Crawford N. ONG, clerk of the circuit court of Marshall county, Illinois, is a native of Putnam county, Illinois, born in Magnolia township, March 2, 1863. His father, Nathan ONG, was a merchant tailor and a business man in Magnolia. His life was mainly spent in Marshall and Putnam counties, coming here in 1842 when eighteen years old. His marriage with Miss Meriel Dorinda MYERS occurred September 7, 1848. She is the daughter of David MYERS, who came to this county in 1832, locating in Roberts township, two and a half miles north of the present village of Varna, where he spent the remainder of his life. For many years in connection with farming, he engaged in the nursery business, and many of the old orchards in Marshall and Putnam county came from his nursery. In the family were thirteen children, of whom Mrs. ONG is the only representative now living in the county. The old homestead is owned by the only living son, Hiram MYERS, who makes his home in Galesburg, Illinois. Besides Mrs. ONG three daughters yet survive.
Nathan ONG, the father of our subject, was for some years engaged in the hotel business in Henry, Marshall county, being the landlord of the Paskell house. In 1850 he started overland for California, and arrived at his destination after six months of perils and hardships. The company from his immediate neighborhood was comprised of four men, his father, his two brothers-in law, Joshua and David MYERS, and himself. The return trip was made by sea, crossing the Isthmus of Panama, and landing at New York city, thence home by railroad.
In his family were six children, of whom three sons are now living. Ira
M., now residing in Normal, Illinois, was four years county superintendent
of schools in Marshall county, a position which he was eminently qualified
to fill, and in which he gave good satisfaction to the people of the county.
From his youth up he engaged in teaching in the public schools of his native
country, but since 1894 has been engaged as principal in one of the ward
schools of Bloomington, Illinois. Judson W., the second son, is at present
engaged as a storekeeper in the internal revenue office at Peoria.
The subject of this sketch spent his childhood and youth in Roberts township, and at various times attended the country schools of the immediate vicinity in which the family lived, and later the village schools of Varna. When nineteen years of age for one term he engaged as a teacher in the country school, known as Shaw’s Point school. Possessed of some musical skill, about this time he engaged as a musician with a comedy company then playing “one night stands” in the vicinity, but it did not take long to wean him of the desire to distinguish himself as a “barn stormer,” and he retired from the company, receiving nothing for his services but valuable experience, and for the next four years engaged in the painting trade as a journeyman painter. This was a more profitable employment, even if not so distinguished. Quitting this business, however, he engaged as a clerk in the clothing store of Messrs. Stire & Gell, at Lacon, where he remained until March, 1889 when he was appointed deputy circuit clerk, under John B. WRIGHT, with whom he remained until the expiration of Mr. WRIGHT’s term. The ability displayed as deputy secured him the nomination for the office of circuit clerk on the democratic ticket, and he was triumphantly elected, being duly installed the first Monday in December, 1892. He has now served something over three years with entire satisfaction to the court and his constituents in general.
On the 10th of May, 1894, Mr. ONG was untied in marriage with Miss Marsa THOMPSON, a native of Lacon, a graduate of its high school, and a daughter of Samuel H. THOMPSON. One daughter has come to bless their union, Florence, born September 4, 1895.
Socially Mr. ONG is a member of Lacon lodge, No. 291, K. P., has been chancellor commander for two terms, and has held other offices in that body, including its representative to the grand lodge two years. He is also a member of the Knights of Maccabees, a fraternal insurance society, in which he is very much interested. Mr. ONG is quite fond of outdoor sports, and has quite a reputation as a hunter and fisherman with the line and rod. As a citizen he is held in the highest esteem by those with whom he is acquainted, and has ever shown himself enterprising and ready to do his share in every good work. To such men much of the prosperity of a community is due.
Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois published in 1896, page 42.