Among the farmers of Shelby County who have materially added to its prosperity by developing its rich agricultural resources, and at the same time have accumulated a handsome private property, Mr. Lemuel Parker is well worthy of mention in this volume. For many years he has carried on farming in Moweaqua Township, and as the result of his persistent and well-directed labors has a farm that is equal in improvements and cultivation to the best in its vicinity.
September 6, 1827, is the date of the birth of our subject in Cayuga County, N. Y. Mathias Parker was the name of his father, and he was a native of Canada. He in turn was a son of one Lemuel Parker, who was a pioneer of the town of Niles, and was thereafter engaged at his occupation as a farmer in Cayuga County until death closed his mortal career. The maiden name of his wife was Tacy Niles, and she too died on the farm in Niles Township. His son, Mathias, though born in Canada was reared on the family homestead, and he followed farming in New York State until his demise in 1830, while yet in life's prime. His widow, whose maiden name was Susanna Armstrong, is still living, making her home with her son, our subject, and retains to a remarkable degree her mind and memory and physical faculties, although she has reached the ninety-first milestone that marks a long life, having been born April 28, 1800, in Genoa, Cayuga County, N. Y. She was married a second time in 1833 to Owen Dewitt, who came to Illinois with his family in 1853. He lived in Pike County for a time, and then came to this county to spend his remaining days, dying here in 1866. His maternal grandfather of our subject, Andrew Armstrong, was one of the first settlers of Cayuga County, N. Y. He bought a tract of timber land in the township of Genoa, and established a home in the primeval forest, building a log cabin for shelter. Much of the great Empire State was then in a wild, sparsely settled condition, and there were no railways or canals for years to facilitate communication with the outside world. There were no mills near where Mr. Armstrong settled, and he and his fellow-pioneers had to reduce their grain in iron mortars. They lived off the products of their land and from wild game, which abundant. The grandfather of our subject cleared a farm, and dwelt thereon until death deprived him of the companionship of his wife in 1818. He then sold his place, and the few years that remained to him boarded until he was called to his long home in 1822. His wife bore the maiden name of Polly Bowker. She was born on the banks of the Susquehanna River, and was a daughter of Silas and Esther (Hobbs) Bowker. Her father and three of her brothers served in the Revolution. She was carefully trained in all that went to make a good housewife in the olden days, and was an adept in carding, spinning and weaving. She imparted those arts to her daughter, the mother of our subject, who for many years after her marriage made all the cloth in use in her family, coloring that which she made into garments with the simple vegetable dyes formerly used, and she spun her own thread.
After his father's death, the subject of this biographical notice went to live with his grandparents, but they died when he was in his eighth year, and from that time his home was with strangers until he established one of his own, and he had to earn his living, getting his board and clothes in re-payment for his work as a chore-boy and farm hand for a farmer, with whom he lived for several years. When he was seventeen years old he began to receive wages, earning the sum of $7 a month. He continued to work out by the month in his native State until 1849, in that year he took an important step in life whereby his worldly prospects were much advanced, as he then came to Illinois to try farming on the fertile soil of the Prairie State, and in due time became an independent farmer. In coming hither he journeyed by Erie Canal to Buffalo, from there by the lakes to Chicago, and then on the canal and Illinois River to Pike County, where he tarried a few years, finding employment as a farm laborer. In 1856 he came to Shelby County, and invested his hard-earned money in one hundred and twenty acres of prairie land, a mile and a half from the village of Moweaqua. He has since bought other land, and at one time had three hundred and forty acres, of which he still retains two hundred and sixty acres, all of it being finely improved.
A measure of Mr. Parker's good fortune is attributable to the devoted assistance of his good wife, who has ever been to him a cheerful helper, has given him wise counsel when needed, and has contributed to his comfort and well-being, as well as to his financial prosperity by her careful guidance of household matters. Her maiden name was Cena A. Parker. She was a native of the same county as her husband, and they were wedded in 1855. They have three children - Willis E., Charles M. and Lydia A. Mrs. Parker is a consistent Christian and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Parker is a sensible man, with sound views on all subjects in which he is interested, especially in regard to politics, and we find him to be a steadfast Republican. As a farmer he stands high in the community, and he bears an unsullied reputation as a man and a citizen.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Leonard Parkinson, a prominent farmer, stock-raiser and dealer in real estate, residing on section 30, Oconee Township, Shelby County, was born on Staten Island, N. Y., January 21, 1831. His parents were Leonard and Maria (Fountain) Parkinson, both being native of Staten Island, and descended from English and German ancestry respectively. Two sons and two daughters were the children of this marriage, as follows: Mary E., the widow of William Burns, is at present in Europe where she has been spending seven years educating her daughter; the next, is our subject; William A., who is unmarried is engaged in the insurance business in the East, and makes his home upon Staten Island; Hannah S. is the wife of John Benjamin, a broker of New York City. The mother died five years ago in her eighty-third year, having been a widow since 1852.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the schools of New York City, and grew to manhood as a resident of Staten Island. In 1848-49 during the prevalence of the "gold fever," he went to California and remained there for five years, being engaged in trading with the Sandwich Islands, and in the brokerage business, in both of which he was successful in a financial way. In 1853 he returned to Staten Island, and in 1861 came to Illinois and located on the farm in Oconee Township, where he now resides. He owns two hundred and sixty-two acres of excellent farming land, adjoining the town of Oconee. A fine residence tastily furnished, productive orchard and other advantages render this farm a very desirable one. When Mr. Parkinson first came to Illinois he came to transact business in real estate for other parties, and seeing the country under very favorable circumstances he became impressed with its beauty and fertility, and invested for himself, which action he has never seen cause to regret.
The marriage of our subject in 1863 united him with Miss Ann L. Elmo, who was born at Zanesville, Ohio, January 4, 1841. She came to Taylorville, Ill., with her parents, and was married at Oconee. Of this union three children were born: William A., who was born January 8, 1864, is engaged in merchandising at Sullivan, this State, and is married to Miss Jessie Shinkle of Ohio; Cora, who was born August 14, 1866, is now the wife of H. Skinner, of Oconee; Ida, who began life May 30, 1869, died when a lovely child of two years and seven month. Mr. Parkinson is a stanch Republican in politics, and takes an interest in every thing calculated to enhance the prosperity of the State and nation. His family are not members of any religious denomination, although their preferences are toward the Episcopal Church. An honest, industrious and frugal gentleman, it is not strange that he has accumulated a goodly portion of this world's goods, and is able to give to his family the advantages of comfort and affluence. On another page of this volume will be found a lithographic portrait of Mr. Parkinson. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Robert A. Patton
Postmaster at Prairie Home, is a prominent citizen of this village, who is closely associated with the leading interests of this section of the county as a general merchant and as the proprietor of a choice farm. He is a native of Mifflin County, Pa. born November 12, 1842, the son of a prosperous farmer of that State. James Patton, his father was born in Cecil County, Md. while his father, who bore the same name as himself, was born in County Derry, Ireland, being a descendant of one of the old Scotch families that had settled in that region many years ago. He came to this country and first located in Maryland, whence he removed after awhile to Pennsylvania where he died in 1840. The father of our subject learned the trade of a brick and stone mason in his youth, and engaged in that in connection with farming. In 1843 he bought the farm where his widow now resides in Mifflin County. He died in August, 189l, aged seventy-five years. His good wife is living in a cozy home surrounded with all the desirable comforts of life. They reared a family of seven children to lives of usefulness. The maiden name of the mother was Eliza Lowrie, and she is a native of Mifflin County, Pa., a daughter of William and Polly Lowrie.
Robert Patton passed his boyhood in his native county and was given excellent advantages to obtain a sound education. He gained his first knowledge of books at home and in the local district school, and later in life became a student at the Kishacoquillas Seminary, where he pursued a thorough course of study which gave him a good equipment as a teacher. He entered the ranks of that profession in 1861, and the ensuing twelve years devoted the greater part of his time to that vocation, and when not thus employed being engaged at the trade of a bricklayer.
In 1870 our subject made a new departure, leaving his native State to settle in Illinois, and giving his attention to farming in Flat Branch Township, where he bought forty acres of land. He did not wholly abandon his profession, however, but was a part of the time employed in teaching as well as in cultivating the soil. In 1873 he went to Moweaqua, where he carried on the drug business until 1887, when he came to Prairie Home where he has since conducted a general store. His establishment is fitted up in good style and is amply stocked with a large supply of all sorts of merchandise that are in demand in such a village, including dry goods, boots, shoes, crockery, glassware and groceries, and the customers have as varied a selection as can be found in the stores of many larger towns. Besides his mercantile interests, Mr. Patton has a well-managed farm, advantageously located a quarter of a mile from his store, and upon it he and his family have one of the pleasantest homes in this vicinity.
Mr. Patton was first married November 12, 1867, Miss Sadie J. Stine becoming his wife. She was born in Mifflin County, Pa., and was a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Stine. Their wedded life was brought to an end by the death of Mrs. Patton in March, 1882. She left five children, May, Cora, Robert S., Lulu and Edith. The second marriage of our subject which took place in November, 1882, was with Mrs. Minnie (Nims) Parker, a native of Lake County and a daughter of Charles Nims. Three children have been born of this marriage, Willie R., Grover Cleveland and Dada.
Mr. Patton is a man whose education, character and business equipment have made him a decided acquisition to the citizenship of this county, and he stands well in its financial and social circles. In him the Democratic party of this section has one of its most sensible followers. In 1887 he was appointed Postmaster at Prairie Home and no Postoffice in the county is better managed than the one under his charge. Religiously Mr. Patton is of the Presbyterian faith, and both he and his wife are consistent members of the church of that denomination in this village. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Fred A. Pauchert
Fred A. Pauchert, a retired merchant of Shelbyville, Shelby County, is connected with the agricultural interests of this county as the proprietor of two fine farms. He has held prominent public positions, and whether as a civic officer, a business man, or as a private citizen, he has always manifested a deep interest in all that concerns the welfare of the city and county, and has materially aided in their advancement. He was born near Daaden, in the Rhenish Province of Friedenwald, Prussia. His father and paternal grandfather, both of whom bore the given name of Engelbert, were also natives of the same town as himself, the latter spending his entire life there, he having been a farmer and the keeper of a public house.
The father of our subject learned the trade of a baker when he was young, and carried on that business and conducted a grocery store in connection with it in his native town for many years. He now lives retired at the venerable age of eighty-six years. Catherine Held, and who was born at Daaden, died in January, 1887, at an advanced age. They reared a family of seven children, of whom the following are the names: Fred A., Caroline, Henry, Gustaf, Louis, Robert and Julia. Fred A., Gustaf, Louis and Robert are the only members of the family that ever came to this country. Gustaf reared a family and spent his last years in Shelbyville. Louis, who never married, died at St. Louis. Robert, a resident of Shelbyville, has a family.
Our subject had the advantages of a good education in the excellent schools of his native land, which he attended steadily until he was fourteen years old. At that age he began to work at the trade with his father, and is also assisted in the labors of his father's farm. He was an ambitious, stirring temperament, and desirous to make the best of life he decided to emigrate to this country, the goal of so many of his compatriots, where he hoped to better his fortunes. In the spring of 1852 he started out on his ever memorable journey, setting sail from Antwerp, and after fifty-two days on the ocean, landing in New York. He proceeded directly to Schenectady County, in the same State, and was there employed by an American-born citizen to work on a farm. He found himself a stranger among a people with whose habits and customs he was unacquainted, and he could not understand their speech, as he knew not a word of the English language. He was an apt scholar, however, and during the two months that he worked there, he learned rapidly, and soon caught the meaning of what was said to him, and in time mastered English.
From that part of the country Mr. Pauchert made his way to St. Louis, going by rail to Buffalo, thence by lake to Detroit, from there by rail to Chicago, where he embarked on the Illinois and Michigan Canal for LaSalle, from which town he went by the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to St. Louis, which was then but a small city. There he found employment at various kinds of work the ensuing two years, and then was engaged in the office of the Terre Haute Railway Company three years. After that be established himself in the grocery business, which he carried on there until 1861. In that year he took up his residence in Shelbyville, and for two years was variously employed. At the expiration of that time he accepted a position as clerk in a store, at which he was engaged three years. His next move was to open a store at Moulton which is now included within the city limits, and he carried on business there upwards of twenty years. He then traded for a farm which is still in his possession, and since has lived retired from active business. Besides that farm, which is situated in Rose Township, he has another in Dry Point Township, and has fine property adjoining the city of Shelbyville, upon which he makes his home, the grounds about his residence comprising ten acres of land, well laid out, and adding to the attractiveness of the locality.
Mr. Pauchert was first married in March, 1857, to Miss Elizabeth Schneider, a native of Hesse-Cassel, Germany, who came to this country with a brother at the age of eighteen years. She died in January, 1874, leaving five children: Robert, Fred, Gust, Julia and Annie. Mr. Pauchert's marriage with his present wife, formerly Miss Rosena Maurer, took place in November, l874. Mrs. Pauchert was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, September 12, 1848, and is a daughter of Jacob and Barbara (Mayers) Maurer, natives of Wurtemberg. Her marriage with our subject has brought them seven children, whom they have named Kate, Rosa, John, Amelia, Carrie, Albert and Harry.
A man of Mr. Pauchert's mental calibre, sound common-sense, and clear judgment in regard to business is necessarily influential in the regulation of public affairs, and we find that he has held various important offices. He has served six years as a member of the City Council, two terms as Justice of the Peace, and has twice represented Rose Township on the County Board of Supervisors. In politics he steadily upholds the Republican party. Religiously he is one of the leading members of the Lutheran Church, to which his wife and children also belong.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Jacob F. Pfeiffer
Among the enterprising young farmers of Rose Township, Shelby County, none perhaps deserve higher praise than this gentleman whose ancestry is to be traced across the seas. His father, the late John Pfeiffer was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, April 2, 1835, and was the son of John Phillip Pfeiffer who was born in Germany and emigrated to Fairfield County, Ohio. He came to this county about the year 1877 and settled in Rose Township.
The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Anna M. Finka, her parents being John C. and Louisa Finka, natives of Germany. It was about the year 1843 when they left the old country and came to America, where they settled in Fairfield County, Ohio, and spent the remainder of their days. Mrs. Pfeiffer is the youngest of their four children, and she was born in Germany August 13, 1833.
After their marriage in Fairfield County, Ohio, the parents of our subject settled there for some before coming to Shelby County, Ill., where they made their home in Ridge Township, in March, 1864. For four years they resided there and then settled on section 5, Rose Township, where Mr. Pfeffer died December 4, 1879. Their seven children are: John C., Louisa M., now the wife of Leslie B. Barrett; Minnie C., the wife of Isaac Bales; Benjamin J., Jacob F., Edward W. and Emma M. At the time of his death the father of these children owned a fine tract of one hundred and forty acres upon which he had erected good, suitable buildings. Since his demise his widow has carried on the farm most efficiently and successfully. He was prominent during his life in educational affairs and held some school offices. Ile was an active worker in the Lutheran Church to which he and his good wife had both been long united.
The subject of this sketch was born in Ridge Township, November 14, 1864, and was reared to manhood in Rose Township, where he was educated in the common schools. Here his marriage occurred November 27, 1888, Miss Minnie L. Fringer becoming his bride. The parents of this lady, Jacob and Mary (Stoner) Fringer are residents of Rose Township, and Mrs. Pfeiffer is the fifth in their family of seven children. She was born in Preston County, Va., May 16, 1871. One child, Lula May, has come to bless this home. Mr. Pfeiffer is a prominent and active member of the Lutheran Church and is a young man who gives promise of achieving true success in life. His good management as a farmer is abundantly attested by the excellent condition of his farm and the neat appearance of his buildings. Mrs. Pfeiffer has evinced capabilities which will, no doubt, aid her husband greatly in carrying on his life work and bring to her the enduring reputation which every woman should seek as a true neighbor, a faithful wife and a judicious mother.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Martin V. Pierce
The gentleman who is our subject is the owner and resides on a fine farm located on section 1, Rural Township, where he devotes himself to the all of agriculture, being very successful in this direction, as he has bent his energies and intelligence to the subject for many years. His residence in Shelby County dates from the spring of 1869. He is a native of Sullivan County, Ind., where he was born March 16, 1838. His parents were Jesse and Kezian (Harris) Pierce.
The original of our sketch was but a small boy when his mother died and when only thirteen years of age the father died. The mother left thirteen children and the father was married a second time, by that marriage becoming the parent of two children. After the death of his father Martin resided with his uncle until he grew to manhood and assisted in tilling the soil. Doubly orphaned, the youth's early years lacked all that makes the remembrance of childhood pleasant to one. We cannot but sympathize with the lad whose sorrow was only stunned by the hard toil which he was compelled to accomplish.
In 1860 our subject was united in marriage to Emily Ernest, a daughter of Jacob and Susan Ernest. She was born in Sullivan County, Ind., and is one of a family of four, having three brothers. After our subject became the owner and operator of a small farm in Sullivan County, where he remained until 1869 and then came to this State, renting land for one season and then purchasing the place whereon he at preset resides. At that time it was but very little improved the only attempt at redeeming it from native wildness was a log hut. In 1876 Mr. Pierce removed to Shelbyville on account of poor health and two years later, much improved in this respect, he returned to his farm and resumed his bucolic employment. He is the owner of eighty acres of land, which is in a good state of cultivation.
Our subject and his wife have been the parents of five children, three girls and one boy dying in infancy; only one son, Charles, is living. A nephew, however, whose name is Homer Ernest, is a member of his family and enjoys the affection and privileges of a son. Formerly our subject affiliated with the Democratic party, but of late he has transferred his allegiance to the prohibition party convinced that the evil of intemperance is one that most seriously threatens the well-being of our country. He of whom we write has filled the position of Township Commissioner to the entire satisfaction of those wo elected him. In his church relations Mr. Pierce is a member of the Baptist denomination. He has been Deacon and Treasurer in the church of which he is a member for a number of years. Simple and unaffected at all times, our subject enjoys the confidence and trust of the men in his township in all stations of life. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Marcus F. Pleak
A man who is noted as being a thrifty and well-to-do farmer residing on section 11, of Flat Branch Township where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of highly improved land, is he whose name is at the head of this sketch. He is evidently a man who thinks more of home than of the mere accumulation of money, for his family are surrounded by all the comforts and even elegancies that the modern style of living declare so necessary. His residence is a fine, brick house, commanding a charming view of the surrounding country. Exteriorly, it is attractive and tasteful in style of architecture, and the interior arrangement is made with a view to comfort. Besides his fine home place, Mr. Pleak owns ninety-six acres on section 12, and sixty-two acres on section 1 in the same township, and forty acres on section 3. He is regarded by those who know him best as being one of the most practical and successful farmers of the township, having made fine improvements since his coming here, which was February 1, 1877. Our subject came hither from Middle Tennessee, where he had lived for some years. He was born near Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Ky., April 28, 1838. His parents are Joseph B. and Sarah J. (Riblin) Pleak, both natives of Kentucky, who came of German stock and ancestry. The family were early settlers in Kentucky. Or subject's grandfather was John Pleak, a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War, belonging to a Virginia regiment. He, however, died in Kentucky, after marriage with a lady of that State whose maiden name was Nancy Wade. She was of Irish descent and like her husband, died in Kentucky at an advanced age. The family were all members, both active and prominent, of the Christian Church and were among the early associates of that reform, they being personal friends and workers with Dr. Alexander Campbell, and the Rev. Barton W. Stone. Joseph D. Pleak and wife, after marriage, resided in Kentucky until 1870, when they came to Decatur County, Ind., where the father of the family died in 1876, having attained seventy-six years of age. His wife died in 1889, at the age of eighty-four. They were both prominent members for many years of the Christian Church, in fact, being so from Dr. Campbell's day.
Our subject is one of a large family, six of whom are still living. Mr. Pleak was well reared in his native county, where he became of age. He completed his education, which was begun at home, at Hartsville, Ind., in the University of that Place. He was married October 3, 1869 in Tennessee to Mrs. Francis H. Briggs, nee Beard. The lady was a native of Tennessee, where she was reared and married to her first husband, who was W. Briggs. Mr. Briggs was treacherously shot by a Southern guerrilla chief, known as Dave Miller. Mr. Briggs being then a Federal scout. He was only twenty-five years of age at the time of his death, and was known as a brave, daring man. He left one child to his widow, William N., who now lives in this township on a farm, having taken to wife, Genevra Tannyhill. After Mr. Pleak's marriage, he lived in Tennessee for seven years and then removed to the place where they now reside, being a leading member of their community. Mr. Pleak is a refined and accomplished gentleman, and his wife is a lady with whom it is a pleasure and privilege to meet. They have eight children, three of whom are deceased, one in infancy and Lillie A. and Wallace E. who died in childhood. The living children are Stoder M., Arthur E., Marcus F. Jr., Mary C. and John J., all of whom are still at home, making the house merry with their bright jests and happy ways. Mr. Pleak and his wife are prominent members of the Christian Church, of which the gentleman has been an Elder for years. Politically he is a Republican, using his influence for the advantage of that party.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John Pogue has been identified with the agricultural interests of this county for more than a quarter of a century and these busy years have been fraught with much prosperity for him and he now has a large and well-equipped farm, pleasantly located in Pickaway Township. He is a son of one of the early pioneer families of Indiana and was born in that State, in the Township of Fairbanks, Sullivan County, March 17, 1820. His father, James Pogue, was born in 1796 amid the pioneer scenes of Mercer County, Ky. He was a son of William Pogue, who was a native of Ireland. He came to this country in Colonial times and served faithfully in the Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary War. He subsequently went to the Northwest Territory and later became a pioneer of Kentucky, where his life was brought to a close at a good old age. The maiden name of his wife was Jane Marshall.
James Pogue was but nine years old when the family went to Ohio and when he was eighteen years old he made his way across the border to the Territory of Indiana. For two years he resided in Knox County and then sought the forests of Sullivan County to build up a home. He was the first to settle in what is now Fairbanks Township, where he bought a tract of heavily timbered land from the Government. He built a long cabin which he afterward replaced by a more commodious hewed log house, which was then the birthplace of his son, of whom we write. For many years there were no railways and Terre Haute was the nearest town to which the settlers could go to market their produce and obtain household supplies. The people had to live mostly on what they could raise on their farms, the abundance of wild game, such as deer, turkeys, etc., adding greatly to their fare. The wives and daughters of the pioneers spun and wove all the cloth used by their families, homespun garments being the rule.
The father of our subject, by dint of hard and persistent labor, cleared a fine farm from the wilderness, and there his days were passed in peace and plenty until the end came and he was removed from the scenes of his toil by the hand of death in 1854. His wife survived him until 1862, when she too passed away. Her maiden name was Emmet Thomas and she was born in Kentucky, William and Jane Thomas being her parents. Our subject was one of eight children and he grew to a vigorous and self-reliant manhood in his native county. The school that he attended when he was a boy taught in a log house. Small logs were split to make seats for the scholars, one side of the logs being hewn smooth, and wooden pins being inserted for legs, the seats being without backs or desks. The school was conducted on the subscription plan and the teacher sometimes boarded around among the families in the district. As soon as he was large enough our subject was required to assist in the farm work and he was thus engaged until he was twenty-two years old. His father then gave him eighty acres of timber land and he at once entered upon the hard pioneer task of redeeming it from a state of nature. At that time standing trees were of little value and used to roll large logs together and burn the pile. He cleared five or six acres, built on the place and at the time of marriage settled there.
In 1865 our subject sold his property in Indiana and coming to Shelby County, bought two hundred and forty acres of wild prairie in Pickaway Township. For one hundred and sixty acres he paid at the rate of $12 an acre and for eighty acre he paid $8 an acre. He then purchased an additional one hundred and sixty acres at $12 ½ an acre and another eighty acre tract at $30 an acre. He now owns five hundred and forty acres, sixty of which is timber land. He has erected a good set of frame buildings and has added to the beauty of the place by planting fruit, shade and ornamental trees in abundance.
December 31, 1841, Mr. Pogue and Miss Nancy Perry united their fortunes for better or worse and their hearty co-operation in the upbuilding of their home has secured them the handsome competency that they enjoy. Mrs. Pogue was born in Vigo County, Ind., and is a daughter of William N. and Catherine (McClure) Perry, who were early pioneers of her native State. Among the blessings that a wedded life of half a century has vouchsafed our subject and his estimable wife are the ten children born to the, named as follows: James M., Angeline, Emeline, Cornelia, Charles M., Louisa, William Marvin, Leona, Julia A. and Hiram M.
Mr. and Mrs. Pogue are valued members of the Christian Church, who carry their religion into their everyday lives, and are kind and considerate toward all, these pleasant traits of character winning them respect and regard on every hand. Mr. Pogue has clear and sensible views concerning politics and is independent of any party, voting for whom he thinks best suited to assist in the management of public affairs. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Isaac N. Porter
No man so truly loves as he who has suffered and fought for it, and those citizens of Illinois who gave to our Nation in her time of trial their hearty support and their best efforts upon the battle field, have gained not only a heartier sympathy with the institutions represented by our national banner, but also a record for themselves of which any patriot may well feel proud. Among those men of Shelby County, who have thus an honorable war record, we are pleased to name the subject of this sketch, who follows the double avocation of a farmer and carpenter, in Oconee Township. He was born in Harrison County, Ohio, March 27, 1840, his parents being William and Susan (Cribbs) Porter, natives of Ohio. In their household there were six sons and five daughters, and Isaac is the firstborn son, Teresa, now Mrs. Row, of Oconee Township, being the eldest. Following them came Isabella, now the wife of John Martin, of Indian Territory; Daniel, who resides in Missouri; Albert, who lives at Sioux City, Ia.; William, living in Montgomery County, Ill.; George, a resident of Iowa; Priscilla, the wife of Mr. Drain, of Oconee Township; and Abbie and Maggie, who reside at home.
The subject of this sketch enlisted in Company A, Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry, and was assigned to duty in the Army of the Mississippi. After six months' service he was transferred to the on the United States gunboat "Chilachthe," and did duty on lower Mississippi and the Yazoo Rivers. At Ft. Tamberton, while on the Yazoo Pass expedition, this young hero was wounded, March 10, 1863, and was sent to the hospital at Helena. Ark., being afterward transferred to the general hospital at St. Louis. Being somewhat crippled by this hard service and wound, he was placed in Company E, Eleventh Veteran Reserve Corps and served out his unexpired term, being discharged at Boston, Mass., July 7, 1865, whence he returned to his parental home in Oconee Township. It was not until 1877 that Mr. Porter decided to establish a home of his own, and he chose as a partner of that home Miss Annie Pressgrove, who was born in Oconee Township in 1859, her parents being William and Eliza Pressgrove. The parents had ten children, only four of whom are now living. The wedding day of Mr. and Mrs. Porter was February 22. To them was born three children, Hugh H., born in 1879; Anna Laura, a babe now three months old, and one child who died when five months old. Mrs. Porter is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a faithful and devoted wife and mother, capable in all housewifely arts and active in promoting the best interests of the community.
Mr. Porter is a member of the Coplin Post No. 268, G. A. R. at Oconee, and his political views have led him to affiliate with the Republican party. His handsome farm of one hundred and sixty acres is situated on section 7, Oconee Township, and is in a highly cultivated state and richly productive. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Thomas Porter was born in one of the early pioneer homes of Central Illinois, on a farm fifteen miles southwest of Springfield, April 14, 1831, and consequently has witnessed much of the development of this part of the State from a wilderness. And not only that, but he has aided in its growth by his work as a practical farmer in Shelby County, where he now owns a valuable farm, finely located in Moweaqua Township. Our subject's father, Henry Porter, was born in Maryland, and came from there to Illinois in 1826. He was one of the first settlers of Sangamon County, and for a few years resided on Lick Creek, where he busied himself in farming the virgin soil. He then became a pioneer of Christian County, and with his limited means he bought forty acres of timber that was partly grown, and after he had built a log house to shelter his family, he commenced to clear his land. He remained a resident of that county many years, living to see it well developed, and died there at the venerable age of ninety years. In early manhood he married Nancy Bowles, who was likewise a native of Maryland, and she died on the home farm in Sangamon County. Our subject was but three years old when his parents removed to Christian County, and he was brought up amid pioneer surroundings, as at that time the country was very sparsely inhabited, deer, wild turkeys and other kinds of game being very plentiful where there are now productive farms and busy towns. There were no railways, and the nearest flour mill was in Sangamon County, fifty-five miles distant. People lived off the products of their farms, their limited fare being occasionally varied by the addition of game, and corn meal was the principal breadstuff. When Mr. Porter was eight years old he went to live with John Campbell on the banks of Lick Creek, and remained with him three years. The sturdy, independent little lad then cared for himself after that, and used to earn his living by working out by the month or day. For some years he was employed in a saw-mill, and in due time he was enabled to marry and establish a home. After marriage he turned his attention to farming in Shelby County, on a farm owned by his father-in-law in Flat Branch Township. He farmed there sixteen years, and at the end of that time bought his present farm, which is classed among the finest in all Moweaqua Township. Its two hundred and eighty acres are admirably tilled and yield large harvests in repayment for the care expended upon them, while its improvements are of a good order, including three sets of commodious frame buildings. In January, 1857, Mr. Porter was married to Miss Julia Ann Stombaugh, and in her he found all that a true wife can be to her husband. She was a tender mother to their children, of whom there are five living: Mary Catherine, wife of John T. Haslam; Eliza A., wife of George B. Carrington; Sarah Isabelle, wife of Wesley Snell; Dudley, who married Mary Prescott; and Ida G., wife of Eugene Harper. Mrs. Porter who was a daughter of Martin and Catherine (Traughber) Stombaugh, was born in Tennessee July 27, 1828, and died in the home in this township that she had blessed so many years March 15, 1891. She was a Christian in word and deed, and was a devoted member of the Protestant Methodist Church. In this summary of the life of our subject it is shown that he is a self-made man, who began to make his own way in the world at a much earlier age than is usual with boys. and with down-right hard labor, seconded by thrift and prudent management, has become possessed of a comfortable property, so that he is well fortified against poverty, and can pass his remaining years free from the necessity of incessant toil. He is a thoroughly good citizen, a man of sterling honesty, and has led a consistent Christian life since he joined the Protestant Methodist Church in 1861 with his wife. In politics he is a Democrat, tried and true. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
The name at the head of this sketch is that of a successful farmer whose residence in this State extends over more than forty years, during which time he has seen as great changes in commercial life and the manner of living in all classes of society, as when we were children, we read in Arabian Nights, were accomplished by Aladdin 's lamp. In his boyhood days, electricity was a divine agent to be handled gingerly by the scientist. Today it is the servant that drags our cars, lights our houses, supplies our heat, washes our clothes, and does a thousand and one other things, that, had they been so accomplished a half century ago, would have been considered the work of the Angel of Darkness.
Our subject who was born in Preble County, Ohio, November 20, 1825. He is a son of Samuel and Mary (Leathers) Potter, natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. Our subject's residence in Shelby County dates from 1850. His home is located on section 9, of Rural Township. The father of our subject was born in Virginia and when a small boy he removed to Ohio with his parents, that was in the year 1808 and they then settled in Preble County. At that time settlers were very few, and they experienced all the hardships of pioneer life. They cleared a farm in the forests, and gradually put upon it many improvements. The grandparents of our subject there died, and his father was there married, he also, clearing a farm in the timber region upon which he resided until his death.
William Potter is one of eight children who were born to his parents. Six only, however, lived to be grown, William, our subject being the eldest. He was reared on the home farm and attended such school as the country afforded. He resided there until 1850, when he came to Illinois and purchased one hundred and forty-seven acres of land which was then in a raw state, being unturned prairie. This he improved and sold and then purchased his present farm, which was at that time also new and uncultivated. He owns two hundred and ten acres of land, all of which is under cultivation. His place boasts a good class of buildings, his residence being such as to add to the comfort and content of domestic life.
Mr. Potter has been twice married. In 1848 he was united to Sarah Kimmel, who was born in Preble County, Ohio. She was a daughter of Jacob Kimmel, but died in Shelby County soon after coming to this State, leaving to her husband one son, Emanuel, who lives in Rural Township. In 1859, our subject married Mrs. Sarah Lanham, nee Barrett. She was a daughter of Marcus L. Barrett and was born in West Virginia. By her marriage with Mr. Lanham, she became the mother of one child, Augustus F. who resides in Rural Township.
Six little ones have gathered about the table and filled the house with their merry prattle. These are growing up and promise to be men and women of whom their parents will be proud. Their names are Marcus L., Elsie, May, Adalia, Emma and Elmer. Politically our subject is a Republican. In their church relations they are connected with the Presbyterian denomination, of which body Mr. Potter is a Deacon of the church that he attends. It is not out of place here to give a short sketch of our subject's parents and grandparents, additional to the mere mention made above. Jasper Potter, his grandfather, was one of a large family and was left an orphan at an early age. They were bound over to different families and in this way became scattered. Jasper was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis and the troops at Yorktown. He attained seventy-two years of age, and died in Preble County, Ohio. His native state was Maryland. Twice married, by his first marriage he was the father of thirteen children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and reared families of their own. By his second marriage, three children were born.
Our subject's parents had nine children, of whom seven lived to be grown: William, Minerva, Barbara, Elizabeth, Emanuel, Jane and Zion. Minerva is now Mrs. Simpson. Barbara was the wife of Dr. Robert Toby, and is now deceased. Elizabeth, is the wife of Thaddeus Sibbitt. Jane, who is also deceased, was the wife of Thomas Bunch. Zion married Peter Kimmell.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Henry A. Pratt
In the American way of carrying on farming, there is not a great deal of room for sentiment. The practical man is he who succeeds. Our subject is at the same time one of the most practical and successful farmers in Moweaqua Township, where he owns eighty acres located on section 32. He is the proprietor, also, of thirty acres in the adjoining township. He purchased his present farm in 1870, and has since that time added greatly both to the comforts and appearance of the place by new buildings, fences, and the neat and methodical way in which every department of his farm work is conducted.
Our subject came hither from Morgan County, where he lived for four years. He was for about five years a resident of Macon County. His advent into the State was made when twenty-one years old, coming hither from Vermont, where he was born in Addison County, March 22, 1838. He comes of good New England stock. His grandfather was Abraham Pratt, a native of Vermont. The father of our subject was also a farmer. He was first married to Mary Pratt, a Vermont lady, who died after the birth of her first child. This child was a daughter who was given the name Mary, and who is now deceased. In his second marriage, Abel Pratt wedded Miss Sarah Wing, in Rochester, Vt. She was a native of the Green Mountain State, and came also of New England stock. Her parents were descendants of a family in excellent standing and were long-lived people, her father passing away at the age of ninety years, and her mother being over eighty years of age at the time of her death. They were members also of the Congregational Church.
Our subject's father, Abel Pratt, died when fifty seven years of age, in Addison County, Vt. His widow is yet living, and is now eighty-four years of age. She and her husband were co-workers in the Congregational Church. Our subject is one of eldest of five sons and two daughters. He and a brother, James Pratt, are all who are now living of the family. The early training of him of whom we write was all with reference to the life of a farmer. When about of age he came to Illinois, soon settling in Morgan County, where he met and married Miss Angela Foster. She was born in Morgan County, October 6, 1840, and is a daughter of Orson and Eliza (Sherwood) Foster, who were natives of New York State, and who came West to better their fortunes in a new country at an early day, locating here in the late '30s. They first settled in Morgan County, there improving a small farm, upon which they lived until the time of their death.
Mrs. Pratt, the wife of our subject, is one of a large family, having received her education in her native county, the loving mother, wisely conducting the rearing of her children. Of these, four are deceased, two having passed away in childhood, and two having attained womanhood. The living children are Albert, Laura, Charles, Eva, Harry, Edson and William. Of these, Albert was married to Clo. Dean, and is a farmer near Pana, where he is carrying on a farm on his own account; Laura at present resides in Colorado, at Wagon Wheel Gap; Charles is a farmer near Pana. The younger children have not yet left the home nest. They are well educated and intelligent, being respected members of the communities wherein they live. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are attendants of the Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are attendants of the Baptist Church. Mr. Pratt is a Republican of the strongest kind, accepting the tenets of his party in an unqualified sense.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
He of whom it is our pleasant privilege to write in outline a short biographical sketch, enjoys the distinction of being the oldest living settler in Shelby County, and although having attained more than four-score years in age. He is still a hale and hearty old gentleman. Although pioneer life was fraught with many drawbacks and hardships, the lapse of time during which these uncomfortable features have been entirely done away with, has cast a pleasing glow over the whole, and the pleasures and adventures that were tinctured with a spice of danger and an occasional bit of romance, are far better remembered than the privations of ordinary routine existence.
When our subject made his advent into the State, the prairie was still a playground for the wild animals; when the larder needed replenishing, all he had to do was to shoulder his gun, and going out into the woods, game was at hand. Wild deer and turkeys were as common as the domestic fowl in the barnyard today. His father, Thomas Pugh, who was probably born in North Carolina. His mother was Beulah (Hall) Pugh, who was probably a native of the same State as her husband. They were married, however in Christian County, Ky., where they settled and lived until 1820, when they removed to this State, located in Cold Spring Township, Shelby County, and there they lived until about 1832, when they removed to a point about one mile north of Shelbyville. There they lived until their decease, which took place respectively, 1848 and 1842.
Our subject is one of four children, there being three sons and one daughter. The names are respectfully, John, Robert, William and Nancy. John, the eldest of the family, and the gentleman of whom we are writing, was born in Christian County, Ky., September 20, 1809; and consequently was eleven years of age when his father removed to Shelby County. He was reared on a farm in this county, and lived with his father until his marriage took place, which auspicious event was celebrated at the residence of Rufus Inman, who also lived about one mile north of Shelbyville. The lady to whom he was united was a Miss Elizabeth Inman, who was probably born in Fayette County, this State, February 20, 1815.
After marriage the young couple settled about one mile south of Shelbyville, and there they lived for several years. They removed however to a place about three miles north of Shelbyville, but made that their home for a period of only three years, at the expiration of which time he sold out and removed to Texas, but made a stay of only about six months in that State, when he returned to Illinois and settled in Dry Point Township. They resided there about twenty years when again they sold and came to Tower Hill Township, of which place they have ever since been residents. Mrs. Elizabeth Pugh was taken away from her husband and family and joined "the innumerable throng," November 14, 1868. She was the mother of six children, five daughters and one son. They are by name Mary Ann, Nancy C., Martha, Eliza J., Sarah E., and William J. Mary Ann was the wife of Henry Corley, and was a true and faithful helpmate until her decease which took place January 20, 1891. Nancy C. is the wife of P. M. Killam. Martha was the wife of Nelson Neil, and died October 10, 1864. Eliza J. is the wife of Thomas B. Hayden, and Sarah E. presides over the domestic affairs of the family of Joseph Wakefield. An extended sketch of the only son may be found in another part of this volume. Their mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Pugh, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The original of our sketch was a second time married, October 5, 1870, his bride being Mrs. Nancy Mize, a daughter of Andrew and Jane (Nowland) Henderson, and widow of Isaac Mize. She was born in this county February l9, 1839. By this union, Mr. Pugh has been the father of four children, the two eldest, however, died in infancy. The surviving children are John S. and Beulah L. Our subject formerly affiliated with the Democratic party, but after the Rebellion broke out, he transferred his allegiance to the Republican party, of which, ever since, he has been a faithful and devoted adherent. In his church relations he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and for years has been a generous supporter of Gospel work. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of fine arable land upon which are excellent improvements. He of whom we write is the object of the regard and veneration of the whole township. He is an interesting conversationalist, and to one who is interested in pioneer history, he is a fertile and reliable source of information.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William J. Pugh
He of whom we write is the owner of a good farm located on section 14, of Tower Hill Township, Shelby County. In another part of this volume will be found a more extended sketch of the history of his parents, who are proud of the fact that they are the earliest settlers in this county. Our subject's father is John Pugh. His mother was Elizabeth (Inman) Pugh. They were the parents of six children of whom our subject was the youngest member and only son. He is a native of this State and county being here born near the village of Shelbyville, February 2, 1849.
With the exception of six months spent in Texas, the original of our sketch has always made his home in this State and county, and has ever been engaged in agricultural pursuits. As a lad, he was educated in the common schools of the district in which he lived and there received such practical and common sense instruction as has fitted him for the cares of the ordinary business man. The growth of this State has been so very phenomenal that one coming from older States or countries would scarcely believe that the educational advantages offered in the districts, were equal, even at so early a day, comparatively, as when our subject was a school boy to those in older communities, but such was the case.
William Pugh's marriage took place in Shelby County, this State December 18, 1873, at which time he was united to Miss Mary F. Smith, a daughter of Samuel and Margaret (Weakly) Smith. The former was a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Ohio. They were among the very early settlers in this county. Immediately after marriage, the young couple set up their household goods in Tower Hill Township, and there he has ever since resided. His wife's mother Margaret Smith died here about 1855. The second wife of Samuel Smith was Sarah A. McCullough. Mrs. Pugh is one of three children that were the fruit of the first marriage. She was born in Tower Hill Township, February 9, 1852.
Upon the marriage of our subject he settled in Tower Hill Township, where he owns two hundred acres, his farm here boasting fine improvements. Our subject and his wife are the parents of two children, Charles J. and Robert W. Mr. and Mrs. Pugh are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in which body he of whom we write has been Steward for several years. They are kindly, warm hearted people, with broad philanthropic ideas, and acts that are ever characterized by generosity and purity of purpose. They took a little girl into their family with the intention of adopting her and rearing her as one of their own children. She bore the name of Mary Pearl Dove; she was but three months of age when taken to the hearts and home of her kindly foster parents, and there she made herself a place in their affections that was left very desolate when at the age of three years and eight months she was taken into the arms of the Good Shepherd and placed in his fold.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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