JOHN HENRY STEAD, who is numbered among the highly respected citizens of Macoupin county, was born in Nilwood township August 7, 1857, on the farm on which he now lives. He is a lifelong resident of the county, and by his industry, application and clear judgment has gained the confidence of his associates and the respect of the entire community. He is a son of David and Mary A. (Boston) Stead, the former of whom was born in England and the later in Indiana. On the maternal side he is descended from Beverly Boston, a native of Virginia.
In the district schools of Macoupin county John H. Stead acquired his early education which he has largely broadened by reading and an intelligent observation of men and events. In 1878, he began farming for himself on the home place, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres, and has applied himself without interruption to his calling to the present time. Years ago he established a reputation as one of the competent and successful farmers of the county. He is a dealer in live stock and also feeds stock to good advantage for the market. In addition to his agricultural interests, he is a stockholder in the Farmers' Mutual Telephone Company, the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, and was actively identified with the Grange store at Girard.
On the 15th of October, 1879, Mr. Stead was married in Nilwood township to Miss Alice V. McBride, a native of Girard. She is a daughter of Thomas W. and Marjorie A. (Wiggins) McBride, the former of whom was born in Tennessee and the latter in Kentucky. On the paternal side, she descends from one of the oldest families of Virginia. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stead: Mamie Dorles, who married J. D. Stutzman, of Girard, and has one son, John; and Esther Vivian, who is at home.
Fraternally, Mr. Stead is connected with Girard Lodge No. 171, A.F. & A.M., and has filled all the chairs in this organization. He is also identified with Lodge No. 132, R.A.M., of which he is master of the veil, and of Peach Tree Lodge, No. 633, M.W.A. He is interested in all efforts to promote the welfare of this section and holds membership in the Farmers' Protective League and the Anti-Horse Thief Association. He is a valued member of the Christian church, in which he has served for a number of years past as elder. He has many friends in Macoupin county who admire him not only for his energy and success in business but on account of his genial and friendly manner and his sterling characteristics of mind and heart.