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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Moses Deere

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


MOSES DEERE. Larkin DEERE, the father of the present sketch, was born in Virginia, and afterwards moved to Kentucky, and subsequently immigrated to this county in the fall of 1829. He married Elizabeth CONSTATINE, of Kentucky, about the year 1820. There were eight children born to them, viz., Jane, Francis, Moses, Thomas, Martha, Wesley, Harriet, and Amanda. The subject of our sketch married Harriet THOMAS, daughter of Joseph THOMAS, on the 3d of March, 1850. To them has been born eight children, all of whom still remain at home on the old homestead, engaged in farming. The father of Moses Deere had no strong religious tendencies. The mother, however, belonged to the Baptist Church. Moses Deere, in his youth, and in the pioneer days of the country, had few opportunities of receiving an education; in fact, there were no schools. At an early age he was compelled to help his father on the farm. His father dying while he was yet young, the whole burden of supporting the family and taking care of the farm fell upon him. But he was a strong and sturdy youth, and right manfully did he bear the weight and responsibilities of the trust. With his strong nature and good practical common sense, he was enabled to attend to all the numerous details, and transacted the business in such a way as would have done credit to older and more experienced heads. In politics he has always been a Democrat, although not what might be termed a partisan. He has never been a candidate for any office. He preferred to quietly attend to his farm, and raise fine stock, and leave the business of politics to those who make it a profession. Moses Deere, at this writing, is one of the few surviving pioneers of this county. When he came to the county in 1829 with his father this county was all unbroken prairie plain. Intercourse with his neighbors was infrequent, and only at long intervals. He has lived and braved the hardships of a pioneer life until he has seen the country dotted over with farm-houses, and the county rise from a few hundred inhabitants to be the eighth in wealth and population in the state.

In taking a retrospective view of Mr. Deere's life we find a man who started in life with but little. In fact, about all he did possess was a strong constitution, willing hands, and an abundance of energy; and with these, assisted by his excellent wife, he has succeeded in carving out for himself a comfortable competency, and at the same time making and maintaining for himself a name for strict honesty and fair dealing. It Is his proud boast that he has lived in the county forty-eight years, and in all that time he was never drunk, did not smoke, never was sued, always paid his taxes in the township, and does not owe any man a cent. How many of the would-be reformers can say as much ? It is with pleasure that we introduce Moses Deere, the old pioneer of Champaign county, to the readers of this history.

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