Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

CHARLES F. COUNCIL. - Charles F. Council, a retired farmer residing in Springfield, is native of Sangamon county, as was his father. The date of his birth is August 5, 1861, and his birthplace was the family homestead in Fancy Creek Township. His parents were John H. and Edna (Lake) Council. The father was born in Fancy Creek township, May 19, 1822. This was before the organization of the county, when the work of progress and improvement had scarcely been begun, few settlers having taken up their residence upon the broad prairies of central Illinois. The paternal grandparents were Hardy and Jane (Hanna) Council. The former was born in Tarboro, North Carolina, September 20, 1793, but when very young was taken by his parents to Tennessee and afterward to Barren county, Kentucky. In that state his wife was born, her natal day being February 23, 1795. On leaving Kentucky, Hardy Council removed to Illinois, settling near Carmi, Pike county, where he was married. In August, 1819, he came on horseback to Sangamon County, accompanied by his wife, who rode in the same way an carried a sack of wheat with her upon the horse, as well as some household implements, while Mr. Council brought with him all of the farming tools that he could carry. In this primitive manner they journeyed to their new home, settling in what is now Fancy Creek township the year following the admission of the state into the Union. There they established a camp and built a little log cabin. As Mr. Council was unable to obtain a plow he used the grubbing hoe, or old-fashioned mattock, and dug up about an acre and a half of ground, which he sowed with the wheat that his wife had carried from their home in White county. Their efforts were blessed abundantly, for upon that little tract they raised a good crop. They also had an ample supply of grass for their horses upon the prairies, but before they were aware of the importance of protecting it their hay was all burned by the prairie fires. With resolute will, however, Mr. Council and his brave pioneer wife met the conditions that faced the people on the frontier and made the most of their opportunities, and he was the first owner of thoroughbred stock in this county. He continued the work of improving the farm and resided thereon throughout his remaining days, devoting his attention to the further cultivation and improvement of his land. Before dividing his property with his children he owned over two thousand five hundred acres of land there. His wife died March 30, 1863, and he survived her for about ten years, passing away on the old homestead, July 26, 1873. They were the parents of seven children of whom two died in infancy. The others are: John H., Wesley, William F., Robert and George W.

John H. Council acquired his education in the common schools and assisted his father in the operation of the old home farm, of which he eventually took entire charge. There he spent his remaining days and he always followed agricultural pursuits. He engaged to considerable extent in stock raising and also produced some fine crops in his well cultivated fields. His life was one of industry, integrity and enterprise, resulting in bringing to him a good return for his labor. He died February 6, 1904, on the old Council homestead, where he was born and always lived, and his widow is now residing upon the old homestead farm.

Charles F. Council assisted his father in the farm work during the period of his boyhood when not engaged with the duties of the schoolroom. After attending the public schools of the home neighborhood he went to Lincoln, Illinois, where he became a student in Lincoln college and thus acquired a good education. He was afterward married to Miss Gussie A. Jones, also a native of Sangamon county and a daughter of David G. Jones, of Menard county, who is represented elsewhere in this work. They have one child, Bessie, who resides with her parents in Springfield.

After his marriage Mr. Council settled on a farm in Logan county that his father gave him, located just across the Sangamon county line and but a few miles from the old family homestead. He improved the place, devoting his attention to general farming and stock raising for seventeen years, and his untiring labors and careful management brought to him the success for which all men in the business world are striving. On the expiration of that period he removed to Springfield, but he is still quite extensively interested in farming property, owning three farms in Logan county, comprising four hundred and twelve acres in all. This is well improved, and although Mr. Council makes his home in the city he still gives his supervision to his property interests, although he has the land all rented. He also owns two sections in Clark county, Wisconsin.

Mr. Council votes with the Republican party and is never remiss in his duties of citizenship, but has never sought or desired public office. Both he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church of Fancy Prairie. They have occupied a home at No. 1217 South Second street, but recently Mr. Council has purchased a lot at No. 106 West South Grand Avenue, where he intends to build a fine residence in the summer of 1904 and make it his future home. The Council family is well known all over Sangamon county as one of the pioneer families and the subject of this review fully sustains the enviable reputation which has always been borne by these of the name. He has a wide and favorable acquaintance in Springfield, as well as through the rural districts, and he justly merits the success that has come to him in reward for his close application to his business, his reliability and his unfaltering diligence.

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