Location: Rock Island Illinois

Biography of George Loughead Eyster, M. D.

Among Rock Island physicians none have a wider practice or a more successful one than the subject of this sketch, Doctor George L. Eyster, one of that city’s old established and prominent physicians and surgeons. He was born May 14, 1853, at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, his parents being William IF. and Lucretia (Gibson) Eyster. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother of Vermont. His father’s family was of German origin, the Eysters being among the early settlers in the colony of Pennsylvania. Doctor Eyster’s father was for many years a clergyman of the Lutheran Church, being also engaged in the educational work of that church. For some years he was president of the Hagerstown Female Seminary, a Lutheran educational institution located in Maryland. In 1876 he came to Rock Island, where for ten years he occupied the chair of English Literature at Augustana College. He afterward removed to Crete, Nebraska, where he lived a retired life. After the removal of the Eyster family to Maryland, where the subject of this sketch received a public school and academic education, fitting himself to enter Pennsylvania College, an institution from which he graduated in 1871. He then entered the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, and three years later he graduated. One year later he began the practice of his profession in Nebraska, but in 1876 he removed to...

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Biography of Alexander Owens

June 17, 1830, near Belfast, Ireland, the subject of this sketch was born. He was the son of Archibald and Mary (McMaster) Owens, both lifelong residents of the Emerald Isle. Their children were Jane, Mary, Alexander, Margaret, Anna, William and Jennie, all of whom became citizens of the United States, and all of whom, with the exception of Jennie and the subject of this review, are now deceased. Alexander came to America when but sixteen years of age and settled at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. There he earned the carpenter’s trade, which he has followed the greater part of his life. At Pittsburg, October 15, 1852, he married Miss Helen Wyman, a native of New York, born January 31, 1834. She was the daughter of Moses C. and Ann (Lamb) Wyman. A year after his marriage Mr. Owens removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he followed his trade for three years, at the end of that time becoming a resident of Rock Island, Illinois. In the Spring of 1857 he settled in the Village of Milan, then a thriving young manufacturing place, and has made this his home since, with the exception of two years spent in California. After coming to Milan Mr. Owens engaged extensively as a builder and contractor, operating in Rock Island, Mercer and Henry Counties. In 1891 he was appointed master carpenter on the western section of the...

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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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Biography of Frederick C. Liekefett

Born in Germany and brought to America by his parents at a tender age, the subject of this sketch is one of the many German-Americans who has made his mark in Rock Island County. His birth and early training started him aright and he has hewed to the line and become one of the most prosperous and substantial citizens of the community. Mr. Liekefett’s native province was Hanover, where he first saw the light November 28, 1848. The parents from whom he descended were Franz and Christina (Giltmacher) Liekefett, who came to the United States in 1855, first settling at St. Louis, Missouri. Here they remained but a short time, removing to near East St. Louis and taking up farming. After two years they came to Rock Island and the husband and father, being a tailor by trade, followed that occupation for two years. At the end of that period, satisfied that there were greater opportunities on the farm than in the shop, Mr. Liekefett purchased land in Bowling Township and settled thereon. Some years later this property was disposed of and the farm in Black Hawk that the couple occupied till death and on which the subject of this review now resides, secured. Frederick C. Liekefett was married in Rock Island County December 19, 1876, his wife’s maiden name being Maria Simser. She was born in this County...

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Biography of James Brackett

James Brackett, a prominent lawyer of Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York, who graduated in the class with Daniel Webster, at Dartsmouth College, came to Rock Island in 1847 to spend the last years of a long and useful life. John Ely Brackett, eldest son of James Brackett, graduated from West Point and later was appointed a Lieutenant in the Second Regiment of Artillery. Later he became a Captain in Colonel Stevenson’s Regiment, which was to sail for California to serve during the war with Mexico, and afterwards, as Major-General John Ely Brackett, was very active during the troublous California days in 1849, and is much lauded in the annals of that State. He died in Rock Island some years later. Joseph Warren Brackett, second son of James Brackett, was appointed midshipman in the navy, at the age of fifteen, in 1830, from which he resigned four years later. In 1840 he was admitted to the bar of New York, and practiced nine years in Cherry Valley, his birthplace. He then went to Rock Island, where he remained till his death. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Brackett joined the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and was appointed successively Battalion Quartermaster and Regimental Commissary. This Regiment made a record second to none in brilliancy and secured the special thanks of General Curtis and Thomas. He was a member of...

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Biographical Sketch of Peter F. Trenkenschuh

Born in Rock Island in 1875, the above named gentleman, young though he is, has, by persistency and application to his chosen vocation, forged to the front until he is now one of the best known and capable contractors and builders in the City. Many structures throughout the City attest his mastery of the building trade, and the several large contracts which he now has on hand indicate that his ability and workmanship are fully appreciated. Mr. Trenkenschuh is a son of Phillip and Elizabeth Trenkenschuh, who were of German descent. In 1902 he married Louise M. Nold, of Rock Island, and the fruit of this union was: Paul, born 1903, and Florence, born 1905. Mr. Trenkenschuh received a common school education, supplemented by a course at the Davenport Commercial College. He began his trade when but sixteen years of age, and he tenaciously clung to it until his present success has rewarded him. He is a member of Rock Island Lodge, No. 658, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and of Rock Island Chapter, No. 18, Royal Arch Masons. In politics he is a Republican, and was at one time alderman from the Third Ward. During his entire business and political activity he has been esteemed for his integrity, his progressiveness and alertness, and for his generous and congenial...

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Biography of John Kimberland Scott

The subject of this sketch the present States Attorney of Rock Island County, was born in Muscatine, Iowa, on November 26, 1870. His parents were William W. Scott, now deceased, and Margaret (Hickey) Scott, the former of sturdy Scotch, and the later of keen, energetic Irish ancestry. Mr. Scott’s father served three years during the Civil War as a member of Company M, Eighth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and was for almost forty years a locomotive engineer on the Rock Island Railway, and for one term an alderman from the Seventh Ward of Rock Island. John K. Scott came to Rock Island County with his parents in 1875, having lived the first few years of his life in Muscatine and later in Brooklyn, Iowa. He attended the public schools of the City of Rock Island and graduated from the high school in the Class of ’89, being president of his class. He then entered the Rock Island post office, where he was employed as a letter carrier until September, 1893, when, having saved enough money to realize his cherished ambition, he resigned his position and entered the law department of the State University of Iowa. He graduated from that institution in 1895, as president of the law class of that year. Mr. Scott was for two years professionally associated with C. J. Searle, and in 1897 he was appointed by...

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Biography of Julius Junge

There are few business men in Rock Island or Moline who do not enjoy a personal acquaintance with the genial Julius Junge, vice-president of the Rock Island Brewing Company, a man who, though deeply engrossed in the concerns of a large and growing industry, has found time to cultivate his social nature and to enjoy the pleasures of companionship with his fellow men. He was born in Prussia, March 23, 1848, being a son of Joseph and Johanna (Herschel) Junge. His father served for some years as a soldier in the Prussian Army, but being a man desirous of seeking larger opportunities for himself and his children, in 1854, when his son, Julius, was six years of age, he, with his family, emigrated to America and located on a farm near Fort Madison, Iowa. Here the father cultivated a vineyard. There were seven children in this family, and of these Julius was the youngest. The elder Junge after coming to America spent his entire life upon his Iowa farm, passing away at the ripe old age of eighty-one years. His beloved wife survived him six years, and then at the age of seventy-nine she joined her husband in death. Their son, Julius, obtained his education in the schools of Burlington, Iowa, and after completing his schooling he located in the town of Jollyville, Iowa. Here he conducted a general...

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Biography of Hon. Henry C. Scaffer

Rock Island is an exceedingly prosperous and well governed city. Its municipal prosperity must be attributed in a great degree to the business like and economical administration of the city’s affairs. Its good government must be attributed likewise to the enforcement of law and the preservation of order, so essential in every well regulated community, by the city’s chief executive, Mayor Henry C. Schaffer, the subject of our present sketch. Henry C. Schaffer was born October 16, 1851, at Baltimore, Maryland, his parents being Conrad and Mary (Hoffmeister) Schaffer. Both his parents were natives of Germany. Their son received his education in the public schools of his native city. One incident of his boyhood is noteworthy, as showing the early development of those traits of character which were to become so pronounced in the man. When the Confederate General, Juba’ Early, threatened the City of Washington with an attack, Henry C. Schaffer was a lad thirteen years of age. He was a drummer boy in the Baltimore Home Guards, a comp-any similar to that organized in almost every city of any size at that time. The threatened destruction of Washington threw Baltimore into a frenzy of excitement. The company of which Henry Schaffer was the drummer boy was mobilized, together with many other Maryland companies for the purpose of repelling the threatened Confederate invasion. The lad, too young to...

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Biography of Frank Mixter

One of the chief industrial up builders of Rock Island, a man who, as president of two of the City’s manufactories, has proven his ability both as an organizer and an executive, is Frank Mixter. He was born November 7, 1853, at Rock Island, his father being George Mixter, a sketch of whose life appears upon another, page. His mother was Susan Elizabeth (Gilbert) Mixter. The genealogical record of both the Mixter and the Gilbert families appears in the sketch of our subject’s father, George Mixter. Frank Mister’s early education was obtained in the public schools of his native City, and after graduating from the High School he entered the University of Heidelberg, at Heidelberg, Germany, for a year. With the exception of that one year at Heidelberg, Mr. Mixter has made his home continuously in Rock Island to the present time. On April 5, 1877, he was married at Southport, Connecticut, to Miss Elizabeth Bradley, Southport being her birthplace and home. Her forbears were the old Colonial family of Bradleys and Sherwoods, and she is now Regent of Fort Armstrong Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mixter, a daughter, Florence Louisa, now the-wife of Frederick Brown Wells, whose birthplace and early home was also Southport, Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Wells now live at Mount Vernon, New York. A son,...

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Biographical Sketch of Hugh A. J. McDonald

Mr. McDonald was born in the City of Rock Island, Illinois, November 13, 1862, the son of H. A. J. and Sarah J. McDonald, of Scotch-Irish descent. He was married to Mary C. Gall June 5, 1889, in Rock Island, Illinois. The offspring of this union are Hugh Earl and George Hobart McDonald, both resident in Rock Island. Mr. McDonald was a member of the State Infantry of Illinois, Company A, Sixth Regiment, from 1884 until 1893, when he resigned with the rank of Captain, which he had held during the last eighteen months of his service. He was manager of the business of David Don from 1882 to 1902. On November 13, 1902, he was appointed by Governor Yates as Chief Clerk of Illinois Western Hospital for the Insane, which position he held till March 1, 1906. During this period, for the space of one year-1903 to 1904-he was Captain and Adjutant of his old Regiment, the Sixth Illinois Infantry. For a period of two years Mr. McDonald was City Collector of Rock Island, resigning the position in 1895, on account of increasing duties in other directions. Appointed as postmaster at Rock Island, by President Roosevelt, on February 1, 1906, he took charge on March 1. Mr. McDonald’s education was acquired in the public schools and in the International Business College, at Davenport, Iowa. He is Past Commander...

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Biography of George Mixter

A gentleman of education, refinement and culture, an Easterner who came to Rock Island in the early days, and who spent a busy and useful lifetime in this community, was George Mixter, deceased, the subject of this sketch. He was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, April 28, 1835, and died in Rock Island April 20, 1897. He was of English extraction. The first Mixter who came to America was an English sea captain of that name, who came to this country and settled in Plymouth in 1630, and from him the Mixter family, so well known throughout Rock Island County, trace their ancestry. Mr. Mixter’s education was obtained in the schools of his native State, and later he attended Yale University, then Yale College, from which he graduated in 1836. In that same year he came West and settled in Rock Island, which was his home until his death, with the exception of a few years spent at Dixon, Illinois. He lived in a log cabin on the north side of what is now Second Avenue, between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. Shortly after locating here he took up the study of law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar, but was never engaged in the active practice of his profession, choosing instead a commercial career. In fact, he was engaged in the trial of but one case. Abandoning his intention...

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Biography of John H. Thornton

Mr. John H. Thornton, veteran of the Civil War and for many years employed in the Government service at Rock Island Arsenal, was born in Ireland June 24, 1847, and died at his home in Moline July 9, 1903. He was the son of Patrick and Mary Thornton and came to America with his parents while an infant, aged nine months. The mother died in Rochester, New York, after which the father removed to Philadelphia, from which city, at the age of sixteen, young Thornton enlisted, July 26, 1862, in Company Fifty-three, Twenty-Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Third Infrntry. His Company was assigned to the First Brigade, Second Division, Twentieth Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was in numerous engagements, among them may be named the Battle of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Zurmell Hill. In 1865 he was honorably discharged and returning to Philadelphia he followed the arts of peace for the succeeding five years, when in 1870 he enlisted in the Ordnance Corps of the United States Army, and was assigned for duty at Rock Island Arsenal. Coming here with Captain Farley, who was next in command at the Arsenal, when General Flagler was Commandant, Mr. Thornton served on the Island till 1894, when he was placed on the retired list as Sergeant, after a total of thirty years of service, with pay of forty...

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