Richard Dunn is a well known and worthy representative of the farming interests of Brenton township and now derives his income from a good property of four hundred and fifteen acres on sections 9, 10, 15 and 16. He is also well known as a dealer in live stock and this has added materially to his success.
Mr. Dunn was born in Warren county, Illinois, November 14, 1840, and is a son of Joseph and Mary Dunn, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Kentucky. They came to Illinois in 1837 and cast in their lot with the pioneer settlers of Warren county, where the father entered land from the government and began the development of a new farm, living in the style of those who established homes upon the frontier. There he continued until 1866, when he sold the property in Warren county and removed to Ford county, investing here in four hundred acres of land on section 15, Brenton township. The place was at that time a tract of wild prairie but with characteristic energy he began its development and brought the fields under a high state of cultivation. He lived upon the farm for about seven years and then sold out, removing to Nebraska in 1873. Again he invested in four hundred acres of land and upon the farm which he there cultivated made his home until his death. The mother of our subject had passed away in Warren county, Illinois. They were the parents of nine children, of whom six are yet living; Sarah J., now the wife of N. Ward of Oklahoma; Richard, of this review; Julia Ann, the widow of Robert Wilson of this county; George, living in Kansas; Joseph, whose home is in Texas; and James, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those deceased are William, who was the sixth in order of birth, and Harry and Mary, who were the youngest members of the family.
Richard Dunn was reared upon the home farm in Warren county amid the wild scenes of the frontier, sharing with the family in all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life and aiding in the arduous task of developing a new farm. He attended the common schools and continued to assist his father in the work of the fields until twenty-two years of age, when he began farming on his own account, purchasing eighty acres of land in Warren county, which he cultivated for a year. He then rented that place and took a trip to California, going by way of New York and the water route. He spent three years on the Pacific coast as stage driver for the Pioneer Company but preferring the middle west as a place of residence he returned to Warren county, Illinois, in 1866, and again took up the cultivation of the farm which he had there purchased. For three years he continued its further improvement and then sold out, after which he removed to Ford county and bought eighty acres of land. Upon this he located and as his financial resources increased he kept adding to his property from time to time until he now owns four hundred and fifteen acres, attractively and pleasantly situated on sections 9, 10, 15 and 16, Brenton township. The fields indicate his careful supervision and practical methods, bringing forth rich crops which are a merited reward for his labor. He has also engaged quite extensively in raising and feeding stock, keeping an hand good grades and thus finding a ready sale for his stock on the market.
In 1864 Mr. Dunn was united in marriage to Miss Martha E. Poe, who was born in Wisconsin in 1848, a daughter of William Poe and a member of a family of six children. By her marriage she has also become the mother of six children who are yet living: William H., the eldest, left home six years ago and has not been heard from since that time. Fred, at home, is a graduate of the Davenport College. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Piper City and is well known and respected throughout the community. His time is given to general agricultural pursuits and he owns eighty acres of land on section 9, Brenton township. He married Miss Mable King of Rock Island, Illinois, from whom he has since secured a legal separation. They had two children, James Richard Joseph, who is with the father, and Lula May, who is with the mother. Lula M. Dunn, the third member of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dunn is also a graduate of Davenport College and is at home. Herman is married and lives in Ford county. Joseph is a dentist practicing in Chicago. Lillian Belle is studying music and makes her home with her parents.
The cause of education has ever found in Mr. Dunn a stalwart champion and he has done effective work for the schools of his neighborhood during twenty-four years of service as school director. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Piper City and also to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He supports and attends the Presbyterian church and his influence is ever on the side of those interests and movements which tend to promote educational, material political and moral progress. His worth as a man and citizen are widely acknowledged and in his business life he has shown how forceful are the qualities of diligence and perseverance when supplemented by sound judgment. His prosperity is due to these sterling traits of character and in all of his undertakings he has been so straightforward that his name is largely a synonym for business integrity to those who know him.

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 698-700.

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