Copyright
John Morley.

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

. (page 38 of 111)
Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 38 of 111)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


this volume), was born in Chicago, June 7, 1864.
Intended by his parent for a successor in his own
professional labors, his studies were very care-
fully and classically planned in Mr. Barnes' local
School for Boys; after which he was finally fitted
to enter Princeton College by a proficient private
tutor. He entered Princeton in the fall of 1882,
in the Class of ' 86, at which latter time he would
have been entitled to the degree of Bachelor of
Arts.

Filled to overflowing with that pent-up energy
which craves useful and fame-bringing exercise
(so characteristic of the young men of our time),
he could not remain at literary studies beyond
the end of his third, the junior, year. At this
time, on his return home from college, he began
reading law in the office of his father, attending
lectures the while at the Chicago Law School,
from which institution, in 1887, he took a de-
gree, which entitled him to practice in the Illinois
State Courts.

His first business affiliations was as junior
partner of the firm of Goudy, Green & Goudy, of
which his honored father was the senior member.
Their office was located at No. 161 LaSalle



Street, where they made a specialty of corpora-
tion law, as well as of that branch relating to
real property, Mr. Goudy, ST., being for a long
period General Counsel for the Chicago & North-
western Railway.

In 1892 William J. Goudy withdrew from said
firm in order to form with a friend in business life,
Mr. Robert F. Shanklin, a new firm, under the
style of Goudy & Shanklin, whose office, situated
at No. 84 La Salle Street, was the scene of many
a transaction in the mortgage brokers' arena.

If it be a lamentable truth that "Death loves a
shining mark," one cannot say further than this,
that the untimely fall of precociously ambitious
young manhood certainly strikes home with un-
wonted awfulness. The gloomy sequel of this
remorseless stroke (saddest view of all) is the not
infrequent doubt thereby brought into being
whether all things, even the termination of ex-
istence under circumstances most harrowing, real-
ly do inflexibly happen for the best. Alas, in the
sacred presence of death we can only bow, if
possible, with resignation to the Supreme, "As
Godwills!"

In the latter part of the spring of 1894 Mr.
Goudy, who had been remarkably free in youth
from juvenile diseases, was stricken, together
with his little girl, by one of the illnesses which
usually befall earlier years of life. His daughter
recovered, but the parent, as frequently occurs in
similar kinds of affliction, was, after some weeks
of painful malady, hurried into an acute pneu-
monial complication, whose end became speedily
fatal on the afternoon of Saturday, May 26, 1894.



248



W. J. GOUDY.



The Rev. Mr. Tompkins, pastor of St. James'
Episcopal Church, of which the deceased had
been a faithful attendant, officiated at the obse-
quies, after which the mortal body was borne to
Graceland Cemetery, there to rest beside the de-
parted form of his beloved father, who only the
preceding spring had been called away in even
more tragic suddenness.

True to intelligent family tradition, Mr. Goudy
was an unswerving Democrat in politics, in which
field he took a very active and influential interest,
not, however, in the way of personal glory and
preferment, but as advocate and furtherer of wise
party actions and the bringing into power of the
best citizenship. Long time a member of the
Waubansee Club, a very conspicuous political or-
ganization, he became one of its Directors; and
finally, at about the time of his death, was ad-
vanced to the responsible position of its President.
There has never been any division of opinion on
the part of those informed as to how well he per-
formed the exacting functions of this office. He
was likewise a member of the Union, Washing-
ton Park and University Clubs, and the Chicago
Athletic and Chicago Bar Associations.

In personal and mental characteristics there
was a marked resemblance to his illustrious fa-
ther, although, probably owing to absence of
hardships in earlier years, without some of the
rugged lines of the elder. Nothing could be
more touching than the fondness of these two
men, father and son, for each other. Despite
the disparity of ages, it was a modern exemplifi-
cation of the almost fabulous attachment of Da-
mon and Pythias of ancient times. All their
plans, thoughts and nobler emotions were enjoyed
along the unvarying higher level together. In
truth, so profound was this silent bond of union,
that one almost finds himself pondering, Was not
this unseen paternal soul force, which the year
previous had gone to his Maker, exercising, un-
known to us mortals, its inalienable birthright
with a potency which drew his son so untimely
to himself again?

As illustrating the fondness of the parent, it is
related that the father, soon after the time of his
son's marriage, built and gave him a magnificent



stone mansion, No. 46 Astor Place, at the corner
of Goethe Street, and diagonally across the street
from a small private park running by the side of
the father's mansion home, that they might al-
ways be close beside each other, actually within
full view and hailing distance while seated on
their individual premises. There is no more
complete residence to be found in our city of
choice homes than this, which was so generously
donated.

Mr. Goudy, younger, was by nature a reserved,
reticent, conservative kind of man. He gave lib-
erally, but not ostentatiously. He did not like
either to talk about himself or have others make
him the subject for conversation. He would
spare no trouble or expense to serve a friend.
He was a domestic man; a dutiful son, a faithful
devoted husband, a loving, generous father.

He was married on the i4th day of December,
1887, in this city, by the Rev. Dr. Vibbert, of St.
James' Episcopal Church, to Miss Carolyn Har-
vey Walker, with whom he enjoyed the most
perfect wedded life. She survives her deeply la-
mented husband, together with their one child,
Helen, who was born October 5, 1889.

From what data is available at this writing
concerning the family lineage of Mr. Goudy, the
reader is referred to the sketch of Hon. Will-
iam C. Goudy, to be found elsewhere herein.
Mrs. Goudy is the daughter of Samuel J. Walk-
er and Amanda (Morehead) Walker, of Chi-
cago. Mr. Walker, one of the old settlers of
the city, was during his lifetime a very active
man on the real-estate market, having at one
time accumulated quite a fortune, which suffered
heavily by the panic of 1873. The beauty of
Ashland Boulevard upon the West Side, of which
he may almost be called the father, is largely
owing to his interested foresight.

Samuel J. Walker was a son of James Walker,
of Dayton, Kentucky, who married a Miss Caro-
lyn Cooper.

Mrs. Goudy's maternal grandfather was the
very distinguished Hon. Charles S. Morehead,
of Frankfort, Kentucky, a lawyer of rare talents,
and at one time Chief Executive of his native
state.



R. R. ROLLO.



249



RALPH R. ROLLO.



RALPH RODOLPHUS ROLLO, whose death
occurred in Chicago, March 22, 1872, was a
man of Christian principles and sterling in-
tegrity of character. He was born at Gilead,
Connecticut, on the 25th of September, 1811, and
was a son of Ralph R. Rollo and Sibyl Post,
whose genealogy may be seen in connection with
the biography of William E. Rollo, which ap-
pears upon another page of this volume.

The subject of this notice was educated at the
public schools of South Windsor, Connecticut,
and for a time was engaged in teaching in his na-
tive state. About 1838 he moved to Conneaut,
Ohio, where he kept a book store for some years.
While there he also became the editor and pub-
lisher of the Conneaut Reporter. He thus ac-
quired considerable local fame as a journalist. In
1844 he removed to New Brunswick, New Jersey,
and became the proprietor of a large rubber-man-
ufacturing establishment. This enterprise was
continued until 1861, when, at the solicitation of
his aged father, he returned to South Windsor
and resided upon the homestead farm until the
death of the latter.

The following year, 1870, he came to Chicago
and engaged in the fire-insurance business in con-
nection with his brother, William E. Rollo, who
had preceded him hither. His business career in
this city was but fairly begun when it was cut
short by an attack of pleurisy, which terminated
in his death, as above noted.

He had been an active member of the Congre-
gational Church from boyhood, and while living
in New Jersey was an Elder in the New Bruns-
wick Church of that sect. Upon coming to Chi-
cago, he united with the First Congregational
Church of this city. He had been a firm Repub-
lican in political sentiment from the organization



of the Republican party, but was seldom an active
participant in political strife. He held liberal
and progressive views upon all public questions,
and wherever his lines were cast was certain to
win numerous friends and make no enemies.

On the loth of August, 1842, Mr. Rollo was
married to Miss Gennett Chester, who still sur-
vives and is a resident of Chicago. She is a
daughter of Dr. Lemuel L. Chester and Jerusha
Clark, both of whom were natives of Connecti-
cut, and were descendants of early New England
colonists. Mrs. Rollo was born at Westmore-
land, New York, and while a child removed with
her parents to Rome, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Rollo
were the parents of four children, namely: Charles
Egbert; Alice Amelia, who died in childhood;
Lewis Chester; and Lily Agnes. All the living
reside in Chicago.

Charles Egbert Rollo was born in Conneaut,
Ohio, and was educated at the high school in East
Hartford, Connecticut, completing the course at
the age of eighteen years. He then came to Chi-
cago and became connected with the Merchants'
Insurance Company, in the capacity of special
agent. He continued with that corporation until
it succumbed to the consequences of the great fire
of 1871, when he became identified with the Trad-
ers' Insurance Company. He was afterward a
member of the firm of William E. Rollo & Com-
pany, insurance agents. In 1882 he organized
the firm of C. E. Rollo & Company, fire-insur-
ance agents and brokers, which is still engaged
in conducting a flourishing business, and occu-
pies handsome offices in the Temple Building.
Mr. Rollo is a member of the Illinois and Harvard
Clubs, and is a popular citizen socially, as well
as in business circles.

Lewis Chester Rollo was born at New Bruns-



250



STEPHEN REXFORD.



wick, New Jersey, December 23, 1858. He came
with his parents to Chicago, where he attended
the Skinner and Brown Schools, leaving the lat-
ter at the age of seventeen years, to enter the
office of W. E. Rollo & Company, insurance
agents, and he remained with them until May,
1882, when he became the junior member of the
firm of C. E. Rollo & Company, which connection
he still maintains. He was married on the



of February, 1888, to Edith May Van Schoick, a
daughter of William and Cynthia Van Schoick,
of Bloomington, Illinois. Their only child, Van
Schoick Rollo, is a boy of seven years. Mr.
Rollo is a member of the Athletic and Menoken
Clubs, and has a host of friends and acquaintances,
by whom his company is sought at all opportune
moments.



STEPHEN REXFORD.



JTEPHEN REXFORD, one of the earliest
and most esteemed pioneers of Cook County,
was born in Charlotte, Vermont, May 4,
1804, and died at Blue Island, Illinois, October
7, 1880. He was the second son of Benajah
Rexford, whose genealogy will be found in the
sketch of Norman Rexford, elsewhere in this
book.

While a boy, Stephen witnessed the battle of
Plattsburgh from the top of a mountain near his
home, whither he went with his father and others
for that purpose. When he was twelve years old
the family removed to Westfield, Chautauqua
County, New York, where he attended the public
schools. On reaching manhood he went to Buf-
falo, New York, and became a clerk for a commis-
sion firm of that city. He continued with this
firm several years, winning the confidence and es-
teem of his employers to a remarkable degree, and
by their advice, in June, 1832, he went to Chicago
with a view to engaging in a commission business
in that place. After a year or two, however, he
decided to engage in farming, and so took up a
"claim" at Bachelor's Grove, being one of the
four single men for whom that place was named.
He built a large double log house, then the most
pretentious residence in that part of the country,
and otherwise improved this farm, which he con-



tinued to own for many years. A few years after
coming to this county he and his brother Norman
purchased most of the land on the east side of
Western Avenue, in the present village of Blue
Island, and in 1843 he removed thither and began
dealing in general merchandise, erecting for that
purpose a large building, which he purchased at
Hobart, Indiana, and which was brought to Blue
Island in pieces by team. He also built a large
warehouse on the "feeder" to the Illinois
and Michigan Canal, and engaged in shipping
grain, lumber and provisions on quite an exten-
sive scale. When the Chicago, Rock Island &
Pacific Railroad was built, however, and the
canal ceased to be a route of commerce, he dis-
posed of his warehouse and dealt in live stock.
He carried on an extensive business, his method
being to purchase large droves of cattle in central
and southern Illinois, have them driven to Blue
Island, where he fattened them on the prairies
adjacent for the Chicago market. Subsequently
he disposed of his business in Blue Island and
again engaged in farming for a few years, later
returning to Blue Island where he lived several
years before his death.

In the year 1835 Mr. Rexford married Miss
Susan Wattles, daughter of Chandler Wattles, of
Ripley, New York, where Mrs. Rexford was



J. A. SEXTON.



251



born. She died in Blue Island in 1849, having
borne her husband the following children: Julia
Ellen, wife of Dr. Charles Morgan, of Chicago;
Susan Eliza, wife of Dr. John Waughop, of Fort
Steilacoora, Washington; Alma, superintendent
of the Home for the Friendless, in Chicago;
Sarah Elsie (Mrs. E. E. Bellamy), of O' Neil,
Holt County, Nebraska; and Anna Louise (Mrs.
Charles A. Bellamy), of Chicago. After the
death of his first wife, Mr. Rexford married Miss
Elvira Barber, of Wardsboro, Vermont, who still
resides at Blue Island. To the last union were
born the following children: Stephen Barber,
who is deceased; Henry Lee, of Chicago; Fannie
Isabel (Mrs. John H. Clark), of Longwood, Illi-
nois; Lewis Averill, of Seattle, Washington; and
Mary Gushing (Mrs. Joseph P. Eames), of Blue
Island.

In religious faith Mr. Rexford was a Universal-
ist, being a member of the church of that denom-
ination at Blue Island. In early life he was a rigid
Democrat, but with Buchanan's administration he
changed his political adherence, becoming a very
stanch Republican. He was one of the three



commissioners appointed to divide Cook County
into townships, and served as postmaster at Blue
Island for many years, and as supervisor of
Worth Township for several years. Beyond this
he did not aspire, and he refused to consider fur-
ther promotions which were offered him. During
his residence in Chicago he was at one time at
Fort Dearborn with Colonel Whistler, and assisted
in throwing out the provisions to the assembled
Indians, which were given them by the United
States Government in accordance with a treaty
made previous to their removal from Illinois.
Mr. Rexford always averred that the distribution
was made in a most unjust fashion, the goods
being thrown from an upper window and the In-
dians dividing them according to their respective
strength and agility in seizing them.

Mr. Rexford was a man of exemplary charac-
ter and distinctive business qualifications, and
bore an important part in the transformation of
Cook County from the hunting-grounds of a sav-
age race to the abode of a populous, civilized
community.



COL. JAMES A. SEXTON.



EOL. JAMES A. SEXTON. On the street
upon which he resided at the time of his
death James Andrew Sexton was born, Jan-
uary 5, 1844. His parents, Stephen and Ann
(Gaughan) Sexton, were pioneer settlers of Chi-
cago, coming here from Rochester, New York, in
the year 1834. Stephen Sexton was a contractor
and builder, and one of the first schoolhouses in
Chicago was erected by him. The youth of
Colonel Sexton was spent in his native city.

The public schools furnished all the training
given to his mind, except that afforded by his



varied experiences, the latter forming perhaps
the most practical and valuable portion of his
education. Within a few days after he saw his
beloved parents placed in their last resting places
(both dying within two weeks) the land was
convulsed by the sound of civil war.

When President Lincoln, in April, 1861, issued
his famous call for seventy-five thousand volun-
teers to put down the Rebellion young Sexton,
although but little past his seventeenth birthday,
was among the first to respond and enlisted on
the i gth of April, 1861, as a private soldier.



252



J. A. SEXTON.



After three months' service he re-enlisted in the
Sixty-seventh Regiment, Illinois Infantry Vol-
unteers, and was made first lieutenant in Com-
pany E. He was later transferred to the Seventy-
second Regiment, Illinois Infantry Volunteers,
and commissioned captain of Company D. He
served in Ransom's Brigade, _McArthur Division,
Seventeenth Army Corps, of the army of the
Tennessee, and participated in nearly all its
campaigns, sieges and battles.

He commanded his regiment in the battles of
Columbia, Duck River, Spring Hill, Franklin
and Nashville, Tennessee, and through the severe
Nashville campaign. In 1865 he was assigned
to duty on the staff of Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith,
the commander of the Sixteenth Army Corps,
army of the Tennessee, acting as provost mar-
shal and serving until the close of the war, when
he was honorably discharged from the service in
1865, leaving a record which will compare favor-
ably with that of any officer from Illinois. Upon
the assault and capture of the Spanish Fort,
Mobile, Alabama, April 8, 1865, he had his left
leg broken below the knee, being struck by a
piece of shell weighing seventeen ounces. He
was slightly wounded in the battle of Franklin,
and painfully wounded in the right hand at the
battle of Nashville, Tennessee.

After the close of hostilities Colonel Sexton
purchased a plantation in Lowndes County,
Alabama, near the city of Montgomery, and
remained there two years as a planter. In 1867
he returned to his native city, which continued
to be his home until his death. Upon his return
to Chicago he established the firm of J. A. &
T. S. Sexton, dealers in stoves and hardware.
In 1872, alter the Great Chicago Fire, this firm
was succeeded by that of Cribben, Sexton &
Company, and the prosperous business built up
by them was due largely to Colonel Sexton's
untiring energy and business ability. It is now
widely known throughout the country as one of
its largest stove factories.

He was ever keenly alive to the great questions
which affected the public welfare. For years
identified with the progress of the city, he de-
veloped a personality that attracted public atten-



tion and, in April, 1889, President Harrison, in
recognition of his patriotism and devotion to his
country, appointed him postmaster of Chicago.
He was retained by President Cleveland until
January i, 1895, when Colonel Sexton resigned.
He was postmaster of Chicago at a time when
ability of the highest order was essential, for dur-
ing no time in the history of the city was so much
mail matter handled as during the year of the
World's Fair, 1893. He evinced remarkable
executive ability in his management, and so ably
and satisfactorily performed the duties of his of-
fice that he received merited recognition from the
department at Washington and the grateful
thanks of the public at large.

During his short life he filled many positions
of public trust. He was a presidential elector in
1884, Lincoln Park commissioner, a colonel in
the Illinois National Guard and, at the time of
his death, was president of the Board of Trustees
of the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at
Quincy. He was a member of the military order
of the Loyal Legion, the society of the Army of
the Tennessee, Columbia Post No. 706, G. A. R.,
and a Royal Arch Mason. His greatest pleasure
in life was to mingle with his comrades of the
Grand Army of the Republic and "to tell again
the thrilling stories of the war. ' ' He was always
an earnest worker in the cause of the old soldiers
and considered no sacrifice too great for their wel-
fare. That he was loved by them in return and
that his efforts in their behalf were appreciated
was manifested by his election as post commander
and department commander of the state of Illi-
nois, and as a crowning glory he received the
great honor of having been almost unanimously
elected commander in chief at the National En-
campment held at Cincinnati in the fall of 1898.
That his life was not spared to complete the year
so auspiciously begun, that he did not live to
enjoy the companionship of the men he loved so
well until the next encampment, is regretted by
thousands of his comrades throughout the nation.

On the 8th of September, 1898, Colonel Sex-
ton was appointed by President McKmley a mem-
ber of the War Investigation Commission to ex-
amine the conduct of the war department in the



CHRISTIAN NIELSEN.



253



contest with Spain. He entered upon the dis-
charge of his duties and labored conscientiously
and earnestly with the commission and endeared
himself to all his associates by his splendid per-
sonal qualities and his genial, kindly disposition,
proving himself a valuable member of the com-
mission. While engaged upon this work he was
taken sick, January 10, 1899, at Washington, with
la grippe, which developed such serious com-
plications that he was removed to the Garfield
Memorial Hospital, where, after three weeks of
intense suffering, he quietly passed away on Sun-
day morning, February 5, 1899, just one month
after celebrating his fifty -fifth birthday.

When it became known that he was dead,
messages of sympathy and condolence were re-
ceived from the President and members of the
cabinet, from senators and members of congress
and from comrades and officials of the Grand
Army of the Republic. On the morning of his
death the President, Secretary of War Alger and
representatives of the Grand Army and the War
Commission sent beautiful floral offerings. A
military escort was tendered by the Government,
the War Commission and by the Department of
the Potomac and District of Columbia, also a



special car to convey the remains to Chicago.
Everything that could possibly be done as a last
mark of respect and honor, was done by the kind
hearted people of Washington. Upon the arrival
at Chicago they were met at the depot by the
members of the late commander's staff, a delega-
tion from the Chicago postoffice, clerks and letter
carriers, and from the various organizations of
which Colonel Sexton was a member. The fu-
neral arrangements were conducted by the Grand
Army of the Republic, with most impressive
ceremonies, under the auspices of Columbia Post
No. 706. Beneath the dome of Memorial Hall
in the public library building, the body lay in
state for four hours, while thousands of friends
and comrades passed in line by the bier and gazed
for the last time on the features of their loved
commander and friend. At the grave a firing
squad from Company E, Seventh Regiment Illi-
nois National Guard, fired a volley over the open
grave. Beautiful floral tributes were received
from representative men and women and from
the numerous societies of which he was a mem-
ber.

Colonel Sexton was twice happily married and
leaves a widow and nine children surviving him.



CHRISTIAN NIELSEN.



EHRISTIAN NIELSEN first saw the light
of day August 20, 1864, in Jutland, Den-
mark, his father, Niels Nielsen, having been
born in the same place, as well as his mother.

He attended the schools of his native place
until he reached the age of sixteen years, when,
in 1880, he emigrated to America. His first lo-
cation was in northern Michigan, where he found
employment at driving a team. In 1886 he came
to Chicago. Here he found work by the day,



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 38 of 111)