Biography - John A. Baldwin

John A. Baldwin, one of the prosperous and prominent farmers and stock raisers of Greene [C]ounty, after almost fifty years’ residence in this county, feels perfectly satisfied with Illinois as a place of residence, appreciating its advantages and business opportunities, and through the careful direction of his individual interests, adding to the general prosperity and upbuilding of the community, especially along agricultural lines. He was born in White Hall [T]ownship, June 26, 1855, a son of Benjamin F. and Hannah (Severs) Baldwin. His paternal grandfather, Benjamin Baldwin, Sr., was the founder of the family in this state, coming to Illinois from Marion [C]ounty, Ohio. He was a splendid type of the self-made man, for though he started out in life empty-handed he accumulated several thousand acres of land in Illinois and also left to his son Benjamin a tract of eighty acres in Ohio. He possessed splendid business ability and keen discernment, which enabled him to make judicious investments, and as the years passed he became one of the most extensive landowners in this part of the state.

Benjamin F. Baldwin was long a man of prominence in public life in Greene [C]ounty, active and influential along many lines which promoted the welfare of his community. For thirty years he acted as marshal at the annual county fairs held in Carrollton and was noted for his efficiency and the promptness with which he discharged his duties. He always carried on farming and in the development of the fields and the care of his crops he showed the spirit of the progressive agriculturist. Unto him and his wife were born seven children: Marilla, deceased; Lou S., who is living in White Hall [T]ownship; Mary, who resides in St Paul; George, a resident of Bluffdale; Alice, the wife of H. Porter; John A.; and A. C. Baldwin, a stock farmer of Greene [C]ounty.

At the usual age John Baldwin became a public school student, and when not occupied with his text-books he assisted in the cultivation of the home farm or enjoyed the pleasures in which farmer lads of the period indulged. In 1887 he was united in marriage to Clara E. Robley, a daughter of Vilroy and Katherine (Spencer) Robley, the latter a daughter of Hiram and Jane Spencer, of White Hall Hall [sic] [T]ownship. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have been born two children: Edith S. and Edna A., twins, who were born June 23, 1896.

Mr. Baldwin resides upon a farm which formerly belonged to is father-in-law and is engaged extensively and successfully in stock-raising. He makes a specialty of what is known as the Thin Rind breed of hogs, a kind that is now recognized among hog raisers as well defined breed of the bacon producers. It originated in Kentucky and was developed in Pike [C]ounty, Missouri. The hogs are distinguished by a white band around a black body. The sows are prolific and good mothers and cross well with other breeds. The stock is now registered and is raised in many parts of the United States. Mr. Baldwin also raises potatoes of the finest variety, covering them with straw only and thus saving cultivation and the labor of digging. He is also a believer in modern methods of farming, and while quick to adopt a new idea, it must be one which his judgment tells him will prove practical. His labors have been carried energetically forward and he has accomplished much as a former and stock-raiser, being now one of the prosperous men of his community.

Extracted 2021 Aug 23 by Marti Swanson from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 603-604.

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