David Jeffris
David Jeffris name: Jeffris, David
aka:  Jeffries, David 
Branch: Union 
Cemetery: Oakhill Cemetery, Janesville, Rock, Wisconsin 
Service: -
Birth: 8/6/1821 Leichfield, Grayson, Kentucky
Death: 3/9/1907 Janesville, Rock, Wisconsin
Notes: Weekly and Free Press, Janesville, Sept 4 1863, list of men drafted - includes David Jeffries of Janesville, draft 2nd class, however I can not find David on any of the Wisconsin rosters.
   Return  | Enlarge Photo | Print | Submit Article | Questions

History of Coles County, Illinois
By Charles Edward Wilson
1905 Chap. 2

Charleston, Ill., April 12, 1889

Jonathan W. Walker, Esq., Lerna, Ill.,

Dear Wils:

I have been reading the newspaper and, after getting through with that, my thoughts seems to turn to the days of my boyhood, particularly to that portion of them which was spent at the old Dryden school-house, and to the pioneers who built it. While that has been over a half century ago, I remember them very distinctly. At that time there were in the settlement called Muddy Point and immediately around the school house two old men--and, as well as I remember, only two--old Grandfather Gammill and Grand-daddy Keller, as they were familiarly called. Then those generally called "uncles" were: William Jeffries, Thomas Jeffries, Alfred Alexander, Alfred Balch, Abner Johnston, John Gannaway, Isaac Odell, James Glenn, Reuben Williams, Stephen Ferguson, Samuel Walker, Joseph Glenn, John Whetstone, John G. Morrison and William Dryden. Uncle Billy Dryden lived nearer the school-house than any of the others, hence the name Dryden school-house....

...I believe that you and myself are the two oldest of our class who are still living. Our class of boys were your brothers, James N. and A.A. Walker; John, Isaac and Azariah Jeffries, sons of Thomas Jeffries; William and John G. Jeffries, sons of William R. Jeffries; John H. Whetstone, Benjamin G. Glenn, William Glenn, Joseph and Myron J. Ferguson, John J. Gannaway, George B. Balch, John W. Alexander, George Odell, James F. Johnston (my brother), W.E. Adams, who did not live in the settlement, but boarded with his uncle, Alfred Balch, and Sam Van Meter, who boarded with Uncle Billy Dryden and paid his board by cutting wood and feeding an old gray horse that had a stiff neck, and doing other chores.

Of this class of boys James N. Walker became one of the leading and most prosperous farmers and stock-raisers in the country. Alexander A. Walker still resides in the old neighborhood and is a successful and intelligent farmer. John Jeffries resides in the settlement yet, not more than a quarter of a mile from where he first saw the light of day. Azariah Jeffries, who, I believe, was the youngest of our class, is still living on the farm where he was born and has represented his county in the State Legislature. Isaac Jeffries died from the effects of an accident received while getting off a train at Mattoon some thirty years ago. William Jeffries left the county about forty years ago. He is still living and is a successful farmer in the State of Wisconsin. John G. Jeffries, who still resides near where he was born, is an excellent citizen and a prosperous farmer....

Charleston, Ill., April 22, 1889

J.W. Walker, Esq.:

You will remember that we were of the second class of boys. I don't mean that we were second-class boys by any means, but that there was an older class, among whom were Samuel K. Gammill, James and David Jeffries, Albert and Nat Dryden, J.F. Snowden and Tom Fancher. One of this older class of boys, David Jeffries, fell in with the scientific astronomy idea. He believed that the earth revolved on its axis and rolled over every twenty-four hours. He pretended to have no patience with those who believed differently. The other boys quoted Joshua and told him they guessed Joshua knew more about the status of the sun, moon and earth than he did, and about the only reply that he made to them was that "Joshua was an old fogy." Oh, but it made my blood boil to hear him speak so sacrilegiously.

By and by, Dave got so smart--or thought he was--that he began teaching school. He claimed that anybody had a right to be a school-master if he could get the pupils. I went to school to him a while, and if there was anything wrong in my getting off the Joshua track on to the scientific astronomy track, Dave was to blame....

...Of those named in the letters who were still living when the letters were written (in 1889) nearly all are now gone. Mr. Johnston is still enjoying a hale old age and has at his command a large fund of stories of those days of "Auld Lang Syne."

David Jeffries, one of that "older class of boys" who so readily yielded to the scientific arguments, is living still at the age of eighty-five years in Janesville, Wis., one of its most prominent and honored citizens.

Print | Return | Home | Rock Veteran's | RCGS