Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
JOSEPH J. ALVIES
, who carries on general farming and stock raising and shipping on section 20, Gardner township, owns there a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres, the excellent improvements indicating his progressive spirit and practical worth. This place is pleasantly located about eight miles from Springfield, and the owner is numbered among the early settler of Illinois, where he has made his home since 1848, while his residence in Sangamon county covers a period of thirty years, his arrival here being in 1874. Mr. Alvies was born on the island of Madiera, February 2, 1837, and is a son of Manuel Alvies, whose birth occurred on the same island and who, on removing from that locality, went to Port Spain, Trinidad. Subsequently he made his way to New York city, where he remained for about a year then came to the Mississippi valley, locating first at Jacksvonville, Illinois. He continued to carry on agricultural pursuits there until his life's labors were ended in death about 1855. His
wife passed away the same year, her husband surviving her only about a month. In their family were four sons and a daughter, all of whom reached adult age and are yet living with one exception. Anthony was married and died in 1852, leaving three children. The others are Manuel, who owns and operates the old home place; Mrs. Lucada Figueria, of Brooklyn, New York; J. J., of this review; and John, who is a resident of Salt Lake City. He was a solider of the war of the Rebellion, serving for three years and six months, and later he removed to Utah. J. J. Alvies, whose name introduces this record, was reared to manhood in Morgan county, Illinois, spending his boyhood days upon the home farm. His school privileges were extremely limited, so that he is almost wholly self-educated, but experience, reading and observation have made him a well informed man. After arriving at years of maturity he became the owner of a tract of land which he operated for some time and later he engaged in the grocery
business in Jacksonville, where he remained until his removal to Decatur, where he continued in the same line of trade. In 1874 he came to Sangamon county and leased a tract of land, thus operating rented farms for fifteen years. In 1889 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres where he now resides and he has since purchased eighty acres, so that he now has a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres. This is well improved and Mr. Alvies has planted fruit trees and added excellent improvements to his property, his fields of grain returning to him good harvests. He is also engaged in raising and feeding stock, which he sends to city markets having made his first shipment to New York city in 1863. He is well known as a stock feeder and shipper, and this branch of his business returns to him a very gratifying income. In Springfield, on the 25th of April, 1860, Mr. Alvies was united in marriage to Miss Isabella Goviea, who was born on the island of Madiera and came to Illinois during her early
girlhood, being reared and educated in Springfield. Her father was John Goviea, who lived and died in Springfield. Seven children have been born unto our subject and his wife: Esther, the wife of Ambrose Babcock, of Kansas City; J. W., who was formerly a resident of West Liberty, Iowa, but now lives near Tina, Carroll county, Missouri, where he recently purchased four hundred acres of land; Irvin Ernest, who assists in carrying on the home farm; Reese, the wife of Charles Watts, an agriculturist of this county; Della, the wife of William McMillan, a farmer of Sangamon county; Roxie and Gracie, both at home. Mr. Alvies exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and to its principles he has adhered since its organization. His first presidential vote was cast for James C. Fremont in 1856, and in 1860 he supported Abraham Lincoln, with whom he had a personal acquaintance. He has himself never south to figure conspicuously in public office, being
content to do his duty as a private citizen. Both he and his wife hold membership in the First Presbyterian church at Jacksonville, and are people of genuine worth highly esteemed by many friends. When Mr. Alvies started out upon his business career he had no capital or influential friends to assist him. Realizing that there is no "royal road to wealth" he place his dependence upon industry and perseverance, hoping thereby to gain a comfortable competence. This hope he has realized as the years have passed, and today he is numbered among the substantial agriculturists of his community, his life record proving how competent are earnest labor and careful management in the active affairs of life.