Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
BALDWIN, WESLEY, a retired farmer residing at Mechanicsburg, Ill., was born in Greene County, Ind., November 17, 1832, and is a son of Elija and Rachel (Bland) Baldwin, the former born in Kentucky and the latter in Indiana. Elija Baldwin was a farmer by occupation and as a young man moved to Indiana, locating in Clark County, where he remained several years, then removed to Greene County, where he lived until 1855, then came to Illinois and settled on a farm in Christian County. They were parents of fours sons and three daughters, of whom Wesley is the only survivor. The latter received his education in Indiana and Illinois country schools and as a young man assisted his father in the work of carrying on the farm.
Until 1868 Wesley Baldwin carried on a farm in Christian County, then removed to Sangamon County and continued farming until 1898, when he retired from active life and came to his present home. He owns a good piece of property in Mechancisburg and is one of that town's most respected citizens. He was successful as a farmer and is a useful, public-spirited citizen.
Mr. Baldwin was married (first) in Fulton County, in 1866, to Lucinda Baldwin, who was not a relative, although bearing the same surname. She was a native of Missouri and died in1875, having borne her husband three sons, who survive, and one daughter, who is deceased. The former are: Fred R., a resident of Louisville, Ill.; Edward, of South Dakota; Alonzo, also of South Dakota. Mr. Baldwin married (second) January 2, 1878, at St. Louis, Mo., Mrs. Sarah A. (Kelly) Holmes, born in Missouri, January 15, 1830, daughter of William Kelly and his wife, the former born in Ireland and the latter in Germany. Mr. Kelly came to America as a young man and first located in Sangamon County, but a short time later removed to Missouri and spent two years there, after which he returned to Mechanicsburg Township, where he spent the remainder of his life on a farm. The mother died in Kansas, where she had gone for a visit. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly were parents of seven sons and eleven daughters, of whom eight daughters now survive. Mr. Kelly enlisted from Springfield for service in the Civil War, in Company A., Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, served three years, then was taken sick, was brought home and soon afterward died. Two of his sons served in the same company and both were killed in service. Mr. Kelly was personally acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, with whom he worked and split rails. Mrs. Baldwin was also personally acquainted with the Lincoln family and visit the home many times. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin became parents of two children and of these only one survives, Dovey, wife of Samuel Farmer, a blacksmith of Mechanicsburg. Mrs. Baldwin's first husband was James H. Holmes, by whom she had nine children, of whom six are now living: Elizabeth, Tilda, William, Sarah, John, Joseph (now residing in California); Elizabeth married Reuben Benedict, custodian of the cemetery at Mechanicsburg; Tilda is the wife of Samuel T. Metcalf, a farmer of Mechanicsburg Township; William is a farmer near Blue Mound, Ill.; Sarah is the wife of Clement Murphy, also a farmer of Mechanicsburg Township; John is also a farmer of the same township. There are eleven grandchildren in the family and two great-grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are members of the Christian Church, and in politics he is a Republican.