HAINES, JOHN C. FREMONT - It is not so many years ago that Sangamon County was naught but a broad, rolling prairie, with the feel of the plow unknown and where vegetation ran wild, and it is hard to believe, as one views the prosperous flourishing farms of today, that in some cases the men who reclaimed the land from the wilderness are still cultivating it, while in other and more frequent instances the present owners are sons of the original pioneers. John C. Fremont Haines, a prosperous and well known agriculturist of Sangamon County, was born on the property on which he now carries on operations, on Section 16, Cotton Hill Township, September 30, 1858, a son of John Wesley and Sarah C. (Hart) Haines.
The grandfather of John C. F. Haines was a native of Kentucky who came to Sangamon County in the early days and there spent the remainder of his life. On the maternal side the grandfather was born and died in Morgan County, Ill. John Wesley Haines was born April 28, 1826, in Allen County, Ky., and in 1842 accompanied his parents to Sangamon County. In 1858 he purchased property in Cotton Hill township and there spent the remainder of his life, engaged in agricultural pursuits, his death occurring August 8, 1896. Mr. Haines married Sarah C. Hart, who was born in Hillsboro, Ill., August 6, 1829, and her death occurred September 20, 1905, both being buried in Sangamon County.
John C. Fremont Haines secured his education in the country schools of Sangamon County, being reared to agricultural pursuits and taught to love his home, and was exceedingly fond of music as a boy. He has followed agricultural pursuits all of his life on this farm, and now owns 163 acres of some of the finest farming land in that section of the county. Mr. Haines was a Republican in his political belief until 1896, at which time William J. Bryan was a candidate for the Presidency, and since that time he has cast his vote rather for the man than the party. He served as Collector of his township in 1889, and has also been a member of the School Board. Fraternally he is connected with Modern Woodmen Camp No. 619, and with his family is identified with the Methodist Church.
On September 30, 1884, Mr. Haines was married at his present home by Rev. B. D. Wiley, to Mary E. Eldridge, who was born in Sangamon County, Ill., September 19, 1863, a daughter of John and Hannah A. (Merrill) Eldridge. John Eldridge was born in New York, July 23, 1836, and came to Illinois in 1861, where for twenty years he was a teacher in the Sangamon County schools, his death occurring August 31, 1888. He married Hannah A. Merrill, who was born in New York, August 1, 1832, and died May 7, 1888.
To Mr. and Mrs. Haines there have been born the following children: Nellie, born June 26, 1885; Katie, born February 26, 1887, married Charles Nation and has one child, Emma; Elma, born August 16, 1889, married George Coomes, lives in North Carolina and has two children, Grace and Nellie; Eldridge, born April 6, 1891, living at home; Harry W., born February 13, 1893; Herbert, May 19, 1895; Lola, born August 27, 1897; Ira, born September 15, 1899; Charles, born September 26, 1901; Laura, born January 11, 1904; Mary, born July 16, 1906; and Neva, born February 26, 1909. All of these children were born in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon County.
Mr. Haines is one of the representative farmers of his district and is of a public spirited nature, always being found in the front rank of those movements which his judgment leads him to believe will be of benefit to his community. He has an excellent farm and is looked upon as one of the substantial men of Cotton Hill Township.