James W. Herron, in whose death Ford county lost a valued citizen, was for many years connected with general agricultural pursuits in this part of the state and the salient qualities of his character were such as commended him to the confidence, good will and high regard of those who knew him. He was born in Georgetown, Brown county, Ohio, August 21, 1825, his parents being John and Elizabeth (Killwell) Herron. The mother, who was of Scotch lineage, died in Ohio, while the father, who was of Irish descent, spent his last days in Woodford county, Illinois. In their family were three sons and three daughters, namely: Mrs. Jane McCoy, deceased; Killwell, who served in defense of the Union in the Civil war and is now deceased; Mrs. Rebecca Johnson, who has also passed away; James W., of this review; Mrs. Mary McCoy, deceased; and Andrew, who died in Ford county.
James W. Herron was reared in the state of his nativity and his environments were largely those of pioneer life, for it was during the early period of Ohio's development. He enlisted for service in the Mexican war but was rejected on account of having an injured foot. He was a young man of about twenty-three years when he came with his parents to Illinois, the family home being established in Woodford county. James W. Herron took up his abode upon a farm adjoining his father's place on the west, having there a tract of land of eighty acres, the father giving each of his children eighty acres of land. Upon that place he lived for about six years and in 1854 removed to another farm of ninety acres. Throughout his entire business career he carried on general agricultural pursuits, working diligently and persistently year after year to provide for his family. In February, 1885, he removed to Ford county, settling on a farm in Brenton township. He became the owner of two hundred acres of which eighty acres was in one tract and one hundred and twenty in another, about a mile apart. Upon his farm in Ford county he resided, until his death, which occurred on the 31st of October, 1896, when he had reached the age of seventy-one years. After coming to Illinois he worked at the carpenter's trade for a time but with the exception of a brief period he always gave his attention to a general agricultural pursuits and his practical methods and unfaltering industry constituted the foundation upon which he built his success.
On the 6th of April, 1854, Mr. Herron was married to Miss Carrie Trunnell, who was born near Georgetown in Brown county, Ohio, November 29, 1837, and died in Woodford county, Illinois, when about forty-two years of age. They were the parents of nine children, of whom six are yet living, namely: John, a resident farmer of Brenton township; George W. who is living in Woodford county, this state; James P., who is living on the old homestead farm in Brenton township; Mary E., the wife of Joseph Tracy, of Brown county, Ohio; Minnie B., the wife of Samuel Wells, who is located in Brenton township; and Nellie, who is the widow of George Ross and resides with Mrs. Herron in Piper City. After losing his first wife Mr. Herron was again married, in 1881, his second union being with Miss Mary Elizabeth Berry, who was born in Brown county, Ohio, in the same neighborhood as her husband. Her natal day was February 1, 1835, and her parents were Samuel and Rebecca (Hamilton) Berry, natives of Brown and of Trumbull counties, Ohio respectively, their entire lives being passed in the Buckeye state. In their family were eight children: Lorinda Espey, deceased; Mrs. Jane Ward, of Ohio; Mrs. Lilla Petticorn; Mrs. Anna Parcell; Mrs. Herron; Mrs. Amanda Richards; Robert W., of Ohio; and Marcus. Both sons engaged in teaching school for many years and are now located on farms in the Buckeye state.
In his political views Mr. Herron was a stalwart republican but never sought nor desired office. While decided in his views and holding firmly to the principles in which he believed, he was never an agitator. He belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church at Piper City and his belief permeated his entire life, making him an honest, upright man. He was rather quiet and retiring in disposition but his genuine worth was recognized by all who knew him and at all times he did his full duty to his family, his friends and his country.
Mrs. Herron, still surviving her husband, has made her home during the past nine years in Piper City and erected the residence that she now occupies. She is a lady whom to know is to esteem and love. Her spirit is kindly, gentle and generous and to her step-children she has done a mother's full part and is loved by them with the same affection that would be given to an own mother. Her circle of friends is coextensive with the circle of her acquaintances and it is with genuine pleasure that we present the record of her life to the readers of this volume.

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 712-716

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