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 Roughton

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


JOHN ROUGHTON, a venerable and highly respected citizen of Ludlow Township, Champaign County, Ill., still maintains his residence on the spot where he secured homestead rights half a century ago. He is a native of England, where he was born April 5, 1819, his parents, Gervaise and Ann (PYMM) ROUGHTON, also being born in that country, the former in Derbyshire, and the latter in Leicestershire. Derbyshire was the birthplace of the paternal grandparents, John and Ann (WILSON) ROUGHTON, while John and Ann (HALL) GILBERT, the grandparents on the maternal side, were born in Leicestershire.

The subject of this sketch received his early mental training in the schools of his native country, where in his youth he learned the blacksmith’s trade, and followed that occupation for a long period. He left England and came to the United States, landing in New York City, in April, 1850. In the spring of 1854 he came to Illinois, soon after locating in Urbana. He became a citizen of the United States in the fall of the following year, and filed a declaration for pre-emption on the northeast quarter of Section 27, in Ludlow (then Pera) Township, on which he made good improvements, and has lived up to the present writing. He is known to all the people of the township, and to him is freely accorded the homage due to advanced age when it is crowned with the dignity of a virtuous and beneficent life.

In 1862 Mr. Roughton enlisted in the Union Army and served for three years in the Seventy-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out of the service at Galveston, Tex., and was paid off and discharged in Chicago on August 4, 1865.

No November 8, 1842, Mr. Roughton was married to Eliza GILBERT, who was born in Leicestershire, England, where, in youth, she received her mental training in the schools of her neighborhood. Of the nine children who were born of this union, but one—Reuben—survives.

In religious belief, Mr. Roughton accepts the doctrine of the Universalist Church. Politically he has rendered unswerving allegiance to the Republican party since voting for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. In 1880, he acted as census enumerator for the Township of Ludlow. In this township, he also served ten years as Justice of the Peace, five years as Road Commissioner, and several years as Overseer of Highways. Aside from public office, he has acted continuously, since 1885, as Secretary and Superintendent of the Rantoul Maplewood Cemetery Association. Fraternally, Mr. Roughton is identified with the A. F. & A. M. I. O. O F., and G. A. R.

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