Biography - Alney Elkins

ALNEY H. ELKINS, who belongs to one of the old families of Johnson County, of whom an account is given in the sketch of Joshua Elkins, was a boy when war was declared between the North and South, but before its close, ere he had attained manhood, he showed himself to be a patriotic lover of his country by enlisting as a soldier in defense of the Stars and Stripes, and acted well his part while in the army. He is now performing his duty with equal fidelity in his capacity as a practical, thrifty farmer, who is contributing his quota to the general prosperity of this his native county as a rich agricultural centre, owning and occupying a carefully tilled and wellequipped farm, pleasantly situated on section 8, Elvira Township.
Our subject was born and reared within the precincts of Johnson County, as was also his father, Waton Elkins, the latter having first opened his eyes to the light in one of the early pioneer homes of this section founded by his parents, Richard and Sallie Elkins. Waton Elkins grew to a stalwart manhood amid the primitive environments of a sparsely settled country, and manfully did his share of hard labor in reclaiming land from its natural state and in developing the agricultural resources of the region where he lived for many years. He devoted the most of his life to farming, but finally removed to Cobden to spend his last days in retirement, and there death came to him at a serene old age.
The subject of these lines was well drilled in the occupation of a farmer ere he was seventeen years old, working on the home farm until that time, when he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, in February, 1864. He was well endowed with courage, resolution and coolness in action and with other good soldierly qualities, and during his many months' experience of army life was always at his post. He took part in some hard fighting, especially at the engagement at Atlanta, Ga., and in numerous other battles that occurred on his march with Sherman to the sea. He also accompanied his revered leader through the Carolinas and Virginia by the way of Petersburgh and Richmond, and on to Washington, where he marched in the grand review of all the Federal troops, and was honorably discharged with his regiment at Louisville, Ky., July 19, 1865.
Returning to his home, the battle-worn, though youthful, veteran quietly resumed his agricultural labors, in which he has been engaged very successfully ever since, and he has a good farm of one hundred acres of fertile soil that he cultivates intelligently, with due regard to the methods of agriculture best adapted to this region. He is constantly making improvements of a substantial order, and from the products of his farm he derives a desirable income.
In all these years of his life as an independent farmer, Mr. Elkins has had the valuable assistance of an active and competent wife, who looks carefully after the affairs of the household, and is regardful of the comfort of its members. She was united in marriage to our subject in 1867. Her former name was Mary Stone, and she was born in Missouri in 1847. She is a daughter of .James and Millie Stone, natives respectively of Tennessee and Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Elkins are blessed with six children, who are named John, Clinton, Richard, James, Samantha and Harrison.
Mr. Elkins is a most estimable man, of exemplary habits and upright conduct, and merits the regard which the people have for him, among whom his life has been entirely spent, with the exception of that trying period when he was at the front battling for his country. His memories of the days and nights on Southern battlefields are kept alive by his membership in Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R. Politically, he is a stanch Republican.

Extracted 24 Jul 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 264-265

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