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. 195.
Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


ORRIN R. McDANIEL, who owns and operates a good farm of one hundred and eleven acres on section 23, Banner Township, is one of the prominent and representative agriculturists of Effingham County. He has the honor of being a native of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Edgar County April 17, 1835. His father, Josiah McDaniel, was born in Randolph County, N. C., in August, 1810, and there remained until twenty-four years of age, when he was united in marriage with Miriam Swafford, who was born in Guilford County, N. C., in 1813. She was of Welsh and German extraction. Her parents were numbered among the pioneers of Edgar County, Ill.

In the fall of 1834, soon after his marriage, Josiah McDaniel, accompanied by his young wife, joined his father's family on their emigration to this State and located in Edgar County, where he entered land from the Government and opened up the farm upon which he made his home until his death, which occurred in March, 1878. He was among the first settlers of that locality and was a man of prominence in the community. His wife died in Saline County, Ark., in 1854. This worthy couple had a family of four sons and three daughters, six of whom are living. James H. is a leading farmer of Edgar County; Susanna is the wife of Philip Mason, a farmer of Missouri; Samuel W. is the next younger; Elizabeth is the wife of Adam Fulton, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Missouri; and Alston B. is a prosperous farmer of Missouri.

We now take up the personal history of our subject, who remained at home until his mother's death, which occurred when he was about nineteen years of age. He then started out in life for himself. His educational privileges were only those afforded by the pioneer schools of his native county. On leaving home, he joined a surveying company on the Iron Mountain Railroad and worked from Little Rock, Ark., to the Texas line, which required about six months. He then followed various pursuits whereby he might earn an honest livelihood until April 3, 1856.

At New Orleans Mr. McDaniel enlisted in the regular army and was sent to San Antonio, Tex., where he was assigned to Company F, First Regiment of Mounted Rifles, and went to Ft. Duncan, Tex. After remaining there two months, he went with his company to Ft. Craig, N. M., which was his headquarters until he received his discharge, April 3, 1861. He made several expeditions through Nevada and other frontier points and was in the engagement on September 11, 12, 13, 14, and 29, 1858, against, the Navajo Indians. On receiving his discharge, he returned to Edgar County, Ill., where he was engaged in farming with his brother until December, 1863, when he joined the boys in blue of Company H, Sixty-fourth Illinois Sharpshooters. He and Harry J. Stoner recruited the company in Edgar County. After nine months' field service, Mr. McDaniel returned home on a recruiting trip, and on account of a cold which he had contracted in his eyes, which injured his sight, he was unable to return. He was never discharged. He was almost entirely blind for two years, and has now lost the sight of one of his eyes entirely and the other is badly affected.

In August, 1867, Mr. McDaniel secured a position with a medicine firm of Indianapolis as salesman and traveled fourteen years, after which he came to Effingham County. He has since engaged in farming and has a pleasant home, conveniently located about three miles from Shumway. His farm is under a high state of cultivation and well improved.

On the 3d of July, 1866, Mr. McDaniel married Miss Mary Givens, of Edgar County. She died December 31, 1889, leaving one child, Lucy M. In February, 1890, he was united in marriage with Miss Nora V. Week, who was born August 24, 1872. Two children grace this union, Lora R. and Orrin P.

Our subject is a stanch Democrat in politics and has held the office of Justice of the Peace in his township for twelve years. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for seven years, and his long continued service indicates his prompt and faithful discharge of duty. He is alike true to every public and private trust, and as he was a faithful servant, he is also a valued and representative citizen, well deserving of representation in the history of his adopted county.

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. 480. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.

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