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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. 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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JAMES MONTGOMERY, physician and surgeon, Downs; born in County Tyrone, Ireland, Aug. 28, 1837, where he attended the subscription schools until 16 years of age, when he went to Manchester, England, and, after serving an apprenticeship of three years in a fancy grocery store, emigrated to America, landing in New York Nov. 1, 1856; after consuming the entire winter in New York and adjoining cities vainly seeking for employment, he purchased a drover’s ticket, for $8, to Indianapolis, and upon arriving there continued his journey to Danville, Ill., where he arrived with $3 and a good wardrobe; the following day, he obtained employment with Dr. Fithian upon a farm, at $15 per month, and after working one year invested his earnings in young stock, calves and yearlings, which he held one year and sold at a profit of 100 per cent; he then engaged in farming and stock-raising, until the spring of 1860, when he came to McLean Co. and purchased a farm near what is now Downs, and, after farming one year, commenced the study of medicine, and in August, 1862, enlisted as a private in Co. F, 94th Regt. I. V. I., and served as such through the campaigns of Missouri and Arkansas, siege and capture of Vicksburg, capture of Yazoo City, after which he went to Port Hudson, where he was appointed Assistant Hospital Steward, and upon arriving at Brownsville, Texas, in 1863, was appointed General Hospital Steward, and continued his study of medicine under Dr. E. A. Carothers until 1864, when he went to New Orleans and passed examination before the Examining Board of the Army; and was appointed Assistant to the Medical Purveyor of the Department of the Gulf, which position he held until the close of the war; while located in New Orleans, he attended the lectures of the Medical College, and the practical experience received while here, in surgery, has proved of more value than years of study and practice in civil life. At the close of the war, he returned to McLean Co. and engaged in the practice of medicine, and for two years continued his studies in medicine and dissecting under Dr. William Hill, of Bloomington; he has continued the practice of medicine in Downs and neighboring townships since 1865, during a period of fifteen years of constant increase in his practice. He is a member of the McLean County Medical Society, and is appointed a member of the State Medical Society at their Convention, to be held at Lincoln during the summer of 1879. His marriage with Mary J. Savidge was celebrated May 12, 1861; she was born in McLean Co., Ill., Aug. 31, 1842; they had six children, of whom three are now living — James E., born Feb. 9, 1862; Margaret E., July 1, 1867; Matilda F., Nov. 14, 1871. Mrs. Montgomery is a daughter of James N. Savidge, one of the early settlers of McLean Co., who located here in 1834, and now lives in Old Town Township.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

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

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