JOHN R. MEGGINSON. On another page will be found a portrait of this well-known resident of Morgan County. He is the owner of a whole section of land, mostly improved, and possesses one of the finest homesteads in this county, which is embellished with a handsome and commodious residence, neat and tasteful outbuildings, and all the other appliances of a well-regulated estate. His first purchase of land in this county was in March, 1851, when he secured, in township 14, 200 acres, which comprises the nucleus of his present property. As a citizen, Mr. Megginson stands second to none in this county, being enterprising, industrious and wide-awake, and has met with the usual success attendant upon close attention to business. He has been a man of considerable travel and large observation, and has thus become well-informed upon those matters generally of interest to the intelligent individual. To such men as he, is Morgan County indebted for her position and standing among the intelligent communities of Central Illinois.
The first nine years of the life of our subject were spent on the other side of the Atlantic, in Yorkshire, England, where his birth took place May 8, 1823. His father, Ralph Megginson, was also a native of Yorkshire, and was married to Miss Mary Richardson, who was born and reared not far from the childhood home of her husband. After their marriage they emigrated to America in the fall of 1832, and coming to Illinois located about four and one-half miles west of Jacksonville, which was then in its infancy. The father took up a tract of land, and operated successfully as a tiller of the soil until advancing age admonished him to retire. He passed away on the 9th of February, 1888, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. The mother had preceded her husband to the silent land May 11, 1869, at the age of sixty-seven.
Five sons and three daughters comprised the household of the parents of our subject, of whom John R. was the eldest. He was nine years of age when his parents crossed the Atlantic, and grew to man's estate in this county, remaining a member of his father's household until twenty-three years old. Then with the natural desire of youth for change, he set out to see something of the world. In 1816, starting out with a team from Independence, Mo., he drove the whole distance from there to Santa Fe, and thence to Chuhuahua, Mexico, which city was then under martial law. In consequence, he and his comrades were deprived of their liberty until the capture of the city by Col. Doniphan, in the spring of 1817. Upon his release, he returned to Missouri, remaining in Jackson County until the fall of the year, when he joined his parents in this county.
Starting out again in April, 1848, Mr. Megginson sought the great Northwest, in company with a man by the name of Hooker, and they traveled until reaching Oregon. There our subject engaged in the lumber business and sojourned six or seven months. In May, 1849, we find him mining in the northern part of California, where he also spent six or seven month, then started for Illinois, via the Isthmus, arriving home in march, 1850. The voyage was made on a sailing vessel. Our subject now worked on a farm a year, and at the expiration of that time was married.
In the summer of 1883, our subject, in company with his wife, revisited California, where Mrs. Megginson remained while he sought his old haunts in Oregon and spent about three months on the Pacific Slope. He has traveled in about twenty-nine different States and Territories, has met all kinds and conditions of people, and being a man who has kept his eyes open to what was going on around him, has consequently become very well informed. He can tell many an interesting tale, not only of pioneer life in Illinois, but of life on the Pacific Slope and in the great Northwest, and is one with whom many an hour might be spent pleasantly and profitably.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Fanny H. Hodgkinson was celebrated at the home of the bride's uncle, in Scott County, this State, Jan. 16, 1851. Mrs. Megginson was born in Derbyshire, England, Jan. 1, 1831, and was the eldest of the six children of George and Fanny (Dale) Hodgkinson, who were also natives of that country. They emigrated to the United States during the early settlement of Illinois, locating in Scott County, where the father died in December, 1844, and the mother six weeks later. Of her union with our subject there have been born seven sons and four daughters, namely: George A., Richardson D., Ralph W., Elizabeth J., Joseph P.D., Robert V., Mary L., Reuben C., Linnie T., Simpson S. and Georgia H. Joseph P.D. died Nov. 2, 1884, when a promising young man of twenty-five years of age. Our subject, politically, is Democratic in his views, and socially, belongs to the Masonic Fraternity, being identified with Blue Lodge No. 3, at Jacksonville, also Chapter and Commandery No. 31. Mrs. Megginson, a very estimable lady, is a member in good standing of the Christian Church.