ROBERT HORTON. During the years since Illinois has become a richly cultivated and thickly populated State and especially since her surface has been covered by a network of leading railroads, a great business has grown up in the line of shipments of stock and he of whom we write has engaged extensively in this line of business, and has thereby accumulated a handsome property. His father, Oswell Horton, was the son of Augustine, who was born and reared in Fauquier County, Va. With his wife, Mary Taylor, he emigrated to Kentucky and settled in Green County, where he died and she somewhat later came to Macoupin County, where she lived until called from her earthly labors about 1860.
The father of our subject was born in Fauquier County, Va., May 26, 1807, and was about two years old when his father removed to Kentucky where this boy grew to manhood and when he was about twenty-one years old came to Illinois, where he found employment in Morgan County for several years as agent for a stage company, although he resided most of the time at Springfield. Later he took charge of the Springfield and Peoria and Springfield and Terre Haute stage lines, his duties being those of a general superintendent. On account of failing health he decided to devote himself to a farming occupation and in 1812 he bought one hundred and twenty acres of land in North Palmyra Township, where he continued to live until his death, which occurred in that Township.
Matilda Norvell was the maiden name of her who became the wife of Oswell Horton in North Palmyra Township, February 22, 1835. She was born in Sumner County, Tenn., her father being William Norvell and her mother Mary Payne, both of whom were Tennesseans by birth and came from Sumner County, that State, to Macoupin County where they settled in North Palmyra Township, and spent the remainder of their lives. Oswell and Matilda Horton became the parents of four children, two of whom died in infancy, and the only surviving members of their household are Robert and Mary.
Our subject was the eldest of the family and was born in Jacksonville, Ill., December 26, 1836. He passed the first six years of his life outside of Macoupin County and then came hither with his parents and has since made his residence on his father's old homestead where he now resides. Most of his education has been gained in the common schools here. His marriage with Miss Rebecca J. Rice took place in North Palmyra Township, March 22, 1860. This lady is a daughter of the late Jasper Rice who was born in Green County, Ky., May 13, 1812, while her mother, Mary Jones, was born in Cumberland County, Ky., March 19, 1816. This couple were married in North Palmyra Township on the 16th day of May, 1833, and made their home permanently here. Mrs. Horton was born in this township, May 6, 1843.
Until 1865 Mr. Horton was engaged in farming in partnership with his father and became one of the most energetic and successful farmers and traders in this county, devoting himself largely to buying and selling stock. The old home farm is supplied with the very best of farm buildings and the home is fitted with every convenience and luxury Our subject and his good wife are the happy parents of four children: Edward L., William H., John L., and Luther O. William H. is now married to Miss Elizabeth Rohrer. Mr. Horton makes Chicago his market almost exclusively for his large shipments of stock, which he is able to care for well upon his splendid farm of nine hundred acres. He has filled the office of Highway Commissioner, and also that of School Trustee, and in his political views he is in sympathy with the Democratic party. Mrs. Horton is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and an active worker in its charities. Our subject is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and also of the Grange, No. 1629, and also of the Macoupin County Grange and in the fall of 1890, he was chosen a delegate to the State Grange which met at Springfield.