fact, now includes the former town in its corpor-
ation limits. Mr. Fagan was born in Xenia, Ohio,
March 29, 1822. and is a son of William and Eliza-
beth (Dowell) Fagan. His parents were born in
what is now West Virginia, and removed at an
early day to Highland Count\', Ohio, and later to
Greene County, near Xenia, in the same State.
Tlipy subsequently came to Champaign County, 111.,
where they spent their last days. The mother died
in 1867, and the father the following j'ear.
The subject of this sketch was reared in his na-
tive State, received a common-school education,
and learned his trade in his native town. He be-
gan his apprenticeship there and served six years,
after which he engaged in business for himself.
In 1847, he removed to La Fayette, Ind., where he
worked as a journeyman for a 3'ear, and in 1840
came to Illinois. He spent a year working at his
trade in Danville, and in the spring of 184 9 came
to Iroquois County, where he opened the first
harness shop in the county at Middleport, as pre-
In the fall of 1852, Mr. Fagan was united in
marriage in Middleport with Miss Caroline Hogle,
a daughter of Capt. Henr\ W. and Charlotte
(Wells) Hogle. Mrs. Fagan was born in Henrvs-
ville. Province of Quebec, Canada, and came to
Middleport, 111., with her mother, August 11, 1849.
She died in 18.56, leaving two children: a son,
who died in childhood; and a daughter, Char-
lotte H., who is now the wife vt Robert Hayes, of
Lake View, Chicago. In the spring of 1859, Mr.
Fagan was again married, his second wife being Mrs.
.Julia A. Fenton, whose maiden name was Craw-
ford. She has one child, Dora, by her former
marriage. Mrs. Fagan was born in Coshocton
County, Ohio. Five children blessed their union,
but three are now deceased. Arthur died aged
twenty-three years; Wilda is the wife of J. T. Ford,
of Drumniond, Wis.; Albert died in childhood;
Asa B. married and lives in Chicago; and one died
In his political affiliation, Mr. Fagan was a
Whig in early life, but on the dissolution of that
party, became a Democrat, He has never sought
or desired public office. Mrs. Fagan owns a well-
improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres,
situated in Belmont Township. Mr. Fagan is
an Odd Fellow and was a charter member of
the old lodge of Middleport; and was also the
second Odd Fellow in the place. He is a Royal
Arch Mason, a member of AVatseka Lodge No.
446, A. F. & A. M., and of Watseka Chapter No.
114, R. A. M.
Mr. Fagan is one of the very few remaining
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
pioneers of the deserted village of Middleport,
the ancient capital of Iroquois County. He has
witnessed tlie coming and going of many, and the
rise and fall of the fortunes of otiiers. The coun-
try, which was little better than a wilderness when
lie first saw it, is now well settled b^' a prosperous
and thrifty people. During all these years and
changes he Ilis maintained acquaintance and friend-
ship with many and enjoys, as he deserves, the
kindly regard and esteem of his old neighbors and
friends, and also of tiie newer coiners who have
learned to know him.
' ■ * 8^1
i^ » •'
1^^ D. NOBLE, photographic artist of Watseka,
i(( ll ^■''* born in Kankakee, 111., September 21,
^^^ IHfii), and is a son of Solomon and Susan 1).
(Williamson) Noble. His parents were natives of
Philadelphia, and came to Illinois in 1847. His
father died in June, 1882, and his mother is still
living, residing in Kankakee.
The subject of this sketch was reared in his na-
tive county, receiving his education in the com-
mon schools. In 1878, he began learning photog-
raphy in Kankakee, and the following year went
to Chicago, where he was employed in that line of
work at intervals for several years. In 1884, he
opened a gallery in Paxton, Ford County-, where
he carried on luisine.«s during the three 3'ears fol-
lowing. Prom there he went to Denver, Colo., and
was there employed in a large gallery for two
years. Then he returned East for a year and
afterward again went to Colorado. After spend-
ing another year in the West, he returned to Illi-
nois and opened his present gallery in Watseka,
June 20, 1891.
Mr. Noble was married in Paxton, 111., February
19, 1875, to Miss Tiieresa Palmer. The lady was
born on the banks of Lake Champlain in New York,
and is a daughter of Isaac H. Palmer, of Paxton'.
INIr. and Mrs. Noble have one child, a son, Lesley
Denver, who was born in Denver, Colo., April 5,
In politics, Jlr. Noble is a Democrat. Socially,
he is a member of Watseka Camp No. ;5;59, JI. W.
A. On coming to Watseka, the subject of this
sketch determined to have the finest photographic
gallery in Eastern Illinois, and to that end erected
a one-story brick building, especially adapted to
the Inisiness, the size being twenty-five feet front
by eight}- deep. The operating room is twenty-
five by thirty-five feet, while the facilities for
light are scientifically planned and complete in
arrangement. The front reception room is lighted
by large French plate-glass and is elegentl}- fur-
nished and decorated. Taken as a whole, the
Noble gallery is unsurpassed in any city in the
State, outside of Chicago, in its appointments and
most approved facilities for artistic work. Mr.
Noble does all kinds of work in his art in the most
modern style, including oil, pastel, crayon, and
work in water-colors, together with a new and
novel feature of photograph}' on silk and linen,
hatbands, etc., , wherein the picture comes out
strong and sharp. He does fine work in enlarging
from small and old pictures, and is recognized as
an expert in his line.
>^^i^ELSON CAVITT is now engaged in general
I jj farming and stock-raising on section 14,
li\,M: Kelmont Township. The history of his life
is the record of a self-made man, who has been de-
pendent upon his own resources since he attained
his majority, and by his own labors has achieved
success and gathered together a comfortable compe-
tence. He was born in Pike County, Ohio, Jan-
uary 19, 1819. His paternal grandparents were
both natives of Ireland, and during youth emi-
grated to this country. The}- became early set-
tlers of Ohio, and in the Buckeye State Robert
Cavitt, father of our subject, was born and reared.
After attaining to years of maturity he was joined
in wedlock with Miss Mary Daugherty, also a na-
tive of Ohio, and they spent tlieir entire lives upon
the old homestead. With the Methodist Church
they held membership and were highly respected
citizens. In politics, Mr. Cavitt was a supporter
of the Democratic party.
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
During his boyhood Nelson Cavitt acquired his
education in a school which was conducted on the
subscription plan and convened in a little log
cabin with greased-paper windows, slab seats and
huge fireplace. He afterward attended a select
school for nine months, but tliougii his educa-
tional privileges were limited, he has become a
well-informed man through reading, experience
and observation. He earned his first money bj'
working as a farm hand at $9 and 811 per month,
and even in his younger years there -was little that
he did not know about farm labor, for he early
began work in the fields. At the age of twent} -
two he removed to Tippecanoe County, Ind., lo-
cating near La Fayette. This was in the spring
of 1841. He began work as a farm hand, but af-
terward engaged in farming in Fountain County,
Ind., where he made his home until 1864.
In that country Mr. Cavitt was married to Miss
Hester A. Brown, their union being celebrated
March 16, 1849. Unto them have been born the
following children: Mary, at home; Anna, who
is living in Watseka; Henrietta, wife of I). L.
Gi'eenman, of Watseka; George, who is married
and follows farming near Watseka; John F., an
agriculturist of Belmont Township; William T.,at
home; Charles O., who has lately entered the Nor-
mal College at Valparaiso, Ind.; and Frank O.,
who completes the family, is also at the Valparaiso
Normal College. The children were all provided
with good educational advantages, such as would
fit them for the practical duties of life and its re-
sponsibilities. Frank, who expects to Ijecome a
physician, was formerly a student in Hoopeston.
Mr. Cavitt cast his first Presidential vote for
William Henry Harrison, and was a Whig until
the dissolution of that party, when he joined the
i-anks of the new Republican party and has since
fought under its banner, supporting each Presi-
dential candidate since Fremont. His wife is a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and to
church and charitable work he contributes liber-
ally. He takes an active interest in all that per-
tains to the welfare of the community and is one
of its representative and influential citizens. On
coming to this county in 1864, he purchased one
hundred and two acres of land and now owns a
fine farm of one hundi-ed and eighty acres, while,
in connection with his sons, he also operates three
hundred acres additional. The boys also run a
threshing-machine in season. Mr. Cavitt carries
on general farming and stock-raising, and pros-
perity has rewarded his industrious efforts. He is
now one of the substantial citizens of the com-
munity, having a fine farm. Upon it is a good
house and large and well-built barns and out-
buildings, while its neat appearance indicates his
UGENE P. L'HOTE, editor and proprietor
of the Milford Herald, was born in Mar-
shall, 111., on the 7th of May, 1862, and is
a son of Edward L'Hote. His father was born on
the island of Guadeloupe, in Point-a-Pitre, West
Indies, March 3, 1819, and his parents were Ed-
ward and Sophie (Maumay) L'Hote, the former a
native of Paris, and the latter of Bourdeaux,
France. Their family numbered three sons: Ed-
ward, Eugene and Arehille. In 1826, Edward
L'Hote, Sr., emigrated to America, locating in
New Orleans. He died at IMobile, Ala., in 1835.
His wife departed this lifi' in the Crescent Cit3-,
The year after his mother's death, Edward
L'Hote, .Ir., began to learn the printer's trade,
which he followed for fifty-one years, or until his
retirement from business in 1889. He began work
in the oflSce of the Chronicle, which was published
in what is now known as the Fourth District of
New Orleans. He was living in that citj' at the
time of the first issue of the Picayune, which was
established in 183.5. He worked on tliat paper
when tallow candles were used for lighting the
office, and dry-goods boxes were used for news
stands, and when the proprietors cooked their
own meals. The Picayune was published as a
daily, and the forms were inked with rubber balls,
which were dexterously distributed by bumping
them together and causing them to turn in every
direction until the ink was over eveiy part.
Our subject was a veteran of the Mexican War.
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
During that struggle he enlisted as a member' of
the Second Louisiana Regiment, and served for
six months. After his return he came to Mar-
shall, 111., in 1849, and was married on the 29th of
November to Miss Cliarlotte Whaley, daughter of
William and Charlotte Whaley. There he -.vorked
at his trade for some time in the employ of
others. He afterward published a paper called the
Hornet, one of the first journals in the couutrj- to
advocate Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency.
After residing in Clark County for nearlj- thirty
years, Mr. L'Hote removed to Milford, and pur-
chased the Milford Herald, then published by J. R.
Fox. He continued it.s editor and proprietor from
1878 until 1889, putting it on a good paying
basis. He then sold out to his son, Eugene P.
Edward L'Hote is a member of Marshall Lodge
Xo. 133, A. F. & X. M., and of Chapter No. 70, R.
A. M., of Marshall. In politics he is a supporter
of the Republican principles, and his paper was
ever edited in the interests of that party. Since
selling his paper in 1889, he has lived a retired
life, enjoying a well-earned rest. Mr. L'Hote is
an intelligent and well-informed man, and is held
in the highest esteem by all who know iiim for iiis
sterling worth and integrity.
Eugene P. L'Hote, whose name heads this rec-
ord, came with his parents to Iroquois County,
and has since been a resident of Jlilford. From
boyhood he has been connected with the printing
business, which he learned in his father's office.
In 1886 he leased the Milford Herald, and after
publishing it for two years purchased it of his
fatlier, and has since conducted it alone. The
Herald is a bright, newsy sheet, publislied in the
interest of the Republican party. Our subject is a
ready and fluent writer, and keeps his paper up to
the high standard to which his father brought it.
The Herald is now well patronized, has a large
subscription list, and he is doing a profitable
On the 24th of September, 188.'), Mr. L'Hote
wedded Miss Elda Fairman, daughter of John F.
and Mary E. (Park) Fairman, of Milford. Three
children grace their union: Lulu, born in April,
1886; Ra^', born in December, 1887; and Elda,
born in September, 1889. Our subject holds
membership with the Odd Fellows' lodge and the
Knights of Pythias Society, both of Milford. He
is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, who
does much for the advancement and upbuilding
of the town and county-, and by his fellow-towns-
men he is regarded as a man of sterling worth.
He is quite popular, has a wide acquaintance, and
his friends are manv.
-^> - =^^>^^^m
BRAM COUGHENOUR, a retired farmer
residing on section 27, Concord Town-
ship, is a well-known citizen of this com-
munitj-, and certainly deserves representa-
tion in the history of his adopted county, for he
is numbered among its earliest settlers, having for
more than half a century been connected with its
histor}'. A native of Gallia County, Ohio, lie was
born September 15, 1810, and is a son of John and
Susan (Darst) Coughenour, the former a native of
Pennsylvania, and the latter of Virginia. Wiien
John Coughenour w-as quite small his parents re-
moved to the Old Dominion. The paternal grand-
father of our subject was of German descent, and
died in Augusta County, Va. On attaining to
mature years his children all left that State. The
family numbered five sons and a daughter. Some
of them returned to Pennsylvania, and Christian
and John removed to Ohio. The sister started on
horseback from Virginia to the Buckeye State and
was never heard from again.
John Coughenour was twenty-one years of age
when he went to Gallia County, Ohio. He was
then in limited circumstances, but became a well-
to-do farmer. His wife died when our subject was
about ten }ears of age. Abram is the eldest of a
family of three sons and three daughters, but is
now the only surviving member. The father was
afterward again married and bad several children
by the second union.
Abram Coughenour remained under the par-
ental roof until he obtained his majoiity, and ac-
quired his education in the subscription schools.
On leaving home he went to La Fayette, Ind., and
from there to Huntington, where he worked on
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
the Wabash & Erie Canal, helping to build the
second lock. In September, 1834, he went to Chi-
cago, where he worked on the piers at the mouth
of the river until the following December. He
saw the first house burn at that place and. helped
to put out the fire. Subsequently he returned to
La Fayette, Ind., where he began learning the car-
penter's trade, receiving a journeyman's wages
from the beginning, as he was always handy with
tools. Having made a short visit to his old home,
he came to Iroquois County, 111., in 1836, and for
several years afterward followed carpentering.
On May 31, 1837, Mr. Coughenour married Miss
Elizabeth Ann Williams, of Milford Township,
who was born in Ohio, March 1, 1821, and came
to this county with her parents during childhood.
Her father, Robert L. Williams, was a large land-
owner in Milford Township. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Coughenour were born thirteen children, eleven
of whom grew to mature years; nine were married
and seven are yet living. Marion, the eldest, died
in infancy; Celina J. is the wife of George W.
Enslin, of Sheldon; Franklin is represented else-
where in this work; Rosanna is the wife of Nelson
Waity, of Sheldon Township: Anna is the wife of
Jefferson Crozier, a resident of Sheldon, and unto
them have been born three children, two living
and one deceased; Nancy became the wife of
Irvin E. Crozier, and died in Cla}' County, Iowa,
leaving one child; Celestine is the wife of Luman
Sherman; Allen, who is married and lives with our
subject, has one child; Aiirelius is living in Clay
County, Iowa; and .Joseph R. completes the fam-
The farm on which Mr. Coughenour resides w.as
a claim which he purchased from his brother, who
had entered the land from the Government. He
built his residence and barn with his own hands,
and has here made his home since 1844. Every
improvement upon the place stands as a monu-
ment to his thrift .and enterprise. His possessions
have all been acquired through his own efforts,
and he may truly be called a self-made man. He
followed in the political footsteps of his father,
and in 1832 cast his first Presidential vote for
Gen. .Jackson. Since that time he has been a
warm advocate of the Democracy, and his sons
support the same party. He has filled the ofHce
of Justice of the Peace, was School Director for
about twenty jears, and School Trustee for nine
years. The cause of education has ever found in
him a warm friend, and he has done much for the
advancement of the schools in this community.
Mr. Coughenour has been a great reader through-
out life, and has thus become well informed.
Mrs. Couglienour was called to her final rest June
19, 1890, and her remains were interred in the
Garfield Cemetery. Mr. Coughenour is now eighty-
two years old, and is an active old gentleman,
physically and mentally. Throughout the count}'
he has a wide acquaintance, and an honored, up-
right life has won him the confidence and esteem
of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
His name is inseparably connected with thehistorj'
of the county, where for fifty-six j'ears he has
found a home. He has aided in its development,
borne his part in its upbuilding, and ever faith-
fully performed his duties of citizenship.
ON. CONRAD SECREST, M.D.,ofWatseka,
1^ the present State Senator from Iroquois
County, was born near Lexington, in
Davidson County, N. C, May 3, 1829.
His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Fontz) Secrest,
were also natives of that State. The father's fam-
ily were from Pennsj'lvania, and were of German
origin. Their settlement in the old Keystone
State antedates the War of the Revolution, and
members of the family- were participants in that
memorable struggle under Gen. Green. Daniel
Secrest removed with his family to Morgan County,
Ind., in 1832, and there engaged in farming. His
death occurred in 1841, when Conrad was but
twelve years old. The mother died two j-ears
Left an orphan at fourteen, our subject received
his primary education in a frontier log school-
house, with its traditional puncheon floor, and slab
seats and desks, and where, instead of glass, oiled
paper was used to admit the light through an open-
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
ing where a section of logs had been removed. He
was reared on a farm, and subsequent!}-, having
the advantage of better schools, fitted himself for
the position of tcaciier. In llarcli, 18.'j2, he came
to Iroquois County, 111., and began the study of
medicine under the direction of Drs. Fowler iV'
Blades, of Iro(iuois, soon afterward accompanying
those gentlemen to Middleport. There he engaged
as a clerk in a store, and pursued his studies at
night. In the fall of 185.3, he entered Rush Medi-
cal College, of Chicago, where he took a course of
lectures the following winter. In the summer of
1854, he began practice in Milford, and pursued
his profession at that place until tlie fall of 1858,
when he returned to Kush Medical College, and
nearly completed another course of lectures when
sickness called hira home. Subsequently he re-
turned, and received his degree of M. D. from the
Dr. Secrest then returned to Milfurd, and was
engaged in practice and in the drug business
in that place until the fall of 1859, when he re-
moved to South Middleport, now Walseka, and
erected the first business house in that place, al-
though it was not the first finished and occupied.
In 1860, the Doctor became regularly established
in the drug business at South Middleport, and also
pursued the practice of his profession. About
1875, he purchased a tract of land near Watseka,
to which he has added bj^ subsequent purchases
until he now has a well-improved farm of four
hundred and fifty acres, lying adjacent to the
city on the southe.ast. Of this, one hundred and,
sixty acres are situated in the township of Middle-
port and the remainder in Belmont Townshij).
The Doctor's residence is on the street that forms
the dividing line between the farm and the city.
On the 20th of May, 1855, Dr. Secrest was
united in marriage in Milford. 111., with ^liss
Martha A. Cleaver. The lady was born in this
county in 1837, and is a daughter of David and
Louisa Cleaver. Her parents were (Quakers, and
were natives of Pennsylvania. They emigrated
first to Warren County, Ohio, and came to Iro-
quois County in 183.3, settling near what is now
Milford. In the family -were two sons and two
daughters. Mrs. Secrest and her sister Mary, now
the wife of S. B. Hamilton, of Monroe County,
Wis., are the only ones living. Joseph W., the
eldest son, died in the array. The mother of this
famil}' died in November, 1854, and the father in
January, 1856. The Doctor and his wife have
one child living, a son, Daniel C., who was born
June 10, 1860, and is now engaged in the United
States Revenue Service; he resides in Pekin, 111.
A daughter, Louisa, died in infancy.
In politics, Dr. Secrest is a Reinililican. At
various times he has filled local offices, and in 1876
was elected Representative to the Sixteenth Gener-
al Assembly from Iroquois and Kankakee Counties,
and was re-elected in 1878. In 1880, he was elected
to the Illinois Senate from the same district. In
1884, he was succeeded by II. K. Wheeler, of Kanka-
kee, b}' a tacitly understood rule in the party that
the office of State Senator should alternate between
the two counties composing the district. In 1888,
Dr. Secrest was again elected to the Senate, and is
the present member. He has served four years as
Representative, and at the close of the present
term will have been eight .years in the Senate. He
has been a faithful and useful membei' in each of
those bodies and has served in several inipoitant
committees. In the four regular sessions of the
Senate, he has been Chairman of the Committee on
Approiiriations, which has the consideration and
recommendation of appropriations aggregating be-
tween seven and a-half and eight and a-half mill-
ions of dollars annually. ' The position to which
he was appointed was one of great responsibilit}'
and importance, and his faithful and able discharge
of the duties devolving upon him justified the
compliment paid him in the selection.
Dr. Secrest is a member of Iroquois Lodge No.
74, I.O. O. F., and of Iroquois Kncamprneut No.
81. The family attend the MethodistChurch. For
fort}- years, the Doctor has been a resident of Iro-
quois County. He has taken a more or less promi-
nent part in its business and political histor}-, aid-
ing materially in its growth and development.
By his upright and honorable course in all the re-
lations of life, he has won a strong hold upon the
respect, good-will and confidence of his fellow-
citizens. He is a plain, unassuming man, eijtirely
devoid of ostentation, but possessed of an earnest,
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
rugged strength of character and honesty of pur-
pose that have led to a permanent popularity
among the solid, candid men of his district, regard-
less of political preferences.
^AMES PHILLIPS, who owns and operates
a farm on section 17, Crescent Township,
is a native of Ireland, his birth having oc-
'^J curred in County Kildare. April 13, 1834.
He is a son of George and Martha (Charless) Phil-
lips, both natives of Ireland. The father was a