John A. Smith

One of the first to come here after the War was John A. Smith. He was the son of
John Smith, who was a coal miner, a native of Butler Co., PA, born Jan. 22,
1811. He married Rachel Easley, born Nov. 21, 1808 in Armstrong Co. PA. John and
Rachel Smith were married in PA, and their children were born there.

In 1856 the family came to IL and operated some of the Abraham Jones land near
Towanda. Because of the wheat failure in 1857, he became indebted to Jones to
the extent of $1500, but this was paid off during the seven years he worked for
him. He moved from there to Old Town where he purchased 80 acres, but a few
years later he sold that and moved to a 58 acre farm near Downs, which he
purchased for $25 per acre. There the older folks lived until Rachel died in
1883 and her husband in 1885.

John and Rachel Smith had six children, four of whom came to Anchor Township.
George, the oldest, went to Missouri, where a fire in his home killed his wife
and four of their children. His daughter, Rebecca Slemons, lived in Bloomington,
IL and George is buried at Merna, IL. Elizabeth married Anson Dart, and they
settled early in Anchor Township, and the post office of Dar, must have bee
named by this family. They later moved to Gibson City. Two of their children,
Frank and Rachel, died of consumption, while the family lived here.

John A. was the third child, and there were Theodore, William, who remained on
the home farm at Downs, and Mary, who married James Hickey, and who also lived
for a time near Anchor, then moved nearer Gibson City.

John A. Smith lived at home until 1866, when he married Delphine DuBois at
Peoria. She was born in Canada in 1849 and her parents, Bartholomew and Adeline
Raisch DuBois moved to Peoria when she was 8 years old.

John and Delphine Smith purchased 160 acres of swampy land in Anchor Township
for $10 per acre. The nearest market was at Fairbury, 16 miles away. He hauled
the lumber from Fairbury to build his first home. He erected a one room house,
about 16 by 24. Here, John, Delphine, and her brother-in-law and sister,
Gerherdt and Mary Yeager lived.

A few years later, this one-room was divided into two rooms and an upper story
with two bedrooms and two closets added. Five children came to this home, so
another 2 story addition with two rooms down and two above was added. The
children were George, Wm. A., Charles, Olive and Perry.

In 1896 John Smith built another addition, again to the west end, one story down
and one upstairs. The story as told by the family is that Olive wanted to be
married in a double doorway, so this latest addition had that kind of doorway.
Olive married Dr. Samuel Bane of Ellsworth. She lived to be the oldest of the
family and died in Connecticut a few years ago.

John A. Smith laid many rods of tiling, placed his land under a high state of
cultivation, erected a comfortable residence, and all necessary outbuildings and
bought an adjoining 80 acres for $50 per acre, to quote from the 1899 McLean
County history.

John Smith moved into Anchor in 1898 or 1899 to the house south of the church,
which was built by Louis Dauel in 1891. John died in 1916 and his wife in 1924.
His son, William lived on the family farm. Will, Annie and daughter Pearl had
been living a half mile west. Alva (Sykes) Smith was born on the Smith home
place. Alva and Fern Smith, after farming in the Anchor area for many years,
have now moved into his grandparents old home in Anchor.

Delphine Smith's parents, the DuBois, also moved to the Anchor area in 1870.
Bartholomew who was born in France, and went to Ontario, Canada as a child, died
at Anchor in 1901. His wife, Mary Adeline Raisch, was born at Ficolett, Canada
in 1827, died at Anchor in 1904.

Two of the Smith children became dentists, Dr. Charles lived at Dixon and Dr.
Perry lived at DeKalb. Their older brother, George, married Mary Hasty and moved
to Indiana.

Theodore Smith, a brother of John A., was born near Pittsburgh, Penn. in 1842.
He started to school in PA, then completed more in IL. He attended school after
he was 25, because he had been injured and couldn't do hard work and decided to
improve his mind. He stayed on the home farm until he was 45 years of age, then
after his parents death, went back to PA to visit.

When he returned, he rented a farm in Cropsey Township. In 1888 he married Mrs.
Laura Austin Jones, a widow with two children. Theodore and Laura Smith were the
parents of two children, Mrs. Ella Sholty, and Albert Smith.

Theodore lived on his own farm in Anchor Township, then left there and moved to
Redwood Falls, Minn. In 1909. He and his wife are buried there. He died in 1913
and Laura in 1937. It was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hoffman from
1944-1974. After being damaged by the tornado on April 3, 1974, the house was
razed in 1975.

Sterrett and Abraham McClellan

Sterrett and Abraham McClellan, brothers, and natives of Indiana
came to Colfax at an early date. Sterrett was sexton of Wiley
Cemetery for many years, keeping it in a beautiful condition.
Under his direction the hickory trees were removed in 1899
because their leaves stained the markers, and because the trees
swarmed with boys and their clubs each fall, as the boys tried to
get the hickory nuts. He planted the ash trees that now remain to
beautify the south half of the cemetery.

He was born Apr. 1, 1838 at Sullivan, Ind. and married Sarah Ann
Huff on Mar. 3, 1858. She was born at Carlisle, Ind. in 1841 and
was one of 13 children. Sterrett served in the Civil War for one
year in Co. B, 152nd Vol. Inf. They came to McLean Co. in 1862,
Sterrett and Sarah were the parents of John, Laura Jane, Mary,
Logan, William and Belle. Mrs. McClellan died Feb. 5, 1895

Sterrett married Mrs. Charlotte Cooper in August 1904. She was
the widow of A.H. Cooper, who had come to Colfax from Potosi in 1880. Sterrett
McClellan died on Nov. 21, 1913, and was buried at Wiley Cemetery. Many of
his family have been buried there.

John McClellan (1860-1931) was born near Sullivan, Ind., and
married Angie Cross of Saybrook in 1889. They lived at Colfax and had 9
children. When Angie died in 1947, she had lived in Colfax for 48 years. One son,
Hartzell, is now a resident of Colfax. Their other children were Ivo, Wm. S., Leo,
Florence, Mary, Ruth, Nellie, Blanche, and Elsie.

Laura Jane McClellan (1863-1937) married James Smith and they
lived at Anchor, then moved to Kempton about 1908. One of their 10
children, Clarence (Mack) remained at Anchor and farmed near there. The others were
Beulah, George W., James, Eva, Albert, Mary Fern, Otis and Jessie, and

Mary McClellan married Joe Raish and moved to San Diego, CA. She
died in Portland, Ore., they had two children, Delsia and Alva.

Belle married Champ Dean and after living in Nebraska, and
Danville, IL, went to California. They were parents of 3 children, Elzie, Elton and

Logan McClellan (1867-1942) married Julia May Cross in 1890. They
were the parents of 4 children, Carrie, Eddie, Nettie Pickering, and Lena

William McClellan (1872-1959) married Estella Woodard in 1892.
They were the parents of three sons. Owen (1894-1920) married Miriam S. Scott
and was a medical student at Northwestern University at the time of his
death. Homer (1891-1961) married Agnes Pile and they had 2 sons, William and
Robert. Harvey McClellan born 1906 married Jessie Vetter and lives in
Valparaiso, Indiana. They have 2 children Barbara Hardesty and Wayne

Abraham McClellan lived at Colfax and at Anchor. He died Nov. 13,
1913 at the age of 60. His only daughter, Mary Louise (1872-1900) married Joe
Collings of Colfax and left two small children, Oscar LaMont and Josephine.

Nafziger Family

Anna, Solomon, John and Peter Nafziger were members of a
family that came to the Anchor Area from near Washington,
Tazewell Co., IL. The family was of German descent and the
parents were born in the province of Lorraine, under French
domination. They were of the mennonite faith.

Peter Nafziger Sr. was born there in 1835 and came to Tazewell County with
his parents in 1849. Barbara Garber came to Tazewell County with her
family in 1851. they were married in Tazewell County and were the parents
of 5 children. Peter died there in 1885. One daughter, Lizzie Reed
remained in Tazewell County, near Deer Creek.

The other daughter, Anna Nafziger, married Peter Garber in 1877.
After his father died in 1886, and he received his inheritance, he and 
Anna moved to Cropsey Township, where they bought 320 acres, later adding
additional land. Their home was located just northeast of the present village
of Anchor and is nw owned by their youngest daughter, Ruth Garber Kohler.

This young couple was to experience much tragedy. Their first daughter died
in infancy before they came here. Then 4 sons were born, Christian 1885,
Solomon 1887, David 1881, Daniel 1883. the boys became ill with 
diptheria in March 1891, and all died that month between March 14 and 30th,
and were buried at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Anchor Township. The family
had shown kindness to a tramp, and had given him food and shelter. Just a short 
time after this, the boys became ill of the fatal disease. Ella, about 9
months old, survived. Later, another daughter, Ruth was born.

Peter Garber built a new home for his family in 1893. He died in 1904, and
his widow and daughters lived here for many years before moving to Bloomington.
Ella married Ed Kinsinger and lived near Chenoa. they are deceased. Ruth
married Claude Kohler, and her mother lived with her during her later years.
She died in 1946. claude and Ruth Kohler live at Bloomington and he farms
this land, and Denver Billingsley lives on the Garber homeplace.

Soloman Nafziger purchased 320 acres northeast of anchor, and his mother,
Barbara Nafziger, lived with him and his family, until her death on May 7, 1911.
Solomon rented his farm to Joseph Grosse and moved to Bloomington. He died
in 1963. Sol and his wife had a son and a daughter. this farm is still in 
the possession of this family, and is now farmed by Bernard Grosse, a son
of Joe Grosse.

John H. Nafziger (1861 - 1949) married Augusta Stormer of
Washington. In 1892, John bought 90 acres south of Anchor and his
father-in-law bought  the adjoining 90 acres to the south. This
couple were the parents of one son, Elmer. John farmed this tract
for a number of years, then in 1902 he became the manager of O.A.
Means Elevator. When the Farmers Co-operative Elevator Co. was
organized in 1904, he was a shareholder and was named manager, a
job he held for 27 years. He was also vice-president of the
Anchor State Bank. After it was closed in 1933, he helped
re-organize it and served as president for 15 years. In 1924, he
was elected supervisor of Anchor Township, and served for 16
years. The family moved to town about 1915 and the farm was
rented. Mrs. Augusta Nafziger died in 1922, and her sister,
Katie, who had made her home with her, became the housekeeper at
the Nafziger home until her death in 1941. Elmer Nafziger became
a lawyer and practiced in Springfield, where he now lives. His
son, George, is also a lawyer.

   Elmer and George have continued the livestock farming business
started by John Nafziger. John Keeley now resides on the Nafziger

Peter Nafziger (1863-1940) married Magdalene Nafziger in 1889. They 
came to Anchor Township in 1890. They were the parents of Arthur 
(1894-1920) who served in World War I, Vera (1905-1922), Elsie, and 
Mrs. Sam Ummel. the mother of this family died in 1922. Peter Nafziger and
his daughter, Elsie, lived on a farm near Anchor. The Ummels had been 
living on the John Nafziger farm and left Anchor, when Rev. Sam Ummel who
had been preaching at the Anchor Monnonite Church, gave up farming and went
into full time ministry near Morton. Pete Nafziger was one of the trustees
of the Anchor Cemetery when the board was elected, after the Prairie Chapel
Cemetery was deeded to the township.

Mrs. Barbara Garber Nafziger had a sister who also moved to Anchor Township. 
Anna Garber married chris Gimpel and they located just west of John Nafziger 
and bought the John T. Tanner farm, south of the Mackinaw. Chris Gimpel
also ran a meat market in Anchor. Their sons were Chris, George, Peter B.,
and John. the parents moved to town were he died in 1912. His widow lived
until 1926.

P.B. Gimpel lived on the home place until his death in 1944. His widow,
Ethel, who had been living in Oklahoma near her daughters, died in February 
1976. Members of the Gimpel family are also buried at anchor Township 

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