Biggsville is situated on Secs. 16, 17, 20, 21, T. 10 N., R. 4 W., upon South Henderson creek, and was laid out by Andrew Douglass and Samuel Douglass, October 3, 1855, William McChesney, surveyor. It now contains about 550 inhabitants. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad runs through this place. The town is surrounded by the finest quality of farm lands, which are kept in a high state of cultivation. The town contains three churches, one United Presbyterian, one Methodist Episcopal, and one Cumberland Presbyterian, all of which have a large membership of highly intelligent Christian people. The schools of the town have always been its particular pride, and have been of a high order. The citizens have reason to look with pride upon their churches and schools. Near this town resides a gen tleman whose business success in life deserves at least a brief mention.
David Rankin is a man still on the sunny side of three score years, who has his home about four miles south of Biggsville, upon his farm of almost countless acres. He began life a poor farmer boy near the place where now his fine residence stands, and by industry, perseverance and an extraordinary business capacity, he gained step by step until his possessions in lands and herds seemed almost marvelous.
He purchased large tracts of land along the Illinois Central railroad, in Illinois, and operated them successfully ; then extending his enterprises westward he invested largely in lands in Atchison county, in the State of Missouri, which he improved and stocked with swarming herds of cattle, laid out the town of Tarkio, which has filled with an active population, and is rapidly rising in business importance. At this point he has established a national bank which has proved a complete success.
In addition to these enterprises he has purchased and is operating a vast ranche in the State of Colorado, upon which his immense herds of native and Texas cattle are fattened for market. These vast enterprises, besides many smaller ones, he manages and supervises himself, showing himself a veritable Napoleon in his line of business. In all his various and extended enterprises and his large transactions, he has so conducted his business as to gain the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has been surrounded. His integrity is never called in question, and his employes find him a kind hearted and just employer.
In this town also resides Preston Martin, an aged citizen of the county, who has been identified with its history and its development from its organization. One of the earlier commissioners of the county and afterward associate justice of the county court, he filled each office with fidelity to the people and with credit to himself. A man of unswerving integrity, with a high moral standard, he justly won the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the high regard of all. This town at present writing is contending for the locating of the seat of justice within her borders.
The canvassing of the vote of the county for the election to be held. in November goes on with great earnestness. The advocates of removal to Biggsville claiming that their town is nearer the geographical center of the county, and therefore it is for the interest of the county to secure the county buildings at this point.
History of Mercer and Henderson Counties.
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