Melchi GROVE, deceased, was for many years identified with farming interests in Marshall county. He was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1820 and when but six years of age accompanied his parents on their removal from the Keystone state to Ohio, acquiring his education in the schools of Portage county. At the same time Amelia CLEMMER was numbered among the pupils of that school and the friendship which they formed in early days afterward ripened into love and was consummated in marriage in Ohio in 1843. She was born in 1821 in Upper Canada and was only six years of age when her parents removed to the Buckeye state, locating about four miles, from Canton, where she was reared and educated. Her ancestors were of Holland Dutch extraction and came to America with William PENN, settling in the colony of Pennsylvania. Her father, Joseph CLEMMER, was a native of the Keystone state and married Nina SWARTZ, who was also born in that state. They spent their last days in Ohio, the former passing away at the age of seventy-four years and the latter at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. In politics he was a republican.
Mr. and Mrs. GROVE began their domestic life in Ohio, where they lived for six years after their marriage, and then came to Illinois in the fall of 1848, locating near Farmington. In the year 1850 they took up their abode upon the farm in La Prairie township where Mrs. GROVE has since resided, Mr. GROVE there carrying on general agricultural pursuits until his life's labors were ended in death in the spring of 1881. He started upon his business career empty handed, but possessed a resolute spirit and unfaltering determination and these qualities served him in place of capital and enabled him to work his way upward until he was comfortably situated in life. He owned at the time of his demise one hundred and fifty-four acres of, land. At the outbreak of the Civil war he joined the army, becoming a member of the Eighty-sixth Illinois Regiment, but was discharged on account of illness. He was always progressive and public spirited in citizenship and for six years lie held the office of justice of the peace, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. GROVE were born the following named: John, who is engaged in the real-estate business in Dixon; Henry, a machinist, residing in Moline, Illinois; Reuben, who was born in 1847 and died in 1872; Montgomery, who was a twin brother of Reuben and passed away in 1855; Clara, who was born September 15, 1851, married David LAPSLEY and died in October, 1886; Belle, who was born in 1856 and married Jerome WILLARD, living in La Prairie township; Shirley, who was born in 1858 and died in 1886; and Sheridan, who married Elsie STEWART and is farming in La Prairie township. Three of the sons were soldiers of the Civil war, belonging to the Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry. John served for three years and four months and participated in twenty-one battles. Both he and Reuben entered the service as drummer boys, the latter being then in his teens.
Mrs. GROVE still survives her husband and has always remained true to his memory, having never married again. She has long been a devoted and faithful member of the Congregational church and is a most highly esteemed lady. She is now numbered among the pioneer residents of Marshall county, where she has lived for more than half a century, having made her home upon her present farm since 1850. With the passing years she has witnessed many changes and has noted with interest the growth and development of the county.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.