MCDANIEL, OLIVER. - Oliver McDaniel is one of the native sons of Sangamon county, his birth having occurred on what is now the old Edwards farm in Buffalo Hart township, December 27, 1837. Through his business career he was accounted one of the active and successful farmers and stock raisers of his community, and now he is enjoying a well earned rest from further labor in Buffalo. He is a son of Robert McDaniel and a brother of Joseph McDaniel, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. On the old home farm he was reared to manhood, and his education was acquired there in the common schools. He also pursued a course in Bryant & Stratton Business College in Springfield, and when but twenty-two years of age he offered his services to his country, enlisting on the 2d of August, 1862. He joined the Seventy-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, known as the "preachers regiment," becoming a member of Company A. Going to the south, he was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and was first under fire at Perryville, Kentucky. Later he participated in the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and the march to Knoxville to relieve Burnside. He was afterward in the Atlanta campaign, where he was under fire almost every day, and he assisted in the capture of Atlanta, later in the battle of Franklin and afterward in the last engagement at Nashville. From that place he was sent home and honorably discharged at Camp Butler in June, 1865.
Mr. McDaniel continued to reside upon the old farm place until his marriage, which occurred on the 16th of July, 1867, the lady of his choice being Miss Martha McDaniel, a native of Sangamon county and a daughter of Jeptha McDaniel, one of the pioneer residents of central Illinois, whither he came from Kentucky. Our subject and his wife began their domestic life on a farm in Buffalo Hart township, where he had two hundred acres of land. This he broke and fenced, continuing the cultivation of his land until the well-tilled fields returned to him good annual harvests. He first built a small house and in it lived until he was enabled to replace it by a more modern commodious and substantial residence. In the early days of his married life land could be purchased for twelve dollars per acre. Later he bought more land from time to time, and he now owns five hundred acres, all in one body. He has built a good residence and barns, outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, planted an orchard and shade trees and has seven miles of tiling on the farm. His fields are surrounded by well-kept fences, and no modern equipment or accessory of a model farm is lacking upon his place. Its splendidly improved appearance is an indication of his life of enterprise and thrift, and also speaks of his progressive ideas. He now has a good home in Buffalo, having in 1896 retired from farm life in order to enjoy the rest to which his former labors justly entitle him.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel have been born nine children: Bertha, the wife of b. F. Edwards, of Buffalo; Joseph, who is married and resides on the home farm; Elizabeth, the wife of J. R. Orr, a lawyer of Springfield; Mary; Martha; Frances; Oliver L.; Grace; and a child who died in infancy.
In his political allegiance mr. McDaniel is a Democrat, supporting the party through successive years since his first presidential ballot was cast for Stephen A. Douglas in 1860. He was elected and served for several terms as supervisor and was a member of a number of important committees, being chairman of the committee on the poor farm. He was also assessor and commissioner of highways, and has been a delegate to numerous conventions of his party, both county and state. In 1894 he received the Democratic nomination for sheriff and made a good canvass, but in that year the entire county went Republican. He belongs to the blue lodge and chapter of Masons, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. His entire life has been spent in Sangamon county, and he has, therefore, witnessed the greater part of its growth and improvement. In fact, he has borne a helpful part in its work and has broken several hundred acres of prairie land, thereby aiding
materially in the progress of the county in agricultural lines. He is a man of upright character and worth, well deserving mention in this volume.