Hamilton County
1887 County History

The following is a transcription of the Hamilton County biographical appendix of The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).

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     Hon. James R. Campbell, of McLeansboro, was born in Crook Township, Hamilton County, May 4, 1853, the son of John and Mary A. (Coker) Campbell.  The father was born in Armagh County, North of Ireland, came to America with his two brothers in 1844, railroaded in Georgia and the Southern States, and later traded in stock.  About 1851 he married in Hamilton County, and settled on his present farm.  His four sons are James R.; Bernard, now of Reno, Nev.; Charles, of Hutchison, Kas., and John L., of this county.  Our subject's grandfather, John Campbell, was a soldier and officer twenty-one years in the British Army, was retired on a life pension, and died at the age of sixty-six years in the North of Ireland.  He was the son of
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Hon. James R. Campbell

<pg. 683> Charles Campbell, a Scotch-Irishman, who was a loom-weaver and lived to be one hundred and four years old.  Our subject's grandfather, Charles Coker, was a pioneer of the county and State, and married a daughter of James Crook, after whom our subject's native township was named.  Charles Coker was a Methodist minister, a lieutenant in the Mexican war, and died of consumption brought on by service in the war.  Our subject was educated at Notre Dame, Ind., in 1869-71.  He then assisted his father in the stock business, going by river frequently from Shawneetown to New Orleans.  In 1874-75 he was principal of the New Haven schools and also the next year.  During 1876-7 he had charge of the Phillipstown (White County) schools, and in 1877-75 the Ramsey (Fayette County) schools.  He had read law pretty thoroughly in the meantime, and in June, 1877, was licensed by the supreme court to practice.  In 1878 the Democratic convention nominated him by acclamation for the Legislature to represent the Forty-sixth District, but he was defeated at the election.  He was then a traveling salesman for a wholesale house until 1883.  In 1879, in company with his brother, Charles, he bought the McLeansboro Times, which his brother edited and managed until 1883, since when our subject has had complete and successful control.  (See history of the Times elsewhere.)  In December, 1883, he formed a law partnership with Judge Cloyd Crouch, and practiced law in McLeansboro until 1884, when He was nominated as before and elected to the thirty-fourth General Assembly, in which he was prominent, assisting the speaker to make up committees, and was himself chairman of the insurance committee, and member of the revenue and judiciary committees.  In 1886 he was re-elected and is now in the Lower House of the thirty-fifth Assembly.  December 19, 1879, he married Kittie B., daughter of Dr. Benson, a prominent physician of McLeansboro.  They have one son, Valentine.  He has been a life-long Democrat as have been his ancestors on both sides.  He has given much <pg. 684> attention to stock raising and breeding, and was the first to introduce the Percheron Norman horses into this county, owning two magnificent stallions of that breed.  He owns also the leading livery business in McLeansboro.


     Ira B. Carey, farmer and stock dealer, was born in Hopkins County, Ky., in 1821, the eldest of eight children of John and Frances (Stokes) Carey, both natives of Kentucky and born in 1791 and 1799 respectively.  The grandfather, Joseph Carey, a native of Ireland, came to the United States when a young man, and is now buried in Kentucky opposite Shawneetown.  The father served two years in the war of 1812 and was married about 1820.  He remained in Hopkins County, Ky., until 1854, since then he has lived in Hamilton County, Ill.  He died in 1871, and had been class-leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church for forty years.  The mother, a daughter of Maj. Thomas Stokes, of Kentucky, died October 12, 1875.  Both are buries at St. Mary’s Chapel Cemetery.  Our subject remained at home until thirty years old, and March 19, 1850, was married to Lucy T. Nance.  Their one child is Francis M., a farmer of Webster County, Ky.  His wife died March 5, 1851, and May 30, 1853, he married Isabella Sights.  Their three children are Parlee G., wife of David Thompson; Mahuldah A., wife of H. Barker, Posey County, Ind., and Sarah J., deceased.  His second wife died in 1860, and in 1862 he married Eliza A., daughter of Henry and Susan Mangis, born in East Tennessee in 1829.  Only one of their six children is living – Mary E., wife of F. G. Freil.  In 1856 he came to Hamilton County, and his finely improved farm of one hundred acres lies near Hoodville, and all has been from his own efforts.  He served two terms as county commissioner, elected in 1879 and 1884.  He is a public spirited man and a life-long Democrat, first voting for Polk.  He is a Mason and has long been a <pg. 685> member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while his wife is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and both are respected people of the community.


     Aaron G. Cloud was born in Dearborn County, Ind., November 1, 1818, the son of William C. and Elizabath (Guard) Cloud, natives, respectively, of Kentucky and Indiana.  The family came to Illinois in 1832, and located on a farm in Gallatin County, where the father died in February, 1844.  Our subject was reared on a farm and secured as good an education as was given to youths in that day in the country.  When twenty-three he went to Hardin County, Ill., and acted as bookkeeper and financial manager of The Illinois Furnace for five years.  He then began mercantile business in his native county at Lawrenceburg, Ind., and with success until September, 1852, when he engaged in the same at McLeansboro until 1876.  During his business career he was involuntarily drawn into the real estate business to protect his interests, so that to-day he is one of the largest land owners in southern Illinois.  Since 1876 he has done a general loan business on real estate securities with a just reputation for honesty and integrity in his transactions.  November 23, 1843, he married Eleanor H. McCoy, a native of Hardin County, Ill.  She died December 24, 1886, leaving two children: Chalon G., a banker at McLeansboro, and Mary E., wife of Chalon G. McCoyMr. Cloud is a Democrat.


     Chalon G. Cloud, banker of McLeansboro, was born December 24 1846, the son of A. G. Cloud, whose sketch see elsewhere.  He was reared to manhood here, and educated at Asbury University (now DuPauw), Greencastle, Ind., graduating in l870.  He was trained in his father’s mercantile business, and in the spring <pg. 686> of 1871 graduated fron Nelson’s Business College, Cincinnati.  In 1871 he established his present banking business.  His elegant banking house, completed in the spring of 1882, and the Cloud residence, adjoining, on the southwestern corner of the public square, are the handsomest and best buildings of the kind in southern Illinois.  April 18, 1883, he married Emma E. Blades, of this county.  He is a Democrat.


     Capt. Joseph Coker, farmer and pioneer of the county, was born December 1, 1819, in Monroe County, Tenn.  The seventh of ten children, four living, of William and Catherine (Huffman) Coker, the former of Scotch parentage, born about 1765 in Virginia, and the latter German, born several years later.  They were married in Blount County, Tenn.; where they were brought by their parents, and when our subject reached manhood they moved to Polk County, Tenn., where the father died about 1850, on his farm.  Soon after this the mother moved to Hamilton County, where she lived with her children until she died about 1858.  Our subject was educated chiefly in Monroe County, and after part of a season, when twenty-one, in Louisiana, came to McLeansboro, Hamilton County.  When twenty-three, he married and settled on a farm he had purchased near McLeansboro, where he lived about forty years, until his family were all married but one.  In October, 1861, our subject, Rev. Hosea Vise and W. L. Stephens organized Company D, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, of which he was made Second Lieutenant.  In April, 1862, he was made first lieutenant, and in March, 1863, captain.  November 25, 1865, he was honorably dischargcd at Springfield.  He was at Port Hudson, Nashville and Franklin actions, besides many minor skirmishes.  He lived on his farm west of McLeansboro until 1885, when he sold and moved to his present farm in Sections 26, 34 and 35.  His wife, Harriett <pg. 687> Richardson, was born in 1821, near the Virginia line in Ohio.  Her parents came to Hamilton County in 1840, and the date of her marriage is July 4, 1844.  She died August 18, 1878, leaving six of her seven children: William A., Mary C. (widow of S. Martin), Charles A., Sarah J. (wife of J. W. T. Scruggs), David A. and Harriett M.  Our subject began with nothing, and now owns a fine farm of 160 acres, mostly cleared.  Formerly a Democrat, and voting for Polk, he has been a Republican since the first attack on Fort Sumter, and has been an honored soldier and citizen.  He is a Mason, Polk Lodge.  William and the daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and all the family are Methodists in sentiment.


     William A. Coker was born in Hamilton County, March 28, 1845, the son of Joseph and Harriett (Richardson) Coker, natives respectively of Tennessee and Ohio. (See sketch of the father elsewhere.)  Our subject was reared and educated in this county, and when seventeen accompanied his father in the war a year or so, and later went West and Northwest with a company of soldiers; he was not a soldier however.  In 1867-68 he worked with a surveying party under Gen. Wilson, assisting to locate locks and dams on the Illinois River.  In 1868 he returned home and taught school several terms, then engaged in the stock business dealing unti1 1874.  He built the city mills in company with Andrew J. Guill. They operated the mill four years, since which our subject has operated and conducted them.  August 28, 1867, he married Emily J. Davis, a native of this county.  Their two children living are Eugene R. and Clarence.  He is a Republican, but no aspirant for office.  He is a Master Mason, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the reliable business men and citizens of McLeansboro.  His residence is one of the most tasteful and homelike in the city.
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     John H. Corn, farmer and notary public, was born in Princeton, Ind., in 1831, the ninth of twelve children of Hiram and Margaret J. (McMillan) Corn.  The father, German in origin, and born in Kentucky, died in 1863 about eighty years old.  He served as a Kentucky volunteer under Gen. Harrison in the war of 1812, and when a young man spent from 1824 to 1832 in Gibson County, Ind., where he married.  Then with then exception of from 1837 to 1852 in Hamilton County, and two years in Morgan County, he spent the remainder of his life in Franklin County.  He was always one of the substantial farmers of the county.  The mother, born in Gibson County, is now living in Christian County, Ill., at the age of eighty-two.  Both were long members of the Missionary Baptist Church, but formerly Methodists.  Our subject went to school in the log building, with no floor, puncheon seats, clap-board roof, and the smoke from a fire in the center of the room finding its way through a hole in the roof.  In 1850 he married Palina C., daughter of James and Sarah Metheny, a native of Flannigan Township, born in 1835.  Eight of their eleven children are living: Walter C., of Crawford County, Ark.; Arena J., wife of Thomas P. Waller, of Franklin County; David F.; John R.; Virginia, now Mrs. Adam H. Reed; Lizzie, Linzey H. and Samuel E.  He has been a resident of Flannigan Township ever since his marriage except from 1853 to 1856 in Morgan County.  Since 1855 he has lived on his present farm of 190 acres, left after giving his sons, who are of age, each forty acres.  It is well improved and twelve miles southwest of McLeansboro, and all the fruit of his own careful management and industry.  August 2, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Fortieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and after six months' service in Missouri and Kentucky, was discharged on account of disability.  About 1865 he was elected justice and served four years, then three years after served an unexpired term for one year, and was re-elected mak- <pg. 689> ing in all about seven years, and of several cases appeeled all were confirmed by the superior courts.  For eight years he has been notary public, commissioned by Gov. Cullom.  Politically he is a Democrat, but otherwise non-partisan.  His first vote was for Pierce.  He is an old and prominent member of the I. O. O. F. and F. M. B. A.  His wife was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, but recently of the Christian Church.


     Warner D. Crouch, sheriff of Hamilton County, was born there November 30, 1819, the son of Cloyd and Eliza J. (Medley) Crouch, natives respectively of this county and Alabama. The subject's grandfather, Adam Crouch, a native of Virginia, came to White County, Ill., in 1816, and in 1817 located in this county in the township which now bears his name.  He was a farmer, a county commissioner, and, politically, a Democrat.  He died on his farm in Crouch Township.  The father, also a farmer in that township, was county judge nine years, and represented the county in the Legislature.  He was a magistrate several years, county surveyor, and sergeant-at-arms in the last constitutional couvention.  He was a Democrat.  In the late war he was quartermaster of the Sixtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  Three of his six children are living: Adam, of Wayne County; our subject, and Hiram, deputy sheriff.  He died January 12, 1884, and his wife died March 12, 1887.  Our subject was reared to manhood on the old homestead, and secured a good education.  For twelve years he was teaching in connection with his farming in Crouch Township.  He is a Democrat, and was elected sheriff in 1888.  March 21, 1573, he married Sarah P. Proudfit, a native of Guernsey County, Ohio.  Mary I., James A., Cloyd C., David P., Hiram C. and La[??]ia W. are their children.  Mr. Crouch and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.  He is a reliable official and a popular citizen.
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     John H. Dale, farmer and mechanic, was born in Hamilton County in 1828, the seventh of twelve children of John, Sr., and Nancy (Hall) Dale, natives of Kentucky.  The father of English ancestry, was twice married: first, in 1804, to Elizabeth Shirley, by whom he had four children; and lastly in December, 1816, after which he settled in Hamilton County, near the present home of our subject.  He was a farmer, and an exceptionally good pioneer mechanic in wood or iron.  He made the first cotton-gin, and some of the first mills built in the State.  He was a remarkably strong man and hospitable, so that he was familiarly known as "Uncle John" among his hosts of friends.  He was captain of militia in times of general muster, and was once elected justice, but resigned.  He was born May 5, 1775, and died August 30, 1860.  The mother was born in 1798, and died April 16, 1870.  Both were members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  With a common-school education our subject began life, and was married in 1848 to Nancy, daughter of John and Malinda McLane, born in Franklin County March 30, 1830.  Their seven children are Dr. Marion C., of McLeansboro; John W., a druggist at the same place; Fannie, wife of W. J. Mangis; Robert M., Emery T., J. Riley and Charles A.  He has since lived on his present farm, which adjoins his birthplace, and is three miles west of McLeansboro, and consists of 263 acres finely improved, and which has all been gained through his own efforts, and in quiet, hard work.  He is a public-spirited man, and in all ways devoted to the welfare of all about him.  In 1887 he served as township collector.  Reared a Democrat and first voting for Pierce, he has since the war been a Republican.  Since his fifteenth year he has been an active worker in the Missionary Baptist Church, of which his wife also is a member.


     Marion C. Dale, M. D., was born in Hamilton County January 8, 1850, the son of John H. Hale (see sketch).  Our subject <pg. 691> was educated in Hamilton County, the pupil of Prof. John Turrentine, and began the study of medicine in 1871 under Dr. A. De Foe, of this city.  March 10, 1874, he graduated from Chicago Medical College, and has been engaged in his present successful and lucrative practice ever since.  He is a member of the Hamilton County Medical Society, and in President Arthur's administration he was one of the board of pension examiners.  He is an Odd Fellow and a member of the K. of H.  On October 3, 1875, he married Margaret A. Edington, a native of Tennessee.  Their children are Omar, Harry W., Earnest A. and EdithDr. Dale is a Republican, and rather conservative in politics.  He is a member of the city board of health.  He and his wife are Missionary Baptists.  Besides his professional duties he attends to his farm of 200 acres of good land.  He stands high in his profession and as a citizen.


     William J. Darnall, farmer, was born in Franklin County in 1839, the sixth of twelve children of David and Anna (Leonard) Darnall.  The father, born in North Carolina, the son of Jordan Darnall, was reared and married in his native State, and soon after removed to Jefferson County, Ill., then to Franklin County, and finally about 1845 to Hamilton County, where he died about 1878.  He was a substantial farmer and stock dealer.  The mother, born in South Carolina, died about 1882, nearly eighty-eight years old.  Our subject, with no school advantages, was compelled to assist on the farm, and in August, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Fortieth Regiment of Volunteers, for three years, and was at Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Missionary Ridge, Corinth, Jackson (Miss.), Vicksburg, and Atlanta when his enlistment expired.  A gun-shot wound at Missionary Ridge disabled him for a time, during which he was at home.  In 1864 he married Mary, daughter of Jordan and Elizabeth Fisher.  Four of five <pg. 692> children are living: Clarinda C., Schuyler C., Elizabeth and John H.  His wife died in 1878, and in 1882 he married Mrs. Jane Dixon, nee Weathersby.  He has since lived on his present fine farm of eighty-one acres of choice and improved land, which has been the result of his own management.  Politically he is a Republican, and first voted for Lincoln.  Mr. Darnall's eldest daughter, Clarinda, began teaching in 1884, and has been successful for several terms.


     William C. Davis, farmer, was born December 15, 1825, in Muhlenberg County, Ky., the second of seven children of Amos and Elizabeth (Cain) Davis, the former of Welsh descent, born about 1800, in Kentucky, and the latter of Irish parentage, and also a native of Kentucky.  They remained after their marrriage in Muhlenberg County until our subject was four years old, when they moved to Warwick County, Ind., where the father engaged in carpentering until 1834.  After that until their deaths, in 1837 and 1872 respectively, they lived in White County.  The mother afterward married John C. Lee, by whom she had two children – one living.  Our subject, educated in the common schools of White County, came to Hamilton County after the death of his mother, and began to work for Adam Crouch.  In October, 1845, he married and lived on his farm, purchased near Belle City, for ten years.  He then bought the farm now owned by John Grier, a mile and a hslf south, and moved there.  In March, 1865, he enlisted in Company L, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and served about nine months; mustered out at Selman, Ala., and honorably discharged at Springfield.  In December, 1880, he sold part of his farm and moved to his present home in Section 35.  The most of his land is improved, and by hard work he has acquired altogether 200 acres.  His wife, Jane, daughter of John P. and Nancy (Ward) Warfield, was born June 15, <pg. 693> 1827, in Hamilton County, Ill., and their marriage occurred October 29, 1845.  She died July 1874. 1871.  But six of their eight children are living.  Elizabeth, wife of William Walters; Rebecca, wife of William Standerfer; Mary; John A.; Nancy, wife of John Williams, and Alice, wife of Charles Smith.  He is a Democrat, first voting for Cass.  He has been constable of Crouch Township eighteen years, deputy sheriff two years, and township trustee thirteen years.  His daughter Elizabeth is a Methodist, while Rebecca and John are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.


     R. Davis, farmer and carpenter, was born in 1823 in Gallia County, Ohio, one of twelve children of Neamiah and Mary (Alli- son) Davis.  The father, a farmer, of Welsh origin, was born August 20, 1778, in Maine, coming to Cincinnatti's present site when nineteen, he cleared the land on which the water-works now stand in 1797.  After a year here he lived in Athens, Ohio until 1817, in Gallia County; then, until 1839, he again removed to Hannibal [sic] County, Ill., where he died in 1854, having lived to see all his children with families of their own.  The mother, born January 31, 1789, in Pennsylvania, and at the outbreak of the Indian war in 1790, came with her parents to Marietta, Ohio, where her father commanded the fort, and where she was made familiar with the hardships of frontier life and scenes of Indian cruelties for seven years of her childhood.  She died October 29, 1882.  Our subject was educated in the district schools of Illinois and Ohio, and is now living on the old homestead.  April 14, 1847, he enlisted in Company E, United States Infantry, engaged in the chief battles of the Mexican war, and was honorably discharged in August 1848.  In 1849, he married Annie, daughter of William and Sallie Sturman, born in 1829 in Hamilton County.  Their eleven children are Amelia P., Edwin E., Frederick A., Celeste A., Theresa J., Ona L., Elda W., Adella C., <pg. 694> Stephen A., Samuel M., and Robert E. L.  Three are deceased.  In August 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Eighty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was engaged in the quartermaster's department and ambulance corps.  He was wounded at Vicksburg June 29, 1863, and honorably discharged in December, 1863, on account of paralysis from his injuries.  He is a substantial man, and owns 171 acres of fine land.  He is a member of the Greenback party, casting his first vote for Polk.  He belongs to the Primitive Baptist Church.


     Benjamin F. Douglass, farmer and stock raiser, was born near Broughton in 1841, the third of twelve children of James and Elizabeth (Gregg) Douglass.  The father, born in Tennessee in 1811, of Scotch origin, is the son of John Douglass, a soldier under Jackson at New Orleans in the war of 1812.  John settled in Maury County, Tenn, where he remained until 1825, when he removed to what is now Saline County, Ill., and continued farming and stock raising until his death in 1846.  With ordinary school advantages, James came with his parents to Illinois, married when twenty-six, and settled near Broughton.  He has since made his home in Hamilton County with the exception of a year in Saline County.  In 1865 he located on his present farm near Walpole.  He served as associate justice in the county court.  The mother, born in Saline County in 1814, died in 1875.  Educated in the log schoolhouse, and three terms a teacher, our subject with eight others made a 112-days' overland journey to Virginia City.  After four years he boarded a steamer in the headwaters of the Missouri River, and twenty-one days later he landed at St. Louis.  After two years' farming at home he was four years engaged in merchandising at Walpole.  He then spent a few months in California, but returned to Hamilton County, where he engaged in merchandising until 1885, since <pg. 695> which time he has been a farmer, and always succeeded so that he now owns 130 acres of choice improved land.  He is a Democrat and first voted for Tilden.  Since 1869 he has been a Mason.  In 1872 he married Margery, daughter of Anthony W. and Lucinda Gott, a native of Hamilton County.  Their six children are Lawrence (deceased, buried in Oregon), Otta M., John F., Susan E., Amy and James H.

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Michael L. Hébert
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