Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

J. M. GATTON. - J. M. Gatton is living on section 34, Woodside township, and devotes his time and attention to farming and stock raising. His place comprises one hundred and forty-two acres of rich land and is pleasantly located within seven miles of the city of Springfield. This farm was his birthplace and the house in which he resides was also that in which he first opened his eyes to the light of day on the 18th of April, 1850. His father, Josephus Gatton, was born in Grayson county, Kentucky, about 1803, and there spent his boyhood and youth, coming to Sangamon county, Illinois, when a young man. He married his second wife here, her maiden name being Evaline Husband. She was born in Christian county, Kentucky, in 1813. Mr. Gatton arrived in Illinois about 1824 and was, therefore, a "snowbird." He purchased land which was wild and unimproved and clearing this he prepared it for the plow and soon placed it under a high state of cultivation. He built a large house and barn and was very successful in his farming operations owning at different times several valuable farms in Sangamon county. He had a number of different properties before he purchased the old homestead place, upon which his son J. M. Gatton is now living. At length, however, he became the owner of that tract, which he cleared and improved and as the years advanced transformed it into a very productive place. He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Burtle. There were two sons and three daughters by that marriage and as before stated his second wife bore the maiden name of Evaline Husband. Mr. Gatton spent his last years on the old homestead and died in March, 1876, while his wife, surviving him several years, passed away in 1890. By the last marriage there were the following children: John Newton, of Springfield; Eliza J., the wife of John Bliss, of this city; James H., a resident of Missouri; Susan Evaline, the wife of Calvin Drennan, of Loami township; and Walter T., who was reared in this county and died here March 4, 1886. His wife survives him and is acting as housekeeper for M. J. Gatton. She has one son, Walter T., who also resides on his uncle's farm.

J. M. Gatton spent his boyhood days in the usual manner of farmer lads, working in the fields through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he attended the public school. He remained with his father upon the old homestead until he had attained his majority and rendered to him valuable aid in its care and improvement. After his father's death he purchased the interest of the other heirs in the old homestead and thus succeeded to the ownership of what is now a very valuable and well developed farm. He is methodical and systematic in his work and brings to bear upon his duties practical common sense so that he is making his land to yield the best returns possible. Politically he was formerly a Democrat, but now is independent in politics, voting for principle rather than party. He has served as assessor and collector, has also been a member of the school board and the cause of education has found in him a good friend. In fact, he is progressive in all matters of citizenship, believing firmly in advancement along substantial lines of improvement. He is well known in Springfield as a man of integrity and worth and like others of the family is highly esteemed in Sangamon county.

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