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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Z. M. Dunn

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


Z. M. DUNN - Mr. Z. M. Dunn, one of the oldest settlers of the county, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Horison county, of that State, April (?), 1831. His father was Zephaniah DUNN, and his mother's maiden name was Lovina BROWNFIELD. The subject of this sketch was the sixth of a family of fourteen children. In 1833 his father moved from Kentucky to Illinois, and settled in the Big Grove, in Urbana township, two miles and a half northeast of Urbana. He had there bought forty acres of land, and in 1834 built a new log house with a mud chimney, and Mr. Dunn plainly remembers when the family moved into this new building. His father, in 1835, rented prairie land two miles east of Urbana and four years afterward entered land in sections 25 and 36 of Somers township, which was his home till the time of his death, which occurred in the year 1877, while on a visit to Missouri.

Mr. Dunn first went to school in Urbana township, attending three terms (three months in a term), three miles east of Urbana. When the family moved to Somers township he did not go to school for three years, from the fact that there were no schools in the neighborhood. But he afterward had the advantage of three additional terms, making all together, eighteen months of schooling. The last two months he went to school in Urbana, and to pay for it, fed fifty head of cattle for Col. Matthew Busey.

November 13th, 1851, he married Elizabeth MAPES, a native of Ohio. Her father, Samuel MAPES, settled at Hickory Grove (section 13, township 19, range 10), where Mr. Dunn now lives. He came to the county in 1835.

After his marriage, Mr. Dunn went to farming on section 10, township 19, range 10, and in 1853 moved on a rented farm in Somers township, near his father.

In 1855 he moved to Ogden township, and made his first purchase of land---55 acres. In 1859 he moved back on his father's farm, in Somer's township, and in 1861 came to the farm he now occupies on section 13 of township 19, range 10, where he owns one hundred and twenty acres of land.

Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have two children, Joseph and Madison F. He has always been a Democrat in politics, and never voted any other ticket. He cast his first vote for President for Franklin Pierce, in 1852. He bears the reputation of being a good neighbor and citizen, and an enterprising and intelligent farmer. Since his father's death he has been appointed executor of the estate, and is now employed in settling up his father's affairs. His residence and surroundings are among the prettiest in St. Joseph township.

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