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Rachel Wells Dilabor

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

MRS. RACHEL DILABOR, who is living on section 13, Rosetta Township, Henderson County, was born in Ohio, on the 14th of April, 1818, and is a daughter of Thomas D. and Elizabeth (Pence) Wells. Her parents were natives of Virginia, and had a family of twelve children, three sons and nine daughters, four of whom are yet living. The father, on leaving the Old Dominion, removed to Ohio, where he was married. He was one of the pioneers of the Buckeye State, and there made his home until 1820, when he went to Indiana, locating in Bartholomew County. He took up land from the Government, making a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, nearly all of which was covered with timber. Erecting a log cabin, he at once began to clear and develop the farm, and there carried on agricultural pursuits until 1822, when he came to Henderson County, Ill. Here he secured a tract of about five hundred acres from the Government, and to its improvement and cultivation devoted his energies until his death, which occurred in 1879. His wife passed away many years previous, having been called to the home beyond in 1845.

Mrs. Dilabor, when a maiden of eleven summers, accompanied her parents to Henderson County, Ill. The first school which she attended was held in a log schoolhouse, and was conducted on the subscription plan. She had to walk a mile and a-half, and the path of learning therefore did not always seem a flowery one. During her girlhood days she became familiar with the duties of the household, and remained at home until June, 1838, when she became the wife of David Howard. Two children were born of this marriage, namely: Thomas, a farmer now living in Kansas; and David, who carries on agricultural pursuits in Henderson County. The father of this family died in 1840, and for four years Mrs. Howard remained a widow. She then, in 1844, became the wife of John Dilabor. Four children were born of this union: Leauder; Edward B.; Martha, wife of George Rockwell; and Mary, wife of Quincy Swaim.

When Mrs. Dilabor first came to Henderson County, there were only two or three small log cabins in Oquawka, many of the now thriving towns and villages had not yet sprung into existence, and the work of progress and civilization seemed hardly begun. She has therefore witnessed almost the entire growth and development of this locality, and has seen the progress which has placed this county among the foremost in the State. Being a most estimable lady, she has many friends throughout the community, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of her life.