Copyright
John Morley.

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

. (page 101 of 111)
Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 101 of 111)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Duncan were born in Scotland. Alexander died
in Montana, in October, 1895, at the age of forty-
five years. He remained unmarried to the end.
Archibald is fifty-six years of age and lives in
Dakota. Peter is married and lives in Bad Axe,
Michigan. John also lives in Bad Axe; and
Hugh, who is a resident of that city, is the last
of the five born there.

Duncan McKichan lived with his parents until
1870, and subsequently operated a farm for a
period of one year. He then removed to Michi-
gan and engaged in logging, with which he was
occupied seven years. During three years of this






W. J. FENTON.



667



period he also tilled a farm. In 1876 he first
came to Chicago, and was occupied on farms near
Elgin for three years thereafter. On his return
to Chicago he was in the employ of the South
Park Board a short time. He was occupied in
Oakwoods Cemetery two years, and later was
interested in various business enterprises. He
cut hay for a time, with Carlton Drake for a
partner. He began teaming with this man, but
after eighteen months decided he could further
his interests in a more satisfactory manner by
following this occupation alone. He is now pos-
sessed of several teams and has a successful busi-
ness.



Mr. McKichan purchased a residence at No.
6512 Champlain Avenue, in 1890, and in 1894
erected a brick barn. He was married Decem-
ber 23, 1879, to Miss Mary, daughter of John and
Bridget (Guerin) Kane. A biography of Mr.
Kane will be found in this work. Mrs. McKichan
was born March i, 1857, m Saratoga, New York,
and came to Chicago in 1860 with her parents.
Her only child, Sarah Ann, was born January 2,
1883. Mr. McKichan is a man of great influence
and ability. He is a stanch Republican, and fol-
lows the teachings of his fathers in religious
matters, as represented by the Presbyterian
Church.



WILLIAM J. FENTON.



JOSEPH FENTON, one of the
rising and influential citizens of Chicago,
was born September 19, 1858, on Twenty-
third Street between Calumet and South Park
Avenues. He is a son of Henry and Ann (Rudd)
Fenton, who were earlier residents and worthy
citizens of the city. Henry Fenton was born in
Kent, England, and was the only one of his
father's family to emigrate to America, and he
arrived in 1852.

Being of a thrifty nature he invested in a farm
near Elgin, Illinois, which he never cultivated.
He located in Chicago and was from that time
until his death manager of the distillery owned
by Busch & Curtis. His people were butchers
by occupation, and he fattened cattle and sold
them as a side issue. In 1856 he was married
and four years later he fell off a wagon and
broke his neck, which was a sad accident and a
blow to his beloved wife. He was forty years of
age at the time of his demise.



Mrs. Henry Fenton, mother of the man whose
name heads this article, was born in County
Wexford, Ireland, in 1827. She died October
24, 1889, and her remains, with those of her hus-
band, were laid away in Graceland Cemetery.
Mrs. Fenton came to America in 1855, ar "d her
brother, Thomas, came in 1853, and her mother
and brother, William, came in 1856. Mr. and
Mrs. Henry Fenton became the parents of two
children, of whom William Joseph is the younger.
Charles Henry, born June 7, 1857, resides at No.
6445 L,angley Avenue. Further mention is made
of him in another biography, headed by his name.

William Joseph Fenton attended the Mosley
and Douglas schools and high school one year.
He left at the age of fifteen years, to begin the
battle of life. He was eight and one-half years
in the employ of Keith Brothers, entering their
service as general errand boy. At the time he
left Keith Brothers he was able to cut shirts.
September, 1882, he entered the service of C. P.



668



PETER MORTENSEN.



Kellogg & Company, and is a cutter with this
concern at the present time. For four years he
has had charge of his department and is an
appreciated and honored employe.

June i, 1880, Mr. Fenton was married to Miss
Katie, daughter of Bernard Callahan, who was
born in Ireland in 1861. She died January i,
1885, leaving two children: William Bernard,
born March 16, 1882, and Henry James, born
September 6, 1884. Mr. Fenton was married a
second time to Miss Margaret, daughter of Simon
and Susan (Calliman) O'Dea, June 16, 1891.
Mrs. Fenton was born June 29, 1871, in County
Clare, Ireland, and came to America when but



five years of age. She has one child, Edna Anna,
born September 25, 1892, who is a pleasing and
interesting little daughter.

Mr. Fenton is connected with Court Energy,
No. 19, Independent Order of Foresters, and
Englewood Council No. 2, North America Union.
He is loyal at all times to the Republican party
and supports the candidates with his vote, as well
as influence. He was reared an Episcopalian
and was the first person christened by Bishop
Cheney, of Chicago. He is a pleasant, refined
gentleman and his everyday existence shows that
he is from a respected lineage and is a credit to
the name he bears.



PETER MORTENSEN.



r\ETER MORTENSEN claims Denmark as
LS the land of his birth, having been born in the
J5 town of Nykjobing, in that country, April
20, 1844. He is the son of Peter Mortensen and
his wife. Else Sorensen, both natives of Den-
mark. His mother had been twice married and
had one son by her first marriage, Ole Sorensen,
who is now a resident of Minnesota. The family
of Mr. Mortensen, Senior, consisted of Peter, the
subject of this sketch, and Marinea, who is the
wife of Anders Andersen and is living in Den-
mark. The father died at the age of forty-eight
years, and the mother survived him until 1881,
when she, too, passed away, aged eighty-one
years.

Peter Mortensen was educated in the schools
of his native town, which he attended until he
was fourteen years old. He then engaged in farm-
ing until he reached the age of eighteen years,
when he went to Copenhagen and was employed
in a wholesale silk and cloth store five years.

In 1890 he came to New York, having in his
possession three hundred dollars, which amount



was his entire savings. He secured work at
Albany and stayed at that place three months,
then came to Illinois, and for four months was
employed on a farm near Dixon. Subsequently
he took a trip South, visiting Alabama, Tennes-
see, Texas and Louisiana and returned North and
came to Chicago in April, 1871. He was again
employed in farming near the city for eight
months, when he became a permanent resident of
Chicago and has remained here ever since.

He was five years in the employ of W. A.
Butler, in the dry-goods department. He then
secured a loan from a friend and started in the
notion business. At the end of one year he sold
out and for a short time was employed as clerk.
He again engaged in business at No. 1076 North
Avenue. In 1880 he admitted a partner, the
firm being styled P. Mortensen & Company. In
1884 their business relations were dissolved, Mr.
Mortensen buying out his partner, and continu-
ing the business at the same place where he is at
present located, on Milwaukee Avenue.

Mr. Mortensen married Miss Ida Larsen, in



JOHN KUHL.



669



Chicago, September 12, 1875. She is the daugh-
ter of E. C. and M. Amelia Briefer, both natives
of Denmark. Mrs. Morteusen is their fourth
child and was born in the old country, coming to
America in 1874. She made the journey alone
and came direct to Chicago. Mr. and Mrs.
Mortensen are the parents of three children.
They are: Axel, who is employed as a typesetter;
Olga, who is a graduate of the Northwest Divi-
sion high school and the state normal course and



is a teacher in the William Penn Nixon school;
and Ida, who is a bookkeeper.

Mr. Mortensen is allied with the following
societies: The Ancient Order of United Workmen,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the
Society Dania. He is a good example of the
energy and business ability which are marked
characteristics of the natives of Denmark. In
his power to rise above circumstance lies the
secret of Mr. Mortensen's success.



JOHN KUHL.



QOHN KUHL. Few of the German-Ameri-
can citizens of Chicago can better substanti-
ate their claim to the title of old settler than
can Mr. Kuhl. Born at Hanen, Prussia, in 1832,
he came to Chicago at the age of thirteen years,
and since 1845 this c i tv has continuously been
his home.

His father's Christian name was the same as
his own John ; his mother was christened Maria .
The elder Kuhl was a small tenant-farmer in
Prussia, eking out the slender return from the
land by occasional trips to Holland, where he
certified to contracts and did whatever else came
to hand. To himself and his wife were born five
children, of whom two were sons. Mrs. Kuhl,
Senior, died in Prussia, and her husband deter-
mined to emigrate from the land which had
yielded him but little and where his home was
full of painful memories.

On reaching Chicago he found employment on
the Illinois & Michigan canal, and, when his sav-
ings would allow, bought from the canal trustees
a tract of ten acres, situated along what is now
West Chicago Avenue. The land lay near the
intersection of Ashland Avenue, and Mr. Kuhl's
house was the first built in that locality at a time
when no one supposed that the little town would



ever expand into a city which would embrace his
modest purchase. However, Mr. Kuhl spent
some money by way of improvement, selling
occasionally, here and there, until his death,
which occurred in 1889. , He was a man re-
spected alike for his judgment and his probity,
and always ready to aid immigrants by his coun-
sel and from his purse. Among the old settlers
he was held in high repute, and among all classes
his genial nature, his kindly disposition, and his
unfailing, unostentatious charity won him many
friends.

It was, as has been said, in 1845, that John
Kuhl, the subject of this notice, came to Chicago,
brought hither by his uncle. He had attended
school in Prussia, and for a short time sought to
improve his education here. But his early lot
was to work and to work hard; and at the age of
eighteen he might have been found toiling in the
blacksmith shop of Henry Weber, on Lake Street.
There he served an apprenticeship of three years,
and for the four years following worked as a
journeyman. Avoiding self-indulgence and care-
fully guarding his slender savings, he then found
himself able to open a shop of his own at the
corner of Desplaines Street and Carroll Avenue,
in company with Jacob Press. The firm of Kuhl



670



G. W. WELFELT.



& Press continued from 1860 to 1866, moving
meanwhile from its first location to No. 23 (now
145) Milwaukee Avenue. In 1866 the co-part-
nership was dissolved by mutual consent, Mr.
Kuhl retaining the business, which he has since
conducted.

It may be readily perceived that, while his life
has been comparatively uneventful, it has been
ennobled by that toil and earnestness which con-
stitute the true patent of nobility.

In 1 86 1 he married Miss Mary Press, a sister
of his former partner, who was born in Germany.
She died two years after her marriage, both her
children having preceded her. Two years after
her demise he married her sister, Julia, who has



borne him nine children, of whom eight are still
living. Their oldest son, John, met his death by
drowning while attending a picnic at Kankakee.
The names of those living are: Mary, Emma,
Henry, Edward, Katharine, Julia, lyillie and
Harry.

Mr. Kuhl is a member of no church, but his
integrity in the business, domestic and social rela-
tions of life has endeared him to all who are
sufficiently fortunate to call him friend. In poli-
tics, as in religious views, he is broad and liberal.
While inclining toward the Democratic party, he
is in no sense a partisan. Of only one political
creed does he really boast he is an American,
through and through.



GEORGE W. WELFELT.



0EORGE WHITE WELFELT, who is one
I of Chicago's well-known and honored citi-
^| zens, comes of a very old and prominent
family of ambitious and energetic men. He was
born May 8, 1853, in Monroe County, Pennsyl-
vania, where his parents, Adam Overfield and
Sophia (Fish) Welfelt, resided.

December 16, 1880, Mr. Welfelt was married
to Miss Olive Rosena McDole, who has assisted
in the management of his home and helped to
make his life a happy one. The father of Mrs.
Welfelt, Mr. McDole, was born June 14, 1827,
on a farm near Poppenneauville, Canada, and
died April 14, 1898, mourned by many friends
and relatives. March 17, 1852, he married Miss
Catherine Emmy, who was born on the Rhine
River, Germany, and died March 24, 1862. Her
remains were buried at Maine City, Michigan.
Four children blessed the union of Mr. McDole and
his first wife, and they are accounted for as fol-
lows: Charles Edward, born January 12, 1853,
is an engineer in Chicago; an extended notice of



Alexander, the second, appears elsewhere in this
work; Olive Rosena was born August 30, 1858;
Clara, born March 29, 1861, resides at No. 1396
Thirty-fourth Street, Chicago.

Three years after the death of his first wife,
February i, 1865, Mr. McDole contracted a sec-
ond marriage, the bride being Miss Mary Donald-
son. She died July 10, 1882, and her remains
were interred in Oakwoods Cemetery. Her only
daughter, Mary Ida, was born April 16, 1870,
and married Thomas Cartwright.

George W. Welfelt was born on a farm, and
was deprived of his right arm. He entered into
life in the city of Chicago May 28, 1884, and has
for a long period been night watchman in the
employ of George A. Severns. His children are:
Emma Clair, born January 3, 1882, and Clara
Viola, born November 18, 1883.

Mr. Welfelt has never sought public favor in
the form of office, and is a stanch and true Demo-
crat. His influence is ever used for the right and
he is recognized as a conscientious gentleman.



THOMAS BROWN.



671



THOMAS BROWN.



EAPT. THOMAS BROWN was born in
Crail, Fifeshire, Scotland, October 28, 1823,
a son of Alexander Brown. The latter was
born in Crail in 1796, and was reared in his native
place, and educated in such schools as were then
in vogue. He married Margaret Brown (no
relative) in 1820, and April 6, 1834, they, with
their family, took passage on the "Roger
Stewart," a sailing-vessel, from Greenock, Scot-
land, for the United States. The good ship was
five weeks and two days in plowing her way
through the waters of the Atlantic to New York,
where she arrived on the 2d of May.

Chicago was the objective point and thither
they traveled, by boat up the Hudson to Albany,
thence by canal to Buffalo, where passage was
taken on a boat to Detroit. From that place they
traveled by ox-team and wagon across Michigan
to St. Joseph, where they again took boat, which
landed them in Chicago June 8, 1834. Mr. Brown
had been reared to farm pursuits. He was am-
bitious for the future welfare of his children, and
not wishing to change his vocation, soon after
arriving he made a selection of a quarter-section
of land in Niles Township, paying one hundred
sixty dollars for a claim upon it held by an-
other. There was a log house on this land, and
though small and somewhat uncomfortable, it was
made to answer the purpose of the family domicile
for two years. He was a hard-working and in-
dustrious man, and with such assistance as his
wife and young children could render, he soon
had a part of his land under cultivation and was
on the way to prosperity.

When the land came into market he bought



four hundred acres in all, at government prices.
For a year or two after his settlement in Niles,
they had a camp of Indians for near neighbors,
who were very annoying on account of their
largely developed thieving propensities. They
were only dangerous when drunk, at which times
they would become quarrelsome and murderous.
Mr. Brown was a man who possessed the material
which makes successful pioneers. He was hardy
and courageous. No hardship daunted him.

He served as justice of the peace a great many
years, and was universally respected by all who
knew him. He and his wife were Presbyterians
and among the strictest of their faith. Mr. Brown
took an active and leading part in erecting the
first church in the township. It was a sort of a
union affair, as all evangelical denominations
used it. He took a keen interest in political
affairs, and was an adherent of the Democratic
party.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown were the parents of eight
children (five of whom were born in Scotland) ,
namely: Andrew, Thomas, Alexander, William,
Isabella, Grace, James and John. The last two
were born in Niles Township, and Grace was
born on the ocean. Mr. Brown died November
30, 1854, and Mrs. Brown passed to her final re-
ward in April, 1849, aged fifty-one years.

Thomas Brown was a little more than ten years
of age when he came to Chicago. He had learned
to read and write in his native land. There were
no schools here when the family arrived. Such
education as he received in his youth was ob-
tained in the "Land of the heather."

In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I,



6 7 2



RASMUS RASMUSSEN.



Eighty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Soon
after, he with his regiment was transferred to the
seat of war in Kentucky, and October 8 following,
participated in the battle of Perry ville. From
this time on his command was in the thick of the
fray, and fought at Stone River, Chickamauga and
Missionary Ridge. It then went to the relief of
Knoxville and the release of East Tennessee from
threatened rebel dominion. Subsequently, when
the Atlanta campaign opened, the Eighty-eighth
Regiment took an active and aggressive part, sus-
taining in many a severe conflict its well-known
and deserved reputation for the fighting qualities
of its men. After the fall of Atlanta the regiment
took part in the campaign against the rebel gen-
eral, Hood, acting in the battles of Spring Hill,
Franklin and Nashville, which so disastrously
resulted in the annihilation of Hood's army.
At Spring Hill Mr. Brown received a slight
wound, which, however, did not deter him from
accompanying his regiment in pursuit of Hood's
flying remnant, in which large stores were cap-
tured. Subsequently the regiment went to Hunts-
ville, Alabama, where it enjoyed for two months
a well-deserved rest, then went to East Tennes-
see, and after Pittsburg fell, proceeded to Nash-
ville, where it was mustered out of service June
24, 1864.

Mr. Brown enlisted and was mustered in as a



private, and soon after was made company drill
master; later, third sergeant. After Stone River
was fought he was advanced to first sergeant, and
after the battle of Kenesaw Mountain he received
a first lieutenant's commission. A little later he
was promoted to a captaincy and assumed com-
mand of his company. His rise in rank was due
entirely to the soldierly qualities of the man.
Brave to a fault, clear of sight, decisive of action,
qualities indispensable to a good soldier, he won
the confidence of his superiors and the respect
and esteem of his subordinate followers, whom
he so gallantly led on many hard-fought fields.

When the war was over Captain Brown re-
turned to Niles Township, and in the following
spring settled in Chicago, where he has since re-
sided. He was married June 30, 1849, to Miss
Josephine Schroeder, who was born on Long
Island, New York, in 1833. To them a child was
born, Margaret Isabella, now Mrs. A. Caldwell
Anderson, of Chicago. Mrs. Brown came to
Chicago with her mother, Sarepta Schroeder, in
1838.

Aside from having held the office of justice of
the peace for several years, Captain Brown has
not been identified with public affairs. His first
presidential vote was cast for Henry Clay, but
since the formation of the Republican party he
has been a stanch supporter of its principles.



RASMUS RASMUSSEN.



QASMUS RASMUSSEN is by birth a Dane,
r( and both his parents were natives of that
r \ little kingdom which has sent so many of
her sons and daughters across the ocean to be-
come loyal and valued citizens of the great
republic.

His father, Rasmus Christensen, was a sailor
and himself a vessel owner. He died at the age



of fifty-five years. His mother still lives, a resi-
dent of Chicago, where the rush and whirl of
every-day life afford a striking contrast to the
peaceful days of her girlhood.

Rasmus Rasmussen was the sixth in order of
birth of nine children. He was born March 14,
1859, at Stryno, Denmark, and remained in his
native country until, at the age of eighteen, he



AUGUST SENGER.



673



determined to seek for better fortunes in what is
commonly (although erroneously) termed the
"new world." Before emigrating to America,
however, he had received a common school
education and learned the trade of a shoemaker.
In 1877 he lauded on these shores, and acquired
his first knowledge of American customs at
Portland, Maine, where he worked at his trade for
a year. The year following he came to Chicago.
Here he first obtained employment %vith the firm
ofC. M. Henderson & Company, at the corner
of Adams and Market Streets, and has been in
the employ of that concern since, although in



1891 he opened a shoe store for himself at No.
275 West Erie Street. This he still conducts,
doing a prosperous business while still continu-
ing his connection with the above-mentioned
wholesale firm.

In 1882 he was married to Miss Jessie Jensen,
his country-woman, by birth, but who came to
Chicago with her parents when only two years
old. Her father, William Jensen, resides at No.
271 Cornell Street. Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen
have no children. He is a member of the National
Union, of the Society Dania, and of the Danish
Singing Society Harmonica.



AUGUST SENGER.



Gl UGUST SENGER, who is a true represen-
|_| tative of the citizens of Chicago to-day who
/ I have assisted in the promotion of matters
for the good of the people, is a middle-aged man,
of all the sterling qualities of his race. He was
born August 30, 1852, in Jankendorf, province of
Posen, Germany, and is a son of Ludwig Senger,
a farmer of that place.

August Senger followed the example of many
of his countrymen in coming to the United States,
believing he would find better facilities for making
fame and fortune in the comparatively new and
progressive land. He arrived in Chicago in
August, 1879, and immediately found employ-
ment with the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern
Railroad Company. He continued thus occupied,
a valued and respected employe, until February,
1885, when he met with a serious accident, which
impaired his health permanently. He is now in
the service of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific
Railroad Company as section man.

Conducive to the success and general welfare
of a man, is a pleasant and helpful life compan-
ion, such as Mrs. Senger has proved to be. Jan-



uary 5, 1883, Mr. Senger was married to Miss
Paulina Maddhes, who was born June 14, 1864,
in Sangjanglof, Saxen-AHenburg, Germany.
Mrs. Senger came to Chicago August 13, 1880.
Her parents, Theodore and Caroline (Batzu)
Maddhes, came to America at that time, bring-
ing with them their nine children, who were
named: Franz, Louis (deceased), Wilhelmina,
Herman, Paulina, Minnie, Henrietta, Theresa,
Julius and Anna (deceased).

Mr. Maddhes died November 22, 1891, at the
age of sixty-three years. He survived the mother,
who died in March, 1882, she being forty-six
years of age at the time of her decease. In 1890
Mr. Senger raised the house at No. 216 West
Forty-sixth Place, having purchased the property
and made the building what it now is, a very
pleasant and desirable residence. He is a well-
known and respected citizen in the vicinity where
he resides and is a man of pleasant, genial man-
ners. He and his wife have been ten years
identified with the Evangelical Amalisch Geme-
inde, a Lutheran Church Society, worshipping at
Forty sixth and Dearborn Streets.



674



M. L. JONES.



MAURICE L. JONES.



IV A AURICE LEWIS JONES, who is one of
IYI Chicago's well-known retired citizens, is
|y| living in peaceful comfort, enjoying the
fruits of his former labor. He was born October
i, 1843, on Duke Street, Old Gate, London, Eng-
land. His parents were Lewis and Deborah
(Abrahams) Jones, and were very worthy and
honored people.

Lewis Jones died July 28, 1860, at the age of
forty-two years, at his home in Joliet, Illinois.
He was born in London, England, and was a
manufacturer of gimp and cap peaks in his native
land. He located in New York on his arrival



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 101 of 111)