Early Days of Greenbush


Philip Karns

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Philip Karns was born in Baden, Germany, October 22, 1815. His father died when he was about two years old, leaving two sons, Philip and John, with their mother. When Philip was twelve years old, his cousin Philip Sotman and family took passage on a vessel for America. Mr. Sotman asked PhilipÕs mother if he could go with them to the vessel and see them off. To this she consented, thinking Philip would return home the next day. After arriving on board the vessel, they quietly stowed Philip away in the hold, where he was found three or four days after they had started. He was brought up on deck where he created a considerable stir among the passengers and crew; but Philip made himself useful on board, was well liked and enjoyed the trip. In 1828, he went to Lancaster, Ohio, where he was married to Miss Nancy Ann Ellinger, August 20, 1837. She was born November 15, 1817. This marriage occurred before breakfast as there was a camp meeting in the neighborhood at the time and they wished to attend that day. In 1842, they moved to Morgan county, Indiana, near Martinsville, where Mr. Karns was engaged in the cooper trade and in the business of teaming. In 1846, he moved with his family to Greenbush, Warren county, Illinois.

To Mr. Karns and wife the following-named children were born:

  • Catherine, born July 3, 1839; married Riley Adams.
  • Samuel L., born September 19, 1840; married Edwina C. Bond. He died November I, 1874.
  • Margaret Ann, born October 27, 1842; married George J. Emrick.
  • John Henry, born August 14, 1845; married Clara Neer. He died March 5, 1877.
  • Mary Minerva, born February 23, 1848; died March 11, 1864.
  • Philip Jacob, born August 19, 1854; married Aramanta Johnson.
  • Huldah Jane, born August 23, 1851; married Dallas Clark. She died February 7, 1873.
  • William Riley, born March 24, 1857; married Birdie Williams.
  • Josiah C., born November 20, 1859; died May 8, 1862.
  • Joseph E., born January 5, 1863; married Laura Harker.
  • Philip Karns was by occupation a cooper; he was also engaged in teaming, and took great pride in his horses. He hauled goods for the merchants in Greenbush for many years from Oquawka, Burlington, Peoria, and other places. During the visitation of cholera in Greenbush, in 1851, he was especially helpful, hauling off the dead, assisting in the burials, and doing everything in his power to relieve the suffering. His last years were spent on his farm north of Greenbush, in Berwick township, where he was engaged in farming and stock-raising. He died March 10, 1898.

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