Isaac M. Stribling

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 418-419, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Isaac M. Stribling, one of the most extensive and successful farmers of Illinois, a popular and influential citizen of Virginia, was born in Logan county, Kentucky, January 13, 1821.
  His parents were Benjamin and Nancy (Washburn) Stribling, both natives of Virginia. His paternal grandparents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Ayres) Stribling, also natives of the Old Dominion, who emigrated to Logan County, Kentucky, in a very early day. There his grandfather purchased a tract of timber, land, seven miles from Russellville, which he improved and where he continued to reside until his death. The grandmother survived her husband, and accompanied her son, father of the subject of this sketch, to Illinois, and died at his home. The father of the subject of this notice was married in Kentucky, and resided there until 1827, when he removed, with his wife and two children, to Illinois. The journey was made overland with a team, and they brought provisions and cooking utensils with them, and camped and cooked by the way. He first located in Morgan county, where he bought a tract of land, on which he and his family resided for three years. In 1830 he sold out and came to Cass County, settling a mile and a half northwest of the present site of Virginia, he and his family being among the earliest settlers of the county. He bought eighty acres and entered 720 acres of Government land. On that which he bought there was a small house, the sides and roof of which were covered with split boards, while the floor was made of puncheon. The chimney was made of earth and sticks, known in those days as a "cat-and-stick" chimney. He at once commenced to improve his land, and resided there some years, after which he removed to land which he had purchased on the Sangamon river bottoms. He remained there a few years, eventually moving to Beardstown, and finally to Virginia. In the latter place he bought a comfortable home, and spent his last years retired from active business. His first wife, mother of the subject of this notice, was a daughter of Philip Washburn, and she died on the home farm in 1846. Three of her children attained maturity; Benjamin F., died on the old homestead; and Thomas, the youngest son, now resides in California.
  Isaac M., whose name heads this memoir, was six years old when his parents removed to Illinois, and he has a vivid recollection of the overland journey and subsequent pioneer life. Central Illinois was then very sparsely settled, while northern Illinois was uninhabited except by Indians. There were no railroads for many years, and the people lived on the products of their farms and wild game, which abounded in great profusion, such as deer, turkeys, prairie chickens, geese and ducks. His father used to raise flax and cotton, which his mother would card, while he and his brothers would spin it, after which it was woven in a hand-loom. All cooking was done by a fireplace, while the method of farming was quite different from that now employed. Grass was mown by hand and grain was cut with a sickle or cradle. As soon as he was large enough, our subject assisted his father in the improvement of the land, attending school as opportunity afforded. The schools were supported by subscriptions, each family paying according to the number of scholars sent. The schoolhouse was of logs, and the benches were made of rough slabs. Fifty cents a day in trade was the price of labor.
  Mr. Stribling remained at home until he attained his majority, after which he earned his first money by mowing ten acres of land, receiving for it $1 an acre. His father gave him a tract of wild land, on which he commenced work for himself. Most of it was raw prairie, and he immediately set about preparing the land for cultivation. He built on it a small house, in which, after marriage, he and his wife commenced life. He resided there for ten years and them moved to his present home. He now owns 2,000 acres of choice farming land, 160 of which is in Menard county, and the remainder in Cass county. His property consists of the best in those localities, for which he paid the highest price demanded for agricultural lands. None of it is rented, but the whole is under his supervision. His principal business is raising and feeding stock, his various farms being well supplied with a high grade of shorthorn cattle, well-bred hogs, and draft and trotting horses.
 He was first married in 1843, to Margaret Beggs, an intelligent lady, and a native of Virginia, daughter of Charles Beggs. By this union there are five surviving children: Joan, James, Thomas, Kate, henry C. and Lou M. The family were called upon to mourn the loss of the devoted wife and mother whose life had been one of continued exertion in their interest.
  Mr. Stribling was married a second time, to Maria Carr, an estimable lady, a native of Cass county, this State, and a daughter of David and Julia Carr. By this marriage there are eight children: Emma, Carrie, Nellia, William B., Hattie, Frank, George and Howard.
  Mr. Stribling is pre-eminently a self-made man, and has, by good judgment, steady industry, economy and integrity, attained his present phenomenal prosperity and acquired the universal good will of his fellow men.

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