Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
RIDGEWAY, NORMAN - Cooper Township is noted for its well-cultivated farms and the thrifty agriculturists who understand their work and how to get the most from their land. One of the farmers whose prosperity has been gained through hard work, is Norman Ridgeway, of Section 15, Cooper Township. He was born in Sangamon County, December 18, 1846, a son of Patterson and Nancy (Hudson) Ridgeway, natives of Kentucky and Virginia. The father came to Sangamon County with his parents in 1829, locating in Buffalo Hart Grove, where he lived ten years, and then removed to Cooper Township. He later went to the vicinity of Loami, where he died in 1893, his wife having died in 1851. There were fifteen children in the family, all of whom lived to maturity but are now deceased.
Norman Ridgeway worked for his father until he enlisted in the army, and upon his return engaged with an engineering firm, continuing in its employ for nine years, when he resumed farming, and has thus continued ever since. He owns ten acres where he resides and forty acres in Kansas, and is in receipt of a pension from the government. His people have owned a considerable amount of land in Sangamon County since his grandfather made his first entry from the Government and began farming on a large tract in Buffalo Hart Township.
On January 22, 1865, Mr. Ridgeway enlisted in an Illinois regiment, and was discharged on April 12th of the same year, having been stationed at Camp Butler.
On August 18, 1898, Mr. Ridgeway was married to Alice Dillon, daughter of Ebenezer and Lucretia Dillon. She was born March 22, 1873, in Sangamon County, where her father was also born, but her mother was born in Indiana. Her paternal grandparents came from Kentucky to Illinois at a very early date, and all are now deceased. Mr. Ridgeway has had seven children: Ida May, wife of J. J. James; David L., Lula Hester, Norman E., Joseph W., George R. and Pearl. He was three grandchildren: Merton James, Leona James and Carl Dewey James.
A strong Republican, Mr. Ridgeway has served as School Director in Cooper Township. He belongs to the United Brethren Church. An excellent farmer, a good neighbor and conscientious citizen, he has discharged the duties life has placed upon his shoulders faithfully and well, and is rightly regarded as one of the representative men of his neighborhood.