MERLE H. RAYBURN, a farmer on section 35, Money Creek Township, is a son of David C. and Nancy (Fulton) Rayburn, the former a native of Ross County, Ohio, and the latter of Madison County, that State. They located after their marriage in Madison County, Ohio, and there lived until the fall of 1851, he engaged up to that time in farming. He then came to Bloomington, Ill., with his wife and four children, and made that his home during the following winter and then moved to Money Creek Township and located on section 35. Remaining there until the fall of 1886, he removed to the village of Towanda. His good wife died in Money Creek Township Nov. 21, 1873, and he was again married, Miss Rachel S. Bowman being the other contracting party. David C. Rayburn became the father of nine children, namely, Merle H., Quesnel, Chalmers, Cranmer G., Pascal, Duff, Zuingle and Melanethon L., and one who died in infancy. Quesnel died in November, 1876, of consumption; Chalmers is married to Miss Isabell Hutton of Normal, this county, and they are living in Butler County, Kan.; Cranmer G. married Miss Susie Stevenson of Towanda, and they are living in Plymouth, Iowa; Pascal married Miss Julia Geeding of Towanda, and they are living in Marion County, Kan.; Duff and Miss Anna Shaw were united in marriage, and he is a farmer of Money Creek Township; Zuingle became the husband of Miss Susie Price, and they are residents of Plymouth County, Iowa.

The subject of this notice was born in Madison County, Ohio, Jan. 22, 1845. He was nearly seven years of age when his parents brought him to this county. Here he supplemented his education received in the common schools by a course of two years' study at Normal. He has always occupied his time in agricultural pursuits and knows no other vocation, and has been a resident of Money Creek Township ever since he first located there with his parents. Mr. Rayburn was married in Saline County, Neb., Oct. 26, 1872, to Miss Emma Overman, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca (Dill) Overman, the former a native of North Carolina, and she of Rising Sun, Ind. They were brought to this State when young and were married in Mercer County, whence they removed to Fulton County, this State, and there lived for several years. He died while a resident of that county, his demise occurring in March, 1866. The widow and her children continued to reside in Fulton County until 1868, when they removed to Lee County, and in 1872 made another removal still further West and became residents of Saline County, Neb. In 1877 the mother came to McLean County, where one year later, at Normal, she died. By her union with Mr. Overman six children were born—Sarah J., Frank E., Emma, Clara, Leigh and Isabell. Emma, Mrs. Rayburn, was born in Fulton County Ill., May 15, 1852, and has borne our subject four children—Merle I., David Q., Emma G. and Ray L. Mr. Rayburn has held the office of Township Clerk and in politics is a stanch Republican. He was a member of the 145th Ill. Vol. Inf., and served five months during the late Civil War. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church and he has been a Deacon in the same for twelve years, and an Elder since July, 1886.

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


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