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Biographies Q & R

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




Stewart Reed, a native of county Antrim, Ireland, was born January 4, 1833, and is the son of Robert Reed. He emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853, where he was married in 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, a daughter of Alexander and Mary (Evans) Wilson. They have been blessed with eight children--Martha J., Alexander, Bobbie, Mary J., Stewart, Wilson D., Hannah and Lida R. The first six of these were born in Philadelphia, the two younger in Illinois.

Mr. Reed moved to Henry county, Illinois, on the 13th October 1870, and in March, 1883, he came to Beaver township, where he settled on section 30, where he follows general farming and raises fine stock. He is a member of the Cambridge lodge, No. 133, A. O. U. W. of Henry county. Mr. Reed is known through this township as an intelligent and progressive farmer and citizen.

Source: History of Guthrie and Adair Co. IA, 1884


Frederick Richards, residing at No. 802 May Street in Kewanee, is now the capable incumbent in the office of township collector and has discharged the duties devolving upon him in that connection since April, 1909. He was born in Toronto, Canada, on the 21st of November, 1877, his parents being William and Fanny (Chick) Richards, both natives of Somersetshire, England. In 1871, when eighteen years of age, the father crossed the Atlantic to America and took up his abode in Canada, while subsequently he removed to Michigan. In 1890 he came to Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois, where he has since been successfully engaged in gardening, though previously he had devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits. His wife, who left her native land when fourteen years of age, is also yet living and they are well known and highly esteemed throughout the community.

Frederick Richards attended the public schools of Michigan in pursuit of an education that would equip him for the practical and responsible duties of life. The year 1900 witnessed his arrival in Kewanee, this county, and here he secured a position in the rolling mill department of the Western Tube Company, remaining in the employ of that concern until business was suspended in the fall of 1907. He has mining interests in South Dakota, and has made various trips throughout the country, thus gaining that broad experience and culture which only travel can bring.

On the 24th of December, 1902, Mr. Richards was united in marriage to Miss Anna Pollock, a daughter of David Pollock, of Kewanee. They now have four children, namely: Clarence Melburn, Hazel Irene, Violet May and Majory.

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Richards has given his political allegiance to the men and measures of the Republican Party and is an active worker in its local ranks. In April, 1909, he was elected to the office of township collector and has proven a faithful and efficient incumbent in the position. Fraternally he is identified with the Eagles and the Mystic Workers. He is a young man of strong character and sterling worth and well merits the high regard in which he is uniformly held.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


RING, ANDREW, farmer, section 12, P. O. Stanton; was born in Sweden, July 20, 1850. Emigrated to Andover, Henry County, Illinois, in 1869, and lived there 4 years; in 1873 came to Montgomery County, Ia., and located on section 12, where he has 80 acres of land in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Ring was married November 19, 1875, to Miss Helena S. Erickson, who was born in Sweden, June 1, 1856, and married to Mr. Ring, in Stanton. They are the parents of two children: Wilhelmina Otelia, born November 19, 1876; Luther Edwin, born January 31, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Ring are members of the Swedish Lutheran church. Mr. R. is road supervisor of Grant township, district 9. Mr. Ring's parents are both living, his father being sixty-five and his mother seventy years old. They were born in Sweden.

Source: History of Montgomery County Iowa, 1881 Grant Twp


John Ringle, who since March 1900, has lived retired in Cambridge, was for many years actively and successfully identified with the agricultural interests on Henry County. His birth occurred in Minersville, Pennsylvania, on the 21st of May, 1841, his parents being Joseph and Mary Ann (Whitesell) Ringle, likewise natives of the Keystone state. The paternal grandfather, Mathias Ringle, was a Revolutionary soldier and took up his abode in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where his son Joseph was born. The mother of Joseph Ringle bore the maiden name of Mary Ann Clawson and lived to an advanced age. Mathias Ringle, who was twice married and reared a family of twenty-one children, passed away when sixty-seven years of age. Jonathan Whitesell, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania and followed general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career. He and his wife died in that state when well advanced in years. They had five children.

Joseph Ringle, the father of John Ringle, was a coal miner and owned a number of teams, hauling coal into Pittsburg. Having determined to establish his home in this state, he first sent his son James to Henry County with four horses and a wagon and in the spring of 1857 came here with the other members of the family. They took up their abode on a rented farm in Munson Township and later the father purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Osco Township where he reared his children. During the last fifteen years of his life he lived retired in Cambridge, having won a comfortable competence through the careful conduct of his agricultural interests. His demise, which occurred at the home of his son William in Osco Township, was the occasion of deep and widespread regret. His wife, who survived him, was called to her final rest on the 3d of December, 1898, when eighty-four years of age. They were both devoted and faithful members of the Presbyterian Church. Their union was blessed with nine children, seven of whom still survive, namely: James; John, of this review; Catherine, the widow of Harrison Moore, of Newton, Iowa; William, a resident of Cambridge; Louisa, the widow of A. J. Combs, of Cambridge; Mary, the widow of J. C. Sherrard, of Cambridge; and David, living in Geneseo Township.

John Ringle who obtained his education in the district schools, was a lad of sixteen years when he came with his parents to Henry County, Illinois, and grew to manhood on his father's farm in Osco Township. On the 10th of September 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company C, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, with which he served for a little more than three years. He participated in the battles of Tupelo, Franklin and Nashville and also took part in numerous skirmishes, ever proving a most brave and loyal soldier. When hostilities had ceased he returned to Henry County and engaged in farming for two years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Caldwell County, Missouri, where he was identified with agricultural pursuits for four years. At the end of that time he returned to this county and purchased a partly improved farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Osco Township, on which he made his home until the spring of 1883, seventeen acres lying a mile north of Cambridge and successfully continued its cultivation and improvement until March, 1900, when he took up his abode in Cambridge, where he has since lived retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.

On the 28th of February, 1867, Mr. Ringle was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Humphrey, who was born in New York City on the 31st of March, 1844, her parents being Nicholas and Sophia (Van Allan) Humphrey, both natives of Canada. The father was of French parentage and the mother came of German lineage. Of their family of ten children, seven lived to attain years of maturity and two still survive, namely: Mrs. J. M. Loomis, of Missouri; and Mrs. John Ringle. Nicholas Humphrey passed away in New York City in 1862, at the venerable age of ninety-eight years, and the demise of his wife occurred in the year 1847. Unto Mr. And Mrs. Ringle have been born three daughters, as follows: Annie L., who is now the wife of Daniel Conneghy, by whom she has three children—Ora, Clayton and Lela; Ida A., who is the wife of Charles C. Curtis and has four children—Delia, Mabel, John and Chester; and Kate L., who gave her hand in marriage to Thomas M. Neville and has two children—Gladys and Mildred.

Politically, Mr. Ringle is a stalwart advocate of the Republican Party. He still maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in the G.A.R., and while in the service belonged to the Union League. His wife is a faithful and exemplary member of the congregational Church. He has long resided in this county and owing to his upright and honorable career, enjoys in unqualified measure the confidence and esteem of all who know him.

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


For fifty-two years, William Ringle has lived in Henry County and, retiring from agricultural life, took up his abode in Cambridge where he is now the senior member of the firm of William Ringle & Company, grain buyers and owners of an elevator. He is also the vice president of the First National Bank, and is widely recognized as a man of affairs who wields a wife influence. His birth occurred in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, March 6, 1847, his parents being Joseph and Mary (Whitesell) Ringle who were also natives of the Keystone state. The paternal grandfather was Mathias Ringle and he too was born in Pennsylvania when it was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great Britain. When the yoke of British oppression became intolerable and the colonists made the attempt to sever all allegiance with the crown, he was in hearty sympathy with the movement and served for eight years in the army which won American Independence. He was with Washington during the memorable winter at Valley Forge where the American troops underwent untold hardships and he participated in many of the long campaigns and hotly contested battles of the war. He was of German descent and died in Pennsylvania when well advanced in years. The maternal grandfather of our subject passed away in the Keystone state at the advanced age of ninety-two years after devoting his active business life to farming.

Joseph Ringle, the father of William Ringle, was a farmer and dairyman and came to Illinois in 1857, settling in Munson Township, Henry County, where he purchased eighty acres of land to which he after ward added one hundred and sixty acres. Upon this he reared his family and greatly improved the property, making it a valuable farm. He died at the home of his son, William, in Osco Township, his wife surviving him for several years. Both were members of the Presbyterian Church. Their family numbered seven children who yet survive: James; Katherine, the wife of Harrison Moore; John; Louisa, the wife of Andrew J. Combs; William; Mary, the wife of John Sherrard and David W. Of this family John Ringle served for three years as a soldier in the Civil War with the Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

William Ringle was a lad of only ten years when he accompanied his parents to this county and upon his father's farm his youthful days were passed in the free and untrammeled life of the fields. He attended the district schools and the Orion Prairie Home Academy, while his business training was received under the direction of his father who assigned to him such farm duties as his age and strength permitted. He resolved to make his life work the occupation to which he had been reared and with one horse he started out for himself on a tract of rented land. For several years he continued to cultivate farms which he leased and eventually was enabled to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of land in Osco Township. He still owns that property and has made other investments until his possessions in this county aggregate three hundred and twenty acres, while in Grant County, Minnesota, he owns six hundred and forty acres. He continued to reside on his farm in Osco Township until the spring of 1909, when he removed to Cambridge. He is now the senior partner of the firm of William ringle & company, owners of a large elevator and conducting an extensive business in grain. He also has voice in the management of the First National Bank at Cambridge, being its vice president.

On the 23d of October 1873, Mr. Ringle was married to Miss Ellen E. Welton, whose birth occurred near Henry, Illinois. Her parents, Lester C. and Ora (Welton) Welton were natives of Connecticut and, coming to Henry County at an early day, settled near Osco. Her father was one of the foremost men of the township in pioneer times and took an important part in shaping its policy and promoting its growth. Both he and his wife died in Hutchinson, Kansas, and were laid to rest in the cemetery there. Their family numbered two sons and two daughters: James, Merritt, Helen and Margaret.

In his political views, William Ringle is a republican and for several terms served as supervisor and in other township offices. No trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree. Mrs. Ringle is a member of the Episcopal Church while Mr. Ringle is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ringle is well known as a man of integrity, of business ability, of keen insight and of public spirit so that his words carry weight in matters of vital importance to the community and he is widely recognized as a most influential and progressive citizen.

Book contains his photograph

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


For fifty-six years George H. Rivenburgh has been a resident of Henry County and since 1907 has made his home in Geneseo, where he is living retired after long years of active connection with the farming interests of this part of the state. He has comprehensive knowledge of the history of the county in that he has been an eye witness of many of the changes which have occurred while in many instances he has been an active participant in events which have had bearing upon its annals. He was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, May 18, 1845, and is a son of Hiram and Mary (Burdick) Rivenburgh, the former a native of New York and the latter of the Keystone state. The paternal grandparents were Peter and Ruth Rivenburgh, natives of Pennsylvania. The maternal grandfather was Billings Burdick, a native of Connecticut, whence he removed to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and there followed the occupation of farming. He wedded Mary Cottrell and both lived to an advanced age. They had nine children but only one survives—Emeline, the widow of John Barker and a resident of Geneseo. Billings Burdick was the son of Billings Burdick, Sr., who came from France with marquis de Lafayette, served as a soldier of the Revolutionary War and afterward settled in Connecticut. Hiram Rivenburgh, the father, always followed the occupation of farming as a life work and came to Henry County, Illinois, in 1853, at which time he took up his abode in Osco Township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of school land. He as an enterprising, energetic and successful business man and as he prospered in his undertakings he added to his farm lands until his possessions aggregated six hundred acres. For about forty-five years he remained in this county and them removed to Peabody, Kansas, where he died at the age of seventy-five years. His wife survived him and passed away at the age of eighty-four years. Mr. Rivenburgh was a member of the Presbyterian Church, while his wife was an equally consistent Christian in her relation to the Baptist Church. Their family numbered four sons and one daughter, Sophia, the wife of Philip Weidlein, of Kansas City, Missouri; George H., of Geneseo; Clark, deceased; Le Grand, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Hiram, who is living in Peabody, Kansas.

George H. Rivenburgh was only eight years of age at the time of the arrival of the family in Henry County and the experiences of farm life early became familiar to him as his youth was passed in the routine work of the fields and in the acquirement of an education in the district schools. He remained at home until he had attained his majority and then located upon a tract of land of his own comprising eighty acres. This he improved and to it added eighty acres but later sold that property and made investment in two hundred and eighty acres in Scott county, Iowa, and fifty acres a mile east of Geneseo. Through the years of his active connection with agricultural interests he followed progressive methods of farming, carefully tilling the soil, rotating his crops and using the latest improved machinery for the plowing, planting and harvesting. Thus as the years passed he won substantial success, and in December, 1907, with a handsome competence acquired thorough his own labors he retired from active life.

Mr. Rivenburgh was married May 5, 1872, to Miss Almire Newton, a daughter of Zarah and Julia (Rivenburgh) Newton, who were natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. The former was a son of Benjamin Newton, a native of Connecticut and a farmer by occupation. He married Sarah Covey and they had one son. After her death Mr. Newton married again and had a large family by the second union. He died at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. George H. Rivenburgh was John Rivenburgh, who spent the greater part of his life in Pennsylvania and carried on agricultural pursuits. He married Nellie Dougherty, and both died when well advanced in years. They had four children including Julia, who became Mrs. Newton. It was in the year 1844 that Mr. And Mrs. Zarah Newton removed to Stark County, Illinois, where they spent their remaining days, the former dying at the age of eighty-three years and latter when seventy-four years of age. Of the eleven children born unto them, six reached years of maturity, namely: William; Adeline, the wife of Henry Hitchcock, of Nebraska; Sarah, the wife of Andrew Jackson, of Greeley, Colorado; Nellie, the wife of Cornelius Horn, also of Greeley; Almira, the wife of George H. Rivenburgh; and Wilmot, who lives near Toulon, Stark County, Illinois.

The marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Rivenburgh has been blessed with four sons and one daughter: Nettie is the wife of Charles S. Young, of Geneseo, and they have two children—Worling R. and Annette; Ward who is the United States Express agent in Geneseo, married Elsie Rice and they have one son, Charles Henry; Scott, died when ten months old; and Ralph died in infancy as did the first born. Mr. And Mrs. Rivenburgh are members of the Congregational Church, and Mr. Rivenburgh gives his political allegiance to the Prohibition Party. He is an advocate of temperance and morality and in fact of all that is just and right in man'' relations with his fellowmen. He stands for truth, for reform and progress and in his own life measures up to the highest standards of honorable manhood.

Books contains two pictures, one of him and one of her

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

Submitted by: Alice Gless


William W. Roberts, county Surveyor of Adams county, Iowa, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, November 19, 1845. His parents, Daniel and Sarah (Inman) Roberts, were natives respectively of Virginia and Marietta, Ohio. His father was for many years successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, and at one time served as Justice of the Peace.

He was only five years old when his family moved to Ohio. In Muskingum county, that State, he was married. In 1851 he moved to Henry county, Illinois, back to Ohio the following year, and in 1859 to Adams county, Iowa. Having been an early settler of three States, he well knew the hardships incident to pioneer life. He drilled the first military company ever formed in Adams county, a company of home guards. He understood the manual of arms, having drilled soldiers for the Mexican war, although he did not take part in that struggle. A Christian man and a member of the Baptist Church, he died February 25, 1889, aged seventy years. His widow is still living, aged seventy-two years, with powers of mind and body well preserved. This worthy couple had four children, namely: Pomelia J. and Mary E., deceased, the former at the age of one year and the latter at the age of eight; William W. and Lewis D.

William W. Roberts attended the common schools of Ohio, and after coming to Iowa received instructions in a public school until he was prepared for the freshman class in college. He then entered the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant, and graduated there June 10, 1870, receiving the degree of A. B. and the same from the literary society of which he was a member. Three years later he received the title of A. M. After leaving college, Mr. Roberts taught in the graded schools in Quincy for two years. Immediately thereafter, in the fall of 1873, he was elected county Superintendent of the schools of Adams county; was re-elected in 1875, and filled that important position most acceptably. He is now serving his second term as county Surveyor, having been elected first in 1887. He has also served as Justice of the Peace. A public-spirited, progressive and enterprising citizen, he has been and is to-day an important factor in promoting the best interests of this county.

Mr. Roberts has been in the real estate business with H. F. Dale of Corning for some four years. He came to his present location in 1882. Here, in section 9, Washington township, he owns eighty acres of well improved land. He raises corn and all kinds of fruits, his land being adapted to any product indigenous to this climate.

September 18, 1876, Mr. Roberts wedded Miss Sadie A. Andrews, daughter of O. S. and Delilah Andrews, residents of Box butte county, Nebraska. Mr. Andrews is a contractor and mechanic, as popular as he is extensively known. He was a leading pioneer of Iowa. He and his wife had four children: Patience A., Sadie A., William F. and Letitia O. The last named is the wife of H. K. Prickett, of Box butte county. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have been blessed with nine children, viz.: F. Clyde, Lewis W., Jennie M., Jesse E., Daniel C. and Orlando S. (twins), Ida I., and Mabel and Ethel (twins). Mrs. Roberts, like her husband, was for a time engaged in teaching. She is a lady of much culture and refinement. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In his political views Mr. Roberts is [Independent], voting for men and measures rather than party. He is opposed to monopolies in any form, and believes in keeping pace with nineteenth-century progress. Such is a brief sketch of one of Adams county's best citizens.

Source: Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892


ROGERS, Harrison, merchant, P. O. Farragut: born February 17, 1841, in Duchess county, New York, and remained there until about twenty years of age, when he removed to Keewonee (sic), Illinois, and engaged in the hardware business, remaining there some four or five years, when he emigrated to Carver, Minnesota, and resided there about two years, when he returned to Keewonee (sic), Illinois, and remained there about two years. He then emigrated to Iowa, locating in Fremont county, in the spring of 1870, and engaged in farming. Mr. Rogers was for a time connected with the bank of Farragut as Cashier. He engaged in his present business in 1878. was married in November, 1877, to Miss Eliza C. Cory, a native of Illinois. They have two children: James W. and William.

Source: History of Fremont Co IA, 1881 Fisher Twp


It is with pleasure that we trace the history of this prominent resident of Peoria County through the principal events of his past life. We cannot follow it through every changeful year, every devious path, but can only record the chief events in a life that covers a period of three-score and ten ears, which since maturity have been passed in useful toil for his family, his neighbors and his country. Although not a native-born American, Mr. Rowcliffe is as loyal and patriotic citizen as the broad state of Illinois can boast. during the late Civil War he was active in procuring recruits and having himself enlisted did gallant service in camp and field from September, 1862, until July 31, 1865. At present a resident of Jubilee township, he is enjoying the comforts which adequate means can obtain good health will allow, respected by all how know him for his honorable character and years of usefulness.

Our subject belongs to an old Devonshire family, his father having lived on the same place until fifty years old. He held parish offices in Swinebridge, in which parish he was born in 1785.In 1836 he set sail with his family to found a home in America and reach Huron County, Ohio, bought one hundred and forty acres of land on the Sandusky river, on which he continued his olden occupation of tilling the soil. His political views were expressed in the platform of the Whig party and his religious faith by the creed of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He departed this life July 1, 1862, sincerely mourned by many friends as well as by the children to whom he had been a kind and considerate parent.

The wife of John Rowcliffe was Grace daughter of Peter Facey, a Devonshire farmer. She died on the voyage to America in May 1836. The subject of this notice is the oldest of the parental family. His brothers are John, who died in Ohio in 1847; James, now living in Huron County, that state; George a resident of Akron Township, this county, and his only sister is Mrs. Mary Ann Ford, of Ohio.

Our subject was born in Devonshire, England, March 12, 1818, reared on the farm and was the recipient of somewhat limited school privileges under the subscription system. He was eighteen years old when the family left Biddeford, England, on the sail-vessel "Ebenezer" which after a stormy voyage finally reached New York, seven weeks having been occupied in the passage. He remained with his father in Huron County, Ohio, until he was of age, then began working out by the month and year, continuing his education at night schools and on Sundays. For two or three years he rented a farm, then buying a tract near Norwalk, he improved and operated it until the spring of 1853.

Selling then, Mr. Rowcliffe turned his footsteps toward Peoria County, Ill., to which he had been induced to come by the representations of acquaintances, although his original intention had been to settle in Will County, near Joliet. He shipped his goods to Chicago, whence he was conveyed to Peoria by a team, finding but a small town where now a flourishing city stands. Locating in Kickapoo township he farmed the James Voorhees place the first summer, the following spring renting one hundred and sixty acres in Jubilee Township. In 1855 he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, the following year adding one hundred and sixty acres on section 12. The land was raw prairie, bare of improvements. It was necessary to use five yoke of oxen on the breaking plows with which the tough sod of the prairies was first turned. Mr. Rowcliffe made various improvements upon the place prior to his departure for fields of civil strife.

Mr. Rowcliffe enlisted in the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, was mustered into service at Peoria, January 7, 1863, as first Lieutenant of Company M, and sent south to join the army of the Ohio in Kentucky. The first three months of his active service was during the Morgan raid and after the capture of the noted Southerner at Buffington Isle, his regiment was with Gen. Burnside in the East Tennessee country. There the Lieutenant participated in the battle of Walker's Ford, Bean Station and Fair Garden. The command was then sent into Carolina to break up Indian squads, in which two regiments had previously been unsuccessfully engaged. Lieut. Rowcliffe was in command of the company most of the time during this service, which was successful, twenty-one of the Indians being taken prisoner.

During the Indian raid the First Lieutenant of Company A was killed and Lieut. Rowcliffe was detailed to bring his body home. After performing that sad duty he was detailed to take recruits from Springfield to Nicholasville, Ky., where he mounted and drilled them until June 1864. He was then ordered to re-equip and take them to Cleveland, Tenn., having but ten days in which to accomplish that purpose. He had not only to distribute the new stores but to gather up the old unserviceable ones. After reaching Cleveland and transferring the troops and equipments he rejoined his regiment at Big Shanty. Detailed as an ordinance officer on the staff of Col. Capron before the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, he laid there and took care of the wounded until July 27.

We next find Lieut. Rowcliffe fighting in Wheeler's force during the Stoneman raid to Macon, Ga. At Sunchine Church a battle took place and after accomplishing their purpose of destroying the railroad and stores, the brigade passed on. During the night the horse of Lieut. Rowcliffe mired, he was obliged to leave the animal and, his comrades having passed on, to take to the woods alone. It was seventeen days before he reached Atlanta, during which time he was hunted and hounded and spoke with but two persons-one black and one white. He followed the North star for a guide by night, crossing streams on logs and planks, suffering from the lack of food and drenched by the rain which fell during the greater part of the time, but to which he no doubt woed his final escape from the dangers which threatened him. After the second day he had nothing to eat but thirteen ripe peaches which he found on an old plantation, and during the last day of his travel he several times fainted from weakness. The first day he was tracked by bloodhounds, but having hidden before the dew was off he thus threw them off the scent. The continuous rains and the darkness favored him and he finally rejoined his regiment at Marietta, Ga.

After a time Lieut. Rowcliffe went to Turner's Ferry to guard Sherman while throwing his army about Atlanta. The very next morning Gen. Slocum sent to Col. Capron to go to Atlanta and act as advance guard for the Twentieth corps, as he ad no mounted men. Lieut. Rowcliffe suggested the raising of a volunteer company of officers to act as privates in this duty and securing twenty four recruits he started for Atlanta. The advance guard was near that city when met by the Mayor and officials who announced their readiness to surrrender the place. Lieut. Rowcliffe, whom Gen Slocum had left in command of the advance, told them to wait for the General who would soon be along and he with his cavalry dashed on into the town which they were thus the first to enter. At a cross street they met a rebel squad,, there was a cross fire, both parties ran, but the rebels soon gave way before the cavalry.

Returning to Nicholasville, Ky., Lieut. Rowcliffe was remounted and then going to Nashville took his place in the left wing of the Union Army. His brigade was the first struck by Hood's right and for two days kept up a running fight while moving toward Columbia. He was then sent to the left upon Duck River to guard forts there. Hood's force having divided and surrounded them they had to cut their way out at night, reaching Franklin the day before the battle there, after which they lay in the edge of a field a couple of weeks. Then followed the battle of Nashville, during which Lieut. rowcliffe had charge of the ambulance corps of the cavalry. The order detailing him for Ambulance Director was issued the day before the battle. The command having followed Hood to Graverly Springs, had their last fight with him on Christmas Day.

Our subject gathered up the wounded, took them back to Franklin and then went on down the Tennessee River. The division being ordered back to guard the Alabama Railroad at Pulaski, he left it and rejoined the regiment, although Gen Wilson, then in command wished him to accompany the division. Our subject had no receipt for the supplies he had left at Cleveland and was anxious to return there and straighten up matters. After getting the receipt he rejoined the regiment at Nashville, thence accompanied them to Pulaski and there remained on picket turnpike duty until the close of the war. He was thus engaged wehn the news of the assassination of President Lincoln reached him. Mr. Rowcliffe received a Captain's commission from "Dick" Oglesby, but was discharged as First Lieutenant. He was rarel absent from duty, declaring when the doctor told him to go to the hospital that he preferred to die in battle. He passed through the various dangerous scenes of his army life without receiving a scratch.

During the absence of our subject, the farm had been managed by his wife and the boys, upon whom the work of the place had somewhat gained. He took hold with a will, and with his more thorough understanding of the work before them to guide their efforts an improvement soon took place. A small part of the old place has been sold, the present acreage of the homestead being two hundred and forty acres. It is supplied with commodious barns, a windmill, and everything in the way of building and machinery which will expedite the work carried on. The land is fertilized by a creek which flows through it and renders it excellent feeding ground for stock as well as productive good crops. Mr. Rowcliffe raises a good grade of cattle and sheep, having upwards of a hundred of the latter. He also raises many swine and some horses.

The wife of our subject was a native of Devonshire, England, and daughter of the Rev. James Ford, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who came to America in 1833, settling in Huron County Ohio. He bought three hundred acres of land with the intention of farming but died three months after his arrival. His wife Mary, for whom Mrs. Rowcliffe was named, remained on the farm with her children until her death. To Mr. and Mrs. Rowcliffe seven children have been born, whose record is as follows: John W. of the firm of Blain & Rowcliffe, dealers in books and stationery, is located in Peoria; George is engaged in farming, owning eighty acres near his parent; James A. is a pharmacist in Peoria; Charles resides in Kewanee where he is Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association; Mary J. married Aaron Moffitt of Princeville and died in 1886, leaving two sons; Bessie A. is the wife of John Smith, a farmer near Princeville, whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this volume; Celeste I. married A.N. Case, a farmer of Medina Township. All are well educated, George James and Charles having been students at Abingdon college, and Bessie A. an attendant at the Normal School in Bloomington, Illinois. Mrs. Rowcliffe departed this life January 3, 1888 and her remains were deposited in the cemetery at Princeville.

In 1862, Mr. Rowcliffe was Supervisor of the township, and resigning the position when he entered the army was re-elected soon after his return serving several years. He was a member of the Board when the court house was built in Peoria. He has held the offices of collector, Assessor, etc. He has been School director for forty years except when in the army and is now discharging the duties of that office. He has been very instrumental in building schoolhouses in this section, one having been erected on his farm. For twenty-four years he has held the office of Justice of the Peace. Nominated and elected to the legislature on the Republican ticket, he served in the Twent-ninth session when Elijah Haines was Speaker of the House. Mr. Rowcliffe was a member of several committees, took part in the various discussions and earned the reputation of a man deeply interested in the welfare of his constituency and firmly opposed to everything which savors of bribery or corruption. He is a stanch supporter of the Rebpublican party which he has served as member of the Township Central committee and delegate to the State county conventions.

Mr. Rowcliffe was formerly identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a devout Christian, for over forty years having been a local minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church for which he was licensed to preach in 1842. He was instrumental in organizing the Zion congregation in Radnor township in which he has held the various offices and is still serving as Superintendent of the Sunday school. In erecting their house of worship, he bore an important part. It is needless to say that he is held in high esteem by the people and that his excellent views are greatly appreciated by those about him.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album Peoria Co., 1890 Page 509


Perseverence and good management, supplemented by honesty of word and deed, have placed this gentleman among the foremost farmers of Wayne county, Nebraska. For nearly thirty years he has been a resident of the state, where he chose his home in the early days. He has a comfortable home, pleasantly located in section eleven, township twenty-six, range four.

Mr. Rubeck is a native of the state of Illinois, where he was born, November 2, 1864, the son of P. J. and Listien Rubeck, both originally from Sweden. Mr. Rubeck spent his childhood in Henry county, and obtained his education in the local district schools there.

In 1881, he came, with his parents, to Lucas county, Iowa, where they remained over three years. In 1886, the parents came to Thurston county, Nebraska, this time staying until 1891, when they moved to Oakland, Nebraska, where they died, the father in 1901 and the mother in 1906.

Henry Rubeck moved to the western part of Nebraska in 1884, and stayed about a year. He then went to Thurston county, Nebraska, and remained one year, during which time he proved up on a homestead there, after which he was employed at railroading for nearly three years. He then farmed his homestead in Thurston county, Nebraska, until 1891. Mr. Rubeck came to Wayne county in 1891, which has been his home ever since. He had, during the previous year, bought the farm which he occupies at the present time. The farm has been improved since it passed into his hands, and now every appointment speaks of industry, thrift and good management. There was not a fence post on the place when Mr. Rubeck bought it,and only eighty acres had been broken. He has built a good house, barn and other buildings, and fenced the place. Since coming here, he has added forty acres to his original purchase,and now owns two hundred acres of land.

Mr. Rubeck was married in 1890 to Miss Hattie Erickson. They have had nine children born to them, all of whom are living. They are named as follows: Florence H., Harvey R., Alvin R., Pearl O., Sylvia R., Henry W., Hattie M., Paul A. and Floyd L.

Mr. and Mrs. Rubeck and family belong to the Swedish Lutheran church at Wakefield, and Mr. Rubeck is a republican.

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


Isaac D. Ruggles, a farmer of Geneseo Township, resident in the city of Geneseo, came to Henry County in 1856. He was born June 17, 1823, in Rutland, VT. He represents one of the most prominent names in the business history of the East, as his father, Draper Ruggles, was the senior member of the firm of Ruggles, Nourse & Mason, the pioneer manufacturers of agricultural machinery on the American Continent. His mother, previous to her marriage was named Nancy Corbett. His father removed to Worcester, Mass., when he, the son was 12 years of age, and in the same year the business, which has been referred to, was established. The relations of the firm grew to extensive dimensions and employed 300 hands.

As he attained to a suitable age, Mr. Ruggles acted as an assistant in the shops at Worcester, and also as a salesman in the ware-rooms in the city of Boston, and he was thus engaged until he was 18. He then carried out a resolution to try a seafaring life, and he became a sailor in the merchant service. He sailed from Boston to the East Indies, to the Mediterranean Sea, and to South America. He was in the ocean service about four years, and reached the position of second mate of a full-rigged ship. On relinquishing the idea of making a seaman’s life the object of his ambition, he resumed his relations with the business of his father. He operated there until three years had expired, and then took charge of the homestead in Westborough, Mass., and was engaged in that line until 1852, when he went to Indiana. He there operated as a farmer, and also in the manufacture of farming implements three years.

In 1855 he came to Geneseo. He bought a farm near the city of which he was the occupant three years, and he then sold the property and removed to Davenport, Iowa. After two years he returned to Geneseo, and purchased the estate he has since owned, and resided in the city. When the foundry firm of Hammond & White had been in operation about a year, Mr. Ruggles became an owner of a third interest, by purchase, and the firm name was changed to Hammond, White & Co.

In political views, Mr. Ruggles coincides with the Republicans. He was formerly a Whig. He is tolerant in his religious proclivities, having been brought up to accept the creed of the Unitarians.

He was joined in marriage, by the Rev. Edward Everett Hale, with Catharine G. Crawford, at Worcester, Mass., in 1846. Mrs. Ruggles was born in Rockland, ME. Their children were born as follows: Ella F. was born at Worcester, and is a resident at Geneseo; Katie was born in Westborough, and is the wife of John Scott, a citizen of Chicago; the sons Henry and Edward were born in Indiana; the former is in Chicago, and the latter married Clara Carl, and is the resident manager of his father’s farm; the two  younger children were born in Geneseo; William married Martha Cressey, and is following the profession of a painter in the city of Chicago; and Emma is the wife of Charles C. Flint, of Chicago.

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois", Chicago, Biographical Pub Co., 1885

Submitted by: DeeDee Hamm


Albert Russell, a prominent and well-known citizen of Arcadia, Nebraska, is interested in all that pertains to the welfare or progress of his county and state. He is a native of Delaware, Indiana, born December 31, 1851, an only child and left an orphan in infancy. He was adopted by John Russell and wife of that state, assuming their name. When six years of age he accompanied his foster parents to Henry county, Illinois, where, near Kewanee, he received his education and grew to maturity. he engaged in farming there and was married in that county, November 10, 1874, to Miss Emma Gates, who was born at Chillicothe, Illinois, daughter of Nathaniel and Julia (Cross) Gates. Her father, a carpenter by trade, was born in New York and died in Illinois in 1876, while her mother, a native of Ohio, died in Illinois in 1872. A brother lives at Council Bluffs, Iowa. a sister died in April, 1911, in Henry county, Illinois, and one brother died in service during the civil war. Mrs. Russell passed into eternity, June 6, 1911, leaving a loving memory of christian womanhood.

In February, 1877, Mr. Russell brought his wife and their first born, Grace, to Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in Platte county. where they resided until 1903, when they came to Arcadia, their home since that time. Mr. Russell purchased two hundred acres of land within the city limits and there has a splendidly improved and well equipped grain farm. He has taken an active part in local affairs and during the years 1909-10 served as supervisor on the county board. He is now a member of the city board, and has well performed every duty that has fallen to him in his official capacity.

Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Russell, and six of them now survive: Grace, married Charles Dockhorn, and has one son, Glen; Fred J., of Valley county, is married and has three children; Harry W., lives in Idaho, is married and has two children; Milo C., married, and living in Valley county, has one child; Olive O., wife of Adam Kunkle, of Schuyler Nebraska, has three children; Myrtle F., died in 1904; Ora, died in infancy in 1894; Albert E., is a student, in Lincoln Business College.

Mr. Russell owns five hundred and thirty acres of land and is one of the more successful farmers of the region. He is a member of the Congregational church, the Modern Woodmen of America, and in politics is independent of party lines. During his residence in Platte county Mr. Russell and family lived in a dugout for fourteen years. The blizzard of October, 1880, that inaugurated "the winter of the deep snow," Mr. Russell was loading poles at the Platte river and found great difficulty in reaching home. He was out, in the fearful blizzard of January 12, 1888, on the road to town three miles from home, and with difficulty found a place of shelter.

On another page we show a view of Mr. Russell's well kept town home, of his farm property and of the old home in Platte county.


Source: The Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, Alden Publishing Company, Chicago IL 1912 p 672- 673