four years of age he began to study for his profession wjth Doctor S. York, who was subsequently
assassinated in Charleston after delivering a political address in 1864, just previous to the close
of the war, and while he was serving in the 54th Illinois regiment.
At the breaking out of the war, Doctor Maxwell enlisted as private in company A, 38th Illinois
infantry, and passed his examination, and was appointed as a steward. He served as such until
August 14, 1863, then as assistant surgeon until the close of the war, being appointed on the
brigade amputating staff during the Atlanta campaign. He was subsequently assigned to a de-
tachment of troops, and afterward served with the loist Ohio regiment, the 2ist Illinois regiment,
and in various hospitals till the close of the war; and was mustered out October 8, 1864, and
reached home in time to vote for President Lincoln. While in the service, although quite young,
he did some brave work, which fully prepared him to bravely meet the duties of his profession.
As a surgeon he possesses rare skill, and is known throughout a wide range of country.
After the close of the war Doctor Maxwell entered the medical college of Ohio, at Cincinnati,
where he graduated. He began the practice of his profession at Newton, in 1865, and in the same
year was appointed United States examining surgeon, a position which he still holds. When
he came to Newton there were then four other physicians in the town, all of whom have either
moved away or are dead, with the exception of Doctor Franke, who is now an invalid, and in
a delicate state of health, so Doctor Maxwell is now the oldest practitioner of Newton, and has
been eminently successful both financially and in his profession. Benevolent and public-spirited,
he has done much for the improvement of his town, and erected several buildings.
In March, 1882, his residence and its contents were burned to ashes, and in its place now stands
the handsomest house in Jasper county, which is a beauti'ful home fully enjoyed by the doctor and
544 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY,
his family, and is the pride of the city of Newton. The doctor also takes great pride in his sani-
tary and agricultural influence over the county, by which it has been materially benefited, and a
great deal of malaria and other diseases avoided.
In 1866 Doctor Maxwell married Miss Mary Hays, of Florence, Pennsylvania. They have had
four children, three of whom are living.
.Both the doctor and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church of Newton, in which
they are active workers.
In politics he is a republican, and an active worker in the local elections.
JA CKSON VILLE.
THE gentleman whose name heads this sketch was recently sheriff of Morgan county for six
consecutive years, and is now treasurer of the county. He is a popular and trustworthy
official, and performs every duty with promptness and efficiency. He is a son of Stephen and
Dicy (Runkle) Dunlap, and was born in Champaign county, Ohio, March 12, 1835. His
paternal grandfather was James Dunlap, a native of Virginia, and a Baptist minister for sixty
years, dying in Morgan county when past ninety years of age. Dicy Runkle was a native of
Ohio, and granddaughter of a German who came to this country in the last century.
In 1840, when Irwin was five years old, the family came to this state and settled in Jackson-
ville. His father was born in Kentucky, and was a merchant in early and middle life, and at the
time of his death, in 1877, was a farmer and stock dealer in this county. His widow is still living.
Irwin Dunlap finished his education in Illinois College, Jacksonville, where he attended two
years; was reared on the farm until eighteen or nineteen years of age; sold goods awhile for other
parties, and was subsequently in the mercantile trade for himself until 1874, when he was elected
sheriff. He was reelected twice, served three full terms; was deputy-sheriff in 1880-82; in No-
vember of the latter year, was elected county treasurer, and is serving his first term in the latter
office. Some years ago he was treasurer of township No. 15-9, and was alderman of the first
ward in Jacksonville two years. ,
His politics are democratic, and he never fails to draw the full vote of his party, and often
more. He is one of the truest, most straightforward men in Morgan county. He is an Odd-
Fellow, and has passed through all the chairs, and represented the local lodge in the grand lodge
of the state. Mr. Dunlap is a director of the Covenant Mutual Benefit Insurance Company, of
Galesburgh, an Odd-Fellow's organization.
The wife of Mr. Dunlap was Mary T. Layton, daughter of William T. Layton, of Morgan
county. They were married in 1857, and have one son, Mi.llard F., who is assistant cashier of the
First National Bank of Jacksonville.
THE subject of this sketch has been a resident of Vermont, Fulton county, since 1838, and
one of the leading business men of the county for nearly forty years. He is a son of Henry
Mershon, a native of New Jersey, and Ruth (Dilworth) Mershon, whose ancestors were from Eng-
land. The Mershon family was from France, coming over to Long Island about 1693. The pro-
genitor went back to France, or started to go, and was never heard of, leaving a son on Long
Island. From that son sprang the Mershons in this country, who settled at first in New Jersey,
and have since spread over many states of the Union.
In his youth Joab had a fair drill in the rudimentary branches of knowledge, which he subse-
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 545
quently enlarged by private study; learned the trade of a shoemaker, and when of age became a
drover, going into Maryland, purchasing cattle and driving them to Chester county, Pennsylvania,
where he was born, January 26, 1812.
In 1838 we find Mr. Mershon in Vermont, then hardly the beginning of a village, and having
one shoemaker, whom our subject bought out the next spring, Between two and three years
later he became a general merchant, and that business he has never discontinued, he being a
partner of his son Henry. He was for many years a pork packer, putting up some years as high
as 3000 hogs. He also held at times a great deal of wheat, and was a manufacturer of flour for
In 1868 he started a private bank, in connection with C. B. Cox, Jr., a nephew of his, and when
Mr. Cox died Mr. Mershon continued the institution under the firm name of J. Mershon and Com-
pany. This banking house has proved a firm, popular and very prosperous institution. No
financial panic has shaken it one iota.
Farming and cattle raising and cattle feeding has been another prosperous branch of business
with our subject, who seems to have succeeded, like Midas, in turning everything he touches into
gold. He has given his children more or less land, and now has about 900 acres in his own name.
Mr. Mershon was married at Vermont in 1841, to Miss Sarah Dilworth, who was from Ohio;
and they have five children: Henry, the merchant already named; Rebecca, wife of Frank Durell,
merchant, Vermont; Demarius G., who is at home; Rhodes D., livery keeper and farmer, Ver-
mont, and Milton S., merchant, Vermont.
The great success of Mr. Mershon in a business point of view, is owing, no doubt, to his
economical habits to start with, and prudent and judicious management all his days. Honesty
he has found the best policy, and coupled with industry it has been his exceeding great reward.
He has lived a life of the strictest integrity; has dealt fairly with everybody; has worn his relig-
ion as an every-day garment, and has gained not only the respect, but the highest esteem of a
very wide circle of acquaintances. Let young men study his life.
BENJAMIN CHADSEY is one of the patriarchs of Schuyler county, and a walking encyclopae-
dia as regards the history of the county. Although eighty-seven years old, his memory is
quite clear, and his mental faculties in general are active and strong. He is a well preserved man,
and but for a stiffness of the left leg, caused by a broad-axe cut on the knee joint, he would be
very active for a man who is pushing on toward his ninetieth year.
Mr. Chadsey was born at Georgia, Franklin county, Vermont, August 16, 1796, and conse-
quently, if alive when this book is delivered (autumn of 1883), will be in his eighty-eighth year.
His parents were Benjamin Chadsey, Sr , and Jerusha Nichols, the former a native of Rhode
Island, and the latter of Vermont. The great-grandfather of our subject was William Chadsey,
who was a Quaker, and came from Wales to Rhode Island, and settled where the town of
.Warwick now stands. Many of the descendants of this pioneer, who came soon after Roger
Williams, are still found in the vicinity of Narragansett Bay. The family is remotely related to
General Greene, of revolutionary fame. The members did not all imbibe Quaker principles, for
one or two of them carried muskets in 1775-82.
Benjamin Chadsey, Sr., was a farmer in moderate circumstances, and Benjamin, Jr., being the
fourth child, yet eldest son, in a family of nine children, had to abandon his mental training at an
early age, and help support the family, which moved to Essex county, New York, in his infancy.
A few years later, they went to Ohio, and thence to Indiana. The father died near Vincennes, in
August, 1812, and the mother in February, 1813.
At the age of seventeen our subject enlisted (1812) in the war against England, and served a
UNITED STATES flfOOKAPfffCAf. DICTIONARY.
little more than two years. He was near Vincennes when General Harrison fought the battle of
Tippecanoe in 1811. Zachar Taylor, "Old Rough and Ready," then a captain of one of the
companies, was a warm friend of Benjamin Chadsey, Sr., and was very kind to the son, who was
mustered out at Fort Knox, Vincennes, in June, 1815.
Mr. Chadsey had learned the carpenter's trade, and from the close of the war until 1825 he
followed it in western Indiana and eastern Illinois.
December i, 1822, he was married to Miss Rachel Johnson, of Vermillion county, this state ;
in 1824 he visited Schuyler county, where he had land drawn as a bounty for military service, and
which was situated two and a half miles northeast of where Rushville, the county seat, now
stands. Here he concluded to pitch his tent for life, a few days' march nearer the father of
waters, and in November, 1825, he brought his young wife and two children into this wild prairie
country, where red men were abundant, and white men, like angels' visits, few and far between.
Here he lived for some years in a very humble manner, but like Cincinnatus, he was "awful at
the plow," and the upturned sod rewarded him for his industry.
Mr. Chadsey was one of the three commissioners appointed by the legislature to locate the
count}" seat, which they called Rushville, because of the great admiration which one of the com-
missioners had for Doctor Richard Rush, of Philadelphia. Mr. Chadsey built the court house,
which stood in the public square from 1830 to the close of 1882. He is identified with other enter-
prises in the county, and has usually been regarded as one of its progressive citizens. He was a
justice of the peace for years, but has never sought office.
Mr. Chadsey cast his first presidential vote for John Quincy Adams; was a national republican;
then a whig ; a free soiler in 1848, voting for Van Buren and Adams on the Buffalo platform ; an
anti-slavery man until 1855, and has since been a republican. He has always thought for himself,
and regarding all causes which he espouses, he can give a reason for his belief and acts.
Mr. and Mrs. Chadsey have buried one child, Benjamin, and have seven living. Henry
Clay is near Rushville ; John Quincy Adams is with his parents in the old homestead ; Calvin is
near Elmira, New York ; George W. is in Poweshiek county, Iowa ; James and William are in
Washington, District of Columbia, and Jerusha N., the oldest of all, is the wife of Felix G. Clark,
register of the United States land office, Des Moines, Iowa. The first six children were all born
on Sunday morning, which we mention simply as a singular coincidence.
GEORGE W. NESBITT, M.D.
GEORGE WASHINGTON NESBITT, son of Henry and Eleanor (Smith) Nesbitt, was born
r in Attica, Wyoming county, New York, August 20, 1837. His father was of Scotch-Irish
descent, and born in the County of Cavan, North of Ireland, coming to this country when sixteen
years old; and his mother was a native of Washington county, New York. George was educated
at that old and popular institution, the Genesee and Wyoming Seminary, at Alexander, his studies
embracing the higher mathematics, and Latin, Greek, German and French languages. His father
was a farmer, but the son did not take to agricultural pursuits, his tastes leading to the medical
profession. He studied with Doctor H. B. Miller, of Alexander; attended lectures at the Buffalo
Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1866; and after practicing in that city one
year, being also, at the same time, in company with Doctor McCray in the wholesale and retail
drug business, came to this state, and settled at Sycamore, where he soon built up a liberal prac-
tice, and has obtained a highly creditable standing in the fraternity. He has a well selected
medical library, takes an unusually large number of periodicals devoted to the profession, and of
which he makes the best of use, and writes himself more or less for the medical press. He has
also lectured on hygiene and cognate subjects before teachers' institutes, and is both a ready
writer and fluent speaker on all subjects pertaining to the laws of health, and to the branches
generally of his profession.
HC Coip.r Jf I Ci
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 549
The doctor is a member of the De Kalb County Medical Society, the American Medical Asso-
ciation, and the Illinois State Medical Society. He was vice-president of the last-named body in
1881; and was again elected to the same office in 1883; chairman of the committee on obstetrics
in 1880; a member of the committee on the practice of medicine in 1881, and on gynecology in
In June, 1882, he read an essay at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association,
held at Saint Paul, Minnesota, on a new plan of treatment of ununited fracture of the shaft of the
femur. The essay was received with strong approval, and was ably discussed by leading surgeons
of the United States. Doctor Nesbitt was the first to use nitro-glycerine in pernicious anemia.
He is thoroughly wedded to his profession, which is very exacting on his time, and he has held
but very few offices of any kind. The only ones that we can recall at this time are those of alder-
man of the old second ward two or three terms, and secretary one year of the chapter, he being a
Royal Arch Mason.
The doctor has quite a taste for stock raising, and has several farms in Kansas on which he is
breeding thoroughbred horses and graded cattle and sheep. Pecuniarily, as in every other
respect, he has made a success of his profession. June 3, 1864, he was joined in marriage with
Mary H. Davis, daughter of David Davis, of Chippewa, Ontario, and they have two sons and one
HON. L. S. WILCOX, M. D.
ArtONG the younger class of physicians who appear in this work no one probably stands
higher in the practice than Doctor Levi Spencer Wilcox, mayor of Champaign. Levi has
been the family name for four generations. He is a native of Illinois, and was born at Lacon,
Marshall county, August 7, 1847. His parents were the late Hon. Levi Wilcox, M.D., and Nancy
(Rogers) Wilcox, who were among the early pioneer settlers of Illinois, moving thither from Ohio
His father, a man of great ability and influence, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, about
1800. Shortly after entering his profession he came west, and at first practiced in New Lisbon,
Ohio, where he married, and in 1838 settled in Lacon, Marshall county, where he had great
success. He was the first county treasurer of Marshall county and mayor of Lacon, and an
active citi/en in the early history of both the town and city, and one whose record was well
known throughout central Illinois. He died suddenly of cholera in 1851, leaving his wife the
mother of six children, three sons and three daughters, all of whom grew up to maturity. The
eldest son, Hon. E. A. Wilcox, is practicing medicine at Minonk, Illinois. The second son, Lieu-
tenant A. R. Wilcox, enlisted in the Union army, company B, nth regiment Illinois infantry, and
was fatally wounded in the battle of Fort Donelson, and died a month later. The third son, who
was but three and a half years old at the time of his father's death, is the subject of this sketch.
Doctor Wilcox received his early education at the public high school of Lacon, completing
his literary course at the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois, from which institution
he graduated, after five years' study, in 1871.
He then continued the study of medicine at the Chicago Medical College, finishing his studies
at the Long Island College Hospital, New York, and after a regular course of study there he
obtained his diploma in 1873. Returning to the West he settled in Magnolia, Putnam county,
where he began his practice, meeting with encouraging success. He continued there until
1875, when he removed to Champaign. Here he found several older physicians, who had an
established practice, and at first he met with some discouragement, but the citizens of Champaign
and vicinity soon found out his true value, and now he is one of the leading physicians of Cham-
In politics Doctor Wilcox is a republican, but has never entered the political field as a candi-
I'M TED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
date for office, although he has been honored by several local positions. He has been supervisor
for three years, and has been elected two terms mayor of Champaign, which office he now holds,
honorably and faithfully discharging his duties.
Doctor Wilcox was married July 2, 1873, to Miss Alice Yaple, of Mendon, Michigan, a lady of
high literary attainments, and a graduate of the Northwestern Female College, at Evanston, of
the class of 1871. They have one child, Mae.
In his profession he has built up his own reputation by his skill and energy, and acquired an
extensive practice. He possesses a fine intellect, and devotes a great deal of time to scientific
study and improvement of his natural talent in his calling, and there is undoubtedly before him
a promising future. He is a genial gentleman, a prompt business man and a generous friend,
and thoroughly merits the esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens.
THE BLACK FAMILY.
THE Black family, several members of which are living in Cass county, are of good patriotic
stock, William Black, Sr., being one of the first officers in the country to refuse to continue
allegiance to the English government. He was a militia captain in 1765-73, and died just before
the colonial forces were mustered to resist British oppression. He married a Miss Beard, and had
two sons, of whom we shall speak. Thomas G. was born in Mecklenburgh county, North Caro-
lina, in 1772; married Miss Polly Callaham, and died in 1823, and his wife in 1853.
William Black, Jr., the other son, was born in Georgia, and married in Tennessee, December
4, 1823, Mary S. Vaughn, and they had ten children, six of them being born in Tennessee
and the last four in what is now Scott county, Illinois. The family came to this state in 1834,
and William Black moved to Cass county in 1846, and settled on a farm six miles'southeast of
Virginia. He reared his family in habits of industry, the eight who lived to grow up, and
he now resides in the village of Virginia, being in his eighty-eighth year, and in the enjoyment
of fair health. He is a member of the Christian Church, and was an elder until superannuated a
few years ago. His wife died in 1881, aged seventy-eight years. She was a very hospitable
woman, a warm-hearted Christian mother, and did her full share in moulding the character of her
children, all of whom are members of the Christian church.
We proceed to mention briefly each one of these children:
Thomas Gallespie, the eldest child, born June 15, 1825, studied medicine, and is in practice at
Clayton, Adams county, this state. [See full sketch of him in this volume.]
Amanda C., born May 25, 1826, died July 23, 1837.
Joseph Franklin, born February 23, 1828, was a farmer in early life, but, having considerable
mechanical talent, he invented a self-raking reaper, and finally a binding attachment, which was
purchased by the Walter A. Wood Manufacturing Company, and is used on their machines. He
is a prominent architect, residing in the village of Virginia, and living with his second wife.
Several of the fine public buildings in Jacksonville, Springfield and other cities in central Illinois
were designed and built by him.
William Littleton, born June 8, 1829, was a farmer until four or five years ago, when he formed
a partnership with his youngest brother, John, in the mercantile trade, the firm name being Black
Brothers, Virginia. His wife died in 1879. leaving three daughters. He has long been a leading
man in this county in agricultural matters; is the inventor of a gang plow and of an attachment
to a corn planter, which has proved a success. Financially he k> one of the ablest members of
Richmond Vaughn, born October 27, 1831, served three years in the ii4th Illinois infantry,
coming out as captain, and for the last twenty years or more has been a farmer near Nebraska
r. \rrp.D STATKS niocRArirrcAL DICTIONARY
John Jefferson, -born October 24, 1833, died August, 1839.
Green Vardiman, born August 3, 1836, served a short time in the civil war, is a dentist in Jack-
sonville, this state, has a family, and a high standing in his profession. He is president of the
state board of dental examiners.
James Berry, the seventh son, was born October 9, 1839, in Scott county; finished his educa-
tion in the Cumberland Presbyterian Academy, Virginia, and Normal University, Bloomington;
commenced teaching school at nineteen years of age; in the autumn of 1861, enlisted as a private
in company C, 3d Illinois cavalry; served nearly two years, being in trie battle of Pea Ridge,
Missouri, and with Sherman immediately preceding the siege of Vicksburg; was promoted to first
lieutenant, and resigned his commission in the spring of 1863 on account of ill health. Return-
ing to Virginia, Lieutenant Black resumed teaching; was an instructor at Jacksonville, in the state
institution for the blind, in 1864-66, and afterward principal of the public schools of that city. In
1869 he went on his father's farm, and was engaged in tilling the soil when, in 1873, he was elected
on the republican ticket to the office of clerk of Cass county. He was reflected in 1877, and
served, in all, nine consecutive years, giving great satisfaction to the public. Since July, 1878, he
has been cashier of the Centennial National Bank of Virginia, and shows himself to be a first-
class financier. He married, July i, 1867, Miss Eliza J. Edwing, daughter of the late William
Edwing, of Jacksonville, and they have one daughter, May, aged eight years.
Mary J., the youngest daughter of William Black, was born December 13, 1840. She married
George A. Beard, a prominent farmer in Cass county, in 1857, and died in 1874.
John, the youngest of the ten children, was born December 21, 1844; is a graduate of Pitts-
burgh Commercial College; married Maggie Blair, March 15, 1866, and has been in the mercantile
business in Virginia since 1876. He commenced business by opening a farm in Nebraska, which
he still owns, but his health failed and he had to change his business.
The Black family, as is here seen, is not only of good patriotic stock, as we stated at the start,
but there seems to be no diminution, no thinning of the blood in the family. No less than four
grandsons of William Black, Sr., in one family, volunteered to aid in saving the Union, and all
showed that the true elements of manhood are in their natures. William Black, Jr., in his extreme
old age, can look back with pride on the family which he has reared. There is no better class of
people in Cass county.
CHARLES H. WIDMAYER.
CHARLES HENRY WIDMAYER, mayor of the city of Jacksonville, and a leading butcher