Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
LORTON, ALBERT PERRY, one of Sangamon County's most distinguished citizens, who for many years has been prominently identified with the educational, religious and official interests of the village of Auburn, Ill., is a member of an old and honored family and a direct descendant of a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Mr. Lorton was born October 13, 1848, in a log cabin on Lorton's Prairie, three miles east of Whitehall, Greene County, Ill., a son of Thomas Johnson and Mary Elizabeth (Crabtree) Lorton.
Robert Lorton, the great-grandfather of Albert P. Lorton, was born February 15, 1747, and was married to Tabitha Gamaway, who was born in Buckingham County, Va., May 14, 1763. The children of this couple whom the record shows as living in 1844 were: John, born in October, 1780, who came to Madison County, Ill., in 1800 and held a commission under the Government to teach the Indians; Robert A., born September 11, 1782; Thomas, born December 9, 1784; William, born in April, 1786; Joseph, born April 25, 1788; Mary, born December 9, 1790; Henry; Sarah, born December 11, 1799; Mordecai, and Susannah. Robert Lorton emigrated from his native State in Kentucky and thence to Bond County, Ill., in 1822, and later removed to Greene County, where he died May 16, 1833, his widow surviving him until August 15, 1838, and most of their children and grandchildren were at the bedside of each. Robert Lorton was one of the pioneers of this section of the State, coming here when the land, the wild animals and the wilder men were still unconquered, and doing his full share in building up his community and advancing the cause of civilization. He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War and his record, as it is on file, is hereby given:
Washington, D. C.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions
Record Division 3 - 525, I. S. C, R File 6454, Robert Lorton, Rev. War.
Soldier of the Revolutionary War. Information as contained in his (or widow's) application for pension on file in this Bureau.
Date of enlistment, February, 1776; length of service, 2 years; rank, private; officers under whom service was rendered, Captain John Martin; State, 4th Virginia.
Date of enlistment, February, 1780; length of service, 6 months; rank, private; officers under whom service was rendered, Colonel Adam Stephen, ____Holcomb; State, Virginia Militia.
Battles engaged in: Trenton, 1776; Brandywine and Germantown.
Residence of Soldier at Enlistment: Not stated.
Residence at Date: not stated. Bond County in 1822
Age at Date of Application: Born February 15, 1747, died May 16 1833, in Greene County, Ill.
Solider Married: In Buckingham County, Va., August 15, 1779, to Tabitha Gamaway, born May 14, 1763, died August 15, 1838, in Greene County, Ill.
Children: (alive in 1844) John, born October 1780; Robert, September 11, 1782; Thomas December 9, 1784; William, April, 1786; Joseph, April 25, 1788; Mary Nance, December 9, 1790; Henry, born August 4, 179?; Sarah Chapman, December 11, 1799; and Susanna Panky.
(Signed) J. T. Davenport, Commissioner (Copy)
Robert A. Lorton, the paternal grandfather of Albert Perry Lorton, was born in Henry County, Va., September 11, 1782, and as a young man came to Illinois in 1806, but returned to his native State soon afterwards, and from there enlisted for service in the War of 1812. Later he went to Kentucky, and emigrated thence to Illinois in 1821, settling in Greene County, where he built the second log cabin north of Apple Creek, on what is known as Lorton's Prairie, east of White Hall. His elder brother, John, had come to this section in the spring of 1821 and Robert A. followed him in the fall of the same year. He died at Mt. Auburn, Ill., in April 1869. Mr. Lorton was married to Mary Johnson, who was born in Kentucky and to them were born the following children: John, William B., Thirsey, Thomas Johnson, James, Maria, Jackson, Roderick R. and Amelia, all of whom are now deceased with the exception of Thomas Johnson.
The maternal grandfather of Mr. Lorton, Jacob Crabtree, was born in Wilson County, Tenn., February 15, 1801, and there married Martha Baily, who was born in the same county May 22, 1804. They emigrated to Illinois in 1832, settling in Morgan County, but soon thereafter removed to a farm he had entered three miles west of Manchester and there spent the remainder of their long and useful lives, the farm now being the property of their son, W. A. Crabtree. Both Mr. and Mrs. Crabtree were of old Revolutionary stock.
Thomas Johnson Lorton, father of Albert Perry Lorton, was born February 13, 1821, at Old Ripley, Bond County, Ill. In young manhood he engaged in farming and developed five farms from the raw prairie. In 1844 he went to Texas and voted for Polk and Dallas at Little Rock, Ark. He and his wife now reside at St. Louis, Mo., Mr. Lorton having attained the advanced age of ninety years. Thomas J. Lorton was married (first) to Mary Elizabeth Crabtree, who was born in Wilson County, Tenn., October 23, 1822, and to this union there were born children as follows: William Sylvester, born July 20, 1847, was a solider of the Civil War, and died at St. Louis, Mo., March 15,1906 and was buried in the Federal Cemetery Grave No. 12,051, his family now residing at Houston, Tex.; Albert Perry; James Jackson, born January 2, 1851, died at Harvel, Ill., Jacob Wesley, born March 22, 1853, died at Mexico, Mo., January 16, 1903; Martha Jane, born March 10, 1855, died March, 1856, at Mt. Auburn, Ill.; Robert A., born February 2, 1856, died October 11, 1883, at Raymond, Ill.; John Oscar, born September 1, 1858, living at Roodhouse, Ill.; and Joseph, born August 10, 1860, died in September of the same year. The mother of the foregoing children died August 10, 1860, and on February 25, 1862, Mr. Lorton was married to Phoebe Hutton, by whom he had the following children: Sarah, born December 25, 1862, died May 18, 1893, at Higbee, Mo.; Thirsey Jane, born August 11, 1864, died February 9, 1892, at Honey Bend, Ill.; George Washington, born October 21, 1866, living in St. Louis, Mo.; Alice born February 22, 1869, living at Carlton, Ill.; Edward, born January 16, 1872, died at Highbee, Mo., October 18, 1889; Benjamin, born June 1, 1874, living in Carlton, Ill.; Henry Otis, born January 3, 1877, died at Roodhouse, Ill., October 26,1896; Grace born May 3, 1881, living west of St. Louis, Mo.; Mary Emily, born September 16, 1883, died February 28, 1884, at Raymond, Ill.; Freddie, born August 16, 1885, died February 3, 1888, at Higbee, Mo.; and Thomas, born January 7, 1887, died July 13, 1887, at Raymond, Ill.
Albert Perry Lorton was two years of age when his parents removed to Mt. Auburn, Christian County, Ill., and he spent his early life on a farm, securing his education in the common schools. When twelve years of age he started to work out, receiving $12 per month, which at that time was considered by good wages for a boy. On February 22, 188, he came to Auburn, where he has resided to the present time, at first engaging in the grocery business for a period extending over five years, and now being engaged in the insurance business. For twenty-four years he has been local correspondent for the "Virden Reporter," a local newspaper published at Virden, Ill. He has been closely connected with the official affairs of this section for an extensive period, having served as City Marshal of Auburn for four years, Superintendent of Streets for eight years, a like period as Police Magistrate. He represented Auburn Township on the Board of Supervisors and was Chairman of that body when the State Fair was located at Springfield, signing the deeds transferring the property of the county to the State and taking an active interest in all the work at that time. HE has been a Justice of the Peace for nine years, is now serving his third term in that office, has been a notary Public for the same length of time, and for many years was a member of the County Senatorial Democratic Committees. In March, 1870, Mr. Lorton joined the Advent Christian Church, has since served as Sunday School Superintendent and Secretary, and is now Trustee of the Southern Illinois Advent Christian Conference and Trustee of Sanderlin Academy, a colored college located at White, Tenn. Mr.Lorton is well known in fraternal circles, having , December 27, 1871, joined the Ark and Anchor Lodge No. 354, A.F. & A. M., located at Auburn, Ill. He has served as Worshipful Master for several terms, has filled all the offices in the lodge except Tyler and Treasurer, and his present term as Secretary will round out thirty-four years in office in this lodge. He is now High Priest of Auburn Chapter, No. 92, R.A. M., and Thrice Illustrious Master of Auburn Council No. 90, R.S. M.
On September 29, 1874, Mr. Lorton was united in marriage with Rebecca Williamson, Rev. A. S. Calkins officiating. To this union two children were born: J. Crawford, born at the Williamson homestead May 15, 1876; and Floyd Orlando, born two miles south of Curran, Ill. J. Crawford Lorton was married April 19, 1899, at St. Louis, Mo., by Rev. W. W. King, to Delia Higgins, who was born December 8, 1877, at Pawnee, Ill. Floyd Orlando Lorton was married at Clinton, Ill., by Rev. S. E. Black, to Zola May Gates, who was born May 15, 1880, at Nilwood, Ill., and to this union there has been born one child: Albert Perry Lorton, Jr., who was born August 18, 1906, at the home of his grandfather in Auburn, Ill.