Location: Reynolds Illinois

Biography of Fred Titterington

Few men are sufficiently versatile to successfully pursue two separate and entirely different vocations during their lives. Rare, indeed, is the farmer that becomes a dividend earning manufacturer, especially after he has attained middle age, and become a man of substance through his own efforts in tilling the soil. Such, however, has been the achievement of Fred Titterington, formerly a farmer in the vicinity of Edgington post office and now secretary and general manager of the Argillo works at Carbon Cliff. Mr. Titterington is another native of Rock Island County, having been born at Edgington September 1, 1852. He was the son of Charles and Sophia Titterington, pioneers of the community. His early education was that of the average farmer boy, save that he had the additional advantage of a course at Knox Academy at Galesburg, Illinois. Until he was nineteen years of age he worked on his father’s farm and then he set out for himself, and for a number of years tilled the soil on the present site of the village of Reynolds. Later he farmed in Buffalo Prairie Township and eventually purchased a tract of land in Edgington Township, which was his home till 1899. Always a more or less active Republican, he was rewarded by his party by election to the offices of treasurer of Rock Island County in 1894, serving one term of four...

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Biography of Martin Schoonmaker

Much has been written in this historical work of the banks and bankers of Rock Island and Moline. However, in estimating the financial strength of Rock Island County the banks and bankers of its smaller municipalities are deserving of very prominent mention, for they are the tributaries of larger financial institutions and have an important part in swelling the stream of the county’s prosperity. To the village bank comes the farmer from the surrounding countryside and deposits the golden fruits of his toil. From the proprietor of that bank its customers may ask and receive sound financial advice. He is their friend and adviser as well as their banker. The farm loan, that solid rock of financial investment, is placed with him, or is negotiated through some larger banking institution through his agency. Upon the stability and security of these smaller banks, as well as upon the honor and integrity of those in control of them, rests the whole superstructure of the confidence and trust reposed in them. With these thoughts in mind we are now to consider the life and character of Martin Schoonmaker, the banker at the Village of Reynolds in this county, one of Rock Island County’s most influential citizens. He was born October 21, 1834, in Green County, New York, his parents being Christian and Sylvia Schoonmaker. Both Mr. Schoonmaker’s parents were natives of this...

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Biography of Robert Ward Olmsted

A good mental and physical equipment, unflagging energy, and temperate habits have been leading factors in the elevation of Robert Ward Olmsted, from a poor boy, dependent upon his own resources, to the honored position of judge of Rock Island County. Born on a farm in Edgington Township, Rock Island County, Illinois, May 6, 1868, he became almost, if not quite, self-supporting at the tender age of thirteen, and though employed early and late for the greater part of each succeeding year of his youth, he cultivated studious habits, and by close application to his books, both in and out of school, and by strict economy, he secured an education. Having done this, his advancement was rapid. Our subject is the son of Robert B. and Mary M. (Linn) Olmsted: The father was born April 13, 1832, at Havensport, Fairfield County, Ohio. He was left an orphan at an early age and grew to manhood in Defiance County, Ohio. He came to Knox County, Illinois, in 1856, and to Rock Island County in 1860. He was successively school teacher, farmer, merchant, postmaster of Milan, Illinois, insurance agent and for the last twelve years has been deputy sheriff and bailiff of the circuit and county courts. The foundation of the Olmsted family in America was laid by three brothers of English Puritan stock, who removed to this continent in the...

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Biography of Rufus Walker

Rufus Walker, one of the most extensive fuel dealers in Moline, was born in Williamstown, Orange County, Vermont, December 10, 1839, his parents being Rufus and Susan Walker. Eleven children, seven boys and four girls, were born to this couple. The father, who was a shoemaker by trade, died December 22, 1839, when the subject of this sketch, the youngest of the large family, was only twelve days old. The seven sons all learned the same trade as the father, that of shoemaking. Rufus Walker obtained a common school education in Williamstown, and in November, 1860, he left his native state and came west, settling in Rock Island County, where he obtained a clerkship in the general store of Ainsworth & Walker at Edgington. He was employed in this store until July, 1864, when he purchased the business and conducted it until February, 1873, when he removed to Rock Island, and in company with C. E. Dodge purchased the business of E. H. Smyth, which they conducted for three years under the firm name of Walker & Dodge. In the spring of 1876, together with Mr. Meigs Wait, he secured the right of way and about $22,000 in money for the Mercer County Railroad Company. Mr. Walker ran a general store furnishing supplies during that same year. They also purchased the land where the village of Reynolds now stands,...

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