JAMES DAVID STEAD. Among the successful business men of Macoupin county is James David Stead, proprietor of Stead's Store, of McVey, and also owner of a highly productive farm of one hundred and forty acres in Nilwood township. A man of force and determination of character, he has been successful in his undertakings and is recognized as one of the growing factors of this section. He is a native of Nilwood township, born December 1, 1859, and is a son of David and Mary A. (Boston) Stead, the former of whom was born in England and the latter in Indiana. The grandfather of our subject on the maternal side was Beverly Boston, a native of Virginia.
James D. Stead received his education in the public schools and continued his studies further in the normal school at Valparaiso, Indiana. In 1879, he engaged in farming with his father and two years later began for himself on the home farm. In 1883, he accepted a position as traveling salesman and spent a number of months in Texas, in the course of which he made many observations as to farming and stock-raising that have assisted him very materially in his life work. He returned to Nilwood township, in 1884, and cultivated rented land for three years. He then went to Pana, Illinois, and associated with Jonas D. Stead, as Stead & Stead, in conducting a machine shop and foundry, but after an experience of one year disposed of his interest and returned to Nilwood township, where he resumed farming upon a tract of one hundred and forty acres, which he cultivated diligently to excellent advantage. In 1910 he entered the implement and general merchandise business at McVey, which he is conducting at the present time. He also continues in charge of his farm and is financially interested in a threshing machine. He is a stockholder and director of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company and the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.
On the 5th of May, 1881, Mr. Stead was married, at Carlinville, to Miss Mary L. Hamilton, of Missouri, a daughter of A. F. and Mary (Nichols) Hamilton, the former of whom was born in Tennessee and the latter in Kentucky, and a granddaughter of Joshua Hamilton, of Indiana, and Lazarus Nichols, of North Carolina. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stead: Harry )., of Nilwood township, who married Barsha Coulter and has four children, one son and three daughters; Verner G., also fo Nilwood township, who married Jennie Wright; and Irene, who became the wife of R. C. Coulter, of Nilwood township, and has two children, one son and one daughter.
Mr. Stead is a strong advocate of the republican party and served as collector, in 1907, and as supervisor when the agreement was reached for the discharge of the debt of the township. He takes special interest in the education and training of the young. For fifteen years he has been a member of the school board. He also holds membership in the Illinois Bankers Insurance Company, McVey Lodge, No. 3065, M.W.A., and the Anti-Horse Thief Association, No. 94, being a constable in the latter organization. Active and energetic in the discharge of all his duties, public and private, he has gained general recognition for efficiency and promptness and is regarded with highest respect by all with whom he comes into contact.