Biography of George W. Herbert
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George W. Herbert, who is supervisor of Harwood Township, has been identified with Champaign County many years, and in the solution of the daily problems confronting him has found the opportunities for progress to success and prosperity. He is one of the leading farmers and has one of the most attractive homes in his township, located in section 36, north of Gifford, in Harwood Township.
Mr. Herbert was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, a son of Richard and Anna (Cox) Herbert. His parents were both born in England and their coming to America was their bridal tour. They came to this country three weeks after their marriage. For some time they lived in Syracuse, New York, and then moved to Illinois. There were eight children, George being about midway in age. When he was eight years of age his mother died, and he grew up on his father’s farm in Vermilion County and attended the common schools there.
In 1894 Mr. Herbert married Catherine Sunderlin. The Sunderlins are one of the oldest and best known families of Champaign County. Mrs. Herbert was born in Kerr Township of Champaign County,, daughter of James and Mary (Hartman) Sunderlin, her father a native of Ireland and her mother of Cincinnati, Ohio. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Herbert lived one year in Kerr Township and they then bought 160 acres near Gifford in Harwood Township. For this land they paid $70 an acre. They began housekeeping in a small home, with meager comforts, and the land had no improvements, no drainage and was often covered with water in certain seasons of the year. The young people were possessed of that “delightful content which the hope of better things inspires within,” and by sturdy self-denial, by labor year in and year out, they have in time perfected their home surroundings and gained such prosperity as few people outside of Champaign County enjoy. They planted shade trees, built up a home and barns and other buildings to satisfy their needs, and have also acquired additional lands until they now own a full half section.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert are the parents of James B., George Francis, John Aloysius and Catherine Vivian. These are all true types of American children and were educated in the local district schools. James E., after finishing the eighth grade, took the course of the Gifford High School, where he graduated, and subsequently was a student in the Bourbonnais school at Kankakee and from there graduated from the Champaign High School. He is a studious youth and has put his education to good advantage by the practical assistance he renders his father on the farm. The other two sons are in the grades of the Gifford School.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert are active members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Penfield. In politics he is a Republican, and has always been loyal to the principles of that great party. His fellow citizens have shown their confidence in his judgment and ability by electing him for eight successive years as supervisor and for fourteen years he was school director.