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Robert S. 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.

ROBERT S. HUMPHREY, one of the highly respected farmers of Henderson County, now living on section 20, Walnut Grove Township, was born on the 9th of December, 1856, in Kirkwood, Warren County, Ill., and is the son of Henry and Ferba( Hagood ) Humphrey. The mother was born in 1812, in South Carolina. The father was a native of Ohio, and in an early day removed to Warren County, Ill., where he engaged in operating his father's land, and then followed farming upon land which he purchased for himself. Later, he embarked in merchandising, but finding this venture unprofitable, he resumed farming, which he continued until his enlistment in the Union army during the late war. He served for about a year, when, in 1865, he returned to the farm. Not long after this his wife died, being called to the home beyond in May of that year. They were married June 15, 1843, and became the parents of six children, four of whom are yet living: J. C, who makes his home in Henderson County; Mrs. Eleanor A. Rankin, of the same county; John, who is engaged in the livery business in Griswold, Iowa; and Roberts, of this sketch. The father was again married, in 1869, and then removed to Columbus Junction, Iowa.

On the death of his mother Robert S. Humphrey went to live with C. M. Lant, with whom he remained three years. At that time his service seemed quite hard, but thereby he developed a self-reliance and force of character which have proven of incalculable benefit to him in later years. Subsequently, he entered the employ of S. C. Gibson, with whom he continued for two years, receiving a small salary through the summer season, while in the winter months he worked for his board and the privilege of attending school. On leaving Mr. Gibson he entered a mill, where he was employed for a year. The next summer was again devoted to farm work, and in the winter he further pursued his studies in the district school of the neighborhood. He worked all one winter for a watch, the possession of which he wanted more than anything else. After two years spent in the employ of Mr. Rankin, he went to Mills County, Iowa, where he remained for a year, and then returned to Henderson County, to work for his brother, Cyrus Humphrey, with whom he remained two years. He next entered the employ of Jo Mathers, working as a farm hand by the mouth.

On the 14th of March, 1883, Mr. Humphrey was united in marriage with Miss Louisa L. Davis, a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Isaac and Ann Davis. She died on the 22d of August, 1890, leaving two children: Olive A., born June 20, 1884; and Earl D., born May 7, 1890. On the 5th of November, 1891, Mr. Humphrey was again married, his second union being with Miss Brachie Nevius, daughter of John S. and Maria A. Nevius, and a native of Henderson County. Mr. Nevius is now deceased, but his widow is yet living in Stronghurst. In their family were eight children: Simon, who is now living in Stronghurst; Mrs. Catherine Johnson; Mrs. Sarah J. Gilmore; Peter B.; Mrs. Humphrey; Mrs. Mary B. Powlson, who died in Adams County, Iowa, leaving two children; and two who died in childhood.

Upon his first marriage Mr. Humphrey rented the farm on which he is now living, and which has been his home continuously since. Both he and his wife hold membership with the United Presbyterian Church, and are highly respected citizens, who have many warm friends throughout the community. In politics, he is a Republican and is now serving as School Director and District Clerk.