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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


J. C. VALLENTINE. The science of farming has received much attention from the subject of this notice, who believes that a small tract of land thoroughly cultivated yields more satisfactory results than a large area partially neglected. He therefore secured only eighty acres, but it comprises some of the choicest land in township 16, range 11, and is eligibly located on section 19. Mr. Vallentine, however, has his residence in the village of Concord, where he owns a good home, and is practically retired from active labor.

Our subject came to this part of Morgan County in the fall of 1846, and since that time has devoted himself largely to the business of a carpenter and joiner, also having a good understanding of the finer trade of cabinet-making. Soon after coming here he established a shop in Concord, but there being then little call for the products of his handiwork, he secured his land and interested himself in agriculture until an increase of population should give him employment at his trade.

Mr. Vallentine first landed in Morgan County at Meredosia, March 5, 1845, a young man, and with a capital of $18 and his trade. He loaned all but $3 of his capital at 12 percent interest for a year, then called it in and decided to locate in Concord, of which he has since been a resident. He was born near Adamsburg, in what was then Adams but is now Westmoreland County, Pa., Dec. 21, 1819, and is the son of Michael Vallentine, a native of Lebanon County, that State. The paternal grandfather of our subject was born in Germany, and coming to America when a young man, settled in the unbroken wilderness of Lebanon County, Pa., where he improved a farm and spent the remainder of his life, dying when quite aged. He married a lady of his own country, who accompanied him to the United States and shared his fortunes the greater part of his life, she too living to be well advanced in years. Grandfather Vallentine, although working industriously, did not accumulate a very great amount of property, but lived honestly, and, with his estimable wife, steadfastly adhered to the doctrines of the Lutheran Church.

Michael Vallentine, the father of our subject, acquired a thorough knowledge of farming, and also learned the shoemaker's trade. In fact, he was a natural mechanic, and could do almost anything with tools. When a young man he emigrated to Adams County, Pa., and was there married to Miss Catherine Fillman, who was born and reared in Lycoming County, and came of German parentage. After their marriage, the parents of our subject lived in Pennsylvania until 1847, and then determined to seek the young State of Illinois. They set out on the journey overland with teams, accompanied by their nine children, camping and cooking by the wayside, and sleeping in their wagon wherever night overtook them.

On landing in this county the parents of our subject settled near the present sight of Concord, to which their son, J. G., had preceded them two years. Here they spent the remainder of their lives, the mother dying about 1869, at the age of seventy-two years, and the father in 1878, aged eighty-four. The latter belonged to the Lutheran church, while the mother was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian. They were the parents of eleven children, four sons and seven daughters, and nearly all lived to mature years.

The subject of this sketch was the eldest son and second child of his parents, and received only such school advantages as were afforded in a section of country thinly populated, with the cabins of settlers few and far between. He set out at an early age to learn the trade of a cabinetmaker, under the instruction of Andrew Wise, in Allenwell, Miflin Co., Pa., and two years later commanded good wages, being an expert workman. He came to Morgan County a single man, and in due time met and married Miss Elizabeth Rentschler. This lady was born in Snyder County, Pa., in 1824, and is the daughter of George and Catherine (Survey) Rentschler, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and who came to Morgan County about 1838. They located near concord, and occupied one home until the death of the father, which occurred in 1879. The mother is still living, although in feeble health, and is about eighty-four years of age.

The childhood and youth of Mrs. Vallentine were spent, in a quiet and uneventful manner, under the home roof, amid the pioneer scenes of Morgan County, where she developed into a pleasing womanhood, and in due time became the wife of our subject. Of the six children who blest their union, two - Mary L. and Lovina - died in early childhood; the eldest daughter living - Catherine - is the wife of c. Roach, a painter by trade, and they reside in concord; Rosa, the widow of Samuel Martin, has one child, and makes her home with her father; John Major married Miss Jennie Standley, and they live on a farm in Clark County, Kan.; Effie M. is the wife of Charles Martin, a carpenter of Collinsville, Ill. Mr. Vallentine, since becoming a voting citizen has uniformly supported the principles of the Democratic party.

1889 Index
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