Biography - Samuel Glassford

SAMUEL M. GLASSFORD, one of the most successful business men of Elvira Township, Johnson County, was born in Indiana County, Pa., November 15, 1825. His father, George Glassford, was born in Ohio, of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He followed the blacksmith's trade in Ohio for some time, having served an apprenticeship in Zanesville. Upon going to Indiana County, Pa., he established himself in business as a blacksmith, and resided there about ten years, when he removed to Mason County, Ky., opened a shop at May's Lick, and remained there until 1841. During that year he removed to Johnson County, Ill., accompanied by his wife and four children. He made the removal on the rivers to Copeland's Landing, and then by team to what is now Elvira Township. He purchased of Samuel Copeland a tract of land in section 34, of Elvira Township.

There were at the time a few acres cleared and a log house erected, which constituted all the improvements on the place. Thenceforward Mr. Glassford devoted his time to agriculture, and resided upon his farm until 1846. At that time he rented the place and removed to St. Louis, where he was engaged for a short time in the sugar refining business, and remained there until some time in 1847. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth Wolf. She was born in Indiana County, Pa., a daughter of John and Elizabeth Wolf, and died in Elvira Township March 3, 1877. She reared four children, viz.: Elizabeth J., Samuel M., John W. and Abraham D.

Samuel M. was eight years old when his parents moved to Kentucky. He attended school in that State as opportunity offered, remaining there until 1841, when he came to Illinois. At that time Johnson County was sparsely settled, and much of the land was still owned by the Government. In Vienna Township there were but a few houses; Vienna itself was but a hamlet, and the courthouse and jail were built of logs. Mr. Glassford went to St. Louis in 1849, and entered the employ of Belcher & Bros., sugar refiners. After remaining there for a few years, he purchased their mining interests and teams and engaged in the coal business. In 1860 he sold an interest in the business to his brother, and retired to his farm in Elvira Township. He had inherited a part of the old homestead, and bought the interest of the other heirs. He has resided on the farm since that time. A very successful farmer, he purchased different tracts of land until at one time he owned about fifteen hundred acres of land. He still owns upward of eight hundred acres, and his buildings and other improvements rank with the best in the county. About 1861 Mr. Glassford formed a partnership with his brother John, and erected a woolen mill in Vienna, put in the necessary machinery, and bought a supply of wool, but before the mill started it was burned down with all its contents, causing a loss of upward of $40,000, with no insurance.

In 1846 our subject married Elizabeth Jones, a native of Johnson County, and a daughter of James and Elizabeth Jones. She died in 1849. His second marriage occurred in 1851, and united him with Juliet Jones, who was born in what is now Elvira Township, July 31, 1830. Her father, James Jones, was born in Tennessee. He was one of the pioneers of Johnson County, Ill., where he established his home in Elvira Township, and cleared up a farm and lived here until his death. The mother of Mr. Glassford spent the last years of her life in Johnson County. She was educated in the primitive schools of the days of her youth, which have been described numerous times in connection with other early settlers' sketches. Her father raised sheep and cotton, flax and hemp, and she with her sister used to card, spin and weave. She taught these then useful arts to all her daughters, and made all the clothing used in the family. She resided with her parents until their death, and then with her brother until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Glassford have three children living, viz.: Josephine, wife of Dr. R. M. McCall, a successful physician of Vienna; Charles A., of whom a biographical sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and Mary E., wife of Theodore E. Williams, of Jonesboro. In their religious convictions Mr. and Mrs. Glassford are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Glassford is a Prohibitionist and a stanch advocate of all that is uplifting and progressive.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 605-606.

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