My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. 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.

* * * *

GEN. ASHAEL GRIDLEY, banker, Bloomington; was born in Cazenovia, N. Y., April 21, 1810, and educated at the Pompey Academy; at the age of 21, he determined to “go West,” and Oct. 8, 1831, located in Bloomington; he began his career as merchant, in which business he continued eight years. Mr. Gridley was a soldier of the Black Hawk war. In the year 1840, Gen. Gridley was elected to the position of Representative, and was the compeer of Mr. Lincoln; he was one of the most active members, and was the author of much legislation that redounded to the material interest of Bloomington. As State Senator for four years, he achieved a reputation that made him well-known throughout the State. “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;” this juncture in his history occurred in 1841 and 1842, when his lucky star suggested that he should turn his energy and knowledge to the practice of law as a profession; he at once worked his way into a large and lucrative practice, and soon stood in the front rank in his profession; he formed a partnership with Col. Wickizer, the firm name being Gridley & Wickizer, and in looking over the old dockets of the McLean Co. Courts, the eye is frequently arrested by the name “Grid. & Wick.,” as it was put, in order to economize time and labor; he has long since abandoned the arena of litigation and has been engaged in the banking business, with even greater success. In 1853, the doors of the McLean Co. Bank were opened for business with Gen. Gridley as Manager, and they stand open today, with the same familiar face looking on and directing its operations; that he has acquired a large property is true, but that he has locked up in vaults his accumulated wealth no man can say, for his public spirit and munificence are betokened upon every street; but more conspicuously in the extensive gas works built by his own means, at a day when its success as a profitable investment was extremely problematical.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

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

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.