LAMBERT, John, formerly an extensive and prosperous farmer of Morgan County, Ill., now living in retirement in Jacksonville, was born at Canaan, Conn., May 4, 1835, a son and only child of Eli and Elizabeth (Gleddell) Lambert, natives of Yorkshire, England. His mother had been previously married, and by the first husband had seven children, five of whom died young. Eli Lambert, who was employed in the woolen mills of the East, journeyed West in the spring of 1839 - traveling by river, canal and stage - and located in Morgan County, where at $3.50 per acre, he bought 80 acres of land on Indian Creek, near Literberry. There he built a hewed-log cabin, which is still standing, containing one room, with puncheon floor, and bought a yoke of oxen and a horse. In the summer of 1839 his wife, with her three children - her son, Joseph, being a young man - came down the Ohio River in a row-boat, camping along the way, and reached St. Louis from the mouth of the Ohio by steamboat. Thence the two other children continued the journey by stage. John Lambert was then a little over four years of age. Eli Lambert died in 1846, at the age of fifty-four years. He was employed in the woolen mill at Jacksonville, and cleared up the farm in the winter. At a later period, he and his son bought a carding mill at Berlin, Ill., in which venture he lost nearly everything but the 80 acres which he first purchased. His wife died March 12, 1872, at the age of seventy-seven years.
In boyhood, Mr. Lambert attended the subscription school in the vicinity of his humble home, walking two miles to reach the log house in which he learned his first lessons. It had slab benches for seats, and a slab the length of the room for a writing desk. His first teacher in this school was a Mr. Snyder, whose charge for the term was $3 per quarter for each pupil. Mr. Lambert was eleven years old when his father died. As soon as he was able, he assisted his brother in clearing the farm, grubbing and other work, until the place was in good condition for cultivating. He continued to make additions to the homestead property, until he was the owner of more than 500 acres of land, and in 1887 moved to Jacksonville, where he now lives in retirement.
On September 25, 1877, Mr. Lambert was united in marriage with Sarah Hickman, who was born in Morgan County, and was a daughter of Edward Hickman, a native of England. He emigrated to this country and married Mary Shepherd, who bore him five children, as follows: John E., who lives in Morgan County; Samuel I., a resident of Jacksonville; Sarah; William S., who died at the age of three years, and one child who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Lambert became the parents of three children, namely: Ada M.; May B.; and Edward E., who died in 1903, at the age of twenty-two years.
Edward Hickman, Mrs. Lambert's father, was a soldier in the Civil War. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company I, One Hundred and First Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. At the battle of Resaca he was wounded, and died of gangrene resulting from the wound. His wife died October 6, 1900, aged seventy-two years.
In politics, Mr. Lambert gives his support to the Democratic party, and is a member of the Methodist Church. He is one of the few survivors among the early residents of Morgan County, and to the sterling qualities possessed by him and his contemporaries - their honesty, industry, perseverance and endurance - its prosperity is largely due.