JOSEPH B. LISTON, a well-known and esteemed resident of the city of Carlinville, is a native born citizen of this county, and is prominently identified with its principal interests and is an extensive farmer and raiser of fine stock, especially horses, and a manufacturer of brick and tile. He is a son of Joseph Liston, a pioneer of this section of the State, and was born on his father's farm on section 30, near Palmyra, August 19, 1838.
The father of our subject was a native of Kentucky, the place of his birth in Marion County, and the date thereof September 25, 1803. He was a son of George Liston, who was born in Virginia and early became a pioneer of Marion County, Ky. He bought a tract of land in the primeval forests of that section, and made his home there until he died in 1806. His wife and one child died within six weeks of his demise. By that sad event two children were left orphans. The daughter, Polly, married George McCune, and they settled in Pope County, Ark., where both died.
The father of our subject was reared by his maternal uncle in Marion County until he was thirteen years old, and was then apprenticed to learn the trade of saddle-maker, serving an apprenticeship of seven years and nine months, and receiving his board and clothes. He followed that trade in different places in Kentucky until 1835, when he came to Illinois with his wife and two children. They made their way over land to Louisville, where they embarked on a steamer for Alton. The family resided with his brother-in-law a few months, and during the summer he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, one hundred and twenty of which was on section 30, of what is now North Palmyra Township. He was at the time the possessor of $270 in cash, his entire capital, but he was energetic and industrious, and in course of years developed a fine farm. He first erected a log cabin on section 30, riving the boards to cover the roof and splitting puncheon to make the floor, and putting up a mud and stick chimney.
He lived to see the country grow from a wilderness with but few scattered habitations to a populous and thriving county, where the fine townships of Palmyra, Girard and Virden now stand; it was then open prairie, over which wild game roamed and deer were to be seen in large droves. He helped to bring the wonderful change about, and at his death January, 1877, left behind him a worthy reputation as a pioneer, and as an honored citizen. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Bland, and she was born in Marion County, Ky., February 17, 1807. Her father was a native of Virginia, and a pioneer of Marion County, where he spent his last years. The mother of our subject died one year before her husband, January 25, 1876. They had a family of seven children, named as follows - George R., Sarah A., John T., Joseph B., Susan M., William T., and Albert M. Joseph and Albert are the only survivors, the latter now owning and occupying the old homestead.
As his boyhood was passed on a farm our subject early gained a knowledge of agriculture. He was given the benefit of a liberal education, the preliminaries of which he gained in the pioneer schools of this county. He subsequently pursued a good course of study at the University at Virginia, Cass County, and later taught two terms in his home district. When twenty-one years of age he was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and served nearly three years. He then farmed four years. But his record as Deputy Sheriff was before the public, and he had shown himself to be so capable an official in that capacity, that in 1866 his fellow citizens wisely selected him to fill the responsible office of Sheriff of the County. He removed to Carlinville to assume the duties of his position, and has since made his home here.
Mr. Liston still retains his interest in agricultural pursuits, and owns several hundred acres of land in this county, which is as fine farming land as any in the State of Illinois. In 1883 Mr. Liston and Mr. Zachariah Harris entered into a partnership for the purpose of manufacturing tile and brick in this county. They are still carrying on the business, and have won a high reputation for the superiority of their manufacture, as well as a large trade.
The marriage of Mr. Liston to Miss Lucretia Dick took place November 7, 1867. Mrs. Liston is a native of Sangamon County, this State, and a daughter of Daniel and Susan Dick. Our subject and his amiable wife are people of high standing in the community, and their charming home is the seat of a pleasant hospitality which is cordially extended to all that cross their threshold by the kindly hostess and genial host. Fraternally, Mr. Liston is connected with Mt. Nebo Lodge, No. 76, A.F. & A.M.; Macoupin Chapter, No. 187, R.A.M.; Carlinville Council, No. 69, R. & S.M. and with Belvidere Commandery, No. 2, K.T., of Alton. A lithographic portrait of Mr. Liston accompanies this sketch.