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Randolph County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Note: Some of these may be abstracted, instead of complete transcriptions.  We're adding the complete biographies slowly but surely!
The abstracted bios were transcribed by Jeana Gallagher unless otherwise noted

J. Perry Johnson
The Randolph County bar has no lawyer of higher standing among its members than the Hon. J. Perry Johnson. Covington, Kentucky was his birthplace, and the date October the thirty-first, 1835. His family, which was of Scotch-Irish descent, lived first in Maine, moved thence to Ohio, and afterward to Kentucky. In 1836, his father removed to St. Clair county, Illinois. In 1845, Mr. Johnson, when nine years old, came to Monroe County for the purpose of attending school at Waterloo. His education was finished at St. Louis, where he attended school from eighteen to twenty, and where he also began the study of law.
At twenty-one he became a resident of Marion County, Illinois, and there followed merchandising till the year 1859, when on account of failing health he resolved to begin the practice of law. Four months were spent in reviewing his studies; he was admitted to practice, and one day the door closed on his career as a merchant and the very next opened on that of a lawyer. For two years he maintained an office in Marion County, but the time was principally occupied in traveling. In 1861, he attended the spring term of court at Chester, and was so attracted toward the place, chiefly by reason of its rugged and romantic scenery, that he determined to make it his permanent home. Since the summer of '61, Mr. Johnson has lived in the town, and been busy with his duties as an attorney. In October, 1863, he was married to Mary C. Prine. Her death occurred in December, 1866, and Mr. Johnson was again married, January 1, 1868, to Abbie F. Prine, a native of Chester.
Mr. Johnson has been one of the foremost members of the Democratic party in Randolph County. In 1863, he first canvassed the County, and addressed the people on the issues of the day. In 1864, he was made States Attorney for the second judicial district then composed of the Counties of Randolph, Monroe, Washington Fayette, Marion, and Clinton. As a lawyer, Mr. Johnson is well versed in all branches of the profession, but he has made a special study of the law with regard to real estate. His powers of concentration are of high order, and few lawyers better understand the art of combining every circumstance and fact, and bringing them to bear on the subject under consideration, presenting his argument in a clear, logical, and concise manner.[Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]

Capt. Paul T. Jones
Mr. Jones is a native of Jackson County, Illinois. He was born there, November 21st, 1834. His father, Andrew, died when Mr. Jones was seven years old, after which his wife with her small family moved to this County, and here the Captain has resided ever since with the exception of the time that was spent in the Union Army during the late civil war. He enlisted in the 18th Illinois Volunteers, in 1861, and was in the United States' service during the whole war. He was only wounded once, while engaged in the pursuit of the rebel General Price. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged, when he returned to his home in this County. He went into the army as a private, was elected 1st Sergeant of his company, and in about a year was elected as its Captain, and commanded it till the close of his three years' enlistment. He re-enlisted in the 17th Illinois Cavalry, Illinois Volunteers, John L. Beverage, present Governor of this State, being Colonel.
While in the service Captain Jones experienced some hard fighting. He was in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Pittsburg Landing, Little Rock, and the Siege of Vicksburg and besides a number of engagements of less note. When he returned to this County he resumed the business of blacksmithing, a trade he learned in his young days in Jackson County, and at which he has worked as a business all his life. He has worked in the County, at Sparta and Coulterville, and is now established at the little enterprising town of Tilden. He was married in 1867 to Miss Mary A. Laird, daughter of Isaac A. Laird, one of the oldest living citizens of this County, having come into it as early as 1808, and who now resides in the City of Sparta.
Mr. Jones' ancestry were early in this country, at least some little time before the separation of the Colonies from the mother country, though much of their early history is obscure and some of it entirely lost. Mr. Jones' grandfather was also named Andrew, and was a native of South Carolina. He came very early to this County, but not being altogether pleased with his surroundings, he stopped only a short time and then settled in Jackson County, where he spent his last days. Mr. Jones' father was a young man when he came with his parents to this County. He also settled in Jackson County, and there married Miss Martha Marshall, daughter of William Marshall by his wife, formerly Annie Kane. Mr. Marshall was a relation of Dr. Marshall, an old settler and a very prominent physician of this County in bye-gone days. After the death of her husband Mr. Jones' mother married a second time to Mr. George Brown, once a highly respected and well-known old settler of this County, and also a soldier of the war of 1812. He died in 1873, and his widow now resides in Coulterville. She had four children by her first husband, three of whom were raised, viz.: Andrew, who went to Texas in 1858, James M., a resident of Coulterville, and the Captain.[Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]

Alfred C. Jordan
Sir Robert Jordan, who emigrated from England about the year 1640, was the first of the Jordan family to come to America. He settled what is now Cape Elizabeth, near Portland, Maine. He was a minister of the Church of England, and brought over to this country a sprinkling bowl and pitcher used in the church services, which, with other articles of family history, are now in the possession of Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine. The Jordans continued to live in the same locality, and members of the family still own the place of original settlement. A numerous and influential body of descendants has sprung from Sr. Robert Jordan, and there are now few families in the country who trace their ancestry back to an earlier date, Sir Robert having come to America only twenty years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.  The Jordans took a conspicuous part in the early settlement of Maine. They were active in the Indian wars, and sixteen male members of the family were massacred at one time by the savages, on the spot where now stands the city of Portland. They also distinguished themselves in the French war, and the war of the Revolution, and well-authenticated instances of their bravery are still on record.
Alfred C. Jordan is the son of Abijah Jordan and Charity Plummer. His mother was also a member of an old New England family. He was born on the ninth day of April, 1835, at Bowdoin, Maine. His father was a farmer and shipwright. After receiving a common-school and academic education, he learned the trade of a ship-carpenter, and at the age of nineteen, made a voyage to Liverpool as carpenter of a ship. When he had reached the age of twenty-two, he resolved to make his home in the West. He first settled down at St. Anthony, Minnesota, and there engaged in milling. After a residence of two years in this locality, he came to St. Louis, and subsequently found his way to Randolph County, where he worked at the carpenter's trade in the neighborhood of where he now lives. The date of his arrival in Randolph County was the first day of June, 1858. He was employed as a carpenter for about two years, and then on the fifth of August, 1860, he was married to Mrs. Sarah Ewing. Her maiden name had been Moore.
After this event, Mr. Jordan settled down on the farm which he now occupies, in Section 13, of Township 4-7. He here has a farm of two hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Jordan followed farming exclusively up to the year 1873, when in addition he engaged in the lumber business, at Baldwin, a town which at that time had been recently formed on the Cairo and St. Louis railroad. To Mr. Jordan belongs the honor of shipping the first load of lumber, and putting up the first building ever erected in Baldwin. It is now used by Mr. Jordan as a warehouse. He is at present engaged in the grain, flour, and coal business, which he has carried on with success. Mr. and Mrs. Jordan have had seven children, Samuel and John, Emma and Lizzie (now deceased), Robert, Herbert and Lizzie. Mr. Jordan was raised a Democrat, but became a Republican on the rise of that party. He has been one of the active business men of Baldwin, and has assisted largely in the development of the town.[Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]


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