The son of a soldier who gave up his life for the Union, James A. Ring, of Shaws Point township, has shown many of the sturdy traits of character which were possessed by his honored father, and is justly entitled to the success he has attained as an agriculturist and stock raiser. He was born in Coles county, Illinois, in November 1856, a son of Henry and Eliza (Griffin) Ring, the former being a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana. The father came to Coles county in the pioneer days and engaged in farming. He was a sincere lover of the republic and in 1861, when the life of the Union was threatened, he enlisted in the federal army and was sent to the front in the army of the west. On account of exposure and the hardships of fighting and campaigning he was taken sick at the close of six months and died in a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1862. After his death his widow returned with her children from Illinois to her old home in Indiana, continuing there until the close of the war, when she came to Macoupin county, Illinois.
Mr. Ring of this review attended the public schools of Indiana and Macoupin county. As soon as he became old enough he went out to work by the month and continued for fifteen years working for wages. He then began farming upon his own account and rented land for eight years. He afterward purchased one hundred and ten acres, partly improved, in Shaws Point township. He greatly increased the value of the place by good management and proper rotation of crops, also erecting buildings, making it one of the desirable farms of the locality. His son, James W., is now in charge of this property and the father is operating the Burke and McGready farm of two hundred and seventy-six acres, of which he has been in control for seven years. He usually keeps on hand about a carload of cattle and twenty-three head of horses and mules, also feeding two carloads of hogs each year. His effort have met with merited recompense and each year witnesses an increased in his revenue.
In September, 1886, Mr. Ring was married to Miss Mary Ann Fishback, a daughter of John and Jennie Fishback, both of whom were born in Germany. The parents came to Macoupin county, Illinois, many years ago, and Mr. Fishback cultivated a rented farm for several years. Subsequently he purchased and improved a small place, upon which he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1897. The mother is still living and makes her home with the subject of this review, having arrived at the age of seventy-eight years. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ring: Frank, who is now twenty-four years old; James W., who is twenty-three years of age; John H., of the age of nineteen years; and Homer O., thirteen years old.
Mr. Ring takes an active interest in local affairs and is now serving as township commissioner, an office which he has filled most acceptably for six years past. He also occupied the position of township treasurer for three years. Socially he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a man of frank and straightforward address and by contact with the world has gained much practical knowledge, which he has been able to apply to good advantage. He belongs to the best type of citizenship and is recognized as a just and upright man, who may be depended upon to maintain the family name with dignity and honor.