Putnam County


C. W. Dysart, a prosperous farmer of Granville township, was born January 22, 1847, on the farm which is yet his home. His parents were A. P. and Hannah J. (Hawthorne) Dysart. The father was born in Pennsylvania in September, 1808, and the mother's birth occurred in Ohio. The Dysart family is of Scotch descent, and early records give an account of the emigration to America of the first representatives of the name in the new world about 1684.

In 1838 A. P. Dysart, coming by way of the lakes, arrived at Chicago, where he purchased a horse and saddle and thence journeyed to Peru, Illinois. There his horse and saddle were stolen from him and he walked the remaining distance to Granville. He purchased fifty acres of land just south of the village, after which he went to Hennepin and then down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and up the Ohio river to Pittsburg, whence he journeyed to his old home in Pennsylvania. He afterward made the trip across the country with teams to Illinois, driving four horses to a wagon and carrying with him tools and other effects. He then began farming on his own land and performed the arduous task of developing new fields. In those days it was customary to ride the near horse of the rear team and to drive all with a single line, and it was in this way that Mr. Dysart traveled across the country to his new home. The land which he purchased had been partially broken but there were no buildings upon it. He erected a log house and barn and made a home there until 1845, when he sold the property and purchased eighty acres on section 15, Granville township the farm now occupied by his son, C. W. Dysart. Upon this place the father continued to reside until 1874, when he removed to Virginia, where his death occurred. His first wife died in 1854, at the age of twenty-nine years, and he afterward wedded Miss Hannah Orr, a native of Ireland, who died in Kansas about six years ago. A. P. Dysart had only a common-school education, but was a great reader, a ready accountant and a well informed man on events of local and national importance. In his religious belief he was a Presbyterian. His political support was given to the whig party and later he became a republican. He took a prominent part in the affairs of the township and county and served as highway commissioner for twenty years.

In the family were ten children, of whom nine are now living: Margaret, the wife of A. E. Baird, a resident of Missouri; Susan, the wife of B. W. Cook, who is living in California; C. W., of this review; Hannah, the wife of J. H. Salisbury, of Tonica, Illinois; and Jennie, the wife of John Hawthorne, of Kansas. The above were all born of the father's first marriage. The children of the second marriage were Belle, the wife of James Elkins, of Kansas; Jessie, who died at the age of twenty-two years; Helen, the wife of John Croxen, of Arkansas ; Amanda, the wife of William Jones, a minister of the Presbyterian church in California; and Olive, the wife of J. C. Jones, of Kansas.

C. W. Dysart made his home on the farm with his parents in the days of his boyhood and youth and acquiring his education in the schools of Granville, devoting his time and energies to the work of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the tasks which were assigned him in connection with the cultivation of his father's farm. At the age of twenty-three years he was married to Miss Mary E. Heywood, a native of Maine and a daughter of John and Sarah (Folsom) Heywood. She survived until 1899 and died at the age of fifty years lacking one month. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dysart have been born nine children, all of whom are yet living: Hannah, the wife of E. F. Foley, of Iowa; A. H., who wedded Mary Crick and is a groceryman of Granville; Lucy, the wife of A. M. McCormick, a resident of Iowa; J. W., who married Myrtle McClary and is also of Iowa; John, who completed a four years' course at the Champaign university and is at home; L. C., Charles, H. L. and Benjamin, who are also with their father. In 1902 Mr. Dysart was again married, his second union being with Miss Nira Burnham, a native of Putnam county.

After his first marriage Mr. Dysart engaged in farming on his father's land. He was the only son and has always remained upon the old homestead. At the death of his father he came into possession of the farm, which comprises two hundred acres of rich land. He has carried on improvements inaugurated by his father and has a nice country home and good farm, the fields returning to him golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor he bestows upon them. For many years several thousand rails were used in fencing the farm, and only a few years ago Mr. Dysart burned the last one. Large cottonwood trees are abundant on the place, having been planted by his father. The railroad has cut off twelve and a half acres of his land, leaving the farm a tract of one hundred and eighty-seven and a half acres. Throughout his entire life Mr. Dysart has carried on general agricultural pursuits, and his labors have been attended with a measure of success that shows that he has kept in touch with the spirit of modern progress as manifest along agricultural lines.

For years he has been a member of the Congregational church at Granville. In politics he has always been a republican, casting his first vote for U. S. Grant. He served for three years as supervisor of his township and for nine years as assessor, and is recognized as one of the leading representatives of the party in this locality, his opinions frequently proving a decisive factor in its councils. He is now a member of the county central committee and does all in his power to secure legitimate republican successes. A pleasant, genial gentleman, he makes friends wherever he goes and is recognized as a public-spirited citizen whose labors in behalf of the county have been far-reaching and beneficial.

Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 449.

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