Henry Clay Duckels, a prominent and successful agriculturist of Western Mound township, Macoupin County, was born in Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, Illinois, in 1855. His parents were Richard and Elizabeth (Morris) Duckels, extended mention of whom will be found in this volume in the sketch of John H. Duckels.
Mr. Duckels was reared on his father's farm and attended the local schools, remaining at home until his marriage. He then settled on a farm in Western Mound township where he remained three years and then engaged in a mercantile business at Chesterfield, returning at the end of one year to farming life again. He then settled on a farm in Chesterfield township, consisting of 120 acres, which he very successfully managed until he removed in 1886 to the Loper homestead, which was the estate of his late father-in-law, Adrian W. Loper. this fine farm is now Mr. Duckels' property and under his most excellent management shows a fine state of cultivation, with substantial improvements of every nature.
In 1877 Mr. Duckels married Ophelia Loper, who was born in Western Mound township and is the estimable daughter of the late Adrian W. and Susan Loper. Adrian W. Loper was born in New Jersey and was a son of James Loper, a seafaring man, who, at the time of the War of 1812, was the owner of two large vessels and lost them in the fortunes of war. He then turned his attention to farming and, accompanied by his wife and two children, crossed the Allegheny mountains, safely making the journey with a one-horse wagon. They located first at Fairfield, Indiana, but in 1829 removed to Greene County, Illinois. In 1831 they became early settlers in Chesterfield township, Macoupin County. Adrian W. Loper was the second of James Loper's seven children. He married Susan Keller, who was born September 14, 1818, in Crawford County, Indiana, and was a daughter of John Keller, who was born in Maryland, of German parentage. John Keller accompanied his parents to Kentucky where he married, and in 1800 removed to Indiana, and bought a tract of land in Crawford County, where he became one of the first settlers. In 1836 Mr. Keller sold his property which had then become very valuable, and, again a pioneer, came to Macoupin County, settling in Chesterfield township. This property he also improved into a fine farm. The mother of Mrs. Duckels was 11 years of age when the family removed to Macoupin County and she was not only a witness of but a participant in the many privations, hardships and exciting experiences of the early days of the settling of the township. She was reared in the homely housekeeping duties of the time which, in those days were very comprehensive, including as they did the carding, spinning and weaving of the cloth which clothed the family. She died June 6, 1896, after 78 years of useful life. Mrs. Duckels emulated the many virtues of this most estimable mother. She too passed away, leaving bereaved hearts behind, dying in August, 1896, in her 38th year. The four children surviving are: Thomas W., Gertrude, Reynold and William Elden.
In political sentiment, Mr. Duckels is a Republican. He is fraternally connected with the Knights pf Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Protective League. Like all members of the Duckels family, he is very highly esteemed in his township, for his many sterling traits of character.