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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN KILLIAM. It is the province of the biographer to correctly chronicle the history of persons who have passed away, and to record their virtues, that the living may profit thereby, and in the present instance it may be said that John Killiam died, leaving behind him a name that is the synonym for all the virtues that cluster around a man who made his mark in the world, unaided and alone. The younger men and women that are now on the stage of life can have no better pattern by which to form their characters than that of John Killiam.

Mr. Killiam died at his home in township 15, range 11, on the 11th day of August, 1885, at the age of seventy-five years. He was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to America with his father, Samuel Killiam, whose biography is given in another part of this volume. He was a resident of Illinois from the time he arrived in this country until his death, and of Morgan County, with the exception of six years that he resided in Woodford County. Mr. Killiam sustained a reputation of being a thrifty farmer and stock raiser. His industry and intelligence aided him in building up a beautiful home and in improving a farm that is a model of hie husbandman's skill. He was married, in this county, June 25, 1839, to Miss Phyllis Jordan. She was born in the city of Derby, England, April 11, 1804. She came of English ancestry, having been the daughter of Harvey and Susannah (Rowlston) Jordan, now both deceased. Her mother died in Detroit, Mich., while the family was on their way to Illinois from England. This occurred in 1836; and her burial place is in Detroit. She was fifty-four years old when she died, and belonged to the Methodist Church. The father of Mrs. Killiam, Harvey Jordan, died in Morgan County, at the home of his daughter, in 1853, at the age of seventy six years. He died in the Episcopal faith. To him and his wife were born three children, Mrs. Killiam being the eldest. Her only sister is living in San Francisco, Cal. She is the widow of John Spencer. Mrs. Killiam's only brother, William Jordan, died in Missouri, at the age of seventy years.

Harvey Jordan, the father of Mrs. Killiam, concluded to emigrate to America, and accordingly he embarked at Liverpool, England, and landing at Ne York, he there made up his mind to seek land in Illinois, and while enroute his wife died at Detroit, as before indicated. Here he lived in Morgan County continuously for many years.

Mrs. Killiam is now living on the old homestead, spending her last days quietly. She is the mother of no children, but she and her husband have been the foster parents of four children: Elizabeth Mawson, wife of Robert Heinbrough; they are farmers near Jacksonville. Louisa nee DeSollar, wife of Robert Davidson, is living in Wapello County, Iowa. William DeSollar married Sedarah Bobbitt, and they are living on Mrs. Killiam's farm. Ann Killiam married John Ranson; they are living on a farm near Jacksonville. It will thus be seen that Mr. and Mrs. Killiam were possessed of charitable characteristics, and that in rearing to manhood and womanhood homeless children, they are entitled to be called philanthropists. Mrs. Killiam is a member of the Methodist Church, having lived in that faith for many years.

1889 Index
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