Robert William Wolever, one of the substantial men of Moline, Illinois, and for many years a farmer of Henry county, father of Calvin Franklin Wolever, was born in Elmore township, Peoria county, Illinois, November 23, 1844, a son of John E. and Margaret (Hulsizer) Wolever. The parents came from Warren ccunty, New Jersey in 1837, to Peoria county, Illinois , with a wagon and two horses. In the spring of 1843 they went back to New Jersey for a visit, but re­ turned in 1844, making both trips in the same manner as the first. The father was a blacksmith and farmer. His death occurred in Grandview county, Con­ necticut , October 4, 1874 . The mother died May to, 1880, and is buried beside her husband. Nine children composed their family, as follows: Edward, who died January 18, 1903; Calvin, deceased; Lydia, deceased wife of Thomas Tre­ kell; Ephlin, who died in January, 1907; Mrs. Mary Langley, a widow, living in Florence, Alabama; Robert William; Barbara, wife of William McBride of Galva, Illinois; Mrs. Ella J. Nowers, of Galva; Olive E., who married David Lucas of Blue Island, Illinois.

The education of Robert William Wolever was secured in the schools of Peoria and Henry counties. He studied reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic, and learned thoroughly this simple course. As a boy he helped his father with the farm. In 1866 he rented the homestead, located on sections 4 and 5, Cornwall township, and operated it until 1884, when he purchased the property from the heirs and continued to farm it until 1897, with a fair degree of success. In that year he rented the farm and Settled in Moline, Rock Island county, Illinois, where he is now living retired. He has been active politically and served as town clerk during the year 1881 in Cornwall township, and as assessor from 1883 to 1889, as well as supervisor from 1881 to 1897.

Mr. Wolever was married, October 25, 1865, to Mahala Fry, who was born in Cornwall township, a daughter of Abraham and Margaret (Laughery) Fry. Mr. Fry's father was a native of England, while his wife came of German ances­ try. Born in Ohio, Mr. Fry early came to Cornwall township. He and his wife had eleven children, only two of whom survive,-James and Charles Fry who live in Leeds, South Dakota. Mr. Wolever had one child by his first marriage, -Cora M., who was born August 9, 1866, and married S. W. Bartlett. They live at Pueblo, Colorado, and had two sons: Willis W., who was born May 25, 1898, and died January 27, 1907; and Robert B., born January 20, 1900. Mrs. Mahala Wolever died May 24, 1867.

On September 24, 1868, Mr. Wolever married Roena Foster, at Cambridge, Illinois. She was born in Peru, Illinois, August 15, 1848, daughter of John and Harriet (Browning) Foster, natives of Kentucky and White county, Illi­nois, respectively, both being now deceased. Mr. Foster was a farmer and was brought to Illinois by his parents at a very early date. In politics he was a re­publican. He and his wife had four sons and three daughters, five of whom sur­ vive: One died in 1844; H. C. is also dead, as are Franklin, and Freland; Roena, born in 1848, is the fifth child; Fannie is the widow of Organ Tatum and lives in Oklahoma; William P. lives in Atkinson, Illinois ; Nora married J. A. Barnes and lives in Munson township, Henry county ; Nellie married George W. Hartman, of Atkinson. By his second marriage Mr. Wolever had four children, namely: Letha, born May 9, 1869, married J. H. Hughey, March 9, 1892, and died January 13, 19o1; Lota, born August 5, 1871, died April 6, 1879; Calvin F. whose sketch is below was the third; Lucy, born May 26, 1881, married F. W. Schneveker, January 31, 1901. They lived in Moline, but she died August 15, 1907, leaving to the care of her mother one son, Chester F., born May 9, 1903.

Mr. Wolever has an interesting war record. He enlisted in Company H, Fifty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, September 21, 1861, at Atkinson, Illinois, and was mustered out at Savannah, Georgia, December 25, 1864, on account of the expiration of his term of service. The regiment participated in the following battles: Fort Donelson, siege of Corinth, Resaca, Kingston, Rome, Altoona Pass, Savannah, Columbia, Bentonville, and Sherman's march to the sea. During the campaign in Georgia Mr. Wolever received an injury to his left arm which has left it stiff. He was a brave soldier who never shirked any duty and when he returned to private life he gave to the governing authori­ties the same obedience he rendered his superior officers when a soldier.

Other members of his family also proved their patriotism, for his brother Edward was in Company D, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving until July 25, 1864, when he was discharged, having been wounded in the battle of Franklin. Henry C. Foster, the oldest brother of Mrs. Wolever, also served with the Illinois Volunteer Infantry. William Wolever, uncle of R. W. Wolever, was a soldier in the Civil war from De Witt county, serving in the One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

Naturally Mr. Wolever has been interested in the Grand Army of the Republic, now belonging to R. H. Graham Post, No. 312, Department of Illinois, G. A. R. of which he is quartermaster. He has belonged to this order since 1880. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 118, of Atkinson, having joined it October 19, 1885, as a charter member. In December, 1886, he was elected to the office of worthy advisor in this camp, and in the following December was elected consul and served in that capacity until December, 1896, when he left the jurisdiction of that camp. Mr. Wolever has no sectarian religious associations. In political matters he agrees with the principles set forth in the platform of the republican party.

Mr. Wolever still retains one hundred and eighty-five acres of rich farming land in Cornwall township, located at the west end of Shabbona Grove. This is rented to a good tenant. Mr. Wolever has earned all he possesses through hard work, and strict economy. In all of his work he has been ably assisted by his loyal, devoted wife. They are comfortably located at No. 2029 Seventh avenue, Moline, Illinois, where their children and grandchildren love to gather, as well as their many friends, and enjoy the bountiful hospitality and friendly companionship of these two who, having done their full duty towards their family and community, can now spend the remainder of their days in peace and plenty.


History of Henry County

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Illinois Ancestors