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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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HON. JOHN J. DOUGLAS, a progressive farmer of township 7, range 6, Randolph County, has risen to a position in agricultural affairs which many might envy. He was born in the city of Chester, August 17, 1849, and has since made his home in this county. His father, John Douglas, Sr., was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, and was a son of James, who lived and died in Scotland. His wife, the grandmother of our subject, came to America, and settled in Chester in 1843. Her son John was at that time twenty-nine years of age. He was a miller by trade, and worked in the Holmes Mills at Chester until July 4, 1849, when he died with cholera. He was married in September of the previous year to Margaret Craig, who became the mother of our subject. Mrs. Margaret Douglas was a daughter of John and Sarah Craig, who resided on a farm near Chester.

His mother dying when he was but a lad of six years, our subject went to live with an uncle, James Douglas. He was cared for by him the same as though one of his own children, and attended the country schools, at the same time learning the duties of farm work. When fifteen years old, his uncle died, but our subject still remained on the farm, helping to support the family for three years, when he went to learn the trade of a miller at Chester. He completed his apprenticeship in three years, and afterward attended the commercial college of Bryant & Stratton at St. Louis, completing the course and fitting himself to enter business.

When twenty-three years of age, our subject commenced farming on his own account on the land which is still his home. The farm at the time of his settlement on it consisted of one hundred and twenty acres of only partially improved land, but by hard work and sagacious management he has made it one of the finest farms to be found in the county and it now comprises three hundred and twenty broad and fertile acres. He carries on general farming and stock-raising, and his land yields him abundant harvests in return for the labor expended. In 1871, Mr. Douglas took a trip across the Atlantic, visiting the old home of his parents.

October 30, 1872, John J. Douglas and Miss Belle Adams were united in marriage. Mrs. Douglas is a daughter of David and Margaret (Douglas) Adams, both natives of Scotland, while the daughter was born in this county. To this marriage have been born the following named children: Alice, Everett, Irving, Elmer, Robert and Maggie, the last two being twins. They are all at home and constitute a happy family. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas are devoted members of the Presbyterian Church.

In his political affiliations our subject is a stanch Republican, and in 1892 was elected a member of the Thirty-eighth General Assembly, to represent Randolph, Perry and Monroe Counties in the State Legislature. During this session he served on the Road and Bridges, Fees and Salaries, Mines and Mining and the Horticultural Committees, making a careful and diligent member. He is classed among the pre-eminently successful agriculturists of his township and has lost no opportunity for improving his estate or contributing to the welfare of the community, who hold him in such high esteem.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

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

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