Biography - James Heaton

JAMES W. HEATON, SR., is a prominent citizen of New Burnside, Johnson County, and was born in Henry County, Ky., in July, 1832, to John Heaton, who was born in Pennsylvania and was brought up a farmer, partly in his native State and partly in Kentucky, by his father, William Heaton. This last-named gentleman was a man of property, who reared a large family of children, two sons and six daughters, and died on his farm in Kentucky at a ripe old age. His son, John Heaton, the father of our subject, was a farmer and hotel-keeper in Henry County, Ky., and died in the small village at about sixty-five years of age. He was the father of nine children, five sons and four daughters, all of whom are now living and heads of families, with the exception of Catherine, wife of G. B. Hemley, who died in Clay County in middle life, leaving eight children.
The mother of our subject was Sarah Malin, of Henry County, Ky., a daughter of Rev. Mr. Malin, a Baptist clergyman. She died at the age of fifty-five years, leaving James W. the subject of this sketch, without a mother’s care. He was brought up to farm life, with but limited education, but was a great reader and student and became unusually well informed, and is one of the self made men of Johnson County. He was married in Henry County, Ky., December 12, 1851, to Miss Larinda J. Lindsay, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Clubb) Lindsay, the former of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Heaton is one of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, born to her parents, and is the fourth child and first daughter in order of birth. The father of these children died in Henry County, Ky., at the age of nearly seventy years. His widow still survives at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, and resides on the old homestead.
Our subject and his wife began married life on a farm in Henry County, Ky., and two years later removed to Graves County, where they settled on one hundred acres of land, upon which they lived some ten years, when they sold out and came to Illinois in the fall of 1864. They moved by teams and drove their cattle, horses and sheep before them. At first they bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, an improved farm, a short distance northwest of New Burnside, to which they subsequently added another one hundred and sixty acres making a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres, upon which they resided until 1889, when they sold one hundred acres to W. J. Casper, with the fine improvements. In 1876 they erected the fine large frame house, now the residence of Mr. Casper, having built a good barn in 1874. The fine large lake, well stocked with carp, was begun by Mr. Heaton in a small way.
While for these many years our subject has carried on a mixed industry, yet he has been a specialist, too, to a considerable degree, and in the ’60s was a successful tobacco-grower, carrying on that line of business quite extensively. He was the first farmer in this section to introduce the famous Saddler stock of horses from the Blue Grass region, and purchased the celebrated Saddler stallion, “Davy Crockett," the result being the production of much fine stock in this part of Illinois. This horse has taken many blue ribbons at the county fairs in Illinois, and one at the State fair.
Mr. Heaton has also been an extensive breeder of Jersey cattle, Southdown sheep and Berkshire hogs, all the best and purest-blooded stock. He now has on his farm about one hundred pureblooded Southdown ewes, twenty-two head of which he brought from Kentucky, and which cost him from $10 to $12 per head. He bought his pleasant home in the village of New Burnside in 1887, and has resided there since that time, and was actively engaged in farming until 1892. He now rents his farm, and is engaged in speculating in company with J. M. Buckner, of Paducah, Ky. Mr. Heaton left his Kentucky home in order to live in a more free and loyal community in the North, and though he preferred the county of Williamson on account of its good farming lands, yet, the same conditions existing there that he left in Kentucky, he on the whole preferred to settle in the hilly and broken region of Johnson County, because here he considered the people truly loyal to the Government and liberal in their views. In fact, Johnson County is well known as one of the most liberal and loyal in the entire State of Illinois.
Mr. and Mrs. Heaton have buried three children, L. J., a lovely little daughter of four years; Frank, a precocious and bright boy of twelve; and Langhorne, who was frail from his childhood, and died at the age of twenty-two. They have three sons and three daughters living, namely: Mary, wife of James Arnold, a farmer of Williamson County, who has two sons and one daughter; J. C. B., an agriculturist and horticulturist of Burnside Township, whose wife was Alice Mathis, and who has two sons; Elmaretta, wife of Benjamin Kennedy, of California, who has one son; J. W., who is in business with his brother, J. C. B., whose wife was Ella Whitnell, and who has one son; Nathaniel, a young man in California; and Effie May, a young woman of sixteen years, living at home and attending school. All of this family but two are members of the Baptist Church, and the male members thereof are advocates of temperance form, and vote the Prohibition ticket. Mr. Heaton has a well-balanced intellect, is firm and resolute when sure he is in the right, and his many friends and acquaintances always find him truthful and upright.

Transcribed 12 Sep 2009 by Vera Burnham from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 442-444.

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