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 • Schuyler County
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Lewis D Erwin
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Birth: Jul. 1, 1815
Plattsburgh
Clinton County
New York, USA
Death: Mar. 7, 1914
Rushville
Schuyler County
Illinois, USA

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Honorable Lewis D. Erwin was born in (P)lattsburg, Clinton County, New York, July 1st, 1815. His grandfather, General David Erwin, was one of the early pioneers of northern New York, where he was largely engaged in the iron business. His father, Cornelius M. Erwin, was also engaged in the same business. He was born in Rutland County, Vermont, and at the age of twenty married Miss Lucinda Furman. They had a family of seven children; the subject of this sketch is the fourth child. In 1831 he moved to Ohio; his wife died at Birmingham, Ohio, in August, 1833; he survived her until 1837; the place of his death was Toledo, Ohio. Lewis D. moved to Schuyler County in May 1839, settling in Littleton Township, and there engaged in farming. In November of 1843 he married Miss Elvira, daughter of Charles Wells, Esquire. Mr. Erwin has filled many of the local offices of his county. In 1846 he was elected to a seat in the legislature, beating Judge Minchell, one of the ablest men of the state, who was afterwards elected a member of the constitutional convention. Mr. Erwin was subsequently elected sheriff of the county, and, upon the expiration of his term of office, was chosen clerk of the circuit court. In 1856 he was again elected a member of the house of representatives, was re-elected in 1858, and again in 1860. In 1860 he was a candidate for the nomination of secretary of state before the democratic state convention. Mr. Erwin is emphatically a self-made man. He has a family of eleven children, one deceased. At present he is residing in the city of Rushville.

SOURCE: "Old Settlers Bio", Schuyler Co., IL.
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Hon. Lewis D. Erwin, formerly of the Illinois State Legislature, now living in retirement in Rushville, was born in Plattsburg, New York, July 1, 1815. His parents were Cornelius M. and Lucinda (Fairman) Erwin, both natives of Vermont, the former having been born in Fairhaven, Rutland county, and the latter being a daughter of James Fairman, a men of some prominence in his State. David Erwin, paternal granfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Newark, New Jersey, and was an able soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was with General Washington at the second crossing of the Delaware river and at the retaking of Trenton, He afterward went from his native town to Fairhaven, Vermont, where he established a nail factory. In 1804, he removed to Franklin county, New York, engaging in the lumber business near Westville, and there spent the rest of his days. His wife, formerly Catherine Munson, and a native of New Jersey, also died in Franklin county. Cornelius M. Erwin removed with his parents to New York State, and was engaged with his father in the lumber business in Franklin county. He was a resident of Plattsburg until the breaking out of the war of 1812, when he entered the service and was assigned to the Quartmaster's Department. In 1830 he removed to Ohio, then the frontier of civilization, locating in Birmingham, where he operated a sawmill, the country abounding with excellent timber. Four years later he went to Toledo, then a mere village, where he worked at blacksmithing for a short time, later engaging in the grocery business, in which latter occupation he continued until his death in March, 1837. His devoted wife died in Birmingham, Ohio, in August, 1833. They were the parents of six children: Catherine, David, Eliza, Lewis D., George W., and Phoebe. Lewis D., whose name heads this biography, remained with his father, assisting him at the forge until he was twenty-one years of age, when he commenced life on his own account, engaging in clerking. He resided in the Buckeye State {Ohio} until 1839, when he removed to Illinois, making the journey by team, through a wild and sparsely settled country. He secured a position as clerk in Erie, then a small town on the Illinois river, in Schuyler county, which was quite a thriving little center. In 1841 he purchased his land in Schuyler county, near Littleton, on which he engaged in farming. Ten years later, he came to Rushville, which has ever since been his home. Mr. Erwin was married in 1843, to Elvira Wells, an estimable lady, and a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Wells. They had eleven children: David D.; Catherine; Matilda; Eliza; Elizabeth L.; Emma; Lewis D., born in 1859 and died in 1887; George L.; Anna C.; Sophie B.; and Edward, who died in infancy. In 1875 the family was called upon to mourn the loss of the devoted wife and mother, who had subordinated her interests to their welfare. She was a woman of rare Christian character, and much esteemed in her community. The subject of this sketch cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren, ever since which time he has supported the principles of the Democracy. Being a leading man his constituents have conferred upon him various offices of trust and honor, the duties of which have been discharges with ability and fidelity. In 1844 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and in 1850 was elected Sheriff. In 1852, he was made Circuit Clerk, to which position he was re-elected in 1854. In 1846 he was elected a member of the Illinois State Legislature, his efforts in that body receiving universal communendation, as shown by his re-election to the same position in the years of 1856, 1858 and 1860, thus serving five sessions, including the extra session at the breaking out of the war. Such universal endorsement makes further encomium on his character and qualifications unnecessary, as they are so plainly indicated that "he who runs may read."

SOURCE: Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; page 461-462; as reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971.
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Death Date...

SOURCE: SOURCE: Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984), page 110.
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Marriage...

Groom: ERWIN, LEWIS D; Bride: WELLS, ELVIRA; Date: 1843-11-12; Volume/Page: 001/0116;License Number: 00000998; County: SCHUYLER (IL.).

SOURCE: Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 17631900.
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A Stockholder of "The Rushville Times":

The first issue of The Rushville Times was on 30 May 1856. Stockholders were Hon. L. D. Erwin, Leonidas Horney, Peter Campbell, Joseph Montgomery, DeWitt Clinton Johnston, Charles Neill, James L. Anderson, John Scripps, Enoch Edmonston, John Hugh Lawler and Charles Wells. All the members, with the exception of John Scripps, were prominent Democrats, and it was their desire that Schuyler County should have a paper that would support the Democratic party. The stockholders selected DeWitt Clinton Johnston the first editor of The Rushville Times. Johnston was a lawyer and Methodist minister and before coming to Rushville had edited three newspapers in Ohio. He was later elected County Judge in Schuyler County. When Johnston retired on 2 February 1858, he was succeeded by Andrew J. Ashton, who was editor until 9 May 1860, when he retired. A. D. Davies was the next editor. Mr. Davies was a talented editor and had married a daughter of ex-Governor Ford. After being editor for three years, he abandoned his family in Rushville and left for parts unknown and was never heard from again. J. C. Fox assumed editorial charge, and was succeeded as editor in 1866 by E. A. Snively. During most of this time, a lien was held by Charles McCrosky, who foreclosed on his lien forcing the sale of the newspaper. The Rushville Times was sold at Sheriff's sale and was purchased by Edwin Dyson, whose first issue was 2 July 1868.

SOURCE: "Schuyler County Newspapers" [link]:
http://schuyler.ilgenweb.net/schuylernewhome/newspapers/newspapers.html
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Cornelius Matthew Erwin (1789 - 1837)
  Lucinda Fairman Erwin (1791 - 1833)
 
 Spouse:
  Elvira Wells Erwin (1828 - 1875)
 
 Children:
  David Douglas Erwin (1846 - 1912)*
  Katherine P. Erwin (1848 - 1932)*
  Matilda Erwin (1850 - 1930)*
  Eliza Erwin Hall (1853 - 1931)*
  George Lemuel Erwin (1861 - 1957)*
 
 Sibling:
  Lewis D Erwin (1815 - 1914)
  George W. Erwin (1818 - 1894)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rushville City Cemetery
Rushville
Schuyler County
Illinois, USA
 
Created by: Robert Kuhmann
Record added: Jan 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63667714
Lewis D Erwin
Added by: Douglas Robinson
 
Lewis D Erwin
Added by: Lynn Carroll
 
Lewis D Erwin
Added by: Lynn Carroll
 
 
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In memory of Lewis D. Erwin my third cousin two times removed
- Jerry and Jadean Hopper
 Added: Mar. 8, 2013
 
 
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