Minerva Alexander Hinman
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 556-557, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Mrs. Minerva Hinman was born near her present farm home, January 2, 1832. Her father was Ralph Alexander, and her mother, Elizabeth Fields. She was born in Indiana, and he in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1808. Elizabeth Fields was left an orphan at eight years, was reared by a Mr. Scott, of Indiana, who gave her a good schooling for that period. She was married in Indiana, at sixteen years of age, to Ralph Alexander, when he was twenty-six. He was a tanner and currier by trade, and followed that business until they came West to Brown county, in 1829. They came as other emigrants did, and made their first stop in this neighborhood, at the home of Ezekiel Rosses, who had come here about six months earlier. The two families dwelt in this one log house during that memorable winter of deep snow, and it was not a large cabin, either. With his good span of horses, Mr. Alexander helped Mr. Rosses harvest his first crop of grain and hay. He took a half section of land close by, to which they moved in the spring of 1830, and lived in the rough log cabin on the place. It was in this mansion that our subject first saw the light. Eight years later they moved into the two-story hewn-log house, and in this very good dwelling the father died, in 1846. He died a comparatively young man, leaving his wife, who survived him some thirty years, and died in Kansas, aged seventy. She was the mother of twelve children, many of whom have also passed away. The living ones are: Thomas M., a ranchman in Arizona, now seventy-one years old, who killed two mountain lions at this age; Milton H., living at Versailles, Illinois; Mrs. Hinman; James, now in Arizona, and the youngest of the family; John P., pastor of the Baptist Church at Auburn, Illinois.
  Mrs. Hinman was married in this county, in 1851, to Gideon Hinman, who was a widower with three sons. They have had eight children: Clara, Otis, Ralph and Hester have died. The living are: Minerva J. Withrow, of Cooperstown; Nellie Swenson, wife of a farmer at Mound Station; Abraham Lincoln, the unfortunate son, crippled and nervous from infancy from whooping cough. He is very bright in some things, especially in figures. He cannot express himself. Elizabeth is the next child, and is known as Dolly, a young lady at home, who graduated at the Rushville Normal College, being the valedictorian. Two of the sons of Mr. Hinman's first marriage are still living, large farmers and stock dealers.
  Mr. Hinman left his wife this fine estate of 160 acres of rich farm land with good buildings, well stocked. She has made a success of conducting it, pays taxes like her male neighbors, even if she cannot vote. She believes in a rotation of crops and clover. She grows from forty to sixty acres of corn, yielding from fifty to sixty bushels per acre, and feeds the most of it to hogs, of which she sells from fifty to sixty-five per year. She has colts, and about thirty head of cattle raised on the farm. The farm is in a finer condition than ever before.
  Mr. Hinman came here about 1840. He was a school teacher, and he soon settled on eighty acres south of Cooperstown, and two years later he entered 160 acres. He started with no means at all, but by his industry he accumulated a large property. He was in ill health some time before his death, and Mrs. Hinman had the experience that has proved so valuable to her in the management of the farm.




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