Bureau County Biographies 1885
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Bureau Bios 1885 > John Searl

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois; H. C. Bradsby, Editor; Chicago: World Publishing Co., 1885

Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin, Tampico Area Historical Society, www.tampicohistoricalsociety.citymax.com

Page 645

JOHN S. SEARL, Selby, was born in Greene County, Ohio, July 28, 1830. He is the son of Brown and Barbara Ann (HOSIER) SEARL. The father was born in Chemung County, N. Y., May 16, 1797. At the age of seventeen years he went with his parents to Greene County, Ohio, and remained there till coming to Bureau County, Ill., in 1834. He was reared on a farm, and such was his occupation during life. When moving to this county he brought ox and horse teams, and drove sheep with him from Ohio. He was one of five brothers who came to this county. His brother Job came with him in 1834. In 1835 David came, and in 1836 Timothy and John Searl also came. the total weight of these five brothers after they reached manhood was over 1,000 pounds. When the delegates from Princeton to Hennepin went to examine the poll books after the election forming Bureau County, four of the SEARL brothers went along with the delegates as protectors, and their presence did much to keep down the opposition. The SEARL brothers have all passed away, but left families behind, but of their families all have gone from this county except a son and daughter of John SEARL, and the widow and two daughters of Timothy SEARL (his widow has passed her eighty-eighth year), and the widow and one son of Brown SEARL. When our subject's father, Brown SEARL, came to the county he brought some money with him, and bought out the claim of John HALL, and lived on the same farm till  his death, January 28, 1867. His widow was born near Wheeling, Va., January 31, 1799, and is yet living. She is a member of the Methodist Church, as was also her husband. She is the mother of five children, viz.: Timothy, who is a farmer in Page County, Iowa; Peter H., a farmer living near Brooklyn, Iowa; John S., of this county; William, who is in the hotel business in Clarinds, Iowa, and Mrs. Malissa HOSKINS, wife of Jesse HOSKINS, a farmer in Page County, Iowa. All are married and have families. Our subject was reared on a farm, and was educated in such schools as could then be found on the frontier. In starting in life for himself he chose the occupation has since followed - that of farmer and stock-dealer. When married he had but little property, but his wife had a capital of $800, with which they bought a home and made a start, and have been very successful in accumulating a good property, as he now owns twenty-three eighties of land (sic), etc. Mr. SEARL'S life has been that of a businessman, but he has taken an active and leading part in local politics. He is a stanch Republican, and has held nearly all the offices in the township. He is a member of the Bureau Lodge, No. 112, A. F. & A. M. His father was a member of the same order, having become a Mason in 1818. August 28, 1851, Mr. SEARL was united in marriage to Miss Amanda MILLER, who was born in Greene County, Ohio, January 29, 1830. She is the mother of nine children living and one deceased, viz.: William W., Benjamin F., Sarah A. (who died at the age of twenty years), Mary A., Andrew J., Millard F., Samantha J., Samuel L, Grant E. and Maria D.
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Dorrie Simon writes:
Brown Searl (my g-g-g-grandfather) bought John Hall's claim on what was once "Hoskins Prairie" so I believe where the house now sits (the Brown built and John S. Searl lived in) just east of the cemetery (where the church and community center are) was where they talk of the first Religious Services being in the attached article (that is from the Bureau County Republican Centennial Edition). All four articles/photos attached are from that reprint in 1972. You'll also find more on the Searl family and then Reason B. Hall in the early settlers section of Bradsby, page 142-143. I don't have any printed documentation of the Jim Bowie story, but it might be easy to check out if you can find if the name of Jim Bowie's father was really Reason, and if they Bowie family lived in Georgia and then moved to Kentucky. I got that information from Fritz Miller. Here is what he emailed: Reason Bowie Hall was named after the father of Jim Bowie, inventor of the Bowie Knife and defender of the Alamo. The Bowie's and the Hall's were neighbors in Kentucky. Reason was born in Georgia about 1792 and moved to Logan Co., KY as a young man with his family. Reason owned land in Gallatin County, Illinois as of October 26, 1814. In 1820 he was living in White Co., Illinois (See 1820 census). Reason Bowie Hall was married twice, first in 1809 to Fannie Slocum. Fannie was born in Georgia and died in White Co., Illinois. Fannie and Reason had one son, of whom nothing is known. Interestingly, Fannie's family was responsible for maintaining a fort in Gallatin Co., Illinois during the War of 1812...it is possible that that is where Reason's service in that war took place, as an attendant of this "fort." (After Reason's death in Oregon his widow applied for a pension based on Reason's 1812 service, but no record of his service could be found and her pension denied.) Reason's second wife was Martha Wright. They were married in 1826 in Dubois County, Indiana, where the Edward Hall clan had moved. They were parents of 10 children. 

Now I did find a photo of Reason B. Hall's gravestone on a website for the Salem Public Library, Oregon. The caption read: TITLE: Grave marker for Reason B. Hall at Buena Vista (aka I00F or Hilltop) Cemetery, Buena Vista, Oregon DESCRIPTION: Buena Vista was named by Reason B. Hall, whose donation land claim formed the site of the community. He named the town Buena Vista because some of his relatives participated in the Battle of Buena Vista, Mexico. The town was at one time considered for the site of the capital of Oregon. About the time he named the community, he started Halls Ferry across the Willamette River. This monument is the Halls' gravestone as seen on January 29, 1955. Reason B. Hall and his wife Martha were buried at Buena Vista cemetery, which is also known as the Hilltop or IOOF Cemetery. DATE: 1955, January 29 PHOTOGRAPHER: Ben Maxwell

Another message from Dorrie:Thanks for the bio of my g-grandfather Benjamin Franklin Searl. I think it's fun that John S. Searl had "visions of grandeur" for his sons, naming them after famous politicians - Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Millard Filmore, Edwin GRANT, and Samuel LINCOLN. It is fun to read these different bios. I did learn that John S. Searl lived on Section 11 of Selby township. I always thought that he was always at Searl's Ridge. His brothers all moved to Iowa, so I "assumed" he took over his father Brown's place at Searl's Ridge. Sounds like he spend the last 11 years of his life there - and since he died in 1898 that would mean from 1887. His father Brown died in 1867, and his mother Barbara Hosier Searl fell and was injured in 1889 and died in 1891. So he may have went to live there when her health started to go. She must have been a feisty lady. I found this: Bureau County Tribune - March 22, 1889 The mother of J.S. Searl is lying very low from injuries received from a fall a short time ago. She is now in her ninety-first year. It says Samuel Searl died of an accident in Iowa. He actually died of complications from the measles when he was 32 and was living with his brother William W. Searl in Guthrie Co. IA (I have his obits). I also notice than in NONE of the many bios that include John S. Searl does it mention ANYTHING about his second wife Helen West

Related Link: Bureau Co. Photos

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