PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF TAZEWELL & MASON COUNTIES, ILLINOIS, 1894, P. 520
JAMES DEAN, a retired farmer now living in Tremont, was born in Tremont Township, October 21, 1846, and is a representative of one of the early families of this community. His parents were Joseph and Mary (Brittnell) Dean. His father was born in Alfredshire, England, November 15, 1809, and with his wife and three children crossed the Atlantic in June, 1844. Coming to Illinois, he purchased a farm in Tremont Township, Tazewell County, upon which he spent his remaining days. He first bought only eighty acres, but to this he added from time to time until four hundred acres of valuable land paid to him a golden tribute in return for the care and cultivation he bestowed upon it. He was recognized as a successful farmer and enterprising man. In early life he was a supporter of the Whig party, but in later years became an earnest adherent of the Republican party. He passed away January 15, 1887, at the age of seventy-seven, and his wife was called to her final rest April 15, 1893, at the advanced age of eight-four. They were the parents of eight children, six of whom are yet living; James; William, of Tremont Township; emma, wife of G. S. Higgins, of Iroquois County, Ill; Anna, wife of W. D. Sperry, of Allentown Station; Kate; and Susan, wife of J. N.Shanholtzer, of Manity, Mason County, Ill.
In his boyhood, James Dean attended the public schools of Tremont, and completed the course in the high school. Thus well educated he started out in life for himself at the age of twenty-one years. He turned his attention to farming, and began the operation of the old homestead, one mile from the village. From that time he successfully and continuously carried on agricultural pursuits until 1892, when he came to Tremont, and here he has since lived. He now rents his farms, of rich land in Tremont Township, and he derives a fine income therefrom. In August, 1893, he entered into a partnership with H. G. Woost, as dealers in furniture, paints and wallpaper. Recently, they have removed to a new building which was erected especially for them, and which is one of the finest business blocks in the town.
In politics, Mr. Dean has always been a stalwart Republican, warmly advocating the principles of the party. In 1889 he was elected Supervisor of Tremont Township, and served in that positon for two years. He won his election by overcoming a Democratic majority of fifty, and carrying the township by a vote of fifty-three, which fact indicates his personal popularity and the high regard in which he is held. He has been for four years, and is now, School Director of Tremont and during this time the new school building was erected. He is ever alive to the best interests of the community, and does all in his power for the promotion of the general welfare. The cause of temperance finds in him a warm advocate. Socially he is connected with Tremont Lodge No. 320, I. O. O. F., and also belongs to Pleasant Grove Camp, M. W. A.
Submitted by Betty Doremus