Lee County Biography

China Township

Abraham J. Horner is actively engaged in farming and stock-raising in South Dixon Township, where he has a good farm of one hundred and forty-four acres, advantageously situated on the Chicago Road, three and one-half miles from the city of Dixon, and lying partly on section 14, upon which are the neat and roomy farm buildings and the remainder on section 11.

Mr. Horner was born in Somerset County, Pa., April 9, 1839, a son of John Horner, and a grandson of John Homer, Sr., both of whom were natives of Somerset County, the latter being of German parentage, his father and mother having come to America sometime during the last century, and were among the early settlers of Somerset County, where they died when very old. John Horner, Sr., died in his native county at an advanced age, having passed his entire life there as a farmer. He was married twice, and his fourteen children were all the result of his fust union. He, both of his wives and his children were all members of the German Baptist Church. The father of our subject was the eldest of the seven sons and seven daughters born to his parents, all of whom but two, who are living in Pennsylvania, are now deceased. He was but forty-four years old when he died in the town where lie was born. He was a man of considerable ability, whom his fellow citizens looked up to, and he was very active in local politics and public life, having held nearly all the township oltices. A Whig in early manhood, on the formation of the Republican party he fell into its ranks, and was one of its most earnest supporters until his untimely death. He was a great worker in the German Baptist Church. He was married in his native county, to Mary Reachley, who was born in Pennsylvania, as were her parents, and was of German descent. She too passed away while yet in the prime of life, dying one year before her husband, at the age of forty-one years. Nearly all her life she was a consistent member of the Gennnn Baptist Church.

He of whom we write was the second of a family of seven children, of whom five are yet living. He spent his boyhood amid the scenes of his birth, and was a young man when the late war broke out. Six different times when the Government required additional troops and ordered a draft, his name was among the list of those eligible for soldiers, but it was not drawn at all. He was seventeen years old when he first came to this State, but he did not settle here permanently. He came to Lee County in 1865, and has since made his home here. He purchased his homestead in 1880, and has much increased its value by his mode of cultivation, and by the excellent improvements that he is constantly adding. He raises a good class of stock, and is prospering in all his undertakings, as he deserves to do, as he is a worker, is careful in the management of his affairs, is judicious in his expenditures, and keeps his credit good by prompt payments. He stands well in the community as a fair-minded, open-hearted man, who is accommodating and friendly in his relations with his neighbors, and is a good husband and indulgent father in private life. He seems to have inherited his father's political views, and to have transmitted them to his eldest son, as both are consistent Republicans, as was John Horner before them.

When Mr. Horner came to Illinois, he left behind him a young girl who had born and reared near his old home, and to whom he had become attached as they grew up together, and in due time he returned to his native State to claim the fulfillment of her promise to become his wife. Her name was Elizabeth Lint, and she was a daughter of near neighbors of his father's Peter and Elizabeth (Kilson) Lint. Her parents were natives of the Keystone State, whence they (tame to Lee County, after their children were born and had grown up. Mrs. Lint died at Dixon some years ago when past sixty-four years old. Peter Lint is now living in South Dixon Township, and is more than seventy years old. He is a member of the German Baptist Church, as was his last wife, he having been twice married. Mrs. Horner lived with her parents until her marriage. She is the mother of ten children, of whom these three are deceased: an infant; Cyrus, who was killed at the age of six years and three months, by a pile of lumber falling on him; and Emma, who was but two months old when she died. The surviving children are: Minerva, wife of Charles Byron, a farmer in South Dixon Township; Franklin, at home, assisting his father in the management of the farm; Ida, Lillie. Hattie, Charles H. and Sadie M.,all of whom are at home with their parents. Mrs. Horner and her children are active working members of the Lutheran Church.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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