Daniel Moudy, formerly identified with agricultural interests in Button township but now living retired in Paxton, is yet one of the extensive landowners of the county, whose holdings comprise over eight hundred acres. Throughout his business career he has displayed excellent executive force, keen discernment and the unflagging industry which lead to success and, moreover, his path has never been strewn with the wreck of other men 's fortunes.
A native of Indiana, he was born in Vermilion county, February 4, 1836, his parents being Peter and Elizabeth (Herring) Moudy, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Pennsylvania. The Moudy family was established in Butler county, Ohio, in 1805 and there Peter Moudy remained until 1835, when he removed to western Indiana. He afterward crossed the border into Vermilion county, Illinois, where he settled in 1855 and made his home for twenty years or until his death in 1875, when he was seventy-one years of age. He was accounted one of the most successful farmers of his community, managing his business interests so ably that he seemed to have acquired at any one point of his career the possibility of successful accomplishment at that point. His family numbered twelve children, seven of whom grew to maturity: Hannah J., the widow of Frank McGinnis, of Warren county, Indiana; Mary A., the widow of Elisha Rodgers and a resident of Warren county; Margaret, the deceased wife of William Waits, of Vermilion county, Illinois; Daniel, of this review; Rosa, the deceased wife of William Martin, of Vermilion county, Illinois; Emily, the widow of Robert N. Atherton, of Danville, Illinois; and Jacob, a farmer of Patton township, Ford county. The mother passed away in 1886.
Daniel Moudy pursued his education in the public schools of Vermilion county, Illinois, and of Warren county, Indiana. He came to Illinois with his father when nineteen years of age and Indians were still quite numerous in some parts of the state. Starting out in life on his own account, he was employed as a farm hand and later he cultivated rented land for some time. He likewise spent four months at railroad work on the construction of the Wabash line and thus in his early career manifested the perseverance and diligence which have constituted important factors in his later success.
Mr. Moudy secured a companion and helpmate for life's journey by his marriage, at the age of twenty-two years, to Miss Margaret Leneve, a daughter of Obadiah and Polly (Lemons) Leneve. Her father was born in Halifax county, Virginia, and her mother in Tennessee. The Leneve ancestor in America came to this country with General La Fayette and aided the Americans in their struggle for independence. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Leneve were born eight children, of whom three died in early life. The others were: Samuel, who in 1851 made the trip overland with an ox-team to Oregon and died in that state; Nancy, the deceased wife of William Montgomery, of this county; Margaret E., the deceased wife of Mr. Moudy; John M., who has also passed away; and Rebecca J., the widow of Joseph Phillips, of Danville.
The marriage of Mr. Moudy was blessed with three children: William S., now a farmer of Chariton county, Missouri; Emma J., deceased; and Rose E., the wife of Perry Clark, of Paxton. Mrs. Moudy died January 31, 1879, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which she was a consistent and loyal member. On the 24th of March, 1880, Mr. Moudy was again married, his second union being with Miss Henrietta Campbell, a daughter of Obadiah and Margaret L. (Poyer) Campbell, natives of Pennsylvania. Her grandfather, James Campbell, accompanied his parents on their removal to Pennsylvania when he was fifteen years of age. They were among the early colonial settlers of the state and some members of the family served with the American army in the Revolutionary war. The Poyer family was also established in Pennsylvania at an early period in its development, probably about 1810. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were born nine children, all of whom reached adult age: Robert F., now deceased; Abram L., who has passed away, while his wife is now in Arizona, his daughter in Indiana and his son in Chicago; William A., who died leaving a widow and four children, who are residents of Paxton; Francis M., of Chicago; Josephine, deceased; Oscar L., who died leaving a widow and two children, who are residents of Paxton; Mrs. Henrietta Moudy; Louisa, the widow of John M. Swinford, of Rankin, Illinois, and the mother of three children; and Lebritt, of Paxton. Mr. Campbell died February 17, 1885, while his wife passed away February 2, 1867. They were both earnest Christian people, Mr. Campbell belonging to the Presbyterian church and his wife to the Baptist church. For many years they remained residents of Ford county and enjoyed the highest esteem and good will of those who knew them. Mr. Campbell came to Ford county in 1851 and purchased two hundred acres of land of Joshua Trickle at what was known as Trickle's Grove, then a portion of Vermilion county, while Paxton was called Prairie City. Later it was known as Prospect City and at the time of Mr. Campbell's arrival here it contained only three houses. There were indeed but few residents in this part of the county, game of all kinds was plentiful and there were many evidences of pioneer life. The place which Mr. Campbell purchased was one of the two first improved places in the county. Supplies had to be hauled from Chicago, mostly with ox-teams and the settlers experienced many of the hardships and trials incident to the frontier. After being in the county a short time Campbell purchased from the railroad company a tract of eighty acres of land at two dollars and a half per acre. On his first purchase, the two hundred acres obtained from Mr. Trickle, the first schoolhouse of Ford county was erected it being a little structure twelve by fourteen feet, and therein quite a large number of those who are now numbered among the early settlers acquired at least a part of their education. Both Mr. Campbell and Mr. Moudy hauled their lumber for building purposes from Fountain, Covington county, Indiana, about one hundred miles, and Mr. Campbell, who was a carpenter, erected an addition to his double loghouse, which had been built by Mr. Trickle. This loghouse still stands as one of the landmarks of a period now long since passed and it was in that pioneer home that he reared his entire family.
Unto Mr. Moudy and his present wife have been born three children: Albert, of Paxton, who married Miss Jennie Ford and has two children, Opal and Metta; Lena; and Lee. Mrs. Moudy is a member of the Court of Honor. Both Mr. and Mrs. Moudy are widely and favorably known in the county, where they have many warm friends. It was in 1856 that Mr. Moudy arrived in Ford county and his father-in-law gave to him and his wife one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he had entered from the government at the usual price of a dollar and a quarter per acre. This land has since remained in possession of Mr. Moudy, who is its third owner and today it is worth from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty dollars per acre. When he took up his abode thereon deer, turkey and wild animals were numerous in the county, so that the huntsman had ample opportunity to indulge his love of the chase. As the years have passed Mr. Moudy has prospered in his undertakings and from time to time has added to his holdings until he has become one of the extensive landowners of the county. He now owns over eight hundred acres and has also given to each of his children by his first wife a good farm. His business affairs have been carefully conducted and he has been watchful of all indications pointing to success, while in making his purchases of land he has shown notably sound judgment in foreseeing the possible rise of property values.

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 656-661.

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