WORKMAN, JOHN (deceased). - Among the prominent and successful pioneers of Sangamon County few became more extensive land owners than John Workman, of Loami Township, who died on the farm he had developed March 4, 1910, at the close of a busy and useful life. He and his wife reared a large family of children and all who reached maturity were useful citizens, ready to do their share in the progress and upbuilding of the community. All have settled near the old home and most of them live on farms. John Workman was born in Overton County, Tenn., July 6, 1824, and was brought to Sangamon County when about six years of age, remaining in Loami Township the remainder of his life. He was married, September 26, 1850, to Miss Caroline Campbell, daughter of John Campbell, of Tennessee, and of Scotch descent. Mrs. Workman was born in Chatham Township, Sangamon County (where her parents were early settlers), October 23, 1834.
After their marriage John Workman and his wife located in a small frame house on Section 5, Loami Township, where their son Alfred now lives. At that time there were many wild turkeys and other game, such as geese and cranes, and these birds frequently destroyed considerable grain. Mrs. Workman's father gave her 160 acres of land and they became very successful as time went on, producing excellent crops and adding to their possessions from time to time. The young wife carded wool, spun yarn, did all the family sewing by hand, and as years went on often worked until midnight at her wheel or knitting stockings, or performing various other household tasks. At first they used the old fashioned tallow "dips" but later purchased a candle mold, which saved much time and labor. Mrs. Workman looks back upon the busy years when her children were growing up around her and her days were crowded with work, as being very happy. Eleven children were born to Mr. Workman and his wife, of whom two died in infancy and seven now survive. As each child married and left the old home the father made him (or her) a gift of 320 acres of land. All settled so near that the mother can visit them in a single day. They are: Sarah E., widow of Stephen Workman, living in Loami Township; John W., in Curran Township; Josiah, a farmer of Maxwell Township; Callie, wife of William Butler, of Chatham Township; Polly, wife of Edwin Bilyeu, a farmer of Curran Township; Alfred C., on the home farm; Esau, a farmer of Chatham Township.
Mr. Workman and his wife were among the most extensive landowners in Sangamon County and for fifty-nine years lived together in happy wedlock, the tie being broken by the death of the father and husband. The widow still resides on the old farm, and at the age of seventy-six years enjoys good health and retains her energy and intelligent interest in all about her. She has been a capable, loving mother and has the fullest esteem and reverence of all her children, and the high regard of all who know her. Her life of toil and high endeavor has been an inspiration to her children. She has lived in her present home since 1850 an during this time has witnessed great changes and improvements, in all of which she has been greatly interested. Mr. Workman was a member of the Christian Church and in politics was a stanch Republican, having filled various township offices creditably. Two years before his death he made a final division of his estate, having 1,525 acres of land in his possession at that time, having given away among his children 2,240 acres, all the result of his own hard work and excellent management.