Charles Pursey, who owns a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Polk township which he acquired by his energy and business ability, is justly regarded as one of the trustworthy and progressive men of Macoupin county. He was born in Somersetshire, England, April 28, 1858, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah Anne (Fields) Pursey. The father was born in Devonshire and continued with his parents until twenty-one years of age, when he took up his permanent residence in Somersetshire. He devoted his attention to general farming and died about 1884. The mother of our subject was born in Somersetshire and passed her entire life in that section. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Pursey were seven children: Sarah Anne, who is the widow of Frank Wheeler, of England; Eliza, the widow of George Tatner, of Kent, England; Thomas, who came to America and is now engaged in farming in Polk township, Macoupin county; Emery, who was killed in a runaway accident; Charles; George, who is also living in Polk township; and Emily, deceased.
In the public schools of his native land Charles Pursey received his early education. He continued at home until fourteen years of age and then began learning the butcher's trade, at which he continued for five years in Gloucestershire. He then went to Dartford, Kent, and was employed in the paper mills for one year, after which he spent a year at home. Having decided to seek his fortune in America, he went aboard the ship Parthia, of the Cunard line, at Liverpool, and crossed the ocean landing at Castle Garden, New York, March 12, 1881. He came direct to Macoupin county, Illinois, and soon afterwards bought eighty acres in Polk township, which he cultivated for eighteen months and then began working for wages, in order to secure more capital. After being employed for four years by farmers of the neighborhood he settled on his own place, which is located on sections 10 and 11, and now comprises two hundred and forty acres. His land is in an excellent state of cultivation and as he keeps good grades of stock and understands marketing the same, his continued prosperity is assured.
In 1887 Mr. Pursey was married to Miss Emily Eddington, who was born in Somersetshire, England, and came to the United States in the year of her marriage. She died in 1888, and in 1889 Mr. Pursey was married to Mrs. Joseph Christian, who was born in Polk township on the farm where she now makes her home. There are nine children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Pursey, namely, Jacob Rudolph, Joseph Wesley, Carl Julius, Edward, Lilly, Theodore, Dorothy, Mildred, and Charles Earl, all of whom are at home.
Politically Mr. Pursey supports the republican party, and he has served for two terms as highway commissioner and for fourteen years as a member of the school board. He was christened in the Church of England, but his wife is a member of the German Evangelical church of Carlinville. Being a liberal-hearted man, he is a generous contributor to churches and all worthy causes. Fraternally he is identified with the Royal Americans, and he is also connected with the Federal Life Insurance Company of Chicago. Arriving in America thirty years ago, he set himself bravely to work among strangers, and has founded a home and established a reputation of which his family and friends may truly be proud. He has ever recognized his obligations to his family and to his adopted state and country, and no more loyal citizen is to be met with in Illinois than the one whose name introduces this sketch.