ISAAC N. REDING, now deceased, was born January 23, 1808, in Woodford county, Kentucky, and was the eldest son in a family of four children, whose parents were E.W. and Catherine (Conover) Reding. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and in early life emigrated west to Kentucky, where he was married to Catherine Conover, a daughter of Major Conover, who won his title by active service in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Reding spent the first fourteen years of his life in the state of his nativity and in 1822 came to Illinois with his parents, the family home being established at Jersey Prairie. He obtained a good common-school education and his training at farm labor was not meager for at an early age he began to assist in the development and improvement of the home farm. His youth in Illinois was passed amid pioneer environments and he helped his father in the arduous task of developing a new farm. His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits and as the years passed he found good opportunity to invest in property and became the owner of extensive landed interests. He gave to each of his children a farm prior to his demise and still retained possession of two hundred acres of land adjoining the town. His widow yet owns a home where he settled in 1852. In all of his farm work he was practical and energetic and he carried forward to successful completion whatever he undertook, brooking no obstacles that could be overcome by determination, persistent and honorable effort.
Mr. Reding was married twice. On the 28th of February, 1828, he wedded Miss Mary Ann Hoagland, and they became the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters, of whom three are still living, namely: Mrs. Martha Whitenack, who resides in Edinburg, Illinois; Eli W., who is married and makes his home in Tallula; and Mrs. Catherine Kenner, who resides about four miles east of Tallula. After losing his first wife Mr. Reding was again married, August 20, 1851, his second union being with Charry J. Houghton, a daughter of Elijah and Catherine (Merrel) Houghton, who were Kentucky people and came to Illinois at an early day. They settled at Rock Creek and there Mrs. Reding was born on the 26th of November, 1824-the autumn following the arrival of her parents in this state. Six children were born of the second marriage: Emma M. became the wife of Ephraim Green, who is now deceased. She resides in Tallula and has one daughter, Martha Jane, who is at home. Andrew F. married Ida Ragan and resides near Virginia in Cass county. They have one daughter, Hazel. Mary J. is at home. Annette O. is the wife of J.W. McNaught, who resides near Thawville in Iroquois county, Illinois, and they have six children: Pansy R., Pearl, Roy, Ruby, Sadie and Edna. Charley A., who is employed in the government office at Pekin, Illinois, in a clerical capacity, married Henrietta Spears, and they have one son, Ralph. Sarah H. is the wife of Samuel N. Dewees, a resident of Tallula, and they have three children: Charley E., Helen A. and Edith M.
When Isaac N. Reding attained his majority he became a stanch supporter of Whig principles and upon the dissolution of that party he joined the Republican ranks and continued to follow Republican banners until called to his final rest. He was almost uniformly called Uncle Ike throughout the community, a term which indicated a deep feeling of friendly regard for him. He belonged to the Christian church, of which he became a member in 1830, and his entire life was actuated by an honorable purpose and kindly spirit. He exercised charity in his opinions of his fellow men, was generous in his assistance to those in need and at all times was straightforward and honorable in his dealings. He died on the anniversary of his birth, January 23, 1882, and his remains were interred in Greenwood cemetery west of Tallula. During the long years he had been a resident of Menard county he witnessed its development from a frontier region and was classed with the honored pioneers of the locality.