Biography - Robert Blackburn

ROBERT BLACKBURN. A history of any community, large or small, is made up to a greater or less extent of the lives of its citizens, and it is apparent to any intelligent observer that the history of Montgomery County is only such as has been made by those who have been identified with its development from an early period. Among that class of pioneers we cannot fail to make mention of Robert Blackburn, for his residence within the borders of the county has extended over a period of fifty-four years, and he has been so prominently associated with its material progress and development, that it is but just to number him among the honored few now living who were brave enough to open the way for civilization. The occupation of a farmer has been his calling, and his career from an humble beginning in life to the present position which he occupies is one of honorable ascent, and reflects great credit upon him. He was born in Loudoun County, Va., March 29, 1818, a son of Thomas and Sarah (Ball) Blackburn, who were born, reared and married in the Old Dominion, the mother's death occurring when the subject of this sketch was eighteen months old. The father was called from life at Dayton, Ohio, when about seventy-three years old.
The parents of our subject had ten children five sons and five daughters all of whom grew to maturity, married and reared families. Of this family only three sons are now living, and Robert is the youngest. He came with a brother to Montgomery County, Ill., in 1838, and after remaining with him for about three years began to do for himself. On the 1st of March, 1846, he was married to Miss Sarah Ann, daughter of William and Margaret (Bodkin) Fuller. She was born in Clarke County, Ohio, January 2, 1826, and was there reared and educated.
Mr. Blackburn located on the farm where he now resides immediately after his marriage, at which time there were no improvements whatever on the place. He at once built a frame house containing three rooms, and made other substantial and valuable improvements, and at the present time it would be difficult to find a neater or better tilled farm of one hundred and sixty acres than that of which he is the owner. Besides this land, he owns forty acres of land in East Fork Township, making in all two hundred acres, and some valuable houses and lots in Hillsboro. He was in debt when he started out in life for himself, but by continued application, push and economy he soon discharged his obligations. He and his worthy wife are the parents of one child, a son, William L., who is residing at Grant's Pass, Ore.
Mr. Blackburn has found a profitable source of revenue in the cultivation of the rich soil of Illinois, but could hardly fail to succeed as an agriculturist, for from the very first he was carefully taught every detail connected with farming. In the conduct of his estate he has given each portion of the work his personal attention, and the care and method ever exercised have contributed to place him among the foremost farmers of the vicinity, as he is one of its most intelligent citizens. Politically, he has always supported Republican principles, and for many years has been a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he was at one time Deacon.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 309-310.

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