JOHN W. TERHUNE, an enterprising farmer and business man and one of the worthy and valued citizens of Menard county, whose influence is ever on the side of right and progress, was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, near Flemingsburg, January 20, 1853, his parents being James and Ann Elizabeth (Harrison) Terhune, who were also natives of Kentucky. The father, a farmer by occupation, came to Menard county in 1853, locating at Petersburg, but after a short time he removed to Indian Point and subsequently purchased land near Curtis. There he began farming and stock raising and continued to reside near Curtis until his death, which occurred in November, 1884, when he was fifty-six years of age, while his wife died in May, 1886, at the age of fifty-five years.
John W. Terhune acquired his education in the common schools of Menard county and remained under the parental roof until twenty-four years of age, when he removed to the farm on which he now resides. It was purchased for him and his wife by her father shortly after their marriage. In 1885 Mr. Terhune added to it a tract of eighty-eight acres and has since bought other property until how his landed possessions aggregate four hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land, upon which he has placed many improvements. He has tiled the fields, erected substantial buildings and now ha an excellent farm which, in its neat and thrifty appearance, indicate the careful supervision of a progressive owner. He also aided in organizing the telephone company and was its president two years.
On the 26th of March, 1879, Mr. Terhune was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Smoot, a daughter of W. C. and Catherine (Engle) Smoot. Both Mr. and Mrs. Terhune are earnest and consistent Christian people and take a very active and helpful part in church work. For a number of years he has been and is now an elder in the Presbyterian church at Sweetwater, Illinois, is superintendent of the Sunday-school and for twenty-two consecutive years was a Sunday-school teacher. His wife is superintendent of the Sunday school of the Christian church and has been for ten years. Mr. Terhune has also been a leader of the choir and has taken a most helpful part in various lines of the church activities. For seven generations, with one exception, his family have been represented in the church eldership. He has been vice president of the Sunday-school Association of Menard county for a number of years and has attended many Sunday-school conventions, taking a most active interest in the training of the young, realizing its importance as a preparation for after life. In politics Mr. Terhune is a Republican and has served as president of the board of school trustees for a number of years. He has always taught temperance by both precept and example and has favored every movement which has for its object the betterment of humanity, while his labors and influence have proven no unimportant factors in advancing the moral standard of his community.