J. A. McGown, a most successful business man and a typical farmer residing in Newman Township, was born in Edgar County, Illinois, March 30, 1832, and is a son of John and Olive Blackman, who were natives of Kentucky and New York respectively. His father emigrated to Edgar County, where he resided up to his death, which occurred April 18, 1882. His mother died in 1892.
J. A. McGown was reared to manhood a farm in his native County and in about 1875 located in Newman Township, where he now resides. He owns four hundred and seventy-two acres of highly cultivated land and one of the most magnificent residences in the County. He farms on business principles and has made himself independent in a financial way by his careful and methodical way of doing things. On November 22, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha C. Todd, and to their marriage have been born five children: Florence, Olive, Grace, Arthur and Anne.
Our subject has held the office of road commissioner for nine years, and twenty-one years out of the twenty-five he has resided in Newman Township he has been school director and is greatly interested in the success of education. In 1898 he built his new house. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Order of Woodmen.