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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JACOB BISHOP, of Randolph Township, is probably the oldest man living in the township, and during his long residence here has secured for himself the profound respect of his fellow-citizens. Our subject is a native of Frederick County, Md., and was born June 25, 1797. He is the only surviving son of a family of thirteen children, and has two sisters yet living: Catherine, the widow of Jacob Weedman, aged ninety-two, and now living in Farmer City, De Witt Co., Ill.; Elizabeth married John Young, now deceased, and is residing at Monmouth, Ill., at an advanced age.

The father of our subject, John Bishop, was a native of Maryland and of English and Irish descent. He was a blacksmith by trade and in early life was married to Miss Hannah Cooper, a German lady, by whom he became the father of thirteen children. In 1812 the family all removed to Perry County, Ohio, where the parents passed the remainder of their life, the father dying when sixty-five years of age; the mother died some years afterward and was about the same age. They were people highly respected in their community, and members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Jacob Bishop remained on the homestead of his parents until his marriage, which occurred in Perry County, Ohio, May 10, 1820, the maiden of his choice being Miss Mary A. Weedman. She was born in Pennsylvania, Dec. 15, 1799, being the daughter of George and Charlotte (Huen) Weedman, also natives of the Keystone State. They were of German parentage and descent, and removed to Perry County, Ohio, when Mrs. B. was but a child. Afterward they came to Illinois and died in Randolph Township, this county, some years ago. They also belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bishop there were born thirteen children, all living, and of whom the record is as follows: Sarah became the wife of Phillip Hand, a farmer of DeWitt County, Ill.; of George, the second child; Hannah married John Cusey, and lives with her husband in Farmer City, Ill.; Charity married W. Adams, now deceased, and lives in Downs Township; Jacob married Mrs. Mary H. Little, who is now deceased, and he lives in Heyworth; Charlotte became the wife of Andrew J. Stringfield, who served as a Union soldier in the late war and contracted the disease in the army from which he died at his home Aug. 30, 1861; Mrs. S. resides with her father; Lizzie is the wife of Abraham Fry (see sketch); William Fletcher married Miss Margaret Walmsley, and is a farmer of Downs Twp.; Mary Emma became the wife of James Fulton (see sketch); Harriett (Mrs. George Wilson) resides in Normal, her husband having retired from active labor; John St. Clair married Miss Harriett Chesney, and is a farmer in Randolph Township; Asbury M. owns and operates forty-six acres of the old homestead; on the 10th of October, 1872, he lost his right arm by means of a threshing-machine, but has acquired such skill in the use of the left that he is still able to do the work of an ordinary man; Joseph A. married Jane Ellsworth, and is farming near Heyworth. Mrs. Margaret W. Bishop, the mother of these children, departed this life at her home in Randolph Township, Jan. 23, 1873. She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject has been connected with that denomination since a youth of nineteen years. Several of the children are also following the footsteps of their parents in their religious faith. Mr. Bishop and his sons are all Republican in politics.

[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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