The history of Nimrod Leib's connection with the early events of Scott county, of his struggle with poverty in the early days of his youth and early manhood, is a long, long story and its every sentence teems with interest. Through all the days of "construction" and "re-construction" he was a familiar figure and on more than one occasion his sterling honesty and stoicism have won the battle. He is the youngest son of John and Rosa Leib and was born in Anderson county, Tennessee, August 1, 1825. He came with his parents to Scott county, Illinois, November 4, 1829, and settled on the farm in section 6, township 14, range 12, which is still his home. His education was of necessity somewhat neglected, but his instruction in the school of practical experience has been thorough. In the earlier years of his residence in Scott county necessity was, in many cases, the "mother of invention." While the appliances or conveniences, of that time may have been crude affairs, yet they served their purpose and served it well. Patient, unremitting toil hard - hard work - was the common fate of all and the scriptural curse, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," was never more aptly illustrated than in the early days of Scott county. Yet all this was not without its reward, and Mr. Leib has lived to see comfort, luxury and ease reign where but a few years ago stalked penury and want.
September 11, 1845, he was married to Miss Jemima Peak. She was also a native of Anderson county, Tennessee, and was born September 8, 1826. She is the daughter of Absalom and Rebecca Peak, who moved to this county, from Tennessee, and settled near Exeter, November 4, 1829. She, too, knows a thing or two about life in the early days of Scott county. She can tell you all about the old log school house, with its "puncheon" floor and "puncheon" seats. She can tell you when ordinary window glass was a decided luxury, and when the common lumber wagon used today in this county would have been considered a chariot fit for a king. She is thoroughly posted on the political bugaboo, "raw material", and can tell you the process in every stage in the evolution of a garment from the back of a sheep to the shoulders of the wearer. She has carded, spun, woven and made, and for long years after she became Mrs. Leib "store clothes" were a species of luxury enjoyed only by the rich.
Mr. and Mrs. Leib are the parents of two children - Mary L., born September 3, 1847, and married to T. B. Smithson, March 8, 1867; Luke, P., born August 25, 1854, died August 28, 1873.
Mr. Leib has always been a democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. It is said of him that he never "scratched" a ticket. In 1865 he was elected justice of the peace, and re-elected again in 1869. In 1874 he was elected to the office of county commissioner, serving three years with honor to the party which had honored him. At the age of seventy-eight he yet takes a healthy interest in the political affairs of the day.
For forty-eight years Nimrod and Jemima Leib have traveled hand in hand. Together they have ascended the mountain side, or have walked low in the valley. With their own hands they have builded their home, the little nest in which they have reared their family. They have ever been patient, kind, true. They have lived good lives and are a remaining remnant of the great family of good old fathers and mothers who have given to Scott county the noble sons and daughters she today possesses. In considering their lives one is forcibly reminded of the sweet little verse.
"When Adam and his wife went forth, compliant to command;
From Eden's angel-guarded gate, they journeyed hand in hand.
Nor he, nor she, essayed to lead, but each their burden bore;
In equal shares along the road, and neither went before.
Hand joined to hand, heart linked to heart, so fared they forth to toil;
Parents of the human race, first tillers of the soil.
Were it not well in these our days, in this our goodly land;
Their children followed in their ways, with more of hand in hand."