Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
HORN, JAMES W. - The farmer who coped with the unfavorable conditions of a quarter of a century ago, feels that the agriculturist of today has no need to complain of the hardships of his life. There are may retired farmers of Springfield, who well remember when they had to till their acres without any of the modern machinery now deemed necessary. They appreciate what they endured when corn was so cheap that it was burned for fuel, and their crops of others kinds brought so low a price that it did not pay to market them.. In the earlier days, the farmer was content to make a bare living, now he secures a good percentage on his investment, as well as big profits for his labor. Among the farmers of the earlier days in Sangamon County, was the late James W. Horn, formerly living at No. 1027 East Miller street, Springfield. He was born at Chillicothe, O., November 28, 1841, being a son of Moses B. and Sarah (Keely) Horn, both born at Chillicothe. The parents came to Springfield with their family in 1850, and engaged in farming south of the city, in Chatham Township. After eight years there, the father moved to Springfield, and for two years conducted a blacksmith shop, being then made Superintendent of the poor farm. For four years, he served in that capacity, then moved to Springfield, where for four years more he was keeper of the city prison. When his term expired, he retired, and died in 1890. He was a man of high moral character, who devoted himself to whatever work he had in hand, and his services were highly appreciated. There were seven children in his family, five sons and two daughters.
Mr. Horn was educated in his native place and in Springfield, and grew up on a farm. He farmed very successfully until he came to Springfield, where he found employment in the city water works, faithfully discharging the duties of that position until his retirement in 1900. He occupied the family home from 1905 to his death, but prior to that lived at Seventeenth and Moffett Streets until he sold to buy the present residence. All his life, he was a Democrat.
On May 2, 1862, occurred the marriage of Mr. Horn and Louisa Clemens, born January 25, 1842, on Sugar Creek, Sangamon County, near Balls Mill and there reared. Her parents were native of Kentucky, who came to Sangamon County at an early day, locating on the farm where she was born. Her father died before her birth, and the widow and her children operated the farm, where the mother died. The farm was then sold, and the children moved to Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Horn had nine children, seven sons and two daughters, but only four survive: John H.; Moses B.; Charles, all of Springfield; Mollie A., wife of Peter Fagan, a farmer near Springfield. There are twenty-six grandchildren in the family. He made himself felt in neighborhood affairs, and was a fair-minded, conservative man, well liked by those who understood and appreciated him. He died May 28, 1911.