A part of U. S. Genealogy Express




The following Biographies have been extracted from the following sources:
Portrait and Biographical History of DeWitt & Piatt County, Illinois
CHICAGO: Chapman Bros.  1891

AB - CD - EF - GHI - JKL - MN - OPQ - RS - TUV - WXYZ

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.
ADAMS, Peter
ADKINS, Benjamin F.
ALLMAN, James L.
AMIDON, Joseph P.
ANDERSON, William J.
ATER, Aaron H.
ATER, Edward
ATER, Thomas
ATER, Thomas J.
AYRE, Richard T.
BAIRD, Ellis
BAKER, Isaac *
BARRY, Thomas
BENDER, Samuel H.
BENSON, Robert H.
BODMAN, Joseph, Hon.
BODMAN, Sereno K.
BOND, Daniel S. *
BOOHER, Jasper C.
BORN, Frederick
BORN, Samuel
BORTON, Albert R.
BOWDLE, James W.
BOWDLE, William H.
BOWMAN, Benjamin
BRIDGES, Charles H.
BRIGGS, Charles L.
BRITTON, William J.
BROWN, George L.
BROWN, James R.
BROWN, Julius A., Hon.
BROWNING, Franklin
BROYLES, William H.
BRYANT, Francis E., Hon.
BRYSON, Samuel
BUNYAN, George W.
BURGESS, Gilbert A.
BURNS, John H.
BUSICK, Samuel L.



Madison 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.
(See Biography from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Piatt County - Vol. II - 1917 - pg. 703)


Peter Adams, 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 Oregon.
     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.


Benjamin 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 4.
     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 Mrs. Kisick.
     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. 


Samuel 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 died.
     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 Superintendent.




Edward AterAmong 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 here.
     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, 1890.
     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.


Thomas Ater.  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 Baker, whose home is in Monticello; Martha, wife of Benjamin Armswroth, of 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.


Thomas 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 school-room.
     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.




John 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 E., 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.


Mr Isaac 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.


Mr. John 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.


Mr. Thomas 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 years.


Thomas E. 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 Bondurant, 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 brother Thomas.
     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 failing health.
     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.


Charles H. BridgesProbably 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 many patrons.
     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, twins.  The 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.






Mr. Franklin 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.


William 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 Kentucky.
     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 County.
     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 their township.
     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 political affiliations.




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, Della May, 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.


Mr. Samuel 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 Earnest, live on a farm in Unity township. John Bryson (see his name lives in Hammond. Mary, the wife of John Quick, has three children, Nora, 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 Mr. 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 State Normal.


Mr. Azor 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 Keller, lives 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 CoraJohn 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 Reams, and lives in Unity township; they have one child. Mr. Bunyan was in the late war as sanitary agent.


George W. 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

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