GORDON, JOHN, one of the oldest citizens of Morgan County, Ill., and for a long period one of the prominent residents of Jacksonville, Ill., was born July 29, 1824, on his father's homestead, near Lynnville, Morgan County. His boyhood home was a one room log cabin, 20 by 20 feet in dimensions. The first school he attended, taught by a Mr. Brisbain, was in a log house with a puncheon floor, and greased paper for windows, the room being a portion of a dwelling. At a later period, a log house was built for a subscription school, with similar floor and windows, split slabs for seats and mud chimneys. The teacher was L. B. Tankersley.
At the age of nineteen years Mr. Gordon removed to Steubenville, Ohio, where he attended Scott's Academy for two years. Being the eldest boy, he helped to operate his mother's farm, which he afterward bought, residing on it until 1879, when he moved to Jacksonville. In 1880, he was appointed Postmaster of the city of Jacksonville by President Hayes; also served in that capacity under the Garfield administration, and retained the office one year under the administration of President Cleveland - in all serving nine years.
In 1848 Mr. Gordon engaged in the general mercantile business at Lynnville, Ill., and retained his interest in the concern until 1890. In 1879 he embarked in the wholesale and retail grocery line at Jacksonville, continuing in that line in partnership with John R. Loar, for five years, when he sold out his interest in the concern. He is now the owner of land near Lynnville.
On December 1, 1850, Mr. Gordon was united in marriage with Mrs. Sarah Campbell, a daughter of Nimrod funk, who was a soldier under General Jackson, at New Orleans. This union resulted in seven children as follows: William E., a farmer, who lives in Scott County, Ill.; John B., an attorney and Judge of one of the courts of Seattle, Wash.; frank T., a farmer near Lynnville, Ill.; Virginia, who lives in Jacksonville, and is the widow of Richard Vasey; Lilly, wife of Alfred W. Agee, an attorney of Ogden, Utah; Louisa, a teacher in Texas; and Jessie B., widow of Frank Johnson, who was County Superintendent of Schools of Morgan County. On September 5, 1879, six years after the death of the mother of the above mentioned family, Mr. Gordon was married to Mrs. Mary E., widow of Frank Dayton, and one son was the offspring of this union - Harry C., who lives in St. Louis.
In politics, Mr. Gordon was at first a Whig, but has been a Republican since the organization of that party, and voted for Gen. John C. Fremont. He served two terms (1872-76) as Representative in the Illinois Legislature, and officiated for twenty years as Justice of the Peace.
Fraternally, Mr. Gordon is affiliated with the A.F. & A.M., in which order he has been very prominent, having joined it at Lynnville in 1865. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Jacksonville Chapter and Commandery, and Past Master of the local lodge, which he has represented in the Grand Lodge. He is also identified with the I.O.O.F., which order he joined about the year 1865. Religiously, he is a member of the Christian Church.
Mr. Gordon has been a Director in the Jacksonville Bank, and for a number of years was one of the Trustees of the Central Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville. During a long, busy and useful career he has been one of the conspicuous factors in all that pertains to the prosperity and welfare of the community in which he live