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James Cyrus Humphrey

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.

James cyrus Humphrey, a leading agriculturist of Henderson County, now living on section 22. Walnut Grove Township, was born on the 1st of February, 1848, near Biggsville, and has spent his entire life in this community. His father, Henry Humphrey, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio. June 14, 1822, and in an early day emigrated to Warren County, Ill., where, on the 15th of June. 1843, he married Ferba Hagood, who was born in South Carolina, December 22. 1813. He was a farmer by occupation, and followed that pursuit throughout his entire life. On attaining his majority he identified himself with the Democratic party, and continued one of its supporters for a number of years. When the war broke out he entered the Union army, and was one of the valiant defenders of the Old Flag and the cause it represented. After that he became a Republican, and has since affiliated with the party. He now makes his home in Iowa, where he has lived for some years. His wife was called to her final rest May 25, 1867, at the age of fifty-two years. She was a faithful member of the Seceder Church, was a devoted Christian, and a loving and tender mother.

In the Humphrey family were six children, of whom four are yet living, namely: J. Cyras of this sketch; Mrs. Ellen Rankin, who is now living in Missouri; John E., who follows farming in Iowa; and Robert S., a resident farmer of Henderson County. Laura G. died when quite small, and Rachel twin sister of our subject, died Ottober 19, 1870, at the age of twenty-two years.

J. C. Humphrey spent his childhood days in his parents' home, but on his mother's death, which occurred when he was about eighteen years of age, he began to earn his own livelihood, working as a farm hand by the month. This he continued until his marriage, when he rented land. On the 1st of January, 1873, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Sarah Rebecca Small, a daughter of Albert and Mary J. (Haynes) Small, who came to Henderson County. Ill., from Greene County, Ohio, in 1851. Her father was born October 12, 1825. and throughout his life carried on agricultural pursuits. His wife was born January 13, 1830. They became the parents of twelve children, the dates of whose births are as follows: G. C, September 14, 1852; Mrs. Sarah R. Humphrey, February 14, 1854; Mrs. Cora L. Glenn. May 4, 1855; James S., April 5, 1857; Mrs. Ellen J. Exley, January 10, 1859: Albert E. , March 31,1860; William G., November 23, 1862; Mrs. Anna M. Betts, February 8, 1865; Mrs. Carrie B. Southwell, December 23, 1866: JohnC, September 10, 1868; David M., May 2, 1870; and Frank H., September 7, 1873. With the exception of three, all the members of this family reside in Lincoln, Neb., and the sons are there engaged in merchandising. Two of the family yet live in Henderson County, and one on Vancouver Island.

Mr. and Mrs Humphrey are the parents of three children: Edith Emeliue, who was born November 3, 1874. and is now attending the academy in Media; Ferba Jane, who was bora July 19, 1879. and is now in school in Media; and Ella Blanche, who was born December 29, 1884, and died in childhood.

Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey began their domestic life upon a rented farm. He had saved $600, and, buying a team with part of this sum, he began work for himself. His industry and good management, combined with perseverance, soon brought him some capital, and in 1883 he bought a farm of eighty acres, on which he is now living. This is a good place, and its neat appearance indicates the enterprise of the owner. Since casting his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant, Mr. Humphrey has supported the Republican party. His wife and daughters are members of the United Presbyterian Church. The family is one of prominence in the community, and the parents and children rank high in the social circles in which they move.