Charles CUSAC, a representative farmer of Marshall county, is finely located
on section 11, Bennington township, where he is maintaining his place among the
progressive and intelligent men around him, engaged in farming and keeping a
choice assortment of graded stock. He was born near Zanesville, Muskingum
county, Ohio, June 29, 1838, a son of J. B. and Elizabeth (SLACK) CUSAC.
The father was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, of Scotch descent, his early ancestors being natives of Scotland, whence they removed to the North of Ireland, and finally founded the family in America. The mother's people were of English origin. In early life the father removed to Ohio, where he met and married Elizabeth SLACK. By occupation he was a miller, owning and operating both a saw and grist mill on Johnson’s creek in Muskingum county. Although he started out in life a poor man, by persistent labor, economy and sound judgment he succeeded in accumulating a handsome property, owning three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land.
The boyhood and youth of our subject were spent in attending the common schools near his home, and assisting his father in the work of the farm and mills. He remained under the parental roof until coming to Marshall county, Illinois, in 1859, at which time he located upon a rented farm in Evans township, near Wenona. The following year, however, he returned to Ohio, where on the 5th of September, 1860, he married Miss Louisa J. SMITH, a native of Muskingum county, and a daughter of William and Harriet (MORRISON) SMITH, who were born in Muskingum county, Ohio, and Loudoun county, Virginia, respectively. Her paternal grandfather was of German birth and spelled the name SCHMIDT. In the common schools she acquired a good education.
Mr. CUSAC carried on farming and worked in the mill of his father until the spring of 1862, when he enlisted in the national guards for five years, becoming a member of Company A, Eleventh Ohio regiment, but was afterward transferred to the One Hundred and Fifth-ninth. He was principally engaged in doing guard duty in Ohio and aided in driving the rebel General Morgan from the state. He was allowed to remain at home a part of the time, and only while on active duty was he paid.
In the spring of 1865 Mr. CUSAC returned to Marshall county, where he again rented land for a number of years. Two yeas previous to his return, however, he had made a trip to California, by way of New York city and the Isthmus of Panama, being forty-three days en route, during which time they encountered several severe storms, and the machinery of the vessel breaking, they were compelled to drift. In 1887 Mr. CUSAC purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, Bennington township, his present fine farm, which he has under a high state of cultivation, and improved with good and substantial buildings.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. CUSAC, who in order of birth are as follows: William H., born April 5, 1862, was educated in the common schools, and now lives on a farm north of Wenona. He married Margaret SHIPLEY, and has four children: Ethel, Berenice, Lela and Oval De Witt. Charles A., born May 20, 1854, also lives near Wenona. He married May HUNT and has one son, George. Louis Sherman, born in Marshall county, January 20, 1866, married Minnie ROBINSON, and has four children: Louis Sherman, Charles, Leeta Waneta and William McKinley. James Justin, born May 27, 1868, died November 12, 1891, and was buried in the Wenona cemetery. Ulysses Grant, born July 1, 1870, lives in Bennington township, and by his marriage with Georgiana GAGE has one daughter, Beulah Blanche. Minnie Etta, born in Muskingum county, Ohio, June 20, 1873, is the wife of Elbert MEREDITH, of Tampico, Whiteside county, Illinois, and has two children: Orville De Witt and Hazel. Cora Estella, born in Marshall county, January 20, 1875, is the wife of Thomas MEREDITH, of Bennington township, and has one child, Oral J.
The father of our subject was a whig in politics, and held various township offices, such as justice of the peace. Mr. CUSAC, of this review, cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, in 1860, and has since been a stanch republican, but has never taken a very active part in political affairs, aside from attending the township caucuses. For many years he has served as school director, and was elected highway commissioner on the republican ticket, although the township generally has a democratic majority of one hundred and sixty, a fact which plainly indicates his popularity and the confidence and trust his fellow citizens place in him. He and his estimable wife are consistent members of the Presbyterian church of Wenona, and their worth and ability are justly recognized.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.