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Posted by Jean Crowl 7 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

ISAAC FORWARD, one of the extensive stock dealers and farmers of Henderson County, now living in South Henderson Precinct, was born on the 23d of March, 1817, in Sussex, England. His father, Robert Forward, a son of Robert Forward, who was also a son of Robert Forward, was a native of Sussex, England, born May 24, 1789. His entire life was there passed. On the 12th of December, 1809, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Waters, who was born in Sussex, April 23, 1786. Robert Forward held the position of head game-keeper on the three-thousand-acre estate of Rev. Richard Wetherell. In his family were twelve children, eleven of whom grew to mature years and were married, namely: Robert, who was born October 26, 1810; Mrs. Ann Rose, August 7, 1812; William, November 29, 1813; Mrs. Rebecca Cottington, May 26, 1815; Isaac, March 23, 1817; Jonah, June 10, 1819; Mrs. Mary Mepham, March 10, 1821; Daniel, September 16, 1823; Joseph, July 31, 1826; Hannah, February 13, 1828; Elizabeth, July 12, 1829; and Mrs. Fannie Wood, May 2,1831. Five of the sons and three of the daughters crossed the Atlantic and became residents of America.

No event of special importance occurred during the boyhood and youth of our subject, who, at the age of twenty-two, when his father was made Mr. Wetherell's bailiff, became head game-keeper of the estate, which position he held for two years. He then chose as a companion and helpmate on life's journey Miss Sarah Johnson, who was born July 25, 1821, and was a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Baker) Johnson, natives of England. Their marriage was celebrated on the 30th of March, 1841, and five days later they started for America. With the hope of being benefited thereby, they resolved to seek a home and fortune in the New World, and took passage on the sailing-vessel, " Prince George," which, after a voyage of six weeks, landed them safely on the shores of the New World.

>Mr. and Mrs. Forward first located in Madison County, N. Y., where he engaged in raising hops, following that business for eleven years. The spring of 1852 witnessed their arrival in Illinois, and for two years they resided in the northern part of the State. In 1854 they came to Oquawka, where Mr. Forward made his home for twelve years, and then moved to his present location.

The marriage of this worthy couple has been blessed with two children: Olive M., who was born February 20, 1843; and Charles R., February 10, 1846. Charles R. Forward married Martha E. Kemp, of Henderson County, December 25, 1867. They have four living children, namely: Isaac F., who married Jennie Johnson, September 22, 1892, and has one son, Frank C; and Fannie, Olive and Martha. Mrs. Isaac Forward was called to her final rest on the 22d of June, 1892, and her loss was deeply mourned, for she was a kind and faithful friend, and a loving and tender wife and mother.

Since living in Henderson County, Mr. Forward has been extensively engaged in stock-dealing, and has been very successful in his undertaking, so that he has now acquired a handsome competence, that enables him to secure all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. His possessions have all been acquired through his own industrious efforts and the able assistance of his wife, who proved to him a true helpmate. Indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature, and his untiring labors and judicious management have brought him a valuable property. For forty years, Mr. Forward has resided in this community, during which time he has become widely and favorably known; therefore it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of one of the representative citizens of the community.