Nelson L. Woodruff
Nelson L. Woodruff
Page 817 Portrait and Biographical Album Peoria County- 1890
Nelson L. Woodruff, whose portrait is presented on the opposite page, and who died a little more than a decacde since, was an honored resident of Peoria for many years classed among her most enterprising business men, and peaceable, law-abiding citizens. He was born in Chenango, County, N.Y. May 24, 1818, being a sone of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Woodruff, who removed to Peoria in 1834. The elder Woodruff was a farmer, and the youthful days of Nelson L. were spent in the usual manner of those reared upon farms. Upon reaching manhood he became a cooper, following his trade for some time in Lower Peoria, and afterward building the first canal boat used on the Illinois Canal. The boat was named the "Ft. Clark." In 1855 Mr. woodruff engaged in the ice business, which has been continued from that date, his widow now being President of the comapny which bears his name. Mr. Woodruff was called from time to eternity October 23, 1879.
Many an interesting incident can be related by Mrs. Mary A. Woodruff, and many a word-picture drawn of the village of a half-century ago, so different from the large and flourishing city of today. She has been a witness to the growth of Peoria and the developemnt of her multiplied interests since 1835, during which year she was brought hither by her parents. She was born in Luzerne County, Pa., January 1, 1826, to Samuel and Lois (Brown) Monroe, who were likewise natives of the Keystone State. Family tradition claims that all the Monroes of the United States are descended from three borthers who came together to this country from Scotland several generations ago. The Brown family is of English extraction. Mr. Monroe was a miller, who after coming to this county purchased the mill built by John Hamlin, the first in this section. To Mr. and Mrs. Monroe were born eleven children, of whom four are living, namely: Mrs. Eliza Brown of Peoria; Mrs. Adam Sholl, of Pekin; James of Limestone; and Mrs. woodruff.
Marriage rites were celebrated between Nelson L. woodruff and Mary A. Monroe, October 15, 1846. For more than thirty years they shared in the joys and sorrows of life when death with envious hand separated them, leaving to the widow many loving memories to soften her grief. to Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff seven children were born, five of whom are living. They are: Mrs. George Emerson, of Peoria; Mrs. N.H. McCoy, of Chicago; Mrs. W.T. Irwin, of Peoria; Mrs. H.B. Morgan; and Edward N., Secretary of the Woodruff Ice Company at Peoria.
Mrs. Woodruff is a consistant member of the First baptist church, and in the same faith her husband was an ardent believer. politically, Mr. Woodruff was a stanch Republican, and a Union man during the war. She has displayed much business acumen since the death of her husband left to her the oversight of affairs, which she has been conducting in a creditable manner. She has many warm friends, not only among her contemporaries, but among those of a later generation, who heartily enjoy her stories of the olden times, her genial courtesy and her true womanliness.