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Matthew H. Cribb
Portrait and Biographical Album
Lake County, Illinois, 1891

MATTHEW H. CRIBB, deceased, was a prominent citizen and one of the self-made men of the county. He was born in Ontario County, N. Y., April 25, 1824, and was the fourth in a family of eleven children born to Henry and Charity (Lent) Cribb. His father was a New York farmer who came to Illinois in December, 1845, traveling by wagon through Canada to Lake County. He settled in Antioch Township, making his home with his children until his death.

Our subject, who was twenty-one years of age at that time, soon afterward purchased a forty-acre tract of land but devoted the greater part of his attention to carpentering in early life. In 1852, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he set out for that State. In March, with a company, of others driving an ox-team, he started, and in September following, after a weary and perilous journey across the plains, reached his destination. For four years he engaged in farming and mining and then returned to Lake County, taking charge of the old homestead of the family on section 2. He bought the land and resided thereon until his death. The greater part of the improvements were made by Mr. Cribb and from wild and uncultivated timber land he developed one of the best farms in the county. It contained one hundred and fifty-six acres and well tilled fields and many accessories of a model farm give evidence of the thrift and industry which he possessed.

On the l3th of January, 1858, Mr. Cribb was united in marriage with Deborah Reynolds, who was born in New York, in 1839, but was reared in this county. Her parents were Joseph and Delia (Brown) Reynolds, both of whom were natives of the Empire State. Her father was a farmer by occupation and in 1841, accompanied by his family, emigrated to Illinois, settling in Lake County, where he enjoyed an independent, happy and prosperous life. His death occurred at the age of fifty years. His wife long survived him and passed away at the age of eighty three years. In their family were eight children, four sons and four daughters, but Constant D., Catherine, Manda, Solomon, Mortimer, Margaret and Deborah are all now deceased. The only surviving member of the family is John G., the fourth in order of birth. He was reared as an agriculturist and engaged in teaching in New York. He now resides in Lake County, at the age of sixty-four years, his birth having occurred April 7, 1827. In his early days he was an old-line Whig and casthis first Presidential vote for Gen. Zachary Taylor. On the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks and has become a stalwart supporter of its principles to the present day. The honors and emoluments of public office have had no attraction for him. He is a true respector of all religious teachings and other interests which tend to the development of all that is best and noblest. He has made his home in this county since 1841, and his pleasant, genial manner and sterling worth have won him many friends. Unto Matthew and Deborah Cribb was born one son, J. R., who for several years has now had charge of the farm. The mother died March 29, 1861.

On the 22d of September, 1863, Mr. Cribb was joined in wedlock with Miss Charlotte Miller, who was born in Chicago in 1835 and is a daughter of Jacob Miller, one of the earliest settlers in the county. He was a native of Germany and made his home near Frankfort on-the-Main. His death occurred in 1874. His wife, whose maiden name was Christiana Queren, was also a native of Germany and died in 1889. In their family were two sons and two daughters, the eldest of whom is Jacob, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume; Christiana is the wife of R. C. Green, who is a brickmason by trade but is now engaged as a contractor and builder. Mrs. Cribb is the next younger and Henry P. is also represented in this work. Mrs. Cribb spent her girlhood days on a farm in this county and her early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by a course in the Waukegan Academy, presided over by Judge Clark, who is now one of the able jurists of the county. She then engaged in teaching for fifteen years, winning most excellent success. Holland rightfully says that the teacher's position is one of the most responsible and onerous to be filled, that the teacher does more toward shaping and fashioning the minds and moral character of the child than parents and pastor. As before stated she gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Cribb in 1863. They had all adopted daughter Emily L., whom they received into their home August 10, 1867, and who, on the 3d of November, 1884, became the wife of August Quedenfeld.

Mr. Cribb was a prominent and influential citizen of this community and was often honored with positions of public trust. He was a Whig in politics in early life and voted first for Taylor, but when the Republican party sprang into existence he joined its ranks and often served as delegate to the county conventions. His life was characterized by energy and enterprise and by fair dealing in all things. He won the confidence and respect of all who knew him and is numbered among the honored pioneers of the county. He died at his home in Antioch township, March 23, 1891, and was laid to rest in Angola Cemetery. Mrs. Cribb is still living on the old homestead. For many years she has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Lake Villa and is a most estimable lady, having many friends in the community.
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