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Biography - Cicero Lindly

JUDGE CICERO J. LINDLY, one of the most prominent politicians of Bond County, is probably better known in the political circles of the State than any other man of his years. He is also one of the most prosperous farmers of Central Township. Born in Madison County, Ill., December 11, 1857, he is the son of John J. Lindly, who was also a native of Madison County and was born in 1832.

Two Lindly brothers came from England to America in Colonial times and settled in North Carolina, and from one of these was descended John Lindly, the grandfather of our subject. He was a farmer by occupation, and in those days, when every man was skilled in the use of fire-arms, he was an experienced hunter through the wilds of the Pine Tree State. So expert did he become in the use of his musket in search of beavers, that the sobriquet of "Beaver John" was given him by his neighbors. At a very early day in the history of Madison County he went there on horseback and took up Government land, erecting his log cabin by the side of Silver Creek. He resided there only a few years and then entered land on Pleasant Ridge in the same county.

Grandfather Lindly served in the Black Hawk War, as well as in the various skirmishes with the savages at that time, and was well known to many of the Indians, with some of whom he became very friendly. In his hunting and trapping expeditions he became well acquainted with the natives, and probably understood them better than did many settlers. His business of selling beaver fur was very profitable for those early days, although he did not become an Astor by the handling of furs. His death occurred in 1866, when he reached his seventy-second year. The grandmother of our subject, who was in her maidenhood Sarah Gunterman, was born in Kentucky and is now living in good health and sound mind in Lebanon, St. Clair County, Ill., at the age of ninety-three years.

The father of our subject gained the rudiments of his education in the log schoolhouse, but later attended the academy in Troy, Ill. He became a farmer and cultivated the land belonging to the old homestead in Madison County, and owns four hundred acres there. He moved into Lebanon in 1867, and now lives the comfortable life of a retired farmer of means. His life has been a successful one, and now he enjoys the income of his property without the labor of attending to it personally. The mother of our subject was Mary Amanda Palmer, and she was born on the site of the present city of Joliet, Ill. Her father entered land there and built the first bridge. She became the mother of four children: Joseph, Madison M., Cicero and Mary.

Our subject was reared and educated partly in Madison and partly in St. Clair County. He first attended the public schools and then went to McKendree College at Lebanon, where he took the scientific and law courses, graduating from the former in June, 1877, and from the latter in 1878. His youth prevented him from being admitted to the Bar, his age being only twenty, and he spent a year reading law with ex-Gov. Fletcher in St. Louis, after which he was admitted to practice in the State of Missouri. The marriage of Judge Lindly took place December 22, 1880, to Miss Alice J. McNeil, who was born in this county June 9, 1855, and three children have been born of this union, although only one, a fine boy, Abram, is still living. Alice died at the age of two and one-half years, and she was preceded by an infant. The parents of Mrs. Lindly, Abraham and Elizabeth (Etzler) McNeil, were among the earliest settlers in the county.

After his marriage, our subject settled on the old homestead in Madison County, where he lived for two years, and then bought his present farm, located two miles south of Greenville, and settled here in July, 1880. Judge Lindly has five hundred and eighty acres of land, all under cultivation with the exception of eighteen, and the whole farm is in one body. He carries on a system of mixed farming and stock-raising. Two hundred and forty acres have been cleared since the Judge took charge of the place, and he has erected good buildings and has so improved it that it now ranks as one of the best farms in the county. The yield of wheat for the past year on one hundred and seventy acres of land was four thousand and eighty bushels.

Judge and Mrs. Lindly are members of the Christian Church, and to its support contribute liberally. He is a very important factor in the Republican ranks of the State, and was an Elector on the Blaine and Logan ticket in 1884. He was elected to the position of County Judge for four years in 1886. Many cases came before him, and his duty was performed without fear or favor. At Chicago, in 1888, he was present at the National Convention as a delegate, and he has been a delegate to every State convention since 1884. He was a candidate for State Treasurer in 1890, and he was nominated for Congress in the Eighteenth District in the same year, but, like many other Republicans in that year, he was defeated by a combination of circumstances which history will explain in the future. This district has only once in twenty years been carried by a Republican.

Judge Lindly received the Republican vote twenty-one times in the Legislature in the winter of 1890-91 for United States Senator. He was President of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association of the State from 1889 to October, 1891, and the organization grew from twenty thousand to seventy thousand members during his administration. He has "stumped" the State in every campaign since 1880, and is in demand as a speaker at all kinds of meetings. At present he holds the office of Chairman of the Congressional Committee, and is one of the rising men of the State, of whom future great expectations are held.

Extracted 29 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 126-127.

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