One of Macoupin county's thrifty and capable agriculturists, now living retired, is Horace Bascom Warner, of Chesterfield township. His birth occurred at Vermontville, Michigan, on the 18th of October, 1842, his parents being William Willis and Harriet Naomi (Bascom) Warner. The father was born at Rutledge, Vermont, on the 19th of April, 1816, a son of William and Nancy (Hall) Warner. The mother was a daughter of Joseph Bascom, of Newport, New Hampshire, her natal day being the 26th of NOVEMBER, 1821. Mr. Bascom, who was a tanner by trade, spent his last years at Uxbridge, Canada, where he passed away in February, 1875. The paternal grandfather, William Warner, was born in Vermont on the 6th of May, 1769, and there he spent the early years of his life. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Nancy Hall, died in that state. Subsequently he joined a colony of Vermont people who removed to Michigan, settling at a place now known as Vermontville. There he entered government land, in the cultivation of which he engaged until his death on the 12th of June, 1842. William W. Warner was married in Vermontville on the 26th of June, 1841, to Miss Bascom, and by this union eleven children were born, the son Horace Bascom being the eldest of the family. The others in order of birth are as follows: Joseph Edwin, who died in early youth; Mary Abigail, the deceased wife of James Sackett, of Vermontville; Emma Jane, the deceased wife of Bradley Willey, of Pewamo, Michigan; Asa John, who is living in Vermontville; Charles Joseph, who is cultivating the old homestead in Vermontville; Sarah Elizabeth, the deceased wife of Ernest E. Rosekrans, of Auburn, Michigan; Ella Naomi, the deceased wife of Levi Bottomley, of Chester, Michigan; William Willis, a resident of Saginaw, Michigan; Harriet, the second wife of Ernest E. Rosekrans; and Luna A., who married Willey O. Hines, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The early years of Horace Bascom Warner were spent on the Michigan homestead in a manner very similar to those of other youths of the pioneer period. After the completion of his public school course he entered Olivet College, at Olivet, Michigan. While a student there the Civil war broke out, and in common with many of his patriotic classmates he responded to the nation's call, enlisting in Company H, Fourth Michigan Volunteer Cavalry. His regiment reported at Jeffersonville, Indiana, where they were equipped for service, then joined the Army of the Cumberland under General Buell in General Thomas' corps. His first experience as a soldier was obtained at Perryville, Kentucky, and later he participated in the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga and Atlanta. His regiment assisted in driving Hood's army back into Tennessee and subsequently spent four days in battle at Franklin, that state. They joined Wilson's Cavalry in their famous raid through Georgia and Alabama in 1865, and to Mr. Warner belongs the distinction of having been a member of the corps that captured Jefferson Davis. At Rome, Georgia, he was promoted to corporal and two days later was made quartermaster sergeant. He was mustered out at Nashville, receiving his discharge at Detroit.
Immediately following his return home he became a wage earner and for two years worked by the month as a farm hand. At the expiration of that period he went to Ottawa, Kansas, where he pre-empted land that he cultivated for three years. He then came to Illinois to be married and immediately returned to Kansas with his bride, settling in Sedgwick county, in the vicinity of Wichita, where he homesteaded a quarter section. In 1873 he returned to Illinois and operated rented land in Chesterfield township, Macoupin county. This proved sufficiently lucrative to enable him to later purchase a seventy acre tract adjoining a piece of similar size presented to Mrs. Warner by her father. Here he has since continuously resided, having, until his retirement, devoted his attention to general farming and stock-raising. His farm is one of the attractive places of the Challacombe settlement, so called from the family that owns the majority of the land in the vicinity. His house stands on the side of a hill overlooking the Macoupin creek, commanding an extensive view of all the valley round with its well tilled fields, green pastures, lanes and neat, substantial residencies.
On the 27th of October, 1870, Mr. Warner was married to Miss Isabella Challacombe, who passed away on the 24th of December, 1904. Mrs. Warner was born and reared in this locality, being a daughter of Nicholas Challacombe, who is mentioned at greater length in the sketch of his son John William Challacombe, which appears on another page of this work. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Warner; Hervey Edwin, living at Challacombe, who married Florence Hartwell and has four children; Grace Isabella, who died in infancy; Ray Elden, also a resident of Challacombe, who married Harriet Richardson and has one child; and Stella Naomi, who is unmarried and living at home.
Public spirited in matters of citizenship, Mr. Warner always takes an active interest in everything pertaining to his township, his political support being given to the republican party. Although he has never figured prominently in government affairs he has served as township collector and assessor, efficiently discharging his duties. Those days of his early manhood spent on the southern battlefields in the service of his country are vividly remembered, the ties there formed being maintained through the medium of his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic at Piasa,, his allegiance to which has ever been faithful. After an honorable youth and manhood he is passing life's evening in the peace and quiet justly merited by his well spent years, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, one son and his family living on a farm adjoining and the other but a short distance away.