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Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 427

JAMES CYRUS COUCHMAN is the owner of good farming interests in Menard county, his home being on section 3, Tallula township. He was born February 1, 1851, in Morgan county, Illinois, his parents being E. R. and Sophia (Henderson) Couchman, the latter a daughter of D. G. Henderson, who removed from Ohio to Illinois, settling in Morgan county, where Mrs. Couchman was born. E. R. Couchman was a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky, born December 24, 1819, and was a son of B. F. Couchman. The grandfather of our subject was a farmer and slave owner and spent much of his life in the south. E. R. Couchman came to Illinois in 1825 and in 1827 his father came to this state and entered land from the government, comprising the farm upon which the insane asylum at Jacksonville, Illinois, was built. He afterward returned to Kentucky but again came to Illinois, this time accompanied by his family. He purchased land where the town of Arcadia has been built and upon that place he lived and died, being one of the representative early farmers of his locality. In his family were five sons and three daughters: B. F., William, George, Caleb, James, Mrs. Ellen Knox, Mrs. Elizabeth Leaf, who resides in Normal, and Mahala.

E. R. Couchman was a young man when he first came to Illinois. He was reared in this state and in early life became familiar with the difficult task of reclaiming wild land for purposes of cultivation. He assisted his father, however, in developing his fields and gained practical knowledge of the best methods of carrying on farming. In the year 1851 he came to Menard county and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land from Jonathan Masterson. He afterward purchased all of the land on which the town of Rushaway was built, but later sold that property and bought two hundred and ninety-six acres on a part of which his son James now resides. He has since carried on agricultural pursuits in this part of the state and he now owns eighty acres where he lives and forty acres lying to the northwest in Menard county. He also owns and farms land in Cass county and is recognized as one of the prosperous agriculturists of his community who has capably controlled his business affairs so that they now return to him a good income. In his family were four children: Margaret married Silas Ratliff and they had two daughters, one of whom, Lizzie, is now Mrs. VanWinkle and resides south of Tallula. David Couchman married Sarah Senter and was the owner of a farm in Menard county, bot both are now deceased; William married Lizzie Senter, and he is deceased, but his widow resides in Spokane, Washington.

James Cyrus Couchman, whose name forms the caption of this review, was brought to Menard county when less than a year old and was reared on the old family homestead, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of farm life for him in his youth. He was educated in the country schools and spent one term in the Illinois College at Jacksonville, but put aside his text books at the age of nineteen years and began farming for himself upon his present place. Later he went to Missouri, settling in Harrison county, but his business ventures there did not prove profitable and he returned to Menard county. Here he rented a farm for a year and since that time has resided upon his present place.

On the 2d of January, 1895, Mr. Couchman was married to Miss Lizzie Ray, a daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Ray, of Ashland, Cass county, Illinois. She was born in Morgan county, east of Jacksonville, on the 5th of January, 1871, and attended the schools of Ashland, of which she is a graduate. Mr. Couchman belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He gives his political support to the Republican party and in matters of citizenship is deeply interested, manifesting public spirited and loyal devotion to every movement which he believes will promote the general good.

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