In the early days of the West the more favored districts naturally drew to themselves the men of greatest ambition, foresight and business sagacity. These sought the fields that held out the most to them in the way of promise for the future, and settling there they bent their energies to laying the foundation of prosperity for themselves and their posterity. Thus it is that Union county has been fortunate in the character of its pioneers. They were not only of sturdy stock, fit to endow their descendants with the physical strength to build up a great community, but they were also above the average in mental grasp and moral fibre. They were able to discern the opportunities which the region held forth for agriculture, manufacture and commerce, and possessed the sound judgment, courage and perseverance to organize these and direct them to their full fruition. Of this sort were the ancestors of Drake H. Rendleman, seven generations of whose family have lived on his present farm, an excellent tract of two hundred and thirty acres located near Jonesboro.

Mr. Rendleman's great-grandfather on his mother's side secured the present farm from the government during the earliest settlement of Union county, and died here at the remarkable age of one hundred and two years, about 1814 or 1816. His son, who grew up here, went to Missouri in 1841, considering that this section was becoming too thickly settled, and died in that state at the age of ninety-six years. He was possessed of a fine head of red hair, and for this was greatly respected by the Indians. Drake Harris Rendleman, the father of Drake H., was born in North Carolina, November 16, 1801, and in 1815 came to Union county with four brothers. He was a tanner by trade and had a tan yard on the present property, but subsequently became engaged in farming, in which he continued for the remainder of his life, his death occurring in October, 1886. Mr. Rendleman married Catherine Hunsaker, who was born on this property in 1813, among the Indians, and here she spent all of her life, her death occurring in 1905, when she was ninety-two years old. Both branches of the family have been widely and favorably known, and it has been their boast that no member has ever been brought before a court.

Drake H. Rendleman was reared among pioneer surroundings, having been born January 10, 1841, on his present land, where in his boyhood he remembers often seeing wild turkeys and deer in the farmyard. His preliminary education was secured in the district schools, and later he attended a seminary here and Lebanon College, from which he was graduated in 1864. Securing a teacher's license, Mr. Rendleman followed the profession of an educator for sixteen years, but since that time has devoted all of his attention to agricultural pursuits. His fine farm is in an excellent state of cultivation, and he has given a great deal of attention to the raising of berries. He is vice president and a stockholder in the Anna Creamery and the Union Fruit Package Company, and a director in the Fruit Growers' Association of Anna, and is recognized as a business man of more than ordinary ability. Politically, he is a Democrat, but he has never cared for public office. He has been prominent in Masonry since 1862.

In 1864 Mr. Rendleman was married (first) to Miss Goodman of Union county, who died in 1886 leaving the following children: Cora, Daisy. Clara, Arthur, Zoe and Charles. In 1887 Mr. Rendleman was married a second time, when occurred his union with Miss Nettie Eddieman, who was born in this county in 1863, and they have had two children: Edith and Mary, both of whom reside with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Rendleman are consistent members of the Lutheran church, and have been prominent in religious and charitable work for a number of years.

Extracted 13 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 3, pages 1575-1576.

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