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and two children, following in September. He
continued in the meat business in Chicago, and
after a time began putting up hams by a process
of his own, which secured for him an excellent
reputation and trade, and he grew prosperous and
extended the business by adding the wholesale
provision trade. He exercised great care in the
preparation of his goods, which he insisted on
giving his personal inspection, and the result was
an ever-increasing trade and a high reputation
for his wares, which continued to be popular on
the market long after his demise. He was in-
dustrious and economical, and his painstaking
care provided him a handsome competence. For
many years he carried on a large trade in supplies
for the United States Government.

Among his brother merchants, Mr. Dupee was
known for his unswerving fidelity to those prin-
ciples of true manhood that lift a man high above
the rank of ordinary men and make for him a
name in commercial centers that will forever be
worthy of remembrance and emulation. He was
a shrewd, far-seeing businessman, and his advice,
often sought by friends, was safe and reliable.
For about twenty years he %vas a resident of
Hyde Park, and was highly esteemed by the res-
idents of that suburb for his many noble qualities.
He was identified with the Republican party, but
was never connected with any office or political
work, and was in everyway a model citizen, and,
above all, an honest man the noblest work of
God.

After retiring from business, Mr. Dupee made
good investment in real estate, and the rapid ap-
preciation in value of his holdings added mate-



112



J. A. PEARSONS.



rially to his resources, so that his declining years
were passed in the enjoyment of the competence
which his long years of industry had earned. He
passed away at his home in Chicago August 12,
1887, and his last words were: "I have been an
honest man." He left the impress of his strong
character upon the business world of Chicago, and
a good name that will be ever cherished by his
family.

On the yth of April, 1847, at Boston, Massachu-
setts, Charles B. Dupee was married to Miss Em-
meline, daughter of Seth and Louise (Miles)
Wellington, old and respected residents of Bos-
ton. The Wellingtons were among the noted pio-
neers of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Mrs. Dupee' s ancestor, Roger Wellington, mar-
ried Miss Foster, a daughter of Dr. Foster, who
was the first settled physician in Charlestown,
Massachusetts. The Wellington monument,



standing in the Watertown (Massachusetts) cem-
etery, was erected over two hundred years ago.
Three children came to bless the home of Charles
B. and Mrs. Dupee. Their names are, Charles
Frederick, Elizabeth A. and Emma M. The sec-
ond is now deceased, and the last is the wife of
Reuben D. Coy, of Chicago. Her only child is
a daughter, named Margaret Wellington Coy.
Charles F. Dupee came with his parents to Chi-
cago in 1854. His father admitted him to part-
nership in his growing business in order to have
his aid in its conduct. Since the business was
closed out he has given his attention to the care
of his large property interests. He has two
children, Elizabeth S. and Charles Edward Du-
pee.

In 1890 Mrs. Emmeline Dupee built one of the
handsomest residences in Glencoe, Illinois, where
her family now resides.



JOHN A. PEARSONS.



(JOHN ALONZO PEARSONS, an early set-
I tier of Evanston, was born in Bradford, Ver-
Q) mont, September 8, 1818. He is a son of
John Pearsons and Hannah Putnam, natives, re-
spectively, of Lyndeborough and Francestown,
New Hampshire. John Pearsons was a promi-
nent farmer and lumberman of Bradford, where
he located at the age of twelve years. For some
years he also kept a hotel there, known as the
Mann House. He was a soldier of the War of
1812, serving throughout that struggle. His
death occurred in Bradford, October 7, 1857, at



the age of sixty-five years. His mother, whose
maiden name was Elizabeth Kimball, also died
there at an extreme old age.

Mrs. Hannah Pearsons died at Holyoke, Mass-
achusetts, in 1888, at the age of ninety-one
years. She was a daughter of John Putnam, a
Revolutionary soldier, and a relative of Gen.
Israel Putnam. John Putnam served seven years
in the Continental army, and was at one time a
member of General Washington's Life Guard.
He afterward became an Adjutant of Vermont
militia, and, with two of his sons, participated in



J. A. PEARSONS.



the War of 1812. In later life he was a car-
penter and bridge-builder at Bradford. His wife,
Olive Barren, lived to the age of ninety-three
years.

John A. Pearsons spent his boyhood in Brad-
ford, where he attended the district school, and,
at the age of nineteen years, began teaching, a
calling which he continued for four winters at and
in the vicinity of Bradford. He helped to con-
duct his father's hotel, and subsequently carried
on the same business at White River Village and
Norwich, Vermont. The latter place was then
the seat of General Ransom's Military School.

In September, 1852, he arrived in Chicago,
where he was employed for a time by John P.
Chapin, a prominent pioneer of Chicago. In
March, 1854, he located at Evanston, being in-
duced to settle there through the influence of
Dr. Hinman. Mr. Pearsons was the first to build
a house on the university lands, the location be-
ing identical with his present residence on Chi-
cago Avenue. Others soon followed his example,
and when the Chicago & Milwaukee Railway
reached that point the next winter, there was a
rapid influx of people. Such was the demand for
building materials and other merchandise, that
Mr. Pearsons found it advantageous to engage in
the business of general teaming. For eighteen
years he operated Pearsons' Evanston Express,
employing a number of teams and wagons on the
road between Chicago and Evanston, and the
business which he started has ever since been
continued, and is still a prosperous enterprise.
For some time he also kept a livery stable at
Evanston.

In 1872 Mr. Pearsons sold out his express line,
and spent the following winter in the woods of
northern Michigan in the interest of his brother,
D. K. Pearsons, the well-known lumberman and
philanthropist. Becoming interested in the lum-
bering industry, and finding the business agree-
able to his health, which had become considerably
impaired, he spent the ensuing twelve years in
the lumber woods, during a part of which time
he operated a lumber-yard in Evanston. In 1885
he disposed of his lumber interests, since which
time he has lived in practical retirement. He



has filled nearly every office in the township, vil-
lage, and city of Evanston, and his official as well
as business obligations have always been dis-
charged in a creditable and efficient manner.

On the twenty-fifth day of October, 1842, was
celebrated the marriage of Mr. Pearsons and Miss
Hannah Stevens Bayley, of Newbury, Vermont,
a daughter of Amherst Bayley and Melissa Stev-
ens, both natives of Newbury. Mrs. Pearsons'
paternal grandfather was the distinguished Gen-
eral Jacob Bayley, of the Continental army. Her
maternal grandfather, Simeon Stevens, was an
extensive farmer and highly exemplary citizen of
Newbury, distinguished also for his musical tal-
ents, being the possessor of a strong and very
sweet voice, which he retained even in old age.
He survived until nearly ninety years of age.

Mrs. Pearsons is a lady of many graces of mind
and heart. In her youth she won considerable
celebrity as a participant in the State Musical
Conventions of Vermont. She was one of the
prime movers in organizing the Woman's Ed-
ucational Aid Association, which was formed
in 1871, and has been an officer of the association
from its inception, and for eighteen years has
served as its President. The object of this
society is to assist worthy young ladies of lim-
ited means in obtaining an education. The Col-
lege Cottage, which was built soon after the or-
ganization of the association, has been several
times enlarged and improved, and now accommo-
dates about fifty-five students, and is recognized
as a worthy adjunct of the Northwestern Univer-
sity at Evanston.

Mr. and Mrs. Pearsons are the parents of two
children, and have lost two by death, one passing
away in infancy. The eldest, Henry Alonzo, is
a business man of Chicago, residing in Evanston.
Isabella is the wife of Wilbur F. Mappin, of
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Helen, who was the
wife of Rev. Harvey R. Calkins, died March 27,
1892, at the age of twenty-six years. Two
grandchildren, Harry Putnam Pearsons and Lil-
ian Mappin, make glad the hearts of this worthy
couple.

In October, 1892, the golden wedding of Mr.
and Mrs. Pearsons was celebrated, and they are



R. C. HALLETT.



still in the enjoyment of excellent health and that
contentment of mind which is "a continual feast, ' '
and few of their acquaintances, and none among
strangers, can readily believe the number of their
years of usefulness already spent. They are
members of the First Methodist Church of Evan-
ston, which they helped to organize in the sum-
mer of 1854, at which time the society comprised
but six members. Mr. Pearsons was the Chorister
of the church for many years, and is one of the
Trustees of the Des Plaines Camp- Meeting Asso-
ciation. Mr. Pearsons cast his first vote for Will-
iam Henry Harrison, and was a member of
a military band which furnished music for



many of the public gatherings of the famous po-
litical campaign of 1840. He played in this band
for ten years. Since the organization of the Re-
publican party, he has been an adherent of its
principles. When he first located inEvanston, a
large portion of the present site of the city con-
sisted of a marsh covered with water, and none
of the streets had been improved. He has wit-
nessed the material development of the town until
it has come to be recognized as the first sub-
urb of Chicago, and has simultaneously watched
its intellectual and moral growth, in the promo-
tion of which he has been an interested factor.



REUBEN C HALLETT.



REUBEN CROWELL HALLETT, grandson
of one of the hardy pioneers of the Missis-
sippi Valley, and son of James Hallett, of
whom extended mention is made elsewhere in
this volume, has the proud distinction of being
a native of Illinois. He was born at Mount Car-
roll, in Carroll County, on the 1 5th day of Octo-
ber, 1857, and grew up in his native village,
where he received his primary schooling. He
attended Beloit College, Wisconsin, and finished
his education at the Wesleyan University, Bloom-
ington, Illinois, where he received instruction in
the law department from Adlai E. Stevenson,
Gen. Ira J. Bloomfield, John M. Hamilton, and
other noted attorneys of the state.

He was admitted to the Bar in 1880, and be-
gan the practice of law at Mount Carroll, but
soon turned his attention to other and more con-
genial pursuits. He became the owner and pub-
lisher of the Herald at Mount Carroll, which he
retained about a year. He then went to Rock-
ford, Illinois, where he was connected with the



Rockford Watch Company seven years. He re-
sided in Cleveland, Ohio, for a year, being iden-
tified with the Arctic Ice Machine Manufacturing
Company. During the last three years he has
been the western representative of the Hildreth
Varnish Company of New York, with headquar-
ters in one of the Grand Pacific offices, on Jack-
son Street, Chicago.

Mr. Hallett possesses a keen business instinct,
and his kind and genial manners and knowledge
of human nature make him an exceptionally suc-
cessful salesman. His dealings are largely with
railroad companies, and cover many large con-
tracts. He takes an active interest in all that
pertains to the general welfare, and is thoroughly
posted on questions that engage the public mind.
He was the independent candidate for States At-
torney of Carroll County in 1880, but usually acts
with the Republican party. He was made a
Master Mason at Mount Carroll, and is now en-
tering upon the work of the exalted degrees.



LIBRARY
OF THE
JVERSITY OF ILLI>



J. D. CATON.



JOHN D. CATON.



(JOHN DEAN CATON was born in Monroe,
I Orange County, New York, March 19, 1812.
O He is the fifteenth of the sixteen children of
Robert Caton, and the third child of his mother,
Hannah (Dean) Caton, who was the third wife of
Robert Caton. The latter was born March 22,
1761, on a plantation owned by his father (Robert
Caton) in Maryland. He joined the Continental
Army at the age of fourteen. Though very young
at the outbreak of the Revolution, he gave good
service to his native land in that struggle, and
after the triumph of colonial arms, settled on the
Hudson River, in New York. He died in 1815.
Robert Caton, grandfather of the subject of this
biography, was born in England, of Irish de-
scent, and served in the English army before set-
tling in Maryland. He was a prominent citizen
of that colony long before the Revolution, and
the name is a conspicuous one in Maryland soci-
ety to-day. Robert Caton, during the life of his
second wife, joined the Society of Friends, and
became a preacher in that denomination, his third
wife being a member also. His four children by
his third wife, according to the rules of that de-
nomination, became birthright members, and so
has the subject of this sketch continued; he is
now a member of the society in good standing.

When John D. Caton was four years old, his
widowed mother took him to Oneida County,
New York. His advantages were few, but he re-
ceived the primary training of a common school.
At the age of nine years, he was set to work with
a farmer, at two and one-half dollars per month,
and brought home a quarter of beef as the fruit of
his first earnings. Work was afforded only in the
summer, and his winters were spent in school un-
til he was fourteen. It had been his father's wish



that he should be equipped for life with a trade,
and he was apprenticed. A weakness of the eyes
interfered with the completion of his time, and at
sixteen, he joined his mother at Utica, New York,
where he was enabled to put in nine months at the
academy. He was so diligent and apt that he
was thus equipped for earning by surveying and
teaching school. While teaching, he pursued
the study of the classics, and also did a little work
in the law by practicing in justices' courts. He
entered the office of Beardsley & Matteson, at
Utica, as a student, at the age of nineteen years.
He later studied with James H. Collins, who af-
terward became a leader at the Chicago Bar and
was a partner in practice with Mr. Caton.

Having become well grounded in the theory of
law, and having attained man's estate, he resolved
to settle in the new West and establish himself in
practice. He had a special incentive in this de-
termination, in the fact that he was the accepted
lover of one of "York State's" fairest daughters,
and was anxious to secure a permanent home.
Having reached Buffalo by canal, he took pas-
sage on the steamer "Sheldon Thompson," which
brought him to Detroit, and thence he took stage
to Ann Arbor, still undetermined as to his loca-
tion. Still pushing westward, he rode in a wagon
to White Pigeon, and here, by pure accident, he
fell in with a cousin, whose husband, Irad Hill,
was a carpenter and was employed by Dr. John T.
Temple, of Chicago, to build a house for him
there. The doctor and Mr. Hill were then in
White Pigeon getting lumber for this purpose.
Young Caton joined the rafting party which
transported the lumber down the St. Joseph
River, and took passage on the schooner which
conveyed it to its destination. This was the



u6



J. D. CATON.



"Ariadne," whose cargo of lumber and immi-
grants was about all she could carry.

He soon determined to locate here, and in a
few days set off on horseback for Pekin, one hun-
dred and fifty miles away, to seek admission to
the Bar. Here he met Stephen T. Logan, after-
wards partner of Abraham Lincoln, and other
leading attorneys of the State. After court ad-
journed and supper had been taken, the young
applicant accompanied Judge Lockwood, of the
Supreme Court, in a stroll on the river bank, and
after being plied with questions on the theory and
practice of law, was addressed in these words:
"Well, my young friend, you've got a good deal
to learn if you ever expect to make a success as a
lawyer, but if you study hard I guess you' 11 doit.
I shall give you your license." It took but nine
years for the new licensee to attain a place beside
his examiner on the supreme bench of the State.

Mr. Caton's first case was in the first lawsuit
in the village of Chicago, in which he appeared
as prosecutor of a culprit accused of stealing thir-
ty-six dollars from a fellow-lodger at the tavern.
When the defendant was brought before Squire
Heacock, Caton insisted that he be searched, and
he was stripped to his underclothing. Before he
could replace his apparel, as directed by the court,
the prosecuting attorney discovered a suspicious
lump in his stocking. Seizing hold of this lump,
he turned down the stocking and disclosed the
missing bills. The case was then adjourned till
next day, and a Constable watched the prisoner
all night, having confined him under a carpenter's
bench. Next morning when he was arraigned,
Spring and Hamilton appeared for the defence and
took a change of venue to Squire Harmon, who
held court in the old tannery, on the North Side
near the river forks. The whole town was now
agog with the novel spectacle of a public trial;
and Harmon, in order to give all a chance to en-
joy the show, adjourned to Wattle's Tavern, on
the West Side, where the case came off with much
eclat; all the young attorneys "spreading them-
selves" in their respective speeches. Judge Caton
remembers that he dwelt particularly on the enor-
mity of the act of this serpent who had brought



crime into this young community where it had
been unknown. The thief was held for trial, but
the device (then new) of "straw bail" gave him
temporary liberty, which he made permanent by
running away as soon as the money was recovered;
and as the public had had the fun and excitement
of a ' 'lawsuit' ' nobody cared much what became
of the author of this welcome break in the village
monotony. If he had been tried and convicted it
would have been only the beginning of trouble,
for there was no jail wherein to keep him. Young
Caton got ten dollars for his fee the first money
he had ever earned in Illinois by his profession
and it just paid the arrears of his board bill.
(History of Chicago, edited by Moses and Kirk-
land.)

Having now been launched in practice, Mr.
Caton rented an office in the ' 'Temple Building, ' '
having his lodging in the attic of the same struc-
ture. To "make ends meet," he rented desk
room in his office to his contemporary, Giles
Spring.

Justice Caton recalls July 12, 1834, an era in
his youthful experience. It was the beginning of
his judicial career; the date of his election to the
office of Justice of the Peace, the only public office
he ever held except those of Alderman of the city
(1837-8) and Justice of the Supreme Court of the
State (1843-64). He became its Chief Justice in
1857. The election of 1834 was a fierce contest,
"bringing out every last voter in the precinct,
from Cly bourne to Hardscrabble and beyond, per-
haps even taking in the Calumet Crossing. ' ' The
Government piers had been built and the begin-
ning of a channel had been cut across the imme-
morial sandbar, but as yet it had never been used.
On this memorable day, the schooner "Illinois"
chanced to be lying at anchor, and the friends of
Caton (George W. Dole and others), to the num-
ber of a hundred or more, got ropes to the schooner
and dragged her by main force through the un-
finished dug-way. Then they decked her with
all the bunting in the village, and, hoisting sail,
sped triumphantly up the stream to the Forks
the first vessel that ever penetrated the Chicago
River. And when the votes were counted the



J. D. CATON.



117



tally showed John Dean Caton, one hundred and
eighty-two; Josiah C. Goodhue, forty-seven.
(Story of Chicago, 130).

An incident in the life of the future chief jus-
tice, which saved him to the people of Illinois, is
elsewhere related in the biography of Col. Julius
Warren, who was ever gratefully remembered by
Mr. Caton as his dearest friend.

In the spring of 1835 Squire Caton felt himself
able to assume the cares of a household, and he
returned to New York, where he was wedded to
Miss Laura Adelaide, daughter of Jacob Sherrill,
of New Hartford. Their wedding tour was an
ideal one, being a passage from Buffalo to Chicago
on the brig "Queen Charlotte." This was one
of the vessels captured in Put-iu-Bay and sunk in
the harbor of Erie by Commodore Perry in 1812.
After twenty years, it had been raised and refitted,
and this was her first trip.

In 1836 Mr. Caton built the first dwelling on
the "school section, ' ' west of the river. This was
at the southwest corner of Clinton and Harrison
Streets, and at that time it was so far from other
dwellings that it was called the "prairie cottage."
It fell before the great holocaust of 1871. About
the same time that he built this house, he entered
into partnership with Norman B. Judd (who
drafted the first charter of Chicago) . The finan-
cial difficulties of 1837 almost crippled the ambi-
tious young lawyer, and to increase his troubles,
his health became impaired and he was advised
by his physician to return to farming. He took up
a tract of land near Plainfield, which he still owns,
and removed his family thither in 1839. He con-
tinued the practice of law, and the records show
that he tried the first jury cases in Will and Kane
Counties, as well as Cook.

Mr. Caton was appointed an associate justice of
the Supreme Court in 1842, and his united terms
of service, by successive elections, amounted to
twenty-two years. During the latter portion of
this time he occupied the position of Chief Justice.
The duties of his high office were completed day
by day, no matter how much of the night they
might consume, and the court in his day was al-
ways up with its docket. In 1864 he left the
Bench, and has since given his time to travel,



literary labors and the conduct of his private af-
fairs. He has published several works, among
which are "The Antelope and Deer of America,"
"A Summer in Norway," "Miscellanies" and
"Early Bench and Bar of Illinois."

Before 1850 Justice Caton became interested in
the electric telegraph. This was before the organ-
ization of the Western Union, and he set to work
to re-organize and set in order the dilapidated and
scattered lines. They had hitherto occupied the
wagon roads, and he secured the adoption of a
system by the railways, where it was soon found
to be an absolute necessity. When the Western
Union took hold of the business, Judge Caton and
his fellow-stockholders were enabled to make most
advantageous terms for the disposition of their
interests.

Death first invaded the home of Judge Caton in
1891, when a daughter, her mother's namesake,
was taken away, and in 1892, Mrs. Caton went
before. For fifty-seven years, this happily-as-
sorted couple had traveled together the journey
o r life, and they were, no doubt, the oldest sur-
viving couple in Chicago at the time of Mrs. Ca-
ton's demise. During her last illness Judge Caton
remarked to his family physician that they had
lived together for more than fifty-seven years
without a cross or unkind word ever passing be-
tween them. Two children survived her, namely:
Arthur J. Caton, a Chicago business man, who
was admitted to the Bar, and Caroline, now the
wife of the distinguished attorney, Norman Wil-
liams.

In August, 1893, Judge Caton suffered a slight
stroke of paralysis. Before this affliction, advanc-
ing years had brought on the old trouble with his
eyes, which had, happily for his future career,
turned his attention from a trade, but up to the
beginning of 1893, he was able to read a little with
the aid of strong glasses. By the aid of a reading-
secretary, he keeps up an acquaintance with
literature and current events. Even the added
trial of decay in his powers of locomotion did
not make him despair or become morose. To
a close friend he said: "I do not repine. I do
not lament the advance of age and the loss of fac-
ulties; not one bit. I enjoy my life, and thank-



n8



T. H. WEBSTER.



fully recognize the numberless compensations and



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 17 of 111)