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Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

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and in the work that this institution would ac-
complish for the community here and for the
world at large. For forty years, he was a mem-
ber of the Board of Trustees, and nearly as long
a member of the Executive Committee. No col-
lege ever had a more faithful worker; he labored
for its prosperity and success, and gave his time
and money freely. His services were ever re-
garded as valuable, because of his keen percep-
tion, sound judgment, and practical knowledge
in all business relations.

Mr. Colton never sought ofilce and was not a
politician. In early life, he was a democrat,
afterwards a tree soiler, and lastly, a repub-
lican. He believed more in the politics of prin-
ciple than m the politics of men.

Mr. Colton was married in Maine, January 5,
1826, to Emily H., daughter of Samuel McLan-
athan, of Sangerville. There were born to
them four children: Harriet S. (Noteware);
Sarah M., of this city; Colonel John B., of Kan-
sas City; and Hon. Francis Colton, of Wash-
ington, D. C. formerly Consul at 'Venice, Italy.

In such a life as Chauncey Colton's there is
much to admire and commend. His manners
were simple and unaffected. He was an example
of true manhood and possessed all those quali-
ties which ennoble and dignify human nature.



He was intelligent and able to meet any emerg-
ency. He had quick perceptions, and was not
easily betrayed into difiiculties. He neglected
no duty; he thrust aside no obligation.

MILTON LEMMOS COiMSTOCK.

Milton Lemmon Comstock, A. M., Ph. D., was
born in Crosby Township, Hamilton County,
Ohio, October 19, 1824. There is a tradition that
the progenitor of the Comstock family in Eng-
land was a German Baron, Kulmstock, who emi-
grated to that country about A. D. 1500. A vil-
lage named tjulmstock exists among the Down
Hills, between Exeter and Taunton, and Will-
iam Comstock, born in 1608, came with his
wife, Elizabeth, from southwestern England to
Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635. Their fourth
child, John, with his wife, Abigail, settled in
Lyme, Connecticut. William, the third of the
seven children of John, born January 9, 1669,
had two children, the second of whom was Will-
iam, born January 16, 1695 (Lyme Records,
page 428, defective from fire). James, the eldest
of William's four children, was the great-grand-
father of Milton L.

The parents of Milton L., Joab and Jane
(Lemmon) Comstock, were born in Ohio and
Maryland, respectively; his paternal grandpar-
ents, Joab and Eunice (Willey) Comstock, were
born in Connecticut; his maternal grandparents,
.William and Margaret (McCaine) Lemmon,
were born near Armagh, Ireland; his paternal
great-grandparents were James and Thankful
(Crosby) Comstock, and Ephraim and Patience
(Becket) Willey; on the maternal side, John
and Jane (Mc(5rea) Lemon (name so spelled
originally), and Archibald and Elizabeth (Trim-
ble) McCaine. His grandfather, Joab Com-
stock, came with his family from Hadlyrae,
Connecticut, to Ohio, in 1801, and settled in the
northwestern part of Hamilton County, where
he made a farm out of a dense forest; he died
in Ohio in 1825, and his widow died near Bur-
lington, Iowa, in 1858. Joab, the fifth of his
children who attained maturity, was born
February 9, 1804, removed to Iowa in 1839, and
died in Burlington in 1882. He was a farmer,
and a local Methodist preacher for nearly fifty
years, a kind and faithful man. William Lem-
mon, Mr. Comstock's maternal grandfather,
came to America in 1801, and to Ohio in 1819;
he was a weaver; he died in 1851. His daughter
Jane, who became the wife of Joab Comstock,
father of Milton L., was born in Maryland,
February 15, 1807, and died near Burlington,
Iowa, in 1875.

Milton L. Comstock was the eldest of eleven
children. His schooling began when he was four
years of age, in a log school house, which had
split logs for seats, and a stick chimney. His
winters were spent in school, and his summers
on the farm. After his removal to Iowa, his
time was mostly occupied in improving their
farm in the new country. Besides the ordinary
work upon a farm, his experience included
breaking prairie, making rails, riving and shav-
ing shingles, running a shingle machine and
sawmill, quarrying stone with drill and powder.




Ae^ >f - 7?^i-^=^



KNOX COUNTY.



rir



running a threshing machine, raising and caring
for tlax, and the propagation and culture of
fruit trees.

At the age of twenty Mr. Comstock began a
life of study and teaching. His physical welfare
was assured by early training and habits of
temperance, and during forty-six years of teach-
ing he lost only three days from sickness. In
September, 1844, he entered Knox Academy,
Galesburg, Illinois, with a fair common school
education, but never having seen an Algebra or
a Latin Grammar. He studied a year with all
possible diligence, for his dominant wish had
been to possess knowledge. In June. 1845, he
returned home, taught school, studied and
taught in Yellow Springs Academy, Des Moines
County. Iowa, and after two years returned to
Galesburg, entered Knox College, and at the
end of four years of untiring study, had con-
ferred upon him the degree A. B.. June 2G, 1851.

July 30, 1851, he married Cornelia Ann. second
daughter of Norman and Anna (Eggleston)
Churchill, of Galesburg, formerly of Herkimer
County, New York. Mrs. Comstock was born
at Winfield. New York. March 17, 1831, and was
a granddaughter of Rev. Jesse Churchill, min-
ister at Winfield. who was a son of Jesse
Churchill, who died at Wethersfield, Connecti-
cut, in 1806. and grandson of Samuel Churchill
of Wethersfield. Her family, on the maternal
side, can be traced to an ancestor who settled
at Dorchester. Massachusetts, in 1635. She com-
pleted the. Ladies' Course in Knox College, ex-
cept one study; taught school several terms;
taught in the Haynes Academy, Cherry Grove,
Knox County, and sang in the choir of the "Old
First" Church for thirty-five years. Mr. and
Mrs. Comstock have had six children, four of
w^hom are living: Cornelia Belle. Clara Emily,
Clarence Elmer, and Ada Heletia. all of whom
are graduates of Knox College. Cornelia B. is
the wife of Will W. Hammond, a lawyer of
Peoria. Illinois, who graduated from Knox Col-
lege in 1878; she is a member of the choir of
Plymouth Congregational Church. Clara E. is
a stenographsr and Notary Public, at Peoria.
Clarence E. is in charge of the Mathematical
Department of Bradley Polytechnic Institute.
Peoria; he is leader of the choir, deacon, and
trustee of Plymouth Congregational Church.
Ada H. is a member of the choir of Central
Congregational Church. Galesburg.

Mr. Comstock taught three years in Knox
Academy. In 1854, the degree A. M. was con-
ferred upon him by his Alma Mater. In the
summer of the same year, he removed to Des
Moines County. Iowa, and engaged in horti-
cultural pursuits, and during the three years
spent in that occupation he was. most of the
time. Editor of the Iowa Farmer. In September.
1857. he became a Professor in Yellow Springs
College. Iowa. In September. 1858, he came to
Knox College as Assistant Professor of Mathe-
matics, and in 1861. became Professor in that
department. He discharged the duties of the po-
sition till June. 1898. when he became Professor
Emeritus. In addition to the pure mathematics,
he taught Astronomy, Physics, and Meteorology.



He was secretary of the Faculty for twenty
years. Devoting an average of two hours a day
to outside studies, he spent at least two years
upon each of the following branches: Trigo-
nometry, analytic geometry, differential calcu-
lus, integral calculus, and astronomy; he also
devoted considerable time to quartenions, deter-
minants, trilinear co-ordinates, and differen-
tial equations, and in 1879, when Lombard Uni-
versity conferred upon him the degree Ph. D., he
did not hesitate to accept the honor from fear
of being criticised for not being properly quali-
fied.

Mr. Comstock became a member of the M. E.
Church in 1840, but withdrew from that church
on account of the slavery agitation, ilnd joined
with others in forming a Weslevan Methodist
Church, in 1844. He united with the "Old Firsf
Church of Galesburg in 1851. and was elder and
clerk in that church for twenty-seven years; he
sang in the choir twenty-five years, and repre-
sented the church in various associations; he Is
now a deacon in the Central Church of Gales-
burg.

His writings are confined to a few articles in
different mathematical journals and in news-
papers, over his name and the signatures: "X.
Y. Z.." "C," "K" and "Ecleme." He joined a
temperance society in 1833. He has been a re-
publican ever since that party was organized.

HOX. ZELOTES COOLEY.

Hon. Zelotes Cooley sought his fortune in the
West at a very early period, when Knox County
contained here and there only a few hamlets and
the virgin soil was almost unbroken. He was a
large factor in its development and growth
from the day he set foot on her soil to the mo-
ment of his death. In his manner of living, he
was plain and simple and was never guilty of
ostentatious display. In honesty and moral
rectitude, the true dignity of his character was
shown. His suave disposition and his inborn
gentility fitted him especially to deal with men
and to these qualities his great success in busi-
ness and in life is principally due. He had keen
perceptions and a sound judgment, and could
imravel th3 machinations and evil designs of
men as by intuition. The frivolous was no
part of his nature, and consequently, he took
life as a .,erious business. He was always
known for his strict honesty and his fair deal-
ings with his fellowmen. His unyielding firm-
ness in justice and right begat confidence, and
as a result, place and honor were bestowed upon
him. He honored every office that he was
called to fill, because he regarded himself as a
true servant of the people.

Judge Cooley came from a long line of Puritan
ancestors. He was born November 10. 1808. in
East Windsor. Connecticut. He removed to
Glastonbury with his parents in 1816. At sixteen,
he went to Hartford to learn the carpenter's
trade and afterwards to Westfield, Massachu-
setts, and later to Poughkeepsie. New York,
where he engaged in the grocery business until
1837. He next went to Philadelphia, then down
the Ohio River, up the Mississippi, through Illi-



718



KNOX COUNTY.



nois to La Grange. He then went to Quincy,
then to Macomb and Carthage. At Carthage, he
was employed to build the Court House. In
1838, he came to Knox County. With a partner,
Mr. Alvah Wheeler, he built the Court House at
Knoxville, drawing the plans himself. He was
engaged as a contractor and builder until 1846,
when he was appointed County Assessor. He
was elected County Clerk in 1847 and held the
office for ten years, when he commenced the
practice ot law.

In politics, Judge Cooley was a democrat. In
religion, he was not connected with any order,
but believed in the Golden Rule and in loving
and serving his fellowmen. He was charitable,
always bestowing his means judiciously when-
ever a worthy object was presented. His sev-
eral bequests to St. Mary's at Knoxville, and to
the hospital, Knox College, and the Universalist
Church at Galesburg sufficiently attest the char-
acter of his benevolence and charities.

He married Miss Julia A. Hanks, of Connecti-
cut in 1833. Of this union, two daughters are
still living— Mrs. David W. Bradshaw and Mrs.
Samuel L. Charles.

REV. JOSEPH COSTA.

Rev. Joseph Costa, O. C, R. D., was born
October IS, 1823, in Pettinengo, Province of
Biella, about thirty miles northeast ot Turin,
Italy. His father s name was Antonio Costa, and
his mother's, Angela Maria Facio. His father
was occupied in land-industries, and was also
employed in running a tailoring establishment.

There were four brothers in the family, of
whom Joseph was the youngest and the only
one in the ministry. The others followed other
professions. The family records go as far back
as six hundred years from the present time.
Some of the members along the line were
priests.

Father Costa received the first rudiments of
letters and music in his native town. Subse-
quently, he entered a college called "Bachette,"
and began his studies of Latin under Rev. Pro-
fessor W. Scaglia. Later on, he pursued his
studies in classics in the city of Biella, and after
an interval of two years of rest, he began his
course of philosophy in the College Melerio Ros-
mini in the city of Domodossola under Professor
Parma, continuing for two years. Having
passed his examination in philosophy and being
a member of the Order of Charity, he applied
himself, under able professors, to the study of
Divinity in the Rosminan Institute at Stresa on
the borders of Lago Maggiore.

In 1851, as a member of the order, he was sent
by the General, the Rev. Antonio Rosmini,
■to the English Missions belonging to the same
order. In this, his new country, he reviewed
his theology under Professor Caccia and pre-
pared for the reception of Holy Orders.

On February 18, 1853, he was examined and
ordained Priest in the Church of Oscott College,
by the Rt. Rev. Bernard Ullathorne, Bishop of
Birmingham. As a priest, he labored for eleven
years in Great Britain, either doing parish work
or preaching at missions or teaching in college.



In 1864, at the request of Dr. Yunker, Bishop
at Alton, Illinois, he was sent by the General of
his order to work in that Bishop's diocese.

In the United States, the field of his labors
was chiefly in Illinois — Springfield, Jacksonville,
El Paso, Lincoln — and finally in 1877, he was
sent to Galesburg by Dr. John L. Spalding, first
Bishop of Peoria, for the special purpose of
establishing Parochial Schools. From that date
to the present time, his labors have been de-
voted to the wants and improvements in that
city for the Catholic population.

Since his arrival here. Father Costa has
W'orked earnestly and faithfully for the upbuild-
ing of the church to which he belongs. In the
Spring of 1878, the erection of St. Joseph's
Academy was commenced, and in the Autumn
of 1879, it was opened for use, with about ten
teachers and four hundred pupils. Stevens and
Parry, of this city, were the builders. The cost
of the building, including heating apparatus
and excluding furniture, was $16,858.13.

The convent contiguous to the Academy was
erected partly by Jacob Westfall, of Peoria.
Failing to complete the contract, the building
was finished under the direction of Father
Costa. The work was commenced in 1880 and
finished in 1881. It cost $11,388.52.

The ground upon which Corpus Christ! church
stands cost $4,885. The contract of the build-
ing was given to Matthias Schnell, of Rock
Island. It cost, including heater, seats, bell,
etc., $38,611.43. Corpus Christi dwelling cost
$5,500, including heating apparatus.

St. Mary's Primary, on the corner of Fourth
and Seminary streets, cost $2,500, without the
furniture.

The lot on which Corpus Christi Lyceum
stands was purchased for five thousand dollars.
The building and furniture cost about $42,000.
It was commenced in 1891 and finished in 1894.
This edifice is private property of the Order
of Charity in this country.

Father Costa has done much in the erection
of buildings in this city. For that purpose and
the benefit of his church, he has expended more
than $125,000. In the work of his hands, he
has been diligent and fervent in spirit. As a
man. he is kind and gentle in manners, tem-
perate in speech, unyielding in his convictions,
and firm in his ideas of duty and right. He
is a Catholic, and lives and labors for the Cath-
olic faith. He comprehends the duties and re-
sponsibilities of American citizenship, and in
a word, has lived a life above reproach.

ALFRED M. CRAKi.

Alfred M. Craig is a man of characteristic
personality. His look and his general bearing
indicate decision of character and strong in-
tellectual endowments. He is a native of Illi-
nois, and was born in Paris, Edgar County,
January 15. 1831. His father was David Craig,
a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother's
maiden name was Minta Ramey.

David Craig was of Irish descent and was
born in Philadelphia. His parents came from
the northern part of Ireland. David, when a



KNOX COUN'I'V.



young man removed to Kentucky; but beiug
unwilling to live in a slave State, he came to
Illinois in 1830. After remaining a short time
in Edgar County, he finally settled in Fulton
County, where Justice A. M. Craig was born.

Justice Craig's father was a farmer, and it
was on the farm that the lad was brought up.
His early advantages for schooling were such as
are incident to a new country and the life of a
farmer boy. He attended school in winter, and
worlted on the farm in summer, until he entered
upon a course of study at Knox College. In the
Fall of 1848, he became a member of the prepar-
atory class, and was admitted to the Freshman
class in June, 1849. With distinguished honor,
he graduated in June. 1853. After graduation,
there was no halting or indecision as to his
future course. Immediately, he entered the law
office of William C. Goudy, of Lewiston, Illi-
nois, and after one year's study, was admitted
to practice in all the courts of Illinois. In the
Fall of 1854, he opened an office in Knoxville,
which was then the county seat of Knox County.
By his perseverance and determination, he
soon built up a large and lucrative practice in
Knox and the adjoining counties. His skill and
erudition in law are exemplified in the fact
that he rarely, if ever, lost a case at court. He
continued his practice until June, 1873, when
he was elected Justice of the Supreme Court of
Illinois.

Justice Craig has richly earned the com-
mendations and confidence of his fellow citi-
zens. His knowledge of law and his fidelity in
practice have opened to him places of honor
and preferment. In 1856. he was appointed
States Attorney by Governor Mattison for the
Circuit, composed of the counties of Mercer,
Henderson, Warren. Knox and Fulton. The
appointment was for the unexpired term of one
year, caused by the resignation of William C.
Goudy. In November. 1861, he was elected
County Judge of Knox County, serving four
years. In 1869. he was elected to the Constitu-
tional Convention from Knox County, and as-
sisted in forming the present constitution of the
State.

Justice Craig has lived a. successful life. He
started in the world a poor boy and by his good
judgment and great business sagacity, has be-
come the owner of great possessions. He is
President of the Bank of Galesburg, of which
he is the largest stockholder, and his landeH
estates cover rich and extensive fields of ter-
ritory. As a lawyer, he is profound and a
great judge. For the correctness and justness
of his decisions, his fame is unsurpassed. He
is not an observer of conventionalities, and is
no servile worshiper of court etiquette. He is
plain in his manner, kind, social, and generous
to his friends. He is a student of human nature.
and has won distinction more by his practical
common sense than by his knowledge of Latin
or Greek. He has served his county and his
State faithfully and well, and is entitled to the
plaudits of all.

Justice Craig was married in August, 1857, to
Elizabeth P. Harvey, daughter of C. K. Har-



vey, who was a lawyer of eminent abilty. Mr.
Harvey was born and educated in the State
of Vermont. He came to Knox County at an
early day, and built up a large practice in Knox
and adjoining counties. He represented Knox
County in the Constitutional Convention of
1847. He



Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 149 of 207)