BIOGRAPHY - James Warren

JAMES WARREN, who is now living a retired life in Piper City, successfully engaged in farming for a number of years in this county. He is one of the worthy citizens that England has furnished to this community. He was born in the village of Munden, Norfolk, on the 7th of March, 1829, and was one of a family of seven children. His parents were also natives of that community and were members of the English Church. His father, Richard Warren, who followed farming for a livelihood, died April 1, 1889, at the age of eighty-four years. Of the family, Samuel and Annie are now deceased; James is the next younger; Harriet and George are also deceased; and Eliza is living in England.

No event of special importance occurred during the boyhood of our subject. He had no special privileges; indeed, his educational advantages were very limited. He worked upon the farm until about eighteen years of age, and then enlisted in the Royal Artillery service of his native land as a private. The troops were first stationed at Woolwich, England, where they remained eighteen months, and the next three years were passed in Birmingham. Another year was then spent in Woolwich, after which they, were at Gibraltar for five years. Returning then to Woolwich, Mr. Warren joined the Royal Horse Artillery, and went to the Crimea in the spring of 1854. The first battle in which he participated was at Alma, and he witnessed the famous charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, made immortal by Tennison's poem. He next participated in the battle of Inkerman and the siege of Sebastopol, where he served as a gunner. His battery lost fifty men, and our subject had his coat-sleeve shot away by a rifle ball. At the close of the Crimean War, he returned to England, and then went to Gibraltar, where he remained for three years. He was for thirteen years in the service, and received his discharge in July, 1858. By the Governor of Gibraltar he was presented with a silver medal in commemoration of his services, and this memento is by him highly cherished.

The year 1858 also witnessed the emigration of Mr. Warren to the United States. He sailed from Gibraltar, and a month later reached New York. He then went to Philadelphia, where he remained two years, employed in marble works of that city. He went to Ohio in 1860, and, after two years spent in farming in the Buckeye State, came by team to Ford County, and purchased eighty acres of wild land in Brenton Township, upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made.

On the 8th of January, 1849, in his native land, Mr. Warren was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Snook, who was born in Sheffield, England, and is a daughter of William and Elizabeth Snook. She was with him all through his army life after their marriage. They have no children of their own, but have reared an adopted son. His name was Albert Finley, but he now bears the name of John Albert Warren. He was a soldier's orphan, and, at the age of four, came to live with our subject and his wife. Upon the farm he was reared to manhood, and acquired his education in the public schools. He is now engaged in blacksmithing in Chicago. He married Delia Munson, whose father is a farmer of Brenton Township, and they have two little daughters.

For a. number of years, Mr. Warren gave his entire time and attention to the development of his land and transformed it into a rich and fertile farm, which yielded him a golden tribute for the care and labor he bestowed upon it. He came here with only $50 and his team and wagon, but now has a handsome competence, and owes no man a cent. Since 1881, he has resided in Piper City, where he has a comfortable home, the hospitable doors of which are ever open for the reception of the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Warren. In politics, he has been a Republican since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and has frequently served as delegate to the conventions of his party. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and himself and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. He has taken an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community and in all possible ways has aided in the advancement of the county's interests.

Extracted 22 Aug 2019 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 250-255.

Templates in Time