This gentleman, who has been supervisor of Niantic township since the spring of 1876, is a native of Cass county, Illinois, and was born on the twelfth of May, 1845. On his father's side his ancestors were Irish. His grandfather emigrated from Ireland to America, and his father, George Edgar, was born in Kentucky. He finally moved from Kentucky to Illinois, and settled in Schuyler county, where his father married Elizabeth Hall, who was also a native of the state of Kentucky. In 1849, at the discovery of gold in California, his father went to the new gold regions, and was absent sixteen years, when he returned to Illinois, where he died. A.C. Edgar was the next to the youngest of a family of four children. His boyhood was spent in Cass and Schuyler counties, his mother moving with her family to Schuyler county and living there several years, and then returning to Cass county. He attended school only to a limited extent. For most of his education he was obliged to rely on his own efforts, picking up his knowledge as best he could. The family were in limited circumstances, and from early childhood he was obliged to work to help gain a support for the family. On the third of September, 1868, he married Julia Cook of Cass county. In the spring of 1869 he moved to Macon county, and with money he had earned in Cass county, purchased eighty acres of land in section twenty-eight, of township seventeen, range one west. He moved on this tract and began improving it, and has since been engaged in farming in Niantic township. He is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land, part of which lies in the adjoining section twenty-seven. The death of his first wife occurred in January, 1875. His second marriage took place in February, 1878, to Eliza Ford, who was born in the state of Arkansas. Her father, Elias Ford, was a Kentuckian by birth. He has had five children of whom three, Horace, Nevada and Effie May, are now living. The youngest child is by his present marriage. One child, Travis, died at the age of seven years, and another, Alonzo, by his first wife, died in infancy. In his politics he has always been a democrat, and in general elections has always been consistent in the support of the democratic ticket. He cast his first vote for President for Horatio Seymour in 1868. He is a man who is much respected for his honesty and integrity, and the people of Niantic township have elected him several times to different positions. He was first elected a member of the board of supervisors in 1876, and has since been re-elected to that office every successive year. He has filled the position to the satisfaction of the citizens of his part of the county, and has retained the confidence of the community. Mr. Edgar is a self-made man. He began at the lowest round of the ladder, and what he has accomplished is the result of his own industry and energy.
History of Macon County, IL, 1880, p. 159
JAMES EDWARDS was born in 1806 near Raleigh, North Carolina. When a young man he came to Tennessee, and remained there a few months; then removed to Illinois, arriving in Macon Co., in the fall of 1827, when there was but 160 acres of land entered upon the south side of the river. He was accompanied to this county by Dempsey POPE and Jones EDWARDS..the latter a brother of his, who remained 12 or 15 years , and removed to Iowa, where he died. James EDWARDS worked the first year after he came to Illinois for John WARD. During that time the Indians made some threats against the WARDS , and EDWARDS was one of the company of 12 to assist in driving them away. A few more indians made their appearance in the vicinity in 1828, but soon left, and were followed and overtaken in the prairie, a short distance east of Mt. Zion. There were twelve in number, besides the squaws. A gun was taken from one of them, after a severe struggle, by Smith MOUNCE of the WARD company. It was returned however, by order of John WARD who had command of the expedition, and the indians were then ordered to move on, which they did. This was the last appearance of the Kickapoos, or other Indians in Macon Co. James was married to Nancy L. HILL in the winter of 1830. [16 Dec 1830]. She was born in Mecklenburg Co., VA June 22, 1806; moved to Rutherford Co., TN; removed to Illinois in 1829; and has ever since resided in this county. Of their children....... Martha E. was born March 31, 1834, and married Abraham Lynch, and died. Nancy E. was born January 26, 1836; married John Dee Smith, and died on the 11th of August 1869. Jerome was born March 22, 1837, and married Mary J. Stingly. John was born September 9, 1838, and died in Indiana on the 12th of Sep. 1862. Frank was born Jan 4, 1840 and was married to Mrs. Henry Edwards, March 16, 1874. Sarah J. was born August 4, 1841 and died March 20, 1854. Rufus was born January 1, 1843. Samuel S. was born June 22, 1844, married to Isabel Allen, Dec 24, 1873. Ann was born August 13, 1846; was married to Richard Whitley in October 1862 and now resides in Vernon County , MO. Henry was born April 6, 1848, married to Elizabeth Brown in 1869 and died on the 7th of November 1872.
[This was taken from "History of Macon County, Illinois" by John W. Smith]
Contributed by: Helen in Texas
Michael & Lucy Ellen (Huff) EICHINGER
The subject of this sketch was born in York county, Pennsylvania, Oct. 30, 1823. The ancestry of the family is German. Two brothers came to America from Germany prior to the revolutionary war and settled in Pennsylvania, and from them have grown the present family. John Eichinger, the father of Michael, was born in York county, March third, 1778. He remained there until his death, which occurred May fifth, 1845. He was a cooper by trade, and worked at that business during the winter months, and farmed during summer.
In 1831 he also operated a distillery in connection with his farming. He married Susannah Welsh. She was born in York county, Pennsylvania, February 7th, 1788. Her father was accidentally killed at a house-raising; this occurred while Mrs. Eichinger was in her seventh year. The date of the marriage of John and Susannah Eichinger was April 12th, 1807; she died in August, 1861, in Decatur, where she had gone on a visit. There were ten children, four sons and six daughters. Eight of the children have survived the parents. Michael is the eighth in the family. His advantages for receiving an education in his youth were limited. As soon as he became old enough to work he was compelled to assist the family. He went to school just as he could catch the time. He remained at home until after his father's death, and then farmed the old homestead; after which he traveled in differnet parts of the state and in Ohio, working for the greater part of the time on a farm. In 1854 he and his mother came west, landing in Decatur April 8th. He remained in Decatur four years, working at the carpenter trade, and for three months ran a butcher's shop, and lost enough money in that time to convince him that he was in nowise cut out for a successful butcher. When he first came to Decatur he bought city property. In June, 1858, he traded his property there for eighty acres of land in Sec. 20, T. 16, R. 3 E., which was partially improved. He has remained here, following farming and stock-raising, up to the present time. He has added to his original purchase, until he now has six hundred and fifty-three acres of fine tillable land. On the 29th of July, 1866, he was married to Miss Lucy Ellen Huff. She was born and raised in Coshocton county, Ohio. She came with her parents, Eleven and Eliza Huff, to Illinois in 1864, and settled in Oakley township, Macon county. Her father was born in Virginia, Nov. 10th, 1807; her mother, Eliza Huff, was also born in Virginia, Dec. 12th, 1812. Both of them died in the spring of 1875. Lucy E., wife of Michael Eichinger, died October 4th, 1876. By this marriage there were four children. Ira died August 2d, 1871, in his fourth year; John, who is now in his eleventh year, was born Feb. 14th, 1870; Martha Belle died January 27th, 1874, in her second year; William Robert was born June 25th, 1875. His wife was a member of the Christian Church; Mr. Eichinger is also a member of that religious orginization. In politics he was originally an old line whig, and voted first for William Henry Harrison. He joined the republican party on its formation, and has been a member of that organization up to the present. During the war he was a member of the Union League and Soldiers' Aid Society, organized for the enforcement of Union principles and the vigorous prosecution of the war.
Mr. Eichinger has been instrumental and active in organizing a fire insurance company in the county. It is known as the "Decatur Mutual County Fire Insurance Company". It was organized in June, 1880, and has already done a large amount of business. Mr. Eichinger is a man who started in life poor, or, in other words, before he got fairly started in life, he lost more by the treachery of a friend than he ever received. But he did not lose his ambition nor industry. He went to work and carved out his fortune, and at the same time made for himself a name for strict honesty and honorable dealing. The word of Michael Eichinger, wherever known, is as good as his bond.
In 1878 he commenced work in the Temperance cause, and has been selected three times as a delegate to the State Charter Temperance Union Convention.
History of Macon Co, Illinois, 1880 - p.182
Edwin R. ELDRIDGE
This gentleman who has been engaged in the practice of law in Macon county since 1870, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Ripley county of that state on the thirty-first of July, 1844. His father's ancestors were early residents of New York. His great-grandfather was a soldier in the colonial army during the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, John Eldridge, was one of the early settlers of Sullivan county, New York, and an intimate acquaintance of Robert Fulton and Robert R. Livingstone, who were among the distinguished men of the Empire state in that day. He had eight children, seven sons and one daughter, of whom the somewhat remarkable fact may be stated that, with the exception of one who died at the age of sixty-six, all are now living. One of these sons was Dr. Edwin Eldridge, who for a number of years practiced medicine at Binghampton and afterward at Elmira, New York; and was the founder of Eldridge park at Elmira. The youngest of the children now living is fifty years of age.
Robert W. Eldridge, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Sullivan county, New York, and married Sarah M. Hunt, whose birth occurred in Ulster county, at the Overlook, at the base of the Catskill mountains. Edwin R. Eldridge was the youngest of five children by this marriage, and the only son. In 1841, three years preious to his birth, his father had moved from the state of New York to Ripley county, Indiana. Mr. Eldridge lived here till twelve years old. The part of Indiana in which the family lived was comparatively well-settled, but the school system was very defective. The schools were subscription schools held in log school-houses for a short period only in the year, and offered scant educational advantages in comparison with those of the present day. His mother had died when he was three years and a half old. In 1856 the family removed to Washington, in Tazewell county, twelve miles east of Peoria. Her he had better facilities for getting an education. In his thirteenth year he undertook to learn the printing business in the office of the Washington Herald, but abandoned it on account of his health. In 1858 he went to reside with a brother-in-law, a merchant in the town of Fairburg in Livingston county. Attending school during the winter of 1858-9, the next spring he entered a drug store in Fairburg in which he was employed four years. One of the conditions of his going into the drug store was, that he should attend school four months in the winter, during the first two years. For one year, while his employer was in the army, he had exclusive charge of the store.
In September, 1863, he became a student at Eureka college in Woodford county, and the next spring, when under twenty, enlisted in the 139th Regiment Illinois Infantry. He was appointed hospital steward. He was stationed about three months at Cairo, and the remainder of his term of service was in Kentucky and Missouri, participating in the campaign against the Confederate Gen. Price in the latter state. He came back to Illinois in the fall of 1864, and the subsequent spring returned to Eureka college, where he pursued the full four years course of study, graduating in 1869. He had begun the study of law while in college. In 1869 he entered the law-office of Elijah Plank at Fairburg, and was admitted to the bar on the twenty-second of January, 1870. On the ninth of August, 1869, he was married to Miss Minnie Rucker, daughter of James C. Tucker, one of the leading citizens of Long Creek township in this county. In May, 1870, he opened a law office at Maroa, where he practiced til 1872, when he removed to Decatur. From 1872 to 1875 he was in partnership with H.L. Odor; since 1875 he has been associated with J.C. Hostetler. Anthony Thornton, formerly one of the supreme judges of the state, is now also a member of the firm, which has a fair share of the legal business in this part of the state.
In his political sumpathies Mr. Eldridge was formerly a member of the republican party, but breaking away from it in the Liberal movement of 1872, he has since supported the democratic organization. He has been acibely interested in politics, and is usually found doing active service on the stump in a political campaign. The only office for which he was ever a candidate, was that of county judge, for which the democrats nominated him by acclamation a short time before the election in 1877. He has three children, one son and two daughters. He is a man of strong social sympathies, of many popular traits of character, and is well liked by the people.
History of Macon Co. Illinois, 1880 - p. 162
Charles F. EMERY
The Emery family are of Scotch and English ancestry. David and Mahala Emery, the parents of the subject of this sketch, were natives os New Hampshire, but subsequently removed and settled in Tioga county, New York. Charles F. is the eldest son in a family of five children--three sons and two daughters. He was born May twenty-sixth, 1833. He received a good education in the common schools of his native state. At the age of fourteen years he entered the printing office of the Ithaca Chronicle as "carrier" boy, where he remained two years. In the winter of 1849-50 he was appointed "messenger boy" in the New York Senate at Albany. In the summer of 1850 he made up his mind to go to California. His idea was to ship on board some vessel which would in time take him to the "Golden State." With this object in view he shipped from New Bedford on the "Stephania," a whaling vessel bound on a voyage to the Artic Seas. After being out on her for one year, he left the ship at the Sandwich Islands, and in a steamer sailed for San Franciso. After his arrival in California he engaged in mining business, in which he continued for one year. He then shipped as second mate on the brig "Magdalena," which went down the coast of California on an expedition in search of guano. While stopping at an island in the Pacific Ocean, he assisted the captain of the brig in an attempt to kill a sea lion. During the struggle the monster seized Mr. Emery by the leg, crushing the knee joint, and so mangling and wounding him that he was taken to the Sandwich Islands, where he lay nearly two years before he entirely recovered from the terrible wound. After his recovery he went back to the island in the Pacific Ocean, where they had discovered guano, and remained there eight months in charge of a gang of men, superintending the loading and shipping of guano to Richmond, Virginia. He then returned to the Sandwich Islands, and from there went to San Francisco. From the latter place he sailed as second mate of a brig to Australia, and from thence to Callao, South America. From the latter port he sailed around Cape Horn in a Spanish vessel to Barbadoes, in the West India Islands, then to New Orleans, and from there to Liverpool, England, and then to New York city. After a long absence he returned home to visit his parents. They induced him to go west on a visit to his uncle, then living in Clinton, Illinois, who was engaged as a railroad contractor. His visit was lengthened out, and he was finally induced to stay. He then purchased land in Austin township, Macon county. One year later he went to Texas, and engaged in sheep-raising. The business not proving as profitable as was expected and the war of the rebellion coming on, and sentiment changing, and the people becoming hostile towards those entertaining Union sentiments,--all conspired to hasten his departure from that state.
He returned to Illinois and engaged in farming, in which he continued until August 8th, 1862, when he enlisted as private in Co. D, One Hundred and Sixteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers. When the regiment received its orders to join the army, he was made acting-quartermaster, although he did not receive his commission as regimental quartermaster until some time later. In December, 1863, he was promoted Assistant Division Quartermaster U.S. Vols., with the rank of Captain. He returned home on the twenty-third of January, 1864, was married to Miss L.A. Ward, a native of New Hampshire, but a resident of Macon, Illinois, at the time of her marriage. In February following he reported for duty, and was assigned Assistant Chief Quartermaster of the Fifteenth Army Corps of the Army of the Tennessee, General John A. Logan commanding. In the Atlanta campaign he was appointed Chief Quartermaster of the Corps, and remained upon the staff of Gen. Logan until after the surrender of Atlanta. He was then granted a short leave of absence, and returned home, and while there was taken sick with pneumonia and confined to his home until February, 1865, when he recovered, sufficiently strong to join the army, which was then at Goldsboro, North Carolina. He there assumed the duties of Quartermaster of the Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, Gen. Giles A. Smith commanding, with the rank of Major. He remained in that position and in that command until the close of the war, and participated in the grand review at Washington. The command of Gen. Smith, after the war, was ordered to Brownsville, Texas; Major Emery remained upon his staff as Chief Quartermaster until September, 1865. The duties being light, and consequently irksome to an active mind and disposition like Major Emery's, he asked to be relieved. His resignation was accepted, and he was honorably discharged the same month. His commissions date as Regimental Quartermaster, with rank as First Lieutenant, March 2, 1863; Assist. Division Quartermaster, with rank of Captain, December 5th, 1863; Division Quartermaster, with rank of Major, September 20th, 1865. After he was mustered out he returned home to Austin township, cultivated his farm and engaged in real estate business as agent for non-residents. He remained on the farm until 1872, when he removed to Maroa, and commenced banking, buying and shipping grain, and continued his real estate business.
Major Emery is the proprietor and owner of the largest elevator in Maroa, and handles large quantities of grain annually. In politics Major Emery is most soundly indoctrinated in the principles of the republican party. He early espoused the cause of freedom and human rights, and from his first vote through all subsequent elections, he has uniformly cast his ballot for the continuance of republican ideas and principles. He has always taken an active part in shaping the politics and assisting in the success that has for many years crowned that political organization. He has represented his township for several terms in the Board of Supervisors, and while a member of that body sustained the reputation of a successful and prudent member. As a mark of respect, and in recognition of his worth as a man and a citizen, he received the nomination for the office of Member of the State Board of Equalization for the Fourteenth Congressional District upon the republican ticket, and, if elected, we have no doubt, he will discharge the duties of the office in a manner creditable to himself and the party who will honor him with their suffrages. His long connection with real estate transactions and thorough knowledge of business appertaining to the duties of his office, render him eminently qualified for the position. Major Emery is an active, wide-awake business man and liberal-minded citizen. All enterprises having for their object the increase of the national wealth or interests of his town or county receive his hearty co-operation and substantial support. His marriage has been happily blessed with one child, a son, named Frank. Major Emery is a respected member of the Order of Free Masonry.
History of Macon Co., Illinois, 1880 - p. 169/70
Joseph W. EMERY
Joseph W. Emery, one of the old residents of Austin township in a native of Canterbury, Merrimac county, New Hampshire, and was born on the fifteenth of January, 1813. The Emery family, which was of English origin, settled at an early period at West Newbury, Massachusetts. The old homestead--home of the early members of the family--has been in the possession of the Emerys for several generations. Josiah Emery, the grandfather of the subject of this biography, moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, and settled in the town of Sanbornton, now Tilden. Nathan Emery, Mr. Emery's father, was born and raised in Sanbornton. He married Betsy McCrillis, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, and a native of Canterbury. Both the Emery and McCrillis families have been remarkable for their vigor and long life. They show a noticeable freedom from disease, and the tendency towards longevity has been marked for several generations. Among the ancestors many instances of death at an advanced age have occurred; very few passed away before reaching seventy years. Joseph W. Emery was the ninth of a family of sixteen children, of whom fourteen grew to maturity, and thirteen married. His father owned a farm, and was a carpenter by trade. He was a man of considerable intelligence, was well versed in surveying and civil engineering, and was very fond of reading--a habit which he transmitted to most of his children. His children all attained good substantial English educations. He believed in education, and gave his children ample opportunity to attend school. Mr. Emery has one brother, Josiah, who graduated at Union College, New York, and is now engaged in the practice of the law at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Another brother came to Illinois, and is editor of the Peoria Transcript; another brother settled in Indiana, and the others remained in New England. Mr. Emery made that part of New Hampshire in which he was born his home till he was seventeen.
In the year 1835, he left home and went to Rhode Island and found employment on the canal, running from Providence to Worcester, Massachusetts. He subsequently worked at Worcester. In the month of February, 1840, he was married at Upton, Worcester county, Massachusetts, to Francis R. Leland, a member of an old New England family. After he was married he engaged in farming at Upton, and resided there till 1850, when he moved back to Canterbury, New Hampshire. He formed a partnership with his brother, Nathan, and undertook urnning a saw-mill at Canterbury, which he carried on six years. His first wife died on the seventeenth of September, 1853. Frances A. Sanborn, a native of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, became his second wife on the sixteenth of February, 1854. She was a daughter of Samuel D. Sanborn. Her ancestors had settled there at an early period, and the town received its name in their honor. The saw-mill business not proving renumerative, he determined to emigrate to the West. Illinois was at that time attracting settlers by the thousand from the Eastern states. Many purchased land from Illinois Central Railroad company. In the fall of 1866, he reached Macon county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land, the same track on which he now lives, in section eight of Austin township. After spending the winter at Clinton, he brought his family to the township the following spring. Few settlements had at that time been made. Almost the entire township was unoccupied prairie land, and he had little expectation that it would ever reach its present state of cultivation and improvement. There is now only one other person besides himself living in the township, who was the head of a family, at the time he took up his residence in it. He has had eleven children, of whom four are now living; Ellen, Betsy, Charles and Clarence. The three oldest are by his first, and the last by his second marriage.
He has taken an active interest in politics, and has filled several offices in the township. He was originally a whig, and supported that party in opposition to the democracy. He was one of the first to ally himself with the republican organization, of which he has since been a steadfast supporter. For four years he served as treasurer of Austin township, and has also filled the office of assessor four time. He is a man of positive convictions. He is now one of the oldest citizens of the township, and is well-known to the older settlers of Macon county.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 228
The Evey family, on both sides, are of German ancestry. Michael Evey, his father, was a native of Maryland. He was a distiller in early life, but subsequently abandoned the business and engaged in farming. He removed to Pennsylvania and remained there until 1854, when he came west to Illinois and settled in Woodford county. He remained there until 1859, after which he made his home with his son, the subject of this sketch. He died on the 23d of April, 1875, while on a visit to his children in Woodford county. He married Lydia Myers. She was also a native of Maryland. She at present resides with her son Michael. There were ten children born to Michael and Lydia Evey, seven of whom are still living--three sons and four daughters. The subject of this sketch, is the fourth in the family. He was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1831. He spent his boyhood days in the common schools and at work upon his father's farm. At the age of nineteen years he was indentured as an apprentice to the trade of millwright under James F. Callahan. He served two and a half years, or until he attained his majority. He then worked as a journeyman and continued at his trade in Pennsylvania until he came West in the spring of 1855. He first visited his parents in Woodford county; then went to Springfield, and spent four months working at his trade; then went to Decatur, and there made his home until after his marriage. In 1856 he purchased land in Hickory Point township and improved it. He remained there until the spring of 1864, when he moved to Decatur township, where he had purchased a saw mill, and operated it until 1867, when he returned to Sec 32, T 18, R 2E, where he had purchased land some years before. He stayed there until 1870, when he removed to Salt Creek, and one year later removed to Forsythe and from there to Maroa township, then came to Friend's Creek township to Sec 8, T 18, R 4 E, where he still continues to reside. Farming has not been his sole business since his residence in the West. He worked at his trade until 1865, and since that time at different intervals. On the 27th of April, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Peddecord. She is a native of Ohio. Her parents came to Illinois in 1854, and settled in Clinton, in De Witt county. Mrs. Evey was a resident of the latter place at the time of her marriage. By this union there have been twelve children, nine sons and three daughters; nine of the children are still living. The names of the children are--Lydia Frances, wife of Theodore Ivans; Roxanna, Douglass, Frank P., McClelland, Ella, Charles, Samuel and Ernst Evey. All are yet beneath the parental roof, except Lydia F. Mrs. Evey is a member of the M.E. church.
Politically Mr. Evey is a member of the democratic party. He has never swerved from his allegiance to that political organization since 1852, when he cast his first presidential vote for the nominee of his party, Franklin Pierce. He has been one of the successful men of Macon county. He started poor, but by industry, economy and prudent investments, has succeeded in placing himself and family in comfortable circumstances. He is in his home the most hospitable of men, as the writer of this sketch can and does most hearily testify. Of a pleasant and agreeable address, possessed of a good fund of pracitical information, he is a man who improves upon long acquaintance, and who bears about him the impress of sincerity, modesty and honesty.
History of Macon Co, IL, 1880 - p. 199
Charles Adlai EWING
Charles Adlai Ewing was born November 3, 1846, in Morganfield, Kentucky, the son of Fielding N. and Sarah Ann (Powers) Ewing. The family removed to Bloomington, Illinois, in 1849, to Chicago in 1859, and to Decatur in 1864. Mr. Ewing was one of the pupils at the Chicago University during his residence there, was graudated from Princeton in 1867, and from the Albany Law School in 1870. He immediately began the practice of his profession in Decatur.
On the 15th of June, 1871, he was united in marriage to Mary Giselle Palmer, of Albany, New York, and to them were born seven children: Fielding Palmer, who died at the age of one month; Mrs. Marian Oldham; Belle Adlai, who died at one year; Charles Adlai, Jr.; Giselle E.F., deceased; Emma and Eugenia. Mr. Ewing was from boyhood an earnest Presbyterian and was for many years a trustee of the church, doing a great deal toward the erection of the new church building.
During the last administration of Governor Oglesby he was appointed by the governor on a commission to revise the revenue laws of the state. "This commission, composed of some of the ablest men of the state, with the late Milton Hay as chairman, formulated a revenue code which was pronounced by the press and the thinking public to be the best adapted to the requirements of the state of any that had ever been presented to the Illinois legislature for adoption. That the legislature failed to enact the new code into law is probably the best commentary on it excellence. Mr. Ewing always referred to this piece of public work with pride and satisfaction."
He was always a Democrat and from the first one of the most prominent workers of the sound money Democracy. In the conference in Chicago in August, 1895, in the direction of the literary bureau for the education of voters and as the chairman of the state committee he worked early and late. During the campaign he made many speeches throughout the state, the last one being the Saturday before election at Peoria, where he was taken ill. He returned home and was able to be driven to the polls on election day - his fiftieth anniversary - and cast his vote. He was not considered seriously ill but death came to him suddenly on the morning of November 6, 1896.
One who knew him well throughout the fifty years of his life wrote these words concerning him: "If the life of Mr. Ewing were measured by intellectual attainment, by purity of purpose, by number of friends, by acquisition of wealth, by acts of kindness and deeds of patriotism, then the fifty years just passed have been ample to round out into full measure the perfect station of manly power and beauty. From infancy to death there was ever a hallowed atmosphere about his very presence. Cradled in the lap of a home life which was ideal in its many perfections, his youth furnished choice companionship for the young and old. Charming of manner, genuinely witty, considerate and tender, strong and courageous, always honorable, loving excellence for its own sake and not for that of emulation. These were characteristics which belonged to him naturally, and which enabled him to move through the arena of an active professional career with calm poise and forceful accomplishment of honest and wise purpose.
"All these qualities of mind and heart were necessary to the great lawyer and the splendid citizen and Mr. Ewing possessed them in that high degree which enabled him to successfully champion individual rights and rescue an imperilled country from the most insidious and imminent danger that has threatened it since secession drove the great Douglas to proclaim that there were but two parties, namely, those for the Union and those against the Union.
"It may be that his absorbing concerns for the triumph and the honor of his country in the recent election, for which triumph he lavishly gave of his time, of his money and of his eloquence, may have cause the apparent sacrifice of his noble life. Byron in his address to the Greeks, said 'The tomb where freedom weeps can never have been too prematurely reached by its inmate, such martyrdom is blessed indeed. What higher fortune can ambition court?
"The bar has lost from its ranks a great lawyer, the state a great citizen, and the country at large a stanch patriot, but the good that he accomplished is enduring and is ours to enjoy."
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 179-180
J.A. Eyman, whose business interests in Argenta would be a credit to a city of much larger size, belongs to the class of self-made men whose enterprise, industry and integrity have been the foundation upon which they have builded their success. Advancement, gradual and continuous, has marked his business career and he is now carrying on a mercantile establishment which annually returns to him a good income. A native of Illinois, he was born in Illini township, near Warrensburg, August 7, 1869, and is a son of Horatio and Salina J. (Milor) Eyman, the former a native of St. Clair county, Illinois, and the latter of Macon county. By occupation the father was a farmer and owned and operated one hundred and twenty acres of land in Macon county. The mother was a daughter of Mrs. Margaret A. Freeman, one of the oldest settlers of Macon county.
Upon the home farm, J.A. Eyman was reared and his early education was obtained in the district schools. Later he became a student in the Gem City Business College in Quincy, Illinois, and was thus well equipped for the responsible duties of a business career. Putting aside his textbooks he accepted a clerkship in a furnisture store in Michigan, in which he remained for two years and then returned to Illinois, embarking in business on his own account in Argenta. He purchased the furniture store of S. Gerber for hine hundred dollars and conducted the business at the old stand for three or four years, when his increased trade justified his removal into the Carr building, in which he remained for four years. In October, 1902, he erected the building which he now occupies. It is a modern two-story brick structure splendidly equipped for the conduct of the business. His stock consists for the most part of household furnishings and stoves. It is very large and complete and presents a splendid appearance. It would do credit to a town many times the size of Argenta. The arrangement of the goods is neat and attractive, prices are reasonable and the business methods of the house commend it to the patronage of the public. Mr. Eyman is now enjoying a large trade and his success is certainly well deserved. He also carries on an undertaking business in connection with his store. His brother, H.H. Eyman, clerks for him and lives with him. The stock now carried is valued at eight thousand dollard and comprises all grades of goods, such as are in demand by a general trade.
In 1900 Mr. Eyman was united in marriage to Miss Anna B. Reynolds, a native of Argenta and a daughter of Mrs. Frances McKee. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Eyman one daughter has been born, Neffa May, whose birth occurred January 3, 1902. Mrs. Eyman belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Mr. Eyman holds membership with the Masons, with the Odd Fellows, the Kinghts of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen and is a valued representative of these fraternaties, enjoying the high regard of his brethren of the orders. His political allegiance is given the Republican party and he is now serving as one of the trustees of the village. He owns a beautiful residence here in addition to his business property and is one of the enterprising, progressive men of the town, deeply interested in its welfare and manifesting his interest by hearty co-operation in movements for the general good. Along legitimate lines of trade he has gained prosperity and his record is creditable and honorable. His genuine worth has gained for him the respect of his fellow men and Argenta counts him one of its most prominent and influential citizens.
Past and Present of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois (1903), pg. 380-383
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