Biography - John Grear
HON. JOHN GREAR, Mayor of Jonesboro, whose portrait appears in this work, sprung from a good old Jackson Democratic family. His father, George Grear, was born June 28, 1791, in North Carolina, and entered the army at the age of fourteen years, where he served his country until twenty-three, most of the time with Gen. Jackson, being with him through the Creek and Seminole wars. He married Mary Meisenheimer, a native of North Carolina. They had seven children as follows: Elizabeth, John, Jacob, Mathias, Paulina, Malinda and Mary. Our subject, John Grear, was born March 2, 1824, in Jonesboro, Ill., whence his parents moved from North Carolina among the pioneers of Union County. His chances for an education were few, as were all children here in an early day. He learned the jewelry or watchmaking business, a trade he still follows. Like his father before him, he is a Democrat in politics, but is not an office seeker or a politician. At the last city election (spring of 1883), he was elected Mayor of Jonesboro, which about constitutes his career as an office holder. He was married April 13, 1847, to Miss Dona Meadows, who was born in North Carolina, and is a daughter of William and Mary (Smith) Meadows. The fruit of this marriage is four children, all boys and all living — Walter, Sidney, John W. and Harry. Mr. and Mrs. Grear have lived together as man and wife over thirty-six years; have raised four children of their own, and raised or partly raised and educated nine others, and have never had a death in their family.
Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 100.