The subject of our sketch was born in PA, Feb. 14, 1844 and was but 9 weeks old when his parents came to IL. He spent his youth in Jo Daviess county, receiving such education as could be obtained in the common schools, and having the usual experience of hard work which is the ordinary lot of the farmer's boy. On the outbreak of the Rebellion, being then but seventeen years of age, he resolved to offer his services and accordingly enlisted for three years in Company F, 92nd IL Infantry. With the exception of the time spent in Rebel prisons, as hereafter narrated, he participated in every battle and skirmish in which his regiment was engaged, and never was sick or refused a turn of duty. At the battle of Chickamauga he was struck by a spent ball, but the shot was not sufficient to lay him up. On September 3, 1864, while on picket before Atlanta GA he was captured by a squad of Rebel soldiers, who took him into camp, where he spent the first night. The next morning he was taken to the pen at Andersonville, where he was kept but a few days and was then sent to Savannah GA.
At this latter place he was detained six weeks, when, with a lot of his unfortunate comrades, he was run out on the Gulf Railroad to a place in the woods, where they were corralled by the enemy. The prison camp was surrounded by a deep ditch and guarded vigilantly by the Rebel Soldiers. Here he spent four weeks, which he says were the best four weeks he spent while in captivity. On December 15, 1864 he was unfortunately chosen among others prisoners to be returned to the infamous den at Andersonville, and there privations and hardships endured nearly cost him his life, as it did that of so many other brave soldiers. He arrived at the pen on Christmas day, 1864, and remained there until April 28, 1865 when the prisoners were carried to within 20 miles of Jacksonville FL and there turned loose to make their way the best they could inside the Union lines. As is now well known many a poor fellow perished before reaching the desired haven, but our subject managed to walk the twenty miles, arriving in camp about sundown. His first meal in Jacksonville, which probably tasted better to him than any other he had ever eaten in his life, consisted of a good sized chunk of corned beef, a loaf of bread, a quart of coffee, and a couple of drinks of whiskey. Having disposed of this, the tired prisoner lay down on the ground and knew no more until next morning.
His weight when he entered the army was 165 pounds, but when he left Andersonville he was reduced to less than 95. After two weeks spent in restoring his health, he was, with other returned prisoners, sent to Annapolis MD, thence to St. Louis MO and after a couple of weeks to Springfield IL where he was discharged on the last day of June, 1865. He had at this time a claim against the government for fourteen months' service, eight months rations and $75 original bounty money, but in all has only received for that claim $140.
In August, 1865 our subject was attracted by the glowing accounts given of the State of Kansas, and he went there and remained nearly a year, but decided that Illinois suited him better, and returned the following spring. In 1867 he settled down one mile east of his present home, remaining there for five years, but in 1872 became a resident of Woodland Township. In 1878 he bought the Uriah Green farm, his present home, which contains 441 acres.
The marriage of our subject took place Nov. 5, 1867, his bride being Miss Anna Green, a daughter of Uriah and Almeda Green of Mt. Carrol. The wife and mother died Oct. 30, 1888. Of their union nine children were born, seven of whom are living. Those deceased are the youngest and oldest of the family; Almeda Cordelia born Oct. 2, 1868 died March 24, 1879 and Anna G., born Oct 30, 1888, died Feb. 16, 1889. The others are all under the parental roof and form an unusually bright and intelligent family circle. They are named, Stephen D. born Feb. 11, 1870, a student in the Mt. Carroll High School; Cora Elizabeth born Feb. 20, 1873 a student of Mt. Carroll High School; Lillie Gertrude born Aug 13, 1875; Lena A. born Aug 26, 1877; Myrtle Joy born June 21, 1879 is also a student at the High School; Uriah Blaine born Feb. 21, 1884 and Walter Henry, born Jan. 27, 1887.
Mr. Mader has an elegant and commodious home, and his surrounding are all such as might be expected from his well known character and capacity. In 1887 he built one of the finest barns in the county. Its size is 46 x 80 ft. with 20 foot posts. He has a fine double corncrib, wagon shed and hog house, built last fall. He gives most of his attention to stockraising and feeding, usually handling about 120 head per annum. He is also much interested in the raising of graded horses, and those he uses on his farm are all of Norman blood. Although not what might be called a politician, he has taken considerable interest in public affairs and his influence is always felt in local matters. For five years past he has been Supervisor of the township, but he has never aspired to any other office. He is a member of Nase Post No. 80, G.A.R. of Mt. Carroll, and in politics is a staunch Republican. Mr. Mader is, in the best sense of the word a self-made man. Starting in life with little or no assistance, he has, since he left the army, accumulated a very desirable property - a result due entirely to his own industry, intelligence, energy and business ability. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank at Mt. Carroll.
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