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Samuel Mickey

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.

SAMUEL MICKEY, deceased, was born in Richland County, Ohio, was born on the 22d of November, 1827. His father, Robert Mickey, was a native of Westmoreland County, Pa., and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He moved thence to Ohio, and lived upon a farm, where Samuel was born. Samuel Mickey was brought up on the farm, but when he reached manhood he became discontented with his surroundings. Hearing of the discoveries of gold in California, bethought it a great opportunity, and in the spring of 1850 joined the army of emigrants then streaming westward. He was one of that vast number of young men who followed the awful trail of 1849, marked by wrecks of suffering and death. He crossed the Great American Desert, as it was then known, behind slow-moving teams of horses and cattle, and amidst peril, privation and ceaseless hardships. The Indians were on the war-path, and another more dreadful foe, the cholera, spread from ocean to ocean. The true history of this great movement has yet to be written. No poet has arisen to immortalize their achievements in verse. They had no Jason to lead them, no oracles to prophesy success, nor enchantments to avert dangers, but, like self-reliant Americans, they pressed forward to the land of promise, and traversed thousands of miles where the Greek heroes traveled hundreds.

After spending a year in the gold fields of California he returned to his home in Ohio, and moved from thence to Oquawka, Ill., where he lived ten years. In 1852 he was married to Jane Cousland, daughter of William and Mary (Palmer) Cousland. To this union he ascribed a large share of his success in life. He continued to reside in Oquawka until 1862, when he removed to a farm in Bald Bluff Township, Henderson County, where he made his home until 1865. He then went to the farm on which he spent his remaining days, and to its cultivation and improvement devoted his energies until that Messenger which pursues us all came and called him away.

He was honored, respected and beloved in every relation of life. He was not a man of books, and the education he possessed other than what he received in the common schools was acquired in the rugged and busy affairs of life. The wisdom he had was consequently keener and higher than that obtained from libraries. He was endowed with great natural powers, a firm will and great energy; his ideas were broad and comprehensive; his tastes were simple, and he cared nothing for show; adversity but stimulated him to exertion; prosperity but increased his desire and power for good. When misfortunes crossed and obstructed his pathway, he met them with a defiant determination, that either swept aside or surmounted them. At every step in life he acted upon the principle that "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches," and so now he sleeps in honor without stain or blemish among those he loved and knew.