JAMES C. THARP, one of the early settlers of Calhoun county and a representative of one of its pioneer families, resides on section 30, Carlin Precinct. His father, Charles Tharp, was a native of North Carolina of Scotch descent, and emigrating westward located in this county in 1829. He here became acquainted with and married Miss Louisa Newell who was born in Utica, N. Y., and when a maiden of some thirteen summers accompanied her family to Calhoun County, Ill. Their union was blessed with a number of children, of whom the following are now living: James C; Emma, wife of Edmund Likes, of this county; Esther, wife of F. H. Dierking, of Calhoun County; William H., of the same county; Clara, wife of S. H. Plummer, of Columbus County, Kan.; Thomas N., of Calhoun County, Ill.; and Mrs. Martha Lumley, a widow living in this county. The parents of the family after many years' residence in Calhoun County were called to their final rest.
James C. Tharp, whose name heads this sketch, was born on his father's farm July 15, 1838, and in the usual manner of farmer lads of that day his childhood and youth were spent. He was surrounded by the wild scenes of pioneer life and with the family shared in its hardships and adversities. At that day one had ample opportunity to gratify a taste for hunting and Mr. Tharp became quite an expert with the rifle. On one occasion he killed three deer in a single day and many wild fowls, brought down by his trusty gun, furnished a meal for the family. The educational advantages of that time do not compare favorably with those of to-day, but he improved every opportunity and mastered the common branches.
On arriving at years of maturity Mr. Tharp was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Sampler, the union being celebrated on the 4th of September, 1865. The lady is a native of Hardin County, Ill., and a daughter of Felix and Nancy (Barley) Sampler. The children born of their marriage are, Aemilius A., a school teacher of this county; Etta, wife of John Penz, of Calhoun County; William E., Anna A., John C.; Alta, deceased; Francis M. and Cora E. The children have all been provided with good educational advantages, such as would fit them for the practical duties of life and do honor to the teachings of their parents.
In 1869 Mr. Tharp purchased a farm on section 30, Carlin Precinct, where he yet makes his home. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres of good farming land which he transformed from a wild and unimproved state into rich and fertile fields. He is an enterprising and industrious man who is not afraid of work, but with thrift and industry pushes his way forward, using every opportunity to secure a property which will provide for the wants and comfort of his family. Both he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church and in political sentiment he is a stalwart Republican. He is now serving as School Director but has never sought or desired public office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests which have profited thereby and made him a substantial citizen of the community. Few have longer been residents of Calhoun County than Mr. Tharp. It was his birth-place, the scene of his boyhood and the years of his manhood have here been passed. It is endeared to him by every association of life and he feels a just pride in its progress and advancement.
Extracted 24 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 292-295.
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