LEWIS LAVENDER is a son of George Lavender, a native of Virginia, who was brought up on a farm, and received but a limited education. Coming to Illinois in 1828 he settled in Hardin County. Selecting a tract of United States lead land he opened and improved a farm, upon which he resided until his death. He was married to Elizabeth Shoemaker, daughter of James Shoemaker, a native of Virginia, by whom he had seven children, three of whom are still living: Mahala, wife of Franklin Jackson, living at Harrisburgh, Ill.; Harriet, widow of John Brinkley, and Lewis, the subject of this sketch.
Our subject was born in Botetourt County, Va., September 22, 1814,and was brought up on his father's farm, securing his early education in a subscription school, which was taught in a house built of logs, which had a dirt floor and fence rails for seats. The window In this schoolhouse consisted of a piece of paper stretched across an opening made by cutting out a portion of one of the logs at one side. Notwithstanding all the disadvantages of his youth he secured a fair education, and came to Hardin County, Ill., with his father in 1828, where he worked on the farm until 1840, was then elected Sheriff of Hardin County, serving in that capacity seventeen years, after which he was elected County Commissioner, served one year and then resigned. He was married February 8, 1849, to Inda Whitesides, daughter of John Whitesides, of Georgia. By this marriage he had eight children, seven of whom are now living: Katie, living at home with her parents; George, single and living at home; Josephine, wife of S. S. Barger, living at Harrisburgh, Ill.; James, at home; John M., superintendent of the rock quarry at Shetlerville, 111.; Adda, single and living at home, and Charlie, living in Hardin County. The subject of this brief sketch always votes with the Democratic party. Although he is now seventy-eight years old he can see to read the finest print without glasses. He has always been successful as a business man and financier, and as a consequence he is one of the wealthiest men in the county.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 339
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