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Biographies D

 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, sibling or child who was a Henry Co. resident so please read carefully!


DAHLQUIST, CHARLES A., farmer, section 2, P. O. Stanton; was born in Smaland, Sweden, October 27, 1849; emigrated to America in 1867; stopping first in Henry County, Illinois, working there for three years; in 1872 he came to this county, and was married January 27, 1877, to Emma F. Anderson, a native of Sweden; she was born June 19, 1855. They have two children: Mabel E., born April 16, 1878; Aden A., October 8, 1879. Mr. And Mrs. Dahlquist are members of the church. He owns 160 acres of land well improved.

Source: History of Montgomery Co Iowa, 1881, Scott Twp.


A. O. Dalrymple is the proprietor of the Valley Farm in Riverton township, Fremont county, and is one of the well known and enterprising citizens of the community.  He was born in Warren county, New Jersey, near the city of Washington, on the 17th of March, 1857, and belongs to one of the good families of that county, which was also the birthplace of his parents. His grandfather, David Dalrymple, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was of Scotch lineage.  His father, James Dalrymple, was a tailor, blacksmith and farmer.  He was industrious, honest and loved by all and his death occurred when he was sixty-five years of age.  In politics he was first a Whig and later a Republican and loyally espoused the cause of the party during the Civil war, being a firm adherent of Lincoln and his policy.  He witnessed the starting of the first locomotive ever put in motion in this country.  He died within a mile and a half of his birthplace in Warren county, New Jersey.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eleanor Deremmer, was also a native of Warren county and was reared and educated there, her ancestry being Scotch-Irish.  She died in that county, twenty-two years ago, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which she was a worthy member.  She was loved and revered by all who knew her for her many excellent qualities.  In the family of this worthy couple were fourteen children, nine of whom reached mature years, namely: John, who is living on the old family homestead in Warren county, New Jersey; George B., who is a resident of the same county; Peter, of Montana, New Jersey; Mrs. Hattie Anderson, of Stewartsville, that state; A. O., of this review; Mrs. Emeline Stecker, of Easton, Pennsylvania, now deceased; Henry, who died in Philipsburg, New Jersey; Caleb, who died in Roxburg, Warren county, same state; and Benjamin, who died in Orefield, Pennsylvania.

A. O. Dalrymple spent his boyhood days in the manner usual to farmer lads of the period.  In the winter season he pursued his education in the public schools, and with the coming of spring he took his place in the fields to assist in the operation of the home farm, aiding in the work until after the crops are garnered in the autumn.  In 1878 he emigrated westward and landed in Atkinson, Illinois, with but forty cents in his pockets.  He secured employment on a farm near Kewanee, Henry county, that state.  The year 1882 witnessed his arrival in Fremont county, and he located first in Fisher township, but soon came to the Valley farm, which he owns and which is one of the most desirable farming properties in this portion of the state.   On the place he has an excellent residence, which was erected in 1894, and is built in a modern style of architecture, with bay windows, and is attractive in appearance and convenient in arrangement.  He owns one hundred and five acres of rich land and has one of the best herds of Poland China swine in the county.   He raises only high grade animals and has some of the best representatives of the breed that can be found.  This is his specialty in stock-raising and it has proved a profitable source of income, for the size and excellent condition of his hogs enables him to command for them a ready sale on the markets.

Mr. Dalrymple completed his arrangements for a home in 1882 by his marriage to Miss Julia Sausaman, who was born in Kewanee, Illinois, and was reared and educated there.  Her people were from Pennsylvania.  Her father has now passed away but her mother is still living in Kewanee.  The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Dalrymple has been blessed with five children, namely: Hattie, Joanna, Leona, Chester and Luella.  For many years Mr. Dalrymple gave his support to the Populist party, but in 1896 supported Bryan.  In 1900, however, he voted for McKinley.  He is a man six feet in height, weighing one hundred and eighty-five pounds.  His manner is entirely free from ostentation or display and his genuine worth gained for him the confidence and regard of all those with whom he is associated.  His business success is due to earnest purpose and well-directed labor, for without capital he started upon his business career and annually added to his possessions until he is now one of the substantial agriculturists of this county.

Source: History of Fremont and Mills County, Iowa; Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1901


Edward E. Darin, an enterprising and prosperous agriculturist and stockman of Phenix Township, makes his home on a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty-six acres on Section 26 and is likewise the owner of another tract of one hundred and twenty-one acres on the same section. It was on the latter farm that his birth occurred, his natal day being September 4, 1861. His parents were John Jackson and Eleanor (Clarke) Darin.

Edward E. Darin was reared to manhood on the old homestead farm and attended the common schools in pursuit of an education that would equip him for the practical and responsible duties of life. His father allowed him to keep the money which he earned in his youthful days and when twenty years of age gave him the use of a field and told him he might have the proceeds of the crop. In this way he accumulated capital sufficient to enable him to purchase a farm of his own and 1882 he came into possession of his present place of one hundred and sixty-six acres on Section 2, Phenix Township, paying about fifty-four dollars per acre for the land. He has erected thereon a modern and substantial residence, as well as good barns and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, and altogether has a highly improved and well developed farm, the fields annually yielding bounteous harvests of golden grain. In addition to the cultivation of cereals he is also engaged in the raising, feeding and shipping of stock and in both branches of his business has won a gratifying and well merited degree of success. He also owns the old homestead place of one hundred and twenty-one acres on which he was reared, having purchased the property in 1905 for one hundred and fifty-two dollars an acre. This was the first farm in Henry County that sold for as high a price as one hundred and fifty dollars an acre.

On the 8th of March 1893, in Geneseo Township, Mr. Darin was united in marriage to Miss Nettie M. Ward, who was born near Geneseo. Her parents Thomas and Mary (Nuttycombe) Ward are still residents of Phenix Township. Mr. And Mrs. Darin now have three children, namely: Harold Avery, born July 27, 1894; Mary Eleanor, whose birth occurred May 17, 1897; and John Ward, who first opened his eyes to the light of day on the 16th of June, 1903.

Politically Mr. Darin is a stanch advocate of the principles of the Republican Party. He has served as collector for two terms but has not been an office seeker, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. Fraternally he is identified with Modern Woodmen Camp, No. 40, also Mystic Workers of the World. Both he and his wife and well known and highly esteemed throughout the county in which they have spent their entire lives and the number of their friends has steadily increased as the circle of their acquaintances has widened.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


(A Son's Tribute)

When our infancy is almost forgotten and our boyhood long departed, though it seems but as yesterday; when life settles down upon us and we doubt whether to call ourselves young any more, then it is good to steal away occasionally from all society and let the mind dwell upon the blessings of our golden yesterday. Far on the blue mountains of our dim childhood, toward which we ever turn and look, stand the mothers who marked out to us from thence our life;--the most blessed age must be forgotten ere we can forget the warmest heart. But, though we gather up all the tender memories, all the lights and shades of the hears, all the greetings, reunions, and home affections, yet we cannot paint a word-picture of that loving mother who is the subject of this sketch.

The records of the Clarke "Family Tree" trace back to the years preceding the discovery of American by Columbus. The Clarke annals previous to this are lost in the mist of the unrecorded history of Scotland.

About the year 1500 two of the Clarke brothers emigrated from Scotland to Ireland; one settled in Dublin, the other in County Tyrone. Doctor Adam Clarke, the celebrated commentator, theological writer and pioneer Wesleyan preacher, was a descendant of the former brother, and James Clarke, who was born in County Tyrone, in 1800, and came to America in 1801, father of Eleanor Clarke Darin, was a descendant of the other brother.

Rev. John Clarke, a pioneer Methodist preacher of Illinois, who was licensed to preach in 1829 writes thus of his brother James: "My oldest brother, James, was endowed with a strong intellect, and being of studious habits he became early a good scholar. He both read and wrote a great deal. He was very outspoken on the subject of the abolition of slavery. At the age of eighteen he united with the Mehtodist Church and at once began to hold meetings in the vicinity of Allegheny City. In this line he was very popular and attracted large congregations. He was strongly urged by the church to enter the ministry, but he constantly declined, although until his death he remained a devoted and liberal member of the church, nearly always sustaining an official relation to it. In the latter part of his life the abolition of slavery so engaged his sympathies and efforts that it seemed the controlling purpose of his life to labor for its success. It is thought that labor and exposure on a visit to Kansas in order to bear a part in its struggle for freedom occasioned his death, which occurred on board the steamboat at a landing almost at his home, September 15, 1855.

At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 20, 1826, James Clarke and Miss Sarah Cooper were united in marriage, and to them, March 19, 1827, was born a daughter, Eleanor, the subject of this sketch.

Only a few years ago it was my privilege to accompany my mother on a visit to Allegheny City, where we sought out the old home, and there I visited the very room where as wrought that blessed miracle that give the world the beautiful character—the noble woman whose memory I now revere above all else in this world. Memory now throws a golden halo over the hills and vales where, through laughing childhood and more serious school days, grew to womanhood the best "sweetheart" I can ever know.

Early in September, 1854, there came to Rushville, in our Prairie state, wither Eleanor had removed in the early '50s with her parents, a bronzed and bearded young man fresh from the wilds of the mining camps of the new Golden state. This young man was young John Jackson Darin, the lad she had known as a bashful sweetheart in the Pennsylvania school days. He had returned from California to Pittsburgh—and thence he hurried on to Illinois to claim his own. There, September 21, 1854, these two lives were united, and then they set bravely out for a little vale in Henry County, which some nature lover had designated Pink Prairie, where for the next half century they were to grow old with the prairies, loving and laboring for their children. Seven times the Angel of Life visited this prairie home—seven times was the miracle of birth wrought, and this sainted soul tarried to bless the four daughters and three sons until they, too, had passed from youth to Grown-up Land. And of these seven the writer is the least worthy to tell of the three-quarters of a century this good woman trod life's pathway. Her strongest religion was the creed of kindness and helpfulness, though she was ever faithful in the faith of her forefathers. Ever ambitious for the advancement and education of her children in morality and mentality, she never failed in helping to support both school and church. She was a lovable woman, this mother who gave her full measure of love and help to her family and community through full fifty years in Henry County, and few now remain who knew her in the days when Life and Love and Pink Prairie were young.

In the early evening shadows of March 11, 1902, I said a last good night to this dear one, and she fell asleep to this earth. But in going she builded a bridge for me, and some night I'll tread this bridge with willing feet from this grey old earth to the Green Hills Far Away, and there bid her good morning—for She was my mother.

George Little Darin
Sacramento, California, November 1909

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


John Jackson Darin, agriculturist and stock raiser, of Phenix Township, was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, February 9, 1825. He was the elder of son of John Jackson Darin, Sr., a native of County Tyrone, Ireland. Bidding adieu to the Emerald Isle amid the stormy scenes that beset that country during the years just preceding 1800, he sailed for America, stopping for a time at Philadelphia before finally settling in the vicinity of Pittsburg, then known as Fort Duquesne on the very border of the wild backwoods. The father was endowed with rugged health and sturdy habits accredited to Erin's sons, and it was well for there was need for health and thrift, for brain and brawn in those early days. He paid several visits to the Darin homestead on Pink Prairie, and at the time of his death was approaching his ninetieth birthday.

And so it was the subject of this sketch began his long and useful life in the Keystone state. Mr. Darin's boyhood was spent not unlike that of other Pennsylvania boys of that time and region. His education was obtained in the public schools and in the great university of practical experience. He had not yet attained his majority when he was given the position of lock tender on the Pennsylvania Canal, between Apollo and Saltsburg, near his home. This place he filled until promoted to a clerkship in the canal warehouses of Leech & Company, at Pittsburg. It was while engaged in this work that he became acquainted with Miss Eleanor Clarke, who had just finished a course in the public schools of Allegheny.

Early in the '50s Mr. Darin became enthused with the reports coming from the New Eldorado, in the land by the Golden Gate, and early in 1852 he joined a party of young men who planned to make the voyage to California by sailing vessel via Cape Horn. when they reached New York, the company became separated, and Mr. Darin finally went without his companions, making the trip via the Isthmus of Panama. From the isthmus to San Francisco he suffered greatly from exposure and privation. The vessel on which he had engaged passage proved to be old, poorly manned, and but scantily provisioned, while the greedy captain took on board double the number of passengers he could feed and quarter. When Mr. Darin bought his ticket he was assured that first class meals and a comfortable berth would be provided throughout the voyage. Once out at sea, however, the only fare provided consisted of "salt Horse," sour beans and hardtack, while his "stateroom berth" was on top of the crates and boxes on the upper deck, with the sky for a roof. The protests of passengers and crew finally bordered on mutiny and rebellion, and the captain was compelled to put in at a Mexican port and take on a store of provisions. Upon arrival at San Francisco, Mr. Darin lost no time in getting to the heart of the section where placer mining was yielding good returns. Here for two years his rugged constitution enabled him to endure the homely fare and hard work of the mining camp without feeling any great hardship, and in that time he collected a goodly quantity of the precious yellow metal.

Early in the autumn of 1854 he returned to Pittsburg, where for a short time he a=tarried with his father, before hurrying on to Rushville in the Prairie state to which point the Clarke family had removed from Allegheny. Coming first to Henry County, he purchased a farm on Pink Prairie, in Phenix Township, then journeyed on to Schuyler County, where, on September 21, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor Clarke, who for nearly fifty years following was spared to be his faithful helpmeet, guide and counselor. Mr. Darin resided on the old homestead up to the time of his death, thus rounding out a full half century in the one home. Often, when in a reminiscent mood, he would refer to his lack of practical farming experience when he settled in Henry County, and said he had to ask his wife and an obliging neighbor to teach him how to harness and hitch his team. Yet being endowed with that valuable quality "stickability" he steadily persevered, and by the practice of economy and frugality, he became one of the foremost farmers and stock raisers in Henry County, and from time to time farm after farm was added to the original homestead. In manner Mr. Darin was a man of quiet reserved habits and enjoyed excellent health. He was proud of the fact that he had rounded out a full three-quarters of a century before suffering an illness of sufficient severity to require the attendance of a physician at his home.

Mr. Darin filled various elective offices in his township. In politics he was a Democrat, but in the days when war clouds darkened our country he was a firm believer in the doctrines advocating the abolition of slavery. His brother, Thomas H. Darin, was associated with him in farming when the Rebellion broke out, and enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois volunteers, and died while suffering in the Rebel prison at Andersonville.

Mr. Darin several times journeyed back to visit his old Pennsylvania home and in 1901, accompanied by his wife, he made a tour of the Pacific states, to view again the scenes of his experiences in the mining camps, and to visit relatives in California and Oregon, and this journey furnished them many pleasant thoughts during the remainder of their days. Mr. Darin gave substantial support to both church and school. He was a kind neighbor, an honorable, upright citizen, and a notable example of Henry County's self-made men—one whose willing hands and determined head together with good habits and clean life made it but a natural consequence that he should succeed in his chosen field of labor.

When Mr. Darin came to Henry County, he found surrounding his new home a broad expanse of wild, virgin prairie carpeted thick with a luxuriant growth of wild blossoms of a pink hue nodding a welcome in the sunshine and breeze—a veritable "Pink Prairie." During his fifty years on the original farm he witnessed the laying off of this same expanse of prairie into a checkerboard of farms, and hundreds of beautiful homes, and bulging cribs and granaries and big red barn crowd the landscape where in 1854 the straggling log cabins of the settlers in the same region could readily be numbered on the fingers of one hand.

On the morning of October 8, 1904, Mr. Darin was called from earth to enjoy forever the Home not made by earthly hands, whither his good wife had preceded him, and where only the joys and noble thoughts and acts of this life can be remembered. Four sons and three daughters were left to honor his memory. But in a brief two weeks the eldest son, Clarke James, was called to rejoin the parents gone before.  He who has lived to labor and love has not lived in vain.

Source: History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Kiner, Henry, L., Chicago, Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910 (Book contains pictures of Eleanor Clarke Darin and John Jackson Darin)

Submitted by: Alice Gless


DAVIES, T. W. Miller and grain merchant, Rockford, was born in the State of Connecticut, Oct. 15, 1849. His parents moved to Kewanee, Henry County, Ill., when he was quite young, and he was there educated and learned the miller’s trade, which he followed there three years; then went to Minnesota, where his parents had moved in the spring of 1870. He worked in a mill two years, then engaged with the topographical surveyors on the St. P. & P. R. R., now the St. P., M & M. In the fall of 1872 he resumed the milling business, being employed in the Sauk Center and Minneapolis Mills until December 1875, when in company with his brother William, Peter and Wm. Henry, formed a milling company at Belle Plaine, Minn., and continued in that connection until the fall of 1878. He and his brother William then came to Rockford, Ia., where he has been running the Excelsior Mills since. His brother returned to Belle Plaine in 1880, where he is engaged in running the mill they formerly owned.

Mr. Davies was married Sept. 15, 1880, to Laura Stearns, who was born in Pittsfield, Mass., April 26, 1846. She is a member of the Congregational church. In politics he is a Republican, and is one of the prominent citizens of Rockford, being known throughout the county as a man of irreproachable business integrity.

Source: History of Floyd County, Iowa; Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Co., 1882 Rockford Twp p 907 – 908


James Dawson, a son of Henry and Nancy (McCain) Dawson, was born in Putnam county, Indiana, on the 8th of August, 1829. He moved to Henry county, Illinois, in 1849, where he remained until 1875, when he came to his present location on section 26, where he now posesses one hundred and sixty acres of good cultivated land, and raises stock to some extent. He also owns an orchard and a grove of ten acres. He was married in Henry county, Illinois, on the 25th of November, 1854, to Miss Mary E. Ogden, a daughter of John Ogden. They have been blessed with five children--John H., Nancy R., Jennie E., May E., and James N. Mr. Dawson is known as an enterprising farmer, and is highly respected by all who know him.

Source: History of Guthrie & Adair Co IA, 1884, Beaver Twp, Guthrie Co


The Rev. Alphons De Poorter, one of the most distinguished and beloved priests of the Catholic Clergy, and for nine years before his untimely death rector of the parish of Atkinson, passed away March 22 , 1909, at Santo Rosa Infirmary, San Antonio, Texas. He was born August 1, 1872 at Pouckes (dutch= Poecke, between Gent and Brugge) Belgium, a son of Ivo and Louise (Van Landeghem) DePoorter, both natives of Belgium, where the father was born June 24, 1827 and the mother in 1835. His mother died in  1890 and is buried in her native country. The father came to America in 1893; and in 1899 he located in Henry County, Illinois, dying in Atkinson, in 1906, and is buried there, his son Father DePoorter reading high mass at his funeral services. He and his excellent wife had a large family, there being nine still living: Mary, a sister in a Belgian Convent; Alberic, a resident of Moline, Illinois; Emma who lives in Atkinson and during her brother’s pastorate here was his housekeeper; Medard a farmer of Atkinson Township; Camille also a nun in Belgium, Phillipine who married Joseph Ballweg of Nebraska, the late Father DePoorter, Aloysius who lives in Annawan, Henry Co, Illinois; Hortense a resident of Davenport, Iowa; and Helen who married Frank Weibel of Nebraska.

Father DePoorter who attended public schools in Belgium until he was about  10 years old, when he entered the College of Thielt, Belgium, graduating from there to go to the Rousselaere College in Belgium, and after graduation of the latter school he entered the seminary of Bruges. From this he moved to the great College of Louvain, Belgium; where he acquired the knowledge of English. His college course embraced eleven years and on April 3, 1893, he was ordained in Belgium. Coming to America afterwards, he was appointed assistant to father Crowe at Kewanee, Illinois. After 4 months he was made pastor in charge of the Church of Annawan and in 1900 he was sent to Atkinson, where he continued throughout the remainder of his brief life.  He also gave instruction, being the head of a remarkably good school. The new church of Atkinson was just completed when father DePoorter came to the Parish and through his efforts it was freed from the burden of debt. In 1907 he built St Anthony’s School, a structure of pressed brick that is modern in every particular. Chairman of the building committee, he had everything in charge and never spared himself in this or any other particular. He had raised the money and was attending to its equipment when sickness overtook him and never recovered. However his work remains as a monument to his to his self-sacrificing life and noble spirit. There were three Sisters in the parochial school when Father DePoorter took charge, and now there are six of the Benedictine order.

While Father DePoorter always voted for the man he deemed best fitted for the office; he probably leaned more toward the democratic party. He belonged to the Catholic Order of Foresters of St Anthony’s Court and was it spiritual adviser, as well as of the Knights of Columbus. Possessed of a broad and liberal spirit, he exerted a wide influence for good and had friends throughout the entire County regardless of religious convictions. In 1908 he was stricken with nervous prostration from the effects of overwork on the school building, and while out on an automobile ride to Geneseo in September 1907, he had the misfortune to meet with a serious accident, breaking his collarbone. This proved to be a serious setback and finally he was induced to go to San Antonio, Texas, for a month. While there in Santa Rose Infirmary, he died in March 1909, attended by his devoted sister, Mrs Me DePoorter and his remains were taken back to Atkinson for interment.

The funeral of Father DePoorter was the largest Henry County has ever known and the most imposing, over fifty priests with the bishop attending to do honor to this distinguished and good man. Thousands of those to whom he had given his friendship gathered, stricken with grief at their loss.  Catholic and Protestants stood side by side and mingled their tears. It is impossible to do justice to the magnificent services presided over by Bishop O’Reilly in this brief space. Father Foley and father Wolters directed the arrangements; Father Julius DeVos preached in Belgian on the life of the young priest both in Belgium and here, declaring he was an honor to this family and the glory of his people, as well as the blessing of his parish.  Bishop O’Reilly delivered a touching tribute to his faithful worker taken from his charge by death, speaking in English. Special resolutions were adopted by the business and professional men of Atkinson regarding his death, expressing their appreciation of his life and work.

Many of the leading people of Atkinson attended, and the fraternal orders which he was associated, attended in full regalia. St. Malachy’s congregation turned out in a body, prostrated with grief. The ladies of the Atkinson Altar Society donated the vault in which lie the mortal remains of Father DePoorter, which is visited daily by the many whom he helped in trouble or adversity.

Father DePoorter has passed from this mortal sphere after a too brief period here, and yet in the thirty-six years he was here he accomplished much more than those who have more than double that number to their credit. A lover of men, a worker who loved his people, he learned from direct contact with the sources of contemporary knowledge and of men, and his associates in the church, the school, the religious and the fraternal societies and at large lost the comradeship of a noble soul. Any priest might be proud of such a career as that of Father DePoorter, and this is a character to remember with affectionate appreciation. He had conspicuous ability for his calling, for all in his heart were his special charges to be taught and led gently and firmly into what he felt was the only path of right living. However, he did not confine his work to church affairs but gave endorsement and aid to those movements he deemed would serve toward a general uplifting of humanity. No better monument can any man have, be the priest or layman, than that which is erected in the hearts of his intimates had shows forth in their lives, and judging by what he accomplished, Father DePoorter, did not live in vain but made the world better and purer for his brief stay in it.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois; Henry L. Kiner Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1910. 1901 pages.

Father DePoorter is listed on Pages 994-995-996.

Research by Hans Van Landschoot of Belgium; Visit his family tree website


This sterling citizen is a man who has never by conscious word or deed worked harm to anyone. By unremitting effort and a steady aim in life, he has acquired a good farm and gained a competency. Mr. Dempsie has shouldered the burden of heavy farm work since his early youth.

Joseph Dempsie was born in Henry county, Illinois, March 10, 1873, the son of David H. and Martha (Torens) Dempsie, and is the eldest of nine children born to his parents, all of whom are living.  David H. Dempsie is a native of Scotland, where he was born in 1848. At the age of 25, he left his native land, came to America and settled in Morristown, Illinois, where he worked as a coal miner. Coming to Logan, Harrison county, Iowa, he bought land in Calhoun township on which he farmed until 1899, when he disposed of his land holdings and went to Nebraska, where he homesteaded, reclaiming the land and improving it. After a four-year stay on this homestead, David Dempsie lived in Denver, Colorado, three years. He then removed to New Mexico, the Cactus State, where he now makes his home in Albuquerque. Martha Torens, who became the wife of David Dempsie, was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1844 and died on the farm west of Logan in 1895.

With a good common school education acquired in the schools of Calhoun township, Joseph Dempsie early decided to follow the vocation of his father and remained on the home farm until he was 19 years of age, when he went to Nebraska, where he worked as a farm hand for one year, later taking charge of his father's land, as well as the land belonging to his father-in-law. All this time, he slowly forged ahead, adding to his capital until about 1901 he was able to buy 100 acres of land in Jefferson township, which he cultivated for four years, during which time he made a number of improvements. At the end of the four years, he rented 924 acres from C.A. Bolter, who owned the farm known as the Jeddo farm. In the meantime, Mr. Dempsie acquired 148 acres of land in La Grange township on which he moved in the spring of 1815. Mr. Dempsie has acquired fame as a breeder of valuable mules, and has also been very successful in the feeding of cattle and hogs for the market.

In 1897, Mr. Dempsie was married to Lida Colver, who was born at Missouri Valley, Iowa, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Roland) Colver. Mr. Colver was born in Ohio, while his wife was born in Indiana, both of whom are now deceased. To Mr. Dempsie and his wife have been born four children: Theron, Martha, Mary Dorothy, and one who died in infancy.

The political sympathies of Mr. Dempsie are given to the Prohibition party, although he has never aspired to office. He and his family are active and valued members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Dempsie's life bears out the impression that his life is guided by his religious convictions. Mr. Dempsie has acquired a wide acquaintance in his locality, and few can boast of more devoted friends than he, because his nature is such as to make close friendships which endure through any trial or vicissitude.

Source: History of Harrison County Iowa: Its People, Industries and Institutions; Charles W. Hunt and Will L. Clark; B.F. Bowen and Co, Indianapolis; 1915 p 862 –863.


Charles W. Derby enjoys the well-earned distinction of being what the public calls "a self-made man," and in Butler county he ranks not only among the successful business men, but is regarded as one of the leading and prominent citizens who in all the relations of life is true to the trust and duties reposed in him. His uniform courtesy, his genial manner, his reliability in all trade transactions and his faithfulness in public office have made him a popular citizen and one well worthy of mention in this volume.

Now a resident of David City, he was born in Henry county, Illinois, October 27, 1851, and is a son of Benjamin and L. J. (Pinkney) Derby. His father was a native New York and about 1844 emigrated to Illinois, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of Henry county. During the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twelfth Volunteer Infantry, but alter serving for a year was honorably discharged on account of disability, and six months later died from disease contracted in the service. He was of English descent. His wife, also a native of the Empire state and of English lineage, is now living in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the age of sixty-nine years. By her first marriage she had a family of four sons and four daughters. After the death of Mr. Derby she was again married, and by the second union three children were born.

Our subject was the eldest son and third child of the first marriage, and was reared in Henry county, Illinois, where, at the early age of eleven years he started out to make his own way in the world. Whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own efforts, and his industry and enterprise in the affairs of life has been most commendable. He first worked by the month as a farm hand, receiving six dollars per month in compensation for his services. In the fall of 1870 he came to Butler county, where he opened up and cultivated a half section of wild land for J. D. Bell. Upon that land the town of Bellwood is now situated. For seven years Mr. Derby continued to develop and improve that property, and then located on an adjoining farm which he purchased of Benjamin Rochen. Until 1880 he continued to devote his energies to general farming and then sold his property, after which he took charge of the stock farm of R. H. Henry, there engaging in the raising, purchase and sale of live stock for twelve years. In 1893 he was elected sheriff of Butler county and removed to David City, where the following year he embarked in the livery business, which he has since followed with good success. He also purchased the old Commercial Hotel, which he is now fitting up for general use. His stable is equipped with a large line of fine carriages, and he keeps on hand good horses, being thus well prepared to attend to the wants of his many patrons. His readiness to please his customers and his honesty in all trade transactions has brought to him a good business and he derives therefrom a substantial income.

In the discharge of his official duties Mr. Derby has been very prompt, looking after the best interests of the community by protecting the public from the lawless element which would threaten the destruction of life and property. He was re-elected in 1895, serving for a second term, and was then defeated in 1897 by fifty-three votes, although the fusion ticket of Democrats and Populists had a usual majority of ten hundred and fifty. The many Democratic votes which Mr. Derby, the Republican candidate, received was certainly a tribute to his personal worth and an indication of his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens. He has long been a recognized leader in Republican ranks, and has been chairman of the county central committee since 1896.

In the fall of 1873 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Derby and Miss Ida Warren, a daughter of Captain Miles Warren, of Savannah, Nebraska, one of the honored pioneers of Butler county, identified with its interests since 1869. Nine childern (sic) have been born of this union, as follows: Nellie, wife of High McGriffin, editor of the Gresham Gazette, of York county, Nebraska; Ethel, Arthur Roy, George, Harry, Ida, Benjamin H. and Mary, all at home. All were born in Butler county and the family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death.

Mr. Derby is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Bellwood Lodge, No. 21, also of Bellwood Camp, No. 288, M W. A., and is a charter member of the Woodmen of the World. Such is the life record of one who has contributed largely to the development and advancement of Butler county, to the promotion of its business interests and to its public life by his faithful service in office.

Source: Memorial and Biographical Record of Butler, Polk, Seward, York and Fillmore Counties Nebraska, p1047-1049


Reuben Dickinson, retired farmer, resides in Schuyler, Colfax county, Nebraska, where he one of the foremost and most substantial citizens of the locality. He is one of the oldest settlers of Colfax county, having lived here close to twoscore years. He has always been a potent factor in the upbuilding of his home county and state, and has been amply rewarded for his steadfastness to the best interests of all, now being a well-to-do, prosperous citizen.

Mr. Dickinson is a native of England, his birth occurring in Cambridgeshire, Isle of Ely, April 2, 1846, a son of David and Mary (Wright) Dickinson, natives of Lincolnshire, England.

He was fourth in the family of five children, and has one brother residing in England, and a sister in Oklahoma. His father died in Colfax county, Nebraska, in the year 1881, and the mother passed away in England in the early fifties.

Mr. Dickinson grew to manhood in his home country, receiving the usual school advantages, and later engaging in farming. In May of 1864, he came with his uncle and aunt to America, locating in Camden, New Jersey, for a few months. He then went to Henry county, Illinois, where he followed farming part of the time, and when not engaged in that, was employed on the railroad.

On December 28, 1865, Mr. Dickinson was united in marriage to Miss Alice Parson; a native of Illinois, her birth occurring in Whiteside county. The marriage took place in Atkinson, Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson have had twelve children born to them, whose names are as follows: Mary R., wife of John Clement, they having four children, and residing in Yuma, Colorado; Louisa, also married she and her husband, Alfred Childrey, and four children being residents of Stanton county, Nebraska; David is married, has seven children, and resides in Stanton county, Nebraska, Edward, also married, has one child, and lives in Stanton county; Joseph resides in Missoula Montana; William, married, lives in Stanton county, and has one child; Emily, who resides at home, is a student in a Lincoln business college; Alice, wife of Homer Pont, has three children, and resides in Colfax county; Frank is a student at Lincoln University; and Harry, Beulah and Viola, all of whom are deceased.

Mrs. Dickinson died on May 14, 1902, on the home farm, deeply mourned by her husband and family and many kind friends.

In the spring of 1873, Mr. Dickinson came with his wife and three children to Colfax county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead of eighty acres on the north half of southwest quarter of section eighteen, township twenty, range four, which remained the home place about six years. He then moved on his farm of two hundred and forty acres, which was located one mile east of the old homestead place, living on this farm, which he had purchased, until 1904.  Mr. Dickinson then retired from farming, and moved to Schuyler, where he purchased a good home, and now resides.

On January 27, 1904, Mr. Dickinson was united in marriage to Miss Ann Russell, also a native of England, the marriage ceremony taking place in Atkinson, Illinois. Mr. Dickinson is a prosperous man of affairs, and owns two hundred and sixty acres of fine farm land, aside from good city property in Schuyler. He has served as school moderator for his district, number thirty-two, in the early days. In the early seventies, Mr. Dickinson helped to organize the United Brethren church, and has been active in many other ways in the best interests of his home county and state.

Mr. Dickinson has passed through the many hardships and trying experiences that beset the early settler on the western frontier. He is widely and favorably known.

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


Arthur J. Dickey, a prominent agriculturist and stockman of Henry county, owns and operates a highly improved and valuable farm comprising three hundred and twenty acres of land on Section 27, Cornwall Township. He is numbered among the worthy native sons of this county, his birth having occurred in Cornwall Township on the 23d of September, 1863. A sketch of his parents, David T. and Eliza E. (Peterson) Dickey, appears on another page of this work.

Arthur J. Dickey passed his boyhood days on the home farm in Cornwall Township and after leaving the district school spent a year as a student in the Kewanee Public School. Subsequently he pursued a commercial course in the Davenport Business College and after being graduated from that institution returned to the home farm, there remaining until he was married at the age of twenty-four years. In 1889 he went to Clay County, Nebraska, with his young wife and there gave his attention to the operation of a rented farm for three years. On the expiration of that period, in 1892, he returned to Henry County, Illinois, and in 1895 bought one hundred and sixty acres of his present farm from his father, paying seventy-two dollars an acre for the land. In 1901 he purchased another quarter section at one hundred dollars an acre and at the end of five years sold the property for one hundred and fifty dollars an acre. Two years later he again bought the place, paying one hundred and fifty dollars an acre for the land and five hundred dollars for the improvements that had been made upon it. His holdings therefore embrace three hundred and twenty acres on Section 27, Cornwall Township, and in recent years he has not only remodeled the buildings on the place but has added a number of others until today it is lacking in none of the improvements and conveniences of a model farm of the twentieth century. In addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, he also devotes considerable attention to the raising, feeding and shipping of stock and in both branches of his business has won a gratifying and well merited measure of success.

On The 4th of January, 1888, in Cornwall Township, Mr. Dickey was united in marriage to Miss Hattie B. Hayden, a native of that township and a daughter of Gideon and Mary E. (Casteel) Hayden. The father still survives and now makes his home a Guide Rock, Nebraska, but the mother passed away when her daughter Hattie was only eight years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Dickey have two children. Leslie A., whose birth occurred during the sojourn of his parents in Nebraska, is now a young man of twenty. After completing the prescribed course of study in the district school he entered the high school at Kewanee and was graduated therefrom in 1909. Lela Grace, the daughter of our subject, is now a sophomore in the Kewanee High School.

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise, Mr. Dickey has cast his ballot in support of the men and measures of the Republican Party, believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. The cause of education has ever found in him a stalwart champion and he is at present serving as the capable incumbent in the office of school treasurer. He and his family belong to the Liberty Cornwall Congregational Church; formerly called the Union Congregational Church of Cornwall, of which both he and his wife are charter members. Mr. Dickey acts as trustee and also as superintendent of the Sunday school, having served in the latter capacity for about fifteen years. Fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America at Atkinson. His entire life has been guided by the most honorable principles and his self-reliance and unfaltering industry, combined with his integrity, constitute the salient features in his prosperity.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


On the roll of Henry County's honored dead is inscribed the name of David T. Dickey, who was for a long period closely identified with the agricultural interests of Cornwall Township. He was born in Grayson County, Kentucky, December 19, 1835, his parents being Samuel A. and Elizabeth A. (Cooper) Dickey. The former was a native of Oxford, Pennsylvania, his birth having there occurred August 18, 1802, and when a young man he went to Louisville, Kentucky, where he met and wedded Miss Elizabeth Cooper, the marriage ceremony having been performed August 1, 1832. She was also of Pennsylvanian nativity, having been born in Washington County, that state, September 22, 1801, and had gone to Kentucky with her parents. Mr. And Mrs. Dickey lived in the latter state until 1851, when Mr. Dickey, Sr., removed his family to Fulton County, Illinois, where he secured some farm land. In 1855 he came to Henry County, locating in Cornwall Township for more than a score of years and then removed to Kewanee, where his death occurred June 12, 1892, when he lacked but a few months of reaching the ninetieth milestone of life. On his father's side he was descended from a line of Presbyterian ministers and to that faith always gave unfaltering allegiance. His wife also lived to a ripe old age, although she died several years before him, her demise having occurred July 16, 1887.

David T. Dickey was reared in the county of his birth, upon a farm which was in the vicinity of the Mammoth Cave, and his preparation for life was derived almost entirely in the hard school of experience, for he had none of the educational advantages enjoyed by youths today. He accompanied his parents when they came to Illinois and assisted in cultivating the home farm in this county. Later in 1861, he married and purchased from his father eighty acres on section 35, Cornwall Township, to which he added subsequently the eighty acres adjoining. Then, as his financial resources increased, he bought the one hundred and sixty acres on which his widow now lives, a well improved farm on section 27, of this township, and continued to add to his landholdings from time to time until he owned five hundred acres. He spent two years in Iowa, where he had secured some property, and three years in Nebraska, but the remainder of his life was passed in Cornwall Township. His life was one of continuous activity, he had enjoyed few advantages when a boy, but through indomitable energy, tenacity of purpose and loyalty to high ideals of manhood he attained a conspicuous success which placed him among the substantial men of Henry County. He was always closely identified with its interests and at all times ready to lend his aid to any movement to benefit this section of the country or contribute to its wonderful development.

On the 4th of April 1861, Mr. Dickey weeded Miss Eliza Peterson, who was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, September 18, 1836, a daughter of Amos and Lydia (Ridle) Peterson. She was nine years of age when her father died and eleven when her widowed mother brought her seven children to Illinois and settled upon a small piece of land given to her by her father, who was then living in Fulton County. Mrs. Peterson was a woman of great courage and ability, for not only did she manage the little farm profitably, but she reared her family, the oldest of whom was only twelve when she came to this state, and gave them all a good education. Five of the children became teachers, and one son, Clinton, enlisted in the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served about three years and although he participated in many important battles, was never wounded nor taken captive. After her children were grown, Mrs. Peterson married Almer Hoig and lived in Monmouth, Illinois, until her husband's death, after which she made her home with Mrs. Dickey during the rest of her life. She was about ninety-five years of age when called to her final rest.

Mr. And Mrs. Dickey had three children. Alice Addie died in infancy and a sketch of Arthur J. appears elsewhere in this work. Grace Lillian was born September 4, 1866. She received a good education, being a graduate of the Northwestern Normal School of Geneseo of the class of 1886, and taught for one year in the school near her home. On the 2d of October, 1888, she gave her hand in marriage to Edgar Loren Macomber, who had come to Henry County in 1886. He was born in southern Ohio, May 29, 1865, a son of Jonas P. and Sarah (McMillen) Macomber. The former was born in Gallion County, Ohio, January 13, 1840, and the latter, also a native of Ohio, was born January 17, 1834. Jonas P. Macomber enlisted in the Sixtieth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, becoming a member of Company K, on the 10th of August 1862. He was in a number of important battles during the war, including the engagements at Winchester, the battle of Shenandoah Valley, Antietam and Bolivar. In the last named he was taken a prisoner and held for nine weeks. He was then exchanged and immediately rejoined his regiment, serving thereafter to the close of the war. He was honorably discharged at Alexandria, Virginia, December 18, 1865. He was married September 24, 1859, to Miss Sarah C. McMillen, a native of Ohio. They have five children, of whom two were living, Samuel, a resident of Columbus, Ohio; and Laurin of Atkinson, Illinois; Myra, Louisa and Jonas have all passed away. The mother, who was commonly and affectionately called Aunt Sarah throughout the neighborhood, was a life-long Christian, uniting with the church when seventeen years of age. She held membership in the Free Baptist Church at the time of her death, which occurred May 11, 1901. The father, Jonas Macomber still resides at Benton, Ohio.

Mr. And Mrs. E. L. Macomber have one daughter, Lillian Dickey, who was born April 17, 1893. She received a diploma for eighth-grade work and is now a sophomore in the Geneseo High School.

Mr. Dickey was a staunch Republican in his political views, and while never remiss in any of the duties of citizenship was not an aspirant for public office. At the time the Free Will Baptist Church of Cornwall became the Liberty Union Congregational Church he and his wife became members of it, and he was loyal to its teachings to the time of his death, October 14, 1903. His was an earnest and consistent Christian life, characterized by stern integrity and honesty of purpose, and he left to his family the priceless heritage of a good name, for his record was not sullied by any unworthy or questionable act.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


DICKEY, JAMES J., farmer, P. O. Farragut; born July 22, 1833, in Louisville, Kentucky. When nineteen years of age he moved to Fulton county, Illinois, and after a four year's residence, to Henry county, locating near Kewanee. In the spring of 1876 he came to Fremont county, and located on the farm he now occupies near Farragut. He was married March 13, 1856, to Miss Caroline Jones, a native of New York, born November 22, 1835. They have a family of seven children, five living: Emma J., George S., Addie, John S., and Margaret J.

Source: History of Fremont Co IA 1881- Fisher Twp


S. S. Dilenbeck, a well known banker and real-estate dealer of Perry, Iowa, was born in Jefferson county, New York, April 6, 1845. He was a son of Abram and Barbara (Baum) Dilenbeck, both natives of New York. They passed away in Henry county, Illinois. While living in New York Abram Dilenbeck was engaged in the milling business. He removed to Henry county, Illinois, in 1854, when that country was very wild and the deer roamed in large herds over the prairies. The family were of limited means but by industry and thrift they were enabled to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of wild land, for which they paid eight dollars an acre. Mr. Dilenbeck was a supporter of the republican party and was known as a "black abolitionist." He and his family were devoted members of the Methodist church. In the family were five children, three of whom are now living: Myron, a resident of Henry county, Illinois, who enlisted in an Illinois volunteer regiment and in the second battle in which he participated became almost totally deaf, so that he was discharged because of this disability; Mrs. Charlotte Houghton, of Henry county, Illinois; and S. S., the subject of this review.

S. S. Dilenbeck was educated in the common schools and at the high school in Geneseo, Illinois. Because of impaired eyesight he was obliged to give up his studies when only seventeen and he began working on a farm for thirteen dollars a month. Not satisfied with this, he sought for something that would put him upon a more substantial basis and devised the plan of buying eighty acres of land from his father, on which he was to make payments as he was able. So successful was he in this venture that it was not long until his farm was paid for and he was able to add eighty acres more to his original purchase. He brought his farm up-to-date in every particular, employing the most modern methods in his agricultural work. For fifteen years he continued and at the end of that time had a well stocked farm with fine buildings and was enjoying the returns of abundant crops. He was offered a price which well repaid him for the labor he had expended upon this piece of land and he accordingly sold his farm. He lived for some time in Geneseo and then removed to Ida Grove, Ida county, Iowa. He had made extensive land purchases in Ida and in Sac counties and became identified with the real-estate interests of this section. Soon after his removal to Ida Grove he became associated with the banking interests, assisting in organizing the First National Bank of that place, of which he became assistant cashier and director. Later he and his associates added branches at Holstein, Battle Creek, Sioux City, Cushing, Castana and Danbury, erecting new buildings for each one of the branches. When he had put these institutions on a sound paying basis he disposed of his holdings in them and organized a private bank at Arthur, Ida county, Iowa. In addition to his interests in the banks he had become the owner of six hundred and forty acres of land and after seven years at Arthur, Iowa, he sold out his banking interests and came to Perry, Iowa, where he continued his real-estate deals and where he has accumulated a fortune in this line of business. He has never entirely given up his banking business but bought a controlling interest in the Citizens State Bank of Perry and has been its efficient president ever since. His real-estate operations have put him in possession of eighteen hundred acres of land in Iowa.

Mr. Dilenbeck was married, December 25, 1868, to Geneva L. Seaton, the daughter of William and Malinda (Williams) Seaton, of Bureau county, Illinois. Mrs. Dilenbeck's grandparents were pioneers in the days when the Indians were numerous and demanded their share of the pioneers' provisions. This made their journey of eighty miles, which they were obliged to make in order to reach the mill, one that was fraught with danger on every hand. We talk about the simple life today but these good people out of necessity led a life of simplicity of which we have scarcely dreamed. They ate out of wooden dishes and the grandmother baked her bread in the fireplace on old hoes and shovels, which she scoured for that purpose. They kept a half-way house between Princeton and Seatonville and in that way were widely known. William Seaton, the father of Mrs. Dilenbeck, was born in Indiana, while his wife was a native of Putnam county, Illinois. He came to Illinois with his parents, who were Kentuckians, when he was a mere boy, and passed away in 1853. His widow later married Joseph A. Pinnell but she passed away while on a visit to Rhode Island, on April 8, 1891. To Mr. . and Mrs. S. S. Dilenbeck have been born three children: William Otis, who died at the age of four years; Arthur A., who passed away at the age of two, and B. C., who was born at Edford, Illinois, is now cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Perry and whose sketch appears on another page of this volume.

Mr. Dilenbeck is a stanch republican but has never cared to hold any office, preferring to devote his time to his business interests. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church, which Mr. Dilenbeck joined at the age of thirteen. He has always led the life of a sincere, Christian man and though he has amassed a fortune he is modest and unassuming but very pleasing in manner. From a boy he has been quick to see the future value of property and has been patient in holding his land until an advantageous price could be secured. The property in his hands has always been of benefit to the county or city in which it was located, for he improved every piece of land he buys and is eager to assist in all that advances the growth of the city. Though this has added to the value of his holdings, that has not been his primary aim, for he is public-spirited to an unlimited degree. He is much admired by a wide circle of friends, who realize that he has earned his way to his present position by his own unaided efforts.

Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa; Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907

Note: Marriage record under DILLENBECK Henry co IL date as 25 Dec 1867 (rather than 1868 listed in bio)


The subject of this notice is certainly entitled to be considered not only one of the enterprising farmers of Polk county, but one of its respected and honored citizens, and a man of more than ordinary ability. His residence is pleasantly situated on section 35, townsship (sic) 1 range 4. He is a native of Henry county, Illinois, born September 26, 1860, and a son of Chauncey S. and Sarah A. (Lambert) Dimick. The birth of the father occurred in Ohio, August 26, 1836, and he was a son of Lucius Dimick, who had one son--Leurtis Dimick--who was captain of a company in an Illinois regiment during the Civil war.

In Scott county, Iowa, Chauncey S. Dimick was married, October 29, 1857, to Miss Sarah A. Lambert, who was born in New Jersey, March 12, 1835, and they began their domestic life upon a farm near Orion, in Henry county, Illinois. About ten or twelve years later they removed to Cambridge, the same state, and later they came to Polk county, Nebraska, where the father broke three hundred and twenty acres of land the first year. He then returned to Illinois, and brought to this state two car loads of horses and one of lumber. He erected his residence and the next year raised a crop of wheat. He made all the improvements upon his place, set out eight acres in walnut trees and fenced four hundred acres. Dealing extensively in real estate, he became the owner of eight hundred acres of valuable and well improved land, and continued to make his home in Polk county until his death, which occurred at Osceola, August 21, 1889. His wife passed away July 16, 1897, while on a visit to her daughter in Fargo, North Dakota. They were widely and favorably known throughout the county, attended church, and she contributed to the erection of the Methodist Episcopal church in Osceola. Politically the father was a straight Republican. The children of the family were Lucius D., who was born August 19, 1858, and died February 21, 1860; George E., of this sketch; and Alice T., who was born October 7, 1862, and is now the wife of William C. Resser, an attorney at Fargo, North Dakota, by whom she has three children-Duane C., Helen and Willie.

Reared in Henry county, Illinois, George E. Dimick obtained a good practical education in the schools of Cambridge, that state, and of Scott county, Iowa, and he also gained an excellent knowledge of agricultural pursuits upon the home farm. On starting out in life for himself he located upon a farm on section 3, township 15, range 4, Polk county, Nebraska, and is now the owner of a valuable tract of four hundred and eighty acres, a half of which is under cultivation and well improved. In addition to general farming he is interested in stock raising, making a specialty of Hereford cattle.

On the 14th of November, 1882, Mr. Dimick led to the marriage altar Miss Mary L. Rose, who was born in Mercer county, Illinois, December 20, 1860. Her parents John and Anna C. (Johnson) Rose, were both natives of Sweden, the former born September 30, 1821, the latter October 26, 1831, but in early life they emigrated to the New World, and have now made their home in Mercer county, Illinois, for the past forty years. By trade the father is a tailor, but is now living retired. He is a stanch Republican in politics, and he and his wife are worthy members of the Methodist church. Of their twelve children, six reached man and womanhood, namely: Theodore, now a resident of Hamilton, Montana; Matilda, wife of David Mace; Mrs. Dimick; Emma, wife of John Shank; Laura, wife of Ernest Stroburg, of Worth county, Missouri; and Emil.

Socially Mr. Dimick belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge and the Modern Woodmen Camp, No. 1220, both of Clarks, Nebraska. The Republican party has always found in him a stanch supporter, and during the campaign of 1896 he rendered effective service in its interest as secretary of the McKinley Club, while his wife was president of the Woman's McKinley Club. She is an earnest member of the Methodist church at Fairview, and presides with gracious dignity over their pleasant home, which is the center of a cultured society circle.

Source: Memorial and Biographical Record of Butler, Polk, Seward, York and Fillmore Counties Nebraska, p 1074-1075


Among Henry County's venerable citizens is numbered George Duff, who has now passed the eighty-eighth milestone on life's journey, and his record has at all times been so honorable, his actions so manly and his purpose so sincere that he now receives the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded one who has lived long and well. He was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 24, 1821, his parents being William and Mary (Johnson) Duff, who were also natives of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The former was a son of John Duff who was likewise born in the Keystone state and was a farmer by occupation. Unto him and his wife were born six sons and four daughters. The maternal grandfather of George Duff devoted his life to general agricultural pursuits. He wedded Martha Johnson and both lived to an old age. William Duff, the father of our subject, was a tanner by trade and conducted business of that character in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, near the place where his birth occurred. He died there when about fifty-seven or fifty-eight years of age, while his wife passed away at the age of forty-seven years.

In their family were twelve children, but George Duff is now the only survivor. He was reared in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, pursued his education in the public schools and worked in a tan yard and ground bark. Later he engaged in teaming for a time and subsequently turned his attention to farming in Pennsylvania, but, rightly judging that the middle west offered better opportunities to the agriculturist, he came to Henry County in 1857 and here rented land. A few years later he purchased a farm of eighty acres to which he afterward added a tract of similar size. For some years he remained upon that place and at different times owned farms in the county but lived mostly in Penn Township. At one time he was the owner of two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land but eventually sold his farm to his son and for fifteen or twenty years has made his home in Geneseo.

Mr. Duff was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Cyphers, who was born in Penn Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and was a daughter of Philip and Nancy (Quinter) Cyphers, who were likewise natives of the Keystone state. Mr. And Mrs. Duff became the parents of six children, of whom four are now living: Nancy Ellen, the wife of Darwin R. Amsden; William, who wedded Rebecca E. Wilson; Anna, the wife of George H. Wilson; and Mary Frances, the wife of Charles Magee. Of the family John P. and Freddie died in childhood. Mr. And Mrs. Amsden has three living children: Cora B., Ina M., and Roscoe John, while Mr. And Mrs. Wilson have one son, Alden George. The children of Mr. And Mrs. Magee are Elsie M. and Elan C. Mrs. Mary Ann Duff died November 1, 1906, at the age of eighty-two years and one month. She was a member of the Christian Church and a most estimable lady whose many good traits of heart and mind endeared her to all who knew her.

In his political views Mr. Duff has long been a stalwart Democrat. He has resided in Henry County for fifty-two years and is one of the most highly respected citizens. He has always been an honest, hard-working, upright man and has made his way in the world unaided, since he started out for himself empty-handed. His industrious habits and good management, however, have secured him a competency for his old age. In the early days he bought land when it was cheap, and his son now owns and operates the old homestead. The farm is now finely improved and is today worth one hundred and fifty dollars an acre. Mr. Duff owns a good and comfortable home on North State Street close to the business part of the town. Though past eighty-eight years of age he is quite active for one who has traveled thus far on life's journey, and at all times he keeps informed on the current events of the day. He is very social and genial of nature and it is a pleasure to converse with him. He has a host of friends who hold him in the highest esteem for his life has ever been upright and honorable. Although he has now advanced far on the journey he still keeps a cheerful spirit and sheds around him the cheerful influence of a sunny disposition. His record is altogether most creditable and no history of the community would be complete were there failure to make prominent mention of George Duff.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


Among the self-made men and honored citizens of Orion who have laid aside business cares to spend their declining years in peace and quiet is the subject of this review, who has been a resident of Henry county since the 1st of October, 1856.

A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in the city of Pittsburgh on the 7th of October, 1834, and is a son of William HO.. and Eliza A. (Stewart) Dyal, both natives of West Virginia, though their marriage was celebrated in the Keystone state. The father was born in 1807, and in early life was engaged in flat boating on the Ohio river, running coal barges. He finally located on a farm in Coshocton County, Ohio, and devoted the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits. There he died in 1891 at the ripe old age of eighty-four years. The mother died in 1885.

On the home farm Amos Dyal grew to manhood, receiving but limited school privileges in his youth. In the fall of 1856 he came west, arriving in Henry county, Illinois on the 1st of October, and for about four years he worked by the month on the farm of D.C. Welton, one of the early settlers of Illinois, who came to Henry county from Peoria county. Later he rented land and engaged in farming on his own account for three or four years in Osco and Andover townships. In 1862 he purchased eighty acres of land on section 14, Western township, but did not locate thereon until two years later. At the time of purchase this was a wild tract, which Mr. Dyal fenced, broke and improved, and as his financial resources increased he added to his property from time to time until he now owns two hundred and thirty-four acres of rich and arable land, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation and improved with a good set of farm buildings, including a pleasant residence and two barns. He raised and fed considerable stock for market, and in all his undertakings met with a fair success.

In November, 1860, in Henry county, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Dyal and Miss Isabella McFarland, who was born and reared in Holmes County, Ohio, and died here in 1872. leaving two children. Ida Eliza, the older, is now the wife of Harry McCleese (sis), of Hancock County, Iowa, and they have seven children: Myron, Clarence, Walter, Bertha, Isabella, Ralph K and Hazel. Robert, the younger child of our subject grew to manhood and married, but died May 8, 1896. In union being with Mrs. Marietta Hove, who was born in New York, but 1874 Mr. Dyal was again married, his second was reared in Henry County, Illinois, and engaged in teaching school prior to her marriage. She died in 1889. and June 29 1892, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, M. Dyal united in marriage with Miss Mary Showalter, a native of that county, educated at George's Creek Academy and the Lock Haven Normal School, and also a school teacher. Throughout his active business life her father, James Showalter, also followed that profession, but is now living a retired life in Smithfield, Pennsylvania. He belongs to an old family of that state. In his political views Mr. Dyal is independent, being a strong temperance man, he usually supports the men and measures of the Prohibition party. He and his wife attend the Baptist Church of Orion, with which he holds membership, but she is still connected with the Presbyterian Church of Smithfield, Pennsylvania, having been reared in that faith. As a citizen of Henry county, with whose interests he has long been identified, he is highly respected, enjoys the confidence of his neighbors and friends, and is regarded as a man of excellent business judgment. His success in life is due entirely to his own well-directed efforts, diligence and sagacity. He is now living retired in Orion, to which he removed in October, 1895, and where he owns a home.

Source: "Biographical Rocord of Henry Co", Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1901 p152

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