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Among the men who have contributed largely to the prosperity and development of LaSalle county, Illinois, none is more widely known or stands higher in the esteem of his fellow citizens than Mathias Gochanour, of Otter Creek township. He was born April 20, 1845, in Licking county, Ohio, and is the son of Jonathan C. and Lucinda (Ritter) Gochanour. The father is descended from Revolutionary stock and was born in the state of Virginia, which was also the birthplace of the mother. Nine children were born to them, namely: William H., of Otter Creek township; Mathias; Angus, of Cass county; James, of Otter Creek township; John; Edward, also of this township; Amanda Larry, a resident of Iowa; Jane Marsh, also of that state; and Ann Johnson, of Otter Creek township. The mother was taken to her heavenly home in 1895, when in her sixty-third year. She is survived by her venerable husband, who is an honored resident of this county and is past eighty years of age. He has been an industrious, hardworking man and was engaged in the carpenter trade for many years.

Our subject was little more than two years of age when his parents moved to this county, and it was here he received his education in the common schools, and here he grew to a noble manhood. About twenty-four years ago he purchased eighty acres of land, to which he has since added until he now has a farm of two hundred and fifty acres. He is a capable farmer and his place shows that thrift and care are part of his system of work. He has improved his land with good barns and neat, roomy residence, and he has one of the most attractive homes in the neighborhood.

September 16, 1866, Mathias Gochanour and Miss Anna E. McKernan were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. A family of seven children have been born to them, namely: Ralph A., at home; Clara A., wife of Henry Rumph, of Otter Creek township; Hugh J.; Pearl; Lloyd W.; Paul, who died at the tender age of three years; and an infant daughter, who was also transplanted to the heavenly garden. Mr. Gochanour is a Republican in his political views and has served as township collector. He has been a member of the school board for a great many terms, and is a strong friend to education. He possesses a wide scope of knowledge and keeps thoroughly conversant with all current topics of the day. Mrs. Gochanour was born in LaSalle county, Illinois, and is a woman of worth. She is a daughter of Captain James J. McKernan, deceased, an officer of Company F, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteers, and the maiden name of her mother was Mary Cramer. The children born to Captain James J. and Mary (Cramer) McKernan are as follows: Ralph; Rosanna Kleiber, of this township; Candice Ackerman; Anna Gochanour, wife of our subject; George; Samuel; Charles; and Augusta.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 220-221.

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