Edward W. Calvin, the leading druggist and owner of both livery stables of Newman, was born in Wayne County, Illinois, December 21, 1860. He is a son of Dr. J. W. Calvin, who was born in Kentucky in 1829, and he the son of Hiram Calvin, who was a native of Virginia. His father was a graduate of Rush Medical College. He married Sarah Brown, of New Buffalo, Michigan, whose death occurred some twenty years ago. He has practiced at various places, was at Newman one year and is at present in active and successful practice at Toledo, Ohio. E. W. Calvin has for several years extensively engaged in buying and selling horses and has been remarkably successful in all business enterprises in which he has been interested. In June, 1897, he opened out in the drug business and keeps on hands one of the most complete assortments of drugs found in a first-class drug store. In 1889 he was united in marriage to Miss Emma Smith, of Vermilion County. They have one child, Oka McCrea. Mrs. Calvin is a daughter of Michael Smith, who was born in Vermilion County, Illinois. Her mother was Mary Ann Snapp. She was a daughter of George Snapp, a native of Richmond, Virginia, He was a carriage maker by trade and after working some time at his trade in Richmond he removed to...Read More
Collection: Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County Illinois
I. W. Burgett, deceased, was, during his residence in Douglas County, one of its leading and most successful farmers. From the time he was ten years old he spent the whole of his eventful life in Sargent Township. He is a descendant of English and German ancestors, who were among the early residents of Ohio. His grandfather was in the war of 1812. His father, Abraham Burgett, lived in Pickaway County and there married Eliza Wells, a native of Ohio. He and his wife continued to live in that County, and there Isaac W. Burgett was born. The family shortly afterward removed to Indiana and settled in Vermillion County, near Perrysville, on the Wabash River. Here Abraham Burgett followed the occupations of cooper and farmer. He died in 1840, leaving five children. Isaac W. Burgett was born June 18, 1829. When the family removed to Douglas County they settled near the mouth of Brushy Fork. He went to school in the Sargent neighborhood and in the vicinity of Newman. On coming to Douglas County his mother rented land, and when a mere boy he had charge of the farm and with a younger brother performed nearly all the labor. This continued until his mother’s second marriage. In the summer he worked at home and in the winter went to school. When about eighteen years of age he started out...Read More
Judge John Brown has been for over sixty years identified with the best interests of Douglas County. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, May 7, 1822, on a farm, where he remained until the age of seventeen. This farm was located on Paint creek, two miles from Chillicothe, the County seat of Ross County. Our subject is a son of Nimrod Brown, who was a native of Augusta County, Virginia, and who served in the war of 1812. His mother was, before her marriage, Elizabeth Eigelbright, and was born in Monroe County, Virginia. When our subject was but seven years old his father died, and his mother, with three sons and four daughters, emigrated to what is now Douglas County, in about 1838, and settled in what is now Sargent Township. The Judge’s paternal grandfather, Washington Brown, was a Virginian by birth. At the time his mother located in Sargent Township she was very poor, the oldest son, Washington, managing the business. Land at that time sold for from four to six dollars an acre, but money was very scarce. This was in September, 1838, the date of his mother’s settlement in Sargent Township. Judge Brown married in 1844, Sally Ann Barnett, who was a daughter of William and Mary Barnett, natives of Kentucky and early settlers in Vermilion County. Mrs. Brown died in 1853, leaving one child,...Read More
George W. Brock, one of the reliable and representative farmers of Newman Township, residing within the corporate limits of the city of Newman, was born twelve miles southwest of Crawfordsville, Indiana, September S, 1846. His father, Seth Brock, was a native of Warren County, Ohio. He was a carpenter by trade and farmed also, owning farms in Wayne and Montgomery counties: he later removed to Mason County, Illinois. He was a strong pro-slavery man, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; was born in 1813 and died in 1873. He wedded Mary A. Palmer, who was a daughter of Jesse Palmer, a native of North Carolina, but who be-came one of the early settlers of Indiana. Elijah Brock (grandfather) was born in Ohio. George W. Brock was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. At the age of sixteen years, on account of a severe spell of sickness, he lost the use of his right side. He married at Camp Butler, Miss Malinda Vanhook, daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Mann) Vanhook, and the result of this union was one child living, Ada Lucy, aged fifteen years, and three dead : Phillip L., Harry C. and Ethel Ellen. Mrs. Brock, who was a most estimable woman, died February 16, 1899. She was a devoted member of the Christian Church at Newman and her loss was deeply...Read More
Walter C. Blaine was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in the class of 189$. He commenced the practice at Murdock, where he remained until October, 1898, when he formed a partnership with Dr. William E. Rice, of Tuscola. Dr. Blaine is a native of Champaign, Illinois, and was born June 1 866. He graduated from the Champaign high school, and after four years attendance was graduated from the University of Illinois, at Champaign, on certificate. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, member of the Woodmen, and a member of the Douglas County Medical...Read More
Robert M. Black, the subject of this memoir, came from an ancestry of more than ordinary importance and prominence. His great-grandfather, with his family, removed from Scotland and settled in Virginia some years before the Revolutionary war, caused by the traitor Arnold in portions of Virginia, volunteered, though far past the age of liability, for military service, and was one of the soldiers, who, under Lafayette and Gen. Wayne, turned and drove back Lord Cornwallis. He was intimately acquainted with Lafayette, Gen. Wayne and Gen. Lord Sterling, who were frequent guests at his house. His youngest son, George Black, the grandfather of our subject, was born on the 8th of July, 1767. He was nine years old when the Declaration of Independence was issued. He was a son of the Revolution and saw and caught the spirit of most of the stirring scenes of that eventful period. George Black, with his family, re-moved from Virginia and settled in Kentucky, some time before the war of 1812. He became a soldier of this war in a regiment of mounted rifleman and rendered important service under the command of Gen. Harrison. With such an ancestry, whose character and qualities he reproduced and reflected, together passed through the terrors and excitement with his own individual traits, we may under stand the life of Robert M. Black, who was the ninth in a...Read More
Joseph Ashurst, principal and superintendent of the Camargo public schools and present nominee of the Democratic Party for the office of County superintendent of schools, has been a leading educator in the County for several years. He was born in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, April 16, 1872, and is a son of Henry Clay and Elizabeth (Thurman) Ashurst, who were both horn in Pulaski County, Kentucky. His grandfathers, Henry Ashurst and Joseph Thurman, were natives of Virginia and early settlers in Pulaski County, where they were engaged in agricultural pursuits. His father, Henry C. Ashurst, was one time sheriff of his native County. Joseph Ashurst attended the common school and afterward the high school, and is largely self educated. In Douglas County he stands at the very front rank as a successful educator and teaches in his schools at Camargo, beside the common branches, botany, philosophy, zoology and algebra. Prior to his coining to Camargo, which was in September, 1899, he resided at Arthur, where lie located in 1890 and taught school in the country and subsequently was grammar teacher in the Arthur schools, which position he resigned to accept his present one. In 1894 he was united in marriage to Miss Lucy B., a daughter of Henry C. Wood, a retired farmer, of Arthur, but formerly of Moultrie County. Mr. Wood was born near Vincennes, Indiana, in 1845,...Read More
This collection on the History of Douglas County Illinois currently contains 114 biographies on important people in the history of the county. The open prairie country of Douglas county greatly retarded the settlement of this section of Coles county. A few came here previous to 1850, but the great bulk of the public lands was occupied by actual owners subsequent to that date. The original pioneer of Douglas county was John Richman, who, in 1829, settled in Camargo township.Read More
Alvy J. Parke is one of the hustling, go ahead, young business men of the County, located at Hindsboro, engaged in the grain and implement business, was born on a farm in Sargent Township March 11, 1876, and is a son of B. F. and Harriet (Wierman) Parke. Both of his parents were born in Champaign County, are living, and for the past year resided in Shelby County, Tennessee. Mr. Parke was reared to manhood on the farm and received his education in the high school of Oakland. In 1897 he married Miss Myrtle Lewis. A. J. Parke started up in his present business in November, 1898, and is doing an immense business solely on his own account. Last year he bought in the neighborhood of eighty thousand bushels of corn, besides other grain, and finds a market at Terre Haute, Indiana. He has just completed a building 32×60 feet, and has it filled with the best grade of the Columbus, Ohio, buggies, the celebrated Mitchell wagon and farm machinery of all descriptions. Mr. Parke’s future in the business world seems unusually bright, and his characteristic push and his reputation for square dealing will undoubtedly bring him just...Read More
William B. Chandler, a well-known stock buyer of the County and a resident of Bourbon Township, was born in Douglas County, Illinois, March 6, 1852. He is a son of Lemuel Chandler (for the ancestry of the family, see sketch.) When yet a boy, William B. Chandler entered the University of Illinois at Champaign and was graduated there from with a degree of B. S. in the class of 1876. In 1885 he served in the capacity of clerk to the Indian commission at Yankton and continued in this capacity for four years. He then went to Pueblo, Colorado, where he engaged successfully in the practice of law for three years. On account of the sickness of his father and business interests at home, he returned in 1892, since which time he has been quite extensively engaged in farming and stock buying. In 1883 Mr. Chandler was united in marriage to Miss Belle Augusta Bailey, of Tuscola. They have no children. Our subject is a Democrat in politics and the only office he ever held was that of town clerk of Bourbon Township soon after he reached the age of man-hood. Mr. Chandler is well and favorably known throughout the County, is a man of good business ability and devoted to the highest and best interests of Douglas...Read More
Jesse R. Beggs, president of the First National Bank of Arcola, doubtless enjoys the distinction of being the youngest national bank president in the state. He has occupied this important position since the death of his father, whom he succeeded in February, 1895. He was born in Arcola, August 19, 1868, and was educated in the public schools of the village. His father, James Beggs, was born in Clark County, near Charlestown, the old County seat. He came to Arcola in 1858, where he followed a most successful business career up to the time of his death. His wife was Amanda Brentlinger, who was also born in the same town. On the organization of the bank, in 1874, he was chosen its first president, though he had had banking experience since 1866. The present capital of the bank is fifty thousand dollars, with a surplus of ten thousand dollars, and one hundred and twenty thousand dollars average deposits. Under its present management it is doing a flourishing business, and is one of the most substantial banking houses in central Illinois. In 1892 our subject was married to Miss Florence M. McMillan, of Arcola. Mr. Beggs has many substantial and devoted friends and no young man is more favorably known throughout the County than...Read More
W. D. Reed, the assessor of Bowdre town-ship, was born on the old Reed homestead in the same Township March 14, 1852, and is a son of the gallant B. Frank Reed, who fell at the battle of Chickamauga, and for whom the G. A. R. Post at Tuscola is named, and whose portrait adorns this page. He was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and emigrated with his father, Daniel, to Edgar County, when he was but eight years old. Daniel Reed founded the old tavern or road house at Hickory Grove between Newman and Indianola. He volunteered in the Civil war and became captain of Company D, First Illinois Regiment. He was united in marriage to Catherine, a daughter of William Barnett, who lived in Camargo and was one of the early settlers. W. D. Reed has been assessor of Bowdre Township continuously for five years. He was married in 1874 to Ida L., a daughter of J. H. Bagley. They have had five children, of whom Ward, Clark, Fred and Mary are living, and Maud is dead. Mr. Reed is a stanch Democrat in politics, as was also his father, Captain...Read More
Marion Watson, of Arthur, after reading law under the instruction of William H. Whit taker, of Sullivan, was admitted to practice law before the supreme court of the state in 1896. He was born on a farm near Bloom-field, Greene County, Indiana, October 29, 1864. His education was received in the common schools, and he afterward attended a short term at the normal at Danville, Indiana. He remained on the farm in his native County until 1883, when he came to Illinois, locating in Douglas County, and spent two seasons as a common work hand on the farm, working. one winter during this time for his board and attending school. Subsequently he taught school for six years in the County. In 1892 Mr. Watson succeeded W. H. H. Reeder in the insurance and real estate business, since which time he has been very successfully engaged in this business in connection with his law practice. He has a most complete law library, and one as varied as those generally found in cities. On September 5, 1892, he was united in marriage with Miss Ivy J., daughter of James and Belle Gamron, of Edgar County, Illinois. They have four children: Esther Marie, Ralph Waldo, Gladys and Grace. Marion Watson is the son of Dale and Quintilla (Payne) Watson, who were probably born in Virginia. Dale came to Indiana with his father,...Read More
William Brian, Sr., was born May 6, 18o6, in Ross County, Ohio, and in 1837 he came to Coles, now Douglas, County ; he entered about one thousand acres of land when coming here, and has owned as high as three thousand acres. He had learned the blacksmith’s trade in Ohio, and followed it about twenty years here. On one occasion, when shoeing a Methodist preacher’s horse, he nailed the shoes on with the toe-corks behind. The preacher remonstrated with him for doing so; his reply was, “The devil takes, after these Methodist preachers, and I thought I would make him take the back track.” He was married October 1, 1829, to Anna Lewis, who was born in Pike County, Ohio, May 4, 1805. They had nine children, six of whom are here named : Thomas, James, Mary (wife of’ R. E. H. Westfall), William T., Taylor W. and Samuel. His death occurred a few years...Read More
Samuel W. Smiley, grain buyer at West Ridge, and member of the firm of Smiley & Watson (B. T. Watson, of Bourbon), is one of the wide-awake and energetic business men of the County. He came to Douglas County in 1889, and located in Bourbon Township, where he was engaged in business. Subsequently he and B. T. Watson formed their partnership, and Mr. Smiley located at West Ridge. This firm bought at this place from July 1 to November 10, 1899 13o,ooo bushels of corn and oats. Samuel W. Smiley was born at Greencastle, Indiana, February 11, 1855, and is the son of Jonathan and Mary (Warner) Smiley. They are both deal. Mr. Smiley’s parents removed from Greencastle to Stanford, Kentucky, where he was principally reared and educated. In 1876 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Hester Hasbarger, and six children have been born to their marriage. Mr. Smiley’s grandfather, Jonathan Smiley, was a native Virginian; his maternal grandfather was Samuel Warner. Mr. Smiley is postmaster at West Ridge, owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in Camargo Township, and is rapidly coming to the front as one of Douglas County’s most successful business...Read More
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