William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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0. F., and also belongs to the " Iron Hall." He
and wife are connected with the Presbyterian
Church.

RUFUS J. BOND, druggist, Mt. Vernon, was
born Nov. 11, 1847, in Shiloh Township, Jeffer-
son County, 111. He is a son of Michael Bond,
a native of North Carolina, but reared in Ten-
nessee. He came to this county in the fall of
1829, and the next year moved his family here,
he following his vocation, and dying in 1880,
being the son of Louis Bond. The mother of
our subject, Maria (Fuller) Bond, was the
mother of ten children, of whom five boys and
two girls are now living. Her parents were
Levi and Elizabeth Fuller, he a native of New
York, and she of New Jersey. Our subject
was educated in this county, where he also
tilled the soil till after he was twenty -two years
old, when he commenced clerking in Mt. Ver-
non in the drug store of Samuel S. Porter. He



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



is now a partner of Mr. Porter, having a half
interest in the store. Our subject was joined
in matrimony to Miss Mary J. England, who
has been blessed with five children — Norman
A. and Maude, deceased ; Harry, born Decem-
ber 1, 1878 ; Anna L., born November 19,
1880, and Neal, born May 27, 1883. Mrs.
Bond is connected with the Baptist Church.
Mr. Bond holds the responsible office of City
Treasurer, and in politics is identified with the
Republican party.

HON. THOMAS S. CASEY, Circuit Judge,
Mt. Vernon. For sketch of Judge Casey, see
chapter on Bench and Bar.

W. B. CASEY, liveryman, Mt. Vernon, was
born in June, 1820, in Jefferson County. His
father, William Casey, Esq., was a native of Ten-
nessee, but reared in Kentucky; he died in this
county. When about twelve years old, while
living at Cave-in-Rock, 111., he and his aunt
killed a bear which was swimming the Ohio
River. He was also married at Cave-in-Rock,
to Amy Barker, a daughter of Hon. Louis Bar-
ker, one of the most prominent pioneers of
Southern Illinois, who was elected to the Legis-
lature when Illinois was a Territor}-, and was
afterward elected to the Senate. His lather,
Isaac Casey, who was the grandfather of our
subject, was a brother of Gov. Case}-. He
came here about 1817. (See General History
about the Casey family.) Squire William
Casey was a farmer by occupation and at one
time was considered the wealthiest man in Jef-
ferson Count}-, donating the ground on which
Mt. Vernon was built. He held the offices of
Commissioner and Justice of the Peace. The
past record of the Casey family is such that
their descendants can well be proud of it. Our
subject was educated in Mt. Vernon, where he
spent a great deal of his time. His main occu-
pation in life has been that of a United States
Mail Contractor ; even as late as eight years
ago he got sixteen contracts from the Govern-
ment. He has never held nor sought public



oflSce, and may yet be considered a type of
the old pioneers. Mr. Casey has been married
twice, his present wife, Sarah C. Hamlin, being
born in Ohio. She is a daughter of Rhoderiek
Hamlin. The result of the union is three
daughters — Lora, deceased ; Cornelia, wife of
John McGuire, and Virginia. Mr. Casey is
identified with the Democratic party, and dur-
ing the war belonged to the United States re-
cruiting service.

WILLIAM C. C0W6ER, deceased, was
born in Wilson County, Tenn., February 15,
1828, and was a son of Adam Cowger, deceased.
The subject of this sketch came to this county
in 1850, where he lived until his death, which
occurred February 15, 1883. He followed
teaming several years, and ran a livery stable
in Mt. Vernon about twelve years. He was
married in July, 1849, to Abigail Suter, by
whom he had one child — William A., born June
29, 1850, and died January 24, 1874. Mrs.
Cowger was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in
1833, and is a daughter of William Suter, de-
ceased.

RUSSELL DEWEY, miller, Mt. Vernon, born
February 11, 1833, in Erie County, Penn. He
is a son of Russell Dewey, Sr., born January
2, 1800, in New Canaan, N. Y. He was also a
miller, and died near Quincy, Adams County,
111. The mother of our subject, Elizabeth
(Miks) Dewey, born March 5, 1805, in Hocking
Ohio, and died in Adams County, 111. She
was married September 17, 1821, at Hocking,
Ohio, by Rev. Mr. Spurgin, at the age of fifteen.
She was the mother of twenty children, of
whom seven are now living. Our subject was
educated in Pennsylvania and New York, and
in early life devoted his attention to milling,
and has followed it in Erie, N. Y., near Cincin-
nati, Ohio, in Missouri and in Mt. Vernon,
to which place he came in 1860. He was mar-
ried twice. His first wife, Rebecca Kimmons,
died in Adams County. His present wife, Eu-
nice (Mills) Dewey, was born January 28



8



BIOGRAPHICAL:



1841, in Hardin County, III. Her parents
were George and Hannah (Pollard) Mills, the
latter a native of England. George Mills
lived eighteen j'ears in Mt. Vernon, merchan-
dising most of the time, but at one time acting
as Deputy Sheriff of Jefferson County, in
which he died. Jlrs. Eunice Dewey is the
mother of eleven children, viz. : George W.,
deceased; Addie, born March 14, 1864; Mary
0., born October 20, 1865; Emma L., born De-
cember 2, 1867; Eliza G., born October 26,
1869; Edgar A., born March 12, 1871; Mattie,
born December 27, 1873; Charles L., born No-
vember 16, 1875; Lucy A., born May 26,
1878; Harry R., born April 9, 1880; Frank M.,
born September 13, 1882. Mrs. Dewey is a
member of the Presbyterian Church. He is an
A. F. & A. M.; also a Royal Arch Mason, and a
member of the Iron Hall. At present, he holds
the office of Alderman.

SILAS DOWNER, wagon-maker. Mount
Vernon, was born July 15, 1831, in Vermont.
His father, John Downer, was a native of New
Hampshire. He was a farmer by occupation,
but in early life taught school. In the fajl of
1832, he came to Jefferson County, and for
many years followed teaching as a vocation.
He is }-et living with the subject of this sketch,
whose grandfather, Silas Downer, was a native
of New Hampshire, but died in Jefferson Coun-
ty, to which he came about 1830. The mother
of our subject, Sarab (Neil) Dowuer, was a na-
tive of Vermont ; she was a daughter of Wal-
ter and Hannah Neil, and the mother of eight
children, of whom four are now livhig in this
county; she died May 1, 1882. Our subject
was educated in this county, where he has made
his home most of his life. In early life he
farmed. At the age of nineteen, he commenced
working at the blacksmith trade, to which he
devoted a great deal of attention. He is a
natural mechanic, and most of his life has been
spent in shops and mills, of which latter he has
built and repaired a great many. The last



three years, however, he has spent in his wag-
on shop. Our subject was joined in matrimonj-,
April 13, 1852, in Mount Vernon, to Miss
Harty L. Schanck, born July 9, 1825, in New
York ; she is a daughter of Samuel Schanck, a
native of New Jersey, born in 1799. He came
here in 1839, following different occupations,
and is one of the oldest living men in the
county ; he was also the oldest man in his
regiment while serving in the Mexican war.
Mrs. Downer's mother, Abigail (Cole) Schanck,
was a native of Oneida County, N. Y. She
was the mother of seven children, of whom four
are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Downer are
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He is an A., F. & A. M., also a member of the
H. W. Hubbard Chapter of R. A. M.; has been
Alderman of the Third Ward, and is a Demo-
crat in politics.

COL. GEORGE W. EVANS, banker. Mount
Vernon. This gentleman is a son of Nathaniel
and Mar}- Evans, both deceased, who were na-
tives of Wales, and who came to America when
the}' were both young, and were reared by their
parents in Eastern Virginia, where they died,
the former in 1846, aged fifty j-ears, and the
latter" in 1849, aged fifty years. Thej' were
the parents of two children, viz., Jonathan and
George W., our subject. He was born in Pres-
ton County, Va., December 20, 1832, and was
there reared on a farm, being bound out to
work after his father's death. When he was
seventeen years of age, he accompanied an
overland emigrant train to California, and there
spent four years in merchandising and mining.
In the fall of 1850, he returned to Jefferson
County, 111., and the following spring began a
roving life, which he continued until the break-
ing-out of the late war, when he enlisted in
Johnson County, 111., and raised Company E,
of the Sixtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and
entered the service as Captain of the same. He
served through the war, and passed through
the general rules of promotions, and when he



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



was mustered out of the service he held the
rank of Colonel. After the war, he settled
permanently in Jefferson Countj', 111., and en-
gaged in farming in Elk Prairie Township ; he
is now one of the largest land owners of the
county, and has been very successful in farm-
ing. In 1873, he engaged in the banking busi-
ness, under the firm name of Evans, Wilhanks
& Co. In 1865, he married in Jefferson Coun-
ty, 111., Miss Martha C. Anderson, daughter of
Gov. Stinson H. Anderson, whose history ap-
pears elsewhere in this work. This union has
been blessed with three children. Col. Evans
is a wide-awake, public-spirited and self-made
man, and enjoys the highest respect of the
communit}- in which he lives. He is an active
member of the A., F. & A. M. and K. of H.
J. E. FERGERSON, merchant, Mt. Vernon,
was born August 1, 1819, in Sumner County,
Tenn. He is a son of Nelson Fergerson, a na-
tive of Virginia, and a black.smith by occupa-
tion. He came here in the fall of 1819, follow-
ing his trade, mostly. He moved back to Ten-
ne.ssee in 1822, and died there in 1825. His
father, Edward Fergerson, was also a native of
Virginia, but died in Tennessee. The mother
of our subject wasRoxoda (Tyler) Fergerson, a
native of Tennessee, where she died. She was
married three times, her second husband being
Gideon Pitt, who died in Tennessee. Her third
husband was Carter C. Hall. She was the
mother of eight children, viz.: James E. Fer-
gerson, John VV. Fergerson, Matilda A. Fergerson
(deceased) Nelson Fergerson (deceased) Sarah E.
Pitt, William H. Hall, Andrew Hall and Cath-
arine Hall. Our subject only went a few months
to the old subscription schools in Tennessee.
At the age of thirteen years, he was bound out
eight years, bj- the courts, to learn the black-
smith trade with B. F. Simpson. After four
years, he took the white swelling in his ankle,
and was laid up almost two years, and finally
was cured, his emploj"er paying all expenses
and giving him his liberty. In the fall of 1836,



he returned to Jefferson Count}' (where he had
lived several years during his infancy), and in
Mt. Vernon worked at his trade as a black-
smith with Burton Affleck, till August, 1837,
when he returned to Bedford Count}-, Tenn.,
where he stayed with his uncle from 1837 till
1841, when he got married and moved to Sum-
ner County in 1843, where he carried on farm-
ing with good success till 1852, when he lost
his first wife, Ann S. Ventress, who was the
mother of eight children, of whom three are now
living, viz.: James M., Frank L. and John L.
In the spring of 1852, he again came to this
county, where he engaged in farming and mer-
chandising. He was married the second time
to Mrs. Margarets. Westcott, who died in 1858.
After Mr, Fergerson was married, he went back
to Tennessee in order to bring his children to his
new home. Mrs. Margaret S. Fergerson was
the mother of five children, viz.: Mary A. West-
cott, wife of William T. Williams ; James West-
cott; Hon. John W. Westcott, a prominent mer-
chant and politician of Xenia, Clay County, 111.;
Elizabeth Westcott , present wife of T. J. Gas-
ton, and William B. Westcott, a commission'
man in St. Louis, Mo. Our subject was mar-
ried a third time, to Sarah F. Allen, born in
Jefferson Count}-. Her father, Rev. George
Allen, is a local ministerof the Methodist Epis-
copal Church. She is the mother of six chil-
dren, viz.: Glendora B., born May 2, 1860; Ju-
liette E., born September 18, 1863; Edith L.,
born January 6, 1869; George E., born July
20, 1872 (he died, July 6, 1883, from wounds
received by the explosion of a coal oil can on
July 5), Fannie E., born August 5, 1876, and
Carrie M., born October 25, 1881. Mr. and
Mrs. Ferger.son are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. Mr. Fergerson has no aspi-
ration for office, but devotes his attention strict-
ly to business. He has been engaged as a mer-
chant, farmer and manufacturer since 1852.
He now owns a harness store and an interest in
Hudspeth, Taylor & Co.'s dry goods store; also,



10



BIOGRAPHICAL:



an interest in the woolen factory, and for many
years liad an interest in the milling business.
In politics, he is a Republican to the core.

JOHN GIBSON, farmer, P. 0. Mt. Vernon,
was born October 22, 1829, in Monroe County,
Ohio, the son of James and Mary (Gorley) Gib-
son. The grandfather of our subject, Joseph
Gibson, was a native of Scotland. He was a
farmer b}- occupation, and settled in the North
of Ireland, where he died. The father was a
native of Countj- Tyrone, Ireland. He was a
farmer b}"^ occupation, and came from Ireland
in an earlj' day, and was one of the earliest
settlers in Monroe County, Ohio, where he
entered Government land. He finall}" moved to
Mt. Vernon, where he died. The mother was
a native of County Dublin, Ireland, and was
the mother of eight children, of whom seven
are living. Our subject's education was re-
ceived in the schools of his native county-, and,
in 1853, he went to California, where he
mined for a year and then returned to the
States. In 1855, he came to Jefferson County,
111., and farmed for three years, and then went
.to Pike's Peak, Colo., crossing the plains with
two yoke of oxen. He mined in what was
called the California Gulch until 1860, and
then returning to Illinois, he farmed in this
county until October, 1861. He then enlisted
in the Sixtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
Companj- I, and served until the close of the
war. He entered the army as a private, but
was soon afterward elected to First Lieutenant.
He was next promoted to Captain, and held
that position to the close of the war. Among the
battles in which he participated were the battles
of Shiloh, Corinth, Stone River, siege of Nash-
ville, Mission Ridge, Atlanta campaign, Sher-
man's " march to the sea," and was finally mus-
tered out at Goldsboro, N. C. Since the
war. he has been actively engaged in farming.
He owns 134 acres, part of which is situated in
the corporate limits of Mt. Vernon. He was
married, in this county, October 10, 1833, to



Mrs. Mary Adeline Coleman, who was born in
Morgan Countj-, Ohio, October 10, 1833, and
is a daughter of Charles and Sarah Jane (Web-
ster) McClure. This lady is the mother of four
living children — C. C. Coleman (by her first
husband), born June 12, 1860 ; Armettie, born
Februarj- 13, 1867 ; James A., born November
4, 1869.; Emily B., born May 27, 1872. Mr.
and Mrs. Gibson are members of the M. E.
Church. He is a member of the A., F. & A.
M. fraternit}' of Opdyke, and the Union Lodge,
No. 13, L 0. 0. F., of Mt. Vernon. He has
filled the various chairs in both lodges, and
has been Grand Representative to the Masonic
Grand Lodge twice. In politics, he has been
identified with the Republican part3'.

JUDGE ANGUS McNEIL GRANT, banker,
Mt. Vernon, was born in Christian Co., Ky., May
26, 1810. His parents, Joshua and Henrietta
(McNeil) Grant, originallj- of North Carolina,
and of Scotch parentage, settled in Kentucky
in the early part of the present century. He
received in his boyhood an ordinarj' school
education, perfected by a subsequent two-
years course of study in the higher branches
of learning, at Princeton College, in his native
State. Upon abandoning definitely student
life, he became engaged in clerking for an
uncle, with whom he remained for a period of
about four jears. He was afterward occupied
in farming and agricultural pursuits, at which
he continued until 1836. At this date he moved
to Mount Vernon 111., and for two years was
employed in merchandising, at the expiration
of which time he became identified with the
hotel business and also with farming opera-
tions. In 1867, he abandoned the hotel busi-
ness ; continued busy with farming, however,
until 1872. In this year, the organization of
the Mount Vernon National Bank was effected,
he being the prime mover in the enterprise, and
to him by election was awarded the presidential
chair, which he continued to fill with fidelity and
ability until a serious attack of sickness, in



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



11



1879, compelled him to resign tlie position.
During the days of the Whig party, he was
one of its adherents and supporters, but since
its dii3,soIution has been a zealous and consistent
Democrat. In 1837, he was elected Countj-
Surveyor, and filled that office for man^' years.
He was afterward elected Count}- Judge, but
resigned before the expiration of his term. He
was one of the earliest pioneers and settlers of
Mount Vernon, and is honored as one of its
most enterprising citizens ; upon his arrival,
there were but four or five houses in the place,
and from that time to the present he has con-
.stantly and ably exerted himself to aid in
securing to it the full development of its
resources. He was united in marriage in Octo-
ber, 1836, to Miss Martha Anderson, a native
of Tennessee, and a daughter of William B.
and Ann (Galaspie) j^inderson. She was born
in 1810, and died in Mount Vernon, 111., May
8, 1883. She was the mother of the following
children : Edward Henry, who died at the age
of six years ; Lena, wife of C. D. Ham ;
Amanda C., wife of M. M. Poole, a prominent
banker of Shawneetown. 111., and Augusta
May, wife of William C. Pollock. Judge
Grant is a member of the Presbyterian Church
of Mount Vernon, and enjoys the highest
esteem of the community in which he lives.

WILLIS DUFF GREEN, M. D., Mt. Vernon,
was born in Danville, Ky., January 18, 1821.
His father. Dr. Duff Green, an eminent physician
of that place, was the eldest son of Willis Green,
who emigrated to Kentuckj- from the Shenan-
doah Valley of Virginia about the year 1780.
He is a brother of Judge W. H. Green, of Cairo,
111. He was educated primarilj- at Center
College, in his native town, and was a classmate
of Gen. John C. Breckenridge. Upon relin-
quishing college life, he began the study of
medicine with his father, remaining under his
preceptorsliip for a period of two years. He
then, at the expiration of this time, attended the
Medical Department of the Transylvania Uni-



versit}', and graduated from the Medical Col-
lege of Ohio. He then began the practice of
his profession at Hartford, Ky., where he resid-
ed for a year and a half He afterward prac-
ticed for two jears in Pulaski, Tenn., i-emovmg
subsequenti}-, in 1846, to Mount Vernon, III.,
which has since been his home, and where he
has been constantly and successfullj' occupied
in the practice of his profession, which extends
over the entire southern portion of the State.
In politics, he has invariably and consistently
supported the principles and platforms of the
Democratic party, and as the Breckenridge can-
didate for Congress, was defeated with the head
of the ticket. He is a prominent member of
the Odd Fellows of Illinois, and has officiated
as Grand Master, also as a Representative to
the Grand Lodge of the United States. He is
noted for his generosity in charitable enter-
prises, and has always been an active and a
zealous member of benevolent societies and or-
ganizations. He was President of the Mt. Ver-
non Railroad Companj', until it was merged in
the St. Louis & Southern Railroad, and in the
performance of the important functions attend-
ant on that office evinced the possession of ad-
mirable administrative powers. He is a man
of scholarly attainments, a skillful and reliable
phj-sician, and a useful member of the commun-
ity amid which he is an esteemed and loved
townsman. He was married, in 1844, to Cor-
inne L. Morton, of Hartford, Ky.

BLUFORD HARLOW, former, P. 0. Mt.
Vernon, was born in Wilson Count}', Tenn., De-
cember 27, 1814, and is a son of Overton Har-
low (deceased), a native of Virginia, who brought
his familj' to this county in 1818, and settled in
Mt. Vernon Township, where our subject has
since resided. Mr. Harlow was married, Janu-
ary 7, 1841, to Emma Branson, a daughter
of Brisco D. Branson, an ea.rly settler of this
county. They have had eleven children, nine
living— Noah H., John H., William T., Mary
E., Martha C, Stephen A. D., James 0., Joel



12



BIOGRAPHICAL:



J. and Sarah E. Mr. Harlow owns 1 60 acres
of land, and has always been a farmer.

ROBERT HARLOW, farmer, P. 0. Mt. Ver-
non, was born December 15, 1816, in Wilson
Count}', Tenn., a son of Overton Harlow, of Vir-
ginia, who married Elizabeth Hunt, of Ten-
nessee, bj' whom he had seven children — Joel,
Bluford, Robert, Mary, Henderson, Charles
and Elisha. Our subject came to Jefferson
County, 111., in the foil of 1818, where he still
resides. He was educated in Jefferson County,
Til., and is a member of the Baptist Church.
He was married May 1, 1844, to Serena, daugh-
ter of William Lisenby, of Tennessee. Our sub-
ject has had ten children, seven living — Charles,
Thomas, MoUie, William, Ellen, Henry H. and
Ida. He owns 165 acres of land, and is en-
gaged in farming and stock-raising. Politics,
Democrat.

WILLIAM J. HARLOW, farmer, P. 0. Mt
Vernon. The subject of this sketch is a native
of Jefferson County, and was born in Mt. Ver-
non Township May 8, 1844, son of Joel Har-
low, of Texas, who removed to Arkansas when
our subject was quite small, and later to Mis-
souri. William J., returned in 1863, and has
since resided in Jefferson County. He was in
the late war in Company A, Eighth Missouri
Cavalry, in the State militia. He was mar-
ried October 9, 1868, to Rosella Warren.
They had one child — Earl (deceased). Mr.
Harlow owns forty acres of land, and is en-
gaged in general farming. He is a member of
the Baptist Church.

JOHN Q. HARMON, a son of John M. and
Christina (Brown) Harmon, was a native of
Campbellstown, Lebanon County, Penn., born
on the 10th of August, 1830. During his early
life, he had a severe and protracted struggle
with poverty, and when a boy received but a
limited common school education. On begin-
ning his business career, he was almost wholly
uninformed in literature, language, books and
principles, and had a passionate temper, but



was blessed with a resolute will, and he then
determined to overcome these obstacles, and
by industry, energy and patience he accom-
plished the work and learned to govern him-
self Leaving home when but a boy, he em-
barked on his career in life as a clerk in a
country store, and the few months of his stay
in that position received the first lessons of an
active life. After leaving the store, he ap-
prenticed himself to the saddler's trade, but
for some reason unknown to the writer he
soon gave it up and began teaching the country
schools, and continued thus until he was offered
a position under the late John B. Irvin, con-
tractor on the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was
connected with different railroads, holding dif-
ferent positions, for a number of years. He
afterward located permanently in Newark,
Ohio, and was there employed in the County
Clerk's office until 1850, when he came to
Cairo, 111., accepting a clerkship with Ellis.
Jenkins & Co., contractors in building the
levees that surround that citv. In 1851, he
went out in the Lopez expedition for the lib-
eration of Cuba, with Joseph I. Abell, of Cairo,
and Frank Livingston, of Paducah, and was
sentenced to be executed, and once taken out
to be shot, but through the efforts of Daniel
Webster those of the expedition, who were
not already executed were finally pardoned,
Harmon among the number. In 1852, he went
to Jonesboro, 111., and began clerking in a gen-
eral merchandising store for C. D. Finch, and
remained thus engaged for about two years.
In 1854, he returned to Cairo and engaged as
book-keeper for Fowler & Norton, wharf-
boatmen, and later with Williams, Stephens &
Co., wholesale grocers. At the organization of
the Court of Common Pleas in 1856, he was
appointed Clerk of that court, and the follow-



Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 54 of 76)