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From History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Springfield, IL: Continental Historical Co., 1885, pp. 366 – 395. There will be typographical errors.
Daniel McFain came in 1819 and settled about 3 1/2 miles west of Fieldon. McFain’s lake received its name from him. He came from Virginia, but was a Pennsylvania by birth and lived here until his death about the year 1830.
John Gunterman, Sr. came in the spring of 1819 and located on section 5. He was born in New Jersey about 1752 and emigrated to Hardin county, Ky., shortly after the Revolutionary war. There his son John, Jr., who long lived in this township, was born in 1799. In the fall of 1818 the family removed to Madison county, and from there to what is now Jersey county in the following spring, locating on section 5, Richwoods township, where they built a log cabin. John, Sr. died in 1832, his wife having preceded him in death. One of his daughters married Uriah Miller, another early settler of the township. The place where Mr. Gunterman settled is now owned by Jacob Reddish.
John Smith settled on section 8 in 1820 or earlier. In 1823 he removed to Greene county, where he died. He had two daughters, one of whom, Druzilla, married John Gunterman, Jr.
Luther Calvin made a settlement in the vicinity of John Smith during 1820.
Joseph and William Buck, relatives of John Smith, came at the same time as the latter and settled in the northwestern part of the township. They did not remain long on any one piece of land, but were constantly on the move. They both had families. In 1823 they removed to Greene county where they died.
John Medford, a native of England, made a settlement in this township in 1820 on the southwest quarter of section 8, where he resided for many years. He entered this piece of land in Feb. 1821. He came here from Cape Girardeau, Mo. He died in this township in 1825. He was married in Maryland to Mary Dean, by whom he had 12 children: Betsy, Mary, Margaret, James, Gibson, Edmund, Sophia, Robert and Marian. Sophia, now Mrs. Zed. Reddish, is the only one now living.
John Stall settled on section 3 in the fall of 1820 and built a cabin of logs. He intended to make some farming improvements here, but becoming sick and discouraged, he went over on to the banks of the Macoupin, where he engaged in cutting logs and rafting them downstream to St. Louis. The cabin which he vacated, on section 3, was taken possession of by the Ward family in the summer of 1821.
Moses Leeds settled on section 17 in 1820 and entered the land on the 18th of January 1821. He resided here until 1825, when he sold out and removed to the American Bottom.
Abirim McKinney, a native of Virginia, settled on the Illinois river bottom in this township in 1820. He remained there until 1822, when he removed to section 34, where he had entered land, and where he lived until the day of his death in 1840. Mr. McKinney came to Illinois in 1818 and resided in Madison county for two years prior to coming here.
Samuel Gates settled the Watson farm on section 9 about the year 1820. He came from New York, of which state he was a native, his wife being a native of Ohio. In 1827 he removed to Greene county, locating in the vicinity of Bluffdale, where he purchased a farm from a man named Brush. His wife died about the year 1828 and he followed her in the long sleep in 1842.
Jesse Ward settled on section 3 on the 28th day of July 1821. He took for a home a log cabin on section 3, which had been occupied by John Stall. Ward was born in North Carolina in 1769, a son of Michael and Patsey (Terrill) Ward. He was married June 23, 1813 to Cynthis Springston. They were the parents of 20 children, all of whom are dead except Moses, who now lives at Fieldon. He had been before married to Elizabeth McDaniel, and was the father of three children by that marriage, all of whom are dead. His last wife died in 1843. He removed from North Carolina to Spencer county, Ind. at an early day. Then he came to this county in 1821, leaving Spencer county, Ind. on the 14th of July. He lived at his first location on section 3 about one year, then removed over near the Macoupin creek on section 5 of the same township. A year or more after this removal he was compelled to again change his location, by the rising of the waters, to his first location on the bluffs. He stayed there about a year, then rented a mill in Greene county on the Macoupin creek. About a year afterward he removed to Carrollton, where he kept a hotel. In 1826 he settled on the place where Jerome Campbell now resides in this township. In 1829 he removed to Greene county and in 1833 purchased a farm there. He afterward returned to Richwoods township, this county, where he died May 29, 1847.
Moses Ward came with his parents to Richwoods township in 1821. He was born in Spencer county, Ind. March 24, 1814. He has spent most of his life in this township and is now a resident of Fieldon. He was married Nov. 5, 1846 to Nancy Eaton, a widow, and daughter of Thomas Van Meter, born Oct. 14, 1821. They are the parents of five children: Melvina, wife of Benjamin F. Scroggins, of this township; Delilah E., widow of William H. Scroggins; John H., deceased; Luther A., deceased; Sarah J., wife of Edman Cope. Mr. Ward, though advanced in age, is in good health, and has a memory very retentive of early incidents in the county’s history.
Jesse Watson made a settlement in the township in 1822 on the Illinois River bottom. He was a Pennsylvanian by birth, but when he was 13 years of age his parents moved to Virginia. In 1816 Mr. Watson came to Illinois, settling for the time in Wayne county, but in 1822 came to this county. He resided here until January 1838, the date of his death, his wife had preceded him about eight years. Mr. Watson had been a soldier in the war of 1812, and in the Black Hawk war. With him came his son Sebastian, then a child of five years.
Mathew Darr came to this county in 1822, and having entered some land on section 14 of this township, settled there. He remained here only a short time, when he returned to the Illinois River bottom, east of McFain’s Lake. In 1824 he purchased the land owned by John Thornton in English township, where he removed. Here, by industry and good management, he accumulated considerable property. He died while a resident of the county.
Uriah Miller came to this township with his family in 1828 and lived here until he died, about 1838. He had settled in Greene county, in the township adjoining Richwoods, in 1821 with his father, John A. Miller, who died there about 1842.
Among the other old settlers of this part of the township, who came to this county prior to 1830, were Thomas English, James Price, James Welden, Thomas Ferguson, Stephen Evelyn, V. A. Gibbs, Jared Cox, Thomas and James Turner, Jacob Borer, Mason Cockrell and Sanford Beck. The exact date of the coming of many of these is not obtainable.
Others Worthy of Mention
Benjamin Franklin Campbell was born in Richwoods township, Jersey county, on the 20th day of December 1838, his parents being James and Elizabeth (Pace) Campbell. His father, James Campbell, was born in Knox county, Tenn., and was there reared to manhood. About 1828 he came to this state and located finally on section 3 in what is now Richwoods township. He had previously farmed on Jerseyville prairie about a year, for where he moved to the place above mentioned, living there until his death on the 29th of February 1842. He was married in Tennessee to Elizabeth Pace, a native of North Carolina. She died in February 1865 and was buried in the Reddish cemetery, as was Mr. Campbell. They were the parents of twelve children, nine of whom are dead. They are: Mary, William, Nancy, Emeline, Nathan, James, James Elihu, John Wilson, Phelinda Jane, and Perry Oliver. Those living are: Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Ann, and Benjamin Franklin, the subject of this sketch. Mr. B. F. Campbell was married Sept. 22, 1863 to Sarah Jane Bacon, a native of Missouri, and daughter of John Bacon. They are the parents of eight children, six of whom are living: Charles Edward, Nettie Elizabeth, Levi, Hester, Lawrence and Dorson. Those deceased are: Sophronia, died Oct. 26, 1875, aged 1 1/2 years; Oscar, died Sept. 20, 1871, aged nearly three years. Mr. Campbell has 50 acres of land on sections 3 and 4. He has been commissioner of highways for three years, and is now school director in his district. He has been identified with the township and county for nearly half a century and is one of its most respected citizens.
Thomas Jefferson Campbell, a wealthy and enterprising member of this community, was born on the 3rd day of April 1833 in what is now Richwoods township, Jersey county, it then being included in Greene county. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Pace) Campbell, his father a native of Rowan county, N.C. and his mother of Tennessee, being born near Murfreesborough. His father was married to Elizabeth Pace in Tennessee and they moved to South Carolina. In the year 1830 they came to Illinois, and first located at Dyers, Jersey county, in what is now English township. The first land they purchased was 200 acres on section 34. On the 29th of Jan. 1843 his father died. His mother died in the year 1863. Thomas worked on this father’s farm until he was 21 years of age, when he bought 130 acres of land on sections 5, 8, and 13, where he farmed and speculated together, buying and selling stock. He was thus engaged for about four years when he went to Pike’s Peak, Idaho, but so many were returning from that territory that he concluded to turn back. This he did and came to Jersey county, where he bought 80 acres of land on the same sections named before. He was married on the 8th of Nov. 1859 to Drusilla Knott, daughter of Samuel B. and Susan Knott, natives of Ohio. Mr. Campbell has been twice married, his present wife being Louisa Ann (Parker) Dunham. Both are members of the Christian church. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. of Fieldon, and was school director for a number of years. Mr. Campbell has, by his enterprise, accumulated a vast amount of property. He now owns 1,200 acres of land, 350 acres of which lies in the southwest corner of Greene county, and is all well improved. He is one of the most enterprising citizens of Richwood township, and is much respected by all.
Jerome Campbell was born on the 9th of Dec. 1861 in Richwoods township on section 3. He is the son of James E. and Elizabeth (Milton) Campbell. His father was born on the 21st of Dec. 1828 in Rowan county, N.C. He came to this state with his parents when small and settled on the place now owned by Jerome. He died Feb. 26, 1864. Elizabeth was born in Tennessee, July 18, 1836, now 49 years old, and resides in Jerseyville. Jerome was raised on a farm until he was 17 years of age. He then entered Jerseyville high school which he attended for three years. In 1881 he learned the butcher’s trade in Jerseyville, which business he followed for two years, except during the winter months, which he spent in attending school. In 1883 he returned to the farm, where his time has been since occupied. Mr. Campbell now owns a farm of 320 acres of good land, most of which is under cultivation, and all of it well fenced and in good condition. During the present year, 1885, he was elected assessor of this township. Mr. Campbell is an enterprising citizen of his township, and is well liked by all who know him.
Benjamin Dunham was born in Berkeley county, Va. on the 30th day of Oct. 1822. He is the son of David and Catherine (Burkhammer) Dunham. His father was born and raised in the state of Virginia, his mother was a native of Pennsylvania. Benjamin was the youngest of a family of 10 children. When he was four years of age his parents moved to Hamilton county, Ohio, locating about 18 miles from Cincinnati. After they had lived there about eight years, his father died. They lived in Ohio 10 years, then came by wagon to Illinois, in the month of October 1836, and located in Macoupin county, northeast of Greenfield. While living there his oldest brother, Samuel, who had consumption, died during that winter. Benjamin and his mother remained in that county one year, and then moved to English township, Jersey county, and raised on crop on the farm now owned by John Garrel. From here, Benjamin and his mother moved in with his next older brother, Amos Dunham, and lived with him until Benjamin purchased 40 acres of land from Mr. Eastwood, about 1844, where his present residence now is. Benjamin’s mother lived here with him until her death in 1853. She is buried in what is called Armstrong cemetery, in English township. Benjamin was married on the 30th of Oct. in 1850 to Ann Eliza Reddish, born Jan. 10 1831 in what is now Jersey county. She is the daughter of Stephen and Sallied Reddish. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham have been the parents of 14 children, 11 whom are living: Henry C., born Aug. 30, 1851; John, born May 8, 1853, died March 18, 1873; Walker, born Aug. 2, 1854; Juliette, born Feb. 28, 1856; Virginia Ann, born April 22, 1857, died June 24, 1869; Stephen A. Dougles, born June 11, 1858; Emmer, born Dec. 3, 1859; Lloyd, born March 30, 1861; an unnamed infant born Sept. 25, 1862, died Mary 3, 1863; Benjamin F., born Jan. 20, 1864; Charles H., born Feb. 6, 1866; Oscar, born Oct. 16, 1867; Oliver P., born Nov. 18, 1869; Hattie Belle, born Sept. 8, 1871. Mr. Dunham’s farm at first contained 40 acres, but he has added to this until it now contains 213 acres, and on this he built a new residence in 1884. He raises stock, as well as grain. The extent of improvements on his and neighboring farms may be seen by comparing the present condition with what it was when he first located there. It was then a wild country, with deer and wild game to be found in abundance. He has seen as many as 15 deer at one time, and has killed numbers of them. The last one killed in this neighborhood was shot by him, it being in among the sheep. He has also killed great numbers of wild turkeys and other choice species of game, which were then more plentiful than the most common kinds now are. It is difficult to imagine the changes that have taken place in that time, but Mr. Dunham, in the half-century that he has spent here, has witnessed its transformation from a wilderness to a continued series of cultivated fields and the homes of hundreds. In those early days, like other pioneers, he had to haul his grain to a mill and grind it himself, with his own team.
Elisha Green, deceased, was born in Pennsylvania on Feb. 22 1802. He came to Illinois in 1834, first locating in Woodford county. In the year 1853, on July 3, he was married to Hester Ann Shaw, and he located on her farm of 120 acres. He came to Jersey county in 1854, locating on section 20. On the 13th day of March 1878, Mr. Green died, leaving a widow and seven children to mourn his loss. The children are: Eveline, married to Henry Arkebauer, now living in Texas; Nancy, married to Philip Snell, now living in Scott county, Ill.; Ellen, wife of James Wedding, now living in Rosedale township; Jennie, wife of Henry East, living in Texas; Kate, Perry and Laura, wife of John East, living in Jersey county. Mrs. Green owns 80 acres of land where she resides, most of which is under cultivation.
William Briggs was born April 2, 1839 in township 9, Lincoln precinct, Greene county, Illinois. His parents were Asa B. and Phelinda (Nott) Briggs. His father was a native of New York, and his mother of Ohio. They were married in Muskingum county, Ohio, where they lived a number a years before coming to Illinois. William was the 15th in a family of 16 children. When he had reached the age of five years his parents moved from Greene county to St. Louis, where they lived until their death, his father dying in 1849, his mother in 1852. At the age of 10 years, William left home and went to Morgan county, where he engaged in farming with an older brother, Tiffin Briggs, until 1855, when he came to Jersey county and located on section 3, Richwoods township, where he now resides on a farm of 90 acres. He was among the earliest ones to enlist in the service of his country, under the union banners, at the breaking out of the civil war. A company was formed composed of men from Greene, Jersey and Calhoun counties, but their services were not accepted by the government, as it was thought that no more assistance would be needed. They were determined to enter the service, and enlisted as a body in the 6th Missouri regiment, under Col. Bland at St. Louis. They began service in Missouri and their first fighting was done at Pilot Knob. From there they went up the Missouri river to Jefferson City, then to Tipton, and were in the famous forced march of Gen. Fremont from Tipton to Springfield. After finishing service there, they went to Shiloh, then to Corinth, which they captured. From there they went to Memphis, Tennessee, then the Chickasaw Bayou, where the regiment lost 85 men in 10 minutes; then to Arkansas Post, and then settled down to the siege of Vicksburg, where out subject assisted in making the famous canal, while in charge of a fatigue squad. He was in the whole siege there and participated in the capture of the city. He was left in charge of the sick of his regiment for awhile and joined it later at Camp Sherman on Black river. They came up the river to Memphis and marched to Chattanooga, where they participated in the celebrated crossing of the river on pontoons, then went to Knoxville to relieve General Burnside. They wintered at Bridgeport, Alabama, and in the spring of 1864, Mr. Briggs re-enlisted and came home on a veteran furlough. After 60 days he joined Sherman at Dalton, Georgia, and from that point was with him on his world-renowned march to the sea, participating in all the engagements. His regiment went with Sherman up through the Carolinas to Washington, and participated in the last grand review of Sherman’s army at the National Capitol. His regiment then went to Louisville, Ky., then to Little Rock, Ark., where they were discharged, and afterwards they were mustered out at St. Louis, only 30 men left out of the 110 who enlisted. Mr. Briggs was 1st lieutenant of Co. E, 6th regiment of Missouri when mustered out. He had been orderly sergeant from the end of his first year’s service until the time of his promotion. At the close of the war he came home, and in 1867 was married to Emily Dunham, daughter of Amos and Mary (Barr) Dunham. Mr. and Mrs. Briggs have five children: Tiffin, Cora, Jerome, Jefferson and Alma.
James M. Walsh was born in Calhoun county, Ill. on the 15th day of December 1858. He is the son of James and Mary Ann (Smith) Walsh. His father is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and is at present living at Fieldon. His mother was born in Calhoun county. She died on the 3rd day of October 1868 and was buried at the McDonald graveyard in Calhoun county. When James M. was about six years old, he came with his parents to what is now called Rosedale township. Several years of his youth were spent there, and in May 1870 he went with his father and one brother to Buffalo, N.Y., and resided there about four years. While there he partially learned the machinist’s tade, but in 1874 he came back to this state, and he has resided in Richwoods township, Jersey county, ever since that time. He was married on the 6th day of March 1883 to Louie Reddish, daughter of John and Mary Reddish. They have one child, Gertie. There are 160 acres in the farm, of which our subject is the manager, and proves to be a vary efficient one.
William Baum was born in the village of Destel, Minden province, Prussia in 1832. He came to America when a young man of 20, first locating at St. Louis. In the spring of 1857, he was married to Annie M. Knost, and in 1860 they moved to the Illinois bottom and began farming. He llived here a short while, when becoming dissatisfied with that part of Illinois, he moved with his wife and two children to Jersey county in the fall of 1861. Here he began the laborious task of making a home for himself under the bluffs, four miles west of Fieldon. He bought 80 acres of land, and built a log cabin on it, clearing and tilling the soil with one yoke of oxen. In the winter of 1870 his wife died, leaving him with a family of five children, the youngest being but three years old. In the year 1871 Mr. Baum was again united in marriage to Elizabeth Osthnes of St. Louis, who survives him. She is the daughter of Frank and Katie (Gollembach) Osthnes. On the 23rd of Nov. 1884 William Baum died at his residence, four miles west of Fieldon, being in the 52 years of age. He left a wife and four children: William, Louis, Fred and Lizzie, all living at home, to mourn the loss of a kind husband and loving father. Mr. Baum was a faithful, energetic man, and by industry, honesty and economy had added acre by acre, until at the time of his death he was the owner of 540 acres of land, and a large and commodious residence had taken the place of the log cabin, and everything around showed happiness and prosperity. No one could be more accommodating or hospitable to his friends than he, and the genial and familiar face of “Billy” Baum, as he was called, has been sadly missed by friends and neighbors.
William Butt, a native of Prussia, was born on the 29th day of Jan. in 1834. His parents were Frank and Mary Maria Butt, natives of Germany. William was reared on a farm in his native country, working around until he was 20 years of age. In 1853 he decided to leave his fatherland, and after bidding farewell to friends, to passage on a vessel bound for this country. He landed at Galveston, Tex., where he remained a short time, then came to New Orleans, and then to St. Louis, where he worked on a railroad about three months. In the spring of 1857 he came to Jersey county, Ill., locating on Otter creek, where he lived four years. On the 14th of Aug. 1862 he enlisted in Co. C., 122nd Ill. Inf. He was in all the principal battles in which that regiment engaged. He was wounded at Nashville, Tenn. on the 16th of Dec. 1864, and was taken to the Nashville hospital, and from there to Jeffersonville, Ind., where he lay an invalid about three months. He was mustered out on the 20th of Aug. 1865, and returned home. On the 28th of Jan. 1866, he was married to Lizzie Nappert, daughter of Caspar and Margaret Nappert. Two children were born to them, Emma M. and William A. Mr. Butt has been married twice, the second time to Selma Berger, daughter of August Berger. By this union they have three children: Paul, Emilie F. and Olga M. In 1877 Mr. Butt purchased 40 acres of land in Rosedale township on section 1, and afterwards added 40 more to it. He now owns 160 acres, having bought 80 acres in Richwood township, section 36, on which he resides. Mr. Butt belongs to the G.A.R. of Kane. He is well respected by all his neighbors.
Nicholas Heiderscheid was born in the province of Folschet, Luxemburg, on the 21st day of Dec. 1836, his parents being John and Katherine (Weber) Heiderscheid. His father died in 1845, his mother in 1857, two years after her son’s departure from home. Nicholas spent nearly 20 years of his early life in his native country, working mostly on a farm, and about six months at the shoemaker’s trade. In 1855 he bade farewell to friends and relatives in the old country, and taking passage on a sailing vessel at Antwerp, was soon on his way to the New World. After an ocean voyage of 40 days, he arrived at New York, and after remaining there one day he set out for Chicago. On arriving there he remained six months, farming in the vicinity of that city. From there he went to Calhoun county, where he engaged in farming for about three years, then came to Greene county, where he remained one year, and finally came to Jersey county, locating in Richwoods township, where he has since remained. In 1876 he bought 40 acres on section 15, and the next year bought 40 more on section 16. He was married on the 24th of Aug. in 1862 to Laura Thurston, a native of Calhoun county, daughter of James and Annie (Collard) Thurston. Her father died in the spring of 1851. Her mother now lives two miles east of Jerseyville. Mr. and Mrs. Heiderscheid are the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living: Henry, Ida A., John, Carrie, Mary Jane, Clarence, and Jessie Victor, an infant. Elizabeth died Aug. 1, 1878, age 13 years; Nicholas, and infant, died Dec. 28, 1877. Mr. Heiderscheid is a member of the Catholic church, in which religion he was raised from infancy.
James Cannon, a native of Ohio, was born on the 13th of March 1820. His parents were Richard and Nancy (Thompson) Cannon, his father a native of Maryland, his mother of Pennsylvania. James was reared on a farm, working for his father until he was 26 years of age. He came to this state with his parents in the fall of 1831, they locating in Peoria county. He lived in that county until the year 1848, when he came to Jersey county, and purchased some small pieces of land on section 4, which he cultivated until the year 1863, when he sold out that land, and moved on another place that he had bought. On Nov. 20, 1845 he was married to Mary F. Pratt, daughter of John and Rebecca (Woodrard) Pratt. One child was born to them, Lucinda, who married William Halsey and lives in Clinton, Ia. Mrs. Cannon died in 1872 and was buried at Lacon, Marshall county, Ill. Mr. Cannon has held several different offices in this township, and is an old and well respected citizen of this community.
William Krueger, a wealthy farmer in this township, was born in Prussia on the 12th of June 1833. His parents were Charles and Mary (Owens) Krueger. His father died in Germany in 1845, at the age of about 51 years. His mother came to this country about four years after her son, William, came. She lived near Chicago about two years with her son Charles. He then moved to Minnesota, and she went with him, and resided there until her death in the spring of 1871, at age 80 years. In the year 1854, our subject took passage in a vessel bound for Canada, and after a voyage of four weeks, he landed at Quebec. He remained there three days, then went to Montreal, where he worked on the canal for about a month, then went on to Chicago, where he went to work for the Illinois Central railroad company, about 15 miles from the city. He worked there seven weeks, and then went to making plank fence along the railroad near Kankakee, where he worked a couple of months. He then went to work on the canal again during the summer, about 22 miles from Chicago, and in the winter he chopped wood. He was thus employed for nearly four years, and then came down to Grafton, with a yoke of cattle, and commenced farming and hauling cord wood. He remained there over five years, and then came to Richwoods township, where he had bought land about a month before that. He located on 200 acres which he had bought on sections 14 and 15, his house being on section 14, and on this place he still lives. He has added to this until now he has a splendid farm of 770 acres. His time is devoted not only to the raising of grain, but also to stock-raising, in which he is very successful. He was married in Chicago, on the 20th of June 1857 to Dora Praell, a native of Mechlenburg, Germany. Nine children were born to them, six of whom are now living: George; Charles, married to Lizzie Krouse, and living in Richwoods township; William, Henry, Louis and Matilda; Emma died at the age of one and a half years, the other two died in infancy. Mr. Kreuger and wife are both members of the Lutheran church at Fieldon. He has held the office of road commissioner three years, and that of school director several terms. Mr. Kreuger has been very successful since coming to this country, and by his industry has succeeded in placing his family in a most comfortable situation.
Allen W. Milem was born in Lee county, Va., on the 29th of July 1846, his parents being William W. and Barbara (Warren) Milem, natives of Virginia. They lived on a farm there, and when Allen was quite young, they moved to Indiana, locating near Coatsville, where they farmed about four years. They then bought property in the village of Coatsville, and moved there. When Allen was 18 years of age, he came to Jersey county, Ill., where he worked on a farm near Elsah about two years. His parents then moved to this state, near Jerseyville, and he went to live with them, working part of the time for his father and part of the time for himself. In 1876 he located on section 20, Richwoods township, where he rented a place, and farmed for awhile. In the fall of 1884 he purchased 40 acres of land on section 20. It is well cultivated, and everything is in good condition. In 1868 he married Mary Cope, daughter of George and Lucinda Cope. They have five children: Laura M., Charles H., William, Carrie A., and Albert M. Mrs. Milem is a member of the Christian church. Mr. Milem is a member of Fieldon lodge No. 592, A. F. & A. M. He is at present holding the office of school director. He is an industrious and enterprising man, and is one of the township’s most respected citizens.
George Krueger was born near Grafton, Jersey county, Ill. on the 19th day of Feb. 1860. He is a son of William and Dora (Prill) Krueger, natives of the old country, and a sketch of whom will be found in the history of this township. When George was four years of age his parents moved to Richwoods township, where they located and purchased land in 1864. He received his education in the country schools of this township, and has employed his time in the occupation of farming from the time he was able to follow a plow, up to the present time.
Mathias Metzdorf, a native of Prussia, was born on the 23rd day of Nov. 1826. His parents were Anthony and Mary (Burgch) Metzdorf, both natives of Prussia. Mathias remained with his father, with whom he farmed, until he was 26 years old. In 1854, after bidding farewell to home and friends, he took passage at Antwerp on a vessel bound for America. In due time he landed at New York, and from there came to Chicago, where he remained a few days and then went to the state of Michigan, where he worked in the pineries about three years. From there he came to Alton, and then went to Grafton, where he stayed three years working at first one thing and then another. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. D., 24th Ill. Inf. and served three years. He was then employed by the government about six months, drawing pay at St. Louis. From that city he came to Jersey county, where he bought 120 acres of land, which he now owns. In 1868 he was married to Sophia Baekhouse, daughter of William Baekhouse, Sr. To this union six children were born: George, born May 23, 1869, died Nov. 23, 1871; Anton, born Nov. 9, 1871; Anna, born Jan. 23, 1873, died June 23, 1876; Caroline, born Jan. 11, 1876; Kate, born April 8, 1879; and Prudy, born June 15, 1882. Mr. Metzdorf is among the well-respected citizens of this township.
Frank Kallal, Sr. was born in Austria in Aug. 1814. Nearly 40 years of his life were spent in his native country, and he there learned the shoemaker’s trade. In 1853 he came to America, sailing in a vessel bound for New Orleans. On arriving at that city he came up the river to St. Louis, where he worked at his trade until coming to Jersey county, in March 1856. He located on section 23 in Richwoods township, where he engaged in farming. While living in Austria in 1842, he was married to Frances Kasemor, a native of Austria. They were the parents of 10 children, seven of whom are living: Joseph, married to Mary Jillich, living in English township; Frances, wife of Michael Parkos, living in Valley county, Neb.; Mary, wife of Joseph Horst, living in St. Louis; Annie, wife of John Duban, living in Valley county, Neb.; Frank, who lives here and attends to the management of the farm; Louisa, wife of Benjamin Beover, residing in St. Louis; John C., living with his mother in St. Louis. Frances, a daughter, died in Austria when but a child. Katie and Lizzie died at the residence in this township. Mr. Kallal lived on his farm here until the time of his death, which occurred on the 26th day of Nov. 1860. He was buried at the Catholic cemetery in English township. The family are all members of the Catholic church. After Mr. Kallal’s death his widow thought to retire from farm life, and in May 1880 moved to St. Louis, where she now resides with her son John. Frank Kallal, Jr. was born on the 4th day of Nov. 1858, on the place where his parents located when coming to this county. He received his education partly in the district schools here, and partly at St. John’s Bohemian school in St. Louis. He now lives here and has the management of the family property, including the farm of 320 acres in Richwoods township.
George Ottenhausen has been a resident of Jersey county since 1874, having moved here from St. Louis at that date and located near Fieldon in Richwoods township, where he now lives. Mr. Ottenhausen was born in Germany on the 10th of Sept. 1830. In his youth he learned the miller’s trade, which he followed in the old country until 1860. In that year he came to the United States, setting sail at Hamburg and landing in New Orleans. He then went to St. Louis, residing in that city 14 years, at the expiration of which he came to this county. He was married in 1860 to Augusta Bochman, daughter of Henry Bochman. Eight children have been born to them, three of whom are now living, Julia, Augusta and Lizzie.
John L. Lofton was born on the 17th day of May 1826 in Gallatin county, Ill. He is the son of John W. and Mary (Baldwin) Lofton. His father was a native of Georgia, his mother of Kentucky. His father died on the 15th day of Jan. 1877, and his mother on the 9th day of Aug. 1870. John L. was raised on a farm, where he worked for his father until 21 years of age. He then worked around from place to place for about four years. In 1852 he went to Volcano, Cal., where he worked in the gold mines another four years. He then returned home and stayed with his father until about 1860. On the 1st day of April 1866 he was married to Mary Jane (Bentley) Bivens. He and his wife then went to Lynn county, Kan., where they resided three years, and then moved to Crawford county in the same state and remained there five years, his wife dying there on the 30th of Oct. 1874. He then returned home and stayed with his father until the latter’s death in 1877. Mr. Lofton is the father of five children: Elizabeth, Emily, Charles W. and John T. (twins), and Mary Jane. His wife’s children by her first husband are: Lucy Ann and Henrietta. Mr. Lofton owns 40 acres of land on section 36, Richwoods township, and is an old and respected citizen. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and a member of the M.E. church.
Mathias D. Fondel was born in Prussia on the 8th day of September 1823, his parents being Frank and Margaret (Schmatz) Fondel, natives of Prussia, where both have since died. Mathias was reared there to farm life. At the age of 30, he made up his mind to leave his native country, so he bade farewell to relatives and friends, and taking passage at Antwerp, was soon on his way to the New World, and arrived at the port of New Orleans after an ocean voyage of eight weeks. He stayed in that city and vicinity for about two months, then took a boat for St. Louis, where he remained several weeks, and then came up to Edwardsville, Madison county, Ill., betwenn which point and St. Louis he was engaged in teaming for four months. He then came to Jersey county and located on Coon creek, remaining there three years, when he bought 40 acres on section 15, and commenced farming for himself. Since that time he has added 40 acres to his farm. Mr. Fondel was married in this county in December 1863 to Maria Wilson, widow of William Wilson, and daughter of Noah and Lucinda Willis. She was born in Lincoln county, Mo., where her father died April 16, 1858, and where her mother still resides. By this marriage there are four children: Margaret; Lucy Ann, wife of John Shaw, who lives in this township; Mary and Elizabeth. Mrs. Fondel was the mother of one child by her first marriage, Emily Jane, wife of Joseph Welch, who lives in Lincoln county, Mo. Mr. Fondel is a member of the Catholic church, while his wife and her daughter Mary are members of the Christian church.
Edman Cope was born in Jersey county, Ill. on the 25th day of Nov. 1846. His parents were Joseph and Martha (Bullard) Cope, his father being a native of Ohio, his mother a native of Kentucky. Joseph died on the 9th day of March 1874, Martha died on the 28th day of June 1862. Edman was raised on a farm and the first place he located was on the old Patterson farm. In 1873 he came to Richwoods township and located on section 36, where he has since resided. On the 29th of May 1876 he was married to Sarah Ward, daughter of Moses and Nancy (Eaton) Ward. A family of five children have been born to them: Arwilda, Gracie, Martha, Jerry and Mardie.William Hinson was born in Jersey county, Ill. on the 25th of Oct. 1838. His parents were Joel and Millie (Chillis) Hinson, both being natives of Virginia. William was raised on a farm, his father being a farmer, and with him he worked until he was 30. Mr. Hinson has been twice married, his first wife having been Laura Landdom. In 1869 he was married to Catherine Falkner, daughter of Joseph and Jane Falkner. Two children were born to this union, Jackson and Nellie. In 1873 Mr. Hinson purchased 40 acres of land in Richwoods township on section 21, and started farming for himself, where he has since continued, an industrious and respected citizen.
James Allen Spencer was born on the 30th day of January 1834 in what was then Greene county, but is now Jersey county. He was the son of Reuben and Mary (Lofton) Spencer, both deceased. His father was a native of Virginia and died here in the fall of 1844. His mother was a native of Kentucky, she died here, also, in the summer of 1851. James was the fifth in a family of eight children. He lived with his parents on a farm until their death, after which he worked around at one place and another until 1855, when he and his brother-in-law bought 80 acres of land together on section 25. About one year later he sold out there and bought 40 acres on section 14 and moved to that place. On the 5th day of April 1855 he was united in marriage with Sarah Rowden, daughter of William and Mary (Pruitt) Rowden. They are the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living: Mary, wife of George Seago, now living in English township; Ellen, wife of William Beaman, living in Kansas; William; Frank and Kate, twins; Lucy and Nellie, twins. Those dead are Jeanette and Mariette. Mr. Spencer participated in the civil war, having enlisted in Co. C., 122nd Ill. Inf. He served three years, going through several hard battles. He was mustered out in the month of June 1865 at Mobile, Ala.
L. W. Calame is a native of Switzerland, and was born on the 1st day of Dec. 1835, his parents being Lewis F. and Eliza (Parel) Calame. They are natives of Switzerland, and are now living near Alton, Madison county, Ill. When our subject was 10 years of age he came with his parents to the country, where they located as above stated. His father was a watchmaker, and under him he learned the jewelry business, and stayed with his father until he was 21. On starting to this country in 1848, they sailed from Havre de Grace and landed at New Orleans, from where they came up the Mississippi to Alton. In 1861 Mr. Calame enlisted in Co. D. of the 27th Ill. Inf. The first battle he engaged in was at Belmont, and he was then in all the principal battles during the service. He was mustered out at Springfield, Ill., Sept. 1864. He then went home to Alton, where he remained one year. While in the army he was wounded by a fragment of a shell at Farmington, Miss., and is now drawing a pension. On the 25th of Dec. 1866 he was united in marriage to Sarah Cole, daughter of William and Lydia (Wiseman) Cole. They are the parents of seven children: Lydia E., Lizzie, William F., Nora, Charles E., Arthur B., and Elmer. Mr. Calame came to Richwoods township in 1867, and purchased 40 acres of land on section 27, where he has since resided.
Isaac M. Moore was born on the 2nd of Feb 1842, near Waverly, Pike county, O., his parents being Newton S. and Elizabeth (Brown) Moore. Both were natives of Ohio. His mother died there in 1877, his father in 1883, in the same state. Isaac M. was raised on his native place, and worked his father’s farm up to the time he came to this state. He left Ohio in the year 1876, and came to Jersey county, where he bought 320 acres of land on section 8, on which he located. Mr. Moore has so prospered that he has been able to increase his farm until it now contains 460 acres, one-half of which is under cultivation, the balance being in timber. Mr. Moore is one of Richwoods township’s most enterprising citizens, and by his industry and integrity has been thus far successful in life.
Herman Groppel, a native of Prussia, was born on the 13th day of April 1827. He is the son of Herman and Charlotta (Speckman) Groppel. In fall of 1840 his father died, and his mother four years later. Herman was the third in a family of seven children, consisting of three boys and four girls. He spent his youth on a farm in his native country. He served in the Prussian army one year, and then returned to farm life. In 1853 Herman took passage on a vessel bound from Bremen to New Orleans, where he arrived after a voyage of nine weeks. From there he came up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, staying there until May of the following year, when he went up the Missouri river to Lexington and engaged in farming for two years. From there he came to Jersey county, Ill. and bought 40 aces of land on section 22 in Richwoods township, on which he moved. On the 10th of April 1858 he was married to Augusta Rudolph, a native of Prussia, and daughter of Daniel and Francisca (Lohmueller) Rudolph. Seven children were born to them: Fred, married to Lena Arbogast, living near Otterville; Edward, married to Lena Egelhoff, also living near Otterville; Lena, Henry, Willie, Theodore and Louis. Mr. Groppel and family are members of the Lutheran church. He has been an industrious and energetic worker, and hence has been able to increase his original farm of 40 acres to 160 acres at his home place in Richwoods township, and 143 1/2 acres near Otterville, where his sons reside.
James Dunbar was born in Perry county, Mo., on the 18th of March 1842. His parents were John and Nancy (Porter) Dunbar, his father a native of North Carolina, his mother a native of Kentucky. His father died in 1852. James remained at home until his father’s death, when he was put out to work for a man named William Ringenton, but was treated so cruelly that he ran away from him and came to Randolph county, Ill., where he worked for a man named James Guinn for about eight years. When he arrived at the age of 18 he volunteered in the 10th Ill. Inf. He was mustered in at Cairo, in Co. I. and his regiment moved to Fort Pillow. From there they were ordered to draw off and reinforce Grant at the battle of Shiloh. James was in the siege of Corinth, skirmishing about six months. On the 9th of Oct. 1865 he was mustered out, when he went to St. Charles county, where he remained until 1870. He then went to Callaway county, Mo., remaining there until 1878, when he came to Jersey county and located on section 20, where he owns a farm of 80 acres. On the 24th of Feb. 1879, Mr. Dunbar was united in marriage to Martha Jane Thompson, daughter of Wm. and Martha J. Thompson. Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar are the parents of two children, only one of whom is living, George W. The one deceased was named John W. Mr. Dunbar and wife are members of the Christian church.
William F. H. Gerson was born near Tribine, Germany, on the 10th of July 1842, his parents being Fred and Charlotte (Miller) Gerson, natives of Germany. His father died on the 28th of March 1882. His mother is still living and resides on section 33, Richwoods township. In 1868 William left Germany, taking passage at Hamburg and sailed for New York, where he landed after about a two weeks’ voyage. From there he came to Chicago, where he remained two years, working on the Chicago and Vincennes railroad. He then went to Danville, Ind. and worked for three months, going from there to Montgomery county, in the same state, where he stayed about six months. He then went to the state of Missouri, and after being there a year, returned to Illinois, locating in Jersey county, where he now owns 80 acres of land on section 28. On the 6th of March 1879 he was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Luft, daughter of John Luft, a native of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Gerson are both members of the German Lutheran church.
Carl Prill was born in Prussia on the 26th of November 1843. He is the son of John and Dora (Dormand) Prill, both natives of Germany. Carl stayed at home with his parents until he was 16 years of age, or until the death of his father, which occurred in the year 1860. He then went to work out by the month, which he continued doing until he was 26 years of age. In Oct. 1869 he decided to leave his fatherland, and bidding farewell to home and friends, took passage at Hamburg on the steamer ‘Alamanar,’ bound for New York. He landed there and immediately started west by railroad, traveling until he reached Illinois, when he came to Jerseyville, reaching there on the 7th of Nov. 1869. He worked by the month for about five years, and then rented a farm of 120 acres and went into farming for himself. Feb. 28, 1875 he was married to Caroline Coel. They are the parents of five children: Mary, Lizzie, Emma, Caroline and Eda. Mr. Prill and wife are members of the German Lutheran church at Fieldon. He is an intelligent and industrious farmer, and consequently a successful one.
John H. Sapp was born on the 10th of May 1857 in Richwoods township, Jersey county, Ill. He is the son of James and Mary (Smothers) Sapp, who are natives of Bullitt county, Ky. They emigrated to this part of the country in 1850. When quite a small boy, John H. started out in the world to do for himself, and hired to Mr. Clark with whom he stayed about two years. He got tired of that place, and taking a notion to leave, ran off from Mr. Clark’s, and went to Carrollton, where he went to work for a living, staying about a year. He is now living on section 35 in this township. On the 19th of Feb. 1880, Mr. Sapp was married to Mary Burch, a native of this county, and daughter of George and Jane (Haruel) Burch. Two children have been born to them, only one of whom is now living, James Henry. The one that died was named Fillmore.
George W. Edwards was born in Jerseyville, Jersey county, on the 25th of May, 1861. He is a son of William B. and Mary E. (Allen) Edwards. His father was born in the state of New Jersey, and his mother in New York. George W. was the eighth in a family of 13 children. When he was three years of age his parents moved to Richwoods township and located on section 35, where the family has since resided. George has followed the occupation of farming ever since he was large enough to follow the plow. His education, which was very limited, was received in the schools of his district. On the 21st of Sept. 1881, he was united in marriage with Annie Deuening, the daughter of Fred and Mary (Thurston) Deuening. She was born in Calhoun county, but came with her parents to this county when an infant. Two children have been born to this union. They are George P. and Lloyd Augustus.
Henry Wieghard was born in the kingdom of Hanover, now in the empire of Germany, on the 28th of Jan. 1823. He was reared in Brunswick, learning at first the brewer’s trade, and afterwards conducting a wholesale manufacturing business, for another party, for about seven years. His father died when he was about 8 years old, and his mother the year following. About two years before Mr. Wieghard came to America, the partner of the gentleman by whom he was employed had come to this country, and had been persuading him to come also. Accordingly, in 1851, he took passage in a sailing bessel, and after a voyage of nine weeks, which was the time then required to cross the ocean, he landed at New Orleans. The water in the Mississippi river was then very low, so he had to stay there until the following spring before he could come up to St. Louis. He went from there to Marinetown, where his friend was staying, and after remaining there a little over a year, he went to Edwardsville, where he engaged in farming for two years. He then came to Fieldon, Jersey county, in the fall of 1856, remained there nearly three years, and then bought 80 acres of land on section 23, Richwoods township, on which he moved. By enterprise and good management, he has been able to add to it from time to time, so that now he has a farm of 320 acres. He was married in Edwardsville, on the 25th of July 1853 to Margaret Kroeder, a native of Germany. They have had six children, five of whom are now living: J. K., married Charlotte Siemers, lives in Fieldon; William, married Emma Meyer, April 17, 1881, lives on his father’s place; Henry, Jr., Albert and Otilda, at home. Edward died Dec. 25, 1883, aged 21 years. He was a very intelligent, bright boy, and his loss was keenly felt by his parents. He was self-educated to quite a high degree. Mr. and Mrs. Wieghard are members of the Lutheran church. He has held the office of school director several terms. The farm and its surroundings show him to be an industrious, thoughtful farmer, who has by so being, succeeded well.
Thomas Johnson was born in the 24th of July 1847 in Richwoods township, Jersey county, Ill. His parents were John and Sarah Johnson. His father was a native of Kentucky, but moved from that state to Missouri, where he was married. Thomas was the third in a family of eight children. When he was two years old, the moved to Wright county, Mo., and lived there two years. They then moved to Richwoods township, this county, where our subject has since resided and where his father died Jan. 14, 1871. His mother died there also in the month of Nov. 1869. Thomas was married July 25, 1869 to Sarah Cannon. She died in March 1873. He was again married, March 18, 1879 to Levica Callahan, daughter of George and Harriet Callahan. Two children have been born to them, George Henry and Hattie Jane. Mr. Johnson is a resident of section 28, and has been identified with this county for over a third of a century. He is now holding the office of school director.
John Fulks, a prosperous farmer of this township, was born in Rutherford county, Tenn., on the 10th of July 1810. He is a son of Samuel and Levia (Tennyson) Fulks, who lived in Tennessee up to the time of their death. Our subject spent all of his youth in that state, but in 1839 he left there and came to Illinois, locating in Greene county near White Hall. He remained there six years and then moved to the place where he now resides, in Richwoods township, Jersey county. While living in Tennessee, in 1831, he was married to Zona Pace. She died at his residence in this county. Four of the children that were born to this union are now living: Marth, married William Pritchard, now living in Kansas; Elihu Samuel, married Laura Harvel, (now dead), resides in Greene county; Eliza, married William Edwards, and lives in Richwoods township; Lizzie, married Joseph Clark, and resides at Carrollton; Zerilda, who married William Davis, died in 1884. On the 8th of Jan. 1873, Mr. Fulks was again married to Lydia Cole, widow of William Cole, and daughter of William and Charity Wiseman. He has 240 acres of land and it is among the finest on Macoupin creek. It is very choice rolling and undulating land, there being none better for raising wheat, to be found in the state. It is all of the best quality for either wheat or corn, or for stock range. About 150 acres is under cultivation and about 40 more can be easily cleared. It is well drained by small branches of the Macoupin creek, and no backwater stands on the place at any time even during the wettest season. The water supply is good, and when neighboring farmers are without it, they can always obtain it there. There are two apple orchards, one being of winter apples. Anyone in search of a fine piece of farm property could not do better than at Mr. Fulk’s.
William B. Edwards was born in Monmouth county, N.J. on the 21st of April 1824. His parents were Benjamin and Ann (Bailey) Edwards. They were both born and raised in New Jersey. His great grandfather, William Bailey, was the well-known General Bailey, of the Revolutionary war; while his grandfather, also named William Bailey, was a captain of the patriot army that fought to give freedom to America. William B. spent the first part of his life in his native state, engaging in farming and in buying and selling horses and mules on the New York market. In 1854 he moved from New Jersey to Warren county, O., where he remained six months and then came to Jerseyville. He resided there ten years, engaging in teaming between there and Alton. He removed from there to his present location, on section 35, in the northern part of Richwoods township. He was married in Mercer county, N.J. on the 14th of March 1848 to Mary Emer Allen, a native of New York state, and a daughter of John Allen. They have had 13 children, eight of whom are living: William H., married Eliza Fultz, and lives in Greene county; Mary Ann, married William R. Mulligan, and lives in Richwoods township; John Edward married Atlanta Cage and lives in Crawford county, Kan.; Charles; Ellen married Jules King, and now lives in this township; George married Annie Devling, and lives in this township; Katie and Lewis. Five are dead: Eddie, Emeline, and three others that died in infancy. Mr. Edwards’ father died ten years after his son came out here. There are 80 acres of land in the farm, all in a prosperous condition.
Bernhardt Wiist was born in the kingdom of Wurtemburg, Germany, on the 11th of May 1826, his parents being Crispin and Mary (Meyer) Wiist. His mother died on the 24th of June 1845. At the age of 14 he commenced learning the mason’s trade, at which he worked about six years, and then served in the army about five years. After learning his trade, he traveled through Germany and France, working in the latter country five summers. After completing his service in the army, he took passage at Havre, on a vessel bound for New Orleans, and after being on the ocean nine weeks, arrived at the Crescent city on the 15th of April 1854. He proceeded up the Mississippi river at once, stopping at Alton, where he remained a year, working at his trade. He then went to Grafton and worked at his trade nine years, then came to Richwood township, living one year at the Catholic parsonage near Fieldon, when he bought 80 acres of land on section 14. He cleared this land, at the same time working at his trade, which he continued doing until about 1869, when he gave it up altogether, and has ever since give is attention to farming. An industrious and thrifty farmer, Mr. Wiist has accumulated, until he now has a farm of 240 acres, and it is a fine piece of property, surrounded with all good improvements. He not only raises grain, but also some stock. He was married on the 22nd of June 1857 to Johanna Hartman, a native of Wurtemburg, Germany, and daughter of Ambrose Hartman. There have been 11 children born to them, but only four are now living: Bernhard, married Sophia Walter, lives in this township; Michael, Josephine and William. Those dead are: an infant that died in Germany; Joseph, Peter, Charles, Mary, Mary and Kate. Mr. Wiist and family are members of the Catholic church.
Zeddock Reddish is a native of Kentucky, being born Sept. 14, 1817. His father, Joseph Reddish, was a native of Virginia, and his mother of Kentucky. Joseph died, and his widow moved to Richwoods township, Jersey county, Ill., in 1827. Zed is now a resident of the township. His wife’s father, John Medford, was one of the early settlers of the county.
The first school in Richwoods township was taught by John Darneille in Aug. 1821 at a log cabin which stood in the hollow above the present residence of Allen Cope on section 8. This cabin was erected for school purposes, and was in close proximity to a living spring of water. It had a dirt floor, bark-seated benches constructed on legs, etc. Among the first scholars were: Moses Ward; four children of John Medford, named James, Garrison, Edward and Sophia (the latter now the wife of Zeddock Reddish); Harriet, Eunice, Phoebe and Susan Gates; Samuel Wadsworth, an adopted child; John and Effie McFain, children of Daniel McFain; Mary Smith, daughter of John Smith; Elizabeth M., daughter of John Gunterman, Sr.; and Chesley, Jonathan, Uriah and Lucinda Borruff. Moses Ward and Mrs. Sophia Reddish are probably the only surviving scholars of this school.
District No. 1 – The building in this district was erected in 1873 at a cost of about $2,000. M. E. Ellenwood taught the first term of school there.
District No. 3 – The school house in this district was built by Alfred Childs and William Goshorn at a cost of $600.
District No. 4 – In 1879 a new school house was erected in this district at a cost of $670.
District No. 5 – This school house was erected in 1876 at a cost of $700. The first term of school in this building was taught by Henry Dunham. The lot in this district, which consists of half an acre, was donated by Henry Wieghard. The present directors are John Bland, William Goshorn and Nicholas Heiderscheid.
District No. 6. – A new school building was erected in this district in 1879 at a cost of about $500.
John Gunterman, Jr. and Druzilla Smith were the first couple married in what is now Richwoods township. Their marriage occurred in 1820, Squire Mitchell of Greene county officiating. The second was that of John Medford, Jr. and Rachel Little on Sept. 6, 1821.
John Gunterman, Jr. plowed the first ground in 1820 and also planted the first corn that year.
The first religious services in the township were held at the house of John Medford, Sr. on section 8 in 1821 by Rev. Isaac N. Pickett.
Village of Fieldon
The town was laid out by Robert Terry on Aug. 14, 1837, and the plat filed for record just one week later. The town is therefore an old one, comparatively speaking. In the line of manufactures, there are two well equipped flouring mills, only one of which is running at present. There is a harness shop, tailor shop, wood-working establishment, blacksmith and wagon shops, several good general stores, a drug store, bank, and every trade and facility necessary to supply the ordinary wants and conveniences of the people of the surrounding country is found in Fieldon. The spiritual wants of the inhabitants are also well supplied by churches.
Pollard Kirkland was the first merchant in Fieldon, engaging in business just east of where Hagen’s harness shop now stands, about the year 1835. He carried a small stock of groceries at first, but afterward added a general stock. He came from Pennsylvania, and about the time of the commencement of the Mexican war, sold out to William Felter and removed to Texas. Felter ran the store until it was destroyed by fire a few years afterward.
The next merchant was John L. Terry, who opened a store just across the street south from Kronsbin’s store. He was a tailor by trade, and first started a tailor shop, but soon afterward put in a stock of dry goods and groceries. When the gold excitement began to rage in California he went to that state, where he remained until the winter of 1881-82, when he returned to Fieldon. The following spring, accompanied by his eldest son, he went to Leadville, Col. where he subsequently died.
Guy Spencer was the next merchant. He erected the building now occupied by Mr. Johnessee, and started a general store about 1858.
James A. Eads put in a general stock in June 1858 in a building now owned by Mr. S. W. Sexton, and which was erected by Mr. Eads.
Present Business Interests
C. S. Olney, dealer in general merchandise, commenced business in 1871, under the firm name of C. S. Olney & Co., the ‘Co.’ consisting of H. N. and J. H. Belt. During that year the building now used by Olney was erected. It is a frame structure 24 x 60 feet, two stories high. May 1, 1874, Mr. Olney purchased the entire business, and has since continued the same alone. He carries a complete stock of dry goods, clothing, groceries, queensware, etc.
C. S. Olney, born on April 13, 1832, is a native of Washington county, Ohio. His parents were Cogswell and Matilda P. (Smith) Olney, the former a native of Nova Scotia, the latter of Ohio. C. S. received his education in the vicinity of his birthplace, where he lived until coming to Jersey county in 1859. He first located in Jersey township, and engaged in teaching school there, but the following year he removed to Fieldon, where he taught school, and afterwards taught in Jerseyville. He was engaged in that occupation until 1864, when he commenced as a town clerk in the store of James A. Eads, with whom he was employed about two years. He was engaged in various occupations for several years, when he was appointed deputy sheriff in the fall of 1868, and was honored with that position two years. The firm of C. S. Olney & Co. was then established in 1871, of which Mr. Olney afterwards assumed the entire control, May 1, 1874, and has since conducted the business alone. He was married in Fieldon, Sept. 10, 1868 to Virginia F. Belt, daughter of Horatio N. and Mary J. Belt. They have three children: Clara E., Mark P., and Lee S. Mr. Olney is a prominent man of Fieldon, and is honored and respected by his numerous friends.
The general merchandise business of August J. Kronsbin was established by Z. Reddish, who was succeeded by Terry & Buzby. Terry & Goetten were the next proprietors, and were succeeded by Goetten & Wieghard. Mr. Goetten afterward died, after which Mr. Wieghard ran the business until June 1883, when Mr. Kronsbin bought the store and has since continued the business. The building is 30 x 90, contructed of brick and two stories high. He carries a full stock of dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, coffins, machinery, etc., the coffin department occupying the second floor. There is a machinery warehouse in the rear of the store building, 30 x 50 feet in size.
August J. Kronsbin, son of H. F. and Elizabeth Kronsbin, was born Jan. 14, 1852 in St. Louis, Mo. He was educated in the common schools of St. Louis and in the Washington University. His first occupation after leaving school was on the streets of St. Louis, blacking boots and selling papers, but seeking for a higher position, and one of more esteem, he soon secured a situation in a bookstore, and remained in that business some time. He after this learned the carpenter trade with his father, who was a contractor and builder. After a time August entered the employ of a wholesale dry goods firm, where he remained until the house failed, and he was again thrown out of employment. He persevered and was soon engaged by Hayden & Allen, a hardware firm, as salesman, and by economy and good management, he was soon enabled to start in the grocery business for himself in St. Louis, which he afterwards sold. He then went to Saxton, Mo., where he was engaged in the saw-mill business. He remained there some nine months, and the mill being flooded out by high water and he losing some $3,000, was obliged to return to St. Louis. He was there married on Oct. 5, 1882 to Julia Wiederhoff, also a native of St. Louis. They were the parents of twins born in Oct. 1883, and both of whom died Jan. 1, 1884. Mr. Kronsbin was a freight clerk of the I. & St. L. railroad for awhile, and was so employed until coming to Fieldon, where he has since been engaged in business. He is a member of the Red Cross lodge No. 54, K. of P., St. Louis. Mr. Kronsbin is one of the go-ahead merchants of Jersey county, and is doing a large and lucrative business. By fair and honest dealing, strict integrity of purpose, and efficient management, he is rapidly getting to the front, and bids fair to be numbered among the wealthy men of this section of country.
W. Park & Sons engaged in the drug business in 1875. Mr. Park had laid the foundation for a store building in the fall of 1874, but it was not completed until the following spring. No change has occurred in the firm since the business was established. As Mr. Park is a registered pharmacist, he attends to the prescription case in person. The building was originally 22 x 40 feet in size, but when the bank was established, and addition 16 x 22 feet was erected. A sketch of the doctor will be found in the Medical chapter.
The blacksmith business is represented by S. W. Sexton, who erected his shop and established the business in 1875. Prior to Mr. Sexton the business was carried on by William Miller and N. P. Johnessee for some 15 or 16 years.
Samuel B. Johnessee established his wagon shop in 1860, and has continued the same ever since.
John Hagen, harness-maker, commenced business in 1874, after erecting his present building, which is a frame structure, 18 x 32 feet in dimensions. He carries a complete stock of goods usually found in this line, and has the only shop in the place.
John Horn, merchant tailor, commenced business in April 1881. He does all kinds of work in his line, and is the only representative of this branch of business in Fieldon.
John Horn was born January 29, 1850 in the Empire of Germany. His parents were Philip and Gerdraud (Myer) Horn, natives of Germany. His father died in Germany at age 63. His mother is still living, at Ardon, Madison county, Ill., now 53 years old. At the age of 13 years John began to learn the tailor’s trade with his father, with whom he worked seven years. He then started to this country, taking passage on the steamer at Hamburg, and landing at New York after being on the water 14 days. He came from New York by rail to St. Louis, and from there went to Sparta, Randolph county, Ill., where he worked at his trade two months. From there he went to Evansville, Ind., working at his trade about nine months, and then he went back to St. Louis and worked one year. In the spring of 1872 he went to Salem, Ill., where he worked two years, and from there went to Evansville, Ind., and went into business for himself. Not being successful there, he returned to St. Louis, stayed there about one year, and in the fall of 1875 went to Atchison, Kan., where he worked several months, and again returned to St. Louis, where he remained six months. In July 1876 he started for the old country by way of New York, on the steamer Otter, sailing for Bremen. He arrived there about August 1st, and remained there four years, during all of which time he worked at his trade. In March 1881 he returned to this country and located at Fieldon, where he has since resided. Mr. Horn has been married twice, first to Margaret Hagen, a nataive of Germany, to whom two children were born, Willie and one that died. His present wife was Matilda Kessler, daughter of George Kessler. By this marriage there is one child, Anna. Mr. and Mrs. Horn are members of the German Lutheran church. Mr. Horn has a tailor shop in Fieldon, where he carries on his business and is doing well.
The meat business is represented by John Hagen, who established the first regular market in Fieldon in 1880.
C. G. Buffington, physician and surgeon, came to Fieldon in 1882, and commenced his first practice at this point. In 1883 he was elected county physician. He has a large and lucrative practice in the villiage and surrounding country. A sketch of this gentleman will be found in the Medical chapter.
The first millinery store in Fieldon was established in 1877 by Lydia Arkebauer. She conducted the business until 1883, when Tilla Arkebauer assumed charge. It is now owned by Lydia and Mary Arkebauer.
In 1876 W. Park & Sons established a bank at Fieldon. They do a general banking business, dealing largely in loans on personal security. Their safe is of the Mosler, Bakmann & Co’s manufacture. The Sons part of the firm is composed of George C. and Arthur F. Park.
The city hotel was built in 1876 by Harvey Alford at a cost of about $2,200, who ran it for awhile and then rented it. It changed hands several times, and was finally taken charge of by Mr. Alford, who operated it successfully until the time of his death, which occurred May 19, 1880. William H. H. West then became landlord, and managed the house about two years, since which time L. C. Million has had charge of it.
Fieldon was organized in accordance with an act of the legislature for that purpose, which was approved Feb. 7, 1857. At the first election the following trustees were elected: Zeddock Reddish, Asa Briggs, F. A. Wade, J. G. Arkebauer and William W. Felter. The first meeting of the board occured March 25, 1858 and was organized with the following officers: Zeddock Reddish, pres.; William W. Felter, clerk and treas.; H. C. Turner, constable; John Piper, collector; John J. Close, assessor. At an election held June 12, 1883, the question of organizing as a village, under the general law, was voted upon and was carried by a vote of 31 to 1. The following are the present officers: Z. Reddish, Jacob Strausser, William Lawler, Jacob Reddish, E. F. Brown, and L. T. Belt, trustees; L. C. Million, clerk; E. F. Brown, president.
The Eugenie mills were built by Belt Brothers, about 1854. The main building is 24 x 62, three stories high, and an engine room in addition, 24 x 62 feet and one story high, with foundations of stone. The engine is 60 horse power and was manufactured by the Western Foundry of St. Louis. The mill is furnished with four run of buhrs, set in an iron frame, and also one set of rolls. It was operated by Belt Brothers under the old process until 1873, when C. C. Buzby purchased the institution. He remodeled it in 1879, putting in new machinery at a cost of between $8,000 and $9,000. The capacity is 150 barrels per 24 hours. On account of the failure of the wheat crop for the past two or three seasons, the mill is idle at present, but it is finely equipped and is certainly a credit to its owner, Mr. Buzby. Originally there was a saw-mill connected with this mill for several years, which was afterward removed to some land belonging to O. P. Powel, who afterward sold it to William H. H. West. He disposed of it to the present owner, Rollin Clark.
The Union mills were built by the Union Mill Co. The company consisted of Dr. W. Park, T. K. Phipps, J. H. Belt, Peter Dranery, William Krueger, Asa Briggs, Frank Brown, Charles McDaniels, John Terry, Z. Reddish and others. After completion the mill was leased to J. H. Belt, who operated it one year for the company, and afterwards ran it a year for himself. Stephen Reddish then conducted the business one year, and was succeeded by T. K. Phipps and Leonard Radcliff. William H. H. West then took the mill and ran it two years, when J. H. Belt went into partnership with him. In Nov. 1881, L. T. Belt purchased a half interest in the concern, and the business was continued by Powel & Belt. In May 1885 Mr. Park purchased Mr. Powel’s interest, and it is now owned and operated by Park & Belt. Their business is mostly custom, but their trade extends over a radius of 12 or 15 miles in some directions.
L. T. Belt, one of the firm of the Union Mills, was born in Fieldon on Jan. 31, 1857. He is the son of J. H. and Matilda Belt, both old residents of the county. L. T. was reared in Fieldon and received a common school education in the schools of that place. His father was engaged in building the Eugenie mills, and L. T. liking the occupation, began the milling business in Nov. 1881, in partnership with W. R. Powel, but is now associated with Mr. Park in that enterprise. Mr. Belt is one of the board of trustees in his township, having held that position two terms. He was united in marriage with Lizzie Rowden, daughter of James Rowden, on Oct. 2, 1882. They have been blessed with one child, Horace Cleveland, born July 12, 1883.
The saw mill owned by William H. H. West was erected by that gentleman in 1881-82. It is two stories high, the main building being 16 x 48 feet in ground area, with a shed on each side, one of which is 70 feet in length, and the other 12 x 48 feet. The engine is about 40 horse power, and was manufactured by the Broadway foundry, St. Louis. The mill has been in operation constantly since its erection. Mr. West manufactures wagons, sleds, cradles, etc., and does general work in that line.
W. H. H. West was born in Jersey county, Ill. in 1841. His parents were Vincent and Eady (Wright) West, both being now dead. His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother of North Carolina. His father died in Belleville, Ill. at age 55 years. Our subject received his early education, which was very limited, in the common schools of this county. At the age of 14 he began to learn engineering with John Belt, who was then running a saw mill, three and a half miles north of Fieldon, and remained with him about four years. In 1859 he went to Harrison county, Mo., and followed the same business, until the war broke out in 1860, when he entered the service under Jackson’s call, commanded by Price. He was in the state’s service three months, when he volunteered in the confederate service at Springfield, Mo., in the 1st Mo. Reg., commanded by Col. Gates. He was in the battles of Lexington, Elkhorn, Iuka and Corinth. He was taken prisoner at Corinth and was taken to Cairo, and put on a boat to be taken to Vicksburg to be exchanged. When he was getting off the boat, he met a friend with whom he exchanged clothes, and getting aboard the boat again came back to Cairo, but as he stepped off the boat he was re-captured and put in prison with some others. The prison was a building 16 x 26 feet, where he hardly had room to lie down. He was paroled out of prison on Friday night about 12 o’clock, and he then came to the home of his uncle, who resided in Madison county, Ill. He ran a saw-mill there for a year, for a man named Blackburn. In the latter part of 1853, he came to Fieldon, and was employed by Belt Bros. He was married to Mary Jane Richey, July 9, 1864, and a short time afterwards, he was drafted into the Union army, but reporting at headquarters was told to go home. There is a family of six children, three boys and three girls: William H. H., Clarence W., Emma, Charles, Lulu and Fannie. Mr. West and wife belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He has held the office of justice of the peace, and township clerk for one year. Mr. West owns property in the village of Fieldon, and has been very successful in his business.
Fieldon Lodge No. 592, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was organized in 1868. Its charter bears the date of Oct. 6 of that year. The original members were: Sylvester Redfield, Edward Arkebauer, Henry Wieghard, James Eads, Wesley Park, H. N. Belt, J. H. Farrow, T. K. Phipps, F. Sweet, Solomon Phillips, S. P. Dinsmore, N. D. Hadley and C. E. A. Minter. The first meeting of the above petitioners occurred Feb. 1, 1868, and a lodge was opened in due form, with the following officers, appointed under dispensation: Sylvester Redfield, W.M.; Wesley Park, S.W.; James Eads, Jr., J.W.; Edward Arkebauer, S.; H. N. Belt, Jr., S.D.; S. P. Dinsmore, J.D.; J. H. Farrow, T. The following were the first officers regularly elected: Sylvester Redfield, W.M.; W. Park, S.W.; James Eads, J.W.; James H. Farrow, T.; E. Arkebauer, S.; H. N. Belt, S.D.; E. F. Brown, J.D.; T. K. Phipps, T. The present officers are: William Eads, W.M.; E. F. Borwn, S.W.; B. F. Campbell, J.W.; Allen Milem, S.D.; S. B. Johnessee, J.D.; C. C. Buzby, T.; W. L. West, S.; Philip Lanerey, tyler. The membership numbers about 31. There have been several deaths in the lodge, among whom was Sylvester Redfield, the first W.M. The building in which the hall is located is owned by C. C. Buzby, and is well furnished. The condition of the lodge at present is not what it should be, quite a number of the leading members having moved away. At one time it was one of the most successful secret organizations in the county.
Formerly a lodge of the I.O.O.F. existed in Fieldon, which held its meetings in the hall over W. Park’s drug store. It was removed to Kemper in 1880, and a sketch of this lodge may be found in connection with the history of that town in this volume.
The pioneer school house of Fieldon was built in 1839. James Robbins taught the first term of school there. This house served the town for educational purposes until 1873, when a new building was constructed at a cost of $2,000. The first teacher in this building was M. E. Ellenwood. The corps of teachers employed for the school year ending June 30, 1885 was Mr. Roach, principal, and Luella Cutler, assistant.
The Fieldon M. E. Church was orgainized in Dec. 1884.
There is a flourishing society of the Evangelical German Lutheran church, located at this place, of which Rev. Herman Taeger is pastor. Rev. Herman Taeger, the present minister of the German Lutheran church at Fieldon, was born May 24, 1839 in Germany, a son of Leopold and Magdalena (Uluch) Taeger, both natives of Germany. He was reared in that country, receiving a liberal education, and there became fitted for the ministry. He attended school 12 years in Halle, Prussia. In 1865 he sailed from Bremen in a sailing vessel bound for America, landed at Baltimore, and went directly to St. Louis, where he remained eight months. At the expiration of that time he went to Madison county, where he remained 12 years, then to Jersey county, where he has since been a resident. In addition to his ministerial labors, Mr. Taeger has for the past eight years taught the German school at Fieldon. As a preacher he is well liked, his labors being blessed with abundant success. He is also peculiarly fitted for his position as teacher, and in that capacity is highly popular. October 17, 1867 Mr. Taeger was married to Frederica Beims, daughter of Henry Beims. They are the parents of five children: Hubert, Leopold, Richard, Edgar and Alfred. Mr. Taeger is a fine musician and a professor of music.
William L. West was born Aug. 31, 1815 in Warren county, Ky. His parents were David L. and Mary (Armstrong) West, who came to Illinois in 1817 and settled in St. Clair county, where they remained until their deaths, his mother dying in 1820, and his father in 1837. William L. remained on the old homestead until Nov. 1837, when he traveled on horseback in Missouri and Arkansas, to Fulton, on the Red river, then by canoe down Red river to Shreveport, La., then to New Orleans, and returned to St. Louis, June 9, 1838. He returned to the old homestead, and remained until Sept. 1838, when he came to Greene, now Jersey, county, and remained with H. N. Belt and others, teaching school part of the time. On Dec. 15, 1842 he was united in marriage with Abigail Dunsworth, of Greene county, and by this union had seven children, four of whom are now living: William H., George D., Elizabeth E., and Thompson. Mrs. Abigail West died at Harrisburg, Saline county, Ill., Nov. 1863. In the year 1869 Wm. L. located in the village of Fieldon, where he has since resided. In 1870 he was again married, to Mrs. Emma A. Mitchell, a native of Mississippi. Mr. West has held the office of justice of the peace seven terms, and the office of county surveyor several times. His is a member of Fieldon lodge No. 592, A. F. & A. M., and also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Edward R. Brigham, a native of Cheshire county, N.H., was born on July 2, 1823, his parents being Aaron and Hannah (Reed) Brigham, both natives of Massachusetts. Edward was reared in his native county, and there grew to manhood. In 1846 he entered the service of the United States in the Mexican war, in the 1st Reg. of the New York volunteers. At the expiration of the war, Mr. Brigham went to California, and was engaged in the mines for some months. He then went back to New Hampshire, where he made his home until 1850, when he returned to California to again engage in the mines. After some time he went to New Hampshire, but soon afterward moved to Marshall, Mich., from which place he again started for the mining districts of California, overland. In 1855 he came back and located in Chicago, where he stayed some months and then located in Jersey county to make his future home. He settled in Richwoods township, where he has since resided and has made his place of abode. He moved to Fieldon in the fall of 1870, and in the same year he was appointed postmaster, which position he has ever since continued to hold, through the suffrages of his fellow citizens. Mr. Brigham was united in marriage in Fieldon in 1873 to Jane Skiff, a native of this state. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and was treasurer of the local lodge for about 11 years.
In the northwest part of Richwoods township, there is a cluster of small buildings, which has acquired the name of Clendennen, but is more commonly known as ‘Spankey.’ It is situated in a cozy nook, ‘under the bluff.’
Bud Nelson started a store here about 1876, and a short time afterward a blacksmith shop. There is no post office here, and the inhabitants of the surrounding country generally receive their mail at Fieldon. The store building mentioned is now owned by William Spaulding, the business belonging to his brother, B. M. Spaulding. The blacksmithing business is conducted by J. B. Gibson. Bud Nelson, who started the general store in 1876, afterwards sold out to James Ellis. He ran the business until Nov. 1883, when the property was purchased by William Spaulding, and the stock by M. B. Spaulding. The proprietorship has not changed since that time.
William H. Spaulding, the owner of the building in which his brother carries on business, was born in Jersey county on Feb. 15, 1856. His parents are William and Martha (Grammar) Spaulding, and are now living two miles west of Kane, in Greene county, where his father is engaged in farming. Our subject was reared in Jersey county, where he received his education. In Nov. 1883 he moved to Clendennen, where he has since resided.