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Macoupin County, Illinois


John T. Cain, who is engaged in farming on section 5, Honey point Township, is a Southerner by birth, the place of his nativity being Grayson County, Kentucky, and the date May 3, 1846. He is a son of Abraham P. Cain, who is supposed to have been a native of the same county. The father of the latter, Patrick Cain, was born in Ireland, and on coming to America settled among the pioneers of Grayson County, where he engaged in farming, and there spent his last years.

Abraham P. Cain was reared on a Kentucky farm, and continued to live in his native state until 1850, when he came to Illinois, accompanied by his wife and three children. They made the journey with a team, bringing all their household effects with them and cooking and camping often by the way. After arriving in this state, Mr. Cain located in Jersey County, residing a short time on Hawkinís Prairie, then removed to Kemperís Station, where he lived two years. He next rented a farm south of there, and dwelt upon it until 1860, when he came to Macoupin County, and purchased a tract of partially improved land in Shipman Township. At that time Alton was the nearest market and depot for supplies, there being no railways here then. He engaged in the improvement of his farm, and made his home here until his death. The name of his wife before marriage was Nancy Downs. She is a Kentuckian by birth, and a daughter of Israel Downs. She is living at a venerable age, making her home on the home farm, and is the mother of seven children, namely,--Margaret A., John T., Sarah C., Israel Taylor, James W., Mary E., and J. Hardin.

John T. Cain, of whom these lines are written was but five years old when the family came to Illinois, and he remembers well the incidents of pioneer life in Jersey County, during his boyhood. At the time they settled there the country still retained much of its primitive condition, and deer and other wild game were numerous. He was reared on a farm, assisting in its manifold duties, and gaining a good practical knowledge of agriculture that has been of value to him since he began his independent career as a farmer. In 1872 he rented land in Brushy Mound Township, which he cultivated very profitably, and he continued to reside in that township until 1882, when he bought and removed to the farm he now occupies in Honey Point Township. This farm, with its carefully tilled acres, its productive soil, and its excellent improvements, is a valuable piece of property, and yields its owner a comfortable income.

November 4, 1875, Mr. Cain married Miss Mary E. Morgan, a native of this county, East Carlinville Township, her birthplace. Their pleasant wedded life has been blessed to them by the birth of six children, namely: Edward R., Leola, Ruby C., Ina H., John R. and Margaret A.

Mrs. Cainís father, Thomas Morgan was born in Shropshire, England, February 21, 1829. He remained in his native land until he was twenty-four years old, when he came to America, crossing the ocean in a sailing-vessel, and landing at New Orleans. From that city he came northward as far as Memphis, Tennessee, and after tarrying there a year, he came to this county. He resided for two years at Carlinville, and then settled at South Otter Township, of which he has since been a resident. He was a carpenter by trade, and worked on some of the first frame houses ever erected at Carlinville. He followed his trade for a time after locating in South Otter Township, but for many years has devoted himself to farming, and owns a good farm of forty acres.

Mr. Morgan was married in this county July 10, 1851, to Miss Harriet Walton, who was born in New York City, February 20, 1832. They have five children as follows,--Mary E., Florence, William L., Minnie H. and Thomas E.
[Source: 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Macoupin County]


At no time in the history of our nation were the grandest qualities of heroism so brilliantly displayed as during the Civil War, and high on the roll of honor we place the name of those who maintained unsullied the glory of this mighty nation. When gloomy war with all its horrors rent in twain a once united people, there were not wanting brave men to offer their lives in defense of liberty, to dare, and do and die before the altar of patriotism. In hours of peril no one faltered, but all, generals and privates, military and civilians, fought with an intrepidity which never failed them. In dire disaster they became individually heroic, and fought for that prosperity which in civic life they had achieved.

The residents of Macoupin County and of the State of Illinois, point with pride to the record made in the Civil War by the late Gen. Rowett. Imbued with an intense love of the land of his adoption, and fired with a determination to uphold her institutions, he enlisted at the breaking out of the war, and served valiantly on many a hard-fought battlefield. As a private citizen and as a public official his career was alike stainless and honorable; in his home, surrounded by a devoted wife and loving children, he enjoyed a needed relaxation from the duties of public life and there found his greatest pleasures. Although removed from the scenes of earth ere yet old age had come to him, he had won a reputation which was not bounded by any arbitrary divisions of county or State. A grateful country honors his memory, and generations yet to come will revere his name.

Although not a native of the United States, in his beliefs, ideas and principles he was intensely American. The place of his nativity was England, and he was born in East Looe, Cornwall, in 1830. In far-famed Britain he grew to manhood, and having early laid the foundation of an upright character and possessing an intellect of a very high order, there was everything in his personal qualities to indicate a career of usefulness. The knowledge which he gained from the best literature of the day was of inestimable value to him. History, biography and oratory gradually enkindled in his heart a desire to be something more than a mere worker with his hands, and he became almost unknown to himself, a well-informed, educated man.

When twenty-one years of age he left his home and crossed the broad Atlantic and sought in America, what the future might hold in keeping for him. In the state of Indiana he passed three years in a buggy, harness and trimming establishment. In 1854he removed to this county where he remained until called hence. In the first years of his residence here were times to try the souls of men; war was threatening and danger lurked on every hand, Finally affairs reached a crisis, and the gun fired at Fort Sumter echoed around the world. When the war broke out in 1861 he was commissioned Captain of Company K, Seventh Illinois Infantry. His skill at commander soon attracted attention, and he was promoted to Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel and was brevetted Brigadier-General for special acts of gallantry at Allatoona. In three different engagements he received as many severe wounds, at Shiloh, Corinth and Allatoona.

Impressed with the ability and attainments of Gen. Rowett, Gov. Palmer appointed him Canal Commissioner, and in 1871 he accepted the appointment of Penitentiary Commissioner. In 1876 he took his seat in the Thirtieth General Assembly as a representative from Macoupin County. Though never radical in politics, his vote and sympathies were with the Republican party, and the testimony comes from all his acquaintances that his ability and integrity won, to a very unusual degree, the respect of his associates. His popularity obtained for him the office of Internal Revenue Commissioner for the Fourth District and appointment being made by President Garfield. Here as elsewhere, he nobly discharged the duties incumbent upon him, and the efficiency which characterized his every effort was noticeable in this important position.

Notwithstanding the many official duties which devolved upon him, he pursued the interests of his farm, which consisted of two hundred acres on section 17, and gave especial attention to the breeding of thoroughbred horses. His death was very sudden and occurred in Chicago, this state, at Washington Park, July 13, 1887. Since his demise his widow has superintended the affairs of the farm beside guarding the interests of her three children--Mary, Edith K. and Richard. Archibel died when three years old. Gen. Rowett was twice married, and by his first wife had one son, Charles. His widow bore the maiden name of Ella Braley, and grew to womanhood among the people of Macoupin County, of which she is still an honored resident. Her father, Ellison Braley, is poken of at length elsewhere in this volume; her mother Catherine (Coon) Braley, was a native of New York The parents were married in New York City, and emigrating to Illinois in 1840, settled in Collinsville, Madison County, where Mrs. Rowett was born February 22, 1848. Some years afterward they removed to Macoupin County, and are now residents in Carlinville. Of the six children born to them, Mrs. Rowett was the third. The uneventful years of her maidenhood were passed in her fatherís home where she enjoyed the educational advantages of a common school. On February 12, 1874 she was united in marriage with Gen. Richard Rowett, in Carlinville, and their happy wedded life was terminated by the death of the General in 1887.
[Source: 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Macoupin County]


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