Collection: Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County Illinois

Biographical Sketch of William B. Chandler

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...

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Biographical Sketch of Jesse R. Beggs

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...

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Biographical Sketch of W. D. Reed

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...

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Biography of Marion Watson

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,...

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Biographical Sketch of William Brian Sr.

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...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel W. Smiley

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...

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Biography of John W. King

John W. King, of Newman, who has for several years been prominent in the politics of the County, and at present is associated with the Newman bank, was born 1n Bourbon County, Kentucky, October 13, 1841. He is a son of David A. and Jane Elizabeth (Mitchell) King, who were natives of Clark and Montgomery counties, Kentucky, respectively. His father, who was born in 1818, followed the occupation of farming, removed from Kentucky to Champaign County, Illinois, in 1855, and there his death occurred in 1896. His mother died in 1882, aged fifty years. His paternal grand-father, Robert Cass King, was a native of Virginia, and his maternal grandfather, John W. Mitchell, was also born in Virginia, in Culpeper County. John W. King was reared on his father’s farm and attended the public schools of the neighborhood. In 1862 he joined Company G, Seventy-second Illinois Volunteers, as a private, and served three years and four months, part of the time as a non-commissioned officer. After the war he entered the state normal school, where he remained for three years. Leaving there he at-tended Bryant & Stratton’s Business College at Chicago, where he remained one year. He then taught school for some years in Champaign County, when, in 1872, he came to New-man, and for three years held the principal ship of the Newman schools. In 1875 he was elected...

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Biographical Sketch of William E. Atwell

William E. Atwell was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, in the year A. D. 1831, and there grew to man’s estate, when he moved to a farm in Pendleton County in the same state. He wedded Miss Nancy Barrett, of near Cynthiana. She died in June, 1897. They had twelve children, all of whom are living and doing well in the world. Mr. Atwell is a son of William and Ursla (Fields) Atwell, who were natives of old Virginia. His grandfathers were Hugh Atwell and Leban Fields, the former born in Virginia and the latter in North Carolina.. Mr. Atwell, who is a warm hearted gentleman, for which his state is noted, has for several years made his home with one of his daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Wyeth, in her beautiful country seat in Garrett...

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Biography of Thomas W. Roberts

Thomas W. Roberts, the bright young lawyer of Tuscola, attorney for the I. D. & W. R. R. Co. and city attorney, has from the humble walks of life pressed his way to the front and today stands among the leading and most successful lawyers at the bar. Thomas W. Roberts was born in Owens-burg, Green County, Indiana, May 1, 1866, and soon thereafter came with his parents to Douglas County, and located at Camargo, where young Robert attended school until sixteen years of age. In 1882 his father removed to Tuscola, and there the young man learned the tinner’s trade. But that was only a means to an end, and in 1886 he was appointed to a clerk-ship in the treasury department at Washington, where he worked day time and attended school at night, and for four years continued in the preparatory department of Georgetown University, after which he took a four-years’ course in the law department of the same institution and was graduated in 1892. Mr. Roberts was at once admitted to the bar of Illinois, and entered upon his chosen profession, becoming the partner of the late C. W. Woolverton (see sketch), with whom he continued until the death of his associate in 1895, since which time Mr. Roberts has continued in the practice alone. He is attorney for the I. D. & W. R. R....

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Biographical Sketch of Charles A. Hawkins

Charles A. Hawkins, the present gentlemanly County clerk, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, May 25, 186o, and is a son of William and Sarah (Hard) Hawkins, natives of the same state. His father died in 1866. Mr. Hawkins was principally educated at, Danville, Indiana, and spent two and a half years teaching. He served his Township (Newman) as tax collector and supervisor, and in November, 1898, was elected County clerk. On October 7, 1884, Mr. Hawkins married Louisa J. Curtis, of Newman, and they have four children: Claude A., Opal B., Pearl L. and Jay M.. Our subject is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias and is active in Republican...

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Biographical Sketch of Washington D. Boyce

Washington David Boyce was born at the foot of Blue Ridge near Leesburg, Lee County, Virginia, in the year A. D. 1802 and died in Camargo Township in February, 1882. He was among the first settlers in that Township, where he entered forty acres of land. He established the first blacksmith shop at the village of...

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Biography of William H. Fisher

William H. Fisher, a retired farmer and an ex-soldier of the Civil war, came to Douglas County in 1877 and located on a farm two and a half miles southeast of Arcola, which he purchased and resided on for four years, when he removed to Albany, Oregon. In 1882 he returned to Douglas County and located on a farm in Tuscola Township, remaining here for two years. He then purchased a farm east of Galton, which he owned and re-sided upon for ten years, when, in 1893, he moved to Tuscola, where he at present resides. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land, northwest of town. Our subject was born in Ohio County, Indiana, January 7, 1839, and was a son of Andrew and Eliza (Hunter) Fisher, the former a native of Butler County, Ohio, and the latter of Switzerland County, Indiana. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Fisher, was a Pennsylvanian by birth. His maternal grand-father, John Hunter, was born in Ireland, and subsequently emigrated to Switzerland County, Indiana, and then to Ohio County, Indiana. Mr. Fisher’s paternal great-grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and several other members of the Fisher family were in the Indian and other early wars. William H. Fisher was reared in Jefferson County, Indiana, on a farm, and in August, 1862, he volunteered in the Eighty-third Indiana Infantry and served until the close of...

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Biography of Alexander McNeill

Alexander McNeill, farmer, was a son of Alexander and Nancy (Montgomery) Mc-Neill, and was born in Ireland March 10, 1808. The first twenty-six years of his life he spent in his native land. In 1834 he emigrated to America, landing in Philadelphia. Thence, two months later, went to Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, where, upon letters of introduction from his uncles in the old country, he obtained a situation as clerk in a cotton establishment. After a year he accepted a position as clerk in a dry goods store at Owensville, Bath County, Kentucky, where he remained six years, then sold goods on his own account in the same town, having been saving and diligent during his seven years’ clerkship, which enabled him to engage in business for himself. Owing to ill health, after about four years in mercantile pursuits, he bought a large farm in Bath County, Kentucky, and began farming, which has been his principal pursuit since. It is proper to here note the causes which induced his removal from Kentucky to Illinois. Soon after coming to America he became a Whig, then a Republican and the breaking out of the Civil war found him a Union man: Bath County, his home, was the constant scene of guerrilla war-fare, and men like Mr. McNeill lived in a state of constant jeopardy. In 1863 his home was invaded by...

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Biographical Sketch of T. M. Richards

T. M. Richards, a leading merchant and grain buyer of Haves, Illinois, was born in Douglas County, Illinois, August 7, 1864, and is a son of Thomas Y. Richards, who was a native of Hardin County, Kentucky, where he was born in 1818. The latter moved to this County in the ‘forties and was engaged in farming. He was three times remarried and was the father of nine children, of whom all are dead excepting T. M. and G. R. Richards. His last wife was Hester A. Reat, and she was the mother of the above named boys (see sketch of Dr. J. L. Reat). Thomas Y. Richards died in 1872. T. M. Richards has been twice married, first, in. January, 1889, to Miss Dove E. Donnals, daughter of R. T. Donnals, of Tuscola, Illinois. She was born December 16, 1866, and died November 20, 1894. Their marriage was blessed with two children: Beryl E., born September 28, 1889, and Theodore T., born February 16, 1892. Our subject was again married, in October, 1897, to Mrs. Effie M. Doty, of Effingham County, her maiden name being Baker. She was married to W. Doty in 1891. He died December 3, 1893. They had one boy, Daniel I. Doty. Mr. and Mrs. Richards also have two children: Ralph H., born August 4, 1898, and Lee M., born December 27, 1899. Mr....

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