LOY, a representative and well-known farmer residing on section 20, Watson Township, is numbered among the honored pioneers
of Effingham County. In fact, he was born in the township which
is still his home, January 29, 1837. His father, Joseph C. Loy, was a native of Alabama, and was of German descent. He married
Rachel Sharp, and they became the parents of five children, as follows: James, who is engaged in farming in Watson
Township; Lizzie J., widow of William Bryant, and a resident of the same township; Thomas, whose name heads this
sketch; John H., who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Watson Township; and Elizabeth, who became the wife
of Andy Wilson, and died in 1891. Throughout his entire life the father of this family followed farming. Leaving
his native State in 1827, he emigrated to Shelby County, Ill., and after a year came to Effingham
County. The journey was made by team. Since 1828,
the Loy family has been prominently connected with the history of the community. They settled on what is now section
21, Watson Township, made a claim, and when the land came into
market Joseph Loy purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 18, Watson
Township. He erected a log cabin and into it the
family moved, living in true pioneer style. He cleared his land, planted crops and devoted his energies to the
cultivation of that farm until 1859, when he sold out and purchased eighty acres on section 21, where he lived
until his death. The Indians were very numerous at the time of the arrival of the Loy family, and the city of Vandalia was only a mere trading-post. They bore
all the trials and privations of pioneer life, and experienced the difficulties one has in developing a new farm.
Mr. Loy was a member of the Methodist Church, and in politics was a Republican. He died
February 6, 1892, at the advanced age of eighty-four years, and was laid to rest in Loy
Cemetery, in Watson
Township. His wife, who was also a member of the
same church, was called to her final rest in 1884.
The subject of this sketch was born and reared in Watson Township. The first school which he attended was
held in a log house and he conned his lessons while seated on slab benches. As soon as old enough he began to aid
in the labors of the farm, and gave his father the benefit of his services until twenty-two years of age, when
he started out in life for himself. For two years he operated a rented farm and then purchased forty acres on section
18, Watson Township, a part of the old homestead, where he
lived for two years. It was about that time, in 1862, that Mr. Loy responded to his country's call for troops and
enlisted as a private of Company I, Seventy-first Illinois Infantry. He was mustered into service at Camp
Butler, at Springfield,
Ill., and served for one hundred days, when
he was honorably discharged.
the expiration of that period, Mr. Loy returned to his home and purchased forty acres of land on section 21, Watson
Township, where he lived for two years. He then
sold out and bought the farm on which he now resides, comprising forty acres of land on section 20.
1858 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Harriet E. Smith, daughter of H. L. and Harriet E. (Rouse) Smith.
The following children have been born of their union: Alice, Mary E., Belle, Charlie, George E.; Hattie, who died
in 1876; Smithe, who died in 1874; Alonzo and Cora. The Loy family is one well known in this community and its
members rank high in social circles.
Mr. and Mrs. Loy are members of the Christian Church, and socially he is a member of the Grand Army Post. In his
political views, he is a stanch Democrat and has warmly advocated the principles of that party since becoming a
voter. He has served his township as Constable and as Justice of the Peace for twenty-four years, and has filled
the office of Assessor, School Treasurer and Township Collector. His duties have been promptly and faithfully performed.
In all the public or private trusts of life, Mr. Loy has discharged the duties devolving upon him with a promptness
and fidelity which have won him the commendation of all concerned. He is a good business man and has won a position
among the substantial citizens of the community.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and
Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors
of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 217. Transcribed by
Judy Rosella Edwards.