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Dorsey, John W.
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Dorsey, John W.
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 433-435

JOHN W. DORSEY

John W. Dorsey has a state-wide reputation as a stock-dealer and has engaged extensively in the breeding and raising of sheep and hogs. He has thoroughly acquainted himself with the best breeds of farm animals and has done much to improve the grade of stock raised in Illinois and adjoining states, thus contributing in direct and substantial measure to the general prosperity as well as to individual success.

Mr. Dorsey is a native of Perry township, born March 22, 1853, and is a son of Alexander and Jane (Fox) Dorsey, both of whom have passed away, the father's death having occurred in 1894, while the mother died in 1896. They were the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters, all of whom are yet living.

Mr. Dorsey of this review pursued his education in the public schools and started out upon an independent business career when twenty years of age, giving his attention to general farming and raising fine stock. As the years passed by he concentrated his energies more and more largely upon stock-raising and dealing and he has fed a large amount of stock and made extensive shipments to the Chicago and St. Louis markets. At the present time he is farming about two hundred acres of land, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation. In 1878 he rebuilt his house and in 1904 he made some additions thereto until now he has a fine home. There are also good barns, stock pens and all the latest improvements upon his place together with the best machinery for facilitating the work of the fields. He was formerly quite extensively engaged in breeding sheep, making a specialty of fine Oxford Down, Shropshire, Cotswold and Merino sheep. He continued in this business extensively until 1894, having brought to Pike county a carload of pure bred sheep from Canada, also one from Pennsylvania and one from Michigan. He was engaged in business with his father and brothers under the firm name of A. Dorsey & Sons, and after his father's death, under the name of Dorsey Brothers, until 1901, and at present with his sons as J. VV. Dorsey & Sons. His name has become well known in connection with the breeding of hogs and he is today the owner of the pioneer herd of Chester Whites, having continued in this business from 1868, when a mere boy, to the present time. His hogs have been winners of more prizes in late years than any other herd in the world. The firm won eighteen prizes at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904, and also won one hundred and eighty-five prizes all their herd of Chester Whites in 1902, including all champion and herd prizes at nine state and national expositions, as follows: All first and second prizes including sweepstakes boar and sow at the Missouri State Fair: at the Iowa State Fair, aged boar first, yearling boar third, under year boar first and third, aged sow first, yearling sow first, under one year first, aged herd first, bred by exhibitor first, young herd first, bred by exhibitor first, get of boar first and second, champion boar first, bred by exhibitor first, champion sow first, bred by exhibitor first: at the Minnesota State Fair, aged boar first, yearling boar first, under one year first, second and third, aged sow first, yearling sow first and second, under year sow first, second and third, aged herd first, young herd first, champion boar and sow; at the Wisconsin State Fair, aged boar first, yearling boar first, under year boar first, second and third, aged sow first, yearling sow first and second, under year sow first, second and third, sow under six months first, get of boar first, champion boar and sow; at the Indiana State Fair, aged boar first, yearling boar second, under year boar first and second, aged sow second, yearling sow first and third, under year sow first and third, aged herd first, young herd first, five head get of one boar first, pair under one year old first, champion boar and sow, also Standard Chester Record Association special; at the Kentucky State Fair, aged boar first, yearling boar second, under one year first and second, boar under six months first, aged sow first and second, yearling sow first and third, under year first and second, under six months first, aged herd first, young herd first, get of boar first, champion boar and sow; at the Illinois State Fair, all first and second prizes, including herd prizes; also champion boar and sow; at the great St. Louis Fair, all firsts and seconds, including herd prizes; also champion boar and sow: at the International Exposition Chicago, aged boar first, yearling boar first, under year boar first, boar under six months second, aged sow first, under year sow first and second, under six months first, aged herd first, young herd first and third, get of boar first and second, champion boar and sow. M r. Dorsey is also agent for south Missouri lands and for Oklahoma and Kansas lands and conducts excursions to those districts on the first and third Tuesdays in each month. He is a man of splendid business ability, executive force and keen discrimination, readily recognizing possibilities and improving these by determined and earnest effort.

Mr. Dorsey has been married twice. On the 27th of October, 1872, he wedded Sarah Jane Ham, who was born in Chambersburg township, October 31, 1856, and died in September 1885. They were the parents of five children, a son and four daughters: Lizzie, born June 29, 1874; Mary L., July 16, 1876; Minnie B., July 11, 1878; Alexander, November 29, 1880; and Leta M., March 13, 1885. The son was in business with his father and brothers and looked after the exhibits at all the state fairs and expositions. He was a very intelligent and enterprising young man and his death, which occurred April 6, 1903, was deeply regretted. On the 10th of November 1886, Mr. Dorsey was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Ella (Bond) Blake. By this marriage there are five children: Fern F., born September 20, 1887; Glen E., October 22, 188B; Otis D., March 23, 1890; Genevieve, January 25, 1899; and Dean Wilson, September 6, 1904.

Mr. Dorsey gives his political support to the republican party, but is without aspiration for office. He belongs to the Church of Christ, to the Mutual Protective League of Pike county and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Perry - associations which indicate the character of the man, for he is loyal to the teachings of these different organizations. Deeply interested in everything pertaining to agricultural progress and development, he was secretary of the Perry Grange and also its master for two terms and was appointed by Governor Yates one of the delegates to the farmer's congress held in Texas. He is ever watchful for methods for the improvement of the community along agricultural lines and he belongs to that class of representative American men who while advancing their individual success also contribute in substantial measure to the work of public progress and prosperity.


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