Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

A large group of Steel descendants reside in Crawford County, the majority of whom trace their descent to William N. Steel and his wife Mary A. McMullen Steel, daughter of Neal and Sarah McMullen. They were married in Philadelphia on November 6, 1817, where both were born: William N., September 5, 1793, and Mary A., July 31, 1794. They resided in Philadelphia for about ten years after their marriage, after which they removed to Terre Haute, Indiana. After living there about six years, they removed to Crawford County, Illinois where both died and were buried, William in 1856 and Mary in 1864. They reared a large family of children as follows:

Note to Mr. McKamy: Mrs. Dorothy Crebs is descended from Joseph Henry and wife E.J. Otey. Dr. Edward Steel, Homer Steel (Ralph), Mary Trimble, (John Jr. Trimble), Jane Simpson, Blanche Howe are descended from Edward and Mahala Knight Steel.

William N. Steel was the great great grandson of the immigrant ancestor James Steel and his wife, Martha Hammon, whom he had married July 15, 1697 in he Lewes & Chichester Monthly Meeting at Arundel, Sussex, England. James Steel, a member of the Society of Friends, was born in Chichester, Sussex, England, probably in 1673, the son of Henry and Sarah Hale Steel, whose names appeared on James and Martha's certificate of removal from the Lewes & Chichester Monthly Meeting to the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, dated May 6, 1702. Two children accompanied their parents to Philadelphia, a third having died in England. Nine other children were born to them in America.

Sarah Hale, wife of Henry Steel, was the daughter of Timothy and Jane Hale. Timothy was baptized 10/24/1602, being the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hale.

Martha Hammon, wife of James Steel, was the daughter of John H. Hammon and his wife, Jane, who were married prior to 1669. All of the births of their seven children were recorded in the Lewes & Chichester Monthly Meeting, Sussex, England, subsequent to that date.

James Steel was a friend of William Penn, who no doubt exerted a great influence upon his life. James was an agent of one of William Penn's Proprietors in Pennsylvania, one James Logan. He later was Receiver General of Land Grants of the Province of Pennsylvania under James Logan, also a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly for three terms and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court representing the three Lower Counties. The three Lower Counties comprise what is today the entire State of Delaware. He amassed a large fortune in real estate as evidenced by the legacies in his will, probated in Philadelphia in 1742.

The Steels of Crawford County descend from James and Martha Hammon Steel through their son, Robert Steel, who married Elizabeth Hunter, daughter of Cpt. John and Margaret Albin Hunter, at Christ's Church, Philadelphia, in 1722.

Capt. John Hunter, a descendant of a distinguished family in the north of England, fought in the Battle of Boyne, 1690, with his friend, Anthony Wayne, grandfather of Mad Anthony Wayne. He arrived in America with his wife and several of their ten children in 1711.

Robert and Elizabeth Hunter Steel were the parents of four sons, one of whom was James, who married Martha Canby, granddaughter of the famous Quaker, Thomas Canby, who came to America on the ship "Vine" in 1684. By his first wife, Sarah Jarvis, he had a son, Thomas Jr., who, with his wife Sarah Preston, daughter of William and Jane Preston of Old Huddersfield, England, became the parents of Martha Canby, who married James Steel.

James and Martha Canby Steel were the parents of James, Jr., who married Eleanor S. Roberts in Philadelphia in 1793, and they were the parents of William N. Steel, the ancestor of The Steels of Crawford County, Illinois.

Chester Steel, a successful farmer and stockman of Robinson (Co.?) was a direct descendant of the foregoing Steel Family, being a son of William Canby and Adaline Trimble Steel. Adaline Trimble Steel was the daughter of Judge James Baird Trimble of Trimble, Illinois, and his first wife, Louisa Markley, who was the granddaughter of Capt. Thomas Gill of the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Hannah Cresswell Gill. The Gills came to Crawford County in 1814 from North Carolina via Mt. Sterling, Ky., where they had resided for several years.

Judge James B. Trimble, the son of Hugh and wife, Eleanor Caldwell Trimble, was the grandson of James Trimble, a Capt. Of Militia during the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Jane Young. The father of Capt. James was the immigrant, David Trimble, who arrived in New Castle, Delaware from Londonderry, Ireland in 1740.

Chester Steel was born May 13, 1874 and died May 9, 1953. He married in 1894 to Allie Augusta Fox, born 1877, daughter of Charles Henry Bascom Fox and his wife, Sarah Emiline Funk, daughter of William Murphy Funk and his wife, Mathilda Seaney, daughter of Samuel Seaney. Gabriel Funk, father of William M., was one of the earliest settlers in Crawford County, removing here from Lincoln Co., Ky. about 1813.

Charles H.B. Fox, a soldier in the Civil War, was a son of McKendree Fox and his wife, Mary Ann Slocumb Fox, and a grandson of John Fox and wife, Mary Vanneman, who came to this country about 1824 from Salem Co., New Jersey after stopping for some time in the Ohio Valley. John Fox, born 1775, was the son of David and Margrete Fox. Mary Vanneman descended from the Van Eaman Family whose immigrant ancestor was from Holland and who arrived in America circa 1650, settling in New Jersey.

Mary Ann Slocumb was a descendant of Anthony Slocumb, who was one of the 46 purchasers of the land on which Taunton, Mass. now stands. This land was purchased from the Indian, Massasoit, in 1637. Anthony Slocumb removed from Mass. to North Carolina where he died and was buried in 1688, 99 yrs. Old. Anthony's great great grandson, Samuel, married Mary Ann Beck, daughter of John Beck, Lieut. of North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Elizabeth Whitfield. The Samuel Slocumbs settled on Slocumb Prairie, White County, Illinois, and many of the family are buried there. The marriage of McKendree Fox, father of Charles H.B. Fox, and Mary Ann Beck Slocumb, occurred in Fairfield, Illinois. Later, they settled near Palestine, Illinois. McKendree had studied for the ministry at McKendree College (where in Illinois) and both he and his brother, John Jr., and also his father, John, Sr., were Methodist ministers as well as successful farmers.

Chester and Allie A. Fix Steel had four children:

Rea Canby, born 1894, married Margaret Livie and had two children, Rea, Jr. and Saragene. Rea Sr., who died in 1935, was an oil producer.

Joy Emeline, born 1896, married first Victor Tucker Johnson and had daughter Joan, born 1920; married secondly in 1930 to Stephen Miller Williams, born in 1887 in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of S. Miller Williams, born in 1853, Camden, South Carolina, and Jane North Pettigrew William, born in 1855 in Tyrrell County, North Carolina. Stephen Miller Williams was President of the firm of Williams Brothers, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, Pipeline Engineers and Contractors; retired.

Noble, born 1899, died 1951, veteran of World War I

Helen, born 1900, married 1930 to Paul Glen Allen; B.A. University of Illinois; U.S. Air Force, World War I; stockbroker, retired. He and Mrs. Allen live in Chicago.

Ralph Augustus Steel, son of Homer and Eva Ruede Steel, born January 24, 1906. I have a sister Mahala Steel Green, wife of Arthur Green, son of Joseph and Virginia Green, born July 26, 1902.

My father, Homer Steel, was born in 1870 and departed this life on January 22, 1919. My mother was born in 1879 and May 26, 1951. She was the daughter of Henry and Laura Ruede. They moved to this state in 1898 from Hope, Indiana.

I live and operate a farm 4 miles northeast of Robinson. My father operated the farm until his death in 1919 and his father owned and operated it until his death in 1899. My great grandfather bought it in 1837 and owned it until in 1865.

James Steel, the original immigrant, was Secretary of the Province of Philadelphia under William Penn. He came from Chichester, England in 1701. The Steel Family were Quakers and lived in Philadelphia, Penn. They were merchants and engaged in the shipping business.

My great grandfather came to Terre Haute, Indiana about 1830 and operated a store there, later one in Hutsonville, Illinois. A money panic in the early 1830's caused him to move west. Some of his brothers came to Hutsonville about the same time but went back and regained the fortunes. They were a wealthy family before the panic of 1830.

I have several hundred letters written between 1834 and 1854. The money panic in 1830 was very much like the depression of 1930. Business houses went broke and a lot of people took their lives, none had any money.

Edward H. Steel, son of Edward Steel and Mahala Knight Steel, who came to this state from Pennsylvania. There were seven children in our family, viz: John K., Homer, Edward H., Bruce, Elizabeth who married Martin Ault, Jane who married U. Ed. Simpson, and Mary who married A.T. Trimble.

My father was born in Philadelphia in 1834 and died in 1899 on the home farm (now owned by Ralph Steel, son of Homer Steel). Grandfather William J. Steel purchased this farm northeast of Robinson about the year 1837. My father was born in Philadelphia and both parents were devoted Quakers in their religious faith.

Some of my ancestors in the seventh century fought under Oliver Cromwell, under the British rule, after which five brothers in this war emigrated to Philadelphia. My grandfather, William N. Steel, came from Philadelphia to Terre Haute, Indiana and engaged in the general merchandise business, later moving to Hutsonville where he continued in business and reared his family.

I attended grade school of Science Hall, after which I took a course in the Chicago University of Dentistry in 1896, graduating in 1899 as a D.D.S. and started first in the business with Dr. Clem Lewis in the offices now occupied by Judge Ray Wesner at the southwest corner of the public square in Robinson where I remained until February 1900 when a fire destroyed the entire south side block. Then we opened an office on the second floor of the north side of the public square in the building now occupied by the Firestone Store. When the new buildings were erected on the south side of the square, replacing the buildings destroyed by fire, I leased the southeast upstairs corner rooms as a dental office, being the first tenant of the office in the south side new block where I have continued business since 1901, some 52 years.

I was married to Florette ("Pet") Newlin May 24, 1899 at Terre Haute. In 1904, we erected our first home on S. Webster St., which we sold four years later to the Robinson Club, which was later sold to the Tidewater Pipe Line Co., and later resold to Madeline and Everett Heath, Mrs. Heath now being the owner, the building being now occupied on the first floor by the Tidewater Pipe Line Co. and the Illinois Water Co. and the second floor having been converted into apartments and in now occupied by tenants.

My wife passed away in 1945 at the age of 75 years.

In 1908, we purchased a lot on the corner of W. Walnut and Prairie Streets where we erected a home and have occupied and lived in for some forty-five years. I am living there at the present time with my son, Edward Newlin Steel and his wife.

My wife was a daughter of Eli Newlin and Marie Kettle Newlin and she had a sister of Joshua McKee, who was killed by the Indians when she lived in the Fort at Vincennes. An uncle of my wife's mother, Joshua McKee, and her mother, one of the heirs, became the owners of the farm which is now owned by Pres York, where she lived with her family until she came to Robinson to work in the post office when Sam Bennett was postmaster. Her father was a civil War veteran.

I well remember when Sam Lindsay had a Photo Gallery in the one-story frame building on S. Cross Street, about the location of the Marley Harrison & Son Store. John Harper was Robinson's first City Mail carrier and his father, George W. Harper, was then the Postmaster.

My father's family, as well as Mrs. Mary Steel Jones (who was my first cousin) and her family were prominent Quakers in this community.

George W. Lewis, where the Ford garage is now located, and he did business known as the Grange Store just east of his home. John Eddings blacksmith shop was located where the Laundry Building is now on E. Main St. Courthouse offices were located in a small frame building where the Rooneys now have a Grocery Store.

I was 80 years of age on the 7th day of December 1952 and have been in business as a Dentist on the public square for some 54 years. I remember when Jim Ruddell ran a Drug Store on the south side of the square.