Farmer and lumber merchant, Aledo, is a native of Crawford county, Indiana, where he was born October 23, 1816. His father, Isaac Edwards, died of small-pox, before lie can remember, and his mother, whose maiden name was Rachel Rice, married again. Mr. Edwards lived on the old homestead till 1834, when he engaged in flat-boating to New Orleans, working at first for $15 per month.
In 1838 he quit the river, carne to Illinois, and in the spring of 1839 settled at Henderson, Knox county, and merchandised there until 1843. In September, 1S39, he attended the land sales at Galena, but being obliged by previous engagement to return before he made his purchase, he left his money with friends who bid oif for him the tracts he had selected, the same being the S. W. Sec. 18 and the N. W. Sec. 19, T. 14, R. 3, which land he still owns.
Arriving home he celebrated his marriage with Miss Lydia Ann Edwards, of Hamilton county, Ohio, on the 6th of October. In 1843 he settled at the mouth of the Edwards river, below New Boston, where he ran a saw-mill in connection with William Willit, now of Keithsburg, and Isaiah Brown, who died in California. He was elected the same year to the office of justice of tlie peace. At that time there was no voting precinct at Keithsburg, and elections were held at what is at present known as Glaneey's mills.
The death of his wife in 1850 broke up his family; and the next to the oldest child, Sydnie Elizabeth, and the next to the youngest, Isaac Edward, were taken and raised by their uncle, William Edwards, of Hamilton county, Ohio. They still live in that state. The other children were Emily Frances, Rachel Elvira, John W., Mary Eliza, and Nancy Jane, both of which died in. infancy.
Immediately following this change in his domestic affairs, he went to trading on the river between Cincinnati and New Orleans, and was thus engaged for five years. In 1856 he returned to Mercer county, and from 1857 to I860 lived in Aledo. Between the last date and 1869 Ms home was in Keithsburg and Oquawka, and the rest of the time until now in Aledo, where he has been carrying on trade in lumber. In politics Mr. Edwards is a republican. He was formerly a whig, and relates as an incident of the early political history of Keithsburg township that his party once held a primary meeting to elect delegates to the county convention, and that himself, William Willett and John McH. Wilson composed the attendants. Willett presided, Edwards acted as secretary, and Wilson made the motions.
The meeting was decidedly harmonious. Mr. Edwardshas for many years been a warm advocate of the temperance: cause, and is at present directing his efforts and influence to assist in bringing about aa entire prohibition of the manufacture and sale of spirituous, vinous and malt liquors,
History of Mercer and Henderson County
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