3 Sep 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside Co., Illinois
Published by Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL 1885
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
Edwin Old, farmer, upon section seven, Clyde Township, is a citizen of this county by adoption, having been born Feb. 26, 1815, in Wakefield, Yorkshire, Eng. His father and mother, Thomas and Elizabeth (Brooks) Old, were both natives of the same shire where the son was born, and were able to trace their line of ancestral descent to a very early period in the history of Great Briain. The father was a cloth manufacturer by profession and both he and his wife spent their entire lives where they were born.
Mr. Old was 12 years of age when he began to acquire a knowledge of the calling of his father. He served a regular apprenticeship and followed the business until he was 25 years old in the place of his nativity. In 1840 he emigrated to the United States and first located in the State of New Jersey. He went thence to Cairo, Green Co., N. Y., where he obtained employment in the cloth manufacturing establishment of Horace Austin & Co., and operated in the interests of the firm five years.
He was married June 17, 1841, in Cairo, to Ann Platt, and they have been the parents of seven children, of whom four survive: William, who married Georgiana Rhodes and resides at Clinton, Iowa; Adaline married Robert Davis, who is a gardener at Morrison; Frances married Thomas Gulliland, a farmer in Ustick Township. Ellen lives with her parents. The father and mother of Mrs. Old, John and Betty (Beens) Platt, were natives of Yorkshire. Her father was a weaver. They came with their family of three childred to America. Mrs. Old was born Jan. 12, 1822, in Yorkshire, and is the oldest child and at the tie of he removal of the family to the Untied States she was six years of age. They located in Cairo, Green Co., N. Y., and there her father died in 1849. The mother died about 1831.
After they had been married five years, Mr. and Mrs. Old went to Hobart, Delaware Co., N. Y., and in the year following returend to Green Co., N. Y., locating in Windham for a time, whence they went to Haverstraw, in Rockland County, in the same State. After a residence there of three years they went to New Jersey. One year later they made final change in their affairs and set out westward, coming to Clyde Township, where a number of English families from Yorkshire and located together with others from the eastern portion of the State of New York.
Mr. Old purchased 40 acres of land on his arrival and set diligently about the work of improving his property and developing the general welfare of the community so far as lay within the reach of his individual influence. The entire section was almost whollly unimproved, and houses were few. There were literally no fences. The family encontered the novel experiences of pioneer life, but instead of being disheartened pressed eagerly forward in the work of making a home. The homestead estate now comprises 200 acres, with 160 acres under improvemtn. Mr. and Mrs. Old are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of England.