Biography - John W Middlesworth

JOHN W. MIDDLESWORTH. Somebody has said that the most desirable thing in life is to be well born, but there is a different way of construing the expression among different classes of people. The writer's idea of good birth is the endowment of a fine physical constitution, crowned and sanctified by high mental and moral faculties, and having parents in whom shine "high erected thoughts, seated in hearts of courtesy." As Oliver Wendell Holmes says in his charming conversations over the teacups, the selection of parents should be attended to several years before one's coming into the world, and all sociological questions should be carefully balanced. In the case of our subject this last consideration happened naturally and without his interference, he is a son of A. Middlesworth, of Shelbyville, an honorable, upright and worthy man, to whom his son is much indebted, both physically and mentally. A sketch of the gentleman may be found in another part of this volume.
Our subject was born in Shelby County, Ill., September 11, 1860, when the country was in the throes of secession and discussion was ripe over the decision of the Dred Scott affair. However, when he was old enough to understand these matters the strife was ended and the country was resuming its normal condition. Farmers who had left the plowshare to take the rifle and sabre had returned to their homes and resumed the duties of agricultural life. When John Middlesworth was eleven years old his father removed to Shelbyville in order to give his children better educational advantages. There our subject received his education and continued living under his father's roof until his marriage, which occurred October 10, 1883. His wife's maiden name was Alice Stewart; with her he experienced but one year of domestic bliss as her decease took place July 10, 1884.
Later our subject was united in marriage with Atloe Brooks, their nuptials being celebrated September 28, 1885. The present Mrs. Middlesworth is a pleasing and attractive lady. She is a daughter of Josias W. and Martha D. (Selby) Brooks and one of seven children, there having been three sons and four daughters in her parents' family, Mrs. Middlesworth being the youngest daughter. She was born in Moweaqua, Ill., January 28, 1867. Her interest centers in her home and family, which includes three bright and attractive children. Their names are: Raymond B., William W. and Glen S. He has long followed the calling of farming and is now the owner of four hundred and sixty-six acres of finely improved land. Many valuable improvements have been made upon his farm.
He of whom we write has long taken an active part in political affairs and has been an office-holder in the township in which he has lived. He is an adherent of the Republican party. His townsmen have shown their confidence in his executive ability and sound judgment by giving him one of the most important offices in the township gift, that of School Director. He and his wife are earnest Christian people and members of the Presbyterian Church.

Extracted 07 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 201-202.

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