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Location: Peoria County IL

The Conner Family of Prairie du Rocher Illinois

There are few citizens of American blood, native born in Randolph County, who date their birth back as far as does Mr. W. S. Conner, a resident of the southern part of Township five — eight. He was born within a quarter of a mile of his present residence, in the year of 1815. He was the son of Henry Conner, who was born in Maryland and moved to Kentucky when ten years old, about the year 1795. The Conner family is of Irish extraction. The name was formerly spelled “O’Connor,” in which form it will be easily recognized...

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Biography of W. D. McDonald

W. D. McDonald was born in Ross county, Ohio, August 6, 1826. His parents, William and Mary McDonald, were both natives of Virginia. His mother was a daughter of Nathaniel Wilson who was the first State printer of Ohio, and a sister of the late Nathaniel Wilson, who with his father started the Scioto Gazette in 1800, in Scioto county, one of the first papers of Ohio. Mr. Wilson died a few years ago at the age of ninety-two years-the oldest editor then in America. Our subject was five years old when his father died and he was reared by Ex-Governor McArthur, of Ohio, and educated in the select schools of Chillicothe, Ohio. After he quit school he dealt in cattle, driving them to the eastern markets, and continued that business for about seven years. He then engaged at farming which has been his avocation since. In 1854 he settled in Peoria county, Illinois, and in 1856 came to this county. In July, 1862, he enlisted in the Thirty-third Enrolled State Militia and at the organization was appointed adjutant, and soon after was appointed by the governor commissary of exemption, which place he filled for one year, was then appointed acting adjutant general for Colonel Williams, commanding this district, with headquarters at St. Joseph, and held that position under the following officers as they came in command of the...

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Biography of Thomas Page

For upwards of half a century, Thomas Page has been one of the prominent commercial figures in Kansas. With possibly one exception, he is the oldest miller in the state, and for years has been a factor in the milling and grain interests and as much as any other individual has contributed to make Topeka a center for the manufacture of flour. A native of Scotland, he was born in the little manufacturing hamlet of Dunshalt in Fifeshire, September 3, 1843. With a practical schooling he began an apprenticeship in the milling business. For some time he was employed in a mill on the River Clyde, where he daily witnessed the arrival and departure of some of the great ocean vessels which brought to him all the sense of mystery and the messages of far off lands which the sight of them inspires. No doubt it was the vessels plying between America and Great Britain that gave him his first definite idea of making the United States his future home. It was in 1866, when he was twenty-three years of age, that he took passage on one of these vessels for America. Not long after his arrival he found employment at his trade in Albany, New York. Then in 1869 he started westward, for a short time worked in Peoria and for a longer time at Rockford, Illinois. At...

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Biography of John Gallup

John Gallup, assistant treasurer of the Missouri Portland Cement Company comes to the Mississippi valley from New England, where the family has been represented since early colonial days. He was born in Mystic, Connecticut, December 14, 1844, son of John Gallup and Roxanna Fish. He received his education in the public schools of Mystic, Connecticut, and also studied under private tutors. After leaving school he gave special attention to accounting and later was associated with his father in the lumber business. In Mystic, Connecticut, October 5, 1870, Mr. Gallup was married to Ellen E. Noyes, daughter of George W. and Prudence Dean Brown Noyes. One child was born to them, Mary Elisabeth, now the wife of Harry F. Roach of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1880, Mr. Gallup came to Peoria, Illinois, and there took charge of the office work of S. C. Bartlett & Company, grain dealers, and when the firm established a branch business at La Fayette, Indiana, he became office manager there and so continued for five years. In 1887 Mr. Gallup came to St. Louis and was offered the position of auditor and treasurer of the St. Louis, Kansas City and Colorado Railroad, a new line being built out of St. Louis to Kansas City. The Santa Fe afterward purchased the Frisco, when the management was merged into that of the Frisco. In October, 1895, Mr....

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Biography of Charles E. Schaff

Charles E. Schaff, receiver for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, was born on a farm in Licking county, Ohio. February 4, 1856. He is a son of the late Isaac M. Schaff, who was also born in the Buckeye state and represented one of the old families there of Dutch descent. In early life the father engaged in agricultural pursuits and later turned his attention to railroading, becoming connected with the train service of various roads. He passed away in Carroll county, Missouri, in 1888, aged fifty-seven years, having become a resident of Missouri four years before. He married Angeline Cleaves, a native of Maine and a representative of one of the old New England families of English lineage. She is now living in Columbus, Ohio. By her marriage she became the mother of seven sons and six daughters, of whom eight are living. Charles E. Schaff, the eldest of the family, was educated in private schools of Virginia and at the age of fourteen started out to provide for his own support. He was first employed as water boy on the Pennsylvania Railroad and initiated his business career with a wage of fifty cents per day. Later he took up railroading and was advanced through various parts of the train service, acting as supervisor and in various executive positions. His first official position was that of...

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Kickapoo Indians

Kickapoo Indians. From Kiwegapaw`, “he stands about,” “he moves about, standing now here, now there.” Also called: A’-uyax, Tonkawa name, meaning “deer eaters.” Higabu, Omaha and Ponca name. I’-ka-dŭ’, Osage name. Shake-kah-quah, Wichita name. Shígapo, Shikapu, Apache name. Sik’-a-pu, Comanche name. Tékapu, Huron name. Yuatara’ye-ru’nu, a second Huron name, meaning “tribe living around the lakes.” Kickapoo Connections. The Kickapoo belonged to the Algonquian linguistic stock, and in a special group with the Foxes and Sauk. Kickapoo Villages. The villages were: Etnataek (shared with the Foxes), rather a fortification than a village, near the Kickapoo village on Sangamon River, Illinois. Kickspougowi, on the Wabash River in Crawford County, Illinois, about opposite the mouth of Turman Creek. Kickapoo Location. For territory occupied in Wisconsin, see History. (See also Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma.) Kickapoo History. As suggested in the case of the Foxes, the Kickapoo may once have lived near the Sauk in the lower peninsula of Michigan but such a residence cannot be proven. If the name Outitcbakouk used by the Jesuit missionary Druillettes refers to this tribe, as seems probable, knowledge of them was brought to Europeans in 1658. At any rate they were visited by Allouez about 1667-70 and were then near the portage between Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, perhaps about Alloa, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Early in the eighteenth century a part of them settled somewhere...

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Biography of William J. Quinlan

William J. Quinlan. Any list of the big farmers and land owners of Crittenden Township would include the name of William J. Quinlan. Mr. Quinlan has been a resident of Champaign County for nearly half a century, and he used the generous rewards of his agricultural labors here to extend his investments to several states. Mr. Quinlan was born near Covington, Kentucky, March 15, 1856, a son of Daniel and Margaret (Harty) Quinlan. Both parents were born in Ireland. His father came to America in 1847, locating in Kentucky. In June, 1856, a few weeks after the birth of William J., the family moved to Illinois, locating in Peoria County, and in 1868 they came to Champaign County, locating in section 20 of Crittenden Township. Daniel Quinlan was a man of marked prosperity and industry. He died at Tolono, Illinois, in 1899. His widow is still living in Ohio, at the advanced age of ninety-two. They have six children: Margaret, who died in infancy; William J.; John, who died in childhood; Bridget, wife of Frank Hesler, of Ohio; Mary, who died in 1891; and Ellen, wife of W. J. Reinhart, of Ohio. William J. Quinlan has always lived close to the old home, grew up and received his education largely in Champaign County, and after reaching manhood his father gave him as a start eighty acres. The passing years...

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Biography of F. C. Amsbary

F. C. Amsbary, superintendent and manager of the Champaign Waterworks, has been superintending waterworks plants in different parts of the country for upwards of thirty years. It has in fact been his regular profession, though some of his younger years were devoted to railroading. Mr. Amsbary has numerous connections that identify him with the substantial interests of his home city. A native of Illinois, he was born at Pekin, January 24, 1863, a son of William Wallace and Harriet E. (Harlow) Amsbary, both of whom are natives of New York State. William W. Amsbary moved to Champaign in 1907, and for several years was connected with the waterworks here. He died in 1911, and his widow is still living at Champaign. Their five children are: George E., of Urbana; F. C.; Wallace Bruce, of Chicago; Don H., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cordelia, still at home with her mother. When F. C. Amsbary was four years of age his parents removed to Delavan in Tazewell County, Illinois. He attended the local schools there, and at the age of fifteen he left home and worked as clerk in a store at Tremont in the same county for two years. He then went to Peoria and acquired his initial experience in railroad offices, where he remained about three years. He was next at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the Chicago Northwestern Railway offices...

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Biography of Patrick Connor

Patrick Connor. Every one in the Rantoul vicinity of Champaign County knows the home of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Connor. It is located in section 19, five miles northwest of Rantoul and near the schoolhouse to which Mr. Connor sent his own children and with which he has been officially identified. This is a fine farm, comprising 320 acres, and from the road the large white house is almost screened by the fine trees which surround it and most of which were planted and set out by Mr. Connor’s own hands. All these worthy and creditable possessions are the result of Mr. and Mrs. Connor’s self-sacrificing efforts in early days and continued good management at the present. Mr. Patrick Connor was born at Richmond, Virginia, a son of Patrick and Catherine (Kane) Connor, who were natives of Ireland and came to America soon after their marriage in order to better their conditions in the New World. From Virginia they moved to Peoria County, Illinois. Their three children were Mary, Hannah and Patrick. Patrick, the only son, attended school in Peoria County, and soon after reaching manhood, in 1885, he married Mary Sullivan. Mrs. Connor was born in Logan County, Illinois, third in a large family of children born to Daniel and Catherine (Buckley) Sullivan. Mrs. Connor was six years of age when her parents located in Champaign County, and...

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Biography of Thomas R. Hopkins

Thomas R. Hopkins. Modern business requires practical and thorough training in the same degree as the professions and sciences. In Champaign County there is no institution which affords a better curriculum and practical business education than the commercial college formerly known as Brown’s Business College and now owned and administered by Mr. Thomas R. Hopkins, himself a thorough educator of long experience and a man who has trained hundreds of young men and women and given them a thorough preparation for entrance into business affairs. Mr. Hopkins was born in Peoria County, Illinois, January 24, 1877, a son of Griffith G. and Anna (Collier) Hopkins. His father was of Welsh descent and a native of Ohio, and the mother was born in England. Griffith Hopkins came out to Peoria County, Illinois, many years ago and was first engaged in mining and subsequently in farming. He finally retired and died at Peoria. The children were six in number: Grace, who died in infancy; Jesse G., of Jerseyville, Illinois; Lucile E., wife of Frank C. Keach, of Los Angeles, California; Thomas E.; Chauncey J., deceased; and Maurice E., of Chicago. Thomas R. Hopkins had a public school education in Knox County, Illinois, and for two years was a student in the Independent Normal at Dixon. For another year he pursued his studies in Knox College at Galesburg, and then became associated...

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Biography of Julius A. Heinz

Julius A. Heinz, while one of the younger men of Champaign County, has acquired many successful interests since coming to Pesotum and is a real leader in the life and affairs of that town. Mr. Heinz was born in Kickapoo Township of Peoria County, Illinois, September 29, 1880. His parents Frank and Mary (Heitter) Heinz were also natives of the same county. His paternal grandfather was a native of Germany, while the maternal ancestry came from Prance. Frank Heinz followed farming during his active career and he and his wife are now living retired in Peoria. They were the parents of these children: Ida and William, both deceased; Elizabeth, wife of Frank Bienemann, of Peoria; Mary, deceased; Julius A.; a daughter that died in infancy; Emil, of Peoria; Sylvester, deceased; Etta and Clarence, twins, the latter now deceased, while Etta is the wife of Henry Speck, Jr., of Peoria. Julius A. Heinz attended the parochial schools in Peoria County until he was sixteen years of age. After that he lived on his father’s farm and worked there until the age of twenty-two. Then, fifteen years ago, he arrived at Pesotum and began the active business career which has brought him such generous rewards. For two weeks he worked in an implement business and then bought out Mr. Kleiss and with his cousin, L. T. Heinz, continued the trade, handling...

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Biography of Julius M. Gehrt

Julius M. Gehrt has been successfully identified with Champaign County agriculture for a number of years, and is the owner and proprietor of a fine farm in section 33 of Harwood Township, near the village of Dillsburg. Mr. Gehrt was born at Lawn Ridge, Illinois, a son of John M. and Catherine (Best) Gehrt. His parents were both born in Germany, came to America in early life, were married in this country and the father is still living, at the ripe age of eighty-three, on his farm in Stark County, Illinois. The mother is now deceased. Julius M. Gehrt was next to the youngest in a family of eight children. He grew up on his father’s farm in Stark County and attended the public schools at Spear in that county. January 15, 1902, he married Miss Carolina Kuhn. Mrs. Gehrt is a native of Germany, born near the city of Berlin, and fourth among the five children of Philip and Elizabeth (Hoeltzel) Kuhn. The Kuhn children were named Philip, Salome, Fred, Carolina and Elizabeth. When Mrs. Gehrt was eleven years of age the family came to America and she and her brothers and sisters attended the public schools of Peoria and of Stark County, Illinois. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gehrt located on a rented farm in Peoria County, but in 1903 they rented a place of 160...

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Biography of Felix G. Campbell

Felix G. Campbell was a thoroughly practical and successful farmer before he took up the business of real estate, loans and insurance at Champaign, and in both lines his success has been noteworthy. He is still a farmer through ownership, though no longer a worker in the fields, and he now gives all his time to an extensive clientage in real estate and insurance. Mr. Campbell was born in Preble County, Ohio, November 11, 1848, and was four years of age when his parents, John W. and Margaret N. (Dooley) Campbell, moved to Peoria, Illinois. His father was a native of Kentucky and his mother of Illinois. John W. Campbell spent his active career as a farmer, largely in Peoria County, and finally, when he and his wife retired, they went to live with their daughter Addie, at that time in Burton, Kansas, where both of them died. They were the parents of seven children: Mary E., David O., Charles L., Samuel, all deceased; Addie, wife of William H. Wilson of Wichita, Kansas; Felix G.; and George W. of Lincoln, Nebraska. Felix G. Campbell grew up on an Illinois farm, attended district schools, and remained at home until he was twenty-four. At that date he left home and lived on rented farms for about five years, when he bought eighty acres of his own and subsequently another eighty acres,...

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Biography of James P. Gray

Thirty-five years have passed since James P. Gray came to Idaho to cast in his lot with its pioneers. People of the present end-of-the-century period can scarcely realize the struggles and dangers which attended the early settlers, the heroism and self-sacrifice of lives passed upon the borders of civilization, the hardships endured, the difficulties overcome. These tales of the early days read almost like a romance to those who have known only the modern prosperity and conveniences. To the pioneer of the early days, far removed from the privileges and conveniences of city or town, the struggle for existence was a stern and hard one, and these men and women must have possessed indomitable energies and sterling worth of character, as well as marked physical courage, when they thus voluntarily selected such a life and successfully fought its battles under such circumstances as prevailed in the northwest. James P. Gray was a young man of eighteen years when he took up his residence in the mining camp at Idaho City. His early life was spent in Illinois, his birth having occurred in Peoria County, that state, December 10, 1846. He is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and his grandfather, William Gray, emigrated from the north of Ireland with his wife, taking up his residence in Indiana, where occurred the birth of Thomas Gray, the father of our subject. In the Hoosier...

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Biography of James J. Rogers

The life of James J. Rogers has not been one of unvarying monotony, circumscribed by the habits, thoughts and customs of some narrow community, but contains many interesting incidents that come with travel and extensive intercourse with the world. Born on the Atlantic coast, he has visited foreign lands, has viewed many of the interesting scenes of our own country, and is now located in the beautiful city of Boise, which nestles in one of the loveliest valleys of the Pacific slope. There he is successfully engaged in the practice of law, and in the political affairs of the state he is no unimportant factor. A native of Maryland, he was born in the city of Baltimore, on the 24th of July 1862, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, Joseph P. and Elizabeth (Donahue) Rogers, were both natives of Belfast, Ireland, and in 1858 crossed the Atlantic to Baltimore, where the father devoted his energies to bookkeeping. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religious belief both he and his wife were Catholics. His death occurred on the 14th of April 1895, when he had reached the age of sixty-two years, and his wife passed away on the 22d of February 1878, at the age of thirty-nine years. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are residents of either Illinois or Iowa. During his...

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