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

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character won him the love and confidence of all
with whom he was brought in contact. His death
occurred during the war, and his wife passed
away in 1875. Their family numbered the follow-
ing: Benjamin J., of this sketch; John Jay, who
was a member of Company K, Fourth Wisconsin
Cavalry, and was killed at Port Hudson during
the late war; Elbert E-, now of Wisconsin; Mrs.
Belinda Blodgett, of Charlotte, Mich. ; Mrs. Au-
gusta Blodgett, of Charlotte, Mich. ; Mary, who
lives in Wisconsin; Rose, wife of Obed Dodge;
and Mettie, the youngest daughter.

When the family moved to the frontier, they
were in limited circumstances, and Gen. Sweet



B. J. SWEET.



403



aided in their support by chopping wood and do-
ing farm work. He was ambitious to secure an
education, and to this end studied at night, and
when he had acquired a sufficient sum to pay his
tuition, he attended Appleton Academy for two
terms. He then taught school at Brothertown,
and all this time he was carrying on the farm and
continuing his studies after the labors of the day
were over.

Mr. Sweet was married May i, 1851, at the age
of nineteen, to Lovisa, daughter of Elihu and
Martha (Chubbuck) Denslow, of Stockbridge,
Wis., who had also lived near the Sweet family
in Clinton County, N. Y. After his marriage,
Gen. Sweet continued teaching, and also took up
the study of law in Stockbridge. At length he
was admitted to the Bar and opened an office in
Chilton, Wis. In 1858 he was elected to the
Wisconsin Senate, and served for two terms, but
when the war broke out he put aside all other
considerations to enter the country ' s service. He
aided in raising the Sixth Regiment of Wisconsin
Volunteers, of which he was commissioned Major,
and also helped to organize the Fourth Wisconsin
Infantry. His command was assigned to the
Army of the Potomac, and while encamped in
Virginia, opposite the capital, he and Gen. Bragg,
who then held the rank of Captain, occupied a
cabin together at Arlington Heights. The inac-
tion of the army in the spring of 1862 caused him
to resign, and he returned home, but the country
had his war allegiance, and he aided in organiz-
ing the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Wis-
consin Regiments, being made Colonel of the
Twenty-first, which was assigned to the Army of
the Cumberland. At the battle of Champion
Hills, Col. Sweet was seriously wounded in the
neck and right elbow. He was very ill for a
year and lost the use of his arm, but at the earliest
possible moment he again went to the front, and
at Gallatin, Tenn., while still in poor health, built
a fort. Later he was appointed Colonel of the
Eighth Veteran Reserve Corps, and did guard and
;ourt-inartial duty in Philadelphia, from whence
he came to Chicago to take command of Camp
Douglas, of which he was in charge until the
close of the war. He was promoted to the rank



of Brigadier-General in 1865. He had from eight
to ten thousand prisoners under his care, with a
very small guard, and during this time the no-
torious conspiracy was formed for liberating the
prisoners and capturing the city, but the plan
was discovered and thwarted by the heroic ef-
forts of Gen. Sweet. No truer soldier fought un-
der the Stars and Stripes, or was more loyal to
the cause of the union.

When the country no longer needed his serv-
ices, Gen. Sweet returned to Chilton, where his
family had remained during his absence, and re-
sumed law practice; but his old clients had gone
elsewhere while he was at the front, so he changed
his place of residence. In 1868 he opened a law
office in Chicago and established his family upon
a farm near Lombard, twenty miles from the city.
The law firm of Sweet, Wilson & Vallette was
formed and did business for some time. Mr. Sweet
was appointed United States Pension Agent at
Chicago by President Grant, and held that posi-
tion until 1870, when he was promoted to be Su-
pervisor of Internal Revenue. After the great
Chicago fire of 1871, he received the appointment
of First Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue
for the United States, and in 1872 took his place
in Washington, severing his connection with the
law office in Chicago. The family, however, re-
mained at Lombard. While discharging his du-
ties in the Capitol City, he was taken ill with ty-
phoid pneumonia, and died a week later, on the
ist of January, 1874.

Mrs. Sweet was killed by the cars in Lombard,
August 14, 1878, at the age of forty-eight. They
were people of prominence and ever gave their
support to the promotion of those interests which
they believed would be of benefit to the commu-
nity. They usually attended and contributed to
the church nearest their home, but were liberal
in religious belief. Their family numbered five
children, as follows: Ada C., who is United
States Pension Solicitor in Chicago, and is a lady
of rare intelligence and ability, who is widely
known for her charitable and philanthropic la-
bors; Lawrence W. , who died at the age of seven-
teen, just previous to his father's death; Minnie,
who was the wife of C. F. Weber, of Chicago,



404



E. H. PRATT.



and who is now deceased; Martha Winifred, a
well-known writer on the staff of the San Fran-
cisco Examiner, and wife of Orlow Black, of San
Francisco, Cal. ; and Benjamin Jeffrey, who lives
in Chicago.

Mr. Sweet was a man of strong conviction and
was inflexible in his support of what he believed
to be right. He was a warm advocate of aboli-
tion, and in 1856 he made speeches throughout
Wisconsin in support of Fremont. He carried
Calumet County for Gen. Grant, the only time it



ever gave a Republican majority. In manner he
was genial, friendly and unassuming, and wher-
ever he went he won friends. Even those op-
posed to him politically had for him the highest
respect. He was a diligent student, and mas-
tered German and also studied music after he had
arrived at mature years. Every duty devolving
upon him was faithfully performed, every trust
reposed in him was discharged with fidelity, and
as a citizen, friend, and business man he was ever
honorable, just and true.



EDWIN HARTLEY PRATT, M. D., LL. D.



r~DWIN HARTLEY PRATT, M. D., LL. D.,
r) only surviving son of Dr. Leonard Pratt (see
I biography in this work) , was born at To-
wanda, Pa., on the 6th of November, 1849. At
the age of three years, in 1852, he came with his
parents to Illinois, where he continued for thir-
teen years to reside in the township of Rock
Creek, Carroll County. After some preparation
in the district schools of that township, at the age
of sixteen he entered Mt. Carroll Seminary,
where he remained one year. On the removal of
the family to Wheaton in 1865, he entered Whea-
ton College, an institution somewhat widely
known as the seat of a single idea suppression
of secret societies. Soon after coming to Whea-
ton, Dr. Leonard Pratt joined the Independent
Order of Good Templars, of which the son be-
came also a member. On learning this, the presi-
dent of the college insisted that young Pratt either
leave the college or the lodge. To his credit be
it said, young Pratt was equally firm with the
college authorities in maintaining his principles,
and chose the former alternative. He then en-
tered the University of Chicago, from which he
graduated in the full classical course in 1871.
This institution subsequently conferred upon him



the degree of Doctor of Laws, in recognition of
his valuable discoveries.

Our subject now took up the study of medicine
in his father's office, and also began attendance
at the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago,
from which he graduated in the spring of 1873,
being valedictorian of his class. He shortly after
took the chair of Anatomy in his alma mater, and
pursued at the same time a special study of that
branch of medical science under the tutelage of
eastern colleges. At the end of three years he
resigned, to take the same position in the Chicago
Homeopathic College, then just organized. From
this he was transferred, at his own request, seven
years later, to the chair of Surgery in the same
college. This position he filled for six years,
when, as the result of his own investigations, dis-
coveries and developments, the chair of Orificial
Surgery was created for him in that institution,
and this he has occupied to the present time.

Dr. Pratt is an original thinker, and has made
some revolutions in surgery as the outcome of his
own investigation and practice. Naturally, he
incurred the opposition and criticism of a large
portion of the profession, but this he has almost
wholly overcome with his tongue and pen and the



W. A. RAY.



405



demonstrations of the operating room. He has
inherited much of the power of oratory of his ma-
ternal grandfather, and is a very forcible, succinct
and convincing speaker. These qualities have
given him great power in the class-room, and he
has sent out large numbers of practitioners who
are constantly spreading the fame and success of
his discoveries. With his pen, Dr. Pratt is no
less able and convincing than he is as a speaker,
and it is a brave man who now attempts to con-
trovert his theories or to detract from his success
in the healing art. He is the founder and editor
of the Journal of Orificial Surgery, a monthly
publication which is now acknowledged as stand-
ard and widely quoted by other medical standards.
Through his influence, a magnificent sanitarium
has been established on the north side of the city
of Chicago, facing Lincoln Park. This institu-
tion was incorporated in 1890, with Dr. Pratt as
President and Surgeon-in-Chief, and an able corps
of assistants, and here his specialties in surgery are
put in practical operation, to the relief and cure
of thousands of sufferers annually. This insti-
tution is a magnificent six-story structure, built
of buff Bedford stone, 100x120 feet in dimensions,
occupying a beautiful site overlooking lovely
Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. Here is found
every accessory of a comfortable, and even luxuri-
ous, home for the invalid. Dr. Pratt is also Pro-



fessor of Surgery and Mental Training in the
Lincoln Park Training School for Misses, located
in the same section of the city. As is made
apparent by the foregoing, his time is very fully
taken up, but he is a man of great mental and
physical energy, and is fully equal to the tasks
which his ability and philanthropy have called
down upon him.

Dr. Pratt is a member of the American Insti-
tute of Homeopathy and of the Illinois State As-
sociation of that school, as well as an honorary
member of many similar State associations. He
is a member of the surgical staff of the Cook
County Hospital, where his superior skill is often
called into play. In his religious and political
sentiments, he adheres to the precepts laid down
by his honored father.

In June, 1877, Dr. Pratt married Miss Isadora
M. Bailey, a native of the State of New York,
and a lady well fitted by nature and cultivation
as a companion for her talented husband. A son
and daughter were given to this couple, but both
have been taken away, the former in childhood
and the latter in infancy. In 1893 Dr. Pratt
erected at Wheaton a beautiful home, to which
he may retire in summer from the cares and bur-
dens of his large practice and other duties in the
city of Chicago.



COL. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS RAY.



EOL. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS RAY, a prom-
inent business man of Chicago, now residing
in Blue Island, was born in Kingston, N. Y.,
on the 2ist of May, 1829, and is a son of Henry
M. and Mary S. (Millard) Ray. His mother
was a relative of Millard Fillmore, President of
the United States. His father was born in Delhi,
N. Y., and was a son of Martin Ray, who was



descended from an old Holland family. By oc-
cupation the last-named was a farmer, and in
Delhi he served as Magistrate. In his family
were four sons and four daughters, and the former
all became prominent business men of Walworth
County, Wis. About 1853, Henry M. Ray re-
moved with his family to Delavan, Wis. He had
been engaged in manufacturing in the Empire



4 o6



W. A. RAY.



State, but after his emigration westward pur-
chased the large farm on which he spent his re-
maining days, his death occurring in 1866, at the
age of sixty years. His wife long survived him,
and passed away in Delavan in April, 1892, the
day previous to her eighty-ninth birthday.

Col. Ray spent the first eighteen years of his
life in the place of his nativity, and then removed
with the family to Walton, N. Y. , where his fa-
ther purchased a woolen factory and other proper-
ty, which formerly belonged to William B. Ogden,
a well-known pioneer and leading business man
of Chicago. Mr. Ray also engaged in the manu-
facture of lumber, which he floated down the
river to the Philadelphia market, and in this line
of trade the Colonel entered upon his business
career. Later he became foreman in his father's
woolen-mill. His education was acquired in the
schools of Kingston and in Franklin Institute,
from which he was graduated. He entered that
school with a view to becoming a civil engineer,
and was employed in laying out the Walton and
Hancock plank road, which has since become the
bed of a railroad.

The Colonel's residence in the West dates from
1856, at which time he removed to Chicago.
Soon after his arrival he embarked in farming,
and also became a controlling stockholder in the
Walworth County Bank, of Delavan, Wis. This
organization was afterward merged in the First
National Bank of Delavan, of which he became
Cashier and chief Manager, thus serving until
the fall of 1866, when he again came to Chicago
and began dealing in grain, as a member of the
firm of E. V. Robbins & Co. On his first arrival
in this city, he engaged in business as the junior
partner of the firm of S. A. Millard & Co. , dealers
in agricultural implements. He afterward re-
moved to L,acon, 111. , where he organized the bank-
ing house of Ray & Brooks. One year later he re-
turned to Wisconsin. For the long period of twenty-
two years he operated on the Chicago Board of
Trade, although residing for a part of the time in
New York City. He has been for many years a
member of the New York Produce Exchange,
and his extensive business interests have been so



well and ably conducted that he has become one
of the substantial citizens of, the community.

In 1887, Col. Ray removed with his family to
Pasadena, Cal. , and while there was President of
the San Gabriel Valley Bank and aided in the
organization of the Board of Trade, of which he
became Vice- President. In 1890 he took up his
residence in Blue Island, building a pleasant home
on Maple Avenue. He here organized the Calu-
met State Bank, of which he is President. He
also owns extensive real estate interests in Chi-
cago, much of which he purchased before the
great fire.

In the spring of 1864, Col. Ray organized Com-
pany F, of the Fortieth Wisconsin Infantry, and
on reaching Madison was made commander of
the regiment, having previously served as Colonel
in the Wisconsin Militia. The troops were or-
dered to Memphis, and engaged in the defense of
that city. While there, Gen. Forrest made his
famous raid on Memphis, and the Fortieth Wis-
consin was the first in the line of battle to repulse
the attack. Our subject remained in that city
until the regiment was disbanded, in October,
1864.

Col. Ray has been twice married. In Walton,
Delaware County, N. Y., in 1852, he was united
in marriage with Miss Cornelia Townsend, who
died in Delavan, Wis., in 1858, leaving one son,
Platt Townsend, whose death occurred on the
29th of July, 1873, when about twenty-one years
of age. The Colonel was again married, October
29, 1862, his union being with Susie C. Kelsey.who
was born in Danville, Vt. , and came of an old
New England family. Her father was Maj. John
Kelsey, of Lacon, 111. Three children have been
born of their union: George Chandler, a grain-
dealer, who now operates on the Chicago Board
of Trade, and resides in Normal, 111. ; Alice Gil-
christ and Robert Edgerton.

For twenty years the Colonel has been a mem-
ber of the Third Presbyterian Church of Chicago,
but the family are now communicants of the
Congregational Church of Blue Island. He
holds membership with George H. Thomas Post,
G. A. R., and with the Masonic fraternity, and



R. L. JAMES.



407



in his political views is a Republican. Immedi-
ately succeeding the great fire of Chicago, he was
active in the organization of an informal relief
committee for the purpose of caring for the desti-
tute and homeless. He also organized a force of
special police for the restoration of order and sup-
pression of rioting, authorized by the Citizens'
Committee. The city, however, was soon after
placed under martial law by the United States



Government, and the force was disbanded. In
business affairs, Col. Ray exercises keen fore-
sight, sound judgment and ready decision. To
the possession of these qualities, together with a
determined will and excellent executive ability,
may be attributed the unvarying success of the
numerous enterprises with which he has been
identified.



ROBERT LEE JAMES, M. D., B. S.



QOBERT LEE JAMES, M. D., B. S., one of

^ the wide-awake and progressive citizens of
r\ Blue Island, now successfully engaged in
the practice of medicine, was born in Morris, 111. ,
on the 5th of September, 1865. His parents were
Elisha B. and Sarah (Evans) James. His fa-
ther was of Welsh descent, and the family was
founded in America by ancestors from that country
who came to the United States during early Colo-
nial days. Elisha B. James was born in Ohio,
and came to Illinois in 1843. His wife is also a
native of the Buckeye State, and her residence in
Illinois dates from 1848. Both still make their
home in Morris, where Mr. James is engaged in
farming and stock-raising on an extensive scale,
being recognized as one of the leading agricultur-
ists of that community.

Dr. James, after attending the public schools,
became a student in the Morris Normal and Sci-
entific School, and later pursued the scientific
course of study in the Northern Indiana Normal
School at Valparaiso, from which he was gradu-
ated in 1888. He then went to Oberlin College,
where he took a special course of study With
the desire of entering the medical profession
and making its practice his life work, he gained
admission to the Chicago Homeopathic College.
He graduated from that institution with the de-



gree of M. D. , and also graduated from the Col-
lege of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago with
the same degree. He received the degree of B.
S. on the completion of his course in Valparaiso.

During his vacations Dr. James engaged in prac-
tice with Dr. Beebe, of Chicago, as his assistant,
and thus gained a practical as well as theoretical
knowledge of medicine, so that when he came to
Blue Island in 1891, it was not as an unskilled
physician. He here began practice with Dr. E.
C. Reed, and on the ist of January he bought
out his partner, succeeding to the entire business,
which has since steadily increased. He is now
enjoying an extensive practice.

On the 3ist of December, 1891, was celebrated
the marriage of Dr. James and Miss Jessie E.
Butler, a native of Hancock, Mich. Their union
has been blessed with one child, Earl Butler.
The Doctor is a member of the Masonic fraternity,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Royal Ar-
canum, the Knights of Maccabees, a member of the
Board of Health of Blue Island and of the Chicago
Medical Society. He exercises his right of fran-
chise in support of the men and measures of the
Republican party, but has never sought political
preferment for himself. He is a thorough-going
scholar, and ranks among the most successful
young physicians of Cook County. He gives



408



C. H. STILES.



special attention to surgery, being well fitted for
that work both by education and inclination.
Since coming to Blue Island Doctor and Mrs.



James have made many warm friends, and their
presence is considered a desirable addition to the
leading social gatherings in the community.



CHARLES HENRY STILES.



OHARLES HENRY STILES, a prominent

1 1 stock-breeder, and business man of Wheaton,
\^J was born at Cazenovia, N. Y. , on the loth
of April, 1849, and is a scion of the oldest and
best New England blood. His first ancestor in
this country was Robert Stiles, who came from
Yorkshire, England, and settled at Rowley, Mass.,
in 1639. Joseph Dalton Stiles, grandfather of
the subject of this notice, was a native of New
Hampshire, born at Keene in 1798. He married
for his second wife (the first having died at a very
early age) Desdemona Wadsworth, and lived at
Cazenovia, N. Y. Here was born his son, Ly-
man Harkness Styles, who took for a helpmate
Miss Martha Dobbin, a native of Catskill, same
State. To them were born three children, the
first of whom died in infancy, the third being he
whose name heads this article. When the latter
was twelve years old, his parents died, and he
passed the succeeding eight years of his life as a
member of the family of Virgil Maro Armour, a
cousin of Philip D. Armour, the noted Chicagoan.
C. H. Stiles attended the common schools the
allotted time for farmer lads, and early displayed
an energy and business capacity which gave
promise of a useful career. At the age of twenty
years he went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he en-
gaged in business with his brother-in-law, Levi
W. Hart, under the firm name of Hart & Stiles.
They manufactured cigars, and kept a drug store
and livery stable for two years. The capital em-
ployed in this way by Mr. Stiles was inherited from
his uncle, Adonirarn Dobbins, a prominent hard-
ware merchant of Geneva, N. Y. Subsequently,



Mr. Stiles spent three years in the United States
railway mail service, and had charge of the first
white mail car sent out on the Lake Shore &
Michigan Southern Railroad. At the expiration
of his term in this service, he engaged in selling
pools and bookmaking on races, and has since
been associated with most of the great racing
events in this country. It is no uncommon thing
for him to handle $100,000 in a single day's
racing. He is now a member of the firm of Bride
& Stiles, formerly Bride, Armstrong & Stiles,
which controls the privileges on the principal
tracks of America, having just closed a contract
for ten years on the Mexican circuit.

Having resolved to engage in the breeding of
fine trotting animals, Mr. Stiles purchased in
1890 one hundred acres, a mile north of Wheaton,
which he has fitted up with all the conveniences
and requisites for that purpose, and now makes
his home there. He is the owner of "Elect-
wood," No. 17,004, by- "Electioneer," No. 125;
dam "Amrah," by "Nutwood," No. 600, one of
the finest specimens of "Electioneer" stock, and
numerous other finely-bred horses. He has not
spared money, and, with his opportunities for
selecting winning strains, he can not fail to de-
velop some of the fastest steppers in the country.
His farm and stables compose the home of one
hundred handsome and aristocratic blooded ani-
mals. He is interested in the new regulation mile-
track adjoining his farm, a great resort for Chi-
cago horsemen, which will hereafter be the scene
of interesting trotting events. The farm also
furnishes a breeding-ground for game chickens



F. V. H. MINARD.



409



and fine dogs Scotch Collie and English Fox
Terriers to which Mr. Stiles gives considerable
attention.

Socially, Mr. Stiles is a most genial and affable
gentleman, whom it is a pleasure to meet. While
he is deeply interested in racing and stock-breed-
ing, he is capable of conversing intelligently on
other topics, being possessed of an interest in
general affairs and a progressive and enterprising
spirit. He is a member and stockholder of the
Northwestern Breeders' Association and of the
Grand Army of the Republic.

Mr. Stiles is, no doubt, the youngest soldier
who saw two years' active service in the Civil
War. He enlisted in July, 1863, in Company
B, Fifteenth New York Cavalry, and served un-
der Gens. Sigel, Hunter and Sheridan, taking
part in every battle and all the campaigns in the
Shenandoah Valley. The horse he rode in the
Hunter campaign was one of three that came back
in our lines out of thirteen hundred starters, which
not only shows that it was a hard campaign on men
and horses, but also shows that Mr. Stiles was a



good forager and horseman. He was a member of
Custer's famous division, the only cavalry division



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 62 of 111)