Among the natives of Illinois still living who can claim a personal acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln is Julius A. Eldred, a highly respected citizen of Macoupin county. he has passed his entire life of eighty years in this state and his stories of pioneer experiences would make a volume of unsurpassing interest.
Born in Greene county, Illinois, March 22, 1831, he is a son of Moses and Clarissa (Brace) Eldred, both of whom were natives of Herkimer county, New York. The father was reared on a farm in the Empire state and after arriving at manhood joined in the movement westward, settling in Greene county, Illinois, in 1826, when a large part of the state was a wilderness and the few settlements were limited to the water courses, being located principally on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. He purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, which he cultivated until his death in 1834. The mother again married, becoming Mrs. C. L. Corbin. She moved with her second husband to Macoupin county and spent the remainder of her life here. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Eldred were five children, four sons and one daughter, the latter dying in infancy. three of the sons survive: Julius, of this review; and Moses and Addison, both of whom are retired from active labors and make their home in Carlinville. Our subject also has a half-brother, L. B. Corbin, a resident of Polk township.
Julius A. Eldred attended the pioneer schools of his neighborhood and as a boy worked on the home farm, thus preparing himself for responsibility later in life. In 1852 he came to Macoupin county and continued working for wages until 1854, when he started to cultivate his own farm in Bird township. He purchased the place he now occupies in Polk township in 1888. He improved his farm by the erection of buildings and by industry and good management became numbered among the substantial and prosperous residents of his district. In his business affairs he has displayed sound judgment, becoming known as one of the progressive men of the community. he is now living retired, the work of the farm having devolved upon younger shoulders.
On the 8th of April, 1856, Mr. Eldred was married to Miss Eliza Jane Hubbard, who was born in Macoupin county, August 20, 1840, a daughter of Joel and Middy (Bridges) Hubbard. The parents were both born in Tennessee and came to Illinois in the pioneer days, settling in the western part of Greene county, where Mr. Hubbard applied himself to farming. He spent his declining years at Chesterfield. In his family were six children, all of whom are now deceased except one son, John B. To Mr. and Mrs. Eldred two children were born, James E. and Flora. James E. married Miss Isabel Hunter, of Jersey county, Illinois, and they have three children; Laura K., Moses and Lloyd. Moses Eldred married Bertha Otwell, a daughter of W. B. Otwell, of Carlinville. Flora, the daughter of our subject, became the wife of C. H. Skinner and died leaving three children, Addison, Birdie and Florence. Florence married George Richardson of Chesterfield, and they have one child, Mildred. Mrs. Eliza Jane Eldred died in 1861 and Birdie E. Skinner, a granddaughter of our subject, makes her home with Mr. Eldred and presides over his household.
In religious belief he is a Congregationalist, being a member of the church at Chesterfield. He has served as township assessor, trustee and school director, but he never sought public office, although willing at all times to perform his duty in promoting the cause of good government. In the evening of a long and useful life he is accorded the honor which rightfully belongs to one who has sought to advance the welfare of his associates and to promote friendly feeling among men.