SAMUEL C. DEAL, deceased, was born in Waynesboro, Rockingham county, Virginia, on the 28th of October, 1815, and spent his early life in that state. In the fall of 1849 he came to Illinois and settled in Dry Grove township, McLean county, about five and a half miles west of Bloomington, within a mile and a half of the farm on which he died. There he engaged in general farming and stock-raising for fifty-two years and was a very successful business man, accumulating one thousand acres of land. Of excellent business ability and executive force, he carried forward to successful completion whatever he undertook and before his demise he decided to divide his property among his children rather than leave it to the court to divide. Accordingly, he called his children to the home and disposed of the entire estate, reserving only a small competence for himself that he believed would supply him with all that he might need for the remainder of his life, expressing the desire that if anything was left it should be divided equally among his children at his death.
On the 21st of October, 1837, Mr. Deal married Miss Priscilla Brown, who was born in Augusta county, Virginia, in 1817, and was a daughter of Rev. John Brown, the eldest son of a German nobleman. After visiting the new world and seeing the destitution that prevailed, he returned to Germany and informed his father that he had decided to become a minister. Although his father told him if he did this he would be disinherited, it did not change him from his purpose, and all he received from his father's estate was a library valued at two thousand dollars. He was the first German Reformed preacher in the United States and could preach in seven languages, being highly educated.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Deal were born nine children: John B., now living upon a farm in Jefferson, Greene county, Iowa, has thirteen children, and with the exception of two all are married and in good health. Samuel A. is living near Danvers, Illinois. Mrs. Elizabeth E. Elkins makes her home near her brother Samuel. Newton died in childhood. Mrs. Mary C. Riggin is represented on another page of this volume. Jane died in infancy. Mrs. S. Addie Wright is living west of Bloomington, Illinois. Emma resides on the old homestead. Mrs. Virginia E.H. Staubus is living in Dry Grove township, McLean county. The daughters married well-to-do farmers and all are widows at the present time with the exception of Emma.
Mr. Deal was a ruling elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian church for fifty-four years and took a very active part in church work. He was noted for his affable disposition, excellent tact and his kindly spirit, and enjoyed the highest regard of neighbors and friends, being frequently called upon to aid in settling difficulties because of his uniform fairness and spirit of justice. He was exceedingly kind to the poor and generous in his contributions to the needy. His life was indeed actuated by a worthy Christian spirit. In his political faith Mr. Deal was an ardent Democrat and was frequently called upon to accept public office. Although he was never an aspirant for political preferment, he took great interest in politics and consented to serve as county assessor, as road commissioner, as supervisor and in other positions of public trust. He died on the 25th of January, 1903, having long survived his wife, who passes away June 5, 1875. She was a lady of very sweet disposition, whose religious faith and principles were manifest in her daily life and she was greatly beloved by her family. She and her brothers and sisters were devoted to their parents and were especially helpful to their mother during their father's absence on ministerial duties. He was a pioneer preacher of the west, having fourteen congregations under his charge at one time. His sons were all sent to college, the mother being able to care for the family affairs and superintend the business interests in a capable manner during her husband's absence.