JAMES S. MILES, a son of James and Anna Miles, who are residents of Petersburg and are mentioned elsewhere in this volume, was the fourth in a family of five children and was born January 16, 1859, upon the farm where his father now resides. There he was reared. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for him in his youth. He pursued his education in the Barclay school and Petersburg high school, and when he had completed the course he engaged in teaching, first in county schools and afterward in Petersburg, being identified with its educational interests for a year.
At the end of that time Mr. Miles was married, March 1, 1882, to Miss Nellie Purkapile, a daughter of James Purkapile. Mrs. Miles came into possession of the farm on which they now reside and they still have the original deed to this land, signed by John Adams. Her grandfather, John Purkapile, obtained the land from the government and at his death his estate was divided among his children and a apart of it was inherited by the father of Mrs. Miles and in turn came into her possession. The land just across the road was formerly the property of Judge Harrison, who was born upon the place. The name Purkapile is of German lineage and the family were Pennsylvania German people connected with the Keystone state in a very early period in its development. John Purkapile married Mary Ellen Boyer and died October 4, 1846, at the age of sixty-five years, four months and sixteen days. The grandmother of Mrs. Miles reached the very advanced aged of ninety-three years. James Purkapile, the father of Mrs. Miles, was born in Green county, Kentucky, September 7, 1812, and was first married March 18, 1833, to Polly Goldsby, a native of Illinois, who died October 28, 1835. The children of that union are deceased. Elizabeth, born September 19, 1834, died May 21, 1836. On the 5th of September, 1836, Mr. Purkapile married Jenette Nance, who was also a native of Illinois, and died November 2, 1858. There were ten children by this marriage: Elizabeth, born September 19, 1834, died on the 21st of May, 1836, in her third year. William R. was born July 23, 1837. Nelson was born September 18, 1839. Sarah Jane was born January 17, 1842. John, born May 5, 1844, was a soldier of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry and was wounded but recovered and is now living at Waggoner, Montgomery county, Illinois, where he is filling the position of postmaster. Eton, born August 23, 1847, died while in the service of his country during the Civil war. Mariette, born June 2, 1849, died January 23, 1850. Charles, born July 22, 1853, is now living in Nevada, Missouri. Emma, born July 25, 1856, is the wife of W.B. Spears and resides in Homewood, Kansas. Annette, born November 1, 1858, married Thomas Rutledge and died November 24, 1887. For his third wife Mr. Purkapile married Mrs. Catherine (Houghton) Nance, who was also born in Green county, Kentucky, October 14, 1817, and died March 22, 1892. The only child by this union was Nellie, who was born December 25, 1860, and is now the wife of Mr. Miles. Mr. Purkapile lived upon the farm now occupied by our subject and his wife and there died on the 19th of January, 1878. On coming to Illinois Mrs. Miles' maternal grandparents located on Rock creek.
Mrs. Miles acquired her education in the common schools at Walnut Ridge. By her marriage she became the mother of three children but the eldest died in infancy. James S., born June 5, 1888, is now attending school at Petersburg, being in the second year in the high school. Anna Catherine, the youngest, was born June 5, 1902.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Miles hold membership in the Christian church and he votes with the Republican party. He carries on general farming, now owning over three hundred and thirty-two acres, and is also engaged in feeding and shipping cattle. He has been quite prosperous in his business affairs and most of his success has been attained through hard labor. His property is now valuable, giving evidence of his careful supervision in the many modern improvements he has placed upon it.