lens of his unerring judgment. He was never known to experiment upon his patients, always
using remedies known to be useful, after due investigation and trial of their merits. In addition
to his eminent skill as a physician and surgeon, Doctor Noecker is a remarkably efficient business
man. He not only knows how to make money, but he is expert in placing it where it will
increase. He is a citizen who has the highest respect of all who are favored with his acquain-
tance; is social, affable and congenial in his intercourse with mankind, and has a large circle of
friends who admire him for his true manhood and his moral and intellectual worth.
HON. BENJAMIN F. BERRIAN.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BERRIAN, judge of the county of Adams, is a native of New York
city, a son of George W. and Hannah (Brower) Berrian; and dates his birth October 2, 1830.
Both parents were also born in that city. His father was a land agent. Benjamin came to
Adams county in 1844; was a farmer here for about fifteen years, then went back to New York,
and became a druggist ; returned to Adams county ; read law at Quincy ; was admitted to the
bar in 1873, and engaged in probate business mainly. In 1877 he was elected to the office of
county judge by his democratic constituents, and after serving five years, was reelected, in Novem-
ber, 1882, making a very faithful officer. He is a Knight Templar, and is the father of three
HON. JOHN H. WILLIAMS.
JOHN HAMILTON WILLIAMS, judge of the sixth judicial circuit, is a son of Archibald and
Nancy (Kemp) Williams, and was born in Quincy, April 12, 1833. His great-grandfather,
Hukey Williams, was a soldier in the revolutionary army. Archibald Williams came to Illinois
in 1829 from Kentucky, where he was born in 1801. He settled in Quincy. He was an eminent
lawyer, and associate at the bar with President Lincoln, Judge Douglas, and that class of legal
lights in central and western Illinois thirty and forty years ago; was a member of the constitu-
tional convention in 1847; a member of the legislature two or three terms; United States district
attorney under Presidents Taylor and Fillmore; was appointed United States district judge for
Kansas, March 14, 1861, by President Lincoln, and died September 21, 1863.
The subject of this sketch was educated at the Missouri State University, at Columbia, Boone
county, leaving at the 'close of his junior year; read law at Quincy with his father and Hon.
Charles B. Lawrence; was admitted to the bar in February, 1855, and practiced his profession at
Quincy until he went on the bench, to which he was elected in the autumn of 1879. At the bar
Judge Williams was known as a sound lawyer and a wise counselor, rather than as a fluent and
brilliant advocate. He has a good judicial mind; as a jurist is conscientious, clear-headed and
deliberate; is very kind, particularly to the younger members of the bar, and is constantly gain-
ing in popularity.
822 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
Judge Williams reached his majority in 1854, simultaneously with the demise of the whig
party, in which school of politics he had been reared by his father, who was a prominent member
of it for a score of years or more. His proclivities, like those of his father, were of a free-soil
tendency, and he promptly linked his fortune with the new-born party of freedom, which came
into power March 4, 1861, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln.
HON. SAMUEL S. GILBERT.
QAMUEL SAYWARD GILBERT is a son of Jonathan and Mary Sayward Gilbert, and was
w_J born at Gloucester, Massachusetts, January 27, 1827. He was educated in part in the free
schools of that state; came to Illinois in 1835; finished his education at Shurtleff College, Upper
Alton, teaching school meantime in Scott county and at Upper Alton. He came to Carlinville in
1848; here studied law, and was called to the bar in 1850. He was elected county judge in 1852,
to fill a vacancy; was refilected in 1853, and had the office in all five years. He has held at differ-
ent times the office of master of chancery, and was a member of the legislature one term, being
elected in 1875, and serving as chairman of the committge on insurance. He was a democrat
until the civil war began, and returned to that party in 1872. He married, in 1851, Frances Mc-
Clure, a native of Kentucky, and has three sons living.
THOMAS J. RUSSELL.
JEFFERSON RUSSELL, judge of Brown county, is a son of James and Sarah
J. (Lincoln) Russell, and was born in Hamilton county, near Cincinnati, Ohio, June 3, 1827.
His father was a miller, and a native of Vermont. Thomas had only a very ordinary education ;
came to Fulton county, this state, in 1843 ; farmed until eighteen years of age, and then worked in
a grist mill ; came to Brown county in 1845, and was here engaged in grist mills and saw mills,
near Versailles, until about 1861. He then built with others, and ran for several years, a mill of
At twenty-eight years of age he was elected justice of the peace for Elkhorn township, the
duties of which office absorbed a portion of his time for many years. In 1870 he was elected
police magistrate for the corporation of Versailles, and that office he still holds. He is also an
undertaker and farmer, in company with his brother, William N. Russell. In 1877 Mr. Russell
was elected county judge, and after serving five years he was reglected in November, 1882. He
is a republican, living in a strong democratic county.
HON. AUGUST W. BERGGREN.
AJGUST WERNER BERGGREN, merchant and state senator, is a native of Sweden, a son
of John and Catherine (Larson) Berggren, and was born August 17, 1842. He received an
ordinary business education in the old country; partially learned the tailor's trade there; came
to this country in 1856, worked a year at tailoring in Victoria, Knox county, and then settled in
Galesburgh, the seat of justice of that county. Here he worked a few years at his trade of mer-
chant tailoring; was then elected justice of the peace; served in that capacity till 1872, when he
was elected sheriff of the county. He was reflected in 1874, 1876 and 1878, serving eight con-
secutive years, and making a very commendable record in the shrievalty. In 1880 he was nomi-
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 823
nated by his republican friends in Knox and Mercer counties, for the office of state senator for
the term of four years, and was elected. He is chairman of the committee on fees and salaries,
and a member of five or six other committees, being a good practical and industrious worker in
that body. Mr. Berggren is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order and past grand master of
the Odd-Fellows of the state. He is also a member of the Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church.
HON. EDWARD L. CRONKRITE.
EDWARD LAFONTAINE CRONKRITE, a prominent merchant and an experienced legis-
lator, is a native of Rensselaer county, New York, a son of Joseph G. and Phebe (Caldwell)
Cronkrite, and dates his birth June 27, 1832. His father was also born in that state, and his
mother was a native of Connecticut. He received an academic education at West Poultney, Ver-
mont; taught school awhile in New York state; went to California in 1855; returned eastward in
1859; settled in Freeport, his present home, and after holding a clerkship between two and three
years, engaged in mercantile pursuits. Mr. Cronkrite has been an alderman and mayor of the
city for four years. He was a member of the legislature from 1873 to 1879; was the democratic
candidate for state treasurer, 1878; was again elected to the legislature in 1880, and reflected
in 1882, and is serving his tenth year in a legislative body, his district being the twelfth. He is
regarded by all parties as a wise law maker. He has always affiliated with the democratic party,
and is often seen at district and state conventions.
EDWARD P. BARTON.
1 ^DWARD PECK BARTON, one of the leading lawyers in Stephenson county, is a son of
lj David L. and Almira (Peck) Barton, and was born at Marshall, Oneida county, New York,
June 5, 1829. His grandfather, David Barton, was from Massachusetts, where his great-grand-
father enlisted in the army and fought for independence.
David L. Barton was a farmer and reared his children in habits of industry. Edward aided
in tilling the land, attending a district school in the winter term until sixteen years old, when he
commenced preparing for college. He entered Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, in 1847;
was graduated in 1851; read law in the same place with Professor Theodore Dwight, LL.D., now
at the head of the law department of Columbia College, New York, and was licensed to practice
in Oswego in 1852. Mr. Barton practiced for three years in New York city and Brooklyn, and in
the spring of 1856 settled in Freeport. His legal acquirements are above the average, and he is
an honest and thoroughly trustworthy man, and is regarded as one of the best judges of law in
JUDGE JOSEPH SIBLEY.
JOSEPH SIBLEY was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, in the year 1818, and is the youngest
J son of Aaron and Tryphena Sibley. His father was a farmer of limited means. The life of
a farmer was unsuited to the tastes of Joseph, and it was arranged that he should learn the whip-
making trade. He worked at it for several years with success, and then engaged in merchandis-
ing till 1842, when he lost by fire all that he had accumulated. He was now appointed deputy
sheriff of Hampden county, and after serving in this office one year, removed to Schenectady,
New York, and began the study of law in the office of Page and Patten. In 1846 he was
824 UNITED STATES RIOCRA l> II ICAL DICTIONARY.
admitted to the bar, and removed to the West. Having no definite location in view, after visiting
several places he finally settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1850 he was elected to the general assem-
bly, and reelected in 1852. At the opening of his second term he was candidate for the speaker-
ship of the house, but was defeated by Ex-Governor John Reynolds. During this term, as chairman
of the committee on banks and corporations, he rendered valuable service.
In the spring of 1853 he removed to Warsaw, and formed a partnership with J. M. True, and
continued with him till June, 1855, when he was elected judge of the circuit court. During a
term of six years he served with such entire satisfaction to the bar and people that he was
reelected in 1861, without opposition.
He removed to Quincy in June, 1865, and has since made it his home. 1867 he was elected
for another term of six years. Also in 1873, judges' salaries were increased, several candidates
were brought into the field, and the democratic party thought it advisable to call a convention to
decide upon the claims of the several aspirants. Judge Sibley was chosen the candidate by a
decided .majority, and after a warm contest was elected over a strong opposition.
On returning from the bench he resumed the practice of the law, and stands at the head of
the Adams county bar.
HON. JOHN M. PEARSON
THIS gentleman is a member of the legislature from Madison county, and quite active and
efficient. He was born about the time the Asiatic cholera came to this country (1832), and
is the son of a ship carpenter, whose home was at Newburyport, Massachusetts, fifty and sixty
years ago. Mr. Pearson came to Alton in 1849, and now resides in Godfrey, same county. He
was engaged for years in the manufacture of agricultural implements, and is now farming.
Mr. Pearson was a member of the warehouse commission from 1873 to 1877; was elected to
the lower house of the legislature in 1878, and has been twice reelected. He is one of the most
painstaking and diligent members of the house on the republican side; is a Knight Templar in
Freemasonry, and a member of the Congregational church. He has a wife and three children.
PENNOYER L. SHERMAN.
THE subject of this sketch is a native of Pompey (now La Fayette), Onondaga county, New
York, and is a lineal descendant of Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, one of the signers of
the declaration of independence. After finishing his primary education, he prepared for college
at the academies of Homer and Pompey Hill, in his native county, the last named being, in those
days, a famous school, and one in which many men, who in later years became distinguished,
received their early training. He entered the freshman class of Hamilton College in 1847, being
then sixteen years of age, and graduated in 1851.
As a boy, he was fond of reading, and in college was known as a thorough student and good
scholar, and possessing clear perceptive faculties, good reasoning powers, and an ability to express
himself in clear and forcible language, he was naturally attracted to the legal profession. Hon.
Daniel Gott, a celebrated lawyer, had his office at Pompey, and under his careful tuition and
training, many of the most distinguished lawyers of central New York received their legal edu-
cation. In fact, it came to be regarded in those days that a course of instruction under his able
tuition was equivalent to a graduation from the best law school in the country. Here young
Sherman pursued a thorough course of legal study, bringing to his work a mind well stored with
useful knowledge, and carefully disciplined by his earlier education, and so capable of utilizing
his superior advantages.
H C Zacatr J, I C.-.
En. by t C.Williimi J Bt.NY
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES BIOC.RA PIl ICA I. DICTIONAKY. g 2 7
In 1853 he decided to make his home in the West, and removing to Chicago, entered the law
office of Collins and Williams, and continued his legal studies, and in 1855 was admitted to the
bar of Illinois, at once entering into the active practice of his profession, which has since engaged
his undivided attention. As a lawyer he is, in the truest sense, an ornament to his profession,
and as a civil practitioner has few superiors. Careful and thorough in the preparation of his
cases and briefs, and clear and forcible in their presentation, he seldom fails to impress court or
jury with the earnestness of his convictions, or the justness of his cause. He is a man of modest
mien, quiet and unostentatious, and succeeds in his profession through earnest, constant, and
well directed effort. As a man, he is known and esteemed for his upright and manly dealing,
and enjoys the fullest confidence of all with whom he has to do, either professionally, socially, or
as a business man.
HON. HENRY B. HOPKINS.
HENRY BRIDGEMAN HOPKINS, son of John Turner Hopkins, and Matilda (Hall) Hop-
kins, was born in Peacham, Caledonia county, Vermont, October 4, 1826. He received a
common-school and academic education ; taught school during several winters ; learned his
father's trade, that of a harness maker; read law at Chester, Windsor county ; was admitted to
the bar in that county in 1853 ; practiced at Chester- until the spring of 1854, and in May of that
year settled in Peoria, where he soon worked his way into a fair practice. He was master in
chancery from 1856 to 1862.
As a pleader he is clear in analysis and statement, happy in arrangement, and exhaustive ;
and he is successful before a jury, rather because of the lucidness and force of his arguments
than the persuasiveness of his oratory. In argument before the court he is hardly surpassed for
exhaustive examination, and concise, and logical preservation of the law. His success maybe
fairly attributed to his carefulness, thoroughness, fidelity and untiring industry.
In March, 1873, Mr. Hopkins was appointed judge of the sixteenth judicial circuit, to fill a
vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge T. B. Puterbaugh, and held that office till July of the
same year. He was the republican candidate for reelection, but it was the year of the granger
cyclone, and he, with many other worthy men of his party, was defeated.
The judge is a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and a man of sterling moral char-
acter. He was married in October, 1857, to Miss Emily A. Hough, of Lebanon, New Hampshire,
and they have seven children.
HON. WILLIAM THOMAS.
ILLIAM THOMAS, the oldest lawyer in the state of Illinois, was born in Warren, now
Allen county, Kentucky, November 22, 1802. His parents were Walter Thomas and Nancy
(Pulliam) Thomas, both natives of Virginia. Walter Thomas was sheriff of Warren county, and
when Allen county was set off he became sheriff of the latter county. His father, William
Thomas, for whom our subject was named, was wounded in the battle of King's Mountain, Octo-
ber, 1780, and carried his wound until his death. Nancy Pulliam was a daughter of Captain
Benjamin Pulliam, who served through the whole successful contest of the colonies to free them-
selves from the British yoke. He raised a family of sixteen children, all living to manhood and
The subject of this sketch picked up what little education he had in youth by attending winter
schools up to his fifteenth year. His teachers were not very learned, all of them being innocent
of any knowledge of English grammar. Mr. Thomas educated himself after he was old enough
to appreciate the value of mental discipline.
828 UNITED STATES IUOGKA 1'lfICA I. DICTIONARY.
When about eighteen years of age, Mr. Thomas became deputy sheriff of Allen county, under
his father, filling that post two years; subsequently, was deputy clerk in two different offices, a
short time in each; was a student at law at the same time at Bowling Green, in the office of Hon.
James T. Morehead, afterward governor of Kentucky; was licensed to practice July 5, 1823, lack-
ing a few months of being of age, and for one year he attended to the business of Mr. Morehead
at Russellville, Kentucky. He then ^#ent into practice with Judge Joseph R. Underwood, of
Bowling Green, until the autumn of' 1826, when he came to Jacksonville, reaching this place
October 12. The first three months that he spent here he was the village schoolmaster.
Mr. Thomas was in active practice here for fifty-five years, and still has an office, though he
does no new business. He is the oldest lawyer now in practice in the state, Hon. John T.
Stuart, of Springfield, being probably the next oldest. For thirty or forty years Mr. Thomas
stood in the front rank among the lawyers of central Illinois, being a contemporary of Abra-
ham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, John J. Hardin, Stephen G. Logan, Cyrus Walker, O. H.
Browning, Archibald Williams, General E. D. Baker, etc.
Mr. Thomas was in the Winnebago war of 1827, serving as quartermaster's sergeant under
Colonel Neal, having heavy labors and small pay.
In 1828 a circuit-court district was established north of the Illinois River, called the fifth circuit,
and our subject was appointed by Governor Edwards state's -attorney of the same, which he
resigned in the fall of 1829. He was one of three commissioners appointed by the United States
to fix the location of the public buildings at Quincy.
Early in the year 1831 he was appointed a commissioner, with Hon. John T. Stuart, to visit
Rock Island and other places, on personal testimony to prove to the satisfaction of President
Jackson that the facts required war with Black Hawk. Their testimony was satisfactory to the
In 1831 he was quartermaster of the army under General Duncan, who drove the Sacs and
Foxes across the Mississippi River, beloVl Rock Island; and on Black Hawk's return to Illinois the
next spring, our subject served in the same capacity under General Whiteside.
In 1834 Mr. Thomas was elected a member of the state senate; was reflected in 1838, and
after serving for six years in that body, was elected judge of the first judicial circuit. In the first
session that he was in the legislature, he introduced the bill known as the seven years' limitation
case (1835) with reference to land, which bill passed and became the first law of the kind in the
state. Until the meeting of the legislature in December, 1834, no incorporated literary institu-
tion existed in the state. In that session separate bills had been prepared for incorporating the
colleges at Jacksonville, Upper Alton, and Lebanon. In order to unite the friends of these insti-
tutions and secure joint efforts and support, Judge Thomas proposed to the friends to unite them
all in one bill, which being agreed to, he prepared .the bill, which was passed, and opposition to
such act ceased from that time. He also introduced a bill which passed, authorizing religious
societies to hold property for purposes of education and divine worship, nothing of the kind
being on the statutes before.
Judge Thomas was the author of the first bill, which became a law about 1837, authorizing
the organization of free schools in this state, and he received many high compliments and warm
congratulations for his work and success in that direction. It was through his influence that part
of the surplus revenue of the United States belonging to Illinois was set aside for the use of the
public schools. The amount thus set aside, as appears by the auditor's report, was $335,592.50.
During the last four years that he was in the senate (1836-1840), he was chairman of the com-
mittee on canals and canal lands, and was the author of all the bills passed during that period on
that subject. While in the senate, he made a report on canals, recommending the deep cut, and
his report was adopted and carried out. Judge Thomas sat on the bench for two years, and then
returned to the practice of his profession.
In 1846 Judge Thomas was again elected to the general assembly, and introduced a bill for
the establishment of a hospital for the insane, in which movement he was encouraged by Miss D.
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 829
L. Dix, the noted philanthropist of Boston, Massachusetts, who had visited him and others at
Jacksonville in the spring of 1846. During the next winter he introduced her to the members of
the legislature, and a bill was finally drawn up, passed, and become a law in February, 1847, the
result being the hospital now and for thirty-five years in successful operation at Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville "Weekly Journal," April 27, 1881, in a historical sketch of the asylums or hospi-
tals at Jacksonville, speaking of this matter, and giving a list of the members of the legislature
who voted for the bill for a hospital for the insane, states that Judge Thomas "was very instru-
mental in securing the passage of the bill."
He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1847, and was one of the most indefati-
gable workers in that body, as he had been in every session of the legislature while he was a
member. He went to Vandalia, and later to Springfield, to work for the interest of the state ;
and the stamp of his .strong and molding mind is in many of the laws of the commonwealth.
He was known in those days as the "dray horse" of the whig party. His last act as a member
of the house of representatives was to prepare and introduce a bill providing for condemning
land for railroad and other road purposes, which bill passed, June 22, 1852.
About the time of the commencement of the civil war, our subject and Mr. Woodworth, of
Chicago, and Mr. Lanphier, of Springfield, were appointed an army auditing committee, to audit
accounts against the state for supplies for the use of the army. The judge acted upon accounts
for more than two millions. During the time of his service, he was appointed agent for the state
with authority to secure from the United States money to be used by the state authorities in the
service of the country. He went to Washington and procured $450,000, which he safely delivered
to the state treasurer. Subsequently he was of great service to the state and the country in a
similar line of duty. No truer patriot or more honest man had the handling of funds in this
state during the rebellion.
When more money was required to meet the pressing demands and necessities, Governor
Yates, with Judge Kellogg, went to Washington to secure this demand. They obtained, as the
governor understood it, one million of treasury notes, to be used by him in paying war expenses.
He returned to Illinois by Philadelphia and New York, and upon reaching home found a quarter-
master of the United States army with orders to receive and disburse this money. The governor
refused to surrender it, insisting that it was paid to him for disbursement. The question was
here presented as to how this money must be disposed of, and was referred back .to the quarter-