Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 296
One of the most attractive farm residences of Menard County is the home of David Neff, situated on section 9, township 18. It was erected at a cost of three thousand dollars, contains twelve rooms, is built in modern style of architecture and is supplied with the latest conveniences. Around the house are stone walks, and shade trees dot the well kept lawn. Altogether the home presents a most pleasing appearance and within an air of comfort and of hospitality abounds.
Mr. Neff, a native of Rockingham county, Virginia, was born August 25, 1852, his parents being Martin and Helena (Bowers) Neff, both of whom were natives of the Old Dominion. The Neff family is of German lineage and was established in America at an early day. Martin Neff, born in 1814, turned his attention to farming on attaining man's estate and in 1854 he removed westward to Illinois, settling in Petersburg township, where he purchased land. His farm of two hundred acres soon gave evidence of his careful supervision and cultivation, and yielded to him good crops. He reached the advanced age of eighty-six years ere his earthly pilgrimage was ended, and his wife died in 1874. They were the parents of three sons and three daughters: John, who resides two and one-half miles east of Petersburg, in Indian Creek township; Hannah J., who died when about forty-five years of age; Barbara, who married John Gerdes, and now lives with her brother John, while her husband lives in the Soldiers' Home in Quincy, Illinois; David; William H., who married Susa Jackson and since her death has married again; and Lydia V., who resides with her uncle John Tice, in Petersburg.
David Neff was less than two years of age when brought by his parents to Illinois and he was educated in the schools of the old town of Salem. He has always been a farmer. He was reared to this occupation and had made it his life work. He first farmed south and west of Petersburg, and he was enabled to purchase his land by hewing wood. He made his last purchase in 1899 and he now owns two hundred and eighty acres of rich land, all of which he has placed under a high state of cultivation, so that it is now a well developed property. He has also added substantial buildings, including his fine residence, and the place is a monument to his thrift and enterprise.
On October 16, 1879, Mr. Neff was married in Petersburg to Margaret V. Park, a daughter of Matthew and Ellen (Vonfelden) Park. Her father came from Paisley, Scotland, to America in early manhood and, settling in Menard county, he purchased land and began the development of the farm upon which Mr. Neff now resides. Mrs. Park was a native of Germany and came with her parents to the United States at the age of fourteen years, the family home being established in Mason county, Illinois. Mr. Park died April 4, 1873, and his wife's death occurred December 9, 1880. They were well known people of this locality and enjoyed the warm regard of many friends.
Mrs. Neff acquired her education in the public schools of Petersburg and remained at home up to the time of her marriage. Five children have been born unto our subject and his wife: Ellen H., born December 29, 1881, attended the district schools, continued her studies in Petersburg and has engaged in teaching for two terms. Martin Luther, born June 23, 1884, was educated in the district schools and the graded schools of Petersburg and lived for a time in Argentine, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, but is now at home assisting his father on the farm. Edna E., born November 6, 1887, is now in her second year in the high school of Petersburg. Matthew Park, born May 16, 1893, and Annie C., born August 14, 1896, are attending school.
Mr. and Mrs. Neff hold membership in the Methodist church at Petersburg and he votes with the Republican party. Both are well known in the county seat and the surrounding district and receive the favorable regard and good wishes of many friends. Early realizing that perseverance will overcome all obstacles and that earnest and diligent labor will gain advancement in the business world, Mr. Neff through those means has steadily worked his way upward until he is now one of the more prosperous agriculturists of his community.