DAVID J. THURSTEN, the popular and efficient Deputy Sheriff for the northern portion of Calhoun County, resides on section 8, Carlin Precinct, where he has made his home since 1866. He is a representative of one of the pioneer families of the community. His father, David Thursten, was a native of Vermont and came to Illinois at a very early day. He married Rebecca Stonebarger, a native of Ohio, and unto them was born on October 15, 1840, a son to whom they gave the name of David J. He is now one of the leading citizens of the community and the subject of our sketch. Under the parental roof he was reared to manhood and the scenes of pioneer life in Calhoun County are yet fresh in his memory. He shared with the family in the hardships and trials which come to those who make homes on the frontier, but now has the honor to be numbered among the early settlers to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their efforts in promoting the interests and upbuilding the county. His educational advantages were meagre, but possessing an observing eye and retentive memory, time has added to his store of knowledge and few men in the community are better informed concerning the leading issues of the day.
An important event in the life of Mr. Thursten occurred in 1863, when he led to the marriage altar Miss Emma Lane, daughter of Deacon Lane, of whom further mention is made in the sketch of S. S. Gourley on another page of this work. Four children graced their union but Henrietta, their first born, is now deceased. Luella is the wife of James Hardt of Arkansas; Ida is the wife of William Gresham of Calhoun County, and William completes the family.
On the 1st of February, 1864, Mr. Thursten responded to the country's call for troops and enlisted in Company A, Sixty-first Illinois Infantry. The regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and he took part in all the battles and skirmishes in which his company participated. Having faithfully performed his duty, at the close of the war he was mustered out, receiving his discharge in November, 1865. On account of impaired health the Government grants him a pension of $8 per month.
Returning home Mr. Thursten once more resumed his farming operations and has since extended the boundaries of his land until now two hundred and eighty acres pay tribute to his care and cultivation. It is well improved with good buildings, fences and everything necessary to a model farm and the home with its entire surroundings indicates the owner to be a man of push and energy. He deserves not a little credit for his success and may truly be called a self-made man. Beginning life without capital, save a young man's bright hope of the future, he has steadily worked his way upward, overcoming all obstacles, until he has now attained to a position of affluence. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party and socially is a member of Hardin Post, G. A. R. For four years he held the office of Constable and for twelve consecutive years has served as Deputy Sheriff for the northern portion of Calhoun County, proving a faithful and efficient officer. Mr. Thursten is recognized as one of the enterprising, intelligent and successful agriculturists of the county and enjoys the entire confidence of the business community. He and his wife are active members and move in the best circles of society, enjoying the friendship of a large circle of acquaintances.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 445-446
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