Lee County Biography

Henry B. Root


More than twenty years have passed since Mr. Henry B. Root came to this county and located on section 16, Amboy Township. Here he still resides, busily engaged in the cultivation of the seventy-five acres which comprise his farm. Upon the place he has erected all the necessary buildings for the shelter of stock and farming implements, as well as the storage of the grain which is harvested each year in ever-increasing quantities. The family residence is roomy and substantial, while the surroundings are in every way inviting and attractive.

The parents of our subject were William R. and Laura (Benedict) Root, natives of Connecticut and Sheffield, Mass. They possessed the sturdy qualities which almost invariably characterize the people of New England, and passed their entire lives amid the surroundings to which they had been reared. Both died in Massachusetts, he in Housatonic and she in Sheffield. Their family circle was completed by the birth of eight children. Our subject, who was the second among them, was born February 4, 1828, in Sheffield, Berkshire County, Mass., and on a farm in his native county attained to the age of sixteen years. From that time until he was nineteen,he resided in Connecticut, whence he returned to Sheffield and learned the trade of paper-making.

After serving an apprenticeship at that trade, Mr. Root became foreman in the mill and was thus employed for eight years. In March, 1870, he came to Illinois and located in this county, purchasing the farm upon which he now lives and which is pleasantly situated on section 16, Amboy Township, since he first came here this has been his home, with the exception of two years, of which one was spent in Amboy and the other in the East. His time has been industriously devoted to the cultivation of the place, which now ranks among the best improved estates in the community, and although not so large as some others, every acre is made to yield the very largest returns for the labor expended upon it His success has been secured by the use of proper business methods in his farming operations and the exercise of good judgment in the rotation of crops.

On December 25, 1854, Mr. Root was married to Miss Caroline Phelps, in Copake,Columbia County N. Y. The parents of Mrs. Root were Seth and Polly (Bassett) Phelps, natives respectively of Massachusetts and Fair Haven, Conn. He died in New Marlborough, Mass., and she passed away in Hillsdale, N. Y. They had a family of four children, Mrs. Root being the third in order of birth. She was born in Hillsdale, Columbia County, N. Y., February 8, 1832, and there was reared to womanhood. Her marriage to Mr. Root brought to them one child, a daughter Ida V., who died when about four years old.

In local political affairs, Mr. Root has taken a prominent and active part, voting the Republican ticket whenever opportunity offered. His peculiar fitness for official position has been recognized by his fellow-citizens, who have called upon him to serve in many places of honor and trust. In every position he has displayed his energy and ability and has won commendation from those whose interests lie had in charge. For some time he served as Constable, was School Director for six years, and is now Highway Commissioner, which position he has held for eight years.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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