Ill.) La Salle Book Company (Chicago.

Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1899) online

. (page 47 of 110)
Online LibraryIll.) La Salle Book Company (ChicagoAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1899) → online text (page 47 of 110)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

speaking that he abandoned the law. In 1871,
he entered upon his official career, being elected
County Commissioner. In 1872, he was pre-
vailed upon to make the race for Congress
against Jasper D. Ward, but was defeated by seven
hundred votes. In 1874, he again accepted the
nomination. He and his opponent, Mr. Ward,
who had defeated him two years previously,
both claimed the election, and on a recount
of votes Mr. Harrison was declared the winner
by a majority of eight. It was while he was in
Congress that, in September, 1876, his wife died.
She passed away in Gera, Germany, where the
elder children were attending school, and was
there interred. While Mr. Harrison was crossing
the ocean to bring his motherless children home,
his Democratic constituents nominated him for
Congress, and a few days after his return he was
re-elected, defeating Col. George R. Davis by six
hundred votes. Later the remains of his wife were
brought back to Chicago and interred at Grace-
land. He refused the re-nomination for Congress
in 1878.

In 1879, by the vote of the people, Mr. Har-
rison was placed in the Mayor's chair, which he
filled for eight years, being three times re-elected.
During his second term, he was again married,
the lady being Miss Margaret Stearns, daughter
ol Marcus C. Stearns, one of the oldest settlers of
Chicago. The ceremony was performed in July,
1882. In 1887, Mr. Harrison was offered a fifth
nomination, but declined. Even after this his
name was put before the convention as a dele-
gate, and he was nominated by acclamation. Mr.
Harrison, who had hitherto been absent, then ap-
peared before the convention, and his coming was
the signal for an ovation. Cheer after cheer rent
the air. When quiet had been restored, he said
that he would only accept on one condition,
namely, that every man in the convention should
by raising his right hand pledge himself to loyally
support his candidacy. Every hand went up,
and again a mighty cheer shook the building.
The local press antagonized his nomination bit-
terly, and friends of 'President Cleveland gave it
out that the administration at Washington de-

sired Mr. Harrison's defeat. Worried by this
opposition in his party and the illness of his wife,
who died a few weeks later, he sent a letter of res-
ignation to the Democratic Committee.

Two months after the death of his wife, Mr.
Harrison started on his journey around the
world, and during his travels the public was
made familiar with his wanderings through his
letters to the Chicago Mail. On his return he
was urged to put these into book form, which
he later did, under the happily selected title, ' 'A
Race with the Sun." His was certainly one of
the most comprehensive journeys ever made in
one circuit of the globe. He visited the north-
western part of our own country, the Pacific
Coast, and sailed from Vancover to Yokohama.
He spent many pleasant hours in Japan; studied
the habits and quaint customs of the Chinese; be-
came intimate with the King of Siam; visited the
various points of interest in India and Ceylon;
sailed the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the
Suez Canal; took a trip up the Nile, and after-
wards studied Greece in the light of its past and
of its present, and drew his conclusions as to its
future. In conclusion he wrote: "Again I look
out of our window; clouds are gathering over the
sky; the curtain of the far West is dyed in purple
and salmon. Through a cloud-rift the round,
low-down sun is bloody red. Nearly five hun-
dred times has he run his course since we started
in our race with him around the world. He has
reached our home and passed it, and we are not
yet quite there. He dips his rim and is gone.
He has won the race. To him and to you good-

Mr. Harrison reached home on the 8th of No-
vember, 1889, and the following year was again
urged to become the candidate for Mayor, but he
refused the honor, and during the two succeed-
ing years lived a quiet, retired life. At the ex-
piration of that period, however, he was again a
nominee for Mayor on an independent ticket.
Nothing else could have so indicated his personal
popularity. There were four candidates in the
field, and Mr. Harrison polled a very large vote,
the three leaders being separated by but three
thousand ballots. Members of the Democracy



greatly opposed his course, but the majority of
the party believed in him, and he became their
candidate for the campaign of 1893. He was
elected by an overwhelming majority to a position
all the more important from the fact that his city,
where the World's Fair was to be held, would
receive distinguished visitors from all lands, and
he would virtually be the country's representa-
tive in welcoming them to the United States. All
summer long as a courteous host he presided,
and each day added to the number of his friends.
Again and again he had presided on different pub-

lic occasions, and on the 28th of October, two days
before the official closing of the Fair, Mayors' Day
was celebrated, a day set apart for the Mayors of
all the cities of the Union. Mr. Harrison, in his
capacity of host, presided, and at the close of the
ceremonies returned to his home. A few hours
later a shot was fired which terminated his life,
and the city, which was making such extensive
preparations to close the Fair with brilliant cere-
monies, went instead into mourning for its Chief


SEORGE FRASER is an influential Scotch-
American citizen, who has made his home
in Chicago for nearly thirty years. Allen
Grange, near the village of Munlochy, in Ross-
shire, Scotland, where he was born, has been the
home of his ancestors for more than a century,
and three generations of the name are now living

His father, Donald Fraser, was a blacksmith
by trade, succeeding his father, John Fraser, in
that occupation. Donald Fraser died at Allen
Grange in 1875, at the age of seventy years. His
wife, whose maiden name was Isabella Young,
still lives there, having attained the venerable
age of more than ninety-one years. She is a na-
tive of the same place, her father having been a
farmer in that locality.

George Fraser was born on the 2d of June,
1840. He attended the parish school at Mun-
lochy, and when he was old enough went to learn
the trade of a baker at Dingwall. He served a
four-years apprenticeship without wages, and
subsequently spent two years in working at his
trade in Edinburgh, and one year in London,
England. In 1866 he resolved to come to Amer-

ica. Upon reaching Brooklyn, New York, he
tarried a few months in that city, but in the fol-
lowing spring continued his journey to Chicago.
Here he immediately found work at his trade, and
in 1868 he opened an establishment of his own on
Division Street, near his present location. In
common with most of his neighbors in that vicin-
ity, three years later he lost everything he pos-
sessed by the Great Fire, and for a few months
thereafter moved to the West Side. For twenty-
three years past he has been in his present loca-
tion, and the constant arrival and departure of
customers attests the popularity which his busi-
ness has attained.

About sixteen years ago Mr. Fraser united
with St. Andrew's Society, an organization in
which nearly all of the best of his countrymen
in Chicago are interested. His active interest in
this association has caused him to become one of
its most popular members, and for six years past
he has officiated as one of its Board of Mana-
gers. He has been a member of the Caledonian
Club for ten years, and, with few exceptions, has
voted the Republican ticket since becoming a cit-
izen of the United States.


In 1867 Mr. Fraser was married to Catharine
Ross, a native of Invergordon, Ross-shire, Scot-
land. She is the daughter of David Ross, a rep-
resentative of one of the oldest Scottish families,
in honor of which their native shire was named.
Mrs. Fraser is a valuable helpmate to and ad-
viser of her husband, and the mother of five chil-
dren, named, respectively, Anna, Isabel, Donald
George, Kate and Margaret.

Born and reared amid the historic and pic-
turesque scenes of the Highlands, Mr. Fraser is a
typical representative of the Gaelic race, a people
noted for their sturdy character and industrious
and frugal habits. Their adherence to principle
has led them to endure much in past centuries,
and they have exerted no small influence upon
the progress and civilization of America.


(JOHN J. RUSSELL, an esteemed pioneer of
I Cook County, now deceased, was born in
(2) Sharon Springs, New York, on the I4th of
August, 1810, and made farming his life work.
Emigrating westward, he reached Chicago on the
I4th of February, 1836, and purchased one hun-
dred and sixty acres of timber-land, including the
site on which Rush Medical College now stands.
About a year and a-half later he sold and removed
to Niles Township, where he lived six months.
He then became a resident of Northfield Town-
ship, purchasing land on section 14, to which he
afterwards added until he had on sections 14, 15
and 22 three hundred and forty acres of rich
land, all in one body, which yielded to him a
good income. Here he devoted the greater part
of his time and attention to agricultural pursuits,
winning success in his undertakings. He mar-
ried Ann Eliza Legg, daughter of Isaac Legg, a
native of Tennessee. The lady was born in Ken-
tucky on the gth of October, 1813, and with
her parents came to Chicago in 1833. Her
death occurred at Wilmette, August 20, 1886.
She was a lady of many admirable qualities,
and she and her husband had been for many years

identified with the Methodist Church. They con-
tributed liberally to its support, and were always
considered among the leading members.

To Mr. and Mrs. Russell were born six chil-
dren, three sons and three daughters: Isaac H.,
who is now proprietor of a paper and paint store
in Chicago; John J., deceased; Edward, whose
sketch will be found elsewhere in this work;
Lizzie, wife of B. F. Kay, who for twenty-
four years has been connected with the postof-
fice of Chicago; Ella, wife of Heny McDaniel, a
policeman of Wilmette; and Lena, who completes
the family. After many years spent in farming,
John J. Russell removed to Wilmette, where his
death occurred April 30, 1889. He always advo-
cated the principles of the Republican party, and
kept well informed on the issues of the day. He
took quite an interest in military affairs and be-
longed to the State militia, in which he held a
Lieutenant's commission from Gov. Ford.
He was for ten years a member of the Board of
Supervisors and for several years County Com-
missioner, a faithful officer in both positions. He
was ever a public-spirited citizen, and the best in-
terests of the community found in him a friend.





HUGH JONES, the President of
\ A / t^ 6 Pl ano Manufacturing Company, one of
V Y the substantial industries of Chicago, is a na-
tive of Wales. He was born in 1845, and is one
of eight children whose pajents were Hugh and
Jennett Jones. The father was a farmer by occu-
pation and was comfortably situated. In 1812,
when eighteen years of age, he crossed the At-
lantic to America, locating near Utica, N. Y.,
where the death of his first wife occurred. He
afterward returned to Wales, where he was again
married, the second wife being the mother of our
subject. They were both members of the Welsh
Calvinistic Church, in which the father served
as Deacon. In 1857 ne again came with his
family to this country, and located in Wiscon-
sin, from where he removed to Iowa in 1873.
His death occurred in Howard County, Iowa, in
1876, at the age of eighty-two years. His wife
survived him for about four years. Her father,
Richard Jones, was an extensive farmer in Wales,
and reached the advanced age of ninety-two years.
The family to which our subject belongs num-
bered six sons and two daughters, but only four
are now living: William H., Hugh H., John H.
and Owen W. The last-named is Secretary of the
Piano Manufacturing Company.

We now take up the personal history of W. H.
Jones, who is truly a self-made man, in the best
sense of the term, for he started out in life empty-
handed and has worked his way upward by un-
tiring labor, making the most of his opportuni-
ties and overcoming the difficulties and obstacles
in his path by a determined effort to succeed. He
continued in his native land until twelve years of
age, and then accompanied his parents to this
country, and with them went to Wisconsin. He
was early inured to hard labor, but thereby he
developed a self-reliance and force of character

which have proven of incalculable benefit to him
in his later years. His youth was spent in work
upon the home farm, and to his father he gave
the benefit of his services until the spring of 1866,
when he had attained his majority. He now turned
his attention to other pursuits, and became agent
for the Dodge Reapers and Champion Mowers in
Berlin, Wis. , selling those machines until 1868,
when he became traveling salesman for the firm
of L. J. Bush & Co., of Milwaukee. Two years
covered his continuance with that company, and
in 1870 he formed a connection with E. H. Gam-
mon for the sale of the Marsh Harvester, which
at that time was the only machine of the class on
the market. Subsequently , the firm became Gam-
mon & Deering, and Mr. Jones continued in their
employ as general traveling salesman and super-
visor of agencies until the partnership was dis-
solved in the fall of 1879, on the retirement of Mr.
Gammon. Mr. Jones, however, continued to
serve in the interests of Mr. Deering until 1881,
when he, in connection with Mr. Gammon, Lewis
Steward, and others who had been previously in-
terested in the Harvester Works in Piano, I1L ,
organized the Piano Manufacturing Company.
He became its President and has since contin-
ued at its head, and owing to the good man-
agement, keen foresight and excellent business
and executive ability of the President, the Pia-
no Manufacturing Company now is one of the
prominent industries of this city. During his
business career, Mr. Jones has kept informed
concerning all inventions along this line, and no
agricultural implement is put on the market
without his knowledge. His early life as a farm-
er made known to him what was needed in farm
work. His later experience made him familiar
with all kinds of farm machinery; hence in plac-
ing upon the market such machinery he would



combine in its construction his knowledge of the
mechanical necessities with that which was re-
quired for the actual work. Many inventors who
know nothing about farm work in itself fail to do
this. The wisdom of his method is shown in the
result, for the Piano machines have met with un-
qualified success and fill a long-felt want in farm
implements. Through the dark hours of the
greatest panic known to commerce (in 1893), the
company built and now occupies a new factory,
which for completeness and detailed perfection is
without an equal, covering twenty-five acres. It
is located on i2oth Street, West Pullman. In
the old factory, although it afforded extensive
facilities, it was unable for several years to satisfy
the popular demand. With improved machinery
and perfect arrangement for manufacturing, it is
now prepared to meet the full demand not only
of its American but rapidly increasing foreign

In 1867, Mr. Jones was united in marriage with
Miss Elizabeth Owens, and unto them have been
born three sons, Hugh W., William O. and Gar-

field R. The parents are faithful members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, contribute liberally
to its support, and take an active interest in its
work. Mr. Jones is now serving as one of its
Trustees. In politics, he advocates Republican
principles, but in voting does not feel himself
bound by party ties. He has never sought official
honors, desiring rather to give his entire time and
attention to his business interests and the enjoy-
ment of the home and the companionship of his
family. In April, 1872, he came to Evanston,
where he has resided almost continuously since,
and among the people of this beautiful suburb
he is held in the highest regard, for he is a man
of upright character and his example is worthy
of emulation. In the fall of 1878 he opened a
wholesale implement house in Minneapolis, which
has since done a large business, and with which he
was connected until 1889. The farm has fur-
nished to this country many of its most prominent
and successful business men, and among these is
W. H. Jones.


(TfHEPHERD JOHNSTON, late Secretary and
Ni Clerk of the Board of Education of Chicago,
QjJ was descended from Scotch ancestry, his pater-
nal grandfather, who was a soldier in the War of
the American Revolution, being an emigrant from
Scotland to New York City some time in the lat-
ter part of the eighteenth century. Mary, the
wife of this ancestor, was born in 1761, and died
June 12, 1838, at the age of seventy-seven. The pa-
ternal grandmother was "Knickerbocker" Dutch.
Shepherd Johnston, the father of the subject
of this sketch, was born in New York City Sep-
tember 28, 1797, and was for many years a well-
known educator in his native place. His wife
was Jane Sherwood, also a native of New York,

born September 28, 1807. Her parents were na-
tives of Connecticut, and were the descendants of
generations of New England ancestors, one of
whom was a minute-man in the Revolution. Her
death occurred on the 27th of December, 1846,
at Big Rock, Illinois. Shepherd and Jane John-
ston had a family of nine children, and eight of
these grew to mature age. The subject of this
biography, who was born on the i8th of Septem-
ber, 1823, laid the foundation of his education in
the private school taught by his father. His pre-
cocity and the thoroughness of his education are
vividly shown by the fact of his entering college
at the almost unparalleled age of thirteen years.
After spending two years at Columbia College,



New York, circumstances necessitated the aban-
donment of the further prosecution of his studies
except as a private and independent student
but in this latter capacity it can be no more truly
said of any other man in the city of Chicago,
that he was throughout his life a devoted, ear-
nest and successful student, consecrating himself
to the acquisition of knowledge for the purpose
of making it most useful to those for whose inter-
ests he spent a lifetime of toil.

In 1839 the elder Johnston, tiring of the con-
straint of New York, came West by way of the
Lakes to Detroit, and thence, in company with his
eldest son, Shepherd, crossed Michigan on po-
nies to Chicago, which they found to be a muddy
city of about four thousand inhabitants. Not
liking Chicago, they pursued their way westward
to Kane County, and there the father bought a
thousand or more acres of land near Big Rock,
to which he removed his family soon after.
There he spent seven years, but, not being adapt-
ed either by education or taste to farm lite, at
the end of that period he returned to New York,
where he died in 1853.

After a residence of five or six years on the
farm, young Johnston tired of the monotony of
rural life and settled in New York City, when
twenty-one years of age, and obtained a position
as teacher in the Institute for the Blind. He filled
this position with that fidelity and ability which
characterized his life work in any capacity in
which he was called upon to act. On the 2-jth of
July, 1849, at Whitlockville, Westchester Coun-
ty, New York, he married Mary Ann Wild, a
native of Sheffield, England, a daughter of James
and Mary Ann Outram (Hobson) Wild. Imme-
diately after his marriage he came to Illinois, and
tried farm life for a few months, but again re-
turned to New York City in 1850. There for a
year he was employed in the ticket office of the
Hudson River Railroad. In 1851 he engaged in
the retail grocery business in New York, in which
he continued for seven years. In the fall of 1859
he again removed to Illinois, locating at Aurora,
and in the following year settled in Chicago,
where he resided until the time of his death. In

February of the same year he began work as
clerk in the office of the Board of Education, and
remained there continuously until his life work
was finished. He saw the public-school system
grow from comparatively insignificant propor-
tions to the wonderful educational power which it
is at the present time. When he began work
in the office of the Board the population of the
city was one hundred and ten thousand, and the
number of teachers was one hundred and twenty-
three. Now the total enrollment of pupils is one
hundred and fifty thousand, and the number of
teachers in the public schools is three thousand
two hundred and twenty-eight, and the amount
required to pay this vast army is two and one-
half millions of dollars.

Mr. Johnston died at his home on the 3rd of
October, 1894, leaving a widow and one daugh-
ter, the latter, Laura Ann, being now the wife
of John M. Stanley, of Chicago. His only son,
Charles Sherwood Johnston, died in 1889, at the
age of thirty-nine.

Not only as a worker in the field of education,
but also as a zealous laborer in the cause of relig-
ion, was Mr. Johnston known. For nearly a
score of years he was a member of the Episcopal
Church, in which he held the office of vestryman.
He also took a deep interest in the affairs of the
Sunday-school, of which he was Superintendent.
He was a devoted student of the Bible, to the
study of which he gave many hours of his crowd-
ed life. As might be expected of a man of his
intelligence, taking the interest he did in public
affairs, a knowledge of and an interest in politics
were not overlooked. He was a member of the
Republican party, whose great underlying princi-
ples he fully understood, endorsed and supported.
But he was far above the petty broils of partisan
strife, and contented himself with working for
those higher principles and ends which interest
the thinker and philosopher.

A fitting summary of the life and works of Mr.
Johnston can be no more aptly expressed than is
done in the following eloquent tribute paid to his
memory by the members of the Board of Educa-
tion, taken from the records of said body:



' 'At a special meeting of the Board of Educa-
tion of Chicago, held October 5, 1894, the follow-
ing memorial was unanimously adopted:

" 'The Board of Education of the City of Chi-
cago learns with the most profound sorrow of the
death of their scholarly, faithful and most tireless
Secretary, Shepherd Johnston, after a continuous
service of thirty-four years of unparalleled devo-
tion to the educational interests of this great me-

" 'He had reached the limit of years allotted to
man. He closed his books at the office, went to
his quiet home, retired to sleep, and awoke no
more to consciousness here. The book of his life
was gently closed, and he was transferred to the
unknown realm which is beyond our mortal sight.

" 'Mr. Johnston possessed those habits of mind
and character which made him eminently fitted
for the responsible duties of the office which he
held so long and filled so efficiently. His early
training and experience as a teacher made him
acquainted with the details of educational work,

and gave him a familiarity with the school sys-
tem of the country, as shown in the financial and
statistical reports which were published annually.
As his labors multiplied, his ability to cope with
them multiplied in like ratio. There was no detail
of his office with which he was not familiar. He
was a well of information, imparting courteously
to all who desired to know aught of the historical
progress of the city for nearly two score of years.
In the varied and perplexing duties of his office,
he won the confidence and esteem of the members
of the Board of Education, the Superintendents,
his associates in the office, the teachers and citizens
of Chicago. The members of the Board of Edu-
cation take this method of expressing their appre-
ciation of his valuable services and their high
regard for his life and character.

' ' 'THEREFORE, Be it resolved, that this memo-
rial be entered upon the records of this Board, and

Online LibraryIll.) La Salle Book Company (ChicagoAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1899) → online text (page 47 of 110)