JOSEPH COLSON was born June 29, 1860, on the farm in Menard county now occupied by August Winkleman. He is a son of Samuel and Maria (Watkins) Colson, early residents of Illinois, the father living in this state at the time of the memorable deep snow -- and event which has become historical in the annuals of the state. In the family were six children, of whom five are living: Charles, who resides near Oakford, married Julia Brown and they have seven living children; Calvin W., who resides upon his father's farm, wedded Ollie Eden and they have three children, two daughters and a son; Joseph is a third in order of birth; Annie is the wife of
David Stitch, a farmer residing at North Atterberry, and they have two sons and two daughters; Jennie, a twin sister of Annie, is the wife of Theodore Dohrer, who is in the government service at Arkansas City, Kansas, and they have three sons, including twins; one child, Mac, died on the home farm at the age of eighteen years and was buried in Oakland cemetery.
Joseph Colson pursued his education in what was called the Sampson school. It was seated with long benches and there was a large stove which would take in a stick three of four feet in length. It was difficult to maintain discipline in those days, schools being noted for their unruly character, nor did the pupils always tread "a flowery path of knowledge." On the home farm Mr. Colson received instructions as to the best methods of planting and harvesting crops and raising stock. He has always engaged in farming and he first began business on his own account on the A. Winkleman farm, which was then owned by his father. There he lived for a year.
As a companion and helpmate on life's journey Mr. Colson chose Miss Martha Bell, the wedding being celebrated December 24, 1879. Her parents were Austin and Elizabeth (Arnold) Bell, and the Bells were among the early settlers of Little Grove. Both her father and mother were born at Walnut Ridge, Menard county. After his marriage Mr. Colson engaged in farming south of Oakford for a year and later lived for one year about a quarter of a mile from that place. He afterward removed to the William Lewis farm, upon which he lived for five years and then settled on the Walter Lynn place, now known as the Walker farm. There he lived for three years, at the end of which time he removed to his present farm, taking up his abode in a little house which stood in the old orchard. There he lived for three or four years, after which he returned to the Walker place and again made it his home for four years. He afterward returned to his present farm, occupying the same old house, and later he took up his abode on his father's old homestead. He has been fairly successful, always carrying on general farming, and he is now operating two hundred and forty acres of land on the old home place and rents one hundred and twenty-five acres. He has lived a life of industry and energy and whatever success he has achieved has resulted therefrom.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Colson have been born seven children and the family circle remains unbroken by the hand of death. These are Nora Ellen, who was born November 28, 1880; Matt H., born October 12, 1882; Annie, born May 4, 1884; Elizabeth, born March 24, 1888; Myrtle, born March 4, 1889; Edith, born November 28, 1890, and now attending school in Atterberry; and Samuel, born September 9, 1896. The children have been provided with good common-school advantages and all belong to the Methodist church in Atterberry. In his political views Mr. Colson is a Democrat and is now serving as central committeeman, taking an active interest in the party, its progress and success.<