Cyrus ROOT, residing on section 24, La Prairie township, Marshall
county, is a veteran of the late war and is one of the most highly
honored of the good citizens of the county. He was born just across the
line in Peoria county, September 4, 1838, and is the son of Erastus C.
and Barbara A. (REED) ROOT, both of whom were natives of Delaware
county, New York, and who were numbered among the pioneers of 1830. Both
died on the old farm in Peoria county, the latter October 6, 1881, and
the former January 22, 1896. (See sketch of Erastus C. ROOT.)
Cyrus ROOT was the first of the family born on the old homestead, which was the home of the father a period of sixty-two years. On that farm he grew to manhood, and in the country schools of the vicinity received his education. The pioneer life of a farmer boy is one unending round of toil, and that of our subject was no exception to the rule. From the time he was old enough to do the small chores necessary in farm life he had to do his share of the work. This experience formed in him habits of industry that have clung to him through life.
While engaged in the peaceful avocations of farm life, the call to arms was made by the general government in defense of the union. Young men all around him wee offering their services, and he, too, responded to the call, and August 27, 1862, he became a private in Company C, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This company was raised on the prairies, and six of the number were from La Prairie township, and among those were John JUMP, Webster GREEN and Edson TURNER, all of whom passed in safety though the conflict.
The Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry became a part of the Third Brigade, Second Division of the Fourteenth Army Corps under Thomas, and served in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Mr. ROOT was severely wounded, and to this day carries three shot in his body, two in his left arm and one on the left side of his face above the eye. While in the hospital at Nashville his regiment went on to Atlanta and took part in that campaign. Just as he was convalescing, Hood’s army appeared before Nashville, and all those who had been confined in the hospital, but who were then able, were formed into a battalion and took part in the battle following. Mr. ROOT among the number. Soon after this he rejoined his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina, and was with it in the grand review at Washington at the close of the war. He was "only a corporal" in his company, but in all his three years’ service did his duty faithfully and well. In the battalion formed at Nashville he served as sergeant.
On receiving his discharge at the close of the war, Mr. ROOT returned to his father’s house and made that his home until December 29, 1869, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary C. STOWELL, a daughter of Ebenezer and Laura (BRIDGMAN) STOWELL. Her father was born in Chenago county, new York, October 19, 1807. He first came to Illinois in 1836, in company with Roswell NURSS and his son, Isaiah NURSS, walking much of the way. After looking over the ground, he walked to Quincy, Illinois, and entered land on the north line of Peoria county, one-half mile from the county line, and also in La Prairie township, Marshall county. Returning to New York, he remained there until 1843, when he made his permanent settlement on his Peoria count farm. His first wife dying, he married Laura BRIDGMAN, and upon the farm adjoining that of E. C. ROOT they passed the remainder of their lives. He died May 7, 1880, she surviving him some years, dying April 26, 1889, in her eighty-first year. They were among the original members of the Lawn Ridge Congregational church, and he was the first of the six comprising the organization to pass away. He was a successful farmer, owning at the time of his death a fine farm of six hundred acres and much other valuable property. Of their nine children, Mrs. Cyrus ROOT and Charles E. STOWELL reside in La Prairie township. Mrs. ROOT was born on the farm April 4, 1845.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. ROOT took up their home on the farm of his father, where they remained two years, and then removed to their present place of residence. The farm comprises eighty acres in La Prairie and forty acres in Steuben township. He also owns one hundred and twenty acres of his father’s old homestead, a part of the original tract entered in 1836. The latter he leases to other parties, giving his personal attention only to his home farm. He is a practical farmer in every respect and confines himself to no special line, usually keeping, however, a good variety of stock.
To Mr. and Mrs. ROOT three children have been born: Wilber S., who was married on Christmas day, 1895, to Miss Minnie J. SMITH, a daughter of William SMITH, of La Prairie township; Emily J., at home, and Laura Barbara, who died at the age of eight months.
Politically Mr. ROOT is a republican, and, while not a bitter partisan, has yet an abiding faith in the principles of his party. He cares nothing for the honors of official position, but has served his friends and neighbors as school director and trustee, and also road commissioner. In army matters he yet feels a deep interest, and is a member of Chillicothe post, G. A. R. Mrs. ROOT is a member of Lawn Ridge Congregational church, but both attend the Methodist Episcopal church in La Prairie township.
Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.