1925 Biography - Samuel Hess

Col. Samuel Hess was born in Union County 1823. He was reared in his native county and early learned the tailor's trade which he followed several years opening a shop in Marion for a short time. He came to Vienna in 1844 and established a business. In 1846 he enlisted in Captain Hacker's company for the Mexican War. He participated in the battle of Buena Vista and other minor engagements. At the expiration of his enlistment he returned to Vienna and in 1849 went overland to California as a "forty-niner" making the entire journey with horses. At that time there were no white settlements west of the Missouri river except the Mormans at Salt Lake, Utah. He followed mining there for about a year and returned home by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Soon after his return he engaged in the mercantile business with S. J. Chapman and D. Y. Bridges being thus engaged when the Civil War broke out. He assisted in raising the sixteenth Illinois Infantry of which he was commissioned Major. He was later promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. He resigned in 1863. He continued the mercantile business also engaging in the lumber business and the later years of his life were devoted to farming. He was very successful in business for a time and built the largest and most imposing home in the town and furnished it accordingly. He owned a large tract of land on the west side of sixth street and two or more Hess editions have been made to the town. Col. Hess was a tall and well proportioned man, a splendid horseman and in the good old days of "parades" he made a fine picture as marshal of the day with his red sash and mounted on his gray horse. He married Usurla (see Chapman).

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 473-474.

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