This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was submitted by Celia G. Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Hiram J. Dunlap

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


HIRAM J. DUNLAP, editor and manager of the Champaign weekly and daily Gazette, is a native of the Prairie State, born in Leyden, Cook County, Feb. 8, 1841. He is the son of Mathias L. and Emeline (Pierce) Dunlap, natives of New York State, for former of whom was born in Cherry Valley, Sept. 14, 1814, and spent his childhood and youth upon the farm of his father, William I. The latter subsequently removed to Pulaski, Oswego Co., N. Y., where he lived until emigrating to this State. Here he located at Troy Grove, La Salle County, whence he removed to Leyden, Cook County, and afterward to Champaign County, where he died in 1858. Mathias L. Dunlap was a gentleman of good education, and was engaged in teaching school at Troy Grove. He afterward secured a clerkship at Chicago at the time it was a village of 5,000 inhabitants. He subsequently became a bookkeeper for a firm of contractors on the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lemont, where he remained two years. After coming into Cook County, he entered a piece of Government land in Leyden, which was then twelve miles west of the city limits. There he followed farming and surveying, in the meantime holding the office of Township Supervisor, serving thus for several years. In 1854 he was elected to the State Legislature, when Cook County sent but four members to that body. He was Democratic in politics and cast his last Presidential vote for Frank Pierce. After leaving Cook County, Mathias L. Dunlap located upon 320 acres of land south of Champaign, which he had purchased in 1855, and which is now known as "Rural Home." He removed his family to that place in 1857, where he made his home until his death, which occurred Feb. 14, 1875. He was a man of rare intelligence, possessing a good fund of general information, and was the agricultural correspondent of the Democratic Press, before its consolidation with the Chicago Tribune, and then of the Tribune until the day of his death, a period of twenty-two years. He was also a contributor to various western journals almost from the first day of his arrival in Illinois. The parental family included eight sons and two daughters, of whom Hiram J. was the second child. The subject of this history after reaching years of manhood engaged as a farmer and fruit-grower until 1874. He had received a good common-school education, and after leaving the pioneer schools attended for a time Wheaton College, at Wheaton, Ill. He became connected with the weekly Gazette of Champaign as local editor in 1874, which position he occupied five years and until the appointment of the editor and proprietor, George Scroggs, as Consul to Hamburg, in 1879. Mr. Scroggs then selected Mr. Dunlap as editor-in-chief, and after the death of Mr. S., in 1880, Mr. Dunlap was appointed manager of the paper. He commenced the publication of the daily Gazette in 1883, and has conducted it successfully until the present time. It is the only daily paper in Champaign County, and the organ of the Republican party in this locality. Mr. Dunlap is a clear and forcible writer, and commenced his literary labors in his youth. For three years he was the agricultural correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, and has been connected with other papers in the West in the same capacity. He possesses excellent business ability, being one of the Directors of the Building Association of Champaign, and for many years Secretary of the Agricultural Board, and interested in all enterprises tending to the welfare and progress of the county. He is Republican in principle, and uniformly casts his vote and exerts his influence in support of his party. Socially he is a member in good standing of the masonic fraternity, in which he was for nine years High Priest, and was Master of Blue Lodge in Champaign one year. He was Supervisor of Champaign Township for nine consecutive years and has served as a delegate to the various county and State conventions. Hiram J. Dunlap was united in marriage with Miss Ellen L. Baker, of Cobden, Union Co., Ill., Nov. 18, 1861. Mrs. D. is the daughter of Garret H. and Elmina (Clapp) Baker, who were natives of New York State. They are pleasantly located on West Clark Street, and enjoy the society of the most cultured people of the vicinity. Aside from his city interests, Mr. D. is the owner of a fruit farm two miles south of Champaign.

Back to Index

Return to Main Page