pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 38 of 79)
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by neighboring townships, and when we take into consideration the
fact that Boynton, but a quarter of a century ago, contained but
little tillable land, the result is marvellous. It was attained only
through unflagging energy on the part of its enterprizing citizens
and an admirable system of tile drainage. The first settlement was
made by Joseph Grant on Section 9, in 1839; the first birth, in
1842, w^as Albert, son of Robert Houston, who settled here about
the year 1840. Benjamin Roe also came during that year, G. W.
Clamon located 6 years later. Among those who settled prior to
1852, we find Samuel Falor, John Blair, Andrew Kerr, and Wm.
Benton. In 1850 Wm. Milner, Charles and Richard Holden and
John T. Scates, Wm. and Peyton Alexander, John Jacobus and
others. In 1854 the township was organized and the following
persons, some of whom are now prominent in the affairs of the
township, met at the residence of James Huston as a committee on
organization : James Crawford, Wm. Wooters, Daniel Bennett,
Ira Judy, Wm. Burton, John T. Scates, John Jacobus, Philip
Wade and others were present. The majority of the citizens assem-
bled on this occasion declared in favor of township organization.
Many were the names suggested with which to christen their town-
ship, in consequence of which a ballot was taken. After the lapse
of considerable time spent in discussion, it finally received the name
of Boynton, in honor of an Eastern gentleman of that name.

There is a post-office kept in the center of the township. Mail is
received three times a week. The character of the schools and
school-houses are good, and every improvement in the township adds
its testimony to the enterprise, thrift and culture of the people.
Among the representative farmers of Boynton, those who make its
history and mold its destiny, we call attention to the following
gentlemen :



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 399

E. Atkinson, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14 ; P. O., Boynton.
The subject of this sketch was born in Ohio in 1844. During the
same year his parents moved to Tazewell county, where Mr. A. has
since resided, and where he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah
Farmer, a daughter of John H. Farmer of Logan Co., Kentucky.
Two children blessed this union — Emma A. and Martha Jane.
Mr. Atkinson has witnessed many changes in the beautiful county of
Tazewell, wrought by the swift hand of Time. In this Township
he has acquired a farm property of 80 acres and few are of a more
hospitable disposition than he.

George Bcnhler was born in Baden, Ger., near the banks of the
historic river Rhine, on the 16th of Feb., 1832; turned to farm life
from his earliest days. He acquired a good common school educa-
tion, and at the age of 25 crossed the ocean ; after a short delay in
New York made his way to Chicago, and thence to McLean Co.
111., and finally to Tazewell Co., where he first procured employment
as a farm hand. He worked early and late to procure enough to get
a start in life. In 1865 he was married to Miss Delilah Burton,
daughter of Wm. Burton, of this township. In 1867 Mr. B. suc-
ceeded in purchasing an 80-acre tract of land on sec. 9, which he
has improved greatly by tiling. Of his marriage with Miss Burton
five children were born, four of whom are living — Esther, John,
Emma and William. Post-office address, Boynton.

Christian Beaver, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 6 ; P. O., Delavan.
Although not ranking among the original pioneers of this county,
Christian Beaver is worthy of more than a passing notice. He was
born in Adams Co., Ohio, in the year 1808. His father, Michael
Beaver, was a native of Penn., and in an early day, at a time when
Daniel Boone ruled, in a measure, the destinies of Kentucky,
Michael Beaver, then but a youth, accompanied his parents to the
then wilds of Kentucky. When we take into consideration the fact
that not a steamboat plowed our AVestern waters, and Kentucky the
home of wild beasts and still wilder men, this was indeed a bold
step on the part of these daring pioneers. He resided many years
in Kentucky, and in 1808 located in Ohio at a time when Ohio
was the home of the red men, and was inhabited by few white
men, save the hunter and trapper in search of new scenes and inci-
dents. During his 19th year the subject of this sketch, with his
parents, moved to Fountain Co., Indiana, where the head of the
family passed the remainder of his days. We now follow the
fortunes of him whose name heads this column and from whorn
our narrative is obtained. In 1831 he was united in marriage
to Miss Lydia Heuston, a native of Indiana. Here Mr. Beaver
continued to reside until 1862. One year previous Mrs. Beaver
was laid at rest in Fountain Co. Of this marriage thirteen chil-
dren were born, 6 of whom are living, Daniel, Sarah, Mary, Samuel,
Simon, Phoebe, Asa, Ann, Abraham, Jacob, Mahala, Eliza, Ellen.
In 1862 Mr. Beaver was married to Miss Phrana Livingood, a



400 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

native of North Carolina. One child blessed this union — Christian.
During the year above mentioned Mr. B. located in Boynton town-
ship, where he now resides.

John Beezley, farmer and stock raiser, Section 21 ; P. O., Boynton ;
was born in Shelby Co., O., on the 15th of April, 1843. He is the
oldest son of William Beezly, a native of Clark Co., O., now a
resident of Iowa and a farmer. John came to Illinois — Logan
Co. — in 1859, and was quietly pursuing his farm duties when the
war broke out. He then enlisted as a private in Co. F., 38th III.
Infantry. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Stone River,
Chickamauga, Franklin, Nashville and in Sherman's Atlantic Cam-
paign. He was promoted for meritorious conduct, March 23, 1864,
to 1st Lieutenant, which he served till he was mustered out April 9,
1866. When Gen. Rosecrans had charge of the army of the Cum-
berland he organized a corps of honor to which Mr. B., as a veteran,
belonged. After the war he returned to Logan Co. and engaged in
farming until he came to Boynton, in 1868. In 1867 he was mar-
ried in DeWitt Co. to Mattie, daughter of Edward and Margaret
Morris, natives of England and Virginia, respectively. Three
children were born of this marriage — Jennie May, Margaret A. and
Alice G.

L. C. Blair, farmer and stock raiser. Section 18; P. O., Delavan.
The subject of this biography is a native of Tazewell Co., where he
was born in 1851. His lather, J. J. Blair, was a native of New
York State ; he was a farmer by occupation, and there married Miss
Elizabeth Clark. About 1850 he came West and settled in Taze-
well Co., where he followed farming until his decease, which occurred
in 1858. Mrs. Blair survived her husband several years, being laid
at rest in the Delavan Cemetery in 1866. The survivors of the
family are seven in number — Emily, Allie, Winfield, Anna, Bessie,
L. C. and Susan. L. C. Blair grew to mature years in this Co.,
where, in 1876, he was united in marriage to Miss Rosa E. Verbryck,
by whom he had one child — Warren. The homestead property
consists of 120 acres.

Daniel Brenneman, farmer and stock raiser. Sec. 3 ; P. O., Hope-
dale. The subject of this sketch is one of the oldest and wealthiest
agriculturalists of Boynton township. He was born in Germany,
in the year_ 1804. His father, Jacob Brenneman, was a well-to-
do farmer in his native land, and on the old farm homestead
young Daniel grew to manhood, and there married Miss Elizabeth
Jutzic. In 1832 he first landed in America, and subsequently, for a
period of 22 years lived in Warren Co., O., where he resided until
the spring of 1854, when he located in McLean Co. In 1855 he
settled in Boynton township. By this union they had seven sons
and six daughters, namely — Jacob, Mary, Peter, deceased, Eliza,
Joseph, Phoebe, deceased, Ella, John, Christian, deceased, Anna,
William, Amelia, and Edward. Mr. B. began his agricultural
career in poverty, but after a long and successful career he now en-



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 401

ioys the fruits of a well spent life. Mr. Brenneman lias succeeded,
*bv the characteristic energy of the German people, in acquiring a
farm, consisting of 320 acres in Boynton township.

Jacob Brenneman, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 4 ; P. O., Hope-
dale. Jacob Brennaman ranks among the more opulent farmers of
Bovnton township. He is a native of that portion of Germany
ceded to Prussia at the close of the war of 18(36, and was born in
1827. Five years thereafter his parents, whom we shall find occa-
sion to mention, concluded to cast their lot in America, and after the
usual voyage landed in Baltimore. They remained but a short
time when they moved near Cincinnati, where young Jacob received
a liberal education. On the 20th of Nov., 1853, he was united in
marriage to Miss Jacobinia Jutzic. It was during the spring of
1854 that Mr. B. moved flirther west, coming to McLean Co., 111.
He remained there until 1855, when he became a permanent resi-
dent in Tazewell Co., locating in Boynton. Like nearly all settlers
at this time his means were limited : so much so that he did not
purchase property till 1856, when he bought 160 acres on Sec. 9.
Since this period, when the financial horizon appeared none the
brightest, Mr. B. has prospered, even far exceeding his most
sanguine hopes of a quarter century ago. At the present writing he
is the owner of 520 acres of land unsurpassed in the county. For-
tune has smiled bountifully upon him, but it has by no means
dwarfed his naturally enterprising spirit of liberality. Of the mar-
riage above referred to seven children were born, six of w^iom are
living and whose names are — Maria L., Julia A., Albert I., Amelia
E., Minnie S. and Wm. C. Mr. B. represents this township in the
Board of Supervisors.

Joseph Brenneman, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 1 ; P. O., Hope-
dale. Although of German parentage, as the name implies, yet he
was born in Warren Co., O., Nov. 22, 1833. There he passed his
early youth and grew to manhood. The year 1854 found the fami-
ly enroute for the fertile prairies of Illinois, where, in Tazewell Co.,
and this township, they settled on farm property. It was here he
embarked in life for himself and has proven himself the possessor of
good business ability. He ranks among the liberal and progressive
farmers of the county. In 1858 he was united in marriage with
Miss Eliza Ensmann, daughter of Peter Ensmann, of Bureau Co.,
111. In 1865 Mr. B. made his first purchase of farm property,
consisting of 160 acres in Boynton, where, and in Hopedale, he
now owns 300 acres. The marriage refered to has been blessed
with three children — Otitia F., William A., and Sidney.

Wm. M. Burton, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 8 ; P. O., Delavan.
William Burton is a well known agriculturalist of Boynton town-
ship, and among the early pioneers of this Co. He was born in
Adams Co., Ohio, in March, 1811, where he received, so to speak, a
round log-cabin education, and passed his boyhood amid the associ-
ations of pioneer life. Hearing many glowing accounts of the



402 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

fertility of Illinois, thither he directed his footsteps in 1837, and first
located in Peoria, here, however, he remained but a short time, as
the following morning he proceeded on foot to the village of Peru.
Shortly after he went to Groveland, where he secured employment
as a rail-splitter, where he afterwards married Miss Rebecca Staples,
a daughter of Joshua vStaples, of New York State. Mr. B. made
his first purchase of land in 1850, in Boynton township, consisting
of 160 acres.

Robert Collins, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 28 ; P. O., Boynton.
Robert Collins was born in Ohio, April 5, 1841, and spent his
boyhood days upon the old farm homestead. His father, Barnabus
Collins, was a native of Pennsylvania, and in an early day came
to Ohio, where he married Miss Aimee Miller, by whom he had six
children, of whom Rob't is the fourth. He came to Boynton in
1865 and first secured employment as a farm hand. He purchased
his present farm of 80 acres in 1869. When the war broke out he
enlisted in Co. B, 106th Ohio Infantry, and was honorably discharg-
ed in 1864 and returned to his home in Tazewell.

James Crmrford, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 16, P. O., Boynton.
Mr. C. is a well known resident and prominent farmer of the town-
ship. He was born in Rochester, N. Y., Feb. 29, 1832. He is the
third child of David Crawford, a native of Ireland, and who came
to America during the autumn of 1830. He was then married,
having united his fortunes with Miss Margaret Alexander. He set-
tled at Rochester, N. Y., and afterwards moved to Iowa where he
died, leaving to the care of his estimable wife five children — Mary
A., Margaret, David, Samuel and James. The latter grew to man-
hood in the States of Ohio and Indiana, and during the spring of
1851 directed his footsteps to Tazewell Co., where he first Avorked as
a farm hand, receiving therefore 50cts. per day. In 1855 he was
married to Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Falor, of Penn. Of
this marriage seven children were born, all of whom are now living.
— Margaret J., Emma, Samuel, Eliza A., Byron, Clara and Mary
Mr. C. has succeeded well in the agricultural walks of life. In
1876 he served the township as Assessor.

Henry Curtis, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 18; P. O., Boynton.
The above named gentleman was born in Fountain Co., Ind., April
26, 1839. He is the oldest son of Henry and Elizabeth Curtis.
Henry Curtis, Sr., is a native of New York State and came to
Tazewell Co. at an early day, and in 1854 located in this township.
Henry, whose name appears at the head of this article, grew to
manhood in Boynton township, and on Feb. 11, 1864, was united
in marriage with Mary E. Matthews, daughter of Eli W. Matthews,
deceased. Their children number four — Ida A., Angie M., Ruble
E., and Florence. Mr. C. ranks among the more liberal, progressive
farmers of the township, and owns 240 acres of well improved and
tilled land. He is a consistent member of the M. E. Church.

Robert W. Darah, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 9 ; P. O., Delavan.



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 403

He is a native of New Jersey, where he was born August 15th,
1833. His fother was born in Pennsylvania; was a stone mason
by occupation, who acquired his trade in New Jersey, where he
married Miss Martha Severns, of that State. Of eight chiklren
born of this marriage the subject of this sketch is the eklest. He
lived with his parents in N. J. until he was fourteen, when he went
with them to Indiana, where, fourteen months later, the head of the
family passed away from earth. Upon Robert, then scarcely sixteen,
devolved the support of a mother and a family of eight children.
With a resolution beyond his years he rented a farm and for many
years "roughed it," living in a log cabin and enduring all the hard-
ships of pioneer life. After working hard for 37|cts. a day, and
board, when the day's labor was done the youth applied himself
diligently to his studies, acquiring thereby a liberal education, that
subsequently turned to good account. On attaining his majority he
secured a school, which he taught for several winters, farming
during the summer season. While engaged in the latter the war
broke out, he enlisted in Co. F., 52 Ohio Inf and afterwards to the
53d. He remained until after the battle of Shiloh, where he
escaped with a slight wound. When the smoke from the guns of the
ever-to-be-remembered Shiloh had cleared away he was discharged,
and returned to his home in Indiana, where he was married to Miss
Amanda Freeman. In 1864 he moved to Logan Co., 111., and in
1870 located in this township.

James Donley, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 8 ; P. O., Delavan.
The whole-souled gentleman whose name heads this page was born
near Rochester, in the State of New York, on the 30th of April,
1829. At an early day his parents, George and Elizabeth Donley,
settled in Jefferson Co., Ohio, where the head of the family found
employment in a woolen factory. Young Donley grew to man-
hood in Ohio, and at an early age also secured employment in a
woolen mill. In 1852 Mr. D. was united in marriage to Miss M.
C. McCary. In 1854 he set out for Illinois, and first found em-
ployment in McLean Co., subsequently settling in Delavan town-
ship, Tazewell county, where he rented farm property. At the end
of two years he purchased the property of Milner Brown, consisting
of 160 acres, the property he now owns, brought to a high state of
cultivation. Of the marriage above mentioned six children are
now living — Lizzie, Samuel, Mary B. D., Frank, Laura, and Nellie.
Samuel Donley, farmer and stock raiser. Sec. 15; P. O., Boynton.
Samuel Donley is a native of Belmont county, Ohio, where he was
born in 1855; is oldest son of James Donley, a patron of this work.
Samuel grew to the mature years of manhood in this county. In
1878 he was united in marriage to Miss Florence Ireland, a daugh-
ter of a well known farmer of this township.

Michael Fanning, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 16 ; P. O. Boyn-
ton. Michael Fanning, as the name implies, is a native Irishman,
and ranks among the more generous agriculturalists of this town-



404 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

ship. He was born in the County of Tipperary, Ireland, about
1815. Growing to manhood in Ireland, he acquired a good com-
mon-school education at such odd times as the duties of the farm
would permit. While still a young man he crossed the Atlantic for
the New World, landing in New York City during the Spring of
1835, and for sometime worked in the Metropolitan City at SOcents
per day. From thence he went to Savannah, Georgia, where he
hired as a steamboat hand, thence to New York and Pittsburgh,
from whence he took passage on the Wisconsin, the only steamboat
then plying the Illinois River, for Pekin, then but a small place,
that Mr. F^ decribes in the following manner : Landing from the
boat I discoverd but few dwellings, mostly log cabins, on what is
now the main street. The village probably contained, at this time
about 25 inhabitants, mostly Frenchmen and Southerners. Mr.
F. afterward made the acquaintance of Mr. Tharp, Wm. Mosley, and
others, many of whom have passed the dark river. In 1851 Mr.
F. joined an expedition enroute for California. After some months
of weary travel he reached the golden coast, where he remained
some 13 months and became quite successful as a miner. Return-
ing to Tazewell Co., he again worked as a farm hand for a time.
In 1852 he was married to Miss Bridget Ann Phcan, of Ireland.
During this year Mr, F. leased property until enabled to purchase.
He is now the owner of 280 acres, and one of the most generous of
men. Of this marriage eight children were born, seven of whom
are living — James, Thomas, AVilliam, Mary, Sarah, Ellen and
Louisa.

Henry Fehrmann, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 27 ; P. O.,
Boynton. He was born in Germany, July 28, 1837. In his native
land he followed farming and received a liberal education. In
Julv, 1868, he crossed the Atlantic for the New World, landing in
the city of New York. From that city he went to St. Louis, thence
to Waterloo, Monroe Co., 111., where he worked as a farm hand for
space of the two years. From there he went to Macoupin Co., and
finally brought up in Tazewell Co., Boynton township, where, Oct.
5, 1874, he was married to Susan N. Rosenthall, by whom he has
one child — Henry J.

John Freeman, deceased, was born in New York State. In his
22nd year he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Fowler. Of
this marriage eleven children were born, nine of whom are living.
Early in life Mr. Freeman became a convert to religion, and his
hospitable home was always open to all of God's people, and many
happy meetings were held at his residence. Over 38 years ago this
consistent Christian cast his lot with the Church of Christ. His
lather was a soldier during the struggle for National Independence,
in 1776. In religious matters John Freeman took a deep interest,
and on all occasions it pleased him greatly to hear the word of God
read, and it was his custom frequently to call his family around him
and have some one read a chapter in the Bible, and lead in family



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 405

prayer. Shortly before his death he called his family around him,
and commending all to God, passed peacefully away. Thus ended
the life of one whose eventful career furnishes a moral for the ris-
ino- generation. The funeral discourse was preached by the Rev. J.
I. Judy, from Rev. xxii, 14. There were gathered together on
this solemn occasion many relatives and friends of this veteran in
the Lord's service, who attentively listened to the pastor, whose lips
uttered a just tribute to one whose life had not been in vain.

Franklin Freeman, farmer, sec. 11 ; P. O., Hopedale. This whole-
souled gentleman was born in Butler Co., O., Dec. 25, 1833.
There he passed his youth. He then removed to Indiana where he
was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda Bartholomew. Four-
teen vears ago Mr. F. came to Boynton township, where he owns
80 acres of choice land. The marriage referred to has been blessed
with four children, only two of whom are now living — Ashian and
Effie M.

Joseph Gilchrist, was born in Logan Co., 111., Feb. 10, 1853.
His father, James Gilchrist, was a prominent agriculturist of that
county; was born in Scotland; a farmer by occupation, and was
there married to Miss Jane Clark. In an early day he crossed the
ocean for America, and directed his footsteps to Logan Co., where
he became prominently identified with agricultural affairs. He died
at the age of 58 years, universally respected. Mrs. G. died many
years prior to her husband, and their remains lie interred in Union
Church cemetery. Joseph grew to manhood in Logan Co., received
a good common-school education and became identified with the
farming and stock raising interests from his earliest years. At the
age of 19 he was married to Miss INIartha Chenoweth, by whom he
had three children — Charles E., Burtie W. and Pearl. In 1877
Mr. G. moved to Boynton and resides on sec. 25; P. O., Boynton.
Jacob Hauler, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 9 ; P. O., Hopedale.
Few have succeeded better in life than the genial gentleman whose
name stands at the top of this column. He is a native of Germany,
where he was born in 1824, and there passed his childhood, youth
and grew to manhood. Attaining his majority he concluded to seek
his fortune in the New World, and accordingly sailed for America,
arriving during the. summer of 1845 in New York city, where he
remained a short time, and then proceeded to Ohio where he pro-
cured employment as a farm hand, and there married, in 1853, Miss
Mary Brenneman, a daughter of Daniel Brenneman, a well-known
resident of this township. For seven years Mr. Hauter worked in
Ohio, and then plunging still further westward, he located in Put-
nam county. 111., where he remained three years, when he moved
and settled in Boynton township, where, in 1858, Mr. H. made his
purchase of land in Illinois, consisting of 160 acres, now the
property of Jacob Brenneman, Esq. At the present writing Mr. H.
is the owner of 245 acres of land unequaled in this Western country,
on which he erected four years ago a handsome farm residence.
26



406 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

Francis Ireland is numbered among the progressive agriculturists
of the township. He was born in Salem township, AVarren Co., O.,
Sept. 18, 1830, where at the old farm homestead he also passed the
days of his childhood and grew to manhood. During the winter
seasons he succeeded in acquiring a good common school education,
and then, perhaps, laid the foundation for future success in life. In
1853 he was united in marriage to Miss Ruth Coddington, daughter
of Wm. Coddington, of Ohio. In 1856 Mr. C. concluded to move
farther west and eventially located in Delavan township, this Co.,
and soon after moved to Boynton, where he erected a small frame
building in which he suffered many inconveniences during the win-
ter, sometimes finding nearly as much snow inside the dwelling as
outside. The fare at this time, humble as it was, however, was
enjoyed by the family and the occasional visitor. Times proved
very discouraging, and not until the flush war times did Mr. I.
begin to prosper in his new home, since then he has been extremely
fortunate. They have four children — Florence, William F., John-
athan and Monroe. Mr. I. holds the position of Road Com., and
takes a deep interest in educational matters.

Thomas J. Ireland, farmer and stock raiser, sec. 10 ; P. O., Boyn-



Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 38 of 79)