Biography - James Gavin

JAMES GAVIN, an early settler of Moweaqua Township, Shelby County, and one of the substantial, well-to-do farmers of this county, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, November 1, 1817, to Michael and Anna (Higgins) Gavin. His parents were also natives of that county, and his mother spent her entire life there. The father and five of the children came to America, and the former passed his last years in the home of our subject.

He of whom we write was reared to agricultural pursuits, and carried on his occupation on his native soil until 1852, when he came to the United States, sailing from Liverpool and landing at New Orleans after a voyage of nine weeks. He came from there to Naples, in this State, by the way of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and from there went to Exeter, Scott County. His means were very limited at that time, and he sought employment on a farm to earn his living. He worked by the month for a year, and then farmed as a renter the following five years. He was industrious and frugal, and at the end of that time had money enough saved so that he could purchase land of his own, and he became the possessor of ninety acres on section 28, Moweaqua Township, and has resided here continuously since, he has provided his homestead with a fine set of frame buildings, and has added to his farm by further purchase so that it now comprises three hundred and sixty acres of choice land, that is well improved. Besides this he owns four acres of land in the village of Moweaqua, and fourteen acres of land adjoining the village, which constitutes a valuable property.

In 1868 Mr. Gavin took unto himself a wife in the person of Mrs. Ellen (Roche) Harty, who looks well after his comfort, and has materially aided him in the acquirement of his possessions. She was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1833. Her parents, David and Ellen Roche, came to this country in 1852, resided in the State of New York until 1858, and then came to Illinois. They lived in Decatur for a time, and then bought a farm in Macon County, where they dwelt some years. Disposing of that place, they removed to Moweaqua, where they passed their remaining years.

Mrs. Gavin was first married to John Harty, a native of County Armaugh, Ireland. He died in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Gavin have two children, Maria and James. The family are members of the Catholic Church, and are much esteemed in the community. Mr. Gavin is a true Democrat in politics. He is an intelligent man, who is well read and posted on all general subjects, and in the management of his affairs has shown himself to be possessed of sound discrimination, foresight, and an excellent knowledge of his calling.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pagee 341.

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