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 transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of James K. Ice

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


JAMES K. ICE, druggist at Gifford, possesses the following interesting history: The first representative of the family in this country was the great-great-grandfather of our subject, Frederick ICE, who emigrated from Prussia, and settle in Eastern Virginia long before the Revolutionary War. He lived to the good old age of one hundred and twenty-four years, and died in Marion County, W. Va. Among his sons was Adam, the great-grandfather of our subject, who was born in Marion County, W. Va., spent his entire life in his native State, and died in 1850, when ninety-eight years of age. He married Miss BAYLES, also a native of the Old Dominion, and they became the parents of five children, viz., Polly, Rolla, Elizabeth, Margaret, and William B. The great-grandmother died in 1851, aged ninety-three.

Their son Rollo, who was born in Marion County, W. Va., in 1796, was the grandfather of our subject. He also spent his entire life in his native State, engaged in farming and stock-raising, and after a creditable record as a citizen and business man, rested from his labors in 1876. He married Miss Rachel HAYES, a native of his own county, who was born in 1798 and died in 18778. Their family of seven children grew to man and womanhood, and were named respectively Oliver P., Fielding R., Henry M., Elizabeth, Adam R., Rolla E. and Phebe. The latter two were twins. Of these children, the eldest, Oliver P., was the father of our subject.

Oliver P. ICE was also born in Marion County, W. Va., his birth taking place May 15, 1821. His younger days were passed under the home roof, and when nineteen years old he was married to Miss Sarah DENT, in January, 1840, and they settled on a farm of 500 acres given him by his father, and located in his native county. After occupying this several years they crossed the Mississippi into Iowa, but after a year returned to the Old Dominion and once more established themselves near the old homestead, where they remained twelve years. In the spring of 1860 Oliver P. ICE came with his family to this county, and after spending one year at Urbana purchased eighty acres of land in Urbana Township, which he afterward doubled, and occupied until the spring of 1880. He then sold out and moved to Texas, where he lives at present and is extensively engaged in stock-raising.

The mother of our subject was born Oct. 9, 1821, and departed this life at the home of her husband in Marion County, W. Va., Aug. 18, 1851. Her remains were laid to rest in the family burying-ground on the old homestead in that county. The parental family included six children, namely, Zerilda, George R., James, of our sketch, Bathsheba, Charlotte and Sarah E. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Dudley E. DENT, who was born near Morgantown, W. Va., and passed his days mostly in that neighborhood. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, took part in the engagement at Hampton Roads, and was in the engagement with the British at North Point, near Baltimore. He met his death by drowning in the Kanawha River, W. Va., in 1844. The maiden name of his wife was Mahala BERKSHIRE, who was born near Morgantown, Va., and died in 1884. They were the parents of twelve children—George W., Maria, Alpheus E., James V., Sarah Ann, Cornelius B., Zerilda D., Anara, Marmaduke, Margaret, Dudley E. and Richard M. Three of their boys, James, Alpheus and Richard, served in the Confederate army and were killed during the Rebellion. Marmaduke and Dudley E. fought in the Union army and both came home disabled for life. Our subject's great-grandfather DENT, a native of Easton, Va., served all through the Revolutionary War as Captain. After the independence of the Colonists had been established he settled near Morgantown, together with quite a number of his old company, and died there in the midst of his friends.

James K. Ice, like all of his family from his great-grandfather down, was born in West Virginia, his first introduction to life being on the 8th of April, 1844. He was deprived of the affectionate care of his mother when a lad seven years of age, and was the third of six children born to his parents. Only two now remain of the family, himself and his sister Zerilda. In due time his father was married the second time, and James K. remained in nis native State until sixteen years old, then, in company with his father and stepmother, came by steamboat to Cincinnati and thence by rail to Urbana, Ill., landing in this county in the spring of 1860. He continued under the parental roof four years thereafter, and when twenty years of age was united in marriage with Miss Nancy J. BUTCHER, Sept. 20, 1863. His wife is the daughter of William J. and Marinda (ULLOM) BUTCHER, who are now deceased.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ice located on a tract of land in Urbana Township, and thence removed to a farm in Marshall County, which our subject operated some time for his uncle, Enoch DENT. Afterward he rented land in another part of Marshall County until the spring of 1865, when he went into Putnam County, Ill., and pursued farming there, coming thence to Champaign in 1870. His first location here was in Compromise Township, where he operated on eighty acres for two years, and then purchased 160 acres on section 36. After residing there a few year he purchased the farm of his father in Compromise Township, which he occupied until the spring of 1882. This he afterward sold and purchased 164 acres of good land in Vermilion County, where he lived five years. He then determined to change his location and occupation, and accordingly rented his farm, and purchasing the stock and fixtures of James M. Morse, at Gifford, removed hither and embarked in the drug trade. He has made a good beginning and his friends predict his entire success. He keeps a well-selected stock of goods, and his courteous manner to his customers is securing for him the patronage of the best people in the northeastern part of the county.

Mr. Ice has always taken an intelligen interest in matters of local importance, and at the polls casts his vote and influence in favor of the Democratic party. Mr. and Mrs. Ice have become the parents of ten children—Hortense, David W., William H., Meldora, Eugenie (deceased), Marinda, Oliver S., Laura, Nellie and Constance.

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