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Dinsmore, John E.
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Dinsmore, John E.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 298-299


On the roster of county officials in Pike county appears the name of John E. Dinsmore, who in 1904 was elected to the position of circuit clerk and who in the discharge of his duties has proved a capable and reliable official. He was born in Hardin township, June 13, 1859, his parents being John C. and Priscilla (Barney) Dinsmore. The father was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, in 1822 and when four years of age was brought to Scott county, Illinois, by his parents, who about 1830 removed to Pike county. The father engaged in farming in Hardin township, where he owned a good tract of land, and he also devoted his attention to raising stock. His business interests were capably managed and he continued to reside upon his farm until his death, which occurred February, 16, 1874. His widow still survives him and is now living in Jacksonville, Illinois, at the age of seventy-three years. When he arrived in Pike county he purchased raw land, which he cultivated and improved, and in due course of time he had developed excellent farming property. He had served in the Mexican war, for which he was given land warrants which he traded for a half section of land. In 1849 he went to California, making the overland trip with a company from St. Joseph, Missouri. There were four Dinsmore brothers in the party, but two of them died while on the Pacific coast. Mr. Dinsmore of this review spent a year and a half in California, from 1849 until 1851, and in his mining operations there he was quite successful, arriving home with a goodly sum of money. The return trip was made by way of the Isthmus of Panama. At the time of the Civil war he again responded to his country's call, and in 1863 raised a company of which he was commissioned captain, it being Company E, Ninety-ninth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He served until he was forced to resign on account of ill health. During his two years' service in the Mexican war he was under command of Colonel Hardin, of Jacksonville, Illinois, who fell into Mr. Dinsmore's arms when he was shot and died in that way. Mr. Dinsmore was a democrat in his political views and at one time was a candidate for sheriff of Pike county. He served for some time as township supervisor and filled other township offices. Both he and his wife were members of the Christian church and were people of the highest respectability, enjoying in large measure the friendship and regard of those with whom they were associated. In their family were eleven children, of whom seven reached years of maturity: Virginia, who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Jacksonville. Illinois; Tilla, also residing in that city; Alfred A., who is in the west; John E.; Dora, who died when seventeen years of age; George, a practicing physician of Jacksonville; and J. W., who is a member of the medical fraternity at Nebo, Illinois.

John E. Dinsmore pursued his education in the common schools and entered business life when twenty-one years of age. He farmed at home until December, 1904, when he removed to Pittsfield. In 1890 his mother went to Jacksonville to live. He and his sister own two hundred and forty acres of fine farm land on sections 23 and 26, Hardin township, constituting a well improved property. Mr. Dinsmore now superintends his farm and when he resided thereon he also engaged in raising and shipping stock, buying and feeding cattle, horses and hogs.

Mr. Dinsmore was married in 1880 to Miss Laura Hatcher, a native of Pike county, who was born near Milton, May 25, 1861, and is a daughter of John and Rebecca (Boren) Hatcher. The father's birth occurred in Kentucky, while the mother's birth occurred in Pike county, her parents having been pioneer settlers here. Mr. Hatcher was a farmer, owning and operating a good tract of land, but both he and his wife are now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore have been born eight children: Jessie, Carrie, John, Katherine, Helen, Ernestine, Mildred and Hugh.

Mr. Dinsmore is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp, No. 2313, at Time, and also belongs to lodge No. 569, A. F. & A. M., at Time, and Milton chapter, No.118, R. A. M., while his wife is a devoted member of the Christian church. He has been a democrat all of his life and while living upon the farm served for sixteen years as justice of the peace. In 1904 he was elected circuit clerk and removed to Pittsfield, where he now resides with his family. He has ever been loyal to the trusts reposed in him, whether of a public or private nature, and his life has ever been honorable and upright. By the faithful performance of his daily duties he has found courage and strength for the work of the next day and in all life's relations has been straightforward and reliable.

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