ROBERT W. HUDDLESTUN, formerly connected with the agricultural interests of this county, now living in retirement at Carlinville, is a son of one of the early pioneer families of this section of Illinois. He was born in Putnam County, Ind., November 1, 1829. His father, John Huddlestun, was a Kentuckian by birth, while the paternal grandfather was named either Daniel or Abraham Huddlestun, and was born either in Virginia or England of English parents. He was a pioneer of Kentucky, and resided there many years ere his removal to Indiana, where he died.
John Huddlestun was reared and married in Kentucky, Nancy Dunn, also a native of that State, becoming his wife. Her father, whose name was Robert Dunn, was of Irish birth, and coming to America in early manhood, he first settled among the pioneers of Kentucky. He afterward removed to Indiana, and his life was brought to a close in that State. In 1828, the father of our subject, located in Indiana as a pioneer of Putnam County, where he lived two years. In 1830 he came to Illinois, the removal being made with teams. He took up his residence in what is now Gillespie Township, where he bought a tract of wild land, the family moving into the floorless log cabin that stood on the place.
Entering a tract of Government land in Cahokia Township, Mr. Huddlestun erected upon it a hewed log house, which was considered a fine residence for those times. After residing there a few years, he sold that farm and bought a tract of land on Section 9, Brushy Mound Township, and there his life was terminated a few months later by his untimely death. He won an honorable record as a pioneer, and was respected by all who knew him. His widow survived him many years, and finally died at a ripe age at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Melinda Clark, in the same township. She reared these seven children - Samuel, Elizabeth, Melvina, Robert W., Melinda, Mary Ellen and Lydia J.
On another page appears a portrait of the subject of this life review, who was reared in a pioneer home, and was early taught to lead a life of usefulness. He was very young when his father died, and when his brother married, the care of the farm soon devolved on the youthful shoulders of our subject, who proved equal to the occasion, and successfully managed it, until he was lured to California to seek a quicker way of making a fortune in the gold fields of that State, going thither in 1850. He started from his old home March 26, with a party of twelve, traveling with eleven yoke of oxen to three wagons, and going the entire distance across the plains and mountains to the Pacific Coast in that manner, arriving at Weaver Creek, their destination September 5. Our subject and his companions had thus journeyed a distance of over two thousand miles over an almost trackless, uninhabited region, there being scarcely a white settler beyond St. Joseph on the plains, that were known as the "Great American Desert." Indians were sometimes encountered, deer and wild game frequently crossed the path of our travelers, and buffaloes were seen in great numbers.
For a little more than a year, Mr. Huddlestun engaged in prospecting and mining in the golden State, and then tiring of the wild, rough life of mining camps, he turned his face homeward, and came back to Illinois by way of the Isthmus of Panama. He very quietly resumed farming with his brother-in-law, and before his marriage in 1853 bought a home in Honey Point Township. He soon traded that place for land in Brushy Mound Township, on which stood a small frame house 16x16 feet, and in that humble abode he and his young bride commenced their happy wedded life. He resided there until 1889, and then went to Kansas, and remained in Bourbon County four months. Returning to Brushy Mound Township, in February, the same month he bought a pleasant home at Carlinville, and has ever since been a resident of this city.
Mr. Huddlestun and Miss Eliza A. McPherron were married in 1853, and to them have been born thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters, all deceased except Amos E., Ada Lou, Addie F. and James Clinton. Mr. and Mrs. Huddlestun are members in high standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are people whom to know is to respect and esteem for their many excellent qualities of head and heart. Mrs. Huddlestun is a native of this State, her birthplace in Greene County, and the date of her birth, April 3, 1835. Her father, Amos McPherron, was born at Knoxville, Tenn., in 1796. He grew to manhood in his native State, and was there married to Miss Hettie Morris, who was also a native of Tennessee. Her father, William Morris, came from there to Illinois in an early day of its settlement, and spent his last years in Greene County. In 1828 Mrs. Huddlestun's father came to this State, and was one of the early pioneers of Greene County. He located eight miles east of Carrollton on the south side of Spring Prairie and there improved a good farm, on which he made his home until his long and useful life was closed by death July 6, 1888.