Biography - Hiram Wise

HIRAM H. WISE, who has lived on his present farm of one hundred and fifty-seven acres in section 2, township 11, range 4, for the past thirty-two years, was born in Hardeman County, Tenn., December 20, 1827, and is a son of William J. Wise, born in North Carolina in 1803. The latter was a son of William Wise, of the same place, who was a farmer and cooper, and followed his trade much of his time. He was in comfortable circumstances, owning a small farm and a cooper-shop. He married Nancy Howard, of North Carolina, daughter of Isaiah Howard, and reared a family of five sons and three daughters, of whom William J. was the second child and first son. The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Isaac Wise, who was born and reared in England, and came to the United States with two brothers, when a young man, settling in North Carolina before the Revolutionary War broke out. He was not a soldier in that war, but was drafted three times, and furnished a substitute each time, and also furnished thirteen horses as his contribution to American independence. He reared a large family, and died at the age of seventy years. The grandmother of our subject died at the age of fifty-five, leaving the eight children mentioned above.
William J. Wise married Rebecca Lawhon, of Wayne County, N. C, and removed to Illinois in the fall of 1825, coming in the old-style cart, with a two-horse tandem team. They were some six weeks on the way, and arrived in Illinois in October, and as many other families came over the road with them, they all had an enjoyable journey, but about one year later, they returned South to Hardeman County, Tenn., where they bought a farm and resided eleven years. In the spring of 1837 they again came to Illinois, locating in Johnson County, having sold their possessions in Tennessee. At first, in Johnson County, he settled on forty acres, but before his death he owned three hundred and twenty acres in Burnside Township, which was one of the finest farms in the township. Some years later he sold out and made other purchases and moves, and at length died at his home farm in Williamson County, November 9, 1873, nearly seventy years of age. His wife, the mother of all his children, had died in 1871, aged sixty-seven. They had had ten children, one of whom Mary A., died at three years of age, and another, Thomas C., died at seven. The children living at the time of her death were as follows: Lewis E., who, when last heard from, was a resident of Louisiana, and if alive would be sixty-six years old, served in the Confederate army in the late rebellion as a member of the Black Horse Cavalry; Hiram is next in order; William J. is a retired farmer of Union County; Elizabeth J. was the widow of William R. Mounce, who died in Andersonville Prison; Sarah Ann, Mrs. Hall, is deceased; Robert H. resides in New Burnside; Curtis is a farmer of Saline County; and Oliver died in 1892, at New Burnside, aged forty-eight years.
Hiram H. Wise was reared a farmer boy in Tennessee and Illinois. He had excellent opportunities for securing an education for the times in which he then lived, and not only attended the district schools, but also attended a High School kept by William H. Minnix, now of Washington, D. C., in the general land office. Our subject himself taught school in early life for some fifteen years. He was married November 26, 1848, to Miss Polly, daughter of George W. and Cynthia (Job) Chapman, who came with their respective parents to Illinois at an early day. George W. Chapman was born in New York in 1809, and was a son of Daniel Chapman, a Revolutionary soldier, who came to Illinois before it was a State, and who died here at a great age. He was the father of eleven children. Mrs. Wise is one of her mother's six children, two sons and four daughters. She was the first-born, the date of her birth having been December 25, 1832, and she is now the only one living of the family. Mr. and Mrs. Wise were married at the home of the bride by William Barnwell, and have resided ever since in this countrv. Mr. Wise left his wife and six children at home on his farm then a wilderness, and went to the front in the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, Company B, September 10, 1861, and served until November 5, 1865. He reached home November 26 following, on the seventeenth anniversary of his wedding. He was in the Quartermaster's department, and was Chief Clerk of the Quartermaster's department of Alabama, and acted as Adjutant about one year. He was not in good health, and but for his ability as a clerk and scribe, he would have been discharged in April, 1864. He has practiced law considerably, having upon examination been licensed to practice October 17, 1853.
Mr. and Mrs. Wise have buried six children, one son and one daughter in infancy. William J. died at twenty-five years of age, in Kansas in 1882; Victoria, wife of Henry F. Good, died at Stone Fort in 1879, at the age of twenty, leaving one daughter; Riley M. died at ten years of age. Those living are as follows: Thomas C, County Surveyor, who resides in New Burnside, and has a wife and seven children; F. M., a farmer, living adjoining upon four hundred acres of land, who has a wife and one daughter; George O., single; N. O., a traveling salesman; and Charles H., single and a farmer near by. George W. Chapman, the father of Mrs. Wise, served in the Mexican War as a teamster, and was also in the War of the Rebellion, but was discharged on account of disability, after serving six months. He was thrown from his horse and was kicked besides. He was sixty years old when he volunteered, and he died at Vienna at the age of sixty-six.

Extracted 03 May 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 246-247

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