HUMPHREY D. HARLOW, one of the representative agriculturists of Belleview Precinct, Calhoun County, makes his home on section 5, in that precinct, and is a man universally respected and liked. He was ushered into the world in Pike County, Mo., February 18, 1830, being the son of Nelson and Mary J. (Olden) Harlow, natives of Kentucky, and from them he inherited the manly spirit and intellectual tendencies that characterize so many citizens of the Blue Grass State. He is the only surviving child of the family of eight born to his mother. His parents removed from Kentucky to Missouri, locating in Pike County at an early date while the Indians still roamed at will over the land of their forefathers, and where nature reigned in her primitive garb. Mr. Harlow removed with his mother and other members of the family to Pike County, Ill., when two years of age, his father having passed away from earthly scenes while residing in the State of Missouri. After reaching Pike County, Ill., the family settled near Martinsburg, where they remained about six years, at which time they removed to Pleasant Hill. At the latter named place his mother married M. M. Craft (deceased). Our subject was about fourteen years of age when he came with his family to Calhoun County in 1843. They located in Belleview, where the mother died in 1875, having survived her second husband. She was three times married, lastly to John Wells, who is now deceased. In Calhoun County, amid the scenes of pioneer life, Mr. Harlow was reared and educated in the subscription schools. He has devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits chiefly, but was for four years engaged in carrying the United States mail.
Our subject was married October 30, 1853, to Miss Harriet Shelton, whose birth occurred in Pike County, July 10, 1838, she being the daughter of Wilson and Matilda (Trunnels) Shelton, natives of Kentucky and Ohio, respectively. Her parents removed to Pike County at an early day, taking part in the pioneer work of that county and continuing to reside there up to the time of their death. Her father died in 1887, her mother sometime before that date. Mrs. Harlow was reared in her native county, and her marriage was solemnized there. She is the mother of nine children, eight of whom are living, viz: James, William, John, Evan, Harvey, Carl, Mary (wife of Edward Jennings), Hattie, and Nelson (deceased).
Mr. Harlow in 1853, made a permanent settlement on his present farm, which when it came into his possession was scarcely more than a wilderness as compared with the high state of cultivation that distinguishes it now. He has cleared the land of the heavy timber and brush, and cultivated the soil himself and few men have worked more consistently or faithfully than he. He owns ninety-nine acres of land, all the fruit of his own labor since he commenced life empty handed, and has been compelled to help himself at all times. He is a truly good man, and has been encouraged and helped by his loving wife, who has lost no opportunity to administer to his comfort and happiness. Both he and his wife are identified with the Christian Church, and are willing supporters of every worthy cause, and cheerful contributors toward the improvement of Belleview Precinct.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 666-667
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