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
GANTZ, Henry W.
GILMORE, Henry H.
GLAZEBROOK, Lafayette M.
GRAY, John W. C. *
GREGORY, Gamaliel M.
GROVE, John R.
GROVE, William H.
GULLIFORD, William *
HAGEMAN, S. V.
HAMILTON, James W.
HANCOCK, Levi E. *
HANNAH, David F.
HARSHBARGER, Isaac C.
HARSHBARGER, Michael O.
HARSHBARGER, Samuel, Jr. 395
HART, James C.
HEATH, Noble Porter
HENDRIX, John W.
HENNESS, William B. *
HERSHBERGER, Mark M.
HINSON, Warren D. *
HICKS, Francis M.
HILLIGOSS, J. W.
HOFFHINES, Elias (981)
HORTON, Elcana D.
HUSTON, Harvey E., Judge
of PIATT COUNTY BIOGRAPHIES
|Henry W. Gantz,
one of the enterprising business men of Deland, Piatt County, is
a native of Ohio born in Richland County, September 3, 1845.
His father, David Gantz, was born in Pennsylvania and went to Ohio
about 1840, being one of the early settlers in Richland County.
He entered land in Wyandot County a few years later and settled in
the forest where Indians were yet numerous, moving into a log cabin
without a floor. The Gantz family is a German origin, but our
subject has little knowledge of the ancestral history.
The wife of David Gantz and mother of our subject was
known in her maidenhood as Miss Mary Laninger. She likewise
was a native of Pennsylvania and with her husband held membership in
the Lutheran Church, whose tenets of faith both endeavored to adhere
to in daily life. The father died in 1872 and the mother in
1873. They were the parents of nine children, five of whom are
Our subject was born in a pioneer log cabin and reared
on a farm. He obtained his preliminary education by an
attendance of from thirty to fifty days each year at the log
schoolhouse which was the temple of learning in the newer sections
of country. He remained with his parents until he was of age,
when he began working by the month on a neighboring farm. In
1867 he determined to seek his fortune farther west and in the fall
of that year he came to the Prairie State. Locating in DeWitt
County he spent several months as a farm laborer, but during the
year 1868 engaged in operating rented land.
In 1870 Mr. Gantz bought a farm in Monticello Township,
Piatt County, and in 1876 removed thereto. He devoted his
mental and physical energies to farm work some eight years longer,
then removed to Deland and established a large tile factory.
After carrying it on about a year he disposed of the plant and
purchased an interest in the hardware and grocery store of I. L.
Rinehart. As a member of the firm of I. L. Rinehart & Co. he
is bearing his part in the commercial affairs of the town, aiding
his partner to still further work up what is already a good trade in
hardware and groceries.
The way in which Mr. Gantz takes hold of any enterprise
has given him a high reputation for push and zeal, and his honorable
dealing is well known throughout the country contiguous to Deland.
He came to this State with but $35 as a cash capital, but has so
improved his time that he now owns two hundred and sixty-two acres
of improved land in Goose Creek Township, Piatt County, and village
property in Deland of considerable value. He has held local
offices and is a Republican in politics. He belongs to the
Methodist Episcopal Church, among whose members, as in the community
at large, he is regarded as a trustworthy and upright gentlemen.
The pleasant dwelling of Mr. Gantz is made cozy and
attractive by the efforts of an intelligent, amiable woman who
became Mrs. Gantz October 1, 1873. Prior to that date she bore
the name of Amanda Porter. She is a native of DeWitt County
and an esteemed member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her
congenial union has resulted in the birth of three bright children -
Hattie E., Inez and Ira.
Glazebrook, a veteran of the
late war, in which he won an honorable military record, and
the genial and popular Postmaster at Lintner, is one of the
prominent business men of Piatt County, a member of the firm
of Glazebrook & Duncan, dealers in grain, coal and lumber at
the village mentioned. A native of Putnam County,
Ind., our subject was born September 28, 1845, to Bradford
and Theresa (Morrow) Glazebrook, natives of Ohio. He
was reared to man's estate in the county of his birth, and
obtained the preliminaries of his education in the public
schools of Greencastle and for one college year attended
Asbury University. After leaving college, he taught
school for one term in his native State. But a few
months after the war broke out, though he was a mere youth
of sixteen years, he threw aside all personal aims and
ambitions to take part in the great conflict, becoming a
member of Company H, Forty-third Indiana Infantry which
formed a part of the army of the Southwest.
Notwithstanding his youthful age, our subject showed
himself to be possessed of true soldierly qualities and
fought with undaunted courage and valor on many a hotly
contested battlefield. He took part in the battle of
Island No. 10, was with his regiment at New Madrid, at Ft.
Pillow, and at Memphis, Tenn. He again faced the enemy
at the battle of Helena; was present at the battle of Little
Rock, and the engagement at Camden. He and his
comrades did some hard fighting at Marke's Mills in
Arkansas, and there he and others were captured but he
rebels and taken prisoners to Tyler, Tex. Our subject
had a hard time of it in the prison there as he had to
suffer untold hardships. He was finally exchanged, and
was honorably discharged March 15, 1865.
After his hard experiences of life on the battlefield,
Mr. Glazebrook returned to his old home in Putnam County,
Ind., and spent the ensuing two years in various parts of
his native State until 1877, when he came to Illinois.
He resided in Macon County until 1884, and then came to
Lintner, where he lived ever since. In that year he
formed a partnership with M. H. Wilson, and they carried on
the grain, coal and lumber business together under the firm
name of Wilson & Glazebrook, until June, 1888. On the
6th of that month he entered into his present partnership
with Mr. Duncan and they are carrying on a fine business.
The building in which they transact their business is 20x60
feet in dimensions, is one story in height, and is well
adapted to the purposes for which it is used. Messers.
Glazebrook & Duncan, carry about $5,000 worth of
merchandise, and their sales amount to about $20,000
annually. Their grain business is quite extensive, and
they handle from three hundred to three hundred and fifty
carloads of various cereals, and they also deal extensively
in coal and lumber, controlling the trade of the town, and
sell probably fifty carloads of the latter a year.
Mr. Glazebrook has been twice married, and of the
children born to him two survive, Milton B. and Midget.
He is a man of marked intelligence, well-versed in the
topics of the day and the biographer found him to be a
courteous and entertaining gentleman, and it is the
testimony of his fellow-citizens that he is eminently
deserving of the confidence in which he is held in financial
circles. He is closely identified with the prosperity
of Lintner, as one who generously endeavors to help forward
all enterprises that will in any way promote its growth.
He was appointed Postmaster at the village in 1888 and is
discharging the duties of that office to the perfect
satisfaction of all concerned. He is one of the
leading members of the Grand Army Post at LaPlace, and has
officiated as the officer of the day on various public
occasions. Politically, his affiliations are with the
Democrats. He is identified with the Independent Order
Goodson (deceased) was a
native of Douglas county, Illinois. He moved in Piatt county in
1873. He was married in 1871, to Candacy Pierson. She has no
children. Her parents were from Indiana, and moved to Piatt county
in 1867. Mr. Charles Goodson was married, January 28 1882, to Emma
Gow, who until recently made her home at John Harshbarger's. They
reside near Goodson station.
Goodson has made farming his principal occupation and
that he has been successful is attested by the appearance of his
fine and well-managed farm with its many valuable improvements, on
section 14, Unity Township, Piatt County. Mr. Goodson
is a native-born citizen of this State, his birthplace in Douglas
County, and the date of his birth Sept. 1, 1844. His parents,
Thomas and Sarah (Monroe) Goodson, natives of Franklin
County, Ohio, were pioneers of that part of Illinois. His
father was a farmer by occupation and developed a good farm in
Douglas County, where he died. The mother is still living.
They had nine children, seven boys and two girls, as follows:
John, George, Jesse, James, Frank, Charles, Albert, and two
girls who died unnamed. George, Jesse and James
Mr. Goodson was reared much as other farmers'
boys and passed his boyhood on his father's farm in Douglas County,
assisting him in its labors. He was seventeen years old when
he went to California, in 1862, and he was engaged in the pursuits
to which he had been bred in that State till 1875, when he returned
to Illinois. In 1878 he came to Unity Township to reside and
has ever since made his home here, devoting himself assiduously to
the work of managing his farming interests at this point. He
owns one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 14, which is
very fertile and is under admirable tillage. Mr. Goodson
has erected substantial commodious buildings for every needed
purpose, and the improvements on his place make it one of the
choicest farms in the vicinity.
Our subject has by no means been without help in the
work of building up his cozy home, as by his marriage in Woodland,
Cal., Mar. 17, 1872, to Miss Julia Ingraham, he secured a
wife who has co-operated with him in his labors and been indeed a
true helper. Mrs. Goodson was born in Napa County,
Cal., Aug. 12, 1853. Her pleasant weeded life with our subject
has been blessed to them by the birth of one child, Mollie G.
Mrs. Goodson's parents were Orin and Sarah (Gordon) Ingraham,
natives respectively of Connecticut and Mexico. Her father was
a ship carpenter and also a farmer after his marriage, and is
supposed to have perished at the time of an earthquake shock in
Callao, South America, in 1868. Her mother died in Napa
County, Cal., in the same year. They were the parents of four
children: Julia, wife of our subject; Charles, Carrie
and Thomas. Charles is deceased.
Mr. Goodson is a truthful, upright, honorable
man and his citizenship is creditable to his adopted township.
He takes a great interest in whatever concerns the township and has
helped to forward its public interests whenever he has held civic
office. He was elected Commissioner of Highways in the spring
of 1884, and has held that position ever since and has also been a
School Director. He is identified with the Democratic party
and gives it his earnest support.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of DeWitt & Piatt
Counties, Illinois - Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1891 - Copyrighted 1885)
(See another biography below)
Goodson, farmer, was born in Douglas county, Illinois
and came to this county in 1878. In 1862 he went to California and
began farming and stock raising, and remained there fourteen years.
He was married in California to Miss Julia Ingerham. They have one
daughter, Mollie. Mr. Goodson came back in 1879 and built a nice
farm residence of nine rooms. He is first getting things in good
shape about the farm, and it bids fair to be one of the best places
in the county. He is a stock dealer and has some fine sheep and
cattle. Mr. Goodson went to the army, was taken prisoner and sworn
not to fight until he was exchanged. He was not exchanged and so
went to California.
(See another biography above here)
Gordon (deceased) was a farmer in Unity township, and
owned 120 acres of land. He married Anna Sloam? Both were natives
of Ireland, came to America in 1863, and to Piatt county in 1866.
They had eight children, six of whom are living, Felix G., Rosealla,
Maggie, Mary, Ida May and Catharine S. On the 17th of month their
house burned down; on the 29th of the month an infant was born; and
about a year from this time Mr. Gordon died.
|Mr. John W. C.
Gray, farmer, is a native of
Pickaway county, Ohio. His mother is a native of Ohio and lives
with one of her children in Iowa. His father was a native of Iowa.
Both of Mr. Gray's grandfathers were in the revolutionary war, and
two of his brothers went to the late war, one of whom served
throughout the rebellion. Mr. Gray is one of a family of six
children. He would not have settled in Piatt county had it not been
for Mr. Jack Riddle. While on business in the county for Mr. Kious,
Mr. Riddle persuaded him to work for Mr. John Piatt. While working
for him he was hired to ship cattle in 1856. A portion of the year
1856 he herded cattle at Blue Mound for Mr. John Piatt. Mr. Gray
relates some interesting items in regard to snakes, which were found
on the prairie at an early day here. He says that by actual count
and record in the season of 1856 he killed 1,100 rattlesnakes, and
he ahs killed as high as thirty three in one day. That same season
he saw as many as from nineteen to twenty-nine deer in one herd, and
he captured eleven fawns, some of which were sent back to New York.
Mr. Gray was married in October, 1861, to Mrs. Eliza Crain, who died
February 26, 1876. In April, 1877, he married Mrs. R. (Murry) Myres,
who had one child at the time of her last marriage. She is a native
of New Hampshire and came with her parents to Menard county,
Illinois, in 1846. When Mr. Gray began improving his farm, it was
overrun with hazel brush and willows. His ten acre orchard is in as
good a condition as any orchard in the county and contains all small
fruit that will succeed in growing in this part of the state. He
built his present residence about nine years ago. He thinks he has
the best cellar in the county. He settled on his present farm in
1869, having previously lived where Mr. James Wharton now lives.
Mr. Gray's well selected library of at least two hundred volumes
shows that he is one of the farmers of the county who believes in
keeping up with the times. He was justice of the peace for six
years and has been elected road commissioner and supervisor.
Greene, farmer, was born in
Tennessee in 1824. He lived in Kentucky until he was twenty-five,
and in 1854 came to Piatt county. He started to Champaign county,
"got out of the way a little, found this county good enough, and so
stopped." He first settled about one and a half miles below his
present home, then, after two years' residence in Champaign county,
settled on the Prairie in Bement township. The next move was to the
place he now lives on which he has improved. He has a fair sized
orchard, which bears a good deal of fruit. He was married in 1845,
to Martha Ramsey. Of Mr. Greene's children, Wm. Boyd married Mary
Lane, and in 1871 moved to Nebraska; they have four children. Ruth
married Shannon Fristoe, and lives in Bement; they have three
children, Horace,, Walter and Jesse Pearl. Margaret C. married
Allen Moore, and lives in Neosho county, Kansas; they have five
children. Susan married William Curren, and lives in Sangamon
township. John, Simon, Fran D. and Ella R. are at home.
Gregory, farmer, is a
native of New York. He moved to Ohio, and in 1855 to Piatt county.
His father, Josiah Gregory, was of English descent. He settled in
Champaign county in 1858, and moved to Bement in 1878. Mr. G.
Gregory married Mary Monroe, November, 1856, born in this county
July 29, 1837. Her parents both died in this county. She has five
sisters and two brothers living. She has three children living.
Wm. G. Gregory married Kate Crawford, ahs one child, and is a
druggist in Coles county; J. R. is farming at home; Rosalia married
George Mumper, a farmer in Champaign county. Mr. Gregory has been
town collector and town clerk, and is a member of the Masonic lodge
Griffin (deceased) was
married in Indiana, to Louisa Thompson, and moved to Piatt county in
1870. He lived on Mr. Quick's place for a time, and then moved to
the place he lived at the time of his death about five years ago.
He left a widow and five children. Laura married John Bogard, and
moved to Missouri. Harriet, wife of Christopher Denny, lives with
her child, Myrtle Olive, in Unity township. Mary Ellen, Henry
Charles and William Edgar are at home. Mrs. Griffin owns about
twenty-one acres of land. Mr. Griffin was a soldier in the late
Gross, a merchant and farmer of Mackville, is a
native of Germany. He came to America in 1853, and for eight years
remained in New York, and then moved to Chicago, where he remained
till 1857, when he moved to Marion county. In 1858 he moved to
Piatt county and settled on the land where Mackville is located. Mr
Gross came alone from Germany, the rest of his family came
afterward. He now has four brothers and one sister in the county.
His parents, Casper Gross and wife, came to America during the war.
Mr. Henry Gross married Sophia Gross, a native of Germany, in 1861.
They have had eight children, two of whom are dead. Sigel T. Gross
is a bookkeeper in the store of Gross &
B iggs, of Mackville. Anna,
Alexander, Thusnelda, Henry and Sophia are at home. Mr. Henry Gross
is the first and only postmaster that Mackville has had. He was
school director for ten or twelve years, and filled a vacancy as
justice of the peace. He has also been collector, clerk and
supervisor of Unity township.
Grove. If by success in life we mean securing a
comfortable home and the means for a good support, then is our
subject one of the successful men of Piatt County. He owns and
occupies a farm, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres on
section 14, Willow Branch Township, which has been developed and
placed in its present condition of improvement by himself, and
attests to his industry and thrift. Many of the best and most
successful farmers in this part of Illinois are natives of the
Buckeye State and such is the case with Mr. Grove. He
was born in Pickaway County, January 26, 1849, and is one of
fourteen children comprising the family of John and Hannah
(Lackey) Grove. His living brothers and sisters are
Thomas, whose home is in this township; Maria, wife of
Mathew Creighton, living in Cerro Gordo, this State;
Susan, widow of Richard Brown, her home also being in
Illinois; Jane, wife of William Baker, living in
Bement; Sarah, wife of Nelson Hurt, living in
Bloomington; William H., in Piatt County; Sanford, in
Ross County, Ohio; and Missouri, wife of A. J. Clarkson,
in Macon County.
Mr. Grove grew to man's estate in his native
county, and even in boyhood became acquainted with the details of
farm life which he adopted as his vocation. His education was
obtained in the public schools, which, while not equal to those of
the present day, were quite good and afforded the opportunity to all
studious lads to acquire practical knowledge. As is the case
with all men of intelligence. Mr. Grove has added to
the fund of knowledge obtained in the schoolroom by reading,
observation and experience. In 1872 with his wife and family
he came to this State and at once established himself in Willow
Branch Township, Piatt County, where he has continued to reside.
His pleasant home is presided over by a lady who bore the maiden
name of Melissa Cook and became his wife July 2, 1869.
She is an excellent housekeeper, an affectionate mother, and with a
social and kindly nature which is appreciated by her neighbors.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Grove comprises four children -
Hannah E., Thoams W., Cora C. and Herbert. The
oldest daughter is the wife of Owen H. Judgen, Deputy Circuit
Clerk of Piatt County.
Mr. Grove has held the office of School Director
a number of years and is now a Township School Trustee. In
politics he is a Republican, and in religion a Methodist, both
himself and wife being identified with the church organization in
Cerro Gordo and he is now serving as Steward. He belongs to
the Masonic Lodge in Cerro Gordo and occupies the chair of Senior
Warden. In local political circles he cuts quite a prominent
figure, being one who believes in working for the principles in
which he has faith. He is recognized as one of the intelligent
as well as successful citizens of the county, enjoys the confidence
of the business community and commands the esteem of his neighbors.
|Mr. S. V.
Hageman, hardware merchant, Hammond, is a native of
Pike county, Illinois. He moved from there to Logan county in 1863
or 1864, and in 1875 settled on a farm in Piatt county. After
staying there five years he left his farm, not selling it, however,
and moved into Hammond, opened a hardware and grocery store in June,
1881. He was married in 1874, to Lizzie Rathbun, of Pike county.
They have had three children, two of whom are living, Oscar Y. and
David F. Hannah.
A favorably located and well-improved farm of two hundred and forty
acres forms the home of the gentleman above named, who has been
identified with the interests of Piatt County since his early
manhood, having come here in 1849. Our subject is the owner of a
valuable property consisting of a fine house and two lots in
Mansfield, Piatt County. He began his life work with but limited
means, making his first purchase of land in 1856, when he secured an
eighty-acre tract in Sangamon Township. It was some years before he
felt justified in making another purchase, but adding an eighty, he
subsequently still further increased his estate, bringing it up to
its present extent. The zeal and enterprise that he has displayed
are highly creditable, and all who know him rejoice in the success
that has attended his efforts.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was David
Hannah, who was born in Virginia, and removed to Ohio during
the early settlement of the latter State. His son, Hugh V.,
father of our subject, was also born in the Old Dominion, and going
to Ohio operated a farm there for many years. He came to Piatt
County, Ill., in 1849, and established a home in Sangamon Township,
where he died in 1876, at the advanced age of seventy-two years. He
was a member of the Baptist Church, and was highly esteemed by his
acquaintances. His widow, formerly Miss Rebecca
Ford, is still living and has reached a venerable age, she
having been born in Virginia in 1806. She has been a member of the
United Brethren Church for thirty years. Of her eight children but
two are now living.
David F. Hannah, the subject of this notice was
born in Logan County, Ohio, January 6, 1827, in a little log house
such as afforded shelter for the pioneers, and has been the
birthplace of many of our best and most famous citizens. He attended
school in a similar structure, perusing the text books which to
modern eyes seem strangely old-fashioned, and gained a practical
knowledge of those branches of study most necessary in carrying on
the work of life. After his arrival in this State he worked by the
month for some time, carefully hoarding his resources in order to
secure a home, and being aided in his efforts by a prudent and
capable wife, to whom he was married in 1850.
Mrs. Hannah bore the maiden name of
Frances Oulrey, and is a native of the Buckeye State,
born April 15, 1832. She has borne her husband the I following
children: Rebecca, William T., Nancy, Elizabeth, Vance,
James, Samuel, John; and one unnamed, who died in infancy.
Both parents are identified with the United Brethren Church and
earnestly endeavor to make their lives accord I with the principles
in which they believe. They are therefore regarded with respect by
neighbors and friends, and are considered an honor to the community
of which they form a part. Mr. Hannah was reared as a
Whig and in 1856 became identified with the Republican party which
he still earnestly supports.
Harshbarger, a retired
farmer, was born in Champaign county, Ohio, and is of German
descent. His father moved from Ohio to Montgomery county, Indiana,
and in 1823 made the second settlement in that county. He died in
Illinois in 1857. His wife died in Indiana in 1853. Mr. Daniel
Harshbarger was married in 1834, to Miss Huldah Quick, of Montgomery
county. They moved to Piatt county in 1837, and for the first
summer lived with Daniel's father in a cabin built the same year.
In the fall Daniel went into his own round-log cabin covered with
clapboards and containing a hickory pole bedstead. When he came to
the county he had $200 in money, five sheep, one horse, one cow, one
hog, and some spinning wheels upon which Mrs. Harshbarger did all
the spinning for the family. Mr. Harshbarger now has a walnut chest
which is a hundred years old and a pair of steelyards, which came
from Germany, that are one hundred and fifty years old. This family
remained in their round-log cabin until 1848, when they built the
second brick house in the county. The brick was burned by Jim
Bennet on Mr. Harshbarger's place. Mr. and Mrs. Harshbarger still
occupy this with their son John and his family. When about
fifty-five years of age Mr. Harshbarger stopped his long-continued
hard labor and deeded his ten or eleven hundred acres of land to his
children, with the proviso that they were to keep himself and wife.
After stating this fact to us he very contentedly remarked, "the
children all appear to be reconciled to the way I divided it." Mr.
Michael Harshbarger is Mr. Daniel Harshbarger's oldest living son
(see his name). His daughter, Sarah, married Mr. Joseph Baker (see
his name). Mr. John Harshbarger was married in 1868 to Anna Gaw,
from Indiana. Their children are Carrie, William D. and Frank
Merritt. John is a farmer and stock dealer and lives on the old
homestead place where he has lived all his life. Miss Emma Gaw,
Mrs. John Harshbager's sister, is making her home with them at
present. Miss Emma seems to possess natural talent for drawing. We
suggest that she should embrace all possible chances of cultivating
such talent. Barbara Harshbarger married William Carroll and is
living in Douglas county. Their children's names are Ivory Bell,
Ivol, Icel Lee and Florence Mabel. Mr. Daniel Harshbarger was the
first justice of the peace in his section of the county. He served
as such for twelve years, until they began lawing, when he refused
to serve longer. A gentleman who has known "Uncle Dan" a long while
says that he is "as honest as the day is long," and that his extreme
sense of justice led him to be considered one of the best
peacemakers in the county. His law was, "Do right whatever the
consequences," and he has been known to prevent suits many times by
going out of his way to see the men and who united in the bonds of
matrimony in Unity township, and for six or eight years performed
the marriage ceremony for all who were married in Lake Fork timber.
We must tell a little joke on "Uncle Dan" which was related to us by
a neighbor of his. What we have already told of his peace-making
abilities would lead one to think that it would grieve him very much
to have a neighbor think ill of him. One morning when out he met a
neighbor, Mr. Thomas Goodson, who, instead of giving his usual "good
morning!" said in a very sober tone of voice "I thought I would tell
you there is a coolness between us." -- Uncle Dan, "with a
surprised and anxious look, and in that deep and earnest tone of
voice of his said, "Why, Tommy, Tommy, what is it! I never had a
hard feeling toward you in the world." Mr. Goodson, after carrying
his joke to the desired extent, remarked that "it was the sharp
breeze which caused the coolness between them." Mr. Harshbarger
held the office of supervisor for one year. He was the first person
to make a profession of religion on Lake Fork and was baptized June
28, 1842, by Mr. John Collins, and in the same fall Mrs. Harshbarger,
Mrs. Joseph Moore and Mrs. James Utterback were baptized. Mr.
Harshbarger relates that in early days in their neighborhood the
people used often to get quite lonesome. At Mr. Monroe's they used
to go on top of the house to watch across the prairie, hoping to see
some one coming. In case they should, word would soon be sent
around and all the neighborhood would collect at one house. Since
writing the above we have received the following items from Mr. John
Harshbarger. He took the measure of twelve of the apple trees which
his father set out in 1839 and found that they averaged in
circumference five feet and one inch - the largest measuring seven
feet and three inches. The tallest tree was forty feet and seven
inches in height, and in the twelve the following varieties are
represented, Early Harvest, Golden Pippin, Vandaver Pippin and
Spitzenburg. These trees are in the thriving condition and in 1881
some of them bore as high as twenty-five bushels of apples apiece.
Mr. Harshbarger has in his possession a Seth Thomas clock which has
kept good time for fifty years.
is the wife of David Corell, a sewing machine agent of Bement. They
have two children living, May and William. Sylvia Harshbarger,
deceased, was the wife of David Cade, of Douglas county. He was
married again in 1881, and lives in Champaign county. The death of
the first Mrs. Harshbarger occurred in 1853. Mr. Harshbarger next
married Mrs. Melissa Holden, the widow of an old settler in that
part of the county. She died about 1870, and Mr. Harshbarger took
for his third wife Miss Eliza Randolph. The second year after Mr.
Harshbarger moved to the county, there were seven families was sick
except himself and son Aaron. Mr. Harshbarger had to leave the sick
and go to mill at Eugene, Indian, seventy miles distant. Before
going he threshed the grain by having the horses tramp it. He was
gone eight days, and upon his return did not expect to find all the
family alive. Mr. Harshbarger relates one of his deer hunts in the
following manner: "I was standing in the woods on a log when I saw a
big buck coming toward me. I let him come close and then shot. The
gun cracked and the deer came bawling and jumping toward me, and I -
climbed up a sapling." Mr. Harshbarger has long been regarded a,
"bee hunter." He has worked with bees ever since he was fifteen
years old. He has had bees every year since. He has made hundreds of
dollars with his bees alone. He has found at least seventy bee-trees
in his lifetime. The most honey he ever got out of a tree was ten
gallons after it was strained. Mr. Harshbarger was ordained a
minister in the Christian church in 1843, and has preached on a
large circuit extending throughout this county and into Macon.
DeWitt, Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas and Moultrie counties. He has
evidently done a great deal of good in his lifetime, and his kindly
countenance and earnest words indicate that he will do much more
|Mr. Michael O.
near Atwood, is a native of Indiana, and came to Piatt county in
1837. He was married October 30, 1862, to Emeline Stevens, who died
in 1865, leaving one boy, Charles M. He next married Arville
Whetsel in 1869. She had to children, Dora May and John Lee. Mr.
Harshbarger owns about 460 acres of land, part of which lies in
Douglas county. He has evidently been a hardworking man, as the
result of his labors shows. In 1876 he built one of the finest
houses in the county. It contains fifteen rooms and cost $8,000.
The brick for the house were made on his own farm. He burnt some
180,000 brick and sold enough to pay for putting up the walls of his
house. This is an example of thrift and energy not often shown in
this country. In 1881 he built one of the best frame barns in the
county. It is 68X60 feet, is two story, will hold sixteen horses
and contain one hundred ton of hay. Mr. Harshbarger has made his
money by farming and raising stock. When he was married he had $600
and some land which his father Mr. Daniel Harshbarger, gave him. In
conversing with Mr. Harshbarger we quite readily discovered strong
filial devotion, which most men of his age, if they have it, are
quite successful in covering up. Since taking the above notes from
Mr. Harshbarger, we have regretted to hear that his wife died on
January 9, 1882.
Harshbarger, farmer, was
born in Ohio in 1811. He moved from Ohio to Montgomery county,
Indiana, in 1823, and from there to Piatt county in 1837. He was
married in Indiana, to Sarah Quick, who had eleven children, seven
of whom are living. Clarissa was the wife of Nathaniel Shonkwiler.
Aaron married Arvilla Wildman, who had seven children. He moved to
Texas, and next married Jennie Romine. His third wife was a Miss
Waters, Elizabeth Harshbarger married Alfred Taylor (now deceased),
and has five children. She lives in Champaign county. Ambrose
Harshbarger married Margaret Richardson and lives on the old
homestead place. They have six children, Samuel, Caroline, who
married Wm. Taylor, and lives in Douglas county, Lucy, Effie,
William and Henry. Jefferson Harshbarger married Francis Sexton and
has four children. He lives in Champaign county. Isaac married
Mary J. Goff. He has a large family of children, and lives at
Atwood. Samuel married Emmazilla Wildman, and lives in Unity
township. They have a family of children, some of whose names are
Delia, Arthur, Clara B. and Reuben Horace. Naomi Harshbarger is the
wife of David Corell, a sewing machine agent of Bement. They have
two children living, May and William. Sylvia Harshbarger, deceased,
was the wife of David Cade, of Douglas county. He was married again
in 1881, and lives in Champaign county. The death of the first Mrs.
Harshbarger occurred in 1853. Mr. Harshbarger next married Mrs.
Melissa Holden, the widow of an old settler in that part of the
county. She died about 1870, and Mr. Harshbarger took for his third
wife Miss Eliza Randolph. The second year after Mr. Harshbarger
moved to the county, there were seven families was sick except
himself and son Aaron. Mr. Harshbarger had to leave the sick and go
to mill at Eugene, Indian, seventy miles distant. Before going he
threshed the grain by having the horses tramp it. He was gone eight
days, and upon his return did not expect to find all the family
alive. Mr. Harshbarger relates one of his deer hunts in the
following manner: "I was standing in the woods on a log when I saw
a big buck coming toward me. I let him come close and then shot.
The gun cracked and the deer came bawling and jumping toward me, and
I - climbed up a sapling." Mr. Harshbarger has long been regarded
a, "bee hunter." He has worked with bees ever since he was fifteen
years old. He has had bees every year since. He has made hundreds
of dollars with his bees alone. He has found at least seventy
bee-trees in his lifetime. The most honey he ever got out of a tree
was ten gallons after it was strained. Mr. Harshbarger was ordained
a minister in the Christian church in 1843, and has preached on a
large circuit extending throughout this county and into Macon.
DeWitt, Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas and Moultrie counties. He has
evidently done a great deal of good in his lifetime, and his kindly
countenance and earnest words indicate that he will do much more
Mr. J. A.
Hawks, a miller and tile maker, of Mackville, is of
English and German descent, and is a native of New York. He came
west in 1869. He taught school at Mackville for four terms after he
first came to the county. He was in the general merchandise
business for a time with Mr. Gross and then began milling. In 1876
he bought a mill which Griggs & Marshall had built. He was married
in 1877, to Mary Mitchell, a native of Ohio. They reside in
Mackville and have no children. Mr. Hawks went to the war from New
York, in Battery G, 3d N. Y. Lt. Art. Roanoke Island, Plymouth and
Kingston were the principal battles in which he engaged. He was
never wounded, but was taken prisoner and was one month ___ ibby
prison. Mr. Hawks has been superintendent of a Sunday school and
township treasurer and supervisor.
Heath has a boy and man known much of what is necessary
in order to bring an uncultivated region into a condition fitting it
for the abode of civilized men. His early years were spent
amid pioneer surroundings in Lorain County, Ohio, and after some
years of mature life as a farmer there, he came to this State
to become the developer of raw land in Piatt County. He was
the first to settle in the locality which he chose for his future
home. Which is now a well-improved farm on section 19, Willow
Mr. Heath was born in Jefferson County, N. Y.;
December 3, 1820, and was the third son in a family of seven
children. All are still living but one; Daniel, making
his home in Wisconsin; Dorlisca being the wife of William
Viles, in Lake County, Ohio; Frederick, residing in Nebraska;
Fidelia, wife of William McConnell, living in Lorain
County, Ohio; and Oliver G., making his home in California.
The father, Squire Heath, was a rifleman in the War of 1812.
He died in Lorain County, Ohio; and Oliver G., making his
home in California. The father, Squire Heath, was a
rifleman in the War of 1812. He died in Lorain County, Ohio,
April 1, 1845. The mother, Abigail (Smith) Heath, subsequently
came to this State and died in Piatt county in June, 1863.
During the boyhood of our subject the family removed from the Empire
State to Ohio, and taking possession of a tract of timber land in
Lorain County, literally hewed out a home from the wilderness.
Young Heath assisted in the work necessary to build up their
home, and more than once of the forest trees felt the weight of his
ax, while the other pioneer locals also became familiar to him.
The first schools attended by young Heath were
kept up by subscription and were held in the rude log cabins whose
description has become historical. The curriculum embraced
only the most important branches, but all who were studious and
attentive could become well versed in "the three R's. Upon a
foundation of this kind it is comparatively easy to rear a structure
of general intelligence, and many a man whose life was passed under
such circumstances is to-day better informed than he who has
depended upon the instruction gained in the higher schools and
Realizing that it is not good for a man to live
alone, Mr. Heath was married July 21, 1845, to Charity
Warner an estimable young woman who was born in Ashtabula
County, Ohio, November 6, 1827. Her parents were Hiram
and Elizabeth A. (Franklin) Warner, the latter distantly related to
Benjamin Franklin. Both Mr. and Mrs. Warner were born
in Connecticut and are believed to be of English descent. For
a number of years they resided in New York and subsequently passed a
long period in Ohio. In the '40s they came to this State,
making a settlement in Macon County, where Mr. Warner died in
1854, two years after his wife had been called hence. He was a
Minuteman in the War of 1812. Out of a large family born to
Mr. and Mrs. Warner four are now living, namely: Nancy M.,
widow of James Dunbar, whose home is in Macon County;
Austin, who lives in Nebraska; Jane L., wife of Henry
Crandall, of Minnesota; and Mrs. Heath.
The first home of Mr. and Mrs. Heath after
their marriage was in Lorain County, Ohio, but in 1852 they removed
and established themselves at their present location. Here not
a furrow had yet been turned, and Mr. Heath and his
brother-in-law, Austin Warner, during the first season broke
forty acres and put in a crop of corn. Mr. Heath
subsequently broke forty acres himself, and by degrees the entire
tract was put under cultivation. Some hardships and privations
were endured by the husband and wife, but they were cheerfully borne
in the hope of future prosperity for themselves, and better
advantages for their children than could otherwise be obtained.
They have succeeded in their effort to make a home, and have been
able to give their children good educations as well as careful home
guidance. They now see about them a finely improved tract of
one hundred and fifty acres and share in the enjoyment of the
comforts of life, as they did in the labor necessary to secure them.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Heath are eight in
number. Of the family we note the following: Adella
is the wife of George Robertson, their home being in
Monticello; Harvey E. and Alfred B. are editors and
proprietors of the Nebraska Farmer, published at Lincoln,
Neb., and are recognized among the leading journalists in their
line; Ellen H. is the wife of James Robertson and
lives in Clay County, Neb.; Hubert A. is the editor of the
Kansas Farmer published at Topeka; Eva J., is
the wife of Edward Moyer, whose home is in Piatt County;
Ora M. married Owen Hitch who lives in Paris, this
State; Elmer H. is deceased.
Helton, merchant, was born in
1822, in North Carolina. His parents were natives of the same
state, from which they moved to Wayne county, Indiana, sixteen miles
from Newport. They, with eight children, landed at this place
between Christmas and New Year’s, and the snow was knee-deep. They
lived here beside a big log and a camp-fire until spring, hauling
all provisions on a one-horse sled from Newport. Mr. Helton moved
to Douglas county in 1857 or 1858. He was married in 1838, to Ann
Willis. They have lived for ten or twelve years in Piatt county.
He was the first person who built a house in Atwood. His store was
the first in the town and he opened the first grain office in the
place. Henry Helton and wife nee’ Josephine Willingham, have one
child, and live in Douglas county. Joel married Francis Smithson and
is a grain trader in Atwood. Alexander married Mary Faulhaber,
lives in Atwood, and is also a grain dealer. He has three children,
Birdie and Gertie, twins, and Alfred. George and Rebecca, the
youngest daughter, lives at home. Janie married Thomas Barnes, a
carpenter, and lives in Atwood. Mr. Helton is a member of the
Masonic order and of a life insurance society.
One of the best homesteads in Goose Creek Township, Piatt
County, is owned and occupied by Mr. Hershberger and represented by
a view linked here. The
soil of this tract of land is not better than that of many others in
the locality, but it has been carefully and intelligently tilled,
and means have been taken to secure buildings that will properly
house the crops and stock and give to the family commodious and
pleasant quarters. The dwelling is a fine large frame
structure of pleasing architectural design and furnished with the
many conveniences and means of enjoyment that our prosperous farmers
are finding necessary in their homes as in those of the dwellers in
towns. The estate consists of two hundred and eighty-five
Mr. Hershberger traces his ancestry to Germany, whence
his grandfather emigrated in Colonial days, settling in the Old
Dominion. In that State Samuel Hershberger, father of our
subject, was born in 1780. Upon leaving his native State he
first went to Ohio, and in 1834 made a second removal to Carroll
County, Ind. He bought unimproved land, cleared it and made it
into a good home, his nearest market town for some time being
Michigan City. He died in 1842, when our subject was a lad in
his eighth year. He had been married three times, his last
wife being Nancy Shealey, who was of English and Irish ancestry and
was born in Virginia, Oct. 13, 1798. She was the mother of
nine children, only one of whom besides our subject is now living.
She lived until 1878 and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal
The natal day of the subject of this sketch was March
30, 1835, and his birthplace Carroll County, Ind. He opened
his eyes to the light in the farmhouse built of logs, with a
puncheon floor and primitive furnishings, such as was common on the
farms in that section of the country. During his early boyhood
he attended a subscription school, the temple of learning in which
he pursued his studies being of the same rude construction as his
home. Soon after the death of his father he began his
apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker, a trade to which he devoted but a
comparatively short time but the knowledge of which has been of
great advantage to him. For one year he was engaged in
pattern-making for a foundry in Pittsburg, Ind.
When but seventeen years old, Mr. Hershberger
determined to try his fortune in Illinois, and traveling via the
Wabash & Erie Canal to Covington, Ind., he continued his journey by
stage to Monticello which was then but a small village. During
the ensuing four years he was engaged at divers occupations, being
willing to turn his hand to anything by which he could advance his
fortune, provided only that it was honest work. In 1856 he
rented land and began farming, although still making Monticello his
place of residence. For three years he tilled the soil on Camp
Creek and in March, 1862, settled on land he had previously bought
in Goose Creek Township. He was among the first to locate in
that vicinity, which was still so wild that deer were killed on his
farm several years after he took possession. His market towns
were Champaign and Bement. From an humble beginning he has
reached a position of financial solidity and during the years of his
residence in the county has demonstrated his worth as a man and a
The many virtues of mind and heart possessed by Miss
Julia A. Barnes made her companionship seem so desirable to Mr.
Hershberger that he wooed her for his wife, their union being
solemnized April 21, 1857. She was the second female child
born in Piatt County, her natal day being Oct. 26, 1836. Her
parents, Andrew and Elizabeth (Norris) Barnes, had become hither
from Ohio in 1833. They were natives of Ohio and Maryland
respectively, and are remembered by the few pioneers who survive as
energetic and upright citizens. Mr. Barnes died in 1838 and
his widow in 1882. The latter was a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church and was careful and conscientious in the care of
her six children, three of whom are now living.
To Mr. and Mrs. Hershberger eight children have been
born, two of whom - Samuel A. and America, have crossed the river of
death. The survivors are William E., Ada B., Mary F., Mark M.,
Gertie B., and Ernest A. Their father is deeply interested in
their advancement and has given them good advantages, Mary and
Gertie having been especially well schooled. The father is one
of those whose chief interest centers on his family, and Mrs.
Hershberger, although most hospitable and kindly in her associations
with her acquaintances, also believes her home the very center of
the universe as far as her affection and forethought is concerned.
The home is therefore one of the most pleasant associations, and the
sons and daughters are sure of the parental sympathy in every good
thing toward which their tastes lead them.
Mr. Hershberger has served as Supervisor of Goose Creek
Township two terms, was Town Clerk an equal length of time, Assessor
two years and has also been Highway Commissioner. It will thus
be seen that his neighbors have a high opinion of his ability and
honor. He has always been independent in politics. Since
1857 he ahs been a Mason. He is a man of more than ordinary
intelligence, careful and judicious in business ventures, and
thoroughly honorable in all his dealings.
Joshua Hill, one of the early settlers
and highly respected citizens of Piatt county, Illinois, now leading
a retired life in the village, of Bement, was born in Franklin
county, Ohio, December 16, 1826, and during his early boyhood was
taken to Piqua county, that state, by his parents, Joshua and Hannah
(Cramer) Hill. (See Note 1) The father
was a native of Delaware and when a young man removed to Ohio, where
he engaged in farming. He was by trade, however, a shoemaker,
and for a few years he followed that pursuit. In his farming
operations he prospered, and at that time of his death he was the
owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Piqua
county, Ohio, constituting one of the finest farms of the locality.
Fraternally he was a Mason, and for many years he was a worthy
exemplar of the craft, but he belong to no order. Politically
he was a Whit in early life, but he attended the first Republican
convention of Ohio, held in Columbus, and after gave his support to
the principles of the new party. He died at the age of
seventy-eight years and was survived for about two years by his
wife. She was born in New Jersey near the town of Hope, and
she also passed away at the age of seventy-eight years. A
member of the Methodist church, she was an earnest church worker, a
devout Christian woman and a devoted wife and kind, loving mother.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hill were born ten children, of whom six reached
years of maturity, while the others died in infancy. At this
time Joshua Hill has two sisters and one brother living.
The "temple of learning" in which Joshua
his education was built of logs, after the primitive manner of the
times. He worked upon the home farm in his youth, and
afterward spent some time as a clerk in different stores.
About the year 1850 he came to Illinois, locating in Piatt county,
and for four years he carried on farming here in the summer and
taught schools for three terms in the winter. On the
expiration of that period he returned to Ohio, and when he again
came to Piatt county he established his home near Lodge station,
where he has resided since 1861, covering a period of forty-two
consecutive years. He removed to Bement on 27th of December,
1862, and established the first regular dray line and conducted the
business during his active life, and it is still carried on by his
sons. About 1893 he retired he retired from further business
cares and is now enjoying the fruits of his former toil.
On the 2d of September, 1857, Mr. Hill was united in
marriage to Miss Lydia Peoples, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of
Alexander and Rachel (McClish) Peoples. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have
become the parents of eight children, William H., a resident of
Decatur, Illinois, married Etta Curfman, and they have two children.
Sarah E., is the wife of John W. Powell, of Piqua county, Ohio, a
conductor with headquarters in Columbus, and they have four living
children. Charles, who is engaged in the dray business in
Bement, married Jennie Fisher and has four children.
in Newcasstle, Indiana, wedded Saddie Swigart.
engaged in the dray business in Bement. Franklin, who resides
on the property adjoining his father's home, and is working for the
Wabash Railroad Company, married Willie Dawson, and they have six
children. The other two children of the family died in
To the great political questions which divide the
country into parties Mr. Hill has given considerable thought, and
his views on these have occasioned him to ally his force with the
Republican party. He was assessor of his township for fourteen
years, out otherwise he has never been an office seeker, preferring
to give his time and attention to his business affairs, rather than
to political cares. For at least half a century he has been
identified with the Masonic fraternity, and he has long been a
faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he
served for a number of years as trustee. His life interest has
centered along those lines through which flow the greatest good to
the greatest number, and he has ever favored reform, progress and
improvement. When he came to this county, nearly all the land
was wild prairie, and he has been a witness of nearly all the
changes made as the county has emerged from pioneer conditions to
take its place with the leading counties of the commonwealth.
During his early residence here he taught for a number of years in
the district school and was a very successful educator. He and
his wife now have a pleasant home in the village of Bement, where
they are spending their days in the midst of children, grandchildren
and friends, who entertain for them the warmest regard.
has been a resident of Piatt County for more than twenty
years, and in that time has made a substantial place for himself
among the farmers and stockraisers of this part of Illinois.
He has a farm in Monticello Township pleasantly located on section
26, that is well improved and is under excellent management.
Mr. Hoffhines was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, May 5, 1832.
He was a son of Isaac and Elender Hoffhines, natives of Pennsylvania
and Virginia respectively. His paternal ancestors were of
German origin. His father was twice married and had a large
family of children, of whom the following survive: William, a
resident of Pickaway County; Joseph also a resident of Ohio;
Susannah, wife of Warren Dern of that State; Isaac, a resident of
Hocking County, Ohio; and Elias.
Our subject lived in his native county until he was
fourteen years old, when he accompanied his parents to Hocking
County where he grew to manhood and where his father and mother
died. When he was about twenty two years old he returned to
Pickaway County, and lived there for several years. He was
first married there to Sarah E. Hoffhines, but she lived only about
seven months afterward. He was subsequently married to Martha
Robeson and to them have come twelve children, of whom the following
survive: Prof. Isaac Hoffhines, a teacher in the Monticello
schools; Zelda, wife of Martin Gale, of Piatt County Sarah, wife of
Harvey Trotter of Champaign County; Homer, David, Cassius, Daniel,
Mary and Clara. Those deceased are Ratio, Ezra and Wayne.
Our subject had but few educational advantages but he
gained such knowledge as was afforded by the primitive subscription
school of his younger days. In 1869 he came to Piatt County,
and farmed as a renter for a number of years. He then bought a
farm of eighty acres in Monticello Township, along the line of
Champaign County, and he resided on that until he removed to his
present farm in the spring of 1890. Here he has a quarter
section of land whose soil is of exceptional fertility, and is
admirably adapted to grain growing and stock-raising purposes to
which he devotes it.
Starting out in life a poor man, our subject has placed
himself in comfortable circumstances by his unwearying industry,
thrift and wise economy. He may well be called a self-made
man, and be proud of the fact that all that he is and all that he
has he owes to his own exertions. He has sensible views on all
subjects with which he is familiar, and his political convictions
place him with the Democratic party.
Note 1 - Film Series M653
Roll 1023 Page 6 - 1860 Scioto Twp., Pickaway
Dwelling 69 Family 69
||b. New Jersey
|Joseph I. "
||b. Ohio At School