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A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) online

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he purchased the land upon which is located the waterworks and electric
light plant ; he is busy with plans for an extensive waterworks and sewer-
age system, and is very proud of the fact that Columbia has the finest
streets and sidewalks in Monroe county. In addition to his other public
services he is also secretary of the school board. He is indeed one of
the most prominent of Columbia's residents and assuredly is one of its
most valuable citizens.

Mr. Rapp laid the foundations of a happy household and congenial
life companionship when, on April 26, 1896, he was united in marriage
to Miss Lydia Snyder, daughter of H. Snyder, of this place. They share
their delightful home with two children, Viola and Walter. Mr. Rapp
is Republican in politics, having given his support to the "Grand Old
Party" since his earliest voting days.

ROBERT K. DEWEY. Having the distinction of being one of the old-
est continuous residents of Greenville, Robert K. Dewey has been an
important factor in stimulating the growth and prosperity of the city,
and a brief review of his long and useful life cannot fail to be of in-
terest to the people of this section of Southern Illinois, and we are
therefore pleased to place before the readers of this volume an out-
line of the chief events of his active career. Coming from honored New
England ancestry, he was born August 25, 1830, in Lenox. Massachu-
setts, one of the most beautiful spots in the Berkshire hills, where Dame
Nature fashioned scenery exquisite in its variety and marvellous in its
quiet beauty.

His father, Oliver Dewey, whose birth occurred in the same town,
July 24, 1805, was brought up on a farm, and as a boy and youth at-
tended the public schools and the Lenox Academy. An excellent
scholar, he prepared for college, but on account of delicate health did
not matriculate. Soon after attaining his majority he was oppointed
deputy sheriff, an office which he filled for the next twenty-five years.



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1139

Coming then with his family to Illinois, he took up land in Aurora,
Kane county, and was there engaged in general farming for a long
time. On retiring from active pursuits he came to Greenville, and sub-
sequently lived with his son Robert during his remaining years, pass-
ing away March 4, 1901. In June, 1829, he was united in marriage
with Eliza Sabin, a native of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, her
birth there occurring on June 4, 1907. She died in Sandwich, De Kalb
county, Illinois, December 23, 1886. They were both devoted members
of the Congregational church, and in politics he was a steadfast Repub-
lican. Six children were born of their union, as follows : Robert K.,
the special subject of this sketch; Edmund S., deceased; Hannah J.,
wife of C. H. Sabin; Oliver B., deceased; Charles A.; and Myra E.,
wife of Andrew Beveredge.

Spending the first twenty years of his life in the Berkshires, Robert
K. Dewey obtained the rudiments of his education in the public schools
of Lenox, and subsequently continued his studies in the old academy in
which his father had previously been a pupil. Coming to Illinois in
1851, he taught school in Troy, Madison county, for a time, and in 1854
located permanently in Greenville, Bond county, which has since been
his home. Taking up surveying, a profession in which he was an ex-
pert, Mr. Dewey followed it many years, and superintended the laying
out of almost all of the town site of Greenville. He served as county
surveyor many terms, and still does much surveying in this section of
the country.

In 1861 Mr. Dewey offered his services to his country, but was de-
nied enlistment on account of sickness. He enlisted, however, in 1864 as
quartermaster sergeant of the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Illinois
Volunteer Infantry. His brother, the late Edmund S. Dewey, served
during the war as captain of a company belonging to the One Hun-
dred and Thirtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, while his brother Oliver
was a private in the Tenth Illinois Cavalry. His other brother, Charles
A. Dewey, tried to enlist, but was rejected, as the forefinger of his right
hand was missing.

Returning to Greenville at the close of the war, Mr. Dewey con-
tinued as a surveyor until 1871, when he accepted the position of book-
keeper in the First National Bank of Greenville, and retained it for ten
years. Being made county surveyor in 1884, he held the office continu-
ously until the last election, in 1908, when he refused to run again.
Since that time Mr. Dewey has been actively engaged in the real es-
tate and insurance business, and also does considerable surveying.

A prominent and active member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, Mr. Dewey has belonged to this organization for over three
score years, and has the distinction of being the oldest Odd Fellow in
Southern Illinois. A zealous worker in the efforts to advance the good
of the order, he has held the highest office of the order in the state, in
1872 having served as grand patriarch. He is also a member of the
Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has held all of the offices.
Politically he is an active supporter of the principles of the Republi-
can party, and religiously, true to the faith of his ancestors, he is a
Congregationalist,

JAMES HARLEY ALLIO. Possessing much legal talent and ability, and
well versed in the intricacies of the law, James Harley Allio has served
several years as city attorney of Greenville, and is also master of chan-
cery for Bond county. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born May 5,
1871, in Clarion county, which was also the birthplace of his father,
the late Levi Allio.



1140 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

A son of John Allio, Levi Allio's birth occurred on the home farm
December 17, 1849. Succeeding to the occupation in which he was
reared, he was engaged in tilling the soil in the Keystone state until
1879, when he located on a farm in the eastern part of Bond county,
Illinois. In 1900 he migrated to Mississippi, and was there a resident
until his death, September 25, 1911. He was a steadfast Republican in
politics and a member of the Christian church. He married, in 1869,
Aurilla Cornish, a daughter of Henry and Susan Cornish, prosperous
members of the farming community of Clarion county, Pennsylvania,
and to them seven children were born, of whom James Harley is the
eldest child. The mother is still living in Mississippi.

Having laid an excellent foundation for his future education- in
the rural schools of Bond county, James Harley Allio subsequently at-
tended Effingham College, in Effingham, Illinois, and Greenville Col-
lege, in Greenville, Illinois. He afterwards took a post graduate course
in law at Bushnell College, there receiving the degree of LL. B. In
Mount Vernon, Illinois, in 1897, he was admitted to the bar, and at once
resumed his labors as a teacher, a profession which he had previously
followed in Bond county for eleven years. Opening an office at Green-
ville in 1903, Mr. Allio has since been here successfully engaged in the
practice of law, at the present time, as previously mentioned, serving
as city attorney and as master in chancery. He is likewise carrying on
a successful work in the loan, real estate and abstract business, having
a large patronage in each.

In March, 1908, Mr. Allio was united in marriage with Bertha
Walker, a daughter of Cyrus and Sarah D. Walker, of Mulberry Grove,
where Mr. Walker is a prosperous farmer and stock grower. Two chil-
dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Allio, Joseph H. Allio and Grace
Esther Allio. Politically Mr. Allio is a zealous worker in the Republi-
can ranks, and fraternally he is a' member of the Ancient Free and Ac-
cepted Order of Masons ; of the Court of Honor ; and of the Knights of
the Maccabees. He also belongs to the American Insurance Association.
Religiously bolh Mr. and Mrs. Allio are trustworthy members of the
Methodist Episcopal church.

WALTER J. CASPER. Many of the more progressive farmers of
Southern Illinois are specializing in their work, realizing that there is
more money in this method than in merely carrying on general farm-
ing, and one who has demonstrated the practicability of his ideas is
Walter J. Casper, who owns one of the finest tracts of land in John-
son county, located near New Burnside, and whose specialty has been
the growing of fruit. Mr. Casper was eminently fitted in his youth to
carry on his present vocation, his father, a half century ago, having
laid the foundations for the present great fruit industry of the Prairie
state. Walter J. Casper was born September 23, 1850, on a farm near
Anna, Union county, Illinois, and is a son of Peter H. and Elizabeth A.
(Henderson) Casper.

Peter Casper, the grandfather of Walter J., was born in Rowan
county, North Carolina, of German ancestry, and was one of the first
pioneer settlers of Union county, coming to this section during the
early twenties, when this part of the country was a vast wilderness.
He had been married in his native state to a Miss Fullenwider, and
brought his family to a little log cabin, around which he made a clear-
ing, and here engaged in agricultural pursuits during the remainder of
his life. He and his wife had a family of four sons and three daugh-
ters, namely: Caleb, Stephen, Henry, Peter H., Mrs. Elinor Miller,
Mrs. Katherine Miller and Mrs. Esther Davis.



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1141

Peter H. Casper was born on the wilderness farm in Union county,
in 1823, and there grew to manhood. At the outbreak of the Mexican
war he enlisted in the United States army, under Colonel Bissell, and
served throughout that struggle, after which he returned to Union
county and secured two tracts of land from the Government, to which
he later added from time to time until he owned six hundred acres of
tillable land. In 1846 or 1847 he was married to Elizabeth A. Hender-
son, and they had a family of ten children, of whom seven grew to ma-
turity, namely: Walter J. ; Mrs. America Josephine Yost, of Danville,
Illinois ; Stephen Douglass, residing in Anna ; Mrs. Addie Laura Appell,
living at the old homestead in Anna ; Lincoln L., who resides on a farm
in Union county ; John R., a hospital attendant at "Watertown, Illinois ;
and Oscar H., living at Anna. The father of these children died Oc-
tober 12, 1878, and his widow survived him until October, 1893, when
she passed away. Mr. Casper was the pioneer orchardist of Union
county, and in the face of the ridicule of his neighbors, who were con-
tent to farm along in the old way, planted five hundred trees, demon-
strating by his success that Illinois was an ideal spot for the growing
of fruit. Always an active citizen and great patriot, during the Civil
war Mr. Casper assisted the United States marshal in many ways, be-
ing especially active in preserving order and raising troops, although,
owing to an infirm limb, his enlistment was barred. The respect and
esteem in which he was universally held proved his worth to his com-
munity, and in his death Union county lost one of its able agriculturists
and public-spirited citizens.

Walter J. Casper received his education in the district schools in
the vicinity of his father's farm and the Anna high school, and con-
tinued to work with his father until he was twenty-one years old. Dur-
ing the next three years he was engaged in the mercantile business, and
ran a confectionery store and news stand at Vienna and Anna, but
eventually returned to the farm, where he continued until January 15,
1879. He had previously, in 1878, bought a small farm of six acres, on
which was a little house and barn, and at the time of his father's death
he received forty-seven acres from the estate. This land he sold in 1888,
and November 13th of that year came to New Burnside and purchased
one hundred and twenty acres of land, only partially cleared at that
time, but which is now in a high state of cultivation, and on which are
situated a fine residence and large barns and outbuildings. Since that
time he has bought more land, but after improving it has disposed of it,
and he now owns the original tract. On first locating here he immedi-
ately began planting fruit trees, starting with apples and peaches, and
he was so successful with the former that he has continued with them
until he now has fifty solid acres of apple trees just coming into bearing.
His orchard contains four thousand trees in all, and he has about sixty
varieties of apples, thirty-five varieties being displayed by him at the
Horticultural Exhibit at Anna in 1911. He has more varieties than any
other grower in Southern Illinois, and is an experimenter and pro-
ficient horticulturist. A frequent exhibitor at horticultural fairs, he
has secured many prizes for the excellence of his fruit, and is one of
the leading members of the Illinois State Horticultural Society. Years
of careful study in his business have made Mr. Casper an absolute au-
thority on fruit culture, and his advice is constantly being sought on
matters of this nature.

On January 15, 1879, Mr. Casper was united in marriage with Miss
Marie C. Miles, daughter of William T. and Fyla (Marshall) Miles,
natives of New York state, who emigrated to Cobden, Union county, Illi-
nois, in 1867, and the former of whom died in 1881, while the latter still



1142 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

survives. Mr. and Mrs. Miles had three children : Cyrus A., who died in
1887 ; Arthur 0., who makes his home at New Burnside ; and Marie C.
Mrs. Casper was educated in the Southern Illinois State Normal Uni-
versity, at Carboudale, and taught the graded schools of Cobden, Anna
and Jonesboro, in Union county, for five years. She and her husband
have had three children: Norman Walter, Roscoe (who died in infancy),
and Ivo Marie.

JAMES FINIS JOHNSTON. A prosperous business man and prominent
citizen of Greenville, James F. Johnston is now rendering appreciated
service as circuit clerk of Bond county, and is widely known in indus-
trial, fraternal and social circles. He was born February 20, 1879, in
Miltonvale, Kansas, where his boyhood days were spent. His father,
William H. Johnston, was born in Bond county, Illinois, in 1843, of
pioneer stock, and grew to man's estate on his father's farm. At the out-
break of the Civil war he enlisted in the Union army for a period of
ninety days, and was commissioned second lieutenant of his company.
Locating in Cloud county, Kansas, after the war, he was busily engaged
in farming, stock raising and as a general merchant until his death, in
1888, when but forty-five years of age. He was a man of great intelli-
gence and excellent business capacity, and took much interest in the af-
fairs of the community in which he resided. He was a Republican in
politics ; a member of the Grand Army of the Republic ; and belonged to
the Cumberland Presbyterian church, to which his widow, now a resi-
dent of Mulberry Grove, Illinois, belongs. He married, in 1866, Leonora
Emeline Reeves, of Bond county, Illinois, and of the seven children
born of their union five are now living, James F. being the youngest
child.

Living in Kansas until eleven years old, James F. Johnston obtained
his first knowledge of books in the rural . schools of Miltonvale, and
after returning to Illinois he continued his studies in the public schools
of Bond county, later taking a course in the commercial department of
Greenville College. Thus equipped, he began his active career as book-
keeper for the Smithboro Mine, holding the position until the follow-
ing year, when the mine suspended operations. He subsequently clerked
three years for the McLain and Cable Grocery Company, and was after-
wards similarly employed in the clothing department of the store owned
by Weise & Bradford. In 1905 Mr. Johnston was elected city clerk
of Greenville, and in 1907 was re-elected to the same office. From 1906
until 1909 he carried on a substantial business as junior member of the
firm of Mitchell & Johnston, real estate dealers, the partnership being
dissolved when Mr. Johnston assumed the office of circuit clerk of Bond
county, to which he was elected, by the Republican party, in the fall
of 1908, and in which he has since served with credit to himself and to
the honor of his constituents. Mr. Johnston is secretary and treasurer
of the Cyclone Hose Company, also secretary and treasurer of the Old
Settlers' Association of Bond county, and is actively interested in the
real estate and insurance business, in addition to which he makes a spe-
cialty of loaning money.

Mr. Johnston married, in 1900, Georgia N. Ferryman, a daughter of
George and Alice Ferryman, her father being editor of the Greenville
Item. Four children have been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs.
Johnston, namely : William Carl, Floyd Ferryman, Margaret Elizabeth
(who died in childhood), and Alice Leonora.

Mr. Johnston is an active member of the Republican party, and both
he and his wife are members of the Christian church. Fraternally Mr.
Johnston is a member of Greenville Lodge, No. 245, Ancient Free and



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 1143

Accepted Order of Masons ; of Clark Lodge, No. 3, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows; and of Browning Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He is an
enthusiastic lodge worker, and at different times has served as a dele-
gate to the Grand Lodges of his Orders.

WILLIAM H. FORD, M. D. If those who claim that fortune has fa-
vored certain individuals above others will but investigate the cause of
success and failure it will be found that the former is largely due to
the improvement of opportunity, the latter to the neglect of it. For-
tunate environments encompass nearly every man at some stage of his
career, but the strong man and the successful man is he who realizes that
proper moment has come, that the present and not the future holds his
opportunity. The man who makes use of the Now and not the To Be
is the one who passes on the highway of life others who started out
ahead of him, and reaches the goal of prosperity in advance of them.
It is this quality that has made William H. Ford a leader in the busi-
ness world at Herrin, where he has gained distinctive prestige as a
real-estate man and as a booster of the town.

Dr. Ford was born in Jackson county, Illinois, the date of his na-
tivity being the 10th of March, 1878. He is a son of the late Wiley N.
Ford, who passed away in Herrin, May 3, 1909. Jesse Ford, grand-
father of the Doctor, was a native of Pennsylvania, whence he came to
Southern Illinois as a pioneer settler. He located in Jackson county
and for a number of years prior to his demise was a prominent mer-
chant at Carbondale. Jesse Ford was twice married, his first wife hav*
ing been a Miss Greathouse. She died, the mother of Wiley N. and
William, the former the father of Dr. Ford and the latter a farmer in
Williamson county, Illinois. Mr. Ford's second wife was Miss Brandon.
They had no children.

Wiley N. Ford was born near Carbondale, Illinois, in 1853, and as a
youth he attended the district schools of his native place. After reach-
ing years of maturity he was for a time engaged in farming and stock-
raising but later became interested in the real-estate business, the scene
of his operations in that connection being in Williamson county. He
platted and sold the town of Fordville, an incorporated village of some
seven hundred inhabitants, the same covering a tract of two hundred
acres of land. With the passage of time his interests in the vicinity of
Herrin became considerable and he laid off and sold several "out lots"
to the city. He bought and sold property of every description and was
an aid in the organization of the City National Bank of Herrin, being a
member of its board of directors at the time of his death. In politics
he was a Democrat and served his party simply as a counselor. He was
averse to public office for himself, held aloof from all fraternities and
life insurance companies and owned allegiance to no church or creed.
He was married, in Jackson county, Illinois, to Miss Amanda Phemister,
a daughter of Henry and Margaret (Tygett) Phemister. Mrs. Ford
was born in Jackson county, in 1859, and she had three sisters, namely,
Mary, who died as the wife of John Borne ; Ettie, who is the wife of
William Rushing, of Jackson county, Illinois; and Martha, widow of
Albert Presson, of Osage, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Wiley N. Ford be-
came the parents of two children, Dr. William H., of this notice ; and
Roy Ford, a farmer near Herrin, who married Cora Tilson at Val-
paraiso, Indiana, while he was a college student in that place.

In the public schools of Jckson county Dr. William H. Ford re-
ceived his rudimentary educational training and later he supplemented
that, discipline by a course of study in the Southern Illinois Normal Uni-
versity, at Carbondale. As a young man he decided upon medicine as his



1144 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

profession and in 1894 was matriculated as a student in the St. Louis
Medical College, in which he was graduated as a member of the class
of 1898, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Immediately after
leaving college he came to Herrin, where he was engaged in the active
practice of his profession for a number of years. The press of business
matters consequent upon the substantial investment of both his father
and himself made such demands upon his time, however, that he finally
gave up his profession and joined his father in the varied phases of
town building and urban development generally. For the past seven
years he has been interested in the real-estate business. As a young
doctor he became a valued member of the Southern Illinois, the Tri-
State and the American Medical Associations and although now out of
practice he still keeps in touch with matters pertaining to the advance
of medical science and professional doings.

In connection with his real-estate interests at Herrin, Dr. Ford was
originally associated with his father, they having laid off the Ford and
Stotlar additions to this city. He was also interested in the Fordville
enterprise, mentioned above. The Doctor has manifested his faith in
Herrin by erecting a substantial business block here and by putting up
a number of cottages throughout the residence district. It is probable
that through his real-estate dealings he has added more to the city's
development and improvement during the few short years he has been
a resident of this place than any other man in Herrin. He became a
stockholder in the City National Bank at the time of its inception and
is a member of the board of directors of both it and the Herrin State &
Savings Bank. In politics he is a Democrat and his fraternal affiliations
are with the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks.

On January 10, 1900, Dr. Ford married Miss Nora Stotlar, a daugh-
ter of Thomas and Louisa (Cox) Stotlar, pioneers of Williamson
county. Mrs. Stotlar died in 1900, and her husband died March 8,
1912. Dr. and Mrs. Ford have one daughter, Louane, whose birth oc-
curred October 5, 1908.

JOSEPH MARION BROWN. A man of good financial ability and of strict
integrity, Joseph Marion Brown, of Greenville, county treasurer of Bond
county, is filling the responsible position to which he has been chosen to
the eminent satisfaction of all concerned, and enjoys the confidence
and esteem of his fellowmen to a high degree. He was born March 26,
1868, in Bond county, on the same homestead farm that his father, the
late Robert Brown, spent his entire life.

A son of Wilson Brown, Robert Brown was born in 1834, and died
on the home farm, which became his by inheritance, in 1874, while yet
in the prime of a vigorous manhood. He married Mary Ann Moore,
who was born in Bond county, Illinois, where her father, Joseph
Moore located when coming to this state from Tennessee. Of their
union seven children were born, Joseph M. being the fifth child in suc-
cession of birth. The mother is now living in Greenville with her son
Joseph. The father was a sturdy adherent of the Democratic party,
and belonged to the Christian church.

Brought up on the old homestead, Joseph M. Brown received a
practical education in the common schools, and during all of his earlier
life was successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, living and labor-
ing on the old home farm. An active and enthusiastic worker in
political fields, Mr. Brown is a recognized leader in Democratic ranks,
and has never shirked the responsibilities connected with public office.
In 1898 he was the Democratic candidate for sheriff of Bond county,



Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) → online text (page 9 of 98)