John T. Wathen (1887)
John T. Wathen, farmer, was born near Shawneetown, Ill., December 21, 1842. His father, James M., born in Union County, Ky., in 1818, came to Illinois with is parents when one year old. Joseph, the grandfather, formerly of Maryland, and at an early age in Kentucky, early in life renounced the Catholic faith and became an earnest member of the Baptist Church. A pioneer from taste, he came to Illinois in 1819, and when this State became settled, moved to Iowa, where he died in 1856. The father, James M., reared in Gallatin County, when of age married Rebecca Pilkington, a native of North Carolina, and with her parents an early settler in Illinois. She died in Gallatin County in 1866. They had ten children. By his second marriage he had two daughters. He was a cooper, but later in life a farmer, dying in June, 1874, on the farm on which he was partly reared. Our subject received an ordinary education, and although he taught school in early life, he has made farming his chief business. March 10, 1864, he marred Catherine, daughter of William Byrne, a native of Dublin, Ireland. She was born near Equality, April 10, 1844. Their children are Hettie A., Mary E., William M., John A. and Willis G. Our subject is a staunch Republican, but cast his first vote for McClellan. He owns 375 acres of land, 175 of which is in the home place west of Equality.
[1887. History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin and Williamson Counties, Illinois. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 585.]
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