GEORGE U. SPEARS, who is engaged in general farming in Tallula township, was born April 4, 1844, about three miles east of Tallula, in Clary's Grove, his parents being W. G. and Eliza (Myers) Spears, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. The family was established in America at an early period in the colonization of the new world, the great-grandfather of our subject being at one time a resident of Virginia, whence he removed westward to Kentucky. The grandfather was a farmer and slave owner of the Blue Grass state. W. G. Spears removed from Kentucky to Illinois in 1829, settling three miles east of Tallula in Clary's Grove, where he followed the occupation of farming. Unto him and his wife were born four children, a son and three daughters, George U. being the second of the family. His sisters are Ellen, Kate and Rebecca Jennie. Ellen married S. H. Bergen and is now a widow residing in Guthrie, Oklahoma. She has three sons, one of whom is a druggist, while another is a traveling salesman, representing a St. Louis house. Kate married John Frank, editor of a paper of Jacksonville, Florida. They have one son, who is engaged in the newspaper business. Rebecca Jennie is the widow of W. J. Huggins and resides in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
In the country schools Mr. Spears began his education, which he continued in the schools of Tallula. He put aside his text-books when nineteen years of age and began farming for himself on his mother's land east of Tallula. After remaining there for two years he spent a year south of Tallula and afterward bought a homestead of two hundred and eighteen acres, which he cultivated for two years. Later he sold out and went to Warren county, Illinois, settling near Greenbush, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. When he had followed farming there for a brief period he sold his property and returned to Menard county, where he purchased two hundred acres. Since that time he has added seven hundred acres, so that he is now one of the most extensive landowners of the county, his possessions aggregating nine hundred acres of very rich and productive land. In addition to general farming he raises stock and feeds cattle. His business interests have been carefully conducted, his transactions being guided by sound judgment, and although he is now numbered among the prosperous farmers of the county, it is all due to his carefully directed and straightforward dealings.
In December, 1866, Mr. Spears was united in marriage to Miss Frances Green, a daughter of J. G. Green, who was one of the early settlers of this part of the state, having arrived in 1824, when few pioneers had established homes in this locality and when much of the land still remained in its primitive condition. He settled south of the old town of Salem and there reared his family. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Spears have been born seven children: Jesse married Margaret J. Stout and resides in Petersburg. They have one daughter, Ada, who is eleven years of age. Carrie, who was educated in the schools of Tallula and in the Jacksonville Female Seminary, is at home. William G., who spent one year as a student in Eureka College, at Eureka, Illinois, and one term in Brown's Business College at Springfield, is now farming on his own account and resides with his parents. Lena is a graduate of the Woman's Methodist College, at Jacksonville. Quincy M., who attended the Tallula high school and after his graduation spent a year in the Illinois College, at Jacksonville, is farming for himself on eighty acres of his own and also on his father's place. Grace B. was educated in the Tallula high school and in the Woman's College at Jacksonville. Sarah E., also a graduate of the Tallula high school and a student in the Woman's College at Jacksonville, completes the family.
Mr. Spears endorses the principles of Democracy and was elected to the office of county commissioner for three terms. He proved a most capable official and his energies were exerted for the best interest of the county, which profited by what he did. He is a man whom to know is to respect and honor, and he receives the admiration of his fellow men for what he has accomplished and their respect because of the straightforward methods by which he has won his prosperity.