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Below is a family biography included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published by Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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TOLMAN, W. O., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 28, P.O. Kane. W. O. Tolman ranks among the wealthier earlier residents of Greene County, is a native of White Hall, born in 1829; of his parents it will be well to extend more than a passing notice. Cyrus Tolman was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1796. Wending his way westward as early as 1817, and proceeded to Utica in the State of Indiana; one year later, although comparatively without means, he landed at Edwardsville, in this State, and first secured employment in helping toward the survey of the town of Gibraltar. In 1821 he entered a piece of land near the present town of White Hall. In connection with Carl Gregory he erected the first two frame blocks in Greene County. Jan. 30, 1828, he was married to Miss Polly Eldred, a daughter of Jehosophat Eldred and Polly. In 1830 he was elected assessor and treasurer of Greene and Macoupin Counties, receiving for his services $75. A short time after he was elected judge of Greene County, and in 1840 moved to Jerseyville, where, during the Fall of the year he was elected to fill the same office. As a farmer, Judge Tolman was more than ordinarily successful, few of the old settlers having come to the State under more trying circumstances. Mrs. Tolman passed away in Oct. 17, 1860. Mr. T. was laid at rest two years ago, after a long life fraught no ordinary interest. The subject of this notice, whose name heads this sketch, is the third child born of this marriage. Like nearly all who grew up in the West, he attained the usual primitive education in the old familiar log cabin. In 1857 he was married to Miss Eliza Pope, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Pope. Mr. Tolman started in life under many discouragements; the prairie everywhere remained unbroken, but as the years flew onward, his industry paved the way to success. At the present writing he is the owner of 210 acres of valuable land, and a farm residence that will compare very favorably with any in the county. Of nine children born of the above marriage, all are living: Fanny, Emma, Polly, Anna, and Chloe, Cyrus, William, Curtis, and Elon.

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This family biography is one of 744 biographies included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Greene County, Illinois

View additional Greene County, Illinois family biographies here: Greene County, Illinois Biographies

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