AUGUSTINE A. CURTISS. The young man glancing fifty years ahead into the future esteems it a long period of time in the life of an individual, but at the end of this time, in looking back, it invariably appears brief. The scenes and incidents which have been crowded into a half century, often appear more like the dream of a night, and the labors of men have achieved that which at one time appeared impossible. Mr. Curtiss has seen much of life, and has noted with keen interest the great changes which have transpired, especially in the Great West, and he has been one of those men whose energy, enterprise, and perseverance have assisted in the growth and development of Morgan County, which has attained to a leading position in the great State of Illinois. He represents a fine property, and is numbered among the leading men of his county.
Of New England birth and parentage, our subject first drew the breath of life in Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Conn., April 3, 1817. His parents were Homer and Cherry (Everett) Curtiss, who after their marriage resided in Salisbury three years, then removed to Warren, in that State, where their son, Augustine A., was reared to man's estate on a farm, and received his education in a common school, supplemented by a term in the academy at Warren, Conn. They finally decided to seek their fortunes in the young State of Illinois, and made their way to this county, settling near the embryo town of Waverly, where the father secured a tract of land, and where our subject assisted in opening up a farm.
Young Curtiss remained a member of the parental household until a young man of twenty-five years, then, desirous of establishing a fireside of his own, he was married, in 1842, to Miss Laura Lyman. This lady died less than two years later, leaving one child, a daughter, Laura, named after her mother. This daughter, upon reaching womanhood, was married to William W. Brown, and died leaving one child, which afterward followed its mother to the better land. Mrs. Curtiss was a native of Vermont, and when coming to Illinois with her parents settled near Farmingdale, in Sangamon county, where she lived until her marriage.
Our subject, in July, 1848, contracted a second matrimonial alliance with Miss Huldah L., daughter of Joseph A. Tanner, who was the first man to settle upon the present site of Waverly. Mr. Curtiss made farming the business of his lifetime, and has been remarkably successful both as an agriculturist and business man, investing his capital, wisely and having the faculty of developing his land to the best advantage. He at one time was the owner of over 400 acres, but disposed of a portion of this, and has now 300 acres in the home farm, besides 100 acres of timber, and an interest in a large farm in Macoupin County.
During the latter years of his farming operations Mr. Curtiss made a specialty of stock-raising, from which he realized quite a little fortune. His land is now operated by other parties. He has contributed largely to the building up of the town of Waverly, was instrumental in establishing the bank in which he has a controlling interest, and he is also one of the stock-holders of the Waverly Creamery. He has been the uniform encourager of those projects calculated to elevate the people, morally and socially, and with his estimable wife is a member in good standing of the Congregational Church. He is a uniform supporter of the Republican party. He has discharged the duties of the various local offices, and has always signalized himself as a liberal and public spirited citizen - one of those useful to his community, and numbered among its most honored men.