Location: Newton Illinois

Biography of John Welker

John Welker, a prominent notary of Billings, has made his home in that town for over ten years, and his career presents an example of industry, perseverance and good management rewarded by substantial results. Like other representative men of the county, he is a native of the Buckeye State, being born in Stark County May 8, 1838. He has inherited his push and energy from his German ancestors. He is a son of John and Mary (Eply) Welker, and grandson of John Welker, who was born in Pennsylvania of old German stock. The father of our subject was also a native of the Keystone State, but at an early day moved to Stark County, Ohio, and thence to Cumberland County, Illinois, about 1842. He is still living near Hazel Dell, but is eighty-four years of age, having been born in February, 1809. The mother of our subject died in the Prairie State in 1855. To this estimable couple were born these children: James, Samuel, Jacob, John, William, Joseph, Elijah, Edward and Mary A. By the father’s second marriage there were two children: Harry and Sarah. Mr. Welker was formerly a Whig, but became a Republican in his political views, and in religion was a United Brethren. By occupation he was a farmer and millwright, and became a man of some means. He had four sons in the Rebellion: William,...

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Biographical Sketch of V. R. Bridges, M. D.

V. R. Bridges, M. D., physician and surgeon, Mattoon; was born in Rockingham Co., Va., June 4, 1832; his father settled in Ross Co., Ohio, near Chillicothe, in 1836; in 1841, he came to Illinois and settled in Newton, Jasper Co.; he was engaged in contracting on public works, both in Ohio and Illinois. Dr. Bridges acquired a good academic education, mainly through his own exertions, and at the age of 14, began life for himself. At the age of 17, he taught his first school; in 1851, he was employed in the drug store of Dr. H. H. Hayes, at Lawrenceville, Ill., and began the study of medicine under him. He next came to Marshall, and completed his studies under Drs. Payne and Duncan. In the spring of 1854, he located in Salisbury, Coles Co., and began the practice of his profession. In 1860, he came to Mattoon, his present residence. He entered the U. S. service as Assistant Surgeon of the 62d Regiment, I. V. I; in 1863, he was promoted to be Surgeon of the 126th Regiment, and was mustered out in 1865, after the close of the war; soon after his discharge from the service, he was appointed Examining Surgeon for the Pension Bureau-a position he still holds. In 1876, he attended Rush Medical College, from which he graduated Feb. 27, 1877. He was married...

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Biographical Sketch of J. P. H. Harrah

J. P. H. Harrah, attorney at law, Charleston; is a native of Putnam Co., Ind.; he was born near Greencastle June 4, 18485 and is a son of Daniel F. Harrah; in 1858, he removed with his father’s family to Jasper Co., Ill., where he remained on the farm until 1867; he then engaged in teaching school in Jasper Co.; in August, 1868, he entered Westfield College, Ill., and remained as a student in that institution two years; returning home in 1870, he began reading law, and, in the fall of 1871, went to Newton, the county seat of Jasper Co., as deputy in the office of the County Treasurer, continuing his law studies under the direction of Col. John H. Halley, a prominent attorney of that city; in November, 1872, he was elected State’s Attorney for Jasper Co., although he was not admitted to the bar until October, 1873, owing to a rule of the Supreme Court of the State requiring candidates for admission to spend two years in an attorney’s office; he continued to hold the office of State’s Attorney until 1876; he also served one term as City Attorney; he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in December, 1876, by Gov. Cullom; in 1877, he came to Charleston and has since been engaged in the practice of law in this city. He was married Jan....

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Biographical Sketch of Judge A. M. Peterson

Judge A. M. Peterson, attorney at law, Charleston; was born in Westmoreland Co., Penn., Jan. 15, 1825; leaving there in 1845, he went to Canton, Ohio, and began the study of medicine, attending a course of lectures at the Cleveland Medical College. He came to Illinois in 1849, and began practice as a physician in Edgar Co., and the following year removed to Newton, Jasper Co., Ill. On the 18th of April, the same year, he married Miss Nancy Whalen, of Edgar Co., a native of Nelson Co., Ky. The practice of medicine proving distasteful to him, and having a natural preference for the law, in 1853, he abandoned the former and engaged in the practice of the latter profession, which he continued till May, 1861. He then entered the Union army, as Captain of Co. K, 218t I. V. I., of which Gen. Grant was then Colonel; he served until November, 1862, when, owing to ill health, he resigned. In the spring of 1863 he located in Charleston, and resumed the practice of the law. He was elected a member of the City Council in the spring of 1864, and again in the spring of 1866; the same year he was elected Mayor of Charleston, but the duties of the office being uncongenial, he soon afterward resigned. In 1869, he was elected County Judge, and held that office...

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