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Addams, John H.

Born: 1822-07-12 Berks County, Pennsylvania

Died: 1881-08-17 Green Bay, Wisconsin

Flourished: Stephenson County, Illinois

John H. Addams, miller and farmer, was born in Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania and attended school in Trappe, Pennsylvania. Following his education, he apprenticed to learn the milling trade after which he taught school briefly. He relocated to Illinois in 1844 and between 1845 and 1850 purchased close to 400 acres of land in Stephenson County, settling in Buckeye Township where he worked as a miller and grain dealer. Addams prospered as a miller and acquired a woolen manufactory and ultimately owned 1,800 acres in Stephenson County. He spearheaded efforts to extend the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad to Freeport. Politically, Addams was initially a Whig, then an early organizer of the Republican Party in Illinois. He represented Stephenson County in the Illinois Senate from 1855 to 1870. By 1860, he owned real estate valued at over $46,000 and more than $17,000 in personal property. In 1864, he was a founder and the first president of the Second National Bank of Freeport. Addams married Sarah Weber in Pennsylvania in 1844 and following her 1863 death married Anna Hostetter Haldeman five years later. Addams was survived by four children from his first marriage, most notably the social reformer Jane Addams, as well as two stepsons. In religion, Addams attended but did not join the Presbyterian church in Cedarville, and founded and taught at a Union Sunday school in the town.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888), 324-26; Louise W. Knight, Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 14-33; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Stephenson County, 712:153; 715:19, 25, 26, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Stephenson County, IL, 270; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220-23, 225-28; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Stephenson County, IL, 553; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Stephenson County, 17 November 1868, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Freeport Daily Bulletin (IL), 18 August 1881, 4:3-4; Gravestone, Cedarville Cemetery, Stephenson County, IL.