Putnam County


The life record of Adam Brown Henkins cannot fail to prove of interest to many of our readers, for he is a venerable citizen of Senachwine township, living upon section 26, and for more than a half century he has resided in this part of the state. Today he is one of its most extensive land owners, his possessions aggregating ten hundred and fifteen acres in Putnam and Bureau counties.

He was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, near the Virginia line, September 24, 1824, his parents being Elijah and Elizabeth (Brown) Henkins. The father was born in West Virginia, September 29, 1792, and died in Putnam county, Illinois, September 6, 1887, while his wife, whose birth occurred July 1, 1797, in West Virginia, passed away in this county, August 12, 1875. In their family were the following named: Rawley, who died February 11, 1900; Christina, who became the wife of Robert Worley and died May 2, 1863 ; Catherine, who married John Roberts and died September 3, 1900; Margaret, who died October 12, 1887; Adam, of this review; Susan, who died April 21, 1824; Mary Elizabeth, who became the wife of Jacob Syphers and died January 17, 1875; Andrew P., who departed this life .September 16, 1872 ; Elijah, who is living in Senachwine township, Putnam county; Elizabeth, who married Stace Stevens and passed away April 2, 1901; Martha Jane, who died April 3, 1854; and Amanda, who is living with her brother Elijah.

The educational privileges which Adam B. Henkins received in his boyhood were somewhat limited but in the school of experience he has learned many valuable and useful lessons. Under the parental roof, however, he was trained to habits of industry, perseverance and economy. In 1850, with a party of sixteen people, one of whom was his uncle, Colonel Levi Anderson, Mr. Henkins drove across the country from Pennsylvania. The party were upon the road twenty-six days, proceeding by slow stages after the manner of travel at that time, which was long before the era of the railroad. Beaching Illinois Mr. Henkins worked at the carpenter's trade in Princeton and afterward rented land in Bureau county, where he carried on farming for two years. His father and the other members of the family then came to Illinois, settling in Senachwine township, Putnam county, and his father gave him eightyacres of land in payment for two years' work. On receiving this Mr. Henkins engaged in farming for himself, placed the land under cultivation and has continued the work of improving the farm, making his home thereon to the present time.

In 1860, desiring a companion and helpmate for life's journey he married Sarah Jane Dawson, who was born in Pennsylvania, June 18, 1832, and died in Putnam county, November 17, 1897, when about sixty-five years of age. They had become the parents of seven children. Jehu, who was born February 11, 1860, married Lorena Hall and lives in Senachwine township. Commodore, who was born March 21, 1862, married Elmira Smith and was killed November 3, 1905. while sawing wood. Dowdy D., born May 11. 1864, died April 24, 1865. Susan L., born April 29, 1866, is the wife of Dwight M. Ball and they reside with her father. Jacob S, born August 1, 1868, died March 6, 1895, while studying medicine in Chicago. Adam, born June 12, 1874, wedded Alice Putcamp and is living in Bureau county. Miles W., born June 15, 1877, married Miss Ball and lives in Senachwine township.

Throughout almost his entire life Mr. Henkins has followed general agricultural pursuits and is thoroughly familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He now has a nice home and his landed possessions are extensive, for from time to time he has added to his property through careful investment until he now has ten hundred and fifteen acres in Putnam and Bureau counties. He started in life a poor man and all that he possesses has been acquired through his own labor. He early realized the fact that persistent effort is the basis of all success and his perseverance and energy have enabled him to overcome many obstacles and difficulties in his path. His property is one which any man might be glad to possess. There is no better investment to be made than by placing money in the rich farm lands of Illinois, for the soil is so productive that it makes a splendid return and the equable climate with liberal rainfalls and warm sunshine always insures good crops. Thus farming is profitably carried on by all who have industry and energy enough to till the soil according to modern methods and the life record of Mr. Henkins demonstrates the possibilities for success in this particular. For fifty-four years he has been a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church and his political support has been given to the republican party for almost an equal length of time, as he joined its ranks on its organization. He has served as road commissioner and as school director and was also township school trustee for years. His has been a long and useful life, crowned with prosperity and also with the respect of his fellowmen.

Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 469.

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