From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 161-162, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Francis M. Curry, a highly respected citizen of Mount Sterling,
was born in Scott county, Kentucky, April 9, 1825, a son of John R.
Curry, who was born October, 19, 1803. The paternal grandfather,
Alexander Curry, the honored founder of Mount Sterling, Illinois, was
born October 14, 1770, in the State of Maryland, the son of Archibald
Curry, a native of Scotland, who emigrated to America in colonial times
and settled in Maryland where he passed the remainder of his life.
Alexander Curry was a pioneer of Scott county, Kentucky; he purchased a
tract of land on the Lexington pike, on which he lived until 1830, when
he came to Illinois; he was accompanied by his wife and children and
made a settlement in Brown county, which was then a part of Schuyler
county. As soon as the land came into market he entered 2,000 acres,
including the present site of Mount Sterling; he erected a double log
house on the lot now occupied by the Christian Church, which was used
at the same time as a dwelling, a justice's room and a meeting house.
He did not keep a hotel but entertained travelers free of charge. He
was the first Justice of the Peace and the first Postmaster of Mount
Sterling. In 1833 he laid out the town, and June 21, of that year
occurred the first sale of lots. His son, Robert, had the first store
in the place, the goods being brought by teams from St. Louis. He
continued a resident of the place until his death in 1842. The maiden
name of his wife was Elizabeth Nutter, a native of Delaware, born
August 20, 1776. They reared a family of nine children: Daniel, Robert
N., John R., Olivia, Sarah, Nancy, Leah, Mary and Harriet.
John R. Curry was reared and married in Kentucky, and came from
the Blue Grass State with his parents. He located on land his father
gave him near Mount Sterling, and engaged in farming. He died November
17, 1882. He married Belle Brockman, a native of Scott county,
Kentucky, born May 15, 1804; she died December 17, 1875. They reared a
family of five children: Francis M., James R., Elizabeth, Alexander A.
and Mary B. Francis M. was a child of five years when he came to
Illinois with his parents. He received his education in the pioneer
schools which were taught in the primitive log structures, often
without a floor, and furnished with puncheon seats and puncheon desks;
the build was erected without nails, and light was admitted by an
opening in the wall, which was made by taking out a part of the log; in
cold weather this hole was covered by a piece of greased paper. At the
age of fourteen years Mr. Curry began clerking, receiving $12.50 a
month the first year, and boarding himself. After a few years he
engaged in business on his own account, which he conducted successfully
a number of years.
He was married September 21, 1853, to Mary Clements, a native of
Bourbon county, Kentucky, born March 26, 1829. Her father, William H.
Clement, was born in Kentucky, and died in that State in 1834; he
married Maria Givens, a daughter of John and Ruth Givens. Mr. and Mrs.
Curry are the parents of five children: Lizzie B., Ida M., Mattie G.,
Frank C. and Charles A.; the oldest son, William died at the age of
three and a half years. The father and mother are members of the
Presbyterian Church. Politically our subject has been identified with
the Democratic party, but he is a Prohibitionist both in principle and
practice. He is a man of many excellent traits and has the respect and
confidence of the entire community.