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Below is a family biography included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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PATTON, JOHN MALCOLN, head clerk railway post-office service, between Quincy, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo.; residence 613 Vermont street. He was born in Bolivar, Westmoreland county, Penn., Oct. 24, 1829, and came to Quincy in August, 1861. He married Miss Sarah E. Graham, at Shelbyville, Ill., June 30, 1857. She was born in Coles county, Ill., June 20, 1837. Eight children, three living: Clara E., born July 28, 1858; Ella N., born Oct. 18, 1860, and Mary P., born Feb. 5, 1872. Himself and children are Unitarians. Mrs. Patton is a member of the Vermont St. M. E. Church. Mr. Patton is a member of Quincy Lodge No. 296 A. F. & A. M., Pride of the West Lodge No. — A. O. U. W., of the United States Mail Service Mutual Benefit Association. His first experience in life, after receiving a common school education, was when he went into a cotton factory at Alleghany City, Pa., at the age of fifteen years; worked through all the different grades until, in 1847, he was appointed foreman of the spinning room. His health becoming impaired he worked for his father (he being a railroad contractor) for two years, when he entered into a co-partnership with him, which continued until 1854, when his father died. Mr. Patton then took the position of General Agent for the I. C.R. R. Co., at Pana, Christian county, Ill., that place being in its infancy. He built the first church and school building in that place. He held this position for two years, when he opened a large general store; but thirteen days after, a tornado swept over the place and took store, house and contents away, Mr. Patton barely escaping with his life. He remained another year settling up his business affairs, when he took the position of foreman on construction of the H. & St. Joe R. R., being stationed at Shelbina, Mo. In 1861 Mr. and Mrs. Patton came to Hannibal, Mo., when at the earnest solicitations of the Hon. Francis P. Blair, and others high in authority, Mr. Patton was appointed Mail Agent. He accepted the position, but shortly afterward Abraham Lincoln, then President of these United States, made his call for troops, and Mr. Patton enlisted in the 100 days service. After his term of service had expired, he was again re-appointed at the solicitation of Francis. P. Blair and others; he accepting, and has continued in the post-office department ever since, being one of its oldest and valued members.

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This family biography is one of 1444 biographies included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Adams County, Illinois

View additional Adams County, Illinois family biographies here: Adams County, Illinois Biographies

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