John Heaton, Captain
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 379-381, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Captain John Heaton, a retired farmer residing in Virginia, Cass county, Illinois, was born in Wigan, Lancashire county, England, January 1, 1810.
  Dennis Heaton, his father and Bartley Heaton, his grandfather, were also natives of Wigan, the family as far as known being of English ancestry. Grandfather Heaton was a Colonel in the Life Guards. He spent his whole life in England. Dennis Heaton was engaged in the mercantile business in Wigan, where he died about 1816. The maiden name of his wife was Kate Bartley, and she, too, was a native of Wigan. After the death of Mr. Heaton she married James Richardson. Her death occurred in Yorkshire about 1852. By her first husband she had nine children, all of whom reached adult years; by her second husband she reared four children.
  The subject of our sketch was reared in Manchester. He was six years old when his father died, and from the time he was seven he earned his own living. From his seventh year till his thirteenth he worked in a cotton factory, after which he began learning the trade of tin and coppersmith with Mr. Moon in Oldham street, Manchester, with whom he worked seven years. He now has a kettle which he made in 1827 and presented to his mother. At the time of his marriage she gave it back to him, and it has been in daily use in his family ever since.
  At the age of twenty-one Mr. Heaton enlisted in the Thirty-sixth Regiment of Infantry, and was soon transferred to the Fifty-ninth Regiment, and marched across Ireland to Dublin, joining the regiment at Port Aa Bella Barracks, and served two years and eight months. He was in different parts of Ireland ten months and then made a forced march to Oldham, England, to quell a riot there; thence to Liverpool, where he embarked for Gibraltar, a year later to Malta, then to Carfew, and from there back to Gibraltar, where his discharge and that of nineteen others was purchased, supposed to have been by the Spanish Government. He then became a member of Shaw's brigade for the Spanish army during the war between Don Carlos and the Queen; was commissioned Captain of the Light Company and commanded that company in the different marches, battles, etc. incident to that war. He served a little more than seven years.
  When peace was declared Captain Heaton was honorably discharged and returned to Manchester. There he began business on his own account as a tin and copper smith, remaining thus occupied until 1850. That year he came to America, sailing from Liverpool on the 27th of May and landing in Quebec after a voyage of seven weeks and three days. His father-in-law was at that time living four miles from Streetsville, Ontario. He joined him, and from there visited the Queen's Bush, a tract of timber land set aside for the soldiers. Not caring to have a farm in the wilderness, he came to the United States. After residing in St. Louis a few weeks, he sought a home in Cass county, Illinois, taking up his abode seven miles from Virginia, where he entered a tract of Government land. He erected a log house and commenced at once to improve his land. This was before the coming of the railroad and when Beardstown was the principal market for this section of the country. Deer and various kinds of wild game were plenty here. Captain Heaton improved fifty acres of land, and in 1854 sold it to John Fravey. He then moved to Beardstown in order to give his children the benefit of schools. He was employed by Horace Billings in his pork house for a time, and later was in the employ of Mr. Crea and Henry Chatsey. While a resident of that place he was sent for from Brooklyn, New York, to superintend a pork-packing establishment there for a Mr. Arris. He remained in Brooklyn one season. In 1863 he went to Decatur, Illinois, and established a packing house for Mr. Plato. He subsequently purchased a farm of Major Arnold, in Monroe precinct, and resided on it till 1870. The following two years he lived in Beardstown. His next move was to Virginia. He bought property on Gospel Hill, built a house, and resided there till 1884. He then rented that place, and bought and moved to his present home.
  Captain Heaton was married at Bolton, Lancashire, England, November 2, 1840, to Mary J. Fullerton. She was born in the Tower of London, February 29, 1820, daughter of Major James Fullerton, a native of England. When a young man, her father enlisted in the Seventh Battalion, and was commissioned Major. He was in command of the tower at the time of her birth. He served in the army about twenty-two years, after which he was retired on half pay. He then emigrated to Canada, and settled twenty miles from Toronto, Ontario, where he bought a farm and resided till his death. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Glen. She was born in England and died in Canada.
  To Captain Heaton and his wife eleven children have been born, viz.: Noble John, who was married by W. R. Whitehead to Flavila Yaple, December 24, 1873, and has three children, Charlie, Alford and Noble John; Catharine, who was married by R. C. H. Heimerling to Charles Caldwell, December 12, 1860, and has seven children, Patrick, John, Emma, Jennie, who became the wife of James Mead, of Virginia; Lizzie, Katie and Edward; Edward, who lost his life in a railroad accident on the Central Pacific Railroad; James, who was married in November, 1873, to Cora Seaman, has one child, Florence; Mary Jane, who was married by Benjamin Williams to W. B. Williams, August 7, 1871, and has two children, Eddie and Henry; William, who was married by John W. Shay to Hannah E. Seaman, November 10, 1875, and has five children, Mary, John, Willard, George and Eva; Charles, who was married January 5, 1885, to Sadie Bohman; Susan, who was married by John W. Allen to Reuben Lancaster, March 11, 1880, and has two children, Earl and Iva; Alice, who was married by John W. Allen to Edward E. Savage, May 10, 1877, and has four children, Henry, Walter, Bessie and Zella; Martha, who was married by J. E. Roach to Richard H. Payne, November 20, 1884, and has four children, Carey, Inis, Hazel and Irine; and Thomas, who is unmarried. They have twenty-nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
  The Captain and his worthy companion are devout members of the Catholic Church.
  The sword which this veteran carried in Spain he has presented to his son, Noble John, who values it beyond price.
  Such is a brief record of one of Virginia's pioneers and highly respected citizens.




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