It was in 1837, that we find the first families of Strawns settling in this State, locating in Putnam County, where Isaiah S. died at very advanced age, Aug. 4, 1844, his wife dying ripe in years April 4, 1843. They were Quakers, and came of a hardy robust stock. Such is a brief account of the Strawns in America. The progenitors of this family were of good, old honest sort of people, that it would be refreshing to see in these latter days.
Jacob Strawn in early life had limited advantages for obtaining an education, and as the people of Sommerset County, Pa., were as a rule, not well off in this world's goods, the district schools were operated on as economical a plan as possible. But Jacob was a determined boy, of good habits, and possessed a great deal of physical endurance. He went through the district schools in a satisfactory manner, and thereupon decided to make his life work that of a cattle raiser and dealer in livestock; and with this determination in his mind, he set out to fight his way through the world. When seventeen years old, his parents removed to Licking County, Ohio, and at the age of nineteen, he was married to Miss Matilda Green, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Green, of Licking County. As a basis upon which to erect a fortune, this young couple started out in life with an indebted ness of $7. From that time forward Mr. Strawn's financial success in life was extraordinary. The first $100 he made, was invested in wild land in Ohio, and while there he bought and sold cattle quite largely, but believing that Illinois was a better field for more extensive operations, he came to this state in 1828, and was struck with the rich soil of the prairies, and the remarkable fattening qualitites of the grasses. Instead of purchasing cattle with his money, Mr. Strawn invested it in land, a part of which afterward became his homestead. In 1831 he returned to Ohio, where he disposed of his property, and came back with his family, settling in Morgan County, on land he had previously purchases at such a low price.
Mr. Strawn at once started out on the highway of prosperity, and in his long march, which covered a great many years, he never met with an obstruction. And it was not luck that was the foundation of his remarkable victory. He was clear headed, energetic, and above all, exhibited excellent judgment in all his investments. He became one of the largest cattle-dealers of the United States, and besides this, was a very extensive land holder in Illinois. When he died he was the wealthiest and best known man in Morgan County. His death occurred in 1865.
Jacob Strawn was a man of generous instincts, and possessed an eminently Christian spirit. He did not seek political preferment, and would have nothing to do with politics as a business, but he always exhibited great interest in his party. He was an Old-line Whit, and a Republican. During the War of the Rebellion he was very enthusiastic in doing what he could to support stalwart war measures, he being a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and willing to follow where the great war president might lead.