Biography of Isaac Hixenbaugh
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Isaac Hixenbaugh is an old time resident of Champaign County, was for many years identified not only with farming but also the civic affairs of Ogden Township, and is now enjoying the comforts of material prosperity and the rewards of his earlier strenuous efforts in a pleasant home at Homer.
Mr. Hixenbaugh was born near West Warren in Marion County, West Virginia, May 4, 1846, a son of Isaac and Martha (Ogden) Hixenbaugh. His mother’s brother, John Ogden, was the man after whom Ogden town and Ogden Township in this county were named. Isaac Hixenbaugh was one of eight children, next to the youngest, and grew up and received his education in a backwood district of West Virginia, where he attended a log school conducted on the subscription plan. He sat on a rough board bench without a back, learned the lessons of the few text books, chiefly an arithmetic, speller and reader, and had limited comforts and conveniences both in school and at home. When he was fourteen years of age his parents moved to Green County, Pennsylvania, locating seventeen miles west of Waynesburg. After three years they moved to Morrow County, Ohio, settling half a mile south of Sparta, on a farm.
Isaac Hixenbaugh was in Morrow County, Ohio, four years, and in 1868, at the age of twenty-two, came to Illinois, spending one year a mile east of Mount Vernon, Ohio. On August 19, 1869, he married Miss Mary M. Freeman. Mrs. Hixenbaugh was born in Homer Township of Champaign County, three miles southwest of Ogden, a daughter of Thomas and Nancy Freeman. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hixenbaugh located three-quarters of a mile north of where the town of Ogden now stands. At that time there was no Ogden, no railroad, and everything was new and primitive. Mr. Hixenbaugh paid $10.50 per acre for a tract of forty acres. Three years later he moved three and a half miles south-west of Ogden and bought fifty-one acres, which was one of the first improved farms in that section of the county. He paid $42.50 an acre for the land and forthwith began the task of making a permanent home there. His industry was rewarded and he became able to buy other land until he acquired 236 ‘acres. Mrs. Hixenbaugh also inherited 170 acres. Mr. Hixenbaugh built two good barns, a commodious house, surrounded the home with fruit and shade trees, and in that pleasant environment his children grew up. Instead of buying more land for himself he wisely assisted his children in acquiring their homes.
Mr. and Mrs. Hixenbaugh had six children, Louie Margaret, Newton, Clara, Grace, Thomas and Ava. Grace and Thomas died in infancy and Clara died at the age of twenty-two. The children were educated in the Clark School in District No. 1. The daughter Louie M. married Thomas W. Richards, a retired farmer at Homer, and they have two children, Amanda and Bessie. Amanda is the wife of Frederick Umbenhour and has two children, Dorothy and Edward, while Bessie is the wife of Thurl Schaumburg, and has one child, Earl Richards.
Newton Hixenbaugh first married Eva Curry, who was burned to death thirty days after her wedding, and he subsequently married Mattie Nonemaker and by that union has two children, Dolly and Maud.
Ava Hixenbaugh is the wife of Charles Boyd, a farmer living on the old Hixenbaugh homestead. They have one child, Byrl. In the summer of 1917 a part of the cyclone which did such devastation in central Illinois tore the Boyd home to pieces. Mrs. Boyd was asleep in the house, while her little daughter, four years old, was playing outdoors. The daughter ran into the house and waked her mother just in time for them to escape into the cellar. The brick chimney tumbled down, a total ruin, striking the bed where Mrs. Boyd had been lying. Fortunately the floor fell with one edge resting on the bank cellar, and thus the mother and daughter were protected from harm.
On April 8, 1914, the good wife and mother, Mrs. Hixenbaugh, passed away, after having reared her children, and with their benedictions and the kindly memories of many friends following her. On August 31, 1914, Mr. Hixenbaugh married Mrs. Priscilla E. Richards. Her first husband was R. H. Trout, and before her marriage to Mr. Hixenbaugh she was the widow of Cyrus Richards. By her first marriage she had children named Charles, Boyd, Grace, Boyce and Lacy Trout. Charles Trout is a physician practicing in Missouri and by his marriage to Miss Lottie Maynard has two daughters, Thelma and Evelyn. Boyd Trout is a farmer near Fairmount, Indiana, and married Grace Bowers, their two children being Cecil and Irene. Grace Trout is the wife of William Jones of Shreveport, Louisiana, and has two children, Eugene and Meredith. Boyce Trout is a barber at Muncie, Indiana, and married Gladys Hamilton, their four children being Mary, Oma, Virgil and Carl. Lacy Trout resides near Mathews, Indiana, married Quincy Tapman, and has two children, Evelyn and Paul.
In addition to rearing their own children Mr. and Mrs. Hixenbaugh have had in their home his granddaughter, Bessie Peters, who is now Mrs. Wakefield of Homer, Illinois.
Mr. Hixenbaugh is one of the men who has lived to see the low ground drained, the prairies cultivated and Champaign County blossom like a rose. In the early days of low prices he sold corn at 16 cents a bushel, oats at 11 cents and hogs at 2~y% cents a pound. He had his share of the trials and adversities of pioneer days. He has not gone through life without giving his share to the public welfare. He served as school director seven years and was the first assessor to be elected in Ogden Township and also assisted in making the first poll book of that township. He and his wife are attendants at the Christian Church in Ogden and in politics he is a Democrat. In August, 1917, Mr. Hixenbaugh left his farm and bought a comfortable residence at 304 Fourth Street in the town of Homer. He felt that the time had come for his retirement from the active responsibilities of farming, and his material prosperity well” justified such a move. He was not sure that he would be contented away from the farm and his accustomed work, but to his surprise he has found good friends and neighbors, and has thoroughly enjoyed his new life in this sociable and cultured community.