Henry R. Hull was born on the 11th day of September, 1823, in Marion county, Illinois, near the town of Mt. Vernon. His father, Seth Hull, was born in Connecticut, and his mother was a native of the state of Massachusetts. This family came to Beardstown, in 1834; they came up from St. Louis on the steamer "Utility," in a run of seven days, which was then a quick trip. This boat was rebuilt for running on the Sangamon river and made a trip or two to Petersburg, and then gave it up.
When Mr. Hull first saw Beardstown, then a boy of 11 years of age, it was a little town of some four stores, a grist mill and saw mill, with one church, in which all the different denominations held religious service, situated on 8th street, if he correctly remembers the location. Among the merchants were the Wilbourn brothers, who were the first pork-packers of the town; and Knapp and Pogue, who owned both a store and a mill. The first physician whom Mr. Hull remembers, was a Dr. Gibson, who came from Kentucky, remained about ten years, and went to Berlin, Illinois, and was succeeded by Dr. Turpin, also a Kentuckian, who practiced there some eight years, and went to Chicago. One of the first preachers he knew, was Levi C. Pitner, a Methodist; Cyrus Wright, a large heavy man, was a Baptist preacher, who lived in the northeast part of the county, but frequently was heard in Beardstown. The first time Mr. Hull met George Plahn, he was in the employ of S. M. Tinsley, a merchant and commission man who was located at the northeast corner of the junction of Washington street with Main street. J. Henry Shaw, and his brother, John B. Shaw, were attorneys of the town; the latter was then unmarried, but later went to Chandlerville, and married a daughter of Dr. Chandler.
Mr. Hull assisted in running the ferry boat when quite a boy; this ferry was owned by Thomas Beard, and was a great money maker, when emigration was pouring into Missouri and Iowa; often the receipts would amount to one hundred dollars per day.
The first school Henry Hull attended was conducted by his father, Seth Hull, assisted by a man named Smith, supported by voluntary contributions. Francis Arenz he remembers, as a taller man than his brother, John A. Arenz, but thin in flesh; he did not remain long at beardstown, but removed to Arenzville, which town he founded.
The name of Henry R. Hull is found on the Beardstown list of voters at the general election held in Illinois, on August 3d 1846. The judges of election were Amos Atwater, Horace Cowen and McKeever DeHaven; the clerks were James C. Leonard and Edward R. Saunders. Upon the democratic ticket were the following named candidates
For governor, Augustus C. French.
For lieutenant governor, N. G. Wilcox.
For representative in congress, Peter Cartwright.
For representative in state legislature, Edward W. Turner.
For sheriff, W. J. DeHaven.
For coroner, H. Springer.
For county commissioner, Thomas Plaster.
Upon the Whig ticket were the following names:
For governor, Thomas M. Kilpatrick.
For lieutenant governor, J. B. Wells.
For representative in congress, A. Lincoln.
For representative in state legislature, F. Arenz.
For sheriff, John Savage.
For Coroner, James Logan.
For county commissioner, H. McHenry.
This election, was held under a law requiring each voter to name the candidates of his choice, and the votes were thus recorded by the officers holding the election. A resident of the county was allowed to vote at any voting place in the county, and the name of Samuel Petefish, is found on the Beardstown Poll book, and the name of Dr. Chandler, of Chandlerville, is found upon the Virginia Poll book. The election at Virginia on the same day was held by A. Naylor, John C. Scott and Julius Elmore Judges. David Whitmire and David Blair clerks. At Virginia there were 135 votes for Lincoln, and 98 votes for Cartwright; 109 votes for Arenz and 105 votes for Turner; 135 votes for McHenry, and 88 votes for Plaster; 122 votes for Savage, and 98 votes for Dellaven; 126 votes for Logan, and 95 votes for Springer. There were 148 votes cast for the convention, and 47 votes against it.
In 1851, Mr. Hull was married in Morgan county,. near the present town of Literberry, to Miss Lydia Ann Hudson, a daughter of Peter Hudson, and a sister of William Hudson and of Mrs. Nancy M. Petefish of this city. This lady died at Beardstown, in 1860. Mr. Hull remained a widower until 1867, when he married Mrs. Mary Case, a widow who was a Henderson by birth, related to the Henderson family of Morgan county; she died in the state of Kansas in the year 1895, while visiting a daughter who resided in that state.
In 1897 Mr. Hull came to Virginia to build a house for his brother-in-law, Mr. Samuel H. Petefish, and has resided here ever since, making his home at the Petefish residence. Although nearly eighty-two years of age, he enjoys the city of Beardstown, still, he is well preserved, considering his years. he is a very quiet, and unassuming man, of excellent habits and of strict integrity. He deserves to live as long as he desires. The above engraving was made from an old picture taken at Beardstown, in 1860.