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 187

DANIEL B. SAWYER, was born in Tyrrel county, North Carolina, September 24, 1813, the fifth of a family of eight children of Josiah Sawyer and Hannah Sykes. His ancestors had been residents of North Carolina for a long period. In his eighteenth year he decided on leaving home. He started for Illinois in August, 1831, and came directly to Dorchester township, Macoupin county. He assisted in building a log cabin for his brother-in-law, made some rails in the winter of 1831-2, and the following spring began improving the farm on which he now resides on West prairie, in this township. At that time there were but few families living in Dorchester township, and with two exceptions mr. Sawyer is now the oldest settler on West prairie. December 25, 1834, he married Minerva Scroggins; she was born in Dickson county, Tennessee, 1816; and came with her mother to Madison county, Illinois, in 1829, the family first settling near Edwardsville and afterward on Silver creek. Mr. Sawyer has since been living in this township. He has had eleven children, all of whom have grown to maturity and received a careful education. John, the oldest son, graduated at Shurtleff College and afterward at the Theological seminary at Rochester; the remainder of his life was spent in the active ministry in the Baptist church; he was pastor of churches in Massachusetts and Illinois, and died in Colorado February, 1878; the oldest daughter, Mary J., is the wife of Frank Godfrey; Harrison Sawyer is a graduate of Shurtleff college and the Theological department connected with it; Susan died when an infant; Ellen graduated at Almira college at Greenville, and died within a year after her marriage to Alexander Sinclair; Sarah E. also graduated at Almira college, and died at the age of twenty-three; Thomas died when an infant, and Daniel Addison at the age of three years; William Taylor Sawyer died at the age of nineteen, while pursuing a course of study at Shurtleff college; the death of Frank occurred at the age of eighteen at Fort Scott, Kansas, while on a visit to Texas; Dempsey B. is the name of the youngest son. Mr. Sawyer was originally a democrat, but from what he saw of the workings of the institution of slavery in North Carolina in his boyhood he became strongly anti-slavery in his sympathies. He was an early subscriber to Lovejoy's paper at Alton, the publication of which resulted in the murder of the editor in 1837, and never made any attempt to disguise his sentiments when opposition to slavery was much less popular than it has since become. He was an early member of the republican party, and has supported it since its organization.




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