JOHN F. RUST, a pioneer settler of Randolph Township, is now engaged in general farming and stock-raising on
his fine homestead of 190 acres, located on section 16. He has been a resident of the Prairie State for over fifty-three
years, coming here when a young man and unmarried. He first came to Hamilton County, Ill., in 1828, and in the
spring of 1834 came to McLean County.
Mr. Rust was born in Maury County, Tenn., Aug. 11, 1816. His father, William Rust, was a farmer all his life and died at the residence of his son, our subject, in August, 1873. He had married, in early life, Miss Nancy McGee, who was born in the same county as her husband, Granville County, N. C. She died at the residence of her son, George Rust, in Randolph Township, in August, 1868.
The grandfather of our subject, Mathew Rust, died in North Carolina in the prime of life when his son William was a small boy. His grandfather McGee, whose name was Nathan A., was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and after his retirement from the military service settled in North Carolina, where he engaged in farming and raised his family to man and womanhood, and after his daughter married William Rust, he removed with them to Tennessee, living there for a time, when he moved to Smith County, Middle Tennessee, where he died.
John F. Rust lived until eight years of age on the homestead of his father in Middle Tennessee. When he arrived at that age his father, who was of a roaming disposition, went to Mississippi for a few years, then returned to Tennessee, and later emigrated to Illinois, locating in Hamilton County with his family as early as the winter of 1828. There our subject lived until he was eighteen years old, when he came alone to McLean County and settled in Randolph Township, which since then has been his home, he employed himself at whatever his hands could find to do, and was quite prudent in expending his money. He was principally engaged with stock dealers and from them learned the art of buying and selling and feeding live stock. In a few years he was enabled to purchase eighty acres of land, which he began to stock, and profiting by his experience purchased and sold live stock to good advantage. His land was unimproved when it came into his possession, but he worked upon it industriously and soon brought it to a fine state of cultivation. He has now an excellent set of farm buildings and all necessary implements and machinery required for the carrying on of agriculture and stock-raising in a first-class manner. The homestead presents one of the attractive points in the landscape of Randolph Township.
Mr. Rust was married in Bloomington Township, Oct. 22, 1840, to Miss Elizabeth Lindley, who was born in Christian County, Ky., Aug. 27, 1823, and came North with her parents in 1831 when a child of seven years, and they settled in Blooming Grove, which remained the home of the parents until their death. The father of Mrs. Rust was John Lindley by name, and his wife, before her marriage, Miss Elizabeth Gray. The former was born in North Carolina and the latter in East Tennessee. Their daughter, the wife of our subject, lived with her parents until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Rust became the parents of eleven children, three of whom are deceased. Those living are: G. W., of Bloomington, where he is engaged in the grocery trade; Thomas J. and J. Lee are carrying on agriculture and are large farmers of Randolph Township; Jennie is the wife of Martin L. Bishop, a farmer of Randolph Township; Alice married John Kelley, a farmer, also of Randolph Township; William D. is carrying on a farm in Greene County, Iowa, and also merchandising; Minnie married John Fitzpatrick and lives in Randolph Township; B. F. remains with his father and assists in operating the farm. Most of the members of the family are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church and all are regular attendants. Mr. Rust in politics is an uncompromising Jacksonian Democrat. Mr. Rust during his life has been a large landholder, but has reserved, including his timber, 190 acres for a homestead. A lithographic portrait of Mr. Rust is shown on another page.
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), 424. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.