JAMES B. MCFARLAN, who keeps a meat market and livery stable in Elizabethtown, Hardin County, is a son of James McFarlan, who was born in Kentucky. His father, whose name was James, was among the very first settlers in Hardin County, and located where Elizabethtown now stands in 1810, eight years before Illinois became a State. He experienced all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life, and lived in the same locality until his death. James McFarland had but little opportunity to secure an education, but did attend for some time the subscription school in the vicinity of his father's home, and afterward obtained private instruction at home. His principal acquisitions, however, in the way of learning were obtained through his own unaided efforts in later years. He was one of the earliest settlers, and was the most prominent man in this section of the country during its early history, and, like all pioneers, was deprived of most of what now constitutes civilization. He was a Democrat in politics, and served his county as County Clerk and as Circuit Court Clerk for a number of years. He was one of the men who formed and fashioned the politics of the county in its early days.
Mr. McFarlan, the father of our subject, was married at Elizabethtown to Matilda Hobbs, who was a native of Hardin County, and whose father died in 1884, at the home of Mr. McFarlan. Her mother is still living with her children. To the union of James McFarlan with Matilda Hobbs there were born seven children, viz: John, who was drowned in the Ohio River; William, an hotel-keeper at Harrisburgh; James B.; Abraham. who died in California; Mattie and Silas, both deceased; and Lizzie, wife of C. W. Poor, of Chicago. James B., the third child, was born in Elizabethtown January 21, 1853, and there received his earlier scholastic training in the common schools, and later attended McKendree College, at Lebanon, Ill., graduating from this institution. He assisted his father in various ways until he was twenty-two years old, and then engaged in general merchandising with a brother in Hurricane, Ky. They were doing a good business until burned out, and as they carried no insurance the loss was complete. Our subject then returned to Elizabethtown, 111., and became engaged in the study of the law with Hon. Lewis F. Plater. After reading law nearly two years, he engaged in business in 1883, and in 1890 established himself in his present line of business, conducting a meat market and livery stable, and has been thus engaged ever since.
Mr. McFarlan has been married twice, first to Miss Nellie Ferrell, who died in 1882, and in 1883 he married Miss Laura McCamis. By his first marriage he had two children, viz: James, deceased; and Bessie, living at home. By his second marriage he has one child, Mattie, living at home. Both his wives were born in Elizabethtown. He himself has always lived in Elizabethtown, having been born in this county. Politically, he is a Democrat, and is an energetic, industrious man. He is one of the self-made men of the county, and is a valued and highly esteemed citizen.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 423
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