Putnam County

HARLIN, John William

John William HARLIN. Among the leading and representative agriculturists of Marshall county, stalwart and sturdy tillers of the soil, there is none who stands a more prominent figure than the gentleman of whom this notice is written. His fine farm is pleasantly located on section 12, Whitefield township. His birth occurred in Maryland, January 31, 1827, and at the age of six years was taken to Wayne county, Ohio, and later to Ashland county, by his parents, Solomon and Christina (WINBIGLER) HARLIN, also natives of Maryland. He learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed in that state until 1856, when he accompanied his father and the four children to Illinois, his mother having departed this life some time previous. Before leaving Ohio the father had again married, and by the second union had one son, Franklin, who now resides three miles southwest of Sparland in Steuben township, Marshall county. The children of the first marriage were Daniel, now of Saratoga township, Marshall county; Roxana, wife of Isaac WALKER, of Ashland county, Ohio; Henry, who died in Ohio some nine years ago; and John and George, who carried on farming together in this state for many years.

On coming to Illinois the family settled in Senachwine township, Putnam county, west of the lake, where our subject in connection with his brother George purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, paying ten dollars per acre for one hundred and sixty acres and twenty-five dollars for the remainder. They paid five hundred dollars down but had to go in debt for the remainder. They gave eighty acres of the land to their father, on which he made his home until his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-five years. His second wife survived him for some years, but has now also passed away.

For thirty years the brothers engaged in agricultural pursuits in Putnam county, where George died some fifteen years ago. They had purchased their land on five years’ time, but after the first crop was raised were enabled to pay off the debt and had something left with which to make improvements. They were engaged in general farming and stock raising, in which they ever met with excellent success, but after the death of his brother our subject sold the land in Putnam county and removed to his present farm of two hundred acres in Whitefield township, Marshall county, on which he has erected a pleasant and comfortable residence.

Until the death of his brother George, Mr. HARLIN had always lived in his family, and on coming to Marshall county his brother Daniel’s wife was his housekeeper until his marriage, May 4, 1887, when Miss Ellen PARIS became his wife. She is a native of Fairfax, Franklin county, Vermont, where she was educated in the New Hampton institute, a theological seminary, and at the early age of sixteen years began teaching school. She naturally liked study, and the love she had for her work made her a very successful teacher. In 1872 she came to Illinois, having at that time a sister, Mrs. J. G. FARIS, living in Whitefield township, Marshall county, but now a resident of Iowa. Making her home with her sister, Mrs. HARLIN taught in that township, being for eleven years the efficient teacher at the Crow Meadow school house, which position she continued to fill up to the time of her marriage.

On account of the great liking for her work and the independence of her position, Mrs. HARLIN rather disliked the idea of marriage, but finally accepted our subject, and they now have a pleasant home upon his farm, where they delight to entertain their many friends. As a teacher she was ever enthusiastic, keeping fully abreast with the times in her chosen calling, and therefore stood quite high as an instructor. She is a great reader, being well versed in poetry, history, the drama, etc., and lover of Scott, Byron, and especially of the American poets Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier, etc. She also keeps in touch with Vermont authors, among whom is John G. Saxe, and takes all the leading magazines of the day. Being quite an elocutionist, her voice has been often heard in public, especially on temperance topics, in which reform she takes a commendable interest. Mr. HARLIN always supports the democratic party, but his wife is a stanch republican and a firm believer in equal suffrage. She was reared in the Methodist Episcopal church, and has always taken an active part in the work of the church and Sunday school.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 339.

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