Lewis DukePosted by Jean Crowl 6 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.
LEWIS DUKE, one of the most extensive land-owners of Henderson County, who now carries on general farming and stock-raising on section 15, Rozetta Township, is one of the worthy citizens that England has furnished to this community. He was born in Devonshire, on the 30th of December, 1831, and is a son of Lewis and Elizabeth ( Holloway ) Duke, who were also natives of the same land. They had only two children: James, a retired farmer, now living in Monmouth, Ill., and Lewis. Accompanied by his family, the father came to America in 1844, and took up his residence in Rozetta Township, Henderson County, where he purchased an eighty- acre tract of land, 0n which he lived until called to the home beyond. He passed away on the 13th of April, 1883, and his remains were interred in the Baptist Cemetery. His wife survived him a number of years, and died April 10, 1892.
Quietly did our subject pass the days of his boyhood and youth upon his father's farm. He attended the public schools of England until the emigration of the family to the New World in 1844. At that time he, too, bade adieu to the home and friends of his childhood, and on a sailing-vessel crossed the briny deep, landing in New York City after a voyage of six weeks and three days. He was reared to manhood in his parents' home, and when twenty years of age started out in life for himself. He began operating his father's farm, and continued the cultivation of the old homestead until 1860, when he removed to the house on the same farm which has for thirty- four years been his home. Here he owns two hundred acres of good land, and altogether his possessions aggregate eight hundred and seventy- eight acres. The greater part of it is under a high state of cultivation, and therefore yields to the owner a golden tribute. It is a valuable property, and has been acquired through his own efforts, being therefore a monument to his enter- prise and good management. He carries on general farming and stock-raising, and along both lines is meeting with a well-merited success.
On the 1st of March, 1860, Mr. Duke was united in marriage with Miss Fannie K. Coghill, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Elliott) Coghill. Nine children grace this union, namely: Clyde E., now a farmer of Rozetta Township; Mollie K., wife of Francis M. Buck, a resident of Chicago, who is connected with the telephone business of that city ; George L., a farmer of Rozetta Township; Grace, an artist of no mean ability; Benjamin C; Annie; Victor L.; Blanche and Cleo.
The Duke household is the abode of hospitality, and the members of the family rank high in the social circles in which they move. Mr. Duke is a member of the Baptist Church, and votes with the Prohibition party, being a warm advocate of temperance principles. He has served as Supervisor of his township, and takes an active interest in all public enterprises which are calculated to benefit the community. Thus has he won a place among the valued citizens of the township, as well as among its substantial farmers.