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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.

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D. L. MOREHOUSE, retired merchant and farmer; P. O. Le Roy; born in Lower Canada near Montreal, Feb. 19, 1809; at 3 years of age, his father, with the family, was driven from home by the English, during the war of 1812, escaping without removing anything of value save the horses which they rode, and upon one of which Mrs. Morehouse rode, and took with her the subject of this sketch and an infant, making their way to Onondaga Co., N. Y.; they lived there one year, then to Genesee Co., and, in 1817, located in Orleans Co., where they lived until 1832. Mr. M. received a limited education in his youth, being employed in various pursuits for the support of his father’s family, three years of which he worked upon the Erie Canal. In the winter of 1830, he attained his majority, and started out to seek his fortune, taking with him all his worldly possessions, which were tied up in a pocket-handkerchief; he worked that winter cutting cord-wood, at 16 2/3 cents per cord, working in the woods, with the snow two to three feet deep, and receiving his pay in corn, at 44 cents per bushel, which he hauled to market, a distance of seven miles, and exchanged for goods; in the spring he hired out for one year, for $10 per month, and the two years following he worked eight months each year, at $12 and $13 per month. The following fall, he married his present wife, then a poor orphan, and the next day commenced to cut logs to erect his log house, which was a rude structure, with a stick chimney, plastered with mud, with stones piled up some three to four feet at the back, as a further protection from fire; they then went a distance of seven miles and ran in debt $19 for such household articles as they were obliged to have, which debt was a source of great anxiety to Mr. Morehouse until liquidated, the following winter, by hauling staves; his first cupboard and table was an old chest, which answered the double purpose, and which he now has in his house as a relic. Having become settled in his log house in the spring of 1834, he commenced farming for himself, which business he followed until 1853, when he found his financial affairs would allow a wider field of labor, which he extended by engaging in the mercantile trade, and also purchased a lathe machine saw, grist and shingle mill, which different branches of business he successfully carried on until 1857, when he sold out his store, rented his farm and mills, and, coming to Illinois, he formed a business partnership, in the latter part of the year, under the firm name of Humphrey, Wakefield & Co., and engaged in the grocery and milling business at Le Roy. He sold his milling interest in 1859, and, in 1860, he, with his son Cyrus S., engaged in the general merchandise trade, which they followed until 1864, when his son succeeded in the business and Mr. Morehouse retired until 1873, when he purchased the dry-goods store of T. J. Barnett, and after running the same several months, sold the stock to his son C. S., at Champaign City. Mr. Morehouse commenced life without capital, and has, by his own hard labor, economy and careful business management, in which he has been nobly assisted by his amiable wife, accumulated a good property; he has settled upon his children upward of $12,000, and has reserved enough to support himself and wife through life. He has taken a deep interest in the cause of religion having been an active member of the M. E. Church since 1830, his wife joining about the same time. Mr. Morehouse has held an official position in the Church nearly always since he was admitted a member; is a hard worker; contributes liberally, having donated $1,000 to the erection of the M. E. Church at Le Roy, and a like amount to the Centennial of Methodism, in 1866. His marriage with Mary A. Smith was celebrated Oct. 29, 1833; she was born in Morris Co., N. Y., April 19, 1810; six children were the fruit of this union — Olive A., born Oct. 15, 1834 (now Mrs. Dr. S. H. Birney, of Urbana); Hiram N., born Oct. 22, 1836 (now farming near Le Roy); Cyrus S., born Dec. 13, 1839 (merchant at Champaign); Amos R., born Feb. 9, 1842 (lumber merchant, Big Rapids, Mich.); Orrill M., born July 5, 1844 (now Mrs. E. C. Barthlow) and Philo F., born Sept. 4, 1847, died Sept. 15, 1849.

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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

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