Robert RIDDELL, who for many years was a respected and prominent farmer of Marshall county, was born in the parish of Glassford, Lanark, Scotland, in 1819. The days of his boyhood and youth were spent in his native country and, thinking to enjoy better business opportunities in the new world, he crossed the Atlantic to the United States in the fall of 1842 and located at Chillicothe, Illinois. He afterward removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked at his trade of shoemaking, which he had mastered in his native country, but ambitious to own property, when his financial resources permitted he made investment in land, becoming owner of a farm on section 11, La Prairie township, Marshall county. He then turned his attention to farming and was thus engaged until 1849, when he went to California, attracted by the discovery of gold in the hope of rapidly acquiring wealth that has been the doom of so many. There he lost both health and wealth and resolved to return to the farm. Fate was more kind to him in the middle west and soon he regained his health and was once more on the high-road to success. As the years passed he prospered in his undertakings, carefully conducting his farming interests until he became the owner of a very valuable property of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he erected a beautiful residence and made other modern improvements. He was conservative in business affairs, thoroughly reliable and manifested as well the qualities of diligence and enterprise. Thus he accumulated a goodly competence and was enabled to leave his family in comfortable circumstances.
Mr. RIDDELL was married in 1863 to Miss Elizabeth CAMERON and unto them were born four children: John, who is now with the Northwestern Railway Company; Harriet, Margaret and Flora A., all with their mother. Mr. RIDDELL held membership in the United Presbyterian church, to which his family also belong. He was a school director and was interested in the educational progress of the community. In fact he was the friend of all interests that promised to be of public benefit and his co-operation could be counted upon to further many progressive public movements. Following his return from California he continuously engaged in farming up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 5th of August, 1893, when he was seventy-four years of age. All who knew him respected him and therefore his loss was the occasion of deep regret to many friends as well as his immediate family.
Following her husband's death Mrs. RIDDELL removed to Peoria, where she resided until about five years ago. She now makes her home in Henry, where she is living with her daughters, and she has attained the age of seventy-three years.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.