came one of the early settlers of Cattaraugus
County and there built a pioneer cabin and cleared
a farm, making a home in the "'land of the live
great waters." During the infancy of Mrs. Ash-
man he removed with his familj' to Illinois, locat-
ing in Iroquois County. He was also one of the
pioneers of this locality and was a prominent and
leading citizen during its early days. Mr. Burt
and his wife were charter members of the first Con-
gregational Church which was organized in Ford
County, it being located in Lyman Township, and
they took a prominent part in all that would ad-
vance the best interests of the community. Mr.
Burt passed awa}' at the age of sixt3'-seven years,
but his wife is still living and enjoys good health
for one of her years. She was born in Massachu-
setts, September 8, 1814, and makes her home in
Gilraan. She is a member of the Presbyterian
Church of that place and is a life member of the
Bible Society. In politics, Mr. Burt was an old-
line Whig until the dissolution of that party, and
at the organization of the new Republican party
he joined its ranks and continued one of its stanch
supporters until his death.
Mrs. Ashman, wife of our subject, was born
February 29, 1856. She was educated in the com-
mon schools of her adopted county and in Grand
Prairie Seminary of Onarga. She also took a full
course of musical instruction in the Conservatory
of Music in the same place and became a teacher
of recognized ability in Ford and Iroquois Coun-
ties, following that profession for a period of five
years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ashman have been born
five children: Jessie L., Elina O., Ogilbie B., Luella
(deceased), and Merrill, who was accidentalh
drowned in a well when twenty-two montlis of age.
Mrs. Ashman is a member of the Presbyterian
Church, to which her husband gives his support.
She also holds membership with the Ladies' Foreign
and Home Missionary Societies and with the
Woman's Christian Temperance Fnion of Gilinan,
of which she is Corresponding Secretary. Mr. Ash-
man is greatly interested in civic societies and is a
Knight Templar Mason. He belongs to Gilman.
LodgeNo. 591, A. F. & A.M.; Watseka Chapter No.
114, R. A. M.; andMt. t)livet Commandery No. 38,
K. T., of Paxton. Politically, he exercises his right
of francliise by casting his ballot for the nominees
of the Republican jiarty. Recognizing his merit
and believing in his ability, his fellow-townsmen
have frequently called upon him to All position^ of
trust and honor. While in Ford County he acted
as Deputy Sheriff. He has been Alderman of the
Second Ward of Gilman for one term, and in the
spring of 1891 was chosen Mayor on theAnti-license
ticket and still occupies that office. He is a very
popular Mayor and the city has materially improved
financially and otherwise since his administration.
In regard to matters of education he is alwa3'S verj-
active and is now serving his third year as a mem-
ber of the School Board. He has been Secretar}' of
the Gilman Building and Loan Association since
its organization. He is also President of the Gil-
man Hall Association. Whatever success he has
met with in life is due to his own effoits, industiy,
good management and exercise of correct business
principles. His pleasant home is the abode of hos-
l)itality and comfort and with his estimable wife
he entertains a large circle of friends who esteem
them most highly for their sterling worth and
m.any good qualities.
"SHAMES CR ANGLE, who is engaged in agri-
cultural pursuits, on section 6, Ash Grove
Township was born in County Down. Ire-
land, March 17, 1832, on the farm where
his father, James Crangle, was born and reared.
His mother bore the maiden name of Maiy Brennan.
In 1 840, the famil3- sailed for America. The vessel
in which they took passage weighed anchor at
Warren Point on the 23d of April, and on the 28th
of May re.iched the harbor of New York. The fa-
ttier of our subject then came on with his wife and
children to Grundy County', III., and worked on
the canal. His death occurred about 1843, after
which his widow returned to the Emerald Isle.
Both were members of the Catiiolic Church. Their
family' numbered four childien: Sarah, who is jjow
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
married and resides in Ireland; Patrick, in Chero-
kee County, Iowa; James, of tliis sketch; and Peter,
Our subject was a lad of onl\- eight summers
when he crossed the brin3' deep. At the age of
ten he Ijegan working on a farm and was in the
employ of one man seven years. During that
period, by perseverance and economy he acquired
a suiall capital .nnd purchased eighty acres of land
in Grundy County, where he engaged in farming
until 1869, except that his duties were interrupted
by his service in tiic late war. He enlisted on the
Utth of August, 1862, as a member of Company
1), Seventj'-second Illinois Infantry, which was
assembled at Chicago, Col. Fred Starring in com-
mand. Thence the troops were sent to Cairo,
later to Columbus, Ky., then to Oxford, Jliss., and
afterward to Memphis, where thoy spent the win-
ter. In the spring they started from Jlilliken's
Bend for Vicksburg, by way of Grand Gulf, par-
ticipating in tlie battle of Champion Hill under
(ien. Grant. They then made a charge on Vicks-
burg, in which Company D lost half its number,
and participated in the siege until tlie surrender of
tlie city on the 4th of July. With his regiment,
;\Ir. Crangle went to Natchez, then spent the fol-
lowing winter in Vicksbuig, on provost duty. His
health suffered much and he was transferred to the
A'eterau Reserve Corps. He spent two or three
months at Ft. Lincoln in Washington and the re-
mainder of his service was in guarding prisoners
at Rock Island, where he was honorably discharged
July 17, 1865.
Mr. Crangle then returned to liis farm, and in
1869 came to Iroquois County, purchasing his
present farm of one hundred and sixty acres,
whereon he has since made his home. He was
married, November 29, 185.5, in Brookficld, La
Salle County, to Jliss Bridget O'Farrell, a native
of Ottawa and a daughter of Frank and Mary
(Carey) O'Farrell. Unto them have been born
the following children: Peter, who went to Ne-
braska in 1886, but returned after six years and is
nt)W on the home farm; John, who aids his father
in farming; Frank, County Superintendent of
Schools, whose sketch appears elsewhere; James,
who died in infancy; Anna, who was educated at
Onarga and is now a teacher of recognized abilit\'.
Ella, who died August 17, 1888, at the age of
twenty years; Sadie, at home; Alice, who was edu-
cated at Onarga and is now engaged in teaching;
Jesse; Lucy; Charles, who died in 1888, at the age
of nine years; James and Edna. The seven young-
est children are natives of this county and tlie
others were born in Grundy County.
Mr. Crangle and his family are all members of
the Catholic Church and he is the President of the
Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. â€¢ Sociall3-, he
is a member of Crescent Post No. 717, G. A. R.,
being Senior Vice-commander, having been trans-
ferred from Williams Post No. 25, of AVatseka.
He cast his first vote for James Buchanan and
has since supported the Democratic party, except
m 1864, when he voted for Lincoln. In the ex-
citing times prior to the war, he heard a debate
between Lincoln and Douglas in Ottawa. lie is
usually found in the conventions of his party and
has held some local offices, having served as Super-
visor for five years. In Grundy County, he served
ten years as Justice of the Peace. His residence
in the county covers a period of almost a quarter
of a century, and during these j'ears he has estab-
lished a reputation as a good citizen, an honorable
business man and a progressive farmer. He has
made his own way in life and his success has been
achieved througli his own efforts.
VP^~^ H. IIOLLENBACK is one of the early
lirjjj settlers and honored citizens of this county,
!*V^ now residing in Cissna Park. He was born
V^^ in Cable Coun ty, AV. Va.. December 1 9, 1 8 1 .3,
tm tiie banks of the Ohio River. His grandf.'ither,
Martin Hollenback, was a native of Germany, who
came to this country in Colonial days, located in
A'irginia, and afterwards removed to South Caro-
lina. He ser^'ed in the Revolutionary War under
Gen. Washington. By trade he was a cooiier.
His death occurred in Virginia. The father of our
subject, Martin Hollenback, Jr., w.as born in South
Caifilinn, and spent his last days in We.<t Viiginia.
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
Throughout his life he followed the occupation of
farming. His wife, who bore the maiden name of
Ellen Hampton, was a daughter of Dr. Hampton,
a native of England and a prominent physician.
She was born in North Carolina and was reared in
West Virginia. Both Mr. and Mrs. IloUenbaek
were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and in politics he was a Whig. Their family num-
bered nine children: William, now deceased, was
employed on a steamboat on the Ohio River; H. H.
is the next younger; Daniel, who served in a Penn-
sylvania regiment during the late war, died in
Anderson ville prison; Malhias died at the age of
nineteen; John was also employed on the river;
Sarah, Mary, Catherine and Eliza were the daugh-
ters of the family.
Our subject was reared on the banks of the
Ohio, and as soon as old enough to handle the
plow, he began work in the fields and was inured
to farm labor. His education was quite limited.
He went to school three months during the winter
season, and his books consisted of a speller and
Testament, in which he learned to read. The
school was conducted on the subscription plan.
Mr. Hollenback remained at home until 1865, and
was in the midst of the war difficulties, the country
around his home being traversed by both armies.
On the 9tli of March, 1865, he came to Illinois,
locating at Loda, where he rented a farm. He af-
terward operated another rented farm for three
years, and then bought an eight^'-acre tract of
wild prairie land in Pigeon Grove Township,
which he transformed into rich and fertile fields.
In 1884, he sold his farm and removed to Cissna
Park, where he has sin<;e lived retired. He here
built four residences, three of which he yet owns.
On the 3d of May, 1832, Mr. Hollenback mar-
ried Miss Margaret Ann Ricketts, who came of an
old family of Eastern Virginia, of English descent.
Unto them have been born eleven children, five of
whom are still living: Leonidas, who served in
the First Virginia Cavalry for three years and
four months, is now engaged in the dairy business
near Kansas Citj', Mo.; John, who served in the
Fifth Virginia Infantry, also resides near Leonidas,
hut since the ivar has been in poor health; Will-
iam, who was in the First Virginia Cavalry, was
taken prisoner, sent to Belle Isle and afterward to
Andersonville, where he died; Oliver is living in
North Nebraska; James is the nest 3'ounger; Mrs.
Fannie Weddington died in Texas in 1892; and
Mrs. Nannie Thornton resides at home. With the
exception of the youngest, all were born in West
Mr. Hollenback cast his first Presidential vote
for William Henry Harrison in 1836, and sup-
ported the Whig party until the rise of the Re-
publican party. He voted for Lincoln. Since
thai time he has been a Republican, and he advo-
cated that party in its early days, when it required
courage to support those principles, for men were
shot down for advocating such opinions.
Mr. and Mrs. Hollenback have traveled life's
journey together for sixty years as man and wife,
and the years have but served to strengthen their
mutual love and confidence. Their lives have
been checkered with sorrow and pain, but the hus-
band has upheld and supported the wife and she
has sustained and encouraged him. Together they
pass down the hill, but their last years are made
pleasant by many friends who join with their chil-
dren in showing them love, attention and respect.
HARLES H. PAYSON, attorney-at-law,sen-
/â– - partner of the law firm of Paj-son it
^^^' Orebaugh, of Watseka, is a native of Illi-
nois and was born in Bureau County, November
27, 1855. He is a son of H. L. and Maria E.
(Briggs") Payson, and came to Iroquois County in
1867. His education was obtained in the public
school and also at Lombard University, of (iales-
burg, 111. He studied law in Pontiac, in the office
of his brother, the Hon. L. E. Payson, late Mem-
ber of Congress from that district. He was ad-
mitted to the Bar in 1876, and subsequentl}' to all
the Federal Courts, with the exception of the Su-
preme Court of the United States.
Mr. Payson began practice in Pontiac and con-
tinued there until 1878, when he went to Southern
Kansas. Later, he spent three years in the silver
mines of Colorado, and in 1884 located in Wat-
PORTEAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
seka, where he resumed the practice of his profes-
sion. For a year and a-half he was in partnership
with C. W. Raymond. The existing partnership
with D. A. Orebaugh was formed in September,
On the 3d of Januar}-, 1881, Mr. I'ayson was
married in Ft. Collins, Colo., to Miss Clara Mar-
tin, a daughter of Moses M. Martin. Mrs. Pavson
was born in Burlington, Iowa. She is a member
of the Episcopal Cliurcli. One child, a son, was
born to our subject and his wife, October 3, 1881,
to which the}' gave the name of Charles Victor.
The subject of this sketch is a Republican in
politics and has served as Alderman from the Sec-
ond Ward of Watseka. He is a member of the fol-
lowing named societies: the Knights of Pythias, Pat-
riotic Order of Sons of America and Modern Wood-
men of America. He is a stockholder in the Stiles
Automatic Hinge Compan}-. Mr. Payson is a man
of superior ability and is well grounded in the law.
He has built up a good practice and is esteemed an
able and successful lawyer. He is a genial, whole-
souled man, who makes friends readily, and has an
extended acquaintance throughout the State among
his brethren of the legal i)r(ifes. - ion and leading
^^ NDREW J. DECKER, one of the honored
( @/lI veterans of the late war and a pioneer
I 14) settler of this county, who for almost
<^ half a century has made his home in this
community, was b(jrn on the 1st of November,
1843, in Page County, ^'a. Ills parents were Chris-
ley and Mary Decker. His father was also born
in the Old Dominion and was reared to the occu-
pation of farming. In 1847, he emigrated West-
ward and located in Iroquois County, III. The
settlements in this locality were then widely scat-
tered and the work of progress and civilization
was scarcely begun. Hoopeston, Cissna Park and
Wellington had not yet sprung into existence.
Tliere were few roads, and the land was almost un-
broken prairie. Mr. Decker continued to follow
farming tlirougliout his entire life. In politics.
he was a Republican. His death occurred in 1880.
Mrs. Decker, a native of Virginia, is still living,
and her seventy-two years rest lightl}' upon her.
The famil}' of tiiis worthy couple numbered nine
children, of whom six are yet living.
Our subject, who is third in order of birtli, was
brought to this State when only about four years
of age, and was reared upon his father's farm, amid
the wild scenes of frontier life. His educational
advantages were limited, but by his own exertions,
experience and observation he has become well in-
formed. His training in farm labor was not so
meagre. He aided his father until after he had
attained his majority and then started out in life
On the 18th of August, 1862, Mr. Decker, al-
though then not twenty 3'ears of age, responded
to his country's call for troops, and joined the
boys in blue of Company I, One Hundred and
Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. West,
wiio was afterward succeeded b}' Capt. Aaron
Kane. The regiment convened at Camp Douglas,
and was commanded by Col. George D. Hogue.
Going to Memphis, Tenn., they participated in the
battle of Bolivar, where the One Hundred and
Thirteenth Illinois suffered greatly. They also
participated in the battle at La Fayette, Tenn.,
where the regiment lost three hundred men. Mr.
Decker was in the thickest of the fight. He bore
all the hardships and privations of armj- life, being
often forced to go without food. At the battle of
Holly Springs, Miss., he met the enemy, and after-
ward on an ex])edition down tlie Yazoo River, and
again at Vicksburg. At Walnut Hill they met the
enemy in a hard battle, in which they were de-
feated and ordered to the transports. ]\Ir. Decker
participated in the three-day engagement at Arkan-
sas Post, in February, 186,3, and here the Union
troops were successful. Five companies, including
that to which our subject belonged, were then de-
tailed to guai'd the fifteen thousand prisoners who
were to be taken to Springfield, III. He was ill
during that time, but he would not allow himself
to give up until he had reached his destination,
where he was discharged for disability.
After partially recovering, .Mr. Decker re-enlisted
in October, 1863, for the remainder of the war,
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
joining his company at Springfield, and from
tliere i)roceeded to Memphis, Tenn., where they
started aftei' the rebel General, Forrest, whom thej'
defeated in battle. On the 10th of June occurred
anothei- engagement with Gen. Forrest, in which
the Union troops were defeated and Mr. Decken
who was captured, w.as taken to Andersonville
prison, where he underwent all the tortures and
hardships of that foul den for ten months. Dur-
ing the entire time they were neyer given an}'
meat, and each soldier was allowed only a half-
pint of corn-meal, corn and cob both being ground
up, from which thej' made mush. If any of the
soldiers tried to escape, the scanty rations were
shut off from the rest, and three or four daj^s would
elapse before they were again given food. Mr.
Decker kept as far as possible from the "dead line"
but he saw many a poor fellow shot down like a
dog when he ventured too near that line, and has
seen others cut their own throats to end their
miseries. During the winter of 1864-65 he was
almost naked, having only a ragged shirt and pair
of drawers, for his other clothes had been stolen
by the rebels. His release came on the 18th of
March, 1865, and found him almost a skeleton.
It seemed almost impossible for him to reach home.
With many others he went in cattle cars to Jack-
son, Miss., where the ambulance train was to meet
them, but it failed. Those who could walk did so,
and the others crawled. Mr. Decker was twelve
days going twelve miles to Black River. With his
comrades he then went to Vicksburg, on to Mem-
phis and to Jefferson Barracks, Mo., where he re-
mained three weeks, when an order eame to send
every soldier to his own State, and he was sent to
Quincy, 111. He could not walk any from the time
he left Andersonville until he reached Quincy on
the 16th of May. He was honorably discharged
on the 2d of July, 1865, and returned to his
home, broken down in health but with the record
of a brave and honorable soldier.
September 6, 1868, Mr. Decker was united in
marriage with Miss Adeline Stanton, and unto
them have been born a son and two daughters:
Eva, wife of Lee Rothgeb, who is emplo3'ed in a
wholesale establishment in Chicago; and Alice
and William at home. The familj' resides in a neat
and comfortable home, pleasantly situated upon a
good farm of one hundred and twent}' acres of
valuable land, under a high state of cultivation
and well improved.
In politics, Mr. Decker has been a stanch Re-
publican since he cast his first Presidential vote
for Gen. U. S. Grant. For six years he has filled
the office of School Director. Socially, he is a
member of the Grand Army Post of Milford, and
himself and wife hold membership in the Presby-
terian Church of Wellington. Mr. Decker is true
to every public and private trust, displa3'ing the
same lo3'altj' that he manifested in his country's
hour of peril. He knows what war means, for he
has suffered all its hardships. He was ever found
at his post of duty, a faithful soldier, valiantly
defending the Old FLag which now floats over the
V â™¦^â™¦^Â» /
OIIN WESLEY GRUBBS, one of the hon^
ored pioneers of the county, who is now
.^ . living a retired life in Onarga, claims Ohio
\^fJ as the State of his birth, which occurred in
Montgomery County on the 18th of October, 1827.
He is the sixth in order of birth in a family of
twelve children whose parents were John and
Margaret (Riner) Grubbs, both natives of Berkeley
County, Va. The father died in 1850, but the
mother long survived him and passed away in
1881. Of their children only six arc now living,
namely: Peter, Thomas, Mary, Martha, Eliza
and John W. Samuel, George, Catherine, Jacob
and Sarah are now deceased.
We now take up the personal history of our
subject, who is very widel}' and favorably known
throughout the community and well deserves rep-
resentation in the history of his adopted county.
His boyhood days were spent in the Buckeye State
and his educational advant.iges were those which
the common schools afforded.- After attaining his
majority he was joined in wedlock on the 15th of
August, 1850, with Miss Lorinda Allen, daughter
of Phineas and Keziah (Kelley) Allen. Five chil-
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
dien were born unto tliem, three sons and two
daiigliters: Keziah J., born May 10, 1851, is the
nife of George 8. Ramsey, a resident of Onarga
Township, and two children were born unto them,
one of whom is living, Martha Lorinda. Phin-
eas W., born March 7, 1853, wedded Miss Anna,
daughter of William Kinnison, and they became
llie parents of two children, Lora Leotaand Lizzie.
Leroy, born July 24, 1856, married Sarali Elgin, of
Kansas, and they reside in Onarga Township.
Unto them were born four cliildren, tliree of whom
are yet living: C'iiarles, Frank and Bertha. Har-
vey .1., born March 3, 1861, wedded Miss Mary,
daughter of Robert Skeels, and is a resident of
Jewell County, Kan. I'nlo them were born three
children, but Ilarley is the only one living, Eva
Melissa and Harry having died in early childhood.
Meli!<sa J., born March 5, 1865, died in her nine-
In 1857, Mr Grubbs, father of this family, emi-
grated from Ohio to Illinois, locating first in Peo-
ria County, where he remained for about a year.
IIo then came to Iroquois County and settled on a
farm of two hundred acres, four miles east of
Onarga, where he spent the succeeding thirteen
years. He then removed to the village in order
to better educate his children, but after about two
years purchased one hundred and sixty acres of
land two and one-half miles east of Onarga. Re-
moving to that farm in 1870, he made it his home
for fifteen j-ears, and in the meantime extended its
boundaries bv the purchase of an additional sev-
enty-four acres, making a farm of two hundred
and thirty-four acres. The two farms, comprising
four hundred and thirty-four acres, are still owned
liy our subject and his sons. In 1885, Mr. Grubbs
abandoned agricultural pursuits and again went to
Onarga, where, with his wife, he still resides in a
comfortable home near Gi-and Prairie Seminary.
He h.as led a busy and useful life, and by his per-
severance and energy has aec|uired a comfortable
Mr. Grubbs has held the office of Road Commis-
sioner for several years, and was also School Di-
rector for several terms. He is true to everv pub-
lic and private trust, and his duties of citizenship
are ever faithfully performed. Those who know
him, and his circle of acquaintances is extensive,
hold him in the highest esteem for his sterling
worth and many excellencies of character. In pol-
itics, he is a supporter of the Democracy. For
thirty-two years he h.is been a member of the Ma-
i^-^ilU )M AS HAMER, who owns and operates an
W^i. excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres
'V^^' on section 16, Ridgeland Township, is one of
the worthy citizens that England has furnished
Iroquois County. He was born near Manchester,
on the 27th of January, 1831. and isason of James
and Mar^' (CoUings) Hamer. His father was a
spinner by trade and worked in a cotton factoiy.
He met his death by accident in 1853, being killed
by the machinery of the mills. His wife survived
him about two years, passing awa3' in 1855. Their
family numbered nine children, of whom our sub-