Location: Vermilion County IL

Illinois Burial Customs

The term Illinois Indians as used by some early writers was intended to include the various Algonquian tribes, encountered in the “Illinois country,” in addition to those usually recognized as forming the Illinois confederacy. Thus, in the following quotation from Joutel will be found a reference to the Chahouanous – i. e., Shawnee – as being of the Islinois, and in the same note Accancea referred to the Quapaw, a Siouan tribe living on the right bank of the Mississippi, not far north of the mouth of the Arkansas. Describing the burial customs of the Illinois, as witnessed by him during the latter years of the seventeenth century, Joutel wrote: ” They pay a Respect to their Dead, as appears by their special Care of burying them, and even of putting into lofty Coffins the Bodies of such as are considerable among them, as their Chiefs and others, which is also practised among the Accancea’s, but they differ in this Particular, that the Accancea’s weep and make their Complaints for some Days, where as the Chahoaanous, and other People of the Islinois Nation do just the Contrary; for when any of them die, they wrap them up in Skins, and then put them into Coffins made of the Barks of Trees, then sing and dance about them for twenty four Hours. Those Dancers take Care to tie Calabashes, or...

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Biography of W. L. Watson

W. L. Watson was born Vermilion County, Illinois, on the 22d of December, 1837. His father was William D. Watson, in his early life an itinerant Methodist preacher who traveled extensively through Indiana, having been born in the neighborhood of Vincennes, and in Fountain County, of that state, married Mary Low. His health finally failed him, and coming to Illinois, he located above Georgetown in Vermilion County. William Watson, the grandfather, was born in Kentucky, and when a young man settled in the vicinity of Vincennes, Indiana. W. L. was the oldest son and second child of the family. His father came to Douglas County, then Coles, in 1839, and located first on Brushy Fork, a short distance west of Newman. After a residence here of a year or two he moved to Camargo, and afterward to section 35, in Township 16, range 9, where he resided till his death, which occurred in October, 1858. His wife survived him till April, 1866. They had nine children. W. L. Watson was between four and five years old when his father located southeast of Camargo. At this latter place he mainly received his education, partly under the instruction of his father, who taught school at Camargo and was one of his first teachers. The old log school house stood about one hundred yards north of Alonzo Lion’s store, on the road...

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Biography of T. W. Swigart

T. W. Swigart, the leading harness dealer and one of the most successful business men in Newman and Douglas County, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, in sight of A Westminister, July 3, 1831, and was a son of Joseph Swigart. When nine years of age T. W. Swigart removed with his parents to Seneca County, Ohio, where he spent a large portion of his life on a farm. From the years 1848 to 1851 he devoted his time to learning the trade of harness maker at Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was a young man of good habits and of splendid mechanical turn of mind; he learned the trade thoroughly and soon became a first-class work-man. In the year 1852 he removed to Attica, Indiana, where he resided and worked at his trade successfully up to the year 1870, when he went to Princeton, Illinois. There he met Miss Sarah Jane Martin, who, in 1871, became his wife. In the same year he came to Danville, Illinois, where he followed his trade until the month of February, 1873, when he came to Newman and succeeded Speelman & Ogden in the harness business. During his residence in Newman he has become one of the most successful business men in the city and has accumulated quite a lot of property. In politics he is thoroughly independent and there is very little of...

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Biographical Sketch of George W. Henson

George Warren Henson, deceased, was born September 5, 1821, at Cynthiana, Kentucky. He was a son of Gideon and Nancy (Shumate)Henson. He was the eldest of a family of six children and of Scotch-German descent. With his father’s family he left the state of his nativity in 1834 and emigrated to Vermilion County, Illinois, and there remained until 1844, when he came into the section of country which is now Douglas County and immediately began the improvement of a farm. He married Miss Eliza P. Sargent, a native of Illinois. To this union were born eleven children, six of whom are living, two sons and four daughters. The County of Douglas, by the death of Mr. Henson, lost one of its most prominent citizens and honorable men. Politically he was a Democrat. He was a Mason, a pioneer of the County, and a man possessing a spirit of charity and enterprise. His death occurred May 9, 1881, at his residence near Camargo,...

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Biographical Sketch of Leo H. Bireline

Leo H. Bireline, one of the youngest business men of Champaign, is successfully engaged in the metal roofing business, an industry which he learned during his youth, his father being also connected with the same line of business. Mr. Bireline was born in Danville, Illinois, June 19, 1894, a son of Henry and Emma (Diehl) Bireline, both of whom were also natives of Danville. His parents are still living at Danville and his father conducts a roofing and sheet metal works in that city. There were five children in the family: Catherine Ellen, wife of W. A. Meek of Danville; Robert, who is associated with his brother Leo in business at Champaign; Leo; Florence and Emily, both at home with their parents. Leo H. Bireline grew up in Danville, attended the city schools, spent two years in high school and finished his education in Brown’s Business College at Danville. There he took a bookkeeping and general business course, and with that equipment and with the experience he had acquired under his father he came to Champaign to take charge of the local branch of the sheet metal and roofing business. This business in its subsequent growth now requires all his time and active attention. The headquarters of the business is a large building 25×125 feet, with ample facilities for a perfect service in their particular line. Mr. Bireline married...

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Biography of William Tomlinson

William Tomlinson. One of the oldest residents of Champaign County is Mr. William Tomlinson, whose home is at Penfield in Kerr Township. Mr. Tomlinson has experienced more than the average trials and ordeals of existence and he is well entitled to the esteem and respect that he enjoys in his community. Mr. Tomlinson was born in the Village of Franklin, near the City of Indianapolis, in Marion County, Indiana, a son of Robert and Rachel (Sheets) Tomlinson. His parents were both born in Indiana and his Grandfather Sheets was of German descent. Mr. Tomlinson was one of eight children, seven sons and one daughter. When he was a child his father died and a little later his mother passed away at Carlyle on the Mississippi River. William Tomlinson came to Vermilion County, Illinois, with his uncle, Elisha Crawford, in 1849, when ten years old. He came to Champaign County in 1852, and arrived here a poor and friendless boy with no money and with nothing except his own determined ambition to stand him in good stead while making a way in the busy world. For a year he worked for a farmer at $6.50 a month, and his hours of employment were from sunup to sundown. When Mr. Tomlinson came to Champaign County there were no railroads and very few towns. The nearest market place for mail and other...

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Biography of James A. Talbott

James A. Talbott has not only achieved that success represented by large land holdings and rich and prosperous farms, but also the riches of friendship and community esteem. All this is well indicated by the title affectionately bestowed upon him and most people know him as “Uncle Jimmie” Talbott. Mr. Talbott and his family reside in Harwood Township, in section 36, near Gifford, but his farm possessions spread over a large area and include 1,600 acres of choice Illinois soil. Mr. Talbott is a native of West Virginia, and was the fourth of eight children born to J. V. and Sarah (Parsons) Talbott. He is of English stock on both sides and the families have been in America for many generations. Mr. James A. Talbott grew up in West Virginia and attended a school known as the Wise school, from the name of the land owner there. He was still young when his parents, in April, 1865, left West Virginia, soon after the surrender of Lee’s army, and migrated to Illinois. They heard the news of Lincoln’s assassination on arriving at Danville. J. V. Talbott bought ninety acres of land in Middle Fork Township in Vermilion County, paying $25 an acre. The family encountered many hardships and privations. J. V. Talbott had always suffered somewhat delicate health and the change of climate not agreeing with him he died in...

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Biography of Thomas M. Lyman

Thomas M. Lyman gave many consecutive years to the management of an Illinois farm, and through hard work and intelligent management obtained the financial competence which enabled him a few years ago to retire from business and enjoy the comforts of a good ‘home in the city of ‘Champaign. Mr. Lyman was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, February 6, 1866. His parents, Bernard and Mary (McLennan) Lyman, were both natives of Ireland. His father came to America as a young man about 1854, lived for a time near Eaton, Ohio, and subsequently removed to Vermilion County, Illinois. He farmed a few years near Ridge Farm and made his farm in Champaign County the scene of his productive labors for many years. He died in Champaign County in 1904 and his wife passed away in 1902. Their children were: Lucinda, wife of John Martin, living in Adams County, Nebraska; John, a retired farmer in Champaign; Mary Jane, who died in childhood; Bridget, who married John W. Early, both now deceased; Thomas M.; William, deceased; Catherine,’ deceased wife of James B. Hagan; and Mary, wife of William McMahon, of Champaign. Thomas M. Lyman was born in Vermilion County but was reared and educated in Champaign County. The country schools supplied his early instruction. He lived in the wholesome atmosphere of a farm and that was the vocation he took up when...

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Biography of Patrick Brennon

Patrick Brennon was for many years identified with the community of Ogden as a stanch and reliable merchant, a citizen who was never negligent of his responsibilities and duties, and altogether completed a well rounded life of activity and service. A native of Dublin, Ireland, where he was born in 1844, he came to America at the age of fourteen. He had limited advantages in his youth, and by sheer force of will and determination gained a substantial position in the world. He lived in New York State for a time and then came west and located in Vermilion County, Illinois. He went from that county into the ranks of the Union army and three years after his honorable discharge in 1868 he laid the foundation of his own home by his marriage to Miss Cornelia Terrell. Mrs. Brennon, who is still living at the old home in Ogden, was born at Georgetown, Illinois, and grew up and married there. Her parents were William and Artemesia (Douglas) Terrell, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Kentucky. Artemesia Douglas’ family was related to that which gave Illinois and the nation the great figure of Stephen A. Douglas. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Brennon came to Ogden, which was then a small hamlet consisting only of a post office and a general store. Mr. Brennon taught school...

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Biography of Alonzo O. Morrison

Alonzo O. Morrison. One of the families that was established in Vermilion County, Illinois, in the early ’40s and has ever since been a representative agricultural one in east central Illinois bore the name of Morrison. This branch of the family was of pioneer stock in Ohio and doubtless can trace its far back ancestry to Scotland. The leading representative in Champaign County is Alonzo O. Morrison, a highly respected resident of Homer, Illinois. Alonzo O. Morrison was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, November 17, 1859. His parents were James Perry and Harriet A. (Sterns) Morrison. The father was born in Ohio and the mother in Virginia. When they came to Illinois James Perry Morrison secured land from the government, and this land he developed and his subsequent life was devoted to general farming and stock-raising. He was a man of sterling character, just in all his dealings with his neighbors and generous to his children. His death occurred in 1888. His widow survived until 1894. They were the parents of the following children: Elijah, who is a resident of Homer, Illinois; James, who died in infancy; Alonzo O.; Jasper, who died in childhood; Florence, who is the wife of J. M. Boggess, of Homer; and Harland P., who resides at Homer. Alonzo O. Morrison attended the public schools and remained at home assisting his father. When he was...

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Biography of Solomon Mantle

Solomon Mantle. Of the families whose lives of integrity and industry have identified them permanently with the best interests of Champaign County, one that deserves special mention is that of Solomon Mantle, who now lives with his family in Rantoul, and from that village still superintends his extensive farming interests. Mr. Mantle is a son of Isaac and Mary J. (Kuder) Mantle. Mary Kuder’s father was born in Pennsylvania. Isaac Mantle, a native of Ohio, came to Illinois when a young man, lived for a number of years in Champaign County and afterwards moved to Vermilion County. Solomon Mantle had grown to young manhood before they removed to Vermilion County. Isaac Mantle and wife had eight children, four sons and four daughters, all of whom were educated in the district schools. Their names were John, George, Charles, Solomon, Mary J., Francis M., Lizzie and Alice, two of whom died in youth. Solomon Mantle was twenty-seven years of age when his father’s death occurred. He then assumed the active responsibilities of looking after his widowed mother and his two sisters. Through the remaining years of his mother’s life he provided and tenderly cared for her and repaid by filial devotion the love and care she had given him and all her children when they were young. It was a sad day in the Mantle home on September 3, 1898, when...

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Biography of Francis M. Avey

Francis M. Avey. Of the men whose ability, industry and forethought have added to the character, wealth and progress of Champaign County none stands higher than Francis M. Avey, now living retired at Rantoul, which has been his home for over forty-five years. Among other enviable distinctions Mr. Avey is one of the honored survivors of the great war of the rebellion, and he was a member of the first regiment that marched away from Illinois to fight in the South. His entire career has been in keeping with the high standards of patriotism which caused him to enter the army as a youth. He was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 24, 1835, and is now past four score. He is a son of Daniel and Hannah (Van Hise) Avey, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. Francis M. was the third of five children. His father was a farmer, and F. M. Avey grew up and obtained his early education in Butler County, Ohio. As a boy he heard much of the country of Illinois and Indiana, and at the age of sixteen his ambitions prompted him to go out to Fountain County, Indiana, where he had a brother. There he began an apprenticeship to the blacksmith’s trade. Having learned the trade, he took his accomplishments into western Missouri. At that time western Missouri...

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Biography of Thomas A. Little

Thomas A. Little. One of the most interesting homes of Rantoul is that of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Little in the extreme northeast quarter of the town. They live there enjoying a happy combination of both the rural and the urban facilities. They have sufficient ground to afford Mr. Little an opportunity to indulge his favorite pastimes of agriculture, not without considerable profit, and they also have sufficient means to live comfortably without fear of the future and enjoy their many friends. Mr. Little was born in Licking County, Ohio, in 1851, a son of John and Charlotte (Coon) Little. His parents were natives of Ohio, and his mother was of an old and prominent family of that state. In 1916 Mr. and Mrs. Little attended the annual reunion in Ohio of the Coon family and spent two weeks in and around Newark renewing old acquaintances. Thomas A. Little was educated in the district schools of Vermilion and Champaign counties, Illinois, and became a practical farmer. He was also engaged in a mercantile business in Rantoul, from the spring of 1872 to 1905. At the age of thirty-five he married Lizzie Cole. Three children were born to their union, two of whom died in infancy. Lewis C., the only one to grow up, proved a boy of fine capacity and of studious ability. He was graduated with honors...

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Biography of Leland S. Fowler

Leland S. Fowler, of the Penfield community of Champaign County, is one of the young and progressive agriculturists of this section. He has the management of his father’s fine farm and he took hold of the business with such vigor as to bring results that are surprising even to himself. Mr. Fowler was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, and is a son of U. G. and Etta (Wolf) Fowler. His parents were also born in Illinois. There were two sons of the parents, Wylie M. and Leland S. Both of them were educated in the high school at Urbana and the state university. On October 22, 1914, Leland S. Fowler married Miss Atha Wood. She was born at Gifford in Champaign County, daughter of E. A. and Laura (Rowland) Wood. While the Fowler family had two sons there were two daughters in the Wood family, Edythe and Atha. Miss Atha graduated from the Gifford High School, from the Champaign High School, took up the study of domestic science in the University of Illinois, and also received much musical instruction. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Fowler started life on his father’s farm and he now has under his direct management 740 acres. The Fowler residence is one of the finest in the country district of Champaign County, a country home that does credit and is a monument to the...

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Biography of John I. Groves, M. D.

John I. Groves, M. D., was born in Cass County, Illinois, May 2, 1854, a son of Isaac and Mary E. (Coal) Groves. His father was born in England and his mother in the State of Maryland. Isaac Groves was for many years an active minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1878 he removed to Champaign, and died there December 12, 1906. By his first marriage he had two children, Elizabeth J., wife of Hugh Mitchell, of Fisher, Illinois; and Harriet A., wife of Thomas M. Foster, of Dickens, Iowa. Rev. Mr. Groves’ second wife died March 22, 1905. She was the mother of two sons: Dr. John Groves; and Charles W. Doctor Groves remained at home with his father until he was twenty years of age. In the meantime he had acquired a substantial education, and he then took up teaching and followed that profession for four years in country districts. For three years he was a teacher in Vermilion County, Illinois. He then entered the Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago, from which he was graduated M. D. in 1880, and spent seven years. in the practice of medicine in Indiana and Illinois. His first practice was done in Indiana, and after two years he removed to Gibson City, where he practiced for four years before coming to Champaign, and since locating here he has devoted his...

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