DESOUZA, CANADA B. - Nearly every country of the world has given the United States some reliable and desirable citizens, fewer from Portugal than from many others, but they are none the less welcome. The people of this faraway land are frugal, industrious and religiously inclined, and when given the opportunities offered here develop into excellent examples of American citizenship. The above is true of the Portuguese in general, but there are special instances when those of that nationality deserve more than passing mention, and this is the case of Canada B. DeSouza, of Mechanicsburg Township, Sangamon County. He was born in Portugal, September 29, 1851, being a son of Joseph and Mary (Spindel) DeSouza. Unfortunately he has no knowledge of his mother, she having died before he could remember her gentle and fostering care. The father was engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native land, where he died about 1900.
Having heard of better advantages to be obtained in America, Canada B. DeSouza decided to take his chances and, after much planning and much saving, secured the money to embark on the long trip, from which he landed in Boston, Mass. From that city he came direct to Springfield, where he secured employment on a farm. For the ten years that followed he worked with one great object in view, eventually owning land of his own. Little by little he saved up the money, until in 1881, he bought forty acres of timberland in Mechanicsburg Township. From then on he labored early and late, first clearing off the timber, then planting his land with the seed best adapted to it. From time to time he has added to his farm until he now owns 220 acres in one body, which is as good farming land as can be found in Sangamon County. All of this is under cultivation, with the exception of five acres, left in timber, which he uses for pasturage. On this land he carried on a general farming business, raising cattle, horses and hogs in addition to grains. By experimenting he has learned the best methods of farming and often sets an example his neighbors are now slow to follow.
In March, 1882 Mr. DeSouza married Malinda Dillon, born in Sangamon County, Ill., daughter of Abram and Christina Dillon. Mr. and Mrs. DeSouza have children as follows: Abram, Canada, Mary, Frank and Emanuel, all at home. These have been given excellent educations, for, although his own advantages were limited, he believes in education for his children of whom he is very proud, and entertains high hopes for their future.
Politically Mr. DeSouza is a Democrat, but he has been so occupied with his own affairs that he has not taken a very active part in local matters, although if occasion arose he could be counted upon to take the side of law and order. Frugal, hard working, and quick to embrace any opportunity offered to better his condition, this son of Portugal has carried out his plans and ought to be proud of what he has accomplished. It is not an easy matter for one foreign born to come to a new country, being ignorant of customs and language, and not only get along, but he eminently successful, so that Mr. DeSouza must be accorded the highest of praise. He owns a fine farm, supports local improvements, and has reared up a family that is a credit not only to himself and wife, but also to the community in which they have lived.