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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN W. FINNEY. This gentleman has the management of a fine farm of 357 acres, pleasantly located on sections 8 and 9. He was born near Oxville, Scott county, Sept. 26, 1845, and was the only child of James Finney, a native of Ohio. His paternal grandfather was Samuel Finney, a native of Germany, who, upon emigration to America settled in Ohio, where he probably spent the remainder of his life.

James Finney left the Buckeye State in early manhood, and coming to Illinois located on a tract of land in Oxville Precinct, where he lived until 1851, then went to California overland with an ox team and engaged in mining. The mother, Mrs. Hannah Finney, was born in Illinois and died when our subject was quite young. He was reared by his grandparents, with whom he lived until February, 1864. He then enlisted as a Union soldier in Company I, 129th Illinois Infantry, and going South joined the army of Gen. Sherman, and at the battle of Resaca was wounded by a gunshot in the hip. He was sent to the field-hospital first, then to Nashville and Louisville, and as soon as able started to rejoin his regiment at Atlanta. He was taken ill and sent to Quincy, but finally rejoined his regiment at Alexandria and was transferred to the 16th Illinois Veteran Regiment. He did not take an active part in any more fighting but went with his comrades to Washington and participated in the Grand Review, after which he was mustered out at Louisville, July 8, 1865, and received his honorable discharge at Camp Butler, near Springfield. He had enlisted when a youth of seventeen and upon his return home engaged in farming in Bluffs Precinct . While in service he had received no further injury than having his arm considerably crushed by falling from a train of cars.

The marriage of John W. Finney and Mrs. Elizabeth Green took place on the 21st of April, 1886. This lady was born in Delaware, March 26, 1826, and was a mere child when she was brought by her parents, in 1830, to Illinois. It thus appears that Mrs. Finney was among the younger children of her parents' family; she was reared upon a farm and acquired her education in the district school which was taught in a log cabin at a long distance from her home. The settlers were few and far between, and all kinds of wild animals were plentiful. Her mother died soon after the family settled here, and she was then taken to the home of James Morrison, with whom she had lived five years. She was married, in his house near Oxville, in October, 1843, to Joseph Marsh, a native of New York State. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Marsh, also natives of the Empire State, and with them came to Illinois in 1829. The father then engaged in farming until failing health compelled him to abandon active labor, when he removed to Naples and ran a boat on the Illinois River. He died of cholera in 1853.

Of this marriage there were born three children - Edward, Etta and Sarah. Edward is now occupied as a druggist in Naples; during the Civil War he was in the employ of the Government as clerk of a boat, which was connected with the Red River Expedition. Etta remains at home with her mother; Sarah is the wife of Dr. W.D. Coner, a practicing physician of Bluffs, and has one child - Jennie.

Mrs. Marsh contracted a second marriage in 1859 with Mr. John Green, who was a native of Yorkshire, and a son of Thomas and Mary Green. The Green family emigrated to America at an early day, and coming directly to Scott County entered land in township 15, range 13, where they carried on farming until the death of the father. John succeeded to the homestead, embracing 240 acres of land, and his wife's land adjoining until he had 357 acres. He became a prominent man in the community, taking an active part in politics and doing good service as a member of the Democratic party. He served as County Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, School Director, and was Judge of the County Court for a period of eight years. After the death of her husband Mrs. (Marsh) Green assumed the management of the farm, which she operated successfully, and also engaged in general merchandising in Bluffs for six or seven years. She owns two residences there and 160 acres of land in Osborne County, Kan. Her marriage with Mr. Finney has been before noted.

Mrs. Finney is the daughter of Thomas Chance, a native of Delaware. He occupied himself in farming pursuits and removed from Delaware to Ohio at an early day. From there he came to Illinois, as already stated, and later engaged in the Black Hawk War. He purchased eighty acres of land, and made his home in Naples Precinct until his death. Politically, he was a Democrat. The mother, Mrs. Frances (Anderson) Chance, was a native of Delaware, and died in Oxville Precinct, Scott County. She was the daughter of Andrew Anderson, a native of Germany, who upon emigrating to America settled in Delaware, where he owned slaves and carried on a large plantation. To the parents of Mrs. Finney there were born seven children, viz: William, now a resident of Bluffs Precinct; Albert, of Oxville Precinct; Garrison, who is living in Boone, Mo.; Eli, a resident of Webster County, Neb.; Margaret, who died after marriage; Elizabeth, Mrs. Finney, and Emeline, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Finney differ somewhat in their political views, he being a Republican and she a Democrat. The farm embraces one of the most valuable and fertile tracts of land in the county, and is well improved with handsome, modern buildings, the dwelling amply adapted to all the comforts of rural life, and the outbuildings furnish the necessary storage for grain and shelter for stock. There is a fine orchard in bearing condition, and a goodly assortment of peach trees and trees of the smaller fruits.

There is probably no lady in the county better known or more highly respected than Mrs. Finney. She is at once recognized as possessing much cultivation and refinement, and has surrounded herself and her family with all the belongings of modern life. The dwelling is handsomely furnished and stands amid well-kept grounds, surrounded by shade trees and flower beds. A view of it appears on another page. Miss Etta, a mute, was graduated from the Institution at Jacksonville, and is an accomplished young lady, excelling in painting, embroidery and all the gentler arts. Both Mr. and Mrs. Finney are highly popular among their neighbors, and in their pleasant, congenial union are apparently enjoying life to its fullest extent, as they deserve to do. Their home is the frequent resort of the refined and cultivated people of their township, and they are general favorites in the social circles.

1899 Index
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