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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



ELIJAH C. BLISS, formerly a prosperous farmer of McLean County, is now living in ease and retirement in his pleasant home in Bloomington. His earlier years were passed in industrious and honorable toil, during which he built up for himself a reputation as an honest man and a good citizen. He comes of excellent New England parentage and was born in Bristol County, Mass., Nov. 27, 1822. His parents were Elijah and Sarah (Perry) Bliss, also of Massachusetts, and engaged in agricultural pursuits their entire lives. The household circle included eleven children, six now living, viz., William H., Frances, Cornelius, Zenus, Marshall and Elijah C.

Our subject was reared to farming pursuits, and remained under the parental roof until twenty-two years of age, receiving careful home training and a common-school education. After leaving home he learned the carpenter s trade, at which he worked in his native State until 1851. He then came to Illinois, and locating in Jacksonville followed his trade there for five years. He then purchased a farm, which he cultivated and occupied for four years, when he sold out and came to McLean County, becoming a resident here in 1861. He purchased 120 acres of land in Blue Mound Township, upon which he lived and labored until 1883, then purchased the five acres in Bloomington where he now lives, and which constitutes a pleasant and commodious home.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Lucy A. Harmon took place at St. Louis, Mo., in 1852. Mrs. Bliss is a native of Connecticut, and the daughter of Phineas and Mary (Grosvenor) Harmon, natives of the same State. Her father was also a builder and contractor, and died in Suffield, Conn., in 1833. The mother is still living at the advanced age of ninety years, and makes her home in Bloomington. Of their three children only two are living Lucy A., Mrs. Bliss, and Sarah G., Mrs. C. E. Reed, of Bloomington. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss are the parents of two children: Herbert E. married Miss Sadie Owens, and has one child Emery; Leonard H. is at home; Zenus F. Moody, Governor of Oregon, is a step-brother of Mrs. Bliss.

Our subject is a strong Prohibitionist, and with his wife, a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church. He has been School Director and occupied other prominent positions in his township. He is in all respects a representative citizen, and a credit to the county which has been his home for so many years.

[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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