DINWIDDIE, JAMES, one of the veteran agriculturists of Morgan County, Ill., was born on the farm where he now lives, in Section 18, Town 16, Range 10, a mile and a half west of Arcadia, on February 16, 1833, the son of Thomas C. and Vizilla (Sims) Dinwiddie - the former born in Bourbon County, Ky., October 6, 1806, and the latter in North Carolina May 30, 1811. The mother's parents removed to Kentucky when she was quite young.
The paternal grandfather was William Dinwiddie. Thomas C. Dinwiddie, his son and the father of James, was raised on a farm in Bourbon County, Ky., and in 1827 migrated (it is said, afoot) to Morgan County, Ill. He located on a part of the farm which his son James now occupies. He and his brother-in-law, Wesley Sims, started a tan-yard on this farm in 1828 or 1829. He walked from the farm to Galena, Ill., where his uncle, James Dinwiddie, lived, and, with the latter, worked for about a year at the blacksmith trade. He returned to the farm, on foot, in 1830. IN that year he built a log cabin adjoining the tanyard, containing one room, 16x18 feet in dimensions. After his marriage he operated a tanyard for about twelve years. In 1857 he built the main portion of the large residence now standing on the premises. Thomas C. Dinwiddie died September 8, 1858, and was buried in the Arcadia Cemetery. The deceased was especially active in laying out roads and organizing schools, but was a useful citizen in every way. At tone one he served as Justice of the Peace. His wife, whom he married in 1830, died April 9, 1890. They were the parents of nine children, namely: William, who died at the age of fourteen years; James; Andrew; Samuel, who lives three miles east of Literberry, Ill.; Helen M., who married William K. Richardson; Martha A., wife of Thomas Thomas, who resides in the vicinity of Franklin, Ill.; Isabel E., who died at the age of nineteen years; and David, who died in infancy. In religious faith, the father of this family was a Presbyterian and the mother a zealous Methodist.
James Dinwiddie was reared on the homestead farm which was his birthplace. The first school which he attended was a mile and a half from his present residence. Like all the primitive schoolhouses in this region, it was a log house, with slab benches for seats, fireplaces for heating with wood as fuel, and one precious glass window. Mr. Dinwiddie has often attended school barefooted until frost covered the ground. His first teacher was Elias Hammer.
Mr. Dinwiddie remained on this farm with his father until the latter's death, and then conducted it for his mother; so that his entire life has been passed on the homestead. He is the owner of 300 acres of land, on which he has conducted general farming and stock-raising. The land, when his father settled on it, was covered with heavy timber, mostly oak. In early days he used oxen for heavy work, almost exclusively.
On January 5, 1865, Mr. Dinwiddie was united in marriage with Annie H. Richardson, who was born in Newtown, Hamilton County, Ohio, and whose brother first came to Morgan County, and married Mr. Dinwiddie's sister. Four sons resulted from Mr. Dinwiddie's union with Miss Richardson; the first born died in infancy; Owen G., Horace W. and James G. Owen G. lives on the homestead farm. He married Mary Blackburn, and they have two children - James E. and Helen. Horace W. lives with his father. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Hunter, has borne him one child, Anna. He served as a musician in the Fifty-first Iowa Regiment during the Spanish-American war, being stationed for six months at San Francisco and serving for twelve months in the Philippines. On the outbreak of the war, he was a college student at Des Moines, Ia. James G. lives in Jacksonville, where he is the bookkeeper in the Hockenhull-Elliott Bank and Trust Company. He married Lillian Campbell, and their union has resulted in two children - James H. and Ruth.
In politics Mr. Dinwiddie is an ardent and active Republican, and has held the office of Township School Treasurer since 1871. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mrs. Dinwiddie is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Dinwiddie is one of the few survivors of the pioneer period in Morgan County, and has led a very busy and useful career. Careful, energetic and successful as a farmer, upright and scrupulous as a man, and public spirited and serviceable as a citizen, his record is beyond reproach. <