Collection: Biographical History of Rock Island Illinois

Biography of O. Frederick Anderson

One of Moline’s progressive and popular citizens, who, by his own unaided efforts and individual worth, has gone forward step by step until he now holds the position of cashier in one of that City’s leading banks, is O. Frederick Anderson, a man who merits the respect and regard of all who know him. He was born in Trehorna, Sweden, July 1, 1866, the home of his parents, Alfred Anderson and Ama Greta (Johansdotter) Anderson, the former of whom died January 25, 1881, and the latter is still living. October 27, 1868, Mr. Anderson, with his parents, came to America, and coming West, located in Moline. Here their son attended the public schools, and after completing the grammar department left the Moline schools to attend the Davenport Business College, from which he graduated. He began his business career at the early age of seventeen, when he accepted a position as collection clerk in the Moline National Bank. Conscientious and faithful in his duties, his rise was rapid, until today he is cashier of the Moline Trust and Savings Bank, being elected to that position in July, 1900, having formerly filled the position as teller of that bank. On December 16, 1891, he married Miss Sena Nielsen, a Moline young lady. Her father, Peter Nielsen, was a native of Denmark, and her mother Nellie Nielsen, of Sweden. Both Mr. and...

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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 H. W. C. Tappendorf

In other articles appearing in this work frequent mention has been made of the astounding growth Rock Island has undergone during the past few years, and of the many new buildings, especially residences, that have been erected during that time. All, or nearly all, of the contracts that have been let for these have been placed with the city’s home contractors, one of the most prominent of whom is H. W. C. Tappendorf. He was born July 4, 1862, at Provence Holstein, Germany, the home of his parents, John T. and Hannah Tappendorf. He attended the public schools of his native town during his boyhood, and upon the completion of his school days he took up and mastered the carpenter’s trade in that thorough and systematic manner for which Germans are renowned. In 1886 he came to America and located in Davenport, Iowa, where for two years he worked at his trade as a journeyman carpenter. In 1888 he came to Rock Island, and here he continued to work as a journeyman in the employ of others until 1896, when by his industry and frugality he had accumulated sufficient money to start as an independent contractor in a small way. In this he was successful, the growth of his business being steady and continuous until it has reached its present proportions. Although a general contractor, Mr. Tappendorf has specialized...

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Biography of Fred Titterington

Few men are sufficiently versatile to successfully pursue two separate and entirely different vocations during their lives. Rare, indeed, is the farmer that becomes a dividend earning manufacturer, especially after he has attained middle age, and become a man of substance through his own efforts in tilling the soil. Such, however, has been the achievement of Fred Titterington, formerly a farmer in the vicinity of Edgington post office and now secretary and general manager of the Argillo works at Carbon Cliff. Mr. Titterington is another native of Rock Island County, having been born at Edgington September 1, 1852. He was the son of Charles and Sophia Titterington, pioneers of the community. His early education was that of the average farmer boy, save that he had the additional advantage of a course at Knox Academy at Galesburg, Illinois. Until he was nineteen years of age he worked on his father’s farm and then he set out for himself, and for a number of years tilled the soil on the present site of the village of Reynolds. Later he farmed in Buffalo Prairie Township and eventually purchased a tract of land in Edgington Township, which was his home till 1899. Always a more or less active Republican, he was rewarded by his party by election to the offices of treasurer of Rock Island County in 1894, serving one term of four...

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Biography of Charles Titterington

For sixty-seven years Charles Titterington lived on the farm in Edgington Township that he entered from the Government. His children grew to manhood and womanhood, married, grandchildren came and attained maturity, and still this doughty pioneer was tilling the soil of the old home place made dear to him by decades of association. He came to Rock Island County in 1835, and at once selected and purchased from the Government the fertile acres that were his abiding place for so long a period. Charles Titterington was born in the parish of Worley, West Yorkshire, England, January 22, 1814. His father, Thomas Titterington, came to America three months after the birth of Charles, and he died February 26, 1857. The mother died in England a short time after his birth. At the time of his death, July 13, 1902, the subject of this sketch was the last survivor of a family of six sons, the others being: John, born September 4, 1795, and died in 1855; Thomas, born July 22, 1806, and died September 7, 1823; James, born November 2, 1807, and died June 5, 1876; Moses, born September 28, 1810, and died February 24, 1890, and Eli, born April 20, 1812, and died September 20, 1825. When Charles was scarcely beyond the age of infancy the family removed to Ross County, Ohio. There he attended the public schools and...

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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 Hon. John T. Browning

The oldest member of the Rock Island County Bar, a lawyer of ripe learninig and wide experience, who has now retired from the active practice of his profession, is the Honorable John T. Browning, of Moline. He was born in Genesee County, New York, June 11, 1830, his parents being John L. and Lucy (Tillotson) Browning. He received an academic education at Rochester, where later he was admitted to the bar in the Autumn of 1858. He came west in December of that same year and located at Moline, where he immediately engaged in the practice of law, being that city’s first City Attorney. Of course one of his duties in this position was to compile and arrange a code of ordinances governing the affairs of the City, and this work was done in a highly creditable and systematic manner. In 1876 he formed a law partnership with Mr. Entriken, the well known Moline attorney who has served this County as State’s Attorney and Master in Chancery, the firm being known as Browning & Entriken. Two years previous to the formation of this partnership Mr. Browning had been elected to represent this Senatorial District in the Illinois General Assembly. He was re-elected in 1876 and served through another session of the Legislature. During Mr. Browning’s young manhood he entertained very pronounced anti-slavery views and was in fact an ardent...

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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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Biography of Thomas Nessler

Thomas Nessler is one of Rock Island’s well and favorably known German-American citizens, where he occupies the position of brew master for the Rock Island Brewing Company. He was born December 18, 1869, at Obernhibeim, Germany, his parents being Donatus and Barbina Nessler. After completing a common school course in his native land he entered a brewing academy at Versuchs Statum, Germany, and there received instruction in the trade which he expected to follow throughout his life, having previously served two years apprenticeship in Aldvisebach, Germany. After being employed for several years in breweries of Germany, he came to the United States in 1892, and later came to Chicago, where from 1898 to 1899 he took an advanced course in the art of brewing in Wahl & Henius Institute in that City. In 1892, upon locating in Chicago, he was connected with Joseph Junk’s brewery for three years, then with the Standard Brewing Company for three years and for one year was with Walker & Burke Brewing Company of the same city. Then, after completing his course at Wahl & Henius Institute, he removed to Danville, where he was brew master for the Danville Brewing & Ice Company, which position he held until 1901, when he came to Rock Island to accept a position as brew master for the Rock Island Brewing Company, which position he now holds. During...

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Biography of Albert M. Beal, M. D.

The technical education of the doctor of medicine avails him but little unless he has laid a foundation for it of broad general knowledge and made a careful study of human nature. When he took up the practice of medicine Doctor Albert M. Beal brought to the profession a mental equipment such as few men acquire in a lifetime. For years he had been an educator, teaching the common branches in the public schools and later specializing in college. Having as a student earned the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, he later found opportunity to perfect his knowledge of law so that he was admitted to the bar after successfully passing the prescribed examination. With this preparation the mysteries of medicine and surgery were quickly mastered and success was his from the beginning of his professional career. Doctor Beal was born October 31, 1853, in Zuma Township, Rock Island County. His parents were Daniel N. and Betsy (Spencer) Beal, pioneers of the community. The son attended the country schools and later the public institutions of learning of Port Byron and Rock Island. At the age of seventeen he began teaching school at what is now Barstow. He entered Western College of Iowa when his preparatory studies had been completed, and graduated with the class of 1876, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The following...

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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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Biographical Sketch of Elmer E. Morgan

Elmer E. Morgan is a lineal descendant of General Morgan of revolutionary fame. His grandfather, Isaac Morgan, was born in Kentucky in 1879 and fought in the War of 1812. Later he built the first slab house at what is now Dayton, Ohio. He came to Davenport in 1836. Isaac F. Morgan, father of Elmer Morgan, grew to manhood in the vicinity of Davenport, married Sarah E. Williams, a Tennessee lady, and settled near DeWitt, Clinton County, Iowa. There the subject of this sketch was born September 13, 1861. His early life was spent on his father’s farm and his opportunities for schooling were few. In later life by consistent, painstaking study, he obtained an excellent education, and one which he was able to turn to practical account. At the age of twenty-three Mr. Morgan sought wider fields of endeavor and took up his residence in Moline, then just beginning to show promise of becoming a great manufacturing city. He began reading law in the office of William A. Meese and soon there-after opened a collection agency, which he still conducts and which is the oldest one in this part of the State. Mr. Morgan has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. In 1896 he toured France, Holland and the British Isles on a bicycle. He was one of the founders of the Unitarian Church in Moline...

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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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