James Rennels, farmer; P. O. Charleston; one of the pioneers of this county; was born in Madison Co., Ky., Feb. 12, 1807; when he was 17 years of age, his parents moved to Lawrence Co., Ind., within ten miles of Little Orleans. While living there the subject of this sketch married Nov. 17, 1825, Miss Polly Connely (daughter of Joel Connely, of North Carolina); she was born Feb. 14, 1807; her parents were early settlers of this county, having moved from Lawrence Co., Ind., to Coles Co. in the year 1832. In 1832, Mr. Rennels came to Coles Co. and settled on Sec. 32, where he has ever since resided, known as the “Rennels Settlement ;” his parents also moved from Lawrence Co., Ind., to near Rockville, about sixteen miles north of Terre Haute, Ind., and in the year 1837 came to Coles Co. and settled in Hutton Tp., about one mile from Salisbury, where his father died; his mother made her home among her children, and died at the house of her son-in-law, John Connely, within two years after the death of his father. Mr. James Rennels had a family of nine children – five boys, all living, viz., Henry L., Edmund, John P., William R. and Joel J.; four girls, one living – Mahala (now Mrs. Wm. P. Level, of Hutton, Tp.), and three deceased-Rebecca A., Martha J. and Sarah E. Mr. Rennels, as one of the earliest settlers of this county, has experienced the many vicissitudes and hardships common to the pioneers of a new country, and at a good old age, in connection with his good wife, is resting from their labors, surrounded by their children and grandchildren, ministering to their wants and comforts in their declining years.
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