pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 40 of 79)
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favorably in kind of improvements and value with any section of
our great State.

There are two streams in the township, one of which is of consid-
erable size, and both of them have cut some queer freaks. The
•larger is the Mackinaw river. It enters the township near the center
of section 19 and flows in a northeasterly course to the Illinois.
Near the southwestern corner of section 8 it divides and what is
known as the main stream courses northward and has its outlet on
section 5, and the " cut-off" strikes the river from section 9. What
was formerly the main river, after leaving the place of forking, on


section 8, is now scarcely a brook, and, indeed, is dry much of the
time. The cut-off, which a few years ago was the smaller, now car-
ries the main current. Another of its freaks is noticed of late years.
A short distance from the place where it enters the township, a branch
has started from it and flows over the prairie through Spring Lake
township, to the Illinois, Several years ago there was noticed a low
flat place through this portion of the prairie, but no indication of a
running stream. The strong current of the Mackinaw, however, is
enabled to force its way through the sandy soil of this region and
make a stream where it will.

The other principal stream is known as Lost creek. It derives
its name from the fact of it losing itself in the sandy soil. It will
course along, a clear, flowing stream, and soon disappear. In some
places not a drop of water can be seen on the surface during the
entire summer season. It again comes to the surface and forms a

In the northern part of the township, on section 12, and section 1
of the old part of the township, is a beautiful lake. It is known
as Bailey's lake. It is situated about one-hundred feet above the
surface of the ground upon which the business portion of Pekin is
built. It has no visable outlet, but it is supposed that there is a
bed of clay leading from it to the Illinois, through which the
water finds its way to that river. This theory is partly substantia-
ted by the flow of water in wells that are sunk in what is supposed
to be this channel. For instance, there is a well near the freight
depot of the Pekin Lincoln and Decatur Railway, which has afford-
ed water for twenty years, and is only ten feet in depth. Mr. W.
S. Rankin has a well higher up and about one-hundred yards from
the above, which is thirty-nine feet deep. About midway between
these two wells is another, which affords water at the depth of
twenty feet. It is supposed these wells are on the line of the chan-
nel, the shallowest being better located and not as high up as the
others. In other places water is not found short of one-hundred

The timber along the bluffs in this township is of young growth.
We are told by old settlers, who were acquainted with this section,
that where the timber is now thick and trees as high as forty feet,
they have seen the deer grazing, nothing to obstruct the view for
miles save a cluster of bushes here and there.

In the eastern portion of the township are some coal mines which


afford a good article of fuel. Norman C. Hawley has an extensive
mine in operation here. The P. L. & D. Railway have construct-
ed a track from the main line to his mines, a distance of about half
a mile.

In 1850, on the eve of adapting the township mode of conducting
affairs, the commission appointed to divide the county into town-
ships, laid off Cincinnati a full congressional township, which
included 36 sections. Subsequently the northern tier of sections
was cut off and added to Pekin township. In this portion of the
township, near where the P. L. & D. Railway shops are now
located, Jonathan Tharp settled in 1824. He was the first settler
both in the city of Pekin and in this township, in that that
section he located upon, was afterwards included in Pekin. Jacob
Tharp Sr., came in 1826 and erected the second house, south of the
corner of Broadway and Court streets. Jonathan Tharp laid his
farm off into town lots, and named his prospective village Cincin-
nati, whence the present name of the 'township. Pekin was laid off
and the two places so close together, were known as Pekin and
Cincinnati. Finally they were united under the name of Pekin.
Willian Woodrow then came, about 1824, and settled on the south-
east quarter of section 36. It is said, he had the pick and choice
of any of the land on the sand prairie, as he made the first selection,
and decided upon that quarter. Robert T. Copes came and located
on section 26. Aaron Hackett, his son, Dr. Hackett, and son-in-
law, by the name of Conover and a man by the name of Hinges,
settled on section 14. Joseph Haines, who came in 1827, located
on section 13. Alfred Haines, son of Joseph, erected his cabin on
section 14. This was among the most thickly settled portions of
the county at that time. Samuel and Hugh Woodrow came in
1835, and settled upon section 35. These were about all the set-
tlers for many years in this township. It was settled up slowly
until 1848, Avhen a new start was given to settling the township, by
the sale of the land held by the naval officers, and the opening of
the Illinois and Michigan canal.

William Woodrow was a native of Pennsylvania; removed in
early life to Ohio, and came to Tazewell county in 1824, locating in
Cincinnati township, where he remained until 1863, when he went
to Knox county, where, Wednesday, Aug. 15th, 1866, in the 74th
year of his age, he died.

The township is now occupied by a good thrifty class of agricult-





uralists. Among those which are especially identified with its
history, and who take a deep interest in all matters for the public
weal, we will mention the following :

Gerd AJfi, of Germany, came to this county in 1865. He was
born in Hanover in 18'25. His parents, Joiin and Gretchel Alfs,
were Germans. He was educated in his native country. He was
married to Mary Hendricks. They have eight children. Mr. Alfs
is engaged in firming very extensively in this township. He
resides on section 10; post-office address, Pekin. In politics Mr.
A. is liberal in his views.

Bennett Bailey, a native of Coshocton Co., Ohio, came to this
county in 1843 and resides on section 16 of this township. His
parents were Thomas Baily of Ohio and Rachel (Smith) Bailey a
native of Green county, Penn. He was educated in the common
and select schools. He has held the offices of School Director,
Commissioner, Assessor, etc. On 23rd of February, 1863, he was
united in the bond of wedlock with Mary A. Seiwell. They are
the parents of seven children. Their names and dates of birth are

Aug. 29, 1874; Talitha C, born Aug.27, 1876 and Ella,' born Dec.
22, 1878. Politically, Mr. Bailey is identified with the Democratic
party. Post-office, Pekin.

Sarah Jane Bailey was born in Union county, Penn. She is the
daughter of Henry and Sarah (Haas) Blooni, of Pennsylvainia,
and came to this county Jan. 1, 1849 and in January 1850, married
Jonathan Bailey, of Ohio. This union was blessed with three chil-
dren. William was born Nov. 18, 1850, Theodore, born Oct. 16,
1852, and Mary born Sept. 25, 1855. She is the wife of John
Worth and resides at Peoria, 111. William, married Mollie Dalby
and at present resides in Pekin. Theodore married Miss Ella Cope-
land and resides near the old homestead. Mrs. Bailey formerly
belonged to the Lutheran Church but at present attends the Metho-
dist. She resides on section 31. Her post-office address is Pekin.

Leonard A Beck, Justice of the Peace, was born in Franklin Co.,
Pa., in 1840. His parents were John and Margaret (Sweavel),
natives of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Mr. Beck came to Taze-
well county in 1846, and is self-educated. He resides on section
27, where he is engaged in farming. Nov. 16, 1865, he was joined
in matrimony with Mary Sherrer. Their children are Annie E.,
born Feb. 28, 1869; Mary, born Sept. 2, 1873; Philip S., born
May 13, 1876, and John, born March 21, 1878. In politics Mr.
B. is identified with the Democratic party. Post-office address,

James C. Bequeaith, was born in this township, in 1853, June 6.
He received his education in this county, and is engaged in agricul-


tural pursuits. Dec. 24, 1873, he was married to Clara Jane Iliff,
of Marshall county, Iowa. John M., their first child, was born
March 9, 1875, and March 26, 187G, AVilliam Wesley was b()rn.
The former is not living. Mr. Bcqucaith is a Republican in political
views. Post-office address, Pekin.

John Bequenith, farmer, residence, section 18; was born in Knox
Co., O., in 1820. At the age of twelve he was brought from Indi-
ana, whether his parents had moved five years previous. His father,
Joseph Bequeaith, was a native of Scotland, his mother, Elizabeth
Conkle, was born in Pennsylvania, July 29, 1846. Mr. B. was
married to Elizabeth King.' Their children are — Anna, born in
1848, since deceased; Emma L., born March 11, 1851, James C,
June 6, 1853; Alice A., April 29, 1855; Laura J., April 9, 1858;
Louis C, Feb. 2, 1866. Mrs. Bequeaith is the daughter of Thomas
and Elizabeth (Beninger) King. Her fiither was a native of Mary-
land, and died in 1861, at the age of 70, and her mother was born
in Westmoreland county. Pa., and died in 1864. Mrs. B. was born
in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Her parents came to this county in
1844, and it has been her home since. She is a member of the
American Reformed Church, and made a profession of religion at the
age of 17. Their children — James and Laura Jane Loid, are
married and live near the parental roof; Emma L., Owen and Alice
A. Iliff, live in Marshall county, 111 ; the youngest, Louis, lives
with his parents. Mr. B. owns 800 acres of land, and is a success-
ful farmer. Post-office, Pekin.

WilUam Fletcher Copes, farmer, sec. 35; post-office address,
Pekin; born in McLean county, 111., in 1828. He is the son of
Robert T. Copes and Mary D. Tharp, of Ohio. Was brought to
this county when a child of two summers, where, in the common
schools, he received his education. He has held the offices of
Deputy-Sheriff, Constable and Town Clerk for about twenty years.
Mary Woodrow, his wife, and to whom he was married in 1851, has
born him six children — Laura A., born in 1853, Clara E., born in
1855 ; Ira O., born in 1857 ; Mary A., born in 1859, since deceased;
Adaline A., also deceased, was born in 1861 ; Ella A., born in
1863. Mr. C. united with the Methodist Church in 1844. He
votes with the Republicans.

Charles W. Corey, farmer and dairyman, sec. 9; was born in
Ithica, Tompkins Co., N. Y., in 1827. His parents, David and
Elizabeth (Williams) Corey, were from Orange Co., N. Y.. Mr.
C. came from New York to Mason county, 111., and from there to
this county in 1864. He received his education in Ithica and
Newfield, N. Y. He was married to Eliza Sutton, in 1855. Her
father's name was Benjamin Sutton, her mother's Elizabeth Roub,
natives of New Jersey. They moved to Michigan, where Mrs. C.
was born, thence moved to Cass county, 111., in 1834, where her
father was almost the first settler. ^Ir. and Mrs. Corey are the
parents of five children — C. Wilbur, born Nov. 7, 1856, died Jan.


6,1873; Victoria D., born Aug. 5, 1859; Charles L., born Jan. 7,
1864; Rupert D., born Nov. 16, 1866; and Catharine S., born
Nov. 1, 1868. Mr. C. joined the M. E. Church in 1852. His wife
has been a member since 1862. The entire family, from oldest
down to youngest, are strictly temperance in principle and practice.
Republican. Post-office, Pekin.

Andreio Crooks, farmer, son of AVilliam and Elizabeth Crooks, of
Maryland, was born in Washington county. Pa., in 1809. All the
advantages for an education he enjoyed was attending subscription
schools three months in the year. Mr. C. came to this county Oct.
17, 1864, and resides upon section 36. His son, Alexander, served
four years and ten months in the late war, in the 90th Ohio. Mr.
C. was united in marriage with Elizabeth Anderson, of Pennsylva-
nia, in 1832. They are the parents of fourteen children, ten of
whom are living. Their names are Mary J., Matilda, Terrisa H.,
(deceased), Henry H., William, Thomas A., Alexander, Robert H.,
Franklin P., D. H., I^ouis A., James B., Andrew and Samuel.
Mr. C. united with the Old School Presbyterian Church, in 1832,
and belongs to that religious denomination at the present time.
Post-office address, Pekin.

John Eidmann, who is rather extensively engaged in farming in
this townshij), and who lives on section 32, is a native of Hesse
Darmstadt, Germany. He came to Tazewell county Feb. 6, 1848.
His parents were Frederick and Catherina Elizabeth (Weyruch)
Eidmann. Mr. Eidmann has held the offices of Supervisor, School
Director, etc. In 1858 he was married to Margaret Sherrer, of
Hesse Darmstadt. By her he had three children — John, born in
'1863; Margaret, born in 1865, and George, born in 1868. In 1871
he was united in marriage to his present wife, Christina Edenmiller,
who has borne him three children — Mary Ellen, born in 1874;
Emma M., born in 1876, and Frances, born in 1878. In politics
Mr. E. is a Republican. P, O. address, Pekin.

John Gainer, farmer, post-office address, Pekin, was born in Wit-
tenburg, Ger., April 13, 1830, and came to this country in May,
1834. His parents were George and Mary Maria Gainer, of Ger-
many. He was educated in common schools and embarked in the
agricultural pursuit, and resides on section 25. He does not belong
to any church, but inclines to Presbyterian belief. In 1867 he chose
for his wife Anna Fredcrika Reiling. Emma Elizabeth, John
Martin and Mary Alice Magdalcua arc their children.

Gainalid W. Hatch, farmer, and who resides upon section 5; was
born in Medina county, Ohio, in 1839. His parents were Hiram
and Amanda Hatch, of Ontario county. When a young man of
fourteen years of age he came to Tazewell county, and four years
later, 1857, was married. He is the parent of three sons — William
M., George H. and Albert Eugene. Mr. H. is identified with the
Democratic party. Post-office, Pekin.

John Christopher Hawkins was married to Elizabeth Coleman, a


native of Harrison county, Ohio, May 20, 1857. Mrs. H.'s parents
were John Coleman, a native of Pennsylvania, and Rhoda Johnson,
of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins have seven children living, two
dead. Their names and dates of birth are as follows : Emma, born
Aug. 11, 1859 (deceased), Elnora, born May 11, 1861 (deceased),
Margaret, born Aug. 13, 1863, Dallas, Nov. 11, 1865, William,
April 9, 1868, Mary, Nov. 25, 1869, John, May, 1872, Kate, Nov.
5, 1974, James, Nov. 13, 1876.

John Christopher Hawkins was born in Hampshire county, Va.,
in 1831. His parents were William and Mary (Orr) Hawkins. He
came to this county in 1831 and was educated in the free and sub-
scription schools of the county. P. O., Pekin.

N. C. Hawley. In 1837, June 6, Gideon and Elizabeth Hawley,
while residing in this township, had born unto them a son, Norman
C, the subject of this sketch. His father was a native of Vermont,
and his mother, Elizabeth (Caldwell) Hawley, was born in Kentucky.
This couple came to the State in 1819, and were among the earliest
settlers in Tazewell county. Mr. H. received his education in the
common schools. Jubilee -College, Peoria, and Wesleyan University,
Bloomington. He has been quite successful in life, and now owns
one thousand acres of land, much of which is underlaid with a fine
vein of coal, which he is working. April 1, 1867, he married Miss
Mary E. Martin, of Logan county. Their children number four —
James M., Gideon L., Prairie Ellen and Freddie S. Politically Mr.
H. may be found with the Republican party. Post-office, Pekin.

Adam Heilmann, farmer, is a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Ger-
many. His parents were Adam and Margaret (Weidman) Heilmann.
He came to this county in December, 1852; was educated in the'
select schools of Germany. He has a fine farm. He was married to
Elizabeth Repper in 1854. They have three sons — Charles, born
May 23, 1855; Philip, born Feb. 14, 1857, and Leonard, born Oct,
9, 1859. Mrs. Heilmann's parents were Adam and Eve (Fornof)
Repper, who came to this county from Germany the year after Mr,
H, did, and engaged in farming. Mrs. Repper has been deceased
for fifteen years, and her husband for two years. Post-office, Pekin.

Michael Hollywood, miller and fiirmer, came direct from Ireland,
(where, in Armagh county, in 1842 he was born), to this county
in 1852. His parents were Daniel and Margaret (McShaul)
Hollywood. He was educated in the common schools of this
county.. He is a widower. Mr. H. owns and runs a saw-mill in
this township, which does mostly custom work. He saws at this
mill an average of 150,000 feet of lumber per year. It has been
run by him for fourteen years, and is a great convenience to this
section of the county. Black walnut and oak are the kinds of
wood that are mostly sawed here. P. O., Pekin.

August Kastens, a native of Brunswick, Gr., born in 1839 ; came
to Tazewell County in 1832. He lives on section 13, where he is
engaged in farming ; post-office address, Pekin. He is the son of


James P. Martin, retired farmer, is worthy a notice in this vol-
ume. His generosity and public spirit in all worthy matters are
unquestioned. He was born in the county of Donegal, Ireland,
Sept. 15, 1804. His father was Alexander Martin and Avas born in
the same county in 1782 ; but little is known of his early life. He
was raised a farmer-boy and on attaining his majority he was united
in marriage with Miss Mary McCorkle. She was born in the same
county, and was a daughter of James McCorkle. There were born
of this marriage nine children, four of whom grew to mature years :
AVilliam, deceased ; Alexander K., married Miss Hoblett, of Logan
county; Mary A. married David Gibbs, and now a resident of
Iowa. Alexander Martin, who is deceased, was a man of unusual
force of character and energy ; he crossed the Atlantic and landed
in Philadelphia, from where, with his family, he proceedad to Bed-
ford county and there passed the remainder of his life, as also did his
wife. Our subject, James P., received a good common school edu-
cation, and at the age of 25 was united in marriage with Miss Ellen
Skeen, of Westmoreland county. Pa. Previous to his marriage, he
learned the trade of weaver, and for a while worked at this vocation
in Pa. and Ohio. He then turned his attention to farming, and in
1845 settled in Logan Co., 111., where he purchased a farm. He
resided there till 1850, when he located upon the Delavan Prairie
in this county, where he purchased land at from 90 cts. to $30 per
acre, amounting in all to 1100 acres. This, by the exercise of unu-
sual energy, he brought to a high state of cultivation, and planted
25 miles of hedge fence, which is still in a thriving condition. For
many years he was the largest hedge-grower in the State, and took
a just and an especial pride in advancing and improving the agri-
cultural districts of Tazewell county. He bent his powerful energ-
ies to the accomplishment of this one laudable object and well
did he succeed. His life-work speaks in language both stron-
ger and more fitting than we can express in words. Eight
children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Martin, five of
of whom grew to maturity ; William H., married Miss Jane Quin-
senberry ; Thomas A., married Miss Alice Mountjoy, and is now a
resident of Kansas ; James A., married Caroline Hoblett ; George
B., married Matilda Merrill, and now lives in Missouri; Mary E.,
married Mr. Hawley, a prominent farmer of this township. In
1862 Mr. M. made an equal division of his pr()})erty among his
children, and after a life of great activity and unusual success,
determined to rest from labor, as consistent with his wealth and time
of life and spend the remainder of his days in quietude. At
present he is living with his son-in-law% Norman C. Hawley,
a man who is prominently identified with the interests and wellfare
of Tazewell county and of whom we speak elsewhere in this volume.
In drawing this sketch to a close we cannot refrain from referring


to Mrs. M. as a pioneer wife aud mother. She was born in Penn.
in 1811, and is a fine type of the pioneer woman. She has been an
ernest worker in the Christian Church for nearly 40 years. She
was formerly a member of the Presbyterian Chnrch. Mr. Martin
is also a consistant member of that Church and is respected and es-
teemed by all who know him. There are but few men living in the
county who have done more to advance its interests than Mr. James
P. Martin. The very fact of his accumulating in a short life time
such a vast property as he has is the best evidence in the world of
a well spent life. It is a source of pleasure for the biographer to
meditate upon a life thus useful and passed, that while he did much
good in his strong and vigorous manhood and while in the decline
of life he still, by example and precept, is found battling for the
right his works will live long after the last sad rites have been paid
him by those who loved and esteemed him life, and will not forget
to honor his memory when he is no longer in their midst. Now, in
the evening of life, as both Mr. M. and his good wife are beckoned to
that brighter and better land, we realize that the hand of the diligent
maketh rich, and the happiness of the Christian is worthy emulation.
AVe give their portraits in this work.

William Coddingfan, farmer, sec. 16, Boynton township; P, O.,
Boynton. He is a native of Warren Co., O. and was born Nov. 1,
1838. His father, Wm. Coddington, was a native of Essex Co.,
N. J., and was born in 1784. He was a farmer by occupation.
At the age of two his parents moved to Maryland, where he grew
to manhood. He married his first wife in Pennsylvania. Her
name is not now remembered by William, His father, William
Coddington, Sen., was married twice after: his last wife and
mother of the subject of this sketch was Miss Nancy Price. In
1808 his father moved to Chid where Wm, was born and grew to
manhood. He moved to Shelby Co., Ind., and married Miss Miner-'
va E, Kellogg, in Oct,, 1865, He came to :^iis township from
Ind. His chrfdren are Clara M., Lilly, Wm. W. and Charlie E.

Daniel 3f, Rankin, deceased, was born in Lancaster Co., Penn.,
Oct. 31, 1903. Mr, R. attended the schools of his native State,
where he received a good common school education. He was
raised on a farm until he was seventeen years old, when he began
to learn the trade of blacksmith ing. He was united in marriage,
July 7, 1825, to Miss Esther Lefevre, a native of" Peiln, Mrs.
R, died Aug;. 6. 1855. Thev had fourteen children. Mr. Ran-
kin has followed his wife to that world from whence no traveler
returns. A portrait of Mr. R., and also one of his son, John S.,
may be found in this work.

August Kastens, a native of Brunswick, Gr., born in 1839 ; came
to Tazewell county in 1832. He lives on section 13, where he is
engaged in farming; post-office address, Pekin. He is the son of

Gf RD. AU^^

^"^OTHY UAR\^^^^




-'O/yjy GA\^^^

Cincinnati Township.


Henry and Adelhelt Kastens. In 1869, he was married to Marga-
ret Baker. Louis Henry and Rhoda, are their children. They
were born in 1870 and 1878 respectively. He united with the
Evangelical Lutheran Chureii in 1870.

Timothy Larimore, a prominent farmer in this township, resides on
section 26; was born in Hampshire county, Va., in 1826. His
parents were William and Nancy Larimore. Mr. Larimore is one
of the oldest residents of Tazewell Co., having come to the county
in 1831, where, in the common schools he received his education.
For the last fifteen years Mr. L. has held some township office,
either Collector, Supervisor, or some other position. In politics he
is a Democrat. In 1857 he married Mary Dillon. They have had
six children born to them, all of whom are living. They are
William Edgar, Arnold J., Effie A., Lillie I., Alpha E., Udie E.
Post-office address, Pekin.

Frank Loyd, a native of Yorkshire, England, having been born
there in 1827. He came to Tazewell county in 1865. He attended
only the common schools of England. His ]iarents were Frank
and Jane (Ward) Loyd. He was married to Sophia Porter, also a

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 40 of 79)