Biography - MIRON CURTIS

The name al the head of this sketch is that of a contractor and builder, uniting with this the business of agriculture, being a general farmer residing on section 33, of Moweaqua Township, Shelby County, where he owns one hundred and twenty acres of well-improved land.

Our subject has devoted the greater part of his life to the business of a mechanic, in which he has had a very successful career. He came to Moweaqua in 1852, remaining here one year. He then absented himself three years, returning in 1855, and has since made the township his home. From the fact that he has been here so long and being well known as a man of much business ability who is never satisfied with doing anything but the best work, he is very well and favorably known in the county.

When the slavery question culminated in the terrible war between the North and South, and a call was made for volunteers, Mr. Curtis was one of the first to respond. He enlisted in October, 1861, in Company E, of the Forty-first Ohio Infantry, Col. Hughes being in command. Our subject's regiment was under the general command of Gen. Culbert, and fought at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Nashville and Atlanta, and serving for three years. Our subject was never afraid of military duty. He was an active and hard fighter and was engaged in many skirmishes besides the well-known battles mentioned above, he was so fortunate as to escape without a wound, nor was he ever captured. Entering the war as a private his bravery was recognized, and he was offered a first lieutenant's commission, but honors of that kind were not so much to him as the knowledge that he was doing the best that he could for his country and his flag, as a brave private, and he declined the honor. He received an honorable discharge at Chattanooga, Tenn., in October, 1864, and he is very proud of his war record, and though unassuming and modest, tells with enthusiasm, of various engagements in which he has taken part.

Mr. Curtis was born in Medina County, Ohio, February 20, 1837. He is a son of Enoch and Mary M. (Serdan) Curtis, natives of Vermont, coming of good New England stock. After the marriage of our subject's parents they came to Ohio, where they lived for a few years and then early in the '40s, while the country was as primitive as it could be, and while some of the greatest characters in American history were maturing and becoming strong to meet the emergencies that were to confront them. At that time there were no cars and but two alternatives; either to come by water via the lakes, or overland, with their own teams, which latter way they chose. Their first location was in McLean County, and they made them a home in or near Blooinington, Ills. There Enoch Curtis died in 1853 at the age of thirty-five years. He had learned the trade of a mechanic, although he was reared a farmer, but a pioneer settler necessarily must be able to turn his skill in several directions. His wife died in 1888, in Moweaqua, Ill., at the age of seventy-two years. Both she and her husband were prominent members of the Christian Church. Both our subject's father and his grandfather, Pond Curtis, belonged to the old Whig party. Our subject's grandfather and his wife were early settlers in this State, in McLean County, but they spent the last years in Lake County, where they died at an advanced age.

Only two members of the family of Curtis still survive, our subject, and a sister Permelia Kirkman, now of Moweaqua. From the age of twelve the original of this sketch has encountered the difficulties of life alone and unaided, being at the same time, the support of his mother. He learned the trade of a house builder in Moweaqua, and when he had arrived at years of maturity, he united himself in marriage to Miss Sarah Daughtry. She was born in East Tennessee in 1846 and came to Illinois while young, with her parents, Brant and Lydia Daughtry. The family located in this county and township about the time of the breaking out of the war, in which Mr. Daughtry enlisted and served as a soldier. He did not survive long after the war, his death having been caused by sickness contracted in the army. He passed away while in the hospital at Mound City, Ill. His wife, resides in Moweaqua, and is now seventy-five years of age. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a good and consecrated old lady. She never married again. Mrs. Curtis was reared and educated for the most part in this county. She is the mother of three children, who are all yet under their father's roof. They are Fred and James, who conduct the farm, and a daughter Bertha, all bright and intelligent children. Mrs. Curtis is a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church, and by her influence she exercises a very beneficient influence in the community. Politically her husband is an adherent of the Republican party, upholding its platform and favoring its constituents.

Extracted 17 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 577-578.

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