Lee County Biography

J. WESLEY HYDE


No class of men has contributed more to the substantial prosperity of Lee County than its farmers and stock men, among whom the subject of this brief life record is well worthy of mention. He is conducting his agricultural operations in Willow Creek Township, on section which is the location of bis finely-tilled and well-stocked farm.

Mr. Hyde was born eleven miles from Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, January 14, 1835. Benjamin Hyde was his father, a native of New Jersey, and he was the son of another Benjamin Hyde, who is supposed to have been a native of the same State, and was of English descent. He was a farmer, and always carried on his occupation in New Jersey, where he died in the fullness of time. The father of Our subject was roared and educated in his native State and when a young man went from there to Ohio in the pioneer days of the settlement of that State and was engaged in his trade as a cooper in Richland County, where he lived until 1853. The remainder of his life was passed in Michigan.

The maiden name of Mrs. Hyde was Mary Folks. She was horn in Pennsylvania, and died in this State, in Lee County. She was the mother of nine children that grew to maturity, as follows: Saloma, wife of O. H. Perry, of Des Moiaes, Iowa; Margaret, wife of John Hough, of Chicago; J. W.; Jonathan, a gallant soldier, who served in the Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry during the war, and spent his last years in Dixon; Barbara E. wife of William Dawson, of Leavenworth, Kan.; Theodore, a resident of Lee County, who served in the war as a member of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry; Francis, who was a member of an Illinois infantry regiment during the war, and now lives at Harvey, Ill.; Rhoda, who resides in Milwaukee; and Samuel McClure, a resident of Malugin's Grove, who was in the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry during the war. As will be seen by the foregoing, the family was well represented in the army when the great conflict between the North and South was being waged, and proved the value of their citizenship by their loyalty and devotion to the cause on many a bloody battlefield. Our subject was one of the five sons that his parents thus sent forth to tight for their country, he enlisted March 2, 1865. in Company I, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, and was honorably discharged the following September, on the 17th of the month, with n good record as a faithful and efficient soldier.

Our subject's boyhood days were passed in his native State. He was quite young when he commenced to earn his own living, but he was independent and very capable for his years. He began life working on a farm by the day or month in the county where he was born, and continued thus occupied until 1853, when he turned his attention to the cooper's trade and worked at that two years. In 1857 he took an important step in life which resulted greatly to his benefit, as he then came to Lee County to cast in his fortunes with its pioneers, and years of toil have brought him prosperity, He worked by the month one summer after his arrival in these parts, and then bought a tract of land in Brooklyn Township. He erected necessary buildings, placed his laud under good tillage and resided there ten years. It was during that time that he was mail carrier from Mendota to Malugin's Grove for a period of three years, and his experience of life as a soldier occurred while he was a resident of that farm.

In 1867 Mr. Hyde sold his first farm, and for a year worked out by the mouth. He then bought a farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres of land in company with his brother. After living on it seven years he sold his share of the place and bought the farm that he now owns and occupies on section 19, Willow Creek Township. Its fields are under admirable cultivation, its pastures are rich and its improvements of a good class. Mr. Hyde devotes it to general farming and stock- raising, and has cattle, horses and hogs of fine grades. Our subject is a man of sterling principles and sensible views, is kindly and helpful in his relations with his neighbors and others of the community, and is deserving of the fellowship and good wishes of all about him. His interest in politics centers in the Republican party, of which he has been a stanch advocate since he cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Fremont, its first candidate for the Chief Magistracy of the United States. Mr. Hyde was first married in 1858, to Miss Mary Hough, a native of Lee County, and a daughter of William and Hannah Hough, who were among the early settlers of the county. She died in 1867,leaving two children—Harvey and Minnie. Minnie married Albert Pettys and they have two children, Mamie and Robert.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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