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Biography - James Caulk

JAMES N. CAULK. This Biographical Record of Bond County would be incomplete if within its pages a sketch of the above-named gentleman should fail to appear. His standing is high among the citizens of Reno and the surrounding country, and he is deservedly respected by those who are favored with his friendship. It is believed by all students of human nature that the ancestry and early training and surroundings of men exert such an influence over their lives, that a knowledge of the former gives one a very good idea of what may be expected in the latter; therefore a few lines regarding the progenitors of our subject will not be amiss. His parents were James P. and Sarah (Powers) Caulk, natives respectively of Kentucky and North Carolina. The grandfather of our subject, Jacob Caulk, served in the Revolutionary War.

In 1833 the father of our subject brought his family to Illinois, and settled in Macoupin County. Upon his arrival in this State, he turned his attention to agriculture, and soon became the possessor of a well-improved farm on the site of his first settlement. His family consisted of eleven children, six of whom are now living: William H. is now a resident of Litchfield, this State. Nersisus married James Coekendall, who served in the Mexican War, and departed this life several years ago. Mrs. Coekendall now makes her home with her son, who resides in Sorento, Sarah J, is the wife of D. W. Henderson, a soldier in the late war who now resides in Missouri. Allen M., now a resident of Nebraska, also served in the late war. Hardina, the widow of George Morris, makes her home at Mattoon, Ill. Our subject completes the family circle.

James N. Caulk was born October 25, 1825, near Nashville, Tenn. He was the third child in a family of eleven, and received but a limited education. Long before he passed the boundary line of childhood, and while the family were still residents of Macoupin County, death bereaved him of his father. On the 12th of August, 1862, Mr. Caulk joined Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, as a private, and participated in many of the battles of the war, among them being Tupelo, Nashville, and the siege and capture of Ft. Blakeley. He was attached to the Sixteenth Army Corps, under Gen. A. J. Smith, at La Grange, Tenn., and while serving at the last mentioned place he became unfitted for active service by a sunstroke which almost proved fatal.

On the 15th of July, 1865, Mr. Caulk received his discharge, and in the fall of that year he located in Montgomery County, where he occupied himself as a farmer for six years. At the close of the year 1871, our subject became imbued with a desire to form a personal opinion of the possibilities afforded in the then comparatively new State of Kansas, and with this in view he lived there for one year. Not caring to continue his residence in the State, he returned to Illinois, and located in Bond County, where he remained until 1879. At that time he advanced his prospects by moving to Reno, where he bought a farm, and has since added to his worldly possessions in the building of several houses, which he rents.

Our subject has been married twice. His present wife bore the maiden name of Mary Ann Ross, and is a lady of fine womanly traits of character, who enjoys the loyal devotion of her friends and the respect of her acquaintances. Mr. Caulk has six sons: Alexander, who was a soldier in the One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, now resides in Montgomery County, Ill.; Abraham is a farmer in Bond County; James F. lives in Sorento; William H., a physician, lives, in Nebraska; Madison M. and Jacob H. reside in Dickinson County, Kan.

The Caulk family can certainly lay claim to recognition from their country as a family which has furnished soldiers to fight for the country's cause in three generations. No better proof of true Americanism can be furnished than that illustrated by this family. The subject of our sketch is a Republican and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a prominent and active member of the Baptist Church, and contributed liberally to its support.

Extracted 20 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 410-412.

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