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 John Shaffer. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of John W. Giddings

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


JOHN W. GIDDINGS, a highly respected farm resident of Ludlow Township, came to Champaign County in 1878, and located first on a tract of rented land, two years later purchasing eighty acres, which after a year he sold and became possessor of the farm which he now owns and occupies. This embraces 160 acres and was only partially improved when he took possession of it. He has labored industriously, keeping steadily in view the purpose to build up a permanent and comfortable home, and to secure for himself a good position in the community. This he has fairly accomplished. The farm is now under good state of cultivation, and supplied with suitable and necessary buildings. Mr. Giddings is still a gentleman in the prime of life, surrounded by comforts and enjoying the esteem of his neighbors and friends. Although, perhaps, he has been the witness of no very thrilling events, or the central figure of any important occurrence, he has faithfully attended to the duties before him, and made a good record as an honest man and a worthy member of the community.

Our subject is a native of Erie County, Pa., and was born June 25, 1841, being the seventh child of Moses and Sophronia (STAFFORD) GIDDINGS, whose parental history will be found in the sketch of Thomas W. GIDDINGS, elsewhere in this volume. During his boyhood and youth our subject passed his time after the manner common to farmers boys, taking advantage of the limited opportunities for education, and assisting in tilling the soil. He was sixteen years old when his parents emigrated from the Keystone State to Illinois. They located in Warren County, and he remained under the home roof until 1864. The Civil War being then in progress, and the time of peace being undecided, he enlisted in Co. C, 138th Ill. Vol. Inf., which was assigned to the department of Missouri. His duties were mostly in the Southwest, and he saw very little active service. Before the surrender of Gen. Lee he was mustered out with his comrades in October preceding, and returned home. Soon afterward he commenced business on his own account, and with two partners engaged in the feeding and shipping of stock. He commenced farming in the spring of 1865, on land which he rented from his father, and continued agricultural pursuits in Warren County until he decided to locate in Champaign County. His subsequent course we have already indicated.

The marriage of John W. Giddings and Miss Rachel CHAFFEE took place in Warren County, Ill., Nov. 29, 1866. Mrs. Giddings was born in McHenry County, this State, Aug. 21, 1847, and is the daughter of James C. and Lucy A. CHAFFEE, natives respectively of New York and Massachusetts. They became residents of McHenry County, Ill., in about 1847, and resided there a short time, subsequently moving to Warren County; they are now deceased. The three living children of Mr. and Mrs. Giddings are, Allie, Harry and Bertie. Arthur died when seven years of age; Henry, twin brother to to Harry, died when nearly seven years old.

Our subject and his wife united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Berwick, Warren County, in 1865, of which they have since been devoted members, and contributed liberally and cheerfully to its support. In politics he is a stanch Republican.

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