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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 42 of 79)
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Hall came to Delavan and opened the Delavan House as a hotel,
though some slight accommodations had been offered there previ-
ous to this. The stage line from Ghicago via Peoria to Springfield,
passed about one-half mile west of the village, and about four
months after Mr. Hall opened the hotel, Delavan was made a stage
stand. The telegraph line was put up in 1850, and Delavan became
an important point. But a little later, before the G. & A. railroad
was built, the poles were taken down, the stage withdrawn, and the
place became shut out from the world. Atlanta was the nearest
railroad point, and thither the people carried their produce, and
made many of their purchases. This continued till 1868, when the
branch of the G. & A. road was completed, and from this time the
place began to grow with great rapidity. The first store was kept
by a man named West, who was also the first postmaster, and who



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 435

was succeeded by Ira B. Hall. It seems that James Phillips
bought out West and kept a small stock of goods for a time. Geo.
Straut and Putnam came along one day with a one horse ped-
dlers' wagon, and they traded the horse and wagon with Phillips
for the goods. Putnam kept the store, and Mr. Straut, who was a
blacksmith by trade, went back to St. Louis to work. After a time
he returned to Delavan, worked a while at blacksmithing, increased
his stock of goods, and was soon doing a prosperous business. Mr.
Straut became interested in Mason City and amassed considerable
property, and now has an influential voice in the affairs of the C. &
A. railroad.

At a meeting held in April, 1850, the township was organized,
and the following officers were elected : Supervisor, W. W. Cross-
man ; town-clerk, Charles Grant ; assessor, Daniel Reid ; collector,
Geo. P. Vincent ; overseer of poor, W. S. Caswell ; commissioner
of highways, Geo. Teift, AV. S. Caswell, Folsom Dorsett ; constables,
Geo. P. Vincent and John Reese; justices of the peace, W. S. Cas-
well, AV. C. Clark; overseer of highways, Hugh Reid; pound-
master, Simon Goodal. There is, perhaps, nothing of general
interest in the history of the township till the time of the war,
when an event occurred which was the cause of no little excitement.
It was this :

Some time in 1864, Mr. James H. McKinstry, who had been
chosen special agent by the town to provide volunteers, in order to
fill out the necessary quota, and thus avoid a draft, lost |4,106 of
the funds subscribed for this purpose, under the following circum-
stances. Mr. Mc'K., while at Springfield looking for men, learned
that a number could be obtained at Alton, as Mr. Stephen Hobort,
of Tremont, was going there, Mr. McK. handed him ^4,106 with
which to procure men in that place. The money, as it was claimed,
was stolen from Mr. H. The important question now arose as to
who should bear the loss — the township, the parties who had sub-
scribed the money, or one of the • gentlemen who had handled it,
and which one. In 1865, at a town meeting, three resolutions were
adopted. One to re-im burse Mr. McK. ; another to refund money
subscribed by individuals to avert the draft; a third authorizing
Mr. McK. to bring suit against Mr. H. To procure money for the
carrying out of these resolutions, a tax of 3 per cent, on the assessed
valuation, was ordered levied for town purposes. This was meant to
include, also, the current expenses of the town. But an assessment



436 HISTOKY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

of fifteen cents on $100 was amply sufficient jor town purposes, and
an injunction was therefore issued from the Circuit Court, restraining
the collection of this tax, on the ground that such a tax was not
necessary for town purposes. The injunction was confirmed by the
Supreme Court, though it provided that the town was to bear the
expense incurred during the litigation, and then, after two or three
years of intense local excitement, Mr. McK. was finally compelled
to bear the loss himself.

DELAY AN TOWN.

In 1858 the village of Delavan was incorporated, but opposition
to the movement was so strong that the Trustees elected did not
qualify, and the incorporation seems to have fallen through. It was
organized Oct. 2, 1865, when it was voted to establish the corpora-
poration to include the old town proper, and its platted additions.
The following were the first officials : Trustees — E. O. Jones, pres-
ident ; L. P. Flynt, clerk ; J. C. Appleton, Stephen C. Hobart,
Wm. B. Orrell, and P. Clark ; city marshal, J. H. Upham ; col-
lector, Wm. Vaughn ; treasurer, D. L. Whittemore. The village
was incorporated under the new State law in July, of 1872, with the
following Trustees : Theo. Van Hague, president ; Wm. H. Phil-
lips, clerk ; P. D. Stockwell, Henry Kingman, John Carr, Andrew
Stubbs and John Warne. In 1874 the subject of license or no
license came up, and the board stood four to two against the grant-
ing of license ; in '75, '76 and '77 licenses were granted ; but in '78
the board was again four to two against, and in '79 unanimous
against authorizing the sale of liquor.

Delavan is one of the finest villages in the West. It is well laid
out, is abundantly supplied with sidewalks, has good drainage, is
lighted by about 40 street lamps, and has a Babcock Fire Co. and a
Hook and Ladder Co. The stores are numerous and confined to
one line of goods as a rule ; the houses are neat, with well-kept gar-
dens, and the entire surroundings of the place, together with the
manners and customs of the inhabitants, show at a glance that the
community is composed of Eastern people. The place has a graded
school, which, under the care of Mr. J. S. McClung and his assist-
ants, has become one of the best schools of the kind in the State. A
school building was erected at the time the Delavan House was con-
structed, and this building was also used for some time as a church.
It is still standing. About nineteen years ago another building, with



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 437

two rooms, was put up, which was used till 1871, when a fine brick
edifice was erected at a cost of not far from $25,000. It was com-
pleted in the fall and in the following December it was destroyed by-
fire. An insurance of $22,000 on the building and furniture had
been secured, and a new building, after the same design, was erected
in 1872, at a cost to the district of only $250.

There are four churches in the place. The oldest one is the
Baptist.

Baptist Church was organized Dec. 17th, 1846, with Deacons
Henry R. Green, Jonas R. Gale, and Joseph Grant, John Daniels,
Annes Green, Cynthia M. Gale, Sarah Grant, Eunice Hall and Mary
Ann Phillips, as constituent members. The pastors, from the organ-
ization to the present time, have been. Rev. Nelson Alvord, John
Scrogins, S. S. Martin, Wm. C. Pratt, R. Morey, L. L. Lansing
and T. P. Campbell, who is now pastor and has served as such since
January 24, 1872. The meeting house was dedicated April 2, 1854.
The parsonage was finished during the year 1868, at a cost of about
$2,500. In April, 1861, twenty-three members were dismissed to
organize a Baptist Church at Green Valley, Illinois, and on Septem-
ber 5, 1868, nine were dismissed to organize a Baptist Church at
San Jose, Mason Co., 111. Two of the former members, Daniel
Drake and Chas. A. Reese, are ordained Baptist ministers. The
former has been a missionary to the Telegoos for the last five years,
and the latter is now the pastor of a church in Roxbury, Mass.
There have been four clerks since the organization of the Church —
J. R. Gale, D. A. Cheever, Daniel Cheever (who served in that
capacity for twenty-three years) and A. B. Cheever. The officers of
the Church at the present time are, Deacons, Edward Drake, W,
Bower and T. E. Ward ; Trustees, G. D. Randolph, J. S. Hemstreet
and Geo, Drake ; Clerk of Church, A. B. Cheever. The Church
now numbers about 165 members.

M. E. Church. The M. E. Church was organized about 1850,
and was at first merely a circuit station. George Miller and John
Webster are said to have been the earliest preachers in charge. The
first church building was erected about the year '52, and it is still in
existence. A few years ago a fine brick church was built, and is a
very commodious building. The church was organized with about
20 members, among whom were the following : Samuel Hall, Sam-
uel Briggs, Jesse Trowbridge, John Fraze and Levi Cheever. There
is a parsonage in connection with the church. At present the mem-
bership includes about 175 persons.



438 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL, COUNTY.

Presbyterian. On the 19th of June, 1855, Rev. W. T. Adams
and Elder Cantrell organized this church, consisting of twenty-two
members, viz : Wm. Dorrence and Mary J., his wife ; J. C. Duncan
and Margaret M., his wife ; Mrs. Jane Davidson, J. H. McKinstry
and Sarah J., his wife ; Mrs. Martha Crawford, Wm. E. McDowell
and Elizabeth, his wife ; Miss Nancy E,. Davidson, Miss Sarah Bell
Davidson, Mrs. Susan Work, John McKinstry and Anna M., his
wife ; Ralph Martin and Eliza, his wife ; John Harbison, Thomas
McKinstry and Mary A., his wife ; Jacob McCollister and Catherine,
his wife. J. C. Duncan and Ralph Martin were elected ruling
Elders, and John McKinstry and Wm. E. McDowell were elected
Deacons, all of whom, except Ralph Martin (he having been a ruling
member before), were ordained and installed in their respective
offices by the committee of Presbytery. The Lord's Supper was
administered for the first time by Rev. W. T. Adams, of Washington,
Illinois. In July, 1857, being a little more than two years after its
organization, the congregation began the building of a house of
worship, which was finally completed at a cost of $4,400, and dedi-
cated, free of debt, in July, 1859, being about two years after the
work was begun. In 1872, the church building was remodeled and
enlarged at a cost of $4,600. The pastors of the church have been
as follows : Rev. S. M. Templeton, 1856-'67 ; Rev. Wm. Baldwin,
'67-'89 ; Rev. R. C. Colmery, '69-'71 ; Rev. J. A. Hough, who was
installed in April, 1872. The church has about 175 members.

Catholic. The Catholic Church was founded by Father Mur-
togh, in 1868. The principal benefactors were Messrs. Ryan, Leoni
and Reardon. The membership numbers 400. Pastor, P. A.
Macshaur.

Delavan has two temperance societies, the Good Templars and the
Washingtonians, both vigorous organizations. It has a lodge of
Odd Fellows — Siloam, No. 207, which was organized in 1856, with
the following charter members : S. W. Hall, E. J. Davis, L. D.
Smith, A. S. Stilman and E. O. Jones. It has also a lodge of A.
F. and A. M., No. 156, which received its charter in 1854. The
following were the first members : W. W. Crossman, W. M ; H.
S. Latham, S. W. ; and A. P. Littlefield, J. W. Mr. Crossman is the
oldest Mason in the State, having been made a Master Mason in 1814.

This township, with its beautiful village, is inhabited by an enter-
prising, wealthy and cultured people. In these respects it compares
favorably with any portion of the great Prairie State of like popu-



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 439

lation. We give below personal sketches of some of the leading
and representative people of the township and town.

Joseph C. Applcfon is the youngest of a family of three chiklren,
of Rev. Geo. W. and Mary (Guild) Applcton, natives of Mass.
He was born in Sterling, Windham Co., Vt., May 18, 1825. His
father was a Baptist minister and came to Delavan in 1848, where
he died three years later. His mother passed from earth in 1859.
Joseph C. had a good education and has been actively identified
with the county's history for over twenty years. He has served
seventeen years as Justice of the Peace. He is by trade a tailor.
In 1853 he was married, at Woonsocket, R. I., to Frances Baken.
They have one child. Politically the 'Squire is a Democrat.

Andrew W. Ball was born in Irvington, N. J., Mar. 17, 1834.
In 1836, his father, Amzi Ball, moved West, to Fountain, Ind., where
he remained for fourteen years. In July, 1851, he came to Tazewell
county and shortly afterwards came to Delavan. His mother's
maiden name was Mary Meeker. When a young man Mr. Ball
taught school during the winter and worked in summer, and by dili-
gence has made life a success. He is the possessor of 80 acres of
land here and nearly 400 in Champaign Co. On the 27th of Dec,
1855, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Mosely, at Delavan.
The union has been blest with four children — Arthur A. the eldest,
was born April 7, 1858 and died Mar. 5, 1859; Clarence H., born
Sept. 26, 1860; Gertrude H., born Jan. 22, 1862, and Joseph H.,
born Mar. 20, 1866.

Uriah Briggs, farmer, section 7 ; was born in Ontario county, N.
Y., April 9, 1829. His parents, Uriah and Mary (Holcomb)
Briggs, were both born in Ontario county, and were farmers. Mr.
B. was educated in the common schools and at the age of twentv-
one came to this county. Before coming, however, he was married,
at Granger, O., to Cornelia Hatch, of Medina county, O. This
memorable event of his life occurred on the 11th of April, 1850,
and has been blessed with four children : Delia A., born Feb. 9.
1855, Adella M., born June 26, 1862, died Mar. 5, 1865, Jennie A.,
born Feb. 15, 1866, and Meloin E., born Dec. 28, 1872. P. O.,
Delavan.

/. H. Burlingame, farmer sec. 14; P. O., Delavan; was born in
Meig Co., O., July 13, 1824. His parents were Edwin and Jane
(Evans) Burlingame. When Mr. B. was a boy between four and
five years old, his parents moved to Muskingum Co., where he
received a good common school education. In 1851 he made his
entrance into this county and located at Delavan. His parents
moved to the same place about two years thereafter. Mrs. R. died
March 25, 1875, at the ripe old age of 77. Mr. B. is still living
and resides with one of his children. He is 82 years old. In
March, 1869, this estimable couple celebrated their golden wedding.
J. H. was married to Jane Allison, Jan. 1, 1851, at, or near, Zanes-



440 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY.

ville, O. They have eight children — Thomas E., born Feb. 16,
1853; Mary S., April 11, 1855; Sarah E., Sept. 10, 1857; Jane
E., April 7, 1860, died Oct. 23, 1862; Fannie P., July 30, 1862;
Louisa E., April 25, 1865; Charles H., Sept. 3, 1868, and Robert
C, August 5, 1871, died in 1872. Mr. B. is a member of the Pres-
byterian Church.

Robert W. Crothers. Dr. Crothers was born at»Mt. Pleasant, O.,
in 1833, and graduated at the Jefferson Medical College, of Phila-
delphia, in 1855. In 1856 he came to Delavan, where he has since
engaged in the practice of his profession, in which he has been
eminently successful. In addition, he has conducted a drug store
there and in this he has also been successful.

Rudolph Frey, banker, was born in Germany Oct. 30, 1841. His
parents, who were Germans, gave him a good common school educa-
tion. At an early age he crossed the Atlantic and was landed in
the United States ; and when only ten years old was brought to this
county. Just as he was emerging into manhood, when he expected
to enter upon the stage of active life, the Rebellion broke out. True
to his adopted country and to the flag of our glorious Union, he
shouldered his musket and went to the front to defend it ; and for
three long and bloody years he served in the 94th Illinois Infantry.
In 1865, at Pekin, Mr. Frey was united in marriage with Rose
Clauser. They have one child. He has held a position on the
Town Board of Trustees for some time and President of that body.
He is a Republican in political views. Mr. Frey is a well known
and respected citizen of this town and largely identified in the bus-
iness interests of the place. His portrait may be found in this
volume.

Elwood M. GarUek, printer, is a native of Pleasant Valley, Clark
county, O., having been born at that place Sept. 19, 1849. His
parents are Mortimore A. and Martha (Gilmore) Garlick. When a
young man Mr. G. entered a printing office, in Loudon, O., where
he acquired his trade. He came to this county when at the age of
nineteen, and is now foreman of the Delavan Advertiser. He had
the privilege of attending only the common schools, but the printing
office is one of the best schools in the land. On the 9th of April,
1875, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Keefe, at
Delavan. They have two children — Minnie M. and Mattie E.
The latter died Nov. 27, 1877.

Augustus Giles came to this county, in 1858, and settled in Malone
township, and came to Delavan in 1873. He now resides on section
18, and is engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is the son of
Benjamin A. Giles and Mary Clauson, both natives of Middlesex
county, N. J., where, in Piscataway, of that county, he was born
July 5, 1824. He was raised on a farm, and engaged in the hay-
pressing business before leaving New Jersey. At Plainfield, N. J.,
Jan. 18, 1846, he was married to Anna M. Brokaw. She is the
mother of nine children, seven living, two dead. Mr. G. has served



HISTOEY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 441

as School Director several times. He has been a member of the
Baptist Church for a number of years. Post-office, Delavan.

Vandiver G-iles. This gentleman, who is engaged in farming, was
born in Piscataway, Middlesex county, N. J., Oct. 15, 1822. His
parents, Benjamin E. and Mary (Clauson) Giles, were also natives
of Middlesex county. His father was a farmer and a weaver. Mr.
G. was well advanced in life before he cast his lot and fortune
among the people of this county. He came in Feb., 1865. Before
coming to the West he was engaged in farming in his native county.
In 1842, at the age of twenty, he was married to Miss Experience
Giles. Twenty-one years later she died. She left three children,
who are still living — Patterson S., Martha A. and Martin. Martha
is the wife of Alfred Runion, who resides in this township. Pater-
son married Jane McCray, of New Jersey, and they now live in
Terre Haute, Ind. Martin married Sarah Z. Runion, and resides
in Delavan township. Mr. G. was again married in 1865, to
Elizabeth D. Boice. For many years he has been a member of the
Baptist Church.

Hon. Ira B. Hall is the eldest son of Preserved and Eunice
(Browning) Hall, and was born in Exeter, R. I. Nov., 29, 1812.
His father came to Delavan in 1844, where he resided until his
death, which occured Oct. 26, 1847, in his 68th year. His wife
passed from earth Sept. 20, 1849, and was in the 68th year of her
age. Ira B. Hall had tlie advantage of only the common schools of
his native State, but received good home training. Mr. Hall early
in life went to New York city and engaged with a publishing
house. He then returned home and engaged in teaching, which
profession he subsequently followed, both in New York and Ken-
tucky. He came to 111., and located in Springfield in 1839. Here
he was intimately associated with Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A.
Douglas and others of Illinois' honored sons. In Sept., 1840, we
find him landlord of the Delavan House. July 4, 1845, he quit the
hotel business and since has been mostly identified with agriculture.
In 1840, Oct. 22, he was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Thurston,
of Lee Co., Iowa. By this marriage they had two children — Al-
bert T. and Mary E. ^Mrs. Hall died Sept. 16, 1844. He again
married Feb. 11, 1846, to Sarah A. Briggs, formerly of Providence,
R. I. This union was blessed with two sons and four daughters.
In 1870 Mr. H. was elected to the Legislature and served with
distinction. He is one of the representative men of Tazewell Co.,
and as such we give a portrait of him in this book.

John Hays. This gentleman come to this country from Ireland,
(where, in the county of Limerick, in June, 1823, he was born) in
1847. He lived in Saratoga Co., N. Y., for four years, and then
came to this county and located at Pekin, where he lived for ten
years. He then moved on his farm, sec. 23, where he has since re-
sided and been quite successful. His parents were Patrick and
Catherine (Mahoney) Hays. On the loth of April, 1855, he was
28



442 HISTORY OF TAZEWELL, COUNTY.

married to Margaret Feehan, at Peoria. Miss Feehan was born
Oct. 25, 1838, in Kilkenny, Ireland, and was brought to this
country by her parents at a very early age. The names of their six
children are — Anna, Kate F., Ella M., M. Louisa, Daisey E.,
Henry (died Oct. 24, 1872), and Edward J. Mr. H. is a member
of the Catholic Church ; P. O., Delavan.

Joseph Holmes, farmer, sections 5 and 6 ; is the son of Joseph
Holmes and Charlotte Few, of Cambridgeshire, Eng., where, July
5, 1825, their son Joseph was born. He came to this county in
1848, not until he had married, however; for we find, on the 22d of
May, 1842, he was united in marriage with Mary Allgood, also a
native of Cambridgeshire, Eng., but at the time of the marriage a
resident of Lockport, N. Y. Their children — Alfred was born
Jan. 25, 1845, Charles, born April 4, 1855, and Alice J., Mar. 24,
1863. Alfred served three years in the 73d 111. Infantry during the
Rebellion. Mr. H. is a brother of Richard Holmes, and, like him, is
identified with the Republican party. P. O., Delavan.

Richard Holmes, farmer, and Chairman of the Board of Super-
visors, was born in Magora county, N. Y., Feb. 26, 1834. His
parents, Joseph and Charlotte (Few)' Holmes, were natives of Cam-
bridgeshire, Eng., and came to this country about the year 1837, and
settled at Lockport, Magora county, N. Y., where they lived till

1848, when they came to this county and settled in Delavan town-
ship, where they remained till their death. His mother died April
14, 1867, in the 75th year of her age. His father died in April,
1871, at the advanced' age of 79. He was elected from the 27th
District, in 1874, to the Legislature, and served the last session held
in the old State House. In 1869 he was elected Supervisor, and has
held the ofl&ce ever since except 1875. He has served six terms as
Chairman of that body. Dec. 6, 1855, at Lyons, Wayne county,
he was married to Lienor H. Carr. Their children are — Orville W.,
Kate E., Oliver, Frank, Laura and Willie. P. O., Delavan.

Philip Humbert, baker, Delavan, was born June 14, 1832, in
Alsace, when it belonged to France. He came to this country in

1849, and located at Rochester, N. Y. ; came to Henry, 111., where
he remained till 1859, when he went t9 California overland. In
1861 he enlisted in the 2d Cal. Cavalry, Co. M., and was stationed
most of the time at Utah. After his discharge, in Oct., 1864, he
re-enlisted in Co. H., 4th Regiment of Hancock's Veteran Corps,
organized at Washington, and stationed at Winchester, Md. ; then
at Washington till the hanging of Mrs. Surratt ; then at Columbus
till his discharge, Aug. 3, 1866. He was married to Mary Sann, at
Delavan, in 1868.

Peter F. Johnson, farmer, was born in Sweden, Sept. 8, 1833.
His parents were Jonas and Sarah Johnson. The elder Johnson
brought his family to the Bishop Hill Colony, (Henry county. 111.)
in 1846. The privations suffered were great. They walked from
Chicago ; their onl^ food potatoes and corn-dodgers. About one-



HISTORY OF TAZEWELL COUNTY. 443

half of the colony, which numbered about 360, died. Mr. John-
son, after a month's sojourn, then became dissatisfied with the
manner of life and the tyranny of Eric Jansen, the leader. He
worked one winter for the board of his family, near Victoria,
Knox county. His wife died one month after leaving Bishop
Hill. His father put out his children to be raised, and Peter fortu-
nately fell to the care of Horace Clark, the first Supervisor of
Morton township. He remained with him until he was twenty-one.
April 13, 1859, he was married to Emily Bowman, who was also
raised by Mr. Clark, and under the same circumstances. She died
July 18, 1877. Mr. J. was educated in common schools and the
Academy of Knox College, Galesburg. His children are Ida E.,
born Dec. 29, 1862; Arthur L., Aug. 24, 1864; Edith M., July 20,
1869; Florence E., Mar. 27, 1872; Leslie H., Aug. 23, 1874.
Residence, section 29. Post-office, San Jose.

Elias 0. Jones. Esquire Jones is a native of the Empire State,
having been born in Berlin, Rensselser Co., of that State, July 21,
1820. He is the oldest son of Elias and Lydia (Sweet) Jones, also
natives of New York. During the dark days of the Rebellion, he,
with his brother. Dr. James A. Jones, enlisted in the 115th 111. Inf.
His brother was Acting Surgeon of the regiment, when he was mur-
dered by guerrillas near Tunnel Hill, Ga., July 11, 1864. After
several months in the army Elias O. was obliged to quit the service,
on account of disability. He came to Delavan in Dec, 1855. He



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 42 of 79)