Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Bartholomew Corbitt

BARTHOLOMEW CORBITT. Among the many worthy citizens of Calhoun County who claim the Emerald Isle as their native land, none are better deserving of representation in a volume of this nature than the subject of this sketch. He is a farmer and stock-raiser, owning and operating a farm on section 30, Hamburg Precinct, and is especially deserving of credit, as he was practically without means when he came here, having but sixty cents in money when he reached Hamburg. From this small beginning has grown a condition of solid finances and assured standing among the landowners and agriculturists of the section.

Mr. Corbitt was born July 12, 1848, in County Tipperary, Ireland. His father, Edmund Corbitt, is now deceased, but his mother, Mary (Day) Corbitt, is still living in her native land. Young Corbitt pursued his studies in the public schools of his native country, acquiring with ready intelligence a good understanding of the branches taught therein to which, in later years, he has added more extended information through his wise use of newspapers and books. In 1868 when he had not yet reached man's estate, he turned his back upon his native land, fully persuaded that in the New World he would find better opportunities and a fuller prospect of personal aggrandizement. He took passage at Queenstown on a steamer and after an ocean voyage of fourteen days landed in the American metropolis, whence he came by rail to St. Louis, Mo., and by boat to Calhoun County, Ill.

For a time after his arrival young Corbitt worked as a farm hand, cut cordwood and did various odd jobs such as he could find to do, carefully hoarding his resources preparatory to securing for himself a home. He finally bought one hundred and sixty acres of the land he now occupies, which was covered with timber and in the wild condition in which it had been left by the aborigines. He was obliged to do the pioneer work of clearing the place, and for several years after he settled thereon he occupied a little shanty, 10x12 feet, made of logs with a clapboard roof. He lived in this dwelling until he was able to build a better house. He added to his estate as his affairs prospered and now owns two hundred and eighty-five acres which he has brought to a fine condition as regards its tillage and improvement.

Mr. Corbitt has served as School Director with credit to himself and his constituents. In politics he is a Democrat and in religion a Catholic. He has acquired a leading place among the Irish-American citizens of Hamburg Precinct, having gained the confidence of the business community by his honesty and industry, and the respect of all who admire sturdy enterprise, thrift and a law-abiding spirit.

The home of Mr. Corbitt is presided over by a native of St. Louis, Mo., who bore the maiden name of Catherine Hughes. Her father, John Hughes, is deceased and her mother, Johanna Hughes, died in this county September 28, 1890. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Corbitt, and six are living, viz: Edmund, John, Bartholomew, Francis, James and Ellen. Mrs. Corbitt is an amiable, intelligent lady, whose first care is her home and family, but who finds time to enjoy the social life of the neighborhood and to take an active part in the enterprises which prove a source of enjoyment and benefit to the community.

Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 805-806

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