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Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879

Page 260:

ROBERT BACON - Among the representative men of South Otter township none stand forth more conspicuously than does Robert Bacon. Although not one of the first settlers in the township, yet by great industry, coupled with sound practical economy and excellent judgment, he has rightfully assumed a place with the largest farmers and most substantial business men of the county. As exhibiting an example worthy the emulation of all, particularly the young, we herewith present a brief sketch of Mr. Bacon's life and character, feeling as though the history of South Otter township would be incomplete without a notice of that gentleman. He is now the present nominee of the republican party for county treasurer; is a native of England, and was born in Norfolk, near the city of Norwich, on June 10th, 1825. His father, Richard Bacon, was a farmer in comfortable circumstances, and his wife's maiden name was Mary K. Sayers. Robert Bacon was the second of eight children. From the time he was old enough, he was sent to school quite regularly, and laid the foundation for the main part of his education in England before coming to America. He had little opportunity for attending school after coming to this country, and with the exception of the opportunities he had in England, his education is mostly the result of his own efforts. In 1835 his father emigrated with his family to America; came across in a sailing vessel, the voyage occupying about a month, and reached New York June 1st 1835. From New York they went to the city of Troy, where the family remained until the fall of 1837, and then removed to the West. Reaching St. Louis, the family came at once to Carlinville, settling there on the recommendation of Dr. Gideon Blackburn, whom his father had met in Troy. On coming to the county his father moved on Dr. Blackburn's farm, near Carlinville, and lived there one year, and then the family moved to Chesterfield township, and rented the farm now owned by Nicholas Challacombe. While living there, Mr. Bacon's father died, in August, 1839. His mother moved then, with the family, to a farm north of Carlinville, and in the spring of 1840 his mother entered forty acres of land in section 19, town 11, range 7, where she lived for some years, and where the children were raised. Her place was Mr. Bacon's home until he was twenty-four years of age. For a couple of years he worked by the month in Chesterfield township, and the remainder of the time was employed in farming at home, until his marriage, which occurred November 18, 1849, to Miss Mary A. Miller. Mrs. Bacon was born in Floyd county, Indiana, and became a resident of Macoupin county in 1836. Her father was Henry Miller, who came to the county that year and settled on section 30, South Otter township. After Mr. Bacon was married he went to farming on his own account where he now resides, and has ever since been engaged in farming. His farm consists of 240 acres, and a view of his residence is shown elsewhere among the illustrations in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Bacon have had three children: Emily, who married George M. Killam, and is now deceased; Henry R., who died in infancy; and Anna M., wife of John C. Wiggins. Mr. Bacon began his political life as a member of the old whig party, and cast his first vote for president in 1848. He voted the whig ticket until the dissolution of that party, and when the war broke out he became a strong and earnest republican, and has remained a member of that party sever since. In 1872 he was chosen supervisor of South Otter township, and was re-elected to that position the succeeding year. He was one of the board of supervisors during the period when the trouble became most prominent regarding a levy of a tax with which to pay the indebtedness incurred by the county in building the courthouse. He took a determined stand against paying anything of what he believed to be an unjust claim until the matters had been compromised on a just and equitable basis. As a member of the board, he voted against the levy of a tax in compliance with the mandamus of the United States circuit court, and was one of the seventeen who were fined one thousand dollars each for refusing to comply with the mandamus and levy a tax. In 1876 he was the republican candidate for circuit clerk, and made a race creditable to himself, receiving more votes than the majority of the ticket. In 1879 the republican convention nominated him by acclamation as their candidate for county treasurer. Mr. Bacon is a man who stands well among the citizens of the county. He is a gentleman of personal honor and integrity, and has been influential in the counsels of the republican party in Macoupin county. In conclusion, Mr. Bacon may be relied upon as a sterling business man, quiet in his demeanor, and charitable where there is any just claim. What he has is the result of hard labor, the cumulative proceeds on the earnings of a poor boy.

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