Biography - John Mackey

JOHN C. MACKEY, who resides on his farm on section 31, Bloomfield Township, Johnson County, is not only a competent farmer, but he is a contractor and builder of high repute and conducts an extensive business in that line. Alabama is his native State, and he was born August 12, 1847. His father was James L. Mackey, who was born, reared and married in South Carolina, where he had been brought up on a farm. His parents removed to Tennessee, where the grandfather of our subject continued his occupation as a farmer, and in due time died.
James Mackey obtained a fair education in the schools of his day. He married Sarah Jane Duran, who was also a native of South Carolina, and they subsequently left their native State, and at different times lived in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. From the latter State they came to this in the fall of 1861, coming hither by rail. Mr. Mackey had but little means at that time, and first settled on rented land in Union County. After a while he bought railroad land, which he sold after living on it for a time and improving it, and his next and last move was to Texas, where he died, his wife also dying there in the same year. They were the parents of seven children: Rebecca, who is married and lives in Texas; William, who is a dairy farmer in Texas; James T., a resident of Dallas, Tex.; John C; Louis C, now in Dallas, Tex.; Monroe, also in Dallas; and Elizabeth, the wife of John Benson, of Dongola, Union County.
John C. Mackey is the fourth child of the family. Brought up on a farm, he early became accustomed to work. He applied himself diligently to his books and made the most of his opportunities to obtain an education in the common schools. At the age of eighteen, the sturdy self-reliant youth began life in earnest, with good habits, health, strength and a well-balanced mind for capital. He had a decided taste for mechanics, was very skillful in handling tools, and he naturally turned his attention to the trade of a carpenter, and in due time mastered every detail of the calling. He then spent some time farming on some land he owned in Union County, which he finally sold, and then bought his present farm of eighty-five acres in Bloomfield Township. This is supplied with ample improvements, its fields are well tilled, and the whole place shows the best of care. Besides superintending his farm, Mr. Mackey conducts an extensive business at Vienna as a builder, has erected many of the most substantial houses in that village and in the county, and always has all the contracts he cares to fill. They are always carried out to the letter, and he is known among his many friends and acquaintances as a of scrupulous integrity, who is straightforward and above board in all his transactions. He is a public-spirited citizen, who uses his influence for the good of the community, and as a member of the School Board — a position he also held while a resident of Union County — he seeks to promote the cause of education in this locality. Politically, he favors the Republican party.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Nancy Jane Keith, a native of Johnson County, was solemnized in 1869, and has been a union as happy as that usually allotted to mortals. It has brought to them eleven children: Almira Belle, who died in infancy; Addison, who died at the age of eighteen years, and Willie E., James Franklin, Mary Ellen, Cora E., Lillie W., Oliver, Annie, John and Ethel. These children brighten the home and gladden the hearts of their parents, who are giving them a good practical training in life's lessons, and affording them the best educational advantages within their means.

Extracted 17 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 164-167.

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