Nelson Soucie, filling the offices of deputy sheriff in Ford county and connected in his business interests with farming, was born in Kankakee county, Illinois, December 4, 1857. His parents were Joseph and Arrilla (Mauny) Soucie, both of whom were natives of Canada. They came to the United States in 1817 and settled in Kankakee county, Illinois, the father following the occupation of farming there when the entire district was an almost unimproved and unsettled county. He was numbered among the pioneers of the locality and it was he who hauled the timber to build the first courthouse of the county in 1848, the structure being built of logs. Later he removed from Kankakee to Iroquois county, where he remained for twelve years. It was in that county that he first purchased land and in the course of time he became a successful agriculturist and stock-raiser. In 1868 he returned to Kankakee county, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid thirty-seven and a half dollars per acre. For some time he continued active in the further development and improvement of his place but is now living retired, making his home in St. Anne, Illinois. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted in response to the country's call and served for a brief time during the latter part of the war under Captain Chinuquie. He has been married twice. His first wife died -June 3, 1895, and in 1897 he married Mrs. Fouchzier. There were seven children by his first marriage, of whom nine reached adult age: George, a resident of Kansas City, Missouri; Nelson, of this review; Flora, the wife of Nazzard Bantrant, of St. Anne, Illinois; Delia, the wife of Eulis Claument, of Clifton, Illinois; Deloina, at hoine; Clophase and Thomas, both of St. Anne, Illinois; Annie, the wife of Frank Danou, of Aurora, Illinois; and Daniel, who is now deceased.
Nelson Soucie had but limited educational advantages in his boyhood days, owing to the fact that there was no school within a distance of five miles and he spent but three days there as a student. When he was twenty-four years of age he was familiar with the alphabet but could not read or write. Becoming impressed with the value and necessity of an education, he entered upon the task of counteracting this lack of his earlier years through study and reading. He has since been an earnest student, constantly broadening his knowledge, and is today a much better informed man than many who had good school privileges in youth. He is recognized in the community as a practical man of business and there are indeed few topics of general interest which he cannot discuss interestingly and intelligently. He has been in public office for a number of years and the ability which he has displayed has been a matter of astonishment and admiration to those who have known of his lack of opportunities in his early life. Few men have had the ambition and strong purpose to make the advancement that he has done with as little assistance in early years.
Mr. Soucie made arrangements for having a home of his own when on the 2d of July, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Lena Greenwood, a daughter of August and Julia (Martin) Greenwood. After paying the minister the wedding fee he had remaining a cash capital of three silver dollars with which to commence housekeeping. He rented a portion of the Sibley estate and purchased horses, plows and other equipments for the farm on credit. He first undertook the cultivation of eighty acres of land and today he farms on the same estate one hundred and three acres, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation and so ably conducted that he now derives a gratifying annual income from his farming operations. While he does not own his own farm, he has invested in other property and is one of the prosperous residents of the community. He is also interested in the real-estate and loan business.
In 1900 Mr. Soucie was elected constable of Sullivant township and served for four years, while during the past six .years he has filled the office of deputy sheriff. Previously he was elected to the position of cemetery trustee of the township, and is now president and secretary of the cemetery association — -one of the important offices of the township. He has lived continuously in Ford county since 1877 and since his marriage in 1881 has remained upon the Sibley estate. Unto him and his wife have been born three children: Edith, the wife of J. S. Stephens, of Melvin, this county; James A., deceased; and Lester H., at home.
Mr. Soucie is a member of Columbian Lodge, No. 733, I. O. O. F., and the Gibson Encampment. Both he and his wife are faithful and consistent members of the Presbyterian church, and he has acted as a trustee of the church for some time. They contribute generously to its support and take a helpful interest in its work. When a young man Mr. Soucie was a member of the church choir and others of his family were also thus actively connected with the church worship, the family possessing considerable musical talent. There is perhaps in this volume no biography which illustrates so clearly the possibilities for accomplishment when one has ambition, determination and perseverance. Mr. Soucie's record is certainly a most creditable one. There are many men who are self-made financially, but there are few who start out in life handicapped by a lack of even the common branches of English learning. He stands today as the result of his own efforts among the well informed, enterprising and successful citizens and capable public officials, and has many friends who honor and esteem him for what he has accomplished.

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 536-538.

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