REES, ELIJAH MILFORD , (deceased), who was a prominent farmer and stockman of Morgan County, was born in Clark County, Ky., the son of John and Georgiana (Ray) Rees, and reared in Madison County, that State. The Rees family was of Welsh stock, being numbered among the historic passengers of the "Mayflower." The father of Elijah M. moved to Illinois from Kentucky a few years prior to his death, which occurred in Morgan County, where he was buried. Elijah M. Rees was born February 22, 1817, and at the age of twenty-one moved to Illinois and remained in Morgan County for a short time, when he proceeded to Texas, where he became engaged in business for several years, being a resident of that State during the Mexican War. He later returned to Morgan County, and in 1849 accompanied a party overland from Jacksonville to California, where he remained nine years, when he returned by way of the Isthmus and New York to Morgan County, bringing with him some capital. Before he started to California he bought 320 acres of land in Section 27, Township 14, Range 9, and on his return settled thereon and began its improvement. He planted a grove of different varieties of trees, which he tended with great care, and it is now, perhaps, the finest grove in the country. The fine homestead residence of to-day was built by him in 1874. He added to his estate which at the time of his death aggregated, as at present, 460 acres.
Mr. Rees was married November 18, 1858, to Julia Snow, daughter of Libbins and Mercy Snow, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of New York. The father of Mrs. Rees was a drummer boy in the War of 1812, at that time being about thirteen years of age. Mr. Rees and wife had no children of their own, but legally adopted a son, William Milford Rees, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. They also adopted a daughter, Susan Jane Wilson, who with her foster brother is one of the heirs to the estate. The foster son, William M., manages 200 acres of the homestead, the remaining 260 acres, with the exception of some timber land, being rented to other tenants by the widow of Elijah M. Rees.
Mr. Rees was a progressive and ambitious man, and most successful in business affairs. In politics, he was a Democrat; was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a prominent Mason. He died August 9, 1892, and was buried in Franklin Cemetery with Masonic honors. Mrs. Elijah M. Rees was born in Genesee County, N. Y., but reared near Wooster, Ohio, completing a four years' course in the Woman's College at Jacksonville, after which she was a teacher in that institution for two years. Mrs. Rees is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and resides in a pleasant home, erected by herself in Franklin.