William W Davis.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) online

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Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 69 of 72)
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He also has an income property in an excellent farm of two hundred and
eighty acres in Hume township.

On the 13th of May, 1890, Mr. Mee was married to Miss Ella Rourk,
a daughter of John W. and Mary (Williams) Rourk. They have two chil-
dren, Thomas S. R. and Mary H. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mee are communi-
cants of the Catholic church and his fraternal relations connect him with
Sterling Camp, No. 12, M. W. A. Politically he is a democrat and has
figured somewhat prominently in local political circles, having been town-
ship collector of Hume township for one term, while for two terms he repre-
sented the fifth ward in the city council. His labors in behalf of municipal
progress are marked and have resulted beneficially to the city. In all of his
official service he is actuated by a public-spirited devotion to the general
.good and his official record is altogether creditable.


Few citizens of Whiteside county can claim so long a residence here as
does William Pimm Hiddleson, who for the past fifty-seven years has resided
within its borders. He is numbered among the substantial agriculturists of
this section of the state, owning and operating a farm of one hundred and
thirty acres situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant township.

He was born in Sullivan county, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1843, a son
of Rufus K. and Caroline (Converse) Hiddleson, who in 1850 made the
overland trip to Illinois, the father making his way to Whiteside county,
where he bought a claim from a Mr. Boyer, this property being now the


home of our subject. The father was of Irish descent and the mother was a
native of Vermont. After settling in Mount Pleasant township the father
was engaged in general agricultural pursuits throughout the remainder of
his life, his death there occurring in 1893, when he had reached an advanced
age. He was well known in public life, having for several terms served as
sheriff of the county, this being in the latter '50s, while he also acted as
county commissioner and throughout the greater part of his residence in
the county served on the school board. His wife preceded him to the home
beyond, her death occurring in 1885. Their family numbered three chil-
dren, the sisters of our subject being Elizabeth, a resident of the state of
Washington and the widow of William Heaton, who died in Portland, Oregon,
several years ago; and Lydia Jane, the widow of Henry Tucker and a resi-
dent of Morrison, Illinois.

William Pimm Hiddleson was a little lad of seven years when he accom-
panied his parents from the Keystone state to Illinois. He was reared in
Whiteside county and acquired his education in the schools of Morrison.
From an early age he was trained to the duties of the home farm and thus
received practical training which served him well when he undertook the
management of the farm property. He is now the owner of the place on
which he was reared, the place comprising one hundred and thirty acres of
valuable land, situated on section 10, Mount Pleasant township. He has made
many modern improvements here and is now comfortably situated in life.

Mr. Hiddleson was united in marriage to Miss Ellen R. Heaton, a native
of this county, born in 1854. Her parents, Alfred and Ann Eliza (Robertson)
Hiddleson, came to this state from New York about the year 1844. The
mother died in 1888, but the father survived her and made his home in
Morrison until March 20, 1908, when he passed away at the very advanced
age of eighty-eight years. Mrs. Hiddleson is one of a family of six daugh-
ters and one son, the other members of the family being: Warren, who in
1861 enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of the Eighth Illinois
Cavalry and died in Washington in 1862; Mrs. Olive King, who resides near
Merrill, Iowa; Mrs. Alfretta Babcock, a resident of Shell Lake, Wisconsin;
.Mrs. Ada Galentine, of Kearney, Nebraska; Mrs. Emily Thomas, of Morrison,;
and Katie, who died in infancy.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hiddleson has been blessed with a son
and daughter. Charles Pimm, who is engaged in the gas business in Mor-
rison, married Miss Margaret Spears, by whom he has two sons, Spears and
Alfred, aged respectively eleven and nine years. Pearle Mae is the wife of
Charles West, who is engaged in the livery business in Morrison. They have
one son, Joshua Pimm West.

Mr. Hiddleson gives his political support to the men and measures of
the republican party and for many years served as a member of the school
board. Few men are more familiar with the history of Whiteside county
during the last half century than Mr. Hiddleson. As a boy he made his way
across the country to Illinois, and with the family bore all the hardships and
privations incident to a settlement on the frontier. Many of the now thriving
cities and villages of the county were as yet not laid out and much of the


farm lands were still unclaimed. He has seen the wonderful changes that
have since been wrought and with its agricultural interests has been actively
identified, so that the history of the pioneer settlement of Whiteside county
would be incomplete without the record of his life and it cannot fail to be
of interest to our readers.


James H. Woodburn, residing at No. 1209 "West Third street, is con-
ducting business as a nurseryman and dealer in seeds and flowers. He has
long been identified with the agricultural and horticultural interests of
Sterling and Whiteside county and is thoroughly respected in business circles.

He was born in Newville, Pennsylvania, October 12, 1836, his parents
being George W. and Mary (Williams) Woodburn, likewise natives of the
same state. The father followed merchandising in early manhood and in
1837 came to the middle west on a prospecting tour. The land in this locality
had not yet been -surveyed, but the government required the settlers to fence
thirty acres of their homestead, which no one could take away from them,
and when the land came into market Mr. "Woodburn purchased two hundred
and twenty acres, on which stood a log cabin containing two rooms. He
then returned to Pennsylvania and in 1838 came again to Illinois, leaving
the old home in the east on the 8th of January, arriving in Sterling on the
15th of April. The trip westward was made by wagon across the country,
the way often leading through the primeval forests as well as across almost
trackless prairie. Mr. Woodburn engaged in farming on what is now the
western edge of Sterling, concentrating his energies upon the development
of a new farm. His wife died in 1846 and three years later, in 1849, he went
to the far west and prospected for gold in California. About seven years
were spent on the Pacific coast and in 1856 he returned to Whiteside county,
where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred when he was
seventy-five years of age. For his second wife he chose Phoebe Ann Shultz,
who is still living.

James H. Woodburn, the only child of the father's first marriage, went
to Indianapolis in his boyhood days and attended an academy there while
living with his aunt, Mrs. Margaret F. (Williams) Espy. He spent six years
in that city, after which he returned to his native town, becoming a student
in the academy there, from which he was graduated in the class of 1854.
His education completed, he returned to Sterling, where he began farming
and he still lives upon the old homestead, which has been his place of resi-
dence for fifty-three years and which is now his property. The homestead
contains about twenty acres, lying within the corporation limits of Sterling.
He also owns forty acres of the original purchase on the creek, which is
timberland. Farming and fruit-growing have been his life work and in
connection therewith he has engaged in the nursery business and in floricul-
ture. His business is profitable, having been gradually developed along





modern lines and he today receives a liberal patronage in the sale of nursery
stock, seeds and flowers.

In 1858 occurred the marriage of Mr. Woodburn and Miss Susan A.
Farrar, of Laconia, New Hampshire, a daughter of Isaac and Hannah Far-
rar. Two sons were born of that union: Charles H. and George W., the
latter now deceased. The former, who wedded Mary J. Clatworthy, is an
attorney of Sterling. Mrs. Susan A. Woodburn, who was a doveted member
of the Fourth Street Methodist church, died in March, 1903.

Mr. Woodburn also belongs to the same church and is interested in
everything pertaining to the moral development of the community. He is
entitled to membership in the Grand Army of the Republic by reason of
his active service as a soldier of the Civil war. He was for three years at
the front, enlisting in Company I, Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
as a private. Immediately, however, he was made sergeant and later was
commissioned second lieutenant, but was not mustered in as such from the
fact that the company was not full enough, its ranks having been greatly
disseminated by the ravages of war. Politically he was originally a whig
and since the dissolution of that party has been a stalwart republican. He
is interested in all matters of citizenship and his cooperation can be counted
upon to further progressive public measures.

He is one of Whiteside county's oldest settlers, dating his residence here
from 1838, and his mind bears the impress of the early historic annals of the
state and forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the pro-
gressive present. When one looks abroad over the fine farms and the thriv-
ing cities of Illinois it is hard to realize that it is within the memory of any
living man when all this section was largely an unbroken prairie, but such it
was during the early youth of James H. Woodburn. One could ride for
miles without coming to a house or fence to impede his progress and the
land, rich in its natural resources, had not been brought under the plow.
From an early date he has borne his full part in promoting the interests
which have transformed this into a rich agricultural district with thriving
commercial and industrial centers in its midst.


Harvey R. Senior, vice president of the First National Bank of Albany,
was formerly closely associated with agricultural interests in Whiteside county
but has retired from the work of the farm and gives his attention merely to
his invested interests at the present time. He is a man of undoubted business
integrity, of enterprise and of stalwart determination qualities which have
characterized him throughout his entire life and gained him his present
enviable position as one of the substantial citizens of the community. He
was born in Garden Plain township, this county. December 4, 1850, his
parents being John and Mary (Murphy) Senior. The father came to White-
side county some years prior to his marriage. At the time he located here


it was difficult to obtain even the necessities of life, while none of the corn-
forte and luxuries could be enjoyed. In fact, the settlers had to undergo
many hardships and privations in order to reclaim this region for the pur-
poses of civilization. Mr. Senior had come from England and in this country
he gave his time and energies to agricultural pursuits. In Whiteside county
he wedded Mrs. Mary Baird, nee Murphy, the widow of Harvey Baird.
With her first husband she came from Ohio to Illinois in 1847 and their
home was established in Garden Plain township, where the country was
absolutely new, neighbors few and far between and the comforts of life
almost unknown. Mr. Baird entered and purchased land and became quite
an extensive farmer. Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Baird be-
came the wife of John Senior in 1849. By her first marriage she had four
children who lived to years of maturity: Frank, now deceased; Ethelinda,
the deceased wife of William T. Crotzer; Mary, the widow of Mat Hopkins
and a resident of St. Louis, Missouri; and Ebenezer, of Beaumont, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Senior became the parents of but one child, Harvey R., of
this review. Mr. Senior had also been previously married and by his former
union had one son, John, who is probably now deceased. Frank Baird, the
half brother of our subject, was killed at the battle of Vicksburg in July,
1863. The mother died in the same year.

Harvey R. Senior was reared upon the home farm and educated in the
country schools. He was left an orphan at an early age and his opportunities
in youth were about -like those of the average boy in a frontier community.
At the age of twenty-one .years he commenced farming on his own account
on land purchased by the family and for a long period continued actively
in, general agricultural pursuits. His early training well qualified him for
the capable conduct of his business in this connection and as a farmer he
has .been very successful, the methods he has followed leading to prosperity.
He early learned how to till the soil to the best advantage and to take the
best care of his crops, and thus for a long period he annually gathered rich
harvests, for which he found a ready market. Outside of farming he has
had but few business interests. In 1902, however, in connection with Dr.
S. B. Dimond and C. E. Peck, he organized the First National Bank of
Albany, of which he is a director and the vice president. He was also presi-
dent for a number of years of the Garden Plain Mutual Fire Insurance

On the 30th of March, 1876, Mr. Senior was married to Miss Emma A.
Stone, of Garden Plain township, a daughter of I. D. Stone, an early settler
of Whiteside county who followed the occupation of farming as a life work.
Mrs. Senior was the only child of her father's first marriage and there were
two sons of his second marriage: Daniel S., now living in Garden Plain
township ; and Burt, whose home is in Morrison, Illinois. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Senior were born four children: Clarence F. and Newell K., both residents
of Garden Plain township; and Olive L. and Emily B., at home. The wife
and mother died in 1899, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends,
who entertained for her the warmest regard in recognition of her many
sterling traits of heart and mind.


Mr. Senior gives his political allegiance to the republican party and
in 1898 was elected to the office of county supervisor. No higher testimonial
of his efficient, faithful and capable, service could be given than the fact
that he was continued in the office by re-election until December, 1903,
when he resigned, having removed that year to Albany. He has filled various
offices in this township and no trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed
in the slightest degree. He is a representative man of his county, public
spirited in anything that pertains to its development and progress. He has
at all times been broad-minded in his business affairs as well as in his public
relations, and the course of life which he has marked out for himself and
closely followed is one which has gained for him the unqualified confidence
and esteem of his fellow townsmen.


Thomas Shirley McKinney, who at the time of his death was cashier of
the First National Bank of Sterling, having for some years been closely asso-
ciated with the financial interests of the city, belonged to that class of men
whose worth in business circles and in citizenship caused their death to be
the occasion of deep and wide-spread regret. A native of Indiana, he was
born on the 27th of April, 1855, his parents being Joshua Vose and Catharine
McKinney, who were natives of the Empire state. The father came west when
a young man and he and his brother William were very early settlers of Ster-
ling, where for some years he conducted a milling business. His last years
were spent in honorable retirement from labor in the enjoyment of well
earned rest and he died November 27, 1906, at the age of eighty-four years.
He was one of the founders of the Congregational church here and a man of
deeply religious sentiment, whose Christianity was evidenced in his daily life.
He was ever just and honorable, having the strictest regard for truth and
veracity, while in his opinions of others he was charitable and in his actions
kindly. For many years he served as deacon of the church and such was his
life that he left to his family an untarnished name. Unto him and his wife
were born eight children, five sons and three daughters, of whom four are
now living: Jeannette, the wife of Dr. James E. Harlan, vice president of
Cornell College, of Mount Vernon, Iowa; Olive, who became the wife of
Clinton L. White, a prominent lawyer of Sacramento, California; William E.,
who makes his home' in Dewitt, Iowa; and John G., of Los Angeles, California.

Thomas Shirley McKinney, brought to Illinois in his early childhood,
was reared in Sterling, pursued his education in the public schools and was
graduated from the high school. He afterward attended Cornell College at
Mount Vernon, Iowa, and entered business life as teller in the First National
Bank, where his fidelity, loyalty and capability won him promotion. He
became assistant cashier and eventually succeeded Mr. Sanborn in the posi-
tion of cashier, in which capacity he was retained for a number of years or
until the time of his own demise. Ever faithful to the interests of the bank,
he contributed in no small degree to its success and was a popular official.


On the 1st of August. 1892, Mr. McKinney was married to Miss Mary
Viola Cassell, a daughter of Abram C. and Barbara (Meyers) Cassell. They
became the parents of one son, John B. McKinney. The parents of Mrs. Mc-
Kinuey were natives of Pennsylvania, making their home in Philadelphia,
where their daughter was born. The father was a cigar manufacturer and
about 1869 came with his family to Sterling, where he and his wife still reside,
being prominent and highly esteemed old people of the city. They are
members of the Christian church and have here an extensive circle of friends.
Mr. Cassell was the first prohibitionist in Sterling. His father, also a native
of Pennsylvania, conducted a cotton mill there. Mrs. Cassell 's parents were
John and Elizabeth (Meyers) Meyers, likewise natives of Pennsylvania. Un-
to Abram C. and Barbara (Meyers) Cassell .were born seven children, five
daughters and two sons, namely: Henry Clayton, of Pasadena, California;
Mrs. McKinney; Elizabeth Gertrude, of Sterling; Addie Laurene; Mabel
Dora, the wife of Edward AV. Anger, a resident of Chicago; John Allen, also
of Sterling; and Beulah Latina Cassell.

The death of Mr. McKinney occurred July 1, 1905, when he was fifty
years of age. He belonged to the Congregational church with which Mrs.
McKinney still holds membership, and his life, displaying many excellent
traits of character, won for him the stalwart friendship of the great majority
of those with whom he came in contact. He was an exemplary representa-
tive of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Rock River Lodge, No. 612, A. F.
& A. M. ; Sterling Chapter, No. 57, R. A. M. ; and Sterling Commandery, No.
57, K. T. His political allegiance was given to the republican party but he
neither sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon
his business affairs. In manner he was genial and cordial and he had the
happy faculty not only of winning but also of retaining friends, and when
he was called from this life Sterling felt that death claimed one whom she
could ill afford to lose.


An enumeration of the men of "VVhiteside county whose record confers
honor and dignity upon the community which has honored them would be in-
complete were there failure to make prominent reference to Judge James Em-
"mett McPherran, for no man of the county was ever more respected or ever
more fully enjoyed the confidence of the people or more richly deserved the
esteem in which he was held. In his lifetime his fellow citizens, recognizing
his merit, rejoiced in his advancement, and since hi death they have cher-
ished his memory. Honorable in business, loyal in citizenship, charitable in
thought, kindly in action and true to every trust confided to his care, his life
was of the highest type of American manhood, and he left the impress of
his individuality upon the laws of the .state in their formation and in their

Judge McPherran was a native of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania,
"born in 1834. He was a son of John and Elizabeth (Stewart) McPherran,


a grandson of Andrew and Martha (Adams) McPherran and a great-grandson
of John McPherran. The earliest representatives of the family in the new
world came originally from the highlands of Scotland and had all the sterling
traits of the Scotch people. Andrew McPherran served his country as a sol-
dier in the Revolutionary war. He married Martha Adams, a cousin of the
two presidents of that name. Her mother was a Sterling from the town of
Sterling, Scotland. Andrew McPherran was one of three brothers, two step-
brothers and three sisters who came from Scotland to the new world and
after aiding in winning independence for the colonies he settled at Racetown
Branch in Huntingdon county. Pennsylvania. Two cousins of the name,
John and William McPherran, also came to America with the brothers and
sisters mentioned and settled at Baltimore, Maryland.

John McPherran, father of Judge McPherran, was a native of Pennsyl-
vania, became an iron master and also operated a farm. He was a devoted
member of the Presbyterian church, in which he served as elder, and he died
when well advanced in years, having long survived his wife, who passed away
in middle life. Of their children, only one, Stewart McPherran, of Kansas,
is now living.

Judge McPherran acquired his early education in Pennsylvania and was
graduated from Jefferson College, after which he made his way westward to
Chicago and completed a course in the Chicago Law School in 1862. In the
fall of that year he came to Sterling, where he opened an office and practiced
as a member of the firm of Sackett, McPherran & Ward. After a short time,
however, he withdrew from this association and continued alone in practice
throughout the remainder of his long connection with the Whiteside county
bar. As an attorney he ranked at the head of this bar, being widely recog-
nized as a lawyer of more than ordinary ability. His success in a profes-
sional way afforded the best evidence of his power?. He was a strong advocate
with the jury and concise in his appeals before the court. Much of the suc-
cess which attended him in his professional career was undoubtedly due to
the fact that in no instance did he permit himself to go into court with a
case unless he had absolute confidence in the justice of his client's cause.
Basing his efforts on this principle, from which there are far too many lapses
in professional ranks, it naturally followed that he seldom lost a case in
whose support he was enlisted. For a number of years he served as master in
chancery and was filling that position at the time of his death.

On the 20th of April, 1865. Judge McPherran was united in marriage to
Miss Sarah A. Withrow, of Macomb, Illinois, a daughter of William E. and
Harriet Eliza (Chase) Withrow. Her mother was a relative of Salmon P.
Chase. Her father was a native of Lewisburg, Virginia, and a graduate of Yale
College. He read law in the east and afterward came to Illinois, settling at
Rushville in 1835. There he became acquainted with Miss Chase and they
were married in 1839. His parents were James and Letitia (Edgar) Withrow,
while his wife was a daughter of Moody and Lucy (Farnum) Chase. The
former owned a large farm near Cornish, New Hampshire. He was a son of
Moses Chase, who served as a private in Captain William Scott's company of
Colonel Jonathan Chase's regiment in the Revolutionary war and who was a


member of the house of representatives three times. He married Hannah
Brown. William E. Withrow died in Sterling, November 15, 1886, at the
age of seventy-seven years, while his wife died at the comparatively early age
of thirty-three year?. They had three children: Chase Withrow, now a
prominent lawyer of Denver, Colorado; Mrs. McPherran; and Judge James
Edgar Withrow, of St. Louis, Missouri, who has been on the bench for

Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 69 of 72)