Ancestor of Sylvia Land
JOEL B. STRODE - Living on section 29, Fancy Creek township, and devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits, Joel B. Strode there owns ninety-five acres of good land constituting a well improved and valuable farm. As he has a wide acquaintance in Sangamon county the history of his life can not fail to prove of interest to many of our readers. He was born in Fancy Creek township, March 7, 1839, a son of John and Mary (Stringfield) Strode. The father was a native of West Virginia, born in Greenbrier county, March 15, 1790, and in the year 1804 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kentucky, the family settling in Warren county. When the country became involved in the war of 18I2 he joined the army and proved a loyal and valiant soldier, participating in the battle of New Orleans on the 8th of January, 1815. In recognition of his services he was afterward granted a land warrant by the government. Following his return home he was married on the 14th of August, 1815, in Warren county, Kentucky, to Mary Stringfield, and three children were born unto them ere their removal to Illinois, which occurred in 1820. They cast in their lot among the first settlers of Sangamon county, and Mr. Strode entered land in Fancy Creek township, securing one hundred and sixty acres with his land warrant. Here he opened up a farm and afterward extended its boundaries by the purchase of forty acres, making good improvements. He continued the work of developing his place throughout his active business career and made a valuable property. He died November 27, 1866, and was survived by his wife for a few years. In the family were eleven children, ten of whom reached years of maturity, while four sons and one daughter are yet living.
Joel B. Strode was reared to manhood in Fancy Creek township, working in field and meadow from the time of early spring planting until after crops were harvested in the late autumn. Throughout the period of his youth he either attended school or assisted in the development of the home farm, and when he had attained his majority started out in life for himself. On the 12th of September, 1861, he married Miss Elizabeth King, a native of Sangamon county and a daughter of Jeremiah King, who came from Virginia and cast in his lot among the first settlers of this portion of Illinois. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm near the family homestead, Mr. Strode purchasing sixty acres of land which he still owns. In 1897, however, be bought ninety-five acres where he now resides, and at once began clearing away the timber and brush, so that the fields might be cultivated. He also built a good residence, fenced the place and continued the work of improving the farm until he has long since been numbered among the best farmers in this portion of the county. As his financial resources increased he likewise added to his landed possessions, becoming the owner of a third farm of fifty-eight acres. He has erected a good barn and outbuildings upon the home place, has planted an orchard and small fruits, and now has a valuable property, upon which he carries on the work of raising grain and stock.
In 1894 Mr. Strode was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died leaving two children, while Jacob, the third child, had passes away when a young man of eighteen years. The others are: Maggie, now the wife of George Muench, of Fancy Creek township, and John E., a farmer of the same township. On the 26th of January, 1898, in Sangamon county, Mr. Strode was again married, his second union being with Sarah Catherine Wallace, who was born and reared in this county, and is a daughter of W. W. Wallace, a substantial farmer of Fancy Creek township, and one of the early settlers of this section of the state.
When age gave to Mr. Strode the right of franchise, he expressed his approval of Republican principles by casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, in 1860, and throughout the intervening years he has never wavered in his loyalty to the party, yet he has never sought or desired office, preferring to give his attention to his business affairs. He and his wife attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal church and the Christian church, Mrs. Strode being a member of the latter. Our subject takes great pride in what has been accomplished in Sangamon county within the period of his remembrance, and well may do so, for in his early boyhood days much of the country was covered with timber and brush, and the work of progress and improvment seemed scarcely begun. He has seen the roads cut through, the land transformed into rich farms, while cities and towns have been built and the railroad has connected the county with the outside world. With the work of general progress Mr. Strode has kept abreast in his farm life. He has utilized the improved machinery and progressive methods which have largely brought prosperity to the agriculturist of the broad state of Illinois.