Nathan Sutton

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 327-329, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Nathan Sutton, one of the most prominent citizens of his county was born in Sussex county, New Jersey, January 22, 1819, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Robe) Sutton, the former of the same place as his son, where he kept a store for many years, but sold out in 1823 and went to Washtenaw county, Michigan, where he took up land to the amount of 160 acres and improved it. He then sold it to his father, also Nathan, who was born in the same county and State as his son and grandson. This gentleman died Michigan when about seventy-five years of age. His wife, subject's grandmother, was Sarah Sutton and she died on the farm when about seventy-six. The entire family were farmers by occupation. Mr. Nathan Sutton, Sr., was a teamster in the war of 1812. Benjamin Sutton arrived in Illinois July 29, 1833, and settled near the present home of subject, where he entered and bought land to such an extent that he had 2,200 acres at his death, being one of the largest land-owners in central Illinois. He died in October, 1837, aged about forty-five and his wife, who was born in the same place as her husband, died on the old farm, aged about forty-seven.
  The Sutton family were of English descent, the Robes of German ancestry. Our subject was one of nine children, five of whom are yet living, and his father was one of six children. His mother's people never came West, but died in New Jersey, when very old: they were farmers. The Sutton family figured largely in the politics of Michigan, several of them serving as Justices of the Peace, one was a member of the State Legislature, while another served as Mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The prominence of Benjamin Sutton was not confined to Michigan by any means, as he was one of the most prominent men of his county, in Illinois. He erected the first gristmill in the locality and in order that the children of the section should have the benefit of the subscription schools he paid one half of the teacher's fees for five months. This family did not come West in the moneyless condition that so many were in, as they had nearly $7,000 in cash besides personal effects which had been brought across the country in wagons, the only means of transportation in those days. Mr. Sutton, Sr., was a Deacon in the Baptist Church and for a time Clerk, and a member of the order of A.F.&A.M.
  Our subject remained upon the home farm until his marriage, when he rented for a year and then bought seventy-five acres of wild land, on which he built a log house 16 x 18 feet, in which he and his wife lived until he built his present house, in 1856. Mr. Sutton kept adding to his farm until he now has 500 acres of fine land and has given each of his children a fine farm.
  A son of Nathan Sutton enlisted in the late war, and while in service he was captured and sent to Andersonville, where he remained five months. His health was so impared by confinement that he was obliged to be in the St. Louis hospital, but with these exceptions he served throughout the entire war. One of his brothers was in the same company for one year, responding to the last call for men.
  Mr. Sutton was married August 4, 1842 to Miss Elizabeth A. Lemar, born in Mason county, Kentucky, July 9, 1822, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth H. (Merrell) Lemar. The former was a native of New Jersey, who came from Kentucky, which had been his home for some years, to Illinois, in 1840, and after marrying a second time settled in Petersburg, Illinois, where he bought eighty acres of land, five miles from present home of subject. His first wife died when her daughter, Mrs. Sutton, was thirteen months old. The family was of French descent. The mother of Mrs. Sutton was a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Hyde) Merrell and the Hyde family were the legal heirs of a large estate in England, but which they have never been able to obtain, although they have sufficient proof to establish their claim to it. Mrs. Sutton one of five children, two yet living and also two half sisters are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton have had eight children, as follows: William Sylvester, born April 21, 1844, married Mary E. Severs, three children; Alonzo, born September 9, 1846, married Miss Martha Dick (see sketch of Levi Dick); John H., born August 21, 1848, married Hannah Ogden, deceased; married second time Mary I. Garder, two children; David L., born July 28, 1850; Winfield S., born August 19, 1852, married Levina Samuels by whom he had six children, and after her death he married Lucretia Lynn by whom he had four children; Clara J., born October 14, 1854, married Joshua Conyers, and has five living children, one deceased; Benjamin R., born March 24, 1857, married Jennie Morgan, has three children, Stella, Ernest and Ella, the oldest one having died in infancy and another, also an infant, is deceased; and Ella E., born September 8, 1858, married James Odgen, two children.
  Mr. Sutton is an ardent Republican, having been an old-line Whig, casting his first vote for General William H. Harrison. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton, with their family are members of the Baptist Church, in which Mr. Sutton has been a Deacon for many years. This is a brief sketch of one of the most prominent families in the county, and we regret that space forbids a more extended notice of such a well known and influential family.

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