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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Harrison W. Drullinger

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


HARRISON W. DRULLINGER - The name of Harrison W. Drullinger of St. Joseph township appropriately appears in a work of his character. He was born in Butler county, Ohio, on the 6th of August, 1819. He is descended from a German family which early settled in Pennsylvania. His grandfather emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, about the year l794, and settled in Hamilton county, where the city of Cincinnati now stands. At that time there was only one house with a shingle roof in the whole town. Philip DRULLINGER, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1790, and was four years of age when he came to Ohio. The family afterward settled fifteen miles north of Cincinnati. Philip Drullinger married Catharine WEST, of Pickaway county, Ohio. There were three children: Eliza, now Mrs. John O'BRIANT, living in this county; Julia, who married James COWDEN, one of the first settlers of St. Joseph township, both now deceased, and Harrison W. Drullinger, the only son.

When Mr. Drullinger was about nine years of age, his father moved with the family to Union county, Indiana. Here Mr. Drullinger went to school. Subscription schools were held in log school-houses; slabs and rails answered the purpose of benches, and educational advantages were limited in comparison with those of the present day. In 1839 he came to Vermilion county, Illinois, his father having removed to that locality the previous year. October 1st, 1840, he married Mary BARTLEY, the daughter of George BARTLEY, one of the earliest settlers of St. Joseph township; he came from Pickaway county, Ohio, in 1832, and entered the land now owned by Mr. Drullinger, west of the Salt Fork. From 1840 to the present time, with the exception of three years when he lived on land which he entered a mile west, Mr. Drullinger has been living on his present farm, which is composed of 212 acres. He owns three hundred acres altogether, and at different times has bought and paid for nine hundred acres, the greater part of which is now divided out among his children.

His first wife died in 1848. His second marriage occurred in May, 1849, to Elizabeth WHITING, daughter of S. S. WHITING. Mrs. Drullinger was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, and came to Champaign county in 1847. Mr. Drullinger has nine children; by his first marriage two daughters, Eliza and Mary, the latter the wife of George LUDWICK; and by his second marriage William S., Lewis S., Henry P., Charles P., Julia A.; Harrison S., Walter W., Minnie F., and Nora F. William S., Henry P., and Charles P. are farming for themselves, and Lewis S. is dealing in stock at St. Joseph.

He was originally a Democrat in politics, and in 1840 cast his first vote for President for Martin Van Buren. With the exception of 1848, when he voted for Gen. Taylor, he continued to vote the Democratic ticket till the agitation of the slavery question, when he took decided ground against the further extension of that evil in the territories. On the rise of the Republican party he became one of its earliest members, as he has since been one of its firmest supporters. In 1856 he voted for Fremont---the first National candidate of the party, and has supported the Republican ticket at every election since. In the spring of 1866 he was elected supervisor of St. Joseph township, and was re-elected the following year. While holding this office the Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western railroad bonds were issued, the people of the township having previously voted almost unanimously in favor of such a step. Mr. Drullinger in this matter acted in his official capacity, and in a perfectly legal and proper manner. His action was in accordance with the known sentiment of the people of the township at that time, and has since been sustained by the United States Courts, on the validity of the bonds being questioned. He is a man whose influence has been exerted on the side of morality. He joined the Methodist Church in Indiana, when nineteen years of age. His temperance principles are of the strictest character. He has not tasted a drop of whiskey for thirty years, nor used tobacco in any form since he has been in the State.

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