LEWIS M. PEEBLES, who is now living in retirement from active business at Carlinville, has been variously identified with the interests of this county for many years, especially with its agriculture, and his place is among our most useful and honorable citizens. He was born in Hart County, Ky., January 23, 1833. His parents were Bird and Nancy (Brooks) Peebles, the former of whom was born in North Carolina November 8, 1795, and the latter in La Rue County, Ky., October 21, 1798. They were marred in the latter county January 8, 1818; and settled in Hart County, the same State, where they lived until 1839.
In that year the parents came to this State, and cast in their lot with the pioneers of this county. He became one of th leading farmers of his section, and was also prominent in public life. IN 1848 he was elected County Commissioner, and held the office four years. Both he and his good wife were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They died in Chesterfield Township, his death occurring in June, 1852, and hers in the fall of 1867. They were the parents of ten children, nine of whom lived to grow up. They were among the oldest settlers of the county, and their names are held in reverence among those of its most worthy pioneers.
He of whom we write as six years of age when his parents came to this county and located in Chesterfield Township. Here he grew to man's estate, and for forty-four years he lived in the house that his father built in 1840. He was given excellent educational advantages, and for six months was a student at Shurtleff College, Upper Alton. He was carefully trained in all that makes a good man and a good citizen, and high moral principles were early instilled into his mind. His parents were among the leading members in building up the Methodist Episcopal Church in Chesterfield and he was one of the first pupils to attend the first Sunday school that was established in Chesterfield Township.
Our subject has been chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and formerly farmed quite extensively, and raised a good deal of stock, making a specialty of horses and cattle. He still retains possession of his farm, which is one of the finest in the county, comprising three hundred acres of choice land in Chesterfield and Western Mound Townships, which he rents, as on account of ill health he is unable to superintend its cultivation. He has by no means confined himself to farming, but with characteristic enterprise has branched out in other directions, and at one time was engaged in the drug and grocery business at Chesterfield. While living on his farm he built a brick kiln and manufactured brick for one year. In the spring of 1884 he rented his farm and removed to the village of Chesterfield, where he continued to live two years. He then removed to Greenfield, Greene County, and was a resident of that place until August, 189, when he took up his abode in the city of Carlinville, where he has since made his home.
Mr. Peebles was married in Barr township, this county, April 12, 1871, to Miss Josephine A. Metcalf. Theirs is a true marriage, in which each has nobly met the responsibilities of domestic life, comforted each other in its sorrows, and trebled its joys by their devotion to each others' interests. Three children have been born to them: Earl M., Roy B. and Ina. Ina died when nine months old. Both the sons are being given every advantage to secure a liberal education, and are at present students in Blackburn University.
Mrs. Peebles is a native of this county, born in Barr Township August 28, 1840, a daughter of Richard J. Metcalf, one of its leading citizens. She remained with her parents in that township until her marriage, being reared to womanhood in the home of her birth. She was educated in the Methodist College at Jacksonville, and is a woman of much culture and true refinement. She is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also her youngest son. She is charitable and benevolent in her disposition, and her sympathies are enlisted in every good work in or out of her church.
The father of Mrs. Peebles was born in Hopkins County, Ky., August 1, 1817, and was next to the youngest of a family of nine children. He was eighteen years old when he came to Macoupin County, and he was here married September 6, 1838, to Miss Mary J. Buchanan, who had come to this county when she was ten years of age. She was born in Bourbon County, Ky., August 26, 823. The youthful couple established their home among the pioneers of Barr Township, where they lived in contentment and happiness for more than forty years. In December, 1882, they removed to Greenfield, where she died October 26, 1886. He survived her until March 2, 1890, when he too passed away. He was a farmer by occupation, but after his removal to Greenfield he engaged in the banking business, which he followed until a year previous to his death, when he was obliged to abandon it on account of old age, and consequent failing health.
Mr. Metcalf was prominent in public life during his residence in Barr Township. He represented the township two terms as a member of the Macoupin County Board of Supervisors, and was one of the Directors of the County Agricultural Board for several years. He also held various school offices. About three years before his death he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife had been a devoted member since she was fifteen years old. They were the parents of ten children, of whom Mrs. Peebles is the eldest. Mr. Metcalf took a good degree of interest in educational affairs, and was careful to give his children sound educations. He was a great lover of home, and his thoughts were centered in the domestic circle where he was the most devoted of husbands and the kindest of fathers. His neighbors found in him a true friend and a safe counselor, and he was honored and revered by all who knew him.
We will add only a few more words to this brief outline of the life of our subject. He has always honored industry and integrity in thought and in example, in personal character he is above reproach, and enjoys a high standing throughout the county. He has always manifested a deep interest in the welfare of the county, and has contributed his share to its rise and progress. He was President of the Permanent Organization in Chesterfield Township, for the purpose of assisting in building what is now known as the St. Louis, Alton & Springfield Railway, and subscribed very liberally toward the construction of the road. He has held some of the school offices and has used his influence to extend the educational advantages of his community. He represented Chesterfield Township as a member of the Anti Court House Central Committee, of which Judge Lewis Solomon was Chairman. Our subject was Chairman of the first Anti Court House indignation meeting that was held in the county, and he was very influential in arousing public sentiment against the erection of the court house.
Mr. Peebles was formerly actively engaged in church work in the Methodist Episcopal Church, until he was forty years old, and held various offices in connection with it, such as that of Class-Leader, Superintendent of the Sunday school, and was for a time Recording Steward. He is a thorough going temperance man, and has long been a leader in the Prohibition party, it being largely through his instrumentality that the party was organized in this county, and he also assisted in the organization of the Prohibitionists in Greene County, into an effective working party.
On another page of this volume the reader will notice a portrait of Mr. Peebles.