Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Originally published 1896
S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
John H. Olds, a leadiing business man and prominent hardware merchant of Wyanet, is a native of Bureau County, born at Princeton, May 21, 1847. His father, Justin H. Olds, was born in Massachusetts September 6, 1806, and was there reared, becoing a resident of Bureau county, Illiinois in 1834. He was here married on the 15th of June, 1837, the lady of his choice being Miss Louisa C. Bryant, daughter of Peter Bryant, and their marriage was the first performed after the organization of the county, her brother, John H. Bryant, officiating. They located at Lamoille, where they remained for two years and then removed to Princeton, where the father engaged in the mercantile business and was also editor of the Evening Post, a county paper. He was one of the prominent early settlers and served in several official positions, among which was that of cirucuit clerk. A strong abolitionist, he took an acteive part in the conducting the undergroung railroad, while religiously he wa a sincer and faithful member of te Congregational church. He died at the ripe old age of seventy-two years, and his wife was sixty-two when called from this life. In their family were five children, two sons and three daughters, all born at Princeton: Sarah S., now Mrs. Newell Mathews, of Los Angeles, California; Julia L., who married James Bartman, of Baltimore, Maryland, now deceased; Bryant O., deceased, our subject; Luccy W., also deceased.
Our subject was the fourth in order of birth, and remained a resident of Princeton until fifteen years of age, when he accoompanied the family to Peoria, the father having been appointed United States inspector of distilleries there, which position he held for seventeen years. At the age of eighteen John H. graduated at the public schools of Peoria, after which he took a business course at Bryant & Stratton Commercial College, of that city. It was in 1867 that he came to Wyanet, and for ten years engaged in farming on section 33. He then removed to the village, where he has since carried on the hardware business with good success, and it is one of the oldest established concerns of the place.
On the 15th of April, 1870, Mr. Olds led to the marriage altar Miss Annabel Cremmel, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Bureau county with her father, Samuel Cremmel, when a child, in 1856. Eight children grace this union, Bryant, who married Anna Smith, daughter of William Smith; Howard, Edna, wife of Elmer Sapp, of the bank of Wyanet; Blance, Guy M., Lucy W., John C., and Myra D.
Mr. Olds has been called upon to fill several positions of honor and turst in the county, the duties of which he has always discharged in a prompt and able manner, servin as collector and treasurer of his township. In 1896 he was elected to the office of supervisor, which position he is now filling. In politics Mr. Olds is a democrat. Socially he affiliates with the Masonic fraternity, Wyanet lodge, No. 231, F. A. M.; Belmont camp, No. 25, M. W. A., and the Knights of Pythias lodge, No. 429, all of Wyanet. He is a valued and influential citizen of the community and one who held in the highest regard by all.