COUNCIL, ALVIN, belongs to one of the oldest families of Sangamon County, his grandfather having come to Fancy Creek Township as early as 1819. He was born on the Council homestead, on the Springfield and Peoria turnpike, near his present home, May 19, 1873, son of George Washington and Olivia Laura (Miller) Council. The father was born August 6, 1834, and the mother, a native of West Liberty, Ohio, was born February 17, 1851, and they were married March 24, 1868, locating on the farm where his parents settled in 1819. George W. Council enlisted October 25, 1862, in Company B, One Hundred Thirtieth Illinois Infantry, for three years, and was transferred to Company G, First New Orleans Volunteer Infantry, in which he was Second Lieutenant, in which capacity he served nearly a year after the close of the war, then was honorably discharged.
Hardy Council, father of George W., was born near Tarboro, N.C., September 20, 1793, was taken by his parents to Tennessee, thence to Barren County, Ky., and subsequently to White County, Ill. He was there married in 1816 to Jane Hanna, who was born in Kentucky, February 25, 1795, and the next year they came to Sangamon County on horseback, arriving there in August, 1819, and locating in what became Fancy Creek Township. Mrs. Council brought with her, on her horse, a sack of wheat and many household implements, and Mr. Council carried what farming tools and implements he was able to bring. He built a rough cabin and, unable to obtain a plow, took a grubbing hoe, or old-fashioned mattock, and dug up about an acre and a half of land, on which he sowed the wheat his wife had carried, and raised a good crop. When the land was surveyed there was a line between his cabin and the ground where he had raised his crop, and he was able to enter but one piece, choosing the one containing his habitation. He and Robert McClelland, who came at the same time as himself, cut a large amount of grass, which they stacked for their horses and cattle, but not being aware of the danger from prairie fires, were unprepared for such a contingency, and before they knew it their hay was all burned. They fed their stock by cutting down elm trees so they could eat the buds. He and his wife had seven sons born on the farm, of which five reached maturity: John H., Wesley, William F., Robert and George W. Hardy council and his wife both died in Sangamon County, He July 26, 1873, and she March 30, 1863.
Alvin Council received his education in the public schools and early chose the occupation of farming, in which he has always met with gratifying success. He became associated with his father in farming and stock raising. He has lived twelve years on his present place, which contains two hundred ninety acres of good farm land, and although for the past five years he has been unable to take an active part in its cultivation, still lives there and superintends the work. He belongs to the Methodist Church and is a Republican in political belief. He is a progressive and enterprising citizen and interested in every movement for the general welfare and prosperity. He served some six years as School Director, but otherwise has held no public office. He is one of the best known men in the community, where he has a large number of friends.
Mr. Council was married January 17, 1898, to Rita Kate Barber, also a native of Fancy Creek Township, born April 12, 1877, daughter of Andrew Jackson and Margaret Elizabeth (Lake) Barber, her father a native of Virginia, born in Fauquier county, October 5, 1836, and her mother born in Fancy Creek Township, December 15, 1843. The grandfather of Mrs. Council, Bayliss G. Lake, was born in Fauquier County, Va., November 1, 1795, and was married in Frederick County, October 5, 1820, to Eliza Glascock, born in Loudoun County, October 31, 1800. They moved to Clark County, Ohio, where three children were born. Bayliss G. Lake, and John McBeth started April 3, 1827, on foot to see Illinois, and arrived at Springfield, April 14. After spending a month with some friends in Sangamon County, Mr. Lake made an engagement to help herd some cattle and drive them east, and arrived home in June of that year with more money than he had when he started. He returned to Sangamon County with his family, taking a wagon drawn by four horses, and arriving in the fall of 1827, in what became Fancy Creek Township, where he and his wife had six more children.
Two children have been born to Alvin Council and wife, Florence Bessie, October 3, 1900, and Harold Barber, February 28, 1901.