JAMES S. VANSCOYOC. a gentleman in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness, is one of the valued
citizens of Cheney's Grove Township, where he is pleasantly located on section 20, and prosperously engaged in
agricultural pursuits. He is a native of this county and was born in Padua Township, Dec. 28, 1834. Mr. Vanscoyoc
is the son of James and Drusilla (Lewis) Vanscoyoc, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Virginia.
The father of our subject was born Feb. 20, 1798, followed farming the greater part of his life, and died in Cheney's
Grove Township on the 22d of February, 1877. The mother was born Feb. 7, 1801, and departed this life at the home
of her husband, in the same township as her husband, Feb. 20, 1869. She was a lady greatly respected for her personal
worth, and a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The record of their seven children is as
follows: Oliver H. P. was born April 17, 1820, and married Miss Mary Newcomb; Isaac died in infancy; Rebecca was
born Feb. 7, 1825, and became the wife of Marks Banks; Rachel, born Aug. 29, 1828, married John Newcomb; Walter,
born Sept. 10, 1831, married Miss Mary Banks; James S., of our sketch was the sixth child; Hannah was born Feb.
12, 1840, and died when six years old.
The subject of our sketch was reared to manhood on his father's farm, and on the 7th of December, 1854, was united in marriage with Miss Margaret P. Means, who was born on the farm where they now live, Oct. 13, 1835. She is the daughter of Robert and Sarah (Rumsey) Means, natives of Virginia, who removed to Kentucky in their youth, and were there married. Mr. Means was a farmer by occupation, and came to this county in 1830, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was born in 1785, and departed this life Aug. 1, 1835. Mrs. Means was born Nov. 10, 1795, and survived her husband nearly forty years, dying March 1, 1875. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and became the mother of ten children, as follows: America P. was born in 1820, and died in 1885; Katurah; Jemima and John were twins; the latter died when twelve years old; James R. was born March 22, 1825. The balance were David D., Joseph K., Owen A., Elizabeth M. and Margaret P.
Mr. and Mrs. Vanscoyoc became the parents of eight children: Theodore L., born Sept. 20, 1855, died Sept. 22, 1856; Almaretta was born Aug. 1, 1857; Sarah H., Feb. 11, 1860; Mary D., Nov. 18, 1862; Harry A., born Sept. 30, 1865, and married Miss L. L. Hiatt; Walter M., born June 24, 1869; Charlie C., March 13, 1876; Guy P., March 16, 1879. The homestead of our subject consists of 265 acres of valuable land, and he has of late years been quite extensively engaged in the breeding of fine stock. He is independent in politics, and has held the various offices of his township, being a man of sound judgment, whose opinion is uniformly held in respect. He is prominently connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been Steward for a number of years, and has contributed liberally and cheerfully to its support. He has in all respects fulfilled his obligations as a good citizen, and is considered one of the important factors in the business and agricultural community.
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), 678. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.