Lee County Biography

Darius Sawyer
Lee Centre Township


It is a generally conceded fact that the farmer enjoys a greater amount of personal freedom than any other man who is engaged in the busy and almost endless task of accumulating money. There is something about life in the country, where one is surrounded by nature, that seems to bring a quietness and peace found nowhere else.

Our subject, who is at present a prosperous farmer of Lee Centre Township, was born in Waterbury, Vt., on 17th of April 1816. The August following, his parents left Vermont and emigrated to Ohio, settling in Clarke Cunty, where they lived nine years. At the end of that time they moved to Licking county, where they remained for the same length of time, and in October, 1831, they left the Buckeye State and spent the following winter at Terre Haute, Ind., and in Edgar County, Ill. In the spring of the following year, the family came to this county, settling in Lee Centre Township.

Mr. Sawyer came to this place with his parents when he was eighteen years old, assisting his father on the farm for the following four years, and in March, 1839, he was married in Lee Centre Township to Miss Sophronia Parker, a native of Syracuse, N.Y. She has borne her husband ten children, nine living to manhood and womanhood; Charles F. is a farmer in Russell County, Kan.; Horace P., who was a member of Company I, 46th IL Inf. died on the Red River, in Louisiana, after the close of the war, in 1865; Sarah G., who is the wife of John A Livingston; Darius M., who is a farmer in Lee Centre Township; Florence is the wife of Francis K. Livingston; Mattie, who died when about eighteen years old; Rolla F. is in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad, in the shops at Amboy; ALice F., the wife of Samuel B. Starks, and Abi.

The mother of this family passed from this life in Lee Centre Township, July 25, 1883. The father was again married October 6, 1887, to Mrs. Jane E. Tinker, who bore the maiden name of Jane E. Borge and was the widow of Edward B. Tinker. She was born in Hartford County, Conn., in the town of Windsor, May 3, 1834.

The subject of this sketch learned the trade of a blacksmith, which he followed for several years in connection with farming. He now owns a handsome estate of one hundred and forty acres, with good improvements. He has held the township office of Highway Commissioner, and in his political views is a Republican, and previous to the formation of that party was an old line Whig. He is one of the leading members of the Masonic fraternity.

The mother of our subject died in Lee Centre Township in 1837, and was the first of the early settlers here who died. Her husband moved to Marshall County, Ohio, and there died in 1872. This couple were the parents of eleven children, ten of whom grew to mature years. Three of the sons were in the late war; Joseph, who was killed outright; George W. met his death at the siege of Vicksburg, and Alonzo died in Marshall County, Iowa, during the war.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 741

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DARIUS SAWYER, pioneer of 1835, now living in retirement in Amboy, Lee County, Ill., was born at Waterbury, Vt., April 17, 1816, the son of Joseph and Sarah (Farnham) Sawyer, natives, respectively, of New York and New Hampshire. The parents came, with their family, to Lee County, Ill., arriving March 17, 1835, settling at Lee Center, and there the mother passed away just two years later--March 17, 1837--being the first of the early settlers to die in that locality, while the father survived until Oct. 11, 1872. Darius Sawyer learned the blacksmith trade in early life, which he followed several years, when he engaged in farming, continuing some sixteen years. In February, 1899, he removed to Amboy, and has since lived in retirement. March 21, 1839, Mr. Sawyer was married to Sophronia Parker, and seven children by this union are now living. Mrs. Sawyer died July 25, 1883, and on Oct. 6, 1887, Mr. Sawyer married Jane E. Tinker, who died in 1893. In 1898 he married, as his third wife, Mrs. Isabelle Dunn, who died four months later. Mr. Sawyer is an original Republican, having voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity since 1859.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1904 History of Lee County Illinois edited by Mr. A.C. Bardwell

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