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An esteemed and honored resident of Otter Creek township, LaSalle county, Illinois, is William H. Gochanour, who was born in Licking county, Ohio, December 20, 1840, the son of Jonathan C. and Lucy (Ritter) Gochanour. The father is a native of Virginia, but has been a resident of LaSalle county since 1844 and is now one of the oldest residents of Otter Creek township. He married Miss Lucy Ritter. the daughter of a southern planter, and they became the parents of eleven children, nine of whom are living, namely: William H., the immediate subject of this review; Mathias, to whom individual reference is made elsewhere in this work; Amanda Larry, a resident of Iowa; Angus, of Cass county, Iowa; James, of Otter Creek township, this county; John, also of this township; Jane Marsh, of Iowa; Ann Johnson, of Otter Creek township, and Edward, also of this township. The mother of these children passed away in 1895, in her sixty-third year.

William H. Gochanour received his educational discipline in the public schools, after leaving which he turned his attention to the farming industry. He is a shrewd business man and has been very successful, having about twenty thousand dollars well invested in this county. He has an extensive apiary, and has found the culture of bees to be not only profitable, but also a pleasure as well. This work has received close attention from him and he has studied to secure the best plans for handling the industrious little workers, thus insuring the largest yield of honey; his methods have resulted in a very successful enterprise in this line.

On the 19th of January, 1862, Mr. Gochanour was united in marriage to Miss Orilla J. Brock, a daughter of Solomon Brock, of this township, and five children have blessed their union, four of whom are living, namely: Willis Elliott, of this township; Ella Dell, wife of Henry Gebo, of Montana; Orlando Rees, w-ho is married and resides on the home farm; and Elmer Lee, who lives at home. In his political adherency Mr. Gochanour is a Democrat, and he has served for three terms as assessor of his township. This office he accepted at the urgent solicitation of his friends; he has always been averse to accepting any preferment in an official way. He is of genial, social disposition, and is popular with his fellow citizens.

The father of Mrs. Gochanour was among the earliest settlers of Otter Creek township, coming here in 1831 and locating in the midst of the great prairies of Illinois, his house at that time being nine miles distant from any Other human habitation. The farm upon which he lived contained six hundred and forty acres, and he was one of the first farmers in this part of the state to do a profitable business in the raising of cattle. In politics he gave his support to the Republican party and its principles. The maiden name of his wife was Jane Moon, and she was a sister of A. B. Moon, an early settler here. The children of Solomon and Jane (Moon) Brock were as follows: Eleanor; Evan, deceased; Rees, who w-as killed in the battle of Hartsville, in the war of the Rebellion; Philander; Sylvester; Calvin L., for four years a soldier in the civil war; Mary M. Hopple, of Nebraska; Orilla J., wife of the subject of this review; Angeline; and Lily D. Mr. Brock passed away December 25, 1858, aged sixty-two years; and his wife died May 7, 1854, aged forty-four years.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 324-325.

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