Lee County

Lee County Illinois

Biography of William W. Heckman

William W. Heckman, born on July 28, 1854, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was a progressive farmer who managed 160 acres of well-cultivated land across South Dixon and Nelson Townships, Illinois. He moved to Illinois in 1865 with his uncle and established his homestead in 1877. Heckman married Hannah Missman of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and they had three children: Grace A., C. Eugene, and Walter I. The couple, active members of the Evangelical Church, supported the Prohibition party and advocated for temperance. Their well-improved farm included advanced irrigation facilities, reflecting Heckman’s dedication to modern farming practices.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Joshua E. Lahman

Joshua E. Lahman, born June 16, 1839, in Washington County, Maryland, was a distinguished Civil War veteran and successful farmer in Franklin Grove, Illinois. His parents, Christian and Elizabeth Lahman, were early pioneers in Illinois. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Lahman enlisted in September 1861 with Company C, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Murfreesboro and also fought at Shiloh. Post-war, Lahman learned harness-making and operated a business in Iowa before returning to farming in Illinois. Married to Hannah M. Batschlett in 1867, they had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood. Lahman expanded his farm to 240 acres and was an active Republican and member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Samuel Mong

Samuel Mong, born on July 26, 1829, in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, was a prominent farmer in Bradford Township, Lee County, Illinois. He was the son of Henry and Sarah (Hurket) Mong, natives of Maryland and Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Mong spent his early years in Clarion County, gaining practical agricultural knowledge from his father. At sixteen, he learned the tanning trade, which he practiced for seven years. In 1855, he moved to Lee County, Illinois, and married Margaret K. Kelley in 1857. They had five children: John, Lucy (wife of Haber Schmucker), Hattie (wife of William Schrenner), George, and Peter. Mong’s industrious efforts resulted in a well-maintained 110-acre farm in Bradford Township. He was a dedicated Democrat, serving as School Director, and a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Despite his successes, he faced challenges, including the loss of his barn to lightning in 1890.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Hon. Sherwood Dixon

Hon. Sherwood Dixon, born November 15, 1847, in Dixon, Illinois, was a prominent lawyer and legislator representing the Nineteenth District. He was the son of James P. Dixon, an early pioneer and son of John Dixon, the city’s founder. Educated locally, Dixon studied law under William Barge and was admitted to the bar in 1869. He practiced law in partnerships, notably with the firm of Dixon & Bethea. In 1868, he married Melissa G. Mead. Dixon was active in politics as a Democrat, serving as a state representative and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was also committed to education, serving on the local School Board for several years.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Andrew Reinhart

Andrew Reinhart, born on August 28, 1813, in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, was a prominent farmer and stock-raiser in China Township, Lee County, Illinois. His parents, Christian and Anna C. Reinhart, emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1846, settling in Lee Centre before moving to China Township. Andrew, who grew up on the family farm, transformed it into a prosperous estate of 366 acres, expanding his holdings to 620 acres in China Township, 160 acres in Lee Centre Township, and 440 acres in Iowa. Married to Catherine Hafenrichter on June 1, 1868, they had six surviving children. Reinhart was known for his business acumen, community involvement, and support of the Evangelical Church and Republican principles.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Rev. James Treacy

Rev. James Treacy, born in County Cork, Ireland, was a prominent Catholic pastor in Illinois. Son of John and Bridget Treacy, he pursued early education in Cork and later theological studies in the United States, at St. Michael’s Seminary, Pittsburgh, and St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. Ordained by Archbishop Kendrick, he served in Pittsburgh, championing education and religious inclusion for African Americans. In 1878, due to health issues, he moved to Illinois, eventually leading St. Patrick’s Church in Dixon. His tenure saw the rebuilding of the church and extensive community engagement, serving 300 families and various missions.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Henry Bly

Henry Bly, born July 9, 1827, in Chenango County, New York, serves as Superintendent of the County Hospital and Poor Farm in South Dixon Township, Illinois. Of English descent, he is the son of Thomas R. Bly and Nancy Tanner. In 1845, Henry moved to Ogle County, Illinois, and later ventured to California during the Gold Rush, returning in 1851. A prominent public figure and Republican, he settled in Ashton, Illinois, in 1865, managing a grocery and meat market, and served on the Lee County Board of Supervisors for 21 years. In 1887, Henry became Superintendent of the County Hospital and Poor Farm, enhancing its reputation. He is married to Anna J. Wood, with whom he has five surviving children. Anna, a native of Canada, supports his work and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Thomas P. McCune

Thomas P. McCune, born in Canal Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania, in 1832, is a dedicated farmer in Dixon Township, Illinois. Descended from Scotch-Irish roots, his grandfather, William McCune, and father, also named William, were farmers in Venango County. Thomas married Lydia J. Williams in 1858, and they settled in Dixon Township, Illinois, on land initially purchased by Lydia’s father. They had six children, with four surviving to adulthood. A respected community member, Thomas’s 183-acre farm was well-maintained, featuring diverse agricultural activities, including a successful apiary. He was a Democrat, focused on his business rather than political affairs. Thomas P. McCune,

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips, a distinguished citizen of Lee County, Illinois, was born in County Cavan, Ireland. He emigrated to the United States, landing in New York in July 1851, before moving to Illinois. In 1857, he purchased and developed an 80-acre farm in Viola Township, which he expanded to 160 acres. Phillips married Amelia E. Davenport in 1859, with whom he had two children. After her death, he married Mary E. Harris in 1886. An abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, Phillips was a committed Republican, casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of David B. Senger

David B. Senger, born near Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1849, is a prominent businessman in Franklin Grove, Illinois, known for manufacturing “Dr. Wrightsman’s Sovereign Balm of Life.” His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Bayer) Senger, relocated to Iowa in 1865. David, the eldest of four children, received his education in Iowa and initially worked as a shoemaker and teacher before moving to Illinois in 1873. He bought the Franklin Reporter in 1876 and later focused on medicine manufacturing, establishing a successful business. Married to Susan Buck in 1875, they have three children and are active members of the German Baptist Church.

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