Harley B. ZENOR, a prosperous farmer owning eight hundred and fifty acres of land in Putnam county, his home being just outside the city limits of Hennepin, was born upon this place December 31, 1855, and was one of the ten children of Housen K. and Flora (PATTERSON) ZENOR. The father was born in Kentucky in January, 1810, and died upon his farm southeast of Hennepin in February, 1870. He was a son of William and Sarah (SEATON) ZENOR, the former a native .of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia, while her mother was the first nurse that George Washington ever had. William ZENOR was reared in the state of his nativity, whence he removed to Kentucky, while his last days were spent at the home of his son, Housen K. ZENOR, where he died at the age of eighty-nine years. His wife passed away in Hennepin township at the age of sixty years.
Housen K. ZENOR accompanied his parents on their removal from Kentucky to Indiana in 1830 and in 1832 came with his brother Jacob to Putnam county, Illinois, where he took up government land. He then returned to Indiana and brought the family to this state. His father purchased a farm in Hennepin township and lived thereon until his wife's death, after which he made his home with his son Housen. The latter was married May 7, 1835, to Miss Flora PATTERSON, who was born in Indiana, October 29, 1815. They began their domestic life upon a farm and Mr. ZENOR continued to carry on agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career. He took up land before it was placed upon the market by the government. It is probable that he served in the Black Hawk war. He was one of the earliest settlers of this part of the state and contributed in substantial measure to the task of reclaiming and developing the land. As the years passed he prospered in his undertakings and at his death left an estate of eleven hundred acres. He was a devoted member of the Methodist church, in the work of which he was actively interested, and his political support was given to the republican party at the polls. He served as supervisor for several terms and held other minor offices, the duties of which he discharged in prompt and capable manner. As stated, he died in February, 1870, and was long survived by his wife, who passed away November 4, 1902. Of their ten children only three are now living, the sister being in Kansas, while Henry makes his home with his brother Harley.
The latter was educated in the district schools and spent his boyhood days on the home farm, early becoming familiar with the duties of field and meadow. After the death of his father he continued upon the old homestead and carried on the place until his mother's death. He then purchased the interest of the other heirs in the property and has since resided thereon. His home is a beautiful residence which was erected by his father, and the farm presents a well kept appearance, being neat and thrifty in every department, while the fields return golden harvests for the care and labor bestowed upon them. Mr. ZENOR is one of the extensive landowners of the county and in his business interests shows a most practical and progressive spirit.
In December, 1896, Mr. ZENOR was united in marriage to Miss Lottie GREINER, who was born in Hennepin, a daughter of Charles B. GREINER and a sister of C. C. GREINER, who is county clerk of Putnam county. Mr. and Mrs. ZENOR have three children Flora, Helen and Irene. The parents attend the Methodist church, of which Mrs. ZENOR is a member. Mr. ZENOR gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has served as highway commissioner for two terms and as assessor for two terms. He has been a member of the Odd Fellows society since 1877. Wherever known he is esteemed and is justly accounted one of the leading and representative agriculturists of Putnam county, his business being of such extent and importance and so capably managed as to class him with the prominent agriculturists of this part of the state.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.