SAMUEL ENGLAND, one of the prosperous citizens of Girard, was born in Morgan County, Tenn., February 22, 1820. He comes of substantial parentage. His grandfather, Joseph England, moved from Virginia to Tennessee and was a pioneer in Morgan County, where he bought a t5ract of land and engaged in farming. He sojourned there until 1830, when he came to Illinois, and resided in Macoupin County for a time. Removing thence to Marion County, he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Wilkins, until the day of his death.
John England, father of our subject was born in Virginia and reared in Tennessee. He bought a tract of land and engaged in farming until 1830, and then with his wife and ten children and his father and mother came to Illinois, making the removal by team and brining the household goods along. After five weeks of travel they landed in Morgan County, and there spent the winter, which was the season of the deep snow. In the spring of 1831, they came to Macoupin County and buying a squatter's claim, entered land from the Government in the vicinity of what is now known as North Otter.
The new home was in a cabin 14x16, built of logs and covered with clapboards which were rived by hand. The chimney was of slabs covered with mud and the floor of puncheon split by hand. The family lived there for two years, and then built a larger log house. Neighbors were scarce and Mr. England had to go eight miles to get sufficient help to raise the house. He split puncheon for the floor and made the doors of the same material, using wooden pins instead of nails. From the wooden latch the door string hung out. For many years there was no railroad near them and Alton was the nearest market town. Deer were plenty and roamed at will.
The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Lina Hall, was accustomed to spinning and weaving cotton cloth as well as flax, and clothed all her children in home spun. The father cleared quite a tract of land and continued to reside there until his death in 1858. The mother died at the old homestead in 1841, having reared ten children. In company with his brother-in-law our subject purchased land at $2.50 per acre. He built a small house and resided there one year sold it for $700. He then bought another eighty acre tract in the same township (North Otter) for which he paid $500. From that time he was prosperous. He improved the land, built upon it, and purchased other land adjoining, and resided there until 1866 when he sold out and bought where he now lives. The farm comprises two hundred and twenty-five acres of finally improved prairie land, adjoining the village of Girard. Good building shave been placed upon it and the thrift and enterprise of the owner is apparent at a glance. A view of this pleasant home is presented elsewhere in this volume.
The marriage of our subject took place in 1846. His bride was Louisa C. Smith, a daughter of Moses and Permelia Smith. Her death occurred in 1863, mourned by all who knew her. Six children blest this union, namely: Antoinette, Elias M., Marshall W., Evelyn, Elizabeth and John. Mr. England is an active and earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and his wife was also connected with that denomination.