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Biographies Weie - Wz

 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!


Albert William Weimer is one of the prosperous and progressive agriculturists of Henry County and in the management of his business affairs displays keen discernment, unfaltering enterprise and sound judgment. He now makes his home in Geneseo, from which point he superintends his extensive interests. He was born in this county, August 11, 1865, and is a son of William and Susanna (Heller) Weimer, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. He is associated with his father in his business enterprise and further mention of the family is made in connection with the sketch of William Weimer on another page of this work.

The subject of this review has spent his entire life in the county of his nativity, his youthful days being passed on the home farm and when he had mastered the branches of learning taught in the district schools he continued his education in the Geneseo High School and in the Northwestern Normal, also attending the Davenport Business College. He thus received training which well qualified him for onerous duties which have devolved upon him in the management of his property interests. He resided upon his father's farm until recent years and became a partner with his father in the operation of the old home place in Geneseo Township, where they were owners of seven hundred acres. They also owned large bodies of land in Thomas County, Kansas, having altogether eleven thousand acres. In 1898 Mr. Weimer removed from the farm to Geneseo, where for seven years he was engaged in the grain business but for the past three years has concentrated his energies upon his investments in agricultural and manufacturing interests. He is now engaged in the manufacture of building stone, does contract work and has erected many substantial buildings in different cities, including the handsome armory in Geneseo. He is likewise a director and the vice president of the Geneseo Savings Bank and his name is an honored one on all commercial papers. In the fall of 1909 Mr. Weimer and his father erected an auditorium and garage, being seventy-five feet front on First Street and one hundred and thirty feet in depth. The structure is two stories in height; of rubble vitrified brick; is modern in all its appointments and a handsome addition to the business section of Geneseo.

On the 11th of January, 1887, Mr. Weimer was united in marriage to Miss Ella Tilfer, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Miller) Tilfer. Mrs. Weimer was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, August 2, 1869. Her parents were also natives of the Keystone state and they had two children, Ella B. and Belle. After the death of his first wife the father married again and there were two sons and three daughters of that union. Mr. Tilfer passed away in Nebraska, in which state his sons also died. Unto Mr. And Mrs. Weimer have been born eight children, five sons and three daughters: Harry W., Lillie D., Harley A., Archie H., Vernie Howard, Frank H., Eva E. and Iva B. Mrs. Weimer is a member of the Unitarian Church.

Mr. Weimer belongs to the Odd Fellow Society, holding membership in Geneseo Lodge and Indian Encampment, while both he and his wife are connected with the Rebekahs, Mrs. Weimer having filled all of the chairs in the order while at the present time she is a past grand. Mr. Weimer also holds membership relations with the Yeomen, the Mystic Workers and the Modern Woodmen and Mrs. Weimer with the Royal Neighbors and the Ladies Circle. They are people of many social qualities, whose friendship is cherished by all who know them. Politically Mr. Weimer is a stalwart Republican and for one term served as alderman from the second ward. He is a zealous advocate of the cause of education and while living on the arm served as a school director. He is an alert and enterprising business man, rejoicing in the opportunities for activity and in the improvement of chances which have come to him he has found the success which places him in prominent positions among the leading business men of this part of the state.

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


Pleasantly situated in Geneseo, living in one of the attractive homes of the city, is William Weimer, a retired farmer whose life history is a notable example of what may be accomplished through determination and energy. Though he started out in life empty-handed, when sixteen years of age and comparatively without educational advantages, he has become one of the extensive landowners of this part of the state, placing his money in that safest of all investments—real estate. He was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, May 29, 1837, his parents being Jonathan and Susan (Berger) Weimer, who were natives of Pennsylvania. Their family numbered eleven children, three sons and eight daughters, but only two are now living, Israel Weimer, of Geneseo, being the younger brother of our subject. The father made farming his life work, and believing that the great prairie district of the Mississippi Valley offered better opportunities than could be secured in the east, he came to Illinois in the fall of 1853, settling in Henry County. Here he died a few years later at the age of seventy-eight. His wife survived him for twelve years and passed away when about seventy-seven years of age. In the east they were members of the Dunkard's Society.

William Weimer spent the first sixteen years of his life in the Keystone state, where he was reared to the work of the farm. Owing to the limited financial resources of his parents he was deprived of educational privileges, as it was necessary that he assist in the work of the fields. As a youth he was industrious and thoughtful, and these qualities have characterized his entire life. With his parents he came to Illinois and lived at home until he had attained his majority, when he started out upon an independent business career working by the month as a farm hand for four years. He decided, however, that his labors should more directly benefit himself, and for a year thereafter he engaged in the cultivation of a rented farm. He bought seed wheat and a team of horses and sowed forty acres of wheat, also thirty acres to oats, but it was a wet season, and he lost his crop and became in debt. He then had to work two years by the month to discharge his financial obligations, but he did not allow this experience to discourage him, knowing that determination and energy will in time overcome all difficulties and obstacles.

Soon afterward Mr. Weimer was married and started out in business life anew. He was fortunate in his choice of a wife, for she proved a most faithful companion and helpmate to him on life's journey. After a time he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Geneseo township, which was wild and unimproved. He built a house thereon and began the development of his fields, making his home on that farm from 1861 until 1890. He added to that until he owned seven hundred acres, a part of which he has since sold, but from time to time he has invested in land in Kansas in partnership with his son until they have between eleven thousand and twelve thousand acres in the Sunflower state, and also nine sections of land in Colorado. He has achieved this by carefully watching expenses and by utilizing every advantage. He has watched for opportunities for good investments and has wisely placed his money so that he derives therefrom a substantial income at the present time.

On the 6th of October, 1862, Mr. Weimer was married to Miss Susan Keller, a daughter of David and Catherine (Arnett) Keller. They became parents of eight children: Emma C., the eldest, married Winfield Cressner and resides on the old Weimer homestead, and they have five children: Earl, Edith, Elvin, Esther, and Huen. W. Albert, of Geneseo, married Ella Tilford, and they have five children: Harry, Harley, Frank, Eva and Iva. Minnie is the wife of John De Linn, and they had four children, of whom three are now living: William, Glen and Don. Edith is the wife of William Hippler, of Geneseo, and they have three children: Mabel, Irene and Claude. Frank died when sixteen years old. Bertie is the wife of Edward Coe, who is living in Los Angeles, California, and they have two sons: Reuben and Rowland. The youngest child of the family died in infancy. The mother, Mrs. Susan Weimer, died August 12, 1880, when about thirty-six years of age. Mr. Weimer afterward wedded Miss Pauline Stenzel, a daughter of John and Augusta (Hollaz) Stenzel, and they have two children: Jesse and Nellie.

In 1890 Mr. Weimer removed to Geneseo and built a beautiful home on North State Street, where he still resides. He has also erected another fine residence in the city. Politically he is a Democrat and has served as school director and road commissioner. He has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, however, but has been preeminently a man of affairs and one who has wielded a wide influence. He is numbered among the old settlers of the county and has lived to witness notable changes since he arrived here about fifty-five years ago. Within this period practically all of the land has been brought under cultivation, the wild prairies being transformed into rich fields, while here and there flourishing towns have been built, and all the advantages known to the older east have been introduced. The present home of Mr. Weimer is in great contrast to that in which he began his domestic life. He was for a time in extreme poverty owing to the failure of crops, which threw him in debt and left him to start out anew. Brooking no obstacle that could be overcome by persistent and earnest effort, he has worked his way steadily upward, and the splendid record which he has made is one well worthy of emulation, for he is now numbered with the men of affluence in Henry County, and is one of the most extensive landowners of this part of the state.

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 (Book contains his picture)

Submitted by Alice Gless


William S. Weimer, who devotes his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits, is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres on Section 11, Geneseo Township. His birth occurred on the 9th of August 1869, his parents being Samuel and Catherine (Neiswender) Weimer, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. The father was a farmer by occupation and remained a respected and worthy resident of Henry County until called to his final rest in February, 1899. In politics he was a democrat. His wife has also passed away, her demise occurring on the 7th of April, 1896. They became the parents of seven children, six of whom still survive, as follows: Ella, who is the wife of Byron Beers and resides in Atkinson Township; Matilda, who gave her hand in marriage to William Neiswender, of Geneseo; William S., of this review; Isabelle, who is the wife of Alden McHenry and makes her home in Phenix Township; Pearl, who is the wife of Arthur Townley, of Hanna Township; and Delia, who wedded William Hannon and resides in South English, Iowa.

William S. Weimer obtained his education in the Jackson School and remained with his father until two years after his marriage, assisting in the cultivation of the home farm and thus becoming thoroughly familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and planting the crops. In February, 1899, he took up his abode on the farm where his wife had been born and reared, the place consisting of one hundred and twenty acres on Section 11, Geneseo Township. Here he has since carried on his agricultural interests with gratifying success, the fields annually yielding golden harvests in return for the care and labor which he bestows upon them.

On the 1st of February, 1893, Mr. Weimer was united in marriage to Miss Celia Burgeson, who was born in Geneseo Township on the 30th of June, 1874, her parents being Jonas and Anna Marie (Swanson) Burgeson, natives of Sweden. The father, whose birth occurred October 5, 1821, came to Henry County, Illinois, in August, 1856, and here followed farming until called to his final rest on the 23d of November, 1888. During the period of the Civil War he loyally defended the interests of the Union as a member of a regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. His political allegiance was given to the Republican Party, while fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Both he and his wife were devoted and consistent members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, and their remains were interred in the Geneseo Township Cemetery. Mrs. Burgeson, who survived her husband for two decades, was born on the 27th of December, 1831, and passed away April 7, 1908. During the last six years of her life she was confined to her bed as the result of a paralytic stroke and her cheerfulness and patience during this trying period proved a source of inspiration to those who ministered to her wants. She was the mother of ten children, eight of whom reached years of maturity, namely: Hannah, whose birth occurred December 25, 1858, and who now resides in Montana with her brother Jacob; Burg, who was born on the 2d of September, 1860, and who makes his home with our subject; Abraham, whose natal day was March 6, 1862, and who passed away December 31, 1895; Isaac, who was born November 6, 1864, and lives in Washington; Jacob, born December 22, 1866, who makes his home in Montana; Bertha, who first opened her eyes to the light of day on the 25th of April, 1869, and who gave her hand in marriage to Edward Johnson, of Chicago; Samuel who died in infancy; and Mrs. Weimer. All of the above-named were natives of Geneseo Township. Unto Mr. And Mrs. Weimer were born five children, as follows: John, who died in infancy; Laura Anna, whose birth occurred January 3, 1901, Ruth Orvilla, whose natal day was September 13, 1903, Dorothy M., who was born July 15, 1903; and Spencer Andrew, born September 27, 1909. They also have an adopted son, Richard, whose birth occurred in Geneseo Township on the 26th of January, 1895, and whom they have reared from the age of fourteen months. The lad was a son of Abraham and Pauline (Lidque) Burgeson, his father being a brother of Mrs. Weimer.

Mr. Weimer is a Republican in politics and is now serving as a school director, the cause of education ever finding in him a stanch champion. Fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen and the Knights of the Globe. Both he and his wife belong to the Grace Evangelical Church and exemplify its teachings in their daily lives. They have a host of warm friends throughout the county in which they have always resided and are widely recognized as people of genuine personal worth. Mr. Weimer well merits the proud American title of the self-made man, for the success which he now enjoys is directly attributable to his own enterprise and energy.

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


T. M. WEIR, coal dealer and miner, was born in Washington County, Penn., March 2, 1814. He began the boot and shoe business at the age of eighteen; fourteen years later, he opened up a farm in Henry County, Ill., and lived on the same for forty years. He came to Kansas in 1871, and located at Weir City, where he took up 160 acres of coal land. He sold eighty acres, and now owns forty acres of fine coal land, having built Weir City on the other forty acres. He opened mines as soon as he arrived here; he owns and runs a farm of eighty acres; he had the first store in Weir City; had the post office located here, and was in short the founder of the town; he owns seven houses, built by himself; he gave right-of-way to the railroad; he donated lots for the various churches of the town. He was married to Miss Levina Whitmoore, of Ohio, in 1835. They have eight children- Elizabeth B., Coodie, Andrew J., Sarah A., Harvey P., Alice M., Ben, Susie and Edward (deceased).

Source: Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, 1883

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


ISAAC P. WEST, druggist, was born in Ohio, June 22, 1845. He was raised in Ohio, and at the age of eighteen joined the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, in which he served for six months, and then enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry for one year. He served seven months, and was then mustered out and attended school one year in Cambridge, Ill., at the end of which time he was employed as a clerk in a store at Galva, Ill., for a short time, and then went into the restaurant business at Woodhull, Ill., remaining six months. He was then employed as a clerk in a drug store at Woodhull, Ill., one year, at the end of which time he bought an interest in the firm and remained about nine years. He then came to Columbus, Kan., and began the drug business in 1876. Mr. West is a member of the K. of P. He was married to Miss Jennie E. Hunter, of Ohio, in 1871. They have two children- Claud R. and Lisle E.

Source: Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, 1883

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


E. A. White, general agent of the Sandwich Manufacturing Co., was born in Northampton, Mercer  Co., Ill., October 8, 1852, and was reared in Knoxville and Kewanee, Ill. His home was in Illinois until he was about eighteen years of age, when he moved to Iowa. In 1878 he became connected with the Minneapolis Harvester works as machine expert and salesman, and continued with them until April, 1881. Since June 20, 1881, he has been connected with the Sandwich Manufacturing Co.

Source: Andreas History of the State of Nebraska, Lancaster Co.


The records of the lives of our forefathers are of interest to the modern citizen, not alone for the historical value but for the inspiration and example they afford; yet we need not look to the past. Although surroundings may differ, the essential conditions of human life are ever the same, and man can learn much from the success of those around him. The career of Mr. White seems almost phenomenal, yet his success has been by no means the result of fortunate circumstances. It has come to him through energy, labor and perseverance, directly by an evenly balanced mind and by honorable business principles.

This well-known citizen of Annawan was born in Wellsburg, Brooke County, West Virginia, June 24, 1834, a son of Thompson and Martha (Curry) White. On the paternal side he traces his ancestry back to William White, who was of Scotch descent and lived in the north of Ireland. He eloped with Miss Jane Campbell, who belonged to the Campbell clan and was the daughter of a nobleman who lived in Ireland and was opposed to their marriage. Coming to America they located near Foggs Manor, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and after living there for a number of years, removed to Chestnut Level, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where Mr. White purchased a farm, and where they spent the remainder of their years. They had two sons, William and Jacob, the latter being the grandfather of our subject.

For a number of years William owned and conducted a lumber yard on the opposite side of the river from Columbia, TN. Jacob White, the grandfather was born at Foggs Manor and had seven children, namely: James, who spent most of his life in Pennsylvania and Virginia, but died in Peoria County, Illinois; John, a lifelong resident of Pennsyvania; Hugh, who lived near Wellsburg, West Virginia; Thompson, father of our subject; and William, who spent the last twenty-five years of his life as a ranchman in Colorado, where he died in 1898.

Our subject's maternal grandfather Curry came to this country from either County Londonderry of County Down, Ireland. His father died on the Emerald Isle, but his mother came with him to America. He was nineteen years of age, when, during the French and Indian War, he sailed from Belfast. The vessel on which he was a passenger was captured by the English fleet, and nearly all the sailors, the cabin boy, and all of the single men on board, except those who had aged parents depending on them, were pressed into the British service. After a voyage of thirteen weeks and three days, Mr. Curry landed in Philadelphia. For many years he made his home at Foggs Manor, Chester County, where his mother and sister are buried, but about 1800 he removed to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where he died at the extreme old age of one hundred six years.

Thompson White, our subject's father, was born near Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA on July 11, 1807, and became one of the pioneer businessmen of Wellsburg, West VA. where he conducted a gristmill, lumberyard and planing mill. He also engaged in boating on the Ohio and Mississippi as far as New Orleans. His death occurred at Wellsburg, July 28, 1880. He twice married, having on the 20th of June 1833 wedded Martha Curry, also a native of Westmoreland County, PA who died February 22, 1840, leaving three children, of whom our subject is the oldest. Mary Margaret, born Sept 2, 1836 married Frank Odenbaugh of Cleveland, Ohio. Elizabeth Mitchell, born June 23, 1839, died January 5, 1840. For his second wife the father married Sarah Fulton, also a native of Westmoreland County, PA and by that union six children were born. William H., born May 28, 1842, is now serving as associate justice of the supreme court of the State of Washington, which position he was appointed June 1, 1900. During the Civil War he was a member of Company B, One Hundred and Second, Ohio Volunteer infantry, and was severely wounded at Athens, Alabama, but remained in service until after the capture of Jefferson Davis. He then returned to West Virginia to his West Virginia home, where he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1868. There he held several county offices of a judicial nature, and resigned as recorder of Brooke County in 1870. Two years later, her removed to Seattle, Washington, and in 1876 was elected prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district. In 1879 he was a member of the territorial legislature, and in 1884 was appointed by President Cleveland as United States district attorney, which office he held until the territory was admitted to the Union in 1889. The Seattle Daily Times said of Him: "No man in the state of Washington stands higher than does William H. White. For thirty years he has been a leading member of the bar of this state. He has ever been a consistent Democrat and stands high in the councils of his party." Elizabeth, born May 20, 1844 died in 1850. Albert W., born February 28, 1846, was killed in the battle of Piedmont,West Virginia, in June 1864. Martha J., born May 5, 1847, married William A. Fulton, and now resides in Seattle, Washington, her son, Walter S., being a junior member of the law firm of White, Munday & Fulton of that city. Clara J., born March 28, 1849, died March 4, 1874. Nanie F., born November 18,1851, died August 2, 1860.

Mr. (Hugh) White, whose name introduces this sketch, was reared and educated in the place of his birth, and in early life followed the occupation of a stationary engineer and also engaged in steamboating. Going to Peoria, Illinois, in 1854, he was thus employed for about three years, and in 1857 came to Kewanee, accepting the position of engineer in Kewanee mill and distillery, where he remained until 1866. Since then he has made his home in Annawan, and recently erected a fine residence there. He was engaged in the flouring mill business until 1882, since which time he has done quite an extensive business as an importer of fine bred horses from France, England and Scotland. He goes to Europe to personally superintend the purchase of these horses, and has crossed the Atlantic ten times. He is now the owner of six hundred and twenty acres of valuable land in Henry County, which he rents, and also has considerable property in Minnesota and Dakota. He is one of the most energetic and enterprising businessmen of his community, and his success, is due entirely to his own well-directed efforts. He has never taken an active part in politics and is liberal in his views on political questions. Socially he is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and he is a man who commands the confidence and respect of those with whom he comes in contact, either in social or business life.

On the 2nd of April, 1854, Mr. White married Miss Elizabeth Roberts, of Wellsburg, West Virginia, who died June 19, 1855, and their only child died in infancy. He was again married, May 19, 1857, his second union being with Miss Elizabeth Grape, a native of Germany and a daughter of Frederick Grape. By this marriage were born five children, namely: Henry, deceased; Robert T., a veterinary surgeon, of Annawan; Clara V., wife of Lewis Bowen of Chicago; Mary E., a resident of Red Oak, Iowa and widow of F. C. Tolman, who was killed in a runaway; and Frances G., wife of George Squires, of Mineral, Bureau County, Illinois.

Source: BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF HENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS, Printed in 1901 by S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. (Photo in book)

Submitted by Georgeann Malowney


WHITELINE JOHN J. Farmer, Sec. 7; P.O. Morristown; Dem; he was born in Napier, Bedford Co., Pa. On March 4, 1837, where he was brought up on a farm and educated in public schools; he came to Henry Co. in April, 1859; on Feb. 28, 1865, he married Miss Christina Rapp, of Whiteside Co., Ill., where she was born Jan. 15, 1844, brought up on a farm near Springhill, and educated in the district schools; and she can read German and English; her parents Christina and Phillip Rapp, now reside in Geneseo; Mr. Whiteline has one son, William F., born Feb. 1, 1868, and three daughters; Hattie M., May 9, 1866; Rosa S., Oct. 1, 1869; and Flora B., Nov. 18, 1871; They are Luth. in Religion; he is Deacon of his Church; has 178 acres of land, worth $13,000.

Source: History of Henry County, It's Taxpayers and Voters, 1877

Submitted by: Mary Margaret Jones

Submitter's Note: John J. Whiteline's father changed his name from WEIDLEIN to WHITELINE


In 1856 Charles A. Whipple moved to Henry Co. Illinois with his mother Mary Allen Whipple & father Russell Whipple. Charles was 2 years old. In that same year Alice Flansburg, age 1 moved to Henry Co Illinois with her parents William Flansburg & Mary Follett Flansburg. Whipples moved with Mary Allen Whipples father Persons Allen, & her brothers Andrew Tuttle Allen, & sister Chloe P. Allen. Also Royce Allen, her brother who was married & had children moved with them. Mary's mother Chloe, who had died in New York was a Tuttle before she married, and some members of the Tuttle family also moved with these folks. In looking for information about the Whipple/Flansburgs in Henry Co, I came across a survey that was taken in 1888 by Charles Whipple of everyone he could find named Whipple. Charles A. Whipple answered the survey. Here are his responses!

Charles Allen Whipple of Galesburg, Ill b Apr 9, 1854 in Clinton, Oneida Co NY m Alice Isabel Flansburg Dec 3, 1876 in Blue Grass, Scott Co Iowa. She b July 4, 1855. Occupation: Carpenter, Religion: Mighty little religon, Politics: Raised a Republican. Children Walter Edwin b Sept 7, 1877, Daisy Lousile b Nov 21, 1879, Leonard Flansburg b May 20, 1883, Arthur Charles b March 20, 1886, Russell William b Jan 12, 1889. (Russell liked his mothers brother so much, that at age 4 he chose to have himself called John Flansburg after the mothers brother. He remains John Flansburg Whipple to this day)

Father: Russell Giles Whipple b on shores of Stasan Lake N.Y. m Mary Allen who died in the fall of 1872 in Osco, Henry Co, Illinois. He was a Tanner & Shoe maker, Protestant in Congregational Church, Republican. His children were Semantha Chloe b Apr 12, 1848, Oneida Co NY, now Mrs. W.P. Shoup of Dubuque, Iowa, Sophie Royce b 1852 Oneida Co NY not married, living in Thompson, Grand Forks Co, Dakota, Edwin Robert b Sept 30, 1856, Munson, Henry Co, Ill unm living in Thompson, Dakota, Andrew Tuttle B Oct 1, 1858, Osco, Illinois died Feb 1878 in Osco, Mary Nellie b Jan 5, 1860 Osco, & Lillian, now Mrs. York living in Thompson Dakota, Daisy Pamelia, born 1867 Osco, living in Thompson.

Fathers' brothers & sisters: One of father's brothers, Walter Wesley Whipple died in Cambridge, Illinois. Notes: The ancestry of Charles Allen Whipple is Russell Giles, Reuben Jenks, Beneger, Benjamin, Benjamin, Capt John Whipple of Rhode Island.

Reuben Jenks Whipples children were William Henry b Mar 5, 1819, Russell Giles b Aug 11, 1821, Maria Elizabeth b July 19, 1824, John David b Jan 1, 1827, Walter Wesley b Nov 16, 1836, Daniel Decker b Sept 2, 1829, Eliza Ann age 20 in 1850 Federal Census, Amboy NY.

Reuben Jencks brothers & sisters were Freelove, b Dec 1794, died May 22, 1797, Reuben Jenks born Nov 12, 1797 died Oct 16, 1860, Lucina born August 4, 1799 died March 17, 1879, Anthony died Jan 4, 1889 in Rockford, Illinois, Eliza born Jan 30, 1807, died Dec 25, 1825. Emily born Feb 9, 1807, died Feb 22, 1808, Ferdinand born July 8, 1808, only one living in 1888, resides in Hopbottom, Penn, George W Born Jan 17, 1811, died Nov 25, 1871.

Source: Not known

Submitted by Lynda Ozinga


David Whitten, one of the oldest settlers of Midland precinct, has the honor to be one of the highly intelligent and worthy citizens of Boone county, and as such has gained a host of friends during his residence in the region. He has made a life study of farming and stock raising, and has been more than successful along both lines, now being classed among the wealthy and progressive residents of his section.

Mr. Whitten was born in Ireland, and grew up there, coming to America about 1857. David was the third in a family of ten children born to Moses and Catherine Whitten, all coming to America at different times, our subject being the first to emigrate, he starting out for the new world alone at the age of sixteen years.

His first location was in Ulster county, New York, where he remained for a couple of years, dividing his time between there and the state of Georgia, working in New York state during the summers, and in winter going south.

In 1863 he came west, locating in Henry county, Illinois, and obtained employment on a farm there. In July of that year, he was married to Mary B. Hall, who is a native of England, coming to this country with her parents when a small child. Three children were born to them in Illinois, and in the fall of 1871 the entire family started for the far west, travelling overland by wagon and team the entire distance, and having for their destination Boone county, Nebraska, which they reached safely after a long and tedious journey fraught with many interesting incidents.

Mr. Whitten filed on homestead rights in section twenty-six, township twenty-one, range six, and since the time of locating here, that place has been his constant home. His family was the first to settle in this portion of Boone county, and "Whitten's Valley" is a familiar name to all living anywhere near to that region.

Mr. Whitten has made a life work of farming and stock raising, as stated before, and has met with splendid success in both lines. With his family he has passed through all the pioneer days of Nebraska, and often endured hardship and privations that are the lot of the early settler in a new country. He has always been active in promoting the general welfare of his community, and had done much to aid in the development and advancement of his county and state.

Mr. and Mrs. Whitten have had ten children, nine of whom are now living, named as follows: Mary Jane, who married Henry Moyer, they living in Boone county; Hannah, wife of John Nieman and residing in Clay county; George, who lives on the home farm; William,May, a teacher; David F., who married Adeline Belgum, on September 10, 1908; Edward Leroy, Arthur, and Ella Althea.

The Whitten family are among the prominent members of the social life of their community, and are held in the highest esteem as being almost the only remaining family of really old-timers in their immediate neighborhood.

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

Submitted by: Susie Martin Rott


Charles L. Wieneke, managing partner of the firm of Wieneke & Wright, was born in Germany, January 21, 1858. In 1859 his parents removed to America, bringing up at Geneseo, Illinois. In 1861 they removed to Waukesha county, Wisconsin, where they remained till 1865, then returning to Illinois. There they decided to locate, and when Charles was fourteen years of age, he began the trade of tinner, and worked at it until going into business for himself, together with clerking in the hardware business. He worked at Davenport, Kansas City, and numerous places in Nebraska and Iowa, and in the fall of 1881 he came to Stuart and began work with H. A. Smyth, continuing in his employ until September, 1882, when he engaged in his present business--hardware, tinware, etc. He was married February 14, 1882, to Miss Isabella Wright, a native of Ohio. They have two children--Mabel R., and an infant. Mr. Wieneke is a member of the United Order of Honor.

Source: History of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa, Springfield, Ill: Continental Hist. Co., 1884 Stuart Twp

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


One of the farmers of Henry county whose well tilled fields bespeak prosperity, industry and up-to-date methods is Henry J. Wiese, who besides cultivating his farm raises considerable stock of high grade, for which he finds a ready market. He lives on section 24, Edford township, although his farm of two hundred and eighty-five acres is also on section 23. He was born on section 1, Osco township, May 11, 1868, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Wiegand) Wiese. The parents, who are now living in Geneseo, were of German birth and came to America with their respective parents, the father in 1852, when he was ten years of age, the mother in 1847, when she was about four years old. The two families located on farms neat Port Byron, Rock Island county, where the young people became acquainted and subsequently were married. The offspring of poor people, the couple had to start life with very little of this world’s goods; in fact the father had saved only enough to enable him to buy a team and rent a farm in Rock Island county. He worked hard, however, nature was propitious, his crops were good, and in a few years he was able to buy one hundred and sixty acres in Osco township, Henry county, for six thousand dollars. From 1867 until he retired from active life and went to live in Geneseo, this farm was his home, although in the four decades that the land was in his possession he doubled its acreage and made many valuable improvements. Of the three children that were born to him and his wife Henry J. Wiese is the oldest; the second son, Lewis W., married Miss Clara Maeltzer and lives in Edford township; and the daughter, Clara, married Leander Maeltzer and lives in Osco township.

Source: History of Henry County, Illinois; by Henry L. Kiner; The Pioneer Publishing Company; Chicago; 1910

Submitted by Suzanne Franck


John Wiese, now living retired in Geneseo after a long and active life as a farmer in Osco township, was born in Germany, November 7, 1842, and is a son of Marcus and Lucy (Roward) Wiese, both natives of Holstein. The father was born in 1801 and the mother in 1803, and in 1853 they came to Illinois, settling in Rock Island county, where Mr. Wiese took up farming, which he had pursued in the old country. He died in September, 1885, at the age of eighty-four, and was buried in Rock Island in the cemetery in which his wife had been laid to rest on the 14th of February, 1879. They had four children: Fred, now deceased; Henry, of Davenport; John, of this sketch; and Annie, the wife of Henry Oppendyke, of Port Byron, Rock Island county.

John Wiese received his education in the public schools of Germany and after his parents came to this country he assisted his father in the conduct of his farm in Rock Island county.  In 1867 he removed to Osco township, Henry county, where he purchased a large tract of improved land, which remained his home for more than thirty years. He devoted himself assiduously to the cultivation of his fields, and in 1899 believed he was justified in relinquishing the duties of the farm and in retiring to Geneseo. Here he has since lived in a very comfortable house on North Geneseo street.

On the 26th of December, 1865, Mr. Wiese wedded Miss Elizabeth Wiegand, who was born in Germany, January 12, 1843, and is a daughter of Christoph and Charlotte Wiegand. The parents were also natives of Germany, the father having been born February 18, 1804, the mother, November 26, 1808, and they came to America in 1847. They settled in Rock Island county, Illinois, where Mr. Wiegand followed farming until his death, September 16, 1867. His wife survived until February 11, 1872, when she too passed away. They had five children, three of whom are living: Margaret, the widow of Solomon Yost, who lives in Rock Island county, Illinois; Charles, who lives in Kansas; and Elizabeth, now Mrs. Wiese. Mrs. Mary Weaver and Mrs. Catharine Goble are deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Wiese have three children, all of whom were born in Osco township. Henry, the eldest, was born May 11, 1868, and married Miss Amelia Firch. They live in Edford township and have two children – Rosa and Roy. Lewis, born June 14, 1875, married Miss Clara Maeltzer and lives in Edford township. They also have two children – Florence and Clarence. Clara was born March 29, 1881, and is now the wife of Lander Maeltzer. They live in Osco township and have a son, Elmer.

Mr. and Mrs. Wiese are members of the Lutheran church, and in political affairs Mr. Wiese gives his support to the republican party. He has never sought office, however, although he is faithful in the exercise of his rights as a citizen of this nation. He and his wife have together passed through many trials and hardships, but by industry and economy they have reached a comfortable position for the remaining years of their lives, and have had the pleasure of being able to give to each of their children a good start in life, while they still retain enough to satisfy their own needs. They enjoy a respected place in the community and are surrounded by many friends.

Source: History Of Henry County, Illinois, By Henry L. Kiner Volume II, Pages 693-694 Chicago The Pioneer Publishing Co 1910

Submitted by Suzanne Franck


Lewis A. Wight, of Gibbon, who is proving very efficient as the mail carrier of rural route No. 2, was born in Henry county, Illinois, on the 4th of October, 1860. His parents, William K, and Sophia (Eastman) Wight, were natives respectively of Lake county, Ohio, and of New York state. Their marriage occurred in the Empire state, whence, in 1858, they removed to Henry county, Illinois, where the father engaged in farming until 1886, when he came with his family to this county and located upon a farm in Gibbon township. At length he put aside the work of the fields and removed to Gibbon, where his demise occurred December 9, 1903. To him and his wife were born seven children, of whom six sons survive.

Lewis A. Wight remained at home for a number of years after attaining his majority and devoted his time to assisting his father, but following his marriage in 1891 he assumed charge of the operation of the homestead. He farmed successfully until 1905. He was then made carrier on route No. 3, but subsequently transferred to No. 2 and removed to Gibbon, where he has since lived. Although he gives the greater part of his time to the discharge of his duties as mail carrier, he still owns eighty acres of land in Buffalo county and eighty acres in Saskatchewan, Canada, from which he derives a gratifying financial return. He also holds title to his comfortable residence in Gibbon.

Mr. Wight was married in 1891 to Miss Minnie Fulmer, a native of New York and a daughter of D. M. and Ellen E. (Longstreet) Fulmer, who were born in that state but in 1880 came to this county. The father purchased land here and devoted the remainder of his life to its cultivation. The mother is still living. Mrs. Wight is one of a family of five children, all of whom survive. Mr. and Mrs. Wight have no children of their own but have an adopted son, Clyde F., who is now attending the local high school.

Mr. Wight supports the republican party and has served as a member of the town board. He has also served several years as member of the library board. Fraternally he belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and both he and his wife attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal church. During the many years of their residence in this county they have gained a wide gcquaintanceship and have made and retained a host of friends.

Source: Buffalo County Nebraska and Its People; S J Clarke Publishing Company Chicago 1916 p216-217

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


A. B. WILCOX, firm of E. P. Wilcox & Co., lumber and grain dealers, was born in Henry County, Illinois. When a boy, his parents moved to Chicago. He was pursuing his studies at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., at the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion in 1861.

In 1862, he enlisted in Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery, and was in active service and participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Champion Hills, Siege of Vicksburgh, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Dallas and Kenesaw Mountain. From July, 1864, to close of the war, he was on detached service in Adjutant General's Office of the Department and Army of the Tennessee.

In 1865, he engaged in the lumber business, which he has since followed. In 1869, his brother, E. P. Wilcox, opened a lumber yard at Yankton, D. T., which they still carry on. The Niobrara yard was established in 1878, and for the first two years they chartered the steamer Niobrara to transport their lumber from Sioux City to Niobrara and to take grain on return trip. Their Niobrara and O'Neill yards are the largest in Northern Nebraska.

Source: Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska Knox Co., Niobrara

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


H. FRED WILEY, Cashier Buffalo County Bank, with Henry G. Wiley, President, and F. L. Gibbs, Assistant Cashier. The bank is owned by H. G. & H. F. Wiley, and was organized and opened to the business public in June, 1879. The deposits equal from $30,000 to $60,000 annually. They do a general banking business. H. Fred Wiley located in Kearney in June, 1879, and immediately opened the banking business. He was born in Rockingham, Vt., in September, 1853, was raised on a farm; removed to Galva, Henry Co., Ill.,and engaged as clerk in a bank about two years; then went to Woodhull, Ill, and engaged in the banking business, in company with his father, H.I. Wiley, until he came to Nebraska. They kept and owned what was known as the Farmers" Bank, in the latter place. He was married, in Galva, Ill., 1879 to Miss Lillie S. Clark, of the latter place. They have a son--Henry C. Mr. W. is a member of the Masonic Order of Kearney.

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

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


WILLIAMS, William A, P. O. Henderson, Mills County; lives on section 9, Lincoln township, Montgomery County; was born September 9, 1819, in Breckenshire, South Wales. Mr. Williams' father died when he was quite young, and his mother married again to a Mr. Edwards, with whom he lived until he was twenty years of age. After this Mr. Williams went to mining, and on the 17th of February, 1844, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Risser, who was born March 8, 1821, in Monmouthshire, Wales. They have had ten children, five living: Rebecca, born July 24, '45, Elizabeth, born October 27, '49, Thomas R., born March 23, '52, Walter A., May 17, '58, Margaret J., August 12, '62. Mr. Williams came to America in 1860, stopping in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for one year, then came to Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, then to Coal Valley, Illinois, then to Henry County, Illinois, then returned to Coal Valley, and in 1876 to his present farm here; has 240 acres of land.

Source: History of Montgomery County Iowa, 1881 Lincoln Twp

Submitted by Susie Martin Rott


(use caution on this biography--it is from Henry Co IOWA relating to someone with family in Henry Co ILLINOIS)

One of the prominent citizens of Henry County, (IOWA) he resides on Sect. 34, Marion Twp., and was born Jan. 12, 1821 in Fairfield Co., OH, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Gossage) Willits, the former a native of PA, the latter of MD.

Samuel Willits was married 3 times. His first wife was Miss Mary Harrison by whom he had one daughter, Sarah A., now living in Montgomery Co., IA, at the advanced age of 70 years. His second wife was Elizabeth Gossage, by whom he had seven children, 4 sons and 3 daughters: Charles G.; Jesse married Mary Ann Shields, resides in Mercer Co., IL; George died in 1851 in New Boston, IL; Tabitha, deceased wife of Samuel Sheriff who is a resident of Geneseo, IL; Elizabeth J. died at age 12; Mary R. died in infancy; Job died in Chicago in Apr. 1887, where his wife and children still live.

Mrs. Willits died in March 1831 in Fairfield Co., OH. She was a devoted Christian. Mr. Willits was again married in 1836 to Miss Nancy Hall, a native of VA. In the fall of 1837 they moved to Mercer Co., IL, where the children grew to adulthood. Mr. Willits third wife died in Aug. 1874.

Our subject married in Mercer Co., IL to Miss Rachel Thornton, a native of PA, and daughter of Eli Thornton. Mr. and Mrs. Willits were the parents of 4 children who were born in Mercer Co.,: Charlotte, the wife of William Hendricks, a farmer in Muscatine Co., IA; Sarah married John Litzenburg, a farmer in Hamilton Co., NE; Alice, wife of Orville Campbell, a farmer in Wano, KS; Thornton married Miss Mary Carrons, the only daughter of Robert Carrons, a large landowner in Henry Co., residing in Center Twp.

In the spring of 1855 Mr. Willits came to Henry Co., where he bought 320 acres on Sections 35, 34, 26, and 27. In this county 3 other children were born: Samuel died at age 16; Ledru married Nancy Lee, a native of Iowa; Novello is the widow of Leander Shields. The mother died March 1862. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and she was buried in the Ebenezer Cemetery.

Mr. Willits, in 1863, married Miss Ellen Cozier, daughter of John and Hannah (Carter) Cozier, both natives of Clarke Co., OH, the former born Dec. 1, 1810, died June 7, 1863, the latter b. Oct. 9, 1811, and died May 25, 1857. They were the parents of 13 children: Benjamin, Ellen, Sophronia, Minerva, Sarah A., hugh, Henry, Lisset, Martha Jane, Mary Frances, John C., Willian H., and Harriet V. Of these, four are dead--Sarah A., Minerva, William H., and Henry.

Mrs. Willits was born in Clarke Co., OH and completed her education in Springfield, OH. She is a fine scholar and had seven sisters who were teachers, and a brother who had charge of the schools of Mt. Pleasant for 13 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Willits have two children: John C., now in Boston, MA finishing his education for the ministry; Wilmot Charles attends school in Mt. Pleasant. Teaching was always Mrs. Willits favorite occupation. None of their children have ever used tobacco and liquor in any way.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, IOWA Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888


Everett B. Wilmarth, a highly respected farmer of section 30, Quincy township, since 1865, was born in Kennebec county, Maine, March 16, 1831, the son of J. P. Wilmarth, a native of Massachusetts. The latter married Nancy Noyes, also a native of the Bay State. He was a cotton manufacturer, moved to Massachusetts when his son, our subject, was six years of age, and afterward to Utica, New York.

The subject of this sketch finished his schooling at Whitestown Seminary, then taught school, and in 1856, moved to Henry county, Illinois, where he lived until 1865; then he came to Adams county, settling in Colony township, where he improved a farm. He was principal of the Quincy schools one year, when that town was the county seat and the metropolis of southwestern Iowa for about fifty miles around. In 1868 he settled as a pioneer on the place where he now resides. Altogether he owns 260 acres of improved land. His home farm is well furnished with the arrangements and equipments necessary for convenience and comfort.

He was married in 1853, at Utica, Oneida county, New York, to Miss Lizzie, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Roberts) Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong was Scotch, and his wife a native of Devonshire, England. Mr. Wilmarth has three sons, viz.: Warren L., of Quincy township; Myron, a popular and successful teacher, residing at home; and Willard, who is married and resides on section 31, Quincy township. Two children died: Maria, at the age of eighteen months; and Myron F., at two years and four months.

Politically Mr. Wilmarth is a Republican, and he has faithfully and satisfactorily served as Assessor of his township for seven terms. Both himself and Mrs. Wilmarth are members of the North Class, Corning Circuit, Methodist Episcopal Church.

Source: Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co, 1892 (Adams Co)


John Wilson, police magistrate and justice of the peace of Kearney, was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, about ten miles from Pittsburgh on the 21st of February, 1849, and was there reared upon a farm  until he reached the age of sixteen years. His parents, Samuel and Mary (Owens) Wilson, were natives of the north of Ireland and were Scotch Presbyterians in their religious belief. John Wilson, the father of Samuel Wilson, and in whose honor the subject of this review was named, came with his wife and children to America about the year 1825 and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at which time Samuel Wilson was a youth of eight  years. He was there reared and married, his wife's people coming to America from the same locality in Ireland as  did the Wilson family. In March, 1865, he removed with his wife and children to Illinois and settled near Geneseo, in Henry county, where he remained to the time of his death, which occurred in 1906. He and his wife were the parents of six sons and three daughters.

John Wilson, the eldest of this family, spent his boyhood days under the parental roof, aiding in the work of the home farm and attending the district schools of the neighborhood. Farming continued to be his occupation until 1876, when he was appointed to the office of deputy sheriff of Henry county, Illinois, serving in that capacity for ten years. In 1883 he resigned and in October of that year removed to Kearney, Nebraska, where he turned his attention to the livery business in partnership with his brother, Samuel Wilson. He continued in the livery business and in buying horses until 1888, when he was elected sheriff of Buffalo county and in that position served for two terms, or for four years in all. His second election, which occurred in 1890, was won by a majority of seventeen hundred, the largest ever given any candidate up to that time and possibly the largest ever  given in the county. Still higher official honors awaited him, however, for in 1892 he was elected to the lower  house of the state legislature, being one of the few that escaped the populistic landslide of that year.

In 1895 he was appointed deputy collector of internal revenue under J. E. Houtz, his territory comprising all of Nebraska west of Grand Island, in which city he made his headquarters, and extending as far north as Ord and south to the Platte river. Until 1913 he was in the leasing and sales department of the Union Pacific Railroad in Kearney and in 1914 was elected police magistrate and justice of the peace in Kearney and has since occupied that position.   He was chief of the Kearney fire department for fifteen years, from 1884 to 1899.

Judge Wilson was married May 25, 1881, to Miss Rosa M. Beecher, of Galva, Illinois, and to this Union five children have been born: Pearl, who died at the age of two years; John Howard; Archie, who passed away in infancy; Ella M.; and Richard B.

Judge Wilson is a prominent Mason and is present eminent commander of Mount Hebron Commandery at  Kearney. He also belongs to Tangier Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and is connected with the Knights of Pythias as  well. In politics he is a stalwart republican and has long been recognized as one of the leaders of his party in this section of the state, his opinions carrying weight in its councils. He possesses a genial nature and a social disposition, which go far toward winning him personal popularity, but his ability has kept him in office and places him at the front as one of the leaders of public thought and action.

Source: Buffalo County Nebraska and Its People; S J Clarke Publishing Company Chicago 1916 Vol II p346-347


During a residence of more than a third of a century in Boone county, Henry Wolf has become widely and favorably known, and is justly classed among the honored and respected pioneer settlers. He now resides on section 32, Pilot Mound township. A native of Germany, he was born in Hesse on the 6th of November, 1846. The Teutonic race has steadily advanced westward, carrying with it the civilization of the older east and has been a very important factor in the development of the new world. Like others of his nationality, Mr. Wolf sought the opportunities afforded by America, and enjoying its advantages, he has steadily worked his way upward in the business world and is now a substantial farmer of his adopted county. His father, Abel Wolf, was also a native of Germany, where he was reared and married. He carried on farming there for many years and then emigrated to the new world in 1855, making his way direct to Chicago, where he remained for five or six years. He then removed to Henry county, Illinois, settling near Annawan, where he purchased a farm, devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits on that place until his life's labors were ended in death. In the family were three children, who are yet living: Jeremiah, a prominent farmer of Pilot Mount township; Henry, of this review; and Elizabeth, the wife of Jacob Stetzler, of Chicago.

Henry Wolf was reared to manhood in Illinois, being a youth of nine years when brought by his parents to America. He spent the greater part of his childhood upon the old home farm, remaining with his mother until he had attained his majority. He worked for one season as a farm hand by the month, and in 1866 he and his brother came to Boone county, making their way to Pilot Mound township, where they purchased two hundred and forty acres of land. It was raw and unimproved, just as it came from the hand of nature, but the work of development was possible and the brothers were energetic young men and for several years they continued their farming pursuits in partnership. On the dissolution of the business relations between them Henry Wolf located where he now resides, becoming the owner of a tract of eighty acres there. As time passed and his financial resources were increased he made other investments in property, and to-day has a very excellent farm, improved with a good residence, two substantial barns, granaries, cribs and in fact all the equipments necessary to the progressive farm work of the day. He has planted shade and ornamental trees in front of the home, while fruit trees yield a good crop and the well-tilled fields yield golden harvests. Mr. Wolf is also engaged in the raising of good grade stock and though he started out in life with no capital he has overcome all difficulties and obstacles in his path and is to-day one of the substantial residents of Pilot Mound township.

In Boone county, in 1870, Mr. Wolf was united in marriage to Amelia Fry, who was born and reared in Germany. Eight children have blessed this union: Albert, who is married and is engaged in business in Pilot Mound; Henry, who resides in Fort Dodge, where he is occupying a business position; Mary, the wife of Charles Jones, now of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Hannah, a successful school teacher of Boone county; Hattie, at home; Eva, who is also engaged in teaching school; William, who assists in carrying on the home farm; and Ada, who completes the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Wolf were reared in the faith of the Lutheran church but attend services at different churches. He votes with the Republican party, having cast his first ballot for General U.S. Grant in 1868. Each presidential candidate of the party since that time has been given his support, but at local elections he does not consider himself bound by party ties and exercises his right of franchise in support of the men he thinks best qualified for the position. He was a young man of twenty years when he came to Boone county. Thirty-six years have since passed, during which time he has witnessed the greater part of the growth and improvement of this portion of the state. He has seen roads made across what was then the trackless prairie and has seen the land claimed for purposes of civilization and enclosed within fences indicating individual ownership. The prairies, too, which had been clothed in their native grasses, have been made to yield abundant harvests, while in the towns and villages commercial and industrial pursuits have been carried on, adding to the general prosperity. Mr. Wolf has taken a deep interest in what has been accomplished in this county, and as a citizen is public spirited and progressive, doing everything in his power to add to the material, intellectual, social and moral advancement of his community.

Source: A Biographical Record of Boone County Iowa, Illustrated; The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, New York & Chicago, 1902.


Thomas W. Wonders is busily engaged in the operation of an excellent farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 20, Otho township. His birth occurred in Kewanee, Illinois, on the 5th of September, 1860, his parents being Thomas and Elizabeth (Bennett) Wonders, more extended mention of whom is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of John W. Wonders, a brother of our subject.

Thomas W. Wonders acquired his education largely in Boone county, Iowa, being four years of age when the family home was there established. He went into the coal mines, when a youth of twelve and was thus employed until twenty-five years of age. About 1885 he came to Webster county and embarked in the mercantile business in association with his brother at Kalo, while later the brothers opened a store at Otho, continuing to operate the same until 1901. For some time afterward Mr. Wonders was not identified with any business pursuit and traveled to some extent. Subsequently, in association with others, he became engaged in the brick and tile business at Kalo, remaining an active factor in its conduct for about five years and still retaining an interest in the concern, which is known as the Central Brick & Tile Company. He next operated a rented farm for two years, was then married and has since devoted his attention to the cultivation of his wife's property, which comprises one hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land on section 20, Otho township. In the work of the fields he has employed modern methods of agriculture and success has attended his undertakings.

On the 28th of December, 1911, Mr. Wonders was united in marriage to Mrs. Theta (Hart) Findlay, the widow of George Findlay and a daughter of Norman and Jane (Fuller) Hart, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this volume. Theta Hart, who was born on the home farm on the 27th of October, 1863, gave her hand in marriage to George Findlay, a farmer of Otho township, who died on the 17th of January, 1908. They adopted two children: Raymond, who is twenty-two years of age and follows farming in Otho township; and Berdena, who is fourteen years old and lives at home.

At the polls Mr. Wonders supports the prohibition ticket, for it is his opinion that the liquor traffic is an evil which should be eradicated. In religious faith he is a Methodist, while his wife belongs to the Congregational church. Mr. and Mrs. Wonders are people of highest worth and respectability, and their pleasant home finds favor with their numerous friends.

Source: History of Fort Dodge and Webster County, Iowa; H. M. Pratt, Chicago; The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1913


Jerry D. Woods, a very intelligent man, having one of the most finely located farms in Grant Precinct, comprising 240 acres on section 21, came to Lancaster County in August, 1882, and the following spring took possession of his present property, where he has since resided and given his attention to general farming and stock-raising. He has about him all the comforts of a pleasant rural home, including an amiable wife and one little daughter, Florence Mary, who was born it their present homestead, July 23, 1886.

Our subject was born in Hancock County, Ind., twelve miles from the city of Indianapolis, April 5, 1840, and until a youth of fifteen years spent his time mostly at his father's farm. Later the latter established a store at Cumberland, Marion County where Jerry D. became a clerk and remained until his removal to Stark County, Ill., where he was a resident until the fall of 1862. He then returned to his native State, and resumed clerking for his brother in Hancock County until the winter of 1863, which he spent in Indianapolis similarly occupied. In May following, the Civil War being in progress, he enlisted in Company B, 132d Indiana Infantry, served five months, and upon his  retirement from the service was a resident of his native county another year. In the fall  of 1865, he returned to Stark County, Ill., and resided there on his father's farm until April, 1869.  Our subject now repaired to Northern Indiana, and engaged as a lumber dealer on his own account until February, 1870, when he returned to Stark County, Ill., and at Castleton carried on mercantile business for a period of seven years. From there he removed to Wyoming, in the same county, and was similarly occupied two years going       to Stockton, Cal., in March, 1879, he was employed alternately as a clerk and farmer until August, 1882, which month found him in the city of Lincoln, this State. His  subsequent movements we have already indicated.

James Woods, the father of our subject, was born near Ripley, Brown Co., Ohio, and upon reaching manhood married Miss Permelia Estes, a native of Liberty, Ind.; they lived for a number of years in the city of Indianapolis, but the father spent his last days at Wyoming, Stark County, where his decease occurred Dec. 3, 1878. The mother is still living, and a resident of Wyoming. The parental household included five sons and three daughters, and Jerry D. was the fourth child of the family. Of his brothers and sisters all survive, and are residents of Illinois, Indian Territory and California.

The marriage of Jerry D. Woods and Miss Rebecca G. Butler was celebrated at the home of a friend, in Kewanee, Ill., March 22, 1879.

Mrs. Woods is the daughter of William H. and Mary (Fuller) Butler, natives of Connecticut and Pennsylvania respectively, and who settled in Stark County, Ill., during its pioneer days. There the father carried on farming and was also editor of a paper until the death of the mother, Aug. 7, 1878. Mr. Butler subsequently came to this county, and died at his home in Grant Precinct, March 29, 1885. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters, of whom Mrs. Woods was the fourth child.

She was born in Saxon, Henry Co., Ill., Dec. 3, 1849, was carefully reared by an excellent mother, and remained a member of the parental household until her marriage. She is a very pleasant and intelligent lady, and is a member in good standing of the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Woods, politically, is a solid Republican, and socially, a member of the Masonic fraternity. He takes genuine interest in the enterprises calculated for the progress and welfare of his community, keeps himself well posted upon current events by the perusal of the leading journals of the day, and illustrates the career of a worthy and upright citizen, who is contributing his full quota in elevating the public morals and encouraging the march of civilization.

Source: Biographical Album of Lancaster Co, Nebraska, p 677- 678


HIRAM WOODWARD, residing on section 21, Osco Township, is a son of Asa and Ruth (Joy) Woodward, natives of Connecticut and Massachusetts. The parents of Hiram Woodward were married and settled in Vermont, and in 1818 removed to Licking Co., Ohio, where the father died Aug. 30, 1837. The mother's demise occurred in Knox County, that State, June 22, 1853. Asa Woodward was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and was with Washington at Valley Forge. He was also with Ethan Allen at the taking of Ticonderoga, where through the strategy of their Colonel not a man was lost or a single drop of blook shed. The children of Asa and Ruth Woodward were nine in number, namely: Sally, Margaret, Masury and Asa B. (twins), Ebenezer G., Arunah, Hiram, John M., and Sarah.

Hiram Woodward, whose name heads this sketch, was born in Cornwall, Addison Co., Vt. July 6, 1807. He continued to reside in his native State until he attained the age of 11 years, when he accompanied his father to Licking Co., Ohio. What schooling Mr. Woodward has received was aquired ina log school house in Licking Co., Ohio. He resided at home, assisting in the maintenance of the family by working on the farm, until he attained the age of 24 years. In the fall of 1852, Mr. Woodward came to this county and "took up" 320 acres of Government land in Osco Township, on a portion of which he has resided until the present time. He has disposed of all his  landed interests in the county except one-quarter of section 21, Osco Township. On this tract he has resided, passing the sunset of his years in peace and quiet, respected by all who know him as a gentleman, fair and honest in his dealings with his fellow-man, and one who possesses a heart that always responds to the sufferings, afflictions and troubles of others.

Mr. Woodward was married in Granville, Licking Co., Ohio, Oct 1, 1829 to Cynthia Root, daughter of Noble and Damaris (Bennett) Root, natives of Massachusetts, and whose children were seven in number, named: Alanson, Belinda, Cynthia, Rebecca, Laura, Orrila, and Amanda. Cynthia (Mrs. Woodward) was born in Granville, Ohio, Feb. 28, 1810. She has borne to her husband eight children: Luman, Laurinda, Amanda, Jerusha, Eben, Franklin, Mary and Martha. Jerusha, Mary and Martha are deceased.

Mr. Woodward has held the office of Supervisor two terms, and likewise other minor offices within the gift of the people of this township. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church and politically Mr. W. is identified with the Republican party.

For over 30 years he has lived in this community. Indeed, the community has grown up around him. As a venerable patriarch, and one who has done much hard work and given much valuable aid toward building up the county and moulding the character of the people, his memory should be cherished and preserved. It will live in the minds of those who know him personally as long as they live, but the generations to come will know nothing of his labors, his trials and good works unless some means are taken to hand down to them a record of his life, This brief sketch and the accompanying portrait will serve to perpetuate the memory of a good pioneer of Henry Co.

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry Co., 1885" p. 561

Submitted by: Deborah Lacy

Note: Does anyone have the portrait from the book we can add to this??


LUMAN WOODWARD, a successful farmer of this county, residing on section 21, Osco Township, is a son of Hiram and Cynthia (Root) Woodward, natives of Vermont and Ohio. The grandfather of Mr. Woodward of this sketch, Asa Woodward, was a soldier in theRevolutionary War. Luman's father and mother after marriage settled in Licking Co., Ohio, where they resided following the vocation of farming until 1852, when they came to this county with a team and wagon and settled in Osco Township. For a more extended notice of their lives see the biography of Hiram Woodward, elsewhere in this volume. The children of the parents were nine in number.  Luman Woodward was the eldest in order of birth of the children of his parent's family. He was born in Licking Co., Ohio, Feb. 4, 1831.

The school privileges of Mr. Woodward were limited, and his accumulation of practical knowledge is due to his own individual efforts, and what education he is possessed of was acquired by the same perseverance on his won part as the practical knowledge that he possesses.  He resided at home on his father's farm in Licking Co., Ohio, assisting him in the labors thereon until 1851.

In the spring of 1855, Mr. Woodward came with his wife and one child to this county, and purchased 60 acres of land on section 21, Osco Township. He with his family settled on his land and engaged vigorously and energetically upon the task of its improvement and cultivation, he has erected fine buildings, set out numerous shade trees on his farm, and by economy and energetic labor has increased his landed interested until he is at present the owner of a fine farm containing 140 acres, all of which is under the advanced state of cultivation.

The marriage of Mr. Woodward took place in Licking Co., Ohio, Aug. 15, 1852, and the lady chosen to accompany him through the trials of the future was Miss Laura, the accomplished daughter of Norman and Mary (Edelblute) Woodworth, natives of Vermont and Virginia respectively. After her parents' marriage they settled in Licking Co., Ohio, where they reared a family of six children,namely: Charles, Laura, Rebecca, Gilmore, Seibert and Norman, and where they continued to reside until their deaths.

Mrs. Woodward was born in Licking Co., Ohio, Aug 11, 1834. She has borne her husband one child, Cynthia Alice, who was married to John W. Hadley, a resident of Newman, Jasper Co., Iowa, and who were the parents of two children, Mary A. and Laura M. Mary A. died April 24, 1882, in her 27th year, of diptheria, and Laura M. died in 1864.

Mr. Woodward has held the office of Commissioner of Highways, as well as other minor offices within the gift of the people of his township. Politically, he is a believer in and supporter of the principals advocated by the Republican party.

In selecting persons in different parts of the county to represent the different callings and professions in the portrait department of this work, we find in Osco Township and number of truly representative agriculturists. Prominent among these, however, ranks Mr. Woodward, of this sketch, and we give his portrait in connection with this sketch.

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry Co., 1885", p. 551

Submitted by: Deborah Lacy

Note: Does anyone have the portrait from the book we can add to this??