Contributed Biographies

Contributed Biographies

Please send biographies to Cass County Historical and Genealogical Society or to Marcia Cox for posting. Biographies will appear alphabetically. Please include source and date if available.
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BIERHAUS, Edward W. - History Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Cass County - contributed by Marcia Cox
      In the farming region adjacent to Virginia, Cass County, Ill., and in the country districts lying beyond, up to the line which marks the boundary of the county, are many well known men engaged in agricultural pursuits, who have been long and prominently known in connection with the progress and welfare of the community and who are interrelated with each other by family ties. Among such instances are the Crums, the Taylors, Schalls, Bierhauses and others, whose lives are portrayed in the chapters of this volume. The work is thus made especially interesting to many whose family records appear herein, by reason of the fact that it contains also life histories of relatives who have shared with them the creditable task of promoting the public prosperity. The Bierhaus and Schall families exemplify this relationship.
     Edward W. Bierhaus was born in a log house in township 18, range 10, Cass County, Ill., August 17, 1868, a son of Henry Bierhaus, a sketch of whom may be found elsewhere. Edward was the seventh of nine children and made his home with his parents until his marriage, attending the district schools in his early youth, and afterwards working on the paternal farm. On November 10, 1893, Mr. Bierhaus was wedded to Caroline Schall, born in Cass County, Ill., a daughter of Charles and Mary Schall, mentioned in another portion of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Bierhaus have one son, Earl Edward, born April 28, 1903.
     After his marriage Mr. Bierhaus moved to a farm of eighty acres which he bought in township 18, range 11, Cass County. Although the place was improved, he built a new barn and new sheds, corn cribs, etc., besides making other improvements. He is engaged in general farming, and devotes considerable attention to the raising of stock. The family is well liked among their neighbors, and Mr. Bierhaus is looked upon as one of the most industrious and careful of farmers, and one of the most reliable citizens in the community of which he forms a useful part. He belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In politics, he supports the principles of the Republican party.

BIERHAUS, Milton G. - History of Cass County, Illinois - contributed by Marcia Cox
     Bierhaus, Milton G. --Although the subject of this sketch is still on the sunny side of middle life, not having reached the meridian of his days, he has long since made his mark among his acquaintances in that portion of Cass County, Ill., where he lives, as an intelligent, enterprising, judicious and successful farmer. Mr. Bierhaus is a native of the county, as is also his wife, whose origin is from its early families dating back towards the period of pioneer settlement.
     On September 17, 1871, occurred the birth of Mr. Bierhaus, and he received his educational training in the district schools of the neighborhood. His father and mother, Henry and Elizabeth Bierhaus, were natives of Germany. The former was but seventeen years old when he came to the United States, and after his marriage he settled on rented land in the vicinity where his son, Milton G., has since made his home. At a later period, Henry Bierhaus bought an unimproved tract of land, and in the course of time became the owner of a farm of 200 acres. His wife passed away in 1876, and the busy life of her husband came to an end on January 5, 1911. Milton G. Bierhaus was the sixth child of the family of nine children. He has always lived on the Bierhaus homestead, and after his school days were over, applied himself to farming on the place, ultimately buying 180 acres of the estate. Of this he has 110 acres under cultivation, and the remainder is in timber and pasturage. Mr. Bierhaus has been engaged in grain farming, and has devoted a good deal of his attention to stockraising.
     On June 11, 1907, Mr. Bierhaus was united in marriage with Addie Fox, who was born in Cass County, and is a daughter of Licurtis L. and Lucy (Cosner) Fox, also natives of this county, as before mentioned descendants from early settlers. The Bierhauses are well known and have many friends in the section where they live. In religious connection, Mr. Bierhaus adheres to the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in which he has officiated as trustee since the year 1908. Since 1898 he has served the public as a school director, and has also acted as clerk of the school board. He belongs to the M.W.A., of Virginia.

CRUM, Abram Alvin - Portrait and Biographical Album of Morgan and Scott Counties, Illinois - contributed by Marcia Cox
     The father of our subject, Mathias Crum, was born in Virginia, and when a young man he removed to Louisville, Ky., where he married Miss Margaret Spangler. Her father was an early settler of Kentucky, and was killed by the Indians on the present site of Louisville, and that place was the birthplace of his daughter. Soon after marriage, Mr. Crum removed with his young wife to near Albany, Ind., where they eliminated a farm from the primeval forests of that section of the country, and in their pioneer home their fifteen children were born, three of whom died quite young, the others growing to maturity, and six of them still surviving. In the year 1831 the parents of our subject became early settlers of this county, locating on a tract of wild prairie, where the father entered 160 acres of land, and here they spent their remaining days, the father dying March 8, 1841, and the mother April 22, 1852. During his residence here he was very much prospered, and became the owner of 400 acres of fine farming land which is now in the possession of his sons, with the exception of 120 acres. He was a shrewd, far seeing man, who stood well with his fellow pioneers and his death was a blow to the interests of his community, as it removed a wide awake citizen who was doing much for the development of the township and county. He was descended from sturdy German stock, and his parents, who were natives of Germany, came to America in colonial times, and had a son who served n the Continental army during the last year of the War of the Revolution. The maternal grandparents of our subject were also natives of Germany, but they were married after coming to this country, their wedding taking place in Kentucky. The grandfather had learned the trade of a blacksmith in the old country.

ERICSON, Carl - History of Cass County, Illinois 1915 - contributed by Marcia Cox
     Ericson, Carl, a business man of Virginia, was born near Guttenburg, Sweden, May 25, 1877, a son of Eric and Anna (Magnus-son) Ericson. After receiving a public school education in his native land, Carl Ericson came to the United States, arriving here March 22, 1893, and from New York came direct to Cass County. Here he engaged with an uncle who was a brick manufacturer of Virginia. After twelve years so spent, during which time he was learning the business and acquiring a knowledge of the language, he took a business course at a Chicago commercial college, from which he was graduated in 1897. Returning to Virginia, he went into partnership with Lee Skiles in a brick and coal business, which association continued until January 22, 1914, when he bought his partner&s interest, and is now conducting the concern alone.
     On August 31, 1907, Mr. Ericson was married to Grace Martin, a daughter of George Martin. She died in June, 1908, and is buried in the Virginia cemetery. Mr. Ericson was married (second) on June 19, 1912, to Ethel Plummer, a daughter of E.S. and Susanna (Beach) Plummer. They have one son, Carl Erland, born March 20, 1913. Mr. Ericson joined the Masonic order at Virginia in 1910. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, of which he is an elder, and he is superintendent of the Sunday school. His mother died in Sweden in 1898, aged about fifty-five years, but his father survives, still residing in Sweden.

KRUSE, Jacob - History of Cass County, Illinois 1915 - contributed by Marcia Cox
     Jacob Kruse is among the youngest of the enterprising farmers of Cass County, Ill., of whom the pages of this volume make mention, but if his merits are to estimated and judged by the results of his few years of work on his own responsibility, he surely deserves a creditable place in its chapters. Although barely thirty-four years of age he has made himself well known as an industrious, enterprising and successful agriculturist, and as an upright and useful member of the community in which he lives. He has spent his entire life within the limits of this county, and the people have had an abundant opportunity to learn his good qualities and become familiar with the character of his work. No one has aught to say derogatory to him, and all his neighbors are ready with a word of accomendation.
     Jacob Kruse was born in Cass County, Ill. August 28, 1881, a son of Mathias and Sophia (Biehl) Kruse, the father a native of Switzerland, and the mother&s birth taking place in Cass County. Of nine children born to his parents, Jacob was the sixth, and he remained with them during their lifetime. The mother died about 1894, and the father&s death occurred in 1907. In boyhood, Jacob Kruse attended the Union district school a short time, and after his father&s death worked the share of the home farm that was his portion. At length he sold out his interest, buying 150 acres in section 29 and 30, township 18, range 10, Cass County, which was partially improved, about 20 acres being pasturage and the rest cultivated land. Mr. Kruse is engaged in general grain farming and is besides a stock raiser. All his undertakings have been attended with success.
     On March 31, 1910, Mr. Kruse was married to Pearl Davis, born in Cass County, Ill., a daughter of Frank and Jane C. (Davis) Davis. They have one son, Carlos Jacob, born January 23, 1914. The religious connection of Mr. Kruse is with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In politics he acts with the Democratic party.

MASTEN, Nancy - History of Cass County, Illinois - contributed by Marcia Cox
     Nancy MASTEN is a Cass county woman who is proving her ability to conduct extensive farming interests successfully and is justly accounted one of he representative agriculturalists of this section. Mrs MASTEN was born in Cass county, April 30, 1851, a daughter of Thomas and Rachel (Elmore) Combs, the former born in Kentucky and the latter in Robinson county, Tennessee in 1812. These parents were married in Illinois, but later went overland in a covered wagon to Missouri, but came back to Illinois and located in Cass county.
     Nancy S. COMBS was reared on a farm and educated in the country schools of Cass county. On May 6, 1869, she married James MASTEN, born in Ohio, June 3, 1843, who came to Illinois in 1860. He was a farmer and stockraiser. Her father served as a soldier during the Black Hawk War. Mr. and Mrs. MASTEN had the following children, Almire Jane, born December 19, 1870, Silas, born July 6, 1872, John William, born January 14, 1877, Nellie, born November 16, 1878, Edward C., born October 18, 1885, Rachel born November 8, 1887, Ezra, born November 10, 1889 and lives in Tallula, Charlie M. born February 24, 1892 and Marian, born June 28, 1895, the last two still living at home and Jessie, Julia and Thomas, all three deceased. Mr. MASTEN died June 2, 1901. He was a Democrat and served as a school director. Mrs. MASTEN is a very capable woman and has all her land, 230 acres situated on Section 32, Township 18, Range 8 under cultivation.

McNEILL, Lachlan - History of Cass County, Illinois - LACHLAN MCNEILL, one of the early comers to Cass County, was born in Argyle, Scotland, Jan. 25, 1809. He received his education in Scotland, and was a shepherd and a farmer previous to coming to America, as was also his father, Charles McNeill. He left his native home to seek his fortune in a strange land, May 6, 1837; brought with him his wife, whose maiden name was Flora Taylor and his first born child. They terminated their long and tedious sea voyage at Montreal, Canada, where they remained about six weeks, and there a second child was born to them. They soon proceeded on their journey westward, and spent one year in Clark County, Ill., one year in Champaign County, and in 1839 came to Cass County and located on a farm near his present home. His faithful and devoted wife died Sept. 3, 1859, having blessed him with seven children, four of whom are now living: Robert, a farmer of Cass County, Flora, Margaret (now Mrs. Daniel Carr, of Sangamon Bottoms), and Charles. Mary, Paschal and Elizabeth are deceased. Mr. McNiell [sic] has ever been an industrious and frugal farmer, a good and enterprising citizen, is one of the oldest living members of the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of Virginia Precinct, and is truly one of Cass County's pioneers.

SCHAAD, Andrew - Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1892 - contributed by Marcia Cox
ANDREW SCHAAD, who for many years has been identified with the agricultural interests of Cass county, Illinois, and who is a resident of Hickory precinct, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, January 4, 1836. John Schaad, his father, was a son of John Schaad, and both passed their lives and died in Germany, the former in 1852. Grandfather Schaad was all his life engaged in agricultural pursuits. His son, John, became a civil engineer, and was engaged in surveying for canals, railroads and turnpikes. His wife, nee Katherine Hamel, was born in the same locality as her husband, she being the daughter of Christian Hamel. She came to America in 1853, the year following Mr. Schaad's death, and spent her last years in Cass county, Illinois. She reared four children: Thomas, Charles, Andrew and Mary. Thomas and Charles both married and reared families, and spent their last years in Cass county. Mary is the wife of Henry Walter, and lives in Arenzville.
      The subject of our sketch attended school in Hesse-Darmstadt until 1853, when he accompanied other members of the family to America. They set sail from Havre de Grace September 15, 1853, on the sailing vessel Farera, and landed at New Orleans after a voyage of forty-five days. There was cholera on board the vessel, which rendered the voyage an unpleasant one. From New Orleans they came north by river to Beardstown. Andrew and his brothers rented land and farmed together, being successful in their operations. Subsequently Andrew and Charles bought a tract of land on sections 6 and 7, township 18, range 10, and farmed together a few years. The former has been a resident of what is now Hickory precinct since 1858, and is now the owner of 320 acres of land, 177 acres of which are the finest tillable land, located on sections 6, 7, and 8, township 18, range 10. He has erected a nice set of frame buildings, and is comfortably situated to enjoy life.
     In 1866 Mr. Schaad married Miss Miza Taylor, a native of Scotland, and a daughter of Neill Taylor. He and his wife are the parents of three children Robert, Kate and Maud. Politically Mr. Schaad is a stanch Republican. He is a member of the County Central Committee, Highway Committee in District No.2, and has served as a member of his District School Board for thirteen years. Both he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

SCHALL, Edward - History Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Cass County - contributed by Marcia Cox
     SCHALL, Edward, has made a fine record as a farmer since reaching years of maturity, at which time, 1891, he rented his first farming land and started out in the world for himself. Constant application to the task he had in hand, economical management, frugality and good judgement have won for him a measure of success that gives him recognition among the best grain raisers and milk and butter producers in Cass County. All this progress been attained, moreover while still a comparatively young man, for, he was born as late as March 11, 1866, at Peoria, Ill., and his parents were Charles and Mary (Dechert) Schall, the father being an emigrant from Hesse, Germany, and the mother of American nationality. Charles Schall located in Cass County, Ill., in the sixties, where he began his married life, after a few years spent as a clerk in Beardstown. He was variously engaged until he ultimately bought a farm, on which he lived until January, 1913, dying then at the age of seventy-two years.
     He married Mary Dechert and they had the following children: Edward; Henry C., of Morgan County, Ill.; Charles H., of Cass County, and Albert H. of Cass County; and Caroline (Mrs. Ed Bierhaus) of Cass County. The mother of these children died and the second wife of Charles Schall bore him the following children: Julius of Beardstown; Alexander and Harry of Cass County; and Edith and Irene, on the home place.
     Up to the age of twenty-one years, Edward Schall stayed at home. At that time, having received a common school education, he went to farming on rented lands, and in June, 1803, bought 120 acres, partly improved, in section 20, township 16, range 10, Cass County. On this he completed the improvements, erecting a fine house, good out buildings, barns, etc., and building a modern, up-to-date creamery. Here he conducts a dairy farm, keeping from fourteen to sixteen cows, and making butter, and he also carries on general grain farming. On February 23, 1898, Mr. Schall, who was educated in the district schools, was married to Annie Kruse, who was born August 12, 1867, in Cass County, Ill., a daughter of Mathias and Anna (Biehl) Kruse, the former a native of Switzerland, and the latter born in Beardstown, where she attended school in youth. At an early day, Mr. Kruse came to Beardstown with his first wife, buying a farm in township 18, range 10, where the wife died. The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Schall were John and Margaret Biehl, natives of Germany, who located in Cass County at an early period, and then carried on farming. Mrs. Schall was the oldest child of her father, the others being: John, of Jule Station, Cass County; Henry, of Adams County, Ill.; Mathais, of Chase County, Nebr.; and David, Edward, Barbara (Mrs. Willis Davis), Jacob and Albert, all of Cass County; and Sophia and Emma, on the home place.
     Mrs. and Mrs. Schall have had the following children: Elmer C., Nadine N., Nita P., Clifford M. and Le Eda, all at home. Edward Schallbelongs to the Lutheran church, while his wife is a Presbyterian. In politics Mr. Schall is a Democrat. He has served as a school director, and since 1912 has been a trustee of township 28, range 10, Cass County.

STOCK, Christian - source unknown - contributed by Mary Jane Stock - Stock, Christian - A Memorial Tribute and Biographical Sketch
     Christian Stock was born near Monroe, seven and one half miles northeast of Arenzville, October 13th, 1848. His parents came from Germany and settled on a farm near Monroe, where his father died November 18th-1867 and his mother died August 28th-1865.
     Christian was the third of 4 children all of whom are deceased. Henry and Phillip, his two brothers, died September 5th-1866 and Elizabeth Stock Krohe, his only sister, May 9th-1892.
     He received his education at the public school at Monroe.
He lived at home until March 23rd 1879 when he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Hegener. To this union four children were born, one dying in infancy. After his marriage, he resided on a farm one and a half miles west of the old home-place, after living there for sometime he moved to a farm then occupied by Alexander Robinson. Six years after this he decided to retire; sold his implements and moved to Beardstown where he remained but a short time moving to Arenzville where after residing for nine years his wife died August 3rd- 1902.
     November 22nd 1904 he was married to Lydia L Hegener, a sister of his deceased wife. To this union one child was born dying in infancy.
     On Friday, July 2nd he was taken to Passavant Hospital at Jacksonville, Illinois, where an operation was found to be necessary, which was performed by Dr. Black. From this he apparently recovered and on July 14 was removed to his home. On the following Friday his condition becoming worse his nurse and doctor were called to his bedside, after which tie he gradually grew weaker until his death Thursday, July 22nd at 12:45 pm.
     His life was one of energetic activity in which he used good judgment and wise management and his kind deeds will be remembered by all who knew him. He spoke of his death to those around him and said he was ready and willing to do.
     He was a member of St. Peter&s Lutheran Church.
The funeral services were held Sunday, July 25th at 3 p.m. at his late home. Interment at Arenzville Cemetery. The Rev. E. Schmidt assisted by Rev. Sheridan Phillips officiating.
He leaves to mourn his loss, his widow and three children, John H., Malinda E. and Phillip F. besides a host of relative and friends.
     The Pall-bearers were: W. L. McCarty, Fred Engelbach, E. B. Hierman, Henry Meyer, Adam Schuman, and Wm. Lovekamp. Choir: Mesdames J. M.Swope, A.F. Streater, Herbert Wood. Messrs. Joseph Dresbach, A. P. Proudin, Herbert Wood, assisted by Mrs. Fried Engelbach, pianoist.

TAYLOR, Archibald - History of Cass County, Illinois - contributed by Marcia Cox
ARCHIBALD TAYLOR, farmer; P.O., Chandlerville; was born in Scotland, July 2, 1806; son of Robert and Miza (McCoig) Taylor, both natives of Scotland; he died in 1819 and she in 1845; they had nine children, our subject being the fourth. Archibald was raised to farming, and also learned the trade of a weaver, at which he worked considerable in his native country, but after coming to America has followed farming, owning at the present time 700 acres of land, which is in a high state of cultivation. His first purchase of 100 acres, to which he has added until he has accumulated his fine estate. He has always taken an active interest in all matters of improvement of his precinct and county.

TAYLOR, Robert - Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois - contributed by Marcia Cox
Robert Taylor, a pioneer of Illinois, and a prominent citizen of Cass county, dates his birth in Scotland., ten miles south of Campbelltown, Argyleshire, November 27, 1816. His father, Robert Taylor, a native of that same place, was the son of Angus Taylor, who was also born in that locality. Both passed their lives and died there. The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation. He married Miza McCoy, a native of the same shire, and a daughter of Neill McCoy, also a native of that place. Mrs. Taylor survived her husband some years. She came to America in 1837, spent the rest of her life in Cass county, Illinois, and died there in 1845. She reared eight sons and one daughter, namely: Angus, Neill, Alexander, Archibald, FLora, Duncan, John, Robert and William. All came to America.
     Robert Taylor was reared and educated in his native land. When he was three years old his father died, and until he was eight he lived with his mother. He then found a home with his uncle, Archibald Taylor, with whom he remained three years. Returning to his mother, he lived with her till his eighteenth year, when he came to America. He set sail from Greenock May 16, 1835, in the John Hale, accompanied by his brother, Angus, and landed in New York on the 4th of July following. His uncle, Alexander Taylor, was a resident of Champaign county, Ohio, and to that place he directed his course. In Urbana he found a home with Douglas Luce, learned the trade of tanner and currier, and remained their four years. In October, 1839, he came to Illinois, accompanied by his four brothers, making the journey with a team. They settled in Cass county and bought a tract of land four miles northwest of Virginia.
     At that time this country was sparsely settled. Deer, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful, and for several years there was not a railroad in the country. In 1840 Mr. Taylor made a visit to Chicago, going by the most convenient and expeditious route at that time, namely, by team to Beardstown, steamer to Peru, and stage to Chicago. Chicago&s population was about 5,000. A hotel and a few slab shanties were the only buildings on the north bank of the river. He put up at the Mansion House, which then stood opposite the Tremont, after six weeks spent in the city returned to Cass county. From Chicago to Bureau county he rode with a farmer who had been to the city to market his grain. Then he walked to Peru, where he took as steamer for Beardstown. For sixteen years he lived on the land he and his brothers purchased. At the expiration of that time he rented it and purchased the farm he now owns and occupies in the Sangamon river bottoms, located in section 18 of township 18, range 10. He has been very successful as a farmer, has purchased other lands at different times, and is now the owner of upward of 1,000 acres.
     Mr. Taylor and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. They were among the original members of the Sangamon Bottom Church. The first meeting of this society was held on the fifth Sunday in July, 1848, and was organized late in the month of August following by Rev. Nathan Downing and by Rev. James White.
     Politically, Mr. Taylor was reared a Whig, but joined the Republican party when it was formed. He has always been a Prohibition-ist in principle, and of late years has voted with that party in national elections.

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