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Collection: Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County Illinois

Biographical Sketch of John C. Hostetler

John C. Hostetler, who is engaged in the agricultural implement business, including buggies and wagons, and recently elected alderman from the third ward in Tuscola, was born in Douglas County, August 27, 1866, and is a son of D. C. and L. M. Hostetler, natives of Indiana. The father settled in Bowdre Township some time in the ‘fifties, and died in Tuscola, in 1895, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. His mother is still living. Mr. Hostetler was married in 1889 to Miss Laura A., daughter of H. C. Jones, whose sketch is found on another page. They have one child, Leon. Mr. Hostetler operated a planning and repair shop previous to entering into his present business, which he sold out in 1896. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Order of Red Allen, and is one of the popular and promising young business men of Tuscola....

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Biography of Oliver O. Hockett

Oliver O. Hockett, one of the younger members of the medical fraternity of Douglas County, and one of the leading men in the social, professional and educational life of Newman, was born in Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, March 2, 1866. He was graduated from the high school of Paris in 1882 and subsequently entered the state university at Champaign, where he remained for three years. He then took up the study of medicine with Dr. M. P. Smith, with whom he remained until he entered Chicago Hahnemann College, from which well known institution he was graduated in the class of 1880, and the following year he spent in the Hahnemann hospital. In March, 1890, he came to Newman and opened out in the general practice of medicine, and has succeeded far beyond his expectations. He is skilled and successful, and although having been in Newman but a few years, he enjoys one of the most extensive and lucrative practices in the County. He is a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society, contributes to the medical journals and keeps himself thoroughly in touch with the advancements being made in his profession. As a diagnostician in his profession, as well as in his judgment of human nature, he would pass muster in any community. Dr. Hockett is a son of Mahlon and Mary (Kimble) Hockett, natives of Vermilion and Edgar counties...

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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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Biography of James P. Heaton

James P. Heaton, who was a prominent citizen of Newman and a member of its board of education, was born August 16, 1845, and died March 14, 1897, aged fifty-one years, six months and twenty-eight clays. He was a native of Greene county, Pennsylvania, where his early youth was passed among the picturesque hills and scenery of that mountainous region. He was a son of William and Mary Heaton. At the age of sixteen years he came to Illinois and located on the Ridge, four miles north of Newman. At that time there was no church building in that section and in 1869 when the Cumberland Presbyterians built their church he contributed liberally toward its construction and helped in the good cause in various ways. In 1872 he joined the Methodist church, and when the M. E. church on the Ridge was built he and his brothers contributed largely toward its erection, upon ground donated by their father, who located on the Ridge sometime during the ’50s and entered a tract of land of 1,400 acres. He afterwards lived in Edgar county from 1873 until 1885, when he moved to Newman and lived there until his death in 1897. James Heaton was not long in becoming one of the most influential and prosperous citizens in his neighborhood. In 1871 he bought a tract of land now known as the...

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Biographical Sketch of W. H. Hancock

W. H. Hancock, who is one of the most successful broom-corn brokers and business men of Tuscola, was born in Chicago, March 29, 1864, and is a son of W. S. and Sarah (Bell) Hancock. His father was born in Oxford, Ohio, and his mother in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. His father is now living a retired life in Chicago. W. H. Hancock was raised to manhood in Chicago and educated in the Cook County normal school. His first position of any importance was that of conductor on the Pullman car lines, and he continued as such for seven years, running over thirty-six different railroads. For seven years he was engaged in the broom-corn business with his father in Chicago. In January, 1895, he was married to Miss Tillie Brogan, a highly accomplished young lady of Muscatine, Iowa. They have two children, John Henry and May. In 1899 he associated himself in partnership with W. Avery Howard (a notice of whom is found elsewhere) in the broom-corn brokerage business with their office in Tuscola. The firm is one of the most active and responsible engaged in the business. During the last year they handled about fifteen hundred tons of broom corn. He and his wife stand high in the social circles of Tuscola, where they expect to make their future...

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Biography of Alexander Hance

Alexander Hance, who is one of the ideal farmers of Douglas County, came to Newman Township in 1871 and engaged as an ordinary farm hand, at which he continued for some seven or eight years. His career is a fine example of what a man can do with a determined purpose in life. From the ordinary walks of life he has gradually risen to the front rank as a farmer, stock-raiser and a business man. Mr. Hance was born in Washington County, Tennessee, February 19, 1850, and there he remained until he came to Douglas County. He purchased his first land of three hundred and twenty acres in 1889, paying thirty dollars per acre for it, and has since added one hundred and sixty acres. He is a son of Mordecai and Millie (Lackey) Hance, who were born respectively in North Carolina and east Tennessee. His father, who resided at Tompkinsville, Kentucky, volunteered in 1861 in the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, and remained out until the close of the war. He was with Sherman mostly, and was with him from Atlanta to the sea. He was a son of Samuel Hance, who was born in England. Alexander Lackey was Mr. Hance’s maternal grandfather. Alexander Hance carries on farming on a very extensive scale and feeds regularly about one or two hundred head of cattle. In 1874 our subject was united...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank W. Hammett

Frank W. Hammett, cashier of the First National Bank of Tuscola, and one of the County’s young men of recognized ability, was born on a farm in Camargo Township. Douglas County, Illinois, February 12, 1 862. (See sketch of his father, James R. Hammett.) Mr. Hammett grew to manhood on his father’s farm and was principally educated in the University of Illinois. For some years after leaving college he was engaged in the manufacture of tiling at Camargo and Long View. In March, 1391, be accepted the position of book-keeper in the First National Bank of Tuscola, and was promoted to cashier of the same bank in August, 1898. He is a Knight Templar in Masonry; is a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families in the County, and will undoubtedly make his mark in the business world. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in Newman...

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Biographical Sketch of C. D. Greve

C. D. Greve, one of the successful young business men of the County and the leading grain buyer at Garrett, was born one mile west of the village September 27. 1868, and is a son of Thomas Greve, who emigrated to this country from Germany at the age of twenty-one and settled in Garrett Township. His wife ‘w as Catherine Ritz. Thomas Greve has lived in Garrett Township for forty years, engaged in farming, and at present owns four hundred and fifty acres of land. Both he and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church. C. D. Greve was reared on a farm, and after leaving the common schools spent two years in the Valparaiso (Indiana) Normal. After leaving school he engaged in the hardware and implement business and continued in the same for seven years. In 1898 and 1899 he was elected assessor. In March, 1894, Mr. Greve was married to Miss Katie Frahm, a daughter of Jacob Frahm. They have four children: Victor, Hilda, Roy and Paulina. Mr. Greve is one of the charter members of the Knights of Pythias lodge that was recently organized at Garrett. He owns nine acres of land in the corporate limits of Garrett, and also a very fine home in the village, besides some other town property. He is a thorough business man, enterprising, and promises to become one of...

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Biographical Sketch of John L. Goff

John L. Goff served as sheriff of Douglas County from 1887 to 1891, and at the time of his death, in 1892, he held the office of supervisor. He was married to Miss ,Josie R. Rice, a daughter of Martin Rice, deceased, of Camargo (see sketch). Mrs. Goff owns a half section of land, part of which is in Camargo and a part in Tuscola Townships. She resides in...

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Biography of Shiloah Gill

Shiloah Gill, an old Mexican soldier, and one of the pioneer settlers in Bowdre Township, was born at Gill’s Mills, Bath County, Kentucky, September 11, 1827, and is a son of Samuel C. Gill, who was a son of Capt. Thomas Gill, a Revolutionary soldier and a son of the Irish waif (see history of the Gill family in America, by Thomas F. Gill). Samuel C. Gill was born in the state of South Carolina November 22, 1783, and was reared on a farm. He was wedded to Sarah Malone, a daughter of Jonathan and Mary Malone, the latter of whom lived to be nearly one hundred years old. The family came from Tennessee and settled in Montgomery County, Kentucky, later removing to Boone County, Indiana, where she died. Samuel Gill and wife were very poor, their stock of goods consisting of one bay pony, one dollar in money and a feather bed. They packed all on the back of the pony and settled in Bath County, Kentucky. He built a mill, one of the first built in that section. He after-ward entered large bodies of land in Putnam Montgomery, Boone and Henry counties, Indiana, and also entered several tracts in what is now Douglas County. It looks as if this old gentleman foresaw everything and selected the creme de la creme of the land. He became very prosperous....

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Biography of Harrison Gill

It is fitting that in the biographies of the early settlers of the County some mention should be made of Harrison Gill, who entered among the first land here and lived near Camargo. The grandfather of Mr. Gill was born in Ireland. He came to America and settled m Virginia. His son, Samuel Cresswell Gill, r moved from Virginia to Kentucky and settled in Bath County. Here, on the Licking river, he built Gill’s mills, a noted point in that part of that state. He married Sarah Malone, by whom he had a large family of children, of whom Harrison Gill was the oldest, born in June, 1808. On arriving at the age of twenty-one he found himself in possession of a few hundred dollars, which his father advised him to invest in western lands. He accordingly traveled on horseback to Illinois, first to his uncle, Thomas Gill, in Cumberland County. He found his uncle busy shingling the roof of a house, and he told young Gill if he would help him finish the shingling he would go with him to Coles County in search of land. The first point above Charleston where they found any one living was Major Ashmore, at the mouth of Brushy Fork. North of that he came to an Indian camp, a French and Indian trading point, where Hugo, or Bridgeport, now is. His...

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Biography of Albert F. Fidler

Albert F. Fidler is one of the self-made and highly successful young farmers and business men of the County, and is a son of Levi Fidler, who was born April 28, 1819, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Albert F.’s grandfather, Samuel, was a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was of Dutch ancestry. Adam Fidler (great-grandfather), who came originally from Germany, was the founder of this branch of the Fidler family in America. Our subject’s grandfather, Samuel Fidler, fought in the war of 1812, and his great-grandfather, Adam, in the war of the Revolution. Samuel Fidler was a brick plasterer and con-tractor by trade, and was married to a daughter of Valentine Showalter, who was born in Pennsylvania and was descended from German ancestry. Levi Fidler was reared to manhood in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, until he became of age, when, in 1840, he emigrated west and settled in Union County, Indiana, and in 1861 located in what is now Newman township, Douglas County. He learned the carpentering business, at which he was engaged up to 1861, when he bought what is now known as the Thomas H. Smith farm, one of the finest in the County. He kept this farm until 1885, when he sold it. In 1842 Levi Fidler wedded Mary Ann Hessler, a native of Bourbon Township and a daughter of John and Mary (Thomas) Hessler, who were formerly...

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Biography of Samuel Ervin

Samuel Ervin, retired hardware merchant, large land owner, and a resident of Tuscola, was born in Hillsboro, Highland County, Ohio, in 1844. He was reared and educated in his native County and in 1865 came vest and located in Tuscola. He and a younger brother were associated in business together up to 1893, when he retires. He owns five hundred and sixty acres of land that extends up to the corporate limits of Tuscola. In 1871 Mr. Ervin was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Beach, who wits born on Staten Island. She died in T894. To their marriage were born two children: Pearl, who is the wife of C. S. Wardall. The other daughter is in college. Samuel Ervin is a son of William B. Ervin, now deceased. The ancestry of the Ervins is traced back to the great-grand father of Samuel, Thomas Ervin, a native of Ireland and member of the Presbyterian Church, who was by occupation a bleacher of linen. He was a man of means, emigrated to this country in 1771, and purchased a farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania, residing there until his death. His wife was a daughter of the Scottish house of Monteith, which aided the mission of William Wallace so nobly and espoused the cause of Bruce. Jurad, the father of William B. Ervin, was born in 1758 and was thirteen years...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas Craddik

Thomas Craddick, a typical Kentuckian and a self-made man, now residing on his farm in Arcola Township, was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, April 13, 1856, and is a son of Michael Craddick and Catherine (Welch) Craddick, who were natives of Ireland. His father emigrated from Kentucky to Arcola Township 1869 and died in 1890. His mother died in 1896, and they are both buried in the Arcola cemetery. Mr. Craddick’s farm contains one hundred and fourteen acres of land. He has never been married. Socially he is very popular and in business one of the substantial men of the...

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Biography of Allan Campbell

Allan Campbell, son of John Campbell, died October 13, 187 5. Without a sketch and portrait of Allan Campbell this book would he among the earliest and most prominent pioneers in Bourbon Township. Allan came before his father, and soon after his arrival bought five acres of land just south of Lesterville, at the Bagdad Bridge, and ran a ferry here for three years. Allan Campbell was born in Knox County, Kentucky, in 1809. His grandfather, Allan Campbell, was born in Virginia, and was among the early settlers in Kentucky. His father, John Campbell, removed to Bourbon Township soon after his brother. His mother was Lucinda Sullivan, also a native of Kentucky. Allan Campbell first married Miss Mary Ann Hoots, who was a daughter of David Hoots, of a German family. Of this marriage there are three children living, all residing in Bourbon Township: Hiram, John H. and, the wife of William Warmsley. His first wife died, and on February 13, 1851, he wedded Miss Mary Fleming, who still survives him. She was born in Parke County, Indiana, and was a daughter of Stephen and Jane (Kerr) Fleming. Her father was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, and her mother in Pennsylvania. Her grandfather, Stephen Fleming, was a native of Scotland, and her grandfather, Thomas Kerr, was a native of Ireland. To Allan Campbell and Mary Fleming Campbell were born...

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