Biography - Marcus F. Pleak

MARCUS F. PLEAK A man who is noted as being a thrifty and well-to-do farmer residing on section 11, of Flat Branch Township where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of highly improved land, is he whose name is at the head of this sketch. He is evidently a man who thinks more of home than of the mere accumulation of money, for his family are surrounded by all the comforts and even elegancies that the modern style of living declare so necessary. His residence is a fine, brick house, commanding a charming view of the surrounding country. Exteriorly, it is attractive and tasteful in style of architecture, and the interior arrangement is made with a view to comfort.

Besides his fine home place, Mr. Pleak owns ninety-six acres on section 12, and sixty-two acres on section 1 in the same township, and forty acres on section 3. He is regarded by those who know him best as being one of the most practical and successful farmers of the township, having made fine improvements since his coming here, which was February 1, 1877. Our subject came hither from Middle Tennessee, where he had lived for some years. He was born near Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County. Ky., April 28, 1838. His parents are Joseph B. and Sarah J. (Riblin) Pleak, both natives of Kentucky, who came of German stock and ancestry. The family were early settlers in Kentucky. Our subject's grandfather was John Pleak, a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War, belonging to a Virginia regiment. He, however, died in Kentucky, after marriage with a lady of that State whose maiden name was Nancy Wade. She was of Irish descent and like her husband, died in Kentucky at an advanced age. The family were all members, both active and prominent, of the Christian Church and were among the early associates of that reform, they being personal friends and workers with Dr. Alexander Campbell, and the Rev. Barton W. Stone. Joseph D. Pleak and wife, after marriage, resided in Kentucky until 1870, when they came to Decatur County, Ind., where the father of the family died in 1876, having attained seventy-six years of age. His wife died in 1889, at the age of eighty-four. They were both prominent members for many years of the Christian Church, in fact, being so from Dr. Campbell's day.

Our subject is one of a large family, six of whom are still living. Mr. Pleak was well reared in his native county, where he became of age. He completed his education, which was begun at home, at Hartsville, Ind., in the university of that place. He was married October 3, 1869 in Tennessee to Mrs. Francis H. Briggs, nee Beard. The lady was a native of Tennessee, where she was reared and married to her first husband, who was W. Briggs. Mr. Briggs was treacherously shot by a Southern guerrilla chief, known as Dave Miller. Mr. Briggs being then a Federal scout. He was only twenty-five years of age at the time of his death, and was known as a brave, daring man. He left one child to his widow, William N., who now lives in this township on a farm, having taken to wife, Genevra Tannyhill.

After Mr. Pleak's marriage, he lived in Tennessee for seven years and then removed to the place where they now reside, being a leading member of their community. Mr. Pleak is a refined and accomplished gentleman, and his wife is a lady with whom it is a pleasure and privilege to meet. They have eight children, three of whom are deceased, one in infancy and Lillie A. and Wallace E., who died in childhood. The living children are Stoder M., Arthur E., Marcus F. Jr., Mary C. and John J., all of whom are still at home, making the house merry with their bright jests and happy ways. Mr. Pleak and his wife are prominent members of the Christian Church, of which the gentleman has been an Elder for years. Politically he is a Republican, using his influence for the advantage of that party.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 599-600.

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