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Clay County

Genealogy and History



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Col. Henry R. Neff, farmer, P. O. Louisville, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, March 31, 1812, and is a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Reel) Neff, natives of Virginia, who were both brought to Ohio when quite small. Henry R. went into a saw and flouring mill when fifteen years old, in Putnam County, Ind., his parents having located there in 1826. He followed this business for seven years, when he returned to the farm.
He came to Clay County in 1848, and lived one year in Blair Township. He then located near Louisville, and engaged in the mercantile business for several years. He also engaged in the milling business here a few years. He entered his present farm in 1849, but did not locate upon it until 1873.
He was married, September 26, 1803, to Mary A. Monical, daughter of George Monical (deceased). They had fourteen children, viz : John, killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, while fighting for his country during the rebellion, and a member of the Fifty-first Illinois Regiment Volunteer Infantry; Hannah; Simeon, killed at Columbia, S. C, also while in defense of his country (he was Lieutenant of Company B, Forty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry); Adam, who was also a soldier for the Union during the late war (he died January 23, 1873); Elizabeth, George, Mary, Martha, Henry C. (deceased), Benjamin, Sarah, David, Christopher and Peter. Mrs. Neff died January 4, 1873.
Mr. Neff was Sheriff of Clay County from 1855 to 1857, and has also held the offices of Supervisor, School Trustee and Collector for several years. In religious views, he is a Cumberland Presbyterian. At one time he was Colonel of a militia regiment, hence his title.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

James G. Neff, son of George and Eleanor (McCrary) Neff, was born May 16, 1832, in Lawrence County, Ohio, and came with his parents to Clay County, Ill., in 1849.
His father, George Neff, was born in 1789, in Brownstown, Penn., and the mother was born in South Carolina in 1796. They both came to Ohio in early life, and were there married. George Neff was a practical farmer, and on settling in Clay County entered a large amount of land, consisting of 4,000 acres, and became a wealthy man, leaving a large estate at his death, which occurred on the 8th of December, 1863. His wife, Eleanor Neff, died October 2, 1855. They were members of the Baptist Church, and were prominent in establishing that society in this county, their house affording a place of worship, before the erection of any public church building.
They left a host of ardent friends, and had a family of nine children, some of whom are now among the honored citizens of Clay and Wayne Counties. James G., whose name heads this sketch, is the seventh member of this family, of whom live are now deceased.
He was married in Scioto County, Ohio, March 7, 1867, to Mrs. E. B. Wolcott, widow of Henry Wolcott, and daughter of John B. Richart, of Ohio. She was born in Ohio. William E. Wolcott, of Chicago, is the only child of the first marriage.
James G. and E. B. Neff have two children, viz., John B.,born January 10, 1868, and Sarah Edna Neff, born February 29, 1876. They are members of the .Baptist Church, and own a quantity of valuable real estate in the town of Flora.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

James A. Nevins, Superintendent, Sailor Springs, was born in Overton County, Tenn., January 30, 1835. His father, Robert Nevins (deceased), was a native of the same county, and brought his family to Macoupin County, Ill., in 1839.
Mr. Nevins assisted in getting out the timbers of the trestles on the Springfield Branch of the O. & M. R. R., and was the company's first agent at Louisville, in Clay County. The first three months he used a box car for an office. He remained at Louisville until January, 1871, when he was transferred to Fairfield, in Wayne County.
He remained there until April, 1880, when he removed to Sailor Springs, where he has for over three years been Superintendent and general manager of the Springs and grounds. He was a soldier for Uncle Sam in the late war, in Company B, Fortieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded accidentally while performing some labor, and now draws a pension.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Fairfield Chapter. He is also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Nevins was married, December 22, 1856, to Martha Sprouse, a sister of Capt. W. T. Sprouse, formerly of Company B, Fortieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"

William Nichols, farmer, P. O. Ingraham, was born in Posey County, Ind., October 7, 1827, and is a son of William Nichols (deceased), a native of Bristol, England, who came with a colony that located in Edwards County, Ill., about the year 1820. He afterward removed to Posey County, Ind..
Mr. Nichols came to this county in 1866, where he now lives; owns 140 acres of laud, and is engaged in general farming.
He was married, January 25, 1857, to Miss Sarah Byrne, a daughter of Samuel Byrne (deceased), and a sister of William P. Byrne, of this township, of whom we make further mention elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Nichols is a faithful housewife and true helpmeet to her husband. She has done her part in securing and beautifying their neat home. They have two children—Alfred L. and William A. Alfred is a prominent school teacher in northern Clay County, and resides on a part of the homestead.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"



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