Napoleon B. Utt, who is living retired in Shipman, Macoupin county, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred at Portsmouth on the 22d of May, 1826. His parents were Henry and Sarah (Hibbs) Utt, both natives of the buckeye state, where for many years the father engaged in agricultural pursuits. During the pioneer days he removed to Alton, Illinois, and there entered government land, that he disposed of later and moved to Christian county, this state. There he again entered land upon which he resided for a time, then came to Macoupin county, where he was living at the time of his death in 1861. The mother survived for some time thereafter, her demise also occurring in this county. Henry Utt was a veteran of the war of 1812, while his father participated in the Revolution. to Mr. and Mrs. Utt were born six sons and six daughters, all of whom are deceased with the exception of William Utt of Carlinville and our subject.
Napoleon B. Utt was only a small lad when his parents brought him to Illinois and he attended the schools of Jersey county, this state, in the acquirement of his education. Much of his time, even during his very early boyhood, was devoted to the work on the fields, as in common with all settlers in a new country they met with many hardships and misfortunes. When the war broke out in 1861 he was living at Springfield and was one of the first to volunteer his services, going to the front as a private in the First Illinois Cavalry. He participated in a number of important battles, seeing much active service, and received his discharge at Springfield at the close of the war. He proceeded to Christian county, where his family were living at that time, and once more undertook farming. Later he came to Carlinville but soon thereafter removed to Joplin, Missouri, where for thirty years he engaged in contracting and building. When ready to retire from active life he returned to Macoupin county, locating in Shipman, where he is now residing.
At Virden, Illinois, on the 22d of April, 1877, Mr. Utt and Mrs. Mattie Black Crooks, the widow of Henry Crooks, were united in marriage. Mrs. Utt is a daughter of James and Flora (McNabb) Black, and was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 19th of April, 1848. the father was a native of Ohio and the mother of Glasgow, Scotland, but they resided for many years in St. Louis, Missouri, where the father was a contractor. They removed from there to Godfrey, Illinois, but subsequently became residents of Carlinville, where they lived until Mr. Black's death. The mother survived until 1907, her demise occurring at Peoria, Illinois. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Black, the two sons, John of Bloomington, and Simeon of Carrollton, besides Mrs. Utt, are the only ones now living. In 1869 Miss Mattie Black was married to Henry Crooks, a native of Rushville, Illinois, and a contracting painter. Four children were born to them, two of whom are now living: Flora, now Mrs. Zellers, of Joplin, Missouri, and William Crooks, who is also a resident of that city. Mr. Crooks, who was a veteran of the Civil war, died at Virden, Illinois in 1876. Mr. and Mrs. Utt are the parents of three children, two of whom are deceased, the third member of their family, Mrs. Julia Smith, is now a resident of Los Angeles, California.
Mr. and Mrs. Utt hold membership in the Baptist church. He also belongs to the grand Army of the Republic, being identified with the Joplin Missouri post. Despite the long period of their absence from Macoupin county Mr. and Mrs. Utt have resumed many of the acquaintances and friendships of their earlier days, and are enjoying life's evening spent amid the associations of long ago.