JEFFERSON COUNTY IL 
BIOGRAPHIES
JOHN WILKERSON
JOHN WILKERSON 

In May, 1818, a colony of six families arrived in Moore's Prairie from 
Lebanon. Wilson County. Tennessee. consisting of: Henry B. Maxey, who 
was married to Peggy Taylor; James E. Davis. who was married to Polly 
Taylor: James Johnson: William Maxey: Nathaniel Parker. who was married
to Mary Thomas: and John Wilkerson (b. 1767 in V A) and his second
wife. Elizabeth Allen Thomas, a widow with five children. John had two sons
by his first wife. Dorothy (Dicey) Keeling.
Allen and Hartwell. John's sister. Phoebe Wilkerson, also born Virginia, 
married Rhodam Allen, a Methodist minister who came to Illinois from Tennessee. 
He was born in North Caro­una in 1785 and was a brother to Elizabeth Allen Thomas.
John and Elizabeth were married in 1807 in Lebanon, TN.

Their children were Elizabeth. Sallie, Jane. Mastin, Emily, Ransom, 
Martha and John Jr.

John Jr. first married Jane Whitman and had Elisha Frank­lin. Sarah, 
John Elisha b. 1839. Samantha. John, and James Samuel. John Jr. then 
married Martha Conner and had Wil­liam T.. Susan, Willard, Stephen A. 
0., Martha, and Van Buren.

John Elisha was raised by his grandmother. Elizabeth Allen Thomas 
Wilkerson. He married Margaret Carpenter (1866­1919), daughter of
Samuel and Melinda Spurling Carpenter. Their children were: Minnie M.(Burrell
 
Robert) Sledge: Eva­line M. (L. Nelson) Scott: Rose (Samuel) Sheridan,
a Method­ist minister. Inez (Jesse E.) Reece: Sarah Ann (Emery)
Har­low: 

John Henry married Cordelia Bishop: James Samuel married Mable Tennie 
Scott.

Following John Elisha's death in 1903. Margaret stayed on in the old 
homestead until her death in the flu epidemic of 1919. They are both 
buried at the Oddfellows cemetery at Opdyke.

John Henry Wilkerson and Cordelia Bishop, married in 1903, owned a
small farm and he worked at the Mt. Vernon Car Shops. He recalled that they 
were once paid in silver and gold. He helped dig the city park lake
with a team of horses and a scoop. He also hauled brick to pave 18th street 
and it's still in use.

John Henry died in 1952 and is buried with his wife and son Orville, at
Pleasant Grove cemetery. Their other children, Jua­nita Willison,
Krekel and Cleo. live in Mt. Vernon. Krekel and his wife Velma Rightnower,
were the parents of Leroy and Lavern. both deceased. Lavern's son Michael. 
lives in Mt. Ver­non. Cleo and his first wife Madge Clark, had a 
daughter Norrna Lou (deceased) and by his second wife, Bernice Green. 
had Arlen and Gerard (deceased). Arlen lives in Arizona. ­Sue Horton


Source: Facts and Folks of Jefferson Co, IL Page 346 & 347
Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer


 
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