Joseph E. Pearson. Among the families that have helped forward the remarkable economic transformation by which the waste lands of Champaign County were reclaimed and converted into productive fields and a smiling landscape of happy homes, a place of prosperous usefulness belongs to those of the Pearson name represented by Mr. Joseph E. Pearson, whose home is in section 11 of Harwood Township. His post office is Ludlow.
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Mr. Pearson was born in Mason County, Illinois, a son of Robert and Mary (Fletcher) Pearson. His father was a native of England but married in America, and from Mason County moved to Champaign County. When the Pearsons first settled here they had many unpleasant things to contend with. Much of the land was wet, covered with sloughs, and acre after acre had to be redeemed to cultivation at the expense of much labor and money. But Robert Pearson had the energy requisite for such an undertaking, and in course of time he not only had a fine farm, but became one of the extensive land owners in Champaign County, having an estate of 560 acres. He and his wife finally retired to a comfortable home in Rantoul, where this good old timer entered into rest in 1913.
Joseph R. Pearson was educated in the public schools, and, was also a student in the State Normal University at Normal and in the college at Paxton.
He married Miss Clara J. Johnson, who was born in Champaign County, a daughter of Isaac and Alice (Belford) Johnson. Her father was a native of Vermilion County, Illinois, and her mother of Ohio. Mrs. Pearson was educated in the public schools, the high school at Gifford and Greer College at Hoopeston, Illinois. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Pearson began life on the old homestead of Father Pearson, and he has since had the active management of this splendid farm.
To Mr. and Mrs. Pearson were born eight children: Mary Alice, Robert J., Bessie Lenore, Eva Pauline, Lowell B., Glen Leroy, Donald Richard and Harold Fletcher. This is a family of bright and energetic children, true types of American boys and girls. They received their preliminary education in the Webber District School. Mary graduated from the high school at Paxton and Robert did two years of work in that high school. Lenore is still a student in high school, a member of the junior class, while Pauline recently became the proud possessor of a diploma from the eighth grade.
As a farmer Mr. Pearson is giving a good account of his energies and ability. His principal crops are corn and oats, and in an ordinary season he gets seventy-five bushels of corn to the acre. As a stock man he raises some fine Percheron horses of French imported strains and has a herd of Jersey cows, shipping cream to market.
The family attend worship at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Gifford, and the children are all active in the Sunday school. Mr. Pearson is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and in politics gives support to the Democratic Party.
Thus the lives of the Pearson family have been closely identified with Champaign County since early times. Their industry has brought about the improvement of a considerable acreage and they are to be credited with success as homemakers and with that public spirit which flows from capable and upright people. Mr. Pearson’s mother is still living in her home at Rantoul and spends the winters in southern climates, chiefly in Florida. Mr. and Mrs. Pearson are carrying the responsibilities of their farm, have a pleasant home and enjoy the confidence and esteem of a large community. Mrs. Pearson is an energetic and cultured woman and takes proper pride in her home and her happy family circle.