ALMON G. HURD. For many years actively engaged in farming in Menard county and at an early day identified with the educational development of his district, Almon G. Hurd is now living a retired life, enjoying the fruits of his former toil. He was born in Sunapee, Sullivan county, New Hampshire, on the 13th of March, 1838, his parents being Hiram and Esther (Patten) Hurd. The Hurd family is of English lineage and was established in Massachusetts in early colonial days by Peter Hurd, the great-great-grandfather of our subject, who settled in New Hampshire near the present site of Concord. There he carried on agricultural pursuits. He was accompanied on the voyage by two brothers, one of whom established his home in Connecticut, while the other went south to Virginia. Peter Hurd became the owner of land in the Old Granite state and there he resided until called to his final rest. He was also accompanied to America by the great-grandfather of our subject, who likewise made his home in New Hampshire and there reared his family. The grandfather was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and participated in many of the battles that occurred in the eastern section of the country. Hiram Hurd, born and reared in New Hampshire, also carried on agricultural pursuits. He wedded Miss Esther Patten, who was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her father was also one of the heroes of the Revolutionary war, serving as a private, and he likewise represented one of the oldest American families. Hiram Hurd was one of a family of four sons and three daughters, all of whom are now deceased. He had a brother, John A. Hurd, who came to Illinois in 1838 and settled in Beardstown, where he owned land and reared a family of one son and two daughters. The son died while serving his country in the Civil war. One of the daughters, Mrs. Celania C. Dickerson, now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Hiram Hurd remained in New Hampshire until after his marriage and the birth of several children. He came to Illinois in 1854, bringing with him one son and one daughter, having lost five children during their residence in the Old Granite state, all of whom died in early life save Irvin, who was nineteen years of age at the time of his demise. Mr. Hurd settled upon the farm where his son Almon G. now resides and he became one of the enterprising and prosperous farmers of this county, adding to his landed possessions from time to time until he had acquired about eight hundred acres. He had secured one hundred and sixty-eight acres before his arrival here, locating this with a land warrant given his brother John A., who served as a soldier. Mr. Hurd continued to reside in Menard county for many years and was respected as a worthy pioneer and upright citizen. His birth had occurred in 1800 and he was therefore eighty-six years of age at the time of his death in 1886. His wife passed away in 1891 and her remains were interred by his side in Oakridge cemetery. Both were consistent and faithful members of the Christian church and Mr. Hurd had given stalwart political support to the Democracy.
Almon G. Hurd began his education in the schools of New Hampshire and continued his studies at Indian Point, Illinois. He left school, however, at the age of sixteen years and afterward devoted his entire attention to farm labor. He had assisted in the cultivation and improvement of the old homestead in the state of his nativity and after coming to the west he aided in the arduous task of developing a new farm. He began agricultural pursuits on his own account on the farm where he yet resides, and as a companion and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss Mary J. Miles, a daughter of James Miles. She was educated in the common schools and in 1867 she gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Hurd. They became the parents of two children: Harvey A., who was born July 14, 1869, was educated in Petersburg and became a traveling salesman for the firm of Thomas & Clarke, cracker manufacturers of Peoria, Illinois. He rose very rapidly in business, but in the midst of a very successful career he was taken ill and died on the 21st of August, 1901, at the age of thirty-two years, his remains being interred in Oakridge cemetery. Iona O., who was born February 13, 1874, is the wife of Hardy Peterson and they reside with her father. They had one son, Myron Dale, who was born November 1, 1902.
In early manhood Mr. Hurd engaged in teaching school at Little Grove and Brush College, also at Tice and at Little Brick, but the greater part of his time and attention have been devoted to agricultural pursuits upon the old homestead, on which he has now lived continuously since 1854. He has promoted modern improvements here, carrying forward the work of progress until he has a splendidly developed farm property, and in his business dealings he is always just, fair and accurate. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic party. He belongs to the Odd Fellows society and his wife is identified with the Rebekah degree, while both are members of the Christian church and take a helpful interest in the various church activities. A half century has passed since Mr. Hurd arrived in this county and its remarkable changes are familiar to him, for he has witnessed its development from pioneer conditions to a state of advanced civilization and improvement.