Retired farmer of Smithshire, Warren County, is one who well deserves an interval of rest between the activities of ma ture life, in which he has displayed manly qualities of a high order.
Mr. Birdsall was born in Oxford, Oxford County, Canada West, March 28, 1832, and secured his education in the district school. He is a son of John and Letitia (Forler) Birdsall, both natives of Westchester County, New York, and early settlers of Oxford County, Canada West. They remained in that country some eighteen years, accumulating considerable property, and coming to Illinois in 1838.
The elder Birdsall bought a half section of land in Hen derson County, where he died in 1862. His wife was taken ill with typhoid fever while on the way west, and died in Joliet. The journey from Canada was made with wagons and took four months for its completion. John Birdsall began for himself very early in life, working at first for twenty-five cents a day. and then receiving eight dollars a month.
He was industrious and economical, and presently became somewhat fore-handed. His first mar riage occurred March 6, 1856, prior to which he had already bought a farm and erected a house. He worked steadily and intelligently at farming and stock raising for many years, until his retirement to Smithshire in 1892. He owns at the present time about 350 acres of land, and is Vice-President of the Smithshire Bank, of which he was one of the organizers in 1895. The first Mrs. Birdsall died November 28, 1892, being the mother of six children: Alfred C., Catherine C., Charles C., Frank, Dudley and Jennie. Charles is Supervisor of the town of Ellison; Dudley has been Deputy County Clerk of Warren County since 1894; James lives in Victor, Colo.
Mrs. Birdsall was Abigail N, the daughter of John H. and Letitia (Fowler) Wentworth. Her father, who was born in Vermont, was one of the first settlers of Knox County. Late in life he removed to Bates County, Mo., where he died. He was a cousin of John Wentworth, long a prominent citizen and at one time Mayor of Chicago, and a grandson of Governor Wentworth, of Vermont.
Mr. Birdsall was married October 1, 1896, to Mrs. Mary A. (Johnston) Boyd, who was born in York County, Penn., a daughter of Joseph and Annis (Watt) Johnston. 6er parents were born in Ireland, and emigrated to the United States in 1850. They always lived in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Birdsall's first husband, John R. Boyd died August 29, 1881. Frank Birdsall is a farmer on the homestead where John Birdsall settled in 1853.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois
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