One of the prominent farmers of Macoupin county, was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, on the 8th day of January, 1826. His father, Irvin Masters, was a native of South Carolina; he left that state in company with his uncle, whose name was Irvin, and came direct to Illinois, when he was about eighteen years of age. After a time he formed the acquaintance of Miss Nancy Jones, whom he afterward married. She was the daughter of Claiborne Jones, who was a native of Kentucky, but emigrated to this state as early as 1802. He was a resident of Sangamon county at the time of his daughter's marriage. There were several children born to them, four of whom have survived the parents. The mother died in 1833. The father survived her nine years, and died in 1842. John B. Masters, the subject of our sketch, is the third in the family. The father married Mellie Parrott, by whom he had four children, two of whom are now living; one resides in the north part of this county, and the other in Morgan county of this state; they are both farmers. In the early days of the history of this state schools were very imperfect, and the result was that Mr. Masters received but a limited education. He has, however, been a close observer, and favored with a good memory he has kept himself quite well posted in the events of the day. In the days of his youth churches and Sunday-schools were not known in his neighborhood. Sundays were spent in visiting and hunting.
In 1828 his father settled in North Palmyra township; his house was really in Morgan county, while his land was in Macoupin, where he remained until his death, which took place as above-mentioned. After the death of his father he went back to Sangamon county, where he remained until 1846. In 1847 he spent one year in the Cherokee reservation in the Indian territory. The same year he was married to Miss Nancy Sims, who was a native of Morgan County, but at that time a resident of Jasper county, Missouri. After his marriage, in the fall of 1847, he returned to macoupin county and stopped south of Carlinville, and remained there until December 1848, when he removed to the place where he now resides, on section 2, township 9, range 6.
In 1857 he purchased 80 acres of land, and has added to it since from time to time, until he now has a fine farm of 226 acres, well improved. He had over 400 acres, but he has given away over 200 acres to his children. He has had in all ten children, seven of whom are now living - James Masters, married to Annie Lackens, and now a resident of Cowley county, Kansas, is engaged in farming; Jennie, wife of Dr. Buffington, is now living on a small farm, joining the old homestead; Henry married Miss Malzina Mitchell; Annie married Andrew Robinson, and is now a resident of Butler county, Kansas; Charles, Katie, and Murdy are still at home. Mr. Masters and his wife are both members of the Baptist Church. In politics he is a democrat, and votes, however, for the best men in local affairs.
When we turn back and reflect over the long years of his life, we find in him many of these requisite qualities of brain and muscle so necessary in the early development of our state. He has witnessed many changes, and amidst them all he has preserved a character for honesty and righteousness, so typical of the early settlers. May he still live to enjoy the blessing of a country, made productive by the toil and privations of those who faced the difficulties of a pioneer life; and now, in his declining years, he has the comforts of a well-spent life, where he and his excellent wife can spend their remaining days in their comfortable home.