HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
AND

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.

Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879



Page 200

CAPT. JAMES P. PEARSON


Was born in Yorkshire, England, March 29th, 1816. His father, John Pearson, kept a toll gate and shoe shop, and died when the subject of this sketch was about five years old. His mother's name before marriage was Elizabeth Blankin; she married as her second husband Matthew Inman, and in 1825 came to Clark county, O., where Capt. Pearson was principally raised. While his step-father was living he was obliged to work, and had little opportunity for attending school; most of his education he obtained after he was married. After his step-father died his mother was left in comfortable circumstances and in 1834 came to Illinois. In November of that year they rented a farm at Dry Point, and settled on it the next February. For about a year and a half his mother kept a public house for the entertainment of travelers at Dry Point. In 1837 Capt. Pearson was employed in carrying the mail between Alton and St. Louis, first on a coach running between the two places, and afterward on a packet on the Mississippi river. He was married October 27th, 1837, to Tabitha Gwin, a native of Alabama, and then went to farming for himself in the western part of Gillespie township; in March, 1854, he moved to his present farm in sections three and ten in Gillespie township.

Capt. Pearson was one of the soldiers of the Mexican War; he was mustered in Co. "A," First Illinois regiment, of which his uncle, William Weatherford, was lieutenant-colonel, at Alton, July 4th 1846. From Alton his regiment went to New Orleans; thence to Matagorda bay in Texas; was stationed a month at San Antonia de Bexar, and in the fall of 1846 moved into Mexico at Presidio. They were afterward stationed at several points in Northern Mexico for some months, and took part in the battle of Buena Vista in February, 1847. In that fight he was wounded, a ball carrying away a piece of bone from his ankle. They remained at Buena Vista till June, 1847, by which time the war had closed; he was mustered out at Camargo, on the Rio Grande, and reached home July 7th, 1847. This was not Capt. Pearson's first experience at soldiering; he had enlisted when only a boy, in a company of volunteers which left Ohio to take part in the Black Hawk War; on reaching Vincennes, Indiana, news reached them of the closing of the war, and they returned home; he also took part in the Mormon war at Nauvoo in Hancock county. His first wife died in February, 1848. He was married in the spring of 1849 to Mrs. William Little, formerly Miss Rebecca Gwin, sister to his first wife. Capt. Pearson has had six children; Elizabeth, who married Frank Johnson, and died in Missouri in February, 1879; Elias, who died in 1855 at the age of eighteen; Rebecca, now the wife of Edward Huddleston of Gillespie township; Martha Ann, who married Nelson Pope of Dorchester township; Mary, now Mrs. Robert Drury, of Brushy Mound township; and James M. Pearson, the youngest son, who is farming in Brushy Mound township. In politics Capt. Pearson is a democrat, and voted first for Van Buren in 1836. He was first lieutenant of the company of volunteers raised in Ohio for service in the Black Hawk war; he was first elected drum-major, and then promoted to wagon-master in the Mexican war, and everybody familiarly know him as Captain. He had no capital with which to begin life, and how has a farm of 200 acres in Gillespie township, and owns 640 acres in Missouri, of which 400 are under cultivation. He is now one of the oldest citizens of Gillespie township.


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