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George J. Hurst. An experienced and successful general farmer and a highly respected citizen of Champaign County is George J. Hurst, who farms 240 acres situated in section 5, Ayers Township, this being the old homestead farm on which his parents first settled when coming to the county and taking up farming. George J. Hurst was born in Germany, September 21, 1879, and is a son of John George and Mary (Franks) Hurst.
The parents of Mr. Hurst were born in Germany. The father brought his family to the United States and came to Illinois in 1883, locating at Leverett in Champaign County and residing there until 1891, when he bought 160 acres of land in section 5, Ayers Township, and resided on the same until 1912, when he purchased forty acres in Champaign Township, which is his present home. A man of industry and good judgment, he has been successful in his undertakings and has long been numbered with the men of comfortable fortune in this neighborhood. To John George and Mary Hurst the following children were born: Belle, who is the wife of Walter Rice, of Murdock, Illinois; George J.; Carrie, who is the wife of Louis Wienke, of Homer, Illinois; Louise, who is the wife of Jesse Rice, of Murdock, Illinois; Christina, who is the wife of John Grien of Philo, Illinois; Mary, who is the wife of Clem E. Smith, of Champaign; Minnie, who resides at home; Annie, who is the wife of Vernon Rowland, of Champaign; William, who is deceased; and Carl, who lives with his parents in Champaign Township.
George J. Hurst obtained a good district school education and remained with his father until he was twenty-two years old and then rented a farm of 160 acres for two years. Before deciding to settle down permanently in Champaign County, Mr. Hurst determined to see other sections of the country and that led to his going to Oklahoma, where he remained as a farmer for one year and then returned to his native state and county. He settled then on a farm of 220 acres near Sidney, which he operated for two years and then removed to a farm of 240 acres which lay in Douglas County, and remained there one year and then came back to his father’s old homestead. Here he continues general farming and raises some good stock.
Mr. Hurst was married December 27, 1905, to Miss Mattie Duggan, who was born in Kansas, and they have had six children, namely: Nellie Marie, William George, Martha M., Mabel B., Walter Ralph and Minnie May, all of whom survive except Martha M. and Mabel B. Mr. Hurst believes in education and proposes to give his children every advantage that is in his power, but he is a practical man and it is very probable that his sons will learn under his instruction how to become judicious farmers such as he is. Mr. Hurst and family belong to the Christian Church. In every way he is a good citizen and lends a hand when any movement’ is on foot to promote the general welfare, but he is not a politician and for many years has voted independently.