STEPHEN S. MASSEY, who was one of the prominent citizens of this county, died at his home, located in township 15, range 11 section 29, Oct. 14, 1877, after a very short illness; the date of his death being the thirty-eighth anniversary of his marriage. He was a native of St. Lawrence County, N.Y., and was born Feb. 18, 1814. His father, Silas Massey, was a native of Salem, N.H. The family came from good New England stock. Silas Massey was reared to manhood in his native town, and later removed to St. Lawrence County, N.Y., and was married, in the State of Vermont, to Miss Frances Farnsworth, who was a native of the latter State. After their marriage they began life in St. Lawrence County, and here part of their children were born. At a date which is not known the family came West, and for a time lived in or about Dubuque, Iowa, whence they removed to St. Charles, Mo., finally locating in Morgan County, in 1837, in what is known as Diamond Grove. Mr. Massey improved his farm well, and after seeing his family well started in life he passed away, Jan. 2, 1874, at the age of eighty-seven years and nine months. He left behind him an excellent record; he was an intelligent man, of moral characteristics, but not a member of any church. He acted with the Republican party and took great interest in local politics. His wife died Aug. 7, 1871, in her eighty-third year. She died in the Presbyterian faith.
Stephen S. Massey was the youngest child of a family of four that attained maturity, three of whom are married and have families. Stephen was reared as a farmer, and as he came to Morgan County in 1837 takes rank as one of the pioneers. He was married, in this county, Oct. 14, 1840, to Miss Levina A. Bement. She was born in Bradford, N.H., May 10, 1817, and was the daughter of Samuel and Lucy (Barnes) Bement, natives of New Hampshire and Vermont, respectively. Mr. Bement was a blacksmith and worked at his trade for a long time in Vermont, and after the birth of seven children he removed with his family to Bradford, N.H., where Mrs. Massey was born, being the eighth child; she was a twin. Three children were born in New Hampshire, making ten. Her mother died in Bradford, in 1836, and in the following year her father also died, both being at an advanced age. They sustained a good reputation and were beloved by all who knew them.
Shortly after the death of her parents Mrs. Massey, when about twenty years of age migrated with some relatives to Illinois, coming by team. They stopped in Michigan for a while, and in two years after she left New Hampshire she arrived in Morgan County, was married, and her husband and he began life on a farm. Mr. Massey from the start was successful in the business of stock-raising and general farming, and in time by industry and shrewd management, built up a good home, along with the many that are located on the Mound Ridge road. Since his death Mrs. Massey has operated the farm of 115 acres, and has exhibited her good management by making a success of it. She is highly respected for her many good qualities and is deserving of the home she now owns and occupies. She is the mother of eight children, two of whom are deceased - Emily J. and Ettie. The former died at the age of sixteen months, while Ettie passed away a few days before her contemplated marriage. The following are living: Maria L., wife of Edward Ayers, they are residing on a farm at Emporia, Kan. Henry H. is living in Los Angeles, Cal., and is engaged as a fruit merchant; he married Miss Mary Barber, who died in Chicago, leaving three children. George W. married Mary Dellaven, of Beardstown, they now live in Kentwood, La. Anna F. is the wife of Jefferson Ketner, a farmer who lives in Jacksonville; Clara E., is the wife of Robert D. Moffet, and they are now residents of Chicago; Silas married Ida L. Verry, of this county, and now manages his mother's farm. He is one of the young and progressive stock-breeders of this State, and makes a specialty of Poland-China hogs, and he has been very successful. He is also interested in Percheron horses. It is his intention to ultimately make his farm a model one, and to raise Poland-China stock exclusively. He also raises fine poultry of the Plymouth Rock breed.
Mrs. Stephen S. Massey is a Presbyterian, and is interested in all social affairs. Her husband, politically was a strong Republican, as also are his sons.