PLUNKETT, JAMES HUSTON - Many farmers of Sangamon County have found it profitable to devote much of their attention to breeding blooded stock, and one of the men who has accomplished much as a general farmer and stockman is James Huston Plunkett, born on Section 34, Cartwright Township, January 3, 1854, being a son of Silas P. and Salina M. (Keltner) Plunkett. The general family history of the Plunketts is given elsewhere in this work.
Like many another farmer boy in Sangamon County, Mr. Plunkett grew up to agricultural work, amid a healthy atmosphere. He attended school in the Plunket district school and learned well what was taught him. He remained under the parental roof until September 14, 1876, and then married Alice Rawls, born in Cartwright Township, a daughter of Hiram Rawls, a pioneer of the county. The young people settled down to married life on the home farm, and in 1881 Mr. Plunkett bought a portion of it and they moved to their new home. There Mrs. Plunkett died February 17, 1895, a consistent member of the Baptist Church, and a worthy, good woman. On June 23, 1897, Mr. Plunkett was married to Sarah May Mackey, born in Lincoln, Logan County, Ill., May 29, 1872, daughter of William and Sarah M. (Hall) Mackey. Her father had come to Springfield in 1880, where he followed his trade of wagon making, and there died August 13, 1890, an old man, having been born in Lincoln, Ky., November 5, 1834, and married February 8, 1855. His wife was born in Menard County, August 20, 1839, and died in Springfield June 30, 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Mackey had children as follows: Mary Ellen, born December 1, 1856, widow of Edward Beach, living in Kansas; Emma Jane, married Joseph Hurt, of Menard County, Ill., died June 4, 1885; Evangeline, wife of John Roberts, died January 1, 1910; Minerva Ann, born August 11, 1864, married James B. Cyphers, of Springfield; Nana E., born December 14, 1869, wife of A. H. Hughes of Dawson, Ill.; Mrs. Plunkett; William Clyde, a member of Company H, Fifteenth United States Infantry, stationed at Fort Douglas, Utah. The family all belonged to the Christian Church. Mrs. Plunkett's maternal ancestry belonged to good old Virginia stock.
Mr. Plunkett has been very active in politics, being an aggressive Republican. He served for years as a member of the Board of Supervisors, and in 1909 served as its Chairman. In 1908 he was appointed a member of the Board of Review by Judge G. W. Murray, becoming Chairman of this board as well. In addition, Mr. Plunkett has served in many other offices, his ability, impartiality and sound judgment fitting him for almost any office within the gift of the people. His services to his party have been very valuable and he is now serving on the County Central Committee. His religious affiliations are with the Baptist Church. Fraternally Mr. Plunkett is a member of the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America and Encampment, and is now Past Grand Master of the first named order. Mrs. Plunkett belongs to the Court of Honor of Pleasant Plains, Ill. Both are representative people, who know how to do the right thing in the right way, and are often called upon for advice and assistance. Their pleasant home is a favorite gathering place for the friends of both, and no two people stand higher in the county than they.