EDWARDS, JOHN E. - An enterprising and progressive farmer of Ashland, Ill., is a man who is well and favorably known in the community of which he is a member as an intelligent and well informed citizen. His farm is situated in township 18, range 9, n., Cass County, and on it, besides general farming, he is successfully engaged in raising horses, cattle, mules and hogs, and his attention is now devoted wholly to the duties of his farm.
John E. Edwards is a son of one of the early settlers of Cass County, his father and mother, John and Ruth (Sharp) Edwards, having come from England with their family, and entered up a large tract of timber land. Here John E. Edwards was born, January 3, 1877. By his first wife who died about the year 1871, John Edwards had the following children: Charlotte (Mrs. Thomas Baker), of Washington, Kan.; Jane (Mrs. Hiram Smith), of Cass County, Ill; Mary (Mrs. Tilford Cline), of Cass County; William F. and George, of Ashland, Ill.; John, of Macoupin County, Ill.; Samuel of Menard County, Ill; Thomas, of St. Paul, Minn.; and Sarah, who died in 1872, aged twenty-two years. After a while John Edwards returned to England on a visit, and about the year 1875 married again and brought his second wife to his farm in Cass County. He added to the farm until it comprised more than 600 acres. At first he lived in a log cabin, but later bought the old Garner church, which he moved to the farm, and used for a dwelling until he built the present home in 1871. He was an extensive raiser of cattle, horses and hogs. He held several local offices and organized School District No. 27. In 1872 he built a fine frame house and otherwise improved his property. John Edwards died in November, 1887, and his widow, who now lives in Brown County, Ill., married John Thomas. By her Mr. Edwards had the following children, namely: John E.; Harry, of Ashland, Ill.; Anna (Mrs. H. O. Brownback), of Ashland, Ill.; Della (Mrs. H. E. Booker), of Menard County, Ill.; Olive (Mrs. Fred Vetting), of Arvado, Colo.: Forrest, of Waverly, Ill.; Charles and Lee, of Lees Summitt, Mo.; and Nellie, who died in infancy.
After his father's death John E. Edwards remained with his mother about four years. In youth he had attended the district schools of the neighborhood and Brown's Business College at Jacksonville, where he spent two years, and after his graduation, in the winter of 1895-96, he worked two years in a railroad ticket office at St. Paul, Minn. then returning home, he resumed farming, purchasing the homestead of 285 acres from the other heirs, together with his mother's dower.
In February, 1902, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage with Mattie Hinchee, a native of Cass County, and a daughter of J. M. and Mary (Clark) Hinchee, of the same county. They have five children, as follows: Irene, Byron O., Dwight, Joseph Eugene, and an infant daughter.
Mr. Edwards is quite public spirited and takes considerable interest in public affairs. For three years, he served as deputy assessor of township 18, range 9, Cass County, and has officiated as school director since 1903 in Oregon Precinct; as committeeman since 1902; and as senatorial committeeman of the Thirtieth District since 1912. He is a popular man and is considered a representative farmer and a model member of the community in which he lives.