Lee County Biography


Henry Sanders is one of the pioneers of Lee County, whose wise forethought, active and enterprise and practical skill in conducting the business of farming and stock-raising made him a valuable agent in developing the rich agricultural resources of this part of Illinois. He is now living in honorable retirement at Franklin Grove, although he still retains large landed interests.

Mr. Sanders was born in Adams County, Pa., March 6,1826, to Henry and Mary (Buck) Sanders, who were also natives of the Keystone State and were of German ancestry. His paternal grand­father was wealthy, but his estate was squandered by administrators, and the father of our subject was left a poor orphan to struggle with adversity as best he might. While yet in the prime of life his useful career was cut short by his death in Adams County, May 24, 1834. He was the father of five children, as follows: Peter, who died in this county; Frank, who resides in Harrisburg, Pa.; Henry; Elizabeth, wife of James Toper, of Adams County, Pa., and Christina, wife of Mr. Hodeyschell, of Adams County, 111. The mother of our subject married a second time, becoming the wife of Jesse P. Toper, and she died in Pennsylvania May 24, 1874. She had two children by her second marriage — Mary A., wife of Joseph Smith, of Adams County, Pa., and Kate, wife of Frank Ackenrode, of Adams County, Pa. Our subject was reared on a farm in his native State. At the age of nineteen years he set out in the world to the life on his own account, being well-equipped to make his own way, as he was active, independent, frugal and prudent, and possessed, withal, an enterprising spirit, seconded by good habits and a capacity to do well whatever he undertook. It was at that time, in the year 1845, that he paid his first visit to this State and county. He staid here a year, and then returned to Pennsylvania whence he went to Washington County, Md., where he worked for a time. Coming back to Lee County in the spring of 1848 he took up his residence in a cabin at Franklin Grove, and when the land came into market in 1852, he purchased a quarter of section 29, Ashton Township, of which he thus became an early settler, and he played an important part in its upbuilding. He assiduously tilled the soil and raised stock exten­sively for manjr years. As the years passed by his property increased both in amount and value, and he became one of the wealthy men of his township. In November, 1888, he abandoned farm­ing to spend his remaining years in well-earned retirement in the enjoyment of a handsome income, and since then has made his home in his substan­tial, well-appointed residence in the town of Frankin Grove. During his active business life he in­vested his money judiciously, and still owns over six hundred acres of land on which he has made good improvements.

When he was married in 1851 to Rachel C. Morgan, it was our subject's good fortune to secure one of life's choicest blessings, a true wife, who has been to him a faithful helpmate. She is an exemplary Christian, and for thirty years has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her marriage with Mr. Sanders has brought them six children, of whom the folio wing-is the record: Winfield B., born August 27, 1852, is a resident of Ida County, Iowa; Joseph was born March 9,1855; Alice, born Octobers, 1856, married Wilton Buck, and died August 26, 1879; Milton J., born November 11,1857, died December 31, 1880; Samantha J., born November 16, 1859, is the wife of Cornelius Sanders; John was born July 4,1861; Edward, July 27, 1867, and Lucy May 29, 1870. Mrs. Sanders comes of one of the old pioneer families of Illinois, and is a native of the State, born in Vermilion County. March 12, 1835. Her parents, Edward and Nancy (Stull) Morgan, were early settlers of that county, where they located in 1829, coming to this State from Ohio, of which they were natives. In 1836 they removed to Lee County and were pioneers of Franklin Grove, where Mr. Morgan improved a choice farm. He was yet in life's prime when he died November 2, 1847, at the age of forty-two years. His wife survived him until April 10, 1863, and then passed away at the age of fifty-eight years. Of their nine children, these six are living—Williomine, Martin, Rachel C, John W.,Mary E. and Sarah J. All honor is due to our subject as a self-made man, who can point with true pride to what he has accomplished, and it gives us pleasure to place this brief record of his life on these pages, as it should be preserved for the benefit of his children and children's children unto the latest generation. lie was but a boy when he began to earn his own living, and though his wages were only $7 a month by the time he was twenty years old he had saved $200. He attained success in his chosen career by fair means, and during his many years residence in this county has always shown himself to be entirely worthy of the high estimation in which he is held by his many friends and acquaintances. Mr. Sanders is possessed of an abundance of sturdy common sense, his judgment is sound and clear, and he is perfectly able to form opinions of his own on all subjects with which he is conversant. He was formerly a Republican as regards his politics, but he is now independent, giving his support to whichever party or candidate for office that he deems best. He is public-spirited, and is always heartily in favor of whatever scheme is advanced to promote the interests of his adopted country.p upon the place where he still I resides. He at first purchased only eighty acres of j land, but is now the owner of the south half of i section 29, and has become one of the leading I stock-raisers of this section, his rich pastures affording sustenance for fine herds of cattle and horses of the best grades. Mr. Fitzpatrick was happily married in 1850

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892 Pg 319


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