CARTMEL, MARION. - Tilling the soil is the oldest occupation known to man, antedating history itself. Through all the ages the farmer has been a person of importance, and never more so than today, when the whole country is dependant upon him and his products. Sangamon County has produced some of the best farmers in the State, and among those who, for many years, were connected with the agricultural interests of this locality, none stands higher than Marion Cartmel, now living in retirement at Riverton, after years spent in active work. He was born in Clear Lake Township, July 19, 1845, a son of John M. and Mildred R. (Rairdon) Cartmel, the former born in Bath County, Ky., in 1802, and the latter born in Virginia, May 24, 1807.
John M. Cartmel came to Sangamon County in October, 1830, with his father, Andrew Cartmel, who entered land from the Government and same fall, to the extent of eighty acres, and there he lived until his death. Andrew Cartmel was a Virginian, born in March, 1766, but later moved to Bath County, Ky., and thence to Sangamon County. After his father's demise, John M. Cartmel continued to farm the eighty acres of land until he, too, died, in 1883, near Walnut, Kan., while on a visit to his son James. He had three sons and five daughters, two of whom survive: Marion, subject of this sketch, and John W., of Tecumseh, Okla., a prosperous farmer of that locality.
Marion Cartmel grew up, as did the other boys of his neighborhood, alternating attendance at the district school with work on the farm, and later having the advantages offered at the German Prairie Schools, at the place now known as Bissell. He succeeded to the old homestead entered from the Government by his grandfather of which he owned sixty acres and which he later sold. He owns his comfortable home in Riverton, which is surrounded by three acres of land. He has lived there since April 29, 1905, when he retired from his farm. He served as School Director for seventeen years in Clear Lake Township. The Christian Church, of Riverton, holds his membership, and he is a liberal supporter of its work.
Mr. Cartmel was married, north of Springfield, February 1, 1872, to Mellison O. James, born at Laurel, Franklin County, Ind., June 30, 1852. Her father, a shoemaker, came to Springfield at an early day but after four years in that city went to Rush County, Ind., coming back to Springfield in 1870, to engage in mining. Still later the family moved to Barclay, where both parents died. Mr. James was a loyal man and served his country in both the Mexican and Civil Wars. He and his wife had nine children, seven of whom, including Mrs. Cartmel, survive. Mr. and Mrs. Cartmel became parents of seven children, five of whom are living: Margaret M., who resides at home; Bertha, wife of R. W. Beeler, lived on a farm north of Springfield, one child, Emerson C.; Myrtle, wife of Fred Todd, lives on a farm southwest of Illiopolis, one child, Mildred E.; Viora, wife of Arthur Lanham, lives on a farm at Edina, Mo.; and Ada, wife of Joseph Wilson, of Riverton, one child, Velma O. There are three grandchildren in the family.
Mr. Cartmel has every reason to be proud of his work as a farmer. Not only did he take care of his family and rear his children to be useful members of society, but he bore his part in his township and church, and laid up a competence sufficient to provide for himself and wife in their declining years, and leave a considerable estate to his heirs. When all this is the result of the patient, untiring endeavors of a man who had no advantages of wealth or position to help, him, there is considerable ground for credit, and those who know Mr. Cartmel best realize that he is fully entitled to all that is accorded to him.