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principal towns are Rochelle, Polo, Forreston and
Mount Morris.

OGLESBY, Richard James, Governor and
United States Senator, was born in Oldham
County, Ky., July 25, 1824; left an orphan at the
age of 8 years ; in 1836 accompanied an uncle to
Decatur, 111., where, until 1844, he worked at
farming, carpentering and rope-making, devoting
his leisure hours to the study of law. In 1845 he
was admitted to the bar and began practice at
SuUivan, in Moultrie County. In 1846 he was
commissioned a Lieutenant in the Fourth Regi-
ment, Illinois Volunteers (Col. E. D. Baker's regi-
ment), and served through the Mexican War,
taking part in the siege of Vera Cruz and the
battle of Cerro Gordo. In 1847 he pursued a
course of study at the Louisville Law Scliool,
graduating in 1848. He was a "forty-niner" in
California, but returned to Decatur in 1851. In
1858 he made an unsuccessful campaign for Con-
gress in the Decatur District. In 1860 he was
elected to the State Senate, but early in 1861
resigned liis seat to accept the colonelcy of the
Eighth Illinois Volunteers. Through gallantry
(notably at Forts Henry and Donelson and at
Corinth) he rose to be Major-General, being se-
verely wounded in the last-named battle. He
resigned his commission on account of disability,
in May, 1864, and the following November was
elected Governor, as a Republican. In 1873 he
was re-elected Governor, but, two weeks after
his inauguration, resigned to accept a seat in the
United States Senate, to which he was elected
by the Legislature of 1873. In 1884 he was
elected Governor for the third time— being the
only man in the history of the State who (up to
the present time — 1899) has been thus honored.
After the expiration of his last term as Governor,
he devoted his attention to his private affairs at
his home at Elkhart, in Logan County, where he
died, April 34, 1899, deeply mourned by personal

and political friends in all parts of the Union,
who admired his strict integrity and sterling

(See Peoria & Eastern Railroad.)

OHIO RIVER, an affluent of the Mississippi,
formed by the union of the Monongahela and
Allegheny Rivers, at Pittsburg, Pa. At this point
it becomes a navigable stream about 400 yards
wide, with an elevation of about 700 feet above
sea-level. The beauty of the scenery along its
banks secured for it, from the early French
explorers (of whom La Salle was one), the name
of "La Belle Riviere." Its general course is to
the southwest, but with many sinuosities, form-
ing the southern boundary of the States of Ohio,
Indiana and Illinois, and the western and north-
ern boundary of West Virginia and Kentucky,
until it enters the Mississippi at Cairo, in latitude
37° N., and about 1.200 miles above the mouth of
the latter stream. The area wliich it drains is
computed to be 214,000 square miles. Its mouth
is 268 feet above the level of the sea. The current
is remarkably gentle and uniform, except near
Louisville, where there is a descent of twenty-
two feet within two miles, whicli is evaded by
means of a canal around the falls. Large steam-
boats can navigate its whole length, except in low
stages of water and when closed bj' ice in winter.
Its largest affluents are the Tennessee, the Cum-
berland, the Kentucky, the Great Kanawha and
the Green Rivers, from the south, and the Wa-
bash, the Miami, Scioto and Muskingum from the
north. The principal cities on its banks are Pitts-
burg, Wheeling, Cincinnati, Louisville, Evans-
ville. New Albany, Madison and Cairo. It is
crossed by bridges at Wheeling, Cincinnati and
Cairo. The surface of the Ohio is subject to a
variation of forty-two to fifty-one feet between
high and low water. Its length is 975 miles, and
its width varies from 400 to 1,000 yards. (See
Immdntions, Remarkable. )

timore & Ohio Southu-estern Railroad.)

OLNEY, an incorporated city and the county-
seat of Ricliland County, 31 miles west of Vin-
cennes, Ind., and 117 miles east of St. Louis, Mo.,
at the junction of the Baltimore & Ohio South-
western and the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville
Railways. The surrounding region is agricul-
tural, and tlie town is an important shipping and
commercial point, besides having some manufac-
tories, including flour and woolen mills, furniture
factories and railway repair shops. It has a pub-
lic library, two banks (one National and one



State), and five weekly newspapers, one issuinf,' a
daily edition. Population (1880), 3,51-2; (18U0),

OMELVENY, John, pioneer and head of a
numerous family which became prominent in
Southern Illinois; was a native of Ireland who
came to America about 1798 or 1799. A fter resid-
ing in Kentucky a few years, he removed to Illi-
nois, locating in what afterwards became Pope
County, whither his oldest son, Samuel, had
preceded him about 1797 or 1798. The latter for
a time followed the occupation of flat-boating,
carrying produce to New Orleans. He was a
member of the Constitutional Convention of 1818
from Pope County, being the colleague of Handet
Ferguson. A year later he removed to Randolph
County, where he served as a member of the
County Court, but, in 1820-22, we find him a
member of the Second General Assemblj' from
Union County, having successfully contested the
seat of Samuel Alexander, who had received the
certificate of election. He died in 1828.— Edward
(Omelveny), another member of this family, and
grandson of the elder John Omelveny, represented
Monroe County in the Fifteenth General Assem-
bly (1846-48), and was Presidential Elector in
1852, but died sometime during the Civil War. —
Harvey K. S. (Omelveny), the fifth son of Wil-
liam Omelveny and grandson of John, was born
in Todd County, Ky., in 1823, came to Southern
Illinois, in 1852, and engaged in the practice of
law, being for a time the partner of Senator
Thomas E. Merritt, at Salem. Early in 1858 he
was elected a Justice of the Circuit Court to
succeed Judge Breese, who had been promoted to
the Supreme Court, but resigned in 1861. He
gained considerable notoriety by his intense
hostility to the policy of the Government during
the Civil War, was a Delegate to the Constitu-
tional Convention of 1S62, and was named as a
member of the Peace Commission proposed to be
appointed by the General As.sembly, in 1863, to
secure terms of peace with the Southern Con-
federacy. He was also a leading spirit in the
peace meeting held at Peoria, in August, 1863.
In 1869 Mr. Omelveny removed to Los Angeles,
Cal., which has since been his home, and where
he has carried on a lucrative law practice.

ONARyA, a town in Iroquois County, on the
Illinois Central Railroad, 85 miles south by west
from Cliicago. and 43 miles north by east from
Champaign. It is a manufacturing town, flour,
wagons, wire-fencing, stoves and tile being
among the products. It has a bank, eight
churches, a graded school, a commercial college.

and a weekly newspaper. Population (1880),
1,U61; (1890), 994.

ONEIDA, a city in Knox County, on the Chi-
cago, Burlington & yuincy Railroad, 12 miles
northeast of Galesburg. It has manufactories of
wagons, pumps and furniture, two banks, several
churches, a graded school, and a weekly paper.
The surrounding country is a rich prairie, where
coal is mined about twenty feet below the sur-
face. Population (1880), 919; (1890), 699.

0(^UAWKA, the county-seat of Henderson
County, situated on the Jlississippi River, about
15 miles above Burlington, Iowa, and 32 miles
west of Galesburg. It is in a farming region,
but has some manufactories. The town has
five churches, a graded school, a bank and three
newspapers. Population (1890), about 1,100.

ORDINANCE OF 1787. This is the name
given to the first organic act, passeil by Congress,
for the government of the territory northwest of
the Ohio River, comprising the present States of
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The first step In this direction was taken in tlie
appointment, by Congress, on Man^h 1, 1784, of a
(committee, of which Thomas Jefferson was Chair-
man, to prepare a plan for the temporary govern-
ment of the region which had been acquired, by
the capture of Kaskaskia, by Col. (feorge Rogers
Clark, nearly six years previous. The necessity
for some step of this sort had grown all the more
urgent, in consequence of the recognition of the
right of the United States to this region by the
Treaty of Paris of 1783. and the surrender, by Vir-
ginia, of the title she had maintained thereto on
account of Clark's conquest under her auspices—
a right which she had exercised by furnishing
whatever semblance of government so far existed
northwest of the Ohio. The report submitted
from Jefferson's ccjnimittee proposed the division
of the Territory into seven States, to which was
adiled the proviso that, after the year 1800, "there
shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude
in any of said States, otherwise than in punish-
ment of crime whereof the partj' shall have been
duly convicted." This report failed of adoption,
however, Congress contenting itself with the
passivge of a resolution providing for future
organization of this territory into States by the
people — the measures necessary for temporary
government being left to future Congressional
action. While the postponement, in the reso-
lution as introduced by Jefferson, of the inhi-
bition of slavery to the year 1800, has been
criticised, its introduction was significant, as
coming from a representative from a slave State,



and being the first proposition in Congress look-
ing to restriction, of any character, on the subject
of slavery. Congress having taken no further
step under the resolution adopted in 1784, the
condition of the country (thus left practically
without a responsible government, while increas-
ing in population) became constantly more
deplorable. An appeal from the people about
Kaskaskia for some better form of government,
in 1786, aided by the influence of the newly
organized "Ohio Company," who desired to en-
courage emigration to the lands which they were
planning to secure from the General Government,
at last brought about the desired result, in the
passage of the famous "Ordinance,'" on the 13th
day of July, 1787. While making provision for a
mode of temporary self-government by the
people, its most striking features are to be found
in the six "articles"— a sort of "Bill of Rights"—
with which the document closes. These assert;
(1) the right of freedom of worship and religious
opinion; (9) the right to the benefit of habeas
corpus and trial by jury ; to proportionate repre-
sentation, and to protection in liberty and prop-
erty ; (3) that "religion, morality and knowledge,
being necessary to good government and the
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of
education shall forever be encouraged" ; (4) that
the States, formed within the territory referred
to, "shall forever remain a part of this confeder-
acy of the United States of America, subject to
the Articles of Confederation and to such alter-
ations therein as shall be constitutionally made" ;
(5) prescribe the boundaries of the States to be
formed therein and the conditions of their admis-
sion into the Union ; and (6 — and most significant
of all) repeat the prohibition regarding the
introduction of slavery into the Northwest Terri-
tory, as proposed by Jefferson, but without any
qualification as to time. There has been consider-
able controversy regarding the authorship of this
portion of the Ordinance, into which it is not
necessary to enter here. While it has been char-
acterized as a second and advanced Declaration
of Independence — and probably no single act of
Congress was ever fraught with more important
and far-reaching results — it seems remarkable
that a majority of the States supporting it and
securing its adoption, were then, and long con-
tinued to be, slave States.

OREGON, the county-seat of Ogle County, situ-
ated on Rock River, and the Chicago, Bvu-lington
& Northern Railroad, 100 miles west from Chi-
cago. The principal piu-suit of the surrounding
region is agriculture, although the town has good

water-power and manufacturing is carried on to
some extent, the chief output being flour, pianos
and iron castings. It has banks and three weeklj-
newspapers. It has also obtained some repute as
a summer resort. Population (1880), 1.088;
(1890), 1,566.

ORION, a village of Henry County, at the inter-
section of the Rock Island Division of the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy and the Rock Island &
Peoria Railways, 19 miles southeast of Rock
Island. Population (1880), 604; (1890), 624.

OSBORjV, WilUam Henry, Railway President,
was born at Salem, Mass., Deo. 21, 1820. After
receiving a high school education in his native
town, he entered the counting room of the East
India house of Peele, Hubbell & Co. ; was subse-
quently sent to represent the firm at Manila,
finally engaging in business on his own account,
during which he traveled extensively in Europe.
Returning to the United States in 1853, he took
up his residence in New York, and, having mar-
ried the daughter of Jonathan Sturges, one of the
original incorporators and promoters of the Illi-
nois Central Railroad, he soon after became asso-
ciated with that enterprise. In August, 1854, he
was chosen a Director of the Company, and, on
Dec. 1, 1855, became its third President, serving
in the latter position nearly ten years (until July
11, 1865), and, as a Director, until 1877 — in all,
twenty-two years. After retiring from his con-
nection with the IlUnois Central Railroad, Mr.
Osborn gave his attention largely to enterprises
of an educational and benevolent character in aid
of the unfortunate classes in the State of New

OSBORNE, Thomas 0., soldier and diplomatist,
was born in Licking County, Oliio, August 11,
1833; graduated from the Ohio University at
Athens, in 1854; studied law at Crawfordsville,
Ind., with Gen. Lew Wallace, was admitted to
the bar and began practice in Chicago. Early in
the war for the Union he joined the "Yates
Phalanx," which, after some delay on account of
the quota being full, was mustered into the serv-
ice, in August, 1861, as the Thirty-ninth Illinois
Volunteers, the subject of this sketch being com-
missioned its Lieutenant-Colonel. His promotion
to the colonelcy soon followed, the regiment
being sent east to guard the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad, wliere it met the celebrated Stonewall
Jackson, and took part in many important en-
gagements, including the battles of Winchester,
Bermuda Hundreds, and Drury's Bluif, besides
the sieges of Charleston and Petersburg. At
Bermuda Hundreds Colonel Osborne was severely



wounded, losing the use of liis right arm. lie
bore a conspicuou.s part in the operations about
Riclimond which resulted in tlie capture of the
rebel capital, his services being recognized bj-
promotion to the brevet rank of JIajor-Cieneral.
At the close of the war he returned to the prac-
tice of law in Chicago, but, in 1874. was appointed
Consul-General and Slinister-Resident to the
Argentine Republic, remaining in that position
until June, 1885, when he resigned, resuming his
residence in Chicago.

OSWEGO, a village in Kendall County, on the
Aurora and Streator branch of the Chicago, Bur-
lington & Quincy Railway, 6 miles south of
Aurora. Population (1880), 663; (1890), G41.

OTT.iWA, the county -seat and principal city
of La Salle Count}", being incorporated as a vil-
lage in 1838, and, as a city, in 18.53. It is located
at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox Rivers
and on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. It is the
intersecting point of the Chicago, Rock Island &
Pacific Railway and the Streator branch of the
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, 98 miles east of
Rock Island and 83 miles west-southwest of Chi-
cago. The surrounding region abounds in coal.
Sand of a superior quality' for the manufacture of
glass is found in the vicinity and the place has
e.xtensive glass works. Other manufactured
products are brick, drain-tile, sewer-pipe, tile-
roofing, pottery, organs, cigars, wagons and car-
riages, besides agricultural implements, saddlery
and harness, and pumps. The city has many
handsome public buildings and private residences,
including, among the former, tlie Appellate
(formerly Supreme) Court House for the Northern
Division. It also has several public parks, one of
which (South Park) contains a medicinal spring.
There are a dozen churches and numerous public
school buildings, including a high school. The
city is lighted by gas and electricity, has electric
street railways, good sewerage, and water-works
supplied from over l.^O artesian wells and numer-
ous natural .springs. It has one private and two
national banks, five libraries, and eight weekly
newspapers (three German), of which four issue
daily editions. Population (1880), 7,834; (1890),

RAILROAD. (.See Ch Icdfj.K nurlingtnn , and died in .lersey City, Dec. 16,



1882. A sturdy Union man, he performed his
duty as a soldier with greafzeal and efficiency.

PALATINE, a village of Cook County, on the
AVisconsin Division of the Chicago & Northwest-
ern Railroad, 26 miles northwest from Chicago.
There are flour and planing mills here ; dairying
and farming are leading industries of the sur-
rounding country. Population (1880), 731; (1890),

PALESTINE, a town in Crawford County,
about 2 miles from the Wabash River, 7 miles
east of Robinson, and 35 miles south by west from
Terre Haute, on the Indiana & Illinois Southern
Railway. It has several churches, a graded
school, a bank, two weekly newspapers, flour and
woolen mills, plow works and car shops. Popu-
lation (1880), 735; (1890), 732.

PALMER, Frank W., journalist, ex-Congress-
man and Public Printer, was born at Manchester,
Dearborn County, Ind.,Oct. 11, 1827; learned the
printer's trade at Jamestown, N. Y., afterwards
edited "The Jamestown Journal," and served
two terms in tlie New York Legislature ; in 1858
removed to Dubuque, Iowa, and edited "The
Dubuque Times," was elected to Congress in 1860,
and again in 1868 and 1872, meanwhile having
purchased "The Des Moines Register," which he
edited for several years. In 1873 he removed to
Chicago and became editor of "The Inter Ocean,"
remaining two years; in 1877 was appointed Post-
master of the city of Chicago, serving eight years.
Shortly after the accession of President Harrison,
in 1889, he was appointed Public Printer, continu-
ing in office until the accession of President Cleve-
land in 1893, when he returned to newspaper work,
but resumed his old place at the head of the
Government Printing Bureau after the inaugura-
tion of President SIcKinley in 1897.

PALMER, John JlcCaiiley, lawyer, soldier and
United States Senator, was born in Scott County,
Ky., Sept. 13, 1817; removed with his father to
Madison County, 111., in 1831, and, four years
later, entered Shurtleff College, at Upper Alton,
as a student ; later taught and studied law, being
admitted to the bar in 1839. In 1843 he was
elected Probate Judge of Macoupin County, also
served in the State Constitutional Convention of
1847; after discharging the duties of Probate and
County Judge, was elected to the State Senate, to
fill a vacancy, in 1852, and re-elected in 1854, as
an Anti-Nebraska Democrat, casting his vote for
Lyman Trumbull for United States Senator in
1855, but resigned his seat in 1856 ; was President
of the first Republican State Convention, held at
Bloomington in the latter year, and appointed a

delegate to the National Convention at Philadel-
phia ; was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress
in 1859, and chosen a Presidential Elector on the
Republican ticket in 1860 ; served as a member of
the National Peace Conference of 1861 ; entered
the army as Colonel of the Fourteenth Regiment
Illinois Volunteer Infantry ; was promoted Briga-
dier General, in November, 1861, taking part in
the campaign in Tennessee up to Chickamauga,
assuming the command of the Fourteenth Army
Corps with the rank of Major-General, but was
relieved at his own request before Atlanta. In
1865 he was assigned, by President Lincoln, to
command of the Military Department of Ken-
tucky, but, in September, 1866, retired from the
service, and, in 1867, became a citizen of Spring-
field. The following year he was elected Gov-
ernor, as a Republican, but, in 1872, supported
Horace Greeley for President, and has since co-
operated with the Democratic party. He was
three times the unsuccessful candidate of his
party for United States Senator, and was their
nominee for Governor in 1888, but defeated. In
1890 he was formally nominated for United
States Senator by the Democratic State Conven-
tion of that year, and, at the subsequent session
of the Legislature, was elected after a protracted
contest, receiving the votes of two of the Farm-
ers' Mutual Alliance members, besides the full
Democratic vote, on the 154th ballot. His term
expired, March 4, 1897. Since retii-ing from the
Senate, General Palmer lias devoted his attention
to the practice of his profession at Springfield
and to the preparation of a volume of Reminis-
cences of his own life, wliich promises to be an
interesting contribution to the history of the

PALMER, Potter, merchant and capitalist,
was born in Albany County, N. Y. , in 1825;
received an English education and became a
junior clerk in a country store at Durham,
Greene County, in that State, three years later
being placed in charge of tlie business, and finally

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 86 of 207)