Richland County


Although his journey along the pathway of life has been beset by many obstacles, and he has undergone many privations, George Washington Doser, in the sunset of his career, is living quietly at his home in Preston township, Richland county, Illinois, amid most pleasant and congenial surroundings. The subject of this sketch is the true type of what is termed the self-made man, who through his industry and perseverance accumulated a sufficiency of this world's goods to enable him to enjoy a life of ease in his declining years. In the locality in which he has lived for almost a half century, this venerable man is held in high esteem for his sterling worth and rugged honesty.

Mr. Doser was born in Clark county, Ohio, October 2, 1825. He was the son of Michael and Regna (Zirkle) Doser. Of his father the subject has very little knowledge, owing to the separation of his parents during his early boyhood. His mother was born in Virginia in 1808, and her parents were natives of the same state. While a young girl, her parents removed to Ohio, and she remained with them until her marriage to the father of the subject. As a result of this alliance two children were born, of which the subject was the eldest, the younger brother dying in infancy. Shortly thereafter, owing to an incompatibility of temper, the couple decided that they were not well-mated, and the marital bonds were dissolved. When Mr. Doser was in his sixth year his mother again entered wedlock, espousing Jonathan Zirkle, and eight children were the fruit of this union. The subject remained with his mother and step-father until he was fifteen, when he took up his residence with his grandfather. He was twenty-three years old, November 23, 1847, when he married Eliza Welgamuth, in Clark county, Ohio. He and his bride took up their abode on a rented farm, where they remained until 1864, when they moved to Richland county, Illinois, settling upon eighty acres of land, in Preston township, for which they paid fifteen dollars per acre. Of this land, sixty acres was prairie, and had never been tilled, while the remaining twenty acres were bottom timber land. The only improvement on this farm was a frame house, and the subject of this sketch was compelled to remodel this structure, and build stables, fences, etc. Mr. Doser finally sold this farm, and for the next nine years rented farms. At the end of that period he had accumulated a competence, and as the result of a decision to give up the pursuit of agriculture he purchased property in the town of Dundas, where he and his wife now live.

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Doser, three boys and three girls, namely: Socrates, John, Albert, Mary, Harriet and Anes. All of them reached the years of maturity but Socrates, Mary and Anes have passed to the beyond.

In the boyhood days of Mr. Doser the educational facilities were limited, and decidedly crude as compared with the splendid system in vogue today. He attended about two months of what was known as subscription school before he had attained his fifteenth year, using only an elementary spelling book in pursuing his studies. Later he became a pupil in the free school for the short space of three months in three years, making a total of nine months. Here he used an elementary speller and reader, and absorbed a smattering of arithmetic. Blackboards were unknown in those days. The desks were wide boards placed across wooden pins, fastened in holes bored in the walls. The seats consisted of benches, home-made with four wooden pins for legs.

Although Mr. Doser has never taken an active part in politics, he has always affiliated with the Democratic party, having cast his first vote for President Van Buren. He has served four years as road overseer, but in the year 1908 was the first time that he received any remuneration for his services.

Both the subject and his wife in the early years of their life in Ohio united with the Lutheran church, and they have been active members of this denomination ever since, very seldom missing a service.

Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 437-438.

Visit Our Neighbors
Jasper Crawford
Clay Lawrence
Wayne Edwards Wabash
Search the Archives