John Morley.

Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) online

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' E BELIEVE the time has arrived
when it becomes the duty of the
people of this county to perpetuate
the names of their pioneers, to fur-
nish a record of their early settle-
ment, and relate the story of their progress.
The civilization of our day, the enlightenment of
the age, and the duty that men of the present
time owe to their ancestors, to themselves and to
their posterity, demand that a record of their lives
and deeds should be made. In biographical history
is found a power to instruct man by precedent, to
enliven the mental faculties, and to waft down
^jj the river of time a safe vessel, in which the names
and actions of the people who contributed to
raise this country from its primitive state may be
preserved. Surely and rapidly the great and
aged men, who in their prime entered the wilder-
ness and claimed the virgin soil as their heritage,
are passing to their graves. The number remain-
ing who can relate the incidents of the first days
of settlement is becoming small indeed, so that
actual necessity exists for the collection and pres-
ervation of events without delay, before all the
early settlers are cut down by the scythe of Time.
To be forgotten has been the great dread of
mankind from remotest ages. All will be forgot-
ten soon enough, in spite of their best works and
the most earnest efforts of their friends to preserve
"1 the memory of their lives. The means employed
to prevent oblivion and to perpetuate their mem-
"** ory have been in proportion to the amount of intel-
ligence they possessed. The pyramids of Egypt
wo were built to perpetuate the names and deeds of
its great rulers. The exhumations made by
the archaeologists of Egypt from buried Memphis
^ indicate a desire of those people to perpetuate the
memory of their achievements. The erection of
the great obelisks was for the same purpose.
Coming down to a later period, we find the Greeks
and Romans erecting mausoleums and monu-


ments, and carving out statues to chronicle their
great achievements and carry them down^ the
ages. It is also evident that the Mound-builders,
in piling up their great mounds of earth, had but
this idea to leave something to show that they
had lived. All these works, though many of
them costly in the extreme, give but a faint idea
of the lives and characters of those whose memory
they were intended to perpetuate, and scarcely
anything of the masses of the people that then
lived. The great pyramids and some of the
obelisks remain objects only of curiosity; the
mausoleums, monuments and statues are crumb-
ling into dust.

It was left to modern ages to establish an intel-
ligent, undecaying, immutable method of perpet-
uating a full history immutable, in that it is al-
most unlimited in extent and perpetual in its ac-
tion; and this is through the art of printing.

To the present generation, however, we are in-
debted for the introduction of the admirable sys-
tem of local biography. By this system every
man, though he has not achieved what the world
calls greatness, has the means to perpetuate his
life, his history, through the coming ages, for the
benefit of his posterity.

The scythe of Time cuts down all; nothing of
the physical man is left. The monument which
his children or friends may erect to his memory
in the cemetery will crumble into dust and pass
away; but his life, his achievements, the work he
has accomplished, which otherwise would be for-
gotten, is perpetuated by a record of this kind.

To preserve the lineaments of our companions
we engrave their portraits; for the same reason
we collect the attainable facts of their history.
Nor do we think it necessary, as we speak only
truth of them, to wait until they are dead, or un-
til those who knew them are gone; and we need be
ashamed only of publishing the history of those
whose lives are unworthy of public record.

1 I 2604


The greatest of English historians, MACAU-
LAY, and one of the most brilliant writers of the
present century, has said: "The history of a
country is best told in a record of the lives of
its people." In conformity with this idea, the
this county has been prepared. Instead of going
to musty records, and taking therefrom dry sta-
tistical matter that can be appreciated by but few,
our corps of writers have gone to the people, the
men and women who have, by their enterprise
and industry, brought the county to a rank sec-
ond to none among those comprising this great
and noble State, and from their lips have ob-
tained the story of their life struggles. No more
interesting or instructive matter could be pre-
sented to an intelligent public. In this volume
will be found a record of many whose lives are
worthy the imitation of coming generations. It
tells how some, commencing life in poverty, by
industry and economy have accumulated wealth.
It tells how others, with limited advantages for
securing an education, have become learned
men and women, with an influence extending
throughout the length and breadth of the
land. It tells of men who have risen from the
lower walks of life to eminence as statesmen, and
whose names have become famous. It tells of
those in every walk in life who have striven to suc-
ceed, and records how success has usually crowned
their efforts. It tells also of many, very many,
who, not seeking the applause of the world, have
pursued "the even tenor of their way," content
to have it said of them, as Christ said of the
woman performing a deed of mercy "They have
done what they could." It tells how that many

in the pride and strength of young manhood left
the plow and the anvil, the lawyer's office and
the counting-room, left every trade and pro-
fession, and at their country's call went forth
valiantly "to do or die," and how through their
efforts the Union was restored and peace once
more reigned in the land. In the life of every
man and of every woman is a lesson that should
not be lost to those who follow after.

Coming generations will appreciate this vol-
ume and preserve it as a sacred treasure, from
the fact that it contains so much that would never
find its way into public records, and which would
otherwise be inaccessible. Great care has been
taken in the compilation of the work, and every
opportunity possible given to those represented to
insure correctness in what has been written; and
the publishers flatter themselves that they give
to their readers a work with few errors of conse-
quence. In addition to the biographical sketches,
portraits of a number of representative citizens
are given.

The faces of some, and biographical sketches
of many, will be missed in this volume. For this
the publishers are not to blame. Not having a
proper conception of the work, some refused to
give the information necessary to compile a sketch,
while others were indifferent. Occasionally some
member of the family would oppose the enter-
prise, and on account of such opposition the
support of the interested one would be withheld.
In a few instances men could never be found,
though repeated calls were made at their resi-
dences or places of business.



The preparation of this volume has involved the labor of several years. Since the pages
were stereotyped, time has wrought many changes.

Several of the subjects of biographies have passed away. Among these are :


A. G. BURLEY, . . 227


I. N. CAMP . 346

E. H. CASTLE, 544

J. D. CATON, . 115



C. M. HENDERSON, . 391



T. E. LEWIS 297


JAMES MCMAHON, ......... 181




K. G. SCHMIDT, 535

WILLIAM B. SNOW . . . ' . 540





(JOHN WENTWORTH. Probably no man
I was held in more affectionate remembrance
(2/ by the early settlers of northern Illinois than
he whose name heads this article. Nor could an
individual be chosen who could more fittingly be
called a type of American growth and greatness.
Towering to a height of six feet six inches and
being in his younger days rather slender, he ac-
quired the name of " Long John," by which he
was still familiarly known after he had gained a
more portly figure and a most imposing presence.
The ffamptonia, published at New Hampton
Academy, thus epitomizes his public life :

"Mr Wentworth, all through his editorial and
official life, has shown himself not only a man
of decided convictions, but has proved on many
notable occasions that he had, under the most
adverse circumstances, the courage to follow
them. He has ever looked upon parties as only
necessary organizations for the accomplishment
of desirable ends, and he has no party attachments
beyond his assurance of right, always having
principles that he wished sustained by the legis-
lation of his country, and always seeking po-
litical organization that would promote this object.
Mr. Wentworth has been remarkable, as a writer
and speaker, for conveying his ideas in the fewest
possible words, and for his success in command-
ing the closest attention of promiscuous audi-
ences; also for his habits of untiring industry,

and for keeping such control of his private busi-
ness that he was ever independent of political

The Domesday Book of 1066 shows that Regi-
nald Wentworth then called Rynold de Wynter-
wade the ancestor of the Wentworth family in
America, was proprietor of the fief of Wentworth
in the Wapentake of Strafford, West Riding of
Yorkshire. The subject of this sketch is a grand-
son of John Wentworth, junior, who was a mem-
ber of the Continental Congress from New
Hampshire, and signed the Articles of Confedera-
tion. He was also a grandson of Col. Amos
Coggswell, who joined the Continental Army
under the historic elm at Cambridge, fought with
his six brothers through the Revolution, and aided
in forming the Society of Cincinnati at its close.

John Wentworth, of whom this sketch is
written, was born in the White Mountain region
of New Hampshire, sometimes called the "Swit-
zerland of America," at Sandwich, Strafford
County, the date of his birth being March 15,
1815. His parents were Honorable Paul and
Lydia (Coggswell) Wentworth. He attended
various public and private schools and academies
during his youth, where he was ever ready with
new and original work. In 1830, while attending
New Hampton Academy, he was influential in
organizing a literary society for the benefit of the
younger students, in which he developed the


basis of that forensic talent for which he was after-
wards noted. As early as 1832 he wrote articles
for the Democratic press, in defense of President
Jackson's financial policy, which attracted favor-
able attention. In that year he entered Dart-
mouth College and was graduated in 1836, hav-
ing paid a portion of his way by teaching. He
cast his first vote for Isaac Hill, the Democratic
candidate for governor in New Hampshire,
and the same year, with good recommendations
and $100 in his pocket, he left home with
the idea of settling somewhere in the West.
After a varied journey, made partly by stage,
partly by cars and partly by canal and steani-
boa'ts, he arrived in Chicago October 25, 1836.
He soon made arrangements to continue his study
of law with Henry Moore, a pioneer lawyer of
the city, but on November 23 was induced to
take editorial charge of the Chicago Democrat.
His influence was so strong in this stern advocate
of the people that both citizens and owners urged
him to secure permanent charge, to which he
soon consented and within three years had paid
the purchase price of $2800. During these first
years he was active in city affairs and held vari-
ous offices, writing on many political subjects,
besides makinghis paper apolitical power through-
out the Northwest.

In spite of these demands upon his time he con-
tinued his law studies and in 1841 attended lec-
tures at Harvard College. He returned in time
to take part in the campaign of 1842 and was
soon admitted to the bar. The election which
should have been held in, 1842 was not held until
August of the next year, when Mr. Wentworth
was elected to Congress from the Fourth Dis-
trict by a large majority. Although but three
years above the legal age and without experience
in legislative bodies, he attended to his duties
as successfully as an old parliamentarian and was
re-elected in 1844, 1846 and 1848. He declined
the office in 1850, but was again elected in 1852,
from the Second District. The Democratic Re-
view said of his congressional career: ' ' Colonel
Wentworth's political career has been marked by
untiring industry and perseverance, by inde-
pendence of thought, expression and action, by a

thorough knowledge of human nature, by a moral
courage equal to any crisis, by a self-possession
that enables him to avail himself of any chance of
success, when on the very threshold of defeat,
and by a steady devotion to what he believes to
be the wishes and interests of those whose repre-
sentative he is. ' '

In 1857 Mr. Wentworth was elected mayor oi
Chicago by a large majority, and during his term
and another which he served in 1860, he adhered
to his old watch ward of "Liberty and Economy."
In each case he found the city in debt and went
out of office with money in the treasury. Dur-
ing his first term the first steam fire engine was
bought for the city and named "I,ong John," in
his honor. In 1860 he had the honor of enter-
taining the Prince of Wales, and was assured
that in no city were the arrangements more per-
fect. In 1 86 1 he was a delegate to the conven-
tion to revise the state constitution, and in the
same year was chosen a member of the board of
education. He was ever a friend of education
and used his influence to defend the school funds
and school system from various attacks.

Concerning Mr. Wentworth's action on the
slavery question, the famous abolitionist, Zebina
Eastman, wrote: "In politics Colonel Wentworth
has ever acted with the old-line Democratic
party; but when the old parties became split up,
he went with such other Democrats as Hamlin,
Wilmot, King, Trumbull, Fremont, Blair and
others, into what is known as the Republican
movement. To the success of this movement
Colonel Wentworth has, by public speeches, by
writing in his newspaper, and by efforts in every
other way, bent all his energies. And if there is
any truth in the old adage that the tree which
bears the best fruit is always known by its re-
ceiving the greatest number of clubs, Colonel
Wentworth is singled out as one of the most
effective laborers in the ranks of the opposition
to slavery extension."

After leaving Congress Mr. Weutworth passed
many happy hours on his extensive stock farm at
Summit, Cook County, though he was often
called upon by his fellow-citizens to fill some
public office. He was an able writer on histori-


cal and genealogical subjects and a valued mem-
ber of the Chicago Historical Society. One of his
important contributions in this line is the Went-
worth Genealogy, in three volumes. He joined
the Masons and Odd Fellows soon after coming
to Chicago and was a member of the Calumet
Club. He died October 16, 1888.
On November 13, 1844, Mr. Wentworth was

married to Roxanna Marie, only daughter of
Riley and Roxanna (Atwater) Looruis, of Troy,
New York. Five children were born of this
marriage, but only one, Roxanna Atwater,
reached maturity. She became the wife of Clar-
ence Bowen January 27, 1892. Mrs. Wentworth
passed away after many years of delicate health,
February 5, 1870.


IV I half a century has Mrs. Simon, now in her
\(\ sixtieth year, been a resident of Chicago.
Coming here a little maiden of ten years, in com-
pany with her parents, she has been an eye wit-
ness of the man}' wonderful changes and surpris-
ing developments which have marked each decade
of the city's history since 1848.

Mrs. Simon's life history is interesting. Her
parents were natives of Rhenish Prussia, where
she was born, August 29, 1838, and immigrated
to America in 1842. Her father was Frederick
Kurth, and her mother's maiden name was Mar-
garet Engel. She was their first child, and their
only one when they settled in St. Louis, Mis-
souri, in 1842. Her father invested his money
in a saloon and boarding house, which he con-
ducted with varying success six years. Three
other children were born to him there, but all
died in infancy or early childhood. Mr. Kurth
became dissatisfied with his surroundings, and
June 26, 1848, he transferred himself and his be-
longings to Chicago. Two other children were
born here, Julia and Frederick, the former, becom-
ing the wife of Herman Fretchie. Mrs. Fretchie
resides at No. 5630 South Paulina Street.

On reaching Chicago Mr. Kurth again em-
barked in the hotel business. For a few years
he conducted the old "Rio Grande," onLaSalle

Street. Within a short time he began to invest
in suburban property, notably at Riverside, and
for a little while he made his home at East
Lyons. Country life, however, presented few at-
tractions to him, and he soon returned to Chi-
cago, once more opening a boarding house.

He was always earnestly and intensely loyal,
and in 1862 he enlisted in the Union volunteer
army, receiving a commission as captain of Com-
pany F, Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteers. At
Pittsburgh Landing he was captured, and for
eight months was a prisoner within the Con-
federate lines. The rigors of his confinement,
added to previous exposure in the field, under-
mined his health, and shortly after the surrender
of Vicksburg he was honorably discharged on
the score of physical disability. He died at Chi-
cago, August 27, 1880, and Mrs. Simon's mother
followed him to the grave April 19, 1883. Both
now sleep at Graceland.

Mrs. Simon's early training at school was
rather desultory and imperfect, and was mainly
acquired before coming to Chicago. At the age
of eighteen years (November 28, 1855), she mar-
ried Louis Pfeif, a young draughtsman of excel-
lent promise. At the outbreak of the Civil War
her husband, like her father, was fired with
patriotism, and Mr. Pfeif responded to the first
call for ninety-day volunteers. Not long after



his term had expired he re-enlisted for the war
and February 3, 1862, was commissioned as sec-
ond lieutenant in his father-in-law's company,
which he assisted in recruiting. He was killed
at Shiloh two months later, and his widow
brought his body home for interment.

Through her marriage to Lieutenant Pfeif she
became the mother of four children, only two of
whom are yet living, Louise, Mrs. Henry
Jaernecke, of Chicago, and Wilhelmina, Mrs.
E. C. Suter, of Ireton, Iowa.

Three years after the death of her first hus-
band, she married Joseph Simon, the date of their
nuptials being December 4, 1865. Mr. Simon
was born in Alsace-Lorraine, but settled at Chi-
cago in 1855. His trade was that of a baker.
He, too, was a soldier in the Union army during
the war, serving gallantly as a private in Com-

pany G, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry Vol-
unteers for three years. After being mustered
out (August 6, 1864), he enlisted in the naval
'arm of the service, and served therein until Au-
gust 26, 1865, when he was honorably discharged
and returned to Chicago. His death occurred
November 25, 1889.

The issue of Mrs. Simon's second marriage
was two sons and one daughter, Fred, Julius and
Josephine. The last-named is the wife of Fred-
erick Weickart, a brass finisher, residing in Chi-

Notwithstanding the sixty years of an honor-
able and useful life which have passed over her
head, Mrs. Simon is still hale of body and keen
in intellect. Her faculties are unimpaired, and
her recollection of early and prominent events in
the city is vivid.


EHARLES N. CODE is foreman in the re-
pair shop of the passanger ca department
of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway
Company. He is a native of the County of Kent,
England, where he was born about November
18, 1840, and is the son of James and Ann Code,
both of whom spent their lives in England.
Their family consisted of three sons and one
daughter, two of whom became residents of the
United States, Charles N., of this sketch, and
William, an engineer in the employ of the Chi-
cago & Northwestern Railway Company, resid-
ing in Chicago.

Charles N. Code was educated in a private
school in England, and later learned the trade of
carpenter and joiner, partly with his father, who
died when Charles was sixteen years old, and
partly with others after the death of that worth}'.

About January 20, 1872, he sailed from Liver-
pool in the steamship "City of London," and ar-
rived in New York February 10, following. He
came direct to Chicago and at once began work-
ing at his trade as a journeyman, and continued
in that occupation for several years. In 1874 he
entered the employ of the old Chicago & Pacific
Railway Company in their car shops then located
on Goose Island, where he had charge of the
shops. He remained in the employ of that com-
pany until it became the Chicago, Milwaukee
& St. Paul Railway Company, after which he
worked for the last named company for one year,
as inspector of the construction of cars, in St.
Louis, Missouri, and Cambridge City, Indiana.

In 1881 he became foreman of the freight de-
partment of repairs of the Chicago & Northwest-
ern Railway. Six months later he was trans-



ferred to the coach department, shop No. 4,
from which time, until the present, he has had
general supervision of the repairing in that de-

December 25, 1875, he married Mary Penny, a
native of Northamptonshire, England. They
have six children, namely: James Oscar, Annie,
Harry, Fred, Lily and Isabelle. The religious
faith of this family is Episcopalian.

Mr. Code is in no sense a politician, but keeps
himself informed upon the politics of the day and
current topics of the times. In local politics he

acts independently, giving his support to the
candidate who he thinks will best serve the peo-
ple, while in national politics he votes for the Re-
publican party. He belongs to one fraternal
organization, the Independent Order of Foresters.
Mr. Code's life has been progressive, always
advancing and never retrograding. He has ever
used his best efforts to make himself deserving of
higher positions and more substantial rewards,
and in doing so he has served his employers prof-
itably and with fidelity, as is shown by his life



b tired merchant and an old and highly re-
spected citizen, has been a resident of Chi-
cago for fifty years. He has been a witness of
many marvelous changes during this half century
of an active, useful life, and throughout the en-
tire period has borne his full share of the duties
and responsibilities which devolve upon a public,
spirited citizen.

He was born in Stockendreber, Hanover, Ger-
many, April 15, 1822. His parents were Henry
and Mary (Magers) Boesenberg, and his father
was a man of prominence and substance, owning
and operating a flouring mill. As a boy he at-
tended the parochial school until he received con-
firmation in the Lutheran Church, and, at the
age of sixteen years he began to learn the trade
of a cabinet maker. As opportunity afforded, he
helped his father at the mill, thus acquiring a
good knowledge of the milling business, as well.
In January, 1848, having resolved to seek a
new home in a new country, he took passage in
a sailing vessel at Bremen, and after a voyage
lasting six weeks landed at New York. Another
fortnight was spent in the journey to Chicago.

On arriving in this city he went out to Leyden,
Cook County, where for nearly two years he
worked as a carpenter. Returning to the city

Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 1 of 111)