PAGE, JOHN A., a veteran of the Civil War and a prominent citizen of Woodside Township, Sangamon County, was born in Woburn, Mass., March 14, 1841, a son of John O. and Elizabeth (Finnegan) Page, the former born at Londonderry, N.H., and the latter in Limerick, Ireland. The father, who was a farmer and shoe manufacturer moved from his native state to Massachusetts, where he carried on his two lines of work until his death, in 1880. He had five sons and three daughters, and one child survives besides John A., Oliver H., living in Montreal, Canada. The mother's parents died in Ireland and she came to America on a sailing vessel when a girl with a family, every member of which perished on the way over, leaving her a stranger in a strange land. John O. Page's father was a "Minute Man" in the Revolution.
The childhood of John A. Page was passed in his native State, where he received his education. In youth he worked in his father's tannery. As a boy he ran away to sea and was shipwrecked off the coast of Newfoundland. When he was seventeen years of age he went to Lawrence, Mass., where he spent three years. In 1861 he enlisted as a member of the State Militia of Massachusetts, and in the month of April of that year became a member of Company I, Sixth Massachusetts, for three months, at the end of his term re-enlisting in the Fourth Massachusetts Battery, of which Ben Butler was Brigadier-General, as it was part of the New England Division. Mr. Page became Corporal and later Second Lieutenant, finishing his term in March, 1864, when he resigned.
After the war Mr. Page came to Illinois, settling in Sumner Township, Kankakee County, where he purchased a farm and conducted it two years, then went to Chicago and became shipping clerk for Wall Brothers & Lighthall, of Ainsworth Station, now South Chicago. About 1867 he came to Braidwood and lived in that village about thirteen years, conducting a grocery and bakery business part of this time. He then moved to Springfield, where for twenty years he conducted a dairy business. Since about 1898 he has been engaged in farming and gardening, in which line of work he has been very successful. He lives at the place he first occupied on coming to Springfield and owns sixteen acres of fertile and well cultivated land in Woodside Township.
Mr. page is member of Stephenson Post No. 30, G.A.R., of Springfield. He was elected School Director in 1880 and served one term. He is a devout member of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church and active in its support. He is well known in his community and popular with his many friends. He has established himself in the esteem and respect of all and has an excellent reputation.
Mr. Page was married (first) in Lawrence, Mass., in 1861, to Nellie Gray, a native of Massachusetts, who died in 1872, and to this union three daughters and one son were born. The son is deceased and of the daughters: Annie, wife of Nick Rodenes, lives in Springfield; Mrs. Nellie Snyders lives in Kansas City, and the third lives in Richmond, Va. Mr. Page was married (second) in September, 1874, in Joliet, Ill., to Alice DeMars, who was born near Montreal, Canada, in 1841 and came with her parents to Kankakee, Ill. Her father was a farmer and spent his last days in Illinois, as did his wife. They were Canadian-French. Of the five children born to Mr. Page by his second marriage four are living: Edna, widow of Harry Walsh, lives in Springfield; Edgar, living in Bloomington, Ill.; Christopher, lives with his father; Grace, wife of James Ostenbury, living on a farm near Springfield. There are seventeen grandchildren and one great grandchild in the family.