Ensminger, John A. 1827-1908, Marion Constable, Alderman & Civil War Vet

John A. Ensminger was born at Equality in Gallatin County, Illinois, on October 11, 1827 near the salt works. His father was Emanuel Ensminger, who was born in 1777 and died in 1832. His mother was Catherine Davenport, born about 1787. The Ensminger’s were early pioneers to Gallatin County and hardy stock, established by the fact that his father, Emanuel, walked 100 miles and back, to Vincennes, Ind., for a license to marry his wife, which he secured and the couple were united at Shawneetown. Continue reading

Duncan, James H. 1840-1901, Merchant, Alderman, Sheriff, J.H. Duncan & Co., Duncan House

Duncan James HJames Hartwell Duncan, five term Marion alderman, three term county sheriff and Marion merchant, was born in 1840, the son of George W. Duncan (1817-1878) and Rosey A. Henson (1812-xxxx). James appears to have favored his middle name of Hartwell.

In the 1850 census, his parents, George and Rosey, had 7 children, 10 years of age and under: James H., 10; Mary A. and Nancy J., twins, 8; Elizabeth F., 6; Viola, 5.; Narcissa, 2; and George W., who was only a few months old. They were living in Williamson County, Illinois. Continue reading

Hudgens, Robert L. 1866-1939, Marion Merchant & Alderman

Hudgens Robert LRobert Lee Hudgens, Marion Merchant and city Alderman, was born in Williamson County on February 24, 1866. He was the son of Zachariah Hudgens and Mary Jane Cooksey, who had 14 children. Zachariah Hudgens was the founder of Hudgens, Illinois which used to be located next to the railroad tracks that cross Hudgens Road south of Marion but no longer exists. He also was a mill operator, merchant, Goreville banker and served as Williamson County Sheriff from 1872 to 1874.

In the 1870 census, Robert was 4 years old, living with his parents, brothers and sisters. They lived in what is today Southern Township in Williamson County, Illinois near Pulley’s Mill.  His father, Zach, was listed as a farmer.  Continue reading

Kern, Charles M. 1837-1906, Marion Trustee & Merchant, Young and Kern Dry Goods

Charles Kern 1904Charles M. Kern of Marion was born in Monongalia County, West Virginia on July 18, 1837, the son of James and Mary Goosman Kern, natives of West Virginia, of German and French stock respectively.

In 1860 Charles was living in Monongalia County, West Virginia near Morgantown.  His parents, James and Mary Kern had five children at home: Charles, 23; Margaret, 21; Francis, 17; Caroline, 14 and George, 11.

Charles was reared in his native county, and was married and engaged in milling there.  In 1863 he went west, located at Marion, Illinois and engaged in mercantile pursuits.  Continue reading

Robertson, Martin W. 1839-1906, Merchant and Trustee, 403 E. Main St.

Martin Wiley Robertson, Marion Trustee and merchant, was the son of Henry Robertson (1775-1845) of Nashville Tennessee and Mary Spiller (1798-1853) of Virginia by way of Tennessee. Mother, Mary, was the daughter of William Spiller and Winifred Benson.

Martin’s father, Henry Robertson, came to this part of Illinois, about 1818, returned to Tennessee, then came back in 1823, and settled three and a half miles northwest of Marion, filing his first land claim in 1836, where he farmed successfully until his death in 1845. Henry bought one of the original lots in Marion when the land for the town went up for sale. Continue reading