JOHN LANCASTER. The fruit belt of Southern Illinois has encouraged many who have generally engaged in ordinary farming and stock-raising to make a specialty of both large and small fruits. This has been the case with the prosperous man whose name appears at the head of this paragraph. He has a large and select variety of fruit and is intelligent and successful in regard to its cultivation. He is also largely engaged in farming and stock-raising operations and buys a good deal of stock to feed. His fine farm on section 10, of Bunker Hill Township, comprises three hundred and fifteen acres, all of which is highly improved and furnished with excellent farm buildings.
This property our subject has owned and operated for some eight years past, and has been a successful farmer ever since he became of age. He makes a specialty of high-grade cattle, sheep and swine. Polled Angus cattle are his favorites and he is interested in a sheep ranch in Sutton County, Tex., where they keep, all the time, fully ten thousand mutton sheep which they feed upon something like a hundred thousand acres of land.
Mr. Lancaster is a thorough business man and one of the most energetic and enterprising citizens in this county. His home is in his native township, and his birth occurred January 13, 1854. He is the youngest child of Francis Lancaster, whose biography will be found elsewhere in this volume. The boy's early education was received in the common schools of the county and he studied the higher branches in the State Normal School at Normal, Ill.
This young man was married in this township to Miss Emma Parmenter, a native of the same township, being born here in August, 1852. Her parents, Charles and Mary (Barnes) Parmenter, were natives of New England, who came to Illinois at an early day. They settled on a farm in this township and improved it, and spent many years here. The mother died at this home in 1881, being then past seventy-one years of age. Mr. Parmenter is yet living with his son in Bunker Hill and is eighty-four years of age. Mrs. Lancaster is the youngest but one of seven children of her parental home. She was reared and educated in Bunker Hill Township, and lived at home until her marriage June 23, 1875.
Seven children came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Lancaster, and but two of them have been called away from earth. These two are Clara G., and Arthur. Those who are now living are Ernest, Marian, Harry, Mira C., and Willie. These children are all being brought up in the faith and practice of the Christian religion as their parents are earnest and faithful members of the Congregational Church. They are among the most progressive and intelligent people of the county and are active promoters of every movement which in their judgment is calculated to improve the social and industrial conditions of the community. The platform of the Republican party embodies the political views with which Mr. Lancaster is in hearty accord.