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From the he 1878 History of Jasper County, Iowa.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

C. P. VANGILDER, Farmer, Sec. 15.  Owns eighty acres valued at $2,500 in this township and 102 acres in Kellogg and Mariposa, valued at $2,600.  He was born in Hancock Co., Ind., on Aug. 27, 1834 and moved to Knox Co., Ill., with his parents when he was about a year old.  He remained till 1856 and moved to Anderson Co., Kan..  He stayed there four years and returned to Knox Co., Ill., but only stayed a few months and moved to Carroll Co. where he remained about two years.  He then moved to this county, settling in Independence Twp. in 1863.  He moved to his present farm in the Spring of the present year, on which he is raising hogs, cattle, artichokes, corn, oats and wheat.  He married Margaret A. Owens in Knox Co., in 1856 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Charles T. Vangilder marrying a Margret A. Hitchcock in Knox County on September 23, 1855].  Their children are Abram W., Mary A., Louisa, Catharine, Dorinda, Angeline and Elmer L.  He is a Methodist and a Greenbacker.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.

John Bowen VivionJohn Bowen Vivion, M. D., son of Hervey and Mildred (Ryon) Vivion, was born in Clark County, Kentucky, October 23, 1810. At eight years of age, his father's family moved to Warren County, Kentucky, where they remained for six years. Then they moved to Howard County, Missouri, where they lived until the father's dearth at the age of seventy-nine. The mother afterwards resided in Clinton County, Missouri, with her oldest son, James, and died at the advanced age of ninety-five years and four months.

The parents of Dr. Vivion were natives of Virginia, being raised on farms about forty miles from Alexandria. They moved to Clark County, Kentucky, into a region called the "Canebrakes," at a very early day, when the county was almost an unbroken wilderness. They were firm believers in the Christian religion, and were members of the Baptist Church, until that church in Missouri separated into two divisions. Then they joined the Reformed Christian Church, remaining in that faith until their deaths.

During this time, the father was the owner of ten or fifteen slaves, which were held in accordance with the institution and laws of the State in which he lived. He was ever regarded as a good citizen and a thrifty farmer. He was always charitable to the poor. The benevolent traits of his character are illustrated by the following incident: In 1822, the scarcity of corn caused great suffering among the poor. He refused to sell at the high price of a dollar a bushel, saying that what he could spare should be given to the poor.

Dr. Vivion's opportunities for education were meager, but he availed himself of all the advantages that the country schools afforded, until he was eighteen years of age. For two or three years, he was a teacher; but his intention of making medicine the professional business of his life never forsook him. During his spare hours, when teaching, he studied those branches which belong to that profession. At the age of twenty-two, at Huntsville, Missouri, he commenced the study of medicine, and for a year and a half, was under the tuition and instruction of two most excellent teachers, Doctors Head and Rutherford. He then went to Winchester, Kentucky, and for the same length of time, studied with Doctors Frasier and Vivion. During all these years, he was engaged in practice as a student, under the direction of his preceptors. Afterwards, he attended courses of lectures in the Medical Department of the Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky, and May 1, 1836, settled as a physician in Dover, Missouri, a profession which he has followed assiduously for sixty-three years.

Dr. Vivion's first thirty years of practice was in accordance with the rules of the allopathic system, but in 1866, he changed to the homeopathic system, being convinced of its superiority. To practice the latter system, he received a diploma from the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital.

In 1851, Dr. Vivion moved from Dover to Waverly, Missouri, and in 1853, he purchased a farm two miles from Dover, on which he lived seven years, practicing his profession in the meantime. In 1860, he disposed of his farm and moved to College Mound near Macon City, Missouri. In 1865, he moved to Ursa, Illinois, a few miles north of Quincy, and in 1868, he came to Galesburg, where he has been an honored resident ever since.

In 1840, Dr. Vivion was elected to the Legislature on the Whig ticket, being the first successful candidate of that ticket in Lafayette County, Missouri. He did not seek the office, but the office sought him. He never has been an aspirant for political honors. After becoming a resident of Galesburg, he served as Health Commissioner for several years; was City Health Officer for two years; held the office of City Physician about five years. At a meeting of the State Medical Society, he was elected President pro tem., and by the same body, he was elected permanent President, but resigned in favor of a younger man.

In politics, Dr. Vivion was a Whig until the Whig party was disorganized in 1856. He then became affiliated with the democratic party, although not strongly a party man.

In religion, he is a member of the Christian Church, having connected himself with that church at Dover, Missouri. In the same year, 1843, he was elected Elder and ordained, and has filled that office ever since. After coming to Galesburg, he made his church home temporarily with the Baptists, until 1871. a small number of similar faith held meetings in a hall over the Second National Bank. During the Winter of the same year, services were continued in the Doctor's office in the Matthews Block. The sacrament was administered every Lord's day, and the weekly meetings were conducted with great regularity.

In the following Spring, the hall over L. B. Miller's music store on the Square was occupied, and there services were continued until a church organization was effected in February, 1872, with twenty members. Dr. Vivion filled, without compensation, the place of minister in this church nearly half the time from its organization until 1890. Since then a regular pastor has been employed. The number of church members in 1898 was two hundred and twenty.

Dr. Vivion is possessed of a deeply religious nature. His correct tastes and habits are largely due to the religious training of his parents, who required him to take the New Testament to school and read it every day. In all his long life, he never saw a moment when he doubted the truth of the Christian religion. Even when a boy of sixteen he saved a sufficient amount to purchase Buck's Theological Dictionary, the price paid being two dollars. He made good use of his opportunities, and his wisely chosen profession afforded an ample field for exercise of his powers.

Although having passed the period of life set by the psalmist, he still enjoys good health and is practicing his profession, and fills his place at church regularly.

He was united in marriage to Maria Jane Atkinson, an only child, September 26, 1836. Her family was of the Presbyterian faith, but she joined the Christian Church at the same time her husband joined. She was a kind and faithful wife, ever ministering to the wants of her family. She died August 24, 1887. Eight children were born to them, four of whom died in infancy. The names of the others are Sarah Ann Mildred, born June 15, 1839, married to T. L. Gorham; Robert, born November 10, 1848, died February 5, 1866; John G., born July 18, 1853; Edward L., born November 22, 1857.

A second marriage to Lucy Neely was contracted May 16, 1888 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a John B. Vivion marrying a Lucy Neeley in Knox County on May 16, 1888].

From the 1918 A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

MILLS G. VORIS is now serving his third consecutive term as register of deeds of Cowley County.  His is a case of exceptional fitness for public office.  He has had a wide experience in public affairs, beginning when as a boy he was elected to succeed his father as county surveyor back in Illinois.  He also knows the people and conditions in the Southwest, particularly in Cowley County, and has been both a farmer and business man.  He is honest, capable, competent and efficient, and the work of his office was never in better hands.

Mr. Voris was born in Knox County, Illinois, November 8, 1861.  His paternal ancestors were Holland people and were Colonial settlers in New York State.  His great-grandfather served as an orderly under General Washington during the Revolutionary war.  His grandfather, Peter Voris, was born in 1801, spent most of his active life as a farmer near Akron, Ohio, but died at Mattoon, Illinois, in 1871.

Ralph Voris, father of the register of deeds, was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1829.  He grew up there and in young manhood went to Knox County, Illinois, where he married [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Ralph Vois (sic) marrying a Sarah E. Melton in Knox County on November 11, 1858].  He was an old-time land surveyor, and for twenty-four years held the office of county surveyor of Knox County.  During the Civil war he did recruiting duty for the Union cause.  He was a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Ralph Voris died in Knox County in 1885.  His wife was Elizabeth Melton, who was born in Knox County in 1839 and died at Newport, Arkansas, in 1908.  There were five children: Virginia, who died in Knox County, Illinois, in 1893, the wife of George A. Felt, now living at Galesburg, Illinois; Mills G.; Roxwell, a market gardener living in Florida; Mary, who died in Knox County in 1894, was the wife of George Brainard, a retired resident of Galesburg; Ruth is the wife of John Blanshard, a furniture dealer and undertaker at Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Mills G. Voris spent his early life in Knox County, Illinois, attended the public schools and had his higher education in Knox College at Galesburg, which he attended into the junior year.  The death of his father called him away from his studies.  He had learned surveying under his father, and at a special election held in 1885 he was elected successor to the elder Voris in the office of county surveyor.  He proved a thorough capability for that office and filled it to the satisfaction of all concerned for eight years.

Mr. Voris took part in the opening of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma in 1893, settling at Newkirk.  For two years he filled the office of county surveyor of Kay County, for two years was assistant postmaster at Newkirk and for four years was county clerk.  He then became a farmer on the Osage Reservation in 1901, and remained there for two years.

Mr. Voris has been a resident of Cowley County since 1903, when he bought a farm at Maple City.  After two years he sold that property, and then for a couple of years was interested in a stone plant at Silverdale, in Cowley County, and also conducted a general store there for four years.  From these varied interests he was called in the fall of 1912 to the office of register of deeds at Winfield, and by re-election in 1914 and 1916 has occupied the offices in the courthouse for nearly five years.

Mr. Voris owns a fine stock farm of 240 acres five miles east of Winfield and also has a good home at 1803 Fuller Street.  He is an active member of the Winfield Commercial Club, belongs to the Presbyterian Church, is a republican, is affiliated with the Newkirk, Oklahoma, Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with Winfield Camp No. 583, Modern Woodmen of America.

Mr. Voris was married at Newkirk, Oklahoma, in 1901, to Miss Harriet Clapp, daughter of James and Catherine (Randolph) Clapp.  Both her parents are now deceased, her father having been an Oklahoma farmer.  Mr. and Mrs. Voris have four children: Ralph, born June 8, 1902; Mills J., born in April, 1906; Frank, born July 8, 1907; Catherine, born November 8, 1912.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 312.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

Jesse Wagner.  The different residents of Knox County are distinguished for various acts of usefulness and honor reflected back in the form of substantial successes and advancement.  One of the most important factors in her internal machinery is the subject of this personal sketch, who has always followed the vocation of a farmer, but at the present time is passing the sunset of life retired from the active labor of farming, in the thriving little village of Maquon.  He has always shown himself able and willing to forward all good and worthy enterprises calculated to aid in the upbuilding of this section of country.

Mr. Wagner came to Knox County in the spring of 1849, from Fulton County, Ill., purchasing a farm in Maquon Township, upon which he resided until May, 1867, when the village of Maquon became his home, and where he has since lived a retired life, in the meantime having disposed of his farm.  Mr. Wagner was born in Bradford County, Pa., Feb. 3, 1802.  Upon the removal of his parents to Columbia County, Pa., our subject was quite young in years, but remaining in that county he engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods for about 16 years.  In the spring of 1840 he left the Keystone State and came to Canton, Ill., where he remained two years, until his removal to the north part of Fulton County, whence he moved to Knox County in 1849.

Jesse Wagner took to wife Nancy Whittaker, Sept. 28, 1839, the nuptials being celebrated in Columbia County, Pa..  The date of birth of Miss Whittaker was July 8, 1803, she being born in Columbia County.  Our subject and wife have been blessed by the birth of eight children, who were named as follows: William, Jacob, Mary, Frances, George, John H., Harriet and Catherine.

Our subject and wife are devout and working members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having been members of that denomination for many years.  The parents of Mr. Wagner were by name Jacob and Elizabeth (Minier) Wagner, of German ancestry.  William and Francis (Hazelton) Whittaker are the names of the parents of Mrs. Wagner.  They were residents of Columbia County, Pa., where they both passed away.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 311.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

John H. Wagner.  Among the successful business men of Maquon may be found the gentlemen whose name stands at the head of this brief narration.  He is the son of Jesse and Nancy (Whittacker) Wagner, who were natives of Pennsylvania and of German and Irish ancestry.  They married and settled in Pennsylvania, where they lived until 1840, when they came to Fulton County, and from thence, in 1848, removed to Maquon Township, and in 1866 settled in the pretty and thriving village of Maquon, in the same state.  They raised a family of eight children, as follows: William, Jacob S., Mary E., Francis J., George K., Julia A., H. and Rebecca C.

John H. Wagner was born in Columbia County, Pa., the date of his birth being June 12, 1838.  He received his education in the common schools and supplemented this by attendance at Hedding College, Abingdon.  Afterward he attended Knox College for a short period, but was obliged to leave on account of ill health.  He taught school in McDonough county for five months, and afterward went to Chicago, and there accepted a position as traveling agent for an insurance company located at Freeport, Ill.  On returning to Chicago he entered the commercial college of Bryant & Stratton; afterward, returning to Maquon Township, he engaged as an agriculturist, which occupation he followed for ten years.  In September 1875, he bought the hardware stock of Israel Howel, of Maquon Township, and since that time has conducted the business.  By fair and honest dealing with his fellow men he has established a good and constantly increasing trade.  He is at the present time the owner of 210 acres of fine land in Maquon and Chestnut townships.

He formed a matrimonial alliance at Fairview, Fulton Co., Ill., Dec. 25, 1865, the lady of his choice being Martha A. Brunton [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a John H. Wagner marrying a Martha A. Brinton in Fulton County on December 24, 1865], daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Alcott) Brunton, natives of Pennsylvania.  They have been blessed by seven children, by name as follows: Eliza J., William H., Martha A., John, Mary E., Rachel and Milton. Martha was born in McDonough County, March 8, 1841.

Mr. and Mrs. W., of this notice, are the parents of four living children, namely: Reginald V., Harry, Sarah E. and Emma.  They buried two children, by name Ida G. and Warren H.  Ida died when seven years of age and Warren at the age of four.

Mr. Wagner has been one of the Trustees of the village of Maquon for the period of five years.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and both himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In politics he is a believer in and supporter of the principles advocated by the Democratic party.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 960.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

Barney Wagoner.  Throughout his district Mr. Wagoner is regarded as a representative farmer of the old school.  He resides on section 20, Galesburg Township, where his land is to be found in an advanced state of cultivation.  He was born in Madison County, N. Y., in 1830, and came to Illinois in 1856, locating first at Peoria.  For some time he worked on the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad as an engineer, an occupation which he subsequently followed for 25 years on the C., B. & Q. R. R.  While serving in this responsible capacity, he was considered a very careful hand, and never met with any serious accident while on the road.  His parents were Henry and Mary (Lane) Wagoner, natives of Pennsylvania.  The mother was born in 1800 and the father either in 1798 or 1799.  He died about the year 1835, in the State of New York; his wife's decease took place in Peruville, Tompkins Co., N. Y.  By the marriage there were ten children - Nancy and Catherine, living; Myra, Elizabeth and Effaline, who died of cholera in 1832; Hiram, Barney, Jane, Caroline and Joseph, living.

Jan. 28, 1862, the gentleman whose name heads this biography married Miss Elizabeth Bruington [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Barney Waggoner marrying a Elizabeth M. Bruington in Knox County on January 25, 1862], the daughter of Benjamin and Harriet (Scott) Bruington, both natives of Kentucky.  Benjamin Bruington was born in 1811, while his wife's birth took place in 1818.  They first came to Illinois in 1833, and located on section 19, now Galesburg Township.  He was the father of five children, and still resides in this township.  The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bruington are George, Thomas, Mary, deceased July 13, 1886; Elizabeth and Melissa.  Mrs. Bruington's decease took place in 1881, and she lies buried in Williams cemetery.  Melissa, her daughter, is also dead, her demise taking place in 1879.  By Mr. Wagoner's marriage, there were seven children, all of whom are living - Hattie, born Oct. 27, 1862; George F., Jan. 19, 1864; Marion, May 21, 1868; Henry H., Feb. 12, 1870; Barney Elwood, Sept. 10, 1874; Eugene C., Sept. 26, 1878, and Edward Benjamin, Dec. 11, 1883.

Mr. Wagoner has 100 acres of prime land, which is in a thorough state of cultivation.  His residence is one of the best buildings of his vicinity, being comfortably planned and well furnished.  He is a prominent member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a body to which he has belonged since 1865.  In politics he is a thorough Republican and constantly watchful of all movements connected with and dear to Republican principles.  Mr. and Mrs. Wagoner have two interesting grandchildren, the son and daughter of Willard and Hattie (Wagoner) Ellis - Charles A., born Jan. 25, 1884, and Maude I., born March 1, 1886.  This family is widely known and universally respected in their township and surrounding vicinity.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 942.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

DANIEL WAINWRIGHT; Farmer; Chestnut Township; born May 4, 1829, in Clermont County, Ohio; educated in the common schools of Ohio.  His parents were Vincent Wainwright of New Jersey, and Nancy (Hall) Wainwright, of Ohio; his grandfather was Daniel Wainwright of New Jersey; his maternal grandfather was Jeremiah Hall, of England.  Mr. Wainwright was married to Eliza J. Cramer in Ohio, December 13, 1849.  Their children are: Vincent; Maguire; Joseph; Benedict (deceased); Sarah E. Eiker, and Clara C. (deceased).  Mr. Wainwright settled on the farm where he now resides in 1873, and has greatly improved his land.  His oldest son is in Louisiana, his second in Missouri, and one is at home.  His great-grandfather and two brothers came to America from England, and were in the Revolutionary War; his great-grandfather was killed, and his grandfather was wounded; his father died in 1844.  Mr. Wainwright is independent in politics and has been Road Commissioner; he has been Supervisor three terms.  He is a member of the Methodist Church.

From the 1842 to 1881 History of Buchanan County, Iowa.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

Gamaliel Walker was born in Genesee county, New York, in 1817.  Moved to Ohio with his father, Samuel Walker, when he was one year old.  Lived in Erie county, Ohio, until he was nineteen years of age, when he moved to Knox county, Illinois.  Remained there only about six months when he came to Iowa, locating in Lynn county in the year 1838.  Worked on the Mississippi river two winters, making Muscateen his home.  Settled in Buchanan county in 1875, on the Wapsie, when he bought the farm where he still resides.  At first he owned one hundred and sixty acres but has bought since so that he has owned six hundred acres, but has given farms to his children so that now he owns one hundred and forty acres.  Mr. Walker got the first deed of land ever given in Perry township.  They lived one year with only two families within five miles of them.  No house between him and Independence.  Those were early and rough times, and yet, as they look back upon those early days spent in their log cabin, they cannot help but remember them with some degree of pleasure.  Mr. Walker was married May 8, 1843, to Miss Sarah Vinton.  They have four children living: Clarke, age thirty-four, married and living in Buena Vista county, Iowa; Charlotte, age thirty-one, married James Sankey, and is living in this county; Simon, age twenty-six, married and lives joining his father; Laura A., age sixteen, single and lives at home with her parents.  As will be seen by this sketch Mr. and Mrs. Walker were among the very first settlers of this county.  They have braved the storms of life and finally anchored upon a fine farm of their own honest earnings.  They have reared a good family and have a fine home in which to spend their last days.  Mr. Walker only knows of one person living who was a resident of this county when he came, and that is Mrs. Morse.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois, published by Charles C. Chapman, page 712.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

Ethan A. Wallace, farmer, sec. 26, Persifer township.  P.O., Knoxville.

From the June 7, 1928 Maquon Tomahawk, Maquon, IL, Volume 25 #23.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]


Lyman Walter, oldest son of T. R. and Sarah J. Walter was born at the Walter homestead, three miles south of Maquon on November 9, 1862.  Here in companionship of his brothers and sisters, he grew to manhood.  On December 19, 1888 he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Boynton [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Lyman Walters marrying a Elizabeth A. Boynton in Knox County on December 19, 1888].  Three sons, Percy L., Cyrus D., and Carlton L., came to brighten this home.  His entire life was spent in the vicinity in which he was born except one year spent in Minnesota, he, with Bess and the boys settled on the old homestead where the remainder of his life was spent.

During his long illness he had the untiring love and devotion of his ever faithful wife, and devoted sons.  Nothing that loving hands and faithful hearts could do was left undone, but on Thursday evening, May 31, he quietly fell asleep.  To mourn his passing, he leaves besides the widow and sons, two brothers, Ulysses of Maquon, Bert of Knoxville and three sisters, Mrs. Vianna Adams of Peoria, Nora and Laura Walter of Galesburg and a host of other relatives and friends.  He lived for those who loved him.  His first and every thought was for his wife and boys.  His home was his sanctuary.  He was a loyal neighbor, a true friend, a manly man.  With us he leaves a very beautiful memory.

Funeral services for Lyman T. Walter were held at the home, south of town, Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.  The home was filled with sorrowing relatives and friends to pay their last tribute of respect to the deceased.  The services were in charge of the Rev. Ira E. Moats, who spoke words of comfort to the bereaved ones.  Many beautiful floral tributes were in evidence.  Casket bearers were: H. I. Epley, D. S. Hartsook, F. C. Bearmore, Elmer Dalton, M. A. Houfburg, and Wilbur Dalton.  Burial was made in the family lot in the Maquon cemetery.

Among those to attend the services from a distance were Mrs. Viana Adams of Peoria; the Misses Nora and Laura Walter, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Woolsey, Mrs. Carson Woolsey of Galesburg, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Shearer, Mr. and Mrs. N. G. Thurman, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Shearer and daughters, Elma, Georgia, and Doris, E. V. Stevenson, Mr. and Mrs. B. E. Walter of Knoxville; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Brockelhurst of Yates City, Mr. and Mrs. Alva Kinser and daughter, Dorothy, of Peoria.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois, published by Charles C. Chapman, page 712.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

R. C. Walter, farmer, son of John W. and Hannah (Sumner) Walter, was born May 8, 1836, In Highland Co., O.  His parents removed to Knox Co. in 1839 (1837); his early life was passed on the farm: was married in 1861 to Polly A. Hall [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Richard C. Walter marrying a Polly A. Wall in Knox County on October 18, 1860], and they have one child, a daughter.  In 1862 he enlisted in Co. F 86th Ill. Regt., and took part in every battle the Regt. did; discharged June 22, 1865.  P.O., Maquon.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 626.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

Thomas R. Walter is a successful farmer and stock raiser, residing on his productive farm on section 16, Maquon Township.  He has been closely identified with the agricultural development of the county since his arrival here in the fall of 1837.  He emigrated to this county from Highland County, Ohio, with his parents, and resided on the home farm in Maquon Township, west of Maquon, remaining there until his final settlement on his farm on section 16.  The parents of  Mr. Walter are John W. and Hannah (Sumner) Walter.  The father was born in Virginia and was a soldier in the War of 1812.  The mother was a native of  South Carolina.  Mr. Walter is the third in order of birth in a family of ten children, namely: Betsey (deceased), William J., our subject, Jincy, Lettice (deceased), James (deceased), Bowater, John W. (deceased), Cynthia (deceased), and Richeson C.  William J. married Catherine Housh and they live in Nebraska; Betsey was the wife of Edward Smithson, deceased; subsequently she married Isaiah Stevenson; Jincy became the wife of Milo Preston, deceased, and she lives in Iowa; James married Catherine Lawrence; Lettice became the wife of Joshua Needles, now deceased; she was a second time married to William Darnell; Cynthia became the wife of Joel Darnell; and Richeson C. became the husband of Polly Hall; the latter resides in Nebraska.

Mr. Walter's first purchase of land was 160 acres, on which he erected a set of comfortable and substantial buildings and made other convenient improvements, subsequently adding to his first purchase until he is now the proprietor of 1,481 acres of well improved and cultivated land in Knox County.  He is also the owner of property in the village of Maquon.

Thomas Walter was born in Highland County, Ohio, Sept. 30, 1817.  He had attained the age of 19 years upon his arrival in this county, and has always followed the honorable calling of an agriculturalist.  It is needless to say that he is one of the largest land-owners and most substantial farmers within the county of Knox.

The date of the marriage of our subject, in Maquon Township, was Aug. 8, 1854.  The lady of his choice was Sarah J. Stevenson [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Thomas R. Walter marrying a Sarah Jane Stevenson in Knox County on August 24, 1851], daughter of Edward and Mary (Keys) Stevenson.  The father was a native of Maryland and the mother of Delaware.  In June, 1840, the date of the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. S. in Knox County, they settled in Haw Creek Township, subsequently removing to the township of Maquon, where they passed the remainder of their lives.  Their family consisted of six children, and bear the names of Sarah J., William, John, James K., Lewis N., and Edward O.  Sarah J., the wife of our subject was born in Franklin County, Ohio, Sept 24, 1835.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter, of whom we write, have become the parents of ten children, as follows: Vianna, Mary E., Ethzelda, two who died in infancy, Lyman, Elnora, Thomas Ulysses, Laura B., and Albertie.  Vianna is the wife of B. F. Adams and resides in Peoria; Ethzelda married Frank D. Pickrel; this lady died in Haw Creek Township June 2, 1881.  Mary E. is deceased, and the remaining children reside at home.

Mr. Walter has held the position of Road Commissioner and also that of School Director.  In politics he affiliates with the Republican party.  The publishers take pleasure in presenting a view of Mr. Walter's fine homestead in connection with this sketch.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

THOMAS ULYSSES WALTER; Farmer; Maquon Township, where he was born March 30, 1869; educated in the common schools of Maquon Township.  He was married, near Gilson, July 15, 1891, to Bessie Leona Baird [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a T. U. Walter marrying a Leona Baird in Knox County on July 15, 1891], daughter of Anthony W. and Mellisa (Pickrel) Baird, of Haw Creek Township.  They have one child, Harold Baird, born January 8, 1894.  Mr. Walter was reared on the home farm, and received his training under the instruction of one of the best farmers in Knox County.  He settled on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, to which he later added eighty acres.  He is successful and highly respected.  Mr. Walter is a Republican.

From the 1882 History of the State of Nebraska - Dodge County, by Andreas.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

L. A. WARNER, farmer, resides on Section 2, Town 18, Range 7, P. O. Maple Creek, was born in Warren County, Ind., November 22, 1832.  When he was about five years old, his parents moved to Vermillion County, Ind., remaining there about five years; they then moved to Knox County, Ill., where they lived about fifteen years.  He was married in that county in 1853, to Miss Mahala McCoy, who was born in Indiana [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Lewis A. Warner marrying a Mahala McCoy in Knox County on April 20, 1854].  They have four children living -- John H., William E., R. E. and Mary Jane, now the wife of Franklin Watson, a farmer in Dodge County.  He moved from Knox County, Ill., to Adair County, Mo., just before the war, living there about twelve years, when he came to Nebraska, locating in Dodge County, having taken a trip through Dakota.  He resided three years near Nickerson, and then moved to his present residence, his farm consisting of 720 acres, located in Maple Creek Valley.  It is one of the finest farms in Dodge County, and one of the most picturesque places in Nebraska.  Over five hundred acres are under cultivation, the balance being timber and grass land.  A part of the timber (sixty acres) is of native growth.  He has over two thousand black walnut, and over three thousand soft maple trees, besides hickory and other kinds of forest trees.  He has also a fine fruit orchard, consisting of apples, crabs, etc. and small fruit. He deals quite largely in live-stock, shipping two and three car loads of cattle, and a considerable number of hogs per year.  He was among the first that shipped stock from his vicinity.  He is a stanch Republican, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace of Maple Precinct about ten years.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.

Wellington W. Washburn Wellington W. Washburn was born in Akron, Ohio, September 18, 1836.  He father was Leander Washburn, whose occupation was that of a carpenter and builder.  He was born in Kingston, Massachusetts, December 9, 1811, and died in Galesburg in 1881.  His boyhood was spent in his father's family, almost in sight of Plymouth Rock.  His father, with his family, moved to Troy, New York, when Leander was about twenty years of age.  After living there about a year, they went West, setting in Akron, Ohio.

Wellington's mother was Elize Upson, who was born in Talmadge, Summit County, Ohio, January 21, 1813, and died in Oakland, California, in 1893.

The "Washburn family," without doubt, are of English descent, as the name indicates; although tradition says that they came into England with  William the Conqueror, and one of them was knighted by him, on the battlefield, for meritorious service.  In Worchester and Gloucester counties, England, there are two villages know by the name of Great Washburn and Little Washburn, where the family have lived for many generations.

The "Washburn family" in America not only in numerous, but contains many distinguished men.  John Washburn came to Duxbury, Massachusetts, about 1628-32.  His wife Margerie came with her two sons, John and Phillip, in 1635.  He is said to have been the first secretary of the Plymouth Colony Company in London in 1628-9.

John, who belonged to the second generation in the line, married Elizabeth Mitchell, whose mother was Jane Cooke, daughter of Francis Cooke, who came over in the Mayflower in 1620.  He was one of the signers of the "Compact" on the deck of the vessel before landing.

The third generation contains the names of Joseph and Hannah, who married a Mr. Latham.  In the fourth generation, we again find the name John with Mehitable or Lydia.  In the fifth, is Jabez, who was born in 1708, and Judith, who married a Mr. Faunce.  In the sixth generation is to be found Jabez and Mary, who married a Mr. Sherman.  The seventh generation contains the names of Abiel and Rebecca (Adams) Washburn, the grandparents of Wellington W. Thus it appears that Wellington W. belongs to the eighth generation from John Washburn, who settled in Duxbury about 1631-2.

Wellington W. Washburn belongs to the class of self-mad men.  He had the care of loving parents and attended the public schools of his native town.  For a time, he pursued a course in the High School under the Principalship of General Leggett, noted teacher.  On May 3, 1852, when only sixteen years of age, he left the High School and entered a jeweler's store to learn the watchmakers' and jewelers' trade.  He was under the instruction of H. S. Abbey, one of the leading jewelers of Akron.  Here he remained until 1859, when he came to Galesburg, Illinois.  His capital was his ability and the few tools that he brought with him.  His first co-partnership was with J. K. Armstrong, from 1867 to 1872, under the firm name of Washburn and Armstrong.  He continued in the jewelry business until April, 1875, when he sold out to E. W. Trask, of Aurora, Illinois, who continued it under the firm name of Trask and Gentry.

In 1877, he was elected cashier in the Second National Bank of Galesburg, remaining there until after the death of the President, David Sanborn, in 1883.  He then organized the Galesburg National Bank with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, which opened for business May 3, 1884.  He was elected its first President and held that position until May, 1889, when business called him to California.  He resided at Oakland until May, 1895, when he returned to Galesburg, where his home has been ever since.

The name Washburn is imperishably written in the archives and history of the nation.  Two of them, Emory and William B., have been Governors of the Old Bay State. Israel was Governor of Maine.  Peter T., of Woodstock, Vermont, was once Governor of that State.  Elihu B., was once a Congressman from Illinois, Minister to France, and Secretary of State under President Grant.  Cadwell C. was Major General in the Civil War and afterwards Governor of Wisconsin.  John D. was once Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Minister to Switzerland.  William D. was United States Senator from Minnesota.  Charles A. was Minister to Paraguay.  Washburn Maynard, commander of the gunboat Nashville, in the son of Hon. Horace Maynard, of Tennessee, and Laura Washburn, of Randolph, Vermont.  Truly, such a list of patriots and statesmen have honored the name of Washburn.

Wellington W. Washburn was shown himself to be an enterprising citizen.  He has aided greatly in the improvement of Galesburg.  In 1869, he built the "Washburn Block," which, at that time, was one of the best in the city.  He was erected several dwelling-houses, which stand as an evidence of his enterprise.  He has labored for the upbuilding of the city, and has aided by his means in all undertakings which his judgment approved.  As a man, he is social in his intercourse, kind in disposition, charitable in his relations towards his fellows, and popular in his every-day life.  He has ever shown himself to be an honest, intelligent, and trustworthy citizen.  His religious views are broad and without cant.  He is a member of no church, but attends the Universalist.  In politics, he is a republican if the party candidates for office are good men.

Mr. Washburn was married, February 9, 1876, to Margaret Lockwood, who died in June, 1883. She was born in New Albany, Indiana. Her father's family were long residents there, and were held in high esteem.  By this union, one son was born to them: Fred Lockwood, born May 10, 1878.

His second marriage was December 28, 1893, to Etta P. Burrows, of Chicago [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Wellington W. Washburne marrying a Etta Permelia Burrows in Cook County on December 28, 1893].

From the 1890 Biographical Souvenir of Buffalo County, Nebraska.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

CHARLES R. WATERS first saw the light of day at Springville, Vernon county, Wis., August 4, 1860.  His parents, Henry and Arminda (Harkness) Waters, were natives of Illinois, the former having been born in Knox county in 1823(?!).  The senior Waters moved to Wisconsin in 1848, where his wife died in 1875.  He came to Nebraska in 1876, but is now enjoying the pleasures afforded by a residence in California.  He was the father of ten children, seven boys and three girls.  He served as supervisor of Cedar township, Buffalo county, Nebr., two years.  He also served three years in the war.  Young Waters accompanied his father to Nebraska in the spring of 1876, and began life for himself about that time.  He worked out by the month for a year or so, then engaged in farming for himself.  The country in that portion of Cedar township, Buffalo county, Nebr., was very sparsely settled, there being only a few houses in sight.  He pre-empted a claim in 1880 and proved up on it soon after.  He now has one hundred and sixty acres well improved, and is a prosperous young farmer.

From the 1882 History of the State of Nebraska, by Andreas.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

A. J. WAY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 21, P. O. Tecumseh.  Was born and reared in Knox County, Ill., and came to Nebraska in 1870, and has been actively connected with the present industries here since.  In 1867 he was married in Knox County, Ill., to Miss Nancy J. Reece [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Andrew J. Way marrying a Nancy J. Reece in Knox County on January 24, 1867], who was born in Clinton County, Ohio.  They have two daughters, Stella and Eva.  Mr. Way did service in the Eighty-sixth Illinois, from 1862 to '63, after which he re-enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Volunteer Infantry, and remained in active service till '64; was honorably discharged

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 713.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

HARMON WAY, son of David and Rebecca (Baldwin) Way, natives of N.Y., was born in Portage co., Ohio, Feb. 19, 1815; was educated in the common schools; his early life was passed on the farm and in hunting; married Elizabeth Wilson, Jan. 1, 1837.  They are the parents of 9 children, of whom 8 are living; moved to Knox co. in 1841; was School Director 9 years in Chestnut township; is Republican; he has followed hunting, trapping and farming, and is now a farmer in good circumstances.  In 1862 he killed 25 deer, and for several years after killed 16 to 18 deer each winter; he has killed between 300 and 500 since he came to the co.  P.O., Hermon.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 863.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

Harmon Way.  We should not fail to mention among the more important, progressive and practical farmers identified with Knox County the name of the gentleman of whom this biography is written.  His home is situated on section 22 of Chestnut township, and he is by occupation an agriculturist, and in connection with this branch of business carried on the breeding and raising of stock.

Our subject was born in Portage County, Ohio, Feb. 19, 1815, and came to Illinois in the fall of 1841, locating in Knox County, where he now lives.  Mr. Way's father was born in the State of Connecticut and came to Ohio at an early day.  He was by name David, and united in marriage with Rebecca Baldwin, and they both died in Ohio, at a date not exactly known.

Mr. Harmon Way of this notice entered the matrimonial estate with Miss Elizabeth Wilson, Jan. 1, 1837, in the State of Ohio.  She was born in Stark County, that State, March 15, 1821, and her parents were Charles W. and Betsy (Shelton) Wilson, the former of whom was born in England and the latter in Maryland.  Both of these are now deceased, but left eight children.

Mr. and Mrs. Way have a family of nine children, eight of whom still survive, as follows: David, born Jan. 27, 1838; Baldwin, Jan. 14, 1840; Samuel, May 24, 1841; Andrew J., June 12, 1843; Jacob, Dec. 14, 1845; Lewis, June 22, 1849; Harmon Jr., July 22, 1852; Hiram, Aug. 30, 1855; and Sonora, Jan. 22, 1859.  Samuel, Jackson, Jacob and Baldwin were in the late Rebellion, fighting for the Union army and doing a good and noble service for their county.  Baldwin died in the full flush of his early manhood, in 1865, at Dalton, Ga., while in the service.  The other three were protected from the perils of war and at the end of their military labors were discharged with honor from the army, living to meet their father and mother at home, after peace was declared.  All of these children are married and prosperous.  Mr. Way is one of the pioneers of this section, who has grown wealthy and influential in pursuing his own chosen path of duty.  He is the possessor of 200 acres of fine land, and devotes his time to that and the other above-named interests.  When he first came into the State he spent part of his time in hunting, as he is naturally a sportsman, and game was plentiful in the early days.  Deer, wolves, wild fowl and foxes fairly flocked about him, and he considers he should exaggerate in no way if he claimed to have killed 500 deer in this county.  He has also slain many wolves.  Gradually he has watched the growth of the county and may pardonably consider himself one of its oldest and strongest pillars.  Both himself and wife are Universalists in theological belief, and Mr. Way is a stanch Republican, the political sentiments of which party he upholds and defends and with which he votes.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 713.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

JAMES F. WEBB, engineer C., B. & Q. R. R., Galesburg, is the son of Isaac C. and Elizabeth (Fulkerson) Webb, the former of Vermont, the mother of Tennessee; was born at Hillsgrove, McDonough co., Ill., on Feb. 23, 1846.  Determined to become a locomotive engineer he left home in 1865, came to Galesburg and obtained employment, and Feb. 2, 1869, was promoted to engineer, which he has even since been, never losing a day, or during these years, no person has been injured on, or by his train.  He is temperate in all things; never known to utter an oath or take a drink of whisky.  Sept. 18, 1870, he married Clara Cofer [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a James F. Webb marrying a Clara Cofer in Adams County on September 18, 1870]; they have a son and daughter.  Joined the M. E. Church at 18; now connected with the 1st M. E. Church, Galesburg.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 713.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

MRS. SARAH ELIZABETH WEBB, daughter of Erastus and Rachel (Foster) Child, and was born in Whitestown, Oneida co., N.Y., May 14, 1849.  She came to Oneida, Ill., with her parents in 1855; married Fielding B. Webb [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Sarah E. Child marrying a Fielding B. Webb in Knox County on November 28, 1877], of Bedford, Taylor co., Iowa, Nov. 29, 1877; went immediately to her new home in Bedford, where she still resides.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 666.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

Gilbert G. Weeks.  "Conspicuous among the influential citizens of Knoxville and prominent as a successful business man, we have the gentleman spoken of in this historical sketch.  He is one of the partners of the firm of G. G. Weeks & Son, grain-dealers, and is known to be a prompt, energetic and enterprising trader.

Mr. Weeks was born in Dutchess County, N.Y., March 23, 1809.  His father, George Weeks, hailed from the same county, and was born in 1779.  His father, the grandfather of our subject, first saw the light of day on Long Island, N. Y., and was at the time of the Revolutionary struggle a resident of Orange County, N. Y.  In this war he served, holding the rank of captain in the army, and figured in the siege of Fort Montgomery.  About this date he settled in Dutchess County, purchasing a tract of land, fixing its boundaries and beginning the cultivation and improvement of what was afterward a most desirable farm, and upon which he passed the remainder of his days.  The father of Mr. Weeks of this history, grew up under the care of his parents on the home place, continuing with them until he reached his majority.  In his native county he met and subsequently married Jemima Van Amburg, who came from Holland ancestry, and whose forefathers were prominent among the early settlers on the Hudson River.  The newly married pair settled on the old homestead, where they remained until 1828, then disposing of the property, removed to Orange County, where they purchased a farm and there spent the remainder of their days.  At this place the husband died, about 1835, and his wife, surviving some time, also departed this life about 1845.  To them had been given ten children, of whom our subject, Gilbert G. Weeks, was the fifth in order of birth.

In his native township, Mr. Weeks grew to manhood, receiving a part of his early education in the subscription school, and later entering Fishkill Academy, where he received as good advantages as were afforded in that day.  At the age of 19 years, he went to Orange County with his parents, with whom he lived, and worked until 1833, and in that year took to himself a wife in the person of Cornelia Maria Miller.  Their nuptials were celebrated December 24, and the bride was born in Orange County, N. Y.,  in August, 1808.  She was the daughter of George and Julia (Young) Miller, both of whom came from Orange County.  At the time of his marriage Mr. Weeks purchased a farm adjoining the old homestead, which he occupied and worked until 1843, an interval of ten years.  At this date he sold out, removing to Long Island, where he took charge of the estate of Gardner G. Howland, where he continued for five years, at the end of which time the proprietor died and the estate was sold for the benefit of the heirs.  Leaving the situation he had so faithfully and so satisfactorily filled, Mr. Weeks next went to Flushing, L. I., where he engaged in the hardware business, and as a manufacturer of tin, sheet-iron and copperware.  At the end of three years he sold this business and turned his face toward the West, then known as the Eden of laboring men.  Purchasing a farm in Knox Township, on section 35, he engaged in the calling of agriculturist, which he followed for a period of nine years and which he left to come to Knoxville.  Entering his present branch of commerce, the grain and lumber trade, he remained therein ten years, when he sold the lumber department and has since remained a grain buyer and shipper.

His son, Charles M., is associated with him as his business partner, and the firm, which has been very successful, has enlarged the business by the addition of two large warehouses and two elevators, the storage capacity of which is 40,000 bushels.

weeks.jpg (52119 bytes)The union of Mr. and Mrs. Weeks has been blest by the advent of four children, named Sarah, wife of Albert L. Burdett, who lives in Butler County, Kan.; Cornelia, who wedded J. H. Ewing, and is also a resident of Butler County; Charles M., whose home as previously stated, is Knoxville, and George M., of Lincoln County, Kan.

Mr. and Mrs. Weeks are both members of the Presbyterian Church, to which religious denomination they attached themselves in 1832.  Following their entrance into this body, he was a short time after elected Elder, in which capacity he has served a number of years.  There was no Presbyterian Church at Flushing, and while a resident of that place, he engaged in the work of organizing a Congregational Church, where he acted as Deacon.  Both he and his wife are courteous, affable people, and are considered agreeable additions to the society of which they are members."

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.

Eugene William WelchEugene William Welch, one of the most active and industrious men of Galesburg, was born in LaSalle, LaSalle County, Illinois, October 28, 1852. He is the son of William W. and Jane (Chadwick) Welch. His father is a physician of ability, and of considerable education, acquired in the practical school of the world. In his profession, he rose to a degree of prominence after years of effort and struggle, and became also a writer of some note. When the war of the rebellion broke out, he enlisted as a surgeon of a regiment. He was promoted to be a Brigade Surgeon, then Acting Staff Surgeon of the Western District of Mississippi. He entered the volunteer service in 1861, and was mustered out in 1865.

Eugene's early education advantages were very limited. However, he made the best use possible of his opportunities, availing himself of the instruction afforded in our public schools. This preparatory training was supplemented by attendance at St. Patrick's Academy, at LaSalle, and for a short time, as an "irregular" at Knox College.

His first occupation after leaving school was teaching. He taught in the district schools of Knox County for eight consecutive winters, commencing in 1870-71, and three summer schools during this period. Being anxious to earn an honest dollar whenever possible, he worked on the farm during the interim between terms of school. Many a farmer will remember him as a faithful hand in the harvest field.

As a teacher, he held advanced and independent ideas. He believed that the teacher should conduct his school without the use of books, if required; that he should be the book and the active spirit of his school. With such views in imparting instruction, his teaching was always practical and successful.

Mr. Welch's early life was spent in LaSalle. In the latter part of 1869, he moved with his parents to Galesburg, where he has lived ever since.

He was elected City Attorney for two years, 1889-91, and re-elected for 1891-93, both times on the liberal ticket. He was elected State's Attorney for four years, 1892-96, and re-elected for four years, 1896-1900, both times on the republican ticket.

The societies with which he is connected are the following: Vesper Lodge, No. 584, A. F. and A. M., Master of the same for two years; Galesburg Lodge No. 142, I. O. of O. F., now Noble Grand, heretofore Vice Grand; Galesburg Camp, No. 667, Modern Woodmen of America, being Venerable Consul: was a member of Edvall Camp, No. 50, Sons of Veterans; member of Galesburg Club; member of the Illinois State Bar Association, and Association of State's Attorneys of Illinois.

As an attorney, Mr. Welch has been eminently successful. He stands in the front rank of his profession at Knox County bar. As State's Attorney, his work was been prosecuted conscientiously and thoroughly. The indictment is the lawyer's work, and its preparation is a safe indicator of his knowledge and ability. If there is the least flaw, the indictment is quashed. For the past six years, as State's Attorney, he has prepared 450 indictments, and the records show only two quashed. It is doubtful whether a cleaner record than this can be shown by any other State's Attorney. For the last three years, the jury, in every case, have returned the verdict, "We, the jury, find the defendant guilty."

When he was City Attorney, important improvements to the amount of $344,000 were made. Street pavements were put in and waterworks constructed. Ordinances were to be framed, contracts draw, and confirmations in courts attended to. All this work was so well done that the city was never required to pay one dollar, owing to the blunders of the City Attorney. These things speak volumes for his efficiency.

Mr. Welch has always had for his motto: "Never be idle." A kindred sentiment he has also cherished: "He who would enter through the door of success, much observe the sign, 'Push.' "

He commenced the study of law in June, 1875, and before the entire Supreme Court, in June, 1877, was admitted to the bar. He read for a short time, with the firm of Lanpher and Brown, composed of the late Judge George C. Lanpher and A. M. Brown. His reading mostly was with Douglas and Harvet, the partners being Judge Leander Douglas and Hon. Curtis K. Harvey.

Mr. Welch is a public spirited man, and is always interested in public improvements. His charity is of the kind to help those that help themselves, He is a member of the Christian Church. His political sentiments are intensely republican.

Mr. Welch was married in Galesburg, June 24, 1879, to Ida Spencer [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Eugene W. Welch marrying a Ida I. Spooner in Knox County on June 24, 1879], a lady of intelligence and refinement. Of this union, four children were born: Nellie M., Frank A., Bessie S., and Sidney Post.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company.

Lloyd Franklin WertmanLloyd Franklin Wertman, son of Elias and Mary Wertman, was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, November 7, 1845.

His father was both a merchant and a farmer, being engaged in the mercantile business in the East, and giving his attention to farming after settling in Illinois. The Wertman family came to this State in the Spring of 1864, when Lloyd was 19 years of age. They moved on to a farm seven miles east of Knoxville, known then as the "Bob White" farm, when was owned by George Stevens. Here the family lived for three years, and then purchased a farm in Elba Township, where they lived until the Spring of 1879.

In the meantime, young Wertman engaged in farming for himself. In 1870, he rented lands in Elba Township of George A. Charles, and these he cultivated for three years. Then he purchased his home place, where he devoted himself to farming until the Spring of 1879. He then moved from Elba to Yates City, and was employed as a bookkeeper and salesman for one year in a co-operative store. He then formed a partnership with J. H. Nicholson and W. P. Parker in the purchase of the Farmers' Bank, Yates City, which was owned by J. M. Taylor. He was elected Cashier - a position he occupied until January, 1889. He was then elected Cashier of the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank, Galesburg, Illinois, and served for six years. In January, 1895, he was elected Vice President of the First National Bank, serving for two years. Then in January, 1897, he was elected President of the same, which position he now holds.

Mr. Wertman has held several other offices of honor and trust. He was Township Clerk of Elba for eight years, Collector for two years, School Treasurer for four years, Supervisor of Salem Township for two years, Vice President and Director in the Galesburg Printing Company, Director in the Board of Education, and Director in the Mutual Loan and Building Association.

The life and success of Mr. Wertman should encourage every young man who may read this sketch. By probity and strict integrity, he has risen to places of honor and trust. His early educational advantages were greatly circumscribed, but he availed himself of all the opportunities the common school afforded. With this preparatory education, he completed his studies at the Academy and Missionary Institute, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Thus equipped he has gone on from on position to another, and won for himself an enviable reputation.

In political faith, Mr. Wertman is a staunch republican. In religious affiliations, he is an attendant at the Presbyterian Church. He is a believer in moral and benevolent institutions of every name.

Mr. Wertman was married January 11, 1870, to Miss Isabella J. Obeholtzer [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Lloyd F. Wertman marrying a Isabella J. Oberholtzer in Knox County on January 11, 1870], whose parents settled in Knox County, in 1840. Of this union, four daughters and one son were born: Mary Estella, Martha Leora, Maud S., and Norma Blanch, now living.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 662.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

ISAAC N. WEST, deceased, formerly a prosperous and progressive farmer and identified with the growth of Knox County, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, Oct. 17, 1835, and was the third son of John and Elizabeth (George) West.  (See sketch of W. G. West.)  He was but ten years of age when he removed to Knox County with his parents.  He had spent some time previous on the farm and in the pioneer schools, and continued to assist his father, making his home under the parental roof, up to the date of his marriage.  At this time he started for himself, buying a tract of land on section 2, in Salem Township.  The land had been broken and fenced, but there were no buildings upon it at the time.  He at once set to work and erected a frame house, and immediately began further improvements.  He was industrious, thrifty and prudent, and these characteristics, united with good judgment, assisted him toward success.  His death occurred Dec. 2, 1883, at which time he was the owner of 400 acres of land, all improved and considered very valuable.  Besides this he had erected a brick house and large frame barn, and set out shade trees and adorned his yards with all the comforts of a modern home.

Mr. West was twice married, his first wife being Charlotte Hull [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Isaac N. West marrying a Charlotte Hull in Knox County on October 2, 1861], and his second Eliza A. Mason, of Ohio [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Isaac H. West marrying a Eliza A. Mason in Knox County on April 21, 1864].  The latter was born in Stark County, Ohio, and is the daughter of Jeremiah and Eliza (Sayler) Mason, and her marriage with Mr. West took place April 21, 1864.  Nine children were born of this union - Josephine, Charles, Owen, Nora, Marion, Eddie C., Edith and three who died in infancy.  There was but one child by the first marriage, named Lottie, who is the wife of Frank Chamberlain, a resident of Salem Township; they have two children.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 329.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

JOHN WEST, deceased, was formerly a resident of Elba Township, occupying a home on section 35, where, up to the date of his death, he was an energetic tiller of the soil.  Mr. West was one of the early settlers here, having come to this county more that 50 years ago, from Clinton County, Ohio, and making settlement in Elba Township, where he at first purchased 40 acres of wild, uncultivated prairie land, on the section above named.

On his arrival in this county, Mr. West located on his small purchase of land, and by push, pluck and perseverance, he not only improved his place, and erected a fine residence thereon, together with good and substantial out-buildings, but added to his original purchase 700 acres, and at the date of his demise owned in this county 740 acres of good land.

John West was born in Virginia, May 3, 1809, and was but one year old when his parents moved from that State to Ohio, and settled on the east fork of the Little Miami River.  The parents of our subject were Owen and Betsey West, who died after their removal to Ohio.

Our subject received his education in the common schools of Ohio, and there, in Clinton County, continued to reside, occupied in the vocation of a farmer, until coming to this county.  He was married in Clinton County, Ohio, Feb. 26, 1831, to Elizabeth George.  Miss George was born in Highland County, Ohio, June 26, 1811.  Her parents were William and Tabitha George.

Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. West 11 children have been born, named Joel, William, Isaac, Hannah, Rhoda, Mary J., Catherine, Seth, Henry, Rachel and Samantha.  In religion, Mr. West belongs to the sect who, under the leadership of William Penn, first made settlement in Pennsylvania, and who were known as Quakers.  Mr. West is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Our subject departed this life in Elba Township, March 31, 1884.  His wife carries on the farm and is the owner in her own name of 240 acres of good and productive land.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 760.

Mary Allen WestMARY ALLEN WEST.  "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  Yea, saith the Spirit, for from their labors, and their works do follow them."

Of few of the ladies of Galesburg could these words of the inspired writer be predicated with more appropriateness than of Mary Allen West, whose name is a fragment of memory in every household where self-sacrifice, higher consecration and devotion to religion and temperance are held in higher esteem than worldly gain.  She was born in a cabin, in "Log City," on July 30, 1837, her father having been one of those devoted men who aided George W. Gale in planting the Galesburg colony and founding Knox College.  Her mother's maiden name was Catherine Neeley, and her father was Nehemiah West.  He was a man of spontaneous generosity and of rare talent.  It is possible that from him she inherited her strength of character, while from her mother she derived her loving disposition, her innate cordiality of temperament and her simple, sublime faith in God.


She died on December 1, 1892, at the home of friend, Mrs. Leila Willard Winn, of Kanazawa, Japan.  She is buried in Hope Cemetery, Galesburg.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 906.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

MARY ANN (GULLETT) WEST; Haw Creek Township; born in Indiana January 5, 1819; daughter of Joshua Gullett; educated in the common schools of Indiana; came to Knox County May 31, 1838.  She was married to Samuel West [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Samuel West marrying a Mary Ann Gullett in Knox County on January 1, 1839], who was born in Vermont, April 25, 1807, and died in Knox County January 31, 1860.  Mr. West's parents were John and Anna West of Vermont, who were of English descent; he was educated in the common schools of Vermont and Cincinnati, Ohio.  His occupation was that of a sawyer and miller, and he came to Knox County May 1, 1838, and helped build the Selby saw mill on Spoon River in Haw Creek Township, Section 34, which was the first saw mill in Knox County.  He later remodeled it into a grist mill, which he operated for several years.  After his marriage he settled on a farm, and at the time of his death owned about three hundred and fifty acres of land.  He was a good friend and neighbor, and a kind husband.  He affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.  In politics he was a democrat.  Mr. and Mrs. West had six children: Anna; John; Elizabeth, now Mrs. McTier; Joshua; Daniel; Philemon.  Anna is the wife of Rev. Newton G. Clark, who was educated in the common schools, and at Valparaiso, Indiana.  They had two children, Elsie, wife of Bert Bays; and Mary L., wife of Dr. James U. Long.  Mrs. West has been successful in the management of her farm.

From the November 23?, 1916, Galesburg-Republican Register.  [Transcribed by Donna Dobbelaere.]


Betsy Moberg Westergreen.  "Our Copley correspondent writes: The funeral services of Mrs. Swan Westergreen were held at the Maxey church on Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and the church was completely filled, the large concourse of relatives, neighbors and friends present in testimony of the high esteem in which she was held.  Rev. A. J. Strandell had charge of the services, assisted by Rev. John T. Killip and Rev. E.W. Thompson of Oneida.  The singing was by a quartet composed of Mrs. and Mrs. J. E. Samuelson, Miss Grace Nelson and C. W. Wagner, with Mrs. William Swanston as accompanist.  The selections were: 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus,' at the home, 'My Savior First of All', 'In the Sweet Bye and Bye', and 'Sometime We'll Understand' at the church, and 'Rock of Ages' at the grave.

The pall bearers were Nels Ecklund, Peter Ecklund, Olof Swanson, Jonas Peterson, William Swanston and Chas. Johnson.  The burial was at the Westfall cemetery.  The relatives from a distance were: Mr. and Mrs. Henry Moberg of Stromsburg, Nebraska."

"Betsy Moberg was born in Alfta parish, Helsingland, Sweden, July 7, 1842**, and died at her home near Victoria, November 18, 1916, at the age of 74 years, 4 months, and 11 days.  She came to America with her parents in 1849, and so has spent all of her life but seven years in this country.  [** According to the Alfta Parish Records, Betsy Moberg was born July 30, 1843, in Alfta.  She had a sister, also named Brita (Betsy) , who was born July 6, 1842 at Alfta, but died September 10, 1842, at Alfta.]

In 1862 she married Swan Westergreen [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Swan C. Westergren marrying a Betsy C. Moburg in Knox County on March 14, 1862], who preceded her to the life beyond, passing away in 1910.  To this union were born seven children, two dying in infancy.

She leaves to mourn her death two sons, Henry and Thomas Westergreen of Victoria, and three daughters, Mrs. Mary Stoyles of Dahinda, Mrs. Emma England of Appleton and Miss Nellie Westergreen at home; fourteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, a brother, Henry Moberg of Stromsburg, Neb., and a sister, Mrs. Mary Burgman of Polk, Nebraska.

Mrs. Westergreen united with the Swedish Methodist church at Victoria in August 1860, when she was eighteen years old, during Rev. Victor Witting's pastorage.  Great changes have taken place since that time; the change from pioneer life, through the primitive period to this highly developed scientific age.

Her last illness lasted about six weeks, but she had been failing rapidly for six months.  She was most tenderly cared for by her daughter, Nellie, and the other children living not far from home were always ready to do all they could for their mother.  During her last days she suffered a great deal, but she was always patient and her Christian hope never left her in the trying hour."

From the December, 1898, Galesburg-Republican Register.  [Transcribed by Donna Dobbelaere.]


Hannah Westergreen.  The remains of Mrs. Hannah Westergreen, who died last Sunday afternoon at the home of her son, N. O. Westergreen, in Chicago, were brought here Wednesday evening.

Mrs. Westergreen was born in Sweden in 1808 and was therefore 90 years of age at the time of her death.  She was married about 1834 to Mr. Westergreen.  To them were born five sons.  One of them, John, died about two years ago in Chicago.  The others are N. O. Westergreen, of Chicago; A. T. of Bishop Hill; Swan, a farmer living in Copley township; and Alex, who is chief of police in Hingham, Mass., and once held that position in Galesburg.

In 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Westergreen came from Sweden to Chicago and four years after to Galesburg.  After living here two years they moved to Copley township, but returned in four years and lived in Galesburg until 1874, when Mr. Westergreen died.  Mrs. Westergreen then went to Chicago to live with her son, N. O. Westergreen, where she remained until her death.  Mrs. Westergreen is one of the oldest living members of the Swedish Methodist church, having united with the church in 18_5 in Chicago.

From the Tuesday, January 11, 1910, Galesburg-Republican Register.  [Transcribed by Donna Dobbelaere.]


Swan Westergreen.  Victoria, Ill., Jan. 11 -- The funeral of Swan Westergreen of Copley township was held at the Swedish Methodist church of Victoria, Ill., Sunday, January 9, at 11 o'clock a.m.  A large audience was present to pay the last tribute to a man loved by all and respected for his manly and noble character.  The church was appropriately decorated for the occasion.  Two selections were sung by a quartet with pleasing effect.

The pastor, Rev. Nels W. Bard, preached a sermon that brought comfort to sorrowing hearts.  The text being the words found in one of the Psalms, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."  Rev. G .K. Stark of Evanston and Rev. Geo. Thorpe of Victoria offered prayers.  Interment was made at the Westfall cemetery.

Swan Westergreen was born in Westanc Nesruns parish, Northeastern Scania, the 19th of March 1839, and died at the Augustana Hospital in Chicago last Friday, the 7th of January, 1910, being at his departure 70 years, 9 months and 18 days.

He came to the United States in 1852, remained in the state of Massachusetts about three and a half years, when he moved to Chicago in the year 1856.  Shortly afterwards he came to Galesburg, residing there for two years and then moved to Copley township, where he lived the rest of his life.  The 14th of March 1862 he married Miss Betsy Moberg [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Swan C. Westergren marrying a Betsy C. Moburg in Knox County on March 14, 1862] and to the parents were born seven children, two of whom died in childhood.

Westergreen united with the Illinois Street Swedish Methodist Episcopal church of Chicago in 1856 when Rev. Eric Shogren was pastor of that church.  Of the Swedish Methodist church in Victoria, Westergreen has been a good and faithful member for about 52 years.  He was a local preacher 40 years and a local deacon of the Methodist church since the 8th of September 1895.  A good preacher and a strong man in character and in prayer has gone to his reward in heaven.  He was well-known in this community and everybody feels the loss very keenly of this good man.

For the last three months he has been sick and suffered a great deal but endured it like a good soldier of Jesus Christ his dear Savior.  A short time ago he went to Chicago to go through an operation which was successful but owing to his age and weakness he lived after it only a little more than one week.  Besides his dear wife, five children, Mrs. England, Mrs. Ostrom, Miss Nellie, Henry of Clark, Neb., and Thomas, eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, one brother, N. O. Westergreen, D.D., a former pastor of Victoria, a great host of friends mourn him and will miss him because his place is now empty.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 811.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

Charles Bridge Wetmore; Farmer; Ontario Township; born on the Wetmore homestead in Ontario Township, September 23, 1844; educated in Knox County.  His parents, Theodore P. and Eveline C. (Morse) Wetmore, were natives of New York State; the former from Yorkville, Oneida County; the latter from Herkimer Country.  His maternal grandparents were Horace Morse, a native of Massachusetts and a soldier in the war of 1812, and Thirza (Underhill), born in the State of New York.  His maternal great-grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier.  His paternal grandfather, Erza Wetmore, was born in Connecticut, while his wife, Susan (Palmer), was a native of Rhode Island.  Susan Palmer's father was Fones Palmer, a Revolutionary soldier from Hopkins, Rhode Island.  The paternal great-grandfather, Captain Amos Wetmore, was a soldier in the Revolution; his wife was Rachel Parsons.  Mr. C. B. Wetmore's father died August 16, 1876; his mother, May 29, 1892, aged respectively sixty-six and seventy-eight years.  Mr. Wetmore was reared on the homestead which he bought from the heirs; the farm consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of land and nineteen acres of timber.  August 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers, and was wounded at the second battle of Fort Donelson, February 3, 1863.  He was discharged from the hospital at Paducah, Kentucky, in April 1863.  He has never fully recovered, and draws a pension.  He was Postmaster at Oneida for two years.  January 22, 1868, he was married, in Knoxville, to Thirza M. Moore [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Charles B. Wetmore marrying a Thurza M. Moore in Knox County on January 22, 1868].  There are three children: Eveline M., Thoedore L. and George E.  Eveline M. married Birney W. Adams; Theodore L. and George E. are at home.  Mrs. Wetmore is a daughter of Lyman K. Moore, a pioneer of Rio township, and granddaughter of Holland Moore, a soldier of the Revolution.  In politics, Mr. Wetmore is a republican.  He has been Road Commissioner and Township Collector.  He is a member of the A. F. and A. M., Oneida Lodge, No. 337.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, pages 761, 786.


From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 715.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

GARRETT WIKOFF, farmer, son of Jacob and Alice (Green) Wikoff; was born Nov. 5, 1804, in Monmouth co., N.J.; he worked at the wheelwright trade for 5 years; the rest of the time has been a farmer; he came to Knox co. in 1838; went to Fulton co. in 1841; came back to Knox co. in 1846; Nov. 16, 1831, he married Phebe Coon; they have had 4 sons and 4 daughters, 2 girls dead; he is a member of the Congregational church.  P.O., Ontario.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 914.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

William H. Wiley, a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 29, Orange Township, is the son of John and Mary Ann (Hall) Wiley, who were residents of Wayne County, Ind.  On April 7, 1845, their son, William H., was born to them.  John Wiley was a native of Indiana, and followed the calling of a blacksmith.  His death occurred in his native State, Aug. 19, 1850.  His widow is still living, making her home in Monmouth, Ill.  She subsequently married M. Witt.

William H. was the second of a family of four children, three boys and one girl, as follows: Hosea T., Thomas E., Nancy, deceased, and William H.  The latter was married Nov. 28, 1867 to Nancy J. Haynes, the daughter of Asa and Mary J. (Gaddis) Haynes.  She was born April 6, 1845, in Orange Township, and has become the mother of two children - William A., who was born April 6, 1869; and Winnifred H., April 25, 1874.  Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Protestant church.

During the trying days of the late Rebellion, when call after call for brave and sturdy defenders of the flag were made by President Lincoln, and as promptly filled, William H. Wiley was among the 4,000 patriotic men who went from Knox County to the front.  He enlisted Nov. 9, 1863, in Co. D, 7th Ill. Cav., under the brave Captain W. H. Reynolds, the regiment being commanded by Colonel Prince.  He joined his company at La Grange, Tenn., and was soon busy in conflict with the enemy.  He was at the battles of Moscow and Somerville, Tenn., and on the famous Smith raid from La Grange south, which lasted about 30 days, when fighting and skirmishing were the order of each day.  They then returned to Memphis, from where the regiment came home on the veteran furlough.  Our subject, being one of the later ones to enlist, could not, at that time re-enlist with his comrades.  During the fall of 1864, the regiment went on the long-remembered Hood raid, starting from near Memphis, Tenn.  The first fight was at Campbellsville, where Mr. Wiley lost his horse while dismounted.  The next engagement was at Pulaski, Tenn.  Then came the famous battle of Franklin, which resulted in a glorious victory for the Union troops.  From there they went to Nashville, where they remained about a week, but were engaged in fighting and skirmishing in and around Nashville for several days and in the hard-fought battle of Nashville.  They then followed Hood's army to the Tennessee River, where they laid in camp during most of the winter of 1864-65.  While there the surrender of Lee, Johnson and the Rebel forces was made, which virtually ended the bloody conflict.  From there they went to Iuka, then to Corinth, Miss., then south on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad to Egypt Station, and from there to Aberdeen, on the Tombigbee River.  From there the regiment went to Huntsville, Ala., thence to Big Springs, and from there came back to Nashville to be mustered out.  They then came to Springfield, where they were paid off, and on the 4th of November, 1865, finally discharged.

Our subject, who had served his country faithfully as long as there was any need of an upraised arm to defend the integrity of the Union, on his return home again entered upon the peaceful pursuits of an agricultural life.  He went to work husking corn, not losing a day for many weeks.  He was soon able to secure some land for himself, and now owns 130 acres, 80 of which are on section 29, and 59 on section 30, of Orange Township.  He is also a breeder of Short-horn cattle, and the proprietor of Box-Elder Grove Herd.  He has a fine two-story frame dwelling, built after modern plans and style of architecture.  The place is also provided with good barns and out-buildings, and all of the improvements are of the best kinds and regarded among the most valuable in the township.  Politically our subject is a Republican.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, pages 761, 788.


From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, pages 762, 790.


From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 967.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

JOHN WILLIAMS; Farmer and Carpenter; Salem Township; born February 15, 1832, in Canton, Illinois; educated in the common schools.  His parents were W. S. Williams, born in New York, and Elizabeth (Sweegal) born in New Jersey.  Elizabeth Sweegal's parents were natives of Germany.  Mr. John Williams married Miss A. J. Weir, at Knoxville, October 26, 1866 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a John Williams marrying a Althea J. Weir in Knox County on October 25, 1866]; they had one child, Anna, born October 31, 1870.  Mrs. Williams was born in Indiana in 1849, and died October 12, 1883.  Anna married Horace Franklin Record; they have three children: Roy, born April 7, 1893; Marie, born November 17, 1895; and Ray, born January 15, 1897.  In 1852, Mr. Williams went overland with an ox team to Oregon, and for about twelve years followed gold mining.  In 1865, he traveled seven months in Germany.  After his return home he mined coal for about fourteen years, and then farmed until the summer of 1898, when he started for the Klondike, via Vancouver, B.C., Schwatka, and Lake Bennett to Dawson City, where he prospected about twenty days on Eldorado Creek, then returned home via St. Michael and Seattle.  In politics he is a republican.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 716.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

DR. JOSEPH C. WILLIAMS, chemist, Galesburg, was born in Groton, Ct., June 29, 1820.  After obtaining the rudiments of an education in the common school, he pursued study without teacher.  He came to O. in 1822, where he learned the carriage-making trade; meantime he qualified himself for the medical profession, and practiced several years in Wis. and in Chicago, where he engaged in the manufacture of chemicals, and was burned out by the great fire.  He came to Ill. in 1847; lived in Canton; was appointed to a position in the chemical department at Washington in 1861 where he remained until 1865, during which time he spent considerable time in the hospitals in the field.  At the solicitation of Gov. Kellogg he went to New Orleans in 1866 and took a position in the custom-house; came to Galesburg in 1872.  March 4, 1841, he married Charlotte Carter.

From the 1918 A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Lewis Publishing Company.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

ALVIN L. WILLIAMSON.  The many business interests that at present serve to make Clay Center one of the important young cities of Kansas cover almost every modern activity and profession, and include also some of the oldest industries, milling for example, that accompanied the settlement of the first pioneers in Clay County.  Long before improved machinery and modern methods of using motive power had been thought of, every deep-falling stream that could be profitably dammed had a grinding mill on its bank before civilized living was accepted as complete in that section.  Pioneer history is full of stories of the inconveniences and hardships and often dangers that were encountered in getting the precious "grist" to and from the mill, often many miles distant.  It was usually of primitive construction and its equipments were not designed to produce the fine milling products of today, but it was a prime necessity of the time. Such, probably, was the original mill that stood on the present site of the Williamson milling properties at Clay Center, which include the great modern flour mill, the elevator and the office building, with two mighty dams on the Republic River.  For twenty years this property has been in the Williamson name and for a number of years the management of the Williamson Milling Company was in the hands of Alvin L. Williamson, who, along with other important business offices, is treasurer of this company.

Alvin L. Williamson was born at Wataga in Knox County, Illinois, July 12, 1877.  His parents were William and Katherine (Olson) Williamson, both of whom were born in Sweden, the father in 1833 and the mother in 1835, and both died at Wataga, Illinois, the father in 1905 and the mother in 1907.

William Williamson was brought to America by his parents when he was young, the voyage being made in a sailing vessel.  They came to Illinois and settled near Wataga in Knox County, and there William was reared and spent the most of his life, his vocation being farming.  In 1897 he bought the present mail site at Clay Center, Kansas, and in association with his son F. L. Williamson founded the Williamson Milling Company, which is now one of the large enterprises of Clay County.  He was a man of judgment and foresight and his early investment here proved a profitable venture.  In his political affiliation he was a republican.  With his wife he belonged to the Lutheran Church.

William Williamson was married at Wataga, Illinois, to Katherine Olson [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a William Williams marrying a Catharine Olson in Knox County on September 28, 1855], and the following children were born to them: Mary, who died at Clay Center, Kansas, in 1895, was the wife of Albert Danielson, who resides in California; J. H., who is a farmer in Nebraska; Amelia, who died in Iowa, was the wife of Rev. A. F. Nelson, a Lutheran minister residing at Wilmar, Minnesota; L. O., who died in Utah, was a dry goods merchant; Amanda, who resides at Wataga, Illinois; Martha, who died young; E. P., who is a farmer near Wataga, Illinois; George, who died at the age of twenty years; F. L., who resides in Kansas City, Missouri, is a sales manager for the Dewey Portland Cement Company and Alvin L.

Alvin L. Williamson was educated in the public schools of Wataga, Illinois, and Brown & Business College at Galesburg.  Afterward he assisted his father on the home farm until he was twenty-four years old.  In the meanwhile his father and brother had become interested in the mill property at Clay Center, Kansas, and in 1901 he came here and went into the flour milling business.  The mill site was the only substantial part of the property which Alonzo Dester had formerly owned, the mill structure being in ruins.  Now the company owns a mill that has a capacity of 600 barrels of flour a day and the two dams and the great grain elevator on the Republican River, the office building being situated on Fourth and Pomeroy streets.  Modern demands are keeping the mill running at full capacity.  In addition to his milling interests Mr. Williamson owns 500 acres of farm land in Kansas and 2,000 acres in Oklahoma, also his fine residence on Lane Street, Clay Center, which he built in 1909.  He is well known in financial circles and is vice president of the First National Bank at Clay Center.  His business ability is seen in the successful carrying out of his many undertakings, and his public spirit is commended because of his determination to keep his enterprises active at this point.  Mr. Williamson is one of Clay County's most valuable men.

Mr. Williamson married at Clay Center, in 1900, Miss Lena McKee, who is a daughter of John McKee, postmaster of Clay Center and a man of political prominence Mr. and Mrs. Williamson have one daughter, Muriel, who was born June 14, 1914.  They attend the Baptist Church. In politics he is a republican.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 920.  [Contributed by Bobbie (Barb).]

Frank M. WILLIAMSON; Farmer; Cedar Township, where he was born, November 9, 1849; educated in the common schools.  His parents, James and Safrona (Bland) Williamson, were both natives of Indiana.  Mr. Williamson's father came from Sangamon County, Illinois, to Knox County in 1833.  He had nine sons.  May 28, 1874, Frank M Williamson married in Galesburg his first wife, Margaret Warren [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Francis M. Williamson marrying a Margaret Wanen in Knox County on May 28 , 1874]; they had five children: Warren, Elsie, George, Maud, and Maggie.  The first Mrs. Williamson died in 1889, and October 15, 1891, Mr. Williamson married his second wife, Nettie Goddard [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Frances M. Williamson marrying a Kittie Goddard in Warren County on October 15, 1891], in Warren County; she was a daughter of Robert Goddard.  They had two children: Ruby and Pearl.  Mr. Williamson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In politics, he is a republican, and was elected Justice of the Peace three terms; the first time was during Governor Oglesby's last term of office.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

L. O. WILLIAMSON.  Page 984.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

M. O. WILLIAMSON.  Page 983.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Story from Terry Hogan.  Picture from Jim Ferris.

Moses Ocean WilliamsonM. O. WILLIAMSON.  The M. O. stands for "Moses Ocean." He was a Swede and came to Illinois in 1850 with his parents and siblings, leaving from the Swedish seaport of Gavle (Galva, ILL. is named for Gavle) and arriving in New York harbor (pre-Ellis Island). They sailed on the Swedish bark, "Maria." I have a copy of the ship's passenger list, obtained from the National Archives in Washington D.C. The family was actually "Oloffsson" when they left Sweden. They didn't change their names to Williamson until after arriving at Wataga.

 M. O. got his name (Moses Ocean) as he was born on the ship, Maria, while it was making its way across the Atlantic. As documented in M. O's obituary, the ship's captain and his wife wanted to adopt little newborn Moses as he was the first to be born on the ship, but M. O.'s parents declined.

M. O. Williamson is moderately well know, being a former vice-president of a Galesburg bank and also a Treasurer of the State of Illinois. He was also recorded to be one of the last to see Abe Lincoln's body as it was moved from the old tomb to the present one in Springfield, Ill. M. O. Williamson is also briefly mentioned by Carl Sandburg in his book "Always the Young Stranger" which was autobiographical of Carl's early years in Galesburg (He's listed in the index to make finding easy).

 M. O. and his parents first settled on land just south of Wataga in 1850.  M. O. is a brother to Jonas Williamson who is my great great grandfather. I have published a couple of articles that talk about him and the Williamson family , as I recall, in past articles in the column entitled "Backtracking", published in the Galesburg "Zephyr" newspaper.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

See also Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, pages 763, 792

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 556.  [Contributed by Pat Thomas.]

Daniel T. Wilson is Professor of the Natural Sciences of Hedding College, Abingdon, which position he has held since the fall of 1884, previous to which he was Professor of the Higher Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the fall of 1867 to the summer of 1871.  Professor Wilson was born in Madison County, N. Y., March 28, 1836, and is the son of Hulit and Lydia (Southworth) Wilson, the former of New Jersey and of Scotch-Irish parentage, and the latter of English progenitors and New England birth.  Daniel T. Wilson, when a boy, showed keen intelligence and displayed commendable perseverance and application to his studies, and as education advantages were granted him he took first, a preparatory course at the Oneida Seminary, at Cazenovia, N. Y. and afterward a collegiate course at Evanston, Ill.  He also took a theological course in Garrett Biblical Institute, and was ordained Deacon in 1867, and in 1869 was promoted to the Eldership, holding the office of of Deacon in the Rock River Conference.  Two years prior to his ordination he served on probation, in connection with the conference spoken of, received the office of Deacon, was transferred to the Central Illinois Conference, and in 1869 received the office of Elder, as stated before.  In the fall of 1867 he was appointed to his office at Hedding College.  From 1871 to 1884, he served as pastor in various charges, and continued his connection with this conference until the fall of 1884, when he entered Hedding College in his present capacity.

In Evanston, he made the acquaintance of Martha Richardson, daughter of Rev. Samuel Richardson of McHenry County, and the two were united in marriage Sept. 27, 1866 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Daniel T. Wilson marrying a Martha W. Richardson in McHenry County on September 27, 1866].  Mrs. Wilson was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and is a lady of high mental attainments and personal attractions.  She was educated at the Woman's College of Evanston, Ill., and graduated in the class of 1865.  She was the teacher of English Literature in Hedding College, during the years 1867-68 and 1869-70.

As may be supposed, this home, made lovely by mutual respect and affection and more than ordinary endowments of mind, is an attractive spot.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have become the parents of six children, four boys and two girls:  The eldest son, George A., was born Sept. 18, 1868; Frank M., July 25, 1870; Fred T., Sept. 1, 1872; Nellie, March 23, 1876; Guy B., July 2, 1881; Halo, Sept. 10, 1883; Grace, born July 1, 1878, and died Aug. 5 ,1878; and Justina, born Dec. 6, 1879, and died 21 July 1881.

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 967.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

FRANK E. WILSON; Cashier Farmers' Bank, Yates City, Salem Township; born in Truro Township, January 12, 1868.  His father, John Wilson, was born in West Virginia, September 14, 1816, in Moorefield, Hardy County.  He removed to Green County, Ohio, and from there to Truro Township, Knox County, Illinois, in 1838, where he started in the mercantile business and farming.  From there he went to Knox Township, and settled on a farm, where he died September 6, 1893.  His wife, Mary, was born in Ohio, and is now living in Knoxville.  Frank E. Wilson married Kate M. Collins, daughter of Edward M. and Hannah Collins, in Persifer Township, October 31, 1894 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a F. E. Wilson marrying a Kate M. Collins in Knox County on October 31, 1894]; they have one child, Miriam E., born March 5, 1898.  Mr. Wilson was educated at Knoxville, and is a graduate of the Gem City Business College, Quincy, Illinois.  He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., No. 448, Yates City, and Eureka Chapter, 98, and is Secretary of both lodges.  He has been City Treasurer a number of years, and is now President of the City Board.  In politics, he is a democrat.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

DeWITT C. WINNE.  Page 684.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 717.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

John S. Winter, County Clerk, Galesburg, was born Aug. 9, 1822, at Pittsburg, Pa.  His father, John Winter, was a Baptist minister, who came from Bradford, Eng., in 1818, and settled in Pittsburg, where he lately died.  His education was obtained in the public schools of his native city, and at his home, under the tuition of his father.  When 23, he traveled west, settling in Fulton co., Ill., and establishing himself in the printing business.  After the Mormon troubles, which for so long a time had excited Illinois, he went to Nauvoo, where he edited a paper for nearly a year; he then removed to Knox co., settling in Knoxville in 1849, where he commenced the publication of the Knoxville Journal.  For a short time after his withdrawal from its management, he engaged in mercantile pursuits.  During the stirring campaign of 1856, he established the Knoxville Republican; in 1857 was elected County Clerk.  With the exception of an interval of one term he has continued in that office, and has fulfilled all its responsible duties with integrity and ability, and to the fullest acceptance of the people.  He has been an active partisan, and has obtained large influence as a leading citizen of this county, - not simply by party zeal, but by his public spirit, which has made him an energetic worker in all movements for the public weal.  In 1847 he was married to Mary M. Brewen [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a John S. Winter marrying a Mary M. Brewer in Fulton County on April 29, 1847].

From the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, page 906.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

JACOB WOLF; Farmer; born February 7, 1814, in Athens County, Ohio, where he was educated.  His parents were Jacob Wolf, of Pennsylvania, and Lydia (Dorr), of Jackson County, Ohio.  Jacob Wolf, Senior, was a tanner by trade, and after living many years in Ohio, moved to Porter County, Indiana, where he died.  The ancestry of the Wolf family is German and English.  Mr. Jacob Wolf was married in Haw Creek Township March 4, 1849, to Elizabeth Pickrel [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Jacob Wolf marrying a Elizabeth Pickerell in Knox County on March 4, 1849].  They had five children: Josephine, deceased; Mrs. Mary Pursel; John; Sarah, deceased; and Emily, who married Darius Woolsey, and was the mother of seven children.  Mr. Wolf's first occupation after moving to Illinois was that of cattle dealer.  He bought cattle in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, and drove them to eastern markets.  He was a very shrewd and capable manager, and at the time of his death owned nearly three thousand acres of land in Knox County.  He carried on an extensive farming business, but used much of his land for pasture.  He often fed five hundred head of cattle at a time.  Mr. Wolf was a republican.  He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The old Wolf homestead is now owned and managed by John Wolf, who was born January 27, 1853; he was married to Miss Delmar Harshbarger [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a John Wolf marrying a Delle Harshbarger in Knox County on October 2, 1881], a daughter of Jonathon Harshbarger.  They have three children: Ralph, Marie, and Wayne.  Mr. John Wolf owns the old homestead, and about one thousand acres of land.

(This is the family that Wolf Covered Bridge got it's name from.

Mrs. Woods, of whom we write, was born in Venango County, Pennsylvania on 29 August 1829. She has born her husband nine children, namely: James, Charles, Frances M., Tobias, Jr., Henderson, Harvey, Kate, John and Robert. Charles Woods married Josephine Roberts and they are at present residing in Nebraska: Frank H. is the name of their only son. The other members of the family are residing at home. In politics our subject is a firm adherent to the principles of the Democratic party.

Taken from a March 1939, unknown newspaper.  Rapatee, March 15.  [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

Miss Mary Catherine Woods.  Funeral Services for Miss Mary Catherine Woods, 77, who died at her home here March 9, were held in the home Sunday afternoon.....  Mary Catherine Woods, only daughter of Tobias and Mary Henderson Woods, was born May 23, 1861, in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania.  She was the seventh child of a family of nine children, all having preceded her in death.  She came to Illinois with her parents and brothers in 1867, and settled on a farm near Maquon.  In March 1892, they moved to Rapatee, where her brother took charge of the grain elevator.

From the 1886 Portrait and Biographical History of Knox county, page 433-434


Tobias Woods Only a brief summary of the lives of many of the residents of Knox County is given in these records, but they go to show their claim to genuine manhood, citizenship, and an honored place among the active workers of life. Among these none is better fitted to draw forth approbation than the subject of our sketch, whose home is situated in the thriving little village of Maquon, and who is retired from the active labors of farm life.
The parents of our subject were James and Catherine (Sarver) Woods, who were natives of Pennsylvania. The father was of Scotch-Irish and the mother of Dutch ancestry. Their family consisted of eight children, bearing the names of John, James, Fannie, Tobias, Catherine, Sarah, Mary and Joseph.
Tobias Woods was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on 27 October 1820. He remained in that place until he had attained the age of majority, when he removed to Venango County, Pennsylvania, at which place he remained until the spring of 1867. While there he engaged in different occupations, his chief business being that of an agriculturist. The spring of the year 1867 was the date of his arrival in Knox Count; he came hither with his parents' family, making settlement in Chestnut Township. He afterward rented a farm for the period of two years, subsequently purchasing 120 acres of land, on which he resided until 1882, when he made his final move to the village of Maquon. He is the owner of 117 acres of tillable land.
Mr. Woods was married to Miss Mary J. Henderson, in Venango County, Pennsylvania on 31 October 1850. She is the aimable daughter of Charles and Mary (Simcox) Henderson. The father was a native of Ireland and the mother of Pennsylvania. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Henderson consists of nine children. The records is as follows: Shadrach, Margaret, Robert, Archie, William, Johnnie, Mary J., Eleanor and Nancy.



From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 717.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

Darius WOOLSEY, farmer, was born in Ohio, June 9, '48; his parents Hezekiah and Hannah Woolsey, who were farmers in moderate circumstances; he followed in the footsteps of his father, engaging in farming and stock-raising; married Miss Emma Wolf [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Darius Woolsey marrying a Emily Wolf in Knox County on January 6, 1870]; their family now numbers 3 children.  P.O., Gilson.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 717.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

David WOOLSEY, farmer, son of Hezekiah and Hanna Woolsey, of N. Y.; was born in that State in 1828; came to Ill. in 1849; married Elizabeth Fry in 1850 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a David Woolsey marrying a Elizabeth Fry in Knox County on August 25, 1850]; Rep. in politics; has served as School Director; reared on a farm; educated in common schools, and has followed farming successfully.  P.O., Gilson

Taken from 1882 History of the State of Nebraska, by Andreas.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

G. W. WOOLSEY, merchant, Elk Creek; was born and reared in Knox County, Ill., and came to Nebraska in 1870, and settled in Johnson County in 1871.  He took up the mercantile business here, first in his line of industry, and has very successfully followed it since.  Was married in 1869 to Miss S. A. Fink, who was born in Adams County, Pa. [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a George W. Woolsey marrying a Sarah A. Fink in Knox County on August 19, 1869].  They have two sons and one daughter: Bertie W., Harry Y., and Ora G.  Mr W. served in Company D., Seventh Illinois Cavalry, from 1863 until the end of the war, when he was honorably discharged.  He has been active in the development of the social, business and political life of his locality.

Taken from 1882 History of the State of Nebraska, by Andreas.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

S. G. WRIGHT, of the firm of S. G. Wright & Co., bottom price grocery, tobacco, cigars, fruits, and oysters in season.  Formerly proprietor of the New York Restaurant, Elk Creek.  Was born in Davis County, Iowa, and removed with his people, who settled in Nebraska, in 1865, at the age of seven years.  At the age of sixteen years he engaged in the mercantile business, and has continuously followed it since.  In 1879 he was married to Miss Susie Wolsey, who was born and reared in Knox County, Ill.  They have one little girl, Paulina J.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 717.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

THOMAS S. WYCKOFF, son of John and Temperance (Shanon) Wyckoff of Pa.; was born in Ohio on Sept. 14, 1828; has traveled west considerably and seen much of frontier life; has been City Marshal of Abingdon, and School Director; was married Feb. 9, 1849 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Thomas L. Wyckoff marrying a Rheuann Parry in Fulton County on February 8, 1849]; in politics a Dem.  P.O., Abingdon.

From the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois published by Charles C. Chapman, page 717.  [Contributed by Joan Achille.]

J. F. WYKOFF, farmer, sec. 36, Rio township.  P.O., Ontario.