Calhoun County

1891 Biography - John Lane

JOHN S. LANE, the subject of this sketch, is a representative citizen and honored pioneer of the county, residing on section 8, Carlin Precinct. He was born in New Hampshire, May 5, 1822, and is a son of Robert and Betsy (Currier) Lane, both of whom are natives of New England. When a babe of three years, John S. Lane was taken by his parents to Essex County, N. Y., and in the Empire State was reared to manhood. The educational advantages of that period were not such as are afforded to the youths of the present day and age, but he mastered the common English branches and by experience and observation has gained a knowledge of men and the ways of the world which has probably been of more practical benefit than much he could have learned from text books. He resided in Illinois for nine years before coming to Calhoun County, his home during that period being in Greene County. In 1860, he entered upon a business career in this county where he has since resided, devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits. He immediately settled upon a farm which is still his home and began the cultivation of the land which was hitherto unimproved. It was his hand that turned the first furrows and planted the first crops and it is but meet that prosperity should crown his efforts.

Ere leaving New York, Mr. Lane was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary P. Miner and of their union were born four children, three of whom are yet living: Emma, wife of Jefferson Thursten, of this county; Eunice, wife of Aaron Miner; and Mary P., wife of Samuel Gourley. Mr. Lane married for his second wife Mary A. Simmons, widow of Jesse D. Simmons, of Calhoun County, who still survives and enjoys with our subject the pleasures of married life. Their wedding was celebrated April 19, 1860. In 1839, when a small child, Mrs. Lane removed with her parents from Ohio to Greene County, Ill., where her second marriage was celebrated, after which Mr. Lane and his wife came to Calhoun County. Their landed possessions now aggregate four hundred and fifty acres. He is a self-made man and to his own efforts may be attributed his success in life. In religious belief he is a Baptist and one of the active workers in the church, being familiarly known throughout the county as Deacon Lane, having held that office in the congregation to which he belongs for many years. In polities he is independent and votes for the man rather than the party. His integrity, fair dealing and upright life have won him friends without number and secured him the confidence and goodwill of the entire community.

Mrs. Lane, who like her husband, is a worthy member of the Baptist Church, was born on the 31st of August, 1819, in Gallia, Ohio, and is a daughter of James and Rebecca (Stoneberger) McGrain, the former a native of Dublin, Ireland, and the latter of Ohio. Her father died when she was a young child and with her mother and stepfather she came to Illinois in 1831, the family locating in Bluff Dale, Greene County. Later her mother came to Calhoun County where she spent her last days. Mrs. Lane was reared in Greene County, where on the 3d of March, 1836, she gave her hand in marriage to Jesse D. Simmons, by whom she had two children, John and Nannie, both of whom are deceased. She came with her first husband to this county in 1838, they settling on Silver Creek, where they remained until 1855, when they removed to the farm which is still the home of Mrs. Lane.

Extracted 24 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 288-289.

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