Joseph Essex, one of the early settlers of Henderson County, (Illinois) who since 1858 has carried on general farming on section 12, township 10, range 5 west, isa native of Chillicothe, Ohio. His father, Isaac Essex , was a native of Maryland. He was born below Baltimore, on the bank of Chesapeake Bay, and in that locality spent his early childhood. At the age of seventeen he left his native State and removed to Virginia. Later he started westward, and took up his residence in Ross County, Ohio, whence he went to Indianapolis, Ind., about 1830. Four years later he came to Illinois, settling in Rock Island. The remainder of his life was passed in this State, where his death occurred n 1850. In the Essex family were eight children, four sons and four daughters, namely: Mrs. Sarah Van Pelt, Mrs. Eleanor Peckham, Mrs. Maria Call, Mrs. Mary Chapin, Francis Campbell, Joseph, James Doolittle and Solomon Bush . The subject of this sketch received but limited educational advantages, his knowledge having been acquired largely through business experience, reading and observation, and not through school-room drill. At the early age of fifteen he started out to make his own way in the world, and has since been dependent upon his own resources, so that whatever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts. He began work on a canal-boat, and in this way provided for his own maintenance for some time.At length he turned his attention to farming, and as soon as possible became the owner of a farm In 1850, Mr. Essex was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Julia A. Bailey , who came of an old Connecticut family, and who has been to him a faithful companion and helpmate along life's journey. Their union has been blessed with two children, a son and daughter: Charles H. and Mary L., the later being now the wife of George Miller , of Biggsville. In 1858, Mr. Essex purchased a tract of land on section 12, township 10 north, range 5 west, and has since made his home thereon, giving his entire time and attention to the cultivation and improvement of his land. It is nowa rich and fertile tract, and every department of the farm is characterized by and air of neatness and thrift. The owner has led a busy and useful life, yet has found time to devote to public interests, especially to those calculated to prove of public benefit. He votes with the Republican party, and has served as School Director for about six terms. During his long residence in Henderson County he has become widely known, and is held in high regard by all, for he possesses many excellent characteristics.
Note: This is the end of the Biography. I want to state that there is errors here!! Isaac Essex died 1873 in Mercer Co, IL per his obituary. Joseph D. died in 1914 so the date in this Bio. isn't for either. There was a child on the 1850 Mortality Schedule Rock Island named Joseph Essex, female , age 2ys!! I haven't been able to clarify that child; altho, I have strong data that my line of Essex had connections to the Essex who were pioneers of Stark Co, IL!!
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson Counties Illinois, Chicago 1894
Submitted by Peggy Carey and Yvonne James-Henderson.