The home farm of our subject consists of 388 acres, every acre of which is in a high state of cultivation. He also owns 122 acres of good land in one farm, and another lot of 175 acres both highly improved. In another part of the township he has a 40 acre lot in grass, and besides all this land he is the owner of twenty acres of fine timber. In Scott County he also has a farm of 174 acres of well-improved land. Mr. Leach is a firm believer in the principle of underdraining land, and has several miles of tiling on his different farms. He thinks that money spent in this direction will bring large returns on the capital invested. Mr. Leach's homestead is an original purchase made by his father from the Government, the latter having entered, in 1829, a quarter-section of land, upon which his son's house now stands, and where he presided until his death at the age of eighty-six years. His name was John Leach, Sr., and he was born in Yorkshire, England, as were his father and mother.
John Leach, Sr., was reared as a farmer in his native country. He married Miss Ann Duckles, daughter of John Duckles. After the senior Leach was married he commenced farming, and so continued until he died. Three children were born to them: Mary, who died at Lynnville, after having been married twice; Sarah was married three times, and died in this county at the age of thirty-six years. The subject of this sketch is the youngest of the three that were born in England. His birth occurred March 25, 1823. In the spring of 1829, the father, mother and three children sailed from Liverpool on the ship "John Wells", and after a voyage of six weeks and two days landed at Philadelphia, whence they came by land and water to Morgan County. This country then being new, the family endured many hardships, so that Mr. and Mrs. Leach became nearly discouraged, and contemplated returning to their mother country. The clouds soon lifted, however, and everything was bright for them until they died. Mrs. Leach survived her husband for several years. She died about 1876, being nearly ninety years old, and in possession of her full faculties of mind and body up to the time she was called away. They were members of the English Church, and the senior Mr. Leach, politically, was a Whig.
After the father and mother of John Leach, Jr., came to this country they became the parents of one child, Eliza, who married Daniel White. She died at Oxville, Scott Co., Ill., leaving no children. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood at home, and was from the start a successful business man. He was married, in Morgan County, to Miss Mary Bealby, who was born in Lynnville, Ill., in 1835. Her father Samuel Bealby, was a native of England, whence he went to Jamaica, and operated a coffee plantation near Kingston. There he married, and soon after he emigrated to the United States, locating at Lynnville, Ill., and there lived until he died. Mrs. Leach's mother died at the age of thirty-four years, consequently she was left an orphan young in life. She is the mother of eleven children, two of whom, Ettie and Tillie, are deceased. The latter died when a promising young lady, Ettie was the wife of Stephen S. Knowles, of Jacksonville, and she died when in her twenty-sixth year; Georgianna, the wife of William Coultas, now deceased, is living on West State Street, Jacksonville; Eliza is the wife of Jud Boston, and they are living on a farm in Morgan County; John married Nellie Denby; Edward is unmarried, and engaged in farming in Scott County; Allie is a farm of Morgan County.
Mr. and Mrs. Leach are prominent factors in society, of the community in which they live, and are universally respected for their qualities of mind and heart. Mr. Leach is a reliable Republican, and has held numerous local offices, which he has filled with his usual pains-taking manner.