(Moultrie County)







THIS township is situated in the western part of Moultrie county, bounded north by Dora, east by Lovington and Sullivan townships, south by Shelby county, and west by Shelby and Macon counties. It contains 24,948 acres, 23,224 acres of which are im proved - valued at $243,769. There was originally about one-third of territory covered with timber, much of which has been cleared off and made into farms.

The rich lands are drained by the West Okaw river, Marrowbone creek and their tributaries, which flow south and south-easterly through the township. The name Marrowbone, originated from the following peculiar circumstances: Jacob McCune and Jones Daniels, while hunting in this region, encamped for the night on section 8, town. 14-4, and after lighting their camp-fire, made preparations for supper which consisted of venison roasted before the fire. After eating the meat they broke the bones and feasted on the marrow. The next morning when they had prepared to leave, Daniels asked, "What shall we call this camp?" McCune looking around at the scattered bones with a keen remembrance of the feast replied, "We will call it Marrowbone." Hence the name.

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When the first settlers arrived in this region, there was still remaining here a fragment of the Kickapoo tribe of Indians. They were very friendly to the whites, and often invited them to sit at their camp-fires. When the early settlements began to appea r along the edge of the Marrowbone timber, the poor Kickapoos again took up their march westward. At one time there was probably an Indian conflict on the place now owned by J. A. Strain, as all over the slight elevation, upon which his residence stands, there have been large numbers of flint and iron arrow heads, stone and iron hatchets, old gun locks, musket barrels, and trinkets of various kinds, plowed up and collected by Mr. Strain. When his father settled here there were numerous slight depressions over the surface, and upon investigation they were found to contain the remains of Indians. Several strings of beads, charms, etc., were taken from their graves. Mr. S. has a number of these curiosities in his possession, and many have been carried away b y relic hunters.


Andrew Bone and Elias Kennedy, who came here together from Tennessee, were the first settlers in what is now Marrowbone township. They both brought their families with them, each in a wagon drawn by horses, and landed here in November, 1828. Mr. Bo ne was a native of North Carolina. He settled in the edge of the timber on section 24, town. 14-4, on the place now owned by W. F. Vaughan, and broke the first prairie in this part of the county. He died a few years after settling here, and left quite a l arge family, many of whose descendants are still living here. Elias Kennedy was born in Tennessee in the year 1800. Upon his arrival he settled in section 35, 14-4, where he built a cabin of rough, unhewn logs near the creek. He lived on this place about two years, and sold it to William Thomason, and moved farther north to section 27, and settled the place on which Robert Roney now lives. In about four years he sold this to a man by the name of Frederick, and moved across the West Okaw, about five miles , where he made some improvements, and again sold out to Reuben B. Ewing. He then re-crossed the West Okaw and settled near where the Marrowbone empties into it, where he constructed a small horse mill. He afterwards purchased of David Cochran, the place where M. M. Crowder now resides. He lived here for a time, and finally moved to Kansas, where he died in 1871. He had a family of eleven children, only four of whom are living, Finis E., in Kansas, and James C., Alexander and David F. are residing in this township. His daughter, Elizabeth W. born in February, 1829, was the first birth in the township.

After the two families there were no settlements made for nearly two years, or not until 1830, when there were several arrivals, but we are unable to give them in the order they came. James Fruit, a Kentuckian, who had first settled farther south in the W akefield settlement, came into this country in the spring of 1830, and located on section 26, on the place where J. B. Hudson now resides. He afterwards settled the Peter Forsythe place. He died in 1845, and was at that time residing about a half a mile w est of Bethany. His widow was subsequently married to Major Poor, spoken of in East Nelson. She died in February, 1880. Several of the decendants of Mr. Fruit are perpetuating the name in the county. In the same year Thomas D. Lansden and George Baxter ca me together with their families.

Baxter remained here but a short time and moved into Shelby county. Mr. Lansden was a native of North Carolina, and brought with him a large family from Tennessee, where he was married and lived prior to his coming to this state. They reached this country November 19th, 1830, and settled the Emanuel Sickafus place on section 24. From here he moved to the Evans place, just west of Bethany where he died October lst, 1838, at the age of 71 years. His wife died three years earlier. Mr. Lansden built the first blacksmith shop in the township. He was a good and useful man among the early settlers, and several of his descendants are among the best citizens of today. John Warren, a native of Tennessee, and Daniel Pound, his brother in-law, came here together in O ctoher, 1830. He had a large family of boys and one daughter, Lucinda. Of this family, Daniel P. Warren is the only survivor living in this county. Jesse A. Walker, a North Carolinian, emigrated from Kentucky here in the fall of 1830, and settled the Fran k Ward farm on Brush Creek. He had eight children, some of whom are yet living here. William Thomason settled in section 35, in the same year. Jerry Provolt also stopped here for a short time, in the Welborn settlement. William Salsman arrived in the same year, first stopping in Welborn settlement, and afterwards opened the farm, at present owned by Frank Hagerman. John Cook, sr., was a native of R. I., and moved here as early as 1830. He settled on section 3, 13-4, or near the Welborns. He became quite p rominent in the organization of this county. At an early date he constructed an undershot water wheel grist mill on the West Okaw, and was a useful and enterprising man. He died some years ago, and his widow still survives. Larkin Beck from Kentucky, set tled on section 28,14-4, on the E. A. Walker place. Wm. C. Ward, and his son James O. Ward, with their families, came in June of the same year. Mr. Ward brought a large family, and several are now living here and in Shelby county. Allen Perryman, John and Edward Woolen, and Samuel and Simeon Robertson were also here in 1830. These families above mentioned were about all that settled here up to 1831. As taken from the county records, the first lands were entered as follows: April 21st, 1830, U. Kutch enter ed the E. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of section 23, T. 14, R. 4 east, 80 acres. June 11th, 1839, Joshua Johnson entered the W. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4, section 9, T: 13, R. 4 E. 80 acres. Same date Andrew M. Bone entered the W. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 of section 24, T. 14, R. 4 E. 80 acres. Oct. 14th, 1830, Wm. Thomason entered the W. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of section 35, T. 14, R. 4 E. 80 acres. Nov. 18th, 1830, John S. Woolen entered the W. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4, section 22, T. 14, R. 4 E. 80 acres. Dec. 8th, 1830, Ja mes Roney entered the E. 1/2 of the S, E. 1/4 of section 9, T. 13, R. 4 E. 80 acres. Same date John Roney entered the W. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 same section, town and range containing 80 acres.

David Strain, another North Carolinian, landed here with his family October 12th, 1831, and settled on section 21, on the place where his son, John A., now resides. He had been here the year before and raised a crop in the Welborn settlement, and purchase d of Allen Perryman the place on section 21, where he moved with his family, and where he resided until his death, September 9th, 1854. Mr. Strain was an early Justice of the Peace in this county, and among the most intelligent and enterprising old settle rs. He was twice married, and raised a large family, only two of whom are now living, viz: John A. Strain, who resides on the old homestead, and Lydia, the wife of Robert Livesay, residing in Oregon. Daniel Pea came here in 1831, and purchased Thomas D. L ansden's claim on section 24, and remained here about two years, then moved into what is now Lovington township. In 1832, James Roney, a native of Kentucky, located in the Melbourne settlement. He had a large family. Joshua and Robert, farmers in this tow nship, Mary, widow of Joseph Sedgwick, and Louisa, the wife of W. Underwood, living in Kansas, are all of this family now living, that came to the county. George Mitchell, born in North Carolina,

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brought his family here in 1832, and settled on section 24. He had a family of ten children, seven still living, viz: David, Samuel, Martha, Jane, widow of Thos. A. Bone, John B., Rachel A., widow of G. T. West, Wm. B. and Susan E., the wife of David Crow der, who are among the oldest living settlers in the county. The old gentleman was one of the first county commissioners. He was a wagon-maker by trade, but followed farming principally. He died on the place where he first settled in 1854, upward of 74 ye ars of age. U. Kutch settled on the south side of section 23, in the fall of 1832, where he still lives, a hale and hearty old man. He was a great hunter, and killed eighteen deer the first three weeks after his arrival in this region. He says that there were plenty of Bee trees here when he came. On his first trip he found as many as four a day in the Marrowbone and West Okaw timber. Susan Bone, the widow of Thomas Bone, a brother of Andrew Bone, came here in 1833, with a family of three sons and one dau ghter. Beverly Taylor and James and Samuel Howell were also early settlers. In 1834, W. P. Foster and Ezekiel Sharp settled in the Bone settlement. Sharp died soon afterwards. Three of his sons, Robert, Joseph and James, are residents in this neighborhood .

Robert Morrison, from Tennessee, settled in 1834, and died the following year, when his family returned to Tennessee.

In 1833 or 1834 John Haberson came and settled the Crowder place. He was also from Tennessee, and after a short time returned there. Elisha Brison, a son-in-law of William Ward, was also here for a short time. The Freelands came in 1836; Enoch Walker and family and the Crowders in 1837; the Banksons in 1838. There are others, perhaps, that might be mentioned, but we feel that we have named most of the prominent early settlers, and for further information we will refer the reader to the Pioneer and other c hapters in the front part of this work. The flrst death that we have any account of was that of a child of Edward Woolen, in 1830. The first burial-ground in the settlement was on Andrew Bone's place, now the property of W. F. Vaughan. The first marriage was James O. Ward to Elizabeth Stark, in the summer of 1831. Esquire Thomason performed the ceremony. William Crouch to Miriam Strain; Thomas Bone to Jane Mitchell; and Robert Law to Amanda Lansden, were also early marriages.

Addison Smith taught the first school in a log cabin, on section 27, in the summer of 1833. The early preachers were of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, and the meetings were held at the cabins of the settlers. (See Church History.)

George Thomason, a very early settler, kept the first store in this part of the county. It was on section 3.5, and consisted of a small stock of general goods. This was in the year 1835. In 1832, Andrew Bone built a rude horse-mill, the first in this loca lity. In 1836, Robert Law built another of the same kind on the spot where the village of Bethany now stands. Beverly Taylor constructed a water-mill on the West Okaw in 1837. John Cook also built another of the same character farther down the stream.

The first steam saw and grist mill was built by John A. Strain in 1851. The engine and machinery were purchased at the Piasa shops at Alton, and carted on wagons to this point. Thomas D. Lansden also built a water mill for William Foster in 1837.

The following are the supervisors who have represented Marrowbone: -- John A. Freeland, junior, elected in 1867; William P. McGuire, elected in 1868, and served until 1873; A. R. Scott, elected in 1873, served until 1875; was Chairman of Board in 1874. T. H. Crowder, elected in 1875, served until 1877; A. R. Scott, re-elected in 1877, served until 1880; W. P. McGuire, re-elected in 1880.

The township has at present 1595 population.


THIS is a growing little place, situated on the line of the P. D. and E. R. R., in section 22. The land upon which it is located was entered by Robert Law, who built the first house. This was a small log cabin erected in 1834. Mr. Law was a farmer, and, as above-mentioned, built an early mill at this point. In 1837, Law sold out to A. N. Ashmore; and he soon afterwards sold out to Rev. A. M. Wilson. Mr. Wilson built a large two-story log house, which was considered quite a fine structure in those d ays. This was all the building done here until 1854, when Dr. J. D. Livesay, who was the first physician, erected a frame dwelling and storehouse, and in partnership with Thomas Sowell, opened a general stock of goods for sale. This was the first frame bu ilding, and is now used as a wagon shop by Lantz and Mitchell. The next house was a frame dwelling put up by William P. McGuire in April, 1857, and now owned by H. A. Smith. Mr. McGuire also erected the next building, a frame storehouse, in 1863, and open ed a stock of goods. He built another store in 1864. This was brick, two stories high, and is now the property of Thomas Noble. A. N. Ashmore built the next house in 1865. It was a residence, and is now occupied by W. P. McGuire. McGuire built still anoth er storehouse, and when completed sold it to A. R. Scott, who is the present owner. The present A. H. Antrim's store was erected by J. T. Smutz. A. K. Bone, E. Rangford, Peter Forsyth, Widow Robinson, Samuel Mitchell, and James Moore also built early resi dences. There was no school taught in the village proper until about 1871, when a Miss Snyder taught in the private residence of Stephen McReynolds. Christopher Beck taught the next school, in the second story of Mr. Smutz's storehouse. The present school -house was built in 1874. It is frame, one story, with two rooms, and employs two teachers.

The old Bethany church that stood on the village site, and from which it received its name, was built of hewed logs in 1838. It was replaced by the present frame structure in 1855, at a cost of $2,200. This is the Cumberland Presbyterian church. The Metho dist church was erected in the fall of 1872, and cost about $2,500. It is built of brick, 40 x 50 feet, with spire.

There was a post-office established at this point in 1856, at Marrowbone, and J. L. Livesay was made the first post-master. W. P. McGuire, was next appointed, and through his efforts the name was changed to Bethany. O. P. Walker, A. R. Scott and J. G. Sm utz have also had the office.

Bethany was incorporated as a village in the spring of 1877, and the following were the first trustees. J. F. Knight, President, B. F. McMennamy, D. F. Kennedy, Andrew Bankson, S. H. Sanner, G. T. Hill, clerk, J. G. Smutz, Treasurer. The present board are J. H. McGuire, President, H. A. Smith, R. B. Wheeler, C. C. Creech, W. P. McGuire, T. Ray; G. W. Logan, clerk, and G. T. Hill, treasurer.

In 1875 Hyland and son built a steam saw and grist-mill. It was a frame building about 18 x 24 feet, and is two stories high. It contained two sets of stones, one for wheat and one for corn, and a circular saw. It is now owed by A. R Scott, and operated a s a sawmill by T. J. Clark.

The Bethany Steam Flouring-Mill and Elevator, was erected in the summer of 1880 by A. R. Scott. It is a frame, three stories high and 24x34 feet square, with engine rooms 16x34 feet, and a belt crib 14x48. It cost about $12,000. There are four run of burrs. The elevator is constructed for handling all kinds of grain, and has a capacity of 5000 bushels storage, and can shell and load 3000 bushels of corn a day.

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General Stores. -- A. R. Scott, A. H. Antrim.

Groceries. -- E. Hampton.

Groceries and Restaurant. -- R. Hampton.

Drugs. -- B. F. McMennamy.

Hardware, etc. -- A. B. Frazier.

Harness. -- Edward Stables & Son.

Millinery. -- Miss Emma Hogg, Misses Dora and Ida Hampton.

Furniture. -- J. G. Smutz.

Undertaker. -- C. C. Creech.

Wagon Shop. -- Lentz & Mitchell, T. Ray.

Lumber and Coal. -- G. W. Logan.

Blacksmith Shops. -- J. P. McCord, C. Strain, and J. Matherson.

Shoe Shop. -- R. B. Utterback.

Barber Shop. -- E. Norton.

Butcher. -- R. Hampton.

Grain Dealer. -- T. P. Logan.

Physicians. -- E. A. Pyatt, B. F. McMennamy.

Stock Dealers. -- Scott & Little, J. McGuire.

Livery Stable. -- Robert Lanum.

Carpenter Shop. -- Smith & Lansden.

Brick Yard. -- Wm. Mitchell.



MR. KENNEDY was born in Wilson county, Tenn., on the 8th of January, 1825. The Kennedy family was of Irish descent, and early residents of North Carolina. His father, Elias Kennedy, was born in Kentucky, in 1800, moved from there to Tennessee, and in 1822 married Isabella Dobbins, daughter of Alexandor Dobbins and Mary Carson. She was born in Sumner county, Tennessee; her parents moved to that State from North Carolina; two of her brothers took part as soldiers in the Revolutionary war. The Dobbins family came to America from county Down, in Ireland. In the fall of 1828, Elias Kennedy left Tennessee with his family and came to Illinois; he first settled in Todd's Point township, Shelby county, but in a few months came to the present Marrowbone town ship, in Moultrie county, and settled on the west fork of the Okaw, in section 35 of township 14, range 4. He afterwards moved to the vicinity of Sullivan, but after two years moved back to section 36 of Marrowbone township.

One of the first in Marrowbone township, he put up a horse mill, which he ran about three vears, and then moved half a mile west of Bethany. In 1863 he moved to Kansas, and died there in 1877; his wife, who had been born in the same year, died a couple of months previously. He had but little means when he came to the State, but accumulated considerable property, He joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church, when a young man in Tennessee, and on coming to Moultrie county assisted in organizing the Bethany Cumberland Presbyterian church, in which for a number of years he was elder. About 1847, with the view of securing greater liberty to preach the gospel, he severed his connection with the Cumberland Presbyterians and joined the Protestant Methodists. He w as a local preacher in that denomination till his death. He never occupied any public office; he was a whig in politics, and afterwards became a republican. Five of his sons served in the army during the rebellion; three were in the 21st Illinois Regiment , and one in the 41st Regiment.

James C. Kennedy was the second child; he was between three and four years old on coming to this State; he obtained his education in the ordinary district schools. He was married in July, 1849, to Rebecca J. Livesay who was born in Maury county, Tennessee , October, 1828; her father, Evan Livesay, was of English descent, and came to Tennessee from Virginia; her mother, Elizabeth Mitchell, was from Orange county, North Carolina. Mrs. Kennedy came to Washington county, Illinois, in 1830, and to this county i n 1835. Her father, mother, and younger sister died of fever in 1835, and she was raised by her grandfather, George Mitchell. In December, 1849, Mr. Kennedy moved to his present location on the prairie, in section 11 ; he was one of the first to move so f ar away from the timber. He has had nine children, Amanda J, wife of James A. Butt; Emily E, who married John A. Crowder; David L., who died at the age of two years; Estaloia Isabell, who died in January, 1879, at the age of nineteen; Elias G., James B., Mary Alice, William C., and John C. Mr. Kennedy was first a whig in politics, voted for Taylor for president, in 1848, and subsequently became a republican. For many years he and his wife have been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.


THIS gentleman, now one of the oldest settlers of Marrowbone township, has been living in that part of the county since October, 1831. He was born in Maury county, Tennessee, April 30th, 1824. His grandfather, Alexander Strain, moved to North Carol ina from Pennsylvania. His father, David Strain, was born in Orange county, North Carolina; was raised there, and in the year 1811 married Margaret Mitchell, who was a native of the same county. Her father, John Mitchell, was captured by the British durin g the Revolutionary war, and for some time held a prisoner. About six months after their marriage, Mr. Strain's parents moved to Maury county, Tennessee, where the family lived till the fall of 1831, and then moved to Illinois, and settled in what is now Moultrie county. The location which they chose was section twenty-one, of township

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fourteen, range four. Here Mr. Strain's father lived till his death in September, 1854. His wife had died several years previously. He came to this state without much means, and died in good circumstances. He was a member of the Methodist Church, and for about twenty years the Methodist ministers were accustomed to hold their services at his house. The religious society there organized, gave birth to the present Bethany Methodist Church. David Strain also filled the office of justice of the peace.

J. A. Strain was the seventh of a family of ten children, and the only son who grew to maturity. He was seven years of age when the family came to Moultrie county, then included in Shelby and Macon counties. His education was obtained in the neighborhood of where he lived in Marrowbone township. The schools were the old-fashioned subscription schools, held in log schoolhouses, on which the children of the early pioneers were obliged to rely for their educational facilities. On the 25th of January, 1844, h e married Penniah Walker, daughter of Jesse D. Walker. She was born in Christian county, Kentucky. For three years Mr. Strain carried on a saw-mill on Marrowbone creek, and with that exception, has always been engaged in farming. This mill was run by stea m, and was the first mill of that kind ever constructed in Moultrie county. After his father's death he took charge of the old farm, on which he has been living ever since. He has five children living: Sarah M., now the wife of John P. McCord; Mary L., wh o married John Pesch; William De Witt C., and Susan Lydia. In his politics, Mr. Strain was first a whig, and cast his first vote for President for Gen. Taylor in 1848. After the whig party dissolved he became a republican, and has been a member of that pa rty ever since. He joined the Methodist Church when only eight years of age, and has been connected with that religious body ever since. He has been connected with the Bethany Methodist Church from its organization. A view of his residence in Marrowbone t ownship appears on another page.


AMONG the early settlers of Marrowbone township was the Freeland family, which settled on section seventeen of township fourteen, range four, in the fall of 1836. James Freeland was born in Orange county, North Carolina, in the year 1794. He was ra ised in the same county, and married Jane Strain. Though he had but limited opportunities, he obtained a good English education. He learned surveying, and followed it for a number of years. For several years he held the position of surveyor for Orange cou nty. In the spring of 1836 the family moved to Tennessee, and, after remaining six months in that state, in the fall of the same year came to Illinois, and settled in Moultrie county, then a part of Macon. At that time the settlements, which were few in n umber, were confined to the timber; most of the old settlers thought the prairie would never be brought under cultivation. James Freeland died at the house of his son, David Freeland, in Macon county, in 1871, at the age of seventy-seven; he was a good an d useful citizen. In North Carolina, he had belonged to the old-school Presbyterian Church, and had served as clerk of the church with which he was connected. On coming to this state he united with the Bethany Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and afterwa rd assisted in forming the New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Marrowbone township. He was liberal in support of the church, and consistent and devoted in his religious principles. He was first a whig in politics and afterward united with the free- soil democracy, and supported Lincoln for the presidency. He came to this state with little capital, but acquired considerable means, and at one time owned about fifteen hundred acres of land in Moultrie county. He had eleven children all together; a daug hter died in North Carolina, and ten came to this state; only three are now living -- John A. Freeland, of Sullivan; David J. Freeland, of Macon county; and S. D. Freeland, of Marrowbone township. Miriam married Joel Cloud, and died in Marrowbone township ; James Freeland entered the Cumberland Presbyterian Ministry and died in Sullivan: he founded the seminary at Sullivan, and at the time of his death was its principal. Elizabeth married Joseph Knight, and died in Marrowbone township. William T. Freeland served during the war of the rebellion as second lieutenant of Co. F, forty-ninth Illinois Infantry Regiment; he died in the hospital at St. Louis, from wounds received at the battle of Shiloh, twenty-two days after the battle. Nancy married Turner Johnso n, and died near Wenona, Illinois. Salina died in girlhood. S. D. Freeland, the only one residing in Marrowbone township, was born in Orange county, North Carolina, December lst, 1835; he was about eight months old when the family came to Illinois; he mar ried Susannah, daughter of William Mincey; she was born on Sand creek, in the eastern part of Moultrie county. He was a soldier in the late war of the rebellion and served nine months, and took part in the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. He has six c hildren: Jane, James, William, David, George, and Albert. He is a man of liberal and independent views and has generally acted with the republican party. He is an elder in the New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


THIS gentleman, who has lived in Marrowbone township since October, 1866, was born in Stark county, Ohio, four miles from Massillon, on the 24th of August, 1835. Both his father and grandfather were natives of England, and both were named Thomas No ble. His father was born and raised in Westmoreland, England, and married Isabella Cooper, also a native of Westmoreland. In the year 1834 they emigrated to America and settled in Stark county, Ohio, and the subject of this sketch was the first child born after the coming of the family to this country. On coming to America his father had considerable means, and went into the business of raising sheep and wheat. He was a good farmer, a man of enterprise and energy, and was among the first to take advantage of improved agricultural implements and machinery for farming, after their invention. In the year 1845, in company with his brother, John Noble, and a cousin named Robert Golding, he purchased about seven hundred acres of land at Todd's Point, on which t o try the experiment of raising sheep, and John Atkinson was sent to Illinois to represent their interests. Mr. Noble's father died in December, 1848.

The subject of this biography was raised in Stark county, Ohio; he attended school in the neighborhood where he lived, and also the Union High School at Massillon, Ohio; he began farming for himself when about twenty years of age; he learned the telegraph business, and followed it for some time. He was married Nov. 21, 1857, to Subina Monroe, a native of Stark county, Ohio. For a number of years he was engaged in farming on his father's old homestead farm, and also, to a considerable extent, traded in sto ck. In the fall of 1866 he came to Illinois, to take charge, in behalf of the heirs, of large tracts of land which had been owned by his uncle, John Noble. These tracts comprised upwards of five thousand acres, and lay in Marrowbone and Dora townships of Moultrie county, and Pickaway and Todd's Point townships of Shelby county.

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He built his present residence soon after coming to the state, and also engaged in farming. He has five children: Thomas, Jennie, John, Ann and Isabella. He has been a republican in politics; he is, however, a man of liberal and independent views, in no s ense a partisan, and in local elections he always voted for the man whom he considered best fitted for the office, without regard to politics. He possesses considerable mental activity and originality of thought. Within the last few years he has given muc h attention to inventions, and among the articles which he has brought into being are a car-coupler, a railway car adapted to the humane transportation of cattle, in which feed and water can be provided on the journey, and other useful and important contr ivances, for which he has secured patents. His farm consists of the south half of section six, township thirteen, range five.


JOHN ATKINSON, one of the leading farmers of Moultrie county, is a native of England, and was born in Bland in the north part of Yorkshire near the boundaries of Westmoreland, on the fifth of December, 1799. He was the son of Thomas Atkinson and hi s wife, Mary, whose maiden name was Herd. His mother died when he was a child six years of age. His father was a man of strong and rugged constitution, was industrious and energetic, never sick, and lived to the advanced age of eighty-eight years. The sub ject of this sketch was the next to the oldest child. He has an older sister still living in England. He was raised in the same neighborhood in which he was born. His home was two miles distant from the ancestral home of the Washington, family, and among Mr. Atkinson's friends in his youth was Thomas Washington, a distant cousin of George Washington, who gave Mr. Atkinson when seventeen, a watch which he carried many years. For several years during childhood he was sickly and unable to attend school. He w as proficient in arithmetic and thoroughly qualified himself for the transaction of ordinary business. After his mother's death his father married a woman whose conduct toward the children by her husband's first marriage was marked by great kindness, and Mr. Atkinson had his home at his father's house till after he was grown and married. His marriage took place in his twenty-third year to Alice Taylor, the oldest child of Thomas Taylor. She was born at Firbank in Westmoreland.

Mr. Atkinson began life for himself by renting the Croselbeck farm in Bland. This embraced sixty acres, and was considered a large farm in that part of England. The farms were small, sometimes containing only ten or fifteen acres. After giving up the Cros elbeck place, he rented the New House farm on which he lived till he came to America. The rent was high, and finding it impossible to accumulate any means in England, he determined to make his home in a new country where he could find a better opportunity to provide for his family. He came to America in the year 1843 with his wife and family, then consisting of eight children.

Landing in New York he at once set out for Ohio. At that time no railroads to the West were in existence. A steamboat carried them to Albany, and from that place they proceeded by way of the Erie Canal to Buffalo; from Buffalo to Cleveland by steamer and thence by canal to Massillon, Stark county, Ohio. Near Massillon lived Thomas Noble, whom Mr. Atkinson had met in England. Mr. Noble was largely engaged in the sheep business, and Mr. Atkinson had been accustomed to sheep from boyhood. While in Ohio he wa s in the employment of Mr. Noble. The latter had purchased six hundred acres of land near Todd's Point, Illinois (the present farm of Mr. Atkinson), and wishing to try the experiment of raising sheep on the Illinois prairies, he dispatched Mr. Atkinson wi th a flock of nine hundred sheep to this State. Mr. Atkinson brought with him his family. The sheep were driven all the way from Ohio. The journey occupied seven weeks and four days. Their outfit consisted of two wagons, and they camped out along the road . He reached Todd's Point in August, 1845, and with two exceptions Mr. Atkinson was the first Englishman to make his home in that part of Shelby and Moultrie counties. Soon afterward Englishmen began to arrive in considerable numbers, and all came to Mr. Atkinson's house as headquarters, so that their house for several years was always crowded. Among those to follow them from England, was Robert Wilson, their nearest neighbor in the old country, whose sons, Richard and William Wilson, are now among the re presentative farmers of Lowe township in Moultrie county, while another son, Thomas Wilson, resides in Chicago. While in Ohio Mr. Atkinson had visited Indiana and Michigan with the view of making a home for his family, but found no place he liked so well as Illinois.

When he came to this state he had but little means. The entire amount in his posession was a solitary English guinea which he had carried with him from the time he left England. He worked one year for Mr. Noble, receiving one hundred and fifty dollars wag es, and then began raising sheep with Mr. Noble on shares. The corn for feeding was purchased at nine cents a bushel. The wolves were bad and troublesome, and were so bold that they would attack the sheep even in the day time. They killed one hundred of h is flock in a single night. Mr. Atkinson continued in the sheep business for many years till the fencing upon the prairies and other reasons rendered it unprofitable on a large scale. His flock at one time consisted of between four and five thousand head, and he was one of the men most largely interested in the sheep business in Shelby and Moultrie counties. His sheep proved profitable and he acquired enough means to purchase of Mr. Noble four hundred acres of land. This was his first purchase of land, to which he made subsequent additions. He also tried the business of raising fine blooded stock, but after a short trial gave up the experiment. He has given considerable land to his children, has managed his business with shrewdness and success, and is now numbered among the wealthiest men in the Todd's Point settlement. The death of his wife took place on the 14th of February, 1875. He has had nine children, whose names are as follows: -- Mary, now the, wife of Thomas Hadwin of Todd's Point township, Shel by county; Jane Atkinson; Thomas Atkinson, who is carrying on the mercantile business at Todd's Point; John Atkinson, whose death resulted from an accident on the 20th of June, 1875; Eleanor, now the wife of John Turner of Todd's Point township, Shelby co unty; James Atkinson, who resides in Pickaway township, Shelby county; William Atkinson, a farmer of Pickaway Township, Shelby county; Alice, who married Thomas McGlashan, of Pickaway township, Shelby county; and Elizabeth, who died in England at the age of seven weeks.

In his political opinions Mr. Atkinson was a Whig in England. In this country he became associated with the Republican party on its formation, and has been a Republican ever since, and has voted the Republican ticket at every Presidential election since t he organization of the party, except the last, when he was prevented from going to the polls on account of sickness. He has never taken any active part in politics nor has ever been an office-holder. His time has been devoted to his business and the manag ement of his farm. He is recognized as a man of large experience and sound judgement on stock and agriculture, and at the state fairs at Springfield and other agricultural exhibitions he has frequently been selected as

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one of the judges of stock. He bears a good record as a business man. Though able and willing to maintain his own rights, he is quiet and peaceable in disposition, and in personal disputes or suits at law he has never taken any part. He may be said to hav e carved out his own fortune by his industry and superior business ability. He came to the state with but little means, and has reached a position as a prominent agriculturist and public-spirited citizen, while he commands the respect of the whole communi ty. He is a man of liberal views. An illustration of his farm appears on another page. When he came to Todd's Point, there were few settlements in that section, and he is now one of the pioneer residents of that part of the county. Though his head is silv ered over with the frost of many winters, his eye is still keen and his mind fresh, active and vigorous.


WHO died September 22, 1877, was one of the old residents and leading citizens of Marrowbone township. He was a native of Bunkum county, North Carolina, and was born on the 14th of July, 1807. The Crowder family is of German origin. His father, E lisha Crowder, died when the subject of this sketch was a small child. His mother, Mary McCarty, was of Irish and English descent. After her first husband's death she married John Tow. The first nine years of Mr. Crowder's life were spent in North Carolin a, and then the family moved to East Tennessee, and settled near Greenville, in Greene county, where he was raised. The country was rough and mountainous, and afforded few advantages for obtaining an education. The schools were subscription schools, the f amily had but little means and consequently he had but little opportunity to go to school. He attended school about six weeks or two months. All his acquirements in the way of obtaining an education were secured by his own efforts, and were largely acquir ed by a practical acquaintance with the business affairs of life. He was naturally gifted with a strong and vigorous mind, and on business subjects possessed sound judgment. He lived at home till nearly grown. After beginning life on his own account he wo rked on a farm. Wages were then low, and while he lived in East Tennessee he accumulated little property. He was married on the 17th of January, 1827, to Barbara Prater, who was born in Greene county, East Tennessee, April 15, 1807, the daughter of Isaac Prater and Sarah Morgan. Her grandfather was a Virginian, and her parents came to Tennessee from North Carolina. Mrs. Crowder was raised by John McCord. One child, David M. Crowder, was born in Tennessee, and then in the fall of 1828, Robert Crowder moved to Indiana. He first settled in Ripley county, eighteen miles from Madison, and lived for a time near New Marion, in Jennings county. In the fall of 1836, he moved to Missouri, and settled seven miles from Booneville, near the Missouri river, where a num ber of relatives of the family lived. He only lived there one year, and never purchased any land in that state. He then came to Illinois, and arrived in what was then Shelby, now Moultrie county, on the 15th of January, 1838. He settled on Section 22 of t ownship 14, range 4 east. Several settlements had been made along the timber. The prairie was wild and uncultivated, and at that time the old settlers generally thought would never be settled up. Mr. Crowder's means then consisted of three horses, a wagon , some household furniture and some two or three hundred dollars in money. He had great energy, untiring industry, and was ambitious to get along well in the world and secure a start for his children. He bought eighty acres of land on time. There were the n no means of making money, and he was burdened with the interest on this debt for several years. In 1845, he cleared it of all encumbrance. He never made money rapidly, but after he had secured a good start accumulated steadily and became one of the wea lthiest citizens of that part of the county. At one time he was the heaviest tax-payer in Marrowbone township. He never followed any other occupation than farming. He had ten children: David M., William A., Sarah Jane, whose death was occasioned by being burnt when a child: Thomas H., Mary Susan,, who died in childhood; Robert Smith, who enlisted in Company E. twenty-first regiment Illinois infantry, as orderly sergeant, and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga, in September, 1863; James H., Andrew W., who enlisted in Company B, Forty-first Illinois regiment, and was killed during the siege of Vicksburg, in June, 1863, when only about sixteen years of age; John A., and Marshall M. Crowder.

In his politics he began life as a democrat, and cast his first vote for President for Andrew Jackson, in 1828. Jackson's opposition to a National Bank made him a whig, and he remained a member of that party till the formation of the republican party, wh en his views on the slavery question made him a republican. He was a supporter of the republican party till his death. He had decided views on political questions, but took no active part in politics as far as holding office was concerned, preferring to d evote his attention to his business affairs He was a member of the church from an early period of his life. On coming to this county he united with the Bethany Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member till his death. For a long number of y ears he filled the position of elder in that church till unable to discharge its duties on account of advancing age. He was a man of sincere religious convictions, and his influence through life was cast on the side of morality and virtue. He had strict t emperance principles, and disliked nothing so much as the habit of using intoxicating liquors as a beverage. He was never known to enter a place where liquor was sold in all his life, and by example and precept endeavored to instill into the minds of his children his own convictions on this subject. He was charitable and benevolent, and was particularly kind toward children so unfortunate as to be left orphans. His house was the home for several. He also acted as guardian for several, and in settling thei r affairs never made any charge against them for food or clothing or his own time or trouble, but only for money actually expended. A poor and ambitious young man anxious to succeed in the world always found him a ready helper. He was always willing to he lp a man who would help himself, but had little sympathy for those who asked aid without being willing to use their own exertions. Many men now in the county owe their success in life to his assistance and indulgence in financial matters. He had strong co nvictions on all subjects. He made up his mind cautiously, and never expressed an opinion till he had fully reached his conclusions. Having once made up his mind he occupied no compromise position, but always took an advanced stand on any question. His de ath was regretted as that of an honorable and useful man and a good citizen. He was a self-made man. He began life under disadvantageous circumstances, and had fewer opportunities than fall to most men. His accumulations were not the result of any large t ransaction or any fortunate business enterprise, but were secured by constant effort and assidious industry. His life should be an example to young men as to what can be accomplished by industry and energy under the most disadvantageous circumstances. He was a man of medium height and dark complexion. His health through life had generally been good,

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and his constitution was originally rugged. He died after a short illness, and his remains now repose in the Bethany grave-yard, near the church of which so many years he was a member.


JOHN B. MITCHELL was born in Maury county, Tennessee, December fifth, 1820. His great-grandfather was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, who emigrated to America, accompanied by two brothers. They settled in Virginia and North Carolina. His grandfather, John Mitchell, was born in Ireland, and was a small boy when he came to America, a short time before the beginning of the Revolutionary war. When the Revolution began John Mitchell was not old enough to enter the army, but toward the close of the struggle entered the Continental army, and did what he could to secure the liberties of the American people. He moved from North Carolina to Maury county, Tennessee, and lived to be about one hundred years old. George Mitchell, father of John B. Mitchell, was bor n in Orange county, North Carolina. His second wife (Mr. Mitchell's mother), was Jane Cathey. He moved to Moultrie county in 1832. He served fourteen years as justice of the peace in Tennessee, and was one of the first court of county commissioners after the organization of Moultrie county. This court convened April tenth, 1843. He died in 1854, upwards of eighty years of age. His wife died about a year previous. John B. Mitchell was about twelve years old when the family moved to Illinois. He obtained th e foundation of his education in Maury county, Tennessee. The country was new, and the schools poor when he came to this state. He was married September twenty-eighth, 1848, to Mary W. Walker, who was born in Christian county, Kentucky, September twenty-f ourth, 1828. Her father, Enoch Walker, moved to Illinois, and settled on Welborn's creek in 1838. After his marriage, Mr. Mitchell moved to his present farm, where he has since been living. He owns two hundred and fifty-six acres of land. He was first a W hig, voted for Henry Clay in 1844, and has been a republican since the dissolution of the whig party. He joined the Bethany Cumberland Presbvterian church, of which he has been a member ever since, when sixteen years of age. He has nine children: Rebecca Jane, now Mrs. Logan Beck; Amanda Elizabeth, wife of Francis Waggoner; Margaret Luticia, who married Samuel McGee, and died when twenty-three years old; Mary Susan, wife of Jonathan C. Daizey; Martha Ann, now Mrs. James Wheeler; George Enoch Mitchell; Eli sha A. Mitchell; Nancy Ellen, who died at the age of eight years, and Sarah Pamelia Rosaline, who died when over three years old. Mr. Mitchell has been a resident of Marrowbone township since November, 1832, and may be considered one of the pioneer citize ns of that part of the county.


E. S. ADAMS, a view of whose farm in Marrowbone township appears on another page, is a Kentuckian by birth. He was born in Oldham county, Kentucky, on the 17th of February, 1834. His ancestors came from North Carolina, and were among the early sett lers of Kentucky. His grandfather, Ephraim Adams, was born in North Carolina, was married in that state, and came to Kentucky soon after Boone made his first settlement. His wife was a Bryant, a sister to the wife of Daniel Boone. Joel Adams, father of th e subject of this sketch, was born in Kentucky in the year 1797, and was raised in that state near the frontier post which Boone and his companions had established. He married Susannah Taylor, daughter of Benjamin Taylor, who was a Virginian, and had been a soldier of the Revolutionary war. She was born in Kentucky. Mr. Adams' mother died in Kentucky in 1840, and his father in 1848. Edward S. Adams was the seventh of a family of nine children. His birthplace was seventeen miles east of Louisville. He was raised in that neighborhood. The schools were all of the subscription order, and afforded inferior advantages, in contrast with those of the present time. Each family had to pay for the education of its own children. Mr. Adams went to school quite regular ly, and secured a good education in the common branches. His father died when he was nearly fourteen, and after that event he was obliged to earn his own living. He found employment on a farm. He first came to Illinois in the year 1852, when nineteen year s old, and remained for a time in Sullivan township, Moultrie county, but in the fall of 1853 returned to Kentucky. In the spring of 1855 he came back to this state. In 1856 he rented a farm three miles north-west of Sullivan, and was farming on rented la nd three years. He was married on the 23d of September, 1858, to Matilda Ann Roney, daughter of John Roney, one of the old settlers at Todd's Point. Mrs. Adams was born and raised at Todd's Point, in Marrowbone township. Since 1859 Mr. Adams has been livi ng on his present farm, which consists of 267 acres. He has five children, John, Alice, Jenettie, William and Edward. He has always been a democrat in politics, and has been an active and, consistent member of that party since 1856, when he cast his first vote for president for James Buchanan. He is known as a man of liberal views and enterprising disposition, and his name deserves a place in this work as one of the representative farmers of Marrowbone township.

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