JACKSON CARPENTER, a retired miller and prominent resident of Oxville, has been largely identified with educational matters in Scott County, and served for some five years as County Superintendent of Schools. He is now a Justice of the Peace, which office he has held for a long period. He is a man of excellent education, strong constitution, and one of those substantial members of the community which form the bone and sinew of the social fabric. He has been accompanied for a long distance on the journey of life by a most estimable lady, refined and intelligent, and one who has uniformly been the supporter and encourager of her husband in all his worthy efforts.
Mr. Carpenter has met with his reverses like most men, and at one time lost a large amount of property, but is mostly recovered from the disaster, and now occupies a pleasant and comfortable home in the east part of town, with everything around him to make life desirable. A native of Cass County, Mich., he was born on Christian Creek, March 7, 1831, and is the son of David B. Carpenter, who was born in Virginia in 1794. His paternal grandfather, the Rev. John Carpenter, of Virginia removed to Indiana during its pioneer days, and settling in Elkhart County, engaged in farming and milling. Finally he removed to Goshen, and during his later years officiated as a local preacher.
The paternal great-grandfather of our subject was Nicholas Carpenter, a native of Germany, who emigrated to America during the Colonial days, settled in Virginia, and was murdered by the Indian Chief Tecumseh, while driving cattle across the mountains. He had accumulated a good property. His father was a native of Germany, but removed to England, where he died. The father of our subject was born in Ohio, and like his honored sire, was a miller by trade. He left the Buckeye State at an early day, and journeyed overland to Cass County, Mich., where he took up Government land, built a mill, and operated this latter until his removal to Elkhart County, Ind. There also he carried on farming and milling, and became well-to-do. In 1856 he sold out and came to Scott County, this State, locating in Oxville Precinct, where he purchased 240 acres of land, upon which he operated until 1869. Then, pushing still further westward, he took up his abode near Virgil City, Mo., where he farmed for a time, but finally retired from active labor. He lived to a ripe old age, and was gathered to his fathers in 1886. He was a man of iron constitution and unbounded energy, possessing decided views both upon social and political questions. In politics, he was a conscientious Democrat, and in religious matters, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His mother was a Miss S. Wolfe, and her mother, a Miss Austin, a relative of Moses Austin, of Texas.
Mrs. Elizabeth (Tongue) Carpenter, mother of our subject, was born in Miami County, Ohio, and was the daughter of John Tongue, who removed to St. Joseph County, Ind., and from there later to a point near Oscaloosa. He was a farmer by occupation, and of Scotch descent. Mrs. Carpenter died in Missouri at the age of seventy-six years. The parental family included four children, all of whom are living, viz: John A., of Crawfordville, Ind.; Jackson, our subject; Sarah, of Niles, Mich.; and Elizabeth, of Missouri.
Mr. Carpenter spent his boyhood and youth at his father's farm in Indiana, being two years old when taken there by his parents. He pursued his first studies in the district school, then attended the High school at South Bend three years, and was graduated. Then, returning to the farm, he occupied himself in agriculture and milling, with which latter business he has been especially familiar from a boy up. In 1856 he came to Illinois overland with a team, and established himself in the dry-goods business of Oxville. After three years he sold out, and erecting a large steam mill, purchased grain, which he ground and shipped in large quantities to St. Louis and Chicago. He also shipped grain from Naples, and was exceedingly prosperous until the financial crash of 1868, which proved very disastrous to him, as well as to hundreds of others. Mr. Carpenter now resumed farming in Oxville Precinct, and became quite prominent in local affairs, serving in many positions of trust and responsibility besides those already mentioned. On the 11th of November, 1858, he was married to Miss Frances M. Sherwood, a native of Indiana, the daughter of Samuel Sherwood, of Maryland. Mr. Sherwood was a farmer and carpenter, and removed from Indiana to Kentucky, where he operated a large tract of land until 1843. That year he came to Illinois and located in the vicinity of Oxville, where his death took place Jan. 8, 1845. He was the son of John Sherwood, likewise a native of Maryland, from which he removed to Fleming County, Ky., where he had a large estate and was a slave-holder. Mrs. Carpenter was one of three children born to her parents, all daughters, the eldest of whom, Rebecca J., died when eighteen years old; the younger daughter, Susan B., in a resident of Oxville, and now Mrs. John K. White.
The wife of our subject was born in Clark County, Ind., Feb. 24, 1841, and was a two years of age when her parents came to Illinois. She studied her first lessons in the primitive log school-house, and completed her education in Oxville, remaining with her parents until her marriage. Of her union with our subject there have been born two sons only: John A., who formerly taught school, and is now a merchant of Oxville, and Eugene S. Our subject is a Democrat, politically, and has held the offices of Township Trustee and County Superintendent, and also served on the Grand and Petit Juries. He is one of those solid men who have borne no unimportant part in the building up of their community, and has given his moral and substantial support to all measures calculated to elevate society and benefit the people.