Biography - John L. Gregory

JOHN L. GREGORY. The farmers and stockraisers of Penn Township have no better representative than our subject, who stands high among the keen, progressive, businesslike men who are so ably conducting the extensive agricultural interests of this part of Shelby County. He has adopted the best modern methods in carrying on his farming operations, and his farm is conceded to be one of the best managed estates in the township. It is also the seat of one of the most attractive and comfortable homes of this locality, of a recent and appropriate style of architecture, and replete in its interior appointments.

Mr. Gregory was born in Perry County, Ind., opposite Cloverport, Ky., January 26, 1845. His father, Edward Gregory, was born in Henry County, Ky., September 26, 1817. He is a son of Peter Gregory, who was born either in Culpeper or Botetourt Counties, Va. He in turn was a son of John Gregory, who was born in Virginia, and was of early English ancestry. He was a farmer, and so far as known spent his last days in Virginia. The grandfather of subject passed his early life in his native State, but after marriage he removed to the wilds of Kentucky, taking with him his wife and the two children that had been born to them in their old home, and making the removal with a pair of horses and a wagon. He settled in Henry County, and was engaged in farming there until 1825, when he removed to Breckenridge County. In 1833 he left Kentucky to become a pioneer of Indiana, his wife and nine children accompanying him on the journey, which was performed with a team. He crossed the Ohio River on a ferry boat at Cloverport, and settled in Perry County, where he rented land and dwelt during the remaining days of his earthly pilgrimage. His wife also died in Perry County. In her maiden days her name was Mary Dobson, and she was born in Virginia, a daughter of William and Edith (Calvert) Dobson.

Edward Gregory was sixteen years old when his parents removed to Indiana, and there he grew to manhood on a farm. He was married in 1843 to Miss Elizabeth Winchel, a native of Perry County, and a daughter of Smith and Annie (Malory) Winchel. He bought a tract of improved land in that county, and lived there, actively engaged in farming, until 1865. In the fall of that year he came to Shelby County, and bought a quarter of a section of land, a half of it in Penn and the remainder in Pickaway Township. He erected a dwelling and other suitable buildings in Penn Township, and at once commenced to prepare his land for cultivation. He has been prosperous since he came here to seek a habitation, and has bought other land at different times, and now has a valuable farm of two hundred acres. Here he is spending his declining years in comfort, and in the enjoyment of a competence ample for all of his wants. The good wife who joined her fortunes with his when both were young, and walked by his side, staying his hands and strengthening him in his work, for nearly forty years, has gone from him. her death taking place April 7, 1880. Together they reared seven children, namely. James E., John L., Laura, T. Jefferson, Wallace, Franklin and Richard.

John L. Gregory grews to manhood in his native county, and obtained his education in its public schools. In June. 1865, he came to Shelby County, and spent the summer in Penn Township and at Moweaqua. In the fall he joined his parents and resided with them until 1870, and then, at the time of his marriage, he bought eighty acres of wild prairie land on section 5, Penn Township, and later he purchased a like amount of land near by. He placed nearly the entire tract under cultivation, erected good buildings, and lived there until 1887, when he sold and bought the farm that he now occupies on section 6 of the same township. It is well improved, the soil is exceedingly fertile, and a never failing supply of water adds greatly to the value of the place. In 1889 Mr. Gregory erected a fine frame house, building it substantially, and in a modern style of architecture.

In the upbuilding of his home Mr. Gregory has had the benefit of the good taste and assistance of his amiable wife, to whom he was married March 3, 1870. Mrs. Gregory was formerly Miss Mary R. Thomas. She is a native of Fairbanks Township, Sullivan County, Ind., and a daughter of Calvin and Jane (Hunt) Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Gregory have six children living, Edwin M., Mary Lilian. Minnie Florence, Arthur Hastings, Alta Beatrice and Tracy. Their son Clinton L., died at the age of nine years.

Since his removal to this county more than a quarter of a century ago our subject has shown himself to be an acquisition to its citizenship not only as a very intelligent, skillful farmer, but as one who is desirous to promote the general welfare of his community, and at all times gives cordial support to all schemes advanced for the benefit of the public. He has always taken a deep interest in educational affairs, and has served several years as School Director. He has also been Highway Commissioner, and this is his third term as Assessor of the township. His political views are in accord with the principles promulgated by the Republican party. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, and they lead exemplary Christian lives.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 600-605.

Templates in Time