James F. Peasley

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

JAMES F. PEASLEY, one of the honored pioneers and representative farmers of Henderson County, now living in Terre Haute Township, section 10, was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, on the 15th of January, 1822, and is the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children, whose parents were Moses and Mary (Ayers) Peasley. All, however, are now deceased, with the exception of our subject and two sisters. The father was born in the town of Ware, N. H., and after attaining to man's estate removed to Canada, where he spent his remaining days, devoting his time and attention to agricultural pursuits. His death occurred at the ripe old age of about seventy-eight years. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and his ancestors were all connected with the same religious sect. The family is of English extraction. The mother of our subject was a native of New Hampshire, and her death occurred in Lowell, Mass., at the age of sixty-eight years. She was also of English lineage, but at a very early clay in the history of this country the family was founded in New England.

Mr.Peasley of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth with his parents, and after he had reached man's estate purchased the old homestead, which he further cultivated and improved until 1855, when he sold out and came to Illinois. He took up his residence in Henderson County, locating in Terre Haute Township, section 10, where he has since resided. Purchasing three hundred and twenty acres of land, which was still in its primitive condition, he began its development, and soon transformed the wild tract into rich and fertile fields, which were made to yield to him a good income. At the time of his arrival the county was new, the few settlers within its borders were widely scattered, and the nearest trading-post to his home was at Burlington, a distance of sixteen miles.

Ere coming to Illinois, Mr. Peasley was married, January 30, 1853, to Miss Sarah J. Tarleton, of Piermont, N. H. Six children were born to them: Ellen M., who died at the age of thirty-four years; Ernest, a prosperous farmer of Henderson County; Hattie, deceased; James O., who is engaged in the banking business in Macomb, Ill.; Bertha, wife of W. E. Hurdle, who is engaged in banking in La Harpe, Ill.; and Sewell H., who aids in carrying on the home farm.

Mr. Peasley has met with most excellent success in his business dealings, and has become the owner of nine hundred and ninety acres of valuable land in Terre Haute Township, comprising one of the finest farms in all Illinois. He has been one of the leading stock-breeders of this locality, making a specialty of Shorthorn and Hereford cattle. His prosperity has been won through close attention to the details of his business and by enterprise and good management, and is therefore well deserved. Mr. Peasley has always taken quite an active part in politics and is an ardent advocate of Republican principles. He has served as Township Supervisor and School Director, is a liberal contributor to the church, although he is a member of no religious organization, and is always found on the side of right and order. His life has been an honorable and upright one and has gained him the confidence and warm regard of many friends.