PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF TAZEWELL AND MASON COUNTIES, ILLINOIS, 1894, p. 443-444:
ENOCH HIERONYMUS, who follows farming on section 13, Hittle Township, Tazewell County, claims Kentucky as the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Madison County March 7, 1816. His grandfather, Henry Hieronymus, was born in Germany, or else in Virginia, of German parentage. He emigrated from the Old Dominion to Kentucky about 1805, making the trip on horseback, accompanied by his son William, father of our subject, who was then about seventeen years of age. They were so well pleased with the Blue Grass State that the son remained while the father returned to his family. Purchasing land of the Government, he gave his attention to farming and the breeding of race horses, and at one time owned the fastest horse in the state.
William Hieronymus was born in Virginia February 13, 1788, acquired a good education, read estensively and was a fine mathematician and penman. He made farming his life work, but followed carpentering and cabinet-making with his brother to some extent, becoming quite proficient in both trades, which he put to good use in the pioneer days of Tazewell County. He was a public benefactor, for while his sons operated the farm he was busily engaged in making plows, looms, barrels, etc., for his neighbors. He was a natural mechanic and an expert workman both in wood and iron. In those pioneer days he tanned and dressed the leather from which he made the shoes worn by himself and family.
On the 14th of August, 1811, Mr. Hieronymus married Elvira Darnell, who was born in Georgia February 8, 1796. In 1828 they came to Tazewell County and built a house 16x20 feet with a shed roof, eighty rods from the present home of our subject. There was no window or floor, and they lived in a true pioneer style. They came in company with twenty others from Boone County, Ky., bringing horses, cows and sheep, and were upon the road almost thirty days. The father was in limited circumstances, but entered eighty acres of land, which, with the aid of his sons, he developed into a fine farm, and its boundaries he increased by the additional purchase of eighty acres.
In the parental family were eight children; Cynthia, the deceased wife of Benjamin Brooks; James, deceased; Enoch; Benjamin, deceased; William, who is living on the old homestead; Henry and Catherine, who have passed away; and Eliza, the deceased wife of William Darnell. The parents were members of the Christian Church, and the father was a Whig in politics. Although his father owned slaves, he was strongly opposed to slavery, and it was largely on that account that he left Kentucky. He died March 12, 1848, and his wife passed away June 2, 1857.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the old-time subscription schools, and remained with his parents until twenty-three years of age, when he married Elizabeth, daughter of Shared and Catherine Thompson. Her death occurred February 23, 1882. On the 26th of June, 1884, Mr. Hieronymus married Virginia Roberts, daughter of Ellis and Nancy (Judy) Roberts. She is a cultured lady, possessing many accomplishments, which with her wide general knowledge, largely gained from traveling, makes her a very entertaining companion. She displays good taste and judgment in the care of her beautiful home, and there hospitality reigns supreme. As Mr. Hieronymus had no children of his own, he reared three of the five children who were left fatherless by the death of his brother James. They are, Elvira, wife of Benjamin McAtee, of Washington; Benjamin R., a banker of Springfield, Ill.; and Thomas II., a retired farmer of Eureka, Ill. To each he gave a good farm of eighty acres, thus comfortably starting them out in life.
Mr. Hieronymus is a self-made man. He began in the world with nothing, and from the Government entered forty acres of prairie and forty acres of timber land. To this he added until at one time he owned over eleven hundred acres, but the greater part he has since sold, his home farm comprising about two hundred acres. His residence is one of the finest in Tazewell County, and upon it he has spent over $11,000. In politics he is a Republican. Both he and his wife are prominent and faithful members of the Christian Church of Hieronymus Grove. In 1869 seeing the need of a church in the neighborhood, he built the beautiful house of worship known as the Hieronymus Grove Church, which stands as a monument to his liberality and his consistent Christian life. The poor and needy find in him a friend, and his straightforward, honorable career has gained him universal confidence and esteem.
Submitted by Betty Doremus