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 55 of 79)
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the ministry. Tiie last earnest labor of his useful life was to aid
in establishing a congregation and erecting a house of worship at
Lilly, a new town near his own home. To this work he subscribed
very liberally. His son William is now Elder, presiding over it.
And his aged widow, now near 87 years of age, is a member of the
Lilly congregation. His three living daughters also have their
membership here, and are all active workers, both at home and for
the foreign mission cause. The mother also gives freely to the mis-
sion work. Before taking any step in life, his standing question
was, "Is it right?" His motto in action towards others was, "Do
unto others as you would have them do to you." " Owe no man
any thing," was his financial motto. Hence he never went in debt.
For all reliijious dutv he said, "Give me a thus saith the Lord."
His posterity, living and dead, number at the date of this writing,
eighty-eight persons. The leading features of his life grew still
more vivid as he drew near to his closing hour. His house, as he
lay on his death-bed for many weeks, was truly a house of worship.
As friends crowded around him from far and near, before each one


took his last earthly farewell, he had a portion of God's word read,
singing and prayer, and then followed the exhortation to be faithfnl.
Thus there was worship from three to five times a day in his room.
He was in his 80th year when he died. Shortly before he breathed
his* last, he looked steadily into the face of his son John, who stood
near him and said, " My Son, work while it is day. The night soon
cometh when no man can work." " How short is life in which to
do the great work for God, for Christ, for Humanity." He wrote
his last will and testament with his own hand many years before he
died, chosing Michael Hittlc, who had for near forty years stood
by him and been true as a neighbor, a friend, and a brother in
Christ, to see that he was hurried in a precise spot, and that his wife
was laid to his right side. He committed to the care of his daughter,
Jane, and her husband. Dr. S. K. Linn, his beloved and aged wife,
having also left ample provisions for her support, then fell asleep,
and rests, not like Jacob, with his fathers, but, like Abraham, with
his children. As a souvenir for the many who dearly loved the
old veteran, we place in this volume his portrait, and, also, that of
his wife.

Elder John Llndsey, A. 31., was born in Christian Co., Ky., June
15, 1821. His parents, James A. and Jean (Scott) Lindsey, were
blessed with twelve children, of whom John was the fifth in order
of birth. He was in his fifteenth year when his father moved to
Tazewell Co. A few days after John was 15 years old he obeyed
his religious convictions and was baptized, uniting with the Little
Mackinaw Christian Church, being the first north of Sangamon to
take the Bible as a rule of faith, and break the loaf every first day
of the week. At the age of 19 he began to preach in Tazewell,
McLean, Logan, Dewitt and Woodford counties. He was ordained
when quite young and began to administer baptism when almost a
boy. He preached much and baptized many before going to college.
He entered Bethany College, AV. Va., in the fall of 1844; gradua-
ted in 1848. AVhile a student he often went out to preach, and
especialy during vacations, and gathered many into the Church, also
many of the so-called New Light congregations, of West Va. and
Tenn., laid aside their peculiarities and came into the fellowship of
the Disciples. In two summers more than 1,500 souls thus came
over. At the close of his stay in College he returned to Illinois,
and after preaching till his last coat left the elbows exposed to pub-
lic gaze, he commenced teaching a district school in Mackinaw
township. While in school he conceived the plan of erecting one
central college in Illinois, and a subordinate high school in each
county in the State. On presenting his plan to his father. Elds. J.
P. Jones, Wm. Davenport and H. D. Palmer, and especially Elder
Major, they decided to locate at Walnut Grove, now Eureka. After
a few rousing meetings at Eureka, he went forth, in company with
Wm. Davenport, among all the Churches, soliciting means to found
the College. He would first give a lecture on education and then


Elder D. would join him in appealing to their pockets. Where they
would not give money, he would take a cow, a horse or any other
property worth money. On one occasion he procured a mule, blind
of one eye, and sold "it in an hour for §37.50. He also solicited
money to build a boarding house. The school was opened and he
began to teach in the fall of 1850, in company with Professor A. S.
Fisher. He was married the previous April to Miss Mariah Mason,
of Woodstield, Ohio. He taught for two years and then abandoned
teaching on account of the failing health, both of himself and wife.
During this period he had also done much preaching, and held suc-
cessful meetings. In the meantime his plan being openly made
known, the Church at Jacksonville and one at Abingdon aimed to
outstrip the Eureka enterprise, and each desired to become the
central school. This engendered strife and division, and greatly
retarded the well-begun work. He returned to Tazewell county
and located in Washington, Avhere he built up from a handful of 32
members, a strong Church numbering 150 members. He removed
from Washington to Peoria, where he built up a congregation of 65
members in a short time, and a neat and elegant house of worship.
His best estimates of additions in Tazewell county is about 1,000;
he can count up near 500 at Mackinaw alone, 250 at Washington,
125 each at Lilly and Antioch, and about 40 at Pekin. He also
held a very successful meeting in Tremont. These two Churches
were sutfered to go down when he was called to other fields. While
in Peoria he Avas one of the editors of a religous paper. He has been
married three times. He was first married in 1850, to Miss Maria
K. Mason; second, in 1855, to Miss Sarah F. Eeding; third, in
1858, to Miss Martha M. Davidson. His children by the first two
are all dead. He has three childreen by the present wife. He
began in the temperance work when a boy, and has been very
earnest all his life as a temperance man. He has been State Evan-
gelist or Corresponding Secretary of the State Missionary Society
for three different times, a year each ; was President of Princeton
College, Kentucky, two years; has been pastor at Peoria, at Pekin,
at Washington, at Atlanta, Logan county, and at Duquon, in Illi-
nois ; also pastor of the Churches at Palmyra and St. Joseph, Mo.
Of his 5,000 additions to the Church, one-fifth have been in Tazewell
county. Being the first college graduate among his people in Illi-
nois, he has been often called upon to hold public debates, and in
the numerous discussions held by him, he has always succeeded in
leaving his people in a healthy and prosperous state, and fully confi-
dent that he had sustained himself well. At the present writing his
residence is in Eureka, yet he always calls it going home to return to
Tazewell. He has just entered his fortieth year as a minister of
the Gospel, and is yet strong and vigorous, being only 58 years old.
He loves to recount the days when they beat all their meal in the old
homony mortar, or went thirty miles or more to mill. The wolf
chase, and deer hunt of the early times, are percious to his memory.


Samuel K. Linn, M. D., was born in Clinton Co., O., Aug. 17,
1819. His parents Avere Samuel and Jane Linn; He was educated
in the common schools of his native State and was graduated from
the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, O., Feb. 21, 1848.
Dr. Linn came to this county in 1840 and owns farm property on
sec. 23, on which he lives and farms in connection with the practice
of medicine, in which he has been successful ; was married Oct. 22,
1850, to Jane Lindsey, daughter of Elder James A. Lindsey. Dr.
Linn is a member of the Christian Church, and a Republican in pol-
itics. P. O., Lilly.

John McFall. Mr. McFall was born at Brownsville, Fayett Co.,
Penn., June 4, 1822. He is the son of Charles and Jane McFall
and came to this State in 1846, locating in Peoria. He moved to
this Co. in the year 1859. By occupation he is a blacksmith and
brickmaker. Mr. McFall has served his people in the office of
Justice of the Peace. He has considerable musical taste and talent
and has taught vocal music for many years. He was united in
marriage April 14, 1842, to Miss Mary Wagoner. They have had
seven children, only three of whom are living. He is a member of
the Methodist Church. P. O. address, Lilly.

Philip J. F. 3Iiller, former, sec. 22 ; P. O., Mackinaw. Mr. M.
is the happy possessor of 333 acres of choice land. He was born
in Robinson Co., Tenn., Nov. 4, 1836. George and Elenor, his
parents, were natives of Virginia. Philip came to this county in
June, 1837. Attended the common schools of this county; and has
held the offices of Assessor and Highway Commissioner; was
joined in wedlock to Martha Adams, June 29, 1858 ; they have had
seven children — three boys and four girls; five are living; is a
member of the Christian Church, and a Democrat in politics.

Joseph H. Myers is a son of John and Catharine Myers, who were
natives of Pennsylvania, in which State Joseph H., the subject of
this sketch, was born March 1, 1826. He came to this county
while a lad nine years of age. He is a farmer on sec. 27, and is the
owner of 263 acres of land. His post-office is Mackinaw. Mr.
Myres has been a consistent member of the Christian Church for
the past sixteen years. Mrs. Myers is also a member of the same
Church. He was united in marriage to Mis Susan Perry, who was
born in Kentucky, April 30, 1830. The day upon which he led
Miss Perry to the hymenial alter was March 13, 1849. They have
been blessed with six children, four of whom are living.

Daniel W. Pnterhaugh, farmer, lives on sec. 26, and is the OAvner
of 619 acres of choice farming land; has succeeded admirably in
his chosen profession. He was born in Miami county, Ohio, Oct.
24, 1824. His parents were Jacob and Hannah Puterbaugh,
natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively. Daniel W.
was educated in the common schools of Ohio and his adopted State.
He is a member of the Christian Church, and has served as Elder
for about sixteen years; was married Oct. 8, 1846, to Sarah J.


Smith, who was born in this township Sept. 9, 1829. She is the
mother of seven children — three boys and fonr girls — six of whom
are living. Mr. Pntorbaugh has served as Justice of the Peace for
sixteen years, and has held the offices of Supervisor and Highway
Commissioner. P. O., Lilly.

Solomon Putcrbangh is an extensive farmer and one of the solid men
of the county, owning over 1,000 acres of land, well stocked and
equipped. He is a native of Miami Co., O., where he was born Sept.
9, 1822 ; his parents were Jacob and Hannah Puterbaugh. Solomon
came to this county in 1839. He only enjoyed the priyilegeof at-
tending the common schools of pioneer times, yet with his rare
native business qualifications he has conquered, to a very great extent,
the circumstances that tend to keep men down, and has made of life,
thus far, a success. Has been Supervisor and Highway Commissioner.
In politics is Repulican and Prohibitionist. Mr. Puterbaugh was
married Feb. 27, 1844, to Eliza A. Howell, who was born in White
Co., this State, June 10, 1826. They have had four children —
three boys and one girl — of whom two boys are living. He is a
member of the Christian Church. P. O., Mackinaw.

Warren Percy, deceased, was born in Rutland, Meigs county, O.,
Jan. 26, 1822. His parents were natives of the same State. He
Avas educated in the common schools of Ohio, and came to this
county in 1858» He resided on sec. 35, where he owned 160 acres
of fine land, which he cultivated. In this he proved quite success-
ful. Mr. and Mrs. Percy accepted the teachings of the Gospel of
our Savior, and united with the Christian Church. He Avas a Re-
publican, politically. Mr. Percy went to California in 1850, where
he was quite successful, financially. He returned in 1854, and was
married Dec. 15, 1857, to Emma E. Williams, a native of Meigs
county, Ohio, where she was born March 7, 1835. Their home was
blessed by the birth of two boys and two girls, only one of whom,
a boy, is now living.

D. G. A. Railshack, farmer, sec. 32. Mr. R. has spent an active
life of almost half a century in this county, and has acquired 356
acres of land ; P. O., Mackinaw. He is one of the substantial pil-
lars of the Christian Church of this section, having been a member
for 45 years ; has been an elder in the Church for nearly 25 years.
The subject of this sketch was born in Montgomery Co., Tenn.,
April lb, 1819,' and moved to this county in the fall of 1830.
Thomas F. and Louisa V. Railsback, his parents, were natives of
Virginia. The first school Mr. Railsback went to in this county
was taught by his father in his own cabin, in 1832. Mr. Railsback
was united in marriage Jan. 17, 1839, to Ellen E. A. Walles, who
died in March, 1853; was again married Aug. 5, 1854, to Virginia
E.Adams; He is the parent of eleven children — four boys and
seven girls — nine of whom are living. Thomas A., his eldest son,
served during the Rebellion in the 94th 111. Inf

Asa S. Smith, Sr. This gentleman is a native of Sumner Co.,


Tonn., where he was born Feb. 16, 1816. His parents were Joshua
and Eliza])eth Smith, the former a native of Va. the hitter of Ky.
Mr. Asa S. Smith came to tliis county in 1848. He foHows the oc-
cupation of farming and stock raising. He was united in marriage
May 16, 1838, to Elizabeth Neville, a native of Montgomery Co.,
Teiin. They have had twelve children — nine boys and three girls
— four of their sons were taken with a fever, in Jan., 1867, and
died within forty-two days. Mr. S. has been a member of the
Methodist Church for thirty-five years. Post-office, Mackinaw.
We will cite an incident of his life which he vividly relates : In
Jan., 1836, while engaged in the woods getting out timber, in the
State of Louisiana, and having no weapons of defense but his axe,
he was attacked by a panther. So sudden was this nimble and
treacherous animal in its attack, that Mr. S. was compelled to drop
his axe and use only his hands against the formidable enemy.
After a long and severe struggle, he succeeded in killing it by
choking it to death. The scars of the many wounds he received
cling to him yet and will through life.

irichnrd Sparks, of the firm of Sparks & Son, fiirmers and grain
dealers, Mackinaw. He is a member of the Christian Church, and
was born in Salem Co., N. J., Aug. 19, 1805. Thomas and Abi-
gail, his parents, were natives of New Jersey. Mr. Sparks has
lived for over half a century in the holy bonds of matrimony, hav-
ing been united in marriage March 14, 1820, to luicy Devore, of
Brown Co., O. She is the mother of ten children — five boys and
five girls — eight of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Sparks
celebrated their golden wedding March 14, 1879. On that occasion
four of their children and ten grandchildren were present. Mr.
Sparks is one of the original Republicans, having acted with the
party since its organization. Tliomas Sparks, the third son of
Richard, served in the 3d 111. Cavalry during the Rebellion.

James R. Whisler, proprietor of the steam flouring-mill at Mack-
inaw, was born March 17, 1836, in Cumberland Co., Pa. His
parents were Jacob and Mary A. Whisler, natives of l*a. James R.
while a youth, attended the common schools of his native State, ac-
quiring a good practical education, and came to this county in 1855.
Two years later, Oct. 28, 1857, he was married to Mary C. Smith,
who was born Sept. 14, 1840, in Fulton Co., Ky. She is the
mother of three girls. Mrs. Whisler is a member of the Christian
Church. Mr. W. is identified with the business interests of Taze-
well Co., and has been quite successful.

Georr/e Walker, farmer on sec. 22, He has acquired the owner-
ship of 900 acres of land, and, too, when he commenced life with
nothing. He worked as a laborer at $12 per month for his first
start, "This certainly speaks well for his energv and business
ability. Mr. Walker was born Cecil Co., Md., May 24, 1832. His
parents, George and Harriet Walker, were natives of Maryland.
He came to this county in 1838; attended common schools of






McLean county, 111., where lie received his education. He was
married March" 18, 1858, to Mary Lilly. They have five children
— two bovs and three girls. He made the good confession befi^re
men and ibr sj)iritual strength and support, and to aid in the great
labor of the Church, united himself with the Christian Church.
His P. O. address is Lilly.

George T. Williams was born in this township June 2, 1834. He
is a son of Isaac J, and Anna AVilliams, natives, respectively, of
Ky. and Tenn. They are among the earliest settlers of the county,
having come here in the year 1829. George T. Williams, the
subject of this sketch, is a farmer on sec. 13, and is the owner of
over 400 acres of land. Mr. T. was married May 6, 1858, to Miss
Rebecca A. Macy, a native of Randolph county, Ind. Their home
has been blessed with three daughters and three sons, of whom two
girls and one boy are living. Mr. W. acts with the Republican
party, and is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
P. O., Lilly.

John H. Wilson was born in Augusta Co., Ya., July 11, 1834;
attended the common schools of his native State and came to this
county in 1855. P. O., INIackinaw. His parents were Daniel and
Elzabcth A. Wilson, natives of Virginia. JSIr. Wilson was married
Nov. 18, 1858, to Charlotte Sargent. He was in the Quartermas-
ter's Department for over a year during the Rebellion, and has held
the office of Justice of the Peace, and Assessor of his township.

Below may be found a schedule of the township officials serving
since the organization of the township, together with the years of
serving :


Lyman Porter. 1850 Daniel W. Puterbaugh 1866

Jonas H. Hittle 1851-52 George Miller 1867

David Judy 1853-56 Solomon Puterbaugh 1868

J. W. Brack 1857-58 George Miller 1869-74

George Miller 1859-65 J.H.Porter 1875-79


M.F.Gerard 1854-55 William M. AVatson 1871

M. D. Tenny 1856 Norman L. Porter 1872

Lyman Porter 1857-58 J. W. Wbite 1873-74

J.A.Terrell 1859 William Saxton 1875-76

N.L.Porter 1860-64 L. M. Brook 1877-78

J.L.Davis 1865 William M. Watson 1879

John A. Richmond 1866-70


Thomas C Wilson 1854 J. W. Puterbaugh. 1868

J.L.Davis 1855-56 N.L.Porter 1869

D. W. Puterbaugh 1857 Elisha Barton. 1870

Elisha Barton 1858 Clark Barton 1871

Clark Barton 1859 Rufus M. Elliott 1872-73

J. L. Davi.s. 1860 C. W. Samuel 1874

D. W. Puterbaugh 1861 Clark Barton 1875

J. L. Davis. 1863 J. L. Davis 1876

Elisha Barton 1864-65 P. J. F. Miller 1877

J. L. Davis 1866-67 J. H. Wilson 1878-79




Clark Barton. 1854 Clark Barton 18()0-67

J. Matthews 1855-56 J. L. Davi.s 1808-73

J.B.Chaplin 1857 Daniel Beckley 1874-76

E. B. Hibhard 1858 Wm. Ammerman 1877-78

J.B.Chaplin 1859 James F. Quigg 1879


As the history of the city of Pekin will include that of the town-
ship, we will at once enter upon the difficult task of detailing the
history of that city.


This city is beautifully situated on the eastern shore of the Illi-
nois river. During its early history it enjoyed the advantages of
being a river-town. Since the advent of railroads into the county,
it has been bountifully supplied with the " steel rail " and the " iron
horse," which has very largely replaced the steam-boat as a means of
traffic and travel. The earliest pioneers, the very advance guard of
civilization, as they wended their way up the placid Illinois, and
plunged into the wilderness, where dwelt the red man and wild
beasts of forest and plain, were especially attracted by the beautiful
lay of the country upon which Pekin is located. They looked upon
it as a most favorable site for a town, and, ere a lot had been laid
off or a stake driven, it was christened " Town Site." It was thus
known far and wide by those who traversed the river. We have
been fortunate enough to secure, from the old journals of the late
venerable Jacob Tharp (whose son was the first settler, and who was,
himself, the second person to locate here), a very minute and inter-
esting sketch of the settlement of Pekin. These journals are in the
possession of Mr. W. F. Coopes, of Cincinnati township, to whom
we are indebted for them. We quote in his own language :

"I was born in New Jersey, in September, 1773. In 1792, I
married Miss Phoebe Winans, of Pennsylvania. Two weeks after
we united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. After a streak of
bad luck, in 1825, left Ohio, where I then resided, and traveled
through Indiana with one ox-team, a span of horses, and a family
of twelve persons, reaching the site of Pekin just before Christmas.

" Jonathan Tharp, my son, built the first house ever erected in
the city of Pekin, in 1824, on the spot now occupied by Joshua


Wagenseller's residence. Jonathan's farm embraced the land now
covered by our heaviest business houses.

" At the time of my arrival, Jonathan was the only occupant.
Their neighbors were Major Nathan Cromwell, living on the Hawley
farm ; Gideon Hawley, living on the Mackinaw side of Sand Prairie ;
Seth Wilson, living on John Young's farm; John and Geo. Clines,
between that place and Tremont ; the Woodrows and John Sum-
mers, living in the AVoodrow settlement ; the Dillon family, after
whom that township was named ; the Hodgsons, friends and rela-
tives of the Dillons; old Benj. Briggs, afterwards Sheriff; James
Scott, who with Wilson, acted as constable in those days ; and Wm.
Eads, who was the first miller in this section of the State. He ran
a "horse-mill," and ground only corn. On New Year's day, 1827,
I went to Fort Clark, now Peoria, where I found a few cabins occu-
pied by John Hamlin, James Dixon, and others. Hamlin had a
little store, and I bought groceries, coffee selling at 37h cents per
pound. On my way home I contracted for mast-fed pork at $2.50
per hundred. I soon built my cabin, placing it about half way
between Joshua Wagenseller's house and the present landing at the

"In the summer of 1827, the first consignment of goods was sent
to Pekin, by one Mobley, the land auctioneer. I received them,
and so won the honor of being the first commission merchant. jSlost
of the goods, however, went on to Mackinaw, which was the first
shire-town. Pekin at this early day, was reported to be the best
commercial point on the Illinois river. All goods came up from St.
Louis, which was the great basis of supplies for the settlers.

"The Government surveys were made previous to 1828. This
year we were cheered by a close neighbor, a Mr. Hinkle, who came
to put up a trading house for Absalom Dillon. The goods came
before the house was finished, and so my smoke-house was used for
the first store. This season the Methodists established a mission,
and their first service was held in Hawley 's house, on Sand Prairie.
In the fall of 1828, Absalom and Jose])h Dillon moved to Pekin,
and 'camped out' for a while. Major Cromwell came in 1829, and
bought out Dillon's stock in trade, when those gentleman returned
to the country. In the same year, Hawley and William Haines
built cabins in our town. The inhabitants then consisted of Crom-
well, Hawley, Haines, Dr. John Warner, the two Hiatts, Jonathan
Tharp and myself. Mr. Clark made a raft of hewed puncheons,


and started the ferry, placing a stake just below the present ferry
landing to mark his claim.

" When the land sales were held at Springfield, there were several
claimants for the Pekin town-site. On the first day of the sale, the
biddino; ran hio-h, and the land was knocked down to Wm. Haines
at $20.00 an acre, but he did not comply with the regulations of the
sale, and on the second day the same tract was sold for one hundred
dollars per acre. The buyer again failed to comply, and the tract

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 55 of 79)