Biography - Samuel Hess

COL. SAMUEL HESS, a veteran of two wars and a resident of Vienna, was born in Union County, Ill., December 24, 1823. He was reared in the county of his birth, and at the age of fourteen he commenced to learn the tailor's trade. After serving at this trade seven years he opened a shop of his own in Marion and conducted a business there a short time. In 1844 he removed to Vienna and there established himself in business. In 1846 he enlisted in Capt. Hacker's company for the Mexican War, and went by way of Texas to Mexico. He participated in the battle of Buena Vista. At the expiration of his term of service he returned to Vienna and followed his trade until 1849, when he went to California, starting from Jonesboro April 16 with a party of sixteen, making the entire journey overland with horses. At that time there were no white settlements between the Missouri River and San Francisco except the Mormons at Salt Lake. Buffaloes were plentiful and roamed at will over the plains, and the party had all the buffalo meat they could eat. ln August, they arrived in Weaverville.
Col. Hess was engaged in mining about twelve months while in California, then started on his return home by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. Upon reaching home he resumed his trade as a tailor and soon afterward engaged in the mercantile business. He was thus engaged when the War of the Rebellion began, and leaving his business with his partner he assisted in raising the Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, of which he was commissioned Major. The regiment was mustered into the service of the United States in February, 1862, and he was promoted to be Lieutenant-Colonel. He had command of the regiment until 1863, when he resigned and returned to Vienna, where he was engaged in various kinds of business for some years. During the past few years he has been engaged in farming.
In 1847, Col. Hess married Augusta M. Chapman, who was born in Vienna, Johnson County, and was a daughter of Samuel J. and Mary Chapman. Col. and Mrs. Hess have eight children, viz: Jerome, William, Alexander, Frank, Augusta, Herbert, George and Grant. Col. Hess is a member of Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R.; of Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M.; and of Vienna Chapter No. 67, R. A. M.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 572-573.

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