Lee County IL Biography


JOHN M. STERLING


The name of Sterling has been connected with the rise and progress of Lee County since the early years of its settlement. Maj. Sterling figured prominently as a pioneer merchant and farmer and as a public-spirited citizen, and in later years, his son, of whom we write, has come to the front as one of the foremost men of this section, he is an enterprising and successful farmer and dairyman of Nelson township, his farming interests and home lying on section 15, and he is one of our most valued civic officials, representing said township as a member of the County Board of Supervisor.

Our subject is a native of this county, his father's old homestead in Palmyra Township being the place of his birth, and November 26, 1849 the date on which he first opened his eves to its pioneer surroundings. His father, Maj. James Sterling, was born in Braintrim, Luzerne County, Pa., in May, 1805, and came from an old family that had lived in America since early Colonial times, being prominent in the annals of Pennsylvania and New York, especially of the latter State, embraced in Wyoming County, in whose early history much mention is made of them, as well as of the Suttons, who were kinsmen of theirs, both families bearing a gallant part in the Indian wars of this section of the country. Maj. Sterling was a son of Daniel Sterling, who was a native of Wyoming County, but became a resident of Luzerne County, Pa., where he was prominent in various capacities. He was a public man, active in business, managed a hotel, sold goods and did farming. In his last years he came to Illinois and a short time afterward died in Rock Island at an advanced age. He had visited the new State of Illinois soon after its admission to the Union, and had seen the country when it was for the most part a literal wilderness.

Transcribed by Christine Walters - Portraits and Biographical Lee Co. 1892

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