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

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boy in his quiet home on the Illinois farm, and
quickly he responded to the first call of his coun-
try. He was soon after stationed at Benton Bar-
racks, Missouri. His first taste of battle was when
General Lyon ordered five hundred to cross over
and seize the guns just unloaded on the opposite
side and intended for the rebels at Camp Jackson,
numbering three thousand infantry. It was a
sharp contest, but the guns were secured and
General Lyon's prompt and masterly action saved
St. I,ouis to the Government.

Under Siegel's command he participated in the
severe battle of Wilson Creek, August 8, 9 and
10, 1 86 1, when they were under almost contin-
uous fire during the three days.



The death of the brave General Lyon at the
head of his command made a deep impression on
this young soldier. At this time he was trans-
ferred to the Thirty-third Infantry, where for
eighteen months he was Color-Bearer.

When, in 1862, his father went into the field, it
was his wish to be transferred to his father's com-
mand. His older brother, Horace, was also
transferred from the Eighth Illinois Cavalry.
Soon, too, his youngest brother, Osmond, a mere
lad, joined them, and now father and sons were
together united in the one grand effort to protect
their country's honor.

His brother, Capt. Horace Capron, was killed
in an engagement with the Cherokee Indians at
Cedar Cove, in North Carolina, February 2, 1864.
He was a gallant soldier, and his untimely tak-
ing-off was a loss to the service and to his many
friends. He was buried at Peoria, Illinois, and
a monument was erected to his memory by his de-
voted company. While a Sergeant, he received
a bronze medal for capturing a rebel flag, with
this inscription:





Albert B. Capron rode beside his brother in
the last charge, and took command of the
company at his death. One of the most thrill-
ing of his army experiences was his night
ride of one hundred miles through the
enemy's line, bearing dispatches from General
Burnside in Knoxville to General Wilcox at
Cumberland Gap. It was a hazardous under-
taking. Twenty brave men had already failed
in the attempt. When he returned General
Burnside, overcome with emotion, said, "You
have won your spurs, ' ' and presented him with a
pair of his own spurs. Colonel Capron still guards
them sacredly. He was also one of the cavalry
brigade, led by his father, which helped to
capture Gen. John Morgan and his entire com-
mand, after a ride of nineteen hundred miles in
thirty-one days. He participated in twenty-three
general battles, beside a great many skirmishes

and sharp cavalry actions. Two horses were
shot under him while in action. He and his
command were under fire for one hundred days
on the march to and siege of Atlanta, Georgia, at
which place he was taken prisoner.

His last service of the war was under General
Sheridan on the Texas frontier, where he was
in expectation of proceeding to Mexico to help
in relieving the people of that country of the
pretended sovereignty of Maximilian. Happily,
the Mexicans were able to drive out the invader,
and the Monroe Doctrine continued to rule in
the Americas. Colonel Capron was three times
made a prisoner, and received three severe
wounds in the service of his country.

He was brevetted Major at the close of the
Civil War. A few years since he was appointed
aida-de-camp on the staff of General Lawler, Com-
mander-in- Chief of the Grand Army, with the
rank of Colonel.

Before his employment as purchasing agent
for the Japanese Government, he was engaged in
mercantile business at Kenosha, Wisconsin. He
came to Chicago in 1872, and has since resided
in this city, on the North Shore. For more than
twenty years he has been a member of the Board
of Trade, and carries on a general grain commis-
sion business. In business he pursues the same
energetic and straightforward course which won
him distinction in military circles, and he is held
in the highest regard by his social and commercial

Colonel Capron was married at Kenosha, Wis-
consin, October 20, 1869, to Miss Amelia Doo-
little, daughter of Alfred W. and Ann Urania
(Hannahs) Doolittle, natives of Oneida County,
New York.

Their union has been blessed with three chil-
dren: Horace Mann, born in Kenosha, Wiscon-
sin, August 27, 1872; Florence, born in Evanston,
Illinois, November 18, 1873; Albert Snowden,
born in Winnetka, Illinois, February 8, 1877.
Their home is now in Winnetka, Illinois.

The head of the family has always been a
loyal and earnest supporter of Republican prin-
ciples, and he is now a member of the Illinois
Comniandery of the I<oyal Region.





HENRY WEBER, one of the most successful
manufacturers of Chicago, a thoroughly
self-made man, is among the large number
of industrious and prosperous citizens given to
Chicago by German ancestors. His birth took
place in that unfortunate disputed territory which
has alternately belonged to France and Germany
being now in possession of the latter country.
September 15, 1822, when Mr. Weber was born
in the village of Hochweiler, Canton Soultz,
Elsass, the locality was in possession of the
French, and he was, therefore, by birth a French-
man, though his ancestors were among the most
sturdy Germans. They had long resided in Al-
sace, and several members of the family were
soldiers under the first Napoleon. Michael Weber,
father of Henry, was a farmer of Hochweiler,
where he reached the age of seventy-eight years.
His second wife, mother of the subject of this
sketch, Helena Langenbrunn (Studi) Weber, died
at the age of sixty-seven years. Both she and
her husband had reared good- sized families by
former marriages.

Henry Weber received a scanty education un-
der the French system. He was made of the am-
bitious stuff which peoples and develops nations,
and he early resolved to join his fortunes with
those of the free land across the seas, of which he
had heard through a friend who had visited the
United States. At the age of eighteen, he joined a
party of five young men , including the one before
referred to, who had been in America, and together
they came to New York. They sailed from
Havre, France, on an English sailing-vessel
commanded by Captain Thompson, and after a
voyage of thirty-three days they arrived in the
harbor of New York, a very speedy voyage for

that day. On the way they maintained them-
selves, and took turn about in cooking.

In New York they separated, and Mr. Weber
went to Lyons, New York, where he served a
three-years apprenticeship at wagon-making, be-
coming a skillful workman, and able to compete
with any man in his line of work. Having com-
pleted his term of indenture, Mr. Weber went to
Detroit, Michigan, and found employment. But
he did not long remain there. He determined to
locate in the growing and enterprising town of
Chicago, then beginning to attract notice through
its favorable location and the enterprising char-
acter of its citizens. On the 26th of June, 1844,
Mr. Weber arrived in Chicago, where he has
ever since made his home, and in the develop-
ment of whose commercial, social and moral in-
terests he has borne no unimportant part.

Like another distinguished German citizen,
who is now deceased (Andrew Ortmayer, whose
biography appears in this volume) , he at once
found employment with the pioneer wagonmaker
of Chicago, Mr. Joseph O. Humphrey. Here he
continued one and one-half years, at the end of
which period, being then twenty-three years of
age, he engaged in business for himself, having
as a partner Mr. Jacob Gauch. With a capital
of $250, they built a small shop on Randolph
Street, near La Salle, and began working up a
business, boarding themselves in the building
in the mean time. Later, they boarded at the
New York Hotel, an hostelry well known to the
old residents of the city. In 1849 Mr. Gauch
was seized with the gold fever and went to Cali-
fornia. His partner, who was satisfied with the
slow but certain gains of business in Chicago,
purchased Mr. Gauch's interest, and continued



to manage the growing industry alone until 1883,
when a company was incorporated to continue
it, with his sons as partners. This is known as
the Weber Wagon Company, and turns out an-
nually twelve thousand wagons and four thou-
sand bob sleds, and employs a large number of
men. Mr. Weber was for many years a member
of the old "Number Two" volunteer fire com-
pany, which did good service in the early days,
when steam was unknown in Chicago as a power
to be used in subduing fires.

In 1852 Mr. Weber was enabled to purchase
land for the location of his works. At the north-
west corner of Lake and Union Streets he se-
cured ground, ninety by one hundred and forty feet
in area, on which he built three frame buildings.
These were all two stories in height, one being
occupied as a dwelling and the others for a fac-
tory. He was among the first manufacturers on
West Lake Street, and was uniformly success-
ful, laying the foundation for a large business,
which furnished a livelihood to many families.
In the spring of 1871 he erected a fine four-story
brick building on this site, which escaped the
fury of the great fire in the autumn of the same
year, and was at once occupied by profitable

In 1886 the factory was removed to Eighty-
first and Wallace Streets, where superior railway
facilities were secured, and here it is now con-
ducted by Mr. Weber's sons, who have taken
from his hands and mind much of the labor re-
quired in its management. The founder very
appropriately occupies the position of President
of the company, with W. H. Weber as Secre-
tary and Treasurer, and George A. Weber as
Superintendent. The product is shipped to nearly
every State of the Union, and enjoys a reputa-
tion for reliability such as has always been at-
tached to the name of its worthy maker from the

On the loth of August, 1887, a fire destroyed
nearly all the plant except the lumber-yard, but
no time was lost in repining, and, with the in-
surance which careful foresight had previously
provided as an assistance, its owners were en-
enabled to start with an entirely new outfit of

machinery, and the business was soon a greater
success than ever before. The plant is now one
of the largest and most complete of its kind in
the United States.

With the arrival of the year 1849, Mr. Weber
felt that he was warranted in assuming the re-
sponsibility of a householder, and on the 4th of
November in that year he married Miss Eliza-
beth Schoeneck, a German girl, who arrived in
Chicago with her parents the same year as him-
self. She is a daughter of Adam and Elizabeth
Schoeneck, all natives of Mainz, Germany, who set-
tled on a farm on the North Branch of the Chicago
River, about fifteen miles from the city. Mrs.
Weber was in every way fitted to be the wife of
the sturdy young mechanic, and proved a worthy
helpmeet to her enterprising husband. The little
home on Fifth Avenue was kept scrupulously
neat and tidy, and Mr. Weber's success is in part
due to her good management and many good
traits of character. Six children came to bless
their home, namely: Elizabeth, now the wife of
T. Wasserstrass; Louise, Mrs. Albert Kaempfer;
William H. and George A., before mentioned;
Mary M., who died at the age of twenty- nine
years; and Emma, wife of Henry Rietz, all of

The family is connected with the German Lu-
theran Church, and in political action its head is
thoroughly independent, affiliating with the best
elements in both parties in national and local af-
fairs. He is a member of the Masonic frater-
nity, being one of the oldest living members of
Germania Lodge No. 182, and is a charter mem-
ber of Harmonia Lodge No. 221, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows.

Mr. Weber has richly earned his success in
life, and enjoys his well-earned competence in
the comforts of home life and the society of his
many friends. His example may afford a good
lesson to the young man of to-day, who needs to
be impressed with the value in business of indus-
try and unswerving integrity.

In this connection, a brief mention of the pres-
ent managers of the Weber Wagon Company is
appropriate and desirable. To them is due, in a
great measure, the marvelous growth and pros-



perity of the business. It requires more than
ordinary talent to conduct successfully a business
involving a capital of nearly half a million dollars,
and yearly increasing in volume. All the de-
tails are carefully watched by the superintendent
in the construction department, and by the busi-
ness manager in the office. The continued sub-
stantial development of the concern in the face of
the financial stringency of 1894 an( i l8 95 is es '
pecially worthy of note, and the year 1895 is re-
corded as the most prosperous in its history.

The factory gives employment to a large
number of men, many of whom have grown
gray in the service of Mr. Weber and his
sons, some of them having been in the con-
tinuous employ of Mr. Weber more than forty
years. The high esteem in which the founder
and present managers are held by their employes
is a strong testimonial to their executive ability
and upright character, and their course is worthy
the emulation of every employer of labor. A
personal interest is shown in every man on the
pay roll and in those dependent upon him, and
no man is ever discharged except for indolence or
inefficiency. Consequently a strike, with its train
of misfortune for all concerned, was never known
in the establishment. The members of the com-
pany do not enter into any outside speculations,
but confine themselves to their legitimate field of
operations, which fact is entitled to credit for
much of their prosperity.

George A. Weber, the superintendent of the
works of the Weber Wagon Company, was born

in Chicago, and completed his education in the
West Side High School of that city. He is gifted
with a taste and talent for mechanics, and at
the early age of sixteen years he entered the fac-
tory of his father to master its mechanical details.
Here he made quite as rapid progress as he had
previously shown in his studies, and he steadily
rose to the position of superintendent, which he
has filled since.

William Henry Weber, business manager of
the Weber Wagon Company, was born April 21,
1855, in the city which now numbers him among
its most substantial and respected citizens. He
was educated in the Chicago West Side High
School, and took a thorough course of business
training in Bryant & Stratton's Business College.
After one year's connection with the wholesale
dry-goods firm of Stettauer & Weiman, in 1879,
at the age of twenty-four years, he entered the
service of his father, with whose business he has
ever since been identified. With his natural apt-
itude, and as a result of his careful training, he
readily fitted in with the office management oi
the concern, and soon came to be its responsible
head. He attends strictly to business, his only
recreation being an occasional hunting trip of a
few days' duration, and to him is due much of
the credit for the high commercial standing of
the house. Being of a genial nature, he comes
naturally to possess the respect and cordial good-
will of all with whom he comes in social or busi-
ness relations.


S race< ^ ^ e Bench of Cook County for
nine years, and was an honored member of
the Chicago Bar forty years, was descended from
good old English stock. His ancestors were
among the early pioneers in the settlement and

civilization of the New World. Henry Farwell
came from Somersetshire, England, and located
in Connecticut with the founders of that colony,
and bore his part in sweeping away the wilder-
ness which then occupied all New England and
in developing a Christian community. He had a



son and grandson named Isaac. Thomas, son of
the last-named, was born in Mansfield, Connecti-
cut, and practiced agriculture in that State. His
son, John Farwell, also born in Mansfield, was
the father of Judge William W. Farwell.

John Farwell was possessed of the same spirit
which led the Pilgrim Fathers to seek a home
under new conditions, in an untried world, and,
moved by this pioneer' instinct, he went to Mor-
risville, New York, in his young manhood and
opened up a farm in that then new region. He
was a highly respected citizen, and served as
Postmaster at Morrisville for many years. His
wife, Elmira Williams, was, like himself, a na-
tive of Mansfield, Connecticut, and was a daugh-
ter of Amariah Williams, supposed to have been
of English lineage. The marriage of this couple
took place in their native town, and they began
housekeeping at the new home of Mr. Farwell
in Morrisville. Their children, five in number,
were named as follows: John William, Benjamin
Franklin, William Washington, Thomas Lyle
and Elmira Jane.

William W. Farwell, third child of his parents,
was born in Morrisville, New York, January 5,
1817. His early life did not differ much from
that of other farmers' sons in that day and region.
He made the most, however, of his educational
opportunities, passing through the primary schools
and academy of his native town, and entered
Hamilton College, at Clinton, New York, in
1833. Before attaining his majority, in 1837, he
was graduated from that old and solid institution
of learning with credit to himself and his Alma

He at once began the study of law in the
office of Hon. Otis P. Granger, of Morrisville,
whose daughter he subsequently married. He
finished his legal studies at Buffalo, New York,
and was admitted to practice by the Superior
Court at Rochester, in that State, in 1841. After
practicing law with success for seven years in his
native village, he felt the promptings of the an-
cestral enterprise, and determined to cast in his
lot with those fearless and energetic spirits who
were just then developing the nucleus of the
wonderful city on Lake Michigan, whose future

greatness was beyond the predictions of their
wildest fancies. Arriving in Chicago in 1848,
he set out the next year for California, and re-
mained in that modern El Dorado one year, re-'
turning to the East by way of Panama and New
York City.

At Morrisville, New York, on the izth of
February, 1851, Mr. Farwell led to the marriage
altar Miss Mary Eliza Granger, who was
born in Morrisville, November 8, 1829. Hon.
Otis P. Granger, father of Mrs. Farwell, was a
native of Suffield, Connecticut, his birth occur-
ring February 21, 1796, and bore in his veins
the blood of the early English settlers of that
State. He was a graduate of Williams College,
Class of 1816, and became a noted lawyer in cen-
tral New York. He studied for his profession in
the office of Talcott & Maynard, and later with
John Bradish, of Utica, New York, and was ad-
mitted to the Bar July 21, 1821. He practiced his
profession in Morrisville, New York, until 1827,
when he was appointed Surrogate of Madison
County, New York, and filled that position thir-
teen years. He passed away at Morrisville at
the venerable age of eighty-seven years. His
first ancestor in this country was Launcelot
Granger, who was born in the West of England
and was brought to America when fourteen years
old. Mr. Granger's wife, Elvira Gates, was a
native of Morrisville, daughter of Abiather and
Lois (Holt) Gates, who were natives of Massa-
chusetts. Mrs. Gates was a descendant of Nich-
olas Holt, who came from England to Connecti-
cut in the early days of that colony.

Mrs. Farwell is the eldest of the four children
of her parents. Only one beside herself, Mrs.
Agnes Elvira Groves, is now living. She was
educated at a female seminary at Utica, New
York, and was fitted by birth and breeding to be
the companion of her husband during his long
and useful career in Chicago. She is a well-pre-
served lady, of much natural refinement, and her
charitable and kindly character has made her dear
to all who have been privileged to come within her
influence. Two sons born to Judge and Mrs.
Farwell, Granger and John Williams Farwell, are
well-known brokers of Chicago. The elder, born



in Chicago, May 25, 1857, married Sarah C.
Goodrich, daughter of James G. Goodrich, of
Chicago, and has five children: Leslie, Ruth
Goodrich, Olive, Sarah Granger and Helen. The
younger son was born in Chicago, March 30,
1862, and is the stay and companion of his

It was in 1854 that Mr. Farwell settled perma-
nently in Chicago. He had been admitted to
the Bar of Illinois in 1848, and he now devoted
himself assiduously to the labors of his profes-
sion, rapidly winning for himself a reputation for
soundness and ability. In the spring of 1855 the
firm of Goodrich, Farwell & Scovell was formed,
the senior member being Grant Goodrich, who
was subsequently an honored occupant of the
Bench in Chicago. A year later Mr. Scovell
withdrew, and Mr. Sidney Smith joined the firm,
which became Goodrich, Farwell & Smith.

Mr. Farwell was elected to the Circuit Bench
in 1870, and was twice re-elected, serving in a

most impartial and efficient manner nine years.
Upon his retirement from the Bench, he was en-
gaged, in 1880, as Lecturer in the Union College
of Law, which position he continuously filled un-
til failing health compelled his resignation in
1893. His practical experience, his ripe scholar-
ship and sound judgment made him especially
useful in preparing young men for the practice of
law, and his resignation was received with regret
by faculty and students. He died April 30,

Judge Farwell was a faithful member of the
Congregational Church, in which he appropri-
ately and consistently filled the office of Deacon
for some time. In every relation of life he was
true, and the history of his life stands as an in-
spiration and encouragement to young men every-
where. Especially are his upright life and official
course commended to the emulation of all who
wish to win friends and enjoy the good opinion
and blessing of their fellows.


/TfHARLES GERRY AVARS, a capable busi-
I ( ness man of Chicago, and at one time one of
\J the most widely-known public officials of
Cook County, was born at Newton, New Jersey,
December 28, 1831. His parents were Rev.
James Ayars and Harriet Amelia Reed, both na-
tives of Bridgeton, New Jersey. The family is of
Scotch, Welsh and German ancestry, and fur-
nished some of the Colonial emigrants to the
present United States. Noah Ayars, grandfather
of the subject of this sketch, attained the age of
ninety-three years, dying at Bridgeton, New
Jersey, about 1858.

Rev. James Ayars was educated at Bridgeton,
and entered the ministry of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church in 1827. He continued actively in

the work of that church for fifty years, holding
pastorates -in the principal towns of New Jersey.
In 1856 he became Secretary of the American
Sunday-school Union. He lived at Covington,
Kentucky, three years, and at Evanston, Illinois,
two years. Returning to New Jersey, he re-
entered the regular ministry, and died at Summit,
New Jersey, in 1880, at the age of seventy-five
years. He was a man of great public spirit, and
did much work in the temperance cause and
in the management of municipal affairs in the
towns where he was located.

Mrs. Harriet A. Ayars died at Trenton, New
Jersey, in 1870, at the age of sixty- four years.
She was a daughter of Dr. John Reed, who was
born in New Jersey, where he practiced medi-



cine most of his life. He was also engaged in
the manufacture of woolen goods at Deerfield,
New Jersey. His father was a native of

Rev. and Mrs. James Ayars had five sons.
Enoch Reed, the eldest, was a dentist in New
Jersey, and went to California in 1849. While
there, he joined Walker's expedition to Nica-
ragua, was wounded at the battle of Rivos,
and died in hospital. Charles G. Ayars is the
second. James was for many years a prominent
citizen of Cook County, and is now deceased.
William Henry Ayars was a student of the North-
western University of Evanston when the Civil
War began, and enlisted and served eighteen

Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 70 of 111)