EBEN WAIT, is a representative farmer and leading citizen of this county, residing on section 17, Button Township. His life record is as follows: He was born in Schuyler County, N.Y., February 26, 1823, and is a son of Abijah Wait. The father was born in Massachusetts, February 2, 1790, and when a young man went to New York, setting in Schuyler County, where he married Hannah Calvert, a native of the Empire State. Upon their farm, they spent the remainder of their lives and were buried in the family cemetery. They had a family of two sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to mature years, namely: Phoebe, who became the wife of Aaron Parish, of Schuyler County; both are now deceased. Nancy, wife of Frederick Stamp, a resident of Paxton; Henry, lately a farmer of Schuyler County, N. Y.; Eben of this sketch; Margaret, who is residing on the old homestead, and Sarah Ann, who is also living on the old home farm in New York.

The educational advantages which our subject received were only those afforded by the common schools, and his boyhood days were spent in the usual manner of farmer lads. With his parents he remained until after he had attained his majority, when, on the 26th of February, 1845, in Tompkins County, N. Y., he married Louisa Stamp, who was born and reared in Schuyler County, and is a daughter of Daniel Stamp, one of the pioneers of that locality. Unto them have been born two sons: Elbert A., a substantial farmer of Button Township, and Adrian D., a young man of sterling worth and good business ability, who aids his father in carrying on the home farm.

After his marriage, Mr. Wait engaged in farming in his native county for a number of years, and in 1855 emigrated Westward, taking up his residence in what is now Ford County, Ill. There was no town where the city of Paxton now stands, the land was all in its primitive condition, and the work of progress and development seemed scarcely begun. He bore all the hardships and privations of pioneer life but his efforts were afterward crowned with success. He developed and improved a farm of eighty acres of valuable land, which is his present home. It is an excellent farm, supplied with substantial improvements, and its neat appearance indicates the thrift and enterprise of the owner.

Mr. Wait has helped to make Ford County what it is to-day, one of the best counties in the State, and is numbered among its honored pioneers. He was originally a Jackson Democrat, but on the organization of the Republican party joined its ranks and is one of its stanch supporters. He has held several offices of honor and trust, including that of Commissioner of Highways, and has also been a member of the School Board. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church and are highly respected members of this community, well deserving representation in the history of their adopted county.

Extracted 28 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 268-271.

Templates in Time