JUDGE JOHN B. VAUGHN. Fifteen yeas ago John B. Vaughn began the practice of law at Carlinville and, although he has spent twelve years of the period indicated in public office, he is now well established in practice and can claim among his clients a number of the leading citizens and business firms of Macoupin county. In addition to a thorough acquaintance with the principles of law he has a good knowledge of human nature and as he is an eloquent and convincing speaker, his success as an advocate was early assured.
He is a native of Jerseyville, Illinois, born March 2, 1865, a son of Erastus and Nancy Catharine (Hill) Vaughn. The father was born in Illinois and the mother in Indiana. In their family were nine children five of whom survive, namely: John B.; William M., who lives in Colorado; Richard E., of Centralia, Illinois; Bessie, the wife of Isaac Bean, of Nilwood, Illinois; and Essie, who married George Jenkins, of Hillsboro, Illinois.
The father of our subject was reared in Jersey county, Illinois, and devoted a large part of his life to farming. He came to Macoupin county in 1875 and engaged in the butchering business for ten years at Nilwood. He died on a farm in South Otter township, near Nilwood, in 1907, having reached the age of sixty-two years. His wife is still living and makes her home at Nilwood. She is an ardent supporter of the Baptist church. The grandfather of our subject on the paternal side was John Vaughn. He was a native of Kentucky and was of German descent. In the pioneer days he came to Jersey county, Illinois, and established a home although the Indians were numerous in the neighborhood. The maiden name of his wife was Hester Crane. Mr. Vaughn died after reaching his seventieth year and his widow came to Macoupin county and died at Shipman at the age of eighty-six. Of their fourteen children nine grew to maturity, William, Johnson, James, Shadrach, John, Erastus, Maria, Ann and Charlotte. The grandfather on the maternal side was Benjamin Hill. He was a native of Indiana and was of English descent. He and his family lived east of Girard, Illinois, on the edge of Montgomery county. He died at the age of seventy-one and his wife passed away in her sixty-sixth year. They had nine children, Alfred, John, Benjamin, Harriet, Martha, Nancy Catherine, Elizabeth, Ella and Sarah R. Alfred was a soldier in the Civil war and served during the entire period of the Rebellion.
John B. Vaughn came to Macoupin county with his parents when he was about ten years of age and in his boyhood engaged in farm work by the month. He attended the district schools and the Scottville high school, later becoming a student in the county normal schools. After teaching school for eight years he entered the law department of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, but finished his studies under Judge Yancy of Carlinville. In 1890 he was elected county clerk and served for four years. In the fall of 1895 he was admitted to the bar upon examination and began practice at Carlinville, being elected states attorney in the fall of 1896. After serving very acceptably in this office for four years he was elected county judge and reelected in 1904, occupying the position for eight years, to the general acceptance of the people of the county irrespective of party. Since his retirement from public office he has devoted his entire attention to his profession.
On the 26th of November, 1890, Judge Vaughn was married to Miss Mary L. Drake, a daughter of William and Mary (Wheeler) Drake, of Scottville. Of the five children born to this union four died in infancy, Margaret Lucille being the only survivor. Mrs. Vaughn was born in Scottville township. Her parents were natives of Kentucky and were early settlers in Macoupin county. The father died at the age of seventy-two years and the mother passed away several years later. Five of their children are now living, Martha J., Marshall L., Sarah E., Nancy A. and Mary. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Vaughn was Hiram Drake, a native of Kentucky, and the grandfather on the maternal side was also a native of that state. He married a Miss Van Bebber who lived to the age of ninety-five years.
Mrs. Vaughn is a valued member of the Baptist church, and Mr. Vaughn is very prominent in the Masonic order, being identified with Mount Nebo Lodge No. 76, A.F. & A.M.; Macoupin Chapter, No. 187, R.A.M.; and also with Ascalon Commandery, K.T., and Moolah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., both of St. Louis. He is an active worker in the Knights of Pythias and is a member of Orient Lodge No. 95, being at present time grand chancellor of Knights of Pythias of the state of Illinois. He was a member of the committee that located the Aged and Orphans' Pythian Home and is now chairman of the board of directors. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star and also of the Coterie Literary Society of Carlinville. In politics he is an ardent supporter of the democratic party. Thoroughly in sympathy with all forward movements, his influence has been exerted in many channels and he is recognized as one of the most energetic and public spirited men in the county. His success has been well deserved as it has been fairly won, and his friends confidently prophesy for him many new victories in years to come.