DAY, EDWARD CHESTER - Farming rich Sangamon County land is a very profitable business, now that agriculturists operate along scientific lines, and one who is making a success of his work is Edward Chester Day, of Section 26, Illiopolis Township. He was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., May 6, 1842, a son of Frank and Amelia (Hogal) Day, natives of Massachusetts, the father having been born May 16, 1816. He was a farmer who emigrated to Springfield, Ill., in 1852, spent three years farming in that vicinity , and was also superintendent of a sawmill. In 1855 he moved to Decatur, to become superintendent of a saw-mill, where he remained until 1862. In that year he embarked in a grocery business, continuing for twelve years when he moved to Michigan. Spending two years in that State, he then went to Oakley, Ill., where he established a general store, remaining there until his death, which occurred in 1901. He and his wife had two daughters and one son; Amelia, who became the wife of Edward Bullman, a traveling salesman, who lived in Chicago until his death, when his widow married Walter Griffith, Superintendent of the Knickerbocker Roofing Company, of Chicago; Miranda, who married A. Fitzgerald and lives in Chicago; and Edward C.
The education of Edward Chester Day was obtained in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., and Springfield and Decatur, Ill. He assisted his father in all his undertakings, until the latter left Decatur. The young man then went to Lake Fork, Logan County, Ill., where he farmed until his enlistment, on August 9, 1862, in Company B, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He participated in many bloody engagements, including the Siege of Vicksburg, Little Rock and others. One of his painful duties was assisting in burying twenty-seven of his own regiment in a well. Food during those terrible days was very scarce, so that cattle were seized and cooked with gunpowder as salt. After many exciting experiments and many narrow escapes, Mr. Day was mustered out at Pine Bluff, Ark., July 12, 1865, and honorably discharged at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill., August 9, 1865. He then went to Michigan, where he remained during the winter, but later went to the southern part of the State and spent six months. He then went to Traverse Bay, Mich., but a short time later moved to Manistee, Mich., returning to Sangamon County in 1868. He located four miles south of Illiopolis, where he farmed five years, then went to Illiopolis and lived there five years more. He then bought the farm he now owns, consisting of eighty acres in Section 26, Illiopolis Township, which has become very valuable.
Mr. Day was married near Illiopolis, in 1868, to Mary Gassaway, born in Ohio, in March, 1842. Her parents both died in her infancy, and she did not remember either. Her death occurred in January, 1884, after she had borne her husband four daughters and two sons, three of whom survive: Frank R., who lives with his father; Amelia, wife of John Denlian, a farmer, of Butler County, Kan., and Mary E., wife of L. A. Bullman, of Chicago, an officer of one of the lake vessels. There are seven grandchildren in the family. A veteran of the Civil War, Mr. Day is entitled to distinguished honor for his bravery and patriotic spirit and his after efforts to establish himself, overcoming the disabilities from which all soldiers suffered, in greater or less degree, as a result of exposure and hardship. He enjoys his connections with the Illiopolis Post G.A.R., of which he is Adjutant, as well as with the Knights of Pythias. The Methodist church holds his membership. Always a strong Democrat, he has been called upon to hold the offices of Commissioner of Highways, Assessor and Collector, all for one term, in Illiopolis Township.