Henry Prather


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Radcliff (2)
2. Amanda Watson Oglesby

Henry Prather 16

  • Born: 26 Nov 1802, , Frederick County, MD, USA 16,19
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Radcliff (2) on 30 Nov 1826 in Frederick County, MD
  • Marriage (2): Amanda Watson Oglesby
  • Died: 30 Aug 1869, Decatur, Macon, IL, USA at age 66 16,19
  • Buried: Greenwood Cemeter, Decatur, Macon, Illinois, USA 19

bullet  General Notes:

Active in Episcopal Church in Decatur, IL. According to Grace Evans Radcliffe, he was a prominent citizen in the early life of the city of Decatur. His oil portrait hangs (or hung) in the Episcopal church. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur. He died soon after being thrown from a buggy. Married to great grand aunt of Richard Perry Radcliffe. He remarried after Elizabeth Radcliffe's death.

According to USgenealogyexpress.com, he was one of the men who went with Richard Oglesby to California for gold in 1849.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Alt. Birth: Montgomery County, MD. 400

Occupation: Surveyor, Macon County, IL, 1837. 400

Politics, 1838, Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. 401 Henry was a member of the Board of Trustees for the city of Decatur, IL in 1838. (The first meeting of the trustees of the town of Decatur was held 11-5-1836.) He was on the board at the same time as William Radcliff and Richard Oglesby (later became governor). Also served in 1839, 1868, 1869. William Prather served as president of this board in 1854. Later board members included James Millikin (1860s),

Occupation: Merchant, 23 Sep 1850, Macon County, IL. 17

Occupation: Pork Packer, 16 Jun 1860, Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. 18

Residence, 16 Jun 1860, Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. 18 Value of real estate owned was $40,000. Value of personal estate was $10,000

Death, Aug 1869, Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. 402 Scarlet throma fna brain

Event: Death, 1869. 19 TERRIBLE ACCIDENTDeath of an Old CitizenLast Monday evening, about 7 o'clock, our citizens were alarmed by the cry of fire, from the northeastern part of the city. A large crowd hurried towards the scene, spurred on by the horrible report that the Agricultural Works were on fire. The frightened crowd, however, turned back as soon as it was discovered that the only sound of the alarm arose from some burning grass for weeks, but not too soon to prevent a terrible catastrophe, which resulted in the violent death of one of our most public spirited citizens. Among the hundreds who were hurrying towards the supposed conflagration, were Billy Barnwell, Dan Brenneman and Capt. A. Toland. They were riding in a two horse vehicle, and going at a pretty rapid rate, when one of the wheels of the buggy came off. This let one side of the buggy down to the ground, threw the occupants from the vehicle, and frightened the horses to such a degree that they started down Cerro Gordo street at a rapid rate. A short distance in front of the runaway team was a one horse buggy, in which were seated Henry Prather, Esq., Mr. John Imboden and Richard Newell, Jr. Not being able to get out of the way of the runaway team in time, one of the wheels of the latter struck Mr. Prather's buggy, throwing it forward on the horse's legs, which frightened him so as to cause him to make a short turn into Broadway, upsetting the buggy and throwing the occupants to the ground. Mr. Prather was stunned by the fall, and before Mr. Imboden (who was only slightly bruised) could stop the horse he had turned and passed over the prostrate body of Mr. Prather. The unfortunate man was picked up and carried into a house near by, where it was discovered that his skull was broken, the brain oozing out of his left ear. He was taken to the residence of his brother-in-law, J.J. Peddecord, Esq., where he remained in an insensible condition for about an hour, when death ensued.Mr. Prather was born in Montgomery county, Maryland, November 26, 1802, and was therefore nearly sixty-seven years of age at the time of his death. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Philadelphia and Washington City for several years prior to his removal to Illinois, which took place in 1834. He first settled in Macoupin county, where he resided until 1837, when he came to Macon county in the capacity of surveyor, and was engaged for some time in selecting and surveying lands for Philo Hale, one of the well-known pioneers of Illinois. His first wife, who was a Miss Radcliff, died before he came to Decatur, and in 1838 he married Miss Amanda Oglesby, the elder sister of Ex-Governor Oglesby, who still survives him. Soon after coming to Decatur, he again engaged in the mercantile business, taking into partnership with him J.J. Peddecord, Esq., who afterward married a younger sister of Mrs. Prather. This partnership, which proved to be a very successful one, and which laid the foundation of the fortunes of both parties, continued until 1849, when Mr. Prather, accompanied by the future Governor of Illinois, and a number of others who were attacked by the gold fever, started across the plains for California, making the trip which now consumes about five days in ninety-five. He remained in California, engaged in mining and merchandising, about two years, when he returned to Decatur. In 1852 he was chosen to represent this district in the Illinois House of Representatives. He was afterwards engaged in the hardware trade, in company with J.R. Gorin, Esq., but sold out in the year 1858, since which time he has devoted his attention to speculations of different kinds, usually with success. At the time of his death he was an alderman from the fourth ward, and ever since entering the city council has been considered one of the most active and public spirited members of that body.Mr. Prather has always been looked upon as one of our most enterprising citizens, and has done much to advance the material interests of the city and county in which he has so long resided. Among the buildings erected by him may be mentioned the Gazette building, the commodious business house occupied by Close, Griswold & Co., the Seminary on Water street, the splindid residence now owned and occupied by Dr. Stapp, and the tasty and substantial residence of Dr. Stoner. He was also one of the company which build the Revere House. He labored faithfully and efficiently for the increase of our railroad facilities, and has always been foremost in every enterprise which had for its object the building up and improving of our city.In politics Mr. Prather was always a democrat, and was generally found in the lead of every movement which looked towards the advancement of his party's interests. While taking an active part in political movements he was ever tolerant of the opinions of others, and had many warm friends among those who thought and voted differenly from himself.For the last ten or twelve years the deceased has been a prominent member of the Episcopal Church, and has aided all its interests with the utmost liberality. In all relations of life, Mr. Prather was eminently a good citizen, and in his untimely death our community has sustained a loss which is keenly felt, whilst those connected with him by the ties of relationship feel still more sensibly their terrible bereavement.Decatur Republican, 2 Sep 1869

Obituary from Kay Petrucha


Imposing Ceremonies

The mortal remains of our late fellow citizen, Henry Prather, Esq., were followed to the grave last evening by an immense concourse of people. Never before in the history of Decatur was there such a general suspension of business on a similar occasion, nor never has our city witnessed such a funeral procession as that which escorted the remains of our lamented fellow citizen to their last resting place. The funeral was advertised to take place a 3 o'clock, but long before that hour had arrived, the street in front of the residence of J.J. Peddecord, Esq., where the remains were lying in state, was thronged with vehicles and people. At three o'clock the masonic fraternity, the mayor and city council, the fire department, and a large procession of citizens, headed by the Decatur cornet band, arrived, and the body being placed in the hearse for procession took up the line of march for the Episcopal Church, in the following order:

Tyler, with drawn sword
Stewards, with white rods
Master Masons
Senior and Junior Deacons
Secretary and Treasurer
Senior and Junior Wardens
Holy Writings
Pall Bearers - BODY - Pall Bearers
Knights Templar C. G. E. C. R. E. G. C. P. E. C. G.
Members of the City Press
Mayor and City Council
Fire Department
Judges and Officers of the Courts
Citizens in carriages
Citizens on horseback
Citizens on foot

The route was north on Franklin street to Eldorado, west on Eldorado to Water, south on Water to the church. All along the way the streets were lined with spectators, and on arriving at the church a large crowd was found in waiting.

The services at the church could not be participated in by but a very small portion of the vast assemblage, at least nine-tenths of the people remaining patiently in the yards and on the sidewalks in the vicinity. Being unable to get into the church, we cannot tell much of the character of the services, but learn that they were solemn and impressive throughout. The sermon, by Rev. T.N. Morrison, D.D., of Bloomington, is said to have geen an effort of great ability, full of instruction and interest. At the close of the services the procession re-formed, and observing the same order as above described, took up the line of march toward Greenwood Cemetery, going south on Water street to East Main, thence west to the Old Square, thence south on South Main to the cemetery. The appearance of the streets along the route was such as is seldom seen on a funeral occasion. Business of all kinds was suspended, and the sidewalks were thronged with people; the solemn strains of the dead march played by the band; the slow and measured tread of the Knights Templar, who acted as the funeral escort; the trappings of woe which were seen on every hand, - all these added to the solemnity of the occasion, and seemed to fittingly bespeak the grief which was so generally felt. Of course any estimate of the length of the procession or the number of people who participated in the funeral obsequies could not more than approximate the real figures, but it is not too much to say that the procession was by far the largest ever seen in Decatur and that it was certainly more than a mile in length.

Arriving at the cemetery, large numbers were found waiting, and the crowd around the grave was so dense as to defy any but the most persistent efforts to penetrate it. The grave, which is in the lot, so tastefully ornamented by the deceased himself, being surrounded by mourners and the masonic fraternity, the beautiful and impressive burial service of the Episcopal Church was read, after which the more imposing ceremonies of the ancient and honorable order of Free Masons were performed, and the earth then closed over the remains of him whose memory will long be honored by the people amongst whom so many years of his life were spent.

Decatur Republican, 2 Sep 1869


Henry married Elizabeth Radcliff (2), daughter of Thomas Radcliff and Elizabeth (1), on 30 Nov 1826 in Frederick County, MD. (Elizabeth Radcliff (2) was born in , Frederick County, MD, USA 16 and died on 13 Sep 1835 in Macoupin County, IL, USA 252.)


Henry next married Amanda Watson Oglesby, daughter of Jacob Oglesby and Isabel Oglesby. (Amanda Watson Oglesby died on 19 Mar 1881.)

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 6 Jul 2017 with Legacy 7.5 from Millennia