Location: Rock Island Illinois

Biography of Dr. Charles Crawford Carter

No vocation in life offers opportunity for greater genuine service to mankind than that of doctor of medicine, and the physician who fully appreciates his responsibilities and conscientiously responds to every call made upon him is a public benefactor in the highest sense of the term. There can be no question as to the reward that will be his in the after life. Such a man was Charles Crawford Carter, one of the best known and most generally beloved medical practitioners who ever ministered to the ills of the people of Rock Island County. Purity of mind, lofty ideals, and unselfish devotion to the welfare of others were manifested strikingly throughout the quarter of a century he practiced his profession in Rock Island and surrounding country, and in return he was esteemed and loved by all with whom he came in contact. Characteristic disregard of his own physical welfare where the needs of others were involved was manifested in the last act of his life, when he contracted septic pneumonia, which quickly claimed him, while ministering to a patient. Dr. Carter was born in San Francisco December 20, 1852, and died April 2, 1904, after an illness of one week. His parents were Elijah and Ann Maria Whitney Carter, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Massachusetts, and of puritan ancestry. The father was among those...

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Biography of Virgil Marion Blanding

Virgil Marion Blanding was born December 8, 1827, at Grenell Mills (now Aldenville), Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and died March 3, 1907. His father, Reba Blanding, was one of the original proprietors of Grenell Mills, but spent his later years on his farm nearby. His mother was Beulah Ann Grenell. Both branches of the family were of Hugunot stock; the known line of descent on the father’s side running from William Blanding, who emigrated to America and settled in Boston in 1640, where he soon after became “selectman.” His four great grandfathers, Noah Blanding, John Martin, Michael Grenell and Elijah Marshall, were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, the last named being a member of Arnold’s expedition against Quebec and one of the first inside the enemies works. He was wounded, made a prisoner and exchanged, and afterwards fought under General Wayne at Stony Point, continuing on active duty until the close of the war, from which he emerged with the honorable record of a brave, faithful and gallant patriot. The maternal great grandfather, Michael Grenell, was participant in the battle of Saratoga, and in that engagement distinguished himself by his courage and devotion. Mr. Blanding received a thorough common school education, and after courses in several academies entered Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the leading Baptist collegiate institution of the State, from which he graduated in 1852 as valedictorian of...

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Biography of Miss Myrtle E. Dade

By her work as beneficiary recorder of the Royal Neighbors of America, the woman’s auxiliary to the Modern Woodmen of America, the largest fraternal insurance society in the world, Miss Myrtle E. Dade has shown herself a woman of rare business and executive ability. A quality no less rare, she has demonstrated her ability to efficiently supervise a considerable body of women without friction and in a manner which has accomplished wonderful results. So systematically has the work in her offices been handled that other similar societies have paid her the compliment of adopting many of the devices which she originated and first put in use in the beneficiary department of the Royal Neighbors, the headquarters of which is at Rock Island. Miss Dade was born in Fulton, Whiteside County, Illinois, which was the early home of the Woodmen Society. She was the daughter of Rufus E. Dade and Elizabeth R. Dade, and was one of a family of four children. Her father was a shoe dealer at Fulton and one of the leading citizens of the place. He enlisted in the Civil War in the Fifth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company F, September 10, 1861, and served till October 27, 1864. He participated with Grant’s command in some of the hardest battles of the war, being wounded at the Wilderness. June 6, 1866, he re-enlisted in the Forty-third Veteran...

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Biography of William H. Bean

Rapidly the ranks of those who took active part in the Civil War are thinning. One after another the gray haired veterans are going to join their comrades in a land where bloodshed and suffering are unknown. Few of the defenders of the flag in the sixties are now left who are able to hold their own in the keen struggle of present day commercial life. Physical infirmities, have with few exceptions long since compelled the great majority of the survivors to drop out of the race. Yet here and there are exceptions. Now and then a sturdy old warrior is found whose eye is as bright and whose step is as firm as that of the younger generation and who yet finds keen enjoyment in a struggle in which he is pitted against the sons and the grandsons of his comrades of other days. Such a man is William H. Bean, the pioneer merchant of Rock Island. Though whitened by sixty-five winters he continues in active charge of the grocery store he established thirty-two years ago. He has not fallen be-hind in the rapid march of American progress. Mr. Bean was born at St. Louis, Missouri, February 10, 1842, the son of J. L. and Marilla (Smith) Bean. His father was a native of Palmyra, New York being born January 8, 1814, and died March 28, 1890, in...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank B. Hawes

Frank B. Hawes, son of David Hawes and brother of Major Charles W. Hawes, was born in the City of Rock Island on November 14, 1844. (See biographies David Hawes and Major Charles W. Hawes). Since April 13, 1891, the subject of this sketch has been prominently connected with the head offices of the Modern Woodmen of America. For years he was the society’s statistician, but of late years he has discharged the responsible duties of chief of the final accounting department. He has supervision over the most important set of accounts maintained by the Modern Woodmen Society-the financial. It is naturally to be inferred that Mr. Hawes possesses superior ability as an accountant and mathematician. Prior to the establishment of his connection with the Modern Woodmen Society, Mr. Hawes was for twenty-one years the cashier of the E. P. Reynolds & Company railroad contracting firm. During the period 1860-1890, inclusive, this firm built thousands of miles of western railroad, and Mr. Hawes as cashier, handled millions of dollars without the loss of a single cent. In 1875 Mr. Hawes was united in wedlock to Miss Elizabeth A Rector, of Walworth, Wisconsin. One son, David R , a graduate of the Illinois School of Dentistry, University of Illinois, is the fruit of this union. Mr. Hawes is recognized as one of Rock Island’s most progressive citizens. He is active...

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Biography of John W. Roche

Little would the visitor of today suspect that much of the western part of the City of Rock Island, now built up with modern homes, business houses and factories, was once an uninhabitable swamp; worse than that, it was covered with water to a great extent, and when the Mississippi was high a rapidly flowing stream ran through half the present length of the city, and skiffs, rafts and even steamboats passed over the very place where hundreds now live and work on dry, firm mother earth the year around. The work of reclaiming this tract of land has been one of less than fifty years, and the process has been a gradual one, full of hard work and patience on the part of those actively engaged. Among those who saw the possibilities of this part of the city and who labored long and diligently for its improvement, none deserves greater credit than the subject of this sketch. When he, in 1870, purchased his first lot at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twelfth Street, water stood upon it at all seasons, varying in depth from two to six feet. Largely by hand labor he and his family filled it, and built a home there. Later they bought other lots till they owned two blocks, which were gradually improved, and now are among the most valuable in the residence...

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Biography of Martin Theodore Rudgren

Even in an age which recognizes young men and places responsibilities upon them which in the past have been laid only upon the shoulders of those of more mature years we seldom find one of twenty-eight years entrusted with the complex details of the business end of the administration of a City of 30,000 inhabitants. Such, however, is the confidence placed in Martin T. Rudgren by the people of the City of Rock Island that they elected him City Clerk when he had barely passed his twenty-eighth mile-stone, and that by an overwhelming majority. Events have shown that the trust was well merited. Mr. Rudgren was born in Rock Island April 7, 1879. His parents, Carl J. and Christina W. Rudgren, were both born in Sweden, the former June 22, 1836, in Vermland, and the latter March 13, 1858, in Ostergotland. The father came to Rock Island in 1868. After a year he went to Moline and made his home in that City seven years. Then he returned to Rock Island, and has resided there since. Mr. and Mrs. Rudgren’s marriage took place March 14, 1878. In addition to the subject of this sketch they had one son, Carl Ludwig, who was born January 28, 1881, and died June 14 of the same year. Mrs. Rudgren died February 4, 1881. Mr. Rudgren is now retired and is cared for...

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