From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler
and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 468, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
James M. Read was born in Birmingham township, October 2, 1842.
He was the son of Amasa Read, who was born in Massachusetts, and Jane,
nee Henderson of Ohio. The grandfather, with two brothers, came to
America from England when they were young men, and followed farming.
Amasa and two brothers came to Ohio at a very early day, and settled at
Xenia. In 1837 Amasa sold out his land, and with a wagon came overland
to this county. He traded his team to some men to build him a home. In
1837 he went back and brought his family and settled on the farm where
our subject now lives. When he came back the house was not finished,
and he was obliged to rough it for nine months without doors or
windows. The most of the children were born in this old log house.
James was one of six children, three yet living. His father died
in the old log house five years after coming here at the age of
sixty-six years, and his wife died in 1890, aged eighty years. Amasa
Read ran a clock factory in Ohio, and when he first came to Illinois he
started a nursery. He was an old line Whig, and voted for William Henry
James remained at home until his marriage, January 3, 1871, to
Sophia King, daughter of Louis and Harriet King, who came to
Huntsville, Illinois, in 1838 or 1839, and are still living. Up to the
time of his marriage, James worked at home, attended the district
school, and went one year to Abingdon Seminary. John Brown, of Harper's
Ferry fame, was an own cousin of Mr. Read. Mr. and Mrs. Read have five
children: Effie M., Ellen J., and Eliza S., now in school at Augusta,
and preparing for college; George M. and James M., are both at home.
After his marriage he still lived on the old farm where he had
bought out all of the heirs. Later he sold eighty acres, leaving him
240 at present. He has built a fine house and barn, and has as good a
farm as is in the county, on which he raises a good deal of stock. He
voted first for Lincoln, and has been a Republican ever since. Mr. and
Mrs. Read attend the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Read joined the
Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of nineteen. His sister, Eliza
J., at the age of twenty-six taught kindergarten in Chicago, and is now
the wife of Rev. J. T. Sunderland. Mr. Read has a delightful family and
a very fine home.