JEROME B. BALDWIN, one of the prominent citizens of Virden, who for many years has been identified with the agricultural development of the southeastern section of Macoupin County, was born on a farm near Crawfodsville, Indiana, April 22, 1843, and is a son of William C. and Cyrena (Dalton) Baldwin.
William C. Baldwin was born in Butler County, Ohio, where he remained until he attained his majority, when he removed to Indiana. At that time few settlements had been made in Montgomery County, Indiana, where he purchased a large tract of heavily timbered land, erected a log cabin, and settled as one of the pioneers. He cleared a portion of this land but never completed it, disposing of it in 1852 and removing to Illinois. The family lived for a time in Greene County, but later settled permanently in Macoupin County, buying a tract of land in the vicinity of Virden. Here the mother of our subject died July 31, 1880; his father survived until 1888. They led useful, honorable lives, enduring many of the hardships of pioneer life, but their last days were spent in comfort.
Although not born in Illinois, Jerome B. Baldwin has been a resident of this State since the age of nine years and his children have been born and reared here and all the interests of his life have centered here. His boyhood was spent in assisting his father in the latter's farming operations and in attending school whenever possible, although those were not the days of well built, comfortable school houses, a log building usually being made use of. He grew to manhood, however, a well informed, practical farmer, capable of developing the natural resources of the rich soil and acquainted with the best methods of raising good stock. After his marriage he settled on a farm situated some two miles from the village of Virden, which he continued to operate for the succeeding 14 years. This property, which belongs to our subject's wife, is held at a high value, being one of the best cultivated and finely improved farms in the township. Since 1884 Mr. Baldwin has resided in Virden, where he built one of the most comfortable homes in the place. Mr. Baldwin is a member in good standing of the Central Baptist Church of Springfield, Illinois.
On September 1, 1870, Mr. Baldwin was married to Mary E. Gates, and they have one son, John. Mrs. Baldwin, like her husband, comes of sturdy pioneer stock. She was born March 25, 1844, in Sangamon County, Illinois, and is a daughter of Andrew and Lucinda (Wood) Gates. Her father was born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, and her mother in Madison County, Illinois. Mr. Gates came to Illinois in 1831 and married in 1833. He settled on the line of Sangamon and Macoupin counties and later entered land both in Auburn township, Sangamon County, where he made his home, and in Virden township, Macoupin County. Mrs. Baldwin's maternal grandparents were William and Polly (Cox) Wood, the former of whom was born in Tennessee, and the latter in Kentucky, a member of a distinguished old family of South Carolina. The mother of Mrs. Baldwin was a true type of pioneer womanhood, skilled in all housewifely expedients. Her children were reared to habits of usefulness and Mrs. Baldwin has, in her excellent housekeeping, reflected credit upon her early training. The family is one very highly esteemed in Virden.