Biography - Shields H. Sanner

SHIELDS H. SANNER. Among the most active and progressive of the skillful farmers and stock-raisers who are conducting the great agricultural interests of this county is Shields H. Sanner, a resident of Penn Township, and it gives us pleasure to represent him in this volume, dedicated to the citizens of this section of Illinois. A son of one of the early settlers of Madison County, our subject was born in that region October 16, 1847. His father, whose given name was Samuel, was born in Northumberland County, Pa. He learned the trade of saddle and harness maker in early life and pursued it in his native State some six years before he took that important step in his life whereby he became a pioneer of Illinois in 1833. He was for many years after that closely identified with the interests of Madison County and was of much assistance in its upbuilding, at the same time acquiring a handsome competence. He came with his family to this county in 1866 and his remaining years were spent in Penn Township, his death occurring there at a venerable age in 1880. His wife, the mother of our subject, was Barbara Paul, in her maiden days and she was a native of Preston County, W. Va., which at the time of her birth formed a part of Virginia.

He of whom we write was the tenth in order of birth of the twelve children that blessed the union of his parents. He laid the foundation of his education in the school in Madison County nearest his early home, which he only attended in winter after he was large enough to assist his father in the farm work. After gaining a good knowledge of the common branches, he entered Blackburn University at Carlinville and remained there a short time. He was nineteen years old when his parents came to this county from his native county and began making a new home in Penn Township, which then formed a part of Pickaway Township and was mostly in a wild condition, with but few habitations within its borders. Our subject and his brothers have been prominent factors in bringing about, the great change that makes this a well-improved township, with many valuable farms and pleasant homes, where they found a wilderness.

Mr. Sanner lived with his parents until he married and he then located on section 24, Penn Township, and carried on farming for himself on that place the ensuing three years. His next move was to Bethany, Moultrie County, where he and his brother-in-law established a store tor the sale of hardware and agricultural implements. He remained in business at that point with Mr. Frazier until January, 1878, a period of three years, and then resumed farming, locating at that time on his present farm on section 22, Penn Township. He has placed upon it many substantial improvements and thus greatly added to its value since it came into his possession, making it one of the choice, well-ordered farms of this locality, and from its rich, well-tilled harvest fields he gleans a good yearly income.

Our subject was first married January 1, 1872, to Miss Lucretia R., daughter of A. B. Frazier, then a resident of Penn Township. A happy wedded life of six years was vouchsafed to them and then death removed the wife, May 29, 1878. Four children were born of that union, namely: Paul Simpson, Frances Estelle, Margaret Grace and Louis Ross, the latter of whom died in infancy. February 14, 1879, Mr. Sanner was united in marriage to his present estimable wife. Mrs. Sanner, whose maiden name was Cornelia J. Green, is a native of Licking County, Ohio, and a daughter of Joseph Green. Her father was born in New Jersey and went from there to Pennsylvania. When he was twenty-one years of age he settled in Ohio and was there married to Electy Clutter, Mrs. Sanner's mother, who was a native of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Green died in Ohio and Mr. Green in Pickaway Township, this county, whither he had removed in 1867, his death occurring in December, 1876. By this marriage Mr. Sanner had one daughter, Lina H.

Inheriting from a sterling ancestry principles of justice, truth and right-living, our subject's life record is that of a true gentleman, who is faithful in all the relations that he sustains toward others. Religiously he is of the Methodist faith and is a member of the church of that denomination. He is an earnest thinker on all the questions that confront the citizens of this great Republic, and in his political views is one of the most ardent champions of the Republican party in all Penn Township, which is one of the few strongholds of the party in Shelby County.

Extracted 13 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 456-459.

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