Tampico Area Historical Society
15 Jul 2007
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Solomon Eshelman, a farmer of Clyde Township, established on section 24, was one of the first mechanics to locate at Morrison, where he started a blacksmith shop in 1855. He was born March 1, 1827, in Bucks Co., Pa., and is almost wholly without knowledge of his parents. His father died before his birth, and all the inheritance left was his name, which was bestowed upon his son. The mother was unable to give her child proper care and rearing, and she confided him, when only a few weeks old, to strangers, who did not desire to have him retain any knowledge of his origin, and he has never known her name. He became a laborer on arriving at a suitable age, and remained in his native State, until he was 22 years of age. In 1850 he came to Freeport, Ill., and worked as a blacksmith, having acquired a knowledge of that buisness at Goodstown, Berks Co., Pa., under the training of Daniel Grooninger. He went from Freeport to Sabula, Jackson Co., Iowa, where he worked at his trade 18 months. He came thence to Savanna, Carroll Co., Ill., and was similarly occupied about one year at that place. In 1855, associated with Thomas McClelland, he established a shop at Morrison for general work. Their business relations existed four years, terminating in 1860.
Mr. Eshelman was married in December, 1860 to Louisa Siddles. She was born June 27, 1837, in New Jersey. Her parents were of New England origin and came to Illinois in the ‘40’s, locating in Whiteside County, north of the city of Sterling. Her father and mother have both been dead some years.
Mr. Eshelman continued to prosecute the business of a blacksmith at Morrison about ten years after his marriage. In 1870 he purchased 82 acres of land in Clyde Township, of which he took possession the same year. The place had been improved to some extent, and it has since been placed by its proprietor in complete agricultural condition, and has constituted the family homestead. The acreage has been increased until it includes 151 acres. Mr. Eshelman is a Democrat and was brought up in the German Lutheran faith.
Five children have been born to him and his wife. William F. died in infancy. Emma E., Joseph H., Benjamin and Cora M. are the names of the four who are now living.