Location: Rock Island County IL

Biography of Almon A. Buffum

The evolution of Rock Island County from an untamed wilderness into a populous, highly improved and well ordered community has occupied but a brief span of years. There are those now living who were here in time to aid in the beginning of the struggle against the forces of nature. And yet there has been time for families to grow up, children and grandchildren, and even great grandchildren to be born, reared and scatter west, north and south to people other lands. Such has been the history of the descendants of Jonathan Buffum, a pioneer of the thirties. He came

Biographical Sketch of Presley Greenwault

Presley Greenawalt, cashier of the Rock Island Savings Bank, was born May 31, 1858, at Wyoming, Stark County, Illinois, the son of Henry Andrew and Maria Calwell Greenawalt. In the public schools of Wyoming he obtained his education, leaving his studies at the age of fourteen to enter the printing office of the Wyoming Post. In 1882 he removed to Rock Island and secured a position as bill clerk with the Rock Island & Peoria Railroad. After a few months he was made cashier in the local freight office, from which position he was successively promoted to agent at Toulon,

Biography of Martin Schoonmaker

Much has been written in this historical work of the banks and bankers of Rock Island and Moline. However, in estimating the financial strength of Rock Island County the banks and bankers of its smaller municipalities are deserving of very prominent mention, for they are the tributaries of larger financial institutions and have an important part in swelling the stream of the county’s prosperity. To the village bank comes the farmer from the surrounding countryside and deposits the golden fruits of his toil. From the proprietor of that bank its customers may ask and receive sound financial advice. He is

Biography of Robert Ward Olmsted

A good mental and physical equipment, unflagging energy, and temperate habits have been leading factors in the elevation of Robert Ward Olmsted, from a poor boy, dependent upon his own resources, to the honored position of judge of Rock Island County. Born on a farm in Edgington Township, Rock Island County, Illinois, May 6, 1868, he became almost, if not quite, self-supporting at the tender age of thirteen, and though employed early and late for the greater part of each succeeding year of his youth, he cultivated studious habits, and by close application to his books, both in and out

Biography of Hon. William Payne

Farmers who have been elected to positions of trust and honor are not by any means few in America, but it is the exception that the tiller of the soil continues to be such long after he has won success in any sphere outside his regular calling. The allurements of city life in the great majority of cases quickly overcome the inborn love of nature unadorned and the farmer is known by another name. Honorable William Payne has been one of the few. After terms of service in county offices and through twelve years in which he held membership in

Biography of Rev. George W. Gue

A man who, while never a permanent resident of Rock Island, yet lived in the city long enough to leave a permanent impress there and to be remembered with gratitude by many, was Reverend George W. Gue, for several years pastor of the First. Methodist Church, and builder of the present house of worship of that congregation. Honored in various ways by his church he bore his preferment well and earned the love and respect everywhere of those with whom he came in contact. Mr. Gue was born in Neville, Clermont County, Ohio, February 27, 1840, and died at Portland,

Biography of Daniel M. Sechler

Daniel M. Sechler, founder of the D. M. Sechler Carriage Company, of Moline, Illinois, was born March 4, 1818, at Danville, Pennsylvania, and died at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 27, 1903. Mr. Sechler’s forefathers, in the days of the persecution of John Huss, were obliged to flee for refuge from Austria, taking up their abode in Holland, from which country, in 1685, Mr. Sechler’s great great grandfather emigrated to America, locating near William Penn’s town of Philadelphia. His grandson, John Sechler, a revolutionary soldier, founded the town of Danville, the birthplace not only of the subject of this

Biography of Thomas M. Sechler

Moline is a city of manufacturers, one of the most prominent of whom is the subject of this sketch, Thomas M. Sechler. He was born October 25, 1841, in Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, at which place his father, D. M. Sechler, at that time conducted a carriage factory. His father, Daniel Montgomery Sechler, was born at Danville, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1818, and his mother, Pamela (Mackey) Sechler, was born in Rutland Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, December 19, 1819. She is still living at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio. T. M. Sechler’s paternal great-great-great grandfather came from Holland in 1685, together

Biography of Rev. Thomas Mackin

Reverend Thomas Mackin was born in County Armagh, Ireland, January 4, 1841, the son of Daniel and Ann Mackin. His rudimentary education was received in the Government schools of his native land, and upon his completion of the course afforded there, he turned to teaching as a means of livelihood, and to pave the way for the attainment of wider educational advantages. In 1861 Thomas Mackin came to America, settling in Leland, Illinois. Here his brother James, was engaged in the dry goods, commission and land business. It was during war time and they did an extensive business. Thomas, however,

Biography of Harry P. Simpson

Harry P. Simpson, editor of the Rock Island Argues, was born in Davenport, Iowa, on July 6, 1863, and moved to Rock Island in 1887. He attended the public schools in his native city, and while yet in high school he developed a decided taste for newspaper work, serving as reporter on a society paper called the Saturday Afternoon People. His work attracted attention and he was offered a position on the staff of the Davenport Gazette, which he accepted, representing that paper in a reportorial capacity in Rock Island and Moline. A little later he was made city editor