26 Apr 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Ephraim Summers, of Fulton, and a pioneer of Whiteside County of 1838, was born in the town of Barnet, Caledonia Co., Vt., Sept. 4, 1812, and is the son of William and Emma (Pierce) Summers. He worked at the carpenter and joiner’s trade, and was also engaged in farming.
He was married in February, 1833, in Vermont, to Mary L. Dickson, daughter of John and Jane (Lindsey) Dickson.
He came to Illinois in 1838 and made his home at Portland, this county, for awhile, but soon located at Sterling, to which place he removed his family from the East in 1840. He learned the blacksmith’s trade in the West, and opened a shop at Sterling, which he continued till 1847. He then removed to Fulton, where he worked at blacksmithing till 1850, when he joined a party bound for the gold fields of California.
He left Fulton April 9, crossed the plains and arrived at Hangtown, Cal., early in August following. He spent two years in the Golden State, and returned to his home via the Panama and New York route.
In 1853 he engaged in the hardware business at Fulton, which he continued till 1857. He was elected Justice of the Peace several times, and served in all 20 years. In 1873 he was appointed United States Gauger and served as such two years, or until by a change in the law the office was abolished. He also held various local offices.
Mr. and Mrs. Summers had seven children, --four sons and three daughters: Cloys, the eldest son, was a soldier of the late war, and is now a merchant of Fulton. He married Margaret Joyce. Morris died in infancy. Oscar married Lizzie Exley and is in partnership with his elder brother. Cyrus is single and lives in Indianapolis, Ind. Sophia is the wife of Hiram Noble, of Fulton. Orilla is the wife of George Hartford, of Boone, Iowa; Mary is the wife of Herman Jordan, of Newton Township, this county.
Mr. Summers gave up active business several years since, and is living in comfortable retirement with several of his children near by, and in the enjoyment of the highest respect and esteem of neighbors and friends. He is now with his eldest son.
Mrs. Summers died July 23, 1879.