KETNER, Joseph Francis, whose residence is on South main Street, just beyond the limits of the city of Jacksonville, was born in Morgan County, Ill., six miles north of Jacksonville, September 9, 1838, the son of Henry and Mahala (Crouse) Ketner, who came from their native State of North Carolina, in 1836, bringing with them their baby girl, Elizabeth. They made the journey by road in a wagon drawn by one horse. The father of Joseph F. located as a farmer in the timber land six miles north of Jacksonville and, after spending years of labor in clearing it, removed to the prairie three miles southeast of the city. There he accumulated a large estate, his farming land aggregating about 500 acres, which he thoroughly improved, and upon which he made a specialty of breeding choice Black Berkshire hogs.
Henry Ketner and his wife were the parents of six children, viz.: Elizabeth, born in North Carolina; J. F.; Andrew J.; Mary M.; William H., and Edward N. Mr. Ketner died August 18, 1890, and his wife, March 7, 1893, both being buried in Diamond Grove Cemetery.
Joseph F. Ketner was raised on his father's farm and attended the district schools near his home, which was a log cabin with puncheon floor and slabs for seats. He was married September 5, 1861, to Eliza J. Harney, daughter of John R. and Eliza A. (Wilson) Harney, who were both natives of Lexington, Ky., and came to Morgan County in 1832. For eight years after their marriage the young couple lived in the Ketner homestead, but in 1860 the husband had purchased 80 acres of land near Woodson, Morgan County. He has since added to his tract and now owns 200 acres, besides a half interest in his deceased father's estate. Mr. Kitner retired from active business in 1890, and his present home, nicely situated, is surrounded by five acres of ground.
To Mr. and Mrs. Ketner four children have been born, viz.: Melissa M., wife of William Crow; Nettie V., wife of Amos Megginson; Anne M., wife of C. C. Self; and Ida C., wife of William Crawley. The last named are living on the old homestead of the Ketners, and C. C. Self and Amos Megginson reside on the farm of Mr. Ketner near Woodson. Mr. Ketner is a School Director, having served for ten years in his present district and twenty years at Woodson. He is a Democrat, a member of the Masonic order, and one of the most substantial and respected residents of Morgan County.