JAMES P. COONS. - One of the leading citizens of New Berlin township whose time and attention are devoted to farming and stock raising is James P. Coons, who carries on his chosen occupation on section 2, having two hundred and twenty-six acres in his home place. He is one of Illinois' native sons, his birth having occurred nine miles north of Jacksonville in Morgan county, September 1, 1845. His father, G. M. Coons grew to manhood and married Mary Sturgis. After his marriage he engaged in farming in that county until 1854, when he removed to Sangamon county and purchased a farm in New Berlin township, where he opened up a farm, there rearing his family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, all of whom reached years of maturity, married and became heads of families. The father is still living, a hale and hearty old man of eighty-seven years, and now makes his home with out subject.
James p. Coons was a lad of nine years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Sangamon county, and was the eldest in their family. Here he grew to manhood and was married August 20, 1868, on the eighteenth anniversary of his wife's birth, the lady of his choice being Miss Melinda E. Chilton, the only daughter of William D. Chilton. They now have two sons: Jesse, who is married and follows farming in New Berlin township; and William, who is also married and assists in the operation of the home farm. The oldest son, Alva P., died at the age of eleven years.
At the time of his marriage Mr. Coons was operating rented land, but the following March he removed to his present farm in New Berlin township, having purchased one hundred and forty acres, to which he has since added from time to time until he now has two hundred and twenty-six acres. He has erected thereon a large and pleasant residence and good outbuildings, has set out shade and fruit trees, having eleven different varieties of apples upon his place, and has tiled and fenced the land, transforming it into an excellent farm. He is also engaged in raising and feeding stock for the market and in all his undertakings is meeting with a well merited success.
Mr. Coons has been a lifelong supporter of the Republican party, having cast his first presidential vote for General U. S. Grant and for each candidate of the party since that time. He has served as pathmaster and school director, but has never been an aspirant for political honors. Both he and his wife attend the Baptist church, in which they were reared, and are people of sterling worth, who have a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county. They are numbered among the representative citizens of their community and all who know them hold them in high regard.