Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Catherine F. (Brown) Childs

© Kathy Duncan, 2016

1        Catherine F. Brown, daughter of Resin D. and Rachel (Earnest) Brown,  married John S. Childs

Published biography of John S. Childs:

            For one-third of a century John S. Childs was a representative of the agricultural interests of Macon county and since 1890 he has lived retired in Decatur, the competence which he acquired in former years being sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. His rest is well merited for his business career was eve straightforward and he was always honorable in his dealings with his fellow men. Mr. Childs is a native of Burlington county, New Jersey, born on the 5th of December, 1829, his parents being Joshua and Ann (Wilkins) Childs. The family is of English lineage and the ancestors were Quakers or Friends in religious faith. At an early day representatives of the name became residents of Pennsylvania and John Childs the grandfather of our subject, was born in that state near the city of Philadelphia. He lived, however, for a number of years in New Jersey and it was there that Joshua Childs was born, reared and made his home throughout his entire life. After arriving at years of maturity he  wedded Miss Ann Wilkins, who was also born and died in New Jersey. He passed away in the prime of life, leaving a widow and a large family of sons and daughters. Both Mr. and Mrs. Childs were consistent Christians and members of the Baptist church.
            As Mrs. Childs was left in limited financial circumstances it became necessary that the children should be separated and different members of the household went to live with various families in New Jersey. John S. Childs, whose name introduces this review, made his home with his grandfather for a time and attended the little Quaker schoolhouse on the hill, which still stands and was in use up to a few years ago. His educational privileges, however, were very limited for it became necessary that he provide for his own support and at an early age he began learning the carpenter’s trade. An important and valuable factor in shaping his career was the instruction which he received in the little Quaker meetinghouse near his home. The building was a historic one erected in 1777 and thus it stood as a mute reminder of the events of more than a century. On completing the carpenter’s trade, which he learned under the direction of Henry Satterthwait, a Quaker, Mr. Childs sought employment and on looking about for a favorable location he determined to follow the advice of Horace Greeley and “go west.”
            In was in November, 1851, that Mr. Childs arrived in Logansport, Indiana, where for a few months he worked at his trade. He then removed to St. Paul, Minnesota, but after a brief period came to Illinois. In the fall of the same year, however, Mr. Childs went to St. Louis, Missouri, and thence to Springfield, Illinois, where he entered the service of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company as a bridge carpenter. It was during his residence in the capital city that he became acquainted with Miss Catherine F. Brown, of Springfield, a daughter of Reason D. and Rachel (Ernest) Brown, who were natives of Kentucky and early settlers of Illinois. Mr. Childs sought the hand of the young lady in marriage and on the 9th of November, 1854, they were united in the holy bonds of wedlock. Mrs. Childs was born and reared in Sangamon county and for almost a half century has traveled life’s journey with her husband, sharing with him the joys and sorrows, the adversity and prosperity which checker the careers of all.
            After his marriage Mr. Childs took up his abode upon a farm near Pleasant Plains and there resided until 1857, when he came to Macon county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land near Warrensburg. This was a tract of raw prairie, entirely unimproved. Not a furrow had been turned or a rod of fence built and there were no buildings upon the place. His knowledge of carpentering now stood him in good stead for he erected a small house, after which he commenced to cultivate and develop his land. He also early turned his attention to the raising of hogs and it was in this line of business activity that Mr. Childs largely acquired his comfortable fortune. He found this a profitable source of income and as his means accumulated he purchased more hogs and also added to his farm until he was the possessor of six hundred and forty acres of valuable land. Annually he raised from one to five car-loads of hogs and became known as one of the leading representatives of this department of farm work in Macon and surrounding counties. He also engaged in the raising of horses and cattle and in his farm work was very progressive, using the latest improved machinery and doing everything to facilitate his labors and make his place of greater value. He kept apace with the universal progress along agricultural lines and continued to reside upon his farm for a third of a century, yearly adding to his income through indefatigable labor, careful management and honorable business methods. He yet owns his farm property and frequently drives from the city to his country place, supervising its interests.
            The home of Mr. and Mrs. Childs has been blessed with nine children: Leona L.,  who is now the wife of Louis Stoakey, of Harristown, Illinois; Noah H., of Decatur; John D., of Decatur; Dr. Timothy S., who is engaged in the practice of dentistry in this city; Annis, who is the wife of Dr. Howard Batchelder, of Omaha, Nebraska; Charles L., who has just resigned the position of superintendent of the Bartonville Insane Asylum; Hattie E., who is bookkeeper for the Faries Manufacturing Company; Jessie, who died in her eighteenth year; Edna E., at home. The family home is an attractive and commodious dwelling at No. 535 Prairie avenue, which is one of the principal residence streets of the city. In addition to this property his possessions comprise three finely cultivated farms which are rented, bringing to him a good income annually.
            In his political views Mr. Childs was long a Democrat and voted for the men and measures of that party, but on the nomination of William Jennings Bryan upon a free silver platform he decided to cast his ballot for the Republican candidate and voted twice for Major McKinley. In the year 1866 he was elected supervisor of Illini township and for five years acted in that capacity. Otherwise he has never been active in politics as an officerholder, preferring to give his time and attention to his business affairs, which have been so capably managed that his industry, frugality and sound judgment have brought to him a good property which will supply him with many comforts through the evening of life.
[Source: Past and Present of the City of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois; S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1903]

John S. Child, born 5 December 1829, died 10 May 1905 and is buried in the Illini Cemetery, Warrensburg, Macon County, Illinois.

Catherine F. (Brown)  Childs born 7 Mar 1835, died 23 October, 1909 and is buried in the llini Cemetery, Warrensburg, Macon County, Illinois.

Obituary of Catherine F. (Brown) Childs:

Childs--Died, at 1 o'clock a.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, 1909, at her home, 535 West Prairie avenue, Decatur, Mrs. Catherine F. Childs, at the age of 74 years.
            The funeral will be held at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at the family residence at Decatur.
            Mrs. Childs was born in Springfield March 7, 1909 [sic]. She was married to J. S. Childs on November 9, 1854. They resided on a farm near Warrensburg until 1890, when they moved to Decatur, and the family resided there since.
            Decedent is survived by four daughters: Mrs. Leona L. Stookey of Harristownl; Mrs. H.M. Batchelder of Sterling, Colo., and the Misses Harriett and Edna Childs of Decatur; four sons, Noah H. Childs of Hannibal Mo.; John D. Childs, Dr. C. F. Childs, Dr. T. S. Childs.
            Interment will be made in Illini [sic?] cemetery.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Journal; Springfield, IL; Sun., Oct. 24, 1909]

Census Records of Catherine F. (Brown) and John S. Childs:

14 July 1860, Macon Co., IL, P.O.: Decatur:

John S. Childs 30 M Farmer $3,800-$350 b. NJ
Catherine “ 26 F b. IL
Leona “ 5 F b. IL

15 July 1870, Harristown, Illini Twp., Macon Co., IL:

Childs, John 40 M W Farmer $16,000-$3,000 b. NJ
Childs, Catharine 35 F W Keeping house b. IL
----Leona 14 F W At home b. IL
----Nera 10 M W b. IL
----John 6 M W b. IL
----Timothy 5 M W b. IL
----Anise 3 F W b. IL
----Charles 6/12 M W b. IL
Fields, John 50 M W Works on farm b. IL
Beard John 16 M W Works on farm b. IL

21 June 1880, Illini, Macon Co., IL,:

Childs, John S. W M 50 Farmer b. NJ fb. NJ mb. NJ
----Catherine F. W F 45 Wife Keeping house b. IL fb. KY mb. KY
----Noah H. W M 19 Son Works on farm b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----John D. W M 16 Son Works on farm b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Timothy S. W M 14 Son Works on farm b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Annise W F 12 Dau At home b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Charles F. W M 10 Son At home b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Jessie B. W F 8 Dau b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Hattie W F 5 Dau b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
----Edna W F 2 Dau b. IL fb. NJ mb. KY
Mallory, Monroe W M 24 Laborer Works on farm b. IN fb. VA mb. BA
Love, Charles D. W M 29 Laborer Works on farm b. In fb. KY mb. OH

12 June 1900; Decatur Twp., Macon Co., IL:

535 West Point
Childs, John S. Head W M b. Dec 1829 70 M-45 b. NJ fb. JN mb. NJ retired farmer
----Catherine F. Wife W F b. Mar 1835 M-45 11-8 b. IL fb. KY mb. KY
----Harriet S. Dau W F b. July 1875 25 S b. IL fb. NJ mb. IL stenographer

----Edna Dau W F b. Mar 1877 23 S b. IL fb. NJ mb IL

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