Biography - Jacob Hileman

JACOB HILEMAN, farmer, P. O. Anna, Anna Township. To mark the progress in the history of Union County during the last half century, one need only compare the condition of the country at the present time with its flourishing villages and growing cities; its farms, with their waving crops, their blooming orchards, groves and hedges, and substantial dwellings; its system of schools; its railroads and its net-work of telegraphic wires, to its condition over fifty years ago, when its soil was unbroken by the hand of husbandry, and the stillness of its forests was undisturbed, save by the noise of the hunter's tread, and the crack of the Indian's rifle. It was at this early day, in 1819, that the Hileman family moved from North Carolina to Union County. Jacob Hileman, the subject of this sketch, was born in Union County, Ill., on the 21st day of December, 1823, and is of German descent. His father, Christian Hileman, was born in North Carolina in 1797, and was brought up on a farm, an occupation he followed during life. In 1819, became to Union County with his father's family, and settled near St. John's Church, south of Jonesboro. In 1823, he married and settled in Anna Precinct, near where the Southern Illinois Insane Asylum now stands. He became the owner of about 500 acres of land, and was an excellent farmer. Both he and his wife were members of the Reformed Church; he died October 18, 1857. His father, Jacob Hileman, was a native of Pennsylvania, but his parents came from Germany prior to the Revolutionary war, and settled in Pennsylvania. Subject's mother, Nancy (Davis) Hileman was born in Rowan County, N. C, in 1805, and came with her parents to Illinois in 1817, settling about three miles south of Jonesboro; she is still living, and resides in Anna. She was a daughter of George and Catherine (Trexler) Davis, both natives of North Carolina — the former a farmer and tailor, and the first tailor in Union County, having his shop on his farm. The parents of our subject had nine children, of whom he is the oldest; Mary, wife of Charles Barringer, grocer of Jonesboro; George, a farmer near Duquoin, Ill.; Thomas, who died from disease contracted while in the late war, his death occurring at home in 1863 or 1864; Levi, a farmer of Anna Precinct; Lavina, wife of John Barringer, a farmer of Anna Precinct; Caroline, wife of Josiah Bean, a farmer of Anna Precinct; Christian M., a farmer of Anna Precinct. Subject spent his early life at home, assisting to till the soil of his father's farm, and receiving such an education as could be obtained in the subscription schools of the pioneer period, taught in log-cabin schoolhouses, with their slab seats, writing desks, etc. He remained at home until he was twenty-three years of age, when he married and went to farming on his own account. He at once located on his present farm, which then comprised but eighty acres, with only ten acres in cultivation. It now contains 120 acres, with about eighty-five acres in a high state of cultivation. He erected, in 1870, a handsome brick residence, which he has well and elegantly furnished. Mr. Hileman has been quite successful in raising sweet potatoes and small fruits, but makes wheat a specialty. In February, 1846, he was married to Miss Tena Sifford, a native of this county, born in October, 1825, and a daughter of Peter and Leah (Mull) Sifford, natives of North Carolina. They came to Union County in 1819, the Mull family settling north of Anna, and the Sifford family south of Cobden. Mr. and Mrs. Hileman have been blessed with eight children. viz.: Phillip W., John L., James N., Ellen D., Hamilton J., George T., Charles C. and William W. Both Mr. Hileman and his wife are members of the Reformed Church; he is an Elder in the same; is also a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Anna. He is a Democrat, and, though not an office seeker, was Sheriff of Union County from 1870 to 1874.

Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 71-72.

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