Robert R. McCULLOUGH, whose farming interests comprise three hundred and twenty acres of valuable laud on section 15, La Prairie township, was born in Winsted, Connecticut, February 17, 1831, and there resided until three years of age, when he was taken by his parents to New York, where he remained until after he attained his majority. He comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father, Samuel McCULLOUGH, was a native of County Down, Ireland, and well remembered the revolutionary war of that country, when so many people were massacred. After seeking a home in the new world he acted as foreman in large manufactories in different parts of Connecticut. His political views' were in accord with the principles of democracy, and he died at Caroline, Tompkins county, New York, in 1846. He married Nancy ROBINSON, also a native of Ireland, whence she came to the new world at the age of ten years, making the voyage on a sailing vessel with her uncle. She belonged to the Presbyterian church and was an earnest, sincere Christian woman. Her death occurred in Henry county, Illinois, in 1865, and she was laid to rest in Boyd's Grove. The members of the family were Samuel, James and David, all now deceased; Adelia; Jane; Robert, of this review; and John L., who was supervisor in Bureau county for twenty-eight years and was one of the best known citizens of this part of the state. He died in April, 1904, at the age of seventy-three years.
Robert McCULLOUGH spent his childhood in New York, and when twenty-two years of age started out to face the hardships, difficulties and opportunities of the world. He had no capital and he worked by the month as a farm hand. He spent four and a half years in Minnesota, and was well acquainted with the majority of the people who were massacred there by the Indians at the fork of the Yellow Medicine river. He realized the possibility of an attack, and, thoroughly understanding the frontier conditions, he prepared a plan by which to escape in case of the approach of the savages. Those that followed his advice managed to escape unharmed, but the others were killed. Mr. McCULLOUGH certainly deserves much credit for his plan, but modestly disclaims all credit. Throughout his entire life he has carried on general farming, and is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land in La Prairie township, where he is successfully carrying on general agricultural pursuits, having brought his fields under a high state of cultivation. He has also added many modern improvements to the property, and it is now one of the excellent farms of the community.
On the 22d of December, 1864, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. McCULLOUGH and Miss Angeline JONES, who was born in Chillicothe, Illinois, February 3, 1834. Her father, Edwin S. JONES, who was always known by the title of squire, assisted in laying out Peoria county, and was one of the honored and prominent pioneer residents of this portion of the state. He lived here during the Black Hawk war and took part in the Civil war, while two of his sons were also loyal defenders of the Union cause. He married Emily ROOT, who was born in Roxbury, New York, in 1807. Her father, Jerel ROOT, was at one time a resident of Chillicothe, Ohio, and in 1829 was elected treasurer of Hancock county, that state. In 1831 he came to Illinois and served in the Black Hawk war during the following year. In 1832 he was elected county commissioner of Peoria, and, with the assistance of Mr. WRENN and John COYLE, they platted the land whereon Peoria now stands. He was likewise a soldier in the Civil war. His wife, Mrs. JONES, was a devoted member of the Christian church, and died in 1892. The members of the JONES family are as follows: Mrs. Isabella WOOD, the eldest, was a resident of Chillicothe, Illinois, and died in San Antonio, Texas, March 12, 1906. Albert W. JONES was a lieutenant of the Union army in the Civil war and later served on the staff of the governor of Colorado with the title of colonel. He is now retired from business in Greeley, Colorado, but takes a very active part in politics. Mrs. McCULLOUGH is the next of the family. Mrs. Harriet FOSTER, a resident of Bradford, Illinois, died in 1875. Julius E., who was also a soldier, is deceased. Julia married Howard EDMINSTER, and died April 30, 1895.
Mrs. McCULLOUGH attended school in Henry, Illinois, and at the age of sixteen years began teaching, which profession she successfully followed. In 1864 she gave her hand in marriage to Mr. McCULLOUGH, and unto them have been born the following named: Albert J., who married Anna B. MADISON, of Fort Scott, Kansas, is now living in La Prairie township, farming his own land and also his father's farm. He completed his education at Quincy Commercial College. Anna B., who engaged in teaching school in Chillicothe and in the State Normal, is now the wife of A. B. STICKNEY, a prominent railroad man and train dispatcher, living at Chillicothe, Illinois. Louis E. is a student in the high school at Chillicothe. Edwin, who for seven years was a student in a college at Galesburg, Illinois, was graduated with both a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. He is also a graduate of the State Normal of North Dakota and was formerly principal of the high school at Valley City, while at the present writing he is a professor in the high school at Anamoose, North Dakota. Mrs. McCULLOUGH is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. McCULLOUGH is rather inclined, politically, to the democracy, yet is independent of all party ties. He has now passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey, and in a review of his record it will be seen that he has been most energetic and capable in his business affairs. What he possesses he has acquired through his own labor, and his is a valuable farm of three hundred and twenty acres, equipped with all the accessories and conveniences of a model farm property of the twentieth century.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.