Biographies of Peoria County People

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Gustave Dammann Thomas Doty
H. H. Darby J. J. Dove
Jacob Darst Joseph Doubet
Jacob Dawson Oscar Dubuis
Theodore Dawson George DuMars
William H. Day Rufus DuMars
Henry Detweiller more to come...

 


GUSTAVE DAMMANN. We would fail of our object of representing a complete history of the county were we to omit from this album the sketch of the late Gustave Dammann, who for nearly a quarter of a century was engaged in business in Peoria. He was an excellent example of the zealous, industrious, law-abiding German-American citizen, who, steadfastly pursuing his business career, thriftily managing his income, secured a good standing in business circles and was enabled to supply his family with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
     The parents of our subject were John Frederick and Johanna (Gebser) Dammann, natives of Prussia, in which kingdom the son Gustave was also born, the date of his birth being October 22, 1832. He remained in his native land until after he had become of age, acquiring the education which the Fatherland provides for all her sons and daughters. Having been drawn to America by the reports which had reached him of the better opportunities for financial advancement and personal advantage which would be found here, he emigrated in 1854, making his first settlement in Burlington, Iowa. There he was engaged in the grocery business about four years, after which he removed to Galesburg, Ill., resuming his former occupation in that place. In 1862 he took up his abode in Peoria, embarking in the toy business, which he successfully prosecuted as long as his health would permit. After a long sickness he breathed his last, November 11, 1886.
     Mr. Dammann was a man of integrity in business relations, kind and considerate in social and domestic life, meriting the esteem of his associates and receiving from them a due measure of the same. Appreciating the opportunities which this country affords, he gave his children every advantage possible, assisting them to secure good educations, and encouraging all their efforts toward personal advancement. He was a member of the Order of Druids. Before coming to this country Mr. Dammann was a member of the Lutheran Church, but never identified himself with any church here.
     The marriage of Mr. Dammann and Miss Josephine Steffens was celebrated April 20,1856. Mrs. Dammann is a native of Germany, but at the time of her marriage was living in Burlington, Iowa. She is a notable housewife, a devoted mother and a devout member of the Sacred Heart Church. Mr. and Mrs. Dammann became the parents of seven children, but three of whom are now living. The son, Frederick Joseph, is now in business; Jenny, a graduate of the Normal School, is engaged in teaching; Ernestine is her mother's companion in the home, and is now engaged in the millinery business. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 638-639, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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DARBY, H. H., farmer, Sec. 28, P. O. Elmwood. Son of Wm. and Mary Darby, nee Mann, natives of New England, but settled in Genessee county, N. Y., about the year 1826, where the subject of this sketch was born August 2, 1840. At the age of eleven, with his parents, came to Peoria county and located on section 28, where he now resides. Owns fifty-five and a half acres of land, valued at $80 per acre. On May 26, 1865, enlisted in the hundred days service; mustered out at Chicago, November, 1865. On September 6, 1866, he married Ellen, daughter of Edson Smith, of Elmwood township. She was born in Elmwood township, May 30, 1848. They have two children, a son and daughter. Members of the Congregational Church, at Elmwood. Republican. (The History of Peoria County, Illinois, 1880, pages 716-717, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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JACOB DARST. There are times when to be unsuccessful seems almost impossible, so favorable are the surroundings, and little merit accrues to the winner in such a feeble contest. But when reverses that seem insurmountable to many men, are met and surmounted, serving but to stimulate the worker to greater efforts, a deep interest attaches to the winner of the prize and honor is given him by all men. A study of the manners and methods by which circumstances are bent to the ultimate rewarding of persistent shrewdness and industry, proves both interesting and profitable. It would be impossible in the limits of a sketch like this to more than hint at the means by which the gentleman above named has reached the high station he fills among the moneyed men of Peoria. The biographical writer can only say that he has overcome difficulties that would have disheartened many men and although losing as high as $300,000 at "one fell swoop," he has steadfastly persisted in the attempt to win fortune and now rejoices in the possession of a handsome one reaching much above the half million.
     Some two hundred years ago the first Darst came to America, the family having prior to that time been known only in Germany. Jacob Darst, Sr., was born in Virginia and in that State Elizabeth Tarr was also born. This couple became man and wife and reared eight children, two of whom are now living. They are the subject of this sketch, and an older brother, Eli, who lives in Ouray, Col. The father died in Ohio about 1836. In Meigs County, of that State, Jacob Darst, Jr., was born September 16, 1815. His early life was passed in the manner usual to farmers' sons, his time being alternated between attendance at the schools of the period and the labors in which his increasing strength would permit him to participate.
     In June, 1835, he came to Peoria and entered the general merchandise establishment of Aquilla Ahrens as a clerk, a year later going to Galena where he engaged in lead mining. After spending two years in that arduous occupation he returned to Peoria and began buying and selling land. On a quarter section that he bought for $5 per acre he opened a coal mine which proved profitable. A short time afterward he went to boating with Mr. Ahrens, taking flatboats down to Natchez, Miss., laden with the products of this region which he exchanged for those raised along the route. On one occasion when he had about $4,000 worth of produce to be marketed, a tornado struck him at Natchez and his stock in trade was entirely destroyed. He reached home with $13.50 in his pocket but ready for another start in life, confident that somewhere and somehow success awaited him. Returning to the business of coal mining, Mr. Darst made about $15,000 in five years and keeping his capital chiefly invested in real estate which he bought and sold, he had in a short time gained
$35,000 in such operations. Since then he has given his attention entirely to dealing in real estate and while sometimes meeting reverses in the business, he has been successful on the whole as his financial status proves. The appreciation of his property is rapid, during the last year the advance having been fully $200,000. His pleasant home, on North Monroe and Fayette Streets, is furnished in a style consonant with the wealth and taste of the inmates, woman's refining influence being visible in its adornments.
     Mr. Darst has been twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Daugherty, with whom he was united in 1850, and lived happily until 1865, when she breathed her last. She was the mother of ten children, three of whom survive. They are Edwin J., and William, both of whom live in Omaha, Neb., and Mrs. Casey, wife of E. A. Casey, a lawyer in Chicago. In 1867 Mr. Darst married Mrs. Helen R. Leonard, who now presides over his home and enjoys with him the comforts and luxuries by which they are surrounded. By the last marriage he has one child, Mrs. Lura Barnard, wife of J. C. Barnard, a lawyer practicing in Omaha, Neb., where they reside. Mr. Darst belongs to the Masonic fraternity in which he has progressed to the thirty-second degree. Politically Mr. Darst is a Republican and during the war was a stanch Union man. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 364-365, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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JACOB DAWSON was born in Morgan county, Virginia, January 28th, 1816. He is the son of Isaac and Hannah Dawson, natives of Virginia. He resided in Virginia until twenty-one years of age. He received a very limited amount of education, and endured the hardships of boys attending school at that early day.

He left Virginia in 1837, and went to Ohio and settled in Lancaster and lived there seven years. He then came to Peoria county, Illinois, and after making several moves, settled in Rosefield township. He is now living in the town of Oak Hill, engaged in the grocery business, and is considered one of the best citizens.

Mr. Dawson was married in 1836 to Mary Ann Robey, a native of Washington county, Maryland, born November 16th, 1816, by whom he had no children.

When he arrived in Peoria he had but a five-dollar gold piece in his pocket, but by energy and perseverance he succeeded in laying by money enough to buy a farm, on which he lived seven years, and then sold to his brother. He owns considerable property in Peoria county, made by hard work. Mr. Dawson has now settled down in Oak Hill, and is living a pleasant, retired life with his family. (Atlas Map of Peoria County, Illinois, 1873, page 82, submitted by Susan Hare)

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THEODORE DAWSON. This gentleman, who is numbered among the younger farmers of Rosefield Township, was reared to the pursuit which he is now following with a degree of success highly satisfactory. He was born near Oak Hill, August 30, 1853, being a son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Stahl) Dawson. He acquired a good education in the common schools and keeps himself well informed regarding current events and general topics of interest. He was married August 20, 1882, to Miss Rebecca Rynearson, who has borne him two bright children— Reuben and Minnie Belle. The estate upon which Mr. Dawson lives consists of one hundred and fifty-three acres belonging to his wife, being her portion of the estate of her deceased father.
     Mrs. Dawson was born April 1, 1865, to Ephraim C. and Keziah (Luse) Rynearson, by whom she was carefully reared, acquiring a good education, much useful domestic knowledge, and the habits and traits of character which fit her to discharge the duties devolving upon her as wife, mother and member of society. She is one of a family of twelve children, of whom we note the following: Mary J. is now Mrs. Keys, of El Paso; Harriet Ann died when five years old; Sarah is now Mrs. Shut, of Ford County; Mrs. Elizabeth Seigel lives in this township; Robert J. is a resident of Elmwood; Maria died when seventeen years old; Deminicus lives in Clay County, Neb.; Alice is the wife of Lafayette Smith, of this township; Keziah died when five years old; Charles died at the age of seven months; Isabella, Mrs. Holt, lives in this township; Rebecca is the wife of Theodore Dawson, our subject.
     The father of Mrs. Dawson was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, March 2, 1814, reared on a farm and received a common-school education. He came to Peoria County, Ill., settling on section 28, Rosefield Township, then going to Franklin County, Ind., was married December 5, 1836, to a native of that county, and bringing his bride to the Prairie State spent the remainder of his life here. In 1862 he raised a company, of which he was appointed Captain, but after serving three months in the Union Army, sickness compelled his resignation. He served as Township Supervisor ten years and Justice of the Peace twenty-two years. At the time of his death, November 29, 1877, he owned fourteen hundred acres of land, and was occupying the homestead on which his father had settled in 1833.
     The parents of Ephraim C. Rynearson were Minney and Sarah (Carl) Rynearson, natives of Pennsylvania and New Jersey respectively. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812. On removing from Hamilton County, Ohio, to Peoria County, Ill., Mr. Rynearson took up a large tract of land and built a brick residence, which was one of the first erected in this section and one of the finest of the period. He served as Justice of the Peace many years, being gathered to his fathers in April, 1865, his wife dying some two years later. Of the fourteen children born to them, Maria, Ephraim, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, Thomas, Martha J. and Rebecca A. grew to years of maturity, all rearing families except Maria, Jane and Thomas.
     The mother of Mrs. Dawson was born January 9, 1817, and is a daughter of Robert and Mary (Jones) Luse, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. They removed to Indiana at an early day, spending the remainder of their lives in Franklin County, where Mr. Luse died about 1825, his widow surviving him forty years and reaching the age of eighty-four years. Ten children were born to them, two of whom died young and five in later life. Those now living are: Dr. Alexander Luse, of Ohio; Hiram, in Indiana; and Mrs. Keziah Rynearson. The latter holds two hundred and ten acres of the Rynearson homestead, upon it being a brick house which was built in 1851. The Luse family is of Dutch origin, and its members have long been identified with the Baptist Church. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 632-633, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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DAY WM. H. dealer in dry goods and general merchandise, Knoxville avenue; residence, Brimfield. Was born in Chesterfield, N. Y., on the seventh day of March, 1818; was reared on a farm, and received a common school education. At seventeen, engaged as an employee in a woolen mill in his native town, where he remained six years. Thence to Grafton, Vt., where he engaged in business for himself, and remained until 1854. Thence to Illinois, and soon after embarked in his present business in Brimfield. In 1843, he married Miss Abbie S. Wooley, of Grafton, Vt., who was born in that city on the seventh day of April, 1821. She died in this village on the 1st day of June, 1878, leaving two sons. Wm. H., Jr., born on the third day of March, 1845; married Josephine, daughter of Ezekiel Day, of Peoria. Second son, George M., born on the 27th day of February, 1850; married Louisa J., daughter of Geo. F. Guy, of Peoria. The family are members of the Baptist Church. Politics, Republican. Derby L. M. constable, P. O. Brimfield. (The History of Peoria County, Illinois, 1880, page 717, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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CAPT. HENRY DETWEILLER, a prominent and wealthy business man of Peoria, is successfully conducting a large wholesale and retail ice business at No. 108 South Adams Street. He was born June 19, 1825, in the Province of Loraine, Germany, which at that time formed a part of the domain of France. His parents, Christian and Catherine (Schertz) Detweiller, were natives respectively of France and Bavaria. His father accumulated a fortune in the farming, milling and transfer business, which he lost during the war of 1812 and 1813, and died in 1832 a poor man. Henry, of whom we write, is the only survivor of the eighteen children borne him by his two wives.
     After the death of the father, the mother of our subject came to this country with him and three daughters, landing at New York after a voyage of sixty days, and forty-two days later the travelers arrived in Peoria. They came from New York to Rochester by boat, thence to Buffalo by canal, thence by lake to Cleveland, and from there by canal to Cincinnati, thence by boat on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Peoria --- from St. Louis on the steamer "Ark," commanded by Capt. Thomas Want --- where Mrs. Detweiller's son John had located three years previously. He kept an hotel here in early days, and then went to St. Louis, where he followed the same business, and there his death occurred in 1842. The mother of our subject did not long survive her removal from her old home to this country, but died here in 1838.
     The subject of this biography was only six years of age when his father died, and was scarce twelve years old when he accompanied his mother and sisters to this country. He was reared under our institutions to a manly, vigorous manhood, and in the hour of her greatest trial he proved his loyalty and devotion to the home of his adoption, by offering his services in defense of her honor and to aid in preserving the integrity of the Union. After coming here Henry was variously employed, working for his brother, clerking, etc., when not attending school, and at the age of fifteen he went on board the steamboat "Frontier" to train for a pilot under Milton Hasbrouck, and was on that boat until its collision with the "Panama," September 2, 1842. The following spring he shipped as second pilot under his old instructor on the steamer "Chicago," a new boat which the company had just built. He was engaged on that steamer in that capacity until 1844, when the boat was withdrawn from the river, and he then secured a similar position on the "Raritan," and next year was appointed first pilot on the new boat, "Governor Briggs;" and later was made Captain, and after June, 1846, ran her from Galena to New Albany, on the upper Mississippi, as a mail and passenger boat. For several years following Mr. Detweiller acted as captain or pilot on a number of steamboats, and in 1856 became part owner of the "Movaster," and selling her in 1857, in 1858 became sole proprietor of the "Minnesota."
     Our subject was still engaged in the steamboat business when the war broke out, and in the spring of 1862 he offered his services to the Government. He first commanded the "Jenny Lind," and in July, 1863, became master of the "Yankee," of which he had charge during the remainder of his service. While commanding the Government transports he did important work for the cause, and at times ran great hazards in his efforts to elude the enemy and takes his precious freight to a safe port. In the latter part of October, 1863, he sailed from St. Louis to New Orleans with a cargo valued at $250,000, and it was only by various devices and strategems that our ingenious captain was at last enabled to moor his boat in the New Orleans harbor, with no further damage than was sustained by one shot from the rebels.
After the war Capt. Detweiller commanded the "Beaver" until 1874, when he abandoned the water to give his attention more closely to the ice business, which he had established in 1870 in partnership with N. L. Woodruff. In December, 1876, he severed his connection with that gentleman, and has since managed his large and constantly increasing business himself, conducting both a wholesale and retail trade. His large establishments for ice have a capacity of more than 13,500 tons.
     Mr. Detweiller and Miss Magdaline Bachmann were united in marriage November 5, 1848. Mrs. Detweiller was born in the German province of Loraine on the 25th of August, 1826. She came to this country the year prior to her marriage with our subject, which occurred at the home of his sister in Woodford County, Ill. Of their marriage seven children were born, of whom the following four are living: Thomas H., William H., Amelia and Matilda.
     Mrs. Detweiller was removed from her sphere of usefulness September 10, 1888, after a wedded life of forty years, and our subject then lost one who had ever been to him all a true wife can be, and her children a devoted mother. Her death was felt far beyond the home circle, as her sweet, wholesome nature, thorough goodness and kindly charity had won her a warm place in the hearts of many, and she had been an influence for much good in the community. She was a person of serene religious faith, and in her the Universalist Church had one of its most faithful helpers. She was an active member of the Woman's Christian Home Mission, and also belonged to the Woman's Relief Corps of the Old Settlers Association.
     Henry Detweiller stands among our most revered citizens, and is widely known for his unswerving integrity of character, and for his honorable connection with the business interests of the city. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, and also of the Grand Army of the Republic. He cast his first vote for Gen. Taylor as President, and since the organization of the Republican party has always been true to its colors. He reveres the name of Lincoln, whom he knew, with honor and reverence. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 384-386, submitted by Gaile Thomas)

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THOMAS L. H. DOTY. No one stands higher in the estimation of his fellow-citizens than the gentleman whose portrait is shown on the opposite page and whose occupation is that of a railroad conductor, with a pleasant home in Peoria. He was born in Clermont County, Ohio, July 17, 1846, accompanying his parents to Peoria in 1852. Here he attained to man's estate, securing a good education and being peculiarly fortunate in his home surroundings, by which his better qualities of mind and character were strengthened and developed. In 1864 he began life as a railroader by securing the position of brakeman on the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Road. After a brief service he was employed by the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, and in 1867, began with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.
     Mr. Doty was soon promoted from brakeman to regular freight conductor, a high tribute to his capacity and honesty. In 1885 he accepted a similar service with the Rock Island & Peoria Railroad which he still occupies. He has been singularly free from accidents, the fact being largely due to his own carefulness and sobriety. He is an honored member of the Order of Railway Conductors, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Modern Woodmen. His religious belief is that of the Presbyterian Church, to which his wife belongs.
     At the end of his trips on the road, Mr. Doty gladly returns to his cozy home where a charming group composed of mother and four children awaits his arrival with loving anxiety. His cherished companion bore the maiden name of Flora N. Mounts, was born in this city, and became his wife December 19, 1869. Their children have been named respectively, Frank A., Eva S., Orrin A. and Charlotte.
The father of our subject was Orrin Doty, an early pioneer of Ohio, to which State he went in 1820. Long before railroads had been built he was engaged in staging, carrying passengers, freight and Government mail outward from Cincinnati. His trip from New York to Ohio by the Great Lakes was one of the romantic experiences which many pioneers enjoy. He closed his long and busy life in March, 1876, in Peoria, where he had been living nearly a quarter of a century.
     The mother of our subject was known in her girlhood as Miss Charlotte Heyl. She and the husband to whom she had been a devoted companion for many years were not long divided, as she joined him beyond the river of death in December, 1876. She was a woman of rare character and Christian devotion, her reliance on the inspiration of the Scriptures being a sacred legacy to her children. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), page 911, submitted by Gaile Thomas)

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DOVE, J. J., butcher, residence, Brimfield, son of Isaac and Sarah Dove; father, native of Pennsylvania ; mother, of Virginia. The subject of this sketch was born in Custer county, Pa., September 10, 1836. Immigrated with his parents to Ohio, where he remained until 1862, when he came to Peoria county, where he engaged in farming, coal digging, and tile laying. Married for his first wife Miss Nancy Ault. She was born in Ohio, in 1840; died in 1869. The fruit of this marriage was five children—two boys and three girls; three living, viz: Susan, Sarah M., John Edward. Second wife, married Frances Hadlock; she was born in Ohio, September 30, 1847. (The History of Peoria County, Illinois, 1880, page 717, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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JOSEPH DOUBET is classed among the prominent members of the farming community to whom this county owes much for its present high position as a wealthy and highly improved section of the country. He is one of the foremost farmers and greatest land owners of Limestone Township, where he has a well-developed farm, that is one of the best in its neighborhood in all its appointments.
     Our subject is a son of Joseph Doubet, who was in his day one of the most prominent and active pioneers in this county. He was born in France and received a fine education in the fair land of his nativity. He emigrated to this country in an early day of its settlement, accompanied by his family and settled in Kickapoo Township, about one and one-half miles north of where our subject now lives. A man of his force of character and ability necessarily was pushed to the front, and we find him taking quite a conspicuous part in the political and public life of the place. He was at one time Mayor in Belford, France, and he was among the leading Democrats of the vicinity, and held many offices. He was very much interested in the politics of his adopted country and at one time swam the Kickapoo Creek at the risk of his life that he might cast his vote for a favorite candidate. His death here in 1857, was a severe blow to the interests of the community.
     The subject of this biography was born in France near Belford, in 1839, and was but four years old when his parents brought him to the wilds of Peoria County, and here he was reared to manhood in their pioneer home. At the time of his coming here this was the home of the Kickapoo tribe and Indians were more frequent than whites. He received no schooling except from an old lady by the name of Pennington, who taught a school on Sunday for the benefit of the children of the settlers, who took a great interest in the work. Besides the instruction he thus received his school days could well be included in three months. In 1851 he took upon himself the duties and obligations of wedded life by his marriage in that year to Mary Ann, daughter of Nicholas and Mary Ann (Smith) Marie. They were both of French birth and died when she was very young, after coming to this county. They had settled here the year after Mr. Doubet came, and Mrs. Doubet was reared near her future husband.
     Mr. Doubet bought his farm in Limestone Township, subject to a debt of $15,000, and during the war both he and his wife worked very hard almost day and night and made much money, and in time had the four hundred and eighty acres of land free from incumbrance. Mr. Doubet's prosperity continued and he added to his farm until he now possesses six hundred acres of as fine land as any in the State, all under excellent improvement.
     Our subject and his wife have eleven children living: Joseph, a farmer of Limestone, who is married and has eight children; Mary, wife of John Boyer, who lives near her father; Peter, who is married and has five children; Malinda, widow of Thomas Fahey of Limestone Township, and the mother of four children; Eliza, wife of Daniel Hanlon, and the mother of six children; Julia, the next in order; Cicely, the wife of Benjamin Dornbus; Nicholas, at home; Henry, the next in order; Ida, the wife of William Mitchell; Eddie, at home. The greatest grief of the wedded life of Mr. and Mrs. Doubet has been in the death of their daughter Emma, who was next to Henry in order of birth, and died at the age of twelve years.
     Mr. Doubet follows in his father's footsteps in regard to his political affiliations and is a strong Democrat. He is a member of the Catholic Church at Kickapoo, but takes no active part in church matters. Having spent the most of his life in the United States and reared under the institutions of this Government he knows no other home and his patriotism recognizes no other country. He occupies a substantial place among the citizens of his township and his sturdy enterprise, great labor and shrewd financial tact, have been prominent factors in its growth. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 363-364, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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DUBUIS, OSCAR F.; Superintendent Glen Oak Park: born in Canton Vaud, Switzerland, June 15, 1849: son of John and Rosalie (LUGRIN) DUBUIS, natives of Vaud. The father was a professor of natural sciences and a teacher in the public school. The mother's people were farmers. Oscar DUBUIS graduated from the common schools and took a two years' course at the Polytechnic Institute at Winterthur, Switzerland. The succeeding four years he spent as apprentice to an architect. In 1870 he came to America and settled in Chicago and took a position as architect and first-class draughtsman with W. L. B. JENNY, Engineer of the West Park, where he remained until after the fire of 1871, when, for want of funds, the city discontinued work on the Park. After a year spent in W. L. B. JENNY's office, he was appointed Engineer and Superintendent of the West Chicago Park system, where he remained until 1893 - a term of twenty-one years. In the latter year, in common with many others, he was removed for political reasons, but soon after became Engineer of Lincoln Park, where he remained one year. In 1895 he accepted an invitation to come to Peoria, where, as Engineer and Superintendent of Parks, he has transformed wild hills and glens into beautiful parks.

He was married in Chicago, December 9, 1874, to Fanny GIRARD, daughter of Jason GIRARD, a native of California. They have six children: John O., Ernest G., Frances M., Pearl, Harry F., and George S. Mr. DUBUIS is a member of the Lutheran Church. His family are Episcopalians. He is a Republican, a Mason, and a member of the Elks. [NOTE: According to all census records, Jason GERARD (GIRARD) claims he was born in NY or NJ. Fanny states on her Chicago marriage license that she was born in Greenpoint, Kings, NY.] (SOURCE: History of Peoria County, Illinois by Bates Vol. 2, page 585, submitted by Pam Villafuerte)

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GEORGE W. DUMARS, Jr., is one of the most enlightened and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers of Logan Township, and is managing his extensive farming interests in that community after the most approved methods. He is a Pennsylvanian by birth, born in Dauphin County, October 5, 1844, and is a son of George W. and Eliza (Rauch) DuMars. His father was born in Harrisburg, Pa., February 4, 1805, coming of an honorable lineage, the DuMars family originating in France. The mother of our subject was born in the same county as her husband, November 5, 1812. She died in their home in the Keystone State, December 6, 1850.
     George DuMars, Sr., is a son of one John DuMars, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, his ancestors having left France and settled on that Island. His wife, Jane Mills, was born in the same county as himself, and they came to the United States in the spring of 1804, being six weeks on the way, and took up their residence in Harrisburg, Pa. He was a weaver by occupation and followed that calling until he was unable to compete with the numerous factories that sprang up in this country several years after he settled in it. Later in life he ran an hotel in Harrisburg. He and his wife were at one time members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but subsequently united with the Presbyterians. He was a Free and Accepted Mason. He was the father of several children, namely, Thomas, George W., William, James, and Mary, wife of Mr. Lambdin. The father of our subject was the only survivor of those children, and was liberally educated in the city schools of Harrisburg and in an academy there. At the age of twenty he adopted the profession of a teacher, and for thirty years pursued it with success. During some period in his life he was a clerk in a general store in Linglestown, Pa., and for a short time was in business for himself. In the spring of 1855 he started for Illinois, traveling by rail to Pittsburg, and thence by boat to this State, being two weeks on the way. He lived in Tazewell County until September, when he came to Logan Township, and purchased eighty-seven acres of land on section 7,where he dwelt until March, 1889, when he became an inmate of the home of his son George W., on section 9. In the meantime he had been quite prosperous in his calling and had accumulated one hundred and ninety acres of land. For many years he was active in public and political life. For two years he was Supervisor of the township and also served as Assessor he was a man of strong mind, and was firm and outspoken in his views on the issues of the day, and in early life a Whig, joined the ranks of the Republican party after its formation. He has been a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years.
     Mr. DuMars has been twice married, the maiden name of his first wife, the mother of our subject, was Eliza Rauch, and she was a daughter of John and Catherine Rauch, who were natives of Pennsylvania. Her father was twice married, and she was the only child of his first union, and by his second marriage he had four children. Mr. DuMars was the father of nine children by his first marriage as follows: Catherine J., who died in childhood: the second child died in infancy; Mary Eliza, wife of S. S. Graham; John W., who was a member of Company B, Eleventh Cavalry, and was present at the battle of Shiloh, and died at Memphis, Tenn., June 22, 1862; the fifth child died unnamed; Nancy J., the wife of William O. Norvall, of McCook, Neb.; George W., William T., and Dr. R. A. Mr. DuMars' second wife, to whom he was married March 22, 1863, was Sarah Ainsworth Allen. She was born October 5, 1805, and died September 15, 1869. She was a consistent Christian and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
     George W. DuMars, Jr., of whom this sketch is written, was a lad of eleven years when he accompanied his father to this State. He was educated in the common schools, and afterward pursued a fine course of study at Worthing, Warner & Co.'s College, from which he was graduated with honor. He was thus well equipped for the battle of life, and choosing the calling to which he had been bred he purchased sixty acres of land on section 5, Logan Township, and has ever since been a resident of this place, with the exception of two years spent in McLean County. He had a farm in that county which he sold on his return to this township, and he repurchased eighty acres of land, of which he afterward disposed at an advance, and then bought all of the homestead. In the year 1888 he here purchased the eighty-acre tract where he resides on section 9, and is now the proprietor of two hundred and forty-eight acres of land, which is in a fine condition, its well-tilled fields yielding abundant harvests, and its neat substantial buildings, being an attractive feature of the landscape. Mr. DuMars has been twice married. April 9, 1868, he was wedded to Sarah E. Shepherd, a native of Logan Township and a daughter of Nelson and Elizabeth (Rynearson) Shepherd, who were among the earliest settlers of this county, coming here from Pennsylvania at a very early date. He and his wife had a family of three sons and four daughters. The wife of our subject died in the spring of 1871, leaving one son—Charles E.
     Mr. DuMars was a second time married, March 14, 1875, taking as his wife Sarah E. McAlister, who was born in Logan Township December 21, 1853, and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Proctor) McAlister. Two children have born of this union—Arthur Eugene and Cecil Ainsworth. Mr. and Mrs. DuMars are members in high standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and among the leaders in its charitable and other good works. Their home, the center of true refinement and culture, is an attractive one, and their place in the society of this county is among its best people. Mr. DuMars is a well-read and educated man and holds advanced views on all subjects, particularly in regard to politics, and since he cast his first vote for a Presidential candidate for Gen. Grant, he has been true to the Republican party. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 209-210, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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RUFUS A. DUMARS, M. D. A high rank among the professional men of Peoria belongs to the gentleman above named, who is well skilled in therapeutical science, possesses the abiding interest in his profession, and the scholarly habits which lead him to continual advancement as investigation opens up a wider field from year to year. His personal character is an honorable and upright one, while his manners are those of the courteous and well-bred gentleman. It is needless to say that he has many friends and a reputation second to none in this vicinity.
     The parents of our subject are George W. and Eliza (Rauch) DuMars, who were of French and German descent respectively. The father was born in Harrisburg, Pa., where he grew to maturity and engaged in teaching. He afterward turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, and still later to farming. In 1854-55 he removed to Peoria County, Ill., settling on a farm. He is now, at the age of eighty-six years, making his home with his oldest son.
     The gentleman whose name initiates this sketch, opened his eyes to the light December 6, 1849, in Dauphin County, Pa. His early years were spent upon a farm, his time being occupied with attendance at the district schools and various home duties. On attaining his eighteenth year he entered the Wesleyan University, at Bloomington, Ill., where he prosecuted his studies four years. His taste leading him to the profession of medicine, he entered the office of J. C. Frye, of Peoria, under whose instruction he obtained a considerable knowledge of medical science. The first course of lectures was taken by Mr. DuMars in the University of Pennsylvania, and his second in the Louisville Medical College, of Kentucky. From the latter institution he received a diploma in 1876, after which he took a third course of lectures in the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated in 1877. Returning to Peoria, Dr. DuMars engaged in practice with his former preceptor, the connection continuing until the death of Dr. Frye. Our subject then continued the practice alone, retaining the former patronage of the office, and enlarging his field as his own reputation became more thoroughly established and the population of the city increased.
     Dr. DuMars holds membership in the Peoria City Medical Society and in the National Association of Railroad Surgeons. He is interested in the social and benevolent orders, has identified himself with the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic fraternity, in the latter being enrolled in Peoria Lodge, No. 15, F. & A. M. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church, in which his standing is most excellent.
     The accomplished wife of Dr. DuMars is a native of this city, where she made many friends as Miss Nellie Prye. She is a daughter of the late Dr. Joseph C. and Eliza (Sterling) Frye, under whose care she developed an estimable character. Her marriage to our subject took place June 17, 1879, and has been blest by the birth of three children, named respectively: Eliza Sterling, Elliot Cullender and Frabion Rhees. (Portrait & Biographical Album of Peoria, Illinois (1890), pages 411-412, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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