Location: Rock Island Illinois

Biographical Sketch of Maurice A. Hollingsworth

Mr. Maurice A. Hollingsworth, a veterinary surgeon, now practicing his profession in the City of Rock Island, was born December 10, 1872, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a resident of Rock Island for a number of years. He is the son of Abraham and Celestia S. Hollingsworth, who gave him an education in the Ontario Veterinary College at Toronto, Canada. After completing his studies there he took up his residence in Rock Island and commenced the practice of his profession, which he has gradually built up so that he now ranks among the foremost of his profession in this vicinity. It was not until 1904 that Doctor Hollingsworth decided to wed, and on September 4 of that year he married Miss Isabel J. McConochie, the charming and well known daughter of Ex-Mayor William McConochie. Doctor Hollingsworth ranks high in his profession, and is well and favorably known throughout the County of Rock...

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Biography of Charles Bishop Knox

Charles Bishop Knox, deceased, one of Rock Island’s pioneer citizens and a wide awake and conservative business man and politician in his days, was born at Blandford, Massachusetts, June 27, 1818, and died in Rock Island on May 28, 1890. Charles Bishop Knox was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis B. Knox, who was one of the old respected families of Blandford. He acquired a common school education in the public schools of Blandford and Springfield, Massachusetts, and in 1841 came to the City of Rock Island direct from his native state. Having arrived here at this early day he was listed among the pioneer settlers of the county and soon became widely acquainted. After devoting much time to the study of embalming he entered the undertaking business in Rock Island in 1858 and continued in this business until May 28, 1890, which was the day of his demise. During this period of years he held public office, and in the execution of the duties of these, which he capably conducted, naturally won the esteem and admiration of all those with whom he dealt. His career in politics lead him into various offices of responsibility which he occupied for a number of years. Among the public offices held by him being County Coroner, county supervisor and alder-man of the City of Rock Island. Mr. Knox was a staunch...

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Biography of Dr. James F. Myers

Doctor James F. Myers, one of Rock Island County’s prominent physicians, was born December 29, 1856, at Hebron, Ohio, and was the son of Henry A. and Lavina Myers, both of whom are living in their eighties at Eureka, Illinois. Dr. Meyers’ father was a Baptist minister by vocation, but at an early age retired upon a farm in McLean County, Illinois. He was a native of Alleghany County, Pennsylvania. Doctor James F. Myers attended the common schools of his own neighborhood until he reached his eighteenth year, when he took up his studies at Westfield College. Before receiving his degree there he entered the business college of Marquam and Baker at Bloomington, Illinois, and after completing his course of study in this college, entered Rush Medical College and graduated from that institution February 20, 1883. During the time spent in college he studied art, and during the last three years of his studies he taught music, namely: piano, violin and vocal. James F. Myers was born on a farm and spent his boyhood days there. Even when a mere boy he was noted for his musical inclinations, if not his ability, and at the age of fifteen years was leader of a brass band also leader of an. orchestra, played the church organ and taught the old fashioned singing school in the school houses and churches and in...

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Biography of Walter Johnson

Mr. Walter Johnson, the subject of this sketch, died in Rock Island, November 23, 1903. He was for a third of a century one of the vital forces of the community. For twenty-seven years he occupied the editorial chair of the Daily Union, in which position he at all times was an able and courageous champion of that which he considered right, and calculated to make the community better. His editorial utterances carried weight not only because of their intrinsic merit and evident fairness in the presentation of the subjects under discussion, but because it was recognized throughout the community that they represented the honest and calm judgment of a man who in his private life exemplified his public utterances, and who at all times was actuated by the principles and motives of the Christian gentleman of the highest type. Mr. Johnson was born in London, England, April 27, 1843, being a son of John F. and Harriette Augusta (Ryley) Johnson. The elder Mr. Johnson, who was a ribbon manufacturer in England, came to this country in 1851, settling at Welton, Iowa, at which place and Lyons, Iowa, he engaged in general merchandising, in connection with farming, until 1862, when he removed to Davenport, where he engaged in the grocery trade until 1867, when he removed to Rock Island, which city was his home until his death in 1888....

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Biography of Samuel Sharper Davis

In considering those among Rock Island’s citizens whose activities have been directed toward developing that City’s industries, and whose foresight has been rewarded in a most substantial manner, one’s mind instinctively turns to the subject of our present sketch, Samuel Sharpe Davis. He was born February 1, 1858, at Covington, Kentucky, his parents being John B. and Anna E. (Sharpe) Davis. To this couple three children were born: Thomas B., Samuel S., and Mary. The parents were of Scotch-Irish origin. Thomas Bodley Davis, the paternal grandfather was a native of Pennsylvania. In early life he moved to Kentucky, and for some years served as captain of a steamboat plying between Pittsburg and New Orleans on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Upon one of the trips up river from New Orleans he was stricken with yellow fever, and died for the completion of the journey. At the time of his death he was thirty-four years of age. The maternal grandfather, Samuel K. Sharpe, was a native of Kentucky. He was a practicing physician and surgeon. The greater part of his life was spent in Maysville, Kentucky. He removed to Rock Island with his wife in 1875. Her death occurred in 1881 at the age of seventy-six years. Her husband survived her nine years, his death occurring in Rock Island in 1890, at the extreme age of ninety years. Dr. Sharpe...

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Biography of Henry Stelck

Henry Stelck, a promising young member of the Rock Island County bar, is a native of the City of Rock Island, having been born there February 12, 1878. His father was Peter Stelck and his mother Caroline (Koester) Stelck. Both the parents immigrated to America from Germany. Mr. Stelck, the elder, was born in 1833 in Wisch, Propstei, Schleswig-Holstein. The mother was born in Lensah in the same state in 1845. The father located in Rock Island in 1867, after having for ten years immediately following his removal to America, been a resident of Davenport, Iowa. The parents of the subject of this sketch were married in 1869, the mother dying May 27, 1883, and the father January 4, 1897. Of the seven children born to them five are living: Emma, wife of W. W. Harris, of Rock Island; Bertha, wife of Dr. O. P. Sala, of Davenport; Elizabeth G., and Henry, of Rock Island, and William, of Lakefield, Minnesota. Our subject obtained his first schooling in the Roessler German school of Rock Island. Later he attended the German Lutheran school and eventually he entered the public schools, from which he graduated in 1894, after completing the high school course. After one year spent as a student at Augustana College he took up the study of law with Wood, Butterworth & Peek, of Moline. His professional training was completed...

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Biography of Benjamin Harper

The subject of this sketch needs no introduction to the older generation of Rock Island County, the larger enterprises of which he was intimately associated with throughout the many years of his residence here. Benjamin Harper was born February 12, 1817, in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died April 3, 1887, in the City of Rock Island, Illinois. When about fourteen years of age his parents removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he served his apprenticeship to the wagon-maker’s trade, upon completion of which, that spirit of bold initiative and energy which characterized his whole after life, asserted itself in a determination to launch out upon an independent business career. The story of his start, and his rapid conquest of fortune, affords an interesting contrast to the conditions of success demanded by our modern youth. Young Benjamin’s father was a small farmer, on what was then the Western frontier. Naturally, he possessed scant means that he could afford to venture as a capital stake for his young son, but the boy needed only half a chance, as the event will show. Mr. Harper happened to have in his cellar a considerable stock of cider. This he gave to Benjamin, telling him to dispose of it as he pleased. Young Harper loaded the cider on to a flat-boat, floated it down the Ohio River to St. Louis, and sold it....

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Biography of Major Charles W. Hawes

Major Charles W. Hawes is probably the oldest male “native” of Rock Island, Illinois, born within the Village of Stephenson, now embraced in the city limits of Rock Island, prior to 1842. His father was David Hawes, a native of Belchertown, Massachusetts, and his mother was Julia M. Babcock, a native of   Ware, Massachusetts, both of Revolutionary stock. (See biography David Hawes) Major Hawes’s father arrived in Rock Island from Massachusetts via St. Louis and the Mississippi River in October, 1835, where Mrs. Hawes joined him later, and Major Hawes was born March 7, 1841. He had the advantage of a better education than most frontier boys of his day, attending the Harsha Academy at Dixon, Illinois, after graduating from the local schools. At the outbreak of the War in 1861, he was serving as deputy sheriff under his father, who was then Sheriff of Rock Island County. On July 20, 1861, Major Hawes enlisted in Company A, of the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Volunteers, being made first sergeant of the Company. The Companies of the Regiment assembled at Camp Webb, Chicago, Illinois, and it was there, while the Regiment of raw recruits was being whipped into fighting condition, that Major Hawes received his first promotion. He was commissioned second Lieutenant on August 10, 1861. On December 31, 1861, he was commissioned as first Lieutenant, and on July 20, 1862,...

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Biography of Captain David M. Tipton

It becomes the sad duty of the officer in temporary charge of the Rock Island District to announce the sudden death, on September 22, 1904, of Captain David M. Tipton, Master of the United States Steamer Colonel A. Mackenzie, near Frontenac, in Lake Pepin. Seated in a chair in the pilot house, having but a few minutes before been at the wheel, he passed away in an instant, without previous pain or suffering, from aneurish of the heart. Captain Tipton, who was about seventy-six years of age at the time of his death, was born on a farm on the Muskingum River in Ohio. At an early age he took to the river, soon became mate and afterwards pilot of the Northern Line Steamers on the Upper Mississippi River, and included in his knowledge the pilotage of the Rock Island and Des Moines Rapids, the Des Moines, Missouri and Illinois Rivers. He entered the service of the Engineer Department in 1873, serving as master and pilot from that time until his death, successively on the Montana, the General Barnard and the Colonel A. Mackenzie, with the exception of two years on the Joseph Henry, of the Light House Department. During his thirty-one years service on the Government boats he was always faithful, able and skillful, and his place will be hard to fill. Captain Tipton had a host of...

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Biography of Patterson S. McGlynn

Patterson S. McGlynn, one of the proprietors of the Daily Dispatch, was born in Connecticut in 1850, of Irish parentage. He was educated by his father to read and write and to be appalled by the multiplication table before being sent to country schools in Iowa, commencing at Washington in the State named, “graduating” to a printing office when he was thirteen years old, and then at the age of sixteen going back to school in the old stone school in Davenport, where his printing-office education raced him through to graduation to the high school. But his education may be said to have been chiefly attained at home and in printing offices. After, service as a printer on the Davenport Democrat and on the old Davenport Gazette, under the late Ed. Russell, he was promoted to be a reporter on the Gazette, with his field in Rock Island in 1876 and 1877. From 1877 to 1880 his home was in Chicago, where he had more printing office and newspaper experience. In 1881 he came to Moline to work for the Rock Island Union. After having represented the Union in Moline for more than four years, in company with John K. Groom, he took charge of the editorial management of the Dispatch, the firm name having been McGlynn and Groom, Mr. Groom taking the business management. This was in July...

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Biography of Col. Charles William Durham

Col. Charles William Durham is the principal assistant in the engineering office at Rock Island Arsenal. His father, Charles Durham, was born in Belfast, Maine; his mother, Dorcas C. Durham, was born in the town of Brewer of the same State. Mr. Durham, senior, was for the greater part of his life a lumber merchant and vessel owner. Both parents are now dead. Young Charles was a graduate of Chelsea (Massachusetts) High School in 1864, and graduated Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 1868. Thence he went to Germany and studied in Heidelberg University for one year, returning to America in 1869 and entering the Institute of Technology at Boston. During portions of the years 1870-71 he served the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in Nebraska. Before the end of the latter year he entered the Government service at Rock Island Arsenal in the Engineering office where he has continued to the present time, except for one year, when he was employed on the United States Survey of Onachita River in Arkansas and Louisiana. Colonel Durham has had charge of snag-boats on the Upper Mississippi since 1876. He has also had charge of many works of river improvement from Minneapolis to the Missouri River and in addition to his other duties was captain of a snag-boat for a period of twenty years. He was Colonel and Aide-de-Camp to...

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Biography of Rev. R. F. Sweet, D. D.

The old axiom which tells us that kind deeds and gentle words live forever is one which not only inspires the mind with its sublimity, but its truth is so often brought home to us, and so forcibly that it affords a solace we do not always feel. A noble life invariably begets its full measure of love and veneration, and even though myriads of kindness done and self-sacrificing efforts are lost to earth the hand-maidens of the Great Seer of Heaven have the fullest knowledge of them all. All men who have been so graciously endowed with that most precious of all human attributes-love for his fellow-men-have been amply repaid for their self-obligation, generosity and charity; for their weakness, submissiveness and obedience to the mandates of the Deity. This truism was abundantly exemplified during the lifetime of Reverend R. F. Sweet, and substantiated by the wealth of love which his memory impels. Instead of donning the robes and authority of a bishop an elevation twice proffered him, Mr. Sweet preferred to retain the modest position of rector, so that he could more generally and more frequently minister to humanity; unassuming to the extreme, he nevertheless accomplished in-conceivable good and lightened numerous burdens worldly and spiritual, and was con-tent to reap the harvest of brotherly love which was his, rather than hoard sordid accumulations. Even this brief reflection of...

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Biography of Major James M. Beardsley

The above named and beloved patriot was of that branch of the Beardsley family which trace their genealogy in America as far back as 1628. Major Beardsley was born October 30, 1833, at Ellington, Chautauqua County (near the reservation of the Six Nations), New York State; died at Rock Island, August 22, 1903. He came to his future home, this city, in the middle 50’s, while still in his teens, and, though young he was, his inordinate intellect, retentive mind and assiduity had enabled him to attain a thorough academic training. Being admitted to the bar, Mr. Beardsley soon won the highest laurels as a counsellor, orator and diplomat. Being blessed with a giant’s physic, and endued with a mind that was marvelous for its strength and resourcefulness; being an advocate of the abolition of slavery, he soon became one of the most potential factors in the West, in both public and private affairs. He assisted in organizing the first Company of Volunteers in Rock Island-Company D, of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry – which first served in State duty, and was mustered into three years’ service in the regular ranks May 24, 1861. He. was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company D. The Regiment to which he belonged became known as “Freemont’s Greyhounds.” While acting as body guard to General Lyons, Major Beardsley was actively engaged in the stubbornly contested...

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Biography of Colonel Charles L. Walker

Col. Charles Leander Walker, a member of one of the leading law firms of Rock Island County for more than a quarter of a century, is a native son of Illinois. He was born at Queen Ann, McHenry County, Illinois, December 27, 1851. He is a son of Reverend Leander Smith Walker and Miriam Lavilla Walker. His father was a Methodist minister and a leader in the Rock River conference. He was for a period of years stationed at Rockford, Winnebago County. From 1865 to 1870 he was financial agent for the Rock River Seminary and Collegiate Institute, located at Mt. Morris, in Ogle County. The son graduated from the Rock River Seminary and Collegiate Institute in 1869, taking a classical course. For several years after leaving school his activities were varied. He taught school, worked on the farm and at railroad construction. Among the places where he lived at various times are Durand, Marengo, Rockford, Mt. Morris, Prophetstown, Tampico, Garden Plain and Clarendon Hills. Mr. Walker removed to Rock Island in May, 1873, and the following year took up the study of law in the office of Sweeney & Jackson, supporting himself at the same time. He was admitted to the bar at Springfield January 4, 1878, and at once became a member of the firm with which he had been connected, the name being changed to Sweeney,...

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Biography of Henry Howland Chase, M. D.

Holding in high estimate the duties and responsibilities which his position involved, and more than ordinarily successful as a medical practitioner surgeon, Dr. Henry H. Chase is well remembered in Rock Island, the city in which he spent the later years of his life. He was an American of the highest type, and of purest blood, as well. His lineage on both sides is traceable for many generations back on American soil. His mother is a direct descendant of John Howland of Mayflower fame. His father was a relative of the late Chief Justice Chase of the United States Supreme Court. Henry Howland Chase was born October 7, 1858, in Amboy, Lee County, Illinois, and died May 22, 1906, at Rock Island. His father was Albion Pierce Chase, himself a physician, and his mother, Deborah Cushing (Howland) Chase. The father was a native of Maine and the mother of Massachusetts. The couple came west and located at Amboy, Illinois, in 1856, living there till the husband’s death May 27, 1879. The father graduated in the School of Alapaphon, and after coming west took up the practice of Homeopathy, and has practiced in both schools after that. Our subject received his general education in the public schools of Amboy, at a school for boys at Waltham, Massachusetts, and the State Normal at Bloomington, Illinois. His professional training was received at...

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