STOUT, JOAB P. - Pioneers of Sangamon County have every reason to congratulate themselves upon the sagacity which prompted the selection of that locality as a place in which to found new homes. Climatic conditions and other natural advantages and the cheapness of land combined to offer tempting prospects to the hardy farmers who sought a place in which to rear their growing families. They did not stop to worry about the lack of schools and churches for they knew they could easily provide them, and they did, first erecting rude log shacks which served as school houses during the week and as gathering places for religious bodies of all creeds on Sunday. In time these were improved, together with other things, and today Sangamon County has some of the finest church edifices and best schools in the State, outside of Chicago. The sons of the pioneers, growing up to hard work, developed fine characters and resourceful habits, and today are numbered among the wealthiest men there. One of them who belongs to a distinctively pioneer family is Joab P. Stout, a large landowner of Section 10, Ball Township. Mr. Stout was born in the house he now occupies, April 3, 1860, being a son of Philemon and Louisa P. (Brasfield) Stout, the former born in Fayette County, Ky., April 19, 1822, and the latter in Madison County, Ky., August 9, 1825. The parents married in Menard County, Ill., the ceremony being performed by the Rev. William Crow, a Baptist clergyman. The Stout family came to Sangamon County in a wagon, arriving October 5, 1836, and the grandfather bought land comprising property still owned by the family. Philemon Stout never left this homestead, dying on it October 1, 1910, and his remains being interred in the family cemetery. The paternal grandfather was a native of New Jersey, who moved first to Kentucky and later to Sangamon County, where he secured land for ten dollars per acre and died upon it in 1846. The Grandfather Brasfield went from Virginia to Kentucky, and thence to Menard County, Ill., in 1834, dying, however, on the Stout farm in 1864.
Joab P. Stout attended the Union district school in Ball Township, later spending ten months at the university at Lincoln, Ill. His life has been spent on his present farm and he now owns 670 acres in Sangamon County. He has always been fond of outdoor sports and enjoys his farming because he knows how to do it profitably and thoroughly.
The marriage of Mr. Stout took place in Coles County, Ill., September 15, 1886, to Ida Frank Sawin, born in Coles County, August 14, 1863, daughter of John Gilbert and Lovisa (Jones) Sawin, the former born in Edinburg, Ind., March 1, 1838, and the latter in Coles County, Ill., May 26, 1846. Both survive, residing at Mattoon, Ill., where Mr. Sawin is a dealer in grain. The paternal grandfather was a native of New York, who died in Coles County, as did the maternal grandfather, who was a native of Kentucky. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stout are as follows: John P., born December 21, 1887; Frank L., February 3, 1890; Edith L., March 9, 1892 and George D., July 30, 1899. While Mr. Stout is a Democrat he prefers to cast his vote for the man he believes best fitted for the office, irrespective of party lines. Although not a member of any religious organizations, he generously supports the Baptist Church, to which his family belongs. Mr. Stout has always taken a foremost place in any movement calculated to be beneficial to his community, and is counted among its progressive men. He has been successful in his life work, and at the same time has kept the friendship of those whom he has attached to him.