JAMES W. RENO, one of the representative farmers and highly esteemed citizens of Shipman township, has spent his entire life in that locality. He was born in that township on the 3d of January, 1850, and is a member of one of its pioneer families. His education was obtained in the public schools and when twenty-two years of age he and his brother Granville bought their father's farm, consisting of one hundred and ninety-four acres. They added to this from time to time as they were able until they had acquired four hundred and forty acres and engaged in cooperative farming until 1892, when they divided the property equally, each taking a portion of the old homestead in his share. Our subject is still engaged in general farming and makes a specialty of stock raising, devoting considerable attention to the feeding of stock for the market and to the dairy business. He is also interested in the breeding of Duroc Jersey hogs, in which he has met with excellent success.
On the 18th of December, 1877, Mr. Reno was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Mitchell, a daughter of William Wilson and Matilda (Nix) Mitchell. Her father was a member of an old Kentucky family and from that state he came to Illinois, locating in Greene county, where he resided until 1862, when he removed to Macoupin county, settling on a farm near Medora, which continued to be his home up to the time of his death. Four of his children reached years of maturity, namely: Robert, who is now a resident of Cowlitz county, Washington, where he is engaged in farming; Ephraim, who made his home in Kingman county, Kansas, but is now deceased; Mrs. Reno; and Newton, who is engaged in the lumber business in Cowlitz county, Washington.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Reno were born seven children: Sankey, now a resident of Piasa, who married Elizabeth Travers and has one child, Ralph R.; Fred, who died at the age of six years; Eulalie, now the wife of Charles W. Black, of Shipman township; Rose, the wife of Charles Bartow, a farmer living near Piasa; William S., who is unmarried and lives at home; Newton, who married Phoebe Whitaker, of Piasa; and Paul, who is also at home.
The family attend the Baptist church and fraternally mr. Reno is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America, while politically he is a supporter of the democratic party. He has always taken an active interest in public affairs and has served as school director in his district for twelve years. Wherever known he is held in high regard and has a host of friends throughout his native county.