Biography of Jacob Redmon
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Jacob Redmon. In these days when the American nation is, once more girded for battle, the people pay increasing honor and respect to the comparatively few survivors of that great struggle of fifty years ago when the object was the destruction of the institution of slavery as it is now the abolition of autocratic governments from the face of the earth.
One of the veterans of that war against slavery living in Champaign County is Mr. Jacob Redmon of Ogden. He has lived to attain and pass the age of three quarters of a century and practically all his life has been spent in Champaign County. He was born near Sidney, Illinois, in 1841, a son of Isaiah and Mary (Thomas) Redmon. His father was a native of Pennsylvania. He was only a small child when his mother died, and he grew up practically among strangers near Homer. Jacob Redmon had one sister, Elizabeth, who became the wife of Gersham Wright.
Jacob Redmon was twenty years of age when war broke out between the North and the South. One day he was attending Sunday school at the old Cottington schoolhouse. At this session of Sunday school there was also present Lieutenant Ed Hall. The lieutenant had in his pocket a company roll and young Redmon before the session was over asked Hall to put down his name for enlistment. He was mustered into service at St. Louis, Missouri, the same year and thus responded to the first call for three years men to put down the rebellion. As a member of Company C of the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry he was sent with his comrades to Jefferson City, Missouri, and soon took part in that great campaign through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, which was one of the hardest blows struck at the Confederacy: He fought in the battle of Pea Ridge and other engagements of that campaign until Price and the Confederate forces were driven out of the country. The regiment then crossed the Mississippi and took part in the siege and battle of Corinth, and later in the tremendous fighting of Stone River at Murfreesboro. Then followed almost continuous fighting through Tennessee, Kentucky and northern Georgia, and for three years Mr. Redmon endured the hardships and dangers of army life without a murmur. He was in part of the great Atlanta campaign, fighting at Peach Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, but before the campaign was over he was relieved from duty on expiration of his enlistment and returning home was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois.
With a record made as a veteran soldier, a distinction that will be cherished by his descendants in all generations, he returned to the old place near Homer where he had spent his boyhood days. There in 1867 he married Miss Minerva Anderson, who was born near Danville, Illinois. They took up their home on the farm of his aunt, Elizabeth Redmon, near Homer, but after two years the death angel visited the home and Mrs. Redmon entered into rest in 1869. The only child of the union, Robert Redmon, died at the age of eighteen months.
In 1871 Mr. Redmon married Lovica E. Fowler. She was a native of Ohio, daughter of George and Miranda (Butts) Fowler. Her father died before she was born and when she was six years of age her mother passed away, so that she grew up in the home of her grandmother in Indiana. After the war the family moved to Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Redmon began their wedded life near Homer, where for six years he operated a sawmill. He then came to Ogden, where he has had his home for a long period of years. He was first engaged in the trade of plasterer and brick layer, but for twenty years followed harness making as a trade and conducted a shop which was the center of a large and flourishing business.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Redmon, Ulysses Vernon, Bertha Florence, Oscar, Cora Elizabeth, Frank M., Harry E. and Nellie. The son Oscar died at the age of twenty years. These children were given the advantages of the public schools of Ogden. Ulysses, the oldest, lives at Rockford, Illinois, and by his marriage to Mary Richards has two children, Hazel and Merle. The daughter Bertha is the wife of William Hasty, a clerk at St. Joseph Village, and their children are Fern and Harold. Cora E. married Dell Strong, a poultry man at Fithian, Illinois. They have a household of five children, Gladys, Goldie, Arthur, Wayne and Rema. Frank M. Redmon is a printer by trade and lives at Bloomington, Illinois. He married Bertha Peters and has a daughter Laneva. Harry Redmon is a harness maker by trade living at Urbana, and by his marriage to Pearl Barnhart has three children, Carl, Clyde and May. The youngest child, Nellie, is the wife of Fred Priblo, a farmer near St. Joseph. They have one son, Darwin.
Mr. and Mrs. Redmon have for many years been sustaining members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Ogden. In politics Mr. Redmon has never deviated from the principles which he supported in casting his first vote. This vote was given to Abraham Lincoln in 1864, about the time he returned from his army service. Mr. Redmon fought as a soldier for the triumph of the principles advocated by the Republican party at the beginning, and has kept his allegiance true through all the half century that has followed. His career in civic affairs and in business life has been as straightforward and honest as his early service in following the flag was steadfast and courageous, and the years have brought him abundant success and community esteem. He has served as member of the town board of Ogden, and in his later years he and his good Christian wife have enjoyed the pleasures of a good home in the village and the associations of a fine family and many friends.