This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of John Comer

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


JOHN COMER. This worthy representative of the farming community of Crittenden Township, is a native of the Buckeye State, and was born in Jefferson Township, Jackson County, Dec. 17, 1832. His parents, William and Elizabeth (HARMON) COMER, were natives of Virginia. His grandfathers both served in the Revolutionary War, and his two uncles, Emanuel and George Comer, enlisted in the War of 1812. The service of the former, however, was exceedingly brief, as peace was declared soon after his enlistment, which occurred when he was but eighteen years of age. The parents of our subject, soon after their marriage, removed from the Old Dominion to Ohio, and were among the earliest pioneers of Jackson County. There they became the parents of eight children, seven of whom were reared to become men and women. Upon the homestead established in the wilderness they spent the remainder of their days, the father dying at the advanced age of nearly eighty-seven years. The mother died in 1845, when our subject was but thirteen years of age. One daughter of the household died in childhood, and another, Elizabeth, died when about twenty-two years old. Of those living the record is as follows: George is a resident of Gallia County, Ohio; Catherine became the wife of Samuel Davis, and resides in Jackson County, Ohio; Lewis served through the War of the Rebellion, having first enlisted in the three months’ service, and after the expiration of that term he re-enlisted, in the 56th Ohio Infantry, and served until nearly the close of the struggle, when he was discharged on account of disability, but his patriotism would not permit him to seek safety at home, and he followed his regiment until the final downfall of the Confederacy; he is now living in Scioto County, Ohio. Mary, the wife of George A. COOK, and Susan, Mrs. Stephen ARTHUR, all reside in Scioto County, Ohio; John, of our sketch, was the youngest son and next to the youngest child in the family.

Mr. Comer grew to manhood in his native county, and assisted his father and brothers in the cultivation of the farm. In 1846 he went into the employ of Campbell, peters & Co., and commenced hauling iron ore, coal, etc., from Olive Furnace to Wheelersburg Landing with ox-teams, and pursued this monotonous occupation for seventeen years. In 1863 he resolved to change his vocation and try his fortunes in the more western country. After coming into this State he located upon a tract of rented land in Crittenden Township, which he cultivated until 1867. He then purchased eighty acres of his present farm, which was then mostly in a wild condition. By years of unwearying industry he brought this to a good state of cultivation, and added 100 acres, the whole of which is now finely improved and well drained, and which he has principally devoted to grain-raising. He has also erected a good set of farm buildings, and has all the appliances necessary for keeping up a valuable estate, after the most approved methods of the day. As one of the representative farm homes of the county, we present a view of his place in this album.

Mr. Comer was married, in Gallia County, his native State, on the 4th of May, 1856, to Miss Emily MILLER, who was born in that county, and daughter of F. J. and Sarah (CHEESEMAN) MILLER. Of this union there were born fourteen children, eight of whom died in early childhood, and one son, Thomas, died of measles when nineteen years old. Those living are William, Charles, F. J., Martha E. and James.

The father of Mr. Comer was a Whig politically. Our subject, since the organization of the Republican party, has been a warm supporter of its principles, but has had no time to give to any office, being wholly absorbed in his business and farm affairs. He is reckoned among the reliable citizens of his township, and is universally esteemed by all who know him.

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