The Tales of a Blair Family    

Evaline Eliza McClure was born in Ogle County, Illinois on May 24, 1839.  She was the daughter of William and Nancy Hammond (Blair) McClure.  She married Milton D. Stover on March 22, 1860.  A biographical sketch of the family, written in 1886, follows:

From the  "Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle County, Illinois": 1886: page 655-656:

Milton D. StoverMilton D. Stover, president of the Board of Trustees of Forreston and one of the firm of Campbell & Stover, dealers in fine blooded horses, is a native of [Hagerstown] Washington County, MD., and one of the most progressive citizens of Ogle County, The date of his birth is July 4, 1837, and he is a son of David and Mary (Hill) Stover. The father was born in Pennsylvania, Aug. 22, 1793 and the mother Jan. 8, [1799 or 1809...copy too dark to read for sure] on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The latter is of English ancestry while the father was of German descent. He died in July, 1851, but the mother survives and makes her home with her children in Ogle County.

There was born to the parents a family of five daughters and three sons, Milton D. being the fifth in order of birth. They were both members of the Dunkard Church, to which the mother is still united. The father was apprenticed to learn the blacksmith trade, at which he worked until five years previous to his death. Finding the labor somewhat too heavy he quit it and began farming.

The gentleman of whom we write, having learned his trade of his father, served an apprenticeship of over three years, and in August, 1856, left it and came to Ogle County. He landed at Polo on the 1st day of August, 1856, and taking up his trade worked for Cooper & Powell of that place. After remaining with them for about two months he went to work by the month on a farm in Pine Creek Township, and remained with Mr. Wm. Hays four years.

Our subject was united in marriage March 22, 1860 with Evaline E. McClure [or Eliza Evaline], a native of Adeline Township, Ogle County. Their nuptials celebrated at Forreston, and the date of her birth was May 24, 1839. She was a daughter of James [should be William] and Nancy (Blair) McClure, old settlers of Ogle County. After their marriage they engaged for sometime in the pleasant and quietEvaline Eliza McClure Stover vocation of farming, renting land in the vicinity of Forreston, on which he continued one year. He then returned to Pine Creek Township and worked one year for his former employer. They then removed to Polo, where he engaged with W. P. Cooper, with whom he worked two years his trade, or until July, 1865. He worked at blacksmithing, buying a shop and engaging in business for himself until Aug. 1, 1884, when he rented the shop and tools to Milford D. George [later married Angie Forbes, half-sister to Evaline], who had been in his employ of several years.

Mr. Stover is a a good horseman and has given no little attention to veterinary work. For ten years previous to renting the shop he owned blooded horses and sold to other parties for the purpose of improving the breed in the vicinity. After renting a shop he formed a partnership with John T. Campbell and engaged in dealing in fine horses. At the time of going into business with Mr. Campbell he owned Success and, which was purchased of Dunham in 1875. He was a magnificent specimen of the Percheron Norman stock and some excellent animals have sprung from him. The company has since been engaged in buying and selling and dealing in the best of stock.

Mr. Stover cast his first vote for our martyred President, Abraham Lincoln, and has usually cast a straight line of Republican votes for President. He usually, however, calculates to uphold not party, but principle, and posts himself as far as possible as to the character of the man for whom he votes. He has held the office on the Board of Trustees for three terms and has also been a member of the School Board. He belongs to White Oak Lodge fraternity No. 667, at Forreston, and is also a member of the Encampment No. 25, at Freeport.

The pleasant family which has sprung up about the hearth, consists of three children as follows: Clara S., born June 7, 1861; Teene C., born Nov. 7, 1864; and Alverna B., born Aug. 21, 1868. Clara S. espoused Charles E. Griswold at Forreston, Dec. 18, 1879, and now dwells at Dell Rapids, Dak., at which place she lost her husband. She opened a millinery establishment and supports herself by that vocation. Teene C. was married at Dell Rapids May 28, 1885 to Everett Harrington. They still live at that place, the husband being a furniture dealer, and doing a flourishing business. The other daughter is single and remains at home.

In 1892 Milton D. Stover was elected Mayor of the town of Forreston and continued to hold public offices until his death on October 6th, 1902.  He was ill for the last year of his life and his death was caused by cardiac insufficiency.   Evaline died of pneumonia on February 24th, 1907.  Both are buried in White Oak Cemetery in Forreston, Illinois.

The following newspaper clippings from the Forreston Herald (1876-1898) will provide a more personal glimpse of the Stover's daily life:

4/29/1876: An unusually fine specimen of horse flesh may be found in the Forreston House stable. It is a three-year-old colt of the Norman Stock, and is the property of Mr. I. B. Allen and M. D. Stover, who purchased it of M. W. Dunham, of Wayne, DuPage Co. Ill. Mr. Dunham is an extensive importer of thoroughbred horses. For beauty and muscle combined, this colt has but few, if any superiors.

8/12/1882: Mr. D. B. Byers has rented Mr. Stover’s blacksmith shop, and if he does not give as good satisfaction as "Milt" has done, we miss our guess.

2/3/1883: Mr. M. D. Stover, who has given up his route as traveling agent for an Ohio Horse-shoe nail company, and now fills his old place as the "boss horse-shoer" of Ogle county, has been showing his skill in subduing vicious horses this week. Messrs. Brookmire and Keeler who live northeast of Forreston, own a Canadian stallion that has been an elephant on their hands for some time. He is a fine looking, well-bred beast, but has been afflicted with emotional insanity or some kindred complaint, and exhibited his derangement by an unusual amount of unfriendliness to his keepers. So unsociable was this brute that he refused to let anybody within reach of his teeth or his heels. He became so unruly that his water and feed had to handed in on a hook. As a last resort the owners of this fiery, untamed steed called upon Mr. Stover and asked him to try his persuasive powers. Mr. S. took the horse in charge, got him out of his stall and gave him a good training. It took some time to convince the animal that it was either kill or cure, but as soon as he learned that fact he renounced his wicked ways and assumed the.......unreadable.

4/7/1883: Miss Teenie Stover departed Sunday night for Dell Rapids, Dakota, where she expects to spend the summer with her sister, Mrs. C. E. Griswold.

5/3/1884: Mrs. M. D. Stover left this week for Nebraska to visit her children. She will return in a few weeks.

6/21/1884: The Exponent, printed at Dell Rapids, D. T., says: "Miss Teene Stover, sho has been a typo in this office the past year departs for her home in Forreston, Ill., today, via Sioux City. She will be missed by her numerous friends.

7/19/1884: Mr. and Mrs. Stover and daughter, Mrs. Clara Griswold, arrived from Dell Rapids, D. T., this week where Mrs. S. has been visiting for the past ten weeks. Mrs. Griswold comes with the intention of making this her future home. Her many friends here will be glad to welcome her.

12/6/1884: Messrs. Campbell and Stover were down in Marshall and Kane Counties this week looking at some blooded horses.

12/6/1884: Mrs. Clara Griswold and her sister Miss Teene Stover, are in the ladies furnishing goods business at Dell Rapids, Dakota.

4/11/1885: The Parkersburg Eclipse has the following complimentary notice of "Young Blaine," Campbell & Stover’s fine Clydesdale stallion: It is a good sign to see so many fine horses exhibited in this place, for it indicates a demand for good stock among our farmers and breeders. C. McFarland brought from Illinois last week as fine a Clyesdale stallion as we have seen in the State and good judges of horseflesh will agree with us, we think, in pronouncing him one of the finest horses ever brought to this country.

7/11/1885: Angie Forbes left for Dell Rapids, Dakota Territory where she will visit Mrs. Teenie Harrington (nee Stover).

9/30/1893: M. D. Stover left Tuesday morning for the World’s Fair, accompanied by his daughter Mrs. Vernie Stearns, and his niece Miss Jessie McClure.

10/7/1893: Upon the return of Mrs. Stearns and Jessie McClure from Chicago, Mrs. M. D. Stover, accompanied by her granddaughter, Ethel Griswold, went to join her husband in that city.

11/11/1893: Mrs. A. J. Stearns (Verna Stover) left Wednesday for her home in Walla Walla, Washington after a several months visit with her parents in this place.

5/19/1894: Mayor M. D. Stover checking out water works at Shannon and Lanark and going to Springfield as delegate of Board of Health.

12/11/1897: M. D. Stover has a new scheme for self-sharpening horseshoes.

12/25/1897: Jacob McClure and little child from Rockford, were the guests of M. D. Stover and family the first of the week.

10/1/1898: Mrs. E. F. Harrington from Sheldon, Iowa and Mrs. A. J. Stearns of LaGrange, Illinois. are visiting at the home of their father, M.D. Stover on account of the illness of their sister.