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John E. Raymond, one of the best known and most active figures in the general farming and live stock industry of southern Champaign County, is a grandson of the man for whom Raymond Township was named.
This grandfather was Nathaniel Raymond, a native of Milford, New Hampshire. He came to Champaign County in pioneer times, became a large land owner, and after taking the lead in having a separate township set off from the original Sidney was elected the first supervisor of Raymond Township. Nathaniel Raymond married Melissa Stuart, a native of New York State, and both of them died in Champaign County and they had five children: Josephine, widow of W. S. Maxwell of Bayside, Long Island; Sarah, widow of J. B. Green of Sioux City, Iowa, both Mr. Maxwell and Mr. Green having been pioneer merchants of Champaign; John, who lives in Girard, Kansas; Isaac S.; and Jane, who died in 1884.
Isaac Stuart Raymond, father of John E., was born in Ohio and came to Champaign County with his parents in 1866. He graduated from the University of Illinois in the class of 1872 as a civil engineer. He was offered a position with the Illinois Central Railway Company, but as his father owned a large amount of land his son accepted his advice to stay at home and he became a practical farmer. For two years after his marriage he taught school, and then began farming and finally accumulated over 600 acres. In 1884 he bought the old homestead from the rest of the heirs and this one place has been in the possession of the Raymond family over half a century. Isaac S. Raymond was one of the notable men of Champaign County. For twenty years he was on the board of supervisors, was school trustee of Raymond Township from 1873 until his death, and in 1892 was elected a trustee of the University of Illinois and served six years. He was also president of the Farmers’ County Institute for fifteen years and took a lead in every progressive movement in matters of agriculture or civic improvement. The death of this prominent Champaign County citizen occurred July 19, 1915. He married Edith Eaton, a native of New Jersey, on October 17, 1875, and she is still living in Raymond Township. Isaac S. Raymond was a Mason. He and his wife had two children, John E. and Ruth Cleveland, the latter the wife of W. E. Haseltine of Berkeley, California.
John E. Raymond was born at the old homestead in Raymond Township in section 8 on November 19, 1876. Most of his life has been spent in that community, and he grew up to the well ordered industry of his father’s farm. In 1899 he completed the agricultural course in the University of Illinois, and in 1900 he went abroad with Henry Dunlap and assisted in arranging and maintaining the Illinois fruit display at the Paris Exposition. The following year he took up farming in connection with his father, and has since devoted his efforts to the development of an extensive grain and stock farm.
September 3, 1909, he married Grace M. Lane, a native of Hamilton County, Illinois. Mr. Raymond is a Democrat, is a school trustee, a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and is an able and energetic worker for anything that concerns the welfare of his community.