Biography of Charles Gordon
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Charles Gordon. Now enjoying the comforts of a home in Rantoul that is one of the best residences of that town, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon are able to look back with pardonable pride upon a long and active career spent in Champaign County. Mr. Gordon gained his success as a farmer. Industry, combined with good judgment, gave him a competency many years ago, and he is looked upon as one of the large land holders and substantial citizens of this section.
A native of Ireland, he was born in Wexford County, a son of John and Mary (Whalen) Gordon. A year and a half after his birth his parents came to America in 1857, and for the first nine years lived in Aurora, Illinois. From there they moved to Shabbona Grove in DeKalb County, “and three years later, in 1869, came to Champaign County. Charles Gordon was the fourth in a family of five sons and three daughters. These children were all educated in the district schools of Compromise Township in this county.
Charles Gordon as he grew to manhood assisted his father on the farm and in 1886 he established a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Hanora Jackson. Mrs. Gordon was born in Morris, Eipley County, Indiana, fifth in a family of five daughters and four sons of John and Anna (Molloy) Jackson. She was educated in the high school at Rantoul.
Having inherited 160 acres of land from his father, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon located on that farm in Kerr Township after their marriage and put to the test the qualifications they had as industrious and economical young people. Their prosperity grew and in time they found themselves the possessors of a fine estate of splendid land, 640 acres. Mr. Gordon has often succeeded in his agricultural efforts where others have failed, and his friends say that he has a genius for making mother earth yield bountifully to every effort he puts forth.
In time there came into their home seven children, two sons and five daughters: John F., Joseph A., Alice M., Theresa M., Clara A., Rose A. and Nona M. From the first Mr. and Mrs. Gordon were ambitious that their children should have the best of educational opportunities. They first attended the Gordon district schools. Alice and Theresa were students in the St. Mary of the Woods at Terre Haute, which is one of the finest schools of culture and training in the Middle West. Theresa graduated with honors from that institution. John F. studied three years in St. Viator’s College at Kankakee. Joseph Gordon began his higher studies in St. Bede’s College at Peru, Illinois, and graduated from the college course at St. Viator’s, and spent four years in St. Paul’s Seminary at St. Paul, Minnesota. On finishing his philosophical and theological studies he was ordained a priest at Peoria, June 17, 1916, by Bishop Edmund Dunne. He was then appointed assistant pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in Peoria under Father Burke. He has distinguished himself as a studious and consecrated young priest and has a large circle of friends. Clara and Rose became students in the Villa de Chantal College of Eock Island and Clara graduated with the class of 1914. This class contained ten graduates. The daughter Nona is now a student in the Donovan Memorial School at Rantoul. Thus Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have largely succeeded in their task of educating their children and of preparing them for true and useful citizenship. Alice M. Gordon married Francis J. Klein, and they reside on part of the Gordon estate.
The Gordon family is active members of St. Malachi’s Catholic Church at Rantoul. For twenty-seven years Mr. Gordon served as treasurer of his home school district and that old school has taken the name of the family and is now known as the Gordon School, the land having been donated by Mr. Gordon for school purposes.
In February, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon gave up the active responsibilities of managing their extensive landed property, and removing to Rantoul, built a fine residence at the corner of Belle Avenue and High Street. Here they have every comfort and convenience, and are also in close touch with their large circle of friends. Their son John F. Gordon has now assumed the chief responsibilities of managing the homestead farm in Kerr Township. He married Emma McEvelly of Minooka, Illinois. They have a young daughter four years old named Vivian Gordon.