1925 Biography - Ridenhower

The founder of the Ridenhower family in this country was born and married in Germany, coming to America in Colonial times. His son, John was born in North Carolina and was the father of Aaron, who was the father of Harris M. Senior. The wife of Aaron Ridenhower was Caroline Miller, also a native of North Carolina. H. M. Ridenhower Sr. was born in 1824 and was only ten years old when his father died, making it necessary for him to assist in the support of the family. When fifteen years old, he worked on a farm for three dollars per month and board, except during harvest, when wages were twenty-five cents a day. He began school at the age of seven, but after his father's death, was obliged to give up school until he was eighteen. He then applied himself to books and was soon able to teach. Mr. Ridenhower lived in North Carolina till 1846. The failure of crops in that section and the strong tide of emmigration to the west influenced him to the extent that he set out with his wife, one child, and Mr. Miller, his father-in-law and family to the great prarie state, making the entire journey by team. He lived in Union County and taught there till 1855, when he removed to Johnson, where he continued teaching there till 1855, when he removed to Johnson, where he continued teaching till 1860. That yar the Democrats by an oversight had failed to nominate a corner. The Republicans nominated Mr. Ridenhower, and through a quiet campaign elected him, although there were but forty republican votes cast in the county. The sheriff of the county died and Mr. Ridenhower, under the law became sheriff. He was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was appointed internal revenue collector for Johnson and Union Counties under him. He was a champion of the Whig party in its time, was always a strong antislavery man, and had some trying experiences in this county during the Civil War. He voted for Freemont in 1856, and Lincoln in 1860. He was a well educated and an influential man. He died in 1869. He married Levina Miller, a native of North Carolina, and they reared nine children. Otto L. (2), Penina (2) married a Mr. Howell, E. K. (2) married Orpha Blackmail and removed to Hico, Texas, where his family still reside. He died 1923. Mary A. (2) is the widow of W. A. Snow, and their children are Tennyson (3) who resides with his family in Logansport, Ind., Loyd (3) married Anna Margrave. They have Daniel (4), Marjory (4) and reside on the Snow farm. Herman (3) is married and lives in Fulton, Ky. Bernard (3) married Coleman Parker and lives in Winterhaven, Florida. They have John Hamilton (4). Harris M. Jr. (2) married Agusta Hess (see Chapman); married second Nettie Beaupre Carrie L. (2) was a teacher of the county for several years married J. L. Mount and died without children. Addie M. (2) is teh wife of A. M. Berry, a farmer of Saline County. Rob Roy (2) lives a short distance east of Vienna. He married Alice Carter and they have one son, Rob Roy, Jr., (3) who married Essie Jackson. They had Kimber (4). Rob Roy (2) married second Miss Cannon of Saline. Rob Roy (3) married second Pearl Veach. Fleta (2) married James Gibson of Goreville Township, their children were Ray (3) who served in the World War and died soon after from the effects of his service. Bernice (3) married Young Thornton and had Lorene (4), James (4); she married second a Mr. Esque.
Harris M. Ridenhower Jr., was born in Union County, Jan. 23, 1855. He was the son of H. M. Ridenhower whose biography appears above. Harris M. received his education in this county and the Southern Illinois Normal at Carbondal. He began teaching when only sixteen years old and taught and attended school alternately till 1878 when he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law in Vienna. He served as States Attorney, elected 1884. He began early to buy land, and had he lived would no doubt have been the largest real estate holder in the county. He was a Republican, as his father before him, an I. O. O. F., had quite a taste for literature, and owned a splendid collection of books. He died when but a young man. He was first married to Augusta A. (see Hess). Mr. Ridenhower married second, Nettie L. Beaupre, 1890, of Metropolis, Ill., a daughter of Wm. D. and Mary Beaupre. Their children were Ruby, married Ralph Cherry of Washington, D. C and died 1922; Leva is assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Vienna, Ill., Jappy married Howard Schroeder of Centralia, Ill., and has Howard Jr. Harris married J. L. Dodd of Elrado, Ill., children Louise, and J. L. Jr.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, page 425-426.

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