STEPHEN SEXTON, among the pioneer residents of Chicago, is deserving of especial mention in this volume. His father, Sylvester Sexton, in whose veins the Scottish blood flowed, was born in County Clare, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1808. He settled at Rochester, New York, where he died in 1810, shortly before the birth of his son Stephen. The latter was the youngest of eight children. He grew up in Rochester, where he married Ann Gaughan, who was born in County Mayo, Ireland, as were her parents, Thomas and Margaret (Jackson) Gaughan. The last-named was a relative of President Andrew Jackson, for whom her grandson (see sketch on another page) received his second Christian name. Thomas Gaughan was numbered among the van of Chicago settlers, having located on the site of what is now South Chicago in 1819. He died there in 1827, and his widow survived until 1864, reaching the age of ninety-three years.
Stephen Sexton was a pioneer settler in Chicago, coming here early in the year 1834, and locating on the North Side. He was a carpenter by occupation, and became very well known as an expert draughtsman, builder and contractor. One of the first public schoolhouses in Chicago was erected by him. He was an ardent Democrat, and took an active part in political movements during the early days. He died April 7, 1861, having been preceded to the other shore eleven days by his wife, who died on the 27th of March, that year. They had eight sons and four daughters who grew to maturity. Margaret Elizabeth married James E. Cassidy, and also reared twelve children; Thomas S., for many years an employe of the Chicago postoffice, died in December, 1889; Mary Ann married James E. Ennis, and reared nine children, all of whom graduated at the Chicago High School; three died in early childhood, and James A. is the seventh; William H. is a citizen of New Orleans, Louisiana; Sarah E. married John Highland, of Chicago, who was a Sergeant in Colonel Sexton's company of the Seventy-second Illinois Infantry; Henry M. is superintendent of the refrigerator-car service of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, being the inventor of the cars used; George M. is a resident of Chicago; Eliza married George B. Hopkins, who is superintendent of a western division of the Wells-Fargo Express; Austin O. and Joseph W. are residents of Chicago, the former being a prominent Democratic politician, who served several years in the City Council and eight years as a Member of the Illinois Legislature; and Louis N. resides in Liverpool, England. All the daughters are deceased, and seven of the sons are still living.
Submitted by Sherri Hessick on December 27, 2000.
DISCLAIMER: The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.