John H. Duckels, whose fine, well improved farm of 200 acres of productive land is situated in section 4, Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, was born in this township in 1850, and is a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Morris) Duckels.
On both paternal and maternal sides, our subject is of English ancestry, Richard Duckels, his great-grandfather, was born in 1734 in Yorkshire, England, where his whole life was spent, his business being that of a blacksmith. His son Thomas Duckels, the grandfather of John H., was born at the village of Goole, Yorkshire, in 1770, and there married Ann Golton, and they reared eight children, three of whom came to America, namely: Nancy, who married John Leach; William, deceased, of whom mention is made in the sketch of E. G. Duckels in this work; and Richard, the father of our subject.
The birth of Richard Duckels took place July 4, 1811, at Goole, Yorkshire, where he grew to manhood on his father's farm. In 1835 he came to America and to the State of Illinois. After a few months passed at Jacksonville, he went to Alton and entered into the employ of Godfrey & Gilmore, general merchants, with whom he remained until 1841, when he returned to England on a visit. In 1842 he came a second time to Illinois, purchasing a farm in Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, on which he resided three years, removing then to another upon which he lived until 1889, when he took possession of his present fine farm in Western Mound township, where he resides, still hale and hearty, at the age of 93 years. he is a large landowner, having some 700 acres, much of it being the most desirable farming land in the western section of the county.
On February 23, 1843, Mr. Duckels married Elizabeth Morris who was born near Thorne, Yorkshire, England, January 18, 1827, and was a daughter of John and Ann (Sexton) Morris, both of whom were natives of Yorkshire, residents of Thorne until 1832, when, with their nine children, they came to Illinois and settled in Western Mound township, Macoupin County, where Mr. Morris bought a squatter's claim to a tract of government land. Mrs. Duckels died March 29, 1897, in her 71st year. She was a woman of beautiful Christian character, and as she passed away into the sunlight of Heaven, she whispered to those who were left behind weeping: "How sweet is Jesus." The 12 children born to Richard and Elizabeth (Morris) Duckels were: Matilda, deceased at the age of 47 years, who was the wife of Jefferson Lee; George; John; Edwin; Richard; henry C.; Oscar T.; Anna, wife of Aaron Lovelace; Grant; Laura; Rollin, and Clara, wife of Charles Wilton.
John H. Duckels received his education in his native township and grew to manhood assisting in the operation of his father's farms. In the fall of 1876 he purchased his present farm which then consisted of 120 acres, located in section 4, Chesterfield township, to which he has since added 80 acres, and has here very successfully carried on farming and stock raising.
In 1872 Mr. Duckels married Elizabeth Morris, who is a daughter of the late Felix Morris. The latter was born in England and accompanied his parents to America in his early youth. Until 1862 he assisted his father in the working of his farm in Chesterfield township, enlisting then for service in the Civil War, entering Company G, 59th Reg. Illinois Vol. Inf. On November 22, 1863, he reenlisted and took part in the battles of Chattanooga and Chickamauga, being taken prisoner at the latter engagement. After being incarcerated at Andersonville, he was exchanged and given a furlough home. This was his last visit, for the brave soldier returned to his regiment only to be subsequently killed.
Mr. and Mrs. Duckels have had nine children, namely: Addie, born in 1873, who married Lawrence Ketchum (son of Leonard Ketchum, a farmer of Chesterfield township), who is engaged in farming in Shipman township - they have three children, Edna, Ruby and Hazel; Felix, deceased; Edward, born in 1878, who resides at home; Lois, born in 1881, who married John E. Hall, a farmer of Chesterfield township and has one child, Lethia; Morris R., born in 1885; Clarence, born in 1888; Hayden, born in 1891; Howard, born in 1900, and Grace, born in 1903, all of whom reside at home.
In politics, Mr. Duckels affiliates with the Republican party. In religious views he is a Methodist. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.