COLUMBUS HAIRGROVE, who during his younger years was engaged first as a carpenter and builder and later as a farmer, is now living retired from active labor in the city of Jacksonville surrounded by all the comforts of life, the result of his early enterprise and industry. A native of the State of Georgia, he was born in Troup County, April 29, 1828, and went with his parents to Aberdeen, Miss., where he was reared to farm pursuits and acquired a common-school education. When a young man of twenty-two years he started out in life for himself, being equipped with a good knowledge of the trades of carpenter and millwright. He secured employment at the former until after the outbreak of the Rebellion and then enlisted on the 6th of August, 1862, in Company D, 101st Illinois Infantry as a private and served two years and ten months.
The army experience of Mr. Hairgrove was largely as a sharpshooter on the gunboats Cricket and Rattler. While on the former going up the Little Red River, he happened to be standing about one foot from the port hole of the vessel, when a twenty-four pound cannon was discharged and from that moment the hearing departed from his left ear and has never been recovered. His father was in the service one year, joining his five sons in conflict with the enemies of the Union. With the exception of Columbus and his brother, John A., they came out of the service unharmed. John was wounded in the leg but not seriously.
During the border war the father of our subject was shot in the lungs in Lane County, Ky., in the year 1858. He was wounded in the lungs and back while his son at the same time was shot in the face and hands. They were left for dead, having lain as still as they could under the circumstances. The Rebels coming along turned both men over, the latter in the meantime keeping perfectly quiet and appearing as if dead. With a remark that they "were dead as hell" their foes departed and the victims thus made their escape.
While at Holly Springs, Miss., our subject was taken prisoner and was at once exchanged and ordered to Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis. He was subsequently shot on the side of the head while on a transport going down Red River. He was shot in the thigh at the battle of Dallas and was mustered out as Corporal in consequence of wounds.
Upon his honorable discharge in the city of Washington, D.C., Mr. Hairgrove returned to this State and engaged in farming near Woodson, south of Jacksonville. He cultivated a tract of 120 acres until the Spring of 1877, then selling out retired from active labor and purchased the home which he now occupies at No. 308 East Morgan Street.
The parents of our subject were William and Sarah (Johnson) Hairgrove, the father a native of South Carolina and the mother of North Carolina. The former was a millwright and farmer combined and upon his removal to Aberdeen, Miss., cultivated a tract of land for a period of fourteen years. Thence he came to Illinois and lived in Morgan County until 1847. Then moving across the Mississippi into Lynn County, Kan., he followed farming there until his death, which occurred the 12th of March, 1872. The mother passed away about 1879. Their family consisted of eleven children, of whom the following are living: George, Columbus, John, William J., Frances M. and Henry C.
Columbus Hairgrove was married in Morgan County, March 6, 1853 to Mrs. Rose A. Whitlock a native of, Adair County, Ky., and the daughter of John and Mary (Shepherd) Whitlock. The parents of Mrs. Hairgrove were natives respectively of Virginia and North Carolina. The father was a farmer by occupation and spent the greater part of his life in Morgan County. He died about 1871. The mother is still living at the age of ninety years and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Hairgrove.
The wife of our subject was born March 30, 1827, and was first married to Hugh Whitlock 28th of October 1844. Of her marriage with Mr. H. there were born two children - Mary J. and Dr. John W., a practicing physician of Waverly. Mr. Hairgrove has meddled very little with political affairs, but by reading keeps himself well posted upon current events and some time ago, publicly announced himself by his vote as being in sympathy with the Greenback party. While living on his farm he was a School Director in his district.