JOHN J. LEACH, one of the successful farmers and highly respected citizens of Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, and also an honored survivor of the Civil War, resides in the village of Chesterfield retired. He was born at Chesterfield, Illinois, in 1842. He is the youngest son of Thomas and Sarah (South) Leach.
Thomas Leach was born in Yorkshire, England, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. In 1830 he came to America, accompanied by his wife and two children, and settled first on a farm in Morgan County, Illinois. In 1832 he removed to Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, and purchased the farm now owned by our subject. The children of Thomas and Sarah (South) Leach were: Thomas, born in England, who became a farmer in Bird township, Macoupin County, and died at the age of 65 years while on a visit in Kansas; Sarah, born in England, who is the widow of Henry Craggs, and resides on their homestead farm in Bird township, Macoupin County; Alfred, born in America, who is deceased; Mahala, the wife of Z. J. Gibson, a farmer of Hilyard township, Macoupin County; and John J.
Mr. Leach was reared on the home farm in Chesterfield township and was educated in the local schools. He was 20 years of age when he loyally offered his services to his country, in 1862 enlisting in Company D, 122nd Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf. He continued in the service until August, 1865, when he received his discharge at Springfield, Illinois. Although Mr. Leach escaped serious injury, he participated in a number of serious battles, notably those of Nashville, Parker Cross Roads and Fort Blakely, and in innumerable skirmishes when his life was continually in danger.
Returning to peaceful pursuits, Mr. leach resumed farming on the home place. He has been successful in the operation of this farm, which is one of the valuable ones of his locality.
In 1869 Mr. Leach married Harriet Brown, who is a daughter of F. G. and Mary (Bell) Brown. The former was born in Virginia, but has been a prosperous farmer of Bird township, Macoupin County, for a long period prior to his death which took place there in his 77th year. His wife died in 1864, in her 60th year. The three children reared by Mr. and Mrs. Leach are: Walter, engaged in railroad work in Texas, who married rose Harbor of Barton County, Missouri; Frank B.; and Charles F., a resident of Oklahoma Territory.
Since 1867 Mr. Leach has been connected with the Masonic fraternity, and he also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics, he is identified with the Republican party. Mr. Leach is held in high esteem in his own locality and is a representative member of that solid, substantial class of thinking men, who through loyalty, honest industry and sterling integrity have brought this country to its present eminence.