JOHN SCHOFIELD. Worthy among the citizens of Scott County, who, though not its earliest settlers, may claim the distinction of being classed among its pioneers, as they have developed fine farms from prairies that thirty or more years ago were wild and uncultivated, stands the subject of this brief life-record, whom we are pleased to represent in this BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM. By thrift and good management he has accumulated a competence that enables him and his estimable wife to pass their declining years in the plenty and comfort of a cosy home. His farm, now comprising 240 acres of arable, highly productive land, finely located in Winchester Township, is well provided with substantial buildings and everything needful for carrying on agriculture successfully. Mr. Schofield also owns 160 acres of fine farming land in Stafford County, Kan.
Our subject was born in England in the early part of this century, being the youngest of the four children in the family of Samuel and Mary (Wheeler) Schofield, natives, respectively, of Morley, Yorkshire, and London, England. The father was a non-commissioned officer in the British army, and died in 1813, while yet in the prime of life. John received a very limited education, and at an early age was bound out to a distant relative of his father, with whom he stayed until he was nineteen, employed mostly in working on a farm. He then bought a loom and began the business of weaving broadcloth, and was profitably engaged at that the ensuing three years. His next venture was to open a general store, and he also managed that very successfully, building up a good paying trade, and carrying it on until he came to America, marrying in the meantime and establishing a home. Although he was doing well our subject wanted to do better and decided to try his fortunes in the United States, and in 1848 he came here, accompanied by his family, and landed in New York about the time of the return of Gen. Scott from the Mexican War, and had the pleasure of seeing the conquering hero. As soon as he could our subject started for the West, and in Lynnville, Ill., engaged to work on a farm for Jeremiah Hurd, a countryman of his, stayed with him three months and then returned to the village of Lynnville, and purchasing a house and lot, rented some land and engaged in farming for himself. In 1857 he bought his present homestead, or eighty acres of it, built a house and began clearing the land. He had but few neighbors here then and some of them were rough and lawless. He has been very much prospered in his undertakings, as we have seen in the opening paragraph of this biographical review of his life. We will now devote a few lines to his domestic life.
Our subject has been twice married. The first time in 1833, in Morley, England, to Elizabeth, daughter, of John C. and Rebecca Westerman, of that place. This wife of his early manhood did not long survive her transplantation to American soil, but died in 1849, a year after leaving the old English home. The three children who were born of that marriage are all now dead. Mr. Schofield was married to his present wife in 1851, and six children have been born to them, four of whom are living: Walter, the eldest, a resident of Morgan County, was born Feb. 13, 1855, and he married Eliza, daughter of David Tuke, of Morgan County; Edward, who resides in Morgan County, was born May 23, 1857, married Fanny Tuke, and they have three children; George, living in Morgan County, was born Sept. 27, 1858, married Eliza Schofield, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Schofield, of Morgan County, and they have three children; Fletcher, born Dec. 13, 1862, is unmarried, and lives at home with his parents.
Our subject comes of a stalwart, long-lived family, his maternal grandfather living to be one hundred and three years old, and is himself enjoying good mental and physical health, although fourscore years have whitened his head, and he bids fair to reach the century mark. He has never been sick but once, when he had an attack of typhoid fever, and has never known what a headache is. Mrs. Schofield is also gifted with a fine constitution, although she has not been entirely free from sickness, and is now in robust health and very active for one of her years. Mr. Schofield has a cheerful, genial disposition, that neither time nor trial has soured and he has many warm and close friendships in this community, where so much of his life has been passed. He is kind and considerate in his dealings with others, and does all that he can to aid the needy and unfortunate. He has devoted himself so closely to his calling as to have but little time for public life, excepting that he has served as School Director and Road Overseer. He pays but little attention to politics, but at the polls votes the Democratic ticket. Although not connected with any church he is religiously inclined, believes in God and the Bible, and tries to do his whole duty. Mrs. Schofield is a devoted and exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.