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Clark County Illinois

Assorted obituaries page 4


Obituaries Biggs

(From Newspaper Clippings Book by Margaret Ann (Beatey) Anderson in the Clark Co., Ill. Gen. Soc. Library in Marshall, Ill.:

I.N. Bean

I.N. Bean, of Parker Township, passed away last Friday, after a long illness, at the age of 89 (maybe 69? print is dark). There was perhaps no better known man in Clark County than Mr. Bean. He was born in North Carolina on April 28, 1829. When but 4(?) years old he was brought to the County where he has spent most of his life.

In 1850 he went with a company of pioneers from this county to California where he worked in the mines. He was one of the most industrious of men, and was never known to shirk at his post of duty. He was a man whom no one in general could dislike.

He was ever ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and afflicted or to do a neighbor a favor.

During his illness he suffered greatly. All that medical aid and careful nursing could do was done for him, but all in vain. At 8 a.m. on Dec. 16th his spirit took flight, and the people of Parker lost a kind neighbor and his wife and children a kind and loving husband and father.

Interment took place at the Cleone cemetery, on Saturday. An immense concourse of people followed the remains to their last resting place.

The good old man is gone!

He lies in his saintly rest.

Clark County Herald, April 15, 1874

Westfield Items

The wife of Adam Biggs, formerly of this place, died at Greenville, Ill., and was buried at Good Hope cemetery, near this place on last Wednesday. (This is Nancy Carrothers Biggs.)

Clark County Herald, May 6, 1874

A very fine monument, in the memory of Michael York, was put up at his grave, last Friday. It is the largest and finest piece of work of the kind, in this locality. It was gotten up by Ricketts, of Charleston, Ills.

Mrs. Rachel York is laying dangerously sick. Her physicians think it very doubtful about her getting well. Dr. Henry of Mattoon who was telegraphed for on Saturday arrived yesterday morning. He thinks there is not much hope for her recovery.

Clark County Herald, May 20, 1874

From Westfield

After a very brief illness, Mrs. Rachel York, wife of the late Michael York, died at her residence in this place, on last Thursday. She was buried in the Westfield Cemetery, on Friday. A large concourse of people followed her remains to their last resting place. Her husband M. York, preceded her only a little over six months, and their son, Calvin, was taken away only a few years since. But two of the family now remain to mourn the death of those they loved,--if possible dearer than their own life.

Clark County Herald, Tuesday Morning, November 6, 1883


DIEDóAt his residence, near Westfield, Illinois, October 29, of congestion of the stomach and bowels, Jonathan Biggs, late Lieut. Col. Of the 123d Illinois Infantry.

It is with feelings of deep sorrow that we pen these lines. A tried friend, an heroic soldier, and an estimable citizen has gone from among us. For more than two years we were quite intimately associated with him, in camp and field, and on battle plain, and always felt it an honor to act under his command, and to possess his esteem and friendship. Ten years our senior in age, the fire of youth still glowed in his veins and the soul of the hero gleamed from his eye. Brave even to rashness, he ever seemed the very impersonation of the chivalrie soldier. Not a month ago we shared our couch with him, little thinking as we talked over the thrilling scenes of bygone days, way into the "wee sina hours aíthe night," that it was to be the last time we should bivouac together.

Col. Biggs was born in Crawford county, Illinois, September 19, 1826; hence he was a little past 57 when he died. He was the oldest of nine children. Two brothers, Adam and James, survive him. There were five sisters, but of them we have no record.

His parents moved to Clark county, in 1835, and were in comfortable circumstances. February 12, 1852, Jonathan married Miss Mary E. Brookhart, who survives him. Eight children have been born to them, of whom six, four girls and two boys are living.

Previous to the war, Col. Biggs was engaged in farming, and also dealt largely in stock. In 1862, he recruited Co. F, of the 123d regiment, and went into camp as its Captain, but before leaving camp he was chosen Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, in which position he served to the close of the war. In the same regiment and company went his youngest brother, James, as Lieutenant, who was captured at Chickamauga, confined in Libby Prison, and was one of the Union officers who dug their way out of that rebel bastile. His brother Adam served throughout the war in the 4th California volunteers.

The Col. was wounded three times during the war; twice slightly, and once, the last time, at Selma, Alabama, April 2, 1865, very severely. When the line was formed before the works at Selma, Col. Miller, commanding the brigade, called the commanders of regiments together and briefly stated what was expected of the command. There was no more strongly fortified city in the South. Behind the works were five thousand disciplined soldiers, with a number of citizens and employes (sic) of the shop who had been organized to assist in the defense, all under the command of the noted rebel Gen. Forest. Col. Biggs knew the whole situation; but his response to Col. Miller was "I will go over those works or die." His gallant men responded nobly to his call, and although their noble commander fell long before they reached the outer works, side by side with the 98th Illinois and the 17th Indiana they swept life an avalanche over the works and the stronghold was won. The Col. was shot through the lungs, and was conveyed to Montgomery, Alabama, but was compelled to remain there in hospital as the command passed on.

While in Montgomery, he, and the other wounded officers were visited by Gen. Forest, who tried to induce them to sign a parole. Upon their refusing to do this, he threatened to move them to some other point. Col. Biggs promptly told him, as he was wounded and helpless, of course the General could move him by main force if he chose to do so, but in that way only could he be moved. But the collapse of the Confederacy was near at hand, and when these wounded heroes were finally moved it was in one of Uncle Samís own vessels and to a resting place in "Godís country." After the war he served for several years as Internal Revenue Collector of this district. In 1879 he was appointed Indian agent in Arizona, but refusing to become a party to the operations of a corrupt ring operating in that country, they at length compassed his removal. He went to Washington and succeeded in discomfitting (sic) his traducers, and when he returned he told the writer he was offered a very responsible position but he declined it.

He never fully recovered from his wound. Within the past year he coughed up pieces of cloth that were carried into his lungs by the bullet which wounded him in 1865. When at the reunion October 4 and 5, he complained of his wound hurting him a good deal. October 15, he was taken with congestion of the stomach and bowels. The disease was agravated (sic) by the irritated condition of his wound. He grew worse all that week, but on Monday he rallied, and Tuesday strong hopes were entertained of his recovery. But the favorable symptoms soon changed, and he continued to grow worse till his death, on the morning of the 29th. He was buried on Tuesday, the services, as was fitting they should be, being under the charge of the Grand Army of the Republic, conducted by his old comrade in arms, Capt. W.E. Adams, of the 123; the Posts of Westfield, Casey and Martinsville being represented. Fully two thousand people assembled to pay their tribute of respect to this noble patriot. Major J.A. Conley, Capt. Own Wiley, Lieuts. Jas. Easton, W. Bell, J.H. McClellan and H.C. Howell, all officers of his old regiment acted as pall bearers. At the grave a very eloquent and appropriate eulogy was pronounced by Major Conley, which was listened to with marked attention by the large audience present. This was followed by appropriate remarks by the aged veteran, Lieutenant James Easton; Rev. Sandoe, the old regimental Chaplain, closed with some very feeling remarks and appropriate religious services; the gun squad of Monroe Post, G.A.R., of Casey, fired the military salute, and the remains of Col. Biggs were forever hid from view. Let us hope that we shall meet him on the other shore, where wars are never known, but where the roar of artillery, the sharp zip of the minnie ball and the clash of arms are forever hushed in an everlasting peace.

That the bereaved family have the deepest sympathy of the entire community and especially of the Colonelís old comrades in arms is fully attested by the large concourse that followed his remains to the grave.


Inasmuch as God in His providence has been pleased to remove by death Comrade Jonathan Biggs, who was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois, be it

Resolved, That the officers and members of Monroe Post No. 100, G.A.R., Department of Illinois, do acknowledge the hand of God in His providential dealing with men; that they do acknowledge that God in His infinite wisdom knows best when to take His children home, and that they do acknowledge it to be their duty at such a time to say with reverance (sic) and adoration, "Thy will be done."

Resolved, That they do fell that they have sustained a great loss in the removal of one of their comrades; one who was loved and respected by all. One whose activity, whose loyalty and whose cheerfulness was an impulse and an inspiration for love of country.

Resolved, That we do tender to the members of the bereaved family at this time of their deep sorrow, our most sincere sympathy, praying that the same merciful and invisible God who doeth all things well, may be with them to uphold and sustain them, and by His presence and His spirit to guide them in the way that leads to eternal bliss.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the members of the family, published in the county papers, and be kept in the records of this Post.

James Emely, John W. Balsley, John Brooks, Committee

Clark County Herald, October 20, 1885

Mrs. C.P. Stewart died, Sunday afternoon about four o'clock, at the St. James Hotel, her home. She had been ill for about seven weeks, with typhoid fever. She was much better, Saturday, and was able to go to the dinner table, but was taken with congestion of the brain that afternoon, and grew rapidly worse until death came to her relief. She and her husband took charge of the St. James somewhere near two years ago, coming here from Terre Haute. She was a highly respected lady, one whose death we are sorry to have to chronicle. Her remains were taken to Terre Haute for interment, today.

Clark County Herald, Tuesday, May 15, 1888


Westfield's Patriarch and Leading Citizen Passes Away at a Ripe Old Age.


Saturday evening we received a telegram announcing the death at 3:30 that afternoon of John Ira Purcel or "Uncle Ira" as he was familiarly known. Mr. Parcel had been ailing for nearly a year and many times it was thought death was at hand, but he always rallied, and then for a few days or weeks would be apparently as well as ever. But the end came Saturday and he passed peacefully away, surrounded by weeping relatives and friends. We take the following sketch of his life from the HERALD of Dec. 13th last, it having been published then as one of our pioneer sketches:

In the far eastern portion of our country, in Essex Co., New Jersey, on Oct. 5th, 1805 John Ira Parcel first saw the light of day. Born of sturdy, hard-working parents, he was early accustomed to the performance of tasks which developed the muscles in his young frame and gave him the enduring constitution which rendered him at eighty-two a hardy, vigorous man able to work at the hardest farm tasks, plowing, planting and cultivating, with almost youthful power. His father was a soldier in the Revolution, serving his country faithfully in those "days that tried men's souls." James H. and Mary C. Parcel were the names of his parents and they lived in Essex Co. all their lives until two years after Ira's birth, moving in 1807 to Butler Co. Ohio.

On Dec. 27th, 1827, young Parcel was wedded to Catherine VanSickle, daughter of a neighboring farmer. She was a little more than two years his junior, having been born in Butler Co. Jan. 5th, 1808. The young couple settled down on a farm near those of their parents, staying in Ohio seven years. Two children were born to them here, Squier and Wm. Henry. In Nov. 1834 they moved to Clinton Co., Ind. Mr. Parcel cut all the logs for a house and barn, built them and had them ready for occupancy in three weeks time. The very night he got his family moved into his new log house his wife presented him with a daughter. This was Dec. 17th, 1834. The child was named Mary Ann. She is still living and married to M.T. Martin. They live in Mattoon.

John Wesley, their fourth child, was born June 14th, 1837. He is now living four miles below Westfield. Has a wife and children.

The 5th child, Albert, was born April 13th, 1840. He married Emma E. Bolton Sept. 1st, 1864. Now lives in Greensburg, Kiowa Co., Kans.

Martha Jane, the sixth in age, was born Oct. 29th, 1842. She married Wm Baker, Sept. 24th, 1862. She and her husband still live in Westfield.

Abraham, the next child, was born March 6th, 1846, and died Jan. 4th 1847.

The day before his death, Mrs. Parcel passed peacefully away, after a few weeks' illness, leaving her sorrowing husband with a large family of small children to care for.

On August 26th, 1847, Mr. Parcel married his second wife, Jane McQuerns. She was born in Newberry District, N.C., Dec. 21, 1828. Her parents were Samuel and Martha McQuerns. They had lived in Clinton Co. Ind., but a few years, having moved there from North Carolina.

On June 14th, 1848, the young wife presented her husband with twin girls, who were named Margaret Adaline and Frances Caroline. In April 1849, Mr. Parcel moved to Clark Co. Illinois, buying a farm half a mile west of Westfield. He lived there until 1861, when he moved to Westfield and started keeping the hotel, the Grant House, in which business he is still engaged. He built the hotel himself.

Samuel N., third child of Mr. Parcel by his present wife, was born April 13th, 1850. Joseph S., the next child, was born Oct. 19th, 1851 and died Oct. 19th 1852. Sarah Elizabeth was born Oct. 12th, 1853 and died Feb. 19th, 1854. Alexander W. was born Feb. 15th, 1855. Malinda Florence, their youngest child, was born May 17th, 1859.

Of the eight children born to Uncle Ira and Aunt Jane, three died in infancy.

Frances Caroline was married Oct. 15th, 1866, to John W. VanSickle and lives in Mattoon. Margaret Adaline was married April 18th, 1867, to Edward T. Fish. He died Nov. 19th, 1877, leaving her with one child, Freddie. She and Freddie are now in Granada, Colorado.

Samuel N. was married Oct. 16th, 1873, to Ellen M. Biggs. He lives on the old farm, half a mile west of Westfield.

Catherine Isabel was married Nov. 25th, 1876, to W.A. Phillips. They live in Livingston Co., Illinois.

Malinda Florence, or Linnie, as she was familiarly known, married Harry VanSickle, June 7th, 1883. She died at their home in Pana, Dec. 6th, 1895, at the age of 26 years.

Mr. Parcel has been the father of 15 children, seven by his first wife and eight by his second.

Mr. Parcel has been a member of the United Brethren church 64 years.

Clark County Herald, September 11, 1889

We received a telegram Monday, from John Ewalt, of Westfield, conveying intelligence of the death, that morning, of Charles Biggs, of that place. Charlie was the son of the late Col. Jonathan Biggs, and was highly respected in Westfield. He died of congestion.

Clark County Herald, May 20, 1874

From Westfield

The wife of Wm. Beaty, who lived near Dobson Prairie, was buried in the cemetery at this place on last Wednesday.

An infant of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Carothers who live in New Richmond, died last Saturday night. It was but a few day's old and was one of a pair of twin. The remaining one is not expected to live. It is so arranged by an alwise God, that the young as well as the old must be taken from us.

Clark County Herald, Dec. 7, 1892

Burns Dixon, one of the leading citizens of Darwin township, died early Monday morning of lung fever. The remains were interred yesterday in the Darwin cemetery, the Masonic order conducting the funeral services. Mr. Dixon was a man of unquestioning integrity and worth. He was a public-spirited citizen, a neighbor in the truest sense of the word, a kind husband and loving father. Darwin township can ill afford the loss of sterling citizens like good old Burns Dixon.



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