Earl Stedman is one of the well known citizens of Ford county, greatly esteemed by a large circle of friends. He was born in the state of New York, October 18, 1862, his parents being Nelson and Harriet Stedman, who were likewise natives of the Empire state. The father followed trapping there for several years and in 1864 came with his family to the middle west, establishing his home in La Salle county, Illinois, where he rented and cultivated land for about twelve years. During this period he carefully saved his earnings and, removing to Ford county, he invested his capital in two hundred and forty acres of land in the pan handle. Throughout the period of his residence in Illinois he carried on general agricultural pursuits and his life of diligence and activity brought him a well merited competence. He died December 26, 1892, having for four years survived his wife, who passed away in 1888. In their family were eight children, namely: Emma, now deceased; Earl, of this review; John, who is living in Kansas City, Missouri; Mary, who has also departed this life; James, a resident of Piper City; Helen, the wife of Louis Stoffem of the state of Washington; Nora, the wife of Austin Hanson, of Ford county; and Henry, who is living in Pella township.
Earl Stedman, whose name introduces this record, was but two years of age when his parents came to Illinois and was a youth of fourteen at the time of the removal to Ford county. His education was acquired in the common schools and when not busy with his text-books he assisted in the work of the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He remained with his father until twenty-five years of age, and then, with his father's assistance, purchased a farm on section 10, Pella township, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits for five years. On the expiration of that period he rented his farm and removed to Piper City, where he engaged in general merchandising. For eight years he conducted his store and then sold out. In his commercial pursuits he has prospered, having enjoyed a large trade during his connection with the business life of Piper City. After disposing of his store he lived retired for three years but indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and, feeling that he would be more content with some business interest and duty, he took a rural mail route and has been in charge for eight years, delivering the mail in an automobile. He also derives a good income from three hundred and twenty acres of land which he owns in South Dakota.
In 1890 Mr. Stedman was married to Miss Josie Fortier, who was born in Iroquois county, Illinois, and was one of a family of twelve children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Stedman have been born five children: Lurline, John, Blanche, Gertrude and Mary, all yet at home.
The parents are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are much esteemed in the community where they reside. Mr. Stedman gives unfaltering allegiance to the republican party, which he has supported since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He served as a school director for several years and is also a member of Piper City lodge, No. 608, A. F. & A. M., the Odd Fellows lodge, No. 471, and the Woodmen camp. No. 718. He is loyal to the teachings of these orders and throughout his life has ever recognized individual responsibility. His friends — and they are many — know him to be a man of high principles and stalwart purposes and throughout the community in which he lives he commands the respect and confidence of those with whom he has come in contact.

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 655-656.

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