LEVIN N. ENGLISH. Few residents of Shaw's Point Township have so strong a claim on the consideration of the readers of this volume as Mr. English. He has borne an honorable part in the public affairs of the county, and has successfully prosecuted a farmer's career. In noting the present prosperity of Macoupin County, it is well to remember that it was once a great tract of undeveloped land and that those who brought it to its present condition underwent much toil and in many cases suffered privations unknown to men of the present day. The subject of this biographical sketch, who came to this county in his youth, has aided in the development of his community, and has in the meantime gathered around him many of the comforts and conveniences which belong to modern farm life. Of a generous and hospitable nature, he holds a high place in the esteem of his neighbors.
Many years ago the ceremony was performed which united in marriage Thomas English, a native of Maryland, and Ally Cooper, a native of Kentucky. They located in what was then Greene County, but now a part of Jersey County, Ill., which was their home until death. Twelve children were born to them, of whom our subject was the eleventh in order of birth. On September 21, 1830 he was born in Greene County, and there passed his childhood amid pioneer scenes. At an early age he gained a thorough practical knowledge of agriculture in all its departments and to this labor he determined to devote himself when he was ready to take up the work of life. His parents dying when he was quite young, the orphaned lad came to Macoupin County and made his home with a sister, Mrs. Eleanor Fullington.
In Shaw's Point Township, Mr. English grew to man's estate. At the age of twenty-two he removed to Missouri, where, however, he sojourned only a short time, returning to this township and renting the farm he now owns on section 35. After following farming pursuits here five years he removed to an adjoining farm, which he purchased and improved. He has engaged principally in general farming, although devoting some attention to stock raising, in which he has met with more than ordinary success. His chief interest centers in his estate, but he holds exalted ideas of the duties and privileges of citizenship and never misses an opportunity to advocate by ballot and influence those principles he believes to be for the best progress of the country. In him the Democratic party finds a stanch adherent and one who served his fellow citizens in various capacities, holding the office of Supervisor one term, also serving as Constable and Highway Commissioner.
The lady who presides with grace over the home of Mr. English, was formerly known as Miss Mary West, and is the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Foxwell) West, natives of North Carolina and Virginia. They were early settlers in Jersey County, Ill., where the mother died. The father spent his last days with his daughter, Mrs. English, and there he died at a good old age. Mrs. English who was the fourth in a family of five children, was born in St. Clair County, Ill., April 5, 1835, and was there married November 2, 1854. Mr. English and his estimable wife are the parents of five children: Robert W., who married Miss Edna L. Johnson; Levin N., Jr.; Ella L., the wife of Harvey Allen; Mary V., and John N. Mrs. English is a consistent member of the Baptist church and an active worker in that organization. Socially mr. English is identified with the Masonic fraternity.