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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JOSEPH DENNING, a substantial and respected resident of Bloomington, located at No. 808 East Chestnut street, is turning his principal attention to dairying, having a fine herd of fourteen cows, and carrying on a successful trade in milk and cream. Mr. Denning was born in Holmes County, Ohio, April 20, 1834, being the son of Jacob and Mary A. (Wiley) Denning, natives of Pennsylvania. They emigrated from the Keystone State and located in Ohio, in June, 1833. There the father was engaged in boot and shoe making, and remained a resident of the Buckeye State until his death, which occurred in 1857. He was a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and officiated as Class-Leader for many years; the mother is still living at an advanced age, and makes her home with one of her children in Dakota. The parental household of our subject included eleven children, seven now living, viz.: Joseph, Thomas F., Joshua W., Catharine, Samuel R., Jacob H. and Rev. John O.

As is seen our subject was the eldest child of the family household. He was reared on a farm and attended school during his childhood and youth, remaining with his parents until thirty years of age. In 1859 he came to Illinois and rented a farm in Danvers Township, this county, which he occupied four years. He then rented land in Normal Township for three years following, coming to Bloomington in 1870. He rented here until 1875, and then purchased a home west of the railroad, which he occupied six years, and in 1882 purchased his present home, which includes four lots and a comfortable dwelling.

Mr. Denning was married in this county in 1863, to Miss Alcinda, the daughter of Asa and Elizabeth (Stewart) Hall, of West Virginia. Her father was engaged in farming pursuits, and came with his family to Illinois in 1857. He located in Danvers Township, this county, upon a farm of 170 acres, which he had purchased, and which remained his home until his death in 1858. The mother survived until 1874. Of their ten children, five only are now living Thomas E., William S., John N., David C. and Alcinda. The parents of Mrs. Denning were members of the Presbyterian Church, of which her father was Deacon and Clerk.

Our subject and his wife became the parents of two children Charles A. and Nellie M. Mr. Denning is Republican in politics, and, with his wife and son, a member of Grace Methodist Church. He at one time occupied a position on the police force of the city. He has all his life been a man of industry and enterprise, and is a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, holding the respect of his neighbors and the esteem of many friends.

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), 597. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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