Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
OSENTON, JOHN S. - The work devolving upon the county officials is of such importance that it cannot be over estimated. Especially is this true of that connected with the superintendence of the poor farm, where the county's unfortunates are cared for. Sangamon County is to be congratulated upon its present superintendent, John S. Osenton, a practical business man, and sympathetic official, who, while protecting the interests of the tax payers, knows how to give those under his charge efficient and thorough supervision. Mr. Osenton was born in Grayson, Carter County, Ky., August 2, 1858, being a son of Henry K. and Sciotha (McAllister) Osenton, natives of the same county as their son, Henry K. Osenton was a blacksmith and merchant, who never left Kentucky, John S. Osenton being the only one of the family to locate in Illinois.
After attending the common schools of Carter County, Mr. Osenton worked as a day laborer at whatever work came to his hand, gaining a wide and varied experience. When he came to Sangamon County, in the spring of 1878, he found employment as a farm laborer, but in the fall began manufacturing tile, to meet a growing demand for that material. For ten years this work engrossed him, and then he branched out into a paving business, and was thus engaged, when appointed superintendent of the poor farm. For the following three years, he acted in this capacity, then retired to take up farming on his own account. In 1901, he was once more called upon to accept appointment to the same office, and for three years more, he gave his services, but again left to carry on his own farm. He was too valuable a man of the people to allow him to remain in private life, however, and for the third time, in December, 1908, he was placed in charge of the poor farm, which is still under his supervision. This property contains 197 acres of excellent land on which corn is raised as the principal crop, although there is sufficient stock for the use of the institution, it being the aim of Mr. Osenton to produce all the inmates needs in the way of green vegetables and meat, Mr. Osenton knows how to make the farm support its inmates, and is a very busy man, attending as he does to his own excellent farm of 176 acres, as well.
Mr. Osenton was married June 22, 1886, in Buffalo, Sangamon County, Ill., to Lillie Bradley, daughter of Enos and Sarah Bradley, of Buffalo, natives of Illinois, who had lived in Buffalo for many years. They have been dead for some years, and were most excellent people. Mr. and Mrs. Osenton have had a family as follows: Harley B., Edna Fern, Reed G., and Shelby M. Mrs. Osenton died in October 1908. On October 16, 1909, Mr. Osenton married Ida Kaylor, daughter of Daniel Kaylor, of Buffalo, a farmer and estimable citizen.
Fraternally, Mr. Osenton belongs to Pickwick Lodge, No. 589, K. of P., of Buffalo, and has filled the majority of the offices in it. His family are members of the Methodist Church, which he attends, and contributes largely towards its support. His father and brothers all espoused the cause of Democracy, but since the second Grant campaign, Mr. Osenton has been a Republican and is very prominent in the part in Buffalo, being a member of the County Central Committee and is frequently sent as a delegate to conventions. Upright, honorable, conscientious, Mr. Osenton is an excellent example of the self reliant man who has worked his own way in life, asking favor of no one, but working hard and saving his earnings. Such a man is a valuable addition to any community.