Eli Buck. The late Eli Buck was one of the fine, substantial and prosperous citizens of Champaign County. He established his home here in early days, and before his death his name was associated with the ownership of extensive and valuable farm lands and his character and activities were such as all must respect.
Mr. Buck was born in Vermont, a son of Gould and Valetta Buck. He married Miss Catherine Hogan, who still survives and makes her home in the village of Penfield.
Mrs. Buck was born in Tipperary, Ireland, a daughter of Michael and Mary (Ridden) Hogan. When she was quite small her father died and her widowed mother was left with nine children. When Catherine was nine years of age her mother crossed the Atlantic and settled in Connecticut. At the age of fifteen Catherine came to Illinois, and when she was twenty years of age she met Eli Buck at Monmouth, Illinois. Their acquaintance ripened into affection and culminated in marriage.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Buck located in Monmouth, where they remained thirteen years, and then, coming to Champaign County, settled within a mile of Gifford. At that time the town of Rantoul contained only nine small houses. Mr. and Mrs. Buck went sturdily to work to build up a home, and had eighty acres well improved when, as a result of failure of crops and other circumstances, they suffered financial calamity by which they lost all their property. Failing to be discouraged by this setback, they started all over again and in time they owned a fine farm of 160 acres in Compromise Township.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Buck were named Thomas Nathan, Joseph James, William Michael, George, Anna Valetta, Mary, Martin, Alice and Emma. The son Thomas Buck is a well-to-do farmer at Penfield, and by his marriage to Sarah Graham has children named Francis, Joseph, Artie, Eddie, Harold and Charles. Joseph Buck married Frances Downie, and their children are Leo, Esther, Margaret, Joseph, Gertrude, Francis, Catherine and George. George Buck married Theresa Hennesy. Anna Buck is the wife of Peter Mooney and is the mother of Stella, Kate, Mary and Dan. Mary Buck married Anthony Hannagan and has one child, Artie. Alice Buck is the wife of Henry Ellis, and her children are Frances, Loretta and John. Emma Buck, the youngest of the family, married Francis Graham, and their family of children consists of Agnes, Gertrude, Maude, Francis, Thomas, Raymond and Gilbert.
The Buck family are all members of the Catholic Church. It was in 1913 that Mr. Eli Buck was called to his final rest at the age of eighty-four. Though he attained advanced years he was a strong man both physically and mentally. He had an uncle who lived to be one hundred and two years of age. Mr. Buck was a kind and loving husband and father, and his name is greatly revered in the community where he spent so many years.
Mrs. Buck is still living, with her children around her, and she has reared them all to worthy lives. She is able to say what few mothers can say, that during all her active associations with her children she never chastised them physically and when she spoke she was obeyed. This habit of obedience was one of the characteristics of the Buck home and is one that many families might emulate. Mrs. Buck still has in her home her son William Michael, a splendid young American, who, like the other children, was well educated and his life has been an honor to his parents.