Putnam County


a leading and representative citizen of Magnolia, belongs to a family that has been identified with the interests of Putnam county since the earliest days of its settlement. The first to locate here was his uncle. Captain William Haws, who was born in Orange county, Virginia, September 23, 1800, and in 1805 was taken by his parents to Ohio, and there remained until reaching his majority. On the 27th of August, 1821, he became a pioneer of Sangamon county, Illinois, where he conducted a tannery for a time, and in 1826 came to Putnam county, settling on section 26, Magnolia township, which was, at that time, however, a part Oif Tazewell county. He built a log cabin and there made his permanent home. He married Lucinda Southwick, a native of New York, who was a typical frontier woman, brave and fearless, and shared with her husband all the trials and privations of pioneer life. Indians at that time were more numerous than the white settlers and wild animals lurked round their little cabin. Mrs. Haws died on the 4th of July, 1867, leaving no children.

The captain secured his title as commander of a volunteer company in the Black Hawk war. At his house in 1831 Putnam county was organized, and he served on the first grand jury that here convened, the first term of court being held at the old traveling house near Hennepin. Governor Ford was then prosecuting attorney of the district. The captain died in March, 1885, and was buried in the Magnolia cemetery. After the death of his first wife he was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Louisa Moffitt, nee Defenbaugh, now deceased, and to them were born five children, twn still living; ClifTord, who married in Buslon, Massachusetts, and Joel.

In 1845, a sister of Captain Haws — Mrs. Kelley — and her family came to Putnam county, locating in Magnolia township, but three years later removed to La Salle county, Illinois, and about i860 removed to Missouri. An unmarried sister came in 1838, and made her home here until her death, dying at the advanced age of ninety-two years, and was interred in Magnolia cemetery.

Joel Haws, the father of our subject, was born in Madison county, Virginia, August 15, 1796, and was a son of Conrad and Susan Haws, who emigrated in 1805 to Clinton county, Ohio, where both died. The grandfather and two brothers took up arms against the mother country in the Revolutionary war, aiding the colonies in their struggle for independence. The father was one of a family of eight children, the others being Elizabeth, William, Mrs. Fannie Johnson, John, Mrs. Nancy Kelley, Susan and Tandy, all now deceased.

Until ten years of age Joel Haws lived in Virginia, and then accompanied his parents to Ohio, where he remained until coming to Putnam county, Illinois, in 1838. In Clinton county, Ohio, April 27, 1824, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Gibson, who was born in 1805, and was the daughter of John Gibson. On coming to this state they lived upon Captain Haws' place until 1845, when the father purchased the farm now owned by Gustave Otto, becoming its original owner. This he continued to cultivate and improve until his death, which occurred June 24, 1883. His wife, who was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church, died in January, 1876. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Mrs. Mary Ann Hubbard and Thomas G., both of Magnolia; Mrs. Elizabeth McCullum, deceased; William, of this sketch; John, of Ottawa, Illinois; one, who died in infancy; Mrs. Sarah J. McCombs, of Ottawa; Mrs. Eunice L. Otto (see sketch of Gustave Otto on another page of this work); George W., of La Salle county, Illinois, and James A., of York county, Nebraska. The father was a soldier in the war of 1812, serving with the Second Ohio Volunteers under Captain William Fordyce, in Colonel Sumalt's regiment and General Denoe's division, and was honorably discharged in 1814. He was an upright, honorable man, a faithful friend, liberal to a fault, and in politics a Jacksonian democrat.

Mr. Haws, whose name heads this sketch, was born in Clinton county, Ohio, September 10, 1833, and when quite small was brought by his parents to Putnam county, where he became familiar with the arduous duties that fall to the lot of the pioneers. His education was such as the district schools of the locaKty afforded, and he remained at home until reaching maturity. For seventeen years he was then employed by his uncle. Captain Haws.

In 1858 Mr. Haws led to the marriage altar Miss Helen Clisbee, a native of Marshall county, Illinois, born April 11, 1842. She was reared from childhood by Captain Haws, and after a short married Hfe died February 3, 1864. Two children were born to them, Minnie L., wife of Riley B. Roberts, of Magnolia township, by whom she has four children. Burl William, Helen Haws, Alargaret Livingston and Ollie Marie, and Helen, deceased.

Mr. Haws was again married March 2, 1865, Miss Alary Jane Trone becoming his wife. She was born in York county, Pennsylvania, January 7, 1845, and is a daughter of David and Christiana (Philby) Trone, also natives of York county, the former born January 9, 1816, and the latter in 1820. In the spring of 1847 her parents located in Caledonia, Magnolia township, Putnam county, Illinois, where the father died in June, 1863, and the mother in January, 1879. They had four children: jMrs. Margaret Smith, deceased; Mary J., wife of our subject; Mrs. Elizabeth Kidd, deceased, and Jerry. The parents were earnest members of the Methodist church, and tli€ father served as postmaster of Caledonia for some time.

Mr. Haws is prominently identified with the Alasonic fraternity, belonging to the Blue lodge at MagnoHa, in which he has served as treasurer for many years, the chapter at Lacon and the commandery at Peru. Politically he has been a lifelong democrat, taking a deep interest in the success of his party, and has been called upon to serve in several official positions, being road commissioner one term, supervisor two terms, a member of the school board and also a member of the village board of Magnolia, of which for several terms he was president. Since the war he has devoted his time and attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits, and now owns a valuable farm of three hundred and sixty acres, well improved and highly cultivated.

Riley B. Roberts, Mr. Daws' son-in-law, was born October 26, 1854, on the old Roberts homestead in Roberts township, Marshall county, and is a son of Livingston Roberts, now deceased. In the district schools he acquired his education, and on reaching manhood he was married June 26, 1876, to Miss Minnie L. Haws, who was born in Magnolia township February 17, 1859, and, as previously stated, they have four children. They began their domestic life upon the farm where they now reside, a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, highly cultivated and well improved. Mr. Roberts raises a high grade of Jersey cattle and fine horses, and has sold some excellent teams. In Magnolia lodge. No. 103, F. & A. M., he holds membership and is past master, while he also belongs to the Modern Woodmen, in which he has served as the presiding officer. His political support is given the republican party, and for twelve years he has been road commissioner, and has also served as school director in his district.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 122.

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