Location: Will County IL

Shau-be-na Potawatami Chief

The following incidents in the early history of Shau-be-na are principally taken from his own statements, and the truth of them, no person acquainted with the old chief will doubt. My first acquaintance with Shau-be-na occurred nearly forty years ago, while his whole band, one hundred and forty-two in number, were hunting on Bureau River, Illinois. Being encamped near my father’s residence, I visited them almost daily for many weeks, and always felt myself at home in the old chief’s wigwam. Shau-be-na was above the medium size, tall and straight, with broad shoulders and intelligent face, while his bearing...

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Biography of William E. Durant

William E. Durant. Few citizens of Clay County are better known than William E. Durant, who is clerk of the District Court, a veteran of the Civil war, and a representative and bearer of a name that had been honorably known in this state for over a half century. He was born in Will County, Illinois, April 25, 1843. His parents were Edward T. and Sally Ann (Whallon) Durant, and his paternal grandparents were Edward and Lucina (Willey) Durant, natives of New York. The Durant ancestors went from France to England and in colonial days came to the United States and located in Connecticut, a later generation moving to New York and those still later establishing homes in Kansas. Edward T. Durant, father of William E., was born in Geneseo County, New York, in 1819. His father died when he was young and he remained in Geneseo County until 1837, when he became a pioneer in Will County, Illinois. He engaged in farming fox a time and then worked at the carpenter trade until 1861, when he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering the Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He participated in many battles and was in the siege of Vicksburg and in much of the military activity along the border west of the Mississippi River. He was honorably discharged and was mustered out December 7, 1865. In...

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Biography of Walter Robson

Walter Robson, a former representative of Pottawatomie County in the Legislature, is a man of large and important business interests in and around Westmoreland. His chief business is farming, but whether as a farmer, legislator, merchant he had played a forceful and virile part in every one of his numerous interests. Reared in Kansas from early infancy, Mr. Robson was born at Wilmington in Will County, Illinois, February 26, 1875. His father, John Robson, is and for many years had been a prominent factor in Pottawatomie County and is still living on his farm two miles northeast of Westmoreland. He possesses the characteristic qualities of the Scotchman. He was born at Hawick, Scotland, in 1838, grew up and learned the trade of stone mason in his native country and married there Miss Eliza Scott, who was born in Hawick in 1839. In 1867 they came to the United States and for a number of years John Robson followed the contracting and building business at Wilmington, Illinois. In November, 1877, he brought his family to Kansas and then bought the farm two miles northeast of Westmoreland where he still resided. His business interests have constantly grown and he is now owner of 700 acres of rich farming land in Pottawatomie County, owned and built in 1901 the Robson Building on Main Street in Westmoreland and had a three-quarter section of...

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Biography of Theodore H. Polace

Theodore H. Polace has been a lawyer of recognized standing and ability at the Marysville bar for over thirty-five years. His career began as a teacher, but he soon turned to the law and had found in it an occupation fitted to his talents and tastes, and had made it the medium of his chief service in the world. Mr. Polace was born near Grete in Will County, Illinois, March 12, 1860. He comes of a scholarly family and one that had given several members to the ministry of the Lutheran Church. His father, Rev. Gustav W. Polack, was born at Strassburg, Germany, in 1826. He grew up in that city, studied for the ministry in Berlin, and soon after the German revolution of 1848 came to America with hundreds and thousands of his compatriots. He located near Cincinnati, Ohio, and soon was given charge of the Weiszeichen German Lutheran Church. About 1856 he removed to the vicinity of Crete, Illinois, and in 1868 took charge of a church at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In the spring of 1879 he came to Kansas to accept the position of pastor of the Herrmansburg Church in Marshall County. He was untiring in the work of the ministry, and died while still in the harness. He had preached fifty years, and death came to him while he was still pastor of the Herrmansburg...

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Biography of James F. Kane

James F. Kane, the leading grocer of Pocatello, Idaho, was born at Joliet, Illinois, April 3, 1858, to Michael and Anna (Smith) Kane, natives of Ireland, who emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, early in life and there met and married. At Joliet, Illinois, Michael Kane became a prosperous farmer, and for years he was foreman of the Illinois prison quarries. He is now, at the age of sixty-nine, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Nuckolls County, Nebraska. His wife died in her fiftieth year, in 1882. As is her husband, she was a devout member of the Catholic Church. They had eight children, of whom seven are living. James F. Kane was the fifth in order of birth. He was reared at Joliet and attended the public school and a private school of his church. He farmed three years in Nebraska and then lived for a time in Iowa, until he was offered a position as traveling salesman for a cigar factory, in New York City, of which one of his uncles was proprietor. He was successful in this work, and was called into the office and made assistant bookkeeper, a position which he retained until the death of his uncle necessitated the termination of the business. He was then chosen to settle up his uncle’s estate, which he did to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. In 1890 he came...

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Biography of William Oliver

William Oliver has been a resident of Kansas more than thirty years, and during the past fifteen years had carried on some very prosperous activities as a farmer and truck raiser in the vicinity of Topeka. He was born in Iowa County; Wisconsin. His father Evan Oliver was born in Wales in 1830, and came to America in 1836 when a boy of six years, his parents settling near Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The Olivers were pioneers in Wisconsin Territory, and pursued farming and developed a fine homestead which members of the family occupied for a great many years. In 1856 Evan Oliver married Catherine James of Iowa County. To their union were born eleven children and those still living are. William, Emma, Mary, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Charles, David, Eugene and Thomas. Emma resided in Joliet, Illinois, Mary in Spring Valley, Illinois, Evelyn in Chicago, Elizabeth in Joliet, Charles on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, David in Braidwood, Illinois, Eugene at Chicago Helghts, Illinois, and Thomas at Joliet, Illinois, Evan Oliver, the father of these children was a member of the Congregational Church, which he served as an official, and was a man of kind and affectionate disposition, and highly esteemed. Soon after his son William removed out to Republic County, Kansas, Evan started to visit him there. On reaching Doniphan County, Kansas, he became temporarily deranged, left the train, and for...

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Biography of Aaron B. Perine

Aaron B. Perine. One of the few remaining of the old pioneers of Kansas. Aaron B. Perine, of Topeka, came to this state sixty-three years ago, and has been a permanent resident of Kansas since 1854, except for the two years he was out of the state. In the early days he was engaged in work among the Indians for the Government, later turned his attention to the blacksmithing trade, and for many years now has been at the head of the successful Perine Plow Works. He was born at Dansville, Livingston County, New York, May 4, 1836, and is a son of John W. and Mariett (Ingalls) Perine. Daniel Perrin (as the name was then spelled) was one of the Huguenots who fled from persecution from France, finally seeking refuge in America. On shipboard he met Maria Thorel, who later became his wife, and Aaron B. Perine is a direct descendant of these immigrants. His grandfather, William Perine, served eight years under Gen. George Washington in the Revolutionary war and attained the rank of captain. His father, John W. Perine, was a tanner by trade (then called the tan currier trade), and for the most part he and his wife passed their lives in Livingston County, New York. Aaron B. Perine passed his boyhood and youth in several counties of New York and received but a limited education...

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Biography of George Bell

George Bell and members of his family have been prominently identified with various localities in Kansas for thirty-five years or more. The family now reside in Topeka. The birthplace of George Bell was Darlington, Yorkshire, England, where he was born in 1845. He grew up at Darlington, and while there he lived on an estate where Queen Victoria’s three noted grandsons came to hunt. George Bell came to know these distinguished European characters very well. They are now the Czar Nicholas of Russia, Emperor William of Germany and King George of England. George Bell in 1877 came to America, was first located at Beecher, Illinois, and in 1880 came to Kansas. In Leavenworth County be became a successful farmer and stock raiser and specialized in fine livestock. In 1880 Mr. Bell married Miss Jean M. Christy. They were married in the city of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Mrs. Bell is a member of a very prominent Canadian family. Her grandfather Robert Christy was a man of prominence in Canada and died there in 1876 at the age of ninety-seven. Her father, Hon. David Christy, was one of Canada’s distinguished statesmen. Born in the city of Edinburg, Scotland, in 1818, he had been brought to Canada in 1834 when a boy, lived in Brantford, became a school teacher at Hamilton, but afterwards entered politics and rose rapidly in the scale of...

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Biography of Silas R. Dague

Silas R. Dague. As president of the Dague Business College, in the City of Wichita, Mr. Dague has been the potent force in the development and upbuilding of one of the admirable and influential educational institutions of the Sunflower State, and the college of which he is the executive head is maintained at the highest modern standard, with the best of material facilities and with a corps of instructors who are notable for distinct efficiency in the work of the respective departments to which they are assigned. Mr. Dague was born in Will County, Illinois, on the 17th of February, 1884, but he has maintained his home in Kansas since early childhood, his parents having removed to this state in 1891, when they established their residence at Wilson, Ellsworth County. In the public schools at Wilson Silas R. Dague continued his studies until he had been graduated in the high school, and for two years thereafter, 1903-04, he was a student in Baker University, at Baldwin, this state. For several years thereafter he taught private schools in various cities in the Middle West, and he then, in consonance with his ambitious purpose, entered the Louisville Business College, in the metropolis of the State of Kentucky, where he completed a thorough course in bookkeeping and higher accounting. Thus effectively fortified, Mr. Dague then established his residence at Wichita, in 1914,...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles B. Murray

Murray, Charles B.; chemist and metallurgist; born, Worcester, Massachusetts, April 6, 1866; son of Peleg F. and Mary Prince Murray; educated, common schools at Worcester; took B. S. degree at Polytechnic Institute, at Worcester, Mass., in 1887; married, Attleboro, Mass., Jan. 29, 1890; Ellen Lincoln Robinson; issue, two children, Philip F., and Mildred A.; after leaving school, asst. chemist at Joliett Steel Co., Joliet, Illinois; spent a year in Buena Vista, Virginia, as chemist, and a year with the Minnesota Iron Co.; January, 1893, was appointed chief chemist and metallurgist at the Eliza Johnson Works, of the Carnegie Steel Co.; remained with this company until 1904; then started a commercial laboratory in Pittsburgh; in March, 1907, sold out and came to Cleveland, forming partnership with Benedick Crowell, as Crowell & Murray, chemists, metallurgists and mining engineers; member National Geographic Society, Engineers Society, Western Penn., American Institute of Mining Engineers, American Chemical Society, and Society of Chemical Industry; member Emmanuel Lodge, No. 605, F. & A. M., Cleveland Chapter, No. 148, R. A. M.; member Athletic and Tennis Clubs. Recreations: Tennis, Squash and...

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Biography of George W. Vaughn

George W. Vaughn. Constructive enterprise in America had had its most notable triumphs in railroad building. In that field American ingenuity, indomitable energy and resourcefulness, have been displayed at their best. The history of railway building on this continent had many splendid names, and some of the greatest of them belong to Kansas. Not least among them was the late George W. Vaughn, or Major Vaughn, as he was more generally known, who died at Leavenworth February 3, 1916. He had a national reputation in engineering circles, and was a man, who, from the common walks of life, attained wide fame. He was born in Genesee County, New York, in the Town of Perry on November 24, 1829. It will not be inappropriate to recall the fact that at the time of his birth there was hardly a mile of railroad construction in the United States. His life spanned the entire period of railroad progress not only in America but practically in the world, since even in England Stephenson and his associates were only making experiments with locomotion by means of railroads. He was reared on a farm. His educational opportunities were confined to the public schools. This lack of schooling was more than equalized by an intellect of a superior order. He was particularly gifted in mechanics, not merely with the skilled operation in handling of tools, but...

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Biographical Sketch of J. W. Moore

J. W. Moore, lumber merchant, Mattoon; was born in Kent Co., England, in June, 1832; when 10 years of age, he lost his father; in 1850, his mother, with her family, immigrated to America and settled in Chicago, where they remained about two and one-half years; they then removed to Cook Co., where himself and an older brother engaged in farming and operating a country store, his mother managing largely the interests of her family; in 1865, the subject of this sketch moved to Monee, Will Co., and, in company with a Mr. Dickson, under the firm name of Dickson & Moore, engaged in the sale of lumber and agricultural implements; in 1874, he came to Mattoon and opened up his present business. He was married in July, 1865, to Cordelia Sisson, a native of Illinois; they have three children – Ernest S., Charles H. and Augusta E. He is a member of the School Board on the West...

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Biography of William Francis Holcomb

William Francis Holcomb, a member of the Society of California Pioneers of San Bernardino County, and the discoverer of gold in the valley which bears his name, was born in Indiana in 1831, but his parents moved to Will County, Illinois, in his infancy, where they lived till he was eight years old. They then went, in 1839, to Iowa and located in Portland, Van Buren County Iowa. His father having died, his mother moved with her family in 1845 up into Wapello County and took up a piece of Government land. The same year his oldest brother, Stephen Holcomb, went to Oregon, where he still resides near the city of Portland. Stephen achieved considerable celebrity as an Indian scout in the employ of the Government out on that then wild frontier. After eleven years’ residence in the Hawkeye State, the subject of this memoir left Ottumwa, Iowa, on the 5th of May 1850, for California, In crossing the plains his company narrowly escaped a conflict with the Indians several times, but experienced nothing more serious than slight skirmishes. They came via Fort Laramie, Green River and Sublet’s cut off. In crossing Green river, the ferryboat sank and Mr. Holcomb’s wagon and the entire contents, including his boots, which he had taken off to assist in getting their cattle across, were lost. Securing a mule to pack their little...

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Biography of George L. Beard

George L. Beard is an Arkansas City business man of thirty years’ standing, and owned and directs the largest exclusive athletic and sporting goods house in the State of Kansas. Mr. Beard first came out to Kansas in the early ’70s, and there is no one who knows the history and the people of Southern Kansas better than this veteran merchant. Mr. Beard is a native of Illinois, born at Naperville, about thirty miles from Chicago, on August 8, 1846. His father, Charles Beard, was one of the early pioneers in that section of Illinois. The Beard ancestry goes back to colonial times in New York State. The family is of Scotch-Irish origin. Mr. Beard’s grandfather, Abel Beard, spent his life in New York State and his activities were those of farming. Charles Beard was born at Steubenville, New York, in 1800, grew up there, but when a young man went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he married. Not long afterward he moved west and acquired 370 acres of raw land at Naperville, Illinois. Part of it was his homestead, and he developed it as a high class farm, made his prosperity as an agriculturist, and finally retired to the nearby City of Aurora, where he died in 1874. Charles Beard became a republican on the organization of that party and was one of the active supporters of the People’s...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. Nyland W. Rice

Dr. Nyland W. Rice, deceased, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1850. His literary education received at Claveric University, and his medical education at Hahnemann, Philadelphia. At the latter place the first honors of his class were bestowed upon him, by which he was appointed to practice two years in the college hospital. After this he went to Aurora, Illinois, and then, his health failing, he came to San Bernardino. Here he began to practice as the pioneer homoeopathist in the city. He was a man who possessed much personal magnetism and was a general favorite with all. He was elected to the office of Public Administrator of the county with 600 votes ahead of his ticket. He belonged to the Republican Party, and was a member of the Masonic fraternity. He also belonged to the Knights of Pythias, and was the author of the burial service of this order. While in Illinois he was Grand Chancellor for two terms, of the two years each, and then Past Grand Chancellor. He established the order in San Bernardino in 1878. Dr. Rice was married in 1875, in Wilmington, Illinois, to Miss Mary P. Waterman, daughter of His Excellency, Robert W. Waterman, now Governor of California. Dr. Rice died July 23, 1884, while in the prime of life. He was a profound student, and by his ability, honesty and integrity, had...

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