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HURD, CHARLES T. : Merchant; born in Peoria. November 16, 1840 : son of Thomas and Sarah D. (Hall ) Hurd. His father was a native of New York, born May 25, 1810, and his mother at Stephentown, New York, February 20. 1813. Both the paternal and maternal ancestors were residents of New York and New England. Thomas J. Hurd, who came to Peoria in the early thirties, was a carpenter by trade, but was engaged in the mercantile business in Peoria for several years previous to 1817. At the latter date he resumed carpentering and helped to build up the new city. Among some of the contracts that he filled was that for the old Peoria House.
In 1850 he sent a ship-load of lumber to San Francisco via Cape Horn, taking a shorter route himself via the Isthmus. He engaged extensively in contracting and building in San Francisco, but died in 1851. Mrs. Hurd was the daughter of' Judge Hall, of Rensselaer County. New York, coming to Peoria in 1837. After receiving a common-school education in Peoria. Charles T. Hurd went to Massachusetts and attended school at Lanesboro for two years, but afterward lived in Boston, where he held a position as cashier in a dry-goods store for one year. Returning to Peoria in 1861, he organized a wholesale paper house, associating with him .Asa Mayo and T. E. C. Wheeler.
In August 1862, at the age 21, he enlisted in Company A, Seventy-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He took part in the battles at Vicksburg and Arkansas Post, but was afterwards transferred to the Signal Service Corps, a branch of the regular army, where he served as Sergeant till the close of the war. After the surrender of Vicksburg he took part in the Red River Campaign and about Mobile. He was mustered out of service July 4, 1865, and returning to Peoria engaged in mercantile pursuits.
In 1869 he became a partner in the firm of Kingman & Company, agricultural implement dealers, where he remained three years. Subsequently he engaged in the manufacture of buttons from vegetable ivory, but discontinued in 1881 on account of the influence of tariff reduction on the business. Since then he has been a commercial traveler and is now manager of the Peoria Trading Association, a combination of Peoria merchants for advertising purposes. Mr. Hurd is an Independent Republican. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church.