Bureau County Biographies 1885
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Bureau Bios 1885 > O.W. McKenzie

History of Bureau County - Biographical Sketches 1885

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois
H.C. Bradsby, Editor
Chicago: World Publishing Company  1885
Reprinted by: Higginson Book Co., Salem, MA

Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society

Pages 588-89

O.W. McKenzie, Fairfield, was born March 8, 1825, in Essex County, N.Y. His great-grandfather came from Scotland, and settled in eastern New York. He reared a family of seven children, viz.: Alexander, Robert, Crosby, Ethel, John, Sally M. and Thomas McKenzie. All of the boys were soldiers in the war of 1812. John McKenzie, the father of our subject, participated in the battle of Piattsburg. He was born August 6, 1794, and died here July 3, 1857. He was married February 23, 1815, to Betsy Havens, and reared a family of nine children, viz.: Hiram, Eliza, John M., Oliver W., De Lafayette, Lyman W., Lomira C., Robert and Chancy D. McKenzie. Mrs. Betsy McKenzie was born February 9, 1796: she died March 5, 1854. Mr. and Mrs. John McKenzie and children came to Bureau County in the spring of 1846. The first summer they rented a farm, and that fall the family built a log-house, with a board roof, on Section 7, where a claim was made, and the first year hauled the water used in the house in barrels from Woodward Bluff. in Whiteside County, a distance of six miles. Such were the privations our Bureau County pioneers had to undergo to prepare the way for posterity. Two years after the log house was built John McKenzie hauled lumber from Chicago, then their grain market, although a mere village, and built a frame house, in which he and his wife died.

O.W. McKenzie came here with his parents, and made a claim on Section 7 of 160 acres, of which he afterward entered one-half, his brother John entering the other half.. They broke this first prairie where Yorktown now stands, hiring a two-yoke ox team of Joseph Arnett, at 15 cents per day.Oliver McKenzie afterward bought the oxen at $10 per head. He improved his eighty acres, and moved a pole-house onto it, which he bough for $5.

He was married March 20, 1850, in Princeton, to Emily Dow, eldest daughter of Whitcher and Eunice (Bump) Dow, former residents of Cayuga County, N.Y., who came to this county in 1847, and settled on Section 6. She was a nurse, and an excellent woman, known and loved by all. She was born December 17, 1806, in Mount Holly, Rutland Co., Vt. She died here November 30, 1877. She was married January 27, 1828, and lived nearly fifty years with her husband, who was born October 13, 1804, in Danville, Vt. He died May 30, 1882. They were the parents of eight children, viz., Mrs. Emily McKenzie, Mrs. Emeline McKenzie, Benjamin F. Thomas, Edward W., Henry H., Mrs. Albina A. Greenman and and Clay Q. Dow. Of the above Mrs. Emily McKenzie was born March 5, 1829, in Cataraugua County, N.Y. She is the mother of the following children; Eliza E., Julia A., Raymond H., Willis E., Oliver W. and an infant son. Of these only Eliza E. and Raymond H. are yet living. The former was born February 3, 1851. She married Mortimer W. Brooks, and is the mother of three children, viz.: Clinton, Glen E. and Blanche M. Brooks. The latter, Raymond H., was born November 30, 1854, and is married to Lovina West. Our subject has been a successful farmer and stock-raiser, and has a farm of 580 acres. He was the first blacksmith and storekeeper in Yorktown, and some of his patronage came from a distance of ten miles. He was the first Constable and Assessor in Fairfield Township, holding the former office thirteen years. Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie have both been hard working people and earned their financial success in life.

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicohistoricalsociety@gmail.com  President Joan Johnson, 815-438-7581 or garyjoan@thewisp.net  Family History Coordinator, Denise McLoughlin 815-718-3617. We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK, too.