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 45 of 79)
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erected here. It stood on section 34, and was built in 1832, by
Theodorus Fisher. The first marriage in the county was celebrated
in this township in the spring of 1826. Daniel Dillon and Martha
Alexander were the happy couple. The first school-house was built
in 1827, on section 27. Samuel Bentley was the first teacher.


The first meeting held in the county was held in a grove on Dillon
creek, in Elm Grove, in September, 1827. This was a Methodist
meeting, and was conducted by the celebrated Peter Cartwright.
He invited all present to partake of the Lord's Supper, but exclaimed,
" If there are any old button-hole rams present, stand back." He
had reference to the Regular or Hard-shelled Baptist people. An
old lady indignantly jumped up and said that " she was an old
button-hole ewe, and would take a back seat." The person who tells
us this incident was present on the occasion, and recollects the cir-
cumstances well. She is now a resident of the township. The first
church building erected in the township was in 1830, by the
Quakers, or Friends. The building was located on section 34.
The first cemetery of the county was located on the same section, in
1826. The first death to occur was that of Hannah Dillon, the wife
of William Dillon, in the year 1826. In the year 1834 the cholera
raged through the settlement and carried oif many of the settlers.
One of the oldest deeds in the county is in possession of Mrs. Fisher,
who resides in this township. It was given in 1830. It is signed
by Elijah Hayword, Commissioner of the Land Office, and Andrew
Jackson, President. She also has one in her possession which was
given to her uncle, Walter Dillon, in 1826. This is signed by John
Quincy Adams, and is recorded in Vol. 2, page 300. The County
Farm is located on sections 11 i\nd 14 of this township.

Among the earliest settlers were William Davis, John Dillon,
Hugh Montgomery, Alexander McKnight, Benjamin Briggs, James
Scott, Thorton Wilson, James Wright, Levi and Thomas Moulton,
Thomas Bennett, John Lord, John and Eli Redman, Rufus North
and Alexander Barnes. We find living there at the present time
none of these sturdy pioneers, but there is a good thrifty class of
agriculturists. Among the number we would mention, as fairly
representing the better portion of the community, the following
persons :

Jesse B. Cooper, Superintendent of County Farm, was born in
Hamilton county, Ohio, Sept. 25, 1831. His father, William Cooper,
was a native of Ohio, while his mother, Mary (Beal) Cooper, was
born in New York. He arrived in Tazewell county April 5, 1855.
In 1851, Nov. 11, he married Malinda Burns. They arc the parents
of six children, all of whom are living. They are Addie, William,
Kate, Chara, Charles and John. Mr. C. affiliates with the Democ-
racy. He resides on section 11 ; post-office, Tremont.

John W. Davis, a native of this county, was born in Elm Grove


township, Jan. 4, 1889. His birtli occurred in the first house built
in that towhship. His parents, William and Jane (Eads) Davis,
were among the very earliest settlers of Tazewell county. Mr.
Davis received only a common school education, attending the
schools of his native township. On the 29th of March, 1863, he
was married to Mary J. Fisher, who has borne him five children —
Alvin T., Amos A., Alphis W., Laura M. and Thomas J. Mr. D.
resides on section 22. In politics he is a Republican. Post-office,


Jesse H. Fisher. Mr. Fisher is engaged in farming, and resides
on section 36. He is one of the oldest residents of Tazewell county,
having come here Sept. 23, 1829. He is a native of Ohio, having
been born in Clinton county, of that State, Aug. 26, 1814. His
parents were Theodorus Fisher, a very prominent man in his day,
and Martha (Dillon) Fisher, both of whom were North Carolinians.
Mr. F. enlisted in Co. K., 26th 111. Infantry, in 1861, and served
till 1868. April 9, 1835, he was married to Anna Dillon, daughter
of Nathan Dillon, the first settler of the county. Their children
number seven, and bear the following names : Sarah J. ; Nathan ;
Mary ; Frances E. ; Albert ; Martha A. ; Franklin A. In politics
he is a Republican. Post-office, Tremont.

Charles H. Fuller, son of James and Julia (Carpenter) Fuller,
was born in Elm Grove township, in 1823. He attended the schools
at Tremont and finished his education at Bloomington. He lives
on section 26, and is engaged in farming and raising Norman horses.
Charles has been Assessor of his township, and enters politics as a
Republican. Post-office, Tremont.

George W. Greeley, farmer, residing on section 2, was born in the
State of New Hampshire, Jan. 31, 1824. His parents, Benjamin
and Rebecca (Whittier) Greeley, were also natives of New Hamp-
shire. Mr. G. came to this county in 1836. He received most of
his education in Tremont High School. Mr. G. has held the office
of Treasurer of his township for the last nineteen years, and Assessor
for six consecutive terms. In politics he is a Democrat. In 1850
he was joined in marriage with Sarah Becker. Their children num-
ber four — James, Edward, George and Benjamin. Post-office
address, Tremont.

Philip Ileisel. Mr. Heisel was born in Sand Prairie township,
Tazewell county, Dec. 3, 1844. His parents, Philip and Mary
(Swain) Heisel, 'are natives of Germany. He was educated in the
schools at Pekin. He is a member of St. Paul's Church, Pekin.
In politics, he stands on the Democratic platform. He^ resides on
section 6, where he is engaged in farming. February 17, 1877, he
took unto himself a wife in the person of Mary Hoby. Post-office,

Christian Hochstetfler was born in Germany, June 16, 1841. His
parents were Joseph and Josephine (Zingorich) Hochstetfler. Mr.
H. came to this county in 1849, and received his education in the


common schools here. He is engaged in farming, on section 18.
He is a member of the Mennonite Church, Washington. In Feb-
ruary, 1868, Mr, H. was married to Mary Unzicker, who has borne
him four children, two girls and two boys : Louisa M., Robert H.,
Arnold H. and Annie L. Post-office address, Pekin.

Freeman Kingman was born in Bridge water, Mass., March 26,
1799. His parents were Henry and Anna (Bryant) Kingman.
Mr. K. is an old settler of the county. He came to section 12, this
township, in 1834, and has resided here since. He has transferred
passengers on the line of the famous Under-ground Railroad,
through Tremont township. He rode on the boat from Norfolk to
Baltimore, in 1833, in company with Black Hawk and his suit.
Gen. Jackson was also on the boat. In 1830, Mr. K. was married
to Mary White, who died in 1839. He was married again in 1840,
to Narcisa Greeley. By his first wife he had three sons : Lysander
P., John H., and Freeman. The union with his present wife has
been blessed with seven children : Mary, Annie, Emily, Augustus,
Amelia, Almeda and Nellie M. Mr. K. is quite stout for a man of
four score years, and has the a]ipearance of a man of sixty, rather than
eighty years old. He has followed stone cutting, but his time prin-
cipally has been devoted to farming. He is a member of the Con-
gregational Church. Post-office, Tremont.

Al/en Leonard came to this county at a very early age. He was
born in Clinton county, Ohio, Jan. 21, 1827. and arrived in Taze-
well county, Sept. 24, 1830. Thus it will be seen he is what we
term an " old settler." His parents, Thomas and Hannah (Starbuck)
Leonard, were natives of North Carolina. In September, 1849, he
was joined in marriage with Louisa Fisher. They have two chil-
dren, Elmira and Raphael. Mr. L. is extensively engaged in
farming, on section 26. In politics he is a Republican. Post-office,

Nathan Leonard was brought to Tazewell county, when a lad of
a dozen summers. He resides on section 36, which has been his
home for thirty-two years. He has a farm of 350 acres, which he
cultivates. He was born in Clinton county, Ohio, in 1820, and
arrived in this county, Sept. 24, 1830, and gained his education in
such schools as the home of his early a(lo})tion affi)rded. His
parents were Thomas and Hannah Leonard. On the 2")th of May,
1848, he was married to Ann Robinson, and two children, Leslie
and Eugene, have been born to them. Mr. L. adheres to the doc-
trine promulgated by the Republican party. Post-office, Tremont.

Thomas J. Jjeonard, a native of this township, having been born
here on the 16th of April, 1838, is engaged in farming rather exten-
sively in Elm Grove. He resides upon section 35. The common
schools of the county affin'ded all the advantages for an education
he ever had. His parents were Thomas and Hannah (Starbuck)
Leonard, the former a native of North Carolina, the latter of Ohio.
May 25, 1865, he turned from his bachelor habits, and took to him-


self a wife. This lady, Mary E. Loy, has borne him five children :
Emer A., Elmon, Ednie T., Mertie M. and Maiy C. Politically,
Mr. L. is identified with the Democracy. Post-office, Tremont.

Wilson S. Mauker, farmer, section 23, Elm Grove township, was
born in Ohio, Jan, 30, 1843, and came to Tazewell county in 1867.
He had only the common schools of Ohio at which to secure his
education. In 1877, Sept. 13, he was married to Elmina Hodgson.
Anna A. was born to them Sept. 21, 1878. Mr. M. is found in the
Democratic ranks. Post-office address, Tremont.

David B. McLean. The subject of this sketch was born in Ire-
land, Feb. 14, 1834, but was brought to this country during the
first year of his life. He lived three years in New York, when he
came to this county, arriving July 25, 1837, where he has since
resided. He is engaged in farming on section 15. He attended
the common school, and finished his education at Tremont. His
parents are Hugh S. and Janet (Breckenridge) McLean. Mr. Mc-
Lean has held the office of Town Clerk for ten years. Justice of the
Peace four years, and School Director twenty-one years. In 1859,
March 31, he was married to Lydia Williams. They are the
parents of six children : Mary J., Alice, Hugh S., William L.,
Charles and John. Politically, Mr. McLean adheres to the princi-
ples of the Republican party. Post-office address, Tremont.

Isaac Miars is a son of Martin jVIiars, one of the earliest settlers
in Tazewell county. Mr. Miars arrived here in 1825, and on
Sept. 30, entered the land upon which he now resides. His land
. was located on sections 27 and 28, Elm Grove township. He got
the " sheep skin " from the Government on the first day the land
office was opened at Springfield. Mr. Miars, sen., was born in
1801. When he first came to the county he went out hunting in
company with an Indian. It was customary for him to carry a
biscuit and an onion. The Indian became very hungry, and Mr.
M. gave him the biscuit, and he swallowed it down ravenouslv.
He then passed him the onion, and it, too, as quickly went to his
mouth, but the strong effects caused the tears to flow freely. Mr.
M. enjoyed this hugely, and laughed at the horrid faces the Indian
made. This made the red man mad, and he walked behind sullen
and silent, and would not shoot his gun off. Isaac was born in
Tazewell county, in 1838. His mother's maiden name was Ann
Hodgson. He was educated in the common schools ; and is en-
gaged in farming on section 22. Was married, Sept. 1, 1857, to
Finetta Carpenter. They have six children : Louisa', Isaac E.,
Charles, Annie, Ellen and Alberta. Politically, Mr. M. is a Re-
publican. Post-office, Tremont.

Fannie J. Miller, daughter of Phineas J. and Caroline (Drey)
Miller, was born in Fulton county, Jan. 27, 1857, and came to
Tazewell county in 1864. She attended the common schools, and
finished her education at Heading College, Abingdon, 111. Miss
Miller is engaged in school teaching. She resides on section 17,
and her post-office address is Pekin.


Enoch G. 3£orse, farmer, sec. 21, was born in Concord, N. H.,
Jan. 10, 1827, and came to this county Oct. 7, 1835. His j)aronts,
Moses and Hannah (Smith) Morse, were also natives of New Hamp-
shire. Mr. M. has resided on his present farm for forty-two years.
October 22, 1856, he was married to Elizabeth Eades. They are
the parents of seven children — Robert C, born in September, 1859 ;
Annie M., born Feb. 16, 1862; Lucy S., born Dec. 21, 1865;
Mariette, born Xov. 12, 1868; Albert, born May 25,1875. In
politics Mr. Morse affiliates with the Republican party. Post-office,

Thomas J. Prunty, farmer and carpenter, was born in Franklin
county, Va., Dec. 12, 1824, and is a son of John and Cassandra
(Chunnery) Prunty. He came to this county in 1843, and got his
education in the common schools of McLean county. On the 31st
of August, 1855, he entered into the marital state with Sarah Dil-
lon. They are the parents of four children, all of whom are living.
They are Matilda, Clara, Ann and Elmer L. Mr, P. resides on
section 23. He adheres to the doctrines of the Democratic party.
Post-office, Tremont.

John Ringwald was born in Germany, Feb. 3, 1846, and came to
this county June 15, 1866, His parents, John and Catharine Ring-
wald, were Germans. He had only such opportunities to gain an
education as the conmion schools of his native country offi^red. He
learned the carpenter trade and followed it for eight years. He is
now engaged in agricultural pursuits, residing on section 7, this
township. On the 6th of March, 1868, he was married to Marga-
rethe Daum, who has borne him six children — John, Christ, Adam,
Margareth, George and Mary. Mr. R.'s post-office address is Pekin.

James Jxobison. Mr. Robison is a native of Scotland, having
been born in that country May #15, 1801. He received his education
in the commt)n schools of Scotland. His parents were James and
Gean (Hunter) Robison. Mr. R. was united in marriage with
Isabella Leslie, of Scotland, six years ago. They had born to them
eleven children : William, Barbara, (deceased), Frank, Annie,
James, Archie, (deceased), Susan, George, (deceased), Mary, Ijcslie
and Belle. He is a member of the Baptist Church. In politics he
is counted with the Republicans. He resides on section 10, and
his post-office is Tremont.

Mr. R. emigrated to the United States in 1832, and engaged in
a contract to construct the iirst railroad across the Alleghany ^
Mountains, in company with Jonathan Leslie. They operated there
successfully for two years, when they moved to Micliigan into a
heavily timbered and wild region, and there cleared about sixty
acres of land and built a house. He remained there al)out three
years when, in 1837, he sold out and came to Tazewell county. He
took contracts on construction of the Pekin & Tremont railroad.
The road-bed of this road, the present I. B. & W., was finished
through Elm Grove in 1830. It was contemplated to lay the track


of this road with strap-iron on wooden rails. It was all completed
except the iron work, which was never done. Mr. R. next engaged
in contracts on the Illinois & Michigan canal.

James W. Robison. Although a native of Scotland, Mr. Robison
has been reared in this country. He was born in 1831, and with his
parents, James and Isebella (Leslie) Robison, came to the United
States, and in 1837 found himself under the parental roof in Elm
Grove township. Mr. R. was educated in the common schools of
this county, and attended school at Jacksonville, 111. He is engaged
very extensively in farming, and takes great interest in fruit grow-
ing, and has been president of the State Horticultural Society. He
has also represented his district in the State Senate, being elected
on the Republican ticket, which party he is identified with. Post-
office, Tremont.

Jacob S. Ropp was born in Elm Grove township, April 29, 1846.
His parents, Peter and Mary (Gehrig) Ropp, were natives of Ger-
many. Jacob got such an education as the common schools of his
native township aiforded. He resides on section 9, where he is
engaged in forming. In 1869, Jan. 10, he was married to Mary
Ann King. Thev are parents of four children : Walter, born Aug.
12, 1872; Albert,' born March 28, 1875; Ezra, born Sept. 16, 1877;
and Amelia, born Dec. 19, 1870. For a short season, from 1870 to
'7b, Mr. R. lived in Missouri. With this exception his entire life
has been passed in Tazewell county. He is connected with the
Mennonite Church. Post-office, Pekin.

Joseph. P. Ropp. It will be noticed that quite a number of the
prominent men of Elm Grove were born in the township. They
were reared from earliest childhood in their pleasant country homes,
and wisely have embarked on the busy career of life on their own
native prairies and woodland. The ^subject of this sketch, Joseph
P. Ropp, first saw the light of day here. He was born March 19,
1844. His parents were Peter and Mary Ropp. On the 4th of
March, 1869, he was joined in the holy bonds of matrimony with
Josephine Ropp. Levi, Mary B., and Ephriam are their children.
Mr. R. is extensively engaged in farming. He resides on section
23. His political views accord with those of the Democratic party.
Post-office address, Tremont.

Joseph W. Ropp, son of Andrew and Jacobina (Wurkler) Ropp,
was born in Tazewell county 111., Jan. 30, 1840. He received his
education in the common schools of this county. In 1865 he went
'to Germany and spent seven months. He is an agriculturist and
resides on section 1. Mr. R. made a profession of religion in 1857,
and is connected with the Mennonite Church. In 1866, March 13,
he took unto himself a wife in the person of Catherine Garber, who
has borne him five sons : Samuel, William, Asa, Ithel and Alvin.
Mr. R. views politics from a Democratic standpoint. Post-office,

Seth Talbot, This is a name familiar to most people in Tazewell


county. He has been foremost in the various enterprises of the
county during the past thirty years. He was a member of the first
Board of Supervisors of the county, and remained an active mem-
ber of that body during; the five following terms, and since has
served occasionally. He was Secretary of the County Agricultural
Society for twelye years. He had charge of the first mail that was
ever carried from Tremont to Pekin by rail. He was engaged in
the mercantile business at Tremont for three years, after which he
went to farming, living on section 13. He has been engaged in the
shipping business between United States and the West Indies. He
was born in Providence, R. I., June 3, 1820, and came to this
county April 28, 1838. He was educated in the common schools of
Bristol county, Mass. His parents were Seth and ]\Iary (Ware)
Talbot. He has two children: Mary E., born in 1842, is the wife
of John H. Trout, and William E. Talbot, born in 1852, is a farmer
in Elm Grove. Politically Mr. T. is a Republican.

John H. Trout was born in Tremont township, this county, Feb.
26, 1838. He is engaged in farming and stock raising on section
24 of this township. He received his education in the common
schools of this county. In his business he has been quite success-
ful. In 1863, the 29th of January, he was married to Mary E.
Talbot. This union has been blessed with three children : Mary E.,
Clara W., and Seth Talbot. Politically Mr. T., is a Republican.
Post-office, Tremont.

Joseph T «u Dorn is the son of William H. and Sarah E. (Dirling)
Van Dorn and was born in Lansing, X. Y., June 9, 1836. He was
educated in the common schools of DeKalb county. 111. and came
to this county March 14, 1877. He learned the carpenter trade, and
and at present follows the occupation of farming. He entered the
army Sept. 23, 1861, in 11th 111. Cavalry, under Col. R. G. Inger-
soll and remained until October, 1865. In 1878, Dec. 14th, he w^as
united with Rosanna Kunncr in marriage. Politically he is a
Democrat. Post-office, Pekin.

John Voupel was born in Heussian Castle, Germany, March 4,
1820 and came to this county in 1855. He attended the common
schools for five years and for the same length of time was in the
military school. He served a term of six years in the flying artil-
lery of Germany. He was married to ^largaret Sahmeihart Oct. 19,
1851. They have five children: Christoj)her, born June 8, 1852;
John, born Sept. 12, 1858; George, born Dec. 26, 1860; Annie,
born Nov. 6, 1863; and Charlie born Nov. 3, 1865. Mr. Vaupel
is engaged in farming on section 2. He is a member of the Luth-
eran Church, Pekin. In politics he is a Republican. Post-office
address Groveland.

The following is a list of the officials serving since the organiza-
tion of the township:



Seth Talbot.. 1850-55 George W. Greeley 1863-64

John Dillon 1856 Seth Talbot 1865

Daniel Hodson 1857-58 George W. Greeley 1866-67

Seth Talbot 1859 Alfred E. Leonard 1868-71

A.J.Davis 1860-61 D. John Bennett 1872-79


William Murphy 18.50-54 William L. Pratt 1864

E.G.Morse 18.55 E. G. 1865

William Murphy 18-56 Aq. J. Davis 1866

E.G.Morse 18-57-61 David B. McLean 1867-75

Daniel Brown 1863 E. G. Morse 1876-79


John Waldon 1850 • Jesse Fisher 1865

John Buckley 18-54-55 Edward Pratt 1866-67

John AVal.lon 18.56-57 George W. Greelev 1868-73

Jesse Fisher 1858-59 Leslie W. Leonard 1874

Edward Pratt 1860 Wm. H. Roof 1875-76

John Dillon 1861 C. H. Fuller 1877

John Waldon 1863-64 Wm. H. Roof 1878-79


G.W.Greeley 1850 Allen Leonard 1865

N.G.Nichols 1854 Thomas Larimore 1866

A. J. Davis 1855 H. T. Davis 1867

Isiah Newkirk 18-56 Aquilla J. Davis 1868

A. J. Davis 18.57 L. P. Kingman 1869

E.G.Morse 1858 Warner L. Pratt 1870

G. W. Ciine — resigned Lysander P. Kingman 1871

A.J.Davis. 1859 Thomas Larimore 1872

Thomas Larimore I860 M. A. Davison 1873-75

G. W. Greelev 1861 W.L.Pratt 1876

Thomas Larimore 1863 John E. Potts 1877-78

John Wolneldorf 1864 C. B. Bennett 1879


In the first chapter of this work we give to Nathan Dillon the
honor of being the first settler in the county. We mean, of course,
aside from the French traders who located here long before any
settlers came. But if we take the statements of William Blanchard,
who now resides in Woodford county, and we have no reason for
discrediting them, to him the credit of being the first settler of Taze-
well county belongs. We have no disposition to be partial, or
record facts differently from what they really are, indeed we could
possibly have no object in so doing. It is our desire to record the
facts just as they have occurred and precisely as they are, uncolored
and unchano;ed, and if we had known before this late date of Mr.
Blanchard's claims, we would have given his statements in the first


chapter. "We visited him at his home in Woodford county, Illinois,
and found a very genial old gentleman. We obtained the following
items from him :

Wm. Blanchard, Jr., is a native of Vermont, where he was born
in 1797; left that State when seven years of age, and with his
parents went to Washington Co., N. Y., where his father, William,
died. When seventeen years of age he enlisted in the regular army,
and took an active part in the war of 1812, serving five years, when
he, with Charles Sargeant, Theodore Sargcant and David Barnes,
veterans of the war, started West, coming to Detroit, Mich., thence
to Ft. Wayne, whence they journeyed in a canoe to Vincennes, thence
to St. Louis. From there they came up the Illinois in a keel boat
manned by a fishing crew, and commanded by a man named Warner,
and landed at Ft. Clark, now Peoria, in the spring of 1819. Crossing
the river to what is known as the bottom lands they found a cleared
spot, and with such tools as they could arrange from wood put in
a patch of corn and potatoes. This land is now embodied in Fond du
Lac township. Looking farther down the stream they found, in 1822,
an old French field of about ten acres, on which they erected a rude
habitation, and soon this soil was filled with a growth of blooming
corn and potatoes. This was the first settlement between Ft. Clark
and Chicago, and was the first dwelling erected. The site is now
covered by the fine farm of Jacob Ames. In 1825 he was married
to Miss Eliza Donohue, a native of Delaware. The ceremony took
place in his cabin, and was performed by Jacob Wilson, first Justice
of the Peace between Peoria and Chicago. This was the first
license taken out between those cities. She died Dec. 18, 1867,
leaving five children. His present wife, Sarah E. Gale, was 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 45 of 79)