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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


JOHN S. RANSDALL. Among the men who looked upon Central Illinois in its pioneer days, the subject of this notice deserves more than a passing mention. He is one of those whom nature endowed with more than ordinary capacities, especially in those moral qualities which go to make up a reliable, kindly and substantial character. It needs but a glance at Mr. Ransdell to read his character - that of a gentleman to the manner born - who has a natural aversion to everything mean or contemptible, and whose life has been in all respects one worthy of imitation. The reputation which he bears among his neighbors is "like apples of gold set in pictures of silver," and they who have known him best have the highest appreciation of his true character.

Mr. Ransdell was one time the owner of nearly 200 acres of land in Woodson Precinct, composed of timber and prairie, but later he parted with a portion of his real estate, and has now a snug farm of 160 acres, where he is spending his declining years, surrounded by all the comforts of life. He does but little active labor, renting out the most of his land. He occupies a neat and comfortable residence, which is flanked by all the other necessary buildings required for the successful prosecution of agricultural pursuits. In the home of his building up he has spent many peaceful years, and it is to be hoped that the future will add still further to his honor and contentment.

A native of Fayette County, Ky., and the second in a family of nine children, our subject was born Feb. 20, 1812. He lived in the Blue Grass State until a young man of twenty-two years, and then the whole family set out for Illinois, locating in the southeastern part of this county, where they all remained with the exception of our subject, who soon afterward returned to his native state. In the latter he sojourned for a period of eight years, engaged as a carpenter. He then rejoined his father's family in Apple Creek, this county, remained there about a year, then settled upon the land comprising his present farm. While carrying on its improvement and cultivation, he also continued working as a carpenter.

Mr. Ransdell was married at Georgetown, Scott Co., Ky., Feb. 15, 1841, to Miss Tabitha Grimsley. This lady was born in Fairfax County, Va., Nov. 18, 1819, and by her union with our subject became the mother of four children, all daughters: Sarah E., Mattie A., Mary A., and Laura V. The latter died Nov. 24, 1859. The others are located respectively in Jacksonville, Terre Haute, Ind., and Woodson precinct. Sarah E. is the wife of D. C. Green, of Township 14; Mattie A., Mrs. William R. Rout, is a resident of Jacksonville; Mary A., Mrs. Wills, is in Terre Haute, Ind. William Grimsley, the father of Mrs. Ransdell, was also a native of Fairfax County, Va., and married Miss Rebecca Ogden, a native of the same county, where they spent their entire lives.

Mr. and Mrs. Ransdell are both members in good standing of the Christian Church. Our subject, politically cast his first Presidential vote for Clay, and is one of the most reliable members of the Republican party. He and his wife are widely and favorably known in this county, and number their friends by the score, and their hospitable home is the frequent resort of its best people.

1899 Index
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