John H. Decker has for fourteen years been a resident of Ford county, where he is now engaged extensively and successfully in the raising of stock of high grades, being well known in this regard. He was born in Williamsburg, West Virginia, August 8, 1867, and was the second in order of birth in a family of four sons and three daughters whose parents are Nathaniel Green and Louisa B. (Hinkle) Decker, both of whom are natives of West Virginia, and still reside in that state, the father following the occupation of blacksmithing.
John H. Decker spent his early boyhood under the parental roof, and when thirteen years of age started out in business life on his own account, working as a farm hand to the age of eighteen. Thinking to find better business opportunities and to acquire success more quickly in the west, he made his way to the western part of Kansas, where he worked on a horse ranch for three years, going thence to McLean county, Illinois, where he resided for five or six years. He next made his way to Piper City, Ford county, and for about fourteen years has resided within the boundaries of this county. During the entire period he has carried on farming and stockraising, and has owned two or three different farms, but has sold them. He is now renting the John Stadler farms, one of two hundred and forty acres and the other of one hundred and sixty acres, both in Brenton township. Here he has resided for three years and is extensively and successfully engaged in business as a stock farmer, having devoted the last ten years to stock-raising. He has horses, cattle and hogs, and upon his place today are found twenty-five head of Percheron draft horses, all of which are thoroughbreds, and he has won a number of premiums on exhibiting his stock. He also raises pure bred shorthorn cattle and has a pure Scotch bull, Gloster, at the head of his herd, which numbers thirty registered animals. He also keeps pure bred Duroc Jersey hogs, having one hundred and twenty-five upon the farm at present. As a stock dealer he has become very widely known and his business is extensive and profitable.
In 1891 Mr. Decker was united in marriage to Miss Katharine Irene King, a native of Ohio and a daughter of John and Lena (Myre) King, the former a native of Germany, and the latter of Ohio. The father was brought to the United States by his parents when only five weeks old. From Ohio he removed to this county, settling in Brenton township. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Decker have been born four children: Nina, Leota, lona and John Green.
Mr. Decker is a democrat and a public-spirited citizen, giving loyal support to many measures for the general good. He has served as school officer, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He is also a director of the Ford County Fair & Driving Association, and is a Master Mason of Piper City lodge. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen camp, and is loyal to the teachings of these organizations. He may well be termed a self-made man, deserving all the credit which that term implies, for he started out on his own account when a youth of thirteen years, and has since depended upon his own resources for the success he has achieved. He is now one of the best known stock-dealers of Ford county, and has done much to improve the grade of stock raised in this part of the state.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 711-712

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