Broadwell, W. H.

Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


W. H. BROADWELL. Upon South Lane street, in Jacksonville stands the agricultural implement establishment of the gentleman whose life is here briefly sketched. He was a native of Morgan County, Ill., and was born on the 14th of September, 1823. He was the son of Baxter and Mary (Lindsley) Broadwell, both of whom are natives of Morris County, N.J. The earliest associations and memories of the father of our subject, are connected with the farm upon which he was brought up. He was educated in the usual institutions of his native place, and after that taught school for a number of terms, and discovered such an aptitude and ability for this employment as to occasion some thought of continuing permanently therein. About the year 1810 he removed to the neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio; thence he went to the front in the War of 1812, serving through the whole period, and was finally mustered out at Cincinnati. During the greater part of the time he lived in Ohio, he continued teaching school, remaining until the year 1818. Then he came to this State and settled at Grafton, which is situated at the mouth of the Illinois River. After about three years he came to this county, but prior to its organization, in which he afterward took part. He took up a farm of 100 acres, and continued to operate it so successfully, that it grew to some 600 acres in extent, and he became one of the most extensive farmers in the county. He erected a single cabin, adding to it from time to time as he was able. His market place was St. Louis, ninety miles distant. He was a firm adherent of the Whig party, and passed his last vote for Henry Clay. His death occurred in December of 1832.

The family of which our subject was a member, included seven children, the first birth being that of three boys, who were named George W., Thomas J., and James M. All attained to manhood although James M., who resides at Burlington, Iowa, is the only one now living. The other members of the family are: William H., Norman M., Louisa, Jane S.

The grandfather of our subject was born in New Jersey, and as a young man entered heartily into the War of Independence in 1776. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Joseph Lindsley, a native of the same State. He also served in the Revolution, and was commissioned Major. He served throughout the seven years, and was frequently by the side of Washington in the various engagements. By trade he was a carpenter and millwright, and was possessed of no little skill as a workman. The family upon both sides is of English extraction. Until the year 1836, our subject lived upon the home farm. At that time he was bound out an apprentice to learn the trade of blacksmithing for a period of seven and one-half years. He learned this trade in Jacksonville, and continued working as a journeyman for some six months after he had attained his release. At that time he engaged in business for himself, and continued thus employed some twenty years. He had a large workshop, and ran four forges continually, which speaks quite clearly regarding the amount of work that was brought to him. Prior to leaving his business he had engaged considerably in the agricultural implement trade, and this he continued after having relinquished his forges. He purchased his present business in 1845, and had perhaps, the largest business in his line in the city. He was the owner of three different stores, which he had built himself, sparing no pains to make them in every way suitable for commercial purposes.

Mr. Broadwell had been prominently identified with the movements that have resulted in bringing the various railroads to the city, and was connected with them. He also took much interest in any enterprise that promised to aid the city, and advance it to a high standing amid the other centres of commerce and influence in the State, and had been actively engaged in connection therewith.

The marriage of our subject dates from the year 1846. The lady of his choice was Mary A. Cochrane, a native of England. Their family circle includes nine children, whose names are recorded as follows: Charles E., now a resident of Kansas City; William B. who after his settlement in California, married Miss Messerole of that State; Norman; Mary L., now Mrs. W. B. Shaw, living at Fowler, the county-seat of Meade County, Kan.; Alice M., who is the Principal of Los Angeles College, Cal.; Annie E., formerly a teacher in the State Normal School of Winona, Minn., now Mrs. C. P. Davidson, of Scranton, Pa.; Harry L., who is living in New Mexico; Harriet, and Mabel R.

The residence of our subject, which is situated on West College Avenue, is such an one as his position in the city would lead us to expect, evincing the refinement and culture of his wife and family. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and as such was much esteemed. In matters political, he was a strong Republican, and had the honor of being the first of that party ever elected to the office of Sheriff of this county. This position he held for one term, and performed his duties in a most satisfactory and exemplary manner. Before the organization of the city, he also held the position of Township Trustee. He always held a high place in the regards of his fellow-citizens, and was a much valued member of the community. His death occurred Nov. 26, 1888.

1889 Index
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