Biography - George Calhoon

GEORGE J. CALHOON was born in Marshall County. Tenn., in 1833, and now resides in Tunnel Hill Township, Johnson County. His father, Jacob J. Calhoon, was born in the same State in 1802 and was a son of George Calhoon, who was 21 native of North Carolina but was reared in Tennessee. The paternal progenitors of this family were of Irish stock, and those on the mother’s side of English ancestry. George Calhoon married Martha Julian, a native of Georgia. They were married in Tennessee and lived there on their farm all their lives. Mr. Calhoon was an extensive farmer and reared five sons and one daughter. His widow died in Johnson County in 1858, nearly ninety years old. Zaccheus Calhoon, uncle of George J., came to Illinois in 1850, and George Calhoon, father of Jacob J., came in 1852, bringing his twelve children. When he came to Illinois he had some capital and obtained eight hundred acres of land in Johnson County, on which he lived but a few years, dying in 1855, aged fifty-three years. His wife was Rebecca McCall, of Tennessee, daughter of Thomas McCall and his wife, who was a Miss Gilmore, and who died in February, 1867, at the age of sixty-five years. Their family of six sons and seven daughters all grew to adult age but one, Samuel, who died in Tennessee at the age of fourteen. Five sons and three daughters are now living, of whom George J. is the fifth child in order of birth.

Our subject was reared to rural life in Tennessee, receiving but a meagre education, and none whatever in Illinois, for he was obliged to help his father gain a livelihood for the large family. He lived with his parents until his father’s death and was married in his twenty-eighth year to Miss Martha J. Dunn, daughter of Priulia and Edna (Draughon) Dunn, who came to Illinois in 1838, after being reared and married in Tennessee. Mrs. Calhoon was the third child and first daughter in a family of nine children, and after her marriage with our subject she began life in a neat hewed log cabin on an eighty-acre farm bought of Mr. Calhoon’s father, who built the house himself and also added to it a good stone chimney. He cleared up this farm and added forty acres to it, which he bought from the Illinois Central Railroad Company at $7 per acre, and after living twelve years there he sold out and bought their present home, where he owns one hundred and twenty acres.

Mr. Calhoon and his wife lost of their children twin infant daughters seven months old in 1867 and one infant son in 1880. A daughter, Mary Jane, died in 1877, at five years of age; Samuel C., who was a bright and intelligent young man, just preparing to teach school, died in 1881 at twenty one years of age, of measles; Martha E. died in 1882 in her fifth year; Flora, a young lady of twenty years, died August 4, 1890. The latter was preparing to teach, and had overtaxed her strength, in study, and died of nervous troubles. The living children are: George P., a farmer near New Burnside, who has two sons; R. E., a single man of twenty-eight; Zaecheus T., M. D., of Eddyville, Pope County; Sarah E., a young lady; John H., a youth of seventeen; Benjamin F., fifteen years old; William A., eleven years; and James W., eight years old. The last five are all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Calhoon are still working on the farm and are doing a general farming business, raising an abundance of wheat, corn, hay, oats and stock. Mr. Calhoon was formerly a Democrat, but has recently become a Prohibitionist and now exerts his influence in that direction. Although he never aspired to office of any kind, yet he is firm in his belief and is always ready to help promote the general welfare of this locality.

Extracted 15 Sep 2009 by Vera Burnham from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 450-451

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