WATERS, JAMES J., a wealthy and prominent farmer of Cooper Township, Sangamon County, has spent his entire life in the county. He was born in Springfield, April 3, 1859, and is a son of John and Mary (Murphy) Waters, both natives of Ireland, the former born January 1, 1834, and the latter in 1826. Their parents spent their entire lives in Ireland. John Waters came to the United States in 1856 and spent two years in New Orleans, then came to Springfield, Ill., where he met and married Mary Murphy, who had come to America in the same ship, although they were not acquainted at the time. He died in Springfield, July 23, 1893, and his widow died August 14, 1810. Both are buried in Calvary Cemetery.
As a boy James J. Waters attended the country schools and took a course in Springfield Business College. He was reared on a farm and was fond of all kinds of outdoor sports. He owns 400 acres of excellent farm land in Cooper Township, where he lives, and a house in Breckenridge. He is a man of high character and amiable disposition, and much esteemed by all. He is popular among his fellow citizens and much interested in the general welfare. He is now President of the Farmers' Elevator Company, of Berry and Breckenridge, which institution is profitable and convenient for the farmers of the community. In politics Mr. Waters is a Democrat, and he is now serving as School Director. He and his family are devout members of the Catholic church and much interested in its good work. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen and of the Anti-Horse Thief Association.
Mr. Waters was married in Auburn, February 15, 1887, Father Finnegan officiating, to Mary Howard, who was born in Sangamon County, June 29, 1859, daughter of Michael and Mary (Shea) Howard. Mr. Howard was born in Ireland, September 16, 1822, and his wife, also a native of Ireland, was born April 1, 1834. He died in Christian County, September 16, 1906, and was buried at Morrisonville, and his widow still resides on the home farm in Christian County. All the grandparents of Mrs. Waters died in Ireland. Eight children were born to mr. Waters and his wife, namely: Mary, born in November, 1888, died in infancy; Anna M., born June 2, 1890; John F., November 30, 1891; Mary A., September 7, 1893; James, May 17, 1895; Michael E., February 6, 1897; Alice, October 18, 1899; Ella Arama, April 17, 1903. The seven who survive reside at home. Mr. Winters and his wife have every reason to be proud of their pleasant home and fine family of children.