JOHN WILLIAM CHALLACOMBE, residing on section 21, Chesterfield township, is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land and devotes his attention to the pursuits of farming and stock-raising with excellent results. He was born in Chesterfield township, near Challacombe Station, his natal day being May 11, 1855. The Challacombe family came originally from France with William the Conqueror. John Challacombe, the grandfather of our subject, was born in West Down parish, Devonshire, England, in July, 1785, where the family resided for many generations. In April, 1833, he left England with his wife and children and after a long and stormy voyage on a sailing vessel, landed at New York in September. Settling first in Genesee county, New York, he there purchased land and engaged in farming. In 1840 he came west with his family, locating three miles southwest of Carlinville, Illinois, where he lived for a few years and then removed to Chesterfield township, Macoupin county. Here he continued to reside until called to his final rest in 1846, owning at that time a large tract of land.
Nicholas Challacombe, the father of John W. Challacombe, was the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children and was born at Devonshire, England, on the 19th of June, 1824. He accompanied his parents on their emigration to the United States and was sixteen years of age when his father settled in Illinois. He attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education and assisted his father in the operation of the home farm, which remained his place of residence until he passed away on the 3d of November, 1896. As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life he chose Miss Nancy Glorian Carson, a daughter of Harvey and Mary (Goff) Carson, of Tennessee. Harvey Carson, a gentleman of Scotch descent, came to this county with his family in 1833, taking up government land in Chesterfield township. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Nancy Blackburn, was a member of the Blackburn family that founded Blackburn University of Carlinville, Illinois. Unto Nicholas and Nancy G. (Carson) Challacombe were born eleven children , as follows: Isabella Agnes, the deceased wife of Horace B. Warner, of Chesterfield township; Mary Elizabeth, the widow of Arthur Corey Hartwell, who served as Captain of Company F, Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Calvary, fought throughout the Civil war and died from an accidental gunshot wound while hunting; Medora Jane, the wife of John K. Butler; John William, of this review; Fannie Grizzell, the wife of John Searles, of Medora, Illinois; Nicholas Bartle, who is married and resides at Everett, Washington; Joseph Emmons and Sophia Asenath, twins, who died in infancy; James Edwin, who likewise passed away in infancy; Mabel Grace, the wife of Allen L. Birchard, of Everett, Washington; and Wesley Adams, living at Carlinville, Illinois, who is a professor in Blackburn University.
John William Challacombe, whose name introduces this review, obtained his early education in the public schools, subsequently attended Blackburn University and also pursued a course of study in a business college at Jacksonville, Illinois. He has devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career, first assisting in the operation of the home farm, which he continued to manage afer his father passed away. His holdings now embrace two hundred and forty acres of highly productive and valuable land and most of the improvements thereon stand as monuments to his enterprise and industry. His house is situated on a high hill, and a fine grove of trees afford shade. Mr. Challacombe also has an excellent orchard of twenty acres and is extensively engaged in the raising and feeding of stock in connection with the tilling of the soil. In all of his business affairs he is alert and enterprising, meeting with the measure of success which always rewards earnest, persistent and well directed labor.
Mr. Challacombe has been married twice. On the 22d of May, 1877, he wedded Rosalie Hartwell, whose birth occurred on the 18th of May, 1856, her parents being James and Mary (Corey) Hartwell. The Hartwell family was represented in the Revolutionary war. James Hartwell was a native of Groton, Massachusetts, where the family lived for some generations. He was an architect and carpenter contractor and came to Illinois from Massachusetts in 1845, purchasing land in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county, but settling in Carrollton. After residing there for two years he took up his abode on his farm, where his demise occurred in 1861. Unto him and his wife were born five children, namely: Arthur Corey, who is mentioned above; Mary, the wife of William B. Challacombe, of Sedalia, Missouri; Justin L., who is a resident of Blessing, Texas; Corrina, the wife of A. J. Darrah, of Medora, Illinois; and Rosalie Challacombe. John W. and Rosalie (Hartwell) Challacombe had one son, James Nicholas. The mother died on the 13th of May, 1878, a few days after the birth of the child. James Nicholas grew to manhood and married Georgia Miner, a daughter of George and Belle (Van Arsdale) Miner, of Jersey county, Illinois. By that union there were three children, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving child is Rosalie. The family live on their farm one-half mile east of Summerville, in Chesterfield township. On the 29th of August, 1883, John W. Challacombe was again married, his second union being with Mary Fenton, who was born on the 14th of August, 1861, of the marriage of George and Sarah (Thornton) Fenton. George Fenton came from England to Macoupin county and subsequently wedded Miss Sarah Thornton, a daughter of Richard Thornton, of Cincinnati, Ohio. By his second wife Mr. Challacombe had five children, as follows: Edith G., at home; Lorena May, who resides at Everett, Washington; Harvey E., who is still under the parental roof; Annie Belle, who died in infancy; and Clifford T., also at home.
In politics Mr. Challacombe is a republican but has never sought office as a reward for his party fealty. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, in which he is serving as an elder. Fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Loyal Americans. He is a well read and highly intelligent man and has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the substantial and respected citizens of his native county.