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Portrait and Biographical Album

Page 493,495,496

Chatman Brothers 1889

         James Sandusky   It is now considered no small honor to have lived during the pioneer days of Central Illinois, and he who looked upon the wilderness ere    feet of white men had made their permanent inroads into this region, it is viewed with more than ordinary interest.  To those hardy spirits are the people of to-day indebted for the great advantages which they enjoy, the prosperous farms and villages which have arisen from the wilderness and the advance of civilization, which was led by the adventurous pioneer.   To this region came the Sandusky family at a very early date, and they have left their ineffaceable mark not only by their industry and perseverance, but in the implanting of those moral principles which form the basis of all good society.  Their children were reared to habits of industry and sentiments of honor, while they extended to high and low that cordial hospitality which is especially prized where people are necessarily dependent upon each other for many of the conveniences and comforts of life.

            The subject of this notice and his estimable wife form no unworthy offshoots of their respective ancestral trees, which have grown and flourished and the names of which will descend to coming generations.  They endured all the hardships and privations of life on the frontier, labored arduously in the building up of a homestead and reared a family of intelligent children, all but two of who have fled from the home nest and taken their places as honored members of society.  The two remaining it is hardly necessary to say form the light and joy of the household.

            James Sandusky was born in Bourbon County, KY., July 17, 1817, and has thus more than numbered his three-score years and ten.  His father Isaac Sandusky was likewise a native of the Blue Grass State, where he attained to manhood and was married to Miss Euphemma McDowell, a maiden of his own neighborhood.  Later he served in the war of 1812 and was under Gen. Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe.  He was a resident of Kentucky until the fall of 1827 and then coming to Vermilion County, IL. Settled on a tract of land near Brooks Point and built up a farm from the wilderness, where he and his estimable wife spent the reminder of their lives.

            In the Sandusky family there were eleven children, who were named respectively:  Sarah E., Mary A., Julia A., Josiah, and James, our subject Henry Clay, Ann Eliza, Stephen A. Douglas, Thomas, Susan A. And Laura.  James was a boy of ten years when his parents removed to Illinois.  In preparing for the removal the father had purchased large numbers of cattle, horses and sheep to bring with him.  The journey was made overland in the primitive style, the travelers camping and cooking by the wayside and sleeping in a tent at night.  During that journey, our subject saw a cooking stove for the first time, and it was viewed not only by himself but by many others with great curiosity.  This article was purchased by his father from Rafe Lytton of Cincinnati, Ohio and brought to Vermilion County, being the first of its kind in the region.

            Young Sandusky prior to the removal to the Prairie State had been married in Woodford County, Ky. Dec. 6, 1846 to Miss Mary Ann, daughter of James Green, a native of Woodford County, KY.  Her paternal grandparents were natives respectively of England and Germany.  After coming to America they were married in Virginia, whence they soon afterward removed to Kentucky, settling in Woodford County, where they spent their last days.  James Green upon reaching man’s estate chose for his wife Miss Polly Hudson, whose family had figured conspicuously in the early history of the State and whose paternal grandfather, Raleigh Hudson of Scotch-Irish blood, did valiant service in the Revolutionary War.  The Hudsons, invaded the soil of Kentucky at a time when Indians were plentiful and the forest abounded with wild animals.  The mother of Mrs. Sandusky was first married to William Campbell and they became the parents of six children.  Of her marriage with James Green there was born one child only, a daughter, Mary Ann, in Woodford County.  They were wedded in the fall of 1847 and the following spring emigrated to Illinois and settled upon land owned jointly by Mr. Green and our subject.  Mr. Green departed this life in 1845 and the mother died at the home of our subject April 14, 1870.

            Eleven children likewise came to bless the union of James Sandusky and his excellent wife.  The eldest born, Sarah E., became the wife of Benjamin Girard of Georgetown Township and they have nine children—Emma, Della, Mary, Julia, James, Jessie, Euphemma, George and Dottie.  Mary A. And Julia A. Are deceased; Josiah P. Married Miss Emma Boughton and they have four children, Ettie, Fred, James Gould and Grant.  James I. Married Miss Mary Engleman and is farming on his father’s farm in Georgetown Township; they have two children Clinton and Mattie; Henry C a resident of Georgetown Township, married Miss Mary Pratt and they have two children, Floyd E. and Annie.  Anna Eliza married Thomas Bennett of Georgetown Township and they have one child, Bertie; Stephen A. D. is a resident of Catlin Township; Thomas is sojourning in Lyons County, Neb.; Susan T. and Laura H. K. are at home with their parents. 

            As will be seen by referring to the sketches of Josiah, William and Abraham Sandusky, as well as that of James C. Sconce, the Sandusky family came originally from Poland where they were closely allied to royalty.  In their native country their name was spelled “Sodowsky.”   The city of Sandusky, Ohio derives its name from one of the earlier representatives of this family, who settled in northeastern Ohio, where the Indians had suffered numerous wrongs at the hands of the white man.  In a spirit of revenge they vowed to put to death the first white person who should venture into what they esteemed their domain.    This unsuspecting individual proved to be an Indian trader by the name of Sodowsky, and ancestor of our subject and who was one of their best friends.  They carried out their purpose but when learning his true character deeply lamented the cruel deed.  In order to partially atone for it they gave his name to the embryo town which had begun to grow up.  As the whites came in the more modern name was gradually adopted.

            The Sandusky’s as far back as the records go, have been mostly engated in agricultural pursuits making a specialty of live stock and being very successful.  The father of our subject brought in the first drove of good cattle from Kentucky to Illinois, in the driving of which young James assisted.  He also brought in the first flock of sheep which ever graced the prairies of Vermilion County, driving them from the Blue Grass regions in the fall of 1827.  Their ox-team was likewise in the first driven from Kentucky to this county.  Thus it will be seen the Sanduskys have borne no unimportant part in opening of this portion of Central Illinois.

            Mr. Sandusky voted for William H. Harrison in 1840 but in 1856 felt he had reason to change his political views and identified himself democracy of whose principles he has since been a strong supporter.  He has never sought political preferment and has never held office with the exception of serving two terms as School Director.  The horses on Mr. Sandusky’s farm are from a stock of horses that have been in the Sandusky family for nearly a hundred years, brought to Kentucky by his forefathers and from there to Illinois by his father.  A portrait of Mr. Sandusky is shown in his work and represents a worth member of an honored family.