JOHN E. BRASFIELD, who throughout his entire life has followed farming and stock-raising, was born in Menard county March 10, 1879. His father, Thomas H. Brasfield, was a native of Madison county, Kentucky, born on the 4th of December, 1829. During his boyhood days he remained at home and through the winter months attended school, while in the summer seasons he assisted in the work of the fields. After leaving school he engaged in farming with his father until twenty-five years of age. He had accompanied his parents to Illinois in 1834, the family home being established near Athens in Menard county and he continued under the parental roof until 1854. His father had purchased land patents whereby he secured three hundred and twenty acres of land and upon a part of this land Thomas H. Brasfield began farming and stock-raising for himself, devoting the greater part of his attention, however, to the latter pursuit. He generally fed a carload of cattle each winter, also many hogs, and likewise raised horses enough to do his own farm work. He built a comfortable and commodious home after burning the tall prairie grass from a patch of land sufficient to enable him to have a clear space on which to pile his lumber. That pioneer home is still standing and is one of the landmarks in the neighborhood. It is surrounded with fine maple, ash and elm trees that were planted by Mr. Brasfield, and he also set out a catalpa grove and a black walnut grove. He made his farm one of the finest developed and improved places of his locality and successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits for many years. He acted as a school trustee for twenty years and was a school director at the time of his death. Public interests that had for their object the welfare and progress of his community received his earnest endorsement and hearty co-operation and he was known as one of the prominent and influential residents of Menard county. He married Miss Cynthia M. Camp, who was born in Fulton county, Illinois, March 3, 1848. The marriage was celebrated September 19, 1876, and after traveling life's journey together for about twenty-four years Thomas Brasfield was called to his final rest on the 31st of December, 1900. His widow is still living and makes her home in Eureka, Illinois. They were the parents of four children: John E., of this review; Henry H., who died in boyhood; Laura C., who is now living in Eureka, Illinois, with her mother; and Bryant L., also with his mother.
John E. Brasfield acquired his early education in the public schools and afterward supplemented his preliminary knowledge by study in the Springfield Business College. He worked with his father upon the old home farm until the latter's death and then took charge of the property, which he managed for three years, at the end of which time he began farming on his own account. He has also carried on stock-raising and he has now several head of registered cattle. He also raises high grade horses and by improving his stock and thereby advancing prices he has added to the prosperity of the entire community. He operates two hundred and forty acres of land, most of which is used for pasturage purposes, and in addition to this he owns one hundred and fifty acres, which he rents.
On the 2d of September, 1903, Mr. Brasfield was married to Miss Aurelia Davis, a daughter of George F. and Lizzie D. (Layman) Davis. Her father was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, August 21, 1848, and the mother in Botetourt county, Virginia, October 19, 1855. They now reside near Auburn, in Sangamon county, Illinois. During his boyhood he lived at home and worked with his father, aiding in the labors of the fields all through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he acquired his education in the public schools. He has always carried on farming and stock-raising since attaining adult age and is an enterprising and progressive farmer of his community. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and both he and his wife hold membership in the Court of Honor. He was married October 13, 1881, to Miss Lizzie D. Layman, and they became the parents of three children: Mrs. Brasfield, who was born November 3, 1882, in Auburn township, Sangamon county, Illinois; Hugh, who was born March 7, 1887, and died January 23, 1904; and Gerald, born September 11, 1898. Both Mr. and Mrs. Brasfield hold membership in the Christian church and he gives his political support to the Republican party. He is a young man, possessing the enterprising spirit which has dominated the west and been an important factor in its substantial upbuilding. He has already achieved creditable prosperity, which will doubtless increase for him as the years go by.