Biography - Larkin Toler
LARKIN TOLER was born in Union County April 1, 1846. He is a son of Lewis Toler, of North Carolina, who was himself a farmer and a son of a farmer. He was married to Eliza Guinn, of Union County, Ill., about 1832, and they spent their entire lives in that county on their little farm, where Mr. Toler died about 1856, in the prime of life. He was the father of twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, of whom Larkin was the seventh. Of this number nine were living at the time of their father's death, three having died previously, viz.: Carroll, at twelve years of age; John, when a small boy; and Elizabeth in infancy. Of the number living at that time the following have died: Nedom, at the age of sixteen years; and Mary, wife of John McIntire, at the age of thirty, leaving one daughter. The living are as follows: Martha, wife of Anson Gurley, a farmer of Johnson County; William D., a retired farmer of Union County; D. H., a farmer of Texas; Larkin; Henry, a farmer of Burnside Township, Johnson County; Thomas, also of Johnson County; and Melissa, wife of J. Lipe, of Williamson County. The mother of these children is still living, at the age of seventy-eight years, and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Gurley.
In boyhood Larkin Toler had little or no education, but was brought up to plenty of hard labor. He left home when eighteen years old, and when twenty was married to Mary E. Goddard, she being in her fifteenth year. She was a daughter of George A. Goddard. Mr. and Mrs. Toler began life on rented land in Union County, and farmed on rented land for ten years. In 1875, they bought eighty acres in Williamson County for $500, which had upon it fair improvements. This was their home for eight years, but in the fall of 1883 Mr. Toler traded this farm off for ninety acres in Johnson County, near his present home. In 1892 he traded the ninety-acre farm for one hundred and thirty-eight acres with good house and fine young orchard, it being valued at $2,000, and he paid $300 to boot. Mr. and Mrs. Toler have buried four sons and two daughters, all in infancy. They have five children living, viz.: William L., a young man of twenty-three, at home and teaching in the district school; Minnie, a young lady of eighteen; Albert, fifteen; Alice, eleven, and Manila, five. Their opportunities for an education have been limited. Mr. and Mrs. Toler are members of the Baptist Church, and Mr. Toler votes the Democratic ticket, He carries on mixed farming, raising wheat and corn for the most part, but also keeps a few cattle and hogs, and has a fine orchard of two hundred apple trees.
Extracted 14 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 368.