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 163

Elahu Pembroke - Mr. Pembroke was born in Ontario county, New York, April 27th, 1802. His grandfather John Pembroke, was an Englishman who immigrated to this county and settled near Schenectady. He was a sea captain, and was taken sick and died while making preparations for a voyage. His father, Enos Pembroke, was born in New York, and moved to the western part of that state, and settled there when it was almost a complete wilderness; he married Lucinda Warner and the third child by this marriage was Elahu Pembroke. He was raised in western New York and attended school mostly in Genesee county. His mother died and his father married again, and in 1818 the family emigrated to Kentucky. They lived two years within three miles of Louisville, and in February, 1820, came to Madison county, Illinois. His father bought ten acres of land where the main town of Alton is now built, where they lived three or four years, but found the location so sickly that they were compelled to remove elsewhere. At that day the Mississippi river opposite Alton was covered with a green scum like that which may now be seen on the surface of stagnant ponds, and fever and ague prevailed to such an extent along the river banks that the settlers were obliged to remove. About 1825 or 1826, his father moved with the younger children to the vicinity of Ottawa, in LaSalle county. Mr. Pembroke remained in Madison county, and in 1827 married Sarah Stout, who was born and raised in Madison county. After his marriage he went to farming in the American Bottom. His wife died in December, 1831. He had three children by his first marriage, all of whom died young. In June, 1833, he married Louvisa Knowland. She was born in Madison county, Kentucky, March, 1811, and was the daughter of Wesley Knowland and Clara Armstrong. Her father moved to White and Smith counties, Tennessee, when she was three years old, and in the fall of 1820 to Clark county, Indiana, and settled at Charleston, three miles from the Ohio river; in 1828 he came to upper Alton.

In the spring of 1834 Mr. Pembroke moved eight miles north of Alton, in what is now Jersey, but was then Madison county. He entered and improved 160 acres of land, afterward bought fifteen additional acres, and lived on this farm of 175 acres for thirty-three years. This farm was about five miles south-west of Brighton. In 1867 he bought 200 acres of land lying in section 7, Honey Point township, and section 12 Brushy Mound township, and moved to Macoupin county. He has seven children living, whose names are as follows: Clarissa, the wife of Thomas J. Pinkerton; Wesley N., who is farming in Montgomery county; William K., who is practicing medicine at Gillespie; Thomas C., who lives in Texas; Alton W.; John J., living in Texas, and Albert W. He was originally a whig in politics. He cast his first vote for president for Henry Clay, in 1824, and three different times had the pleasure of casting his vote for Clay for the highest office in the gift of the American people. He became a republican on the formation of that party. He has not, however, been a man who has cared much about party, but has generally voted for the best man for the office. He came to Illinois, in 1820, there was not a house in Jersey or Macoupin counties, and Illinois had been admitted as a state only two years. It was never expected at that time that the prairies would ever improve. He says that when his father came to Illinois an old hewed log-house and some cabins were the only signs of civilization which marked the site of the present city of Alton.




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