Biography of Howard Wrean

Howard Wrean. From the occupation of railroad engineer, which he followed for a number of years, Mr. Howard Wrean has turned to the quiet and productive resource of farming, with an excellent estate in section 6 of Harwood Township. Mr. Wrean is one of the competent agriculturists of Champaign County, and he and his family are people of many associations in this section.

Mr. Wrean was born near Ludlow, a son of George and Amelia F. Wrean, his father a native of Nova Scotia and his mother of Denmark. They married in Pennsylvania and were the parents of seven children, all of whom grew up and received their education in the public schools at Ludlow. When George Wrean came to Champaign County he located on a farm west of Rantoul and later bought 170 acres a mile and a half northeast of that town. Here his promising career as a farmer was cut short after a residence of only four years. He died suddenly in 1886. His widow survived until February 28, 1917.

Mr. Howard Wrean married Miss Frances C. Marquette. She was born at Philo, Illinois, a daughter of James and Cornelia (Ennis) Marquette, her father a native of Ohio and her mother of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They married at Philo, Illinois. The Marquettes are of French ancestry, but the family has been in this country for a number of generations. Mrs. Wrean was one of two children. Her brother, Thomas Ennis, was given as his middle name the name of his mother’s family. Mrs. Wrean was named Frances Coyle, the second name being given in honor of some special Quaker friends of her mother in Philadelphia. Mrs. Wrean was a small child when her father died, and was seventeen years old when she lost her beloved mother. Mrs. Wrean and her brother were educated in the Philo High School, where Mrs. Wrean graduated. She then took up educational work and for a number of years was a successful teacher in Champaign County. For one year she taught in Urbana and was also a teacher in the Ludlow High School. While at Ludlow in her work as teacher she became acquainted with Mr. Howard Wrean, and this friendship ended in their marriage.

They were married December 22, 1901, in Chicago, and they lived in that city for one year. Mr. Wrean was then an engineer on the Illinois Central Railway, and continued that work for two more years with home at Champaign. Later they went out to Idaho and bought a ranch near Idaho Falls, and from there returned to Champaign County and located on the old Wrean homestead near “Ludlow. Here they have an attractive home and Mr. Wrean is making a great success as an agriculturist, chiefly with the crops of corn and oats. Some years he has threshed as high as eighty bushels of oats to the acre.

Mr. and Mrs. Wrean have one son, Joy Thomas, who is now fifteen years of age and is prepared for the second year of high school at Ludlow. Mr. and Mrs. Wrean are active members of the Presbyterian Church at Philo. Mrs. Wrean’s brother is also a member of that church and their lives since childhood have been identified with that community. Mr. Wrean is a member of the Masons, of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers and is a Republican in politics.

The lives of the Marquette and Wrean families have been closely identified with Champaign County for many years, and the people of that name have been known for their kindness, hospitality and general worth. Among the most valued personal friends of the family was the late Judge Cunningham, who until his death was actively interested in the preparation of this history of Champaign County. Mrs. Wrean has the vivacity of temperament and the energy betraying her French ancestry and is a splendid type of womanhood and a most capable homemaker.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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