Illinois Genealogy Trails

Jesse R. Shipton

History of Fulton County, Illinois; together with Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Peoria, Illinois, 1879, page 512, Bernadotte Township
  Jesse R. Shipton, farmer, sec. 18; P. O., Bernadotte; was born in Pennsylvania Nov. 11, 1828; removed to Indiana, where he remained until 1856, then removing to Bernadotte tp., this county; married Elizabeth Rothrock, Nov. 3, 1856. Mr. S. has held the offices of Assessor, Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace; the latter office he still occupies. Although not among the old pioneers of this county, his the official record shows that he is one of the prominent men of his township, one that has been tried and not found wanting in honesty, integrity and ability. Democrat.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois: containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county: together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States, and governors of the state; Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, IL; 1890; page 690–691; Transcribed by Margaret Rose Whitehurst
  Jesse R. Shipton.  The year 1856 witnessed the arrival of many citizens of Fulton County, who are now thoroughly identified with its most important interests.  Of these Mr. Shipton deserves especial mention.  In tracing his ancestry back a few generations, we find that his grandfather, Thomas Shipton, was an Englishman by birth, and came to the United States during the Revolutionary War, locating in Union County, Pa., where for many years he was a prominent citizen and a Justice of the Peace.  His wife, who previous to her marriage bore the name of Hannah Spikeman, was also of English descent, and was a member of the Society of Friends.
  The father of our subject, John Shipton, was a blacksmith by trade, and highly respected by all who knew him.  The mother, whose maiden was Elizabeth Swengel, was a daughter of Michael and Esther (Hasinger) Swengel, and was a direct descendant of a German Protestant family, who were driven from the Fatherland because of their religious belief during what is known in history as the “Salzburger Exodus.”  The branch of the family from which they descended, located in Pennsylvania during the early Colonial years, and there many of the descendants continue to reside.
  He of whom we write was born in what was then Union County, but is now Snyder County, Pa., November 11, 1828.  In the home of his childhood he continued to reside until eighteen years old, when he removed to the eastern part of Mifflin County.  He had in the meantime learned the trade of a carpenter.  He was married November 3, 1853, near Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa., and the lady with whom he united his destiny, was Miss Elizabeth Rothrock.  While in Mifflin County, Pa., he continued to work as a carpenter for a time, building a number of beautiful houses, evincing a great deal of judgment and skill in architecture.  In 1855 he emigrated to Monticello, Ind., where he farmed for one year, and then located in Illinois where he has since continued to reside.
  In 1856 our subject purchased one hundred and thirty-eight acres of valuable land situated on the southwest quarter of section 18, and here was a log cabin.  On the 4th of March, 1857, the day Buchanan was inaugurated, he took up his residence in this cabin, where he continued to reside until 1867, at which date he built the frame house that adorns the place at the present time.  He afterward built a barn, and these buildings were erected by his own personal labor without assistance of any kind.  As the years passed Mr. Shipton’s prosperity continued to increase, and he enlarge his real estate, until at present the farm upon which he resides embraces two hundred and thirty-five acres of valuable and cultivated land, and he has a very beautiful residence.
  Our subject is, at all times, and in all ways interested in worthy causes, and never fails to give his influence for the good of the community of which he forms a worthy member.  A popular man, esteemed for integrity and a worthy nobleness of purpose, he ranks high among the citizens of the county.  Politically, he is a Democrat, and has great influence in all public matters.  He has served his township as Assessor, Clerk, and also as Justice of the Peace for eighteen years, and although acting in that capacity for so long, sustains a reputation as a peacemaker, and invariably advises settlement of cases without litigation, by that means effecting a peaceable and quiet ending in a majority of disagreements between parties, and that without cost.
  While Mr. Shipton is a faithful and devout member of the Lutheran Church, and would through preference constantly attend their services, still there being no Lutheran Church convenient to his residence, he is a faithful attendant at all orthodox churches.  In fact, he manifests great interest in religious matters, working early and late for the Sunday-schools, of which he has been Superintendent for twenty-five years or more.  In all probability, he has done more for the benefit of that cause than any other individual in the township, and he also is active in advancing the educational interests of the community being a School Director.  Mr. Shipton was forced to give up the companion of his life, she being claimed by death, on March 7, 1885.  Mrs. Shipton was a religious woman in the full sense of the word, and a true wife.  Her death was caused by pneumonia, and her remains rest in the Randall grave-yard, which is located on the southeast corner of section 18.
   When about ten years old, our subject, accompanied by a younger brother, ventured forth in the mountainous country in which they resided.  Journeying along with the happy hearts and cheerful laughter of childhood, and gathering huckleberries and the graceful golden-rod, they were very much alarmed go see suddenly appear before them two large and ferocious bears; upon perceiving the boys, the bears commenced roaring like lions.  Instantly the lads hastened homeward, and told the circumstances to their father, who thought that doubtless the whelps were close by.
  The 'Squire was partially retired from farming, and lets out most of his land on shares, though he continues to keep a number of horses.  He also is interested in bee culture, and keeps a number of stands.  These duties, together with his official business, occupy his time.  A mark of his handiwork is shown upon the map of Fulton County published in 1870.  He there drafted the Spoon River from the eastern part of Farmers Township, to the middle line of section 17, Bernadotte Township, as is shown on the map above mentioned.  In fact, it would be impossible is so brief a space to render full justice to the many personal qualities that have endeared 'Squire Shipton to a host of warm friends.

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