The Worcester Miscellany
No. 607 - Linus E. Worcester
BIOGRAPHIES HISTORY OF GREENE & JERSEY COUNTIES, ILLINOIS - 1885
Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Co.
Among Greene county's most prominent and influential citizens, is LINUS E. WORCESTER, of White Hall. He is a son of Elijah and Lucy (Ely) Worcester, and was born in Windsor, Vt., Dec. 5, 1811. His father, Elijah, was twice married, first to Lucy, daughter of Aaron Ely, of Windsor, Vt. Her death occurred Oct. 13, 1813, leaving six children. His second marriage was to Anna Cady, by whom one child was born. Elijah Worcester was a carpenter and farmer by trade, his death occurring Feb. 25, 1861. He was a son of Asa Worcester, who was born in Groton, Mass., in April, 1771, the latter being a son of Asa, born in Haverhill, Jan. 27, 1738. He was a son of Benjamin, born in Bradford, in Aug., 1709, who was a son of Francis, born in Rowley, Mass. Frances was a son of Samuel, who was born in England, and came with his father, William, to the United States, between the years 1638 and 1640. It will, therefore, be seen that by direct descent the subject of this sketch, Judge Worcester, is of English extraction on his father's side. William Worcester was a clergyman, and Francis was very devout. In fact much attention seems to have been given by the ancestry of the judge to things of the spiritual life, which will, no doubt, account for the fact that he is so doubtful upon religious subjects. Linus was educated in the common schools of Vermont, and in Chester Academy, which he attended, when he was twenty three years of age. Prior to coming west he felt the necessity or more learning, and, therefore, at this age he attended the academy, as above. He had been content with farm life in Vermont, but on immigrating to this county in 1836, engaged in teaching school for three years, when he became a clerk in the dry goods store of Chester Swallow, at White Hall, and two years later entered into partnership with his former employer. This firm existed but one year, as the death of Mr. Swallow occurred at that time, and the business was closed out. He then formed a co-partnership with Simeon Bros., who engaged in the sale of general merchandise for about 10 years, doing a very profitable business. For some three or four years he was then engaged in the retail of drugs, groceries and hardware, and for five years following in the manufacture of agricultural implements. He has also been interested in the lumber business at this place, Roodhouse and Manchester, for about 30 years. Perhaps, there are few men in the state of Illinois who have held more commissions than Mr. Worcester. In 1843 he was elected justice of the peace, which he held for some six years. Nov. 11, 1843, he was commissioned postmaster, and re-commissioned Dec. 31, 1845, which office he held 12 consecutive years. He was elected and commissioned county judge Nov. 16, 1853, continuing in that capacity by re-election for six years. He was elected and served as a member of the constitutional convention of the state, in 1847, and was appointed as one of the state trustees of the deaf and dumb asylum, in 1859, being re-appointed in 1863 and 1867, holding the office 12 years. In 1859, while sitting in the state senate, he was appointed notary public, which he has since been regularly re-appointed to every four years, and which office he still holds. He was elected to the state senate in 1856, to fill a vacancy, occasioned by the resignation of John M. Palmer, for two years. IN 1860 he was again elected to that office, and was one of the five democrats in the senate who dared vote to ratify President Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation. He was elected county judge in 1863, and re-elected in 1867, with but one opposing vote, serving nine years. IN 1852, he was appointed township school trustee, which office he still holds, having handled some $250,000 of school funds during that time. He was a member of the national democratic convention at St. Louis, in 1876, which nominated Samuel J. Tilden for the presidency. He is now and has been for
25 years a director of the Jacksonville branch of the C. & A. R.R. Co. He has been engaged for the past 30 years as administrator and executor of estates, and guardian of children, all of which trusts reposed in him have been faithfully discharged to the satisfaction of all parties interested. In Feb., 1840, in White Hall, Mr. Worcester was married to Martha A. Jackson, of Apple Creek, and a native of Vermont. Two children were born to them - Alfred J. and William P. Mrs. Worcester's death occurred Feb. 17, 1845. In Feb., 1848, Mr. W. was married to Sarah M. Hull, a native of Connecticut. By this union there were two children - Maurice H., deceased, and Wentworth. His wife, Sarah M., died in 1854, and in Feb., 1856, he married Luthera, daughter of Timothy and Diadama (Swallow) Ladd, a native of Vermont. She was the widow of Geo. Smith, by whom she had two children - Eugene and Timothy L. By the marriage with Judge Worcester, five children have been born - Lucy E., wife of Michael Gahula; Henry C., Richard S. and Irene, and Lucius W., deceased. The judge has always been identified with the democratic party, is a member of no secret organization or church, being a free thinker. His religion consists of humanitarian principles, honor and integrity, fidelity to friends and good will to all.