FRANCIS I. BIZAILLION. The man who has by self-efforts secured a good education, raised himself from a condition of poverty to one of competence, and while doing so has won the confidence and respect of his fellowmen by his upright conduct and good habits, is certainly deserving of commendation. Such is the case with Mr. Bizaillion of Hardin, Calhoun County, who began his career in early boyhood and is self-educated and self-made. He is now filling the office of Circuit Clerk and in the discharge of its duties manifests the faithfulness and efficiency which he has previously shown in other positions of trust and responsibility. He owns and occupies a small farm of one hundred acres, the residence being within the corporate limits of the county seat, and he may well be pleased with and proud of his property, as the place is pleasantly located, highly improved and well managed in every respect.
The Bizaillions are of French extraction but at least three generations have been born in the parish of St. Constant, County Huntington, Province of Quebec. Laurent Bizaillion, the grandfather of our subject, was a weaver and spent his entire life in that county; so likewise did Francois Bizaillion, the father of our subject. The latter died in 1852, leaving a widow and seven children. The widow is now living in Montreal. She is of pure French blood, a native of the same county as her husband, and bore the maiden name of Esmarante Mantour.
The gentleman whose life it is our purpose to outline was born February 12, 1840, in the parish which was the birthplace of his progenitors. He was twelve years old when he lost his father and during the succeeding two years lived near Montreal. He then at the age of fourteen years, started out for himself, coming to the States and making his way to St. Paul, Minn., where for a short time he was employed as a bartender. He then engaged as cook in the pineries and in the spring found work on the rafts going down the rivers. He continued these employments until the fall of 1857, when he came to Calhoun County, Ill. Here he was employed by the day and month for a time, and then going to Missouri found work in a lumber yard and in chopping cordwood. In the fall of 1859 he went South, but returned to Missouri after spending the winter.
In May, 1861, Mr. Bizaillion enlisted in Company E, Sixth Missouri Infantry, accompanied the regiment South and led a soldier's life until December, 1862. After receiving his discharge he continued his industrious course, finding employment on the Mississippi River for a time, and elsewhere as occasion served. In the year 1864 he came to Hardin, settled down to farm life, and finally bought a tract of land on sections 27 and 28, Hardin Precinct. He built a good dwelling, made various improvements, such as would be expected of a young man of progressive ideas, and ere long was bearing quite a prominent part in local and municipal affairs.
Mr. Bizaillion was the prime mover in securing the incorporation of Hardin and was a member of the first Village Board of Trustees. He is now Justice of the Peace. In 1877 he was elected County Assessor and Treasurer, served nine years, and in 1888 was elected Circuit Clerk. He is an excellent official, painstaking in acquainting himself with the duties of office and faithful in his discharge of them. He exercises the right of suffrage in behalf of the Democratic candidates.
Mr. Bizaillion was fortunate in his choice of a life companion and in Alton in 1864 was united to Charlotte Currins. This lady was born in Wisconsin, is a daughter of John and Sarah (Pollock) Currins and is descended from good old Scotch families. Both her parents were born in Scotland and her maternal grandmother was a direct descendant of the noted John Knox, whose life and works had so great an effect upon the religious thought of his time. Mr. and Mrs. Bizaillion have three children — Gideon D., Olivette and Adaline.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 635-636
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