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commenced studying law the next year; was
elected to the lower branch of the Seventeenth
and Twentieth General Assemblies, first as a
Democrat and next (1836) as a Republican;
served on the Circuit Bench in 1861-66, and again
in 1873-79, being assigned in 1877 to the Appellate
bench. Died, Jan. 12, 1893.

DAWSON, John, early legislator, was born in
Virginia, in 1791 ; came to Illinois in 1827, set-
tling in Sangamon County ; served five terms in
the lower house of the General Assembly (1830,
'34, '36, '38 and '46), during a part of the time
being the colleague of Abraham Lincoln. He
was one of the celebrated "Long Nine" who repre-
sented Sangamon County at the time of the
removal of the State capital to Springfield ; was
also a member of the Constitutional Convention
of 1847. Died, Nov. 12, 1850.

TION FOR EDUCATION OF, located at Jack-
sonville, established by act of the Legislature,
Feb. 23, 1839, and the oldest of the State
charitable institutions. Work was not begun
until 1843, but one building was read}' for
partial occupancy in 1846 and was completed
in 1849. (In 1871 this building, then known
as the south wing, was declared, and
was razed and rebuilt.) The center building
was completed in 1852 and the north wing in
1857. Other additions and new buildings have
been added from time to time, such as new dining
halls, workshops, barns, bakery, refrigerator
house, kitchens, a gymnasium, separate cot-
tages for the sexes, etc. At present (1895) the
institution is probably the largest, as it is im-
questionably one of the best conducted, of its class
in the world. The number of pupils in 1894 was
716. Among its employes are men and women of
ripe culture and experience, who have been con-
nected with it for more than a quarter of a

DEARBORN, Lnther, lawyer and legisUtor,
was born at Plymouth, N. H., March 24, 1820.



and educated in Plymouth schools and at New
Hampton Academy ; in youth removed to Dear-
born County, Ind., where he taught school and
served as deputy Circuit Clerk; then came to
Mason County, 111., and, in 1844, to Elgin. Here
he was elected Sheriff and, at the expiration of
his term, Circuit Clerk, later engaging in the
banking business, which proving disastrous in
1857, he returned to Mason County and began the
practice of law. He then spent some years in
Minnesota, finally returning to Illinois a second
time, resumed practice at Havana, served one
term in the State Senate (1876-80); in 1884
became member of a law firm in Chicago, but
retired in 1887 to accept the attorneyship of the
Chicago & Alton Railway, retaining this position
until his death, which occurred suddenly at
Springfield, April 5, 1889. For the last two years
of his life Mr. Dearborn's residence was at

DECATUR, the county-seat of Macon County;
39 miles east of Springfield and one mile north of
the Sangamon River— also an important railway
center. Two coal shafts are operated outside the
city. It is a center for the grain trade, having
three elevators. Extensive car and repair shops
are located there, and several important manu-
facturing industries flourish, among them flouring
mills. Decatur has paved streets, water-works,
electric street railways, and excellent public
schools, including one of the best and most noted
High Schools in the State. Four newspapers are
published there, each issuing a daily edition.
Population (1880), 9,547; (1890), 16,841.

Anti-Nebraska Editorial Ci)iivention.)

Indiana, Decatur & Western Railicay.)

ROAD. (See Peoria, Decatur & Evansville
Railway. )

ROAD. (See Peoria, Decatur & Evansville

DEEP SNOW, THE, an event occurring in the
winter of 1830-31 and referred to by old settlers
of Illinois as constituting an epoch in State his-
tory. The late Dr. Julian M. Sturtevant, Presi-
dent of Illinois College, in an address to the "Old
Settlers" of Morgan County, a few years before
his death, gave the following account of it: "In
the interval between Christmas, 1830, and Janu-
ary, 1831, snow fell all over Central Illinois to a
depth of fully three feet on a level. Then came
a rain with weather so cold that it froze as it

fell, forming a crust of ice over this three feet of
snow, nearly, if not quite, strong enough to bear
a man, and finally over this crust there were a
few inches of snow. The clouds passed away
and the wind came down upon us from the north-
west with extraordinary ferocity. For weeks —
certainly not less than two weeks — the mercury
in the thermometer tube was not, on any one
morning, higiier than twelve degrees below zero.
This snow-fall produced constant sleighing for
nine weeks." Other contemporaneous accounts
say that this storm caused great suffering among
both men and beasts. The scattered settlers, un-
able to reach the mills or produce stores, were
driven, in some cases, to gi'eat extremity for
supplies ; mills were stopped by the freezing up
of streams, while deer and other game, sinking
through the crust of snow, were easily captured
or perished for lack of food. Birds and domestic
fowls often suffered a like fate for want of sus-
tenance or from the seveiity of the cold.

DEERE, John, manufacturer, was born at
Middlebury, Vt., Feb. 7, 1804; learned the black-
smith trade, which he followed until 1838, when
he came west, settling at Grand Detour, in Ogle
County ; ten years later removed to Moline, and
there founded the plow-works which bear his
name and of which he was President from 1868
until his death in 1886.— Charles H. (Deere), son
of the preceding, was born in Hancock, Addison
County Vt., March 28, 1837; educated in the
common schools and at Iowa and Knox Acad-
emies, and Beirs Commercial College, Chicago;
became assistant and head book-keeper, travel-
ing and purchasing agent of the Deere Plow
Company, and, on its incorporation, Vice-Presi-
dent and General Manager, until his father's
death, when he succeeded to the Presidency. He
is also the founder of the Deere & Mansur Corn
Planter Works, President of the Moline Water
Power Company, besides being a Director in
various other concerns and in the branch houses
of Deere & Co., in Kansas City, Des Moines,
Council Bluffs and San Francisco. Notwith-
standing his immense business interests, Mr.
Deere has found time for the discharge of public
and patriotic duties, as shown by the fact that he
was for years a member and Chairman of the
State Bureau of Labor Statistics ; a Commissioner
from Illinois to the Vienna International Exposi-
tion of 1873 ; one of the State Commissioners of
the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893; a
Presidential Elector f or the State-at-large in 1888,
and a delegate from his District to the National
Republican Convention at St. Louis, in 1896.



DEERIXG, William, manufacturer, was born
at Paris, Oxford County, Maine, April 26, 1836,
completed his education at the Readfield high
school, in 1843, engaged actively in manufactur-
ing, and during his time has assisted in establisli-
ing several large, successful business enterprises,
including wholesale and commission dry-goods
houses in Portland, Maine, Boston and New York.
His greatest work has been the building up of the
Deering Manufacturing Company, a main feature
of which, for thirty years, has been the manu-
facture of Marsh harvesters and other agricultural
implements and appliances. This concern began
operation in Chicago about 1870, at the present
time (1899) occupying eighty acres in the north
part of the city and employing some 4.000 liands.
It is said to turn out a larger amount and greater
variety of articles for the use of the agriculturist
than any other establishment in the country,
receiving its raw material from many foreign
countries, including the Philippines, and distrib-
uting its products all over the globe. Mr. Deer-
ing continues to be President of the Company
and a principal factor in the management of its
immense business. He is liberal, public-spirited
and benevolent, and his business career has been
notable for the absence of controversies with his
employes. He has been, for a number of years,
one of the Trustees of the Northwestern Univer-
sity at Evanston, and, at the present time, is
President of tlie Board.

1)E KALB, a city in De Kalb County, 58 miles
west of Chicago. Of late years it has grown
rapidly, largely because of the introduction of
new industrial enterprises. It contains a large
wire drawing plant, barbed wire factories,
foundry, agricultural implement works, machine
shop, shoe factory and several minor manufac-
turing establishments. It has banks, a newspaper
ottice issuing daily and weekly editions, a trade-
paper, nine churches and three graded schools.
It is the site of the Northern State Normal School,
located in 1895. Population {1880), 1,598; (1890),

DE KALB COUNTY, originally a portion of
La Salle County, and later of Kane ; was organized
in 1887, and named for Baron De Kalb, the
Revolutionary patriot. Its area is 650 square
miles and population (in 1890), 27,066. Tlie land
is elevated and well drained, lying between Fox
and Rock Rivers. Prior to 1835 the land belonged
to tlie Pottawatomie Indians, who maintained
several villages and their own tribal government.
No sooner had the aborigines been removed than
white settlers appeared in large numbers, and,

in September, 1835, a convocation was held on
the banks of the Kishwaukee, to adopt a tempo-
rary form of government. The public lands in the
county were sold at auction in Chicago in 1843.
Sycamore (originally called Orange) is the
county-seat, and, in 1890, had a population of
2,987. Brick buildings were first erected at
Sycamore by J. S. Waterman and the brothers
Mayo. In 1854. H. A. Hough established the
first newspaper, "The Republican Sentinel."
Other prosperous towns are De Kalb (population,
2,579), Cortland, Malta and Somonauk. The sur-
face is generally rolling, upland prairie, with
numerous groves and wooded tracts along the
principal streams. Various lines of railroad trav-
erse the county, which embraces one of the
wealthiest rural districts in tlie State.

(See Chicago Great Western Railinii/.)

DELAVAN, a thriving city in Tazewell County,
on the line of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, at the
point of its intersection with the Pekin Division
of the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railway, 34
miles west southwest of Bloomington and 24 miles
south of Peoria. Grain is extensively grown in
the adjacent territory, and much shipped from
Delavan. The business of the place sujiports two
banks, and two weekly papers are published. It
also has five churches and a graded school.
Population (1880). 1,340; (1890), 1,176.

DEMENT, Henry Dodge, ex-Secretary of State,
was born at Galena, 111., in 1840 — the son of
Colonel John Dement, an early and prominent
citizen of the State, who held the office of State
Treasurer and was a member of the Constitu-
tional Conventions of 1847 and 1870. Colonel
Dement having removed to Dixon about 1845, the
subject of this sketch was educated there and at
Mount Morris. Having enlisted in the Thirteenth
Illinois Volunteer Infantry in 1861, he was elected
a Second Lieutenant and soon promoted to First
Lieutenant — also received from Governor Yates a
complimentary commission as Captain for gal-
lantry at Arkansas Post and at Chickasaw
Bayou, where the commander of his regiment,
Col. J. B. Wyman, was killed. Later he served
with General Curtis in Mississippi and in the
Fifteenth Army Corps in the siege of Vicksburg.
After leaving the army he engaged in the manu-
facturing business for some years at Dixon. Cap-
tain Dement entered the State Legislature bj'
election as Representative from Lee County in
1872, was re-elected in 1874 and, in 1876, was pro-
moted to the Senate, serving in the Thirtieth and
Thirty-first General Assemblies. In 1880 he was



chosen Secretary of State, and re-elected in 1884,
serving eight years. The last public position held
by Captain Dement was that of Warden of the
State Penitentiary at Joliet, to which he was
appointed in 1891, serving two years. His
present home is at Oak Park, Cook County.

DEMENT, John, was born in Sumner County,
Tenn., in April, 1804. When 13 years old he
accompanied his parents to Illinois, settling in
Franklin County, of which he was elected Sheriff
in 1836, and which he represented in the General
Assemblies of 1828 and "30. He served with
distinction during the Black Hawk War, having
previously had experience in two Indian cam-
paigns. In 1831 he was elected State Treasurer
by the Legislature, but, in 1836, resigned this
office to represent Fayette County in the General
Assembly and aid in the fight against the removal
of the capital to Springfield. His efforts failing
of success, he removed to the northern part of the
State, finally locating at Dixon, where he became
extensively engaged in manufacturing. In 1837
President Van Buren appointed him Receiver of
Public Moneys, but he was removed by President
Harrison in 1841 ; was reappointed by Polk in
1845, only to be again removed by Taylor in 1849
and reappointed by Pierce in 1853. He held the
office from that date until it was abolished. He
was a Democratic Presidential Elector in 1844;
served in three Constitutional Conventions (1847,
'63, and '70), being Temporary President of the
two bodies last named. He was the father of
Hon. Denry D. Dement, Secretary of State of Illi-
nois from 1884 to 1888. He died at his home at
Dixon, Jan. 16, 1883.

DENT, Thomas, lawyer, was born in Putnam
County, 111., Nov. 14, 1831; in his youth was
employed in the Clerk's office of Putnam County,
meanwhile studying law ; was admitted to the
bar in 1854, and, in 1856, opened an office in Chi-
cago; is still in practice and has served as
President, both of the Chicago Law Institute and
the State Bar Association.

DES PLAINES, a village of Cook County, at the
intersection of the Chicago & Northwestern and
the Wisconsin Central Railroads, 17 miles north-
west from Chicago ; is a dairying region. Popu-
lation (1880), 818; (1890), 986.

DES PLAIN ES RIVER, a branch of the Illinois
River, which rises in Racine County, Wis., and,
after passing through Kenosha County, in that
State, and Lake County, 111., running nearly
parallel to the west shore of Lake Michigan
through Cook County, finally unites with the
Kankakee, about 13 miles southwest of Joliet, by

its confluence with the latter forming the Illinois
River. Its length is about 150 miles. The
Chicago Drainage Canal is constructed in the
valley of the Des Plaines for a considerable por-
tion of the distance between Chicago and Joliet.

DEWEY, (Dr.) Richard S., physician, alienist,
was born at Forestville, N. Y., Dec. 6, 1845; after
receiving his primary education took a two years'
course in the literary and a three years' course in
the medical department of the Michigan Univer-
sity at Ann Arbor, graduating from the latter in
1869. He then began practice as House Physician
and Surgeon in the City Hospital at Brooklyn,
N. Y., remaining for a year, after which he
visited Europe inspecting hospitals and sanitary
methods, meanwhile spending six months in the
Prussian military service as Surgeon during the
Franco-Prussian War. After the close of the
war he took a brief course in the University of
Berlin, when, returning to the United States, he
was employed for seven years as Assistant Physi-
cian in the Northern Hospital for the Insane at
Elgin. In 1879 he was appointed Medical Super-
intendent of the Eastern Hospital for the Insane
at Kankakee, remaining until the accession of
John P. Altgeld to the Governorship in 1893.
Dr. Dewey's reputation as a specialist in the
treatment of the insane has stood among the
highest of his class.

DE WITT COUNTY, situated in the central
portion of the State ; has an area of 405 square
milesand a population (1890) of 17,011. The land
was originally owned by the Kickapoos and Potta-
watomies, and not until 1830 did the first perma-
nent white settlers occupy this region. The first
to come were Felix Jones, Prettyman Marvel,
William Cottrell, Samuel Glenn, and the families
of Scott, Lundj' and Coaps. Previously, how-
ever, the first cabin had been built on the site of
the present Farmer City by Nathan Clearwater.
Zion Shugest erected the earliest grist-mill and
Burrell Post the first saw-mill in the county.
Kentuckians and Tennesseeans were the first im-
migrants, but not until the advent of settlers from
Ohio did permanent improvements begin to be
made. In 1835 a school house and Presbyterian
chm-ch were built at Waynesville. The county
was organized in 1839, and — with its capital
(Clinton) — was named after one of New York's
most distinguished Governors. It lies within the
great "corn belt," and is well watered by Salt
Creek and its branches. Most of the surface is
rolling prairie, interspersed with woodland.
Several lines of railway (among them the Illinois
Central) cross the county. Clinton ha.4 a popu-


lation of 3,598 in 1890, and Farmer City, l.IitJT.
Both are railroad centers and liave considerable

I)E WOLF, Calvin, pioneer and philanthropist,
was born in Luzerne County, Pa., Feb. 18, 181 T;
taken early in life to Vermont, and, at 19 years of
age, commenced teacliing at Orwell, in tliat
State; spent one 3-ear at a manual labor scliool
in Ashtabula Count}', Oliio. and, in 1837, came to
Chicago, and soon after began teaching in Will
County, still later engaging in the same vocation
in Chicago. In 1839 he commenced the study of
law with Messrs. Spring & Goodrich and, in 1843,
was admitted to practice. In 18.i4 he was
elected a Justice of the Peace, retaining the
position for a quarter of a century, winning for
himself the reputation of a sagacious and incor-
ruptible public officer. Mr. De Wolf was an
original abolitionist and his home is said to have
been one of the stations on the "underground
railroad" during the existence of slavery.

DEXTER, Wirt, lawyer, born at Dexter, Mich.,
Oct. 25, 1831 ; was educated in the schools of his
native State and at Cazenovia Seminary, N. Y.
He was descended from a family of lawyers, his
grandfather, Samuel Dexter, having been Secre-
tarj' of War, and afterwards Secretary of the
Treasury, in the cabinet of the elder Adams.
Coming to Chicago at the beginning of his profes-
sional career, Mr. Dexter gave considerable
attention at first to his father's extensive lumber
trade. He was a zealous and eloquent supporter
of the Government during the Civil War, and
was an active member of the Relief and Aid
Society after the fire of 1871. His entire profes-
sional life was spent in Chicago, for several years
before his death being in the service of the Clii-
cago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Companj' as
its general solicitor and member of the executive
committee of the Board of Directors. Died in
Chicago, May 20, 1.H90.

DICKEY, Hugh Thompson, jurist, was born in
New York City, May 30, 1811; graduated from
Columbia College, read law and was admitted to
the bar. He visited Chicago in 1836, and four
years later settled there, becoming one of its
most influential citizens. Upon the organization
of the County Court of Cook County in 1845,
Mr. Dickey was appointed its Judge. In Septem-
ber, 1848, he was elected Judge of the Seventh
Judicial Circuit, practically without partisan
opposition, serving until the expiration of his
term in 1853. He was prominently identified
with several important commercial enterprises,
was one of the founders of the Chicago Library

Association, and one of the first Trustees of the
Illinois General Hospital of the Lakes, now Merc-y
Hospital. In 1885 he left Chicago to take up liis
residence in his native city. New York, where he
died. June 2, 1892.

DICKEY, Theophilus Lyle, lawyer and jurist,
was born in Bourbon County, Ky., Nov. 12, 1812,
the grandson of a Revolutionary soldier, gradu-
ated at the Miami (Oliio) University, and re-
moved to Illinois in 1834, settling at Macomb,
McDonough County, where he was admitted to
the bar in 1835. In 1836 he moved to Rushville,
where he resided three j'ears, a part of the time
editing a Whig newspaper. Later he became a
resident of Ottawa, and, at the opening of the
Mexican "War, organized a company of volun-
teers, of which he was chosen Captain. In 1861
he raised a regiment of cavalry which was
mustered into service as the Fourth Illinois
Cavalry, and of which he was commissioned
Colonel, taking an active part in Grant's cam-
paigns in the West. In 1865 he resigned his
commission and resumed the practice of his
profession at Ottawa. In 1866 lie was an
unsuccessful candidate for Congressman for the
State-at-large in opposition to John A. Logan,
and, in 1868, was tendered and accepted the posi-
tion of Assistant Attorney-General of the United
States, resigning after eighteen months' service.
In 1873 he removed to Chicago, and. in 1874, was
made Corporation Counsel. In December, 1875,
he was elected to the Supreme Court, vice W. K.
McAllister, deceased ; was re-elected in 1879, and
died at Atlantic Citv, Julv 22, 1885.

the Christian Church and as "Campbellites,''
having been founded by Alexander Campbell.
Man}' members .settled in Illinois in the early
30's, and, in the central portion of the State, the
denomination soon began to flourish greatly.
Any one was admitted to membership who made
what is termed a scriptural confession of faith
and was bajitized by immersion. Alexander
Campbell was an eloquent preacher and a man of
much native ability, as well as a born conver-
sationalist. The sect has steadily grown in
numbers and influence in the State. The United
States Census of 1800 showed 641 churches in the
State, with 368 ministers and an aggregate mem-
bership of 61.587, having 550 Sunday schools, with
50,000 pupils in attendance. The value of the
real property, wliicli included 552 cliurcli edifices
(with a seating capacity of 155,000) and 30 parson-
ages, was .SI, 167,675. The denomination supports
Eureka College, with an attendance of between



400 and 500 students, while its assets are valued
at 8150,000. Total membership in the United
States, estimated at 750,000.

DIXON, an incorporated city, the county-seat
of Lee County. It lies on both sides of Rock
River and is the point of intersection of the
Illinois Central and the Chicago & Northwestern
Railroads; is 98 miles west of Chicago, and 25
miles south of Freeport. Rock River furnishes
abundant water power, and the manufacturing
interests of the city are considerable, including
two foundries, a plow factory, box and stove
works, two flouring mills, two shoe factories, a
planing mill, and a condensed-milk factory.
There are two national banks, eight churches and
three newspaper offices — two issuing daily edi-
tions. In schools the city particularly excels,
having several graded (grammar) schools, two
high schools, a Collegiate Institute and a Normal
School. Population (1880), 3,658; (1890), 5.161.

DIXON, John, pioneer — the first wliite settler
in Lee County, 111., was born at Rye, West-
chester County, N. Y., Oct. 9, 1784; at 21 removed
to New York City, where he was in business some
fifteen years. In 1820 he set out with his family
for the West, traveling by land to Pittsburg,
and thence by flat-boat to Shawneetown. Having
disembarked his horses and goods liere, he pushed
out towards the northwest, passing the vicinity
of Springfield, and finally locating on Fancy
Creek, some nine miles north of the present site
of that city. Here he remained some five years,
in that time serving as foreman of the first Sanga-
mon County Grand Jury. The new county of
Peoria having been established in 1835. he was
offered and accepted the appointment of Circuit
Clerk, removing to Fort Clark, as Peoria was
then called. Later he became contractor for
carrying the mail on the newly established route
between Peoria and Galena. Compelled to pro-
vide means of crossing Rock River, he induced a
French and Indian lialf-breed, named Ogee, to
take charge of a ferry at a point afterwards

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 27 of 207)