John Carroll Power.

The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois online

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and German descent, and comes from patriotic stock ; his maternal descent is traced
from the Buchanans, who early emigrated from Scotland to America, and he is a mem-
ber of the same branch of the family with President Buchanan, to whom he was second
cousin. The ancestors of Dr. Antle's father came from Germany, and settled in North
Carolina. Dr. Antle is the son of Michael and Mary Ann (Buchanan) Antle ; they
were married in Kentucky, and lived for a time near Lexington, Ky. ; they emigrated
to Illinois in the fall of 1819, locating for a time near St. Louis. In March, 1820, they
settled on ^a tract of land eight miles southeast of where Jacksonville now is ; here
Francis P. Antle was born, May 1, 1824 ; his early life was spent on his father's farm,
and his early education was obtained during the winter months ; so well were his
advantages improved that, at the age of 18, he began teaching in the same school where
he had been a pupil ; this he followed for a time, then began the study of medicine
with J. D. Freeman, of Springfield ; two years were spent in Springfield, and, in 1856,
he went to Cincinnati and attended medical lectures at the Eclectic Medical Institute ; at
the conclusion of these courses of lectures, he removed to Williamsville, Sangamon Co.,
and established a drug store and engaged in the practice of medicine. In 1859, he
again visited Cincinnati, and took an additional course of lectures, after which he made
Petersburg his home, and has since been actively employed with the duties of his pro-
fession. Dr. Antle married Miss Dorcas Ann Mosteller, of Menard Co., Jan. 28, 1858.
Her parents were early settlers of Sangamon Co. ; they have but two children living
T. Powell and Jonah O. The former is a graduate of the Illinois College of Jacksonville.

H. B. ALBERS, dealer in boots and shoes, Petersburg; is a native of Prussia,
where he was born Oct. 14, 1849. During his early life, he obtained a good business
education and learned the trade of a shoemaker. He ^migrated to this country in
1869, landing in New York City June 26 ; he at once came to Illinois, locating in
Petersburg, and for a time followed his trade; in 1874, he established his present busi-
ness. He is a young man of good business ability and by fair dealing has built up a
flourishing trade, and won the reputation of a much respected citizen. He keeps a fine
assortment and none but the best of goods, making a specialty of custom work. His
is the only exclusively boot and shoe house of Menard Co., his entire attention being
turned toward this branch of business. His wife was Miss Mary Ahrends, of his
native country ; they were married Nov. 5, 1873 ; they have a family of three children.

A. F. BEARD, farmer ; P. 0. Petersburg ; he was born in Sullivan Co., N . H., Aug.
25, 1827, where he was raised and received such school advantages as the place afforded ;
during his early life, he lived a farmer. He married Nyrah, daughter of Hiram Hurd,
a prominent farmer of this county, Nov. 6, 1852, and settled upon a farm, continuing
there until 1862, when he sold out and came to Menard Co., 111., where he has since
resided. They have two sons. He owns 160 acres of fine laud.


J. H. BOWEN, express agent and grocer, Petersburg ; is a native of Brown Co.,
111.; born Sept. 23, 1850; his school advantages were quite limited; he began as a
laborer at the early age of 13, engaging upon a farm, and devoting such time as could be
spared to study ; he gradually obtained a fair business education ; in 1869, he went on
the road as a traveling salesman, continuing this until the fall of 1875, when he
entered the Medical Department of the Michigan University at Ann Arbor, and took one
course, but not wishing to become a practitioner, as his inclinations were more in the
direction of merchandising, he came to Petersburg in 1876, and, for a time, traveled as
a salesman ; he embarked in the grocery business in 1877, and was also appointed agent
for the United States Express Company at Petersburg ; he has built up a fine trade, and
keeps a good assortment of family groceries, provisions, queensware, etc.

ROBERT BISHOP, proprietor of a gun-shop, Petersburg; was born in Ports-
mouth, England, Dec. 29, 1815, and was brought to this country by his parents while
quite young ; they settled in Boston, where Robert was raised and schooled ; his father
was the first to invent and put into use the cylinder for revolvers and guns, and died
before they were put into general use ; Robert, who then was but a youth, had already
shown an inventive mind, and soon became a thorough mechanic ; some ten years of
his early life were spent upon the Atlantic Ocean, as a whaler along the coast of Chili,
Peru and Panama ; after abandoning sea life, he removed to St. Louis and took up his
<rade; he located where he now resides in 1841, at which time the present city of
Petersburg was but a hamlet ; he has witnessed its entire growth, and participated in
such public matters as pertained to the good of the community ; he was a soldier of
the Mexican war ; now, at a ripe old age, he lives to see the prosperity and usefulness
of his children.

S. H. BLANE, attorney, Petersburg; son of George and Mary (Alkire) Blane,
who were early settlers of Menard County ; he was born in this county Jan. 17, 1840,
and raised upon a farm, attending district school, after which he attended the North
Sangamon Academy, where he prepared to study law ; his father was a prominent
farmer of this county, from its organization to his death, which occurred Jan 18, 1864;
his mother survived ten years longer, passing away April 18, 1874; they were highly
respected by all who knew them. The subject of this sketch enlisted in the late war
of the rebellion, with the 106th I. V. I. ; during the siege of Vicksburg, he was pro-
moted to Lieutenant, and then to Captain ; was mustered out after the service of three
years ; after the war, he took up the study of law under Hon. S. S. Knoles, at the
same time superintending his farm ; he also studied with Hon. T. W. McNeely, and
was admitted to the bar in 1874 ; he has since given his time and attention to the prac-
tice of his profession, in which he is fast becoming popular. He married Miss Mary J.
Spear Jan. 4, 1866 a native of this county ; they have a family of four children.

W. J. BREWER, farmer ; P. 0. Petersburg ; was born in this county Sept. 15,
1833; son of John and Jane (Martin) Brewer; his people came from Green Co. Ky. T
in 1826, and settled in the eastern part of Menard Co., where they lived during the
remainder of their lives ; W. J. was raised a farmer, and by industry and energy has
accumulated a good property, now owning 120 acres. He married Miss Nancy A.
Blair Sept. 13, 1858 ; she died April 7, 1871, leaving two children ; Feb. 23, 1874, he
married Mrs. Elizabeth Orr; she died Nov. 28, 1877.

T. C. BENNETT, Circuit Clerk, Petersburg; son of Dr. Richard E. and Maria
(Carter) Bennett; was born in Petersburg, 111., April 18, 1838; he obtained an edu-
cation at the Asbury University of Greencastle, Ind. ; in 1855, he removed to
La Grange, Fayette Co., Texas, where he served as Deputy District Clerk for a number
of years; he returned to Petersburg in 1865, and was soon appointed Deputy Circuit
Clerk, serving until 1872, when he was elected Clerk, and re-elected in 1876. He mar-
ried Miss Martha J. Jenkins, of Mifflin Co., Penn., Nov. 17, 1868; they are the par-
ents of four children, three of whom are living.

HON. N. W. BRANSON, attorney, Petersburg ; one of the most prominent
of the Menard Co. bar; was born at Jacksonville May 20, 1837 ; his parents were
natives of* Kentucky ; his boyhood and youth were distinguished by the same energy


and attention to study that have marked his subsequent life and contributed so much to-
Iiis success ; after a preparatory course of study, he entered Illinois College, where he
graduated in 1857, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts ; his taste led him to-
chouse the legal profession, and at the conclusion of his college course he began the
r-tudy of law in the office of David A. Smith, of Jacksonville ; he was admitted to the
bar in January, 1860, and began the practice of his profession at Petersburg the same
year ; here his knowledge of the law, his ready adaptation to business and his habits of
close application rapidly gained for him a high professional standing at the bar and
wide influence in the community ; in 1867, he was appointed by Chief Justice Chase
Register in Bankruptcy for the Ninth Congressional District of Illinois, which position
he held for a number of years. In his political convictions, Mr. Branson has always
been identified with the Republican party, and ever since its organization he has been
an enthusiastic supporter of its principles; in 1872, he received the Republican nomi-
nation for Representative in the Legislature, and was elected to that office; upon taking
his seat, he became an active member of the body, and served two sessions as Chairman
of the Committee on State Institutions, contributing much by his energy to the fur-
therance of action on subjects which came under the attention of his committee, as well
as to tha general course of legislative proceedings ; his course in the Legislature gave
him increased popularity, and he was again elected in 1874; in 1876, he was a dele-
gate to the National Republican Convention at Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Branson waa
married Feb. 21, 1861, to Fanny D., daughter of Dr. Francis and Ann S. (Goldsmith)
Regnier, of Petersburg. As a lawyer of ability and integrity, a citizen of u-efulness
and honor, all classes of the community unite in giving him their confidence.

JACOB F. BERGEN, farmer; P. 0. Petersburg ; son of George and Emily A.
( Wyatt) Bergen, who came from Woodford Co., Ky., with their parents, who emi-
grated from Morris Co., N. J., to Woodford Co., Ky., in 1818; thence to Illinois in
1824, locating in Morgan Co., where they spent their last days; his father, George S.
Bergen, was born in New Jersey July 6, 1809 ; he went, with his parents, to Morgan
Co., 111., where he married Miss Emily A. Wyatt, Feb. 11, 1829 ; she died at Peters-
burg Feb. 4, 1870, leaving a family of seven sons and one daughter. George S. Ber-
gen now resides with his son, Jacob F., at the ripe old age of 70 ; during his life, he
has accumulated a good property, which he has distributed among his children. Jacob
F., the subject of this sketch, was born in Morgan Co., 111., April 23, 1845, and, in
1850, was brought to this county, where he has since lived, a well-to-do and highly
respected citizen ; during his early life, he obtained a good business education, attending
the Commercial College at Springfield; he began doing business for himself in 1866;
he now owns 144 acres of the old homestead farm. He married Hannah E. Sireet, of
Baltimore, Md., Oct. 1, 1873 ; they have one child, a promising son Guy F.

J. A. BRAHM, banker and merchant, Petersburg; was born in Gallatin Co.,
111., Feb. 9, 1828, and was brought to Menard Co., 111., in 1830, his people settling
north of Petersburg, where they lived prominent citizens ; his father died in 1852, and
his mother in 18tl2 ; his father was a native of Germany, and his mother of Virginia ;
his early life was spent on the homestead, receiving such educational advantages as the
new country afforded; in 1848-49, he attended McKendree College, at Lebanon, 111. ;
here he acquired a good business education, which, with energy and perseverance, has
assisted him to his present position, that of a highly respected citizen ; his principal
business has been merchandising, and his success as a merchant is well known
throughout this part of Illinois, and to-day he is one of the solid men of Menard
County. Mr. Brahm has been closely identified with business enterprises in the county,
and his energy and capital have done much toward building up Petersburg ; in evidence
of this, we would mention the commodious dry-goods house of Brahm, Lanning &
Wright, which is, beyond a doubt, the largest and best stocked retail dry-goods house
of the State outside of Chicago ; he is giving his personal attention to the business of
banking, under the firm name of Brahm & Greene; in connection with W. G. Greene,
he established this, the first banking-house in Menard Co., in 1866, and it has the rep-
utation of being one of the most substantial banks of Central Illinois. His wife \va.s


Eliza B., daughter of Philip and Anna Rainey, of Boydton, Va. ; they were married
March 10, 1857 ; they have a family of three daughters and two sons; their residence
is a beautiful one, and located upon a rise of ground, presenting a most picturesque

HON. JOHN BENNETT, retired, Petersburg ; son of Richard E. and Ann
(Carter) Bennett; they were of Scotch-Irish origin ; he was born in Halifax Co., Va.,
Dec. 21, 1805. He passed his boyhood and early manhood at the old homestead in
Virginia, receiving such an education as the common schools of that period afforded.
At the age of 14, he entered his father's store as clerk, in which capacity he continued
till the death of his father in 1828. After settling up the estate, he continued in
business on his own account until 1835, when he removed to Sangamon Co., 111., set-
tling near Rochester. He remained there until 1836, when he came to Petersburg
and opened a dry -goods store in the then small village. Here Mr. Bennett continued
very successfully in merchandise till 1858, when, having amassed a handsome property,
he resigned the cares of active life to enjoy in his beautiful home (which is one of the
most finely located residences in Petersburg) that peace and quiet which his early life
of activity had well earned. During the winter of 1840-41, he represented Menard
Co. in the State Legislature. He was one of the original Directors of the Tonica &
Petersburg R. R., a part of what is now the Jacksonville Division of the C. & A. R.
R. ; this position he held for four years. In Freemasonry, Mr. Bennett is prominently
known in the State, and he has been conspicuous for his devotion to the Order and his
zealous practice of its tenets. For upward of forty years he has been intimately con-
nected with the interests of Menard Co., in both private and public life, and now. at
the ripe age of 74, he enjoys the result of a well-spent life. He has twice married ;
first to Miss Mary A. Boyd, Dec. 1, 1829; she died May 12, 1849, leaving four
children. Mr. Bennett married his present wife Sept. 10, 1850 ; she was Miss Mary
J. Cabaniss. They are well known and highly respected.

F. V. BALE, miller, Petersburg; son of Abraham and Mary (Lewis) Bale; was
born in Green Co., Ky., Jan. 1, 1833. His parents came from Green Co., Ky., in
1839, locating in Salem, and in 1840 his father bought a farm, which they operated
iintil 1852, when they bought the old mill site at Salem and began to repair the mill ;
but in 1853, his father died, after which he, with two brothers, finished repairing it and
putting it into operation. In 1873, F. V. became sole proprietor and has since operated
it. The historical facts connected with this mill will be further alluded to in the his-
tory of Menard Co. The subject of this sketch was married to Miss Elizabeth J.
Leving, of Logan Co., 111., Oct. 9, 1859 ; she was born in Virginia. They have had
children, but two of whom are now living.

D. M. BONE, furniture dealer, Petersburg ; son of Robert S. and Nancy (McCoy)
Bone, who were among the early settlers of Menard Co.; and of Scotch-Irish origin.
He was born in this county April 18, 1846, and raised upon a farm, and his early
education was obtained at district schools, after which he attended the Cherry Grove
Seminary, of Knox Co., 111., two years; he then entered the Hopkins Grammar School,
of New Haven, Conn. In 1866, he entered Yale College, graduating in 1870, after
which he returned to Menard Co. and for a time superintended his father's farm. The
following year, he was appointed Principal of the Petersburg Seminary, continuing in
this capacity one year ; then for a time followed stock dealing. In 1 874, he embarked
in the drug business in s company with T. Fisher. In 1875, he established his present
business and to-day is doing the leading business in his line. He is a young man of
fine business as well as mental powers and fast becoming a prominent business man of
Menard Co. He married Mary P., daughter of Dr. Aleck Rainey, April 16, 1874;
they have two children.

HARDEN BALE, woolen manufacturer, Petersburg ; son of Rev. Jacob and
Elizabeth Bale, who were among the first white settlers of Menard Co. They located
near where the town of Petersburg now stands, in 1830, and did much for the develop-
ment of the country. "In 1833, he bought a small grist-mill, which he operated; here
the son learned the business, and built a large mill, also a carding-mill, and when tl


country settled and the demand for flour and the working of wool was such as to justify
it, he built a large woolen and flouring mill, of two sets of buhrs and twelve looms ;
here he did an extensive and flourishing business until 1865, when it was destroyed by
fire. He rebuilt it, and is now operating a woolen-mill of the capacity of a two-set
mill. He is public-spirited and benevolent, and enjoys the reputation of a highly-
resoected citizen. He was born in Green Co., Ky., Oct. 2, 1816 ; he came with his
parents to this county in 1830, and well remembers when this was a wild and desolate
country, inhabited by roving bands of Indians, with now and then an adventurous pio-
neer. The school advantages were limited, but, by home study and business experi-
ence, he has obtained a good business education. He has twice married first to Miss
Esther Summers, Sept. 18, 1839; she died Feb. 7, 1872, leaving a family of ten chil-
dren ; Feb. 20, 1879, he married Mrs. Sarah E. Shuman, of Louisville, Ky.

CAIN & PARKS, editors of the Observer, Petersburg. The Petersburg Observer
was established at Tallula, Menard Co., 111., by George W. Cain, one of its present
proprietors, in August, 1876, and was there edited and published until May, of 1878,
when it was removed to Petersburg, and W. R. Parks became a partner ; the new firm
then bought the Menard County Times, a Republican paper, and abandoned its publi-
cation, re-establishing the Observer; and, on May 18, 1878, the first number of the
Observer was issued at Petersburg. The Observer is a four-page, eight-column paper,
embracing the current news of the day, and largely devoted to the county and local
affairs ; politically it is, and always has been, uncompromisingly Greenback, advocating
in a fair, honest and vigorous manner the principles of the Greenback party, and is the
acknowledged organ of that party in Menard and surrounding counties. Cain & Parks
are stirring business men, with firm political and business views.

J. W. COOK, physician, Petersburg; son of Romulus B. and Elizabeth (Backus)
Cook ; was born in the city of Hamilton, Canada, Oct. 3, 1843, where he was raised
and educated ; he attended the Normal University, where he prepared for a medical
course, which he took at the Victoria Medical University of Toronto, graduating in
1866. He located in Chicago in 1867, and began the practice of his chosen profession ;
he continued there until after the fire of 1871 ; then removed to Braidwood, 111., where
he practiced medicine until he came to Petersburg, in 1878, where he is fast becoming
a skilled and popular physician.

PROF. M. C. CONNELLY, Principal of the Petersburg Public Schools, Peters-
burg; was born in the city of New Orleans May 9, 1846, where he lived until 1854,
at which time his parents died wich the yellow fever, and he was taken by relatives to
Sangamon Co., 111., where he was raised and schooled, attending Auburn High School,
from which he graduated in 1865. During the late war, he enlisted with the 114th I.
V. I., and participated in many of the most severe battles of the Western army, serving
three years, and escaped without injury. After the war, he studied law under Hon. J.
W. Patton, of Springfield, and was admitted to the bar in 1870, and began the practice
of his profession in Springfield, continuing one year; in 1871, he removed to Peters-
burg, and shortly after was appointed Principal of the public schools of Petersburg,
serving in that capacity five consecutive years; he then resigned, and, in 1878, was
again appointed, and re-appointed in 1879. He is largely a self-made man, well adapted
to managing the affairs of a public school. He married Miss Emma Stoker, of Spring-
field, 111., July 29, 1874; she was born in Springfield July 4, 1855 ; they have one
<:hild Louis S.

A. N. CURRY, Postmaster, Petersburg ; son of Henry P. and Nancy B. (Minor)
Curry; was born in Menard Co., 111., July 14, 1845, where he was raised and received
a good common-school education. During the late war, he enlisted with the 71st I. V.
I. (three months service), and served to the expiration of the enlisted term ; in
1865, he re-enlisted with the 106th I. V. I., and served to the close of the war. He
entered Chicago University in 1870, attending some two years, when his health became
so impaired that he was compelled to abandon his studies ; he then returned to Peters-
burg, and was appointed Postmaster to fill a vacancy, and directly appointed in 1873,
and re-appointed in 1877. He is a gool business man and much respected, and



considered the right man in the right place. He has twice been married ; first to Miss
Rosette Sampson March 21, 1867, who died June 6, 1868, leaving one child (deceased) - t
June 5, 1873, he was married to Miss Mary A. Sampson ; they have one child Alice.

REV. H. P. CURRY, minister and farmer, and one of the religious workers and
well-to-do citizens of Menard Co. ; P. 0. Petersburg; he was born in Green Co., Ky.,
Sept. 18, 1824, and is the son of George and Mary (Wilcox) Curry; his parents emi-
grated from Kentucky in 1827, settling near where he now lives; his father had made
farming his principal business through life; he died Sept. 5, 1876; he had acquired a
good property, and raised a family of eleven children ; his mother still survives at the
age of 78 years. Henry P. has been actively engaged in the work of the ministry for
thirty-nine years ; he began at the early age of 17 ; now preaches for four churches ; also
superintends his farm of 200 acres. He married Miss Nancy B., daughter of John and
Martha Minor, of Boone Co., Mo. ; they were joined in marriage Sept. 17, 1844, and have
a family of seven children. Rev. Mr. Curry is one of the oldest Baptist ministers of
Central Illinois, well known and respected.

W. S. CON ANT, furniture dealer, Petersburg ; born in Suitsburg, Mass., Feb.
27,1825; son of Sullivan and Lydia Hemingway Conant, the Hemingway family
being one of the most prominent families in that portion of the State ; he came to this
State in the winter of 1831, his father, who was a cabinet-maker, locating in
Springfield, and in this branch of manufacture the son was trained ; in the spring of
1849, he came to this town and set up business, at which he has continued to this date.
Was married in Springfield, in May, 1847, to Mary E. Sikes, born in Massachusetts;
she died Feb. 14, 1864, leaving two children James and Kittie ; since married E. A.
Kincaid ; had two children, both deceased. Mr. Conant is the proprietor and owner of
the noted Rose Hill Cemetery, one of the most beautiful burial places in Central Illi-
nois, which he has spent a deal of money and time in the arrangement and decoration
of, and has made it the pride and glory of his life ; the cemetery is situated on the east
side of the classic Sangamon, one mile from the public square, directly opposite the city
of Petersburg. Its location is such as to render it impossible ever to be encroached
upon by the growth of the town ; situated as it is, on a commanding eminence, the
grounds gently undulating, and from its retired yet accessible location, possesses that
rural retirement where, covered with green sward, shaded with evergreens and groves
of beautiful trees, checkered with avenues, aisles and walks, all showing signs of untir-
ing and marked attention, where the flowers bloom and the wild birds sing, mingling
their sweet melody with the music of the fountain, while, scattered throughout the
entire grounds are slabs and shafts monumental, beneath which rest the forms that have

Online LibraryJohn Carroll PowerThe History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois → online text (page 78 of 110)