Biography - Samuel D. West

SAMUEL D. WEST is a prominent and well-known citizen of Moweaqua, Shelby County, who has held important civic positions in the city government. For many years he was among the leading mechanics of the county, and conducted a good business as a blacksmith here until he retired October, 1890 in favor of his son Frank. Our subject was born at Sempronius, Cayuga County, N. Y., August 12, 1821. His parents were Thomas and Rhoda (Dunbar) West, and they were natives of Oneida County, that State.

Mr. West was reared in Wayne County, N. Y., whither his parents removed in 1827. As soon as he was large and strong enough to handle the tools he began to work with his father in his smithy, and thus early acquired a good knowledge of the blacksmith trade. At the age of twenty-one he rented his father's shop at South Butler, Wayne County, and carried on his calling there some years. In the spring of 1854 he came to this county, as with characteristic shrewdness and foresight he saw that skilled mechanics would be in demand in a new and growing country. He came hither by rail to Chicago, and from there by the same means of transport, to Springfield and Decatur, and from the latter place with a team to Moweaqua, which he had selected as a suitable location to begin his new life. He bought a small shop in the village and at once went to work at his trade, which he increased from year to year, until he was conducting a flourishing and paying business as blacksmith at the time of his retirement.

Our subject was married in May, 1844 to Miss Emma Baggerly, a native of Ontario County, N. Y., and a daughter of Peter and Jane Baggerly. For forty-six years they walked together through the sunshine and shadow that lay across their pathway, and then Death parted them, removing the faithful wife from the home that her presence had gladdened so long. She and our subject were blessed with two children. Frank B. and Jennie. The former married Mollie Weakly, and they have four children — Mabel, Bertha, Delia and Samuel. Jennie married Joseph B. Longevan, and they have two children living, Claud and Dwight.

Mr. West was a Republican from the time the party was organized until 1888, and since then he has been a Democrat and a Prohibitionist. His fellow-citizens, appreciating his worth as a man of exemplary habits, unswerving honesty and truthfulness in every word and act, and his capability, have often called him to responsible positions. He has served as a member of the City Council, and as President of the Board, and also as a member of the School Board. At one time he was elected Police Magistrate. He was also Justice of the Peace three terms, and has been Notary Public for upward twenty years.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pagee 330.

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