Biography - John R. Hendricks

JOHN R. HENDRICKS. The well-known and prominent family, of which our subject is the representative, is sketched at length upon various pages of this volume, but we have more to say in regard to them and especially in regard to this branch. Our subject resides on section 24. Ridge Township, Shelby County, and he has belonged in the county since 1831. He was born near Indianapolis, Ind., December 23, 1828, and is a son of George and Nancy (Brown) Hendricks, being the third child in a family of five who are as follows: Amanda, who married twice, first to Samuel Moyer, and second to Samuel Truitt, and now resides in Texas; Samuel, deceased; John R., our subject; Sadie, now the widow of Caleb Crawford, residing near Shelbyville; and Zimri, deceased.

Our subject was reared upon the farm and attended such schools as the early settlers of the county were able to provide for their children. These did not have so broad a curriculum as is provided by the schools of the present day, but there was a degree of earnestness which pervaded the work of those early schools which may well be emulated by teachers and pupils of this decade. Such earnestness gave to the minds of the young an impression of the value of an education and the effort necessary to attain it which proved a desirable stimulant.

The marriage of Mr. Hendricks with Isabelle Johnson took place in 1851, and opened up a life of mutual happiness and harmony, yet it was short in duration. This lady, who was born in Kentucky, was a daughter of John Johnson and came with her parents to this county, and died in 1862 leaving four children, one of whom died in early childhood; the next, Olivia, married John Killam, and died leaving two children; George died in Shelby County and William resides in Okaw Township. In 1868, Mr. Hendricks was a second time united in marriage, this time with Elizabeth Royce, a daughter of John and Nancy (Miller) Royce, who was born in Kentucky. Her parents were among the early pioneers of Shelby County and were representative farmers, whose memory is cherished by all who knew them. By this union one child was born who has passed to the other world.

The pursuit of agriculture has ever been the favorite calling of our subject. He has felt that in the life of a farmer there was a large compensation for whatever deprivations are incident to the seclusion of country existence. To be out of the reach of the bustle and activities of the world and many of the opportunities for culture and education are to him abundantly made up by the peaceful repose and freedom from temptation which he is able to afford his family. He now owns two hundred and sixty acres of as fine land as is to be found in Ridge and Okaw Townships, and upon which he has placed substantial improvements, and where he has paid particular attention to raising cattle and mules. Both he and his good wife are earnest and active members of the Christian Church.

The political views with which Mr. Hendricks finds himself in sympathy are those which are expressed in the declarations and platform of the Democratic party and he longs to have the good old days of Democratic simplicity return again. He believes that the principles which were announced by Jefferson and which were in vogue under the Jacksonian Administration are the ones which are best fitted for securing the prosperity of our country.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 536-537.

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