JOHN H. CLIFT, a prominent and prosperous farmer of Yates Township, owns and occupies a fine homestead on section
27, and is a good representative of the enterprise, intelligence and industry of this section of the Prairie State.
He was born in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., April 15, 1843, being the son of Henry and Harriett (Latham) Clift, natives
of England, and who emigrated to the United States in 1842 and settled in New York, which remained their home until
They then disposed of their interests in the Empire State and starting for the farther West, came into Illinois and located on a farm in Marshall County. There, by the exercise of industry and good management, the father of our subject accumulated sufficient of this world's goods to enable him and his excellent companion to pass their later years in peace and comfort, retired from active labor. They removed from the farm into the city of Henry, where they are now residing and enjoying the association of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. The parental family included five children, of whom John H. is the eldest.
The subject of this history was ten years of age when his parents removed with their family from New York to Illinois. He received careful home training, a good common-school education, and assisted his father in tilling the soil. He remained under the home roof, in Marshall County, until the spring of 1869, and then, desirous of establishing a homestead of his own, came to this county and settled upon a part of the farm which he now owns. His first purchase consisted of eighty acres of raw prairie, which amount he subsequently doubled, so that now he is the owner of a quarter section which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. Upon the farm which he has thus opened and improved he erected a shapely and substantial residence, a good barn and all other necessary out-buildings. The farm is well stocked with good grades of the domestic animals and the machinery and implements for carrying on agriculture are of the latest improved pattern. Mr. Clift is a thorough-going business man, prompt in the fulfillment of his obligations and ever ready to assist in every worthy public enterprise. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party but has steadily declined to become an office-seeker. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Fairbury Lodge No. 351.
Probably the most important event in the life of John H. Clift occurred on the 26th of November, 1868, when he was united in marriage with Miss Arabella, daughter of John T. and Ann Smith. Mrs. Clift is a native of Illinois and was born in Peoria County, March 27, 1849. Her parents now reside in the little city of Henry, Ill., and the father is numbered among the substantial men of Marshall County. Of this genial union there are three interesting daughters: Grace, born Aug. 23, 1870; Jennie, Jan. 11, 1879, and Edna, Feb. 22, 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Clift are devoted members of the Evangelical Methodist Church, to the support of which they contribute liberally and cheerfully, and are among the first to encourage works of charity and benevolence. They are numbered among the useful members of the community and in their daily lives present examples worthy of imitation.
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), 697. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.