BIOGRAPHY - Andrew Jordan

ANDREW JORDAN, one of the earliest settlers of Ford County and one of her most successful farmers, now owns and operates eight hundred and eighty acres of very fine land, his home being situated on section 13, Drummer Township. In accordance with his enterprising and progressive spirit, his farm is under a high state of cultivation and well supplied with excellent buildings and good improvements, both useful and ornamental, which add to its value and attractive appearance.

Mr. Jordan was born near Louisville, Ky., August 28, 1828, and is a son of William and Lovica (Brooks) Jordan, both of whom were natives of Virginia and located in Kentucky about 1818. A few years later, they removed to Monroe County, near Gosport, Ind., where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father died about 1855 and the mother about 1849. By occupation, he was a farmer and ever followed that business for a livelihood. Himself and wife were both adherents of the Baptist Church and, in politics, he was a supporter of Democratic principles.

Our subject was fifth in order of birth in a family of twelve children. He received but a limited education and remained with his parents until he had attained his maturity, when he started out in life for himself. With a horse and $15 in money, he located near Virginia, Cass County, Ill., and began work as a farm hand, receiving $13 per month. In the fall of 1850, he returned to Indiana, and after a short time went to Bloomington, Ill., where he worked for about six months. He then became a resident of Cass County, Ill., where he was engaged as a farm hand. Once more, he returned to Indiana and subsequently located in Champaign County, having purchased one hundred acres of land. A year later, however, he exchanged farms with his father-in-law, receiving eighty acres, which Mr. Devore had entered from the Government.

Mr. Jordan was married, on the 30th of November, 1852, to Miss Amanda Devore, who was born near Gosport, Owen County, Ind., March 16, 1835, and is a daughter of Nicholas and Polly (Hartzog) Devore, who were of German lineage. They were also members of the Christian Church, and, in politics, Mr. Devore was a stalwart Republican. Immediately after their marriage, our subject and his wife settled on their farm in Champaign County, but in March, 1854, came to their present home. From time to time, he added to his possessions until he became the owner of eleven hundred acres, but has since sold a portion of it and now owns eight hundred and eighty acres of valuable land. He also owns and operates one of the largest brick and tile works in the county and, in connection with his farming, raises a fine grade of horses and cattle. He has been very successful in his business career and his success is well deserved. He bore all the hardships and trials of frontier life, however. The first home of himself and wife was a log cabin. They did their first corn planting under trying circumstances. Mr. Jordan would take the baby (their son William) in his arms and plow for a time, while his wife would drop the corn. At length, he fixed a box on top of the plow and, placing the little fellow in that, resumed his work. There were no near markets. Paxton, Loda, Elliott, Gibson, Melvin and Sibley, all now thriving towns, were not then laid out. They saw the introduction of all the railroads in this part of the county and have been eye-witnesses of much of the growth and development of this community.

Five children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Jordan: William, who is engaged in farming in Sibley; James, a resident farmer of Kansas; John, who operates the old homestead; Lizzie, wife of Dr. Campbell, a physician of Ft. Recovery, Ohio; and Charlie, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Dix Township. The parents are people of benevolent disposition, hold membership with the Christian Church in Gibson, and take an active interest in its work. Church and Sunday-school were held in their home and that of their neighbors in the early days. In the fall of 1890, Mr. Jordan donated two hundred and twenty thousand brick for the beautiful church edifice in which he now worships, and which stands as a monument to his benevolence. The first Township and the first Presidential elections in Drummer Township were held in his home, in 1861.

Mr. Jordan was the first Supervisor of Drummer Township, which office he filled for two years, and is recognized as one of the most honored and prominent citizens of the county. His life has been well and worthily spent, and in the faithful discharge of his duties and every trust reposed in him, he has won the confidence and high regard of all.

Extracted 28 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 279-280.

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