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Collection: Biographical History of Rock Island Illinois

Biography of John Kimberland Scott

The subject of this sketch the present States Attorney of Rock Island County, was born in Muscatine, Iowa, on November 26, 1870. His parents were William W. Scott, now deceased, and Margaret (Hickey) Scott, the former of sturdy Scotch, and the later of keen, energetic Irish ancestry. Mr. Scott’s father served three years during the Civil War as a member of Company M, Eighth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and was for almost forty years a locomotive engineer on the Rock Island Railway, and for one term an alderman from the Seventh Ward of Rock Island. John K. Scott came to Rock Island County with his parents in 1875, having lived the first few years of his life in Muscatine and later in Brooklyn, Iowa. He attended the public schools of the City of Rock Island and graduated from the high school in the Class of ’89, being president of his class. He then entered the Rock Island post office, where he was employed as a letter carrier until September, 1893, when, having saved enough money to realize his cherished ambition, he resigned his position and entered the law department of the State University of Iowa. He graduated from that institution in 1895, as president of the law class of that year. Mr. Scott was for two years professionally associated with C. J. Searle, and in 1897 he was appointed by...

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Biography of Julius Junge

There are few business men in Rock Island or Moline who do not enjoy a personal acquaintance with the genial Julius Junge, vice-president of the Rock Island Brewing Company, a man who, though deeply engrossed in the concerns of a large and growing industry, has found time to cultivate his social nature and to enjoy the pleasures of companionship with his fellow men. He was born in Prussia, March 23, 1848, being a son of Joseph and Johanna (Herschel) Junge. His father served for some years as a soldier in the Prussian Army, but being a man desirous of seeking larger opportunities for himself and his children, in 1854, when his son, Julius, was six years of age, he, with his family, emigrated to America and located on a farm near Fort Madison, Iowa. Here the father cultivated a vineyard. There were seven children in this family, and of these Julius was the youngest. The elder Junge after coming to America spent his entire life upon his Iowa farm, passing away at the ripe old age of eighty-one years. His beloved wife survived him six years, and then at the age of seventy-nine she joined her husband in death. Their son, Julius, obtained his education in the schools of Burlington, Iowa, and after completing his schooling he located in the town of Jollyville, Iowa. Here he conducted a general...

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Biography of Edward Coryn

A native of Belgium, born at Lotenhulle, East Flanders, November 2, 1857, Edward Coryn is the second son of Leonard Coryn and Johanna Catherine Schotteman. In the year 1880 the family immigrated to the United States, settling in Moline, Illinois, where in 1890, the father died. The mother, now ninety years of age, still survives, one of the most aged women of Rock Island County. Edward Coryn was given excellent educational advantages and acquired both the Flemish and French languages at school, and since coming to America he has, of course, added the English language to his accomplishments. In the interval between his leaving school and his departure for America, young Edward assisted his father on the farm. During his first few years in Moline he worked in a sawmill and in a private family. In the year 1892 he formed a copartnership with Mr. Charles A. Rank in the retail grocery business, which was continued prosperously until April of the present year, 1896, when the company sold out its stock to two of its faithful employees, who, since have constituted the firm of Courtney & DeTaye. Mr. Coryn is a stockholder and director of the Moline State Savings Bank and the Moline Incandescent Lamp Company, of which latter he is also secretary and treasurer; he is a Democrat, though independent in local politics, in which he has been...

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Biography of Robert S. Montgomery

For a period of over 35 years the subject of this sketch was one of the leading farmers of Rock Island county. His farm was one of the largest and best under the highest state of cultivation, while the improvements upon it were among the finest and latest in design. Not only was the owner a leader in agricultural, but he was likewise foremost among his fellow men, in church, in politics and in society. His sons and daughters, following the example he set for them, grew into useful men and women and went out to fill responsible positions in the world. Robert Simington Montgomery was born March 30,. 1836, at Danville, Pennsylvania, and died January 6, 1900, at his homestead on section 26, Edgington Township. He was a son of Daniel and Margaret (Simington) Montgomery, natives of the Keystone state, but residents of Rock Island County from the year in which the son was born. The father became one of the chief landholders of the community, entering 1,000 acres from the government where the homestead stood. He also acquired a section of land lying to the south and several other farms in the county, besides a considerable tract in the vicinity of Joliet. The father died in 1849 at the age of 45 and his two sons, Robert and Daniel, succeeded to his landed interests. Both improved the...

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Biography of Hon. Henry C. Scaffer

Rock Island is an exceedingly prosperous and well governed city. Its municipal prosperity must be attributed in a great degree to the business like and economical administration of the city’s affairs. Its good government must be attributed likewise to the enforcement of law and the preservation of order, so essential in every well regulated community, by the city’s chief executive, Mayor Henry C. Schaffer, the subject of our present sketch. Henry C. Schaffer was born October 16, 1851, at Baltimore, Maryland, his parents being Conrad and Mary (Hoffmeister) Schaffer. Both his parents were natives of Germany. Their son received his education in the public schools of his native city. One incident of his boyhood is noteworthy, as showing the early development of those traits of character which were to become so pronounced in the man. When the Confederate General, Juba’ Early, threatened the City of Washington with an attack, Henry C. Schaffer was a lad thirteen years of age. He was a drummer boy in the Baltimore Home Guards, a comp-any similar to that organized in almost every city of any size at that time. The threatened destruction of Washington threw Baltimore into a frenzy of excitement. The company of which Henry Schaffer was the drummer boy was mobilized, together with many other Maryland companies for the purpose of repelling the threatened Confederate invasion. The lad, too young to...

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Biography of William Fisk Eastman

William Fiske Eastman, co-editor with P. S. McGlynn, of the Moline Daily Dispatch and Weekly Review-Dispatch, and postmaster of Moline, was born in Ellisburg, Jefferson County, New York, November 11, 1844. His parents were Charles W. Eastman, Doctor of Medicine, and Cynthia (Fiske) Eastman. He attended the public schools of his native village and Union Academy in the neighboring village of Belleville. Graduating there he attended Union College at Schenectady, New York, graduating in the scientific course in 1866, and taking first honors of that course. In the meantime he had been teaching in the district schools, earning in this way and by conducting a book store in his room at college, the money that paid for his college course. After graduating he came West and taught in the schools of Maquoketa, Iowa, and Sterling and Union Grove, Illinois, expecting to devote his life to that work. In 1872 his health broke down and he sought other business. He purchased the Red Oak (Iowa) Express and conducted it a few months when there came a proposition which he accepted, to go back to Sterling and purchase a half interest in the Sterling Gazette. He held his half interest in this for nearly ten years when he sold it because his health again broke down. He then went to Huron, South Dakota, where he engaged in banking with a partner,...

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Biography of Frank Mixter

One of the chief industrial up builders of Rock Island, a man who, as president of two of the City’s manufactories, has proven his ability both as an organizer and an executive, is Frank Mixter. He was born November 7, 1853, at Rock Island, his father being George Mixter, a sketch of whose life appears upon another, page. His mother was Susan Elizabeth (Gilbert) Mixter. The genealogical record of both the Mixter and the Gilbert families appears in the sketch of our subject’s father, George Mixter. Frank Mister’s early education was obtained in the public schools of his native City, and after graduating from the High School he entered the University of Heidelberg, at Heidelberg, Germany, for a year. With the exception of that one year at Heidelberg, Mr. Mixter has made his home continuously in Rock Island to the present time. On April 5, 1877, he was married at Southport, Connecticut, to Miss Elizabeth Bradley, Southport being her birthplace and home. Her forbears were the old Colonial family of Bradleys and Sherwoods, and she is now Regent of Fort Armstrong Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mixter, a daughter, Florence Louisa, now the-wife of Frederick Brown Wells, whose birthplace and early home was also Southport, Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Wells now live at Mount Vernon, New York. A son,...

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Biographical Sketch of Hugh A. J. McDonald

Mr. McDonald was born in the City of Rock Island, Illinois, November 13, 1862, the son of H. A. J. and Sarah J. McDonald, of Scotch-Irish descent. He was married to Mary C. Gall June 5, 1889, in Rock Island, Illinois. The offspring of this union are Hugh Earl and George Hobart McDonald, both resident in Rock Island. Mr. McDonald was a member of the State Infantry of Illinois, Company A, Sixth Regiment, from 1884 until 1893, when he resigned with the rank of Captain, which he had held during the last eighteen months of his service. He was manager of the business of David Don from 1882 to 1902. On November 13, 1902, he was appointed by Governor Yates as Chief Clerk of Illinois Western Hospital for the Insane, which position he held till March 1, 1906. During this period, for the space of one year-1903 to 1904-he was Captain and Adjutant of his old Regiment, the Sixth Illinois Infantry. For a period of two years Mr. McDonald was City Collector of Rock Island, resigning the position in 1895, on account of increasing duties in other directions. Appointed as postmaster at Rock Island, by President Roosevelt, on February 1, 1906, he took charge on March 1. Mr. McDonald’s education was acquired in the public schools and in the International Business College, at Davenport, Iowa. He is Past Commander...

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Biography of George Mixter

A gentleman of education, refinement and culture, an Easterner who came to Rock Island in the early days, and who spent a busy and useful lifetime in this community, was George Mixter, deceased, the subject of this sketch. He was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, April 28, 1835, and died in Rock Island April 20, 1897. He was of English extraction. The first Mixter who came to America was an English sea captain of that name, who came to this country and settled in Plymouth in 1630, and from him the Mixter family, so well known throughout Rock Island County, trace their ancestry. Mr. Mixter’s education was obtained in the schools of his native State, and later he attended Yale University, then Yale College, from which he graduated in 1836. In that same year he came West and settled in Rock Island, which was his home until his death, with the exception of a few years spent at Dixon, Illinois. He lived in a log cabin on the north side of what is now Second Avenue, between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. Shortly after locating here he took up the study of law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar, but was never engaged in the active practice of his profession, choosing instead a commercial career. In fact, he was engaged in the trial of but one case. Abandoning his intention...

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Biography of John H. Thornton

Mr. John H. Thornton, veteran of the Civil War and for many years employed in the Government service at Rock Island Arsenal, was born in Ireland June 24, 1847, and died at his home in Moline July 9, 1903. He was the son of Patrick and Mary Thornton and came to America with his parents while an infant, aged nine months. The mother died in Rochester, New York, after which the father removed to Philadelphia, from which city, at the age of sixteen, young Thornton enlisted, July 26, 1862, in Company Fifty-three, Twenty-Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Third Infrntry. His Company was assigned to the First Brigade, Second Division, Twentieth Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was in numerous engagements, among them may be named the Battle of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Zurmell Hill. In 1865 he was honorably discharged and returning to Philadelphia he followed the arts of peace for the succeeding five years, when in 1870 he enlisted in the Ordnance Corps of the United States Army, and was assigned for duty at Rock Island Arsenal. Coming here with Captain Farley, who was next in command at the Arsenal, when General Flagler was Commandant, Mr. Thornton served on the Island till 1894, when he was placed on the retired list as Sergeant, after a total of thirty years of service, with pay of forty...

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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 Josiah G. Heck

The subject of this sketch, Josiah G. Heck, of Moline, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, May 8, 1840, the son of John and Sarah (Wilde) Heck, and has been a resident of Rock Island County the past sixty-four years. The Heck family is an old one; Phillip Heck, grandfather of Josiah Heck, belonging to a family that was early established in the United States. John Heck, father of Josiah Heck, was born September 10, 1786, in Pennsylvania. In 1833 he emigrated to Harrison County, Ohio, staying eleven years there. There he married Miss Sarah Wilde, and a few years later Josiah Heck was born. In the early forties John Heck and family started for the Territory of Illinois, coming down the Ohio and up the Mississippi River to Rock Island, where he arrived May 15, 1844. In 1894 the family of Josiah Heck celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their arrival, four generations participating. Mr. Heck’s father passed away August 6, 1878, at the advanced age of 92. His wife survived him until 1881. Our subject is an old soldier who was one of the valiant sons who responded to the call of Abraham Lincoln when the Civil War broke out. As a youth he had good educational advantages, and was a college student when the war was declared. On October 5, 1864, he joined Company C, Sixty-sixth Illinois...

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Biography of Joseph Huntoon

Joseph Huntoon, deceased, a native of Hanover, New Hampshire, was born April 17, 1812, and came to Illinois in 1837, and settled at Andover Heights. Shortly afterwards he went to what is now called Richland Grove Township, where he was united to Miss Sylvia Tanneg in marriage also a native of New Hampshire, having been born at New Ipswick October 22, 1822. Joseph Huntoon only had a common school education and at an early age learned the shoemaker’s trade. In 1844 he and Mrs. Huntoon took up their residence in Moline and he was the first shoemaker of that place, which was then a mere “Hamlet.” He resided at the corner of Second Avenue and Fourteenth Street, the property on which he lived belonging to Spencer White, and afterwards was the home of S. W. Wheelock. Mr. Huntoon later removed to Fourth Avenue and Fourteenth Street, where he lived until the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad came west, and upon entering Moline, took a portion of their lot. This necessitated the removal of the house further back on the lot in order to make room for the tracks. The people at that time were so anxious for the railroad that they cared but little where the tracks were laid. Some time later Mr. Huntoon removed to the old Joseph Jackman place where he resided until his demise. Mrs. Huntoon...

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Biographical Sketch of Honorable George W. Johnson

Honorable George W. Johnson, of No. 1440 Twelfth Street, Moline, was born in Henry County, Illinois, October 9, 1857. He was raised on the farm and the training he there acquired fitted him well for the public career he later attained. As a youth he was persevering and studious and made the most of the public school teachings he had the advantage of May 31, 1882, he married Miss Caroline F. Hogg, of Andover, Illinois. For two years they conducted a farm and then, Mr. Johnson feeling himself fitted for a business career, moved to Orion, Illinois, in the Spring of 1884, where he entered in the general mercantile business. During President Harrison’s administration he was appointed postmaster at Orion. In 1891 he gave up his, business in Orion and moved to Moline where he entered the real estate field. He followed this business until 1900 when he accepted the active management of the Moline Furniture Co. Mr. Johnson is a staunch Republican and has been identified with the party since old enough to vote. As a Republican he has always upheld the party principles and taken an active part in the campaigns. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives from this, the Thirty-third Senatorial District, in 1898, and served for two terms in the Forty-first and Forty-second general assembly, where he acquitted himself well. Mr....

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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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