Reuben BROADDUS, one of the highly esteemed and progressive farmers of Roberts township, traces his ancestry back to Edward BROADDUS, who came from Wales, and settled upon Gwynn’s Island, Virginia, and in 1715, located in Caroline county, Virginia, where some of the descendants of the family yet reside. Edward BROADDUS married Mary SHIPP. Their son married Frances PRIOR, and their son Reuben, the grandfather of our subject, married Elizabeth GARLAND, and their son, Lunsford BROADDUS, the father of our subject, was born in 1794, in Caroline county, Virginia.
Lunsford BROADDUS was reared in his native county, and received a fairly good education. He served as a captain in the war of 1812, and according to all reports was a good and faithful soldier. He married Nancy GALE, also a native of Caroline county, Virginia, born in 1802. She was a daughter of Josiah GALE, who lived and died in Virginia. After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. BROADDUS moved to a plantation in their native county, which he operated some years. According to the custom of that day he was the owner of several slaves, but was never satisfied with the institution. For the reason that he was opposed to slavery, he moved from Virginia to Indiana, and in the fall of 1835 came to Marshall county by wagon across the prairies and was sixteen days on the road. On arriving here he found a small settlement near Lacon and a few Indians yet remaining in the neighborhood. Wild game was in abundance. He fist located one mile east of Lacon, Hopewell township, in a hazel thicket, purchasing the claim of Newton REEDER, on which was a small log cabin, in which he lived for four years. He then built a finer log house on the bluff, and later added to that a gravel and cement house. He died in 1864, his wife surviving him and dying January 10, 1872. To Lunsford and Nancy BROADDUS were born eleven children. (1) Christopher, now deceased, married Minerva H. Hall, by whom he has seven children – Cynthia, Helen, Jessica, Jennie, Marshall, Florence and Alice. (2) Eleanor, deceased wife of Eli STRONG, who is also deceased. Their children were C. C. STRONG, an attorney of Pontiac, Illinois; Mrs. Martha BARRY, of Chicago, Illinois; Frank, of Kansas; Henry, and Mrs. Nancy THOMPSON, of Lacon, Illinois. (3) Elizabeth, married Enoch SAWYER, and both are now deceased. Their children were Lundsford, Jesse, Simeon, Jordan, Enoch, Lucy, Mark and Christopher, the two last named being twins. (4) Helen M., widow of William STRAWN, deceased. Their children are Mrs. Lucy FOSTER, Jacob, Mrs. Caroline MARSH, Leland, Leroy, John, Ellen M. and William, twins, Ralph and Alfred. (5) Leland, who lives in Putnam county, Illinois, married Harriet CRANE, by whom he had two children, Lunsford and Hervey E., and after the death of his first wife married Susan CASE, by whom he has three children – John, Clara and Irving. (6) Lucy is deceased wife of Francis H. BOND, of Wenona. (7) Caroline, who married Henry E. WEIR, died leaving one child, Mrs. Susan BULLMAN. (8) Reuben is next in order of birth. (9) Susan married Peter BOGARDUS, who is now deceased. Their children were Lunsford, William, Anna, Ida and Charles. (10) Andrew married Sarah FORBES, now deceased, and to them were born the following children – William, Christopher and Gale. After the death of his first wife he wedded Jennie HEWETT, and their children are – Benjamin, Viah and Rea. (11) Irving married Ruth FORBES, and their children are Mrs. Savella DAVIDSON, Mrs. Cora COOK, May, Walter and Nancy.
Religiously, the father was a member of the Baptist church, while his wife was a member of the Christian church. He was well versed in the scriptures and was ever ready to discuss scriptural questions with any and every one. Politically, he was originally a whig and later a democrat. In local political affairs he took active part, making public speeches in almost every campaign. He was a well known auctioneer and attended sales in not only Marshall but in the surrounding counties. As a fisherman few men were more successful. His death, as well as that of his wife, was mourned not alone by the large family, but by a large circle of friends as well.
Reuben BROADDUS, our subject, was born July 6, 1832, in Fayette county, Indiana, and came to Marshall county with his parents, in 1835. When but ten years of age he went with his father to Caroline county, Virginia, making the trip in a four wheeled rig, called a carry-all, with homemade top. They started from home about the last of August, and en route passed through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, crossing the Alleghany mountains. At the foot of the mountains he heard, for the first time, what is now the old familiar song of “Suwanee River.” After a very tiresome journey they reached their destination, had a very pleasant visit and started back home, where they arrived in the middle of October, having traveled over two thousand miles.
Mr. BROADDUS grew to manhood on the old homestead in Hopewell township, and was educated in the log school house. He remained at home until his marriage, November 21, 1855, with Miss Mary J. FORBES, a native of Hopewell township, born September 12, 1835, and a daughter of William and Hannah (BUCKINGHAM) FORBES, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Her father was a son of Caleb FORBES who came to this county about 1830, while her mother was a daughter of Isaac BUCKINGHAM, who came from Pennsylvania to Lacon about 1832, coming up the Illinois river on a flat boat, and landing among a large band of Indians on the bank. The parents of Mrs. BROADDUS were married October 26, 1834, and settled in a log cabin, where W. H. GERMAN now lives, in Hopewell township. The father there died November 14, 1842, at the age of thirty-three years. His wife died March 16, 1857, at the age of forty-four years. They were the parents of six children - Mary J., now Mrs. BROADDUS; Sarah, deceased wife of Andrew BROADDUS; Ellen, who first married William VERNEY, by whom she had two children, Nellie and an infant, both deceased, who dying, she then married Charles CASEY, by whom she has three children, Mrs. Clara MONIER, Laura and Wilbur; Amanda, now deceased; Isaac, who married Sallie ORR, by whom he has one son, William O. and they now live in Anthony, Kansas; Courtney, now deceased, married Ozell TRASK, by whom he had four children – Gilbert F., Belle, Grace J. and Isaac.
Soon after their marriage our subject and his wife settled on Sandy creek, Roberts township, where they resided until March 10, 1868, when they removed to their present home, which he has greatly improved, and for which he paid sixty dollars per acre. From time to time he has added to his possessions, until he has now over twelve hundred acres of fine tillable land. For many years he has made a specialty of the breeding and raising of fine cattle, a report of which may be found in the state agricultural reports of 1877 on page 348. In fact it may be stated that he has been in the cattle business for over fifty-four years.
To Mr. and Mrs. BROADDUS five children have been born – Lawrence married Luella DuCHESNE, of Varna; Minnie E. is now the wife of Daniel C. WRIGHT, of Varna, and they have one son, Maurice B.; Warner, married Emily J. SPANGLER, by whom he has one son, Lynn S., and they also reside in Varna; Mary Hannah, married Morgan NORTON, of Varna, and Andrew Lee, married Gertrude MALEHAM, and they reside on the old home farm.
Mr. BROADDUS has taken great interest in educational matters, and has been a school director for thirty-nine years continuously. He has been assessor five years, and collector one term. Politically, he is a democrat, “a man for the people.”
Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois published in 1896, page 330.