Ogle County

Lee County Illinois

Biography of Richard Gooch

Richard Gooch, an influential figure in Lee Center Township, was born in England in 1848 and came to America as a toddler, his family ultimately settling in Ashton. He married Sarah Hodges and they resided in Lee Center Township, involved in their community and church. Mr. Gooch, a Republican, was civically minded, notably in education, and owned a well-cultivated 430-acre farm. They had two children and lived a contented life, acknowledged for their refinement and societal contributions. This account also provided a brief family background, highlighting the Gooch and Hodges families’ journeys and their reputable life in Illinois.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of William S. Brierton

Joseph Brierton, an influential pioneer, settled in Lee County’s Nachusa Township and contributed notably to its development. His son, William S. Brierton, born November 25, 1839, in Nachusa, continued the legacy, becoming a progressive farmer in Nelson Township. Possessing a well-farmed quarter-section, his land boasted modern improvements that reflected advanced agricultural methods. Joseph, originally a Pennsylvanian brewer and blacksmith, had migrated to Illinois for a better life. There, he settled, farmed, and established a smithy, living to the extraordinary age of 96. William’s first wife, Mary E. Stetler, bore him four children before her death; later, he married Anna Hewitt from Ireland. William held no religious creeds, voted for Abraham Lincoln, and remained a staunch Republican. His father’s $100,000 estate was amicably settled, showcasing the family’s unity and fiscal prudence.

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Ithiel A Horton

Biography of Ithiel A. Horton

Ithiel A. Horton, a diligent farmer from Reynolds Township, Northern Illinois, prospered despite initial hardships, aided by his supportive wife. Born in 1817 in Pennsylvania, Horton was raised in a logging community and educated in subscription schools. Starting with nothing, he worked hard, eventually buying land with his brother. In 1854, Horton moved to Illinois, purchasing and enhancing a farm before losing it to poor circumstances. Undeterred, he made successful investments in Reynolds Township, where he eventually enjoyed a 200-acre fertile farm with his family. Married since 1840 to Polly Brink, they raised six children and were respected Free-will Baptist Church members. Politically, Horton was a steadfast Republican.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Chester Harrington

Chester Harrington, a respected pioneer, had been a resident of Nachusa Township since 1837. A New York native, born to Rev. Ebenezer Harrington and Paulina Doolin, he came from a line of early American settlers. Chester followed in his family’s agricultural footsteps and became a successful farmer in Lee County, Illinois. He entered wild land and transformed it into a productive farm later operated by his children. Chester married Zerna Chamberlain, with whom he had three children, and was widowed in 1891. A veteran in local politics, he held various offices and was a firm Republican. Now living a retired life, Chester enjoyed the comfortable results of his lifelong labors.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Josiah L. Gray

Josiah L. Gray’s tenure as Deputy Sheriff of Lee County, beginning in December 1890, embodies a narrative of dedication and service rooted in the heart of Dixon, where he has made his home. Born in 1844 in Ogle County, Illinois, Gray’s life journey took him from the fields of Lee Center as a farmer and skilled house-building mechanic to the battlefields of the Civil War, where he served with distinction in Sherman’s Army. His post-war years saw him contributing to community and country, including efforts to quell Indian uprisings in the West. A descendant of immigrants from Ireland and Wales, Gray’s life story is interwoven with themes of migration, labor, and military service. His deep Republican roots and active involvement in the Grand Army of the Republic highlight a lifelong commitment to civic duty and the values of perseverance and solidarity forged on the front lines and carried into peacetime pursuits.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Adolphus Fisher

Trace the pioneering journey of Adolphus Fisher, born into an early settler family in Ohio in 1847, and his evolution into a successful farmer in Wyoming Township. His tale is a testament to perseverance and innovation, from his family’s early struggles in Ohio to establishing a prosperous life in Illinois. Alongside his wife, Dolly Siglin, Adolphus cultivated not just the land, but a legacy of hard work and resilience. This introduction offers a glimpse into the Fisher family’s contribution to the American agricultural landscape, embodying the spirit of enterprise and community.

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Lee County Illinois

Biography of Thomas J. Buckaloo

Thomas J. Buckaloo is a respected farmer in Dixon Township, managing 141 acres inherited from his pioneering family. Born in 1842 into a family with Dutch and Irish roots, Thomas has dedicated his life to agriculture, except for a brief stint as a carpenter. His marriage to Maggie A. Craddock, whose family brought milling innovation to Ogle County, Illinois, has produced five children, with some following in their father’s educational footsteps. Valued for their integrity, the Buckaloos are well-regarded in their community. Politically a Republican, Thomas focuses on his farm, boasting quality livestock and fruitful lands, embodying the success of hard work and heritage.

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