Biography - James Maupin

JAMES MAUPIN, who was formerly a farmer and stock-raiser of Vienna Township, but who departed this life December 2, 1892, was a man of ripe experience and sound judgment in all that pertained to his business, and was a valued member of the agricultural community of Johnson County. He was born November 12, 1827, on his father's farm near the town of Franklin, Tenn., and is a son of Jesse Maupin, who was also a native of Tennessee, where he was reared to the life of a farmer. Our subject was of English extraction on the paternal side of the house, his grandfather, who was a farmer and a tanner, having been born in England. Through his mother he traced his ancestry back to Germany.
As his people were not wealthy, our subject had to work for a living when a boy, beginning his apprenticeship to downright hard labor on his father's farm, and consequently he had but little chance to attend school. Hence what education he had was the result of his application to his books in his leisure hours, and to observation and experience. He remained with his parents until he was twenty years old, and then started out for himself without money but with a resolute will and a good stock of industry. The neighboring farmers would have been glad to hire him, as he was known to be a good worker, and capable and honest. But farm wages were so low he thought to make more money by chopping wood at thirty cents a cord and split ting rails at twenty-five cents a hundred. He kept steadily at his labors, and even at these figures was enabled to save money, continuing thus engaged a number of years. He had been living in Kentucky when he came to this county in 1857 with his family, which consisted of three children and his wife, Frances (Ellis) Maupin, whom he had married in Kentucky, although she was a native of Tennessee. They stopped about one mile from his late farm, and Mr. Maupin went to work in a mill, making himself so useful that he was pre vailed upon to stay from year to year until nine years had gone by. While thus employed he had from time to time judiciously invested his earnings in land, and would often sell the same at an advanced price, always keeping in view the object of his labors — that of securing a home and a farm.
When he left the mill in which he was so long employed our subject owned a farm about three miles southwest from the farm which he owned at the time of his death, but he sold it, and bought one hundred and twenty acres, which comprises the farm upon which his last days were spent, and for which he paid $2,000. The place was partly developed, but he had been constantly making improvements ever since it came into his possession, and had made of it a choice farm, with well-tilled fields and buildings of a good class, and every facility for carrying on farming to the best advantage, and he had it well stocked also.
Mr. Maupin had the shrewd counsel and ever active co-operation of his wife in the accumulation of his property. Their wedded life brought to them nine children, of whom the following are left: Lewis, a resident of Vienna; Emma, Mrs. Dr. L. W. Carlten, who lives in Missouri; William, at home with his mother; John, who lives in this county; and Amanda at home. Rachel died in infancy, and Martha J., Elizabeth and Susan are also dead.
Notwithstanding his lack of opportunity when a boy, Mr. Maupin rose to a prosperous condition through the sheer force of sturdy common sense and a determination to succeed in whatever he undertook. His judgment was considered good in educational matters as well as in all things appertaining to the highest good of the community, and he had been a member of the School Board, had been Supervisor of Roads, and had always done his full share of the necessary public work of the neighborhood. He did not take an active part in political matters, preferring to attend to the business and care incident to the life of a farmer, leaving politics and official claims to men more desirous of such honors. However, he never forgot to vote the Democratic ticket, nor did any of his ancestors before him after becoming members of the body politic of this great Republic fail to assert their manhood and vote in the same direction.

Extracted 23 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 198-199.

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