DUDLEY SAUNDERS owns and occupies one of the fertile farms that have made Macoupin County notable as an agricultural district. The property consists of one hundred and twenty acres on sections 20 and 29, of Honey Point Township. The owner being now quite advanced in years, his youngest son has the active management of the property. Mr. Saunders was born in Caldwell County, Ky., December 20, 1817. His grandfather, Julius Saunders, was born in Virginia and was one of the first settlers in Fayette County, Ky., when he removed to Trigg County, where he spent his last years. Jeremiah Saunders, father of our subject, was born in the Blue Grass State in Fayette County, and with the exception of two years in Clinton County, this State, spent his life in that in which he was born. He married Priscilla Ramey, whose death occurred in Trigg County, Ky.
Our subject left the parental roof when seventeen years old and came on horseback to this State. His entire wealth consisted of the horse he rode and the saddle upon the back of the animal. Reaching this county, he sought employment and found it with a blacksmith at $13 per month. When he married he began working land on shares, and having but one horse, the owner of the property furnished a team.
Mr. Saunders made a success of agriculture, and being careful in his expenditures he was soon able to buy property. His first purchase was a tract on sections 19 and 30, Honey Point Township, for which he paid $2.50 per acre. There was a log cabin on the place and twenty-four acres had been cultivated. After occupying the farm two years he sold it at an advance of $200 and bought another tract in Brushy Mound Township, consisting of one hundred acres. He made further improvements there and after two years sold at an advance of $200 and bought on section 32, Honey Point Township. He had cleared a few acres when a good opportunity arose for selling, and he took advantage of it and then bought his present estate.
In 1838 Mr. Saunders was married to Elizabeth Huddleston, a noble-hearted Kentucky lady, whose skill and affection were proved time and again, and had a potent influence in the advancement of the family. She understood how to card, spin and in her early married life made most of the cloth used in the family and dressed her children in homespun of her own manufacture. She was not unwilling to share the fortunes of the man whom she chose for her husband, even though they began life together with little but their strength of mind and heart and their mutual affection as capital. She was rewarded by the esteem of those with whom she associated and the reverent affection of her family. She reared ten children, who are named respectively: Nancy A., John, Sarah J., Margaret, Maria, Edgar, Fanny, Charles, Ada and Nettie. She was removed from earth in 1876.