Henry header


Biographies B

 Following are some biographies of families who at one time or another lived in Henry Co. Illinois. In some cases it is the parent, spouse or child who was a Henry Co. resident so please read carefully!


BAER, ELI F; Farmer; Henderson Township; born January 11, 1863, in Henry County, Illinois; educated in Westfield College, Illinois. His parents who were natives of Franklin County, Pennsylvania were: David F. Baer, born May 11, 1827, and died, July 18, 1890, and Susanna (Rine) Baer, born April 28, 1825; his grandparents were David and Elizabeth (Flicklinger) Baer of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; his maternal grandparents were Michael Rine of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Elizabeth (Dunkle) Rine, of Hagerstown, Maryland; his great-grandparents were Michael Dunkle and Susanna Raider. Mr. Baer was married to Angie Waters, at Gilson, Illinois, May 25, 1898. Mr. Baer is a prohibitionist. In religion, he belongs to the United Brethren in Christ.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899 p 850


The career of this gentleman illustrates most forcibly that success is the outcome of indefatigable energy, ambition, steadfastness of purpose and integrity. These qualities have enabled him to work his way upward unaided by others, and to-day he is recognized as one of the foremost agriculturists in Dallas county. His home is pleasantly located four miles northeast of Redfield, and comprises 240 acres. It is a very fine farm, under a high state of cultivation, and improved with good buildings and all the accessories and conveniences found upon a model farm of the nineteenth century.

Mr. Bandy is a Western man by birth, training and interest, and his life typifies the progressive spirit of the age. He was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, on the 14th of March, 1833, and is a son of Reuben and Sibby (Adkisson) Bandy. His father was born in Virginia, in December, 1785, and descended from German ancestry. In the year 1810, in his native State, he married Miss Adkisson, who was born in the Old Dominion in September, 1788. In the year of their marriage they removed to Kentucky, where they resided for twelve years, going to Indiana in 1822. Ten years later they left the hoosier State for Tazewell county, Illinois, where they resided from 1832 until 1835, when they became residents of Knox county, that State, there spending their remaining days. They were people of the highest respectability, esteemed by many friends. The father passed away in Galesburg, in January, 1861, and on the 6th of April, 1876, his wife died in the same city.

Mr. Bandy of this review accompanied his parents on their removal to Knox county, and was there reared to manhood, working on his father's farm and attending the public schools, where he acquired a good practical English education. As a companion and helpmeet on life's journey he chose Miss Lucinda Nelson, a native of Indiana, born in Jackson county, on the 1st of May, 1834. The wedding was celebrated in Henry county, Illinois, but they began their domestic life in Knox county, where they resided for twenty-four years, coming thence to Dallas county, Iowa, in 1881. Four children were born of their union: George Nelson, born March 9, 1859; Mrs. Emma Hodges, born December 1, 1861; Mrs. Nettie Simcoke, born February 20, 1864; and Frank Richard, born July 6, 1869.

During his entire life Mr. Bandy has carried on agricultural pursuits as a means of livelihood, and his well directed efforts, perseverance and diligence have brought to him a handsome competence. To him is due the credit of making the Dallas county fairs the grand success which they have undoubtedly been for several years past. For the past decade he has been an earnest worker for this much desired result, and such fairs are certainly important factors in promoting the agricultural and stock- raising interests of his locality, awakening a desire to secure the best products and finest stock. All this stimulates progress. For ten years Mr. Bandy has been president of the Dallas County Agricultural Society. He has served as Township Trustee, and has held other offices, although he has never sought political preferment. His public duties are ever faithfully performed, and he is a recognized leader in the councils of the Republican party. No man is more widely known in all Dallas county than Mr. Bandy. He possesses a genial, pleasant manner, is courteous in his treatment of all, and has the high regard of young and old, rich and poor. His life has not been filled with exciting adventure, but has been quietly and unostentatiously devoted to duty, public and private. He is a man of much force of character, of steadfast purpose, and many a worthy cause has found in him a worthy champion.

Source: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896


The thrifty blood of old English peasantry flows in the veins of Samuel Barnes, now living in comfortable retirement in the college addition of Wayne, where he owns thirty-four lots, enough for pasture, a garden, and room to turn around; when one has been accustomed to the wide space of the country, a small, restricted city lot gives him a sense of smothering; he must have room to stretch his limbs and draw a deep breath.

Mr. Barnes was born in the village of Manea, Cambridgeshire, England, November 25, 1841. His father, Samuel Barnes, senior, with his wife (who was Mary Ann Good) and two of their children, Samuel, junior, being one of them, emigrated to America in 1854, sailing on the ship "Albert Gelleton" from Liverpool, October 22, and arriving at New York the day before Christmas. He settled on a small tract of land near Cleveland, where he had a market garden for six or seven years. Four years later he came to Rockford Illinois, where his wife died, after which he made his home with his daughter in Rock Island county, Illinois, until his death, which occurred when he was nearly eighty-seven years old.

Samuel Barnes, junior, married in Cleveland, and in 1859, came to Illinois. He traveled by lake on the "May Queen" to Detroit, took a train to Chicago and traveled thence to Rock Island, Illinois. Shortly after, he crossed the river to Davenport and was employed there until January, 1861, when he returned to Cleveland. At this time they bought land in the "Black Swamp," near Millbury, a part of which they cultivated from 1861 to 1865. Returning to Davenport, he bought a team of horses and engaged in teaming, working fourteen years for the firm of Van Patten & Marks, wholesale grocers, and although not a large man, he could handle heavier freight than many men twice his size.

Mr. Barnes was first married in Cleveland, Ohio, April 7, 1859, to Miss Mary McCabe, a native of Ireland, who died in 1883. She was a daughter of Charles McCabe, and at her death was deeply mourned by a large circle of friends and sorrowing relatives.

Mr. Barnes lived in Davenport until 1885, when he came to Nebraska, reaching Wayne county on the 27th of September. He bought a quarter section of land four and one-half miles north and one mile west of Wayne, where he lived for twenty years. In 1905, he rented his farm, and the same year moved to town, where he purchased thirty-four lots in College addition, and built a neat cottage home. He followed teaming for a year or two, but receiving an extra good offer for his fine team, he sold and gave over hard work for the rest of his life.

On several of his lots he has a fine garden which brings him a good revenue; he has his cow and a horse to keep, enough to give him some employment, at the same time adding to his pleasure in life and reducing the cost of living.

Mr. Barnes was again married September 16, 1885, at Cambridge, Illinois, to Mary Ann Ragen, who was born in Cleveland; she is a daughter of Hughie Ragen, who came from Ireland. One daughter was born to them, Edyth Rose; who is now a successful teacher in the Wayne county schools.

Mr. and Mrs. Barnes just escaped being out in the blizzard of January 12, 1888; he was hitching his team to drive over to his sister's, south of town, for a visit, when the storm enveloped them; had they started a quarter of an hour earlier, they might have been forever lost.

Deer were not all gone from the country when Mr. Barnes came; he saw two or three of them on the prairie after locating in Wayne county; and of wolves he has seen none here except the common coyote; but the large grey wolves he has seen in Illinois, when he occasionally worked across on that side of the river.

Much of Mr. Barnes' prosperity is due to his care for his tools; he has an axe, the helve of which he made in 1862; a hay rake and cultivator he purchased in 1865 are still in a perfect state of preservation; plows, harrows and other implements have been preserved with equal care. It is the care and saving in little things that make fortunes where otherwise failure and loss accrue.

Mr. Barnes is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Source: The Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, Alden Pub Co, Chicago IL 1912


A. BECKMAN, live stock dealer and real estate, is a native of Sweden. In 1864, he came to Henry County, Ill.; came to Oakland Precinct in 1864; homesteaded 160 acres; he now owns 240 acres which he improved. In the spring of 1881, he commenced the live-stock business; he handled the past eight months about $95,000 worth of hogs; he also attends to the sale of lands in the Logan Valley.

Source: Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1883, Burt County, Town of Decatur


BISHOP, C. H., farmer, section 25, P. O. Hamburg; born in Knox county, Ohio, October 12, 1839, where he resided until 1846. He then moved with his father, who was a physician, to Marion county, Ohio, and remained three yers. In 1851 he went to Bureau county, Illinois thence to Stark county, same state, where his mother died, thence to Henry county where he began life for himself. In 1856 he went to Missouri, but after a year returned to Canton, Illinois.

In 1862, August 27, he enlisted in company G, 103d Illinois infantry. He was in the army three years and was often wounded. At the battle of Resaca he was twice struck, and in that at Kenesaw Mountain received three severe wounds. He was in one hundred and twelve skirmishes and twenty-four engagements. From the time of his muster out until coming to Fremont county in 1869, he was in various kinds of business and resided in various cities and states.

He was united in marriage December 23, 1877, to Miss Susan E., daughter of Asa and Elizabeth Mann. They have one child Vera Vern, born September 5, 1878. Mrs. Bishop is a member of the M. E. church and Mr. B. of the A.O.U.W.

Source: History of Fremont County Iowa; published 1881 Iowa History Company, Des Moines, IA


Ross Wesley Black, the mail carrier on Route No. 2, of Atkinson, Illinois, who is distinguished by a gentlemanly bearing, kindness and a genial disposition is his relations with his patrons, was born in Atkinson, November 16, 1882, and is the eldest son of Robert W. and Julia Curtain (Foy) Black. The father, who was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, April 17, 1856, was the fourth in a family of thirteen children, only six of whom are now living. They were Henry, who died in childhood; Elizabeth, the wife of David Sisler, who lives in Pennsylvania; George E., a resident of Altoona; Robert W., the father of our subject; Ruth, who died at the age of nineteen years; Henrietta, the wife of Charles Daugherty, of Altoona, Pennsylvania; Minnie, the wife of William Bowser of Pennsylvania; Susan, the wife of Edward Smeigh, also of Pennsylvania; and five others who died young.

In his youth Robert W. Black learned the trade of a painter and decorator and followed it for five years in the Pennsylvania car shops and in the car shops at Altoona for two or three years, when he lost his health. He then engaged in farming for two years, after which he returned to his trade. In 1876 he came to Atkinson, Illinois, and has since made this town his home. His wife, Mrs. Julia C. Black, was born September 16, 1860, and was a daughter of Gideon and Mary Ann (Bryan) Foy. Both parents were natives of Pennsylvania and are buried side by side in Adams County, Iowa, their deaths having occurred in that state, the mother's in Prescott in 1895, the father's five years later. The later was a farmer all his life and was the father of ten children, six boys and four girls, all but the youngest born in Pennsylvania. They were John W., of Galesburg, Illinois, a member of the legislature of this state in 1877, when he espoused the cause of the Greenback Party; Stephen, of Prescott, Iowa; Sarah, the wife of G. A. Aboners of Creston, Iowa; James W., of Prescott, Iowa; Tonar, who died in January, 1894, in Prescott, Iowa, though a resident of Atkinson, Illinois; Samuel A., of Prescott, Iowa; Mary Elizabeth, who was the wife of Robert Parker, of Atkinson, and died in November, 1877, being buried in Fair View Cemetery; Julia Curtain, the wife of Robert Black of this review; Laura M., the wife of James Campbell, of Prescott, Iowa; and Warren B., born in Illinois, living now in Kansas. In her girlhood Mrs. Black attended the school in which her two sons and her daughter-in-law at one time taught, for she was reared in this locality. By her marriage to Mr. Black she became the mother of six children: Ross W.; George Edward, who was born in Atkinson in 1887 and is in business with his father; Ruth Anna, a graduate of the Atkinson High School and now a teacher in the country schools of the township; Robert Julian, also a graduate of the high school and like his sister a teacher in the country schools; Susan May, now a pupil in the high school; and Julia Foy, attending school. The parents live in what is known as the Riley Addition to Atkinson, where in 1898 Mr. Black erected a very pretty home. He is a man who was compelled to rely upon himself for his success in the world and by his own efforts has acquired a comfortable living. His educational advantages having been somewhat limited he has spared no pains to give his children the best schooling within his power. Politically he is in sympathy with the Prohibitionist Party and is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen. Mrs. Black is a Royal Neighbor, and both husband and wife belong to the congregational Church.

Ross W. Black received his education in the schools of Atkinson and was graduated from the high school with the class of 1899. Immediately upon the expiration of his own school days he engaged in teaching and during the two years he was connected with the schools of Henry County achieved success as a popular and progressive instructor, who possessed the faculty of endearing himself to his pupils. Subsequent to his experience as a teacher he took a course of one year at Brown's Business College at Davenport, Iowa, and then in 1905 began carrying the mail from Atkinson to the residents on Route 2. Here again the amiable qualities of his personality came to the front and he has made a large number of friends, who are attracted by the heartiness of his greeting and courtesy of his bearing.

On the 30th of May, 1908, Mr. Black married Miss Emma Louisa Wahlert. She was born in Cornwall, Atkinson Township, in 1880, and is a daughter of William and Johanna (Lehse) Wahlert. The parents were born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, between 1840 and 1850 and came to America in 1874, being three weeks in crossing the ocean. They settled first in Cornwall Township, where the father engaged in farming, and then came to Atkinson, where he worked as a laborer and where he died about twenty-five years ago. The mother is still living in Atkinson at the age of sixty years. Of the children that were born to Mr. And Mrs. Wahlert, six are now living: Ernest, a mechanical engineer of Britt, Iowa; Lena, the wife of Robert Graham, of Atkinson, Illinois; Amelia, the widow of Machen Winters, who lives in Iowa with her four sons; William Claus, also mechanical engineer of Britt; Emma Louisa, now Mrs. Ross W. Black; and James, who is a soldier in the Philippines. Mrs. Black attended the graded schools of Atkinson until she was twelve and then continued her education in the high school of Geneseo, from which she graduated in 1899. She also engaged in teaching in the country schools of Henry County for three years and then took a two years' course in the Baptist Hospital and Training School, from which in 1904 she received her diploma as a trained nurse. For almost five years she practiced her profession in Annawan, Atkinson and Geneseo, and by her physicians was considered a very capable woman and one of the best nurses in this locality. A son, Henry Thomas, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Black, September 14, 1909.

Mr. and Mrs. Black are members of the Congregational Church and the Royal Neighbors. They both possess to an unusual degree the capacity for making strong friendships and hold an enviable place in the hearts of the people of Atkinson. Politically Mr. Black is connected with the Prohibition Party.

Source: History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Kiner, Henry, L., Chicago, Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910

Submitted by: Alice Gless


Dry good, notions and groceries, South Brooklyn. Was born in Prussia, April 12, 1843. His father was an agriculturalist in that country. He was there raised and learned the trades of tailoring and butchering. Came to America in 1865. First located at Geneseo, Illinois, where he resided nine years, after which he came to Brooklyn, where he has since resided. He operated a butcher-shop in South Brooklyn for three years, previous to which he was engaged in various pursuits. In 1879 he embarked in the merchandise business. Was married in the autumn of 1868 to Miss Maria Egler, of Illinois, originally from Bohemia. By this union they have five children: Annie, John, Charles, Fredricka and Francis. Mr. Blandenfelt is a member of the I.O.O.F., being well and popularly known, and as he keeps a well selected stock of good, commands a liberal trade.

Source: The History of Poweshiek County, Iowa; Des Moines: Union Hist. Co., 1880 p 823 Bear Creek Twp

Note: IL State Marriage Index lists this couple as Jacob Blankenfeld and Maria Eichler mar 23 Sep 1869 (rather than 1868) in Henry Co. IL


Charles C. Blish, a distinguished farmer and breeder of thoroughbred cattle, and President of the First National Bank at Kewanee, Henry County, Ill., was born at Glastonbury, Conn., May 26, 1820, and accompanied his parents, Sylvester and Rhoda (Cheney) Blish, to Illinois when he was 17 years of age.  (See biography of Col. S. Blish.) At the common schools of New England he acquired a pretty thorough English education, and mastered the science of surveying. He was the first male teacher employed at Wethersfield, and probably taught the first winter school in this part of the country, -- in the winter of 1840-1. From 1840 to 1844, he filled the office of Deputy County Surveyor, and from 1850 to 1854 was County Surveyor in chief. Farming and stock-breeding constitute the business in which he finds the greatest pleasure, and though President of a National Bank with $100,000 capital stock, as compared with his rural pursuits he finds the position irksome. (See history of the First National Bank of Kewanee, this volume.)

Mr. Blish owns three fine farms in Henry County, and, in company with his son, Mathew B. Blish, cultivates two of them, including the old homestead of his father, aggregating over 600 acres. As a stock-grower, Short-horn cattle, registered, is his specialty, though among his horses and hogs are many of the finest bloods to be found in the State; and his annual sales of thoroughbred stock are attended by distinguished breeders from all parts of the United States. In 1865, in company with his brother, he laid out what has since been known as Blish’s Addition to Kewanee, and in the year 1884 removed from his farm into the city where he has since resided.

Like his father, Mr. B. is a Democrat in politics. He is no partisan or office-seeker, but a firm and unqualified adherent to the principles of that party. Aside from the prestige of wealth, Mr. B. is a man of more than ordinary influence in the community, where the years of his manhood have been spent. As a farmer and fine stock breeder in this county he ranks A 1; as a banker, the confidence of the people is reposed in him; and as a neighbor and citizen he enjoys a full share of the love and esteem of the populace.

He was married Dec. 23, 1840, in the town of Goshen, Stark Co., Ill., to Miss Elizabeth P. Bonar, who was born in Bethlehem, Ohio, Dec. 14, 1820; and of their children we make the following brief memoranda: James J., a talented young  attorney of Kewanee; and Mathew B., farmer and stock-grower of Wethersfield township; William H., Sylvester, Carie L. and Catherine E., all died in infancy.

Source: Henry County (if you know what book please email webmaster), Page 695

Submitted by Cyndie A. Greer


No history of Henry county would be complete without extended reference to the Blish family, which was founded in this part of the state by Colonel Sylvester Blish in the year 1836. He was a son of Deacon Thomas and Prudence (Hubbard) Blish and was born at Glastonbury, Connecticut, December 31, 1790. The Blish genealogy published in 1904 says:

"Sylvester Blish was a very active and energetic man. He had the fiery and impetuous temperament of his mother, combined with the determination of his father. He was public spirited and active in politics, holding many public offices in Connecticut. He was lister in Glastonbury in 1815, 1817 and 1818; was tithingman 1817, 1819 and 1826; was surveyor of highways in 1820, 1821, 1823, 1824, 1825 and 1827; was on board the relief in 1822 and 1823; was collector of taxes in 1825; was grand juryman in 1828 and 1829; was town agent and fence-viewer in 1830; selectman in 1832 and 1833; and a member of the Connecticut general assembly in 1835.

"He was also prominent in military matters and rose through gradual promotions until he was colonel in the Connecticut militia for several years before he left Connecticut in 1836. He was one of the administrators of the estate of his brother Aaron Hubbard Blish, and also administered upon the estate of his father.

"In 1835 a rumor was spread through Connecticut and Massachusetts that the Catholics were colonizing the fertile Mississippi valley with the intention of founding a Catholic hierarchy there, and a movement was inaugurated with the object of sending out Protestant colonies and settlements to counteract the Catholic movement A stock company was organized in Wethersfield, Connecticut, for this purpose, the Rev. Caleb Tenney, of Wethersfield, and the Rev. Gardner Spring of New York being among the leaders of the enterprise. Colonel Blish joined the Wethersfield company, which was called 'The Connecticut Association'. A fund raised and in 1836 Colonel Sylvester Blish, Elizur Goodrich and Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury were chosen to proceed west and purchase lands. Mr. Pillsbury was not a member of the association, but had been in the west the preceding year in the interest of another similar association, so that his experience was valuable. Elizur Goodrich was a surveyor. They came to Illinois a trip that was not without considerable hardship at that time. Mr. Goodrich became discouraged by the vastness and seeming endlessness of the prairies, but Colonel Blish, encouraged by the zeal and hopefulness of Mr. Pillsbury, pushed the work to a completion.

"They selected and entered over fifteen thousand acres of land in Henry county, Illinois, and returned to Connecticut. Colonel Blish was so impressed with the fertility of the soil in Illinois and the future possibilities of the country that he determined to make his home there. He sold his lands in Connecticut and in the spring of 1837 started with his family for Illinois, making the entire trip in a carriage. His wagons, farming utensils and household effects were shipped by water to New Orleans and from thence came up the Mississippi river to the settlement at Rock Island, about forty miles from the location of the colony lands. These lands were happily chosen. The greater portion lay to the south of a large grove of oak, walnut and hickory timber, about fifteen miles long and six miles wide. A portion of the colony lands were located in the south edge of the timber. To a person reared among the stony hills of Connecticut or Massachusetts, these vast rolling prairies with their rich, black soil, were alike a wonder and an inspiration. A town site was laid out a little to the south of the grove and cal1ed Wethersfield. By the forms of the association each share of stock gave the. owner the right to select a quarter section (one hundred and sixty. acres) of prairie land, a twenty-acre timber lot and a village lot, which contained two and one-half acres. A number of other colonists arrived the same year and the season was taken up mainly with the construction of log houses and the raising of small crops to provide for the coming winter. Space forbids any extended account of the privations of these early comers or the growth and final success of the venture. The Catholic scare was purely imaginary, but the results were good for the parties concerned and for the communities planted in the new country. Three other settlements were made in the near vicinity of Wethersfield, one at Andover, by Massachusetts people, one at Geneseo, by New York people and one at Providence, by Rhode Island people.

"Colonel Blish took an active interest in the affairs of the new country and aided and encouraged its development and settlement. He became a large land owner and prospered beyond his most sanguine expectations. In 1853 a railroad was projected which would give connections with Chicago, and into this enterprise he launched with all his accustomed vigor, and in 1855 the railroad was a reality. From this time the real development of the country began. A railroad station was located a little over a half a mile north of the town site of Wethersfield, which was named Kewanee, that meaning in Indian dialect 'prairie hen.' Colonel Blish owned a quarter section of land adjoining the new railroad station, which is now a part of the city of Kewanee, and completely covered with factories and residences. That was east of the original village of Kewanee, while the city has now extended a mile to the west and taken in his old homestead and orchard, which was just at the south edge of the grove. Even the old village of Wethersfield is now putting on city airs, with water works, street lights and trolley cars.

"Colonel Blish was for many years the postmaster in Wethersfield and held the same office in Kewanee until his death, being the first postmaster in both places. For many years after his arrival in Wethersfield, Colonel Blish kept the only hotel in Wethersfield. The old oval sign stood upon a post, with the words: 'S. Blish. Inn' painted thereon. His house was the stopping place for the stage lines which traversed the country before the advent of railroads.

"The greatest obstacle with which the pioneers had to contend, was the lack of transportation facilities and their great distance from available markets. A limited quantity of wheat was marketed by teams at Peoria, Lacon and other river points, and occasionally at Chicago. The surest source of income was by fattening hogs, butchering and dressing them and hauling the whole carcasses to the river towns and selling them to the packing houses, or by raising cattle and selling them on the hoof to buyers, who took them away in droves to eastern points.

"Soon after the settlers arrived in Wethersfield, they organized a Congregational society. Meetings were held at the houses of the members and Colonel Blish's being the largest was usually used. Colonel Blish was the first chorister, and the music was strictly vocal. Later a bass viol was added. In the fall of 1838 a log schoolhouse was built and this was used for church services for some ten years.

"Colonel Blish was also an extensive stock raiser and took especial pride in his horses. He brought the first Morgan horses to Wethersfield and the effect of his labors is still apparent in the neighborhood. He was an expert horseman and no animal was too wild for him to handle."

Colonel Blish was married January 1, 1812,. at South Manchester, Connecticut, to Rhoda Cheney, who was there born December 5, 1794, and was a daughter of Timothy and Rhoda (Skinner) Cheney. They became parents of five children: William Henry, born May 25, 1812; Thomas, September 18, 1815; Charles Cheney, May 26, 1820; Prudence Hubbard, March 26, 1822; and George Cheney, January 12, 1831. Colonel Blish died October 8, 1855, in the old homestead on the place on which he located on his arrival in Illinois, a new house which he was building, having been almost ready for occupancy. His remains were interred in the old Kewanee cemetery, which he donated to the village when it was first laid out.

His wife was a great reader and always kept well informed on current topics. Financially independent after her husband's death, she took great pleasure in helping others. Patient, loving and cheerful, the close of her life was like a beautiful sunset. She died January 9, 1878, in her eighty-fourth year, and her grave was made by that of her husband.

SOURCE: Henry L. Kiner, History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910


CHARLES C. BLIVEN, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Dakota City; was born October, 1811, in Washington County, R. I. At about the age of ten years he came with his parents to Allegany County, N. Y. There he learned the carpenter trade. In about 1832 came to Tioga County, Pa.; followed the carpenter trade. In 1842 came to Rock County, Wis.; also worked at his trade. In 1850 removed to Fayette County, Iowa. Also worked at his trade in Davenport; built the first frame building there. In 1853, came to Minnesota; in the fall of 1855 returned to Davenport. In 1856 came to Dakota County; worked at his trade till 1862, when he removed to Henry County, Ill; in 1866 to Washington County, Ill. Returned to Dakota County in 1870, where he has since resided. Owns eighty acres of land which he has improved.

Source: Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1883, Dakota County, Town of Hubbard


Coal merchant, Monroe. He was born in Derbyshire, Eng. in 1832, and came to this country in 1857. He stopped in Iowa City, this State, about two weeks, then went to Rock Island Co., IL, and was there two years, thence to Henry Co., IL until 1856, when he removed to this county.

He owns twenty-eight acres of coal land in Sec 33, Fairview Twp. and seventy-five acres of land in Marion Co., sixty acres being coal land. He employs sixteen  men during the Winter months taking out coal. He married Miss Ann Rolland in England. He is a Republican, and a member of the I.O.O.F.

Source: HISTORY of JASPER COUNTY, IOWA, Containing a history of the county, its cities, towns. A biographical directory of its citizens. Chicago, Western Historical, 1878. Fairview Twp


BODA, ADAM-Farmer, section 17, P. O. Palmer. Was born in Holmes county, Ohio, February 11, 1837, and in 1857 he moved to Henry county, Illinois, living there until the fall of 1868. He then moved on the farm he now occupies, consisting of 165 acres of good land. August 11, 1862, he enlisted in company D, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois infantry . Participated in the battles of Knoxville, Resaca, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, Wilmington, and in the raid through East Tennessee, in all ninety-five battles and skirmishes. October 14, 1867, he was married to Miss Louisa Ringgenberg, a native of Holmes county, Ohio. They have nine children: Mary C., Sarah A., Emily C., Hulda S., Isadore, Ida J., Peter C. and Clara, living, and one dead, Rachel Louise.

Source: The History of Polk County, Iowa; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co. 1880.


C. F. BODINS0N, dealer in general stock--groceries, queens-ware and glassware; established the business in June, 1878, and carries about $6,000 worth of stock to supply his trade; employs four men. He was born in Sweden June 29, 1846; came alone to America in 1865, and settled at Bishop Hill, Henry Co., Ill., and engaged as clerk in a general store about two years; then to Galva, Ill., in same business as before until 1870. He then began the grocery trade, in company with another party, continuing three years; sold out to his partner and opened the grocery business alone, and continued until he moved to Kearney, Neb., in 1878. He was married, December 28, 1870, to Miss Louisa Dahlgren, of Knox County, Ill. They have three sons--Perry Fred, Frank Axel and William Leroy. He is a member of I. O. O. F. of Kearney, Neb., also the K. of H. Lodge, No. 1,335.

Source: Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1883, Buffalo County, Town of Kearney

Note: Carl F Bodinson and Louise Dahlgren married in Henry Co. IL


BRIGGS, Ralph O., P. O. Hawthorn; was born December 25, 1848, in Henry County, Illinois, living there until he reached the age of twenty-two years; moved to Montgomery County and located on the farm on which he now lives, in the spring of 1870, his farm being at the time all wild land. He was married November 20, 1874, to Miss Huldah Harbaugh, a native of Illinois; was married at Red Oak, by W. P. Pattison. By this marriage they have three children: Guy, born August 11, 1875; Nellie, born November 2, 1877; Charlie, born September 16, 1879. Mr. Briggs has a well-improved farm, with good frame house, barn, cribs, granaries, etc. He handles Poland China hogs. He has served as constable for about five years; he also served as township trustee one year.

Source: History of Montgomery County Iowa, 1881 West Twp


United States Senator from 1940-1949

BROOKS, Charles Wayland, a Senator from Illinois; born in West Bureau, Ill., March 8, 1897; attended the public schools at Wheaton, Ill., the University of Illinois at Urbana, and Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.; during the First World War served as a first lieutenant in the United States Marines 1917-1919; wounded several times; was graduated from the law department of Northwestern University in 1926; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Chicago, Ill.; instructor of law at Northwestern University in 1926 and 1927; assistant State’s attorney 1926-1932; unsuccessful Republican candidate for Governor in 1936; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James Hamilton Lewis, reelected in 1942, and served from November 22, 1940, to January 3, 1949; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1948; chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration (Eightieth Congress), Joint Committee on the Library (Eightieth Congress), Joint Committee on Inaugural Arrangements (Eightieth Congress); resumed the practice of law in Chicago, Ill.; Republican National Committeeman for Illinois 1952; died in Chicago, Ill., January 14, 1957; interment in Pleasant View Cemetery, Kewanee, Ill.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress


The years of George Woodbridge Buck's residence in Henry county are seventy-one for he arrived in 1838, being then a little lad of four summers. It was a pioneer district into which the family came, for around the little home for miles stretched the unbroken prairie. Only here and there was a frontier home to be seen, showing that the work of civilization had been begun. Six years before, in a sanguinary conflict, the white race had disputed with the red men their dominion over this part of the country, and there were still many evidences of Indian occupancy to be seen. Deer were frequently found in the forests or upon the open prairie, and wild turkeys, prairie chickens and other feathered game were to be had in abundance. It was amid such surroundings that George W. Buck spent his youth.

A native of the state of New York, he was born in Chautauqua county, April 9, 1834, his parents being Roswell and Harriet (Meach) Buck, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of the Empire state. Roswell Buck was a lumberman of Vermont and continued in the same line of business after his removal to New York. He died in Cattaraugus county, that state, in February, 1862, at the age of sixty-five years, while his wife passed away in 1834, when her son George was but three weeks old. In the family were seven children. two sons and five daughters: Catharine, who married Isaac Schermerhorn; Matilda; Mary, who married D. D. Groub; Elizabeth; Helen, who married Alfred Fuller; Rufus; and George W.

Left motherless at the age of three weeks, George W. Buck, when three months old, was taken into the family of Isaac and Nancy Stanbro, who in 1837 left New York. Making their way westward to Illinois they arrived in Henry county in May, 1838, and here the subject of this review was reared to manhood and has since made his home. He and John W. Withrow attended the same little log school, where slabs were used for seats, while the writing desk was made of a board laid upon pins driven into the wall. In one end of the room was a large fireplace and the rod was ever a feature in discipline. That teacher, however, had a still more novel method of maintaining order, punishing the children by putting them through a hole and lowering them underneath the puncheon floor. The building was erected without the use of a single nail, being put together with pegs. On the inside of the door was a wooden latch pulled by a string which hung on the outside. The methods of instruction were quite primitive as compared with those of the present day, and the school was conducted on the subscription plan, the teacher having no fixed salary, his income depending upon the number of pupils which he had. Mr. Buck continued with the Stanbro family until sixteen years of age, when he started out for himself, working by the month for a number of years. In this way he gained the capital that at length enabled him to rent land and begin farming for himself. He also bought some oxen and broke prairie, for even up to that time there was still much land in this part of the state that had not yet been placed under the plow. In 1859 he drove an ox team from Geneseo, Illinois, across the plains and through the mountain passes to Maryville, California. Thence he wandered northward into Oregon, where he followed gold mining and also engaged in various pursuits. In November, i86i, he returned to Henry county and the following year donned the blue uniform in defense of the nation, enlisting as a member of Company C, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war, holding the rank of sergeant. He acted as wagonmaster in the quartermaster's department and participated in the Atlanta and Tennessee campaigns. After the troops reached Atlanta he was with that great division of the army which, under General Thomas turned to Tennessee and there he participated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville. His corps proceeded in a more roundabout way under General Schofield and landed at Fort Fisher, and the regiment took part in the capture of Fort Anderson and the battle of Wilmington, afterward marching northward to Goldsboro, where they met the forces under General Sherman. Mr. Buck was always a brave and loyal soldier, never faltering in the performance of any military duty, whether called to the firing line or stationed along the lonely picket line.

After the close of the war Mr. Buck received an honorable discharge and returned home. He then purchased sixty-three acres of land in Western township, Henry county, and for many years was actively engaged in farming, adding to his holdings from time to time until now he is the owner of four hundred and seventy-five acres of rich and valuable land. This constitutes one of the finest farms in Western township, upon which he has resided since the war. It bears evidence of his careful cultivation and progressive methods and presents a very attractive appearance.

On the 8th of July, 1863, Mr. Buck was united in marriage to Miss Mary N. Glenn, a daughter of James and Nancy (Kincaid) Glenn. Mrs. Buck was born in Henry county. Her father built the first house in this county and also made the first plow manufactured within its borders, this agricultural implement having a wooden mold board hewed out with a broad ax. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Buck were born four children: James Dana, the eldest, married Effie Withrow, and died in January, 1895, leaving a daughter, Hattie. George B. wedded Cora Bryan and they have six children: Zola, Lila, Glenn, Donald, Harold and Nona. Mary Eliza is the wife of George L. Miller and they have three children: Mary, Clara and Blanch. Charles G. wedded Ida Johnson and they. have three children: George, Dorothy and Walter. Mrs. Mary A. Buck died in 1897 at the age of fifty-four years, and her death was the occasion of deep regret to many friends as well as to her immediate family, for she possessed excellent traits of character and a kindly spirit that endeared her to all with whom she came in contact. Mr. Buck belongs to Trego Post, No.394, G. A. R., at Orion. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and was supervisor of his town for many years. He was also chairman of the committee that had charge of the letting of the contract for, and the erection of, the soldiers' monument. On many other occasions he has. cooperated in movements of a public nature and at all times has given his support on the side of progress, reform and improvement. His memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. He relates many interesting incidents of the early days, when most of the homes were log cabins or little frame houses of small dimensions. In June the prairies were covered with a million wild flowers and in December with one dazzling, unbroken sheet of snow. A traveler could ride for miles across the prairie without coming to a house or a fence to impede his progress, but one by one the settlers came, an intelligent and enterprising class of people who took advantage of the natural resources offered by the county and have since done an important part in the upbuilding of this commonwealth. Mr. Buck has now passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey, and seventy-one years of that period have been spent in Henry county. Few men have more intimate knowledge of its history, for the events which others have learned from reading or hearsay have been matters to him of personal knowledge or experience.

SOURCE: Henry L. Kiner, History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910


Bullis, L.D., farmer, Sec. 22; P.O. Adel; he owns a farm of 120 acres; was born in Oswego county, New York, February 9, 1830; when he was about three years of age his parents moved to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where he lived until he was twenty-one years of age; he then went to Rock county, Wisconsin, where he lived three years; he then removed to Henry county, Illinois; he enlisted in Co. B, 19th Illinois Infantry, in June, 1861, and mustered out in February, 1862; November 12, 1862, he married Miss Emily A. Enslow, a native of Oswego county, New York; he enlisted again in February, 1864, in Co. A., 42d Illinois Infantry, and was mustered out in January, 1865; he came to this county in the spring of 1867, and located in this township; they have one son: Dwight O.; was a member of the board of supervisors one term.

Source: History of Dallas County, Iowa, 1879 Union Historical Company, Des Moines, Iowa

Note: the IL State Marriage Index indicates this couple married 12 Nov 1863 (not 1862) in Henry Co IL