Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
PATTERSON, ROBERT, a veteran of the Civil War and an honored resident of Riverton, Ill., was formerly engaged in mining there, but is now living retired from active life. He has a beautiful home in Riverton and receives a fair pension as recognition of his services to his country. He was born in County Donegal, Ireland, February 1, 1831, and is a son of William and Fanny (Cook) Patterson, also natives of Ireland. The father was a farmer and came to the United States in 1838, locating in Jennings County, Ind., where his death occurred. He and his brother entered a half-section of land from the Government and developed good farms in Jennings County.
In boyhood Robert Patterson lived on a farm and received his education in the schools of Indiana. As a young man he worked three years on a Mississippi River steamboat, which he continued three years. At the time of the Civil Ware, he enlisted in August, 1861, in Company C. Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. Winters, of Whitehall. His first engagement was at Pea Ridge, Mo., whence they went to West Plains. In 1863 he began serving with the "Ram Fleet", which he continued until January, 1865, and was mustered out as private at Pittsburg. He swam across the Red River at one time to escape capture. He has reason to feel proud of his record and encountered many interesting experiences, as well as hardships and dangers, during his service. He is a member of Stephenson Post, No. 30, G.A.R., of Springfield. One of Mr. Patterson's brothers was killed in 1847, during the Mexican War. Robert Patterson was the youngest of ten children born to his parents.
Mr. Patterson was married, in St. Louis, January 1, 1868, to Anna Kelley, daughter of Hugh and Anna Kelley, and the eleventh of their twelve children. Mr. Kelley and his wife came from Ireland to the United States in 1838, landing in New Orleans, whence they came to St. Louis. The father died in the latter city ten years later, and the mother died there in 1855. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Patterson: Robert W., born April 15, 1877, living in Riverton; John T. and Margarita Anna, twins, both deceased. Mr. Patterson has three fine grandchildren, who live in Riverton: Francis, Hugh and Margaret.
Mr. Patterson is an active member of the Methodist Church. He is a strong supporter of the principles of the Republican party and devotes considerable time to the cause. He is interested in anything pertaining to the public welfare or prosperity and ready to forward every worthy cause. He has a large number of friends in the community and stand well with all who know him. He was elected a member of the Village Board in 1890 and served very creditably in the office.