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BLANCHFORD, Francis & Stephen

Biography of Francis BLANCHFORD [brother of Stephen]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 528-531

Closely associated with the farming interests of Boone County [IL], Francis BLANCHFORD is one who has fully borne out the reputation of that class of industrious, energetic, and far-seeing men of English nativity who have risen to prominence in different portions of this county.  Mr. BLANCHFORD was born in Wiltshire, England, 21 Jul 1819, and is a brother of Stephen BLANCHFORD [whose biography follows].  The progress that the country has made, and especially that portion in which he lives, is due to the energy and perseverance of such men as Francis BLANCHFORD, now nearly 73 years of age.  Like his brother Stephen, he has suffered all the hardships and privations of pioneer life, and the name of BLANCHFORD is already connected with the history of the country.

The subject of this sketch selected his wife in the person of Miss Jane ATKINSON, who was born in Canada on 01 May 1833, and their union was solemnized on 29 Nov 1855.  She was one of 11 children, six of whom are now living, born to the marriage of James and Margaret (McCLATCHEY) ATKINSON, the father a native of Lincolnshire, England, and the mother of Canada.  The former was born in 1803, and died when 80 years of age, but the latter is still living, a resident of Boone County, IL, and is now 84 years of age.

To our subject and his wife was born an interesting family of seven children, all of whom are living but one.  They are as follows:  Francis, a native of this county, is now engaged in farming in Dakota; William R., also a native of this county, makes his home in Dakota; Margaret married L.  SHATTUCK, and has a son; Eli R., residing in Belvidere [Boone County, IL], married Miss Ann GATHEN, and is the father of two sons; Stephen D. is at home; Harvey is engaged in business in Belvidere; and Albert is at home.   All the children were born in this county.  Some of Mrs. BLANCHFORD's people were of Scotch-Irish descent.

Mr. BLACHFORD, excepting a few years when he worked in the pinery, has always remained on the old home place, and hauled his grain and produce to Chicago, and is well known in the county where he has made his home since 1835.  He is a Democrat in his political liking, and is not a member of any church, although quite a regular attendant.  He is noted for his open-heartedness, geniality, and public spirit that distinguishes his countrymen, and is a fine specimen of the industrial class that Great Britain sends to our shores.  He has ever [p 531] been a loyal adherent of American institutions and his adopted country is to him, par excellence, the country of his heart.  His well cultivated farm attests his success in life.

Biography of Stephen BLANCHFORD [brother of Francis]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 1205

There is perhaps no family in Spring Township, Boone County, which is more highly respected than the one represented by Stephen BLANCHFORD, who are pioneers of this section.  Stephen BLANCHFORD was born in Hampshire, England, 18 Aug 1813, and is the son the Francis and Elizabeth BLANCHFORD, also natives of the British Isle.  The parents emigrated from their native land in 1834 in the vessel *Crocus,* and after a voyage of six weeks, one of which was spent off the coast of Cape Ray, where the
vessel was swamped, they landed in Quebec.  There Mr. and Mrs. BLACHFORD lived for four years, and then came to the States by way of the Lakes to Detroit, and from there with teams and on foot to this county, our subject and a brother having to walk the distance of 400 miles.  They arrived in this vicinity nine days ahead of the rest of the family, and when they were all comfortably housed, Stephen and his father hired out to work by the month.  He of whom we write, in company with his father, took up a claim of 420 acres of land to prove, for which they had to borrow the money and pay an interest of 100 percent.

Mr. BLACHFORD of this sketch was one of seven children who came to Boone County with their parents.  On 04 Mar 1839 he was married to Maria BUMP, who was born in NY, and was a daughter of Thomas and Phoebe (BREWER) BUMP, who died in PA.  She had six brothers and sisters, all of whom are livng, with one exception.  Mr. and Mrs. BLACHFORD have become the parents of five children, one of whom is deceased.  They are named, respectively:  Caroline S., now Mrs. F. CURTISS; Louisa, who married Francis H. CURTISS; Thomas, the husband of Anna LAWMAN; and Maria, now the wife of James WAN.   The children are all established in homes in this county.

The father of our subject was 84 years of age when he died, and his mother 80 years old.   He was a Democrat in politics, and took an active interest in local affairs.   Our subject's share of the old homestead consists of 146 acres, which he cultivates in a profitable manner.  In an early day, the farm products were marketed in Chicago and Milwaukee, and at one time pork sold at twenty shillings per hundred.  The only house in the vicinity of Belvidere, in 1835, was the one erected by our subject and his father, on their farm.  They hardships which the family endured during that period are beyond the comprehension of the present generation, but they bravely suffered and endured to pave the way for those who followed, and to make their settlement in the West a pleasure.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.