GLASSFORD, one of the most successful business men of Elvira Township,
Johnson County, was born in Indiana County, Pa., November 15, 1825. His
father, George Glassford, was born in Ohio of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He
followed the blacksmith trade in Ohio for some time, having served an
apprenticeship in Zanesville. Upon going to Indiana County, Pa., he
established himself in business as a blacksmith and was married to
Elizabeth Wolfe in the year 1824. Her parents, John and Elizabeth
Wolfe, resided there about ten years, when they removed to Mason
County, Ky. He opened a shop at May's Lick and remained there until
During that year Mr. Glassford removed to Johnson County, Ill., accompanied by his wife and four children, namely: Elizabeth J., Samuel M., John W. and Abraham D. He made the removal on the river to Copeland's Landing and thence by team to what is now Elvira Township, where he purchased of Samuel Copeland a tract of land on section 34. At this time a few acres had been cleared and. a log house erected, which constituted all the improvements on the place. Thenceforward he devoted his time to agriculture and resided upon his farm until 1846, when he rented the place and removed to St. Louis. There he was engaged for a short time in Belcher & Bro.'s sugar refinery and remained in that place until his death, in 1847.
Samuel M. Glassford was eight years old when his parents removed to Kentucky. He attended school in that State aa opportunity offered, remaining there until 1841, when he came to Illinois with his parents. At that time Johnson County was sparsely settled and much of the land was still owned by the Government. In Vienna Township there were but a few houses. Vienna itself was but a hamlet, and the court house and jail were built of logs. Mr. Glassford went to St. Louis in 1849 and entered the employ of Belcher & Bro., sugar refiners. After remaining there for a few years he purchased their coal mining interest and teams and engaged in the coal business.
In 1860 Mr. Glassford sold an interest in the business to his brother John and retired to his farm in Elvira Township. He had inherited a part of the old homestead and bought the interest of the other heirs. He has resided on the farm since that time. A very successful farmer, he purchased different tracts of land until at one time he owned about fifteen hundred acres. He still owns about eight hundred acres, and his buildings and other improvements rank with the best in the county. About 1861 Mr. Glassford formed a partnership with his brother John and erected a flour and woolen mill in Vienna, put in the necessary machinery and bought a supply of wool, but before the mill was started it was burned down with all its contents, causing a loss of about $40,000 with no insurance.
In 1846 our subject married Elizabeth Jones, a native of Johnson County, and a daughter of James and Elizabeth Jones. His second marriage occurred in 1851, and united him with Juliet Jones, who was born in Vienna Township July 30, 1830. Her father, James Jones, was born in Virginia, and was one of the pioneers of Johnson County, Ill. He was a minister of the Free Will Baptist denomination. He established his home in Vienna Township and cleared a farm, where he resided until his death. Mrs. Glassford was educated in the primitive schools of the days of her youth. Her father raised sheep, cotton, flax and hemp. Her mother made all the clothing used in the family and instructed her daughters in the then useful arts of carding, spinning and weaving. The family consisted of twelve children, six boys and six girls, of whom Mrs. Glassford was the youngest. She lived with her parents until their death, then resided with her brother until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Glassford have three children living, namely: Josephine, wife of Dr. R. M. McCall, a successful physician of Vienna; Charles A., of whom a biographical sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and Mary E., wife of Theodore B. Williams, of Jonesboro. In their religious convictions, Mr. and Mrs. Glassford are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Glassford is a Prohibitionist and a stanch advocate of all that is uplifting and progressive. He was elected in 1874 to the State Senate of Illinois from the Fifty-first District, composed of the counties of Pulaski, Massac, Johnson, Pope and Hardin.
transcribed by Nan Starjak
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