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Churchill, Hiram S.
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Churchill, Hiram S.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 443-444


Hiram S. Churchill is the owner of a valuable farm of three hundred acres of fine land on sections 14 and 23, Kinderhook township, in the midst of which stands a beautiful brick residence surrounded by a well kept lawn. The barnyard contains good stables, sheds and cribs and stock of good grades is found in the pastures. There is every evidence of the careful supervision of a painstaking and progressive owner, whose labors are actuated by a progressive yet practical spirit.

Mr. Churchill was born on the farm where he now lives, his natal day being November 25, 1853. He is a son of Almon S. and Mary (Hunn) Churchill. The father was born near Batavia, New York, in 1812, and was reared to the life of a farmer in the place of his nativity, remaining in the east until 1833, when at the age of twenty-one years he came to Pike county. In 1835, however, he returned to the Empire state and was there married to Miss Mary A. Hunn, who was born in 1812 in Hartford, Connecticut, in which city she made her home until fifteen years of age, when she accompanied her parents on their removal to Batavia, New York. Following his marriage Mr. Churchill brought his bride to Pike county, making the journey with a span of ponies and wagon. This was long before the era of railroad building in Illinois and all travel was done by private conveyance by stage or by means of water transportation. Mr. Churchill and his bride, however, drove across the country and on reaching Pike county settled west of Kinderhook, where they lived for a year, after which they took up their abode upon the farm which is now the home of Hiram S. Churchill. The father, in connection with Mr. Dilly, secured one hundred and sixty acres of land, which was the nucleus of his extensive possessions, for at one time he owned twelve hundred acres, all of which was on the bottom. He engaged extensively in trading in horses and mules and was an excellent judge of stock and also a practical, energetic farmer who in the tilling of the soil produced large crops. He became a prominent and influential resident of his community, his opinions carrying weight in matters of the general welfare. After accumulating considerable property he retired from active labor and spent his last years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. On election days he was found at the polls giving his support to the candidates of the republican party. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and an earnest Christian spirit characterized all they did. Mr. Churchill died in 1886, having for about fourteen years survived his wife, who passed away in 1872. Their marriage had been blessed with three sons and a daughter, and with the exception of one son all are yet living, namely: Hiram S., of this review; William E., who is living in Kansas City; and Nancy M., the wife of Jacob R. Fox, a resident of California.

Hiram S. Churchill was educated in the schools of Kinderhook and remained upon his father's farm until 1888, when he went to the village, where he was engaged in the grain business for ten years, owning and operating the elevator at that place. In 1898, however, he returned to the farm, where he has since resided and he is now the owner of three hundred acres of very productive land all sections 14 and 23, Kinderhook township, most of which is bottom land. He has an excellent farm here, well fenced, and its equipments are in keeping with all modern ideas of agricultural progress. His residence is a fine brick house, tastefully furnished, and he has good buildings for the shelter of grain and stock. The fields are carefully tilled and he also raises good grades of cattle, horses and hogs upon his farm, which is conveniently situated about a mile northwest of Kinderhook, thus bringing railroad facilities within easy access together with all of the advantages of town life.

On the 27th of December, 1874, Mr. Churchill was united in marriage to Miss Martha C. Smith, who was born in Pike county, Illinois, June 12, 1854, and is a daughter of Charles and Lizzie (Hull) Smith. The father was born in Virginia and came to Pike county at an early day, after which he carried on general farming in Kinderhook township, up to the time of his demise, which occurred in 1870. His widow still resides in that township. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Churchill has been blessed with four sons and three daughters; D. A., born in September, 1875, and now living on the home farm, married Essie Likes. Bessie, born in August, 1876, is with her parents. Fred, born in August, 1877, and now living at Payson, Illinois, married Ethel Tooley. Charles, born in December, 1879, married Ada McKinney and lives on his father's farm. Frank, born in July, 1882, died in Wyoming at the age of twenty-three years. Nellie, born in July, 1886, is the wife of Harry McGuire, bookkeeper for the Swift Packing Company of Chicago. Uldene is at home.

In politics Mr. Churchill is strictly independent. He does not bind himself by party ties, but votes as he thinks preferable and as his mature judgment indicates. For fifteen years he served as school trustee and has ever been interested in the cause of public education. He belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge, No. 757, of Kinderhook, of which he is a charter member and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. They are sociable, entertaining people, with whom it is a pleasure to meet and the hospitality of their home is greatly enjoyed by their many friends.

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