John Huston, who for thirty-one years has been a resident of Ford county, carries on general agricultural pursuits on a farm on section 21, Dix township, and the place is neat and well improved, indicating in its attractive appearance his careful supervision and practical methods. A native of Ireland, he was born in County Meath. April 20, 1830, his parents being Christopher and Mary (Payne) Huston, both of whom spent their entire lives on the Emerald isle. Their son William is still living on the old home place there, where he follows farming.
John Huston acquired his education in the schools of his native country, where he remained until about eighteen years of age, when, attracted by the opportunities of the new world, he came to America in 1818. He remained here until 1857, the year of the wide-spread financial panic, when he returned to his native country and spent two years there. He then once more crossed the Atlantic and has since been a resident of this country. After some time spent in Philadelphia he was for sixteen years a resident of Rhode Island, where he engaged in working on army goods in woolen works.
Following the close of hostilities between the north and the south Mr. Huston came to Illinois and for a short time resided at Kirkwood near Monmouth. He afterward rented land in Henderson county, where he remained for twelve years, thence came to Ford county in 1877. In that year he located upon a farm which is yet his place of residence. Here he first bought one hundred acres of land from his brother and later purchased sixty acres of raw prairie, since which time his undivided attention has been given to the further development and improvement of his place, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation, so that he annually gathers good crops as a reward for his care and labor. The Illinois Central Railroad now crosses the farm at the southeast corner, taking off about five acres. This place cost him about three thousand dollars. Today it is as valuable as any land in the locality, being one of the excellent farms of the community. That Mr. Huston has prospered as the years have gone by is indicated by the fact that he is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres in Sullivant township in addition to his home farm, purchasing the latter tract in 1904.
In 1865 occurred the marriage of Mr. Huston and Miss Mary Ann Josephine Ryan, who was born in Rochester, New York, in 1845, a daughter of Patrick Ryan and a sister of F. M. Ryan, who is president of the International Association Bridge & Structural Iron Works, located in the American Central Life building at Indianapolis, Indiana, a man very prominent in this field of labor. The death of Mrs. Huston occurred November 5, 1891. The family numbers ten children as follows: Mary E., who was born in Providence, Rhode Island October 25, 1865, and is the wife of William A. Cleary, a resident of Dix township; Sarah, who was born August 27, 1867, in Kirkwood, Illinois, and is now the wife of W. G. Wilson, a resident farmer of Dix township; Elizabeth, who was born October 14, 1870, in Kirkwood, and is the wife of George Bonnen, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Teresa Ann, who was born April 1, 1872, was educated in the Sisters school at Chatsworth, Livingston county, Illinois, and is now the wife of John S. Crawford, a farmer of Ford county; Christopher, who was born June 7, 1876, and died April 17, 1878; John Francis, who was born July 29, 1878, was educated in the district schools and in the college at Valparaiso, Indiana, and is now managing the home farm for his father; Clara May, who was born March 23, 1881, and married Edward Harrington, a resident of Livingston county, Illinois; William Edward, who was born February 19, 1883, was educated in a school in Kankakee and now resides in Sullivant township. Ford county; Joseph Alfred, who was born February 19, 1885, was educated in the Gibson high school and also in Valparaiso, and is now teaching in Livingston county; and Gertrude, who was born April 28, 1889, and is now a student in St. Joseph's Academy.
Mr. Huston has served as road commissioner and is interested in having excellent public highways. In politics he is independent regarding the capability of the candidate rather than his party affiliation. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to America, for in this country he has found the opportunities which he sought and through their utilization has worked his way upward, becoming one of the successful representative farmers of the community, his life indicating what may be accomplished by determination and well directed energy.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 515-517.

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