John Nelson Scribner, who is living retired at Virden, having accumulated a competence through systematic application, is a native of Jersey county, Illinois. He was born January 22, 1864, a son of Jesse and Ellen (Hughes) Scribner, the father being a native of Tennessee and the mother of Illinois. Jesse Scribner came to Illinois at the age of eighteen and began farming, a vocation to which he devoted the principal years of his life. After the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted at Jerseyville and served faithfully for three years in behalf of the Union. Having received his honorable discharge he resumed farming in Jersey county but later went with his family to California, where they spent two years, at the close of which time they returned as far east as Missouri and then rented land in Greene county, Illinois, subsequently purchasing forty acres. At the close of a year he sold out and went to Missouri and spent the next three years mainly in traveling. He again took up his residence in Jersey county, and rented a farm upon which he died at the age of forty-four years. There were two children in his family: Lloyd, who died at the age of two years; and John N., the subject of this review. The mother was again married, her second husband being John Ennis, of Sangamon county, where he died in 1889, his wife passing away in May, 1906.
Mr. Scribner, whose name introduces this sketch, began working in the harvest field before he reached manhood and after spending two years in Morgan county took up his residence in Sangamon county. Four years later he drove through with a covered wagon to Wichita, Kansas. The next year he continued his journey as far as the Indian Territory but did not remain long in that section, as he returned the same summer to Sangamon county, Illinois. The next fall he drove to Wellington, Kansas, and thence to Sedgwick county, Kansas, where he rented land. After selling out he returned to Sangamon county and three years later rented eighty acres, which he cultivated to good advantage for five years. He then took charge of his mother's place and subsequently he and his mother purchased the rest of the Ennis estate from the heirs and he now has a farm of one hundred and eighty-four acres, known as the Ennis farm. He also acquired town property near Lowder, which he later disposed of. At one time he moved to Oklahoma but returned after selling the property which he owned there and spent a year at Waverly, Illinois. He is now established at Virden and his family occupy an attractive bungalow which he erected. He has also retained his farm in Sangamon county, from which he derives a handsome annual income.
On the 20th of December, 1888, Mr. Scribner was married to Miss Lottie Stewart, of Jacksonville, Illinois, a daughter of John and Louisa (Rutherford) Stewart, both of whom were born in this state. They have become the parents of two children: Luella May, who was born August 11, 1892; and Nola Louise, who was born January 4, 1906, and is now deceased. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were twelve children: Lottie, now Mrs. J. N. Scribner; Charles W., deceased; Lura M., who married Roderick Pruett of Chicago, and is also deceased; Alice, deceased; Estella, the wife of John M. Case, of Virden; Myrtle, who became the wife of James Ryan, of Jacksonville, Illinois, and is now deceased; Earl, a resident of Chicago; Ernest, who makes his home in Denver, Colorado; Leroy, also of Chicago; Nola, deceased; Lela, who married C. E. Lowder of Lowder, Illinois; and Nelson, who is deceased.
Politically Mr. Scribner has since he arrived at maturity supported the democratic party. He has taken an active interest in political affairs and has held various township offices. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons and the Woodmen and religiously he affiliates with the Baptist church. He has traveled extensively in various states and from personal observation is remarkably well informed concerning the resources of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. He can claim a wide circle of acquaintances and is known as an enterprising and practical man of good business judgment. Having been straight-forward in all his dealings he richly merits the prosperity he and his family now enjoy.