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at De Vails Bluff, as he had been ordered to re-
port for duty at Webster Hospital in Memphis,
Tennessee, in April, 1865. Owing to the uncer-
tainty of the mails, he did not receive his papers
until several days after the President's assassina-
tion.

At the close of the war Professor Larimore
came to Chicago, and in the fall of 1865 was
installed as pastor of the Seventh (now West-
minister) Presbyterian Church of this city, which
position he filled for something over two years.
In the mean time he did much literary work, and
for a period gave his exclusive attention to this
congenial labor. He developed a great aptitude for
journalism, and was offered the position of city
editor of the Chicago Evening Journal in the
spring of 1 87 1 , and accepted. He discharged the



duties of this responsible charge with marked
ability and success for three years.

On the fatal ninth of October, 1871, when
the Journal office was a ruin through the historic
"great fire," Mr. Larimore gave a characteristic
exhibition of energy and perseverance. With
the aid of the editor-in-chief, Hon. Andrew Shu-
man, an edition of the Journal was produced
on a hand press, which they secured in a job-of-
fice on the West Side; and with the flames
threatening to consume the building over their
heads, the paper was issued at the usual hour of
publication being the only representative of the
Chicago daily press put forth on that day.

The numerous writings and publications of
Professor Larimore had attracted the notice of
the University of Chicago, and in March, 1874,
he was elected to the professorship of physics in
that institution. In consequence of this, he re-
signed his connection with the Journal May 2
of that year. He did not, however, enter upon
the duties assigned him at the university, but
later on accepted a similar position at the Cook
County Normal School at Englewood. In Sep-
tember, 1878, he was elected teacher of physics
and chemistry at the North Division High
School of Chicago. He entered at once upon
his duties, and continued to fill the chair for
eleven consecutive years, with great credit to
himself and the school, making many devoted
friends among his pupils.

Before coming West Professor Larimore was
married, at Hudson, New York, to Miss Katie
Hoysradt, a beautiful and talented young lady,
who died in Chicago in 1865. Her remains, with
those of their two little boys, rest in the cemetery
at Niles, Michigan.

In 1867 he was again married, by Reverend
Doctors Humphrey and Harsha, to Miss Hattie
Stevens, of Chicago, the soprano singer of his
church choir. She was born in Strykersville,
Wyoming County, New York, being the young-
est of the three daughters of the late Ira Stevens
of that town. In the year 1854, while she was a
small child, the family went to St. Charles, Kane
County, Illinois. Her father, a talented singer,
died very suddenly of cholera the day following



CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON.



93



their arrival, which was during the great epidemic
of that year. Her mother, Percy Talmage
Ilotchkiss, a refined Christian lady, was born
near New Haven, Connecticut. She died in
April, 1888, leaving her six children, and many
friends, to mourn her loss.

Mrs. Larimore received her education in the
high school at St. Charles, finishing it in Chi-
cago, where the greater part of her life has been
spent. Possessing marked musical talent, she
devoted most of her time to its development,
which brought her some distinction. At one
time, while a young lady, she was urgently
solicited to enter upon an operatic career. She
was turned from that course by conscientious
scruples. Aside from her musical talent, she is
a lady of much culture and pleasing personality,
and was ever a true helpmeet and companion
to her talented husband in all his labors. Three
bright children were given to Mr. and Mrs. Lari-
more, all of whom are now deceased. Hattie
Gertrude, the eldest, passed away at the age ot
two years. Paul, a promising lad, reached the



age of ten years, and was the subject of a most
touching and beautiful obituary from the pen of
Dr. Nixon, of the Inter Ocean. Blanche died in
infancy. The remains of the husband and father
and their three children lie buried at Rose Hill.
During his ministry in Chicago, Professor
Larimore preached many quite noted sermons,
one of the most marked being what was called by
the daily papers his "Crosby Opera House ser-
mon." He also preached the sermon at the in-
stallation of the late Professor David Swing, who
was loved by so large a number of the leading
citizens of Chicago. At the time of his death
these two ministers were the only surviving mem-
bers of the original Presbytery of the city. Pro-
fessor Larimore was ever active in good works,
always having the welfare of his kind at heart,
but ' 'God's finger touched him and he slept. ' ' The
following lines express but feebly the high opinion
in which he was held by his friends:

"To know him was to love him,
None named him but to praise."



CAPT. CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON.



EAPT. CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON, one of
the old landmarks of Chicago, who arrived
in this city as long ago as 1838, was a native
of the little kingdom of Denmark, and was born
near Copenhagen, October 3, 1819, his parents
being natives of the same locality. His father was
killed by an accident before Christopher was a year
old, and the hitter was bound out to a farmer on the
island of Als. Imbued with the strong love of
the sea which has filled so many of his country-
men and made them famous as sailors the world
over, at the early age of fourteen years he shipped
at Sonderburg, Denmark, on board an ocean



vessel, and within the next two or three years
had sailed around the globe. In the winter of
1837 he found himself in the city of New Orleans,
and, having long desired to verify the statements
he had heard of the advantages America offered
to industrious, enterprising youth of all nations,
he left his ship, and started for the heart of the
country. Aftei reaching St. Louis, he went to
Peoria, in this State, whence, by means of a hired
team, he reached this city.

Mr. Johnson's employment after reaching what
was then the muddy little village at the mouth
of the Chicago River was as a member of a survey-



94



CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON.



ing party; but he served thus only a short time,
and soon after sought the more familiar and con-
genial life of a sailor on the Great Lakes. On
one occasion, while on a trip on one of the Lower
Lakes, on a vessel called the "Maria Hilliard,"
he was shipwrecked and met with other mishaps.
But on the whole fortune favored him; and after
a few years' service as a common sailor, he was
able to buy a small schooner, the "Helena," and
took charge of her as captain. In 1849, while
coming with a cargo of bricks from Little Fort,
near Kenosha, the "Helena" was sunk near the
Rush Street Bridge. On her voyage to Chicago,
she had sprung a leak, but by the efforts of the
captain and crew, she had been kept afloat until
the city was reached. After raising his vessel,
Captain Johnson sailed her for some time longer,
but in 1853 concluded to give up sailing for good.
His life on the lakes had given him a pretty fair
insight into the lumber business, and in this he
embarked, remaining thus engaged until the
Great Fire, when, in common with innumerable
others, he lost almost his entire savings. Fort-
unately, however, he did not lose his residence,
which was then on the West Side. He was the
owner of a farm at Lemont, and he moved his
family there for a time. His handsome new
farmhouse was destroyed by fire two years later,
and he built another.

Captain Johnson had married in 1849, and for
the next twelve years he reared his children on
the farm. He retained the real estate he had
owned in Chicago previous to the fire, and had
added to it, and at the end of the twelve years he
removed his wife and family to the city, finding
here greater scope for himself and promise of
future occupation for his sons. His property
interests increased to such an extent that his time
was fully taken up in managing his private
affairs, and he never entered any other business.
During all his life in Chicago he lived on the
North Side, where he was universally known
and popular with all. He built his first home on
the corner of Ohio and Market Streets, a spot
which he then considered the most prepossessing
in the city. His objection to the South Side was
due to its mud, that portion of the city being



almost impassable in the early days on account of
its level. At one time he intended to buy the
land on which the Briggs House now stands, but
after considerable deliberation concluded the site
was too muddy, a succession of mud holes having
to be crossed to reach it.

Captain Johnson's widow, who yet survives,
was previous to her marriage Miss Emily Ray-
mond, a daughter of John and Louise Raymond.
She is a native of Copenhagen, and was born
September i, 1833. At the age of ten years she
came to America with her father, who was a ship-
carpenter. He followed the lakes until his death,
which resulted from an accident he met with while
in the pursuit of his calling, being caught and
crushed between two ships. His death occurred
some months later, at the age of forty-five years,
August ii, 1853. Mrs. Johnson's marriage
occurred in Du Page County, this State, near
Naperville, December 9, 1849, and resulted in
the birth of thirteen children, of whom the fol-
lowing are living: Maria Louise, Mrs. A. Nelson,
of Chicago; Lena Amelia, Mrs. John S. Lee, of
Lemont; Evelyn, Mrs. D. T. Elston, of Chicago;
Henry W., living in Socorro, New Mexico; Benja-
min Franklin, of Pomeroy, Washington; Charles
Christopher and George W. Johnson, of this city.

In politics Captain Johnson was an ardent sup-
porter of the Republican party, and his party's
candidates were never defeated by his failure to
do his duty at the polls. During the early years
of the Civil War he served as Collector of the
North Town, but a naturally retiring and modest
disposition kept him from ever being conspic-
uous in politics. In religious faith he accorded
with the Lutheran Church. The respect in
which he was held was shown at the time of his
death, which occurred September 28, 1895, within
a week of his seventy-sixth birthday anniversary.
He had been an enthusiastic member of Cleveland
Lodge of the Chicago Freemasons, in which he
was initiated June u, passed July 7, and raised
October 13, 1859, and his fellow Masons attended
his funeral in a body. His early life had been
full of incident and adventure, but his later years
found him quietly fulfilling the duties of a self-
respecting, honorable life.



LIBRARY

OF THE

iVERSITY OF H.LI!"



H. L. STEWART.



95



HART L. STEWART.



(EN. HART LE LAC STEWART, who was
very prominent in the development of Mich-
igan and Illinois, a participator in the Black
Hawk War, and a leading citizen of Chicago for a
generation, came of the sturdy stock which paved
the way for and was active in the civilization of
many of the eastern States of this country. He
was born in Bridgewater, Oneida County, New
York, August 29, 1803, and died in Chicago May
23, 1882.

The name indicates the Scotch origin of his
ancestry, but the date of their transplanting to
America is not known. From the recollections
of General Stewart, published by him at the re-
quest of his family, it is learned that his grand-
parents, Samuel Stewart and Patience Hunger-
ford, lived in Tolland County, Connecticut. The
latter was, undoubtedly, of English lineage.
She died many years before her husband, who
passed away in 1816, at the age of eighty-two
years. They had nine children, and the second,
William, was the father of the subject of this
biography.

William Stewart was born in 1772, in Con-
necticut, and was an early settler in the Territory
of Michigan. He was a soldier in the War of
1812, and also served in the militia regiment, com-
manded by his son, which went from Michigan
to aid in suppressing the Indians under Black
Hawk in 1832. He was married at Mansfield,
Windham County, Connecticut, in 1795, to Miss
Validia Turner, eighth of the ten children of
Timothy and Rachel (Carpenter) Turner, of
Mansfield. Timothy Turner was born August
18, 1757, in Wellington, Connecticut, which was
also the native place of his wife. The latter died
in Mansfield Center, Windham County, Con-



necticut, June 22, 1799. They were married
August 20, 1776. Timothy Turner was a soldier
of the Revolution, serving in the "Lexington
Alarm Party" from Mansfield, Connecticut. He
was the son of Stephen, third and youngest son
of Isaac Turner, born in Bedford, Massachusetts,
whose father came from England. Rachel Car-
penter's parents were James and Irene (Ladd)
Carpenter. The former was a son of Ebenezer
Carpenter and Eunice Thompson. Ebenezer,
born in Coventry, Connecticut, as was his son,
was the son of Benjamin Carpenter and Hannah,
daughter of Jedediah Strong. Benjamin was the
tenth child of William Carpenter and Priscilla
Bonette. The former was one of the four chil-
dren of William Carpenter, who came from South-
ampton, England, in the ship "Bevis" in 1638,
and settled in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. (See
biography of Benjamin Carpenter in this
volume. )

When Hart L. Stewart was twelve years old,
his father moved to Batavia, Genesee County,
New York, where lie purchased land of the Hol-
land Laud Company, and the son helped to clear
this ground of timber. When seventeen years old
the latter went into the office of David D. Brown,
at Batavia, to study law. At the end of a year
he was forced, by lack of means, to take some
remunerative employment, and after vainly seek-
ing a situation as school teacher, in which he
hoped to be able to continue his legal studies, he
engaged as clerk in a store in Oneida County
with an uncle. Through the recommendation of
the latter, at the end of a year he was employed
by a merchant named Blair in Rochester, New
York. After four months' service at Rochester,
he was sent by Mr. Blair to open a branch store



9 6



H. L. STEWART.



at Lyons, New York, where he continued in
charge until the fall of 1822.

He now determined to engage in business on
his own account, and, securing the assistance of
his brother, George Stewart, opened a store at
Lockport, New York, where a successful trade
was carried on, they having the benefit of credit
with Mr. Blair and other Rochester merchants.
In 1823 Hart L,. Stewart took a sub-contract to
finish the work of Judge Bates on the Erie Canal,
which he completed, with a fair profit, the next
year. These facts indicate that the young man
had developed good business qualifications, which
attracted the favorable notice and assistance of
influential men.

Having now gained a practical experience in
canal construction, he sent his brother, Alanson
C. Stewart, who had become associated with him
in the mean time, to Cleveland, Ohio, in October,
1824, to secure a contract on the Ohio Canal.
Hart L. had become engaged in the lumber busi-
ness at Niagara, New York, and continued it un-
til November, 1825, being at the same time in-
terested in the Ohio contract which his brother
secured. They next contracted to execute sec-
tions on the western end of the Pennsylvania
Canal, and in November, 1826, took the con-
tract to bore a tunnel for the canal on the Cone-
maugh River. This was finished in 1829, and
was the first tunnel of its kind in the United
States. Among those connected with the canal
enterprise, they were known as the "boy con-
tractors, ' ' the elder brother but twenty-four years
old; but they were credited, and justly, with
superior practical knowledge. They were the
first to introduce the method of securing light by
means of reflecting mirrors placed at the mouths
of the tunnel. Work was prosecuted from both
ends, night and day, and its completion was re-
garded as one of the greatest achievements of the
age, and the subject of this notice was furnished
with some very flattering letters when he left
Pennsylvania.

Having made a considerable profit from his
contracts, he now resolved to invest some of it in
lands, before engaging in further ventures, and
with that end in view, took a trip of exploration



through Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, which oc-
cupied three months. He purchased about one
thousand acres on White Pigeon and Sturgis
Prairies, in St. Joseph County, Michigan.

Another plan which had for some time been
considered was now consummated, and on the
fifth of February, 1829, he was married to Miss
Hannah Blair McKibbin, of Franklin County,
Pennsylvania. In September of the same year
they set out for their new home in Michigan.
At the end of a six-weeks journey from Pitts-
burgh, they arrived at White Pigeon, November
7, 1829, and here a log cabin was erected. After
making further provisions for a home, young
Stewart went to Detroit and presented to Gov-
ernor Lewis Cass his letters of introduction.
These were from Governor Porter, Senators
Blair and Lacock, Judge William Wilkins and
James S. Stevenson, President of the Canal Board,
of Pennsylvania, all of whom Governor Cass
characterized as his personal friends.

In the spring of 1830 the Governor sent to Mr.
Stewart a commission as Colonel of Militia, and
a year later appointed him one of the commis-
sioners to locate the county seats of St. Joseph
and Cass Counties. At this time, the entire
population of Michigan, including Detroit, the
chief city of the West, numbered but a few thou-
sand whites. Through the influence of Colonel
Stewart, a post route was established by the
Government to supply the few scattered settle-
ments extending from Detroit toward Chicago.
The two Stewart brothers before named were the
contractors for carrying the mails once in two
weeks, which was accomplished on horseback,
over a region where one hundred tons are now
carried daily. Hart L. Stewart was made Post-
master at Mottville, with the franking privilege,
and his own letters and papers constituted the bulk
of the mail at his office. In 1832 he was appointed
Judge of the County Court by Governor Porter,
and the next year he was commissioned Circuit
Judge, in which capacity he officiated the next
three years.

In 1836 Judge Stewart was elected a member
of the Second Constitutional Convention, which
was called to fix the southern boundary of the



H. L. STEWART.



97



State of Michigan to correspond with the line as
established when Indiana and Ohio were ad-
mitted to the Union. By this convention he was
sent to Washington to secure, if possible, the ad-
mission of the State with boundary as established
by the ordinance ceding the Northwest Territory
to the United States, and including Michigan
City and Maumee City. That he did not suc-
ceed is a matter of history, but the State secured,
in offset, all of what is now known as the North-
ern Peninsula of Michigan. On this mission
Judge Stewart formed the acquaintance of many
of the leading men of the Nation at that time.

On his return home, Judge Stewart found that
the Legislature had chosen him Commissioner of
Internal Improvements, and in this capacity he
took charge of the survey of the St. Joseph River
for slack- water navigation, and also of the Central
Railroad. The latter was partially built by the
State, and then turned over to the Michigan Cen-
tral Railroad Company. In 1838 he received the
commission of Brigadier-General, commanding
the Fourteenth Brigade, Michigan Militia. When
the Indians, under Black Hawk, threatened to kill
or drive out the settlers in northern Illinois and
southern Wisconsin, the Government requested
the Governor of Michigan to send volunteers to
the rescue. General Stewart was ordered by
Governor Porter to raise a regiment as soon as
possible, and this was found an easy task, as
volunteers, from the age of sixteen to sixty, were
numerous. The service lasted about six months,
and Colonel Stewart's regiment included his
brothers, A. C. Stewart, as Commander of a com-
pany; Samuel M. Stewart, as Lieutenant of an-
other; besides two other brothers and his father
as volunteers. The latter was especially valuable
as a drill master, on account of his previous serv-
ice in the War of 1812. He was now sixty years
of age.

In June, 1836, General Stewart attended the
letting of the construction contracts on the Illinois
& Michigan Canal, and contracted for a large
amount of deep-rock work near Lockport. He
had as partners A. S. Stewart, Lorenzo P. Sanger,
James Y. Sanger, and others, who took personal
charge of the work, while he continued in charge



of his personal and official interests in Michigan.
In 1840 the inability of the State to meet its
financial obligations compelled the contractors to
abandon the work, at great loss, and ruin in
many cases. About this time General Stewart
took up his residence in Chicago, and in 1842
he was elected a member of the Legislature, and
was active in securing the acceptance of the for-
eign bondholders' proposition to complete the
canal. None of the contractors had ever received
anything for their losses previous to that time.
While on a trip to Canada to secure workmen for
the canal in 1839, General Stewart was placed
in arrest, under the impression that he was a spy
in the interest of the "Patriot War." Through
the influence of friends, his mission was made
known to the Canadian authorities, and he was
discharged and furnished every facility for carry-
ing out his business. From 1845 to 1849, under
the administration of President Polk, General
Stewart served as Postmaster at Chicago, being
the first presidential appointee in that office.

He now turned his attention to railroad con-
struction, and became interested in some of the
largest contracts ever given in the West to a
single firm. The history of these undertakings
is fully related in this volume in the biography
of James Y. Sanger, who was associated with
General Stewart in this work, and need not be
repeated here. During the progress of their
work, in partnership with several others, they
became proprietors of the Rhode Island Central
Bank, and this, in common with many others,
was wrecked by the financial upheaval of 1857,
though its proprietors were enabled to close up its
affairs honorably and with little loss to them-
selves.

General Stewart became a member of the
Masonic fraternity in 1824, and subsequently
took all the chapter and encampment degrees
and several others. In political sentiment, he was
a Democrat. He was one of the few brave spirits
who stood with Stephen A. Douglas at North
Market Hall, on the evening of September i,
1854, when a mob of political opponents refused
to let the "Little Giant" be heard, and even
threatened him with bodily harm. In religious



9 8



J. H. RICE.



faith, General Stewart was a true "neighbor," a
Presbyterian, and for forty years rarely failed to
listen to Rev. Dr. Patterson's sermons in the
Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago. He
was an able leader, quiet and gentle in his man-
ners, sociable and genial, making his home a
happy place for the frequent reunions of a large
and interesting circle of friends.

On the 1 2th of February, 1849, authority was
granted by the State to five individuals, one of
whom was Hart L. Stewart, to incorporate the
Chicago Gas Light and Coke Company, which
was granted the exclusive right to supply gas to
the city of Chicago for ten years. Before the
close of the next year, the streets of the city and
many private buildings were for the first time
illuminated by gaslight. In 1857 General Stew-
art was Vice-President of the Great Western In-
surance Company, with a capital of half a million
dollars, and office at No. 160 South Water Street.
The Stewart Building, at the northwest corner of
State and Washington Streets (which was torn
down in 1896, to make way for one of Chicago's
famous high office buildings), was the fourth
structure erected by General Stewart on that
spot the first one having been for many years
his family home.

Hannah Blair McKibbin, wife of General
Stewart, was descended from old and honorable
families. Her maternal grandfather, William
Nelson, was a brother of the famous Admiral
Horatio Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar. His wife



was Mary Harvey, and their children were Will-
iam, James and Mary Esther. William Nelson,
senior, died in 1803, at which time his daughter
was about fifteen years old. She married Col.
James McKibbin, of Franklin County, Penn-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 14 of 111)