HENRY MCDEVITT. - For over half a century Henry McDevitt has been identified with the agricultural interests of Sangamon county, and today owns and operates a well-improved farm of one hundred and thirty-two acres on section 17, Maxwell township, where he makes his home. He was born in County Londonderry, Ireland, on the 9th of February, 1832, a son of Hugh McDevitt and grandson of James McDevitt, both natives of the same county, where the ancestors of our subject have made their home for hundreds of years.
In 1850 Mr. McDevitt crossed the broad Atlantic, landing in New York city in May of that year, and for six months remained in the Empire state. In the fall of the same year, however, he went to Ohio, where he spent about one year, and then came to Illinois. After working on a farm in Jersey county, this state, for one season, he came to Sangamon county in the fall of 1852 and for several years was employed as a farm hand by the month.
Mr. McDevitt was married in this county in 1853 to Miss Rachel York, a native of England, and they began their domestic life upon a rented farm. Later he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land in what is now Maxwell township, it being the old York estate, of which his wife was one of the heirs, and to the improvement and cultivation of that farm he devoted his time and attention for several years. In the spring of 1892 he bought his present farm of one hundred and thirty-two acres in the same township, and subsequently sold the former property. In his farming operations he has met with good success and is now quite well-to-do.
In 1865 Mr. McDevitt was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife. Of the six children born of that union, four are still living, namely: John, a resident of Macoupin county, Illinois; Jane, wife of Charles Mitchell, of Maxwell township; James, a farmer of the same township; and Mary, wife of Joseph Cline, now a resident of Washington county, Kansas. Mr. McDevitt was again married in 1865, his second union being with Miss Hannah Mitchell, a native of England and a daughter of Joseph Mitchell, who brought his family to America and settled in Sangamon county, Illinois, where Mrs. McDevitt was principally reared. This union has been blessed with six children: Sarah B., wife of William Fisher, of New Berlin township; Samuel H., a resident of Morgan county, Illinois; Joseph J., of Maxwell township, Sangamon county; George W., at home; Robert, who married Clara E. Hamilton, of Morgan county, where he and his wife now make their home; and Clara, at home with her parents.
The Democratic party finds in Mr. McDevitt a stanch supporter of its principles, and both he and his wife are consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Their home is noted for its hospitality and good cheer, and it is safe to say that no couple in the community is more highly esteemed than Mr. and Mrs. McDevitt.