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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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CAPT. HARVEY NEVILLE is a practical and prominent business man of Chester, where he is residing at the present time. He was born in Washington County, this state, July 13, 1834, and is a son of Harvey and Aly (Haryman) Neville, natives respectively of Kentucky and Tennessee. The mother was twelve years of age when her parents removed to Washington County, where she met and married Harvey Neville. Her death occurred in 1874. A man of patriotic spirit and great courage, the elder Mr. Neville served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He held the rank of First Lieutenant in the Mexican War, enlisting in 1848. During the Civil War, though advanced in years, he went to the front with the boys in blue and rendered valiant service to the cause of the Union as Captain of Company H, Twenty-second Illinois Regiment. Returning to Randolph County, he remained here until his death, which occurred in 1878, at the age of seventy-four years.

On the paternal side our subject is of French descent, while his mother’s family is of German origin. He is one of six survivors of a large family of children. He attended the common schools of his native county, and in 1851, after coming to Chester, continued his studies in this city. Later he entered McKendree College, and after a two years’ course in that institution began life on his own account by engaging in mechanical engineering.

The lady whom our subject married August 7, 1857, was Miss Mary E., daughter of Robert Mann, of this city. When establishing a home of his own he made Chester his permanent abiding place, and became owner of the steamer “Belle of Chester,” a ferry boat plying between this place and Claryville. He owns the steamer “Nick Sauer,” a packet running from Chester up the Kaskaskia River.

Of the seven children born to our subject and his wife, five are now living, namely: May Phonetta, the wife of John D. Gerlach, whose sketch appears on another page of this record; Joseph T., Captain of the steamer “Nick Sauer;” Edith E., wife of Benjamin L. Simpson, of Columbus, Ohio; Jennie A. and William W., at home. The wife and mother died in 1890, at the age of fifty-nine years. In his political relations Mr. Neville is a strong Republican and always casts his vote for the candidates of that party. He is a member of Chester Lodge No. 72, A. F. & A. M., and is also identified with H. G. Reynolds Chapter No. 84, R. A. M. In 1892 he erected a beautiful residence in Chester, where he and his two youngest children entertain their hosts of friends.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

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

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