The following Biographies have been extracted
from the following sources:
and Biographical History of DeWitt & Piatt
CHICAGO: Chapman Bros. 1891
PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in one
of these names,
please contact me and I will try to put it on
here ahead of the others that are not done yet.
Sharon Wick, Piatt County Host
ADAMS, Madison A.
ADKINS, Benjamin F.
ALLMAN, James L.
AMIDON, Joseph P.
ANDERSON, William J.
ATER, Aaron H.
ATER, Thomas J.
AYRE, Richard T.
BAKER, Isaac *
BENDER, John A.
BENDER, Samuel H.
BENSON, Robert H.
BODMAN, Joseph, Hon.
BODMAN, Sereno K.
BOND, Daniel S. *
BONDURANT, Thomas D.
BOOHER, Jasper C.
BORTON, Albert R.
BOWDLE, James W.
BOWDLE, William H.
BRAUCHER, Isaac C.
BRIDGES, Charles H.
BRIGGS, Charles L.
BRITTON, William J.
BROWN, George L.
BROWN, James R.
BROWN, Julius A., Hon.
BROYLES, William H.
BRYANT, Francis E., Hon.
BUNYAN, George W.
BURGESS, Gilbert A.
BURGESS, Grow L.
BURNS, John H.
BUSICK, Samuel L.
of PIATT COUNTY BIOGRAPHIES
A. Adams. None are more worthy of mention in a
biographical album than the men who have begun the battle of life at
an early period, unarmed for the contest but by their native wit,
determined spirit and bodily vigor. One of this class is
Madison A. Adams, who now owns one of the best regulated farms
in Piatt County. It consists of one hundred and ninety acres
on sections 10 and 14, Willow Branch Township, which is made
remunerative by careful and intelligent cultivation, and has been
supplied with all needful structures and many improvements both
useful and beautiful.
The parents of Mr. Adams were native of Kentucky
and Ohio, respectively, and bore the names of Jacob and Sidney (Eaches)
Adams. The paternal ancestors were Scotch and the mother's
family was of German extraction. The good couple were living
in Madison County, Ohio, when the son of whom we write, was born
February 25, 1843. He was but three years old when the parents
removed to this State and after a short residence in Piatt County,
settled in Macon County, one and a half miles west of the village of
Cerro Gordo. There the father died in 1853 and the mother in
1856. They were the parents of seven children, of whom five
are now living. Our subject is the second in point of age of
these, the others being Hamilton E., who lives in Cerro Gordo
Township, Piatt County; Eli C., a resident of Moultrie
County; Calvin W., whose home is in Cincinnati, Ohio; and
Sarah J. wife of Daniel Butler, of Cerro Gordo Township.
After his father's death young Adams was thrown
entirely upon his own resources, he being at that time about twelve
years old. He came to Piatt County and for a number of years
was employed as a farm hand, receiving on an average about $12.50
per month. He attended school during the winter, working hard
during the other seasons in order that he might obtain such an
education as the public schools offered advantages for, and with the
energy that has characterized him through life, pursuing an
undeviating course. He has continued to give his attention to
farming and as early as 1866 began to improve his present farm. It
was at that time practically a swamp, but by wise drainage and
proper cultivation is now one of the best and most productive tracts
in the neighborhood. The fine residence was built in 1884,
replacing a much less convenient and attractive dwelling, which had
been the seat of happy home life, notwithstanding its deficiencies.
At the bride's home February 14, 1876, Mr. Ames
was marred to Miss Mary Zellers, who was born in Piatt County
May 16, 1854, and is a daughter of the late John and Mary Zellers.
Her parents, who are natives of Germany, are numbered among the
early settlers of Cerro Gordo Township. The widowed mother is
now living in Kansas. Mrs. Adams has a brother,
Michael, living in Missouri, but the other child in the parental
family is deceased. The record of the children born to our
subject and his good wife is as follows: Eli O., born
November 12, 1876; Calvin W., October 23, 1879; Olive E.,
Sept. 24, 1881; Mary S., Nov. 25, 1885.
Although we cannot give the details of the experience
of Mr. Adams, anyone having a knowledge of the world will
readily see that he must have endured some hardships in his struggle
for existence and that he must have been accustomed to self denial
in his youth. That he has been successful as an agriculturist
his handsome rural home attests and that he is deserving of that
grateful remembrance of all who rejoice in the improved condition of
Piatt County, goes without saying. He has endeavored to act
the part of a good citizen, not only in his law abiding conduct, but
in his sympathy with and aid in the various movements promulgated
for the public good. He has served as School Director, and
gives his political influence to Republican principles.
We would do but scant justice to Mr. Adams did
we not speak of his war record, which is an honorable one,
creditable alike to his patriotism and his gallantry. He
enlisted in July, 1862, in Company E, Seventy-second Illinois
Infantry, and during his army life was under the command at various
times of Gens. Smith, McPherson and Grant. He
took part in some of the most noted battles of the war, among them:
Champion Hills, Vicksburg, Franklin, Mobile, Nashville, and Spanish
Fort. He also participated in minor engagements and bore his
share of the more monotonous but equally hazardous duties of camp
and campaign life. He was honorably discharged August 5, 1865,
and in remembrance of the years spent at the front is now a member
of the Grand Army Post at Cerro Gordo.
from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History
of Piatt County - Vol. II - 1917 - pg. 703)
a pioneer of Piatt County, is distinguished in its history as one of
the first settlers of Cerro Gordo Township, with which he has been
closely identified as one of hits most intelligent farmer since the
early days of its settlement. He is a native of Harrison
County, Ky., born September 13, 1818, and a son of Angelo and
Elizabeth (Killem) Adams. His parents are supposed to have
been natives of Maryland and early settlers of Kentucky. One
of his brothers, named Isaac, is said to have been a soldier
in the War of 1812. His father and mother had nine children,
of whom he is the sole survivor. His maternal
great-grandmother was of Irish birth.
When Mr. Adams was about two or three years old
his parents left their Kentucky home for another one amid the
primitive wilds of Ohio. The family resided several years in
Greene County, whence they removed to Madison County, in the same
State, six years later. The mother had previously died in
Greene County, when our subject was a mere child. The father
spent his last years in Madison County, and there our subject was
reared and educated in its early subscription schools. The
school that he attended was built of logs, and a puncheon floor and
was a rude structure in general.
In the fall of 1839, animated by the spirit that had
impelled his forefathers to push forward into newly-settled
countries, our subject became a pioneer of this portion of Illinois.
For some years after he came here he carried on farming on rented
land, but in 1849 he purchased his present farm, on which he has
since resided for a period of more than forty years. He was
one of the first pioneers to locate in this vicinity, and purchased
his land, which then comprised a tract of forty acres, directly from
the Government, paying therefore $1.25 per acres. He had many
hardships to endure, many sacrifices to make, and much hard work to
do before he evolved his now finely improved farm from the wilds of
nature. He is now the possessor of one hundred and
ninety-three acres of land, which is in a fine condition and forms
one of the choicest farms in this neighborhood. When he came
to Illinois he made the journey on horseback and his only
possessions were a horse, a saddle and bridle and $40 in money.
From this small capital he has acquired a goodly competence and is
to-day numbered among the substantial men of his township.
Mr. Adams' first marriage, which took place
October 9, 1845, was with Sarah J. Peck, a daughter of
Adonijah and Mary Peck, of whom further mention is made on
another page of this work. By that union he became the father
of four children, of whom two are living - Angelo, in Willow
Branch Township, and David S., also a resident of that
township. Those deceased are Mary E. and one who died
in infancy. Our subject was a second time married, April 7,
1868. Miss Rebecca Johnston becoming his wife.
She was born in Ashe County, N. C., March 11, 1844. She is a
daughter of John and Sarah (Sapp) Johnston, who were also
natives of North Carolina. In 1860 she removed with her
parents from her native State to Kentucky, and from there to Ohio in
1864. Subsequently they spent three years in Henry County,
Ind., whence they came to Illinois in 1867 and settled in Macon
County, where the mother died in the year 1871. The father
departed this life in Jackson County, Ore., in 1887. These
worthy people were the parents of nine children, of whom the
following are living: Francis, a resident of Mitchell
County, N. C.; Samuel, who resides in Kansas City, Mo.;
Martha, wife of William Carver, of Cass County,
Mo.; Aaron, a resident of Beardstown, Ill.; Jesse, living in
Idaho; and Sarah, wife of William Huggin, of
The biographer found Mr. Adams to be an
intelligent, well-informed gentleman, of a social disposition,
who conversed interestingly of his pioneer life and gave many
important facts in reference to the early history of the pioneers of
Piatt County which are worthy of preservation. Mr.
Adams is justly esteemed by the large circle of friends that he
has gathered around him during his residence of more than fifty
years in this county, with whose history he has been connected from
its early settlement and in whose upbuilding he has been no
unimportant agent. He and his amiable wife are doing all in
their power to forward the cause of religion in their community, and
their names are associated with many deeds of kindness and charity.
He is identified with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, while she
is a member of the Christian Church at Cerro Gordo. H is sound
in politics and is a faithful adherent of the Democratic party.
He served at one time as road Commissioner of Cerro Gordo Township
for a number of years, and has also been School Director.
F. Adkins. The life of a farmer, particularly if
one takes possession of an undeveloped tract of land, calls forth
the vigor of body and powers of mind in a degree that would be
surprising to one who is acquainted with rural life. The man
who can make a success of tilling the soil must be ready to take
advantage of the variations in soil and climate and must therefore
be keenly observant regarding the results of drainage, rotation of
crops and methods of cultivation. It is by reason of industry
and intelligence on the part of her agriculturists that Piatt County
has reached its present state of development and productiveness and
those who have aided in this work are deserving of grateful
remembrance. Among those who in Monticello Township have for
some years been advancing the interests of the county is Benjamin
F. Adkins who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section
The natal day of our subject was
September 3, 1832, and his birthplace Pickaway County, Ohio.
His parents were early settlers there and he was reared amid the
scenes of a somewhat primitive nature and enjoyed only the
educational advantages afforded by the subscription schools.
His parents Reuben and Martha (Hill) Adkins, were natives of
Maryland and both were of English descent. In 1854 our subject
came to Piatt County for the purpose of buying cattle for the New
York market, working in the interest of another party. This
section was still the haunt of deer and other animals but seemed to
Mr. Adkins to present opportunities that made it a desirable
place in which to locate. He therefore was ere long numbered
among the agriculturists of the county and labored with them until
the breaking out of the Civil War, when he felt that it was his duty
to aid in preserving the Union.
The enrollment of Mr. Adkins in Company C, One
Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, took place August 13, 1862,
and he became an integral part of the Army of the Ohio. He
enlisted as Duty Sergeant and served as such during the three years
in which he bore a part in war's alarms. Mr. Adkins
took part in the siege of Knoxville, was with Sherman in the
Atlanta campaign and participated in the battle of Jonesboro.
He was then sent back with Gen. Thomas to aid in the
operations against Hood and fought at Franklin and Nashville.
The command of which he formed a part then rejoined Sherman
at Goldsboro, N. C., and Mr. Adkins, ere long participated in
Grand Review at Washington. He received an honorable discharge
in June, 1865, and returning to his former home in this State laid
aside the arms that he had so worthily borne and again took up the
peaceful implements of agricultural life.
In December, 1860, Mr. Adkins was united in
marriage with Mrs. Nancy Harris, widow of Charles Harris
and a daughter of Caleb and Sally Jones. Mrs. Adkins
was born in Owen County, Ky., on the 22d of December, 1822, and
after her marriage to Mr. Harris came to Piatt County, the
removal taking place sometime in the '40s. They took
possession of a tract of land consisting of one hundred and three
acres that had been entered by Mr. Harris and is now the home
of our subject. Mr. Harris died here in 1858. He
was the father of eight children, of whom the living are Martha,
William, Fanny, Charles E., Benjamin F. and James.
Martha is the wife of L. Patterson and Fanny is now
The commemoration of his connection
with the Union forces Mr. Adkins is a member of Franklin
Post, No. 236 G. A. R., at Monticello. When the ballot box is
open he is always to be found depositing a Republican ticket.
He has served creditably as Township Road Commissioner, but he is
not one of those who are continually seeking office. He
endeavors to promote the good of his fellowmen by his good
citizenship and interest in that which is progressive, and with his
wife stands well in the community.
Alexander. Piatt County was well represented in the
late war by a brave and patriotic citizen soldiery, who won a
distinguished military record on many a hard fought battlefield.
Our Subject was one of these. He has since won a high
reputation as a farmer and stock-raiser and is prominent among the
men of his class in Willow Branch Township, where he has a large and
well-equipped farm. He is a native of Pennsylvania, the place
of his birth in Lancaster County and the date May 12, 1831.
Samuel and Prudence (Good) Alexander, also natives of
Pennsylvania, were his parents.
Our subject passed his early life in his native State,
gaining a knowledge of farming on his father's farm, and his
education in the subscription schools of that time. In 1853 he
came to Illinois and for a number of years was a resident of Macon
County. After the Civil War broke out he threw aside his work
to take part in the great conflict, enlisting in Company D, One
Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, which became a part of the
Army of the West. Our subject saw much hard fighting and gave
evidence of true courage and fortitude in the many hardships that
befell him during his experience as a soldier. He faced the
enemy at Arkansas Post, and was in the front at Vicksburg, where he
was captured by the rebels. He was confined in various
Southern prisons, including Libby, and underwent many sufferings and
privations before he was finally released.
After he left the army Mr. Alexander came to
Macon County again, and from there to Piatt County in 1869, and
settled on his present farm. He is the fortunate proprietor of
four hundred and eighty acres of land, a part of which lies on
section 12, Willow Branch Township, and one hundred sixty acres of
it is in Macon County. Here he and his wife, who has worked
faithfully by his side have built up a home that is replete with
every needed comfort and is the center of a generous hospitality.
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander were united in marriage
February 17, 1860. Of their present wedded life one son,
William L. has been born, June 6, 1862, being the date of his
birth. Mrs. Alexander was formerly Elizabeth A.
Howell, and she was born in Vermilion County, Ind., May 7m 1837.
She is a daughter of the late Leonard and Mary A. (Harrison)
Howell, natives respectively of Monroe County, Ohio, and
Wheeling, W. Va., the father of English descent and the mother of
mingled Scotch and French ancestry. Both the paternal and
maternal grandfathers of Mrs. Alexander were soldiers in the
War of 1812. Of the eight children born to her parents six
survive, namely: Mrs. Alexander; Thomas L., a resident of
Kansas; William I., who lives hear Keokuk, Iowa; Julie E.,
wife of William Nye; Samuel L., a resident of Clarke County,
Mo.; and Charles A., who also lives in that county.
John H. and Henry A. are the names of the children who
Mr. Alexander started out in life with no other
capital than a sound, well-balanced mind and strong muscles, but by
the use of these he has accumulated a handsome property and is
to-day in comfortable circumstances. In his political views he
is a decided Republican. We always find him ready and willing
to contribute to all the schemes for the advancement of township and
county and he enjoys the friendship of many who appreciate the
genuine worth of his character. He and his wife are sincere
Christians and church members, she being identified with the
Christian Church, and he with the Methodist Episcopal.
|Joseph P. Amidon,
a resident of Bement is associated with the agricultural interests
of Piatt County, and is carrying on an active business as the
proprietor of various machines used in farming, which he operates
for the benefit of the farmers of this section of the country.
Mr. Amidon is a native of Rensselaer County, N. Y., where he was
born July 16, 1848. He is a son of Joseph P. and Wealthy A.
(Wright) Amidon. His father is still living. His mother
died at Newton, Kan. When he was four years old his parents
came from their old home to Grundy County, this State, whence they
removed to Boone County two years later. They lived there four
years and then came to Piatt County, and cast in their lot among its
pioneers. Here our subject grew to a stalwart manhood and has
ever since made his home here. He was reared on a farm and
under the instruction of his father gained a good practical
knowledge of agriculture. In 1880 he left the farm and
established himself in his present business which consists in the
operation of a threshing machine, clover huller, a corn sheller and
a hay and straw baling machine. He has two traction engines,
two separators, a Birdsell clover huller, one Western sheller, one
Keystone Sheller, and one hay press. Mr. Amidon employs from
two to eight men the year around and his services are in great
demand among the farmers in all directions.
The marriage of Mr. Amidon with Miss Julia Eldred was
celebrated in this county January 1, 1876. Mrs. Amidon is a
native of Washington county, N. Y., born November 23, 1851.
She has been to our subject all that is implied in the term of a
true wife, and she is to their children a wise and tender mother.
She is a daughter of Hiram and Harriet (Goddnough) Eldred. Her
mother died at White Creek, Washington County, N. Y. Her
father is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Amidon have lost
one child who died in infancy. The names of their five
remaining children are Nellie M., Hattie L., Frank H., Fred J. and
Cora B. These children are being carefully trained in good
principles and to useful lives.
Our subject is well-known in his community as a man who
is alive to its every interest and who is zealous in promoting all
good causes. He is a man of exemplary habits, is exceedingly
temperate and is active among the Prohibitionists. He and his
estimable wife are among the foremost members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church of which he has been Steward for fifteen years and
he has also served it faithfully as a Class-Leader. He is
deeply interested in the Sunday school and has been its
Among the native born citizens of Piatt County who deserve
honorable mention in the volume of this nature is Edward Ater, who
lives on section23, Willow Branch Township. He owns one
hundred and sixty acres of fertile land, clear of incumbrance and so
improved as to make a comfortable home. He is pursuing a
career that has already brought him a good degree of financial
success and which him a good degree of financial success and which
promises greater prosperity as years advance.
The natal day of Mr. Ater was December 31, 1858, and
his parents were Solomon and Martha Ann (Fisher) Ater. Their
family consisted of six children of whom the only survivors are
Anne, wife of Nathan E. Webb, living in Colorado; Elizabeth, wife of
F. M. Clow who home is in Piatt County; and Alice, who married Jacob
Wiggins, also of Piatt County. The deceased are Willis and
David. Solomon Ater came hither in 1827 and settled on raw
prairie and unbroken timberland, to clear, cultivate and improve
which required energy, strength and persistence. Trials and
privations did not deter him from his efforts, and he reaped a due
reward in the course of time, becoming the owner of a valuable
estate ere death took him Feb. 13, 1871, at the age of fifty-two
years, four months and three days. Although his education was
but moderate, Mr. Ater was a man of general intelligence, and proved
useful in society, it being acknowledged that in his demise, the
county lost one of her best citizens. In politics he was a
Democrat. The mother of our subject died Mar. 17, 1863, when
only thirty-three years, four months and five days old. The
second wife survives - she also being one of the early settlers
Edward Ater lost his mother when quite young, and his
father when but twelve years old. He obtained his education in
the public schools, not having the advantage of higher training, but
uses well the knowledge he has and adds and adds to it by
observation and experience year by year. He has been a
life-long farmer, and while young in years is old in understanding
of his chosen work. We should do injustice to him and his
chosen companion should we neglect to speak of his happy home.
At the head of the household economy is a genial, enterprising and
well-informed woman who bore the maiden name of Amanda Miner.
She is a daughter of Ira and Mary (Bruffett) Miner, of Piatt County,
and was wedded to Mr. Ater February 22, 1888. The union has
been blessed by the birth of a bright son, Warren, born June 13,
Following the example set before him by an honored
father, Mr. Ater is a Democrat in politics and a man of public
spirit and business energy. In connection with farming he
carries on stockraising to a considerable extent and for so young a
man has made a fine record of financial success. He has the
confidence of the business community as he has the respect of the
social world, and it affords the biographical writer pleasure to
represent him in this Album, assured that his friends will be
gratified with even a brief account of his life.
The recollections of this gentleman, who came to Piatt County soon
after he entered his teens, include a considerable degree of
Progress in the appearance and civilization of this section of the
great Prairie State. Beginning his labors here as an assistant
to his father in a sparsely settled part of the county, he knows
something of the work needed in order to reclaim a raw prairie and
fit it for the habitation of civilized men. Willow Branch
Township, in which his father located, was a mixture of swamp and
rolling prairie, and Mr. Ater on more than one occasion "chased the
red deer" close to where Bement now rears her towers and roofs.
The natal day of Mr. Ater and October 17, 1837, and his
birthplace Ross County, Ohio, whence he came to the Prairie State
with his parents in 1851. James and Sabina (Thomas)
Ater had a
large family, those now living being Jane, wife of Jeremiah
whose home is in Monticello; Martha, wife of Benjamin
Willow Branch Township; Frank, a resident of Cerro Gordo; Thomas the
subject of this notice; John S., now of Cerro Gordo; Mary A., wife
of J. P. Ownby; Elizabeth, wife of James T. Vent; Charity, wife of
John Smith; and Aaron, whose sketch will be found on another page in
this ALBUM. Our subject grew to manhood under the parental
roof, and in his earlier years broke prairie with oxen and performed
other kinds of pioneer work. Among the scenes of the early
days that are still fresh in his memory is that of corn being burned
in the shock in order to make room for another crop.
Mr. Ater received his education in the common schools
of Ohio and Illinois and of course had not the advantages afforded
in the public school of today. The privileges, however, were
sufficient to give to any studious lad a practical knowledge of the
important branches of information, and those who, like Mr. Ater,
desired to do so could easily continue their education by
self-effort, having a good foundation on which to build. He is
the owner and occupant of one hundred and sixty-six acres of land on
section 7, of the township before mentioned, the greater part of the
estate being under excellent cultivation.
In politics Mr. Ater is a sound Democrat.
Financially speaking he is meeting with success, and he enjoys the
confidence of the business community by whom his word is considered
as good as his bond. He is an intelligent, enterprising, jolly
bachelor, public-spirited and interested in that which will tend to
the elevation of society. A lithographic portrait of Mr. Ater
will be notice in connection with this brief biographical review.
J. Ater, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, is
the representative of a pioneer family of Piatt County, and
following in the footsteps of those who preceded him, he is devoting
his time and attention chiefly to agricultural pursuits. His
residence is in Willow Branch Township on section 30, and was the
first brick house erected in the township. It was put up by
his grandfather, Thomas Ater, who was one of the earliest
settlers in the county, and whose death some time in the '50s
removed from this community a valued member. The year that
witnessed his death and marked also by that of his son Willis,
father of our subject, who having accompanied his parent hither from
Ohio, had labored with him in advancing the agricultural interests
of this region and elevating the status of civilization.
Willis Ater married Nancy Fister and to
them were born two children - Thomas J. and to them were born
two children - Thomas J., and John, the former
being the sole living representative of the family. His birth
took place October 29, 1845, and his boyhood and youth were passed
amid the primitive scenes connected with the early settlement of
this county. He has given his attention principally to
farming, although at one time he purchased and shipped stock, and is
still considerably interested in raising domestic animals. His
early education was acquired in the rude log building with puncheon
floor and seats made of split logs, but at a later date he had
somewhat better privileges, as the public school system had been
instituted and better buildings erected. Like others born and
reared where civilization was not yet much advanced, he has by
self-effort added largely to the information received in the
Mr. Ater was married October 2, 1882, to
Elizabeth Hott, daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Fisher) Hott,
who were early settlers in Piatt County, of which their daughter is
a native. Mr. Hott is now deceased, but Mrs. Hott
survives at a goodly age. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Ater
is brightened by the presence of two daughters - Ethel, born
July 29, 1884, and Elma, born November 2, 1886. Mr.
Ater has made the most of his property, and a visitor to his
home will observe that the four hundred and thirty acres which
comprise his estate and made useful and beautiful in every part, and
supplied with a full line of necessary and convenient farm
structures. It will need but a glance to assure the stranger
that the household affairs are controlled by a lady of good taste
and housewifely skill, and that both husband and wife endeavor to
make good use of the means at their command.
Mr. Ater has served as Township Clerk Collector
and Assessor, discharging his duties with credit, particularly those
of Clerk, which office he held for a number of years. He
belongs to the Odd Fellow's Lodge at Cisco, has filled the various
Chairs therein, and in 1876 represented it in the State Grand Lodge
in session at Jacksonville. His political sympathy and
influence are given to the Democratic party and he takes an active
interest in the local work. Personally, he is of social and
entertaining disposition, manifesting in conversation a lively
interest in the leading topics of the day, whether political,
financial or social. He is well known throughout the township,
has the reputation of a man of strict integrity, and enjoys the
friendship of a large number of his fellow-citizens.
Baird is numbered among the
agriculturists of Piatt County and is pursuing an honorable career
on section 11, Unity Township. He is the owner of a good
estate, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, which he has
improved and from which he derives a very satisfactory income.
The fields of waving grain are a beautiful sight when stirred by the
soft summer wind and the sounds of busy life are music in the ear.
The parents of our subject were Thomas and Eliza (Carter) Baird,
natives of Pennsylvania, the former of whom is still living.
The mother died in Wyandot County, Ohio, some years since.
Besides our subject their family included Ellis, whose biography
occupies another page in this Album1,
and Francis Baird, who now lives in Piatt County, and James A., who
died two years ago in Ohio.
In Newville, Richland County, Ohio, August 14, 1839,
the eyes of John Baird opened to the light. During his early
childhood his parents removed to Wyandot County, where he grew to a
man's estate and continued to live until 1868. He then turned
his footsteps westward and reaching Douglas County this State, made
that his home for a year, after which he came to Piatt County.
Since his arrival here he has spent three years in Cerro Gordo
Township, but with that exception has been a resident of Unity
Township. He was engaged in the lumber business during a
period of nine years, but aside from that has devoted his time and
strength to the calling of a farmer.
The lady who presides in the home of our subject and to
whose efficient management its comfort is due, bore the maiden name
of Eliza A. Anderson. She was born in Vigo County, Ind., March
13, 1854, being a daughter of James and Kate (Duddleston) Anderson.
Her father died at her birthplace, but her mother is still living.
The marriage of Mr. Baird and Miss Anderson and solemnized in the
township in which they are now living on December 23, 1869.
They have become the parents of eight children - Mattie, William
Eliza A., Katie B., John T., Marion, Mary Maud and a son who died
unnamed. The first-born also died in early infancy and Marion
when about a year old.
Mr. Baird has been School Director and Trustee, serving
in the former capacity some ten years. He is firmly convinced
of the justice of Democratic principles and theories and never fails
to support them with his vote at the proper time with his influence
whenever and wherever it can be exerted. He is a man of
intelligence, industry and good character, and as such receives his
due measure of respect.
Baker, a native of Coles county,
born 1831, came to Piatt county in 1849. He first lived on Mr. Simon Shonkwiler's
place, and next where Mr. Joe. Baker now lives. He
married Miss Huldah Quick and moved onto the farm where he now
lives. He owns 248 acres, upon which he has planted 160 orchard
trees. Mrs. Baker died in 1875, having had six children, five of
whom are living, John Franklin, Alice Matilda,
Martha, Benjamin L.
and Naomi. Mr. Baker has been assessor, collector, road commissioner
and school director.
|Mr. J. H. Baker,
a farmer of Unity township, began his earthly existence August 29,
1833, in Coles county, Illinois. His father died about 1830, and his
mother married Mr. Tyre Hayes, and about 1849 moved to Piatt county.
Mr. Baker's sister Martha married Mr. James
Drew, a native of
Hamilton county, and who settled on land he now owns just over Piatt
county's southern line, in 1839. Mr. Drew has owned some 120 acres
in Piatt county. He remembers when there was scarce a house between
his place and Monticello. He has furnished some interesting items
relating to the settling of the southeastern part of Unity township.
Mr. Baker's mother had five children by her last marriage, only one
of whom, Eliza Hays, wife of Rich. Hultz, is living. Three of her
sons were triplets, all of whom were in the late war. John F. died
of small-pox in Missouri. The others returned from the army. Mark
died here, and Andrew went to California and died there. Mrs. Hays
died about 1859. Mr. J. H. Baker married Sarah Harshbarger, April
12, 1860. Six children have blessed their union, five of whom are
living. Florence and husband, Jno. McKinney, live in Douglas county;
Daniel Leslie, John, Wesley, Barbara
Ellen and Cordelia are all at
home. Mr. Baker moved onto his present place about 1855. He owns
eighty acres, upon which he ahs put most of the improvements. There
was abut a log cabin on it when he was married. Now (1881) he is
building a fine ten-room frame residence; has an east front, and
will soon be one of the most beautiful residences in all the country
about. Mr. Baker has been road commissioner, and formerly belonged
to the Masonic lodge.
Barritt, hotel keeper in Atwood, is of German and
Irish descent and is a native of Kentucky. He moved from there to
Coles county, Illinois, and then to Piatt county, in 1856. He moved
at Atwood and opened a hotel there in 1876. He was married in 1825,
to Elizabeth Reese, of Kentucky, who is still living. They have had
eight children, five of whom are living. Sarah J. married Nathaniel
Shonkwiler, and lives at Atwood. David married Lydia Ann Shelby, and
lives in the hotel; they had one child, Tadie E., who is the wife of
Tho. D. Smith and lives in Atwood. Margaret married Jas. Browning
and lives in Moultrie county. Peter married Belle Mullen and lives
in Moultrie county. Isaac married Mary Shonkwiler and has four
children, Emma, Nathaniel, John and Elizabeth.
Blackwell, farmer, native
of Kentucky, his parents' native state, was married in 1853, to
Margaret Dills, a native of Kentucky. They moved Kentucky to Clay
county, Illinois, and from there to Fayette county, and in 1872
settled in Piatt county. He bought his present home in 1875 and now
owns about 160 acres. He has been successful as a farmer and his
neighbors testify to his worth and honor as a gentleman. Mr. Joel
Blackwell married Clara Metzger, and they with their two children
live in Edgar county. Martha E. married Harry Metzger, a farmer in
Bement township, and has one child, Jno. Thomas. Mary, the wife of
William Anderson, lives near Hammond. The names of the other
children are Minerva T., Benjamin, Nancy Ann, Jno. William and Alta
Florence. Mr. Blackwell went to the army from Kentucky, and was in
the state service. They had to come to Illinois to organize to keep
from being pressed into the rebel service. He served about two
Bondurant. From a humble financial position
Thomas E. Bondurant has steadily and persistently worked his way
upward until he is today accounted one of the most extensive
landowners of Illinois. There is in his life history much that
is worthy of emulation, his record being such as any man might be
proud to possess. He has worked diligently and perserveringly,
guiding his efforts by sound judgment, and the reward of honest
toil today his. He has never incurred an obligation that he
has not fulfilled, nor taken advantage of the necessities of his
fellow men in a business transaction, but has placed his dependence
upon energy and unremitting industry. Thus it is that Thomas
E. Bondurant stands today among the wealthy and honored residents of
Piatt county, his home being in DeLand.
He is one of Illinois' native sons, his birth occurring
in Sangamon county, on the 29th of December, 1831. The
Bondurant family is of Huguenot extraction, and was founded in
America by representatives of that sect, who fled to the New World
to escape religious persecution. Joseph and Martha
the parents of our subject, were both southern people, the former a
native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. In the year
1825 the father removed to Sangamon county, Illinois, accompanied by
his wife and three children. Establishing his home there, he
continued to carry on farming and stock-raising until his death.
He was one of the honored pioneer settlers of the locality and aided
in the early development and improvement of the county, while at the
same time he carried on his farm work in its various departments and
thus gained a comfortable living for his family. Unto Mr. and
Mrs. Bondurant were born eleven children, of whom our subject was
the fifth in order of birth. Four of the number are yet
living, and a sister, Mary E., now acts as a housekeeper for her
On the old family homestead amid the wild scenes of
pioneer life Thomas E. Bondurant was reared. He can remember
central Illinois when the homes were widely scattered and when the
prairies were largely covered with the native grasses, the land
having never been placed under the plow. He pursued his early
education in an old log building, wherein school was conducted on
the subscription plan, and yet today Illinois has a school system
unsurpassed in the Union. His educational advantages in his
youth were quite limited, but later he attended the Walnut Grove
Academy, at Eureka, Illinois, spending three months there after he
had attained his majority. In his youth he became familiar
with all the experiences of pioneer life, and the hardships incident
to the arduous task of developing a new farm. He broke prairie
with an ox-team, thus preparing hundreds of acres for cultivation.
His father having the contract to put in ties on the Wabash
Railroad, Thomas E. Bondurant began working for him for two dollars
per day and board, acting as foreman. This was in 1855.
After the contract has been executed Mr. Bondurant continued to
break prairie through the summer months, turning the first furrows
on many tracts which are now fertile fields. In the meantime
he had entered from the government two hundred and ninety-three
acres of land in Piatt county, at fifty cents per acre this being
the nucleus of his present extensive landed possessions. In
the winter of 1858 he took a contract at Sangamon Station, east of
Decatur, Illinois, to supply cord wood to the Wabash Railroad, and
this work occupied his time and attention for a few months, after
which he returned to his farm in Goose Creek township, Piatt county.
As he has found opportunity he has added to his original landed
interests until he is now the owner of fourteen hundred acres in
Piatt county, twenty-six hundred and eighty-two acres in Kankakee
county and eight hundred acres in Kansas. He is a man of keen
business discernment, and his sound judgment has never been at fault
in making investments. He has placed his money in the safest
of all investments - real estate - and today his holdings make him
one of the wealthy men of central Illinois. He well merits
this success, for it has come entirely through his own efforts and
his business methods have ever been such as will bear the closest
investigation and scrutiny. All the institution during the
earlier period of through the years Mr. Bondurant carried on general
farming, annually harvesting large crops, and he has also made a
specialty of raising and handling beef cattle, horses and hogs.
He has always given his personal supervision to the operation of his
various properties, keeping thoroughly in touch with the work done
on each, and the condition of the farm and has a wonderful capacity
for business regarding no detail to unimportant to claim his
attention if it has bearing upon the work and its ultimate outcome.
In 1900 the First National Bank of DeLand was established with a
capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars, and Mr. Bondurant
became its first president. The success of its existence was
largely attributable to his efforts and his sound judgment, and he
remained as president until 1902, when he resigned on account of
Mr. Bondurant is a member of the Christian church of DeLand and since its organization he has served as one of its
elders. In the work of the church he has always taken an
active and helpful interest, and has contributed generously to its
support. For the past eight years Mr. Bondurant has been a
member of the board of trustees of Eureka College, of Eureka,
Illinois. At the time of the formation of the Republican party
he became one of its supporters and has sine followed its banner,
and during the Civil war he was a stanch Union man. For seven
years he has served as county supervisor, but has felt that his
business makes too great demands upon his time and attention to
allow him to seek public office. In 1882 he built his present
home, which is one of the finest in Piatt county. He has his
own sewerage system and electric light plant, a hot water system of
heating, and hot and cold water throughout his house. The
residence is also tastefully, comfortably and richly furnished, and
the interior decorations are in keeping with the exterior
adornments, for the house is surrounded by a beautiful lawn, always
kept in the finest condition, and the home of Mr. Bondurant is a
credit to the county. He has seen many changes in this portion
of the state, advancement and progress being manifest in all lines
of life, and he has kept pace with the universal improvement.
A self-made man, without any extraordinary family or pecuniary
advantages at the outset of his career, he has battled earnestly and
energetically, and by indomitable courage and integrity has achieved
both character and fortune. By sheer force of will and
untiring effort he has worked his way upward and is today numbered
among the leading business men of Piatt county.
|Mr. Jas. Bowls
(deceased) was a native of Pennsylvania, from which state
he moved to Ohio and then to Illinois, settling in Piatt county in
1856. He had nine children, two of whom are living. Margaret became
the wife of Wm. Thompson, who died leaving five children. Of these
Rebecca married Mr. Frank True, and the names of the other children
are John J., Geo. W., Wm. W. and Rachel, James A. Bowls married
Lucy Brown, has four children, Chas., Jno.,
Jas. and a baby, and lives in
Unity township. Jno. W. Bowls died in the army. One grandson, Marion
W., lives with Mrs. Bowls in Bement.
Bridges. Probably the leading place among the
mercantile establishments of Bement, Piatt County, is occupied by
that of Bridges & McDaniels. The senior member of the firm has
been established here for nearly a decade and has worked up a fine
business, in which he has been ably seconded by the partner whom he
received a few years since. A favorably located storeroom is
fitted up in good shape and its shelves are loaded with
well-selected goods, so assorted as to include whatever is most
necessary in the household and most pleasing to the tastes of the
Mr. Bridges was born near Chatham, Sangamon County,
January 27, 1837, and was reared to manhood on a farm. About
the time he entered his teens father changed his place of residence
to Pawnee Township, but still continued his agricultural pursuits,
with which the son early became familiar. Our subject
continued to reside there until the fall of 1876, being engage in
farming until the last year of his residence, during which he
carried on a grocery store in the village of Pawnee. At the
date mentioned he removed to Niantic, Macon County, and established
a mercantile business which he prosecuted there about three years.
Selling out he removed to Illiopolis, where for almost a decade he
was similarly engaged.
We next find Mr. Bridges of Moweaqua, still engaged in
commercial transactions, but after a few years making another
"change of base" and in June, 1882, establishing himself in Bement.
In 1885 he formed a partnership with Thomas L. McDaniels and under
the firm name of McDaniels & Bridges a mercantile establishment is
carried on at Lovington. The year after the connection was
formed, the two gentlemen made a still closer association and under
the firm name of Bridges & McDaniels continued the enterprise that
had been begun by our subject in Bement. Mr. Bridges is a busy
man, full of push and energy, and while in Illiopolis, carried on
the lumber trade in connection with his other work. He has an
enviable reputation amount business men for honesty and square
dealing, while the patrons of his establishment credit him with
courtesy and manliness in his treatment of all who visit the store.
In Pawnee, Sangamon County, December 4, 1860, the
interesting ceremony took place which transformed Miss Fanny A.
Matthews into Mrs. Charles H. Bridges. The bride was born in
Christian County, but for some years prior to her marriage, had been
living in Sangamon County. The happy home over which she
presides has been blessed by the birth of six children: Joseph
M., Monta M., Myrtle M., and Emory and Emmett,
parents have buried one child, Mary, who died when but little more
than two years old.
Mr. Bridges is a member of the Masonic fraternity,
belonging to the Blue Lodge Chapter, and Eastern Star Degree.
In politics he is independent. He has been a member of the
Village Board and of the Town School Board, and in his connection
with these bodies has, as in his personal affairs, been zealous and
progressive. During the greater part of his life he has
belonged to the Christian Church and his chief aim has been to live
in a manner befitting the vocation whereto he is called.
|George L. Brown.
This gentleman has been carrying on a successful
trade in lumber during the past six years, his location being
Deland, Piatt County, where he is the only dealer in his line.
He has demonstrated his native shrewdness and business tact by the
accumulation of a good property and this without capital other than
his natural resources. He began working by the month and saved
his wages until he was able to buy two young calves, upon the sale
of which he bought a horse. The spirit of progress and wisdom
of investment manifested in these transactions of his youth was
displayed in a greater degree as he grew older and led to his
success as a farmer and business man. He now has considerable
town property in Deland and two hundred acres within the limits of
Goose Creek Township which is in a good state of cultivation and
produces excellent crops.
John Brown, father of our subject, was born in
Pennsylvania in 1817, removed thence to Ohio, and in 1857 settled in
DeWitt County, this State. He is still living and although of
advanced age is hale and hearty. His wife, formerly Mary A.
Stout, was born in Ohio in 1822, and she also survives. Both
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thirteen
children have been born to them, seven of whom are living. The
maternal grandfather of our subject was Isaac Stout, who was born in
Ohio in 1800 and died in 1870. He was the son of a German who
had been one of the first settlers in the Buckeye State.
The subject of this biographical notice was born
November 24, 1840, in Pickaway County, Ohio and obtained his
education in the subscription schools, the temple of learning being
an old fashioned log schoolhouse. He attended during the
winter months only and when but eleven years old worked out by the
month during the summer. He came to this State with his
parents when seventeen years old and finding work by the month
continued the occupation until after he had passed his majority when
he engaged in farming and in the fall operated a threshing machine
during a period of some six years. He then purchased eighty
acres of land in DeWitt County, to which he added forty acres in
1874. In 1882 he disposed of this property and bought in Goose
Creek Township, Piatt County, but later sold that tract and
purchased the one near Deland which is still in his possession.
The marriage of Mr. Brown and Miss
Virginia Cresap was
solemnized in 1867. The bride was a native of this State.
She crossed the river of death October 28, 1876, after having borne
her husband three children, named respectively, Charles E., Norah
E., and Frederick. The last named is now deceased. In
1878 Mr. Brown was again married, his companion on this occasion
being Miss Permelia M. Staker, a native of Ohio. This union
has been blest by the birth of two children - Ralph S. and Virgil H.
Mr. Brown is a Democrat and has held various local
offices and served his party as a delegate to township and county
conventions, etc. He and his wife belong to the Methodist
Protestant Church and he is quite active in the work carried on by
that denomination. He has been a delegate to several annual
conferences and been quite prominent in building up the church in
the locality in which he lives. He is one whose citizenship is
an honor to the community and whose conduct as a business man and
progressive agriculturist is a commendable and worthy of emulation.
He and his wife have good standing in society and as a matter of
course have many friends.
Browning, farmer in Unity
township, is of Scotch lineage and is a native of Kentucky. He moved
from there to Coles county in 1856, and to Piatt county in 1857. He
was married in 1852 to Priscilla Barriett, who died leaving two
children, Sarah Margaret, who married Abner Fisher, and lives in
Atwood with their three children, James, Jessie and an infant; and
John Henry, who married Kate Wren and lives in Douglas county. Mr.
Browning was married to Angeline Duvall, in 1863. They have had
three children, two of whom, Alvah and Maria, are living.
Mrs. Browning thought the prairie a desolate place to live when she first
settled there. She was unreconciled to the place for eight years,
but after she made a visit home about ten years ago she was content
with her prairie home. Mr. Browning bought the present home about
1864, and now owns about forty acres. He has been school director
and trustee, and is a member of the Masonic lodge at Mackville.
H. Broyles, a well-known resident of Cerro Gordo
Township, where he has a good farm on section 34, is a worthy
representative of the men of his class who have done so much towards
advancing the material prosperity of Piatt County. He is a native of
Lawrence County, Ind., where he was born November 1, 1850. He is a
son of Thomas and Martha Broyles, natives of
The mother of our subject died in 1855 when he was
about five years old, and with his father and other members of the
family, he came to Wayne County, Ill. He remained there until he was
eighteen years old, when he went to Moultrie County, where he was
engaged the ensuing seven years as a farm hand receiving as payment
an average of about $23 a month and his board, as he was considered
a skillful laborer. For six years he was in the employ of Julius
Bicknell, and at intervals during that time he attended
school, receiving the better part of his education in Moultrie
March 23, 1876, was the date of the marriage of our
subject with Miss Rachael C. Chaney. By that marriage four
children were born, of whom these two are living, Ada and
Maurice. The names of those deceased are Winfield and
Myrtle. Mrs. Broyles departed this life in July, 1883,
leaving behind her the memory of a woman of true worth. Mr.
Broyles' second marriage which occurred October 31, 1886, was
with Miss Noma E. Ponder. This estimable
lady was born in North Carolina, September 3, 1852, and is a
daughter of Joseph and Matilda (Radford) Ponder,
residents of Hammond. Her parents are natives of North Carolina, and
came to Piatt County in 1864. They settled in Unity Township, where
they resided on a farm for several years until they retired to their
present home. They have had eight children, of whom seven are
living, namely: Sophronia. wife of Joseph Franklin;
Noma E.; Verlanchia, wife of John
Edmundson; James, John; Rosetta, wife of
Jacob Mitchell; and Marcenia, wife of B.
Fisher. Mrs. Broyles is a member in high standing
of the Baptist Church, and she and her husband are pleasant,
agreeable people, who are highly thought of in the social circles of
As we have seen, our subject was early thrown on his own resources,
and has had his own way to make in the world from boyhood clays. He
was, however, blessed with a good capacity for work, an ambition to
succeed in life, and with sound, common sense that has enabled him
to accumulate a very comfortable property, and place himself in
independent circumstances, among the well-to-do men of his section.
He owns one hundred and six acres of farming land of exceptional
fertility and productiveness that is well cultivated and supplied
with all necessary improvements. His success is well deserved, as he
is a man of sound business integrity, and in all his dealings is
perfectly fair and honest. He has intelligent views in regard to
politics, and is independent of party ties, voting always for the
man whom he thinks best fitted for the office regardless of his
|Mr. J. A.
Bryson, dealer in farming implements at Hammond,
claims Licking county, Ohio, as his birthplace. He came to Unity
township in 1855 and has remained in it till the present time. He
was married in 1858, to Melissa Wildman, and one child,
has blessed their union. Mr. Bryson went to the army in Co. H. of
the 107th Ill., and Knoxville, Franklin, and those of the Atlanta
campaign, were the principal battles in which he was engaged. He was
taken prisoner at Goldsboro, Kentucky, but was paroled the same
evening. He relates that Dennis O'Leary, who went from Monticello,
was the first man killed in his regiment. O'Leary was shot in a
regular battle at Loudon, Tennessee, by one of Longstreet's men, who
were dressed in Union uniform. The poor fellow died thinking that he
had been shot by a Union soldier, but the mistake was afterward
ascertained; a convincing of which was the mark of a bullet and
three buck-shot through a tin cup in his haversack.
Bryson, a farmer, is of Irish and German lineage, and
was born in 1811, in Pennsylvania. In 1833 he moved to Ohio, and in
1855 emigrated from there to Piatt county and settled on his present
home place in 1857. He owns 125 acres in this county. He was married
in 1838, to Anna Nicewander, and seven children have blessed their
union, six of whom are living. Francis E. married B. F. Schooley,
and they with their four children, Samuel, Anna, Otis and
live on a farm in Unity township. John Bryson (see his name lives in
Hammond. Mary, the wife of John Quick, has three children,
Carrie and Ivy. Eva is the wife of J. R. Brown, a farmer; two
children, Millard M. and an infant, have come to cheer them in their
life's journey. Anna married James Quick, who is a farmer in Bement
township; they have one little girl, Maud. Lou, the youngest of
Bryson's family, is at home. Mr. and Mrs. Bryson, with noteworthy
pride, make the statement that "all our girls were school teaches."
Eva attended school at Decatur, while Anna was a student at the
Bunyan (deceased) was a native of England, and came
to America, - Ohio - when fourteen years of age. He moved from Ohio
to Indiana, where his father died. He went back to Ohio and married
Catharine Carpenter, and lived there till 1864, when he moved to
Piatt county. He bought the land where his family live upon his
coming to the county, and lived there till their house burned in
187, when he moved to Bement, where he died in 1874. Mrs. Bunyan
with her children moved to the farm, and in 1875 built their present
frame dwelling of five rooms. Mrs. Bunyan has had ten children,
eight of whom are living. Lucinda, the wife of Henry
in Kansas. Harriet, married Wallace Davy, a carpenter of Michigan.
Silvester is at home. George married Rebecca
Clark, who died,
leaving three children, Daisy C., Jesse B. and Cora.
John married Nora Wallace, and is a farmer near Windsor.
Emma, the wife of Jno.
Brown, of Hammond, has three children, Simeon, Allie
May and Albertus. Clara was the wife of Tho. Stickler, of Lovington; she
died, leaving one child, Mattie. William married Laura
lives in Unity township; they have one child. Mr. Bunyan was in the
late war as sanitary agent.
Bunyan. In traveling throughout Piatt County strangers
are impressed with the number of homelike dwellings and the many
farms which bear evidence of affording to their owners a comfortable
maintenance and a provision for the rainy day. In Unity
Township, one of this class is found to be the home of George
W. Bunyan, who has made a life-work of farming and thoroughly
understands his calling. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres
on sections 25 and 32, to the management of which he brings much
thought and many progressive ideas. He has recently added to the
already good improvements a new dwelling of modern design, and
fitted it up in a manner consonant with his refined tastes and those
of his estimable wife.
The parents of our subject were Elijah and Sarah (Swaby)
Bunyan, whose early home was in Herfordshire. England, where
our subject was born April 15, 1831. He was but two years old when
the family came to America, settling in Stark County, Ohio. This was
the family home but a short time when a removal was made to Allen
County, Ind. The father died there in 1837, and the little lad who
had already been deprived of his mother's care, was taken to Ohio
where he grew to manhood surrounded by the associations and
influences of farm life. His years were spent in Holmes, Ashland and
Richland Counties until the fall of 1867, when he made his present
location. He learned the tailor's trade but worked at it only three
years, believing that farming was better adapted to his line of
thought and physical vigor.
In Ashland County, Ohio, January 20, 1852, the rites of
marriage were celebrated between Mr. Bunyan and
Miss Eleanor Daratt. The bride, who was a woman of
more than ordinary intelligence and of fine character, was born in
New York July 10, 1829. As a wife she has been true to her vows, and
as a mother her devotion, wisdom and affection, are unquestioned by
those who know her home life. She is not remiss in neighborly
kindness or .in social duties, but in the midst of the cares of home
finds time to keep up her friendly intercourse with those about her.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Bunyan consists of
five children, three of whom are established in homes of their own,
while Charles A. and Margaret E. still fill
their accustomed places at the parental fireside. The first-born,
Sarah J., is the wife of John McCabe. The second
child, John W., married Jenette Wallace and
after her demise won for his second wife Jenny Dobson.
Wilbert W. married Ruthetta Shaw.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunyan belong to the Christian
Church and faithfully endeavor to order their lives in accordance
with the precepts of true religion. The political allegiance of
Mr. Bunyan is given to the Republican party and he takes
a fairly active part in the work by which its interests are
advanced. In the summer of 1864 he enlisted in Company D, One
Hundred and Sixty-third Ohio National Guards and served about four
months. He has been School Director, but has not otherwise held
public office. A deep interest in the welfare of his fellow-men is
manifested by him, it being shown by the support he gives to every
public enterprise of an elevating and progressive character. He is a
man of genial nature and hospitable spirit and the entire family
thoroughly enjoy entertaining, making of their home a favorite
gathering place for their friends, and treating with the utmost
cordiality even the stranger within their gates. Mr.
Bunyan is a lover of books and journals and not only reads
widely but thinks deeply. He possesses an unusual fund of
information and probably no home in the county is better supplied
with literature or is the center of more general consideration of
public affairs and matters of interest than is his.
|Mr. P. J.
Butler, a farmer of Unity township, was born in
Ireland, and came to America about 1851. He was married about 1876,
to Mary J. Ryan. They have had two children, one of which, William
Francis, is living. Mr. Butler has put all the improvements on his
place of 160 acres. He has planted out some two hundred and fifty
trees, and built the house they they live in. He went to the army in
Co. E, 85th Ohio reg. He was only in skirmishes. His principal work
was the guarding of prisoners.
1 - Album refers to
Portrait and biographical album of DeWitt and
Piatt Counties, Ill. Publ. by Chapman Bros.,
Chicago, Ill - 1885