JAMES J. CARNEY is the owner of a valuable farm of five hundred and ten acres and the land is rich and arable, yielding good harvests. A native son of Menard county he was born in his present home neighborhood on the 22nd of December, 1857, and is a son of James and Catherine (Bang) Carney, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The former came to the United States in 1845, attract6ed by the business possibilities of the new land and settled in the state of Vermont, where he followed farming. He remained there for five years and then came to Illinois, locating in Sangamon county, where he purchased a tract of land and developed a good farm. In 1847 he arrived in Menard county, settling upon the farm which is now in possession of his son James and there he continued to engage in the tilling of the soil with good success until his death which occurred in 1896. He lost his first wife in 1857 and was afterward again married. In his family were thirteen children, but only three are now living: James J., John and Mary. The brother John was a soldier for thirteen years. He enlisted first for service in the Civil war as a member of the Union army when nineteen years of age and fought for the preservation of the Union during the four long years of that sanguinary struggle. During that time he participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Bull's Run. He was never wounded although often in the thickest of the fight and came out of the army strong and well. He received an honorable discharge from the volunteer service in Washington, D. C., and then entered the regular service, enlisting three times. It is known that he served for thirteen years, but since that time no news has been received from him.
James J. Carney was reared in Menard county in the usual manner of farm lads of his day and locality. He attended the public schools and when not occupied with the duties of the schoolroom he assisted in the farm work. He has long been numbered among the tillers of the soil and the stock-raisers of his native county and his life has been passed upon the old farm homestead which comprises two hundred and ten acres of as rich farming land as can be found in Illinois. There is no better farming district throughout the length and breadth of this county than Illinois furnishes.
Mr. Carney, seeking a companion and helpmate for life's journey, was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Cronin in 1880 and afterward brought his bride to the old homestead. She is the daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Sullivan) Cronin, both of whom were natives of Ireland. In a family of five children she has only one brother now living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Carney have been born eleven children: Catherine, Mary, John, Martha, Annie, Nellie, one that died in infancy, Jamie, Nina, Alcina and Joyce. The eldest daughter is now the wife of William Mudd, a son of Dr. Mudd of Athens, and they reside in that place.
Mr. Carney exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democracy, and he and his family are members of the Catholic church at Athens. They reside upon the farm near that point and Mr. Carney has in his possession a deed to this land which was signed by Martin Van Buren on the 1st of November, 1839. Since the old homestead has come into his possession he has devoted his labor toward cultivating and further developing the land and every indication of modern progress is to be seen upon this place, showing that his labors have been attended with good results.