The Pace family is one of the oldest families in the state of Illinois.
It is an English family, and traces its history back about four hundred
years to England, where one of its members was a member of the British
Parliament. About two hundred years ago two brothers of the family came
to America, one locating in the southern part of the now United States,
the other in New York. The descendants of these brothers are distributed
in almost every state in the United States. It is thought by members of
the family that the Declaration of Independence was signed by one of them,
where the name is usually taken for William Paca, the original of the Declaration
of Independence having been examined by one of the family, and the name
having been written in such a manner as to cause him to believe it was
William Pace instead of William Paca. Some of the family then resided in
Virginia. the Paces have taken part in all the wars in which this country
has been engaged. Two brothers, Joel Pace, Sr., and John Pace, were in
the Revolu tionary war, both from Virginia. The latter was a captain in
that war. Two sons of said Joel Pace, Sr, being Joel Pace, Jr., and Joseph
Pace (twins), were in the War of 1812, and in General Harrison's command.
Members of the Pace family were also in the Mexican war, and on both sides
in the Civil war, some wearing blue and some the gray, also in the Black
Hawk war, the war with Spain and in the Philippines. The older members
of this family who settled in Jefferson county, Illinois, came from
Virginia and Kentucky, a portion of them locating here before the county
was organized. The oldest member who located here was the above named Joel
Pace, Sr. His family was composed of John M. Pace, Joel Pace, Jr., Joseph
Pace, Spencer Pace, William West Pace, Thomas East Pace, his sons, and
Mary Atwood (wife of James Atwood), Martha Goodrich (wife of Nathan Goodrich),
Milly Baugh (wife of Judge Downing Baugh), and Frances Watson (wife of
Dr. John W. Watson), his daughters.
Joel Pace, Jr., was the first County Clerk, the first Circuit Clerk and the first County Judge of Jefferson county, Illinois. His family consisted of Charles T., Williamson C., Newton C., Addison M. and Samuel F., his sons; and Eliza McCreary (wife of Warren McCreary), Letitia Haynes (wife of James Haynes), and Isabella F. Pavey (wife of Charles W. Pavey), his daughters.
Charles T. Pace was a successful merchant in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and is now deceased. Williamson C. Pace now resides in Ashley, Illinois, and has been successful as a physician and surgeon and business man; was Mayor of Ashley, Illinois, and was surgeon of the One Hundred Tenth Illinois Infantry in the Civil war.
Edward C. Pace, now deceased, was a banker in Ashley, Illinois, and was once the Democratic nominee for State Treasurer of Illinois, and was prominent in the Masonic Order.
Newton C. Pace, now deceased, was a successful merchant, and was Mayor of Mount Vernon, Illinois, and was captain in one of the Illinois regiments in the Civil war, and with his brother-in-law, Charles W. Pavey, was for about two years held by the Confederates as prisoner of war. He was wounded in assisting to carry one of his wounded comrades from the battlefield. In doing so he took a risk his duty as captain of his company did not require, but was actuated by his kindness and consideration for those under his command. He was also prominent in the Masonic Order.
Addison M. Pace has for many years been a resident of Kansas. Samuel F. Pace and Mrs. Eliza McCreary and Mrs. Letitia Haynes are now deceased. Isabella F. Pavey is the wife of Gen. Charles W. Pavey who was State Auditor of Illinois, and they are residents of Mount Vernon, Illinois.
Joseph Pace , the twin brother of Joel Pace, Jr was the first County Surveyor of Jefferson county, Illinois. His family consist of Samuel T. Pace, J. Thomas Pace, and Warren G. Pace, his sons; and Susan F Dillingham, Pamelia Dillingharm, Margaret Downey, Elizabeth Allen and Mary A. Pace, his daughters. Samuel T. Pace was in the Sixieth Regiment, Illinois infantry, in the Civil war, in which he had an arm so badly shot it had to be amputated. He was a successful business man and is now deceased. His brother, J. Thomas Pace, became eminent in his profession as a physician and surgeon, and is now deceased. Warren G. Pace died in infancy. Two of the daughters of Joseph Pace, Mrs. Elizabeth Allen and Mary A. Pace, now reside in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
Spencer Pace, William West Pace and Thomas East Pace departed this life many years ago. William West Pace went from Jefferson county to Salem, Illinois, and was a prominent man there, and was Clerk of one of the Courts of Marion county. Some of his children and their descendants now reside in Salem, Illinois. His youngest daughter, Josephine, is the wife of J. E. Bryan. a lawyer of Salem, Illinois, a cousin of William Jennings Bryan. Two widowed daughters also reside there.
John M. Pace was the oldest son of Joel Pace, Sr. He came from Virginia to Kentucky and from Kentucky to Jefferson county, Illinois. His family consisted of Haney T., George W., John H. and Joel F., his sons; and Amelia Guthrie and Amanda Rogers, his daughters.
Harvey T. Pace was the oldest son of John M. Pace. He was a successful merchant and business man, and for many years did the largest business of any merchant in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and was in general merchandising there without intermission from 1832 to the date of his death, in 1876, on the same corner, being where the Third National Bank now stands. He was a progressive man and held offices of trust. He was president of the first rail-road company in this county, and was three times elected a member of the Legislature of Illinois, serving in that body with Lincoln and Douglas. His wife's maiden name was Nancy Bruce, a native of Wilson county, Tennessee. Her ancestors participated in the Revolutionary war, and War of 1812, one being with General Jackson in the battle of New Orleans. Harvey T. Pace and his wife were zealous members of the Christian church, and he bought a church in Mount Vernon, Illinois, in 1854, for the use of that denomination, which was used by it from that time till his death. He also built at his own expense a Ladies' Seminary and maintained it for sometime. His sons were James M., George W., William H. and Aurelius N., and his daughters, Martha E. and Mary F..
James M. Pace was the oldest son of Harvey T. Pace, and was a lawyer and business man. He was public-spirited and progressive and was ever ready and willing to do anything that would promote the welfare of the city of Mount Vernon and of the county and state. He was elected to many offices of trust and confidence. He was the first Mayor of the city of Mount Vernon, Illinois, the first County Superintendent of Schools of Jefferson county, which position he held for eight years, having been twice elected to this office, and was Master in Chancery' of this county, Police Magistrate of Mount Vernon, Illinois, and was for about twenty years a member of the Board of Education of Mount Vernon, a portion of the time being its president, and was a member of a board which maintained a seminary here for four years, of which Rev. Thomas H. Herdman, who afterwards was president of McKendree College, at Lebanon, Illinois, was principal. When County Superintendent of Schools he held the first teachers' institute in Jefferson county and was largely instrumental in establishing the graded schools in Mount Vernon He was a charter member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge in Mount Vernon, and was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He did as much as any other person in securing the building of the first railroad in this county, being now the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. It was strongly opposed and was submitted to a vote of the county. He contributed of his own means and time in assisting to carry the proposition, and did so from no motive whatever except for the general good of the community. He had surveyed at his own expense a railroad route from Mount Vernon to Benton, in Franklin county, which substantially now forms a portion of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. His life was an unselfish one-generous, kind and courteous to all-and he was permitted to live to see these enterprises for which he so faithfully and earnestly labored all consummated demonstrating the correctness of his foresight and judgment, having departed this life July 18, 1907, at the age of eighty years. He named Eleanor C. Vaught, a daughter of Thomas F. Vaught, who was a merchant of Shawneetown, Illinois, and also County Clerk of Gallatin county, Illinois. She, from her kind and gentle manner and disposition, was suitable companion for her husband and they were permitted to round out life's day in this county, whose history they had assisted in making and upon which they had left their impress for the good and elevation of the community in which their lives had been chiefly spent and together they entered life's evening twilight, the portal to perpetual day, she having departed this' life February 16, 1907.
James M. Pace had two sons, William T. and Thomas V., and a daughter, Virginia M. The son, Thomas V. died in infancy. The daughter, Virginia M., is the wife of Louis H. Bittroiff, and now resides in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The other son, William T. Pace, is a lawyer, practicing his profession in Mount Vernon. He was three times elected County Judge of Jefferson county, and also acted as County Judge of Wayne county, this state, for a time while County Judge of Jefferson county on account of a vacancy occurring by the death of the County Judge of Wayne county. He was an alternate delegate-at-large for the state of Illinois to the Democratic National Convention in 1896, when William J. Bryan was first nominated for President.
Of the other children of Harvey T. Pace, one, William H. Pace died in youth from injuries received in falling from a tree. Another, George W. Pace, departed this life when a young man, just entering upon a prosperous business career. The other son, Aurelius N. Pace, resides in Montgomery, Alabama. Of the daughters, one, Mary E., departed this life in childhood; the other, Martha E., is the wife of Dr. Hiram S. Plummer, and resides in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
George W. Pace, Sr., a brother of Harvey T. Pace, after he became grown moved from Mount Vernon to Salem, Illinois. He was a successful merchant and business man, and was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1847, of Illinois. Two of his sons are deceased. George W., Jr., died when quite a young man. The other deceased son, Granville R., was a prominent merchant and was Mayor of Salem, Illinois. The sons living are Harvey T. Pace, Jr., a business man of Salem, and Oscar H. Pace, residing in Mount Vernon. He also had two daughters, Tabitha J. Badolett, now deceased, and Ophelia E. Tryner, now residing in California. George W. Pace, Sr., married Tabitha J. Rogers, who formerly resided in Jefferson county, Illinois.
John H. Pace, a brother of Harvey T. Pace, was a prominent merchant, and at the time of his death was Police Magistrate of Mount Vernon, Illinois. Two of his daughters are deceased, one dying in childhood, the others Cora A., married William D. Tabb, who is also deceased. They left surviving them two daughters, Gertrude and Louise. The other daughter of John H. Pace is Gussie Manning, wife of William Manning, of Howell, Indiana Of the two sons of John H. Pace, one, Willis A., departed this life when about grown. The other son, Robert F. Pace, is a prominent business man residing in Mount Vernon, this state.
A portion of the time he has taken an active part in politics, and has been Master in Chancery of Jefferson county and postmaster of Mount Vernon.
The other son of John M. Pace, Joel F., and a daughter, Amanda Rogers, are deceased. The other daughter, Amelia Guthne, now resides in Mount Vernon with her son, John P. Guthrie.
The Pace family were never clannish in any manner. Some were zealous members of various church denominations. Locally most of the denominations to which they belonged were the Christian, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopal. In politics they belonged to different parties, some ardent Democrats and others as loyal Republicans. As a family they have ever been progressive, conservative citizens, of firmness and of strong character, boldly and fearlessly upholding that which was elevating and conducive to the welfare and best interests of the community, the state and nation. And they, with other families who located in Jefferson county about the same time they did, have played well their part in making a history for Jefferson county, Illinois, of which they feel a just pride; and with those families, in life's battles, can truly say, "We have kept the faith. We have fought a good fight."
SOURCE: (pages 339-345 Walls History Of Jefferson County, Il By John A. Wall1909 )
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