John LairdPosted 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.
J0HN LAIRD, deceased, who for some years successfully engaged in farming in Henderson County, and is numbered among its highly respected citizens, claimed Ireland as the land of his birth. He was born in County Donegal, and there spent the days of his boyhood and youth. At length he determined to seek a home in the New World, and in 1840, having bade adieu to home and friends, he crossed the broad Atlantic to America in a sailing-vessel and landed in New York. For some years he remained in the Empire State, there making his home until 185 1, when he resumed his westward journey and came to Henderson County, 111. The following year he purchased the farm on which his widow yet resides.
Mr. Laird was twice married. His first union was with Miss Elizabeth Wasson, and they became the parents of three children, Ralph, James and William, but all are now deceased. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Laird was again married, his second union being with Miss Margaret Venable, daughter of James and Ellen (Ewing) Venable. The lady is also a native of the Emerald Isle, her birth having occurred in County Tyrone. She was educated in the public schools of her native land, and there grew to womanhood. The year 1856 witnessed her arrival in Mercer County, and on the 23d of August, 1857, she became the wife of John Laird. By their union were born eight children, six sons and two daughters: George, who is now engaged in the livery business in Little York, 111.; Jennie, who resides in Little York : Ralph, at home; Joseph, who is living in Henderson County: Charles; Lee; Stella and William. The younger members of the family are still with their mother.
On purchasing his land, Mr. Laird at once began its development and transformed it into a good farm, placing it all under a high state of cultivation and improving it with the necessary buildings, fences and other accessories of a model farm. He was an industrious and energetic man, and everywhere about his place could be seen evidences of his thrift and enterprise. In his political views, he was a Democrat, but never aspired to public office. Socially, he was connected with Keithsburg Lodge, A. F. & A. M.. and held membership with the United Presbyterian Church. He was a loyal citizen, ever interested in what tended to advance the general welfare, was a true and faithful friend, and a loving husband and father. He passed away on the 21st of January, 1889, and his loss was deeply mourned throughout the community. Mrs. Laird and five of her children are still living on the homestead which was left her bi her husband.