Biography - J Wyckoff

J. S. WYCKOFF. There is not within the limits of Litchfield a man who is held in more general respect than the subject of this notice. Self-made in the broadest sense of the term, his career illustrates in an admirable manner what may be accomplished by unflagging industry, perseverance and good management. We find him the possessor of a fine home which in all its appointments fulfills the modern idea of cultured taste.
Our subject was born in New York City, July 15, 1850. His parents were Dr. James B. and Margaret (Winship) Wyckoff. Dr. Wyckoff was a native of New York, and practiced there for some time. In 1865 he came West and located at Jerseyville, this State, but did not long survive his removal, leaving a widow and one son, who is the subject of this biography. The mother and son returned to their old home, and some years later Mrs. Wyckoff became Mrs. Eytinge, and changed her place of residence to Bayonne, N. J., where she still lives. Our subject's mother is a woman of pronounced literary ability, and has for years successfully edited the children's department of the Detroit Free Press. She is a graduate of the Rutger Institute of New York City, and received the gold medal of her class. Her parents were natives of New England, and she can trace a direct line of ancestry back to the "Mayflower."
J. S. Wyckoff, with whose name we commenced this sketch, was educated in the public schools of his native city, and for some years after his graduation occupied himself as a teacher. Circumstances seem to have compelled him to seek the field in which he should prove the greatest success, for previous to entering the line he is now engaged in, we find him acting as school teacher and clerk alternately. Soon after accepting a school in this part of the State, in the year 1871, our subject became interested in plants and flowers to such an extent that he resigned his position and accepted a place in a nursery as salesman. Nature must have endowed him with the necessary talent and conception for this line of work, for only a few years after his introduction to the business we find him in the position of proprietor, and making an unqualified success in this chosen field of labor. In the year 1876 he came to Litchfield, and built up a trade which extends over the southern portion of the State. He employs a large number of salesmen, but the success of his business is due to his own excellent ability, energy and management. In 1889 he built the home in which he resides at present, and which is an excellent monument to his perseverance and thrift, as well as an excellent illustration of the taste possessed by its owner.
When twenty-six years old, Mr. Wyckoff, having accumulated enough of this world's goods to found a home, took unto himself a wife and helpmate. The marriage occurred January 10, 1879, and the bride was Miss Maggie L. Johnson, daughter of Henry Johnson, a well-known and much-esteemed citizen of Hopkinsville, Ky. The results of this union are three intelligent and bright children, Pearl, Ralph and Carl. Mrs. Wyckoff is a woman of most estimable traits of character and warm sympathies, which make for her many friends in the vicinity of her home.
Our subject is one of the stanch, substantial citizens of Litchfield, and a man of sterling principles, progressive ideas and generous impulses. Eulogy is never questioned when bestowed on one whose every characteristic displays qualities of heart and brain superior to the average, and yet capable of comprehending and discovering the best in those with whom he comes in contact, and he whose biography we have here sketched is one of the best types of American citizen, and a man beloved by his fellow-men. Mr. Wyckoff is a member of the Knights of Pythias, also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

Extracted 12 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 497-498.

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