RAWLINGS, JAMES, a prominent and successful farmer of Morgan County, residing on his pleasant home farm in Section 32, Township 14, Range 9, was born near Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, August 12, 1822, the son of William and Mary (Wilson) Rawlings, who moved from their native country to America in 1834. William and Mary Rawlings had nine children, five sons and four daughters, part of whom came with their parents to America in 1834, the remainder following in 1840. William Rawlings bought land in the township where his descendants now reside, and being a man of means, first secured 500 acres to which he later added some two or three hundred acres more. He lived about twenty years in his adopted country, and his wife survived him about ten years.
James Rawlings, who was the third child of this family, was educated in England and assisted on his father's farm until he had reached his twenty-fourth year, when he began farming his own account. On the 26th of February, 1848, he was married to Frances Hembrough, a daughter of John and Hannah (Turvey) Hembrough, all natives of Yorkshire, England. The Hembroughs came to America in 1839. They had a family of twelve children, of whom Frances was eighth in order of birth.
James Rawlings and wife became the parents of eight children, five of whom survive. Two children died in infancy, and a daughter, Hannah T., died after her marriage. Mr. Rawlings has made farming and stock-raising his life occupation, but since 1888 has left the management of the estate to his children. He has been very successful as a business man, and before dividing much of his landed property among his children, he owned 1,200 acres. Mr. Rawlings and wife and their family belong to the Methodist church. He served his district on the School Board.