Newton Bateman.

Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

. (page 180 of 207)
Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 180 of 207)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Xo. 26. Masonic frateniitv.



Ki\().\ ('(I



JAAIES CHAMl'IOiX McMURTRV.

James Champion McMurtry, son of William
and Ruth (Champion) McMurtry. was born in
Crawford County, Indiana. February 3, 1829,
He belongs to a noted family, whose descent is
from the French Huguenots. His great-grand-
father. John McMurtry. had a large family of
children, five of whom were killed in the Revo-
lution, at the battle of Cowpens.

The McMurtry family came to Knox County.
November 1. 1829, and settled in Henderson
Township. The family consisted of the grand-
father. James McMurtry. his two sons. William
and James, their wives, and the children of
William— Mary and James C. The following
families, whose names will always be associated
with Knox County, were already settled in the
neighborhood: Daniel and Alexander Robin-
son, and Riggs Pennington, of whom William
and James McMurtry bought their farm of one
hundred and sixty acres, on which was a small
log cabin. On this farm, the people of the
whole neighborhood assisted in building a
block house or stockade, which afforded protec-
tion against the incursions of the Indians. At
different times before, during and after the
Black Hawk War, about tw^euty-tive families
were gatherel here. During the war. William
McMurtry organized a company of Rangers of
about eighty-nine, which cmbiaoed nearly all
that were fit for service in Knox, Warren and
Mercer counties. They weie all mounted, each
man furnishing his own rifle and horse. ' They
pursued the Indians in all directions but were
never engaged in battle.

His grandfather. James McMurtry. was one
of thirteen children, and was born in Ten-
nessee. His maternal grandfather was of
Irish descent, and was born oh the "Emerald
Isle." James McMurtry died in 1854. at the
advanced age of nearly ninety.

His father. William McMurtry. was one of the
most remarkable men of his time. He was
strong intellectually, was a thorough student of
human nature, and was an adept in the art of
leading and controlling men. He was born in
Tennessee, and married Ruth Champion, a
native of Kentucky. He was a State Senator
for many years. In 1818. he was elected Lieu-
tenant Governor of Illinois on the same ticket
with Governor French. He was captain of a
company in the Black Hawk War and Colonel
of the Sixty-seventh Regiment of Militia of
Illinois. During the Civil War. he was chosen
Colonel of the One Hundred and Second Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, and after serving a short
time in Kentucky, he became ill and was honor-
ably discharged.

In 1846, he became a member of the Masonic
Order, joining the Hiram Lodge in Henderson
and the Horeb Chapter in Henderson. He was
the Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge and
Chapter for fourteen years. He was one of the
first three County School Commissioners of
Knox County and has held the office several
times since.

Governor McMurtry was an uncompromising
democrat, and a particular friend of Stephen A.



Itouglas. He was early instructed in the
democratic ritual by his father and grandfather.
He was one of the most conspicuous political
figures in Illinois, and on account of his
tenacity of opinion and firm adherence to dem-
ocratic principles, he was regarded as a "wheel
horse" in his party.

The natural powers of Governor McMurtry
were great. He was a great reader and had a
well stored mind. He was entertaining and
agreeable in conversation, a good neighbor and
constant friend. He performed the duties of
citizenship faithfully, and was regarded b>
everyone as a conscientious and upright citizen.

Dr James C. McMurtry received his educi-
tion in the common schools. Later, he was a
student in Knox College, and in Union College.
Schenectady, New York. He took his degree in
medicine at the Rush Medical College in Ciii-
cago. After graduation, he returned to Knox
County, and has practiced medicine here ever
since.

In early life. Dr. McMurtry embraced the
political faith of his father. He was a democrat
until the breaking out of the Civil War. Ho
cast his first republican vote for Abraham Lin-
coln's re-election. Since that time he has been
a firm adherent to republican principles, and his
voice is often heard in the council hall of the
republican party. He is regarded as an influ-
ential party man. and is a party leader in local
and State politics. He helped to form the Union
League in Henderson Township and was elected
iis first president. He has been offered many
official positions in the party, which he has
declined. He says that "during the war, his
lite was threatened many times by members of
the Golden Circle; but his good nerve, judg-
ment, and reputation as a good fencer, and 'dead
shot.' did much to prevent disorder in Knox
County." The doctor is a superior athlete, and
has exhibited his strength and nerve on many
occasions.

Dr. McMurtry possesses many of the char-
acteristics of his father. He is noted for the
honesty of his convictions, his clearsightedness
of obligation and duty, and his moral courage in
maintaining the right. In manner, he is not
finnical or affected, and in his speech, he is
straightforward and plain. He is liberal in his
views, charitable towards all. given to hospital-
ity, and has lived a life full of good deeds.

Dr. McMurtry was married June 9. 1855, to
Caroline Nelson, of Warren County. She is the
daughter of Andrew Nelson, who, at the time
of marriage, was a merchant in Henderson.
To Dr. and Mrs. McMurtry were born five chil-
dren: James W.. Franklin H., Susan H., Caro-
line and Mary. Franklin H. died at the age of
five.

BAER. ELI F.; Farmer; Henderson Town-
ship; born January 11. 18C3. in Henry County,
Illinois; educated in Westfleld College. Illinois. .
His parents who were natives of Franklivi
County. Pennsylvania were; David F. Baer,
born May 11, 1827, and died July 18, 1890, and
Susanna (Rine) Baer, born April 28, 1825; his
grandparents were David and Elizabeth (Flick-



KNOX ('Oi;>,'l V



.S51



liuger) Uaer. ul Lancaster County, Pennsyl-
vania; his raateiiial grandparents were Michael
Rine, of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and
Elizabeth (Dunkle) Rine, of Hagerstown,
Maryland; his great-grandparents were Michael
Dunkle and Susanna Raider. Mr. Baer was
married to Angle Waters, at Gilson, Illinois.
May 25, 1898. Mr. Baer is a prohibitionist. In
religion, he belongs to the United Brethren in
Christ.

CARViSR. EDWIN; Fanner and fruit-
.s;rower; Henderson Township: born June 28,
18.54. in F.iyette County, Indiana. His father,
Jonathan Carver, was born on the Hudson
river, in New York State, and died at the age
of eighty-two. His mother, Malinda (Nelson),
was a native of Augusta, Maine. His paternal
grandparents, Elijah and Susan (Longwell)
Carver, were natives of New York State; his
paternal great-grandfather was Tiraotliy Car-
ver. His maternal grandparents. Jacob and
Mary (Campbell) Nelson, were born in Maine,
as was also his maternal great-grandfather.
Jacob Nelson, whose son, Horatio Nel.son, was
in the naval service during the Revolution.
February 18, 1857, Mr. Carver was married, in
F'ayette County, Indiana, to Nancy J. Van
Buskirk, daughter of George and Rachel
(Helm) Van Buskirk, natives respectively of
Kentuiky and Pennsylvania. Both parents died
in Fayette County. Indiana, the father being
nearly ninety-six years of age. Mr. and Mrs.
Carver have one son. Grant, who was educated
in Galva and Chicago, and married Helen,
daughter of S. H. Bateraan. Mr. Car-
ver came to Illinois October 18. 1S65.
and settled three miles Northeast of Lafayette.
Stark County, on a farm of two hundred and
forty acres of virgin prairie, which he improved
and subsequently sold. He moved near Lafay-
ette and from there, in 1880, to Galva, where
he engaged in the implement business. After
five years, he returned to the farm, which he
1 ultivated until 1889, when he moved to Gales-
burg. He owns sixty-five acres of land near
Henderson, which he converted into a fruit
farm, a charming retreat greatly admired by
Galesburg people. He is a republican.

DAVISON. .lOSEPH; Farmer; Henderson
Township; born in Northumberland, England.
January 21, 1828; educated in his native land.
His father, Robert Davison, was a shoemaker
and merchant in Northumberland, which is
on the border of Scotland. His mother, Mary
(Charlton), was a native of England, as were
also her parents, Joseph and Mary Charlton.
Mr. Davison's paterral grandfather. John
Davison, was a North-of-England man; he was
a Mason. His paternal grandmother was Isa-
bella (N9sbit). In 1853. Mr. Joseph Davison
came to the United States and settled in Hen-
derson, Knox County. Illinois, where he en-
gaged in the shoe business, which he had
learned in England. This he continued until
about 1875, since which time he has devoted all
his attention to farming. He was frugal and
industrious, and added to the first forty acres
which he bought adjoining Henderson, until he



now owns more than four hundred acres of
good land. Mr. Davison was twice married;
first, to Jane Armstrong in Scotland; his second
marriage was to Isabella Kilgore. He has three
sons: Robert, Harvey C, and Irving. In poli-
tics, he is independent. He has held local offices.
He was made a Mason at Hiram l.,odge Number
2(j, and Horeb Chapter Number 4.

DUFFEY, EDWARD FENWICK; Farmer;
Henderson Township; born in Covington, Ken-
tucky, June 21, 1852. His father, Michael
Duffey, was born in Philadelphia, October 4,
1811; he was a carpenter. In 1854, he came to
Knox County and settled on Section 34, Hender-
son Township, owning and improving one hun-
dred and sixty acres of land, which at his death
was divided among his five children. His wife,
Catharine V. (McDonough), was born in New
York City, and her parents, Francis and Mar-
garet (Prosser) McDonough, were natives of
Ireland. Francis McDonough was a soldier m
the War of 1812. M. T. Duffey's parents, John
and Mary Duffey, wore also natives of Ireland.
Mr. E. F. Duffey moved to Kendall County, Illi-
nois, in 1872, and from there to Fayette County,
Iowa, where he farmed. He was married in
Seaton, to Hattie E., daughter of Richard Mait-
land Wade, a native of Ulster County, New
York, who came to Knox County in 1855, but
now lives in Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Duffey
have five children; Mrs. Bertha M. Cunning-
ham; Kathlyn M., a graduate of Galesburg High
School, class of 1899; Francis A.; M. Blanche;
and Lawrence H. In Fayette County. Iowa, he
bought eighty acres of land and farmed there
for ten years. He then moved to Red Willow
County, Nebraska, where he took up a home-
stead of one hundred and sixty acres from the
government, which he traded for three hundred
and twenty acres of land in Rawlins County,
Kansas. Ir May, 1895, he returned to the old
homestead in Knox County, where he now re-
sides. Kathlyn M.. his second child, taught
duiing one school term in Nebraska, having ob-
tained a certificate when she was sixteen years
old. Mr. Duffey belongs to the Methodist Epis-
copal Church. In politics, he is a republican,
! nd has held the office of School Director, and
Assessor. He served as Justice of the Peace,
and held other offices in Nebraska.

HENDERSON. DAVID; Farmer; Henderson
Township; born January 26. 1822. in Fayette
County. Pennsylvania, where he was educated.
His father. Stewart Henderson, was born in
Ireland: his mother Anna (Hunt I Henderson,
in Pennsylvania. Mr. David Henderson was
married to Sophia Davis Poplett. in Ontario
Township, in June. 1853. Their children are
Nancy Ann, Mary Jane, Jacob Harvey, Nellie
Sophia. Peter Davis, and Thomas. Harriet
Amanda and David Alexander died in Infancy.
In religion. Mr. Henderson is a Protestant. He
is a democrat.

HICKMAN, ALFRED W.; Farmer; Henderson
Township: born February 4. 1867. in" Henderson
Township: educated in Galesburg. His parents
were Jacob Hickman, of Wilmington, Delaware,
and Mary Ann (Chapman) Hickman, of Oneida



852



Kj^J OX COUNTY



County, New York. His paternal grandfather
was John Hickman, and his grandmother's
maiden name was Junk; they were of Sussex
County, Delaware; his maternal grandparents
were Samuel Chapman of Oneida County, New
York, and Mary Chapman, of Westmoreland,
New York. Mr. Jacob Hickman died July 24,
1898. Mr. A. W. Hickman was married to
Alice Windom, at Galesburg, Illinois, October,
1893. He is a democrat.

HODGES, ELLEN; Henderson Township;
born December 10, 1844, in Gettysburg, Penn-
sylvania; educated in Pennsylvania, and Knox-
ville, Illinois. Her parents, Robert and Nancy
(Mcllhenny) Cobean; her paternal grandpa-
rents, James and Elizabetho (Stewart) Cobean.
and her maternal grandparents, Victor and
Nancy (Orr) Mcllhenny, were born in Gettys-
burg, Pennsylvania; her paternal great-grand-
father, William Cobean, was born in Scotland;
and her maternal great-grandparents, George
and Nancy (McClure) Orr, were born in Ire-
land. Mrs. Hodges was married to John
Hodges in Galesburg, Illinois, April 15, 1867.
Their children are: Bertha, Myron, Nellie,
Charles, and Robert.

JUNK, JAMES ELVIN; Farmer; Henderson
Township, where he was born April 20, 1864;
educated in the same township. His parents
were Thomas and Maria (Kilgore) Junk, of
Fayette County, Pennsylvania; his paternal
grandparents were James and Eliza (Rankin)
Junk of the same County and State; and his
maternal grandfather was James Kilgore, of
Pennsylvania. Mr. Junk was married to Carrie
Blanche Hampton in Galesburg, Illinois, De-
cember 24, 1891; their children are: Fred Hamp-
ton, Geneva Jane, and Dorothy. Mr. Junk is
a member of the Methodist Church. He is a
(".emocrat.

McMURTRY, HARRIET; Henderson Town-
ship, where she was born, February 12, 1854,
and where she was educated. Her parents were
James McMurtry, born in Hardin County, Ken-
tucky, died, March, 1893. and Eliza (Rice) Mc-
Murtry, born in Indiana, died, September 23.
1879; her grandparents were James McMurtry of
North Carolina, and Margaret (Lucas) McMur-
try of Kentucky; her maternal grandparents
were Jacob Rice, and Margaret (Edwards) Rice
of Kentucky. In religion, Harriet McMurtry is
a Universallst.

McMURTRY, WILLIAM; was born in Mercer
County, Kentucky, February 20, 1801. He
removed, with his parents, to Crawford
County, Indiana, where he married Ruth
Champion, by whom he had five children:
Mary E., James C, Nancy, Francis M.
and Cynthia. Mrs. McMurtry died Febru-
ary 10, 1864. In 1829 he came, with his
family, to Henderson Grove, where he lived un-
til his death, from dropsy, April 11, 1875. He
was a democrat in politics, and was elected to
the legislature in 1836, and again in 1838. In
1844 he was -sent to the State Senate, and in
1848, was made Lieutenant Governor. He was
comparatively uneducated, but his sociability,
his strong, good sense, and his inimitable en-



ergy made him one of the most influential mea
of his day in Illinois politics. In 1862, he was
commissioned Colonel of the One Hundred and
Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but ill
health compelled his resignation in February.
1863. He was a man of powerful physique and
great vitality, but his rough life in the early
frontier days left him broken down in con-
stitution during the later years of his life.

NELSON, CHARLES HENRY; Farmer; Hen-
derson Township, born in Monson, Hampden
County, Massachusetts, June 2, 1830; educated
in the common schools of Knox County. His
parents, Andrew and Susan (Hawley) Nelson,
were born in Massachusetts, the former in the
town of Wales, the latter in Amherst. His pa-
ternal grandparents were George and Susan
Nelson, the former having been born in Wales.
His maternal grandparents were Philip and
Roxanna Hawley, the former a native of Mass-
achusetts. The Nelson family was of English
descent. Mr. Nelson was married in Hender-
son, November 8, 1882, to Ruth Cook; they have
two children: Frank A. and John T. Mrs. Nel-
son is a daughter of James Cook, who came
to Knox County in 1862 and died in 1891; he
was a farmer. Mr. Nelson came to Knox
County with his father and step-mother, Bar-
bara (Hamilton). His own mother died in
Pennsylvania, November 9, 1839. For ten years
he was a merchant; he then studied law in Chi-
cago (1362) with George Ford, since which time
he has practiced in Knox County. He owns
nine hundred and seventy-five acres of land,
"chiefly in Knox County. He is a self-made
man, his financial success being entirely due to
his own efforts. In politics, he is a democrat,
and is a free and independent citizen; he is not
a member of any society. He was supervisor
for three terms.

OVERSTREET, JOHN LOWREY; Farmer:
Henderson Township; born, November 13, 1859,
at Galesburg, where he was educated in the
district school, and at Knox College. His pa-
rents were Milton Lowrey Overstreet of Nich-
olasville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Cath-
erine (Martin) Oveistreet of Connecticut; his
grandparents were Robert S., and Jane (Low-
ley) Overstreet of Kentucky; his maternal
grandparents were Joel and Phoebe Martin of
Connecticut; his great-grandparents were
James Overstreet of England and Susan (Daves)
Overstreet of Kentucky. He was married to
Nannie A. Brown in Galesburg, Illinois, De-
cember 26, 1882. Mr. Overstreet is a member
of the Congregational Church. In politics he
is a republican.

PARSONS, FRANKLIN; Farmer; Section-
25, Henderson Township; born January
9, 1826, in Agawam, West Springfield,
Hampden County, Massachusetts; educated in
New York and Ohio. His parents were David
Hastings and Lydia T. (Warren) Parsons of
Massachusetts; his paternal grandparents
were Hosea Parsons, born June 4, 1778, and
Sallie (Upham) Parsons, born October 25, 1778,
the latter at Springfield, Massachusetts. Mr.
Franklin Parsons first married Sarah BuUard



K N O X C U N '1" \



■Al Knoxville. Hlinois, March 1, 1848. His sec-
ond marriage was with Actus Baxter, in Hen-
derson, September 5, 1871. " His children are
Leonard U., Edatha E., Frank D., Ellen A.,
,Iohn R., Lincoln E., Sarah L., M. Emma, and
Etfa M. Mr. Parsons is a member of the Uni-
versalist Church. In politics, he is a repub-
lican.

PENDERGAST, THOMAS; Coal Operator;
Henderson Township; born December 22, 184(i,
in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was married
to Rosanna Sharkey, December 28, 1869, at
Galcsburg. They have five children: .John.
.Mary, James, Katharine and Johanna. John
Pendergast. the father of Thomas, was born in
Ireland, as was also his mother, whose maiden
name was Catherine Gorman. His paternal
grandfather was Patrick Pendergast; his ma-
ternal grandfather was Michael Gorman, and
his maternal grandmother was Mary Cady, all
of whom were natives of Ireland. In the spring
of 1863 Mr. Pendergast came to Knox County,
Illinois, where his father had located in 18r,5.
He engaged in farming until 1889, when he sunk
a shaft and began to mine coal on his own farm
in Soperville, Illinois. He is a self-made man.
and his success in life is due solely to his tire-
less energy and industry. Tragic circumstances
attended the removal ot his father's family to
-\merica. Mr. John Pendergast came to New
York in 1848. and one year later, sent for his
family. Upon landing at Quebec they were
seized with cholera, and before the father could
reach them from New York, the mother, one
daughter and a son had died. His surviving
daughter was taken to the home in New York,
which the father had provided for his family.
He is a member of the Catholic Church. In
politics, he is a democrat.

PENNINGTON. RIGGS; Mr. Penning-
ton was one of the first County Com-
missioners. He was a keen, shrewd man.
of medium size, dark complexion, having pierc-
ing eyes, straight black hair, a full forehead,
and a general appearance that gave him the aii-
of a thoroughly wide-awake business man. Not
much can now be learned of him, but he de-
serves mention herein, for in his day he was
one of the wealthiest and most influential men
in Northern Illinois. When he left this State
for Texas, in 1837, he carried nearly fifteen
thousand dollars with him. He was a native
of North Carolina and was the first white set-
tler in McDonough County, Illinois. He came
to Knox County, in 1828, and returned here
once for a short visit in 1840. It is said that
he remained in Texas until his death, in 1869.
But perhaps a more trustworthy report is that
he shortly left Texas and went to Mexico, where
he amassed a large fortune.

POPLETT, FRANCIS; Farmer; Henderson
Township; born in Sparta Township, May 28,
1851; educated in Knox County. His father,
John Poplett, was born in Indiana, September
12. 182B. and died March .30, 18.52; his mother.
Sophia (Davis) Poplett, was born in Indiana.
November 2, 1829: his grandfather, Thompson
Poplett, rame frorr. Kentucky: his maternal



grandfather, Peter Davis, was born in Kentucky
in December, 1801, and died March 15, 1871; his
maternal grandmother, Harriet (Cannon) Da-
vis, was born in Kentucky March 6, 18ll, and
died November 8, 1891. John Poplett and So-
phia Davis were married November 10, 1848;
a son, Heary Thompson, was born in 1849, and
died June 16, 1850. Francis Poplett was mar-
ried to Laura L. Rowe, in Sparta Township July
3, 1872. Their children are: Nellie Harriet,
born July 10, 1873, died August 11, 1873; Laura
Ella, born January 12, 1875, married to Jacob
M. Findley, January 9, 1896; Mary Alice, born
August 19, 1876, died February 8, 1880, and
Elmer Frank, born April 20, 1884. Laura Lor-
rania, wife of Francis Poplett, was born Feb-
ruary 22, 1849, and died March 31, 1890. Mr.
Poplett is a Protestant. In politics, he is a re-
publican, and has held the ofllce of Road Com-
missioner.

ROBERTSON, HARBIN CRAWFORD; Farm-
er; Henderson Township; born in the
old log homestead May 5, 1850; educated
in Knox County. His father, Daniel Rob-
ertson, was born June 12, 1804, in Blair,
Perthshire, Scotland, and came to this
country with his father, Alexander Rob-
ertson, also a native ot Scotland, when he was
but six months old. Alexander Robertson set-
tled first in New York State, but in 1817, re-
moved to Illinois, finally settling in Morgan
County, where he died. Daniel Robertson
moved, in 1822, to Sugar Creek, near Rushville.
and in 1828, to Knox County, where he died
April 6, 1890. Daniel Robertson's wife, Hopey
.lane (Riddle) was born in Kentucky, February
25, 1812, and died November 29, 1895. December
27, 1877, in Henderson, Mr. H. C. Robertson was
married to Lida McKee; they have three chil-
dren: Fannie Maud, Maiy Elener and Millard
.•\llen. Mrs. Robertson is a daughter of Allen
and Harriet (Biggerstaff) McKee, natives of
Athens County, Ohio, and of Scotch-Irish de-
scent. Her parents moved to Iowa in 1873.
where her father died: her mother is still liv-
ing. Mr. Robertson owns the old homestead
and has, altogether, two hundred and one acres
of land, eighty-four acres of which are in sec-
tion twenty-eight, where he resides, and where
he settled when he was married. He is the
only one of the family in the township. From
April. 1871, till September, 1873, he lived in
Kansas and Missouri, where he still owns one
hundred and sixty acres of land. In po....c.3.
he is a democrat.

SHAY, J. J.: Farmer: Henderson Township,
where he was boi'n November 14, 1859. His
father, Michael Shay, and his mother, Mary
(Fitzgerald) Shay, were born in Ireland. Mr.
Shay's parents came from Ireland to New York
in 1848; in 1850. they moved to Knox County.
Illinois, where they resided until their death.
Mr. Shay was married to Anna Horstman, at
Lexington, Nebraska, March, 1890. They have
two children: Ray and Earl. Early in life, Mr.
Shay went West and spent fifteen years In
Western Nebraska and Wyoming, as foreman
for Haters & Company of Cheyenne. Wyoming.



854



KNOX COUN'I'Y,



He had the management of twenty-five thousand
head of cattle. In 1895, he returned to Knox
County, where he has since resided and fol-
lows the occupation of farming. In politics,
Mr. Shay is a republican, and is now serving his
second term as Assessor. He is energetic and
industrious, and much respected by the com-
munity in which he lives.

WILLIAMSON, EDWIN PETER; Farmer;
Henderson Township; born March 13, IS'iU, at
Wataga, Knox County; educated in Business
College at Galesburg, Illinois, and at Daven-
port, Iowa. His father is William Williamson.
Mr. E. P. Williamson was married to Elizabeth
L. Olson, at Wataga. March 22, 1899. He
was brought up on the Williamson farm,
near Wataga. and was a clerk in his
father's store in Moline, Illinois, from 1887 to
1888. After the death of his brother George,



Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 180 of 207)