John S. Stutsman
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 325-326, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  John S. Stutsman, an honored pioneer of Schuyler county, has been closely identified with its history for many years, and it is fitting that a sketch of his life should appear in these pages. He was born in Dubois county, Indiana, April 10, 1827, a son of Alexander D. and Rhoda (Seybold) Stutsman. Alexander D. Stutsman was a native of Kentucky, a son of Jacob and Mary (Berkey) Stutsman, natives of Pennsylvania; his father died in Dubois county, Indiana, at the age of eighty years; the mother died in the same place, aged seventy years. The Stutsman family is of German origin, the great-grandfather of our subject having emigrated from the fatherland to America. Both Mr. and Mrs. John S. Stutsman had ancestors that served in the wars of the Revolution and 1812. Rhoda Seybold, the mother of John S. Stutsman, was born in Georgia and was one of a family of seven children; she became the mother of a family of eleven, eight of whom are living. The father died on the old homestead, now occupied by his son, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was one of the early pioneers of the State, emigrating to Schuyler county in 1834, and bravely bore the privations of life on the frontier that the way might be paved for the coming of an advanced civilization. He was accompanied by his wife and five children, and made the journey with a four-horse wagon; he purchased a farm of 148 acres, partially improved; for twelve years the family lived in a log cabin that had been built before their coming; this was in time replaced by one of black-walnut logs, which was the home of the parents until death. The mother lived to be eighty years old. John S. remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-three years of age; he attended the district school, and although his opportunities were meager he laid the foundation of a thorough education, and has since come to be recognized as an authority on all historical subjects. Many were the evenings he read to his mother by the light of the flickering candle, as she sewed upon clothing, either for her own or the neighbor's boys.
  Mr. Stutsman was united in marriage, March 21, 1850, to Miss Sarah Howell, who was born in Monroe county, Indiana, January 24, 1831. Her parents, Jonathan and Nancy (Gilham) Howell, emigrated to Indiana in 1822, and thence to Brown county, Illinois, in 1838, where they passed the remainder of their lives; the father died at the age of sixty-nine, and the mother at the age of eighty years. They reared a family of ten children, five of whom survive. They had three sons in the Union army in the late war, two of whom died in the service of their country.
  Mrs. Howell's parents were natives of North Carolina, as were also Mr. Howells. Mr. and Mrs. Stutsman have had born to them a family of ten children, six of whom are deceased; those living are named as follows: Nancy J. is married and the mother of seven children; Mary E. is at home; Robert W. is married and has two children; John E. is on the old homestead; Mary has taught school very successfully for several years. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and are actively engaged in the good work of this society.
  After his marriage Mr. Stutsman lived near his present residence for three years, and then purchased the property he still owns; he first occupied a log cabin, which he replaced in time with a substantial brick structure. His first tract consisted of forty acres of wild land, to which he added as his means would permit, until he now has 195 acres. He does a general farming business, and is more than ordinarily successful and prosperous. It is entirely through his own efforts that he has accumulated his property, as he had no capital excepting that with which nature had endowed him.
  Politically, he affiliates with the Democratic party, which he has represented in various positions of trust and honor. He was County Treasurer four years form 1886 to 1890, has been Supervisor seven years, and Township School Treasurer twenty-seven years, holding the latter position at present; he has for many years been a member of the School Board. He is one of the most widely known men in the county, and none is held in higher esteem.




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