Location: Peoria County IL

Biography of Fred Eugene Pettit

Fred Eugene Pettit is a veteran business man and merchant of Marion County, and until he retired a few years ago conducted one of the largest stores at Peabody. Mr. Pettit was reared and educated and gained his first mercantile experience in the State of Illinois. He was born at Wyoming in Stark County, Illinois, January 8, 1861, a son of Peter and Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit. Peter Pettit was born in New York State and located in Illinois in 1851, when the country was new and undeveloped. After a few years he lost his health and suffered invalidism throughout the latter part of his life. He died at the comparatively early age of forty-six years. Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit was born in Devonshire, England, in 1830. When she was six years of age she came with her father to America. The Baileys first located at Oswego, New York, moved from there to Wisconsin for three years, and then returned to New York State and located near Syracuse. It was at Syracuse that Mary Bailey married Peter Pettit in 1851. After their marriage they moved to Wyoming, Illinois, and she continued to make her home in that state for many years, but finally came to Peabody, Kansas, where she died in September, 1911. Peter Pettit and wife had four children: Edgar A., deceased; Maggie May, Mrs. J. D. Smith,...

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Peoria Tribe

Peoria Indians (through French Peouarea, from Peoria Piwarea, ‘he comes carrying a pack on his back’: a personal name. Gerard). One of the principal tribes of the Illinois confederacy. Franquelin in his map of 1688 locates them and the Tapouaro on a river west of the Mississippi above the mouth of Wisconsin River, probably the upper Iowa River. Early references to the Illinois which place them on the Mississippi, although some of the tribes were on Rock and Illinois rivers, must relate to the Peoria and locate them near the mouth of the Wisconsin. When Marquette and Joliet descended the Mississippi in 1673, they found them and the Moingwena on the west side of the Mississippi near the mouth of a river supposed to be the Des Moines, though it may have been one farther north. When Marquette returned from the south, he found that the Peoria had removed and were near the lower end of the expansion of Illinois river, near the present Peoria. At the close of the war carried on by the Sauk and Foxes and other northern tribes against the Illinois, about 1768, the Kickapoo took possession of this village and made it their principal settlement. About the same time a large part of the Peoria crossed over into Missouri, where they remained, building their village on Blackwater fork, until they removed to Kansas. One...

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Biography of Hon. Samuel S. Guyer

The Honorable Samuel S. Guyer was born at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1814. In his early manhood he was a contractor in New York City and in the construction of the Pennsylvania Canal System. In 1839, with his mother, sister and two brothers, he removed to Peoria, Illinois, from which base he engaged in the business of building flat boats and carrying cargos of merchandise to trade with the planters between Natchez and New Orleans. In the great tornado at Natchez in 1842, he lost all his possessions and barely escaped with his life. Returning to Peoria he studied law and qualified for the bar in the office of Mr. Knowlton, father of our former townsman, William S. Knowlton. In 1843 he came to Rock Island to practice his profession. He was appointed by the Court to defend the Redings, indicted for complicity in the murder of George Davenport, and he succeeded in securing their acquittal. In 1847 he was elected Sheriff of Rock Island County, which office he held for two terms. He was one of the incorporators of the Coal Valley Mining Company, and of the Rock Island and Peoria Railway Company, which road, then built only as far as Coal Valley, was under his management until 1861 when he sold his interests to the late P. L. Cable. In this enterprise he had been associated with...

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Biographical Sketch of Henry E. Brown

Mr. Henry E. Brown was born and uneducated in Elmwood, Peoria County, Illinois, until his sixteenth year when he moved to Peoria and entered the high school, afterwards entering Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, from which he graduated in 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Physics. Since then he has been connected with the Rock Island Public Schools, starting as a teacher and five years ago becoming principal of the high school. Mr. Brown has always been greatly interested in all educational matters and has received much recognition for his interest by educational associations. He is at the present time president of the Western Section of the Northern Illinois Teachers’ Association. He is also author of a text book which has had a very wide sale among the schools of the country. Mr. Brown is at present thirty-five years old, and was married in 1906 to Miss Bertha...

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Biography of Frank A. Landee

It is a safe presumption that Frank A. Landed the widely known retail grocer of Moline, is an example of self made manhood that is worthy of the most persistent and conscientious emulation. Mr. Landee was born in Kalmar, Sweden, August 11, 1852, and from the moment of his arrival in this country, his career has been marked by unceasing toil and honorable occupation and transactions. From a lad, wholly unknown, his rise has incessantly been in the ascendancy. He is at the present time a member of the Board of Directors of Augustana College; and is a member of the purchasing and building committee for the same institution; Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Swedish Lutheran Church; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Independent Order Odd Fellows Lodge No. 583 (Swedish) of Moline; Director of the Peoples Trust and Savings Bank; Vice-President of the Moline Furniture Works; Trustee of Court of Honor Lodge No. 100, of Moline; was President of the Swedish Republican State League during Yates governmental campaign; is an active member of the Moline Business Men’s Club; is one of the directors of the Retail Merchants Association in his home city, and holds and has held numerous other positions of trust and responsibility during his diligent lifetime. His attitude toward those who toil is best exemplified by the signal honor bestowed...

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Biography of Rev. George W. Gue

A man who, while never a permanent resident of Rock Island, yet lived in the city long enough to leave a permanent impress there and to be remembered with gratitude by many, was Reverend George W. Gue, for several years pastor of the First. Methodist Church, and builder of the present house of worship of that congregation. Honored in various ways by his church he bore his preferment well and earned the love and respect everywhere of those with whom he came in contact. Mr. Gue was born in Neville, Clermont County, Ohio, February 27, 1840, and died at Portland, Oregon, July 24, 1901. When ten years of age, his parents removed to Princeville, Peoria County, Illinois. At the age of nine years he had completed an academic education and was admitted to the Central Illinois Conference, being at the time the youngest member of that organization. As the years passed he was assigned to the most important posts in the conference and served also as presiding elder. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in the Union army, being soon promoted to Chaplain of the One Hundred and Eighth Illinois Regiment. In later years he often proudly mentioned the fact that he was the youngest Chaplain in the Army. Serving throughout the war, Mr. Gue returned with his Regiment to Peoria in 1865, and was there mustered out....

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Biography of Guy V. Pettit

In none of the walks of life, perhaps, does the personality of the man impress itself so thoroughly upon the public with which he deals as in the case of the editor of a country newspaper. While he does not reach the thousands that the editor of a metropolitan daily does, he offsets this disadvantage through the close personal relations he sustains with his patrons and thereby his position in the community is rendered the more difficult of the two to maintain. While the head of the news gathering department of a big paper may strike right and left with but small chance of offending any considerable portion of his clientele, the scribe of the country weekly must exercise care and tact, for his financial success requires the support of at least half of the people of his territory. Therefore the trenchant pen is not his to wield. He must attain his ends by other means. A successful country editor is Guy V. Pettit of the Reynolds Press-a man who has the rare gift of being able to give expression to his own ideas of right and wrong and still retain the personal friendship of practically every individual who reads his newspaper. Mr. Pettit was born July 17, 1868, seven miles south of Geneseo, on a farm in Henry County, Illinois. He is a son of Charles E. and...

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Biography of Francis Fletcher

FRANCIS FLETCHER. – Mr. Fletcher was among the very earliest of the settlers of Oregon, being here two years before the establishment of the Provisional government, and has consequently seen the great development of this state and coast form its earliest inception; and he has himself been one of the most active to induce the progress of the last fifty years. He was born in Yorkshire, England, March 1, 1814, and, at the age of fourteen years, crossed the water to Ontario, Canada, and afterwards to Peoria, Illinois. In 1839, in company with Amos Cook and others, he started for Oregon. An interesting bit of his life’s history is the chapter dating from the spring in which he left Peoria. It was then and there he heard Reverend Jason Lee, who had been to Oregon, lecture upon the then almost unknown Pacific Northwest; and he was fired with a resolve to come to the land of the setting sun. A company of sixteen men was formed, of whom our subject was the most conspicuous. They started early in May and went to Independence, Missouri, where they exchanged their wagons for pack animals, and after one week’s delay went forward upon their trip across the mountains, deserts and plains to Oregon. After traveling about one hundred and fifty miles, they saw their first Indians, a sight which so weakened two...

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Biography of Amos Albert Belsley

Amos Albert Belsley has been a spirited factor in the business and civic life of Wellington, Kansas, for the past fourteen years. He is one of the leading real estate men of that section, and is a former mayor of the city. His birth occurred on a farm in Woodford County, Illinois, near Roanoke, August 24, 1878. He was the sixth in a family of nine children born to Peter and Cathrine (Schertz) Belsley. His father was born and reared in Woodford County, Illinois, and the grandfather, Peter Belsley, came from Alsace-Lorraine and settled in Illinois in 1830. Peter Belsley, the father, spent his active career as a general farmer and stock raiser, and died in October, 1899, while his wife now lives in Peoria, Illinois. He was very prominent as a democrat, and filled many places of trust in his community. He was president of the Roanoke Coal Mining Company of Roanoke, Illinois, from 1882 until the time of his death in October, 1909. Amos A. Belsley grew up on a farm, attended district school, and from the age of eleven to eighteen he had the opportunity of attending school for only three months each year. Later, as a preparation for his business career, he took a course in the Brown Business College of Peoria, Illinois. It was in 1902 that Mr. Belsley came to Kansas and located...

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Biography of Alfred Hovenden

ALFRED HOVENDEN. – Mr. Hovenden, known everywhere among the early pioneers as one of the most benevolent, upright and sagacious of men, was born in Kent county, England, August 26, 1824, of that steady, sterling English stock that fainted not and never failed. He crossed the water to American when twenty years old, and made his first home on a farm in Peoria county, Illinois. In 1849, together with his brother Charles, he turned his property into money, purchased an outfit with the intention of making the Pacific coast his home, and started westward, still being uncertain on the early states of the journey whether it would be to Oregon or to California that he would ultimately go. In his company was also David Logan, the talented but dissolute son of Judge Logan of Illinois. Having betimes decided to take the northern track, Mr. Hovenden came on into the Willamette valley, and laid his Donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres near the present site of Hubbard. He made this spot his home for more than thirty-five years, and was still in rugged health, with the prospect of many more years of life and usefulness, when he met with the accident by which his useful career was ended. By sturdy industry, close application, careful dealing and integrity, he amassed a competence, owning several good farms and a flourishing...

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Biography of Joseph Holman

JOSEPH HOLMAN. – This pioneer of the North Pacific was born in Devonshire, England, in 1817, and came to the United States when nineteen years of age. Three years later he was at Peoria, Illinois, at which place he listened to a lecture on Oregon by Reverend Jason Lee, and was one of the party organized to cross the plains which left early in the spring of 1839, reaching the Willamette after fourteen months of travel, toil, hardships and privation. Many of the incidents of his trip are mentioned in the biographical sketch of Francis Fletcher in this book, he being one of the party of four that remained together during the entire trip to Oregon Territory. The party that left Peoria consisted of sixteen, all of whom but four became dissatisfied upon reaching the junction of the Fort Bent and Santa Fé roads, and turned off upon the later. Holman’s party of four was determined to come on to Oregon, and adopted a motto, “Oregon or the Grave;” and Oregon it was. The three companions of Holman were Francis Fletcher, Amos Cook and R. Kilborne. They reached Brown’s Hole on Green river, where they wintered with Doctor Newell, chief trader of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the Indians, leaving early in February for Fort Hall, where they arrived after two months of desperate traveling over a route that...

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Biography of A. A. Dunseth

A. A. Dunseth, Police Magistrate and Justice of the Peace, Oakland; born in Fleming Co., Ky., Oct. 12, 1821; he removed with his parents, when 6 years of age, to Ohio, where he learned and worked at the carpenter trade until 1843, when he came West and located at Peoria, Ill., working at his trade until 1852, when he removed to Georgetown, Ill., where he kept hotel two years, when he purchased a saw-mill, which he ran in connection with his trade until 1858, when he removed to Danville, and engaged in contracting and building until 1861, when he raised a company for the 4th Illinois Cavalry, but the regiment. having obtained its full quota of companies, his company was not accepted, the members joining other companies to fill up the regiment; in 1862, be visited the Union Hospitals at Louisville, Ky., and finding a wide field for labor in the interest of the soldiers of Illinois, he decided to remain there and labor in behalf of the same; he immediately entered upon this noble duty, laboring for the relief of suffering patriots of his State without compensation and defraying his own expenses for three months, when the hospital was visited by Dr. W. E. Fithian, J. L. Tincher and Judge Terry, of Danville; they at once saw the amount of good being accomplished through the agency of Mr....

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Biographical Sketch of Edward Conaghan

Edward Conaghan, merchant, Oakland; born in County Donegal, Ireland, Aug. 15, 1841, where he engaged in farming until 18 years of age, when he emigrated to America, landing in New York in the fall of 1859; coming directly to Charleston, he engaged with his brother peddling, taking his stock of goods upon his back and selling from house to house; after following this for nine months for his brother, he commenced peddling on his own account, taking his first stock of goods, which invoiced at $20, in a pack upon his back, working in all kinds of weather, until 1863, when he associated with his brother and engaged in the hotel business at Peoria, Ill., which, proving unprofitable, they closed out, and, after paying all their indebtedness, he had barely enough means left to again start his portable dry goods and notion store, which consisted, as described above, of his pack, which he carried upon his back, buying his goods direct from first hands in New York, which enabled him to compete with the largest dealers in Coles Co.; he continued doing business in this manner until 1871, when he associated with David Jones, and located in Oakland in the grocery and queensware trade, which they continued until Jan. 3, 1876, when, purchasing his partner’s interest., he added a stock of dry goods, clothing, etc., until he now carries...

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Biographical Sketch of Martin W. Annin

Martin W. Annin, carpenter and builder, Oakland; the subject of this sketch is the son of J. V. D. Annin, whose biography appears in this work, and whose genealogy is given for four generations past; he was born in Somerset Co., N. J., Jan. 5, 1831, where he engaged in farming until 15 years of age, when he went to Brooklyn, N. Y., and learned and worked at the carpenter trade until 20 years of age, when he emigrated; with his parents, and located in Lee Co., Ill., in 1850, remaining here a short time, when he went to Peoria Co., and worked at his trade until January, 1852, when he removed to Oakland, Coles Co., Ill., and engaged in contracting and building, which business he has since successfully followed; he owns his residence in Oakland, which he erected in 1877; also his shop, located at Lauson’s lumberyard, East Oakland Depot; his business card will be found in the business directory of Oakland, in another part of this work. He married Jan. 10, 1861, to Angeline T. Payne; she was born in Hamilton Co., Ohio, July 27, 1833, and emigrated with her parents to this county in 1835; they have one child by this union-011ie, born June 15,...

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Biography of Eugene B. Buck

Eugene B. Buck, editor and proprietor of the Charleston Courier. Charleston; was born in Fayette Co., Ind., Oct. 12, 1834; when he was about five years old, his father’s family removed to McLean Co., Ill.; he served his apprenticeship to the printer’s trade in Bloomington; in 1852, he went to Peoria, Ill., and, in 1855, was connected with the publication of the Pekin Plaindealer; in 1856, he was associated with four other journeymen printers in running a co-operative daily paper in Peoria; in 1857, he conducted the Washington Advertiser, in Franklin Co., Mo.; in 1859, he edited the Daily Enterprise, in Decatur, Ill., and, in 1861 and 1862, the Magnet in that city; in 1864, he run the Constitution, a campaign paper, in Pontiac, Livingston Co., Ill., and, the next year-1865-he started the Bloomington Journal; in 1868, he became connected with the Charleston Courier, a live weekly newspaper and a vigorous advocate of the principles of the Democratic party, and, in 1874, became sole proprietor and editor; the esteem in which Mr. Buck is held by ,the editorial profession is manifest from the fact that, in 1865, he was chosen President of the Illinois Press Association, a member of the Executive Board in 1877, and is at present a Vice President of that body; he is a Director of the Second National Bank; in 1876, he received the nomination...

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