Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1280-1281
James BLISS, an extensive farmer and stock raiser of Owen Township, has been a very prominent factor in developing and extending the agricultural interests of Winnebago County [IL]. He was born in Troy [Renssalaer County], NY, 22 Jan 1822, and is the son of Christopher BLISS, who was born and reared in New England. Later he went to New York State, where he served as Captain on a river steamer for some time, after which he engaged in mercantile business in Savoy, Berkshire County, MA, whither he had removed in 1822.
The maiden name of our subject's mother was Achsah DEMMING; she was a native of Wethersfield [Hartford County], CT, and was the daughter of Captain John and Elizabeth DEMMING. Her father was commander of a vessel for some time, and when abandoning that line of work engaged in farming in Savoy, MA, where he spent his last years. The father of our subject departed this life in 1827, and his widow, after again marrying, died in Westfield [Hampden County], MA.
James BLISS of this sketch was an infant when he parents removed to MA, where he was reared to the age of 15 years in Savoy. Then starting out in life for himself, he worked on a farm for a time, when he found employment as [p 1281] clerk in a store for one year. Later however, learning the carpenters trade, he followed that line of work until his marriage, when he again began farming, purchasing a tract of 100 acres in the town of Adams [Berkshire County], MA, which he cultivated successfully until 1863, the date of his advent into Winnebago County. He had visited this section in 1850, at which time he entered 160 acres of land with a soldier's land warrant, for which he paid $110. He now has one of the finest and best improved farms in the county, which comprises 232 acres.
The lady to whom Mr. BLISS was married bore the maiden name of Lydia FIFE. She was born in Berkshire County, MA, and died on the farm in Owen Township in 1863. Our subject was then married to Miss Annie M. COLTON, who was born in Westfield, MA, and departed this life in 1882. The present wife of Mr. BLISS, prior to her marriage, was Miss Amanda HENDERSON. In religious affairs our subject is a member of the Baptist Church, and occupies a prominent position among the wealthy farmers of this section.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.