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adherent of that party since casting his first Pres-
idential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He still works
at his trade and is also interested in farming. He
owns the acre of land which his father first pur-
chased, and has by industry and energy added to
this until he is now the possessor of ninety-three
acres of well-improved land, and some Evanston
property, besides his pleasant home in Oak Glen,



built in 1877, which is surrounded by fruit and
ornamental shrubbery planted by himself.

Gerhardt Oldenbuttel, a brother of Mrs. Mar-
guerite Heuck, still resides with the subject of
this sketch, at the age of seventy-five years. He
came to America in 1840, landing at Charleston,
South Carolina, and has since traveled extens-
ively in the United States.



NOAH



BACON.



BROCKWAY BACON, one of the few
Py men now living, with clear memories, who
I U> were born in the eighteenth century, is an
example of the benefits of temperance and right-
eous living. When near the close of his ninety-
fifth year, he wrote the following, at the request
of the editor of this volume:

"I know very little of my ancestors. My father
moved to the State of New York soon after his
marriage, leaving all of his relatives in the East-
ern States. He was a son of Ebeneezer Bacon,
of Massachusetts. When a boy of sixteen years,
he and two older brothers enlisted in the Revo-
lutionary War. One brother died in the army
and the other lost his right arm. My father
served seven years, without a day's relief, and
was honorably discharged, a sound, strong man
of one hundred and fifty -five pounds' weight, and
paid off in Continental money, of which it would
take $5,000 to buy a pair of top boots. I have
heard my father say it would take $150 to buy a
dinner.

' 'Some four years after the war my father married
Ruth Brockway, a Connecticut school teacher,
and moved west to the State of New York. The
result of their marriage was five sons and two
daughters. The youngest son died in infancy.
Their names were Olive, Elijah, Noah B., Tru-
man Norton, Joseph Franklin, Ruth Anna and



Timothy. Six lived to marry and rear families.
My brothers and sisters have all passed on to the
spirit life, and I am the only representative of my
father's family. My health is good for one of
my years.

"I was born on the igth of December, 1799, and
am this day ninety-four years, seven months and
twenty-two days old, and I write this history from
memory, and without spectacles, in this cloudy,
dark day, August 10, 1894. My cup of life has
been mixed with joy and grief. Our sorrows last
for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. My
history is peculiar to myself perhaps of little
interest to others. I have been told that my
brother, Joseph F. Bacon, who died in Milwau-
kee, Wisconsin, February 5, 1892, traced the line
of our ancestors back to Lord Bacon. I never
had time for such work. Lord Bacon was what
he was in his time, and I am what I am in my
day. Character, not genealogy, is what makes
the man of to-day famous or infamous. Vice
may be dandled in the lap of wealth and fame,
while virtue, in obscurity, struggles with the iron
hand of poverty, and unknown in the annals of
the world's history. Yet virtue carries her re-
ward with her, and sometimes it is an open reward.
Many years of experience have taught me to re-
gard everyone according to his virtue, from the
king on his throne to the beggar in the street. I



216



NOAH B. BACON.



have living twenty-five grandchildren, forty-three
great-grandchildren and three great-great-grand-
children. Nine grandchildren have died and two
great-grandchildren have died. Three of my
daughters have died, and I have five sons and
one daughter living."

Elijah Bacon, father of the subject of this
sketch, was born in 1765 (probably at Dedham,
Massachusetts), and reached the age of ninety-six
years. His wife lived to be ninety years old.
They were faithful members of the Presbyterian
Church, and engaged chiefly in agriculture.

Noah B. Bacon was born in Westmoreland,
Ontario County, New York, and had a limited
common-school education. He has been observ-
ant and studious and has secured a valuable
practical education. As shown in the extract
preceding, he has sound, practical views of life.
After spending some years in carrying mail first
on horseback, then on a stage line through the
wilds of southern New York and northern Penn-
sylvania, in the employ of Stephen B. Leonard,
Mr. Bacon took a sub-contract from Mr. Leonard
to carry the mail (in connection with which he
operated a stage line) between Bath. Steuben
County, New York, and Elmira, Tioga County,
in the same State, which he faithfully carried out,
but without financial gain. Farming has been his
main occupation in life. For about fifteen years
he operated a linseed-oil mill at Bath, New York,
during part of the year.

In 1843 he moved to Mukwanago (then Mil-
waukee) County, Wisconsin, where he rented land
four years. He then removed to La Grange, Wai-
worth County, in the same State, and combined
farming with the operation of a blacksmith shop,
in partnership with his eldest son. Here he im-
proved his financial condition and established a
reputation for rectitude, to which the writer of
these lines cheerfully testifies from personal
knowledge. In 1856 he went to Easton, Adams
County, Wisconsin, where he purchased wild land
and improved it successfully. Here, in 1875, at
the age of seventy-seven years, his faithful help-
mate was taken away by death, and he soon after
retired from active life. On the evening of the
first day of the year 1821, in Bath, Steuben



County, New York, Mr. Bacon was wedded to
Miss Charlotte York. She was the daughter of
Stephen and Amy (Franklin) York, and was
born in Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York,
being one of a family of three sons and six daugh-
ters. Stephen York was of Dutch descent. Amy
Franklin was a daughter of Roswell P. Franklin,
a near relative of Benjamin Franklin, the Amer-
ican sage. Five sons and four daughters were
given to Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, named in order of
birth: Mary Ann, Joseph Franklin, Ruth Amy,
George Brockway, Huldah Emmarilla, Elijah
Fremont, Jeremiah D., David Noah and Char-
lotte Amanda. Joseph Franklin resides in Por-
tage City, Wisconsin, and has four living children ;
George Brockway has two children and resides in
Des Moines, Iowa; Elijah Fremont, also of Des
. Moines, has eight children; Jeremiah D. makes
his home in Chicago; David N. resides in Point
Bluff, Wisconsin; Mrs. Mahlon Dewing, a widow,
resides in Winfred, South Dakota. Her husband
served for four years in the Eleventh Wisconsin
Regiment during the War of the Rebellion. The
second daughter was buried in Bath, Steuben
County, New York; the third in Mukwanago,
Wisconsin; and the eldest in White Creek, Wis-
consin.

Mr. Bacon, though now so well advanced in
years, is remarkably well preserved. His health
is good, his step firm and elastic, and his eyesight
and hearing are very slightly impaired. He pos-
sesses considerable literary ability, and it has been
his custom for several years to compose a poem
on his birthday. He also corresponds regularly
with several friends and writes daily in a diary.
Until his retirement his life was a very busy one,
and he is now spending his declining years in a
well-earned rest. In pleasant weather he accom-
panies his grandchildren through the busy por-
tions of the city, and during 1893 he several
times visited the World's Fair, which he enjoyed
greatly. His excellent health is undoubtedly due
in a large measure to his abstinence from intoxi-
cating liquors. In religious faith he is a Univer-
salist, and has acted with the Republican Party
since its organization "pledged to truth and the
public good: God first and my country next."



JOHN M. MATHIS.



217



While in Chicago Mr. Bacon resides with his
son, Jeremiah D., who was bora March 23, 1832,
in Bath, Steuben County, New York. He at-
tended school at that place and completed his
education in Wisconsin. At the age of eighteen
he began to learn the blacksmith's trade with his
brother, Joseph Franklin, with whom he worked
(at La Grange, Wisconsin) four years, after
which he carried on mercantile pursuits in con-
nection with another brother at White Creek,
Wisconsin. They built a flouring-mill and car-
ried on business along that line until the spring
of 1865, at which time Jeremiah Bacon went to
Hannibal, Missouri, where he engaged in the
grocery business for one year. He then, with
others, organized an insurance company, with
which he was connected for four years, when he
returned to the grocery business, carrying on
trade until 1876. On his removal to Chicago, in
the Centennial year, he embarked in the com-
mission business on South Water Street, being



thus engaged for two years, when he entered the
employ of Rosenbaum Bros. He severed his
connection with that firm to engage in the grain
business, and subsequently entered the employ of
Rogers Bros. , grain receivers, and his next ven-
ture was in the real-estate business, which he yet
carries on.

Jeremiah Bacon has been twice married. He
first wedded Bianca A. Walworth, and afterward
Susan E. Lanphear. His children are: Hattie
B., wife of C. L. Thayer, of Chicago, by whom
she has one child, Charles L. ; Mary C., a teacher
in the Kershaw School of Chicago; Lulu S., at
home; Anna L., wife of W. C. Allen, of Chicago,
by whom she has two children; and Henrietta L.,
wife of E. G. Colburn, a druggist of this city.
In his political views Mr. Bacon is a Democrat,
and is a well-informed man, who keeps abreast
with the times on all questions of the day. A
courteous, genial gentleman, those who know
him esteem him highly for his sterling worth.



JOHN M MATHIS.



(JOHN MICHAEL MATHIS resides on sec-
I tion 31, Niles Township, Cook County. The
G/ men who start out in life without capital and
work their way upward unaided, depending en-
tirely on their own resources, deserve great credit
for their success. Such a man is our subject.
He was the eldest of five children and was born
on the i gth of May, 1819. His ancestors were
stalwart men, prominent in the military service of
France. His father, John Michael Mathis, Sr. ,
who lived to see his eighty-fourth year, was a sol-
dier under Napoleon and witnessed the fall of the
"Great Commander." His mother, who bore the
maiden name of Barbara Myer, was a daughter
of Casper Myer, a blacksmith. All were natives
of Alsace, Germany, then a part of France.



Mr. Mathis whose name heads this record en-
listed in the French army in 1840, and after six
years' service was honorably discharged, on the
26th of November, 1846. While in the army he
excelled in all the athletic sports that so much
interest men during soldier-life, and in a contest
received the prize a gold watch for being the
"best man" in the regiment. He was thirty
years of age at the time of his emigration to Amer-
ica. In 1849, he crossed the briny deep and took
up his residence in Lake County, Illinois, near
the Cook County line. After a few years he re-
moved to Arlington Heights, in this county, where
he made his home for a period of twelve years.
He then went to Mobile, Alabama, where he
spent two years engaged in hunting and fishing.



218



J. A. BOLLMANN.



While engaged in the latter pursuit his only com-
petitors were the Spanish fishermen, who were
not adepts in inveigling the finny tribe. His
superior ability in this line made the business
quite profitable, he often catching fish to the value
of about $30 in two or three hours. In the spring
of 1867 he came to the village of Niles and em-
barked in the hotel and saloon business, which for
seventeen years proved to be very remunerative.
In 1884, having acquired a handsome compe-
tency, he retired to private life, and is now living
in a substantial two-story residence, in a very de-
sirable part of the town, enjoying the rest which
he has so truly earned and richly deserves.

In 1856, Mr. Mathis was joined in marriage
with Miss Lena Deabolt, a native of Alsace. Her



death occurred in 1884. Two of the nephews of
our subject, William and Jacob, sons of his
brother Jacob, of Alsace, are living with him.
Jacob Mathis, Jr., married Miss Lena Laesser,
and they have two children, Bertha and Lena.

Mr. Mathis is a member of the Lutheran
Church, and in his political affiliation is a Demo-
crat, but has never had time or inclination for
public office. His first Presidential vote was cast
for Abraham Lincoln. He has lived a quiet and
unassuming life. Being at a very early age
thrown upon his own resources, he had few ad-
vantages, educational or otherwise, and his success
has been achieved by earnest efforts and good
management.



REV. JOSEPH A. BOLLMANN.



REV. JOSEPH A. BOLLMANN, of Sag
Bridge, is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and
was born on the 7th of December, 1854.
His father, Frederick Bollmann, was a goldsmith,
born near Osnaburg, Germany, and came to
America in 1840. Nine years later, in 1849, he
married Miss Lena Dahme, a native of Muenster,
Germany, who emigrated to the United States in
1842. By this union were born two children,
the younger of whom is our subject. His first
year's education was obtained in the public schools
of Springfield, Ohio, after which he attended the
high school of the same city. He studied the
classics in Mount St. Mary's, in Cincinnati, and
after completing the prescribed course entered the
school of St. Viateur at Kankakee, where he took
the theological course, being graduated from that
institution in 1880. He was ordained on the I7th
of June of the same year by Bishop Spalding, of
Peoria, 111. During the last two years of his



course he was a teacher of Latin and Greek in
the college.

Rev. Mr. Bollmann's first pastoral work was as
assistant to Father Barrett, of St. Stephen's Church
of Chicago, where he spent three months, and
then he went to Lemont as assistant priest to Rev.
J. E. Hogan, of St. Patrick's Church, thus serv-
ing for two years. In 1882 he was made priest
in charge of St. James' Church at Sag Bridge,
being the first resident pastor at that place. There
he built the parochial residence, enlarged the
church edifice, and built a steeple to it. This
church is of stone, beautifully situated in the
midst of a natural forest, on the summit of a hill,
commanding a fine view of the country around.
Here Father Bollmann has passed twelve years
in the midst of a community of farmers. Al-
though he has been offered the pastorate of
wealthy city churches in Chicago, he prefers to
remain where he can live close to nature, of which



WILLIAM NETTSTRAETER.



219



he is a great lover. His leisure time he spends
in reading the classics, of which he is very fond,
in fishing, hunting, and in studying the things
of nature, which are always interesting to a man
of his education and bent of mind. Genial and
kindly by nature, with an eye single to the ad-



vancement of his parishioners in material as well as
spiritual matters, Rev. Mr. Bollmann fills a place
in which he finds pleasure and success and enjoys
the profound respect and regard of those of his
own church over whom he has charge, and those
of other denominations as well.



WILLIAM NETTSTRAETER.



REV. WILLIAM NETSTRAETER, pastor of
St. Joseph's Catholic Church at Wilmette, is
a native of Prussia, his birth having oc-
curred in that country at Meschede, on the ist of
January, 1843. His parents were Frank and
Josephine Frances (Sels) Netstraeter. The former
came to America in 1867 and spent his remain-
ing days in this country. The mother died when
her son William was a lad of only about eight
summers.

The primary education of Father Netstraeter
was obtained in the public schools of his native
town, and subsequently at the college of Arns-
berg, from which he was graduated at the age of
twenty years. He then entered the University of
Muenster to prepare for the work of the ministry.
Here he studied for a period of two years, and
then went to Paderborn to continue his studies,
until the year 1867, which witnessed his emigra-
tion to America, whither he had been called by
the president of St. Francis' Seminary of Milwau-
kee. There he completed his theological studies,
and entered the ministry in September, 1867.
His first appointment was at Gross Point, Illinois,
where he served for a few months as assistant
pastor. Shortly afterwards he was removed to
Lincoln, Illinois, where he had charge of all the
German Catholics in Logan and McLean Counties.
He organized congregations in Lincoln, Bloom-
ington, Pulaski, Atlanta and several small country
places, and through his instrumentality houses of
worship were erected at the first two above-named
towns.



On the expiration of a period of five years,
Father Netstraeter was recalled to Gross Point to
become pastor of the church at that place, and
still continues his ministerial labors there. The
membership of the church has largely increased,
and several congregations have been cut off from
the original society. During the first two years
of his residence here he also had charge of the
church at Highland Park. The congregation at
Wilmette was organized in December, 1845, by
Father G. H. Plathe. A block church was first
built, and all the Catholics for thirty miles around
worshipped here. Afterwards a frame church was
erected, and in 1869 a large brick edifice was
built and an extensive addition was made in 1892.
The present seating capacity of the building is
six hundred, with standing room for two hundred
more. It is now the intention to build within a
few years a new house of worship and use the
present church for school purposes and assembly
rooms. At an early day a school was organized
in connection with the church, and at this writ-
ing (in the fall of 1894) about three hundred and
fifty pupils are instructed therein.

Father Netstraeter is not only an able minister,
but manifests a keen interest in all worthy public
enterprises which are calculated to advance the
welfare of the community. He has taken an
active interest in the growth and development of
the village of Wilmette, which has sprung into
existence during his residence here. He served
for eight years as Trustee of the village and twice
during that time was called to the Presidency of



22O



EUGENE BURHANS.



the Board. He platted a subdivision of the town,
and owns some choice property there. Father
Netstraeter is a deep student, an able speaker and
writer, and a progressive and useful citizen. His



practical methods and kindly manners have
greatly endeared him to the congregation to
whom he has ministered for so many years.



EUGENE BURHANS.



IT UGENE BURHANS, who since November
Ft) i, 1889, has held the position of depot mas-
I ter at the Chicago station of the Rock Island
and Lake Shore Railways, is a native of the
Empire State. He was born in Kingston, Ulster
County, on the 26th of March, 1851, and is a son
of William P. and Catherine (Folant) Burhans.
The father died January 18, 1892, in Bristol,
Indiana, when seventy-three years of age. He,
too, was born in Kingston, New York, and
was of Holland descent. His ancestors crossed
the Atlantic in an early day, settling in New
York in the seventeenth century. The father
was a shoemaker by trade and carried on a
shoe store in Kingston for many years, but at
length disposed of his business interests in the
East and in 1867 removed to Bristol, Indiana,
where his remaining days were passed. The
mother of Eugene died during his infancy. She,
too, was born in Kingston, where many of her
relatives still live. The Folant family is also of
Holland origin. After the death of his first wife
Mr. Burhans was united in marriage with Mrs.
Uretta (Smith) Heald, who is still living in Bris-
tol, Indiana. She proved to Eugene a kind and
faithful mother, taking the place of the one whom
he had lost.

Mr. Burhans, whose name heads this record,
acquired his education in the public schools of his
native town, and at the age of fourteen he started
out in life for himself. He began to learn the
trade of a confectioner, serving a three-years ap-
prenticeship to the same. At the age of seven-
teen he accompanied his parents on their removal



to Indiana, and after spending two years on the
farm he resumed work at his trade at South Bend.
Subsequently he abandoned that business and was
made a member of the police force in that city,
thus serving some time.

While in the Hoosier State Mr. Burhans was
married, on the 23d of November, 1871, the lady
of his choice being Miss Sarah M. Finch, daugh-
ter of Hiram Finch, a pioneer of St. Joseph
County, Indiana. She was born in New York,
and died on the i4th of December, 1882, in her
twenty-ninth year, leaving three children: Ella,
now the wife of L. A. Babcock, of Chicago;
Emma; and William, who makes his home in
Bristol, Indiana. Mr. Burhans was again mar-
ried, in November, 1888, his second union being
with Mrs. Mary E. Boys, a sister of his first wife.
She had one child by her former marriage, a
daughter, Maud.

Mr. Burhans arrived in Chicago in September,
1883, and secured employment in the repair shops
of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Company. He afterwards became assistant depot
master, and since the ist of November, 1889, he
has held the position of depot master, the duties
of which he discharges in a creditable and accept-
able manner. He is a member of the Masonic
fraternity, belonging to the Blue Lodge of Engle-
wood and the Chapter of Normal Park. In poli-
tics he has been a life-long Republican.

During his connection with the railroad inter-
ests of Chicago, Mr. Burhans and his fellow-officers
have twice been confronted by gigantic strikes on
the part of organized workmen. In these emerg-



W. D. GORDON.



221



encies the corporations whom he serves have ever
found in him a faithful adherent and a powerful
ally, in every way worthy of the confidence re-
posed in him. At the same time he has won the



respect and good-will of the traveling public, who
always regard him as a prompt and accommodat-
ing gent'eman.



WILLIAM D. GORDON.



DENNIS GORDON, Auditor of
Receipts in the Treasurer's office of the
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Company, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on
the I5th of April, 1860, and is a son of Dennis
and Frances A. (Chandlee) Gordon, the latter's
parents being natives of Baltimore, Maryland.
On the paternal side the family is of Scotch ori-
gin. The grandfather of our subject, Benjamin
Gordon, was a native of Scotland, and, having
emigrated to the New World, he engaged in the
United States Naval Service, under Commodore
Decatur. He took part in the expedition to Al-
giers, and during that trip lost his life. His wife
was a native of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon
both died when their son Dennis was a child of six
summers.

The latter was reared and educated in the South,
and in 1858 started westward, hoping thereby to
benefit his financial condition. He took up his
residence in St. Louis, where he engaged in busi-
ness as a dealer in boots and shoes, carrying on
operations along that line until the war broke out,
when he enlisted among the Mounted Patrol. He
was afterwards connected with the police force of
the city until the war ended. In 1869 he came to
Chicago and engaged with the Illinois Central
Railroad as Depot Passenger and Ticket Agent.
He was also employed in a similar capacity with
the Michigan Central Railroad, and to this work
devoted his energies until his death, which resulted
from accident. During the severe snow storm
of February 14, 1885, he was run over by an en-
gine, and death resulted. He was at that time



sixty-seven years of age. His wife still survives
him and is yet living in Chicago. She is a daugh-
ter of Lewis and Ann Chandlee. Her mother was
a Quaker, and died in Chicago in 1874, at the
very advanced age of ninety-two years.

In the Gordon family were nine children, four
sons and five daughters, namely: Thomas B. , who
was accidentally killed on the Chicago, Rock Is-
land & Pacific Railroad in November, 1891; Lewis
C. , who was accidentally killed on the same road
in November, 1889, while serving as a conductor,
in which capacity his brother was also employed ;
George E., who is now in the Treasurer's office
of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Road;
William D. of this sketch; Margaret; Susan C. ;
Nellie; Charlotte, wife of P. F. Webster, of Chi-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 33 of 111)