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

THEOPHILUS A. SHUFF. - Theophilus A. Shuff, who resides on section 20, New Berlin township, owns and operates a valuable farm of six hundred and fifty acres near the village of New Berlin, its neat and thrifty appearance well indicating his careful supervision. Substantial improvements are surrounded by well tilled fields and all of the accessories and conveniences of a model farm are there found.

Mr. Shuff was born in Island Grove township, this county, October 28, 1849, and is a son of Anthony H. Shuff, a native of Gallatin county, in 1811. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Shuff, was a native of Virginia, his ancestors having settled in that state on their emigration from Germany to the new world at an early day. Jacob Shuff was a soldier of the war of 1812. On leaving the Old Dominion he removed to Gallatin county, Kentucky, and later settled in Scott county, that state.

In his native state Anthony H. Shuff passed the days of his boyhood and youth, and in 1831, when a young man, came to Illinois, but afterward returned to Kentucky. It was not until 1833 that he located permanently in this state and purchased a farm in Island Grove township, Sangamon county, which had been partially improved and a log cabin erected thereon. Later he built a much better house and made many other improvements upon the place. He became the owner of seven hundred acres of land and to its cultivation he devoted his attention until his death in 1878. Here he married Siron Foutch, who was born in Maryland of French ancestry, but was mainly reared in Indiana. Mr. Shuff was a well educated man and engaged in teaching school both before and after his marriage. He was a man in whom the people placed the utmost confidence and he was called upon to administer numerous estates.

The subject of this review was one of a family of five sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are still living. William H., the eldest, died at the age of fifty-two years. John W., who was a soldier of the civil war and rose from private to captain of his company, married, but he and his wife and children are all now deceased. Millard Fillmore died when about twenty-five years of age. James A. is a farmer of Newton county, Missouri. Caroline is the wife of M. E. Shultz, of Beatrice, Nebraska. Nancy H. is a resident of California. Mary A. wedded Dr. John A. Walker, a prominent physician of Illinois, and they died, leaving two children.

Theophilus A. Shuff was reared in much the usual manner of farmer boys of his day and after attending the common schools of this county he became a student of Shurtleff College at Alton, Illinois. When he had completed his education he returned home and commenced farming on his own account. His first piece of property consisted of ninety acres, which he operated for two or three years and then sold, buying a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Cartwright township, where he was living at the time of his marriage. He later purchased an adjoining one hundred and twenty acres, and his wife had inherited a tract of similar size they then had three hundred and sixty acres, which has been converted into a fine farm. Selling out in 1888 Mr. Shuff bought his present farm of four hundred and sixty acres of well improved land and has since purchased other property, so that he now has six hundred and fifty acres. In connection with general farming he has engaged in the raising and feeding of stock and now handles about four hundred head of cattle and a large amount of hogs annually.

In this county, March 19, 1878, Mr. Shuff married Miss Amma M. Boynton, who was born in Cartwright township and is a daughter of Gilman Boynton, one of the early settlers from Vermont. They have become the parents of five children, one son and four daughters: Charles B., Nellie M., Bessie, Flora and Mabel, all at home. The wife and mother is a member of the Baptist church, but Mr. Shuff, though reared in that faith, is not a member of any religious denomination. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the men and measures of the Republican party. In his farming operations he has met with the success that usually follows the industrious and enterprising man, and although he began life for himself with but little capital, he is today one of the most prosperous and substantial farmers of his community, as well as one of its most esteemed and honored citizens. He has been an eye witness of the wonderful changes that have taken place in this section of the state form pioneer days down to the present and has ever borne his part in the work of development and progress.

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