ILIFF, Robert W.
Robert W. ILIFF, whose fine farm lies on
section 14, Richland township, Marshall county, is a
native of the county, the family of which he is a member being
numbered among the earliest settlers of this locality. The
ILIFFs are of English descent, and the first of the family in
was James ILIFF, who was a son of Richard ILIFF. He was a member
of the William Penn colony in
Pennsylvania. The great-grandfather of
our subject was John ILIFF, a native of the keystone state. His
son, Robert ILIFF, married Jane WILLIAMS, and their son, John M.
ILIFF, who was born in 1827, in Perry county, Ohio, is the father of our subject. This
family contributed fifty-two of its number to the union army
from 1861 to 1865.
The first of the family to effect a
settlement in Marshall
county was Robert ILIFF, the grandfather of our subject. He was
a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1801, and came with his family to Illinois in 1831, first
locating near Washburn, and in the spring of 1832 moving to the
farm which is now the home of Robert W. ILIFF. The land was
divided between timber and prairie and in its native state. At
that time there were not over half a dozen families in the
township and few improvements had been made. He at once
commenced the development of the place and in due time had a
most productive farm. On this farm his wife died in 1862, and
nine years later he retired from active life and made his home
with his son, John M. ILIFF, until called away by death.
Robert and Jane ILIFF were the parents of
five children, only one of whom, however, grew to maturity. They
were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and took an
active interest in the work of the church, both dying as they
had lived, earnest, devoted Christians. He was a man of quiet
disposition, taking little part in public affairs, and caring
little for the honors of this world. During almost his entire
life he was noted as being a very early riser, literally
following the maxim of Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and
early to rise.” He was a soldier in the Black Hawk war.
John M. ILIFF, the father of our subject,
was but four years of age when he came with the family to Illinois. Here he grew to
manhood and received a good common school education. The life of
a farmer he adopted as his calling, and as soon as able
commenced assisting in the cultivation of the home farm.
He was united in marriage with Caroline E.
HENTHORN, a native of
Ohio, born June 30, 1828, and a daughter
of Samuel and Penelope (BROWN) HENTHORN. Her parents were among
the pioneers of the county, first locating in Lacon township,
but soon after removing to
township, taking up the southwest quarter of section 1, which
was their home until late in life, when they moved to Lacon and
there died. They were the parents of nine children, four of whom
are now living: Reason A., who resides in
Nebraska; James P., Eliza A., and
Frances STREET, living in Lacon.
After their marriage, John M. ILIFF and
wife located on the northeast quarter of section 1, Richland township, where he improved a fine
farm. To them were born seven children, six of whom grew to
maturity: Robert W., our subject; Samuel H., who lives in
Kansas; Clarissa J., living in Bloomington, Illinois;
William T., of Peoria; Ella C.,
now the wife of Horace RAMP, of
township, and Mary, widow of Professor J. R. GRAY, now residing
in Bloomington, and a fine musician, having charge of the
musical department of the Wesleyan university. The mother of
these children died in 1864. She was a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, a woman of lovely disposition, one who
followed closely in the footsteps of the blessed Master.
||Luella C ILIFF RAMP
||Horace Greeley RAMP,
||husband of Lu"Ella"
||father of Horace
||Photos submitted 08 Sep 2012 by
John M. ILIFF was thrice married, this
third wife being Miss Amelia SPRINGER, who now resides in Galesburg,
Illinois. After living a life of great
usefulness for fifty-four years, he was called to rest, his
death occurring in 1881. He was a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, and an active worker in the same, serving the
church in an official capacity for many years.
Robert W. ILIFF, our subject, was born upon
the old home farm on section 1,
township, March 22, 1851. After receiving his primary education
in the public schools of his township, he entered Wesleyan
university, taking a two years’ course, but not graduating. He
grew to manhood on the farm and remained at home, assisting in
the work until his marriage in April 30, 1873, with Miss Alice
A. BEQUEAITH, a native of Tazewell county, Illinois, and a
daughter of John and Elizabeth BEQUEAITH, the former, now
deceased, and the latter living in Pekin, Illinois. By this
union seven children have been born: John E., who married Mary
A. WILLIAMS, and now resides in Belle Plain township, and Flora
C., Frank B., Herbert A., George W., Anna B., and Harry L., all
Soon after their marriage the young couple
removed to the farm, which is yet their home, and which has been
in the family for over sixty years. It comprises eighty acres of
finely improved land, everything about it evincing the thrift of
its owner. In all his work he is thorough and systematic,
believing in the doctrine “what is worth doing is worth doing
well.” For several years he has made a specialty of raising
thoroughbred Poland China hogs and has been fairly successful,
though losing heavily in 1895 from hog cholera.
In 1877, Mr. ILIFF was sun-struck, the
effects of which have continued with him to this day, at times
causing him great suffering, but he bears his affliction
patiently. Like his father, he is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, of which body his wife and eldest daughter are
also members. For years he has served the church as trustee and
steward, and has also been superintendent of the Sunday school.
He believes thoroughly in the Christian religion and in the work
the Lord has left to his disciples in the conversion of the
world. Politically, he is a republican, by birth and
inclination. Born at a time when the slavery question was the
all-important topic of discussion, and when the slave power,
grown arrogant by success, was determined to still farther
encroach upon the free territory of the country, almost his
first recollection was of hearing the discussion of the rights
of the black man and the influence of slavery upon the country.
As soon as old enough to express his views, he took sides with
the republican party, with which organization he has continued
to act. In the discharge of his duties as a citizen he has
served in several local offices, and has discharged the duty of
township assessor for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. ILIFF reside in a very
pleasant home and no family in
county is more highly esteemed. Mrs. ILIFF is a woman of
excellent judgment and good business ability, and has ever been
truly a helpmeet to her husband, who at all times consults with
and seeks her advice on business matters.
Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from
The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois,