Oscar Henry Damon is a retired merchant of Gibson City, enjoying in well earned rest the fruits of his former toil. He was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, May 24, 1835, his parents being Ebenezer and Chloe A. (Lawrence) Damon, the latter a daughter of Joseph Lawrence. The father was born November 1, 1812, and was a builder in Lawrence, Massachusetts, whence he removed to Rutland, La Salle county, Illinois. The family was founded in America by Deacon John Damon, who arrived in Reading, Massachusetts, in 1630 and was a selectman there. He made his home in that place until his death, which occurred in 1708. His descendants are now widely scattered but representatives of the family have always remained residents of New England. Ebenezer Damon, on removing westward, established his home in LaSalle county, where he continued his residence up to the time of his demise in 1870. His widow, long surviving him, died in 1890 at Gibson City.
Oscar H. Damon, one of a family of six children, acquired a common-school education in Lyndon, Vermont, and in Lawrence, Massachusetts. After putting aside his text-books he was employed in a store and factory until twenty years of age, when he started in business on his own account, removing westward to Rutland, La Salle county. He there opened a dry-goods store in connection with his brother and was thus engaged until 1861, when he put aside business and personal considerations to espouse the cause of the Union in the Civil war. He enlisted in Battery K, Second Illinois Light Artillery, and participated in many battles which led up to the final triumph of the Union army, remaining at the front until mustered out in 1864 because of physical disability. He relates many interesting incidents of military life and is a worthy veteran, whose loyalty to his duty was never questioned on the field of battle.
After being mustered out, Mr. Damon served as clerk of the Freedman's bureau at Natchez, Mississippi, and following his return to the north was postmaster of Rutland, La Salle county. He afterward opened a drug store at Coaticook, in the province of Quebec, Canada, where he remained in business for nine years. He afterward went to Olympia, Washington, where he continued for a year and a half and later went to California and to Chicago. On the 1st of May, 1878, he arrived in Gibson City. Soon afterward he purchased five hundred acres of land, for which he paid thirty dollars per acre and which is today worth one hundred and seventy-five dollars per acre owing to the splendid improvements he has placed upon it and the natural rise in value consequent to the settlement of the state. His property is divided into three farms, comprising five hundred seventeen and a half acres in Dix and Drummer townships, and he also owns a half section of land in Pike county, Illinois, and section and a half in North Dakota. From his property interests he derives an excellent income, which amply supplies him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. He continued actively in his farming operations for a number of years and still gives personal supervision to his invested interests. He owns one of the finest residences in Gibson City, erected in 1906.
On the 19th of May, 1878, Mr. Damon was married to Mrs. Margaret A. Lott, the widow of J. B. Lott, who owned all the land where Gibson City is now located. Both Mr. and Mrs. Damon have an extensive acquaintance in the county and occupy a very prominent position in social circles, being people of many friends. He holds membership in the Presbyterian church, while his wife is a member of the Christian church. Mr. Damon is serving as one of the elders and treasurer of his church and also a teacher in the Sunday school. He was chairman of the building committee at the time of the erection of the new house of worship and has taken a most active and helpful interest in all departments of the church work. He was also secretary of the County Sunday School Association and does all in his power to promote moral training of the young recognizing the fact that the early teachings are seldom forgotten, but leave an indelible impress upon the young lives. His political allegiance is given the republican party and he is recognized as one of its local leaders. He served as town clerk for three years, was president of the village board, and has twice served as mayor of the city. His official duties have ever been discharged with promptness and fidelity, winning him high encomiums and the unqualified trust of his fellowmen. He belongs to Lott Post, G. A. R., and manifests the same loyalty to his country in days of peace that he displayed when upon southern battlefields he followed the old flag to victory. His influence is always given on the side of right, progress and improvement and his labors have been an element not only in the material development, but in the political and moral progress of the community.

Extracted 19 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 1, pages 348-352.

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