Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.
James Raffurty is a native of Montgomery county, Kentucky, and is the fifth of a family of eleven children of
James Raffurty and his wife, Nancy Booth. He was born on the 24th of December, 1823. Mr. Raffurty's grandfather, James
Raffurty, was of Scotch-Irish stock, and was a native of the north of Ireland; while a young man he emigrated to America,
and settled in Virginia, at a date some years prior to the Revolutionary war. At the breaking out of the contest between the
colonies and Great Britain, he was one of the first to enlist in the patriotic army under Washington, and served with
fortitude and bravery in the Continental army until the war was over, peace declared, and the independence of the colonies
achieved. He then returned to his farm in the Shanandoah valley, near Harper's Ferry, and engaged in the culture of
tobacco. He shipped his tobacco to London, England, to pay for the passage to America of the lady who subsequently
became his wife. He married her about the year 1786 or 1787, and raised a large family of children. He subsequently sold
his farm in Virginia, and emigrated to Montgomery county, Kentucky, where he resided for a number of years, and then
moved to Daviess county, Kentucky, and settled on a farm about seven miles southwest of Owensboro, near a place now
called "Buzzard's Roost." He continued to reside there till his death, about the year 1835 or 1836, at a ripe old age. His wife
died about the same time.
The name of Mr. Raffurty's father was also James Raffurty. He was a native of the "Old Dominion", and was born
in the year 1788 within three miles of Harper's Ferry, one of the most romantic and historic places in Virginia. His early
boyhood days were spent in assisting his father to carry on the farm in Virginia, and afterwards in Kentucky. On the
breaking out of the war of 1812 he enlisted for service in Col. James Johnson's regiment, which formed a part of the
detachment of the army under Gen. Harrison. He took part in the campaign under Harrison and was in the battle of the
Thames, in which the celebrated Indian chieftain, Tecumseh, was killed. His marriage to Nancy Booth had occurred prior
to the war of 1812. He resided in Kentucky till 1834, and in March of that year moved to Illinois and settled on the farm in
Polk township, where his son now resides. He died in the month of June, 1854. His widow survived him about ten years.
He and his wife were both members of the Christian church. In politics he was a democrat.
James Raffurty, now one of the leading farmers of Polk township, received his education in the schools of
Montgomery county, Kentucky, and after his removal to this state in the district schools of Macoupin county. He was
in his eleventh year when the family moved to Illinois. He resided at home with his parents till his marriage, which
occurred on the 28th of July, 1842, to Mariah Rusher, daughter of Henry and Catherine Rusher, who were natives of
Kentucky. Mrs. Raffurty was born in that state July 10th, 1821. By this marriage there have been born four sons and
six daughters, of whom three sons and four daughters are now living, all residing in Macoupin county. After his marriage
Mr. Raffurty started out to begin life for himself with scarcely any capital. He bought a forty acre tract in section nine
Polk township, which he improved, and after living on it for a few years sold it, and purchased one hundred and twenty
acres in section seven, which he improved and lived upon till his father's death, when he purchased the old homestead,
where he has since lived. On the breaking out of the Mexican war he enlisted in Co. C. 6th regiment Illinois volunteers,
commanded by Col. Collins. He served until the expiration of the war, when he returned home and was mustered out at
Alton, in August, 1847. Fuller particulars of the history of the regiment may be found in the chapter on Patriotism, in the
History of the county. He has always been identified with the democratic party, of which he has been an active member
for more than thirty years. In taking a retrospective view of his life and career we find a man who commenced with but
little means, and excellent natural business qualifications. Assisted by his estimable wife he has been able to carve out
for himself a comfortable competence. He is one of the substantial and leading agriculturalists of the county, and a man
whose probity of character and purity of conduct have won him many friends.
Index to Biographies
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