Biography - John T. Killam

JOHN T. KILLAM resides on section 33, of Rural Township, Shelby County, where he is proprietor of a fine farm. He was born in Ridge Township, May 18, 1847 and is a son of John and Mary M. T. (Bowen) Killam and a grandson of Peter Killam. His mother"s death occurred February 12, 1877. He was at the tender age of one year when his parents removed to section 33, Rural Township, where his father had purchased a tract of land and had also entered some Government land, and thus became the owner of six hundred acres in one body. He also owned land in other parts of the county, and some valuable property in Pana, being one of the founders of said town.

Our subject is the youngest of a family of five children. He early learned the business of farming and stock-raising, having resided at home until he attained his majority. He attended the district school and completed his education at the old Seminary at Shelbyville. February 12, 1878, he was united in marriage to Oma J. Oller, a daughter of David and Caroline (Conrad) Oller, natives of Ohio. who removed to Wisconsin and then came to Illinois is 1855, settling in Shelby County. Mr. Oller died in 1862 or 1863. His wife is still living, making her home at Pana.

Mr. and Mrs. Killam have no children of their own but have been the loving foster parents of several children; one daughter, now deceased, having lived with our subject and his estimable wife and enjoyed every advantage that she would have received had she been their own child. Austin E. McDaniel resided with Mr. Killam until he was twenty-seven years old, having been taken at nine years of age. On his marriage to Miss Minnie Kerr, he made a home lor himself, but only five months later, was killed by lightning. Jessie May Ferguson was one of our subject's family until she was united in marriage to Paul C. Smith, March 9, 1891. Leslie Ray Ramsey is now the pet of the household, being a small boy, his attention being chiefly devoted to his studies and in getting as much fun out of his childhood life as possible.

Mr. and Mrs. Killam are members of the Christian Church. Politically our subject favors the purity of principle promulgated by the Prohibition party. He was formerly a Democrat, but now shows his total abstinence principles in union with the above named party. He was Chairman of the Central Committee of the Prohibition party for several years. For seven years he served as Supervisor of the township, being Chamnan of the Board for six years. He has also held the office of Collector for one year. He is the owner of three hundred and thirty acres of well-improved land, but raises and deals largely in live-stock.

So much of a man's character is accounted for by his antecedents that we feel that a short sketch of Peter Killam, the grandfather of our subject, will he in place here. He was born in Maryland, but when a young man removed to Kentucky, and there married. He came to Illinois in 1831 and settled in Ridge Township, where he died at the age of sixty. His wife. also, passed away from their home in Ridge Township. Peter Killam had five sons and four daughters, all of whom came with their parents to Illinois, with the exception of a son named Samuel, who died at the age of twenty. Those, who made settlement with their father in this State, are Isaac, Thomas, William, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah and Naomi. William was a soldier in the Mexican War, and dying while on the voyage home was buried in the Gulf of Mexico. Mary became the wife of Nathan Smith. Elizabeth married Leton Smith. Sarah married Harrison Bailey. Naomi married John Todd, in whose honor Todd's Point Township received its name.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 606-607.

Templates in Time