JOHN OTA CLEMMONS. A beautiful farm of more than four hundred acres, comprising some of the best land in Macoupin county, is evidence of the industry and business ability of John Ota Clemmons, who lives near Virden. As a breeder of live stock he has been thoroughly successful and as a general farmer ranks among the leaders in this section. Born in Macoupin county, September 26, 1865, he is a son of John R. and Elizabeth A. (Thomas) Clemmons, the former of whom was a native of North Carolina and the latter of Illinois. In their family were six children: Eunice B., who is deceased; Samuel T.; Lewis H. and Jane E., both of whom are deceased; Laura C., who is the wife of Frank P. Babbitt, of Macoupin; and John Ota, of this review.
After receiving the foundation of an education in the common schools John Ota Clemmons pursued his studies further in the high school and business college and a goodly measure of his success may be ascribed to the thorough mental training received under competent instructors. From his boyhood he showed a marked adaptability to farming pursuits. He applied himself with an unalterable determination to succeed and is now the owner of four hundred and two acres, the place being provided with a comfortable residence and all the accessories of a modern farming establishment. He has specialized in raising short-horn cattle and thoroughbred road horses and some of the finest specimens in those lines seen in Macoupin county have been bred and raised under his supervision.
On the 30th of September, 1885, Mr. Clemmons was married to Miss Mary L. Chedister, a daughter of Guy M. and Martha (Vail) Chedister. The mother was a native of New Jersey and a daughter of Dr. Israel Vail. She died in 1868, leaving two children, Mary L., now Mrs. John O. Clemmons; and Sarah, who is the wife of Alvah Ross, of Virden. In 1872 Dr. Vail married Mary Huntoon, by whom he had two children, one who died in infancy; and Grace, the wife of Fred W. Burett, of Hancock, Michigan. To Mr. and Mrs. Clemmons five children were born, one of whom died in infancy, the others being: John Gregory, who is now living at Jacksonville, Illinois; and Lynne C., Edith E. and Elwyn Ota, all of whom are at home.
Although greatly devoted to his business, Mr. Clemmons has not neglected his duties as an intelligent citizen of a progressive community and has served most acceptably as a member of the school board. His study of politics led him to adopt the principles of the democratic party as his guide in deciding public questions and he is an earnest supporter of its candidates. He is a firm believer in the Bible and is a valued member of the Christian Church. He is also a member of Virden Lodge, No. 161, A.F. & A.M., and he and his wife are both members of the Order of Eastern Star. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. In all the relations of life he has shown an interest and efficiency which have placed him among the honored citizens of Macoupin county.