The state of Indiana has contributed many intelligent and enterprising sons to Illinois and among the number may be named Joseph Coy, the owner of a highly productive farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Nilwood township. As a soldier for the Union he valiantly discharged his duty at the time of the Civil war and as a private citizen he has displayed an ability and energy which have produced gratifying returns. He was born on a farm in Elkhart county, Indiana, October 15, 1846, a son of John and Hannah Coy, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania.
At an early age Mr. Coy of this review was left an orphan and had very little opportunity of education, his principal training being received in the great school of the world. At the age of fourteen he began working as a farm hand and so continued until 1864, when he enlisted in Company F, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, as a private and was sent to the front, participating in a number of important engagements during the closing years of the war. He was honorably mustered out of service at Washington, D. C., in July, 1865, after gaining in the army many lessons that proved of great practical value to him in after life. He returned to Indiana and resumed farm work, continuing there until 1867, when he came to Girard township, Macoupin county, Illinois, and found employment at monthly wages upon a farm. In 1871, having accumulated sufficient capital, he purchased forty acres of productive land in Nilwood township and applied himself with such good judgment that he became the owner of one hundred and twenty acres, which he has greatly improved, making his place on of the most productive of its size in this section. He has for many years been numbered among the active and progressive men of the community.
On the 29th of December, 1871, Mr. Coy was married to Miss Fannie Smith, of Girard township, a daughter of Elisha and Susan (Eaves) Smith, natives respectively of Tennessee and Illinois. To this union three children were born: Della, now Mrs. B. R. Burton, of Hoppeston, Illinois, and the mother of three children; Lula, who married J. A. Clark and is now living on the home farm; and Nona, who is at home.
Politically Mr. Coy has from the time of reaching his majority given his earnest support to the republican party. he has served for twenty-one years as a member of the school board and four years as justice of the peace. He is a consistent member of the Methodist church, in which he is now filling the office of steward. He is a man of highly social disposition and has gained many friends who admire him for his sterling qualities. He is a believer in a high moral standard in public as well as private life and by his integrity and adherence to worthy ideals has assisted materially in advancing the happiness of those with whom he is associated. Today he is known as one of the prosperous agriculturists of this section - a position he earned by many years of conscientious effort.