Lee County Biography


Samuel Patterson has won a high reputation as a skillful and wide-awake farmer since he came to this county in the opening years of manhood. Me is conducting a good business in raising and feeding stock and in tilling the soil, the farm that he owns and operates being pleasantly situated on section 14, South Dixon Township. Our subject claims Pennsylvania as his native State, his birthplace in Adams County, and the date of his birth April 17, 1855. He was reared to "the life of a farmer, not far from the tragic scenes of the battle of Gettysburg. He was twenty-one years old when he came to Lee County in 1876, and for eight years thereafter he was diligently engaged in farming in Nachusa Township, coming from there to this township at a later period. He purchased his farm in this locality in the fall of 1889 and moved onto it in the spring of 1890. One hundred and forty-five acres of excellent farming land constitute the entire area of the farm, whose pastures and fields are very fertile, and a neat and well-built set of farm buildings adorns the place. Our subject raises graded stock, and also buys and feeds other stock to a considerable extent. He is doing finely from a financial point of view, as he has a good capacity for business, never neglects a favorable opportunity to make money legitimately, gives his affairs close attention and maintains sound credit in regard to paying his bills. He is open-minded and free-hearted, manly and upright, and is popular, among his associates. His political creed is that of the Republican party, of which he is an ardent advocate.

Our subject is a son of George Patterson, whose sad fate forms one of the touching and heart-rending stories of the war. He was a native of Adams County, Pa. When only five years old, he lost his father and was reared by his mother whose maiden name was Upley, she being of German birth and antecedents. She survived her husband many years and died near Gettysburg, in 1864, at the age of seventy-two years. She was a truly good and pious woman, and both she and her husband were members of the Lutheran Church. George Patterson was one of four children born to his mother. His father had two children by a former marriage. He lived with his mother in his native county all through his youth, and was reared to the life of a farmer. He was trained to industrious habits, and in early manhood had sufficient means to marry, his chosen wife being Miss Julia Pitzer, who was likewise a native of Adams County, and came of German stock, although her parents were Pennsylvanians by birth. After their marriage, George Patterson and his bride began life together on a small farm not far from the historical battle-ground of Gettysburg. They were living there when the war broke out, and Mr. Patterson watched its course with patriotic interest. He had arranged his affairs and placed himself in a position to join the Union Army, when one of the most terrible battles of the Rebellion, if not of all history, was fought near his home. On one of those awful days when the contest between the Yankees and their Southern foes was raging, Mr. Patterson, while looking after his father-in-law's property, got too near the rebel lines and was captured, a nephew, about twenty years of age, who accompanied him, also being taken. He was sent as a prisoner of war to the South, and for a time was confined to Salisbury, whence he was transferred to Libby, and for twenty-two months he suffered all the horrors of life in rebel prisons. He was finally released, and returning home nearly starved and more dead than alive, he had the anguish to find that his beloved wife, being unable to get a word from him and believing him to be dead, had sunk under the weight of her grief and died of a broken heart one month after his capture. She was then in the prime of life, and left five children motherless, the youngest being only seven months old. Our subject is the oldest but one of the three sons and two daughters thus sadly bereft, and he is the only one that makes his home in the State of Illinois. The others are living and are married and well settled in life.

Starvation, exposure and disease while a prisoner, and the severe strain to which he "as subjected in his anxiety for the welfare of his loved ones, so impaired Mr. Patterson's health, that he never recovered his former vigor, and he died ere he had attained the meridian of life, his death occurring in the fall of 1871, at the age of forty-two years, four months and thirteen days.

Samuel Patterson, our subject, was married in Nachusa Township to Miss Mary E. Spangler, who is a native of the same Pennsylvania county where he had his birth, and she, too, was born near the historic town of Gettysburg, first opening her eyes to the light of the world June 5, 1857. She was a young woman when she came from her native place to Nachusa Township, in 1872, with her parents, John and Susan (Herbst) Spangler. They are now deceased, having died in the home that they established in the afore-mentioned township, Mr. Spangler departing this life in 1889, at the age of seventy-two, and his wife dying in 1887 at the age of sixty-four. They were natives respectively of Adams and York Counties, Pa., marrying in the former county and living there until they came to Illinois. They were of German ancestry and were members of the Lutheran Church, as were also George Patterson and his wife. Mr. Spangler was a Democrat, and Mr. Patterson a true Republican. The wife of our subject is one of six children, of whom but one other is now living, her brother, Jacob A., a farmer of Nachusa Township, who is married and well fixed in life. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson have been blessed in their marriage by these four children: Emma S., John C, Charles H. and Clara E.

Portrait and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

Samuel H. and Mary Elizabeth (Spangler) Patterson - son Charles Patterson - Photos by Debra Richards-Toms

John Calvin & wife Lulu Pearl Patterson son of Samuel and Mary with Charles E. s/o John and Lulu - Photos by Debra Richards-Toms

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