Biography - John W. Beery

JOHN W. BEERY, a prominent and successful farmer residing on section 5, Ridge Township, Shelby County, and a man who is ever active in political and church circles, is the son of Josiah Beery, a native of Rockingham County, Va., where his mother, Ann Jacobs was also born. They had thirteen children, and our subject was among the older members of the family, being born September 9, 1844, in Rockingham County, where he was reared upon a farm.

At the time of the breaking out of the war, this young man was conscripted when only sixteen years old, into the rebel army. He served in the ranks but a few days, and then was detailed to work in a shoe shop, where he served between three and four years. When Gen. Hunter made his famous raid up the Shenandoah Valley, all the detailed men were called out and given guns. The enemy was routed and our subject took leave of his brethren in arms against the Union without the consent of his commanding officer, and coming to Fairfield County, obtained employment at farm labor.

Here Mr. Beery remained until his marriage September 2. 1869, to Miss Rebecca Swartz, a daughter of Henry and Sarah (Beery) Swartz, both of whom were natives of Fairfield County, Ohio. The mother died in that county, and the father in Pickaway Township, Shelby County, Ill., where he had settled in December, 1870. The wife of our subject was one of the younger members in a large family of twelve children, and was born in Fairfield County, July 22, 1847.

The young married couple continued to reside in Fairfield County until the fall of 1872, when they removed to Shelby County and made their home in Pickaway Township for ten years, after which they removed to Ridge Township, and settled on section 5, where Mr. Beery owns a farm of eighty acres upon which he has placed good improvements.

The children who have come to bless the home of our subject are: Thomas C., Mary A., Laura C., Elmer C., Docie E., Lulu E., John O. and Onie B. Elmer, John and Onie have passed to the better world. The father of these children is an intelligent and public-spirited man, who has always taken an active part in public affairs, and is an ardent and progressive Republican, he has been School Director for five years, and in this capacity has done much to forward the educational interests of the Township. In the spring of 1890 he was elected Highway Commissioner, which office he has filled to the satisfaction of his constituents and the benefit of the roads, he has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and has made them a success. The Evangelical Association is the religious body with which he and his good wife are connected, and in its work they are ever ready to take part, and to do good. He has been in this connection Class Leader, Trustee, Sunday-school Superintendent and exhorter. Mr. Beery is a member of the Modern Woodmen, and is also identified with the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, page 288.

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