HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Its Past and present
Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd & Co., Publishers, 1878.
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1975)
SAMPLE, Samuel, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 11, P.O. Pisgah. Mr. Sample was born in Morgan County, prior to 1830; the Sample family consisting of husband, wife and three children, moved from Kentucky in a covered wagon, and settled in Illinois, on what is now called “Apple Creek”, this county; they also settled in Henderson County, where they remained but a short time, eventually returning to Morgan; in 1860, the subject of this notice married Miss Lizzie Morris, daughter of Edmund and Sarah Morris; four children blessed this union, whose names are in order of birth: Lucinda, born 1861; George, 1867; Hubert, 1875, and Nellie 1877.
SAMPLES, Andrew, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 19, P.O. Waverly. Mr. S. was born in Kentucky, in 1798; David, his father, a farmer by occupation, and a native of Kentucky, there married Miss Mary Townsend; by this marriage eight children; three are now living: Andrew, Washington, and Aaron. David was among the first to enter Illinois, arriving in 1808, and settling in Madison Co. where the youthful days of Andrew were spent, his companions in play frequently the untutored Indian boys; in 1815 he served as a soldier; honorably discharged, he returned to his home; in 1824, in company with Jacob Boyer, he made his way to Morgan Co., Ill., settling on the South Fork of the Mauvaisterre; the country but thinly populated, Mr. S. found the chances for hard work exceedingly good. Mr. Samples had married in Madison Co. Miss Nancy Wood, a sister of the Hon. Samuel Wood, of this county. By his industry there soon rose up a log cabin as a beginning; the years going quickly by soon drove to the farther west the emigrant wagon, and in course of time the cabin, through which the snow drifted at will, gave place to a more substantial dwelling. The first wife of Mr. S. died shortly after his arrival in the county, leaving eight children; in 1855 he married Miss Mary Buchanan; by the second marriage two children; Mr. Samples has owned considerable property; now owns forty acres.
SAMUELS, J. S., farmer, Sec. 12, P.O. Meredosia; born in Virginia, Dec. 21, 1823; came to this county in 1857; owns 160 of land, valued at $12,000; was married May 23, 1850, to Henriette M. Breidenstein, who was born in Germany, Nov. 5, 1832; he enlisted in the 115th Ill. Vol. Infty., Co. I, as first lieutenant,, Aug., 19, 1862, and resigned in 1863, on account of sickness; he remained at home two years; re_enlisted in the 28th Ill. Vo. Infty., Co. K, as second lieutenant, March, 1865, and was in the service one year.
SAMUELS, John, renter, Sec. I, P.O. Meredosia; born in Page Co., Va., Aug. 18, 1840; he enlisted in the 10th Ill. Vol. Infty., Co. I., and served three months; married Martha Davis in 1862, who was born in Fulton Co., Ind., June 27, 1845; have had six children, four of whom, Cora, Roland, Arthur, and Samuel, are living.
SANDUSKY, James, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 22, P.O. Waverly; sixth child of Jacob and Melinda Sandusky, natives of Kentucky, there engaged in agriculture. When the slow moving trains traversed the prairies, en route for the West, Jacob Sandusky gathered together his worldly goods and bid farewell to the land where had passed the best years of his life; after weeks of travel he settled in Morgan County; leaving a comfortable home in the South. He built the usual log cabin and entered eighty acres of government land; shortly afterward moved to Greene County; for the past ten years has been a resident of Nebraska. All of the children were born in Morgan County. James, the subject of this sketch was born in 1844 and grew up among the surroundings of pioneer life, receiving a liberal education. At the age of nineteen, married Miss Mary Jane Greenwood, daughter of James Greenwood. One year from this date he moved to Nebraska and entered land at one dollar per acre. For three years he remained there, then returning to Morgan County purchased 160 acres of land in Town 14, Range 8; now owns 80 acres; six children: Eddie, Albert, Dora, Ida, Mary and James.
SANSON, Henry, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 35, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Sanson is a native of Lincolnshire, England; born May 18, 1822; in merry England his father tilled the soil, and on the farm Henry became employed when old enough; in his twenty_fifth year he married Miss Amy Fountain. During the year 1851 he left the old country for the new, landing in New York, after a long voyage; and from there he shortly afterward made his way to Albany, Cayuga Co., and there followed the occupation in which so many years of his young life were spent; moving westward to Morgan Co. he first worked for Jacob Strawn, renting property for a number of years from this man, then and afterward prominent in the affairs of county and State; it is highly probable from that source sprang considerable of the knowledge he now has of farming; purchasing part of the farm property where he now lives, in 1865; he afterward added to this, owning at one time 335 acres; he now has under cultivation 219; well and favorably known to the citizens of this county as a man of generous impulses, who keeps pace with the improvements of the country. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sanson, seven of whom are living: Frederick H., Rachel, Ellen, Charles, Fanny, Horace, and Jacob S.
SARGEANT, William, deceased, was born Jan. 1, 1801; his birth_place is rather obscure; his parents were, however, natives of North Carolina, and it is quite probable William was also born there. Removing from North Carolina to the State of Kentucky, he there formed the acquaintance of Christiana Rodgers, whom he afterward married, while still in the flush of early manhood; while a resident of Kentucky he followed farming; in an early day he left the sunny home in the South for the boundless prairies of the West; on his arrival in Illinois, about the year 1830, he first settled in Pike Co. where he remained a number of years, and where his first wife died; by this marriage ten children, nine living: William, Ann M., Elizabeth, Ellen, Caroline, Elmira, Hannah, Christiana, and John. In 1850 Mr. Sargeant was united in marriage to Mrs. Kesiah Seymour, relict of Gramson Seymour. Mrs. Sargeant was a daughter of William Roberts, and a sister of the Hon. Peter Roberts, of this county. Mr. Sargeant became the owner of farm property, and departed this life March 29, 1868; a useful citizen, his death was regretted by a large circle of friends; to the care of a devoted wife he left five children: Miranda, Juliette, Laura A., Katey, and Andrew B. Mrs. Sargeant, from whom this sketch is obtained, resides on her property, comprising fifty_eight acres of valuable land.
SCOTT, Enos, farmer and stock_raiser, Sec. 28, P.O. Franklin. Mr. Scott was born in Somersetshire, England, June 25, 1813. His father, by occupation was a butcher, in comfortable circumstances, who, accompanied by his family, in 1816, emigrated to America, the passage over occupying some six weeks. Remaining in the vicinity of New York through the winter, the spring of the year found them settled on farm property in New Jersey, where the old people passed the remainder of their days. On coming of age, the subject of this sketch married Miss Ann Garrison, a native of New Jersey; two children blessed this union, George and Enos G., who are now residents of Illinois. Mrs. Scott died in 1840. The following year Mr. Scott married Miss Louise Hand, a daughter of Ira Hand, an old resident of New Jersey. In 1855 he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where for ten years he was foreman for a large manufacturing firm; in 1865 he settled in Illinois, where he now has a valuable farm property, and as an agriculturist he takes a front rank. Children by second marriage: Sylvanus, Annie, John, Eveline, and Ensign.
SCOTT, Francis M., farmer, Franklin, son of Jas. and Mary; James was a native of Virginia, Mary, his wife, was born in Kentucky; Francis who heads this notice, was born in Colwell Co., Kentucky, in 1823. His father was by occupation a farmer, who hearing the many glowing accounts of Illinois, in the year 1830 settled in Morgan Co., in the neighborhood of Franklin. When James Scott first arrived in the county his capital consisted of a team of horses, willing hands and great force of character, the prospect before him was anything but flattering. Jacksonville then had but seven small buildings, and Franklin comprised about the same. The following winter the deep snow set in Which will ever be remembered years to come; as the struggles and triumphs of the pioneers of Morgan Co. are fully described in the historical portion of this volume, we now follow the fortunes of Francis Scott. His preliminary education was received was received in log cabins and afterward completed in subscription schools. In 1847, he married Mrs. Burch, daughter of John Wyatt; five children blessed this union: Minerva E., Geo. M., Martha L., Wm. H., and Sarah F. Mr. Scott is one of Franklin’s representative men; his property he acquired by great industry and judgment; having no capital to commence on, a self_made man, he has risen from the ranks to a leading position, and is well and favorably known, whose enterprise is seen in everything worthy of patronage.
SCOTT, George, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Scott was born in Morgan Co., August 23, 1852; his father, Z.P. Scott, was a native of Kentucky; his mother was born in North Carolina; they removed to Morgan Co. in an early period, where the subject of our notice grew up on the farm; educated in the district schools of the period; in his twentieth year he married Miss Georgiana Deatherage, a daughter of Wm. Deatherage, of this county; by this marriage two children: Cora F. born August, 1874, Minnie E. born April 15, 1878
SCOTT, George M., farmer, P.O. Franklin. Son of Francis M. and Sarah Scott, who were among the early pioneers of Morgan Co., where George was born July, 1850, on the old homestead. The children were early instructed in the rudiments of hard work, and when old enough attended the neighborhood school. At twenty years of age Mr. Scott married Miss Martha Easley, of Auburn, Sangamon Co., Ill. By this marriage three children: Adelia P., born March 30, 1872; Curtis E., Dec. 7, 1874; Flossa M., Nov. 10, 1876. For the past twelve years Mr. Scott has been a resident of Franklin, where he owns a comfortable property.
SCOTT, Thomas, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 26, P.O. Waverly. When the tide of emigration first turned westward Thomas Scott, accompanied by his wife, left the scenes of his youth for the fertile State of Illinois. He was born in Wayne County, Kentucky, May 22, 1809. On his venture across the prairies to Illinois he hired out as a teamster, to John Vanwinkle; for a number of weeks he cracked his whip over the slow moving ox team, crossing the Ohio river on a flatboat propelled by paddles. He made his way into Morgan County, settling in the neighborhood of Jacksonville, then a small hamlet where a groceries could be obtained frequently by barter, the enterprising proprietor always glad to see a customer coming. Mr. Scott, for many years rented property as he had no capital. It was some time before he became able to buy. He first purchased 80 acres; at one time Mr. Scott owned some 300 acres, and now owns 250. In 1843 his wife departed this life leaving to his care three children, Wm. H.H., Angeletta and Jas. H., the only one now living. In 1844 he married Miss Clarissa Maxfield; five children, four living: Sarah, Elizabeth J. Chase and Maggie E.
SEEGAR, J. W., molder, now trav. agt. resident of Woodson; son of Samuel and Sarah A., natives of Logan County, Ohio; J.W. was born near West Liberty, Ohio, in 1838; when three years old his parents moved to Union County, Illinois; in 1854, the subject of this sketch moved to Bluestone River, Rocky Mountains; became a trapper and hunter until 1856; thence to Minnesota; was also in Dakota and British America, among the Indians, until 1858; thence to Jacksonville, Morgan County; in 1860, married Elizabeth Landers, a native of Ohio; in 1862, enlisted in Co. I, 101st Regt. Ill. Vol., three years’ service; went safely through the war until the battle of Resaca, Ga., took place; the writer was shown a 32 minni ball that completely destroyed the eyesight of Mr. S.; afterward transferred to Chattanooga; shortly after was home on furlough; went to Quincy; was honorably discharged; Mr. S. when mustered out of the service had no capital; he is to_day in very comfortable circumstances, owing to his surprising energy; in the summer, and sometimes in the winter, he runs a notion wagon, and his terms are most reasonable; he is accompanied by John W., his son.
SELF, James H., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 28, P.O. Woodson, was born in Fayette Co., Ky., April 16, 1814; his father was a farmer in good circumstances; on the farm the days of childhood and youth fled rapidly by; he received a liberal education for the times; at an early day he learned what it was to work, which subsequently produced a spirit of independence and vigor which counted in after years; November, 1831, the family moved from Kentucky to Morgan Co., Ill., locating near Jacksonville; at twenty-four, James Self married Sarah Ann Abram, in Morgan Co., in January, 1839. Mr. Self is now in good circumstances; he came to Illinois with no start in life, but possessed of that energy that distinguishes the pioneer; at this writing, is living in Woodson; children born to them: Thomas M., James E., John W., Nancy Jane, Julia N., George P., Josiah H., Mary E., Sarah S., Cyrus C., Charles J., Susan E.
SELF, Wm. C., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. Jacksonville. Mr. Self’s father died Sept. 14, 1844, leaving a family, consisting of one son and two daughters. Wm. C., the son, eldest of the family, and subject of this sketch was born in Morgan Co., Aug. 24, 1839; he has thus grown up with the county, and one whose interests are strongly identified with its improvements. Married Jan. 1, 1861, to Louisa, daughter of Theo and Hannah Stout, Morgan Co., born June 6, 1841; this union was blessed by one child: John Spencer, born Oct. 20, 1861; his mother dying oct. 1, 1864. Mr. Self married again Nov. 4, 1868, to Mrs. Mary Jane Phillips, daughter of Samuel and Mildred Black, of Morgan Co., born March 9, 1842. Mr. Self has been extensively engaged in stock dealing, but has lately devoted his industries more especially to agricultural pursuits, and the raising of stock. Homestead consists of 200 acres of highly improved land.
SEVIER, J. D., farmer and school teacher, Sec. 30, P.O. Franklin. The above gentleman is the fourth child of Annanias and C. S. Sevier, natives of Tennessee, who emigrated to the West as early as 1830, locating on the same property he has brought to its present improved condition. A gentleman of ability as a farmer, his name will be found elsewhere in this volume. By this marriage thirteen children, nine of whom are living. J. D., who heads this sketch, grew to manhood on the old homestead, and received his preliminary education in district schools, which was afterward completed in the Waverly high school; in this twenty-third year, he married Miss Lizzie Lee Clayton, a daughter of Francis and Phoebe Clayton, natives of Kentucky, and who were among the first to settle in Morgan Co. During the past five years Mr. S. has devoted his time to the duties of the school-room, during the winter season, his farm requiring his attention during the summer; two children: Edith S. born Dec. 22, 1875, Ralph born Sept. 18, 1877.
SEYMOUR, Bird, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 13, P.O. Franklin, the subject of this sketch, was the seventh child of Bird and Sallie Seymour, whose maiden name was Austin; he was born in Morgan Co. in the Autumn of 1849, receiving his education in district schools; at twenty he married Miss Matilda Reese, a daughter of John and Nancy, who were contemporary with the early settlers of old Morgan. The marriage of Mr. S. to Miss Reese was blessed with two children: Edith, born Dec. 1872; Leonard, born June 6, 1875; early developing a surprising energy, Mr. S. at an early age set resolutely to work to provide a home; but twenty-nine years of age, he now owns 110 acres of land, brought to a high state of cultivation; he bids fair to succeed well in life, possessing the many qualities that eventually lead to success.
SEYMOUR, George W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 4, P.O. Franklin, seventh child of John and Elizabeth Seymour, natives of North Carolina, who removed to Illinois in 1829, settling in Morgan Co. on the farm now owned by Robert Seymour. Here George was born in the year 1836; receiving the usual district school education; his first teacher was Miss Cynthia Hobson. When the rebellion came on he enlisted in 1862 in Co. H, 101st Ill. Inf. For three years service, taking the position of second sergeant, but afterward served in the capacity of first sergeant, remaining two years and ten months; serving in the Atlanta campaign, he became engaged in the battles of Mission Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, Peachtree Creek, and other hotly contested battles. On the close of the war, June, 1865, he was honorably discharged at Springfield. Since the close of the war he has followed farming; he married in his twenty-second year, Anna Seymour, a daughter of Bird Seymour, recently deceased. Seven children: Lillie M., John W., Alva F., George N., Henry L., Dolly and Robert Seatie deceased.
SEYMOUR, Henry, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 9, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Seymour was born in Morgan Co. in 1838; his early life spent in the usual manner of the farmer boy; he attended the usual subscription school, where he received his preliminary education in a Webster’s spelling book, his higher classical course of study being a Smith’s arithmetic; arriving at manhood he united his fortunes to Miss Amanda M. Burch; by this marriage five children: Effie, Addie, Anna, John W. and Minnie E. Mr. S. now lives on his farm, comprising 145 acres. For seven years he was township trustee. Courteous to all, he makes many friends.
SEYMOUR, Isom, farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Franklin, oldest son of John and Elizabeth Seymour. The father of the subject of this sketch was a native of South Carolina; his first wife, Elizabeth, born in Morgan Co.; this union was blessed with one child, not now living. Mrs. S. also died many years ago, and was laid at rest in the Criswell Cemetery. Some months after, Mr. S. married Miss Martha Seymour, a sister of his former wife; by this marriage six children, all living. Isom, who heads this sketch, was educated in district schools. At twenty he married Miss Mary R. Duncan, daughter of John and Adeline Duncan. By this marriage, four children, three of whom are now living: Edith E., Edna M., and Margaret.
SEYMOUR, J. P. (picture) farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 22, T. 13, R. 9, P.O. Franklin. His father, Wm. Seymour, deceased, was a native of Person Co., North Carolina; emigrated to Illinois in the Spring of 1831, arriving in Morgan Co. with one horse and five dollars in money, and a family to support. He erected a small log cabin and cleared a few acres of land, but before he had made sufficient money to enter the land, a Mr. Huey “entered him out”. He then entered eighty acres in Sec. 22, T. 13, r. 9, and owned at the time of his death 319 acres. His second son, Samuel, was named as executor of his last will and testament. J. P. Seymour was married to Miss Melissa McNeely, Nov. 27, 1851; six children, five of whom are still living: Evaline, who married Jacob Boyer; Sarah M., Emma C., Charles O., and Wallace E.; Mr. Seymour has adopted J. W. McNeely, his wife’s nephew. He owns eighty acres of fine farming land, and is known, as are all the Seymours, for charity and benevolence; has been chosen supervisor and school director a number of times, always giving satisfaction; enlisted Aug. 12, 1862, in Co. H, 101st Ill. Inf., as a private, following the fortunes of the regiment in all engagements and marches, and was mustered out on the 18th day of June, 1865, after which he returned to Morgan Co. and entered on the duties of farming, which he has followed up to the present day.
SEYMOUR, Jackson, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 11, P.O. Franklin, the subject of this sketch, who is one of our most substantial farmers, was the oldest son of John and Sarah Seymour, who were natives of Person Co., North Carolina, where young Seymour was born, Dec. 9, 1822. Seven years later the family emigrated to Illinois, locating in Morgan Co. It being too late to make a crop, the head of the family, who was of a stirring disposition, worked that winter in the timber, and the following year bought an improved claim on what is now known as Sec. 3, in the vicinity of Providence. That year he raised an average crop; during the winter of 1831, so well remembered by the older inhabitants of this county, the little stock he owned were fed by means of hand sleds drawn over the crust formed on the snow. This remarkable depth of snow is well remembered by Jackson Seymour, and the important events transpiring five years later, known as the sudden change in the weather. This epoch in the county’s history as related by him, came up very suddenly; himself and another boy who were playing in an old shed at the farm when the cold wave came over, were enabled to reach the house inside of half an hour by gliding over the ice formed in that period of time. As related in the general history of this volume, a drizzling rain had set in, the weather quite mild, had rendered the snow slushy, a condition of affairs that caused the water and snow to congeal rapidly. Like all men of enterprise John Seymour accumulated a considerable estate; a man of whom it may be truthfully said, his word was always as good as his bond, made him prominent and respected among the generous people with whom he associated. A distinguishing trait in his character was honesty of purpose, and zeal and energy that overcame every discouragement. He died in 1854, leaving a large estate and considerable personal property. Mrs. Seymour, a true type of a western woman, died many years ago, and in death found a last resting place by the side of her husband. Jackson Seymour, in his twenty-fourth year, married Miss Martha Ann Dalton, a daughter of Isom Dalton, who is well remembered in the early settlement of this county; from a small beginning Mr. S. went rapidly forward to a successful career; he now owns some 521 acres - a fine property, and where every thing is systematically and orderly arranged. The first marriage of Mr. S. was blessed with one child, dying in early infancy. In 1848 Mrs. Seymour died and was laid at rest in the Criswell cemetery. The following year Mr. Seymour was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Dalton, a sister of his first wife; by this marriage six children: Isom, John W., Mary E., Mille A., Edward F. and Julia K., all born in Morgan Co.
SEYMOUR, Jarrett, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Waverly; the above named gentleman comes of a numerous and respectable family, whose sketches will be found elsewhere in this volume. Jarrett was born in Morgan Co. April, 1832, the fifth child of John and Sarah Seymour. Growing to manhood among the hardy back-woodsmen, he necessarily, in a measure, inherited their enterprise and hearty ways; in youth he wended his way to the log cabin where school was kept, and there dived deep into the mysteries of Webster’s spelling book or the New Testament, and many interesting incidents are remembered by him of those merry days. In 1854 he married Miss Hannah Sturgis; by this marriage four children, two of whom are living, Henry and Wilburn. In August, 1861, Mrs. Seymour died, and was laid at rest in Providence Cemetery. In 1863 he married Miss Emeline McCurley, daughter of Ezekel McCurley; five children: Charles, Elizabeth, Julia, Minnie and Thomas.
SEYMOUR, John, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 27, P.O. Franklin, second child of Richardson and Mary Ann Seymour. Richardson was among the early residents of this county, a native of North Carolina, he was among the first to seek a home in the West, becoming a contemporary with the early settlers of Illinois, locating in Morgan Co., where all of his children were born. John, who heads this sketch, was born in 1845; his daily life - the everyday life of the farmer; when old enough he attended to the duties of the farm, attending school during the winter season. At the youthful age of sixteen, when other boys were employed in the school room, possessed of the spirit of ’76, he enlisted in 1862 in Co. H, 101st Ill. Inf. For three years’ service, remaining two years and ten months, engaged in battles: Resaca, Dallas, Peachtree Creek, and many other smaller engagements. In June, 1864, he was honorably discharged at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill. Since the close of the war he has followed the occupation of a farmer. In his twentieth year he married Miss Frances Weatherford, a daughter of James H. and Mary Ann Weatherford, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina. Six children; five living: Barton, born Feb. 17, 1867; Nancy E., born Nov. 1869; Moses, born Oct., 1871; Mary C., born Feb. 22, 1873, and an infant child. Mr. Seymour owns 126 acres of well improved land, and is one of Morgan Co.’s most enterprising citizens; holds office of school director.
SEYMOUR, SAMUEL, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 9, P.O. Franklin. John Seymour, grandfather of Samuel, was born in Person Co., North Carolina, Oct. 11, 1772; he married in his 21st year Miss Agnes Pullan, by whom he had thirteen children, of whom the father of Samuel was the fifth child; he was born in North Carolina April 18th, 1802; he married in 1824, Miss Elizabeth Blackwell, a daughter of Samuel Blackwell; 1831 found the family en route for the west; they settled in Morgan Co., Illinois, in what is known as Hart’s Prairie; he became a successful farmer, and at the time of his decease, which occurred in 1872, he left an estate of 390 acres in one of the most fertile townships of Morgan. Mrs. S., a noble type of a pioneer wife, died in 1838. By this marriage five children: John P., Samuel, Abraham, William and Elizabeth. Samuel was born in Sullivan Co., Tennessee, April 28th, 1831; receiving a liberal education for the times, at 23 he married Miss Catherine Rees, a daughter of John H. Rees. Children living: Wm. S., born in 1858; Catherine, born in 1863; Nancy E., 1867; Samuel B., 1872. Mr. S. owns 200 acres of choice land and is a substantial citizen of this county. His first wife having died in 1842 he married Miss Delilah Rees; one child, Mary, deceased. Mrs. S. died in 1856; in 1860 he was united in marriage to Mrs. Nancy Rees.
SHAFER, Bernhard, farmer, Sec. 4, P.O. Alexander. Mr. Shafer was born in Prussia, Germany, July 29, 1839; Joseph, his father, was a weaver by occupation; this, young Shafer followed in early youth; in 1857 he emigrated to America, landed in Baltimore, Maryland; from there he made his way to St. Louis, thence to Morgan County, where he has since resided; in 1867 he married Miss Mary Linsey, daughter of John Linsey, of Scotland; they have had three children, two deceased, one now living, Kate Lina.
SHARP, Jonathan, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14, P.O. Scottville. There is perhaps but few names in the annals of American history of greater excellence, than the gentleman’s name at the head of this life sketch. George Sharp, grandfather of our patron, settled in Pennsylvania at a period anterior to our dismemberment with the mother country - England; being imbued with a love for freedom, enlisted in the Continental army, and was severely wounded; on the conclusion of peace, moved himself, and family of eleven children, to Tennessee; the arduous and harassing journey was made overland, and their household trappings were stowed away in a covered wagon; the wagon bed was made and constructed after the model of a “mud boat”, hence it was often used on the trip to cross swollen streams. Having lived a few years near the heritage of “Old Hickory” Jackson, moved and settled on “Snake Creek,” near Scottville, Macoupin Co.; died at the advanced age of eighty-five years. The father of our subject, Henry Sharp, accompanied his father through the shifting scenes of his eventful life, as related above. The date of their settlement, 1828, classes the Sharps as a name in the list of the pioneers, whose heroism helped to carve out of a conglomerated mass of uncivilized territory, one of the finest States in the American union. He died in 1863, aged sixty-three years; his devoted wife still lives to recount to the “young settlers”, many reminiscences of the ages past, is sixty-five years old, and very hearty, and lives at Jacksonville. Mr. Sharp was born in Macoupin Co., Nov. 14, 1842; in his young days had a good disposition to be, at his majority, a pedagogue, but cruel fate willed it otherwise, but yet, he is a close student of many works on both ancient and modern history; was married to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Bater, daughter of Christopher Bater, by Rev. James A. Morland. Their children in the order of birth are: Freddie Elmer, born April 4, 1872, died Aug. 4, 1876; Rose Ella Jane, born Jan. 30, 1874; Thomas Andrew, born Feb. 18, 1878. In 1877, Mr. Sharp was elected to the office of precinct constable, receiving the unanimous vote of the precinct; Mr. Sharp is a member of the Baptist Church, and respected by his co-religionists, owns a good farm of 100 acres of good land, worth $6,000.
SHEEHAN, Mary, Mrs., widow Michael Sheehan, Sec. 32, P.O. Woodson. Mrs. Sheehan was born in the County of Kerry, Ireland, in 1830; her parents were Jeremiah and Mary Driscoll; in Ireland and England Mrs. S. resided twelve years; in the year 1850, she was united in marriage to Michael Sheehan; during the Winter of 1859, the family, then consisting of husband, wife, and two children, emigrated to America on the sailing vessel, Mary Foster; they resided in New York during the winter, and in the spring of the year came on to Morgan Co.; in 1875, the husband passed off the stage of life and was laid at rest in the Catholic cemetery of Jacksonville; children living: Margaret Ellen, and Hannah; four deceased.
SHEPLAR, Nicholas, minister of the gospel, P.O. Murrayville. There are perhaps, but few pursuits in life more perplexing to the man of literary work, than the work of writing up individual history, as he has in the language of Manfred, “to enter into a scrutinizing research of man’s descent, diving to the caves of death, * * * *
From withered bones, and skulls, and heap’d up dust.”
The grandfather of our subject was born in Moorefield County, Virginia, and served in Dunmore’s army; moved from his native State, Virginia, at a very early day, settling in Hardin County, Kentucky; his death is mere conjecture, hence we are unable to state any date. Benjamin, father of our subject, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, June 8, 1797; during youth got a moderate knowledge of Webster, from the “pay school;” was married Oct. 16, 1827, to Miss Maria Featherkile, and in 1828 removed to Sec. 13, his present home, and has lived there continuously for forty_seven years; eleven children were born to this union: George, Nicholas, James, Daniel J., John, Richard, Rose Anne, Martha Anne, Minerva, Mary C. and Martha; of these, Minerva, Mary C., John and Martha Anne, are dead; settled on each of his children a fortune of one hundred and twenty acres of land, well improved, and are among the first members of the regular Baptist church; having in Conjunction with Rev. Thornton Shepherd (deceased) organized the first Baptist Church, on “Little Sandy Creek.” The subject of this biography was born April 14, 1833, on Sec. 13, and received a liberal education, and remembers many interesting reminiscences of the pioneer age of the county; during his time, in going to school, the quaint old schoolmaster used to make them study their lessons aloud; this was a relic of the antediluvian age of the world. The school house had for windows, a log cut out, with the door swinging on wooden hinges, and split logs for seats. Venison, wild turkey, and pork were the meats used, with johnnie_cake; this bill of fare was changed whenever the preacher came around, as there was always kept in reserve some wheaten flour, hence the people got to eat biscuits about four times a year. Nicholas, through his own good exertions, acquired much knowledge, which has made him able to enter the field as a preacher of the gospel; was married Jan. 18, 1859, to Miss Mary Coffman, native of Virginia, but the Rev. Thornton Shepherd; have had five children: William, John, Mary C., Laura, and Emily, of those, William and Laura are dead. Mr. Sheplar is one of our most enterprising citizens; owns a small farm, and in company with his brother James, is doing a good business in a “grist mill,” for the accommodation of his neighborhood; his ministry commenced many years ago in Macon County, and is esteemed by all.
SHEPPARD, Alban, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Jacksonville, was born in Morgan Co., Nov. 16, 1831; the father of the boy was Thornton Sheppard, whose name, as a pioneer, appears elsewhere in this volume. Alban Sheppard was early put to work, from the time his head appeared above the plow handles until he grew to maturity; during his boyhood the nearest neighbor lived two or three miles away. Mr. S. is said to be among the first white children born in Morgan Co.; at twenty-two years of age, Feb. 15, 1854, married Miss Sarah F. McAllister, daughter of Robert and Catherine. Mr. S. is now living on his farm of eighty acres, two miles north of Woodson. Eleven children were born to them, all of whom are natural musicians; names of children are: Harriet, Wm. H., J. B., Cyrus A., Mary E., James A., Franklin E., Laura Belle, Eva E., Chas. A., and Elsie May.
SHEPPARD, Cyrus W. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 30, P.O. Woodson. Mr. Sheppard was born on the old homestead of his father in Morgan Co. His young mind first became enlightened in the common log school house of the times; he afterward attended school in a frame structure known as the home school house; in 1865, was united in the bonds of matrimony with Arethusa Jane McAlister, who was also born in Morgan Co., Aug. 8, 1846. Mr. Sheppard owns 120 acres of land; for three years held the office of school director; one child living: Henry Taylor.
SHEPPARD, J. J. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P.O. Jacksonville; parents were Thornton and Ellinor Sheppard, who settled in Morgan Co. as early as 1830; the subject of this sketch was born in Adair Co., Ky., Sept. 10, 1827; when the family settled in Morgan Co. hundreds of deer roamed the prairie, and wild turkey and wild game of every description abounded; they came to the county with an ox team. Thornton Sheppard is described as a man of great energy, one of the pioneer ministers of the county, and an intimate friend of Peter Cartwright, the celebrated pioneer preacher; after a life of hardship and toil, rewarded by the acquisition of property, he passed away but a few years ago. J. J. Sheppard, at twenty-seven, married Mary E. Coffman, daughter of Abraham Coffman, a millwright by occupation. Mr. S. states that in his boyhood there was no school fund, and he got his schooling as best he could; relates that the clothing of children were wove by the pioneer mothers. Mr. Sheppard is one of the prominent wealthy men of Morgan Co.; commencing with no capital save the immense will of the pioneer, today he owns some 700 acres, 20 horses, 100 cattle, 100 sheep, etc. etc. Ten children living: Geo. W., John S., Irving D., Alice R., Sylvester, McClellan, Emeline, Luther, Clara and Lucy.
SHEPPARD, John B. farmer and stock raiser, Woodson, son of Lewis J. and Nancy Sheppard; father, native of Kentucky; mother, of North Carolina. John was born on his father’s farm in Morgan Co., May 8, 1838, when twelve years old, his father died; at sixteen his mother departed this life; he then lived with his oldest brother three years; his education was received in district schools; in 1859, married Miss Elizabeth L. Shelton, daughter of Thompson R. and Ellinor; in 1872, moved to Woodson; same year elected constable; re-elected in 1874; served four years - six years in all; Autumn of 1877, elected justice of the peace. Two adopted children: Francis Henry and Mamie Agnes, formerly Belmore.
SHEPPARD, Wm. W. farmer and stock-raiser, Sec. 3, P.O. Orleans, is the oldest son of Wm. S. and Jane L. Sheppard. William was born in Kentucky, and Jane, his wife, was born in East Tennessee; they were married in Ohio, where their parents had removed before they came of age. From his father William inherited a moderate estate; he became a farmer in the vicinity of Winchester, and here the subject of this sketch was born May 5, 1827; at the age of 13, in the year 1842, the family moved to the West and settled first in Livingston Co., became residents of LaSalle Co. one year, and from there made their way to Morgan Co. and settled on a farm of eighty acres; here William W. grew to manhood, receiving a liberal education. In 1852 he marries Miss S. M. Simpson, who was a daughter of Samuel Simpson, a native of Southampton, England, a watchmaker and jeweler by profession, who afterward followed the same occupation on his arrival in America; in his vocation he had but few equals and perhaps no superior in America. From his boyhood Mr. Sheppard followed the occupation in which he is quite successful; for many years has been extensively engaged as a cattle dealer in the St. Louis market; is now living on his farm, comprising 230 acres of well drained land, on which he has a beautiful farm residence. His father, now upward of seventy-four years, resides with him. George, a younger brother of Mr. Sheppard, enlisted in Montgomery Co. in the Fall of 1862 for three years service, until the close of the war; was in many important battles; honorably discharged at its close. The union of Mr. Sheppard to Miss Simpson was blessed with five children, two of whom are living.
SIERER, J. S., prop., Sandy n Square. Transient rates $1.00 per day. Mr. S. was born in Cumberland Co., Pa., September 15, 1826, and came to Jacksonville December 16, 1849; was elected sheriff of Morgan Co. in the Fall of 1868; was married July 23, 1854, to Miss Margaretta Black, also of Cumberland Co., Pa., where she was born March 31, 1834. Mr. S. has only recently opened this hotel, which was formerly known as the “Commercial.” The fathers of both Mr. and Mrs. Sierer were both well known hotel men in the East, where they acquired a knowledge of the business.
SILCOX, James H., farmer, Sec. 23, P.O. Concord; was born in Jacksonville, Nov. 26, 1834; married, Jan. 18, 1857, to Miss Elizabeth C. Gish, born in Iowa, May 26, 1843; had eight children: David Henry, July 2, 1858, died 1862; Charles Franklin, Oct. 25, 1862; William Edward, Nov. 23, 1864; Robert Lincoln, Jan. 24, 1866; Jane Isabelle, Oct. 18, 1868; Chester Florence, Feb. 28, 1871; Lilly May, Jan. 14, 1875; James Henry, Feb. 4, 1878; from seventeen to twenty_eight years of age he was working by the month; then commenced trading horses and cattle, and during the war bought his present place, having made it out of his trading; in 1874, Frank Roberts, James Snyder, and himself built a mill; in 1875 he and Snyder bought out Roberts, and in 1876 he bought the whole interest, making money in it till it was burned down; during the war he was deputy provost marshal at Beardstown
SIMKINS, Geo., retired farmer, Sec. 23, P.O. Jacksonville, born in Yorkshire, England, March 14, 1809; parents, Thomas and Fannie; in England was foreman on a farm. In 1849, to better his fortunes, he stepped on board a sailing vessel bound for America; the voyage proved tempestuous, the vessel, at one time, being driven near the coast of Greenland, and the passengers suffering from the intense cold. In due time he settled in Morgan Co., having no capital to give him a start, but a strong will. As the years went by he accumulated property; now owns 100 acres. Wife was Mary Becraft; they were married in England. Children living: Thomas, born March 30, 1837; George, April 28, 1840; Frances, April 11, 1842. George Simkins, Jr., married Sarah Delaney, daughter of William and Polly Delaney, Feb. 23, 1864; two children: Mary Alice, Born Dec. 12, 1864, died Sept. 7, 1865; Laura May, March 8, 1866. At the breaking out of the rebellion George enlisted at Jacksonville, in Co. K, 27th Ill. Inf.; three years’ service; the battle of Belmont, and other engagements; was honorably discharged at camp Big Springs, Missouri, on account of general disability, and returned to Morgan Co.
SIMPSON, T. T., farmer, Sec. 5, P.O. Jacksonville, born in Jefferson Co., Iowa, in 1847; settled in Morgan Co. in 1875; was in the civil war for two years; enlisted in the 4th Iowa V.C.; married in 1876, to Miss Jennie McConnell, of this county.
SIMS, Austin, a resident of Morgan Co. for over half a century, was born in South Carolina Sept. 6, 1790. His father, also named Austin, was a native of North Carolina, and there married Miss Nancy Farmer; of twelve children born of this marriage, the subject of this sketch was the third child; in his ninth year his parents moved to Kentucky, where he married, in 1810, Miss Jennie Nevins, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of Robert Nevins; in 1817, accompanied by his wife and two children, he made his way to Madison Co., Ill., where he remained a resident ten years, when he moved to Morgan Co., then in its infancy, and where the pioneer worked hard for the absolute necessities of life. The first wife of Mr. S. died in Morgan Co. Oct. 22, 1851; by this marriage six children grown to maturity; Silas, Elizabeth, John, Robert, Joel H., and Mary. March 6, 1853 Mr. S. was married to Miss Patsy Anderson, who has resided in Morgan Co. fifty_two years. We here append a short biography of Robert Sims, fourth child of Austin, who is well remembered by the citizens of this county for his many good qualities of mind and heart,; born in Madison Co., Ill., in 1823, he grew up in Morgan Co., where his parents moved in 1827; he there united his fortunes to Miss Amanda Campbell, a daughter of Wm. Campbell; by this marriage two children: William, born in 1848 (married Miss Harriet R. Allan, a daughter Thomas B. Allen, of Macoupin Co.; three children, Robert and Edward, living), John J., a patron of this work, was born April 22, 1850, and married, in 1872, Miss Martha Alderson; two children, Albert and Henry. Austin Sims, whose name heads this sketch, is a living witness of the vast changes made in Illinois, has spent fifty_six years of his life in the ministry, and is widely known for his many Christian virtues. Robert Sims died Jan. 15, 1851
SIMS, Lewis, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 19, P.O. Prentice. The subject of this sketch is the oldest son of W. W. Sims, who was born in Kentucky, in 1810; was one of the first settlers of Morgan Co., and who married in this county in 1833 Miss Mary Hall, the marriage ceremony taking place in a brick dwelling erected by Aquilla Hall in 1820; it was said at that day to be among the most substantial buildings between Morgan Co. and St. Louis; Lewis, who heads this sketch was born in Morgan Co., July 8, 1836; at an early age he embarked in the stock business, in which he evinced much talent, and placed himself on an equal footing with John T. Alexander, Jacob Strawn, and others; in 1865 Mr. Lewis was married to Miss Lizzie Welch, a daughter of Hamlin Welch, a resident of Jacksonville; by this marriage two children, Van W. and Felix G.; Mr. Sims owns 196 acres, a valuable property.
SLACK, Wm. A., farmer and stockraiser, Sec. 24, P.O. Franklin, was born in Renthem Mass., Aug. 11, 1833, where the family for three generations had settled. It is supposed the grandmother of the subject of this notice wove the first cotton cloth on a power loom in Massachusetts. In the Spring of 1857 the family moved to Chicago, Ill., with the exception of William, who came the following summer, and there worked at his trade - carpenter and joiner securing employment on McVicker’s Theater. The following year he located at Jacksonville, Ill., and worked on the Illinois Hospital for the Insane. On the 8th of September, 1859, he was united in marriage to Mary S. E. Clayton, daughter of Wm. C. Clayton, one of the earliest settlers of Morgan Co., whose name appears in the historical portion of this work; three children blessed the union, two of whom are living, Mary Belle and William Henry; Hiram, deceased. The writer was shown a mortar, probably used for medicinal purposes, and made of lignum vitae, that came over in the Mayflower, and has been handed down from generation to generation. Charles Thompson, the great grandfather of William A. was chaplain in Washington’s army during the Revolution, where Gen. Washington frequently attended the services held on the field; both husband and wife formed a cordial friendship with Gen. Washington, who was a frequent visitor at their fireside. Two mirrors and two large high-backed old-fashioned chairs were given by Mrs. Washington to Mrs. Thompson; they are still in possession of relatives who reside in the East.
SLAUGHTER, Silas G., farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Murrayville. Son of John W. and Elizabeth Slaughter, natives of Pennsylvania, was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, Aug. 9, 1828; his life has been identified with the interests of his native soil until 1849, when he moved and settled here; during his early years his chances to secure the benefits of a sound education were meagre, and the whole number of days spent at school did not amount to six months. Little Silas’ tutor was a bright genius of the Emerald Isle _ Christopher McNamara; this astute pedagogue had it as the fundamental law of his school, that the little “buckskins” could fight out their quarrels in the school room, any time only “during time of books;” this would in this age, be barbarism. Was married to Miss Mary Ellen Reaugh, daughter of Samuel Q. Reaugh, and Phoebe Taylor, of Kentucky. Has had by this union two children: John Samuel (deceased) born April 3, 1857; Charles A., born Feb. 21, 1859. At the time of Morgan County Regiment (One Hundred and First) was raised, enlisted in Co. F _ Captain Fanning’s company, and followed the fortunes of that brave organization in the camp, and field, participating in the battles of “Rocky Face,” Dallas, Altoona, Marietta, Big Shanty, Peach Tree Creek, and the inve tment of Atlanta; here his services ceased, by reason of sickness, and was sent thence to the general hospital, at Quincy, Illinois; was discharged June 6, 1865, by reason of general disability; returning to the shades of civil life, has since directed his attention to the building up of his business; is a faithful Christian; the family belonging to the Presbyterian Church; owns one hundred acres of land, worth $5,000
SMETTERS, M. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. Waverly. Mr. Smetters was the second child of Daniel and Maria Smetters, natives of Pennsylvania; he was born in Fairfield Co., Ohio, during the early settlement of that State, where they remained for many years; in 1843 the family settled in Morgan Co. where they remained seven years, and then moved to Sangamon Co., settling at Island Grove; one year later he moved to Lick Creek, where he died in 1862; here also were passed the last days of his wife, who died in 1872. Michael, who heads this sketch and who became prominent as a farmer, in Lavini township, Sangamon Co., like many of our enterprising western men, commenced life with but few advantages. The first money he saved as a farm laborer, at nine dollars per month; he thus spent about three years, then renting four years, at the end of that time he made a purchase of eighty acres; here he made his home until his removal to Morgan Co., the farm property bought in Sangamon Co. consisting of 240 acres of valuable land. In closing this brief sketch, we can say of Mr. S. personally, that, as an honest man, he stands high in the estimation of his many friends. March 7, 1867, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy A., daughter of John and Jane (Lockridge) McCormick, by whom he has three children: John L. born July 16, 1870-; Samuel T. born Sept. 12, 1872; and Noah M. born 1877. Mrs. S. is a lady of refinement and liberally educated, and for twelve years prior to marriage taught school, for many years near Waverly; the ancestry of Mrs. Smetters were McCormicks; her grandfather, James McCormick, was a gunsmith during the Revolution, and among the first settlers of Kentucky; Mr. Smetters is the owner of a handsome residence near Waverly, where he now lives.
SMITH, A. M. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 35, P.O. Murrayville, son of S. K. and Catherine Smith, natives of Tennessee; in the town of Jasper young Smith was born and grew to maturity, receiving a liberal education; at twenty-one he turned his attention to farming; in 1853, he married Miss Martha Underwood, a native of Tennessee; in 1854, he moved to Macoupin Co., where he resided twelve years; in 1865, he came to Morgan, and first rented property of Greenup Henry; in 1877, he purchased 100 acres of land; owns town property in Mount Vernon; in 1864, Mrs. Smith died; same year he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Henry. By first marriage, three children: James Marion, Margaret L., and Sarah. By second marriage: Rachel E., and Leah E.
SMITH, Geo. Farmer and stock-raiser, Sec. 28, P.O. Woodson. The gentleman who heads this sketch was the son of John and Dulcina Smith. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, who moved from there to Kentucky; there married about 1820; he moved to Lawrence Co., Ill., there the subject of our sketch was born. When four years old his parents moved to Morgan Co., and settled near Jacksonville on government land. At that date Jacksonville consisted principally of a store and tavern. In those days there were no school funds, the schools being supported by subscription, the seat of learning being a log cabin. In 1845, he was married to Miss Celia Hatcher. Mr. S. has held the office of school trustee, school director, etc. At this writing is living on his farm, and is the owner of 208 acres. Four children: John R., Francis M., Sarah, and Amelia.
SMITH, John W. farmer and stock raiser, Secs. 9 and 10, P.O. Franklin; his father, John Smith, married Miss Hannah Wilson, in Scarborough, England, and emigrated to America in 1848; from New Orleans he made his way to Morgan Co. where he first rented land of James Ward; in 1851 Mr. Smith died and was laid at rest near St. Clair. At 18 the subject of this sketch entered the Whipple Academy of Jacksonville. The following year he became a school teacher which he has successfully followed up to the present time in the winter season, working his farm in the summer, owning 115 acres. Sept. 21, 1876, he was married to Miss Ella Keplinger, daughter of Samuel Keplinger; one child, Gracie, born April 14, 1878.
SMITH, Joseph T. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 5, P.O. Jacksonville; born in Hartford, Conn., May 22, 1814, and removed to this country in the Fall of 1844; he is one, therefore, whose interests are closely identified with its growth and improvements; married in Connecticut, May 3, 1837, to Harriet M., daughter of Erastus and Sarah B. Lathrop, of Ashford, Conn., born March 12, 1818; this union has been blessed by five children: George C., born May 13, 1842; Julia M., born May 1, 1844, died Dec. 17, 1845; Arthur L., born April 12, 1847, died Sept. 7, 1872; Joseph Clarance, born Sept. 28, 1849, and Charles H., born Jan. 24, 1852; Mr. Smith, since coming to this State, has devoted his industries solely to agricultural pursuits; homestead consists of 255 acres beautifully located and highly improved land.
SMITH, Samuel, retired farmer. Mr. S. was the fourth child of Jesse and Elizabeth Smith, he was born in Wilks Co., North Carolina, January, 1803; autumn of same year parents moved to Kentucky, where they remained during life. In 1823, the subject of this sketch married Dorothy Hull, of Tennessee. For ten years he lived in Kentucky; occupation, farmer; at the end of ten years moved to Morgan and settled ten miles south of Jacksonville, to what was called then Brown’s Point; there bought twenty acres of land at $1.25 per acre; selling this he went to Macoupin Co., and there in time acquired two hundred acres; resided there fifteen years, but Morgan Co. seems to have been his center of attraction, for at the end of this time he moved back, and is now a resident of Franklin. He is the father of six children, all living: Vienna, who first married Lemuel Bristow, after his decease married Wyckoff Poling; Lucinda, who married J. M. Coons, of Franklin; Elizabeth E., who married J. P. Smith, of Kentucky; J. H., who married Miss Hattie Gregory, of Scottville, Ill.; W. A., who remains unmarried, and D. G. who is a physician, well and favorably known in Franklin, and who married Miss M. J. Thompson; three children living: C. W., Katy, and Fred; Myrtle and Stella, deceased.
SMITH, W. A., farmer, Sec. 7, P.O. Jacksonville; was born in Morgan County Sept. 9, 1839; parents were James P. and Amanda M., who were natives of Kentucky. James P. was born in the year 1806, and his wife in 1816; in 1844, they both passed off the stage of life. W. A. was then quite young, and many years of his life afterward were years of hardship; besides himself there were three other children of tender years, whose names in order of birth are: Jessie J., John A., and James H.; for a number of years the children lived with grandparents. Wm. A. married Lydia A. Riggs, daughter of Henry L. and Mary, pioneers of Morgan County; Henry was a native of Tennessee, and his wife was born in Knox Co., Ill., where her parents moved from to Morgan County when she was quite young. Four children blessed the union of W. A. & Lydia Smith, whose names are: Laura M., Fanny A., Amanda M., and James H.
SMITH, Wiley, farmer, Sec. 14, P.O. Arcadia; born in Tennessee, Oct. 30, 1828; married Sept. 29, 1859, to Miss Jane Standley, born in Morgan Co., Dec. 15, 1840; had five children: Mary Catherine, Sept. 3, 1861; an infant, Oct. 30, 1866, died in infancy; Esther Rosetta, April 4, 1869; Charles H., Nov. 9, 1872; Clarinda O., April 9, 1877; his father came here in 1834, was taken sick, and was on a sick bed for eight years, consequently he had to plow with what was called the Carey plow, when but seven years old; they, like all the old settlers, came here without any money, and he worked as hard as any grown man, from early boyhood, but by dint of perseverance and courage, has become independent; is one of the “self-made men” of the times; in 1860 he bought his present place of 115 acres; he has been two terms supervisor of roads, and was elected April (1877) school director of District No. 1; politically he has always been a Democrat; his father was born in S. Carolina 1805, and died here May 24, 1875; his mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Moss, who was born in 1806; died here May 23, 1874.
SMITH, William, farmer, Sec. 24, P.O. Jacksonville; born in Wilson County, Kentucky, Dec. 11, 1814; married Sept. 9, 1843, to Sarah Ann Vanderbilt; had one child, James A., born Sept. 6, 1845; his wife died the same year, at the age of 20; married again Sept. 9, 1852, to Mrs. Nancy Ratliff; her maiden name was Rubart; born Aug. 11, 1825, in Sangamon County; had eight children: Elizabeth, born March 5, 1855, died 1873; Sarah Allen, Aug. 17, 1858, now Mrs. F. Long; Douglas, Aug. 16, 1861; Catharine, Oct. 27, 1863, died in 1867; Nancy Ann, Aug. 29, 1866, died Aug. 22, 1869; his parents moved to Missouri in 1826; he came to this county in 1836; he here learned the house carpenter trade, and worked at it in Cass, Morgan, Brown, and some in Scott Co.; the last carpentering he did was in 1849, in Brown County, then bought a farm near Concord and commenced farming, which he has followed since then; Mr. Smith joined the M.E. church at Concord in 1842; in 1860 he joined the Methodist P. church, and has been an active member of that church since; Mr. Smith has been school director for 20 years, and is at present school director of Dist. No. 1; since the Murphy movement he has taken an active interest in it, and holds the position of chaplain in Dist. No. 1.
SOOY, Charles E., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 2, P.O. Murrayville. Son of David Sooy and Catherine Reaugh; during the early years of his youth, attended to district school, his first teacher was Miss Maggie Rannells, prosecuted his studies with zeal, passing from the district school, finishing his education at the Normal High School, Bloomington, Illinois; having acquired the elements of a good education, he soon struck out on his “own hook,” was married Nov. 3, 1875, to Miss Sarah A. Anderson, daughter of James W. and Mary Anderson, Rev. W.P. Hart officiating; as first fruits of this union, Maria C., was born Nov. 30, 1876. The subject of these lines has lived continuously in the same neighborhood since infancy; at an early age united with the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a respected member, a good citizen, a kind father, and an indulgent husband.
SOOY, Hamilton, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 16, P.O. Murrayville. Son of Samuel and Susan Sooy, natives of New Jersey; emigrated to Warren County, Ohio, in 1832; here the family stayed until 1840, then moved and settled on Sec. 2, Morgan County, Hamilton did not accompany his father and David, but followed them two years later; during their residence in Warren County, the wife and mother died, aged 36; and subsequently, the father’s demise occurred fifteen days after his settling on Sec. 2; was buried in the Anderson graveyard; aged 66; Hamilton Sooy was born Sept. 11, 1830, in New Jersey, and endured the vicissitudes and privations that was the pioneer’s reward in the days gone by; having joined his father and brother David, in 1842, turned his whole attention to building up the ancient landmarks of the early civilization _ a rude log cabin; Mr. S. says he very distinctly remembers when the country averaged only about two houses to the section of land, and that prairie fires were a plague to the frontiersman; that to help put out the prairie flames was a herculean task, as they were terrible in their fiery flight. The education of little Hamilton commenced at the age of six years; his first teacher was Miss Ruth Anne Gauze; the next term of six months was under the rod of one of the sterner six; at the age of seventeen years, gave up the school room to give his whole attention to enhancing the new home in the West; on March 12, 1855, married Miss Margaret Frances Reaugh, daughter of Samuel Q. and Phoebe Reaugh, by the Rev. Mr. Newell, of “Unity” Presbyterian Church; the children born to this marriage are: Charles Granville, Dec. 31, 1855; Martha A., Feb. 25, 1857; Mary S., March 14, 1859 died March 26, 1862; Clara I., born March 20, 1861; W. Thomas, May 21, 1863; John D., Aug. 28, 1865; George O., Aug. 6, 1867; Ciarinda E., Aug. 16, 1870; Samuel F., March 23, 1873; Martha A., married John W. Fanning; for many years served the people as road supervisor, and school director; subsequently, in 1872, was elected on the Board of Road Commissioners, and served honorably until succeeded by his successor; in 1871, identified himself with Unity Presbyterian Church; his wife has belonged to same church since her early girlhood; owns one hundred and sixteen acres of land, and is universally respected.
SORRELLS, David H., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 20, P.O. Woodson; was born in Greene Co., Ill., Jan. 19, 1842; while young his parents moved to Morgan County, settling near Jacksonville; on a farm here he grew up, and received a liberal education; at twenty years of age, at the breaking out of the rebellion, he enlisted in Co. B, 10th Ill. Infty., for three years’ service; he was mustered into the service at Cairo, Ill., July, 1861; went to the front in August; became a participant in the battles of Chickamauga, Pittsburg Landing, and many other severe engagements; at Rossville, Ga., he re-enlisted as a veteran under Sherman; was in the grand review held at Washington, D.C., after the close of the rebellion; he was then sent to Louisville, Ky., and shortly after to Chicago, where he was honorably discharged July, 1865; he then returned to Morgan County, and the same year married Miss G. A. Finch; three children were born to this union; Hiram W., Oliver V., and Lillie Belle.
SORRELLS, John Monroe, Sec. 7, P.O. Murrayville, son of Peter and Sarah Sorrells; the grandfather of the gentleman whose life we write, settled here long before the deep snow; a sketch of his eventful life will appear elsewhere in this work. Mr. Sorrells was born Nov. 29, 1856, in Greene County, this State; in youth attended the district school, and gained a decent knowledge of Webster; was married at the age of twenty, to Miss Sarah S. Brisendine, daughter of Green and Sarah H. Brisendine, on Nov. 30, 1876, by the Rev. Charles N. McEvers; one child blesses the union, Arthur Dewey, born Dec. 19, 1877; since Mr. Sorrells has assumed the responsibilities of the husband and father, has met the requirements of life with a determination to win his way to fortune, is a young man of sterling worth and beloved by all.
SORRELLS, Joseph, farmer and stock raiser, Secs. 28 and 29, P.O. Woodson, son of Hiram and Mahala Sorrells. Joseph was born in Greenbriar Co., Ind.; moved from there with parents at the age three years; when old enough he attended the district schools; June 25, 1858, married Miss Mary Sullens, who died February, 1861, leaving two children, Newton and Harriet A. In 1864, Mr. Sorrells entered the army, enlisting in Co. B, 10th Ill., Infty, under Capt. Shaw, at Mt. Sterling, Brown Co., Ill.; mustered into the service at Springfield, and served through the Georgia campaign; July 11, 1865, honorably discharged at Chicago, and returned to Morgan County; owns 80 acres of land; Nov. 22, 1865, married Louisa Smith, of Coles County; second marriage, four children; Edgar, Minnie B., Herman, and Earnest.
SPALDING, Horace A., public teacher in former years, but now a resident of Township 16 Range 9; is a native of Vermont, born in 1802. His father, Wright Spalding, a native of Connecticut, moved with his family to New York in 1807, and there followed farming. The subject of this sketch remained on the farm up to his seventeenth year; liberally educated, he then became a teacher, pursuing this vocation until he attained his thirty_fifth year, when he came to Morgan County, and taught school for a number of years in Jacksonville. In 1826, Mr. Spalding married Miss Elvira M. Ladd, a native of Haverall, N.H.; this marriage was blessed with two children: Wm. Wright (not living), Martha Louisa, married Samuel Jumper, a farmer and resident of this township; children born of this marriage: Natie L., Edward A., John A., Sarah E., George, Frank, and Alice C., last named not living. Mr. S. has also one adopted daughter, Harriet, who married Morris Laupher, now living in St. Paul, Minn.
SPENCER, Benjamin F., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 31, P.O. Murrayville. Son of William S. and Berthinia Spencer, natives of Indiana; emigrated to Morgan County at a time when the county was sparsely settled; were contemporary settlers with the Gunns, Wrights, and Fannings, of “Pepper hill,” and at the time the “old court house” was built at Jacksonville, Uncle Billy sawed the lumber that went into its construction, with a whipsaw. Benjamin F. was born on Sec. 31, Feb. 21, 1845; when eight years old commenced to attend the district school, which institution during the progress of time, became a modernized frame building; having attended school until eighteen years old, when the responsibilities of his father’s home required Frank’s helping hand; was married to Miss Mary C. Payton, daughter of James and Thankful Payton, Sept. 14, 1864, by the Rev. Alick Gunn, of Zion M. E. Church; Mrs. Spencer was born in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, Feb. 4, 1846; the fruits of their marriage were: Linzeta C., born Feb. 1, 1866; John H., Nov. 1, 1867; Thankful J. Feb. 24, 1870; William F. Feb. 17, 1872; Berthinia A., Feb. 16, 1874; Isaiah, May 28, 1876. During the civil war, enlisted in September, 1862, in Co. I. (Captain Lightfoot) One Hundred and First Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and followed the fortunes of that veteran regiment, in field and camp, to Holly Springs, Mississippi; having contracted a camp fever, was sent back to Benton Barracks, Missouri, for treatment, and was honorably discharged in June, 1863, for “disability;” returning to the avocation of civil life, has done much to build up society; Mr. and Mrs. Spencer are good members of Zion Church, and are respected by all.
SPENCER, George, w. farmer, Sec. 7, P.O. Murrayville, Son of W. S. Spencer, native of Indiana; the father of the gentleman at the head of this biography, settled in Morgan County at a very remote period, and was a contemporary settler with the Rearicks, ‘Squire Holliday, and Wrights; he sawed the lumber that was used in the construction of the “old court house,” with a “whip saw”; has lived to see much of the early life of the long ago, prior to the “deep snow,” and is now a retired farmer, and resides in Murrayville, this county. The gentleman whose history we are engaged in writing up, was born in Morgan County, March 9, 1844; George W.’s father was a farmer, and this accustomed him to the toil and labor on the farm, he had much taste for books, and during the winter months, applied his thoughts to the gaining of a good English education; when the nation’s life was in jeopardy, threatened as it was by rebel hordes, George like a true American citizen, rushed to its rescue, by enlisting March 23, 1865, in Co. E, 58th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and followed the weal and woe of that veteran regiment to the end of the war; was discharged at Montgomery, Ala., March 23, 1866; attended for two terms the Murrayville High School, under Mr. Charles Fish, thus finishing his studies; was married Dec. 10, 1867, to Miss Matilda Jane Fanning, daughter of Sampson Fanning, by Rev. A. S. Gunn; have had by this union, two children: Lyman Lurton, and Murtey Lee; Mr. Spencer being endowed with much go-a-headiveness, has been re-elected to the office of constable for four consecutive terms, and is a prince among the boys.
SPENCER, Major, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 31, P.O. Manchester, Scott County. Son of Elisha and Nancy Spencer, natives of North Carolina. In 1822, moved from the “Sunny South” to Lawrence County, this State; in 1826, moved to Martin’s prairie, Greene County; in 1838, settled on a quarter section in section 31; their first domicile was of logs, and the furniture was made out of clapboards and slabs; Major was born in Lawrence County, June 22, 1824, and endured in his early boyhood the hardships incident to the early days of the long ago; when seven years old, went to school to a worthy gentleman named John Burton; as education was not a prerequisite to getting land, little Major had to turn his attention to the work of helping to reclaim the home in the western wilds; on Feb. 20, 1844, married Miss Nancy J. Duncan, daughter of Greenup and Tomison Duncan, ‘Squire Ned Wyatt pronouncing them of “one flesh;” the children to this marriage are: Lucy A., born Jan. 5, 1845, died Aug. 29, 1845; Elizabeth T., born Sept. 9, 1846; Sarah J., March 1, 1849; Henry M., Oct. 3, 1850; infant son born and died May 29, 11852; Major L., April 18, 1854; Greenup, March 17, 1856; Maria O., July 27, 1858; Philip F., June 22, 1860; Elizabeth married Louis Herron, Sarah J. married Carroll Gilmore, Henry M. Virginia Barnett, and M. L. to Mary Moore; is a zealous member of the Baptist Church; owns 144 acres of good land, worth $7,000.
SPIRES, JAMES S. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 9, P.O. Franklin. The subject of this sketch was the fourth child of William and Elsie Spires, natives of Kentucky, and there followed farming; about 1830, hearing of the many advantages of the west, Mr. S. determined to try the prairies of Illinois; on arrival in the State he settled in what is now 13-9, on the farm now owned by W. T. Spires; like all settlers he commenced life with but little, but his wants were few and easily satisfied; living in his log cabin he worked hard for the necessaries of life; money was a rarity, goods being frequently obtained by barter. Some twelve years after his settlement the husband died leaving to the care of his wife twelve children: Wm. B., who died in California; John C., Sarah E., and James S., who married Martha H. Reed, a daughter of Martin Reed; by this marriage, four children: James Wm., Francis M., Florence C., and Sarah M.; Mr. S. owns 160 acres of land; a generous man of a kindly disposition, he is well thought of by all.
SPIRES, JOHN, farmer and stock raiser, Secs. 32 and 33, P.O. Franklin. Mr. Spires was born in North Carolina, in 1798, but passed many years of his life in Kentucky; married Miss Susan Leech in 1819; when emigration turned westward he gathered together his household goods and started overland in a covered wagon, crossing the Wabash and passing Vandalia, he made his way into Illinois and settled on the farm he now owns; the family first took up their abode in a small dilapidated cabin; they afterward built a small frame house; the following year after their settlement in Illinois, Mrs. Spires died, leaving a family of four children, the youngest but a few months old; the following year, married Miss Melinda M. Sturgis; nine children by first marriage: William T., Phoebe Jane, deceased; Polly Ann and Sallie, deceased; by second marriage, living: John R., James B., Henry D., Anna, and Harvey.
SPIRES, JOHN C. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 17, P.O. Youngblood. Mr. S. was born in Morgan Co., November, 1830. The father of John was one of the first settlers in this county; we here append a short sketch of his life; He was born in Kentucky; there he followed farming, marrying in Kentucky Miss Elsie Smith. As near as can now be ascertained, he set out from the famous State of “Old Kentuck,” for the far West, in 1826, accompanied by his wife and one child, William B., who, on attaining his majority, went to California, where he afterward died. The family, on arrival in Morgan Co., located on the property now owned by W. T. Spires. Erecting a cabin, the head of the family prepared to do battle with the stubborn prairie. Like nearly all emigrants, he first entered land; afterward he became enabled to buy. He died in 1845, and left an estate of 160 acres. His wife died in the Spring of the year 1841. He married again, but died shortly after, as before stated. The children thus left, remained together several years. John C. was educated in district schools and, grew to manhood. In 1853, he concluded to follow the gold-hunters to the Pacific slope. In a good stout wagon, drawn by three yoke of oxen, he made the usual long trip, starting in March. He did not reach the coast until August of the same year. For seven years he roughed it in the mines of California, and then concluded to return to the scenes of his youthful days, and settled down to a quiet farm life January, 1861. He married Julia A. McCurley, a daughter of Ezekiel McCurley. By this marriage six children, five living: William F., Amanda J., Susan M., James A., and Nellie; Maggie (deceased). Mr. S., by the exercise of economy and judgment, owns 227 acres; a public-spirited man, liberal toward public improvements, he has the respect and confidence of the community in which he lives.
SPIRES, W. T., Sr. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 17, P.O. Youngblood. Was born in Lincoln Co., Ky., Dec. 26, 1822. John Spires, father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, moved from Kentucky, and landed in Morgan Co. November, 1831, where he settled in Sec. 33, Town. 14, R.9. Mr. Spires worked for his father through the summer, and attended subscription school in winter, until he was 21 years of age, when he concluded to farm for himself; accordingly, he married Margaret R., daughter of Martin and Sallie Reed. Mr. Spires lived on his father’s farm for three years then moved to a farm belonging to Martin Reed, situated in Youngblood Prairie. Here he lived three years, and finally purchased a small farm, which he paid for by working hard, not alone on his own land, but when the time could be spared from it, working for his neighbors at fifty cents per day, or splitting rails at forty-five cents per hundred. Mr. Spires now owns 433 acres of land. He has been assisted no little in his struggle for a home by one of the best and most energetic wives in the county. Eleven children have blessed Mr. Spires’ union with Miss Reed, ten of whom are still living: John, who married Miss Mary Neece; William T., who married Maria Deere; Sarah M., who married Abraham Seymour; Martha H., who married James P. Story; Mary, who married I. Whitlock; Margaret, who married Marion Cline, now living in Ohio; Julia, who married Stephen A. D. Whitlock; Emma, who married John C. Smith, of Greene Co.; and Marinda and Matilda, twins, born Feb. 14, 1865, who still live at home.
SPRAGUE, J. B., physician and surgeon, Waverly; special attention paid to the cure of chronic diseases.
STEBBINS, Francis H., (King & Stebbins) jewelers, south side of the Square. Was born in North Hampton, Massachusetts, July 17, 1825; moved to Jacksonville, Nov. 11, 1865; was married Oct. 29, 1872, to Miss Elizabeth A. Wright, daughter of Basil Wright, of Carlinville, Illinois; she was born in Jacksonville, Oct. 20, 1845.
STEELE, W. N., Rev., pastor of Pisgah Presbyterian Church, residence Sec 21, Town 15_9, P.O. Orleans and Jacksonville. Was born in Indiana in 1825; graduated at Wabash College in 1851, and at Lane Theological Seminary in 1854; came to Rossville, Vermillion Co., Ill., in 1869, and to this county in 1874. Wife was Minerva J. Todd, daughter of Dr. Henry G. Todd, of Danville, Ind.; was married in July, 1854; have five children: Lizzie L., Emma E., Wilber K., Freddie T. and Charles D.
STICE, Andrew J. farmer and school teacher; the subject of this sketch is the oldest son of James P. and Nancy H. Stice, whose maiden name was Conlee, the daughter of Isaac Conlee, one of the pioneer, ministers of this county; James P. Stice, the father of Andrew, was born Nov. 10, 1826, in Morgan County, near Jacksonville, when it contained but a few cabins; he married in this county, about 1848; Andrew, who heads this sketch, was born in Morgan County, May 23, 1852; he received a liberal education; in his twenty-third year he married Miss Elizabeth J. Wood, a daughter of David Wood, and the granddaughter of Hon. Samuel J. Wood; for several years Mr. Stice during the winter has been employed as teacher of district schools; during the summer follows farming; two children: Bertha E., born August 8, 1876; Albert C., born Jan. 25, 1877.
STICE, J. Perry, farmer and stock raiser. Sec. 22, P.O. Waverly; the subject of this sketch was born in Morgan County Dec. 15, 1830; fourth child of Andrew and Nancy Stice, natives of Illinois, who removed from Jersey County to Morgan County, in 1828, where the head of the family entered land from the government, near Jacksonville, and located on the farm now owned by J. H. Miller; the old people passed the remainder of their lives in Morgan County; Andrew died Jan. 31, 1855; Nancy, his wife, died October 31, 1860; J. Perry, who heads this sketch, and who has grown from boyhood to manhood in Morgan County, received his education in subscription schools, wending his way to a rude, low roofed cabin, after attending a higher branch of studies in Waverly. Having the confidence of the community in which he lives, he has held numerous offices; in 1852, he married Miss E. J. Reynolds, a daughter of Joseph Reynolds; eight children, five are living: Charles A., born May 9, 1858; Emma, born June 3, 1852; George W., born Jan. 16, 1864; Ida B., born Feb. 6, 1870; James O., born Aug. 27, 1872.
STICE, W. B., farmer and stock raiser, sec. 21, P.O. Waverly; born in Morgan County, April 16, 1838; his father, Andrew Stice, was born in Kentucky, May 26, 1803; he married in his nineteenth year, in Kentucky, Miss Nancy Armstrong; in an early day he moved to Illinois, and settled in the vicinity of Jacksonville, on government land; with little capital, but possessed of energy and ambition, he soon founded a home; he became a successful farmer, and is well remembered by the citizens of this county for his many noble traits of character; he died about 1858, and laid to rest amid the scenes of his pioneer days. W. B. Stice, from whom this sketch is obtained, grew up in Morgan County, where he received a liberal education, and married, in his twenty-first year, Miss Sarah Jane Smith, a daughter of James and Mahala Smith, who were early settlers in this county; by this marriage seven children, six living: William E., Sylvester, James A., George A., Jessie L., Ada A.; Arthur, deceased.
STOUT, J. V. D., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 13, P.O. Jacksonville. Thomas Stout, born in Huntingdon Co., N.J., 1734, was a major in the Continental army; his son, Peter Stout was born in Somerset Co., N.J., 1782, and was the father of the subject of this sketch, who was born in Somerset Co., N.J., April 2, 1816; his mother was Maria Van Doren, born 1794, daughter of Jacob Van Doren, born 1724, of Somerset Co., N.J.; and was the oldest of a family of seventeen children. Mr. Stout came to Jacksonville, Oct. 8, 1838, and has lived here since that time, except for a brief period, returning here in 1845. Married Oct. 8, 1840, to Helen, daughter of Abraham and Eliza Voorhees, of New Jersey, born Nov. 17, 1817. This union has been blessed by three sons, Viz.: Abraham, born Nov. 29, 1841, lives in Iowa; Peter D., born Nov. 29, 1843, of Morgan Co.; and J.V.D., Jr., born Dec. 25, 1848, of Jacksonville. Mr. Stout carried on the business of builder and contractor, and was the leading mechanic in his line at that time; he erected the first part of the State Insane Asylum, and many other buildings of prominence. Mr. Stout has devoted his latter years to agricultural pursuits; homestead consists of 129 acres of highly improved land, delightfully located on Springfield Road, about four miles east of Jacksonville.
STRAWN, Jacob, (picture) agriculturist and stock raiser; was born in Somerset County, Penn., May 30, 1800, descending from English and Welsh ancestry; his paternal ancestor came in the same ship which brought William Penn to this country; Jacob Strawn inherited an unusual share of the hardy vigor and energy of his ancestors, and early manifested those tastes and faculties for agriculture and business pursuits for which later in life he became so remarkable; he took to farming naturally and from a love of employment, but his special inclination was to the handling of cattle; in early youth he had ideas of stock raising, and began operations in that line which foreshadowed the talent and success subsequently achieved in the same; in the year 1817, his parents with their family removed to Licking County, Ohio, where they engaged in farming; at the age of nineteen, Jacob Strawn was married to Matilda Green, the daughter of a Baptist minister of the neighborhood; he was soon settled on a farm of his own, and at once commenced to breed and deal in cattle and horses; success attended his efforts from the first, and in a few years accumulated several thousand dollars; desiring to extend his operations beyond what was possible on a comparatively small farm, he sought broader fields, and in 1828, during a prospecting tour, he made his first land purchase in Illinois, the record of which, now on file in the county clerk’s office, reads thus: Nov. 20, 1818, Jonathan Cobb to Jacob Strawn, Sec. 36, 15, 11, 395 acres, $1,700; this land still comprises part of the Strawn estate; after making this purchase, he returned to Ohio, where he disposed of his property and arranged his business preparatory to his removal West, and on the 17th of May 1831, settled on his land previously purchased, five miles southwest of Jacksonville, where he was destined to play so prominent a part in the growth and development of the State of Illinois; in the December following his wife died; she had born him seven children, three of whom are living; in July, 1832, he married Phoebe Gates, daughter of Samuel Gates, Greene County, Ill.; Mrs. Strawn was born in Washington County, Ohio, Oct. 28, 1814; her parents removed to Illinois when she was only two years of age, and settled on land now embraced within the limits of Calhoun County; by this union sic children were added to the family of Mr. Strawn, viz: Daniel G., Dec. 14, 1833, deceased Aug. 3, 1839; Julius E., Dec. 2, 1835, resides at the homestead; Jacob, Jan. 21, 1839, died Oct. 9, 1869, leaving widow and three children now living in Jacksonville; Gates, Feb. 16, 1841, residing in Jacksonville; David G., Oct. 2, 1842, resides at Cambridge, Mass., and Martha A., Nov. 18, 1845, died July 15, 1868; Mr. Strawn, upon his settlement here, at once commenced operations on a large scale; he soon had a great part of his land under fence and cultivation; from time to time he added tracts of valuable land to his estate in furtherance of his vast plan of stock feeding, with a view of supplying the markets of the East and South; these additions of land comprised about 7,000 acres in Mauvaisterre precinct, purchased about 1845, and 2,200 acres in LaSalle County, his whole land purchases making an aggregate of about 20,000 acres; it was no part of Mr. Strawn’s policy to hold on to all the land he bought, for he sold various small tracts to those who had proven themselves faithful employees, on very liberal terms, giving them ample time to pay for it by their industry; he also sold a great portion of his Mauvaisterre tract at low figures ranging from eight dollars per acre and upwards; no one thought of competing with him, few could do so, for if any had the necessary funds, they lacked the required genius for enterprises of such a character, and had not the generalship to direct such vast operations to a successful issue; it is related that to defeat a formidable combination to break down his trade in St. Louis, he sent out agents on every road leading to that city, with instructions to purchase every drove on its way thither, and so well was this movement conducted that, for a time, ample enough to show his capacity to cope with any such clique, he held a complete monopoly of the trade; none of his great success was due to chance, or what is called good fortune, but was the result of wise forethought, prudent management, and a ceaseless activity of mind and body, which few men would be capable of whatever their talent or disposition might be; he did not spend much time in bed, or in the house, but he spent a great deal in the saddle night and day, when directing the movements of his vast herds; his business was his pleasure; he made no great professions of piety, yet he believed religion important and necessary; he had a high sense of honor; his word he held sacred; his promptitude in meeting promises was proverbial; he was kind as well as just, and was slow to take advantage of any person’s necessities or misfortunes; during the late war he was strong and generous in the Union cause; at one time he contributed ten thousand dollars in aid of the Christian Commission; he was also instrumental in sending fifty milch cows to Vicksburg, for the relief of the wounded and suffering troops; he was a true patriot; his habits were marked by extreme simplicity; he thought more of well tilled fields and handsome stock than of all personal arrayments; he had the strong temptations of opulence and passion, but was remarkably free from the vices which often spring up in the midst of such influences; after a life of almost unexampled activity and very unusual success in accomplishing the worldly objects at which he aimed, he died
STRAWN, James G., farmer, stock dealer, and breeder of thorough_bred shorthorn cattle and extra horses for all purposes, Pleasant Grove farm, Sec. 26, Town 15_9, P.O. Orleans. Was born in Licking Co., Ohio, Oct. 13, 1824; came with his parents to this county in the Fall of 1829 on a visit; returned here in 1831, and settled in this county. Wife was Nancy Bradshaw, daughter of Judge John Bradshaw, who came from Tennessee and settled here in 1819; she was born Nov. 23, 1824, and married Sept. 19, 1844; have seven children: John A., Jacob H., William S., Charles B., James G., Joel G., and Isaiah who died May 9, 1874; owns 1,300 acres, valued at $97,500.
STURGIS, John, farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Franklin. The gentleman who heads this sketch was born in Morgan Co., on the old homestead of his parents, in 1842. John and Nancy Sturgis were natives of North Carolina, and emigrated from there in an early day to Morgan Co.; settling in this township, they built a log cabin, still in existence, but removed from its original resting place; living here for many a year, where their meal for breakfast or dinner would be pounded in a mortar or else ground at a horse-mill, the old folks are not comfortably situated in life, and reside in Waverly. The subject of this notice grew to manhood in Morgan Co., and received a common school education; in his twentieth year he married Miss Abigail Chambers, daughter of John and Nancy, old residents of this county, and natives of Virginia or North Carolina. Mr. Sturgis owns sixty acres in this township.
SUMMERS, James W., renter, P.O. Murrayville. The father and mother of the gentleman whose biography we write, were natives of Shelby County, Kentucky, occupation - a sturdy farmer; his father died Dec. 20, 1874, aged 64 years; his mother died May 17, 1871, aged 52 years. The subject of these lines, was born Sept. 12, 1840, in Shelby County, Kentucky; his education was prosecuted in the public schools, by spells, until he was in his fourteenth year, when the work of his father’s farm called for his undivided attention; in 1859 removed with his parents , to north of Jacksonville, on the farm of Levi Conover; the trip from Kentucky was made overland, and in a covered wagon, and occupied 27 days. When one section of the United States fired on the flag at Fort Summter, and courageous hearts were needed to keep the Union from going to wreck, the subject of our sketch enlisted September, 1861, in Co. H, 58th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for three years, or during the war, and rendezvoused with his regiment at Camp Douglas, Chicago, receiving their necessary outfit; proceeded to the field of Mars; was engaged in the battles and engagements of Fort Donaldson, Fort Henry, Pittsburg Landing, Siege of Corinth, Battle of Corinth; the losses of the regiment in the above battles, reduced the regiment’s strength to a skeleton, hence it was ordered to Springfield, Illinois, to recruit; on joining their comrades at the front, participated with Sherman, in his campaign to Meriden, Mississippi, thence joined the fortunes of Banks’ army, at the mouth of Red River, participating in the fights at Pleasant Hill, Goldwater, Yellow Bayou, routing Forrest at Tupolo, thence against General Joe Shelby, at Old Town, and in turn meeting General Price’s hordes at Independence, Missouri; in 1864 was transferred to the army under General Thomas, at Nashville, Tennessee, and followed its fortunes through the terrible carnage of battle at Franklin, and finally to Chickasaw, where Hood and the Confederacy went to pieces. The term of this old veteran regiment having expired, Mr. Summers was mustered out at Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 27, 1865; this noble “boy in blue” received a non commissioned officer’s parchment soon after his enlistment, and served through the grades of corporal, sergeant, and orderly sergeant, and was mustered out of the service with the rank of second lieutenant, he having been recommended for that position by the officers of the regiment for meritorious conduct; was married Feb. 7, 1871, to Miss Hattie, daughter of J. B. Shearer, by the Rev. William Garrison; have had three children; Ive Eugene, Cynthia Anne, Luzella and Oreasus. Theodore; Mr. Summers is as good a citizen as he was a soldier, and esteemed by his old comrades.
SWAINE, Thomas, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 11, P.O. Franklin. The gentleman who stands at the head of this sketch, was the oldest son of John and Mary Swaine, natives of Wexford County, Ireland, where, in 1830, Thomas was born; on the little farm in the mother country, he was early put to work, receiving a common education; at nineteen years of age, possessed of an adventurous disposition, he concluded to better his fortunes in the new world; accordingly, during the Winter of 1850, with but little baggage and light capital, he stepped on board a sailing vessel; after a tedious voyage he landed in New York; in New Jersey he stayed a little while, then became a resident of Pennsylvania, and remained there two years; from this point he went to St. Louis, and eventually he brought up in Morgan Co., Ill.; first worked by the month; five years from this date he married Miss Ellen Shay, daughter of Daniel Shay. For four years Mr. Swaine held a position of steward in the Presbyterian Academy of Jacksonville; a resident of that city for 12 years; in 1862 he rented a farm on Indian Creek; during the war he contributed liberally of his means toward its prosecution; in November, 1874, Mrs. Swaine departed this life, leaving to the care of Mr. Swaine four children: Mary, Elizabeth, Daniel, and Nellie. May 21, 1874, he united his fortunes to Miss Frederica Dessau, who was born in Hamburg, Germany, and while there a resident, a teacher in select school. At this writing Mr. Swaine lives on his farm, comprising 80 acres, acquired by will and energy.