Hardin County

John Jacob Shearer

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ill. (Dec. 16, 1926) — By request of his wife and brother, George W. Shearer, we are requested to give a brief sketch of the life and history of Dr. John Jacob Shearer who was born Mary 20, 1851 in Hardin County, Illinois and died November 8, 1926 in St. Petersburg, Florida at the somewhat advanced age of 75 years, after a long and more or less painful illness of a complication of ailments, chief among which were rhumatism and dropsy of the bowels. Funeral was conducted by Rev. F.A. Nichols of the First Christian Church at the J.W. Williams Funeral Home, November 11, 1926 at 3 p.m., and interment at Royal Palm cemetery.

The deceased grew to manhood in this county under circumstnces due to the many handicaps of that early day. His parents were noted for their upright, moral and religious lives, and under their moral influence and teaching and that of the church, he became converted to the Christian faith at the tender age of 17 years, and lived a constant and devoted Christian life thereafter, filling several important positions in the church from time to time, until death relieved him off all earthly duties.

About the time the deceased reached his majority, he was united in marriage to Miss Alice McDowell and to this long and happy union two children were born, G.C. Shearer and one daughter which died in infancy.

Near the time he was married he joined the Masonic Lodge No. 444 A.F. & A.M. at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, and was a bright member, conforming strictly to all of its rules and moral and religious requirements.

In the doctor's better days he was a very clever, sociable, and big-hearted man, and has borne many heavy loads on his broad shoulders, and rescued the helpless and sent them along better ways. He has fought sources of distress and suffering of both mind and body, has ministered to sore and shattered bodies and counseled sick spirits when necessity demanded it. He also possessed in a high degree a distinguished trait characteristic to the Shearer family--honesty and upright living.

The doctor spent most of his life in this county starting out after middle age to seek a new future, went south as far as Florida and Virginia and went as far as California and after a few years returned to this county and bought property in Elizabethtown, and lived here until the fall of 1925, when he sold out and moved back to Florida and back there where his only child, C.G. Shearer and family lived, until he passed away the forepart of last month, survived by his aged and loving wife, one son and his family and two whole brothers and one half brother, besides a number of more distant relatives.

The deceased many years ago qualified for the practice of medicine and for several years practiced his profession, it is said quite successfully, until he became so badly afflicted himself that he had to retire from his profession. He was a fine scribe and a fair scholar, and therefore qualified to do any ordinary business and helped his brother quite a little in the circuit clerk's office while he lived here.

Peace to the ashes of this worthy, good and upright man, one whom we long regarded as a warm personal friend, and sincere sympathy is extended to his good wife and dear son and his family and to his brother and other more distant relatives.

Thanks to Wanda H. Reed for contributing this article to the Hardin County ILGenWeb site. The Hardin County Independent first published this article on Dec. 16, 1926. Wanda has also submitted Shearer's 1898 biography, which has also been posted online.

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