JOHN NICKERSON, who first opened his eyes to the light on a farm south of the city limits of Bloomington, Ill., on the 16th of March, 1839, is now a prominent and successful farmer and stock-raiser of Martin Township. He is the son of Albert R. and Ellen (Cook) Nickerson, natives respectively of Maryland and Ohio. The former removed from his native State with his parents to this county in 1834. The father of Mrs. Nickerson died in Ohio when she was a young child, and she came to this county with her mother. After their marriage, Albert Nickerson and his young wife first located in Missouri, where they lived five years and then returned to McLean County, where Mr. Nickerson engaged in farming, in Randolph Township, and where he departed this life in November, 1886, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. The wife and mother is still living, is a resident of Heyworth, and has now arrived at a good old age. The parental household included ten children, seven sons and three daughters, six now living. Of these, our subject, John, was the eldest.

John Nickerson passed his boyhood days on the farm, and began his education in a log school-house in Randolph Township. He remained under the home roof until reaching his majority, and was not quite twenty-one years old when he was married to Miss Julia A., daughter of Willis Willhoite, of this county. After their marriage the young people remained on the old homestead for a short time, then removed to their present farm on section 28, Martin Township. This embraces a fine body of land 240 acres in extent, all improved and under a good state of cultivation. In addition to the homestead, he has an interest in another tract of land embracing 1,340 acres. The farm is well supplied with the best grades of domestic animals, but Mr. Nickerson has made a specialty of the Poland China hog, and has been remarkably successful in this branch of business, which has yielded him a fine income from the start. He put up his handsome and convenient dwelling in 1885, in the rear of which is a fine barn and all other necessary outbuildings. The homestead in all its appointments forms one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of this section, and is observed with admiration by the passing traveler, the fine grove adjacent to the residence adding greatly to its other attractions.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Nickerson, six in number, are as follows: Mary C., who became the wife of Milton Sharpless, and has four children; Luella, the wife of John Arnold, of Fairbury, Ill.; Ida, at home; William H., James H. and Georgia E. The parents and all the children are connected with the Christian Church, of which they are regular attendants, and to the support of which Mr. Nickerson contributes liberally and cheerfully. Politically our subject is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, and has a genuine admiration for President Cleveland, and the manner in which he is conducting National affairs.

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




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