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 Andrew Jackson Devore

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


ANDREW JACKSON DEVORE, one of the earliest pioneers of East Bend Township, is the oldest one now living who came in at that time. In the storehouse of his memory are treasured up hundreds of interesting incidents of pioneer life and its peculiar experiences, which, if properly compiled, would make a most interesting volume. He came to this section when it was peopled principally by wild animals, and has seen as many as ninety-three deer in a herd at one time roaming over the then uncultivated prairie, but which is now smiling with fields of growing grain. Our subject during his young manhood was a great hunter and very lively on foot, being able to travel over the country at a rapid pace and possessed of great endurance. He has been a resident of East Bend Township for a period of over thirty years, and has noted with satisfaction the changes which have transpired since he arrived here after an overland journey of ten days, made with ox-teams.

Mr. Devore was born in Owen County, Ind., April 18, 1826, and is the son of Nicholas DEVORE, a native of Kentucky. His grandfather, Jerry DEVORE, whom it is supposed was born in Pennsylvania, passed the early years of his life in Kentucky, whence he afterward removed to Indiana and died in Putnam County, that State. Nicholas Devore grew to manhood and was married in Kentucky, and after the removal to Indiana located in Owen County, where he became proprietor of a large tract of timber land. From this he cleared a farm, which he occupied with his family until 1840, and then set out for the Prairie State. He was accompanied by his family which, with the household goods, were transported by means of two wagons and four yoke of oxen. They carried their provisions and camped and cooked by the wayside. After reaching Champaign County Nicholas Devore made a claim of Government land on section 2, in what was then township 22, range 8, now known as East Bend Township. There was a small log cabin near by and in this the family lived temporarily while the father proceeded to construct a hewed-log house of larger dimensions.

When the land came into market Mr. D. repaired to Danville, secured his title, and at once commenced the improvement and cultivation of his property. Chicago at that time was the nearest market and Bloomington the nearest trading point. Here the father lived and labored until one year before his death, when both parents removed to McLean County and died at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Joseph NEWTON, the father in 1853, and the mother in 1862. The mother of our subject, who in her girlhood was Miss Mary HARDSOCK, was born in either Kentucky or Maryland. The parental household included twelve children.

Our subject was fourteen years old when the removal was made to this State, and attended all the athletic sports of that day in the surrounding towns after the country began to settle up. He became a champion foot racer of that section, which position of honor he retained until voluntarily withdrawing from the field. He remained with his parents until after his marriage and then, locating on a part of the homestead, remained until 1852, when he purchased the farm which he now owns and occupies. It was new land at the time he took possession, but after years of industrious labor it has been transformed into a fertile farm with a good set of frame buildings, neat and substantial fences, and all the requirements essential to the successful agriculturist.

Mr. Devore was married, June 17, 1847, to Miss Susanna VEATCH. She was born in Fayette County, Ind., Oct. 10, 1826, and is the daughter of James VEATCH, who became a resident of Indiana in an early day, whence he removed to this State in 1837, and located two and one-half miles northeast of Mahomet, where his death occurred six years later. He had married in early life Miss Barbara HAMMER, who survived him twenty years, and died in Urbana, this county, in 1865. The wife of our subject was eleven years of age when her father’s family came to this State, and she remained with her mother until her marriage, assisting in the duties of the farm and household, learning to spin and weave, and becoming an expert in this as in other employments common to the wives and daughters of the pioneers. She was naturally of industrious habits, and when not needed at home would often earn a little "pin money" by spinning or weaving for the neighbors at the munificent wages of seventy-five cents per week. Calico at that time was worth twenty cents per yard, and other "store goods" in proportion. Mr. Devore says that the first time he called upon his future wife she wore a dress of her own manufacture, having done the spinning, weaving, cutting, and sewing. Their wedding took place June 17, 1847, and they have been blest with four children—Sarah, David A., William Eldorado and Mary J. The parents and all the children are active members of the Protestant Methodist Church, and no family in the community is more highly respected than that of Andrew Devore. He is a thorough-bred Republican, and never expects to be anything else.

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