Location: Knox County IL

Biography of W. L. Adams A.M., M.D.

W.L. ADAMS, A.M., M.D. – The subject of this biography, a pioneer who drove his own ox team across the plains in 1848, is one of the most unique of western characters; and history entitles him to be placed in the catalog of the illustrious men who bore prominent parts in settling Oregon, and in molding public sentiment. To give a full history of his life would require a large book; but our limited space would require a large book; but our limited space forbids anything but a rapid glance at a few waymarks along the road traveled for nearly sixty-nine years by one of the most original and energetic of men. The writer has known him well more than forty years, and has learned from his family and acquaintances enough of incidents and peculiarities to make a very readable biography. He was born in Painesville, Granger county, Ohio, February 5, 1821. His father was born in Vermont, as was his mother; and both emigrated to the “Western Reserve” when it was a wilderness. His father was a strong Whig, as were his relatives, the noted Adams family of Massachusetts, and a devoted friend of General Harrison, with whom he served in all of his Indian campaigns. His mother was an Allen, – a descendant of Ethan Allen, the “Hero of Ticonderoga.” Her mother and William Slade’s mother were...

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Biography of Arthur A. Denny

ARTHUR A. DENNY. – With the history of the early settlement of Puget Sound no name is more intimately blended than that of Arthur A. Denny, the pioneer, the founder of one of its chief metropolitan cities, the volunteer in the suppression of Indian outbreaks, the legislator, the politician, the office-holder, the congressman, the successful banker, the liberal philanthropist, the honest man and good citizen. Like many more of those who were his contemporaries in rescuing Washington Territory from the wilderness, he has seen the newcomers who are enjoying those comforts of life, not to say luxuries, to which his early sacrifices so eminently contributed, – who have undergone the same routine as the eloquent Denny. In speaking of his noble wife and companion in early isolation and labor in the dedication of future commonwealths, he aptly described as her portion. Said he; “She bore the hardships of the trip across the plains and the privations of pioneer life upon Puget Sound with the greatest fortitude She was never known or heard to complain or repine her lot, – in her mission of laying the foundation of future American commonwealths, – but with singular courage met every obstacle that stood in the way of the early settler of the Northwest coast; and they were truly many, and often calculated to appall the stoutest heart.” With such a companion, no...

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Biographical Sketch of Philologus Ely

PHILOLOGUS ELY. – This venerable pioneer was born in East Tennessee in 1825, and remained in his native state until 1834. In that year his father moved to Dewitt county, Illinois, and continued his occupation as a farmer through life. In the electric atmosphere of this young giant state of the West, Mr. Ely attained his majority, and in the meantime secured a practical education in the common schools. As a resource for his livelihood, he learned the trade of a plasterer, which, combined with his occupation of farmer, he followed in DeWitt and Knox counties. In the year 1851, he was married to Miss Amanda Mansfield, making their home in Knox county till March, 1853, when they started across the plains, and after a severe journey reached Oregon in the September following, locating near Junction, in Lane county. In December, 1861, the floods of the Willamette river destroyed most of the property which they had accumulated in the past. In this beautiful valley they made their home until the autumn of 1874, when they removed to Umatilla county. At that time Mr. Ely became afflicted with the rheumatism, and remained an invalid for the next ten years, one year of which he was unable to walk, and will remain a cripple during life. Here he still resides on a good farm with his aged wife, the mother of...

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Biography of Emery E. Smith

Emery E. Smith. While the average size of farms in Rice County is considerably larger than in eastern counties, there are few even of the larger farms which have been so completely developed on the diversified plan as that of Emery E. Smith. Mr. Smith’s holdings aggregate upwards of 1,000 acres, and he had given the best years of his life to the development of this splendid ranch and farm, which is situated two and a half miles southeast of Little River. Mr. Smith belongs to the pioneer element of Rice County and had lived there since he was ten or eleven years of age. This branch of the Smith family goes back to Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry of colonial times. The family came to Kansas from Knox County, Illinois, where his grandfather, John Smith, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1806 and was a pioneer farmer. John Smith died in Knox County in 1891. He married Mary Ginrich, also a native of Pennsylvania, and she died in Knox County. Emery E. Smith was born in Knox County, Illinois, August 30, 1868. His father, Phillip Smith, was born in the same county in 1834, a date which indicates the very early settlement of the Smiths in that peculiarly rich and fertile section of Northern Illinois. Phillip Smith was a farmer in Knox County, grew up and married there, and in...

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Biography of William H. Shepard

William H. Shepard. When William H. Shepard left college he chose the work which seemed most congenial and for which he had the greatest apparent adaptability, and entered a bank in Illinois. For thirty consecutive years he has applied himself to the subject of banking, and his business success and prominence is largely due to this concentration of effort along one line. Mr. Shepard is now vice president of the First National Bank of Coffeyville, and is identified with several other important concerns which might be classed as public utilities in that part of Kansas. His branch of the Shepard family came from England and settled in New York State prior to the Revolution. His grandfather Chauncey J. Shepard was born in 1801, lived for a number of years in Vermont, was a farmer and died at Norfolk, New York, in 1881. William H. Shepard, Sr., father of the Coffeyville banker, was born at Norfolk, New York, October 19, 1836. Three months after his birth his parents moved to Fairfax, Vermont, where he grew up and where he married. He taught school there, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and almost at the outset of his professional career moved west to Cambridge, Illinois, where he was engaged in the successful practice of his profession the rest of his life. He died at Cambridge, October 5, 1888. As a...

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Biography of Ason Gittings Richardson

Ason Gittings Richardson. A Kansas pioneer whose name and services were especially identified with Harvey County, Ason Gittings Richardson was one of the strong and noble men of his time. He belonged to the old abolition class of the North, was a man of resolute character and would follow his convictions even in the face of extreme personal danger. He came to Kansas in 1870 and settled in Harvey County, when that district of Kansas was practically unsettled. His home was in Richland Township. The first religious services held in the county, conducted by Rev. Mr. Roberts, were at his home, and the first Sabbath School was organized in his house on May 1, 1871. When Harvey County was organized Mr. Richardson was appointed by the governor chairman of the original county commissioners for the purpose of organizing the county, dividing it into townships and naming the different subdivisions, and otherwise starting the machinery of local civil government. He was born at Zanesville, Ohio, May 1, 1830, and died November 11, 1903. His parents were Dr. Rufus Richardson and Jemima Richardson. The family were colonial settlers in America, and his grandfather, Jesse Richardson, fought gallantly as a soldier of the Revolution, and was a pensioner. He served in a Connecticut regiment. After the war he located in Otsego, Ohio, where he died. Dr. Rufus Richardson, while educated for the...

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Allensworth, George Verne, Jr. – Obituary

Richland, Baker County, Oregon George Verne Allensworth Jr., 76, died April 4, 2006, at St. Elizabeth Health Services. There was a celebration of George’s life Friday at the Richland Christian Church. Inurnment was at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Friends joined the family for a reception afterward at the Richland Christian Church. George Verne Allensworth Jr. was born on Dec. 10, 1929, at Galesburg, Ill., to George Verne and Francis Marie Lander Allensworth. George was raised and educated at Galesburg. He was a Galesburg High School graduate. On Nov. 4, 1949, he married Retha Stevens at Yuma, Ariz. They had three children, Tom, Linda and Steve. George’s career first started in the Navy. He then went on to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at Sacramento, Calif. During their lives together, George and Retha lived in San Diego, Hawaii, Washington, Japan, Maryland and Placerville, Calif. In 1980 they moved to Richland. At that time, George became the justice of the peace at Richland. George enjoyed fishing and had a passion for his train collection. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Retha; his children, Linda Joyce and Richard Allen of Virginia Beach, Va.; son, Thomas Verne and Denise Allensworth of Charlottesville, Va.; son, Steven Paul and Linnea Allensworth of Gardnerville, Nev.; seven grandchildren, Sean, Lisa, Melanie,...

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Biography of W. H. Mastin

W.H. MASTIN. – As a lien upon the gratitude of his fellow-men, one writes a book, another opens a mine, a third builds a house. Each one may do the work for himself, but nevertheless, in recognition of the wants and needs of others, suiting his operations to their tastes and necessities, and finding his chief satisfaction, not so much in the profit that he reaps from his industry, as from the position which he fills in the world of business and society, making himself, his skill and his work, a necessary part of the great whole. It is in this way that businessmen become such great worshipers of the city or region in which they dwell. They have dollars and cents invested there, it is true; but, much more, they find there the real spring of public and fellow feeling which makes civilized life possible. This public interest and love of the community is what makes the difference between enterprise and avarice, between the business man and the miser. Mr. Mastin has enriched and enlarged Colfax, Washington, by the building of the Thielson House, the fine hotel in the city. He is a native of Knoxville, Illinois, where he was born in 1840. A worker, harness-maker by trade, he was already earning his bread when, at the age of eighteen, he left the old hearthstone for Pike’s Peak,...

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Biography of S. S. White

S.S. WHITE. – The pioneer experiences of Judge White are of an exceptionally interesting character. This well-known and highly valued citizen of Portland was born in Franklin county, Indiana, December 14, 1811. His father was much of a frontiersman, and, after a removal to Ohio in 1815, went three years later to Sangamon county, Illinois, settling on Sugar creek, twenty miles south of Springfield. This was then a remote and unoccupied region, Mr. White’s family and those of a Mr. Ellis and Mr. Vancil being the only families within the limits of the present Sangamon and Morgan counties, and sixty miles from white settlements. Various removals were made subsequently within that state. Upon arriving at his majority, young White entered the mercantile business, and continued in it near Galesburg. In 1831 occurred his marriage to Miss Hulda Jennings; and the next year an effort was made in company with Mr. Amzi Doolittle, and M.M. McCarver, so well known as one of our early citizens, to settle on a tract of land soon to be thrown open in consequence of a treaty of relinquishment from the Indians. The land was not to be subject to settlement until June of that year; but, not apprehending any opposition, these men located lands and put up cabins in February, but were removed with much rigor by government troops under Jefferson Davis, then a...

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Biographical Sketch of Nathaniel Wicker

Nathaniel Wicker, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Ashmore; was born in Pike Co., Ohio, Sept. 21, 1820; he is a son of James and Elizabeth Wicker, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Kentucky; in 1838, the family came to Illinois, spending a part of the winter in Indiana, and arriving in Edgar Co., in February, 1839; they settled at the Walnut Grove, where his parents resided till their death; in 1848, Mr. Wicker, taking the younger members of his father’s family, removed to Coles Co., and settled in Ashmore Tp.; his first marriage occurred March 31, 1851, to Miss Hannah E. Law, a native of Madison Co., Ohio; she came to Edgar Co., at the age of 9 years; she died Feb. 9, 1878, leaving three children – Lydia V., now wife of James A. Wright, of Ashmore Township, George A., and Albert H.; he was married again, Dec. 24, 1878, to Miss Sarah H. Wright., a daughter of Robert and. Catharine Wright; she was born in Campbell Co., Kentucky, Sept. 28, 1840; Mr. Wicker settled on his present farm in 1851, where he owns 94 acres of...

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Biography of Joshua A. Downing

A man of ability and executive force, as is manifested in the results of his faithful endeavor, in the industrial world: a pioneer in at least two different counties of our state: a builder of Wallowa County, and a stanch and upright citizen of the same today, the subject of this article is eminently worthy to receive proper representation in this volume that purports both to chronicle the history of Union and Wallowa counties and makes mention as well of the early pioneers, as the leading citizens of today: and it is with pleasure that we accord the same to him, while also there should not be failure to mention the estimable moral qualities with which he is endowed and which he has displayed in a long career of¬†commutative¬†achievement. Joshua A. was born on January 5, 1849 (?), in Lafayette, Stark County, Illinois, to James T. and Margaret C. (Smith) Downing. While still a child he was removed by his parents to Knox County in his native state, and on April 24, 1862, they joined Captain Dempsey’s train and turned their faces from the scenes of home and civilization to the lands of the settling sun. Forty-seven wagons comprised the train until they reached the station known as Fort Hall, and then twenty-seven came over the balance of the way to Sublimity, Marion County, Oregon. The family settled there...

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Biography of Charles B. Bellinger

Judge Bellinger was born in Maquon, Knox County, Illinois, November 21, 1839, and at the age of eight years came to Oregon with his parents and grandparents. After receiving the advantages of a common school education, supplemented with some two years at the Willamette University, he began to read law at Salem, in the office of B. F. Bonham; at present United States Consul. at Calcutta, and was admitted to the bar at the September term of the Supreme Court, in 1863. He immediately thereafter engaged in the practice of law at Salem in partnership with J. C. Cartwright, since United States District Attorney and Commissioner of Internal Revenue for Oregon; but now deceased. The firm rapidly acquired a good business, but unable to resist the allurement of politics, Mr. Bellinger gave up the law business to become the editor of a new Democratic paper, The Arena, which had been founded by Gen. John F. Miller, Hon. Joseph S. Smith and other prominent democrats. It was a time when what was known as the “Oregon Style” was in fashion. The paper was like its contemporaries, bitterly partisan and personal in its treatment of subjects and men under discussion. It was impetuous, unsparing, and as is always the case when controversy is carried on under like conditions, often most unjust in its treatment of those of the opposition. Mr. Bellinger’s...

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Biography of Charles Wesley Foster

Charles Wesley Foster, deceased, who was one of the public-spirited citizens of Page county, honored and respected wherever known but most of all where best known, was born May 19, 1833, in Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, where he acquired his education in the public schools. At the age of fifteen years he went to Peoria to learn the tinner’s trade and there remained for four years. When nineteen years of age he went to Abingdon, Illinois, and conducted the first hardware and tin store in that place. Four years later he removed to Bushnell, Illinois, where he also became the pioneer hardware merchant. It was during that period of his life that he was married on the 22nd of November, 1855 to Miss Elizabeth A. Latimer, of Abingdon, whose death occurred on the 2d of April, 1857. In the following month Mr. Foster removed to Clarinda, Iowa, and here opened a dry-goods store, which he conducted for two years. On the 1st of December 1859, he was married to Miss Ann L. Alden, who was born and reared in Ohio. They became the parents of four children Mary, the wife of John N. Miller: Julia, the wife of Herbert H. Scott; Harriett; and Annie, the wife of Alfred B. Loranz. All are yet residing in Clarinda. It was in the spring of 186o that Mr. Foster removed with his...

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Biography of Joseph C Foster

Joseph C. Foster, carrying on general farming interests for many years in East River township but now leaving the arduous labor of the farm to others, although he still gives to it his general supervision, was born in Madison county, Ohio, December 23, 1826. He is a son of Joshua and Sarah (Silver) Foster, both of whom were natives of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. The father was born there May 17, 1794, and when six years of age accompanied his parents to Ross county, Ohio, where he lived until eighteen years of age. A removal was then made to Madison county, Ohio, and with the exception of six years spent in Indiana, he continued in Madison county until 1848. At that time he removed to Knox county, Illinois, where he lived for two years, after which he spent five years in Fulton county, whence he returned to Knox county, where he made his home for twenty-seven years prior to his demise. He engaged in general farming and stock-raising, purchasing stock which he drove over the mountains from the west. He was married when twenty-two years of age to Miss Sarah Silver, of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and unto them were born thirteen children, all of whom were living at one time, while eight of the number were living at the time of the father’s death. His wife passed away March 9,...

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