JOHN R. CLEMMONS. The wealthy and progressive farmers of Virden Township have achieved their success by virtue of their own thorough-going industry, effective enterprise and the wealth which lay hidden under the sod of the Prairie State. They cannot be accused, as can many who have gained wealth in the populous centers of our country, of having wrung their wealth from the sufferings and efforts of their fellow men. They may well take an honorable pride in their achievements and can with a clear conscience say that they have wronged no man, but have truly helped their neighbors through their own prosperity.
Among such we are pleased to mention the gentleman whose name we have given above. His parents, Peter and Eunice (Richardson) Clemmons, emigrated from North Carolina to Pike County, Ill., in the fall of 1830, and there they spent the remainder of their days. Our subject was the youngest in a goodly family of seven children, and his birth took place in Davidson County, N. C., January 19, 1822. He was therefore but eight years old when his father and mother made their new home in the Prairie State, and from that time Pike County was his home and there he grew to manhood. His quiet early life upon the farm was spent much as other farm boys spend their growing years, and he received as good an education as the district schools of the county afforded. These were not as good then as can be found now, but the added earnestness of those early days, made probably as good scholars as the greater advantages of today can turn out.
This gentleman made his home in Pike County until March, 1865. He had married in Greene County, this State, Elizabeth Ann Thomas, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Ann (Isley) Thomas and the wedding day of the young couple was March 28, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were of Southern birth and parentage, the former being a native of Pendleton County, S.C., and the latter of Eastern Tennessee. They had come to Illinois in their early days and were married in Madison County, from which they afterward removed to Greene County, where they spent the remainder of their days.
Mrs. Clemmons was the fifth in order of age in a family of truly patriarchal numbers, there being twelve in her father's family, and her birth took place in Greene County, August 21, 1825. As we have said Mr. Clemmons continued to reside in Pike County after his marriage until March, 1865, when he came to Macoupin County, and made his home on section 12, Virden Township, which has since been the family residence. Both he and his wife are large land owners, owning together some five hundred and sixty acres, upon which he has made valuable and substantial improvements, including a beautiful residence, first-class barns and all outhouses necessary to the successful and systematic carrying our of farm work.
Six children have blessed this home, namely: Eunice B., who died in the fourth year of her age; Samuel T., who was called away when about thirteen years old; Lewis H., who lived to attain his majority and was then taken away in the bloom of his young manhood; Jane E., who died when seven years old; Laura C., who is the wife of Frank P. Babbitt and John O., who married Miss Mary L. Chedister. In political matters Mr. Clemmons has been active and interested, working strenuously for the success of his party and believing firmly in the doctrines of Democracy. He is not in any sense of the word an office-seeker, but at the earnest solicitation of his neighbors he has consented to undertake the responsible position of School Director. He has in this way forwarded greatly the educational interests of the township, as his intelligence and public-spirited enterprise make him peculiarly well fitted to push forward progressive movements in this direction. Both he and his lovely and capable wife are earnest and devoted members of the Christian Church, and in this connection, as in all the relations of life they are active in forwarding the interests of those about them. Their life in this community has been one which redounds not only to their credit but to the good of their neighbors.