Biography - Alfred Blackwelder

Alfred BLACKWELDER, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Cabarrus County, N. C., near Concord, July 17, 1811. He started from his home, October 4, 1834, on horseback, and came through to Illinois, reaching Union County in twenty-one days, where a sister lived, and he remained there until April, 1835, when he came to Hillsboro, where he found the Circuit Court in session in a log house. (He has helped to build three court houses since that time.) His earthly possessions, when he arrived here, were a small sorrel horse and $10 in money; he worked for $10 per month for three years, working first for Judge ROUNTREE, who held all the county offices,office-holding patriots being scarcer in those good old days than at present. He married, April 19, 1837, Miss Joanna SCHERER, daughter of Frederick SCHERER, of NorthCarolina, who came to this State about 1833. Mr. BLACKWELDER rented land until about 1840, when he bought eighty acres at $5 per acre, unimproved, in South Litchfield Township; be built on it a small farm house, and lived there about sixteen years, when he sold his farm to secure a larger tract for his growing boys, and, by exchange and purchase, secured 240 acres in the same locality, farmed it six years, and made great improvements upon it; when the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad was built, E. B. LITCHFIELD, through his agent, Maj. HUGGINS, bought this land at $20 per acre, and part of it became a portion of the town site of Litchfield. Mr. BLACKWELDER then bought of James TURNER 180 acres, and of John C. REED 240 acres, and these two tractscomprise the 420-acre farm of our subject, inclusive of his 100 acres of excellent timber. Very little or no improvements were made upon his land when Mr. BLACKWELDER purchased it, but he has so persistently and intelligently managed his possessions that it is at present in a high state of cultivation, and every acre is enclosed with fences. Since 1878, Mr. BLACKWELDER has relinquished the active management of his farm to his three sons; he has eight children living and married; four died when young; those living are Daniel Monroe, William Riley, Minerva C. (now Mrs. Robert MORRISON), Jacob Francis, David Alexander, John Martin, Harriet Louisa (now Mrs. Gideon DAVIS), Samuel Richard. All Mr. BLACKWELDER's sons are residents of Montgomery County, and all of them farmers; both sons-in-law are also residents of Montgomery County, and farmers. Mr. BLACKWELDER is a member of the Lutheran Church, and filled for twenty years the office of Deacon, or Elder, holding membership with his denomination for over fifty years. Mr. BLACKWELDER has always been a Democrat, casing his first Presidential vote for VanBUREN. His wife died January 31, 1876, being in her sixtieth year; they had been married almost forty years. The old gentleman says that, when the State road was laid out from Edwardsville to Taylorville, they plowed two furrows all the way through. Mr. BLACKWELDER has always been in favor of anything that might redound to the credit of his county, and is a man who has won and retained the respect of all.

Extracted 19 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 126-127.

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