James L. Hartsough, Postmaster of McConnell's Grove, is also carrying on general merchandising at that point, where he has been located since the spring of 1877. He was appointed Postmaster in 1886, and has served as Justice of the Peace in Waddams Township for a period of seventeen years. He has also represented the township in the County Board of Supervisors many terms, and is in all respects a citizen closely identified with its interests.
Mr. Hartsough was born in Indiana County, Pa., Aug 23, 1840. His father, Jonathan, and his grandfather, John Hartsough, were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The latter was a carpenter by trade, but fond of country life, and spent his last years upon a farm in Indiana County. His son Jonathan was reared in his native State, where he remained until our subject was a youth seventeen years of age. Jonathan Hartsough then determined to remove to the West. After disposing of his real-estate in Pennsylvania, he gathered together his personal effects and, with his family, journeyed overland toward the Mississippi. Upon arriving in this county, he concluded that the soil of Northern Illinois would satisfy his requirements, and accordingly purchased a tract of land in Waddams Township, which he proceeded to cultivate and improve, and upon which he resided until he rested from his earthly labors in 1862.
The mother of our subject, in her girlhood, was Miss Mary A. Lafferty, who was born in Huntingdon County, Pa., and came West with her husband and family. She survived the former a period of twenty-one years, and departed this life at her home in McConnell's Grove in 1883. Of her marriage with Jonathan Hartsough there were born seven children, of whom but three lived to mature years. Mary J. is the wife of Samuel Fair, living at Lena; Susan became the wife of W.W. Robey, and is now deceased; James L., of our sketch, is the only son living.
Mr. Hartsough, during his boyhood and youth, assisted his father on the farm and attended the district school during the winter season. He remained with his parents until their death, and then assumed the management of the farm, continuing on the homestead built up by his father. He then sold the property and invested the proceeds in a stock of merchandise, and has built up a profitable trade, which is steadily increasing. He carries an ample stock of the articles usually contained in a country store, well suited to the wants of the farm or village household, including dry-goods, groceries, clothing and hardware.
The lady who has been the close friend and constant companion of our subject for more than twenty years was formerly Miss Mary Robey, and became his wife in 1855, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Waddams Township. Mrs. H. was born at her fatherĖs homestead in this township, March 27, 1849. She is the daughter of Levi Robey, Esq., a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this work. This union resulted in the birth of five children, namely, Frank, Jennie, Lulu, Annie and James E.
Mr. Hartsough has held most of the minor offices of the township and votes the straight Democratic ticket. Socially, he is a member of Lena Lodge No. 174, A.F. & A.M., and also belongs to the I.O.O.F., at Lena.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois, Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1885. pp. 338-339.
Submitted by: Toni Campbell on 5/3/00