Lee County Biography

J. Madison Santeel
Dixon Township

J. Madison Santee was born on the farm where he now resides, September 11, 1845. His birthplace was a little log cabin situated on section 10, Dixon Twp. overlooking Rock River. The claim had een purchased by his father, James M. Santee, in June 1837, and was then an unbroken tract ofland upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. The father there erected a log cabin, and to the cultivation of the land devoted his energies until his death, December (16) 1873. The farm at that time comprised tow hundred and forty acres. This locality was chosen on account of the water facilities and the timber thereon, both of these advantages being sought by the early settlers.

Mr. Santee, Sr. resided in Dixon Township, before the division of Lee and Ogle Counties and was one of the first settlers on Rock River between Dixon and Grand Detour. He took an active interest in all public affairs and was a leading citizen of this community. He wsa born in Salem Township Luzerne County PA wher ehe resided until his emigration to IL and there in Feb. 1837, had married Margaret Klintop, also a native of the same county. Soon afterward the young couple started on an overland trip along the national road to Chicago and thence westward to Lee County IL. Mrs. Santee yet survives her husband and is living on the old homestead at the age of 90 years. She is a Methodist in religious belief, as was her husband, who in political affairs was a Republican.

Our subject is the youngest of a family of four, but Caroline died in childhood and Charles fell in the late war, being shot by a rebel at Murfreesboro TN Jan. 31, 1862. He had enlisted in 1861 as a member of Company C, 34th IL Inf. under Capt. Dysart and at the time of his death was Color-Bearer of the regiment. One sister Lydia, is now living with and caring for her mother.

Under the sheltering roof of his parents home, Madison Santee was reared to manhood, among scenes of pioneer life, and was early inured to farm labor. That occupation he has followed since attaining to mature years, and is numbered among the enterprising and successful agriculturists of the community. In Dixon Twp. he was united in marriage with Miss Susanna, daughter of John and Martha (Cooper) Blackman, who were natives of England, as is also Mrs. Santee. They emigrated to American when she was a child of four years and settled in IL. The father died in Dixon Twp. July 1885 at an advanced age. his widow, with her two children, Edward and Estella now reside on the old home farm, on Rock River. Their family was a large one and eight children are still living.

Mrs. Santee acquired her education in the schools of this community, the days of her maidenhood here spend and after she had attained to womanhood she here gave her hand in marriage to our subject. Three children grace their union; Charles, Martha and Wilbur, and the family circle remain unbroken. In politics, Mr. Santee is an advocate of the principles of Democracy. His wife is a member of the Lutheran CHurch and both are well and favorable known throughout this community, where they have so long resided. Mr. Santee is a worthy representative of one of the honored pioneer families, and his life has been such as to win him universal confidence and regard

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 705


Back Home