AMES W. LEITCH, the owner of a fine estate containing 160 acres, located on section 18, Pleasant Grove Township, belongs to one of the pioneer families of the county. He is the son of Robert and Jane (Erwin) Leitch, and was born in this township, Sept. 17, 1839. His grandfather, John Leitch, was a native of Ireland, and at the time of the Revolutionary War came to America with the British troops to fight for the King, but availing himself of that prerogative of a wise man, the privilege of changing his mind, he deserted, joined the federal troops, and fought for the Republic throughout the war instead of the King. He subsequently twice visited his native country in disguise. |
James Leitch was taught the practical details of agriculture on his father’s farm, and received as good an education as the limited advantages of the pioneer days afforded. Jan. 19, 1860, he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy J. Hughes, the daughter of William J. and Ellen J. Hughes. Mrs. Leitch was born in the State of Ohio, and died May 18, 1880, leaving three children: Alice, the wife of John Allison; Robert U. and Samuel E. After his marriage Mr. Leitch engaged in farming in the vicinity of Farmington, but in 1872 sold out his interest there and removed to Dade County, Mo., where he was successfully engaged in farming until 1878. The climate of Missouri proved unfavorable to the health of his wife, and by her physician’s advice he then returned to Coles County; his wife, however, did not survive her removal home many years.
March 18, 1885, Mr. Leitch was married the second time, to Miss Laura E. Coley, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth R. Coley. Since his return to Illinois he has been engaged in agriculture, and is the owner of a fine farm containing 160 acres of valuable land. Mr. Leitch is a Republican in politics, is actively interested in promoting all measures calculated to benefit the community, and has held the offices of Assessor, Collector and Justice of the Peace. He is an active worker in the Methodist Church, of which he is a member, and for many years has been Superintendent of the Sunday-school, and one of its most valued teachers. In educating his family he has spared neither pains nor expense. His oldest son, the graduate of a homeopathic medical college, is now successfully practicing medicine in Willow Lake, Dak.