Lee County Biography

Collins Dysart
Nachusa Township


Collins Dysart, a representative of a noted pioneer family, is one of the foremost native-born sons of Lee County, and belongs to the number who are today among its most enlightened and enterprising citizens, and are prominent in various walks of life. He is one of the most successful of the young farmers and stock-raisers of this part of Illinois, and has a large and finely appointed farm on sections 7 & 8, Nachusa Township, stocked with horses, cattle and swine of standard breeds. He is serving his first term as a member of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, and as an incumbent of this important office displays an aptitude for public life that makes him a valuable civic official.

Our subject was born on the farm on which he makes his home, November 7, 1858. He is a son of Philip Dysart, who has long been an honored citizen of this county, and is now living in retirement in the ciyt of Dixon, in his pleasant home at 303 W. Third St. His native place id in Huntingdon Co. PA and he is a son of James Dysart who was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and the son of an Irishman, who was of Scotch-Irish blood, and came from one of the leading families of the North of Ireland. James Dysart grew to maturity in Fairfield County, his native State, and in early manhood moved to Huntingdon County, whence he came to IL in the 40's and entered large tracts of land in this county, which were subsequently improved by hiself and his sons. He became a prominent and wealthy pioneer of this section, and died here when an old man.

Philip Dysart lived in his native county for some years after attaining man's estate, and then came to Lee County in 1852. He did not at the time, settle on the farm on sections 7 and 8, Nachusa Twp., taken by his father some years before, but in 1855 located thereon and broke the first sode of its fertile soil. With characteristic energy he worked to develop it into a good farm and soon had a good set of farm buildings erected and everything about the place in good order. He made it his home until 1883, when he left it in charge of his son and retired to Dixon.

After coming to this county, Mr. Dysart was married to Miss Ruth Igou, who is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Blair County. After the death of her mother the family came to IL and the father, Jacob Igou died in 1879 in the town of Lamoille, at the home of his son. Mrs. Dysart was young when she came to IL and is the only surviving member of the family. Both she and her husbanda re well and active, retaiining much of their oldtime vigor, and may be said to be "growing old gracefully". They are prominent in social circles, having many friends and acquaintances who have been attracted to them by the genuine worth of their characters.

Collins Dysart is the eldest of the three children born to his parents, and he and Clyda E, who is with her parents in Dixon, are the only survivors. Their sister Ina, former wife of C.B. Crawford, Postmaster at Nachusa, died in September 1889, aged 29 years. Our subject has always lived on the farm that is now his. In the local public schools he laid the foundation of a sound education, which was extended at Mt. Morris Seminary and Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, which he attended some two years. He also had a good training in all that pertains to his calling, and not only does he keep well abreast of the times in regard to current events and all things that are of interest to an intelligent, inquiring mind, but he keeps himself well infomred as to the progress of agriculture in regard to new methods and new discoveries that have a bearing upon it.

Although having had control of this farm since 1880, Mr. Dysart did not purchase it until about 1891. Its 320 acres are under a high state of cultivation and its improvements rank with the best. Mr. Dysart raises stock extensively, and has a fancy for thoroughbreds. In cattle he has a fine herd of Poleld Aberdeen Angus of high grade. He is a young man of much force and independence of character, frank and manly withal and popular with his fellow-citizens. He is an ardent Republican in his politics, and is identified with the public life of his county as a member of its board of Supervisors, representing Nachusa.

Our subject was married in Rock Island County to Miss Ida M. Johnson, a daughter of Mathew T. and Helen E. (McClean) Johnson. Her parents are natives of NY, born and reared near Ithaca and after marriage they came to this State. They are now well to do citizens of Rock Island County, where they still make their home on the farm that they have improved near Milan. In that home Mrs. Dysart was born April 25, 1860. She was finely educated at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is earnestly interested in its progress. The pleasant household circle of our subject and his amiable wife is completed by their two children to whom they have given the names of Ruth h. and George H.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 509