Marshall County


John MONIER, deceased, was for many years the leading farmer in Marshall county, and had a very wide and extensive acquaintance. He was born on the Isle of Man September 7, 18 26, and was the son of William and Jane (QUAILE) MONIER, also natives of the Isle of Man, but of French descent, the great-great-grandfather of John being a native of France. He grew to manhood in his native country, and in 1849 came to the United States with the family and located in Peoria county, Illinois. At that time he was twenty-three years of age, and was entitled to all the legal rights of man, but did not choose to exercise his rights. His parents were getting along in years and were not well provided for as respects this world’s goods. Until such was the case he could not think of self. With his younger brother, William, he hired out by the month, and saving their wages they purchased eighty acres of partially improved land, on which was a small house, and into which the family moved and continued to live six years. In 1857 they sold out and went to Saratoga township, Marshall county, where they bought a tract of land, and all continued to work together for a few years, when the children began to leave the family home and go out one by one to carve their own destinies. John, however, remained upon the homestead, and there continued to make his home until his death. Both parents died upon the place when past eighty years of age.

After living a bachelor’s life for nearly thirty-five years, John MONIER, in June, 1861, married Miss Ellen FARRELL, a native of Ireland, by whom he had four children, Jennie, now the wife of David HOSFIELD, of Whitefield township; Anna, who died at the age of twenty-two years; John, who married Mollie HARNEY and now resides near Geneseo, Henry county, Illinois, and Catherine, who makes her home with her sister Jennie. The mother of these children died in 1870.

Three years after the death of his first wife, Mr. MONIER was united in marriage with Miss Janet BELL, the wedding ceremony taking place at the home of the bride’s parents, Richard and Margaret BELL, of La Prairie township, March 12, 1873. Mrs. MONIER was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, of which country her parents were also natives. They are now living in Cass county, Iowa, and Mrs. MONIER is the only on e of her family remaining in Illinois. She is a relative of the DAVIDSONs, who were among the first of her nationality to settle in Marshall county. Six children came to bless this union, Margaret, now the wife of Charles ROBERTS, of Champaign, Illinois; William, at home; Vivian, a student in the State university at Champaign; Sarah, attending the high school at Henry, and James and Harry Hammond, at home.

As already stated, Mr. MONIER made his home upon the farm purchased on coming to Marshall county. A man of great energy and of thrifty habits, from time to time, as his means increased, he added to his possessions until he became one of the largest real estate owners in Marshall county, owning the home farm, which had been increased from eighty to eight hundred and eighty acres in extent, with four sets of improvements, two farms of one hundred and sixty acres each, in Steuben and Whitefield townships, together with one thousand six hundred acres in Texas, near the Santa Fe railroad. As a farmer he was a success in every particular, giving his personal attention to every detail of farm work. Not a thing about the place escaped his watchful eye, and he knew the whereabouts of every farm implement which he owned, and of all the numerous stock which he owned and fed. For years he was an extensive cattle feeder, and was very successful in his branch of business, and it is said that he raised the best hogs in Marshall county. His various farms were all well improved and adapted to the purposes to which they were applied.

While by nature conservative, he did not hesitate to adopt and make use of every labor-saving appliance that seemed to insure success. A farmer, he was content to work his farm and allow others to look after such interests as lay outside of his chosen calling. A democrat in his political belief, he respected the views and opinions of others, and never sought nor would he accept official position. While not a member of any church, he had great respect for the Christian religion, and usually attended services at the Methodist Episcopal church.

Until within a few years of his death, Mr. MONIER gave personal attention to his farm interests, but as age advanced he mainly rented his land, only giving such time and attention to his various farms as to see they were pro0perly kept up and conducted. His death occurred June 16, 1890, and his body was laid to rest in the Methodist Episcopal cemetery in Saratoga township. He was naturally a strong, vigorous man, fine looking, with full brown beard and gray eyes. Few men were better known and none more highly respected in his section of the country. A kind, loving husband and indulgent father, his memory is cherished by family and friends and none will ever forget the one now gone before, whose life of ceaseless toil was spent for the good of humanity and to give happiness to others.

In October, 1891, Mrs. MONIER left the farm and removed to Henry, where she has a very neat and comfortable home, and where she can enjoy life with ease, surrounded by her family and friends. She is a woman of great natural ability, one who thoroughly understands her business, and well posted on the affairs of the day. With a warm heart, ever open to hear the cries of the unfortunate ones of earth she makes her life a blessing to many, and while unostentatious in all things, it may be said of her as of one of old, “She hath done what she could.”

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

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