1912 History of Southern Illinois
Volume II

JOHN W. DYE. [Page 851]
One of the successful and representative business men of Christopher, Franklin county, Illinois, is John W. Dye, one of the pioneer settlers of this place and now engaged in the flour milling business in partnership with T. P. Harrison. He was formerly engaged in banking and is indeed a man of varied interests, never having severed his connection with the great basic industry and owning a small but valuable farm, whose affairs he supervises. He is a native son of Franklin county and has given this district the greatest proof of loyalty within his power by choosing to make his permanent residence here. Mr. Dye's life story began on August 24, 1866, in the western part of Six Mile township, his parents being David and Nancy (Royal) Dye. The father was also a native Illinoisan, his eyes having first opened to the light of day in Perry county, in the year 1835. The mother was born in Jackson county, Tennessee, in 1835. David Dye was a farmer by occupation and was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted at the beginning of the war in the One Hundred and Tenth Illinois Regiment and serving for three years previous to being captured in Georgia and incarcerated for two months in a southern prison, where he endured great hardships. He returned home after his honorable discharge at the close of the great conflict and there exchanged the musket for the plowshare. He remained upon his farm for the remainder of his days, his demise occuring on July 30, 1894. In politics he was a loyal adherent of the Republican party. David Dye was a son of Reuben Dye, the latter a native of North Carolina, born in 1808 and coming to this state as early as 1830. This pioneer settled on a farm in Perry county, but afterwards removed to Franklin county, where he bought a farm and made it his home until summoned to the Great Beyond in 1872. He was a Whig in politics and later, upon the formation of the party, a Republican. The maternal grandfather of the immediate subject of this review, James Royal, was born in Tennessee and came to Illinois in 1850, his daughter Nancy being at that time a young girl. Mr. Royal took up two hundred acres of land from the Government, paying for it at the rate of twenty-five cents an acre, and on this property he lived out the remainder of his life, witnessing in his day great development in this part of the state.

John W. Dye received his education in the district school and also had the advantage of one term at Benton, when the schools at that place were under the enlightened direction of C. D. Threlkeld, one of the principal educators in the record of Franklin county. Mr. Dye began his career as a wage-earner as a teacher in the district schools, for five years filling the office of country pedagogue, with satisfaction to everybody concerned. He had absolutely nothing with which to start and has been the architect of his own fortunes, his success and present high standing being the logical result of industry, ability and good judgment. Until 1906 he worked upon a farm, but having saved a comfortable amount of money he decided to establish himself upon a more independent footing and in 1908 he became the proprietor of the flour mill in Christopher in partnership with T. P. Harrison. The mill is conducted upon the most scientific principles and the Messrs. Dye and Harrison supply for the most part the local trade.

Mr. Dye was united in marriage in 1892 to Mary Rich, daughter of Joel Rich, one of the early settlers of Franklin county, Mr. Rich being a well-known farmer. The death of the first Mrs. Dye, an estimable woman, occurred in 1897, and one child, a daughter Florence, was left motherless. This daughter is now the wife of Ira Provert, who is engaged in the hardware business in Christopher. Mr. Dye was a second time married, in May, 1898, the lady to become his wife being Emma (Rea) Snyder, daughter of Frank Rea, one of Franklin county's early settlers.

Mr. and Mrs. Dye are earnest and consistent members of the Baptist church and the former is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen, in which he has held the offices of consul and clerk. In politics he is a tried and true Republican and he has been honored with public office, having held the post of supervisor of Tyrone township. He owns stock in the First National Bank of Christopher, in which for a year and a half he held the office of cashier. He has resided in Christopher for thirteen years, having arrived when it was a mere hamlet, and he is regarded as one of its most public-spirited and valuable citizens.
SAMUEL B. EATON. [Page 898]
Chief among the big producers of coal and coke in Southern Illinois is the Majestic Coal & Coke Company of DuQuoin, of which Samuel B. Eaton is the vice president and general manager. The owners of a tract of four thousand and one hundred acres of land southeast of DuQuoin and in the richest coal belt of the state, the company is producing an average of three thousand tons daily, and to Samuel B. Eaton is due the major part of the credit for the accomplishments of the company. His was the mind which promoted and organized the company, and his splendid ability in his managerial capacity is one of the prime factors in the success of the project which has long since passed the stage of experiment and is now a stable and solid business.

Born upon a farm three miles southeast of DuQuoin, which farm now forms a portion of the holdings of the Majestic Coal & Coke Company, Samuel B. Eaton is the son of William B. Eaton, who was born in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1831. The first of the Batons of whom we have record was Daniel Eaton, of Boston, who was the father of Abel Eaton, the son of Abel Eaton being William, the father of Samuel B. Eaton of DuQuoin. Abel Eaton lived quietly and unpretentiously upon his farm home in Massachusetts, and in the home which he founded was reared a goodly family. Of these William B. on reaching man's estate married Elizabeth Buckles, a daughter of Joseph Buckles, who was a native of Virginia, but migrated first to Kentucky and then to Illinois. His wife was Elizabeth Arnold, and they passed away in advanced years on their farm home in Jackson county, where they had passed many happy years.

After his marriage William B. Eaton settled on a farm near to DuQuoin, and until 1865 was content with the operating of his farm. In the year 1865, however, he gave over his farming activities and, moving into DuQuoin, engaged in teaming about the mines. In his later years he became associated in a business way with his son, who had by that time entered the ranks of the mining operators, and his final years were passed in that manner, passing away in May, 1908. Mr. Eaton was always a man who led a quiet, retired life. His home life was his chief interest from first to last. He was a Republican in his political beliefs, and a member of the Odd Fellows. His wife died in 1891, leaving him three children: Samuel B., Mary E., the wife of Edward Musselman, of DuQuoin, and Abel C., who is a foreman at the mine of the Majestic Coal & Coke Company.

The date of the nativity of Samuel B. Eaton is July 15, 1857, and since that time he has been a part of the life of DuQuoin and vicinity. His boyhood was sufficiently humble to insure a brilliant future, if success in life is contingent upon that condition of birth, as many believe. Be that as it may, the success which Mr. Eaton has thus far achieved fully amplifies and evidences the fact that a generous degree of success is not dependent upon favorable conditions of birth and early training, but rather upon the possession of traits of honesty, integrity, thrift and perseverance, all of which Mr. Eaton shares in a generous degree. The education of the boy was of necessity of a very meagre order, only the district school of the community in which he was reared being available to him, and the curriculum of the district school of his boyhood offered but a slender course of study, including not more than the "Three R's,” commonly spoken of as reading,’riting and’rithmetic. As an aid to his father, Samuel Eaton at an early age began work as a teamster about the mines of W. P. Halliday at St. John, Illinois. It was there he attracted the attention of Mr. Halliday, who was ever on the lookout for boys of promise, and he won the position that gave him his first significant business opportunity by a mere incident, insignificant, yet serving to indicate to the big capitalist that he had met that all-desirable something a boy whom he could trust. He was taken into the store of the Halliday company, where he acted as delivery-boy, freight handler and errand-boy while the potential man of affairs was being tried out for positions higher up in the gift of the Halliday company. Step by step he advanced in the confidence and esteem of his superiors until he became superintendent of the store, after which he resigned, having spent nine years in faithful service with the concern. In 1885 Mr. Eaton entered the grocery business in DuQuoin with William Blackburn, remaining thus for two years. His modest success while thus engaged in those years furnished him with the capital with which he first entered the mining field as an operator. Together with nine practical miners he purchased the Little Gem mine, located to the east of the town, and arranged a co-operative method of carrying on the business. His part was to furnish the money for the project, and his nine partners were to supply the labor. The arrangement soon proved to be anything but a success, due to the fact that the labor was not forthcoming on the part of his partners, whereas he had already invested his capital in the property. To save himself, Mr. Eaton took over the property, cleared the indebtedness, equipped it with a quantity of primitive paraphernalia, conspicuous among which was a blind horse to furnish the power, and after some time spent in trying out the property it was proved to be a paying adventure. This mine he shortly disposed of, but the success which he had realized as its operator and owner encouraged him to venture in the business on a more extensive plan.

Accordingly Mr. Eaton interested the Sylvester Coal Company of St. Louis, and began operating the Jupiter mine, adjoining the Little Gem, still later interesting M. C. Wright and L. P. Parker, when they opened Jupiter No. 2, which plant later went into the Weaver Coal & Coke Company by purchase. This transaction added very materially to the ready capital of Mr. Eaton, upon which he and Mr. Wright, together with W. D. Ward, acquired a tract of two thousand acres of land southeast of DuQuoin, and the three made overtures to Chicago men of capital to join them in the launching of a new mining industry. The arrangement was effected without difficulty, and the new company was incorporated under the name of the Majestic Coal and Coke Company, with R. Floyd Clinch, of Chicago, as president and Samuel B. Eaton as vice-president and general manager. The property is well financed and officered, and has an average daily output of three thousand tons, giving employment to about seven hundred men when running at its limit of capacity The company is a. splendid example of what the perseverance of one man of brains and integrity can be made to accomplish.

The Majestic Coal & Coke Company does not represent the sum of Mr. Eaton's interests in matters of a financial and industrial nature. He is vice-president of the First National Bank of DuQuoin, and was one of the organizers of the bank. He is secretary and treasurer, also manager, of the DuQuoin Land Company, which is doing an extensive business in scientific farming, and in numerous other ways is active in the upbuilding of the city in which he lives. Mr. Eaton has been a director of the township high school for some years and president of the board since its organization.

On May 2, 1889, Mr. Eaton married Miss Laura Blackburn, a daughter of his one time partner, William Blackburn, who came from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, settling in DuQuoin and living there for many years as a merchant. He was the husband of Louisa White, and he died on December 18, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn were the parents of two daughters, Mrs. Eaton and Miss Ella Blackburn. Mr. and Mrs. Eaton have one son, Leslie B. He was born August 17, 1890, and was educated in the schools of DuQuoin, graduating from the high school. He was connected with his father's business for some time as an electrician, but as he manifested a strong leaning towards the automobile business, he secured an assignment of territory for the Marion Automobile Company of Indianapolis, with headquarters at Dayton, Ohio, and is now actively connected with that business.

Mr. Eaton is prominent in Masonic circles, holding membership in the Lodge and the Chapter, and he is president of the board of trustees of the Methodist church, taking a healthy interest in the good works of that organization.
The farming districts of Illinois have produced some of its most able business men, and many of those who are now following business careers in the cities and villages’received their training as agriculturists and entered mercantile pursuits only after years of tilling the soil. Jackson county has many such men, and they may be counted among their most representative citizens. Prominent among them in his community is Loranzey D. Kimzey, the proprietor of a large grocery and meat market at Fordyce, who in addition to being a valuable addition to those who have charge of the commercial interests of his section, has proven himself an able and conscientious public official. Mr. Kimzey was born on a farm in Hard in county, Illinois, October 22, 1868, and is a son of Ephraim and Mary (Schumacher) Kimzey.

Ephraim H. Kimzey was a native of Kentucky, but was a stanch Union man, and at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war he left his native state to come to Illinois, and here enlisted as a member of Company E, Forty-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, and served three years and six months, or until he was badly wounded and received his honorable discharge on account of disability. At the age of twentyfive years he was married in Hardin county to Miss Mary Schumacher, of that locality, and three children were born to this union: Loranzey D., Milo and C. A. After his marriage Mr. Kimzey engaged in farming in Hardin county, but eventually sold that land and came to Jackson county, and until his death, in 1888, was engaged in farming near Murphysboro. His widow is still living, on a farm near Sand Ridge. Mr. Kimzey was a stanch Republican in his politics, and was a popular comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic.

L. D. Kimzey received his education in the public schools of Hardin county, and was engaged in farming with his father until seventeen years of age in that locality. At that time the family came to Jackson county, and he remained in association with his father until the latter’s death, at which time he purchased a farm of his own. Reared to agricultural pursuits, and taught scientific methods of farming, Mr. Kimzey was successfully pursuing that vocation, but decided to try his ability in the mercantile field, and during the early months of 1911 rented his land, moved to Fordyce. and there purchased the grocery and meat market of R. Grain. As a business man he has shown himself to be enterprising, progressive and capable, as well as possessed of the attributes which enable a man to successfully follow more than one vocation. He has built up his business considerably, added needed reforms, and established himself firmly in the confidence and esteem of the people of his adopted locality. Like his father a stalwart Republican, Mr. Kimzey has served as highway commissioner of Sand Ridge township, was school director several years, and is at present acting as township treasurer. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.

Mr. Kimzey was married at the age of twenty-five years, to Miss Celesta C. Porter, of Jackson county, daughter of L. D. Porter, a farmer of Sand Ridge township, and to this union there have been born four children: Walter, Helen, Lucevia and Ida. Mr. and Mrs. Kimzey are well and favorably known in their locality, and have numerous warm, personal friends.
An essentially representative citizen of Chester and one who is the owner of extensive farm lands in Illinois is Whitney Gilbreath, who is the sole representative of an old pioneer family of the name in this section of the state. Mr. Gilbreath was born on the 21st of February, 1849, in Grant county, Wisconsin, and is a son of John R. Gilbreath, a native of Randolph county, Illinois. After the death of his father John R. Gilbreath went to Grant county, Wisconsin, where he lived for a time and where was solemnized his marriage to Miss Caroline Hill. The children born to this union were: Henry, of Guthrie, Oklahoma; Isabel, who married Thomas Holmes and is now residing in New Orleans, Louisiana: Marion, of Cora City, Illinois; and Whitney, the immediate subject of this review.

The grand rush to the gold diggings of California caught John R. Gilbreath in its maelstrom, and in 1850 he joined a party from his locality in Wisconsin and crossed the plains in an ox wagon to the Eldorado of the Pacific slope. While a resident of Wisconsin he was a mine operator, owning lead mines in that state, and his advent to the gold regions naturally found him interested in mining operations there. He seems to have operated from Marysville, where his demise occurred in 1856. In 1855 Mrs. Gilbreath removed from the Badger state to Illinois, locating at Rockwood. in Randolph county. Her children were reared and educated at Rockwood and there she died. James Gilbreath, father of John R. Gilbreath and grandfather of the subject of this review, came to Illinois about the opening of the nineteenth century, for Montague's history of Randolph county shows him to have been sheriff in 1805. He came west from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and bought down the Ohio from that point the brick with which the first brick building in Illinois was erected. This was in 1803. This building was subsequently utilized as the first capitol of the new territory and sessions of the legislature were held in its. second story. In later years the above building was devoted to store purposes and it was washed into the Mississippi river in 1899, while the property of Augustus Pape, of Chester. James Gilbreath brought a number of slaves with him to Illinois and was engaged in farming and trading for a number of years prior to the inception of the Civil war. While sheriff of Randolph county he executed the first man legally hanged in the state. Concerning that thrilling event the following brief data are here inserted. A settler named Reed lived with his wife and a young girl of another family on Reed's creek in the southern part of Randolph county. A ruffian named Jones wanted the young girl but his advances were met with the determined opposition of Mr. and Mrs. Reed. Jones then resolved to kill the Reeds and to take the girl by force. In the fight which followed his appearance at the Reed home Mr. Reed was slain and his wife left for dead. Mrs. Reed, however, revived in time to warn the scattered neighbors and sheriff of Jones' violence and the latter was ultimately found at the mouth of Jones' creek, ready to embark down the river with his prize. He was arrested, tried and convicted and died a legal death at the instance of Sheriff Gilbreath.

James Gilbreath was married in Pennsylvania and became the father of two sons, namely, John R. and Barton. Mr. Gilbreath died in the ante-bellum days and is buried in the old cemetery on the hill, above Fort Gage.

After completing the curriculum of the public schools of Rockwood, Illinois. Whitney Gilbreath entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the miller's trade and he followed that line of occupation for a period of sixteen years. He built and operated a mill at Elkville, this state, and owned another at Ava, Illinois, but eventually disposed of his milling interests in order to engage in trading and farming. At the present time, in 1912, his land accumulations comprise more than two thousand acres in Jackson and Alexander counties, Illinois. A large portion of this estate is under cultivation. In 1902 Mr. Gilbreath engaged in the construction of drainage canals through the swamp lands of Jackson county and his work resulted in bringing a tract of twenty thousand acres of land back to the sunlight and into rich and producing fields. Mr. Gilbreath is now engaged in superintending the construction of twenty miles of levee along the Mississippi river in Jackson county, as one of the commissioners of the levee board, created by the circuit court of that county.

At Sparta, Illinois, on the 15th of April, 1875, -Mr. Gilbreath was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Dean, a daughter of James and Anna (Charles) Dean, the former of whom came to Randolph county, Illinois, from Boston, Massachusetts, in 1830. James Dean was a merchant by occupation and he died in 1882, at the age of seventy-two years, while his cherished and devoted wife died at the age of forty years. Concerning the children, AVilliam resides at Ava, Illinois; Mary E. is the wife of the subject of this review; Murry resides at Ava, as does also Nellie, who is the wife of H. L. Jones; and George maintains his home at St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbreath became the parents of three children, as follows, Lee, a farmer in Jackson county, Illinois, married Miss Laura Hobbs; Nellie is Mrs. Walter Husband, of Ava, Illinois; and Matie, who became the wife of John DeVine, died in August, 1906, without issue.

The Gilbreath home has been maintained at Chester since 1902 and the attractive residence, which was formerly the Anderson home, is situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river and the lowlands of the Missouri in the distance. This residence in regard to location and modern remodeling is one of the most beautiful in Randolph county. In politics Mr. Gilbreath is a stanch supporter of the cause of the Republican party, and while he does not participate actively in local politics he is ever ready to do all in his power to promote the general progress and improvement. He is a member of the Masonic Order.
JOHN BENNETT, M. D. [Page 941]
Holding a high position in his profession, known as a leader of his political party in his section, popular with all classes and holding the respect and esteem of all who know him, Dr. John Bennett, of Ava, Illinois, is worthy of a place among Jackson county's representative men who have worked their way to places of prominence through the force of their own merit. Dr. Bennett was born at Rockwood, Randolph county, Illinois, August 30, 1869, and is a son of Charles William and Sarah Jane (Brewer) Bennett, and grandson of Charles Bennett, a native of North Carolina, of English descent.

When Charles William Bennett was a lad he was taken by his parents from his native state of Kentucky, where he had been born' January 13, 1837, to St. Louis, and in that city he acquired his education and learned the trade of millwright. During the fifties he located in Randolph county, Illinois, and at Rockwood engaged in the lumber business, but subsequently went to Wittenberg, Missouri. His death occurred March 14, 1877. In about 1858 he was married to Sarah Jane Brewer, of Jackson county, Illinois, daughter of Washington and Sarah (Woolrich) Brewer, one of the earliest-settled families of the Mississippi Valley, and four sons were born to this union: William, who resides at Jacob, Illinois; Lincoln, who is deceased;' John, of Ava; and Charles, who is deceased. The mother of these children died at the age of sixty-five years, in 1904, at the old homestead of her mother at Raddle. She was a Campbellite in her religious faith, as was her husband, and in his political belief he supported the principles of the Republican party.

John Bennett spent his early life in Randolph and Jackson counties, Illinois, and some time in Perry county, Missouri. He also attended the schools of Pinckneyville, Illinois, and after the death of his father made his home with his aunt until he reached manhood. On completing his education, in 1884, Mr. Bennett secured employment in the railway mail service, his first trip being made to Carbondale with Mr. George Bowyer, and during the six years that followed he carefully saved his earnings, having from boyhood had a yearning to become a doctor. On leaving the service of the railroad he went to St. Louis and entered the Missouri Medical College (now Washington University), from which he was graduated in 1898, with the degree of M. D. Since that time he has taken a great deal of post-graduate work at Chicago while he has been engaged in practice at Ava, where he has a large clientele. Dr. Bennett is self-educated and self-made, and his success in his chosen vocation has been the result of years of study, faithful labor, persevering effort and conscientious application. He is a member of the Jackson County and Illinois State Medical Societies and the Association of the Southern Railway Surgeons, and has been appointed a member of the Board of United States Pension Examiners for Jackson county. Fraternally Dr. Bennett belongs to the Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically a Republican, his influence has been felt in local and county matters, and he has served as mayor of Ava and given the city an excellent administration.

In 1898 Dr. Bennett was married to Miss Helen G. Miller, of St. Paul, Kansas, daughter of John and Mary Miller.
Freeman King is a fine old veteran of the Civil war and, while he passed the greater portion of his life time as an agriculturist, he has been a guard at one of the important stations of the Chester prison for the past four years. He is all but a native of Illinois, having been brought to this commonwealth from Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in April, 1841. His birth occurred on the 13th of September, 1840, and his life was spent in the pure air of the country about Murphysboro until his addition to the prison service at Chester in 1907.

Mr. King's father was .Charles King, who died in Jackson county, Illinois, in August, 1842, at the early age of twenty-eight years. He was likewise a native of the old Keystone state of the Union, was of Pennsylvania German stock, and was married in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, to Miss Mary A. Whipkey, also of German descent. Freeman King was the only child of his parents to reach years of maturity, and after his father's death his mother married Peter Bowlby. Of the children born to the latter union those surviving are: Winfield Scott, .of Jackson county, Illinois; Emma I., wife of Benjamin Harris, a farmer near Murphysboro, Illinois; and Peter Grant, of Oklahoma. Mrs. Bowlby passed away in 1866, after seeing her children reach ages of personal responsibility and her oldest son acquit himself with honor and distinction as a volunteer soldier in the preservation of the Union during the Civil war.

Under the invigorating discipline of the old homestead farm Freeman King was reared to maturity and his early educational training consisted of such advantages as were afforded in the subscription schools of the period and locality. When he had reached his majority and was thinking seriously of assuming his station in life as a citizen the rumblings of a national war were to be heard. The politicians of the south had brought about the secession of states and the result was the call for volunteer soldiers issued by President Lincoln. Freeman King immediately gave evidence of his loyalty to the cause of the Union by enlisting as a soldier in Company K, Eighteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at Anna, Illinois, and was soon in the field upon the mission of enforcing peace. His captain was D. H. Brush and his colonel M. K. Lawler, of Shawneetown, and the regiment formed a part of the Sixteenth Army Corps, once commanded by General John A. Logan, with whom Mr. King was on "fishing" terms of intimacy. The command entered active service at Fort Henry, then helped capture Fort Donelson and proceeded thence to Shiloh. After the latter engagement the Eighteenth Illinois returned to Jackson, Tennessee, where it received orders from the war department and was placed in the Mississippi Ram fleet, subsequently termed the “Marine Brigade.” Mr. King participated in all the activities of his regiment, and the little fleet to which he belonged was standing by when the Federal fleet attacked Vicksburg. Mr. King had enlisted as a private but received his honorable discharge from service, at Springfield Illinois, in June, 18j64, as a sergeant. He had spent some three years in the service of his country and at the end of that time was ready to assume the responsibilities of civil life. He turned his attention to farming on the old parental estate, two miles distant from Murphysboro. Illinois, and there continued to live and prosper until 1907, when he entered the service of the state prison at Chester. He holds the position of guard at one of the important stations of the prison and, while he is now somewhat advanced in years, his military experience and splendid constitution make him well able to cope with the responsibilities devolving upon him.

In politics Mr. King has ever been allied as a stalwart in the ranks of the Republican party and for sixteen years he was a member of the Jackson county central Republican committee. He was elected a member of the boards of supervisors of two different townships of the county and served in that capacity for several years. He was also a delegate to a number of important county and' congressional conventions and so had a voice in the selection of candidates for public office. In a fraternal way he is -a Master Mason and an Odd Fellow. He retains a deep and sincere interest in his old comrades in arms and signifies the same by membership in Murphysboro Post, No. 132, of the Grand Army of the Republic, being past commander of his post. He is a man of sterling integrity and worth and no citizen of this Action of the state is more highly honored and esteemed than he.

Mr. King has been twice married, his first union having been to Miss Catherine Butcher, who bore him two sons, Charles W. and E. Edward, both farmers near Oraville, Illinois. Mrs. King was summoned to the life eternal, and in 1879 Mr. King wedded Mrs. Rebecca Reno, who has also passed away. Two daughters were born to the latter union, namely, Lizzie, who is the wife of Harry Creath, a farmer in Jackson county, this state; and Ella, now Mrs. Joe Bastian, of the vicinity of Oraville, where her husband is a farmer.
A substantial and prominent business man of Cora, Charles Edward Morgan is identified with its mercantile interests as a member of the enterprising firm of Morgan Brothers, and performs his full share in promoting the advancement and prosperity of the city. He was born February 16, 1867, in Degognia township, Jackson county, Illinois, a son of R. B. Morgan. He is of pioneer stock, his grandfather, Cairy Morgan, having settled in Southern Illinois in the forties. He was, doubtless, the "Cairy Morgan" who served in the Blackhawk war.

Born in Arkansas, May 6, 1841, R. B. Morgan was a small child when brought by his parents to Illinois. At the age of eighteen years he began working on the Illinois Central Railroad, and continued as a member of the construction gang until the completion of the road. He subsequently moved with his parents to Madison county, Illinois, and after the close of the Civil war bought land in Jackson county, where he is now living, retired from business, having accumulated a competency as a farmer, retaining his home, however, on the farm which he improved. He has supported the principles of the Republican party since old enough to cast a ballot, and all of his family are Republicans.

R. B. Morgan married, in Madison county, Illinois, Mary Bishop, daughter of a well-to-do farmer of that county, and of the thirteen children born of their union eight are living, as follows: Maggie, wife of Harvey Clendenin, a farmer in Cora; Lottie, wife of G. B. Tutor, of Degognia township; Charles Edward, the subject of this sketch; Minnie, wife of Sylvester Montroy, of Pinckneyville, an engineer; W. H., who is in partnership with, his brother, Charles Edward; Cairy A., a blacksmith in Murphysboro; Cora E., wife of E. L. Simpson, of Chester; and Ethel Irene, wife of Zenas McMinn, who is engaged in farming at Kell, Illinois.

Brought up on the home farm, Charles Edward Morgan was educated in the public schools of Jackson county, and for several years after attaining his majority was prosperously engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1907 he and his brother, W. H. Morgan, embarked in mercantile business under the firm name of Morgan Brothers, and have since built up an excellent trade, being among the leading merchants of Cora.

Mr. Morgan married, September 28, 1888, Nellie Tutor, a daughter of the late John Tutor, a farmer of Rockwood, Illinois. She died July 25, 1907, leaving a Heaven-made vacant place in the home circle. Nine children were born to their marriage, namely: May, who died in infancy; Clarence; Rollie, deceased; Goldie; Wesley; Charles Frederick; Hazel, deceased; Howard; and Roscoe H. Politically Mr. Morgan is a steadfast Republican. Religiously he is a member of the Presbyterian church, to which Mrs. Morgan also belonged, and when services were held in the Cora Presbyterian church he was one of the elders.
One of the rising young bankers of Jackson county, Snowden B. Nelson, of Fordyce, has been connected with the financial interests of this section for only a comparatively short time, but has already risen to a prominent place in his chosen vocation, and as cashier of the Farmers' Commercial Bank has demonstrated his ability in the field of finance. Mr. Nelson is a native Illinoisan, and was born at St. David, Fulton county, February 9, 1888, a son of D. C. and Ella (Moran) Nelson.

D. C. Nelson was born at Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, April 8, 1855, and has been engaged in farming all of his life. He now resides at Hillsboro, Iowa, where he is the owner of the old Mathew Creswell.
In naming the men of Jackson county who have been instrumental in building up their community, and have so conducted their affairs as to advance the best interests of their fellow citizens, prominent mention should be given to Benjamin Bennett Varnum, through whose long and honorable career the city of Ava and the surrounding country has benefited hugely, and in whose retirement this locality lost one of its most sterling business men, one who had indelibly left his mark upon the commercial history of Southern Illinois. Born on a farm in Monroe county, Illinois, December 16, 1841, Mr. Varnum is a son of Justice Bradley and Sarah Ann (Dixon) Varnum.

When Justice Varnum was only a. boy he removed with his parents from Belfast, Maine, where he had been born November 24, 1799, to Ohio, and there his father, Moses Varnum, engaged in farming in what was then the Northwest Territory. In 1818, when Illinois was admitted to the Union, Justice Varnum came to this state with his parents, locating in Monroe county, where the family remained for some time. After about six months spent in the southern states, in 1821, on a bear hunting expedition, Justice Varnum became connected with a trading company and went on a trip up the Yellowstone river to trade with the Indians. On his return he remained in Monroe county on his farm and also engaged in the coopering business. According to Mr. Varnum "he had a few more wild oats to sow," and with a party of' "forty-niners" he took the trip to California. Accumulating a considerable share of the precious metal, Justice Varnum returned to his family in 1851. and continued to live on his farm until his death, September 22, 1861. He was an accomplished violinist, and was a great favorite among those attending local gatherings of a social nature. He was first a Whig and later a Republican, but acted rather as an onlooker than as an office seeker. On October 31, 1830, Mr. Varnum was married to Miss Sarah Ann Dixon, of Jefferson county, Missouri, who was born December 31, 1808, and died April 4, 1882, and they were the parents of nine children, as follows: Virginia, who died in infancy; John Carlisle, born in 1833, who died in 1861; Christopher Columbus, born in 1835, who died in 1839; Austin Dixon, born in 1837; Horace Addison, born in 1839; Benjamin Bennett, born in 1841; Margaret Isabel, born in 1844, who died in 1845; Leverett Decatur, born in 1846; and Justin Frederick, born in 1849.

Benjamin Bennett Varnum’s early life was spent in Monroe county, Illinois, and his education secured in the subscription schools. He remained on his father's farm until he became of age, at which time he was married and established himself on a farm of his own in the same county. His wife was Sarah Ann Barker, born December 13, 1843, who died February 11, 1878, daughter of Lewis and Sarah (Tolin) Barker, of Waterloo, Illinois. Five children were born to this union, all of whom are now deceased: Eleanor Elsie, Carrie Lois, Laura Ethel, Olive Isabel and Justice Warren. In 1882 Mr. Varnum came to Ava, Illinois, and became in time one of the most prominent agriculturists of these parts, owning twelve hundred acres of valuable land. In 1907 he gave up agriculture to engage in the lumber business, in which he was extensively engaged for some time, and with which he is still largely interested, although now retired from business activities. Originally a Republican, Mr. Varnum changed his views during the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes, whose policy of keeping a standing army in the South did not meet with Mr. Varnum’s approval, and since that time his support has been given to the Democratic party. He has served two terms on the county board, and as a friend of the cause of education has done much, being at present president of the board of education. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic order.

In 1880 Mr. Varnum was married to Miss Minnie Boedecker, of Waterloo, Illinois, daughter of Henry and Minnie (Spellmeyer) Boedecker, and nine children have been born to them: Floyd Leslie, Edwin Bennett, Grover, Horace Homer, James Addison, Blanchard Banks, Nelson Carlisle, Noah Claude and William Jewett, of whom Floyd L., Horace H., James A. and Nelson C. are deceased. In all movements calculated to be of benefit to his community Mr. Varnum has ever taken an active part, and his career has been such as to stamp him a worthy representative of an honored family that traces its ancestry back to the year 1635, and in which may be found names of note in the military, the professions and the various honorable vocations of life.
ALFRED C. C. WIEBUSCH, M. D. [Page 960]
A rising young physician of Cora, Alfred C. C. Wiebusch, M. D., is rapidly winning for himself a prominent and honored name in the medical profession of Jackson county, his skill and success in the treatment of diseases of all kinds having gained him the confidence and respect of the community. A son of Gustave F. Wiebusch, he was born in Fountain Bluff township, Jackson county, January 24, 1881.

Born in Chester, Randolph county, Illinois, March 11, 1856, Gustave F. Wiebusch embarked in agricultural pursuits when young, for a number of years being engaged in farming in Fountain township, Jackson county. Moving to Wagner's Landing in 1885, he was there engaged in business as a general merchant for about eighteen years, when, in the fall of 1903, he removed his stock of merchandise to Claryville, Perry county, Missouri, where he conducted a general store until the spring of 1906, when he sold out to Mr. Morgan, one of his clerks. The ensuing three years he spent in Colorado, and then settled in Wyoming, where he is now prosperously engaged in farming. He is a Democrat in politics, and a faithful member of the German Evangelical Lutheran church.

Gustave F. Wiebusch has been twice married. He married first, February 5, 1880, Emma Schurenberg, who was born in Illinois, a daughter of Carl and Margaret Schurenberg, and died at Fountain Bluff township April 23, 1884. Five children were born into their household, as follows: Alfred C. C., the special subject of this brief biographical record; Clara J.; Emilie, deceased; and Anna Catherine and Emma, twins, deceased. He married for his second wife Emma Bueckmann, of Chester, Illinois, who died in Claryville, Missouri, May 5, 1905. Five children, also, were born of this union, namely: Doris, deceased; Arthur, deceased; Edward, deceased; Walter, of Schenectady, New York; and Lydia, of Chester, Illinois.

Left motherless when but four years old, Alfred C. C. Wiebusch spent the following five years with his grandparents, near Chester, Illinois, where he obtained his early education, being graduated from the high school at Chester in 1900 in which city he lived nine years. Going then to Missouri, he attended the Chillicothe Normal School in 1901 and 1902, and subsequently entered the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri, from which he was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1906. During his third year in college he took the state board examinations, and was honored with a life certificate. After completing his course of study Dr. Wiebusch passed the Illinois State Board examinations, and then removed from Claryville, Missouri, where he had begun his professional practice, to Cora, Illinois. Succeeding to the practice established by Dr. Carter, the doctor bought out the drug store which he is conducting in conjunction with his practice, and is meeting with well deserved success both as a physician and a merchant, his patronage being extensive and lucrative. He belongs to both the Jackson County Medical Society and the Illinois State Medical Society. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and in religion, true to the faith in which he was reared, he is a Lutheran.

Dr. Wiebusch married, August 20, 1908, Anna P. Fiene, a daughter of Henry Fiene, a liveryman of Steeleville, Illinois, and they have one child, Harold Wiebusch.

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