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Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

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ists, among whom was Abram Neely, a con-
ductor on the underground railroad. Some of
the old citizens still remember his hiding fugi-
tive slaves at his home and taking them a
night's ride north to the next station.



The population of Sparta Tow
ing to the United States Census
follows: 1S40, 113; i870, 1,9.50; 18:



ship, accord-
has been as
), 1,682; 1890.



WAT.UU.

Wataga was platted in the Spring of 18.54 by
-J. M. Holyoke, Silas Willard and Clark M. Carr.
and was incorporated by a special act in 1863.
The first village election was held September
19, 1863. In 1874 it was re-incorporated, under
the general law, with Section 16 as the village
territory. J. M. Holyoke was the first resident
and postmaster, and also built the first store,
in conjunction with A. P. Cassel. This was
operated by Willard and Babcock. The only
bank in the place was started in 1863 by H. P.
Wood and is still run by him. The depot was
built in 1856. and in the same year the Wataga
House was erected and operated by Garrett Post
for one year, when Loren Smith bought and
conducted it one year, since which time it has
been the property of C. H. Norton. The Wataga
mill was built by William Armstrong in 1856.
and soon afterwards was damaged by an explo-
sion in whicu John Armstrong was seriously
injured. George F. and David P. Niles, now ex-
tensive farmers and fine stock-raisers, bought
the mill in May, 1867, and ran it very success-
fully for eight years, patrons coming long dis-
tances with their own wheat and receiving en-
tire satisfaction. Among those who have since
owned the mill are: William and M. O. WilTiam-
son, who introduced expensive modern machin-
ery, and Frank Darst, the present owner, who
has also put in improvements and is doing ex-
cellent work.

The First Congregational Church was organ-
ized June 10. 1855. and the church society Octo-
ber 27. 1856. The church organization was led
by the Rev. S. G. Wright. The first meeting was
held in the depot, where the first sermon was
]- reached. Subsequent services were held in the
newly completed school house until 1860, when
a substantial churcn, costing over $3,000. was
erected, to which, in 1876, a parsonage was
added at a i ost of $2,000. The original members



were: A. P. Babcock, William S. Farnham,
Mrs. Maria S. Farnham, Mrs. C. F. Farnsworth,
Benjamin Gardner, Mrs. Abigail Gardner, Miss
Sarah Gardner, Mrs. Minerva Holyoke, Charles
W. Rhodes, ana Mrs. Jane Rhodes. Mrs. Char-
lotte Farnsworth, daughter of William S. Farn-
ham, who seived as a deacon for thirty years,
and Amos P. Babcock are the only ones now
known to be living. Jmies Hastie also served
as deacon until his demise in 1879 and was suc-
ceeded by Amos S. Fitch, the latter holding the
office until his death in 1882. Among the secre-
taries of the society have been Hon. John Gray,
of Jefferson, Iowa; the late J. M. Holyoke and
E. H. Goldsmith, the latter of whom held that
office twenty-four yeiM-s and was church clerk
for thirty years. This church has had seven-
teen pastors. Among those who have faith-
fully served in that capacity may be mentioned
the Revs. Azariah Hyde, William W. Wetmore,
Hiram P. Roberts. Prof. Willis J. Beecher, of
.\uburn (New York) Theological Seminary, and
William R. Butcher, the last named serving six
years. The present pastor is the Rev. O. C.
Bedford. The Sunday school records show that
on December 26, 1869, the membership was two
hundred and the average attendance one hun-
dred and forty-eight. John Hastie was the sec-
retary and E. H. Goldsmith the superintendent,
the latter holding that office for twenty-five
years. The prasent secretary is E. Percy Rob-
son and the membership is now ninety-one and
the average attendance fifty-nine. The late
George P. Holyoke and William M. Driggs. with
their wives, 'endered valuable assistance in
former years.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organ-
ized in 1856 by the Rev. William M. Clark, whose
circuit consisted of Oneida, Wesley Chapel and
Wataga. He made his journeys on foot. Mr.
Clark gave the site of Gilson camp ground to
this district. Among the early members were
S. F. Spaulding. John Gaddis, B. W. Foster.
I>ucius Vail and S. G. Dean, with their wives.
The latter couple are the only ones now living
here. Mr. Dean is seventy-nine and his wife
eighty-one years of age. They have been and
are still stanch pillars of this church. Mr. Dean
was the first Sunday school superintendent,
serving four years, and he was succeeded by
S. F. Spaulding who. for nineteen years, gave
his best services to the school. L. W. Peterson
is the present superintendent. Among the pas-
tors were: G. W. Brown. N. T. Allen, William
Watson. D. Ayers. N. G. Clark. G. P. Snedaker



838



KNOX COUNTY.



and the preseul mcumbent, C. F. W. Smith.
The church was completed and dedicated in
1867 under the pastorate of J. W. Coe, the pre-
siding elder being W. H. Hunter.

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church
was organized in 1856, the first pastor being the
Rev. T. N. Hasselquiet. In 1860 the society com-
menced building a church, having formerly wor-
shipped in private houses and school buildings.
This church was struck by lightning and
burned in 1875, but in the same year the present
tasteful edifice was erected. The Rev. N. Nord-
gren, the present pastor, has acceptably served
this people for some ten years. The member-
ship of the church is about one hundred and
forty, and that of the prosperous Sunday school
one hundred and fifteen.

The Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church was
organized in 1857 with the Rev. V. Witting as
tiie pastor. The keeping up of regular services
and of the Sunday school has been largely due
to the untiring efforts of Oliver Stream. The
present pastor is the Rev. John P. Miller.

The Wataga Christian Church, costing $2,000.
was erected in 1875, but was torn down in 1896
and the church organization no longer exists.

The Wataga Catholic Church was erected in
1877 at a cost of $2,000. The Rev. P. McGair
was its first pastor. The church is now con-
nected with that of Galva and services are held
once a month.

Wataga Lodge No. 291, A. F. and A. M., was
instituted August 17, 1858, with S. G. Dean, W.
M. ; .J. H. Thorpe, S. W. ; Septimus Soper, J. W.
The lodge has now a membership of thirty-two
and its ofiicers are: C. W. Merrill, W. M.; J. H.
Merrill, S. W.; Hamilton Taylor, J. W.;'c. H.
Norton, Treasurer; J. M. Churchill, Secretary;
Charles Dennison, .J. D.; J. M. Cooper, S. S.
H. H. Marsh, J. S.; John Wiles. Tyler.

The Order of the Eastern Star was organ-
ized February 22, 1888, and being the first chap-
ter in the county it had many members from
the surrounding towns, there being at one time
seventy-four names on the roll. Other chapters
having been organized in every town from which
this drew its followers, it has now only twenty-
seven members. The first officers were: Mrs.
S. C. Slater, W. M.; H. H. Marsh, W. P.; Mrs.
Merinda Dennison, A. M.; Miss J. Curry, C;
Miss E. Dolan. A. C. The present officers are:
Mrs. M. Dennison, W. M.; Dr. A. S. Slater, W.
P.; Miss McCIanahan, A. M.: Mrs. Mary Denni-
son, C; Mrs. J. Cooper. A. C; Carl Merrill,
Secretary; J. H. Merrill, Treasurer.



Wataga Lodge No. 509, L O. O. F., was organ-
ized January 10, 1876, by A. W. Berggren. Its
first officers were: W. N. Thomas, N. G.; J. E.
Thomas, V. G.; L. S. Whitcomb, Secretary; P.
A. Smith, Treasurer. Other charter members
were P. A. Smith and John McConchie. They
meet in Masonic Hall.

Rebecca Lodge No. 48 was organized October
20, 1891, with ten members, which number has
been increased to twenty-two. The first offi-
cers were: John Deming, N. G.; Mrs. Nancy
Deming, V. G.; Oliver Stream, Secretary. Meet-
ings are held in Masonic Hall.

Wataga Camp No. 3229, Modern Woodmen,
was organized September 24, 1895, with eighteen
charter members. The camp, though not hav-
ing made much growth, is in a very healthy
condition, having now twenty-one beneficiary
and five social members.

The Wataga Nickle Plate Band is under the
leadership of Anvern Thomas, and comprises
the following members: D. M. Cooper, Carl
Johnson, C. W. Huston, Edward Williamson,
Fred Mallin, Earl Curry, John Whitehead, Frank
Cooper, Eric Severin, George Curry, Carl Mer-
rill, Will Thomas and Charles Marsh. They
have been faithful and efficient in serving the
public for very little compensation.

The United States census returns give Wa-
taga the following population: 1860, 1,5.38:
1870, 1,205; 1880, 734; 1890, 586.

THOMAS CARTER Ul V.VL.

Thomas Carter Duval,, son of James and
Judith (Jennings) Duval, was born in Bath
County, Kentucky, February 28, 1802. His father
was of French descent, was born in Virginia and
was a soldier in the War of 1812. Mr. Duval was
reared to manhood in Kentucky, where he
learned the cooper's trade, which he followed
both in his native State and in Illinois. He was
married in Bath County, April 2, 1822, to Nancy
Shumate, who was born in Virginia, August 19,
1804, and died at Wataga. March 2, 1888. Ten
children were born to them: Barryman, Eliza-
beth, Martha, James, William. Mary, Helen.
Ellenor, Daniel J. and Ann.

Ellenor (now Mrs. S. S. Soper, of Wataga).
who places a portrait in this volume in memory
of her father, was born in Henderson Town-
ship, Knox County, May 3, 1839. She received
her education in a district school, and always
lived on a farm. She was first married to David
Temple, and had one child, Thomas F. She was
married to Mr. Soper, in Henderson Township,
in October. 1861. They have five children:
George T., Mary E., Septimus 3., Edward D. and
Nettie May. Thomas F. is a farmer in Boone
County, Iowa; George T. is a farmer in Clark
County, Missouri ; Mary E. is Mrs. Mary E. Rus-
sell, of Wataga. Knox County. Illinois: Septimus




r^/f^'^a-.^^



-H^e^^



S. is in tlif Kloiulike gold fields; Edward IJ. is
a farmer near Wataga. and Nettie iM. is Mrs.
Nettie May Jacobson.

Mr. Thomas C. Duval came to Illinois in 183.^.
settling first in Warren County, near Robinson's
Point, and removing to Henderson Township.
Knox County, in lS3t;. He brought to Illinois
his wife, six ohildren and one hundred dollars
in money. He investeil the money in land in
Henderson Township, and his industry and good
management insured success. When corn sold
for a dollar a bushel he invested the proceed.=;
in land, and. in 18ti9, owned about two thousand
acres in Sparta and Henderson townships. In
politics, Mr. Duval was a republican, and he was
a member of the Christian Church. He was a
good and an upright citizen, ever ready to help
othtirs with money as well as advice. He was
especially lenient to his tenants, sometimes giv-
ing them a second chance if crops failed, and.
in one case at least, aiding a tenant, who was
unable to pay his rent, to weather the storm
and finally secure a farm of his own. Mr. Duval
was kind-hearted and true, a kind father, a goo.



EDWARD HOWELL GOLDS.MITH.

Edward Howell Goldsmith was born at
Mecklenburg, New York, December 20, 1834. He
was the son of Schuyler and Catherine E.
(Howell) Goldsmith. Schuyler Goldsmith was
the son of Daniel and Sarah (Brewster) Gold-
smith; his wife, Catherine, was the daughter of
Caleb and Martha (Halsey) Howell, both of
whom were born on Long Island, although the
l-Io wells were of Welsh ancestry, and Caleb
Howell's father was born in Wales. The Gold-
smiths were natives of New York.

Schuyler Goldsmith, who had been a farmer
in New York, removed his family to Illinois in
1855, and bought a farm in Knox County, near
Wataga, where he lived until his death in ISUl,
his wife, Catherine, having died in 1850.

Edward H. Goldsmith was brought up on the
farm in New York. He received his education
in the common schools, his training there be-
ing supplemented by much hard study at home.
Although his early opportunities were limited,
.Mr. Goldsmith is at once recognized as an edu-
cated man, in whom the effect of strong self-
discipline is evident. In addition to his intel-
lectual pursuits, he diligently applied himself
to the management of a farm, and in time be-
came an experienced and successful agricultural-
ist. From 1860 to 1876, Mr. Goldsmith was en-
gaged, during the winter terms, in teaching
school. In this line of work he was especially
successful, both as teacher and disciplinarian,
his pupils taking high rank when they entered
higher institutions of learning. With all his
varied interests, Mr. Goldsmith has traveled
quite extensively, and in 1895, accompanied by
Mrs. Goldsmith, who was in failing health, he
spent several months in the West, visiting the
Pacific coast and many of the intervening
States.

March 8, 1859, Mr. Goldsmith was married to
.Anna Maria Whiteford, daughter of William
and Margaret Whiteford, of New Jersey. Their
marriage took place at Mecklenburg, New York.
They have had three children: Julia Elizabeth
and Catherine Howell, deceased; Edward White-
ford, a farmer in Sparta Township.

(jEOR



Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 177 of 207)