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

ROBERT MCTAGGART. - Robert McTaggart, who follows farming on section 30, Pawnee township, has since 1854 been a resident of Sangamon County and is a worthy representative of the citizenship that Scotland has furnished to the new world. He was born on the Island of Bute, off the coast of Scotland, June 19, 1834. His father, Neil McTaggart, was a native of that country and there married Margaret Montgomery, a Scotch lady. He followed farming in his native land and after the birth of three of his children he emigrated with his family to the new world in 1854, coming direct to Sangamon county, Illinois where he joined an older brother. Soon he located in Woodside township, where he resided for twelve years, purchasing a farm there of two hundred and forty acres at seventy dollars per acre. On selling that he removed to Pawnee township and became the owner of nearly one thousand acres of land, on which he located. With characteristic energy he began the development of his farm and with the assistance of his sons made excellent improvements there, continuing to resided on that property until his death, which occurred January 9, 1880. His wife passed away a number of years prior to his demise. All of the three sons grew to mature years, married and had families of their own and became prominent farmers of Pawnee Township.

Robert McTaggart, however, is the only survivor of his family. His boyhood days were spent in Scotland, where he acquired a good common school education. With his father he came to the new world and became his father's assistant in the development of the home farm. He continued to reside under the parental roof until February, 1865, at which time he was united in marriage to Miss Jane Carswell, a native of Scotland, and a cousin of Thomas Carswell, who is represented elsewhere in this work. When a young lady she came to the United States. Her father, however, spent his entire life in Scotland, but the mother came with her children to the new world and lived in Sangamon county until her death, which occurred when she was eighty-seven years of age. Mr. and Mrs. McTaggart located at the time of their marriage upon the farm where he is still living. He had here three hundred and twenty acres of land, on which he built a home. With characteristic energy he began the improvement of his property, planted shade and fruit trees, divided his land into fields of convenient size by well kept fences, stocked his farm with a good grade of horses, cattle and hogs and placed his fields under cultivation, raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate. In his farm work he has been very progressive and his labors have been crowned with a merited degree of success. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land, pleasantly located within three and a half miles of Pawnee.

In 1891 Mr. McTaggart lost his wife, who died on the 8th of January of that year, and was laid to rest in Zion cemetery. They had four children: Jane, wife of S. D. Lamkin, of Springfield, Illinois; Walter, who is living on a part of the old home place; Nettie, who is acting as her father's housekeeper; and Bert, who was for three years a soldier in the Seventeenth United States Infantry and served in the Philippines. He is now carrying on the home farm. Mr. McTaggart lost his first child Margaret, who died at the age of twenty two months.

He has ever given his political support to the Republican party, his father and the three sons all casting their first presidential ballots for Abraham Lincoln, and since that time never faltering in the support of the lading candidates of the party. Mr. McTaggart of this review, however, has not sought or desired office, content to do his duty to his country as a private citizen. He has always been a warm friend of education and for twenty-four years has been a school director. While not a member of any church he contributed liberally to church work. His residence in the county covers almost a half century and no longer he sees undeveloped prairies, frontier cabins and tiny villages remote from the civilization of the older east, but looks abroad upon splendidly developed farms, enterprising towns and cities and modern improvements of every nature, which indicate progressive ideas and an advanced citizenship. He possesses many of the sterling characteristics of the Scotch race, including reliability, unflagging industry and honesty.

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