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Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 150


Success in life is not so much a matter of opportunity as the power to dominate conditions and through inherent force create opportunities commensurate with the ability and ambition of the one seeking to advance. Of such as these is George Urquhart, who through his own effort has risen from a farm hand to one of the largest property holders and affluent citizens of Brushy Mound township. He was born in Durham, England, on the 12th of November, 1843, a son of Thomas and Catharine (Middleton) Urquhart, the father of Scotch and English and the mother of English extraction. Thomas Urquhart, who was a farmer in his native land, emigrated to the United States with his wife and son in 1849, locating in Chicago, where he subsequently died. In later years the mother with her son came on to Morgan county, finally settling in Macoupin county, and there passed away at the home of her son, in 1883.

George Urquhart was twenty-eight years of age when he came to this county, locating on a farm northwest of Carlinville. He had previously worked out as a farm hand by the month until able to begin as a renter. Ambitious and industrious by means of constant application and thrift he was able to buy one hundred and sixty acres of land on sections 32 and 33 in Brushy Mound township. This he has brought into a high state of cultivation, improving it until it is one of the most attractive places in the county. Unceasing effort and intelligent application brought the usual reward and thus he was able to add to his holdings from time to time. In addition to his fine home farm he now owns one hundred and sixty acres on sections 31 and 32 and twenty acres of timber land in Brushy Mound township, while in Gillespie township he has two hundred and fifty three acres of tillable land in two pieces and forty acres of timber, and in Honey Point township one hundred and sixty acres of farm land. His entire holdings, therefore, aggregate nine hundred and fifty-three acres, all of which is good land. He carries on general farming on three of his one hundred and sixty acre tracts and rents his other farms. He is recognized as one of the most prosperous farmers of the county, but his success does not exceed the effort.

On the 10th of December, 1872, Mr. Urquhart married Miss Sarah J. Smithson, a daughter of William and Jane (Megginson) Smithson, natives of England, whence they emigrated with their parents to America when children. They were reared in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Morgan county, Illinois, where they were married. In 1852 Mr. Smithson went to California, not returning until his daughter, Mrs. Urquhart, was thirteen years of age. He remained in Illinois for a brief period then went back to California and was never heard from again. the mother passed away in Morgan county in 1854. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Urquhart: Jennie, who is living at home; Thomas Mayfield, who died at the age of sixteen months; Grace, the wife of Jacob Young, Jr., a farmer of Brushy Mound township; Annetta May, who married Andrew Ruyle, also a farmer of Gillespie township; Georgia, the wife of Albert Young, a farmer in Cahokia township; and Thomas, Ralph L., Dorcas and Bessie, all of whom are at home.

Ever since acquiring the full rights of citizenship Mr. Urquhart has given his political support to the candidates of the republican party. He has ever been loyal in his allegiance to the country of his adoption, and twice served as a ninety-day man from Morgan county during the Civil war. Such is the history in brief of the life of George Urquhart, a study of which will show that what he has accomplished has often lain within the possibilities of others had their effort been equal to his.

1911 Index
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