856. In 1860 Mr. Atkins made a spirited canvass for the election of Lincoln to the Presidency and one address of his...

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