The subject our sketch is the descendent of an old Connecticut family, one of whose sons, the parental grandfather of our subject, migrated to Delaware County, N.Y., during its early settlement, where he built up a good home from the wilderness, and spent the remainder of his life. His son, Elsic, was reared to manhood in Delaware County, and married Miss Polly Sherwood, of English descent, whose father, upon coming to this country located in New York City. He died there when his daughter Polly was a young child. The latter was also deprived of a mother's care while young, and was reared by foster parents, with whom she remained until her marriage. This union resulted in the birth of two children only, Ashbel and his brother John. The latter resided on a farm in Worth County, Iowa. Elsic Inman served as a soldier in the War of 1812 becoming Orderly Sergeant, after which he was never heard from. The mother survived a number of years. and died at the home of her son, John, in Vinton, Benton County, Iowa.
Mr. Ashbel Inman received no advantages whatever in his youth, being in early life compelled to make his own living. When twe1ve years of age he was taken into the household of Thomas Dent, an English farmer of Delaware County, with whom he remained until he reached his majority. He then started out in life for himself, and among the first important steps was his marriage, which took place in the county of his birth in 1853. The maiden of his choice was Miss Sallie A. De Munney, who was also born in Delaware County, of French parentage.
She came West with her husband in 1849, and assisted in the establishment of the pioneer home in Rock Run Township, where her death took place about 1866. Of this marriage there were born the children whose record is as follows: Mary E. is the wife of John B. Stoner, a farmer, and lives near Creston, Union Co., Iowa; Orville served four years in the army during the war, and participated in about eighteen battles. He was distinguished for his daring and courage, and received the meed of high approval from his commanding officer, while his comrades viewed him with admiration and affection. He married Miss Henrietta McCormick, afterward locating on a farm in Benton County, lowa.
John married Miss Lydia Phelps, and operates a farm near Lena, in this county: Sarah died when an interesting girl of eighteen years: Austin served as a Union soldier being a member of Co. I, 74th Ill. Vol. Inf., and participated in many of the most important battles of the war. His fate was never known, although it is supposed he is dead, and there were rumors that he had starved in Andersonville Prison: Katie C. is the wife of Benjamin Andrews, a resident of Sioux City. Iowa.
The present wife of our subject, Ashbel Inman, to whom he was married in Davis, Jan.21, 1869, was formerly Mrs. F. W. (Cary) Stegner, a native of Montgomery County, N.Y. She was born July 1, 1827, and is the daughter of Robert and Mary D. (Gillespie) Cary, also natives of the Empire State. The family was originally of Virginia whence they removed to New York early in their history. The mother departed this life Dec. 14, 1868, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Inman, in Davis. She was a lady of remarkable memory, and retained her mental vigor until the last, her death occurring when she had nearly reached her eighty-sixth birthday. The father, who is now eighty-five years old, and remarkably well preserved in mind and body. makes his home with our subject and his wife. His early years were characterized by great energy and industry. and he carried on both farming and merchandising. Both became identified early in life with the Episcopal Church, in which the father still retains his membership.
John G. Inman was one of the early settlers of Stephenson
County, and resides on section
22, West Point Township. He was born Nov. 4, 1839, in Delaware County, N. Y., and is the son of Ashbell and Sarah (De Munney) Inman, who were natives of that state. Before his marriage the father engaged in farming in Delaware County. where he remained until 1849.
The broad and fertile prairies of Illinois were then attracting much attention, and Ashwell Inman resolved to seek a new home for his family in the West. Traveling facilities were at that time so limited that the journey seemed long and arduous, but he started out with his young family via the Erie Canal and the lakes. Arriving at Chicago, which was then a small city of about 50,000 inhabitants, an uncle who resided there met them at the landing with a team, and they made the overland journey over rough, and at times, almost impassable roads, to Stephenson County, occupying several days, as was necessary at that time. Having but limited means, he first engaged in farming on rented land, but within a few years, by industry and economy, he acquired sufficient capital to buy a tract of wild land in Rock Run Township, which he cultivated and improved. After his successful struggles with the wilderness, he now lives at ease, a retired farmer in the town of Davis. His wife, who shared with him the trials of pioneer life, died in Rock Run Township.
John G. was a lad of ten when his parents emigrated to Illinois, and has a vivid remembrance of the incidents attending the journey. The limited educational advantages was one of the greatest privations in pioneer life. The nearest schoolhouse was four miles distant, and John, who assisted his father on the farm during the summer, trudged through the snow drifts across the bleak, desolate prairie, to attend the winter school. He remained with his parents on the farm until 1861 and then made the first improvements on the farm which he now owns and occupies. He first broke ninety acres of wild land, and in 1862 married and settled in his own home, which he has been successful in improving and now has a pleasant frame residence and excellent farm buildings. His grounds are shaded with ornamental trees, and he has a fine orchard producing a variety of fruits. His wife was Miss Lydia Phe1ps. They had a family of five children born to them, four of whom are living. Their names are as follows: Orvil1e A., born Nov. 4, 1864; Horace, March 14, 1868; John William, Aug. 17, 1876; Flora Emma, Feb. 28, 1883, and Frank, who was born April 13, 1870 and died Oct.14, 1872, of injuries resulting from being kicked by a horse.
Mrs. John Inman, born April 30,1842, in Union County, Ohio, was the daughter of Horace Phelps, who was born July 19, 1814, in the same county. Her grandfather, Ira Phelps, was a native of New York state. Re was engaged in farming in Delaware County until 1842 when he removed to Stephenson County, where he cultivated an4 improved a farm in Ridott Township remaining there until his death. Her father was married in Delaware County, to Miss Harriet Dickson, a native of Ohio. In 1842, he removed to Stephenson County, making the entire journey by wagon. On his arrival, he rented Government land in Rock Run Township, which he improved and upon which he passed the remainder of his days, his death occurring March 2, 1874. His wife died July 12, 1864. The record of their children is as follows: Rachel, born Aug. 9, 1836; Hannah, May 20, 1838; Electa, Mrs. Davis, May 20, 1840; Hallet B., June 30. 1844; Sarah A., Sept. 25, 1846; Davis S., July 28, 1848; Simon D., Aug.15, 1850. The life of Hallet B. was cut short by a sad accident. He was engineer in a mill at Pecatonica, and was killed by the explosi6n of a boiler, Sept., 20, l870. His sister Electa, whose health was delicate, was so affected by the shock, that her death followed on Sept.29. Sarah, who became Mrs. Cooper, died Nov. 2, 1886.
The names of Mr. John G. Inman's brothers and sisters are as follows: Polly, Orville, Austin and Catherine. Orville and Austin, the former as Captain, served in the Civil War, and suffered the horrors of Andersonville Prison, where the latter died. Mr. Inman has a half-brother named Edwin Inman.
Mrs. Ashbel Inman (second wife) was reared at home, where she remained until her first marriage, with Mr. F. W. Stegner, of Racine, Wis. Mr. S. was a native of Germany, whence he emigrated when a lad of thirteen, and arriving in America, located in Wisconsin. The young people, after their marriage, settled in Durand, Winnebago County, where he engaged in the lumber trade until the construction of the C. M. & St. P. R.R., through Davis, when he repaired to that city and established the first lumberyard within its limits, and built up a flourishing trade. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was one of the first to respond to the call for troops, and assisted in the organization of Co. I, 74th Infantry of which he was at once made Captain, and 1ed his men to the scene of conflict. After meeting the enemy in several of the important battles of the war, he was instantly killed during the fight at Marietta, Georgia, June 27, 1864, by a piece of shell which passed through his head. He was a brave and courageous soldier, and was always found in the thickest of the fray, always at the front. His conduct was such as to secure the commendation of his superiors, and the affection of his subordinates, who laid the soldier to rest in the cemetery at Atlanta, Ga. As a citizen and businessman he ranked high in his community, while he was an honored member of the Masonic fraternity. His political sympathies were with the Republican party. Of his marriage there were two children: Flora S., who is with her mother, and Mary A., the wife of Alton S. Mack, a resident of Davis.
Of the last marriage of Mr. Ashbel Inman there were born two children: One babe died
unnamed: Edwin A., born Dec. 4, 1871, is at home with his parents. Mr. Inman is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Davis, and politically, votes the Republican ticket.
Submitted by Mr. Richard Inman