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Andrew John Anderson came from Sweden to Bloomington in 1887. He worked in the mine there for 3 or 4 years, then the family moved to Colfax. His Swedish name was Anders Johan, but he was better known as Butch.
He had been a miner in Sweden and he was a driver of entry ways in the Colfax mine. He was known for his precision in cutting these entries through the bed of coal.
He was born Sept. 11, 1847 in Sweden and all but one of their children were born in that country. The family arrived in America on Sept. 19, 1887.
Their youngest daughter was born while they lived at Bloomington. She was small when they came to Colfax, where they were to spend the rest of their lives.
Mr. Anderson died Feb. 8, 1920, and his wife died on June 27, 1933, at the age of 87, a few weeks after a fall in which she received a broken hip. She and most of her children attained a very elderly age. Emma Sophia (1873 - 1896) was the first child. She is buried in Bloomington.
Tilda Christanna (1875 - 1967) reached the age of 91 years. She married Frank Nordine (1865 - 1941). He was also a coal miner. He was born at Stockholm, Sweden and came to America when he was 18 years old. They were the parents of 6 children, most of whom have left Colfax.
Charles Anderson (1877 - 1931) married Mary McComb of Gardner. He had gone to Pana to work in the coal mines there, and died as a result of a mine accident.
Anna Maria, born Mar. 11, 1881, is now 95 years old and also resides at Americana. She married Charlton Snyder (1880 - 1961) and they lived in Bloomington.
Oscar Anderson, born Apr. 4, 1886, is now 90 years old. He learned to walk during the boat trip to America. He married Ida Martin of Colfax and they live at Carlock. They are the parents of one daughter. Yarda Josafina (Tressie) was born Nov. 13, 1890. She married Harry Gomien (1891 - 1955) and except for a few years in Montana, they lived at Colfax where Harry was a rural mail carrier. Tressie is a resident of Colfax. They had two sons, both of whom have moved from this area.


Henry Andreae was born Jan.17, 1842, in Germany and came to America in 1871. The Andreae family lived at Oldenburg, near Aurich, Ost Friesland in the northwestern part of Germany near the Holland border. Heinrich Ludwig Hillard (Henry) Andreae returned to Germany in 1873, and married Meta Margaretha Tjarks, May 2, 1875. Their three children were born in Germany. This family came to Peoria, IL, in 1883, then the next year, moved to the Anchor area. They had a small farm southeast of Anchor. Their old home was just south of the home of Junior Bielfeldt. Mr. and Mrs. Bielfeldt now own this land. Mr. Andreae died Feb. 9, 1909. Mrs. Meta (Etta) Andreae was born Jan. 13, 1854 to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tjarks at Jever, Oldenburg, Germany. She died Sept 8, 1934.
Henry Andreae had an older sister, Auguste (1832-1909) who married Christian Richter (1838-1915). Their children and descendants centered in the Cullom, IL, area and from there have moved to many parts of the country. Another sister, Caroline Andreae (1838-1885) married Henry Fasking (1833-1873) and their three children came to central Illinois.
The Fasking children were Hillard Johann (George) who died in 1934 at Elliott, IL. He was married twice and had 11 children. He has many descendants. His brothers, Friedrich, was a farmer and never married. The youngest brother, Henry Fasking (1868-1936) married Maria Hansen (1877-1948) of Anchor and they lived in the Anchor-Saybrook area. They had three children, Alvina Willke, Clara Thedens, and Edna Brokate.
The children of Henry and Etta Tjarks Andreae were Hugo Heinrich, born Jan.30, 1877 at Oldenburg, Germany. He never married. He was a farmer and lived with his brother and family for many years. He died at Paxton, Nov. 1, 1964.
John Christian (Chris) Andreae was born Aug.26, 1879 at Oldenburg, and married Elizabeth Wilde, Dec.22, 1914 at Anchor. They were the parents of 7 children: Viola (Worley), Julius, Harold, Marvin, Ivan, Ralph, and Raymond. They farmed near Anchor for many years, then moved to Strawn when they left the farm. Chris died at Fairbury, June 27, 1959. Elizabeth was born Oct. 1,1890 at New York City and died Nov.16, 1963 at Paxton.
Johanna Andreae was born July 15, 1880 at Oldenburg. She married August Suntken, Dec.10, 1901 at Anchor. They were the parents of 4 children, but two died in infancy. Gesina (Nelson) and Alfred were the other two. Most of this family lived in the Gibson City area.
Johanna Suntken died July 4, 1919 at Gibson City, and August who was born Aug.13, 1872 at Essen, Ostfriesland, died Dec.21, 1946 at Sibley. This couple has many descendants in the Ford County area and many who have moved on to other regions. Clarence and Alvina Fasking Willke complied and published a history of the Andreae family dating from 1450-1968. They did research in Germany and were able to locate records, diaries and published manuscripts, and they have assembled a book that is an outstanding work. Clarence has given permission for its use as a reference for this story. No attempt was made in this article to include sections of the family, who were not part of the history of the Anchor area.


George Arnett, who died in November 1963, at the age of 88 years was the last survivor of the coal miners who made Colfax their home. He was born in Pennsylvania, one of seven children of William and Margaret Campbell Arnett. His father was a native of Madison County, Ohio. William and his family came to Colfax. His wife died about 1888 and William in 1905. At that time four children, George, Albert, James, and Matilda were living in Colfax. Another son, Charles had gone to Yakima, Washington. He had a brother John, at Saybrook, but his other brothers and sisters were in Ohio and Nebraska.
George Arnett married Edna Mae Penfield in 1897, and they were the parents of 8 children. Mrs. Arnett died in February 1967. Three sons, George, Robert, and Albert were living in this area. Cecil was in Kansas, and the three daughters, Grace, Leona, and Margie had also moved from Colfax.
George Jr., a worker on the railroad, died in 1969 at the age of 60 and Robert, who was unmarried, died in 1974, also at the age of 60. Albert now resides in Colfax.
There are a number of members of the family, descendants of George Jr. and Albert, who live in the area at this time.



During the 1860's and 70's, several of the children of James and Polly Hinshaw Benson moved from White Oak Township to this area. There were 14 children in the Benson family. Stories of the early Benson family can be found in the book "Good Old Times in McLean County."
In this group were Elizabeth Benson who married Moses Knight. They were early settlers east of the present village of Colfax. He was an elder of Antioch Church and the Antioch Church and Cemetery were located on a part of his farm.
Nancy Benson married Henry Gilstrap and they owned land next to the Knights. They left and moved to Oklahoma. Jesse Benson, who settled in Lawndale Township, moved to Bloomington.
Susanna Benson married J.C. Arnold, and they lived in Cropsey Township, but sold out and went to the state of Washington. William Benson, who came to Lawndale Township in 1867, married Nancy Hinshaw. They moved to Indiana.
James P. Benson married Emma Bechtel and they lived in Anchor. Albert Thedens now lives in the home that many people of Anchor always referred to as the Benson house. James and Emma Benson were buried at Antioch cemetery. They were the only ones of his family who had stayed in this community. They had no children, but had adopted a son, Jay. His twin brother, Glenn, had been raised by another family.


Elton Bane, who came to Anchor Township in 1887, was a member of a family that had come to McLean County, 30 years earlier. Samuel Thrush Bane, born Apr. 19, 1829 in West Virginia, brought his widowed mother and nine brothers and sisters whose ages ranged from 21 to 7 years from that state to Illinois. He was the oldest child of George and Margaret Bane, and the responsibility for making the long hazardous trip was his in 1857. They first settled and farmed the "Cheney" land adjoining the village of Ellsworth. Samuel T. Bane married Mary Catherine Arrowsmith in 1859. Her father, Ezekiel Arrowsmith, for whom Arrowsmith Township was named, was the fist settler in that area about 1837. They were the parents of 10 children: Elton, James Arrowsmith, George Ezekial, Ella (Pierce), Tobey, Sarepta (Whipp), Dr. Samuel, Mary (Meiner), Thomas Alfred, and Susan (Builta).
Elton, born Apr. 8, 1869, was the oldest of these ten children. He married Jennie Staley on Feb. 15, 1882. Jennie was born on Oct. 4, 1857 in Virginia. Her parents had come to Illinois about 1872, then later moved to Missouri. Elton and Jennie lived near Arrowsmith, where they farmed for about 5 years. They purchased 320 acres of land in Anchor Township from W.F. Tucker, the east half of Section 19. Later they added the northwest quarter of the same section. Their first purchase possessed 2 sets of building s and they lived in the south set, until 1897 when they built a large, very modern home for that time where the north set was located. This large home cost $4,000.
Elton and Jennie were the parents of ten children: Ethel (Otto Mueller), Monta, Anna Catherine (Clyde Miller), Samuel C. (Anna Heins), Don R. (Myrtle Gee), Georgia Lillian (Ernest Gee), and Elton Tobey (Helen Carney). Two children died at birth and a son died at the age of 2 years. Elton was active in community affairs and helped organize the Farmer's Co-operative Elevator Company in Anchor in 1904. Most of their children lived nearby. Ethel lived in Anchor Township, then later at Colfax. Monta became a nurse and lived in Montana for many years; Catherine Miller lived in Martin Township, where a grandson, Mark Miller now lives. Samuel C., Don. R., and Lillian Gee lived on farms in Anchor Township for many years.
After the youngest son, Elton Jr. (Tobey) returned from serving in World War I, Elton and Jennie moved to Colfax in June 1920. Tobey, who had married Helen Carney of Sibley, moved onto the home place. Elton Bane, Sr. died Dec. 27, 1928 and Jennie Bane on Oct. 18, 1933.
Tobey and Helen were the Parents of Richard, Charlotte (Harms) and Carol. After Tobey's death in 1958, his widow moved to Colfax, where she lived for a number of years. Mrs. Helen Bane Wilke is now a resident of Anchor. Nolan and Charlotte (Bane) Harms have been living on the Bane homeplace since 1958. Their children, who are grown and have left this area are: Sally (Clifford Smith), Washington, Ill; Katherine (Michael Brown), Macon, Ill.; and Dennis (Carol Kristie), Elburn, Ill.
During the years of 3 generations of farmers, many changes have taken place. Elton Sr. and Elton Jr. fed cattle and hogs. At the present time, Nolan Harms sells seed corn and has a soybean cleaning plant. The family is looking forward to 1987 when they will have a Centennial farm, one that has been in the same family for over 100 years.
(Contributed by Charlotte Bane Harms)




William August Nuess Beecher left the lowlands of Germany near the North Sea and the Elbe River in 1872, when he was twenty years old. He landed in New York then went to Danvers, Illinois. He later moved to Anchor, then to Ford County and after living there for 5 years, he received his naturalization papers on Mar. 19, 1889.
He never returned to Germany saying he had no desire to, as America was his home and country. His great granddaughter, Mary Bohlen, visited the land where William was born, a hundred years later, in 1972, and thought the area was similar in many ways to Central Illinois, and felt it was not surprising that many of the emigrants settled here.
Mr. Beecher married Anna Stroh on Jan. 2, 1873. She was the daughter of Claus and Antje Paulsen Stroh. Her father, two sisters and a brother came to America. One brother Reinhold, was killed in the Franco-German War of 1870-71.
After living at Anchor and then in Ford County, they purchased 160 acres of land in Anchor Township for $70 an acre and later in 1903, purchased another 160 acres for $110 per acre. When they retired from the farm, they owned a home on the site of the house where a great-grandson, Delmar Schleeter now lives in Anchor.
Mrs. Beecher died on Jan. 2, 1903 at the age of 51 years. On Jan. 31,1905, Mr. Beecher married Mrs. Wilhemina Bielfeldt, whose husband had also died in the spring of 1903. She died in 1923. Mr. Beecher had reached the age of 92 when he died on Jan. 29,1945. He was the last of the survivors of the 24 charter members of the St. John’s Lutheran Church.
William and Anna Beecher were the parents of eleven children, August, born in 1874, died at the age of 6 years.
Henry Claus (1876-1920) married Margaret Schroeder. They were the parents of 5 children. William and Carl (deceased), a daughter died in infancy, Ernest of Arrowsmith, and Ruby Golleher of LaMirada, Calif. They purchased a farm near Gibson City in 1911, which remains in the family.
William Reinhold (1877-1958) married Henrietta Simpsen. They purchased a farm in Anchor Township in 1907, and an adjoining farm in 1930. Linden and Florence Beecher Painter live on the first farm, and Clyde and Rosalena Beecher Ashley on the latter. Their son, William Henry, is deceased. Augusta Margaretha (1878-1959) married Lambert Brethorst. With the exception of six years in North Dakota, they farmed in Anchor Township, until they retired. They were the parents of seven daughters and two sons: Anna Martin, Elise Rasmussen, Ida Pretzloff, Wilhemina Huston, Siept, William, Margaret Harding, LaVerne Johnson, and a daughter who died in infancy. Most of this family live in Ford County. Louis Edward (1880-1961) married Miss Wilhemina Bielfeldt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Bielfeldt. They had one son, Elmer, who lives in Tucson, Ariz. Their farm in Anchor Township was sold recently.
Emma Helena (1882-1950) married Herman Hinrichsen. They lived on their farm at Eagle Grove, Iowa for 6 years, then on a farm near Anchor, until they retired and moved into the village. They were the parents of twins, who died in infancy, Anna Schleeter (deceased), Roy of Colfax, and Ralph (deceased). John Edward (1884-1970) married Maud Hasty. They were the parents of 8 children: Ida Schleeter, Edna (died in infancy), Marvin (deceased), Melba Quinn, Edward, Delmar Mildred Trembley, and Ralph. Adolph Christian (1885-1965) married Theda Hinrichs. They lived in Anchor Township until 1921, when they moved to Okarche, Okla. Mrs. Beecher now lives in Kingfisher, Okla. They have 2 sons and a daughter who live in Oklahoma.
Herman Heinrich (1887-1958) married Elsie Guse. They farmed in Anchor Township, then bought a farm in Martin Township where their son, Alvin, now lives. They also had two daughters, Violet Lain and Lily Harper of Colfax.
Anna Margaretha (1890-1972) married Henry W. Lage. They farmed in Anchor Township until they retired and moved to Gibson City. Their children are: Hazel Klintworth, Mildred Bielfeldt, Louis, Leo, Ida Watson, Merlin and Cannon, who lives in Englewood, Cob. The three older sons are farmers in Anchor Township.
Louise Anna (born 1891) married John Long. They left Anchor and moved to Iowa, then to Minnesota. She is the only survivor of the Beecher children. She now lives at Seal Beach, Calif., near her son, Bernard. Another son, Elwin, lives in Minnesota.
All of the ten children who became adults have farmed in Anchor Township. There were 46 grandchildren and 40 of them were born in Anchor Township. There are approximately 260 descendants now living and only 13 remain in this township. Four are children and one a grandson of Anna Beecher Lage, two are daughters of William Jr., and there are two granddaughters and 4 great-grandchildren of Emma Hinrichsen. The name William remains in the family, and each of the ten children had a son, William, using that as either his first or middle name.
William Beecher lived his last years in contentment and peace. He enjoyed excellent health, reading, conversing with others, and driving his own car. He visited friends and relatives or traveled by train to Oklahoma and Minnesota to spend time with members of his family living there. This in sharp contrast to those early years of hardship, poverty and toil.
What will descendant who visits this area find a hundred years from now? Will there be as many changes as the last hundred years has brought?
(Contributed by Florence Beecher Painter)



The history of the Blair family began in northern Ireland, where several branches of the Blair family of Scotland were established during the Protestant Revolution of 1688. Some of them thereafter migrated to America.
Samuel Blair, who farmed near Ballymenna, County Antrim, Ireland, raised a family of 4 sons and 4 daughters, all of whom remained in Ireland. One of these sons, Thomas, married Jane Gillan, a daughter of Hugh Gillan, and they had a family of 7 sons and 5 daughters, in addition to 5 infants that did not live. Of this family, six and their parents attended the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Seven of the children of this family settled in Illinois, while most of the others stayed in Ireland.
William Blair, eldest son of Thomas and Jane, became a farmer in McLean County. Samuel lived near Tremont; Thomas was a railroader at Peoria; Matthew and Robert lived in Chicago; Eliza married Arthur McNeal and Jane who married Alex Trotter lived in Chicago. David was a soldier in London and visited America. James Sr. resided on the old homestead at Ballymenna with a sister; Hannah also remained in Ireland; and Mary, who married Robert Tinsdale, and their seven children lived in Ballymenna where they owned a shoe store.
William Blair, horn June 4, 1829, at Ballymenna married Mary Gillan in 1856, and they came to America with their small son, Thomas, in 1858. They lived in Canada for a short time, then moved to near Tremont, Illinois. Their children were Thomas, Jane, David, Anna, William, Linda and Addie.
In 1876, the family moved to a farm that William purchased in Martin Township, about 4 1/2 miles southeast of the present Colfax. Arrowsmith was the nearest town at that time. They spent the rest of their lives here. Mary died in 1907, and William in 1909. Two sons, David (1864-1924) and William (1869-1939), and two daughters, Linda (1874-1946) and Addie (1878-1964) remain at home and never married. The daughters spent their later years in Colfax.
Their eldest son, Thomas Blair (Feb. 4, 1857-Sept. 21,1941) married Effie Gray in 1883. Effie (Aug. 3, 1868-1932) was born at Leavenworth, Indiana to Philip and Martha Fray Gray, whose earlier home had been near Spottsville, Kentucky. Philip, born Sept. 4, 1834, enrolled in the Union Army on Aug. 14, 1862, Co. H. 81st Ind. Reg. Vol. Infantry, and was honorably discharged on July 12, 1865.
The Grays farmed south of Colfax, and he was a member of the G.A.R. at Colfax. During their later years they moved to Nevada, Mo. where he died on April 10, 1915. He and his wife are buried there.
Thomas and Effie Blair were the parents of nine children. Their first daughter was horn near Colfax, then they lived for a time in Chicago, where the next four children were born, before they returned to Colfax. The children were Grace (1885-1973); Mabel (1887-1910); William, born 1889, married Nellie Forsyth. They had one daughter, Mabel. Nellie is deceased and William has been a resident of a nursing home in Bloomington since 1966.
Martha Blair, born Aug. 7, 1892, is a resident of Colfax; Mary, horn 1894, married Charles Watkinson (1888-1973) in Iowa in 1918. She now resides in Blue Springs, Mo.; Edith L. (1897-1975) was a teacher for many years. She married Fred Scholl (1890-1974); Hattie, horn in 1899, married E.H. Packard, and they now live in Webster City, Iowa, and were the parents of 5 children; David (1901-1905); Nellie, the youngest of the children, was born in 1906 and married Roger Blumenshine (1898-1967). They lived on a farm east of Colfax and were the parents of two sons, Randall and Robert. Nellie now lives in Colfax. Jane Blair (1862-1945) was the second child of William and Mary Blair. She married Hamilton Stewart (1854-1926). They went to Pawnee, Indian Territory, before that area became Oklahoma. They established a home in Edmond, Okla. in 1907. They were the parents of 10 children.
Anna Blair (1867-1942) married Henry Gillan and they lived on his farm south of Colfax. Their children were Mary (1894-1973); Harland (1904-1971); and Esther, who was born in 1898. She married Ed Kahle and they now live near Lexington. They were the parents of 4 children.
While there are many of this family living near Colfax, there are no younger people with the family name, for they are descendants of the daughters and granddaughters of the early family who settled here.


Many of the families who were early settlers of the Martin-Lawndale area moved here from Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. One of these families which now has many descendants living in and near Colfax, is the Bradford family.
James Bradford was born in Virginia, on June 25, 1800, the son of a John Bradford. John Bradford was born about 1745, in Yorkshire, England, and received a very limited education. While in his teens, he was put to work in the silk mills, his father being a member of the firm. About 1766, he left England and went to sea. After becoming the captain of a vessel, he settled in Virginia. He bought land on Patterson Creek, in the part of Hampshire County, that later became Hardy County in 1785. He enlisted in Capt. Thomas Berry's Company in the 8th Virginia Regiment on Dec.15, 1776, and served in the Revolutionary War until he was discharged Sept. 2,1777. He married a Miss Strouse, and they were the parents of 11 children. James B. Bradford was the 10th child in the family.
About 1809, the family moved to the Coshocton County area in Ohio. There were no other white families within miles. The father died in 1830, at the age of 85.
James B. Bradford married Crestine Leeper, Sept. 8,1825, in Guernsey Co., Ohio. They were the parents of eight children, 3 sons and five daughters, before the mother died in the early 1840's. James married Margaret Delilah Scott in Coshocton Co., Ohio, in 1846. Not long after this Maria, 2nd daughter of James Bradford, married James R. Williams on March 9,1848 in Coshocton County. In 1852, James and Maria Bradford Williams emigrated to Bloomington, IL by covered wagon with their two small sons, and two years later came to Martin Township, settling where the village of Colfax was later laid out.
In 1853, James B. Bradford, his wife, his seven older children, two grandchildren, three young children of James and Margaret, and her son, E.H. Scott, moved from Ohio to Lexington Township. After a short time near Selma, the family moved to Lawndale Township. Six more children were horn to James and Margaret Bradford after they moved to Illinois.
James B. Bradford died August 5, 1875, age 75 years, one month, 11 days, and was buried at the Fairview Cemetery, just east of where the family lived in Lawndale Township.
One of his daughters, Ellen Bradford Rich, was living just south of the Fairview Church and Cemetery in Cropsey Township. Margaret Scott Bradford had five children at home when her husband died. Some of the older children had married, some were working for others in the neighborhood, and some were living with married brothers or sisters. Margaret lived to be 82 years old, and in her later years made her home with a granddaughter, Mrs. Survilla (Frank) Bilbrey. She died Aug.20, 1907.
Merilla Bradford, the oldest child, lived to be 83 years old. She made her home with her brother, William, neither of whom ever married. William owned 80 acres on the Lawndale-Martin Township line, according to the 1874 McLean County plat book. In 1897, he was living in the village of Colfax at 311 E. Cooper St. He died in 1901 at the age of 65. Jane Bradford, lived with her older sister, Mrs. Maria Williams, and was known as "Aunt Jane" to many people. She lived to be almost 80 years of age.
John L. Bradford was the second child, but oldest son of James B. Bradford. In 1860, he was living in Lawndale Township where he had bought land and had married Sarah Thompson. Living with them were two of his unmarried sisters, a brother, a niece, and a nephew.
By 1873, John L. Bradford owned 160 acres in Martin Township, just south of the James E. Wood land. His land was where Octavia Manor has been built. James and Maria Williams land was just east of his. John L. Bradford became the owner of many acres of fine land. He and Sarah were the parents of five children, three sons and two daughters. John L. died in 1904 and Sarah in 1908. She was a native of Muskingum Co., Ohio, and had come to Illinois when she was 12 years old.
John L. had entered land in 1853 when he came from Ohio, and obtained a deed to it, signed by Franklin Pierce. Richmond T. Bradford was the oldest son of John L. He was better known as Rit Bradford. He lived on one of his father's farms, in Anchor Township, just southwest of Anchor, and later inherited that farm. He was well-known for the ponies he raised and sold throughout the Midwest. After his death in 1927, his widow, Nina, and son, John L. (Jack) lived there. That farm is still in the possession of his family. Jack, the namesake of his grandfather, died in 1971. Rit Bradford had an older daughter, Fanny, who lived in CoIfax. The other four children of John L. and Sarah Bradford TI were: Jennie, who married Rol Merrill and died young leaving two small children. Frank Bradford, married Charlotte Bennett and they lived at Colfax. They had two children, Ralph and Bernice, both deceased. Della Bradford, never married, but lived to be 97 years old. John T. Bradford, the youngest son, lost his wife, Gertrude Smith from consumption three months after they were married. He later married Naomi Shobe, and their two children were John Bradford, who lives in Bloomington, and Dorothy, (Mrs. Stanley) Clark, a resident of Colfax.
When James and Maria Bradford Williams came to Martin Township, government land could be bought for $1.25 per acre. The railroad was built from Cairo to Freeport the year they settled here. He hauled grain to Lexington and Fairbury. After Colfax was founded, he quit fanning the 205 acres he owned southeast of the new village, moved into town, and went into the hardware business. Many of this family grew up at Colfax, while many moved to neighboring communities. They were parents of seven children, but one son died in infancy. Richard Williams, the oldest son, who married Katherine Barnes of Arrowsmith. They had one son, Earl Williams, who farmed in the Anchor, and Cooksville area.
James Mitchell Williams (known as Mitch) married Nancy Bray. They were the parents of Vauna who married Amos Means, Jennie who married A.L. Hutson, James S. who married Maude Colk Brown, and moved to Hunter, Okla., and a son, Scott, who died young.
Margaret Seville Williams, the third child, married John W. Puett, and left a daughter Beulah, when Margaret died at the age of 49.
Mary Jane Williams married Joseph Martin Sr. They were the parents of Lester H. Martin, who was an attorney in Bloomington; Litta who married Ernest Steele and lived at Danvers; James, who was farming in Anchor Township, when he died at the age of 39; Joseph Martin, Jr., of Normal (deceased) and Ida Martin Anderson who lives in Carlock, IL.
Ellen Williams married Hamilton Groves, and was left a widow a few years later. She later married George Wood and lived at Gibson City. William Williams died in infancy.
John R. Williams, who was a grain dealer at Colfax for many years, married Motie Means. He has descendants now living in the area. He lived to be 91 years of age.
Margaret Bradford lived with her brother John L. for a time, then later with her daughter, Martha, who had married John T. Johnson. They had three children who have many descendants now living in the Colfax area. Carrie Johnson married William Ridgeway and they had four children, William D., Ina, Nets and Myrtle. John H. Johnson married Myrtle Smith and they had four children, Elmo, Mae, Madge, and John H., who was born a few months after his father's death in 1904. Neta married Luther Waggoner, and their four children were Irene Carter, Leona Burke, Carl and Henry.
Martha's brother, Henderson Bradford, lived near Colfax, and married Serene Smith. They had four daughters and one son, Minnie, Lesta, Margaret, Irmel and John, all of whom moved away from this area. Ellen Bradford married Smith Rich and they left Cropsey Township and moved to Kansas. Her younger brother, James Gasper Bradford, and his family moved to Parsons, Kansas. The name Gasper was for a good friend of John Bradford who served in the Revolutionary War under a Sergeant Gasper. He became so attached to him that he named a son, just older than James B. Bradford, Gasper Bradford. Then James named his third son James Gasper.
James and Margaret Scott Bradford had four sons and four daughters. Leonard S., the oldest was born in Coshocton, Ohio. In 1870, he was living with his brother-in-law, James K. Williams. In the neighboring home of James E. Woods, was a young Irish girl, Mary Quinn, age 14, domestic servant. She had been born in Pomeroy, Ireland. Leonard Bradford and Mary Quinn were married in September, 1871. They were the parents of Survilla Bradford Bilbrey, and Orville Bradford. Orville Bradford moved to Detroit. Survilla and her husband, Frank Bilbrey, lived at Colfax.
George W. Bradford, was born in Ohio, and died at Colfax in September, 1881, at the age of 20 years. Corisha Anna Bradford was born in 1853, near Selma, IL, just after the family had come from Ohio by covered wagon. Her sister, Harriet Leah, was born a few years later. These two sisters were married the same day, Sept. 25, 1873. Anna married James T. Johnson, and they lived in Bloomington. Harriet married E.C. Huffman, then later William Sedgely, and they lived at Chatsworth.
The next two daughters of James and Margaret Bradford also left this area. Mary Elizabeth married William Sedgely and was living at Geneseo, IL, when she died at a young age in 1896. Hester Katherine Malinda T. Bradford was called Malinda. She married John Martin and they moved to Holdridge, Nebraska. She was 15 when her father died.
James William Bradford, born in 1863 married Dora Anna Keesey. Her parents were residents of Lawndale Township, and her father was a Civil War veteran. James and Dora had eight children. They moved to Minnesota about 1915. They had lived in other states and their 2nd son, Erman Bradford was born in Nebraska, and their youngest son, Harvey, who died in infancy was born in Missouri. James and Dora died in Minnesota, but were brought back to Wiley Cemetery and are buried on the Keesey family lot. George, the oldest son, lived at Downs, IL. He died in 1968, and has family now living in the Bloomington area. Roy Ermin, the 2nd son, born Sept. 9, 1889, married Celia Stretch. They have 10 children and have observed their 61st wedding anniversary. They now live southwest of Colfax. Their children are William F.; Bert L., Roger W., Alice Wyant, Russell, Roy Lillford, Erman, Jr., Doris Couch, Lyle O., and Carol Hereford. Most of their children and many of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren live not far from them.
Other children of James W. and Dora were William Sherman Bradford who died at the age of 20; Francis; Leslie; Gertrude, who married Henry Hite; Hazel, who married O.J. Hite; and Harvey. These younger children also lived near Felton, Minnesota. The youngest son of James B. and Margaret, Nathan Lincoln Bradford, was born April 6, 1865, just a few days before Abraham Lincoln was killed. He married Sadie Eberle, and they lived in Minnesota.
Many of the Bradford family are buried at Wiley. Some of those who died after leaving the Colfax area, and went to other states, were brought hack to Wiley for burial. While many early families who settled here have no one left in this area, the Bradford family has not done this, though most of those who now live here are descendants of John L. Sr., Margaret, Maria Williams, Leonard S., and James William Bradford.



Charles Brucker, who moved to Lawndale Township about 1908, became owner of many acres of land in that township, and has many descendants living in the Martin-Lawndale-Anchor area.
Charles Brucker was born two miles north of Cropsey on Dec. 20,1870, to Gottleib and Anna Katherine Glabe Brucker. His father was born in Wurtemberg, Hessen, Germany, and came to the United States in 1853, making the trip on one of the first steamships to make the trip across the Atlantic. He had learned the trade of a baker in Germany and he worked in a bakery in Ohio for a year. Then he went with a party of surveyors to Kansas by wagon, and when that job was completed came back to Washington, IL, where he farmed for four years.
He was married in 1858, and bought 80 acres near Peoria, then sold that and bought 180 acres near Washington. After three years, the family moved to Belle Prairie Township about 1866. They were the parents of nine children, five sons, Adam, August, Carl (Charles), John and Henry; and four daughters, Mrs. Jacob Huppert, Mrs. John Stein, Mrs. Ernest Lange, and Mrs. Henry Sutter. Gottleib Brucker died May 20, 1908, and Anna Catherine in January 1910.
Charles Brucker received his education in Cropsey schools, and married Elizabeth Christina (Lizzie) Stein in March 1902. After farming for six years near Cropsey, they moved to Lawndale Township about three miles north of Colfax. He was known throughout the county as a breeder of Shorthorn cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. He became the owner of over a thousand acres of land. He served as county supervisor, school director, and township school treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Brucker were parents of seven sons, and seven daughters, but one son, Robert, died when young. Mrs. Brucker died Sept.18, 1930. Mr. Brucker was a patient at Brokaw Hospital for three years before his death in July 1948. Many of their descendants now live on farms in the Lawndale area.
Their children were: Clara (Mrs. Arthur Seifert), Tina (Mrs. Oscar Moore), Ernest and Arthur, who are deceased; Emma (Mrs. Frank Taylor), Tillie, (Mrs. George Thedens) live in Colfax; Esther (Mrs. Elmer Willke) lives at Anchor; Harvey lives at Flanagan; Ruth (Mrs. William Gerdes) lives at Thawville and Lorene (Mrs. Meinhold Gerdes) lives at Cisna Park. Elmer, Carl, and Clarence all live on farms they own in Lawndale Township. Clarence lives on the family home-place.



Mathias Carter was one of the first settlers in Colfax, but he had lived in McLean County for many years before coming to the new village, where he was employed as a carpenter. Family stories relate that he helped bulld the second house in Colfax, which was on the site of the present parking lot, east of the St. Joseph's rectory.
He was born in Kentucky about 1832, and married Mary Jane Turnipseed in April 1860, in McLean County, Ill. Her family had settled in the Lexington-Money Creek area at a very early date. They were the parents of 3 sons, Charles, George Isaac, and Joseph.
After the death of his first wife, Mathias married Eliza Amanda Sleezer in November 1873. The two older boys were not with the family when they were listed on the 1880 census of Colfax. With Mathias and Eliza were Joseph 12, James W. 5, and Maggie 3. William and John Bernard were born after this date. Mathias had a brother, Joseph Carter, who was in the Civil War, and who was living with his wife and 7 children in Martin Township and were listed in the 1870 census. Joseph Carter is on the American Legion list of Civil War soldiers buried in Wiley Cemetery. He had died before the 1899 Memorial Services that named the soldiers buried there before that date.
The Carter children grew up in Colfax, but only one son, George, remain to make his home here. Joseph went to Bloomington, Charles lived at Gridley and James at Secor. The other three, Dr. William, Maggis Carter Willis and John B. went to Missouri. Mathias Carter died at Lamar, Mo. in May 1906, at the home of his youngest son, John B.
George Carter (1865-1946) married Ida Matheny (1878- 1958) in March 1896. They were the parents of 9 children. Only Homer (1902-1953) and Loren (192O-1972) remained at Colfax with their families. The others were: Lester (1908-1974) Bloomington; Warren Marvin, Downey, Calif.; Margaret Blankenship, Washington, Ill.; Myrtle Tidd (1899-1935); Lola Furry, Springfield; Geraldine, Bloomington; and Lionel, Evanston, Ill.


John and Phoebe Collings came to Colfax from Minonk and were living in the new town in June 1880, when the first census was taken. Their children were Joseph 11, Annie 10, Eliza 8, and Oscar 3. Another daughter, Amy, born Jan.20, 1881 was the first baby girl born in Colfax.
John Collings had dray horses, so he chose a spot near a creek that flowed through the new village, for a place to build his first home, so he could have a place nearby to water his horses. As he could, he built more rooms onto the original part of his home.
John and Phoebe each lived to an elderly age. John was born Apr. 4, 1837 in Trumbull Co., Ohio, and died at Colfax on June 12, 1926 at the age of 89 years. Phoebe Sallingham was married Dec. 4, 1864 to John Collings. She died June 13, 1928, age 81 years, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Barton in Mackinaw. Most of the children left Colfax. Joseph went to Corvalis, Ore.; and his younger brother Oscar, called Mont, went to Yakima, Wash. Anna Wright (1870-1958) and Ella Barton (1872-1958) lived at Mackinaw, IL.
Amy Collings, married Joe Reed in Chicago in 1900. He was a barber in Colfax. They made their home with her parents at 102 E. North Street. Their son, Boyd Reed, was born at the family home in 1903. Joe Reed died of typhoid in Dec.1904. Boyd grew up in Colfax, then went West when he was about 16. He came back to Colfax several times during the following years. He married Alta Brewer of Mackinaw and they came back to Colfax in 1934, to make their permanent home in the same house where both Boyd and his mother were born. Mrs. Amy Reed died in California on May 18, 1964. She was buried at Wiley Cemetery.
Boyd Reed started working for the Colfax Water Department in 1934, and also became Chief-of-Police in that same year. He is now retired from the water department, but still holds the other position. Mr. and Mrs. Reed continue to live in the original Collings home. Their daughter, and grandchildren also live in Colfax.


Andrew Compton, also a native of Ballymenna, came to the United States after his marriage to Margaret Moody in 1875. Their home in Colfax is now the home of Milford Hufford and family on East North Street. Andrew died Jan. 17, 1930, at the age of 84 years, and Margaret in Sept.1933, at the age of 78. Two daughters survived them: Mrs. D.E. Brown of Prairie du Chien, Wis. and Mrs. Lillian Cumpston of Cropsey. A son and a daughter were deceased.


Isaac Conklin, who lived on a farm east of Colfax for 43 years, was a native of Ohio, born at Zanesville on Mar. 24, 1832. His father, a native of Pennsylvania had come to Ohio when he was 2 years old. William married Bedelia McKernan, a native of Ireland in 1830, and they were the parents of 12 children.
Isaac learned the carpenter trade in Ohio and he followed that trade for 11 years. In 1856, he came West to seek his fortune. He was a carpenter in Bloomington for 5 years. He married Susan Worrell of Canton in 1860. Her family had come to Illinois from Maryland in 1836.
They left Maryland with a one-horse covered wagon, and when they got to the mountains, found they had to purchase another horse and place him in front of the other, tandem-fashion, and they drove this way to Illinois. (We little realize that the paths of that day were not wide enough for a team, and that the wagons were like large carts.)
In 1861, Isaac and Susan moved to a rented farm in Lawndale Township, and 4 years later, he bought land east of the present Colfax. He bought 80 acres in Martin Township and their home was located there. He bought another 80 acre tract across the road in Lawndale Township from David Mitchell, then also bought another 80 acre tract. In addition to farming, Isaac was in the insurance business for 20 years. He had received training in this work from his brother, P.M., who went on to Fresno, California.
Isaac and Susan were the parents of 6 children, one dying in infancy. Isaac died on Nov. 25, 1908 and Susan on May 24, 1912. They were buried at Wiley Cemetery.
Three of their children left Colfax. Anna (Mrs. George Baird) (1868-1934) went to Normal; Cora Belle (Mrs. Asbury Howard) (1855-1910) moved to Peoria; and Charles moved to Kempton to another farm owned by his father. Emma (1867-1943) married William Nickerson and he farmed near Colfax, and they built the large home on the Northeast corner of Colfax, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wilber Hyatt.
William Conklin, born 1873, married Dollie Atkins in Nov. 1895. She had come to Colfax with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. French Atkins in 1890. She was born in 1873, in Sperryville, Virginia. William and Dollie lived on the Conklin farm east of Colfax.
William started raising popcorn on his farm in 1917, along with his regular farming. Five years later, he began planting a larger acreage. His youngest son, Eldon, joined him in promoting the popcorn business and by 1935, according to a story in the Colfax Press, they were selling popcorn in 100 sacks, much of it going to the Karmel-Korn Company in Chicago.
At first, they preferred the Japanese hull-less variety, but later were using a variety known as Kansas Sunburst, that would pop at a volume of 25 to 1. In addition to the wholesale business, William Conklin would operate a popcorn machine on Main Street in Colfax on nights when there would be big crowds in town, as Saturday nights were in those days.
William Conklin died in Sept.1951 and his widow who lived to be 90 years of age, died in March 1963. Eldon continued with the popcorn business for a number of years, though he made his home in Normal. Albert Dunn lived on the farm and helped with the farming. Eldon, born in 1903, died in 1967. Part of the farm on the north side of the road was sold to the Blumenshines, but the rest remains in the Conklin family and is now farmed by George Stephenson.
Nadine, the only daughter, married Stephen A. DeVries, and they made their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Charles Arthur Conklin taught school then went to Medical School and became a doctor in Bloomington. He is now deceased.
Chauncey Conklin and Dr. Robert Conklin of Bloomington are well-known members of the William Conklin family. There are other grandchildren of William and Dollie, but none live near Colfax.


A.H. COOPER (p.144)

Alfred H. Cooper moved from Potosi to Colfax when the town was started in 1880. He was born in Oneida, New York, in 1854, and came to Kendall County, Ill., in 1855. He served in the Civil War, and came to Potosi in 1866. He was living in Colfax in June 1880, when the first census was recorded. He was 39 years old, and his occupation was listed as a butcher. His wife, Charlotte, age 34, was also a native of New York. Their home was at 111 W. Cooper St. and probably this street was named for him. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper had no children. When he died on Aug. 4, 1900, his obituary stated that he had a brother in Nebraska and sisters in Iowa and Oklahoma.
Charlotte Cooper married Sterrett McClellan of Colfax in August 1904. He was also a resident of Colfax. Charlotte Cooper McClellan died March 4,1912. Alfred and Charlotte were buried at Wiley Cemetery.


JACOB S. COX (p.145)

Jacob S. Cox came to Colfax in 1883. He was born at Staunton, Virginia in 1841 and served in the Confederate Army for three years. He came to Roanoke, Illinois in 1866, and married Cornelia Causey in 1867.
Mrs. Cox died on Nov. 12,1912 and J.S. Cox on Dec. 24, 1922. Their daughter, Flora, married Emmanuel Harris. Flora died of typhoid on Jan.15, 1903, when Lottie was only 10 days old. Mr. and Mrs. Cox were taking care of the baby, but she died at the age of 4 weeks.
Jacob S. Cox was a mechanic as was his son, Cal Cox, who worked in garages in Colfax.



Lavisa Dameron was left with a family of 10 children, when her husband was killed in 1864, in Bollinger County, Missouri. The Damerons had traveled from North Carolina to Illinois, with a team of mules with rope lines and a covered wagon in 1856, a trip that took seven weeks and three days. After two years in McLean County, they went to Missouri, where some of their relatives had settled.
Nine children, ranging in age from 5 to 15 made the trip, with the older children having to walk in order to make room for their possessions and the smaller children in the wagon. Another son was born in Missouri. They also took an orphaned neighbor girl, Sarah Jane King, to raise after the dying mother asked them to care for her child.
Mter two of the sons returned to McLean County, Lavisa and her other children and little Sarah came to the Colfax area in 1869. Lavisa lived in this neighborhood until her death on May 20, 1899, at the age of 84 years. She was born Lavisa Withers and the Withers' story is related in another chapter of this book. Mary Ann (1841-1912) was the first child. She married James Crites in 1860, and 3 years later was left a widow with a son, Wes, to raise. She came to Illinois with her mother. During her later years, she lived in Ohio with her son.
Anderson R. Dameron (1842-1909) had hurt his leg while working in a cotton gin, so he was the only adult boy of the family who got to ride in the wagon on the long trip to Illinois. He married Catherine Whitener in 1867, in Missouri. Her sister, Hannah married John Ward, in a double ceremony. These couples lived on neighboring farms west of the present village of Anchor, after they came to Illinois.
Anderson was visiting at Chula, Missouri, when he was drowned in a flash flood while trying to help move some livestock to higher ground. Anderson and Catherine were the parents of 7 chilren, most of whom remained in the neighboring area and some had descendants who now live here. Daniel, the oldest went to Nebraska; Emma married Walter F. Smith and they had 3 children; Ida married Harvey H. Abbott and they lived in Lawndale Township, and had a family of 8 children; Jasper married Emma Jane Henline, and they and their son lived near Weston.
Miriam married Edward F. Welsh, and they were the parents of 4 children. His health was poor and they were living at Chula, and her father was visiting there when he died. They returned to Colfax, and Edward died soon after his father-in-law did. Miriam had 3 small sons to raise, the little girl had died in infancy. Miriam lived to be 84 years of age.
John C. Dameron married Lydia Harrison and they and their son, Elvyn, lived near Weston; Edith, the youngest, married Erle Mitchell and they lived in the Martin-Lawndale area, and were parents of two children, Mildred and Alva. Edith now lives in California with her daughter, Mildred. Delilah Dameron, a twin of Anderson, married George Chandler and they had four children. Most of this family live in Minnesota.
John Dameron (1844-1928) married Estella Starkey. They lived in Lawndale Township. Their children were Candace 1882-1970; Jeremiah, died at the age of 1 year; John, (1889-1970) who married Mae Stover and lived on the Dameron farm, John and Mae had one son, Stover Dameron, and Jesse, a twin of John, who married Mae Johnson.
Joel Dallas (called Dall) married Lovie Ann Watts and they had two daughters. Edward Boyd Dameron (1847-1907) married Sarah Ida Taylor and they lived in Lawndale Township. They were the parents of Royal (1879-1886) and Bertha, (1885-1941), Faye, who married Ival Bunn; and Iral (1896-1973) who married Irene Weeks. Faye Bunn and Iral Dameron lived on farms in Lawndale Township, until moving into town when their children (Ruth Bunn Cunningham and Darvin Dameron) took over the family farms.
Jane Dameron born 1848 died at the age of 19 years.
James Alexander (Alex) (1849-1911) married Mary Barry, and they were the parents of 8 children. Most of this large family live in western states.
William Russell born 1851, never married and died about the age of 66 years.
Charles Alberry Dameron (1857-1936) married Phoebe A. Hinshaw of Anchor. They left this area about 1884 and went to Kansas. They had a family of 10 children, many of whom now live in California. Their youngest son, Otha, with the help of Lois Welsh of Lexington, has compiled a Dameron family history, which was used as a reference for this article.



Philip Decker came to Fairbury from Pennsylvania in 1866, and three years later moved to an 80 acre tract of raw prairie that he had purchased northwest of Anchor.
Philip's father, George Decker, came to Philadelphia in 1831, with his mother Elizabeth Weis Decker, and seven brothers and sisters. Most of their land in the Province of Rhinebayern in the Palatine section of Germany had been confiscated by Napoleon.
George had learned the cooper's trade and had worked in Strasburg, France. After coming to America he was employed by a chemical manufacturing company in Philadelphia, then he operated a plant in New York City.
He married Maria Schwab and they raised a family of six children near York, Penn. After some of their sons had come to McLean County, they sold their farm at York in 1870, and purchased 160 acres near Anchor.
Philip Decker had received his education at York and had taught school there. After coming to Fairbury he managed the Walton Farm and Elevator for several years. He married Mary Austin in 1869, and they moved to the farm he had purchased.
Her Austin ancestors had come to America from Scotland, settled first in Connecticut, then had moved to Virginia. Mary Austin was born in 1849, in Richmond, Virginia to John and Lucy Thrift Austin. They left Virginia by wagon in 1852, and lived for a time in Ohio and Missouri before coming to Fairbury in 1861. They later purchased a farm near Anchor.
Mary had several brothers and sisters who lived in the same area. James Austin lived in Colfax, Laura married Levi Jones and after his death she married Theodore Smith of Anchor. Two of their grand-daughters, Vera Putnam and Helen Forsyth, now live in Colfax. Anna married William Taylor and they lived northwest of Anchor. Their children were Rollie, now residing at Octavia Manor, Frank, Bert, Elizabeth Seifert, Ethel Thompson of Colfax and Minnie Sticklen.
Philip and Mary had eleven children, 7 sons and 4 daughters. Food for the family was purchased in Fairbury. At that time only staples such as flour, salt, sugar, coffee, oatmeal and such were purchased. These commodities were bought twice a year in barrels and taken home in a wagon.
When the family was small, Mary made their clothes, but as the number grew, one of the older daughters accompanied father, Philip, on the train to Bloomington and purchased material for clothes for both boys and girls. In the spring and fall, a seamstress was hired to live with the family until she had completed a wardrobe for all.
Philip was active in church and community affairs, and was president of the Belle Prairie Mutual Insurance Company. Philip died In 1906, and Mary in 1923.
Two of the older sons, Charles (1868-1954) and Elbert (1874-1934) married and went to Rinard, Iowa to make their homes. Jennie (1872-1947) married William Noll, a merchant in Anchor. They and their 3 sons moved from Anchor to Bloomington.
Philip (1876-1959) never married and lived on a farm near Anchor then moved to Colfax. Edna (1878-1959) married Oscar Miller and lived for a time in Chicago, then returned to Colfax to make her home with Phil. Her step-daughter, Ruth Miller, lived in Colfax and taught piano to many young people of the area. Altha (1880-1974) married Aaron Shaw, and after living in Iowa for ten years returned to Anchor to make their home there for the rest of their long lives. They were the parents of LaVerne Shaw and Dorothy Vanderbilt.
George (1882-1966) married Bertha Kent of Cropsey. They farmed in Lawndale Township, then moved to Topeka, Ind., and later to Brook, Ind. They were the parents of two daughters, Helen and Violet. Peter (1884-1965) married Lillie Weeks and they lived in Lawndale Township. They were the parents of 4 daughters, Myla, Margene, Bernice and Betty. Roscoe and Myla Evans now live on the family farm. Lillie lives in Bloomington.
Maude (1886-1945) married Grover Proctor and they farmed near Anchor. They had one daughter, Margaret Beecher of Pontiac.
Walter (1888-1955) married Hazel Frye of Fairbury, and they lived in Lawndale Township before moving to their own farm near Fairbury. Their only son, Robert, was killed in the Korean conflict. Mrs. Hazel Decker now lives in Fairbury.
Alvin, the youngest of the family, now resides at Winter Haven Florida. He farmed for many years, then ran an implement business in Colfax. He moved the Merrill School that the children of the Decker family had attended, into Colfax and made it into a home. He married Opal Estes, and they lived in Colfax until 1956, when they moved to Florida. They have one daughter, Mary.
There are no descendants with the Decker name left in the Colfax-Anchor area. However, Charles and Elbert, who went to Iowa, had fourteen children and their descendants have scattered throughout Iowa as well as to other states.


DR. D.T. DOUGLASS (p.149)










Frank Gillespie was an attorney in the village of Colfax. In 1894, he was named town attorney. He later moved to Bloomington. At one time he owned the William Henline farm.



Alexander, a brother of James, and his family came from County Antrim to America in 1873. They had 10 children. They lived for a time in Section 27, Martin Township, on a farm belonging to James. They moved to Nebraska in 1883.


Henry Gillan married Jane Kinnear in Ireland. They were the parents of 6 children. Henry was killed in a stone quarry blast in Ireland. Their oldest son, Robert, came to America and worked for his Uncle James Gillan for 2 years and saved enough money to bring his mother, brothers and sister to America. He went back to Ireland for them. They left Lorn, Ireland, to board the old state lines, S.S. Pennsylvania, on Sunday morning March 18, 1883. They moved to the farm vacated by Alexander Gillan family. In 1890, she went to Exeter, Nebraska with her son, George, who married Alma McNeal and daughter Mrs. Anna Gillan, who had married a cousin also named George Gillan. Jane died in Nebraska in April 1899. The other 4 children stayed in Martin Township.
Robert Gillan married Elizabeth West and they had 2 children, Myrtle who died young and David Leslie who is known as "Les". Robert died in 1900 and Elizabeth in 1903 leaving their only son David L., an orphan at the age of 7 years. David Leslie and his wife, Gladys Mosley Travis Gillan, now reside in Colfax and are the parents of Robert, Darwin, Melvin all of Colfax, Richard of Rockford, Delores of Washington D.C., and Donald who died in infancy.
Alexander Gillan, born in 1867 and died in 1948, married Rhoda Wiley, and they lived near Colfax. Wiley Cemetery was started by her father. Alexander was manager of the Wiley Cemetery for 46 years, before he retired in 1946.
Henry Gillan, born in 1869, married his cousin, Anna Blair, and they were the parents of 4 children: Mary, 1894-1973 and Harland, 1904-1971, who lived on the home place in Section 27, which they owned. They never married and the place is now owned by their nieces and nephews. Harlan managed the Wiley Cemetery after his Uncle Alex's retirement and death.
William James died at the age of 2 years. Esther married Ed Kahle, and they now live at Lexington. Their 4 children are Edward and Keith, both deceased, Harland and Dorothy Rhoda.
David Gillan married Nora Delle Henline and they lived at Canon City, Colo. They were the parents of Henry of Garden City, Kansas, Laville Legg of Idaho, and a daughter, Gladys, who died when young. The Gillan family history was compiled from articles and scrap books kept by Mary and Harland Gillan, now in possession of their sister, Mrs. Esther Kahle of Chenoa, and from information from David Gillan, Mrs. Lila Batterton and Lorene White of Colfax.



William (Bill) Green, a brother of Mrs. Catherine Pendergast, came from Chicago and ran a store in Colfax, soon after the town was started. His brother, Charles Green, and his sister Elizabeth, who married D.A. Wood, also lived in Colfax.
Another sister, Fanny Green, married Wilford Dale, and they had 6 children. Mr. Dale and 2 of the children died while the family were living at Danville. The father died when his son, Fred, was not yet 4 years old. Fannie Dale and her children moved to Colfax. Fannie, born in 1859, died in 1936. Emma Dale Noonan (1885-1966) had a son, Roger, who is now a priest at Henry, Illinois. The other children were Elizabeth (1889-1974); Ruth (1892-1970) and Fred Dale (1890-1968).



In 1872 Marshall Hagar and family and John Ward, who was a brother of Mrs. Hagar, and his family moved into Cropsey Township. Mrs. Hagar and Mr. Ward were cousins of the Damerons and Withers who had settled in Lawndale and Lexington Townships.
From the family story as told at the Withers family reunion in 1911, the following story of the early history is retold.
"The Withers family has been in America for many generations. Long before the Revolutionary War, John Withers moved from Dinwiddie Co., Virginia to Long Creek, North Carolina. John had 13 children. His fourth son, Elisha, was a Revolutionary soldier. Elisha married and had 11 children.
His fourth son, Joel Withers, married Delilah Bess and they were the parents of 9 children. Joel and Delilah were the parents of three families that came to the Colfax-Anchor area.
The first four children of the Joel Withers were girls, then the rest were boys.
About the year 1850, two of the younger boys, Alberry and Jeremiah, went from North Carolina to Missouri with an uncle who was moving there. The boys being so far from home caused the mother to grieve sorely for them and finally she couldn't stand the separation any longer and started their father to bring them home. The entire trip was made by foot from North Carolina to Missouri. Then he and the boys walked home again to the homesick mother.
By this time the older girls had married and had families of their own. Lavisa, the oldest, married Dixon Dameron in 1840. Minerva and Missouri were twins. Minerva married David Ward, and Missouri married Alex Strain, and they moved to Georgia.
Jane married Alex Rhyne and lived in North Carolina. Simpson, Alberry, James, Jeremiah and Anderson were the sons of the Joel Withers family.
In the year 1856, Dixon and Lavisa Dameron and family and David and Minerva Ward and family started out to seek their fortunes in the West, coming across the country from North Carolina in covered wagons, the children taking turns walking as there was not enough room in the wagons for their belongings and all. At Jonesboro, IL they separated, the Wards going on to Missouri and the Damerons going to Lexington, IL where they remained for two years.
Mary Ann Dameron Crites told that she, the oldest child of the Dameron family, was 15 years old when they made the trip and she had walked all of the way during the trip which lasted seven weeks and 3 days. After two years near Lexington, the Damerons moved to Missouri. In 1857, Delilah Withers having died, Joe and his sons moved from North Carolina to Missouri to join the rest of the family in Bollinger County, Missouri.
During the Civil War, Dixon Dameron was killed by the Union soldiers. By this time many of the children were married and the families began to separate.
Mary Ann married in Missouri and her husband died 3 years later, leaving her with a small son, John Wesley, and 3 step-sons. In addition, when her Uncle Alberry died, leaving 4 orphans she took one of the boys, Adam four years, to raise.
In 1864 John and J.D. Dameron returned to Illinois and in 1869, their mother Lavisa, and the remainder of the family who were home with her, came to join them.
David Ward died in Missouri in 1862, and a son, Cypress died during the War. Three other sons, Alexander, Jasper and David were also deceased. This left Minerva Ward, his widow, with three children. John F. Ward remained at home with his mother during the war to help take care of the family. Soon all 3 were married in Missouri, James S., John F. and their only sister, Minerva Ann, who married Marshall J. Hagar in 1870.
In 1872, the 2 Ward sons and their widowed mother, Marshall and Minerva Ann Hagar, the Anderson Dameron family and the Anderson Withers family all came to McLean County, Illinois.
By 1911, Miles Huffman of North Carolina had collected enough material about the family history of the Withers family to fill a 500 page book." All this was reported at the reunion held at the John F. Ward home near Colfax.
John Ward (1843-1926) was a lad of almost 14 when the family made the trip to Missouri. He could remember the sad parting when they started out, knowing they probably would never see their friends and relatives again. His home burned in Missouri, and all family records were destroyed.
In 1872 he settled near Anchor, the farm now owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Weber. There his wife planted a little spruce tree, she had brought with her from Missouri. It grew into a tall tree, that remained there until a few years ago.
He later moved into Anchor, where he started a bank with S.M. Smith. In 1906, he moved to Colfax. There were 3 children in this family, 2 daughters and a son, Noah, who married Mary Tanner of Anchor.
James Ward (1837-1916) lived near Colfax. His mother, Minerva Ward, made her home with him. His wife died in 1879 and left 6 small children. She was buried in Antioch Cemetery. The new baby, Emma Dell (1879-1907) was adopted by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John Ward. She married Charles Cumpston. James remarried and had 2 more daughters. Minerva died Feb. 23, 1895, age 78, and is buried in Antioch Cemetery, near her daughter-in-law Rua Ward.
Just a short way from John Wards, settled his sister and brother-in-law, the Marshall Hagars. Marshal Jackson Hagar was born in Marble Hill, Bollinger Co., Mo, June 5, 1840, the son of James Andrew and Jane Spencer Hagar.
His father was a farmer and a native of North Carolina and purchased 256 acres when he moved to Missouri. His wife was born in Missouri, and after he died in 1866, she lived with her son, Marshall, and came with him to Illinois. She died in 1889, age 73, and is buried in Prairie Chapel Cemetery, Anchor, the only one of her family to be buried there.
There were 7 children in the James Hagar family. Elizabeth who married James Allman and remained in Missouri near the old homestead. Thomas, who married and had 2 children, but all were deceased before 1899. Henderson and Marion Hagar were drafted into the Confederate Army and died while in the army. Sarah Hagar married William Proctor and they had 6 children, of whom Grover and Harlan came to Illinois.
Marshall remained at home with his parents until he was 21 years of age. He married Minerva Ann Ward, born July 17, 1849, Gaston Co. N. Car. the daughter of David and Minerva Withers Ward.
The Hagars rented land in Cropsey Township for 6 years after they came here. Then he purchased 320 acres of $52 per acre, the north hall of Sec. 32, Cropsey Twp. The homestead was on the western part where Ralph Beechers lived until a few years ago.
There were 8 children in the Marshall Hagar family, and the sons helped their father farm. Later he sold the eastern part, now the Floyd Helmers farm, and bought land at Mt. Victory, Ohio and at Braman, Okla. In 1906, Mr. and Mrs. Hagar had a farm sale and moved to Oklahoma, but after a year there they returned to Anchor. They lived there until 1913, when he sold his home to John Nafziger and moved to Colfax. He died there Mar. 9, 1915 of a sudden heart attack. His widow lived until 1926. They are buried at Wiley Cemetery.
Marshall was active in community affairs and was a stock holder and director of the Farmers Elevator Company in Anchor when it was organized in 1903. Hagar farm was sold Jan.1916 to the Deckers. Charles, the oldest son, married Leora Hudson and they farmed at Braman, Okla. Both are deceased. They had two children, Lola, and Forrest.
Metta Pluma Hagar married Frank Bechtel in 1893. They moved to Ohio and they lived at Ettrick, Va. for a while. They had 3 children, Orville, who died in World War I; Elza, deceased, and whose family lives in Kenton, Ohio; and a daughter, Gladys Burns.
Edward Monroe Hagar married Effie Cross and later Bessie Ricketts. Ed and his brother-in-law, Frank Bechtel, invented a straw stacker to attach to a threshing machine in 1904. They showed their invention at the State Fair and sold a number of these. Ed had a very successful Ford business in Colfax. When his son was born, he was named Ford. The family later moved to California.
Nora Dell Hagar married James Smith of Anchor. They were the parents of 4 children, Lawrence and Pearl Taylor, deceased, Irene Worrick of Anchor and Melba Zander of Dayton, Ohio. Nora and her daughters were the telephone switchboard operators at Anchor for many years.
John Franklin Hagar (1880-1916) married Myrtle Watson. They lived at Mt. Victory, Ohio on his father's farm. She remarried after his death.
Julia Hagar married Chalmers Travis. They are deceased and had 2 daughters Vauna and LaVerne. Albert Jackson and James Leroy were twins. Lee and his wife, Pearl, lived for a time in Oklahoma. They died while living at Seattle, Washington. They had a son, Cleman.
Albert (1885-1963) married Cora Heins (1891-1960). He was a farmer near Anchor. Their only son, Harold, and his family now live northwest of Anchor and are the only ones with the Hagar name in the area.



The Harris Brothers, John C., and W.W., were among the early merchants of Colfax. John C. was the oldest of the Harris children and came to Colfax in 1887. He and his brother owned a hardware and implement business. They had a 2 story building and had machinery in the basement, and carriages on the second floor. They had an elevator powered by an Ideal wind-mill. Their helpers were Ed Scott, for tinning and plumbing, and James Nickerson, for engines and machinery. At one time, they had a branch store in Anchor.
The oldest brother, John C. Harris died in 1903. Between 1902-1913, their brother, Frank J., was in the hardware business in Colfax.
These men were sons of John and Mary Cooper Harris, John Sr. was born Mar. 30, 1832, in Devonshire, England, and Mary Cooper was also a native of Devonshire, born there on Oct. 27, 1830. They were married in May 1852, and their first son, John Cooper Harris, was born at Devonshire on Sept. 1, 1855. When he was an infant they came to Quebec, then moved to Oakfield, Genesee Co. N.Y. in 1856. John Harris Sr. was the son of William and Mary Bennett Harris of England, and William's father had been a gentleman's footman. Mary, the mother died in 1848, and William in 1881. There were seven children in the family, Jeremiah, William, Elizabeth, John, Susan, Thomas J. and Mary J.
In 1860, John and Mary Cooper Harris left New York and came to Shirley, IL, where he worked for Mr. Baird by the month for 5 years. At the end of this time, Mr. Harris bought land near Forrest, but sold it after one year, and rented land for 2 years. He then bought, 130 acres in Belle Prairie Township, just across the line from Lawndale Township. He set to work to improve the prairie land and make it into a productive farm, and eventually owned 320 acres. John Harris died July 2, 1902, and his wife, on May 15, 1910. He had a brother, James Harris at Oakfield, N.Y. and Mary had a brother, William Cooper at Melvin, IL. John C. Harris came to live northeast of the present Colfax in 1867, when about 12 years old. He married Mary A. Weeks on Nov. 9,1891, one of the triplet daughters of Samuel A. Weeks, who lived near the Harris family. They lived on the farm for a few years, then moved into town, to the fine new home he had built at the east end of Main Street, for his wife, and 4 daughters, Blanche, Mabel, Fern and Ina. He was the owner of a farm east of Colfax.
On Mar.19, 1903, John C. Harris died, when the youngest daughter, Ina, was only 10 years old. Mabel died in 1916, Blanche Mitchell went to Washington to live, and Fern married C.L. Harris of Livingston County, a third cousin, and they lived at Anchor. Mary and her daughter, Ina, lived in the family home, the rest of their lives. Mary died in 1944, and Ina in December 1945. Their home was purchased by Dr. N.S. Beebe. Walter W. Harris married Helen Beckwith (1867-1953) in Chicago in 1892. They later moved to Boulder, CO, where he died in Sept.1922. Their son, Warren, died in March 1946.
Frank J. Harris (1860-1922) was born while the family lived near Shirley. He married Hattie Knight. He left the hardware business and moved to Frederick, South Dakota, where he died. Harriett (Hattie) (1864-1956) later went to Los Angeles, where she was living when she died. Both are buried at Wiley Cemetery. Their son, Roy, (1885-1963) lived at Hawthorne, California, and they also had two daughters, Miss Edith and Mrs. Alta Black, both of California.
William C. Harris born Dec. 24, 1864 at Shirley, married Lydia Lawrence in 1891. They farmed in Lawndale Township, about a mile south of the Lawrence homestead. They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters, all of whom stayed on farms near Colfax. They retired and moved into Colfax, where William died in Nov.1941, and Lydia died at the age of 90 years on April 25,1961.
Homer lived on the home place and his daughter, Mrs. Barbara Brock, now lives there. He is deceased, and his wife, Mrs. Gladys Parmele Harris, now lives in Colfax. Ivan is deceased and his widow, Mrs. Gladys Fitzgerald Harris, also lives in Colfax. Their sons, Delmar and Beryl, are farmers in Lawndale Township. The youngest son, Kenneth, is also a farmer in Lawndale Township. Myrtle Harris McClure is deceased, and Mrs. Flossie Thompson, and her son, Warren and his family live on a farm in Martin Township. There are other members of this family living in the area.
Emmanuel J. Harris, born Sept. 10,1867, in Livingston County, married Flora Cox of Colfax. They had 4 children: Glenn (1892-1965); Beulah Davis (1895-1966); Ralph (1897- 1944); and Lottie. Flora died of typhoid on Jan.15, 1903, when Lottie was 10 days old. Lottie died when she was 4 weeks old. Emmanuel married Lola Hurt on Mar. 2, 1904. They were the parents of Helen Harpole (1908-1966) and Lila Mae Harpole. Lola Harris died on Oct. 6, 1925. E.J. Harris married Mary Statler in March 1926. He died on Feb. 4, 1930.
Mary J. Harris, born Oct. 29, 1869, never married. She lived at Colfax, and died in Nov.1946.
Lydia Ann Harris (1871-1918) married Colbert M. Ward (1871-1945). They were the parents of Esther Wiley (1896-1955); Eunice Scott (1890-1963); Leah Rohrer, now living at Octavia Manor; Lucille Zook; Harold 1906-1963; and Hartzell (1898-1935). C.M. Ward died at Bollinger, MO.
James A. Harris, the youngest of the family, was born Sept. 30, 1873. He married Susie Baldwin (1876-1958). They were the parents of 6 children. After James died on Jan. 21, 1937, she later married William Schlink and lived in Bloomington. The children were: Verna Workman (1895-1947); Everett (1898-1957); John Leslie (1905-1956); Eileen Van Ess; and Gladys Henline.
John Harris Sr. who came to Illinois in 1860, had an older brother, William Harris, who came to LaSalle County, in 1851, and to Livingston County in 1856. Some of his family still live in the Pontiac area.



Wallace R. Hemphill was born in Tyrone Co., Ireland about 1844. He died February 22, 1898, and was buried in Cooper Cemetery, Indian Grove Township. His wife, Susan Hale, died November 5, 1915, and an infant son, Lester, who died at the age of 8 months were also buried at this same cemetery.
Little is known of Wallace R. Hemphill's family because he and his sister, Mary, came here when Mr. Hemphill was about 12 years old. Miss Hemphill brought her brother to America to avoid religious persecution. They lived in New Jersey for a time after coming from Northern Ireland, where they were Orangemen. She was a few years older and later married a man by the name of Marion Johnson from Hoopeston, Illinois, and they settled in O'Neill, Nebraska.
After the beginning of the Civil War, on April 25, 1861, at the age of about 17, Mr. Hemphill enrolled in Co. A, 3rd Regt. N.J. Vol. Inf. on April 25, 1861. The Prison of War Records state that he was captured at Mechanicsville, Virginia, May 30, 1864, was confederated at Richmond, Virginia May 31, 1864, and then was sent to Andersonville, Georgia.
Mr. Hemphill was in the Andersonville Prison from June 8, 1864 to November 19, 1864. After inspecting the stockade, Colonel Chandler, a Confederate Officer, stated on July 5, 1864, "It was a muddy marsh totally unfit for occupation and in such a shocking condition that it could not fail to breed pestilence. There was no shelter whatever, the ground being entirely bare of trees, and each man protected himself as best he could, stretching his blanket, if he had fortune enough to have one, or what ever he may have had, above him on such sticks as he could procure.
The hospital accommodations were so limited that nearly all beds (so called) were occupied by two men, and many were turned away from treatment, and died from unknown causes, and were never seen by medical officers."
Col. D.T. Chandler went on to say "The dead are hauled out daily by the wagon load and burned without coffins."
Diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy and hospital gangrene were the diseases which were the main cause of this extraordinary mortality. More than 30,000 men were crowded upon twenty-seven acres of land. Their diet consisted of, coarse corn bread from which the husk had not been removed, with but scant supplies of fresh meat and vegetables. There is the legend of a little brook, a spring, which came out of the ground, which was called Providence Spring, and was accepted as evidence that the One Above had not forgotten the stockade and the people in it. Wallace Hemphill spoke to his children of that little spring of cool water, which is still in existence, coming from the ground, during a heavy thunderstorm, in August of 1864. Mr. Hemphill, too, felt it was sent from God. The legend is that many sermons were spoken at this site and many prisoners spoke of angels seen.
Mr. Hemphill, received his parole at Savannah, Georgia on November 18, 1864. He reported at College Green Barracks, Maryland, on November 25,1864. From November 26, to December 16, 1864 he was treated for scurvy at the hospital at Camp Parole, Maryland. Upon being dismissed from the hospital, he received a furlough. He returned back to camp January 17, 1865, and to duty January 20,1865. On January 25, 1865 he was sent to Trenton, New Jersey for muster out.
He soon came to Illinois and was married to Susan Hale, October 11, 1867, in Peoria County, by Justice of the Peace, Allen S. Sweet.
The next thing we know of Mr. Hemphill, was a deed recorded May 5, 1869, consisting of 120 acres, from David D. Mahon and wife Martha, to Wallace Hemphill, land first received by the Mahons from the government in 1855. The homestead consisted of 21 acres on the Mahon land, which was later bordered with many cottonwood trees, and planted with a large orchard. He also owned land in Southern Illinois, Nebraska and Livingston County, Illinois.
In the 1870 census, 49 of the 835 people living in Lawndale Township, were foreign born, and one of these was Wallace Hemphill.
Mr. Hemphill was granted a pension, on February 5, 1887 for he had contracted rheumatism from exposure in Andersonville Prison. He contracted scurvy in his mouth and legs from exposure. He was considered one-half disabled.
Wallace and Susan were parents of 9 children: Robert Russell, who later settled in South Dakota; Emmer, Ida Jane (Mrs. Andrew Getty); James Johnson; Susan Etta (Mrs. Henry Slater) of Cropsey; Charles Marion; Pearl of South Dakota; Wallace, Jr. of Fairbury; and Lester.
Robert Russell was the father of 7 children: Pearl, Blanche, Edwin Robert, Forrest Russell, Edith Caroline, Wallace Maurice, LaVerne Ilene.
Ida Jane Getty was the mother of two sons, Ivan and James, and two daughters, Ella (Mrs. R.W. Langstaff) and Violet (Mrs. E.K. Ingebrigston).
James Johnson Hemphill married Bertha Howard and they were the parents of one daughter Alma Glendora (Mrs. Donald Stubblefield). Her daughters Betty, Dona and Shirley retained the original Wallace Hemphill acreage.
Susan Etta Slater had one daughter Wilma (Mrs. Ralph Nuttall) and one son Kenneth.
The other Hemphill children, Emmer, Charles Marion, Pearl and Wallace Jr. married, but had no children. The youngest child, Lester; died in infancy.
James Hemphill started farming in 1897 and 1892, he joined the Grange at Liberty School. He bought the Wallace Hemphill homestead in 1901. In 1904, he married Bertha Mae Howard from Peoria, a teacher of Liberty School. He was a school director for one term in 1912; had a farm sale and moved to Colfax on May 1, 1917; helped dig the gymnasium of the new Anchor High School in 1923; was elected to the Colfax town board for 3 years in 1934. When he died, on December 17, 1949, he had lived his entire life in Lawndale and Martin townships.
Wallace Hemphill, who fled from his homeland in Ireland in fear of losing his life, arrived in America with only a few pennies in his pocket, fought for his country, then fought for his life in a prison camp, produced a fine family and acquired a considerable acreage of land, and died a man of means, should rest in peace, proud of his achievements.
Contributed by Donna Stubblefield Little


John and Mary Darnell Henline left Boone County, Ky. in the fall of 1828, part of a group of 42 emigrants going to Illinois. They had been married in Madison County in 1808, and John was about 41 years old and his wife about 37. Their only living daughter, China, her husband and small daughter were in the group, along with the six Henline sons, George 16, John Jr. 14, James Jackson 13, Martin 9, David 6, and William Berton almost 5.
On the first day of the journey the father, John Henline broke his leg. It was set and bound with straight splints. One reference states it was set by quack doctors and another states that he set it himself. He suffered severely during the trip and all that winter, and was lame the rest of his life. That winter he chopped timber by kneeling on the ground.
McLean County was not yet organized in 1828 and all this territory was Tazewell County. The band of travelers arrived at Hittle's Grove near Armington, then John and 2 of his brothers, William and George, traveled up the Mackinaw and they chose locations for their homes in what is now Lawndale Township. John built a cabin, then went back for his family.
During these years, the family lived in the log cabin, wore homespun clothes, and the little boys often played with the Indian children who visited this area. The Indian children could win the races they ran; but the Henline boys were more muscular and came out best in some of the childhood quarrels. This would upset the squaws, who chastised their papooses and would bring the little Henlines to their mother and clap their hands and say "Whip papoose." The mother would go through the motions and the boys would yell and the squaws would laugh and all parties would be satisfied.
In the fall of 1830, the Henlines went back to Kentucky to get a stock of farm implements. Mrs. Henline took up a lot of apple sprouts while there, packed them in a stocking with earth around them, and brought them back to Illinois and set them out. Her orchard did well and the last of the trees was blown down in a storm in 1906. She evidently added other first trees, for another book states that the youngest sons later took peaches to Chicago by wagon and sold them where the Chicago Court house now stands, when Chicago was a small town.
On the return trip, from Kentucky Mr. Henline bought large kettles at Cincinnati, in which to boil maple sap. One of these kettles was saved by the family for many years.
They got back home before the big snow of the winter of 1830 - 31. The snow made prisoners of the settlers in their homes for weeks, and it was 6 weeks before they saw another family. Martin Darnell, Mary's brother, from Indian Grove had been in Lawndale Township and started the ten miles to get to his home during the storm. He made it successfully but it was weeks before the Henline knew whether he had reached his family safely.
During this winter, the Henline boys gathered some corn to feed the wild hogs. They caught deer, but the animals were so poor, they were worth little. The meat from the wild hogs kept many of the families alive during this severe winter. The boys also cut down trees and would haul them by dragging them with oxen. At the time of Black Hawk War, the settlers built a fort on the John Henline's land and people would collect there, for the slightest thing would set off an alarm. Stories of this period can be found in the book, "Good Old Times in McLean County."
The boys trapped turkeys, and would put down a line of corn to the traps, and the birds were so foolish and would walk into the traps as they ate with their heads down eating the corn. Then they would not know enough to put their heads down to walk out of the traps. Out of one flock of 30, only three knew enough to escape.
Mr. Henline could not walk very fast because of his lame leg. His sons taught a couple of rams to be quite vicious. One morning as he came into his year, the rams charged him and he climbed up on a stump and called for the boys. They enjoyed the sport and were slow to come to their father's rescue. Finally he said "Boys, I wouldn't serve you so" and they took away the rams.
The boys attended a neighborhood school, and during the sudden change in the weather in December 1836, when the temperature dropped from 40 degrees above zero to 20 degrees below, in a very short time, they were walking in slush when they left school, and before they got home were skating on ice like tops.
As the boys grew, they saw speculators coming in to buy up land, as well as other sorts of people who came to the area. The men would hunt up the corners of the sections that had been marked by the government surveyors, then would tie rags to the wagon wheels and count the revolutions to measure the distance. The sons married, and the youngest two, lived in the same area where their parents settled. Mary (Polly) Darnall Henline, born Jan. 22, 1791, died Nov. 28, 1865, age 74 years, and John, born Nov 7, 1787, died July 26, 1869, age 81. Both were buried in the Evergreen cemetery, near the place where they had settled many years before.
China Henline (Nov. 22, 1809 - Aug. 10, 1874) was born in Boone Co., KY. and married William Burt (1800 - 1883) in June 1825, when she was 15 ˝ years old. China became a baptismal name in the Henline family and there have been many little girls given this name. William and China had a daughter, Elizabeth, born in Sept. 1826, who made the trip to Illinois with them. They had 6 more children born in Illinois, Sarah, John H., Louisa, William, Polly and James William. They lived near Armington, Ill., and are buried there.
George Washington Henline (June 20, 1812 - Jan. 25, 1865) married Margaret Patton (1814 - 1862) on Jan. 3, 1835. She was the daughter of John and Margaret Wiley Patton of Pleasant Hill. The cabin of the Patton family has been restored at Lexington. Their first child, Margaret (1837) and the youngest, Joseph (1850) died in infancy. Mary, born in 1840, married David Waggoner and their story is related in the John Waggoner story. John William, 1842 married Amanda Scarborough and later in 1903, John W Henline married Ellen Foster Smith. They were the first couple to be married in the new McLean County Court House. Nathan Salathael, born 1845 married Cassander Smith of Feb. 4, 1864. He left for the war three days later and was never heard from again. George and Margaret Henline were buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
John Henline Jr. (Mar. 4, 1814 - Jan. 15, 1885) married his cousin, Cynthia Henline, a daughter of William and Nancy Taylor Henline, in March 1835. They were the parents of 8 children, 7 became adults. John Marion married and lived at Lexington. Jasper Henline also stayed in McLean County. The parents and the rest of the family went to Harper Co., Kansas. William, Malinda Privett, Sylvester, Calvin and Albert were the other children.
James Jackson (J.J.) (Nov. 9, 1815 - July 5, 1903) married Sarah Smith, a neighbor, and the oldest daughter of John and Cassander Wiley Smith. They were the parents of 11 children. They lived in Lexington Township, just west of the parents, and J.J. became owner of a large acreage. Their children were Lucinda Whitelock, Milton, William R. Shelton, Sarah, Addison, Clara M., Alma (male), Ira F., Robert and Loretta. Most of their children went to Kansas or Nebraska. Milton, the oldest son, married Irene Willhoite, and after living near Lexington, moved to Towanda, where they owned a farm. They were the parents of 12 children. Robert Henline, youngest son, of J.J. stayed near Colfax. J.J. and Sarah, and a number of their family are buried at Evergreen cemetery.
Mary (Polly) born in 1817 in Kentucky, second daughter of John and Mary Henline died in infancy. Martin Henline (Oct. 25, 1819 - Sept. 19, 1880) married Feraby Cunningham on May 6, 1841. Her father, Robert Cunningham was one of the first settlers at Cheneys Grove. They were the parents of 10 children, David, Tilcy Ann (1844 - 1858), Seth, Lucretia Harris, China (1851 - 1852), Henderson, William E., Joseph, Martha Woodard and Amby Ellen Woodard. Seth (1847 - 1924) who married Amanda Hughes, lived in the Colfax area. They were the parents of six daughters, some of whom have descendants in the Colfax area. Most of the other children went to western states.
David (Mar. 16, 1822 - May 4, 1895) married Minerva Taylor in 1848, and she died not long after their marriage. He married Cassander Wiley in 1854, and the next year, she died 6 days after their infant son was born and died. They were buried in the Henline Cemetery. David never remarried and he and his brother, William B., farmed together. They became owners of several thousand acres of land and fed 1200 - 1500 cattle each year. In 1870, they lost heavily for they had signed as security for many friends. The brothers were well-known for their hospitality to travelers or to any one in need.
William Berton, (Dec. 20, 1822 - Sept. 1, 1898) married Jane Wright, daughter of Hosea Wright who had first claimed the land on which the village of Colfax is located. Mr. Wright sold the land a few years later. William B. and Jane were the parents of 2 children, John D. and Elmira. Jane died in 1862, when the children were very young. William B. Henline married Jane Moon in 1866. Jane Moon Henline lived to be 93 years of age and died in 1920.
John David Henline (1857 - 1915) related how he had to herd cattle, for it was open prairie for 20 miles around their home. The herders would drive the cattle for miles along the banks of Henline Creek to a watering-place, then after letting the cattle lie down awhile after drinking, would slowly work their way home again. John D. married Sarah Robertson (1856 - 1920) in 1879. Her parents had come to Lawndale Township in 1852, and her father had died in 1861. Sarah owned 200 acres and managed all the details. She was described in a McLean County History as a woman of sound judgment and strong common sense, and manifested a high order of ability in the management of her fine property.
Elmira Henline (1860 - 1889) married John Bozarth and all 5 of their infants died. She and her children are buried at Evergreen Cemetery. John Bozarth moved to Kansas.
John D. and Sarah R. Henline lived on the Henline property and he farmed and raised livestock. He built a new home in 1896. By 1899 he had rented his land to 7 tenants. Their descendants still own some of the family land, and several now live at Colfax. They were the parents of two children, China and William Berton.
China Henline (1881 - 1956) married Carl Grending. He died of injuries received while helping move a building on the Henline farm in 1907, leaving a small daughter Frieda. China later married Grover Pledger. William B. Henline (1883 - 1932) married Blanche Spawr in 1902. Their children were china Williams (1904 - 1975); William Berton of Colfax, a namesake of his father and great grandfather; Clair of Washington, D.C., and Hartzell, who now lives on the family homeplace. The family name, China is being continued for he has a daughter and a granddaughter with this name.


William Henline and Nancy Taylor were married in Boone County, Ky., on May 18, 1816, and their oldest 6 children were born in that state. In 1828, they accompanied his father, his oldest sister China Henline Burt, and her family, and 4 married brothers and their families to Tazewell County, Ill. In all, there were 42 people in this group of travelers. William and his two brothers, John and George, left the group and came to the Mackinaw area, now Lawndale Township, McLean County, where they took up claims. He did not receive the patent to the land until March 20, 1837, for it was not surveyed and on the market.
They established a home on the east side of Section 32, about a half mile from the river. They later replaced this with a brick home, which with the addition added at a much later date, has recently attracted much attention since it has been named one of the historical places of interest in McLean County.
William and Nancy had 2 more children after coming to Illinois, so there were 3 sons and 5 daughters in their family. As the children grew up, they married members of other pioneer families in the same area. A family cemetery was stated on their farm. Some members of their family as well as other relatives and neighbors were buried there. The cemetery was neglected, and some markers deliberately removed. Animals broke other markers. Only a few of the markers can now be found and deciphered. Bother William and Nancy lived until after 1870, for they were listed on that census. Their markers must be among the missing ones, and we do not have the date of their deaths.
Their oldest daughter, Cynthia, was born Apr. 7, 1817, and married her cousin, John Henline, son of John Sr. and Mary Darnell Henline on March 26, 1835. They were the parents of 8 children, William, John M., Jasper, Malinda, Sylvester, Calvin, Albert and a daughter who died in infancy. All of this family went to Harper County, Kansas, except John Marion, his wife and son, who stayed at Lexington, and Jasper, his wife, Caroline and their son, John Walter, who also stayed in McLean County.
Melinda Henline, born Jan. 4, 1820, married Curtis Batterton on Aug. 10, 1837. They lived in Section 5, Martin Township, just a short distance from her parents. Melinda died in 1899 and Curtis in 1893. Their children were Telitha, John who died in the Civil War, Franklin, William and Albert. Their story is included in the Batterton family story.
Henry Henline was born in 1821 and married Elizabeth S. Wiley in Aug. 1841. They were the parents of 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters. William and Nancy deeded him 40 acres of the family farm in August 1853. Their oldest son, Lytle Henline, died in 1863 in the Civil War, at the age of 20. Arminda died in 1872 at the age of 23, and Albert A. died in 1869 at the age of 12. These 3 children were buried at Evergreen cemetery. Henry stayed on the home farm, where he died Feb. 15, 1877, at the age of 56 years. Elizabeth Wiley Henline lived to be 75 years of age and died Dec. 3, 1894. Henry and Elizabeth were also buried at Evergreen cemetery.
Almeda, the oldest daughter, had married Nelson Riggs in 1866. Henry C. Henline, the only surviving son, married Sarah L. Wiley on Aug. 19, 1875. Henry C. and Sarah lived on the home place and he was the one who had the addition built onto the original home in 1901. These bricks were imported from Italy. He didn't get to enjoy his new home very long, for his health failed not long afterward and he died the next year, in June 1902. They were the parents of 5 children; Della, who married David Gillan and moved to Garden City, Kansas; Minnie, who married Orville Ward; Harrison; Homer; and Wiley Henline.
Nancy, the youngest child of Henry and Nancy, married James Morgan Reynolds on July 3, 1879. Her mother lived with her after her father died, for her brother was living on the home place. She inherited part of the family farm, which is still in the possession of her heirs. Her two children were Arminda Reynolds Harms, and Elzy Reynolds, who was a dentist in Colfax.
Levi Henline was born about 1824 and married Eliza Cummings Wiley on May 28, 1843. Their children were Ezra Henline, who was a carpenter in Colfax; Amos Reeder Henline, known as Boone Henline, who died in Kansas in 1895; twin girls, America and Mary; Marion who had lived at Osage City, Kansas for many years, but was in Colfax in 1955 when he died; Manda; Cynthiann, who married a Thomas and went to Kansas; John who moved to California; and Malinda Nichols, who was a resident of California in 1955. Ezra seems to be the only one of this family who remained at Colfax. He was a carpenter, cabinet maker, and helped build Evergreen Church. He married Nancy Taylor, daughter of a neighbor, Benjamin Taylor, in 1865. They had no children.
Telitha Henline was born about 1825. She married Thomas R. Wiley on July 20, 1843. Their son, Anderson Wiley, was very young when his father died on Apr. 26, 1849. Telitha and her son, returned to her parents' home, and a few years later, on Dec. 28, 1854 she married William Foster. By 1860, they had two daughters, Ellen and Emma and were living in Martin Township. We have no later records of Telitha Foster and her family. Anderson Wiley, her oldest child, married Lavina Woodard on Mar. 31, 1870, and they lived near Colfax. Anderson Wiley died in 1884. Their 4 children were Carrie Wiley Pugh (1871 - 1966); Clara Wiley Hawthorn (1872 - 1937) who died at Elsian, Mich.; Sam Wiley (1875 - 1955); and Diana Wiley Clark. Helen Lain, now living in Colfax, is a granddaughter of Anderson Wiley.
Martha (Patsey) Henline was born about 1826 and married a relative of her mother's, Benjamin Abbott Taylor, and they settled in Section 32 near her parents. He was a brickmaker and probably helped build her father's brick home. They were the parents of 9 children; Nancy Jane, Thomas T., Arzelia, Ira, Alma (male) and Elizabeth, Alfred, Almira, and Amanda. Patsey died after Amanda was born on Feb. 28, 1864. Their story is told in the Benjamin A. Taylor family story.
China Henline was born after the family came to Illinois. She had an aunt with his name, which has been used repeatedly in the Henline family. She married Perry J. Foster on Jan. 20, 1849. Their first son, Hiram, was one year old on the 1850 census. China died Feb. 28, 1857, and her little son, John, died in October 1857, at the age of 8 months. Perry J. Foster died Apr. 7, 1863 in the Civil War. Some of their markers can be found at the Henline Cemetery on the family farm. We have no records of other children, if there were any.
John Calvin Henline, the youngest child of William Henline, was born about 1834. He married Martha Jane McMakin on Mar. 15, 1854. She was a native of Tennessee, born there in 1836. She also went by the name of Martha Jane Smith, but the marriage record is in her legal name, McMakin. John C. Henline was a carpenter and lived at Colfax. They were the parents of three sons, Harmon, Hiram and Harvey. Hiram married Clara Viola Taylor, a daughter of Benjamin A. and Louis Taylor. They lived at Chenoa and were the parents of 5 children. Tillie, Lettie, Verlie, Emmett and Everett. Harmon Henline lived in Nebraska and Harvey L. Henline was a doctor at Pontiac. John C. Henline received 40 acres from his parents in August 1866, which he sold the next year.
Frank Gillespie bought the Henline farm in 1924, and Charles Stephens in 1942. Merle McFarland became the owner in 1970, and his widow, Martha McFarland, is the present owner. Records from the cemeteries, from the Colfax Press, and from Mrs. Verda Gerwick of Lexington, have been used to compile this story of this pioneer family.



A.M. HICKS (p.154)



Nathan Hinshaw was born at Stout's Grove, McLean County, March 15, 1831. After he left home, he lived at Mosquito Grove, Allin Twp. McLean Co. for 16 years. In 1874 he moved to Anchor Township. There he bought 320 acres.
The 1879 McLean County History has a short biography of Nathan and states that he built a cottage and barn on his farm. His place was in Sec. 11 where August Brandt lived for many years. He also ownd 160 acres where Harry Stein lived. He was a farmer and stock raiser and in 1879 his address was Garda. That post office was about one and one half miles west of his home. He was the youngest son of Simon and Rebecca and he was married four times.
He married Philura Endicott, Jan. 3,1858. She was born in Posey Co., IN, Feb.15, 1839 and died in 1867. They had 3 daughters. Mary married John Deal in 1881. They moved to Newton, Iowa in 1906, and were parents of 4 children.
Malinda, b. Jan. 4, 1861 married John Meyers in 1878. They had 2 daughters, Violet and Iva and moved to Springfield, Neb. Malinda died in 1897. The 3rd daughter, Emma B. Feb.15, 1864 m. Thomas Moots, Jan.25, 1882. They had 3 children, Bert, 1885-1911, Mabel Moots 1887-1972, and Ernest, now living at Bellflower. Thomas died in 1930 and Emma in 1935.
Nathan Hinshaw married Huldah Neal in 1868, and she died 4 years later. They had one daughter, Florence, (1869-1947). She married Dixon LeRoy Withers and they had 4 children, Stella, Cecil, Leroy and Francis. They lived in the Anchor and Colfax neighborhoods. They are buried at Prairie Chapel Cemetery. In 1875, Nathan married Sarah Ayres Warrick. She died in 1884. They were the parents of 3 sons, James Arthur (Artie), b. 1876. He married Johanna Foss of Ford Co. and they left Anchor and went to Kansas City. They had 2 children, Ralph and Esther. The twin sons, Emory W. and Earnest were born Oct. 1,1880. Emory married Edith Hinshaw in 1901 and they moved to Eugene, Oregon. Earnest Warren lived at Fairbury, IL.
Feb.18, 1886, Nathan Hinshaw married Nancy Schlingliff of Ford Co. They were the parents of 2 sons, Benjamin Franklin b. May11, 1887 and Nathan Pearl born Oct.11, 1888. Both of these sons lived at Bellflower. Frank never married and died Feb. 9,1968. Pearl is also deceased, but he had a son George and family who lived at Bellflower.
Nathan died in March, 1895 and his wife Nancy in 1914. They are buried at Prairie Chapel Cemetery. He had divided his land among his children, and it has all been sold. None of his family are left in the Anchor area.
There were other Hinshaws who came to McLean County. George Hinshaw, was born in 1776 in North Carolina and was a great uncle of John and Nathan. He moved his family to Hinshaw's Grove in 1827 near what became Bloomington. Many of his descendants are living now in the Bloomington area.
The eight brothers and sisters of John and Nathan, who came with their parents to Stout's Grove near Danvers, also have many descendants in McLean County. The Hinshaw Cemetery was on a corner of the original farm. That farm about 3 miles from Danvers is still in the possession of a member of the Hinshaw family.
Mrs. Fern Hinshaw, a granddaughter of John Hinshaw, and who had the family Bible helped supply information about this family. Mrs. Mabel Morris, a granddaughter of Nathan, helped with that family story. The "Hinshaw and Henshew History" written by Wm. Hinshaw and edited by Milo Custer and printed in 1911 was used as the source of the early story.






A.R. Jones, familiarly known as Abe Jones all over the county, commenced his great farming and cattle feeding enterprise in Anchor Township in 1865.
Abraham Jones Jr. was born in Clark Co., Ohio, in 1824. He and several brothers came to McLean County and bought land and started farming. He returned to Clarke County and was married there in 1850 to Nancy Donovan, and the young couple came to Illinois by "Prairie Schooner", to Smith's Grove Towanda Township.
The demands of the great army of the Union, together with a lively inflation of the currency, had for two years before made cattle feeding the great rage of McLean County, and almost every farmer in the county got rich by it. Jones had some money and wanted to make some more. He bought 3,000 acres of land in Anchor Township comprising Sec. 27, three quarters of Sec. 28, five-eights of Section 29, 520 acres of Section 24 half of Section 15, half of Section 10, one quarter of Section 14, one quarter of Section 34, and 80 acres of Section 26; a considerable portion of this land was Stackpole land.
Jones lived on Section 27 (where Harold Young now lives) and there erected a steam mill to grind the feed for his cattle, and built two large barns 28 x 225 feet each, two stories high, sufficient to stall 300 cattle as long as he could afford it, on a constantly declining market.
He sold his mill to John Shorthose, who removed it to Danvers. His barns were cut up in sections and sold off. He at one time sold all his land to persons at contract to pay 25 bushels of corn per acre for ten years. The parties failed to fulfill, and he had to cancel the contracts. He afterwards moved to Towanda and died in 1878. His great farming operations did not use him up financially but must have crippled him considerably.
A later book tells more about this man. During his career as a farmer, he owned 3,500 acres in Towanda and Anchor Townships, but at the time of his death had disposed of all but 985 acres. Shortly after locating in McLean County, he often had large herds of cattle on the prairies, sometimes feeding 1,000 head a year. He is said to have broken more raw prairie sod into condition for tilling, than any other man in the county. It was no uncommon thing for him to break up, in a single year 1000 acres belonging to others in consideration of the privilege of using the land for a certain period, and it was a frequent occurrence for him to have from fifty to sixty laborers working in the field under his supervision. For several years he also owned an elevator at Towanda, and was engaged in buying grain there.
It was for this man that the first school in Anchor township, the Jones School (later Rockford) was named. Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Jones had six children, of whom three died in infancy.
Wm. N. Jones, was born at Smith's Grove near Towanda in 1853. He married Miss Alice Crotinger in Anchor Township in 1877. Her parents had come to this area in 1868 and lived on the farm now owned by Earl Baker. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Jones started farming on some of his father's land at Towanda.
The next year, after the death of his father, he inherited 243 acres in Anchor Township and they moved to Anchor. After short time on the farm, he purchased two houses and a store building in the new village of Anchor, and spent 8 years in the general merchandise business.
Following this, he bought grain for one year, selling out in 1892, and returning to his farm. In 1905 he built a fine residence there, containing all modern conveniences, and greatly improved the property in all respects. Mr. and Mrs. Jones were the parents of nine children, Corydon; Abraham R.; Edith; William F.; May; Carl E.; Don Leo; Florence and Eva.

B.M. JUDD (p.145)

Bishop Morris Judd came to Colfax from Chatsworth and opened a jewelry store. He was born Mar. 16, 1858 at Dearborn, Indiana, the son of Orin and Mary Cook Judd, and came to Cropsey, Illinois when a young man. He was one of the survivors of the famous Chatsworth Wreck of 1887.
He married Sarah Bonham Hawk at Lawrenceburg, Ind. In Feb. 1883, and they lived at Chatsworth for a few years. They were the parents of three children. Mrs. Judd died in July 1920. In 1924, B.M. Judd married Miss Minnie McJirgan of Granville, Ill., who died in December 1937. Mr. Judd had to retire from his store about 1939, because of failing eyesight. He died at the age of 90 in January 1949.
The sons, Durelle, lived in Chicago, then returned to Colfax; and Earl, born near Cropsey Dec. 5, 1887, died Mar. 24, 1972. He and his wife, Edith (McCreary) made their home in Colfax. Their son, Earl Jr. is now and electrical contractor in Bloomington. The daughter, Icy Judd married Thomas McHatton and they went to Los Angeles.


Edward Keefe Sr. and his family came to Colfax on Oct. 4, 1886, a few months after the opening of the mine. Some references state that it was Edward who brought up the first coal from the new mine. Edward was born in Kilkenny, Ireland on Jan 31, 1837, and came to America in 1863. He was a cooper (barrel maker) near Tallula, Menard County, Illinois. He was married in 1866, and most of the Keefe children were born in the Tallula-Petersburg area.
Edward Keefe retired from mining in 1898, and died in March 1900. The mine workers attended his funeral in a body.
Eight of the nine children had survived, and seven were living at home in 1900. The youngest one was 18 when the father died. Many of the children never married, and some who did, had no children, so there were few descendants of Edward Keefe, Sr. Members of this family were: Margaret (1868 - 1948); Eddie (1869 - 1941); Mayme Keefe Salmon (1872 - 1953); Nora Keefe Peters (1874 - 1960); Mathew (1878 - 1905); Nellie Kern, who died in 1952; Benjamin (1882 - 1950); and Robert (1886 - 1958).
Mathew had been a race horse driver for W.H. Anderson and died two weeks after being injured on Dec. 9, 1910. Nellie Kern had been a dressmaker in Colfax, then moved to Petersburg, but returned to Colfax after her husband's death; Benjamin lived at Herscher.
Nora Keefe married Frank Peters in 1912. He was an ironworker and had helped erect the water tower at Colfax. They moved to Alton, then she returned to Colfax. It was her gift to the St. Joseph's Church for a memorial for her niece, Mary Ruth Keefe Egan, the Keefe's only grandchild, and for herself, that started the successful building program for the new church. She was the last survivor of the Edward Keefe children.


The Patrick Kelley family was another of the early immigrant families from Ireland who came to the Bloomington and Merna area and lived there for a while before coming to Martin Township. Patrick Kelley was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, in 1840, and came to Bloomington about 1863. Elizabeth Foy was born near Belfast, Ireland on Aug.15, 1844, and came to America when she was 21 years of age. She married Patrick Kelley in January 1872. They lived east of Bloomington until they came to a farm near Colfax about 1899.
Patrick died in May 1909, at the age of 69. He had a sister, Mrs. Mike Foley, living at Fernald, Iowa, and a brother, William, who still lived in Ireland.
Elizabeth died of old age on Jan. 1, 1916, at her home south of Colfax. She had a brother, John Foy, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Sloan, still living in Ireland.
There were seven children in the Kelley family and four of them made their homes near Colfax. John Kelley, the oldest child, was born near Merna on May 10,1873. He married Julia McCullough at Pekin in January 1906. Their three sons, Leonard, Donald, and John Jr., all live in or near Colfax at present. Mary Kelley (May 16, 1877-Dec. 10, 1934) married Daniel Mulcahey on Feb. 6, 1907. They were the parents of 7 children, but two died in infancy, and William Joseph died at the age of eight years on Aug. 7,1918. The other children were Elizabeth Williamson (1908-1966); Mary, John P.1915-1975), and Thomas B.
William J. Kelley (Mar. 23, 1878-July 1935) married Mary Killian. They remained near Merna, and Mary died on Nov. 24,1910. Their children were: Catherine, Thomas, Madelyne, Margaret and William. Hugh Kelley (May 1, 1880-Mar. 14, 1933) married Mary Murphy of Anchor on May 5, 1910. They lived at Colfax, and had one son, Joseph, who now lives in Colfax. Mary died in February 1962, at the age of 90 years.
Patrick Richard Kelley (1882-1955) married Estella Fitzpatrick in 1916 and 1924, they went to Wapakoneta, Ohio to live. They were the parents of 8 children.
Catherine Kelley (June 29, 1884-Nov. 1955) married William Mulcahey on Sept. 29, 1909 at Colfax. William died at the home of their daughter, Mrs. James Dorsey, at Penfield in 1939. Their children were: Hugh, Mrs. Dorsey, Mrs. Bernard Whalen, Margaret, William and Madonna.
Elizabeth Kelley married Arthur Sturm and they lived at Barrington, IL.







William John Leetch a native of Ballymenna, County Antrim, Ireland, was born there on Mar.10, 1849. He learned the trade of a stone mason and plasterer. He came to America when he was 23 years old, and settled at Lilly, in Tazewell County, IL. After three years in America, he returned to Ballymenna and married Maggie Wilson on Sept. 18, 1875. In 1882, they came to Illinois, stayed a few years, then in 1895 went to Hamilton, Iowa. Seven years later they came to Colfax. He died Dec.19, 1910, and Margaret on Mar. 12, 1919. They were the parents of 9 children, but two died in infancy.
Their family included Robert Leetch, who married Maud Garner; Mary, who married Alonzo Batterton; James, who married Flora Garner; Maggie F. married James Foster; Matilda married Ralph Burtis; William J. Jr., and Wilson S. Leetch.



The John U. Lyons homestead in Section 5, Martin Township is another of the family farms continuously owned and occupied by the same family for over 100 years.
John Usselton Lyons was born in Garrett Co., Ky., not far from Frankfort on Oct. 22, 1830, the 2nd of 4 children of William and Catherine Eddings Lyons. His father was a native of Virginia and his mother of Kentucky. When he was 4 years old, the family moved to Edgar County, Illinois, and a few years later the mother died. The father took the children and moved to Switzerland County, Ind., where he lived until he died in 1860.
There were many Wileys living in that county, and John U. Lyons married Mary Jane Wiley, a daughter of Thomas and Rhoda Swift Wiley. The couple lived near the Ohio River opposite Warsaw, Kentucky. Mary Jane had relatives who had moved to McLean County in 1834 and 1835.
About 1859, Mr. Lyons visited this area and purchased a 160 acre tract from Dr. Eleazar Martin for whom Martin Township had been named. Dr. Martin was selling off part of his land, for he had claimed 1700 acres a number of years before, even though he lived in Bloomington.
Mr. Lyons paid $400 down and gave a mortgage for the rest, then rented it out and returned to Indiana just before his father died. In 1860, he and his wife, and their 4 small children came to the farm he had purchased. His first crop consisted mainly of onions, for which he bought a large quantity of "sets" with him from Indiana. He raised over 200 bushels which repaid him handsomely for his labor.
Thomas, Rhoda, John D., and William A. were the children born in Indiana. Seven more children were born in Illinois: Lytle R.W., Ulysses, Sarah C., Mary, Hannah, Emma, and Samuel. John had branched out into various farming operations and was meeting with success. He became the owner of 80 more acres. He served in various township offices and before the war was democratic politically, but during the war considered that he had reasons to change his views and cast his presidential vote for Lincoln and later for Grant. The son, born in 1864, was named Ulysses Simpson Grant for the general who was bringing about a series of victories that became a turning point in the war between the states. He was called Grant, even though his signature was generally U.S. Lyons.
Many of the children married neighbors and stayed in the area. Thomas married Lucy Bunn of Blue Mound Township and they had 4 children: W.T., Ulysses, Clara Lyons Smith, and Mary B. Cross. Rhoda Lyons married Orange Hatch and they made their home in Colfax. They were the parents of 2 sons, John and Ulysses.
John D. Lyons married Louise Foster, who was also from a pioneer family in this area, and they had 2 children, J.H. and Jeanette Lyons Fuller. William Lyons married Barbara Janes, but William died at the age of 33 years. Lytle Lyons died when young. U.S. (Grant) Lyons married Sarah Eliza Janes in 1893. The next 4 children in the Lyons family were girls: Sarah married L.W. Baldwin and died at the age of 23 leaving 3 small daughters; Mary married Sheldon Powell and later Charles Rich; Emma married Franklin Batterton, who lived nearby. They were the parents of 3 sons, Ulysses, Otto and Riley; Hannah married Franklin P. Hutson, then later Otis Hollingsworth.
E.S. (Sam) was the youngest of the family. He married Barbara Janes Lyons, the widow of his brother, William, and they had 3 children: Beulah, their only daughter died in infancy, Homer and Rolland. Sam became the owner of many acres of land and also managed a grain company. Like many others, conditions during the depression caused him to lose most of his holdings. His sons are deceased and have no family living in this area.
John and Mary Jane Wiley Lyons retired from the farm and moved into Colfax about 1897, where he died at the age of 82 in May 1913. Mary Jane died in 1924, at the age of 86 years. Both were buried at Wiley Cemetery.
Grant and Sarah Janes Lyons lived on the family farm and eventually became the owners of it. Grant had been educated in Martin Township schools, then attended Illinois Wesleyan. He became a successful farmer and livestock raiser specializing in Poland China hogs. He and Sarah became the parents of 2 daughters, Flossie and Nellie.
Flossie and her husband, John Steinlicht, took over the family farm when her parents health began to fail. Sarah Lyons died in 1930 and Grant in 1932. The Steinlichts bought her sister's interest in the home place. John now resides there, but Flossie died in 1970. Their son and grandson, Wayne and Chalmers Steinlicht have been farming the home place. Their daughter, Dorothy Steinlicht Howard, lives not far away. Nellie is now deceased. She had married Harry Morefield and lived in the Saybrook area. She later married Mark Hardesty. Some of the Morefield children and grandchildren lived near Arrowsmith and Saybrook. Even though there were 11 Lyons children, there seem to be none with the family name living in the area at this time.
Sarah Janes Lyons, wife of Grant Lyons, had a heritage from early McLean County pioneers that dates back to the Revolutionary War era. Her father, Peter Janes, was born in Fayette County, Ohio, and came to Money Creek Township with his parents, John S. and Sarah Dunkle Janes in 1851. His father was a native of West Virginia and his mother of Ohio.
Peter was the oldest of 8 children, 7 of whom were born in Ohio and the youngest in McLean County. Most of the family stayed in the Money Creek area. John S. Janes died Feb. 20, 1854, and was buried in the Indian Field Burying Ground near Lexington. Sarah died Feb. 13, 1887. Peter Janes married Louisa Crose in 1857.
Sarah Lyons' mother, Louisa Crose Janes was born in Randolph Township, McLean County in 1839 two years after her parents William and Eliza Ann Busick Crose had moved there. Her great-grandfather, Philip Crose, was born in Hampshire County, Virginia in 1757 and had enlisted in 1780 for 6 months as a private in Capt. Daniel Richardson's Virginia Company. He was in the battle of Guilford Court House during the latter part of the war. He enlisted again in the same company July 20, 1781 and was discharged Oct. 25, 1781. He married Priscilla Becks and the family moved to Pickaway County, Ohio. Their son, William was born there in 1814.
About 3 years later the family moved to Shawneetown, Illinois, but after a few years there, moved to Eel River, Indiana, then again moved to where Crawfordsville now stands. Philip was living in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and when pension benefits were granted survivors of the Revolutionary War in 1833, he applied for a pension which was granted to him. In 1837, a group of his family came to Randolph Grove in McLean County. Records show that he received his last pension in September 1839.
Indiana claims Philip Crose as a Revolutionary soldier buried in that state, and some Illinois records state that he was buried northeast of Heyworth, and that a marker, once placed there by the D.A.R. is now missing.
William Crose, Sarah Lyons' grandfather, was 13 when he was bound out to Elijah Funk, a farmer in Warren County, Ind., but at the age of 20 became his own man and set out on his own. He went to Pickaway County, Ohio, where he was a farm laborer and a drover. He drove one hundred and forty cattle, five hundred and thirty-three miles to Philadelphia. He was 47 days on the road and when he had disposed of his cattle returned in 11 ˝ days. He was married on Nov. 13, 1833 in Ohio to Eliza Ann Busick. They lived in Ohio for less than a year, then went to Indiana for 3 years. They moved to McLean County in 1837.
William Crose worked hard for 8 or 9 years and had accumulated some little property and began to think himself rich and wished to take the world easy. He took a great interest in sporting and kept the finest and fleetest hounds, for running wolves and deer. Mr. Crose said that a deer when chased would actually run itself to death. He tried to tame a wolf, but could not teach it to lead. He hunted the other and found it a cunning animal.
The routine was in the winter time hunting, in the spring ploughing and planting, in the fall going to Chicago and selling oats for 12 1.2 cents per bushel. After hunting for a few years he found out he must let his dogs and gun alone and pay more attention to business.
About 1856 he went to Iowa, but after his health failed, returned to Illinois settling along the Mackinaw between Lexington and Towanda. There were 11 children in William and Eliza Crose's family. Louisa Crose Janes was one of the older children. These quotations about William Crose and his family were found in the book, "Good Old Times in McLean County". William Crose died in 1880.
Sarah Janes Lyons was the 3rd of 6 daughters of Peter and Louisa Crose Janes. Peter Janes died March 31, 1909 and Luisa on April 2, 1902, after living in Money Creek area for many years.

MAJOR J.B.T. MANN (p.91)



John and Minnie Martensen moved into the new home they had built in Anchor from their farm home east of Anchor. Their oldest son, Erwin, had been killed in France and a younger son had taken over the family farm.
John Martensen bought the hardware store from F.P. Johnson in January 1922 and operated it until it was destroyed by the fire of February 1926, which burned three store buildings in Anchor. In the summers he continued to operate his threshing machine and big steam engine on his threshing run northeast of Anchor. Mr. Martensen was born July 1,1868, near Grand Ridge in LaSalle County. His father, Peter Martensen, came from Germany in 1853 at the age of 20, because he did not want to serve the compulsory army service. The trip took 7 weeks by sailboat for the stormy winds had blown them backwards for one week. When they arrived at New York, the young men had to cut their boots from their feet because they were so swollen from improper food and from other conditions of the trip.
There were men waiting at the port to hire the immigrant boys to work on the railroad that was being built southwest from Chicago. Peter was hired and arrived in Illinois to make his home for the rest of his life. When he had saved enough, he bought an 80 acre farm in a German settlement southeast of Ottawa. He married Anna Lambert at Ottawa on Apr. 21, 1862. She and her sister, Hannah, who married Heinrich Freitag (Henry Friday, Sr.) had also come from Germany.
Peter and Anna sold the LaSalle County farm and moved to Cropsey Township where he had purchased a 160 acre farm for $33 per acre. John, the second son, started first grade at Miller School east of the family home, so the move was probably made about 1875. There were four children in the family, Thomas, John, Pauline, and Caroline.
Peter and Anna stayed on the family farm until 1891, when both sons married and started farming. They moved to Bloomington where Anna died in 1901 and Peter in 1918.
John married Minnie Feddersen on Feb.19, 1891. She had come to America to join her brother, Thomas Feddersen at Streator, when she was 17. He was homesick and wanted someone to join him. They were the only two members of their family who came to America. When he moved to Bloomington with his bride, Minnie moved with them.
John and Minnie moved onto the family homestead. His brother, Thomas, (1866-1911) farmed nearby. John and Thomas ran the threshing machine together until Tom's death.
John and Minnie were parents of five children. Their two older daughters married and left home in 1912 and 1913.
Erwin Martensen had been farming his grandfather's farm, where his Uncle Tom had lived, when he enlisted on Dec. 8, 1917. He did not want to put in a new crop the next spring and then be drafted, so he enlisted as a mechanic in the signal corps for he did not believe in taking the life of one's fellowman, but yet wanted to serve his country. That farm now belongs to his cousin, Pearl Carter of Decatur. The move into town was made, so the youngest son could attend high school, and to give another son a place to farm.
Minnie went to France on the Gold Star Mother's trip in 1931. She had hoped she might be able to see her native Schlesweig, but no one was allowed to leave the conducted tour.
John Martensen was a friendly, congenial man, who loved to argue and to play checkers. To many he was known as John Madison. The use of that name is supposed to have started when some one couldn't spell Martensen and he said just put it down Madison. He died after a stroke in August 1936, and Minnie in July 1943.
The oldest daughter, Mabel (1891-1962) married John Martens and they were the parents of 3 daughters. Elsie born 1893, married Harry Newnam of Cropsey and they have lived near Fairbury since 1921. They had 4 daughters and one son.
Erwin (1895-1918) was the oldest son. Clarence married Bessie Spawr and they were the parents of 3 daughters. Delmar, born Dec.19, 1905, graduated from law school at the University of Illinois and became an attorney in Paxton. He married Velda Erdman, who had earlier lived in Anchor Township. They were the parents of a son and a daughter. The son is also an attorney. Delmar has now retired from the firm of Martensen and Martensen in Paxton.



Sterrett and Abraham McClellan, brothers, and natives of Indiana came to Colfax at an early date. Sterrett was sexton of Wiley Cemetery for many years, keeping it in a beautiful condition. Under his direction the hickory trees were removed in 1899 because their leaves stained the markers, and because the trees swarmed with boys and their clubs each fall, as the boys tried to get the hickory nuts. He planted the ash trees that now remain to beautify the south half of the cemetery.
He was born Apr. 1, 1838 at Sullivan, Ind. and married Sarah Ann Huff on Mar. 3, 1858. She was born at Carlisle, Ind. In 1841 and was one of 13 children. Sterrett served in the Civil War for one year in Co. B, 152nd Vol. Inf. They came to McLean County in 1862. Sterrett and Sarah were the parents of John, Laura Jane, Mary, Logan, William and Belle. Mrs. McClellan died Feb. 5, 1895.
Sterrett married Mrs. Charlotte Cooper in August 1904. She was the widow of A.H. Cooper, who had come to Colfax from Potosi in 1880. Sterrett McClellan died on Nov. 21, 1913, and was buried at Wiley Cemetery. Many of his family have been buried there.
John McClellan (1860 - 1931) was born near Sullivan, Ind., and married Angie Cross of Saybrook in 1889. They lived at Colfax and had 9 children. When Angie died in 1947, she had lived in Colfax for 48 years. One son, Hartzell, is now a resident of Colfax. Their other children were Ivo, Wm. S., Leo, Florence, Mary, Ruth, Nellie, Blanche and Elsie.
Laura Jane McClellan (1863 - 1937) married James Smith and they lived at Anchor, then moved to Kempton about 1908. One of their 10 children, Clarence (Mack) remained at Anchor and farmed near there. The others were Beulah, George W., James, Eva, Albert, Mary Fern, Otis and Jessie, and Grace. Mary McClellan married Joe Raish and moved to San Diego, California. She died in Portland, Ore., they had two children, Delsia and Alva.
Belle married Champ Dean and after living in Nebraska, and Danville, Ill., went to California. They were parents of 3 children, Elzie, Elton and Champie.
Logan McClellan (1867 - 1942) married Julia May Cross in 1890. They were the parents of 4 children, Carrie, Eddie, Nettie Pickering, and Lena Herman.
William McClellan (1872 - 1959) married Estella Woodard in 1892. They were the parents of three sons. Owen (1894 - 1920) married Miriam S. Scott and was a medical student at Northwestern University at the time of his death. Homer (1898 - 1961) married Agnes Pile and they had 2 sons, William and Robert. Harvey McClellan born 1906, married Jessie Vetter and lives in Valparaiso, Indiana. They have 2 children, Barbara Hardesty and Wayne McClellan.
Abraham McClellan lived at Colfax and at Anchor. He died Nov. 13, 1913 at the age of 60. His only daughter, Mary Louise (1872 - 1900) married Joe Collings of Colfax and left two small children, Oscar LaMont and Josephine.


Robert and Martha McClure, came to America with their first daughter, Ellen, in 1860. Thomas and Maggie McClure were born in America. They lived at Tremont and were in Martin Twp. by 1880. Ellen McClure married William Gillan, a son of James Gillan Sr. James and Ellen lived in Martin Township and had one son, James T. Gillan.
Maggie and Thomas McClure and their mother lived at Farmer City. Martha died in 1908, at Farmer City at the age of 90 years. Her funeral was held at the home of her grandson, James T. Gillan in Martin Township. She was buried at Wiley, where her husband had been buried about 10 years before. Her daughter, Ellen McClure Gillan, had died in 1907.


Robert Montgomery McClure, son of William James and Sarah Montgomery McClure, was born in County Antrim, Ireland on May 9, 1842. At the age of 18 years, (1860) he came to America with his Aunt Martha McClure and cousin, Ellen McClure. The trip was made in a sail boat and required seven weeks to complete.
After his arrival here, he was employed by James Gillan of Tremont IL, who was a farmer by trade. Mr. Gillan had forwarded his pass and Robert stayed there and worked until he had paid for his pass. While employed there, misfortune played a part in his life. He sustained a broken leg and was in bed for seven long weeks.
He married Sarah Gillan at Tremont, IL, on August 31, 1869. They made their home in that viciuity until 1878, when they moved to Martin Township. Arrowsmith was the nearest town at that time. The farm they bought was small, only 80 acres, and it was 8 miles from Arrowsmith. They thought nothing of driving to Bloomington, a distance of 25 miles, in a wagon to purchase their provisions. They also made visits to Tremont the same way.
The farm was located in the southwest corner of Section 13, and he sold a corner of his farm for $30, to be used for school house that became known as the McClure School.
Although in poor health, he continued farming until he was stricken with pneumonia and died after a week's illness in 1893. His widow and small sons carried on with the farming, until William married and left home in 1904. The other sons, John and Lee, were much younger than William. There were also 4 girls in the family.
The seven children of Robert and Sarah Gillan McClure were:
Emma, the oldest, married John McClintock. John was also a native of Ballymenna, and had been married there. After the death of his wife, he came to America with his children, Robert and Minnie. In 1891, he married Emma McClure, and they lived in Martin Township, then later moved to LeRoy, IL. Olive McClure married Ernest Wonderlin. Their children were Hartzell, who died in infancy; Grace Yanney; Homer Miles; John Harold; and Lorene White. The story of this family is related in the Wonderlin family story.
Sadie McClure married Curtis Sarbaugh. They had five children, one dying in infancy. Mrs. Elva Sarbaugh Schleeter, now lives in Colfax and is a life-time resident of Martin Township. Albert lived at Decatur; Mrs. Hazel Adams in Zanesville, Ohio. Chester, deceased, served in World War II.
William married Olive Stuckey and they moved to Danvers. They were the parents of two sons, Eldon and Dean, and 2 daughters, Dorothy and Fern. After William's death, Olive married James Hemphill and lived in Colfax.
Mary McClure, a twin sister of William, married William Lain. They lived in Colfax and were the parents of Howard, Emmett, Voyle, Vivian Greenlee, Crete Greenlee, Melba Martin, Wanda Barthel and Catherine. Mary Lain later married William Webb.
John McClure married Etta Stuckey, and his youngest brother, Lee McClure, married Laura Vetter. They lived at Sibley and were the parents of 2 children, Robert and Veryl.


Patrick McGowan became one of the oldest residents of our area, for he reached the age of almost 102 years. He was born at Innisclare, County Clare, Ireland on Mar. 17, 1826 to Mr. and Mrs. John McGowan. He came to America about the time of the "Potato Famine" of 1847. He landed in New York, lived for a short time in Canada and farmed for a while in Connecticut. He then went to Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin, where he married Mary Havey. At that time they lived among the Indians and traded with them. Three children, John, Katherine, and Thomas were born in Wisconsin.
They came to Illinois about 1860 and lived near Padua, then later moved to Martin Township. Three more children, Mary, Margaret and James were born after the family came to McLean County. Patrick McGowan had located southwest of Colfax and his farm is still in the possession of some members of his family. He died on Jan. 23, 1928.
Several of the children died when young. Mary (1861 - 1950) and Margaret (1863 - 1946) never married. James McGowan (1866 - 1952) married Mary O'Rourke (1874 - 1953) of Merna in 1899. They lived on the family farm and became parents of 8 children: John, James, Joseph, Frank, Edward, Thomas, Mrs. John Leary, and Margaret.
Father Joseph McGowan lives in Peoria and is a chaplain at St. Francis Hospital. Frank McGowan and his family now live on the family farm. Thomas lives in Bloomington, and the others have left this area. John is deceased.






David M. Mitchell, a farmer in Lawndale Township, sold his 80 acre farm to Isaac Conklin after 1880 and moved into Colfax, where he became the owner and publisher of the Colfax Leader for many years. The special edition he published in 1895, with its articles about Colfax business leaders, the churches, schools, lodges, and other articles of information had been a valuable source of information about early Colfax, and have been used as a reference for much of this history.
David M. Mitchell was born Dec. 31. 1831 near Columbus, Ohio. His father, William Mitchell, had come to McLean County about 1828, the same year as the Henlines, but for an unknown reason, returned to Ohio. William and Mary Reed Mitchell were the parents of 8 children, 3 sons, and 5 daughters.
David married Rhoda Dulin and they came to Pleasant Hill in 1855. They were the parents of 10 children, before Rhoda died in 1872, two days after a son was killed by lightning. They lived in the Evergreen neighborhood, and just over the line in Lexington Township. David later married Mrs. Susan Ellis and they were living in southeastern Lawndale Township in 1880, but only one of the younger sons, David T. was at home.
After the move to Colfax, the family home was at 212 Brook Street. J.A. Alford had started the Colfax Leader in July 1888, and after a fire the next year damaged much of the new village, Mitchell bought the printing outfit and established his business that year. The files of the newspapers printed in Colfax since April 1890, have been saved. The Colfax Leader had become the Colfax Press.
A hand-made desk used in his office is now in the possession of his great-grandson, Alva H. Mitchell of Normal, Ill. It is believed to have been made by David Knight, and was given to Alva by Jesse Knight in 1943. David Mitchell died in February 1902. His second daughter, Mary, (1855-1922) ran a millinery and variety store in Colfax for many years. The oldest son, Edward (1857-1931) helped on the family farm until 1879, when he married Cora Knight of Anchor. They went to Sumner County, Kansas in 1881, but after 5 years of drought, hot winds, and other typical Kansas troubles, returned to Lawndale Township to farm. Edward and Cora had 9 children: Earl, Della, Carl, Fern, Jesse, Harry, Mary, Roy and Grace. Roy died of pneumonia after he had enlisted in World War I. Grace died at the age of 12 years. Edward was a mechanic and in addition to his farming worked as an engineer at the west coal mine. Erie D. Mitchell (1880-1953) was the only one of the Mitchell family who remained in the Colfax area. He married Edith Dameron and they had two children, Mildred Malmquist and Alva R. Edith now resides with her daughter in California.
When David M. Mitchell was farming, he had a threshing machine powered by oxen or mules. His son, Edward, had two threshing machines and two corn shellers powered by steam engines. His grandson, Erie D. Mitchell, had a threshing machine and a corn sheller powered by a steam engine, then traded it for a gas powered engine. During World War I, he discontinued work with his own rigs, and operated the Lawndale Community Threshing machine and corn sheller.
In 1925, he bought the corn sheller and another threshing machine, and a new compact tractor to furnish the power. He retired from this work in 1928. The great grandson, Alva, started helping by hauling water to the steam engine when he was 13 years old, and a few years later was given the responsibility of running his father’s machines. After he left Colfax, he was employed by the railroad. None of the Mitchell family now reside in the Martin-Lawndale area.
Page 12 - In a mention of Evergreen Methodist Church Cemetery, it says that "other settlers of the area buried there are" David and Rhoda Mitchell.
Page 26 – In a mention of the first Colfax coal mine it says "W.G. Anderson was president of the Colfax Coal and Mining Co.; D.T. Mitchell and Henry Ellington were other officers.


Samuel Moody and his wife, Martha Maclean Moody, were both natives of County Antrim, Ireland. He was born there Apr.23, 1839 and she on April 23, 1851, and they were married in Ireland in 1878. They came to America shortly after their marriage. They were the parents of twin boys, who died in infancy. Their son, David married Molly Scholl, and lived near Ellsworth. They also had 4 daughters, Nellie, Mabel, Maggie, and Mrs. Fred Scott. Nellie married William Leasman, and now lives with her daughters, Pauline and Wilma.
Martha Moody died on Mar. 23,1895, and Samuel later married Margaret Leetch, also a native of Ireland. Samuel died in Nov.1910, and Margaret in 1920. They had made their home in Martin Township and were buried at Wiley Cemetery.




Anna, Solomon, John and Peter Nafziger were members of a family that came to the Anchor Area from near Washington, Tazewell Co., IL. The family was of German descent and the parents were born in the province of Lorraine, under French domination. They were of the mennonite faith.
Peter Nafziger Sr. was born there in 1835 and came to Tazewell County with his parents in 1849. Barbara Garber came to Tazewell County with her family in 1851. they were married in Tazewell County and were the parents of 5 children. Peter died there in 1885. One daughter, Lizzie Reed remained in Tazewell County, near Deer Creek.
The other daughter, Anna Nafziger, married Peter Garber in 1877. After his father died in 1886, and he received his inheritance, he and Anna moved to Cropsey Township, where they bought 320 acres, later adding additional land. Their home was located just northeast of the present village of Anchor and is nw owned by their youngest daughter, Ruth Garber Kohler.
This young couple was to experience much tragedy. Their first daughter died in infancy before they came here. Then 4 sons were born, Christian 1885, Solomon 1887, David 1881, Daniel 1883. The boys became ill with diptheria in March 1891, and all died that month between March 14 and 30th, and were buried at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Anchor Township. The family had shown kindness to a tramp, and had given him food and shelter. Just a short time after this, the boys became ill of the fatal disease. Ella, about 9 months old, survived. Later, another daughter, Ruth was born.
Peter Garber built a new home for his family in 1893. He died in 1904, and his widow and daughters lived here for many years before moving to Bloomington. Ella married Ed Kinsinger and lived near Chenoa. They are deceased. Ruth married Claude Kohler, and her mother lived with her during her later years. She died in 1946. Claude and Ruth Kohler live at Bloomington and he farms this land, and Denver Billingsley lives on the Garber homeplace.
Soloman Nafziger purchased 320 acres northeast of anchor, and his mother, Barbara Nafziger, lived with him and his family, until her death on May 7, 1911. Solomon rented his farm to Joseph Grosse and moved to Bloomington. He died in 1963. Sol and his wife had a son and a daughter. this farm is still in the possession of this family, and is now farmed by Bernard Grosse, a son of Joe Grosse.
John H. Nafziger (1861 - 1949) married Augusta Stormer of Washington. In 1892, John bought 90 acres south of Anchor and his father-in-law bought the adjoining 90 acres to the south. This couple were the parents of one son, Elmer. John farmed this tract for a number of years, then in 1902 he became the manager of O.A. Means Elevator. When the Farmers Co-operative Elevator Co. was organized in 1904, he was a shareholder and was named manager, a job he held for 27 years. He was also vice-president of the Anchor State Bank. After it was closed in 1933, he helped re-organize it and served as president for 15 years. In 1924, he was elected supervisor of Anchor Township, and served for 16 years. The family moved to town about 1915 and the farm was rented. Mrs. Augusta Nafziger died in 1922, and her sister, Katie, who had made her home with her, became the housekeeper at the Nafziger home until her death in 1941. Elmer Nafziger became a lawyer and practiced in Springfield, where he now lives. His son, George, is also a lawyer.
Elmer and George have continued the livestock farming business started by John Nafziger. John Keeley now resides on the Nafziger farm.
Peter Nafziger (1863-1940) married Magdalene Nafziger in 1889. They came to Anchor Township in 1890. They were the parents of Arthur (1894-1920) who served in World War I, Vera (1905-1922), Elsie, and Mrs. Sam Ummel. the mother of this family died in 1922. Peter Nafziger and his daughter, Elsie, lived on a farm near Anchor. The Ummels had been living on the John Nafziger farm and left Anchor, when Rev. Sam Ummel who had been preaching at the Anchor Monnonite Church, gave up farming and went into full time ministry near Morton. Pete Nafziger was one of the trustees of the Anchor Cemetery when the board was elected, after the Prairie Chapel Cemetery was deeded to the township.
Mrs. Barbara Garber Nafziger had a sister who also moved to Anchor Township. Anna Garber married Chris Gimpel and they located just west of John Nafziger and bought the John T. Tanner farm, south of the Mackinaw. Chris Gimpel also ran a meat market in Anchor. Their sons were Chris, George, Peter B., and John. the parents moved to town were he died in 1912. His widow lived until 1926.
P.B. Gimpel lived on the home place until his death in 1944. His widow, Ethel, who had been living in Oklahoma near her daughters, died in February 1976. Members of the Gimpel family are also buried at Anchor Township Cemetery.


W.F. NEWELL (p.145)

W.F. Newell lived at Anchor before he moved to Colfax, where he ran a grocery store for many years. He was born at Scutneyville, Vermont on Nov. 25, 1856. His mother died when he was 9 years old, and he came to Illinois when he was 13. He married Delia Merrill of Anchor, a daughter of Esbon Merrill. The Merrill School was named for her father, who owned a large acreage nearby.
W.F. and Delia Newell had one daughter, Blanche, who married James Ritchie. Mrs. Newell died about 1920, and W.F. made his home with the Ritchies, where he died on Nov. 11, 1929.


John Pendergast, who was a section worker on the Illinois Central Railroad when it was built to Colfax, lived first in Anchor, then moved to Colfax, where he spent the rest of his life. He was the son of James Pendergast, a native of Ireland, who was born there in 1827. He came to America in a sailboat in 1847 and settled first in Vermont. He was married there to Mary O’Brien, also a native of Ireland. They had 3 children, and John was the oldest. The father, James, died in 1869 and his widow married Edward Harty and they had 3 children.
James and Mary Pendergast were living in Chicago when John was born June 12, 1885[?], and when he was small his parents moved to Effingham. After getting his education there, John started working on the railroad when he was 15 years old. After 5 years he became a foreman. John Pendcrgast married Catherine Green on June 26, 1879. Catherine Green’s father was born in Ireland in 1822, and came to the United States when he was 16. He followed the moulder’s trade in Philadelphia and married Eliza Mann, also a native of Ireland. They had five children: Fanny, Catherine, William, Charles, and Elizabeth. They moved to Effingham, Illinois in 1865. Mr. Green died in 1878, and his wife died in Colfax in 1894, and was taken back to Effingham for burial.
John and Catherine Pendergast’s son, James W., born after they came to Colfax was the 3rd child born in the corporate limits of the new village. He was the first of their four children. A daughter, Veronica, died in infancy. The others were Walter and Mary Wilson.
Mr. and Mrs. Pendergast were active in starting a church of their faith. The St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was organized at their home.
Mr. Pendergast received a railroad pension when he was 65, for his many years of service and also because of ill health. He died June 5, 1933.


JOHN PUGH (p.147)

John Pugh came to Colfax from southern Illinois. Most members of families with this name are descendants of English people who came to Pennsylvania about the time of William Penn. Since then they have migrated westward with many coming into the southern Indiana and Illinois.
John L. Pugh was born May 6, 1868 at Patoka, the son of a fruit farmer. He was raised there, then left home and came to Colfax where he worked on a farm. Here he met and married Carrie Wiley, a daughter of Anderson and Lavina Woodard Wiley.
The young couple moved to Patoka, but John liked McLean County much better so they returned to Colfax and he started to work in the coal mine.
He worked at the Colfax mines as long as they were in operation. When there was no more work here, he went to Fairbury to work as a miner. He continued this work until he retired. By that time his health was beginning to fail. He died on Oct. 16,1943. John had relatives living near Clinton.
Carrie lived to be 95. She had lived with her only daughter, Helen, for many years and died Nov. 6, 1966. Helen Pugh married Howard Lain, who is deceased. Helen and her son Eldon, and his family are residents of Colfax.


William Rincker opened the first store in Colfax, in 1879, and operated it until 1884. He was a native of West Baden, Germany, born there on Sept.21, 1846, and he came to the United States in 1851. He lived in Chicago, then moved to Lexington, and then to Colfax.
He married Caroline Baker in 1872. Mter his wife died in 1883, he and his daughter moved to St. Paul, Nebraska. Gertie died there in Dec. 1892 at the age of 18 years. William died at St. Paul in April 1915. Both Gertie and her father were returned to Wiley Cemetery for burial.



Daniel D. Sailor, who came from Hudson Township to Martin Township, lived on the same farm for 60 years. His parents had come from Logan County, Ohio to McLean County. Daniel married Cora E. Bowen in 1887, the daughter of T.C. and Sarah R. (Baird) Bowen. Her grandfather, Rev. John Bowen, was one of the first Methodist ministers of Woodford County, IL.
Daniel and Cora were the parents of 3 children, Dwight, born in 1888, Lewis John, 1894-1965, and Mary born in 1901. Both sons became Methodist ministers and served pastorates in Illinois. Mary Sailor Jordan moved to Alabama.
The Sailor family home was a victim of the tornado and totally destroyed on April 3,1974. The farm is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Warren Thompson.



Henry Anderson Schultz, who was one of the first blacksmiths in the new village of Colfax, was a native of Adams County, Ohio, where he was born on Aug. 10,1825. He married Olive Haines in 1850. She was born Nov. 14,1819 in Greene Co., Ohio. They moved to Danvers, Ill. in 1854, and in 1880, they moved to Colfax.
They were the parents of seven children, but Theodore, Frankie and Adelaide died when young. Adelaide, was the second person to die in the village. At Antioch Cemetery, east of town, is the marker for Olive A. Schultz, daughter of H.A. and O.F. Aug. 8, 1860-Nov. 6, 1880. Mrs. Schultz died Mar. 6, 1896, and Henry in November 1905.
Alice Schultz Levich died in 1897 in Missouri. Alminnie Schultz married T.S. Willhite, a carpenter and contractor in Colfax. Mack (1854-1927) lived in Bloomington, and Charles Schultz became a doctor in Colfax, and later moved to Bloomington. His son, Dr. Gordon Schultz is now a bone specialist in Bloomington.

C.C. SCOTT (p.145)

Carlile C. Scott operated a dry goods and grocery store in Colfax for many years. It was a large store with much merchandise, with the grocery section occupying part of the building and the dry goods the other half. He had started in business with his father-in-law, J.T. Larned, but after a fire did extensive damage to the store, his father-in-law withdrew from the business.
C.C. Scott married Anna Larned on July 28, 1881 at Chatsworth, then they came to Colfax. Anna had two sisters who also lived in Colfax, Miss Minnie Larned and Mrs. D.A. Clark. Anna Scott died at Hoopeston in 1942. They were the parents of 3 children; Miriam Scott Thesen (1898-1969); Mildred Scott Moore, now living at Redlands, California, and a son, Shirley, who also went to California.



Another family, who had been living southwest of Bloomington, made the move to our area, and that family still owns the land bought by Levi Sholtey in 1869. The grandfather of this family, William Sholty reached America before 1800. He stole aboard a ship bound for America and reaching this country was sold to a blacksmith for 7 years to pay for his transportation. He followed that occupation during his lifetime. He came from the Netherlands and one source states he was of German descent. His son, Jacob, was born near Harrisburg, Penn., in 1805. He worked on the farm by the month, then moved on to Ohio, where he did farm work for 7 years, moving then to Indiana.
There he bought timber land, erected a grist mill and did a good business. He married Mary Kaufman, June 1, 1830. She was born in 1810 near Harrisburg and was of German descent In 1849, with their family, they moved to Bloomington, IL, and farmed where the C. and A. shops were later located. Jacob bought 125 acres west of Shirley for $7 an acre, the farm being partially improved.
Later he bought a half section from the railroad for $12.50 an acre, that being wild prairie, next a 160 acres for $50 per acre, then 40 acres of timber ground for $40 an acre. This couple had nine children, 3 dying in infancy, and one son at 19. They lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, an unusual event at that time. Their family included Susan, Anna, Henry C., Samuel and Levi.
Henry C. was born March 7,1833 in Pennsylvania, and Levi, Sept. 7,1844 at Salem, IN. Henry Sholty remained near Bloomington. Levi received some education, but was needed at home. He started farming on a half section owned by his father, and at 21 years of age had 50 head of young cattle which he fed for 3 years, then sold them for $70 a head, using the money to buy farm implements, some household goods, more livestock and made a down payment on some land. When he was 22 he married Hannah Geyer, who was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio in 1844. Her father had been killed in the siege of Vicksburg.
Levi bought 200 acres of wild prairie in Anchor Township for $8.50 per acre. It was 16 miles from Fairbury, the nearest market place. The Sholteys located there in 1869, where he broke the land, tilled it, planted shade trees and an orchard, and erected good buildings. The lumber for these buildings was hauled from Fairbury. Levi named his farm, "Cottage Grove Farm." The Sholteys had 9 children, three little girls died in infancy and are buried at Saybrook.
When Jacob Sholtey died in 1881, Levi and his family returned to Shirley to take care of the homestead and his mother. While the family was living there, the young mother died Feb.23, 1886, when the youngest son, Vernon, was less than 6 years old. The family returned to Anchor a few years later.
The family attended the nearby Salem United Brethren Church. The father was a school director, trustee and served several terms as road commissioner. The children attended Fairview School. It was two miles to walk using the road. Oliver didn't like the long walk, so occasionally in the winter time he would ride a pet red steer through the fields to the east side of the farm, then he only had to walk a quarter of a mile through the field to reach school.
Levi raised a lot of livestock on his farm. Each winter the boys would receive a cap and mittens that had been made from the hide of an Angus the father had raised. In 1898, he lost his entire herd of hogs from cholera. He lived on his farm until his death in 1927.
The children of this family were William E. who married Florence Knight and they lived in the Saybrook area; Mary E., who married Otto Taylor; Julia married Oscar Davison and after his death married Sam Lappin; Oliver; Sadie; and Lawrence Vernon. Two children of this family are living in the area, Oliver and Sadie.
In 1968, Oliver Sholtey gave us information for this story to add to that in the county histories. He explained that his father used the extra "e" in his name spelling it "Sholtey" while the rest of the family used the older form "Sholty." In describing the trips from Fairbury with the lumber for the buildings, he said his father carried the lumber part of the way because the wagons got stuck so many times. Each time the loaded wagon got stuck, it had to be unloaded, the wagon freed, then the lumber carried through the muddy place and the wagon reloaded.
When the father was road commissioner, he often helped with the road work and helped repair bridges. As a young boy, he sometimes worked for D.B. Stewart for 15 cents an hour. The jobs varied. Sometimes he would ride horses to train them, but one morning when he reported for work he was told to sit down and turn the grind stone. He turned and turned, but no knives were sharpened or no use made of his work.
When afternoon came he asked what he was to do, and was told to turn the grindstone, but turn it the other way. For 8 hours of this he collected his 15 cents per hour.
In those days Anchor had raised board walks. Some of these were built and maintained by the township. One day, when "Ol" was sent by his father to fix the walk, he got his boards and nails from the lumber yard and had made about 6 feet of walk, when Mr. Stewart came by. He proceeded to hitch his horse to the walk, pulled the walk over into his yard. The young boy gave up and went home, and no more walk was built that day.
While a young man, Mr. Sholtey owned a hay press. He had warned his helpers never to put a foot in it Then one day, he did just that. His foot was badly cut. Dr. McIntosh wanted to amputate the foot, but he objected. The injury healed, but gave him much pain for many years.
Mr. Sholtey left this area when he was a young man and spent many years in the western states. In 1967 when he wanted to see how harvest was progressing on the home farm, he walked the three-quarters of a mile to the back field, in a cold blustery wind, then climbed up into the combine for a ride hack to the barnlot. Even though his eyesight was very poor, he moved around like a much younger man.
The Sholtey homestead is in Section 26, about 7 miles southeast of Anchor. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lappin lived on the home place for many years before they moved to Arrowsmith.
Oliver, now 97 years old, and his sister, Sadie, the widow of Walter Lapin are residents of Arrowsmith in April 1976.





One of the first to come here after the War was John A. Smith. He was the son of John Smith, who was a coal miner, a native of Butler Co., PA, born Jan. 22, 1811. He married Rachel Easley, born Nov. 21, 1808 in Armstrong Co. PA. John and Rachel Smith were married in PA, and their children were born there.
In 1856 the family came to IL and operated some of the Abraham Jones land near Towanda. Because of the wheat failure in 1857, he became indebted to Jones to the extent of $1500, but this was paid off during the seven years he worked for him. He moved from there to Old Town where he purchased 80 acres, but a few years later he sold that and moved to a 58 acre farm near Downs, which he purchased for $25 per acre. There the older folks lived until Rachel died in 1883 and her husband in 1885.
John and Rachel Smith had six children, four of whom came to Anchor Township. George, the oldest, went to Missouri, where a fire in his home killed his wife and four of their children. His daughter, Rebecca Slemons, lived in Bloomington, IL and George is buried at Merna, IL. Elizabeth married Anson Dart, and they settled early in Anchor Township, and the post office of Dart, must have been named by this family. They later moved to Gibson City. Two of their children, Frank and Rachel, died of consumption, while the family lived here.
John A. was the third child, and there were Theodore, William, who remained on the home farm at Downs, and Mary, who married James Hickey, and who also lived for a time near Anchor, then moved nearer Gibson City.
John A. Smith lived at home until 1866, when he married Delphine DuBois at Peoria. She was born in Canada in 1849 and her parents, Bartholomew and Adeline Raisch DuBois moved to Peoria when she was 8 years old.
John and Delphine Smith purchased 160 acres of swampy land in Anchor Township for $10 per acre. The nearest market was at Fairbury, 16 miles away. He hauled the lumber from Fairbury to build his first home. He erected a one room house, about 16 by 24. Here, John, Delphine, and her brother-in-law and sister, Gerherdt and Mary Yeager lived.
A few years later, this one-room was divided into two rooms and an upper story with two bedrooms and two closets added. Five children came to this home, so another 2 story addition with two rooms down and two above was added. The children were George, Wm. A., Charles, Olive and Perry.
In 1896 John Smith built another addition, again to the west end, one story down and one upstairs. The story as told by the family is that Olive wanted to be married in a double doorway, so this latest addition had that kind of doorway. Olive married Dr. Samuel Bane of Ellsworth. She lived to be the oldest of the family and died in Connecticut a few years ago.
John A. Smith laid many rods of tiling, placed his land under a high state of cultivation, erected a comfortable residence, and all necessary outbuildings and bought an adjoining 80 acres for $50 per acre, to quote from the 1899 McLean County history.
John Smith moved into Anchor in 1898 or 1899 to the house south of the church, which was built by Louis Dauel in 1891. John died in 1916 and his wife in 1924. His son, William lived on the family farm. Will, Annie and daughter Pearl had been living a half mile west. Alva (Sykes) Smith was born on the Smith home place. Alva and Fern Smith, after farming in the Anchor area for many years, have now moved into his grandparents old home in Anchor.
Delphine Smith's parents, the DuBois, also moved to the Anchor area in 1870. Bartholomew who was born in France, and went to Ontario, Canada as a child, died at Anchor in 1901. His wife, Mary Adeline Raisch, was born at Ficolett, Canada in 1827, died at Anchor in 1904.
Two of the Smith children became dentists, Dr. Charles lived at Dixon and Dr. Perry lived at DeKalb. Their older brother, George, married Mary Hasty and moved to Indiana.
Theodore Smith, a brother of John A., was born near Pittsburgh, Penn. in 1842. He started to school in PA, then completed more in IL. He attended school after he was 25, because he had been injured and couldn't do hard work and decided to improve his mind. He stayed on the home farm until he was 45 years of age, then after his parents death, went back to PA to visit.
When he returned, he rented a farm in Cropsey Township. In 1888 he married Mrs. Laura Austin Jones, a widow with two children. Theodore and Laura Smith were the parents of two children, Mrs. Ella Sholty, and Albert Smith.
Theodore lived on his own farm in Anchor Township, then left there and moved to Redwood Falls, Minn. In 1909. He and his wife are buried there. He died in 1913 and Laura in 1937. It was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hoffman from 1944-1974. After being damaged by the tornado on April 3, 1974, the house was razed in 1975.






JOHN T. TANNER (p.106)


Benjamin A. Taylor was another native of Kentucky who settled along the Mackinaw at a very early date, probably not long after 1840. He married Martha (Patsey) Henline, a daughter of William and Nancy Taylor Henline in April 1845.
Using material from the files of the Colfax Press, the McLean County census data, statements from the Batterton biography, and with the help of Mrs. Beryl Lyons Pritt of Pontiac, we have reconstructed the following story of this Taylor family.
Samuel Taylor, who was born in Ireland about 1784, must have come to America when a young man. We believe he was a brother or close relative of Nancy Taylor, who was born in Virginia about 1798. From there, the Taylors moved to Kentucky. Nancy Taylor married William Henline and they made their home in Boone Co., Ky. They moved to Illinois in 1828, and settled in what is now Lawndale Township.
Sometime during the early 1830's, Samuel Taylor must have left Boone County with his family, and visited relatives along the Mackinaw on his way to Knox County, Illinois where he settled. In 1833, Martin Batterton, a native of Madison County, Ky. and a nephew of William Batterton, came to the Mackinaw area. In October 1836, he married Miss America Taylor of Knox County, a daughter of Samuel Taylor. She was born in 1817, in Kentucky and had been named for this country to which her father had emigrated. We do not know her mother's name.
Samuel Taylor also had sons, Michael, Benjamin and Samuel Jr. We believe Minerva Taylor who married David Henline on Dec. 16, 1848 was also his daughter. Minerva died not long after her marriage to David. Benjamin A. Taylor left Knox County and relocated in McLean County, not far from William Henline. He became the owner of a small tract on the west side of Section 28. His occupation was listed on the census as a brickmaker. Perhaps he helped build the brick homes for Curtis Batterton and for his father-in-law, William Henline. Benjamin was born Dec. 9,1825 in Kentucky. By 1850, he and Martha were the parents of Nancy and Thomas Theodore Taylor. Ten years later, 5 more children had joined the family, Arzelia, Ira, Alma, Elizabeth and Alfred. Elmira was born later that year.
Nearby in 1860, Samuel Taylor, born about 1830, his wife Josephine, and their children, John 7, Franklin 5, Almeda 2 and an infant daughter were now living. Another baby daughter, Sara Ida, was born to the family on Feb. 4, 1862, and the mother Josephine Outten Taylor died July 9, 1863, and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. Samuel Taylor left Illinois after the death of his wife and went to Kansas to homestead. He took the four oldest children, John, Frank, Almeda and Anna with him, but left the baby, Ida with his sister, Mrs. America Taylor Batterton to raise.
Ida grew up and married Edward Dameron of Colfax. They made their home in Lawndale Township. They were the parents of four children; Roy, Bertha, Iral and Faye. Faye Dameron Bunn is the only survivor of this family and now lives in Colfax.
Samuel Taylor, Sr. had also returned from Knox County and was in his daughter, America Batterton's home in 1850, age 66, born in Ireland. He evidently died during the next few years. In 1870, her brother, Michael Taylor, age 50, an invalid was living with her.
Returning to the story of the family of Benjamin and Martha, their little daughter Elizabeth, born in 1856, had not lived very long. In 1864, they were the parents of another daughter, Amanda, and soon after this the mother, Martha Henline Taylor died.
Benjamin Taylor married Louis _____. They became the parents of 4 children, Alice, Viola, Mary Ann, and Roscoe. Benjamin Taylor died in November 1895, and was buried at Wiley Cemetery.
Eugene Taylor, now living in Colfax and a great-grandson of Benjamin, has a family chart like the one Mrs. Pritt has and from them we get the following family records to which they have added information about their families.
Nancy Jane Taylor (Feb. 3, 1847 - Feb. 4, 1907) married Ezra Henline in 1864. Their one son died in infancy. They raised Mrs. Vina Rice Williams. Later, Ezra married Ina Darr, a niece of Nancy Jane. Ezra was a grandson of William Henline, a son of Levi Henline, so would have been a relative of Nancy Jane's. Thomas Theodore Taylor (Jan. 15, 1849 - Feb. 23, 1933) married Adelia Nutt in 1875. They lived near Colfax for many years. She died in 1895, leaving 3 sons, Arthur, Elmer and Pickney A., known by the nickname Pink" Taylor. Thomas spent his last years in Chicago with his son, Arthur. Eugene Taylor, of Colfax, a son of Arthur, is a grandson of Thomas.
Elmer lived at Peoria and had 2 children, Leroy and Wilma Taylor Johnson. P.A. "Pink" lived at Colfax. Arzelia Taylor (July 23, 1851 - Sept. 1929) married William Harness in 1874. He had served in the Civil War and had 4 children born to his first marriage to Sarah Chance. He and Arzelia were the parents of 6 children, Carrie Ashabran, Isaac, Daisy DeVore, Elza, Guy, and Frank.
Benjamin Ira Taylor (May 30, 1853 - Nov. 14, 1931) married Eliza Sargeant in 1895. They had no children but reared Beryl Lyons Pritt, whose mother had died when she was small, and Guy Taylor, Ira's nephew, whose mother had died when he was quite young.
Alma A. Taylor (Dec. 24, 1854 - Feb. 15, 1917) was crippled by a falling tree. He never married. Elizabeth Ida, his sister born Aug. 18, 1856 died in infancy.
William Alfred Taylor born Apr. 19, 1858 married Mary Christine (Molly) Cain in 1899. They were the parents of Denzil, Thelma and Nellie. Alfred died Sept. 26, 1913, when the children were young. Denzil and Nellie Taylor Sedgeley moved to California. Thelma Taylor Green lived at Freeport and her mother Molly, was with her when she died Dec. 24, 1924.
Almira Ellen was born Mar. 16, 1860 and married Alex Umstattd. They lived at Troy, Mo.
Amanda Martha was born Feb. 28, 1864 and married Henry Derrick in 1882. They reared her niece, Mabel Taylor Drennan, and lived at Fairbury, Ill.
Alice Minerva Taylor (Feb. 16, 1869 - July 1952) was the first child of Benjamin and Louise Taylor. She married John Darr and they lived in the Aurora area. They were the parents of 8 children, 5 daughters and 3 sons.
Clara Viola Taylor born Jan. 4, 1871 married Hiram Henline in 1890. Hiram was also a grandson of William and Nancy Henline. His father was John C. Henline. They lived at Chenoa and were the parents of 5 children, Tillie Henline May; Lettie Henline; Verlie Henline Meyer, who moved to Iowa; Everett and Emmett, who remained near Chenoa.
Mary Ann Taylor, born May 14, 1876, married Harvey Adreon. They had no children, but reared her niece, a daughter of her brother, Roscoe.
Roscoe C. Taylor, born Aug. 3, 1880, married Gertrude Wright. She died in 1909 leaving 4 small children. Wayne was raised by his mother's relatives; Clyde made his home with the Edward Dameron family; Guy lived with his Uncle Ira; and the little girl was with her Aunt Mary Ann Adreon.
Many of this family lived most of their lives in and near Colfax and are buried at the Wiley Cemetery.


Zachary Taylor came to Colfax in 1881 and engaged in the mercantile business. He was born at Amelia, Ohio on March 13,1848. He married Sarah Cunningham on May 3, 1876 at Alma, IL. He was postmaster at Colfax for a long period from 1902-1915.
Their son, George, became a doctor and started to practice at Kempton on Feb. 8, 1911 and died of appendicitis in April 1911. Zachary died on May 29, 1917 and Sarah also died in 1917. They had a son, Frank, at Jacksonville, Florida and a daughter, Mrs. Albert (Kate) Cole.





John Warsaw was born in Gingst, Isle of Rugen, Germany in 1838 and his wife Fredericke Peters Warsaw was born in 1845 in the same village. Seven sons and two daughters were born of this marriage. Three sons and one daughter died in infancy and one son Hans at the age of 21. All are buried in Gingst.
In 1892, John and Fredericke with three sons, Christ born 1881, William born 1883, Robert born 1885, and one daughter Lena born 1889, came to the United States sponsored by the Streubing and Berner families who lived in Bloomington.
After several years of working in the Bloomington Brick Factory, the Warsaw family moved to the Bellflower-Saybrook area where they farmed. Christ married Minnie Beetzel and three sons and two daughters were born to them. He lived in the Saybrook area until his death in 1958. Lena married Lee Nickrent and six sons and four daughters were born of this union. She also lived in Saybrook until her death in 1963.
John and Fredericke moved to Anchor and lived in the house that is now owned by Jess Coultas. Fredericke died in 1921 and John in 1922. They are buried in Anchor Lutheran Cemetery. Robert made his home with them until their deaths, then moved in with Carl and Delia Kalmbrunn until around 1932. He then moved to Peoria, married Rose Badami, worked as a painter and died in 1971. They never bad any children.
In the year 1908 William worked with a threshing crew which journeyed to the Dakotas to work. A friend, Carl Kalmbrunn from Bellflower was also with the threshing crew. After the run was finished, they visited with Carl's brother and family, Christ Kalmbrunn, in Jackson, Minnesota where William met his future wife, Lena Kalmbrunn. After corresponding for almost two years, they were married in Jackson, Minnesota on February 16, 1910. They settled on a farm in Anchor Township which was the Belsley homestead and is now owned by the Ivan Brucker family. A barn is now the only building standing on this land.
Carl Kalmbrunn also returned to Anchor to live and married Delia Hedge Custer. Delia had eleven children, five sons and six daughters by a previous marriage. A daughter Georgia (Coultas) and son Charles still live in Anchor. Carl and Delia had one daughter born of their marriage, Bertha, who lives in Peoria. Four children were born while William and Lena Warsaw lived on the Belsley homestead. George, 1911; Edward, 1912, Edna, 1914; Ernest, 1916. After a farm sale in 1918, the family moved into the village of Anchor and six children were born, Arthur, 1918; Howard, 1921; William, Jr., 1924; Esther, 1927; Marjorie, 1931; Katherine, 1935.
Mr. Warsaw did custom threshing, shelling and plowing and in the summer of 1918 built a blacksmith shop on the property that is now the home of Guy Smith. In the middle 1920's and 1930's, William also had the McCormick Deering dealership now known as International Harvester. The blacksmith shop burned down in July 1958, after forty years of business. William purchased the Johnston homestead located in the southeast side of Anchor in the winter of 1924, where they lived until their deaths. Lena passed away in 1938, and William in 1961, and they were buried in Anchor Township Cemetery. Of the seven living children of William and Lena Warsaw, Ernest and Arthur live in Colfax, George resides in Gibson City Annex, Howard - Minier; Edna (Bachtold) - Sibley; Esther (Winterland) - Fairbury; Marjorie (Schurr) - Bloomington.
Contributed by Esther Warsaw Winterland


By Mrs. Lee Smith

William Wiley, the original immigrant of the Wiley family in McLean County, was born in Wales about 1745. He arrived in either Maryland or North Carolina, where he married Hannah Sampson and they raised a family of six children.
About 1810, William moved his family to Garrard Co., Ky., where he remained the rest of his life. In the summer of 1817, the youngest of his children, John Royston Wiley, moved to Switzerland County, Ind. During this time, many cousins of the Wileys settled in and around Switzerland County, with one of the families running a ferry that crossed the Ohio river from Florence, Indiana to Warsaw, Kentucky. The ferry crossing is still in service today and was run by descendants of the Wiley family until in the late 1930's.
After living 18 years in Indiana, John Royston Wiley again decided to move and made the trip to McLean County, following his brother-in-law, John Patton, who had come to the Lexington area in 1827. The trip to Illinois took 22 days, all rainy and very difficult. They were driving sheep which balked at the many swollen river crossings and finally could only be coaxed across by physical force on the part of John's sons. The end of the trip came in November, and the family faced a long, hard winter of settling in the Illinois countryside. They entered land on either side of the Mackinaw timber in what is now Martin Township, with the father John R. Wiley farming the south side and the sons, William, Lytle R., and Silas farming the north side.
During these early years, the men had to travel quite far to the mills. At first, Kankakee was the closest, but later they could go to Ottawa and Cheney's Grove to a horse-powered mill. Sometimes of the year, the mills were so busy that the men would have to camp out for as long as a week to wait their turn. Lytle Wiley recalled how important sheep were to the early settlers and the trouble they had protecting them from the wolves. These families had to depend on what they could raise and make for themselves as money was very scarce. If there was a little cash available, the nearest store was still as far away as Bloomington. Pork was so cheap that it could hardly be given away and while cattle and horses were easily raised there was no market for them. They raised some wheat which would bring fifty to sixty cents per bushel, but this had to be hauled to Chicago which was a two week's trip.
Of the Wiley brothers who came to Illinois with their father, John R. Wiley, in the fall of 1835, William was the eldest. William married Nancy Hopkins and they were the parents of 8 children: John S. married Missouri Arnold; Robert died in 1864 of measles just 6 months after enlisting in the army; Joseph S. married Melissa Henline; William H., a Methodist minister married Gertrude Arnold; James S. was in the grain business and married Harriet Dennis; Amelia married Stephen Smith; and Nancy Elizabeth married Lemuel Fincham. One daughter died in infancy.
Lytle Royston Wiley was next oldest. After settling on his land in McLean County, and having built what he felt was the best log cabin any place, he traveled back to Switzerland County in 1843. He chose for his wife, Sarah Royston Wiley, his cousin, and the daughter of Thomas Wiley of Indiana.
Their children were: Dr. Thomas H. Wiley of Gibson City, Ill., who married Mattie Reeves; Rhoda, a school teacher who married Alex Gillan; John James, who married Sarah Rina Harpole; Hannah, who married Almnarion Hutson; William Sampson, who died at the age of 25; Sarah, who married Henry C. Henline; Lytle R., who married Mary Emma Harpole; and Cassandra, who married William Hutson. Lytle R. Wiley donated land for the Wiley Cemetery in 1879. John J. Wiley, related in a story in the Colfax Press on Dec. 11, 1941, that he was born on Dec. 3, 1847, in the log cabin that was built by his father and which stood until it was more than a hundred years old. He attended what was known as Salem School on the bank of the Mackinaw River, and taught by Henry C. McMullen. He also remembered his mother cooking the meals over the open fireplace and baking the bread for the family the same way. He helped plant corn by dropping the seed by hand and following a sod plow drawn by five yoke of oxen. The grain was cut with a cradle and threshed by placing the grain in a circle on the ground and walking a horse over it, as the men kept turning it over. Next was the traveling machine which was drawn through the field, the men throwing small amounts of grain on it with the gleaned grain being spilled out into a small box. Mr. Wiley was ninety-four years old at this time. He recalled his father riding on horseback to purchase land at Danville, Ill., in 1854. It was purchased from the United States Government, and which John J. Wiley farmed for many years and is still owned by his daughter.
John J. Wiley married Sarah R. Harpole in 1889 and they were the parents of five children: James Elmo; Jana; Lytle Delos; John H.; and Julie Elizabeth (Birckelbaw). Harold and Elizabeth Wiley Birckelbaw, now make their home on the original farm entered by her grandfather, Lytle R. Wiley, in 1854, one mile southwest of Colfax.
James R. Wiley, the third son of John Royston Wiley, married Sarah Lineback, and they had two children: Hannah (Ogden) and John R., who was killed at the age of 16, when he fell from a horse. James occasionally took his family back to Indiana to visit and during one of these trips nearly lost his horses, wagon, and family while crossing Sugar Creek.
Although James said he would never swim his horses again, he later crossed the Kankakee River and swam the Des Plaines with a four-horse team. The day before he crossed the Des Plaines, eleven out of thirteen men had drowned trying to cross it.
Thus, John Royston Wiley, who ventured into Illinois and was the first to settle in what is now Martin Township along with his family, cleared the way and had a responsible contribution to the development of this area.


T.S. Willhite, a native of Summer, Illinois, moved to Colfax in 1882, and married Alminnie Schultz on Dec. 25 of that year. She was the daughter of Henry and Olive Schultz. He was a carpenter and contractor and built many of the homes for the miners, as well as many of the larger homes in Colfax. He had gone into business for himself after working for various carpenters. He would buy lots and build houses for speculative purposes. He built a hotel in Anchor in 1893, and other house and buildings around Anchor. T.S. and Minnie Willhite were the parents of a son, Howard (1892 - 1951), and a daughter Artie Grubbs, who died in 1966. The family left Colfax and moved to Decatur, Ill. T.S. Willhite died at Decatur.


Lewis J. Willhoite arrived in Martin Township in 1873. He was a native of Owen County, Kentucky, born there in 1829.
His grandfather, John Willhoite, moved from Virginia to Kentucky, when a young man and raised his family there. One of his sons, Lewis, born in Owen County, married Miss Patsy Taylor, and they had two children, William and Louisa. The mother, and Louisa both died, and Lewis married Miss Polly Sheets. They had four children, but only one, Lewis J. survived. He was educated at a private school under the oversight of his mother, for his father had died when he was 5 years old.
Lewis J. Willhoite remained with his mother until he was 23 years of age, when he married Miss Mary Willhoite, a daughter of Willis Willhoite, also of Owen County. They lived on a farm there until his mother died in 1855, when they came to Downs, McLean County, where he purchased an 80 acre farm. In 1873, they moved to Section 21, Martin Township. Mr. Willhoite was a Democrat, but in later years became a Whig. He was elected supervisor of Martin Township in 1884. He died Oct.14, 1897. Mary died in Nov.1908.
There were 5 children in the Willhoite family: Maria, married W.S. Hornor, who died in 1882, lived at home, for a while, then went to Kansas; Dr. W.F. Willhoite went to Kansas; Mary Arnold lived at Colfax; Ellis Willhoite moved to South Dakota; and Henry L. Willhoite lived at Colfax.
Henry L. was born in Owen County, Kentucky, Oct. 6,1854, and was 2 years old when he came to Illinois. He moved from the farm into Colfax in 1891. He married Lizzie Bunn on Sept. 15, 1881. They were the parents of 2 children, Buel and Mertie. Henry L. went into the undertaking business in Colfax. The family home was in the southwest part of town, now the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Scholl. Mrs. Willhoite died in 1921 and Henry L. in 1922.
Buel Willhoite married Ada Outlaw in 1908 and they lived in Chicago for 8 years where he worked at the Union Depot. He then returned to Colfax and joined his father in business.
M.B. Willhoite was an undertaker in Colfax until his retirement in 1945. He and Ada had 2 daughters, Floy and Maude. After Mrs. Willhoite's death, Buel married Mrs. Ida Arnold Fannin. Miss Mertie Willhoite died in March 1939. Buel died in December 1946, at the age of 60 years. There are none of this family now living in Colfax.


Henry Achilles Willke was the first of the family to come from his birthplace in Engerode, Germany to America. He spent several years on farms near Springfield, Illinois, but decided that there was too much work and not enough leisure in America, so he returned to his home across the water, never to return. Meanwhile, his half-brother, Gustave Willke, heard of the new land, America, became interested and with the help of his uncle as sponsor, landed in New York in 1886 and boarded a train to go to a relative in Iowa. Gustave was 17 years old at the time, and had lost his mother when he was eleven years old and his father when he was only fourteen. He worked on a farm at $8.00 per month for one year and was lucky enough to get a job as a saw filer in a saw mill at Muscatine, Iowa.
However his health was poor and after making several more crossings of the ocean, decided in 1894 to go to Tremont, Tazewell County, Illinois, to visit a friend Fred Hellman, whom he had met while on a visit to Germany. Mr. HeIlman invited Gustave to go with him to Cropsey, Illinois to look at a farm that Mr. HelIman's father owned southeast of Cropsey.
While they were coming out from Bloomington on the Illinois Central train, he was introduced to J.B. Peirce, who at that time was a large land-owner near Anchor. Mr. Peirce offered to sell an 80 acre farm near Anchor for $90.00 per acre on terms that suited Mr. Willke's finances.
After looking over the land, Mr. Willke purchased it, and with the help of one man built a two room house at a total cost of $78.15 for lumber and $17.85 for the labor of his helper. These two rooms were later incorporated into the present large two story home where Mrs. Esther Willke now lives.
Mr. Willke farmed the land for one year, and then in 1895, returned once more to Germany to bring back his future wife, Lina Willecke. They were married at Hoboken, New Jersey in 1896, and immediately returned to make their home at Anchor, where they lived until their deaths. Mrs. Willke died at the age of 85, in 1950, and Mr. Willke at the age of 92 in 1962. During their lifetime Mr. Willke increased his land holdings to 280 acres, which since has been passed on to their children.
When Dr. Wm. McIntosh introduced the first telephones into the Anchor Community, it was Gustave Willke, who cutting several inches of frost, set the poles from the town of Anchor to what is now Route 9, in the coldest months of that year.
Mr. and Mrs. Willke had three children, 2 sons, Clarence and Elmer, and one daughter, Ruth, who passed away in 1914, at the age of 11 years. Clarence married Alvina Fasking of Saybrook in 1920, and they had three sons: Myron of Bloomington; Marvin, who lives on his father's farm south of Anchor; and Warren, a Lutheran minister of Columbus, Ohio.
Clarence Willke lived on his father's land, acquired land of his own and farmed until 1936, when he became manager of the Anchor Grain Company. He moved to Anchor, after extensively remodeling and enlarging the original home of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Webb. The Webbs were the grandparents of Mrs. Fern Smith of Anchor and Mrs. Edna Weeks of Colfax. Mr. Willke retired from his position with the Grain Company in 1962 and still lives in Anchor.
Elmer Willke married Esther Brucker of Colfax, and he farmed during his lifetime on his father's farm. They had two sons: Loren, who now lives on his own farm at Gresham, Wisconsin; and Harold, who lives on the original Gustave Willke homestead, which he now owns. Elmer Willke had retired from farming when he passed away in 1971 at the age of 71. Esther Willke still lives in the old farm home.
A sister of Mrs. Gustave Willke, Minnie, who married Carl Braun, came to Anchor in 1905. Mr. Braun operated a blacksmith shop with G.W. Berry, who also sold farm machinery. Later, Mr. Braun had his own shop, which he sold to Al Frieberg of Saybrook. The Braun family moved to Pocatello, Idaho in 1912. The Brauns lived in a house in Anchor where the Morris Worricks now live. The original house was moved to the country, then was later moved to Colfax. Two sons and a daughter was born to the Brauns while they lived in Anchor.
Contributed by Clarence H. Willke





[Webmaster's note: The below text contains corrections submitted by Pam Haithcock. Photos of the Wood family and more info can be found at Pam's page here.]
Among the first families to move into the new village of Colfax was Amos Wood his wife, Phebe and their 4 sons, where they soon were running a rooming house. He had lived with his parents near Lexington as early as 1850. His parents were natives of Virginia, and had moved to Ohio where the younger children were born. In 1850, 8 children were listed in the family, living south of the Mackinaw in McLean County, Amos Wood, Sr., 50, Margaret 44, William 24, Amos 17, John 15, Sarah 14, George and Abraham 12, Margaret 8, and Ellen 6.
Amos Wood, Jr. was living near Lexington in 1870, and had married Phebe Woody [Downey], a native of Smith’s Grove in McLean County, John was 16, Daniel 10, Isaac 7 and the new son, unnamed was 9 months old. In 1880, they were listed in Colfax, Amos 48, Phebe 35, John 27, Daniel 20, Isaac 13, and Allie (Allen) 10.
Amos Wood died Aug. 24, 1888, and was buried at Wiley Cemetery. There are no other markers with the family name near his stone. His widow survived him 25 years and died in Feb. 1913. John, the oldest son, was living in California in 1913, when his mother died. The other three sons lived in the area, two remaining in Colfax.
Daniel A. Wood married Elizabeth Green. She had come to Colfax in 1880, where some of her family ran a store. She had 2 brothers, William and Charles Green and 2 sisters, Mrs. John Pendergast and Mrs. Fannie Dale. D.A. and Elizabeth had one daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Fred Guth) who made her home in Chicago. D.A. Wood lived at 105 W. High Street in Colfax.
Isaac Wood married Ellen Susan Outlaw, a native of Mackinaw, and her family also came to Colfax at an early date. They were the parents of 9 children. They lived at Herscher, Ill. for many years. He was the last survivor of the Wood boys. Isaac died in October 1930, and Susan in May 1941. Their children were: Mrs. Charles Garner and Robert, both of Lexington; Mrs. Daisy Barth, of Danville, Mrs. Allen Golding, Mrs. Marie Golding and James Wood of Kankakee; Mrs. Grant Stanley of Champaign and John and Clyde of Herscher.
Allie Wood married Nina [Mina] Henline, a daughter of Beth [Seth] and Amanda Hughes Henline. Their home was at 108 N. Center St. in 1897. They were the parents of one daughter, Ilene (Mrs. William Scholl). Allie died in March 1930, 6 months before his brother, Isaac, and Nina [Mina] died in 1957. He had moved to Colfax at the age of 10 and lived the rest of his life in Colfax.
[NOTE* Amos and Phebe Wood also had a daughter Margaret Elizabeth Wood who married John Franklin Wright of Lexington. They had 5 children, Charles Franklin, Bert, Grace Dell, Gertie Mae and James William.]


Hosea Wright, a native of Ohio, entered 800 acres of land from the government where Colfax now stands, and sold it before it increased in value. His wife had died in Ohio and he brought his 4 daughters, Jane, Nancy, Almira, and Mary to Illinois with him. One source states they came in 1849 and the other in 1851. Jane Wright born 1827 in Madison Co., Ohio, married William Berton Henline in June 1, 1853. They were the parents of John David, born 1857, and Elmira born 1860. Jane Wright Henline died in 1861.
Nancy Wright, born Aug.14, 1834, in Fayette Co., Ohio, married John Corwell Sr. on November 8, 1854. They were the parents of 2 sons, DeKalb and Wayne, and one child died in infancy. Mr. Corwell died on July 18, 1860.
Nancy married second William Cunningham of Saybrook on March 11, 1868. His family were pioneer settlers of Cheneys Grove. They had one son, Charles. William Cunningham died April 6,1870. Charles was a businessman in Anchor, when his mother went to live with him in 1894. She died there in March 1900.
Miss Almira Wright was born February 10, 1839 and her obituary states she came to Illinois at the age of 10. She never married and lived with her younger sister.
Mary Wright, born in Ohio about 1841 married James Maddocks in 1865. They lived in Lawndale Township. James was born in Kilmacool, Ireland on Aug. 14,1829 and after spending 8 years at sea, came to America in 1849. In 1859, he went to Ireland for a year. He and Mary had 2 sons, Leander and Frank. Leander died of typhoid in December 1891, and his funeral was preached at the M.E. Church the following February. He was buried at Selma. James died in May 1899, at the age of 70. Mary was found dead in her home in July 1911. She had been picking cherries the day before. Her son, Frank, had died the year before.

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