JOHN H. DUCKELS. John H. Duckels, a retired agriculturist and prominent citizen of Chesterfield, is the present supervisor of Chesterfield township, where he still owns two hundred and eighty acres of valuable farming land. His birth occurred on the 16th of February, 1850, his parents being Richard and Elizabeth (Morris) Duckels. His paternal great-grandfather, Richard Duckels, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1734, and there spent his entire life. By trade he was a blacksmith. Thomas Duckels, the grandfather, was born in the village of Goole, Yorkshire, in 1770, and there wedded Miss Anne Galton, by whom he had eight children, three of whom came to America, as follows: Nancy, the deceased wife of John Leach; William, who was a resident of Macoupin county and has also passed away; and Richard, the father of our subject.
The last named was born at Goole, Yorkshire, on the 4th of July, 1811, and grew to manhood on his father's farm. In 1835 he emigrated to the United States, stopping at Jacksonville, Illinois for a short time. Subsequently he removed to Alton, where he was employed in the general mercantile establishment of Godfrey & Gilman until 1841. In that year he returned to England, but in 1842 again came to America, settling in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county, Illinois. In 1889 he removed to Western Mound township and there continued to reside until called to his final rest, owning at that time seven hundred acres of rich and productive land. His demise occurred on the 9th of March, 1904, when he had attained the age of nearly ninety-three years. On the 23d of February, 1843, he had wedded Miss Elizabeth Morris, whose birth occurred near Thorne, Yorkshire, England, on the 18th of January, 1827. Her parents, John and Ann (Sexty) Morris, were natives of Yorkshire and resided at Thorne until 1832. In that year they emigrated to America with their nine children, coming to Illinois and settling in Western Mound township, Macoupin county, mr. Morris here taking up government land. Ann (Sexty) Morris, who is the maternal grandmother of both our subject and his wife, was born on the 4th of May, 1794, and was the daughter of Richard and Rebecca Sexty, both of the parish of Thorne, Yorkshire, England. Elizabeth (Morris) Duckels, the mother of John H. Duckels, died on the 29th of March, 1897, in the seventy-first year of her age. By her marriage to Richard Duckels she had twelve children as follows: Matilda, the deceased wife of Jefferson Lee; George, who is a resident of Carlinville, Illinois; John H., of this review; Edwin and Richard, both of whom died in early life; Henry C. and Oscar, who are residents of Macoupin county; Anna, the wife of Aaron Loveless, of Carlinville, Illinois; Grant, of this county; Laura, who makes her home at Carlinville, Illinois; Rollin, living at Chesterfield, Illinois; and Clara, the wife of Charles Wilton, of Chesterfield.
John H. Duckels obtained his education in the public schools and worked on his father's farm until 1876 when he purchased and located on a tract of one hundred and twenty acres on section 4, Chesterfield township, which is still in his possession. As his financial resources increased he extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase until it now embraces two hundred and eighty acres of land, all under a high state of cultivation and improvement. In connection with the tilling of the soil he devoted considerable attention to stock, both branches of his business returning to him a gratifying annual income. At the present time he is living retired in Chesterfield, where he owns a ten-acre tract of land.
In March, 1872, Mr. Duckels was married to Miss Elizabeth Morris, the only child of Felix and Susan (Abner) Morris. Felix Morris, a native of England, was a son of John and Ann (Sexty) Morris, mentioned above. In 1862 he enlisted for service with Company G, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, reenlisting on the 22d of November, 1863. He participated in the battles of Chattanooga and Chickamauga, was captured in the latter and remained in Andersonville prison for some time. After being exchanged he went home on a furlough. On returning to his regiment he was killed in a skirmish in Georgia, being shot through the head.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Duckels were born nine children. Addie, whose natal year was 1873, is the wife of Lawrence Ketchum, of Shipman township, Macoupin county, by whom she has four daughters: Edna, Ruby, hazel and Lucile. Felix, the next in order of birth, died in infancy. Edwin M., who was born in 1878, wedded Miss Laura Barnes and resides in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county. Lois, whose birth occurred in 1881, is the wife of John E. Hall, of Western Mound township, by whom she had three children; Letha; Helen, who is deceased; and John Hayden. Morris R., a resident of Chesterfield township, married Miss Clara Bode and has one child, Lucile. Clarence, who was born in 1888 and resides in Western Mound township, wedded Miss Stella Lyon and has one child, Dorothy. Hayden, whose natal year was 1891, operates the home farm in Chesterfield township. Howard, born in 1900, is still under the parental roof. Grace, whose birth occurred in 1903, is the youngest member of the family.
In politics Mr. Duckels is a stanch republican, believing that the principles of that party are most conducive to good government. He has served as supervisor of Chesterfield township for a number of terms and holds that office at the present time. In religious faith he is a Methodist, while fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. In the county where his entire life has been spent he is well known and greatly esteemed as a prominent and substantial citizen. Quiet and unassuming, he has nevertheless won the high regard and friendship of all with whom he has come in contact.