Newton Bateman.

Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

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Dec. 15, 1796. Thirteen years afterward his
remains were removed by one of his sons, and
interred in Badnor churchyard, in his native
county. The Pennsylvania Historical Society
erected a marble monument over his grave, and
appropriately dedicated it on July 4 of the same

WAYNE COUNTY, in the southeast quarter of
tlie State ; has an area of 720 square miles ; was
organized in 1819, and named for Gen. Anthony
Wayne. The county is watered and drained by
the Little Wabash and its branches, notably tha
Skillet Fork. At the first election held in the
county, only fifteen votes were cast. Early life
was exceedingly primitive, the first settlere
pounding corn into meal with a wooden pestle,
a hollowed stump being used as a mortar. The
first mill erected (of the antique South Carolina
pattern) charged 25 cents per bushel for grinding.
Prairie and woodland make up the surface, and
the soil is fertile. Railroad facilities are furnished
by the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis and tha
Baltimore & Ohio (Southwestern) Railroads.
Corn, oats, tobacco, wheat, hay and wool are tha
chief agricultural products. Saw mills are numer-
ous and there are also carriage and wagon facto-
ries. Fairfield is the county-seat. Populatioa
(1880), 21,291; (1890), 23,806.

WEAS, THE, a branch of the Miami tribe of
Indians. They called themselves "We-wee-
hahs, " and were spoken of by the French as "Oui-
at-a-nons" and "Oni-as." Other corruptions of
the name were common among the British and
American colonists. In 1718 they had a village
at Chicago, but abandoned it through fear of
their hostile neighbors, the Chippewas and Potta-
watomies. The Weas were, at one time, brare
and warlike : but their numbers were reduced by



constant warfare and disease, and. in the end,
debauchery enervated and demoralized theui.
They were removed west ot the JlissLsjiippi and
given a reservation in Miami County. Kan. This
they ultimately sold, and, under the leadership
of Baptiste Peoria, united with their few remain-
ing brethren of tlie Miamis and with the remnant
of the Ill-i-ni under the title of the "confederated
tribes," and settled in Indian Territory. (See also
tliamis; Piaiikcsliairs. )

WEBB, Edwin B., early lawyer and politician,
was born about lbU2, came to the vicinity of
Carmi, AVhite County, 111., about 1828 to 1830,
and, still later, studied law at Transylvania Uni-
versity. He held the office of Prosecuting
Attorney of AVhite County, and, in 11S34, was
elected to the lower branch of the General
Assembly, serving, by successive re-elections,
until 1843, and. in the Senate, from 1842 to '46.
During his service in the House he was a col-
league and political and personal friend of
Abraham Lincoln. He opposed the internal
improvement scheme of 1837, predicting many
of the disasters which were actually realized a
few years later. He was a candidate for Presi-
dential Elector on the Whig ticket, in 1844 and
"48, and, in 1852, received the nomination for
Governor as the opponent of Joel A. Matteson.
two years later, being an unsuccessful candidate
for Justice of the Supreme Court in opposition to
Judge W. B. Scates. While practicing law at
Carmi. he was also a partner of his brother in
the mercantile business. Died, Oct. 14, 1858, in
the 56th year of his age.

WEBB, Henry Livingston, soldier and pioneer
(an elder brother of James Watson Webb, a noted
New York journalist), was born at Claverack,
N. Y.. Feb. 6, 1795; served as a soldier in the
War of 1812, came to Southern Illinois in 1817.
and became one of the founders of the town of
America near the mouth of the Ohio; was Repre-
sentative in the Fourth and Eleventh (ieneral
Assemblies, a Ma.jor in the Black Hawk War and
Captain of volunteers and, afterwards. Colonel of
regulars, in the Mexican War. In 1860 he went
to Texas and served, for a time, in a semi-mili-
tary capacity under the Confederate Govern-
ment; returned to Illinois in 1869, and died, at
Makanda. Oct. 5. 1876.

WEBSTER, Fletcher, lawyer and soldier, was
born at Portsmouth, N. H. , July 23, 1813 ; giadu-
ated at Harvard in 1833, and studied law with
his father (Daniel Weh.ster) ; in 1837, located at
Peru. Ill . where he practiced three years. His
father having been appointed Secretary of State

in 1841, the son became his private .secretary,
was also Secretary of Legation to Caleb Cushing
(Minister to China) in 1843, a member of the
Massachusetts Legislature in 1847. and Surveyor
of the Port of Boston, 1850-61 ; the latter year
became Colonel of the Twelftli Massachusetts
Volunteers and was killed in the second battle
of Bull Run, August 30, 1862.

WEBSTER, Joseph Dana, civil engineer and
soldier, was born at Old Hampton. N. H..
August 25, 1811. He graduated from Dart-
mouth College in 1832, and afterwards reail
law at Newburyport, Mass. His natural incli-
nation was for engineering, and, after serv-
ing for a time in the Engineer and War offices,
at Washington, was made a United States civil
engineer (1835) and, on July 7, 1838, entered the
army as Second Lieutenant of Topographical
Engineers. He served through tlie Mexican
War, was made First Lieutenant in 1849, and
promoted to a captaincy, in March, 1853. Thir-
teen months later he resigned, removing to Chi-
cago, where lie made his permanent home, and
soon after was identified, for a time, with the
proprietorship of "The Chicago Tribune." He
was President of the commission that perfected
the Chicago sewerage system, and clesigned and
executed tlie raising of the grade of a large por
tion of the city from two to eight feet, whole
blocks of buildings being rai:.ed by jack screws,
while new foundations were inserted. At the
outbreak of the Civil AVar lie tendered his .serv-
ices to the Government and sui)erintended the
erection of the fortiKcations at Cairo, 111., and
Paducali. Ky. On April 7. 1861, he was com-
missioned Paymaster of Volunteers, with the
rank ot Major, and, in February. 1862. Colonel of
the First Illinois Artillery. For several months
he was chief of General Grant's staff, particijiat-
ing in the capture of Forts Donelson and Henry,
and in the l)attle of Shiloh. in the latter as Chief
of Artillery. In Octolier, lS(i2, the War Depart-
ment detailed him to make a survey of the Illi-
nois & Michigan Canal, and. the following month,
lie was commissioned Brigailier-General of
Volunteers, .serving as Military Governor of Mem-
phis and Superintendent of military railroads.
He was again chief of staff to (Jeneral Grant
during the Vicksburg camiiaign, and. from 1864
until the close of the war. occupied the same
relation to (ieneral Sherman. He wa,s brevetted
Major-General of Volunteers. March 13. 1M65. Vnit.
resigning Nov. 0. following, returned to Chicago,
where he spent the remainder of his life. From
1869 to 1S72 he was A.ssessor of Internal Revenue



there, and, later, Assistant United States Treas-
urer, and, in July, 1873, was appointed Collector
of Internal Revenue. Died, at Chicago, March
12, 1876.

WELCH, William R., lawyer and jurist, was
born in Jessamine County, Ky., Jan. 33, 1838,
educated at Transylvania University, Lexington,
graduating from the academic department in
1847, and, from the law school, in 1851. In 1864 he
removed to Carlinville, Macoupin County, III,
which place lie made his permanent home. In
1877 he was elected to the bench of the Fifth
Circuit, and re-elected in 1879 and "85. In 1884
he was assigned to the bench of the Appellate
Court for the Second District. Died, Sept. 1,

WELDON, Lawrence, one of the Judges of the
United States Court of Claims. Washington,
D. C, was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, in
1839 ; while a child, removed with his parents to
Madison County, and was educated in the com-
mon schools, the local academy and at Wittenberg
College, Springfield, in the same State ; read law
with Hon. R. A. Harrison, a prominent member
of the Ohio bar, and was admitted to practice in
1854, meanwhile, in 1853-53, having served as a
clerk in the office of the Secretary of State at
Columbus. In 1854 he removed to Illinois, locat-
ing at Clinton, DeWitt County, where he engaged
in practice; in 1860 was elected a Representative
in the Twenty-second General Assembly, was
also chosen a Presidential Elector tlie same year,
and assisted in the first election of Abraham
Lincoln to the Presidency. Early in 1861 he
resigned his seat in the Legislature to accept the
position of United States District Attorney for
the Southern District of Illinois, tendered him by
President Lincoln, but resigned the latter office
in 1866 and, the following year, removed to
Bloomington, where he continued the practice of
his profession until 1883, when he was appointed,
by President Arthur, an Associate Justice of the
United States Court of Claims at Washington —
a position vvhicli he still (1899) continues to fill.
Judge Weldon is among the remaining few who
rode the circuit and practiced law with Mr. Lin-
coln. From the time of coming to the State in
1854 to 1860. he was one of Mr. Lincoln's most
intimate traveling companions in the old
Eighth Circuit, which extended from Sangamon
County on the west to Vermilion on the east, and
of which Judge David Davis, afterwards of the
Supreme Court of the United States and United
States Senator, was the presiding Justice. The
Judge holds in his memory many pleasant remi-

niscences of that day, especially of the eastern
portion of the District, where he was accustomed
to meet the late Senator Voorhees, Senator Mc-
Donald and other leading lawyers of Indiana, as
well as the historic men whom he met at the
State capital.

WELLS, Albert W., lawyer and legislator, was
born at Woodstock, Conn., May 9, 1839, and
enjoyed only such educational and other advan-
tages as belonged to the average New England
boy of that period. During liis boyhood his
family removed to New Jersey, where he attended
an academy, later, graduating from Columbia
College and Law School in New York City, and
began practice with State Senator Robert Allen
at Red Bank, N. J. During the Civil War he
enlisted in a New Jerse}' regiment and took part
in the battle of Gettysburg, resuming his profes-
sion at the close of the war. Coming west in
1870, he settled in Quincy, 111., where he con-
tinued practice. In 1886 he was elected to the
House of Representatives from Adams County,
as a Democrat, and re-elected two years later.
In 1890 he was advanced to the Senate, where,
by re-election in 1894, he served continuously
until his death in office, March 5, 1897. His
abilities and long service — covering the sessions
of the Thirty-fifth to the Fortietli General Assem-
blies — placed him at the head of the Democratic
side of the Senate during the latter part of his
legislative career.

WELLS, William, soldier and victim of the
Fort Dearborn massacre, was born in Kentucky,
about 1770. Wlien a bo}' of 13, he was captured
by the Miami Indians, whose chief. Little Turtle,
adopted him. giving him his daughter in mar-
riage wlien he grew to manhood. He was higlily
esteemed by the tribe as a warrior, and, in 1790,
was present at the battle where Gen. Arthur St.
Clair was defeated. He then realized that he
was fighting against his own race, and informed
his father-in-law that he intended to ally himself
with the whites. Leaving the Miamis, he made
liis way to General Wayne, who made him Cap-
tain of a company of scouts. After the treaty of
Greenville (1795) he settled on a farm near Fort
Wayne, where he was joined by his Indian wife.
Here he acted as Indian Agent and Justice of the
Peace. In 1812 he learned of the contemplated
evacuation of Fort Dearborn, and, at the head of
thirty Miamis, he set out for the post, his inten-
tion being to furnish a body-guard to tlie non-
combatants on their proposed march to Fort
Wayne. On August 13, he marched out of the
fort with fifteen of his dusky warriors behind



him, the remainder bringing up the rear. Before
a mile and a half had been traveled, the party fell
into an Indian ambuscade, and an indiscrimi-
nate massacre followed. (See Fiirt Dearhorii.)
The Miamis fled, and Captain Wells' body was
riddled with bullets, his head cut off and his
lieart taken out. He was an uncle of Mrs. Heald.
wife of the commander of Fort Dearborn.

WELLS, William Harvey, educator, was born
in Tolland, Conn., Feb. 37, 1812; lived on a farm
until 17 years old, attending school irregularly,
but made such progress that he became succes-
sively a teacher in the Teachers" Seminary at
Andover and Newburyport. and. finally, Principal
of the State Normal School at Westfield, Mass.
In 1856 lie accepted the position of Superintend-
ent of Public Schools for the city of Chicago,
serving till 1864, when he resigned. He was an
organizer of the Massachusetts State Tejichers'
Association, one of the first editors of "The
Blassachusetts Teacher" and prominently con-
nected with various benevolent, educational and
learned societies : was also autlior of several text-
books, and assisted in the revision of "Webster's
VnaV)ridged Dictionary." Die'OXA, city on the eastern border of Mar-
sliall County. 20 miles south of La Salle; has
good schools, a weekly paper, banks, five or six
churches and a foundry and machine-shop; is
also the seat of W^iona College. Population
(1880), 911; (1S9I)). I.O.W.

WEXTWORTH, John, early journalist and
Congressman, was born at Sandwich, N. H.,
March 5, 1815, graduated from Dartmouth Col-
lege in 1836, and came to Chicago the same year,
where he became editor of "The Cliicago Demo-
crat," which liad been estabUshed by John Cal-
houn three years previous. He soon after became
proprietor of "The Democrat." of which he con-
tinued to be the publisher until it was merged
into "The Chicago Tribune." July 24, 1864. He
also studied law. anil was admitted to tlie Illinois
bar in 1841. He served in Congress as a Demo-
crat from 1848 to 1H51, and again from 18.58 to
1855. but left the Democratic party on the repeal
of the Missouri Compromise. He was electeil
Mayor of Chicago in 1857, and again in 1860.
•hiring his incumbency introducing a number of
important municijial reforms; was a member of
the Constitutional Convention of 1862, and twice
served tm the Board of Education. He again
represented Illinois in as a Republican
from 1865 to 1867 — making fourteen years of
service in that iMjdy. In 1872 he joined in the
Greelev movement, but later renewed his alle-

giance to the Republican party. In 1878 Mr. Went-
worth published an elaborate genealogi(\aI work
in thi-ee volumes, entitled "History of the Went-
worth Family." A volume of "Congressional
Reminiscences" and two by him on "Early Chi-
cago," published in connection with the Fergus
Historical Series, contain some valuable informa-
tion on early local and national history. On
account of his extraordinary height he received
the sobriquet of "Long John," by which he was
familiarly known throughout the State. Died,
in Chicago, Oct. 16, 1888.

WEST, Edward M., merchant and banker, was
born in Virginia, May 2, 1814; came with his
father to Illinois in 1818; in 1829 became a clerk
in the Recorder's office at Edwardsville,
served as deputy postmaster, and, in 18;W, took a
position in the United States Land Office there.
Two years later he engaged in mercantile busi-
ness, which he prosecuted over thirty years —
meanwhile filling the office of County Treasurer,
ex-oflicio Superintendent of Schools, and Delegate
to the Constitutional Convention of 1847. In 1867,
in conjunction with W. R. Prickett, he established
a bank at Edwardsville, with which he was con-
nected until his death, Oct. 31, 1887. Mr. West
officiated frequently as a "local preacher" of the
Methodist Church, in which capacity he showed
much ability as a public speaker.

WEST, Mary Allen, e

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 122 of 207)