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Biography - John Clanton

JOHN CLANTON, an early settler, prosperous farmer, and influential citizen of Ripley Township, Bond County, Ill., was born in North Carolina, October 2, 1821. His parents, James and Elizabeth (Anderson) Clanton, were also natives of North Carolina, but were undoubtedly of Scotch descent. Early in their married life they removed with their family to Illinois, and in 1829 located near Greenville, where an uncle, John Ellis, had settled in the early days of 1816, up to which time the history of the State is one continued narrative of contests with the savages.

For twenty-six years the parents of our subject together shared the toil, cares and privations .of pioneer experience, and then, in 1847, the faithful, loving wife and mother passed away. In March, 1860, after nearly two-score years of constant residence, the father died upon the place north of Greenville, where he had settled with his family when young, ambitious and energetic. John Clanton was the sixth in a family of ten children, of whom but three are now living. Chapman died in Bond County, when he was about forty-five years of age; Wesley passed away in the old home, in January, 1873; Alfred lives in Shoal Creek Township, Bond County; Enos A. died in 1873; Mary is the wife of David B. Wood, a successful farmer of Macoupin County, Ill.; Martha married Hezekiah Campbell, and died in Buchanan County, Mo., in 1880; Sina died in blooming maidenhood, at seventeen years of age; Edward lived to be nineteen years old; George Washington, with the promise of a bright manhood, died at seventeen years of age.

Our subject, John Clanton, grew up to manhood on his father's farm. He was early trained in all agricultural duties, and was for years employed in assisting his parents, during boyhood gaining the crude education offered by the subscription schools of those pioneer days. With the exception of a short time, when Mr. Clanton was engaged in the farm-implement business in Pocahontas, he has devoted his life to the tilling of the soil. In 1847 he purchased his present farm, and with knowledge gained by years of experience, coupled with wise and energetic management, soon brought the land up to a high state of cultivation. Carefully preparing the soil, ploughing, sowing, and reaping the harvest, toiling faithfully year after year, our subject has won a competence, and now, at three-score years and ten, can look with satisfaction upon the record of his useful, upright life.

In 1846 Mr. Clanton was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Ellen Gracy, who died five years later, leaving one child, a daughter, Mary. This daughter lived to become the wife of Jacob File, and died in 1876. On June 24, 1852, our subject was a second time married, being united with Miss Martha File, the daughter of Moses File, one of the highly respected pioneer settlers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Clanton have had nine children, of whom seven survive to cheer the declining days of their parents, by whom they were so tenderly reared and carefully trained in the necessary duties of life. Elizabeth, the eldest, who was born April 12, 1853. died February 10, 1873, in the prime of youth and hopeful anticipations of a useful life; James, born July 26, 1854, is a prominent and well-known resident of Ripley Township; Moses F., who was born May 8, 1856, is a prominent citizen of Pocahontas; John Henry, born May 9, 1858, now makes his home on the farm with his parents; Julia A., born October 26, 1860, is the wife of James Willeford, a prosperous young farmer, and son of Willis Willeford, one of the substantial and wealthy men of his section of the country; Lydia A., born January 28, 1863, is the wife of Henry Hoffman, of Columbia, Ill.; Martha N., who was born March 24, 1865, died September 9, 1875; Dora F., who was born November 2, 1869, married John Mollet, March 17, 1892, a successful farmer of Pierron, Ill.; and Emily E., born May 9, 1876, is now engaged in study at Columbia, where she is receiving excellent educational advantages.

Beside their own large family Mr. and Mrs. Clanton adopted and carefully reared two children: Marion C. File, who was born February 4, 1868, and died February 21, 1881; and Julia M. File, born January 30, 1873, who now resides with her adopted parents. Mr. Clanton, his wife and children are all highly respected, and occupy positions of prominence and influence in the county, where they are widely known among a large circle of acquaintance. Our subject and his wife are members of the Primitive Baptist Church, and have ever been found among the active workers of the organization. They are both interested in the matters of the day, and are advocates of progress and reform. Mr. Clanton has never been prominently connected with political life, but he is an adherent of the Democratic principles and votes the ticket.

Extracted 21 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 476-477.

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