MOYER, CHARLES E. - It is to the solid, substantial citizens of any community that we must look for the strength of that section, rather than to the brilliant, flighty operator, who, while occasionally achieving a large measure of success, is often liable to overstep his mark and end his career with a failure that envelops not only himself but others and tends to the detriment of his locality. Charles E. Moyer, an agriculturist of Pleasant Plains, may be depended upon to be a support to his community and a leader in any movement that will assist its advancement, one of the men who do right because it is right, and for no other reason. He was born in Gardner Township, January 16, 1865, a son of Charles and Mahala (Cruzan) Moyer.
The grandfather of Mr. Moyer was one of the pioneers of Sangamon County, and at an early day opened and conducted a tavern on the State Road, which is now known as the Bradford, later entering land which he operated until the time of his death. His trade was that of a millwright and, in addition to his farming operations, he conducted several mills and warehouses. Charles Moyer, the father of Charles E., was born in Pennsylvania in 1822, and was reared on a farm in Lehigh County, but after coming to Illinois, was married in Gardner Township, where he made his home until 1884, when he sold his farm there to purchase one in Salisbury Township, this being his place of residence at the time of his death. He and his wife were the parents of nine children: William H., who died in Pleasant Plains in April, 1909; Charles E.; Anna May, wife of James Jones, a grocer of Petersburg, Menard County; George, a resident of Williamsville; John, a brick mason, who died in October, 1908; a daughter who died in infancy; Ella, the wife of James Merry, a farmer near Williamsville; Ada, the wife of George McKinzie, a resident of Williamsville, with whom Mr. Moyer's mother makes her home; and Daisy, who died in young womanhood in 1900.
Mr. Moyer was reared on the home farm and received his education in the district schools. At an early age he had to take charge of the home farm, and remained in charge until he was twenty-six years of age, when one of his brothers took up the work where he left off. On August 12, 1891, he was married to Lucy I. Crawford, who was born in Salisbury Township, November 2, 1864, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Box) Crawford, both natives of Kentucky. The Crawford family came from Kentucky to Illinois in 1858, and about 1875 removed to Missouri, where Mr. Crawford died in 1879, when his widow came back to Sangamon County, and here the remaining days of her life were spent, her death occurring March 6, 1899. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Crawford, namely: a child who died in infancy; Campbell W., a resident of Chatham, Ill.; Margaret A., wife of Alpha A. Miller, a farmer in Gardner Township; Catherine E., wife of Hosea Baker, a resident of Spaulding, Ill.; Mary E., wife of Marion Miller, a farmer of Salisbury Township; Amaretta, the wife of Christian Knudsen, a farmer of Island Grove Township; Mrs. Moyer; and James Madison, a resident of Jacksonville, Ill.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Moyer rented land in Gardner Township, where they remained until 1894, at which time they rented land in Montgomery County, and Mr. Moyer operated 320 acres there until 1898. In that year he took charge of the Hugh Gardner farm of 200 acres, and continued to operate this until 1902, when he purchased a run-down eighty-two acre farm in Gardner Township, which he developed into one of the best properties in the township. Having purchased the property for $82.50 per acre, in 1906 he sold it for $125.00 per acre and purchased a fifteen acre tract within the corporation limits of Pleasant Plains, and here he has devoted his attention to the breeding or pure Duroc hogs and Orpington chickens, of which latter he now has forty-one. Mr. Moyer is a self-made man, having started life empty-handed and built up his present prosperous condition through his own ability. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian Church, in which he is a Deacon and his wife a member of the Missionary Society. He is a Republican in politics and a stanch adherent of temperance while his fraternal connection is with the Pleasant Plains Lodge of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Moyer had one child who died in infancy, but on October 13, 1910, adopted a child, Bernice.