Biography - Reuben Terry

REUBEN TERRY. Prominent in agricultural and church circles is the family represented by our subject, who resides on section 22, Okaw Township, Shelby County. He was born in Bourbon County. Ky., December 10, 1832, being a son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Dazey) Terry, who in 1833 when this son was in his early infancy came to Illinois and settled in Okaw Township.

Reuben Terry, Sr., made his first home in Illinois for a short time with his father-in-law Lemuel Dazey and somewhat later made a settlement on the section which is now the family home, and where he resided until his death which occurred April 2, 1881. He was bereaved of his beloved and faithful companion September 5, 1851. She had been the mother of eleven children, two of whom died in infancy and nine grew to the age of maturity. They were as follows: Mary, now Mrs. Allen Francisco, of Okaw Township; John, who died in Mississippi while traveling for his health; Sarah, who married Alfred Doddy and died in Okaw Township; Vincent, deceased; Reuben, our subject; Lemuel, deceased; Elizabeth, the wife of John A. Fearman; William, who died at the age of sixteen years and George, who lives in Shelbyville. Their mother was an earnest member of the Christian Church and gave to all her children a thorough training in the doctrines and duties of religion.

Our subject, who is the oldest of the living members of his father's family, was reared upon the farm and attended the pioneer schools which were held in the old log cabins, ventilated by large fire places and furnished with rough hewn seats and benches. In August, 1854, he was married to Martha K. Shanks, daughter of John K. and Mildred (Johnson) Shanks. This lady was born in Okaw Township, May 25, 1837, and was of Southern parentage, her father being a native of Delaware and her mother of Virginia.

Mr. and Mre. Shanks were married in Kentucky in 1831, and came to Illinois about 1835. In early life he had been a shoemaker, but after coming to Okaw Township, he pursued farming as his life work. He was called from earth, July 20, 1855, but his bereaved widow survived until the fall of 1877. Of their six children, Mary Ann married Jacob Jackson and died near Jefferson City, Mo., while removing to Kansas. Elizabeth J. married Smith R. Chapman and resides in Okaw Township. Martha E. is the wife of Mr. Terry. John F. resides in Okaw Township; Lucy C. married D. D. Anders and has been for many years a widow of the Civil War, resident in Shelbyville; David H., who was a member of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry was killed near Nashville, December 15, 1864.

After marriage Mr. Terry purchased forty acres of fine land from his father, upon which he began the independent life of a farmer which he has pursued to the present day. He now owns one hundred and forty acres, on which he has erected good buildings. He and his worthy wife have reared a family of five children: Mary E., wife of Lawson Hendricks; John W., George R., Ella A., wife of William Price; Sue J., wife of J. B. Warthman. During the war Mr. Terry was a Union man and in 1860 he cast his ballot for Stephen A. Douglas. He is now independent in his political views and has served as Supervisor, Justice of the Peace and Road Commissioner. With his excellent wife he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Extracted 05 Feb 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 656-657.

Templates in Time