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

Page 985

BURGESS TAINTOR - Burgess Taintor was for many years identified with agricultural interests in Sangamon county, but is now living retired at No. 702 Black avenue. He was born in Harford, Cortland county, New York, on the 30th of December, 1834, and was educated in the public schools of that state, while upon the home farm he spent the days of his boyhood and youth, there remaining until the spring of 1854, when, at the age of twenty years, he went to Moravia, New York. At that place he worked in order to earn money to bring him to Illinois, where lived his uncle, Eli Taintor, and on the 13th of December, 1854, he arrived in Springfield. This was the year the Chicago & Alton Railroad was built to Chicago. Our subject began working for his uncle, who was owner of a brickyard at the corner of Washington and West Grand avenue, and was to receive thirteen dollars per month for his services. As his uncle conducted a boarding house, he also lived with him.

In 1860 he returned to Harford, New York, and was there married, on the 23d of June, to Miss Sallie A. Reed, a sister of Charles D. Reed, of this city. She was also born in Cortland county, New York, and by their marriage they became the parents of five children, but four died in infancy. One daughter, Ella May, born June 11, 1862, reached mature years and became the wife of Daniel A. Hillman. She died June 18, 1889. Mrs. Taintor, who was born August 21, 1838, and was a daughter of Asa and Laura Reed, passed away October 8, 1872. On the 6th of March, 1873, Mr. Taintor was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Mary Trotter, the widow of George Trotter, who by her first marriage had a daughter, Jennie, now residing in St. Louis. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Taintor were born three children. Alvah Burgess, born March 15, 1875, and now residing in Springfield, married Alice Woodruff, and they have three children, William Burgess, Esther and Harry. Effie, born May 10, 1878, is the wife of Forbes Stanton and by a former marriage she had a daughter, Ruth Hodges. Jessie, the third member of the family, died in infancy, and the mother passed away January 15, 1883. On the 4th of October of the same year Mr. Taintor wedded Mrs. Anna Mowery, a widow, who had three children.

After his first marriage, in 1860, he spent about a year in New York and then returned to Springfield. Not being able to collect the money he had earned while he was employed by his uncle, he brought suit in the United States court and in this way obtained a ten-acre tract of land, located at the corner of Washington and West Grand avenue. He moved into a log cabin, which stood upon that place, and cut wood for a living. During the period of the Civil war he also made brick by the thousand for the firm of Keys & Philip, and he built the brock house which is now standing on the piece of ground which he secured through the lawsuit. He also excavated the cellar for the Leland Hotel and made various other excavations of a like nature. In 1866 he sold his place in the city and the same year purchased a farm of two hundred acres on section 15, Cotton Hill township, and forty acres of timber land on section 4 of the same township. After cutting off the timber he sold the latter tract, but to his farm he kept adding from time to time until he now has three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land on section 15. This he cultivated and improved, carrying on general farming for eight years. He lived upon his place until 1875, when he removed to Springfield township and purchased a fruit farm of forty-three acres, of which he sold thirty acres to his brother, P. E. Taintor. For twenty-three years he resided upon that place and then disposed of that property, in 1898, and purchased his home in Springfield. His life has been one of untiring industry and his unremitting diligence has been the means of bringing to him creditable success, enabling him at the present time to live retired. In addition to his own residence in the city he has four dwellings which he rents. He has always been generous to his family, finding his greatest happiness in providing for their welfare. When in Cotton Hill township Mr. Taintor served as town clerk for one term and he has ever been interested in measures of a public nature which have for their object the welfare and progress of the community. In demeanor he is modest and reserved, yet the true worth of his character is recognized by all with whom he has been associated.

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