DAY, JOHN W. - When the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic has given a final response to the eternal roll call, then will the veterans be properly appreciated. As long as many remain, the soldiers of the Civil War are considered as belonging to the present, and nothing is truly valued until it is taken from us - this is human nature. However, while full honor is not yet accorded those who belonged to the "Boys in Blue", still a large amount is already given and they stand high in the esteem of their fellow citizens wherever they are found. One of the representative old soldiers of Springfield is John W. Day, born in Muskingum County, Ohio, April 9, 1840, a son of John and Mary (Carr) Day, natives of Pennsylvania. They were farming people who came to Ohio in an early day and died there. The Grandfather Day also came west to Ohio, spending his remaining days on a farm in that State.
John W. Day was reared like any country boy, receiving a district school education and a thorough training in cultivating the soil and obeying his parents. In 1862 he found expression for his patriotism in enlistment in Company B., Tenth Illinois Cavalry, and was mustered out in 1865, receiving final discharge at Camp Butler. He participated in the battles of Bayou Metoe, Prairie Grove, Little Rock and Cane Hill, as well as others of minor importance. For the past forty-three years Mr. Day has been a resident of Illinois and is loyal to his adopted State. For many years he was engaged in farming in Gardner township, owning sixty acres, but in 1900, came to Springfield, which has since been his home. He owns 160 acres near Manito, Ill. He belongs to Stephenson Post G.A.R., and is much interested in it. His political associations are with the Republican party and for years he served his township as School Director. Mr. Day is a consistent member of the United Brethren Church and gives liberally towards its support.
In Springfield occurred the marriage of Mr. Day and Louisa Williams, the ceremony being performed March 20, 1851. She died and he married (second) Lucy Ann Babcock, who died Jan. 6, 1909. Mrs. Day was born in Springfield in 1839, the year the city became the State Capital. Her father and his family came originally from Delaware, but for years were connected with Sangamon County and its affairs. Mr. Day is the father of children as follows: Clarence, who lost his life in the United States service during the Spanish American War; Walter and Miles, who are both deceased, and Charity, wife of Henry Moore, of Bradford, Ill. While Mr. Day has been a man of unassuming manner and retiring disposition, devoting his energies to his farming, he has always given his support towards securing good educational advantages and the best government, and can rightly be called one of the public-spirited men of the city.