SAUNDERS, MILTON (deceased). - The number of farmers who have succeeded in winning wealth from the soil increases each year as farming methods improve, yet there were many in the earlier days who found no difficulty in earning plenty from the land they wrested from the wilderness. One of the reliable farmers and one who thoroughly understood his work was the late Milton Saunders, whose memory is tenderly cherished by his family and friends. Mrs. Saunders was born in Springfield, October 3, 1836, being one of the first white children born there. His father was Jonathan R. Saunders, born near Frankfort, Ky., who married Sarah McKinney, born in Virginia. They came to Sangamon County in an early day, about 1826, and farmed for years in Sangamon County, where they eventually died.
Milton Saunders grew up in Sangamon county, receiving a common school education, supplemented by a course at the Jacksonville Institute. Having learned how to farm with his father, when he began for himself he knew just how to go about it and developed his fine farm of 160 acres, twelve miles north of Springfield on the Peoria Road, into one of the best pieces of farming property in his part of the State. In pioneer days there was a public inn on this farm, and it is yet known as the "Twelve-mile Place." Mr. Saunders also owned some valuable real estate in Springfield. In 1892 he retired from his farm and came to Springfield. There he enjoyed a brief period of rest, passing away October 18, 1902, and his remains were interred in Oak Ridge Cemetery. He was a consistent member of the Christian Church, dying firm in its faith. The Republican party claimed his vote and influence, but he was never willing to accept office.
On August 28, 1872, he was united in marriage with Martha Beeley, born in Illinois August 31, 1842, who survives him. They had three children: Lillian, Marcia and Milton, married Helen Sullivan, who died in 1904, leaving a daughter, Helen Elizabeth. By a former marriage with Annie Edwards, which occurred in 1860, Mr. Saunders and two children, Nellie and Frances S.
Mrs. Saunders is a most estimable woman and is beloved by her family and neighbors. She is interested in others and is charitable, giving where she believes help is needed. The children of Mr. Saunders are well liked in the community, and his memory is cherished for what he accomplished as a sturdy, reliable, upright man, who always tried to do his duty and governed his life according to the religious faith he professed.