STRODE, JOHN A. , for many years a farmer in Fancy Creek Township, Sangamon County, and now living retired from active life in the city of Springfield, is honored as a veteran of the Civil War and respected as a public spirited and useful citizen. He was born January 4, 1834, in Sangamon County, a son of John and Mary (Stringfield) Strode, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Kentucky. The father moved to Kentucky as a young man, lived there several years, and became one of the earliest settlers of Sangamon County, coming there in 1818 and settling near the Sangamon River, which he crossed, and there entered 200 acres of land from the Government. He spent the remainder of his life on this farm, passing away in 1866, and his wife in 1881. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Gen. Jackson at the last battle, at New Orleans, after which he returned to Kentucky and spent a few years there. He and his wife had six daughters and five sons and the only one now surviving is John A. One son, James, served in the One Hundred Fifteenth Illinois Volunteers and was killed at Chickamauga.
Mr. Strode was educated in the country schools of his native county, which were held in log buildings, with rude furniture, meanwhile working on his father's farm until the death of the latter. He then engaged in farming in Fancy Creek Township for himself, buying some land and continued to operate it until moving to the city, in January, 1898. In 1862, he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Moore, in the Methodist Preacher Brigade, and served until 1864, being discharged at Nashville. He participated in many important battles, and spent four months in the hospital at Nashville. He won the respect of his fellows and performed every duty faithfully and well. He is now a member of Stephenson Post No. 30, G.A.R., of Springfield. Mr. strode was a personal acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln and entertains the kindest memories of that great man.
Mr. Strode was married at Bloomington, Ill., February 20, 1856, to Miss Letitia Gilmore, a native of Ohio, born September 19, 1836, daughter of John Gilmore. Her father was born in Scotland and her mother near Philadelphia, Pa. Mr. Gilmore came to America as a young man, spent several years in Pennsylvania, and later moved to Ohio. Both he and his wife died when Mrs. strode was a small child. He was a contractor for the construction of canals, mills and turnpikes, and the family came to Vermilion County, Ill., when their daughter was very young and there the father built a mill on Vermilion River. The mother died there and the father took his family to Lexington, McLean County, where his death occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Strode had five children, of whom but two survive: Alice, wife of Jesse Mitts, a farmer of Fancy Creek Township, and Minnie, wife of Edward Gentry, of Mason City, Iowa. Victoria, wife of A. Birdsell, died leaving no children. There are fourteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren in the family. Mrs. Strode's parents had two sons and three daughters and she is the only survivor of the family. Mr. Strode is a member of the Methodist Church and his wife of the United Brethren. They own a nice home at 1118 East Reservoir Street and also retain a farm in Fancy Creek Township, which they formerly occupied, and which is now managed by his son-in-law.