Marshall County


Irving BROADDUS, one of the prominent and representative citizens of Lacon, Illinois, is a native of Marshall county, his birth occurring July 24, 1840, and is a son of Lunsford and Nancy (GAYLE) BROADDUS, natives of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and honored pioneers of Illinois. He traces his ancestry back to Edward BROADDUS, who came from Wales to the new world in 1715, and settled on Gwynn Island in the James river, Virginia. He was twice married, his second union being with Mary SHIPLEY, by whom he had nine children, one being Reuben BROADDUS, the grandfather of our subject. His great uncle, Rev. Andrew BROADDUS, held a debate with Rev. Alexander CAMPBELL, of the Christian church, on the subject of baptism, and was pronounced the most formidable opponent the latter ever encountered. To the BROADDUS family belonged the mother of Hon. R. W. THOMPSON, of Indiana, a member of President Hayes’ cabinet. Rev. John A. BROADDUS, D. D., L. L. D., the youngest son of the founder of the family in the United States, was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, January 24, 1827, and died in 1895. He was one of the most noted divines of his day in the Baptist church in Kentucky, and rendered to both church and state valuable and noteworthy service.

Reuben BROADDUS, the grandfather of our subject, Married Elizabeth G. GARLAND, and to them were born seven children, all now deceased, namely: Christopher, who died childless; Lunsford, father of our subject; Leland, who also died childless; Andrew S., Nancy, Lucy, who became the wife of Nathaniel MOTLEY, and Eleanor, who married Reuben RICHARDSON. Andrew S. BROADDUS of this family, was a prominent attorney, and for several terms served in the Virginia legislature. After his removal to Texas in 1854, he became the most noted criminal lawyer of the state, was also a member of the legislature there for several years, and later filled the office of judge.

In Virginia, about 1819, was celebrated the marriage of the parents of our subject. After the Nat Turner slave insurrection, they became disgusted with the institution, and determined to sell out and remove to the north. By keelboat they went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and thence by wagon route to Connersville, Indiana, where the father purchased two hundred acres of land, on which they continued to live for three years. There two of their children, Reuben and Susan, were born. In August, 1835, they arrived in Lacon, Illinois, thus becoming pioneers of Marshall county. The father had the honor of naming Hopewell township, served as supervisor of the county, and also county assessor. In religious belief he was a Universalist, was one of the best Bible students in the state, being able to quote most of it, especially the New Testament. He was a fine historian, also well read on the current events of the day, and being a good speaker, delivered the first temperance lecture in Marshall county. Besides his farming and stock raising interests, he also became a noted auctioneer in those early days. He purchased land in 1835, in Hopewell township, which is still in the possession of our subject, and became one of the most successful farmers and stock raisers in the county, his hogs being the best sold to the packing house owned by Jabez FISHER of Boston, and with the money thus obtained he paid his taxes. After an upright honorable life, he passed away December 6, 1864, at the age of seventy years and six months, and his faithful wife, who was born in 1796, died in 1872.

Our subject is the youngest in their family of eleven children, six of whom are still living: Christopher, married Minerva HALL, who is still living; Eleanor, became the wife of Eli STRAWN, but both are now deceased; Elizabeth, married Enoch SAWYER, and both have passed away; Helen, was married at the age of seventeen to William STRAWN, who died in 1894, leaving ten children, the oldest fifty-two years of age and the youngest twenty-nine. Mrs. STRAWN still resides upon a farm in Marshall county; Leland, first wedded Harriet CRANE and after her death Susan CASE. He lives in Hennepin, Illinois; Lucy, is the deceased wife of F. H. BOND, of Wenona, who was a noted teacher, who came to Marshall county from Massachusetts, and to whom our subject went to school in 1846; Caroline, married H. E. WIRE, but both are now deceased; Reuben, wedded Mary J. FORBES, and lives in Varna, Illinois; Susan, is the widow of P. J. BOGARDUS, and a resident of Oklahoma; Andrew S. married Sarah FORBES, and after her death, Jennie HEWIT. He makes his home in Lacon, and is the father of Christopher BROADDUS, the present deputy sheriff of Marshall county.

After attending the common schools of his native county for some time, Irving BROADDUS pursued his studies in Bloomington, and on laying aside his text books turned his attention to farming, which he successfully followed for forty years. He still owns his valuable farm of three hundred and twenty acres on section 31., Hopewell township, which was his home for fifty-four years, or until coming to Lacon in 1894. Besides general farming he was also an extensive stock raiser, having upon his place a fine grade of cattle, sheep and hogs, as well as horses, of which he is very fond and an excellent judge.

Since 1870, Mr. BROADDUS has been one of the most successful and noted auctioneers of the state, and for fifteen consecutive years his income from this source amounted to one thousand dollars annually. During one of his most successful seasons, from September 1, 1879, until the 1st of the following April he made thirteen hundred dollars. On the 21st of April, 1893, he sold thirty-six thousand dollars worth of lots in Toluca, Illinois, and his largest sale of stock and farm products was at Magnolia, for Mr. PATTERSON, amounting to seven thousand eight hundred dollars. One day in February, 1896, he also sold for his brother in Varna six thousand nine hundred dollars worth of property.

Mr. BROADDUS was married November 18, 1863, to Miss Ruth FORBES, who was born in Hopewell township, Marshall county, and is a daughter of Peter and Sarah (BUCKINGHAM) FORBES, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Pennsylvania. By occupation her father was a farmer and stockraiser, being one of the best cattle men in this section of the state. He died in 1860, on the day of President Lincoln’s first election, at the age of forty-two years, and his wife departed this life in 1870, at the age of fifty-one. Their religious faith was that of the Universalist church. In their family were seven children: Mary, who wedded John KENNEDY, and died leaving seven children, three of whom are teachers; William, of Harper county, Kansas, who married Laura MAYES, and has two children; Mrs. BROADDUS, Isaac M., of Hopewell township, Marshall county, who married Fanny THORP, and has one child; Caleb, who married Nellie GREEN, and is now deceased, and has three children; and Sarah E., wife of Samuel CROFT, of Harper county, Kansas, by whom she has seven children.

Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. BROADDUS, namely: Savilla, wife of John DAVIDSON, a farmer of Hopewell township, by whom she has four children, John, Ruth I., Le Roy and Isaac; Cora, wife of Leroy COOK, of Chicago, who has been connected with the Simons saw manufactory since thirteen years of age; Lillie May, at home; Walter, who is a member of the class of 1897, at Brown’s Business college of Peoria, and Nancy R., who will graduate at the Lacon high school in 1897.

Politically, Mr. BROADDUS is a free silver democrat, and socially is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is public-spirited in an eminent degree and has always done much in behalf of his county’s interest and in the general welfare of his community. He is popular and is the center of a large circle of friends and acquaintances who honor and esteem him for his many virtues and his genuine worth.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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