William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

. (page 58 of 76)
Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 58 of 76)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tial farmers of Mt. Vernon Townshi[) is Mr.
Robinson. He is a native of this county, and
was born in Spring -Garden Township July 18,
1841. His father, John Robinson (deceased),
was a pioneer of this county and a native of
South Carolina. He was a soldier in the war
of 1812, and, in 181 5, came to Franklin County,
111., and helped build the first house in old
Frankfort, in that county, and a short time



afterward came to this county and settled the
old Wescott farm in Shiloh Township, on the
Centralia road. He was a blacksmith, and
struck the first lick on the forge in Jefferson
County. He was a hard-working man, and
cleared up several farms. In stature, he was six
feet and seven inches. He married Rhoda San-
ders, who survives him. She was born in North
Carolina ; came to Rutherford County, Tenn.,
when a girl, where she became acquainted with
Mr. Robinson ; they grew up children together,
and married in that county. The old folks had
fourteen children, seven boys and seven girls,
of whom the subject of this sketch is youngest.
But three of them are living — Jemima Malone,
of Mt. Vernon ; Theresa Phelps, near Creal's
Springs, Williamson County, III. ; and John A.
The father died during the cholera plague in
1852, of that dreaded disease. John A. Robin-
son has been a druggist thirteen years, but had
to abandon it on account of failing health. He
was married, August 6, 1863, to Susan, daughter
of Isaac Dodson, and by her he has had seven
children, five living — Edward M., eighteen
years old ; John S., Lulu, Frankie M., and
George N. Mr. Robinson owns eightj- acres of
valuable land, and is engaged in farming and
trading. He is turning his attention to short-
horn cattle. He is a member of the Odd Fel-
lows order, and of the M. E. Church. In
politics, a Republican. For seven years he
superintended the County Infirmary and dis-
charged his duties fivithfully.

R. E. RYAN, merchant, Mount Vernon. It
is pdmittcd that a poet is horn not inade, and
of a true painter the same maj- be said. A
strong natural bias or inclination for a special
course in life will struggle for development
and in most cases with success, and the
gentleman whose name heads this sketch is an
example of both of these principles. Among
the self-made men of Mount Vernon, none de-
serve a more honorable mention than Mr.
Rj-an, who was born in Princeton, Ind., July



33



BIOGRAPHICAL:



21, 1852. Our subject is of direct Irish de-
scent, ills father, John M. Ryan, having come
from Ireland at an early age. The latter is
also a merchant by occupation, and is at pres-
ent engaged in business in Evansville, Ind.
Ellen (Little) Ryan, the mother of our subject,
was a native of Charleston, S. C, and died in
Princeton, Ind., in 1867. Subject is the second
of five children, viz., Mary J. (wife of a Mr.
Page, of California), Robert E. (our subject),
James L., John M. and Margaret. As far as
his education goes, it was received in the com-
mon schools of his native town. When quite
a boy, he commenced life in a woolen mill, and
then clerked in a general store. He remained
in that town five years, and then went to
Evansville, Ind., and clerked three years for
Miller Bros., of that place. In the spring of
1878, he came to Mount Vernon, and, in com-
pan3' with George H. Bittrolff, opened a general
store. It was a stock of about $1,500, and
consisted mainly of dry goods and boots and
shoes. Since then, by careful industry and
perseverance, the stock has been increased to
about $15,000, and the firm now occupy one of
the most commodious and handsome store
rooms in Mount Vernon. Mr. Ryan, in his
business career, has proved himself to be trulj-
a self-miide man — one that can rely entirely
upon his own ability; and he has made a mark
for himself in the business circles of the city.
Our subject was joined in matrimony in this
city, April 28, 1881, to Christina May Harmon,
who was born in Cairo, on May 7, 1859, and
is a daughter of John Q. and Mary (McKenzie)
Harmon, the father being among the pioneers
of Southern Illinois. The mother was a native
of Pittsburgh, Penn. Mrs. R^'an is a member
of the Episcopal Church of Mount Vernon.
Mr. Ryan is a member of the K. of P. and
I. 0. M. A. fraternities. In politics, he is a
Democrat.

JUDGE JOHN R. SATTERFIELD, Justice
of the Peace, Mount Vernon, was born in Pen-



dleton County, Ky., September 28, 1809, to
Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Breshiers) Sutterfleld.
When he was eighteen months old, he was
adopted by Edward 5Iaxey, by whom he was
reared. He was brought to Jeflferson Count}',
111., in October, 1818, and here he received the
principal part of his education. He engaged in
farming, and continued in that vocation until
1843, .when he was elected to the olHce of
Justice of the Peace, which he still continues
to hold, having served in it for over forty j-ears.
In 1843, he was also elected County Recorder,
and served in that office for a number of years.
In 1 845, he was elected School Superintendent,
and held the office one term. In 1842, he
served as Deputj' SherifiF, and also in 1846 and
1847. In 1850, he was elected Sheriff for two
years. In 1850, he was elected County Judge,
and held the same position for twenty-three
years. In all his official positions. Judge Sat-
terfield did his duty, and won the highest
esteem of the people at large. He was married
in Jefferson County, 111., January 30, 1833, to
Elizabeth P. Johnson, a native of Tennessee,
born in 1815. She came to the country with
her parents in May, 1818. She is the mother
of nine children, of whom the following are
living — Edward V., John N., Prudence (wife of
Frank Fry, of Colorado), Martha (wife of Sam-
uel D. Cooper) and Laura. The Judge was in
the Black Hawk war for three months, and
held the office of Sergeant. Politically, he is a
Democrat.

JOSHUA SHORT, farmer, P. 0. Mount Ver-
non, was born in Clinton County, 111., March
23, 1830, a son of Thomas J. Short, of Clinton
Count}', 111. He was educated in Jefferson
County, and was in the late war, in Compan}-
I, Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry ; he
was in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh
and several skirmishes, serving nine months
He was married, November 24, 1857, to Abigail
Williams, of Ohio, by whom he had one child —
Martha Jane. Mrs. Short died July 1, 1862,



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



33



and was buried in Jefferson County. He was
again married, May 26, 1864, to Luciuda Tur-
ner, by whom he had eight children, sis living
viz., Sarah S., Lena L., John T., George W.,
Alice I. and Albert A. Mr. Short owns sixty
acres of land and is engaged in farming and
stock-raising. Politics. Republican.

THOMAS H. SIMONDS, fiirraer, P. O. Mount
Vernon, was born in Rutherford Countj', Tenn.,
Februarj- 25, 1833, and is a son of Richard
Simonds (deceased), a native of Virginia. Our
subject attended the subscription schools in the
old log schoolhouse, sat on a split pole seat,
and wrote on a slab. He came to this county
in March, 1852, where he has since resided.
On the 1st of February, 1854, he married
Sarah Vance, by whom he has had eight chil-
dren, seven living — John, William, James E.,
Mary E., Susan E., Robert and Rebecca. Mr.
Simonds awns eightj- acres of land, and is en-
gaged in general farming on Section 23.

MAJ. W. H. SUMMERS, Mt. Vernon, was
born June 22, 1821, in Muhlenburg County,
Ky. He is a son of David Summers, a native
of North Carolina and a farmer by oceupationi
who came to Jefferson Count}- in 1828, and
died here after a useful career, in which he
filled the office of Justice of the Peace for a
number of years. His father. William H. Sum-
mers, Sr., was also a farmer. The mother of
our subject. Mary A. (Cash) Summers, was a
native of North Carolina. She is yet living,
and was the mother of six children who reached
maturity, and of whom Emeline, wife of M.
Redmond, and our subject are the only ones
now living. The latter was educated in this
county. In early life he farmed. He has dis-
tinguished himself as a soldier in two wars.
He fought in the Mexican war and in our late
war. enlisting in the summer of 1861 in the
Fortieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company
!<]. He was elected Second Lieutenant, and
from that rose rapidly through his merit and
bravery to the rank of First Lieutenant, then



Captain and finally Major, and as such mus-
tered the regiment out at the close of the war,
at Louisville, Ky. Maj. Summers participated
in man}' thrilling scenes and famous battles,
among others those of Shiloh, Jackson, Ciuxt-
tanooga, Mission Ridge, the Atlanta campaign,
and was with Gen. Sherman in his famous
" march to the sea," and while on the route he
and his regiment participated in what they
called the '-side-show at Griswoldville," and af-
terward in the battle of Bentonville and other
minor engagements. At the battle of Shiloh,
he was shot in the right leg. and for three
months did not know that the bullet was in
the leg. It is in there yet, a fit memento of the
hardships gone through. He was also wound-
ed at the engagement of Griswoldville. At the
battle of Mission Ridge, he was stunned by a
shell, which shock impaired his hearing and
otherwise injured him. The United States
Government has granted him a pension for his
faithful and valuable service. After the war,
Maj. Summers returned to this county, where
he engaged in farming and milling, and at pres-
ent keeps the " Farmers' House " in Mt. Ver-
non, where he intends to pass his days. He
was joined in matrimony twice. His first wife,
Theresa Lisenbey, died in this county. This
union was blessed with two children, viz.:
Charles F., deceased, and John D., a farmer in
Moore's Prairie. His present wife, Loviza J.
(Short) Summers, is a native of Tennessee.
She is the mother of three children, viz.: Ne-
braska Van Dyke, William S. and Thomas J.
He and his estimable wife are connected with
the Methodist Episcopal Ciuirch. He has filled
the office of Justice of the Peace, and in politics
has been identified with the Republican party.
JOHN W. SUMMERS, deceased. Among
the worthy and once useful men of this county
was Mr. Summers. He was a native of this
county and was born in this township July 2,
1825. His father, John Summers, was a native
of Scotland, but spent most of his life after

c



34



BIOGRAPHICAL:



coming to this countrj' in JeflFerson County,
except one year, wliich time he spent in Texas.
He was engaged mostly in the milling business.
He owned a saw and flouring mill and carding
machine, in partnership with his father. He
also made some furniture, and was a kind of
general mechanic. He .married Wincy J.
Hutchison September 22, 1847 ; she is a
daughter of William Hutchison, deceased.
This union was blessed with nine children,
eight of whom are living, viz.: John W., Lin-
da W., Rufus A.. Margaret F., James C, Wincy
C, Thomas E. and Bertha L. Mr. Summers
was a consistent member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. He died July 14, 1864,
loved by all who knew him. Mrs. Summers
married William Finley December 30, 1866,
and by him had one child, Everard W. Mr.
Finley is also dead. The latter was a Presby-
terian minister, and a native of Warren Coun-
ty, Ky., born November 30, 1800.

JEREMIAH TAYLOR, banker and farmer,
P. 0. Mount Vernon, was born in Warren
County, Ky., on the 26th of November, 1816.
His early life was spent at home, assisting
to till the soil of the farm, and receiving such
an education as the subscription schools of
that period afforded. At seventeen 3'ears of
age, he began teaching school, following the
same during the winter months, and in the
summer divided his time in working on the
farm and trading in stock, shipping by flat-
boats to New Orleans. The exposure incident
to such a business so impaired his health that
in 1842 he was obliged to give up trading and
seek other pursuits. He began the study of
chemistry and daguerreotyping for the purpose
of securing a business that would enable him
to travel and thereby regain his health. After
six months of laborious study and practice, he
became master of the art. and immediately
began traveling in the interests of his business,
making a tour through the following States :
Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri and



Illinois, which occupied Ave years of his life.
He is now one of the oldest artists in the
United States. On the 13th of June, 1848, he
arrived in Mount Vernon, and became one of
Jefferson County's permanent settlers. He
worked at his trade in the city of Mount Ver-
non until the following September, and then
married and engaged in farming and stock-
raising on a farm nine miles south of Mount
Vernon. He proved to be a very practical and
successful farmer, and by econom3- and good
management he soon acquired sufBeient means
to start a tanyard, saddlery and shoe shop,
which he operated in connection with his farm
duties, continuing thus until April, 1867, when
he retired and removed to Mount Vernon.
Having always been a man of active business
qualities, he soon tired of this easj life, and
after three months engaged in the mercantile
business, taking in as a partner his step-son,
Mr. C. D. Ham. This business was continued
for five years, and with good success. In 1872,
after selling his mercantile interests, he, in
company with several other prominent men of
the county, organized the Mount Vernon Na-
tional Bank, and which has occupied a great
portion of his time since. He has, however,
managed his farm during all this time. In
September, 1848, he married Mrs. Frances Ham,
He and wife are connected with the M, E,
Church ; he is a member of the A . F. & A. M.
and I. 0. 0. F., and politically is a Republican.
A. F. TAYLOR, merchant. Mount Vernon.
As a worthy example of Western enterprise,
no better can be found than he whose name
heads this article, a man who, beginning life
without wealth or position, with no other help
than a determined will and native abilities, has
amassed quite a fortune, and has risen to a
position of honor among his fellow-townsmen.
]Mr. Taylor is a native of this State, and was
born in Schuyler County, 111., on November 22.
1832. He is son of Rev. W. H. and Elizabetli
(Spohnhimmore) Taylor. The grandfather o.''



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



yg



our subject was a native of England, and came
to this country in an early day and settled in
^'ermont, wliere the father was born August
27, 1800. The latter came West in 1818, and
settled in whatMS now Schuyler County, 111.,
,jind became minister of the M. E, Church. In
1847, he came to Jefferson County, where he
followed his noble calling until his death,
which occurred in this countj- on April
3, 1872. The mother was a native of
Kentucky, and a daughter of Philip
Spohnhimmore, a native of Pennsylvania
Subject was one of a family of eight children ;
his education was received raostl}' in tiiis
county. At the age of sixteen, he commenced
clerking in Mount Vernon, and remained there
until the spring of 18G1, when he enlisted in
the Fortieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer In-
fantry. In that regiment he ser\'ed as Quarter-
master for two 'years, with the rank of First
Lieutenant. He was then detached to serve on
the staff of Col. Hicks, with the rank of Brigade
Adjutant. He afterward served in the same
capacity under Gen. Meredith, who commanded
the district of Western Kentucky. In that line
of duty he served until the close of the war
Among the battles in which he participated
was that of Shiloh, Vieksburg, Jackson (Miss.),
and many other smaller skirmishes. After the
war, our subject returned to Mount Vernon,
when he again devoted himself to the mercan-
tile business. He first opened a clothing store,
in company with S. H. Watson. At the end of
one year the partnership was dissolved, how-
ever, and he went into the dry goods trade with
J. F. Watson. This firm continued in opera-
tion about five years. The firm was then
changed to Johnson, Taylor & Co., and at
present the business is being transacted under
the name of Hudspeth, Taj-lor & Co. In Mount
Vernon, 111., he was wedded to Miss E. A.
Hicks, who was Ijorn January 16, 1834,
near Edwardsville, 111. This lady is the
daughter of Stephen G. and Eliza K.



(Maxey) Hicks, the father being a native of
Georgia, the motiier of Tennessee. The result
of this union has been three children, two of
whom are now living — Stephen G., born May
21, 1859; Nellie A.. July 16, 1866, and Will-
iam W. (deceased). Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are
both members of the M. E. Church. Subject
is a member of the A. F. & A. M. fraternity,
and has filled most of the offices of that organ-
ization. It is Mr. Taylor's desire to bend all
his faculties and abilities to his business, and,
in consequence is no oflBce seeker, but as far as
his political feelings and [)rinciples go, he gives
his influence to the Republican party.

S. G. H. TAYLOR, merchant, Mt. Vernon.
Among the man^- successful business men of
Mt. Vernon, there are none whose career affords
a much better example of what steady perse-
verance will accomplish than the gentleman of
whose life this is a brief sketch. Still a voung
man, Mr. Taylor has already m.adc liimself a
mark among the business men of this city.
He is a native of the town in which he is doing
his duty as a good and true citizen, being born
here March 21, 1859. He is a son of Albion
F. and Elmira A. (Hicks) Taylor, whose sketch-
es appear elsewhere in this work. Our sub-
ject's education was received in the schools of
this city, and then took a course in the McKen-
dree College at Lebanon, 111, After his return
from that institution, he clerked in his father's
store for a short time, and then in 1881, he
having chosen, the mercantile profession as his
calling for life, he opened a grocery store,
where so far he has liad a fair share of the
patronage of Mt. Vernon and vicinity. In the
pleasant little city of Mt. Vernon, on Septem-
ber 8, 1881, he was wedded to Miss Lulu L.
Patton, who was born in Ohio and is a daugh-
ter of Charles H. and Charlotte (Lake) Pattou,
the father a native of Ohio, the mother of Eng-
land. Both Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church of this city.
He is a member of Marion Lodge, No. 31, A.



36



BIOGRAPHICAL:



F. & A. M., and the I. 0. 0. F. In politics,
he is identified with the Democratic party.

ALLEN C. TANNER, County Clerk, Mt.
Vernon. The grandfather of our subject, Allen
C. Tanner, a merchant, and connected with
many of the best families of "Virginia, emigrat-
ed to Missouri in 1824, and there engaged in
frontier trading. His wife. Martha (Bates)
Allen, was of a highly respectable family.
Tazewell B. Tanner, subject's father, was born
in Danville, Va., November 6, 182L His edu-
cation was acquired in the McKendree College,
located at Lebanon, 111., although his home was
in St. Louis. After leaving college, he engaged
in school teaching, and continued at that avo-
cation during the ensuing four years. He then
went to California in search of gold, remaining
on the Pacific slope for one year. Upon his
return to Illinois, he was elected Clerk of the
Circuit Court of Jefl'erson County, serving two
years, at the expiration of which time he re-
signed his position. He was subsequently
elected to the Lower House of the Illinois Leg-
islature, and in the following year conducted
the Jefferson ian newspaper, a journal intend-
ed to educate the people upon the question as
to the propriety of donating swamp lands to
aid in the construction of railways, a mission
which it ultimately accomplished. In the
meantime, he studied law with the Hon. Will-
iam H. Bissell, and later under the supervision
of Judge Scales. While conducting the Jeff'er-
sonian, he was occupied also in practicing law,
meeting with much success. At the end of fif-
teen months, he sold out his interest in the
newspaper and devoted himself exclusively to
the increasing calls of his profession. In 18G2,
he was elected a member of the Constitutional
Convention, and served prominently and ably
with that body until its dissolution. He was
while thus engaged Chairman of the Committee
of Revision and Adjustment, and while officiat-
ing in this capacitj' elicited the praise and en-
comiums of all concerned, and was especially



complimented for the raasterlv manner in which
bills were revised and adjusted, and redeemed
from bareness by the elegant language in which
they were expressed. In 1873, he was elected
Judge of the Twenty-fourth Judicial District,
which position he held to the time of his death,
which occurred March 21, 1881. He was al-
ways associated with the Democratic party,
and was one of its most esteemed supporters.
His skill and judgment as a legal practitioner
and as an expounder and definer of the law
was unimpeachable. He enjoyed the respect
and confidence of the entire bar, and was high-
I3' commended for the fairness and soundness
of his decisions. He was married. May 22,
1851, to Sarah A., daughter of the late Gov.
Anderson, of Illinois, whose history appears
elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Tanner was
born on the 11th of April, 1831, in Jefferson
County, 111., and is now residing in the city of
Mt. Vernon. She is the mother of the follow-
ing children : Allen C, our subject; Winona,
wife of R. A. D. Wilbanks, Mary, Blanche and
Neil. Allen C. Tanner, whose name heads this
sketch, was born in Jefferson County, 111., Au-
gust 4, 1854. He was educated in the Union
School of Mt. Vernon, Champaign University
of Illinois, and the Christian Brothers' College
of St. Louis. At eighteen j-ears of age, imme-
diatelj' after leaving school, he began the study
of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. W.
Duff Green, of Mt. Vernon, but at the end of
two months was compelled to relinquish his
study on account of poor health, and immedi-
ately started West to Colorado and spent a
considerable time in fishing and hunting, and
afterward went North to Minnesota, where he
remained thus engaged for the benefit of his
health, and in 1874 returned home to Mt. Ver-
non. He immediately engaged with Circuit
Clerk Bogan and remained in his employ un-
til, December 14, 1880, he was appointed Coun-
ty Clerk to fill a vacancy, and was elected to
the same office in the fall of 1882, for a term of



MOUNT VERNON CITY AND TOWNSHIP.



37



four years. Mr. Tanner, like his father, is an
active worker for the Democratic party. He is
an active member of the orders I. 0. 0. F. and
A. 0. U. W. He was married, on the 28tii of
September, 1880, to Miss Mabel W. Pace, who
has borne him one child, Florence.

HON. GEORGE H. VARNELL was born
in Georgetown, D. C, February 2, 1833, the
second child in a familj- of ten children of
George W. and Mary iVnn (Gibson) Varnell.
George W. Varnell was a native of Alexandria,
Va., born in 1808, and Mary Ann Gibson,
born in St. Mary's County, near Leonardstown,
Md., in 1813 ; she died in 1854, leaving her
husband and the fiither of her ten children a
citizen of Georgetown, where he now is spend-
ing the evening of his green old age, residing
in the same house where he has spent the past
forty years of his life. In early life, he was a
hard-working brick mason, and worked and
struggled hard for his large young family. For
some j'ears now, he has retired from the active
business of life, and is enjoying the fruits of
his earl}' labors, and the loving care of his
children and friends. The childhood of Hon.
George H. Varnell was spent in Georgetown,
where he passed through the various phases of
infancy, and when old enough did " with shin-
ing face trudge unwillingly to school " — to the
Benevolent Catholic School — but at the prema-
ture age of thirteen years this childhood was
cut short, and he found himself launched upon
a rather selBsh world and forced to enter upon
the great struggle for existence — a mere child
taking up the cast-down gauntlet, and in steady-
eyed confidence entering the lists where every
hour for so many thousands of j-ears have
gone down in despair and gloom so many and
such strong, well-developed men — dashed to
pieces upon the rocks of strife warring with
their fellow-men. He embarked on his career
in life as a mule-driver for a canal boat on the
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and worked at the
same for two years. He then went to Wash-



ington, and there spent his first week walking
the streets and asking for an apprenticeship at
some trade, and at the expiration of the above-
named time his ambition was rewarded by



Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 58 of 76)