LaSalle County


For more than three-score years the Walbridge family has been represented in LaSalle county by honorable, industrious, patriotic citizens bearing the name. Actively concerned in the founding of the county, true to all the obligations of citizenship, and sincere and upright in all their dealings with their fellow men, none is more worthy of a prominent place in the annals of this region.

In 1685 three brothers - Henry, William and Stephen Walbridge left their old home in Dorsetshire, England, and came to America, casting in their lot with the hardy pioneers of the New World. Henry Walbridge, the ancestor of our subject, lived in Dedham, Massachusetts, and in Preston and Norwich. Connecticut. On Christmas day, 1688, he married Miss Anna Ames, and one of their descendants was Asa, the grandfather of our subject. The parents of the latter were Alonzo and Mary (Keys) Walbridge, the father born in St. Lawrence county. New York, March 9, 1810, and the mother born September 21, 1802, in Hiram township, Vermont. She was a daughter of Parly Hughs and Esther, nee Ormsby, who were united in marriage November 19, 1778, by the Rev. Mr. Russell.

When he was seventeen years of age our subject's father removed from Bennington, Vermont, to St. Lawrence county, New York, and in 1835 came to Illinois. Two years later he became a permanent resident of LaSalle county, the remainder of his life being spent upon his farm in Rutland township. There he located upon raw prairie land, which he broke and improved, and by arduous labor converted into a fertile, productive homestead, one of the best in that section. His first humble home was a very modest one, but as time passed it was supplanted by a commodious dwelling, and other substantial farm buildings were erected on the place. There being few settlers on the prairie and no fences, cattle ranged at will over the broad expanse, and Mr. Walbridge kept large herds at small expense or trouble. His busy and useful life was brought to a close February 26, 1875. His wife, who died several years later, November 9, 1890, was the mother of seven children, four of the number by her marriage to Mr. Keys. The others were named respectively Alonzo F., Ora D., and Edward K., and the last mentioned is now a resident of Pittsburg, Kansas.

Alonzo F. Walbridge was born on the family homestead in Rutland township, this county, February 26, 1839. He became thoroughly familiar with the routine work of agriculture when a mere boy, and continued to assist his father at home until his marriage in his twentieth year. Even then he did not leave his birthplace, but as long as he was actively engaged in farming he cultivated the same property. After his father's death, it came into his possession by heritage and purchase, and for years it has been considered one of the most desirable farms in the county. It comprises four hundred and fifty acres of arable, well improved land, and good farm buildings stand on the premises.

In 1890 Mr. Walbridge removed with his family to Marseilles, where he occupies a pleasant residence on West Bluff street. He was married on the 7th of February, 1858, to Miss Delilah Mick, the second daughter of Jesse and Martha (Williams) Mick, and for over forty years they have happily pursued the journey of life together. Mrs. Walbridge was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and when quite young removed with her parents to Jefferson county. New York, and subsequently came to this county in 1855. Two daughters bless the union of our subject and wife, namely: Relief E., wife of Elihu Baxter, a farmer; and Adella D., who married William H. Millikin, likewise a tiller of the soil.

Politically Mr. Walbridge is a stanch "sixteen-to-one" Democrat, but has never found time to interfere in public affairs, even had he desired to do so. He has attended strictly to his own concerns and to the welfare of his immediate community, and is deserving of the high esteem in which he is held by all.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 280-281.

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