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came to Ohio in the Autumn of 1817. That
winter he taught school, and the next spring,
in company with his brother, Nathaniel
Sanburn, and three other young men, he worked
his passage down the Ohio river to about the
foot of Indiana. Thence he went overland to
St. Louis and westward to St. Charles, Missouri.
That winter he returned to his native town,
making almost the entire journey on foot. After
two or three years he again went westward and
located at Vandalia, Illinois. In 1830, he came
to Knox County and opened a store in Hender-
son Grove. He at once took a leading position
in the county, being largely instrumental in
effecting its organization. When Knoxville was
platted, he purchased or procured by assign-
ment a very large proportion of all the lots in
the village. In November. 1831, he married Miss
Althea Owen, sister of Parnach Owen, who sur-
vived her husband. They had seven children,
four sons and three daughters. One son, F. G.
Sanburn, lived in Knoxville, where he was presi-
dent of the Farmers' Bank. Up to his death
John G. Sanburn was one of the best known
men in Knox County. He was a trustee of
Knox College and of Ewing Female Seminary, —
now St. Mary's. He died in Knoxville, Friday,
April 14, 1865.

SMITH, LOUIS M.; Knoxville; Postmaster;
born January 6, 1862, in Mercer County, Illinois;
educated in Missouri. His father, George F.
Smith, was born in 1836, in Knoxville, his
mother, Clementine M. (Sadler), was born in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They had five chil-
dren: Louis M.; Bert G., who is a school
teacher; two who died in infancy: and Jessie L.,
a teacher in the High School of Knoxville, who
died October 7, 1894. George F. Smith was
commissioned First Lieutenant, Company E,
One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Volun-
teers in 1864, and was honorably discharged
October 14. 1864. He died in 1881, and his wife
in May, 1898. Louis M. Smith's paternal grand-
father, Miles Smith, was a native of New York;
his maternal grandparents were John L. and
Sibbie (Stewart) Sadler. The ancestry of the
family is English, Welsh and Irish. Mr. Smith
is a member of Knoxville Camp, No. 224,
S. 0. v., has been Captain two terms, and is now
a member of the Division Council. He is also
a member of Horatio Lodge. No. 362, Knights of
Pythias. Mr. Smith belongs to the Methodist
Episcopal church. In politics, he is a republican.

SMITH, MALCOLM; Farmer; Knox Town-
ship; born in Herkimer County, New York.
December 15, 1836: educated in the common
schools. The ancestry of the family was Scotch
and English. Mr. Smith's parents. James and
Jeal (McCann) Smith, were natives of Scotland.
Mr. Smith came to Illinois in 1856. He was
married March 7, 1860, in Joliet, Illinois, to.
Harriet M. Randall. They had four children:
Fred M., James D., George C, and Maud R.
Fred M.'s second marriage was with Fannie


(Ingham) of Hornellsville, New York. He had
a daughter, Clarissa, by a former marriage.
James D. is a farmer, and was married to Sarah
Lufliin, of Massachusetts. George C. and Fred
M. are in the employ of the Union Pacific Rail-
road. Mrs. Smith's father, Dennison Randall,
was born in Cattaraugus County, New York, in
ISIO, and married Elexemeua Pratt of Hume,
New York. They have five children: Ann
Netta, Harriet M., Esther Y., Dennison P., and
William C. The Pratts were soldiers in the
Revolutionary War, and both families were
represented in the Civil War. For thirty years,
Mr. Smith was connected with the Chicago and
Alton Railroad, during twenty years of which
time he held the position of Trainmaster. Mr.
Smith and family are members of the Presby-
terian church. In politics, he is a republican,
and held the office of Supervisor for ten years.

SMITH, MATHEW M.; Superintendent for
the Purington Paving Brick Company; Kno.\
Township; born in buffalo. New York, January
29, 1860, where he was educated. His parents,
Mathew and Margaret (Brown) Smith, were born
in New York City. His paternal grandparents,
Mathew and Margaret (McCoy) Smith were
natives of Ireland, the former of Belfast. His
maternal grandparents. James and Jane Brown,
were natives of Scotland. July 12, 18S0, in
Buffalo, New York, Mr. Smith was married to
Elizabeth E. Henry; they have one son, Stephen
H. Mr. Smith is a member of the Veritas Lodge,
No. 478, of Galesburg. Illinois; I. O. O. F., and
the Modern Woodmen of America, East Gales-
burg, Camp No. 2436. He has served the people
of East Galesburg for four terms as President of
the village. He is a republican.

STEARNS. GARDNER G.; Knoxville; Farm-
er; born in Conway, Massachusetts, February 9,
1836, where he was educated. His parents,
George and Fannie (Arms) Stearns, were also
natives of Conway. Mr. Stearns was Captain
of Company A, Seventy-seventh Illinois Volun-
teers, and was honorably discharged at the close
of the war. He was wounded in action, and was
a prisoner of war at Tyler. Texas. October 2,
1865. he was married in Knoxville to Lucy G.
Runkle, daughter of Eldert and Nancy (Bowen)
Runkle; there were five children: George E.,
Arthur D., Fred R., Fannie G., and Mary E.
Arthur D. married Mary Wertman; Fred R.
married Louise Rambo. Mr. Runkle was born in
Albany County, New York, in 1802, where he
was educated in the common schools; he came to
Illinois about 1833, and was a farmer by occu-
pation; he died in June, 1865; Mrs. Runkle died
in October, 1888; they had six children: Eliza-
beth, James, Mary H., Lucy G., George, and
Frank. In politics, Mr. Stearns was a fearless
republican. For one term he held the office of
Supervisor. His paternal ancestors were Eng-
lish, Dutch and Welsh on the maternal side.
Captain Stearns died August 8, 1898. He was
an attendant at the Presbyterian church.

TATE, JOHN W.; Knoxville; General Grocer;
born January 2, 1842. in Hancock County. Illi-
nois; educated in the pubic schools of Rushville.
Mr. Tate enlisted August 2, 1862, in Company

B, One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Volun-
teers, and was honorably discharged September
9, 1865. He is a member of G. W. Trafton Post
of Knoxville, No. 239, Grand Army Republic,
Department of Illinois. December 3, 1868, in
Rushville, Illinois, he married Sarah Neill. They
have had four children: Sussanah, Edward A.,
Louis N. and Marie F. Mr. Tate is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics,
is a republicau.

TATE, THOMAS B.; Knoxville; General
Grocer; born September 21, 1836, in Macomb,
McDonough County, Illinois, where he was edu-
cated in the common schools. His father, Mil-
ton A. Tate, was born in Virginia, and his
mother, Martha A. (Broaddus), was born in
Kentucky. His paternal grandparents were
John and Sally ^^ — ^un) Broaddus. Mr. Tate
enlisted at Knoxville, August 8, 1862, in Com-
pany E, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers, and
was honorably discharged June 26, 1865, as
Second Lieutenant. He is a member of G. W.
Trafton Post of Knoxville. No. 239, Grand Army
Republic, Department of Illinois. He was mar-
ried to Mary Booth October 8, 1861. They have
eight children: Charles E., Carrie A., Nettie,
Mattie, Frank M., John T., Asenath B. and
Jennie. Mr. Tate nas held the offices of Mayor
and Postmaster. He is a Republican in politics.
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal

UPSON, ALBERT; Farmer; Knox Township;
born in Summit County, Ohio, May 8, 1842. His
parents, Rowland Weller and Phebe (Randall)
Upson, had eight children: Josephine, Lucy M.,
Albert, Matilda S., Louisa M., Hannah F., and
two deceased. Rowland Upson was born in
Summit County, Ohio, February 6, 1806, and
died in Knox Township May 6, 1875. Phebe
(Randall) Upson was born in New York in
1815, and died in Knox Township May 6,
1884. His grandfather, Stephen Upson, was
born in Connecticut in 1775; his grandmother,
Sallie Upson, was born in Connecticut in 1798;
both died in Talmadge, Ohio. Albert Upson
married Hannah M. Case in Knox Township.
January 1, 1867. Her parents, Elisha E. and
Rachel (Morse) Case, are deceased. Mr. and
Mrs. Albert Upson have five children: Florence
M., William D., Nellie E.. George A., and Arthur
E. Florence M. is married to Mark Noble, Jr.,
of Creston. Iowa; they have three children:
Florence H., Nina Z., and Jessie M. William D.
married Mary T. Fackler, of Knox Township;
they have one son. F. Albert. George A. and
Arthur E. are with their parents on the home
farm. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Upson are members
of the Congregational church. Mr. Upson is an
independent republican. He lives on the farm
purchased (1851) by his father.

WALBERG, OLA; Farmer; Knox Township;
born January 4. 1831, in Sweden, where he was
educated. June 5, 1869, in Knoxville. Mr.
Walberg was married to Betsey Olson, who was
born in 1838. They have had three children:
Swan. Caroline and Albert. Swan married
Nellie Nelson, who was born in Sweden; they
have one son, Harry. Caroline married Peter



Pierson, of Galesburg; they have one daughter,
Pauline. Albert married Jettie Heagy, of
Knoxville. Mr. and Mrs. Walberg are mem-
bers of the Swedish Lutheran church. In poli-
tics, Mr. Walberg is a republican.

WARNER, DAVID; Knoxville; Retired
School-teacher; born in Indiana County, Penn-
sylvania, in 1819, where he was educated. His
brother, William W. Warner, was born in Penn-
sylvania November 10, 1825, and married three
times; his first wife was Mary Schranghos, and
they had two children, one of whom is now
living, W. Rufus; his second wife was Mrs.
Elizabeth (Seiper) Lyons; his third wife was
Annie (Roberts) Tice, whom he married Decem-
ber 8, 1875, and by whom he had four children:
Wilber W.; Minnie; Valdora; and David D.,
who died at the age of seven. W. W. Warner
enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Third
Illinois Volunteers, and was honorably dis-
charged in 1865, on a surgeon's certificate of
inability. He was a member of G. W. Trafton
Post of Knoxville, No. 239, Grand Army of the
Republic, Department of Illinois. David Warner
married Nancy Wells August 28, 1844, in Penn-
sylvania. In religion, he is a Presbyterian. He
is a republican.

WESTERFIELD, SAMUEL; deceased; Farm-
er; Knox Township; born January 14, 1S36, in
Preble County, Ohio; educated in the common
schools. His parents, Jacob and Amy (Ayers)
Westerfield, were natives of Ohio. The ances-
try of the family is Dutch, German and French.
May 16, 1872, 'n Knox Township, Mr. Wester-
fielil was married to Mahala Harmony. They
had two children: Frank E.; and Eva K., who
died at the age of eleven. Frank E. is a mem-
ber of Camp No. 224, S. O. V., Knoxville, Illi-
nois. Mrs. Westerfleld's father, John Harmony,
a farmer, was born in Franklin County, Penn-
sylvania, July 6, 1801, and educated in the
common schools. He was married to Eva
Zumbro of Pennsylvania. They have five chil-
dren: Helena, Elizabeth, Anna B., Mahala and
Frank Z. The family came to Knox Township
in 1853. Mr. Harmony died December 28, 1893,
his wife died February 9, 1888. December 2,
1861, Mr. Westerfield enlisted in Company B,
Second Regiment Colorado Cavalry Volunteers,
and was promoted to Corporal April 25, 1864,
and honorably discharged December 13, 1864.
He died July 31, 1893. Mr. Westerfield was a
member of G. W. Trafton Post, No. 229, Knox-
ville Department of Illinois, Grand Army of the
Republic. He was a member of the Presbyte-
rian Church. In politics, he was a republican.

WILSON, THOMAS; Farmer; Knox Town-
ship; born in Champaign County, Ohio, Novem-
ber 27, 1835; educated in the common schools.
His father. Francis Wilson, was a native of
Pennsylvania, born in Butler County, March 1,
1809; his mother, Nancy (McPherrin), was born
in Ohio. She was married to Francis Wilson
January 17, 1833; they had three children:
George W., who died at the age of twenty-
seven; Elizabeth, who died January 3, 1838;
and Thomas. Francis Wilson's second marriage
in September, 1840, was with Elizabeth McPher-

rin; she died August 15, 1882. Five children
were born to them, three of whom survive:
John, Alexander and Francis M. Francis Wil-
son died in the Fall of 1896; he was universally
respected. February 20, 1888, Thomas Wilson
was married in Knoxville to Augusta Hammar-
strom. Thsy had four children: Eva 0.,
Harry D., Paul E. and Miriam M. Mrs. Wilson's
father, Carl Hammarstrom, was born in Sweden
May 1, 1825; he was married to Anna C. Carl-
son, and came to the United States in August,
1865. They had six children: Charles A.;
Hilma K.; A. Edward; Augusta; Emma S., who
died at sea in July, 1865; and E. Josephine.
His father and mother are living. The ancestry
of the family is English, Scotch, Irish, and
Swedish. In politics, Mr. Wilson is inde-

Township; born in Washington County,
Indiana, September 8, 1845; educated in Illinois.
His father, Ephraim Witherell, was born in
Vermont; his mother Rebecca (Donaldson) was
a daughter of Alexander Donaldson, who was
born in Erie County, Pennsylvania. His pater-
nal grandparents, Asaph and Johanna (White)
Witherell, were natives of Vermont; his great-
grandfather, Noah Witherell, came from Eng-
land on the Mayflower. His ancestry is Eng-
lish, Irish, Scotch, and Dutch. May 17, 1866,
in Knoxville, Mr. Witherell was married to
Martha A. Stoliper; they have eight children,
Flora M., Minnie R., Harmon E., Daisy E.,
Arthur A., Ettie R. and the twins, Clyde A. and
Clara A. Flora M. married George Bredlove;
they have two children living, Mabel and
Harry. Minnie R. married John Drudge; they
have two children, Roy S., and Berneth. Harmon
E. married Lola Myers; they have two children,
Harrie Lee and Helen; they now reside near
Wichita, Kansas. Arthur A. married Mamie
Peterson; they have one daughter, Geneva.
Daisy E. married James Farrell; they have one
daughter, Hortense. February 11, 1863, Mr.
Witherell enlisted in the Seventy-seventh Illi-
nois Volunteers and was honorably discharged
August 5. 1865. He is a member of G. W.
Trafton Post No. 239, G. A. R., Knoxville, De-
partment of Illinois, also of A. O. U. W., of
Knox Lodge No. 126. Mr. Witherell is a mem-
ber of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In
politics, he is a republican. He was the first
President of the First Shaft of the Minor of

By Joseph W. Miles.

This township is situated in the central part
of Knox County, and is drained by Spoon River
and Court, North and Sugar Creeks.

Its soil is adapted to grazing and agriculture
alike; more or less timber grows in its bottoms
and along its streams; and its mineral resources
include coal and sandstone. Formerly, the
abundance of game was rivaled only by the
profusion of wild fruit. Indian legends tell of



silver and lead hidden beneath the ground, and
some fine specimens of ore have been found
along Sugar Creek.

The Santa Fe Railroad runs through Persifer
from west to east, along Court Creek, affording
a direct outlet for farm products to the Chicago

The present site of Dahinda was once an
Indian village, and the poles of their wigwams
stood there for years after the arrival of white
settlers. There are twenty-five or thirty
mounds on the bluffs near by, which contain
human bones and are presumably Indian graves.
Many arrow-heads and stone axes have been
found, and one branch of the Galena Trail
passes through the township from north to
south, crossing Court Creek at the point where
the Appleton bridge now stands.

The Indian chief Shabona once offered to
show William Morris a silver mine in the north-
eastern part of the township, but Mr. Morris
was too distrustful to accompany him.

This same William Morris bought the north-
western corner of Section 26, March 10, 1832,
and he was probably the first settler in Persifer,
and is said to have spent the winter of 1832-3
in a hollow sycamore tree in Spoon River bot-
toms, just below the Elliott Mill. Nothing is
known of him prior to his settlement here. His
wife, Ruth Vaughn, came from Kentucky, as did
Jesse and Willis Reynolds and Beverly Young.
Charles Bradford was born in Maine. He came
to Ohio when a young man, and to Illinois in
1834, settling in Persifer Township. He was a
descendant of Governor Bradford, of Puritan
fame, and lived to be over ninety. Several of
his descendants reside near here, among whom
are to be found the familiar names of R. C.
Benson, E. J. Wyman, Jacob Lorance and John
Spear. On coming here he bought Beverly
Young's claim to the eastern half of the north-
east quarter of Section 26, moving into the cabin
that had been built by Mr. Young. The next
year he acquired the northwestern quarter of
Section 27, taking up his residence in a double
log house that stood on the northeastern quar-
ter of Section 26.

In 1837 several families came, among them
being those of Edmund Russell, Isaac Sherman,
G. W. Manley, T. D. Butt, Caleb Reece, John
Caldwell and James Maxey. All of these have
many descendants in the county.

Persifer also counts the Hon. George W.
Prince among her sons; although not a pioneer.

R. W. Miles was. before his decease, honored

by the people with many positions of trust;
having held several township offices and being
twice sent to the Legislature and three times
elected a member of the State Board of Equaliza-
tion. He never betrayed the trust reposed in

Mrs. Charles Bradford was buried January 5,
1835, and hers was the first death and burial.
She was interred on her husband's clearing,
on Section 26. The first public cemetery was
on Section 9, the first burial therein being a son
of John Henderson. The first Persifer couple
to marry was Charles Bradford and Parmelia
Ann Richardson. They were united at Peoria
early in the Spring of 1S3S. The next marriage
in the township, of which any record has been
preserved, was that of Harvey Stetson Bradford
and Hester Whitton. They were joined in
matrimony October 24, 1836, at the home of
Charles Bradford. Rev. Mr. Bartlett, a Baptist
minister from Knoxville, performed the cere-
mony. R. C. Benson and Sarah Bradford were
the next couple to become man and wife, Janu-
ary 5, 1837. They have been not infrequently
mentioned as the first couple married. The first
birth was to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Reynolds,— a

The State road through Trenton and Knox-
ville was built in the Fall of 1S38. T. D. Butt,
Caleb Reece and John Coleman were Commis-
sioners. The first stage road ran past the
Manley and Miles farms and through Trenton,
crossing neither hill nor bridge from Knoxville
to Spoon River. The Victoria post road was
also laid very early. The first iron bridge was
built in 1875, where the present Appleton bridge
now stands. That structure was replaced in
1892 by a larger one. There are now several
good iron bridges, including a new one at

The first land plowed in the township was a
six-acre tract in the southeast quarter of the
northeastern portion of Section 26. The first
crops were of wheat and oats, William Morris
raising the wheat and threshing it by horse

Persifer boasts the first mill in Knox County.
It was built by Robert Hendrix, in 1S34, on
Court Creek, just above where the Knoxville
and Victoria road crosses, in Section 19. It did
not contain a single piece of sawed timber.
Only corn was ground at first, but subsequently
wheat also was run through the stones. Later
it was transformed into a saw mill, and was
finally swept away by a flood in 1851. The next



structure of this description built was the
Elliott mill, at the mouth of Court Creek, on
Spoon River. It was put up in 1840, by Mr.
McKee. It was originally designed for sawing
logs, but was afterwards made into a flouring
mill, and was for more than twenty years one
of the most important in the county. It was
torn down in 1881. The third in the township
was built by Charles Haptonstall, about 1848.
It stood on Court Creek, about half a mile above
the present Appleton bridge. Only corn and
buckwheat were ground. The edifice was not sub-
stantial, and remained standing but a few years.

The first church building was Bethel Chapel,
built in 1863 on Section 30, and costing eighteen
hundred dollars. There are now five churches.
Those at Bethel and Maxey are Methodist; those
at Mound and Persifer are of the United Breth-
ren denomination and at Dahinda there is a
Mormon Church, of which mention is made
below. Rev. S. S. Miles preached the first
sermon, in the house of Charles Bradford, in
June, 1836, and organized the first Sunday
school at the same place, in 1838. There are
now six Sunday schools in the township, one at
each of the churches and one at the Town Hall,
at Appleton.

The first school of which any mention is made
was taught by Mary Ann Long, in a cabin one-
fourth of a mile south of Bethel Church, about
1839. It was supported by subscription. The
first school-house was built of logs, about 1841,
and stood on the Wilson and Caldwell farms,
on Section 30. Who taught the first public
school is an unsettled question. Some give
John Mcintosh the honor of being the pioneer
teacher, while others confer it upon Curtis
Edgerton. James and George McPherrin, Nep-
tin, Lucina and Mary Russell, Charles Butt,
Jacob Brunk and John Hearn were pupils.

The township was divided into school districts
January 10, 1846, and there are now nine good
frame school-houses, valued at about ?6,500, in
which two hundred and fourteen pupils are
taught. None of the schools are graded.

The first postofiice was established about
1847, and was named by the people in honor o*
General Persifer Frazer Smith. Charles Brad-
ford was the first postmaster, and the office was
in his home, on Section 27. When the town-
ship was organized, it took the name of the

The first house Is supposed to have been a log
cabin on the Morris farm, which was burned
soon after it was built. T. D. Butt erected the

first structure intended for a tavern as well as
dwelling, in 1837. It stood on Section 29, and
was for several years a stopping place for trav-
elers. The first house weather-boarded and
painted white was the Easley house on Section
30. The first frame house was either that of
Captain Taylor, in Trenton, or of Edmund Rus-
sell, on Section 31. The Taylor house was of
native white pine, sawed at the Elliott mill, and
is still standing. The Russell home was built
from hewed hardwood, and was burned about
1886. Both were constructed about 1841.
James M. Maxey built the first brick house in
1851, making his own brick. It is still stand-
ing, on Section 4, but is not used as a dwelling.

George W. Manley was the first Justice of the
Peace. The first town ofiicers, elected April 5,
1853, were: G. W. Manley, Supervisor; Richard
Daniel, Clerk; James McCord, Assessor; Wil-
liam T. Butt, Collector; Wilson Pearce, Over-
seer of the Poor; Francis Wilson, Caleb Reece
and David Cobb, Highway Commissioners; R.
W. Miles and Thomas Patton, Justices; L. A.
Parkins and David Russell, Constables. G. W.
Manley was moderator, and Richard Daniel
clerk, of this election.

The present township officers are: J. R. Young,
Supervisor; N. C. Dawson, Clerk; C. I. Butt,
Assessor; John E. Gibson, Collector; J. C. Mont-
gomery, Jacob Lorance and Ole Olson, Highway
Commissioners; O. P. Gates and David Russell,
Justices of the Peace; Jerry Wallack and J. J.
Patton, Constables; J. J. Patton, G. W. Butt
and Jacob Lorance, School Trustees; O. P.
Gates, School Treasurer.

The township furnished one soldier to the
Mexican War, Edward Thorp, and a large num-
ber of men from Persifer volunteered during
the War of the Rebellion. The following is a
list of those who entered the army, some of
whom, however, were credited to other places:
Arthur Wyman, J. Haptenstall, James Warrens-
ford, Washington Dilley, William S. Hender-
son, Alexander Mitchell, Samuel F. Patton,
James A. and Jefferson W. Donnelly, James Mc-
Dowell, E. A. Pratt, J. H. Patton, Alfred Rus-
sell, Theodore Perkins, Alfred Spidle, Benja-
min P. Wills, Jacob Wallack, DeWitt C. Standi-
ford, J. Lutkieweicz, Anthony Blair, William
Flynn, J. D. Green, T. J. Gordon, William Hap-
tenstall, William B. McElwain, Edwin Phillips,
Warren Russell, James O. Wallack, H. Benson,
H. K. Benson, Benjamin Flynn, Levan Parkins,
N. Zimmerman, J. A. Irving, William Russell,
S. J. Maxey, Hiram Elliott, Albert Bullard,

^ ^ M.

\^^:^0 7UA^


Peter F. Dillon, Winslow H. Bradford, E. Bui-
lard, James Daniel, William Daniel, Warren
and James Elliott, T. B. Farquer, Alfred Gard-

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