DANIELS, JAMES M., who has long been a resident of Sangamon County, Ill., and has seen many changes take place in this section, has the distinction of being one of the self-made men of Pleasant Plains, where he is now engaged in the poultry, egg and fish business. Mr. Daniels was born near Chillicothe, Ohio, November, 18, 1841, a son of John and Percilla (Radcliff) Daniels, and a grandson on the paternal side of a Revolutionary soldier who served throughout the war.
The parents of Mr. Daniels, both natives of West Virginia, were married in that State, which they left about 1827 to go to Chillicothe, Ohio, where seven of their fourteen children were born. Of their children those living are: Nancy Daniels, widow of Chesley D. Smith, now residing in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Samuel, who resides in South Dakota; and James M. In 1849 John Daniels and wife settled in Cartwright Township, Sangamon County, but in 1852 the family went to Daviess County, Mo., and lived until 1858, then moved to Abingdon, Ill. While at this place the mother and two children died of cholera, there being an epidemic in Illinois at that time, and the father returned to Daviess County, Mo., where he remained until his death in February, 1865.
In 1860, when but nineteen years old, James M. Daniels decided to return to Illinois, working his passage back by helping his brother-in-law, William Willis, drive his stock from Missouri to Sangamon County. He had left with a cash capital of ten cents in his pocket, but during a friendly scuffle with his brother, John, lost this small sum. John Daniels afterwards went to Centralia, Ill., and there died. Thrown thus on his own resources, James M. Daniels secured work by the month in Illinois and about 1866 had saved enough to rent a farm. On January 9, 1868, he was united in marriage with Miss Matilda Parkison, who was born near Circleville, Ohio, November 15, 1850, daughter of Hugh and Ellen Frances (Jackson) Parkison, natives of New York and Baltimore, Md., respectively. The Jackson and Parkison families both removed to Circleville, Ohio, where Mrs. Daniels' parents were married, and they came to Illinois in 1856, settling in Cartwright Township, where Mr. Parkison carried on farming until 1874, in that year removing to Christian County. Here he purchased a farm, which he operated until his death about 1892, while his widow still survives, having reached the ripe old age of eighty-five years. To them there were born a large family of children as follows: Stephen, who died at the age of forty-one years; David, who died in 1901, when fifty years of age; Carrie, who was the wife of George Sutton, both being deceased; Sarah, who died at the age of sixty-four years; John who lived with his mother at Millersville, Ill.; Joseph, a retired merchant of Springfield; Ella, the wife of Thomas W. Knott, of Millersville; Anna, the wife of Cyrus Moore, of Assumption; Minnie, the wife of Edward Allison, of Chicago; William, a farmer near Pana; and Newton, residing at Shelbyville, Ill.
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Daniels located on a farm and in 1871 purchased a farm in Cartwright Township, which Mr. Daniels operated until 1882, then selling out to buy the farm now operated by Marshall Grider. In 1887 that farm was sold and Mr. Daniels entered the lumber business, but for the past few years he has been engaged in the egg, poultry and fish business at Pleasant Plains. He can look back with pleasure over his many years of hard work from the time when the present town of Pleasant Plains was but a mud hole and the country wild and uncultivated, and can also take pleasure in the fact the he is now a substantial business man through the efforts and industry he has expended, from the time when his capital was ten cents. Mr. and Mrs. Daniels now reside in a pleasant home on East North First Street, where all the friends of the family are sure of a hearty welcome. They have long been members of the Methodist Church and Mr. Daniels, while never seeking public preferment, has always been interested in Democratic politics. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America at Pleasant Plains.
Mr. and Mrs. Daniels have had four children: David, born September 4, 1869, a traveling lumber salesman whose home is in Springfield, married Olive Smith; Luther, born September 18, 1871, section foreman for the Central Pacific & Saint Louis Railroad Company, married Mollie McGraw and has one child, Velma; Hattie, born October 10, 1873, is the wife of Albert Irwin, of Flora, Ill., and has two sons - Loran and Leonard; and James A., born October 15, 1876, Cashier of the bank of Heyworth, Ill., married Miss Libbie Purvines and had two children, Russell and Guinlin.