ject is the second in order of birth; John and
James are both now deceased; Elizabeth is mar-
ried and resides in England; Hannah and Betty
have both departed this life; William and Samuel
died when about sixteen years old; and one child
died in infancy.
The boyhood days of our subject were spent in
his native town Hey wood, near Manchester, Eng-
land. His education was .acquired by attendance
at night schools and largely by self-culture, for his
privileges were quite limited, as he commenced
work in the mills when only ten years of age. He
learned the spinner's trade, and to that emplo^'-
ment devoted his energies for some time. Under
the parental roof he remained until twenty-three
years of age, when, on the 11th of July, 1853, he
was married in the Episcopal Church of Bury, the
Lady of his choice being Miss Alice Ashton, daugh-
ter of David and Alice (Wild) Ashton. They be-
gan their domestic life in their native land and
there resided until 1857. Mrs. Ilamei- was born
near Bury, Lanca.shire, England, April 10, 1835.
Her parents were natives of the .same shire, where
they spent the rest of their lives. The father
worked in a paper mill. Both died iiged sixty -six
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
years. Of their eleven cbildren, five sons and six
daughters, five are now living. Mrs. Hamer is the
only one of the family that cros.sed the ocean.
The 3'ear 1857 witnessed the emigration of our
subject and his wife to America. Bidding good-bye
to their old home they took passage on a sailing-
vessel, which weighed anchor at Liverpool and
after seven weeks and three da3's reached the har-
bor of New York. During the voyage they en-
countered a storm which lasted twelve days and
twelve nights. The passage was terribly rough,
and it was with great relief that thej' reached their
destination. Mr. Hamer made his first location in
White Rock, R. I., but after a few weeks went to
AVillimantic, Conn., where he again remained but a
few weeks. He then made his way to New York
City, with the expectation of returning to England,
but changed his mind, and in the winter of 1857
came to the West, locating in McLean County', 111.
There he secured work as a farm hand by the
month and was thus employed for a year, after
which he operated land on shares for a year. He
next secured a position with the Chicago & Alton
Railroad Company and was in its employ for about
nine months, when, having accumulated through
his industry and economy a small capital, he pur-
chased forty acres of land near Normal, 111., where
he spent two years. On the expiration of that
period he sold his farm and came to Iroquois
County, locating in Douglas Township, where he
purchased eighty acres of land at 18 per acre.
Later, he again sold, and bought eighty acres on
section 16. his present farm.
Eight children have been born of the union of
Mr. and Mrs. Hamer, but one died in infancy.
Those living are: David Thomas, who married Ada
Knowlton and resides in Onarga; William H., who
married Roena Spellinan and resides in Chicago;
Mary, who is the wife of Ralph .Spellnian,a teacher
in Greer College, of Hoopeston; Frederick A., who
married Clara A. Layer, and lives in Ridgeland
Township; Emma L., at home; Elizabeth L., a
te.acher of their county; and Nellie B., at home.
The family has a pleasant home on the farm in
Ridgeland Township. Mr. Hamer owns one hun-
dred and sixty acres of arable land, which he has
placed under a high state of cultivation and im-
proved with all the accessories of a model farm.
In addition to the cultivation of his fields, whose
neat appearance indicates his thrift and enterprise,
he engages in stock-raising.
In political sentiments, Mr. llamer is a Demo-
crat, and at the ballot supports tlie principles
which he warmly advocates. He has held the
office of School Director and is a friend to the
cause of education. Socially, he is a member of
the Odd Fellows' societj'. Mrs. Hamer and all the
children except one are Presbyterians, holding
membership with the church in Onarga. Public-
spirited and progressive, he manifests a commend-
able interest in all that pertains to the welfare of
the community and ever bears his part in its up-
building. It was a fortunate day for him when
he determined not to return to his native land but
to still continue his residence in this country, for
here he has gained a comfortable competence,
found a pleasant home and won many warm
^OHN WIENRANK, one of the prominent
and representative farmers of Ash Grove
,^::^ Township, now makes his home on section
Ij^/' 1, where he owns a fine farm. He is a na-
tive of Germany, born in Hanover, on the 1st of
December, 1840, and is a son of Jacob Wienrank,
who was born and reared in the same place. The
father was a leading farmer of his native land, and
there was united in marriage with Miss Luke John-
son, who was also born in the same neighborhood as
her husband. In 1852 he started for America, ac-
companied by his wife and four children. They
sailed from Bremen, and after a voyage of thirteen
weeks landed in New Orleans. Th(!y then pro-
ceeded up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to
Peoria, and settled on a farm near that place. The
father there engaged in agricultural pursuits until
1874, when he was called to his final rest, at the age
of fifty-six. His wife is still living, and makes
her home with her children, being now an inmate
of the home of our subject. In religious belief,
Mr. Wienrank was a Lutheran, and politically.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
gave his support to the Democratic party. In tlic
family .were four children, of whom our subject is
the eldest; Mrs. Gretje Van Hoveln now resides
on a farm adjoining her brother's; Tina is the wife
of John .Stover, who makes his home in Kansas;
and Christof is a resident of Tazewell County, 111.
Mr. Wienrank, of this sketch, began his literary
education in Germany, but it was completed in
this country. He attended the English schools of
Peoria, and thei-e pursued his studies until the age
of seventeen years. He remained at home, ."liding
in the labors of the farm, until he had attained his
majority, when he started out in life for himself.
For several years he made his home in Woodford
County, engaging in agricultural pursuits, and in
187G removed to Iroquois County, where he pur-
chased his present farm of one hundred and fift\'-
two acres; but he now owns one hundred and sixty
acres additional. He is one of the enterprising
farmers of Ash Grove Township, and in his busi-
ness relations has been very successful; his farm is
one of the best in the community, and on it he
has placed many good improvements.
On the 17th of February, 1870, Mr. Wienrank
was married, in Woodford County, to Miss Antge
Duitsmann, a native of Germany. The lady was
born in Hanover, and came to this country in 1868.
By her marriage she has become the mother of six
children: Jacob J., born November 8, 1870, in
Woodford County; Folke B., born in the same
county, January 19, 1872, is now the wife of Jacob
Van Hoveln, a farmer of Ash Grove Township;
Kao J., born February 6, 187.3, in the same county,
is still under the parental roof; John B., born in
Woodford County, February 3, 1876; Christof J.,
born February 21, 1879; and Albert, born May 6,
1881, are still at home. The children have re-
ceived good educational advantages, attending
both the English and German schools.
Mr. Wienrank is one of the popular men of this
community, and has served his township one term
as Collector, and is now holding the office of Jus-
tice of the Peace. He and his family hold mem-
bership with the Lutheran Church of the neigh-
borhood and to it he gives his liberal support and
aid. Politically, he affiliates with the Democratic
party, and is an earnest advocate of its jirinciples.
He cast his first vote for Gen. George B. McClel-
lan in 1864. To the conventions of his party he
has often served as delegate, and takes an active
interest in political affairs.
SAAC J. GARDNER, for thirty-five years a
resident of this county, is engaged in agricul-
\\ tural pursuits on his farm in Douglas Town-
ship. He was born in the Keystone State, his
birth having occured in Susquehanna County, on
the 12th of May, 1837. He is a son of William P.
and Sarah (James) Gardner. The first of the
Gardner family of whom we have any record was
Ste|)hen Gardner, a resident of Connecticut, The
first white child born in Connecticut in 1636 was
a Gardner. The family is said to have come to
America in the "Mayflower." Stephen Gardner had
a family of twelve children, of whom the eleventh,
David, became the father of five children, the
youngest of whom, Isaac Gardner, was born in Con-
necticut, November 30, 1761. He was a soldier
in the War of the Revolution, and his second
wife drew a pension on account of his services in
that war. His first wife was Martha Rogers, by
whom he had five children. After her death he
married Esther Palmer, and unto them were born
nine children. The father of our subject was the
seventh child of the second marriage, his birth
liaving occurred December 27, 1812, in New Lon-
don Count3% Conn. He was wedded July 5, 1835,
to Miss Sarah F. James, who was born in Con-
necticut, September 30, 1815. After their mar-
riage he moved to Gibson Township, Susque-
hanna County, Pa., where he followed the occu-
pation of farming. In 1857, the father, with his
son, the subject of this sketch, came to Illinois, and
thinking a good town would spring up where
Gilman is now located, they erected a house, the
lumber of which was the first car-load of lumber
unloaded at (Tilman. This was in August, 1857.
In Februar}' following, he returned, and brought
his family to their new home in the West.
The country was wild and much of it under water.
At the close of the war, the father moved to a
FORTEAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
farm near Chebanse, but five years later he returned
to Gilman, whieli he has since made his home.
Politically, he was formerly a Whig, and has
since been a Republican. The death of his wife
occurred in September, 1873. In their family
were five children, of whom three are still living.
Isaac J., of this sketch. E. B., a resident of Nuckolls
County, Neb., is an agriculturist. He married
Miss Maggie Francis, and they have two children,
a son and daughter. AVilliam D. is a resident of
Seattle, Wash. He married Miss Fannie Gilpin, of
Gilman, 111., who died, leaving one child, a
son. He graduated from the University of Chica-
go, and followed the profession of a teacher for
many j'ears very successfully and is now engaged
in the real-estate business. Afterwards the father
married Mrs. Lydia Hunt. He, as were both of his
wives, was a member of the Baptist Church.
Mr. Gardner, whose name heads this sketch,
was reared in a timbered and stony country, and
amid the hardsliips incident to that kind of farm
land he early learned habits of industry and econ-
omy. His chances for an education were confined to
the district schools, which at that early day afforded
the means of education. December 21, 1862, he
led to the marriage altar Inverno, daughter of
Lewis J. and Hannah (Green) Bennett, a sketch
of whom is given in connection with that of Mrs.
Belva Lockwood on another page of this work.
Soon after his marriage our subject removed to
his present home. He purchased eighty acres of
land at 812 per acre, and five years later bought
forty acres more at the same price. When he pur-
chased, much of the land was underwater. Now he
has about eleven hundred rods of tile on his farm,
which he has otherwise improved and cultivated.
Besides farming, he ran a threshing and corn
shelling machine for many j'ears, and therefore
got widely acquainted throughout the county.
Mi-, and Mrs. Gardner have been blessed with a
family of four children: Frank D., a graduate of
the State University of the Class of '91, is assis-
tant professor of agriculture in his Alma Mater,
and also assistant agriculturist at the Experiment
Station at Champaign; William L. graduated from
the Metropolitan Business College of Chicago,
and is a book-keeper in a wholesale rubber house
of that city; Mary E. is a graduate of the Gilman
High School, and a stenographer, and has a posi-
tion as pension clerk in Washington, D. C: and
Carrie E. resides at home.
Mr. Gardner is in sympathy with the principles
of the Republican part}', and has always voted for
its candidates, casting his first ballot for Lincoln.
For the last five years he has been engaged in the
dairy business, in which he has been quite success-
ful. During a long residence here he has made
many friends by his strict integritj' and straight-
forward business dealings.
RS. BELVA A. LOCKWOOD, Washington,
D. C. As a distinguished daughter of one
of the pioneer settlers of Iroquois County^
it is fitting that more than a passing men-
tion be made of Mrs. Lockwood, who bore the
maiden name of Bennett. Her grandfather, Ezek-
iel Bennett, emigrated from Vermont to New York
State at an earlj' day. He married Mary High,
and of this union was born Lewis J. Bennett, the
father of Mrs. Lockwood. On arriving at years of
maturity, Lewis Bennett wedded Miss Hannah
Green, who was also a native of the Empire State.
In 1856, Mr. Bennett came to Iroquois Count}-,
locating near Onarga, where he spent the remainder
of his days in agricultural pursuits. He died on
the 26th of June, 1877, at the advanced age of
seventy years. His widow now lives in Onarga,
and has attained the ,age of sevent}' years. To
the above worthy couple was born a family of
five children, of whom four are still living: Rachel,
who is the wife of James Robinson, of Onarga; Mrs.
Belva Lockwood; AVarren G., a resident of Ridge-
ville, this county; and Inverno, who is the wife of
Isaac J. Gardner, represented elsewhere in this
We now take up the personal record of Mrs.
Lockwood, which, if we mistake not, has few par-
allels in history. She was born on the 30th of
October, 1830, at Royalton, Niagara County, N.Y.
Her early education was acquired in the district
schools.of her native county. Naturally possessed
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
of good mental powers and with a strong bent for
thought and study, she alwa3'S stood at the liead
of her class and was a recognized leader. At
tvvelve years of age, in addition to the common
branches. she studied algebra, physiology and phil-
osophy. A close observer, her thoughts and con-
clusions were often recorded in a notebook. Such
were her accomplisliments that before she was fif-
teen years of age she was selected to teach scliool
in her home district, conducting the same school
four successive terms. During the first term, she
received the munificent salary of $5 per month.
At the age of eighteen, slie married Uriah H.McXall,
a thrifty young farmer in the neighborliood, wiio
was accidentally hurt while operating a sawmill,
and after a lingering illness of two years died,
leaving a daughter to the care of his wife, who was
not yet twent3'-two years old. Trials oftentime
bring out tlie sterling traits of character, and so it
was with Mrs. McNall; every detail indoors and
out was looked after by her — she buying and selling
stock, measuring lumber, weighing grain, writing
orders and receipts, making and mending. After
conducting the business a year, slie decided to sell
out and complete her education. Entering an
academy, she not onl^^ carried on the prescribed
studies but kept her own house and at the same
time boarded five other students.
Having completed the academic course, she re-
ceived a pressing invitation to teach in her old
neighborhood at a salaiy of 812 per month, with
board for iierself and little girl. After teaching,
two years, she entered Genesee College, at Lima,
N. Y., the second college to admit ladies on equal
terms with men. She had early shown an aptitude
for writing, both in prose and poetry. During her
first years of teaching she had written for the
"Wesleyan Literary Messenger," Boston Olioe
Branch, "Ladies' Repository," and others, and
while in college was a contributor to Moore 'siiwraZ
yew Yorker. By professors and students she was
recognized as a young woman of remarkable abil-
ity, and on the 27th of June, 1857, she was gradu-
ated with honor from Genesee College.
Without her knowledge, our subject was elected
Preceptress of Lockport Union School, which posi-
tion she tilled four years, educating her sister and
daughter at the same time. Mrs. McNall was also
active in mission and Sunday-school work, keeping
up a Bible class, an infant class and a "ragged
school." Until 1868, she was engaged chiefly in
educational work, cither conducting a school of
her own or teaching in some institution. During
the "Kansas troubles" she was president of a relief
society, spending much time and money in the
cause. During the war, she was president of the
aid society that equipped tlie Eighth Regiment,
New York Volunteers, and throughout the entire
struggle her aid and sympathy were extended to
the boys in blue.
On the nth of March, 1868, :Mrs. McNall mar-
ried the Rev. Ezekiel Lockwood, who has since
departed this life. A daughter born of this mar-
riage lived until two years old. The University
of Syracuse, N. Y., with which Genesee College
was afterward combined, conferred upon her the
degree of A. M. In 1870, she began the study of
law. Being refused admission to the Law School
of Columbian College, Mrs. Lockwood with four-
teen other ladies entered the National University
Law School, at AV^ashington, D. C, but only two
completed the course. In the last quarter the fac-
ulty of that university denied the ladies the privi-
lege of attending lectures and finally refused to
grant diplomas, an injustice born of prejudice.
Indignant at such treatment, Mrs. Lockwood ad-
dressed a brief but pointed letter to President
Grant, who was then an ex-ofticio President of the
National University Law School, as follows:
Washinc.ton, D. C, September 3, 1873.
To the Prksident,
Dkak Sir: — You are ostensibly President of the
National University Law School of this district.
If you are its President, I desire to say that I have
passed through the curriculum of study of this
school and am entitled to and demand my diploma.
If you are not the President, tlien I demand that
you take your name from its papers and cease to
be what you are not.
Bki.va a. Lockwooh.
Within three weeks, she received her diploma
and on motion of W. I). Wedgewood was admitted
to practice in the District Court. In 1878, she was
called upon to defend a client before the Circuit
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
Court in Prince George Count}', Md. Judge Mc-
Gruder refused to let her practice in his court.
The opinion on which the Judge based his rejec-
tion of her is a marvel of profound nonsense. The
people of that district saw it in that light, and he
was relegated to private life, and Mrs. Lockwood
became a recognized practitioner in that court.
Denied recognition at the Bar of the Supreme
Court, Mis. Lockwood determined to rend the veil
from top to bottom that shut out women from the
highest possibilities in the legal profession. A bill
prepared by her for the admission of women to
practice before that court was presented to the
House by the Hon. J. M. Glover, of Missouri. The
bill was flnall}' passed February 15, 1879, by a
majority of twenty-one votes. March 3, 1879,
the Hon. A. G. Riddle made a motion before the
Supreme Court for Mrs. Lockwood 's admission to
practice in that court and it was granted. Three
daj's later, by a motion of the Hon. Thomas J.
Durant, she was admitted to the Bar of the United
States Court of Claims. Thus by persistent effort
and rare courage, she achieved one of the greatest
triumphs of the age. In 1868, Mrs. Lockwood
became interested in the "woman's rights" move-
ment, and since that has done all in her power to
broaden the sphere of woman. In nearlj' all the
great cities of the United States she has spoken
on "Woman's right to the ballot." The enfran-
chisement of woman and the temperance cause
find in her a powerful advocate, and it is devoutly
to be wished that she may live to see those two
great causes triumph. Mrs. Lockwood has enjoyed
extensive practice both in civil and criminal
courts and has been a practitioner for eighteen
years. She has also an extensive practice before
the departments of the Government, the Court of
Claims and the Supreme Court of the United
Mrs, Lockwood was nominated for the Presi-
dency of the United States by the Equal Rights
party at San Francisco, Cal., in August, 1884, and
again by the same party in Des Moines, Iowa, in
1888, making in both cases a very creditable cam-
paign. She is a prominent member and General
Secretary of the Universal Peace Union, and has
three times represented that association as its dele-
gate on the continent of Europe, attending the
International Peace Congress at its session in Paris
in 1889, where she was one of the Committee of
Honor, and where the American delegates received
the gold medal; and the second time in London in
1890, where she found time later to take a Uni-
yersity Extension Course at that oldest of English
Universities, Oxford; in 1892 she attended the
Congress at Berne, Switzerland, at which time she
induced the International Congress to meet in
Chicago in 1893. She is asssociate editor of the
Peacemaker, and one of the most popular speakers
on the lecture platform.
<| I* ARREN G. BEXNETT, formerly engaged
\/iJll ^^ general farming and stock-raising on
wm section 16, Ridgeland Township, but now
a resident of Kankakee, is a native of the Empire
State, his birth having occurred near Lockport, on
the 6th of October, 1832. His parents, Lewis J.
and Hannah (Green) Bennett, are represented in
the sketch of Mrs. Belva Lockwood.
We now take up the personal history of Mr.
Bennett, who is widely and favorabh' known in
this communit}' as one of the prominent citizens
of Iroquois County. Upon his father's farm he
was reared to manhood, and in his early youth he
attended the district schools of the neighborhood.
His primal-}' education was supplemented by a
course in Gasport Academy, which he entered at
the age of sixteen years. After graduating from
that institution, he soon obtained a good position
as civil engineer, being employed to enlarge the
Erie Canal between Rochester and Lockport, N. Y.
Thus he was employed for two years. It was in
the autumn of 1854 that he first came to Illinois,
making a location first in Onarga, where he re-
mained till the following spring, when he returned
to the Flmpire State and worked on the canal
through the succeeding summer and winter. In
1855, we again find him in this county, where he
purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land
from the Government in Douglas Township, at
82.50 per acre. Upon this farm he resided until
1860, placing it under a high state of cultivation.
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
In the meantime Mr. Bennett was married. In
August, 1859, he led to the marriage altar Miss
Sarah Hibbard, and by their union were born two
children, both daughters: Clara, widow of William
H. Harrison, and a resident of Washington, D. C;
and Helen, who is living with her father. Tiie
mother was called to her final rest on the 2d of
.Tune, 1877, and her remains were interred in On-
arga Cemetery. In December, 1879, Mr. Bennett
was again married, his second union being with
Mis? Finette Beman. One child graces this union,
In 1860, Mr. Bennett returned to Oswego, N. Y.,
where he remained for two years in the employ of
tlie York & Erie Railroad Corapan\- as ticket
and transfer agent. The succeeding year of his
life was spent in traveling in Ohio, after which
he again came to Iroquois County and purchased
one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 14,
Onarga Township, where he made his home until
1868. He then purchased the farm on which he
now resides, comprising eighty acres on section 16,
Ridgeland Township. In connection with general
farming he carries on stock-raising, and that he
does his business thoroughly is indicated by the
neat appearance of his place and all pertaining to
his farm. In his political affiliations he is a stal-
wart Democrat — an inflexible adherent of the prin-
ciples of his part}'. He has held the office of As-