JUDGE LEWIS P. PEEBLES. Many of the best citizens of the country were soldiers in the Civil war and amidst the dangers and privations incident to four long years of bloody conflict acquired lessons that shaped their future lives. Returning home after the Rebellion had been conquered, they bravely put their shoulders to the wheel and, although almost fifty years have elapsed since the clouds of war were removed, many of the participants are still prominently engaged in active pursuits. Judge Lewis P. Peebles, of Carlinville, who comes of good fighting ancestry, demonstrated his ability as a defender of the Union, and as a public official and practicing attorney he years ago gained recognition as one of the most prominent men of Macoupin county. He is a native of Chesterfield, this county, and was born July 13, 1836, a son of Jesse and Margaret (Reader) Peebles. The father was born near Camden, South Carolina, and the mother in Overton county, Tennessee. They had six children who lived to maturity, David L., William B., Isham J., John D., Lewis P. and Martha who married M. A. Cushing. All of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Peebles are now deceased except Lewis P.
Jesse Peebles, the father of our subject, left South Carolina with his father when a small boy and the family settled in Kentucky, near Montfordville. In 1833 the son came to Illinois and entered forty acres of government land in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county. He made a contract with a man to build a log cabin for him and returned the next year, taking up his residence in the cabin. He set about industriously to improve his farm and became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of good land. He died in September, 1864, being then about sixty-eight years of age. He was twice married, his first wife dying in Kentucky, and when he came to Illinois he was a widower. His second wife was the mother of our subject and her death occurred in 1840. She was a devout Methodist as was also her husband, who was a local preacher, being one of the first preachers in Macoupin county. He performed many marriage ceremonies in the early days and was a man of unimpeachable character whose influence was always exerted in behalf of the upbuilding of the community. He never held any public office except that of postmaster, to which position he was appointed by President Jackson.
The grandfather of our subject on the paternal side was John Peebles. He was a native of South Carolina and of Scotch descent, being a blacksmith by trade. At the time of the Revolutionary war he served under General Marion and participated in the battles of Eutaw Springs and Cowpens, losing an eye in the service. After the war he removed to Hart county, Kentucky, and about 1840 came to Macoupin county, Illinois, with his second wife. He died in 1848, in his eighty-seventh year, his wife passing away several years prior to his death. Among his children were Abraham Bird, John, William, Jesse, Mary, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Cynthia and Lucinda. The grandfather on the maternal side was Jeptha Reader, a native of Tennessee and of English descent. He and his wife were among the early pioneers of Macoupin county, taking up their home a few miles northeast of Chesterfield. He lived to be about eighty years old and his wife also lived to an advanced age. Winifred Harrison was the maiden name of his wife and she was a second cousin of President Harrison. They were the parents of five children, Paschal L., Margaret, Sarah, Elizabeth and Lucinda.
Lewis P. Peebles was reared on his father's farm in Chesterfield township and secured his early education in the subscription schools that were conducted in an old fashioned log cabin of the neighborhood. He continued on the home farm until the winter of 1861-62 when he began reading law and, just as he was fairly launched in the subject, the Civil war aroused the patriotism of tens of thousands of young men throughout the country and he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving as captain of the company for three years. He participated in the battle of Nashville, the siege and capture of Mobile, in the campaign against General Forrest of Tupelo, Mississippi, the battle of Parker's Cross Roads, Mississippi, and in many other engagements, also assisting in driving General Price out of the state of Missouri. After receiving his honorable discharge he returned to Macoupin county and resumed the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1867 and has since continuously engaged in practice except from 1873 to 1890 when he filled the office of county judge, the duties of which position he discharged with a fairness and ability that met the hearty approval of voters. He has always been greatly interested in farming and is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of good land in this county.
On the 18th of March, 1869, Judge Peebles was married to Miss Sarah E. Odell, a daughter of Enos P. and Susanna (Gibbon) Odell. To this union two children have been born, Jesse and Kathryn. Jesse Peebles was graduated from the Blackburn University and is now engaged with his father in the practice of law. He married Miss Edmona McClure and they have three children, Martha Ellen, Don and Pauline. Kathryn Peebles married W. H. Castle and they reside in Anardarko, Oklahoma. She is the mother of two children, Clarabelle and Winifred Harrison. Mrs. Peebles is a native of Scottville, Macoupin county, and her parents were natives of Ohio. They were early settlers of this county and here passed the remainder of their lives. The mother died when she was about sixty-seven years of age, but the father passed away when he was comparatively a young man. They had four children: Rebecca, who married J. F. Cherry, of St. Louis, Missouri; Catharine M., who became the wife of Samuel B. Dugger, and is now deceased; Annie P., now Mrs. Edwin Stephenson, of Colorado; and Sarah E., who married Lewis P. Peebles.
Judge Peebles is not connected with any religious denomination but his wife is a consistent member of the Methodist church. He belongs to Mount Nebo Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Dan Messick Post No. 339, G.A.R., and has served several terms as commander of the post. Politically he is a democrat. He occupied a chair for one term as member of the city council and has also been president of the board of education. Although seventy-five years of age he preserves much of the fire and vigor of younger manhood and is still engaged advice especially valuable. He is honored wherever he is known and his record is one to which his family and friends may justly point with pride as his honest, integrity and patriotism have never been questioned.