JOSEPH B. HACKNEY, a successful farmer residing on section 25, Hilyard Township, has a well improved and highly cultivated farm which has been his home most of the time since the beginning of the ‘50s. His military and mining experiences are truly notable. He is a veteran of the Mexican War and saw some hard fighting, especially toward the close of the conflict when he was engaged in fighting the bushwhackers, being a member of Capt. Little's Cavalry Company, in which he did excellent service as a private.
Our subject returned home in 1848 after his discharge from the army and the following spring he joined a company which was organized in Jerseyville to cross the plains to the gold regions of the Pacific Slope. This company embraced some twenty-five teams and wagons and their first objective point was St. Joseph, Mo. From there they took the Mormon trail over the plains to South Pass, and thence to Ft. Hall, and crossing the Humbodt, reached a mining camp on Bear River. Here Mr. Hackney spent some time and then went to Sacramento, and later to McCallam River and worked in the Angeles and Murphy mines. Late in the following spring he went to the head waters of the Yuba River and there found some good diggings. In the summer of 1850 he returned with his brother who had accompanied him, and coming to Macoupin County, they invested in land in Hilyard Township, upon which they have since lived and made of it an excellent farm.
March 20, 1829, was the natal day of Joseph B. Hackney, and Troy, N.Y. the place of his nativity. His father, William, who was born in that State, came of Scotch parentage. His father and mother emigrated from the old country to New York and spent their last days there. Their son William learned the trade of a blacksmith and furnace man, and had an excellent reputation as a skilled workman. He came West in 1836 and settled upon a tract of land in Jersey County, this State, but still continued to carry on his trade. Later he removed to Macoupin County, where he lived until his death, at the age of eighty-six. His wife, Margaret Kellogg, a native of Albany, N.Y. was of Holland stock. She came West with her husband, dying in this county when eighty-four years old. She was a true and faithful wife and an affectionate and devoted mother, and her memory is revered by all who knew her. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hackney were devout and active members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hackney was a Jacksonian Democrat in his political views and had been a soldier through all of the War of 1812, entering as a private and later becoming a corporal.
The subject of our sketch is one of the younger members of his father's family, and his two older brothers were also in the Mexican War, one, James, belonging to the militia, and Matthew being in the navy. They are still living. Joseph was married in Chicago, in 1864, his bride being Mrs. Mary (Hackney) Lyman, a native of New York, of Connecticut parentage. Her first husband William Lyman, to whom she was united in Connecticut, enlisted in the army at the time the War of the Rebellion in 1861, and was one of the first to fall at the battle of Newburn, N.C. He was under the command of Gen. Burnside, and was shot dead by the enemy, being in the prime of life. His young widow was left with one child, George W., now living in Wichita, Kan.
Mr. and Mrs. Hackney are the parents of the following children: Fred W., who took to wife Lillian Roberts and resides upon a farm in Hilyard Township; Paul, who resides at home, and is a farmer and the Township Collector; and Albert, Raymond and Lotta, who are all three at home. Mr. and Mrs. Hackney are truly representative members of the farming community of this township, being enterprising, intelligent, industrious and successful. Their reputation as worthy and upright citizens and as genial and kindly neighbors, gives them a genuine popularity. Mrs. Hackney is an active and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she finds a broad field of labor and influence. The Democratic party claims the hearty allegiance and co-operation of Mr. Hackney and his adult sons.