lence and deep piety. She was married at the age of seventeen, and was called to rest from her
labors August 31, 1876, after being blessed in a most happy married life of nearly fifty years. She
was a native of Southwick, Hampden county, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Chauncey Ives, an
officer in the war of 1812, and a gentleman of great refinement, energy and decision of character.
Her grandfather Pelton was a soldier in the revolutionary war.
Peter Van Schaack, whose career we now record, was born at Manlius, New York, April 7,
1832. He attended the academy at that place till about fourteen years old, when, stimulated by
a worthy ambition, he boldly set out upon the business of his life. From a very early age he had
developed a great preference for the drug business, and as soon as he could get permission he
entered a drug store in Albany, New York, as a clerk. Here he made very rapid progress, and in
the year 1849 went to New York city, and engaged in business there, but the climate not agreeing
with his health, in 1856 he went to Charleston, South Carolina, and established a wholesale and
retail drug house. He soon had a very large and lucrative business, commanded the confidence
of the trade, had unlimited credit in New York, and most brilliant prospects for the future,
when the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter sounded the death knell of all his busi-
ness hopes. He had the wisdom to foresee the trouble in store for all northern men within the
rebel lines, and without delay sent his wife and two little children north. He remained till mid-
summer, when he was compelled to abandon all his possessions, and went to Europe. On his
return he visited General Gilmore, and was present at the bombardment of Charleston by the
gunboats under his command. He had the satisfaction to see his store with what remained of
its contents unconfiscated, consumed by the fire of the Union shells.
It may be well to mention here that of all his possessions in Charleston he brought away
scarcely anything, but after the close of the war he recovered the life-size image of a negro, which
stood as a sign in front of his store, holding the brazen mortar and pestle. That oaken corpse of
defunct hopes still stands in the yard in the rear of his residence in Chicago, minus head and
arms, knocked off by one of Gilmore's shells, thrown over three miles, from the Swamp Angel, in
1864. It is a melancholy memento of what Judge Tourgee calls " A Fool's Errand," but invaluable
to him and his family as a proof of the indomitable energy and skill of the head of the house who
so rapidly and surely snatched victory from defeat, and replaced a lost fortune by a greater one.
114 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
While being entertained by General Gilmore at his headquarters, on Morris Island, Charleston
Harbor, he shared in the common anticipation of an easy victory and the speedy termination of
the rebellion, but after a fruitless waiting of some months he gave up the hope and returned to
New York. Here he remained in business about a year, but in the spring of 1864 came to Chi-
cago, and established "The Old Salamander Drug House," an establishment whose name and solid
reputation has penetrated to every drug store of the Northwest. As an unmistakable indication
of the strength of his character and of its solid foundation in the principles of honesty and
uprightness, it may be mentioned that Mr. Van Schaack steadily refused to leave his old home in
Charleston until all his business indebtedness at the North, as well as at the South had been paid
in full. As an illustration of this it may be stated that the gold that went to pay his last northern
account had to be bought at a premium of eighty-six per cent.
But adverse fortune seemed bent on his overthrow; and after he became fully established in
Chicago, but before he had recovered his losses consequent upon the rebellion, the terrible Lake
street fire, in the winter of 1868, came and swept all away for the second time. Everything but
honor, reputation and energy went down in thefury of the flames. But "The Old Salamander
Drug House " justifies its reputation, and the next day, phcenix-like, it had arisen from the
ashes and stuck out a new shingle.
Mr. Van Schaack, who is, by the way, a great wag, informed the trade, on a large sign board
placed in front of the ruins of his old store, that, "on account of the intense heat," they had
removed to new quarters, and could hereafter be found at the corner of Randolph street and
Michigan avenue. The drug house of Van Schaack, Stevenson and Company, although having
sustained heavy losses in the great Chicago fire of 1871 by the total destruction of their store and
warehouse, paid one hundred cents on the dollar, and immediately resumed business upon as
sound a basis as before. After the fire, when mercantile houses were at a great extremity to
secure temporary facilities for carrying on their business, Mr. Van Schaack found a large and
commodious church, which had recently been vacated, and thinking that a building once ded-
icated to religious uses would be still further consecrated by the pure incense of genuine drugs
and patent medicines, the firm made that their resting place until their new store, on the old site,
at the corner of Lake and Dearborn streets, was completed.
For a period now of nearly twelve years fortune has continued to smile on them, and the
house has reached the pinnacle of prosperity, and may be said to be second to none in their line
in the Northwest. His energy and executive ability are remarkable. To witness the celerity
and vim with which he dispatches business makes an easy-going man feel like stepping off the
track to let the train go by. Few men have either the energy or the will-power to battle as he
has done with the outrages of an adverse fortune, and conquer them all while still a young man.
He has been the living embodiment of persistent energy and indomitable pluck, and has
triumphed over obstacles and disasters which would have crushed ordinary men.
His whole life has been a grand illustration of the motto of his family, " Snperanda fortiina
ferendo." This has been the philosophy of his life, as it was that of his grandfather, Peter Van
Schaack, and interpreted by his own language and the events through which he has passed, means
that " fortune is to be overcome by enduring it with patience and fortitude."
In the fall of 1857 Mr. Van Schaack contracted a happy matrimonial alliance with Miss Louise
Smith, the only child of J. Calvin Smith, a wholesale merchant of New York city, and a gentle-
man of great education and fine social position. Her grandfather was the well-known Isaac T.
Storm, the founder of the firm of Storm, Smith and Company, one of the oldest mercantile
houses in America. Four sons and one daughter, the latter recently happily married, are the fruit
of this union. Mr. Van Schaack gives employment to three sons in his immense establishment.
His second son, Henry Cruger Van Schaack, is one of the rising young attorneys of Chicago, and
bids more than promise to keep up the legal reputation of the family. He has a fine legal mind,
is a great student and a fluent orator, and will make his mark as 'a court advocate. He is one of
the trustees of his ahna mater, the Chicago University, and is associated with his uncle, Corne-
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 115
Hits Van Schaack, a well known and successful attorney of this city, and an officer under General
Sheridan in the late war. In 1880 Mr. Van Schaack took his entire family with him to Europe
for an extended trip. The eldest son, however, continued his travels into Egypt, and furnished
the "Times" and European journals with a series of very brilliant letters from the ancient land
of the Pyramids. He is a gentleman of fine mind and extensive information, and his letters were
widely read and greatly admired. Politically Mr. Van Schaack is a democrat, but not an office-
seeker, nor a slave to party. With his natural, sturdy independence he follows his own inclina-
tions, and votes for the best man, regardless of party. He is by nature, however, an inveterate
'foe to oppression and without reverence for ancient abuses, however strongly intrenched in cus-
tum. This makes him a reformer, and hence, while a member of Christ Episcopal Church, he
took sides heartily in the reformed movement headed by Bishop Cheney, and, as a member of
the vestry, stood by him in the subsequent successful struggle with Bishop Whitehouse over the
possession of the church property belonging to the congregation.
NATHAN E. LYMAN.
NATHAN ELIJAH LYMAN, president of the People's Bank of Rockford, was born in Rush-
ford, Allegany county, New York, November 17, 1834, being a son of Reuben L. Lyman,
a farmer, of New York birth, and Mary C. (Kimball) Lyman, a native of Vermont. His grand-
father, Elijah Lyman, was a soldier in the second war with England, and his great-grandfather,
Gideon Lyman, in the first. The Lyman family came from Highongar, England, near the close
of the seventeenth century, and our subject is descended from John Lyman, which branch settled
at Northampton, Massachusetts, spreading thence into New York and the western states.
Nathan was educated at the Rushford Academy, having among his schoolmates Hon. Henry
M. Teller, United States senator for Colorado, and Hon. Thaddeus C. Pound, member of congress
Mr. Lyman taught school three years in his native state, and in 1855 came to Illinois, locating
at Erie, Whiteside county, and there engaging in mercantile pursuits. In 1861 he removed to
Livingston county, and aided in founding the old Fairbury Bank, which afterward became the
First National Bank of Fairbury.
In 1873, at thirty-eight years of age, Mr. Lyman was elected president of the People's Bank
of Rockford, and immediately removed to this city. He has proved an able manager of this insti-
tution, and is making it a grand success, it being one of the most substantial banks in Winnebago
Mr. Lyman is treasurer and one of the directors of the Rockford Boot and Shoe Manufactur-
ing Company, of which he was one of the founders; is one of the proprietors of the Rockford
Cutlery Company, and a member of the firm of Lockwood and Lyman, who are manufacturing
screen doors, green wire cloth, brass and iron wire cloth, door springs, etc., these all being pros-
perous enterprises. Mr. Lyman is also treasurer of the Home Building and Loan Association,
another thrifty institution. He has likewise the same office in the Merchants and Manufacturers'
Mutual Insurance Company. The burdens of office seem to be heaped upon him, but he has
spirit sufficient for them all.
Sunday is a busy day with him, as well as the six week days, for he is superintendent of the
Court street Methodist Sunday school, of which church he is a member and very liberal supporter,
and we doubt if any labor is performed by him with more cheerfulness and zest than that of the
day of rest. "Mr. Lyman is known," writes a friend, "as an earnest Christian worker, ready for
every good word and work. Sincerely devoted to the interests of the city, the church and his
home, there is not to be found a busier man in Rockford. His advice is sought in matters of
business, and the various official relations he sustains to the church attest to the high esteem in
Il6 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
which he is held. His genial nature wins him many warm friends. Mr. Lyman is greatly inter-
ested in the local schools, and was at one period president of the city board of education. He
has held the office of city treasurer for two or three terms.
Mr. Lyman married, March 30, 1857, Rachel A., daughter of Joseph Weaver, one of the leading
citizens of Erie, Illinois, and they have three children.
JOHN H. BEAUMONT, M.D.
FREE FOR T.
JOHN HENRY BEAUMONT, homoeopathic physician and surgeon, one of the oldest medical
J practitioners in Stephenson county, was a native of Washington county, New York, being born
at Sandy Hill, February 12, 1818. His father was William Beaumont, a millwright; his grand-
father was Daniel Beaumont, a revolutionary patriot and soldier of French pedigree, and his
mother was Deborah Harris, a native of New York state. When John was five years the family
moved to Champlain, Clinton county, where the son was educated in the common school, doing
also some work on a farm which his father owned. At an early age he began to take much inter-
est in surgery, which he studied in private, much to the detriment and even destruction of certain
live animals in and about the pig-sty. In his studies in this branch of the healing art, he received
some encouraging words from his cousin, Doctor William Beaumont, that eminent surgeon of the
United States army, who gave the first insight into the theory of digestion, and is the highest
authority on that subject in this country.
The family of William Beaumont fell into the westward current when their son John was
twenty-two years of age, and the father, mother, and ten children found a new home in Elkhart,
Indiana, in 1840. Of this large family of children but one survives the doctor, James Beau-
mont, of Kidder, Missouri, who was present at his brother's funeral.
It was about four years later when the subject of this sketch accepted employment with his
uncle, Deacon Josiah Beaumont, of Joliet, in this state. In 1863 he settled in Freeport, where he
died February 24, 1883.
He was a member of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, and in 1870 was president of the
Illinois Homoeopathic Medical Association, being well known in this state, and having many
prominent medical friends in other states. The doctor wrote occasionally for medical peri-
odicals, mainly reports of cases in connection with his practice. He was a member of the Presby-
terian Church, and a man of excellent standing.
He married in 1844, Miss Alcista Melissa Bebee, a native of Starksborough, Vermont, and they
had three children, all settled in life: Emma, married to George W. Clark, merchant, Freeport;
Rose Ann, married to Doctor L. M. Currier, of Sycamore, Illinois, and John Flanders Beaumont,
M.D., a graduate of the Homoeopathic College, Philadelphia, and of the Ophthalmic Hospital, New
York, who is practicing at Minneapolis, Minnesota, making a specialty of the eye and ear, and
being a young man of much promise.
ALEXANDER BRUCE, banker and railroad contractor, is a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland,
I\. a son of George and Ann (Brown) Bruce, and was born July 30, 1827. His mother was a
native of Banff, Scotland. His father and grandfather were millers and mill-wrights, and when
he had finished his education (common English) he learned the same trade. In 1844 he left the
old country, came directly to Lockport, this state, and there worked at his trade until 1852, when
he moved to La Salle, and took charge of the construction of bridges on the Illinois Central rail-
road, which was then building. The first train to enter La Salle went in from Chicago on the
Rock Island road, March 6, 1853.
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 117
In 1855 Mr. Bruce moved to Marseilles, continuing the same business, in which he has been
engaged most of the time for more than a quarter of a century. He has had contracts on more
than a do/en of roads, principally the masonry of bridges, and is one of the most energetic and
competent business men in this part of the state. In 1864 he commenced buying and shipping
grain, operating at different points, principally at Seneca, La Salle county, and Henry, Marshall
county, building up in a short time a very extensive business, and becoming the leading grain
shipper in this section.
In 1873 Mr. Bruce became a stockholder in the First National Bank of Marseilles, and has
been its president ever since. It is a well managed institution, solid and popular, and doing a
good business. Mr. Bruce has held a few municipal offices, giving a reasonable portion of his
time to the discharge of such duties, but has never been a seeker after honors in that direction.
He seems to have aimed to become a successful business man, and has succeeded admirably. In
politics he early became a republican, voting for General John C. Fremont in 1856, and for
Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and 1864. He married Mary Smith, a native of Scotland, in 1854, and
they have six children.
Mr. Bruce came to the United States with very little means, save a desire to find something to
do, and a good constitution to back up that desire when work was found. His accumulations
are the result of wise plannings and business-pushing propensities.
HENRY L. BENNETT.
HENRY LEROY BENNETT, a prominent flour manufacturer and enterprising man, and a
son of Stephen Bennett, miller, was born at Lisle, Broome county, New York, June 6, 1828.
His mother was Robey Green, whose father was an officer in the revolutionary war, and whose
mother was the wife of three revolutionary officers, and aided in preparing many a meal for General
Washington. She drew a pension till her death, which occurred at ninety-eight years of age.
Henry was educated in a district school, having very limited opportunities, and acquiring a '
business education by his own exertions as the exigencies arose. He left home at seventeen
years of age, learned the milling business at Oswego, New York, and was engaged for several
years in starting mills at various places in that state. Mr. Bennett came to the West in 1855, and
made, at Piano, Illinois, the first flour ever manufactured for Lewis Stewart ; also the first flour
made at Sandwich. He started the mill for Detcher and Wyman, of Amboy, the latter member
of the firm being General Wyman, who was killed at Vicksburg.
In 1859 Mr. Bennett commenced for himself at Avon, Fulton county, where he did a success-
ful business for eight years, removing thence to Geneva in 1866. Here he bought, in company
with his brother, of C. B. Dodson, the City Mills, now known as the Bennett Mills, then having
three run of stone, and since greatly enlarged. The mills now have eight run of stone, and
rollers equivalent to three run, and are running night and day, usually the year round, turning
out one hundred and sixty barrels every twenty-four hours.
Among the most popular brands made in these mills are the Geneva Belle patent, and the
Oracle, straight vhite winter, which, with other cheaper brands of his, are well known all over
this part of the country. So excellent is the quality of his flour, and so great is the demand for
it, that he is sometimes behind in his orders, which is slightly annoying to a prompt business
man like Mr. Bennett. He is one of the best practical millers in the state, having given thirty-
five years to the closest study of the business, and acquired a complete mastery of the art. He
takes pride in his trade, gives his time assiduously to it, and hence the difficulty of eclipsing him
in the manufacture of choice brands of flour.
Mr. Bennett has, at sundry times, done some valuable work in the town council of Geneva,
and is a first-class business man, but he evidently does not covet office. He is a straight republi-
can in politics; a Unitarian in religion and an upright, substantial citizen.
Il8 r.YI TKD STATKS BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
He first married in 1848, Miss Isabel Marsh, of Constantia, Oswego county, New York, and she
died in 1851, leaving one son, Adelbert Bennett, now living in Constantia; and the second time in
1853, Miss Helen E. Bliss, also of Constantia, having by her four children:- Alice, the wife of C.
W. Gates, of Geneva, and Isabel J., George H., and Fred Elmer, who are all at home.
AMONG the self-instructed, self-made and eminently successful citizens of De Kalb county,
Illinois, may be safely ranked the gentleman whose name we have placed at the head of
this sketch. He is a native of Bonddish, Germany, dating his birth March 9, 1827, and is a son of
Christian and Christena (Laman) Haish, members of the farming community. The family came
to this country when Jacob was nine years old, and settled in Crawford county, Ohio, where he
received a limited English education, and had a generous experience in swinging an ax, his father
opening a farm in the woods. He aided in clearing land and tilling the soil until nineteen or
twenty years of age, when he pushed westward into Illinois, and made a halt at Naperville, Du
Page county, where he worked a few seasons at first as a farm hand, While there, in 1848, he
married Miss Sophie Brown, of that county, and a year later came into this county, locating on a
farm in Pierce township. A few years afterward he moved into the village, now city, of De Kalb,
and after working awhile as a house carpenter, a trade which he had picked up, he went into
the lumber trade, at the same time taking contracts as a builder, and doing a thrifty business.
In 1873 he made his first attempt to attach a barb to wire, in December of which year he filed
his first patent, which was issued January 20, 1874. Improvements were made from year to year,
and half a dozen patents in all of his have been issued, fairly entitling him to rank among the
prominent inventors of the present decade. Taking a choice of the lot of his inventions, he has
since been manufacturing steel, barb fencing on the best principle and devices, the same being
the famous S patent, and is meeting with almost marvelous success.
Mr. Haish built his first barb wire factory in 1874, a humble, unpretending structure, which
he enlarged from year to year, and in 1881 he put up a building one hundred by three hundred
feet in length, and two stories highland now gives employment to a hundred workmen, and is
turning out from twenty-five to thirty tons of steel barb wire daily. This is the state of things
in May, 1882, and very likely before this work gets into the hands of its patrons, the capacity of
his shops may be doubled.
When Mr. Haish 's new factory was first completed, the editor of a local paper thus spoke of it:
"The new factory just completed, wherein is manufactured the world renowned Pioneer S
Barb Steel Fence Wire rivals any establishment of the kind in the West as the most perfect in all
its appointments, and the most casual observer will be startled at the effort displayed to intro-
duce all the modern improvements of the age. It is no extravagance of language to say that a
finer equipped factory is not in existence. It has an obelisk one hundred and twenty-five feet in
height, from the summit of which you may look down the inside of a less pretentious structure
twenty miles distant. This obelisk is both ornamental and useful, serving as an advertisement and
guide to the wanderer, and as a smoke stack to the factory. The building covers forty thousand
square feet of floor space ; is two stories in height, with a frontage on Sixth street of one hundred
and twelve feet, and three hundred feet on Main street. The structure is built of pressed brick of
the French Renaissance order of architecture.
To see what science has accomplished, let us walk through the building. You are led natur-
ally to where the gem of an engine is running, so perfect in its movements that no sound indi-
cates that it makes a speed of .one hundred and ten revolutions a minute. It is of the Buckeye
pattern, of the latest approved design, one hundred and fifty horse power, capable of running one
hundred barb fence machines with the needed complement of lathes, drills, spoolers, planers, saw-
STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 121
ing and boring machines, and one sixteen Brush electric light machine. Just beside the engine
are two immense tubular boilers, adorned with a net work of valves and pipes, intricate enough
to the ordinary observer, but all serving their place. One set leads to the large water tanks,
another to supply steam for heating the building, another for an outlet to the chimes or whistles,
whose musical power will awaken the dead memories of the old croakers to the fact that De Kalb
stands out preeminent as a town of push and energy, and the near future will reveal that improve-
ments have only commenced. Just in range with the above comes the dynamo, which generates
the electricity to feed the thirty carbons for lighting the factory, the opera house and principal
streets of the city.
This plant, including engine, boilers, steam pipes, radiators and coils for heating the entire
building, reaches the sum of one hundred thousand dollars. Starting at one end of the building