Biography - Quillon Kerley

QUILLON T. KERLEY was born in Burke County, N. C., August 20, 1850, and makes his home in Simpson Township, Johnson County. His father, Aaron, and his mother, Rebecca (Alexander) Kerley, were also born in that State, the former in 1800, and the latter in 1804. Aaron Kerley was the son of Henry and Sarah Kerley, the former of whom was a native of North Carolina. The maternal grandfather of our subject was an officer of high standing in the army of the Revolution, and his grandfather, Henry Kerley, was also a soldier of the Revolution, who came to Illinois, taking up Government land, and also purchasing other lands in Simpson Township. These lands were all covered with timber, and he had to clear his farm and erect the necessary buildings, all of logs. His limited education was obtained in North Carolina, in the primitive log house, one entire end of which was taken up with the fireplace, the chimney of which was made of sticks; in other respects the house was much the same as those in the early day in southern Illinois. He reached Illinois November 28, 1852, and December 13, 1853, was married to Elizabeth R. Simmons, who was a native of Johnson County, Ill., born there May 22, 1830, and the daughter of William and Sarah (Allard) Simmons, the former of whom was born in Alabama, and the latter in South Carolina. Mr. Kerley's first wife died April 10, 1878, and he was married the second time, to Fannie R. Shirk, January 24, 1881. She was born in Pope County, November 4, 1842, her parents being also natives of Illinois. Mr. Kerley still resides on the old place upon which he first settled on coming to the State, which comprises two hundred and eighty-nine acres of land. He is one of the most prosperous of farmers, as well as one of the most courteous and genial of gentlemen, and is well known for his hospitality far and wide. He has reared six children, namely: Rebecca J., James B., Jerome B., Robert W., Dillard C. and Quillon A.
When the father of our subject first settled in Illinois, deer, turkeys and other wild game were abundant on his farm. His grandfather Kerley died in Tennessee, and his grandfather Alexander died in North Carolina in 1838. The father of Mr. Kerley was a farmer all his life, and owned five hundred and forty acres of land in one body. He was married in 1827, and reared six children to maturity, of whom Quillon T. was the second one of the family in age. His parents spent their last days with their youngest son, the father dying in 1878, and the mother in 1888. Quillon T. Kerley and his family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and he has served as Justice of the Peace ten years, as Supervisor one term, and as Assessor one term. He always votes the straight Democratic ticket. Our subject first moved to Arkansas, but could not become acclimated to the country. On account of chills and fever he only stayed there eleven months, and then came to Illinois, where he has accumulated a good farm, which is well improved.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 472.

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