PAST AND PRESENT
OF
MENARD COUNTY, ILLINOIS - 1905

Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company


Page 497

ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY, who carries on farming and stock-raising in Menard county, is one of the native sons of this county, born October 16, 1833. His parents resided here at an early period in the development of this part of the state. He is a son of Charles L. and Eliza (Bracken) Montgomery, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. His father arrived in Menard county, Illinois, in 1820, when a young boy and was employed in various ways until 1830, when he was married and began farming on his own account on land which he entered from the government. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the place, but with characteristic energy he began transforming the raw tract into cultivated fields and in due course of time gathered abundant harvests. He experienced all the hardships and difficulties and obstacles in his path. He witnessed the wonderful transformation of Menard county from a wild region to a thickly settled district, supplied with all conveniences and comforts known to modern civilization. When his labors had brought to him a comfortable competence he put aside further business cares and spent his last days in honorable retirement from labor. His fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office and he served as county commissioner for two terms or more. His early political support was given to the Whig party, but in 1860 he joined the ranks of the new Republican party and continued one of its stanch advocates until his death, which occurred on the 4th of March, 1879. His wife long survived him and departed this life in 1894. Both were consistent members of the Christian church for many years. Mrs. Montgomery's father came to Menard county in 1826 and entered land south of Greenview. There he developed a good farm, breaking the wild prairie and cutting the timber. He bore a helpful part in reclaiming the wild region for the purpose of civilization and his name should be enduringly inscribed on the list of Menard county's honored pioneers. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery were born ten children, who are now living and all are residents of Menard and Mason counties, Illinois, with the exception of one daughter, who resides in Mississippi.

Alexander Montgomery was reared amid frontier environments and retains vivid mental pictures of conditions that existed in this portion of the state during his boyhood days ere many of the modern improvements were introduced. He continued to live with his parents until twenty-three years of age, when he started out in life on his own account. He was reared to the occupation of farming and has always made that pursuit his life work. However, at the present time he is largely living retired, having through his earnest labor and careful management in former years gained a competence sufficient to supply him with all the necessities and many of the comforts and luxuries of life.

Mr. Montgomery is a member of the Greenview lodge, No. 653, A.F. & A.M., with which he has been identified for seventeen years he has been treasurer of the lodge. His paternal grandfather was also a Mason, having become a member of the order at Covent Garden, London, England, from which he was demitted April 21, 1771, upon his emigration to the new world. Crossing the Atlantic to Virginia, he was made grand master of the grand lodge of that state October 28, 1789. In his political views Mr. Montgomery is a stanch Republican, having firm faith in the principles of the party, and he now has in his possession a badge which was worn by his father in Springfield on the 8th of August, 1860. On it is inscribed:

For president,
Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.
For vice-president,
Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine.

My Country, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of the I sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, Our King.

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