G. M. COONS is one of the most highly respected members of the farming community of this county, with whose agricultural interests he has been connected for many years. He has a finely improved farm in New Berlin Township, and is now enjoying the closing years of a busy life in one of the most comfortable homes of this locality. He is a native of Woodford County, Ky., where his birth occurred September 3, 1816. He comes of sterling Revolutionary stock, his paternal grandfather having served in the Revolutionary War under Gen. Washington.
The parents of our subject were Martin and Margaret Coons, natives respectively of Virginia and Lexington, Ky. They left their early Kentucky home in 1825, and making their way through the wilderness that intervened, became pioneers of Morgan County, being among the first to settle in that section. The father entered a large tract of land and actively entered upon the work of developing a farm. He departed this life in 1867 at a venerable age. He early mingled in the political life of his native State and was well acquainted with Henry Clay. He was a man of much decision of character and was highly regarded by all who knew him. His wife preceded him in death many years, her life closing April 13, 1844, and both are sleeping their last sleep near their pioneer home in Morgan County.
Our subject was only a boy when his parents came to this State, but he has a distinct recollection of his early life amid pioneer surroundings and recollects the many hardships and privations that the early settlers of the State were called upon to endure during the winter of the deep snow in 1830-31. Where his parents settled the country was in a very wild condition, and the woods were full of wild hogs, deer, wild turkeys and other game and Mr. Coons relates many entertaining stories about his early hunts in Morgan County.
Our subject was married in Morgan County to Mary Jane Sturgess, April 4, 1844. They began housekeeping on a very limited scale. Their bed was constructed of rough boards and one skillet was their sole cooking utensil. He often managed to kill game to replenish their scanty larder. Mr. Coons began life as a farmer by renting a small tract of land for two years, and with $150 in cash bought his first land, comprising sixty acres in Morgan County. He farmed there successfully some years, but thinking that he could do still better on the rich soil of Sangamon County, he came here in 1853 and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 15, New Berlin Township for which he paid $3,000. He has developed from this tract a beautiful farm whose rich soil yields him abundant harvests. He has placed upon it first-class improvements, including substantial and conveniently arranged buildings and has here a pleasant home, finely situated two miles from New Berlin.
Death crossed the threshold of the home of our subject September 28, 1861, and took away from it his beloved wife. She was a woman of great worth and besides her husband and ten children, left many warm friends to mourn her loss. Her life was guided by high Christian principles and for eighteen years previous to her death she was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church.
The life of our subject is somewhat lonely since the companion of his early manhood passed out of it, yet he is content as he does not mourn her death as one without hope, his sincere Christian faith leading him to firmly believe that in another world they will be united where there will be no more parting. He is a member of the Baptist Church and his daily life shows the sincerity of his religious profession.