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

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Socially he is a member of Vesuvius Lodge, A.
F. & A. M., at Wheeling.

In his business dealings Mr. Hutchings has met
with success. For ten years he was an engineer,
and in 1866 he and his brothers put into a grist
and saw mill the first steam power in Northfield
Township. For eleven years he was a success-
ful grocer, and is now engaged in the manufacture
of tile. This is one of the leading industries of
the town, and his constantly increasing business
yields to him a good income. Mr. Hutchings is
a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence,
and his friendly and courteous manner makes him
at home in all society and wins him the esteem
and confidence of those with whom he has been
brought in contact.



JOHN JENKINS.



(lOHN JENKINS, 'who owns and operates
I forty acres of rich and valuable land on sec-
Q) tion 5, Jefferson Township, but now resides in
Forest Glen, where he has recently erected a beau-
tiful home, claims Wales as the land of his birth,
which occurred in Carmarthen County, on the
8th of February, 1818. His father, Thomas Jen-
kins, was a native of the same locality, and was a
farmer by occupation. In 1834 he crossed the
briny deep to Canada, taking up his residence in
Huron County. Six years later he was drowned
in the Maitland River.
John Jenkins is the only surviving member in



a family of five children. He came from Canada
to Chicago in the summer of 1843, and worked in
the city until the following winter, when he went
to the town of Jefferson, and was engaged in tak-
ing out ship timber, being employed by George
Allen. When that work was completed he bought
of B. W. Ogden the timber on a five-acre tract of
land, and began chopping cordwood and making
staves. Thus he made his start in life. Saving
his money, he at length was enabled to enter
eighty acres of Government land on section 8,
Jefferson Township, where Gladstone Park now
stands, At that time many would claim land to



GEORGE DRIGGS.



209



which they had no title, and when Mr. Jenkins
secured his farm lie was warned not to do so, be-
ing told that he would never live to enjoy it; but
the threat did not terrify him, and he replied
that he expected to improve his land, and that
he was able to take care of himself. On one oc-
casion he was attacked, and had quite a scuffle
with one of the settlers, during which his team
got away from him; but he came off victorious in
the end, and his property was not wrested from
him. He can relate many incidents of pioneer
life, and was prominently identified with the de-
velopment of the community. He and Mr. Bar-
num, of Chicago, did the first grading on Mil-
waukee Avenue. While he was working in the
timber, a young man by the name of William
West approached him, and proposed that they
together keep bachelors' hall. This they agreed
to do. Early next day Mr. West started for
Chicago with a load of wood, and Mr. Jenkins
concluded in his absence to clean the house.
While doing this he found a barrel of cabbage
which he thought had spoiled, and threw 'it into



a hole and covered it over, "so as not to smell the
rotten stuff. ' ' When Mr. West returned he
found that his barrel of sauerkraut had been
thrown away, and was anything but pleased with
Mr. Jenkins as a housekeeper.

In 1883 Mr. Jenkins was united in marriage
with Elizabeth Ann Curgenven, daughter of John
Curgenven, a fanner of Cornwall, England.
They are both members of the Congregational
Church. By a former marriage Mr. Jenkins had
two children: Elizabeth, wife of William Irwin,
a real-estate and insurance agent of Chicago;
and Thomas W., who died, leaving a son, John
J., who is now attending a business college in
Chicago. Mr. Jenkins resided upon his farm un-
til 1894, when he removed to his beautiful home
in Forest Glen. By his well-directed efforts in
former years, he acquired a handsome compe-
tency, which supplies him with all the comforts
of life, and enables him to lay aside business
cares, resting in the enjoyment of the fruits of
his former toil.



'JUDGE GEORGE DRIGGS.



(JUDGE GEORGE DRIGGS was born at
I Mount Morris, New York, May 18, 1846,
G/ and was a son of Elias and Sarah (Rowell)
Driggs. His father was a tinner and a man of
moderate means. When he had reached the age
of seven, both his parents died, leaving him in
charge of his brother, Benjamin P. Driggs, who
sent him to Fairlee, Vermont, where he began
work on a farm. There he remained until he was
thirteen years old, performing the heavy, weari-
some labor incident to New England farming,
working early and late during the greater part of
the year, and attending school in the winter. But
he was a. hardy boy and ambitious, and did not



allow himself to be discouraged by his condition
or environment, but struggled manfully to better
his circumstances and get an education and
succeeded.

Mr. Driggs attended Oxford Academy, in New
Hampshire, for some time, and finally decided to
give up farming. With this end in view, he went
to Boston, expecting easily to obtain a position in a
store, but he found it a seeming impossibility, and
became a newsboy. He had determined to be in-
dependent, and it was his ambition to be a law-
yer. To that end he sought any honorable em-
ployment that seemed to promise an opportunity
for study or to provide the means for carrying out



2IO



GEORGE DRIGGS.



his plans. It was not an easy thing for this coun-
try boy, unused to city ways, to maintain him-
self in such surroundings; but, with the energy
that permeated his whole career, he did it, and
did it well. In after years, speaking of that time
in his life, he said: ' 'I did not make much money,
but I had my eyes opened to the intensity of busi-
ness competition, and I think I learned most of
the tricks of the newsboy's trade." His experi-
ence in this line was brief, however, lasting only
four or five months, after which the future jurist
returned to his home.

Shortly after this he enlisted for service in the
War of the Rebellion, but his brother objected to
this on account of his youth, and secured his re-
lease. The young man was, however, determined
to do what seemed to him to be his duty to his
country, and it was with a great deal of difficulty
that the brother got him away from the United
States authorities after a second enlistment. In
after life Judge Driggs manifested in many ways
the same spirit of patriotism, and was the warm
friend of the veteran soldier and advocate of his
claims to recognition on the part of the country.
In consideration of these facts he was made an
honorary member of the Union Veterans' League
of Chicago. For a while he acted as clerk in a
village store, but in 1865 he met the present Sen-
ator from Vermont, Justin S. Morrill, and through
him secured a position in the treasury at Wash-
ington, with a view to the opportunity for study
which that connection offered, and entered the
Columbia University Law School.

In 1867 Mr. Driggs was graduated, and then
endeavored to find a location in which to settle
down to his legal work; but neither New York
nor Washington suited him, and he started west.
Columbus, Ohio, proved attractive to him, and in
1871 he made that place his home. Judge J. R.
Swan, a distinguished jurist, took the young law-
yer into his office, and all went favorably from
that time forward. A short time later he entered
the office of Hugh J. Jewett, President of the
"Panhandle" Railroad, and later President of the
"Erie," and here gained a practical knowledge
and experience in railroad law. In 1876 he went
to Pittsburgh, as assistant counsel of the Penn-



sylvania Railroad Company, and remained there
in that capacity until 1881, when he moved to
Chicago. Here he entered into a law partnership
with George Willard, also of the Pennsylvania
Railroad staff, and continued to act as solicitor
for that line until a short time before his eleva-
tion to the Bench.

This connection was dissolved in 1887, when
Mr. Driggs became a member of the firm of
Tenney, Driggs & Cofieen. This association was
of necessity of short duration, for with Judge
Williamson's death, in 1888, came the almost
unanimous demand that Mr. Driggs succeed him
on the Circuit Bench. His election was not op-
posed. He went upon the Bench immediately on
his election, and in June, 1890, was re-elected
without opposition for a term of six years, but in
the midst of his bright career of usefulness he
was removed by death, suddenly and unexpect-
edly. He died of quinsy, after an illness of only
five days, March 19, 1892. His funeral services
were held at the First Presbyterian Church of
Hyde Park, where fifteen hundred persons at-
tended, among them three hundred and fifty
members of the Bar and every Judge of the Cir-
cuit and Superior Courts and the jurists upon the
Probate and County Benches.

On the 22d of February, 1872, George Driggs
and Miss Helen Griffing, of Washington, D. C.,
were married. The lady was born in Litchfield,
Ohio, and is a talented member of an old colonial
family of prominence in Connecticut. Her father,
Charles Griffing, was born in New London. Her
mother, Josephine Sophia (White) Griffing, was
a direct descendant of Peregrine White, the first
child born in Plymouth Colony. Both her parents
were ardent Abolitionists, and severed their rela-
tions with the Methodist Church on account of
their radical views on the slavery question. They
were persons of much more than ordinary ability,
and rendered all possible aid to the Underground
Railroad, so well known before the war. Among
their friends and associates were William Lloyd
Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Mrs. Lucy Stone
Blackwell. Mrs. Griffing originated the idea of
the Freedman's Bureau, and, as a Government
official, directed the work of caring for the desti-



GEORGE DRIGGS.



211



tute negroes who thronged Washington after the
war, having her residence there, and holding that
position from 1865 until 1872. Judge Driggsleft
two children, a son and daughter, Herbert and
Josephine.

What Judge Driggs was, and the esteem in
which he was held by his fellow-citizens, is best
told in the words of those who knew him best.
Judge Oliver H. Horton said of his late associate:
"He was my warm personal friend before he went
on the Bench. He was a man who drew others
to him. He had a genial manner and it was from
the heart; he was a remarkably kind-hearted
man. He was a gentleman. His was a well-
rounded character. He was an able public
speaker. His presence was pleasing. His eye
spoke before he had opened his mouth there are
some men who have the gift of conveying an idea
to an audience without speaking. He had a most
pleasing voice and the faculty of expressing him-
self in full, round, felicitous phrases. His death
was a terrible shock to all his associates, and it
was so unexpected by his wife that it would
hardly have been a greater shock if he had died
from a pistol shot."

M. L. Coffeen, once his law partner, said: "He
was a thorough trial lawyer, a magnificent pleader,
and a man who, in the trial of a jury case, exer-
cised a magnetic influence. His instincts were
based upon microscopical integrity in every in-
stance. He loved the right, the true and the
good with ardor. He was by all means the most
popular man we ever had on the Bench. In social
life he was equally loved and admired. He was
constantly sought for to attend dinners and ban-
quets. He was a true admirer of music and art,
and a man of the finest esthetic sensibility. His
affection for his family was tender and charming.
His geniality was unvarying. Never was there
a more approachable man; never was there a
kindlier spirit. There was never a breath of
suspicion blown upon his character, for his face
was a living refutation of calumny, of aspersion,
of suspicion. Too often it is a fact that the beauty
of a man's character becomes apparent only when
he lies cold in death; but his character was known
and loved all his life. ' '



It is doubtful if there was a more popular man
in Chicago than Judge Driggs. Pretty nearly
everyone knew him and everyone liked him. He
was fond of the innocent social pleasures of life,
and invitations of all kinds were showered upon
him. Nor did he slight the broader, more seri-
ous, things of life. He was a reader, a scholar,
a man of keen artistic instincts, a lover of music
and of the stage. He was a close friend of Joe
Jefferson. Between him and Robert G. Ingersoll
there was an unusually warm friendship. Wher-
ever the wits congregated, there was his pleasure.
His special ties were warm and many. He was
a member of the Knights Templar and of the
Royal Arcanum. Of the city clubs, the Union
League, the Sunset, the Fellowship and the
Forty Club claimed him. In his own neighbor-
hood the Kenwood Club had honored him with
its presidency, and of the Hyde Park Club he
was a valued member. And yet no man was
more attached to his friends and to his family; no
man had a more charming home life. His home
in the ' 'East End 1 ' was the hospitable rendezvous
of a large and pleasant circle of friends. He was
a kind husband and an indulgent parent; in fact,
he was much like an elder brother of his son and
daughter. He was open-handed and charitable,
but his foresight leaves his family in comfort.

Judge Driggs was one of the readiest of men.
His wits were always with him and in working
order. What his brain conceived his lips could
always utter, and the thought lost nothing in
transmission. It was this faculty that made him
a delightful conversationalist, whose range was as
wide as his erudition; a kindly wit, whose shafts
never hurt the most sensitive; a raconteur whose
listeners never grew weary; a toastmaster before
whom dullness and formality fled : an after-dinner
speaker whose graceful fancy could redeem whole
programs of stilted nothings; a campaign orator
whose political utterances were a treat; a pleader
whose arguments never failed to impress both
court and jury. But, better still, his gift of sil-
ver speech soared higher to what men for want
of a better word call eloquence. As a public
speaker, able to handle the occasion and the sub-
ject, he made his mark by repeated successes. It



212



T. W. HESLINCTON.



is touching to remember that his last public ad-
dress was his oration at the annual memorial
services of the Chicago Bar Association, Decem-
ber 27, 1891, in the Auditorium, where a vast



audience listened to his eloquent tribute to the
profession he loved so well and so brightly
adorned.



THOMAS W. HESLINGTON.



'HOMAS WILLIAM HESLINGTON, a
worthy representative of the agricultural
interests of Cook County, has long made
his home in this community and is familiar with
much of its history. He has the honor of being a
native of the county, and has witnessed its growth
from the time when the Indians were frequent
visitors to the neighborhood, and when the land
was wild and unimproved. He has seen the devel-
opment of homes and farms and the rapid growth
of Chicago, and has ever borne his part in the
work of progress and advancement.

His father, George Heslington, numbered
among the honored pioneers of Cook County, was
born in Maunley, near Northallerton, York-
shire, England, on the 7th of August, 1799. He
married Ann Dewes, a native of Marton Grafton,
Yorkshire, born October i, 1803, and a daughter
of John Dewes, a Yorkshire farmer. They be-
came the parents of the following children: John,
now deceased; Ann, wife of William Blann, who
for eight years has served as night watchman in
the great store of A. H. Revell & Co., Chicago,
and during all this time has never been absent
from duty a single night; Mrs. Isabel Langrehr;
George, also deceased; Elizabeth Jane Dewes,
widow of George Millen; Margaret Ella, who
lives with her brother and manages the affairs of
the household with marked ability ; Thomas W. ;
Mrs. Sophia Amelia Jones, now deceased; and
Maria Antoinette, wife of Otto Linemann, of
Northfield Township. The first four were born
in England, the others in Cook County, Illinois.



In the summer of 1833, the parents, accom-
panied by their children, bade adieu to their na-
tive land and sailed for America. They came at
once to Illinois and took up their residence in
Niles Township, where the father secured a Gov-
ernment claim, comprising eighty acres of timber
land and eighty acres of prairie land. The voy-
age across the Atlantic was a very pleasant one,
and consumed thirteen weeks. The captain of
the vessel became a friend of Mr. Heslington, and
he made the family his guests during the trip.
Mrs. Heslington remarked, "It was thepleasant-
est thirteen weeks that I ever spent. ' ' In the
pioneer home of the family their Indian neighbors
were frequently entertained, and as a return for
his kindness Mr. Heslington was the recipient of
many favors at the hands of the red men. He
continued an honored and highly-respected citi-
zen of this community until his death, which oc-
curred in Northfield Township, March 16, 1879,
aged nearly eighty years. His wife passed away
September 4, 1881.

Thomas W. Heslington whose name heads this
record was born in Niles Township October 15,
1839, but has spent most of his life in North-
field Township, which is yet his place of resi-
dence, his household being presided over by his
amiable sister, whose work has been to assist
him in making home pleasant and prosperous.
By earnest labor, economy and careful manage-
ment they have accumulated a respectable por-
tion of this world's goods to maintain them in
their declining years. Mr. Heslington cast his



E. J. WILBER.



213



first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and
supported the Republican party until recently,
when he cast his vote with the Prohibitionists.
He has never been an office-seeker, preferring to



give his entire time and attention to his business
interests. His deeds of kindness and charity are
performed in a quiet, unassuming way, and his
life is well spent.



EDWIN JEREMIAH WILDER.



[T J. WILBER, of Chicago, who is at the head
ft) of the Wilber Mercantile Agency, which is
I known throughout the country, was born in
Dutchess County, N. Y. , on the 3oth of Decem-
ber, 1826, and is a son of John and Keziah C.
(Dodge) Wilber. His mother was a daughter
of Dr. Dodge, and was the eldest of twelve chil-
dren. His father was a member of the Society of
Friends, and was the eldest of a family of eight
children.

The subject of this sketch was reared as a farm-
er, and from an early age was familiar with the
labors of the field and the other work of an agri-
culturist. His early education was acquired in
the district schools of the neighborhood, but dur-
ing the winter season, when between the ages of
eighteen and twenty years, he attended an acad-
emy in Fairfield, N. Y. He entered upon his
business career as a teacher, and was thus em-
ployed in 1848 and 1849. In the latter year he
went to California, attracted by the discovery of
gold on the Pacific Slope. On reaching his des-
tination he began mining, and was thus engaged
for two years with good success. Later he engaged
in selling supplies to the miners for a year; and
spent one year in farming near Sacramento, Cal.
At length he determined to return home, for he
had been absent four years. In February', 1853, he
took passage on a steamer at San Francisco. He
sailed to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and thence
by way of Lake Nicaiagua and the San Juan River
to Grey town, where he boarded a steamer bound
for New York City. He arrived in the metropolis



in March, and then went to Poughkeepsie, N. Y.,
where the succeeding twenty years of his life were
passed. During his residence in that place he
was engaged for a time in the dry-goods business.
Subsequently, he became connected with East-
man's Business College as a teacher, and later
served as its principal for six years. He then
turned his attention to the fire-insurance business,
and also engaged in the publication of the Daily
News. Leaving the East in 1873, he removed to
Michigan, where he spent two years, and in 1875
embarked in an enterprise with Hon. MarkD. Wil-
ber, bringing into use a new system of collecting
and reporting. This soon became known as the
Wilber Mercantile Agency, and business was es-
tablished in Chicago in 1876, withE. J. Wilber as
Secretary and Manager. Ten years later, John
D. and Marshall D. Wilber became stockholders,
and soon after it was incorporated, with Mark D.
Wilber as President, E. J. Wilber Secretary,
Marshall D. Wilber Treasurer, and John D. Wil-
ber Assistant Secretary and Manager of the re-
porting department. S. D. King was made Su-
perintendent of the collection department, and
John C. Cummings was made Superintendent
of the attorney list and was given charge of
the annual and monthly revisions. Great care
is taken in the preparation of these lists and
revisions, and copies of the same are furnished to
all patrons and associate attorneys. From the
beginning the business of the company has con-
stantly increased, until it has now assumed exten-
sive proportions, and the Wilber Mercantile



214



AUGUST HEUCK.



Agency is known throughout the country. It
has gained the confidence of people everywhere,
and prominent business men of various places in-
trust large moneyed interests to its care.

After removing to Chicago, Mr. Wilber studied
law in the Union Law College and was graduated
therefrom in 1882. He did this in order to better
fit himself for his work. Honorable and upright
in all dealings, his success has been won by a
straightforward career, by enterprise, persever-
ance and well-directed efforts. He is a man of



untiring energy, and carries forward to a success-
ful completion whatever he undertakes. His
prosperity is certainly well deserved. He is an
earnest Christian gentleman and has been an of-
ficer and member of the Presbyterian Church of
Woodlawn since its organization in 1884. Thus
have we briefly sketched the life of a self-made
man, who by his own efforts has steadily worked
his way upward to a position of prominence, and
is now at the head of his line of business in the
country.



AUGUST HEUCK.



Gl UGUST HEUCK, who is engaged in black -
ri smithing in Oak Glen, was born in Hano-
l\ ver, Germany, on the xoth of January, 1839.
His father, George Heuck, was born in Kiel,
Holstein, Germany, in 1811, and served as an
apprentice to the blacksmith and locksmith's
trades in a machine shop. He also learned the
business of manufacturing surgical instruments,
and was in the truest sense of the term a master
mechanic. The mother of our subject bore the
maiden name of Marguerite Oldenbuttel, and was
born in Hanover, in 1814. They were married
January 9, 1839, and by their union became the
parents of seven children, three sons and four
daughters, of whom August, the eldest, and Fred-
erick, the youngest, yetsurvive. In 1857, George
Heuck, accompanied by his family, boarded
the sailing-vessel "Atalanta," bound for America.
They were delayed by severe storms while pass-
ing through the English Channel, and collided
with a vessel. They also ran on a rock in the
channel, and the captain, mate and five sailors
from a wreck were picked up. After a voyage
of seven weeks, the "Atalanta" dropped anchor
in the harbor of New York and they landed at
Castle Garden. From New York they made their



way to Albany, and thence by rail to Chicago.
For two or three years the father rented land in
Northfield Township, and then purchased an acre
of ground, on which he built a dwelling and
blacksmith shop. For some years he there car-
ried on business in his own interest. He died
January 5, 1881.

August Heuck, whose name heads this record,
began learning the blacksmith's trade with his
father when a youth of nine summers. He also
attended school during a portion of the time, and
at the age of eighteen had acquired a good practi-
cal education. With the family he came to
America, and has since made his home in Cook
County.

On the 25th of June, 1868, was celebrated the
marriage of August Heuck and Miss Wilhelinina,
daughter of Lorenzo Heick. She was born April
17, 1848, in Kiel, Holstein, Germany, and emi-
grated to America in 1867. Their surviving
children are: August, born March 20, 1872;
Henry, September 14, 1873; and Johanna, No-
vember 25, 1877.

Mr. Heuck and his family are all members of
the Lutheran Church. He is a Republican in
politics, and has always been a zealous and active



NOAH B. BACON.



215



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 32 of 111)