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Biographies Wa - Weir

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


If one were asked to find the characterization of Judge Waite amid the lines that poets have penned, the following might be fittingly chosen:

"He leaves a patriot's name to after times
Linked with a thousand virtues—and no crimes."

Such was the life of Judge Waite, who in the long years of his connection with Henry County stood as one of its most honored citizens, seeking ever the good of the state before personal aggrandizement and at all times standing fearlessly in defense of what he believed to be for the best interests of the public at large. He was born in 1827 in Stratton, Windham County, Vermont, and comes of a family in the paternal line of English origin. The name was originally spelled Wayte, while later the orthography was changed by different branches of the family to Waite and Wait. The American ancestor was Thomas Wayte, who emigrated to Massachusetts upon the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. He was a member of the long parliament and was identified with Hampden, Pym, Sir Harry Vane, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Cromwell, Ireton and others with the struggle for freedom of conscience and constitutional government. He did not waver in his opposition to the king and no doubt saw Cromwell at the head of the famous Ironsides regiment and may have been present at Marston Moore and Naseby. He sat on the trial of Charles I and witnessed the matchless prosecution by John Bradshaw, and signed the death warrant of the king. Through successive generations his descendants have been prominent in public affairs and loyal in citizenship, standing courageously in defense of their honest convictions and at all times advocating progress and improvement.

John Wayte, the grandfather of Judge Waite, was a soldier of the revolutionary war and fought in the battles of concord, Lexington and Bunker Hill. After the cessation of hostilities he removed to Stratton, Vermont, where he resided until his death. He had five sons, Amasa, Luther, Daniel, Tyler and Alpheus.

Judge Waite is a son of Tyler and Lucia (Taylor) Waite. His mother was a daughter of Ebenezer Taylor of Woodbury, Vermont, and a representative of a family of Scotch origin. Tyler Waite was a prosperous farmer and a man of education and influence. He and his wife reared and educated a family of seven children, Laura, George E. Lucia, Henry A., Chastina, Ruth and Dexter, but only Henry and Dexter are still living. Dexter has two sons, George and Frank Waite, who are prominent business men of the State of Washington.

Judge Waite attended the public schools of Vermont and after preparing for college took a four years' classical course in the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut. In his college days he was especially noted for his ability as a writer and speaker and was graduated with high honors. In the year 1856 he arrived in Geneseo, Illinois, and following his admission to the bar in 1858 he at once became a successful lawyer. Advancement at the bar is proverbially slow, yet no dreary halt awaited him. Almost immediately he was accorded a large clientage and the character of his legal business constantly became more important as he demonstrated his ability to successfully cope with the intricate problems of the law. He was almost without exception correct in his application of legal principles and his knowledge of the law was comprehensive and exhaustive so that he was always able to cite a precedent or legal principle that was applicable to his cause. He participated in the organization of the Republican Party and ever afterward honorably supported its men and measures. He was known throughout the state as a safe, able and courageous political leader and took part in every campaign. He was regarded as the right man for an emergency, seeming to know exactly when and how to express himself to produce the best possible results that could be secured under any given condition. His splendid physical manhood was such as would attract attention in any gathering and he possessed, moreover, an appeal in voice, word and action that made him a strong and forceful speaker before any audience. He never really sought office, but was the choice of the people for important judicial, legislative, and other positions, the duties of which he discharged with great satisfaction to the general public. He was a member of the convention which formed the present constitution of Illinois, and was chairman of the committee on retrenchments and reforms. His report to the convention contained, among other things, a recommendation for an article prohibiting special legislation. He proposed the only method to put an end to this abuse and his recommendation was adopted and incorporated into the constitution of the state and is still one of its wisest and best provisions. As one of the framers of the organic law of Illinois he looked beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities of the future and with notable sagacity prepared for conditions that might arise. He was a careful student of history, an intelligent observer of all passing events and was well settled in his opinions upon great public questions. He gave support to the cause of the Union during the great public questions. He gave support to the cause of the Union during the dark days of the Civil War and in all matters of citizenship stood for state and national honor and for continuous progress where the best interests of the country might be conserved.

On the 8th of May 1859, in Geneseo, Illinois, Judge Waite was married to Miss Harriet Newell, a daughter of Benjamin and Mary B. (Ford) Wells. Her father, who was born in Connecticut, in March 1804, died in 1864. He was the youngest son of Thomas Wells, a son of the family to which also belonged Governor Wells of Connecticut, while the Hon. William H. Wells, author of Wells' Grammar, was a cousin of Mrs. Waite. Benjamin Wells arrived in Geneseo in 1856 and was, therefore, one of its early settlers. His wife was a daughter of Dyer and Esther (Burnett) Ford. She was born in September, 1803, and died in Geneseo, Illinois, in 1886. After the death of her first husband she became the wife of Jonah Hale, a native of Vermont, and following his demise Mrs. Hale went to live with her daughter Mrs. Waite, with whom she continued to live until her demise, her burial being made in the new cemetery of Geneseo. The Ford family, of which Mrs. Waite is a representative, are descendants of Mrs. Martha Ford, who went to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the ship Fortune in 1621 with her children. In the family of Mr. And Mrs. Wells were seven children: Thomas, Seymour, who died in Connecticut at the age of three years; Mary Lovisa, who died in Connecticut at the age of fourteen; Jeremiah S., who died in Georgia, where he was drafted in the Civil War but went instead as a nurse to the front; Harriet Newell, now Mrs. Waite; John Newton; George Clinton, who died at the age of eight years; and William Averill, also deceased.

Mrs. Waite was born in old Woodstock, Connecticut, and accompanied her parents to Geneseo, in 1856. She was educated in Connecticut and Illinois, preparing herself to enter the senior class at Galesburg but illness in the family prevented her attending Knox College. She taught school in the summers and attended school in the winter months and became one of the best teachers in the graded school of Geneseo. Previous to this time she had been a teacher in select schools. She continued teaching in Geneseo with great success for a number of years prior to her marriage and is a most intelligent lady, whose influence has been a potent factor for the upholding of high, intellectual and social standards. She is a member of the congregational church and has always been associated with church and Sunday-school work, having been superintendent of the primary Sunday school a decade or more. She has also been associated with various missionary and ladies' aid societies, is now president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Henry County and for a number of years was district president of the Young Women's Christian Temperance Union. She has been a great worker and crusader in the cause of temperance and is now press superintendent for the Columbia Club, a literary organization. Her efforts and activities have been crowned with success, but perhaps most of all her efforts have been rewarded in her temperance work, for which she deserves great credit. Her life has constituted a beneficent influence for good and her labors have been a potent force for the betterment of the community at large. She continues her work along progressive lines, attends many conventions, has delivered speeches on various occasions and many young men owe their reform to her. Gentle, kind and gracious in manner, as well as broad and liberal in thought and purpose, she is loved by all who know her.

Unto Judge and Mrs. Waite were born three daughters, Laura N., born in Geneseo, May 15, 1861, attended the schools of this city and is a well read and widely informed woman. She is a Chautauqua graduate and also a one hundredth degree Ralstonite. She travels a great deal, gaining thereby the broad culture and experience which only travel can bring. She belongs to the congregational Church and maker her home with her mother, being in sympathy with the latter's work in church and temperance lines. Hattie Mary, born August 8, 1863, in Geneseo, was graduated from the high school of this city and for some years taught in the same public school in which her mother was previously a teacher. She was married in 1886 to Thomas Everett and unto them were born two children, George Waite and Thomas Waite, who died at the age of three years. Mr. Everett died in 1890 and was buried in Louisburg, Kansas. In 1891 Mrs. Everett became the wife of William K. Barnes and lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Ruth M., born in Geneseo, was graduated from the high school and the Collegiate Institute here and was a successful teacher for several years. In 1895 she became the wife of Henry Dedrick, of this city, and their only child, Henry Waite Dedrick, died in December, 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Dedrick now reside in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Judge Waite died June 5, 1901, in Geneseo and on the 9th of that month was laid to rest in the Geneseo cemetery. He was a man of Christian principles and purpose, although not a member of any church. He possessed an original, distinctive personality, characterized by physical courage, will power and character peculiar to himself. In him there was no self-conceit, no pretensions in manner but he impressed one of being possessed of determination and honesty, combined with the lion spirit when aroused. His abilities were best shown in great emergencies. On such occasions he was irresistless and powerful. He arose to the action, becoming an eloquent, forceful speaker, who swayed his hearers and influenced them to the support of the cause which he was advocating. No man could say aught against him. He was strictly honest and his position was never an equivocal one. He was a man of fine personal appearance, six feet in height, of excellent proportions and weighed one hundred and eighty pounds. He carried himself erectly, his head resting firmly on his shoulders, his brown hair tinged with gray; his voice was rich, mellow and charming. His was one of the largest but also one of the saddest funerals held in Geneseo. Judges, lawyers and statesmen from all parts of Illinois came to pay their last tribute of respect and honor to him. His death was the occasion of the deepest and most widespread regret; his memory remains as a cherished possession to those who knew him and his example is a stimulus toward all that is best and noblest in manhood. His last public address was in favor of no-license in his home town of Geneseo. It was an eloquent and stirring appeal which was conceded to have carried the day, for the town went dry that year. His widow and daughter, Laura, still reside at the old home on First Street and the north part of the city. They are socially prominent, while their worth as factors for good in the community is widely acknowledged.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois, by Henry L. Kiner, Also Biographical Sketches of Many Representative Citizens of the County, Illustrated, Volume II, Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1910

Submitted by: Alice Gless


WALIN, Alfred farmer, section 19, P. O. Clarinda; born in Sweden in 1848. Came to America in 1868, locating at Geneseo, Illinois. In 1869 he came to Iowa. Was married to Miss Josephine Lavander in 1873, by whom he has three children: Charles E., Edward R. and Cornelius. From nothing he has accumulated a farm of 130 acres, the fruit of honest and patient toil.

Source: History of Page County, Iowa, Des Moines: Iowa Hist. Co., 1880 Douglas Twp p 648

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


Alexander Walker occupies a fine brick residence which stands in the midst of five acres of ground at the north end of State street, just outside the corporation limits of Geneseo. He has long been identified with the agricultural interests and is still the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres in Henry county. He was born in the old town of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, December 28, 1831, his parents being James and Ellen (Stewart) Walker, who were also natives of the land of hills and heather. The father was a farmer of Scotland, where he died about 1845, while his wife passed away in 1842 in the faith of the Presbyterian church, of which they were both members. They were the parents of seven children, six sons and a daughter, of whom four are now living: Alexander; William, whose home is in Munson township; Ellen, the widow of James Richmond, of Orient, Iowa; and George, of Geneseo.

In the common schools of Scotland Alexander Walker pursued his education, while spending his youthful days upon the home farm. At the age of fifteen years, however, he began earning his own livelihood by working as a farm hand, and in 1856 he sought the opportunities and privileges of the new world. Here in connection with his brothers, John, James and William, he took contract work in ditching the swamp land in the western part of Indiana. He also did ditching for farmers, and at an early day the brothers came to Henry county but afterward returned to Indiana. A year later, however, they once more came to this county, and Alexander Walker soon resided within its borders. On their return the brothers rented land of P. P. Allan for three years and then began buying land. Mr. Walker, of this review, purchased eighty acres in Cornwall township which was partially improved and upon that place resided for twenty years. He also bought one hundred and sixty acres south of the county house but sold it five years later and made purchase of a quarter section in Cambridge township. About the same time he removed to Geneseo, purchasing the attractive home and grounds which he now occupies at the north end of State street. His realty holdings, aside from his residence, comprise two hundred and forty acres, and from this property he derives a good annual income, for it is carefully cultivated under his supervision.

Mr. Walker was united in marriage to Miss Susan Seeds, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1838, her parents being Simon and Eliza (Orr) Seeds, both of whom were natives of County Down, Ireland. The latter was a daughter of Matthew Orr, but died in County Down, when well advanced in years. He married a Miss Ellison and followed farming as a life work. Mr. and Mrs. Seeds were reared and educated on the Emerald isle, and for a time the former served as a member of the English army. On coming to America they spent a few years in Philadelphia and afterward removed to Maryland, where they remained until their children were grown. They then returned to Philadelphia where they continued to reside until called to their final rest, the father dying at the age of eighty years and the mother when seventy-six years of age. They were both members of the Episcopalian church and they had a family of six children, but only two are now living: John A. Seeds, of Philadelphia; and Mrs. Walker. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Walker have been born two daughters, Helen and Mary, but the latter died in infancy. The former is the wife of James E. Ogden. They reside with Mr. and Mrs. Walker and have four children: Stewart, James C., Florence and John. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Walker served as elder for many years. His political allegiance is given to the republican party.  He has now reached the seventy-eight milestone on life’s journey, and the record which he has made is one which has classed him with the leading citizens and representative men of Henry county. He has lived here for almost a half century, and the respect and veneration which are given him are the result of a well spent life.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois; Henry L. Kiner; The Pioneer Publishing Company; Chicago; 1910; p 344-345

Transcribed by Suzanne Franck


George Walker, a farmer in the township of Munson, is the youngest of six brothers who came to Henry   County in 1858. James remained for a few years in this county and then removed to Iowa, where he died. David located in Cambridge and died there. John was for some years a resident in Munson Township and removed to Grand Forks Co., Dak. T. Alexander lives in Cambridge Township. William is  a citizen of Cornwall Township. Helen a sister, married James Richmond and settled in Adair Co., Iowa.

Mr. Walker was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1839. He was reared in the shire where he was born and in 1858 he came to America. He sailed from his native land in August and landed at the port of Quebec after a voyage of seven weeks and five days. He came directly to Henry County and remained a year. In company with his brothers he rented land in Munson and Cornwall Townships. They managed the land which they had taken five years and at the end of that time three of the brothers bought the southwest quarter of section 9 in Munson Township. Soon after Mr. Walker, of this sketch, bought 80 acres of land on section 27. The brothers operated together for two years. From that time Mr. Walker  managed his affairs alone. He broke the land on section 27 and retained possession of it two years. On  selling it, he bought the south half of the southeast quarter of section 8, and has since made additions to his estate until he is the owner of 264 acres of land, which is all improved and constitutes a valuable estate. The family residence is located on section 16.

Mr. Walker married Ruth Ann Owen, and they have two children, ---Nina May and George Albert. Mrs. Walker was born in Indiana.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker attend the Presbyterian Church, of which she has been a member since Oct. 5, 1847.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois; Biographical Publishing Co.; Chicago, Illinois; 1885

Submitted by Suzanne Franck


Thomas Walsh, farmer, section 10, Cambridge Township, was born June 9, 1840, in County Monaghan, Ireland, and he is the son of Francis and Mary (Boyle) Walsh. The parents were also natives of the Emerald Isle, and there the mother died. She had born six children: Francis, Patrick, James, Thomas, Catherine and Mary. The three younger sons came to the United States. James and Thomas came hither in 1853. The latter settled on Long Island, where he remained seven years. He then removed to the city of New York, and was a resident of there five years; his brother is a citizen there still.

In March, 1864, he came to Henry County, and in the ensuing years was married to Melinda Funk. He at once engaged in farming, to which he devoted himself with the thrifty energy of the country of his nativity, and conducted his operations with marked success. He first hired to work by the month, and then rented until he was in a position to buy a farm for himself, on which he pursued the same wise methods of management, and is now the owner of 400 acres of land, all in excellent agricultural condition. Mr. Walsh is also the owner of 1,600 acres of railroad land in Nebraska, for which he is paying with great rapidity, and will soon hold a clear title to a splendid estate.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois; Biographical Publishing Co; Chicago, Illinois;  1885; Page 678.

Submitted by Suzanne Franck


Wholesale druggist, senior member of the firm of C. H. Ward & Co., is a native of New York, and was born on the ninth day of November, 1845, and when eight years of age accompanied his parents to Illinois, and was principally raised in Geneseo, Henry county. He enlisted in the regular army during the war and served as hospital steward. After being mustered out of the service he returned to his home, and soon after engaged in business in Altoona, Knox county, Illinois. In 1870 he came to Des Moines and established his present business, and has succeeded by a thorough knowledge of all the details of the business, in building up a large and constantly increasing trade. As a business man he is prompt and energetic, upright in all his dealings; he has secured the esteem of all with whom he has had business transactions, and attained to a well merited success. He has never sought or held a public office, preferring the peace and quiet of his legitimate business, and his  characteristics as a business man may be inferred from the success which has attended his career. He was married in 1866 to Miss Isabel C. Miles, a native of Michigan. Their family consists of three children living: Raleigh, Constance and Richard.

Source: The History of Polk County, Iowa, Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co. 1880 p 877

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


Of the firm of C. H. Ward & Co., wholesale druggists, is a native of Wyoming county, New York, and was born on the twenty-first day of November, 1845, and when six years of age removed with his parents to Geneseo, Henry county, Illinois, where he was engaged as clerk, in a store until the outbreak of the rebellion and then enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois infantry, and served until the close of the war. After he was mustered out of the U. S. service he attended school at the State University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor; and in 1870 came to Iowa and engaged in the drug trade in Winterset, and remained there until 1875 and then removed to Montezuma, and engaged in the banking business. In 1879 he disposed of his interest and came to this city, and became connected with his brother, C. H. Ward, in his present business. He was married in 1872 to Miss Sue W. Drake, of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of the Rev. Geo. C. Drake, an Episcopal clergyman of some note as well as a prominent Mason. They have two children: Clara L. and George H. Lost one daughter, Lillia B.

Source: The History of Polk County, Iowa; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co. 1880 p 878

wife of Captain Andrew S. Warner

WARNER, Mrs. Matilda Farmer, section 13, P. O. Hepburn; born in 1842, in Sweden.  In 1846 she came with her parents to America, locating in Henry county, Illinois. Mrs. Warner—whose maiden name was Johnson – was married to Andrew S. Warner, a native of Sweden , in 1865. They are the parents of three children, two of whom are living: Charles A. and Mary C. On the death of her husband she returned to Henry county, Illinois , but came again to Iowa in 1880. Her husband, Capt. A. G. Warner, died after one week's illness, at his home in Douglas township, on Sunday, December 5, 1875.  He was born on the 13 th day of July, 1837, in Novra Helsingland, Sweden.  His parents emigrated to this country in the year 1850. The family consisted of the parents and two sisters, besides himself. They located at Andover, Henry county, Illinois, and engaged in farming.

When the war broke out he responded to the call of his country and enlisted on the 14th day of September, 1861, in the company that was formed at and around Bishop Hill, Illinois, which afterwards became company D of the 57th regiment Illinois volunteers. Upon the organization of that company he was appointed first corporal. At the battle of Shiloh he received an ugly bullet wound in his right arm, but refused a furlough and stayed with his company, performing his duty with his arm in a sling. He was soon afterward promoted to the position of first sergeant, which position he filled to the entire satisfaction of his superior officers and the privates of his company. On the 7th day of March, 1864, he received a commission from the president as captain of company A, 63d United States colored infantry, and served as such until the 9th day of January, 1866, when he was mustered out of the service at Duval's Bluff, Arkansas, after a honorable and continuous service of four years, three months and fifteen days.

At the close of his service to his country he settled down again as a farmer at his former home in Andover, where he remained until he was called away from the pursuits of agriculture, by the votes of his fellow citizens, to fill the office of sheriff of Henry county, to which position he was elected the fall of 1868, as an independent candidate, against the regular republican nominee, by a majority of 116 votes, while Grant carried the county by two thousand seven hundred majority. He filled the office to the entire satisfaction of the people, reflecting honor on himself and credit on his countrymen who had presented him as their representative, and urged his election upon his merits alone. At the end of his term of office he took a trip west to locate a new home, and finally selected the present home, where he died, and to which he moved his family in the spring of 1871.

On the 4 th of December, 1865, he married Miss Matilda Johnson, an only sister of Captain Eric Johnson, formerly of Galva, Illinois. They lived a happy married life, and he leaves his widow and two children, one son eight years old, and one daughter three years old, to mourn their great and irreparable loss.

Source: History of Page County, Iowa, Des Moines: Iowa Hist. Co., 1880 p647-648 Douglas Twp

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


Among the more prominent and enterprising farmers and stock raisers of Alba township who are of alien birth, is the subject of this review, whose home is on section 29. He was born in county Down, Ireland, on the 19th of October, 1828, and is a son of William and Jane (Woods) Warnock, natives of the same county, who came to America in 1848, accompanied by one son and three daughters and settled in Burlington, New Jersey. In their family were the following children: Mary, who wedded Henry Prichard and died in Ireland, while his death occurred in Alba township, this county; Jane, Eliza and William, who all died in Burlington, New Jersey; Anna, who married Robert McCullough and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Peter W., our subject; Hugh, who was a member of the Eighty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war and was killed in the battle of Vicksburg; and James, who is represented on another page of this volume. The parents both died in Burlington, New Jersey; the father died at about seventy and the mother at about the same age.

Peter W. Warnock was reared and educated in his native land. He attended the National schools, where he paid one penny per week tuition and helped furnish the fuel. On their way to school the scholars carried a lump of peat under their arms, and those that brought no fuel were not allowed near the fire. Later he attended a private school which cost one pound per quarter. In 1846, at the age of seventeen years, Mr. Warnock came to America alone, being one of the passengers on the Henrietta Mary, of Belfast, a sailing vessel, which at this time was six weeks and three days in crossing the Atlantic. From New York City, where he landed, he went to Burlington, New Jersey, where he joined a cousin employed as gardener by Bishop Doan, and during the four years our subject remained with him he thoroughly learned the art of gardening. For three months he served as gardener for Mr. Remington, president of the Perkiomen Mining Company, near Valley Forge, and subsequently assisted laying out the Odd Fellows cemetery at Philadelphia. In the fall of the same year he entered the employ of Owen Jones, of Lower Merion township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, with whom he remained two years, and later engaged in gardening at Camden, New Jersey, until coming west in 1857.

In the meantime Mr. Warnock was married, February 23, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth Cassels, who was born in New York, August 20, 1836, and is the only child of John and Jane (Adams) Cassels, both natives of county Down, Ireland. The father, who was captain of a ship, was lost at sea in 1838, and the mother died in New York, in 1844. To Mr. and Mrs. Warnock were born the following children: (1) Joseph, born in Camden, New Jersey, November 17, 1854, died in Nebraska, August 25, 1888, unmarried. (2) William, born in Camden, New Jersey, January 31, 1857, married Lyda Steele, and they have ten children, Arthur, Ray, Maud, Gracie, Floy, Howard, Warren, Aroma, Lee and Lewis. (3) Peter W., born in this county, August 20, 1859, resides in Idaho. He married Edna Brainard and they have three children, Mabel E., Earl and Ruth. (4) Mary J., born January 1, 1862, is the wife of Fred Detro, of Mineral, Illinois, and they have two children, Milo and Naomi E. (5) Elizabeth A., born August 6, 1866, is the wife of Albert Steele, of Annawan. (6) Hugh J., born June 25, 1869, lives near his father in Alba township. He married Phenny Hirshberger, and they have four children, Verne, Joseph, Nina E., Carl C. and Liffard A. (7) Helena R., born January 1, 1872, is the wife of William R. Frew, who lives in Kewanee. (8) John C., a dentist, born March 21, 1874, resides in Wyanet, Bureau county, Illinois. He married Lenora Pottorf and they have two children, Alice H. and Oscar W. (9) Hugh James, born April 9, 1864, died April 27, 1865. (10) George, born October 28, 1876, died the same month.

On first coming to Henry county, Illinois, in 1857, Mr. Warnock located in Colona township, where he followed farming until the spring of 1867, when he purchased eighty acres of land in Alba township, for which he paid twelve and a half dollars per acre. This he soon broke and placed under cultivation, and has since added to it until he now has a tract of two hundred and forty acres. He takes a great interest in horticulture, and is extensively engaged in the raising of cattle and hogs, making a specialty of the breeding of Aberdeen Angus cattle, which are considered the best in the World for beef purposes. He owns “Ides Eclipser,” a full uncle of the steer “Advance” that sold at the livestock show of 1900, at Chicago, to a New York firm, for one dollar and a half per pound. He has a very fine herd upon his place, and is able to command the highest prices for his cattle, and has a great many pedigreed cattle.

Mr. Warnock’s political support is given to the Republican party, and he has been called upon to fill the offices of school trustee and director, collector, assessor and justice of the peace, having held the latter office for a number of years. He and his wife are both earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are held in warm regard by all who know them.

Source: The Biographical Record of Henry County, Illinois; S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago; 1901; p 544-548 (includes photo)

Transcribed by Suzanne Franck


Nathan A. Warring, an old time resident of Big Stone county, Minnesota, resides in Browns Valley township, and is recognized as one of the substantial farmers of that region. He has passed through the experiences of pioneer life and has been an earnest and faithful citizen and well merits his high station.

Mr. Warring was born on a farm in Henry county, Illinois, in 1853. His father, William H. Warring, was of Yankee and German stock and was a farmer by occupation. His father served in the Civil war as a member of Company G, Third Minnesota Volunteers. He served three years. The family settled in Minnesota when our subject was seven years of age, and he was reared in Wabasha county. This was a rough, undeveloped country at that time and he assisted in the grubbing and breaking of the home farm. He grew to manhood there and then rented land and began farming for himself and was thus engaged until he came to Big Stone county in 1878, making the trip by team. There were no buildings to be seen in the county and but few along the lake. He settled on his present homestead farm in section 11, township 124, range 48, and built a claim shanty thereon. His lumber and supplies were hauled from Morris. He continued the improvement of his farm and has prospered, despite some losses by hail. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, two hundred and fifty acres of which is under cultivation, and the rest in pasture and meadow. He has built good farm buildings and has surrounded himself with the comforts of a rural home, and engages in general farming successfully.

Mr. Warring was married in Wabasha county in the winter of 1875 and Mrs. Warring died in Big Stone county in 1881. Of this union two children were born, namely; Bertha and Mark. Mr. Warring was married to Miss Kate Wiley in 1890. Mrs. Warring was born in Pennsylvania and her father, William Wiley, was a farmer in Wabasha county. Mr. and Mrs. Warring are the parents of two children, Jessie and Dea. Mr. Warring engaged in the threshing business for seventeen seasons, and through a steam boiler explosion he was severely injured and was confined to his bed for three weeks and did not fully recover from the effects for a year thereafter. He is one of the leading men of his township and takes an active interest in public affairs. He has held numerous township offices, and was chairman of the board of supervisors for several years and also assessor. He was a resident of Browns Valley township when the same was organized. He is a Republican politically and has attended numerous conventions of his party as a delegate.

Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota; Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago 1904 p 364-365


WAY, A. L., farmer, section 12; born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, October 22, 1829, and resided there until 1855, when he moved to Henry county, Illinois. He came to Page county in the spring of 1871. Was married to Miss Annie Butterick, of Henry county, Illinois, October 26, 1869. They are the parents of five children: Ella F., Bertha A., Ross, Daisy M., and Haven M. He owns 120 acres of fine land, improved with orchards, fruit trees and good buildings.

Source: History of Page County, Iowa, Des Moines: Iowa Hist. Co., 1880 p683

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


Joseph B. Weaver was born in Holmes county, Ohio, May 1, 1840. His father, Samuel Weaver, was born in Baltimore, Md., November 13, 1818, and his mother in Philadelphia, Pa., November 11, 1814. They were married in Holmes county, March 16, 1837. Of their children, seven in number, Joseph was the second. His mother died April 22, 1872, and his father re-married July 31, 1873, to Martha A. Well, of Geneseo, Ill. Mr. Weaver's early life was spent in Holmes county, Ohio. At the age of twenty-six he married Miss Mary J. McFarland, on December 25, 1866, near Cambridge, Henry county, Ill., where they lived until in 1868, when they moved to Hardin county, settling in Pleasant township, where he now resides on section 4.  There have been born to them four children, all of whom are living --- Martha L., born June 26, 1869; Nellie D., December 4, 1871; Howard Edwin, May 26, 1875; Samuel K., August 25, 1877.  Mr. Weaver was a soldier for the Union during our late civil war, enlisting August 9, 1862, in Company D., 112th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee and Kentucky until the Atlanta campaign, when he took part in that undertaking, until the battle of Resaca, where he received a wound in the hip, which disabled him from active duty, and he thereafter served in hospital duty at Springfield, Ill., being discharged June 16, 1865.  He has always taken an active interested in educational and religious matters, being a Director in his school district for several years.  Himself and wife are active members of the M. E. Church.  He has always followed farming.  His farm contains 160 acres, worth $25 per acre.  He also has 10 acres of timber-land.

Source: History of Hardin County, Iowa, Springfield, Ill: Union Publishing Company, 1883

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


Andrew Weidlein, the owner of valuable farming property in Osco township is now living retired in Geneseo, where he has made his home for fifteen years. Earnest, persistent labor and the intelligent direction of his business efforts in former days brought to him the success which he now enjoys. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1840, his parents being John and Eleanora (Emert) Weidlein, both of whom were natives of Germany. The grandfather, John Weidlein, was likewise born in the same country and was a worthy representative of the Teutonic race. Attracted by the opportunities of the new world he came to America and devoted his life to general agricultural pursuits in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, until his labors were ended in death. His wife also died there. The family numbered three sons and two daughters. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Andrew Emert. He and his wife, Margaret Emert, also became residents of Pennsylvania when they crossed the briny deep to the new world. In that state Mrs. Emert died and Mr. Emert afterward removed to Henry county, Illinois. His death occurred in Morristown, this state, when he had traveled far on life's journey. Their family numbered eleven children.

John Weidlein, the father of Andrew Weidlein, was a blacksmith by trade. On coming to America he settled in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and in the fall of 1851 arrived in Rock Island. Soon afterward he took up his abode at Morristown, Henry county, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. He entered six hundred and forty acres of land in Osco township in his own name, and although the major part of it was wild and unimproved when it came into his possession he at once began its development and devoted three years to tilling the soil. He then sold out and removed to another farm comprising three hundred and twenty acres in Edford township, upon which place he lived until his removal to Geneseo, or about 1883. The remaining years of his life were spent in honorable retirement, for the fruits of his former toil were sufficient to enable him to rest without further recourse to labor in order to meet his expenses. He remained an honored and respected citizen of Geneseo for twenty years, or until his death in 1903, when he had reached the advanced age of eighty-nine years. His wife died in 1894 when about eighty years of age. Both were consistent members of the Lutheran church. When in Germany Mr. Weidlein served for three years in the regular army. Of the thirteen children born unto him and his wife seven are now living: Andrew, Philip, Louis, Jacob, George, Edward, and Valentine.

Andrew Weidlein was only eleven years of age when the family left the Keystone state and came to Henry county. Here he was reared on the home farm and early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist as he cultivates his fields and cares for his live stock. He mastered the branches of learning taught in the district schools and when not busy with his text-books was usually employed in some work on the farm. He remained at home until he reached adult age and then, deciding to engage in business on his own account, he bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Edford township from his father. There he lived for four years, after which he bought two hundred and forty acres of land in Osco township. The years chronicled his prosperity, and as time passed and his financial resources increased he added to his Osco township farm until within its boundaries are included four hundred and sixty-five acres, which he still owns. At one time he had one thousand acres. He has sold his Edford township farm but his real-estate holdings are now valuable and he derives therefrom a good rental. For fifteen years he has lived in Geneseo, leasing his farm to others. It is a finely improved property and therefore brings to him a good return.

On the 3d of April, 1864, occurred the marriage of Mr. Weidlein and Miss Sarah Elizabeth Conrad, who was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, January 19, 1844. Her parents, Allimon and Elizabeth (Pierce) Conrad were also natives of the Keystone state, and the latter was a daughter of John and Mary (Rice) Pierce. In the year 1856 Mr. and Mrs. Conrad arrived in Henry county, living most of the time near Morristown during the period of their residence here. The father passed away at the age of fifty-five years, and the mother was almost ninety years of age at the time of her death. She came of a family noted for longevity for her father reached the age of ninety-six years and her mother was ninety-three years of age when called to the home beyond.

Mr. and Mrs. Weidlein have become the parents of three sons and five daughters: William Elmer, who now cultivates the old home place, married Miss Kittie Marlatt, and they have two children, Grace and Cleone; Joseph Clyde, living in Des Moines, Iowa, wedded Anna Glen, and they have five children, Boyd, Mildred, June, Oral, and Wilma; Mary L. is the wife of Harry King of Champaign, Illinois, and their five children are Jessie, Hazel, Laura, Florence, and Henry; Elnora E. is the wife of John Schroeder, a farmer of Edford township, and they have two children, Lucille K. and John Arley; Arthur, who died March 2, 1909, had married Gertie Rogers and at his death left a daughter, Marie; Margaret Jessie died at the age of eleven years; Carrie A. is the wife of Louis A. Schroeder of Edford township, and they have two children, Merl and Kenneth; and Laura Edith, the youngest of the family, is the wife of Louis B. Rastede, of Geneseo and they have one daughter, Marjorie.

The parents are members of the Congregational church and are interested in all those things which pertain to the uplifting of mankind and the betterment of the community at large. Politically Mr. Weidlein is a democrat and has rendered capable service in public office as road commissioner, pathmaster, supervisor, and school director. Being nearly killed by a drunken man when a little boy, he has become a stanch supporter of prohibition. So situated in life as to enjoy its comforts he and his family delight in dispensing the hospitality of their home to their many friends and in cooperating in movements which are directly beneficial to town and county.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois, by Henry L. Kiner, Also Biographical Sketches of Many Representative Citizens of the County, Illustrated, Volume II, Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1910

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones

(SUBMITTERS NOTE: Name Emert should be EMMERT, Elnora E. should be ELLENORA E., Allimon should be ALLEMAN, Glen should be GLENN)


WEIDLEIN ANDREW, Farmer, Sec. 6; P.O. Morristown; was born in Pa. April 16, 1840; came to this county Oct 1851, where he and Miss Sarah E. Conrad, of Henry Co., formerly of Pa., were educated, whom he married April 3, 1864; they are Luth; he has been Assistant Sabbath-school Superintendent; is Elder of the Church; Dem; been Road Com; is School Director; has three sons: William E., Joseph C., Lewis A., and three daughters: Mary L., Ellennora E., and Margaret J.; he owns 345 acres of land, value $20,000.

Source: The History of Henry County, Illinois, It's Tax-Payers and Voters; containing, also a Biographical Directory; A Condensed History of the State; Map of the County; A Business Directory; An Abstract of Every-day Laws; War Record of Henry County; Officers of Societies, Lodges, Etc., Etc., Chicago; H. F. Kett & Co., 15 Lakeside Building, 1877

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones

(SUBMITTERS NOTE: Ellennora E. should be Ellanora E.)


WEIDLEIN GEORGE, lives with father, John Weidlein; P.O. Morristown; Dem; Luth.

Source: The History of Henry County, Illinois, It's Tax-Payers and Voters; containing, also a Biographical Directory; A Condensed History of the State; Map of the County; A Business Directory; An Abstract of Every-day Laws; War Record of Henry County; Officers of Societies, Lodges, Etc., Etc., Chicago; H. F. Kett & Co., 15 Lakeside Building, 1877

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones


WEIDLEIN JACOB, Farmer, Sec 8; P.O. Morristown; was born in Shellsburg, Bedford Co. Pa. Feb. 17, 1850; came with his parents to this township, via Rock Island, in 1851; lived about seven years here, then moved to Edford Township, where he was educated in the public school; returned to Osco in the Spring of 1871, farmed two years, then engaged in the hardware business in Orion for sixteen months; returned to his farm where he now resides, in Dec. 1875; on Oct 15, 1876, he married Miss Jennie L. Bjerrum; she was born in Davenport, Iowa, Nov. 21, 1857; moved with her parents to Osco, where she was brought up and educated; he has 212 acres of land, worth $14,000.

Source: The History of Henry County, Illinois, It's Tax-Payers and Voters; containing, also a Biographical Directory; A Condensed History of the State; Map of the County; A Business Directory; An Abstract of Every-day Laws; War Record of Henry County; Officers of Societies, Lodges, Etc., Etc., Chicago; H. F. Kett & Co., 15 Lakeside Building, 1877

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones


John Weidlein, a retired farmer of Edford Township, resident at Geneseo, came to Henry County in 1851. He was born Jan. 17, 1812, in Bavaria, Germany. While a resident of his native land he was subject to the legal regulations of the country, through which the government takes the control of all the sons born to the subjects of the emperor except that of their support, which remains the burden of the parents. Mr. Weidlein attended school until he was 14 years of age, and then worked on the farm until he was 16. He was then apprenticed to learn the trade of a blacksmith and he served two years. After working three years as a journeyman blacksmith, he was old enough to enter the army, in which he served three years. He then obtained a substitute to fill his place, and with his father's family he sailed for the United States. The voyage consumed seven weeks, and the vessel discharged her passengers at Baltimore. Immediately after landing the family all went to Bedford Co., Pa. There the father bought a farm, and there the son made his home between two and a half years.

He then, in 1839, established his own household. He was married March 11 of that year to Eleonora C. Emmert. She was also a native of Bavaria. The newly married pair took possession of a rented farm in Bedford County, which they occupied seven years. At the end of that time Mr. Weidlein bought a farm in the same county. He retained its ownership until 1850, when he sold it, and in the next year came to Illinois. The journey was made over land by team to Wheeling, Va., where they took passage on a steamer and traveled on the rivers, which constitutes the river route between the East and the West. The water was low, and three weeks were passed on the trip. They landed at Rock Island, where the father bought a team, and came thence to Henry County. He entered land on section 9 of township 16, range 2 east, which is now the township of Osco. The proprietor built on the place a small frame structure, which served as a shelter for the family until he could press the work of improvement along to a point of profit; and after he had placed 150 acres under the plow, he proceeded to erect a house, to which the first building formed the kitchen. He drew the lumber and other materials used in the new houses from Moline. He also set out a considerable number of shade-trees. He was in fair circumstances on his arrival in Henry County, as he was the possessor of $1,000, all of which was the fruits of his industry and frugality on the farm he rented in Pennsylvania. When he was married he was not the owner of an unincumbered dollar. In 1856 he sold his farm in Osco Township and he then bought 320 acres in Edford Township, for which he paid $650. There had been 40 acres broken and fenced and a small frame house had been begun. He at once proceeded to put the property in first-class condition for the accommodation of his family, as he had abundant means and facilities for doing, erecting excellent frame building, planting shade and fruit trees, and making all the improvements common to the best type of farms in the county. He occupied the place until 1880, when he removed to Geneseo and bought the place he has since occupied there.

Eight of the children born to him and wife are sill living. Andrew is a resident of Geneseo, and is the owner of a farm in Osco Township. Phillip lives in Topeka, Kan. Lewis is a resident in Marion Co., Kan. Jacob lives in the county last named. The homestead in Edford Township is under the management of George J. Edward lives in Butler Co., Kan. Caroline is the wife of George Drehmer. Valentine is also a resident in Marion Co., Kan. The parents are members of the Lutheran Church.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Illinois, containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, together with Portraits and Biographies of all the Governors Of Illinois, and of the Presidents of the United States, Also containing a History of the County, from it's earliest settlement to the present time, Chicago, Biographical Publishing Co., 1885

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones

Also submitted regarding John Weidlein:

WEIDLEIN JOHN, Farmer and Stock Raiser; P.O. Morristown; born in Bavaria, Germany, Jan. 17, 1812; came to this county in 1851; Dem; Lutheran; owns 320 acres of land, valued $17.600; wife was Elenora C. Ammert, born in Bavaria, Germany, Feb. 2, 1820; married March 11, 1839, in Bedford Co., Penn; have had twelve children; those living are, Andrew, born April 16, 1840, Philip, born Dec. 23, 1841, Lewis, born May 4, 1846, Jacob, born Feb. 17, 1850, George, born Sept. 25, 1854, Edward, born May 20, 1856, Caroline, born March 29, 1859, Valentine, born Sept. 7, 1863.

(SUBMITTERS NOTE: Elenora C. Ammert should be Ellenora C. Emmert)

Source: The History of Henry County, Illinois, It's Tax-Payers and Voters; containing, also a Biographical Directory; A Condensed History of the State; Map of the County; A Business Directory; An Abstract of Every-day Laws; War Record of Henry County; Officers of Societies, Lodges, Etc., Etc., Chicago; H. F. Kett & Co., 15 Lakeside Building, 1877

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones


John George Weidlein, a farmer of Edford Township, was born in Osco Township, in the county in which his entire life has been passed. He is the son of John and Eleanora Weidlein, of whom a full account is given elsewhere in this volume. His birth occurred Sept. 25, 1854, three years after the removal of his parents to Henry County. He is the fifth child in order of birth, and he received his education in the district schools of his native township and in Edford Township, whither the family removed when the son was one year old.

The latter was married in March, 1881, to Bertha Reader. She was born in Michigan. He is now the occupant of the homestead of his father and is engaged in general farming and in raising stock.

Mrs. Weidlein is the daughter of Henry and Catherine (Rime) Reader, and she was born in the town of Medina, Lenwawee Co., Mich. She is the mother of one child, named Hallie Earl. Mr. and Mrs. Weidlein are members of the Lutheran Church at Morristown. The parents of Mrs. Weidlein are natives of the State of New York.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Illinois, containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, together with Portraits and Biographies of all the Governors Of Illinois, and of the Presidents of the United States, Also containing a History of the County, from it's earliest settlement to the present time, Chicago, Biographical Publishing Co., 1885

Submitter Notes: Eleanora should be Ellanora

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones


William Elmer Weidlein, who has won success as a farmer and stockman, was born February 27, 1865, in Edford township, about a mile north of his present home which is on section 6, Osco township. His parents are Andrew and Sarah (Conrad) Weidlein, who are now living in retirement in Geneseo. About 1869 Mr. Weidlein sold the tract of land on which his son had been born and moved to Osco township, purchasing the farm on which William E. Weidlein is living today. For more than a quarter of a century he followed general agricultural pursuits, deriving an income which seemed to justify his relinquishing, in 1895, the heavier of life's cares and enjoying the rest from toil he so richly deserved.

As he was about 4 years old when his father came to Osco township, William E. Weidlein has passed almost his whole life upon the farm, from which he now obtains his comfortable income. He attended the district school of his locality, and, having completed the prescribed course, at the age of sixteen went to high school in Geneseo. After one year spent at that institution he entered Northwestern Normal, from which he was graduated with the class of 1886. Then he returned to the agricultural life which had not been interrupted seriously during the time he was a student for he took part in it in the summer months and at such other periods as were not given to the pursuit of his lessons. A few years later he embarked in the hardware business in Geneseo, but the venture proved rather unsuccessful than otherwise, and Mr. Weidlein sold his interests and stock, returning to his father's farm which he has tilled ever since. Its four hundred and eighty acres are sufficient in their extent to require a man's whole attention, if he is to derive from them the best returns for his labor.

At Clinton, Illinois, February 15, 1887, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Weidlein and Miss Kittie Marlatt, of Clinton. She was born in Munson township, her parents being George H. and Jennie (Calhoun) Marlatt, but at the age of ten she went to live with a maternal uncle, Hon. W. F. Calhoun, at whose home she grew to womanhood. She received a good common school education and was attending the Northwestern Normal for voice culture when she met Mr. Weidlein. Of their union four children have been born. Max Andrew died in infancy. Eunice Grace, after completing the course of the county school attended Knox College, Galesburg, where she took both an English course and one in music. Vera Cleone is now a student in the Geneseo high school. Lyle Marlatt, the youngest died at the age of five.

Mr. Weidlein has steadfastly given his support to the republican party, but although he has played no small part in local affairs, he cannot be called an office seeker in any sense of the word. The capacities in which he has served the people are those of highway commissioner, assessor, and school director, and in every case he has proven himself to be a man who was ever ready to exert himself for the advancement of his people, who was just and honorable and endowed with good judgement. He is also well known in the fraternal circle of his township, for he is a member of Steward Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Lodge, No. 172, I. O. O. F., while with Mrs. Weidlein he belongs to the Eastern Star, the Daughters of Rebekah, and the Royal Neighbors of Geneseo. In the meetings of these bodies he has proven that he is a man of social qualities as well of high business ability.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois, by Henry L. Kiner, Also Biographical Sketches of Many Representative Citizens of the County, Illustrated, Volume II, Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1910

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones and Ed & Carol Combs. Ed is William Elmer's great grandson