JOHN M. STIPP. Supervisor of Arrowsmith Township, and whose portrait is given on an accompanying page, is one
of the most enterprising farmers of the county. His homestead is pleasantly located on section 19 of the township
named. The father of our subject, Henry Stipp, was a native of Pickaway County, Ohio, where he was born Nov. 2,
1808. While still a boy he removed with his parents, John and Catherine Stipp, to Indiana, settling in Vigo County,
twelve miles north of Terre Haute, which was then an embryo village. In that locality our subject was reared to
manhood, receiving careful parental training and a good education in the common schools.
He was united in marriage with Miss Martha Meddley, who was born near Terre Haute. After marriage the young people went to housekeeping, and our subject continued his farm operations in connection with lumbering on the river until 1852. They then crossed over into Illinois and became residents of this county, locating first upon a tract of land in Padua Township. Five years later Mr. Stipp disposed of his property there and purchased eighty acres on section 7, in Arrowsmith Township, which he improved and cultivated, adding to it as time progressed and his means accumulated. His first wife had died in Indiana in 1844, leaving one son, John M., the subject of this history. Henry Stipp was subsequently married to Miss Cynthia Ann Meddley, a cousin of his former companion. The father died upon the homestead which he had established in Arrowsmith Township in about 1873. His widow is still living, residing on the old homestead. Of the two marriages of Henry Stipp there were born five sons and five daughters, seven of whom are now living.
The subject of this sketch was born in Vigo County, Ind., Nov. 3, 1842, and came to Illinois in 1852 with the family when a boy of ten years old. He has since that time been a resident of this county. He was reared to farming pursuits and his early education was necessarily quite limited, as the public schools of those early days were few and far between and not conducted in accordance with the splendid system of to-day. About the time young Stipp was nineteen years of age the outbreak of the Rebellion necessitated a call for volunteers to assist in the preservation of the Union. With many others he cheerfully responded to the first call, and became a member of Co. K, 8th Ill. Vol. Inf., and was mustered in in April, 1801. This was the first company to leave Bloomington, and among the very first to rush to the defense of the flag that had but a few days before fallen from the ramports of Sumter. After serving his term of three months Mr. Stipp re-enlisted and was transferred to Co. A, 1st Ill. Vol. Cav. Their regiment was soon afterward disbanded by general orders and our subject once more returned home, but not to stay. There being no immediate prospect of a termination of the difficulties between the North and the South, he again proffered his services as a soldier and was mustered into service as a member of Co. F, 94th Ill. Vol. Inf., and served until July 22, 1865. This time it was no child's play and Mr. Stipp entered into active service, participating in all the battles and skirmishes of his regiment, including the siege and capture of Vicksburg, and Yazoo City, Miss., the capture of Brownsville and Ft. Morgan, Ala., in which he officiated as color-bearer. Amid the scenes of danger and death he escaped comparatively unharmed, and was promoted Sergeant and after the war was commissioned Lieutenant by Gov. Oglesby, of Illinois. Gen. McNulty in presenting him the commission wrote him a lengthy letter, enumerating many acts of bravery and mentioning his meritorious conduct upon the field upon all occasions.
His regiment, of which he was a prominent member, as the history of the late civil strife will always show, saw much hard and dangerous service. We cannot in this brief sketch rehearse the daring deeds of its men their loyal sacrifices and heroic achievements but all the experiences of war were theirs. Could they be told they would speak of early reverses, sad disappointments, gloomy forebodings for the future, of sickness in camp and hospital; fearful suspense; of midnight marches, of deadly ambuscades, of labor in trenches and dreary and enforced idleness in camp; of escapes, of wounds, of imprisonment in foul dens, on the dead line, and of death of all the horrors of fratricidal war. But they would speak too of privations willingly endured, dangers voluntarily incurred, ceaseless labor gladly undergone, risks gladly and daringly assumed, and death most chivalrously encountered; of dashing assaults, of well contested fields, of the enemy's retreat and of countless victories. They would speak of disaster, but also of success; of doubt, but yet of undying hope; of transient defeats, but still of final and enduring victory.
After receiving his honorable discharge from the army Mr. Stipp returned to this county and resumed his farming operations in Arrowsmith Township. In 1868 he sold out and went to Kansas, remaining there, however, only one season. He then returned to McLean County and purchased eighty acres of his present farm. To this he added from time to time until he is now the owner of 200 acres, all finely improved and valuable. In 1885 he erected a commodious and handsome farm residence, which, with its beautiful surroundings, forms one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of this section. In addition to general agriculture he is quite extensively interested in stock-raising and among his herds are to be found some very fine animals.
The marriage of our subject occurred on the 4th of March, 1866, the lady of his choice being Miss Ellen, daughter of James and Margaret Wirt. Mrs. S. was born in Highland County, Ohio, March 31, 1844. The result of this union has been five children Minnie, Florence, Clayborn H., J. W. and Nellie.
Mr. Stipp, politically, is an earnest Republican, and is now serving his third term in his present office, that of Supervisor. He is a gentlemen of sound judgment and good business qualifications, and is greatly respected by all who have the honor of his acquaintance. He is a member in good standing of the A. F. & A. M., being connected with Arrowsmith Lodge No. 737.
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), 733. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.