From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 374. [Submitted by Pat Thomas.]
Josiah Nelson. "One of the old pioneers of Knox County, who yet lives to tell of the trials and hardships through which the early settler passed while attempting to establish a home for himself and family in this county, is Josiah Nelson. He came here in March, 1838, from Louisiana, and made settlement on section 2, Elba Township, where he has since lived. Thus we see for nearly 50 years Mr. Nelson has lived in Elba Township, and we further state that during this lengthy period of time he has been closely identified with the agricultural development of that portion of the county. Mr. Nelson is the owner of nearly 600 acres of productive land in Elba Township, and in his chosen vocation has met with that success which energy and perseverance, backed up by good judgment, are sure to bring.
Josiah Nelson was born in Huntingdon County, Pa., June 25, 1816, and is the son of John and Catherine (Hommar) Nelson. The father was of Irish descent and the mother of German ancestry. He was born at Valley Forge, in 1772, and distinctly recollected seeing George Washington while he was encamped with his army at Valley Forge in 1778. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Nelson was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and was from Hesse-Cassel, Germany. After his arrival in this country, and learning the true cause of the rebellion of the colonies against Great Britain, he abandoned the army. He was an educated man - in fact, was fresh from the college in his native State. He entered the ministry and preached during the remainder of his life. He died in Huntingdon County, Pa. When our subject was 12 years of age he began working in the iron mines in his native State, and continued to labor in them during the remainder of the time that he was a resident of that State. From there he went to West Virginia, where he engaged in the same occupation that he had labored in Pennsylvania, and also in boating on the Ohio River. The hard times and stress of money matters during the panic of 1837 led Mr. Nelson to go to Louisiana, where he was occupied in getting out wood for steamers which plied the Mississippi River, and where he remained from that fall until the spring of 1838. He fell in with a Kentuckian by the name of McLaughlin, who told him that money was plenty in Illinois, which was not the case in Louisiana, and he was therefore induced to leave Louisiana for the Prairie State. He made his way to this county and settled, as stated, in Elba township.
Mr. Nelson was married at Knoxville, June 1, 1841, to Margaret King, daughter of John and Mary (Tucker) King, natives of Pennsylvania. Her father died in Peoria County, this State, and her mother in Elba Township, Feb. 16, 1869. Mrs. Nelson was born in Richland County, Ohio, March 15, 1819, and has borne her husband eight children, who are named Mary, Caroline, John H., Jane T., Oliver P., George W., Martha A. and William W. John accidentally shot himself in March, 1867, the wound causing his death. Mr. Nelson, during the years he has been a resident of this county, has held the office of Highway Commissioner, and in politics is identified with the Republican party. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, Mary became the wife of John Tucker, a resident of Peoria County, and their household has been gladdened by the birth of nine children, named Emma, Margaret, Dolly A., John A., Minnie, Clem, Caroline, Celia and Elmer. Caroline Nelson, wife of P. V. R. Dafoe, is a resident of Nebraska, and their two children are Albert and Frank. Jane T. married Elida Parish, who is a resident of Iowa, and they have become the parents of nine children - John M., Dora B., Peter J., Minnie, Mary, George, Etta, Bertha and Elmer A. Oliver P. Nelson selected as his companion in life, Elizabeth J. Oberholtzer, and they live in Truro Township and have five children, namely, Josiah, Nellie M., Lloyd, Louisa J. and Nettie A. George W. Nelson and Miss Lucy J. Cole became life partners and are living in Elba Township, their union having been blessed by the birth of five children - John, Etta, Margaret, Nora and Addie. Martha A. Nelson and Frank Cole were united in the holy bonds of matrimony, and live on a farm in Truro Township, their household having been increased by the birth of three children, named Mary A., Maud and Lemuel. William W. Nelson is a resident of Elba Township, unmarried and is engaged in mercantile pursuits in the village of Eugene. Harry Nelson married Emma Tucker, and they have one son, which makes the subject of this sketch and his wife great-grandparents."
From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.
His father lived on a small farm, which he tilled, and worked also at carpentry in order to secure the necessary means of subsistence of his family. In June 1854, he left Sweden for America, leaving for lack of funds the oldest son, Nels, behind, who was then fourteen years of age. Shortly after the arrival of the family in Chicago, the father and youngest son contracted the cholera, which was epidemic there, and died of that disease. His mother, with her three children, then went to Andover, Henry County, Illinois, and soon after to Galesburg where they have lived ever since.
Young Nelson had no schooling in Sweden, but he learned to read at the paternal fireside. When only eight years of age, it seemed necessary that he should earn his own living, and for that purpose he secured employment in herding stock. In that manner, he supported himself until he was fourteen. Afterwards, the burden was lighter, but no time was given him for study or recreation.
At sixteen years of age, an opportunity to go to America came to him, which he most joyfully embraced. It was here that he received his first instruction in the public schools. He arrived in America, July 15, 1856, and immediately joined the broken family of his mother, two sisters and a brother. His first work was farming in Mercer and Henry counties, until he had earned enough to pay his fare from Sweden, which had been advanced by a friend, Bengt Nelson, to whom he yet feels indebted for his great kindness. He next found employment at the roundhouse of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad at Galesburg, working during the summers and attending school winters. In the Fall of 1860, he went into the furniture factory of Bartlett and Judson, and in the following year, he enlisted in a company of Swedish Americans, organized at Galesburg, in August 1961. He served as sergeant until March 3, 1865, and then, for meritorious service in the field was promoted to the First Lieutenancy. He not only took part in many skirmishes, but was in the battles of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing), siege of Cornith, and Vicksburg. He was mustered out of service, November 30, 1865, arriving home in December.
He then commenced clerking in the grocery of Bancroft and Lanstrum, and also for a short time for O. T. Johnson and Brother, at Altona. On January 1, 1867, he started the grocery firm of Bengston, Nelson and Company at Galesburg, and soon built up a prosperous business. But owing to failing health, from the effects of his army life, he was compelled to retired from that business in January 1871. From this time until November 1875, he held the position of City Treasurer. Again failing health necessitated his retirement from all active duties. After recuperating, he again embarked in the mercantile business, which was continued until October 1883, when he was elected secretary of the Scandinavian Mutual Aid Association.
Mr. Nelson has filled other important positions and offices, and always with great credit. He served four years as a member of the Board of Education, served seven years on the Library Board, acting as its President for one term, and as Secretary four years; has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors for many years; and is at present Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Clerk's Offices in the Board; was a Director in the Cottage Hospital four years; and has also served on many committees appointed to act in the advancement of public enterprises.
Mr. Nelson's benevolent sympathies are broad and charitable. In every worthy enterprise, he has always aided to the extent of his limited means. His ruling desire has always been to be useful; aiding those in distress, cheering and encouraging the despondent and giving counsel to those asking advice. For thirty years a wide field of work has been open to him in assisting the many emigrants coming here from the Old Country. Much he has done to initiate them into the American ways of life.
In religious faith, Mr. Nelson is Lutheran. He was confirmed by the minister of the Lutheran Church of Weinge Parish, Sweden, when fifteen years of age. He is a member of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Galesburg, and a teacher in the Sabbath school. He has served as Trustee and Treasurer of the church for thirteen years.
In politics, he is a thoroughgoing republican. A firm believer in republican principles, he has always taken active interest in the success and welfare of the party.
He was married May 19, 1868, to Sarah Nelson, who died December 1898. To them were born two children: Arthur U., born July 29, 1869; and Edmund L., born March 1880, died in infancy.
Mrs. Nelson's parents died in Sweden. She came to this country in 1862. All her brothers and sisters were here, and all died before her.
From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 463. [Submitted by Pat Thomas.]
Peter S. Nelson is a prominent farmer and the Assessor of Henderson Township, located on section 20, and possessing a well-cultivated farm. He first came to Knox County in June, 1854, having previously resided in Chicago for one year after his arrival from Sweden. In the old country he had occupied himself with farm work and had become skillful in his calling. After his arrival in Galesburg in 1854, he for a short time made that place his home, when he proceeded to Cameron, in Warren County, and worked at basket-making. Here he remained one year and then took up his location in Knoxville, where he worked for one season at his trade, and from thence proceeded to Bishop Hill, in Henry County, where he remained two months.
We next find Mr. Nelson in Henderson Grove, Knox County, where he was occupied for two years cutting timber and also was engaged in the lumber business. Having saved about $300, he went to Minnesota and bought a claim of 160 acres. Here he remained for about one year, but not succeeding in obtaining employment, and his means falling short, he was able to pay for but 80 acres of the land purchased. He now decided on returning to Illinois, and working so as to obtain more money. He soon returned to Minnesota and managed to hold his land for fifteen years, when he sold it without much profit through the operation. Returning to Knox County about the year 1860, he again engaged in farming, at which he became successful. Continuing at this occupation for five years, he went to Altona in 1865, and engaged in the grain and milling business, and in about two years lost all his money, amounting to $7,500. We next find him in Bureau County, Ill., where he commenced ditching, in the employment of the county, and in one season recovered $3,500 from his contracts. Returning then to Henderson Grove, he settled there, and is now the owner of 154 acres in Knox County and 125 in Warren County. The most of this is tillable land, and on the farm which he occupies he has erected a suitable dwelling house and farm buildings.
Mr. Nelson is one of those hardworking, whole-souled, generous men, who, by their own self-reliance and industry, have shaped their own fortunes and helped to build up the country of which they are citizens. He has twice visited his native Sweden, once in 1867, and again in 1877. On sailing to Europe the second time he was in the same vessel with Gen. Grant, and had many interesting talks with the "Old Commander." He remained in Sweden with his family several months.
Our subject was born on the 15th of July, 1835, and received a good common-school education in his native country, and was pursuing his studies the winter before coming to America. He was married in Chicago, March 14, 1863, to Nellie Gibson, also a native of Sweden, born March 14, 1842. By this union there were eight children - Charles A., Frank E., George B., Hattie A., Noble M., Lillie E., George B., and Hattie. The first George B. and Hattie A. are deceased; Charles A. is married to Kate Peterson, and is a resident of Galesburg. While living in Altona, Mr. Nelson held the office of Justice of the Peace, the duties of which he performed with exemplary efficiency. During the spring of 1885, he was elected Assessor of Henderson Township. His politics are Republican, and he is an uncompromising and firm advocate of that party's interests.
This notice ought not to close without recording the fact that Mrs. Nelson's parents came to America in 1853, and at present reside in New Windsor, Mercer Co., Ill. Our subject has constructed a very fine artificial pond on his farm, which is well stocked with German carp. He is a wide-awake, progressive farmer, and possesses a fine library. His motto is, "duty first and other good things will follow." He is one of the best informed and most highly respected citizens of this township.
The parents of Mr. Nelson came to this country in 1854, and settled in this county. They departed from this world - the mother in 1865, the father in 1866. They are both buried at Knoxville.
We take pleasure in presenting a view of the residence of Mr. Nelson, in this volume.
From the 1877 History of Whiteside County, Illinois, edited by Charles Bent. [Submitted by Todd Walter.]
WILLIAM NEVITT, father of Hon. E. H. Nevitt., and one of the earliest pioneers of Whiteside county, was born at Brownsville, Pa., in 1779. When a young man he moved to Kentucky, and in 1805 married Miss Mary Edlin at Beardstown, Breckinridge county, in that State. He moved from Kentucky to White county, Illinois, in 1818, and in 1834 from the latter place to a farm near Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois, where he remained until 1837 when he came to Albany, arriving in August. Here he purchased a farm just back of the present village of Albany, and also became one of the original proprietors of Upper Albany.
In 1821 Mr. Nevitt was appointed Justice of the Peace by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State, and the appointment afterwards duly confirmed by the Senate, and a commission issued to him by Hon. Shadrach Bond, the first Governor of the state. While a resident of White county he was several times placed in nomination by the Whigs of his District as Representative to the Legislature, but as the latter were in the minority his candidacy was unsuccessful. In 1831 he was appointed by the Governor as one of the Commissioners to improve the Little Wabash river, he had not long been in Whiteside when he was elected School Commissioner of the county, Jabez Warner, Esq., being his opponent. This office he held unti1 his death which occurred in October, 1848.
Mr. Nevitt had eleven children: John, James, Clement, William G., Allen, Edward H., Wilson, Eliza, Nancy, Maria and Susan. Eliza married Alfred Slocumb; Nancy married Asa Langford; Maria married Noah Shelby, and Susan married Thomas Finch. The children living are Clement, who resides in Knox county, Illinois; William G. in Newton, Whiteside county; Edward H., in Albany; Mrs. Finch in Oskaloosa, Jefferson county, Iowa, and Mrs. Slocumb in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
(The son James died in Haw Creek Twp. in 1850 and is buried in Clark Chapel Cemetery.)
From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 207. [Submitted by Pat Thomas.]
Thomas Newell. "The Treasurer and one of the Trustees of Hedding College, at Abingdon, and one of the originators of the People's Bank, of that town, is the subject of this brief biographical narrative. He was one of the prime movers or factors in the growth of Hedding College. He has held the position of Treasurer of Hedding College since June 1883, and was Financial Agent from that date to 1885. He has held the position of Trustee for six years, and his active management and wisdom as a financier have almost freed the College from a debt amounting to $20.000. Being known as a safe, conservative business man, the position of Financial Agent was warmly urged upon him at the time he accepted it. The funds were intrusted entirely to his judgment, and ensuing results have shown that that the right man was chosen for the place, the debt having shrank to a few thousand dollars.
Mr. Newell was born in Brown County, Ohio, Sept. 19, 1821, and is the son of Thomas and Margaret (Taylor) Newell. His father was a native of the same county and of Irish descent. His mother was of Scotch lineage and first saw the light in the Buckeye state. When Thomas was 13 years of age his parents, with him in charge, went to Parke County, Ind., and made a settlement at Rockville, where at the age of 22, on Sept. 14, 1843, he united in wedlock with Louisa M. Smith, daughter of Hector Smith, who claimed as her birthplace, Vigo County, Ind.
Into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Newell have come six children, of whom the two eldest were born in Indiana and the others in Knox County. He removed from the state of Indiana, to Chestnut Township, Knox County in 1848, in which section of country he has been engaged in farming. There he remained until Jan. 4 1877, when he removed to Abingdon, in which town he has since resided. Of his family of children, Sarah A. is the wife of George Burnside, of Chestnut Township. John W. has been twice married and lives in Clarke County, Iowa; his present wife was formerly Miss E. A. Roberts; William H. married Salina Meek, and lives in Indian Point Township; Julia M. is the wife of Cornelius McFarland of Clarke County, Iowa; Harried E. wedded C. A. Lee and has a pleasant home in Albert Lea, Minnesota; Katie E. is a student at Hedding College and still remains under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Newell are devoted and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is politically a supporter of the Republican party, and is an active energetic citizen and no drone in the hive of life. He is one of the Directors of the First National Bank and is noted for his shrewd business tact and financial ability. He has held high offices in the College, as previously stated."
From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 566. [Submitted by Pat Thomas.]
William H. Newell. "Among the leading business men of Knox County may be reckoned the subject of this sketch. He is engaged in agricultural pursuits, which consist mainly of cultivating the home farm, located on section 13, in Indian Point Township. Mr. Newell was born in this county Dec. 9, 1849, and is the son of Thomas and Louisa (Smith) Newell, the former of whom was born in Brown County, Ohio, Sept. 19, 1821, and is now living in Abingdon. He came to Illinois in 1828, is a retired farmer with an interest in the banking business in Abingdon. In 1842, he married Miss Louisa Smith, whose birthplace was Vigo County, Indiana, and the date of whose birth was May 17, 1824. Her parents were named respectively Hector and Mary (Sibley) Smith. She was of English extraction, and her husband came of Scotch lineage.
Mr. Newell is the father of six children, by name Sarah A., John W., Julia M., Harriet E., and Kate E. He was united in marriage with Miss Salina Meek, April 4, 1880, who was born April 12, 1854, in Knox County. Her father and mother were Daniel and Salina (Dolph) Meek. He was born in Kentucky, in 1803, and she in New York State in 1826. He was one of the first settlers in this county. He died in 1872, and she in 1854, in Knox County.
To them were born five children, viz: Elizabeth, who married Marion Reynolds, and now lives in Abingdon; Harriet, who married Mr. George Mosher and lives in Galesburg; Sanford, who married Miss Sally Shumaker and lives in Plano, Iowa, and Thena, who is the wife of Mr. Oliver Fitch and lives in Madison, Wis.
Mr. Newell, Jr., has but one child, a daughter, who is a beautiful and affectionate little girl, and is the pet and pride of her parents. He has been very successful in his chosen vocation and owns a number of fine Galloway cattle. He also owns one bull, Peter Davie, No. 1007, born May 26, 1884. Mr. N. now has a herd of five head. He is besides engaged in the raising of Poland-China hogs.
In the year 1875, he went into the drug and medicine business, which he followed for two years. He then sold out to Mr. Brown, buying a stock of ready made clothing from T. L. Terry, and continuing this for five years, in which time he received hearty patronage from his friends and neighbors. At the end of that time he sold out and went to farming, and now owns 80 acres of fine land under a high state of cultivation, on which stands an attractive and convenient dwelling-house, two stories in height, which was erected at a cost of $4,200, and is considered one of the handsomest in the neighborhood. He is an active public worker, wide-awake to the political situation, and votes the Republican ticket.
From the 1901 History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, by Hon. Nelson Case, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. [Contributed by Todd Walter.]
PERRY OLIVER COOK NIXON, who for more than thirty years past has been one of the foremost citizens of Osage township, Labette county, Kansas, is located in section 6, township 32, range 18. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1839, and is a son of George and Christina (Pence) Nixon. George Nixon was born in Delaware, and died in Ohio, in the spring of 1861. His wife was a native of Pennsylvania, and died in Ohio in 1845. They were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth J., a widow, residing in Ohio; Seeds and Susan, also of Ohio; Emeline, who lives in Iowa; Perry 0. C.; Isaiah, who located in Osage Mission, in Kansas, in 1867, and later resided in Osage township until 1885, when he removed to Iowa, where he still resides; Marcus, who died while serving in the army during the Civil war; and Charles Alexander, who was killed in the army at Vicksburg.
Perry O. C. Nixon was very young when his parents took him to Ohio, where he was reared. At an early age he was bound out to Wilson Walden, and went with him to Knox county, Illinois. He worked for him ten years, at the conclusion of which period he had reached the age of eighteen years, and began looking out for his own interests. In 1860, he went to Pikes Peak, and spent his twenty-first birthday in the mountains. In the fall of 1860, he returned to St. Louis and began working in the American bottoms. Early in 1861, he returned to Knox county, Illinois, and there hired out by the month. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, 10th Reg., Ill. Vol. Inf., as a private, and was later promoted to be a sergeant. He served three years and eleven months, and was at the front nearly all the time. He was in Granger's reserve corps during the battle of Chickamauga, and then was attached to the 2d Division, 14th Army Corps. Three days before Atlanta fell, he was placed with the 17th Army Corps, accompanied Sherman in his famous march to the sea, participated in the grand review at Washington, District of Columbia. His messmate and friend, William Morris, was killed at his side, but he was always fortunate enough to escape injury. He was mustered out July 4, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, received his pay, and was discharged at Chicago, July 12, 1865. He then bought a rough farm on Spoon river, and engaged in farming. In 1869, he and his family, with two other families, drove from Knox county, Illinois, to Labette county, Kansas. He had a brother at Osage Mission, and stopped there long enough to make him a visit. At that time the town of Parsons had not yet been thought of, and Girard was the nearest railroad station. Mr. Nixon took as a claim 40 acres in section 6, township 32, range 18, on which are located his present buildings, and three 40-acre tracts in section 1, township 32, range 17. He has since disposed of some of his land, and now owns 100 acres. His first house was built of native lumber, cut on Big Hill creek. During the first year he raised sod-corn, which he planted with the assistance of an ax, and was very successful with his first crop. Mr. Nixon's house was destroyed by a cyclone in 1892, and was replaced by a larger and more substantial one. He has recently completed a new barn, and the entire farm is kept in the best possible condition. He follows general farming, and raises high grade cattle and Poland-China hogs. Mr. Nixon was present at the investigation of the famous "Bender slaughter pen," and saw seven of the bodies exhumed.
The subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Virginia Humphreys, who was reared in Illinois. She died in the fall of 1898, at the age of forty-two years, having given birth to the following children: John William T., who died at the age of eighteen years; Emeline (Edwards), of Oklahoma, who has five children, - Ethel, Minnie, Ross, Mabel, Ivy and an infant boy; Charles; Etta Jane (Tussig), of the Indian Territory, who has three children, Mamie, Beatrice and Clara; Flora (Sinclair), who resides on her father's farm, and has three children, - Beulah, Millie and Ruth; Mary E.; Sabie; and Egbert P. In politics, Mr. Nixon is a Republican, and was formerly a member of the school board in District No. 36. He is a member of Hackleman Post, No. 142, G. A. R., of Cherryvale. Religiously, he and his family are Methodists, and attend the church at Excelsior, which he helped to erect. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Nixon accompany this sketch.
From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 438. [Submitted by Pat Thomas.]
John Norris, retired farmer, residing on section 1, Salem Township, Knox Co., Ill., was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, Dec. 23, 1816. He is a son of John Norris, Sr., a native of Maryland, having been born on the west bank of the Potomac River, in 1788. His grandfather, William Norris, was also a native of Maryland and of English descent. About the year 1804, William Norris emigrated to Ohio with his family, locating in Coshocton County, where he was among the early settlers. He purchased a tract of timber land and made extensive improvement upon it, remaining there the rest of his days. He married Margaret Potto, who was also a native of Maryland.
John Norris, father of our subject, was but a lad of 16 years when he accompanied his parents to the Buckeye State. At that place he met and married Elizabeth Elson, a native of Brooke County, W. Va. He also purchased a tract of timber land, upon which he remained until 1830, at that time removing to that part of Marion now included in Crawford County. Here he secured a tract of timber land and remained there until his death, in 1854. His wife preceded him to the better land, having died in 1839. After the death of his first wife, the father of our subject was married to Rebecca Crainer, but enjoyed only a few years of married life, both dying of that dread disease, cholera, which swept over the country in 1854.
The subject of our sketch was the fourth child and third son of his parents' family, and was 14 years of age, when with his parents, he came to Marion County. At that place his time was occupied in working on the farm and in acquiring a good education. He made his home with his parents until July 20, 1844, the date of his marriage with Susan Mary Arbuckle. She was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, Sept. 3, 1821, and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Stewart) Arbuckle, natives of Pennsylvania. There were eight children of the Arbuckle family, and five grew to man and womanhood. At the time of his marriage Mr. Norris rented land in Crawford County, and remained there until the year 1848, when, accompanied by his wife and two children, he started overland with a team and covered wagon for Illinois. After a tedious journey of 18 days they arrived at Peoria, where they made their home with friends, at Prospect Hill, four miles north of Peoria, until the March following, when he returned to Ohio with his family. Mrs. Norris was taken sick, and the physician advised a return to Ohio on account of her health. The route this time was via the river to Cincinnati and thence via railroad to Crawford County. In June of the same year they again started with their team for Iowa, visiting Louisa, Washington, Jefferson and other counties. The prospects seeming very poor in that State, Mr. Norris returned after a few weeks to Knox County, landing here with only ten cents in his pocket, together with a pair of horses and a wagon. Upon arriving in this county he engaged in teaming between Abingdon and Peoria, receiving for the same $1 per trip in cash and the balance in trade. He continued in that occupation until the spring following, when he rented a farm in Salem Township and commenced his career as an agriculturist. He continued to rent land until 1854, when he purchased 80 acres on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 1. Upon this place he erected a dwelling and remained there engaged in its improvement until 1865. At that date he disposed of this property and purchased a farm in Elba Township, and lived upon it for one year. He then purchased the place he now owns and occupies. Our subject removed to Yates City in 1876, where he purchased village property, residing there until 1880, when he returned to his farm. His land is located on the southeast quarter of section 1, and is one of the most finely improved and best cultivated farms in the township.
The children born to the union of John Norris and Miss Arbuckle are eight in number, and named James B.; Elizabeth T., wife of D. Kelly, of Florida; William V., a farmer residing in Adams County, Iowa; Thomas A. is dead; Samuel Frank resides at home; J. Alva is a medical student; E. Bell, still at home; Ada L., wife of Dr. Royce, of Yates City; Thomas A. Norris was born June 25, 1851, and died June 5, 1871. Frank married Miss Nellie Robinson, and they have two children, whose names are Nellie Pearl and Happ F.
Mr. Norris, of whom we write, cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Harrison in 1840, but has been a republican since 1856. Mrs. Norris was formerly a teacher in the public schools in Ohio, and in 1850 taught the district school at her home in Salem Township. In religion, Mr. Norris is liberal in his views.
From the 1889 History of Pacific Northwest - Oregon and Washington - Volume II. [Contributed by Todd Walter.]
HON. JOHN W. NORVAL. Mr. Norval, at present state senator from Union and Wallowa counties, was born in Knox county, Illinois, June 5, 1840, and is the son of James and Mahala (Applewhite) Norval. He resided upon a farm at his native place until the age of twenty, having while a mere boy suffered the loss of his father, and being a member of a family of four brothers and one sister. In April, 1860, he came west to Alexandria, Missouri, where he joined an emigrant train and came across the plains to California, arriving at Stockton November 6, 1860. He first found employment in teaching school until August, 1861, after which he came to the Northern mines in British Columbia, and for five years followed mining in Idaho, Washington and British Columbia, meeting with varying success.
In the fall of 1866, he located a farm near Summerville, Oregon, and resided there for two years. In 1868 he located upon his present place, three and a half miles east of Summerville, where he has five hundred and sixty acres of choice land in Wallowa county. During the Bannack war he enlisted in a volunteer company, and was elected captain. In 1878 he was appointed, by Governor Thayer, major of the Third Brigade of the Oregon militia. Mr. Norval was candidate three times for the state legislature, but, from the fact that Union county was persistently Democratic, he was defeated until June, 1888, when he was elected to the state senate for Union and Wallowa counties, a position that he has ably filled.
Mr. Norval was married in Union county in 1867 to Miss Catherine J. Tuttle, eldest daughter of Honorable Terry Tuttle, who is a native of Iowa. They have two sons and one daughter.
From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 699. [Contributed by Todd Walter.]
OLIVER NORVAL. Noteworthy among the substantial citizens and men of industry of Fulton County, and who is identified with it as one active in all enterprises calculated to advance and benefit the county, is the subject of this notice. He is engaged in the occupation of a farmer, and largely interested in the growing and breeding of stock, Short-horn cattle being among the better grades. His present homestead is on section 1, in Young Hickory Township, and its attractive and pleasant appearance indicates that good fortune has smiled upon his efforts.
Oliver Norval was born in North Carolina, Feb. 26, 1807, and came to Illinois April 26, 1836, locating in Knox County. There he remained for one year, then moved across the line to Fulton County, his present home. His marriage, which was celebrated with Miss Pollie Dunn, a native of North Carolina, Feb. 15, 1829, was blest with seven children, as follows: Charity, Betsey A., James H., John H., Cornelius, Drusilla, and Oliver, who died in infancy. Mrs. Norval was born in 1809, and died May 29, 1842, in early womanhood, departing this life at the early age of 33.
His second matrimonial connection was with Mary J. Sampson, a native of Maryland, and was celebrated Feb. 29, 1844 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Oliver Norvill marrying a Mary Jane Sampson in Knox County on February 29, 1844]. She came with her parents to Illinois in 1835, at the age of 11, the date of her birth being Nov. 14, 1824. She was the oldest child of her father's family, consisting of 11, one of whom died in infancy. The children of Mrs. Norval bear the following names: Samuel, born June 14, 1845; Theophilus, Aug. 26, 1847; Richard S., Oct 18, 1849; William O., Sept 15, 1851; Mary J. and Joseph (twins), April 15, 1853; Enoch, April 23, 1855; Benjamin F., Dec 2, 1857; Jesse C., July 21, 1859; Rebecca, April 10, 1861; Haney, May 2, 1862; Julia A., May 2, 1864; and Margaret E., Sept. 5, 1866. Those deceased are Samuel, Rebecca, Joseph, Haney and Julia A.
Mrs. Norval is of English Ancestry, and her husband is of Scotch lineage. He has been prospered in his worldly undertakings and is at the present time is in possession of 385 acres of land, all of which is in a high state of cultivation, well improved and valuable. He owns a herd of forty head of Short-horn cattle, his favorite breed of stock. He has given undivided attention to their improvement and has continued in that branch of industry for a periods of 25 years. He bought his first male of Peter Godfrey, of Knox County, which is a handsome and valuable animal.
Mr. Norval and family are active workers in every good cause and are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, adopting veritably the "good old religion." They are warm admirers of the doctrines of faith as held up to the people by the old pioneer minister of that time, Richard Haney, of Monmouth, Mr. Norval being baptized by him, together with five of his children. He is a man who figures actively in church work, has been Class Leader for about 40 years and also Steward in the church to which he belongs. He always speaks when moved by that emotion which bids him honor the Master to whom he has rendered loving allegiance an entire lifetime, and his efforts are always for good. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and is true to his principles as strongly in the minor duties of life as in the greater ones. He is the grandfather of 27 children and has three great-grandchildren. William, one of the sons, is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, his labors being in the State of Nebraska; Theohilus, another son, is District Judge in the same State. Richard is a counselor at law, and Benjamin F. follows the same profession. They graduated at Ann Arbor, Mich., and have shown themselves worthy of both the father and mother they honor by those attributes which they constitute nobility of soul and true manhood. They have proven that "a dutiful son is a crown to his father." The father of Oliver Norval, by name Theophilus, and his grandfather, Solomon Norval, were born in Scotland.
From the 1883 William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas - Brown County, published by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. [Contributed by Bob Miller.]
WILLARD W. NYE, physician and surgeon, began his literary course at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., but quit his studies to participate in the Rebellion. His regiment was first sent to Fort Leavenworth, from there to Lexington, Mo., to relieve the first three months call; here he was taken a prisoner, but in the September following was paroled. He then re-enlisted and was again sent to Fort Leavenworth, where he was enrolled with the Eighth Kansas Regiment under Col. John A. Martin, of Atchison; here he served until the latter part of 1863, when ill health compelled him to quit the army. He, however, recovered sufficiently to re-enlist in the One Hundred Day corps and served until the close of the Rebellion in the One Hundred and Thirty- ninth Illinois Regiment. After the war he returned home, resumed his studies at Galesburg College. In 1870 Dr. Nye began the study of medicine and 1871-72 attended a course of lectures at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He then practiced his profession in Colorado until the winter of 1876, when he returned to college and resumed a course of lectures and graduated in the spring of 1877. He came to Hiawatha, Kan., in 1879, where he has since devoted his time to the practice of his profession. He is a member of the Hiawatha Lodge, No. 83, I. O. O. F. He was married in Iowa, November 10, 1874, to Miss Jennie McChesney.