JOHN C. DEFFENBAUGH. The country owes a great debt to the successful farmers and stock breeders who produce food for millions engaged in other occupations and who constitute an indispensable element in American citizenship. In this class is John C. Deffenbaugh, one of the most successful men along the lines named in Macoupin county. He is a native of Bunker Hill township and was born September 2, 1859, a son of George and Minerva (Clauson) Deffenbaugh. The parents were both born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and were of German descent, the first ancestors of the family in America arriving in Pennsylvania from the old country about two hundred years ago. The grandfather of our subject was David Deffenbaugh, a prominent farmer, who spent his entire life in the Keystone state. George Deffenbaugh, the father, left Pennsylvania about 1841 and settled on a farm in Bureau county, near Princeton, Illinois. In 1859 he came to Macoupin county and located in Polk township on land now known as the Pasturedale Farm, which is owned by the subject of this review. He lived in this county until his death, which occurred May 3, 1888. His body reposes in the Baptist cemetery at Spanish Needle. The mother made her home with the subject of this review after the death of her husband and survived until January 8, 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Deffenbaugh were greatly respected throughout the community and were worthy representatives of the noble class of pioneer men and women to whom the present generation is indebted for many of the blessings now enjoyed. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Deffenbaugh were eight children: David and Solomon, both of whom are deceased; Margaret, who married Ira R. Lewis and both are now deceased; Annie, who became the wife of Charles S. King and is also deceased; Bertha, who married W. R. Hassett, of Carlinville; Amos, who resides on the old homestead, in Polk township; Hattie, who became the wife of W. H. Whitlock, and resides on a farm near Medora; and John C.
John C. Deffenbaugh possessed advantages of attendance at the district schools of Polk township and continued assisting his father upon the home farm until after reaching twenty-one years of age. He then rented land from his father and after four or five years purchased eighty acres in Polk township upon which he took up his home. In 1904 the residence caught fire from a kitchen flue and was burned to the ground. Since that time Mr. Deffenbaugh has lived upon his place, on section 31, Brushy Mound township, which he purchased two years before the fire. He has been very active and energetic in his vocation and owns a farm of one hundred and thirty-two acres which was named by himself and his brother the Edgewood Farm because of its location on the edge of the Polk township mound of timber. He also owns a valuable farm of two hundred ane eighty acres in Polk township which is used as pasture land, hence the name Pasturedale, given by Mr. Deffenbaugh to this place. He and his sons are engaged upon an extensive scale in general farming and also as breeders and raisers of registered Hereford cattle, a herd of thirty head being evidence of their ability in this line. Mr. Deffenbaugh also engages as a buyer and feeder of cattle and hogs and ships regularly to the St. Louis market. His farm is one of the best improved properties in Macoupin county and everything about it reflects high credit upon its owner.
Mr. Deffenbaugh was married October 25, 1883, to Miss Sarah E. Wheeler, a daughter of Jehu and Ellen (Huddleston) Wheeler. The mother was born in Brushy Mound township July 18, 1835, and the father in Kentucky, January 18, 1829. He came to Macoupin county in his young manhood and continued here during the remainder of his life, being one of the successful farmers of Gillespie township. He died on the old homestead July 25, 189, his wife following September 24, 1894. There were eleven children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler, namely: Laura Anna, who was born December 26, 1853, and died December 15, 1868; Nancy Katharine, who was born in 1855 and died January 14, 1857; Sarah E., who was born May 6, 1857, and married John C. Deffenbaugh; James Robert, who was born November 23, 1858, and died September 16, 1859; Martha E., who was born October 6, 1860, and is now living in Carlinville; Mary E., born July 8, 1863, who married Clarence Rice, a farmer of Gillespie township; Jennie, who was born April 29, 1865, and died September 11, 1867; William Colfax, who was born June 26, 1867, and is engaged in farming in Cahokia township; Stella May, born December 23, 1870, who married Arthur Bradley, superintendent of train dispatchers at Atlanta, Georgia; Clara Emma, who was born April 26, 1872, and died June 6, 1896; and Isabelle, born June 27, 1875, who married Horace McBride, a paving contractor of Carlinville, Illinois. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Deffenbaugh. Minerva, the eldest, is living at home. David Clauson attended Blackburn College at Carlinville and is now a student in his second year at Barnes Medical College. Porter P., the third in order of birth is also at home. Flossie E. died May 7, 1904. John C., Jr., the youngest of the children, is a student in the Carlinville High School.
Mr. Deffenbaugh was for many years a stanch supporter of the republican party but a few years ago changed his views and has since been an advocate of prohibition. He served for six years as township school trustee and for one year as collector of Polk township. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic Lodge and the lodge of Modern Woodmen of America at Plainview and is now holding the office of junior warden in the former organization. His eldest son, D. Clauson, is an active member of the Masonic order, having attained the Royal Arch degree, and is also connected with the Woodmen. Mrs. Deffenbaugh holds membership in the Order of the Eastern Star at Plainview. By a useful and honorable life Mr. Deffenbaugh has established a reputation for integrity and fair dealing which is greatly to be preferred above wealth gained through injustice or misrepresentation. He has shown an efficiency and progressiveness in his business affairs and a promptness in the discharge of his responsibilities that have won him the honor and esteem of all classes of people, hence he is highly deserving of representation in this work.