David WATKINS, a well known citizen of
Steuben township, has been a resident of
On coming to this country the WATKINS were in very limited circumstances, and on the death of the mother David kept the family together until the marriage of his sisters. He commenced life for himself, working for ten dollars per month, using the wages obtained in payment of the home farm. He was twenty-eight years old before he felt that he could safely wed. He was then united in marriage with Eliza Jane HOSKINS, a daughter of Josiah HOSKINS, a pioneer of Steuben township. Immediately after the wedding ceremony he removed with his young bride to his present farm, the first one opened on the prairie. An industrious, hard working man, he settled right down to business, and from time to time added to his original purchase until he is now the possessor of about eight hundred acres of as fine land as lies within the borders of Marshall county. While carrying on general farming, if it can be said that he has made a specialty of any one line, it is that of a cattle grower, having at all times upon his place from one hundred to one hundred and fifty head of fine cattle. He is not what is usually termed a feeder of cattle, but raises a high grade of animals. Attending strictly to his business he has made a success in life.
In 1856, Mr. WATKINS was bereft of his
wife, she dying leaving two children – Lucinda, who died at the
age of sixteen; and Wesley, the present supervisor of Steuben
township. Mr. WATKINS subsequently married Eliza Jane BREWSTER,
of McDonough county,
David WATKINS is in all respects a self-made man. His education, obtained in the old pioneer log school houses, was necessarily limited, but he has been a silent though a close observer of men and events, and is therefore a well-posted man. He is an attendant but not a member of any church. In his younger days he was quite a sportsman with gun and rod. He has always been an admirer and lover of a good horse, and yet loves to be astride of that noble animal. While nearing his four score years, he is yet in the enjoyment of fair health and is living in peace with all mankind. In politics he is a democrat, but never an office seeker.
Wesley WATKINS, the only son of David and
Eliza Jane (HOSKINS) WATKINS, is a native of the manor born. His
entire life has been spent in
Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.