RICHARD HEMBROUGH, one of the old settlers of Morgan County, came from England in search of a better country, and he found it here. He owns and occupies the old homestead, which is located on section 15, township 15, range 11, and here he has lived since 1829. (A fine view of this home place appears on another page, which with its attractive environments forms a pleasant scene in the surrounding landscape.) He owns 240 acres of well-improved land, adorned by first-class farm buildings, and is also the owner of timber property in another township.
Mr. Hembrough was born in West Riding, Yorkshire, Nov. 6, 1814. His ancestry on both sides are English, and the family is noted for being physically of a stalwart mould. His father, John Hembrough, was a native of Yorkshire, and a weaver by trade, as was his grandfather, whose name was Richard Hembrough, and who died in his native shire when about eighty-two years old. John Hembrough married Annie Terver, also a native of Yorkshire and of English parentage. After the birth of five children, John Hembrough and wife sailed from Hull on April 14, 1829, and landed in Quebec, after a journey of six weeks and four days. Thence they came to Morgan County and purchased from the Government the farm now owned by Richard, the deed being distinguished by the signature of Gen. Andrew Jackson. This became the home of the parents of the subject of this sketch until death called them away. The father died in 1868, aged about eighty-three years. He was an active Whig and Republican, and a member of the Church of England. He was one of the old settlers of Morgan County, and was an honor to the land of his adoption. He came here with the laudable object of living in a free country, and at the same time was desirous of procuring land for his children. He knew if he remained in England the only heritage he could bequeath to his posterity would be life-long poverty, so he made a resolve to improve his financial condition; that he did so, the possessions which he left his heirs is ample testimony, and over and above all this and what is far better, he left a good name for his children and his entire circle of acquaintances to honor and emulate. His wife died in 1845, when she was fifty-five years old. She was a member of the English Church and a consistent Christian. Those who enjoyed the honor of her acquaintance say that she was a good wife and neighbor.
Richard Hembrough was the eldest of a family of ten children, seven of whom were born in England and five of whom are yet living. He was first married in Greene County, Ill., to Sarah Bains, a lady of English parentage. She emigrated to this country with her parents while young, and died a little over two years after her marriage, leaving no children. Mr. Hembrough's second marriage was in this county to Miss Rachel Rawlings, who was a native of Yorkshire England, and whose birth occurred in 1816. In 1840, she came to the United States with her parents, who located near Franklin, Morgan County. Here her father, William Rawlings died in 1856, at the age of eighty-two. Her mother, Mary (Wilson) Rawlings, died at her home, being over fourscore years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings, were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and were good christian people. Mrs. Hembrough was the third child of a family of nine children. She is the mother of four children, two of whom died young, and Mary died when seventeen years of age. Sarah is living and is the wife of James Scott. They live on a farm, which is their own property, and have five children: Richard A., James E., Ida M., Frances M., and Hattie.
Since their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Hembrough have lived on their farm, and are now serenely approaching the evening of their life. They can look back over the past years with the pleasant consciousness of having done what is right to every one. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mr. Hembrough being Superintendent of the Sunday school. Politically, he votes and works for the Republican ticket.