Biography - Samuel Duncan

SAMUEL DUNCAN. The gentleman of whom we are about to give a short biographical sketch in outline, resides on section 22, of Richland Township, Shelby County. He is a native of this State, and of American parentage, although his ancestors were probably Scotch. His father was James Duncan, who was born in Delaware County, Pa. His mother, who was before her marriage a Miss Mary McKeever, lived to see her son take an honorable position in life. They died in Richland Township. Six children were permitted to grow up around them. Of these there were four sons and two daughters, our subject being the fifth child in order of birth.

Samuel Duncan was born Richland Township, May 8, 1842. He was reared to manhood on his father's farm and in his native township, always having lived here with the exception of one year during which time he was in the army. He enlisted September 18, 1864, in Company B, of the Twelfth Illinois Infantry, and served until July, 1865. Although the severest fighting was over at the time of his enlistment, he took part in several small engagements, he received his discharge at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Duncan has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, making a specialty, however, of stock-raising. For fifteen years he was engaged in buying and shipping stock to the city markets. His farm hears the impress of having fine management, as every part is well cultivated. He owns one hundred and sixty acres, which is equally divided in the raising of general produce and the glazing of cattle.

The original of our sketch entered the matrimonial relation in Richland Township, October 9, 1864, his bride being Miss Harriet C. Balch, who was born in Coles County, Ill. Well mated and having tastes and sympathies in common, they have made a happy home. During the years that they have lived together three children have come to them: Mary E., Ida A., and Retta O. Mary E. is the wife of Samuel Richards. The parents of Mrs. Duncan were Jonathan J. P. and Elizabeth (Nicholson) Balch, the former was probably born in Indiana, and the latter was a native of Tennessee. They came to Shelby County and settled on Sand Creek, but remained here only a short time, returning to Coles County, where the mother died. At the date of this writing (May, 1891) the father still survives. Mrs. Duncan is one of twelve children born to her parents, she being the third in order of birth. She was born in Coles County. Ill., November 14, 1844.

Our subject has taken an active part in local politics, being an ardent Republican. He has held several offices in the gift of the township in which he lives, having been Deputy Sheriff and Constable, and he is now School Director. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church and our subject himself is a liberal supporter of the Gospel. Mr. Duncan was the first man who introduced and commenced the breeding of registered Hereford cattle, and is to-day the only breeder in the county. He has sold and shipped out of his herd in fifteen different States. His herd at the present writing numbers one hundred and forty head.

Extracted 13 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 430-431.

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