In 1843 part of Coles County was organized as Cumberland County. Elias Needham and his son, Daniel Parkman Needham, took an active part in organizing Cumberland County. Elias Needham served as an election judge in the Woodbury precinct that year. Part list of the children of Elias and Elizabeth Needham: Elias Wells Needham; Daniel Parman Needham, b. August 18, 1804; Rachel Ann Needham (Mrs. Daniel Edson); Laura, Angeline, and William B. Needham.
Several of Rachel Edson’s Needham cousins lived around Neoga, Illinois. A cousin, Elias Parkman Needham of New York City, brought forth the reed organ, invented the up-right action and originated the idea of a perforated sheet passing over a reed chamber and held fifteen patents, there-on. (Ref. Who’s Who in America)
The Edsons and Needhams soon after arriving in Illinois became acquainted with the Gibbs family, one of the very first to settle in Coles County. The following year the Abraham Lincoln family settled nearby. Rachel Edson’s brother, Daniel Parkman Needham, Elijah Elias Gibbs, and Abraham Lincoln became firm friends and did many things together.
Elija Elias Gibbs, on February 7, 1832, married Angeline Needham, sister of Rachel Edson. Their first home was in Springfield, Illinois area. Abraham Lincoln helped Gibbs in splitting the rails which fenced the Gibbs property. Elijah and Angeline (Needham) Gibbs attended the wedding of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.
Daniel Needham purchased land (Section Sixteen), south of Daniel Edson’s home place in Coles County, Illinois, from Abraham Lincoln’s father. There is a Lincoln marker on the property. Need ham served as Justice of the Peace in 1839 and 1859. He took a leading part in organizing Cumberland County in 1843 and in 1844 he was County Commissioner candidate.
Later he moved to Effingham County and settled two and three quarters miles northwest of Montrose. He was a large land owner. He was buried in the pioneer Needham cemetery diagonal across the road from his home (d. February 16, 1876, age 71 yrs, 5 mo, 28 days). He and his wife Julia A. ___ were born in Penn.