JAMES D. PADEN. The agricultural community is the foundation for true prosperity in the State, and in the homes of the farmers we may read the future of the country. The family which is represented by the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch, constitutes one of those industrious and enterprising households whose intelligence and integrity, common sense and true neighborliness influence all about them, and conduce to the prosperity of the section in which they live. Their excellent farm, upon which are situated a pleasant home and good farm buildings, is located upon section 20, Nilwood Township.
Leroy M. Paden, the father of our subject, had his native home in South Carolina, and was born August 28, 1808. He took to wife Maria J. Fletcher, who was born in Todd County, Ky., July 23, 1818. In their early married life they settled near Hillsboro in Montgomery County, which remained their home until February, 1852, when they removed to Macoupin County, and settled in Nilwood Township, making their home there for the remainder of their lives, with the exception of about a year and a half, when they lived in Virden. The father was called from earth October 26, 1883, and his wife survived him until March 17, 1890.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Leroy M. Paden were active workers in the Presbyterian Church, to which they were attached and where they took a prominent part in religious affairs. Their work and influence were highly prized in the community, as they were ever ready to lend a hand toward every movement for the moral, intellectual and material progress of the people among whom they lived. Agriculture was the life work of Mr. Paden, and he was active in it until about six years prior to his demise, when he retired from the business of carrying on the farm, and lived a quiet life. He had erected good buildings on his farm, and at the time of his death owned some three hundred acres of rich and well-cultivated soil.
Four children had blessed the home of this excellent couple, namely: Rebecca J., who is the wife of Harvey Madison; John P., who is carrying on a farm in Nilwood Township; James D., who is the subject of this biographical sketch; and William H., who died when about two and one-half years old. James was born in Nilwood township, February 16, 1854. In this pleasant and prosperous portion of Macoupin County, the boy took his training in the active duties of farm life and attended the district schools, which gave him an excellent foundation for an intelligent and progressive life. Here he grew to manhood and has made his home continuously.
The happy marriage of our subject with Miss Lunetta A. Gates was solemnized January 11, 1882, at the home of the bride in Nilwood Township. Her father, the late Albert K. Gates, was a Kentuckian by birth, and her mother, Mary E. (Stamper) Gates, was born in Tennessee. Their early married home was in Sangamon County, Ill., and from there they removed to Macoupin County, where they resided in Shaw's Point and Nilwood Townships. Mr. Gates passed away from life March 2, 1882. In a family of thirteen children Mrs. Paden was the second, and she early undertook the responsibilities of an elder sister, and was of great value to her parents in the home duties which thus devolved upon her. Her natal day was April 1, 1862, and her birth took place in Sangamon County, Ill.
Mr. and Mrs. Paden are the happy parents of one child - Freddie L., who was born in Nilwood Township, November 13, 1883. This child they are rearing with faithful attention to his needs and to his physical, moral and intellectual existence, and he will no doubt become such a citizen as will do them honor. The old Paden homestead is the residence of this family, and with it there is a fine farm of some eighty acres, well improved and supplied with convenient and commodious buildings.