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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



HARVEY BISHOP. One bows almost with reverence in the presence of a pioneer of over half a century, and envies him what his eyes have seen and ears have heard, of the sketches and incidents of his early days. The gentleman of whom we now write has witnessed in the fifty-four years of his residence here wonderful changes. When he came there were no schoolhouses, churches, costly residences, or ample barns; no railroads, telegraph or telephone lines spanned these broad acres, and in fact few if any evidences of civilization existed, while now the prairies blossom as the rose, and the fertile acres yield abundance and to spare.

Our subject, of whom we give a portrait in this connection, is respected for his sterling worth and integrity, and the honest record he has made since his long residence in the county. He is at present living on section 32, Old Town Township, and is retired from the active labor of life, and passing its sunset in peace, and the quiet enjoyment of a sufficiency obtained through years of labor and economy. The parents of our subject were William and Margaret (Lake) Bishop, natives of Virginia, where they spent their early lives and where they were united in marriage. Soon after this event they removed to Clarke [ed., Clark] County, Ohio, where the father followed farming for a time, and in November, 1833, disposing of his interests in that county, came to this, and made settlement in Old Town Township. There the father and family lived, and there he died in 1855. The wife survives him, and has attained to the age of eighty-three years. Their children were nine in number, six sons and three daughters. The subject of this notice is the eldest in order of birth. He first saw light in Clarke [ed., Clark] County, Ohio, Aug. 2, 1821, and was about twelve years old when he came with his parents to this county. Here he received his education in the common schools, and lived with the old folk, assisting his father in the maintenance of the family until he was twenty-eight years of age. He then left the parental home, married and settled down in Old Town Township with his bride, and there engaged in the vocation he has followed thus far in life. He has been a resident of McLean County, as stated, since 1833, and has witnessed the wonderful advancement it has made during the past fifty-four years.

Our subject was married in Bloomington, Ill., Feb. 21, 1850, to Miss Mary A. Depue, who bore him one child, Margaret A., who died when about eleven years of age. Mrs. Bishop departed this life in Old town Township, Nov. 26, 1856, and Mr. Bishop was a second time married, in the same township, Jan. 1, 1861, to Miss Mary A. Hart. She is the daughter of William and Sarah (Sharp) Hart, natives of South Carolina and Kentucky respectively. Her parents after their marriage settled in Indiana, whence they moved to Greene County, this State, and where they both died. Their children were nine in number, seven sons and two daughters, of whom Mrs. Bishop was the eighth in order of birth. She first saw light in Indiana, March 28, 1823, and by her union with our subject one child, William H., was born. He is at present agent for the I., B. & W. R. R. at Gillum station. Mr. Bishop has held the office of Road Commissioner and other minor offices of his township. In politics he claims to be a Democrat, although he is inclined to vote for the best men for the office.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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