JOHN H. JENKINS is a son of Nimrod Jenkins, a native of Ohio County, Ind., who was born June 9, 1816. He was reared on the farm, receiving little education in school, but being a young man of bright intellect and quick and accurate observation, he acquired a fair practical education and made a fair success of his life. In 1856 he placed all his household goods, horses, cattle and hogs, on a flatboat and floated down the broad and beautiful Ohio River to Cave in Rock, Ill., where he bought a piece of timbered land and began to improve a farm. He was married in 1846 to Margaret Cooper, a daughter of John W. Cooper, a native of Maryland. To this marriage were born seven children, only two of whom are now living, William G. and the subject of this sketch. The former is now living in Hardin County, engaged in farming. The father died in Hardin County, March 20, 1873, but his widow, since then married to James Rose, is still living on the old homestead.
John H. Jenkins was born in Ohio County, Ind., on the 24th of November, 1852. In the summer months he assisted his father on the farm and in the winter attended school. At the age of eighteen years his father gave him one day out of each week for his own use and he devoted this time to the raising of a crop of wheat, which he sold for $65. This money he used to pay his expenses at Ewing College for six months; he then taught four years in the country schools, after which he attended the State Normal School at Carbondale for two years. Returning to Elizabethtown he taught two sessions of school in that town, and then attended the State Normal School at Bloomington, Ill., for one year. Again returning to Elizabethtown, he taught two sessions of school, and in the year 1881 was appointed County Superintendent of Schools for one year by the County Commissioners, after which time he was elected to the same position for four years, in the meantime attending the State Normal School at Carbondale, 111., for one year, and graduating in 1884. After his graduation he held the position of Principal of the school at Elizabethtown for one year, and then engaged as a merchant in the same place. relinquishing that business at the end of a year, he taught for another three years in Elizabethtown, and for one year at Halstead, Kan., and then returned to this place and accepted the position of Principal of Schools, which position he still holds.
Mr. Jenkins was married April 8, 1885, to Mattie E. Wilkinson, widow of Charles Wilkinson, an attorney of Elizabethtown. Her maiden name was Smith and she is a daughter of Dr. W. E. Smith, of Benton, Ill. Mr. Jenkins and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a member of Elizabeth Lodge No. 276, A. F. & A. M., and also of Empire Lodge No. 54, I. O. O. F. In politics, he is a member of the Democratic party. In social circles, our subject is widely and favorably known for his earnest purpose, useful activity and integrity, and is a credit to Elizabethtown, for whose support and advancement he has long used both his influence and finance.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 616
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