George Wolgamott was born January 22, 1826, in Cambridge, Guernsey
county, Ohio, the son of David and Sophia (Sheeley) Wolgamott, both natives
of Maryland, in which state David Wolgamott remained until his marriage at
which time he removed to Ohio, coming overland with his wife, and
encountering the usual quota of hardships which traveling in those days
entailed. He entered three hundred acres from the government, paying one
dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, in Guernsey county. It was all
timberland with no improvements of any kind, but he immediately erected a
home for his family in which he and his wife remained until their deaths.
David Wolgamott died about 188, having passed his ninetieth milestone. His
widow survived ten years, dying in 1888, having also reached her ninetieth
year. Both are buried in the Liberty cemetery in Guernsey county, Ohio.
David Wolgamott served about one and a half years in the Civil war in an
Ohio regiment, mostly as one of the home guards in the vicinity of Columbus,
Ohio. He was the father of a family of ten children, eight of whom grew to
maturity, two dying in early life. Joe Wolgamott, one of his eldest sons,
went through the Mexican war under command of General Taylor.
George Wolgamott remained at home until his fourteenth year when he ran away from home and volunteered for the Mexican war. On account of his youth he could not be taken as a soldier and served as a hostler. Later, when he became older, he got into the regular service. The first battle he took part in was that of Buena Vista, in which he received a wound in the leg, which was the only wound he received throughout the campaign, but it did not hinder him from service, and he remained with his regiment until the close of the war. He then returned to his parents in Guernsey county, Ohio, and resumed work on the farm. At the age of twenty-one, he came to Illinois and entered eighty acres of prairie land in German township, Richland county, in the fall of 1847, and he came in company with Billy K. Johnson, a banker of Coshocton county, Ohio, who also entered a great deal of land surrounding our subject's eighty acres. He then went back to Ohio in the spring of 1848, and once more farmed with his father. In 1850 his marriage with Nancy Jane Rogers took place. They left Ohio in 1852 and came overland to Illinois and settled on the land which he had already entered. On their arrival he built a log cabin, broke prairie and raised corn and wheat, and otherwise improved the land. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted at Olney in the winter of 1860. He had had smallpox when a boy and therefore was placed in the Union hospital in Springfield, Illinois where he served as an attendant. This occupation proved too irksome for him and he ran away to New Orleans, rejoining his regiment, the Sixty-third Illinois, Company A, two years later. The company was commanded by Captain McClure. George Wolgamott in active service then went through many of the principal engagements of the war. He marched with Sherman to the sea and took part in the battles of the Wilderness, Buzzard's Roost, Lookout Mountain, Big Shanty, Atlanta, Missionary Ridge and many others. At the close of the war he was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois. He was with his regiment at Raleigh, North Carolina, when the war ended, marched to Washington, D. C., and came to Parkersburg in open stock cars, then taking boat to Louisville, Kentucky, and thence to Springfield, Illinois. His wife had returned to Ohio during the war to which place he went to bring her back to Illinois. On their return home his wife soon died. Two children were born of this marriage; they were named Lemon and Emma; the former lives in Iowa, and the latter at Lewiston, Illinois; she is the wife of Anderson Whites. The subject of our sketch then married Eliza. Thompson in 1868; she died about four years later. Three children were born to this union: one, Savannah, married William Campbell, and lives in German township. The other two children died in childhood. George Wolgamott married shortly after, taking for his third wife Jane Foster. On November 30, 1879, he again ventured into matrimony, marrying Nancy (Fisher) Carr, the widow of David Carr, a soldier of the Civil war, who died in 1874, and is buried in Bridgeport cemetery, Guernsey county, Ohio, his death occurring at the age of forty-six. To them were born three children, namely: Sylvester (deceased); Lillis and Ida. Lillis married Heldon Travis and lives in Topeka, Kansas; Ida is the wife of Edward Stradge, and resides in Curtis, Frontier county, Nebraska. Nancy (Fisher) Carr was born in 1838, February 27th, of that year, in Troy, New York. She lived in Troy with her parents until about three years of age, when they moved to Schenectady county, New York. Here she lived until her fourteenth year, when her parents moved to Ohio and settled in Tuscarawas county, later moving to Guernsey county. Her parents came to Richland county, Illinois, prior to the date of her marriage to our subject. Both her parents died in Richland county, her father dying in 1879; her mother survived him for many years, dying at the age of eighty-eight years about the year 1906. Her parents are interred in the Wagner cemetery, German township.
George Wolgamott in his early years attended the subscription schools in Ohio. His present wife was also educated in the subscription schools in New York state, but she left school at the age of fourteen.
Mr. Wolgamott has always voted the Republican ticket, taking an active part in local politics. He was a school director for about sixteen years in his home district. He has also been for many terms road overseer in German township. He is a member of the local camp of the Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 745 in Chancey, Lawrence county, Illinois. He was elected post commander several times. Both he occurred after he had served only about eighteen months. Robert, the subject's other brother, died March 10, 1877, in Licking county, Ohio. These children recived every advantage possible that their parents could give them.
John P. Williams was reared in Licking county, Ohio, making his home there from the time he was three years old until he was twenty-eight. He received his education in that county, having applied himself in a manner that resulted in a fairly good common school education. After leaving school Mr. Williams engaged in the shoe making business, which he followed for twelve years and in which he was eminently successful. He came to Salem in 1878 and worked as a solicitor for his brother who was then in the monument business, following this in a most satisfactory manner until 1882 when he went into the life and fire insurance business, spending considerable time on the road as a special agent in life insurance and making a marked success in this line of business.
Mr. Williams was appointed postmaster of Salem, April 1, 1898, in which capacity he served with entire satisfaction to the authorities and in a manner that reflected much credit upon his natural executive ability, until 1907. This appointment was made by President McKinley, and he was reappointed by President Roosevelt. After leaving the office, Mr. Williams opened a real estate and insurance office in 1907 and has been conducting the same to the present time, building up an excellent patronage and his wife attend the Christian church, though neither are members of any particular church.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 279-381.