STOUT, PHILEMON (deceased). - In the annals of Sangamon County no name occurs more frequently than that of Stout, for not only was the family bearing that name one of the first to be founded here, but its representatives have always been men of high character, active in the promulgation of educational, material dnd spiritual matters, and there are many of them still left here, while numerous others have gone out into other parts of the country to aid in developing and advancing civilization. The history of the Stout family is very interesting and has been compiled and issued in pamphlet form. It was founded in what is now Middletown, Monmouth County, N.J., in 1848, by Richard Stout, a son of John Stout, both of whom were born in Nottinghamshire, England. Richard Stout married, after his arrival in the Colonies, a young widow whose maiden name had been Penelope Van princes. Her husband had been killed by the Indians, and she suffered mutilation from their hands, bur fortunately recovered, and made her second husband a good and faithful wife. They had seven sons and three daughters, and through the seventh son, David, are descended the Sangamon County Stouts.
David Stout, born in 1706, married Elizabeth Larrison, and they had four sons and five daughters. One of these was Benjamin, who married first a Mrs. Ketcham, and later Mary Higgins, and his second son Jedediah is the fourth in the line of the Sangamon County Stouts.
Jedediah Stout had a son Philemon, born in New Jersey, May 18, 1785. When a lad, the family moved to Fayette County, Ky., and on February 8, 1810, he married in Woodford County, Ky., Penelope Anderson. In 1836, animated by the spirit which seems to have inspired members of the Stout family to constantly move further westward, removal was made to Sangamon County, Ill. In this year, therefore, the family was founded here, settlement being made in Ball Township on 350 acres of land. Later this passed into possession of Philemon Stout, Jr., son of the elder Philemon Stout, and is now owned by Joab P. Stout. Philemon Stout, Sr., died in Sangamon County, on his new farm, January 31, 1846, but his widow survived him until November 23, 1860, when she too passed away.
Philemon Stout, Jr., was born in Scott County, Ky., near Georgetown, April 19, 1822, and was only fifteen years old when the family located in Ball Township, this county. He had attended school in his native county, but after coming to Illinois was only given four weeks schooling, as the demands of the pioneer farm taxed his energy. After his father's death, much of the responsibility of the farm work fell upon his shoulders, and eventually he became owner of the homestead, adding to his holdings until at one time he had over 2,000 acres. The present beautiful farm residence was erected by him, and he made many improvements, believing in enriching his land and using the latest improvements.
In 1848, Mr. Stout was married in Ball Township, to Melissa Shoup, born in Piqua, Ohio, daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Downing) Shoup. Mr. Shoup came from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and thence, in 1832, to Sangamon County, where he died in 1848, his wife surviving him. The children of this marriage were Samuel J., Sarah P. and George W. who died in early childhood, and John P. who died when ten years old. After the death of his first wife, mr. Stout married, near Athens, Menard County, in 1850, Louisa Brasfield, born in Madison County, Ky., daughter of James E. Brasfield. Mr. and Mrs. Stout had the following children: James, deceased; Joab P., whose biography occurs elsewhere in this work; Melissa M., wife of William T. Lewis.
Mr. Stout was a Democrat, and served as School Director, Highway Commissioner, Supervisor and Justice of the Peace for many years, giving an honorable, conscientious attention t the duties of the several offices. In the Baptist Church he was not only a consistent member, but an earnest worker and Deacon. His death occurred October 1, 1910, and his remains were interred in the little family cemetery on the Stout home farm, where the dust of others of the same name await the resurrection call. No man stood higher in the estimation of the people of Sangamon County than this kindly, genial gentleman who never forgot the Christianity he professed, but took his religion into his every day life, and gave to every one the treatment he asked in return. Charitable, he never openly spoke of his benefactions, preferring to keep them to himself, and he not only aided many materially, but gave sage, moral advice that steadied many and set wandering feet in the right path. Mr. Stout has passed from this mortal life, but the influence of his upright, moral life remains, and his children delight in recalling his good deeds, and profiting by his example.