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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


GEORGE JAMESON, Sheriff of Morgan County, became a resident of the city of Jacksonville over thirty years ago, in the fall of 1856. He has consequently witnessed its transformation from an unimportant village to its present wealth and prosperity. He first opened his eyes on the other side of the Atlantic, in Northumberlandshire, England, Feb. 17, 1837, and is the son of George and Mary (Chat) Jameson, who were also of English birth and parentage. The father followed blacksmithing through life, and departed hence in 1859, Wales. The mother survived her husband a period of twenty-seven years, remaining a widow, and passed away at Hexham, in Northumberland, England, in March, 1886. There were only two children in the family, both sons, of whom George is the only one living. His brother, John, met with a violent death in England, having been run down on a railroad track and instantly killed. He was a contractor by occupation, and fifty years old at the time of his death.

The subject of this sketch commenced work at blacksmithing in the shop of his father when a lad of thirteen years. He was thus occupied six years, and when a youth of nineteen crossed the Atlantic, settling first in Toronto, Canada, where he remained three months. Then coming to the States, he made his way at once to this county, where he worked as a journeyman blacksmith until the spring of 1859. Then opening a shop he began business in a modest manner, and has still continued thus employed, being very successful, and having usually from six to ten men, including three of his sons. These latter now have the general charge of the business. Mr. Jameson has been quite prominent in local affairs, being first elected Alderman of the Third Ward and holding this office two terms. He was elected County Sheriff in 1886, and was the second Republican elected to this office in Morgan County. He has had four deputies - John G. Loomis, William D. Matthews, A. G. Austin (who died in August, 1887,) and W. T. Layton. He also has a turnkey, Charles E. Goodrich.

Mr. Jameson sometime ago wisely invested a portion of his capital in land, purchasing a farm of 420 acres, four miles south of the city. This is under a high state of cultivation and provided with all modern improvements. It is operated by a tenant. The residence of Mr. Jameson, which, with its surroundings, comprise one of the finest dwellings in this city, is located at the corner of Harding and Morton streets, and has in connection with it three acres of ground. Surrounding the residence are beautiful shade and ornamental trees, the buildings are in the modern style of architecture, and the whole forms a lovely home. Presiding over its domestic affairs is a very estimable lady, formerly Mrs. James Spires, to whom he was married in November, 1886.

Mr. Jameson was first married in 1860, when twenty-three years of age, to Miss Mary Jane Coultas, who was born at Lynnville, this county, and was the daughter of William and Jane Coultas, who were numbered among the prominent residents of the county. Of this union there were born nine children, six of whom are living, namely: Jennie, Mrs. Spires, is a resident of Jacksonville and the mother of one child, a son, George; William L., married Miss Nell Seymour, and they live in Jacksonville; John R.., George, Grace and Frank are all residents of Jacksonville.

Mr. Jameson cast his first Presidential vote for Lincoln, and since that time has uniformly given his support to the Republican party. He is also a member of the I.O.O.F. Mrs. Mary Jameson departed this life, at her home in Jacksonville, in 1879. It has been remarked of her by those who knew her best, that she was an "every-day Christian." A kind wife and a devoted mother, she sought only the good of those around her. She had been for many years a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and adorned her profession in her daily walk and conversation..

Considering the fact that Mr. Jameson came to this country poor in purse and without any other resources than his stout heart and willing hands, in noting his position among men today it will be acknowledged that he merits the plaudit of "well done." Not only has he given strict attention to his own business affairs, he has been signalized himself as a liberal minded and public spirited citizen, giving cheerful assistance to the projects set on foot having for their object the general good of the community. He has twice revisited his native land, taking in also Scotland and France.

1889 Index
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