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Biographical Sketch of Hon. Jonathan Plowman

Hon. Jonathan Plowman

Hon. Jonathan Plowman - was born near Somerset, Pa., February 26, 1818, and died at Virden, Ill., Feb. 19, 1900.

In the fall of 1838, he went to Ohio, where he taught school for six months. He then came to Jersey County and began teaching school in March, 1839, about six miles south of Jerseyville. He cast his first vote here, which was upon the question of organizing Jersey County.

In 1849, he entered about 1,000 acres of land in Macoupin County, and in 1858 moved and settled upon it, about four and one-half miles west of Virden. He remained on the farm until 1863, when he removed to Virden and engaged in the dry goods business in partnership with Robert Buckles for about three years, when the firm was dissolved, and he entered into business with his son-in-law, G. P. Cheney, which firm, G. P. Cheney & Co., continued for a considerable number of years. He retired from active business about 30 years before his death.

Mr. Plowman was twice married. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Crull, in what is now Rosedale Township, in Jersey County, March 4, 1841. She died, April 28, 1845. By this marriage two children were born, Emily C., now Mrs. G. P. Cheney, and Charles C. His second marriage occurred Nov 24, 1846, when he was united to Rachel Crull, a sister of his former wife, and who died, June 6, 1895, in Virden. Eight children were born of this union, of whom five are now living.

Mr. Plowman removed from Rosedale to Jerseyville in 1847. He served three terms as Sheriff before moving to Virden, where he also two other ex-sheriffs of Jersey County went to live, Capt. Murray Cheney and Pompey Silloway, both of whom died there several years ago. In 1872, Mr. Plowman was elected as the minority member of the Legislature from this senatorial district and served until 1874, in the 28th General Assembly of the State of Illinois. He also served some time as member of the Macoupin County Board of Supervisors. In politics he was an active and enthusiastic Republican, cordially supporting the principles and nominees of that party. During the many years of his active life, before the infirmitites of his age and failing health interfered, he was a careful and painstaking student of all the important political questions current in national and local politics, and few, if any, iin his community could give as logical reasons for political belief, or as useful and helpful advice as he, and not only in politics, but in religion, law and moral and social ethics; also, he was a profound thinker, and a competent and safe advisor. Those who were his neighbors, friends and associates, together with his own family, will loyally cherish his memory, as he lies at rest, fulfilling the Divine law, "Earth to earth, and dust to dust."

Source: [History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901, by Rev. Marshall M. Cooper, Jerseyville Republican Print. 1901]