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

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which stood him in good stead in after life.
When he had reached the age of fourteen years
he began his apprenticeship of three years at the



upholstery trade with C. Morgan, and since the
end of that period of service has worked at his
trade constantly as a journeyman. During these
four decades he has lived in the West Division,
with the exception of five years, and through his
industrious, temperate, economical habits he has
become an owner of valuable real estate in that
section of the city.

Mr. Voelker is a Republican, although he has
never been an aspirant for any office. He was
for sometime a member of the Knights of Honor,
and has been for many years a member of the
Order of Druids. He is now associated with the
United States Legion. He -was reared in the
Lutheran faith, and although not himself a mem-
ber of any church, his family attends Saint
Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

February 18, 1860, he married Ernestine
Schelke, who like himself had emigrated from
Germany. They have eight children: William
E. ; Rose, wife of Oscar Goebel; Henry; Louis;
Edwin; Emma, Mrs. John Schiffman; Frank and
Lillie.



SMITH PETERSEN.



Q MITH PETERSEN. Born in Jutland, Aug-
?\ ust 29, 1861, Mr. Petersen became a resi-
Qy dent of Chicago in 1882, and during the
past seventeen years has been a respected citizen
of the western metropolis. Carl Petersen, his
father, was a carpenter. He died in 1864, at the
age of forty-two, while still engaged in the active
following of his trade. Mrs. Petersen, Senior,
was Margaret Andersen. She died in Denmark
at the same age as her husband. They were the
parents of ten children, but of these only four are
yet living, Smith having been the fourth in order
of birth.



The common schools of his native village af-
forded him all the education which he received
until he was fourteen years of age. After quit-
ting school he served an apprenticeship of four
years at the tinner's trade, and on becoming a
journeyman he started out to see more of the
world than was bounded by the horizon of Den-
mark. For two and one-half years he traveled,
working at his trade at Cassel, Leipsic and
Brunswick.

In 1882, partly through love of adventure and
partly in hope of bettering his fortunes, he set
sail for the United States. The first six months



JOHN WEST.



365



of his residence in this country were spent in La
Salle, Illinois, and then he came to Chicago. He
readily found employment here at his trade, as a
journeyman, and for a period of five years he
was content to labor for a daily stipend, saving
little by little, with his eye steadily fixed upon
the future.

Certainly in this case there resulted no loss
from waiting, since at the end of this period he
was able to open a place of his own at No. 3958
Dearborn Street, where he has conducted business
ever since.

Through industry, integrity and sound judg-
ment, his business -has steadily grown, until he



has become one of the most successful business
men in this section of the city. To his business
as a tinner he has added the sale of stoves,
ranges and hardware, and his establishment has
become a recognized feature among his neighbors
within a mile's radius.

In 1885 he married Miss Kate Hebner, a native
of Germany. They have no children. Mr.
Petersen has been prominently identified with
the Walhalla Society for more than eight years.
He is also a member of Waldeck Lodge No. 674,
Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and of Gar-
den City Lodge No. 389, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows.



JOHN WEST.



(JOHN WEST is a successful merchant at
No. 241 Thirty-first Street, at which location
he conducts an establishment for the sale of
feed. He was born near Wester Marie, on the
island of Bornholm, in the kingdom of Denmark,
November 19, 1850. His baptismal name was
Hans, but since his becoming a resident of Amer-
ica this has been transformed into John. His
parents were Johan and Anna (Nielsen) West.
His father was a prominent and highly esteemed
citizen in the locality in which he lived; a farmer
by occupation, and a lieutenant in that corps in
the standing army stationed in the island of
Bornholm. He died at the age of fifty-eight
years, at the home of his ancestors, being able
to trace his lineage, in an unbroken line, to the
year 1400. Mr. West's mother, a native of the
same place, is still (1899) living, at the ripe old
age of eighty-four years.

To this couple were born eleven children,
seven of whom reached maturity. Hans, or
John, is the ninth in order of birth. In his boy-
hood he attended the public schools, becoming



well grounded in those branches which lie at the
basis of a practical education. For a period of
four years after leaving school he worked on a
farm, and at the age of eighteen years entered
upon an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade,
but two years later resolved to seek his fortune in
the New World.

In 1872 he emigrated to America, coming at
once to Chicago. On reaching this city he found
that his mechanical skill stood him in good stead,
and for two and one-half years he found employ-
ment as a carpenter. At the end of that time
he secured a position as coachman, which he re-
tained until 1889. By that time he had, through
industry, sobriety and thrift, accumulated
enough means to enable him to embark in a
business venture on his own account. He
formed a partnership with Mr. M. H. Madsen,
and the firm opened a feed store on the same
premises which he now occupies. In the year
1899 Mr. West purchased his partner's inter-
est, and has since then conducted the business
alone.



366



H. C. PAULSEN.



In 1888, at Chicago, he married Carrie Eber-
hard, who was born in Cleveland, and is of Ger-
man descent. The issue of this union has been
three children John, Carl W. and Grace Mar-
garet, the latter born in 1896. All were born at
Chicago. Mr. West is a member of Logan



Lodge, No. 113, Independent Order of Foresters.
He has been a successful business man, and his
success is attributable solely to those qualities of
mind, no less than that energy of will and per-
severance in purpose, which have ever been his
chief characteristics.



HANS C PAULSEN.



HANS CHRISTIAN PAULSEN is now in
his seventy-third year, and for more than a
quarter of a century he has been a resident
of Chicago, having taken up his residence here
the year following the great fire. His career
since coming here affords a striking illustration
of what may be accomplished by industry and
thrift, when joined to perseverance and integrity.
The story of his life is full of interest.

He was born March 24, 1827, in Karllum,
Schleswig-Holstein, then a part of Denmark, the
eldest of the three sons born to Sender Paulsen,
a laborer. After leaving school at the age of fif-
teen years he went to work as a farm laborer,
and remained in the country of his birth until he
was a man of forty-five years, When he grew dis-
satisfied with his conditions and prospects and
determined to brave all the uncertainties attend-
ing a life in an untried land.

Before leaving Denmark, however, he was
twice married. His first wife was Marie Knud-
sen, who bore him three sons and two daughters
Johanna, Hans, Anna, Hans and Cenke. The
first Hans died when two years old. After the
death of the mother he married Celia Kalmar.
His second union was blessed with seven children
Anna, Katie, Jennie, Christian and Charles
(twins), Minnie and Alice.

As has been already said, Mr. Paulsen came to
Chicago in 1872. He began his American life in
the humble walk of a hod carrier. He also



worked as a common laborer in factories and at
the Stock Yards. Yet he was hard-working and
prudent and little by little saved money. He de-
termined to engage in business for himself, and
his first venture was in keeping a saloon at the
corner of State and Thirty-seventh Streets. He
did not find this occupation congenial, and in
four months sold out his place and opened a meat
market. This he conducted three years, when
he disposed of it and began business afresh as a
dealer in milk at No. 4036 Armour Avenue. He
continued in this line of trade for a number of
years, when advancing age, considered in con-
nection with the fact that he had already secured
a competence, induced him to retire. He still
lives at his "old stand" in Armour Avenue, es-
teemed by his neighbors and best liked by those
who knew him best.

While not wealthy, he has through his own ef-
forts achieved a handsome independence. In ad-
dition to some unimproved property at the cor-
ner of Ashland Avenue and Sixty-fourth Street,
he also owns three desirably situated, two-story
frame buildings, which afford an income.

In religious faith Mr. Paulsen and family ad-
here to the teachings of the Lutheran Church.
In politics he supports the Democratic party.

All his surviving children have their residence
in Chicago and in his declining years he is solaced
alike by their affection and by the memories of a
well-spent life.



A. H. DARROW.



367



ALEXANDER H. DARROW.



LEXANDER HAMILTON DARROW is

Hone of those gallant men, now residing in
Chicago, who cheerfully gave their time and
services in defense of the Union when treason
threatened its destruction. Though he spent
about three years with the Federal army, and
was exposed to constant dangers, he has never
applied for a pension nor received aught for his
services except the regular pay of all volunteers.
His progenitors for more than a century past
had been conspicuous for their patriotism and
disinterested public spirit. The Darrow family
is of English origin, and was one of the earliest
to locate in Rochester, New York. John Dar-
row, grandfather of Alexander, who was a black-
smith by trade, while a young man helped to forge
an immense chain which was stretched across the
Hudson River to impede the passage up that
stream of British war vessels. James, the son of
John Darrow, settled on a farm in Orleans Coun-
ty, New York, which he cleared of the primitive
forest. About 1856 he removed thence to Clar-
endon, Calhoun County, Michigan, where his
death occurred in 1884, when nearly eighty-four
years of age. His wife, Mary Milliken, died
there in 1880, at the age of seventy-five years.
She was born in Peterborough, New Hampshire,
and represented one of the earliest families of that
commonwealth. Her grandfather participated in
the battle of Bunker Hill, and his wife, Mrs.
Mary Milliken, who is well remembered by the
subject of this sketch, lived to the age of ninety-
seven years, her death occurring in Clarendon,
New York. Alexander Milliken, a son of this
couple and the father of Mrs. Darrow, became an



influential farmer in western New York. His
wife, Sally Nay, was a daughter of a Continental
soldier who also fought at Bunker Hill. Mr. and
Mrs. James Darrow were devout Presbyterians,
and were distinguished for their devotion to prin-
ciple. Their children were: Elizabeth, Mrs. A.
C. Hopkins, of Homer, Michigan; Charles E.,
now a business man of Chicago; Russell; Alvira,
Mrs. I. L. Winn, also of Chicago; Alexander
H.; Sally Ann, Mrs. L- A. Harris, of Marshall,
Michigan; James Henry; and John H. The
last two are engaged in mercantile business at
Homer, Michigan. All the members of this fam-
ily are still living except Russell T. , who enlisted
in 1861 in Company M, Second Michigan Caval-
ry, and for his gallantry was promoted to the
rank of First Lieutenant. The three years' term
for which he enlisted had expired, and he was
offered a Major's commission as an inducement
to re-enlist. This he declined, but volunteered to
remain with his company for a few days, and dur-
ing this time he was killed at the battle of Frank-
lin, Tennessee. James Darrow had been a con-
servative Whig, as opposed to the Abolition wing
of his party, but upon the outbreak of hostilities
between the South and the North became a
stanch supporter of the Government, and three
of his sons, Russell T., Alexander H. and James
H., became soldiers in its defense.

Alexander H. Darrow was born at Clarendon,
Orlearns County, New York, November 20, 1841,
and was educated at an academy at Holley,
New York, and another at Homer, Michigan.
In August, 1862, he enlisted and was assigned to
Company M, of General Sheridan's old regiment,



368



A. H. DARROW.



the Second Michigan cavalry. This regiment
was employed on the skirmish line at Rienzi,
Mississippi, when he joined it as a recruit, and
for the next year and a-half he was almost con-
stantly engaged in that line of duty. At the end
of that period he was detailed as military book-
keeper under Gen. Sooy Smith, Chief of Cavalry
on General Grant's staff, with headquarters at
Nashville, Tennessee. When General Sherman
succeeded to the command of this army, he con-
tinued in the same capacity, but, having been
granted a furlough at the time of the memorable
march to the sea, he did not accompany that ex-
pedition. Upon his return from furlough he was
stationed at Louisville until the close of the war.
During the first part of his service, Mr. Darrow
helped to form a detail of two hundred and fifty
cavalrymen which escorted a wagon train loaded
with supplies for the army from Gallatin, Ten-
nessee, to Cave City, Kentucky. Upon arriving
at Glasgow, toward evening, he and his comrades
who composed the advance guard were surprised
to find the town occupied by General Morgan
with about six thousand Confederate cavalry.
After a hurried consultation, the little band of
Federals determined to charge the enemy, and
attempt to run their wagons through the town, a
design which was quickly and successfully car-
ried out. They had no more than passed the out-
skirts of the city, however, before the enemy
recovered from their surprise and confusion, and,
discovering the weakness of the wagon escort,
fiercely pursued the train along the road to Cave
City, to which point it escaped under cover of a re-
lief party sent to its rescue, though about fifty
Federals were captured. Mr. Darrow had his
clothes riddled with bullets during the first charge,
but escaped without wounds. He became sepa-
rated from his command, and his horse, which
was lame, stumbled and fell, throwing him heav-
ily to the ground. This accident caused a tem-
porary lameness, which prevented his escaping on
foot, and he was captured and marched back to
Glasgow. During the excitement and confusion
of the evening, he managed to elude his guards
and, under cover of the darkness, he made his
way out of town and reached a farmhouse, where



he was kindly sheltered for a few days until he
was able to travel. His host had a brother-in-
law who was a Captain in Morgan's force. Mr.
Darrow finally reached the Union lines at Mum-
fordville, where he was warmly welcomed by his
brother and other comrades, who had given him
up for dead, as the other prisoners had been pa-
roled and returned to camp several days pre-
viously.

In 1868 became to Chicago, and soon after en-
tered the employ of the Republic Insurance Com-
pany. Beginning as a clerk, he was promoted to
the position of cashier of the company, which
was the only Chicago insurance company which
paid in full the losses sustained by the great fire.
Its policy-holders received three and a-half mill-
ions of dollars. In 1872 he became the state
agent of the Agricultural Insurance Company of
Watertown, New York, with which corporation
he has ever since been identified. Since that
time the premiums received in this state have
nearly doubled, and for twenty -two years past he
has been the General Agent for the Western De-
partment, which now includes ten states. The
offices of this branch have been for two years
past in the Security Building, and under his able
management the business has always been pro-
gressive, profitable and satisfactory.

In November, 1867, Mr. Darrow was married
to Miss Susan C. Johnston, daughter of William
Johnston, of Marshall, Michigan, an early settler
of that place. Mrs. Darrow is also a sister of
Col. Thomas W. Johnston, of the Second Mich-
igan Cavalry, who was for some years subsequent
to the war a resident of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs.
Darrow are the parents of five children, the two
eldest sons being employed in connection with
their father's business. Their names are: Will-
iam H., Robert Lee, Zoe, Chrystal and Alexan-
der H., junior.

Mr. Darrow is a member of the Illinois Club,
the Masonic fraternity and Columbia Post, Grand
Army of the Republic. He supports the Repub-
lican party, though never an active politician.
His life has been one of quiet, unostentatious
industry and sobriety, and all who enjoy his ac-
quaintance accord him the highest respect.



F. M. BUCK.



369



FRANCIS M. BUCK.



f" FRANCIS MARION BUCK. Among the
rft self-made men of Chicago that city em-
| ^ bodying the most wondrous aggregation of
human energy, perseverance and enterprise and
their results is found the subject of this notice.
He was born on the 3oth of July, 1855, in Ger-
mantown, Tennessee, and is the second child of
Edwin Gorum and Sophronia Melvina (Harrall)
Buck. The family is an old one in America, of
undoubted English origin, but little is now posi-
tively known of the time of its planting here.
Frederick Buck, father of Edwin G., was born in
Pitt County, North Carolina, in 1793, and died
in Henderson County, Illinois, in 1871. Edwin
G. Buck was born January 31, 1823, in North
Carolina, and his wife, October 12, 1830, in Ten-
nessee. They were married in the latter State
November 7, 1850. Only two of their nine chil-
dren are now living, most of them having died
from the effects of la grippe, and all having
passed away within recent years. Following is
the record of their birth: Cornelius, October
12, 1851, and Mary Ellen (now living, married),
May 12, 1858, in Tennessee; Sarah M., Septem-
ber 21, 1860, in Southern Illinois; Louisa D.,
May 15, 1864, and Etta S., October 18, 1866, in
Henderson County, Illinois; Eddie, March n,
1869, in Tecumseh, Kansas; Irvin, January 23,
1872, and Alice, March 25, 1874, near Topeka,
Kansas. From Tennessee the father of this fam-
ily removed to Illinois, living for a short time
near Golconda, whence he removed to Henderson
County, in the same State. In October, 1868, he
moved to Kansas by team, and after living a
short time in Tecumseh he took a homestead in
Dover, near Topeka, where he now resides, at



the age of seventy-two years. His faithful help-
meet and companion passed away in June, 1894,
in her sixty-fourth year.

Francis M. Buck was in his ninth year when
his parents came to reside near Oquawka, Illinois,
and his education, as far as school attendance
goes, was completed in the grammar school of
that place before the removal of the family to
Kansas. When he was about fourteen years old
he left home and has since maintained himself.
From a humble sphere of life he has risen to a
position of great responsibility in the management
of one of Chicago's largest enterprises. His
father prophesied, on his leaving home, that, on
account of his positive and determined character,
he would either make a great success or a com-
plete failure. His first employment was in a liv-
ery stable in Topeka, where he was engaged by
Silas Rain. His first care was to make himself
useful, and with such energy and tact did he pro-
ceed that he was placed in charge of the barn at
the end of two months, and remained in that po-
sition over two years. Returning then to Hen-
derson County he was employed by the month as
a farm hand by Lewis Duke, of Rozetta, with
whom he remained during the summer most ol
the time, until his removal to Chicago in Janu-
ary, 1879. In the mean time he found employ-
ment in winter in the village of Oquawka.

On his arrival in Chicago Mr. Buck began to
look for employment, with varying success. In
March, 1880, he engaged in the manufacturing
department of the Western Toy Company, at
$4.50 per week. Within three months his salary
was raised to $7, and later to $10. In the mean
time he purchased a membership in the night



370



F. M. BUCK.



school of the Bryant & Stratton Business College,
and on resigning his position with the Toy Com-
pany at the end of a year, he attended the day
sessions of the business college for several months.
His next engagement was with Sprague, Warner
& Co., wholesale grocers, being placed in charge
of their branch warehouse at 39 River Street,
where he continued nearly a year. He now re-
signed to engage in business on his own account.
In partnership with H. Jaeschke, a practical
butcher, he purchased a meat market at Division
and Moore Streets, and immediately took charge
of the business management, and in a short time
built up from a small patronage a flourishing
trade among the best people of the North Side.
When his partner undertook to supply their cus-
tomers with inferior meats, a dispute arose, and
Mr. Buck withdrew from the firm, disposing of
his interest at a handsome profit on his original
investment.

When he took employment with the Chicago
Telephone Company, Mr. Buck became associated
with employers who soon recognized his ability
and appreciated his conscientious efforts to suc-
ceed. He was first placed in charge of its Amer-
ican District Telegraph office at 515 Wabash
Avenue, with four messengers, In nine months
he had so extended the business that it required
eleven messengers, and he was then transferred
to the main office of the district business, at 118
La Salle Street, with the position of assistant
manager. His effort to improve the service here
resulted in a strike of the messengers. This he
speedily overcame, with the result that the serv-
ice was improved and the business became at once
more profitable to his employers. Soon after
this he was appointed assistant superintendent of
the American District Telegraph in Chicago, and
after a few months general agent, in charge of
all its contract work in the messenger, burglar-
alarm and watch service. After discharging the
duties of this position for a year, he was made
contract agent of the Chicago Telephone Com-
pany for the city of Chicago, and six months
afterward his territory was extended to include
its entire field of operations, reaching out about
seventy-five miles in every direction from the city.



His responsibility was again extended, at the end
of one and one-half years, when he was given en-
tire charge of rates as well as contracts. Some
idea of the growth of the business of this concern
may be gained from the statement that when Mr.
Buck became contract agent there were twenty-
five hundred subscribers, while there are now
more than ten thousand in the city alone. His
practical experience in various subordinate posi-
tions made him familiar with the remotest detail
of the business, and he is now able to perform
more work, and in a much more satisfactory man-
ner at the same time, than one not having had
the benefit of a similar training. In this connec-
tion it may be mentioned that he was never dis-
charged from any position which he undertook
to fill, but has always made himself a useful and
profitable assistant to his employers. He is an
affable, genial gentleman, and always finds time
to be courteous in the midst of a busy and re-
sponsible life. He is a member of the Union
League Club and the Art Institute, and a Deacon
of the Englewood Baptist Church one of the
largest congregations in the city. In political
strife he has usually acted with the Democratic
party.

In August, 1880, Mr. Buck married Miss
Nettie A. Russell, who was born in Dundee, Illi-
nois, January 5, 1862. One child is the result of
this union, born in April, 1881, and named Bessie
Rue Rose Buck. Mrs. Buck's parents, Ruell D.
Russell and Sarah A. Wilbur, were born, respect-
ively, January 22, 1821, and May u, 1837, and
were married November i, 1855. Mrs. Nettie
A. Buck died April 15, 1886.

Mr. Buck was again married, this time, June
30, 1887, to Miss Mollie K. Duke, who was born
at Rozetta, Henderson County, Illinois, June 4,
1864. Mrs. Buck's father, Lewis Duke, was
born in England on the 3oth of December, 1832,
and her mother, Fannie King (Coghill) Duke,
in Henderson County, Illinois, December 23,
1842.

The history of the Coghill family in England
and America is an interesting and well-authen-
ticated one. The founder, so far as the records
show, was John Cockhill, who lived in the castle



JOHN NAPER.



371



of Knaresborough, in the County of York, during
the reigns of Richard III. and Henry IV. , between



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 56 of 111)