Location: Jersey County IL

Biography of Leander Stillwell, Judge

Judge Leander Stillwell, now retired from the active duties of his profession, living at Erie, was one of the two pioneer attorneys who composed the first bar of Erie, and located there in 1868, nearly half a century ago. Aside from the amount of work he had performed as a lawyer and citizen, the chief distinction of his life rests upon his record of service, continued through nearly twenty-four years, as a judge of the district court. He is of English and Scotch ancestry. The first Stillwells on coming from England settled on Long Island, New York, in the seventeenth century. Later a branch of the family moved to Virginia, and from there drifted further south, and Judge Stillwell represents the Virginia and North Carolina lineage. His grandfather, Jeremiah Stillwell, was born in the year 1776, in North Carolina. His residence throughout his life was in that state, where he followed farming, but he died at the home of a married daughter whom he was visiting in the State of Iowa in 1852. He married Nancy Morrow. Judge Stillwell’s parents were plain, honest people, never wealthy, and spent many years of their lives in the backwoods of western Illinois, in the rugged region along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers in Jersey County. It was on a farm in Otter Creek Precinct of that county on September 16, 1843, that...

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Biography of Joseph Voohers

JOSEPH VOOHERS. In reviewing the leading industries of the town of Willow Springs, the mercantile interests claim special attention. Mr. Joseph Voohers, one of the leading merchants of the place, is esteemed on all sides for his enterprise and just methods, and has many warm friends. He is a native of Missouri, born January 24, 1853. The son of Dr. James B. Voohers, who was an early pioneer of Missouri. The Doctor was born in the Buckeye State, and practiced his profession many years in Springfield, Illinois, Booneville, Missouri, and St. Louis. His death occurred in 1855. Our subject received his education in the schools of Illinois, and when but a boy started out to fight his own way in life, first as a clerk. This he followed up to 1879, when he became a member of the general merchandising company of J. M. Gibberson & Co., of Elsah, Illinois, continuing with the same for two years. After this he moved to north Missouri, clerked for some time, and then on account of poor health emigrated to Howell County, located at Burnham, where he was engaged in general merchandising for four years. Following this he went to Kansas and for four years was engaged in the lumber business. In 1888 he returned to Howell County, and as his health was better there, he opened up a clothing business on...

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Biography of Eber Cowen

Eber Cowen. One of the oldest residents of Osage County is Eber Cowen, who came to this part of the state when it was raw and new, nearly half a century ago. The business by which he had gained his prosperity had been farming, and at the same time he had enjoyed the respect and esteem of his fellowmen by his sturdy citizenship and his ability as a home maker and valuable factor in community affairs. He was born in Jersey County, Illinois, February 22, 1846, a son of John and Maria Cowen, his father a native of Vermont and his mother of New Hampshire, and both of old New England stock. John Cowen was a carpenter after the fashion the sturdy builders of a by-gone generation. He helped put up some of those substantial structures which still stand, an object of admiration to those who might be content with comparatively flimsy processes of modern construction. He was very skillful with all the tools used by the carpenter of that early day, and many times he hewed out by hand, then fashioned with ax and drawing knife the timbers which went into houses he was building. Thus he carried on every process in the manufacture of lumber from the timber in the woods until it finally found a place in construction. The old home which he built in Jersey...

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Biography of William Nairn, M. D.

For thirty-five years Dr. William Nairn has been a resident of Nowata County, his residence here dating from 1882. While he has long stood in the front rank of his profession he has also become a prominent factor in agricultural circles and is now living on his farm three and one-half miles northwest of Alluwe. William Nairn was born in Jersey County, Illinois, on the 5th of December, 1848, a son of James and Susan (Barker) Nairn, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of Alabama. For some time James Nairn engaged in farming in his native state and later removed to Tennessee, thence to Kentucky and in 1812 he located in Illinois, settling in the old French town of Cahokia, across the River from St. Louis. That town has long since disappeared, having been washed away by the River, when the Channel was changed by Colonel Robert E. Lee, then governmental engineer. That engineering feat caused a controversy that nearly resulted in war between the two states. Subsequently James Nairn located on a farm in Jersey County, Illinois, and he resided there until his death in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Nairn were married in Illinois, Mrs. Nairn having come to that state with her parents. Her demise occurred in 1872. In the acquirement of his early education William Nairn attended the public schools of Jersey County...

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Millering, Katherine Ann – Obituary

Services Tomorrow For Mrs. Millering Katherine Ann Millering died at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night at her home, 1810 Adams ave., after a short illness. Mrs. Millering was born April 12, 1865, in Jersey County, Ill., and was 73 years, 4 months and 11 days old. She had resided in Grande Ronde valley the past 51 years. She was married to John Henry Millering, May 1, 1883, in Vernon Co., Missouri. Her husband died Aug. 27, 1921. There were nine children of which four boys, Charles, Frank, Jay and Roy, have preceded her in death. The following children survive her: Bessie A. Harvey, La Grande; Eugene, La Grande; Ruth Scott, Ontario, Ore.; Chester, Burns; and Lucille of Longview, Wash. The following brothers survive John of Rainier, Oregon, and A. H. of Ontario, Calif. There are 12 grandchildren. The funeral service will be held from the Snodgrass and Zimmerman funeral home, Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Burial will be at the Island City cemetery. Roy Titus of the Christian church in which she was a member will conduct the service. La Grande Evening Observer Wednesday August 24, 1938 Page...

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Biography of Elizabeth Tantum Spencer

Elizabeth Tantum Spencer was born near Jerseyville, Illinois, September 28, 1871. She attended the rural schools in Jersey County, Illinois, and Woodson County, Kansas, was graduated from the Yates Center High School (a member of the first class) in 1890, and from the Kansas State Normal at Emporia in 1894. She taught three years in the rural schools of Woodson County, during the first year riding fourteen miles each day. Since that time she had taught in the schools of Yates Center, Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. In 1912 she became deputy county treasurer of Woodson County under her brother, H. Scott Spencer, county treasurer, where she served until 1915, when she entered upon her duties as county superintendent of schools. In 1916 she was re-elected. Under her supervision are the schools of Neosho Falls, Vernon and Toronto, the Rural High School and sixty-four rural schools. In these various school districts are eighty-seven teachers and 2,200 pupils. Miss Spencer is a democrat, a member of the Presbyterian Church and superintendent of the primary department of its Sabbath school in Yates Center. She holds membership in the Kansas State and the Southeast Kansas Teachers’ associations and in the National Association of Superintendents. Ferdinand Hayward Spencer, father of Elizabeth Spencer, was born May 22, 1838, in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He moved with his parents to Jersey County, Illinois,...

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Biographical Sketch of Harry Landon Chapman

Harry Landon Chapman, a native of Illinois, was born at Jerseyville, in this state, on October 29, 1875, and was the son of T. S. and Sarah E. Chapman. His mother was formerly Miss Sarah E. Landon, of German parentage, while his father was an Englishman. Mr. Chapman is now prominent in banking circles in the City of Moline, where he holds the honorable position of vice-president of the Peoples Bank and Trust Company. He took up his residence in Moline February 1, 1904, and since that time has made many staunch friends. After obtaining a public school education he entered the Michigan law school and upon completion of his studies, graduated and was admitted to the bar of Illinois and Michigan at the age of twenty-three years. He practiced law for some time, but decided that his interest in banking would be of greater value, and consequently turned his attentions to that profession, to which he still adheres. Mr. Chapman is a Republican but never run for public office. He has always, and is still, ready to exert his efforts for a fellow Republican. Mr. Chapman is also a constant church goer and can be found in the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Moline on most every Sunday. His people were all honorable and ranked high in their respective lines of business, and like his ancestry,...

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Biography of J. H. Settlemier

J.H. SETTLEMIER. – Mr. Settlemier was born on the 5th of February, 1840, in Jersey county, Illinois. In 1849 his parents, George and Elizabeth Settlemier, becoming imbued with the restless spirit that possessed all the pioneers of the Pacific coast, and, selling their home, turned their faces towards the setting sun. The family at that time consisted of eleven persons, father, mother, eight boys and one girl. They crossed the Missouri river at St. Joseph, and bade long farewell to civilization; for at that time there was not a settler’s house from the Missouri to the Sacramento, which was reached early in September of the same year. The mountain fever raged fearfully that year among the emigrants; and many died with none to wait upon them. The mother and one brother of our subject were laid to rest in California soil after having endured the privations and hardships of the American desert; and the father with the remainder of the family started for Oregon in December. Arriving in the Willamette valley, they settled on a land claim near Mount Angel, – where the aged father still resides, surmounted by four-score years and three, – and embarked in the farm and nursery business. It was there young Settlemier drank in the love of the latter branch of the business which was, in after life, to distinguish him as one of...

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Biography of Hon. Eugene Semple

HON. EUGENE SEMPLE. – Eugene Semple was born June 12, 1840, at Bogota, South America, his father being at the time the Minister of the United States at new Granada. Coming with his parents to Illinois, his youth was spent in Madison and Jersey counties of that State. Attending the common schools of the latter county, he finished his education at the St. Louis University in 1858. Commencing the study of law in the office of Krum & Harding, in St. Louis, he afterwards attended the Law School of the Cincinnati College, where he graduated in 1863, taking the degree of LL.B. General James Semple, of Illinois, father of Eugene Semple, took a prominent part in the movement that caused the Oregon country to be settled by Americans, and thus saved to the Unite States. He made speeches at Springfield, Illinois, in 1842, and at Cincinnati in1843, taking strong grounds in favor of “fifty-four forty or fight.” Afterwards, when a United States Senator from Illinois, he was an ardent supporter of the same policy, and introduced a resolution to terminate the treaty of joint occupation with Great Britain. The speeches and conversations of his father, and the accounts of the Oregon country given by the fur traders of St. Louis, awakened in young Semple a strong desire to go to the far West and it was with difficulty his...

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