eminently a self-made man, and one who has toiled hard, and fully appreciates the success which
he has attained. His great determination and perseverance, and the confidence of a large client-
age, betoken for him a bright future, as the firm may be said to now be just starting their business
career, which promises to soon stand at the head of the leading law firms of eastern Illinois.
HON. ROBERT M. A. HAWK.
ROBERT M. A. HAWK, late representative of the sixth congressional district, was born in
Hancock county, Indiana, April 23, 1839. His parents, William H. Hawk and Hannah
(Moffitt) Hawk, were natives of Abingdon, Washington county, Virginia. The early life of the
subject of this sketch was spent in his native town, where he received the rudiments of an educa-
tion at the public schools.
After the death of his mother, in 1844, and one year's residence with his uncle, Captain Will-
iam Moffitt, of Rush county, Indiana, he removed with his father's family to Carroll county, Illinois.
Major Hawk was emphatically a product of the Great West, and grew up under the most favorable
conditions furnished by its purity, simplicity and social equality. He resided in Mount Carroll
almost without interruption since his first removal there, in 1846. Until 1856 he attended the
common schools of Carroll county, when he was placed under the tutelage of his cousin, who kept
a private school, and by whom he was prepared for college. In 1861 he entered Eureka College,
but upon the breaking out of the war, abandoned his studies to enlist in the Union army. While
at home spending his summer vacation, he helped to raise a company, and was mustered in as
first lieutenant of company C, 92d Illinois infantry. He was made captain of his company in
February, 1863, and breveted major for meritorious services, April 10, 1865. He served with his
regiment in central Kentucky during the winter of 1862, and in the Tullahoma and Chattanooga
campaigns in the summer of 1863. He was detailed with his company for duty at General Rose-
crans' headquarters for two months during and after the battle of Chickamauga, September 19
and 20, 1863. In the spring of 1864 he was attached to Kilpatrick's division of cavalry, and took
an active part in the battles and marches of the Atlanta campaign. He made the grand march
with Sherman's army from Atlanta to the sea, and through the Carolinas, his regiment being
K , L. Cooler. Jr. Se CD
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. r O 7
constantly on duty, and almost daily skirmishing with the enemy. At Deep Creek, North Caro-
lina, April 12, 1865, he was severely, and it was supposed mortally, wounded, his wounds result-
ing in the amputation of the right leg above the knee. He has never been able to wear an
artificial limb, but relies upon a peculiarly constructed cane of his own invention.
After the war was over, he married, July 21, 1865, Miss Mary G. Clark, of Eureka. Although
always a busy man, he found time since the war to complete a full course of law studies. At the
November election in 1865 he was elected, by his republican friends, clerk of Carroll county,
which office he filled with such satisfaction that he was reflected successively in 1869, 1873, and
1877. In 1877 he was elected a member of the forty-sixth congress on the republican ticket. He
took part in the proceedings of the extra session of 1878, making a speech on the army appro-
priation bill, April 2, 1879. He served also on the committee on expenditures of the war depart-
ment, and on the militia. His principal speeches were made March 20, 1880, on the bill to
facilitate the refunding of the national debt; February 25, 1881, on apportionment of representa-
tives under the tenth census; and March 3, 1881, on the reorganization of the militia. He also
delivered a fine oration at Oregon, Illinois, September 4, 1876, on the occasion of the reunion of
the 92d regiment of infantry, and one at Byron, May 30, 1877, on decoration day, both of which
were considered as very fine efforts, and widely read.
Major Hawk was a man of very fine presence, of commanding appearance, full of personal
magnetism, and made a very effective and convincing speech, without laying claim to cultivated
and polished oratory. His honest and manly course in congress gave such universal satisfaction
that upon the expiration of the forty-sixth, he was triumphantly returned to the forty-seventh
congress. At the republican convention held at Freeport in June, 1882, Major Hawk was renom-
inated, and died a few weeks afterward.
COLONEL ROBERT H. McFADDEN.
THE subject of this sketch settled in Illinois as early as 1850, a poor boy, with very limited
resources, and built the first house in the now prosperous city of Mattoon. He was born
September 13, 1833, where now stands the city of Zanesville, Ohio. His father was Robert
McFadden, a cabinet-maker by trade, and the maiden name of his mother was Nancy Burrel,
whose parents were old Virginia people, who moved to Ohio at an early date. His paternal
ancestry is traced back to the North of Ireland, whence his grandfather emigrated to America,
settling first in Pennsylvania and subsequently in Ohio.
Robert received his education at Farview, Ohio, where he improved every advantage afforded
by his limited means, and at the same time worked with his father, learning the trade of a cabi-
net-maker. At the age of sixteen he left home and started for the Great West to seek his fortune.
He reached Illinois in the spring of 1850, and worked at different points, and traveled on foot to
Shelby county, where he spent some time.
In 1853 he removed to Coles county, settling in the village of -Paradise, which was then a
small settlement. There he followed his trade until 1855, when he removed to Mattoon, con-
tinuing in the same business, and erected the first building, the same being raised March 28, 1855.
In September of the same year he married Miss Sarah A. Noovell. of Mattoon. Theirs was the
first wedding that had ever taken place in the village.
April 19, 1861, he entered the army as second lieutenant, company B, 2d Illinois infantry, for
three months' service, and at the expiration of his term he assisted in organizing another com-
pany, and entered the service for three years as first lieutenant, company D, 4ist Illinois infantry,
and served faithfully in the Army of the Tennessee, under General Sherman, and through all the
important battles of the South, his regiment participating in twenty-eight regular engagements.
From the position of first lieutenant he was promoted from time to time for bravery, and at the
508 UNITED STATES RfOdKA rilfCAI. DICTIONARY.
end of his three years' service he was made lieutenant-colonel, and assigned to the 53d Illinois.
and was soon promoted to colonel, in which position he served until the close of the war.
Since the close of the war Colonel McFadden has been an active and useful citizen of Mat-
toon, taking a great interest in all public enterprises and objects tending to the general good of
the town, which owes a great deal to his influence.
He is a republican and an active politician, and was one of the originators of the republican
party, casting his first vote for Fremont in 1856. He has been alderman for two terms, mayor
one term, also police magistrate, and is now justice of the peace, and one of the most respected
citizens of Mattoon.
SAMUEL L. GILL.
SAMUEL LINCH GILL, late sheriff of Peoria county, is a son of James and Rebecca (Linen)
Gill, his birth being dated March 4, 1833, in Gloucester county, New Jersey. His father was
born in the same county, and his mother in Salem county, that state. Her father was a captain
in the continental army. James Gill was a farmer, and reared the son in the same pursuit, giving
him a district-school education. When he had reached his majority, in 1854, the subject of this
sketch came to Peoria county, and settled on a farm near Elmwood, improving it until 1865, when
he came into the city of Peoria to accept the post of deputy sheriff under George C. McFadden.
Disposing of his farm, in 1866 he moved his family into the city, where he has since resided. In
1870 he was elected sheriff, and held the office one term, remaining in the office as deputy under
Frank Hitchcock until 1880, excepting one year (1872), when he was chief of police, when he was
again elected sheriff. He made an active and efficient official, always on the alert in the line of
duty, but in 1882 party spirit ran very high; the lines were very closely drawn, and Mr. Gill was
defeated for reelection. The contest, however, was very close, he coming within less than one
hundred votes of an election in a county usually having about six hundred democratic majority.
He is one of the most popular men in Peoria county. His politics are republican, and it is doubt-
ful if any other man in the county has spent more time and money in working for the interests of
his party, he believing that the welfare of the country depends upon its perpetuation in power.
He is a Master Mason.
Mr. Gill was married in 1857 to Miss Anna Elizabeth Hurff, of Elmwood, and they have two
children, Carrie May and Wellington E., the latter being in the stamp department of the revenue
Since leaving the office of sheriff Mr. Gill has been ticket agent in the interest of the Wabash,
Saint Louis and Pacific railroad. About ten years ago he bought a second farm, which he sold
in 1882. Most of his property lies in the city of Peoria and in a silver mine in Georgetown,
Colorado, which he owns in company with several other parties. He is a first-class business man,
and a highly useful citizen.
HON. THEODORE STIMMING.
THEODORE STIMMING, one of the members of the legislature from the sixth senatorial
district, was born in Prenzlau, near Berlin, Prussia, April 2, 1830. His parents were Gott-
lieb Slimming, hatter, and Friedricke (Langmeier) Slimming. He was educated at the Joachims-
thai Gymnasium, at Berlin, one of the largest and best institutions for educalional purposes in
that city, and was graduated for ihe purpose of qualifying himself for one year's military service.
Mr. Slimming was a clerk in a mercantile house for two years, and then participated in the revo-
lution of 1848, being a youth of eighteen summers. He became an exile, coming to this counlry
in the spring of 1849; worked a while on the Lake Shore railroad, east of Cleveland, Ohio, and
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 1509
then went to Cincinnati, where he engaged in the mercantile business, and was the owner of a
September 26, 1854, Mr. Slimming was married to Miss Frederikee Arns, and went to Dubuque,
Iowa. He was a merchant there when the stars and stripes were stricken down in Charleston,
South Carolina. Prompt to obey the call of his adopted country for volunteers to save the Union,
he enlisted April 19, 1861, in company H, ist Iowa infantry, and served in that regiment for one
hundred and fifteen days, the regiment generously offering to remain in the service until after the
bloody battle of Wilson's Creek, in which the brave General Lyon fell. He reenlisted in August,
1862, as first lieutenant of company B, 3151 Iowa infantry. He was promoted, step by step, for
meritorious conduct on the field of battle, until he became lieutenant-colonel of the regiment,
which was mustered out July 5, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, with only three hundred and thirty-
On leaving the service Colonel Slimming returned lo Dubuque, boughl out the Conlinenlal
Hotel, and was its proprietor until the autumrv'of 1872, when he went to Chicago, and became
a traveling agent for a San Francisco house.
In 1878 the colonel was appoinled superinlendenl of Ihe norlh division posloffice, which post
he held until elected to his seal in the legislature, in November, 1882. He is chairman of the
committee on federal relations, and on the committees on license, militia, municipal affairs and
education. He is one of the most diligent men in the house, punctual in his atlendance in the
commitlee rooms and always in his seal when Ihe legislalure is in session. He evidently believes
in earning all the money which the state pays him.
Colonel Slimming came lo Ihis country as a lover of freedom, and a free-soiler from instincl,
and was one of Ihe firsl Germans in Ihe Uniled slates to join Ihe greal party of freedom, which
finally unriveted the chains from 4,000,000 slaves. In Dubuque, where the writer first knew Col-
onel Slimming, he was an indefatigable laborer in Ihe interests of his party, which could always
rely upon him for heavy work during a canvass and at the polls. He is an upright, striclly hon-
orable man, and has greal influence, particularly among counlrymen of his nalivity.
Colonel Slimming has been an Odd-Fellow for many years, and has passed all Ihe chairs in
Ihe encampment He has a family of six children living and has losl Iwo.
LEONARD WELLS VOLK.
CHIC A GO.
HE old adage, "There is no excellence wilhoul labor," never found a more failhful illuslra-
lion lhan in Ihe hislory of Leonard W. Volk. Il is Ihe old story of genius confronted with
the impossible, yet scaling its walls by the force of ils own inspiralion. Hugh Miller found Ihe
dumb granite of his nalive hills instincl wilh reason and full of wisdom, bul dumb and wilhoul
an inlerpreler. He gave il a voice; he placed il upon Ihe stand, and the world in astonishmenl
read, "The Teslimony of Ihe Rocks." Bul in Ihe hands of Miller Ihe slubborn granile spoke ils
own tongue and gave its own record; he could only interprel it, 'while in the hands of the
sculptor it becomes as plastic as the clay, speaks at his command, and utlers all his Ihoughls. He
gives it life, he ^lollies il wilh beauly, he leaches il his native tongue, and it inlerprels him.
Hugh Miller found Ihe angel in Ihe stone, gave him liberty and became his interpreter. Leon-
ard W. Volk changed the slone into an angel, gave it life and speech, and made il speak for him.
Leonard W. Volk had genius, and it could no more be repressed than the bursting bud in spring.
The early years of his boyhood spenl in drudgery upon the lillle stony farms in Berkshire,
Massachusetls; Ihe long apprenliceship with mallei and chisel in the marble shop of his father;
the years of patienl loil al his trade of marble cutter to earn bread for his family; the biller dis-
appoinlmenls, the hopes deferred, the years of wailing, Ihe heavy losses, and Ihe sorrows Ihal are
the heritage of all these were but as the frosts of winter; the spring musl come al last.
t;iO I'.vi TE J) STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
Mr. Volk was born in -Wellstown, Hamilton county, New York, November 7, 1828, and is
descended from some of the earliest settlers of that state. His father, Garret Volk, worked at his
trade for many years in New York city, and finished one of the ten marble Corinthian capitals sup-
porting the dome of the old New York city hall. Leonard was one of a family of eight sons, sev-
eral of whom followed the occupation of his father, and four daughters. Much of his youth was
spent on his father's " Hager's Pond " farm in Berkshire, Massachusetts, but from the age of
sixteen till twenty he spent the time mostly in the marble quarries and works of western Mas-
sachusetts and New York.
While engaged ivith his brother Cornelius at Bethany, New York, he made the acquaintance
of Miss Emily C. Barlow, cousin of the future Senator Douglas, who, seven years afterward,
became his wife. She was the star of his empire, and with her parents moved west to Saint
Louis, whither he followed her in 1848.
In 1849 or 1850 he first attempted modeling, and copied in marble Hart's bust of Henry Clay,
supposed to be the first work of the kind executed west of the Mississippi in that material. He
also received a commission from Archbishop Kenrick to execute two alto-relievo medallions of
Major Biddle and wife for their mausoleum. But this branch of his art did not prove remunera-
tive at that early day, and he was forced to depend chiefly on his trade for his support.
In 1852 he married, at Dubuque, and settled in Galena, Illinois, where he soon after received a
visit from Judge Douglas, who strongly urged a removal to Chicago. He did not, however, heed the
advice, but returned after a time to Saint Louis, and thence to Rock Island, where he engaged in
business with his brother Cornelius. In 1855 he received another visit from his distinguished
cousin, who then generously proffered the necessary means to enable him to go to Italy, and spend
a few years in the study of his art. "I do not ask you," said Judge Douglas, "to accept it as a
gift, but beg you to consider it as a loan, to be repaid when you are able; but never give yourself
any concern about it."
This generous offer occasioned the utmost joy to the struggling artist, who, leaving his wife
and infant son to the care of his brother Abram in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, set sail from New
York for Europe, on the ship Columbia, September, 1855. Taking in Liverpool, London, with its
museum, Elgin marbles and other fine statuary; the world's exposition at Paris; thence to Mar-
seilles, and landing at Civita Vecchia, the old seaport of Rome. He was cordially greeted by Craw-
ford, Ives, Rogers, Bartholomew and other artists from America, located in the Eternal City.
While at Rome he executed a full-size statue in marble of the "Boy Washington Cutting the
Cherry Tree," which was admired. The first letter from home announced the sudden death of
his little son Arthur Douglas. At the end of about two years spent in Rome and Florence in
arduous study, he sailed from Leghorn, and after a perilous voyage of seventy-four days, landed
in New York. From Pittsfield, with his family, he came on to Chicago at once and opened a
His first work was the modeling of a bust of his patron, for which Douglas gave him many
sittings. He also executed many cameo likenesses of his friends at $30 each, and a life-size, full-
length statue of a boy in marble, for which he received $250. In 1858, during the exciting can-
vass for the Illinois senatorial seat between Lincoln and Douglas, he made a life-size statue of the
judge for $800. This statue formed the nucleus of the first fine art exposition in the North-
west, which, with .the assistance of Rev. William Barry, then the secretary.of the Chicago
Historical Society, Mr. Volk organized "in 1859. He was appointed superintendent of the
exposition, and it proved a great success.
The winter of 1859-60 was spent in Washington, publishing a statuette of Douglas, and the
following spring he modeled a bust of Lincoln from the life. This was afterward cut in marble
and sold to the Crosby Art Association, and sent to the Paris Exposition in 1867. The presiden-
tial canvass of 1860 created a large demand for the busts of Lincoln and Douglas, and he made
a business of publishing them.
S.H.n after the death of Douglas, he was mainly instrumental in organizing the Douglas Mon-
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 511
ument Association. He was elected secretary, and his design for the proposed monument was
the one selected by the board of trustees. The work of collecting funds, however, was greatly
retarded by the war, and in December, 1868, Mr. Volk resigned his position of secretary, and went
to Europe. The original model of the design was destroyed by the great fire of 1871, during his
absence, but reproduced, with some changes, when in 1877 the legislature appropriated the sum
of $50,000 for the furtherance of the work; a year later, $9,000 more to complete it. He subse-
quently received, successively, from the state commissioners, orders to execute in bronze a colos-
sal statue of Douglas, to surmount the monument, for $8,000; four symbolical statues, heroic size,
for the pedestals at the four corners of the mausoleum, representing "Justice," "History,"
"Illinois," and "Eloquence," for $6,500; and four bas-reliefs of appropriate designs for the four
sides of the base of the shaft, for $4,800. The whole was finally completed, and the last piece put
in place, August, 1881.
When the war broke out, Mr. Volk enlisted in a Chicago company, but the quota of 75,000
having been filled, they were disbanded. During the war he was busy in various art enterprises.
He, with others, obtained a charter for an association for a public art gallery; rented for twenty
years an elegant marble-front building on Adams street for the gallery and studios, which was
destroyed by the great fire. He executed many works of art, and paid much attention to monu-
ments for parks, cemeteries, etc. He spent much time to aid the two great Chicago sanitary
fairs, in 1863 and 1865. After the assassination of Lincoln, he had a great demand for copies of
The winter of 1868-69 he spent in Rome. While at Rome, Miss Charlotte Cushman, then
residing there, called his attention to a soldiers' and sailors' monument to be erected at Rock-
ford, Illinois. He immediately returned, and competed with many others for the work, receiving
the award. The fall of the dome of the court-house, however, indefinitely postponed the work,
and it is not yet completed. He at the same time competed for the McPherson monument, at
Cincinnati, and took the second premium for design, but the contract was awarded to a Cincin-
His life was now a very busy one. He executed a large number of orders for statues and
busts. One of the most extensive was for the mausoleum of Henry Keep, the late president of the
Chicago and North-Western railway, erected at Watertown, New York. He executed in fine
statuary marble full-length statues of Mrs. Keep and her daughter, and a bust of Mr. Keep,
finished at Rome, which were placed in its interior, the memorial costing, when complete, $100,000.
December, 1870, he again went abroad, taking his family with him, now consisting of one son,
Stephen A. Douglas Volk, fourteen years old, and a daughter, Elizabeth Nora, aged nine years.
They sailed on the Pacific Mail steamer, Arizona, from New York, which passed through the Suez
canal, and which they left at Malta, and thence to Rome, by way of Naples. While busy at
work in 1871, the news of the great fire reached him, and the complete destruction of his prop-
erty on Washington street. There was very little insurance paid. This was a severe blow, and
prostrated him financially. He, however, remained in Rome till July, 1872. On his way home
he stopped over in Paris; met a Chicago gentleman of wealth a prominent lumberman; pro-
posed to him to invest in Italian block-marble for the burned city in the West; received $7,000
from him; returned to Carrara, purchased 400 tons, partly loaded on vessel at Genoa, and partly
in the yards at Carrara, and shipped the whole to New York. This was sent forward on the New
York and Erie railway, and delivered in Chicago, the first cargo ever sent direct from Italy to
Chicago. This was an opportune arrival, but the profits were indifferent, owing to a strike of the
marble-cutters of New York, which left a glut on the market there, and .lowered the price here.
The great fire, besides destroying his building and consuming several fine pieces of work which
had not yet been delivered, greatly injured him. The general financial ruin following caused
the withdrawal of orders already given, and preventing the giving of others contemplated.
He has, however, found general employment in his profession, which has greatly and rapidly
improved within a few years.
512 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
Among his later works is the Geo. B. Armstrong memorial, at the north-west corner of the
Custom House square, and a bust of the late Geo. B. Carpenter; also a life-size bust of the late
senator from Michigan, Zach Chandler, taken immediately after his sudden death in Chicago.
This is now in the possession of Hon. Jesse Spaulding. Among the last works completed by him
are busts of Gurdon S. Hubbard, President Grover, of Dearborn Seminary, John Deere, of Moline,
and the pioneer minister, Rev. Jeremiah Porter.
SAMUEL H. BLANK.
SAMUEL HARRISON BLANK, attorney-at-law, is a native of Menard county, in which he
still lives. He is a son of George Blane, a farmer from the North of Ireland, and Mary
M. (Alkire) Blane, daughter of John Alkire, a very early settler in Menard county. Samuel
received an academic or high-school education, including the advanced English branches, and
was on his father's farm until the second year of the civil war. In August, 1862, Mr. Blane