Marshall County


Price PURVIANCE resides on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 33, Granville township, where he has made his home continuously for sixty years. He was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, June 5, 1830, his. parents being James and Margaret (TIPTON) PURVIANCE, the former born in Pennsylvania near Redstone, while the latter was a native of Maryland. The ancestry of the family is traced back to a remote period. They came of French lineage, being descended from a French count who was compelled to flee from France for trying to overthrow the government. He fled to Ireland and three of his descendants emigrated to America and settled on Long Island at a very early day, since which time representatives of the name have become widely scattered throughout the country.

James PURVIANCE, the father, was reared as a member of the Friends or Quakers church, but on his marriage outside of the church lost his birthright, although he always adhered to that faith. In 1846 Price PURVIANCE and his brother made a trip on horseback from Ohio to Putnam county, each riding a horse and leading one, while the father and other members of the family came down the Ohio and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Hall's Landing, whence they traveled by team and wagons to the farm upon which our subject now resides. The father was in excellent financial circumstances for those days and purchased one thousand acres of land. This he afterward divided among his children, one hundred and sixty acres of the old homestead and seventy-three and forty-hundredths acres of timber land falling to Price PURVIANCE, who has always remained upon the home farm. After living for a number of years upon the farm the parents removed to Hennepin, where the father died at the age of seventy-five years. The mother, however died at the old home when living with our subject at the age of eighty-six years. In the family were twelve children, one of whom died in infancy in Ohio. The others reached adult age and eight are still living, but Price PURVIANCE and his sister Mrs. Eliza J. FORRISTALL, who keeps house for him, are the only ones in this county. A brother, Amos T. PURVIANCE, was for forty-one years clerk of Putnam county. The sister Eliza became the wife of James FORRISTALL and they lived for many years in Bureau county, but later Mr. FORRISTALL went to the west and became interested in mining at Leadville, Colorado, where he died about ten years ago. Since that time Mrs. FORRISTALL has lived with her brother. She has three children, one of whom, a daughter, is at home with the mother.

The house in which Mr. PURVIANCE lives is just as it was when built sixty years ago. The timber was gotten out and sawed near Washington, Tazewell county, Illinois, and was hauled to the farm with ox teams. The ceilings of the rooms were made of pine lumber, which was hauled from Chicago by team, loads of wheat being taken to the market there, after which the lumber was hauled back. The weather boarding is of black walnut and the roof which now covers the structure is the third one which Mr. PURVIANCE has assisted in laying. He has built a barn and corn crib which are very substantial in construction, iron bolts being used in joining the timbers. He also has upon his place a blacksmith shop where he does all kinds of iron work. The family, being in comfortable financial circumstances, did not have to endure many of the hardships that fell to the lot of other pioneers, yet he recalls many interesting experiences of early days. Deer were plentiful and wolves were very numerous, so much so that in one night they had three hundred lambs killed upon their farm, while at another time seventy sheep were killed. On the trip of Mr. PURVIANCE and his brother westward through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois they saw not a single railroad and on all hands were evidences to indicate that this was a frontier region.

Mr. PURVIANCE gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for eighteen consecutive years was a school director. He attended the common schools at a time when little was taught save the three "R's", but he has always been an advocate of good schools. He was quite proficient in penmanship in early life and once received a prize for his excellent work in that line. He was also very proficient in arithmetic but grammar was not taught. However, he has become a well informed man, always reading broadly and thinking deeply and he has kept informed on questions of the day and the topics of current interest. He has in his home many valuable relics some of them being more than one hundred years old.

Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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